Self-Imposed Deep End


elisabeth_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Self-Imposed Deep End
Synopsis Paperwork. Of which procrastination on leads to conversation, and a question of trust.
Date February 6, 2011

Redbird Security: Employee Lounge

Elisabeth has managed, once more, to get away from the base. Sure, she's on the phone constantly with her techs. Shit is hitting the fan in the city, it seems like. But she's got some small amount of information to share with the man running Redbird and would like to get an update on their people caught in the dome. So she comes in person.

Being as it's Sunday, she's not entirely sure she's going to find anyone at the security office, and …. well, she's not sure that's a problem. It lets her leave a handwritten note on Richard's desk and it's dead silent in here. She's fully and completely alone in a way that she never gets in the base and even in her own apartment right now. Sitting in the chair behind Cardinal's desk, the blonde leans her head back and closes her eyes, expanding her senses into the building's silence… a silence that isn't really silent at all. There's the creak of floorboards, the rattle of pipes, the skitter of creatures in the walls. They are sounds that she used to take for granted, but no longer.

Ziadie's been restless, and it's restlessness that's got him to bring back one of the several stacks of paperwork to Redbird, where he now sits in the breakroom, having exchanged the set of paperwork he'd already done for more. It ends up there's a hell of a lot of extra paperwork when one insists on filling it out by hand as opposed to electronically. Fingers drum against the wall, the older man having gotten up to pace and think and possibly try to remember whatever it is he's forgotten.

The sound of the drumming attracts the audiokinetic's attention first. The followed by the sounds of his heart and even his joints creaking. As she listens, a faint smile touches Elisabeth's mouth. She can tell from the way the person moves that they are older. Conrad taught her what to listen for when she first went to him to learn her power. Conrad….. the thought of the man makes the blonde's smile turn wistful, even sad.

Knowing now who is in the break room, she debates whether to get up and go speak to him. They seem relatively unaware of one another and Elisabeth could keep it that way. But it's not in her to ignore one of their people. She pushes slowly out of Cardinal's chair, picking up her brown leather jacket, and heads for the break room. Upon reaching the door, she leans on the jamb with the jacket slung over one shoulder, and asks, "Everything all right?"

The older man takes a moment to notice Liz, giving her a nod of greeting and a smile, biting his lip as he moves so that his left arm is held against his side. He's gotten past needing the sling for it. "Elisabeth." He shrugs. "Paperwork." It's not a complete answer, really.

Remaining somewhat casually in that pose, the blonde tips her head so that it too rests against the door jamb. "So … evasion is all right, it's only the outright lies that cause your head to hurt?" she asks with a smile. "Anything I can do to help? That doesn't involve me touching Redbird paperwork, that is," she amends. "Unfortunately, it's a conflict of interest with my day job for me to touch any of the paperwork."

Ziadie chuckles. "I figured it would be," he said. "Just trying to remember things. Takes me a bit, these days." There's a pause, and a frown that quickly turns into a chuckle as the older man considers the question regarding his ability. "Honest evasion's fine." He leans against a chair. "Sort of. Sometimes I'm half sure I don't know what's fine anymore."

"Well…. you may be better off than most of the population," Elisabeth retorts with a wry smile. "At least you know that you don't know anything." She shoves off the jamb and walks into the room, draping her jacket over the back of one of the chairs and leaning on it with both hands. "Your ability is evolving still?" she asks, honestly curious.

Her comment gets another chuckle out of Ziadie. "No. And yes." There's a pause as Ziadie considers, leaning back against the wall to watch Liz. "When I was a younger man, it didn't give me a headache so quickly. I could lie trough my teeth if I had to. These days…" he shakes his head. "Not so much."

Tilting her head, Elisabeth purses her lips. "I have to admit that I find myself hoping that if mine continues to evolve in the same fashion I'm hoping not to … as an example… have to listen to everyone's heartbeat all the time." She smiles a bit. "I think that might give me a headache."

Ziadie nods. "Mainly," he says, pausing, and perhaps trying hard not to sigh, "I spent the last half of my life trying not to deal with things." It's a hard thing for him to admit in so many words, perhaps. "And avoiding people, more than not." There's a bit of a shrug. "Not that that's any way to live life, really."

"Not really," Elisabeth agrees quietly. She walks across the break room to the refrigerator and retrieves a cola from it. "Can I get you a drink?" she offers as she gets her own. Only after receiving an answer does she close the door and turn back around. "You're not fooling around much — going from avoiding people to the deep end of the ocean with Redbird," she observes. "What made you decide that coming here was worth coming out of your self-imposed state of …. numb?"

A moment of pause, and a shrug. "I don't quite know, really." Ziadie opens his soda, a bit clumsily but managing not to spill it or anything. "There's a certain amount of miserable either way, at least this way isn't boring. I was getting bored." He chuckles a bit.

Well… boredom wasn't what she'd been expecting to hear. Elisabeth smiles faintly, popping her own soda open. She sips from it and remains standing. Her blue eyes on him are assessing. And she says softly, "I would like to ask something of you." Her tone is less… casual. There's an edge to it in spite of its gentle phrasing.

Ziadie switches what hand the soda is in. Left hand, despite the injury to his shoulder. Easier that way, and he seems a great deal more coordinated when he's not trying to do something in reverse of how he usually does. One eyebrow raises. "So, ask." His lips quirk in what might be a smile, with the implication that she doesn't have to ask him to ask him something.

She doesn't know him well. Not well enough to trust. And it's evident in her expression that this request is difficult. "You're coming on board to work for Redbird Security, and Felix …." Elisabeth pauses once more, considering. "Felix trusts you enough to send you here. I've done a lot of looking into your career, Ziadie. You were a good cop." It's the highest form of compliment from one ex-cop to another. Setting the can of soda down on the table, the blonde doesn't pull punches. "Richard Cardinal has a lot of enemies out there. And you have a reputation for not being a man to fuck with. I need you to bring that and your ability to bear working for him…. and I need you to watch his back to the best of your ability." Her jaw tightens and she says quietly, "I need you to make sure the people around him are not fucking with him. Because I can't be here to watch out for him myself…. " Her smile is rueful. "And if I were, we'd probably rub each other the wrong way a lot. Can you do this job I'm asking of you?"

Ziadie purses his lips, and gives Elisabeth a nod. There's a hint of the determination of time in the set of his jaw, something that was in all the old pictures of him but often lacking in more recent days. "Can, and will." He pauses. "I'll watch out for him for you, Liz." The words are surprisingly gentle, and he watches the woman quietly, taking another sip of his soda and running his fingers through the short beard that's grown back in.

Taking in a quick breath, Elisabeth nods slightly. "Thank you." She glances around the break room, her lips quirking into a faint smile. "This company's turning into everything I'd hoped it would," she says softly. Not just a front for Endgame, but a company that — assuming Richard plays his cards right — may in fact actually give him a life. He's showing talent in running it.

As her blue eyes come back to Ziadie, Elisabeth offers with all honesty, "I don't trust many people any more. I'm trusting you with my heart and my best friend." She doesn't threaten him, as she's done in the past. Not even implicitly with that icy cold hardness that her eyes are capable of or by hiding it behind a joke — she is merely offering raw truth. Gathering up her jacket and throwing it around her shoulders, she says softly, "I can't lose too many more people, Ziadie."

The older man takes a step, to reach and set his hand on Liz's shoulder, for a moment. "I know." Ziadie's lost enough people, himself, over the years, though he bites his lower lip. "Neither can I."

Elisabeth nods slightly, her hand coming up to cover the older man's. "You're going to learn a lot of things in the coming weeks. Be careful out there," she says by way of farewell. And then she's gone, the information Cardinal needed left on his desk for him to find later.

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