Nakamura Cannot Aim For Shit


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Nakamura Cannot Aim For Shit
Synopsis Cardinal finally reappears in the timeline — only six MONTHS have passed.
Date October 7, 2011

Skinny Brickfront

It's getting chilly. October has the trees just starting to turn in Central Park. It's usually a beautiful time of year, with afternoons that border on warm while the nights cool off to heavy fleece temperatures. Her people are scattered to their various activities tonight, checking on people they know. Too many people are dying of the mutated flu, and Liz wants to know who is infected. Word from the Ferry has been… bad.

With a laptop sitting on the makeshift table, she works on finishing touches on what appears to be a blueprint schematic — or at least, part of one. This is probably one of the places that she feels at least competent, working out proposals to give to Ryans and Raith regarding the incursion that they're planning. But as she props her chin on her hand, she looks… drawn. The months in hiding haven't been easy on anyone, and it's clear that it's taking its toll. There are lines in her face that weren't there six months ago, and strands of white are beginning to show in her long blonde hair — although admittedly, some may be currently hidden behind a purple strand that winds its way through the waist-length braid that hangs down her back. A subtle reverb of vibrates around her, more a sensation than a true sound. For anyone familiar, it's the truest sign of internal turmoil in the woman, that sense of the hairs on the arm shivering in her presence.

She reaches for the coffee cup sitting to the side of the laptop only to realize that it's empty, and she stands to go refill the cup.

"We're out of milk."

A casual observation, and warning, relating to the now-empty carton of milk that's sitting next to the coffee machine in the kitchen area. The last of that milk went into a cracked ceramic mug filled with coffee, which even now gently steams in the hand of Richard Cardinal as he leans back against the counter.

He's probably not leaning to be cool or anything, but because he literally needs to be leaning; even in the dim light it's clear he's not in the best shape; his nose is swollen and not entirely pointing in the right direction, there's dried blood on his upper lip and the bags under his eyes look more like baskets.

"I would've saved some for you but I really needed this coffee."

The voice as she rounds the corner brings… well, it's not like her to scream, and this doesn't make her do it either. But there is that split second of panic, a pulse of … something below the range of human hearing that rolls off her, sending the room rumbling. The mug in her hand drops to the floor and shatters, blue eyes staring at him as the woman in the doorway freezes, her feet rooted to the floor in terror at the sight of Horizon armor standing in her kitchen space in semi-darkness. It might occur to him that it is still not a good plan to sneak up on an audiokinetic when he feels the sudden pressure bubble around him of high-frequency sound — it's an attack that is cut off almost as soon as it launches, when her brain catches up and identifies the voice, but … it's not a pleasant sensation for his eardrums.

"R-r-r-… Richard?" she stutters, clearly stunned.

"Ow." The hand that isn't holding a coffee mug lifts, gloved fingers pressing in between his eyes as that sonic bubble briefly surges around him and then pops. Cardinal's lips twist in a grimace, eyes closing as he waits for the pain in his head to clear. "Yeah, it's me. Hi, lover. Could you ''not'' explode my head, because honestly it's gotten hit into things enough today, and I've got one hell of a headache."

A faint, tired smile curves to his lips, eyes opening again to look at her across the room, "Miss me?"

He can see when it hits her, really hits her. One hand flies up to cover her mouth, containing all but the smallest of sounds, and there's a flood of tears. The other hand clenches on the door frame to brace herself and it looks like her knees might have wobbled for an instant. Closing her eyes tightly, Elisabeth struggles with the visceral reaction.

It takes perhaps 10 or 20 seconds that feel like forever to the blonde for her to rein in the adrenaline. The tears? Those she can't do a damn thing about. But when she can finally pull in air to breathe, she swallows hard and opens her eyes. She fights for an even tone.

"No, of course not," she retorts, attempting to keep things light. "I only spent six months wondering where in time our son's friend took you. It was easier this time, at least… you weren't in shreds of shadow."

Yeah… she's pretty sure that fell flat. He can tell because her expression crumples and she turns her face away from him, as if she's ashamed of the fact that she's about to seriously have waterworks all over the place.

Thunk. The coffee mug - and its life-saving contents - are set down heavily on the counter as Richard pushes himself away from the edge of it. It's only thanks to the exoskeleton in the armor that he's really moving as well as he is, as he steps away from the counter and over to her.

"Hey," he says softly, hand sliding over her shoulder, "Hey. I'm sorry, I— shit, I was gone that long? Six— fuck."

When she turns her eyes up to him, waterworks in full swing, Elisabeth shakes her head. "I'm so sorry," she whispers. "Richard, I'm so fucking sorry." With his hand on her, the buzzing of high-level anxiety is brutally obvious. She reaches up to touch his face. He got hit… 'today'. There is *so* much he's missed in the past six months, and Liz has no ability at this moment to tell him ANY of it. Finally, without any other words, she just takes the extra step forward and buries her face against his armor, her arms wrapping around his waist. It's just going to have to wait until the sobbing stops, apparently.

As she wraps her arms around him, Richard does the same; one lifting up to stroke over her hair as she sobs in against the chestplate of the armor, his other keeping her cradled close against him. "Shh," he murmurs, his head dipping down, lips brushed by strands of her hair, "Shh. It's okay, Liz. It's okay."

He holds her, without any further words, as long as she needs him to.

When it finally slows to shuddering breaths, the blonde is able to pull it together. She leaves her head resting there for now and asks in a husky voice, "Can we stop doing this, please?" Elisabeth isn't honestly sure her heart can take another of these damn situations.

Drawing back slowly, she looks up. Her tear-splotched countenance is … perhaps kind of amusing to see, her face pink and white in random patches, her nose the brightest pink of all. Light complexions suck for that. "He broke your nose? Are you… did he hurt you otherwise?" Because given the ability the boy has, it could be much worse, she thinks.

"I mean, I didn't exactly plan this, Liz," is Richard's wry observation as he looks down at her, that gloved hand lifting to brush the back of his fingers against her cheek. A faint smile, but a genuine one, his gaze warm as he studies her in the dim lighting of the kitchen.

She asks that question, then, and the smile fades. His gaze slants away, then back to her, "He— well. How much do you know about what happened?"

Elisabeth's sigh is heavy and she turns her cheek into his touch, drinking in the feel and scent of him. It doesn't ease the buzzing, but the tension in her body is easing a little. "Well… I know he went to see you. To kill you," she admits quietly. "He's one angry young man. He watched me die in agony as a result of the resurrection. And I know that one of his friends took you out of the current time and sent you — I have no idea where, but you can fill me in." She bites her lip.

"Ah. He told you? Or Walter…" Cardinal's eyes slip closed, and he breathes out a sigh, "Yeah. Yeah, he tried to kill me. Would've succeeded, too, the crazy sonuvabitch…"

His hand turns to cradle her cheek, and he smiles faintly again, "Probably a good idea to keep me 'dead' for awhile longer, since he'll probably try and do it again. I… well. What've I missed, first of all?"

There's a slow nod. "He told me," Elisabeth agrees softly. Mentally filing away the name 'Walter' as a time-traveler…. she has to pause. Kids of Ferry. She *knows* the name Walter, so… that's a little awkward of a question to ask. Did Teo's son just save Richard's life?

She moves on to the other part of what he's asked. "That's a loaded question, lover," Liz replies with a shaky, slight waterlogged laugh. "Uhm…. maybe we should sit down for this part?" Her hand comes up to cradle the one he has against her face, and for a moment she closes her eyes to soak in his presence. "There's a lot."

"Okay." There's a long moment's silence as he looks down at her, her hand over his, and then Richard draws in a slow breath and asks more casually, "…but first, do you have any painkillers? I think my nose is broken, and I've at least bruised a rib."

Elisabeth nods immediately, blowing out a slow breath. "Yep. Go sit. I'll have the painkillers and I'll bring your coffee. We'll get you out of the armor, too." She offers him a small smile. This, apparently, puts her on an even keel — dealing with the mundane things like broken noses and ribs.

Slipping away from him, she heads first to pick up the coffee cup he left on the counter and then to one of the other cabinets from which a good-sized first aid kit appears.

Shooing him ahead of her into the room that's passing as common space, she sets his coffee and the kit down on the table where her computer also rests. And then she helps him get out of the armor and makes him sit down before she speaks. "Let's see.. I'll start with the fun stuff. There are 14 of them who came back from the future."

You can almost hear the cartoon sounds of an object falling (with that descending whistle) and then the *ka-BOOM* when the words land and just sit there like unexploded ordinance.

Taking off the armor is, honestly, the least appealing idea in the world right now to Cardinal, but reluctantly he has to admit that it's probably a smart move. He's pulled muscles in his side and there's definitely a bruised rib there, amongst other, more minor, injuries. It's with Elisabeth's assistance that he finally is free of it and slumping back on the couch, his head falling back on the cushions and eyes closing as he just breathes for a little bit.

At least the pain reminds him he's still alive.

"Yeah. The kids did a good job dismantling Ezekiel's operation in… August, ah. Twenty thirty six. No! Twenty thirty-seven," he finally replies quietly, "Which is when Walter started this whole bullshit merry-go-round by dragging Ezekiel into the past. Accidentally, I think."

Her hands on him are gentle as he unbuckles his armor and gets him out of it. While he settles in, she gets the painkillers and his coffee, brings it back, and sits gingerly next to him. That he's not surprised by the sheer numbers… is something of a surprise. But his other information is more so. Elisabeth is quiet for a few minutes. There is so much to tell him. Where the hell to start?

"When you were evacuated…." That's probably the best place, but how to summarize it in brief words. "You know, let's do it this way. When you blew Redbird and vanished, my intention was to go ahead and release the frame-up that Humanis did it. We couldn't get the information into place, though. So as far as I know right now, the explosion is still being investigated and they don't know who or why it was blown. I've got a mountain of data that hasn't been released yet because quite frankly… we have no credible outlet. However, the footage that Jaiden and Devon have come up with along with footage that Agent Pak has given us MIGHT be enough. Alia and I need to talk."

She pauses. "I'm working with Ryans and Raith to set up hits on Ezekiel's compounds. Both of them. We have a full blueprint of the Arcology, thanks to Warren. The plans of the kids themselves seem to be kind of in the air. According to Joshua, there *was* a team leader, but she went missing just before they all made the jump back here. And according to what the Ferry has learned from Ryans's future daughter, one of the kids is responsible for the Evo flu making the jump to non-Evos. It's run rampant through the Ferry. They've lost… a number of people, a lot of them kids." She sounds saddened.

"…okay, good. We can still pull off that plan, then, and— " Cardinal's head jerks up, his brow furrowing, " —wait, what? What the fuck, one of them… why would they do that? Which one?"

He leans forward with a grimace, grabbing the coffee mug, "I suppose they're not all exactly stable. Look at Joshua, after all. Okay. Hitting the Institute, good, I'm all about that. Do people think I'm dead, or— what do the others know about why I've been MIA?"

It's a lot of information that he's missed, but Elisabeth wants to let him take it in whatever order he needs it, giving him room to ask questions instead of just trying to give it to him in a straight line. "UHm…. as far as the outside world is concerned, I'm not sure what they think. They know you're missing. You may actually be considered a suspect in Redbird's bombing, just because you ARE missing. I really don't know. I haven't exactly had my focus on that matter. The Ferry and the rest of Endgame has been told that you were evacuated into the timeline with no definite return date."

Instead of answering the why at first, she helps him sit more upright so she can check to be sure his ribs are just bruised and not broken. "Did Josh use his ability on you or just his fists?" she asks, her fingers gentle but definitely a bit painful on the injuries she's testing. "Never mind," she murmurs. "They're not broken — he didn't use them."

Blowing out a slow breath as she hands him the painkillers to swallow, Liz considers. "Calvin Rosen is the one I was told was behind this part — Barbara gave me his name and told me to watch out for him. We know there's some kind of schism in the group… and it's worrisome, because Joshua told me not to trust *any* of them except maybe for Calvin, and then after the fact, I found out that Calvin is the source of the virus." She shrugs a bit. "I have no idea why. To level the playing field? I have no clue. I don't think Josh knew it was happening, either. His agenda has more to do with … protecting me, I think. He did tell me that with their leader missing, they were fracturing. But two of the other kids that I know of — they're people we already trust, and I'm more prone to believing THEM on this front than Josh right now."

"It was kind of a blur, he wasn't giving me a lot of time to react," Cardinal replies with a grunt as she checks his side, lips twisting in a tight line; one arm draping over her shoulders. The painkillers are gulped down with the coffee, and he mutters, "Mostly I remember the fucking bullet hovering an inch from my face."

He sighs, then, "Great. If they were all working together, if they were unified, then we could predict them a bit better. If they're all running haphazardly around with their own agendas, though, there's no telling what damage they're going to do.

A sidelong look, "Mm. Which ones do you trust?"

"Lene," Elisabeth tells him evenly. "And JJ Mortlock. He's been on my FRONTLINE squad for months." Her eyes are level on him. Because those might or might not be bombshells.

At the first name, Cardinal nods ever so slightly. He knew about her, it seems; there's even the briefest ghost of a smile at the mention. The other brings both brows upwards. "…Mortlock?"

His head cocks a little to one side as he gives Liz a curious look, "Jaiden's. And…?" Her?

It makes her smile that he'd think so, Liz can't help it. "I should have said Dawson-Mortlock. Monica," she informs him on a soft chuckle. "Apparently they both wound up in Eltingville. And well…. things happened." She's… sad, a little. "He's a great kid. I thought so even before I knew who he was. But… knowing that he was on the squad, that he had my back that whole time?" She shrugs a little.

"Huh." Cardinal brings the coffee mug up, taking a sip of it, gaze hooding a bit as it spills warm down his throat. "Eltingville… well, that's different in this timeline, at least," he muses, and then pauses, "Wait, that is different, right? Neither of them are there?"

Elisabeth shakes her head negatively. "Not yet," she says quietly. "But a lot of people have already been moved there. Jaiden and Monica are both here, but… JJ isn't born for a couple of years yet in that timeline, so…"

"Good. Good, we'll need them both in what comes next," Cardinal says with a shake of his head, leaning slowly back on the couch with a low sigh, "Alright. So, this plan of attack… details?"

The pink splotches on her face from crying so hard are starting to slowly fade, although the subtle hum across his skin is still obvious to him. It's not been this constant for over …. well, for him over a year now (although it's been more like 18 months for her). Elisabeth runs her hands nervously up and down her jeans-clad thighs and shakes her head.

"No," she informs him quietly. "I'll brief you on what we have so far and what I'm intending to give to the guys…. and when it's time to go meet them, you can come with. But you just walked in the door after six months. You can take the night to get a shower, maybe see if we can set that nose for you, and get some rest first."

"I think the only rest I'm ever going to get is when I take Nakamura up on the offer he made to me today…" A little shake of Richard's head, and he draws in a breath, exhaling it then as he nods, "But okay. Yeah. Set the nose, take a shower, get some sleep. Rest— well. You know what I always say about rest, Liz."

"We'll rest when we're through," Elisabeth whispers, sudden tears appearing again. She looks away from him to get control of them again. She shifts, moving carefully but deliberately to straddle his lap with her knees on either side of his hips. Her hands cradle his face like she's going to kiss him. Which… she does, very lightly, on the forehead. And then she firmly and with no warning does what needs doing to set his nose properly. The snap is audible, and she winces even as she does it.

Cardinal's gaze lifts up to her face as she straddles his lap, the edge of a smile tugging up at one corner of his mouth. The coffee mug's set to one side, and he slides both hands up her thighs, resting at her hips as she cradles his face in her hands. At the kiss to his brow, his eyes close, and he's about to say something when—


—"FUCK! Ow, fucking — that's no fucking — WARN A GUY!" Tears from shock glisten in his eyes, face screwing up on a grimace and one hand lifting half-way to his face, pausing before touching his nose.

She'd laugh at him for being a baby… but well. It really does hurt like a motherfucker. "Sorry, lover," Elisabeth murmurs, giving him a little room though remaining on his lap, sitting back a bit on her heels (and his knees), while he recovers. "Warning you just makes you stiffen up."

She leans down to rest her forehead against him, not letting her nose touch his though, and meets his eyes in the semi-dark. "Never again, Richard. Promise me," she pleads in a whisper. "Even if you're lying out your ass, promise me?"

Richard's face screws up in a grimace as the shock of the initial pain begins to fade to a duller ache. "Yeah, yeah. You got tape for it?"

Then eyes uncross from trying to look at his nose as her brow drops to his, and he looks up at her, expression softening.

He brings both hands up, resting on her shoulders, fingers brushing closer to her neck. "I promised I wouldn't lie to you, Liz," he reminds her softly, "I can't do that."

She so rarely lets him see the more vulnerable parts. But as she nods in acknowledgement and pulls back slightly, dropping her eyes from his, she can't hide the flash of … something. Resignation perhaps? Gone as soon as it flickered, Elisabeth forces a smile for him. "No. Of course not." Her fingertips stroke his jaw, her eyes following that movement instead of meeting his gaze. "Let's get you that tape," she murmurs.

"Liz…" There's something of a plea in his voice, for just a moment, a flicker of sadness in his eyes as he watches her… and then he sighs, his hand sliding down to rest beside him. "Alright," he says quietly, closing his eyes, "Let's do that. Then I'll get cleaned up."

"Don't," Elisabeth tells him gently. "You're right. I don't want pretty lies or promises you can't keep — it wasn't fair to ask that." She touches his chin lightly to make him open his eyes and look at her. "I love you. You have no idea how glad I am to have you home."

"I love you too, Elisabeth Harrison." Richard meets her eyes, and smiles ever so slightly, leaning up then to kiss her lips gently before drawing back, "C'mon. I'm going to need someone to help me out of this shirt. We can worry about the future tomorrow."

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