Seeing Through


donovan_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Seeing Through
Synopsis Elisabeth Harrison goes to visit Mayoral candidate Marcus Donovan.
Date October 12, 2009

Upper East Side, Carlyle Hotel

The Carlyle Hotel is one of the most expensive luxury hotels in the New York metropolitan area. Catering its five-star service to the wealthy and well-to-do, the hotel typically sees international ambassadors, visiting politicians, movie and television stars, the famous, the elite and everyone with enough money to emulate them. It's to this sense of opulence in hard times that Elisabeth Harrison finds herself entering, past the revolving doors and into the palatial lobby with its marble floors, granite fountain and crystal chandeliers. She can't count the number of times she's driven past this hotel, but this would be the first time inside its walls.

Despite all of the glitz and ga,our of the hotel, Harrison's intentions for coming here aren't entirely selfish. In fact, the man she's coming here to meet couldn't have a harder time fitting into the ideal of New York high society. By the time she's made her way through the lobby and towards one of the dozen ground-floor private lounges for guests of hotel residents, her badge has come out four times to identify herself to the increased hotel security and private security inside of the building. With tensions as high as they are, it's no small wonder that the man she's come here to meet is a little on edge.

Through the double glass doors and into the warmly furnished lounge, past one final checkpoint of private security, Elisabeth Harrison enters to the sight of a man uncomfortable in his own skin, or at least the skin he's being forced to wear at the moment. Standing by the sidebar opposite of the entrance, his back is to Harrison as she enters. Only when he hears the glass doors click shut does Marcus Donovan turn around. A squat glass of rum rests in one hand, and a crooked smile is spread across his face awkwardly. One hand anxiously sweeps over the top of his bald head as he shrugs his shoulders and starts to clear the distance to Elisabeth. It's kind of like a High School reunion.

Except more awkward.

It actually amuses Elisabeth to have to flash her badge. By the second time, she just wears it openly on her belt without bothering to put it away. At the very least, she's dressed for speaking to a potential mayoral candidate — no jeans today. A sleek black pantsuit with a deep cranberry red blouse is her weapon of choice in the fashion department. Her blonde hair is caught up in a twist, too. She's made an effort to hide the exhaustion lines behind a subtle blending of make-up, though if he's keeping up with what's going on down at the Municipal Building the man already knows where she's spent most of this week. "Mr. Donovan," she greets him quietly, holding out her hand. "I'm Detective Elisabeth Harrison. I appreciate your taking the time to see me. I just have a few questions as a follow-up to the attack in the Dorchester Towers."

There's a laugh as Donovan makes his way over and takes her hand. "I remember you, Harrison. There weren't that many pretty female officers in your precinct, you know?" Thin brows furrow together as he shakes her hand and raises his glass up and takes a sip, looking back to the glass doors behind her and then nods towards the pairof sofas arranged around a low coffee table. "Been a while since I've seen you, but you know what they say about living in New York City, right?"

Turning towards the couches, Marcus' path is a slow one, thoughtful as he comes to stand behind one of the antique pieces of furniture, hand resting on the sculpted wood back. "You know, I already gave a statement back when the building was swarmed with officers, and I know you probably already read the report and saw that I wasn't even home when it happened…" that smirk of his grows a little larger as he looks over his shoulder to Liz.

"So, Offi— " his eyes settle on the badge, one brow raised, "Detective Harrison— " There's an apologetic laugh as his head shakes, "I figure if you wanted to come down here and talk to me that bad, it's gotta' be about something good, right? Most everyone who comes here to butter up my backside's a bit more up front about it. So…" he takes another sip of his rum, ice clinking in his glass, "what's on your mind?"

She takes the compliment gracefully, simply grinning at the man who offers it. "Thank you, sir, I'm sure I'm flattered." Elisabeth looks around at the opulent hotel room and smirks faintly. "Bet you never thought when you put on your first pair of blues that you'd be standing here," she comments mildly as she walks toward the couches. "And yes, sir, I read the report." Those blue eyes turn back to him with an amused smile.

"In point of fact, I actually am following up on the case — as you know it's part of the job to reassure people that such things aren't being overlooked. Especially in light of the fact that it was caused by an anti-Evolved terrorist, and of course…. if you know anything about the building itself, you know that there are a number of Registered Evolved individuals living in the place." She shrugs slightly. "Frankly, I have no interest in buttering you up. The opportunity to meet you in this context seemed…. well, too good to pass up." She shoves her hands into the pockets of her slacks, rocking on her heels instead of sitting down. "Has someone given you the low-down on the suspect and his group?"

There's a faint smile from Donovan as he regards his glass of rum, head cocked to one side. "I heard the reports about this Danko character. I'm not entirely comfortable knowing that ex-military is behind all of this, and even if it wasn't in the report, it's making me think that he was behind the attack on the Met too." Donovan's ice blue eyes track over to Liz, one brow raised. "I know the drill though, Harrison. I know everyone's going to try and tell me everything's going to be okay, but every time I hear that from someone, all I ever see is the anxiety in their eyes. They say the words, you know? But they don't— " he lets out a bitter laugh, "they can't sell it."

Standing his ground at the back of the sofa, Donovan takes another thoughtful swig of his drink and rolls the glass around in one hand. "Every time I take a look out my window at this city, another building is missing, or another bridge is destroyed, or there's a swarm of blue lights down the street from a shooting, or a mugging, or…" his eyes close, words trailing off. "It's hard to be reassured when it seems like everything is falling apart around you, y'know?" There's a wistful smile when Donovan's eyes open, blue focused firmly on Elisabeth.

"I know how hard it makes it for people like you. Which, I guess is why I'm doing what I'm doing…" he shrugs, trying to play off his concern as something less. "Somebody's gotta stand up and try to make a difference, make hard choices that nobody else wants to make."

As she listens to him, Elisabeth doesn't fidget much. "Actually, Mr. Donovan, I wasn't going to even attempt to reassure you that it's going to be all right. I wish I could, but it would do us both a disservice considering your experiences in this city." She tilts her head slightly. "I actually did come by with a couple of follow-up questions that the uniforms didn't put in their reports, sir — one of them being how often are you actually in your apartment lately? Is it worth my time to lay out a spread for you to see if anyone jumps out at you as perhaps having been casing the building?" She smiles faintly. "I'd like to think your instincts are not atrophied from having to schmooze with the high muckity-mucks and that you'd have thought to mention it if anyone jumped out at you, but as you know, it's sometimes better to ask that question after people've had time to think."

She pauses then and meets his gaze frankly. "People like me…. female? Evo? I've got it no worse than a gay cop. Although I think I have it slightly better than a gay EVO cop." She shrugs a little bit. "Then again… maybe not." After all, she and Felix would have to compare notes on that idea and it's just bad form. "Since you've brought it up…. do you mind if I ask you whether you really think you've got a shot at this, sir?" She smiles faintly. "Cuz I think you've got my vote. I've seen to much on the streets lately to be swayed into the other two camps….. you're the wild card, in my book. Not entirely sure you know what you're getting into, and considering goddamn Norman White's actions…. well…. Not sure how kindly the voting public will look at you in spite of your record." She pauses and studies him. "It'd be real nice to have a candidate worth the vote."

"Evolved, women…" Donovan furrows his brows, "lesbian?" Leveling his bright eyes towards Elisabeth with a crooked smile, Marcus adds, "You know I never pegged you for that, Harrison. You must've broken a thousand men's hearts with that announcement." Then, after cracking a teasing smile and shaking his head, Donovan takes the topic in a more serious tone. "It's hard for people who have felt how wrong this city's gotten. You and yours have seen this enough times, felt it. Anyone who's experienced how hard this city can be to live in, that's who I'm running for, really." He smiles away the notion, giving a shake of his head. "But no, I barely have time to sleep these days. I've been holding so many press conferences and late meetings." There's a tired shake of his head, "that and for the last few months I haven't really been seeing things like ordinary people do." There's a tap to the side of his head with one finger.

"You get me a chart of the guy's bone structure and I might be able to pick him out as a familiar skeleton, but— this ability of mine's hard to get a handle on, and I've been noticing it's on more often than it's off lately." He cracks a faint, sorry, smile, and finishes the last of his rum.

"I'm glad you think I'm worth the vote…" Donovan's voice is hushed at that. "I'm not much of a guy for politics, to be absolutely honest. I'm not like Bianco is, or how Lockheart is. Hell I'm definitely not like Chesterfield. I'm just— I guess I'm just a guy who wants to at least try and set things right again, you know?" Shaking his head slowly, Donovan sighs and taps his glass on the wood frame of the sofa's back.

"Sometimes I wonder if I'd be better off getting back behind the shield, making it safer out there on the streets, you know?" Once more, there's that candid and earnest smile. "Hah, my publicist would probably skin me alive if she heard me say that. God, I really have to stop pretending like everything I say isn't going to get over-analyzed."

Elisabeth laughs out loud. "No…. definitely not lesbian, sir." She is truly amused at him, taking no offense, nor taking him seriously either. She considers and says, "I didn't ask your publicist, sir… I asked you. And take it from me…. working it from behind the shield's no easier now than it was before. You lose far more often than you win, and you hope to God that you can do it cleaner and better than the bad guys," she replies softly. She shrugs a little and eyes him. "Do you mind if I ask your opinion about something, Mr. Donovan? Not that it's my business or anything, and please feel free to tell me to shut my yap and get out of your hair and all." She smiles a bit at him. "I just wondered…. what you actually thought of the fact that we've got Evo and non-Evo terrorists lobbing potshots at one another in the streets…. and … well… whether you've got ideas on how to … head that off. It's gonna be big on the platform, I'm sure, but getting your thoughts from the horse's mouth sure without the political bullshit attached is kind of a bonus."

Managing a good natured laugh until the conversation invariably turns serious again, Donovan sighs heavily and rolls his shoulders. "You know," he wanders away from the back of the couch, back towards that sideboard and the assorted liquor bottles. "I've been thinking a lot about that myself. There's really no good way to do it, you know?" He pauses, mid step, reaching out to set his empty glass down with a soft clunk. "Federal and local law-enforcement should be able to handle the non-evolved terrorists, and now that we have FRONTLINE as our big stick for our tall walking," he smirks at the mash-up of Roosevelt's famous quote, "it seems like it should just be cut and dry you know."

Rubbing the side of his face with one hand, Donovan leans his back against the sideboard and crosses his arms over his chest. "It isn't really ever that simple, you know?" He seems like the issue's something he's struggled with. "Nobody wrote a playbook for how to handle a situation like this, it's something that has to be taken day by day, hour by hour. I think that's why it's such a mess right now. Shame we can't just round both sides of the extremists up and lock them in a ring, let 'em beat the tar out of each other somewhere safe?" There's a dry, bitter laugh.

"I don't think anybody's got that answer, not yet anyway, and if they do?" His brows go up, "I wish they were running."

Keeping her hands in her pants pockets, Elisabeth listens to him intently. "Why are you running, then, if you don't think you really have what it takes to handle the situation?" she asks mildly. Neither her demeanor nor her tone are accusatory, merely pure curiosity. "I like the idea of rounding them both up and letting them beat the shit out of one another…. then just stepping on the last one standing like they're a bug," she admits with a smile.

"It's not that I don't think I have what it takes…" Marcus admits a bit defensively, "it's just— I'm not fooling myself. I don't have all of the answers, nobody does. All I got is a whole lot've years of experience behind a badge and behind a desk, and a pretty strong sense of what's right and what's really wrong. This city? It's pinging the latter for me lately, and I just can't shake it." Smiling a bit awkwardly, his shoulders rise up into another shrug, hands going in to his pockets. "I don't sugar coat things, or I try not to anyway. I'm just a guy who wants to try and make things better, it ain't up for me to decide if I'm the most qualified candidate. That's what all this voting is about, you know?"

Looking down at his feet, Marcus' posture stiffens a little. "But I know that what Bianco's been doing— bending over backwards for the likes of mobsters and lobbyists?" His brows furrow, head shaking from side to side. "It isn't going to fly anymore. I want scumbags like Linderman out of politics and out of my city, not running it from behind the scenes, you know?"

Pursing her lips, Elisabeth nods slightly. "Then I hope for all our sakes you get it…." She smiles a bit. "You've got a good rep in the department. And being Evo doesn't change that for a lot of people, Mr. Donovan." She moves to head back toward the door. "Everyone's going to be watching," she says as she moves, pausing before she gets there to look at the man over her shoulder. "It'd be real nice to see someone who gives a shit win. Best of luck to you, sir." She smiles slightly. "Sorry I couldn't offer better assurance on the state of your apartment."

"I was thinking about moving anyway, I get recognized there more and more lately, and with everything going on — especially after the attack there — I've been thinking about moving." Furrowing his brows, Marcus looks up to Liz and offers her a hesitant smile. "When I went to the site of the Municipal building the other day, talking to the press, I saw you working the rubble out there— doing recoveries." Taking a step forward, Donovan rests a handon Liz's shoulder.

"For all the hardships people like us suffer behind the badge, don't ever think you aren't making a difference out there. Even if you aren't going to change the world, Harrison…" he nods his head, squeezing the shoulder before letting his hand fall away and back down to his side. "You're making the world of a difference to someone who's life you save. I think that— ultimately— is a bigger difference."

There's a brief moment as Elisabeth tenses just a hint, uncertainty crossing her features when he reaches out. It relaxes into a brief smile, pained and weary. "That's about the only thing that makes being behind this badge worthwhile…. and you know it," she tells him with a brief grin. "Thank you, though. It's nice to hear." She pauses and then chuckles. "Well, hell… if you're moving out, there goes my leverage to finally get better security downstairs," she comments wryly. Her eyebrows rise up into a kind of amused thoughtfulness. "Or maybe you moving out actually will be my leverage… that could be entertaining. Eh."

"I'll see if I can put in a good word for you." Marcus notes with a dry laugh, smile spread practically from ear to ear. "You know, I think I was right about that earlier assessment, Harrison." One thin brow goes up, and Donovan's smile turns a bit more teasing. "I think you're probably a hell of a heartbreaker. Playin' for the other side or not." With that joke, and a loud crack of a laugh, Marcus shakes his head and starts to walk towards the door to the lounge.

"Thanks for coming by, Harrison." He admits with a nod of his head, "I think, actually, you helped me figure something out that I'd been needin' clearing up on." As he opens the door, the bald ex-cop quirks his head towards the lobby. "Don't sell yourself short. Maybe one day you'll be doin' the same thing I am right now." There's a wry cast to his smile. "Mayor Harrison," he notes with a teasing tone of voice. "I dunno, you'd get the 18-25 demographic I bet."

Richard would get along with him too well.

Elisabeth rolls her eyes at the man, chuckling. "Oh, good…. Just what I needed to think about — all the horny teenagers lusting after me. It'll be like teaching high school again!" she quips in return as she heads out. "Guess I'm glad I could help… maybe someday you'll tell me what I helped you figure out." She glances back. "And no way in hell, sir — politics sucks and I suck at it. At the risk of getting my ass kicked, I'll tell you this much though." Those blue eyes on him are amused but somber. "Think long and hard about where you stand on the things that are important on this ballot. Pick a stance, and for God's sake, stick to it. Don't pussyfoot around, and don't fuckin' lie — and don't let Linderman spin it on you. Make sure you have someone competent helping you write those speeches." She smiles at him. "If anything comes to mind about the attack on Ms. Strauss, I'm sure you'll find a way to get to me. Good night, Mr. Donovan. It's been a pleasure." She has a thoughtful expression as she heads out of the lounge.

Donovan's expression is equally thoughtful as his head tilts to the side, one brow raising. "I'll keep that in mind, Harrison… you have a good night too." As he offers those words as she's headed out the door, his arms cross over his chest again and brow raises just a little higher. Sometimes, telling people you can see their skeletons through their skin is a good way of being straightforward and honest. It's also a great cover for a slightly more subtle lie.

That you can stare through clothing just as easily.

Yeah, he and Richard would get along just fine.

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