Ninja Move In


elisabeth2_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Ninja Move-In
Synopsis You're not as stealthy as you think, Monica! And share the stripper pole, I need more exercise!
Date May 1, 2019

Raytech Corporate Housing

The Raytech apartments are lively today. A team of movers carry boxes and some furniture into one of the apartments. Monica stands nearby, watching. Because with only one arm, she's not much help with the bigger items. This fact has her looking a bit grumpy, because she really would rather be doing this herself. And not just because she's now unemployed. Just in general.

After dropping Aura off at school, Elisabeth ran an errand only to come back to Raytech to find movers. And given that not very many people are going to be trusted on the residential floors where the CEO of Raytech's children live, it's going to turn out to be someone she probably knows. Or so Elisabeth expects. She's not expecting, when she steps off the elevator with one of the movers, to find Monica in the hall. And she stops dead, getting jostled from behind when he goes around her and bumps her on his way to the apartment.

Surprise and then even a little… wariness? Not of Monica herself. Worry more that she might give the other woman a heart attack by just appearing on her. "Uhm…. Monica? Don't freak out…"

Monica turns at the bit of jostling, lifting an eyebrow at the mover. Be more careful doesn't need to be spoken. But the voice brings her attention over to Liz, and she greets her with a warm smile. She hasn't heard that voice in a while, but it's never been forgotten.

"Don't freak out?" she says before she rushes over toward the woman, "Of course I'm gonna freak out!" There is very little warning before Liz finds herself on the receiving end of a hug. "Rich told me you made it," she says, to explain why she isn't having a heart attack. "It's so good to see you. We all should have known it would take more than that to keep you down."

Aaaaaahhhh! The hugging! Elisabeth's expression relaxes into a huge smile and she hugs the other woman hard with both arms. Tears flood blue eyes and she closes them as she holds on tight. "Jesus, it's good to see you," she breathes. The last time they saw each other, things were ca-ray-zee!

When she pulls back finally, both hands clasping Monica's shoulders, Elisabeth gives a good looking over. Her smile is a little shaky but brilliant. "More than a black hole? Christ, you have a ridiculously high opinion of me. You look great," she says sincerely. "What's all this? I thought you were at Yamagato, spying for The Man," she teases, gesturing at the moving men.

A close look gives away that Monica is fraying at the edges, but she's putting on a good face. Having her friends to lean on, it's helped a lot. "Oh, I got fired," she says, which— back in the day— was always pretty typical of her work history. "Richard offered me a place to stay." Because of course he did. "Listen, it does take more than a black hole, apparently, so. Just high enough, maybe." She chuckles lightly and shakes her head. "I hear there's a little one running around the place, too."

She still doesn't miss much, studying Monica's expressions with sharp eyes. "Of course he did," Elisabeth immediately replies. Because where else does family go when they need a place to layover? Home. "There is, indeed," she laughs. "Something of a shocker for most, I think. Certainly was for me! Come on down the hall. Have some coffee with me, fill me in." A glance is shot at the moving men. "These guys won't dare fuck around. Luther'll gut them." SHe gestures toward her own door, just down the way.

"Oh, I bet she was," Monica says. Nothing like pregnancy to really put a spin on your interdimensional travel plans. She glances toward the movers, then back at Liz. She keeps her arm around her as they head toward the other apartment. "Luther can be a little scary, it's true. Should have seen him during the war. Terrifying." She probably has a decent idea of that version of him, given all the versions she's met now. "How into the mess do you want to be? You just got back. Has he already tossed you back into the rabbit hole?"

With this group, there is always a rabbit hole.

Elisabeth seems more than happy to keep her own arm around Monica as well as they head that way. "Woman…. I brought the fucking rabbit hole with me, what're you talkin' about over there?" she quips darkly. "Fucking invaders from at least one of the places we laid over, some fucking entity that came through with us and killed Eve on arrival, and I went and brought both Richard's and my mamas home too." She rolls her eyes expressively. "How much deeper in the rabbit hole should I get?"

Liz opens her apartment door and gestures Monica inside. "What else you got to throw at me? I wanna have an up-to-date list before I start working," she smirks.

"Eve's not dead," Monica says, more casually than she probably should, but in this company, she doesn't mind, "The entity did something to her and she's a cloud of… some kind of energy now instead of a prophet. This thing we're dealing with is weird." She steps inside, turning back toward Liz after a few steps. "It might have come with you, but it already had a foothold here. My old boss was holding it trapped inside her. She said that Adam Monroe is the only person who can deal with it. Unfortunately, Adam hasn't been endearing himself to anyone, really. He's working with a company called Praxis and the Ghost Shadows triad. I'm going to see if I can hunt him down now that I have all this time on my hands." Unemployed time. "But you found your mom! And his mom? That must have been a trip and a half."

Wait, what? Elisabeth closes the door behind her after they enter, and despite the safety of their location, she slaps a silence field in place. Why? Because now she's a little paranoid. "Eve's… alive?" she chokes. "Seriously? Jesus fucking Christ." There is so much relief pouring through her that it makes her weak in the knees momentarily and she moves to lower herself to sit on the arm of the living room chair. "Okay…"

The rest of Monica's fast update is listened to quietly and Elisabeth simply nods. "Right…" She pauses and looks up again, her lips quirking into a resigned smile. "Why am I even surprised at any of this?"

Since they're both just throwing random factoids out there at this point, Liz just figures why not go all-in and toss a couple more. "Yeah, it was fucking nightmare of a trip. A world where we never stopped the Virus. Escaped that. Arthur's world — Landed there for five years. That's where Aura was born. Hop, skip and jump to the Wasteland, where JJ and all the future Ferry kids came from? We landed there well before Zeke became an asshole — he actually redeemed himself before he was too far gone, so we changed that. And then finally the original timeline that we spun off of — where Richard and me and about 15 or so other people were originally born and got sucked out of that world into this one in 1982. Much mind fuckery and time-travel shenanigans later, here we are again. Oh, and shit's still going sideways." It never ends. "We live in a Chinese curse."

"Because nothing around here has changed. I mean, it's changed, but it's never settled." Monica can't help but chuckle, even though it's not the most appropriate reaction to… well, any of this. "And we can't help but trip into the trouble."

She finds a spot to drop into, too, eyebrows lifting as Liz give the world-by-world rundown. "So— wait. You guys are from a different timeline altogether? Like, originally?" That one takes a minute. But in the end, she doesn't find it hard to swallow. Richard's history has always been strange, even before she knew other timelines existed. "We are definitely cursed. But look— we beat it every time. You're back home. We won a war. We'll figure all this new stuff out, too. It's what we do."

It is, indeed, what we do. Throwing her hands into the air, Elisabeth smirks at that as she heads into the kitchen to make coffee. "Only in our circle could any of this conversation even begin to make sense," she laughs. As she gets the machine running, she gives the briefest rundown that she can think of. "Basically… the LookingGlass machine? The original prototype misfired in 1982. It … I don't even know. Did something fucked up and sucked a bunch of us sideways. No idea if there was ever a rhyme or reason to who got shunted. But… this world's versions of us were either dead already or had never existed as of '82. So… The Company in their infinite wisdom…" She trails off and shrugs. "You know how that story goes. Memory fuckery and whatnot."

She leans her hands and hips on the countertop after starting the brew. "So that's my past seven years in a little bitty nutshell… lots of details missing, of course." She grins. "Don't want to drown you too hard. I did a lot of reading when I first got back, so I think I'm up to speed on the broad strokes of what I missed, but… what about you? How'd you wind up with Yamagato? And …. well, do I dare ask how you lost your job?" This time. It's not like it's unusual in her memories of Monica's employment history.

"Yeah, I'm familiar with their fuckery," Monica says, shaking her head lightly. She's become more intimately familiar with it lately. "I'm glad you found your mom, though. Reunions are the upside of this chaos," she says with a wave of her hand.

"They approached me after the war. They offered me a cybernetic arm in exchange for being something of a corporate spy. I said yes. fast forward to now. I disobeyed some orders and they let me go. Took back the arm. Kicked me out of my apartment. Kimiko was not happy with me trying to get intel out of Kam— that's my old boss who was holding the entity. I'm not sure how much we can count on her. Or trust her. We'll see."

Elisabeth considers the succinct summary. And then she nods. "Sounds about par for the course around here," she observes mildly. She purses her lips and then shakes her head, chuckling. "So what you're telling me is 'same old shit, different year'?" she teases.

Moving away from the more general, Elisabeth finally nods a little. "Uhm… Finding my mother was a shock in a great many ways, honestly. She's….. not the mother I grew up with. The world she came from, Dad and I disappeared in the middle of a car crash. She… spent years mourning. It's definitely a little complicated." A roll of her eyes accompanies that. "What isn't? I think Richard's situation with his mother is pretty much … in the same place. We're all struggling a bit to find our feet with one another. Toss in a six-year-old who's spent the past couple years dimension-hopping and … well, I'm sorry I didn't reach out sooner. I can blame it on being busy and overwhelmed, but that's probably not the entire truth," she admits. It's hard to face the people who were left behind that day.

"Pretty much," Monica says to the tease, spreading her hand out in a helpless gesture. "We've all sort of been… drifting a little." Not anymore, though. This past year has kicked just about everyone into gear. "Don't worry about reaching out. You can take it at whatever pace you need. I haven't been the easiest to get ahold of lately, either. I have a suspicion that's part of why Rich had me move in," she says with a crooked smile, "harder to avoid everyone if you're neighbors." She reaches a hand over to Liz's arm, giving her a reassuring squeeze. "I know it isn't easy being back. It isn't exactly the world you left. I mean it, you can take whatever time you need."

Reaching up to capture Monica's hand, she holds it for a long moment. "That day… had a lot of consequences," Elisabeth says quietly. Monica's other arm being one that she saw happen. But they all lost something. "I'm starting to reach out now. It's just taken a little time. A good bit of yakking in a therapist's ear. But it's better with friends, yeah?" She smiles faintly, and then teases in a light aside with a gentle shoulder bump. "And I'm pretty sure that's not the only reason he wanted you closer." She squeezes Monica's hand and then releases it, only because the coffee is ready to pour.

Monica's expression dims some with those first words and she nods gently. "It did. For us, for a lot of people." Theirs were a little more immediate than most. Monica rolls her shoulder as if suddenly acutely aware of her own loss. "It is a lot better with friends. I hid away from just about everyone after that day. It wasn't my best moment. I've felt more like myself again since reconnecting. I hope you will, too." She smiles, returning the bump gently. She moves to lean on the counter, glancing over toward the coffee for a moment. "I know. He's more generous than he needs to be. Especially with us. The old guard."

While she pours, Elisabeth glances at her and just smiles. She sets Monica's mug in front of her where the other woman can pull up a stool to sit on at the counter — coffee on the counter is as casual as it gets. She rummages for the sugar and some milk to throw in the mugs too before sliding onto the other stool there. "It's taken me months to reach the point where I'm finally starting to actually believe that we made it," she admits softly. "I'm very slowly finally starting to reach out. Mostly by accident, truth be told — ran into Curtis, tripped over Abby, walked into you in the hall. Reached out to Felix." She looks down. "Getting Devon back has made me wonder… about Jai and his girls. But… I have to admit that I worry if I go looking, it'll make it too high profile and if he is still alive, it'll put them in danger." She shrugs a little and pushes a small smile. "Aurora's going to school up at Peyton's place. I feel like it's the Twilight Zone. But it's becoming more real."

Taking the mug, Monica wraps her hand around it and lets out a sigh as she sits. "Well, I'm glad accidents have been tossing you into all of us. That's usually how I end up reconnecting with people, too." She chuckles at herself. She's become aware of many of her shortcomings lately. The steps toward fixing them are slow and difficult, but she tries. "Peyton's school is amazing. She'll do great there. As for Jaiden… I can't help but think they'd all be safer with friends than they are without."

She can’t say she disagrees with that notion. Elisabeth shrugs slightly. “Well… if you’re going to be out there in the bush looking for some things… maybe along the way, see if you can find a trace? You know how good he is at survivalist shit. But it’s not like we’re unskilled at it ourselves,” she points out. “No body equals no death, so far as I’m concerned.” Devon’s reappearance, her own and Magnes’s, Lynette and Mateo’s, Richard’s from the Antarctic…. The list seems damn near endless, from her perspective. “Jesus… is there a one of us who hasn’t been presumed dead at least once,” she wonders suddenly aloud, her brows furrowing in thought.

Then she waves it off. “Believe me, I am definitely working on doing better about reaching out to friends,” Elisabeth adds. “So let’s see… tell me something good that’s happened to you . Even on the run from world to world, I have good moments too, so certainly you do as well.”

"I'll keep an ear to the ground for him. And I'll let you know what I find if anything surfaces." Monica and Jaiden never turned out the way they did in JJ's world, but she still considered him a friend. "Even with a body, I'd remain skeptical. We're dealing with clones and all sorts these days." Better to be prepared for any eventuality.

The request strikes Monica speechless for a long moment. Good things are few and far between for her, and so many of them have been tainted by something else.

"Jonah," she says, "Peyton's son. I got to watch him grow up. Helped her, especially in the early days. He's such a treasure. And very tolerant of my affection."

Elisabeth has to laugh as Monica gets a deer-in-the-headlights look. "Sweetness… if asking you what good has happened to you makes you have to search that hard for something positive to say? I think it's definitely time for a change." She's teasing… but there's a gentle kind of sympathy to her tone too. She gets it. So much of her life, even the good parts, are just a little bittersweet.

"I've heard a decent bit about Jonah. Aurora sees him at school, and I've met him. He seems like a sweet boy." Elisabeth grins a little. "Peyton's come a long way. It's nice to see her happy." She sips her coffee, perhaps to buy herself just a little time to put her thoughts in order. "Monica… be careful, will you? I don't want what happened to Devon to happen to you — and if you go missing, we're gonna tear the fucking place apart."

Because of course Elisabeth already has her feet in the pool.

"I mean, you're not wrong," Monica says. And, of course, she's getting a change whether she wants it or not right now. "I'm taking my opportunity for a new start. We'll see what I can make out of it." Chances are, it won't be anything relaxing or peaceful. Maybe a part of her misses when she had a more clear purpose. Since the end of the war, she's been a freedom fighter without anything to fight for. She hasn't handled it well, really.

She nods as far as Jonah goes, because he is a sweet boy and they're a good little family. But she doesn't comment on Peyton's happiness. And luckily, Liz's next words keep her from needing too.

"Don't worry," she says, rather than promising anything about being careful, "I'm still pretty good at getting out of trouble. But right now I'm just gathering intel. Nothing crazy." Not that she's planning for anyway. She's not entirely confident of her skills without her cybernetic arm, but she's determined to figure them out.

Elisabeth chuckles again. "Don't worry, you say And since when has being an intelligence gatherer for Richard been not crazy and not worth a little worry?" she teases. "I mean, really… one would think you'd have learned by now, Monica — working for this group is the very definition of Trouble. And you don't even try to get out of it!" She winks. "We don't have to go looking for Crazy Shenanigans, we attract them! The universe loves fucking around with the lot of us. I'm honestly starting to believe the universe itself is like that kid in grade school who pulls your hair because it's guaranteed to get a rise out of you."

"It's not like the old days, Liz," Monica says, setting her cup down and running a finger along the rim. "I'm not working for Richard. He gathers his intel, I gather mine and we share when it matters. The only person I work for is me. And that autonomy is important. The past few years, I got my fill of answering to other people." She slides her hand through her hair— she's not sure how much of her situation Richard has shared with Liz, but she doesn't seem inclined to expand on it. A faraway look that comes over her, just for a few moments before she shakes it off and looks back to Liz with a crooked smile. "Ninjas do their best work alone anyway," she says, flipping her hair over her shoulder, "but I'll be around."

With a cheeky grin, Elisabeth teases in the same tone as and you think a little finger-wiggle is supposed to make me happy?, "And somehow I'm to think you're gonna get into less trouble working for yourself?"

Wrinkling her nose, the blonde winks. "Just make sure you keep in touch regularly, will you? I'll worry. I can't help myself, I swear to God. Between this shit with Adam and the other shit with Grampa Ghostbody, I'm sort of strung tight."

"Oh no, I suspect the trouble will be around either way. I'm just pretty sure I can get out of it. Like… ninety-five percent sure. But I'll keep in touch. I promised Richard I'd stop disappearing randomly," Monica says with an over-dramatic roll of her eyes, as if this were such a chore. But it comes with a chuckle, because she does understand that she sometimes makes people worry. "Strung tight, that's how you know you're back home," she points out. "When were we ever able to relax around here?" It's a rhetorical question, they both know the answer. She starts to get up, though, and points her thumb toward her apartment. "Thanks for the coffee. I'm glad you're here, Liz. I need to go make sure the moving guys don't dent my stripper pole. They were a little rough on my couch."

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