Louder Now


bolivar_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Louder Now
Synopsis Instead of calling, Bolivar simply shows up when he needs Elisabeth. There isn't a lot she can do to help him. There isn't a lot he can do to help her, either. Still, they both feel better there's a cop with all his health back.
Date March 27, 2009

Dorchester Towers: Elisabeth's Apartment

This is a pretty standard two-bedroom apartment, although the occupant has gone to some effort to make it her own. Although the carpet is the ubiquitous beige, the walls are painted a soft rose-gray mauve shade, giving the main living space warmth. A dark gray sectional sofa sits in the living room facing an entertainment center that contains a state-of-the-art stereo system and a less upscale television setup. A coffee table sits in the curve of the sectional, and floor lamps bracket the ends of the furniture. The dining area hosts a four-seater square oak table and chairs, with the table generally host to a slew of mail and papers. An oak sideboard against the wall has candles on either end of it and a glass bowl with a fake arrangement of flowers. A small wine rack sits next to the sideboard, home to no more than nine bottles. The kitchen is small, but functional, painted a soft yellow color with a transparent blue glass backsplash. Off the living room are two bedrooms, one of which has the door closed and the other appears to be a home office. Its walls are a soft shade of green, and it contains a desk with a high-end computer setup and a bookcase stocked with textbooks.

Normally, Bolivar is polite en—

Oh, fuck, who are we kidding?

Blam blam blam. It's almost like somebody is shooting at Officer Harrison's door rather than pounding on it, the strength with which the arm attached to that fist attacks the flat face of wood. Unwonted strength, for the man that Liz eventually glimpses through the peephole. Bolivar is a small man and notoriously fragile besides, always characterized by the hateful necessity of carrying himself as if he were made of glass.

Today, he's cast of iron and powered by steam and coal fire, from the look of black temper and the crazy bristle of his hair. Bizarrely, he doesn't have his dogs with him.

The noise at the front door scares the hell out of Elisabeth, and when the door actually opens, it's clear that she was expecting trouble. She's wearing a pair of khaki pants and a cranberry-colored T-shirt, but it's the gun she's holding pointed at the floor that might tell him that he scared her. "Jason?? What's wrong?" she asks as she opens the door wide to allow him entry. She's forgotten that her face is sporting the split lip and bruise across the left cheekbone, so she takes no pains to keep him from seeing it. "Are the girls okay?" Because they're not with him…. and come to think of it, it's not like he's stopped by her house much… like… ever!

"Last night, Kayla Reed saved my life with her fucking Evolved ability and then some skinny gringo bitches from Homeland Security stuffed her up their collective cunt and detoured out of the course to a fucking hospital when her fucking lung was fucking collapsing!"

That is too many words and too loud, expelled in the stillness of central heating at reverberating volume. Bolivar stomps into the living room, taking only a moment to glance down and frown at the way that she is holding her gun. Not that there is anything wrong with it, probably.

He visibly suppresses the urge to kick the nearest bit of furniture. He stares at her out from underneath the furrow of his brow. If Elisabeth weren't an audiokinetic, the other differences in his posture and stride might go entirely unnoticed.

As she is, she might detect it. His footfalls cleaner, sharper, his voice the vibrancy without that perpetual hint of strain or fluid, no incipient cough hounding every syllable. The scarred visage that stares at her shows more sanguine color and bloody energy than she's seen in years. "My dogs are fine," he rounds off. Blinks. "What the fuck happened to you?"

As he storms into the room, practically foaming at the mouth, Liz is truly stunned. Because … well, she hasn't heard him shout like that in years. She hasn't heard him stomp around in years. And though he's cranky and bitchy and whatever… she hasn't seen him in a rage in YEARS. The last time was … before the Bomb. Back when he was a sniper. She closes the door behind him and safeties her pistol, setting it on the small table in her entry way. "What?" she demands, looking at a loss as he literally spits information at her. The change of subject along with his altered demeanor throws her. "Huh? Oh…." She looks away. "Nothing, never mind it. Who is Kayla… wait, she's the one who returned Lou, right?" She remembers the woman with the dog and looks back at him. The really angry one. "She's a healer? Oh shit…. Okay, slow down. Tell me what happened."

The scarred asymmetry of Bolivar's features strikes a sudden consistency like the crystal lattice of an ice-lock. He isn't angry at her, of course, except for the fleeting irritation of her not explaining why she looks like somebody pimp-slapped her with a cricket bat. "You look like somebody pimp-slapped you with a cricket bat," he points out, obtusely. He looks around the apartment.

No, nothing he could in good conscience kick at. His boots clomp the ground like gnashing teeth, moving him across the room to the window, and then back. "Kayla. Yes, the one who returned Lou. Other skinny gringo bitch, brunette, lives among the needles and the hookers at the trailer farm. Somebody fucking shot me yesterday, and she saved me, then some agents showed up— Dahl was one of them. Fucking spook.

"Fuck." The harsh acuity of Bolivar's eyes assess the discoloration clouding Elisabeth's face. Sniper eyes. Those, at least, remain entirely the same.

There's a long pause and Elisabeth says quietly, "I'm sorry." It's all she can say about what happened to Bolivar's … friend? We'll go back to that later. She moves further into the living room, eyeing Bolivar like she's not sure what to expect. "Are you…. angry because they took her, or … angry because she healed you?" she finally has the temerity to ask. She can see him eyeing her bruises. And then the fingerprint-shaped ones on her forearms. But she's ignoring his attention to them, focusing on what brought him here.

"I'm fucking pissed off because they took her," Bolivar announces to the empty room at large. His pacing doesn't abort until he is almost kneeing his way through the front door again, and he brakes, turns to see the blonde woman staring at him. "I didn't make up my mind about the other thing," he states, at length. "Figure the shooter's motivations were pretty fucking unimaginative.

"Figures, I kill a twelve-year-old mutant and the only one who isn't losing her fucking mind about it is a thirty-three-year-old mutant chick cop. It's probably better that way. I probably couldn't stand you if you made yourself out to be the Joan of Arc of your species." He rounds off into an engine chugging of lung, blinks a few times. "Do you have any SCOUT or fancy terrorist tricks to fix shit like this?"

Moving to perch a hip on the back of her couch while she watches him pace, Elisabeth has nothing but sympathy for him. "Don't be an asshole, Jason," she tells him mildly. "I realize everyone's up in arms about what happened, but it happens. They still haven't even ruled whether the kid was attacking you or not. Quit being a martyr." She sighs heavily, though. "And no…. I don't have any SCOUT tricks or anything else that will help her out of hock. Once Homeland takes them…. either they get released or we don't see them again. Healers…. she may have a chance at being released. She should have a chance at being released. It's a Tier 0 power."

Abruptly, Bolivar sits down. He was at the other end of the couch, so it works out. The panels of his trenchcoat flare, halt in a drape across the back of the furniture. He frowns at her, less with rancor this time than with simple— disagreeable— disagreement. "Someone shot me in the back in Central Park, twice. That's not 'being a martyr,' that's 'being murdered.'"

His eyes close and open. "A chance at being released?" he repeats, incredulously. What—

"Yes, Jason, that's being murdered. I was referring to the 'only person who isn't freaking being mutant chick cop' part." Elisabeth sighs, rubbing the back of her neck. "I can't tell you what they'll do. I can only tell you that the other healer I know was released. But… Homeland doesn't seem to have any rhyme or reason sometimes. And I've seen people not come back." She shakes her head. "I don't know what to tell you."

The rest are assholes, as far as Bolivar is concerned. Which may well not be very far at all, given how selective he is about the human company he chooses to keep, but as long as he is here, he's wont to rib Elisabeth as much as Elisabeth is wont to do so to him.

"Those people are strangers," he replies, flatly. "You're telling me the truth. That is kind of like 'good enough.' I'll track Dahl down or some shit." His brow furrows slightly, and he studies the far wall of her apartment for a moment. "If I ask in a falsetto voice and put my nice guy face on, will you tell me what happened to your face then?"

There's a hesitation there, and Elisabeth finally sighs. "Got grabbed and roughed up by a couple of clowns," she replies. And she gives him innocent eyes. But he's known her long enough to know that the innocent eyes aren't… and when he gives her that look he always gives her when she lies to him, she adds, "In blue. At headquarters." She shoves off the couch and says, "I'm fine. I reported it, IAB'll look into it."

Aw, those baby blue eyes like death traps for her considerable retinue of hopeful swains. Yes, he knows the look, wasn't fooled one bit, and takes a moment to pull his face out of its disbelieving scowl when she clarifies.

"IAB put up with me for sixteen years," Bolivar says. His voice is somewhat strange, saying it. Syllables fashioned with the precision of a cookie cutter or jigsaw. "Jesus fucking Christ.

"Who? Did you like—" his hands make somewhat inarticulate clenching-starfish motions. 'Splode. Red and slime everywhere. Some part of Jason Bolivar Rodriguez-Smith refuses to believe that she looks worse than they do. "I mean. How alive are they, where zero isn't, and five is me yesterday?"

Sucking in a breath, Liz replies, "*No,* I didn't …" She mirrors his gesture with her hands. "I think I broke one guy's nose, and the other got kicked in the balls, and I made them both vomit all over the stairwell. I didn't do anything else to them. More's the pity." She makes a bit of a face. "Honestly, I was so damn stunned when they grabbed me, I froze. Should know better."

"Yes," Bolivar answers in agreement that is neither sympathetic nor cruel. A scowl is etched deep into his features, at odds with the edge of laughter brimming against the half-frame of his scarring. Two lunches, fertility, and easy breathing are fairly decent compensation for a bruise and a broken lip. "Okay.

"You're still going to tell me what their names were, right? It's not like I can look them up in the yellow pages and set up a rooftop perch on the other side of the fucking street with an M40. Except I can," a dismissive arc of a scarred hand. It is the most backward reassurance ever, but it is reassurance, "and we wouldn't be friends if you thought I was gonna."


Elisabeth smiles at him in spite of the lip. "Thanks, Jason." She has always kept his name for those moments when she either wants him to pay closer attention to something she's saying or because the moment is in some other way important. This surely qualifies. The man lets no one close, and he's got an active, major dislike for Evolved people… and in spite of it, he has chosen to be her friend and stay that way. "I can ask the DHS agent who winds up dogging my ass all the time about Kayla Reid, but I'm not sure she'll be able to tell me anything. They hardly ever do," she offers.

Note: She still doesn't offer names.

Noted. Bolivar turns up the corners of his mouth, but there's something distinctly false about the expression, pinched at the corners by the great cold fingers of straining Patience. Whatever healing Kayla managed to do, it repaired neither the scars on his skin nor his personality. Mind you, he's grateful, but that's why he doesn't say anything. If he did, it wouldn't be 'thank you.'

She can see his annoyance and says, "Oh fer Christ's sake… Farriday and Jakes, okay? I am not everyone's baby sister, to have all of you running about to beat the hell out of the two of them, though. Seriously!" Elisabeth looks mildly perturbed. "I've been dealing with bullshit since I became a cop — being a girl cop sucks sometimes. You suck it up and move on. I'm more worried about … " She grimaces a little and admits, "Honestly? I'm more worried they might come at me OUTSIDE the precinct. They're on suspension at the moment. Because there's the vomit in the stairs and Farriday's broken nose to back up my side of things, you know?"

"I'm two feet tall, queer, half-Spick, and my fag hags are dogs," Bolivar grinds out in commensurate irritation, "so you can pull the crucifix out of your ass, too." This is the bright and edifying stuff that years'-old friendships are made of. "I just wanted to know. I know you can handle a little… whatever the fuck. I can try and find out if they're planning to pull any more stupid shit.

"Or if they got it out of their system. Less bullshit around for everybody." Finally, he levers himself up onto his feet, a double-thump of boots. He smacks the panel of his coat smooth, and squints at the doorway before remembering that the distance isn't so very long anymore, not now that his bones actually work like proper bones anymore. "I have a psych review to finish.

"Put some ice on that, or none of your boys are going to want you anymore." He points at her face.

Elisabeth just rolls her eyes at him and grins cheekily — it makes her face hurt, but hey… it's worth it. "You don't think it lends a certain…. rakishness to my face?" she asks on a chuckle. She is listening, though, to something that she hadn't even realized that she was aware of…. after Conrad taught her to listen more closely to people's bodies, she's done it here and there. Bolivar's never sounded right. And now? Now it sounds far closer to right. And she's watching him move, hiding the happiness she feels for him because… well.. he's a crotchety bastard and will just blow it off anyway. "Sorry I jumped to conclusions," is all she says.

Blowing it off is just another symptom that said psychologist is going to jump all over. Bolivar will simply have to hope that, as far off the normal curve as his particular mental situation is, the rest of his fellow police officers are comparably maladjusted. Even if he's bound for retail work or some shit, he doesn't need a clinical diagnosis to finish off March as the winning month.

"Rakish," he says, "like a bad stuffing job.

"I'll show myself out. You take care of yourself and let me know if the IAB fucks this up. I'd hate to hear about it from somebody else, right?" A scarred hand closes on the knob. Though there is still considerable discomfort in the bite and pull of too-tight scar tissue over the normal mechanics of his muscle and bone, it's nothing compared to the constant pain that Bolivar had had to put up for years before. He waves over his shoulder.

Liz walks him out anyway, and she offers him a faint grin. "No worries, Bolivar. I'll keep you up to date." It's not like her whole squad's not keeping tabs on it. Whatever… sometimes it's kind of nice to have people watching your back. It makes her believe that in spite of it all — all the complications — coming back was the right thing.

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