Frank was the kind of military man who, it could be believed, would never change. He didn't like thinking about the unnecessary. His hair wasn't likely to change, because that seemed profoundly unimportant. The military had chosen that for him, and it didn't require work to keep tactically and functionally neat. He was still in a war - why would he do anything differently than he had before?
Perhaps if life had been kinder, his habits would have softened in time. Maybe the version of himself as a marine would have become less a distinct and powerful part of his person. Maybe he never would have lost the walk, but he would have lost some of the harshness, the righteousness. The eye for a room as a staging area (exits, entrances, windows and weak points) would have dropped away in time. But that wasn't what happened.
"I wanted the ends of the earth," he grated, with a nod. And he wasn't thinking about Repose.
Some of the tension in his shoulders loosened a tick, however, when Nick called back for a sandwich. "Cubano? What, trying to fatten me up?" He'd last eaten sometime yesterday, though. All evidence to the contrary, he still needed to provide his body with the basics to continue. He took a demonstrative slurp of the coffee. "Tastes like coffee," he said, with a half a smile. "So how's a guy like you end up running a dump like this, making sandwiches and coffee?"
The bruises, to an experienced eye, were broad, flat, and at the tail end of a very long healing process. They clustered near his ear, hinting at bad news under the ball cap he hadn't taken off. But his eyes focused just fine, and if he'd taken a hit to the head, he was at least holding down a conversation like a guy that hadn't.
He didn't mention the elephant in the room, because why? Nick hadn't asked where Sarah and the kids were. He leaned against the counter, swiveling as Nick came around, looking down at an old friend.