Two Steps Forward, One Step Back


trask_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Synopsis Weeks and weeks apart, and they're still in that strange place between being friends and being lovers. And people wonder why Liz doesn't bother with other complex relationships?
Date March 12, 2009

Trask's Apartment

The rescue didn't go without a hitch… but it did go off. Once the helicopter set down, the people Elisabeth didn't know scattered to the four winds. Abby, Cardinal, Cat, and Alejandro were whisked away by Cat while Elisabeth, Sergei, and Oleander remained at the airfield on the mainland to await Cat's return with another car. They hadn't been expecting quite so many people needing transport. Elisabeth's arm remained stone until Cat's return, Sergei negating the poor man's abilities, and after that, Jake, Cat, and Liz talked him through some practice and he was able to fix it. Elisabeth drove the car back into the city because of Cat's reaction to Sergei's powers, and the group split up — Cat took Oleander to a safe house while Elisabeth and Norton went to his apartment.

For the first time in weeks, Norton Trask is in his own apartment. Conversation between the two of them has been limited to checking on each other's status and Oleander's situation up to this point. But when she closes the apartment door behind them — and Liz comments inanely as she does it that she's been airing his place out — this weird silence falls for a moment. "I'm sorry," she finally offers softly. "That we couldn't get there sooner. That I … believed you were dead."

Trask turns and looks at you, a long slow look, like he is seeing you for the first time, like he isn't sure this is all real. He steps forward and pulls you into his arms and kisses you, hard, and fast and needfully. He lets the kiss stretch, lingering on the feeling of you in his arms, against his lips. When he finally lets you up, he says softly. "I promised you I was coming back."

When he puts his arms around her, Elisabeth loses it. The kiss is passionate, heated, desperate. And the taste of salt permeates it nearly immediately. Her whole body shakes against him. Her hands slip into his hair, unmindful of the fact that he's just plain grungy, dragging him in for another series of kisses. She doesn't want to… can't talk to him yet. It hurts too much.

Trask just holds her to him, when she is done kissing, he pulls her head to his shoulder and holds her, letting her get it all out, not talking, not needing to, just being there.

It's ridiculous, in Elisabeth's mind, that she should be the one crying. She holds him tightly for a long time and when she finally draws away to look up. "You're okay? Really? They didn't…. we know they were torturing some people. Deckard got his eye cut out, Abby… I don't know what all they did to her exactly."

Trask says, "She was kept in the brothel for a while, there is still some people there. People's loved ones, Alejandros sister…he was the man I was helping to the plane, we were cell mates. Me they just put in a cage and made me fight other prisoners. I guess I was a lucky one."

Elisabeth reaches up to touch his face and says softly, "There's so much …. I don't even know where to start." She draws him down for one more soft kiss and then asks, "Are you hungry?" She grins a little — it's the Italian grandmama. She feeds everyone.

Trask says, "I am afraid any food left here is prolly gone bad. I am surprised my land lord hasn't kicked me out after this long." He pauses , "I love you Liz, when I was there…in that cargo box, you were the only thing that kept me going."

"The only food you have is what I brought in yesterday," Elisabeth says softly. "Your rent's paid up through the end of the month." She looks up at him. "And you're covered at work by 'unpaid leave of absence' while you're out of town until whenever you go back. If you choose to tell them you were kidnapped and held…. that's up to you. You have leeway to do it. I didn't open an official missing persons report, but I did tell Harvard that I was worried — you hadn't made your plane and I hadn't heard from you. Without evidence to the contrary… he left it pending. When you show up, you can tell them you just didn't call in, or you can tell them what happened on Staten." She's covered his ass nine ways from Sunday wherever she could. She strokes his face.

Trask blinks softly and smiles, "I don't deserve you. You know that right?" He kisses you again tenderly, "So now what?"

Elisabeth laughs softly. "Now what? Uhm…. we feed you up, we figure out how bad things are going to be in your head? You kiss me and take me to bed and show me just how much you love me, because ….. seriously, losing you about killed me?"

Trask smiles, "I promised you, did I not?" He leans in and kisses you again, "So what is for dinner?"

Elisabeth laughs a little at such a normal question. "I didn't stock much. Bread, lunch meat, milk, and a couple of frozen pizzas." She leans her head back against the front door, since they haven't moved from that spot. She looks at him and says softly, "How bad was it for you in there, Norton? What do you want to do about it?"

Trask sighs and moves to the couch, sitting down heavily. "It was bad…lets just say that. As for what I want to do….what can I do? What i really want to do is make sure that noone else is being held."

"Well…. to do that, you either have to convince Teo to level the fucking place, or you have to go report what happened to you in a way that doesn't make them ask how you got there," Elisabeth says quietly. Her blue eyes hold worry as he moves to sit, and she sits next to him. "You can talk to me, you know. You don't have to keep it in." He never told her the details of being detained by HomeSec years ago, either, and she wonders if he'll tell her anything here.

Trask says, "I don't even know how I got there…I just woke up in the cell. Alex….the guy next to me, he was helpful, we talked some, they had his sister over at the brothel, still do likely. They…didn't really do anything to me, just kept me in the cell, then put me in a cage with people who wanted to kill me. My opponents were all being paid to kill."

Elisabeth leans back in her seat and says softly, "You got there because you and Sylar fell off the bridge. Christ….." She bites her lip. "It didn't even occur to me that you wouldn't know what went on out here, Norton." There's a pause as she gathers her thoughts. "I wasn't on the bridge, so I didn't see it…. Cat came to tell me. Your team was successful, the virus was stopped. Abby healed Volken to death, so far as we know. Helena had to sterilize the truck…" He'll know what that means. "Last anyone saw of you was that you and Sylar-slash-Volken were falling into the river. The bridge collapsed too. Helena and Alex and one of the Brians were taken into Homeland custody that night. We're still working on verifying their location and a plan to get to them. The ConEd team was also successful; Wozniak was the only casualty there. My team brought a bunch of hostage kids out and took out our launcher with the help of Owen… he was instrumental in our success because at the time we launched our thermite, the virus wasn't even on-site yet." She runs a hand through her hair.

Trask says, "Conrad didn't make it? I m sorry Liz…I know you two were close."

Elisabeth shrugs at that. "He went out the way he wanted to go out, Norton. I'm okay with that." She looks at him and says softly, "It was losing you that damn near did me in. I couldn't…. think. Couldn't really feel. Just… walked around in a deep freeze for days. Lost it all over Teo," she tells him with a small smile. "Poor guy…. when it finally happened, it …. was almost a relief. But I still wouldn't let myself believe him when he said you were alive. He had no proof and I…. " She looks down, ashamed of her lack of optimism. "I just couldn't let myself hope. The longer it took to find a body, it just…. I think I finally started believing him when he said there were any number of people who could've taken you in, and when I saw the guy who looked like Sylar out on a boat in the harbor. But… the hope was harder to live with than the grief."

Trask says, "I am sorry….I….I tried to get back…I did…but…." He sighs and just pulls you into his arms. "I should have been there for you."

"For me? Christ, Norton… I'm sitting here feeling guilty as shit because I lost faith with you!" Elisabeth says quietly. She wraps her arms around him. "I'm damn glad that you're okay, I cannot even begin to put words to it." She chuckles softly, the tears evident once more. "Don't ever do that to me again. No more falling off bridges with mass murderers."

Trask smiles, "No cliff diving with serial killers, got it." He smiles, "I am sorry Liz….I am so sorry I put you through that."

Elisabeth whaps him on the arm, really hard. "Stop saying you're sorry!"

Trask grins, "I'm sorry for saying I'm sorry?" He has that mischevious look in his eyes.

Elisabeth whaps him *again* just for good measure. "Goddamn putz," she tells him, and then she starts to laugh. "You are the most annoying human being on the planet and I have no idea why I love you."

Trask says, "You wouldn't love me half as much if I was boring I think." He smiles and squeezes you tight.

There's a heavy sigh and Elisabeth says quietly, "I can't believe you're sitting here. Like… it never happened. Like it's all going to be okay." She looks up at him. "It's not going to be okay until we get Helena and Alex back. Other people are starting to go missing too. The Library's been compromised by Homeland Security, but the Dispensary is still solid. Cat's running a safehouse over top of a music club. And… the Brian that went off the bridge is now working for HomeSec," she grimaces. "So if you see one on the streets, don't assume, okay?"

Trask says, "You said we are working on finding out where they are being held right? Well right now as far as you are concerned I just came back from the dead….so breaking a couple people out of a minor federal pen should be nothing compared to that, right?"

"We know where they are. It's a major federal penitentiary in Utah called Moab." Elisabeth grimaces. "I wouldn't call it a cake walk, that's for sure." She looks up at him. "You had weeks to think about what you'd do when you got out. Tell me the top three. I want to make them happen for you. Anything you want."

Trask takes a deep breath and looks up at the ceiling, "I nice Hot shower, My arms around you, and … " He smiles at you and looks away a moment. "A sunset."

Elisabeth smiles at him, sadness reaching her eyes when he opts to hedge. He always retreats into himself when things hurt too much, always needs space. And so she lets him have it. "Well, now… two out of three are in my control. C'mon… you go ahead and hit the shower, I'll warm up some pizza for us."

March 12th: Off To See The Wizard
March 12th: Greasing Wheels
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