The Road Taken


trask_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title The Road Taken
Synopsis She had her line in the sand — this far and no further. They didn't just step over it, they obliterated it. And now … it's on.
Date November 22, 2008

St. Luke's Hospital

St. Luke's Hospital is known for its high-quality care and its contributions to medical research. Its staff place an emphasis on compassion for and sensitivity to the needs of their patients and the communities they serve. In addition to nearby Columbia University, the hospital collaborates with several community groups, churches, and programs at local high schools. The associated Roosevelt Hospital offers a special wing of rooms and suites with more amenities than the standard hospital environment; they wouldn't seem out of place in a top-rated hotel. That said, a hospital is a hospital — every corridor and room still smells faintly of antiseptic.

Trask rushes to the hospital as soon as he heard about the problem at the school, and her part in it. He is still in his uniform, which actually has gotten him buy people who otherwise might have kept him out.

She's not the only person from Washington Irving brought to the hospital tonight. A lot of teachers and students have been brought to St. Luke's via ambulance or by parents of kids. Elisabeth is resting quietly in a room with one other occupant who is unconscious. She lays in the bed looking pale and rather like someone who…. well, was caught in an explosion. Her forehead just above her right eye is bandaged, and the brilliant purple bruise is already showing hallmarks of being colossal. Her left arm is bound to her chest to keep her from moving it before they cast it. When the door opens, her blue eyes do as well. At the sight of Norton, she smiles sleepily — she'd been expecting her father, but this is much nicer. "Hey," she greets.

Trask smiles softly, moving to her side, one hand touches, carefully on her arm, trying to not hurt her, "Hey….you ok……I…." He just shuts up, and looks at you.

Elisabeth nods a little bit, turning her face toward him and reaching up with her good hand. "'Mokay," she replies softly. Slipping her hand into his, she squeezes tightly. "Glad yer here, though," she slurs a little. They put the good stuff in her IV, clearly. Her eyes close for a long moment, and then she opens them again. "Do they have… a tally?" Of the people who didn't make it, she means. Not that she really expects them to yet. It's far too early.

Trask bites his lip and shakes his head, "early numbers are 200, half those might make it though. I'm so sorry …. I… I heard it was Pariah….I… He" He shakes his head, "Thank god your ok…."

Elisabeth murmurs softly, "Yeah…. I kinda thought it might have been something like that." The numbers bring tears to her eyes, and she holds his hand tightly. "I know there were at least a dozen in my hallway alone that I couldn't get out before the place collapsed." She bites her lip, glancing toward her roommate. When she looks back up at Trask, there is resolve in her expression behind the tears. "Norton…. I can't walk away from this one. I've been walking away and turning my back for two years. They just killed *kids* for no reason. That line in the sand? They passed that about eight miles back."

Trask nods, "I Know…I…didn't think she was capable of this."

Elisabeth goes very still, staring at him. "Your street contacts are in PARIAH." It's not a question, and she's watching him with a cautious, wary expression. "I was sort of hoping you knew people in the other group — the one that doesn't appear to be involved in this catastrophe."

Trask says, "I…have contacts in both groups they were one group till recently, when they split in two after thier leaders death. Most of my contacts joined the group that did not feel violence was the answer…but…I have at least one person still in the other group. I just…I didn't imagine they would do something like this. I'm sorry…if I did…." He shakes his head.

There is silence while Elisabeth processes this information through the haze of concussion and drugs. "I guess you have a choice to make, then, don't you?" she finally says quietly. "Because now you *do* know the extent of their willingness to do violence to innocents. And I guess I have a choice now too… now that I know I'm willing to do violence to THEM."

Trask says, "What kind of choice are you considering…what is your plan?" He looks at you, searchingly.

"I guess it depends on you," Liz answers quietly, making sure to keep her voice low so passing nurses don't hear. "The way I see it, I have two choices. I can try to touch base with some of your OTHER friends who at least seem to have their heads on straight when it comes to hurting innocents…. or I can take a step the other direction and go back to work on the force, see if there's any chance to bring these people in and make them pay for what they just did." She looks up at him. "You've been working within the system for the past two years…. I need your honest assessment on which way has the best chance for justice for my kids, Norton." Her voice chokes on the last words.

Trask says, "Justice for your kids…or justice for the world? I can't see pheonix standing for this. The police could prolly hunt down and arrest these terrorists, but I'm not sure if that would stop other groups. Or the problems in general…it's a very complicated question my love."

Elisabeth nods slowly. "Well, justice for my kids is a place to start, at least. Justice in general … that's a bonus. But I can't sit on the sidelines anymore. It's on. And it's on in a big way. I'm going to play hardball with whichever group actually has a chance to make a difference. And right now, I don't really care that it's called vigilante justice." She's angry. Beneath the drugs that are helping her stay mostly calm, there is rage brewing — they made it personal. "They tried to kill me. They did kill some of my kids, and it's sheer stupid luck they missed me. They want a fucking war? Fine… then I want in."

Trask says, "Not like this. It's going to take you some time to get back on your feet…maybe afterwards." He carefully strokes your cheek, avoiding the wounds. "We can deal with it together."

Elisabeth hesitates, her brows pulling together a little. "I'm going home tomorrow. It'll take a few weeks for the arm to heal, but the concussion will be better in a few days." Or something. "Norton…" She looks up at him searchingly, questions clear in her expression. Questions she's not entirely sure she wants to ask right here, right now. She turns her face into the light caress, and says softly, "I'm glad you came."

Trask says, "Are you going to need help around the house? I can drop by to…open cans and things. if you want." His eyes don't leave yours.

There's a faint smile on her face. "I wouldn't mind the company," she admits softly. "My father will just hover… I'm surprised you got past him into the room. He was just here a few minutes ago." Although maybe she dozed off a bit too. "I have a feeling I'm not going to sleep much." Nightmares after this would pretty much be the expected result. She rests her face in his hand, closing her eyes a moment.

Trask says, "I will keep the ghosts and monsters away…don't worry about that. I think your dad just thought I was coming to take a statement. I'm just another blue shirt to him."

Elisabeth does smile at that, opening her eyes to look up at him again. "Well… if you're going to run about calling me 'love', we might have to fix that eventually," she teases softly.

Trask blushes, the red going well with the blue. "Sorry….I shouldn't have….' He looks down.

Elisabeth shrugs just a little and says quietly, "I don't know whether you should have or not. But I don't expect you to censor yourself, so… we'll just take it as it comes, hmm?" She does reach up to cradle her good hand over the one he's got on her glass-scratched face. "I'm sorry I scared you that much, though." She's pretty much assuming he blurted it out of an excess of relief after the fear.

Trask leans down and kisses her, softly, tenderly, but with a little passion, maybe from the fear, maybe not. He keeps it gentle and loving though, given her injuries. Not pushing too hard.

Returning kiss softly, Elisabeth gives him that somewhat hazy smile again. She's lucid, but the painkillers and the concussion are starting to take their toll. "Can you sit with me a little while, or do you need to get back on the street?" She's not even sure what time it is, much less what he might have had to do to get here to the hospital. "I'm probably not going to be much company, I'm starting to fade out again… " But just as clearly she seems to want him here for a little while.

Trask says, "I took the rest of the day off…When I heard about the bomb, My first thought was that I had lost you…my second was that I was glad we had made the attempt…to be more the friends…my third…was regret we hadn't done so earlier…or had more time together."
Elisabeth chuckles softly. "Wow, that's an awful lot of thinking about me you did there in a few seconds." She's struggling to keep her eyes open, but she looks at him intently in spite of it. "The last thoughts I had just before the fire door hit me as the ceiling fell were of my father…. and of you. I was worried about you. About the fact that you'd just let me closer, and that now I was going to go and leave you alone." She smiles a bit. "I'm grateful it didn't work out that way."

Trask says, "I am too…." He smiles and kisses your forhead, then pulls the blanket up around you, "Sleep…I'll be here when you wake up."

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

November 22nd: The Healing Miracle

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 22nd: Promise Me
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