And On The Third Date...


adam_icon.gif zoe_icon.gif

Scene Title And On The Third Date…
Synopsis Adam tells Zoe some carefully crafted truths.
Date May 8, 2009

Zoe's Apartment

An evening at home, with the weekend only having just started. There are so many things to do in New York on a spring night! Go to a restaurant, see a concert, go shopping, check out a play. And what is Zoe doing tonight?

She's sitting in front of a television show, watching the History channel and laughing uproarously like it's a sitcom. Ragnell lays in her lip, pleased with her throne.

Adam knocks on the door, as he doesn't have a key yet. It's possible he might be able to pick the lock, but that seems like it'd be a tad uncouthe.

Yes, Adam. Just a little uncouth. Zoe gives Ragnell a gentle nudge off her lap, padding to the door and checking the peep hole. Smiling, she opens the door. "Hey," she greets. "I thought you were going out of town?"

Adam mms, "Not until Sunday. I thought, perhaps, I might see you one more time before I left." he glances towards the television and the cat, "I hope I'm not interupting something important."

Zoe laughs ruefully. "Uhh. No. Clearly not. Just a quiet evening at home." She steps aside to let him in. Curious, "Where do you live, anyway?"

Adam smiles, "Me? I live in the hearts of all men." as he steps inside, "I also live in the land beyond time.." he chuckles as he makes his way over to the couch and sits down on it, moving aside the cat if need be.

"That's completely lame and - oh, don't!" she starts to say as Adam reaches for the cat. Ragnell his and swats his hand, leave catclaw scratches on the back of it before she runs away in distaste. "She doesn't like people." Zoe says fretfully, hastily adding, "Well, me. And Daniel. And Kain. And um, Anthea and Eliot. But she really doesn't like people! Oh, your hand." she adds in dismay, a hand running through her hair. Obviously she's momentarily forgetting something important.

Adam watches the cat go off. It won't be long until it has a bad accident I'm sure." he pauses, "Why are they all so special?" he questions, "They constitute people, sort of." he says disdainfully. "Come sit down and make it better."

"Um, she's mine, Adam. You shouldn't have picked her up without asking me anyway." the redhead says stubbornly, but does come and sit next to him on the couch. "That was unkind. Why would you even say that?" She is truly baffled - Daniel admires him (so she believes), and he doesn't even know Eliot or Anthea.

Adam looks momentarily thoughtful, "I've heard unkind things about the man named Kain. Some people have ill thoughts of him and they've told me about them." he shrugs a shoulder. He leans back a moment, and starts to relax.

Zoe gives him a sidelong look. "Kain Zarek isn't a nice man, generally considered. By ill thoughts I'm sure you mean that they'd like to put a few holes in him. I'm not a Jane Austen heroine, Adam, I promise. I'm just…a nice person who's aware that there people in my life who do bad things. But the worst Kain's ever done to me is give me an obnoxious nickname. And how is it that he's come into your purview?"

Adam tilts his head a moment and shrugs his shoulders, "Personally, I've never met the man. But you know how it is, a person tells you the things another person does and that's your opinion of them." he pauses, "Well, it turns out a lot of people like me and they tell me things." he glances towards Zoe, "Good people, bad people…everyone likes me eventually."

Zoe snorts. "You're not the only man I know with that knack." Her eyes drop to his hand, there's a blink, and then oh yes, duh. Of course the cat scratch is gone. "It's a certain class of character that knows Kain. So you're either rubbing elbows with corporates or the seedy underbelly, and somehow I don't see you comparing stock portfolios." And by the way, did we mention Zoe is not stupid?

Adam arches a brow, "I'll have you know that I know quite a lot about stock portfolios." he says, "I've made quite a lot of money in the market." there is a pause, "But I certainly know bad people too." he turns fully to Zoe, "Are these things you really want to talk about? I'll tell you it all if that's what you want, but I was hoping to come here and relax with you."

"I'd like to know why I'm expected to treat you like some dirty, guilty secret." Zoe says quietly. "Or even that it's the other way around."

Adam considers this for a moment, "You're not expected to treat me like some dirty, guilty secret." he pauses, "I'm more worried about keeping you safe. And I know you're a big girl who doesn't need to be taken care of, but the people that are after me….the people who would like to see me hurt. They'd use you against me, or worse, hurt you to hurt me. And I wouldn't want that." he pauses again, quiet for several moments, "And some of those people work for and with Daniel. I can't afford any slip ups, Zoe."

Zoe is clearly taken aback. "That must be some kind of misunderstanding. Daniel admires you tremendously. I'm sure if you spoke to him, he'd fix things."

Adam reaches forward and takes Zoe's hand, "Maybe." he says, "To be honest, I'm not sure….there's things that happened in the past that I've never been able to ask Daniel his part of them. Could be, he's still everything I taught him to be. Could be…not. And I'm not ready to confront him about it yet."

Zoe lets him take her hand, brow furrowing. "I don't understand, why wouldn't he be?"

Adam leans back, "That requires such a history lesson that.." he pauses, "They changed…they wanted to control too many things and they turned on me." he pauses again, "This is some dark territory Zoe…I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about it."

"I'm not weak," she says, "And you're certainly stronger than I am. You're telling me that you may be in direct conflict with the man who's been like my father since I was fourteen years old and like family since even before that. Why would you - " suddenly she stops. Rises up off the couch. "Is that why - are you trying to get to him? Through me?"

Adam arches his brow as he leans back and considers you, "Is that really what you think?" he questions. He frowns deeply and stands, "If that's what I wanted, I'd be more like to do something…drastic." you've seen what he's capable of, it seems unlikely he'd have to go into detail, "Is it really so easy for you to think like that?"

"Being a mouse means you're shy, and drab, and people tend to dismiss you as being of little or no use, if they notice you at all." she says. "It doesn't mean you're stupid. You keep things to yourself, and then you say that Daniel may actually be working against you, and what am I supposed to think?" she makes a vague, angry gesture. "I'm a mouse."

Adam shakes his head, "/I/ didn't want to talk about Daniel. /I/ wanted to keep you out of it. But you always have to dig, always have to push. And then when I finally explain it to you, you decide that this has all been a lie." he leans in, "It's so easy for you to go with that. Lets you make yourself small and insignificant again. So easy to make me evil." he shakes his head, "You wanted more and when you got it, you used it against me."

"I never said you were evil!" she protests incredulously. "Now you're just pulling things out of thin air!" Wow, she's - she's arguing with him. "I'm a historian, a scholar. I want to understand things - it's what I do. And you say you want me to understand you, but you really don't!"

Adam shakes his head, "Do you really think I understand myself, Zoe?" he asks, "I'm over four hundred years old. I've been so many people.." he pauses, "Do you know why I've been married so often, Zoe?" he questions, "Because I needed something to ground me. I needed…normalcy. So I could lose myself in someone and not have to think about how things were different in 1920 than they were in 1750." he sighs a moment. "I suppose some might call me a womanizer for that. But am I? Do I? I don't know. I don't know the first thing about myself, Zoe. There's too much to look back on."

Zoe tilts her head. "Are you seriously telling me in 400 years, all you've managed to do is exist? That never once has any kind of sense of purpose become clear?" She shrugs. "Some of your wives you loved, others you thought you did until you didn't. You've gotten more than many people get Adam, several lifetimes. I find it difficult to believe you'd waste it. Are you hoping for normalcy, from me?"

Adam shakes his head, "Everyman just exists, Zoe. I've had purpose…I've had /lifetimes/ of purposes. What happens when they conflict. Am I that person? Am I different? By the time most people have to face that they're old and gray and ready to die, /but I can't die/." he sighs, "I was hoping for solace from you, Zoe. I was hoping I could have something that wasn't touched by the rest. I thought you were beautiful and intelligent and sure, a little mousey, but it was endearing and I wanted to be near you. So I pushed everything else aside, I dodged your questions so we could go on. And now look where we are. I don't know what I'm expecting from you, I don't know what you're expecting from me. I was just hoping we could…be."

Zoe is silent then, frowning. "What do I do if Daniel Linderman actually is out to hurt you? And why would he be? What am I supposed to do then?" His compliments are flattering and make her blush - well except for the mousey part, even if she calls herself such. "I don't know." she mumbles, eyes going to the floor.

Adam frowns, "The question has more to do with whether he already hurt me." he says, "Which would likely tell me much more about what his intentions are now. And if that's the case…I expect you to do nothing. I expected you to not know about it, I expected you to stay out of it." he frowns at her mumbled answer, "I think I see then."

Zoe looks back at him. "Is there a way that I could help you find out? Without compromising you, without hurting him?"

Adam shakes his head, "I don't want you involved, Zoe. Don't you get it? You having to choose between me and Daniel, that's not fair to you. Besides, bringing up my name would be a big red flag. The only thing that can be done is one day I'll have to talk to him and see if I can get the truth out of him and then…" he shrugs, "I don't know what then Zoe. It could get ugly. But you don't.." he pauses, "Well, I guess it's too late now. There's no way for you to not have wind of it."

"If it went badly, how could you think I wouldn't find out regardless?" she points out in exasperation. "Despite appearances, I'm not a princess in a tower." No, she's a princess in a basement. "You won't even tell me why it could get ugly."

Adam shakes his head, "I'm sure you'd.." he pauses, "You'd know the results…but the actual business…well, that'd be different." he sits down on the couch again, "You already know the things Daniel's tied up in. But…there's more…and depending on where he stands well.." he pauses, "I may have to…stop…him."

Zoe is surprisingly calm as she stands in front of Adam, studying him intently. "Stop him from what?" she asks in a level tone.
Adam looks at Zoe quietly, "Stop him from protecting the Company." he arches a brow, to see if Zoe knows about that.

Zoe shakes her head. "The Company. I don't know what that is." She cocks her head to the side. "I've never even heard of it, but then there's a lot he doesn't tell me." She licks her lips, looking thoughtful. "I know the Linderman Group data systems inside and out. I could see, and I could do it carefully. I have very high clearance." But then…what if she doesn't like what she finds?

Adam reaches forward, sliding his hands gently against her cheeks, holding her head gently, "The Company…we started it. But they went too far, they wanted too much and they created a virus, a virus that could kill everyone and I wanted to destroy it. And they locked me up Zoe, locked me up for thirty years. I'd still be there now, but I broke out. They hunt Evolved Zoe. They tag them like animals, put them down, capture them, study them. It was a mistake for me to have helped them found it. And I plan to rectify that mistake. I plan to take it apart, brick by brick. But if Daniel…if Daniel let me rot…if Daniel still.." he shakes his head, "Don't get involved Zoe. What if they find out you're looking into it. What if they get on your radar?" he frowns, "I want you. I want you safe. I want you with me. Leave it to me."

"We…you and Daniel?" she asks in surprise. "He - no." she shakes her head in denial. "No, he wouldn't. He's have tossed me to them, wouldn't he? And I'm not the only Evolved he employs. Why would he do that if he wanted to lock us all up? To lock his own kind up? That doesn't make any sense - a virus? He'd never be party to that!" This distresses her greatly. She starts pacing, less a mouse, suddenly more an anxious tigress.

Adam frowns, "Oh, not all Evolved Zoe. Everyone gets tagged, but everyone doesn't get locked up. Just everyone who stands in their way." he pauses, "You know what he does, Zoe. You know, you know the things that secretly go to funding the Linderman Group. I'm sure you think it's for the best…but how can you really believe Daniel isn't capable of this?" he frowns, "It was meant to protect us, all of us. Keep us off the government radar. Keep them from rounding us up and hunting us…and that's exactly what it turned into."

Zoe frowns some more, her expression sad and confused…but she stops talking, because what Adam's speaking of is feasible. Made more so by the rumors of kidnappings and disappearances. The prospect of Daniel being involved, the thought of it? She wants to stick her head in the sand at the mere possibility, and knows she can't.

Adam walks up to her suddenly, putting his arms around her firmly, "I wanted to protect you from this, Zoe. Maybe it wasn't the right thing to do, but that's what I wanted."

"What are you going to do," she says numbly, staring at his chest, "If he's involved?"

Adam sighs and is silent for a long time. He strokes her back and her hair, apparently not wanting to answer her question. He says, "The Chinese say, people often ask questions they already know the answer to."

The sinking feeling in her chest seems to lead her to feel this is more likely inevitable than not. That's the way the world works: in the worst possible fashion, when it comes to such things. "Surely there's another way…if it's even true."

Adam sighs a bit. He's still quiet with her next to him. Finally, he says, "You know there's not." he pauses, "You know that if that's what I have to do, there's really only one way to stop Daniel."

"Are you already convinced of his duplicity?" Zoe asks, lifting her eyes to study his face intently.

Adam looks down at her, "I think it would be very hard for me to believe he wasn't, Zoe." he shakes his head, "Think about it, Zoe. Think about the Linderman Act. Getting Evolved to come in, tell them what their powers are…where to find them….who does it help?'

Zoe sits down on the couch, like her knees have just given out on her. "No," she breathes. "Oh god."

Adam sits down next to her and slides his hand along her back, rubbing there. He's quiet for some moments, "It's important, Zoe, that you don't let on…you can't act any different. You can't give them any reason to doubt you. Daniel loves you, I'm sure. But…" he pauses, "I wouldn't wear that as a shield."

"I'm supposed to bake pot pies with him on Sunday…" she murmurs bleakly, staring off to the side.

Adam nods, "Then bake pot pies. Then smile and giggle warmly." he pauses, "You have to protect yourself."

"He won't hurt me." she says softly. "He'd never hurt me." And she may have to hurt him, by so easily doing nothing.

Adam reaches up and strokes her hair gently, "Alright." he says, "Alright." he frowns though, "I want you safe, Zoe. You can't know how important that is to me."

"Well if there's nothing I can do," she says, turning her face back to him, expression bleak, "Then I'm pretty safe, aren't I?"
Adam slides his hand down from her hair to her cheek, "I'll protect you." he says, "You mean so much to me, Zoe. Even in so short a time."

"What is there to protect me from?" she asks quietly. "He wouldn't hurt me. You wouldn't hurt me."

Adam nods, "Then I'm just protecting you from the world." he pauses, "Do you want me to leave, Zoe? Do you want me to leave you alone from now on?"

Zoe shakes her head slowly. "No." she admits, "But I don't need protecting." A faint smile, "And you're leaving for Japan." This of course, is very, very faint tease, amidst their bleak discussion.

Adam smirks a bit, "Just for a little bit, then I'll be back." he slides an arm around her to hold her again, pulling her into him if she'll let him, "I was even planning on buying you a present…one of those snow globes..or t-shirts that say 'Japanese do it better.'"

Zoe rolls her eyes. "Nice." she says, willing to be distracted. "Classy, even. You know. For a four hundred year old man to buy for an antiquities expert." She offers him a faint grin.

Adam smirks a bit, "Well…I'll see what I can do. I can't make any promises. I'm told the Japanese are extremely modernized now. I'm not sure that they have any antiques yet." he pauses, "You know, they do make some crazy lingerie there though…perhaps I could come back with some naughty school girl uniform for you…"

Zoe's brows hit her hairline. "Ohhh, are you getting ahead of yourself!" she declares with a laugh, but there's something uneasy around her eyes. Yeah, talking about kink with the man who may kill her father? Not so much with the keen.

Adam mms a bit, "Maybe." he says. He glances at the televison, "So what is it you're watching?"

"History Channel." she says absently, turning to eye the screen. "If they only knew half of what I did. It's pretty funny."

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