At Cross Purposes


cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title At Cross Purposes
Synopsis Unpleasant conversation with an uncertain ending.
Date Aug 3, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Cat's Penthouse

It's oh-dark-thirty in the morning when Elisabeth shows up at Cat's penthouse. To be precise, it's around 5:30am. She's wearing jeans, a scoop-necked sea-green T-shirt, and a navy blazer to hide her shoulder rig — clearly dressed for work — and she's carrying a tray with gourmet coffee and chocolate croissants as a peace offering for showing up at this ungodly hour. Though she knows Cat's up pretty early in the day often enough. Still, this is somewhat before polite company shows up. The buzz from downstairs is given only in the interests of alerting Cat that Elisabeth is actually here, so that by the time she gets upstairs the brunette is hopefully at least mostly coherent. And Elisabeth's expression is kept carefully neutral as she makes her way through the massive apartment to the kitchen space with her burdens, which she sets on the counter before turning to look at her friend. The seriousness of the conversation ahead is perhaps reflected in the not-quite-defiant tilt of her jaw. "I'm sorry it had to be so early, but I'm getting in to the precinct at ungodly hours right now, it's the only time I could spare. I need to talk to you…. and it's major. Are you fully coherent?"

There is a Cat, awakened by the notice of someone coming up. She's clad for bed still, just a tank top and shorts, hair still a mess from being upon a pillow. The kitchen is her location, where a pot of coffee is in the first stages of brewing and percolating down. Be faster, she thinks, be faster, as if she could will it to give forth that divine content sooner. It doesn't work.

Elisabeth's voice and presence causes her to turn partway, as a yawn is stifled and she answers. "I am."

Then it sinks in this is major, and concern forms. "What's up?" she asks with brows lifting.

Elisabeth offers the life-giving caffeinated brew that she carries and takes a couple of swallows of her own while waiting until Cat can funnel enough of the stuff into her gullet to get awake enough to have the conversation. And when she deems the brunette is, in fact, awake enough, she very carefully - very neutrally - asks outright, "Does this group or the Ferrymen have the ability to suppress powers chemically? Yes or no."

The coffee is held in hand and sipped from, as she replies "We've done it before when needed." Cat opts not to reveal details of the Carmichael operation they conducted, which Elisabeth asked to have no memory of. "And it works."

Setting her cup very carefully on the counter, the move is probably the only warning of just how pissed off Elisabeth is at this moment. Her voice drops from neutral into as cold as Cat has ever heard her. "I gave you as full a report of her abilities as should have been required for you to take the step to make sure she, of all the fucking people we've ever had in this building, cannot accidently kill someone. And yet you've done nothing about keeping this girl's abilities suppressed — something she wants, by the way, desperately because she doesn't want to hurt anyone when, not if, she loses it. Explain to me why in God's name this is the case. And while you're at it, explain to me why I didn't know we had this ability. Choose your answers very carefully here, Catherine. There's a lot riding on this conversation."

If she weren't fully awake before, she certainly is now, when Elisabeth speaks to her this way. Indignation follows, disbelief, as if she can't believe what she just heard. Then Cat's jaw sets. "Because she doesn't need to be suppressed. She won't lose it, and we're not in the business of assuming anyone will. You know this. Just like you knew Oleander Thespuda could and did get a handle on himself after turning your arm to rock."

"In the information you dug out about her, which shows tragedies happening when she first manifested, did you find any such evidence of anything of the kind happening on her way across the US? Have there been any such incidents since she escaped from John Logan? There haven't been, and this tells me she has control of herself now. What she needs most is to be told she's believed in, until she believes in herself."

"And do you really think if she does lose it, there won't be a gun around to quickly end the problem?"

Elisabeth explodes, a bass thrum of sound almost too low to hear rumbling through the room when she does it. "The information I dug out about her, if you'd paid any goddamn attention to anything I fucking well said to you is that this girl has fucking well killed over 200 people scattered from Central America to at LEAST the American border, Cat!! I *didn't* know Oleander Thespuda would be able to turn my fucking arm back, I just fucking HOPED real hard. And had he NOT been able to, *I* would have been the only person hurt because he would have either actually committed suicide at that point or he would have turned himself in! There's a difference when HE loses control and can turn people back from stone or when *I* lose control and maybe shatter some glass or even fucking eardrums. If MAYA loses control, PEOPLE FUCKING DIE! There IS no returning from that, and it's damn near instantaneous!! And she couldn't use her power out on Staten because John Logan has some kind negation ability!"

Attempting to rein in her rage, Elisabeth stares at the woman she thinks of as a friend. "This is my line in the sand. Right here. Right now. The primary job description that I've had in this loose organization of people is security. As the head of security for Phoenix and as *your friend*, I am telling you that you are harboring a woman who will not mean to kill or hurt anyone but who if she gets mad or sad for any reason will in fact kill anyone within her power's radius. WHOLE TOWNS of people, Cat. Damn near instantly. You either chemically negate her, you get her the hell out of this building and away from the rest of the people you are trying to protect here, or I'm turning her in to Homeland Security. It's your call."

Her head tilts to one side as she's lectured, her lips twitch a few times, but there's not much other reaction on her facial features. In her eyes, though, is sadness that she just doesn't get it, anger that she acts this way and makes such unconscionable threats, and hurt that she's considered an idiot.

"There will be arrangements made today," she informs the detective. "Be safe today on the job." That's spoken as a sincere hope.

There is a clenching of her jaw, and Elisabeth studies Cat with a tense expression. "What exactly does that mean? Because I'm getting pretty damn tired of being left out of the loop on things to this level. Helena asked me to step up as a lieutenant in this organization, and frankly? Right now, that means just about jack and shit to me. Knowing that you've known all along that we have the ability to do this… that you knew when I came to you that Maya needed this kind of intervention and deliberately chose to place Claire and Abby and yourself at risk like this? Christ, Cat…. what'm I supposed to do with that? There's wanting to believe the best in someone… and there's going too far. I don't want to walk in here sometime and find all of you dead on the floor and Maya in the wind. I don't want to walk in here and tell her that her brother's been picked up bythe cops somewhere and have her lose it."

"You really do think I'm clueless," Cat replies with her head shaking. "You give me no credit at all. One of the reasons I'm not concerned is Claire being the woman's roommate." She goes quiet then. It's ludicrous she has to explain all this, and since she does serious questions exist. "I'll make whatever arrangements are needed to be made," she provides simply. "And we'll talk again later, Elisabeth."

Elisabeth throws her hands in the air, her tone incredulous. "You think CLAIRE being her roommate is somehow going to negate her ability? Claire might SURVIVE her ability, but what about everyone else on the floor? In the building? On the BLOCK? Claire's neither a negator NOR a healer able to bring people back from the dead." She just looks at Cat, her voice calm and just plain tired. "Fine. You let me know what arrangements you make. I'll make my decisions accordingly." She shakes her head and turns to leave, still beyond anger. But there's sadness too as she turns back around at the door, her hand on the knob.

"You're a brilliant woman - far from clueless — but there are days, Cat….. when I think you have more in common with Abby than you might like to believe, and I didn't realize it until just this minute. You have a good heart, you always want to see the best in people, you are an idealist and you hope that people will do the 'right thing' all the time, and your street smarts are…. occasionally a little questionable, lost in all that book knowledge that you possess. None of those are a bad thing — I like to think it's why you and I do so well together; that we complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. I don't think I realized until just this minute, though, that you would honestly take the route of protecting the one over the many in our care. And that…. bothers me. A lot." She looks at Cat for a long moment, her blue eyes sad, and then lets herself out.

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