Lobby Chatter


elisabeth2_icon.gif lynette4_icon.gif

Scene Title Lobby Chatter
Synopsis Lynette and Liz finally meet back up post-portals!
Date March 20, 2019


They're regulars now. Aurora's just as at home in the Benchmark waiting areas as she is at home. The child therapist who works with her gets a pleasant smile and a chattering little magpie for company as they head back to the room where they talk. Elisabeth is sometimes in her own appointment at the same time, but not today. Today she's simply sitting in the waiting area resting on her elbow on the arm of her chair. Most people would be lost in thought or lost in their phone screens, but in this case the audiokinetic is still too on edge to really relax that far. So she spends time trying not to alarm other people by staring at them — she pretends she's not aware of the others in the room, one earbud in her ear that perhaps is playing music.

Or is it?

Hard to say.

At least the waiting rooms are comfortable. Lynette made sure of it. A Lynette. She comes into the room when she sees Liz sitting there. Her approach is wide, making sure the woman has a chance to see her coming before she takes up the chair next to her. At first, she only lets out a sigh. It's an odd moment for her. On one hand, she was in Liz's company mere weeks ago. On the other, she hasn't seen her in years. And she, herself, has been missing for several weeks.

"I'm glad you made it," she ends up saying, "you and Aura." She turns to look at her, her gaze tired, but relieved. "Evie filled us in on what happened."

Looking up, Elisabeth is very aware of the other woman and her hesitance to approach. When Lynette finally lowers herself to a chair, the audiokinetic lifts a subtle privacy field around them and pulls the earbud out of her ear — it was more for show anyway. Relief is evident in her blue eyes as she smiles faintly.

"Glad doesn't begin to cover how I feel about seeing you," she admits softly. "Kaylee… was able to tell me you'd survived, which helped some. But it wasn't like we could make any kind of promises to Evie or even tell anyone … we had no idea when you could get back." She reaches out and touches Lynette's arm, a tentative gesture but as if she needs to really touch to be sure. "You both… I don't even know which of you you are… but I owe all of you more than I can ever square, Lynette." She still fights the guilt, the sense that Lynette and Mateo's — among a great many others such as Eileen Gray's — lives were totally screwed up because of her actions. Hell, it's part of the reason she's even here at Benchmark, after all.

"Are you both… okay? I heard that you got Manuel back too." Sudden tears have to be ruthlessly suppressed — worry for Magnes and Addie is still strong in her. So close… and still so far.

"I'm… both," Lynette says, her hand coming to cover Liz's. "And so is Mateo. Opening the portal killed them, but Kaylee was able to save something. Wherever we were, though, it was more than just mental. Physically, too. No one seems to want to try to explain it." She lets out a sigh there, because she's not sure there is an explanation, really.

She squeezes Liz's hand, shaking her head lightly. "We got through it. You made it home. I made it to my children. You don't owe us anything. Everything was square the moment I had my family back in my arms again." The question— are you both okay— gets a wry, crooked smile. "We will be. Manuel needs the most time. Living with the people that took him— it wasn't easy on him. He doesn't like it if one us isn't near by. Breaks my heart to see him like that." Her fingers run through her hair, a steadying gesture before she looks back over at Liz. "The whole family has appointments down here. We had to pull a favor to get some of the staff read into the whole mess." Which Liz already knows, of course, since she and Aura have their own counselors. "The government was fairly flexible about it, so long as we don't go public with what happened to us. As if anyone would be able to understand it."

"As if they'd believe us," Elisabeth snorts in agreement. There is sorrow over Manny's state. "I'm glad you're all together. I worry…." She bites her lip. "Magnes doesn't have Addie yet. It's killing him, after losing Elaine. I keep hoping she'll turn up. Some of our folks are still missing." But Liz cannot give up on them.

Sighing heavily, she holds Lynette's hand like a lifeline. She's quiet as she considers the ramifications of being both. A faint smile curves her lips. "You really are tied together at the soul," she murmurs. "I'm so glad… you didn't lose one another." Again. There's a subtle envy. She's still working on finding her way home to the man who holds her heart.

"Aurora seems to be bouncing back more quickly than I am," she admits. "I still find myself… watching. Waiting. Standing watch at night." Liz shrugs slightly and grimaces.

"She hasn't given him his daughter?" Lynette blinks in surprise, then falls silent for a long moment. "Manuel has talked about her a little. She's… She adapted better than he did. Maybe too well. There's a man there she calls her father. I'm not sure who he is or why. But it's possible the situation with Addie is delicate. Magnes will have to be prepared for what he might find there, when he goes." It isn't hard to tell that Lynette doesn't think Magnes is exactly the most delicate person. Her worry shifts toward the girl, suddenly, at how difficult this will be on her. "I hope Elaine does turn back up. I hope they all do, but for Addie's sake, I hope her mother is out there."

At the notion of the bond between her and Mateo, Lynette runs her thumb against her wedding ring— one of many between them. "He's a damn miracle," she says with a chuckle. She's still having to adjust to a lot of things, but feeling lucky to have Mateo is a constant between both of her. But she leaves her sentiment there, rather than elaborating. There's little doubt that she could, but perhaps she has a sense of that envy, or at least that not everyone who made it here made it through with the same luck. "Evie, too. You can hardly tell she went through anything. Between the war here and all those worlds we went through, I don't know if I'll ever sleep properly again. It's not easy to accept that it's over."

"I don't know what to do but let him handle it his own way," Elisabeth says quietly. "It's good to hear that's she's okay. That, at least, does ease my heart."

When Lynette comments on it being over, Elisabeth is quiet for a long while. Is it? she can't help wondering but her response is simple. "I didn't sleep great even before all this. It's not exactly unusual for me anymore." Blowing out a slow breath, she then smiles. "I think my parents are having just about as hard a time of it as Richard and I are. I can't decide if that amuses me or terrifies me."

"His way is what worries me," Lynette says. She has little worry for the people who took the kids, but a lot for how all of this will affect the girl. She glances upward, as if she might be able to see her children through the floors between them.

"I used to sleep great. One of me," she says, shaking her head. "The other one, not so much. It's strange to be able to know the moment when you made the one choice that changed who you were as a person." That part she probably won't get over. But instead of explaining she gives Liz a sympathetic expression. "It'll work out. Everyone here though you were dead. He had to mourn you. He had to move on from the life you made together. But you know what? The moment he learned you were alive and that there was a way to get you back here, he did nothing else but work to do just that. He might need time and so will you, but I saw his face, Liz, when he found out. It'll work out. Hopefully for your parents, too." That part comes with a crooked smile. Surely they're all adult enough to wish their parents success in love.

Laughing quietly, Elisabeth admits, "His way worries me too. But… what am I supposed to do? Encourage him to go to war? That's not going to help Addie." She pauses and says softly, "He wants her back just as badly as you needed Manuel… I told him I'd have his back, whatever he decides to do. But I hope… that it won't be necessary to go to battle. After all this time, it may just frighten Addie and turn her against him. I hope that what he's doing is proceeding carefully. He's pretty messed up in the head right now. And unlike a lot of us, I don't think he's really talking to anyone." He's not the only one, but… it does worry her.

Finally looking back to meet Lynette's eyes, there's a genuine soft, almost shy expression on her face. Not something she wears often in the past years. "I know," she replies quietly of Richard's actions. "We'll get there again. He is still my safe harbor, even after all this time apart. He kissed me and there was nothing else. I was home. Safe. I just have to… deal with everything else when we're not in those moments, that's all."

It's a lot. But she's here regularly, working on her way home.

"War? God no. The opposite. I think he wouldn't need much encouragement to turn it into a fight. That girl doesn't need to know that side of him." Lynette speaks from experience there. None of her children know the darker side of her. She makes sure of it. "He should just go talk to Eileen. She didn't resist when we came for Manuel."

She smiles at Liz's shier expression and nods softly. "I understand," she says on a chuckle. Home has never been a place for her and she only found it when she found him.

"Hopefully you're finding help here," she says, for the other moments, "I'm not sure it'll ever go away, but we can find ways to cope. They might have to invent new specialties to deal with us, but that's what this place is for." They both know how extreme Evolved issues can become.

There's a soft chuckle as Elisabeth nods slightly. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure you do know," is her reply about the situation with Richard. As to Addie. God, that hurts. It hurts to consider that Volken in Eileen's body took the kids… but so far as has been said so far, Manuel is okay. Maybe Addie is too. "I … don't know exactly where she is. But I guess I'll know when I need to — I wish it were… simpler for Magnes." She's quiet as she thinks about what's happened. "I hope that when he tracks her down, she talks to him. That she… will think about what's best for Addie." Of course… what was best would have been not to take the children in the first place.

Shaking off the thought, she refocuses on Lynette. "I think it's helping, yeah," she replies softly, still holding the other woman's hand. "The years in Arthur's world…. Maybe mitigated some of what could have happened in my head." Maybe. "Aurora had a good foundation in those years, and I think… she'll bounce back. She's starting to seem a little better. Not as worried. Not as quiet." Like everything else, it takes time.

"I know where they are," Lynette points out, "I'll get you directions before you leave. The sooner that can be resolved, the better. Just warn Magnes that she might try guilt tripping him. She gave me a speech about not being Manuel's real mother when we went for him. As if anyone there were. I think they may have gotten overly attached to the children they kidnapped." She looks at Liz sideways, a decidedly unamused expression on her face. The people in Providence didn't make the best impression on her. Especially the one who tried to kill her husband.

"I'm glad to hear it. Just one day at a time. That's what I keep telling myself," she says with a crooked smile. She's only just started her own healing, but it hasn't been very long for any of them. "If you see the others, the travelers, let them know there's a safehouse upstairs. You're all always welcome up there. If they need a place to stay or if anyone just needs a quiet place to hide out for a few hours. Evie would like to see Aura any time you want to come by, too. I'm sure she's cooking up a new adventure for them." These days, it'll be pillow forts in the living room and imagination, but Evie seems to have a good time anyway.

Elisabeth goes taut, the idea that Eileen might try to tell Magnes he's not Addie's real father infuriating her with a flash of rage that shocks even her. The thrum of it rolls off her body, so low a sound it's almost inaudible but clearly felt. Lynette can see when she grimaces and has to fight to rein it in. "Damn it," she whispers. It's a side of Liz that hasn't seen the light of day in years. The audiokinetic is finally, after several months home, allowing herself to really experience her own emotions again … but it means that some are flaring more dramatically than they might otherwise. Her control is less because they're not all locked down into the tight little fortress within.

As Elisabeth works to rein it back in she murmurs, "Aurora misses the hell out of Evie, so yes. Playdate. Sooner rather than later. The bodyguard will still have to stay, even here " He's outside keeping watch, given that Elisabeth herself can more than hold off trouble on her own for that long and this is a place of safety and healing. " but having Evie is definitely one of the things that I want for them all. Having each other. All of them."

Lynette sees that rush of emotion and her hand comes up to cover Liz's. She also decides to let that thread of the conversation go. No reason to press harder into that wound, not for either of them. Obviously, Lynette hasn't forgiven Eileen for the things she's done. Maybe she never will.

Outside the front doors, there's the sound of thunder rolling and the flash of lightning. Lynette looks up at the doors just in time to see the rain start to hit the glass.

Springtime storms.

"Bodyguards are welcome. Whatever you need. We have security here, but I understand wanting your girl to be safe." Sometimes a parent needs that extra peace and she's not about to deny that. "That's about all the consistency we can give them from the last six years. Safety and each other." Until they settle in here, at the very least.

She squeezes Lynette's hand hard for a long moment, breathing slowly to lower her heart rate. To ease the anger down from that flashpoint. Blue eyes flicker to the door, and Elisabeth smiles just a bit at the other woman. "Well, the bodyguards aren't my call," she admits softly. "Although he's being a little tight-lipped on the details, Richard apparently has reason to believe … things aren't over." That's not something the children need to know, though. "As far as the kids are concerned, the nanny is just that — someone to help out when all three of us are busy." She's referring to the twins' mother as well, since the threesome of parents are co-parenting all of Richard's brood.

"We've all been lucky that it's only the past two years that are so shaky. They all have a good foundation, so for them… recovering the equilibrium is just a matter of that kind of safety." Liz grimaces just a little. "Aurora's still a little more watchful than I'd like, but she seems to be doing really well overall. The therapist you have here is amazing with her."

"I'm sure he just doesn't want to worry you before he has to," Lynette says, letting out something of a sigh. She knows why he wouldn't want to pass on the truth to her just yet. Because there's not a solid plan to deal with it yet. And just knowing about it is part of the problem. "I wish we all had time to settle in here before we have to worry about the next issue." Especially the children. They had no choice but to inform them while they were traveling, but Lynette hopes for a more peaceful childhood for them from here out. "I'm glad to hear it. If any of you have any concerns, let me know." She shifts, pushing herself up to her feet. "Come have some coffee," she says, "we have the best in the Safe Zone."

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