Marriott Rewards


elliot2_icon.gif merlyn_icon.gif wright2_icon.gif

Scene Title Marriott Rewards
Synopsis Merlyn visits Wright at her home away from home.
Date July 3, 2021

The automatic doors of the hotel have hummed open and closed repeatedly over the last hour, though up until now, none of the people walking through them have been Wright. Her business attire is as flippant as always, though she’s clearly only just removed the tie wrapped around one fist. As her eyes scan the lobby, she sighs when she settles on Merlyn.

Security follows her into the lobby, men in black with faces as replaceable as they come. They exchange a quiet word, and one returns through the doors he’s only just entered. The other remains distant, but closes in behind Wright as she reaches her visitor. “Hi,” she says, unphased by the man behind her. “Let’s get a door between us and this guy.”

Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Washington, K.C.

Saturday, July 3rd
Later Than She’d Like

There's a bit of relief when it's Wright coming through the doors, and Merlyn stands up from her post where she'd taken up residence: a couch with a perfect view of the door and a stack of reading material on the side table that she'd likely not bothered touching. She's not used to seeing the security and her eyes track the one leaving and the one staying before she cracks a smile. "You're a real celebrity now," she says. "Glad these guys are here to handle all the paparazzi trying to catch a picture of your shoulder."

Even if Wright is unphased, Merlyn can't help but direct towards the man, "I bet it'll be nice for a coffee break too."

“Oh, don’t bother,” Wright says, waving dismissively over her shoulder at the man behind her. “He took a vow of silence.”

“I did not,” the man corrects.

“Kenneth, you are embarrassing me,” Wright says, though Kenneth doesn’t seem moved. “I want to change and then we can order room service. The restaurant is okay though if you’d rather come back down for a meal at a table. Amenities are pretty good for government work.” She looks relieved to see Merlyn, but excited at the prospect of being out of line of sight of anybody else.

"Ah, a selective vow of silence I see," Merlyn says, a grin tugging at the corner of her mouth. The humor is something she's relying on heavily, just as she did earlier with Marthe. "Sounds good. Honestly, room service sounds perfect to me… I'd rather not eat somewhere that has people." The grin's still here. "I hate people and have no idea how to talk to them." She pauses.

"But seriously, room service sounds great."

"Excellent," Wright says, motioning and leading the group the short distance to the elevators. She prods the up button dramatically and stands back as one of the doors opens automatically. "We could also order out, which is fun because Kenneth has to fetch it for us." Kenneth doesn't dispute this time, but remains unreadable as to how he feels about it.

“Why do I feel like your main source of entertainment while you’re here is finding new things for Kenneth to do?” Merlyn shrugs a shoulder as she steps into the elevator. “I suppose that would beat being stuck on a security detail for someone boring.” She shifts to rest against the back wall of the elevator. “You’re the one who has to eat here all the time, you pick something you like.”

"Oh, I don't get to order him around or anything," Wright explains, "he's just really nosy. I've tried promising him I'd never do a treason but he's super paranoid." Kenneth doesn't expressly forbid a hopeful couple from joining them in the elevator, but they make the choice to wait for another regardless.

"There's an Ethiopian place nearby that I'm into," Wright ponders as the doors slide closed. "How are you with spice?"

“I don’t think she’d do even a small treason,” Merlyn stage whispers in Kenneth’s direction. Her broad grin turns on Wright again. “I can handle my spice, but Ethiopian food isn’t anything I’ve tried, so I’ll have to trust you in helping me pick something out. My uncultured ass needs to try new foods.” She chuckles. “Yeah, I know, phrasing. But you get what I mean.”

Wright leans forward to talk to her minder as the elevator begins its ascent. "That's a my regular for my guest and a tell Ebenezer to surprise me for myself," she says. "Since you're already thinking of ordering for yourself." Kenneth sighs because she wasn't wrong.

"Sorry for making you wait in the lobby for like fourteen hours," she tells Merlyn.

Merlyn smiles broadly, then shakes her head. "Nah, it wasn't that bad. The chairs were fairly comfortable and the receptionist was nice enough to smile every time I accidently made eye contact while looking around. No need to apologize, I just might have needed a little relaxation, so you did me a favor." Her smile turns into a grin. "Besides, you're the important one, I can definitely wait until you have time for me."

"Oh you're very important," Wright insists. "The office was abuzz with all the false rumors I planted about the arrival of Elliot's reclusive billionaire wife." Kenneth turns a chuckle into a polite cough, then mutters something into his wrist microphone as the elevator slows. "Unrelated, you may need to learn how to juggle so I can win a bet. You come from old circus money. Real legacy stuff." The bell dings and the doors slide open, Kenneth leads them into the hall to the right.

“He has ruined me for coffee. I’ll never be able to drink the cheap stuff without judging the quality again,” Merlyn notes, then chuckles. “Obviously I learned the tightrope, and no one would ever do that without proper safety constraints. Can’t just show that off.” She grins at the thought that stirs at the mere joke about billionaires. “Makes me think of the night he asked me to marry him.”

Her gaze drifts to her wrist, even if the bracelet isn’t quite visible under her sleeve. She can feel it there, which is the part that matters. “Always meant to take up juggling though, it never hurts to have new hobbies that help friends win bets.”

"Excellent," Wright says as she fishes her room key from a jacket pocket. "I hope you don't mind, but I already took the liberty of buying you some chainsaws to practice with. Also I may have very briefly been in the townhouse while Elliot was springing the proposal."

She unlocks the door to her room and ushers Merlyn inside, saying nothing to her minder in parting. "Welcome, thank you for coming, make yourself comfortable."

“Oh good, chainsaws. Starting me out with the easy stuff is definitely the way to go,” Merlyn says, entering with only a tiny wiggle of her fingers in Kenneth’s direction as a farewell. She moves to the nearest flat surface to sit on, regardless of what piece of furniture it actually is, and once she’s settled she looks in Wright’s direction.

“How’re you holding up?”

"Super good," Wright says happily as the door closes. She lets out a ragged sigh and slumps back against it. Whatever she intends to deflect with next comes out as a quiet cry into her hands.

Getting comfortable is quickly forgotten as Merlyn gets to her feet to bridge the distance between her and Wright. “You good for a hug?” The concern is evident in her voice, but she’s well-aware of the complications of touch right now. “I promise I’m really good at them. I’ve been practicing on myself in the late hours of the night to keep my hug-game strong.” Her grin is a gentle one—humor or not, she’s completely unable to fully block out her worry.

There's a struggle as Wright tries to peel herself out of grief long enough to address the fact that physical comfort would probably be wonderful right now. Merlyn is safe, isn't she? She's hope, shouldn't she be an exception to the rules? Why is Seren? She clears her throat and nods without looking up from her hands, judging the space between their bodies with the sounds restricted by the entryway.

Sensing that there’s still some confusion and a struggle, Merlyn changes tactics. She moves to lean against the door next to Wright, and instead of offering a hug she just leans slightly against her. It’s a warm physical presence, but one that Merlyn hopes won’t be too intrusive. “I’m here for whatever you need,” she adds softly. There’s no deflection with humor. Instead she’s trying to just be fully there, as much or as little as is needed.

"Sorry," Wright says between sniffles as she relaxes against Merlyn. "I wish everything wasn't so weird and horrible."

“That’s how life fucking is sometimes, y’know?” Merlyn seems content being the pillar of support, and she’s certain if Wright needs anything she’ll ask. “I think about a lot of my life and I see plenty of weird and horrible things. Kind of a wonder I’ve made it this far… but I have, and you’ve been through hell too. So has Elliot. Yet here we all are, alive and kicking despite the world’s best efforts to toss us in a dumpster. Weird and horrible I can deal with, so long as I have something worth fighting for.”

Wright cries freely, fighting the impulse to crumple to the floor. She settles for leaning into Merlyn for support. Only when she's feeling safe does she pull Merlyn into a hug, the cries replaced with small, exhausted sighs.

Merlyn accepts the hug once Wright's the one that initiates it, and she keeps her arms steady and firm to allow Wright not to have to be the one holding all her weight. Small though she may be, she's got strong arms from all of the scrapes she couldn't manage to talk her way out of. She lets the silence linger for a moment as she tries to assess the feel of the situation and what she can actually do to help. "You know you aren't alone in this. There are so many people helping out with Ames. I even met Liz earlier, she seems like she'd go in there single-handedly if she had to. If she did, I'd absolutely back her up even if I don't think talking is gonna quite work for this."

Her tone, though positive, is a notch down from chipper. She's not trying to give that excessive energy to the situation and instead opts for the promise of safety with the lightheartedness and hope she's good at. Merlyn squeezes tight for a moment, but doesn't move away from Wright's hug. She's leaving all of the physical touches in Wright's court; she knows things are tricky right now and she's absolutely not going to complicate it. "Marthe has people around and supporting her, and now you've got me. I'm going to stay as long as you need, pop back and forth as I need to for… work." She grins over Wright's shoulder, but it's audible. "There is no way you're going to be alone in this. I won't let you be."

Wright relaxes in little bursts, settling into Merlyn carefully as she's reassured. "Thank you," she finally manages in a small voice. She pulls away and wipes at her eyes, embarrassed. "Mascara massacre. I'm going to hop in the shower and then hopefully our food will get here soon because I'm starving."

"Hey, we've all got mascara masks once in a while. You take a shower and relax, I'm going to just chill and make myself comfortable," Merlyn grins. "I promise not to order any weird pay-per-view channels while I'm here. I think those things cost a fortune, but I've never actually ordered one. In any case, go let the hot water wash away the bullshit. Not literally, you know what I mean." That said, she moves further into the hotel room to go find a seat. She doesn't even actually touch the remote for the TV.

"Oh you can order any pay-per-view you like," Wright says, banking left into the bathroom. "The government pays for it. But somebody is going to be watching it with you. I try to watch one truly awful movie per day to punish the poor son of a bitch." She vanishes into the bathroom, and the sounds of the running water separate her from her guest.

Unceremoniously settling in the desk chair in the room, Merlyn instead looks at her phone. Really, she's not looking for anything at all, but it's a thing to do. Even with the offer of the channels she doesn't touch it. Waiting is something she's okay with doing–it just ends up giving her too much time to think about things. She reads through old texts, taking her time on a few ones from Elliot in the past.

Wright keeps her shower short and her attire simple, having no plans to see anybody other than the man who hands her their meals from the hallway. She confiscates Merlyn's desk, spreading out a smorgasbord of plate-sized rolled pancakes, meat, sauces and soups to dip them into. The room takes on the smells of fire-blackened lamb, chicken, and spice. "Take whatever looks good to you," she offers, demonstrating by diving right in. After a sigh of satisfaction as she eats her first bite, she nods.

"Is it okay if I include Elliot in this dinner party?" she asks.

Merlyn is happy to dive in, grabbing a little bit of everything as she carefully plates it up. As she's taking some of the lamb and she hears mention of Elliot's name, she stops for a moment, the tiniest of smiles creeping up. "I think that's fair, I'm sure he'd enjoy some of this as well." Really, she hasn't asked too much about Elliot because she's focused on Wright, but there's always the thought lingering in the back of her thoughts.

"Besides, who am I to deny anyone a dinner party like this?"

Wright's eyes go distant, unfocused for a moment as she talks. "He does love a dinner party," she says, then pauses. "Confirm," she says, seemingly to Elliot, before her eyes refocus on their guest.

"Here he is," she tells Merlyn, smiling widely as she feels how he does upon seeing her. "I can relay whatever he says directly to you as though you're having a direct conversation, or I can narrate. Whatever you're comfortable with."

Merlyn's smile goes brighter. "Maybe directly? It'd be nice to feel like I can chat rather than just text messages. If you don't mind, that is. Feel free to add your own commentary if he says anything particularly witty." She settles back down with the plate, though she's momentarily distracted from the actual food.

"You better be doing okay," she says. "It's a lot harder for me to be emotional support for you too. Got my hands full right now." She laughs, slowly easing into the situation, calming the strange nerves that pick up at knowing he's there. Even after marriage, there's still always that flutter.

"Oh, I'm doing great," Wright says after a pause to catch up to what Elliot is saying. She settles into the role of transmitter with practiced efficiency. "I was just thinking about how nice it would be to see you and here you are, hot like the sun. Hotter than this lamb kofta, holy shit Wright." His eyes distractedly scan the hillside as he talks, attention split between there and here.

"I'm stepping up my spice game," Wright whispers in explanation. She's not showing outward signs of spice discomfort, but perhaps it's a slow burn.

Merlyn laughs, pausing for a moment to take a bite to assess the spice situation for herself. She grins, clearly not having a problem with the spice level. "You know, I would think the extra spice from a distance would be ideal," she says, glancing at the food before back at Wright. "Glad I can at least give you a view? It sounds a little weird phrasing it like that, and saying 'It's good to see you' also feels a little weird. The sentiment's there, though, compliments appreciated and all that. Nice to chat in some form that's not text though, despite the fact that poor Wright gets to play translator. I'll make sure to bring her some kind of present later."

"I do like presents!" Wright says cheerfully. "You don't need to worry about me though, this is a service I will happily provide. If you get uncomfortable at any point though we can figure out something else."

She signs the letter e as she talks for Elliot, realizing it might be easier to make it obvious if they're both going to be in on the conversation. "It's wonderful to see you too," Elliot says, feeling the weight of his wedding token beneath his shirt. "In person, as it were. This locket makes you look a lot smaller than you are."

Wright holds a shred of pancake above the various topping options, stopping when Elliot seems interested, then takes a bite.

“I’ll still get you something,” Merlyn insists. “Maybe a coffee mug that says ‘I Heart NY’ on it or something particularly cheesy. Cause even if I’m here to be your emotional support, you’re still giving me the opportunity to talk to Elliot. Not quite face to face, but it’s as close as I can get it.”

She lifts her wrist up when Elliot mentions the locket so he can see the little flash of gold that is her bracelet. “They’re going to have to pry this thing off my cold dead body,” she says with a grin. “I’m not sure I could get any smaller and then I become locket-sized. Just keep shrinking by the day.” The conversation becomes easier once Merlyn falls into their banter. That was familiar.

"You should get her so many novelty keychains that she feels too guilty to get rid of them but can no longer fit them in her pockets," Elliot suggests.

"Do not," Wright clarifies.

"You're the correct size," Elliot assures Merlyn, happy to see the reminder of their wedding. "Any shorter and I'd never be able to find you in a crowd." He gently kicks at the tires of Katie, smiling to himself but not explaining the coincidence. No details of where he is or what he's doing can cross the divide, but he's great at banter.

"It would make it easier to sneak you into a theatre to save money on movie tickets," he says, "so maybe you're on to something actually." He checks his surroundings for privacy, then heads away from the convoy to somewhere he can be mostly confident that Squeaks isn't spying. Or that Gracie doesn't learn I'm married, he admits to himself. //Still not ready for that conversation.

“There are plenty of ways to sneak into a movie without me being pocket sized,” Merlyn says with a laugh. “I think I’m happy being this size. Being short means they don’t expect you to be fierce. Too short and they’re too busy saying how adorable you are to be of any use. There’s a very careful balance.”

Her smile broadens at her explanation and the thought that follows. “Plus I like exactly how tall I am when I hug you,” she adds.

"I know it's not exactly the same height because Wright is also shorter than I am," Elliot says with a look over his shoulder, "but if she's available for a hug I'd love to experience that."

Wright directs him to the memory of testing Merlyn's safeness while nodding in agreement. "I already got one before you got here," she brags. "And from my perspective it's still a pretty good hug height."

"Wright got first dibs at hugs," Merlyn agrees with a grin. "But I'm fine with an encore performance if it means you get to enjoy a hug too." She takes a moment to set her plate aside, but then stops for a moment. "I don't think I can both hug and have Wright continue eating, so you're going to have to decide one or the other. I promise I won't begrudge you if you pick the spicy option. Wright's correct about this food, it's pretty good."

Wright happily sets her plate aside, dusting off her hands and standing. "The food will keep," she says.

Merlyn bridges the gap between the two so she can lean in and offer the by-proxy hug. "Thankfully, a lot of food is good as leftovers," she states. "Just in case you're so stunned by the hug you forget food exists."

Wright chuckles with Elliot, making the most of the opportunity to let him experience human contact. "Impossible to forget food exists," he says. "It's all I can taste and Wright's tolerance is lower so this is actually quite painful." Wright laughs, having vengeance. "The hug is very welcome though," she conveys for him.

"I never thought how her spice tolerance would feel for you," Merlyn says, thoughtful as she reaches around to hug Wright. "I remember when we got pepperoni and jalapeno pizza, which was no big deal," she laughs slightly. "Wright would have never been able to handle that, sounds like."

"Fair," Wright says, having no memory of the specific pizza night being referred to as it wasn't a shared experience. It very well may have been spicier than she would guess.

She steps into the hug and pulls Merlyn close, luxuriating in it. She sighs contentedly. "That's the good stuff," Elliot says, barely paying attention to his surroundings.

"You can't see that I'm signing e because we are hugging but that was Elliot," Wright says.

Merlyn laughs, squeezing Wright lightly and leaning her head in to rest against her. "I figured, but I would accept it being from you both. I've been practicing my hugging skills so I don't think anyone could complain." She lets out a heavy sigh. "I'm at least glad I can offer this from time to time. I'm gonna be staying near Wright a bit more while things are a bit crazy, so I can promise more hugs in the future. I can only improve from here."

"Excellent news," Elliot says, closing his eyes to the sporadic lights of the camp site. He lowers to the ground, resting against a tree. The voices carry, but it's easy to ignore with the white noise of nature and his attention far away.

"How's the townhouse?" he asks. "I hear you have an absentee landlord."

“Townhouse is doing well, I promise I’ve been keeping it clean and only minimally leaving my clothes everywhere. At the end of the day the bra comes off where it decides to, I don’t make the rules,” Merlyn says with the slightest chuckle as she paints the mental image. “Really, having somewhere to stay instead of just crash at is a bit of an experience. Going in a front door instead of just climbing in my friend’s window through the fire escape? Priceless.”

She pauses. “Joey’s still absolutely waiting for a shoe to drop. I let it slip about the whole marriage thing and you should have seen her face. She’s just waiting for one fuckup so she can lunge forward like some kind of artistic piranha.” Merlyn’s smile broadens to a grin. “It’s really nice to have a home, and not just in the physical place sense.”

Elliot laughs. "I consider myself warned," he says. "I'm doing everything I can to not drop a shoe. And I don't want to brag or anything, but did you tell her that I'm basically a different person who's only ever nice and honestly kinda heroic but still just as handsome as she remembers? I feel like that's something she would easily believe without any evidence."

He chuckles, looking around for something to fidget with. He wishes for the hundredth time that his book made the crossing, but settles for the familiarity of his switchblade and a fallen stick. "I'm glad to have a home with you," he says. "Can't wait to get back," he lies, knowing he likely never will.

Merlyn re-settles in her chair to give Wright the opportunity to eat in the midst of things. Her own food is only somewhat forgotten, mostly because she finds herself a little lost in thought from the conversation. “I told her you were even adorable. I think she’s reserving the right to decide for herself, and until then you’re just a potential threat to my happiness. You know you’ve got a good best friend when they care like that.”

She doesn’t address his mention of his desire to get back, letting that statement linger in the air. Merlyn hadn’t entirely forgotten about the fact that he wasn’t necessarily coming back. Meeting Liz and finding someone else with a deployed husband on a potential suicide mission had brought on a lot of thought. It made her remember the way Elliot had told her in the park that there was no extraction plan. She opens her mouth to say something, but doesn’t, instead going to take another bite of food.

She’ll have to remember to call Liz.

Elliot grimaces, stripping bark with his hands before picking at the more stubborn bits around a twig with his knife. His dissatisfaction with himself for killing the mood gives him pause and he wonders what to say next. "Good best friends are hard to come by," he says to breeze past the unpleasantness. He wonders what Asi is doing, making a note to check in later. He wonders further if she'd ever forgive him if she learned what he nearly did to her.

"And I'm going to preface this next but by saying it's not that I don't trust her," he says jokingly, "but if she visits and suggests revenge-selling all of my possessions please remind her most of it isn't really worth much but if she touches my coffee pot there will be consequences. I'll be miffed, for one thing. And I'll have to buy a new one; what a headache."

“You know, that’s almost something I feel she’d do,” Merlyn says with a laugh. “I’m sure you two can glare suspiciously at each other. Don’t worry anyway, it’s seeing a lot of gentle use these days. Besides, I think I’d probably chase her with a broom or something if she touched your stuff. Touching your stuff is my job.”

She watches Wright for a moment, silently wishing that there was some way she could actually see Elliot. Instead, she simply brushes her fingertips idly over her bracelet, as if to reassure herself that it’s still there. “She did say she’s throwing us some kind of party when you’re back. Even if she doesn’t trust you, I think she wants us to be able to celebrate openly.”

"I'd like that," Elliot says, tapping the flat of the knife against the bare stick. He feels at the locket beneath his shirt as he watches Merlyn touch the bracelet. "To celebrate openly at least. I don't know what kind of party Joey is used to throwing. No pin the tail on the donkey, I don't want to be accused of cheating because Wright's in the room."

"Not that everybody is aware the link is permanent," he adds. "Still keeping up the game of totally normal relationship for outsiders. Only a few people at work even know."

“Joey’d throw us something good,” Merlyn assures him in the most reassuring of tones. “I’m pretty sure she’d be offended if she heard you suggest party games.” The thought of a party, games or not, is one that keeps her smiling. “I’ve got no one to tell anyway, now that my best friend’s in the know. You’re the one who needs to be reminded I’m not going anywhere, so you’re the one who matters. Just keep looking at the locket if you think you’re forgetting something important.”

Perhaps if she had been anyone else, the idea of being a secret wife would have made the relationship feel sketchy, but Merlyn was Merlyn and the situation worked just fine for her.

"Oh I couldn't forget you," Elliot says. "Never could before, certainly not now." The locket is part of how he sees himself now, manifested from Relevance; even if he loses the material version it will still exist. He begins shaping the stick in earnest, whittling long strips from one end.

“You never left my memory, even after you broke up with me,” Merlyn’s still smiling, but there’s a hint of sadness as she recalls the skating rink. “You kinda made an impression. It took me a long time and lots of Joey’s help to smooth over the raw edges left from that. I know it’s treading over ground we’ve covered many times, but I think the point I’m getting at now is that you’re memorable.”

Her smile turns back into something more appropriate for the present instead of dwelling in the drudges of the past. She clears her throat a little. “I know you can’t tell me anything about what’s going on so I wouldn’t ask that anyway, but I do want to know how you’re feeling. No dancing away from it with jokes, either, as I doubt Wright would get the proper tone to pull it off. No offense, Wright.” She pauses to flash a smile that is clearly intended for the other woman in the room before she continues. “Give me the no bullshit answer.”

Wright smirks, leaning back in her chair as she looks away. She sighs, centering herself and trying fruitlessly to separate her emotions from Elliot's. Discounting the fact that—according to the Rules—Ames is hers and not Elliot's, they feel equally awful right now.

She gestures at herself up and down. "Like this," she says. "Heartbroken, helpless, isolated. Furious. Knowing the right people are on it doesn't make us wish any less that we could disassemble my father like a sun-bleached G.I. Joe figure, tug of war style." She doesn't deflect at all, her face writhing into a snarl before she regains composure.

Merlyn doesn't seem bothered by the outward expression of anger and frustration, actually seeming a little relieved by the fact she's expressing herself. "Believe me, I want to go myself. I was so ready to just go. I'm sorry that you can't go yourself to take care of things, and you're entirely right to feel upset about all of it. I can't do a lot, but at least I can be here. You deserve to have someone to support you."

"I appreciate that," Wright says quietly as she finishes composing herself. "I really do. I'm grateful that you came all this way. Either way I'll save the anger for a punching bag, you don't deserve it."

She sighs, looking around the room for a minute before signing e.

Elliot looks at the imprints left in his palm by furiously clutching the stick he's been whittling into a practice knife. He sighs, tapping the real knife against the dummy. "I love you," he says quietly. "Thank you for being here."

"I'm pretty sure I'm too small to be a decent punching bag anyway," Merlyn replies with a grin. "I love you too. No thanks are necessary. You do this shit for the people you care about, y'know? At least that's what you do in my book. There was no way I couldn't sit by and not do something… even if doing something is me coming here and sitting by." She laughs, looking down for a moment. "I'm here whenever you need. That offer goes to both of you."

"Much appreciated," Wright says with a contented smile. "You're an absolute fucking gem, Merlyn."

Elliot hums in agreement, planing down one side of the blade while Wright is busy eating. "Do you need anything?" he asks. "Obviously Wright is taking care of the utilities while I'm gone, but are there any other quality of life improvements you could use? Renovation plans?"

There's a small laugh from Merlyn at the thought of renovations. "I've never even thought about a place being my own at all enough to think of a quality of life improvement. Having one physical location to come back to that has any sort of sense of me belonging there is such a foreign concept. I helped Joey a lot with rent when she was short, and I could crash there whenever I wanted, but it wasn't exactly mine." She seems thoughtful before she continues. "Mm, the best quality of life improvement would be if you were there, but I'll wait patiently on that."

Elliot smiles sadly. Hope isn't going to get him home, it's just keeping everyone alive. They have access to two abilities out of four needed to MacGuyver themselves a way home. In the weeks since facilitating Robyn's conversation with Michelle Cardinal, the most interesting abilities have remained unavailable.

Wright smiles on his behalf, following Merlyn's earlier example of not dwelling on it. "You sure?" he asks. "I've been thinking the bathtub is too small and I'm technically incapable of stopping you from upgrading it."

"You're right. You've given me complete control and there's nothing you can do to stop me," Merlyn says, grinning. "I'm going to go mad with power and redecorate the entire place." She does pause at the suggestion of the bathtub. "I… didn't know you could upgrade a tub more than that. Biggest damn bathtub I've ever seen. I might not upgrade it, but I could see getting some pool floaties and a gallon of bubble bath. A gallon's enough, right? I'm sure someone sells it by the gallon."

"I do love the occasional float," Elliot says with a chuckle.

"Also," Wright says as she scrapes ground beef from a styrofoam bowl, "you are more than welcome to use the bathtub in my old suite. The tub was chosen with my tiny wife's proportions in mind."

"There's that too," Elliot shrugs. "You're welcome to give the place a personal touch though. Hang shit on the walls at your leisure." He wonders if it would be in poor taste to hang Eve's unhelpfully timed precognitive paintings in the living room. They're probably better off where he's stored them for the time being.

"Oh, shit, that's a good idea. I'll get Joey to paint something for me to hang on the wall. What good is having wallspace if you can't convince your friend to make you things for it anyway?" Merlyn can't hide her grin as she absolutely seems to be trying to picture spots on the walls where she might hang a painting. It does give her enough of a moment to enjoy the thought of having some influence in a physical space for once, rather than in the mental and emotional places she's used to occupying.

"I'm going to, though," she adds after a moment. "I just don't need to rush it. Can't rush perfection, right?"

"You certainly can't," Elliot says, shaping the practice knife he'll use to teach Squeaks how to kill. They can't very well practice with his switchblade and the machete she calls a knife. He takes his time with it, enjoying the quiet calm and company.

Wright feels Elliot's sudden return to her perspective, his black boxed conversation with Richard about the Aquifer having come to an end. He doesn't signal that it's okay to stream the memories, so for security's sake she considers the black box order that she confirmed earlier to remain in effect. She feels his happiness as he sees his wife, feels him begin to stream her memories of the conversation she fabricated on his behalf.

He has no critiques for her performance. In fact, he seems content; happy for her, even. Not just because he trusts her to speak for him. Not just because sometimes they'll make harmless assumptions about courtesies for one another long distance. Wright says hi. But because his trust in her is absolute. He knows she loves Merlyn, he feels that love through her all the time. The same way she feels his love for Marthe.

Neither of them are sure if this is a violation of the Rules. The wrongs that they deal to Merlyn are far less severe in their estimations than those dealt to Rue. Perhaps, unlike Rue, Merlyn will forgive them when she learns. There's still hope there. There are long years of context to consider here, and unspoken truths. And it's easy enough for Wright to pretend to be Elliot. It's as easy as it is to pretend to be Wright.

She used to be just like her.

Merlyn ask him what his name is

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