Subtle Differences Bite You In The Butt


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Scene Title Subtle Differences Bite You in the Butt
Synopsis That time when you went to a coffee shop you never heard of so as to avoid familiar places and still run into a familiar face.
Date January 20, 2012

Coffee Shop

Sebastian Autumn is not dressed in a Frontline suit. Or a military uniform. He's not dressed up at all. He's actually sitting rather relaxed and casual at the back wall of a coffee shop with wide open glass walls to give people a good view outside. They're tinted though so it's not as easy to look in as it is out. He's at a table with a half a sandwich resting on a plate, and a wide shallow cup, still half full of espresso. Simple jeans and a t-shirt, with a black leather jacket draped over the back of the chair he's sitting in, and thick black boots on his feet. Not combat boots or hiking boots. These are more like motorcycle boots. Bast is well groomed, hair neatly slicked back, and his facial hair trimmed down neatly to a goatee. At his table he's got a paperback book, resting with a makeshift bookmark made out of a movie theater ticket, and a tablet that's currently being used to browse the news idly. But mostly he's sitting back in his chair, legs crossed at the ankle, and he's people watching.

It's cold outside. The air still has a bite that is unmistakably still "WINTER" in the northeast. As she makes her way into the coffee shop, the blonde pulls a hat off her head to expose a pixie-cut head of hair as she breathes in the scent of coffee. The smile she shoots at the barista at the counter is familiar to him, though the haircut is definitely not. As she unzips her navy blue coat and heads to order a drink, Elisabeth glances briefly around the shop — blue eyes don't appear to be looking for anyone in particular. In fact, if he didn't know better, he'd think she was…. Scoping the place out for egress routes? Not exactly her normal behavior. She doesn't appear to notice him and waits idly for her drink at the counter. When the name "Liz" is called, it perhaps confirms an identity. Or so it seems.

She turns to scan for a table, her eyes going over him without pause… except that he catches her eyes when she does it and hers skip past, hesitate, and then jerk back to him. There's a momentary flash of…. Something. Not… alarm? There's no real reason for that. And she seems as if she's not even sure whether to acknowledge him or not, so settles on a hesitant nod of greeting.

In her own head, she's wondering if she can brazen this out and get out quickly. But she's also aware that her knee-jerk reaction could potentially cause a problem.

Bast is people watching, and he notices the woman that comes in, and is just about to speak up when he sees that no… no, that's not Officer-turned-agent Elisabeth Harrison. He blinks once or twice at just how similar the two women are, but gives his head a slight shake. See he happens to know that Liz is off on leave to have her child, and also is not in possession of pixie cut hair. So he shakes off his surprise and goes back to browsing idly through the news and people watching, finger scrolling through news highlights on his tablet.

But then the name Liz is called, and it's the familiar-looking woman that goes to get the coffee. Bast's eyes narrow slowly, studying her. Did Liz have her baby already and come back? That would be a super short maternity leave. But she's a go-get-em sort so maybe. He lifts a hand in greeting, dropping it when she spots him, though the jerk back to him has him growing more and more confused by the moment. "Hey Liz. You, uhhh, you okay?" He asks, tone curious and maybe a little concerned as he pushes up in his chair, sitting up straighter.

This Curtis is definitely different from the Curtis that Liz knows. This Curtis is relaxed, which just doesn’t happen for the Curtis she knew. He’s also got a hesitant smile on his lips, and smiles aren’t normal for the other Curtis. But most telling of all? This Curtis doesn’t have the same predatory look that his counterpart does. He doesn’t look like he’s always on the hunt, always looking for something to fight or kill. And he doesn’t look haunted by his past like the other Curtis either.

Closer inspection of her features perhaps gives away more than she knows — months in a world where food was always short has definitely taken a toll on her slender form. She's only just starting to put weight back on and her face still seems too slim. The haircut only seems to enhance that. But she can't simply run from him; they clearly know one another. So … brazen it out as much as possible.

Adept enough at the dissembling required in alternate timelines by now, Elisabeth forces a small smile. She makes her way through the tables to where Curtis sits, setting her cup down on his table. "I'm doing well, thank you. You? How's work?" By her own mental calculations, she's hoping that she can play off that this is just a brief respite while her newborn is at home — she doesn't remember when exactly Norton told her the boy was born, but she knows it had to be somewhere around here.

Where as most women have to lose a little weight after pregnancy… Liz looks thinner than she was the last time Sebastian saw her. And Liz is an alert and astute person, she'd notice Bast's eyes studying her, and taking notice especially of cheeks and neck where weight in the face tends to reside. "Are you okay Liz?" He asks, his voice definitely laced with concern this time at the lack of weight. "I heard you had the baby but this is a bit early to be back and running around the city isn't it?"

He sits up fully now, legs uncrossing as he settles his back against the chair back and puts his tablet down, shutting the screen off as well. "I'm fine. Work is… work. Had to go stand guard at a protest the other day. Went peacefully though so nothing big. Only got called in because some of the folks there were powered. But there was no violence or anything. So just stood around sweating in my armor for four hours."

Sebastian leans forwards a little bit, his eyebrows drawn together as he peers at Liz closer. "Are you okay though? You look… thin. Did everything go okay? I had heard it went fine and the baby boy is healthy but you look…" He doesn't say it, instead he looks a little perplexed, like he's not sure what to say without being insulting. "I like the hair though. That's a pretty big change." An amused chuckle and a small smirk there as he settles his hands on the top of the table in front of him, fingers laced together.

Too observant for his own good. Dammit. Liz doesn't want to lie to him, but she doesn't want to really blow it off either. She waves off the concern as much as she can. "I'm fine, I promise. Just tired. You know how it goes… newborn at home and no sleep." Her hand comes up to the back of her neck, feeling her hair. "Oh! Well, …" Shit. "Thanks." But the answer has tension to it. "You definitely know how to make a woman feel good, Curtis," she tries to tease. "Just a few weeks postpartum and I'm looking thin? You've absolutely made my day."

She can tell. The moment that she screws it all up. The single moment in which she destroys her facade. It came down to one word even. A single word that blows it all out of the water. When she calls him Curtis. Instead of Sebastian, or Autumn, or even Bast. Not that this Liz would know to call him any of those things. But the moment she says Curtis she can watch the tension enter the muscles around his eyes as his pupils narrow, studying her that much more intently.

There's no shock or surprise on his face, he's too well trained for that. But she can see it. As his attention grows that much more intense though there's a smile on his lips. It wasn't faked at first, but it is now, forced a bit. "Well it's a valid concern. Most women have to lose weight after giving birth. But you're thinner now than you were before you got pregnant. So you'll have to forgive me for being a little concerned." He picks up his coffee cup, taking a small sip or two from it, cradling the cup in his hands. "How's the hubby? And I never did catch the name of the new kiddo."

SHIT. Shit, shit, shit, shit. Can she still pull this off? Elisabeth isn't sure… and the tension makes her react strongly. A subtle hum. It doesn't come above the level of hearing, but she feels it spring to life right at skin level. The flicker of fear… no, terror… is only visible to him because he's looking so closely. Only someone who knew her well would catch it. "His name is Cameron," she tells him a bit tightly, struggling to quell her reaction. "And his father is dead… why the hell would you even…." She pivots on a heel. "I need to go," she murmurs, perhaps in an attempt to use 'postpartum hormonal emotional explosion' as an excuse for beating feet WAY out of his vicinity.

She has no idea if he'll buy it, though.

Oh, but Liz should know that Curtis is fast. Very fast. And this version of him is even faster. He might not be superhumanly fast. But he is quick indeed. He sees the terror and he knows what happens next. She runs. "Relax, relax. Look I don't kn…" But then she's beating a retreat. He sighs softly and drops some money on the table, additional tip as an apology for the mess. "Sorry for the mess." He calls to the man behind the counter as he snatches his jacket up and pulls it on as he makes for the door. "Left extra tip on the table!" He calls out as well. Sure it makes it public, but it also means that anyone that takes it is going to be pretty obvious.

And then he's out the door, and it won't take him long to catch up, won't take him long at all. But he doesn't over run her, instead he approaches from the side, within her range of view, and not at a combat sort of pace. He doesn't outrun her. He doesn't even try to take her down. He actually doesn't even try to talk at first. Instead he strides alongside her, keeping pace rather effortlessly.

"You, uhhh, wanna tell me what's going on?" He asks, giving her a chance to explain before he starts jumping to too many conclusions. "Cuz I've got a few ideas and I don't like any of them. So I'd rather you take a shot at explaining who you are before I go off on tangent ideas like shapeshifters, illusionists, telepaths or worse." His pace is easy, and he's not attacking yet, nor is trying to corner her. Again behavior very unlike the Curtis that Liz knows. But that cocky confidence in himself? That's pretty familiar.

Oh she's well aware of his skills. And …. She kind of expected that she was blown as soon as she laid eyes on him. Her only option had been to get out without him seeing her and that was just never going to happen. She hastens out onto the street and walks down it, her hands shoved into the pockets of her coat, but as soon as he's in her periphery, she looks for a convenient place somewhat out of the way of foot traffic to stop and face off with him.

Elisabeth looks… strained. It casts her already too-slender features into sharp relief, as if she's gone hungry for some amount of time. And she's decidedly pale, her blue eyes meeting his with… not exactly fear but something close. Definitely concern. And she's definitely humming. He can feel it when he gets within a few feet of her. "Goddamn it, Autumn," she whispers, glancing down the street. "Of all the fucking coffee shops in the city, I stay away from all the ones I know and I still have find one of you." There's a kind of resignation to her tone, a sense that she's just sort of expecting things to always go wrong. "Fate is such a bitch."

She looks back at him, shifting her weight uneasily on the balls of her feet. "Not shapeshifter, not illusionist, not telepath… maybe worse…. Depending on how you view… people like Hiro Nakamura?" she offers hesitantly.

Bast keeps pace with Liz, but he does not follow her into an alley or anything enclosed. He knows her powers. And while they can be devastating in the open… an enclosed space? Is just asking to get sound-blasted into next week. So he won't go into an alleyway or anything, but step to the side out of the way of foot traffic? Sure. He can see the strain, and he can see even more the differences between the two Liz's out in the sunlight.

"Well, at least you know my last name." He remarks with a lifted brow, and a faintly amused smirk. He's not got his guard fully up yet. He's still hoping there's some way to explain the crazy that is percolating in his noggin. "You know, you humming like that makes me think you're about ready to blast me across the street… And what do you mean you stay away from all the ones you knew? That's one of your favorite places. You introduced me to it. And the fact that you don't know that only makes this that much more suspicious. So I'll ask nicely again. Who are you?"

The mention of Hiro Nakamura. Terrorist and one of the most wanted men alive draws an instant reaction from him, his head turning, eyes darting up and down the street. "Please please tell me you haven't fallen in with him somehow. I would really really hate to try and take you in for associating with a terrorist Liz. Because I think at the end of that fight I'd be in a LOT of pain."

Elisabeth sighs. "So many goddamn things the same and so many details different," she says softly. "Look…. I am Elisabeth Harrison," she tells him. Her blue eyes seek out his, letting him see for himself that she's not lying. "I'm just not your Elisabeth Harrison. And no, I haven't taken up with Hiro Nakamura." Not the least of which is because if he showed up right now, she doubts he'd be able to help her.

"The short-short version is … I'm from a world half a step sideways from this one. A world where I headed up Frontline Manhattan, and some really ugly shit came down. I took a team of people, we went to deal with it. An accident happened, a machine exploded, and apparently it ripped a hole through dimensions." She shoves a hand through her short hair in a gesture he's very well acquainted with. "The humming… I'm sorry. I have a bit of PTSD going on, and it manifests that way sometimes. I'm not anywhere near about to attack you or anything else." She swallows hard. "I'm just… trying to lay low. Trying to figure out a way to get home… and how to live a goddamn life without running into the Liz you know and wrecking hers."

The look on Sebastian's face is pretty clear. What in the actual fuck are you talking about, woman? He doesn't say it, but he doesn't need to. His eyes are slightly wide in both confusion and surprise, and his brow is furrowed as he listens to her. "Uhh, no you're not." He denies her claim of being Elizabeth Harrison. "Unless you're fr…" He pauses when she says she's not his Liz. That draws an even more confused look from the man.

"You… what?" He asks, looking disbelieving when she says she headed up Frontline. "But you've turned down every offer and… what? What? What?" There's a hand lifted up, and he pinched the bridge of his nose for a second or two, then gives his head a slight shake. "Are you… is this a prank? Did Mike put you up to this? That son of a bitch I bet he did. Fucking Spalding." He snorts softly, but it's clear he doesn't actually believe his own assertion. "I mean… none of that makes any sense. Alternate realities? Frontline Manhattan? Dimensional holes? That's… I mean yeah we live in a world with people like us but…" But there are people that can travel through time.

Liz can see his brain working, and working fast. "That's… a lot to take in. And I have no real way of verifying any of that." He lifts a hand, fingers sweeping back through his hair, mussing it a little bit. He tucks his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket and stares at her. "Wouldn't a hole ripped in the fabric of space and time be pretty big and obvious?"

"Nope, not really," she murmurs. She shifts her weight on the balls of her feet again, unable to remain quite still. She doesn't feel the need to tell him that in her world Spalding is dead. Why mess with him more than necessary? "I'm not asking you to verify it — if you try, they may just haul your ass in for who knows what. Interrogation, mind wipe. Obviously the Powers That Be are not going to want that shit known." The blonde breathes out a low, slow breath, gnawing on the side of her lip. "Look… I'm not asking you for anything except… to just pretend I don't exist. You never saw a doppelganger of Elisabeth Harrison. Okay? I'm not a threat to anyone."

In Prime world Spalding is dead. And Curtis is the one that did it. Yeah, probably not the best thing to blurt out to this world's Curtis. The talk of being hauled in for a mind wipe though have him laughing softly. "I'm… not sure what is going through your head right now. But a mind wipe? Hardly. Besides…" Bast blinks several times, lips parting to speak, then closing, then parting again before he just narrows his eyes at her and lets her talk.

"So… if you're telling the truth, and are from an alternate reality… I'm not sure what reality you think you've landed in but things are good here. A touch totalitarian yeah. And that rubs me wrong sometimes but… the peace and prosperity is worth it. Things are very good here. Honestly I don't think you'd have any real problems if you just… told people who you are. Heck, Pinehearst could probably help you figure out a way to get home if that's what you're wanting. Arthur Petrelli has made some amazing advances in a very short time." He's at least not under any illusion about who is /really/ running things. "Relax. I'm not going to run home and tell mom and dad that I found someone claiming to be a person I know but from an alternate reality. Though you do seem to know me. So I guess we're friends there too?"

"Well, if you're going to try and lay low… you should call me Bast. Sebastian if we're being formal, but I've known you for awhile. Or well… this world's you." He still doesn't look like he entirely buys the alternate reality bit, but he's taking it in stride at least. "But I would definitely avoid that coffee shop if you're not wanting to mess things up for this world's Liz. And… I can try to think of some other hangout spots too." Again, still not looking like he buys it entirely.

Oh, the things she could say regarding totalitarian and Pinehearst in the same sentence. "I'll keep the possibilities in mind," Elisabeth tells him quietly. "I haven't really been here long enough to get the lay of the land quite yet, so I don't… really intend to approach anyone until I feel a little… safer." There's no deception in her words or tone on that. She doesn't feel safe here.

Clearing her throat, she shrugs a little. "We weren't… exactly friends. But we did know one another. You were assigned to my teams when I took on the leadership position," Liz tells him quietly. "Things in my world … don't look quite like they do here. There's still a lot of anti-Evo shit going on. Some things happened a bit differently." She shrugs a little. "I will certainly avoid that coffee place…" Studying him thoughtfully, she asks, "You're… dealing with this in a way calmer manner than I think I expected of anyone native to this timeline. Are you… really okay with keeping my presence here quiet?"

Sebastian of course doesn't understand why Liz doesn't feel safe here. He feels safe here. But it's clear that she doesn't, so he doesn't push on that issue. Instead his head tilts to either side and he shrugs a little, broad shoulders lifting, a creak of leather accompanying the motion. There's a quick smirk from him, one that is very unlike Curtis Prime. "Well…" He begins when she says he's taking it all remarkably calmer.

"I mean… it's not beyond the realm of possibility. We have a time-traveling terrorist. I run around in a suit of sci fi armor that makes me even MORE of a badass than I already am. There's relative peace in a country that was starting to boil over. Crazy advances in technology are arriving every single day. I don't fully believe you yet, but I'm not discounting the possibility either. But I'm a pretty reasonable guy. If you know me I'd think you'd be used to that at least."

He huffs out a soft sigh and looks around a little bit. "Here. Why don't we go down the street and grab you something to eat. I know a good hole in the wall a couple blocks from here. Not a place I've ever seen you at before so… there's that." The offer is there, she can take it or leave it.

Having only been in this world such a small amount of time, Elisabeth really still doesn't know what to make of it. But it's a massive improvement over where she just came from. And as she studies Curtis … no, make that SEBASTIAN Autumn… she can't help the faint smile. Her tension seems to relax a little, that persistent hum easing so that it's barely there. "The you I know… is pretty reasonable," she agrees quietly. "And pretty well versed in the shades of grey in the world."

She hesitates at the offer, and then admits, "I'm starving. And … I would definitely enjoy the company of someone that is unequivocally trustworthy." Because Elisabeth doesn't think her native version would be friends with a man she couldn't trust with her life. And this Liz knows she can trust her own Curtis. "So, uhm…. Tell me how you like the Frontline unit here?" she asks as they start walking again. She seems more at ease still, once they're moving again. Though he might notice that she is far, far more situationally aware than the Liz he knows — this Elisabeth is far more combat-experienced… and far more suspicious than he's used to. Her blue eyes move constantly, head on a swivel, as if she expects danger to lurk everywhere. And it's a deep instinct on her part; it's clear that she does it just as easily as breathing, this is not new behavior.

Sebastian is a soldier. A much more relaxed soldier than he used to be, and vastly more relaxed than Prime Curtis is. But he is still a soldier, and it shows in his movements, his line of sight never being blocked, his head being on a swivel. And it's naturally something he would notice in another person. He definitely notices many of those same movements in Liz. But there's more than that. She's been hunted. He knows that look. He's seen it on the faces of his enemies before. But he lacks that haunted look that Liz, and his Prime counterpart have. This Curtis has always been the hunter, not the hunted.

"If he's Frontline than I imagine we've led similar lives. Which means he was probably a marine as well. Or at least military. You learn to judge things in terms of gray when you're doing things that don't exactly sit well with you, but you know they're for the best. I don't know what he's like, but I'm not unfamiliar with the gray shades of the world." He turns and starts to lead the way down the block, his stride shortened so he doesn't outpace her.

"I love it? I feel better as a member of Frontline than I ever did as a Marine. And I get to do it with my best friend, and some really awesome people. Mike has played pranks on me ever since he took me under his wing in the marines. So… sorry about that earlier. Figured it was him getting up to his usual tricks. And not that he ever admits to setting the pranks. It's always that same blank-faced stare but… oh… yeah I guess you might not.. uhh… do you know Michael Spalding in your world?"

"I never had the pleasure," Elisabeth comments mildly. "Not sure how I feel about the idea of a prankster on my teams, but… not my teams here. Most likely a lot of different people, given what's been happening in my world." She hesitates and says simply, "That pot boiled over in my world, so… soldiers went different places, I guess." Her stride is automatically matched with his and she doesn't slow him very much. "You were a Marine, yes. And you seemed… happy on the teams when you came to them. So it's good that it's the same for you here." She is genuinely happy that he's not suffered what he did in her world.

"I'm still struggling with the fact that everyone here is so open about their abilities. It seems… like paradise in some ways. What everyone hoped for." Of course, the underbelly is always a bit more slimy than anyone would like. And always very well hidden. Elisabeth sighs quietly. "And it's a bit tough to be here in Manhattan at all, honestly… to see what might have been." Had they not killed Arthur Petrelli. Which she does not say aloud.

"Oh I don't know that I'd call him a prankster. I think it's just me he messes with. But we've been friends for.. 11 years now? Close to twelve?" Bast's shoulders lift in another shrug as they walk along. Fairly quickly they come to the front of a little hole in the wall deli and sandwich shop. He opens the door and gestures her inside. Immediately the scents of cured meats and fresh baked bread assault the senses. "One of the best hoagies in the city right here." He comment as as he approaches the counter and calls out. "Frankie!"

A husky Italian man comes trundling out of the back room and greets them both in a boisterous manner and then pulls on an apron and gets down a couple of hoagie rolls. "My usual." Bast requests, giving Liz time to make a decision on what kind of sandwich she wants while his is being made. "You'll still see some hate and some bigotry. But it's not really a problem like it was. Like I said… Arthur has worked some wonders. I'm…" He pauses, not continuing while they're waiting on sandwiches.

Once they're made and paid for he takes a few steps away and finds a table. "Thank you Frankie." He calls to the man who is heading back into the back again to finish whatever he was doing. "I'm surprised he wasn't able to in your world. A shame. Sounds like it could have avoided a whole lot of pain for you guys." He picks up and shakes a bottle of vinaigrette on the table, and pours a little into his sandwich before offering it over to Liz. "What kind of questions do you have? I'll answer what I can." Because obviously he's not at liberty to answer everything.

The scent of a good deli has Liz's mouth watering. It's taken her a little time to get her stomach to handle anything richer than oatmeal and such things after eating basically crap for months, but now that she's mostly back to normal on what she can tolerate, being back in a world where there's real food is a Godsend. She skims the menu, but she knows exactly what she'll have… a genuine Reuben. And oh God, it looks pretty incredible as she watches them make it! She's listening as Bast talks, but she's quiet. As they get to the table and she slips out of her coat to settle in to a meal that she is clearly looking forward to, another subtle not-quite-difference might jump out at him. The Elisabeth Harrison he knows just gave birth. The one in front of him is so damn slender — clearly a bit on the malnourished side — that her own pregnancy, which is definitely only a little ways along, is pretty obvious in the small bump she's sporting.

As she adjusts her seat, the blonde looks thoughtful. "Yeah… well, Arthur Petrelli was killed in my world. Pinehearst doesn't exist." She leaves it at that, picking up the pickle that came with her hoagie and biting into it, waving off the vinaigrette. "Well… right now, I think the only questions I really have are more in the nature of … how prevalent and widespread is acceptance of things like powers, time travel, all that bullshit? I mean, I can read the papers and all, but… as I build a life here, I'd like to know what you really see on the streets."

Sebastian comes here on a regular basis, and the smell still makes his mouth water every time. He himself ordered a pretty standard Italian sandwich. Pepperoni, salami, capicola and prosciutto with provolone cheese. A little salt and pepper, and then the dressing. He takes a bite out of his sandwich, a big one, but he chews slowly, not wolfing the sandwich down. Taking the time to enjoy the rich flavors of the quality ingredients while Liz gets settled in with her own sandwich. "So…" He pauses when he looks down at her stomach, a gentle tilt of curiosity to his head as he looks at that baby bump, then up to Liz. "Well, I guess the worlds aren't that different."

"Wow… that's… a damn shame. He could have done a lot of good like he has here." Bast thinks about that for a moment, and then more. "Well… I mean…" His lips press together into a thin line as he ponders that, taking smaller bites off of his sandwich while he thinks. "I'm not sure. What to do there. I mean… the easiest way of building a life here while you try to find a way home… would be to talk to the authorities. Then they could set you up with your own ID's and government information and the like. Without that? It's going to be kind of hard. Probably won't be able to do anything official. Nothing that would require credentials. Which doesn't leave a whole lot of options these days. That'll take some thought. Though my opinion on your best option stands. But I know you've said you're not sure about that route."

Elisabeth hesitates and then admits, "I have credentials. I'm set for all of that with an identity and things. And … I really can't go my usual routes here." Not the least of which because they're not safe. Certainly not if she doesn't want to draw Pinehearst's attention. Also, though, just because she's trying to keep out of her alternate's way! But that's kept behind her teeth too.

As to the comment that the worlds aren't that different, Elisabeth has to laugh quietly. "Well, I guess in some ways, they're really not… unexpectedly pregnant seems to be a theme in my life." Mostly she seems good-natured at that idea, though her hand drops briefly to the small, firm mound now hidden beneath the edge of the table. And then she shrugs slightly. "Not the same circumstances, though… or the same person," she admits candidly.

"Cur… Bast. You've been around the block quite a few times. I mean… you know what the Company became. How do you know that Pinehearst can be trusted not to go down the same path to Perdition?" she asks quietly, sincerely seeming both worried and interested in his thoughts. After all… her world doesn't have a Pinehearst.

"The Company was outed very publicly and dismantled for it's shadow operations. It operated in complete secrecy, without any kind of oversight or control. Whereas Pinehearst operates with oversight and control." Or at least he'd like to think there is someone making sure they stay responsible and don't go off the rails. "But I can't be sure. Can you ever truly be sure? Every closet has a skeleton or two. But…" His shoulders lift in uncertainty. "I've seen nothing but good efforts and good work out of Pinehearst. So until they prove otherwise… yeah I trust them."

Sebastian continues to much away on his sandwich for a few moments, taking his time, enjoying the meal, and sitting in relative silence. There's some Italian conversation in the back. IE shouting and hollering but where there's no vehemence in it. They're not shouting, they're just Italian. Bast smiles a little at it and then looks up and sighs a little bit. "Maybe you should meet the other you? Maybe she'd have a good idea for some direction for you. Roads she didn't travel and what not? I'm not sure what the protocol for things like that are. Not being a time or dimension traveler myself." There's a quick smirk from Sebastian before he goes back to eating, finishing his sandwich up with a few more bites.

Toying with her sandwich as she chews a bite, Elisabeth is quiet for a few minutes. Her glance toward the Italian chatter — IE, top-volume communication — is amused. When she looks back at him, there is an uncharacteristic uncertainty to her expression. Liz almost never allows such uncertainty to show. "I really think it's a bad idea to come into contact with her. It's… I mean, think about how you'd feel if you came face to face with yourself from another timeline." She grimaces. "Someone I know very well has had it happen… the version of himself that he met was pretty much insane, which certainly makes things a hell of a lot more complicated. But…" She sighs heavily. "I'm trying so hard not to impact her life, her friends, or the timeline, Curt… Bast. I'll consider your opinion on it, though." A faint smile quirks her lips. "You generally have a level head on your shoulders."

It's so strange … to be sitting here having this conversation with a man who worked for her in another life. Liz isn't sure how she feels about the situation and doesn't exactly know what to say to him right now either. "I, uhm…. I know you don't quite know whether you believe me… is there anything I can say to help with it?"

"See, I actually think it would be pretty cool to come into contact with myself. Like… get to talk about our life. See where the differences are. What's the same and what went wrong. Also then I'd finally have someone to talk to that just gets me." Bast winks at Liz, a slow smirk pulling at his lips, tugging the corner upwards. "But in all seriousness like… I don't think it would be a problem. But, I can tell that you're waaaay more paranoid than she is. And that's something since she's training to be FBI now."

A teasing wink from the big super soldier as he folds up the paper his sandwich was wrapped in and then leans back in his chair to rest and wait as Liz eats. "But she would absolutely be the best source to go to on not impacting her life. Your life? Yall's life. And of course I have a level head on my shoulders. I'm like the king of cool. The champion of chill. I mean… most of the time."

Bast's head tilts as he considers her question of him though. "I mean… I don't know how much you knew about the other me. Trying to think of something you might know, that I can talk about, that isn't classified, that I could actually admit to… that you might know. Not an easy one. I mean the fact that you called me Curtis is a pretty big one. I wonder if he went by Sebastian too when he was younger. Maybe he changed it up for reasons."

There's a light head wobble from him. "But honestly I'm not sure what you could tell me to confirm that you're actually from another world. Cuz anything I think you might know, is knowledge you could have gotten from Liz, if you're not Liz. This liz I mean. And anything I don't know I have no way to confirm."

"That is very true," Elisabeth admits mildly, seeming to enjoy the bites of her sandwich between conversation. "I'm not sure whether he went by Sebastian when he was younger. I think his career may have been more … varied than yours." She doesn't want to mention the brainwashing — because it rather occurs to her that if she does and mentions it and he doesn't know… might that trigger something? Ugh. Okay. Abort! Abort!

"I guess… if you're around here and there, you'll just have to say hello and take it on faith. I mean… I don't know that I'll run into you again, though, so there's that."

"Look. I don't think you're crazy. But this world is full of very strange things. Memory manipulation, possession, all sorts of crazy stuff. Shapeshifters. I know you said you're not a shapeshifter, but a shapeshifter would say that." There's a wink from Bast before he gives his shoulders a slight shrug. "How about this. I'll give you my number, and you can call me if you need something? Even if it's just an ear to listen. We can grab a dri…" He pauses, glancing in the direction of her stomach. "A bite to eat, like this. And talk. Just try to keep out of trouble and we shouldn't have any problems." There's a wink from him, and a shrugging of his shoulders. "Is there anyone else with you? That has a counterpart in this world? That would actually go a long way towards corroborating your story. And I do want to believe you. So that’s an option there, if you have anyone else with you, that would be willing to put themselves at risk…" He thinks about that a moment or two, face scrunching up in thought before his shoulders lift in another shrug. “Best I can think of.”

Elisabeth chuckles quietly. "There is someone else who came through with me, yes… with a native body also here. I'm… not sure about introducing you." She shrugs a little, her eyes holding shadows. "We're all a bit traumatized," she admits.

"But I'll do my best to keep out of trouble. Honestly, had I not literally tripped over you…" It's not like she went looking for familiar faces. Although… he's left her with a lot to think about; whether or not to contact anyone. She sighs as she finishes her sandwich and then says quietly, "I'll definitely keep the number handy, though. And I appreciate the gesture more than I can really begin to tell you." She doesn't quite meet his eyes — it's the tears thing again. She's a little overwhelmed. It just reminds her that most of the people she knows are still the same people she knows at their core.

Bast reaches out a hand, and if allowed will settle it on the back of Liz's hand and give it a gentle but comforting squeeze. "Relax. Or try to anyway. I don't know what you've been through, but this world is a good one. We are working towards real and lasting peace. And progress abounds. It's definitely not the worst place you could be stuck in. Either you'll get back to your world, or you won't. But either way… there are people here for you. Well, person at least." A quicks mile from him before he pulls his hand back and leans back in his chair once more. "Keep my number. Call if you need something. But no pressure either. If you'd rather just avoid me for the unknown amount of time you'll be here… I'd get it. Do you need help getting back where you're staying?"

She grasps the offered hand tightly for a long moment and then releases it. Wiping her face and taking a couple of slow breaths, Elisabeth shakes her head. "No… I'll be okay." Shoving her hand through her hair in a familiar motion, despite the lack of longer locks, she grins a little. "Sorry… I've done nothing but cry, it seems like, since we landed. Hormones or something," she tells him. Though it's probably far more complex than that explanation. "I'll… definitely think really hard on your advice. I still think…. That staying away from the people I knew might be better for all concerned." She shrugs a little. "I don't know if people would be quite this blase back home to have a time-slash-dimension-hopping version of other people show up." But then again…. They're an awfully suspicious and paranoid lot, she has to admit. Too many bad things have happened.

"Thank you for lunch, Bast. And thank you for… " She pauses and then smiles. "Just thank you."

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