Not Gonna Happen


elisabeth_icon.gif jessica_icon.gif niki_icon.gif

Scene Title Not Gonna Happen
Synopsis Elisabeth has some information for Niki. However, objections come in the form of Jessica.
Date June 22, 2009

The Nite Owl

Monday morning, Niki is usually at Lucy's by this time of the day, but with a phone call from Liz, Niki asked permission to come in later. Not a problem, so she heads over to the Nite Owl. When she arrives, she sees Liz with a coffee and orders one for herself before she slides in across from her friend. "Is.. everything okay?" It wasn't necessarily what Liz said to her on the phone, but the tone in which she said it that causes that question. Formalities and pleasantries aside, Niki wants to get to the heart of the matter.

With a smile that doesn't quite light up her eyes, Elisabeth says quietly, "Everything's pretty much fine. But, uhm…. I have a couple of questions for you and they're going to seem kind of off-the-wall. Bear with me?" she asks.

An eyebrow arches up at that statement and Niki just nods slowly. "Sure." she drags out the word as if unsure where this is going.

Elisabeth considers what to ask first and then says, "I know you haven't watched much television recently, but …. have you chanced to see any of the presidential news conferences with his PR lady?"

Niki shakes her head slowly. "I don't have a TV in my new place and when I was at Abby's I was rarely actually there. Why do you ask? I don't really follow politics too much."

Elisabeth shakes her head and reminds, "Bear with me, okay? Does the name Zimmerman mean anything to you? Someone you might have known in California or …. when you were young?"

"Zimmerman?" Niki leans back against the booth as she looks up for a moment, then shakes her head again. "You're kinda freaking me out, Liz. What's this all about?" Her gaze falls back to her friend.

Elisabeth shakes her head and says, "Don't freak. Seriously. It's nothing bad, nothing wrong. Just….. something kind of surprising." She reaches over and squeezes Niki's arm. "Don't lose it, and Jessica — for Christ's sake, don't freak out on me," she tells the alternate dominant personality." Reaching into the pocket of her blazer, Elisabeth comes out with two pictures. One of them is Tracy Strauss — a press photo of her at a presidential gathering of some kind. And one is a picture of a picture, of a young couple standing with what appears to be either Niki or Tracy. Before she lays them down to let Niki see, though, she asks, "Is there any chance you were adopted, Niki?"

"I was adopted by my uncle. Why?" Niki looks down at the pictures, her fingers touching them and rearranging them. "I don't recall being in any of these places, or wearing any of these clothing." There's a subtle pause, "Neither does Jessica." Gina apparantly has nothing to say on the matter. "Where did you get these?"

Elisabeth looks thoughtful. "Why don't you tell me a little about your uncle?" she invites quietly. "And whatever you maybe know about your birth parents?" she asks. "Because neither of these pictures is you, Niki. Or Jessica. And I'm reasonably sure it's not Gina either. What I'm trying to figure out here is whether it's maybe Tracy Strauss and she has the same problem you do…. or whether there really are four of you," she says gently.

There's some quiet internal conflict going on as Niki's facial expresses seem to move from oddly curious to furious to questioning before she looks up to Liz, with a cold stare. "Why are you bothering her with this bullshit, Liz?" Jessica. "Hal Sanders was my father. I, unfortunately, can no longer shield Niki from my actions, and I've been trying to keep her from /this/ sort of stuff. She's trying to get on with her life. I don't know who /this/ or /this/ is, but it's not any one of us. What the hell is this all about?"

Facing Jessica doesn't worry Elisabeth as much as it perhaps ought to; though the women have come to some kind of understanding in past months, Liz is not unaware of the danger Jess poses. "Jessica, she's strong enough to deal with this — and she's curious about it herself. I've known about the Tracy Strauss resemblance for quite some time, but in the course of another investigation — one into the Company, its founders, and the scientists who helped develop the formula you guys found in the future — I came across this one," she taps the picture of a picture. "It was found in the home of the scientist who developed the formula. We've known for some time about various children that were tested on by the Company — Elle Bishop is a prime example. But I'm starting to wonder if Niki — and by extension you, Tracy, and whoever this fourth is if she's not an alternate personality of Tracy's — was also one of them. Not entirely sure where that will get me in the investigation, but I think Niki deserves to know what I've found."

Jessica picks up one of the pictures and takes a closer look. "She's not one of us. Her hair is /too/ blond." Fake blond, not that she needs to say it about Tracy Strauss. She drops the picture and looks at the other. "No. I don't know this one either." She glances over at Liz. "Niki is trying to move on with her life. A life that others took from her." Deflection is a lovely thing. "She's been telling everyone, you included, that she doesn't want any part of this." That Jessica flavored smirk appears as she looks across the booth. "I'll talk to her though. If she really wants to know, I'll have her get in touch with you." Eyebrow raises up as if to challenge her decision to be questioned. They may have an understanding, but Jessica is going to do what Jessica is going to do. That's /her/ understanding.

Elisabeth nods slowly. "One other thing," she says. "And so far as I'm aware, it's not remotely Company related. Does the name Garabed Bashur mean anything to either of you?"

There's a moment, a brief moment, of consideration as Jessica takes her short time considering the question before answering. "No. Who is that?" she asks. "And why are you asking us that?"

"I've been passed a message via internet to get in touch with Niki specifically — not you. Someone named Garabed Bashur at Mt. Sinai's been asking for her," Elisabeth says. "I thought maybe she'd want some company to go up there. It sounds…. well, the message I got sounded really urgent," she admits. "I was actually asked to bring you guys, not just tell you."

This seems to amuse Jessica, and she shows it. "So, you're asking us politely to come along with you? And what is it this.. person wants with Niki?" Jessica's hand moves around the coffee cup and her fingernails tap along the glazed ceramic.

Elisabeth shrugs with a faint grin. "I'm telling you that I got a message, and it was phrased so as to make me think it could be really important, whatever it is. The message said merely that you were off the grid and the person who was sending the message couldn't find you themselves, so they said "Please, if you can find Niki Sanders, bring her to Mt. Sinai, she's looking for Garabed Bashur," basically. And since Niki's my friend and it sounds important, I thought she might want company."

The coffee cup gets rotated several times before Jessica comes back with a simple respond. Simple, but not quite /that/ simple. "We want more information. We're not going to blindly drive up to see a stranger." She wrinkles her nose towards Liz. "No matter what company we may have on the drive up. So, you tell whoever sent you that we are not interested."

Elisabeth purses her lips and offers, "How about I just see what I can do about finding out who the person is, instead? I can go up myself, if you'd like. Scope out the situation."

"You do that. Ta." That seems to be the end of that. There's a moment of unclarity, as a few different emotions flicker across Jessica's face and Niki's eyes come to recognition. "Sorry about that." she says. "You know how she is. I, at least, can see and hear everything she does now though, which means I'm not completely in the dark about everything. And I'm sorry, if we are making this difficult. I really am just trying to get on with my life. I have a job, a place of my own, starting to reconnect with friends. I don't want to lose it all again."

Elisabeth shakes her head at her friend and says, "Believe me, Niki… I get it." She smiles. "I'll go, let you know what I find, okay?"

Niki bobs her head in quick fashion, as if something is conflicted, but she doesn't say anything more. She stands and offers a half smile to Liz. "Don't be a stranger. I live right next door to Abby. Come by sometime. Or Lucy's. You're a big tipper, right?" she manages a grin for that.

Elisabeth laughs. "I'm a big enough tipper," she admits. "I'll see what I can do. And I'm not much of a stranger in the building. There's a recording studio down a floor from you guys."

"I didn't know that. Huh." Niki turns and starts for the door, turning to wave back to Liz. "I gotta get over to Lucy's, so I'll see you later. Let me know what you find out." Niki disappears out of the door, hoping to catch a bus that'll take her over to work.

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