And The Hits Just Keep On Coming


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Scene Title And The Hits Just Keep On Coming
Synopsis Cat brings both bad news and good news
Date January 31, 2009

Elisabeth's Apartment in Dorchester Towers

The days are sucking. Elisabeth is dealing with cleanup constantly — riots, skells, looters, assaults, all the stuff she left the street-cop route to be a hostage negotiator for. And in truth, her negotiation skills have been called into play far more than she might have expected too — store owners holding stick-up guys at gunpoint and having to be talked down. Shooters having to be convinced to drop their weapons. She's used her powers more often and more openly than ever in the past since Wednesday. She's working at least double shifts and usually longer. It's insane out there. She remembers this from just after the Bomb, so she sleeps whenever she can snag even a spare hour. Which is what's going on now: She is collapsed on her couch with her phone set to ring and wake her up an hour later. Unfortunately, she won't even get that full hour. When she opens the door to admit Cat, she looks bleary-eyed and rumpled and definitely *not* the put-together, calm cop that Cat has come to know. "'mon in," she grunts a little, locking the door behind the other woman.

She steps in, looking Elisabeth over quietly. It comes to mind Elisabeth looks like she felt after being released by Ethan and crew. This, of course, she doesn't say, and the state of her makes Cat question whether or not to share what she learned. "Morning," is all that comes out at first, as she sets down guitar case and backpack somewhere. "Maybe I should come back later in the day."

Elisabeth scrubs a hand through her tousled hair. "I'll be at work again in two hours, at most," she says quietly. "Won't matter." She jerks her chin toward the kitchen. "C'mon… coffee." It's in there waiting for her already, she set the pot up before she crashed on her couch. Her black uniform pants are hopelessly wrinkled and she's wearing the white T-shirt that goes under her uniform shirt and kevlar vest because it's more comfortable than sleeping in full blacks. She pulls down mugs. "Want some?" Her exhaustion isn't just her personal issues… she killed men. It's the first time *that's* ever happened, at least like this. Plus what's going down on the streets. So she's not sleeping so well all the way around.

Into the kitchen goes the Cat, following the trail toward coffee. "You'll be at work, but will you be able to function?" she asks quietly. "Thank you," she adds on accepting coffee. "Might have to give this to you by IV, woman." Inwardly she again debates sharing. "What's been happening on the streets?"

There's a fleeting grin at that comment. "If you can figure a way to jigger an IV line of caffeine into me and every cop I know, I think you might make a lot of money. I'd sure pay for it," Liz comments. She pours coffee, pushing one mug across the counter whilst heading to the fridge to get milk with which to then doctor her coffee into sweetness and light oblivion. Caffeine and sugar are all that's keeping her going right now. "I'll be functional. I don't have the luxury of catching up on sleep," she says mildly. "The streets are a fucking mess. Rioters, looters, people pissed off, neighbors pulling guns on each other, assaults, … the works." She sighs, eyeing Cat as she stirs her coffee and takes a huge gulp of the stuff. "Hit me with it," she finally says. May as well get it out in the open.

"I met up with Ygraine," Cat replies, coming to the point, "and learned some details of the Consolidated Edison operation. It went seriously sideways." Her voice is quiet, features grim. "Not everyone made it out of there." Her fingers don't yet curl around the mug, she just eyes it briefly. Slide into it, prepare the blow, let her get the meaning on her own if possible, that's the method.

Elisabeth's cup is set slowly down on the counter, her blue eyes steady on Cat. "Who'd we lose besides Wozniak?" Because she knows already… she knew when the news came down that ConEd was just plain gone. The only way he could have created a quake that big was to be dead smack in the center of it. And yeah… she also assumed as soon as she saw Cat outside her door that this would be confirmation of what she already pretty much guessed. Her hand trembles as she removes it from her cup, folding her arms tightly in front of her.

"He was the one," Cat replies. It's so much better when delivering news that's already known. It really is. But that doesn't make her less grim. "They had to battle a tank, and heard them decide to switch from launching by the mortar on the roof to the steam tunnels, so he told them all to run and brought the building down on himself. She told me the last word she heard him say over the radio was 'groovy'."

That makes Elisabeth laugh. There's a glisten of tears for him, and she turns back around ostensibly to put the milk away to hide them. "Sounds like him," she says huskily. When she turns back around, she's got herself under control again. "I think he probably went out the way he wanted to," she tells Cat quietly. "He said one time that even if he wasn't part of Phoenix, he'd want to help people. He just didn't want to be responsible if it turned into a clusterfuck. So… I think making sure the clusterfuck was stopped? He'd figure that was as good a way to go as any." She glances at Cat, clenching her jaw tightly together for a long moment. "Thank you. For coming to tell me in person."

She just nods. Cat knew she and Conrad got along, just not how well, and still doesn't. It's not even in her mind. Her words are quietly spoken. "You're welcome. He and I, we were joking at the firing range set up under the new headquarters, I mentioned that movie, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, where Antonio Banderas and his friends are guitarists who modified the cases into weapons holders, one guy even had an RPG. And Banderas gets it on with Salma Hayek. So he and I agreed to seduce and share her."

Elisabeth blinks. Pauses. And then laughs, a real laugh. "Nice," she agrees. "I poked my head into his place one time," she's not saying 'the Dispensary' just in case, "and he was watching a porn flick. It was freakin' hilarious… the chick was so not into it. When I mentioned it, he laughed and said it was comedy." The rest of what he said, well… that'll be an affectionate memory.

A laugh escapes Cat at that story, and her head shakes. "What was it called?" She considers it bit more, asking "Was it like the one in When Harry Met Sally, so obviously fake? Because that orgasm was truly high comedy. And the bit just afterward when the older lady, the Director's mother, tells the waitress she'll have what Sally's having? Priceless."

Elisabeth shakes her head, her expression softening into affection and regret. She misses him already, the stupid jerk. She has that teary look again for a moment, and then a soft chuckle emerges as she answers. "You've never seen a real porno? Go rent a couple. You might get a chuckle. The girls usually look bored. The one in that one did." She shrugs slightly. "I don't know the name of it." She draws in a breath, holding it, and letting it out slowly, then picks up her coffee and sips from it. "What other good news you got for me?" she finally asks.

"I've thought about it a time or three," Cat admits, "but if it's really bad, oh God, I'll never get it out of my head." From there she goes on. "Teo's up and walking now. I pointed Abby at him, he sent word about going to ground, so I presume she went to him."

Liz's relief at Teo's location and condition is obvious. "Oh thank God!" she breathes softly. At least there *is* actually one piece of good news in all this. "That's good news indeed, Cat."

"It is," she agrees. "I'll try to have him check my place out and see if he thinks it's to ground enough." Her coffee cup is lifted and tasted from, the aroma causes her eyes to close and face to take on an expression of enjoyment.

Coffee is a replacement for sleep. Food's a replacement for sleep. Hell… anything she can think of at this moment is a replacement for sleep, because sleeping is the last thing Liz wants to do right now. "It'll be good for you, too… at least some of the leadership is intact. If you could pass along the message that I'd like to see him when he's got the time, that'd be wonderful," she tells Cat. Mostly right now, she leans on the counter. In the silence as the two of them sip their coffee, a faint smile quirks Elisabeth's lips as she remembers something. But she doesn't say anything about it and merely holds her mug under her nose so she can breathe in the aroma.

There's no asking what Elisabeth seemed to remember just then, as Cat didn't spot the look coming over her face. She just enjoys hers. "I'll do that." After more silent reflection, she muses, "I've been talking to the new media guy. He's interesting." The mug comes up again, more enters her mouth, and the aroma her nostrils, which she breathes in enjoyably.

Elisabeth glances at Cat and asks, "Oh?"

"Very," Cat replies quietly. There's a hint of smile. "He's got the power of suggestion."

A faint smile plays about Liz's lips now, and all she says is a quiet, "Good for you, Cat. Life's too short."

"I can't, and won't, promise him anything other than a chance," Cat quietly says. "I'm afraid to ever let anyone in like that again, but she told me to live well. So I make new memories and hope he, or anyone else, can get me and be tolerant enough. So far, he has." Her lips curve into a slight smile again.

Elisabeth shrugs slightly and says quietly, "It's a blessing to have people who take what you offer and are happy with it, Cat." She bites back the rest of what she was going to say and gets sort of quiet. "I'm glad for you."

That part Cat caught. "Something's on your mind, Elisabeth." It's quietly spoken, not as a question, but not with any insistence, more like 'if you want to share it, I'm listening' in the tone. "I think all the time, sometimes when I should stop. Did I just do that with you, too?"

Looking a bit startled, Elisabeth smiles once more. "No… it's okay. I was just…. Conrad was my mentor. He was teaching me to use my abilities better." She swallows hard, struggling with her emotions. "He was my friend, though I'm not sure I *ever* thought that word would apply. I was just…. thinking about him, that's all." She shrugs slightly, putting her coffee cup on the counter and heading for the counter to turn off the pot. "I need to get back to work, and I've got time to grab a shower if I hurry. Unless there's more you need me for," she says, looking at Cat. "You're welcome to sit and enjoy your coffee while I use the hot water to look something approaching presentable, though. Don't take it as the bum's rush," she offers with a grin.

"I can tell when Helena's wounded," Cat replies, "and I can tell it in you, too. With she and I, there are things we recognize but don't talk about much. We're fairly similar in that, strong wills, and when we hurt we don't let it show often. You're one of the few I'd tell any of this to, it used to be just one person, but…" Her voice trails off there, as she shifts tacks a bit. "Things on your mind, you will or won't tell me, but the ear is yours when you want it." She stands, opening up to offer the comfort of a hug if it'll be taken, adding, "Don't let the world grind you down."

Elisabeth hesitates and then hugs Cat tightly, whispering in the other woman's ear, "I just can't talk about it right now. It's too much. I've…. lost entirely too much this week, and if I talk about it, I'm going to break. I don't have time for that right now." When she steps back from Cat, her eyes are dry. "I won't," she says drily. "I'm kicking ass and taking names now, lady." She's in 'fuck you, HomeSec' mode, and it's likely to last a while. She'll stick it to them every way she can, just silently and with no fanfare.

There's no words used in reply, Cat just listens, and when the hug ends she returns to her coffee. It's enjoyed in relative silence for a time, while the Scoutist fixes herself up, and she lets herself out prior to Elisabeth heading back to work. She has her own day to start, of looking for those not yet heard from. "See you," she offers simply on the way out.

January 31st: And Nothing But The Truth
January 31st: To Do What's Right
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