Gross Romantics


elisabeth5_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Gross Romantics
Synopsis Our lives are made in these dark hours of the night
Date June 4, 2021

Raytech Industries Corporate Housing

Spooned into the curve of him with her back to his front, she strokes the forearm that lays across her. She turns her head just enough to press her temple to his cheek, the dim golden light of the nightlight she still prefers to keep lit the only illumination.

"I'll miss this," she whispers. It's so much easier to say things in the darkness, things that are just between them. Secrets and truth between lovers. "This is what I want you to remember. These moments when we're like this. The first time you held Aurora. The night we got married. Don't say I'm a gross romantic for it. Pick moments, small mundane ones… and hold them tight, Richard. They'll bring you home."

“You are a gross romantic,” Richard murmurs back softly, teasingly. There’s a fondness there, though, his hand brushing lightly along her midriff up and down, “You’re not wrong, though. It’s all about those little moments. Not the big things.”

Not battles in the street, or conspiracies behind closed doors, or nuclear explosions. Those were the battles they fought to make sure the little moments could happen. That they could hold meaning.

“How about the first time we met, when you arrested me?”

She barks out a soft laugh. "I am never, ever going to live that down, am I? It was your own fault, you know. You broke in there. Why the hell did you stay to actually be picked up by us, anyway? You could have been long gone." Elisabeth has never thought to wonder about that until this very moment, actually.

“Hollingwood told me to,” Richard answers with a low chuckle, his eyes closing, “She was a Persuader. Pretty sure she registered her ability falsely– couldn’t stop myself, had to stay and slip away later.”

“I wonder if she’s alive,” he brushes a kiss against her hair, “I should send her a thank-you note.”

She squirms a little, pressing back just slightly more into him. A sort-of hug maybe, burrowing that tiny bit closer, as she chuckles quietly. "So strange to think of those years… it's lifetimes ago." Elisabeth goes silent for a moment, perhaps thinking of those years.

"Do you remember when I salvaged your retirement fund?" She grins a bit. "That hidey hole you had? We practically had to use dynamite to get in there." A pause. "It was kind of fun to blow it up." Her body shakes against his in silent giggles.

A laugh of his own, and he murmurs, “I remember. I used to have so many of those little places, where nobody could physically get to…” He snorts a bit, hand shifting to find hers, tangling fingers together, “These days I bet you could just vibrate the concrete to dust.”

She twines her fingers into his and holds on, lifting his hand to kiss it before cradling their joined hands under her chin. "Probably," is the soft reply. Elisabeth hesitates and then admits, "While Isa was learning physics, I went to the school with her to their acoustics labs … I spent months fine-tuning my ability. Learning more about infrasound and ultrasound and how I did what I did back then. Learning harmonics and resonance, just seeing what I could do. It was ultimately useful – helped stabilize our side on the way home, under your mom's direction." She grins cheekily. "Haven't graduated to shattering ballistic glass in my sleep yet, though."

A pause. "What other moments keep you going?" She's genuinely curious what will come to mind for him.

“Thank God for that, our budget couldn’t handle it. We’d need to move somewhere without mirrors and switch to plastic bowls,” Richard quips. The funniest part is that he’d probably still be using plastic bowls and paper plates if she hadn’t tamed him of that habit.

The question has him drop quiet for a moment, his thumb rubbing over the back of her fingers as she cradles that hand up close to her chin again. “Keep me going… mm. There’re a lot of memories that drive me forward but that’s not the same thing, really, is it?”

She chuckles at him over the plastic bowls. But she seems to consider the question for a long moment before answering. "Not really," Elisabeth finally says. "The things that drive you … I could probably guess a lot of those." She wiggles her feet against his shins, pondering. "I don't know if I could guess – beyond maybe a couple of obvious ones – what you'll think about while you're gone."

Another momentary silence and she snickers softly. "You still have to tell me a couple of memories that you'll hold onto so that I can think of them while you're gone… and maybe we'll be thinking about the same ones sometimes—" oh yes, she expects to take a bit of teasing for that little bit of girlyness, " — but while we were in Wasteland and Flood? Some of the stupidest things kept me going too. Like… thinking of sitting with my dad in the park on my birthday when he brought brownies, that last birthday I was home. He was pissed off. So damned mad that I wouldn't turn myself in. But… he still brought brownies. And Gianini's Pizza. Oh my god, I thought about those pizzas."

“Mm,” Richard makes a thoughtful sound, before teasing, “A certain rooftop date comes to mind, way back when. You scandalous policewoman, you…”

He breathes out a soft chuckle, “But, yeah, just… stupid stuff. Being up on the roof working on the gardens there– god, it’s been awhile since I’ve had the chance to… fuck.” He trails off, as if realizing just how much he’s slipped back into his old shoes and out of those of being a family man and businessman of late.

“On the roof, working on the gardens. On the library roof, and that stupid tree I was gardening there with Tamara,” he murmurs finally, “The time the kids figured out how to ride Spots and we had to chase them half-way through the building. Every time I got home and you were stress-baking and I held you and we talked it out. The first time I met Aurora, and she told me I was ‘almost purple’. Weirdly, all the times I met Raith at Piccoli’s for conspiracy and sandwiches. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know.”

Teasingly Elisabeth murmurs, "No, no it has not been a while since you've done that." Her body shakes as she giggles at him. But she gets more serious because she's listening. Her smile softens, and she nods at a couple of them. "I like those," she murmurs. Turning her head to nuzzle his jaw again, there's a silence.

"The ones I'm holding onto now?" Until he comes home again. "The way you looked in that first minute… when I thought you'd been killed and you hadn't and you were looking at us over Michelle's head. The wonder, the… almost disbelief that we'd done it." She smiles a little. "Because if we can do it once, by God, we can do it again." The whisper has to be eked out past a tight throat.

"The night I found you and Aura sleeping under the Christmas tree that first Christmas. It was the first time I really felt like we'd made it… that I hadn't dreamed we were here, that we'd gotten married, that we were home for good." Even if now, he's not.

A soft huff of laughter escapes her. "The look on your face in Detroit… when you turned around and started deploying all of us. The purpose and the … almost grim determination. It's what you look like when you're hellbent on getting your way… and coming home."

“I’ll be home from this,” Richard says quietly, firmly, “You know I will be. You have faith, I have faith. There’s a plan, and we’re– following it. We wouldn’t have been brought this far just to break apart now, baby.”

He leans his head against hers, drawing in her scent, and then exhales a chuckle, “Do you remember– when you came back, and I first told you about Raytech? And you were like ‘well, at least you know I don’t love you for your money’?”

She works very hard to keep her fears from bogging him down. Elisabeth has held onto faith this long, she won't lose her faith in him now. But she eyes him a little warily, "Yeeeeaaaaaah." There's a punch line in this, isn't there?

“I was just remembering, that’s all,” Richard grins a little, leaning over to nuzzle back at her cheek, “The look on your face as you tried to wrap your brain around ‘the scruffy nerfherder is worth a billion dollars’ was just… priceless, honestly.”

Elisabeth groans on a chuckle. "Yeah… that… was kinda crazy," she admits. Tipping her head to let him into the curve of her neck while they cuddle, she murmurs, "You enjoyed it entirely too much." She finally sighs quietly. It's only a couple more hours until he leaves. "You promise me that you'll be careful over there. It has a lot in common with here – The Wild goddamn West out there, just… less land mass."

She tightens her fingers around his where they're twined together under her chin and presses back into the curve of him, unconsciously trying to hide from the morning in his arms. "I believe in you, Richard. You never give up when you put your mind to something. No more martyrs in this house. I'm gonna be waiting for you."

“You’ll be so busy with everything that you won’t even notice I’m gone,” Richard murmurs, kissing the curve of her neck, exhaling a breath that washes over it, “I’m relying on you to hold everything together while I’m gone, and to prepare for the worst. Devi might be my Noah, but you’re the angel I need to guide the two-of-each-animal there. Best case scenario, we just end up with an amazing bomb shelter for the future.”

His fingers tighten back to hers, and he slides his ankle between hers, “I’ll just pretend I’m back on Staten Island. Sounds about the right mindset, just wetter.”

And he says she's the gross romantic. Elisabeth smiles just a little in the dark, drinking in the feel of laying here with him, hidden from the world where they don't have anyone pulling their attention from this moment.

She can't help the visceral reaction at the comment about Staten, though. Her body jerks slightly. "It's probably the right mindset," she agrees softly. "Some things hold true across timelines, lover. If you cross paths with John Logan, slit his throat before he can double-cross you." There is a quiet lethality to that advice– she is not kidding and from the sound of it she would do it without regret.

Pulling in a slow breath, she pushes any of those kind of thoughts aside, though… there are better ways, far more personal and intimate ones, to say farewell. What time they have left, she simply chooses to make good memories to carry them both through.

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