A Run In The Park


elisabeth_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title A Run In The Park
Synopsis Just clearing the head.
Date Mar 14, 2011

Central Park

Early morning, New York. Daylight savings time has hit, bringing morning just a bit earlier than most people would prefer. Sure, the fall back in November is wonderful, but it's that catch up in the spring that really kicks the legs out from under people. Jaiden is one of those who, despite feeling tired, manages to get his legs beneath him and go and do _something_ in order to keep his mind and body sharp. This morning he's out running, or rather, on the way to run, in his sweats with a bottle of water in a camelback to keep him hydrated. A call to Elisabeth hopefully will have her meeting him at the park. If not, he's got his iPhone to keep him company.

He gets a return text that of course she'll meet him. The Textile Factory is humming, but physical fitness is a priority so she clips her phone to her sweats and heads out to the park. They've got about the same distance to travel and when he reaches the gate they agreed on she's just walking up the path to meet him there. A faint grin creases her features. The blonde hair's caught back in a long ponytail and she's wearing black sweats and white top with, of all things, a pink hoodie over it. Maybe she's taking JJ's taunt to heart. "Hey you," she greets easily.

"Hey there, Lizzie." Jaiden gives the woman a tight squeeze and a playful peck on the cheek, stepping back to go back to his stretches which had been going on for a while now, getting him nice and limber for the run they're about to go on. "I was afraid you'd be in black armour and unable to come. It's good to see you out and about."

Jaiden is dressed in black sweats, as said, with running shoes and a gray hoodie over it all to keep the heat in. "I figure a couple of miles and conversation will do wonders to clear our heads."

Elisabeth returns the embrace lightly, smiling at the kiss. She settles into stretching out. "Sounds good, actually." The chill of the morning air is not so bad. It's above freezing. That's something. "I'm not getting as much running in as I need to, so this is good. The armor's great for lots of things, but not so much for cardio workouts," she says on a faint chuckle. "And it's much nicer to run out here than on a treadmill — hate those things," she observes.

They're closer now - closer than they'd been before. The little kiss is just a way of showing affection rather than saying it. "I can imagine. I had to put on blast armor for my training in Australia. Hot, uncomfortable, and made me move like I was wrapped in two feet of rubber and plastic which, technically, I was. At least with your armour you get a little bit of assist, but that doesn't do you any good when you need to run for a while." Jaiden crouches, flexing his hamstrings, bouncing slightly before straightening. "Never could stand the things myself. Always staring at the wall.

"Well….. " Elisabeth pauses and then grins. "Actually, it's a pretty damn good workout in a lot of ways. The hydraulic assist is because without it the damn exoskeleton is too heavy to actually move in. The armor itself is pretty lightweight, though," she admits. "I just feel like I'm in one of those stupid mechwarrior video games wearing it or something. I swear those guys who made the GI Joe movie? They almost got some of the exoskeleton's abilities right on the money." She uses a nearby bench to stretch forward, lengthening the hamstrings, and then brings her foot up to the small of her back to stretch her quads. "I always feel like a friggin' hamster on the treadmills, though." She grins and drops her foot. "Ready?"

And then she nudges him with a shoulder and takes off running. Not a sprint to get away but just a good pace.

He may get into one of those suits sooner than he thinks, if the government decides that he'd be a good fit for Frontline. Jaiden turns on the ball of his foot and starts running after, sprinting for a bit to catch up before settling into the slow, road eating pace that Elisabeth has set, allowing conversation along with the exercise. "Got my paperwork finished - just going to turn it in today or tomorrow, if all goes well." A pause as he takes a breath or two, dodging another runner. "Checked the box that I would not like to be considered for military service, but I'm sure someone outside of the dome heard about the aussie who could make water from thin air."

It brings a kind of fear to her, a clenching of her jaw as they move in synch. Elisabeth's eyes stay on the path instead of on him. "Just…. be ready," she murmurs softly. "If something goes wrong, I don't… have any way to get you out." The admission kills her. She's the one who advised him to Register. And if it goes wrong, it's another decision that will eat her alive. She glances at him briefly but continues the loping pace of their run.

"I know…" Jaiden responds, feet scuffing quietly on the path in sync to hers as they run. He doesn't want to register, but he's going to. He has to, to hide in plain sight, to give himeself some breathing room, to get a dose of the vaccine that, hopefully, would keep him from getting the flu which has already killed so many. "Nothing will go wrong." He paueses, looking to her, reaching over to pat her shoulder gently before going back to the pace. "I faced down a north korean interrogator….this shouldn't be too much harder."

That actually makes her fumble her steps for a moment before she finds the rhythm again. "I didn't know that," Elisabeth replies. There's a wary edge to the query. "How long did they hold you?"

He glances over at her fumble, down at her feet for the nonexistent rock that she stumbled over, then back to the path ahead. "It's not something I really like to talk about, understandably." His voice goes cool, almost detached as he speaks, ethereal, like a wraith in the forest. "It was only for four days, but in those four days…." He shakes his head. "I won't scandalize you with the details of what they did, but I was captured taking pictures of a prison camp that wasn't supposed to exist - exposing a lie in the North Korean regime that they could not have exposed. I was stupid and careless and got caught and sent to a prison camp close to the Chinese border, and after four days, once I got sufficiently conscious…I escaped." There's a hell of a story in that, to be sure, but right now, he's not sharing it unless asked. "If you look up the story I published on North Korea and read between the lines, you'll see a gap between my time in Kanggye and Manpo….that's when it happened. I think I'm still known as the water devil there."

She keeps moving. One foot in front of the other. The beat of their feet has a kind of soothing quality to a woman for whom sound is a living thing. Elisabeth's jaw tightens and she can't speak. Even that much brings back sensations — not images because she will never have them, but sensations — that still haunt. "You were very lucky," she says quietly. "They didn't know anything about negation drugs then, I guess." Her tone is … tight. This wasn't the topic she meant to be chatting on while they ran, for certain. But it was something that popped up. And now it causes her to push the pace a little faster, as if to outrun the thoughts.

"Or couldn't get them, or just didn't think a reporter could have that kind of power locked inside of them, yep." Jaiden runs alongside, his voice taut, his defenses rising thanks to remembering such a negative time in his life. "Anyway…." A small attempt to change the subject. "How're things going on the Cardinal neck of the woods? anything at Red Bird I need to know about, besides the upcoming meeting?"

The shift in topic is … something of a relief. Elisabeth fffts as she runs, her tension easing some. "Actually, I guess it's going all right. He wanted Harmony and me to meet. Which turned out…. well, actually. Although I did deck him in the face when he told me she's expecting triplets." She simply shakes her head. "But no one else is to know that the children are his. It makes her — and them — a huge target." She glances at him and then has to grin as they run. "I had to think about it for a while, but…. if I'd accidently gotten pregnant and it was not his, how would I want him to act? Had to suck it up and just … deal with it."

"Good girl." Jaiden smiles a little, shaking his head at the thought of Daddy Cardinal and the Three Kids at Once. It sounds like a horrible Hollywood film that would be in the theaters for a weekend and then, boom, straight to video. Like the Smurfs. The topic, too, is a bit emotionally charged - swinging Elisabeth from one really intense worry to one that has hopefully been worked out, and apparently has. "You put on your big girl panties and dealt with it like a grown up - but decking him, I bet that felt good to the pit of your stomach."

They run in silence for a bit. "That is a danger, though, you getting pregnant with it not being his - that is, if you don't practice safe sex."

Elisabeth snickers. "It took a few days to find my big girl panties, but yeah…. smacking him did sorta… release the pressure," she admits between breaths as their feet pound the pavement. As they travel the paths quietly for a time, she gets into the rhythm of the run and unwinds — the exercise feels good, a loosening of all her muscles, a release of job tensions, of more nebulous worries. When he makes that last comment, though, she glances at him with a sly look. "Well, unless it fails, not to worry — you're safe, Jaiden."

"Would be an interesting way to get out of FRONTLINE though, wouldn't it?" Jaiden chuckles, winking playfully, swerving to bump shoulders with her before resuming the jog along the mostly deserted paths in the morning air of New York City.

The city around them starts to awaken - car horns and traffic, airplanes overhead, and other things don't pierce the solitude of the pair jogging through the park. The rhythmic pulse of their feet hitting the cobblestones, the whoosh of breath, the echo as they run beneath a bridge. It's soothing, helping to center both inside their own heads again. He does chuckle at her comment to his last comment, though, looking over at her with another wink and a playful swat on the backside. "Well, you keep doing what you're doing and I'll keep doing what I'm doing, and if it ends up happening, it ends up happening."

It's the observation that it would take her out of FRONTLINE duty that gives her mental pause. The nudge is met with an absent one returned but she seems more turned inward now as they continue to move in unison. She keeps with him, and when the trail forks she automatically follows his lead down one of the branches. Elisabeth is quiet until he swats her ass and then she chuckles at him a little. "Well, the failure rate's damn low generally, so… don't worry about it." She furrows her brow a bit. "Part of the stuff we're going to be talking about at the meeting is that there are some dreams floating about again. It … concerns me that the world in those dreams looks altogether too much like a fucking Terminator movie," she admits with a grimace.

"Yeah, you told me about having them, but never exactly what the dreams were. We were kind of talking about other things at the time and it just never came up." The paths in the park are labrynthine, going here and there without rhyme or reason, surrounding the pair with trees just starting to bud and grasses just starting to push out of the ground. "I wonder if I can send a text to Hiro, asking him to take you out of time, to the 1960's or something, and let you go to hawaii to take a week long vacation. Get him to deposit you the instant you left…"

Elisabeth laughs softly. "Hiro Nakamura," she murmurs. Shaking her head, she says, "I think the time wars may still be happening. Or something." She tries to shake it off. "The first one I heard about was nothing terribly sinister… Joseph Sumter's death. A bunch of us at a funeral. But… you know, 15 years or so from now, we're all in our late 50s 60s. Not necessarily unheard of, and could have been an accident of some kind or illness or what have you. Ryans didn't really give me indication of anything he thought out of the ordinary except my presence — that's what surprised him. But the one I had…." She trails off as they run, considering what she can remember of it. Her mood, her attitude, that of other people. "Someone in the dream was, I think, a co-worker of some kind. And she's not someone I would willingly work with because so far as I know the bitch is Institute. Odessa Knutson. Someone Elle knew."

"Well, I wish he'd come out and say 'this is what's happening, here's what you need to do.' It would make our lives that much easier to not worry about the future. But you know as well as I do that he won't, the little bastard." Jaiden laughs softly and shakes his head, wiping a hand across his forehead as they go, working up a nice sweat, throwing back the hood of his hoodie. "I know Elle, but I don't know Odessa, other than it being a city in Texas. Who's she?"

"I never really met her," Elisabeth admits between breaths. "But the eyepatch thing is pretty distinctive. She was someone who worked for the Company, I gather. Not real clear on her or her role, truth be told." She snickers. "And no… he wouldn't. Although Richard seems to think that … maybe he's been running about possibly killing alternate versions of himself." She glances at him. "He advised we do the same to the one up at the Institute."

"I hope it doesn't come to that." Jaiden says softly. "Not discounting the trouble about getting to someone in the middle of the institute - the head of the institute even - killing someone is something that never gets easier to me. On that last time trip to Vietnam, I had to kill a woman who was going to throw a grenade at us….it was her or us, so I chose us." Jaiden sighs, his pace slowing slightly, his eyes closing, following her by the sound of her footsteps for a few paces before they re-open. "If it's something that needs to be done, you can count on me."

"No," Elisabeth says instantly. "If it has to be done… either he or I will do it personally," she adds quietly. She keeps going a few more steps and then slows to a walk, shoving him lightly. "Christ, wasn't this supposed to be something that got us out and about and into a good mood?" she demands with an almost-playful growl.

"To help, I mean…" Jaiden slows when she slows, overemphasizing the shove, stumbling a few paces before stopping, bending at the waist, linking his fingers behind his head to take in great breaths of cool, invigorating air. "Okay, then, something to get you into a good mood." He thinks for a moment, still walking. "Got a bit to come back to my place?"

There's a moment when she looks puzzled. Not quite sure what the one thing has to do with the other. Then Elisabeth smirks faintly and says, "Gotta catch me first." She darts past him on the path with a laugh.

There it is. The lightbulb went on in her head. Jaiden laughs and sets off chasing after her, trying to close the distance as quickly as he can.

Laughter is not going to help her keep one step ahead of the longer legs, but Elisabeth's agile and pretty quick. And that armor thing? Well, she might have been fibbing a little that it's not a good cardio workout — at least for breath capacity. Cuz she leads him on a merry chase down the path.

She can turn on a dime quicker. It's the classic battle of straight line speed versus agility in the park. And since they have already run a few miles to start with, they're both nicely warmed up and puffing, without one being fresh while the other is on their last legs. The chase is merry, and long, and a lot of fun for both involved. A few times he gets close….

When he gets close, she ducks him and changes direction again. By the time they're back to the gate where they came in, Elisabeth is definitely puffing and huffing and laughing all at the same time. "Meet you back there?" she asks, amused.

"Yeah, allright." Jaiden says with a grin. "See you at my place."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License