Conversations Over Takeout


elisabeth_icon.gif james_icon.gif

Scene Title Conversations Over TakeOut
Synopsis James and Liz catch dinner together.
Date January 6, 2009

TakeOut Chinese Place Somewhere in NYC

Another day, another shift done with, another line of stretchers and patients shipped into the ER.. James would probably be looking better if he managed to get more regular sleep, but truth to be told, he likes it like this. Too tired to think too hard about reasons, just acting upon impulses as they come, a phone lifted, a number dialed, a meeting set up before he can even worry about the propriety or anything else of just getting himself some non-screaming, non-bleeding human company for a dinner at a cornershop dealing in foods of the fast and take-out varieties. Hopefully, Elisabeth won't be too busy on a Tuesday evening to humor him, at least this once.

Standing by the counter, dressed in jeans, blue shirt and his leatherjacket protecting some against the chill of winter, he still sticks out like a sore thumb thanks to that everpresent hat of his. You could almost think he wears it on purpose, giving people a handle to his face and name… but then again, that'd be a little over-thinking it, wouldn't it? He just happens to like it, and it's good for keeping his noggin' unfrozen.

The menu is being studied, and he rests his elbow on the counter, waiting for his company to hopefully show up, nursing a small, trademarked bottle of Singh, an asian brand of beer that would probably go better with lots of warmth and a sunny beach, but one can't begrudge a man some dreaming in the middle of winter, eh..?

Interestingly enough, the police officer sounds happy to hear from him. She had the time to change into jeans and boots and a heavy jacket too, and she meets him about twenty minutes after his call. Stepping into the shop, Liz glances around with an appreciative sniff. Smells great in here. And then she spots James and heads for him. "Hey you," she says as she slides into the seat next to him, a casual hand on his shoulder. "How's it going?"

James turns his head at the touch of a hand on his shoulder, a smile cracking up in greeting to the obviously off-duty, or at least out of uniform, officer. "Hey Liz." He lifts the bottle, tipping it in her direction in a sort of salute, "It's good, mostly, considering the general options you tend to get around here." Dead or alive being the choices, the latter was always preferable, yes..? "How about you? Decent day, better evening, I hope?"

Elisabeth shrugs easily and settles in, taking off her jacket. Not a gun or a badge in sight. Just a dark green scoop-necked long-sleeved blouse tucked into her jeans. "Decent day, nice evening… good company, I think. I wasn't expecting to hear from you, but glad you called. What's what?" She orders a bottle of the same beer he's having when they ask, and she looks at him. "Rough day?"

"'S beer, bit of a special taste. But I kind of like it. It's better with a piece of lime down the neck, but not a lot to do about it 'round here, hmm?" James helps himself to a little swig from said bottle, as she orders up one of her own, and then nods slowly. "A bit. Seemed like it wasn't gonna end there, for a while. But it did, and I'm glad. Just feeling a little.. washed out, you know? Some days, I just wish people didn't need me to do my job. Especially when there's kids." He shakes his head, once, as if to clear it, and then motions up towards the menu above them. "I think I'm feeling brave enough to risk some sweet'n'sour chicken, today. How about you?"

Leaning on her elbows, Elisabeth studies James quietly. "Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm sorry." Cuz if it was kids, it was probably bad. "Sure, sweet-n-sour chicken sounds like a plan," she agrees easily. "You wanna share some spring rolls? They look good."

James nods, lifting a hand to get someone's attention for long enough for them to order two sweet-n-sour chicken with rice and an order of springrolls, along with two bottles of water, too. Beer might be awesome for taste and a slight buzz, but when endulging in asian takeout being safe rather than sorry is better, in his experience. "So, apart from me being aweful depressive, what's the latest gossip? William still trying to charm his way into the heart of people?"

There's a roll of her eyes, and Elisabeth just shakes her head. "I dunno… some days he tries to be charming, some days he's thick as a frigging brick. Some days he's pissed off at me, other days he acts all concerned and solicitous. And I generally don't know until it hits me in the face which day it's gonna be." She takes the beer they set in front of her and has a long swallow. And then smirks. "Oh, and of course, on top of it all, the rumor mill's going apeshit lately too. I'm sleeping with my captain, don'tcha know?"

James chuckles softly, pushing back his hat into his neck and leaning back for a moment. "He's trying to work out how he's supposed to be." he offers, his tone a little milder for a moment, "He'll figure it out, in time." Brother or not, there is affection in there, even if William probably wouldn't be too happy about his younger brother talking like this. There's an eyebrow quirking slightly at the talk of rumors, though. "Well, I hadn't heard about that, but I guess it's only a matter of time before that kind of talk makes it down to the ER… I swear, once it gets there, all town will hear it." He sighs lightly, offering his bottle over to Liz for a light clink of glassneck against glassneck, if she'll take it. "Sorry to hear people can't think outside narrow boxes, Liz."

Elisabeth touches his bottle lightly with hers and shrugs. "Whatever," she replies, and waves off most of it. "Will's a good guy — don't take my bitterness wrong. I like him; he and I were friends before all this. Being fodder for the gossip mill is nothing new to me. I'm a woman in a man's field — or so they thing — and after two years off the force, I walked into a plum assignment, *and* to top it off, I'm Evolved." She rolls her eyes. "The trio of doom, you know. No way could I have gotten it on my merits, I gotta be sleeping with your brother. It'll work itself out. Or I'll kick some ass, take some names, and scream the house down around their ears til it does," she grins at him.

James smiles, nodding as he listens, leaning on his knuckles for a moment with his elbow on the counter. "Yeah, that's gotta be… Can't say I'd know about how it'd be, but… at least the being-woman in whatever man's field, you know. But you ever need someone to hang around with some pompoms doing cheers while you kick some ass, you've got my number." He pauses, and then adds, "At least I suppose you do, since I've called your cellphone and all. But anyway," He pauses, as their springrolls arrive on a plate, and he reaches for a pair of disposable chopsticks, "you know what I mean."

Elisabeth laughs at him quietly, but her appreciation for his pompoms is clear. She sets her beer on the table and takes up the chopsticks, breaking them apart with ease of practice. Then as they help themselves to the spring rolls, Liz looks at him and asks, "Do you *want* me to call you?" Her question sounds casual, but her interest in the answer is evident.

James handles his chopsticks competently, but obviously doesn't use them on a daily basis, so there's a touch of readjusting of his hand before he gets everything in order. "Of course I do." he replies, his tone as casual as her question, but the joking kept at bay for now, as he helps himself to a piece of springroll, "I wouldn't tell you to if I didn't. You can't have too many friends, especially not in our lines of work."

There's an easy shrug as she uses the chopsticks to break open the spring roll and pick up part of it to bite from. "Won't get any argument from me," she replies. "Life's hard enough out there — I can use all the friends I can get. Especially when they're willing to help out on fire scenes," she quips easily.

James chuckles, shaking his head a little. "Well, I -could- say it's all in a day's work, but.. hey, heroic points for me, all the better." Didn't take that long for the joking to return, before he chews, swallows, and then blinks a little. "Hey, those weren't bad. Good nose for food, drink and not afraid to kick ass? If I weren't too busy working to have a lovelife, I think I'd actually crush something serious, here."

Elisabeth snickers softly. "Don't crush too hard…. I have a tendency to hurt people who crush in my direction. Besides… I'm sort of, kind of involved with someone. It's complicated." She rolls her eyes and grins. "I'm a little bit commitment shy, so I guess I'm lucky he loves me in spite of myself, you know? He gives me enough leash to hang myself."

"Ahh." James makes a bit of gesturing in her direction, using his chopsticks to underline his following words, "Well, trust me, I won't complicate things further for you. Had myself a little bit of complications, couple of years ago, not something I'll be fixing to get anyone else." Water, rice and sweet-n-sour chicken arrives, along with wellwishes for a happy meal, and James looks back to Liz, offering a bit of a grin, "Best relationships I've managed so far are with my cats, so I wouldn't take my advice on anything related. Still, best of luck, and I hope it's a nice, fluffy leash, at least."

Elisabeth pauses and answers the question somewhat more seriously than he perhaps meant it. "We dated for a while, and he realized that … I'm not ready to get all serious about anyone yet. So… he let me go. And we stayed best friends. So … I guess it's a plush-enough leash." She smiles. "I just don't let guys unwittingly ask me out without letting them know about it, cuz I don't want them getting the wrong idea." She takes a bite of her spring roll and adds with a grin at him. "On the other hand, if a guy understands that my best friend is a guy and no one's likely to change that, that I'm not the clingy type, and is okay with the fact that I carry a gun and get up and leave at all hours…. hey, he's welcome to give me a call."

A touch more serious than James intended, perhaps, but he doesn't seem to mind, really. "That actually sounds like the sort of leash one could wish for." he notes, arching an eyebrow slightly in unspoken question, before adding, "And, to speak plainly, you're safe from anything else but a very heartfelt offer of friendship, Elisabeth. Like I said, I could crush horribly at a woman like you, but.. things get complicated when you involve anything else. So, I hope you won't mind horribly if I keep calling you." He pauses, and then cants his head a little to the side. "Question out of the blue: You know any shooting ranges around here that'd accept civilians? Or, well, you know, semi-civilians?"

Elisabeth laughs at him. "I wasn't suggesting that you were hinting for more. Just sort of… saying it out loud for myself. I'm a free agent… but honestly, I don't know how complicated I want things to get with anyone. I'm more than happy just to have a friend, James, I promise. You can call me whenever. I'm just…. in spite of all the hell that has broken loose in the past month for me, I finally am starting to feel like I'm coming out of the dark into the sunlight… being myself again. The Bomb and this Evolved stuff? Totally threw me for a loop for a *long* time." And then he asks about guns. He's the second one this week. "Well… yeah, actually. Although, if you ask me nicely, I can get you on the police range too. Hell, so could Will. You just have to make special arrangements. Why?""

James nods his agreement to her assurances, and he'll even reach across the table to offer the quickest of pats on her arm. "That? I can totally understand." Been there, done that, got the souvenirs and syndromes. Regarding the police range, he'll just offer a quick scrunch of his face, and pull back to assult his food and drinks again. "Nah, wouldn't want to get in the way of people, or get rumors started. Not with enough of them going around as is, it seems. No, I'm just thinking, I used to know how to handle a gun, but I haven't been practicing for… way too long. If I'd ever have to fire a gun again, I'd rather not kill anyone, and you can't really aim for kneecaps and expect to hit anything if you don't keep it up."

Elisabeth shrugs easily and nods. "Well, I know a civilian place, but you're welcome to take me up on the police range whenever you want. You let me deal with the rumormongers. They're gonna find SOMETHING to run their mouths about anyway. Didn't you know cops are like a bunch of old freakin' ladies sitting on front stoops?"

James chuckles a little, "Yeah, but it's not polite to say, and at least one of us kids has to act like any of all that raisin' our parents gave us actually stuck." He pauses for a moment, washing down a chopstick-full of rice with sauce with water. "Still, I'd appreciate a civilian place, at least until I'm sure I can stick my nose in up at the police without having everyone suggesting I go inside the barn to practice hitting it. Front stoop gossip or not, either way, wouldn't want you having to deal with rumors about both Wills and me. People could get the wrong ideas." He flashes a grin, greased lightning, "Old ladies -love- their scandals, real or imagined, improbable or just plain plausable."

Elisabeth giggles outright at him, forced to put down a bite of rice to avoid spilling it from her chopsticks. "I don't think you'll be THAT bad. But no worries," she says to him, truly amused. "Like I said, I don't much let the bastards get to me. Can't afford to have a thin skin in this job… I'm having to build back up my callouses a little, true. But all in all, as long as it stays just whiny words, it's all good." She settles in to enjoy a casual, easy dinner with him, using the time to get to know him better.

January 6th: Strangers in Vans
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