Perfect Timing


cardinal2_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title Perfect Timing
Synopsis Claire is That Girl.
Date Jan 11, 2009

USS George Washington

The cabins are all pretty much the same — small. A couple bunks, lockers, and a desk. When he lets her in, Elisabeth glances around the spartan surroundings and smiles. "Glad to see we're all getting the royal treatment," she comments. Which … they are. They're in the bigger rooms reserved for visiting personnel, only sleeping two instead of four or more to a room. She plops herself on the bottom of the bunk he clearly just vacated, kicking off her sneakers and curling up into a small ball in the corner where the bunk meets the wall. The sense of silence in the room is immediate — she's clearly got an agenda. "You awake enough to chat, love?"

"I think I can manage," Cardinal chuckles under his breath as he closes the door, stepping along over to the bunk. He turns around, dropping down to sit on the shallow mattress beside her, turning to face her, one knee sliding onto the bunk. A smile crooks up at one side of his lips, "What's on your mind?"

"Lots," Liz admits dryly. "Most of it you don't want to know about, I'm pretty sure." She pauses and tells him quietly, "They finally hauled me in for their pitch. And it's a doozy." There's a hint of mischief in her blue eyes, though it's clouded by a furrowed brow that gives away her uncertainty. "I told them I'd do it, but… pretty much got accused of 'drinking the Kool-Aid.'"

"Oh, let me guess," Cardinal allows dryly, "Cat? She seems pretty stable, but she's a fanatic deep down, and she's got all the flaws of a fanatic." A tilt of his head, "What's the pitch?"

There's an easing to her expression when he comments on Cat. "I never thought before that she was… but I have to admit, she's become very black and white about things these days. If you're not in agreement with her, it seems like you're automatically against her." She grimaces. "Even being aware of it, she has the power to make me feel about two inches tall." Shaking her head and sighing, she shoves a hand into her hair and says succinctly, "FRONTLINE."

"She's too black and white, and the world's grey. We need to get her out of operations and into public relations before she does something… regrettable," Cardinal's hand lifts, rubbing against his face, "At least it means she won't be in her mother's court for certain." A brow raises, then, and he nods a little, "I'm surprised it took them this long."

Now Elisabeth looks surprised. "You knew?" About the FRONTLINE thing, she means. She's leaving the topic of Cat alone.

"I assumed they'd offer it to you eventually," Cardinal admits, one hand raising up in a vague gesture, "You have experience with SCOUT, field experience, knowledge of the various terrorist factions active in the Evolved conflict on both sides, an extremely effective power…" Wry, "…they'd have been insane not to."

Elisabeth nudges him with a foot. "Well, shit. You're smarter than you look, Nerfherder," she teases with an amused grin. Though the accusations leveled still have the power to disturb her. "I told them I'd take it…. seems to me like more of a keep your enemy closer situation. Both for them and for us. Kershner supposedly likes me or something." She pauses. "The idea of that sends chills down my spine, to be blunt." She shrugs a little. "Don't know if joining the Gestapo is going to be a good or bad thing, but… we'd talked about getting someone in to keep an eye. So… guess you got your wish."

"Kershner's dangerous," Cardinal admits, hand dropping down to rest on the mattress as he leans against it a bit, voice lowering a bit, "We need to move very— carefull around her. Jensen and her have a past, and he's scared to death of the woman. I think it's a good idea to get in, though, we're definately going to need some influence and eyes there."

"To be honest, the reasons they want me would be about what you'd expect," Elisabeth replies, uncurling some to slide her feet into his lap while they talk, wiggling her toes a bit as her tension eases just a bit. "I got the song and dance about being a shitty cop and how if Lazzaro got his way I'd be fired and blackballed and whatever. Instead, they're being kind and letting me resign for a more 'rewarding' position or something." She snorts faintly. "Then I got files about Sea View and Pinehearst dropped on me. Then they pandered to my ego — you know … the most precision use of my ability they've ever seen, experience in the field, blah blah. But what they really want is the contacts." She smiles a little. "You always said I wouldn't get off easily not because of who I am but who I know… and you were on the money. I think they basically want a liaison with all those disparate groups out there who get the intel they can't get their hands on, kinda."

"They're trying to turn enemies into assets, which only makes sense," Cardinal notes, fingers drumming over the mattress as he frowns across the room, "Hopefully Kershner'll deal with us in good faith, but it's going to be a dangerous game. We need to keep FRONTLINE as what they're supposed to be— what we do, only legal."

Setting her head back against the wall, Elisabeth watches him think. "Well, I was informed that there was no need for me to cut ties with any of my old Phoenix contacts and what have you since they're all being given pardons." She sighs quietly. "I wonder sometimes if this is what it's going to be like for always. Watching our backs, just waiting to get stabbed in them," she admits. "I don't know if Kershner will deal straight. And every time I want to believe someone's dealing us square …. sure as hell seems like we get screwed."

"That's because it's about time we started playing our own game," states Cardinal, looking back to her with a faint smile, "We can't keep reacting; we need to start acting. We'll let them set the board, but when the time comes to move the pieces, we'll make sure we're ready."

Elisabeth chuckles. "I'm leaving that to you. I'm finding that I make a good soldier, Richard… but I still can't quite wrap my head around the chess game required. It's somewhat humbling, actually. I'm not a stupid woman. It's just not where my talents are."

Cardinal grins - just a little - and he reaches over to tap a finger upon her nose. "Yeah, well, I make a shitty soldier, but I think I'm finally starting to get a hang of the chess game, lover. I can't do it alone, though."

"All right, then," Elisabeth returns on a soft laugh. "Seems to me that makes us a solid team."

"Seems so." Cardinal replies with a cocky grin, hand sliding over the mattress as he leans in, "So, since we're all alone in here, what with my room-mate out…"

And that, of course, is the signal for Claire to start knocking at the door.

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