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grownupsmile
stilljustandrew wrote in milliways_bar
*Andrew. Table. Dinner. Book.*

*To be more specific: Table near the observation window. Plate of assorted sushi. Julia Ecklar's
The Kobayashi Maru.*

*(There's pictures of Kirk, Sulu, and Chekov on the cover.)*

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Warren.

About thirty, give or take.

Empty hands in pockets.

*Andrew glances up.*

*And stares for a second.*




...Hey.

"I had the day off and I wanted to ask Faith something about the wedding," Warren says.

"Hey. Long time no see."

Yeah, uh.

*"Not since we broke you and Wes out of Wolfram & Hart's holding hell" doesn't seem like the best conversational opening ever.*


Hi.
How've you been?

"Good. Good. Your, uh, hair is still..."

Warren trails off because it has struck him that Andrew looks strikingly, painfully the same. Faith had too, of course, but not in a way Warren had noticed. Andrew he notices.

...yeah. I keep meaning to get it cut, and there's never time.

*A pause, and then a little abruptly:* Uh -- what year is it for you?

"If you're just asking so you have reason not to talk to me, so you won't...change the future or, you know, whatever... You got another thing coming because I'm not saying. Take that."

Warren folds his arms triumphantly.

"Because, uh, it is good to see you, you know. Really."

*honestly* It's good to see you too.

Just, uh ...

You look older.

*Which means: not dead. And he'd like to know how much older.*

"Yeah," Warren says. "Well. You look young."

Well he is. Older.

"I'm, uh...I didn't mean to not...let's say 'call', but life got really full of, uh, stuff."

Warren shrugs, then pinches the bridge of his nose.

"Whatever. I'm happy to see you dude. See? Smile."

And he does.

*So does Andrew.*

It's okay. Stuff happens.

Uh ... what kind of stuff?

*Curiousity!*

Warren's smile gets secretive and just a tiny bit evil.

"Ohhhh. I dunno. You know. The usual. The wife. And work. Hey, I speak Dutch now."

His brow creases slightly.

"But I can't understand it."

He shakes his head.

...huh?

*Yeah, that's all he's got about the Dutch thing.*

Warren continues unphased.

"And maybe a little lab accident induced robotic hand," he says, wiggling the fingers of his left hand at Andrew. "Which I think is cool. And-"

He pauses for dramatic effect and to search his pocket for his wallet.

"A little something in here. What could it be?"

Robotic hand is cool.

*Yeah, he's not gonna think about the potential symbolism of that AT ALL right now.*

*Anyway Luke Skywalker has a robotic hand too. So there. It means nothing.*

*Andrew tilts his head curiously at whatever's about to emerge from Warren's wallet.*

"Oh! Hey! How about a little...pictures of the kids!" Warren sing-songs.

He raises his hand for a high five. Don't leave him hanging. They've gone and let him reproduce, the fools!

*...Sorry, Warren's hand. There will be no high five for a moment yet.*

*Andrew is just kind of staring at the pictures.*



*They're baby pictures. Two of them. Warren's.*

*Warren has kids.*




*Warren has KIDS.*

Warren looks up at his unslapped hand.

"Dude, it's not the robot hand, come on."

*Andrew looks up from the pictures and finally notices Warren's hand.*

*He raises his own, and manages a convincing high five.*


They're ...

Wow.

"I know. Very wow. You'll probably get to meet them. At Faith's wedding. You're going, right?"

I -- yeah. Absolutely. You're going? -- oh, duh, Isabel.

"And Faith is my, uh, friend too," Warren points out, a little unsurely.

She did hug him today. She did rescue him from Hell that time.

"Or, you know, if you ever wanted to visit. In New York. I bet you could. I haven't seen you there. It's been..."

It's been...

... a while.

*He's in New York now. His now. Warren isn't, yet.*

"Seven years," Warren admits.

And there it is, out in the open with the robot hand and the pictures of the kids.

... seven years.

*Andrew's eyes are fixed on the picture of the little girl.*

How old's she now?

"Four," Warren says. "Ashley. Is her name. He's Patrick. He's one."

Warren is still Warren, but he's not twenty-two anymore.

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