So Just Who Are You?


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Scene Title So Just Who Are You?
Synopsis Norton and Liz have a conversation about the omissions of the past years.
Date December 5, 2008

Elisabeth's Apartment

Norton has taken the day after the meeting off. He drops by early with some groceries, and made breakfast from scratch. A nice casserole of potatoes, eggs, onions, bacon, and peppers.

The company at breakfast was unexpected — Elisabeth answered the door in pajama pants and a tanktop (which bared some of the bruising and scrapes from the explosion that Norton didn't previously see to his view — Abby's healing makes them look far better than they did a couple of days ago) and a head of tousled hair. A blush later, she let him in the door, excused herself for a shower, and shortly rejoined him in the kitchen to make coffee and talk while he tossed together the casserole. By the time they sit down together, she has been slanting him looks from beneath her lashes for a good twenty minutes.

Trask looks back, raising a eyebrow, "Is something wrong? I'm sorry…should I have not come?

Elisabeth shakes her head and says, "No, nothing's wrong." Then she grins. "I'm kind of … waiting. For the other shoe to drop. It seems like every time we've talked this week, you've had something new to add to the list of things I don't know about you. So I'm waiting for the new one you're about to tell me."

Trask shakes his head, "I don't think there is anything else. Though maybe I am forgetting something…

"So…. we've covered it all? That you're a gun-toting vigilante cop who liberates experimented-upon Evolved from government labs, passes information to other vigilantes, and … doesn't tell his best friend about all of this for two years? And only tells her then when she starts to get close to going out on her own anyway?" Elisabeth's tone is soft but her eyes on him are watchful. She doesn't seem angry, but there's a sense that she's unsure of him and perhaps his motives.

Trask says, "Who impersonates his dead brother, giving him the bad name of terrorist? Who hasn't been honest with any person in his life since the bomb? Who lets his feelings cloud his judgement?"

Elisabeth nods slowly, pursing her lips. "I see," she says quietly. Though her next words make it clear that maybe she doesn't. She's had all night to figure out scenarios in her head — she throws out the worst case scenario to see his reaction. "So… did you ask me out on the date or tell me you loved me because I was getting too close and you needed to see where I stood?"

Trask says, "No….I let down my defenses, because I" He sighs, "3 months ago I never would have trusted anyone with my secret, even you. Now….I guess I'm a little scared still. I" He sighs, "I should shut up now."

Elisabeth finally pushes her plate away and scowls faintly. "No, Norton. I think you should *stop* shutting up. Damn it…" She sounds frustrated, and she pushes away from the table to stand up and start to pace her apartment. "I've known you for two years. In the past month and a half, we've danced around each other in ways that make no sense. For TWO YEARS, I've told you everything about myself, my thoughts, my fears, my wishes… you've had access to *all* of me. And now, in the space of barely three days, I've come to grips with the fact that you've been keeping some *really* big secrets. Not your average secrets, but REALLY big ones; secrets that make me think I don't even know who you are, that you've lied to me all along about who you are. So I really think that if you're 'letting your defenses down', maybe you should start to TALK to me. Because I spent all night trying to figure out how much of what you've told me the last two years is true, and how much is stories you've made up to cover your ass."

Trask says, "I've never lied to you….I have ommitted things, but never lied to you. I have been dishonest, your right. I have kept from you the secrets of what I have done that I thought you couldn't accept. I knew that if we were going to continue on the path we were taking, I couldn't keep those secrets from you any longer. I knew that keeping quiet about them, would keep us where we were, but it would be built on a lie. I didn't want this to be built on a lie. I would rather it all fall apart on the truth, then live that way. If you can't accept it accept the real me, then thats fine. I can live with that. Somehow."

Elisabeth studies him while he talks. "So… does it bother you that you only thought I could be trusted when we started dating? And don't pull the accepting the real you card on me — I accepted the real you the day I told you *my* secrets," she says quietly. "It's just hard to realize that you didn't trust me, or our friendship, until pretty recently."

Trask says, "I know…it does bother me. It made me realize how unfair I have been to you. And It made me realize how much I risked losing without knowing it was possible. I am not playing any cards….It isn't a question of accepting the real me or not, its a question of forgiving me for being dishonest with you for as long as we have known each other."

Nodding slowly, Elisabeth says, "Yeah…. I can forgive you. I told you… no matter *what*, Norton. Our friendship means far more to me than … well, almost anything else. I'm not saying you were wrong necessarily to keep those secrets — it's not like they were entirely yours to tell. But it doesn't mean I'm not a bit angry about the sheer magnitude of what you kept quiet either. I don't know if I was just willfully blind to what was going on, or if it's only been in the past few weeks that I've been able to get over my own issues enough to actually start picking up on the clues. So I don't have just you to blame." She moves to sit again, slowly. "You came clean when I told you it was time. As clean as you could, anyway. And I'll be okay with it all. I'm just…. floored. At the size of all this. And at the fact that … the you *I* have known for two years has been … not what I'd call a shooter. Clearly I was wrong about at least that part of you."

Trask says, "A shooter?" He chuckles, "What do you mean?""

Elisabeth tilts her head. "C'mon, Norton. You know what I mean. You're a cop. You know the difference between a shooter and a non-shooter. The kind of cop who'll…. do the job, regret it if it has to happen, but won't hesitate to pull the trigger, and the kind of cop who'll get faced with a suspect with a gun who just happens to be 15 and winds up either letting the guy get away or getting shot because he hesitates that one split second. And because most cops are lucky, they never really have to face that moment." She pauses and admits softly, "I've always hoped you wouldn't have to face that moment… because I wasn't quite sure you'd pull the trigger."

Trask ahhhs softly, "I…" He sighs, "I think I use to be the way you describe, then there was a 13 year old kid with the ability to shoot fire from his finger tips….I got real lucky…he pulled the trigger and it was the sound of an empty hammer….I spent the next few months with homeland finding out what i happened."

Elisabeth nods slowly. "I knew that… it changed you. Being with Homeland. I didn't know you well enough to know how much," she says quietly. "How do you … keep the two separate? How do you keep the face up?"

Trask says, "I….lock that other part away…..the business part…the part that doesn't trust anyone….the part that….the new me….I keep it an arms length."

There's a moment of quiet. "You said that wasn't working so well lately." Liz studies him. "How big a problem is it for you?"

Trask says, "I can deal with it. It's worth dealing with…."

Elisabeth pulls in a deep breath and says, "All right, then. If you can manage, then I can too." She offers a small smile. "I sort of feel like I'm going to have to get to know you all over again, though. The other side of you, I mean."

Trask says, "And if you don't want to know the other side of me?"

Elisabeth raises both her eyebrows. "Norton…. I just voluntarily walked into Phoenix. I have, in my career, shot three perps and killed one. All justifiable discharges of my weapon. And I'm taking a position on SCOUT — which is basically the NYPD's task force do deal with Evolved criminals." Her expression is one of mild curiosity. "Do any of those things change what you think of me?"

Trask says, "No…actually ….yes they make me respect you more…they make me admire how brave you are, and how lucky I am to have you here."

Elisabeth asks tartly, "Then…. why do you think the same qualities will change what I think of YOU?"

Trask says, "Sergei….is very…closed mouthed…He is professional, he is emotionless."

"That's not necessarily a bad thing for you in that particular role, Norton," Liz says mildly. "It's something I had to cultivate as a negotiator as well. If you get emotionally involved and the guy kills the hostages, it destroys you."

Trask nods, "Getting to know him…is not easy….because he doesn't let anyone near.

Elisabeth smiles just a little. "Reminds me a lot of you," she comments softly.

Trask closes his eyes, "I'm sorry"

Elisabeth raises her brows. "Don't be," she tells him. "I knew *that* about you two years ago too. You came to the group, but…. it took a long time for you to say anything to anyone. And after Homeland, you quit. You didn't quit me, but you quit trying to talk through most of what was going on with anyone else. I saw it happen, and … I knew it about you. It doesn't change anything."

Trask says, "So where does this leave us?"

Elisabeth shakes her head. "Same place we've been for the past month, I'd say," she replies with a smile. "Trying to figure out whether we're just friends or more than that."

Trask grins a bit, "And what are we?

Elisabeth shrugs and says with a cheeky grin, "Hell if I know. It's lookin' good so far."

Trask smiles, "what are your plans for the day? " he collects the empty breakfast plates and starts doing the dishes.

Elisabeth shakes her head. "Nothing so far. I have a call in to Will Harvard, but other than that, I'm at loose ends."

December 5th: Undercurrents
December 5th: Just a Little Nip
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