Mirror Mirror


elisabeth_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title Mirror Mirror
Synopsis Silas's local analog is gonna be a pain in the ass.
Date November 9, 2019

Elmhurst Hospital

In a dreary, off-white room, in a hospital that has seen better days, Silas lays atop a hospital bed, a rack of IVs dripping fluids into his veins… though the Silas laying on the bed is a far cry from his usual self. There is a new gauntness to his features, and a waxy pallor to his face that looks more appropriate to someone laying in a coffin than someone on the mend; the worst part, though, is the blankness to his eyes — the way he seems to stare right through the old television mounted at the foot of his bed.

On the television, talking heads burble more about the wake of the Itinerant Dawn tragedy, while a heart monitor steadily beeps in the background; those are the only noises in the room; even the muted bustle of the hospital outside barely seems to intrude onto the eerily still room or its silent occupant.

Elisabeth comes every day. There are guards at the door, though if he hasn't asked he has no idea if they're SESA or something else. That he's awake when she slips in the door, the first time he's been awake when she came, brings a relieved expression to her features and she closes the door gently behind her before coming over to lower herself into the chair near the bed. She slips her hand into his cooler one — IV's always make people's hands cold.

"Hey you… you were starting to scare me, sleeping so hard." The tease is soft, her grip on his hand gentle but firm. "Good to see those eyes open." She's not entirely sure he's fully aware, with the way he's off in space like that.

For a long moment there's no response… then the hand that Lis is holding twitches. A moment later, the head turns slightly; a moment after that, a flicker of recognition in those grey eyes. Then, finally, a slow shift comes over the expression, a subtle sense of something seeping back into him; the difference between a body that's still breathing and a person.

There's a rumble in the back of his throat, and something of frustration comes into his features; he clears his throat and tries again. "Needed my beauty sleep. Don't think it's worked yet," he croaks. Then the smile fades… though thankfully, the awareness in his eyes does not. "Had a rough night."

Oh thank God. Elisabeth's relief is palpable, the subtle buzz that was tingling against his hand diminishing to almost nothing. Blowing out a slow breath, she nods to him. "I heard. Now will you take the bodyguard I want to put on you?" she asks, somewhat exasperatedly. Her hand squeezes his, though, and much like the night they first met, there's something in her demeanor that is both dangerous and … careful. "Do you feel up to talking about it? Or do you need me to just… be here with you for a while?" She won't be leaving him alone; she can't.

Silas lets out a shallow sigh, his eyes closing for a moment. "Wouldn't have made a difference, Lis. A bodyguard would've just been someone else dead." Slowly his eyes open again. "Gotta talk about it sooner or later; sooner I start, sooner I'm done."

He takes as deep a breath as he can, wincing a bit at the pain it causes. "I was wrong about him. I thought that he'd… gone quiet. Spent his days drifting through back alleys and gutters and waiting to die. Because it's what I did. But I forgot something." He falls silent; it takes him a moment to gather the strength to face this. "When I'm feeling down, I work. I throw myself into it. Stop myself from thinking, keep busy. So did he… but what he does isn't boat repairs or bootlegging cable or selling knockoff DVDs. I saw his rap sheet, and I saw his face, and I'd bet you a silver dollar to a wooden nickel he's been killing people the whole time, and no one the wiser…" he trails off into a bout of strained coughing that it takes him a minute to get under control.

Elisabeth leans back in her chair to listen to what he says, never releasing his hand. She's quiet until his bout of coughing eases off, and then she moves to pour him a small cup of water to ease his throat. After helping him have a sip, she sits back down. "I hoped you were right about him," she says quietly. "But I have to admit that I'm not surprised. Knowing what we knew about his background — and what we couldn't find — pretty much made me expect that we'd be seeing him sooner or later. I hoped, for your sake, he'd approach you to talk and not this." Her voice is tight. His injuries have definitely put her on edge in ways he's not seen from her in the year that they've been here. More like the woman he first met in the Ark. There's a sharp air around her, like she's regressed a bit.

"A composite sketch has already been released to officers and SESA is already in the loop on what really happened. I haven't wanted to pry — this world is supposed to be a new chance for you. But now it's time to pry, Silas. I can't stop him if I don't know what to expect from him." Her tone is grim and her blue eyes have the same chill he remembers from seeing her look at Don back in the Ark. And yet there is still no judgement of him or what he may have done in the past — her entire focus is on what is happening now.

Silas nods gratefully as he takes a sip of water — just a sip. Just enough to wet the back of his throat. Then, as Elisabeth speaks, he watches. His face is still, expressionless… but his eyes are sharp as he watches her. Notes the way she's changed.

"He did, Lis," Silas says softly. "He did come to talk. That's why I've got three here —" he says, his free hand clumsily rising and flopping on his abdomen, home to some sure-to-be-exciting new scars, " —instead of one here," he says, the hand coming up and tapping his left eye. "Hell. He spotted me a cigarette after he shot me."

This his brain, starting to spin up to speed, starts going over the whole 'after he shot me' bit, and a look of alarm comes over his face. "Shit. Kain— " he croaks. // —and Asi!// his mind finishes. Asi? Had that really been her? How could it have been her? Later, dammit, he thinks, but the pulse monitor is already beeping considerably more quickly. "How's Kain? He alright?"

"He's…" Elisabeth grimaces and looks distinctly growly. "Fine. Said your little ninja friend shot him in the ass." She gives him the Stink Eye. "And you're gonna talk to me about your ninja buddy too." Her blue eyes flicker to his heart monitor and her expression eases.

Slipping her hand back into his, she pulls in a breath and laces subsonics through her voice to calm him down. "~Slow down, Silas. You're okay. If you get worked up, the nurses will come in and kick me out.~" She doesn't usually use it on friends, but hopefully he'll forgive her this time. "Tell me what happened, after you were shot."

Silas takes a slow breath and lets it out. Lis is right; getting worked up now isn't going to help anyone. He takes another slow breath or two, and as the adrenaline starts to clear out he sags back into his bed, that waxy pallor returning to his features.

"He carried me out, so it couldn't have been bad. But if that's the last you heard of him… good. Means nothing else happened after I was down for the count," He takes another slow breath. "I turned around and he was just there. My evil twin, I mean. He triple tapped me and dropped a one-liner about whether it counted as suicide or murder; I told him it was an attempted suicide; said he looked rough, asked if he had a cigarette."

He raises his eyebrows in a look of weary surprise. "He did," he says, shifting a bit in what would be a shrug if he weren't bedridden at the moment. "Evil Me thought I was a really good impersonator, asked who put me up to it." He falls silent for a moment, catching his breath… then lets out a faint chuckle. "I told him the Official Cover Story; he didn't even buy that. Not then, anyway…"

"That's when Kain and…" he doesn't say Asi's name, but he can't stop the smile that touches his lips, or the fondness in his eyes, "…my ninja pal showed up. My evil twin tried to bluff. Didn't do bad, honestly, but not good enough. The… ninja… tried to shoot my evil twin."

Here, Silas closes his eyes, his hand tightening a bit on Lis's. "He was slick, Lis. Scary slick. The instant she started raising that gun, he went for Kain, pulled him around. I think he was trying to use Kain as a human shield… but I blindsided him. Used my little trick and decked him with everything I had, rattled him hard enough he dropped his gun. And… maybe a couple molars?" He thinks he'd seen teeth, but that part of things is a little hazy.

"Fuck," Elisabeth sighs out. She notes his affection for the ninja and purses her lips. "Everybody and their fucking mother is now looking for your evil twin. You are going to lay low right here until you're released and if we still don't have his ass, I'm going to put you up somewhere for at least a few days." She pauses. "Because honestly, I'm assuming he's a big enough dick to come at you again."

"He will." There's no doubt in Silas's voice when he says that, only a weary, leaden sense of certainty, his eyes shifting off into the distance. "After I blindsided him? He'll have to. I'm a puzzle he can't ignore."

Then he looks back to Lis. "You won't find him, though." There's no doubt there, either, only glum conviction.

The look she levels on him says quite clearly, oh really? It's funny how very not the Elisabeth he's come to know over the past year she is with that look. "I've dealt with evil twins before, Silas," she tells him quietly. "I don't give a shit how good you think he is? I fucking promise you, the people I know are good too. And there are more of us." She smiles faintly, though it doesn't reach her eyes.

Silas meets her eyes for a long moment, then sighs; he's too tired to argue. "I'm sure they are. And if there aren't more of you, I would be deeply concerned," he says wearily. It's a half-hearted joke, but it's the best he's got at the moment.

Squeezing his hand, she says quietly, "I'm mad at you, you know." Elisabeth meets his eyes and she sighs. "You almost died on me. I … really can't take losing any more of us, Silas." She looks down. "After everything …. I just don't think I can take it. Tell me what I can do to stop this fucker? Please?"

Silas musters a smile that he hopes is reassuring. Lis in Hard Ass Mode is someone he'd be glad to have in his corner facing down his evil twin, the mafia, the Vanguard, or the armies of Hell itself (though there's admittedly little difference between those last two), but for all that… this is the side of Lis he likes better. Or maybe it's just that he's glad she trusts him enough to show it to him; hell if he knows, but whatever the reason, he's feeling a hell of a lot better. "Yeah… I'd say I dodged a bullet, 'cept…" here he gestures weakly, indicating the whole situation; it's fairly obvious that he did not, in fact, dodge any of the three bullets that were shot at him. "But I'll try to make it up to you. I hear this whole getting better thing is trendy now…"

Then his expression grows more serious. "But… keep an eye out for Kain, too. He died in the riots in this world, right? So did my doppelganger's wife. But he knows about Kain now… that's gotta be a puzzle for him, too." He's starting to get worried again, but he doesn't have the energy to get really worked up at this point; as short as this conversation has been, it's about to exhaust the pitiful reserves of energy he has. Okay… what else? Think fast!

Right. How to stop his evil twin. Ugh. Not a lot of advice there. Well… there is one thing he can think of. "If you see my evil twin… don't take your eyes off of him. Not for anything. Don't even blink. 'M serious; that's how he got away last time…" It's not enough warning, but it's the best Silas can do at the moment; he's spent his entire life underselling his ability as a parlor trick, so now he can't quite muster the words to make it sound as dangerous as it is in the hands of someone like his Hometown counterpart. Not in his current state.

But… there was something else, wasn't there? Something about his doppelganger… no. Something about someone who knew his doppelganger. He remembers. "Wait. A lead. I remember… I saw a guy when I was pub-crawling; the instant he saw my face he went on red alert. Said I bore a resemblance to someone he knew; someone who ran a cleaning service that worked on fancy casinos and hotels, here in New York, before everything went to shit. But the way he was acting wasn't the way you acted about a guy who reminded you of a housekeeper…"

"It was at the Dirty Pool Pub, I remember. Guy was giving me the stink eye for about five minutes, then he vanished for a bit; maybe made a phone call or somethin'." Silas had called him Mister Sunshine, which his friend had been taken with… but hadn't the one-eyed man mentioned a name at one point? "Rene. The guy's name was Rene… or at least, his friend called him that at one point. Rene was… a short guy, long blond hair; something about plants liking him. He was there with a friend; didn't get the name of Rene's friend, but he was drunk as a skunk, short blond hair, only had one eye; called himself Doctor Handsome. Met him before, at the World's Fair, playing that VR thing with, uh, whatshername, Maya; we were on a team with Squeaks, playin' Cops."

Kain's death in this world was somewhat obscured, and Elisabeth simply nods a bit. "If they all worked for Linderman and he heard Kain was dead? Yeah… that's going to be a puzzle for him." That doesn't make her happy either. Kain, to all appearances, seems to be making a life for himself that is far from his old ways… and she's glad for him. A clean slate is hard to come by. "Pretty sure he's always watching his back," it's a lifelong habit by now, "but I'll reiterate just in case."

The other information, though… there is a flash of recognition. "That's a good lead, Silas. Thank you." Elisabeth reaches out with her free hand and smooths his hair back. It's a very mom movement. "You're exhausted. Rest. We've got you, okay?"

Silas sighs, nodding slowly. "Yeah. I think… I think I'll do that for awhile," he sighs, sinking back further into his bed, his eyes starting to drift closed. "Don't be a stranger, though, 'k?"

"I'm not going anywhere for a while," she murmurs, settling back to sit with him while she considers next steps.

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