Toxic Nostalgia


elisabeth_icon.gif phillip_icon.gif

Scene Title Toxic Nostalgia
Synopsis Memories are not the best foundation.
Date Jun 7, 2011

Excelsior Hotel

The afternoon has once again passed and June has been dismissed for the day. Phillip is found exiting his suite, pulling the door to and standing in the hallway recalling whether or not he's forgotten something. Presently he wears cotton slacks, casual leather shoes, a blue polo shirt and carries a gym bag.

"Should have called first, hrm?" comes Elisabeth's voice from behind him. Her tone is rueful — it's not as if being friends with her is predictable. She shows up when she can, but there's no rhyme or reason to her appearances either. "I'm sorry — it's bad manners to show up on a guy unannounced. I'll try to be better about texting ahead." She doesn't seem concerned about the idea.

Phillip recognizes her voice before he even turns. His eyes display his interest in her presence as they look about her form and finally return her gaze. "Lizzy." is said with a welcoming smile and followed by, "You don't need to call ahead. I was just about to go to the gym for an hour or two."

Down the hallway the elevator dings which is followed by the opening of the lift doors.

The blonde glances over her shoulder toward the elevator, her hand hovering instinctively near her waistband. When no one comes jumping out at them, she turns the movement into a more casual one, resting her hand against her belly. "I won't interrupt," Elisabeth tells him with a smile. "I could… just hang out and wait if you like," she offers. Her eyes skate back toward the elevator.

A leggy blond steps from the elevator. She wears a base white skirt with a striped pattern to it, a solid top which not only acceuntuates her girl bumps but also matches one of the lower colors (blueish hue), heels and carries a bag no larger than 1 ft in width. The bag is more of a carrying case than a purse. Her features will seem familiar to Liz (from early high school) but changed, developed from a girl into a woman. Her blue eyes look upon Phillip and Liz, she says, "Phillip!" in a pleased greeting but then looks back at Liz and says in a more hushed tone while approaching, "I knew it. You didn't want the reels because you felt nostalgic, you wanted them because she's…."

Phillip says, "Tiff, what are you doing here, I asked you to ship the film, not courier it."

Elisabeth's relaxation at the sight of the woman in the elevator (as opposed to men in Horizon armor, for example) instantly evaporates at the words. She moves sideways, putting her body between the blonde and Phillip for a moment, but the movement gracefully morphs into Elisabeth merely crossing in front of him to the opposite side of the hall. Freeing up her gun hand in case all hell breaks loose. And without mentioning the matter, she encases the small group in a silence field so that if the hotel's hallway picks up sound, it sure as hell isn't doing it now. "What the fuck is this, Phillip?" He's told someone about her?? That sense he gets from her, of the pressure in the room rising slightly, usually in more intimate circumstances, ruffles through the area. A low-level hum just barely in the audible range.

So much for a safe haven. There is a pang of regret. Elisabeth keeps it off her face.

Tiff closes within a few feet, her left hand reaches to touch Liz's upper arm with her left hand, "Liz, oh my god; It's been so long and you look…" she pauses searching for softer words than the truth…

Phillip puts the key into the door latch, toggles the handle, pushes and says, "We should go inside - out of the hallway."

Tiff hears the alternative and is saved from finishing the sentence. Tiff's left hand has a 3kt diamond ring and matching wedding band. Her face has seen some minor work, she's perfectly tanned (the Cali way) and for being in her mid to late 30's has held up well (thanks to plastics and a great diet).

Evading the touch, Elisabeth's hand slips to the butt of the pistol, and her body hides the fact that she just pulled it from the holster at the front of her pants. The only thing that makes her enter that room is the fragile trust that Phillip has built over weeks of visits. But she sidles into the room only far enough to then back out of the way of them both with the gun in her hand. She positions herself so that when they come in they have to go past her, well out of arm's length, and she's then the closest one to the door. And in the open space.

Once inside she has a moment to study the tanned woman, her jaw clenching tightly at the sight of wedding rings. The conclusion here is obvious. But whatever Elisabeth may feel at the moment is very carefully concealed behind the cool blue eyes and neutral expression.

Once inside, Tiff moves into the room and will sit her bag down on a nearby table. It seems heavy and has thin metal within it.

Phillip says, "First off, Tiff why are you here?"

Tiff responds as she turns back toward Phillip (now 5 yards away). Her right hand moves her long blond hair from her face, "When you said you wanted the 8mm film in storage. The film marked Liz. I knew you were up to something. You've not looked at this stuff since I put it into storage 14 years ago. You're never nostalgic, but you've always had /her/ in the back of your mind." Which is said with a smile as she puts the pieces together and solves the mystery. She thinks she's an aspiring detective - or something Cagney and Lacyish.

Elisabeth maintains her silence, the weapon remaining in full view of the two of them in her hand. But she makes no other movements. She simply watches the conversation between the other two warily.

Tiff glances to Liz and then notices the firearm, her expression turns concerned and then says to Phillip, "Phillip, seriously? Does she still hate me because…" and then pauses that remark to address Liz, "Listen, it was 17(?) years ago…. I'm still sorry. I thought you two were done and he said you'd broken up with him… or what was it - 'On a Break'. Which to me, back then really meant that you were letting him down easy and I thought it was my chance. Boy was I wrong." She seems to be truly sorry for events in the past.

Phillip has also noticed the weapon and takes over where Tiff left off, "I don't think she still holds a grudge, Tiff." then after a restarting pause, "Liz, put the gun away. Tiff isn't a government agent, she's my assistant - my wayward assistant that should be back in LA and not playing super sleuth trying to figure out what I'm doing in Manhattan."

Elisabeth's eyes narrow on Tiff. The woman still is only vaguely familiar. Seventeen years ago? Her gaze flickers to Phillip, and she considers a moment. Then she slides the pistol back into the holster at her waist. "So…. you hired your ex-girlfriend who … what? Followed you all the way to California?" Liz asks mildly.

"Not exactly…" Phillip says with a 'long story sort of smile' as he answers and sees that Liz is putting away the weapon.

Tiff states, "I most certainly did not follow him to Cali. I went west first and it was kismet that we ran into one another at a charity event." then with a rueful smile Tiff adds, "My husband at the time, Dale, was not too happy with my association with Phillip. Dale was a jealous ass. That's why I divorced him, took the house, the Jag and his manlyhood…"

Phillip grins and interjects as if he's heard this story before or perhaps they've got a good conversation dynamic, "She burned through the money, needed a job, so I hired her as my admin assistant. She was always good at keeping things organized; and my life lacked organization. She later met Cooper, great guy…"

Tiff adds, "Great isn't the half of it. Two kids, a dog, a cat, and a house in the hills. I stayed on with Phillip because he needed me and I needed a hobby to keep me out of trouble."

Elisabeth is weighing every word the other woman speaks. Then she flicks those blue eyes to Phillip again. "So… you asked her to bring you what's in the bag, and instead of shipping them, your high school friend turned admin assistant and I'm assuming friend came to see what the hell kind of trouble you're getting yourself into," she surmises. A faint smile quirks her lips. "Good friends you have," she informs him. He's a lucky guy. Her attitude softens and she addresses them both in a gentle tone. "I need to go. Coming here was always a risk, but now that she knows I'm here — I've come often enough that others may recognize me. I won't be back, Phillip." There is genuine regret in her voice.

Phillip shares that regret in his expression, then in opposition he states, "Then all we've got is Australia."

Tiff asks with a flashing to the past, "I've done it again, haven't I?" She feels that she's broken them up /again/. "I'm sorry, I'll…" and she points toward the other room and begins walking to leave them alone.

Phillip waits for her to go as he takes steps toward the bag that Tiff left. "You can trust her. She won't be telling anyone of your presence here. But you're right, there are cameras everywhere and we should find a different place to be together, like Australia." which is said as he's pulling out 6 inch film canisters from the bag, 3 in total. They have LIZ written on a strip of masking tape across the face.

"I want to believe that," Elisabeth says quietly. She watches 'Tiff' with a puzzled look. "Did what again?" And then there's a bit of a grin. "For what it's worth…. it sounds like whatever happened when we were teens was just… teenagers doing what they do best, Tiff. Don't feel bad, okay? I don't hold any grudges. I'm … glad you've got a good life," she offers, somewhat lamely. She's not sure what to say to a woman she hasn't seen in two decades and barely remembers except as a stuck-up bitch.

Returning her eyes to Phillip, she raises a brow. "I'm not going to Australia," Elisabeth tells him calmly. "And if I disappear because you're being an overprotective ass, Phillip, there are half a dozen people who will be looking to put your head on a pike. Unless, of course, you're going to take my entire organization on board that damn yacht."

Actually considering that, "How many people are we talking?" Phillip asks while placing the canisters on the table and taking the lid off the top one to withdraw the reel and string out three feet of the 8mm film. He'll hold it to the light so he can see the images on each frame.

Pursing her lips, Elisabeth does a mental head count. "Around 15 or so, depending on who opts in," she admits. "It's not a tiny little terrorist cell." And if Tiff happens to be listening, well… maybe the other woman should know what she's just walked into. "And I have no intention of being kidnapped to Australia personally. I might go as far as Tahiti. At the moment, however, my son is here and there is a job to be done. Whether you like what I'm into or not, it's my choice."

"Hang on.." Phillip is taken away from his viewing of the film, "Your son?" - not something she's mentioned and he had no clue she had a kid.

Elisabeth hadn't meant to say that aloud, she just… needed to give him a reason she wasn't leaving. "Time travel is definitely not something I'm going to be good at explaining, but yes… my son. He came back from the year 2040. It sounds like a bad fucking sci-fi movie, but I promise you I'm not insane."

"Time Travel? Seriously? How old is he? Biologically speaking." Phillip stumbles trying to follow the path of the conversation that has taken a very odd sci-fi turn.

She's honestly not sure. "21," Elisabeth replies. Seems about right — born 8 years from now in 2019? Yeah, she'll go with that. "Anyway…. I didn't mean to dump that on you. I just wanted you to understand why you're not going to hijack me out of here. If you need to get out of this mess, Phillip, I won't blame you. Or hold it against you in any way. I swear it. It's… bad here."

Phillip is no longer concerned with the original topic of this conversation as he starts doing math. "Hang on, you're 35 now, right?" and without pause, he adds, "2019 will make you 43ish when you have him. Do you know who the father is?"

"Of course I know who the father is," Elisabeth retorts. "Why?" That seems an odd question to her.

"Oh." Phillip says in a disappointed tone. He's doing math in his head that suggests that in 8 years she'll become pregnant and pop out the kid, that she has not met the person yet or it could be him.

She sees his reaction and then can't help but smile. "I know who his father was supposed to be…. in the timeline he came from," Elisabeth tells him quietly. "But in another timeline, my son's father was someone else. And believe me when I tell you that Chinese curse is not a good place to live." She shrugs a little. "No, he's not your son. But … in the timeline that my son comes from, …. I would venture to guess that you never came back from California. Because I was dead for the next few years. So you'd have had no reason to." She pauses. "Are you getting a headache yet?"

In an effort to derail him, Elisabeth gestures at the reels. "Tell me what you wanted those for?" she asks. "Tiff… seems to indicate that you're rarely nostalgic and so you had something in mind."

Phillip's right hand fingertips touch his temple, the confused grin crosses his face as if he's lost the whole train of thought - derailed. Pulling him back from the brain pain, Liz calls his attention to the reels and the nostalgia.

Before he can speak Tiff comes out of the bedroom and interjects while crossing toward the door, "Sweetie, if you haven't figured it out yet; I'll let you in on the secret - he's only nostalgic for you." then will note as she places her hand on the door handle, "Phillip, I'm going to do some shopping. Call me when you need. Liz, I won't tell anyone, not even my Coop - but, only if you promise not to…" she looks at Phillip, "Leave him twisted inside. —- When ever he and I were together, that one night, he was only thinking of you. Poor bastard couldn't even… And on that note." She says as Phillip has a glare of 'don't you even' then toggles and leaves though the main exit.

How Tiff doesn't think Elisabeth is insane the blonde doesn't even want to know. Her brows pull together as the other woman comments, and then when she's gone those blue eyes go back to Phillip. "Okay…. you know, usually I am puzzling over things between us. And all in all, the fact that you slept with Tiffany — or didn't — years ago seems like it had a pretty nasty impact. But… we were splitsville, right?" she asks, confused. "What the hell was going on that this is something that still eats at you enough 20 years later that you're looking for reel-to-reel film, our high school classmate is worried enough to bring them in person, and … now she's giving me shit for hurting you when it sounds to me by your own admission you were the one who fucked around?" She doesn't sound angry, more … just puzzled.

Phillip doesn't really have words, or the right words to form a sentence that would make it all clear. Instead, he takes a few steps, intent on closing with her. "Liz." is the only word that comes out before he takes her into his arms and will have the goal of meeting their lips together in one of those hat dropping movie kisses. Words cannot display what the kiss conveys. Least not for him.

When he seals his lips to hers, Elisabeth catches a breath. Not a startled one. It's just… good enough between them that the first contact always makes her do it. Her hands come up to cradle his elbows as she responds to the kiss. It's one of those where she can hear the blood rushing in her ears. And with her brain disengaged, her body processes some of what she feels — the outrage at Tiff's appearance though it was overridden by fear. She lives on the run, after all. A feeling of betrayal at the words 'it was seventeen years ago!' It's not current feelings, but sort of remembered ones. And somehow she understands that whatever it was, it cut so deep that maybe there aren't words. Her hand comes up to cradle the back of his neck as she kisses him tenderly.

Moments later, he will break from the kiss but keep her within his arms. Her head can find the space beneath his chin and he'll pause a moment before saying, "So, this timeline is flexable, and allowing for us..?"

Elisabeth laughs softly. "The future is not set," she says softly. Hell, half the time the past isn't either. As she tucks beneath his chin, she is silent for a long time.

Phillip has more to say, but instead of going down the predictable path, he changes course, "There's this little italian place in Jersey just across the Hudson. You feeling it?"

When she draws away from him and looks up, Elisabeth's blue eyes are clouded. Apprehension, worry, and even a hint of hurt show in her expression fleetingly. "I don't think I have much of an appetite," she admits. "I don't really trust her not to tell them I was here, and I think I need to clear out, Phillip. I don't want you thrown into prison for aiding and abetting a fugitive." And he is. "Are you sure enough of her?"

"I trust her. And I'll aid and bed you all you'll let me. So get the 'running away' stuff out of your head unless we're going to Australia. Though, Tahiti will work too, no extradition laws there." Phillip says with a half grin while drawing a few loose locks of hers behind her ear.

She should have seen it before now but it took a woman named Tiff to make Elisabeth face what she sees in his expression. Somewhere things shifted when she wasn't looking — or did they? "I'm in love with my son's father," Elisabeth says quietly. "It doesn't mean what I feel for you or anyone else is less — it's just… a cornerstone of my life. He is a cornerstone of my life." She slips from his hands, putting a little distance between them. "She doesn't want me to tie you in knots, and God help me Phillip I don't want that either."

"Oh." Phillip says as he allows her to move away from him while revealing the whole story. "So you're in love with a guy and having sex with me. Talk about getting even." He smiles as it comes together in his head that she's doing to him what he did to her 17ish years ago. Still slightly stunned, he says, "You should probably do what you planned, and go."

Oh, ouch. "That's…. not what I meant, exactly," Elisabeth says softly. "I don't do monogamy. Ever." Her tone is bald. "I don't expect it of him, he doesn't expect it of me. And I thought I was clear with you in the Hamptons. You… " She pauses. "I care about you. In ways I can't even explain to myself right now. I'm not good with emotions. But… " She grimaces and nods slightly. "I, uhm….. If you want to talk, you have the number," she tells him, uncertain how to fix this one.

Phillip doesn't really hear her explanations, doesn't care about them. Instead, he looks at the canisters of film laying on a nearby table, then as he begins walking toward the other room he says, "Goodbye, Liz." and will feel comfortable that she can see her way out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License