Is This The Real Life Or Is This Just Fantasy


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Is This The Real Life Or Is This Just Fantasy?
Synopsis Elisabeth wakes up.
Date Aug 26, 2009

Secured Ferrymen Safehouse

She sleeps a more natural sleep now instead of a comatose one. Deckard has come and gone a second time, and Elisabeth's injuries are still severe but her survival at this point is at least no longer in question. The paramedic from yesterday came in and changed out the saline bag, and Elisabeth remains still. Her hair remains matted with blood, though Lila commented when she brought Cardinal food that once she was stable, she'd try to wash it for Liz, and though they are in and out, they've left him to sit if that's what he needs to do. Finally, there is a moment… just a flicker of movement. Her eyelids flutter briefly as she struggles toward consciousness in spite of the drugs sedating her.

This whole time, Cardinal's been settled in beside the cot where the detective's laid out to rest in fitful slumber and slowly work on recovering from the terrible ordeal that she's been through. At the moment he's dozing, his head resting on the pillow's edge and a bit of drool staining the case, though as he feels her stir he jerks awake— sleeping lightly as he has been, it doesn't take much to wake him. He blinks blearily down at her, reaching out a hand to brush a little bit of matted hair from her brow, murmuring softly but urgently, "Liz…? Liz, you awake…?"

Blue eyes finally pry themselves open groggily. As she looks up into his eyes, Elisabeth's smile is soft. She lifts a hand, very slowly, as if to touch his face. "I like… this dream," she whispers.

"Careful, careful…" A gentle whisper from Cardinal's lips, one hand coming up to ever so carefully help hers up, his cheek leaning into that touch, "…s'not a dream, lover. You all right?" It's an absurd question, of course, utterly banal and ridiculous given the situation, but what else does someone ask? He doesn't have words more eloquent for her. He's many things, but never a poet. The hazel eyes that look down into blue are reddened by something other than light's strain today, and at her whisper just a hint of wetness threatens in their gleam.

It has to be a dream. It doesn't hurt to breathe. Her thoughts are scattered, fragments surfacing randomly. But the silence of the room…. the silence sends frissons of alarm skittering down her spine even through the numbing haze of the sedatives. The silence always heralds more pain. More torment. Still touching his cheek, her eyes dart around the room warily. Confusion mars her peaceful smile. When those eyes finally return to his, awareness has managed to creep in. "You're…. real?" she asks, her tone wary and afraid to hope. "H… how?"

"They— somebody found you— I'm not sure." Cardinal's fingers curl about hers in a careful clasp, thumb brushing over recently-unbroken digits as he adds in quiet, carefully-spoken tones, "Deckard's been working on you since then, but there's— only so much he can do at a time, so, it's gonna be a little while. But he's been working his best…"

Elisabeth's hand closes almost convulsively around his and she holds on tightly. Far more strongly than perhaps she ought. The tears are instant, and she has no ability to censor them for him. "Ohgod…," she whispers. "Ohgod, Richard." Her whole body starts to shake. Shame rolls over her, and then panic. "I gave them… a safehouse," she rasps with a dry throat. "Teo… " She's confused now. How did Teo tell her to do that? Parts of her memory are not quite coherent. But she knows what she did. "I gave them… I just wanted… Did they get out?" she begs, getting as near to hysterical as a heavily doped-up woman can get.

"They know, they know— they were warned— there was a fight," Cardinal's voice is quiet but urgent as he tries to calm her down, fingers gripping hers just as tightly as he manages a faint smile, "You didn't give them too much. You did good, Liz. You did good. It's okay."

His words are … reassuring? Maybe? Elisabeth's reaction is a mixed bag. Panic recedes slightly. Relief that they got warned in time. Still the shame for telling them. Gratitude for the reassurance. She tries to move, to turn toward him, and flinches visibly when she does, her eyes closing as she bites back the groan. Even through all the painkillers that hurts. She murmurs softly, "So much… awful." When she opens her eyes to look at him again, she studies his expression, his eyes. "You look… like hell," she tries to tease with a drowsy smile tainted with remembered sadness. "I didn't… expect anyone to … find me. I thought… I knew… I was going to die there." She hasn't yet let go of his hand, her grip still tight. As if she expects any moment that he's going to simply vanish into the shadows of her mind.

As she starts to move, Cardinal winces, his other hand reaching out as if to hold her back though stopping in the air above her when she does so herself. He draws that hand back slowly, turning his head to brush a kiss against her fingers as he murmurs quietly, "I don't know who did… Wireless sent me the message to come here." A pause, and he exhales a snort of breath, "Bullshit. You're too stubborn to die, Harrison."

There's just a hint of smirk at that as she closes her eyes. "I promised… I wouldn't make you… bury me," she comments tiredly. There's a long pause, as if she might have drifted off again. But when he shifts his weight, her eyes fly open immediately, alarm crossing her face. "Don't leave."

"I'm right here," he reassures her, quickly flashing her a weak smile, "I'm right here, Liz. And damn straight you did, and I'm fuckin' holding you to that. Do not make me have to hunt down an Evolved that can bring back the dead— " The mask slips, just a little, and his voice cracks. He catches himself there, and closes his eyes, lips pressed to her hand as he murmurs, "M'not going anywhere."

Those bright blue eyes are dulled but Elisabeth dredges up a faint smile for him. "Thought you were the love 'em and leave 'em type," she teases softly, sleepily. As he closes his eyes, she has the time to look at him. Really see his face. And for her, his very anguish is the proof that she's hallucinating. "This is all a dream," she whispers her worst fear aloud. Tears spring to her eyes. She's sorry for so much right now. And the aftereffects haven't even begun to hit her yet; the changes in her very self are still mired in the confusion of her brain. "There are so many things I want to say to you," she says in a very soft whisper. "So many things I want … to tell my dad and other people. I wish…"

"Shut up." A bit rough, Cardinal's head shaking tightly as he keeps his eyes closed until he knows the tears aren't going to come; opening once more, redder than before, to growl back at her, "There'll be time to tell everyone, Liz. Deckard'll get you back in working order in no time. And I'll find those sons of bitches and give them exactly what they're looking for…"

She laughs at him. Softly. Tearfully. "I get tortured, and you tell me shut up. Somehow," Liz whispers, "that just seems to fit this thing we've got between us." She reaches up, painfully, with her free hand to stroke his face. "That's very Han Solo of you."

"Never tell me the odds," Cardinal manages to reply with the ghost of a smile, turning his head to kiss her palm, before closing his eyes and giving his head a tight shake, "You're going to be fine, Harrison, so you'd better not talk about shit any other way."

Fine. Elisabeth's free hand drops back to rest on her stomach, the hand closest to him still holding tight to his. Her mind groggily turns over the phrase 'fine'… and shies away from memories that have the power right now to send her into screaming hysterics. Exhaustion is dragging at her, helped along by the sedatives, but she refuses to release his hand — it is her lifeline to the real world. The only thing that keeps burning the spark of hope that this is not a dream. As she's pulled back toward the land of sleep, she admonishes in a whisper, "Don't think…. when I'm all better… that you get to say 'shut up'… to me. I'll hit you next time."

As she starts to fade, Cardinal leans over her slowly and brushes a kiss gently against her brow. "Then I'd better get it in while I still can," he murmurs, fingers curled about her hand in a nearly white-knuckled grip of his own. "Shut up. Get some sleep, lover. I'll be right here."

She takes his words as the promise they are, and the last words Elisabeth breathes as she falls asleep are almost too soft to hear. "'m holding you to it."

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