Day One


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Scene Title Day One
Synopsis Emily goes to file a report with the police. Elisabeth is there. … and Devon.
Date November 16, 2019

The Watchtower

Emily can't tell if this place looks straight out of a television show or not. The lobby of the Watchtower had been plain enough, but now she's being lead through office spaces behind the lobby doors, walking as tall as she can manage, one hand laid over the daybag slung over her shoulder to keep it pinned to her side. Her gaze is ice as it wanders, taking stock of the vignette of police life she sees.

"I need to report a crime," she'd murmured in the lobby. The front desk attendant had been brusque, looking down at his paperwork as he pulled a sheet out to start taking down basic details. Emily had interrupted him before he could start gathering her information. "A hate crime." she elaborated. He had looked up, and after a few questions, laid down his pen and decided the issue was better handled by what he referred to as a 'special group.'

She closes her eyes during the elevator ride up, fighting down nerves. Her other hand smooths out the bottom of the spring jacket she's wearing since her winter peacoat was needing dry-cleaned. A thick red scarf bundled around her neck is worn to compensate for the substandard warmth. When the elevator dings, her eyes flicker open, an exhale released to breathe away her visible anxiety and steel herself.

It works, too.

The elevator door opens and someone pushes their chair back from their desk, rolling to get a better view of who it is that's appeared. It's a woman, brunette with her hair tied back. The officer walking with Emily is not who she was hoping to see, but an apparent pleasant surprise nonetheless. "Heyyyy, Novac." she calls across to the elevator landing, it becoming apparent she's in the middle of her lunch by how it's said mid-chew. She inclines her head to better greet him. "What brings you out this way? You decide to pay up on the money you owe me for that bet?"

Novac gives a lift of his chin in reply, a reserved grin returned. "Nothing that satisfying, unfortunately for you, Gordon," he says, and steps aside to reveal Emily stepping out of the elevator behind him. Erin Gordon stops leaning back in her chair quite so far, brow lifting as she takes in the civilian and looks back to Novac questioningly. "Got someone who needs to file a report," he elaborates. "Seemed like something that would cross your desk before long and decided to eliminate the middle man. You got a minute?"

Emily stays silent behind him, looking across this new floor with a stoic expression despite the heavy thump of her heart in her chest.

The lieutenant's office isn't occupied at that precise moment only because the resident was getting coffee. Ignoring the two chattering cops, Elisabeth heads into her office with the mug, lowering herself into her seat facing the window into the bullpen. Just as her ass hits the chair, she spots the new arrival. Blonde brows beetle together with a vaguely surprised expression as she comes back up out of the chair and hits the doorway again within moments. "Emily?"

She looks every bit the officer today — Emily has seen her dressed for work, but seeing it and then seeing it might be a little different. A deep green top is tucked into khaki slacks, her badge on her hip though the holster on her other hip is empty. A clip keeps the blonde mass of hair held at the base of her neck in a long ponytail. "Hey there, kiddo. Dev didn't tell me you were joining us." Her smile is welcoming and sincere at the younger woman.

But the expression on Emily's face immediately wipes the easygoing expression from Elisabeth's countenance and she moves forward more slowly. "You okay?" The words are gentle, the tone even more so. The emotions behind the tone, though, are fierce - an immediate sense of worry and concern, and then a strong protectiveness.

“That’s because Dev didn’t know.”

From over Emily’s shoulder, Devon’s face appears to match the curious tone he uses. He’d been nearby, obviously, if not immediately noticeable. Probably in the breakroom. Probably leaving a large tin of cookies that he probably took from Jared’s apartment since he didn’t bring lunch for everyone.

He brought lunch for himself and Liz, though. It’s in a sack hanging from a hand and temporarily forgotten. There’s more important things currently. He’s watching Emily, after giving her a once over, obviously concerned. Of all the places he’d expect to unexpectedly run into her the Watchtower ranks just barely above Raytech and below the Bunker.

“What’s going on?” The question is cautious, and yet a mirror of Liz’s immediate reaction. Devon steps closer, a supportive presence while he angles a brief look at Liz and Novac.

Emily’s eyes land on Liz’s out of habit more than anything else, but it makes it all the easier to see the dimming in them on seeing her of all people. There was a whole fucking police station, and it had to be Liz’s department she was dragged to? Maybe she should have done a better job of specifying at the front desk, said something like and keep me away from Elisabeth Harrison, but that would have involved more thought than she’d put into this encounter being a possibility.

Quickly, she’s trying to recover, reaching deep in the hopes of convincing Liz away, that everything was fine despite them being decidedly not … but there’s threads of emotion she picks up on, recognizes as the other woman’s rather than her own despite a resonance in her own desire to turn her away. She’s trying to decide what to make of that when Devon’s voice behind her breaks her concentration.

Novac looks back to Devon, then to Liz, a quizzical arch to his own brow as he looks back own to Erin. She clears her throat as she sits upright, stressing to him, “Yeah, I got it.” Careful to avoid the we, since it seems like Elisabeth knows the girl. “We’re good.” He shoots her a pointed look with a glance back to Elisabeth, a silent communication happening between them. In return, Erin waves him off, followed with a turn up of her hand, scoffing at him silently for questioning her integrity while she walks her chair slowly back to her desk, still sitting in it. Novac shakes his head in disbelief at her, but a moment later is the very picture of professionalism when he turns to Emily. “The detective will take care of you, miss.” And then he taps the elevator button, doors popping back open instantly. How lucky.

Emily entertains the thought of simply stepping back into the lift with him, jamming the button til they closed— some fantasy world clearly, where Devon didn’t stick his arm out to keep the doors from gliding shut— but she looks away from the officer and somewhere in the direction of ahead without actually fixing her gaze on anything in particular. She lifts a hand to adjust the lay of the scarf, still not having a vocal answer for what’s going on.

Her presence, though, and plenty of nonverbal cues indicate something is, though. And it’s possibly not okay, either, to Liz’s question.

After the door’s shut, Erin swivels her chair around back to better face Elisabeth. “LT, you uh, want a minute first?” she asks amicably as can be, trying to be respectful of both sides, here.

There's a long moment where Elisabeth has a carefully neutral expression, her blue eyes giving Emily a once-over in detail. Nothing immediately jumps out at her, aside from the way the younger woman is acting. And she is fighting conflicting desires — to demand answers and to let Emily have her privacy. Her actual response is measured.

"Emily, would you prefer to allow the detective to handle whatever brought you in today?" She pauses, and then admits quietly, "I'm going to see the report anyway. If Novac brought you to my division, it's something that crosses my desk. But I don't want you to feel put on the spot if you'd rather not talk about it with me in the room." A glance flickers to Devon and then back to Emily.

A shoulder lifts slightly when Liz looks his way. Devon wears his worry openly. The hand gripping the sack tightens then loosens, producing a faint crinkling sound. His weight shifts, adjusting from one foot to the other, brushing his shoulder against Emily's. Anywhere else, he'd likely pry. But something tells him to wait, bids him to patience.

“You want to talk to Liz alone?” No offense to Erin, but he's known the audiokinetic a hell of a lot longer. Dev half gestures to the office with the hand still carrying lunch. “I brought sandwiches, you two can eat and I can…” be scarce. He glances toward the hallway he'd arrived from and shrugs.

The options laid out before her don't make it any easier for Emily to decide, despite best intentions. She stands just a beat too long in silence before managing a brief, forced smile. Even then, she doesn't look back at Devon. "It's fine." She reaches to touch the back of his arm lightly, nudging him forward. "You two should go eat your lunch."

Looking up, she manages to at least turn her head Liz's direction, if not exactly speaking to her. "Honestly— it's probably a SESA thing, or'll involve them, but I just thought they'd send me down here to file the report anyway, so…" Emily lets out an exhale in lieu of speaking any further, her gaze finding Erin. "So yeah, I'd like to get this over with."

It feels like something inside her rips when she steps away from Devon, all too aware he has no idea why she's here and that she's not helping right now by closing herself off. She starts to look back at him, immediately wanting to repair that rift and get rid of that feeling, but ends up shaking her head and stepping forward. One thing at a time.

"There's a meeting room right there, I'll follow you in," Erin directs with a gesture of her hand, then comes to her feet. "You want anything to drink?"

Emily just shakes her head, heading where she's told. She glances up to Liz as she walks past, one shoulder tilting into a shrug. One way or another, she'd hear the story in person shortly, she's sure.

Elisabeth doesn't take it personally, although there is a significant spike of concern at Emily's demeanor when she replies. "If you feel up to it, why don't you join us when you're through," she invites quietly. No pressure. The blonde puts a gentle hand on Devon's shoulder to guide him toward her office. They may both not have much of an appetite, but at least this way she can keep him company while he waits. A brief glance to Erin is shuttered, but she trusts the detective to take care of Emily.

"C'mon," Elisabeth urges Devon. "We'll sit down with lunch until she's through." Since she's pretty sure he won't stay with her to finish lunch once Emily is done and leaving.

Heading into her office, she also urges him quietly, "Don't jump to any conclusions, okay?" Never mind that she herself is fighting not to. "Emily's not the most comfortable person in a lot of situations, right? She could just be anxious."

Devon allows himself to be guided into the office, but his attention stays on Emily until she's been sequestered in one of the conference rooms. His brows knit, worry drawing his expression tight. “Yeah.” His agreement is hollow. He knows the walls Emily tries to keep up, the very same he tries to climb over.

Lunch is set on Liz’s desk, right in the middle, covering whatever report or request the audiokinetic had been working on. He claims a chair for himself once his hands are free. Fingers absently pick at the arms while he looks over, outside of the office and in the direction of the conference room.

The minutes pass quietly, Emily and Erin speaking in low voices while the paperwork is handled. Except for one outburst, about seven minutes in. "Oh shit, kid," Erin says loud enough the outlines of its sound bleed through the meeting room door, the low ambient noise of the office on the Saturday afternoon making it easier for the concerned tones to be overheard by those without superb hearing.

While the first minutes pass, Elisabeth is pulling lunch out to set on the desk. "Eat," she encourages Devon.

But her blue eyes are flickering toward the conference room as well. Devon knows her well enough to see the conflict — she wants to listen and she wants to give Emily her privacy. She only listens to the very beginning, enough to learn that Emily had a run-in. The flash of anger is subdued, and then she looks at the young man sitting across from her. She pulls in a slow breath, and when the exclamation happens, she flinches. Oh fuuuuuuck.

"So… you're going to need to steel yourself, kiddo. She's going to need you not to lose your shit…"

Prompting him to eat pulls Devon’s attention from the conversation he isn't privy to and settles it briefly on the simple fare of sandwiches and potato salad that he'd brought. He leans forward to methodically divvy out the food, even portioning his to share with Emily. It's all a very normal, practiced act of small tasks to keep busy. And it does the job until, from the conference room, the conversation peaks loudly.

The sound has him turning, beginning to rise from his seat. Liz’s warning keeps him from rushing out of the office, but it doesn't stop him from pacing.

Another ten minutes pass before the door clicks open, Emily letting herself out. She's ready to quit the small room and the whole place, perhaps.

Or she just wants to be nearby faces more familiar to her.

"Dev," Emily says from the doorway, starting to move in the direction of the office. The scarf she was wearing before is held balled in one hand. "I need your help with something, please." In the other is a wide bandage ringed with medical tape. There's a sliver of hesitation before she adds carefully, "I need you to not freak out, please."

Whether she makes it all the way to Liz's office before he sees her or not, it's very easy to see the stitched, but deep slice along the left side of her neck that sits in a criss-cross of shallower lacerations. It's not fresh and thankfully not bleeding, but definitely recent. Her gaze is guarded though she doesn't shy from meeting his eyes now. There's guilt in the caution, but it's draped in an abundance of Please don't panic. Her eyes slide past him to Elisabeth after, apology prevailing in them.

Elisabeth gets up and moves around the desk to lean a hip on it. Her rage is deep, her worry for Emily powerful. The apologetic look is met with nothing but support and empathy. She is fighting hard not to overwhelm Emily with her reactions — and even her emotions are seriously locked down, muted to the point of almost non-reaction. The blonde has been through enough herself to expect that Emily will be trying to deal with it herself. Her tone is gentle, forcibly calm, as she asks, "Were you able to identify them for Erin?"

A part of her wonders if Teo knows… because he might actually go kill some assholes. (Note to self: Check on Teo. Make sure if he's killing a few bitches, it's outside the walls.)(WOW, Harrison. WOW.)

Devon turns to the sound of his name. Worry sinks into a heavy lump somewhere deep in his core when he finds Emily approaching. He doesn't panic. He seethes in a cold fury that isn't directed at her.

If Teo is killing some bitches, he'd better be invited.

Devon steps toward Emily, while casting a look back at Liz. He has no problems with asking her to turn a blind eye to any dirty work that may need to be done. And she’d recognize that in his expression. “C’mon, eat some lunch with us,” he suggests with an offer of his hand to Em.

Emily's throat works as she takes in Devon's reaction, managing a small nod. Her gaze breaks from his, not actually having expected he wouldn't visibly freak out. This was somehow harder to face, but she wills her voice to be unwavering. "Yeah, one of them by name," she replies quietly to Liz as she closes in. "Some girl I had class with in spring." Instead of taking Devon's hand, she offers out the bandage. "Can… you help me get this back on?" she asks, gesturing to her sutures.

Only then does she breathe out, trying to find purchase in the stable ground Devon tries to offer her. "Lunch… would be great, if you don't mind the company. I've not eaten."

"We would love the company," Elisabeth replies evenly. While Devon helps the young woman with her bandage, the blonde steps to the door to flag down a uniformed officer to ask him to bring a couple more bottles of water to her office.

When she closes the door again, she asks Emily quietly, "Are you in a lot of pain today?" Because she can see Emily's discomfort, but she's hoping that what they can see is the worst of the damage. "I'm glad that you turned them in, Emily." She doesn't want to drag the girl through all the details again — she just gave them to Erin. Instead, Elisabeth works on the balance between making sure Emily knows they're here for her without pushing too hard.

The bandage is taken with only a nod. Devon’s mouth thins, jaw clenching down on everything he might say. Questions are left to Liz, while he carefully sets the bandage in place over the sutures. He’s done this more times than he can recall, on more people than he could name, but his hands shake very so slightly while he gently presses the tape down against Emily’s skin.

Convinced Devon replaced it correctly, Emily takes only a moment to give a second smooth-over of the bandage, her fingers finding his in the process. She takes his hand, pulling it away from her neck so she can lace their fingers. A reassuring squeeze follows. "Yeah, it's not pleasant," is the comment that comes immediately after, dry and scoffing. "But… it could have been worse."

She tries not to elaborate, looking immediately to the food, noting Devon's already split his half.

"I didn't really ask," Emily absently notes. "What happens now, exactly. I emailed her the photos I took yesterday at Julie's, she took one now, I pointed out where it more or less happened at, and…" Her brow knits. The food seems more interesting than the topic. "… yeah. I'm not sure how many more times I'm going to have to talk about this. I'm not sure I want to know either." That's an easy enough thing to say in the closed-off space.

Like they're discussing something as easy as the weather, she breaks off the topic to look to Devon. "Which part did you want?"

Setting the bottles of water on the desk, Elisabeth goes around to the other side and adds part of her portion to the middle of the table so that lunch is now split three ways instead of two. She lowers herself into her chair and lets Devon do what he can to soothe both himself and Emily. Her voice is calm but gentle as she replies to Emily's thoughts. "What happens now is that Erin will take some uniforms, they'll arrest the people you've identified and book them on assault and battery charges, with hate crimes attached. Possibly some others, depending on what you reported." It's a grim set of charges. "They'll be arraigned in front of a judge. Not sure what will happen with bail. That's up to the judge and the lawyers. And then a trial date will be set. You'll have to testify. The DA and the NYPD will try to make it as painless for you as possible, Emily."

Her blue eyes flicker to Devon and then back to the young woman. "I highly suggest that if you haven't told Teodoro the entire situation, you do so." Elisabeth pauses and then says drily, "His imagination will supply far worse things than you could tell him. And then tell him if he wants information, he knows where to find me. That way you don't have to talk about it more if you don't want to, okay?" She wants to protect this young woman so badly. She's very good at keeping her emotional reactions very contained, though — they're certainly present, but they are not battering at Emily.

Devon, who's still got his thoughts so tightly bound and contained, only shrugs at the question. He can't fully mask the cold fury that’s built throughout the vague details, but it's only on the look he directs at Liz. “You pick first,” he says as he gives Emily a small nudge toward the chair he'd abandoned.

Liz's clinical explanation is met with a slow deflation of being from Emily, working to keep her reaction contained. There's no commentary, biting, long-suffering, or otherwise— she just acquiesces to the nudge to have a seat. She keeps her eyes averted, wrist resting on the side of the desk as she reaches most of the way for a half of a sandwich.

This is silly, she thinks. She doesn't even have an appetite, despite knowing she should. She doesn't have any words, despite knowing she should. Emily lets out a shallow exhale from her nose, tension in her arm slacking. "Dev," she says like an apology. It's visible in the flicker of her gaze, too, but ultimately doesn't take any more voice than that.

She shakes her head, looking vaguely across the desk at Liz. Somehow addressing the comment about Teo is easier. "He knows. When I got home last night, we—" talked is probably the word that should follow, but she forces a small smile instead. "Thanks, though, Liz. I'll let him know."

And out of nowhere, a short, humorless laugh accompanies it. "He took it better than I imagine… plenty of other people will." Emily supposes, then sobers. "At least at face value." she adds. Her eyes close, and her hand fails to navigate to the food because she's lifting it to rub at her face. "Not looking forward to Monday. I might be able to hide from this for the rest of the day today. Maybe tomorrow. But Monday?" Her eyes open only so they can narrow. Another sigh escapes her. Fuck Monday.

Elisabeth is holding on to her own rage and emotions with a tight control… only because Emily is always uncomfortable around her anyway and she doesn't need the added stress. The younger woman's comment makes her smile just a little, though. "At face value, I'm sure he did." Just as she's quite sure that beneath all of it, Teodoro Laudani is now a seething mass of fury and rage that rivals Devon. Her tone is gentle.

Elisabeth pauses and then offers quietly, "I, uhm… want to tell you something, and then you can ignore it or think about it or use or discard what I say as you like." She has been in Emily's shoes. It took months before she wasn't having panic attacks on the regular. "When I came home after Humanis First had me… it was hard. I just wanted to try to keep things as normal as I could. I didn't really feel like I should let them know how upset and scared I was… how mad I was… because they were all already so mad on my behalf." Her blue eyes flicker a bit and she says softly, "And I didn't want them to think I couldn't do my job, that I was weak or something." She looks down. "We all deal with being assaulted and the feelings of helplessness that come with it differently. Just… we're here, okay? If you want to talk, if you need to beat shit up, if you need to… whatever it is you need to do. If what you need is for us to just keep it as normal as possible, that's what we'll try to do."

When his name is said, Devon angles a look toward Emily. He waits for her to say more, shifts his feet so he can stand closer, brows creasing when she just shakes her head.

Hands fidget with a renewed restlessness, half reaching toward Emily as she continues speaking with Liz. The intent to pull the younger woman into a protective embrace falters slightly and he settles for crossing his arms over his chest. Even that lasts only a couple of seconds before he's dropping his arms to his sides. The entirety of events doesn't sit well, striking nerves he was aware of and ones he wasn't.

Words don't form to express any of it, just an inability to stand still. Devon drags his hands over his face and through his hair. With fingers laced behind his head, he looks at the desk, the lunch waiting. A glance flicks to Liz, unreadable at best, and he turns to let himself out of the office.

Devon's calm cracking right as Liz is sharing something Emily had no idea had ever been a thing is a lot to take in in a short period, and she wants to address both at once. She fails again to react properly to the harder-to-face of the two in the immediate, despite her head turning between them both. She sees Devon's stops and starts and knows there's no single thing she can do to make things better for him at the moment. She doesn't even have confidence reaching out for him again would be a welcome thing.

So Emily sits, swiveling back to Elisabeth. "Holy shit, I had no idea that… that something like that had happened to you, Liz. I'm sorry."

And then Devon is turning to leave, and she feels the urge to try and speak up at the last moment. But what right did she have to try and call him back now, when she'd not called him in the first place? Emily breathes in, but no words come in light of those thoughts.

"It was a long time ago," Elisabeth says softly. But it's clear that it was a heavy impact. Watching Devon go through the stages of don't know what to do is painful. She barely remembers waking up to Richard Cardinal's pale, exhausted face back then. When Devon steps out, she pulls in a slow breath and brings her eyes back to Emily. "Give him just a minute to compartmentalize," she murmurs, "and then don't give him time to work up a head of steam."

She offers a rueful smile. "He'll second-, third-, and fourth-guess why he wasn't your first call. But believe me … I get it. I… was completely overwhelmed by my own emotions. Everyone else's, especially Richard's, felt like overload. I wanted him there but I didn't want to unload on him when I could see how much he wanted to fix it. How much he hurt for me." She sighs softly, glancing out to keep an eye — and an ear — on Devon. She'd like to make him feel better but given the givens… she figures making sure Emily has the tools she needs to recover is probably the best thing she can do to help him.

The door closes behind him with a soft click, and Devon faces into the open workspace. Erin is given a look and a shrug when he reappears. The words on the other side are a muffled noise he ignores. “Just noticed what time it is,” he mumbles as a lame excuse for his presence. It's followed by some other words, mostly incomprehensible but alluding to training, as he starts for the elevator.

It'll be okay, Emily tries to rationalize. Devon might be leaving, but… he can't be going far, can he?

It'll be okay.

Elisabeth's consolation help assure her of that, somehow helping numb the guilt. Emily nods weakly, her hands falling to her lap. "I don't have an answer to why," she admits, uncertain of even that, too. Maybe she does know and is shoving that down and away like most things at the moment. "It just… hadn't felt right yet. Doesn't feel right now, for that matter."

She sighs, trying to hide her frustration. "But it looks like there's not any choice to this whole thing. It happened— and I'd have rathered it not." Understatement. "It'd be better to control who learns about it, how, when… But I think if I didn't come today, then I'd not have come at all. Which— it feels silly, doesn't it?" Emily glances up at her finally. "To have talked about it here when I can't even…"

She trails off without meaning to, the corners of her eyes creasing in a silent you know in lieu of saying anything else. When she does find her voice again, it's to admit "I'm not sure I can eat." With a glance back to the door, she fidgets, one hand in the other in her lap.

"Sorry for fucking up your Saturday, Liz. You and Dev's lunch. I'd not have come by if I'd realized."

Elisabeth keeps an eye on the young man who is her son in most ways. But Emily has her attention at this moment and she hopes Devon will be okay with it. "You didn't fuck anything up," she tells Emily evenly. She pulls in a long breath and then nods slightly.

"It's called controlling the narrative, kiddo," she says in a soft voice. "It's a way of taking back control because when something like this happens, we don't have any. For a lot of people it's easier to talk to a stranger when you're a victim of assault than it is to talk to people you know — they don't have a stake, their emotions aren't involved. Their detachment helps you keep your own detachment from what happened." There is genuine sympathy in her gaze, but no pity. "It sounds like you haven't really gotten past the numb quite yet. When you do… you'll be ready to turn to whoever you feel safest with."

Experience on this matter sucks. "And Devon isn't mad at you. He left … because he's got a whole stew of emotions going on and when he doesn't know what to do with them, he swallows them." There's no judgement in her tone on that matter; it's just what Dev does. "When you're ready to talk to him, he'll be there for you. He's mad that he couldn't protect you and A host of other things that are his to deal with. You can only do what you can do when you're picking yourself back up. Filing that report?" Elisabeth smiles just a little. "That is the bravest thing you could do — and it tells me you'll be okay. It'll just take a little time."

Emily isn't sure of that just yet. She's coping— numb like Liz said— and whatever comes after isn't a place she's come to yet. She does only what she can in the moment, which is remembering to breathe, and… whatever else extra happens to happen.

At the moment, that happens to be returning that small smile, a distance in her gaze. "And it won't happen on day one."

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