As If No Time At All


claire_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title As If No Time At All
Synopsis Some friendships can go years and still pick up.
Date February 28, 2020

Detroit, RayTech HQ

The place is a madhouse with the military, SESA, the FBI, DHS, and multiple other agencies descending on RayTech's HQ to try to get answers. They've been at it all day, each of them dealing with the aftermath of Hart Plaza in their own ways. Specific places within the eco-friendly building have been opened to the people who have taken refuge here — places like a green courtyard, a cafeteria, et cetera.

It is out in one of these outdoor spaces that Elisabeth Harrison takes refuge with a cup of coffee for just a few moments of peace between sessions of question-and-answer. She's finding herself having to be cautious about her answers with everyone but SESA, and even with those agents there are certain questions she hedges her answers to and then sends the actual answer further up the pipe to be read by someone who actually knows what the nature of her classified status entails. Because some of the answers she has to give are directly tied to her return from the "dead."

Blue eyes anxiously skim the sky through the trees planted on this level. The aurora has faded now, but the brilliant pinks and greens that surrounded what looked to be an eclipse in the sky is not a sight she's going to simply assume is gone and done. At least not for a while. She sips her coffee while she makes sure nothing is going on up there.

Her father had told her to stay right there, but Claire’s reflection in the window had pulled her towards it. Fingers pull through dark brown hair, noticing not just the color but the length of it. Ugh. She’d have to do something about that before she went back to Snoqualmie and the Guardians. She also traces a finger down thick trails left in her makeup, it was a stark reminder of what had just happened. There is a hiss of irritation and she furiously scrubs at her face with a silken arm, trying to get rid of it. When the arm lowered, her reflection wasn’t perfect, but it was better than looking like a porcelain doll.

Movement beyond the window pulls her focus from her own face, to the people beyond. The sight of Liz just casually drinking her coffee like she hadn’t been gone for almost nearly a decade, especially. Scrubbing at the makeup on the side of her face she looks around her for her father, before moving to sneak out of the building.

“Liz,” Claire calls as soon as she clears the door.

Turning toward the door at the sound of the voice, unheard in almost a decade, Elisabeth manages to not drop her coffee. Instead she sets it down and moves toward the brunette. Up close, it's a little easier to see the toll of the past years in her face — soft lines bracket her eyes and the corners of her mouth, although Raquelle will never let the silver that's starting to thread her hair show through.

"Lady," she asks ruefully, "how is it you're always at the center of world-rocking bullshit?" She doesn't even hesitate, wrapping the short woman in her arms.

“To be perfectly honest, I’d rather not be,” Claire comments blandly returning the hug fiercely. “I retired from Wolfhound to avoid this kind of thing.” Of course, it still found her, is what she doesn’t say.

Pulling away from the other woman, Claire offers her a fading smile. “I’m glad to see you alive, Richard was pretty lost without you.”

Her gaze searches the younger woman’s face as they pull apart, and Elisabeth’s half-smile is rueful. “I’m glad to see you alive,” she returns softly. There is grief, quickly banked, in her blue eyes — Claire’s survival is a relief, but others were lost out there. Friends. The blonde briefly brushes her fingertips along Claire’s face and then finally steps back. “I… wasn’t very found without him either,” she admits softly. “Although I had Aurora to keep me moving forward. It’s been… well, I’d say it’s been a really strange few years, but you know what? It’s not — I’m just coming to accept that weird is my norm.”

The twist to her lips indicates some level of amusement despite the seriousness. “So… you left Wolfhound to try for a quieter life. We can both see how that is going for you,” she attempts the light tease. “Thoughts on what you’re going to do now? I don’t think Disneyworld is an option.”

“Yeah,” Claire says softly, brushing long dark strands behind her ear. “Shit seems to always follow me.” There is a grimace. “I was tired of pushing dad away and… when I found him, I couldn’t stop thinking about everything we’d been through all the fights. Not how I wanted to leave things.” Claire sighs and backs up to sit at the edge of a planter, the silk sleeve of one arm worried at. “Course, then I also pretty much lost my ability… this… healing, isn’t infinite for me it seems. I burn out eventually if I use it too much.” There is a small huff of bitter laughter from Claire. “Go figure.”

Sitting a bit straighter, Claire studies the other woman, “But hey. You and Richard have a daughter. Congrats. Really, that will be one of the best protected kids ever.” There is a slightly teasing smile to go with that.

Smirking, Elisabeth moves to retrieve that coffee and come back to sit next to Claire. “You’d think that, wouldn’t you?” she asks mildly as she settles into her seat. “Kid has more alternate timeline experience than even we all do. Richard once boasted ‘no kid of his was gonna be jumping through time’,” she rolls her eyes theatrically. “See where that got him?”

She’s genuinely amused, though. “Thanks, though. She’s a great kid. If you get into the Safe Zone, I’d love for you to meet her.” Toying with her cup, she adds softly, “I’m sorry I didn’t really go looking you up when I got back. I guess I just figured if you took off and left — which Felix let me know you had, of course — that you didn’t want reminders. It’s a lame excuse, though,” she acknowledges.

“I guess it’s good that at least now you know its limitations?” Elisabeth asks of the power thoughtfully.

“I’m more upset at Richard, not you for not reaching out,” Claire reassures. “Hell, my father probably knew.” Noah knew everything, practically in his mind. She can’t help but glance over her shoulder for her father.

“But, alternate timelines and jumping through time, that… I am not jealous,” Claire says with a huffed chuckle, her head shaking. Fingers pluck at the stitching of her sleeve, attention wandering. “I’d like to meet her, but… I’m going home. Maybe one day, but there is someone who will be worried.” She hopes. Brows furrow glancing over at her friend. “I’ve missed out on so much… I don’t know if it is even possible to have any sort of normal life. And I definitely can’t imagine being a mom like you.”

Straightening, Claire watches a pair of SESA agents walk by talking in low voices. “Still, I’d like to figure it out. I can’t do that back east, I’ve tried.”

The brunette gives a small bitter laugh, before she admits,“I’ll probably offer to join the Guardian’s, tho.” Blue eyes roll skyward at her own words, clearly believing already that she’ll fail at something normal-ish.

"Ffffft," Elisabeth dismisses softly. "If you're joining the Guardians, apparently they've been working with Richard in some capacity for a while now. Not for him, mind you. But you're unlikely to find 'quiet' with them." She grins a bit. "Sometimes you just figure it out on the fly." She sure did.

"You take your time about coming east," she replies. "Just… if you want to come for a visit, the door is always open, okay?" Blue eyes wander the younger woman's face. "It's really damn good to see you. And to hear you're building a life, Claire. Don't let all this derail what you're trying to do."

“I know it’s not,” Claire admits, cheeks flushing slightly. Not for anger though. “And I don’t plan to derail anything, in fact, I feel… bolder?” Was that the word she’s looking for? Maybe.

“When I went out west with Richard and Avi on a mission, there was a guy, Levi. He’s a part of the Guardians,” Claire quietly admits, but then gives a huff of laughter at herself sounding like a love sick girl. “I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to finally, really, talk to him about…” how she feels.

“After all this,” she waves a silk clad arm at everything going on before them. “I feel like I need to stop being a coward and sit him down… or just freakin’ kiss him or something.” Claire gives a bit of a shrug. “I guess I’ll figure it out when I get back.”

Claire jerks her chin in Elisabeth’s direction, “But yeah, it’s good to see you alive and married. Don’t think I didn’t see that bit of bling.” She gives the woman an impish look and a nudge, a little bit of her old self shining through, which may or may not be a side effect of the rewind.

Looking thoroughly gleeful, Elisabeth retorts, "You like a guy? You better not tell Richard or he'll get Alia and me to do background checks and shit." She laughs — Claire's taste in men is a little notorious. And then she actually colors a little, her left hand coming up. The wedding band is a simple engraved band set with sparkly things, but it's not huge.

"I didn't want anything really big," she admits. "He picked out a perfect balance." A beat and Liz winks, "Leave it to a former thief to know expensive and tasteful, hmm?"

“To be fair, this is the first time in a really long time that someone stood out.” The teasing has Claire’s cheeks shifting to a darker shade of pink that rivals the blush Mazdak painted on her. “Or I even felt something…. it’s been a rough several years.”

Claire snags the hand to get a better look at the ring, only letting go after she gives it a moment of scrutiny. “You’re really lucky.” She might sound a touch jealous. A little.

The nod as Elisabeth squeezes the hand that holds hers in return is slow. "Yeah," she says softly. "Way more lucky than I deserve." It's hard to put that into the right words. "You'll find what you're looking for, Claire. Probably when you least expect it." Her other hand reaches out to touch the younger woman's face. "I remember when you wore your hair this color before," she murmurs. "I think you must have learned a hell of a lot since then." A grin flashes. "Use it. Go drag your guy into a lip lock he'll never forget and tell him what you feel. Whatever happens from there happens."

This from the woman who didn't believe in marriage!

Claire can’t help but laugh at the advice. “Despite the adventure, you’re still the same Liz I remember,” she teases affectionately. “Just a little worn on the edges.”

Turning her attention back to her fingers playing with the sleeve of her outfit. “You know what I am going to miss about not having my regeneration?” Claire scrunches her nose at the thought that she won’t be able to do one thing. “Drinking. I could really use a beer right now. Several in fact,” she says suddenly sounding weary to her bones.

Tipping her head, Elisabeth's grin is wry. "I don't know how to be anyone else, so you're just stuck with me the way I am," she retorts in amusement. But she does get just a hair more serious. "I have about a million questions about all that, but you know… you could look at it as an opportunity, sort of — now when you have a few beers, you'll get the whole effect. And I know Richard has good beer around here somewhere."

She doesn't honestly expect it. One's ability is so much a part of them, and its lack is like losing a part of yourself. She knows that. Elisabeth is just trying to give Claire a moment of levity in the shitshow that today has been. She reaches out once more to draw the younger woman in for another hug.

So much was lost today. The blonde closes her eyes and tries to, just for a moment, blot out the grief over the images of Niki falling and Eve exploding with the gratitude that Claire and Squeaks survived.

“You are definitely not the only one with questions,” Claire comments with a huff of laughter, mostly because it was easier to laugh, then to break down in tears. The hug is welcome though, returned in kind.

When Claire pulls away, fingers snag on some of her long dark hair to pull around to where she could get a good look at it. “I haven’t been this dark haired for.. Years? In fact, it took me forever to grow my hair long enough to go back to my natural color.” Letting go of the rich brown strands, her brows furrow and whatever amusement bleeds away.

“And that… thing that Eve -” Claire stumbles there, tears prickling behind her eyes. She is forced to swallow back emotions for a lost friend “ -that she pulled out of me… no idea what that was or why it was even there. Eve called it her daughter.”

"It was… Well, honestly, no one is exactly sure what it was," Elisabeth replies as she releases Claire from the hug. "The only name we really have for it is the Entity. Eve believed it was the first of us, Evos." She's been here a year and still can't quite stop using the word. "We do believe that it's the person or being who gave Adam his abilities. If only because a better explanation isn't really available, the basic explanation is that the Company trapped it in the spaces between timelines… and it got loose when I came home." She grimaces slightly. "I… don't exactly know //what/ that means for you, since it kind of resurrected you."

She'd be amused if it weren't for the fact that they're talking about someone killing Claire. Again. And had it not resurrected her, the girl would be dead. "Richard may actually have a better idea what that means, kiddo." Honestly, Elisabeth is a little worried about that part herself.

Claire gives a little shake of her head and a wrinkle of her nose, looking back at the doors. “I won’t bother him with that. The important thing is I have a second chance. Maybe I only get a couple days or a couple of years, but I have it and I’m not going to waste it.” She gives a little shrug, cause it is what it is.

“I’m glad I got to see you, tho,” Claire says quietly, “Got to find out you’re okay. You…” she gives a soft laugh, “You both were there during one of the most trying times of my life. I don’t think I ever got to thank you for that. So… thank you.”

Elisabeth chokes up at that and says softly, "You were one of the people who propped me up in the hardest time of mine." At least, up until that point in her life. Claire was part of her strength, helping her believe she could hold things together even with Cardinal gone and no clue what she was even doing with a bunch of mountains to move.

She smiles softly, "Use every minute you get and just be happy, Claire. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow anyway." She reaches out and brushes a lock of dark hair back off Claire's face, chuckling suddenly. "You'd have been proud of me, you know… I made my living on stage for a while. It was … freeing."

“You? A singer?” Claire sounds surprised, not cause she didn’t think Liz could do it, but that she got to do it at all. With their lives dreams like that were hard to follow. “That is amazing. Sounds like it must have been one hell of a trip, better than the shit show that went on over here.” Her voice is laced with bitterness, clearly talking about the war Liz missed.

There's a small shrug. "Three out of the four places I lived in those years were shit shows," Elisabeth replies softly. "Saw a lot of things happen in those places that got stopped here." There is a deeply haunted look to the blonde's eyes as she looks toward the sky. "The place I landed for the longest — where Aura was born — was… probably the closest thing I'll ever see to paradise despite the core of rot." She is silent a long moment.

Not for the first time, she thinks that so much might have been averted if she'd listened to Eileen that day. Regret for collateral damage she and Magnes did just by existing in those timelines will always torment her, especially on days like today when she wonders if they could have made different choices and changed what happened here and now.

Returning her attention to Claire, she forces a small smile. "Ever see 'It's a Wonderful Life'? Seeing what happened when the world went left instead of right was… sobering. This isn't even the worst shit show that could have happened." Horrible thought there.

“You are a stronger person then I am, that is for sure,” Claire compliments, her head shaking after that explanation. It’s a bit much to take in or to wrap around her brain even though she’d been through some insanity already.

In fact, the next sigh that escapes her is a tired one, after an event like that who could really blame her. “I better go see if I can track down my dad.” Pushing to her feet, Claire offers an apologetic smile. “Better yet, maybe crash somewhere for a millennia. “ Her smile pulls to the side in amusement. She holds out her arms, looking down at herself. “Find some real freakin’ clothes.”

"You give your father my regards, Claire." Elisabeth quirks a grin, eyeing the get-up. "You look like an extra for Big Trouble in Little China. Don't go running away with Kurt Russell," she winks. A squeeze of Claire's hand before she releases it is the last farewell. "Keep in touch, yeah? You know where I am now."

The mention of Kurt Russell gets a wrinkle of the woman’s nose, “Way too old for my taste, thanks.” Claire offers Liz a smile as her foot shifts back. “Give Richard my best would you?” There is a touch of sadness mentioning a man who was a bit like a brother. “I don’t know if I’ll get to see him before I go, but… tell him thank you for me? Give him a hug for me.”

A hand lifts in farewell, before she leaves Liz to her thoughts and to wonder if the two of them would ever see each other again.

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