Friends Through It All


elisabeth_icon.gif trask2_icon.gif

Scene Title Friends Through It All
Synopsis They've run the gamut — friends, confidantes, lovers, back to friends. But this one thing remains constant.
Date Jun 6, 2011

The Esplanade

Trask made Liz get out today. Time in the safehouse and worrying isn't good for anyone. It may have been like pulling teeth but he was firm, and finally won out. Currently they are walking down a street anonymous faces in the crowd with a pair of ice cream cones.

She needed it. The sunshine is good for her. Elisabeth's waist-length mass of hair is loose, as she's prone to wearing it nowadays, the vivid purple streak in the front braided into a lock at the side of her face. It's very warm today, so she's wearing a pair of cutoff shorts that have seen better days and a pair of canvas boat shoes without socks. A tanktop exposes her arms and shoulders, the dark angel tattoo on the back of her right shoulder peeping out periodically as she moves. The walk has slowly relaxed her as the meander aimlessly along the river as they've done countless times over the years. She licks the chocolate ice cream, and out of the blue Elisabeth asks suddenly, "Norton… did I ever tell you why I don't do committed relationships?" Her tone is curious — it's not a trick question. She honestly wonders if he knows.

Trask is in a wife beater and camoflauged pants. He still wears his boots and licks his own vanilla cone he hmmms softly, as she asks, "No you didn't…"

"Huh," Elisabeth murmurs. "Oh well," she observes mildly. "It occurred to me that you might have been the one person I might have told about it outside of … I don't know. Maybe my mother knew what happened." She shrugs. "It's no big deal. Just … something to think about besides all the bullshit," she admits.

Trask smiles softly, "So you don't remember why you don't commit anymore?" He turns and looks at you. "I never asked, because it was one of your secrets. I don't like to pry when you make it clear something is painful. Maybe I should have."

Elisabeth glances at him and she smiles faintly. "I …. know that the idea of commitment to one person makes me… leery," she says. "There's a sense of horrible anticipation to the idea, an instant rejection of the thought. But no. I don't know why." As they walk, she considers. "The producer guy?" she mentions. "He brings with him a lot of off-the-wall reactions. Like… he made me dinner one of the nights I stayed there, made it… a haven. Escape from the rest of this. And I kept waiting for …. something. I don't even know what. But I enjoyed the night immensely and there was still this sense of … like a knife hanging over it, you know?" She shrugs. "I seem to expect every relationship to go that way, and it constantly surprises me if it doesn't."

Trask closes his eyes, "I could say something, you know I love you when I say it." He smiles softly, "Ever think that the thing that sabotages the relationships might be you?"

"Who, me?" Elisabeth scoffs, tongue firmly lodged in her cheek. "As if." She continues to lick her ice cream and winks at him. "I think I just like my life the way it is. But running back into Phillip makes me wonder."

Trask says, "You like your life that way it is?" He raises an eyebrow, "Living on the run, hunted, walking through the remains of midtown with robots wandering around. Living in fear of your own future children at times? Wow I knew you were into kinky stuff Liz but I never knew you were that much of a masochist.""

She elbows him as they walk. "Bastard," Elisabeth retorts mildly. "I like… who I am on the inside," she admits. "I love a man who loves me just the way I am, in spite of the fact that I royally fucked every plan that the two of us had in place to try to handle this mess. Or… maybe because of that." It's taken her a while to realize that the things that occasionally piss him off to all hell are the same ones that made them just plain work as a couple. "I have an intimate circle of friends — not just the ones I sleep with, mind you, dirty mind — that I trust with my life. Who trust me with their lives. Which is stressful as hell, but … there is something to the knowledge that gives me the strength to keep doing what needs doing." She looks up at him. "I still have a calling — and it's the same one that I've always had. To do the best I can for people who can't fight for themselves. So I still believe I'm doing the right thing." And that's always been important to her peace of mind. "And as hard as it gets… I can survive it, Norton."

Trask takes a few steps, "You know with all the time travel chaos it has made me think about what I would do if I could. I considered what would I do if I could stop the destruction of midtown. Or Cam's death. If I was right there at the time, I don't know the answer, but if it was an offer to go back and do it. I wouldn't change a thing. Because anything I changed would mean never meeting or getting close to the people who are most important in my life."

"You say that," Elisabeth observes, "but that's exactly what you did in coming back here to change it all." She bites her cone, asking curiously, "Is it different because you wouldn't change your past?" Versus coming back and changing a future that he hadn't lived yet, she means.

Trask says, "Coming back, or not coming back would have changed things. In that world I died publicly, so did Hell if we hadn't come back that world would still have not existed."

Elisabeth thinks about that and then nods. "Yeah… I see that argument." She grins. "That by the way is why I am not usually the brains of this outfit — I am not a chess master and temporal mechanics gives me a migraine. Seriously." She drops the rest of her cone into a trash bin and slips her arm through his as they walk along the waterfront. "I thought the idea of hitting Valentin with a telepath was a good one — I didn't count on Danko fucking being there," she admits. "Of course… it confirms higher-level involvement. Danko had to have been extracted from Antarctica by the government, even though it wasn't with us on the carrier. For a long time we thought he'd died down there with Sylar and Francois and Cardinal. All of whom are now walking around." She rolls her eyes. "Hell apparently has a revolving door for the lot of us."

Trask says, "In some cases I am not complaining about that." He smiles and leans over and kisses your cheek, "By the way I love the hair.""

The blonde laughs, turning her face up for that kiss. "Yeah?" Elisabeth asks. "Well, it's not like they're going to be looking for me in a punk rock band, are they?"

Trask chuckles softly, "Who knows, maybe you will find you have a talent for music or something, become an international celeberty, and then buy up the national debt."

Elisabeth snickers softly. "Cat and I talked about it once, you know," she admits. "Back when we talked about mundane things and not revolution. I thought I might… I don't know. Do some recording. But things have been kind of insane, you know?"

Trask says, "I understand taking some time off and finding yourself is very healthy."

"I'll rest when I'm through," Elisabeth tells him softly, the words having the feel of having been said for a long time. And often. "And then I'll sit on a beach for a long time, Norton. Maybe forever." She rests her head on his shoulder as they walk. "You've been conspicuously quiet lately, even for you, Ninja Boy. You thinking about sticking this out or heading south again?"

Trask says, "I'm not going anywhere. Though apparently all my ferrymen contacts have been burned it seems."

"Yeah… well…. " Elisabeth grimaces. "Susan Ball, one of the fucking Council members, pretty much burned the entire goddamn network," she says quietly. "They tried to hit a council meeting and take out the entire leadership at once. It was… bad." She raises her head and shakes it. "Oddest goddamn thing ever… now the remnants of the Vanguard are running the Ferry." She pauses. "And doing a damn good job at it," she admits. "I was skeptical at first, but… Raith pulled our fat out of the fire in Antarctica, and now he's out there working with an ex-Company agent whose new goal in life is to keep people away from the government. And from what I gather, Eileen's doing a pretty bang-up job leading it all."

Trask smiles softly and nods, "I guess I have just been feeling on the outside of things since I got back. I wish there was more I could do to help."

Elisabeth walks with him and says quietly, "I wish I knew what I could tell you would be of help." The admission is difficult. "I have people willing to risk death if something would give us a leg up and help us make a difference. But the thing is…. I'm not sure we're not already past that turning point. We can't….." She bites her lip. "Richard thought he could change the entire course of this tributary of the river of time. I'm of the opinion that the river's going to go where the river goes — Moab was … an event like a landslide, totally changed the course of everything. But at this point, I'm not sure that anything short of an event of that level will change the path we're on. We can try to mitigate it, and that may be it." She grimaces. "And that makes me sound like the fucker up there running the Institute and I hate that. But …. Richard's blind spot was that everything Zeke said had to be false. Whereas I'm … more middle of the road. Yeah, the fucker's an absolute liar
when it suits him. But… he's also, at the bottom of it all, the same man who changed me." She looks up at him, blue eyes apologetic as she says that. She'd never hurt him for anything. "The best lies are only tiny little departures from the truth in key places."

Trask says, "A lie with a kernal of truth is much more effective. Because then it holds better, parts can be examined without the whole thing falling apart. I lied for a long time, so I know that well. Assume most of what he says is true except those items he seems most concerned about. If he is concerned about it, it is important to him, and if it is important to him, it's what his goal was to change, it's the pieces in play, the pressure points.""

"Mmmm," Elisabeth says softly, her smile faint. "And he claims he's going to pull victory over Humanis First and the government from the jaws of defeat and save my life while he's at it — because to hell with the timeline, he claims he can't live with what happened." She shrugs. "Seems kind of stupid to me. Death is a fact of this life."

Trask looks over, "I don't know some things, some people are worth anything. I can't say I completely disagree with him on that score."

Elisabeth nudges him lightly. "You're all biased." She blushes slightly, embarrassed. "Thanks, though. I think." She smiles faintly. "I wasn't fishing for compliments, I was just…. pointing out that we've all lived with loss."

Trask smiles softly, "You think that was an empty compilment?" He shakes his head "We all have lived with loss, which is why every person we still have is so important to us."

"No," Elisabeth admits softly. "I think somehow I got to be the luckiest woman on this planet. Because you — the whole lot of you — are the thing that keeps me going. You're all the reason that I keep fighting. You boost me up when I'm about to crumble and you kick me in the butt when I whine and you hold me when I cry. I don't know what I did in a past life to be so blessed, but I don't know what I'd do without you."

Trask says, "Well you probably would scream a lot louder in bed." He bumps your shoulder and grins, "So what we going to do about all of it?""

"All of it?" Elisabeth shakes her head. "At this point, the best I can hope for is to expose the lot of them. I don't have a friggin' clue if it'll do a damn bit of good. I mean… exposes sometimes have the impact of changing things. And sometimes… people just ignore it. And I have no control over which direction it'll go, but I'll give it the college try."

Trask says, "Who are we supposed to expose them to any more? I am starting to think the public knows and doesnt care.""

"Yeah. That." Elisabeth is definitely uncertain about her chosen course of action. "But it's all I have left in the arsenal, Norton," she admits. "Everything else is just… surviving. Maybe … living to raise kids who will in turn live to travel through time again." There's a definite grimace to that.

Trask says, "No son of mine is getting in no gorram time machine while I have any chance to stop it." He grins softly."

"Lemme know how that goes for you," Elisabeth deadpans. Cuz Richard said the same damn thing, and look at where we are now! Joshua's running loose in the city trying to… do God knows what. "Wonder if I can get Joshua to babysit the half-sibs," she muses.

Trask says, "Can we pay him on his 21st birthday?""

Elisabeth looks confused. "What? He's… over 21 now," she laughs. "I was… referring to Harmony's twins," she admits then, uncertain at his use of 'we' there.

Trask says, "Yeah but his 21st birthday is still a couple decades off." He grins and winks.

Elisabeth laughs. "Well… that it is, I suppose," she acknowledges. "Assuming he's ever born." Which is not a given. "Eh…. who knows. Time travel gives me a headache. It's number one on my list of OMFGAwful Powers To Have. Followed closely by telepathy."

Trask chuckles, "I still remember Parkman freaking out the first time I "met" him.

That makes her laugh! "Yeah…. Graeme and Remi probbaly have the same reaction. So be careful around Remi now that she's a resident too."

Trask says, "I haven't met her yet. Graeme has been asking me to come over so he can work out. Wants to build up a resistance."

Elisabeth nods. "I know. He told me. I'm glad he's doing it, it could save his life," she says. And then she smiles. "I'm glad you're doing it. You'll make sure it saves his life." She leans her head on his shoulder again and just walks. It's a beautiful day in the city… in spite of everything she's very glad to have him here.

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