Someone's Been Sleeping In My Bed


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Someone's Been Sleeping In My Bed
Synopsis Liz gets home and finds Cardinal snoozing — philosophical conversation follows.
Date May 5, 2009

Elisabeth's Apartment

Elisabeth's just getting home from work — a day that's not been as productive as she might have liked, honestly. She got stuck unexpectedly in court most of the afternoon, which always makes her moody mildly annoyed. So she lets herself in, drops her keys on the counter, and pours a glass of wine. She's contemplating what to do for dinner as she drops her holster into the kitchen drawer for now.

It's not long after she walks into the apartment that she'll notice something's wrong. Some minor things moved around. The door to the bedroom open just a bit. The very faint sound of snoring.

As she studies the apartment, it's the sound of snoring really that does it. Tipping her head, she sets the wineglass down and sharpens the sound, then grins faintly. Making her way out of the kitchen and down the hall, Liz pauses in the doorway to the bedroom to peek in. She's rather familiar with the sound of that snore. Debating the matter for just a moment, she heads back to the kitchen to finish her glass of wine before waking him. It's perhaps another half an hour or so before she heads down the hall once more to actually step into the bedroom and call quietly, "Richard?" from the side of the bed. She doesn't want to startle him awake with a hand on him — no telling how he'd respond to that.

The shadow-thief is still dressed, although mercifully he took his shoes off before sprawling on the bed to wait for her to get home - and, apparently, fell asleep, sprawled on his back, one arm tucked behind his head a foot low from the pillows. At the soft call of his name, Cardinal's head jerks up, and he blinks about blearily, "I'm awake Sister Anne, reall— oh." A pause. "Uh. Hi, Liz."

Elisabeth chuckles softly, now moving to slide onto the bed and sit braced on one hand. "Hey there, Sleeping Beauty. Tough day?" she asks easily. It doesn't seem to bother her a bit to find him here like this — she did offer him a place to be whenever he wanted it.

Cardinal gets his elbows beneath him, pushing himself up a bit and flashing over a rueful sort of smile. "Hey. Sorry, guess I misjudged when you were gettin' home, babe. Dragged myself out've…" He trails off to stifle a yawn, fist to his mouth, "…bed, came over here, guess I wasn't finished sleepin' yet."

"No worries," Liz replies with a smile. "You're welcome to the bed whenever you need it. My hours are kinda sketchy and crazed, so … " She tilts her head. "What made you drag out of bed early, though? Something interesting?"

"I…" Cardinal hesitates, then pushes himself up to a more seated posture, drawing a knee up towards his chest and draping an arm over it - giving her a serious look as he says quietly, "You ever wonder what you want out've life, Liz?"

Elisabeth eyes him. "Lately? A hell of a lot," she admits quietly. "With everything coming down the pipe, there are definitely things that I never really thought much about until recently. Why?"

"I don't know." Cardinal grimaces, his head ducking a bit as he shakes it, "I know… way too much, Liz. I can work against all these crazy motherfuckers, but that just stops what they're doing, it doesn't get us any closer to…" A vague, frustrated motion of his hand, that falls then to punch the mattress, nose wrinkling, "Hell. I don't even know what I want. Less fuckin' kids dying. Less people bein' scooped off the street. But the only way I can see through all this bullshit is through a fucking river of blood, any way I look."

She watches him for a long moment and then says quietly, "You can opt out, Richard. Anytime. No one would blame you." Elisabeth presses her lips together and then says, "I've kicked it around. Just telling them 'can't help you anymore' … but if I do that, I also have to walk away from my job, and from my life. Hell… Teo even offered to help me do it. There's an evac plan in place, and I could ask for a new face. The offer was open-ended. But… " She sighs. "Somehow, I don't think I could live with myself if I did. And the river of blood that you see? I have nightmares of the ocean of blood if it's not stopped. Ever since we learned of Volken's plan, really… I've had this recurring nightmare of … an empty world where some faceless person's in charge and those who managed to survive are slaves." She grins a little. "I think I read too much Stephen King as a kid…. but I guess truth is stranger than fiction. Makes me wonder sometimes if that man had a precog gift."

"I might be taking a trip to Maine, soon, I could ask him," Cardinal replies dryly, shifting to slide over and sit on the bed's edge beside her, hands on his knees as he looks down at the floor, "I'm not opting out. I'm in this for the long haul. I just… I know what I'm fighting against, but not for, you know? Fedor— I mean— " He closes his eyes, murmuring, "Sorry. I'm ranting, I just…"

"Semantics." A nudge of his shoulder back to her, and Cardinal slants a sidelong look over - his lips twitching in the faintest of smiles. "I know who I'm fighting for. And why. Question is what, though… I mean, I'm not creating anything. I'm not starting anything. Just breaking down bad designs and not trying to make any of my own."

Elisabeth ohs and laughs at him. "Well, then. Here I thought you needed a pep talk." She leans forward and kisses his cheek lightly. "The *what*? Well… in a way you are fighting for something that you want to see created… you just don't want to admit it cuz it sounds all lofty and stuff. You know… when you say you're fighting to make the world a better place, to create something at least a little similar to the possible future that our friends saw… it sounds kinda… lame, right?" She grins at him.

Cardinal snorts at that, "That's ideals. And, fuck, Liz, from the way I'm hearin' it that future was all a fuckin' sham anyway. Pinehearst." He looks away from her, across the room, "I mean, if we want that we should just help the ambitious son of a bitch instead of fighting him."

Elisabeth shakes her head. "Nah. I said similar." She looks curious. "What do you want to fight for?" She doesn't know him well enough to guess, honestly — sure, she knows he's a good man in all the ways that count. But she doesn't know anything about what he wants… well, outside the obvious. "You said you know who you're fighting for…. but I guess to me, who we fight for is pretty much the answer to what we fight for. And it's clearly not for you, which is fine, but… somewhere in that head of yours where you're turning all this over, there's something that you want out of it. Do you really not know what it is, or are you freaking out because you do know and the 'what you want' part wasn't what you expected to want?"

"I know what it is, I guess, I'm just not sure…" Cardinal gestures vaguely in frustration with his free hand, "…how to get there. I dunno. Fuck. I was a fucking burglar a few months ago, now I'm… a corporate vice president, and I'm apparently working for the CIA, and I'm bringing down international fucking conspiracies."

Elisabeth giggles softly at him. "You're….. what?" When it appears he's serious, she stares at him. "What the fuck are you talking about? The CIA." We'll get back to what it is he wants and the how to get there… maybe.

Cardinal slants a look over, his expression wry, "Yeah. Our Staten operations? That's apparently who gave permission for them. They're feeding us heavy weapons and everything. Government's going to move in on the Island hard, they want us to tame it first."

Elisabeth blinks and stares at him. "Holy… fucking… shit," she breathes. "Uhm…. that's so far away from legal I don't even want to think about it. The CIA isn't supposed to be operating on US soil, I don't think!" She waves her hand. "Never mind… you know what? I don't want to know. Just…. well, I'll listen if you want to talk, but holy shit, Richard…." She smiles a bit, wrapping her head around it. "So…. what is it that you actually want out of it all? You said you know, just don't know how to get from here to there."

"Welcome to the United States," Cardinal replies in rather dry tones, his head shaking slowly, "As if the CIA's ever fucking cared about rules anyway… or this administration, fuck, look at Moab. That wasn't legal either." He brings his hand up, rubbing at his eyes. "I don't know. I don't want kids to be afraid of what they are. I want… us… our people, I guess, to come out of this on top." A pause, and he adds dryly, "A few billion dollars'd be nice too."

Elisabeth laughs softly again. "Well…. I can't tell you it's all gonna happen the way you want it, but I can tell you it'll be a rough road to get there." She smiles at him. "You asked me if I knew what I wanted out of my life… and I do. Don't know if I'll ever get there, and it weirds me out to even think it. I'm not the picket fence type of girl, and I like it that way. But … someone told me a little about the future and I'm finding myself realizing that some of the best things in life aren't always the ones we thought we wanted. So what I want from my life? Is just to be…. happy."

"Now that's idealism," Cardinal notes with a snort, fingers curling to her shoulder before he pushes himself to his feet, flashing her a wry smile, "Well, fuck it, I'll just follow my gut, see where shit ends up. Probably a shallow grave. Anyway, we got some people we gotta meet with tonight."

With a surprised snicker of laughter, Elisabeth says, "Optimism? I wouldn't have defined it that way, but …. okay." Considering how not optimistic she feels lately, the description amuses her. "This ought to be entertaining… Felix Ivanov called me the other night to check up on you," she grins at him. Tonight ought to be entertaining at the least, she figures. "C'mon then… gave you the extra half hour to sleep cuz you looked like you needed it. We should just make it," she says as she too stands from the edge of the bed and heads out of the room.

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