Not A Tame Lion


eliot_icon.gif zoe_icon.gif

Scene Title Not A Tame Lion
Synopsis Zoe's reaction to the events of 36 are made clear to Eliot, even if The Linderman Group's has not. Somewhere along the way though, Zoe grew a spine.
Date March 20, 2009


The pulsing beat of bass throbs through the walls of Rapture, a high-class nightclub in the heart of Harlem. Rows of expensive cars line up out front of the exclusive club and a crowd of would-be patrons wait outside, cherry-picked by the bouncers to have only the cream of the crop on the interior, while leaving just enough eye-candy outside to entice other patrons. The club serves as a respite for the trendy and the influential from the grind of daily life.

On the inside, Rapture is as much a spectacle as it is a structure. Multiple dance floors in tiered balconies overlooking an enormous central dance floor ringed by plush leather-upholstered booths. Pale blue light shines on the wrap-around bar that curved around the back of the establishment, and the entire building is filled floor-to-floor and shoulder-to-shoulder with the pulsing, flowing sea of people dancing to the rythmic beats of electronic dance music piped through the expansive sound-system.

Friday night is a big business night at Rapture, but it's still very early in the evening so isn't anywhere into its full swing. And by this time, it may well be that Eliot's employees recognize Zoe, or her name is down on that list that exceedingly large men who carry clipboards and stand in front of doors tend to carry. Either way, she gets in with little difficulty, wearing something akin to a women's business suit, navy and pinstriped and double breasted pants and jacket over eggshell silk blouse. Without any ado she heads straight for the bar, and orders a screwdriver. Her brow is furrowed, she looks solemn, well close to depressed.

Shows up behind Zoe. He has a habit of doing that, especially since he knows the club inside and out and it's dark and loud here. His hand on her thigh, he presses a kiss to her cheek. "Why the sad face, Zo?"

She brightens faintly at Eliot's presence, as thanks to his ability, it generally uplifts her day, even a little. "I've been in a meeting." she says. "The Linderman Group's been debating a response to the thirty five." No need to ask thirty-five what. "All those kids…it's such a waste, Eliot. The Act was never meant to create terror. Daniel's putting on his business face, but it's hit him hard, I can tell."

"Oh." Eliot frowns. "I told him it was a shit idea. Registration. Nobody likes to be controlled, and that's all that it is: control." He shrugs. "It was sound, politically, at the time. But I knew something like this would happen." He sits next to her, and puts on his rather convincing sympathy face. He couldn't care less. Kids are stupid.

Zoe shakes her head. "It's not a shit idea. But the government isn't using it for the purpose for which it was intended. Some of these abilities can really hurt people, it's not like it's some sort of control on an ethnic group. It was supposed to be a way to help people." Eliot may not give a shit, but Zoe does. "Usually this is Kain's baliwick, speaking to the press, arranging whatever our response is going to be but," she takes a swig of her screwdriver, "I volunteered."

"Brave of you." Eliot makes a gesture to have one of the bartenders bring him his usual. "D'you want company? It may be Kain's usual haunt, but I'm sure I can adapt."

"It's kind of you, Eliot - but I'm a big girl." She smiles at him faintly. "You're welcome of course, if it's important to you, but you don't have to on my account. We haven't closed out exactly what our action will be. I'm supporting a donation on behalf of the families, and possibly a memorial or some form of scholarship."

"Hey. I'm just offering a little consolation. I can sympathize as well as any other man." He can fake sympathizing as well as anyone else can sympathize, anyway. Same thing. Eliot smiles tentively, and puts his hand on hers.

Zoe's smile increases just a tad. She's obviously torn up about it, but she's not falling all over herself, which is a good sign. A less sensitive soul might suggest seeing that body and the carnage surrounding it might have done something good for her emotional fortitude. "The consolation is appreciated, really it is. But in comparison to what those poor families are going through? I'll be alright."

"'Course you will. You got me, don't'cha?" Eliot wags his brows a bit and slides off her stool, leaning over to kiss her cheek. "And what's done is done, Zoe. All we can do is try to make the future better."

Zoe closes her eyes briefly when he kisses her on the cheek, and is thankful she's sitting. "That's the plan." she tells him, taking a breath and giving him a chin up smile. "On the better side of my week, I met someone I may actually be able to help in a direct way."

"Did'ja now?" Eliot tips his head to the side and raises a brow, elbow to the bar. "Do tell."

Zoe gives him a grin. She really is more animate. Coincidence, from having more people to be in contact with and having things to do in the here and now? Maybe. "Her name is Rebecca. She tested positive for being Evolved and a precognitive ability that triggers by looking at reflective surfaces. She saw my name and ability on the publically accessible registration list and contacted me."

"You guys are like opposite sisters! One looks to the past! One looks to the future! Together, they fright crime!" Eliot grins at her, nudging her gently. "I'm glad."

Zoe snerks. "Precognition may be the wrong word. She sees things in the past. Retrocognition might be a better term for it." Zoe admits. "All the same, I'm going to do my best to help her. She trances too, and the conditions are similar to mind. I wonder if there's a visible power signature like mine as well."

"Heh. Dude, you guys can leave the chick from Cold Case in the /dust/." Eliot smiles at her. "Not that I'm saying you should go into murder mysteries, but."

"You mean like Nancy Drew?" she asks with a grin, shoving her glasses up her nose by briefly touching the frames. "I always admired her roadster."

"Not exactly, but if you want." Eliot smirks. "Come on, dance with me. Let's get you mind off this stuff for a while." He takes her hands.

Zoe actually doesn't argue, setting down her drink down before he seizes her second hand. "Why are you forever trying to get me to dance?" she asks, with a rueful laugh. Still, she's not resisting.

"Because when you're dancing," Eliot says, twirling her about to press himself up behind her and speak into the back of her ear. "You smile. And I like your smile."

Zoe's breath catches a little - oh, if only she knew that he was playing her like a violin. "You're a bad influence." she murmurs, and for a moment, yes - she does forget about the things that are making her sad. "It's…hard not to feel good when you're around." she adds, as if to lighten the original remark.

"If it's hard not to feel good when I'm around," Eliot says, taking her hand and slowly spinning her, until he brings her over and puts a hand on her waist, looking into her eyes. "How am I a bad influence?"

"I think you know full well how you're a bad influence." she says, looking up at him. "Are you just wanting to hear how I'd frame it?"

"I am not a humble man," Eliot reminds her with a smile. "Lay it on me, sugar."

"You definitely are not." she says, a smile spreading. "You just have a knack for making women feel beautiful, I suppose. Of course, I've only seen you in passing with other women, but you charm everyone and you're very good at it. And that's how you're dangerous. You could get away with quite a lot, you know."

"I could," Eliot says. "But I'm a very nice person." Hah. "So I don't let it go to my head." HAH! He grins at her, and takes her hand, drawing her closer. "Some women are beautiful by themselves; they just need a wee reminder."

Zoe keeps her chin up; they're almost nose to nose. "You're not a tame lion," she observes, "Are you." It is so very, very not a question.

"I am not. Is that a problem?" He raises a brow, nudging her nose lightly with his own, a small smile spreading over his mouth.

"Not for you." she says, still determinedly meeting his eyes. She is not going to simper, she is simply not. "I'm sure it's absolutely maddening to the women in your life."

"Are you a woman in my life?" Eliot asks, suddenly.

Zoe's mouth drops open suddenly, she seems flabbergasted by the question. "I - um. Well. Not like that." she manages, adding as calmly as she can manage, "I assumed that you're not inclined to shit where you eat. That's the saying, right?"

Eliot raises a brow and then leans back a bit. "Never thought I'd hear such language from you." He grins a bit. "And no, I usually am not inclined. I asked, though, because some people actually do believe there can be a connection that isn't sexual between people." He smirks. "You don't have to fuck me to be in my life."

Yeah, Zoe's blushed more in the past two weeks than she has in her entire life previous. Her smile is a funny sort of mix of expressions, but more or less cheery. "Then I guess I am." Something near her hip, pressed closed to him, starts to vibrate.

"Either you brought your boyfriend to our non-date," Eliot observes, glancing down her figure to her hip. "Or someone's calling you."

"Huh? Oh!" Zoe steps back a little, and tucks the phone out of her pocket, putting it to her ear. The crowd's not heavy enough to be a detriment, so she answers it. "Hello, yes….what? Why not? That's ridiculous!" She stops dancing in the middle of the floor, her expression growing angry.

Eliot lifts a brow. If it's got her upset right now, given the celebratory mood of the evening, it must be something important. He will wait until the phone call is over to ask.

The exchange goes on a bit longer, but finally she puts the phone back, expression peeved. "The board isn't going to do anything. They're waiting to see what the government spin is. We're just going to sit on our hands for the time being." Zoe's fists clench. Angry Zoe!

Eliot frowns, tucking his hands in his pockets. He doesn't say anything for the longest time, and then steps closer, one hand coming out to rest on her wrist. "Maybe it's for the best. Taking one position, even if it's the right one, will stir the other side into a frenzy. It's business, Zoe. You know that. Did you really expect morals to be in play here?"

Zoe almost - almost jerks her hand away, she's so mad, but Eliot's charm asserts itself on her and it's only a brief twitch. "I can't imagine that Daniel isn't upset over this, I - " she sighs. "I suppose not. But this is a tragedy, and I don't see how we as people can just turn a blind eye."

"I imagine they don't see it as turning a blind eye so much as… crying with their eyes closed for as long as it takes the government to decide what to say." Eliot steps over and wraps an arm around her shoulders. "Come on. Let's go somewhere more quiet."

Zoe is still slightly vibrating - not from her phone, but from anger. The outrage is not directed at Eliot though, which is why it isn't entirely abated, though she is undoubtedly more calm for his presence. She does let him lead her elsewhere.

It's the calmest place in the entire club: Eliot's office. It's one floor down, in the basement, and it is air-conditioned, with calm pastel colored walls and completely isolated from the thumping noises from above. It even has soft music playing very low from hidden speakers; it's something rather relaxing. Bossa.

"You've got drinks down here, right?" Zoe mutters, looking around. The place really is kind of soothing. Zoe likes places like this, it reminds her of the archive.

"I do. What would you like to drink?" He leads her to a leather sofa to th side of what is presumably his desk, and then heads for a minif-fridge that doesn't look all that 'mini'.

Zoe doubts there's wine down here. "Wine, if you have it. Screwdriver, if you don't." Oh hey, Zoe does the hard stuff! Sorta. She takes a seat, looking bleak. "I really wanted to act on this. Why would the government need to spin it? The story's already out."

"Because the government supported the Act, and that means that anything related to it has to be spun. You know how it works, Zoe. You've got morals and politics, and never the twain shall meet." Eliot pauses, then asks, "Red or white?"

"White." Zoe says promptly. She still looks unhappy. "Those children's families deserve better. Those children deserved better."

"Yes," Eliot says. "But the reality of the situation is that they won't get anything, what they deserve or otherwise, until the government decides what its stance is." He pours two glasses of white wine, and brings them over, handing her one. "And not to speak ill of the board or anything," he says, rolling his eyes, "but they probably see this as an attack."

"Selfish bastards." Zoe mutters. "So we wait. But something will be done if I have to go berate Daniel for a whole day in his office." Damn. Where did Zoe-with-a-spine come from?

Eliot kinna likes her: she's funny. "I'm sure Daniel will be appreciative of your concern. I'm pretty sure, also, that he shares your viewpoint. But part of having a board and sharing responsability is not being able to call every single shot any more." Eliot shrugs, and sits next to Zoe, hand on her knee in the most innocent way he's capable. It's not really innocent, though one might imagine Zoe might recognize him as trying not to feel her up. "He needs to play the game the board plays, if he wants to get things done his way."

"It's the Linderman Group. It's his board." Zoe almost growls like a spitting wet, angry kitten. "He could fire the lot of them if he wanted to." She takes a big gulp of wine, closing her eyes, letting the alcohol fumes get to her brain and make her more calm.

"Not really the way it works. When you give other people power over your things, you can't just take it away again. You'll often find you have a fight on your hands." Eliot squeezes her knee gently.

"I'm not very good at fighting," Zoe admits, "But I'm not going to let this go."

"If you believe in something, you shouldn't let it go," Eliot says with a small smile. "Just promise me you will talk to Daniel before letting you admittedly attractive temper get the best of you?"

"Well of course I'll talk to Daniel." Zoe says. "I may be irked enough to do something, but mice don't just go after lions unless they want to be gobbled up."

"You're no mouse," Eliot says, leaning back in his sofa and taking a sip.

"I've always been a mouse." Zoe counters, seeming at peace with what she considers a fact.

"I think the only reason you're a mouse, or seem a mouse, rather, is because you won't let yourself think of you yourself as anything but a mouse because that's what you think you should be according to other people's haphazardly hid or otherwise public views on you." In other words, she's a mouse 'cuz she's a mouse and mice don't try to be more; but she could stop being a mouse.

Zoe pauses a moment, as if a thought occurred to her that has caught her by surprise, and she suddenly smiles, albeit ruefully. "I'll keep that in mind, if you ever get a thorn in your paw." She'd called him a lion, earlier.

Eliot snorts a bit, and then smiles at her. "You may not be a mouse, Zoe, but I still think you're nice enough to help a lion out if he's in a jam, hey?"

"I suppose it depends on whether he's going to bite me or not." she volleys back with a grin. And doesn't even blush.
"Well, some lions only bite when the mice ask very nicely," Eliot counters, raising a brow.

"But I'm not a mouse, you said." Zoe points out, not to be deterred.

He leans over and smiles, "Oh. Did you want me to bite you?"

Clearly from the look on her face the answer is yes, but then she drops her eyes to her lap and murmurs something unintelligible.

Eliot's smile grows a little and then he nudges her. "W'zat?"

Zoe shakes her head a little, and takes another swig of her wine. There's another mumble, something about how she should go home.

"I can't hear you if you mumble, Zoe. It's quiet down here, but I'd have to be Superman to hear your murmuring." He laughs, nudging her with his lower lip between his teeth.

Zoe gives him a faint, perhaps surprisingly sweet smile. "I think I can only manage one brave thing a day, I'm afraid."
"It's more than most can," Eliot observes.

"Maybe." she says, that smile still there. "But some things it's easier to be brave about then others."

"Too true." Eliot raises his glass and relaxes back against the couch, smiling. "You can stay down here with me until you feel like going home," he offers her.

"It's not an issue of feel like," she tells him. "More like until I feel like I'm on the verge of doing something foolish and smartly run away."

"Something foolish?" Eliot glances at her and smiles a bit. "Like what?"

Zoe mutters, "Sort of chucking the whole don't shit where you eat thing out the window, that's what." but then adds with some fatalistic sense, "I really should go."

Eliot starts to smile and laughs a bit, leaning over and kissing her forehead. "How about we leave that sort of thing for when we're not currently in the middle of a meal, Zoe?" He's abusing the metaphor, but it works. It also hints at possibility in the future. Fucker's a tease.

Not that she'd tell him, but she sort of hates it when he does that. You kiss children on the forehead. "Oh, must you do that?" she says, unable to hide her exasperation for a moment. "You kiss children that way. Daniel kisses me that way."

"Ooooh. I'm sorry." Eliot leans back a ways, and reaches over to tip her chin up a bit. "I'll try and figure out a different way to kiss you. Not so Daniel-ish. Maybe more adult-like." Asshole.

Zoe lets out a soft snort, and starts to get up. "Of all the people I know, I hardly believe that's a matter you're ill-educated about."

Eliot doesn't get up with her. He just smiles at her and says, "D'you need me to call you a car? You had a few."

Zoe shakes her head, as if to clear it. "God, you're…" Infuriating. An asshole. Inexplicably charming. She closes her eyes, remembers to breathe. "Yes, please."

"Okay." He pushes himself to stand up and grabs the phone on his desk, speed dialing one of the club's drivers. It's a very high-end establishment: it has its own drivers for if certain important people need a ride home.

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