Clueless In Control


elisabeth_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Clueless In Control
Synopsis Just like the blonde leading the blind — oh wait, why am I the boss again?
Date May 5, 2011

Skinny Brickfront, Endgame Safehouse

Gone from view are the shorts that Ygraine was recently sporting, with one of her baggy pull-overs making a reapparance against the day's chill. She is, however, sitting cross-legged on a ground-mat in a puddle of bright sunlight, with Quinn's donated keyboard set before her. The volume is turned way down, so the the sound barely extends beyond the room, but she is pensively biting her lower lip, concentrating hard - while apparently attempting to simultaneously remember and implement some moderately complex practice exercises.

The fleece hasn't disappeared yet. Elisabeth slipped out of the room she and Yg are sharing to make coffee wearing her sweatpants and fleece, and when she comes back in it's with two cups of the black stuff. Her brow quirks upward to find her roommate playing with the keyboard. "Having trouble?" she asks mildly, setting the cup down next to Ygraine.

Ygraine starts slightly, having been somewhat engrossed in her efforts, before offering Elisabeth a rather sheepish grin. "Compared to you? Definitely. I lack your talent. But while we're in here, I figured that I might as well try to remove some of the rust from what skills I do have."

Her talent. Heh. Elisabeth doesn't really expose her talent to many people. She's been playing a lot in the room lately, though, in some ways for lack of anything better to pass the time. She moves to sit down on her sleeping bag and shrugs a little. "I've played since I was a child," she comments. "It's as much muscle memory as talent anymore."

"Oh, I learned as a child as well. And I have just enough natural gift to be able to appreciate how much I'm missing", Ygraine says with a wry smile. Without glancing down, she lets her hands settle into the distinctive opening of Fur Elise. "I can labour my way to a fully-proficient performance of a number of pieces. I moved up the Grades quite readily enough, and could wow non-musical relatives without difficulty. But the spark was never there for me, not strong enough to make anything I did special."

Elisabeth smiles faintly, leaning her head back against the wall. "I'll admit that there's something missing in your execution," she agrees quietly. "You don't love it." The observation is made without criticism; it's merely a fact. "You're technically proficient enough, but your heart's not in it." She sips her coffee.

A rueful chuckle, and Ygraine looks down at the keyboard. "Going really fast on a two-wheeled vehicle is about the only thing I've ever been really good at. An array of other things, I have enough talent to actually be able to see how far I am from the truly gifted people. In many ways, I would far rather be a musician or an artist. But I got hooked on the adrenaline thrill and the challenge of racing. Pitting myself against the unpredictability of events, while also having to get things technically right. Learning to feel a race, rather than just riding in it."

The blonde nods slightly. Leaving her coffee by her bed, she moves over to Ygraine's sleeping bag and nudges the other woman slightly out of the way while they talk. A silence field around the room takes care of anyone hearing what's going on until they step inside. Elisabeth shifts several settings on the keyboard and begins to pick out a tune. "Desperado" makes her smile, a sudden moment of catching her breath. It haunted her dreams last night. Her hands know the tune without struggling for it. "That's what music is for me," Elisabeth admits as she plays the tune.

Ygraine allows herself to be nudged out of the way, taking the chance to collect her mug of coffee, cradling it in her hands as she sips at it. "Every now and then, I'd find something that… connected. But the pursuit of music as a whole never did. It was something I wanted to be good at, rather than… really flowing. But my therapists encouraged me to pursue artistic pursuits, back in the hospital. There was always competition for instruments, and it wasn't private enough for me, so I generally curled up with a sketchpad somewhere out of the way…. But I do want to get better at it again."

Elisabeth shifts gears. The distinctive notes of Evanescence's wildly popular "Bring Me To Life" tinkle through the room. Her voice lends itself beautifully for the first stanza, though the blonde trails off before the place where the harder beat begins. Just for fun. She looks up at Ygraine. "Music is not something that ever needed privacy as far as I was concerned. But I didn't figure I could make a living at it." She pauses and admits, "Richard asked me why I didn't just… leave all of it and go into the music side of things the way Else and some of the others are. It's…. something I've considered. But I needed to fight."

Ygraine nods slowly. "I think you could make a go of it", she says with a gentle smile, peeping at Elisabeth over the rim of her mug. "I did a little bit of backing singing for Robyn, but that was compartively easy - and I could do a few takes and let her choose whichever one best suited her. Performing for a living… I'd find that more scary than my litany of crashes."

"I don't mind performing, but I like to do it just on my own terms," Elisabeth admits. She's pensive, pushing the keyboard away finally. "I went to see my dad," she tells Ygraine finally. "Not…. see him, but … just to watch him. You know?" She pauses. "But something unexpected popped up."

Ygraine looks distinctly surprised… then somewhat relieved as Elisabeth provides a little more explanation. At the end, however, she pauses, head cocked to one side, mug an inch or two from her lips. "He's not in trouble of some sort, is he?", she asks worriedly.

"I don't know," the blonde confesses. "He had a visitor while I was watching. A guy I thought I recognized. Took me a little time, but it turns out he's someone I knew in high school." Elisabeth pauses and moves back to pick up her coffee cup, abandoning the keyboard. "It's awfully convenient that this particular guy'd come back to the East Coast right now. He's… got some contacts and some expertise that we could really use if we're intending on getting the information out through credible sources."

Ygraine holds a sip of coffee in her mouth for a few moments, before remembering to swallow the hot liquid. "Mmm. And… do you remember how you knew him? Loathesome two-faced conniver who was a bully beneath a facade of charm? Amiable good guy? Brilliant orator? The star quaterback who gave you some great memories of post-match celebrations?"

Elisabeth shoots her a Look. One of those women the world over shoot at a girlfriend for being bitchy. "I remember that we spent a good bit of junior high and part of high school kind of … hanging in a lot of the same circles. In ninth and tenth grades, we had a bunch of the same friends and …" She frowns. "He got a car the spring of our junior year. Totally impractical — I mean, c'mon, who needs a car in the City?" She grins a little. "He took me for a ride in it right after he got it. And I think that's one of the last memories I actually have before the blank spot. So… what I remember of him is like two decades old."

Ygraine winces sympathetically. "Ah. That's the period you're missing. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry at that. But… do you think he'd be worth approaching? And what connections does he have?"

"He's a high-profile producer or something in Hollywood," Elisabeth tells her quietly. "Big name. Big money, for sure. His parents were friends of my parents — he lost them both in Midtown." Like her own mother. "Anyway, I…. don't know. But I followed him back to his hotel and confronted him. He may be well worth bringing into the mix. Maybe setting him up with Russo."

Cocking her head, Ygraine lifts her brows. "Wow. On more than one count. You're in contact with Russo as well? And that does sound promising, to say the least."

A grin quirks. "I haven't been sitting on my hands. I'm just…. trying to sort out if we ever have a full-on mission anymore," Elisabeth admits quietly. "Alia and I took that statement that I was going to make and put on Youtube and instead of doing that, we contacted Russo for an interview. Sent him almost everything we have. He's now scared to death. But… if we can put Phillip with him, maybe between them…. they can actually release the information in a credible fashion. Then we'll go viral with all of it. If we do nothing else at this point, making people ask questions has to be worth something, right?"

Ygraine looks surprised, then rather impressed. "That sounds pretty good. Well done. And… if there's anything I can do, let me know. But that sounds wonderful."

"Does it?" Elisabeth doesn't sound so sure. She looks down at her cup. "What the hell good will it do?" she asks softly. "Lene and the others …. they've been here for months. Have they honestly changed anything? Have we? I don't know if I can even tell." She pauses. "Ygraine…. I don't know if we have any ability at all to stop the juggernaut." Because that's what it is. She doesn't sound like she's whining — she just sounds .. weary. Perhaps a little despondent.

"Things have been changed", Ygraine says softly. "Lene… I didn't have the scars on my arm, with her. It's a specific change I could have done without, but the ripples of effect have made differences. Whether it works out is another question, but… I'm hoping that we'll get to find out some time soon what it is that they're actually up to. But changes are possible, and have already occurred."

Elisabeth looks at her and nods. "Keep telling me that. I need to hear it, Ygraine," she says quietly. "I need to pull everyone in for a chat. I don't know what the next move really is, but I think we need to maybe make one. Richard was adamant that throwing in our lot with the Ferry was a bad move — that they were hunkering down similar to what Zeke wants us to do up at the Arcology." She bites her lip. "Ezekiel can't be trusted as far as we can throw him, but …. Dr. Broome up there may be worth talking to. Both of them have claimed that we're not the enemy. But Humanis First sure as fuck is the enemy. But someone else told me if I was considering aligning myself with the lesser of two evils, I should rethink it." She grins a little. "There's a lot of conflicting data."

Ygraine shrugs, slowly and expansively. "Virtually everything I know about the details of this particular time war, I've heard personally from you. Whether Lene and her friends are fighting in the same war as us, I'm honestly not sure. But we're already on a different timeline, and have been for weeks at the very least. Hopefully, it's sufficiently different that they're able to avoid what they're opposing. Since I trust Lene not to want to fuck up the whole world."

"But… yeah. I'm keen for us to at least have the option of actively seeking to change things ourselves. Alia would seem to be one of our best bets for getting things out, without getting crushed in the process - but if you can make use of Russo and… Phillip as well, then it could help a great deal. The more competence we can bring to bear in a focused manner, the more impact any effort is likely to have."

"And I'll see about hauling Jaiden around a few of the sites I've identified as possible locations for subterranean bases of operations and fall-back sites. I'd like to have at least one of those fit for use before we stage anything too overt."

Elisabeth simply nods. She's nursing her coffee as if she has things on her mind again, but she says simply, "Good. If you and Jaiden can set up three or four fallback locations, I know Jaiden's also working on getting some generators and some furniture that we could bring in to make the place more livable."

Ygraine nods, worriedly studying Elisabeth. "We're doing the right thing, by trying", she says softly, hoping that she's guessing at least approximately right for what might be preoccupying her friend. "All we can do is try hard to work out what we should do, then try hard to make it work. We're not acting blindly and just trusting to hope, nor are we pursuing narrow personal interests. We might still get it wrong. We're only human. But I've not seen anything that makes me think we're wrong to try. And we are changing things. We're doing vastly less visible good than I'd like, but who knows what it'd be like without us? And we've still got things left to try. And you've found us more."

Sipping from her coffee cup, Elisabeth is actually listening to Ygraine's words. There's a long moment where she says nothing, and then she says softly, "I'm trying to not lead with my somewhat reckless notions. Because in all honesty, I want nothing more than to just go out there and fucking obliterate the base."

Ygraine winces slightly, then quirks a wry smile. "And that's the difference between you and some would-be heroic types. You consider the consequences, and can identify cause and effect. Part of being responsible is surely deciding when it's not right to do what you want to or what seems tempting. For me, responsibility isn't about not noticing any option save the right one, it's about the choices you make. And thus far I've been impressed with yours."

"Thanks, Ygraine," Elisabeth says sincerely. Her lips quirk into a faint smile and she turns to open the door to their room — the footsteps outside are already identified well before his face is exposed to Ygraine. "Morning," she murmurs.

Being on the run sucks, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

It's with a twinge of regret that Jaiden remembers his comfortable little apartment in the bottom of his garage, with a kitchen and a bed that could hold any number of guests comfortably, depending on how close they were to each other, with more on the couch. Still, for the past few days the man has been scarce, leaving a cryptic note to the ladies that said, in essence 'Gone to upstate New York for supplies. Back in a few days.' And indeed he did. The first sign that someone is coming might be the rustling at the back door followed by a call up the stairs. "It's Jaiden…I'm coming up." A few moments later the australian appears with a pair of duffel bags, one in each hand, and a backpack slung across his broad back. "Morning."

There's an expression of curiosity on her face when Liz gestures for him to join them inside the room. "You were gone longer than I expected," she tells him quietly. "Everything okay?"

The bags are put down with a thump, the buckles jingling quietly, something rattling inside, the backpack shrugged off and put down on top of the two. "Nah, everything is just fine. Took a bit longer than expected to get a safe route out of the city, and I was being a little wary before going to my storage shed. Thought it would be better to leave the car there, but I brought what I had stored there."

Ygraine unfolds from her spot on the floor, though she's still nursing her coffee-mug as she moves to offer assistance. Of course, while able to flip something's gravity so that it sticks securely to her, she's able to unpack one-handed more easily than most while retaining her grip upon the precious caffeine.

"I'm periodically tempted to try to head off and reclaim my bike, but… definitely not wise. And a pedal-cycle can get underground rather more easily, and is a lot more subtle down there…"

There's a laugh from Jaiden as he settles down on the floor that is relatively clear, pulling one knee to his chest, the other laying out in front, the bags in easy reach. "A two cycle engine in those tunnels? Unless you had Lizzie riding shotgun, the sound would carry from one end of New York City to the other. Feet are slow, but they do work rather well for maintaining secrecy."

The bags hold an assortment of things - useful things, like money and guns and a first aid kit. Blankets too, clothes, soap, a solar shower, a hand-crank radio too.

Ygraine cracks a grin, offering a one-shouldered shrug as she hauls out the first aid kit. The weaponry, she avoids. "There were reasons why I opted for the pedal cycle for speed down there. Should probably get you one, since I'm due to haul you off with me to review some of the possible sites I've picked out as alternate bases or emergency fall-backs. Ones with nice amenities like ceilings I don't put me feet through."

Always prepared was Jaiden's motto. Putting this kind of stuff away - a small portion of his back-up plan - took a bit of doing. Staying out from under the watchful gaze of the US government while he was doing it took a little more, so it took some time, but now that he's on the run, there's a bit of relief that he has those stores all prepared just in case something like this happened. "Why not get one of those tandem bikes? Wouldn't that be right proper - you and I pedaling down the tunnels, swerving to avoid walls and the like. Be like going to market on sunday except a bit darker."

Ygraine laughs. "They're a bit distinctive", she points out, albeit with a smile. "I've considered getting one for use with Jen, back home. But we can try here, if you like. I was thinking rather more of a sturdy second-hand mountain bike, or a BMX if you prefer. Something that can handle a few knocks and some rough terrain, while I take you over walls and ceilings."

Elisabeth listens to the two natter back and forth while she checks through the bags, her coffee on the floor near the wall. "That sounds like a rather lot of back and forth through the gravity and since Jaiden still gets a ill, that's probably not the best mode of travel," she observes mildly.

"Perhaps not, but if we need to get past places that might be patrolled, it can't be beat. And I am getting a little better with Ygraine's sleeping. Speaking of…" He turns to the brit. "Mind if you stick me to the ceiling and leave me there for a while? I'm trying to get my bearings, and I can't think of a better way than waking up with the floor where the ceiling should be."

Ygraine laughs, raising a brow. "I'd need to check up on you frequently. Renew the link. It only lasts for about ten minutes. But I can give you a bit of practice. And… when I use the bike, I pretty much stick to the ceilings wherever possible. Many fewer obstacles, there. I can try to keep the shifts to a minimum, and keep up the speed."

Elisabeth shakes her head. "You guys are crazy," she opines. "Walking on the ceilings is hard enough. If I tried to do what you're doing, something tells me I'd wake screaming again." She's finally settled enough in the building that nightmares are not a constant companion anymore. Although she carries with her always a sense of being slightly apart from them — whether it's the leadership or something else is anyone's guess.

"Aw, lizzie." Jaiden says with a small smile. "It's only o get better at what Ygraine does to me whenever the world decides to orient itself in an odd way. It's just part of my nature - wantin' to push myself to try new things and be able to do things that I wasn't able to do before." He pushes himself up to a kneeling position, then stands, making his way over to where the blonde stands alone, giving her a grin, then a tight hug and a playful pinch on the bottom. "no screaming now, Lizzie. Let's see one of those lovely smiles."

Liz being given a hug doesn't surprise Ygraine - but her brows shoot upwards when Jaiden pulls that maneuver as a way of providing cheer and reassurance. Shaking her head and trying to bite back a laugh, she attempts to return her attention to the task of unpacking.

That makes her jump — she was not expecting a pinch on the arse! Elisabeth looks up at him, gaping in surprise. There are no words at this moment! Maybe it's the effect he was hoping for.

It's exactly the reaction he was hoping for. The jump, the gape in surprise? All exactly what he was looking for. or was it?

"Not exactly a smile, but…." he shrugs and slips back to lean against the wall, grinning like the cat who got the cream. "It's better than serious Liz, innit?"

Laughing, Ygraine shakes her head. "I feel as if I should go and hide somewhere", she teases her friends. "At the least, I'll transfer some more of this stuff to where it should be. Back in a couple…."

For a long moment the blonde looks up at Jaiden, and then she offers a faint smile. "I'm sorry. I'm …. stressed." Shoving a hand through her hair, Elisabeth admits softly, "I'm just… flustered, I guess. Met up with a guy from high school who went to see my father while I was watching the place. It went… strangely. And I'm just missing a lot of time that the guy seems to figure prominently in, and I want to trust him. My gut is saying to trust him. But then again, my gut said to pass information to the Ferry and it turned out to be useless information. And my gut says to trust Russo, but … I'm worried about putting this guy in touch with Russo and maybe getting the whole fucking lot of us shot on sight." She sighs.

There is always the idea that lightning never strikes the same place twice, but Jaiden can understand her wariness. "Well, putting him in touch with Russo isn't going to be entirely bad, Lizzie. As long as it's a neutral location where we won't be shot on sight. I say give it a go."

Elisabeth moves to lean back against him while he leans on the wall, sinking her head back against his shoulder. "If he calls me, I will," she says quietly. "He faced me down after I broke into his hotel room and put a gun in his face. He lost his parents to the Bomb." Same time lost her mother. "I don't know him. Not…. everything I know is 20 years old or through what I could find with a few phone calls. He might have exactly the kind of exposure that we need for all the intel we've got. But…" She pauses. "Something about him niggles me." It's why she's fretting.

Jaiden's arm comes up and goes around Liz's shoulders, giving her a light squeeze while they're alone, leaving it resting there, a comfortable weight. "It's why you're a good person, Lizzie. You worry about doing the right thing, not the easy thing. It's why Ygraine and I stick around so much. And what niggles you? Just the fact he showed back up after so long? Is he the answer to our prayers or something?"

"I don't honestly know," Elisabeth replies. "It's a personal niggle. He knows me better than I know me…. at least in terms of …. I have no idea what kind of relationship we had, but there's a sense about him that he's…. Shit, Jaiden, I don't know. Maybe I'm just reacting poorly because I miss Richard. The guy pushes all the right buttons. Riles me up. Makes me want to punch him in the nose and shit. It's … stupid. At the same time I want to do that, I want to trust that he's actually trustworthy. Christ, if we could get someone with his West Coast ties to step up and get visible with all this? That is what Richard and I were trying for with gathering the information in the first place. Credible sources forcing the issues into the limelight."

Ygraine pokes her head around the doorframe once more, offering the pair a slightly bashful smile. "I think that he sounds very much as if he's worth pursuing", she ventures as she slips back inside. "And if need be, we have access to a telepath or two, don't we? Or at least know where we can find one. But I'd hope that we can find trustworthy people ourselves."

"Having more in our corner is always welcome, assuming they can be trusted. I'd say bring him into the fold but keep him at arm's length until we can be sure. You'd be the touchstone, but we'd be the impartial people you'd need to trust if something didn't look right. You'll have to lean on us before any final decisions." Jaiden squeezes Elisabeth tightly, grinning to Ygraine, motioning for her to come over and join the group hug if she wants. "And assuming what I've heard is right, Graeme may be in contact with our favorite telepath again. Remi."

Elisabeth considers and then nods slightly. "Graeme's in contact with Remi, and he's seeing Aric. And frankly, right now, I'd trust Aric to tear apart the guy's brain if I asked him to." The tone is … pensive. She curls herself backward into the embrace, appreciating Jaiden's proximity more than she wants to admit to either of them. "The ball's in Phillip's court," she says finally. "I don't want to go further with him until I see where he's going to come down. But if he calls, I'll go meet up." She looks at both of them. "I trust the two of you more than I trust almost anyone," she says quietly. "So rest assured, if you tell me something sounds hinky, I'm going to believe you. Even if I don't like it."

Though not exactly the type to readily move into a group hug, Ygraine does head over to deliver a one-handed squeeze to Elisabeth's shoulder. "I don't like the idea of delving into people's heads. But it's good to know that we have the option, if it seems necessary. And we can certainly see what we can do about recruiting some more people. Remi… we need to try to figure out what to do about. Though if we're lucky 'rescuing' her might be as simple as blind-siding any trap by something so simple as having Graeme show up and drive her away. Still… Phillip sounds like a good prospect, so I back checking him out."

Jaiden apparently has a way to get women to come into his arms. Like a magnet or something built into his chest that he hasn't told anyone about that attracts people with two x chromosomes, but be that as it may, he lifts an arm to squeeze Ygraine lightly. "Well wherever Remi is, hopefully it's something as simple as that. And Phillip….I'd like to meet him to give you my idea about him….You've got preconceived notions of him - me, I've never met the bloke so it'll be a clean slate."

Elisabeth snickers. "Preconcieved notions? No… actually, I don't. I remember him as… a boy. A child. I don't know who the man is at all. Except that his father was proud of his accomplishments and his mother always let me know when he was going to be in town though I never met back up with him after 2001. If I met up with him before that, I don't know about it." She considers. "I'm glad you're both willing to help with it, though. Because if this plan's going to work, we're going to need someone who can spin it. And I have a feeling between Russo and Phillip, the spin will be phenomenal."

"They certainly sound as if they could work together rather well", Ygraine affirms, squeezing Elisabeth's shoulder once more before self-consciously detaching herself from the two lovers. "It's a risk, but… any effort to make a difference will entail a risk. And myself and Jaiden, if I can borrow him full-time for a while, can see about reducing the extent of that risk by giving us some better fall-back options if the repercussions turn out to be severe."

"Already have a few of those in place, actually." Jaiden leans away from the wall and extracts a small zippered wallet from his back pocket, making a show of opening it to reveal a few keys and business cards. One of each is offered to the two ladies. "During my time away, I got these cut. These will open the storage shed I have in upper New York, and the cards have the address. Inside you'll find a good start over, if you need it, a car with a full tank of gas and a trickle charger keeping the battery good, a few blank Canadian passports - add your own picture, of course - and a few changes of clothes and food. IF things go utterly pear shaped, get there, and get your butts to Canada." he pauses. "It's best you not ask where I got some of this stuff…."

There's a slow nod, and the blonde takes what he hands her turning it over in her hands. Elisabeth's voice is quiet. "I won't run. I'm going to turn Richard Cardinal into the martyr we need for the cause," she tells them. With Ygraine slipping out of the embrace Jaiden is the only one who feels the tremor that runs through Elisabeth's body when she says it, the subaudible bass pulse of anxiety … or perhaps hurt … as she puts the idea into the open.

"I was thinking rather more of bases of operations from which the group as a whole might continue to operate", Ygraine murmurs, though more to buy herself time to think than to provide a direct response to Jaiden. Indeed, her gaze is quite firmly fixed upon Elisabeth, and she reaches out to rest a hand on the blonde's arm.

"How… do you think that you can make a good case for his disappearance being the fault of our foes? Or is the idea more to build up a history of his activity, and indicate that he'd still be trying if he were able to do so, and that the world needs people like him to fight for it?"

"Shhh…" Jaiden murmurs softly, brushing his fingers through Elisabeth's blonde hair, being comforting as well as he can be. "I know you won't, but I wouldn't be doing my job of planning ahead if I didn't offer a way out. I'm not planning on running either, and I'm planning on being there for the broadcast, the fallout, and everything that happens after. Hell, I'm here for the long haul, but I don't want to leave us with no way out."

"I think she can, Ygraine. With all of the evidence she's accumulated….and the fact that Richard didn't really do anything wrong in the eyes of the law….it's just a matter of the public believing us. And if we prevent a good enough case, even the people with the smallest attention span will sit up and take notice."

"I don't have to build a case." Elisabeth agrees. "It's already built. Richard has a rap sheet — with a presidential pardon attached to it for saving the world. NOTHING on his rap sheet was violent. He was wanted only for registration evasion and theft." Jaiden's hand in her hair is comforting. "He came away from that and built a legitimate security firm that was helping our soldiers and our civilians. He lost men in the Dome protecting Suresh from Humanis First. And Redbird was blown up because of those actions and his involvement with me." She smiles faintly. "It lends itself right nicely to a man Joe Average can relate to, don't you think?"

"I confess that i know precious little about him, myself", Ygraine admits. "Save for his enthusiasm for me to play with your panties, that is. Which I suspect might not be the sort of thing to promote…"

"I'm in the same boat you are, Ygraine, other than the whole panty-play bit. I just know he was a good guy. It was mainly Lizzie who brought me in to ENDGAME. I guess I'd be a bishop or a knight. Definitely not a pawn or a king. After all, this girl would be the queen, you, Ygraine, would definitely be a bishop which…hrm…I guess that makes me a bishop too."

Jaiden chuckles. "Richard tried to get you and Elisabeth in a compromising situation, Ygraine?"

Elisabeth rolls her eyes. "He was kidding," she retorts on a laugh. Or at least, she thinks he was. Maybe not. Always hard to tell. "Anyway… that's the plan I'm putting on the floor tonight. I just thought you guys might want to know."

"It sounds good to me", Ygraine assures Elisabeth, her tone warm and lips curled into a smile. Then she pauses, and blushes self-consciously. "I, ahh, mean the plan, that is. Not… that… ummm. Yeah. Sorry. I like the plan." Closing her eyes for a few moments, she waves a hand in the air. "I should shut up, I think."

"Oh no, keep going. It's nice watching someone dig a hole that they can't get out of." Jaiden teases. "And if you two do plan get into each other's panties, please let me know ahead of time so I can either set up a camera, watch, or be polite and vacate the premises to give you two some alone time."

Dead horse sufficiently beaten into the ground there.

Jaiden tucks his wallet back into his back pocket, leaning back against the wall, still stroking Elisabeth's hair softly, feeling that bass thrum go through her. The soothing touches he hopes will either lower the tone to something sub sonic or raise it to where it's so high pitched it can't be heard, or best of all, calms her enough to stop it entirely. "You know I'm there for you, Elisabeth. You need backup, you've got me. I'll probably just man the buffet."

Now Elisabeth blushes. Something she never does. "Oh God," she murmurs. "I'm unapologetically hetero, sorry." Unlike Felix! She does laugh, though, and that alone eases the anxious hum around her. "I'm going to go…. find something to do until the meeting so that I can NOT be red in the face. Good Lord," she mutters. Where the hell is Richard when she needs him? No… scratch that. He'd join Jaiden in the teasing. She just laughs and slips out of the Australian's arms. "Get going, you two. We gotta finish dinner."

Ygraine holds out a hand to Elisabeth, not wanting to make a grab for her but seemingly anxious to convey affection. "I love you anyway", she assures the woman with a wry smile - though still red in the face herself. "Though we've got to come up with some kind of revenge for the men in your life. I'm not here just to provide them with an extra way of teasing you."

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