Sometimes A Woman Just Needs Her Father



with thanks to Len for helping with perspective and dialogue while handling Jared Harrison!

Scene Title Sometimes A Woman Just Needs Her Father
Synopsis A crisis of faith is pending, and Elisabeth goes to the one person who has never, ever let her down.
Date Aug 10, 2009

Jared Harrison's Brownstone, Upper West Side

As she steps out of the room that she grew up in — albeit decorated very differently these days — Elisabeth pads down the stairs in her bare feet toward the living room. The scent of pancakes and sausage mingled with hot coffee tickle her nose. She dressed for work in a pair of navy slacks and a white tank-top that she will later pull a navy blazer over, carrying her shoes and her duffel bag containing the rest of her clothes and her service weapons inside to the living room. House rules: No wearing her weapons in the house. Hell, her father would rather she didn't even bring them, but mostly he was okay about it as long as she took them off while she was here.

"Morning," she offers, shooting him a smile over the counter as she sat on the couch to put on her shoes.

Jared Harrison scrutinized his only child, giving her a smile in return. He was just starting to go grey at the temples now, in his mid-60s, and it gave him a distinguished air. He was a smart man, successful and good-looking without being arrogant, and he had a good relationship with his daughter. His daughter who showed up at his door at 10:30 on a work night with no explanation to stay overnight; his daughter who sat with him through the 11:00 news with her head on his shoulder as she'd done when she was a child. It would be a poor parent indeed who couldn't figure out that there was a problem. "Morning," he greets easily, flipping a pancake and then heading to the fridge to get out orange juice.

Shoes quickly tied, Elisabeth stands and heads into the kitchen. "You didn't have to cook, Dad," she says with a smile as she helps herself to a cup of coffee and refills his while she's pouring.

"I was going to eat regardless. Making for two isn't that much more difficult." Mind you, he doesn't normally make pancakes for himself, his cupboard stocked with instant oatmeal and bran cereal. He sets the glasses down on the table and moves back to scoop up a couple more pancakes onto his plate, bringing the syrup over before finally settling into his seat. "Sleep well?" he asks.

"Not really," Elisabeth admits quietly, bringing the coffee cups to the table and dropping a quick kiss on his head as she takes her seat. "Bad case that's got me sort of freaking out," she adds with a glance at him. It's the truth, if not all of it.

"You're freaking out about a case? I've seen you worried before about a case, but I don't think you've ever freaked out over a case, Liz. It must be something pretty bad." He dribbles some syrup on the pancakes, and nods his thanks for his coffee. He knows it's not the entire story. "If you need to sound something off me, I'm right here. I'm assuming you didn't just need a bed last night." He doesn't push, but offers to listen if she needs to talk.

Goes to show what he knows… The 36 sure as hell freaked her entirely out. Though she picks up her fork, Liz does little more than toy with the breakfast on her plate. "There's two that I'm working on…. an Evolved serial killer who's got some kind of compulsion or possession ability, we think. And a guy who can cause earthquakes on the loose. Precogs are going a bit nuts predicting all kinds of crazy stuff, like part of Manhattan falling into the sea." She glances at him and grimaces. "Honestly, Dad? Some days I don't even know what the hell I'm doing out there anymore."

Jared's gaze on her is thoughtful. His response could almost be predicted, because dads seem to come preprogrammed with certain venaculars, or phrasings that they will say in response to things. "You'll do what you always do, Liz. The one thing I can count on with you is that I know with you out there, at least someone is doing the right thing."

That makes Elisabeth's throat close up — right now, his definition of 'the right thing' is one that she's uncertain of.

He sets his fork down and glances out of the sliding glass door that leads to the back for a moment, before turning back to her. "You were always the one growing up who stood up to bullies and helped those who couldn't help themselves. You didn't always win, but you definitely left an impression. And it's no different now, except the bullies are a hell of a lot stronger and you probably lose more than you win. It's because you play by the rules, and they don't. But it's the way it is and the way it should be." Maybe the world isn't so simple, but he still remembers his little girl coming home with a new scrape or a skinned knee.

Yeah… and there's the rub. Elisabeth grimaces and says quietly, "Those two aren't exactly mutually exclusive…. doing the right thing and playing by the rules." She sets her fork down, having not touched those pancakes except to move them around the plate, and takes a swallow of her coffee as she pushes her chair back to stand right back up. The lines of stress in her expression just got a bit worse. "I should get to work, Daddy. Thanks for breakfast…"

If he hadn't been already certain, the appellation that harkens back to her childhood would have assuredly tipped him off that she's far more upset than she outwardly seems. He stands as she stands, as he always has. Jared reaches and places his hand on her elbow to stop her forward motion, his tone gentle. "Look, if you need to stay another night, or any night.. you're always welcome."

Elisabeth looks up at the man who raised her, who taught her values and decision-making skills and everything there was to know about how life works, and she has to fight back tears. Wrapping her arms around him tightly, Elisabeth says softly, "There's going to come a day where you're not happy with me. I hope to God that in spite of it, you're proud of me."

Resting his head on top of hers, Jared frowns. "Lizzie…" What the hell is she on about? He tightens his arms around her, though, and says quietly, "I will always be proud of you. You've got a good head on your shoulders. Use it."

Turning her face in to breathe in the familiar odors of soap and cologne mixed with the unique scent of her father, Elisabeth nods a little bit. "I will," she promises. Then in a flurry of motion, she stands on her toes to kiss his cheek and whisks herself away to pick up her duffel. "Love you, Dad," she says over her shoulder as she lets herself out.

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