Paradigm Shift


elisabeth2_icon.gif nash_icon.gif

Scene Title Paradigm Shift
Synopsis Elisabeth needs a favor and Nash's response changes some things.
Date Aug 27, 2010

Nite Owl

Sitting at a booth inside the Nite Owl, Elisabeth has perhaps done a little regressing this week. She's in the booth nearest the kitchen with her back to the wall so that she can see the whole room. There's a steaming cup of coffee between her two hands, and those crystal blue eyes have purple shadows beneath them. Her appearance might strike a chord for Nash — the last time he saw her wound up like this was…. almost a year ago to the day. A half-eaten plate of French toast sits in front of her and it appears that her appetite's gone walkabout while she watches for him.

Stepping in to the Owl is like Deja Vu for Nash considering how long it's been since he's talked to Liz and he had a very interesting conversation with her in this very spot. The cop has been up to little good as of late. Not that he's been doing anything 'bad' persay, but training for fights, and still looking to be good enough to start competing in the underground circuit is enough right now for the bad boy. He slides into the bench and states the obvious right off the bad, "You look like shit, Liz. Someone as hot as you, should be taking care of themselves. What are you, 50 now?" He cocks a grin as he orders himself a coffee and looks at her. "Seriously, what's the deal?"

Well, that's just plain rude. And Elisabeth actually grins at it. "Just a rough week," she says quietly. She waits until the older woman who runs the place comes by and fills up Nash's coffee cup before saying anything else. Only once that's done — and if Nash wants to put in a breakfast order, that's easy enough too — does she put up the silence field around the table that will be required. "You told me once that we were… still partners as far as you were concerned. I guess I wanted to …. check in on you a little bit, and find out if that would still hold if I asked you to do something…. questionable." She smiles a bit. "Always with the favors, right?"

Nash deadpans her for a moment, as just stares. "Seriously? No, 'how are things going, Nash?' or no 'you're looking pretty hot today, Nash.' Just hit me right up for the favors." He then grins and shakes his head. "I figured you needed something." He sips from his coffee. In fact, he was pretty damn certain she was going to ask him for a favor, and curiosity got the better of him. He'd have joined her for coffee regardless, but knowing she might need him for something, well that's what intrigues him. "Whatcha need, Harrison?"

Elisabeth's chuckle has a wry edge. "Hi, Chris. How are you? I'm sorry I suck at keeping in touch better. It's been forever. You're looking pretty hot today. And yes, I'm buttering you up cuz I need a favor," she ends with a roll of her eyes, amusement lightening her expression finally to something approaching her usual look. She sips her coffee and says more seriosuly, "Actually, I am sorry. I'm an awful friend to pretty much everyone I know lately. Too… goal-oriented I guess."

Shaking his head, Nash waves her off. "It's not a problem, obviously I haven't done the best job of that as well or I'd know how you're doing already." He leans back against the bench, hands around the warm cup of coffee as he idly twists it around and around on the table. He brings his gaze up to hers and with a boyish smile as he asks, "What is it you need?" Luckily, the marks from his sparring hasn't touched his face yet, at least not lately, as he's done a better job of covering up to avoid any marks being left there, but his ribs are sore as hell.

Assured that they're okay, Elisabeth nods slightly and rests her elbows on the table. "I've got a …. Registration problem. And since I don't count as law enforcement for the purposes of it, I can't exactly fix it myself," she says quietly. "I was wondering …. if I could presume on our admittedly limited partnership… and ask you to sign a few people's Registration papers for me." He's always given her the indication that he's not exactly a stickler for that kind of thing. It's a risk, though — he could turn her in, or turn in anyone that might come to him for papers. She looks uneasy at making the request, and adds quietly, "And it's beyond okay if you're not willing to go out on that limb, Chris." Because he could wind up jacked up on charges for doing it if it's caught too, and she's aware of it. "It wouldn't be many."

Well then.

This was not expected. Perhaps he should have expected it, but it really does take him off guard. He knows that Liz has her own set of rules, but typically they don't go against the law as she's asking him to do here.

In fact, he considers whether or not she's setting him up. Perhaps she's wired.

There's an edge to his demeaner, looking far more shifty than he ever has in their past. He tries to play it cool for a moment as he just looks over at her, then down to his mug, then back up at her. Something about her demeanor causes him to think she's being up front about what she wants. Then instead of a setup, it looks more like an opportunity. "How many are we talking about? And why not just have them register for real?" It's not like it's all that difficult of a thing, right?

She meets his gaze straight on; Elisabeth is not fucking with him nor is she out to jack him up. "We're talking about maybe a half dozen. And they don't want to Register because they're scared to fucking death of getting grabbed by the fuckers who've been experimenting on Evos," she says quietly. "We've managed to keep it pretty quiet in the press that it's happening, but there's a group out there using the Registry to cherry-pick abilities that they want to do experiments with and snatching people off the streets. I…." She bites her lip. "I can't help everyone, Chris. But there are people who are close to me that I do want to keep off the radar. Maybe that's selfish, but…" She shrugs a little.

Okay. Fair enough, at least as far as Nash is concerned. He bobs his head non-committally for a few moments. He isn't going to take advantage of her, but he also isn't going to do this out of the kindness of his heart. This is his job on the line, not hers. Granted, they could probably both go to jail if this ever comes out but there's a part of him that wants to help her…

… for a price.

"Hundred bucks a pop." Before she can even react to that, he adds, "I'm putting my shit on the line here and I'm not going to do it for nothing." A hundred a registration isn't really all that much. If it were someone else, he might ask a thousand. But, he's not going to do this for free, risking his career and livelihood. "I'll help, but your people need to put themselves on the hook. One hundred per. That's the deal." If they pay, then if he gets caught, he has an out and can deal by giving out the names of those he's given false registration to. Yes, he's going to protect his ass at all costs.

She wasn't sure what he might ask for in return….. but she was expecting something. That he's asking for money sort of surprises her — she'd expected more in the lines of owing him favors. And there's a brief, thoughtful look on him as Elisabeth reassesses what she knows of her old partner. Perhaps she's too trusting and it could be time to have Richard take a far closer look into Chris Nash, just to make sure he's not in a position to sell out any of the people she's attempting to protect. "Agreed," she says calmly. "It's a big request and it is your job. And if for some reason you get jacked up, you can rat me out and cut a deal if you need to. Okay?" The idea being that he won't rat out the names on the papers, maybe? "They won't be all at once. Maybe a couple a week?"

Chris nods his head. He can tell there's been a change between them in the last few minutes. If he had needed favors, he's surely have asked for them, though it's not as if he needs money, but he could squirrel it away for a rainy day, or perhaps bail him out of jail if that day were to ever come. He also has a feeling that things between him and Liz will be different from this point forward.

"Hopefully it won't come to that. The ratting out, but I'll keep it in mind." He is definitely going to have to be very careful with this, as this is a very hot topic right now and they are going to be watching very closely. But, he's certain he can pull this off. "I will probably only be able to handle a couple a week without drawing attention to myself, as I'll have to do legit ones as well to pad it. Just let me know who and when and we'll get it set up." The coffee grows cold, as he no longer has interest in it. "Are you sure you really want to do this?" The fact that she's willing to break federal laws for this, shows Nash just how far she's falled and probably why she looks the way she does.

There's a long silence, and Elisabeth looks down at her coffee cup. When she looks up, she says softly, "A year ago today, I woke up. After being beaten and tortured nearly to death and then having most of my brain matter blasted across a warehouse floor by Humanis First fucker. I lost ten years of my life that day. Including some of the most important talks with my mother that I probably ever had in her lifetime. I know what it means to be targeted just because I can do something amazing. And I know that no one deserves that. So yes, Chris… I'm sure that I'd like to cover a few people's asses where I can." She has never laid out for him what happened to her.

A simple nod in response as Nash pushes his cup towards the center of the table and reaches into his pocket and tosses a fiver on the table. That boyish smile returns as he slides from the booth. "Okay." He shoves his hands into his pockets and nods his head. "Let me know who you need and I'll get things ready. No more than two a week. I'll do what I can." He starts to turn to walk away, pausing only briefly to look her over once again, "And for God's sake, get some rest. You don't have to save the world all by yourself, Liz. Someone who's typically as hot as you, should never look so run down. It's a damn shame." He cracks a grin, giving her a wink.

A faint smile quirks her lips and she says softly, "I'll be okay in a couple of days. Just not sleeping well this week." Elisabeth's sleeping, it's just not great sleep. "Thanks, Nash."

Another simple nod and Nash turns and slips out of the Owl, stepping out into the elements as he glances back towards the entrance. He ponders for half a second whether or not he's made the right decision, but in the end, going by the book has really gotten him nowhere here. He could go back to Chicago, but it would be all but admitting he failed here, so he may as well take advantage of the system where he can.

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