At Least I Have You



Scene Title At Least I Have You
Synopsis Lonely lies the head that wears the crimson crown
Date June 2, 2018

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office - Richard Ray's Suite

There aren’t a lot of personal touches to Richard Ray’s suite.

It’s an old habit from the days that he might need to move on at a moment’s notice; most of his keepsakes are in a duffle bag kept in the back of the closet, old photographs and memories, instead of hanging up on the walls or sitting on his desk. The coffee table just holds the most recent technology magazines - okay, last month’s, imported from Europe since publishing isn’t that great in the U.S. these days - and there’s only a handful of movies on DVD in the entertainment system. It’s clean, sterile, empty. Ten minutes of work would make it look like nobody ever lived here at all, assuming he’d done the bed.

Which he almost never does.

The kids are asleep in Harmony’s care, safe without his surname or custody to damn them as his children, and aside from the security patrols and some scientists working late on projects while high off Red Bull and bulletproof coffee most everyone else is as well.

Richard isn’t, though.

His suit’s been stripped off down to the shirt, the collar askew and a button or two undone to let him breathe - untucked from the slacks, bare feet kicked up on the coffee table. His jacket and socks lay somewhere on the floor, forgotten as he taps half-heartedly at his tablet to go through his schedule, its soft light illuminating his fingers bluish.

Negotiations with Yamagato. Start community outreach program. Meet with Warren regarding personal weaponry and cybernetic eye replacement. Send Keira on her covert assignment. Send flowers to Remi’s family. Contact Ryans to set up meeting with Sabra. Contact Barbara to set up meeting with Claudia. Work on next step of dealing with the Horsemen.

Some business. Some conspiracy. About par for the course, lately; he did what he did, and he had to admit he was good at it.

The tablet’s tossed over to the coffee table with a smack of plastic on wood - one of the things that makes Alia wince, the way he treats his personal electronics - and he leans back, arms folding behind his head. Restless.

“Fuck, I need a beer and…” And someone to talk to. Well, he can take care of the former at least, and he pushes himself up with a grunt to head to the fridge.

What happened to his friends? He had them, once.

Monica and Peyton had left him in 2011, and although they were around again he couldn’t say they were close anymore. Niklaus hated him, thanks to his alternate. Tyler was so deep in hiding that he wouldn’t even leave a clone behind. Deckard and Teo hadn’t talked to him in years. Same with Gabriel - he wasn’t even sure where the man was these days. Tahiti for all he knew.

He pulled a bottle of beer from the fridge, twisting off the cap and taking a swig as he headed back towards the couch.

Tucker and Niki were busy running the Safe Zone. Gillian, busy with her own life. Jake had gone missing not long after Fedor died, taking Zuleyka with him. He hoped they were well. Eve had gone completely psychotic. Claire, Francois, Huruma, Avi— they were all Wolfhound these days.

And he had to send Des away for her own safety. He thought he could keep her safe here. He was wrong.

He sprawled back on the couch again, looking up at the ceiling.

Six months and twenty-four days before he could see Elisabeth again.

“Guess I’ll just play my role until then,” he tells the unlistening room, “Saving the world one day at a time, even if it doesn’t much care.”

He feels a tug, then, and looks down. A tiny red ball of fluff is viciously attacks the hem of his slacks. He smiles despite himself, watching Richelieu for a few moments before reaching down with one hands coop the tiny feline up, bringing him up to his chest and leaning down to nuzzle at his head. A soft mewl escapes the captured kitten, and he murmurs fondly, “At least I have you, hm? C’mon. Let’s put on some Three Stooges.”

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