Alexander probably didn't really know what he'd gotten himself into. At least he'd gone from telling Liberty that he couldn't possibly meet Maryanne alone ever again, to actually looking forward to the prospect of hanging out with a friend for a while. She'd kind of been stubborn enough to break through those initial walls he tended to put up, and that took one very determined sort of personality. He'd gone from insisting everything was fine, to sobbing while pouring his heart out to her, to laughing and flirting and forgetting all the pain for a while.
Flirting away over the network was one thing, though. This was maybe pushing his luck, but he kept telling himself that he'd agreed to a game, not to fuck her over the billiard table, it was fine.
He hadn't made any particular effort. He'd stayed at the office writing away until he noticed the time, and then headed down to Crawley's game room with the ink still staining the fingers of his right hand. It was stupid, really - he had nothing to be stressed about here. Nothing. No one would care if he just stopped, if he put the pen down and stepped away. The stress was all coming from inside, from some intense pressure he'd been putting on himself since he could remember. Was he doing it so he wouldn't think about what he'd lost? To prove something? Because he actually enjoyed working? Probably a mixture of all of the above.
He rolled his shoulders and they clicked, and the automatic door swooshed open as he stepped up to it. Oh. Well. That was quite a choice of outfit, and Alexander wasn't so old-fashioned in his outlook that he didn't at least consider that this might be the promised education. Huh.
"Hi," he greeted her simply, heading inside and letting the door swoosh closed behind him again. "How are you doing, Maryanne?" he smiled.