Mutual Foreplay And An Invitation To Dance


elisabeth_icon.gif mack_icon.gif

Scene Title Mutual Foreplay and An Invitation to Dance
Synopsis Mack's in Midtown, Liz runs into him.
Date Sep 2, 2009

Ruins of Midtown

The sun is just beginning to rise on the Eastern horizon, flooding the city with light and promising another day of grueling heat ahead. All throughout the city, never sleeping as it may be, is coming even more awake. Like a beast awakening from slumber. Cars rush along, propelled by gasoline and impatient drivers who believe Life is a movie starring them. The sidewalks become engorged with the more industrious or the poor, alternating begging for change and spending thousands on a dress made of a single piece of fabric smaller than your average pillow case.

All that is happening. Just in other parts of the city. In the ruins of Midtown, nothing ever changes. The sun rises, light casts away the less formidable shadows, heat chases away cold, and then it reverses. But nothing really changes. The entire place feels like a desecrated graveyard, an everpresent reminder that man's ignorance and arrogance go hand in hand.

For some, that reminder cuts closer to the bone that others. Mack has settled himself in the blasted out remnant of a second story window. His ass is no doubt covered in loose concrete dust. His head is cocked just slightly to one side to allow for the three foot piece of rebar sticking out of the vertical plane. He holds a crinkled old picture in his right hand, but his eyes don't see it. They don't really see anything. Someone walking by might easily mistake him for a corpse, staring off into space. Unmoving.

In point of fact, Elisabeth initially takes him for exactly that. She's coming through the ruins heading toward downtown. Whatever brought her into Midtown, she's dressed appropriately enough for the area — a pair of beat-up jeans, a leather jacket, her blonde hair caught up in a ball cap so that it can't be seen. She is entirely unnerved by walking through the area alone and it shows; blue eyes are scanning constantly, all around. Up, down, sideways. She is aware of everything around her … and she's probably listening for a good radius beyond that. She skirts around the form she believes to be a corpse…. and then details sink into her hypervigilant brain, and she stops dead ten feet away from him. "MacNamara?" She takes a single step toward him, and then pauses. "Mack? You alive?"

There is a soft click to announce the tension being removed from the hammer of a semi-automatic weapon. When he's addressed by name, Mack slides his feet out over the lip of his perch. However he got up there apparently took to long because instead of retreating back into the building to find stairs or a ladder or a pile of rubble he just slips off, falling the ten feet to the ground and landing with bent knee's. He winces, but stands unceremoniously.

"Yeah, I'm alive. What the fuck are you doin' out here Liz? It ain't safe." He slides his gun back into its shoulder mounted holster, clearly visible since his hoodie is currently unaccounted for leaving just the black wifebeater and that tattoos. A keen police eye might notice that the pistol isn't his service weapon- a Beretta -but instead its a Taurus .45.

The sound of the click brings a reaction even Elisabeth herself couldn't have foreseen. She sucks in a breath, her arms fly up to her head even as she spins to put her back to him to protect it. "NO!" Oh please God… no! She hears nothing else that he says to her, stumbling back away from him, literally fleeing him. As if that were even possible - to flee a man intent on shooting you.

What the fuck… Mack doesn't really have any time to think. Liz is freaking out and not making any sense. So Gabriel just reacts, and suddenly he's moving forward like a spring uncoiling. A few running steps and he just does what comes natural to him… as unfortunate as that is. He leaps forward, wrapping his arms around Liz and dragging her to the ground beneath him.

Now, there are few times in adult life where a grown man can tackle a woman and have it be any kind of acceptable. Mack doesn't know if this is one of them. In any case, he holds on tight to make sure she doesn't spasm or seize and hurt herself. That signature whiskey soaked voice does its best to comfort her, "Liz, Liz, Liz, its me. Its Mack. You're okay. Calm down. Its okay."

Maybe it's a good thing this happened in a part of the ruins where no one goes. Because the scream rebounds off the concrete facades of the nearest buildings. There is no glass left to shatter, though Mack's eardrums take a severe drubbing. And she fights him. With everything in her arsenal down to and including she friggin' BITES him trying to get him to let go. Aside from the scream, though, Elisabeth is nearly silent except for the panicked sucking in of air (although that might just be because he's temporarily deaf!) as she struggles with him to get free of the restraint.

At first, she's doing exactly what Mack expects her to do. Then she bites him, however, and he can't hold back a growl of his own that resonates from deep down in his belly. Pain is like a jaded lover for Mack though, and one he's all too familiar with. The old saying about pain fading is especially fitting in his case, anyway. "Fuckin' Christ, Liz, calm the fuck down, its Mack!" Yeah, like yelling at her is going to help anything. At least he didn't mean to yell, but when someone has their teeth sunk into your flesh, calm is a precious commodity. "What the fuck is wrong with you!?"

Elisabeth can't control the panic response, and she begs, "PLEASE let me go!" She's begun to shake in his hands, though she's still trying to make him release her, still struggling to shove him away, out of her space, OFF her. "Please!! Mack, please!" Well… she knows who he is, at least.

As soon as she says his name, Mack releases. And it is a release. His arms swing out from around her and he rolls away so as to avoid any more vicious bites. He pushes himself up to one knee, gripping his forearm above where she bit him, and then looks up to keep an eye on the volatile woman. Really, he has no idea what to do or say here. So he doesn't do or say anything.

Ans as soon as his hands let go, Elisabeth literally crab-scrabbles away from him, as far as she can go, and puts her back against the nearest building. Blue eyes lock on his face and she points at him, far more a command to stay put than her shaking voice can manage. "Ss…s…stay there!" She is ghost white and sweating, and she looks like she's going to literally lose if it he comes any closer than the six or so feet she's managed to put between them. "J… just …. gimme a minute!" A minute? More like a few. To jam her shaking hands through her hair, knocking her cap down. Her hair's shorter than when he last saw her, barely hitting her shoulders instead of mid-back. Sucking in ragged breaths, Liz forces herself to calm — at least as much as she can. Her eyes finally come off him, assured that he isn't advancing again, and she looks around as if to verify that they are still alone. Unwatched. So far as she can tell, they are. "I'm sorry," she finally says to him.

Mack stays silent for a long time as he tries to make sense of what just happened. He gradually releases pressure off his arm as the skin mends itself until finally he breaks his gaze off of Liz and shakes his arm. Droplets of blood hit the pavement like stray globs of paint; a fitting decoration for Midtown. "What the fuck, Liz?"

Leaning her head back on the wall where she squats, Elisabeth hasn't stopped shaking yet. "Shit. FUCK." Blowing out a breath, she answers him softly, "I … it was the gun. I thought…" She didn't really think he was going to shoot her. That's just stupid. But how to explain. "I, uhm… " She reaches up to rub the side of her forehead as if her head hurts, her brow wrinkling. "I got… shot. Last week."

Mack still looks wary. Still, he stands up and moves slowly towards her, with his hands out to the sides in a manner that almost universally means 'I'm not going to try any crazy shit right now'. Assuming she doesn't freak out he'd stop his advance a yard or two away and just plop down on his ass, despite the fact that sidewalks and streets generally aren't the most comfortable place to hang out. "You're looking awfully hale for somebody that just got shot. Well, somebody that isn't me, anyway."

Those blue eyes never leave him. The wariness, the threat assessment, they're plain as day on her face in spite of the fact that she knows him. Elisabeth says softly, "Yeah. Well… someone found me in the harbor and took me to a healer. With a chunk missing out of my brain." She scrubs at her face, her elbows propped on her knees, and then looks at him again. "I'm sorry," she repeats softly. "I … couldn't help it."

"I know." Something about Mack seems too… casual… now. He's not mocking her. He's just listening to her talk about getting shot in the head like she's describing the basement flooding. He reaches into his pocket and - slowly - withdraws a pack of cigarettes. He lights one, but doesn't stress her out even more by putting it back. Instead he drops it on the pavement nearby. Around a cloud of blue-grey smoke vortexes, he speaks with a weak smile. "I remember the first time I got shot. Not in the head. But it fucked me all up. You shouldn't be working right now if you're having flashbacks or anxiety attacks. I don't know which it is for you, but either way, it could get you killed. I'm not letting you get killed Liz, even just by being stubborn. Its an attractive trait, but unacceptable. Will's dead. You survive. Non nonegotiable."

"I can't not work. If I take leave in the middle of a fucking serial killer case, they're going to want to know why, and I can't tell them," Elisabeth says quietly, baldly. She's too rattled to not tell him the truth. "I was off the radar… in a big way. Taking sniper shots at Humanis First operatives. They grabbed me. For several days." She reaches up and covers her mouth with trembling fingertips. "Fucked up…. doesn't quite cover it."

"There's such a thing as personal leave. Don't be retarded. You can't be a cop that spazzes out everytime you hear a 'click'." Mack dispenses this wisdom between inhaling and exhaling. "If you try to hide it and keep working they'll still find out. And then your ass will really be on the line."

"You don't understand," Elisabeth tells him wearily. "I don't have a choice here. The fucking serial killer has a hard-on for me and a couple of the others. He's got a possession power — possesses people and shit? And he's …. mildly miffed that HF fuckers interfered in his game to start with." She looks at him. "If I go on personal leave right now, he might decide the best way to get me back on the case is to take one of my friends or my father, possess them, and make them kill someone… or themselves." She sighs heavily. "I have a contact… a telepath. I'm hoping she'll be able to help me… shove some things to the back. Make the effects less."

"No reason he couldn't do that anyway. Besides, when you play someone else's game you always end up losing." Mack flicks the butt of his exhausted cigarette off into the distant, just one more piece of litter to join the rest of the rot and decay. "But I can already tell you're not going to listen to me."

Elisabeth grins faintly. "I'll at least think about listening to you," she tells him. "Now that you're not groping me." It doesn't come with the brow-waggle she might have offered with the tease the last time, but there's genuine amusement that flickers to life in her eyes. "Okay… so now that we're done with the complete freak-out part of the day…. why don't you tell me what the fuck you're doing sitting in Midtown?"

Mack shakes his head, lips slightly pursed. Its a look of amusement and fake smugness that defies complete description. "I don't wanna hear it. You bit me. At that point it officially became two sided foreplay." Faced with the prospect of talking about his own actions, however, he looks away, looking for an escape route down the boulevard of broken dreams. "I used to live out here. I come out here to think sometimes. To remember or to forget, I don't really know." There may or may not be alcohol on his breath. When one isn't totally freaking out, this might be noticable.

There's a snort of laughter at the two-sided foreplay comment. Liz finally looks like she's coming back down to mostly normal behaviors. She tilts her head slightly, still leaning it on the concrete, to study him. And very frankly asks in a soft tone, "You okay?" Cuz sure'n misery loves company.

"I'm fine. Just trying to figure things out." Mack brings his gaze back to Liz, but all he can offer is a shrug. "I was all stoked to be back in my apartment, back to work, back to… whatever. But everything just blew up all over again. It ain't the same anymore. I put on my badge and I feel… fake. Not quite the same as dealing with 'I should have died' for the first time, but."

She watches him and says quietly, "Yeah… the 'I should be dead' part is… kinda tough." Elisabeth absently rubs her forehead again. "Mack… I don't know what all you did over there. And you don't have to tell me. But… I'm worried about you." She grimaces. "Yeah… I know. Sounds probably stupid given the fact that I'm the one who just completely lost my shit out here. But… " She hesitates. "You said that you weren't… proud of some of the things you did out there. But that doesn't make you a bad cop.. in point of fact, it makes you damn good at your job. Not fake."

"Repeatedly breaking the law makes me a good cop? Sorry babe. I don't buy it." Mack lays back, interlacing his fingers behind his head and staring up at the sky. "And it just ain't the same anymore anyway. Once upon a time, it felt like we were doing something that would change tomorrow. Now its like the system came in and corrupted it. But fuck, it corrupts everything." Mack sits up again, brushing little rocks off that had embedded in the backs of his arms. "And its not your problem anyway. You clearly have your own issues to deal with. And just so you know, you eventually get used to being alive when you know you should be dead. Trust me."

Now the blonde's eyes on him are serious. "Guess it depends on the law you're breaking and the reason you're breaking it," Elisabeth tells him quietly. "For example… we often let the small fish go to bring in the big ones. We're still doing something that'll change tomorrow, Mack. Just means coloring outside the lines a bit." She rummages around for her hat, and considers him thoughtfully. "I'll tell you a secret. I've helped save the world twice in the last six months. One of those times was the Narrows…. when a small group of people who're commonly referred to as 'terrorists' took it upon themselves to stop a mass murderer from releasing a virus into the atmosphere of New York. One volatile enough to kill 90 percent of the world's population in less than a year." She shoves herself to her feet, brushing off her behind. "If you think you might be interested in being a part of that kind of change…. you think about it and let me know. It's a whole lot of coloring outside the lines, though, Mack."

Mack grabs his smokes off the ground and stands up himself. He takes the opportunity to light another one. His eyes are hidden behind those almost ever-present black sunglasses, of course, and the way the morning light hits his face the faint black grid he's carried on a good portion of his face for years seems somewhat more visible than usual. "Liz, there is nothing left of the part of me that was inside the lines."

Liz purses her lips and studies him. "So is that a yes or a leave me the hell alone because I'm trying to find my way back to normal? Whatever that is." She shoves her hands into her pants pockets.

Mack smiles around his cigarette. "Its a yes. I keep trying to get back to normal and the world keeps blowin' it all up. Apparently its telling me to wise up and adjust."

There's a soft chuckle. "Gotta wonder about that," Elisabeth says. "So far, I haven't caught the clue bat… but it's coming. I really think it's coming," she admits softly. "I'll have someone call you." And considering what happened today? "And I promise… I'll see the telepath and the shrink," she sighs. Cuz she knows he's going to tell her to do it. Again.

"Hey, you get your head right however it is that you get your head right. Shrinks never did a thing for me Jack and Jim couldn't. Just get your head right and don't get dead, or I'll find you and show you my displeasure." Again, Mack flicks his cigarette butt off into the distance.

Liz snickers faintly. "You won't have to look hard… if you decide to hitch your trailer to the wagon train I run with." She shrugs a bit. "C'mon, dork. You can buy me breakfast on the way to work. Least I deserve for public foreplay," she comments mildly.

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