Alex took Patrice's hand, knowing she owed so much explanation but also knowing that Patrice's warmth and sense of social responsibility would lead her to ask the pair to drinks. And Alex could hardly stop her; it was only fair that she get to know the parents of the girl their daughter seemed remarkably serious about...for now.
Patrice squeezed Alex's hand and looked at her companions, "So, would you two care for a drink? I found a cozy little place just down the street in Eli's second year." She smiled at Alex. "Alex didn't believe me when I tried to tell her about it, but now we try to go when we're in town. Though you do sound like you have morning plans, so I won't blame you if you're headed back to the hotel." Besides the chance to get to know them better for Eli's sake, Patrice wasn't about to miss the chance to ask a senator to drinks.
"Believe me, a 9:00 meeting is late for Taylor." Abbie joked as she took Taylor's arm.
"Drinks sound good. We can... catch up." Taylor looked to Abbie, hoping that spending a few extra minutes with Alex wasn't too much. The entire situation was surreal, but she had spent enough time talking to people over the years that a hour of drinks theoretically wouldn't pose much of a problem. "Lead the way."
"Good then." Patrice motioned down the street and started off. As they walked she took up a light conversation with Taylor, noticing how Abbie hung back almost immediately to walk with Alex, and she tried not to wonder too much what they were saying.
"So...life is somethin' isn't it?" Abbie didn't quite know how to start the conversation, but it seemed more relaxed after they'd already spent two hours together.
Alex tried to arrange her thoughts as she watched Patrice and Taylor. She was happy for Abbie; she could say that with certainty when she had been bitter—so bitter—years before. Finally, she looked the brunette in the eye and smiled. "Abbie...I'm sorry," she said quietly, knowing she had to say those words before she could really relax, could really enjoy a conversation, even though it had been over twenty years.
Abbie met her eyes for a moment before looking away. She was almost surprised at how the words affected her, even so long after she'd learned about what had happened. The brunette reached out and put her hand on Alex's arm for a moment, "Thank you, but it definitely wasn't your fault." She took a breath, trying to say even some of what she had wanted to. "You know I almost didn't get out of bed for a week after your pretend funeral." Abbie smiled then, trying not to get too deep, "But it's always funny how things work out. I've never met anyone who's came back to life again."
She chuckled, "So Patrice, how did you two meet?" She could see Taylor starting to relax just in how she was holding herself, and that was enough of an endorsement of Alex's other half for her. Ahead, Patrice stopped seemingly in the middle of a street, and after a moment Abbie could see they were outside an arched door in a stone wall. She nodded in approval when Patrice pushed it open, revealing a long narrow bar room filled with groups of plush leather chairs around small low tables. Immediately she approved of the venue.
Alex let Patrice lead them to the spot she always, without fail, chose, if it was open. "We sat at opposite tables for a few cases." She smiled, chuckling lightly as she remembered having been on several dates with a few of the men in that position and how Abbie had teased her relentlessly about it later. "And I'm not sure what possessed me, but I gave her my number at the coffee shop across the street a couple of months after the last one." She sank into a chair beside Patrice and took her hand. "And the rest..." She shrugged. The rest was...quite a lot.. "That wasn't long before I left the DA's office."
Abbie laughed. "Ahh... the all-American lawyer love story then." She picked up the drink menu though she already knew what she was likely having.
Patrice caught up quickly on what had been said, "So, I'm sure I'm out of line here, " she smirked at Alex, "but if that's the case I know I'll just pay for it later, but are you all going to clue me in on the heard of elephants in the room, or should we order drinks first?" Patrice had never been overly coy, and the years just served to enhance the trait.
"Former lovers." Taylor motioned between the two other women. "At least until Alex died." Taylor figured that simple was better. Sometimes tact lost out to just getting the job done.
Even after all their years together, Patrice still managed to surprise Alex from time to time, and the look on her face showed as her eyes darted from Taylor to Abbie and back. She cleared her throat. "Right. Yes." She licked her lips. It was easier to talk about that time now, but parts of it still hurt, parts that were sitting right in front of her. "If I remember correctly," she said as she sipped her drink, "Taylor and Abbie still weren't speaking at that time. Actually...I'm not sure Abbie and I were speaking."
Patrice watched as Abbie's hand twitched like she wanted to shove, or slap, or at least touch Taylor for that comment. The blonde followed Alex's gaze, and thought she saw a hint of something more, something that was still left unsaid, but she let it pass, content to have something to get out of Alex later. She quite enjoyed Taylor's candor, thinking she must be almost frightening when angry—something else to ask Alex about by the look of it. She sipped her drink, "I see. Well, we all have a past." There wasn't a lot to say to the comment, but Patrice found herself getting a little lost in what Abbie and Alex must have looked like together at 26.
"I can't believe Eli and Dani..." Alex shook her head, chuckling lightly, letting the good memories come back. "She looks just like you Abbie..." Just as tall, just as leggy, but perhaps a little softer around the edges. She certainly shared some of Taylor's personality traits. But Alex could only imagine her temper.
Abbie blushed a little, "Thank you, I'm taking it as a compliment." She smiled, "And the kids are pretty cute together, I can tell Dani's happy, and sometimes it takes her awhile to trust someone."
Taylor couldn't stop the mischievous grin that tugged at the corners of her lips. "I caught them making out earlier. It was... adorable." She shook her head at the memory, though she was glad that she hadn't walked in on anything more risqué.
Alex raised her eyebrows and shook her head. "If we had a nickel for every time one of us walked in on Eli making out with a girl..." She squeezed Patrice's hand and looked to Taylor and Abbie. "I'm sorry, I don't want you to get the impression that Eli's going to break Dani's heart..." She shook her head and couldn't help but laugh lightly. "I don't think we've seen her so enamored of someone...or be quite so secretive about it."
Abbie took a sip of her drink and relaxed back into the soft leather of her chair. It was almost easy with so many years gone now, despite how surreal the situation was. Something seemed right about it, and she smiled as she raised her glass, "To young love then."
After taking a deep breath that was almost cleansing, Alex smiled as she raised her own glass, clinking it against Abbie's. "To young love...and...old friends." She put her hand on Patrice's knee and squeezed it lovingly.
"Hear, hear." Taylor lifted her glass as well. She was glad that the earlier tension seemed to have dissipated. To anyone looking in on them, it would have seemed like they really were old friends, and maybe they were, or at least were heading that way.