Second Thoughts


cardinal_icon.gif peyton2_icon.gif

Scene Title Second Thoughts
Synopsis Cardinal asks Peyton to check on Kaylee's location with no success, and the two have second thoughts on the whole future-murdering business of theirs while discussing their plans for the 8th.
Date October 30, 2010

Redbird Security

Richard Cardinal's standing out in the lobby today rather than nestled away in his office, that dark suit that he wears to work worn today - although it's rumpled from being worn overlong. The fedora's somewhere else, too, probably in the office or up in his apartment. He's looking at the painting hanging on the wall, the print of the Brill painting entitled 'Hope' that shows a view of Midtown overgrown with vines and leaves.

The door to the lobby opens and Peyton steps in — her signature chestnut locks have been cropped to a length just grazing her shoulders. She tilts her head at the painting and hands Cardinal one of the two cups of coffee she carries.

"You called?" she says lightly, bringing her own Starbucks cup to her mouth to sip, savoring the cinnamon dolce latte's spice and heat. "It's my day off, I'll have you know." The latter is said jokingly — obviously, they never really get days off, being owners of their enterprise, and she also knows it's not likely business business, but "chess business" as she usually calls Endgame activities.

"Hey." A quiet greeting from Cardinal as he regards the painting, then looks over to her with a faint smile to reach for the coffee offered to him, "Thanks…" He brings it up to his lips, taking a careful sip thereof and savouring the hot dark coffee on his tongue. She knows how he likes it.

He lowers it again, asking simply, "Can you tell me if Kaylee's in this timeline right now? Her sister's lost her somewhere, and we're not sure if it's just Hiro or if she… got picked up."

"Oh. Sure. I could have done that without coming over you know," she points out. Her eyes slide to the side, slightly downcast so that the lashes help to hide the strange shift in her eyes. But the shift doesn't come, since she fails to make contact, and she gives a shake of her head, frowning and glancing up at him.

"No." She shakes her head again. "It's like I get with Francois." There's a frown at that — she's starting to get worried about him, though she was gone two weeks, much longer than she or Cardinal had expected. "I really wish Hiro would tell people where he's taking and how long, you know?"

"Yeah. I'd like to get some answers from Hiro himself…" Cardinal's gaze drops down to the lid of his cofffee, "…thanks. And yeah, but… I don't know, just didn't seem right just calling you and asking you to do it, y'know?"

Finally tearing his attention away from the painting, he turns fully towards her then and offers a faint smile, "Anyway, uh. How's everything been with you?"

Peyton smiles and nods. "Thanks. But it's okay, you know, if you need to call and ask. But I guess it's safer this way, not to talk about it on cell phones, right?" She sips her coffee and brings her eyes to the painting, then back to his. "I'll keep an eye out for Hiro, too, but I never seem to catch people that way. I haven't caught those people yet, the ones trying to screw everything up. It's like … it's like trying to catch a particular scene in a movie that's on loop on HBO or something, you know? Or maybe not, because you know you'll eventually get it if you sit and watch for two hours. They're not as reliable."

That helps to answer how she's doing — obviously her mind is still set in part on revenge for the things she endured in her own time travels. But she also has that new haircut, so it's obvious she's not sitting around doing nothing but spying on people. "I'm fine," Peyton shrugs. "You?"

"I don't know if there's anybody left to listen in on our cell phones anymore," admits Cardinal, his head shaking slowly, "I suppose there's Wireless, but she's not exactly— an enemy or anything, you know?" A sip of coffee spills past his lips, and then he gestures with it a bit, "New haircut. Looks good on you…"

A pause. "I'm… I'm alright. Just got a lot on my mind lately."

A hand goes up to her hair, and Peyton smiles. "Thanks. Just trying to … update my image, I guess." She's a new person, really. Might as well look it. Her eyes take in his face and eyes and she nods slowly. "Lots to do to prepare for the 8th. Let me know if I can help with anything — I mean, I know you know to ask, but… I also think you might not ask, because you're trying to protect me from things, right?" She smiles as if at an innocent child — why try to protect her, when her fate is sealed? She's stopped talking about it of course — it bothers Wes and Cardinal when she does, but that doesn't mean she doesn't feel she's still doomed. So why shouldn't she do anything she can to help others in her last days?

"You don't have to protect me, though. I signed on willingly to do this, you know?" She reaches to touch his shoulder, squeezing lightly. "Let me know."

"At this point, all we can do is wait…" Cardinal's lips purse in a brief grimace, "…maybe you could help locate Elle, since she got her dumb ass kidnapped by Mortimer's thugs, but I can't think of anything else. We're getting the jammers set up and in place to block as much of the broadcast as we can, spreading the word about what's going to happen… we can't stop it entirely, but we can help ease the damage."

There is a shake of her head, her cropped hair swinging about her face with a lightness they didn't have before. "I can't. I never met her, at least not that I know of," Peyton says, with a shrug. "Somehow I was never in the office when she came through, I guess. Sorry, boss."

"No worries," Cardinal shakes his head a little, "Maybe she'll learn her lesson… I think we can get the location from Lola anyway." He seems almost careless about things, the edge of his drive blunted somehow. His gaze drifts back up to that picture, and he frowns at it, as if everything was its fault.

Her eyes flit from his face to the picture, and she arches a brow. "Is there something relevant in that that I'm missing, Card?" she says softly, moving closer to stand beside him and study the print, then looking back up at him. "What's wrong? I mean… besides impending doom and all that — since that's nothing new?"

"I'm just…" Cardinal trails off, his head shaking in frustration then, "…just got a lot on my mind is all. What to do next, and all, you know? What we even should do next…" Gaze drops to the coffee cup, frowning at it.

"You'll think of something," Peyton says softly but earnestly, her eyes soft with admiration for him. "You always do." She has confidence in him that he seems to lack. She reaches to his shoulder to squeeze it again. "We'll screw up Carmichael's plans. And then, for you, it will be on to the next thing, and you'll figure that out, too, and the one after that. You just never get to have a vacation." The last bit is a joke.

"Thanks." Cardinal slants a look to her, his free hand raising up to cover hers in a brief squeeze, "How far do we go, though? Do we just keep… going forward… screwing up one plan after another? When do we decide— alright, we can deal with this."

Peyton doesn't see herself in the future at all, and it's hard to answer without giving that away. She shrugs. "As long as we're able to make a difference, I guess. Or as long as it seems worth fighting for. Whichever ends first." Or as long as they're alive. She gives him a weary smile. "The time travel stuff… I don't know if I believe my own words sometimes. I told Wendy we couldn't change the past, that it was wrong for them to try, but… but if we could go back and make sure Carmichael doesn't get a hold on these people, Peter and Claire, or if we could go back and keep the Institute from coming to power… I don't see how anything bad could have happened from those things being stopped."

"No, I mean…" Cardinal's fingers brush down and away from hers, falling to his side as he turns from the painting fully towards her; raising the coffee up in a slight salute, a faint smile that isn't entirely honest forced to his lips. "Nevermind. I'll work it through somehow, I'm just not sure what our next step should be… guess I'm second-guessing myself."

She bites her lip and nods. "You mean… when is the future we see good enough?" she asks, dropping her own hand and studying her coffee. "I don't know. I mean … if we didn't have people that were telling us what happens in the future, would we be okay with the status quo? Maybe it's better not to know." She swallows hard at that. Her choices the past few months have been made based on the vision she saw in June. And then there was Wendy, the last moment she'd ever see her friend, Wendy knowing she was going to die thanks to Arnold and Samuel.

"I don't know," she repeats, shaking her head and frowning at the question. "Sometimes it's better not to know. I… I stopped checking on on Danko. It was going to drive me crazy if I kept at it, you know? If it happens, it happens. Que sera, sera."

"It's not going to happen, though." Cardinal shifts the cup of coffee from one hand to the other, reaching out with java-warmed glove to rest against her cheek reassuringly, watching her face for a moment, "There's no such thing as predestination.. I have to believe that."

Peyton's dark eyes drop at the touch of his hand, and she nods in agreement. "I agree. Nothing's for sure. I'm sure we've changed some of the things that people saw that day. We have to have."

Her eyes study his, flicking left to right. "I just hope we've done enough. What I saw… whatever you saw… hopefully we changed those things." He never told her, but she knows it wasn't good, or he would have. "Where do you want me, on that day? I don't … I want to help, somehow."

Cardinal's hand brushes down the curve of her cheek, falling to his side. "I don't even know what we're going to do," he confesses, "We've… done what we can to stop the riots. I've got no doubts that Liz'll be out on the line. Everyone else— I guess we'll start here, maybe we can use your ability to keep an eye on things, since all the phones'll be out."

"Satellites too? Cell phones?" Peyton knows Wes will want to get her out of town, but she feels her place is here, with Endgame, so she nods her agreement. "Will we have any way to communicate with each other?" Her worry at being cut off is evident, though at least she can look in on people — if they're awake. If they're alive. If they're in her timeline.

"Honestly…?" Cardinal shakes his head slowly, "…probably not, at least until the jammers go off. I'm not sure how long they'll stay on before they burn out." He grimaces, bringing the coffee cup up to his lips, "So… at least for the blackout period, your ability'll be really useful to keep track of everyone."

She nods, though it sounds like a personal nightmare come true — to be checking in on people with no way to get help to them. "All right," she murmurs, voice soft and resigned. "We should figure out back-up rendezvous points and such for everyone if something happens here. I guess we have time this week to nail down the details." She steps closer to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Get some rest. You look like you could use it. And I know you're busy and trying to keep everyone safe, but if you burn out before the 8th from exhaustion, we're all screwed."

At the light brush of lips to his cheek, Cardinal's smile turns a little more genuine. "I'll start working it out," he says quietly, "Hopefully we've… at least made sure it won't be as bad as it was going to be."

"Hopefully," Peyton agrees, smiling in return. She gives a little flutter of her fingers in a wave and heads to the door. "I'll see you Monday. Have a good Halloween. Eat some chocolate, watch some scary movie that would have seen scary a few years ago but now just seems stupid after all we've seen, right?" She smirks as she opens the door and heads outside into the chilly autumn air.

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