Breaking Points


bryan_icon.gif elle2_icon.gif

Scene Title Breaking Points
Synopsis Elle and Bryan have a brief conversation.
Date July 27, 2010

Fort Hero

Mess hall.

It's almost hard to be back in the city. To walk these halls again. To see these people again. It's more like coming back from a tour of duty than an extended mission. Though of course, Bryan Buckley's never been in the military, and all of his extended missions involved nice suits made of either wool, linen, or Kevlar. Tonight, though, back inside Fort Hero, Bryan is dressed down in a pair of well-worn yet still work-appropriate jeans and a simple white t-shirt.

He's taken one of the mess hall's wooden chairs to one of it's smaller, round tables in the center of the room. Slouching slightly, Bryan's hands lay palms-down, framing a ceramic, institutional white mug. He stares at it, and from the looks of it, he isn't too very pleased with the mug for some reason. His brow is furrowed, and his jaw is held tightly shut.

For her first full day back, Elle has had quite an eventful one. First she spoke to her ex boyfriend, and tormented him just a little. Then she took out one Mortimer Alex Jack, leader of the gang that destroyed Primatech. While her primary goal was, as usual, to earn Daddy's favor, she didn't expect to also earn favor with the very Institute that she and Bryan just spent three months investigating.

Usually, Elle is much more cheerful. Or at least, she fakes being cheerful, hiding behind smiles. Today, however, there's no effort. The petite blonde looks outright contemplative as she wanders over to Bryan's table, setting down a soda and a small order of slightly crispy fries and seating herself across the table from Bryan.

"You really should get out with me more. You totally missed it." She slurps at her soda, peering across the table at the man she's seen just about every day for the past three months.

The first thing to move are Bryan's eyebrows, which lift. His eyes follow, focusing in on Elle's food, then the blonde's face. "I'm sure," he drones, the sarcasm practically dripping off his fangs. He moves a hand to the mug and raises it to drink, looking over the rim at Elle. "And what mischief did you manage in a day?" he asks, one eyebrow higher than the other. "It might be time to call the record books."

Elle really can't help it as the smug smile forms across her face, the girl popping a fry into her mouth as she watches him sip at that mug. She leans back in her chair, pulling one knee close to her chest, and giggles softly. "Well, let's see. First I ran into Magnes and had a little fun messing with him and his best friend or whatever. But that's not so important."

The smug grin gets even wider. "You know the guy who pretty much blew up Primatech Bronx? Mortimer Alex Jack?" She pops another fry into her mouth, grinning to Bryan.

"Tell me you buried him deep, Elle," Bryan sighs as he puts the mug back onto the table. He folds his arms across his chest then, looking at her with a mix of boredom and distant disgust. True, he never lived in Company facilities, but work can be so much like home, even if you take a lot of business trips.

"But I do have to say, I'm glad you found it prudent to look up old buds." The sarcasm again. All this spying and suspicions doesn't have Bryan in the best of moods - that much is clear.

The girl shrugs, still wearing that smug grin. The sarcasm and grumpiness don't seem to penetrate that little bubble of smug she has going on. "I caught the fucker today. He just walked right up to me out of the blue, and I zapped the hell out of him. Shame, he was kinda cute. I would have loved to play with him." She giggles softly. "Anyhow, while I didn't bury him, I watched him get put into a chemical coma and taken off to the Institute."

She shrugs. "They were happy. While I don't like 'em, it makes the Company look good, right? That I bagged someone who was wanted."

"It makes you look good." Of course Bryan is happy that one of the primary people responsible for the Primatech Bronx facility was finally captured, but with everything else happening, such an event looses it's pomp. "It's good, don't get me wrong," he adds, shrugging a little. "But you know that they're gonna take the credit for it. Big bad evolved terrorist off the streets and in the gub'ment's capable hands." It's rare that Bryan slips any sort of dialect into his speech, but the slanged government gets exactly that low-class black southern drawl.

He shakes his head and looks off to one side, his brow furrowing once more. "I don't mean to rain on your sunshine parade, Elle, but…I don't know. The fact that you had come and tell me it happened? I mean, doesn't that say something? It used to be that if someone big like that got bagged? We all," or at least the important people, "knew about it pretty damn quick." Now that the Institute is taking them…not so much.

Well…at least it makes her look good. Elle doesn't mention what happened after the Institute was happy about it. He he did a fairly good job at sowing seeds of doubt in an already doubtful mind. How she has a standing invitation to talk to Harper. How things just slowly start to look more and more like she should go talk to 'Dessy-poo' and see what he intends.

Her face falls back into that pensive expression as she munches on her fries, staring at a point of the concrete walls that looks particularly interesting. "I don't know, Bryan…sometimes, it seems like things just get worse and worse." She tilts her head toward the man. "…Daddy's taking me out of town this weekend. He wants to spend some 'quality time' with me…things must be pretty bad." Not that she despises her father, but all things considered, it must take something big for him to want to make amends.

A short, breathy chuckle erupts from Bryan like a snort. He rises, swiping the mug up as part of the fluid motion. "Be careful," he says, intending both humor and warning. Weekends out of town with fathers that hold more than a little power over you? In an increasingly desperate situation to maintain the status qo? Then again, Bob Bishop has always been a pretty level-headed guy. Still.

Everyone has their breaking point.

"But have fun too," Bryan adds, almost as an afterthought. "I'll see you tomorrow. Just because we're back in the city doesn't mean we don't still have work to do, Elle. Besides," and he smiles a little, the tips of his fangs just visible between barely parted lips, "Snooping without you gets a little boring." Even if she is a live wire. "Don't stay up too late." He nods before turning to make his way through the maze of tables and chairs to the door. He won't stay in the complex, of course. He has an apartment - even if it has remained empty for the last three months. Good apartments stick around so long as you keep paying for them, after all.

Besides. As much as work can be just as familiar as home, sometimes you just need to escape it, if only for awhile.

Everybody has their breaking point.

Even the little sociopath who has never really known a life outside of the Company. Certainly, Elle has that obvious breaking point. But there's another one that runs deeper, and all that life has thrown her has gotten her dangerously close to that point. She just doesn't make it too obvious to the outside world. She's gotten way too good at hiding behind masks over the years.

No point in being irate at Bryan, though. She offers a small smile to his advice and reassurances, waving to him. "Sleep well, Bryan. See you tomorrow. It'll be nice to get back into the daily grind with you."

With that, Elle finishes her fries and stands up, making her way out after tossing her fries in the trash. She slurps at that soda as she makes her way to her room within the facility.

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