Ian asks Amita to dinner after they finish a case in which she had consulted. Against her better judgment, Amita doesn't say no. However, she does put a restriction on her acceptance, even though she knows Ian probably doesn't and wont get it yet. “I'd love to eat with you, Agent Edgerton, but I should warn you that I don't date people.”
Ian doesn't let himself smirk and he nods in agreement to her terms, so Amita decides that it might very well be worth going. Ian tells her the time and place, and she types up a little note on her computerized calendar to remind herself to show up.
That evening, she changes into a soft blue wrap dress that feels like a bath robe she just threw on, but looks like a reasonably planned outfit, pairing it with a black pair of ballet flats. Just because this isn't a date, doesn't mean she can't look attractive- if not for Ian's sake, then for her own sake.
Ian ends up staring at her in appreciation anyways, as she slides into her side of the booth and is handed the menu. The restaurant is small, and the menu is cheap, and Amita appreciates that he didn't go out of his way to impress her with an overcrowded “date spot.”
Amita orders the BBQ chicken sandwich. Ian orders the roast beef with fries. They wait for their food to arrive as they sip their respective plastic cups of coke.
Ian asks about her recent work, but Amita can see his eyes begin to gloss over as she talks about modeling dispersion. Finally, she simplifies her speech. “I haven't had much to do since Charlie left. I realize now that so much of my work was tangled into his that I never really developed my own interests. The idea that I might not be an applied mathematician scares me to death, but its one I've been considering more and more as of late. Its like.. I never developed a self independent of the goal to get married. Or my parent's goal to get me married, anyways.”
Ian laughs. “I joined the army at 17, and they give you an identity with your pathetic paychecks. I didn't think I'd end up where I am now, Amita, I was just too good to say no.”
“And what're you doing with all the freedom to exercise judgment they're giving you now?”
Ian shrugs. “Being the person I'm supposed to be according to other people's standards. Much like you were before you left that boy your parents arranged for you and then Charlie in remarkably short order. You've dated a lot of people for someone who doesn't date.”
“There's a lot of things I'm not sure about wanting, Ian, but there's plenty of things I'm learning I don't like at all. I was absolutely in love with the idea of loving Charlie, but an idea is simply not enough. Telling yourself to be tolerant is simply not enough, if the fact that Charlie is in England right now is any evidence. I loved the idea of it being my choice, but dumping Charlie gave me a lot of time to reflect. That was the only thing I loved, Ian.”
The food arrives, but Ian ignores his sandwich as he stares at her. “So why'd you say yes?”
“Because I need friends, Ian. Nothing but. I want adventures, all the ones I've missed out on locked inside the four walls of my office being my parent's daughter.”
Ian nods. “So we'll have adventures.”
They eat their meal, and that's all it is, but that's all they want and it is good.