Twenty Questions


darius_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Twenty Questions
Synopsis Darius and Liz celebrate just a little between crises.
Date January 25, 2009

Darius's Apartment

Darius seems to think the diffusing of the bombs to be a great victory. He'd invited you over to celebrate sweet success since.. well.. who else would he invite? Anyway, by the time you arrive, he's got an array of finger foods set out on the coffee table to include veggies and dip, shrimp cocktail, and cheese and crackers. There's a fire in the fireplace but then its been a fixture since winter took a turn for the cold.

When she arrives, Liz offers a bottle of wine — a nice chardonnay — with a smile. Because you know? It *is* a great victory. "Wow," she says as she enters his place. "You went all out just for me? Geez, Darius, I don't know what to say," she teases lightly.

"Ahh, bon appetite?" Darius is dressed casually in jeans and a knit shirt as he steps aside with a sweep of his arm, inviting her in. The door is closed behind her and he offers to take the bottle and her coat. "I'd have invited your friends over, too, but that might have raised a few questions from the neighbors. Nevermind that Harvard lives next door." Oh the irony there.

Handing over the bottle and slipping her jacket off, Liz too is dressed casually in jeans and a black V-necked pullover. She looks wiped out — like she hasn't caught up on her sleep from doing the bombs all night two nights ago. But she seems a bit more relaxed. Maybe not as relaxed as she ought to be, considering, but far more relaxed than she was in the week before the bombs! "Yeah… living next door to Will definitely puts a crimp in your style if you're gonna hang out with those other guys," she laughs at him. "Guess it means that when you see them, you'll have to go to them, huh?"

Darius shrugs. "In good time." He sets the bottle down on the doorside table and takes the jacket to the nearby closet to hang up. Then he returns for the bottle and gives it an eye. "Not bad. I blame my mom for giving me the discerning eye. Ihad more wine tastings than any twelve year old I know." There's a chuckle and he moves to the kitchen to take two glasses from the overhead rails. "I don't know about you but I slept for about twelve hours the day after."

Elisabeth chuckles at him. "Yeah, I think I slept like the dead when I finally crashed." She shrugs a bit, her expression easy. It just wasn't right away. "It's one less thing to go wrong out there, at least." She moves to sit, picking up a shrimp to pop in her mouth as he pours. "It's relatively rare to find a cop who knows wine… I like that about you, Darius."

Darius is leaning over the coffee table, pouring, when he looks up across his brows at her. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to sit still at a state dinner when you're a kid?" He straightens up, offering her a glass, and sits down not too far away. "How about you? I gather your selection wasn't chance. How'd you come into your great wisdom of Dionysus?"

There's an easy shrug and Elisabeth grins. "Well, mainly I just know what I like .. I don't much care what the critics think. But I learned a little bit of class at my parents' knees. Never went to state dinners, but they had a circle of friends who enjoyed the wine circuit. I learned what little I do know by osmosis, I guess." She shrugs, swinging her feet in casual fashion as she sits with him. "I had to wonder something this morning, you know…" She smiles. Having told him about her meeting with Lau, he'll understand when she says, "Think Lau'll say thanks for not getting her head on the chopping block? Being as we carried it off without a hitch?"

Darius considers his wine a moment as he muses. "I hope so. If she doesn't, it'll be a blow to the confidence that's for sure." He lips the glass to his lips and takes a long sip. "I might even be tempted to mail her one just to make the point." There's a smirk, he's not serious. "Anyway, tell me what you think of the cocktail sauce. I used fresh horseradish."

Picking up another shrimp, Liz puts cocktail sauce on it and pops the tasty morsel in her mouth. Her eyes immediately tear up as she chews, and she picks up the glass of wine to calmly take a sip as soon as she swallows. "Nice," she says… and then ruins the effect by sniffling a little. Then she laughs. "Damn, that's some GOOD horseradish."

Darius laughs. "Sorry, grew up with Moroccan food so I'm used to spicy." He gives a nudge to the kitchen. "I can get you some water if you like?" He does look pleased by the effect though. And the fact that she's not gagging on it. "Some days I wonder if I should just go to culinary school and have done. They told me origami would do the trick but who wants to fold paper. I mean really."

Elisabeth sets her glass down and shakes her head. "Water's not gonna take *that* bite away," she tells him. "C'mon, sit down," she adds, helping herself to a piece of cheese to quell some of the burn. "I think culinary school is a cool idea, if you get tired of being a cop and sometime vigilante." Her tone is teasing.

"Hah." Darius reaches for a shrimp and gets himself a liberal helping of the sauce. Its devoured with a relish and a faint sniff of his nose. "So. I've got cards, dice, more movies than any four theaters, pay per view, a home gym, what's your pleasure? I aim to please." He looks to her with a smile and an open hand for her to pick. "There's always charades if you want me to dance like a monkey."

Elisabeth wrinkles her nose and laughs at him. "Oh, now that ought to be entertaining to see," she replies. "I love it when a guy dances like a monkey for me. Wouldn't mind cards, but I'm not working out with you while drinking wine. And I *want* the wine. Or we could just play twenty questions," she grins. "But I'm NOT playin' Spin the Bottle with you."

Darius rolls his eyes. "We'd have to finish the bottle first, Liz. Then who knows what you'd be willing to play." He chuckles and leans back into the couch after gathering a broccoli florette. "Alright, twenty questions. You start." He's chewing after all.

"Well, you do have a point — I might be willing to play strip poker after a bottle of wine!" Liz snickers at him. "But I don't think you're gonna get that lucky, partner of mine. Besides… two guys is enough in my life. More than that just gets messy as hell." She sips from her glass, moving to curl into the corner of his couch so she can reach the food. Nibbling on a carrot, she says, "Okay. Let's start simple. What's your favorite movie and why?"

"Two?" Darius looks at her incredulously. "Damn, woman. And here I thought you had at least one a night the way you were telling me to call first." He thinks a moment. "Damned good question. The Patriot? Heartbreak Ridge? Independence Day? Don't tell anyone, but I used to watch Disney flicks with my cousins as a kid. I liked Mufasa." He grins. "As for why.. I don't know. I like a happy ending where people all stop bickering and get along to finally get the job done. You?"

Rolling her eyes at him, Liz says, deadpan, "One a night is just FAR too much work." Then she grins at him. "I've got my complicated 'whatthehellamIgonnadowithhim' guy that you met at the hospital. And …. my very very UNcomplicated, nostringsattached one that shows up whenever I feel like it. Doesn't want anything from me except the booty call." She grins. "Life doesn't get much better than that, man." When he says Disney movies, she laughs. "You know what? I think I my favorite of the Disney ones was the Little Mermaid. Even though she was totally insipid at first, she fought back in the end. And I liked that about her."

"Your turn for a question," she adds on a sip of wine.

Darius ahhhhs expansively. "Trask. Interesting. Not a very loquacious fellow." He shrugs. "If its any consolation, Eve and I still haven't managed to figure out anything beyond the 'booty call'." He uses his free hand for quotyfingers. "I don't know if we ever will. She's nice, though, and listens well. So.. what's to complain about?" Still, it sounds like he wants more out of a relationship than that. "Okay.. my question.. what was your singularly most embarassing college experience?"

Elisabeth oh-hos and laughs. "Going for the jugular, huh? Okay… uhm….. most embarassing…. " She doesn't even have to think about it. "My college roommate was supposed to be out of town with her boyfriend, so I had my boyfriend come in for the night. She let herself in just about the time we were getting off…. and it was brutally indelicate - she got his full moon and a full view of all the relevant bits of both of us cuz we were on the floor." She starts to giggle. "Her face was absolutely priceless. And I'm sure mine wasn't much better."

Darius considers this image with a smirk. "Wish I could say mine was as priceless. Living in the barracks like we do, there's no privacy. Though I was immasculated by a fourth year once when I tried to sneak my girlfriend into my room in my second year. There I was stock attention with him barking in my face while she tried to disappear into a pillar. She never did call me back…"

Elisabeth laughs at him! "Yeah… I wouldn't call you back either," she replies. Then she tilts her head and asks, "What's the one thing in the world that you've done that you're truly, absolutely ashamed of, that you were totally in the wrong for doing?" He wants to ask the hard ones, let's go for the hard ones.

Darius exhales heavily. "Man.. that's harsh." He downs his wine and reaches for the bottle to top them both off. "I had sex with this drunk girl at a party once. The guys took pictures of us. I didn't know it at the time. She never knew it was me and I.. never said anything. I couldn't look her in the eye." Hell, he probably still couldn't if his tone is any indication.

Wincing, Liz holds out her glass for the top-off. "Ouch," she hisses softly. And then she thinks about it. "When I first came on the force, I had this partner who was getting ready to retire. I was real green…. didn't realize some of what was going on around me. He introduced me to the regulars on our route and stuff…. and there was a guy there who used to give me things. It took me weeks to figure out it was a bribe. When I worked it out, I told my partner to get me out…. that I wouldn't turn him into IA if he retired and just got me out of it. He did… and I didn't."

Darius muses on that, swirling the wine in his glass. "At least you had some closure. She's still out there somewhere with a memory. Oh hell, I should probably get over myself. I'm sure she's gotten therapy and called me a scumbag at least a hundred times by now. Probably married happily with four kids, too, which is better than I can say for myself." He sips his wine again and reaches for another shrimp. "My turn again?" He almost sounds reluctant given how heavy the questions have been. He opts for something lighter. "Okay, craziest place you've ever had sex."

Elisabeth shouldn't have been surprised, but she chokes a little on the sip of wine she was just taking, looking thoroughly embarassed. "Uhm… wow." She grins. "Craziest place?" She stalls, and then finally rolls her eyes. "The laundry room of my first apartment building, I guess. Crazy cuz it was public, but… I guess that was part of the fun for that one."

Darius laughs. "Tame. I have you beat hands down. Two years into my tour, back of an apc loaded with relief supplies. I was in the back with a navy corpsman, having noticed the looks on my men's faces and thought it wiser for them to be up front. So here I am, boucning around in the back with no space and this hot staff sergeant on my lap. Next thing I know…" He rolls his hand as if to say that the bouncing continued. "Could have lost my commission, been drummed out, her too. But after two years.. hell.. everyone was a little lonely. That was the most enjoyable fifty miles of my tour, let me tell you."

Elisabeth dies laughing. "Yep…. you got me beat, hands down. That's fabulous," she says between chuckles. "Okay, so I've got one. Of all the people you've met in your life, who's the one that you wound up with the strangest relationship with? No names required."

Darius scoffs. "Easy. Eve." He looks to the ceiling. "Here I am one day walking my beat and this chick in a black dress and no coat steps out onto the path. Middle of the night in central park. Just screaming 'rape me'. Walks up to me calm as you please. I'm like 'can I help you miss' and she's like 'I've been dreaming about you' and I'm like.. okay.. psycho chick lets get community health on the line right away. Now.. I'm sleeping with her and she's almost but not quite my girlfriend and.. yeah big surprise.. she told me about the bombs. Said she dreamed them, too. So.. I still have /no/ idea what to make of it all." He sips his wine.

Elisabeth chuckles softly, looking a bit introspective. "Mine's Trask. Norton." She shrugs a little. "He's my best friend, Darius. After the Bomb, we were both part of a cop-only support group for people who'd lost someone. Both of us lost our mothers. We didn't really bond until after he'd been picked up by DHS as Evolved — bear in mind this was right after the Evolved were publicly acknowledged. When he came back… he was a mess. I'd noticed he was gone and cornered him to ask about it. And he looks so… lost. To this day he's never told me exactly what they did. But I confessed to him that I was too. It was the first time I'd ever told anyone. Not even my folks knew." She shrugs a little. "After that, I told him absolutely everything. And then we accidently wound up dating because of a joking comment I made, and …. I sort of feel like it's ruining things. Cuz now he's in love, and me? I don't know what the hell I am." She grins then. "I still haven't slept with him, though I'm reasonably sure he wants to and after a few rather shockingly enjoyable kisses, I wouldn't mind either. But boy, my head's a mess when it comes to him, cuz I don't want it to get weird and I don't want to lose him as my friend."

Darius oofs. "Tough one." He leans forward and sets his wine down to consider it. "That kind of goes in the don't sleep with your partner zone. Much as I think you're great and I'd date you in a heartbeat.. yeah.. definately odd." He brings his hand to his chin and massages it in thought. "Alright. Here's my question for you. Do you have many things in common? Outside of work and being evolved who've been through shit and have trust issues?" Maybe they've left twenty questions, who knows.

Elisabeth looks at him, surprised. "We've got lots of stuff in common… enough that he's been my best friend for two years. I mean… we watch movies, hang out, listen to music, see plays, go to concerts… It's not like we've just been friends who talk about being Evolved or anything." She then laughs softly, almost bitterly. "He knew long before I did that I wouldn't stay with teaching. Told me recently it was good to see me happy again… that he'd seen the restlessness and unhappiness for a long time before I decided to go back." She pauses. "He gets me. He knows my foibles and my good sides… and he just accepts me for who I am. And I like to think I do the same for him."

Darius gives a shrug. "So what's the problem then?" He takes up his glass and sips it. "Liz.. here's the thing. In my limited experience, and please accept that its limited, you either love the guy or you don't. You can like someone fine. You can be attracted to them fine. Hell, the sex can be great. But if you don't feel it, you don't feel it. Don't do what my mom did and marry the first guy she met with money. By that I mean, don't go marrying him because he's convenient. Marry him because you want to and you know its right. Here." He thumbs his breastbone. "Anyway, I'm not saying either way because I'm your partner and frankly I'd rather you be happy than not. It'll make my life a lot easier."

With a faint grin, Liz says quietly, "I love him. I just… don't know that I'm *in* love with him. I can't see my life without him, but I don't … " She sighs and says, "I don't do relationships well. I had a fiancee who slept around on me, and frankly? I just like the no-strings kinda stuff. You know? I got enough crap going on with the job, and now with Phoenix too, that I just want to call the guy up, say 'hey, you wanna get laid?', have him show up if he's interested, and then when we get up in the morning, maybe have a quickie before we part ways until one of us feels the urge again. Norton's…. a *relationship*. And when we fell into dating, I turned into this woman did everything she thought he wanted to make him happy, even though all he really wanted was for me to be ME. I didn't much like how I acted right then. Which is probably why I'm balking now," she admits. "He says he loves me for who I am — tough cop, would-be vigilante, kicking-ass-taking-names bitchiness, get laid and kick 'em out, and all. Though he's not so far on the get laid and kicked out list. He's just… too nice for me." She grins. "Isn't that a stupid thing to think? But… he's *nice*. He's … too accomodating. I feel like I'll steamroll right over him and he won't push back, and we'll end up hating each other." She pffts. "And you did NOT ask me over to sit here and listen to my convoluted love life."

Darius quirks a brow, bringing his hand to cover his mouth. "No.. but its alright." He breathes deeply, bringing himself back from the almost laugh. "You listened to mine, didn't you?" He sips his wine consideringly. "There's something to be said for a backbone, I'll give you that. Any woman I marry will have to have one. Much as I don't mind the knight in shining armor gig, it gets tiresome. A bit.. well.. lets face it a guy like me gets tired of feeling like a piece of meat, I don't care how good the sex is. That's a bit what its like when I go to a bar. I'm polite, nice, hung like a bull, oh they're happy for about a week. Then they realize I'm a cop, the hours suck, I sleep with a gun, and I have nightmares. About choked one girl to death thinking she was the 'enemy'." He stops, thinks. "Where the hell was I going with this again?"

Elisabeth looks at him when he covers the laugh. "What?" she asks in mock-affront, sipping from her own glass. "you think I don't know that I can be a complete bitch?" She grins at him. "I'm not blind to my own flaws, man." And then he rambles off about being hung like a bull, and she starts to giggle. "We've definitely not had enough wine," she tells the man. "But yeah… I totally get the nightmares thing." That's a sobering thought. "I've never hurt anyone who slept with me, but my first hostage situation was …. bleah. Bad doesn't even cover it. I watched as a guy killed his sick kid in front of my eyes, knowing the sniper'd take him out, because he knew in his heart that both the kid - who was terminal - and his wife and the other kid he left behind…. would all be better off if they had his life insurance and didn't have to use the money to try to help the terminal child. They'd all been starving, trying to come up with the money to help the little terminal girl. She was…. 4." Liz shuts up suddenly, closing her eyes and downing the remainder of the wine. She moves to pick up the bottle and refill her own glass and top off his. "We definitely haven't had enough to drink when the war stories come out."

"The last time someone said the word sand nigger, I broke his jaw." Darius mutters as he nods a thanks at his refilled wine. He drinks from it thankfully. "Talking four year olds.. I remember coming up on this site where a bomb had just gone off. Nobody'd gone in because there might be another and they were waiting on us. When I came on the scene, it was a civilian van that'd caught it. A whole family. The mother'd somehow shielded her toddler with her body and.. I did what I could but it didn't matter. There just wasn't enough of him left." His glass is shortlived and empty. "Had a qaeda guy breach our camp once. Woke up with the guy's knife on my throat. If I hadn't been an evolved.. that'd been the end of me."

There's a faint nod as she sits back down and curls back up in the corner of the couch. "Being Evolved didn't help me a bit that first time. But I got better at using it. I just… I was too green to know the right words that first time. I still dream about her." Liz sighs softly. "She is the thing that haunts me… makes me damn careful when I walk into a scene as a hostage negotiator. Because I've gone over that incident a billion times. So many ways I could have phrased myself differently to keep it from happening. Today? It wouldn't have happened. I'm not ashamed of that one, but I damn sure regret it."

Darius nods thoughtfully, eyeing the bottle irritably. He gets up and climbs over the couch with not so much nimbleness. From the drink frig, he gets out another bottle and clambors back to his seat. No bottle opener needed, he focuses on the top and gestures like a magician with his hand until the cork comes out on its own. Then he tops himself off and offers for her. "Fucking sucks, if you ask me. I don't think anyone really gets it but the vets. Whose turn was it again?"

There's a soft giggle. Elisabeth waves the bottle off for now. The first bottle of wine yielded three glasses to each of them (well, technically two, since the second was just a topping up of them both), and she's feeling just enough tipsy to slow down on this glass. "Uhm…. I think it was mine. Straight talk here, man…. would you want all the way in on Phoenix if I offered it? Based on the shit you've already seen with this bomb stuff?" She sips from her glass, and doublechecks that yes, in fact, she can create and maintain a bubble in the apartment that will be still stable… for now. Cuz can't have straight talk about Phoenix without bubble. She learned her lesson in the precinct.

"Sure. Why not. In for a penny in for a pound and with fuckingpenelli in charge now things are only going to get worse." Darius no doubt means Petrelli. "I can do covert ops. I could tell you but those are classified for.. til.. " He's doing math. "After I'm dead." Giving up on math. The numbers are all swirly. "How about you? You.. wait. Nevermind." She's already a member. "I could show you my arsenal if you like?" That's not a question.

Elisabeth smirks. "No… you're not showing me an arsenal right now, thankyouverymuch." She rolls her eyes at her partner. She's not drunk, not yet, but she's definitely feeling it. Darius is a cheap date, she can see — two glasses of wine does him in. Note to self, don't let Darius get drunk alone if he's gonna be doing Phoenix shit. "Me what? You already know why I got involved," she tells him quietly.

Darius eyes her. "Oh good grief, woman, I mean my guns." Shaking his head, he pours himself a glass and reaches for a cracker. "Alright. My turn. Plane, train, or autmobile, and why?" Satisfied with a fairly harmless question, he leans back into the couch.

Elisabeth laughs outright. "Plane, train, or automobile WHAT, man? How much have you had to drink, anyway? Cuz I'm starting to think you're a cheap date. If you mean to DRIVE…. automobile or motorcycle. If you mean for SEX, well…. car, cuz there's more room to spread out than an auto, and fewer people around!"

Darius eyes his glass. "A few beers.. I didn't think you'd come over, actually. Figured you'd be out with.. one of your men. He looks at the glass a little self consciously and puts it down on the coffee table. "Horse." Is his answer. "I know. Not on the list but horseback riding is pretty awesome. After that.. motorcycle. Or humvee if you're offroading. Nothing like busting a dune in a hummer with the gunner rattling your teeth full bore." So he has a testosterone moment, sue him.

Giggles. His blond partner actually giggles at him. "Why on earth wouldn't I come?" Liz asks him softly. "You saved our asses, Darius. And you're my partner. In spite of the impression I may have given you about my faith in you…. that means something to me."

"Oh or a tow launcher. Fucking awesome. Rocks the vee like you're a knocking." Darius gives a grin and a nod then looks to her as she explains. "No faith? Come on, Liz. You're a spook with two men on the side and I'm the sidekick. What faith's needed? So I found the pin and put it back in. Without your connections, I'd not have had schematics or a way to get there quietly. Its a team.. thing. Besides, you've got a nice ass. Why wouldn't I save it? Shame to waste nice ass like that." He nods firmly on that point.

Elisabeth giggles againt, she can't help it. "Well, nice to know that you think my ass is nice. I kinda like it myself. And I'm not a spook. I'm a cop. That's it. A cop." She pauses, and then chuckles again. "And a part-time superhero, I guess. You know the single most offensive use of my power? Makes people projectile vomit." She nods sagely. "It's the best power ever." Ha!

Darius holds out a hand. "Woah.. no need for that here. My maid would kill me." He has a maid? "Anyway, what's not to like? You're smart. Educated. Dress nice. Wit like my k-bar." He makes a slicing motion across his throat. "And you like guns. You need more training on the AR-15, though. If you're going to go with SWAT again next time. Superhero.." He laughs and goes for his drink again.

She starts to laugh harder. Oh shit… maybe she's more drunk than she thought. Elisabeth's laughter has that edge of drunkenness starting to seep in. "Actually, I have an appointment for shooting lessons with an automatic weapon with the SWAT guy who worked with us before…. what's his name? Hansen? *Nice* ass. But I'm not tappin' that. Just so you know." She sips from her wine glass, snickering. "So you're up! What question you want answered?"

Darius nods. "Not handsome enough?" He snickers, a play on the guy's name right? "I wouldn't tap that either. He's not curvy enough." He moves his hands in the classic hourglass. "And.. hey.. its your turn.. isn't it? I asked the boat question.. train question. Horse! Thing.." He nods his head. Yes. Horses. His answer was horses.

Elisabeth thpbts in his direction. "Oh, fine, then," she comments idly. "If you could have any power you wanted in the whole world, would you keep the one you got or trade it in?"

Darius blinks. "Ahh.. keep it? Saved my ass lots of times. Saved yours. Saved lots of people. It sucks though. No feedback. That's what I'd change. My bell's been rung lots of times because of that. Saves me from chasing perps, too." He makes to slap his palm and almost spills his wine. He solves this by finishing his glass.

Elisabeth ehs. "I kinda like mine, too, honestly," she responds easily. "I used to think it'd be cool to have telepathy… but you know what? I don't wanna know what the scum are thinking," she laughs.

"Probably thinking.. damn.. nice ass.. but I wouldn't tap that." Darius snickers again. "Too uptight. Cops are always too uptight." There's a nod at that. "Okay. Million dollars. Spend it."

Elisabeth blinks and eyes him. "Spend it? Shit… not sure I *could*, she replies with a sip of her wine. She leans forward to help herself to shrimp and cheese and crackers while she thinks. "Okay… so if I were going to spend it all in one place, I'd get a *real* nice apartment up near my folks in the Upper East. If I didn't want to do that…. I'd probably put most of it away until I decided I was done working. But I couldn't just buy stupid shit like jewelry and cars. Well…" She amends, "I might buy myself a couple of nice pieces of sparkly things, cuz well… I'm a girl. And a real nice leather skirt maybe. But… seriously. I'd probably save most of it to splurge on little things here and there."

"One word. Disappear. New name, no prints, just me and a mission." Darius nods slowly. "Show these bureaucrat fuckwits what being patriotic is. Shove my boot so far up their ass they'd think leather was the new licorice."

Elisabeth oooooohs. "I like that one," she admits. "Buy me a whole new identity." And now she knows someone who can help her *do* that. Nice! She leans her head back and says mildly, "I'm so not leaving your couch for a long while here, Darius, you know that, right?" She grins a bit. "I might even fall asleep here for a while." She's quiet for a bit and says softly, "We gotta win, Darius… we gotta stop this virus." She lifts her head and looks at him. "Drink up, my friend. For tomorrow? Tomorrow we get to work in earnest," she says with a soft smile. Welcome to the Revolution, Darius Johnson.

January 25th: Compare And Contrast
January 25th: Pay It Forward
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