Lacking Old Times


elisabeth_icon.gif phillip_icon.gif

Scene Title Lacking Old Times
Synopsis The man knows far more of Liz than she of him…. but sometimes changing everything requires these kinds of gambles. Whether it will pay off is anyone's best guess.
Date May 4, 2011

Excelsior Hotel, Upper West Side

Within the posh hotel, Excelsior, penthouse level, Phillip Solomon has made his temporary home. The flat screen plays CNN's current events on mute <ticker streams by on the bottom> and it's pushing 7pm EST. He's been in this hotel for a few days now and will probably stay several more, if not weeks while trying to decide a plan of action.

After another long day of seeing to affairs and events remotely on the other coast, Phillip decides that a shower is in order. He moves through the suite and will enter the bath. There he disrobes and starts the water. Seconds later he's within the shower and making himself clean while considering what he is going to do for dinner. Perhaps downstairs or down the street, either way, the evening is upon him and he's in the mood to decompress. Steam covers the mirrors and the bathroom door is partially open. Phillip enjoys the hot water.

Nothing disturbs the man's shower. There is no dramatic pounding on the door, no surprise phone calls. It isn't until he steps all the way out into the room that it becomes evident that he is no longer alone. Standing near the balcony door peering out the door that overlooks Central Park into the gathering dust is a blonde. From the back she could be anyone — she seems young, in a pair of slightly frayed blue jeans that cling lovingly to her hips and derriere. The rest of her is obscured by a nearly waist-length mass of blonde hair, then ends brushing the small of her back. But even that might not be enough to create fear exactly.

Elisabeth can hear him perfectly. And in point of fact, she knows the precise moment that his feet brush the carpet. By the time his brain has the chance to process the image, there is a nasty-looking 9mm pointed at him. And the blonde, who is wearing a hot pink and orange fleece, has a calm steadiness that tells him she will not hesitate to shoot him. "You know," she observes quietly over the sights of the weapon, "generally the sight of an old high school friend brings up warm-fuzzy feelings. In this case, though, it all seems awfully convenient. So I figured I'd give you the chance to explain to me that you're not fucking with my father to get to me." Paranoia much?

Phillip exited the bathroom in a towel wrapped around his waist. Bare chest, hands holding another towel to dry his hair, he takes note of the female in question - with the gun. His eyes recognize her after so many years and in his steady resolve, he smiles. "Liz. You look amazing.", is complimented in a calm and collected tone. He was hoping that she would stop by, though it was probably too much to hope for even though she's here now.

There may be a little more to his posture. His eyes are dialated, heartbeat a little higher than normal (72bpm) - excitement, adrenaline?, but his breath is calm and steady (12-14 breaths per minute).

There's a momentary hesitation. A narrowing of her blue eyes on him in uncertainty. It's the attitude that is perhaps ringing the bell for her. The sense that he's told her that before. "Thanks," Elisabeth replies absently. The gun still never wavers. "Now… I believe you were about to tell me what it was you wanted with my father." The shift in his heartbeat is worrying her — adrenaline from having a gun pointed at him she would expect. But that he'd stay this calm about it she actually didn't. He's not sweating. He's not really frightened. "Who do you work for?"

"Liz. I realize you're on the lam." lam Straight out of something from Alfred Hitchcock, "And the government's out to get you. But I'm not. I went to your father to offer my assistance. I don't work for anyone, I'm not looking to collect any bounty, or compromise you in any way." he pauses a second, "Now with that in mind, are you going to shoot me; or can we hug like old friends reunited?"

"Are we?" Elisabeth asks softly. Old friends, she means. There is still wariness to her expression — she's not buying it. But she does put the gun back into the front of her pants. "Get dressed," she retorts. "You came to New York from LA out of the blue and went straight to my father. Why should I believe you're not with the DoEA or something worse?" Because that quite honestly is her bigger fear. That he's not with the DoEA at all. That he's from the Institute or something worse. Her father is the one weakness she has left in the 'real' world.

Seeing that he's not going to get the optional hug, Phillip turns and moves into the walk-in closet. Once inside, still within some partial view he drops the towel and begins picking out clothing, "Business, casual, or CIA Black?" he asks curious as to the style and direction that she expects their evening to take.

Elisabeth keeps watch on him. "Casual," she retorts, giving him no privacy to come out with a weapon in his hand. "Were you always such an asshole?" she wonders aloud. "Normal people flinch when there's a fucking gun in their face." She eyes him from the doorway of the closet, effectively trapping him within the confines and seeming to have zero concern about the fact that drops the towel and stands there. Modesty is not one of her virtues.

"Like you were ever going to shoot me." Phillip says while pulling on boxers and then fishes for 'casual' slacks off the hanging rack. And he's not concerned with her seeing his naked butt, in his memories she's seen it before, so it's nothing new. And he definitely isn't ashamed. "Or perhaps I'm not normal." is offered as a counter to her assessment.

The hesitation hits again. Something off. Elisabeth's brows furrow together and she retorts, "I could shoot you, and no one in this building would even know you were dead." But at this moment it's an empty threat. She waits until he's buttoning his slacks before she asks, "How did you know I wouldn't shoot you?"

Phillip buttons, puts on a t-shirt, and then takes down a long sleeved pull over with a collar (rugby like shirt) while he reflects, "We have history, and the Liz I knew back then wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone, much less the people she cared about. And yes, there have been a lot of years between then and now, but your eyes still tell me the truth." he pauses looking into her eyes with a slight smile, "I've missed that brutal honesty."

She's still frowning. A lot. Elisabeth backs up a little, giving him space. Or perhaps giving herself space. "The Liz you knew may not exist anymore," she observes quietly.

"You look amazing." His tone is plainly admiring.

She turns on her toes to show off the skintight jeans, Keds, and off-the-shoulder sweater look. Her hair's held back by a headband and she's sporting sparkly dangly earrings. "Yeah?" There's a blush to Liz's cheeks, and her grin is a little shy. "I can't believe your folks got you a car — I mean, who uses a car in the city?" she laughs. "This is gonna be so cool."

He opens the passenger door of the silver Aston Martin two door coup. His penny loafers no longer sport the pennys, but they're still tassle friendly with the brown socks and blue jeans. His torso and arms covered by a red/white rugby shirt with the number 63 on the back. His hair well kept, always perfect, "You're my first passenger." indicating that she's the one he thought of first when wanting to show off the car and/or drive someone around.

There's the stereotypical girly squeal as he says that, and she bounces into the car exuberantly. "Par-tay!" Lizzie crows, laughing.

"Did you…. take me for a ride in a silver Aston Martin?" Elisabeth asks, her head canted sideways in a puzzled fashion.

"Many…" answers Phillip which then draws a curious expression upon his face as he steps toward her wanting to close that space that she created. "But what do you mean?" curious about her question.

Elisabeth backs up several steps keeping careful distance between them, her blue eyes wary. "I…. suffered a head injury a year or so ago." If you can call having your brains blown out a 'head injury.' "I don't … remember you very well. A few outings. Maybe… junior year?" She watches him. "If there was more than that, I don't know about it."

Phillip's lips part sympathetically, there's a furrowing of his brow of concern, and finally a deeper emotion offered than 'you look amazing'. A pause of trying to think of what to say, something that's not already been played over in his head a dozen or more times. He was blindsided and takes two to five seconds to recover, "I'm sorry." is his initial and lingering statement.

he emotions that play across his face are not feigned at least. Elisabeth's reaction to those is a hesitant shrug and a rueful, amused query. "Was there more to it than a few rides in a car?" She rocks on her heels a bit, a familiar movement from her teen years — used to be accompanied by hands in her back pockets. "If there was, then I guess I'm the one who should be sorry. I, uhm…. " She pauses and looks down then back up at him. "Living life on the run isn't exactly conducive to trusting people. Especially when they show up at my father's." She clears her throat. "And if you were a threat to him, don't ever doubt… I would have left your body on the floor without a qualm," she murmurs softly, letting him see the truth of that in her eyes.

He sees two sides of her in the same paragraph of words. The softer side he once knew, and then what ever she has become. Instead of trying to address her concerns with words, Phillip's face softens and his eyes linger within hers. He figures she needed to get that out, to let her be on the offensive again because she felt defensive…. he's seen the method actors do it all the time while trying to 'become the character'. But in this case, she is the character, and she's going through the motions of her reality.

Moments later, he finally decides to say something, and her name is pretty much all that makes it, "Liz." - but his hesitation isn't because he's breaking down emotionally, it's more a soft expression of her name, something that she may respond to for what he has to say next, "How about I call down to room service."

She doesn't know what the hell to make of him. It's clear enough in her expression. Elisabeth keeps watching him like she's expecting something to go south any moment. But the offer of dinner brings a bit of a cheeky smile to her face. "Well," she finally says quietly, "If you're going to offer to feed me and it turns out to be my last meal, I'd love something with actual real meat and steamed veggies." Something not cooked on a camp stove.

Phillip smiles as her walls start to come down. He remains in bare feet as he steps from the closet and moves to the nearby phone. He's careful to pass her within reach, but won't try to touch her - he suspects she's got personal space stuff going on.

The suite has a living and dining area seperate from the bedroom/bath area. Both have a balcony. He makes the call, with the intent of ordering for the both of them and in large quantities. He also seems to know what she likes - or liked back in the day.

He's got her attention. The choices he makes for her in food preferences either meet with her approval or she doesn't particularly care. But the fact that he didn't ask piques her interest. When he hangs up the phone, Elisabeth is prowling the suite restlessly. "There's more to it than you're saying," she finally tells him, her tone certain. "Were we good friends? Were we lovers? Did I cover for you because you're gay? Fill me in on the details, please."

The friends, lovers query was valid, but when she hits the gay cover button he chuckles. Phillip replies, "We were close. It started out innocent enough. I mean, sophomore year. We had World History, Composition, and old man Dubose's algebra class together….

"Mr Solomon, would you please refrain from disturbing Miss Harrison who is genuinely interested in the function of x over 1 to the 3rd." states old man Dubose who wears his slacks, argyle sweater over a dress shirt and bow-tie.

Causing Phillip to lean back in his desk (a desk directly behind Liz's) whom he was whispering into her ear about some shenanigans that would be taking place tomorrow night at the junior senior dance - that he wants to crash. Events that she really wants no part of because Phillip is often seen as over presumptious and flirtatious with not only her but every other girl on campus. Meaning that he's a jerk in the making.

Elisabeth blinks and suddenly bursts out laughing. "Oh… God. Mr. Dubose. Gawd, he was a relic." Sophomore year is there in her memory. As is the boy — no, now the man — in front of her. "Putting condoms in his desk drawer full of whipped cream was mean, though. He almost lost his job over that, til my dad stepped in," she scolds lightly, still walking the room. She considers, and then tilts her head at him. "And 'started out innocently enough' is leading me to believe it perhaps didn't end that way." She's a cop at heart. Always with the questions.

Phillip smiles as he takes a seat on the leather sofa, one arm over the back, his legs upon the ottoman. Bare toes wiggling. "Put it this way, you were good for me. Kept my ego in check and through all the direction and training, taught me how to be /nice/ to girls, when really it was you who you wanted me to be nice to."

"Oh, wonderful." The sarcasm is evident. "Well, good to know my tastes haven't matured any," Elisabeth quips in a tone just barely shy of bitter. Assholes with hearts of gold anyone? As she wanders the room, she goes quiet. Her eyes are searching, always moving. As if she's ready to bolt still. She seems unsure what to say next to him. "I should go."

With a scoff, "You're not going anywhere; least until we've gotten food into you. Oh, and the bed is yours if you want it. I can sleep right here." Phillip has a controlling aspect to his personality - though it's more like 'being in charge' than the manipulative bs that goes with controlling guys. Overall, he's got her well being in mind and there's a touch of 'concern' and perhaps now that she's here he doesn't want to see her go without finding a common ground.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Elisabeth asks, turning to look at him with her arms crossed. The way she's standing is probably familiar, given his past with her — she's got the defensiveness of attitude that comes just before she pops someone in the nose in a scuffle. "You didn't come from California just to check in on my father. Far as I know, you haven't even talked to him in years. And I don't want him drawn any further under government scrutiny than he already is, Phil — he's got enough problems with people keeping an eye on him, and that's my fault. I'm not letting anyone else create issues for him. Or maybe get him fucking disappeared."

"I'm here for you." Phillip says in a calm voice. His eyes intent on her movements and face has clear intent with his statement. It's not a statement of taking her or acquiring but a statement with the goal of giving aid or support.

That doesn't compute. Elisabeth blinks. "You knew me in high school and you're coming all the way across the country for me? That's ridiculous," she scoffs.

A touch impatient, Phillip's voice reflects the sharpeness of explanation. "Regardless of what happened. You and I were close. Your mom's dead, my parents are dead, and it's all because of this bullshit that's going on out there." - he points out the balcony window with his left hand. "And I still don't know what happened; between you and I and with this fucked up world. So here I am… I thought maybe if I could help a friend; maybe make up for… whatever. Is that such a stretch?"

Elisabeth frowns. "I…. don't have an answer for you over what might have happened between us," she tells him. "My last two years of high school are gone," she informs him softly. "As are about eight years after high school. I got my brains splattered all over a warehouse wall somewhere by Humanis First." Her tone is tight. "So if you came looking for closure on a relationship issue, I'm afraid I'm going to be no help whatsoever. As to what's going on out there?" She looks toward the balcony door. "You might be better off not knowing. It's kind of like going to the land of Oz. If you see all the colors out there, the world never looks quite right again." Ever.

Phillip stares at her a second then grins with a slight shake of his head. "You seriously haven't changed." then he stands and walks toward her, "We're gonna hug right now. If you don't want this; You're gonna have to shoot me, kick me in the nads, or break my nose. But my mind is made up." his arms open and his smile remains as he closes on her.

She blinks and looks back at him, wary and … not quite fearful. More like … expecting this to turn into a Bad Thing <tm>. Elisabeth doesn't retreat this time, though she tenses slightly. She lets him encroach on her personal space and even allows him to hug her, her hands falling uncertainly to his waist as he does it. "You're a very strange person," she murmurs softly.

"…very strange person." Her voice quiet as she finds herself in his arms at the senior prom, together. Three years of harassment, friendship, and then realizing that they're both /interested/ in one another comes to fruition as they're sharing the most important event of high school. Her hair is all foo-foo, his as well as he wears a white tuxedo with the intent of keeping the prom's theme, '1975'.

Phillip responds, "Yeah. But you're the one dancing with this 'very strange person.'. And I think you like it."

She laughs softly, her cheeks flushing. Three-inch heels still don't bring Elisabeth up to anywhere near his height. She slants a look upward from under her lashes. "I think I do, too," she admits. Blue eyes slip sideways to glance around the dance floor. "You know Janey thought she was coming with you, right?" she asks, toying with the lapel of his tuxedo. "She told the entire softball team that you were going to ask her. She was mortified when you asked me on the field." His ex-girlfriend's a bit on the vindictive bitchy side.

"Call it an ephiphany. I woke up and realized that you're fun to be with." Phillip replies. Reflecting that Janey wasn't fun at all regardless of the rumors to the contrary. "Plus, mom would have totally disinherited me if I wouldn't have taken you." he smiles, teasing because Liz knows that his mom has always liked her. Even implied to her once or twice how to attract Phillip's //real attention. But they were always 'just friends'.//

Which could answer a few questions. However Phillip begins talking again as he seems to have a rocking '1993 dance sway' to the hug - he too reflects, "I'm not here for closure — lord knows we've had that, more than once — not here for a quicky, not here to jack with your security or your dad's security. I'm here for a friend. That's what friends do."

There is something familiar about the fact that they're this close. The brain is a wonderous organ, and the fact that he's already called to mind what few memories she has of those years helps. Scent is the single most powerful memory trigger, but it still brings her nothing but the vague sense of familiarity. And a sense of… regret, perhaps? The part of her brain that held the actual memory itself, so far as she can tell, was obliterated by the bullet's trjectory. Elisabeth is tentative in her willingness to believe him. She wants to, and that puzzles her right now. When he speaks, she snickers softly. "You think highly of yourself if you think I'd assume you're in town for a quicky," she retorts, and then steps back just a bit to look up. There's curiosity in her expression. "Did you do that?" she asks, amused at the idea.

He smiles, but there's a hint of 'quite possibly' but maybe not with the intention of the act. A knock on the door comes at the perfect time and a male voice on the other side calls out, 'room service'. Which prompts Phillip to turn on his heel and say, "Time to eat."

"Bastard," Elisabeth murmurs, quickly moving behind the wall of the bedroom to get the hell out of sight of the waiter bringing the tray. She remains there until he's gone, only coming out again when Phillip's the only presence in the room. It smells spectacular, though she doesn't want to admit that.

The rolling cart has many covered dishes, more than enough for 4 people. Phillip starts to uncover them all allowing Liz to partake in the reveal. Meat, meat, and more meat with lots of delicious sides. «not frozen waffles»

Phillip then places them on the dining table and asks, "You still like red, correct?" while lifting a bottle from the underneath.

He knows the way to keep her attention, assuredly. "I do," Elisabeth finally says. And though she nibbles at the corner of her lip over the abundance of food, she still hesitates. Not that anyone in her group is starving. Friends and a bit of money put aside are seeing to that. "I, uhm…. " She hesitates and then looks at him. "Phil… listen, this is … " Way overboard. "You know that I'm not going to be able to come back," she says softly. "I'm poison right now. If there's even a hint that you know me and weren't just visiting my father for his law degree… they're going to come down on you like a pack of mad dogs."

Phillip looks back to her with the hint of a smile but he takes the tone of a guy with 'hand', "Sit, eat, enjoy this moment, and we'll worry about the details when they come up." then in a slightly softer tone while opening the bottle, "Let's not ruin the meal, the amazingly attractive company, and the 500 dollar bottle of wine."

Elisabeth stares at him. "You did not," she replies, flabbergasted that he'd buy a bottle of wine that expensive. She's kind of… appalled. Oh my! Now she blushes slightly. "For God's sake, Phillip," she grouses just a little as she moves to sit down before one of the plates. She's been brutally careful up until this point not to touch anything in the room really. Not to leave fingerprints. "I always worry," she adds softly. "It's what I do. It keeps the people I love alive."

Phillip smiles broader as he takes glasses and begins to pour, "Did you just say that you /love/ me?" in a teasing tone regarding her last declaration.

Blue eyes look upward and there's a flash of gut-wrenching hurt instantly hidden behind a bland smile. Her body language goes from the subtle cues of beginning to relax to one of high-strung stress. A subtle vibration passes through the table, sending dishes trembling with a gentle clatter on its surface. "I don't even know you," she tells him calmly, shifting to put a little more distance between herself and the table. "Except to know that you have a very inflated sense of your own worth. Why don't you tell me what you've been doing since high school?" Oh! Way to prick an ego — she doesn't have a clue what he might be doing in Hollywood.

Phillip places a glass of wine on her side of the table then moves to his own and takes a seat, finally. He takes a relaxed tone and seemingly knowing how to push her buttons, he's not going see what beehive he can disturb, "Let's see. Harvard… four years there getting a degree in investing and to my father's distaste, I choose to use that degree to produce film and get into the industry. I've been doing this for a good ten years with the ups and downs of the economy." He pauses while he reflects, "Almost married… 3 or 4 times. Realizing that all they wanted was my money before it was too late."

A brow quirks and the corner of her mouth quirks into a smirk. "Look at that… you're smarter than you were in high school," Elisabeth comments drily. But something in her expression sharpens on him, and she reaches for the glass of wine to sip from it slowly. "Are you making movies, or doing something else in film?"

"Movies, television, commercial, even the occasional indy film. Whereever the money can go and come back with friends." answers Phillip about the investment opportunities. "Right now we've got 89 million tied up in various projects. Looking to invest another 150 over the next 6 months. But things have been a little slow with the economy and all that crap." - he leaves the definition of 'crap' to the astute in regards to the current oppressive and dark environment.

Elisabeth's tension shifts from whatever caused the hurt to appear to something that looks more like…. intrigue. "Really." It's not a question. More a statement of thoughtfulness. Setting the glass down, her appetite suddenly kicking in, she takes the cover off the plate in front of her and picks up her fork. "And if I said to you that I have …. something in mind that could use your …. assets, Phillip," she murmurs quietly, "what would you say?"

He cuts into the thick steak, it doesn't bleed but it has a nice pink interior. He seems to enjoy the texture resisting the blade as it slices into it - or that's the observer. Either way, he lifts the fork and puts the severed morsel into his mouth and chews. There's a hint of satisifaction in the subtle hum that escapes his throat.

He takes his time to swallow before speaking, but the gears are turning - yet instead of saying something that could be interpreted as a smartass or a flirt, he asks, "What do you have in mind?" leaving it wide open for her to fill in the gaps.

"Telling you that would be tipping my hand if you're a plant," Elisabeth observes easily. "And it's not like that would be the first time in any outfit that I've run with for the past several years." She cuts a bite of her own meat, chewing it slowly. The wheels in her head are turning at high speed. "Of course, it's not as if my own political stance is exactly … unknown," she offers. "After all, when one starts passing information on prisoner movements to the Ferrymen, I'd say I've made my point of view pretty clear. The question might be… would it be worth your investment to get involved."

"What's the return? The payoff? The goal of it all?" Phillip asks from a professional point of view. She's seemingly indicating a possible business venture by using the word investment, and he's not entirely clear on where she's going with it all.

Elisabeth considers and then says quietly, "The goal of it all, Phillip? Avoiding concentration camps." Her tone has a simple finality to it, and she takes a bite of the meat in front of her without really tasting it. "I don't know if there will be a financial payoff in my lifetime." She looks up at him. "But I'd sure as hell like my children not to grow up under a Nazi regime that puts people like me in a neighborhood with barbed wire for my own safety."

Intrigued with her presentation and realizing that there's more to her propsition than an investment opportunity. "Hang on a moment. What exactly are you talking about? Nazis?"

"You don't think that they're already doing it?" Elisabeth asks curiously. "I don't know what they're doing on the West Coast," she admits readily, "but around here, the government is reclaiming Staten Island and Roosevelt Island, and there's a neighborhood out there called Eltingville. It's where they put Evos for their own safety. Some of them are criminals — the kind that … avoided Registration for a long time, for example. Others haven't even done that. They just needed a place to live and were told that the humans couldn't hurt them out there. Because you know… barbed wire and soldiers guarding the bridge."

After taking and swallowing again, Phillip takes the time to ponder what she's saying, "You have proof? Stuff that can be released? Like footage of atrocities, oppressions and other abominations against the culture?"

Elisabeth sets her fork down, her eyes intent on him. "I do," she says quietly. "Trick is… the person we'd intended to give it to is afraid he'll get buried if he releases it. And his credibility is a hair on the sketchy side since he fucking well erupted on public television," she admits. "But yeah. I have proof."

"Have you considered release in other markets? Like Europe, Australia, Canada?" Phillip asks and then adds, "Maybe the 'tube' media, it's wildly popular and is often mirrored on so many sites that once it goes viral it cannot be shut down."

There's a faint smile. "I'm already working on that. But I don't want it going viral before a credible source puts it out." Elisabeth pauses a glint in her blue eyes. She's not been idle. "I have a technopath who can help make it go viral and international. But…." She tilts her head. "Considering I'm now a wanted terrorist, I don't think I'm the most credible source to make people start talking," she admits. And then she offers him a smile, moving to stand up. Much as she wants to eat the steak in front of her, the blonde's learned to play a few games in her time. "So, Phillip…. you offered your help. I think you should consider what helping someone like me could cost you," she says softly. There is sincere concern in her gaze as she meets his eyes. "It's already cost me pretty much everything. So I don't bring people into this without fair warning."

Aside from not knowing what a technopath is, Phillip disregards thinking it's some super geek he sees that she's got some direction, he stands with her and hears her out. Realizing that she's making her exit, he doesn't make a play to stop her, instead he says, "Give me a few days to think about this and how it can be done safely and through the right channels. But you know, I'm gonna want something in return for my investment." which is said in a way that doesn't sound leterchous, but playful yet serious.

Elisabeth stops at the edge of the table and scrawls a phone number on the receipt. It's a throwaway, but she'll give him the benefit of doubt. "Take all the time you want," she tells him softly, far more serious now. A small smile quirks the side of her mouth and she says bluntly, "We could talk about what you might get in return… aside from the notoriety of being one of the people who outed the top echelon of New York City government as card-carrying members of Humanis First. But don't think that helping's going to get you into my bed." She waggles her brows at him and walks to the door, glancing at him with a feminine grin. "You'll have to fight for that privilege." She holds up her hand with her pinky and thumb out, a phone to her ear. "Call me, handsome…. maybe we'll talk." And then she slips out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License