Back In One Piece


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Back In One Piece
Synopsis Cardinal returns from the rescue of Teo finally with news. And Liz has some of her own.
Date Oct 11, 2010

Elisabeth and Cardinal's Apartment, Dorchester Towers

A shadow slips beneath the edge of the door to the apartment, swirling up the side of the door and up its face before Cardinal - still dressed in his combat BDUs, sans ski mask. It's probably tucked into a pocket somewhere. "Hey, Liz…?" He tugs off his gloves one at a time, "You home?"

Is she home? That's like the dumbest question ever. The blonde is laying on the couch, her ankles crossed, a book on her chest. She's snoozing when he first slips in, but the sound of his voice rouses her immediately and she bolts upright on the couch, the book falling to the floor. "Richard? Oh…. oh thank goodness." Worried blue eyes search his face. "What happened? How'd it go?"

"It went pretty much according to plan…" Cardinal tucks the gloves away as he walks along into the apartment, offering a tired smile over to her, "…we managed to come out with three Teos instead of just one, which I guess was a win…" He grimaces, "Hiro showed up in the middle of everything, though."

Uncrossing her feet and shoving herself up off the couch, her hand pushing her hand back, Liz looks confused. "They had three more Teos? What the hell? What are they trying to gain from him that cloning him like that is required?" she wonders softly. "Is it because he's got the formula in his blood?" And then she shifts her focus onto the other relevent bit. "Hiro Nakamura?" There's a pause and her mouth twists into a vaguely disgruntled shape. "I can't decide if I want the answer to the next question. What'd he do?"

Only then, finally, does she resume her forward motion to throw her arms around him. "It's good to see you," Elisabeth whispers softly, capturing his mouth in a kiss if he'll let her.

"No, we went in with one already. There's the… original Teo, there's Ghost, and then there's the personality that was created when they blended. They've all got their own bodies now…" The further explainations are cut off as her arms wrap about him, and Cardinal does the same in return; crushing her in against him in a firm embrace, his lips on hers in a slow and hungry kiss. Once it's broken, he exhales a sigh, his head falling down, his brow resting against hers.

"For… whatever reason… he took Francois. Peyton can't find him. We don't know when he is."

When they finally come up for air, her arms around him are just as tight as his are around her. Her worry clearly communicates itself, though Liz is doing her best not to create stress with it. With her face turned up to his, one hand slipping up to toy with the hair at the back of his neck, she murmurs softly, "Okay… I thought you meant three more. Sorry. That we have all three of them… that's fabulous news," she says softly.

And while her worries are now shifted to a time-displaced Frenchman…. well, we're all tapped for something like this at various moments, so … It's not like Hiro ever shows up when it's convenient for everyone else. The man runs on his own agenda. "Okay," she says simply. "We'll just have to wait until he reappears." What else can they do?

"Yeah. Peyton only saw him for a second or so… we don't know what he wanted, he didn't stop to tell any of us what's going on," Cardinal admits with a sigh of breath, shaking his head slowly from side to side, "Honestly? I hope he shows back up soon… I don't find an extra Teo or two a fair trade for Francois. I didn't know him that well, but he seemed a solid man."

Elisabeth sighs and pulls back away from him, her smile up at him pained. "No… extra Teos are no trade for a Francois," she says quietly. "But at least we know Francois's just out doing the time-travel shenanigan that he's supposed to be doing. So… hopefully he'll be okay and back soon." It's not like he's the first one to be hauled off through time by Hiro lately.

"C'mon. Have you eaten at all? You look like you need some serious sleep and some food, maybe not in that order." Elisabeth strokes his neck and says, "I'm glad you all made it out safe."

"Yeah," Cardinal's chin dips in a slight nod, "Everyone else's come back from the past just fine… so… I guess we'll have to trust that Nakamura knows what he's doing." He can't help the feeling that something's different about this, though, something troubling him deep down that he can't quite shake.

"I'm guessing the kitchen's full of baked goods?" A light tease as he grins down to her, "How'd the medal-giving go, anyway?"

Elisabeth nudges him. "I didn't have time to cook this time," she retorts mildly. And she flushes a little. That he thought to ask. "It went without incident. Which is about all I could have hoped for, honestly, but…. I do have a little bit of news for you. Sit… I've got some lasagne that I defrosted earlier." She kisses him lightly on the cheek and slips away from him to putter in the kitchen and pop some dinner into the microwave to heat up for him. She's pulling a couple of beers from the fridge as she says quietly, "Sarisa is … promoting me."

"A promotion?" Cardinal steps over, sprawling onto the couch and stretching his legs out, toes pointing a little as he works out the strain in his muscles, "Well, congratulations… what's she doing, putting you in charge of your unit?"

Clearing her throat, Elisabeth seems ill at ease. She brings the beers into the living room and hands him one. "No," she says quietly. "She's making me director of operations for FRONTLINE Manhattan." 3… 2… 1…

The bottle of beer's taken in hand, and Cardinal starts to say something… then blinks, twice. "Seriously?" He shifts a bit to sit up straighter, twisting the cap off the beer as a grin curves to his lips, "Shit. Well, congratulations are definately in order then…"

There's a skeptical look on her face as she twists the top off her own and takes a swallow. Then she sets the bottle down to go back to the kitchen and fetch that lasagne out of the microwave. "I dunno…. I've been sitting here tonight trying to figure out if she's running an op on me or something. I know, it's paranoid. I can't help myself. She gave me the whole song and dance about how no one else is as organized and leadership oriented as I am, even Spalding was enthusiastic when she asked him about it. But…. it just sort of blows my mind," she admits, coming back in with the plate and a fork for him.

"I don't think she is… think about it," Cardinal suggests, flicking the cap that bounces over onto the coffeee table and gesturing to her with the bottle of beer, "She's trying to oppose an entrenched conspiracy. Putting people allied with her in positions of influence and power only makes sense - she needs to set up her side of the board to oppose the other side." A swig of beer, and then he sits down the bottle, reaching over for the plate with a smile of thanks.

Settling into the corner of the couch near him, pulling one knee up under her and retrieving her own bottle, Elisabeth props her head on her hand and nods. "Yeah. I know. And she flat out stated that so long as I wasn't using FRONTLINE assets to back Endgame's moves, she'd ignore whatever I was up to on the side, too." She grins a little. "Not to mention that she flat out said she was still in the game to take down both the Institute and Petrelli. So… I took the job. It's going to be kept real quiet til next spring, but…. I guess as of spring, I'll be manning a desk instead of out in the field, mostly."

As she talks, Cardinal eats a few bites of his dinner, chewing and swallowing before lifting the fork and thrusting it in her direction. "Do not think," he states firmly, though there's a hint of humor to it, "That this means you can stop wearing your helmet, you know."

Elisabeth lays her head back and laughs. "You're a pain in my ass, lover. I'll wear the goddamn helment when I'm in armor, okay? I still don't like it much."

"Did you ever get the new one in?" Cardinal's brows raise a little in questioning, spearing another bite of his food, chewing as he waits for her to answer him. Apparently, he's never going to let up on that.

"I did," Elisabeth replies, taking a swallow of her beer. Absently running her hands through the long strands of loose blonde at her shoulders, she says, "It's … better. I still feel vaguely muffled, but it's not as bad as it was. And I'm told that it's all in my head anyway. I mean, I don't have to hear a sound to manipulate it at all. Most of my abilities are actually most useful in the ranges that aren't hearable anyway." She shrugs. "It just feels funky."

"Yeah, well…" The fork's set down on the plate, and Cardinal reaches over to tap a fingertip against her forehead, his expression serious, "…it keeps this skull in one piece, and I kind of like it that way, alright? Deal with the funky feeling. The seventies learned to enjoy it."

She reaches up with her free hand to capture the one that's poking her in the head. "I will," Elisabeth says softly. "As long as I'm not undercover, I will." She smiles at him, kissing his fingers and then releasing his hand. "Eat… cuz I have an even bigger bombshell than that for you. Unless, of course, you already knew that Abby got married and didn't mention it to me."

"If you're under the covers, the helmet'd make it hard for you to do that thing with…" The teasing stops as those words hit him, and Cardinal blinks thrice, "Abigail… got married?" A beat, "Not to Flint."

Elisabeth snerks and waggles her brows. "It would indeed." And then shakes her head. "No…. Robert Caliban." She shakes her head. "I should have realized. She says they weren't when I last saw her, but she'd been planning to move in with her. And that's… not really her style. She said they got married very quietly a few weeks ago." She looks hurt, though her tone is carefully neutral on the matter. "She seems happy."

Cardinal reaches over for that beer bottle, his forehead wrinkled into bemused lines. "…Caliban? Well… shit. I guess we'll have to be careful what we say about her…" A swig of beer, his head shaking a little, "I'll have to ask Zarek about where Caliban stands on things."

She shrugs a little. "He's probably worth the benefit of the doubt," Elisabeth says quietly. "I've been sitting here thinking about what he's done for her. He smuggled guns to Russia for us. And last year, he offered to give me Muldoon…. if I'd do something Linderman wanted. Which I'd intended to do anyway, so…." She shrugs a little. "It's how I knew that seeing Muldoon in Russia wasn't a hallucination. Caliban's intel had been that he was in Moscow. I'd let the Feds know."

"Why didn't he, then?" Cardinal's lips purse in a frown against the edge of the beer bottle, "If he said he'd give you Muldoon… where's Muldoon?"

"He gave me Muldoon's location," Elisabeth says. "And I didn't have the jurisdiction to follow up on it. I passed it on the Feds. Then when we were dealing with the Russian Vanguard, Muldoon was on the grounds of their headquarters. But Abby got snatched by Volken's daughter and I never saw him again. He might have died in the firefight. Or been picked up in the raid. Or just vanished into the underground like the snake he is. I don't know." She grins a little. "Caliban wasn't terrible impressed with me, so…." She shrugs a little. "I don't know. But he certainly helped us out while we were over there, showing up with guns."

"Alright…" A swig of beer, and then Cardinal leans back, the plate of food resting in his lap, gesturing with it, "I'll talk to Zarek to see how - loyal - Caliban is. If he's on the edge, then maybe Abigail can pull him the rest've the way over."

Pursing her lips, Liz smiles. "Abby's always got far more intel than any of us credit her with. She might be able to give you the answer herself, but …. back it up with Zarek's information."

"If he's loyal to Daniel, though…" Cardinal grimaces, "…we'll probably not want to tell her about our plans. She's an old fashioned kind of girl, loyal to her husband and all that's probably part of it."

"Won't know until we ask," Elisabeth says quietly. "But yeah…. I'd presume that if he's a loyal Linderman thug, we …. probably shouldn't tell her things that we don't want Caliban to know." There's a flash of pain at that. "I trust Abby. ANd maybe she knows a shit-ton more about Caliban than the rest of us and that's why she trusts him. But… " She shrugs a little. "I don't want her to ever be in the position of having to choose between him and us." Liz's blue eyes come up to him and she says softly, "If she feels for him the way I feel about you, there wouldn't be a choice."

"Exactly." A bite of re-heated dinner's taken, chewed and swallowed… and then Cardinal gives her a bemused look, lips curving in a gentler smile. He brings a hand up, reaching out to brush his fingers to her cheek, murmuring, "You gonna get all mushy on me here, lover?" A gentle tease, not meant as anything more.

Elisabeth grins and tips her beer bottle up by the neck to take a swallow. "Nope. Not at the moment. I'll get mushy later under those covers," she retorts with a lazy smile. She tilts her cheek into the touch on her face, but doesn't move to deepen the caress or make it more than it is. She seems content just that he's here, in one piece, eating dinner.

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