Getting The Story Straight


cassidy2_icon.gif coren2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Getting The Story Straight
Synopsis Elisabeth comes by to talk with Coren and Cassidy to straighten out their collective lie.
Date August 31, 2009

Casa de Shelby - Lower East Side

It's a fairly plain apartment, although not terribly underused. Plain off-white walls mark every room, as do recently painted stucco ceilings. The floor is a moderately scuffed faux-wood laminate. The kitchen portion of the main living space sports an electric range and oven, counter with microwave, and a brand refrigerator, while the main living space — beyond the old but well-polished small dining table — holds the most worn out items, namely the black cushy couch and matching no-longer-recliner chair. Between the couch and chair is an old coffee table and a small but newer-looking end table sits at the end of the couch. There are two bookshelves. One is an antique, filled to the brim with textbooks new and old, as well as a fair few academic journals. The other is a small quick-build shelf with more casual reading, mostly comprised of books Coren read while in the hospital after being shot in the back. Nearby the end table lies a small liquor cabinet, recently re-stocked. The hallway off the right of the door leads to the bathroom and the two bedrooms.

The text went out just before 5am, and by 5:10am Elisabeth is on Coren's doorstep. To have gotten there that quickly, she must have already been en route there — perhaps assuming that Coren and Cassidy are both likely to be there anyway. She avoids the elevator, knocking on the door with rapid strikes and then stepping back against the far wall to wait to be allowed entry.

Coren clearly wasn't expecting her that soon as he went about preparing breakfast for three, so is just in the middle of scrambling some eggs when there's a knock on the door. "Bugger," he mutters himself. Cassidy, luv, would you get the door? She was faster than I expected. And it goes without saying to check the peephole to make sure it is in fact Elisabeth prior to opening the door. With how the weekend started, now that Monday morning has rolled around, it's probably best to be extra careful.

Yeah…coming. Slipping out of the bathroom, red hair clinging to her face and neck still, Cassidy is freshly showered and dressed for the work day. Moving quickly, she checks through the peephole and opens the door. Of course, she leans against the door and gives the blond a bit of a smile. "I can't even begin to tell you how glad I am to actually see you." She opens the door wider stepping aside so that Elisabeth can step into the place that Cassidy calls home more often then not anymore. "Coren's making breakfast, so your welcome to find a seat at the table."

Wearing a pair of khaki slacks and a navy blazer over a soft blue T-shirt, Elisabeth looks…. weary. Wary. Uneasy. Her blonde hair is shorter now, barely brushing the shoulders of her jacket and wildly wavy about her face. It actually gives her a somewhat fragile look, which if she realized it she would probably fix immediately. "Hey," she greets quietly. Skirting around Cassidy, leaving a bit of space between them and not touching the redhead, Liz glances around the apartment and hovers uncertainly for a long moment. She can't bring herself to SIT yet. "Morning, Coren," she says quietly.

"Elisabeth," Coren greets softly. Weary, wary, and uneasy is a sight better than Coren was expecting. He doesn't need a vivid imagination to think of how she may have looked, based on all of the emotions Cassidy went through while she was missing. It makes him rather sick just thinking about it. And he's seen victims of abuse and torture before. It's never really all that pretty. But he's glad to see Elisabeth somewhere in there. Many people don't come back. He takes the skillet off the element and sets it on a pot holder just as four slices of toast pop out of the newish four-slice toaster. "Can I get you anything?"

It takes a lot for Cassidy not to feel hurt that her friend keep her distance. Not that she blames her either. Shutting the door softly and locking it, the red headed detective heads into the kitchen to help Coren, pulling out the last of the items needed for breakfast. The way they work without saying a word, could be amusing. Cassidy doesn't really even know what to say to the other woman, though finally she breaks her silence and asks, "So what's up Liz?" No reason to beat about the bush, the other looks rather uncomfortable as it is.

"Uhm…. coffee'd be great," Elisabeth admits. She's living on the stuff to keep sleep at bay. The sense of uneasiness is magnified by the fact that this is unfamiliar space. Her eyes are continually in motion, as if assessing threats from all angles. And she's uncomfortable as hell right now, desperately fighting the urge to leave. The hurt that comes off Cassidy is just yet another slice on an already wounded soul, and Elisabeth visibly hunches under the sense. "I thought maybe… we should get our stories straight," she murmurs, her brows pulling down. She avoids looking at them. "You… you guys covered for me and I want to keep your careers out of the shitter."

Coren rubs his eyes and nods to Elisabeth, grabbing a mug to pour some coffee into. Another relatively new introduction to the apartment is the coffee maker. Pre-Cassidy era, the place was strictly tea-only. Rather than handing the mug directly to Liz, as he ordinarily might, he seems to show some of understanding of her wanting space around her, as he places it lightly on the dining table and leaves it to her to retrieve. He might ordinarily joke 'it's not poisoned,' but feels such would be distasteful and could do more harm than good. He nods stolidly to her remark. "If you go down, though, we go down with you. Besides, we're on desk duty anyway, at least for a couple of days." Because of what happened Friday night, though he doesn't say that. They haven't mentioned to Liz what happened yet. She's had enough to deal with.

Without a word the sugar and creamer follow the coffee shortly after, Cassidy giving Liz a smile. "We knew what we were possibly getting into Liz. We knew the day we told you that we'd help you and Richard as we could." As she returns to the kitchen she gives Coren a look as he mentions the desk duty, before moving to pour her own mug. We shouldn't throw that on her so soon after what happened to her. As she sets the pot back, she can't help but think how fragile her friend looks.

She does, in fact, move to pick the coffee up, sliding into the chair on the end of the table furthest from the kitchen with a view of the whole room. Elisabeth watches them move about the apartment and smiles her thanks as the sugar and cream appear, proceeding to doctor her cup with unholy amounts — Felix-level amounts of sugar! "Well… I know Cass told me that you guys said I was undercover. I'm coming back with nothing to show for it, but I thought we ought to … maybe talk it through." She glances between them warily again. "Why are you on desk detail again?"

She's bloody well going to find out anyway, better from us. Coren rubs a hand over his face. "No, you're right," he says to Liz, "We should talk it through." He looks like a cross between someone caught doing something they shouldn't and a deer caught in the headlights. Because as much as his thought was to let her know, he's no regretting it. But he has a point. "I don't really want to make any of this harder for you, but it's probably better you hear it from us than the rumour mill." That particular phrasing almost makes it sound like they slept together. Well, technically — literally, even — they did. Again. Of course, in retrospect, what he expected the rumour mill to be discussing was probably muted by Felix Ivanov's abduction. Oops.

Cassidy gives her partner a look, before moving with some of the food over to the table, smile tugging at her lips. The dishes are set near Liz so she can get what she needs first, she is the guest after all. Only then does Cassidy seat herself at the table as well. "Well…" She doesn't look happy about what she's going to tell Liz. "I got a personal face to face with Azrael." That's all she gives, she really doesn't want to explain the violating he did.. or the fact she nearly fell to her death. The whole thing still makes her stomach twist into knots and it's the whole reason she's sleeping… sorta.. with her partner again.

She's learned very quickly to tell when Cassidy and Coren are having a conversation on the side. And blue eyes narrow slightly as she watches them do it. "At least have the courtesy to excuse yourselves and have your debate about what to say to me in the other room," Elisabeth says tartly. "You may as well hit me with both barrels at this point. I doubt that the precinct is chatting too much about the two of you knocking boots when a federal agent was snatched right out from under the noses of the supposedly most experienced Evo tactical team in the country and the mayor himself." Her tone is ascerbic. "Besides… knocking boots wouldn't get you desk detail, it'd just get you split up as partners. So… what gives?" And then as Cassidy seats herself and drops that bombshell, Elisabeth's whole body tenses and the wash of absolute seeing-red rage washes through her again. "What happened?" she demands, blue eyes pinning Cassidy to the chair.

"He emptied my liquor cabinet. Cassidy went to get some refills at Morrie's a couple blocks down while I finished with dinner." Morrie's, which is now closed on account of having most of its staff disemboweled. "Turned up with my bottle of nineteen seventy-eight Cabernet — the same man Abigail saw the night I was shot. Exchanged words. Son of a bitch stole my fucking car." He's still bitter about having his car taken. "I should have installed a bloody LoJack."

Closing her eyes against the wash of rage from Liz, Cassidy has to take a breath and remind herself it's not her own. It'll take the empath time to keep the two separate. Finally, the rage becomes to much and Cassidy snaps out the words, "He possessed me." The words come out louder then she meant, since her head is a scramble of three people. Her eyes open and she just looks at Liz, strangely enough no emotion on her face. Her voice continues softer this time, "I'm stuck at my desk, cause Azrael possessed me."

And that's the part that hits her like a body blow. While she was off dealing with…. everything… Azrael went at Cassidy. Elisabeth stares at the other woman, her breath caught. She has this queer expression on her face, this… sense of horror. "Oh…. god…" she murmurs softly. There is no struggle to keep tears at bay — they're too close to the surface constantly right now, and they immediately spring up and leak down Liz's face before she even realizes they're there.

There's simply no way Coren is going to mention what Azrael did in Cassidy's body, least of all because he doesn't want Cassidy to think back to it. She was a big enough wreck after it happened, and given how things are shaping up… it doesn't seem like a good idea. What's worse is that he has Cassidy's emotions coming at him, bringing some of Elisabeth's along with them, and that makes his own eyes tear up. He takes a seat the table and rests a hand on Cassidy's shoulder, hoping that Liz might seek that too. She is, after all, amongst friends. She doesn't have to suffer alone.

There is a look of pain on Cassidy's face as she watches Elisabeth, "See why I hesitated to tell you?" her words are just a whisper, the red headed detective's own eyes fill with tears. As the first one leaves a trail of moisture down her cheek, "You don't need my problems on top of your own." Cassidy says clearly, giving her a significant look. She reaches up to pull Coren's hand off her shoulder, lacing her fingers with his, gripping it like a life line as she's got so much going through her emotionally. It's a storm of emotions. "Now.." She says calmly, giving a sniff and reaching up with her freehand to wipe at the tears. "Let's get back to the problem at hand. You were undercover…. "

In truth, Elisabeth wishes she could reach out to the two of them. She shoves her chair backward, fleeing the onslaught of horrors — her own ordeal and the imagined sense of violation that Cassidy must be feeling. "I'm so sorry," she chokes out as she moves, trying to put some distance between herself and them. Wrapping her arms around herself, Elisabeth paces into Coren's living room. Teo would be proud…. Choking all her feelings down, swallowing them whole, she grits out, "Nothing panned out. The only thing we can tell them is 'nothing panned out'. If I file a report about what really happened… we're all going to have IA crawling up our asses. *And* we'll be sidelined from the Azrael case, which… somehow I have the idea is a bad plan."

It's precisely the behaviour Elisabeth now exhibits that concerns Coren the most about their story. No matter how much they can say nothing panned out, nothing happened, anyone will be able to see that something happened. Of course, she mentions being sidelined from the case and that gets him to stroking his chin. "You know, I wonder what the bastard would do if I resigned. He stayed pretty far gone last time."

Cassidy can only hold onto her partners hand tightly, her own shakes as she tries to suppress all those emotions, pushing them down deep so that she can think. "Yeah, okay. Nothing panned out. What else? We need details I'm sure." Cassidy is determined to get her thinking about anything else. Then Coren opens his mouth and Cassidy's whole body goes still. She turns wide eyes at him."Don't even joke about that." She gasps out. "We can't just do something like that and hope he 'goes away', Coren. We need to take care of him, not make him go away." She looks at him like he's even crazy about thinking about it. Besides, you'd go crazy having to sit on the sidelines knowing you can't be there if I need you at my back. It's the truth, but she wasn't going to say that out loud.

Elisabeth looks sharply toward Coren, her brows pulling together. She admits quietly, "My original intention was to file a report this morning. But there are…. a lot of reasons I feel like I can't. The whole point of doing it …. for me…. would be twofold. Galvanizing the police department to go after Humanis First with a vengeance — which I think Humanis First has already accomplished beautifully on their own — and … my own sense of justice. I want them to pay." She bites her lip. "But I don't honestly believe that will ever happen in my case anyway. I never SAW anyone. I might be able to voice-ID one of them… MAYBE. Huge maybe. And the down side to turning it in is trying to explain why the hell YOU didn't report me missing; that really could just torch both of your careers. It could expose the people who found me, the healer who saved my life, and Richard — none of which I'm willing to do. And it could…. if they haven't already done so… push them to execute Felix." She looks between them. "And I couldn't live with myself if I thought that I caused that. It's bad enough…." She clenches her jaw and swallows. "And I think it would just piss Azrael off. He sure seemed pissed enough at the people who had me. Too bad he couldn't possess the guys torturing me and make them shoot themselves in the head," she says bitterly. "Instead …. he brought me soup." She pauses, that memory particularly vivid. The sense of… actually WANTING Azrael to stay. Begging him to tell someone where she was.

Of course it's the truth. She knows Coren too well. And Elisabeth's lengthy explanation is sadly also the truth. It makes unfortunate sense. "Who said he couldn't possess them? Probably didn't just to piss us off. Sounds like he was trying to rub into our faces the fact that he knows all of us, where we go, what we do. I swear, if I ever get my hands on him…" He'll what?

"You have to what you got to do Liz. We'll back you." They have to really, at this point. "And all your reasons are sound. You went undercover to check out a lead on the case, but after a week, nothing panned out." She glances between them both, "Just make sure we get copies of your report." Glancing at Coren again at the start of his threat… "You and my both partner." She did stand up to the man, which is probably what got her places at the edge of a roof. "What he's doing to us is getting steadily worse. It's got me worried."

Elisabeth runs a shaking hand through her shorter hair and grimaces. "Well, making sure you get a copy of my report is going to be… entertaining. Since I don't even know what I'm going to fucking write about where the hell I've been for a week. Seems almost easier to tell the truth." She considers and says quietly, "The best lies are at least 90 percent truth…. so maybe I'll just tell them I've been down on the docks and out on Staten?"

Coren has also noticed Cassidy with shaking hands frequently, which only makes him tighten his grip on her hand. If it weren't improper, she'd probably be on his lap where she feels safer. "The less fiction the better. Easier to keep things straight that way. As much as it is probably unpleasant, using as many real details as possible is definitely the best way to go." It made the whole lying about the operation to warn that gangbanger all that much easier.

Cassidy can only nod in agreement for a moment, if she talks at that moment her teeth might chatter and might set off Elisabeth again. She doesn't look at her partner, but he does get a I'm sorry. Too many emotions. as an excuse for her silence for the moment.

"I don't know that I've been on Staten… but I've been OUT there enough to be able to cover myself… I think." She nibbles her lip. "And it's not like they'd go over there and check anyway. I can…. ask some friends if someone DOES come asking to say that I was, in fact, out there that week. Maybe they can't remember exactly when, but …. I think they'd do it if I asked. That way if they say 'can you corroborate your whereabouts, I can say, "Well… some of the time."" She swallows hard. "It's the best I can do. At the very least, it only fucks my career if it goes south." She looks at them. "I'll be in the precinct this morning. If you want to be there first, I guess you better get there soon." She's not going to be eating breakfast after all… her stomach is too tied in knots. In the back of her head, she can hear the death knell of her career ….. and some part of her cannot really care at this moment. She knows that's more a symptom of what she's been through, but still… in light of Felix being missing and everything else? She's not sure she cares.

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