I Just Wanted It Over


cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title I Just Wanted It Over
Synopsis Two survivors talk, and there's music.
Date August 28, 2009

Some random safehouse

The armchair is pressed as far back into the corner of the room as it can go, the walls bracing both its back and one arm of the chair where the occupant can see the whole room with no chance of sneaking up on her. Her back is pressed against the arm side of the chair, and her shoulder rests sideways on the high back. She is curled up in a nearly fetal postion with her phone to her ear when Cat first walks in following the thrum of nearly soundless bass. Her blue eyes have been on Cat the entire time as she finished her conversation, knowing that the other woman has heard her say Denton's name and warned him not to get himself killed. Elisabeth hangs up the phone and rests her chin on top of her knees, her hand with the cell phone in it dangling wrapping itself around her upraised legs. She looks…. worn out. Physically, she's almost well — one more visit from Deckard in a little while and she'll be completely physically healed. But there's more to 'all better' than the physical, as Cat well knows. "Hey," she says softly, the damp traces of tears still present.

"Morning," she greets, taking two steps to cross the plane of that doorway when the conversation is concluded. Cat opts not to comment on the name she heard, tall and dark agents of Satan who wear cowboy hats aren't people she wishes to give mental energy to. The blonde survivor is studied in a calm silence for some moments. What one says in such a situation is a difficult thing. To ask how she's doing would be a question she already knows the answer to. She's been in this place to a lesser degree and still bears the marks herself.

Clothing for the appearance in this place is standard Cat casual. Dark shorts, t-shirt referring to some vintage rock band, athletic shoes. Atop her head is a pulled down Yankees cap, mirrored shades over her eyes. Opposite shoulders feature a guitar case and backpack.

She's actually wearing some of her own clothes. Someone — and if Cat asked at all, she knows who's been spending time here — brought a small suitcase of her things, so Liz has a pair of comfortable sweatpants and a long T-shirt on that fit just as they should. Still resting her chin on her knees, she asks quietly, "You gonna just stand in the door with shades on so I can't see your face, or you gonna come in and sit?" she finally asks, a hint of the old Liz peeking out in the rueful tone.

She's already moving when spoken to, and setting her gear down when Elisabeth's words end. "Maybe," Cat answers, one hand removing the hat and eye protection. Her backside settles onto an available surface. She doesn't let on, avoids speaking of it; but there are traces of the muted anger, the grief seen in them months before when she was released and Danielle was left behind to die. Someone's going to be putting focus into gathering intel on HF for some time to come.

Studying her friend, Elisabeth is not surprised to see the wear and tear. "You look like shit," she comments softly, any sting taken away by the gentle smile she offers Cat. "It's okay, Cat… I'm okay." It's a big fat lie, and Cat must know that. But… Liz meets the other woman's eyes and says softly, "I'm alive. The rest… will come."

"This is what we do," Cat answers quietly. "We survive, and take back power in our lives. We stay busy, try to channel everything into that." She does, at the very least. Elisabeth may or may not, but it works for Cat. Keeps her from sinking into those all too easily triggered perfect clarity recollections and never surfacing.
Resting her head against the back of the chair, Elisabeth asks quietly, "So… did you come to give me the pep talk?" Her voice is weary. "Truth be told… right now, I'm not really up for it," she admits softly.

"No," Cat answers, "I didn't. I came just to be here, and don't plan on using words more than you invite me to." She pauses. "Most of the things people ask and say ring false at these times anyway, truthfully. Or they're questions we already know the answer to, asked just to fill the air."

Blue eyes linger over Cat's face, and she asks quietly, "Will you play for me?"

She doesn't reply with words, and it's probably one of those questions the answer to is already known given that Cat came with a guitar case. But maybe not; Elisabeth also knows Cat finds them convenient for carrying her rifle, pistols, and grenades in at times. It could be a coin flip on many occasions.

But on this one it's much more certain. The guitar case is opened, she extracts the red Fender Strat and the portable amp. Plugging in happens, then she checks the tuning before resting eyes on she who convalesces.

Elisabeth doesn't move from the curled-up pose in the chair. If she were to go back to the bed, her movements would be ginger at best. Her head is beginning to throb again, too. But her eyes hold Cat's and she says softly, "You pick."

Fingers start to move, producing sounds from the instrument under their pressure. It's familiar, probably. Like most songs it has an instrument start, vocals come a short time into it.

"I saw him dancin' there by the record machine

I knew he must 'a been about seventeen

Elisabeth listens most of the way through the first stanza, then bites her lip and looks at Cat. She can't make the transition right now … too much noise. "Stop?" As ridiculous as it sounds, she says softly, "It's too much." And now she sounds beyond depressed by it. "Too … noisy." She smiles a little. "And I'm don't think I'll ever be able to listen to Bobby Darin ever again. Which sucks, cuz… I like him."

"Shift to something quieter?" Cat asks in reply with fingers coming to a stop and her head tilting. "What about Bobby Darin?"

There's a faint nod at the offer of 'quieter', and Elisabeth says softly, "Abby tells me I was gone two and a half days. I think they played Mack the Knife ever single moment of it… except when they were… " She trails off, refusing to cry yet again. She shifts her weight, though she doesn't uncurl from her defensive posture in the armchair.

"You were in a dark room," Cat comments. "There was nothing to be seen through your eyes." And she shifts gears. "I'd start playing that song all the time, to take it back from them. To let it be a reminder they failed. Because you're still here." It's been decided. Some day, if she gets the chance, when she's using a hammer to break each bone in Emile Danko's body one by one, that song will be playing.

Elisabeth swallows tightly and asks, struggling to control her fear, "Do they… know? That they failed?"

"I hope not," Cat replies. "I've not told anyone you're here among the living. It gives you the edge, if they still think you're dead. We can play disinformation with it, see if we can flush out whoever they have among the police, possibly."

Elisabeth hesitates … and nods very slowly. "I don't know what to do," she admits. "Whether to report it to my chain of command or not. I'm… still sorting out what to do."

"You're a member of the police force, and it's no secret you have an ability most people don't," Cat quietly supplies, "that made you a target no matter where you were. They grabbed you off the street, tortured you, and then attempted murder." Her face is entirely serious in its expression. "There have to be HF people in the police force. HF themselves said there are."

And there she goes, helping along Elisabeth's already-rampant paranoia. Good on ya, Cat! If it's even possible, Elisabeth curls more tightly into the chair, pulling in on herself. "I have to go back to my life. Soon," she bites out.

"Yes, you do," Cat agrees. "But I think first we should craft a strategy. Get a member of the force at the precinct you can trust to put out a different story to every other cop there saying you were attacked and survived, are being treated a some random place, and see which one or ones are visited." Some people go to paranoia, some go to smoldering anger and resolute plotting. Working to strike back, seize advantage, reclaim power in life. Cat was like this in December and January.

Biting her lip, Liz confides, "Right now… one of the people I occasionally partner up with is covering for me. They've… put it out that I'm undercover working on the serial killer case."

"That's good," she replies, reaching for one of Elisabeth's hands to squeeze it gently and transfer support. "While you were gone, I contacted Peyton Whitney."

Elisabeth holds tightly, and she frowns. "Peyton Whitney?" The name means a little to her — kidnap victim just before she herself was grabbed. "Why?"

"To help find you," Cat answers simply. "That's how I knew you were held in a dark place. She couldn't see anything through your eyes at all." The contact of her squeezing hand remains.

She rests her head against the back of the chair and watches Cat quietly. Elisabeth's expression is carefully shuttered. "I've had…. some time to consider it. I want to talk to a few more people, but… I think I have to report what happened. Weave it into the story Coren and Cassidy have cooked up for my absence," she finally says quietly. "Undercover on a lead for the serial killer case, picked up by Humanis First. The entire truth from there… they wanted to know if I knew of places where Evos go to hide." She grimaces. "Even admit that I'd heard of a few, and finally…. broke. Gave them one. The fight had to have hit the cop radar by now, even if it WAS on Staten."

The contact of her hand remains, the comforting squeeze tightening a bit with the admission, and Cat remains quiet. At this point, she simply listens to the detective, her features not showing any trace of judgment.

Elisabeth studies Cat and says softly, "I thought of Dani at lot. I never met her, you know. I'd… just barely come on board. But… I thought of her. And I…. can't help feeling ashamed that I gave them what they wanted." The admission makes her drop her eyes and pull her hand away from her friend, who lost so much to a similar type of situation

"It's never easy," Cat relates quietly. "Ethan didn't threaten to hurt us if we didn't tell him things. He said he'd hurt the other instead, and asked things of us both." She doesn't say anything more, but Elisabeth may well guess how that went. Cat wasn't missing fingers when she was traded. But Dani's left hand was a stump when the bones were found.

Elisabeth clenches her jaw tightly and says, "People got killed at the safehouse." She hasn't asked about the safehouse except for that first day, but … she knows. There's no way people didn't die. "It's my fault," she says, looking at Cat. "And I … don't know if that's a debt I can ever repay."

"No one can resist torture forever," Cat replies in a solemn voice. There's nothing she can say which will take the guilt away, nothing to make it better. She knows it firsthand, seeing Dani crack when Ethan moved toward her and might've amputated a thumb if she hadn't caved. She knows the guilt she still can't completely let go of even now of having left her behind even though the partner's final words instructed her to do so.

She might say let it all go, put guilt aside, but it won't work. So she doesn't.

Averting her eyes a bit, Elisabeth smiles faintly. She's not sure if Cat's silence is comforting or not. "I knew… that they weren't going to let me go," she says quietly. "I knew that… if I told them something, anything that they could verify… they'd kill me. I just… wanted it over," she says faintly. Her eyes are on the wall and she repeats even more softly, "I just wanted it over."

"I didn't expect to leave there either," is Cat's answer to that statement. There's no desire to go into details. They've been in similar places, different only by degree and length of torment. "But we're here. And that's the most important thing."

Elisabeth hehs quietly. "Yeah…. or something," she replies. "I, uhm… if you wanted to play something quieter until Deckard gets here, I wouldn't mind," she suggests softly. She's pretty much done talking at this point.

She nods once, reaching to turn down the amp a bit to make the sound level less offensive, and pauses with her fingers at the strings and frets as if pondering something, but chooses not to voice whatever it was. Hands move again, playing the intro, then her voice comes in.

Well, I'm running down the road

Tryin' to loosen my load

I've got seven men on my mind

There's a wrinkle of Liz's nose as she chuckles softly. "There's a new twist to an old classic," she murmurs. But she drops her head back against the soft back of the chair… and oddly enough, the music seems to soothe her where the silence just winds her up. She dozes in the chair while Cat plays, half listening and half just … absorbing.

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