Awkward Much?


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Awkward Much?
Synopsis They're still doing the dance…. ah well. :)
Date December 22, 2010

Redbird Security Solutions, Cardinal's Office

As the day's light spills through the windows of the security firm, the front door's pushed open under the hand of a man who isn't as familiar a sight in the firm as he once was. Richard Cardinal walks along into the lobby, letting the door swing behind him, dressed in a black-on-black outfit and flight jacket as he approaches the desk. "Hey, Jo," he greets with a crooked smile to the receptionist, "Been awhile. Peyton or Liz in?"

Jo, who has only recently come back to work after the attack, looks up a bit nervously. "Oh, Mr. Cardinal." She smiles. "Peyton's out at a client meeting, but Liz is…. in your office," she says. "I keep thinking we should get her one of her own, but…" She shrugs and just points the way, as if he doesn't already know where his own office is. "Nice to see you."

"Yeah, well, we can't due to bureaucracy…" Cardinal's gaze slides to the hallway, lingering there for a moment before exhaling a sigh and nodding a bit to Jo, "You too, Jo. you too." Down the hall, then, he heads along to his office, shouldering the door open. It's his office, after all.

Elisabeth isn't working. In point of fact, she's bent slightly to write on something on his desk — it looks like maybe a note, or perhaps a card. There's an envelope. The blonde, dressed in a sleek black skirt that stops above her knees and a cranberry sweater blouse, turns on her high-heeled boots to say, "Jo, I need you to…." And then her blue eyes fall on him and she stutters to a stop. "Oh!" Uhm… automatically a hand goes to smooth the back of her skirt, as if she flashed him or something a moment ago, and she murmurs with a faint smile. "Long time, no see, stranger."

A brow ticks open over the edge of Cardinal's shades at the sight of her — not, perhaps, expecting her to be dressed in a skirt and blouse. It isn't exactly common clothes for her, after all. "Hey, Liz," he greets quietly, pushing the door closed behind him, "Hope I'm not… interrupting anything?"

"No, you're not interrupting anything. I was…" She pauses and then admits, "I was tying up a few ends here so that Peyton won't need anything between now and the weekend. I'm not sure what Friday night's going to look like, so I wanted her covered. And I … was planning on leaving you something at the apartment. So… it's nice that you stopped in." Elisabeth stops rambling and asks with a bit of a furrowed brow, "Is it a quick visit or something particular?"

"It's… something particular," Cardinal admits, one hand lifting up to rub against his lower face as he just pushes on into business, "We couldn't locate the bombers planning to hit d'Sarthe's. He's agreed to let our security people work with his, though, to try and catch Humanis in the act."

Elisabeth nods quickly. "That's good news. At the very least, I know that the personnel Kershner put in our books are fucking good at the job. I'll leave Peyton the message to have one of the team leads to get in touch with d'Sarthe personally." She reaches up to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. "I'm meeting with Donovan tonight." She grins a little. "Figured the skirt couldn't hurt any. Does it… it's not too much, is it? I really would sort of rather go in a friggin' snow suit, but I gather he can see through it anyway, so what the hell."

Cardinal's chin dips in a slight nod, "If we're lucky we can not only stop this, but start a war between d'Sarthe and the Shadows…" He trails off, looking her over for a moment before admitting quietly, "It's good. You look good."

Elisabeth laughs softly. She can't help it. "I can't remember the last time I wore a skirt," she admits softly. And then she changes the subject a bit, "So, uhm… since I dont' know if I'll see you between now and then…." She turns a bit and picks up a small paper-wrapped package to hold out to him. "Merry Christmas, Richard."

Liz hastens to say quickly, "It's nothing…. really big or anything."

"Neither can I," Cardinal admits with a faint chuckle, hesitating as the package is offered out - and then he reaches out to accept it, pausing for a moment before smiling a little, "Thanks. I'll— drop off your present at the apartment, I guess."

She's not a tiny woman, right at average in height. But the couple extra inches the boots afford her bring her to just the right height. At least for her intentions. When he closes the space between them to take the package — a CD jewel case, from the feel of it — her free hand reaches up to rest on his shoulder and she steps into him, her lips brushing his jaw. "I didn't expect anything," she admits. "Although I admit that I would have preferred to give it to you Christmas morning. In person. Maybe while you were still warm and rumpled." She grins a bit cheekily.

There's a moment's slight tension as she moves in against him, and then Cardinal's head drops down a bit to press his cheek against her hair. "Yeah," he says quietly, "Well. You know how things are, Liz." A breath's drawn in, then exhaled as he moves back a little, "I'll… get some people assigned and stuff. You going to be at the gala?"

She touches his cheek and offers a faint smile. The retreat from a simple kiss is noticed, though she says nothing about it. She neither attempts to stop his step back nor attempts to make it more than that. Blue eyes study him thoughtfully. "Already told you I would," she murmurs. "Try not to get caught in the crossfire, hmm? So far as I know, it's you the Shadows are gunning for and potentially me Humanis is gunning for." She grins. "I'm all for makin' some noise, love."

"Me? Careful?" A sardonic smile edges to Cardinal's lips, "Never." There's a moment's hesitance, and he brings one hand up to brush against her cheek, saying quietly, "Just watch yourself, too, Liz. Especially around these guys." That hand falls, and he turns a little to look to the door, "How's— everyone here doing?"

"No… I'm pretty much not asking for careful," Liz admits with a smile. She turns her cheek slightly into his touch, just for a moment as if taking comfort in it. And then she's back to business as usual. "Mostly fine. Brian and Jaiden are keeping a close eye on Delia's body. She's…. not doing as well as I'd like, if you want the truth. We may have to take some steps soon to get her hospitalized if she doesn't find her way back." She grimaces.

"Other than that, I think we're…. managing. I've got Alia checking on that fucking sentient robot. And I'm dealing with Warren, as well. Be careful of him — the Institute has him building a fucking machine to talk to comatose patients." Lord…. it now occurs to Elisabeth that she hasn't mentioned that to him. "He, uhm…… well, here's the thing. He thinks Edward Ray was good enough at prediction to be able to tell that WArren would be doing what he's doing and therefore that the machine itself will only be good for a single message to get from Ray to us before it blows itself up or something. Remember that whole Princess Bride scene with the crazy logic guy and the poison? It's sorta like that."

"I know about the machine, but…" Cardinal rubs his face with one hand, "…Jesus. Warren really is a fucking lunatic. We can't let— the Institute get their hands on a machine like that. I'll have to take steps."

Elisabeth can't exactly argue with that. "He claims that you already know there are failsafes in place in the robot — that I should be comforted by the fact that you know. Unfortunately, that doesn't comfort me too much cuz I don't know if that means Dick knows too," she comments ascerbicly. "And yes. He's a fucking lunatic.

"Peyton and Aric are handling the business really well. They don't honestly need me checking behind them anymore," Elisabeth admits with a smile. "Although I'm still taking Donovan's meeting personally. It'll probably be one of the last things I need to do to make sure Peyton's squared away. She's got a head on her shoulders for this. And the will is en route back to Linderman's as of tomorrow, doctored as ordered."

"Good. Good." Cardinal's fingers slide over the nape of his neck as he tries to think if there's anything else, looking momentarily very tired, "Well, I guess everything is taken care of for now, then, I can't… think of anything else. I'm glad that Pey'n Aric are handling things here well without me…"

She tilts her head, studying him. Something apparently occurs to her, it causes her to just shake her head on a smile. And then Elisabeth picks up her black suit jacket to throw it around her shoulders and slide her arms in. Adjusting it, fluffing her hair a bit, she offers him only the soft affection in her expression without acting on it. "It's what you said you wanted. The moment you don't want it anymore, this is your office, babe. I'm just keeping the seat warm so you have a chair to come back to. And I think we'll all be more than glad to see you back."

Taking in a deep breath, Elisabeth says with a ton of cute attitude reminiscent of times past, "C'mon, I'll walk out with you. Normally I'd do my level best to maneuver you into staying, locking the door, and letting Jo's imagination work overtime as to what we might be up to in here, buuuuut since we're still walking on eggshells and I'm just not dressed for dragging your very cute ass down the stairs by your hair, lover, you'll have to settle for a walk." She waggles her brows at him. "A situation, by the way, that you can remedy at any time with a simple text. I sorta miss the occasional booty call."

"I know." Cardinal's gaze lifts to the desk, to the painting that hangs over it, his lips pursing together in a momentary grimace, "I can't come back until the hit out on my head is taken care of, at the very least, though. I asked Teodoro to try and see to that, I don't know if the snake'll listen to reason." One shoulder lifts into a shrug, and then he exhales a snort of breath at Liz's words, "Jo looks kinda harried as it is, I don't think we need to stress her that much."

There's a pause at the last, and he nods slightly, but doesn't say anything.

Elisabeth merely picks up the note she was writing off the desk and walks toward the door, stopping to kiss him on the cheek. "She'll work through it." Assuming no one attacks the damn place again. "I won't text you with what I learn at Donovan's, not with Wireless compromised. Would you rather I leave the information here or at the apartment?" she asks, apparently choosing to ignore the fact that he won't even tease or flirt back right now. Maybe because she doesn't know what to do with it.

It's an awkward conversation all over the place, apparently. Richard turns his head to briefly brush his cheek to hers as she kisses his own, and he says quietly, "The apartment works. Like I said, I need to… stop by with your present anyway, you know?"

"Stop by when you like. I've been staying there the past few nights. Things have slowed enough." Elisabeth isn't saying it as an invitation — more as a matter-of-fact kind of don't want to surprise you kind of tone. So if he wants to catch her in, he can, but if he wants to avoid her, he can go by in the daytime. "It means more back and forth to the base, but… it's nice to be away from the barracks."

"I'll stop by." It's a promise, less than a warning or agreement, and Cardinal turns to reach for the door, "Anyway, let me go get things ready for the Christmas Gala, better to get stuff moving ahead of time…"

"See you around, handsome," Elisabeth replies easily.

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