We Hold The Light


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title We Hold The Light
Synopsis The new torchbearers — God help them all.
Date June 29, 2010

Elisabeth's (Cardinal's) Apartment

Some hours have passed since the pair sought comfort - if that's what they're calling it these days - in each other's arms.

"So I guess…" Cardinal murmurs towards the ceiling, sprawled on his back on the bed half-tangled in sweat-soaked sheets, fingertips absently trailing through blonde hair, "…I should tell you what happened over in Arizona, hm?"

The tone of that brings one blue eye open to peer at him lazily, but Elisabeth doesn't move from the boneless sprawl across the bed and his chest that she's adopted. In truth, the eye closes again as if she might choose to ignore the foray and go back to sleep beneath the soft stroke of her hair. "The tone of that is that you don't want to tell me anything, but that you need to talk to someone about it," she replies quietly. "If it's not me, that's okay too." She doesn't need him to feel obligated.

"Uh huh. Didn't you start shouting at me last time I didn't tell you something?" A bit of a smirk curves to his lips as Cardinal looks down towards her with a hint of amusement there, "It was Angela Petrelli that wanted us out there, apparently. That's where the Company began."

Well, that bit of intel brings both eyes open. She still doesn't move, but Elisabeth now has alert eyes on him. "And?" she prompts mildly. Because she knows he'll give her the short-short version…. or whatever of the details he feels she needs and no more.

"It was Project Icarus… or what of it we picked up in this country after the war," Cardinal says in disgruntled sounds, "Nazi scientists were probably involved somewhere — anyway — they brought the Evolved there, lied to them all about what it was. Something went wrong — one of them fought back, or something — and they were slaughtered. All of them. Coyote Sands is one huge mass grave. We dug a lot of those up."

Fuck. For a moment, her mind is a blank. And then Liz says in a deceptively mild tone, "Wonderful. So now … Angela Petrelli's son is making the all new concentration camps, only this time with …. negation gas and shit." She ponders for a long moment and purses her lips. "Yeah…. let's let 'em blow themselves the fuck to Hell." Her tone never changes an iota.

"The Company's Director stopped by - guy named Bishop, Bob Bishop," Cardinal says quietly, "Pled that they were misled and all the corruption was hidden from them, all that shit… that everything would've been fine if Ray hadn't come back from the future and fucked it all up."

"The 'Bomb' wasn't an accident, Liz."

Now she raises her eyebrows. "Midtown?" Because her whole body goes tense at that. "What the fuck are you talking about?" Elisabeth demands softly. And for the first time in months that rumble of sub-audible bass hums over his skin. Her mother died in the Bomb. And she's come to peace with the idea that the explosion was uncontrollable for a lot of reasons. She's even worked with the man who perpetrated it. But if Peter Petrelli exploded fucking Midtown on purpose, she will walk up to him and kill him where he stands. Little bits of bloody mist. Without Gillian's augment.

"The whole… god-damn thing was part of the Company's plan," states Cardinal flatly, "They intended for Peter to die in the blast, I guess — I don't know why he didn't, I guess maybe he had Claire's ability and he was partly shielded since he was the source. Then Nathan could sweep in and win the world's hearts and minds…"

Elisabeth pushes upright from her place on his chest, her jaw clenched tightly. Without a single word, she sweeps from the room. Nudity is disregarded since he sees her that way regularly anyway, but even if they'd had a room full of guests she might have gone anyway. The sound that accompanies her is a low-level, clearly audible hum and Elisabeth can't unlock her jaw…. or really really really bad things are going to happen.

In the other room she picks up the bottle of scotch, tipping it to her mouth and upending it. Fuck the shot glass and fuck sipping it.

That low-level hum is one that Cardinal knows all too well, and as various glass surfaces begin to resonate with the tone he grimaces— rolling himself out of the bed and to his feet, he pads after her swiftly. Coming up behind her, his hands smooth up over her shoulders, fingers kneading in slightly as he says quietly, "Just calm down, lover… most've the bastards have paid for it. The rest know their check's coming in…"

She's going to have a nasty headache from the amount of really good scotch that she just swallowed like it was a shot of tequila. The bottle returns to the breakfast bar, and the blonde stands there with both hands on the countertop. She still says not one word to him, struggling to comprehend this new twist in reality. It wasn't an accident. It wasn't… Peter just out of control of his abilities. Well, … it was. That much, at least, somehow makes her feel …. better is not quite the word. But the man hadn't been in on this, and that is something of a relief. To know that he killed her mother by accident, to owe him everything for what he and Gillian did for Richard… that's one thing. To find out that he murdered all those people in cold blood would have broken something in her.

Blowing out a soft breath, he can feel the sound waves ebbing slowly down as she manages to reassert control of herself. There wasn't enough glass left to break in the apartment, honestly. Not by accident anyway. When she finally pries her jaw open to speak, her voice is rough. "So what now? Why did they get you out there and just show you all of this?"

"Because they've lost." Cardinal's hands smooth down from her shoulders, sliding around her rib-cage and about her stomach as he wraps his arms about her and pulls her back against his chest; his chin resting on her shoulder, cheek against her neck and ear as he speaks to her in low tones, "They called us out there to ask us to try and keep from making the same mistakes they did… and to try and keep the world from during into that field of bodies."

She doesn't even know what to say to that. There are no words. Elisabeth stares at the kitchen wall over the top of the breakfast counter, unseeing. Her body is stiff under his hands, though she instinctively conforms to the curve of him — not exactly relaxing but at least responding to him.

"It's not enough that we have the Vanguard still doing whatever the fuck it was they're doing, now we have the Company and … the Institute, and …. God alone only knows who else. Richard….." One hand comes up to her brow and Liz rubs her forehead. "There's no end, is there?" she whispers.

"No, lover," Cardinal says quietly, "We'll be doing this for the rest of our lives. You know it as well as I do. Even if we win this whole… struggle, we're going to have to keep a hand on the wheel until the day we die."

There's a slow nod. Whatever her response to that is, Elisabeth bites it back and merely drops her head back onto his shoulder. Turning her face so her forehead rests against the side of his face, she asks blandly, "Any other good news you came out of Arizona with that I should know?"

As she turns towards him, Cardinal murmurs, "Cat's still a space-case conspiracy theorist. Now she thinks that there isn't really a leak in the Ferry, no, they're just using Edward Ray to predict their actions - despite the evidence there is a leak. We also found some film reels, we're having them repaired so we can see what's on them. Mm. You know a guy, Avi Epstein?"

Wonderous. "I didn't know about the leak in the Ferry," Liz replies dully. She's stayed clear because she was the leak in the Ferry at one point. "No. Who is he?" The film reels she leaves alone.

"Messiah warned about it recently," Cardinal grunts a little bit, "I don't trust Carmichael as far as I can throw him with my mind, but I don't think they'd lie about that point. Mm. He was on Apollo - you might've seen him on the boat, always wore aviator's?"

"First place they should look is Vincent Lazarro's daughter," Elisabeth opines quietly. And she's quiet a moment. "I remember him, sort of. He was around Kershner a lot, I think. What about him?"

"His daughter's with the Ferry?" Cardinal sounds bemused, "Huh. I didn't think anyone would be willing to fuck him…" He snorts a little bit, "Apparently, he's the last of the old Royal quartet. Kershner, Raith, Lancaster - whoever that is - and Epstein."

Elisabeth frowns slightly and pulls herself out of the dull stupor to turn slightly more under his hands and look more fully at his face. "Lancaster? Adrianne Lancaster?" She considers that and says, "She's a CIA agent. Was helping attempt to take down the Russians when they came after us. Me." She pauses and thinks about the implications of that, absently answering, "And yes…. apparently his daughter is friends with Colette or something. I doubt she's high enough in the hierarchy to actually be the leak, but …." She shrugs a little. "I'm sitting on that little tidbit for when Lazarro pisses me off again. It's sure to happen if I have to work with him. I did tell Kershner though."

Cardinal's brows raise ever so slightly. "Yeah… that's her. She was Agency at one point, ran with the Royals. She's the Queen of Wands, by process of elimination…" He shakes his head, "Oy."

She sucks in a deep breath and looks away from him again. "Great," Elisabeth says softly. She's not even sure what the Royals are or were and isn't certain she wants to know. "So… we just got handed the torch, and now we get to become…. them." Trying desperately to salvage a future that we ourselves helped fuck royally. "I need to go back to the base," she says without a hint of any enthusiasm at all. "Do you know if I have any sleeping pills left in the bathroom cabinet?" He's been here more than she has — she's not even sure what's in there. The only thing she's sure of is that she's not going to be able to sleep without help. Though that might not be the wisest idea considering she's poilshed off almost a half of a fifth of scotch since this afternoon. Her judgment may be slightly impaired to even think it.

"Bullshit." Cardinal leans back slightly, regarding her with narrowed eyes, "You're sleeping here, and now, tonight. I will call Kershner and tell her that you need a psychological 'getting in late' day. If she has a problem with that, she can suck my hairy balls."

There's a blink and Liz stares at him. Mildly, she retorts, "Well, they are quite hairy. But I'm not sharing with her, I already told you that. It's gross." She doesn't have the energy or inclination to fight about it, frankly, and nods slightly. "Fine." She moves now to stand on her toes and kiss him on the cheek before extricating herself from his hands and walking back into the bedroom, leaving him to make the call or send the text or whatever it is he'll actually do. She'll sleep — or at least pretend to, she's not sure which it'll be.

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