Friends With Benefits


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Friends With Benefits
Synopsis … and not all the benefits are the obvious one. Lots of information shared.
Date May 29/30, 2009

Elisabeth's Apartment

The scent of coffee fills the air of the apartment, coming from the kitchen, as she comes home. The sound of movement's coming from the kitchen, a cheerful little 'hm, hm hm hmm..' under Cardinal's breath as he searches for something to eat in the cupboard. He had a standing invitation, but it's been a few weeks since hide, hair, or shadow of him'd been seen.

The scent of coffee startles Elisabeth — the only person who USUALLY does nice things for her like that is Trask, and he's locked up in a safehouse at the moment. So her first assumption is Alec. And out comes the pistol she's wearing as the front door closes. And she's pointing it into the kitchen as she comes around the corner. "I really am gonna shoot your face off this ti… OH!" She looks startled at the sight of Cardinal. "Richard!" And her gun drops, the safety having never been disengaged — she wouldn't necessarily have REALLY shot Alec, but she sure wanted him to think she would have. "I'm sorry," she says to him in chagrin.

As she turns the corner, Cardinal's just looking up from a bag of popcorn he was reading the instructions for, brows leaping upwards. "But I like my face," he wanly objects, before a bit of a grin curves upwards, "Sorry. I let myself in."

Shaking her head as she tucks the gun away again, Elisabeth looks a little strained. "God, I'm sorry. No, it's fine. I told you the invitation was a standing one," she says quietly. And actually, she merely slides into one of the kitchen's barstools at the breakfast bar instead of taking over. "Could really use a cup of that if it's done enough," she adds with a bit of a smile. "Glad to see you're all in one piece after that brilliant fiasco in Japan." Cuz yes, she's figuring he was in the middle of it.

"You look like shit," Richard observes with his usual utter lack of tact, his head shaking as he moves back over to retrieve a mug from the cabinet — the popcorn bag left on the counter — and pour her some, "Yeah, I made it quite clear I wasn't going near any of that insanity while I was doing my business." A glance, slanted back over, "He was warned, right? You people told me he was."

Elisabeth sighs. "So far as I'm aware, Cat warned him," she tells him wth a twist of her lips. "And thanks. Really glad to know that my good looks aren't lost on you." She leans forward and rests her forehead on her hands on the counter in front of her. "This week's been complete shit. *And* to top it all off, I took one of hte bigger risks of my life today. Now I get to wait and see if they chuck me in the Evo Black Hole for it."

"That sounds promising." A cup of coffee's slid over to her side of the breakfast bar, and Cardinal drops down to slouch against the other side, arms folded, brows raising, "Want to talk about it?"

Raising her head to prop her chin on her hands so she can look at him, Elisabeth shrugs a bit. "Someone I mostly trust works for the Company. She introduced me to her boss. And with all the shit coming down the pipe from the future people, and all the things we're looking at needing to do to take down both the Company and Pinehearst…. I went to Cat, and I told her that I think this man is a decent man. I think we could trust him, over time. She went with me so he coudln't bag, tag, and mindwipe me…. and we filled him in on some things. I just…. I don't know if made the right call, Richard."

A hint of shadow to Cardinal's face, and then he shakes his head ever so slightly. "I don't know who is he," he says quietly, "Or what you told him, but… well, it's your call. It's a fucked up situation all over, admittedy."

There's a shadow of a smile on Elisabeth's face as she looks at him. "I'm starting to think my life's a fucked up situation. One of our future people showed back and … told me some things I really didn't want to know. Now I'm all wondering if I want that future or not, and it's not like …. never mind. It's not worth talking about." She sighs heavily and moves to pick up her coffee cup. "I wish Conrad was alive."

"Future people?" Cardinal's brow furrows, his expression bemused, "What're you talking about?" A push off the breakfast bar, and he steps along over to fetch himself a cup of coffee. Apparently he's going to need it.

"The ones from Moab that got scattered into the future? Apparently they didn't land days or weeks ahead — the went 10 YEARS. Found a way back. And brought us a shit-ton of information on the Company and a brand-new conspiracy theory," Elisabeth tells him tiredly.

"That explains some of the shit that your lovely asshole friends in Phoenix were dancing around," Cardinal mutters under his breath as he tilts the pot towards his mug, "So what'd they bring back?"

Elisabeth looks confused. "Dancing around?" She sighs. "You know…. it's funny how much we all sit on in terms of information. Whatever. Most of what they brought back is what the future looks like, and for obvious reasons they don't want to talk too much about that. Just knowing about it changes things, and …. hell, I don't know. Time travel even in the movies gives me a headache."

"So they don't have anything useful to say?" Cardinal turns back with the mug of coffee in his hand, his expression rather bemused as he looks to the policewoman with a furrowed brow. "I find that hard to believe…"

"What kind of information would you consider 'useful', Richard?" Elisabeth asks, looking at him mildly. "I can tell you that the Company is Bad <TM>, but you already know that. I can tell you that they say the organization that rose up to take it's place is Bad <TM> too. I can tell you that…. apparently as a result of the downfall of the Company, life for Evos in this country and probably around the world got a crap-ton better, but … there's a seedy underbelly even to paradise. The new World Order was just locking up DIFFERENT people."

"Pinehearst." Cardinal brings the mug up to his lips, taking a sip of it as he walks to the other side of the counter, regarding her for a few moments, "They completed the Formula. Put it into production. Right?"

Elisabeth nods slowly. "So I gather."

Cardinal's thumb brushes back and forth over the edge of the mug in his hand, his brow furrowing a touch as he considers that. "Hm."

"Hm?" Elisabeth asks. "You always take it in stride…. I've been trying to figure out for a few days now how to do that. Talking to the Company guy and laying some of it out on the table…. that's my way of trying. Making people share information so that it all comes out."

"I already knew about that… not the future, but," Cardinal shakes his head ever so slightly, "The Formula. I stole it, after all. Well. Part of it. I imagine Pinehearst is out there looking for the other part now… no clue where the hell it might be, though."

Shaking her head, Liz replies, "Can't answer that. I honestly don't know." She sips her coffee, toying with the cup.

"Don't know anyone who does," admits Cardinal, his eyes closing for a moment as he draws in the scent of the hot coffee… and exhales a sigh, stirring the steam. He sets the mug down, offering her a faint smile, "I should probably leave you alone, Liz. You've got enough shit going on without me pilin' on more."

Waving that off, Liz says, "Tell me what brought you by, handsome." She grins a bit. "Listening to your woes keeps me from missing the one person who always kept the bullshit at bay."

As she speaks, he watches his ex-lover for a few moments… and then he says quietly, "Because I'm afraid, Liz. There's gonna be blood in the streets, you know it, I know it. Humanis is getting ready to toss a match on this powderkeg. Hell, they shot my plane down with a fucking missile. And you're… right down here in the middle of it."

Her expression gets more somber than it has been and Elisabeth meets his gaze. "I do know it… and I accepted the possibility that I wouldn't survive all this when I stepped up and decided to fight Vanguard and their ilk. Hell… just being a cop is pretty deadly. But… I couldn't live with myself if I just picked up and ran like hell, either. And believe me…. there are days that's all I want to do."

"You could come with me," Richard says in quiet tones, meeting her gaze steadily, "We're doing good work, over on Staten. We're going to start cleaning it up, we've already got supply trucks distributing food and shit… it's not like it'll be safe there, either, not with the syndicates there. But you wouldn't have to keep looking over your shoulder wondering who's Company, who's Pinehearst… hell. We could probably pay you twice what you're making now."

The offer stops Elisabeth in her tracks and she stares at him. Several conflicting thoughts pass through her head. "You're really that scared, aren't you?" And suddenly there's a rush of tears that she tries to hide behind a quick duck of her head to look into her coffee cup. Meeting with Len Denton today is a step that scares the hell out of her, and now Richard's offering HER a haven. So yeah, she reacts pretty much like any other overwhelmed woman, and she doesn't want to make him uncomfortable with it. "Thanks, Richard," she murmurs quietly. Though for what exactly she's thanking him she doens't elaborate on.

As she reacts like that, Richard hesitates… and then he moves around the breakfast bar with slow steps, reaching over to slide his hand over her shoulder. "Just… if you ever want to get out've this," he says in quiet tones, "Just let me know. You're one've the only friends I've got, Liz."

Oh dear, that's just the icing. Now she's more mad that she went all girly-stupid in front of Cardinal than she is about anything else. For just a moment, she tenses under the hand and then Elisabeth wipes her eyes quickly and reaches up to take his hand, turning her head to look up at him. "Don't mind me," she says quietly. "I'm six kinds of freaked out about what I know, what we suspect, and the overwhelming feeling that we're in so damn far over our heads that the dim pinprick that is the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a supernova just waiting to engulf us." She laughs softly. "Helena calls me 'Chicken Little' these days. It's about how I feel. Like we're all just pissing in the wind and the sky is falling." She squeezes his hand.

"I won't ask," Cardinal says with a tight shake of his head, his fingers curling to hers to give it a brief squeeze, "I know that Phoenix is all 'don't tell anyone anything' these days…" A hint of bitterness seeps into his tone, "…so, I'm just going with what I've got. Just be careful, Liz."

Elisabeth shakes her head. "Ask if you want. At this point? I don't fucking care whether they're all about 'don't tell.' So long as you keep anything I say *to yourself*, I'll tell you anything you want to know." She smiles a bit. "First time you break that trust, we're fucked. And not in the fun, stress-relieving way, either."

Cardinal can't help a faint chuckle at the last. "I don't even know what to ask. Hell, that… Evelyn chick didn't even let Cat tell me about the time travel bullshit. And we fucking gave air support to that op…" He shakes his head, "I don't know. I don't know who's doing what, anymore. What the threats are, what to do about them…"

Tipping her head sideways to rest on their entertwined hands on her shoulder, Liz seems to take comfort in just the physical contact. Evelyn? Who the fuck…? Never mind for now. "I think the problem is that even we don't really know who the threats are. I mean…. I know some things. And I think there's going to be a meeting soon. I'll bring back whatever I can from that to tell you, but I gotta admit… the fact that you guys actually helped Adam worries the shit out of me, Richard. I'm not entirely sure where Adam falls in all of this, but Hiro? I think Hiro is going to be important."

Liz adds softly, "And what the hell to do about them? Shit… it's like David and Goliath — I don't think any of us know what to do. I'm just doing my level best to keep innocent people out of the line of fire."

"I did try and warn him," Cardinal reminds her with a tight shake of his head. "And we didn't help Adam as much as he thinks," he says more quietly, the pad of his thumb brushing over the back of her hand as he looks down to her with the faintest of smiles, "Well… let me know, what you find out. How I might help. Hell — just the fucking location of Pinehearst'd give me somewhere to check out."

Elisabeth smirks faintly. "Well, that's good to hear," she tells him regarding Adam. "If I ever learn of an actual place, I'll happily tell you — though I'm sure there are Evo safeguards in place to avoid just that." She sighs and lifts her head reluctantly, tightening her fingers around his one more time. "Thank you," she says quietly, not really looking up at him. She doesn't actually release his hand of her own volition but she's not clinging to him either — if he moves to step away, his hand will slide easily enough out of hers.

Cardinal's nostrils flare in a faint, derisive snort of breath. "I was breaking and entering long before I got this power, Liz. Some Petrelli punk and his medical building isn't gonna get the better of me," he boasts, his fingers curling back to hers in a tight squeeze. More quietly, he admits, "Be careful. Okay? I care about you."

Elisabeth looks up at him, nonplussed. "Well, now…. and here I thought you were all Mister Love 'Em and Leave 'Em," she teases with a smile. She meets his eyes with an expression of gentle amusement. "If I didn't figure on that much, Richard, I'd never have given you the open invite, you know." She just doesn't expect anything of him, either.

"Oh, please," Cardinal rolls his eyes at that, tugging his hand free of hers - only to bring it up and ruffle through her hair, "That wasn't an expression of undying love or anything. You're a friend, that's all, and I don't want to lose you. Even if you did try and blow me up once."

Elisabeth laughs at him. "Don't flatter yourself. And I didn't try to blow you up," she objects. "And I don't want your undying love," she snorts. "Though I wouldn't object to your undying, unflagging physical stamina," she tells him with a theatrical roll of her eyes.

At that, Cardinal exhales a chuckle. "Uh huh. As if you have any shortage of men lining up for that one, Liz…" He slumps a bit, hip resting to the bar beside her as he looks down at her with a rueful expression, "I hate this too, babe. All this conspiracy and confusion… mm. Hey. Police question, totally legal."

Liz glances at him and says in all seriousness, "You'd be pretty surprised how long it's been since anyone even bothered to do what you did today, much less stuck around long enough to indulge in a little fun and games, my friend." And then she says, "Fire away, police question." It's far easier to deal with that.

"Now that's a surprise," admits Cardinal, cocking his head a bit. Then he pauses, asking, "Logan. If we brought him mainland, could he be brought in, prosecuted?"

Propping her elbow on the table and her chin on her fist, Elisabeth considers, and then shakes her head. "Right now? I don't think so, no — or at least…. the answer is that the DA probably wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole because he's washing his hands of anything related to Staten. That said… my friends in the Feebs are willing to prosecute. We actually served a warrant on one of the guys while he was here on Manhattan island, but he slipped through the net before we could do anything. But Ivanov has a serious hard-on for taking down Logan and his cronies and he's told me that Abby's case has federal jurisdiction, so even if the DA here won't touch it, he's still willing to bring it to the US Attorney."

"Okay." Cardinal closes his eyes, one hand lifting to pinch the bridge of his nose and stave off a headache. "I'll talk to Ivanov, then. Can you get me his number? I'm tired of that greasy little shit thinking he can do whatever he wants. I want him off my island. This way'd give Abigail more… closure, than the hard way, I think."

She doesn't even have to look it up. Elisabeth reaches sideways to the small pile of paper beneath the phone mounted on the wall above the breakfast bar and jots down Felix's cell phone number. "Here," she says, handing the paper to him. "The trick is that we've only got Abby's word for what happened. But we have pictures of what she looked like when she was brought back, and her written testimony already. I have the missing persons report I filed, as well as the traffic cams and the van that she was taken in, but the person who was taken with her can't be brought in as a witness — Magnes Varlane," she grimaces. "There was another man — one Homeland took. Orlando something… Felix already has all that in his possession as far as I know. Nothing, so far as I'm aware, actually implicates Logan, though, except Abby's statement."

The number's taken, and Cardinal tucks it into a pocket. "Varlane… figures," he exhales a sigh, his eyes closing, "Abigail's own testimony isn't enough… well, fuck it, then."

Elisabeth holds up her hand. "Don't go that far. It MAY be more than enough — kidnapping is almost always one person's word against another's, really. And Abby's a pretty damn sympathetic figure, especially now. So don't give up on the system JUST yet." She smiles a little and says, "Try it first. Let's see if it works out. If not.. the other option will always exist."

"Yeah. The system." Cardinal looks past her to the wall for a moment, silent in thought, "Alright. I'll… talk to Ivanov. I'll give him a chance to give me a solution here. I can probably get him to confess on tape, even." A look back to her, and he quirks a faint smile, "Sorry. Shit. I can't even relax and chat anymore, always fuckin' business. I'd just go back to my place and relax, but the whole district's on fire."

There's a pause and she laughs at him. "I could make a comment here, but I'm going to bite my tongue and keep it clean," Liz tells him, sliding off the bar stool. "Would you like to stay for dinner?"

"You're keeping your commentary clean? Shit, things really have changed…" Cardinal watches her for a moment… and then he quirks a faint smile. "Sure. I could use a nice dinner, I think."

Liz drawls at him while she opens the fridge, "Well, I was going to say 'if that's your not-so-subtle way of telling me you want to stick around and share the bed, why don't you just come out and ask!' but I rather thought that might sound ridiculously desperate. Not to mention, I haven't decided if you blow me off because you think I'm kidding or because you aren't really interested in taking me up on those invitations, and my ego tonight really couldn't take the rejection." She moves to take food out of the fridge to put together dinner.

A low chuckle answers her as she spells things out for him, and before she steps back from the fridge he's behind her. The slide of arms around her pulls her back against his chest, his head tilting in to brush his cheek against her hair, breath stirring beside her ear. "And here," he murmurs to her quietly, "I thought you were the love 'em and leave 'em type, Elisabeth."

Pulled back against him like that, caught in the door of the open fridge, Liz turns her head to look over her shoulder and grin at him. "Well, I think I'd classify myself as more the 'let's avoid the emotional baggage and have fun as long as it lasts' type, honestly," she admits easily enough. "So…. you wanna be friends with benefits for a while?" Her body shakes with a suppressed laugh as she offers.

"I'm a busy man, these days," replies the felon with a quiet chuckle, tilting his head to look back at her as she grins back to him, his gaze softened a bit and lips quirking a smile, "But I might be able to find time for a night or two… here and there… like tonight, maybe."

The subtle tension in her muscles eases as he smiles. "Can't see any problems with that idea," she replies, half-turning in the circle of his arms to face him more easily. And instead of closing the fridge, she offers softly, "I've got a chicken and rice casserole ready to pop in the oven, if you're interested in something other than take-out."

"Sounds good to me." It does. Richard hesitates a moment, before leaning in to brush a kiss against her lips, ever so lightly. "No more business tonight," he promises, requests, his voice a stir of breath to hers, "Okay?"

"You know what? That's the best offer I've had in months," Elisabeth tells him with a soft laugh, lingering in the soft kiss with him and returning it. "Let me put that pan in," or she's going to forget that she's doing it and they might not actually get to eat tonight. The mood is similar and yet a good bit different from their first encounter — though that night on the rooftop actually lives in her mind as a very fond memory. She grins as it comes to mind, unable to help herself, and she puts a hand on his chest to nudge him backward so she has room to move. "If you want a glass of wine, I've got a white in there chilled." Another kiss, this one less of a friendly one and more of an invitation, before she ducks him to actually do what she said she was gonna.

The dinner's prepared amongst slightly-forced jokes and small talk before conversation grows easy once more, shifting to the casual warmth of earlier flirtations. After the food's done, an attempt at moving to the living room for a movie is derailed by a kiss… and another…

…and before one knows it, the sun's beginning to come up.

Sprawled with something that closely resembles abandon across the male body stretched out on her bed, Elisabeth had the thought somewhere in the middle of the night to make sure the black-out curtains were closed. For a woman who works all hours, they're a necessity, and they keep the bedroom blessedly dim, which is more than merely a convenience for Cardinal's eyes. At this point, she's enjoying the company even more than their other activities — though those were well worth the price of admission for sure — and as she strokes a hand across his chest, Liz suddenly stiffens. "Oh… shit!" She props up on one elbow and grins at him. "Hey, I forgot something … " Probably not the first words a man wants to hear the morning after.

Uh oh. Isn't she on the pill? No, she's grinning, it can't be that. Panic receding.

Cardinal's toes point a bit as he stretches out beneath her lazily, stirring from his languor to turn his head to her with a curious expression, head lifting a bit and brows raising. As his other fingers trace down over the line of her shoulder, he asks curiously, "What?"

"Some of that info you asked me for? Maury Parkman? It took a while, I had to pull some strings." Okay, Felix had to pull some strings and be somewhat discreet while he was at it, but Elisabeth doesn't feel the need to elaborate. "And I've got some of it, but there's a catch…. before I give it to you, you and I gotta come to some kind of agreement about what's going to be done with it. Cuz lemme tell you what, darlin…. what I got is some explosive shit in the wrong hands. Which is why I've been sitting on it for a bit." She hasn't even turned it over to Phoenix as yet, since the favor was done for Cardinal.

"It's that bad…?" The shadowman gives her a rather surprised look, his brow furrowing, "I knew that when it was connected to Matt, but… okay." He nods, then, "I won't use it until we discuss how, whatever it might be."

Elisabeth nods a bit, her free hand resting on him still while she looks at him. Her gaze is serious, though. "It's that bad. Like…. names and addresses of people that I'm not sure someone like Adam should have. Considering his hard-on for the Company."

"Some've those people probably deserve a knife in the throat," Cardinal notes a bit darkly, regarding her for a moment before he nods, chin dipping slightly, "Okay, though. Lay it on me, Liz."

"Can't dispute that thought," Elisabeth admits quietly. She scoots to sit upright in the bed, cross-legged, next to him. The sheet is tucked lightly around her to protect her modesty, though in all honesty, she's not really all that modest. But it just seems weird to have this conversation with her breasts hanging out. "I've got the paperwork in my file cabinet, but the basic jist is this: The apartment in Philly that I tracked down on Maury's parking ticket? It was actually minefield of pretty interesting information, including names of what appear to be all twelve founders of the Company. Maury Parkman had a card in the apartment with the Pinehearst company's logo and an address, the phone number on the back of it traced to a guy named Roger Goodman — who we already pretty much know is dead. Someone in the Company put out some kind of hit on him. If he's not dead, which my contact in the Company won't confirm or deny, he's deep underground and on the run. I find that less likely, considering I'm reasonably sure he was in Arthur Petrelli's back pocket."

She looks apologetic. "So when you said last night you wanted a place? I wasn't ENTIRELY honest — off the top of my head, I don't know the address, but I do know that Cat's met with Arthur Petrelli before."

Cardinal's hand slides down her shoulder as she rises up, hand bracing to the mattress to push himself up as well. He's rather less modest, not worrying about the sheets as he brings his knees up, one arm wrapping about them. Naked in the dim light, tattoos tracing his barely-tanned skin here and there. "Shit," he swears under his breath, his brow furrowing, "You're right. Adam would kill for that information… and that's not even metaphorical."

"My Feddie friends were able to dig up information on ten of them… and the eleventh is Arthur Petrelli. Eight of them, I have addresses for though I haven't physically verified their presences at those premises. One is missing, gone off the grid. One was Kaito Nakamura, who died not long ago. And one presumably died in the Bomb in Midtown," Elisabeth says. And then adds, "And Maury Parkman is the twelfth man in the picture."

"Damn." Cardinal closes his eyes, his thoughts racing behind his eyelids, "Okay. What were the names? I might've heard of some of them before… you're right, this is a powderkeg of information here."

Elisabeth nods a bit with a grimace. "Believe me, I know how volatile this one is. Uhm…. let's see. Parkman, Nakamura, Arthur Petrelli and his wife Angela, Daniel Linderman… " She furrows her brows. "Uhm… Charles Deveaux of the Deveaux Building fame. A guy named Bob Bishop, and the only reason I remember his name is that he's the father of Elle Bishop, the Company agent who was one of the people thrown forward in time and Phoenix is keeping her under wraps right now. The rest I'll have to look up."

Cardinal's head bobs in a slight, thoughtful nod. "So." He opens his eyes, giving her a serious look. "Do you think Matt Parkman is in with Pinehearst too? Or just his father?"

With a serious expression, Elisabeth looks at him and says quietly, "I don't have the first clue. If you want the truth, before I knew anything about the split in the Company and Pinehearst and such… I would have thought that Matt Parkman worked for the Company. At this point, the only thing I know for sure is that he works for Homeland Security, which doesn't automatically mean anything — he could JUST work for Homeland, and he may be perfectly clean." She hesitates and says quietly, "He's known that I was Phoenix for months, Richard. Back to when Rickman came to New York. He and Rickman both took shelter with Phoenix operatives in a safehouse until Abby could heal them."

"…yeah, and he was there behind the scenes during the Abigail thing," Cardinal says, his lips pursing in a tight frown, "It's… if he's not, he could be a strong ally here. We need to get to the bottom of all of this…" Those eyes that see in shadow lift to her face, and he says quietly, "We need to move on this quietly… find out who stands where, where the break lines are. And who's outside either circle. If someone is — we might be able to locate the missing piece of the Formula before Arthur does."

Blowing out a quiet breath, Elisabeth nods slowly. "Well… I think it starts with 'who set you on course to ask about Maury Parkman?' And we'll work from there." She can't talk to him about what she knows about the formula; she gave her word. But she does say quietly, "I also need to give the information to Cat, at the very least. If the founders are all alive… it could be useful information. And I do think that the reason we're not getting anywhere is that information is too compartmentalized sometimes."

"A nobody," Cardinal shakes his head slowly, "Just a…" The train of thought dies out at the latter, and he slants a look over, his lips pursing in a brief line. He regards her in silence, before pointing out quietly, "You realize that they're just going to take it, run with it, and leave me in the dark again, Liz. Because I'm not part of their little after-school club."

"Which is why I'm sitting on it right now," Elisabeth admits quietly. "You're the one who asked me to do the job. So far as I'm concerned at this moment, this is between you and me. At least until we have more information. Ivanov has some of the information because I had to ask for help to get some of what I've got. I trust him to keep it to himself, he's not too thrilled with Company, Phoenix, or anyone else these days."

"If he wasn't a fed, we could work together, then," Cardinal says dryly, his head falling back to rest against the wall with a soft thump, eyes closing again, "Okay. We'll go over this information… see what we can find out about these people, quietly. I'll… talk to Agent Parkman. He owes me. I should be able to feel him out on this."

Scooting to sit so that she can lean back with him, her head on his shoulder now, Elisabeth murmurs, "You realize that whoever asked you for this info was assuredly not a nobody, right?" She looks up at him. "If you're not telling me because you're worried or it's not my business, come out and say so. If it was someone in disguise and you don't KNOW who it was…. you might do well to give serious thought to who might want to locate Maury Parkman. Like… say, Adam? Or hell… Company people?"

"No, I'm serious." A grunt of breath from Cardinal, "He was some complete nobody working out've a pawn shop on Staten, at Tuck's place. He went missing a week or so later. It must've been someone in disguise, but… what the hell kind of a disguise would that've been? Unless it was someone just keeping an eye on the weekly poker game, God knows why. Adam, possibly… the Company? Could be. I don't know."

Elisabeth hesitates and asks, "Metamorph, maybe? Company or Homeland or Pinehearst using the pawn shop as a cover?"

Cardinal nods a little, his lips pursing in a frown, "Possibly. There's no real way of knowing. I'll see if he left a way to contact him at Tucker's place…"

Leaning up to kiss his neck lightly, Elisabeth nods. "If or when you decide it's time to pass the information on, tell me, okay? And if something comes up that looks relevant, I'll let you know before I give anyone else your info. I'm not … " She pauses. "I'm not entirely comfortable keeping information on the Company away from Helena and Cat, but at the same time, right now I also can't see how it'd be of any real benefit to spill it. So I'll keep sitting on it. Meanwhile, I'm also going to put out some discreet feelers to verify that these people are, in fact, alive and well. Hell… some of them may even be useful to us."

"Yeah." Cardinal's head drops forward from the wall as she kisses his neck, nuzzling at her temple lightly as he murmurs there, "We'll see what we can find out. I'll call Parkman later today - I have his personal number - and see about feeling him out. I won't go into details on the rest, just his father, and that he's with Pinehearst."

Elisabeth smiles faintly. "You could just go upstairs, you know. He lives in the building."

Cardinal blinks. Twice.

"Well," he chuckles, "That'd simplify matters."

"Doesn't it, though?" Elisabeth murmurs with a grin. "Men… always gotta do it the hard way." And she rolls her eyes at him.

"I don't recall you objecting to the hard way a few hours ago," Cardinal replies shamelessly, grinning back to her.

Elisabeth sticks her tongue out and blows a raspberry at him, then laughs because for the first time in several weeks, she just plain feels like being silly. "I couldn't think of a good retort," she giggles at him.

Cardinal shakes his head sadly, "You're losing your touch." A kiss is pecked to her nose, and then he pushes himself up again, "Alright. Let's you and me jump in the shower… then we can go over the rest of these Company people over breakfast. I'll cook."

Oh boy… now there's an offer she can't refuse. The tandem shower, not the breakfast… though the latter will be welcome too. Showers done and information shared, the return to the gritty ugly streets of reality must then commence. The one bit of advice she does offer him as he leaves is, "Be careful with Matt Parkman. The telepathy thing, of all the powers out there, sort of freaks me out. So far he's given me every reason to believe that he's a good man… if for some reason it was him on Staten Island or someone he hired… we could be in far deeper than we realize. Lemme know if anything pops."

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