Two Roads Diverged in A Yellow Wood


elisabeth_icon.gif trask_icon.gif

Scene Title Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood
Synopsis What do you do when your best friend doesn't know some of your secrets and she starts showing signs of walking your path?
Date November 8, 2008

Elisabeth's Apartment in Dorchester Towers

This is a pretty standard two-bedroom apartment, although the occupant has gone to some effort to make it her own. Although the carpet is the ubiquitous beige, the walls are painted a soft rose-gray mauve shade, giving the main living space warmth. A dark gray sectional sofa sits in the living room facing an entertainment center that contains a state-of-the-art stereo system and a less upscale television setup. A coffee table sits in the curve of the sectional, and floor lamps bracket the ends of the furniture. The dining area hosts a four-seater square oak table and chairs, with the table generally host to a slew of mail and papers. An oak sideboard against the wall has candles on either end of it and a glass bowl with a fake arrangement of flowers. A small wine rack sits next to the sideboard, home to no more than nine bottles. The kitchen is small, but functional, painted a soft yellow color with a transparent blue glass backsplash. Off the living room are two bedrooms, one of which has the door closed and the other appears to be a home office. Its walls are a soft shade of green, and it contains a desk with a high-end computer setup and a bookcase stocked with textbooks.

When she opens the door to admit Trask to her apartment, Elisabeth smiles at him. Going dancing and having the evening end on such an easy, casual note was really nice; his appearance today is something of a surprise, though. "Hi," she greets him as she gestures him into the apartment. He's spent enough time here hanging out on a night to watch movies that he should be comfortable enough to meander. "Didn't expect to see you today. What's up?" She was clearly grading papers when he called to let her know he was on his way up — there are papers spread out all across her dining room table and Liz herself is dressed in stay-at-home chic: a pair of worn navy-blue sweatpants and sweatshirt and a pair of white socks.

Trask smiles and and slips in once she has shown him in. "What kind of a cad would I be if I didn't call after our first date?" He chuckles softly and takes a look over at the papers she is grading. "What happened to all work, no play?"

Elisabeth rolls her eyes and grins. "The homework gnomes appeared as soon as I woke up from last night's playtime." She gestures toward the couch. "C'mon in, take a load off. Want some coffee? I just made a pot."

Trask grins and settles into a seat, "You know we didn't exactly blow anything up last night."

Elisabeth looks curiously at him, abandoning the idea of coffee since he didn't seem interested. "I thought we had a great time…" She's a bit puzzled by his phrasing. "You didn't enjoy it?"

Trask says, "I did…a lot more then I thought…." He smiles softly.

Elisabeth relaxes a little and grins at him. "Good! Although… I'm not sure whether to take offense that you thought dancing with me was not going to be fun…."

Trask says, "I didn't mean that." He smiles a bit. "I just…thought it might be more awkward."

Elisabeth chuckles at that, and now she does turn back toward the kitchen to go pour coffee. "Yeah, I guess I did too. But it was fun," she replies mildly. It takes only few moments before she's back with two mugs of steaming coffee, and she hands him one fixed the way he likes it. Hanging out together is great for keeping that part of things simple. "I don't know… it could still get that way, I suppose," she says as she curls up on the couch near him. "I guess we'll just sort of have to play it by ear, right? Just means you have to keep up those really open and candid emotional conversations with me, you know," she teases. Cuz well….

Trask smiles and sips the coffee, looking at you, "So does that mean you want a second date?"

Elisabeth shrugs a little bit. She's sitting facing him, one knee pulled up on the couch, both hands wrapped around the mug. "Well…," she hedges a little. "I'm …. " Then she grins and admits, "Honestly, Norton, I have no idea." She looks up at him. "I had a great time last night. It's just … maybe taking a little time to wrap my head around the fact that we went out. I mean… I think I've told you everything there is to know about me in the last couple of years, so …. I actually kind of wonder why on earth, when you know all the crappy things about me, you'd even ask me out." One corner of her mouth quirks in a rueful smile.

Trask says, "Liz….if there was anything all that bad about you….I would tell you…there is nothing wrong with you…and trust me I know everything…any guy would be lucky to go out with you."

Elisabeth snickers. "Yeah, I *know* you know everything…. that's the part that's kinda weird. Usually by the time a guy finds out all my bad stuff, things have already gone to hell in a handbasket." She shrugs. "Seriously, though… I already like to spend time with you, so yeah, sure. Just remember that promise!"

Trask smiles softly, "Still doesn't explain why you would consider going out with me."

Elisabeth tilts her head. "Well, let's see…. you're smart, you're funny — even funny-looking sometimes," she teases. "You don't take me for granted. You voluntarily went dancing! That's a huge plus." She smiles a little. "You know all my secrets, even the ones that'll make HomeSec drag me off in chains… and you don't look at me like I'm a freak and you're not scared of me. You listen."

Trask says, "Takes a freak…to make a freak." He smiles. "You're not a freak….anymore then any of the other evolved out there. It's a genetic anomaly, like any other. Thats like saying the color of your skin, or your gender makes you less a person."

"Yeah, well…. there's the added advantage that you're one too, so you can't look at me funny." Liz sips her coffee. "So tell me what's going on in that silly head of yours. Are you trying to figure out a way to say 'hey look, I really want to date' or 'hey look, I really *don't* want to date, I just wanna stay friends' or is there something entirely unrelated on your mind?"

Trask puts down his coffee cup on the table and then stretches out, putting his head in your lap, he looks up at you. "Liz…I…you know I love you, as a friend. You're the only one…especially now, that I really can trust unreservedly. I never really thought about…asking you out, till you mentioned it last night. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, I can't see any reason not to, except fear of losing you.

Elisabeth looks surprised by the move, leaning to set her coffee mug on the coffee table so that it doesn't accidently spill or something stupid. But she doesn't move. Absently, she runs a hand across his hair while she looks at his face. "Well…." She pauses, her fingers still moving. "I have to admit that until you suggested dancing — which is far more a 'date' thing than stuff you and I've done together — I never really thought about it either. Hence why you got the shocked question. But you're not going to lose me anyway. You're sort of stuck with me as a friend no matter what."

Trask says, "Good, because I'm sorry but the concept of eventually getting you into bed, isn't worth my best friend." He winks at you and gives you a shit eating grin.

Elisabeth crosses her eyes at him and sticks out her tongue. "Ditto!" is the reply.

Trask says, "Now…you've never slept with me…you don't know how much I'll rock your world!"

Elisabeth gives him the Face. The one that says 'oh puh-leeze!' And then she leans her head sideways to rest it on the back of the couch. "What'd you do today?"

Trask says, "Looked up a friend, took her some chicken soup and oranges, she isn't doing so well. Then came over here."

Elisabeth ohs and frowns slightly. "I'm sorry. I hope she feels better soon," she says softly. She's totally sincere and doesn't seem to think anything of it. "I spent most of today grading, but I stopped for a while to watch the news." She grimaces. "It was a big mistake."

Trask blinks, "I havn't caught the news….what happened?"

Elisabeth shakes her head slightly, her fingertips still stroking through his hair. "Texas went nuts. A bombing at Rickham's Houston office — something like 60 people killed. Riots in Houston that killed 50. An explosion at an Evolved registration center down there took out something like 20 more Thursday morning that I didn't hear about. That's not counting the people hurt, just killed."

Trask swears softly. "I thought Rickham would be a good sign for the country. Now…it seems like it could just cause more trouble.

Elisabeth grimaces. "Yeah… a *lot* more trouble." She's quiet a long moment, and then bursts out, "I don't understand what the hell they all think they're accomplishing by fuckin' KILLING each other! I mean, Jesus, Norton…. we've got mundanes attacking Evolved, Evolved attacking mundanes, Evolved attacking other Evolved…. don't any of them see this is going to escalate into anarchy if they don't get a handle on it? I know they're all scared, but …. shit."

Trask winces, his eyes closing as she hits a little closer to home then he would like. "I think they are scared…scared at what the new world is going to look like. Scared at history repeating itself. A friend once equivlated it to pre world war germany, with the Linderman act mirroring the registration of jews. He isn't alive any more…he was killed by an evolved actually."

Elisabeth strokes his head. "Yeah…. well, his description isn't so far off. It's one of the reasons I voted for Rickham. He seemed far more about *everyone's* civil rights than the other two." She grimaces. "Our mothers were killed by an Evolved… but you don't see either one of us running about killing people."

Trask says, "yeah" he says nocommitally, "Sometimes I don't know what the future is going to be like."

There's a soft sigh. "The future looks pretty damn bleak to me." Liz's hand pauses on his head and she seems hesitant now. "I told you I wasn't going to make a choice for a long time, but …. what's going on is pushing me. I can't just sit here and do nothing, Norton. I'm going to have to get involved…. I think *everyone* is going to have to get involved on one side or the other sooner or later. I think the Phoenix people are right about that much. We're all going to have to take a side." She sounds worried. And stressed. "I can't go back to the police force… not without registering. Which I'm still not entirely convinced is the safe thing to do. But you asked me last night what I'd want you to do if it turned out that the diner was someplace to run into … PARIAH people or Phoenix people or what." She pauses and says, "PARIAH is a terrorist organization - they might want the right things, but they're going about it wrong. You and I both know it."

Trask nods slowly, listening, his eyes on hers. "Go on…"

Elisabeth shakes her head. "There's nothing to go on *about*," she tells him. "The options look pretty crappy. One, register so I can go back to the cops and hope I can stop innocent people - Evolved and not - from getting blown up by those assholes; two, don't register and either keep on as I am, teaching school and watching things get worse; or three, find a way to …. what? Join up with the very assholes blowing up innocents?" She sounds disgusted… more with herself than with anything else. "Sorry… I'm ranting here. I just feel pretty damn helpless."

Trask says, "you know Pariah isn't the only organization out there anymore, according to the newest intelligence.""

Elisabeth grimaces. "So I've been hearing. The question is, are the new ones any better than Pariah?"

Trask says, "Apparently….according to my intel, they split along a main question, on whether or not blowing up innocents was acceptable. One half wanted to just target government organizations, and the other part wanted to target anyone in the line of fire."

Elisabeth has been resting her head on the sofa, not really looking at him while she talks, but now her eyes turn to him with a bit of a frown. "You're advocating that if I want to do something, I go looking for this other group?" She's far more surprised about that possibility than it may appear. "Thought you wanted me to stay out of the line of fire," she comments mildly.

Trask says, "I do…but I know better then to try to tie your hands. What ever I say, your going to do what your heart tells you, I don't want you out there at all….but if your going to consider it…you need all the info."

Elisabeth nods slowly, studying his face. "I'll think about it, then. Where'd your intel come from?" Because we both know intel is only as good as the source.

Elisabeth hastens to add, "Not a name… I mean…. from a street source, or the job?"

Trask says, "Street source." he says a little flatly. As he thinks back to the meeting the split happened at.

Elisabeth nods a little, his tone making her brows furrow together. "You sound like that's a bad thing."

Trask says, "It's not….it's reliable info you can trust it."

Her expression is thoughtful, but Liz is still clearly torn. "I'll have to think on that," she finally says quietly. "Taking that step — getting involved on the dark side of it all…. I have a feeling once you're in, you're all in. Sort of like the mob and all." Her hand begins to stroke his hair again, her nails gently massaging through to his scalp. "Sounds dicey. Not that any of the other options aren't." She grimaces. "If I were a fine, upstanding, law-abiding citizen, I'd go register myself and get my job back." She shakes her head.

Trask says, "You are a good person…Not registering doesn't make you a bad person. You know they are already Detaining some evolved just for thier abilities. How long till all evolved are just…targets for violence…I…kinda prefer it with you unregistered…at least I know your safe."

Elisabeth is quiet for a long time, the only sound in the room the movement of her hand on his hair. And then she says softly, "And you wonder why you're my best friend and I said I'd go out with you?" That small smile quirks one corner of her mouth up again.

Trask smiles and leans up and gives her a soft peck on the lips before turning over in her lap and closing his eyes.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both and be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as long as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth…..

November 8th: Stand in the Rain
November 8th: Black And White
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License