He sits alone, staring into the mirror behind the bar. He doesn't know why Daniel chose this place. It doesn't seem his style. It's hot and dark, and the thud, thud, thud of the nightclub next door pulses through the walls making him feel like he's drinking scotch inside a large, rectangular womb.
"Sir, we'll be over there." Sam calls out, gesturing towards a table at the back of the room.
"Yeah, I'll join you in a minute."
Twenty minutes later and he's still at the bar, flicking ice cubes into an ashtray and watching Carter's reflection in the mirror. She seems to be arguing with Daniel, probably about who should come over and talk to him, he thinks.
He wishes he hadn't agreed to come here. Since his return from Edora everything feels so far away, like he's watching himself from outside his own body. When Daniel suggested they go out for a 'welcome home' drink he had heard himself say, "Sure Daniel, good idea. What time?"
Carter must have lost the argument because her reflection approaches him in the mirror. He has a sudden urge to jump up and run away. To keep running until the feeling in the chest has burnt away.
But it's too late. She is standing next to him, gripping her drink and looking uneasy. She sits down and swivels on her stool to face him.
"Are you okay, sir?"
He doesn't answer her. Instead, he swirls his glass on the counter, watching tiny golden whirlpools form in his scotch.
"Thank you," he says eventually, studying his drink. He turns to look at her. "Thank you for bringing me home."
They stare at each other, fumbling for something to say.
"I, I." She stutters, losing her nerve and looking away.
She turns back to him. "Everything will be alright, sir," she says gently.
It isn't a question but he answers her anyway.
"Yeah, I think we'll be okay, Carter."
It isn't what he meant to say but it is what he wanted to say. He searches her face for a reaction and catches a hint of a smile. It's only small, but it promises a lot.
He nudges her with his shoulder, giving her a small smile of his own. "Come on Carter, let's join the others."