Pedal Point


alia_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

cameos by Aurora and Jared

Scene Title Pedal Point1
Synopsis On the outside it looks so easy.
Date May 26, 2019

Elisabeth's Apartment


The shout is accompanied small hands banging on her father's apartment door. It is loud enough to bring the man in question and also the child's grandfather in the next apartment over to his door, ripping it open in his pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, hair tousled. "What the— "

"Mummy's breakin' stuff again," the pixie solemnly informs her father, hazel eyes worried.

Though Liz's bedroom door is still closed, the apartment door is open — and the high-pitched keen that cracks glasses and mirrors is more audible now as something coming from inside the building. It shifts to … music? Softer, not really fully audible.

Jared's query is cut short by the words. "C'mon, baby… come in with me," he murmurs to the solemn little girl clutching Blossom tightly, jerking his chin at Richard. He's got his granddaughter so that the younger man can go to the other apartment.

Crash clatter thump, and then the door’s pulled open to reveal Richard, dressed in just a pair of boxer shorts, wide-eyed awake from the call from his daughter. “Wh— oh,” he breathes out, shoulders slumping as he steps out from the door. “Okay, little rainbow. I’ll go get her, it’ll be okay.” A quick, reassuring smile for her - a grateful one to her grandfather - and then he’s padding down the hall.

Into the apartment, and he stops at her bedroom door. A fist thumps against the wood, and he calls out, “Liz?”

The fact that Alia is flying down the hall towards the apartment, her backpack she wears for going out of the complex in one hand, wearing an oversized t-shirt with an old XKCD comic printed on it and a look of someone woken from a fitful slumber herself by something, likely the alarm system complaining about the broken glass note. She skids to a stop, stepping through the open door… then spots Richard, and looks a touch sheepish at her arrival.

“… trouble?” She asks softly, as if worried that the little pixie might still be asleep somewhere in here. Or that there might already -be- trouble known about. Her voice’s inflection though shows even better that she’s worried about everyone that should be in this apartment.

Dissonance is what rattles the dreamer — Elisabeth comes awake, adrenaline *sky high* with the world of her bedroom filled with music that suddenly dies away in a discordant jangle of notes and a rumble of not-sound familiar to those who know her.

The low sound, the rumbling one that denotes anxiety and distress, rises to a humming note. It's still not loud, but the resonance is more the problem. There was a reason back in the Skinny Brickfront that she slept close to a wall where Trask slept on the other side of it. The bedroom door flies inward and Elisabeth's blue eyes are frantic. "Aura. Is Aura okay?" Her face is flushed and damp, strands of tangled blonde hair clinging to her face, the T-shirt and boxers she sleeps in sticking to her clammy skin.

Not in full-on panic mode but not able to calm until she's sure their daughter isn't hurt. The night she made the girl's heart skip beats still to this day terrifies Elisabeth.

“She’s fine,” Richard assures her swiftly, hands lifting palm forward, “She’s fine. She’s with Jared right now, she came to get us up because she was worried, but she’s fine…” A step in closer, hands moving to rest to her shoulders, “Are you okay?”

He glances back to Alia, flashing a quick smile before looking back worriedly to Elisabeth.

Alia simply stares at how silly -that- question is. Instead, she closes her eyes, then nods. “Pixie, safe and sound. Only sensors, glass break here. Already canceled alarm.” She opens her eyes again then looks to Liz with concern, walking over to offer a hand, intending to try to lead her to a sofa to sit down. It isn’t -her- place and she doesn’t know where things are well enough to offer something to drink or anything past a physical comfort of someone physically there. At least, she doesn’t know any such thing just yet.

“… Call repairs in the morning?” She offers finally, as the most practical thing she can say, even as the emotion in her words is obvious: She’s worried for Liz.

Wilting a little in relief, Elisabeth takes that last step once he puts his hands on her shoulders and presses her forehead into the hollow of his collarbones, her hands shaking as they creep around his waist. "I'm okay," she murmurs, though the hum belies the words. "Same old shit, diff— " No… not really. The blonde goes quiet.

"I was dreaming." It was different than usual, but she's not sure entirely how. Except. "Aurora was there.. as a teenager." She pulls back far enough to look up at him, genuine consternation in her expression. "She turned into sound. Like you do shadows."

“Is that what bothered you?” A slight lean back, Richard’s brows lifting a little, “I mean, if there’s any… logic to how genetics work with this stuff, it makes sense, a combination of our abilities. Is your brain that worried about it?” He draws back as well, letting Alia lead Liz over to the sofa.

“I mean, it’s not a terrible ability by any stretch of the imagination…”

Alia remains silent, since Richard already said her thoughts. Instead she just hugs both of them after setting her bag down. The technopath is a bundle of concern. Finally, she asks, softly, “Liz, glasses? Water for you?” She’s showing concern the only way she knows how that isn’t already being done, anyway.

Allowing the nudge toward the couch, Elisabeth offers a grateful look at Alia for both the hug, which she returns despite the fine tremors that still wrack her form, and the offer of a drink as she slowly sits. "If you can find a glass I haven't broken," she observes wryly. The low hum still accompanies her, and her hand continues to shake as she reaches up to push damp blonde strands back some.

"No, it was… I guess a new variation on a theme," she admits softly. "Running… something always coming. Trying to get home. Aurora's … never been older before." She shakes her head slightly and offers a brief shrug. "Just … the never-ending running. Only this time, there was a fight of some kind getting ready to happen when … she shifted and I suddenly woke up before she could … before the other me could hurt her." It's a little disjointed, but then dreams usually are. And she's not sure of the order of events there, now that she's awake… was she running from the shadows? Or from herself? Or both? So jarring.

“So what I’m hearing is,” says Richard as he helps her to the couch as well, then eases to sit beside her, “All plastic cookware for you in the future. Acrylics are amazing things these days.”

He slides a hand over her shoulder, rubbing it gently as he watches with a sympathetic expression, “It was just a dream, lover. Should we— should we call Delia? Is this happening a lot?”

“Cast iron.” Alia suggests… and smiles as a few moments later, through the door walks a loyal S.P.O.T., pulling a small cooler on wheels. But only because Aurora isn’t here. The robot dog dashes off as Alia opens the cooler and pulls out of a water bottle for Liz, bypassing the worries about if the glasses fractured in the cupboard.

Alia smiles softly though. “We’re here for you, Liz.”

Well, they've got her chuckling — it's a good start. "No… Delia has her hands full anyway. She shored up my safe space, but… I just have to work through them, really." Reaching out to take the water bottle, Elisabeth's voice is quiet. She's maybe starting to level off a bit, though she still leans into the comforting touch.

"There's no easy fix for the things I've got rattling around in there," she admits. "Been down this rabbit hole a few times. Not… exactly like that, but…" A shrug. "It's just processing, I guess." Quiet for a long time, or at least it seems a long time to her, Elisabeth whispers, "So many things I'm not proud of doing. So many parallels from one world to the next. Sometimes it's hard to remember that it happened to people with the same faces but not my people."

She rarely verbalizes the depths of those thoughts, but they're always there.

“I can see that,” Richard says with a slight shake of his head, shifting to slide his arm full around her shoulders and pull her closer to him, leaning in to kiss her temple lightly. “You did what you needed to, lover. To survive, to keep Aurora alive, to do what you thought was right at the time. That’s all anyone can do.”

A rueful almost-chuckle, “I have to deal with the opposite problem… everyone identifying me with someone else that was me.”

Alia offers a small shrug, and maybe just a little, somewhat sad smile. “… Still have nightmares. About bombs not stopped.” She doesn’t clarify if she means the ones that truly weren’t stopped, or the ones that were and them hitting. Maybe both. EIther way, she puts a hand on both Liz’s and Richard’s shoulder.

Alia pauses then, and considers her next words carefully. “Takes time, to rebuild home.” It’s a statement, not a question, as she shrugs, a bit.

It's the worst part of coming home, Elisabeth is finding… second-guessing, in hindsight, doing what she thought at the time needed to be done. Leaning her head sideways onto Richard's shoulder, she replies softly, "I wish that it were that simple. Part of me knows that overall we probably did more good than harm." At least that much she's managed to internalize over the months of therapy. "But I still see… the worst moments."

Burned children in cages.

David's body exploding right next to her.

Roiling shadows whispering in Volken's voice.

Cassandra's voice as she sobbed into the phone I'm scared, Liz just before she gambled and stepped through an unstable portal.

Dead bodies literally falling around them while she and Kain knelt under the table sheltering Aurora with their bodies from the hail of gunfire.

The hopelessness and rage in her own scarred face.

That's the version of herself that frightens her most … the woman she became with the failure to stop what was coming, the woman who fought basically the same fight as Liz herself, at the side of another version of this same man, and failed just as surely as Zeke did.

Fighting to shake off memories, she compares that visage to the one in her dream. They are not the same. The dream one was more… almost as she remembers herself as a soldier. "Aurora — the one in my dream, I mean — she was trying to tell me something about the other version of me that was standing there. I think I was startled awake so fast by the power she was using that whatever it was I might have been working my way through got lost in that." She pauses and says softly, "Sometimes I wake up more tired than when I went to sleep. I'm so tired of running." The admission is hard.

“Maybe,” Richard says softly, kissing the side of her head and squeezing her warmly with the arm around her, “It’s time to stop running. Maybe make a stand, even if it’s just in a dream, and maybe it’ll help. You can’t run from what happened forever, but while you can’t change it… you’ve gotta come to terms with it somehow.”

"Own worst critic?" She muses, then nods to Richard, before adding a thought of her own. "It's okay to fall apart, to put self back together. We here for you. No matter what." The technopath and her war with words may be obvious, but it's clear she's been considering this for more then just the last few minutes from her words and her actual confidence in them.

"Won't leave you, Liz." Alia smiles thinly. "And chase you past time if have to."

A soft chuff of slightly watery sound comes from Elisabeth. Between the two of them they've managed to hit the Feels button on the blonde's heartstrings. "I kind of think you already did that," she observes, a bit teary-eyed. She presses just a little tighter to Richard's side. Coming to terms, as he well knows, is easier said than done.

Shaky she might be, but she's working on it. "I just want to… do better."

“You are, love,” Richard murmurs against her hair in agreement with Alia, “You are doing better. And we’re right here with you.” He closes his eyes, “Guess I’m sleeping here tonight, too. Maybe that’ll help keep the dreams at bay.”

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