devon2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Aaaawkward
Synopsis From time travel to walking in on angst to the subject of possible relationships, the word covers all manner of situations.
Date August 08, 2011

Skinny Brickfront

Nightly wanderings around the house are becoming more and more of a habit. Devon has taken to ghosting from room to rooftop to kitchen in an unending circuit most evenings until sleep finally drags him back to his pillow. This night appears to be little different, finding the teenager creeping down the stairs, chased by a light rain, to rummage through the kitchen yet again. It's the third time this evening and is proving as fruitless as the first two times.

After a couple of moments reconfirming that there still isn't anything of interest in the stores of food, he turns to retreat to his room until the next bout of wanderlust strikes him. As Devon passes into the kitchen and begins to turn for the smaller rooms for sleeping, he pauses as though listening. Just at the edge of his hearing a sound tickles that he hadn't noticed before. Thus curious, the boy changes his destination, feet placed gently against the floor to not disrupt the sound. He follows the music, pausing now and again to listen, until he's found his way, following the steps that lead into the basement.

When Devon gets down onto the stairs, there's another body there a few steps down. Monica hasn't quite decided if she's going in or not, given that the music means someone is already occupying the space and might not want to be interrupted. But at the same time, she's aiming to get some practice in this morning, since she watched something sort of cool and different last night and it's better to do the more destructive things… not in a bedroom.

"Mornin'," she greets as Devon starts down, a smile coming up a little crooked. "Well, that rules you out," she adds with a nod toward the basement as she comes along, following him down toward the range.

The middle of the night tends to be the hardest time for some people. Elisabeth is not immune to that. And in truth, she's probably one of the worst offenders for not sleeping — she just usually does it in her room surrounded in a silence bubble. Tonight instead of that, she headed for the firing range. Audiokinetic silence bubble for the win. But though she fired the handgun multiple times, it's not the sound of gunshots that tickled Dev's (or anyone else's) senses. It's the music that is playing down there from her iPod's tiny speaker, loud enough to actually rock the edges of her silence field a little. There are reasons why women hide in basements in the middle of the night, though it's possible that those reasons are lost on a teenaged boy until he reaches the bottom of the stairs, stepping into the sound bubble.

I feel so light
This is all I want to feel tonight
I feel so light
Tonight and the rest of my life …."

She's not singing, though Elisabeth could do so and beautifully. Instead she stands at the edge of the firing range, bent double with her knees slightly bent. There is a pistol loosely in her grip but her arms are wrapped around her middle. Her long hair is loose and falls to nearly the floor, obscuring her face from the two who walk through the edge of her field into the music.

His descent slows as Monica comes into view, brows raising slightly at her presence. "Not me," he confirms at a near whisper, shoulders raising into a shrug. Devon looks past her to the basement proper, pausing for half a beat longer to listen. He glances toward Monica again, shoulders rising and falling a second before he continues down and toward the firing range.

Concern mixes with uncertainty as Elisabeth comes into view, a million different reasons for what could be wrong filtering through Devon's head. And likely not one of them the right one. That in itself is worrying to the boy. His steps hasten when the music reaches him unhindered. A glance is half directed toward Monica in askance that's nearly lost as he draws closer to Liz and reaches to gently remove the pistol from her grip.

While Devon moves to grab the gun, Monica comes over, too, but her hands move to Liz' shoulders in a gentler gesture. "Are you hurt?" She means physically, since she's doubled over and all. She doesn't try to make her straighten or anything, but her concern, too, is pretty clear. But at the same time, she's a little tense. She doesn't expect Liz to be the type to snap under it all, but sometimes that kind of thing takes you by surprise. No reason to be caught off guard, just in case.
Shit. Elisabeth makes a point of keeping it together for the group. Whatever crying she may have done over all that has happened has almost always been in private. She didn't even realize they broke the barrier until Devon's hands were on the gun. And even as he takes it, she allows it, her hands coming up to wipe her face as she straightens into Monica's hands. Shit. She dislikes being caught by surprise, and moreso being embarrassed. "I'm fine," she says, though the red eyes give away that she wasn't exactly doubled over with laughter. Her ability reaches out and instantly mutes the sound coming from her iPod. "Sorry — didn't realize I was hogging the firing range." Distraction anyone?

The gun is tucked into the waist of his jeans, behind his back, as Devon flicks another glance toward Monica, giving her a small nod. His gaze returns to Elisabeth, still stricken with worry regardless of how fine she claims to be. "It's okay," he offers quietly, "sometimes we all gotta come down here. To shoot things." To let down your walls every now and then, before you yourself explode. The boy offers a faint half-smile, a bare upturning of one corner of his mouth, that shows his understanding as well as concern.

Monica keeps a hand on her shoulder, giving it a little squeeze. "Easy enough to lose track of time down here," she says, and while she doesn't pry, exactly, she does glance over to Devon, quizzically. "You want some breakfast? I was gonna grab a bite before catching a nap, myself." She, too, is almost entirely nocturnal at this point, given that it's hard to ninja in the daylight and all.

It's also not true, she wasn't planning on eating or anything, but she's a firm believer in comfort food. Must be the southern in her. "I'm pretty sure we've got eggs up there, at least."

Elisabeth forces a soft laugh out, her eyes tearing up at the realization that Monica, like someone else she's close to, spends most of her time awake and about at night. Dammit. She swipes at those stupid tears, reaches up to squeeze Monica's hand, and says, "You know… we've got some eggs and cheese and sausage that can be thrown together into omelettes if you're in the mood. I haven't done any cooking in a few days, so… sure, let's get some breakfast." She nods toward the iPod. "Devon, if you wouldn't mind turning that off and bringing it with you, I'll get the skillets started." She walks toward the stairs, working on getting her stupid heart back into the box. "C'mon, you two — let's catch up."

With a small nod, Devon steps toward the iPod. He takes his time, head tipping downward to allow Monica and Elisabeth a few moments to themselves to go upstairs. Meanwhile he collects the iPod, turning it off and sweeping a last look through the basement before finally following.

"Omelettes sound perfect," Monica says, her arm sliding around Liz's waist as they head up toward the ground floor. It's only when they have that moment to themselves that she pries. Just a little bit. "It's alright to not be together all the time, Liz," she says in a quiet voice, "Everyone here, we're all in this together. You can lean on them just like they lean on you. Especially in times like this, when things are quiet and we're all just waiting around. Makes people feel like they're part of the family, not just part of the troops. Something to think about."

Elisabeth leans her head sideways on Monica's shoulder and whispers back, "If I let all of you see how much I cry over that man, you'd thrown me into a fucking loony bin." Her sadness is palpable. "I'm not doing any of you a damn bit of good, Monica. Hurry up and wait is not a game I do well, and I'm so damn down lately I can't stand myself." Blowing out a breath, she goes upright again, wiping her face one more time. "I never thought one man would ever have the power to make me fucking cry. Christ, this is so stupid." She forces a small smile. "He's alive out there somewhere. Maybe not here and now, but …. I didn't have to bury him myself this time. It's enough. I just have to keep on going, get this job done. The ALIA intelligence needs to be dealt with and the heads of Humanis First have to be dealt with. Those are my goals."

Lights are flicked off in a final measure of closing up the basement before Devon begins up the stairs. Though he moves quietly, it's so he won't interrupt any conversations above, yet not so quietly that he'll catch the two women unaware. His hands push into his pockets as he wends his way upstairs, still taking his time.

"I hear love does crazy things like that, especially when they're suddenly not around," Monica says, squeezing her warmly. "And you don't have to show everyone all the time, but when it gets this bad, maybe coming and talking to someone would help you feel better, instead of worse." From where she sits, listening to sad music alone in a basement, not the best upper in the world.

"We do have things to deal with, but we're not running from impending doom right this second, gives us all time for our issues to creep up on us, yeah?" Her smile tilts crooked there, although still a gentle expression. "Just don't forget that we're here for you, too. We're not looking for a leader with an iron heart, you know? So much better, you being human."

"Fft," Elisabeth says mildly. "Usually I am okay," she insists. "Just every once in a while it sneaks up on me and I'm suddenly either breaking glass everywhere or blubbering." She shrugs. "Hazards of the highs and lows of living an adrenalized life. Besides… I'm not the most patient person." She smiles a bit and nudges Monica. "I miss working with your boy," she says by way of distraction. And then she winks at Devon, heading around the island to start skillets heating on the camp stoves.

A look is directed between Monica and Elisabeth as Devon reaches the common room. His hands come from his pockets and the iPod is placed on one of the spools for its owner to claim later. Without asking if it's needed, or even wanted, he goes into the kitchen to start bringing out plates and eating utensils, studious attention paid for the task to give the two more time to talk.

"Obviously, we need to get rid of all the glass around here." It's just a gentle tease, and as Devon joins them, she lets Liz off the hook and instead, hops on that last little bit. "Can't blame you there," she says with a much wider smile. She might not have had him or raised him herself, but she's proud of him all the same. "I got to see him working the other day at the rally. Had to convince him he didn't have to apologize for being Frontline, though."

That brings a chuckle to Elisabeth's lips, a sadness to her blue eyes. She misses her work. Her job was important, and she was good at it. "It's good to know the squad is still keeping their primary objectives in mind," she observes, having heard the details of the situation already. "They did well. I'm proud of them." The latter is a bit quiet but sincere. "Before I left, I told them all to follow their consciences. The only one I was a little concerned about was Dooley." She likes the bots too much.

Plates taken out and set near to the cooking, Devon slants a glance to Elisabeth and Monica again. He's only half listening to their conversation, enough to follow without being blamed for prying. Hands return to his pockets as he hedges from the kitchen and into the common room where he sits, for once, on a chair rather than the floor. It's near enough he can be called on if needed, but keeps his presence out of the way while the other two catch up.

"That's what I told him. He's a good guy, whatever other people in Frontline are doing. And his squad, they did a good job not coming in and pushing people around and making them feel scared. It's good, people seeing not everyone in a uniform is the same." Off in the kitchen, watching as Devon goes to and fro, Monica starts to pull out ingredients for the breakfast venture. "I worry about the kids. I hope they're planning on sticking around after all this is over. Time travel's crazy enough without thinking what happens if you undo your future."

"They'll have to," Elisabeth says quietly. She glances at Monica and says softly, "Even if they went back to 2040 or wherever….. it won't be their home. They knew it would be a one-way trip, Monica. They were raised in a world where time travel was possible — not the norm, but certainly a known quantity. And I'm quite sure that those of us who'd already had scrapes with it were vocal on the topic." She retrieves the sausage to start it sizzling in the pan while Monica handles the egg parts. "And they had to know the choices they were making. Joshua trying to kill Richard wasn't a spur-of-the-moment choice." She's barely met the young man who is her son, but she knows what bone-deep rage he's holding. She felt it in the tremors of sound waves when Richard's name came up.

"Well, I mean… I hope they don't fade off or something. You know? They don't technically exist, if they've done their jobs. I've never seen what happens in a case like this." Monica looks down as she works, worry there on her face. She is and isn't his mother, but it doesn't really matter, she can worry about him like she is all the same. "JJ and I talked about that some, how most of them have these deep hurts like that. I can't imagine living with that kind of hate. Makes me feel so bad for him." Joshua, that is.

"I'm reasonably certain they don't just fade away — although I suppose that could be possible," Elisabeth concedes as she cooks. "I've been told several different theories about what happens to the possible futures. That they become offshoot timelines that our temporal manipulators maybe just can't access because they can't dimension-hop and things like that. I prefer to believe that's the case, and I would think that the children will simply be stuck here."

"I guess we're about to find out, at least on what will happen to them. I like the timeline branches theory myself, although it's a little sad to think that somewhere all the terrible things we try to stop are still happening." Monica pauses for a moment, there, given the lengths they've all gone to to stop certain terrible futures, it's a little disheartening. But only a little. "I guess I just hope they're happy here, and with where the future goes from here, if it turns out they are stuck."

"From what I gather, it can't get a whole lot worse," Elisabeth comments softly. "Richard saw missiles being launched. He didn't have a timeframe, but he said over a dozen of them impacting the East Coast." She sighs. "I don't know if that's even the same timeline, frankly."

"Point is, whatever is coming up, we don't have a road map anymore. What the kids lived in, maybe it's still coming, maybe it isn't. And frankly, we've got enough on our plate, dealing with what's happening now, I'm kinda hoping we don't all get some vision of the future again anytime soon." Passing over her part of the breakfast, Monica opts to hop up and sit on the counter instead of finding a chair like a normal person. "Everyone could use a time travel break, in my opinion."

Elisabeth snorts indelicately. "Ain't that the truth?" she drawls deliberately. Winking toward Monica, she takes the bowl of eggs and pours part of the mixture into the waiting empty pan to let it get started. Cheese and sausage will go in when she's satisfied that it's time. "It's the one thing I always disliked about what we were doing — sometimes just knowing the future changes everything." She shrugs slightly. "Richard had been working on another string map before he disappeared, but… we don't have anyone at this point who can really work with that paradigm. The two actions that I feel obligated to complete are getting the documentary out where it cannot be stopped and getting the AI system offline if possible. I know Joshua and his friend were working toward that end. We'll see what comes of it. After that…." She pauses and admits, "I'm tired. All the time, just down to the bone tired of fighting. I want some time away. And … I refuse to feel guilty for taking it."

"Yeah, or worse, knowing the future makes you walk right into it, with how much you try to change it. The whole self fulfilling prophesy thing." Monica lifts a shoulder and while the idea of Richard working on another map makes her chuckle just a little, she nods to Liz. "I think those are good priorities. And Liz? Seriously? There are a lot of people in this fight. As much as we all want to feel special and such, the fight will go on even if you step out. Don't ever feel like you can't go take some time to recover just because things are happening here. Not that you're not important, just… it'll go on."

That makes Elisabeth glance toward Monica with a small smile. "I know it will. I just… there's always so much to do. But … when this part's done, I'm definitely taking the break. Life's too short, kiddo. I may spend the rest of my life a fugitive, but I don't have to spend it constantly stressed out and exhausted." She shrugs. "I'm learning. Slowly but surely." There's a smile. "I always said I'd rest when I was through…. but sometimes you have to rest in the middle to be able to keep fighting."

"Resting at the end is great in theory, and it sounds all dedicated, but really, you're just running yourself into the ground that way. Someone else will pick up the torch, and you can take some time to not worry so much about the state of the world. You've definitely paid your dues, Liz, you know? it doesn't have to be all work and no play." Monica will just ignore the fact that she's completely all work and no play and doesn't even bother with things like… boyfriends or vacations or normal hobbies that have nothing to do with keeping in shape or being a better fighter. She's taking time for breakfast, isn't she?

There's a soft snicker. And Elisabeth tells Monica, "Well, clearly somewhere along the way you learned to relax or JJ wouldn't be here, now, would he?" She winks.

"Exactly. Just took a concentration camp to get me there," Monica says with a chuckle. "But we learn from history, even if it hasn't happened yet, it's someone's history. And maybe in future camps, they won't begrudge a girl keeping her ninja skills in tact." Somehow, she's pretty sure they usually frown on that sort of thing.

Elisabeth chuckles and then clears her throat. "So, uhm… being as that's come up, I do want you to … you know… not think it's a thing if you and Jaiden wind up together." She's not sure how observant Monica is about the fact that Liz occasionally shares a bedroll here and there.

Monica lifts her eyebrows there and her cheek darken to prove she's not at all used to things like talking about boys, particularly the ones she had a child with in some version of the future. "Oh, well…" she starts, a little uncertainly, but she chuckles a bit and casts a smile in Liz's direction. "I'm not exactly gunning for him or anything. I mean, whatever happens, happens, in the future, but, you know. I don't want you to think I'm thinking of slipping in between or nothin'. I haven't met the man who's made me want to settle down, not so far."

There's a look of surprise on her face at that, and Elisabeth laughs softly. "Okay, uhm…. so here's the deal. I don't do monogamy. That said, if you and Jaiden decided you were a thing and he wanted to drop that with us or you wanted it dropped? Totally okay with me, Monica." Her expression is entirely open. "There wouldn't be any 'oh you're slipping between.' You ever change your mind or he does, it's good, we're straight, okay?" She smiles a little. "Richard's the only man who ever even tempted me to it… " Leaving out a man she can't remember from years that no longer exist. "And we've gone through spurts of it both by choice and happenstance, but…. " She shrugs. "We are who we are, and we like it that way. I just didn't want you to think I might come between you and the possibility of JJ."

"To tell you the truth, Liz? I adore JJ, I really do. But even with him standing right here, I'm still not really… planning or wanting or wanting to plan to have kids. Hell, I'm not even dating or anything, so that sort of thing is a few big steps beyond where I'm standing right now. So, thank you for the reassurance, I think it's sweet of you to let me know, but it isn't something I see on the horizon." Monica chuckles again there, shaking her head a little. "Plus, I do believe in monogamy, and that goes as far as counting guys with others girls as a bit off limits. Even if you guys are open. It just isn't me." And while that makes her smile dim some, into a more bittersweet expression, it's not for Jaiden's unavailability, but someone else's entirely. "Plus, I'd have to actually sit down and get to know Jaiden at all first. This whole thing with us having a kid in the future makes it all awkward."

"Yeah, isn't that the God's honest truth?" Elisabeth replies with a roll of her eyes. "Now think about dealing with your son when he's trying to kill his father," she grumbles good-naturedly. "Anyway, I just wanted it out there. Jaiden and I aren't really a 'thing'. We're friends." She waves the topic off, though she notes the wistful. Not her place to pry. "It happens the way it happens. Now… sausage and cheese in this thing for you?"

"Tons of awkward. Whoever invented time travel is a sadist. Except Hiro. I like Hiro." Monica nods as she goes on, though, her smile an understanding one. "I get it. And thanks. I'm just not quite on the hunt just now, is all. Someday, maybe." She doesn't actually say 'when things quiet down', but that's the general plan. As bad a plan as it is. "Both, yeah. Lots of cheese," she says, her smile coming back to her face.

Yeah… much like 'resting when you're done' is a bad plan. "Got it," Elisabeth says, working on putting those omelettes together so they can both eat something before Monica gets some sleep.

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