The Door Is Open


elisabeth_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title The Door Is Open
Synopsis Discussion of the future as well as policy between divisions.
Date March 19, 2011

Elisabeth's Apartment

As she opens the door to her apartment to allow Francois entrance, Elisabeth greets the Frenchman with a brief, hard hug. "Hey," she murmurs softly. She gestures him further into the apartment and locks the door behind him. The multitude of locks on the door have not changed since Alec first installed them — and the blonde finds them nearly as comforting now as she did back then. "C'mon in. I got here a few minutes ago and got tea steeping. Would you like some?" She glances at him and smiles a little. "I know, it's not a social call — but then again, it's about as close as we seem to get lately, so…." She shrugs self-deprecatingly.

There's concern in her blue eyes as she studies him. He looks weary. "I'm glad you texted," Elisabeth admits softly. "I've been worried about all of you out there." She keeps her distance for her own reasons — perhaps valid, perhaps not depending on who is asking — but she does her best to send any relevent information and physical assistance when she can. "I heard the flu was beating on you all hard."

"Many deaths," Francois agrees, as he drifts farther into her apartment, and pulling off leather jacket. Outside, the wind blows ice-chill in the air from the north, for all that the day is sunny and clear. In here, such measures of protection aren't needed, and so the jacket is set down over the back of something, leaving him in loose fitting, deep blue-green knit, blue denim. "Worse than the last time, but similar also — there is not much we can do apart from play nursemaid and dig graves. I would like tea."

Tired but not unhappy, or especially beaten. He has time on his hands and things to occupy it with, and the hardness of the city as solid reassurance compared to soft French springs in the relatively uneventful 1950s. He also took no pains to avoid her hug, embracing her just as tightly, but his stare wanders the apartment rather than seek her face.

Elisabeth nods slightly to the news that there is much death of the flu. She, too, is dressed for the chill not-quite-spring day. A pair of heavy khaki slacks topped with a heavy hunter-green wool sweater, and she looks comfortable at least. "Milk and sugar? Lemon and honey? What's your pleasure?" she asks the man easily. And as she heads into the kitchen to get that stuff and bring it to the table, she watches him thoughtfully. Still, she doesn't want to merely bombard him with questions. He seems to need time to settle. "Have a seat," she invites quietly.

A chair is scuffed out at her urging, Francois taking a seat and seemingly oblivious to her watchfulness and thought. Elbows set against table edge, hands folded and tucked beneath his chin, he watches her set things out with day dream patience before flicking a glance to her when she's about done. Offer of a smile. "Merci." His hands go out, then, opting for the honey, stirring it in as it melts off in barely tangible ribbons. "I was curious about the other day, and Richard's reluctance to speak of the dreams. They are unimportant truly?"

Tik tik, goes edge of teaspoon on porcelain. "Or did he have one himself?"

She slips into the chair next to him, putting honey into her own tea as well before answering. Elisabeth's smile is faint, the gentle crow's feet that have begun to appear around her eyes deepening a bit. She's beginning to show the strain of the past couple of years in those lines and the strands of pure white that are beginning to lace her blonde mane of hair, difficult to notice considering her natural color. "You're beginning to read him quite well," she murmurs as she sips from her cup. "He had one… he told me about it. He couldn't… put a time frame to it." She glances up at him. "He didn't want to mention that apparently I died in it, but Warren was kind enough to blurt it out. They apparently shared that one. That makes… the third such episode that I'm aware of."

That seems to catch Francois minorly off-guard — that she died in this one. Unsure if it adds up or not. Blunt nails scratch down the slightly bristled slope of his jaw, tilting stare into his tea as if it were the kind with leaves with which to divine. "The Endgame concerns its name sake — an end game. It concerns us, I think — even if the dreams are lies, they may play out for other people, dictate how they interact with a future. And if they are true, well." But that's all he says on that topic, taking a deep draw of sweetened tea — and besides, it's only good form to argue one point in a meeting, as opposed to two.

Sets tea down again. "I did have one myself. You, and Eileen. Three other women — one of them, I think a sister of Niki?" The name said with a little uncertainty — he only knew her very briefly. "A Ferryman, and the other two unfamiliar to me. I remember it. I do not, usually. The last time I had vivid dreams, enough to recall them— it was when I had the healing power. "

Elisabeth doesn't seem… surprised that he had a dream. "It seems that a great many people in our circle are having what may either be prophetic dreams of this timeline…. or perhaps dreams of the other Cardinal's timeline itself. It would be hard to separate them from the current timeline in many ways because things are still very very similar," she observes quietly. "Do you have any indicators of a time frame for yours?" Toying with her tea cup absently, she adds, "So far, the other two we've been able to place in time within a ballpark figure at least…. "

Francois shrugs, although eyes go a little dull in inward thought and remembrance. When it was happening being one of the lesser details that stuck with him, in comparison to the content. "No one seemed very old. No older than we are now. Perhaps Eileen, a little, but I wasn't studying her very much. Everything seemed very logical at the time. You— " Fingers splay out from where palm traps mug of tea, an uncertain, strange half-smile cutting across his features.

"Well, you were pregnant. In the later stages. If you are currently then that would help," is added, dryly facetious, a look up and down as if he could detect such a thing.

Elisabeth closes her eyes and sighs heavily. "Well…. that …. gives us two within that time frame and two within a much later one. I'm … not sure how to interpret that," she admits. Opening her eyes, she takes a sip of her tea and then looks at him steadily. "The dream that I had was a bit earlier than yours. I knew in the dream that I was pregnant. That time frame probably works out to about 7 or 8 years from now," she tells him softly. "The other dream that I know of… was Joseph Sumter's funeral, apparently. And I was present at that with my 7 or 8 year old son. The one Richard had would have to have been after that. So … clal it… 15, 16 years from now, perhaps? And in his…. the Institute's AI was reporting the launch of over a dozen ICBMs, unknown whether they were nuclear or not."

Even if such rockets were not unheard of in World War Two, and they certainly were, it would be difficult to not live with Teo and cotton familiar to such acronyms as ICBM. Francois' chin lifts a fraction, that stretch of scarring left behind by Carlisle Dreyfus' knife nudging more visible over the collar of his sweater, but his expression is neutral save for the faint worry and recognition reflected back at her. A soft funneling of air in not quite a sigh — an exhale, a tilt of his head. "It seems like so much time to deal with, if you are right.

"But that is perhaps not a bad thing. I would not like to find out such things would occur this week, or even this year, oui? Perhaps I shall ask Eileen also, if she had the dream I had. But seeing as you did not— " And he knows Elisabeth must have not. She hugged him, when he walked in. Shrugs.

"Something in yours bothers you," Elisabeth observes softly. "You don't have to tell me if you don't wish to, Francois…. but understand that whatever was going on? If it was something bad?" She shrugs a little. "It hasn't happened. It's one possibility. Just like Richard blowing my head off during the riots was one possibility. He chose not to, and here I am. I believe that what we're seeing are…. warnings. Of the things that happened in the other Cardinal's timeline. The things that may still be coming unless we do something to change it. But that's always been the point of the groups that I've stood with — to change the bad or at least try to mitigate it."

"It is complicated, however, if you believe the potential of action is still relevant. A haunting. But I have not thought on it very much," Francois admits. Assures. "The necessary things, you have a right to know. I believe I was with the Ferrymen, and we found you after some sort of attack. But you were an enemy to us." He glances at her, but holds the look this time, tea growing tepid in his hands. "Either we had cornered you, or you were trying to seek refuge with us already — at the time, I was not sure what to believe."

A shrug, a downward tip of his attention. "It is why it concerned me, the other day, when Richard voices his discomfort about the network and its direction. And it is why I volunteered as I did, besides the immediate practicalities. It seems like an important division, to me, one we can't afford to let widen much farther. Of course, that is assuming— a lot of things. Your circumstances in this time, for instance."

Elisabeth sighs heavily. "I never know how much of what the alternate Cardinal says to me can be believed," she tells him quietly. Her hands are toying with her teacup but she's not drinking hers either. "But I know that… he told me that we'd become… it sounded very Balkanized. Factions not trusting one another, and most definitely not trusting him because he'd made choices about the timeline. One of the things that drove a wedge, as he explained it, was that Elle Bishop killed Noah Bennet in an alley. Either the day of or sometime around the November riots. And that the Ferry believed that he'd ordered it because she was ours."

Nibbling her lower lip, Elisabeth shrugs a little. "I have…. trouble trusting in the Remnant. But I also know that in a beautiful future… one that we've managed already to destroy in taking down Arthur Petrelli… those same people, including Gabriel Gray himself, were friends of mine. So although I keep some emotional distance between me and the Ferry, that…. is only because I feel responsible for things that were… somewhat beyond my control. Not because I think they're doing anything bad or … whatever else. I don't want to be the cause of more hurt to them. I can't answer for what you dreamed. I haven't done whatever it is. I can only tell you that I would never willingly do harm."

"My hope is that the story ends with a misunderstanding and tea," Francois says, with a brighter smile in effort to lighten the mood, tipping his own drink in indication before once more drawing from the honey-tainted beverage. A hand then seeks her's to grip around the wrist in a squeeze. "I do not look for answers from you. You are guilty of nothing, and there is also nothing to say that we are not in the wrong, in this vision. I have made mistakes in the past, I am sure I can make them in the future also."

His mouth twists a little, thinking back over her words. "I know of that future. It is where half of Teo is from. He's told me a little of it, but— I'm not in it. I do not know if it is because I was never rescued, but he has no recollection. Part of me is glad that I am still around, if these future dreams are true. Not lost in time again.

"I'm also married, I think. There was a ring." There, that's something easier to relate, than what he'd wanted to do. He adds; "Not to you, I don't think."

Elisabeth laughs at that, squeezing his hand. "One would hope that you are married to your sweetheart, Francois." Her expression eases from that pensive one back into smiles. "That future… had much to recommend it, I suppose. And things that were horrible too. I'm not so foolish to think that any which way we do things, the future will be perfect. I simply hope to… keep on mitigating the awful, you know?" She pauses. "And in the meantime… these particular dreams….." She nibbles her lip. "Well, it appears Ygraine and Eve were perhaps right. That there is a common factor in all of them." From what she knows of the four dreams and the people in them…. she herself is the only person in all of them. "Though I'm not sure what that exactly means. I suppose it's yet another one of those hurry-up-and-wait situations."


Francois' hand falls from her wrist, picking up tea to hover and nurse it rather than take another pull. "These factions and divisions I think can suffer from too much intellectualism, or they can in some areas. Overwrought management, fractions, splitting hairs over meaning. But it is occasionally better than not enough. Do we have a vision for the future?" He tips a look to her, honest inquiry.

"Perhaps it is my perception, I do not talk very often about these things with either of you, for all that I would like to. But finding individual elements believed to make up a future and killing them— perhaps it only gives way for worse things. As with the bright future, was something stolen, something worse put in place? Perhaps it would be better use of resources to put in place needed things, than— weeding."

He tilts a shrug, an affect of apology. "I speak in unhelpful rhetoric, but perhaps it is a notion worth thinking on."

Elisabeth looks at him and says quietly, “I think right now we’re simply working to avert the worst of what we believe is coming. But yes… I think we do have something of a vision about how to help. The weeding has to be done, but you’re right — planting other seeds is important too.” She pauses, gathering her thoughts. She rarely talks to anyone about the plans, caution has become so ingrained. But this is Francois.

“I don’t know what you saw in your dream,” she finally says in a soft, almost haunted tone, “but in mine… robot spiders were roaming the street randomly scanning people’s faces. I presume for IDs. And there were drone jets flying overhead. People were worried… in the way that people who’ve seen this happen before worry that they are now the target. And relieved when the jets streaked on by and loosed missiles at a site further north from where we were.” Elisabeth pauses. “As you saw at the meeting… we know that Humanis First agents are acting at the highest levels, assisting in pushing these agendas to fruition. Killing them, making martyrs of them, is not the answer. The answer lies, as happened in that brighter future, in turning the tide of public opinion. In making people realize that extermination and concentration camps in the 21st century are not the answer. That those of us with abilities are not the enemy. It is not us versus them — because them is… people like my father, for heaven’s sake.” She pauses and says softly, “And to do that, we have to somehow avert this war. Or at least mitigate the casualties of it — as we tried, and succeeded in, doing with with the riots. And exposing the people running these agendas with proof. And… doing what I do — just … trying to make them see that I protect all.”

There is not much Francois can say for the riots other than what he found when he returned as a result of them — the displaced Ferrymen, the new renovations on his home, fresh glass and fresh paint. New laws. By the time she is done, the tea has been reduced to a penny-sized circle of lukewarm gold-brown, thick with honey dregs, condensed. "Perhaps things can go differently, if this vision comes to be," he eventually agrees. "In my dream, I saw dead soldiers. But we already have those, and live ones, and their tanks in the streets. We will all have to be swift."

The emptied tea cup is set down and pushed aside. "I am seeing some of the Ferry leaders in the next few days. Was there anything you would like to extend to them?" A beat, before he adds, "And you know, only one of the eight council members are remnant Vanguard. She has a companion in a leadership role as well, but he shares it with another."

“Just let them know…. that we’re still here for them, I guess,” Elisabeth says softly. “The Ferry — the people in it, the people who need it… they’re the reasons I do what I do, Francois. I couldn’t become a Ferryman at the start of all this because I was too angry at the Vanguard. I watched dozens of my kids die around me because of those actions. But Eileen’s more than proven where her loyalties are. I’m okay with that.” She smiles a little. “Richard’s not as okay with it, maybe… I don’t know. But then again, he’s more suspicious than a cop, too. And… he worries that everyone will hold him accountable for what the asshole at the Institute is doing.” There’s a bit of a shrug. “Communication. That’s all I’m hoping for right now. Just… tell them the doors are always open.”

"I will extend to them the sentiment," Francois agrees, easily, moving to stand from where he's perched. The close of curfew and the time it takes to move in this city dictating that the late afternoon heralds departure. He delivers to her a kiss on the cheek, bringing close the scent of rain and cologne as he had upon initial embrace. "I suspect they will return it as much as it seems wise to, especially when things overlap as they often seem to. Perhaps once done, I shall talk to Richard alone on the matter."

A shrug, before he's withdrawing — in posture, anyway, not wishing to make for out so abruptly.

Elisabeth smiles a bit and pushes to a standing position to accept the kiss, return one to his cheek as well, and to hug him once more. “Be safe, Francois. As much as you can. And tell Teo I said hello, okay? I’m really glad you stopped in.”

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