Sides Of The Bed And Anniversaries


cardinal3_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title Sides of the Bed and Anniversaries
Synopsis Oh. My. God. We turned into a couple when we weren't looking!
Date Apr 23, 2010

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Upper West Side

One advantage of Richard's physical state right now is not feeling the frigid cold that has enveloped Manhattan. It's starting to feel like Antarctica to Liz — she's always cold in spite of the lined gear that she's wearing outside these days during work hours. She's putting in as many hours out in the cold as are allowable… and a few more besides as she checks on people regularly in her off hours. Instead of attempting the trek to the library on the tracherous ice, Elisabeth carefully and very slowly made her way someplace else today.

St. Paul's is a large and relatively imposing edifice in the Upper West Side. It also has the distinction of having survived the Midtown blast (just barely out of the zone) and it has become the home church of Elisabeth's father. Sitting in a pew at the back of the cold sanctuary, Elisabeth is still dressed in her winter gear, her coat still zipped and even her gloves still on. It's difficult to heat the area in this kind of cold. In her lap she holds a small book that is was easily put inside her coat for protection from the elements. And she waits quietly, blue eyes on the crucifix at the altar, for a man who has not regularly graced the doors of a Catholic church any more than Liz has as an adult. It's perhaps an odd choice for a meeting place, but it was where she asked him to go.

"In nomine patri, et fili, et spiritu sancti…"

A hollow whisper that stirs in the cathedral, carried well by the acoustics as a shadow crawls up beside her in the pew, darkness spilling over the wood in a manner that suggests a man knelt in prayer. "Liz. Found religion today…? Or did someone die?" Die… A tired, resigned whispering of Cardinal's voice.

"Neither," Elisabeth murmurs in reply. Her smile is faint. "I brought you something. And since this is where I put your headstone and you asked to see it, I thought maybe it was time to kill two birds with one stone. Normally I'd have met you outside, but well… seems like the weather isn't going to cooperate." She looks over toward the shadow and sets the book in her lap onto the pew next to her, opening it to a page that has a slip of paper marking the spot. "Richard, meet my mother. Her name was Carina." The two photographs are nothing formal, just a couple of snapshots taken at random events that Carina and Jared attended. One of them holds Liz and her mother, the other just Carina herself.


The shadow drifts over the pew's wood, curling about to where he can see the book. "Oh…" A breath of sound, a whisper in the shadows, "…Carina? Pretty name." Silence, a moment, "I wish I could show you mine. I never met them." Never met them…

"I know you didn't." He told her ages ago that he grew up in foster care. Elisabeth hesitates and says softly, "That's why I buried you with mine. Because no matter what else happens, Richard… so far as I'm concerned, you belong to it." She smiles a little. "You and I don't tend along terribly traditional lines, but… " There's a shrug. As she looks toward the front of the church, Elisabeth chuckles quietly.

"At my First Communion, I ripped that little veil right before we went up. It wasn't at this church — my folks went to one that was destroyed. I remember how proud all the little girls felt about being dressed up in those ridiculous veils. And how stupid all the boys felt in their ties and their shoes too tight cuz they were new and stuff. Is that what it was like for you too?"

"It wasn't… quite the same," admits Cardinal, "I grew up with it all, it was expected… we had to wear nice clothes all the time anyway, so it wasn't much of a change. I always hated it, though, standing up there in front of everyone…" Exposed…

Elisabeth nods emphatically. "That was the worst," she agrees easily. "I almost didn't get confirmed. My mother was horrified, and my grandmama chattered in Italian for like three days when I balked." She pauses and admits, "That's one of the last memories I have, I think, before the blank spot. Arguing with my parents about it and finally agreeing to be confirmed because they were going to not allow me to attend prom otherwise. I don't recall whether that was junior or senior prom, I just remember that it was important so… we all got what we wanted." She smiles faintly. "My mother was pretty dramatic. It made her good in the courtroom, my dad says."

"I didn't have any choice in the matter," Cardinal's whispering voice stirs with wry humor, "The nuns would've fucking killed us if we even thought about backing out of the sacraments… hmf. /I/ never got a prom." The shadow's edges creep up over her knee, "What sort of law did she practice?"

"Well, now… that, my love, we'll have to fix," Elisabeth replies with a smile. Someday when he's solid — because she is holding desperately to the hope that it will happen — she will get him to dance with her. It's something they've never really done. "When I was small she was in contract law. Corporate stuff. I never really paid a lot of attention," Elisabeth admits. "By the time I was in high school, they were both practicing real estate law. I'm not sure why she changed over - or maybe it was just a sideways step because it let her keep her own hours instead of working for a big firm."

"More time at home, I'd guess," muses Cardinal, "It let them spend more time with you, at the very least… your father still practicses, or is he retired? I've forgotten, if I ever knew…" Knew…

"He still practices. Not as many hours nowadays, but he doesn't see the point in retiring to sit at home all day or play golf." Elisabeth smiles. "Though I think maybe his girlfriend would like to see him retire and travel some."

There's a pause and Liz admits, "I think he's studying case law again. I found a bunch of law books out the last time I was home. He's….. I think he's planning something. Related to Evo law."

"I can recommend some nice places in Argentina," Cardinal murmurs, then stirs, "…planning something? He needs to be careful… especially with his connection to you, Liz."

"I think his connection to me is exactly why he's studying laws and how it may relate to Evos," Elisabeth replies. "He's offered his services to any of my 'friends' who might need a lawyer. He's brushing up on criminal case law as it relates to terrorism and international stuff that I don't follow." She looks at him, her hand sliding over the shadow on her knee. "After I told him everything, he got sort of…. closed-mouth about what he's up to, honestly."

"You didn't tell him about Apollo, too, did you?" Shadow tendrils play over her fingers, drifting without contact along them, "I only met him the once, but he seemed like an alright guy. Didn't threaten me with death for dating his baby girl or anything…" Death…

"I did," Elisabeth says quietly. "In general terms, at least. Not the specifics. Just that a terrorist group had gotten hold of a nuke and a bunch of us were recruited to help track them down because of our experience and abilities. He knows I got a pardon for Phoenix activities for going. And he knows that the reason he got HomeSec bodyguards stationed at the house is because of that situation." She smiles faintly and looks back up to the upper part of the shadow. "He didn't threaten you because it's not his style. I'm an adult with a sex life. He doesn't want to know too much. The fact that I brought you home — and you're the only man I've ever brought home — told him enough. It's why he let me bury you here."

"I need to thank him for that," admits Cardinal, a drifting whisper, "It does… mean a lot to me. I know how much it means. Of course" A bit wry, "he doesn't know everything I've done." Everything I've done…

"Fft," Elisabeth says softly. "Personally, Richard, I think being a thief is in general one of the least offensive criminal passtimes that you could have been partaking of. And since I can't exactly cast stones given that I'm technically a murderer — I've killed on foreign soil as well as unsanctioned kills on American soil including some members of Humanis First that I actually killed by sniper fire." She pauses. "Why you persist in thinking I'm somehow better than you, I don't know."

"I'm definately a murderer," replies Cardinal quietly, silent for a moment, "I killed someone in cold blood on the way out of jail… numerous kills in self defense over the past year or two… and I've been party to some horrible shit as well. You do what you do because you think it's right. I do what I think is necessary. There's a difference, lover…"

"Not anymore," Elisabeth whispers softly. "I didn't kill Dreyfus's kid because it was the right thing to do. I killed him because it was necessary — Teo's life was worth more than his." Her tone is soft. Pragmatic. "I didn't kill Humanis First bastards because it was the right thing. I killed them because they were there. Because they had an ideology that I didn't agree with and dared to back Danko. And I still couldn't kill Doug." She looks away from him. "I froze. I was… afraid of him. Still."

"He's dead now…" A spill of shadows over your shoulders, "…you've never killed in cold blood, Liz. And you didn't then. I'm glad of it." Glad of it…

"That's not true. Acting as a sniper to take out people is about as cold as it gets, lover." Elisabeth smiles slightly, her hands slipping up to the dark shadow draped around the black material on her shoulders. Almost as if giving herself a hug, her arms are crossed as she touches his intangible form. "Do you realize that it's been a year? If you don't count our first… encounter…" she says with a laugh, "we've been sort of together almost a year."

"Damn." A thoughtful note to Cardinal's whispering voice, "Do you remember what day that… rooftop was? Or our first actual date? WE should figure out where our anniversary is…"

"Mid-March," Elisabeth says quietly. "The rooftop was in mid-March. I remember that because it was right after we got Abby off Staten and right before Baxter got burned protecting me from Isabelle. Have we actually had an actual first date?" she laughs.

"We could count that," Cardinal notes, amused, "We were in that restaurant beforehand, after all…"

"Well, that is true. And you even dressed up for me," Liz admits, her grin both amused and affectionate. "And you even talked dirty to me on the street, which was a total turn-on." They're both going to Hell, talking about this in a church.

"So," Cardinal states, firmly, "Mid-march it is." March…

"Holy crap, Richard," Elisabeth murmurs on a chuckle. "We're turning into a couple. You have a side of the bed and now we have an anniversary and shit! What the fuck??"

"Oh, shut up." A flutter of shadow over her arm, "I'll probably come to my senses soon and go find some Tijuana whore to have a six month relationship with."

"Well, you better tell me if I need to uhm…. you know, be monogamous. I don't want to break any unspoken expectations here on the matter," Elisabeth retorts with a laugh. She'd smack him if she could. "Have you ever had a six-month relationship before? Much less one that's gone on for a year?" There's sincere curiosity in her tone.

"I don't think we're that bad yet… besides, I wouldn't deprive poor Ivanov, his life sucks as much as it possibly can…" Cardinal murmurs thoughtfully, "I don't think so, actually." Actually…

It doesn't shock Elisabeth that he'd know that Ivanov is the only person she's been keeping company of that nature with — she's not so cavalier about relationships anymore, though. Not like she used to be. Whether that's a byproduct of just being so damn busy and tied up in this life or a side effect of realizing there's someone out there that she does care enough about to consider long term with is anyone's guess at the moment. "My dad told me I was engaged once," she reveals to him candidly. "In college, apparently." In the years that she can't remember. "He said it ended pretty nastily — I expected monogamy and he didn't give it." Then she grins. "Maybe that's when I decided it was for the birds."

It isn't that he's been spying on her… he's just made the assumption, knowing what he knows about her, and knowing she's talked about Felix a few times. A shadowy laugh at that, and he murmurs, "You never told me that one. I suppose that explains why you ended up with me, hmm…? Not like I've been completely faithful…"

"Well, my best guess is that I wouldn't consider it a good random topic of conversation, considering the circumstances," Elisabeth replies easily. "But also, I didn't remember. Dad mentioned it when he commented that you were the only person I'd brought home since college." There's a faint shrug. "I ended up with you because we just seem to work. We can talk. Maybe not about the silly 'what's your favorite color' crap that people learn about over time, but all the important things. I don't expect to be the center of your world, I don't expect to make my life revolve entirely around you. We just…. coexist easily." She smiles at him, stroking her shoulder once more as if touching him. The illusion of that comforts her. "I like who you are, even when we don't agree or get peeved at one another."

"We're getting dangerously mushy here," Cardinal whispers, even as his shadowy substance dances over her fingers, "So… what's your favorite color?" Blue? No yell…

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