Better Be Nothing


elisabeth_icon.gif coren_icon.gif

Scene Title Better Be Nothing
Synopsis Elisabeth visits Coren in the hospital. She brings cinnamon buns. Yummy. Coren's enjoyment of them, however, is stymied by the bizarre images that flash through his mind. It's simply not possible.
Date June 7, 2009

Bellevue Hospital Center

One day until discharge. Coren can almost taste the freedom, and yet he's not particularly anxious to leave. Why? Well, aside from the fact that hotels are not particularly cheap, there's also the matter of going and retrieving all that is needed from their respective apartments. That poses to be not only physically painful (not that Coren can't endure that pain), but also potentially risky, given that it would appear that Coren, at least, was made a target. A specific target. Somebody exploited his emotional weaknesses and hurt him for it. But make no mistake, he doesn't think anyone tried to kill him anymore. If they knew enough about him to exploit certain weaknesses, they knew enough about him to actually kill him. That means it's all a game, which makes things oh so more complicated.

And so, one day from discharge, Coren's actually writing things down in a notebook instead of reading or playing Sudoku. Scribbled in one of the margins are the names Tyler Case and Edward Ray, along with their respective abilities. He has otherwise recounted all of the various people he's worked with, put in prison, etc. He's also made a neat and tidy list of all of the people he's helped to put away so that he can give it to the next available officer to give to the detective in charge of his case. They're all suspects.

That's when Elisabeth Harrison pokes her head in, carrying a bag with cinnamon buns warm from the oven in along with a couple of today's newspapers. "Hey there," she greets mildly. "Up for some company?"

"Detective Harrison," Coren says, "Just the woman I was hoping would show up at some point. I'd love the company." He gestures for Elisabeth to come in and take a seat at the chair that often doubles as Cassidy's bed, which of course explains why Cassidy is so badly bent out of shape these days. "It's terribly boring sitting around here all day and all night, let me tell you." And of course, he only sleeps four hours a day, so he really means all day and all night.

With a grin, Elisabeth brings her gifts to the man and drops into the chair, slouching easily. "Yeah, been stuck here a couple times myself. Though not for this long, usually." Healer friend… handy thing, that! And she hasn't been hurt since Abigail lost her ability, too. "So how come you were hoping I'd show?" she asks mildly. "Can't be cuz you're all hot for me or anything crazy like that."

Yes, healers are terribly handy when they're registered and actually have the power to heal. "Can't remember the last time I was shot in the lung." Coren flips through his notebook until he comes upon the page he transferred what he wrote in one of the Sudoku books. "You sell yourself too short," he says. "It's not crazy, but no, that's not why. I was hoping a cop would show up because I was wondering if you happened to know anything about a man by the name of Tyler Case."

A single raised eyebrow at him, and Liz grins cheekily. She doesn't sell herself short — but she rarely pisses in the pool she drinks from, either. Sleeping with other cops just has a tendency to go south REAL bad. The name Tyler Case wipes the amusement right off her face. "Yeah. Why?"

"The name has popped up more than once, and has grown some concern in me," Coren says. "Miss Nakano paid me a visit some days back asking me about him. She seemed concerned that I had somehow embroiled myself in some case I knew nothing about. Thought perhaps that had something to do with the person who shot me. I don't think that's the case, but then the name reared its ugly head again. From what I have heard, he's an evolved with the ability to duplicate himself, which I have to admit would be incredibly handy if you wanted to commit murder and have a perfect alibi." His expression also looks thoroughly unamused.

Elisabeth mmms quietly. "Well, in point of fact, his power has nothing to do with duplicating himself. Homeland Security took him off our hands a couple of months ago and probably chucked him in the Evo Black Hole of Calcutta somewhere — his ability was that of swapping powers, so far as we know."

Coren quirks a brow, "Curious. That's precisely what the second person to mention him told me. Rebecca Nakano was convinced he was a replicator." He scratches his chin, "My source says he works for a man named Edward Ray, who can determine the probability of something succeeding or failing. I would have to say, based on what I know, this Tyler Case happens to still be walking around." To illustrate his point, he turns his notebook around and shows 'Tyler Case — Power Swapping' and 'Edward Ray — Probability Prediction'. "So it's not was. It is."

"Well, the man's not DEAD, if that's what you mean," Elisabeth says. "And in point of fact, it's entirely possible that Tyler Case is back on the streets…. probably as an agent of Homeland Security or the black ops division of it. It happens to a lot of people who have a power Homeland wants in their arsenal. If you want, though, I can talk to Rebecca and see what's what…"

Of course, Coren doesn't know whether or not Abigail told Elisabeth that she met Tyler Case, so he's not about to tell her. "Homeland Security black ops…. Because any black ops is just so wonderful. Corrupt bastards," he says. "I don't really think speaking with Miss Nakano is really necessary, unless you think there's something to reopening an old case." At any rate, Coren decides it's time for a change of subject. "Thanks for the baked goods, by the way. I must say, I was almost disappointed that Abigail didn't send me any, but the Sudoku books lasted longer than her baking would have."

Elisabeth laughs quietly. "Yeah, Abby's baked goods are probably better than mine," she says modestly. Though in point of fact, hers are pretty good too. "I'll check with Rebecca on what she thinks about the timeframe of what she saw, though — at least that way we'll know for sure if we see Tyler Case on the streets, it's not our problem to deal with, you know?" Because after all, if the corrupt bastards at Homeland have turned him loose, then it's not up to us to run him in again, is it? Or so Liz leaves the thought floating. "Is Cassidy going to be keeping an eye on you when you go home? You won't be able to get around too easily for a while yet."

"I can endure the pain, but I know that wouldn't be smart," Coren says. "Actually, we're moving into a hotel for some days. My personal connections were exploited by whoever shot me, which suggests neither of our respective apartments are safe. We're getting an escort to collect some personal belongings and then getting a room at the Financial District Marriott." He tears two sheets out of his notebook, "Speaking of which, if you can get this to the detective in charge of my case, it's a list of everyone I have ever had a hand in putting away. Sadly, they're all suspects." He holds out the two sheets, both double-sided with two columns of names on each side.

Reaching out to take the pages, Elisabeth shakes her head slightly. "Shit, Shelby. You gotta be such a good cop," she complains thoroughly tongue-in-cheek. "A hotel's probably a good idea. And if you need a good security system, I know an independent contractor who's good at them."

"I'll keep that in mind," Coren says. "I've been hunting down criminals for thirty years. Two hundred and twenty-seven scumbags are in jail thanks to me. Admittedly, I think some of them got the death penalty. A lot of those are scattered over the U.S., thanks to my involvement with the FBI, and some are probably dead. Hopefully there aren't two hundred and twenty-seven suspects to interview. That would a logistical nightmare. Some of those names should be easily ruled out."

Elisabeth giggles softly at Coren. "What a mess," she says with a sigh. "I'm sorry, Coren. I shouldn't laugh — but damn, man. You're a good cop," she says. "I wanna be you when I grow up." She smiles at him. "I'll make sure the lead detective gets it."

Coren lets out a bit of a laugh, himself, though he doesn't do that too much despite the fact that his lung has managed to heal up some over a week. At least it no longer hurts as badly when he laughs, but it's still something he tries not to do. "That's the second time you've said that. Just don't start hero-worshipping me. I don't think I could handle it." Yes, he's making a joke. He's bad at making jokes.

Offering him a cheeky grin, Liz replies easily, "Not to worry. I'm reasonably sure your feet of clay are going to be brutally apparent at some point. I'll just hero-worship your arrest record, that's all." She winks at him. "Now… tell me what I can do for you. Beyond carrying this to the lead detective," she gestures to the paperwork. "Is there anything you actually need or want done? I can go harass the lead detective if you want."

"As near as we can tell, the person who shot me is lying on a slab," Coren says. "We have a partial sketch of the man who's been calling my cell phone, thanks to Abigail, but I haven't heard anything coming from that. Bastard's probably hiding out on Staten Island." He gives a slight shrug and reaches for one of the cinnamon buns, "I'm afraid I can't ask you to do much of anything because there doesn't appear to be much of anything to do now but wait. Well, maybe have Abigail look through the faces of all the men on that list. Other than that? I don't know."

Elisabeth looks thoughtful at the fact that Abby can identify the person and she nods slowly. "I dind't know anyone was calling your cell… what's that all about?"

"Stalker, I'd wager," Coren says. "Called my phone forty-eight times, including the one he made while sitting in Old Lucy's. If I recall my facts correctly, he then left his phone in somebody else's jacket, who later discovered it. He also placed a prank call to the place, which was why I couldn't get through to Abigail when I tried. And then I was impatient. Probably should have had a bit more concern for myself."

Elisabeth frowns and looks flabbergasted. "You're kidding, right? Christ… 48 times?? What's he say?"

"Absolutely nothing. Dead air," Coren replies. "Took until the forty-seventh before I realized I should probably have it traced to a cell tower. I had already tried pulling phone records, but it was from a prepaid cellular phone."

Elisabeth just shakes her head slowly. "Well….. isn't that amusing. I'll check with Abby on the sketch," she tells him. "Never know… been a cop around here a long time. Maybe it'll jangle something." She smiles.

Coren nods, "Can't possibly hurt. Not sure what more you'll jangle, but be my guest." He finally actually starts to eat the cinnamon bun, picking it apart. "Not bad. Not bad at all."

Elisabeth smiles at him as she moves to stand up. "Glad you like it… they're homemade." She shrugs. It's what she does in her 'spare' time (more when she's stressed) — feeds people. "Enjoy them. I'll stop back in a couple of days, if you want."

"I get released tomorrow, but you can probably find us at the Marriott," Coren says. He takes another bite of his cinnamon bun and leans back, "They're really good." His face, however, turns somewhat surprised and then sour. He shakes his head. No, that can't possibly be right. Must just be jitters, or something. Really, that can't possibly be right. Those images are just … no, they're just his wild imagination. It's cabin fever.

"Nothing," Coren says, taking another bite of the cinnamon bun. Better be nothing, he thinks. "I'll see you in a couple of days, Harrison. Let me know sooner if anything interesting crops up with regards to my case."

Elisabeth raises both her eyebrows. "Uhm… all right," she says with an odd look at him. "Let me know if you need anything, okay?"

"Of course. You'll be the first to know," Coren says. "Take care, Harrison." He continues to eat his cinnamon bun after Elisabeth has left. Sex with Mortimer? Oh God, he hopes his mind is making this shit up. He may have to kill his partner. Or something. That's just … that's not right. What could have gotten into her? The man all but assaulted her in her own apartment, and she's sleeping with him? Stockholm Syndrome? Or am I starting to lose it?

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