If The Balls Touch


elisabeth_icon.gif tris_icon.gif

Scene Title If The Balls Touch
Synopsis Two FRONTLINE soldiers who don't normally interact, do.
Date October 24, 2010

Textile Factory 17

Inasmuch as the FRONTLINE squad tends more often to be 'on-call' rather than necessarily required to be 'on-site' constantly, Elisabeth spends as much of her time as she's allowed away from the base. In spite of the fact that she technically lives here, she's gone at least as often as she's present overnight. She does, however, spend a good portion of most days present and accounted for, from PT in the mornings to armor practice to the firing range to continuing her own education somewhat (in the form of learning as much as she can about what most of the military personnel already know about the regulations and rules — the UCMJ — that govern the behavior of FRONTLINE members). She tends to be good-natured for the most part, and she's watchful of her squadmates — or rather, watchful of their backs. She makes a point of being reliable, straightforward, and building relationships with these people that she has to trust to keep her from getting dead as much as they have to trust her for the same.

The evening finds her tonight in the rec center shooting a couple of rounds of pool on her own, a half-full bottle of beer sitting on the shelf nearby. The clack of the balls as the cue ball knocks two solids sideways and drops a striped one on the rebound is not particularly loud, nor is the music playing from the radio she's singing along with. Santana's "Smooth" is playing its Latin beat and as she walks around the table, Elisabeth's voice is just beneath the sound. "And if you say this life ain't good enough, I would give my world to lift you up, I could change my life to better suit your mood, cause you're so smooth…"

In contrast to those that opt for long days away, Tris opts for staying on site when he's not on duty — with the exception of bar-crawls, dragging Michael by the elbow, or Wade, or any given somebody that might be present on the day Tris desires to make a night of things. Which might well be his aim, when he comes wandering into the rec room, having spent the day practicing his own ability and familiarising his power with the weaponry to make the best use of it. His power works through the tactile familiarity of objects — what he lacks in diversity, with his telekinesis, he makes up for in instinct and fine control.

He's not a bad team member. Despite his attitude, his general carefree demeanor, he switches to soldier like a shark dropped in the water. This is at least true most of the time.

A loud clap of his hands heralds his entrance, palms rubbing together casually as he scopes a glance of the moderately empty space to see who's hanging out, and his dark eyebrows (on contrast to spiky, cowlicked blonde hair) raise up at the sight of Elisabeth.

The clap of hands makes her jump, actually — Elisabeth's not always the best one to sneak up on, though her jumpiness has eased over the past months of being here and having Tristan occasionally just jump out at her in the rec room. After all, the way to avert a fear is to keep exposing yourself to it, right? The blonde turns to see him standing there and she leans one hip on the pool table, quirking a brow at him. "Hey," she greets easily.

"Yo," is a pretty typical response, if somewhat weakly, distractedly delivered as blue eyes quickly make sure there's not anyone else around to engage, before Tris seems to shrug his broad shoulders to himself and tip her a smile. Despite the season, sliding slowly into the chillier months, it's humid enough and warm enough that he's down to just jeans and a simple tank top of black, with some unnecessary additions — a necklace with silver shark teeth, a braided steel bracelet on a wrist, a frivolous chain that connects his wallet to his belt. "Playing with yourself?" he asks, chin up towards the pool table.

That brings a sly, wicked little quirk of her lips. "Don't usually have to," Liz retorts. "You volunteering to take me on?" The challenge is offered in that same flirtatious tone though her bright blue eyes are studying him with more than a hint of laughter reflected in them.

Pacing into the room, Tris lifts a hand. One of the unused pool cues rattles out of its holder, seemingly at its own accord, and leaps into the Californian's waiting palm. "Don't worry, I get whoever I'm with to touch the balls," he states, completely deadpan, as he casts his eye over the set up on the table. "I get called out for cheating way too much."

Elisabeth laughs out loud. "I do love to touch the balls, you know," she fires back. Setting her own cue against the table, Elisabeth starts fishing the pool balls from the pockets of the table and sending them rolling toward one end. "Love rackin' 'em even more some days," she adds with a waggle of her brows. The triangle is picked up on her way past it. Her free hand trails along the table as she completes the circuit around the table to retrieve the pool balls.

"I can tell, you're awesome at it," is offered as Tris paces the table, rests the flaring butt of the cue upon the ground to lean as he watches her set up a game, offers her a toothy grin that is a lot friendlier than his initial uncertainty — and whatever that might be seems thrown out the window in wake of banter. He bounces the cue off the ground with a mild click of wood to ground, snags it out of the air when it rebounds a few inches, forever with the restless energy and fidgeting. "You wouldn't have struck me as that kinda girl at first, but…"

"No?" Elisabeth asks curiously. "Just what kinda girl did you take me for at first?" Her hands are deft as they place the balls inside the triangle. She slips the shape off the table and walks over to where her beer sits, setting the triangle on the shelf and lifting the bottle to her lips to take a swallow, gesturing with her free hand for him to go ahead and break. Their interactions are usually either entirely casual in passing one another or entirely business — they don't generally hang out much. And he holds his own counsel close, so although her tone is laid back, her blue eyes on him are thoughtful. She has no idea what he actually thinks of her.

Approaching the table, Tris focuses more on starting the game than actually answering her question, mouth twisting as he uses his hands, rather than his power, to line up the simple shot. He only takes a few seconds, his technique that of any bar-goer who can stand a decent pool game now and then, before the doubling crack of cue to ball, then ball to more balls, sends the triangle scattering in all directions. A stripe sinks into a corner pocket.

He moves to take his second shot, before he jolts a shrug. "Dunno. Teacher and a cop, then FRONTLINE. That's kind of an enigma." Three dollar word, right there. The shot is taken, another stripe sunk. He's quick to go again, but the third shot fails to make impact, and he steps back to let her step up.

"Well, a woman does like to maintain some mystery," Elisabeth replies mildly. She sets her beer down and walks to the table when it's her turn. She was watching him and not the table, so for a moment she studies the layout. Choosing a shot that is just stupidly simple, Liz knocks one of the stripes into the side pocket, but it leaves her a bit more complicated shot to have to deal with next. As she lines it up, she says, "I'd like to think I'm not all that complicated, though." As she sets the cue ball on a vector that will hit a striped ball a glancing blow, which in turn knocks her solid toward the corner pocket, she adds, "Of course… it's nice to work with a team that sticks together the way this one does." The solid bounces off the bumper, barely missing the pocket.

Setting up his shot, this one is similarly bad luck — but it sends balls spinning off in different directions, almost entirely reconfiguring the layout. "I'm going on like a year and a half, with this gig," Tris adds, chattily, maybe obliviously. "Maybe longer. Not like I saw anything on November 8th to make me think I'm gonna get cut short, and the pay is ridiculous." In an awesome way, his tone says.

"It is, at that," Elisabeth agrees mildly. Before lining up her shot, the blonde eyes the man at the table. "But if the pay were the only lure, I doubt you'd stick." She's seen enough of him to know there's more than what he lets other people see in that head of his. "You seem to like the adrenaline as much as the money," she observes easily. Setting her cue on her hand to aim the next shot, Liz's cue ball strikes a stripe that fires straight into a solid that then drops into a pocket. As she walks around the table, she also observes even as she lines up the next shot, "I'd be happier if adrenaline didn't make you fire off your mouth in my headgear in the middle of a firefight, but it's a quirk I can probably learn to live with."

Yeah, Tris probably knew that was coming. You don't go military and then FRONTLINE without some expectation that stepping out of line will get a wrist slap. You also don't go that route without knowing what counts as out of line. Or maybe neither of those things are true, and maybe Tris has just thought about it himself since the assassination. Mild crinkles at his eyes deepen in a grimace that pulls at his mouth, fingernails working at the ridges and cracks in the cue. "I left that shit back in bootcamp," he mentions, maybe with some deliberation — in the same way he's familiar with her career, as they all are, she knows a little about his, probably.

Starts with I, ends with raq. "Or I thought I did. You can ask Mike — I'm a mouthy son of a bitch when I'm not in combat, not during. There was some— " Voodoo crap goin on, is what he wants to say, but winds up just shrugging. "It's a quirk you won't have to live with."

Elisabeth offers him a grin over the table, taking her shot. A solid bounces off the rail and deflects across the table into the other pocket. "Eh, shit happens," she comments. "Just goddamn glad it turned out as well as it did." She lines up a third shot and takes it, but it cracks into one of the striped balls and drops that instead. "You're good in the field, so a little mouthy I can live with." She offers him a grin. "Not like I don't turn megabitch on occasion too," she says by way of a peace offering. She has no need to slap the man down.

All she wants out of him is the acknowledgement that he's already given that it was out of line. That's more than enough when it comes to a team the likes of this one. "But next time I'll make you forfeit your share of the baked goods," she says with a cheeky grin. She jerks her chin toward the table. "Help yourself." There's a brown box over on one of the tables with a piece of paper that says simply, Enjoy. on it. Inside are some homemade cream cheese brownies and soem pumpkin muffins.

With both the attention span and appetite of golden retriever, Tris cranes his neck to view the offering — which is a little comical, seeing as he's already bent over lining up a shot. "Cool." As he stands to go and retrieve baked goods, the cue remains where he left it, hovering in place with its tip just half an inch from the white. A cream cheese brownie is selected in the same time to the cue jerks back without question, as if hands really were guiding it as opposed to telekinetic ability, before cracking a shot and sinking a stripe.

He turns to assess his aim, mouth full of cake, and arms raise in silent celebration. Turns out, the artillery guy, not so difficult to make peace with.

Elisabeth laughs at the display of ability. "And by the way — that was a pretty damn impressive use of teke, to fire weapons like that," she says. "I can see why people think you cheat at pool." She gestures to the hit he just made!

"You know how it's only gay if the balls touch?" Tris says, picking at baked good treat as the cue swivels around — unlike most forms of telekinesis, he isn't dependent on his own hands. "For me, it's only cheating if I touch 'em. I'll be here all night," is tribute to his own jesting and its possible lameness, before a second shot is taken, with a stripe only just missing. "Goddamn. But yeah, thanks — it's sort of an intuitive thing. I can curve bullets too. So I get the guns a lot."

For a woman who dates a gay man on the side, that comment? Yeah…. makes her laugh like hell. Elisabeth is still giggling when he misses and she nods. "Yeah, well…. at least if it goes out of control, you don't turn people's organs into paste." She shrugs with a smile. "Glad you like them," she says of the baked goods.

"I don't get super touchy feely with people's stuff inside of them, it's true," Tris says, before he goes for another cake, cue retracting from the table before he nods to her. "Yeah, there's are good. My mom bakes too." Another toothy grin, a deliberate jab but relatively friendly, it seems, before he takes a bite of the soft, cakey treat. "Go on, Harrison," he invites, using the cue to point at the table, "kick my ass."

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