New Friends With Benefits


elisabeth_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title New Friends With Benefits
Synopsis Not those kind of benefits, dirty minds. (Well, not right now anyway!)
Date Sept 25, 2010

Jaiden's Apartment, Basement

The door to Jaiden's below-ground apartment opens into a 20 x 20 living room. There is a small section of wooden flooring near the door for people to take their shoes off, while the rest of the apartment is furnished with a heavy pile carpet in a rich royal red. The living room features an enormous sofa which could double as a spare bed, and often does, a coffee table, a leather chair and a built-in bench which serves as an entertainment center and offers additional storage. A short hallway extends to the back of the apartment with two doors on the right and a large bookcase against the wall between. The first opening to the left leads to the kitchen - a sleek modern design that provides all amenities for basic cooking and beyond - enough to hold a feast out of. A large 4 burner stovetop, dishwasher, microwave, convection oven and refrigerator as well as a well-used coffee machine live here, giving one the tools needed to prepare simple, filling meals. The door on the right leads to Jaiden's bedroom. This room is painted in warm colors, the small windows allowing just enough light in to make it seem larger than it actually is. It has a queen sized bed with a thick pillow-top mattress; perfect for snuggling. In addition, sitting on the night table is a laptop computer that gives ready access the Internet. The bathroom is across from the kitchen, offering direct access from both the living room and bedroom, furnished with a full size tub and shower, as well as lots and lots of fluffy towels

Behind the bookcase, though, the Apartment becomes something else…

Set up for an extended stay for several people, the back wall has two doors that open into small rooms, the right holding a bathroom and a pair of showers, the left hiding a makeshift armory with rifles, shotguns, pistols and ammunition, caged off in a locked enclosure. Wires from the generator upstairs are fed into a circuit breaker that powers the lights and the pump that draws water from are-purposed well. Several cots are set up - unmade for now, but with pillows and blankets stacked on a nearby shelf. Another shelf near the entrance has canned and dried food, bandages and medicines and the like in neatly labeled bins.

Jaiden's apartment is a rather quiet place in the world now, the lamps all burning but the overhead lights turned out, giving the place an almost surreal, ethereal glow from the television. The show that's on is a live camera set up on the barrier reef somewhere, streaming high-definition footage of fish across the world to the big screen, turning the TV into something of an impromptu fish tank. Jaiden is currently busy getting ready for the day - just out of the shower from the steam on the mirror and the slight warming of the air, half-dressed in sweat pants and not much else, since he's cleaning and bandaging the bullet wound in his shoulder.

A kitchen bar is the location he's chosen for that. Well-lighted, comfortable, clear, and within easy reach of the coffeepot that's currently in the process of chugging along in it's necessary daily duty. It smells good in here - brewing coffee often does.

Although there's a polite ringing of the bell, Elisabeth lets herself into Jaiden's apartment with the key she's been given. "Jaiden?" she calls even as she steps inside carrying a cardboard box — the size of a case of soda — covered and lined with foil. "You awake?" Her voice is projected to carry through the apartment, but not loudly in case he's sleeping. It will reach his ears as if she's standing next to him wherever in the place he is.

"Hey there, Lizzie! Come on down. I'm nearly buttoned up and ready to go for the day." The call comes from the stairway leading to the basement, the doors unlocking thanks to that tiny remote Jaiden carries around with him, beckoning Elisabeth down to the catacombs beneath the garage.

When she gets there, she'll find Jaiden just pulling on a shirt, a bit painfully, with a bottle of pills on the counter next to an empty glass that more than likely held water. A little something to dull the pain of the gunshot, it seems. The man, though, perks up at the sound of her, turning to face the door, slipping off his stool, moving to meet her.

"Don't get up," Elisabeth starts to say, and then he does anyway. So she hugs him gently with her free arm on his good side, then smiles. "I brought you some breakfast stuff. I couldn't sleep," she confesses. The lines of tiredness crease her face though her smile is bright enough. "I've got two batches of blueberry muffins and two of cinnamon rolls heading for the base, and I brought you a batch of each as well as some banana bread — I had a couple of bananas that were about to turn."

It's not often that a woman comes bearing Baked Goods, but when she does, it's not something that Jaiden will easily turn away. Gingerly the hug is returned before he takes the box with both hands and puts it on the bar, away from his medical stuff because, eew, icky, and clicks on the oven to about 200. "I'll warm a few trifles through in a jiffy and we'll have breakfast. Coffee is the first order of business. Conversation is the second."

Two heavy mugs are retrieved from the cabinet, one from a naval ship somewhere in the Australian Navy, the other for a car parts warehouse, both clean, both mismatched, but both with a story attached to them. Coffee, good smelling Kona coffee from Hawaii, is poured into the cups and one is slid across within easy reach while the other is lifted to Jaiden's mouth to take a sip. Retaking his seat and swallowing, Jaiden bows his head slightly. "Thank you. I really do appreciate it. Come on, sit….have your coffee and tell Uncle Jaiden what's troubling your pretty head."

Bah… to heck with sitting. She'll let him putter a bit, but Elisabeth asks, "Do you need help taping up your shoulder?" She's not used to having nothing to do. "I'm okay. Given the time traveling situation, I'm just a bit on edge. And when I'm on edge, I cook." She grins a little, finally giving in and sliding onto the stool to sip at the coffee. "A lot," she admits. "I think I might have singlehandedly fed Endgame for two weeks the last time i got anxious. It's so bad these days that anytime I start cooking just for the fun of it, Richard freaks."

"Sorry for telling you that, but I thought you'd need to know. Last thing anyone wants is to wake up one morning and then find out that, hey, they're going back to 1970's Australia or something." Jaiden lifts his cup, clinking it against Elisabeth's in a mock-toast before taking another sip of coffee. "I don't think I'll be going back with you, but if there's anything I can do to help. The little guy who gave me my information - Rhys - showed up a few days ahead of the 'event', so to speak, to give me a little bit of a warning. I'm a little luckier in the fact that, if he tells you when you're going, I can give you a pretty decent rundown of what I was up to, where I was exactly, and the like. That's the benefit of having a metric tonne of pictures floating around and stories that are easily looked up on Google."

Elisabeth chuckles at him. "Sounds good. If or when Bluthener shows up or Hiro pops in, I'll know what to expect at least." She knows Hiro… has met him several times. "Last time I saw him," she remembers idly, "I had slagged my throat into medical waste. Huh. I forget sometimes how lucky we were to have healers… and how screwed we are now that we don't." She slips off the stool to go pop some of the baked goods into the oven on a flat pan to heat. She's making herself quite to home in his place.

Jaiden did give her a key for a reason, after all. Friends get keys to the kingdom, as it were. Good friends find out the combination to get into the cell at the back of the apartment where the safehouse is. Presently, only one other person knows that information. "Do you know anything at all, other than that you're going? Like, have you gotten a crane yet?"

"Nope, not a thing. The only reason I know I'm even going is because you told me," Elisabeth admits as she comes back around the island to sit again. The coffee is wonderful. "I have some kind of thing going on next Monday — a meeting of some sort. Don't know if I'll make it or not. I guess it depends on when or if the crane shows up." She smiles at him. "And how long I'm gone when it does."

"Well, I'm going to do you a big favor. They let me take back a go-bag full of a few things I thought I'd need, and after arriving I thought that getting something from you to prove that I'm a good guy might have been a nice idea. So, whenever you do end up getting plucked, before you go, come see me." Jaiden points with his cup at one of the shelves on the wall where, leaning against the side, bathed in the light of one of the spots, is a little teddy bear, threadbare, missing an eye, tawny fur coming away in places to reveal the velveteen beneath.

"That's mine. That's me mate Bluey from when I was an ankle biter back in Oz." Jaiden leans against the counter with a small smile, looking at it there. No, it's not blue, but it's name is Bluey. Just go with it. "You show up anywhere an show me my mate, she'll be apples."

Elisabeth tilts her head and grins a little bit. "Awwwww…. " She can't help it. "Big bad Jaiden's got a wubbie." There's a soft giggle, and Liz nudges him lightly with her shoulder. "That's going to make my day." She pauses and smirks. "I won't sleep with you in the past either," she informs him, just in case. "I'd hate to ruin you for anyone you meet after me!"

Jaiden smirks and rocks from the playful shoulder, chuckling in response as he pats her knee with his right hand. Shoulder's getting better it seems. "Yeah, well, I'm a little nostalgic at times for me childhood. had a lot of good times in the outback, and I can just grab Bluey there, take a sniff, and I'm transported back in time twenty years." He chuckles and leans back, his coffee cup held lightly in his left hand. "I appreciate it now, Lizzie, but back then I'll probably be cursing the rotten luck. Since I was good and didn't 'seal the deal' way back in 99, after all. If we do end up between the sheets together, it'll be with us conscious and in the present. No cradle robbing for either of us."

Jaiden says, "And that is a big if."

Always a good plan, Elisabeth laughs, moving to get up and go fetch the baked goods warming in that oven. She leaves the pan on the stove and tops off both their coffees while they're at it. "And don't mind me, okay? My responses to stress are cooking like a fiend and sex — I'm not actually attempting to get you into bed, I just can't seem to help myself from making comments." She rolls her eyes. And then she eyes him and tilts her head thoughtfully, resting her elbows on the counter. "Oooh…. you telling me you've replaced me already?"

Jaiden chuckles and gives a one-shouldered shrug. "Met a nice girl named Delia, yeah. She works at the clinic at Gun Hill. Helped patch my shoulder up when Hiro dropped me off at her doorstep and ran through my dreams a few nights thanks to her evolved ability. So we're kind of seein' each other right now." He grins. "That ain't going to stop me from flirting with you, though. Seein' your pretty shape, wearin' those tight tops and pants that make your backside look just perfect is enough to raise the dead sometimes."

Elisabeth laughs outright. "Oh really?" Delia, hrm? She's not sure she knows the young woman, though Gun Hill is known to her. "Well, more power to you, my dear. I'll keep a good thought that things work out." She doesn't look in the least perturbed. "Sure glad it won't stop you from flirting, though. I can use the stress relief," she admits on a chuckle. "If Hiro gets Richard killed in friggin' 1977, I might rip off his friggin' time-traveling head."

Jaiden nods, slipping off his stool to fill the coffee cup again, nodding, gesturing to Elisabeth with the pot to get her more if she wants any. "She's a good girl. Only twenty, as far as I can tell. I don't ask ladies' ages as a rule. She was the one who asked _me_ out on a date-type thing." Jaiden nods to Elisabeth's declaration, re-taking his seat. "Oh, so that's where Richard is, huh? Any word thanks to cryptically worded letters or oddly-delivered packages?"

"Nope, not a thing," Elisabeth replies mildly. "Not that I'm sure I expected anything." Which is actually the truth, though from the way she heads over to fetch baked goods with which to feed him maybe she's not entirely as nonchalant as she appears. "So … you like this girl?" Because Liz can change the subject easily enough. "Tell me about her. Want me to run a background on her?" she asks, only half joking.

Jaiden chuckles and shakes his head. "No, no need for that. She's a nice girl. On the run after getting fingered as an evolved, and related to Ryans - company Ryans - as his daughter." He watches her move across the kitchen, his shoulder feeling remarkably better with a beautiful blonde wandering around his apartment. "Yeah, I like her. She's..sweet."

Elisabeth's head comes up. "She and her father are hiding in Gun Hill?" she asks sharply. "I assume they know that Company agents are being hunted down like dogs by the Institute then." She sighs, pulling the pan from the oven and setting it on the counter. The cinnamon rolls and banana bread are all nicely warmed and she transfers them to a plate pretty quickly.

"She is, yes, her father is elsewhere in an apartment far from Gun Hill." Jaiden nods slightly. "I'm assuming that whole 'hunted down like dogs' thing is the reason he headed for the hills, and honestly, I can't blame him. If he goes elsewhere, hopefully people'll keep away from us. Last thing we need is a bunch of people descending on the Hill and find some evolved that think the only solution is to fight their way out." Jaiden lets out a soft breath, sniffing. "Smells good, though."

There's a long silence from Elisabeth and she sets the plate in front of him without comment. Coming back around the counter, she picks up her coffee and sips from it before settling back into her own seat. "I hope it doesn't come to that," she says finally, quietly. "I've seen what happens when the Ferry is backed into a corner. And it's pretty damn ugly." Though her tone is calm, the flash of regret and guilt on her face isn't something easily missed. Of all Elisabeth's exploitable weaknesses, the Beach Street incident is the one that eats at her soul.

"I haven't heard that story, and I don't think I want to." Jaiden is subdued - muted when she speaks of something horrid that went on at Beach Street. It's probably the betrayal that got her shot in the head for her troubles. "Well, no-one in the ferry has deposited any runners here just yet, so if worse comes to worse, hopefully I can hide a few folks."

Liz shakes it off. At least as well as she ever does. She forces a smile for him. "Yeah…. well, it's not a long story. The guy I was working with managed to warn them but…. it still went south." She hides behind her coffee. "I keep hoping that what we're doing is going to avert the riots, Jaiden, but … so far, it seems like we're busier trying to head off getting our own asses dead in the past rather than dealing with the future. And we're … running out of time."

Jaiden glances to the calendar on the wall, still on September but very close to the end of it. Then October, then….d-day. He's even circled it in red to be sure to remember. "I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be in the middle of it all." Jaiden says softly. "Makes me wish Hiro'd come pluck me from here to go rescue someone again so I miss it."

"Yeah," Elisabeth says drily. "You never know, though — could still happen. Just…. don't get in any helicopters that day," she says with a faint smile. "All right. Enough of this maudlin bullshit," she says, slipping off her chair again. "I brought you munchies, and you're getting all better. I expect to see you on the range tomorrow, okay? And grab Peyton and Aric for it if you can get hold of them, too. K?" She leans over and kisses his cheek. "I gotta get back to the base."

"You got it, Lizzie. You don't get all down on yourself, otherwise I'll have to come and surprise you with an impromptu striptease to chase the blues away. And let me be perfectly honest, if you see me strip you'll either fall over with lust or laugh your pretty backside off. Either way, you won't be depressed anymore." Jaiden stands and moves over to give her a tight hug. "You keep your head high. I'll be there tomorrow."

There's a soft laugh as she hugs him tightly and whispers, "I'm not depressed, Jaiden. Just… worried." Elisabeth does a lot of that, it seems. "Good to see the trip to the past didn't damage your self-esteem any," she quips with a grin. "See you tomorrow, then." She lets herself out, still chuckling over the idea that she might laugh her butt off at him.

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