I Have the Shot


elisabeth_icon.gif niki2_icon.gif

Scene Title I Have the Shot
Synopsis Two friends reconnect over coffee and breakfast, and plan for the inevitable and what will follow.
Date January 18, 2011

Dorchester Towers: Elisabeth Harrison's Apartment

This is a pretty standard two-bedroom apartment, although the occupant has gone to some effort to make it her own. Although the carpet is the ubiquitous beige, the walls are painted a soft rose-gray mauve shade, giving the main living space warmth. A dark gray sectional sofa sits in the living room facing an entertainment center that contains a state-of-the-art stereo system and a less upscale television setup. A coffee table sits in the curve of the sectional, and floor lamps bracket the ends of the furniture. The dining area hosts a four-seater square oak table and chairs, with the table generally host to a slew of mail and papers. An oak sideboard against the wall has candles on either end of it and a glass bowl with a fake arrangement of flowers. A small wine rack sits next to the sideboard, home to no more than nine bottles. The kitchen is small, but functional, painted a soft yellow color with a transparent blue glass backsplash. Off the living room are two bedrooms, one of which has the door closed and the other appears to be a home office. Its walls are a soft shade of green, and it contains a desk with a high-end computer setup and a bookcase stocked with textbooks.

Days off are a luxury. Today is not one of them. But Elisabeth cleared her morning schedule and went home about 4am after a middle of the night call. She's awake now and standing at the counter with her coffee cup, staring at the coffee maker. Willing it to PERK. FASTER. DAMMIT. She's halfway dressed — her feet are bare, her hair's damp from the shower, but she's got her clothes on. Hey… it's a start.

Elisabeth probably wasn't expecting her buzzer to go off this early in the morning on her day off. The brunette waiting in the lobby to be allowed up to the apartment isn't generally out on social calls this early, either. But she is carrying a bag of rolls from one of the local bakeries, and a large cup of her own coffee.

There's no convincing the doorman to let her up to surprise the FRONTLINE leader, understandably. But it leaves Niki feeling a little fidgety in her dark sunglasses and olive drab military-style cap, meant to conceal her identity.

The doorman rings up, and Elisabeth meets her at the door. The name Lorine was not unfamiliar. "Mornin'," she greets tiredly. "C'mon in. Coffee's just about done." She pads on bare feet back toward kitchen. "How're things on your end?"

"I'm ready to make my move on Linderman," Niki says after she shuts the door behind her. "I brought sweets." The bag is set on Liz's counter. The smell of cinnamon fills the air when the top is unrolled. "Plates? They're kind of gooey." The sunglasses are perched over the bill of her hat, and then she's shedding her trench coat, draping it over the back of a chair.

Elisabeth blinks. "You're what?" she asks in alarm. Grabbing plates and a spare coffee cup, she sets those in front of her friend and pours the coffee. "Start at the top, if you please? I'm barely awake and I'm under DoEA scrutiny." Not to mention it's one year almost to the day since she watched a mushroom cloud of shadows. She isn't sleeping well. "You might be ready to move on the man, but I need to know what's happening. Because taking him out of the equation will leave a huge power vacuum and I thought we were on the same page about that idea."

"He's been upstate for quite some time. Nichols has been handling all his affairs. He's not even the one in charge anymore." Or so the mercenary's been able to glean from her research and resources. A cinnamon roll covered in icing is set on each plate, huge things the size of a man's fist. Nothing the two women won't work off later in their respective exercise routines. "Do you really think there's anyone set to handle the power vacuum? I think even if you try to put d'Sarthe in place," and they both know exactly what she thinks of that idea, "it won't be enough. Linderman's a big fish. It's better to do it now, while the government's ready to step in and curtail the inevitable war between the Flying Dragons, d'Sarthe, and Civella."

Niki snorts, "Let them all kill each other for all I care."

"Really," Elisabeth drawls thoughtfully, her lips pursed on the edge of her coffee cup. Hrm. "No, I don't know if there's anyone to handle the vacuum. And frankly, I'm of the opinion that if we take Linderman out now, …. the resulting chaos might actually keep any of those bastards from consolidating power." She taps a fingernail against the counter, contemplating. "Let me have a word with Richard on it and get his thoughts. But I'm inclined to tell you to take the shot if you have it."

"I have it." The (dyed) brunette confirms. "If you want me to take it, I will, and you can tell Richard I acted on my own." Niki takes a sip of her coffee and pulls off a piece of the giant cinnamon roll, taking the time to put some sugar in her blood stream before she picks up her thoughts again. "I'm done, Liz. After this, I'm out. I can't… do this anymore. All puns about my psyche aside, I don't recognise myself when I look in the mirror anymore. I want out."

Elisabeth's cool blue eyes meet Niki's gaze. "If you take the shot, it will be on my order," she informs her friend quietly. There is no dodging this, and it's Elisabeth's call. "I want to be sure we don't have other plans for Linderman himself or we don't need him for anything before I give you the go-ahead." There's something in the way she phrases herself that may give away she's not going to Ricahrd for permission or for him to make this call — it's already made and the man is unlikely to know it until the shot has been taken, barring the possibility that Richard may say there's something in the works that we need the man for. "And anytime you want out, babe, you got it. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you've done. But I know how hard it's been on you too."

Niki bristles at the idea of using Linderman for anything, but she doesn't raise her voice in protest. Not against Liz. "After Linderman's dead, or in prison. That's been my sole purpose for so long… I need to try and figure out what happens next." Her brows furrow in worry. "When the other Richard attached me in that alley, he called me Jessica. And when I look at myself, the line between where I end and she begins… is harder to see. I'm afraid if I keep on like this, Jessica's going to be only one left. I need to take some time for myself and figure out who I am without my family and revenge to define me."

There's an immediate nod. "Take all the time you need, Niki. I mean it," Elisabeth says quietly, setting her cup down. "You guys have done an incredible job learning to work together, but … you're right. There are parts of you that you need to remember and recapture outside of this life. You deserve that." She hesitates. "Carry a lot of hand sanitizer with you, okay? I got word this morning that H5N10 is poised to go global — not in an attack. It apparently morphed and has gone apeshit." She grimaces.

"How the hell did you find that out?" Grey-blue eyes widen with surprise and Niki abandons her breakfast entirely in favour of inquiry. "Is this something Dick told you?" She doesn't mean their Richard.

"No," Elisabeth says quietly. "I gather he received a visit from a certain time traveling jerk." She shoves a hand through her hair. "And be careful as hell in Midtown. There are robots out there being tested by either DoEA or FRONTLINE, and they may have Evo-detection equipment."

"Nakamura." Niki's lips press into a thin line, her delivery flat. A roll of her eyes. "Robots? Like a Roomba or something? What the hell could they possibly have?"

"Yeah… well, last year when Richard turned into the living shadow? One of the things the Vanguard had in their arsenal were massive robots. Think Terminator here, only they were animal shaped." Elisabeth grimaces. "Apparently they're being modified for use on home territory. I'm starting to think that the guy who wrote those movies was a fuckin' precog."

"Lovely." More deadpan commentary. Niki huffs out a sigh. "Here's to the advancement of technology, huh?" Brows hike upward and she raises her mug in sarcastic salute.

Ffffffffffffff. The disgusted sound comes from Elisabeth even as she lifts her mug and touches it to Niki's. "Christ, Niki. The more things change, the more they stay the same." She shakes her head. Then she helps herself to a piece of cinnamon roll. "Are you going to…. deal with D.L. or anything in the middle of all this?" she asks quietly. Because Niki's heartaches have been major.

Niki covers a moment of contemplative silence with more consumption of sweet roll. She takes a bit too long chewing her food to mask the fact that she's stalling for time, or attempting to avoid the question. "If… I have to. I'm not… trying to seek him out right now. I need to figure out where I'm at before I can care about where we're at, I think."

"That sounds fair." Elisabeth offers a rueful smile. "You and me and the men, Niki… lemme tell you what." Shaking her head. "We sure know how to pick 'em, hmm?" She reaches across and touches Niki's arm. "You do what you need to, my friend. You have my number. After this, when you go to ground…. just keep in touch once in a while so I know you're okay. And if you ever want back in, you're always welcome. I trust you with my life, Niki." Not Jessica — although yes she trusts Jessica too — but Niki. "I will do anything you need to let you find your way out."

That brunette head bobs up and down slowly, seemingly a little surprised by the support she's receiving. Maybe she doesn't feel she deserves it. Or maybe she feels like Liz has too much on her plate to be offering to Niki already. "I'll keep in touch as best I can. I promise not to get myself killed without it being headline news." She smirks at that. If she couldn't laugh at herself at least a little, she'd be a worse mess than she already is.

Elisabeth smirks. "Of that, my dear, I am quite sure." She comes around the counter to perch on the stool and share coffee and cinnamon rolls. "We've come a long way in a couple years, huh?" Back when Jess threw Liz around a hospital room to take Abby…. wow.

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