Okay, Maybe I Won't Feed You To Wild Evos


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Okay, Maybe I Won't Feed You To Wild Evos
Synopsis Richard gets back from the past.
Date Sept 26, 2010

Elisabeth's (and Cardinal's) Apartment, Dorchester Towers

It's late. The apartment is in full darkness aside from the nightlights that forever burns in the entry foyer and the hallway bathroom. She still cannot get over her fear of the complete darkness, though Elisabeth has been working on it for some time now, training herself to be able to use her ability to 'map' a room. Still, when she is home alone, it is never truly dark in the apartment and tonight is no exception. The spare bedroom is lit with a soft glow, and the sounds of the piano drift through the apartment as she plays. It's a soft piece, mildly repetitious… haunting in its way. (For OOC Note: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jew5jB_cVH8&feature=related)

The shadows about the door wash outwards unseen as a suited man steps from them, gloved hands lifting up to find the sunglasses perched upon his nose and draw them away. He pauses with them just past his nose, eyes closing as he listens to the gentle sounds of the piano's keys, a smile curving faintly to his lips.

The glasses are folded, tucked to a pocket on the inside of the dark suit jacket. The gloves are tugged slowly off one finger at a time, revealing the dark print of a man's hand across his own, and he tucks them away into a pocket. The fedora remains in place, shadowing his features as he steps over to the edge of the spare bedroom, appearing as a darker shadow against the apartment behind him, the soft light revealing the faint smile that curves to his lips.

"Hey, Liz," Richard Cardinal greets quietly, "How's tricks?"

The lamp sitting atop the piano is shaded so that the light in the room is muted to a level that even his unshaded eyes should be able to handle, though Elisabeth was not expecting him. Her fingers move across the keys expertly as he steps through the door and it is the barest moment of … something… perhaps just the shift in the air itself that alerts her to the presence of someone else in the apartment. His movements are soft enough not to give him away, and it is testament to how far she's come in the past year that she doesn't jump, screaming, off the bench of the piano. Instead, she trails the piece of music to its end before turning to look at him in the soft light.

Blue eyes skim over his body, worry and relief more than evident in her features. "Haven't turned any recently," she quips softly with a smile as she stands and walks around the end of the spare bed toward him. "You okay?" She searches his face — his eyes, since they're exposed to her now — for the answer.

"I'm just fine…" A smile crooks to Richard's lips, his head shaking ever so slightly, "…just fine."

A push off the door's edge, and he steps in, still dressed in a rather smart suit that makes him look more or less like a literal Man in Black. The fedora's taken from his head, and he tosses it lightly to land atop the piano, his fingers pushing up through his hair to comb it back into place. His gaze meets hers, and he asks quietly, "You?"

She stops in front of him, the peach tanktop and patterned pajama bottoms doing little to hide her slender form though they're demure enough. "Oh, you know how it goes, G-man," she teases a little with a smile. "A lotta baking, a lotta worrying, a little bargaining with the man upstairs on what I'll give him if you get back safe and sound… same old, same old." Liz watches the hat settle and finally moves to embrace him tightly, whispering into his neck, "Damn glad to see you, love."

"I still haven't been to seventy-seven." Cardinal murmurs into her hair, his arms wrapping about her to pull her in against his chest, "So I've still got another visit through time in my future… we went back to 'ninety-two instead. Hiro doesn't have any idea how I could've gotten to seventy-seven, but he promised me that he'd look into it."

Well… that wasn't the news she'd been hoping for, assuredly. Elisabeth simply nods slightly into his shoulder. The soft sigh that accompanies it is entirely silent. With a soft kiss to his collarbone, she pulls away enough to look up and ask, "Wanna talk about it?" Her tone is sincere — not a worried offer, just an offer to talk if he wants it. "You look tired," she adds, reaching up to stroke his cheek lightly. "I've got half a roast chicken in the fridge I can heat up if you're hungry."

"Sure." Cardinal presses a kiss against her brow before she draws away, admitting quietly, "I actually got back yesterday… it was just before the d'Sarthe opening, though, and I had to make an appearance. I hate those things." He tips his head into her hand, quirking a wry smile, "I've probably had more sleep than you… I won't turn down the chicken, though."

Elisabeth blinks, startled. Her expression twists into one of those universally understood 'Sheesh, men!' looks. Is she pouting? There might distinctly be a pout on those features, and perhaps a hint of hurt feelings that she hides rather quickly behind a bit of a scowl as she hauls off and punches his shoulder. "You coulda called," she informs him in a disgruntled tone. He probably did indeed get more sleep than she did. Brat.

It's probably not the best time to mention that he got a good night's sleep before he even came back from the past, isn't it? At the punch to his shoulder, Cardinal grunts slightly. "Hey, I had to take care of business…" He takes a step closer, hand lifting to brush under her chin as he looks down to her, murmuring, "I love you, you know."

Quick, Richard! Distract her with your masculine wiles!

"Uh-huh. You say that now. Just admit it — you didn't text me just cuz you like to come home to a fridge full of food," she retorts with a roll of blue eyes that takes something away from the very definite pout she was sporting. Hey, if he's going to say the words out loud, well…. she's a sucker. Her lips twist into the rueful shape they make when she's trying not to laugh at his manipulations. "Jerk," she informs him without any heat.

"Yeah," admits Cardinal, leaning down to bump his nose against hers, "Never denied it. I'm a terrible, horrible monster of a person, and you should cast me out into the cruel night— " At this point he's trying not to grin and failing, "— and never think of me again, having left me to be devoured by wild Evos."

Yeah, okay. He got her. Elisabeth laughs softly. "Yes. Yes, I should," she replies, tipping her head to kiss him softly, catching his lower lip in a nip that stings. "I hate you. You're the worst boyfriend in the history of the world," she tells him with a grin as she nudges him out into the hall so she can get to the kitchen. "The only saving grace you have is that you're an excellent lover. So I guess I'll just have to put up with you. C'mon, asshole, let's get you fed. Tell me what happened."

A chuckle tumbles past Cardinal's lips as he turns to step along after her, his head shaking slowly from side to side. "I think I might've changed a few things," he admits, "But… I think I already changed them to begin with, so it should be alright." Yeah, that's going to take a little explaining.

Glancing over her shoulder as she makes her way down the dark hallway, Elisabeth gives him a questioning look that she knows he can see just fine. "Watch your eyes," she murmurs, giving him warning before she flips the switch of the light over the stove. She doesn't need much, just enough to work on the counter. Her hands are busy immediately, pulling a covered chicken and several other dishes out of the fridge to make him a quick plate of leftovers. The glimpse into the kitchen will tell him that she was definitely worried — the place is littered with baked goods again. "What kind of changes? And …. what do you mean that you think you changed them anyway?" Time travel always gives her a headache. Seriously.

At the warning, Cardinal brings a hand up to shade his eyes — wincing slightly as the light leaks around his hand, then relaxing as they adapt. He steps along over into the kitchen to watch her work, leaning his hip against the counter and folding both arms over his chest. "I was… careful to make sure that everything seemed like it'd gone the way it had," he says, hesitantly, "I send Niklaus to save his mother's life, and gave orders to have her death — faked. So that we could get back in touch with her in the present day."

The plate Elisabeth was pulling out of the cabinet slips from her suddenly nerveless fingers and crashes to the floor, shattering into shards on the tile. "What?" she whispers softly, staring at him. That's a huge change.

"It worked." Cardinal lifts one hand up, his head shaking tightly, "Everyone believed she was dead, even her family… there was only one man who knew otherwise, and he made sure everyone believed it. Charles Deveaux. He was one of the Founders… a telepath. He said he'd even alter Arthur's memories to believe what happened…"

Her jaw clenches, and Elisabeth struggles with trying to wrap her brain around the ramifications. "But…. why?" Because there has to be more than just the simple answer, right? It can't be just to keep the woman alive. She must know something or have something that we want, right?

Why? Cardinal slants his gaze to one side, looking away from her for a few moments before returning his gaze to her again. "…because Niki and Niklaus are my people," he says finally, quietly and simply, "And I had a chance to give them their mother."

And people wonder why she fell head over heels in love with him. Why she would kill — or even die — on his orders.

Elisabeth stares at him and whispers softly, "Good." It's just that simple. And just that heart-wrenchingly painful on a purely selfish level.

Pushing away from the counter, she looks down at the glass on the floor and clears her throat, murmuring in a husky voice, "Uhm…. could you get the broom please?" Because he still has his shoes on and she's in her bare feet.

"What? Oh…" Cardinal's gaze drops down to the glass, his nose wrinkling as he turns to step out from the kitchen, "…right, right, be right back. AlsoIsentalettertoEdward."


Elisabeth can't shadow over the glass or anything, so instead, she remains exactly where she was and takes another plate down. Hey, may as well make up the intended leftovers while she's standing amid the glass, yeah? She catches what he says, but it takes her until he gets back to the kitchen to parse it. "You sent him a letter? That said…. what?" she asks curiously, keeping their conversation — stilted as it may be at this moment just because of the sheer awkwardness of soul-deep envy — on as even a keel as she can.

It may be that he admitted to the fact only to change the subject in as direct a fashion as possible. The broom's whisk sweeps over the floor, gathering up the shattered pieces of the glass plate together in a dischordant clattering of shards, Cardinal's head shaking slowly from side to side as he keeps his gaze low. "I was… thinking. Edward sent us how many messages from how far back, some of them…? There was no way, even with his ability, to know who exactly would be helping him out in the future, picking up his work. He's not a precognitive, he's an analyst…"

"So I… told him." A flicker of his gaze up to her, "Not all of it. Just… enough. And some instructions that I hope will give us a way to find him."

There's still that taint of huskiness to her voice that gives away the suppressed tears, but Elisabeth doesn't seem keen to make an issue or demand the impossible of him. She's not even angry over the matter — she seemed vehement enough when she said 'Good' before that it's likely she's sicnerely glad he did what he did.

So instead, as she puts the plate with chicken, a rice casserole, and some vegetables on a plate, she considers the words he's saying as he sweeps. Only after she's put the plate in and turned the microwave on does she boost herself up onto the counter to sit so he can sweep under where she was standing. "So…. you think you were always meant to go back to that point and it's a circular thing?" she asks him. Because she's had time to attempt to think through a lot of this. Not to mention she's seen movies before!

"Can you pass me one've the paper plates?" The broom's leaned against a counter once he's swept beneath her feet, and Cardinal crouches down beside the pile of glass hards, lifting up a hand in entreaty for something to scoop them up with. "And… basically, yeah," he admits, his gaze dropping back down to the glass, "I met Simon again, too. He knew when, and where, I was going to be. He even set it up in advance."

Liz kicks his shoulder lightly and says, "For heaven's sake, the dustpan's in the same closet." She hands him the paper plate anyway, though. He's such a guy sometimes. But it brings the smile back to her face that his earlier news wiped away, so maybe it was worth it. "Simon Broome set up the time and place you were …. okay, now I'm totally confused. How'd he know you were going back to 1992?"

"Pft. I'd have to get up again…" The plate's taken, and Cardinal starts to scoop up the glass shards onto it (with his hand for chrissake) in a pile, his head shaking slowly, "…I think he knew from the first time I met him. That is — from his point of view. I think he knew Edward. He quoted him once. It's weird, I… think he just wanted to see me. I don't know why." He looks back up, lips pursing in a frown, "I think I know what he's doing, though. Or at least… what his original intentions were."

That makes her tilt her head and watch him closely from her perch. Elisabeth passes him a wad of paper towels. "If you wet them, they'll pick up the little bitty pieces, and you won't be putting your hand in the glass," she tells him mildly. "So … what were his intentions?" She's really curious about the guy who runs the Institute. "Cuz it has seemed to me like the only reason the Institute came into being was because of us. Which kinda sucks."

"I don't know." Cardinal reaches up to take the paper towels, lifting up to step over towards the sink. The faucet's turned on, and he wets the paper towels, frowning still as he thinks it through at the same time as he's talking, "Obviously we… met, or will meet, at some point. I don't know what happens exactly, but…" Back over, he drops down to crouch beside the pile, using the wet paper towels to sweep up the glass, "…he argued that we shouldn't try to change the future, just survive it. He likened it to Noah. He didn't try to stop the flood. He built an ark."

Elisabeth grimaces and she says softly, "I'm not exactly sure I disagree." Her bare feet swing a little, right at the level of his shoulders, and one hand shoves through her hair as she considers. "The future that Teo and the others came back to change? They blasted it into oblivion… and instead of just having Pinehearst and its rotten core to deal with in … say, seven years … now we've got riots and bleak futures of concentration camps and… every step we take to try to stop the bad stuff just seems to make it worse." She pauses and says quietly, "Not entirely unlike what Deveaux and his little group started out doing."

"I can't believe that." A push up to his feet, paper plate in hand, Cardinal steps over to the garbage can and dumps the remnants there, "If all we do is try and survive, then… what the fuck good are we to anyone? If we know something's going to happen, we should just do what we can to stay away from it, but let it happen? Bullshit." He turns back on her, his gaze heated, "Noah was a coward."

There's a smile. "Well, I didn't say we were going to do it," Elisabeth replies, sliding off the counter as the microwave beeps in her ear. "I just said I'm not entirely sure I disagree. That on some levels, hunkering down for several years and letting certain things play out as they would have might have been a better option. We'd have been working from a stronger positively Evo position then." She shrugs. "It's water under the bridge now. The only thing we can do is keep moving forward. Perhaps some of the things you put into motion in 1992 will bear fruit in the here and now for us."

"We can hope." Cardinal steps back over to to as she turns towards the microwave, arms sliding around her and pulling her back against his chest as he leans down to murmur against her ear, "I just hope I'm doing the right thing… it's been, what, two months, almost three, and we still don't know what causes November Eighth…"

She pulls the hot plate out of the microwave and sets it down then leans back against him, her hands resting atop his arms and her temple against his jaw. "I know," Elisabeth replies softly. "There's just nothing out there. But you can bet it's going to be the question I ask of Hiro Nakamura, even if he opts not to answer me." She sighs heavily and rests curled into him like that for a long moment. "Right or wrong, we just do what we can with what we've got, love. It's all anyone can do. And we're better equipped than most to try," she says finally. A faint smile quirks just the corners of her lips upward as she hugs his arms to her. "We'll work it out." Optimism… a little faith… a little sprinkle of pixie dust… they all have their place in this.

"Just be… careful," says Cardinal quietly, his cheek resting against her hair, "That's not the Hiro we know… but I don't think he realizes that. There was something in one of the messages that Edward sent me… there is more than one Hiro Nakamura. His nose was bleeding at one point. I think that whatever time war he's involved in is taking its toll on him."

"Not surprising," Elisabeth says softly. "The last time I met Hiro Nakamura, he struck me as a man with an ancient soul. He's seen… things you and I can only have nightmares about. And I wondered at the time… how many times has he tried to change the future, only to see it go to hell in a handbasket?" She rests her head back on his shoulder, as if burrowing a little into his body. "How many ways has he already changed things because he was trying to help only to realize later that what he did just made it worse? Of all the abilities in the world that I've seen, his has got to be one of the most …. difficult and horrible. Just because you can change something doesn't mean it should be changed."

"I have enough nightmares just trying to save the future," Cardinal admits, his eyes closing for a moment, "I wouldn't want the ability to change the past, too… I don't see how he stays sane. I don't think I would." A breath's drawn in, then exhaled, "I got a name from the assassin, this girl named Kira - superhuman reflexes - that tried to kill Jonas. The guy behind this is Samuel Sullivan."

Elisabeth cants her head and then shakes it slightly. "That's not ringing any bells for me. Should it?"

"We found some mention of him in the Coyote Sands tapes, but… he was supposed to be dead," is the response, Cardinal's lips pursing in a frown for a moment. A sigh, then, a kiss to the side of her neck before he draws back, "Anyway. Let's get that food and then you can play the piano for me, hmm…?"

She's still working on committing those to memory along with the ones Colette brought, so it's not surprising Liz hasn't remembered everyone from those tapes. There's a brief nod at the information and before she can think on that, he asks her to play for him. She smiles a bit shyly; he's never asked her to play before. "I'd love to."

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