The Other Rue


devon5_icon.gif elliot_icon.gif

Scene Title The Other Rue
Synopsis Elliot insinuates himself into the investigation of Rue's doppelganger.
Date November 30, 2020

The Bastion
Phoenix Heights

November 30, 2020
11:45 AM

It’s come down to this.

Despite his best efforts to foist as much of the thanksgiving leftovers onto his coworkers last Thursday, some vestiges remained in the refrigerator. The remnants are arrayed on the counter before Elliot, lids removed. Last scoopfuls sit in the corners of Pyrex containers. Cold spikes of turkey fat cling to the glass here and there as the dinnerware begins to condensate. It’s now or never.

Elliot sets to his task grimly, combining the remaining solids into a single dish which is pushed into the preheated oven. Gravy is placed on the stove-top in a small saucepan. When the varied bits of the feast begin to heat up the important work begins.

Flour, sugar, baking powder are sieved into a mixing bowl. A second bowl gets egg yolks, milk, and melted butter. As he begins to combine the dries and wets he takes a moment to turn on the waffle iron. Whipping the egg whites is a task that would have been impossible this time last week when his arm was still bound in a cast. Now, free of that arm prison, he takes the small pleasures wherever he can find them.

The scents of thanksgiving staples are just beginning to edge their way out of the oven when he folds the whipped egg whites into the rest of the waffle batter. By the time he has a few large, circular waffles cooked and kept warm in the oven, the toppings are done. He removes the lot from the oven and turns it off. Time for presentation. He plates a waffle and layers on stuffing, turkey, spicy cranberry relish, and piping hot gravy.

He checks his watch: 11:59. Nailed it. He carries the plate to the kitchen’s dining table and pours himself a coffee.

It's about then that Devon wanders into the lounge, a folio opened and his eyes focused on the contents within. He doesn't notice Elliot at first as wanders by memory to the coffee maker. Awareness of the other Hound comes when he gets near enough to the cooked foods. The folio comes down, and his head turns to discover the source.

“Smells good,” he states, giving Elliot a nod. The folder is closed and Devon picks a mug from the cabinet to pour himself some coffee.

“Feel free to help yourself,” Elliot says, gesturing to the reheated conglomeration of leftovers. There are even two Belgian waffles left to dump them on if Devon’s feeling adventurous. Most of the strange stuff is gone, like the chocolate-covered candied bacon and roasted fruit, but the remaining options are holiday staples.

What's left is plenty, and better than anything Devon could make for himself. He easily accepts the suggestion, setting his folio aside and filled mug on top of it so he can dish up a plate. Waffles and all, there's little he's shown that he won't at least try, especially if it's homemade.

After fixing his plate, Dev gathers all of the things he'd brought or claimed, and turns to take a seat at the table. “This stuff has gotten better the longer it's been leftovers,” he points out as a compliment as he gets settled.

Elliot hums in agreement. “The seasonings have a little more time to permeate. Plus waffles. I was thinking of just pressing the leftover stuffing directly into the waffle iron, but that works better when it hasn’t been cooked yet.”

He eats contentedly for a while, savoring the incorrect waffles before springing the trap. “So, I’ve been meaning to get back to this,” he says. “The other Rue. I’m aware that she exists and that she has been a huge problem. Is there an ongoing investigation into her whereabouts?”

Devon makes a noise around a mouthful of waffle and leftover turkey, something that neither confirms nor denies knowledge and somehow also misses the mark on even acknowledging what Elliot’s asking. He chases that bite with another, stalling as he glances to the doorway before focusing on the other Hound.

“There's an open investigation, I've been working on it since last January.” It's not good news, and he knows it. “Unfortunately all the leads are drying up faster than I can track them down.”

Elliot smirks as he watches Devon eat his way through the formation of a response. “I’d like to volunteer my services wherever they might be useful in the investigation. Review any existing case notes and such. I know Marlene framed Rue for the kidnapping, and harassed Seren Evans in some regard.”

“Obviously if there’s nothing to go on there’s not a lot to do, but,” he shrugs. “Ideally I’d like to avoid a situation in which I make out with the wrong version of my girlfriend. That would almost certainly go over not the greatest.”

“Yeah well.” Devon stabs his fork into a chunk of ham and waffle. “I don't know how to make that happen. Maybe a code word between you two or something, as long as you and Rue keep it between yourselves.” Not that it would help with the rest of the Hounds if they weren't in on things.

“Seren’d said that Rue’s double knew things because she'd broken into her apartment and read Rue’s diary.” How that connected to the kidnappings is a mystery. “As for where to look for her, I kind of got the impression she was hiding at Cats at first, but… I don't know. The more I looked at it, and from what Seren said about the diary, it's got to be our Rue Lancaster that’s there.”

Devon shakes his head at the whole mess. “If she's even still around, she needs to be brought to justice. I'll accept any help you can offer.”

Elliot chuckles. “Yeah we’ve already established some countersign. And I’ve been training her in the network, so on the bright side I haven’t come across any memories that suggest our Rue isn’t our Rue. Whenever you want to go over what we have I’m available to help.”

He takes a moment to eat through some of his thoughts. “I’ll probably reach out to Seren at some point to see if there’s anything I can shake out from their recollection, but I’m waiting on Rue for that one. I’d like to keep things from getting awkward regarding their past relationship. I’ll let you know.” He shrugs. He’s generally not one to push, though withholding the news of his relationship with Rue from Seren doesn’t sit well with him.

“That's good.” And a relief to know the former Hound is taking measures to watch her back. Devon pushes the crumbs and remaining bits of food around with his fork. “I don't think Seren knows anything more than what they’ve already told me. I tried to get them to file a report with SESA, thinking maybe if we got the government involved actively again we could somehow trick the other Rue into resurfacing, but they're reluctant to try again and I'm not going to push them. It's not worth the risk or trauma to Seren.”

Elliot reflects on that for a moment. He sets his cutlery on his plate and focuses on his coffee. “You’re right,” he says. “Safety first. If it comes to it, we could probably use me as bait. Assuming the impostor isn’t done grinding that relationship axe yet.”

“Assuming Seren is open to another interview on the subject, there might be more I could offer the investigation,” he muses. “Though, it’s well within the territory of inadmissible evidence. And, as you noted, asking Seren to remember a traumatic moment is … morally complex.”

“Like I said, Seren mentioned the other Rue was getting information from a journal our Rue was keeping.” Devon pauses to consider how confusing that path of thought sounds, eventually shaking his head at it. “Anyway, it sounded like after the confrontation with Seren, the other Rue hasn't been back and anything new is safe.” Not that he believes it's fully safe, but that's another problem for a later day.

“Mostly,” Devon resumes with a shrug and gathering of his dishes. “I'm just trying to keep an ear out for anything that might hint at where the other Rue can be found. Or if she's gone.”

Elliot’s eyebrow raises at the idea of Rue keeping a diary. While he isn’t sure that she doesn’t, it does seem out of character. He’ll have to ask her about it later. He nods as Devon begins cleaning up, standing to collect his own dishes. “If it’s cold, it’s cold,” he says noncommittally. “Either way thanks. Having an eye on it should help relieve some stress either way.”

He sets his dishes beside the sink, taking a moment to prepare a third plate for Wright before setting about cleaning up after himself. “I got this,” he says, gesturing to the dishes. When ambushing a co-worker about his investigation into one’s girlfriend’s interdimensional doppelganger, it’s only polite to do the cooking and the cleaning up.

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