Thanks For Saving My Life


elisabeth_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title Thanks For Saving My Life
Synopsis Jaiden's home, and safe. With news!
Date Sept 20, 2010

Jaiden's Apartment

When Elisabeth gets into Redbird this morning, she may find a voicemail message waiting on her cell phone. The number is a familiar one - Jaiden's.

The shrill tone of the voicemail box always did give Jaiden a bit of a headache, but when it finishes, he starts talking. "Hey Lizzie. I'm back in town from my jaunt across time and space. Give me a ring when you can' right? Got some things I want to tell you about."

He hangs up his phone and looks around his apartment, letting out a sigh. Even with the filters going and the AC set to a normal level, there's still some dust he needs to take care of. And the crisper in his refrigerator is starting to turn into a rotter, so that needs to be cleaned too. Ah well, what do you expect when you're out of time for a solid week? When Liz gets his call, she'll probably ring back.

He gets to cleaning.

The voicemail is hours old by the time Elisabeth gets it. She was dealing with Abby crisis and Nash crisis and OMGWTF!! Jaiden's voice is most assuredly a relief to hear. Instead of calling him, she immediately goes back out the door heading for his place. Richard gets a text that lets him know Jaiden's back from his 'trip.'

It's the cop-knock at the door that alerts him to the idea that she wasn't going to just call. BAM-BAM-BAM! She may never get rid of that knock. It's like they drill it into 'em.

*Buzzzz* After the camera swivels and confirms who it is, the electronic maglocks disengage, allowing the blonde-headed woman entry into the garage where the trail to the apartment downstairs is unencumbered and clear - easily navigated, even in the half-light of the afternoon.

Jaiden has finished with his kitchen - doing rather well with only having a single arm, the other in a sling and packed with gauze and the like, and is starting on some kind of dish that has eggs and cheese in it - something he needs to take care of before they go bad. The oven is heating too, and some sausage sizzles on the stove.

One would hardly think he's been gone for a week, but he has.

As she hits the bottom of the stairs, the scents of cooking meet her. And Elisabeth smiles, relief clear in her gaze though it's replaced immediately with concern when she spots the sling. "How bad?" she asks as she joins him. "Here, lemme do that. Sit, sit!" It's kinda what she does — feeds people. "How'd it go?" Cuz she's been dying of curiosity! And even, "Things worked out okay, right?" because …. well, travel to the past! She barely gives him time to breathe to answer before she's hugging him tightly and shooing him to sit. Really! Italian grandmama and mother.

He's not used to being urged to sit in his own kitchen, but it seems that being ordered around by women is something that Jaiden has resigned himself to over the past day or two. There's a squeak as he hugs back with one hand and then he takes a seat at one of the barstools and watches the chef at work. "It went okay. My stellar record of never being shot has kind of gone the way of the dodo, thanks to the guy who was trying to take you out." He glances to his right shoulder ruefully, shaking his head. "Getting shot sucks, but I'm sure you know that better than most."

Sitting on the counter is his pack, half-open, his camera and a bound book sitting next to it, as if to call attention to itself without overtly having a flashing sign nearby. "Things worked out okay. You're still here and breathin', an' a slug in the shoulder's a small price to pay for that." He pauses for a moment. "Still gonna arrest me?"

"Yeah, it really does. I assume since I'm still here, you thwarted the bastard," Elisabeth says cheerfully. She glances into the pan of sausages and then sets to work scrambling the eggs and cheese together the better to toss together either a quick omelette or sandwich out of them. "So do I get to know what happened?" she asks, glancing up at him. Because — you know, gone memories!

"I got him, aye. A russian named Nikolai who could control liquids….my control over water was a little more powerful, though. We were in the hockey arena downtown - the one that burned when the lighting rig shorted out and crashed into the ice, killing a few people. He was just a John Doe, I think." Jaiden lets out a breath, resting on the counter with his bad arm, reaching out for the little book - a photo album - and sliding it toward the woman. "I know gone memories, but here's one or to for you.

Inside the small book are photos….dozens of them…each with a caption from the date the two had at the blues club, the night at the theater after, and even the aftermath of the kiss on the porch, Elisabeth's face flushed, the woman smiling in the flash of the camera.

At the very back of the book, after the 'date' are a few more pictures….family pictures, it seems. Elisabeth of 1999 probably wondered where those pictures went but Elisabeth of 2010 knows where they are….here, in her hands.

Elisabeth shakes her head. She read the newspaper article he left with her, but she has no memory of being there, of being involved. Or even of turning in the handgun she'd "wrestled out of one of the shooters' hands" before he escaped. She checks the sausage and flips it, then sets the spatula back down to look curiously at the book. "Do I want to know?" she asks with a smile. She does pull the thing toward her, though, and open it curiously to look through. There's a long pause as she looks at some of the pictures of her younger self, moments that she was part of that she has no memory of, with a wistful kind of sadness.

When she turns the page and gets hold of some of the family pictures, there's a visible clenching of Elisabeth's jaw. These are, for all intents and purposes, pictures of her mother and herself together that Elisabeth has never seen. They were taken in high school and college, years she cannot remember, and they went missing inside that same time frame that doesn't exist in her mind. Her father never had copies of these, they were taken with Liz's own camera though she cannot know that right now. Tears well up in her eyes as she touches one of the pictures of her parents together, oblivious to the photographer's presence, at what must be her college graduation — they are looking at one another, laughing together at something. She has no words.

"I know you don't remember." Jaiden says softly. "I know you can't remember."

"Since I couldn't stop the cause of your memory loss, I thought I'd bring you a little something back to give you a link to your past. To give you some memories." Jaiden smiles softly.

Looking up at him, Elisabeth forces a small smile. "Thank you," she tells him softly. "These are… amazing." She huffs a soft laugh and reaches up to wipe at tears on her cheeks. "Looks like we had a lot of fun," she tells him, closing the book. "Where'd we go?" She goes back to making the eggs for him, the sausages coming out of the pan and the eggs going right on into the same pan. As if she needs a little distance from it.

We actually went on a couple of dates." Jaiden says with a smile. "And I'll have you know that I was the perfect gentleman through each and every one. We met after you slipped on the ice outside of your house and spent some time in a small coffee shop. You were attracted to my accent and seemed surprised that I wasn't gay or insane. The date in here…" He taps the closed book. "We went to a blues club in Times Square, had a nice meal, and then walked to Broadway in the snow and watched the Blue Man Group. Then a taxi ride home and a kiss on your doorstep." Jaiden flushes slightly at the memory, watching her cook. "We had lunch a day or so later, and when you went to the restroom I purloined a few pictures to bring back here. And then Friday…we went to dinner, then to the hockey game where I saved your life."

As the eggs pull together and she tosses in the cheese, Elisabeth glances up at him and grins. "Well, in case I forgot to say thank you or something…. thank you for saving my life, Jaiden. It sounds like …" The kind of outing she hasn't had in ages, honestly. "It sounds like quite the adventure," she finally says on a laugh. She plates food for him and sets it in front of him.

"Your letter got to the office just as you'd intended it to. I'm not sure why exactly you sent it, but …." She grins. "You did tell me you were going."

"I sent it because I wanted you and Cardinal to know where I'd gone. I was trying to keep the timeline as intact as I could, because being in 99, I could have changed a lot. I was specifically taken to keep changes from happening, basically." Jaiden spears the fluffy eggs with a fork, left-handed, and takes a bite, chewing for a moment before swallowing. "It was my pleasure, Lizzie, to save your life. I got to spend some time with you, had some laughs, and kept the world from stopping it's turn. All in all a good day." he chuckles. "Besides…you're one of the main reasons I joined up with Endgame. You do wonders for making a day brighter."

There's a long moment where Elisabeth is quiet, putting the pan into the sink. As she turns to look at him, she asks mildly, "Did we sleep together?" Because it does change things just a little. She doesn't want to break his heart.

Jaiden's head shakes in the negative. "No…" he takes another bite of his eggs before fixing her with one of his serious, truthful looks. "I admit, we nearly did after the first date, but I thought it best we….not. I wanted to…you wanted to….but I didn't think it would be right." Now, most men would jump at the chance for strings-free sex with a woman who wouldn't remember it when they met again, but Jaiden would know. Even if she didn't, Jaiden would know and couldn't look in the mirror if he tried.

She can't refute his assertion that he put the brakes on — she has no idea what she was like back then. Elisabeth only knows what she's like now. And she smiles a little. "Thank you," she tells him quietly. "I think I'd feel a little wierd knowing I'd slept with you back in my own past and didn't know about it. Not that it's particularly a problem for me, but … yeah, it'd just feel strange." Elisabeth walks around his kitchen, cleaning up as she talks.

"If we do ever end up sleeping together, I'd like to think it would be a memorable occasion." Jaiden eats his eggs as he watches her dote around the kitchen, his fork making little scraping noises on the plate as he does. "I'd like to think it would mean something, too. More than just a one night stand."

A fleeting expression flits across Elisabeth's face — part regret, part wistful — and it's gone just as quickly. "You know, Jaiden… I don't tend to have one night stands," Elisabeth says as she wipes down the counter and then leans on it to look at him. "At least not often that I remember. And the last one I had was …. a mistake. In that I hurt the man in question." She pauses for a moment, and then says, "I'm not proud of that. He's my friend, and I used him because I'm a stupid ass when it comes to relationships and didn't realize that it could have been a lot more." She shrugs a bit, confiding in him with a faint smile. "It'd just really hit me that I was in love with someone and I wasn't… terribly thrilled about what that meant."

"Before, in 99, you seemed to have a reputation as someone who enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh - at least, that's what I got from your reaction to the guys on the other end of the phone whenever I called you for the first date." He glances down at the plate, and somehow the eggs and cheese have mysteriously vanished into his stomach, the plate scraped almost clean. He pushes it away idly, thinking. "I don't have them either. I haven't had one since getting out of the military. Frankly…a one night stand is a bit too easy and has that wonderful situation in the morning when you wonder what you did the night before and have to find your underwear in an unfamiliar apartment. So not fun."

Jaiden slips off of the barstool and makes his way over to where Elisabeth stands near the counter, relaxing against it, leaning on his good arm, looking her over before speaking. "I don't even know what's going on anymore. I was asked to go back in time to save your life and I went without thinking. I don't know what that means, or if it means anything at all. I just know that I'm damn glad to have you as a friend and if you weren't in that open relationship…." he lets that trail off, looking up at the roof. "But you are, and i'm not going to get in the way of that."

Elisabeth shifts to turn and face him, not hugely surprised at her reputation. "Well, even in the years I can remember, I was like that," she tells him with a grin. "I had my own little black book going on. Guys who'd call me or I'd call and we'd go out, have a good time, hook up, go on our way til the next time." She shrugs a bit, and says quietly, "As awful as this might sound to you…. you couldn't. Richard and I've been through too much, Jaiden. Far, far too much." She reaches up and caresses his cheek lightly, standing on her toes to kiss him softly. "Thank you for saving my life."

Jaiden puts his arm around Elisabeth's waist, holding her close, resting his forehead against hers, a smile appearing after a moment. "Just friends, then." he says softly. "Benefits if we determine it's appropriate for the situation, but definitely friends."

"And thank you for saving mine…." Jaiden replies after a moment, rather cryptically.

There's a soft chuckle and Elisabeth agrees. "Friends." Benefits'll wind up being what they are, and she's fine with that if it should ever come to pass. Though right now? She's not so sure that it ever will. Hugging him gently around the gunshot wound, she pulls back and tilts her head curiously. "I saved yours too?" With a grin, she says, "Good to know I was pulling my weight back there."

Jaiden leans into the hug, the relationship defined exactly where it needs to be, and that's perfectly fine for him right now. "From my understanding, since I saved your life, someone got antsy and is going to try and get me like they tried to get you…so you're going to be going on a trip to see me in the past sometime."

Elisabeth blinks, visibly startled. "What??" Her brows pull together and she nibbles the corner of her lip. "Well, now that's a cute little conundrum, isn't it?" she asks musingly. With a faint grimace, she says, "Guess I better make sure all my ducks are in a row before I leave, yeah?" She smiles at him. "I'll do my best to make sure you don't get dead."

"S'why I was warning you. I only had a couple of days to get my things in order. You may have a week or two, depending on the fickleness of time. I might even go back a second time to rescue someone else…depends on Hiro, I guess." Jaiden gives a lopsided shrug. "I have no idea when you're going, or where, but if you find out, let me know and I'll get you all the information that I can on when and where. And hey, you get to see me, a lot younger."

She laughs softly. "Indeed. Could be interesting," Liz admits. "Crazy reporter in war-torn countries that you are. Guess we'll see how it plays out." But it means she has some things to do — most of them already handled in terms of squaring her financial assets.

She has no pets or plants as far as he knows, so those should be fairly easy to take care of them. "I'm too well armed in some of those places….I'd picture 'em sending whoever it is back to Australia to get me in the outback. If that's the case, bring sunscreen and lots of water."

"Oh good… I gotta keep another go-bag by the door, I see," Elisabeth says drily. But she smiles at him. "It's the least I can do for you. If I get heat stroke, I sure won't be any good to you, yeah?" She squeezes him once more and then says, "All right, you. I gotta get the heck out of here. It's been a bear today and I've still gotta update Richard on the situation with Nash." Which makes her pause. "Shit. Yeah, so….. keep your head down, okay? Abby wound up in the hospital and her Registration is borked. So is, potentially, every other Registration that Nash has done for us," she tells him quietly. "I've spoken to Nash, and we're just going to have to see how it plays out, okay? I don't think we'll have any answers for a while. Just stick close to the garage or the office, and for heaven's sake…. be aware of whether you're being tailed. I know what you do for the Ferry and the last thing we need is to compromise any of them." She sounds grim. With a brief pat, she slips out of both his light embrace and the apartment to go handle the business at hand.

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