A Friendship Reimagined


f_elisabeth_icon.gif trask_icon.gif

Scene Title A Friendship Reimagined
Synopsis Norton pays a visit to his best friend and tells her things that throw her sideways just a bit.
Date April 16, 2019

Elisabeth's Apartment

Monday, April 16, 2019.

His arrival is not unexpected — the phone call earlier this morning alerted Elisabeth to Norton's need to talk, and so she called her boss and said, "Call me if you need me, otherwise I'll be in when I can." And given Felix's knowledge of all that's going on, it wasn't hard to make sure that she was covered for being out of the office and available by cell if anything on her cases breaks. So when he knocks on the door, Elisabeth opens it nearly immediately and gestures him inside. "Cam's at school," she tells him mildly, so he won't worry. She's dressed for work in a sleek black skirt that ends several inches above her knees, a pair of heels, and a lavender silk blouse. Her suit jacket is thrown over the back of the couch, and there's not a weapon in sight at the moment. "Coffee? C'mon, we can sit and talk."

In some ways, it's almost like they haven't been apart — after all, for Norton, they haven't. For Elisabeth, it's this weird sense of unreality that she's slowly getting over. She's finding herself in emotional conflict at times every time she sees him, but she's very adept at covering that. "You didn't sound quite right on the phone," she offers as she settles him at the couch and brings two cups of coffee.

Norton smiles and gives Liz a hug when he comes in, its still a little stiff, but maybe he is just still getting use to the idea of the changes of this world, though he seemed so much more relaxed two days ago when they discussed the coming date. "Coffee would be great. I'm sorry…I didn't mean for you to call in or anything…I guess I don't know your work schedule like I use to. Look if you have some pressing business at the precinct this can wait…

Elisabeth chuckles quietly, hugging him tightly, and then bringing the coffee in to hand him a cup while she perches next to him. "It's nothing major. Felix Ivanov is the SAC-NYC nowadays, and I report to him generally. I don't presume on our friendship very often, but I read him in on this situation a couple of nights ago so he'll give me whatever leeway I need to work with this." She tilts her head. "I went FBI at the end of 2011, just before Cam was born." There's a shrug as she sips from her cup, and says, "So….. tell me what's on your mind, Norton." There's a faint, nostalgic smile as she says it — it's been SO many years since they've had this conversation.

Norton takes a deep breadth, "I had my date with Miss Bishop yesterday. It went…better then I expected." He sighs softly and leans back, "Tell me Liz…what was my last two years like?"

Now she looks a little… concerned. "What were they like? Well… after the Moab raid failed, we were faced with a lot of anti-Evolved violence. Humanis First bombs hospitals and shelters and … it was awful. Especially in our spot as cops, we were pretty much swamped trying to deal both with civilian violence and also violence against the cops — internal and external. We were seriously working on completely imploding as a society. Summer of 2009 was a shitstorm of publicity on the Company due to a guy named Goodman coming out and naming names in public, telling people that the Company had the virus and it had been stolen, and that they'd been bagging and tagging Evos for 20 years before anyone else even knew Evos existed. HUGE hue and cry about what the government was up to… and by the end of that year, FRONTLINE was put in place and staffed with Evo members of the military, law enforcement, and special ops people… and they plunked themselves on Staten Island and started retaking the place. So… the two years that we had together were…. busy. Stressful, but … amazing. So much happened those couple of years, and we were a part of it from behind the scenes. It wasn't until early 2011 that the Phoenix people in Moab were pardoned and people found out what we'd done in early 2009 with Volken and that situation, along with the situation that actually forced it into the open — Phoenix went up against a major group of crazy paramilitary anti-Evo types and helped defeat them. That was… the turnning point for public opinion about Evos, really." He can read all this online, but… he asked. "You and I spent a lot of time …. juggling our roles. Taking runs with Phoenix whenever possible, and working as cops the rest of the time, just trying to keep people safe."

Norton nods listening and waves his hand a little…"The history…it's important..but…I meant us…how were we. How…happy were we? Liz I won't pretend that I ever thought you were faithful to me. I never asked you to be…and I am glad you never told me any…details…but how would you have felt if…I was the same way?"

Ah. Elisabeth smiles at him and sets her cup down. "We were happy. At least… as far as I know, we were. Not long after the Moab raid, we had a conversation similar to this one. You'd met someone you wanted to go out with, and I guess we… ultimately we agreed that unless some relationship was a threat to ours, we were each free to do whatever we wanted. We tended to spend more time with each other than anyone else… but no, we weren't each other's only relationship." She hesitates and looks at her hands a moment, but then looks back up at him. "I'm not sure if that would have changed when Cam came along, actually." Her life nowadays really works for her, and she says quietly, "It was kind of moot by the time I knew he was coming, so … " She shrugs a little.

Norton smiles softly and nods, "You know I never returned the ring….the one I offered you. I kept it…and…well…i always held out hope that some day you might accept it.

That makes her pause, as if she's debating something. "You gave it to me," Elisabeth says quietly. "Right before we went to the Columbia talks, you gave it to me and told me…." She hesitates. "You told me that you wanted me to think about it. That being married didn't mean changing a damn thing except for moving in together, but … that you wanted to have the piece of paper. And I never really…." She stops and moves to stand up, rubbing her palms against her skirt now fighting back tears. "I wore it for … God, I don't know. I guess aside from my pregnancy, when I couldn't wear it, I didn't take it off for about five years. And then I finally… decided that I needed to hold it for Cameron. To this day, I have no idea what my answer would have been, or how our lives would have been different."

Norton nods, "Liz….I need your advice on something…as my friend…I know I havn't asked it of you in a rather long time…" He quirks a smile, "But …it's a rather sensitive subject and there is noone else in the world I can imagine coming to with it.

Sucking in a deep breath to regain her control, Elisabeth turns to look at him with a smile. "Whatever else we ever were, Norton, I was always your friend… first, last, and always. Tell me."

Norton says, "There is this girl I love…back home…and …you know here…better then anyone else in the world." He looks at her and smiles making it clear who he means. "And….I need some…relationship advice..because I think I've dne something that…I don't nessacarily regret…but…could hurt her…and I don't want to do that…and…" He just gets quiet."

Raising both of her eyebrows, Liz moves to smooth her skirt under her again and sit back down. "Well…. some would say 'what happens in the future stays in the future,'" she says with a quirky grin — because she's kind of assuming he's talking about 'doing something' that well… if she thinks too hard about it, she might boggle. "But I've never been one to tell you to lie about anything. Are you asking me if you should tell me you slept with someone?" She is doing her absolute level best here not to jump to the conclusion that he's saying he slept with Elle Bishop, but her brain is definitely going there. Why else would he be hedging quite like this right after the date?

Norton says, "It kinda just …happened yes…and ….the someone is…definitly not normally my type…but…well…part of me still think she might be playing me too. Though she says she isn't….if she was playing me that would be exactly what she said…and…what if my action cause this whole thing to come down like a house of cards, because I couldn't…" He rises and walks over to a window, looking out at the city."

Oh Lord…. she did NOT want to know this. "Well, the first thing I'd say is that… you shouldn't feel obligated to tell me anything when you get back. My reaction back then to you having had an anonymous whatever would be, 'good for you, you were safe, right?' Cuz God knows, I put us both at risk a couple of times." Elisabeth blushes a bit. "I wasn't…. I didn't know you were Cam's father until after he was born." She waves that off. "As to the other…. you can't continue to second-guess yourself on the notion of 'if I do this, what if it ruins that?' Nature will reassert itself in the ways that it's meant to, Norton. It is far greater than we. One small action can change the future, but… there's some amount of 'your very presence here already changes things'… and since I'm assuming you're not going to lie to the woman about what the relationship is and isn't… it could turn out just fine. I have to say I'm not so impressed with your choice in women, but then you have, in the past, been not so thrilled with some of my choices either," she laughs.

Norton says, "Well…Sylar thinks she is a monster who can't be trusted…and well…coming from him…" He sighs and leans back against the wall as he turns back to you, closing his eyes, "I am sorry…I shouldn't have said anything to you…I…know you don't want to hear this…just…I had to tell someone…and I didn't know who else I could go to."

Elisabeth shrugs and moves over, hesitantly sliding her arms around him from behind and resting her cheek against his back. It's a pose that is common in his time when he's pensive, but it's been years. "It's okay. I don't mind. I'm glad that you can talk to me still." She smiles a bit. "Gabe's someone that I've come to have faith in over the years. He's made a serious point of turning his life around when given the chance. He's… " She shrugs. "It's been a long time."

Norton says, "If he can change…does that mean she can?" He sighs softly and looks down, "I know it's a pip dream…and I know I'm a moron…and I know…that…it's going to all blow up in my face….and I don't want to take you all with me.""

Elisabeth shrugs just a little and says, "Anyone can change, Norton. I know nothing about the woman or her outlook or what shaped her to decide the Company was the way to go. But… if you're really concerned, you could try to talk to her, and then have the telepath who's going to be coming to help Niki and Jessica — who also changed pretty majorly after 2011 — take a look at Elle and help you determine if she's lying to you."

Norton says, "Her story is that she was picked up as a child when her powers caused an electrical file that burned down her house. She has been reaised inside the company and used as a guneau pig. I can tell you she wasn't faking not being able to ride a bike or swim. Her dad apparently is high placed inside the orgnization. That's what I know….I know it's not a lot. Abby suggested bringing in a telepath and…fixing her…whether she wants it or not."

There's hesitation. And then Liz admits quietly, "Gotta tell you, part of me is leaning toward the idea of …. finding a way to keep her from going back. Whether it's getting her to agree to stay when or if all of you go, mucking in her head, or a double-tap…. I'm kind of … flexible on." She shakes her head. "So far as I'm concerned at this point, though, your timeline diverged from ours when you jumped here. Because no one made it out of Moab in our timeline. Not for two more years. The one thing you've got going for you back there is Goodman and his whistle-blowing. If you can keep that piece of information from her… you still have a shot at it."

Norton says, "She knows the Company came down, and she knows someone spilled the beans, I don't know if she knows the name. But it isn't like anyone has kept her off the internet. Abby's got full accsess and I havn't been with her Twenty-four-seven. ""

Elisabeth nods. "That might be something we should take from her. But other than that…" Elisabeth shakes her head. "I just don't know what to tell you, Norton." She hugs him a bit and says, "In the meantime…. I've been trying to decide what to do…. and I think we need to tell Cameron. Who you are, how you got here. That it's not permanent. He's…. grown up in a world where powers are the norm… I think he can handle it. And … if I deprived him of the only chance he'll ever have to meet his biological father and he found out about it, I don't think he'd ever forgive me." She rests her chin on him. "If you don't want him to know, it's your call. But … Felix and I think he should."

Norton raises an eyebrow, "Felix?" He gives you a little looks. "I…would like to meet him…" He bites his lip, "If you think he can handle it…I…would like that alot…" He takes a deep breadth, "you know any time now I think I am going to wake up, in a cell on moab…or in the middle of the desert…or in bed next to you..and find out all of this" He waves his hand, "Never happened."

Stepping back when he looks over his shoulder, Elisabeth nods slowly. "In every way that has mattered, Norton…. Felix has been his father. The first couple of years, I had everyone around… but he used to come up from DC to see us regularly. And when he moved back to the city, he's… well, he's the one who picks up the slack when I can't. Cam's got Mary Grace, but he's also got this bizarre extended family. Me and Felix and … of all people, Leland Daubrey," she laughs quietly. Back when, Daubrey was the absolute scourge of the NYPD and everyone knew it. "Fel and Lee live together these days, and … Fel's the point of emergency contact for Cam." She shrugs a little. "Anyway, he's never tried to take your place. Cam's always known who you were, that you died before he was born. And I think if I explain it right, he'll be okay. He's a pretty stable kid, emotionally." She smiles a little at him. "That sense of 'gonna wake up and it never happened' is sort of what's driving this for me, too… in case you go home and you CAN remember all of it, I want you to have …. all the good memories of this crazy trip, and some ideas of what it CAN be like. What can happen."

Norton nods slowly, "Ok…I trust your judgement…." He sighs, "I went for a walk today…out into the park…to that thing out there….I ran into a police officer leaving flowers for Grace…." He bites his lip, "Those people…the ones who died next to me, I don't even recognize half those names….you would think if your going to die with someone you should at least know thier name. His voice does crack and he shudders a little in your arms.

Elisabeth wraps her arms around him and holds him tightly. "Some of them were just bystanders, nearest the stage when the bomb went off." She sighs heavily. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you had to learn this. But I know Cat was planning on getting in touch with Petrelli, so hopefully… soon… it will be resolved. So I want to go ahead and have a talk with Cameron tonight, and I want to introduce the two of you tomorrow. Sound okay?"

Norton nods and just turns into her arms and holds her, "Yeah….sounds great….I am sorry Liz…sorry I had to do all of this to you…this has got to be twisting you inside….this was all behind you…forgotten…and now here I am in your face and pulling you back to what have to be painful memories.

He has no idea… he can only imagine. And it does twist her guts out to stand here and hold him, to know that this is so goddamn fleeting. That he'll go back, and she'll…. have to mourn again on some levels and try to help her son understand why his father had to go back. Elisabeth could cry for how much this is killing her, but she won't — becuase it will just make it all harder for Norton and harder for Cameron. And in the end… the only person who will see her lose it will be the people who helped her find her way through the darkness and be whole again. Teo. Cat. Abby. Felix. Lee. Alec. And the others…. she is more grateful than she can ever say to those friends. "I'll be fine," she tells him quietly. "To be able to tell you one more time that I love you. To be able to show your son to you, and let you know what an amazing kid he is. Those … are priceless. The cost was so high, Norton… It's what we fought for. It's what you died for. And we did it. Look around, and feel proud."

Now that we see the signs
Can we walk this line together?
Now that we know it's time
Can we walk this line together?

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