Not A Dream


aura_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Not A Dream
Synopsis Duty and chaos mean a long-awaited reunion is far more belated than wished for.
Date January 12, 2019

On a plane heading toward Kansas City

The seat on the plane is at least comfortable. With Aurora on her lap and finally slumped in the boneless heap that children become when they entirely shut down, Elisabeth is resting with her head back on the headrest. It… hadn't been quite the homecoming she expected.

Cassandra's question along with Michelle's scream actually penetrate the haze around Elisabeth, and she lifts her head again to turn her eyes toward the indicated direction. Upon seeing the shadowmorph in full human form, his arms full of his mother, her arms squeeze Aurora protectively as she sucks in a breath. So much lost. So many people not here who should be… but for this one moment, all she can do is drink in the sight of him. The look speaks volumes.

When he touches her shoulder and sinks into the seat next to her, returning from his own rounds of the plane, she opens her blue eyes and offers an exhausted, almost shy smile. "I see you never got out of the habit of taking care of your people," she observes softly. The tone makes it a compliment, though her blue eyes are troubled. The first rush of joy has mellowed and now the reality of it has begun to set in — there is an uncertainty to her, as if she's struggling to find her footing with him.

“We lost a lot of good people today,” Richard admits with a slow shake of his head as he eases himself down into his seat, a hand coming up to rub against his face; there’s a bandage plastered to the back of his head from the impact when he hit the wall, but it’s clearly more than that. The dark shadows under his eyes tell a story of not sleeping, and even after all these years, she can tell when he’s pushed himself beyond his limits.

A smile tugs up at the corner of his lips as he looks to her, dark eyes searching her face, “Looks like we finally have five minutes to talk, though.” Uncertain as well, tentative. It’s been a long time, and they’ve both been through a lot. In all the chaos they haven’t had much time to talk at all, much less catch up.

Just past the greying-blonde hair of his mother, Richard's gaze meets hers; able to see her finally with the adjusting of his eyes, tears beginning to well up there. He swallows once, hard, and murmurs something into Michelle's hair before disentangling himself slowly from her.

"Get the medical teams to start triage in here, bring in all the injured; get my sister and Luther on life support immediately if needed," he tells the security guard, voice thick with worry. Torn between the return of lost family and his duty to those who came here, even as he looks back to his lover.

The faint smile she gives him from there lights her whole face and he can see the relief and the happiness mixed with the shock amid all of this. Her blue eyes flicker to his mother and she simply nods slightly to him in tacit acknowledgement of the responsibilities that are pulling at him. It's okay. They have all the time in the world now.

She's more slender than she ought to be, but nothing a few good meals won't handle. Her blue eyes study his face and the hand closest to him rises to stroke the back of her fingers along his jaw. "I'm so goddamn sorry, Richard," she whispers, tears starting up again although she refuses to let them fall.

"Oh, fuck you," Richard replies gently, face tilting into the contact of her fingers as he offers her that faint smile, one hand coming to clasp hers after a moment, "No pulling that guilty martyr shit on me, that's what got us into this in the first place."

She laughs quietly, and he can feel the silence field that separates them from everyone else. "I think Kain's the only person who says that to me anymore." Liz's amusement can't mask the depth of emotion that's between them. She can't take her eyes from his face. "I'm having a hard time believing we're really here," she admits in a voice choked with all of the tears that will come later. "I keep expecting to wake up … and find out we landed in the wrong place again."

Squeezing the hand holding hers, she bites her lip and then can't help the cheeky smile. "Hey lover? I got something I gotta tell you." She waits a beat. "It's a girl."

There’s a stir of conflicted emotions behind Richard’s eyes at the mention of Kain, and he turns his head as if to look for where the man’s seated before looking back at her. The last has him smirking, and he smacks her knee with the back of his hand.

“Bit late,” he points out dryly, looking down to the sleeping girl he hasn’t properly met before looking back up, “Could’ve told me, oh, eight years ago….”

Then he shakes his head a little, “You’re— home, though, I promise. Even before Des did her jump, we were tracking you— Else left a map, Edward, Eve. The videotape was the first clue.”

"Well, I didn't know before I left," Elisabeth grouses lightly. "It's really the first chance I've had!" She rolls her eyes theatrically, though there's a hint of the more serious behind them. She swallows hard and says softly, "I was afraid you'd died that day. Until Des…" Unable to help the soft snort, she murmurs, "you and your maps." She's beyond grateful for his obsession with such things right now, though.

Searching his face, she noted the way he reacted to mention of Kain but leaves it alone — there's time. Instead, she asks softly, "Is it ridiculous that now that I'm here, all the things I've wanted to say to you for eight years are stuck and the only thing I can think about is 'what if he doesn't feel the same anymore?'"

“Yes,” Richard replies without missing a beat, a single brow arching as he gives her his patented really? look, “Do you really think that I would’ve broken through the universe twice if I didn’t still love you, woman? It wasn’t exactly a popular course of action, you may’ve noticed. And it…”

He grimaces, “It wasn’t without its sacrifices. But I would do it again in a heartbeat.” Sometimes, he’s very much like his adoptive father.

It makes her start to laugh, but it also cracks the wall behind which the tears were dammed. She still has hold of his hand and as it breaks, she moves to try to pull away, to clap the hand over her own mouth so that she can't actually sob maybe. Her chest convulses slightly, shifting the little girl in her lap though it doesn't seem to wake her, as Elisabeth tries to stifle it. She leans into him, the movement as simple as breathing as she finally lets herself seek out the embrace that they were denied in those first moments.

An arm slips around her shoulders, and Richard tilts his head to rest his temple against hers with a soft sigh. “And I definitely didn’t do it for Varlane,” he murmurs, his tone wry, “So hush, you. Got it?” There’s a gleam of wetness in his own eyes, though, and the press of his fingers against her far shoulder is tight, clasping it as if unsure she were truly real.

Nodding against his face, Elisabeth fights the tide of those emotions. It's not time yet to really lose it. She's shaking, though, when his arm slides around her, and as she curves into him as much as she can with their daughter between them, he can feel the release of some of her tension. The scent of him brings back so many things that had begun to fade in her memories, bringing to brilliant life how it felt to be with him like this. The one place she'd been safe when everything else was going to hell. Home.

When she pulls away to look up at him, there's a calmer feel to her. "I got it," she whispers. There's a tentative movement, aborted in uncertainty, and then she brushes her lips to his in a soft kiss.

“Good,” Richard whispers as he returns that soft kiss, a smile tugging up wider for a moment. Then he looks down, gaze dropping to the blonde in her arms, and he murmurs, “Do you think she’ll like me? She’s… damn. She’s so big.”

Pulling away only far enough that they can talk face to face, Elisabeth glances down and smiles just a little. "She's actually pretty small for her age," she replies softly, stroking a baby-soft strand of Aura's hair off the little girl's sleep-warm forehead. "And she wonders the same thing about you, you know." Her eyes come back up to him. "She's not a very shy kid, so… I doubt it'll take long for her to be chattering your ear off. I think she knows who you are."

Wetting her lips briefly, she says softly, "There was a version of you in the Virus world… and Ygraine from there traveled with us to Arthur's future. I found out I was pregnant not long before we left there, and she went with us. She drew you for Aurora." There are so many stories to tell, but she doesn't know where to start, so she offers small bits at a time. "If they survived… I have some baby pictures of her in her go-bag." So few things survived the trip from Arthur's world to the wasteland to the flood, but the sealed plastic pouch that holds just a few memories has managed. Along with Blossom, of course, the raggedy stuffed German Shepherd that's tucked halfway under Aura's body.

“She’s pretty big for the first time I ever see her,” Richard notes, his tone rueful; free hand half-raising a moment before falling down to rest on his knee, not wanting to accidentally wake and disturb her with some strange man touching her face. At the mention of baby pictures, he smiles faintly. “I’d like to see those. If they survived.”

His gaze lifts from the girl to Liz, watching her for a moment before he chuckles, “Christ. I don’t— I don’t know even where to start with… with everything.”

"Yeah," she agrees on a soft laugh. "It's a lot." Her eyes still can't seem to stop tracing over his face and she reaches out to touch his jaw again, her fingertips gentle. "We'll have time." Plenty of it in quarantine. She draws his hand back and lays it gently against Aurora's soft cheek. "You won't wake her," she murmurs. "The adrenaline crash hits hard." It makes her smile to see him marvel over the little girl, though her heart aches for all that he missed.

As she searches his dark eyes, she confesses in a whisper, "Right now, if it's okay? I'd really just like to… sit here like this with you, just the three of us, until I'm sure it's not just a dream."

The touch brings Richard’s head towards it, and he brushes a kiss to her fingers before they slip away. A fond, if tired, smile is offered back to her as she looks to him again. “That’s fair,” he murmurs, “Not a dream, though. I’ll be here when you wake up tomorrow.”

"I'm holding you to it," she whispers.

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