Life's Too Short


alec_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Life's Too Short
Synopsis In light of the past week, Liz decides to mend some fences at least a little… and Alec gets bad news.
Date July 29, 2009

Alec's Apartment, Dorchester Towers

Alec answers the door with a smile, "Well, honestly can say I was not expecting you. Hold on, let me go slip into something more comfy." he's teasing of course, as he's currently in jeans and a t-shirt. The apartment smells like cleanser and the dishwasher if currently running. "Come on in. Wanna beer?" he asks, heading for the kitchen.

It's the first time she's come up here in anything other than a snit in …. weeks? Maybe even a couple of months. Elisabeth is wearing a pair of blue jeans and a dark violet T-shirt tucked into them with white sneakers, her hip holster nowhere in evidence and her badge at this moment jammed into her pocket. She looks weary. "No," she returns with a neutral expression, but she steps in and closes the door behind her. "I was thinking yesterday," she begins as she moves to lean on his breakfast bar, not mentioning that she was thinking it just after blowing away a kid — admittedly a gangbanger, but still a kid — at point-blank range, "that… maybe I'd try finding a way back to being friends." Because it's generally not in her to hold a grudge, and she's been mad at Alec for a long time now.

Alec pauses in his digging about the fridge and he stands up slowly to eye her. There's a pitcher of orange juice in his hand, the sort you get when you're the type to actually fresh squeeze the fruit, filled with all that pulpy goodness and a pinch of orange zest as well. One of the weird 'cooking' things he says he learned at that class. "Well." he says heading for the counter, "I expected that even less. Fully expected you to knife me in my sleep one night. Not that I'm complaining just… Can I ask what brought this on?" he starts to pour himself a glass. She's right, it's prolly to early for beer… it is early right?

Elisabeth hesitates a long time. "Life's too short to hold grudges, Alec," she finally says quietly. "Most of the really good friends I have are men, in case you hadn't noticed. "There are a lot of reasons for it that I pretty much find unimportant mostly." She traces a fingertip absently on the counter. "The up side to having men for friends is that when I wind up taking one of those friends to my bed, we usually manage to stay friends because they already know me well enough to know I …. don't really want to change the dynamic. If that makes sense." Because to most of the women she knows, it totally doesn't. She comes at dating very much like a guy. "The down side… is that when it sometimes goes wrong… I don't just lose a lover, I lose a friend too."

Alec nods his head as she speaks, "Well I'll be the first to say it's prolly a good thing the sex was only mediocre huh? Cause the lover thing wasn't that great a lose, I'm totally more bark then bite in bed." he doesn't mention the friend thing, cause… well, no one else likes his movies or music! Seriously. "Look, I'm game if you are." he says, shooting her a glance, "I don't think I have any more secrets to tell you, and you'd be surprised how much I told you was true to begin with." he pauses, "Well, the childhood stuff anyway. And I really /do/ love my jo-" he suddenly goes deathly still.

There's a soft laugh at the jibe about the sex though she glances at him with an expression that maybe has a hint of uncertainty hidden in the chuckle. She's looking at the counter when he stops like that and says, "Just… don't lie to me again, okay?" When she looks up again and catches the look on his face, though, alarm pings through her. "Alec? What is it?"

Alec's face drains of color and his eyes dilate madly as he obviously 'hears' something she cannot. Which is saying something. The pitcher slides from his hand and falls, nicking the counter as it passes it spins wildly, slinging orange juice in every direction before shattering on the floor in a shower of glass. "tallie." he whispers soft enough Liz would have to jack her power to hear clearly.

Jesus, Elisabeth has time to think as she goes scrambling around the breakfast bar to the other side of it. "Alec!" She reaches out to touch him, heedless of the glass and orange juice everywhere. "Alec, what is it?"

Alec points to the front door, "Get my paper." he says firmly, his eyes still carrying that far off look to them as he walks over the broken glass barefoot, tracking blood and OJ to his bar stools where he sits with a firmness that says he's wondering if standing was such a great idea.

Looking puzzled, Liz hesitates. There's a glance at the mess in the kitchen, including his blood on the floor, but she heads for the front door. He didn't have a paper outside the door, but there are some down on the main level and she makes sure she can get back in when she goes to get it — it takes her a few minutes to get down there and back. She brings it back to him, handing it over.

Alec rips it open, tossing pages everywhere. It's not like he just cleaned or anything. He didn't even seem to notice how long she was gone. The pages flutter about until he reaches a page near the back, and pauses to stare at the story there. It's a small thing, a single column about a good Samaritan trying to help a woman and who ends up knifed for her trouble. There's a picture of the deceased, a shot from a security camera only moments before the attack. Tallie. Alec goes still again, staring but unseeing. "I havn't seen her in a couple days." he says suddenly.

Elisabeth tilts her head and asks gently, "What happened?" Because by now she's worked out that one of his 'others' has seen something that he's reacting to, and that it's very bad news for someone named Tallie.

Alec's fingers lightly trace over the picture his breath shallow and slow, the sort of breathing you do when you have to consciously remind yourself to. "She tried to help someone." he says softly, "And someone stabbed her." Oo. Someone stabbed her. His eyes narrow. Anger. Anger is /much/ easier to deal with then grief. The brushing fingers stop, curl. He thrusts the paper at Liz so she can read the nice, but ultimately small and 'unimportant' article.

Elisabeth glances at the article and looks sad at what it conveys. Setting it aside, she moves now, ignoring the anger — instead, she slides her arms around him tightly and hugs. "I'm sorry," she whispers.

Alec is quiet for a moment, "Can you find out who did it?" his tone is to even, to… lacking in it's usual fun nature to be Alec. It's that guy she saw that time he showed her a glimpse of himself beneath the masks. Cold and hard … but this is worse. It's furious rage trying to cram itself into a man made entirely of control and order. It's a lot of chaos to swallow. She can no doubt feel the tremor in him, the tightness of taut muscle and sinew. He wishes to do great violence.

Elisabeth draws back and nods immediately. "Yeah. I'll pull the case." She doesn't know who has it, but she'll pull whatever strings to get it. She looks at him and says quietly, "I'm sorry, Alec." Clearly the woman meant a lot to him, and Liz doesn't know how to help him defuse the rage. Truth be told, she's had too much of her own lately. So instead of offering him mere words at this point, she just gives him her silent company, slipping into the kitchen to start picking things up while he starts sorting through his emotions.

Sort? Who's sorting? "I'm going to kill him." he states matter of factly to the police officer. He pauses and takes a long breath. "Just as soon as I come up with a plan." Which sounds much more like him. The process that's usually internal begins out loud, "Immediate problems… pain." he looks down, "Liz sweetie. Could you get me the first aid kit in my bathroom. I think I cut my feet." See? Small problems.

She's not altogether sure he's serious, but she'll take him that way. She leaves the kitchen and heads for the bathroom to get the kit, still calmly. She didn't know this person, her sadness is the kid that is for friends or acquaintances who've learned of a death of someone close. Her own problems seem pretty insignificant in light of this moment. She brings the kit back and says quietly, "Here it is." She hesitates. "Would you like me to stay or go?"

Alec takes the kit and pauses and looks at her as if just suddenly aware she's there. He opens his mouth, then stops and looks harder for a moment. "Stay. Please." the words obviously cost him because he instantly looks away and opens the kit, starting to prep the things he'll need to bandage his feet. Luckily none of the cuts were to deep, "Would you be kind enough to clean up the kitchen while I do this? I don't want there to be a mess." little problems. Small things first.

Elisabeth nods a bit and leaves him to it, going back to the kitchen floor — which is a huge mess of glass and sticky citrus. She pulls out the dustpan and a mop from his pantry and sets about cleaning it up. She's as quiet about it as she can be.

Alec focuses on the task at hand, letting his minds do most of the work for him. Within his range there are about four of him, and within their ranger another seven. The process is repeated in them all. Small problems first. Alec pays for groceries, making sure nothing is rung up twice. Alec rechecks the measurements on a stress indicator on site. Alec finishes putting in the last lock on a safe house panic door. Alec finishes negoatiations with a tool smith for a new set of electronic scramblers, though he pays slightly more then he intended as his distraction is noted. And of course, Alec bandages his feet, disinfectant, bandages, tape. When done he sits there for a moment before speaking up, "She was my protege'."

She looks toward him as she puts shards of glass in the dustpan with the mop, and Elisabeth says quietly, "So she was a thief too." Not in a tone of censure — who the hell is she to cast stones, considering *her* cast of friends and lovers?

Alec smiles slightly, "Not yet." he looks back at the news clipping, "She was a tough little girl who lost everything in the bomb. She was Evo and hiding out by disappearing into a life of being a bike messenger." he eyes her, "I told you someone close to me was Evo." which wasn't a lie, he just never meant himself. "She was… young and hard and a bit like me before I found a purpose. I told her…" he trails off. "I offered her a deal. She took it. Independence and freedom." he looks over at Liz, "It's rough when you're all alone, harder then the movies or books or anyone can really make it out to be. It's everything you think, but worse. I was showing her how to harness… It's not important." he wipes at an eye and then looks at his hand confused. It's wet. "Huh." he says, as if not sure what to make of it.

Elisabeth listens to him, and she nods slowly. Her own powers didn't manifest until she was an adult, already in a career. But she knows enough people for whom that's not the case to grok that it's even harder for them. She taught in a high school for two years, for God's sake. "It is important," she contradicts softly. "She was important."

Alec touches the picture, "I was completely honest with her." he admits, though the admittion may be painful for Liz to bear currently. "I never lied about anything. I told her about Phoenix, or enough she got the gist anyway, and she understood when I told her I couldn't tell her any more. I told her how to crack a safe, pick a pocket, pick a lock, nail an interview, scam a free meal and free drink from any man or woman. I taught her how to drive a Ducati and love popcorn with your movies." he eyes Liz with a small grin, "She hated our movies though, always fell asleep. But she tried to like them." he looks away again. "She kept telling me to be honest with you." his voice hardens with a suddenness that's alarming, "I let her in."

Whatever pang Elisabeth might have about his honesty with her, she doesn't begrudge him having friends that he trusted more. She's just sad that he lost such a person. "Sounds like the two of you spent a lot of time together. I'm sorry that she was killed so senselessly, Alec," is all she says about it. Because like dying trying to stop a pursesnatcher is oh-so-much-more full of sense, right? Granted, Liz does far more than that these days, but the possibility always existed to just get killed in a traffic stop, too.

Alec shakes his head, "Doesn't matter." he rubs at his eyes again, "Obviously I didn't teach her enough." he glances over at Liz, "She stopped the guy. Is it senseless if you do something right?" it's a trap and Liz should know it. If she says yes he'll tout the value of a life over whatever the man might have taken, if she says no he'll question her 'cause'. Before she can answer though he waves her reponce away, "Ignore me. I'm trying to pick a fight. Don't fall for it." he takes a deep breath, calming himself visibly. "Um. I've never done this sort of thing before." Something Alec hasn't done! "I need to arrainge to have her body picked up and find a nice place for her. Do you uh… know anyone?"

Setting the mop aside, Elisabeth doesn't let him pick a fight with her. Instead she merely nods. "The coroner's office is where they'll have her for a couple of days. They'll do a full autopsy so they have all the evidence they need to convict the guy who killed her. Assuming you have legal right to pick up her body, a funeral home can retrieve her straight from the morgue." She bites her lip. "I think my dad used Little and Sons for my mother's memorial. They do good work." Not that there was a body in her mother's case, but she's been to other funerals there. "I'll get the numbers."

Alec nods idly, "I'm uh… I'm gonna go sit down in the living room. Can you poke me when you have the stuff I need. I need a moment to think." he stands and hisses, making little hissy noises as he heads for the couch where he flops down heavily. The morning is unpleasent for him, to say the least. Clones show up one at a time, each with the same shell shocked look on their faces. Some disappear, others are made, it's a shell game of identicle faces until Liz is left once more with just one. One without bandaged feet though, so… bonus? By the time Liz has all the numbers and the Alec's are all gone/swapped out/whatever, the one she's left with is sleeping, exuahsted, on the couch. One /might/ worry about where the rest of him have gone and what they might be up to…

She stays with him for the morning, calling in to work to take some personal time. Though Liz has to meet people in the office later, Alec needs the company more right now. She won't leave until she's assured that he's going to be at least as okay as it gets right now.

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