We're All Afflicted


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title We're All Afflicted
Synopsis Just lunch and information trading.
Date Jan 11, 2011

Elisabeth's Apartment, Dorchester Towers

She stayed overnight after Eve's visit yesterday. Elisabeth is keeping a close eye on the weather. She's on call and has already handled several situations this morning via the Bluetooth in her ear, but she's not finished putting together hot soups for both the freezer here and the one at the base yet. And though she's reluctant to admit it, she's unwilling to be out at the base right now. It's stressful and causing her nightmares to be worse — that in and of itself is worth taking whatever small amounts of time she can find to be in her haven.

There are several bowls cooling on the counter in preparation for freezing, a crockpot is bubbling gently scenting the kitchen with something creamy, and Elisabeth is just pulling three loaves of bread from the oven.

"Knock knock." The words spoken from the door as Cardinal appears within, the trenchcoat draped around his shoulders shrugged off as he enters. He knows she's there, of course, he can hear her moving about and smell the food from the kitchen. His coat's draped over one of the chairs in the dining room area, and he calls back, "Gotta love the snow, eh?"

The arrival makes her bobble the bread pan in her hands, but Elisabeth chuckles. "Hey there, handsome." Setting the warm bread on top of the stove, she closes the oven and turns toward him. "Not really — I'm about tired of snow this year, if you want the truth." Blue eyes watch him come into view and she studies him quietly. "Eve said you'd be by. Figured I'd stick around, get some soups out of the deal."

"Did she?" A pause, and then a quiet chuckle from Cardinal as he steps into the entrance of the kitchen, leaning against the wall and folding both arms over his chest. A tired smile curves to his lips, one brow raising, "She have anything interesting to say aside from that?"

Elisabeth's response is a smile, one of those mysterious feminine things that may cause fear or worry in men. She sets the hot pads down and moves forward to wrap her arms around him, offering a simple hug. "Just that things will get better." Eventually. Sometime.

"She said that things will get better?" Cardinal gives her a rather dubious look, even as his arms slide around her waist in a loose embrace, "What— did Ezekiel take her power away or something? That sounds way too optimistic for a precognitive."

She rests her head on his shoulder and just laughs quietly. "It does, doesn't it? But you know what? They don't always see doom and gloom, handsome. It just seems that way lately." Elisabeth just shakes her head. "You look tired," she observes, burying her nose in his shoulder for a long moment to take in the scent. Then she pulls away. "Want some lunch before you crash?" she asks, assuming that he came here to do that — it's not like she's generally expected to be here. "There's a baked potato soup in the crockpot," she offers. "And I just pulled bread out."

"That's news to me," is the dry answer to her statement about precognitives, Richard's head dipping down a bit to press a kiss against her hair. "Mm. Lunch sounds good. I was meeting with Donovan last night, then dropped off some things across town…"

She looks up at him, just a little anxious and a lot curious. "How'd it go?" Elisabeth asks. She drops a light kiss on his jaw and then slips out of his hands to fix bowls. She'd been about to sit down and eat as well, since the cooking part is done. And as she ladles the thick soup from the crockpot, it occurs to her to ask, "Why do you call him Ezekial?" She knew who he was referring to — but that's the first time she's heard Richard call him anything but 'him'. Or some other choice words.

"It went… surprisingly well, actually," Cardinal admits with a slight shake of his head, "He's already been approached by some of our allies, and between their support and ours— well. I also told him a little've what the government's been covering up, and he took it pretty well."

He steps along over to the fridge, opening it up to search for drinks, "…you ever heard of a woman named Alice Shaw?" He doesn't answer the other question, yet.

Elisabeth pauses, running through her mental list of names. "It's not… ringing a bell, no," she says as she finishes dishing the soup. She puts the lid back on the pot and sidles around him to get the bread knife and cut into the loaf she has cooling. "Bring out the cheese and butter too, please?" she asks absently. "Who is Alice Shaw?"

"She's part of the Deveaux Group…" A bottle of beer is pulled from the fridge, and Cardinal hip-checks the door back closed, leaning against it and regarding his beer with a slight frown as he twists the cap off, "…interesting thing is, not only has she mentioned Coyote Sands, but? Shaw? That's Angela's maiden name."

That stops her movements. Elisabeth sets the knife down and leans her own hip on the stove. "Now that's an interesting little twist, isn't it?" she murmurs, her brow furrowing thoughtfully. Slowly, she draws out her thoughts in words. "If Alice and Angela are sisters…. perhaps one joined Deveaux after you changed his mind years ago and one went with the Company?"

"It's possible," Cardinal admits with a shake of his head, "Could be a coincidence too, but… well. It's something to keep in mind. I sent Brad Russo to Coyote Sands, by the way." A swig of his beer, and before that can sink in he tilts the bottle to her, "And I call him that 'cause it's my Christian name, which I hate."

Elisabeth frowns slightly. "Who's Brad Russo?" And then she stops dead, quirks a brow at him, and murmurs, "And nearly two years later you're just getting around to telling me that?" She sounds amused. "I'm still going to call him Dick. It suits him." She returns to cutting the bread, putting pieces on a plate from the cabinet above her and holding it out to him. "Cheese and butter, if you please." He can take those to the table and she'll bring the bowls.

Cardinal rolls his eyes at that. "…I said that I hate it, didn't I?" A waggle of the beer bottle in her direction, and then he reaches out to accept the plate with a chuckle, balancing his drink against its side as he moves over to gather the cheese and butter onto its flat. "Russo. The Advocate? That news show?"

"Oh! Okay, now I've got him," Elisabeth replies, placing the name. She doesnt' listen to the radio much these days. She sounds thoughtful. "Interesting choice for investigating," she observes. "And a good first volley, for certain." She waits for him to finish retrieving the fridge items, and after putting spoons in the steaming bowls of chunky soup, she follows him to the table. "And I promise to never ever spill your given name, Richard." She grins cheekily.

"It isn't my given name," Cardinal replies with a snort of breath as he carries the cheese and butter into the dining area, setting the plate down at the table and taking one of the other chairs, "They gave me the damn thing at confirmation. And it's a start, at least, it's a start. 'Course, he's engaged to Nichols."

"Ooooh!" Elisabeth puts down the bowls and goes back into the kitchen, laughing. "Well, hell. No one ever uses their confirmation names." She wrinkles her nose. "Those things oughtta be obsolete anyway. They don't even show up on you paperwork anywhere. No wonder I had no clue." When she comes back, it's with a bottle of water for herself. "No wonder you hate it," she adds as she seats herself next to him. "Got to admit, I thought mine was bad."

"Oh?" A swig of beer, and then Cardinal sets it aside to reach for some bread for himself, regarding her curiously across the table, "What's yours, then? Mary? Admittedly, I wasn't sure that you heathen protestants even had confirmation names and all…"

Elisabeth laughs. "Uh-huh — and I gave you a Catholic medallion and I visit a Catholic church to see Father Matthew because I'm Protestant?" She honestly isn't sure if he's teasing. "And no…. that would have been better but my middle name is already a derivation of Mary — Maureen. I was given Miriam at confirmation. My grandmother insisted on it." She grins a little. "Of course Mary, Maureen, and Miriam all have similar meanings, you realize…. 'rebellion.'" There's a smirk. "Apropos, don't you think?"

"Elisabeth Maureen Miriam Harrison?" That full name has Cardinal nearly choking on a swallow of bread, grinning broadly as he shakes his head from side to side, "My god, that's horrific. I can just imagine your grandmother reciting all of it rapid-fire when she was pissed at you…"

"Exactly," Elisabeth grimaces. "See? It is horrible!" She grins at him. "See? So orphanage or not, we're all afflicted when it comes to friggin' confirmation names." She picks up her spoon and works on her soup, chuckling.

"Therefore," Cardinal declares, raising up his spoon in a salute, "I will call him Ezekiel. He doesn't deserve any of my other names." He doesn't mention his own middle name, if he even has one. The spoon delves into the bowl, his head shaking a little, "…at least they're mine, even if Eddie tried to make me think otherwise."

Oh shit. That's the first she's heard of that news too. Elisabeth swallows the bite of her soup and her expression shifts. He lied. She doesn't have to ask. "I'm sorry, love," she says quietly. She banks her rage at Edward for being such a bastard in favor of sliding her hand onto his forearm and squeezing.

Cardinal's gaze lingers on the soup before him, the spoon's curve swirling slowly through the soup to stir it. Steam rises from the bowl, swirling lazily through the air for a few moments before he brings up the spoonful. He takes a mouthful of soup, swallows, and then he leans back in his chair again. At the squeeze to his arm, he offers her a faint smile, "It's alright. I'm more worried abou Valerie… I think the fact that he pulled this hurt her most've all. She really thought he was a good guy."

There's a weary kind of sadness on Elisabeth's face as she rubs his arm and sighs. "Maybe he is… In the same way we're the good guys." Which is to say, no one's perfect and sometimes there are reasons for doing things other people think are shitty. She slips her hand from him and moves to toss some cheese on top of her soup, letting it melt for a bit. "Blood isn't what makes a family," she says softly. "Sure, that's where it starts. But … family is more about sticking by one another when the chips are down. My dad isn't the only family I have anymore. You're my family. Felix and Niki are my family. Even in some ways Elle and Eve and Peyton are family." She shrugs a little. "It's not perfect, but…"

"I gave them a chance to throw away the results and decide for themselves," Cardinal says, his gaze dipping down to the bowl in front of him, "They just had to go with the results, though…" He rubs a hand against the side of his neck, then reaches for the chunk of butter-smeared bread off to one side of the plate, "I tried to build my own family here, but… it just didn't go very well. Niki and Jessica don't trust me as far as they can see me, Elle's too obsessed with my ass to be trusted. I pushed Peyton too far, too fast, and just hurt her. Face facts, lover…" A look up, and he admits wryly, "I suck with people."

Elisabeth touches him again, unable to stop herself from offering comfort the only way she knows. "Only when you like them a lot," she offers, deadpan. And then she lightly squeezes again. "Just because they wanted to know if Edward was a liar or not doesn't make their ties to you any less real. You're the one who made it an either/or thing, lover," she says softly. "Don't shut the door on people who do care about you just because they wanted to know the truth. They're far too much like you in that regard." She offers him a soft smile.

Cardinal's hand turns up to brush against her arm in return, and he glances over the table to offer the faintest of smiles to her. "The truth often hurts," he admits in quiet tones, "I know that more than anybody… I'm not shutting the door on them, but they're not family."

She can't force him to accept people's affections, and Elisabeth's learned the hard way when to make sure he's got enough space. She simply captures his free hand and brings it to her lips to brush a kiss on his knuckles. "All right," she replies. "So tell me about the situation as it stands with Donovan right now?"

"I told him about Coyote Sands," Cardinal admits, his fingers brushing against her cheek for a moment before he leans back to delve into dinner once more, "I showed him the Suresh videos that we retrieved from the old camp. He was… a little overwhelmed, but he realized the importance of it all. Once we have some hard, solid evidence, I think that he'll be willing to speak out."

Returning to spooning up her now-cheesy potato soup, Elisabeth nods. "Nice!" she compliments with a grin. "He's a good man. I think he was a little worried that you might be in a position to fuck him royally — but if we're straight with him and up front, I'm pretty damn sure you'll be able to get him involved. We just have to keep the ones important to him safe." She's still worried about that, given the whole FRONTLINE thing. "With DoEA investigating Redbird, I'm … a little worried that if his name pops on the books as a client, …." She nibbles her lip. "I mean, they took Demsky and killed a bunch of other people just to put pressure on the Ferry, you know?"

"They took Demsky?" Cardinal sits up straighter, scowling, "What happened?"

"Yeah… they busted in and took Demsky, most likely to get Colette riled up enough to try to get the Ferry riled up enough to make a move. Cat told me two days ago." She grimaces. "They're doing recon out at Miller Field to see if they can hit Heller. I told Cat to pass on that it's not a good plan. Not that way. I don't know how well Miller's protected, but I know they've got a whole group of Horizon suits out there, and there's no guarantee Demsky's even being held there. Plus they were about to try to take on breaking Tamara out."

"Oh, Christ." Cardinal rubs a hand slowly over his face, the spoon clattering back into the soup as he slumps back in the chair, "The Ferry would just decide to crash in and do it, wouldn't they… fuck. Collette's got to be going out've her goddamn mind. Between Demsky and Tamara — so it was Heller that did it?"

"Honestly, I'm not sure they know that for sure, but that was the impression I got." Elisabeth grimaces. She didn't know he didn't know. "Colette's holding her horses — Cat says Special Operations is declining to do more than intel gather at this point and I offered her our backup if they do wind up coming up with a workable plan. Hopefully word that Eve's loose will settle things a bit."

"Colette's an angry teenager," Cardinal points out dryly, "She's not going to be holding any horses. I hope they're keeping a close eye on her… she's a good kid, and she could really get hurt in all've this. Christ." He reaches over for his beer, "If it was the Institute… at least I know that Ezekiel and Broome wouldn't purposefully hurt her. Heller, though…"

"I hope they're keeping her in check too," Elisabeth sighs. "Well, I know for sure that Tamara's all right. Eve wouldn't have let herself out if she weren't certain of that much." She toys with her soup but continues to eat, albeit slowly.

"I'm not so certain," says Cardinal in quiet, worried tones, taking a swallow of beer and gesturing to her with it, "Tamara… I worry about what he'd do with her. The idea of trying to harness her ability is insane, but he's shown himself willing to pull insane stunts before."

"Well…. it's possible that he's doing what he claimed he was doing. Just trying to keep her safe. But it's unlikely," Elisabeth concedes. She doesn't break her word to Eve, refusing to tell Cardinal that the precog had been painting up there. What she does say is careful. "I'm sure he wants the use of the precognitive ability because it helps him draw the roadmap to keep things going a certain way. When Eve was lucid, she was able to tell me that she didn't agree with his methods or intent. But that at that time, when you were burying yourself away from everything, your own methods were in question as well. And she warned me to be very careful who to trust. Now… you can take that as you will. But after her visit yesterday, I think we're on a better path. But of course, that makes us a bigger target to him."

"I wouldn't trust anything he said," Cardinal says with a shake of his head, stirring up a spoonful of soup, "Eve doesn't approve of what I do, much less him. I won't just accept where the future is going. I keep changing it. It gives them headaches."

Elisabeth chuckles. "Well, headaches or not, she actually said the word 'better' to me," she admits. "It made me choke on my drink."

"Precognitives lie too," Cardinal points out pessimistically, "But… well. Maybe it's a hopeful sign." A bite of soup, and he swallows, gesturing with the spoon, "Anyway."

Indeed. Anyway. Elisabeth returns to her soup, and she says, "So how 'bout those Giants? Patriots? Anyone?" She winks at him.

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