cardinal_icon.gif warren_icon.gif jessica_icon.gif

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Scene Title Antihistamine
Synopsis As in a powerful antihistamine means there will be no mutual back-scratching on the part of Richard Cardinal or Warren Ray.
Date September 6, 2010

JC Penney

Misses Department

It's afternoon when Warren chooses the meeting to take place. Though the place he chooses is rather unlikely for a presumably clandestine meeting. He's walking around a JCPenny, wearing his usual black suit and tie with the jacket unbuttoned over his white buttoned up shirt. He's looking over the female clothes, lots of sundresses, rubbing his chin in consideration. This is the section Cardinal was told to come to, and there's even a metal detector, to be sure Warren couldn't bring anything too dangerous.

"Classy, Warren." Cardinal's dressed casually, himself, a black polo shirt and a pair of jeans as he walks along through the department store, hands clasped behind his back as he approaches the dissociative inventor, "I suppose that it could've been worse, though, at least you didn't invite me to to the women's lingerie section."

A moment or two behind Cardinal, a blonde woman dressed in a red tank top and cutoff shorts starts browsing the section. Gradient tinted beige aviator sunglasses seem almost too large for her face. Probably made for a man. She lifts a blue and white floral printed dress off the rack and casually steps over to a mirror where she holds it up and admires her reflection.

Her reflection stares back at her, not the mirror image the rest of the world sees. "This is your meeting place?" Niki asks of Jessica. She perches her own sunglasses atop her head and rolls her grey-blue eyes. "Great. Guy's gotta be a wackjob."

Jessica's only reply is a smirk from her red painted lips. Beyond Niki, she watches Cardinal and Warren through the mirror.

"I'm just killing two birds with one stone. I'm buying my Elle something to apologize for the other night. A little misunderstanding, but we cleared it up." Warren lifts a yellow dress full of large sunflowers, raising an eyebrow, then holds it up when he spots Niki. "You, blonde, what do you think?"

But then Cardinal has his attention again, and he just smiles widely. "I want a truce. Not because I like or have any idea what you're even doing, but because I don't want to make Elle's decision any tougher than it has to be. If she wants to go with you, then I want to go with her, it's as simple as that. Or at the very least, I'd like to see her if she does go with you. I don't care about your little operation enough to sell you out to the Institute, and now that I know they're more than willing to lock me away, I'm not especially inclined to help them either."

He looks down at his white gloved left hand, opening and closing it. "My only concerns are getting my golden guns back, learning who my father is and taking him back, building my new arm, and completely destroying Linderman. Is there anything you disagree with there?" A pause, and he adds, "I'm willing to bargain for Liette's use, but I'm also willing to stop trying to find her if it's needed for the truce."

"Your Elle?" Cardinal sounds a touch amused, one brow lifting a little over the edge of his shades, "There's a lot of people that seem to think they own her."

A glance to Niki as the other man speaks to her, and then he turns his gaze back towards Warren. A faint smile tugs up at one corner of his lips, and he brings a hand upwards, scratching against the side of his neck in almost sheepish fashion. "I'm good with all of those goals, Warren, or whatever you're calling yourself these days. - well, aside from the guns and your arm, for which I frankly don't give a damn," he admits shamelessly, "The Linderman situation's under control, I can assure you there, as for your father, though, you're going to have a problem."

"Elle already gave me her answer. She's staying with them. Which are the same people you'll need to kill to get your father back."

Blonde? Well, he could have called her woman, she supposes. Outwardly, Jessica is the picture of mild curiosity, acting as though she didn't originally realise she was being addressed.

In the mirror, Niki's proverbial hackles raise. She glares past the woman outside the mirror and to Warren, peering over her shoulder when Jessica turns around to give a cursory glance to the dress. Echoing Cardinal's sentiments, she mutters, "His Elle?"

"Sure," Jessica murmurs absently, briefly appraising the dress with its sunny yellow flowers. "It's pretty." She steps back over to the rack and replaces the dress she was looking at only to retrieve a different one. This one green. Dismissively, she gives her back to Warren and Cardinal again.

"I only own her heart." Warren says with his own perpetually amused expression, looking the dress over, then starts digging in for more. "Linderman is a matter of revenge. I can't do overt things anymore, they might get Elle hurt, so I have to destroy him in a more unique way. I have to discredit him. But that's not something you have to worry about."

He pulls out another dress, this one a red dress with a giant strawberry on the front. "I just need you to know that where she goes, I'll go, and I won't make any trouble for her. I'm on medication, I don't have hallucinations anymore. I'm still very much insane, but a little less impulsive. And on the subject of insanity, I don't know if it's got anything to do with you, but there's a lake god made of ice in the place they're saying there's vampire crocs."

"If you care about her, I'd suggest you get her away from the Institute," Cardinal says with a tight shake of his head, "I doubt that you'll listen, but I have to say it."

He's about to say something else, but then he stops dead, staring at him. "A… lake god made of ice?"

Behind her aviators, Jessica is rolling her eyes at Warren's claims to own Elle's heart. Niki in the mirror looks horrified. Jessica tucks the hanger under her chin and tugs at the sides of the dress, checking the size against her lean frame, masking the way her ears all but perk at the mention of a lake god made of ice.

A glance is exchanged with Niki. Coming from Warren, the story is almost too incredible. If she hadn't seen something quite so similar with her own eyes, Jessica might not have been able to keep from laughing.

"Elle was there, and the strangest thing happened, he knew me. But enough about that." Warren stacks the strawberry dress over the sunflower one, then starts walking, looking through more clothes. "If you think I need to get her away, then that's what I need to do. But the Institute is a bit complicated to steal from. I'm not quite with them, I'm not allowed into their main bases, they refuse to let me become a full member until I agree to have my personalities wiped."

"I know who he is." A quiet statement, Cardinal's fingers rubbing against his forehead, his eyes closed, "I should've used a bigger flamethrower."

Whatever that means.

"Just don't do anything stupid, Warren," he says then, seriously, "You're insane. You said it yourself. You shouldn't be making decisions."

Jessica returns the dress to the rack and starts to wander the section, circling around behind Warren. She stands far enough away to seem as though she hasn't been listening to their conversation, but close enough to continue to listen, should it carry on much longer.

"Only parts of me are insane. I plan to leave more things up to Mortimer for a while, hang back and let the Institute let their guard down. I could have ripped Harper's throat out when we first met, the poor bastard. I thought he'd piss his pants when he found out we were just using Alex." Warren pulls out a few more dresses, apparently quite satisfied with the lot of them, but he still digs around for a few more anyway. "I plan to hang back and only handle the business side of things, like right now, while I plan what the best course of action will be for me and Elle. Right now we're very much trapped."

He reaches out with his right closed hand now, after switching the clothes to his left one, apparently wanting a shake. "So it's a deal, then? A truce? I scratch your back, you scratch mine, and we don't kill the other? Mortimer's on board, and who gives a shit what Alex thinks?"

"I'm not going to be scratching anything, Warren," Cardinal states flatly, gesturing with a gloved hand, "I'm not going to be coming after you so long as you stop leaving murderous machines strewn about the city, stay away from my people, and generally keep a low profile. I don't like you, or trust you— the only one of you I could ever deal with is Mortimer, the rest of you are exactly the sort of people that the public needs to be protected from. But if you can agree to that, then we have a deal."

Good Lord. Does he ever stop talking? Stop volunteering entirely irrelevant information? Can't he tell that Cardinal doesn't care? Jessica's fingers tighten around the top bar of the clothing rack she's sorting through.

The creak of metal beneath her fingers is quiet, but it stops Jessica immediately. She doesn't pull her hand away quickly or act as though she noticed the sound. She simply corrects the behaviour, adjusting the hangers to cover up the print of her hand.

"Sure sure, I've graduated from explosions for a while anyway. The next trick up my sleeve will be a purely psychological manipulation of the entire country. It'll be fun. But hey, it won't hurt you any, so you should just sit back and enjoy. I'm doing you a favor." Warren finally starts heading for the register, which is a rather long trek across the store. "When you see the opening I leave, I suggest you milk it for all you can. I have a lot of revenge to deal out."

"Warren…" A pained note to Cardinal's voice, his hand lifting to rub gloved fingers to his forehead, "…well, I'm sure I'll see around." A pained look is directed towards the clothing rack, as if to ask 'See what I have to deal with?'.

Though he can't see it from behind her sunglasses, Jessica meets Cardinal's gaze with a complete look of God, I guess. She tips her head down and makes a show of continuing her browsing, moving on to the next rack. She'll let her boss depart first.

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