monica2_icon.gif richard3_icon.gif

Scene Title Inheritance
Synopsis Richard has something to pass down to Monica from a mutual friend.
Date June 25, 2018

Raytech Housing

The sun has only just risen over the horizon, but Monica is awake and alert in a way that implies she's been that way for a while. She leans back against the headboard, one leg still under the sheets, the other bent and serving as a prop for a tablet. She's gotten far enough to be in a tanktop and yoga-style shorts, but her hair is still a halo of curls. That's a process she isn't bothering with at the moment. Not with a warm body still next to her, anyway.

Swiping through what looks like very boring files, she's filling her morning with research. Mostly because it can be done quietly.

On this subject, Richard and Monica will always disagree. She's up bright and early. He prefers to go to sleep when dawn hits. Unfortunately for him, business demands he adhere more to her schedule than his own preferred one, but he's still always more awake and alert when the sun isn't out.

He awakens eventually with a groan and a slow stirring, stretching out and rolling over towards the woman, an arm draping over the leg that isn't bent to serve as a brace. "The sun is out," he mumbles into the pillow, "Isn't it?"

Monica can't help a chuckle at the groan and when he drapes over her, she looks down at him with a warm smile. "Nah, it's your imagination," she says, although this is clearly a tease. Still, when her fingers slide through his hair, it's a soothing gesture. "It's only sunrise. You have some time before anyone expects you to be vertical."

No one in this bed is hurrying that along, certainly.

She glances back to her tablet, as if she might get back to work, but there's only a beat before she rethinks that and sets it aside instead.

Richard exhales a long sigh as she slides her fingers through his hair, his head lifting a bit to look up at her with a rueful, half-awake expression. "I'd say ''why do I have to do work'' but I literally made this company, so I blame myself," he laments, fingers drawing along her leg lightly as he rolls onto his back, glaring at the ceiling for a moment as if to curse the heavens for all of this.

"I suppose I'll have to get dressed soon too," he complains half-heartedly, "And— oh. Wait. Dressed."

He frowns, "Shit. I never told you about that, did I."

"It's weird being legit," Monica comments, because the last two years of a salary and a job title have been quite strange. In more than one way. "They expect us to show up and everything."

Her eyes close at the brush of his fingers and it seems to encourage her to go the wrong direction. She slides back down to lay next him him, pressed against his side. "Getting dressed? Never once." It's the truth, but it's also spoken in sly tones.

At that, Richard breathes out a laugh; shifting to slide an arm beneath her head and around her shoulders, drawing her in against him more, fingertips weaving idle patterns along the skin of her back. "Not that," he murmurs teasingly, "No, ah… so, we know Magnes isn't dead, but— I actually got some things from his will, believe it or not he had one, and one of them was for you."

His arms find Monica pliable and she leans in, pressing a kiss to the corner of his lips. Her hand comes to rest against his chest and she looks very much like she's thinking of keeping him from his day a little longer. But the name gets her attention and she looks up at him. Surprised. "For me?" It's true that him being alive takes a lot of the sting out of it, but it's obvious she didn't think she would be included. Or maybe didn't think he would have a will at all. "What is it?"

"It…" A low chuckle stirs upon Richard's breath, a grin tugging up at the corner of his lips as he looks back to her, "…well. You'll have to see for yourself, because it's— pretty exceptional." They both knew the man in question, and the glint in the executive's eyes suggest that it's exceptional in the sense that one will have to try not to laugh about it.

"Oh no," Monica says, because she did know him and she remembers the kinds of things he tried to give her in person where she could refuse. She can only imagine. But she seems to have some amusement over it, whatever she felt at the time it's been tempered in the years since. "Richard. You have to show me. I'll go crazy trying to guess," she says with a crooked smile.

"You will, because you'd never guess in a million years…" The grin widens, and then it's replaced with a sigh as Richard reluctantly has to detangle himself from Monica. The sheets brushed aside, legs swinging back over the edge of the bed, and he pads along over to the closet on bare feet. "I think I shoved it in here. Just a minute."

Monica is reluctant, also, even though she's the one making him get up in the first place. Once he is, though, she props her head up and watches him cross the room. Making the best of it. "You have no idea the possibilities that come to mind." She shifts then, sitting up and crossing her legs. The idea that Magnes had something he wanted her to have in case he died… "Is it a coded message? I'm half expecting him to send me on a mission."

"No, although," admits Richard as he kneels next to the closet, reaching under the hanging clothes to drag a small trunk out into view and unlatch it, "I wouldn't be surprised. Okay, so…" The hinges creak, and he reaches in to gather fabric before straightening, "…there's more in there, like, all the accoutrements and equipment - I don't know who sold the kid this many guns, I blame the Ferry - but…"

He turns back, steps over and offers out an armload of costuming. Mostly in white. Mostly adapted from everyday clothes. "Congratulations," he says, struggling to keep a straight face, "I think you're the new White Knight."

"Accoutrements?" Monica can only worry more with words like that being flung around. The fact that guns turn out to be part of this makes her brace herself, fingers resting against the side of her face like she might be ready to cover her eyes in a minute.

But when he hands it to her and she has a minute to look it over, to recognize it, there is a chuckle. His words get a sidelong look, though. "I think not," she says, dryly, "it would need some rebranding." Not that she has any intention of suiting up anytime soon. "You know this is how I met him. He tried to save me from some muggers. And then he was stuck on the idea of me being a superhero." Which was funny in its own way, considering that she had been one. "I'll just… hold onto this for him until he gets back."

Richard grins broadly at her reaction. "Yeah, he was never… the best at naming things," he chuckles, "I guess we're just lucky he went with the white mask instead of the white hood, right?" He sweeps a hand back towards the trunk, "There's all sorts of guns and spy shit in there. And yeah, well— Isaac saw you as one, and Magnes took everything in those comic books as the truth of how reality was going to play out."

Monica covers her face and her laugh at his comment. "Maybe he was lucky," she says, because there would have had to have been a Conversation. She gets up from the bed then, because she has to peek into this truck of gadgets for herself. "That is a lot of guns. Security is going to give me the weirdest looks." In the end, she sets the costume back down in with everything else, then turns back to look at him. "Well. He wasn't wrong. Isaac. Or Magnes. Just wrong about my costuming choices. A hoodie is so much less conspicuous."

"It's true," Richard admits, "As much as you'd look good in spandex— " A wink, as he drops down onto the bed again and leans back on his hands, "— a hoodie is way less conspicuous. I'd say take it as a compliment, though. He saw you as a hero."

"I do look good in spandex," Monica comments, "but I reserve it for working out. Not chasing bad guys." She looks over at him, then back down to the trunk. By her face, the compliment is a little lost on her. "Yeah, he did. Not really much of one anymore," she says, quietly. She closes the trunk, then looks back over at him with a dimmer smile. "In any case, I'll take this off your hands. Thanks. For passing it along."

Richard's head cants a little to one side, regarding her as the smile fades. "Oh, no you don't," he states, "Something's bothering you, Monica— what is it?" A glance to the trunk, then back to her, brow furrowing, "It can't be the costume. It's not that bad." It really is.

"It's pretty bad," Monica says, gesturing back toward it, tilting her smile. But she comes over to sit next to him, letting out a sigh as she pushes her hair out of her face. Of course, it falls every which way whatever she does, so she gives up after a moment. "I agreed to do this job in exchange for the arm. It's not very… I mean, there's still bad guys out there, the MPs are overworked as it is, and I've been mostly ignoring it." With one exception of a car chase she couldn't resist. "Sometimes I feel like whatever we do, all the things we did, nothing stays good anyway."

As she settles down, Richard's hand slides up along her back— to her shoulderblades and down and back up again, a light and reassuring stroke. he listens to her, a rueful expression crossing his face. "Corporate espionage, all that…? Yeah," he admits, "Things can get… messy out there. I've been trying to avoid it myself, God knows I've done my best, but…" A shake of his head, "I've asked myself that before too. Christ, just the other day I had— someone— telling me that the world would've been better off if Arthur'd won."

"Well, you know me. There's really only one job I was ever any good at." Monica leans over against him, comfort taken as given. "I hope you don't have to. Raytech is doing good work. Good focus. But. Your security team should probably be ready for it. I know Alia is, but there needs to be a safety net." Because she knows who would be the first target in corporate warfare.

She straightens up at those last words, brow furrowed. "Arthur? No," she says, emphatically. "The world wouldn't be better off if any one them won. I just wish there wouldn't be any more of them."

Richard's cheek rests against her head, a warmth beside her. "We aren't a soft target," he says quietly, "And we're building our shell in case we need it. I hope that Yamagato's help recently has been offered honestly, though, I'd hate to…"

Then she's straightening, and he glances aside with a grimace. "Some people think it's worth the innocent lives lost," he says quietly, "So long as the trains run on time for the survivors."

"Good." Monica doesn't ask details, but she is glad to know he's already on it. As for Yamagato's sincerity, she looks over at him with a crooked smile. "I don't trust anyone who makes more money than me," she says, teasing, "but you can trust Marlowe. Yamagato has similar goals to yours. Improving quality of life, restoring things that weere lost. I won't claim the whole company is made of angels or anything, but they're serious about that. Hachiro— um. He's a good guy. Him, Marlowe, I trust them with my life. If he wakes up, you'll be able to trust him, too."

"I just have a…" Richard's nose wrinkles slightly, "One of Edward's last instructions still worries me, is all. 'Do not ever go to Japan'', he said, and he was pretty firm on that point. I don't know why…" Then he frowns, looking back at Monica, "Otomo still hasn't— is he in a coma? I hadn't heard the details…"

Monica tilts her head at that bit of instruction, processing a bit. "Well. Yamagato isn't the only thing in Japan. Could be nothing to do with them. But. I'll keep my eyes open." She's already got thoughts churning about an internal problem, so it doesn't hurt to keep a healthy dose of skepticism handy. "Yeah, has been since the bombing. We've— PR, that is, we're keeping a lid on as much as we can. Presenting a solid front, all that. But it was bad. Marlowe's with him every moment she can be. I check in on them every couple days. Trick her into sleeping." That comes with a warm, if mirthless smile.

"I wish I'd known…" Richard's brow furrows a little as he looks down to her, "I… well." His free hand comes up, rubbing at his jawline, "So, when Edward was in Institute hands… they had Warren build a machine that they could use to communicate with Edward while he was in a coma."

"What? Wait." Monica twists to face him, because that is news to her. "Rich, we buried the Institute. Could Warren rebuild it?" She gets up to her feet to start pacing the floor. That's familiar, at least, her nervous energy pushing her along. "He could have seen who it was. Maybe he could identify them." She turns back to Richard, hands moving to her hips. "If you can get me together a cost package, I can make the sell to Kam."

"It was literally his invention, so I'm sure he could," says Richard with a shake of his head, "It wouldn't— be cheap at all, and I'm not sure how well it worked, admittedly, but if it's that important to get him up— we can try." A wry smile, "We have Warren working on a— project next week, but assuming it doesn't kill us all I can get a cost package together for the attempt."

"If it was cheap, I'd assume it would do more harm than good." Monica comes back over to sit again, letting out a sigh. "Maybe I'll have Marlowe sell Kam on it. She's very charming. And pushy." She looks over at him, though, lifting an eyebrow. "Is this the thing Gillian was giving you a chiding over? Try not to die. That would be ideal."

Richard breathes out an amused snort of breath. "Amongst other things," he admits, shaking his head, "People seem to think I'm going to make rash decisions or endanger everyone, or…" He shakes his head, "I don't know. They really do seem to think I'm him, sometimes…"

"People get scared. We got very lucky in the past, I think there's worry about the other shoe. Testing the bounds of our luck, I can see why people get nervous." Monica reaches over to put a hand on his cheek, thumb running over his skin. "You're not him. You'll never be him. You and him might share some history, but you're not the same person."

A sigh whispers over her hand, Richard's cheek leaning into her touch and eyes closing briefly. "We are, though, in some ways," he says quietly, "And he did… some amazing things, Monica. Some honestly amazing things. People followed him for a reason."

"People followed him because he manipulated them. Or because they were opportunists. And yeah, he did some impressive things. But he didn't care about the costs. Any cost." Monica's hand drifts down to his neck, her head tilting as she studies him. "You know, when we had those dreams, the future us. That woman, she's me but isn't me. Things she did, I would never do. Things I do that she would never. Maybe it's a subtle difference, but as time goes on, the divide gets bigger."

"He wasn't as much of a monster as you think," Richard replies, offering her back a faint smile, "Oh, he was a monster, especially at the end, but… it wasn't all coercion and manipulation." His free hand rakes back through sleep-messy hair, "We made different decisions. I see that. I just don't know how to get their faith back, is all…"

"Well, I suppose everyone's got their complexities. But watching what he was doing in Alaska, what his Institute did under his orders? I have a hard time seeing this you make those choices." At his last words, Monica lifts up to press a kiss to his temple. "You keep going. You do your best to make a better world. They'll see that you mean what you say."

"Assuming I don't end up arrested and dead," Richard chuckles ruefully, "I plan on doing my best to do just that. It's not just an empty slogan, it's what we really want to do with this company…" A sigh, "Hopefully we can fix some of what's gone wrong here, at least."

"I know it's not an empty slogan. You forgot, I've worked for you before. I know that you say what you mean." Monica gives his shoulder a nudge, an encouraging one. "You can. Talk to your people. You're always so worried, Richard, but keeping people at arm's length is what makes then wonder. If you want your people to be with you, bring them in. Hell, if you want to be sure, Kaylee is the ultimate vetting process, isn't she?"

"She's been… reluctant to use her ability lately," Richard shakes his head, a slight frown curving to his lips, "Not sure why. I should talk to her about it, she honestly should be one of the most potent assets we've got." he chuckles, then, giving her a wry look, "The government doesn't always agree with our choices in employees, either."

"Hell yes, she should be. I mean. If she's not comfortable, I'd never suggest making her. But maybe it would be good to talk to her about it. I hate the idea of anyone being uncomfortable with their ability. It wasn't fun when it was me." Monica leans back a little to regard him at those last words, eyebrows lifting. "Who'd you hire that they don't like?"

At that question, Richard's head tilts back and he looks at the ceiling. "At the request," he says quietly, "Of Kaylee, who wanted to give her friend a chance at a new life without someone's chain around her neck, I may have employed Odessa Knutson-Price for the past few years under an alias."

"Oh shit," Monica says, her hands coming up to her face for a moment. She read that article. "So that's why you're worried about getting arrested. How much do they know?" Monica's had her turns with getting arrested. With prison and Eltingville. She doesn't recommend it. "Better question: how much can they prove?"

"I had to 'discover' her and let her escape," admits Richard, shaking his head, "Luther punched me in the face because of it. I don't— think they're going to arrest me, or they would've. As far as I know, they don't have a lot of proof." He grimaces, then, hand resting on his knee as he leans forward a bit, "It's bullshit. She finally— do you know the woman had never had a birthday party in her life? Kaylee found an entire decade of her childhood that'd been overwritten by the Company. Claiming that she had any agency in her own life is laughable."

"Oh good. If they want to arrest you, make them work for it, that's what I always say. Of course… I usually mean by running and hopping rooftops, but in this case, it's just repeating the same story until they have to give up." When he leans forward, Monica puts her hand on his back. "You did a good thing, Richard. It sounds like she's a person who needs help. I hope you get the chance to keep doing it."

"So do I." Richard gives her a wry look, "Anyway. This shit is… way too heavy before coffee. Also, we haven't even gotten out of bed." An astute observation, Mister Ray!

Monica chuckles a little there, shaking her head a little. "No chance we could just not?" Get out of bed, that is. "If I have to get up, then I am making sure to walk out of this building in the most obvious post-sex state I can. I'm going to carry my shoes and everything. Give your employees something to whisper about." It's for company morale, really.

Richard can't help but laugh at that, his head falling back. "Well, after all," he tells the ceiling, "We're grown, professional adults and we need to do the right thing for ourselves, for our companies, and our professional— "

This is the point at which he twists around and shoves her playfully back onto the bed, because fuck that.

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