Too Many Shades Of Gray


cassidy2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Too Many Shades Of Gray
Synopsis Cassidy and Elisabeth have a long chat.
Date Aug 6, 2009

Central Park

Since the day of the shootout, Cassidy has been a little edgy. She always seems to want to say something to her friend, Detective Harrison, but then a glance to her partner and Cassidy shuts her mouth. It's been a week and Cassidy just can't wait any longer. She needs to talk to the other woman.

Hooking her arm through other woman's, Cassidy drags Liz out to the car, while grumbling, "We're going for a drive." And she drives, not saying much just listening to that murmur that's always present in her head anymore. She looks like she's waiting for something.

The car trip takes them to Central Park, here the redhead declares. "Finally! Come on.. We're gonna take a walk." Cassidy climbs out of the car and waits for Liz to catch up. "Sorry for dragging you out like this. I just… really needed to talk where he can't hear." A pretty good clue on the subject she wishes to discuss.

Getting dragged out of the precinct in the middle of several investigations isn't exactly normal, but it's not exactly unusual either. Elisabeth's response to it is to merely make sure she's got her holster beneath a short-sleeved cardigan as they head out. "The silence in the car makes her watch the driver carefully, thoughtfully, but it's one of those women-things that she realizes Cass will talk when she's ready.

As they arrive and start walking down a path in the part, Liz shoves her hands into the pockets of her khaki pants and she says, "What's on your mind?"

"I slept with my partner." The words just tumble straight out of Cassidy's mouth just like that, before she can stop them or think to much about them. She just lets them flow. "I slept with Coren the night of the shootout." No wonder she's been so fidgety. Her hands come up to press fingers to her temples, like she's trying to get a grip. "Liz.. I— I'm so not this type of person. We've about broken every unwritten rule in the book."


Elisabeth doesn't say anything for a long moment, and she's torn between laughing and being sincerely concerned for Cassidy's agitation. The soft chuckle wins — she can't help it. "I'd say 'I told you so' but I fear that you'll hit me," she comments mildly. "Considering the adrenaline levels, I'm …. not precisely surprised." She slants a glance at the redhead and asks with a grin, "Was it good?"

"Good? What?" Cassidy blinks at her friend and then it dawns on her. She shakes her head and waving her hands in front of her to stave off that train of thought, "Oh god.. Liz!" Her cheeks turn nice bright red. "God, No.. We didn't have sex. That's I think the only taboo we haven't — done yet." She's silent for a fraction of a moment. "Not that it didn't cross my mind. Laying there like we were." She sounds exasperated. "I can't ignore it Liz. I have feeling for the old man."

Now that makes Elisabeth break down into the giggles. "Well, shit… what the hell'd you expect me to think?" she asks, nudging Cassidy with her shoulder as the women walk. "Girl, I told you *that* weeks ago. Dunno if you'd still have them without the empathy thing, but my guess is that you cared about him before the empathy thing and you couldn't have formed that strong a bond without already being halfway there." Her tone is very matter of fact.

Cassidy's cheeks are still pink with embarrassment. "I guess I could of said it differently, but literally he drug me into his bed after one hell of a nightmare." Fingers of one hand comb slowly through red hair. "I — just don't think it's both ways. I can't tell. Which is weird since I know I've got to be an open book."

Stopping at a hot dog cart, Cassidy looks thoughtful. "The man is too good to be true. Everytime he knows I'm upset.. he invites me over and cooks for me. Has since before this thing between us. Damn good cook too." She takes a moment to order a hotdog, before continuing. "He's really seen me at my worse and he's still there to hold the bucket when I throw up and well…. hug me." Liz feels it, that little twist of emotion that comes from really feeling for someone. The care and affection. "I've been married to my job way too long. Buried myself in it after my first partner was shot. This all is just… overwhelming me."

As they walk, Elisabeth is quiet, really listening. She shakes her head slightly at the vendor, she doesn't want anything right now. When they're in motion again, she finally sighs and speaks, her sympathy making her feel bad for Cassidy's predicament. "I'd venture to guess that at least some of what you feel is returned, because like I said…. I sincerely doubt you could actually build that bond that the two of you have without being already halfway there — on both your parts." She glances at Cassidy. "That's not to say that what you're feeling is the whole being in love thing. I wouldn't presume to tell you what you're feeling. But …. between partners — GOOD partners — there's always a sense of connection. When you trust someone with your life, it's just a given. With partners who've been together a long time, who're really sympatico, if you ask 'em they'll tell you that they have a bond almost like that even without the empathy power you've got. Yours is obviously far more intimate than most, but…. " She trails off.

"Me and my first partner were close.. Not like me and Coren by far.. He was married to his high school sweetheart had some really great kids. No, that was more like really good friends. This feels different. And that's scary Liz." Taking a bite, she ponders something for a moment. "And I'm not saying it's a love thing either.. but it's something. Not even Mortimer did I feel like this. He, I'm starting to think, was more me echoing his feelings." That seems to bother her a bit.

Pursing her lips a bit, Elisabeth nods. "Well, that would definitely be my first concern with you. I mean… when you bond to someone, how do you tell what's your emotion and what's thiers?" she asks practically. "Are you just freaking out because you shared a mattress with the guy, or are you searching for actual answers that only time will give?" she adds.

Crumbling us her wrapper Cassidy sighs. "Freakin' out really. Needed to get it out in the open with someone you tend to be the one I can trust like that." The wrapper is tossed in the trash as the pass a bin. "He and I are one step away from things taking a hell of a turn. And I can't figure out if that's a good or a bad thing." Hands are tucked into her jeans and she sighs. "Serial killers who screw with your mind… Shootouts and ending up curled up with my partner in bed.. Seriously, Liz… Can things get any weirder?"

"Yeah," Liz replies quietly. "They really can." Her own life right now would be a case study in 'weird'. As they walk, she smiles faintly. "Library Cutie sent greetings, by the way."

"Did he? Amazed he remembers me." Cassidy says brightening a little. "How is he? Or more importantly, how are things between the two of you?" she asks slyly. Studying the woman walking next to her, "And I haven't even asked how you are holding up? Some friend I am."

"He's got a good memory," Elisabeth says with a smile. And then she shrugs as she walks along. "We're doing fine." She slants a grin at Cassidy. "I see him when I see him, pretty much. He showed up the night of the shootout," she says quietly. "Never seems terribly spooked or weirded out by anything I have to do in the line of duty, you know. Shooting a kid in the face? He just…. sits with me." Of course, the things he does and the things she does not in the line of duty might have something to do with that too. She's holding an awful lot back from Cassidy, after all. "I'm holding up just fine, really. I think the worst part of it was just the sense of… " She pauses. "When he told me where to find the guy, he told me not to go. That it wasn't worth it. And it sucks that some part of me has been on this job long enough to agree with him. And to know that I damn near got both our fuckin' heads blown off for someone we never had a hope of saving. Not like that second kid, you know?"

Cassidy nods slowly listening, but then she gives Liz a knowing look. "We took an oath, Liz. You remember the oath. To Protect and Serve. There is a reason for that motto." the redheaded detective isn't saying anything that Liz doesn't already know, but sometimes people just need to be reminded. "People don't appreciate us like the firefighters or EMTs, but that never keeps us from doing our job." Nudges her shoulder against her friend's. "Gang banger or not. We had to go there and we had to try. And it wasn't you or even me that almost got us killed — It was the guy that killed the guy we were coming to warn." A smile touches her lips. "Look at it this way, we survived and because I have the best partner in the whole damn world, we're still working and doing our job." There are those emotions, deep affection and a touch of pride when she talks about Coren.

There's a faint smile. "If the world had half a friggin' clue what this job actually entails these days, they'd be scared shitless," Elisabeth comments. She walks along and finally looks at Cassidy, her emotions chaotic. She'd like to confide in the other woman about so many things, but the risk right now is far too great. Better Cassidy and Coren stay in the dark. "Cass…. you and Coren deserve a better explanation than you got about the technopath and what he was doing. I'm sorry that I can't give you a better one… and I cannot express to you how much it means that you trusted me enough to follow through with me on trying to help them." She's feeling a bit low and tired. The serial killer case and the shooting are both still keeping her up at night too.

"I figure.."Cassidy starts after a moment of silence. "..that one day you'll confide the things you need too." Her head turns towards Liz a bit and gives her a small smile. "We all got out secrets and things we can't tell others. The only one that knows everything about me is my partner, and not cause I want to be completely honest with him." She scratches at her cheek and sighs. "I came here to try to find the black and white of things, but I'm learning life is all grays, some darker then others."

Pausing in their walk, Cassidy turns to Liz. "I don't know what you go going on. But you haven't given me any reason not to trust you. Us girls, we gotta look out for each other." A hand moves to rest on the other Detectives shoulder. "So until you give me a reason not to trust you, I got your back, with few questions asked." She can't after all say no questions asked, she'll always have to ask some. It's part of being a detective. She gives her a bigger smile. "I'd rather keep you alive so I can be completely jealous of that cutie you got, then to have to stand over your grave." With a wink, the hand drops away so that they can continue.

There's a soft laugh as Cassidy says she's looking for the black and white of life, and Elisabeth stops to turn to face the other woman. "Cassidy," she says quietly, "If my life gets any more gray, we're going to have to come up with a new color palette to go with it." She studies the other cop and nods slowly. "Well, I think my cutie'd appreciate that you're out there risking your neck to cover my ass," she quips. "He rather likes it!" There's a brow waggle there, and then she turns to resume their walk with a slightly lighter step. "Mostly at this point, though, the biggest thing I've got on my plate is Coren's serial killer — which is driving me batshit because we got nuthin' we can use and only one real lead at this point. And if you don't think that my guy and the group of people who're friends with Abby are completely up in arms over this guy?" She rolls her eyes. "Woe to the fucker if one of them gets to him first. Seriously."

"Should see how much Coren's going crazy over it." Cassidy says softly. "It was his problem all those years ago, now it's back." She shakes her head. "I'm worried about him. Worried he's going to fall into that pattern he was in when he was forced to quit the FBI." There is a soft sigh, "I'll help them hunt him down and put a bullet in his brain myself if it'll get the Mofo off the street."

"These friends of yours… I know you can't tell me about them." Cassidy presses her lips together, "Mortimer gave me a file and a thumb drive, to prove why he had to do it. Primatech Paper was not what it seemed. It was… I dunno. Something kinda scary. There is a layout of the facility.. and powers of the people working there. No names.. no pictures. I couldn't turn the stuff in. How would I explain it?" She frowns a bit. "They had holding facilities under there where they kept people like us, Liz. Insane and a little weird. It's useless to me really. What am I going to do with it? Think your cutie or the others would want it?"

There's a sympathetic grimace as Cassidy talks about Coren's state of mind, and she totally gets is. There are cases that just stick with you. The 36 is one of Liz's, and it's still considered open…. not a damn thing ever came of searching for a source for that one. Just instinct telling everyone involved that it can't be as simple as it seemed.

When Cassidy speaks up about Mortimer, though, Elisabeth visibly stiffens as she stops in the middle of the sidewalk to stare at the redhead. "Yeah," she replies, keeping her voice very level. "Yeah, I definitely think I know some people who'd want it, Cassidy." She studies the other cop and asks quietly, "But the fact that you're asking me that makes me think you…. know or suspect a lot more than I may have realized." A pause. "Did you cover for Mortimer in this instance because you fell for him? Or for another reason?"

"Suspect is a good word, Liz." Cassidy gives Elisabeth a serious look as she pauses to look back at the other woman. "I'm not nave, I know there is weird shit always going down in this city. Remember you warned me about things going down.. and then that terrorist attack on the facility." She gives Liz a knowing look. "I seriously don't know what your wrapped up in Liz, but I don't think you'd get into something really really bad. Questionable maybe.."

Cassidy fully turns to look at the blond detective. "I covered for him at first because I felt for him, there was a part of him that I saw as redeemable." Her eyes drift to watch the people around the park. "But I looked at the files, Liz. And part of me thinks… maybe… just maybe he did the right thing. Do I like that he killed all those people? No. Absolutely not…. But if what I saw is true. I don't like how things are heading." She gives Liz her full gaze again. "But that's just me."

The look on Elisabeth's face is cautious, and her nod to Cassidy is very slow. The terrorist attack on the facility…. yeah. Elisabeth wondered if Cassidy would make the connection — she's a smart woman. "It's not just you. A lot of people don't like where things are heading. In spite of the fact that I do believe that for the most part, people are good… there are enough bad ones, and they have enough power and money…. that things are getting dicey. At best." She nibbles her lip. "And I should warn you to be real, real careful who you voice those sentiments to. Because especially with FRONTLINE coming online… I think things are about to get REAL scary around here."

Cassidy chuckles, but there is no humor behind it. "I am not stupid enough to go saying anything." She gives Liz a 'you should know better' look. "Why do you think it took me so long to tell you about the files?" She arches a brow, "I trust you, Liz.. it's the only reason your hearing it."

Cassidy's eyes shut suddenly and she tilts her head a bit, as if listening to something. "I think Coren is on the way to the airport." She suddenly looks nervous when she opens her eyes. "I going to need a distraction." She says suddenly, letting out a slow breath. "First time we're are going to be that far apart." She gives a nervous chuckle. "You'd think we were newly weds or something."

There's a faint chuckle at the information that Coren's heading out, and she asks quietly, "Is he…. going to be doing some checking on her while he's at the funeral, or is he strictly going as a mourner?" Because it matters. If it's strictly as a mourner, a second trip is going to have to be made to start tracking Megan Manning's last movements. As Elisabeth turns to take up the walk once more, scuffing her feet along the path, she asks quietly, "How much you want to know about what I know about Pinehearst? Cuz it sure makes the job a fuckload harder some days."

"It's Coren," Cassidy says with confidence, "somehow I think he'll do the footwork while there as well as mourn." Folding arms across her chest, she walks along side Elisabeth. "Wish he would have taken me with him, but… he needed to do this thing on his own. I guess — I can understand that. Doesn't make this any less easy."

She takes the time to think about what Liz is offering. "You don't have to tell me anything. I'd like to know what's going on, but I respect your secrets." She gives a heavy sigh and murmurs. "I really do want to know what's going on though, when your ready to trust me enough."

With her hands shoved into her pockets, the two women walking in the sunshine look like they're just out for a stroll…. and really, they are. It's just on city time. As they walk along, joggers and mothers and nannies with strollers pass, dog walkers go by. Birds sing, the breeze sighs through the leaves. And then all of the sounds that come with those activities stop. Elisabeth says quietly, "You know those news reports about what they found in the basement?" She looks at Cassidy. "They're all true. The man at the top of Pinehearst is a guy whose last name you'd recognize… and I'm not going to tell you that for now. The short version of the story is that years and years ago, maybe… thirty years or something… he and some friends who knew about the Evolved started to build an organization intended to protect the Evolved from other people. And like all people with a secret, as they amassed power and influence, they got corrupted. They lost sight of their goals and turned into the very people that everyone else needs to be afraid of." She considers how best to go about this. "The Narrows collapse was due to a fight between the people I know and someone who stole a virus from that group. A virus that would have wiped out something like 90 percent of the world's population in a very short space of time if we hadn't stopped it. Pinehearst was an attempt to take this man at the top out of the equation." She looks at Cassidy and says quietly, "Whether it's made any difference? That I honestly can't tell you. Because this group…. they've got some major influence and power. To the highest levels of government."

Slowing her pace as all sound disappears, Cassidy gives her full attention to Harrison. She doesn't say a word through it all.. but by the end of it, she looks almost disturbed by what she is told. "So they were actually experimenting there?" A shudder runs through her body. "And all this is happening under our very noses?" She glances around at all the people clueless to what they are talking about. "Damn…" She says the word with feeling. "Was Primatech Paper connected to all this, you think?"

Elisabeth's reply to that is simple. "Primatech Paper is also known as the Company in the circles of people I know. They are… basically… the black ops division of Homeland Security, so far as I can tell. Most Evos go through the Homeland process like we did. They come out of Registration just fine and resume — or attempt to — their normal lives. Every so often, someone with a power that's…. out of control or something they want… those are the ones that seem to disappear and not turn back up on the radar. At least so far as I can tell."

Cassidy stops completely looking thoughtful. She studies the woman, like she's just learned she's not who she said she was. So much to take in, so much she didn't even know about. There is a jerk of her head back in the direction of the car. "Come on. I'll take you by my place and get those files. I tucked them away safe until I could figure what to do with them." She gives Liz a small smile, "Not sure they are worth anything anymore, but it sounds like they would be better in their hands."

Elisabeth waits out the scrutiny, entirely comfortable with what she's telling this woman and clearly telling the truth. Admittedly, it's pieces of the truth, but it's the most important part. And Cassidy can easily tell that what she's saying has no hint of deception to it. When the redhead turns to head back toward the car, Elisabeth turns to walk with her maintaining the silence field. "So …. it begs the question of what you think COREN'S gonna think of all this. Since I know you, at least, believe me."

A lot of things pass across Cassidy's features. "I — wish I could say I know what he'll think." Her shoulders lift and she gives Liz an apologetic look. "I won't know till he somehow catches it. He took the files and what I did with Mortimer well… Except the having sex with the crazy stalker." Her cheeks color a bit. "Um… Anyhow…." She trails off suddenly, looking up. What Liz doesn't know is that the murmuring in Cassidy's head has gone silent. No emotions nothing. Just a little glimmer of something that says he's still there. There is a shudder and she wraps her arms around herself. "Shit… it's been awhile." She says outloud. "He's on the plane."

Elisabeth throws an arm around Cassidy. "Sounds like tonight's a good night for a girls' night at my place. Considering that in the past week, I've slagged my throat to oblivion with activities you wish to know nothing about, damn near had my head shot off, realized I'm falling for a guy that I have no desire to tie down but *do* sort of wish I could tell that I'm falling for him, and pretty much dumped a man who loves me to complete distraction — which by the way makes me feel like absolute shit because … there was a time when I wanted so much more with him just because he loves me like that — …. it requires alcohol. Or huge amounts of chocolate. Pick your poison. And chick flicks!"

"Ever notice how quiet the world is when the electricity goes out. How you never realize how much the hum of the electronics is a part of your life? And it just feels… dead and odd and not right?" Cassidy asks, leaning against Liz making them zig zag a bit. "That's what this feels like.. Too damn quiet." She gives a little chuckle. "So yes, Detective Harrison, I could really use a girls night that results in one hell of a hang over the next morning. You can tell me all about these guy, while I stress out about the one that's headed states away and we can giggle like little girls over it all."

There's a quiet laugh. "I notice the texture of sound in the world far more these days than ever before," Elisabeth admits. As the two meander back to the car, she hip-bumps Cassidy and heads around to the passenger door. "Tonight. My place. Like 9pm. It's a date."

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