Plenty Of Sorry To Go Around


cardinal3_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title Plenty of Sorry to Go Around
Synopsis Too much frustration, too much failure… means a fight picked unintentionally.
Date May 2, 2010

Elisabeth's Apartment, Dorchester Towers

The weather and the stress of the most recent failed attempt on Dreyfus have left Elisabeth mildly concussed, pissed, and not in a great mood. After meeting Niki… well, Jessica… for breakfast, the blond headed for her apartment. Turning over in her head their conversation, Liz finally broke down and dropped a text to a shadow. I'm at the apartment, if you'd like to drop in. Normally that invitation would be an invite to spend the day in bed — something that is no longer possible, really.

She's not cooking. She's not even playing the piano. She's indulging in the hottest bubble bath that she can stand, her head back against the lip of the garden tub that the apartment sports. It's the one part of this apartment that Elisabeth absolutely adores — everything else is just an apartment, but the fact that this one has a tub big enough to hide from the world in was the deciding factor. It isn't meant as either a tease or a lure. In truth, the froth of bubbles hides everything from his sight (unless he decides to be naughty and slide in with her, of course). And she has a cloth over her eyes as if dealing with a major headache, but even now, months later, she still cannot simply sit in the darkness, which is what her head actually needs. The bathroom is lit by a the nightlight that has lived in the room since she returned from the dead. The fact that it doesn't bother her that he might show up and find her like this speaks to the level of comfort that she has with their relationship.

"Okay, now this is just mean…" Mean… A wry, humor-brushed murmur in the shadows, as those cast by the nightlight spreads further over the wall beside the tub in a tattered shroud of Cardinal's wounded form, "…I always knew you were a sadist, Elisabeth."

"Mmm?" It sounds as if she was actually snoozing in the tub, which might explain a few things. "I'm sorry," she murmurs, pulling the cloth off her eyes. "I meant to be out before you got here." Her smile is a bit lazy, though. "It helps the headache," she admits. "But well…. I wouldn't want you to forget why you're trying to become solid again, I suppose." Elisabeth's tone is a gentle tease.

"You're a monster." The darksome fabric of Cardinal spills down to the edge of the tub, "What'd you want to talk to me about…?" About…?

Elisabeth's chuckle is soft, though her eyes avert from his form a bit in the hopes that he can't read her emotions in her eyes. "Wouldn't want you to give up on me, lover," she whispers, doing her level best to keep the teasing facade.

"Don't know if you saw the news reports… we took in some people, but Dreyfus wasn't one of them," Elisabeth says quietly. "I was hoping perhaps he made contact with Logan or Kozlow made contact with him in the wake of it all. He keeps on kicking our collective asses."

"Never." A quietly whispered promise from Cardinal as he curls to the tub's edge in a tattered spread of shadows, "Shit.. I was hoping you'd get him this time. I had to ask Messiah to stay out of it, apparently they were going to try and rescue you…" Rescue you…

There's a blink and a frown. "At Claire's request?" she asks, assuming it to be the case. "I'm glad you asked them not to. Maybe. Maybe we'd have actually gotten the bastard if they'd been brought in to help. I don't know," she says tiredly. Shifting a bit in the tub, turning her head to look at him, Elisabeth says softly, "I've been sitting here trying to decide if it's worth it to just present myself on Logan's doorstep and sit there until Dreyfus shows up in person."

"Actually, no… it was Rebel that contacted Claire, and she called me…" A whispered sigh from Cardinal, "…no, you know as well as I do, it'd have turned into FRONTLINE against Messiah, and that would've been a fuckin' mess. And— " A pause, "— fuck no. He'll kill you, Liz. No."

Elisabeth hesitates and says quietly, "If he wanted to kill me, Richard… he's had ample opportunity. He obviously wants something else. Hell, he could have done it the other night. The bullets didn't penetrate the armor, but I was out of commission for a bit. There was more than enough time." Maybe that was sheer dumb luck, though, Liz has to concede as she absently rubs her chest beneath the bubbles. The bruise there is a brilliant shade of deep purple. "Think about this from a tactical perspective, not from your personal feelings, love," she tells him quietly. "If you were in his shoes, would you show up?"

Cardinal's voice stirs cold in the shadow, "…if I was in his shoes, the only reason I wouldn't want to kill you was to make you suffer, Liz. I'd tie you down and make you feel every inch of the pain that I was feeling. And that is why I'm not going to let you just hand yourself over to the sonuvabitch…" The bastard…

"Seems to me that if he wanted to do that, he'd have already made his move on my father, don't you think?" Elisabeth asks quietly. It puzzles her that he hasn't made that move in spite of the guards on her parent.

"I don't know, Liz," A quiet whisper of Cardinal's voice, "I'm not going to let you just… hand yourself over to the bastard, though…" No.

Elisabeth sighs heavily and pulls the plug out of the tub with her toes. She moves carefully, the heat having eased the stiffness in her body caused by the fall but not taking away all the pains, and stands up to grab her fluffy terry robe to pull on as she steps out of the tub. "You're thinking like a lover, not a tactician, Richard." If the way she moves and hides the wince as she does so didn't give away that things didn't go as well as she might have implied, the brilliant purple and blue blossom across her chest where the bullet struck her armor most likely does. She ties the robe around her in the confines of the warm bathroom before opening the door to the rest of the apartment, padding toward the kitchen where a pot of tea is waiting. "If you have a better plan, I'm all ears. But the news announcement did draw the man out into a big firefight. We believe that we've crippled his resources, though clearly we didn't get them all. It's possible that it would work."

"I don't see any sort of planning in this, Liz," Cardinal argues; sliding over the wall to follow her, "I just see you planning to hand yourself over to a sadistic madman… how the hell is this going to get you Dreyfus?" Dreyfus…

Liz's tone is calm as she pours tea and opens a bottle of painkillers to take one with the beverage. "You don't want to hear a plan, Richard. As soon as I even mentioned the possibility, you went all outraged lover. Kozlow is in Logan's 'care', such as that is, and he's an associate of Dreyfus. Sending a message via that route that I want to see Dreyfus face-to-face — if it's me he's actually trying to get to — might draw him out into the open. And Jessica is a damn good shot. You're the best area scout I've ever known, and I'll be able to hear whatever warnings you may give about additional shooters in the area if he doesn't come alone."

"I'm still not hearing an acceptable plan… he has his own snipers," observes Cardinal flatly, "This sounds like a last-ditch desperation plan, and even if I find a shooter, I can't — can't do a goddamn thing about them." Can't do anything…

Her jaw clenches. Perhaps because Liz knows he's right. But damn it all to hell. "I don't know what else to do, Richard," she says finally, her voice tight. "I'm sick and fucking tired of being a target, and I'm sick and fucking tired of worrying about my father and my friends being targets, and I am sick and fucking tired of wondering if I'm going to send you a text tomorrow and you're just going to be gone, okay? I need to do something about one of these issues before I go goddamned insane!"

There's silence from the shadowy form, the edges trailing in wisps of darkness peeling away from the edges and then being drawn back inward once more. "Alright," Richard says quietly, "Whatever you want to do, Liz." Do…

Goddamn it. The blond turns around and hurls her tea against the kitchen wall in a fit of fury that she rarely allows to show. Without a word, Elisabeth turns and sinks to sit on the kitchen floor. She doesn't pick a fight with him, she doesn't argue with him. At least, not at the moment. Instead, she simply pulls her knees to her chest and sits there with her head leaned back, her jaw clenched. Entirely ignoring the broken glass and the splattered tea all over her kitchen wall next to the fridge.

If he could, he'd reach out to her, hold her, reassure her. She wouldn't even feel it, though, as ephemeral as the shadowman is - the only way she'd know he was even trying is if she looked, and how much comfort can that be? "I'm sorry." A quiet whisper from Richard, the shadows drifting away across the wall, blending in with those of the apartment as he disappears from view. I'm sorry…

"Don't be sorry," Elisabeth whispers, not even sure at this moment whether he actually slipped away or if he's still listening. "You're right. It's not a plan. It's desperation and half of a fucking death wish. I want it over, Richard. I want it done." Her tone is so tired. "I used to think that if I quit, they won. That if I quit, I dishonored the fight that so many of us have died for. Right now, I wonder if my death will just stop this part of it all for everyone else. And I'm having a hard time seeing what to live for. And I hate that, because it's weak and it's stupid and I am not that person. The Vanguard has killed so damn many people, and still we are no closer to stopping them than we ever were. Or at least that's how it feels. We keep getting our asses handed to us on a silver platter." She reaches up and rubs her forehead.

"I feel like we're spitting in the wind, and I'm keeping it together as best I can, but … I'm failing miserably. I'm failing the group, they're scattered to the corners of the city. Claire's in with Rebel's group, and what's that actually netting any of us right now? Not much. Are we accomplishing anything?" Liz bites her lip. "And you've got bigger problems than any of us and you're still managing to be… the voice of reason. How the hell are you doing it?"

Apparently, the answer is… he's not.

There's no answer to her questions, nothing said to her words. Cardinal's gone.

When the silence drags out and it becomes evident that he never heard anything she said, Elisabeth wraps her arms around her knees and buries her face in them. "I'm sorry too," she whispers on ragged sobs.

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