I Want Forever... On My Terms


elisabeth_icon.gif trask_icon.gif

Scene Title I Want Forever… On My Terms
Synopsis Unconventional and unusual, but if it works for all concerned…
Date March 18, 2009

Trask's Apartment

Elisabeth lets herself into Norton's apartment with the key that she's been using for weeks. She's carrying a large bag of Thai take-out just because it's simpler than worrying who's ccoking. She's wearing unrelieved black today — sweater, slacks, boots, jacket — and it highlights the weight loss of the past couple of months. She's a good 15 pounds off her previous weight, and the takeout is her way of attempting to assuage Norton's concern about it. Her movements don't betray the fact that she was shot two days ago, though he knows that — he's still listed as one of her emergency contacts at the hospital. But Abby's work was thorough. She sets the bag on the kitchen's breakfast bar and calls out, "Norton? Where are you?" when she doesn't immediately see him.

Trask is just coming out of the shower, he is wrapped in a towel. "Hey your running ahead of schedule, or I am running behind." He smiles, "Give me a moment?"

Poking her head down the hall, Liz stops outside the bathroom door and hesitates. "Yeah," she says. "Okay." Pivoting on her heel, she moves toward the living room slipping her coat off as she goes.

Trask chuckles softly, and finds himself a pair of work out shorts, then comes out looking for you.

When he comes out, she's setting out dinner and utensils on the low coffee table, assuming they'll eat sitting either on the couch or the floor in front of it. She stands and removes her holster from the back of her pants, setting it up on the breakfast bar still inside its holster and then heads back. Her lips quirk up in a half smile that doesn't quite meet her eyes when she sees him. "Sorry — I managed to get away from the shrink's office early, so I figured I'd head over. Brought that second Narnia movie with me, too."

Trask smiles and leans over to give her a kiss on the back of the neck. "They giving you a hard time? "

Elisabeth shakes her head negatively, leaning back into the embrace a moment. "No… they should be, but they're not. They don't want to take the chance on any of us actually needing help right now, it takes an able body off the street," she tells him quietly. Her head drops back to rest on his shoulder. "They'll take me at my word that I'm okay."

Trask says, "Are you ok?" He kisses your ear, nibbling a little, "Do you want to talk about it?"

"I really don't want to talk about it," she replies softly. "I want it all to go away. I want it not to have happened. I want to …. turn back the clock and go back to before the virus, before the city became a war zone, before we had people beating their Evolved kids to death, a huge upswing in suicides, and everyone hunkering down like they're waiting for the other shoe to drop." She turns her head to rest her forehead against his cheek. "I want you and Abby to have never been taken to that awful place. And I want the fucking mayor and whoever else to get off their collective asses and send in the goddamn military to retake Staten Island from the scum of the Earth. I want someone to go in and purge Homeland Security's people, and I want them to make an effort to show people that there's no reason to be afraid all the time. Big wish list, huh?"

"Do you think making my .. experiences public about Staten Island would help spur people on?" he asks.

"I don't know." Elisabeth pulls away from him, her body language as confused as her thoughts. "I don't know, Norton. Abby and the guy who turned my arm to stone both went in and gave statements. The DA won't move on it because…" She laughs bitterly. "Get this…. because Staten Island is no man's land and we don't have jurisdiction. So Abby was kidnapped right off a Manhattan street, but the fucking DA is going to completely overlook THAT part and claim that because she was held in Staten, there's nothing he can do."

Trask says, "So…Staten Island is no longer part of New York? Is it part of the US still?"

Elisabeth looks at him. "Do I look to you like I have any answers? If I do, you need your eyes examined," she says quietly.

Trask says, "I could make a public statement about it. It might cost me my job…but…."

There's a moment's pause while she looks at him. "You want my honest opinion? It's not going to change anything. No one out there wants to hear that Staten Island has become our very own Port Royal." Elisabeth shakes her head. "Nothing you say will change that right now."

Trask nods, "So what is the point of trying to stop it, if it's inevitable?"

Now she looks at him sharply. "Look…. what do you want from me? A recommitment to the cause? What do you want out of this conversation, Norton? My mindset? Cuz right now, it pretty much fucking SUCKS. I figure if thirty-five dead kids can't turn the tide, what the fuck chance do we have? I think at this point, I'm just trying to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Same as I've done since the night you went into the river." Elisabeth feels vaguely cornered, and it's reflected in the way she's taken several steps backward from him at this point.

Trask takes a few steps foward, closing the gap, his arms move around her, and if she doesn't resist he kisses her, hard and fast and hungrily.

…. Well, that wasn't what she expected. Elisabeth is stunned into immobility for a moment, her brain not capable of catching up with this move and caught in a split second of 'buh…. huh?' And then her arms creep up around his neck and she kisses him hungrily in return, the taut awkwardness of the past several days subverted.

Trask breaks the kiss after a few moments looking into her eyes. "I am not still missing, I am right here, and I don't know about you, but it seems like a miracle to me, if this is possible…I think anything may be possible."

So much has happened since that night. She killed people. Deliberately. And as much as she'd like to think she's put it all behind her, just seeing him? Just rescuing him last week…. it brought a lot of things back to the immediate forefront of her mind. Toss on top of that she's picked up a thirty-five-dead-kid case that has the media in a fury and that she's been shot in the past three days…. and her hands slide down from his neck. She hits him in the chest, hard. "Damn you," she whispers softly. "DAMN you. You disappeared. You died. You had to be dead, right, because you damn well vanished without a trace for WEEKS. And it's selfish, and I hate that I feel this way, but damn you. You promised." The last is choked off as she rest her forehead against his face. "And you went through hell and came back, and all I can think right now is my own feelings, and I feel guilty as hell for that. I hate it."

Trask brushes her hair and just holds her, "It's ok…Liz….your feelings are important, they are important to me. You don't have to feel guilty for having them."

Elisabeth chuckles softly, and it's not even a happy one. It's a bitter one. "And you're still doing it. You're being all…. YOU about this!" She pushes him back and looks up. "You won't tell me what it was like over there, you won't tell me what you're thinking, what you're feeling. You won't let me in. Again. And so I have this ridiculous amount of *ick* inside me because I have this whole slew of emotional reactions and I don't want you to make them important right now. I want you to just… I don't know. Let me do something for you."

Trask sighs, "I …..you don't want to know what it was like in there." He turns and looks away. "You know if there was anyone in the world I could tell it would be you, right? But….it's not something you want to hear."

"It doesn't matter if I want to hear, Norton." Elisabeth reaches up and touches his face. "It matters that you need to not keep it in. It matters that you need to say out loud that you're… whatever you are. Angry that it took us so long? Just angry that it happened? Are you angry? Or is it just stress and trauma and relief at being alive? Or… I've heard stories about the cage fighting ring. Were you one of them? Did you have to deal with that? Just.. " She sighs. "You don't have to tell me now, okay? I just want you to know that it doesn't matter whether I want to hear it…. I'm here if you want to say it."

Trask says, "I was in the cage fighting ring…..it was hours of boredom, finding ways to escape, discarding them, sinking into despair. Followed by moments of pure terror and pain and fighting for my life against people who were paid to kill me. Am I angry? No…….because through out it, I had one thing to hold onto, one thing that kept me going…and it was you. You were what I was living for…and ….I know you don't want to hear that….I know I scare you when I talk about that…and thats why I have been keeping it in, but honestly…the only reason I survived was because of you."

Elisabeth looks up at him and says softly, "Finding out you'd gone off the bridge, weighted down with all that gear, with Sylar…. Cat came to tell me what happened, because…. well, I had to show up at work. To cover. When she told me… I threw up. I couldn't even… cry, I just threw up and tried to figure out…. what to do next." She bites her lip and says softly, "I killed people. I… and then the first thing Harvard did was take my badge and my gun. He wanted to chuck me in jail. So I had to… brazen it out with him. And things kept getting worse. And the news kept getting worse… Helena, Alex, Brian's clone… " She shakes her head. "And Teo kept offering hope. That you were in hiding. That you'd be okay. And all the others who went off the bridge turned up, and you didn't. I just…. " She hesitates. "I couldn't cope. And I didn't have anyone to talk to; I had to cut myself off for a while to keep my cover intact and I was working 20-hour days, and I just…. missed you. So much of my life is a secret since I talked you into letting me join this stupid super secret club," she says with a wry grin.

Trask puts his arms around you and holds you, "You have me back. Everything is going to be ok again."

Elisabeth slips her arms around him and holds him tightly. "How the hell do you have so much faith?" she whispers against his chest.

Trask says, "I have faith in something that has never failed me. You."

Liz hits him in the chest again, a little more softly this time. "How can you say that? I failed you at every turn on this one."

"Did you come for me?" he demands.

Elisabeth blinks uncertainly. "Yes…. after he proved to me that you were alive. After I gave up on you."

Trask says, "Then you didn't fail me, you came, you saved me, that is all I could ask for."

"…. Okay," Elisabeth says softly on a sigh. "I'm sorry I hit you."

Trask says, "Did it make you feel better?"

There's a long pause. "No," Liz finally says quietly. "Not much does these days besides… hiding and forgetting." She looks up at him with a faint grin. "I made a couple of friends while you were away… Damaris. Felix Ivanov's become a really good friend. Sometimes I forget when I talk to them. They get it, you know?"

"What do they get?" He smiles softly, his arms still around you looking into your eyes.

She meets his eyes and says softly, "How much I love and hate being a cop…. how much I love and hate this city…. how much I want justice and how hard the choice can be sometimes about where your loyalties lie…. how damn lonely it can be out there." Elisabeth stands on her toes and murmurs against his mouth. "I missed you."

Trask says, "I missed you too, I missed you so much I cried myself to sleep some nights." He smiles, "By the way that is not as macho as you might think around a bunch of people who want to kill you."

There's a soft giggle. "No… not a bit macho," Elisabeth replies softly. "I wouldn't… " She nibbles his lip lightly. "Don't miss me anymore, okay?" Dinner is growing cold on the table, but honestly? About now, she just wants to reassure him that he's home, he's safe…. and to reassure herself that he's home and he's safe.

Trask smiles. "Food is getting cold…and you need to eat, your wasting away…."

Elisabeth smiles up at him and says, "Well, now you're just playing hard to get." She shrugs and kisses his cheek. "If that's the way you want it, that's the way you'll get it, though." She steps back and heads for the table to pick up a container of noodles.

Trask goes to seit next to her, putting his head in her lap he grabs some food and begins eating it, looking up at her.

Elisabeth nudges him off her lap with a laugh. "I don't want noodles in my lap," she tells him. She sets up the movie and settles in to watch it with him, curled up against his side like she's done for the past couple of years — it's comfortable. Though she only takes a few bites of dinner — her appetite is abysmal for a lot of reasons — she seems content with the easy camaraderie. In truth, she's missed this far more than anything else in their relationship. Somewhere about midway through the movie, she falls asleep on his shoulder, only rousing when the credits start to roll.

Trask turns off the Tv when she starts rousing, and shhs her quietly, he leans over and whispers softly in her ear, "I missed you."

There's a sleepy smile at him, and she murmurs without opening her eyes, "Missed you too." Only then do the blue orbs flicker open so she can see him. "It's over?" Huh… that's probably the first two solid hours of sleep she's had in three days, not counting the drug-induced doze of painkillers before Abby got to her in the hospital.

Trask says, "Yeah it was good too, you missed the part where the little girl destroyed an army Moses like. And where the Minotaur killed himself to save the rats." He smiles, "You ready for bed?"

"mmm…. yeah sure." Liz rouses herself off his shoulder, shoving her hand through her tousled hair. "I'll head back and let you get some sleep," she tells him softly.

Trask pushes you back down on the couch and leans over to give you a nice deep toe-curling kiss.

Not like she's going to object to that, though her initial response is hesitation again. Still, she wraps her arms around him to return the kiss.

Trask breaks the kiss and looks into your eyes, "I never said anything about you going home."

Elisabeth looks up at him, her puzzlement showing in spite of the small smile. "You confuse the hell out of me. I invite you to bed, you turn me down flat and shoo me off to eat. And then you change your mind." She studies his face.

Trask says, "No I just have priorities, no point in letting the food go to waste." He smiles and kisses you again.

Her kiss is soft this time, a bit hesitant. And when he pulls back this time, Elisabeth looks up at him and says quietly, "I want forever…. and if you're okay with it being unconventional, because I've just come to accept that conventional isn't what I want out of my relationships…. I want to be a part of your life forever."

Trask has a little bit of a tear in his eyes, he wipes it away. "That is what I want more then anything."

Elisabeth slides her arms up around him and murmurs with a grin, "Okay… I just have to learn not to talk to you about those other relationships, hrm?" as she leans up to kiss him.

"Other relationships?" He puts a hand against your chest a moment.

Elisabeth promised him honesty. Always and ever. "You don't really want to hear about my friends or dates or whatever, do you?" If the fact that she's got other friends bothers him, she'll actually be a bit surprised. He's been privy to her dating habits since they became friends, and there's never been just one. And she's never been serious about any of them.

"Not especially no…but…" He sighs. "I want to be here for you Liz…and who do you go to when you have problems with your…friends?""

Elisabeth touches his face. "I'll work it out. My 'friends' are not going to come between us. You've been my best friend and you will always be my best friend, but I wouldn't expect that of you."

Trask says, "I'm here for you, what ever you need…you know that right?""

Elisabeth now slides her arms up around him. "What I need is for you to shut up, Norton. I need you to make me shut up before I say something else stupid that bothers you. And I need you, to be quite blunt, to make me forget that you got held hostage, terrorized, and mistreated while there was nothing I could do about it. I need to know that you're okay, that we're okay."

Trask says, "Well then…if I had come home the night of the bridge…what would you have done?"

Elisabeth looks puzzled. "What would I have done?" She's not quite following.

Trask nods, "If I had come home that night, never been kidnapped, what would have been your first gut reaction?"

There's a tilt of her head, and Elisabeth says quietly, "I think it would have been to hug you tightly and be grateful you weren't one of the casualties. I don't know if things would have changed as much … if I'd have said what I said tonight… back then. Is that what you're getting at?"

Trask kisses you, hungrily, deeply, after a brief word, "I know this is what I was gonna do."

Elisabeth ohs! And well, now…. let's just go back to the fun part of the night. No argument there. Liz's arms slide up around him and she returns the kiss heatedly now, as if getting themselves on the same page eased something of her stress levels. Best friend? Check. Home from Hell? Check. Hot sex too? Double check. Life is getting better!

March 18th: Enjoy The View
March 18th: Now A Gentle Beast
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