Hypocrisy Is Alive And Well


alec_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Hypocrisy Is Alive and Well
Synopsis Lunch sort of goes wrong when Liz tells part of the truth.
Date March 13, 2009


Alec sits at a table with a plate of fried mushrooms waiting for her to arrive. He plays with his PDA, grinning and wincing in time with the ribald comments that Jon Stewart makes as he verbally filets Jim Cramer on an online recording of yesterday's Daily Show. "Ouch. And the judges take a point away." he mutters to himself, though he can't seem to get the self satisfied grin to go away, "Just tap out Jimmy boy, tap out and take the whooping like a man…" he distractedly dips a mushroom into some ranch sauce and munches it happily.

Not their usual haunt, but that's okay with Elisabeth. She's all over town lately. When she walks in, she drops a hand on his shoulder as she comes around to take the seat across. "Hey there," she greets him with a grin. "What's up?"

Alec punches the button with his thumb to shut down the recording and he eyes her, "Nothing really. Asked a cabby to take me to a nice place for lunch, he dropped me off here. Appetizers are great." he salutes her with another mushroom and grins, "See, now you're sitting all the way over there. How am I supposed to get all possessive and sneak in a fondle if you're all the way over there?" he teases, flicking a crumb at her. "How's your day?"

Elisabeth rolls her eyes at him. "You could play footsies with me," she quips easily. "Or, you know, you could say 'hey, why don't you move over here so we can "talk?"' Cuz that's always a good start." Liz actually does drop her coat into the chair she'd intended to sit in, leaving her blazer on as she takes the chair next to him instead. "Don't fondle me too much, though… I'm carrying high today," she says in a soft murmur. She briefly flashes the shoulder rig at him as she sits. She takes a mushroom from the plate, her expression far more at ease than it's been in weeks except when she's been in his company. "Glad you called for lunch, though. Haven't seen you in ages."

Alec nods his head, "I know, how crazy is that? Suppose it's only natural though. You're saving the world, I'm building shopping malls or whatever," bridges and sky scrapers but it's all the same, "we're busy people. Hence!" he waves a hand at the place, "Plus I hear they have killer burgers here…" then he grins, "And what makes you think carrying high would have anything to do with how I was planning on fondling you gorgeous?" teasing aside, he doesn't do much fondling beyond plucking up her hand and pressing a light kiss to it's fingers.

Laughing softly, Liz turns her hand in his to squeeze his fingers as he kisses her. "Well, hey, I don't know where you're planning on putting your hands. If I was carrying inner-pants today, that could be complicated!" she laughs. "So how've you been this week? Anything fun going on?"

Alec nods his head, "Wait." he looks confused, "You carry a gun /in/ your pants? That can't be comfortable." he hrms a bit, "Note to self: Check before molesting, may shoot Liz in her naughties." For a fraction of a second he considers telling her about his outing the night before, the frame job he droped on a trio of miscreant thugs, the lessons he taught his thief in training, but… Well. Somehow he doubts it would go over well. Besides, the conversation he taped… well, it's more sobering then his tale was funny. "Not in particular. Mostly I've been doing what what I do, and spending my nights alone. Cold. Hugging a pillow and sniffling in remorse over my lovers lack of interest." he gives her a quivering bottom lip and big puppy eyes.

Elisabeth laughs at him. "Actually I do occasionally… I like my inner-pants holster." For a woman who spent some time earlier this week toting an M4 looking like a blond commando, she's remarkably calm about the everyday stuff. "Hmph. Gimme a break. There's no lack of interest, believe me. Just…. been busy too. Working mostly." She's not lying, she's been pulling a lot of evening hours lately. "You telling me I'm your only squeeze these days? Here I thought you had at least one other person on the side," she remarks mildly, popping another mushroom in her mouth.

Alec chuckles and shakes his head, "No time. I have a protege I've taken to trying to train in. Thinking about sending her to college, giving back and all that. Not sure yet though. Hard worker, but a little abrasive. Gotta polish her people skills. But she doesn't carry a gun so not my type." he winks at her.

Elisabeth purses her lips after she swallows and says easily, "Well now… seems to me you've got pretty high standards, so I take it as a compliment that you're being choosy." Then she grins cheekily. "Cuz after all, not too many women are going to measure up to me."

Alec grins, "My thoughts exactly." he states easily, taking her cheeky nature in stride. When the server arrives, he hasn't shown any signs of noticing, he's doing that 'lost in her eyes' stare that men get from time to time. He starts and looks up, "Oh! Um. I'm still looking." he pokes Liz to order while he hurriedly flips through the menu.

There's a snicker and nary a blush in sight at this point. Elisabeth orders a burger, fries, and a cola — she's still on duty, after all. Lunch is a luxury she hasn't availed herself of regularly in the past month — her slender curves are not unhealthily thin, but she's definitely a good ten pounds or so lighter than she was back when. "I have a hard time occasionally telling when you're being serious and when you're just … flirting to pull my leg," she admits with a grin, referring to his lovesick swain impression.

Alec grins at her and orders the same thing, giving up on the menu and handing it over, he eyes her, "You're a cop, I can understand not being sure of someone's motives. But you are also an intelligent, stunningly beautiful woman who could soundly kick my ass before shooting me. I guarentee, the only time I'm pulling your leg is when you're pants are stubbornly refusing to come off like a good pair of jeans should."

Okay…. outright laughter now. Elisabeth leans back in her chair, a full belly laugh keeping her occupied for a good long minute. "Well, I'm feminine enough to appreciate that you think so, and realistic enough to think that you're a little bit crazy. Stunningly beautiful is over the top. A lot over the top," she comments. And it's not even false modesty — even if he really thinks it, she just doesn't. "See, now *that* is why you should have just asked me to your place for lunch… that would have been a far nicer lunch break than food."

Alec laughs, "Aw, but we so often eat in. Eventually you're going to have to take me out in the sunlight for people to see. Or havn't your collegues begun to ask who is sending you gifts. Speaking of! As we chit-chat here about your classic beauty and I carefully avoid waxing poetic about the supple lines and curves that make up the glory of you, a messenger is delivering another small gift to your office… This one too should be properly embarassing." he smirks wickedly.

Oh, now that's dirty pool! "Speaking of gifts," Elisabeth says, with a blush now fully in evidence, "That was …. very sweet of you." She rolls her eyes. "Is there a reason that you're giving my FBI agent partner reason to look into your background and financials, or you just got a wish to be investigated?" she asks with a faint smile.

Alec barks a laugh at that. He knows his financials are clean, his background is clean… enough. He's taken great pains to make it so, "First, I was unaware that FBI worked in partenerships with local cops, secondly, it's illegal to utilize federal money and influence to look into the background of a citizen without proper cause, of which flowers and seduction do not apply, and thirdly I really don't care. I'm not spending my nights nibbling on his or her thighs now am I?" he sits back in his seat as the drinks arrive and he sips his, "Besides, I assume you looked into mine when we first hooked up. Find anything worrisome? Have burning questions you need answered?"

Elisabeth looks up and takes her drink, her blue eyes on him candid. "It doesn't bother you that I looked into your background?"

Alec barks a laugh, "Why would it? Find out about those murders I commited in White Chapel about a century or so ago?" he quips lightly and rolls his eyes are her playfully, "Look, I'm not an idiot. A beautiful woman comes up to me in a deli and sits at my table, that's amazingly good luck. To think that she's a cop who, upon meeting a stranger and going to bed with him /wouldn't/ at least run his name through whatever it is you run names through is just lunacy. Especially in this day and age." he shakes his head slightly, "Of course, you could have asked. But then we're full circle to you being a cop and suspecting everyone's motives."

Elisabeth chuckles quietly. "And if I told you that our first meeting wasn't entirely as coincidental as all that?"

Alec quirks a brow at her curiously.

Elisabeth shrugs a little. "You met a friend of mine and she was intrigued by your credentials. She's…. quite eccentric. Not unusual in this city. She was considering having modifications done to her building and wanted to know if you were good at your job and could be trusted with client confidentiality. So… I contrived a way to meet you to see if I could figure out what kind of guy you are," she confesses. "I hadn't expected to like you, though… well, okay, so the fact that I liked the look of you and I was a bit lonely probably influenced my decision to go about it that way," she adds with a bit of a nose wrinkle. "It's sort of awkward to admit this after we've gone to bed and all, but … well, there you have it."

Alec hrms a little at this and seems to ponder the information, "So you have a friend who must be rich, or you wouldn't have used the word 'eccentric', who met me who wants modifications done to her home. I'm not a designer or an architect, which means these modifications are structural in nature and if done improperly could prove catastrophic for the building." he stares at her for a long moment, "And you're chosen method of finding out if I was right for the job wasn't to look at the work I've done in the past, not to look into my professional reputation, not to check my educational credentials or even ask me… It was to seduce me at a Deli?" he seems confused, and a little … irritated. Alec hasn't been the sort to let things get to him, at least, not since she met him. This seems to bother him a smidge.

Elisabeth laughs at him. "Oh, I did all of that too — it's what drew me to want to meet you, that impeccable reputation," she admits. But she can see that it bothers him. "It's a complicated confluence of things that made it happen, honestly. And no, I had no intention of seducing you when I sat down there. I actually intended merely to ask you about what you did for a living and draw you into conversation about it. But, well…. it turned into what it was."

Alec runs a hand through his short hair, "So… All of this," he points between the two of them meaning what they're 'doing', "was what exactly? Started because some rich friend of yours wanted a panic room added to her home or something?" now he sounds a little angry. Not irate, just mad. "Obviously my record didn't pass muster otherwise your rich friend would have contacted my firm by now, and she hasn't. So I'm not good enough for her additional hall or in ground swimming pool she wants built…" he frowns hard, it's the first time she's seen the frown and the lines of his face show up in contrast. Proof it's not his first frown. "This is insane."

There's a long moment where Elisabeth weighs what to say next. "You know…. I find myself at a loss for words about not," she admits. "Your professional reputation is amazing, and all she asked me to do was look into whether you were laundering money for the Mob or something. You weren't, I passed that on, and she hasn't hired or contacted *anyone* that I know of as yet." She shrugs. "Not that it's any of my business one way or the other, honestly. The fact that you clearly knew your business made me decide to maybe meet you in person, ask you about your work. 'This'," she says, pointing between them, "has nothing to do with that. I sat down with you for a casual conversation, a casual conversation was all we had. A little flirtation. In all honesty, not sure I thought it would matter how we met. But… since it clearly irks you, what do you want to do about it?" She tilts her head. "You wanna ditch it on the basis of the fact that I chose to meet you in person after reading your credentials?" She doesn't sound angry, merely…. maybe puzzled.

Alec blinks, "I'm an /engineer/. Why would anyone think I was laundering money for the mob?!" he looks more confused then before, "Wanna ditch-no! I'm just… How would you feel if I started digging around into your background?" he asks eyeing her, "I mean it'd be harder for me because I'm not a cop and I can't just log on to some computer and bring up someone's history because some rich chick decided she wanted a look see." he shakes his head, "I don't know. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to fit this little puzzle piece into what I already know of you. I thought you were… different. You know where I came up, how I came up, rich people have always gotten what they want because they had money and friends in law enforcement, and I understand that's the way of things, it won't ever change. I just didn't suspect you'd be one of those people. I'm having a moment of culture shock is all, gimme a bit. Kind of a lot to lay on a guy in a single sitting you know?"

Elisabeth considers and says quietly, "I guess I'd be pretty pissed at me…. although you seemed okay with the idea that I was checking all the same crap for myself just because I'm a cop. I'm not sure how it's any more of a culture shock that I might do a favor for a friend — I didn't really get any more information than anyone savvy on the Internet could find." She sips from her soda. "And I'm going to choose to *not* interpret that to mean that you think I'm somehow on the take — cuz that's kind of what it sounded like," she says mildly.

Alec takes a long deep breath, the sort people take to focus their thoughts, "Because you're protecting yourself from a potential sexual offender or whatever. She just wanted the same thing, except she doesn't have the right to do that. You can't read my financials because you're good online, it doesn't work like that, not unless you're breaking the law." he takes another drink and seems to calm slightly, "My parents were rich." he says after another long pause fraught with all manner of tension. "At least, that's what I've been able to dig up. They were rich beyond comprehension apparently, and they paid off a lot of people very well when they threw me to the wolves of the foster care system. Whether they paid in favors or cash, it doesn't matter. They had friends in government and they used those friends to hide the dirty little secret that is me. I have no idea who they are, no records exsist because that's the sort of thing that happens when you have money. Rich people cheat because they can. They get away with things because they can. It doesn't make it right. If your friend wanted my to build her something, she should have just looked at how good I am at /building/ things. My personal life is none of her concern, and the fact that you thought it was okay to give it to her makes me wonder what other 'harmless' things she might have other friends of hers do. Are you the only person she asked to screw around with my life? Can you be sure? Am I being followed? My phones tapped? Friends and collegues looked into just because they happened to have a business lunch with me?" he's not mad anymore, but he's backed down to irritated again.

Elisabeth listens quietly, making no move to interrupt him. She doesn't feel the need to change his feelings about rich people or anything else. She does, however, draw the line at his inferences. Setting her drink down, Elisabeth leans forward and says sternly, "One: Do you think I'm so poor a judge of character that I would be friends with someone who would screw around with other people's lives and fuck around with other people in your life like that? And two: Do I seem like the kind of person who'd turn over personal details of your life to someone else?" Because she didn't — not more than the basics that he was a foster kid. "If you believe either of those things, then we're done. Right here, right now. Make the call."

Alec's mind starts to crunch the numbers, or rather, more specifically, he has a conversation with himself in his head. He's really very good at that. Better then most. It's one of those mental conversations made less of words then of fast firing arguments of emotional concepts and inferred judgments. He actually likes Liz, and she is fun to be around… But he's not sure how long he can do this. Every day is a greater risk… still. She's a fount of information, he's just not sure it's the sort of information he wants. He's not a hero, he's a thief, he knows how the world works and honestly believes you can't change it. You can just try to get out before the hammer comes down on you, one giant complicated game of whack-a-mortal. "No." he says after a bit. He can't help himself. He needs to see it through, all of it. Though he is amused by her quip about being a good judge of character. "But you didn't seem like the sort of person that would go digging through someone's life for someone else either," he points out. "Like I said, it's a little much to lay on a fella over lunch." the food has arrived, though he honestly couldn't say when. He was to busy playing his role. He eyes it and sighs, "How about this? How about we table the fight, I don't like fights, and we instead enjoy the meal? I'll stop being a jack ass and you can stop being insulted and we'll figure it out tonight over dinner? Say… my place this time?" It'll be the first time she's been to his place.

In truth, the argument has done two things to Elisabeth: made her realize that she actually cares what this man thinks of her and ruined her appetite. "Fine," she says quietly, a bit mollified by the fact that he doesn't believe that of her. Her expression has eased from one of anger to a neutral one with only a crease between her brows to give away her upset. Until she looks at her plate with an expression of distaste, pushing it away a bit, moving to pull her coat out of the other chair to retrieve money from the pocket to set on the table to cover her lunch. "Tabling it is fine," she says quietly. "But I can't stay. I need to get back to work." Which is probably as transparent a lie as she's ever told, she's just upset now — both at Alec and at the realization that her best friend is back and this is both the kind of thing she'd usually talk to him about and the *last* thing she wants to talk about with him. "Dinner'd be nice, though. I'm working the evening shift, so it'll have to be late," she offers softly as she starts to slide her chair out.

Alec stands when she does and while she might not be in the mood, he slips an arm around her waist and pulls her in for a little hug and a kiss on the cheek, "I'll make something Greek." he says with a small grin, "And I know you didn't have to tell me, don't think it escaped my notice." he touches her face gently, "It was just… baggage I guess. Stuff I thought I'd left by the road awhile back that keeps catching up with me when I least expect it."

Elisabeth looks up at him, a little resistant to the hug and kiss, and says quietly in his ear, "In general, I do my best to be honest with the men in my life. Even when it's not comfortable. Whether it's the fact that I don't get exclusive without major conversation so they shouldn't assume it or that I've done something that's going to piss them off. And I understand why you're angry, you have every right to be. Maybe the reason I'm upset is because the accusation's just a little too close to home," she admits. She turns her face into the light touch, and then pulls away. "We've all got baggage, and I'm sorry that triggered yours. I'll call you when I know when I'm getting off work."

Alec nods his head and steps back, "You have my number." he smiles warmly, but there's a tightness around his eyes. Dammit. Now she's gotta go and be all human about it. He has a sudden urge to tell her everything, which once identified shocks him more then a little. Huh. Well that was stupid. Pangs of conscience aren't his style.

March 13th: No Rest For The Non-Wicked
March 13th: John vs John
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