We Said Goodbye, Now Move Forward


claire2_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title We Said Goodbye, Now Move Forward
Synopsis After Danko's surprise appearance, Claire and Liz walk home and talk about where to go next.
Date January 24, 2010

Greenwich Village

Danko's departure left Old Lucy's in a strange kind of silence. Elisabeth turned to Brenda, gesturing for one more shot. Downing it abruptly, she murmurs to the bartender, "Send me the bill — I know some people are paying out of pocket, but everything they've paid for drinks, you guys keep for tips. I'll be back by to pay tomorrow, Bren." And then she grabs the black coat that falls to her knees and covers the short skirt of her dress entirely and heads for the door. Flipping her collar out, the blonde ex-cop shoves her hands into her pockets and her heels start clicking down the sidewalk. For the first time since the day she woke up from the near-death experience, she doesn't seem to actually notice that it's dark out — her attention is entirely inside her own head. A potentially dangerous proposition.

Seeing Elisabeth heading for the door, Claire moves quickly to follow after a brief goodbye to others. One thing the regenerator hates, is trying to run in heels.. it's more of a scuffing shuffle then an actual run. A quick stop to grab her coat, and Claire hurries out the door. It takes several moments for Claire to catch up with the other blonde, "Liz… wait up." She calls shuffling along quickly until she's along side her friend.

Slipping on her coat, and tying it shut, Claire watches Liz with obvious worry. "I figure it's better if we don't go anywhere alone." She offers lamely, if he had planned to actually do something Danko would have done it. "At least till he's taken down again."

She pauses long enough to allow Claire to catch up and unconsciously voices exactly the same thought. "If he was going to do something besides take names, he'd have done it. But I doubt he's that fucking stupid." Elisabeth's tone is flat and as she resumes walking, her steps are firm. "Too many witnesses for either side to make their move." She is silent as they walk for a time, and she finally says softly, "If he survived… how? Did any of the others? Francois? Gray? Clearly he had transport off Antarctica — which has to mean the fucking government, Claire. They went back looking for survivors, but no one was ever mentioned. Clearly they found someone." Like Danko. She doesn't mention Cardinal in the query, but it's inconceivable to her that he could have survived being ground zero during a tac-nuke explosion. Not with tatters of shadows falling to the brilliant white ice below the chopper.

The tiny blonde doesn't add Gabriel to her list either. "Gabriel was dead…. I don't think he's coming back. I saw his body.. I heard Eileen say there was no life in him. It would be a miracle really." Claire sighs heavily, sending mist to trail behind her. "Danko…. Just what we didn't need." A hand slips from her pocket to run finger tips across her forehead. "And I can't believe they gave him a pardon…" She frowns a bit, "Or I wouldn't if they hadn't have given Gabriel one too…" A glance goes to Liz.

"Do… you think the government got him to do it. I mean…. it's kind of odd he only shot Gabriel." Claire frowns a bit. "He fled after that."

"My best guess….. " Elisabeth trails off and finally says softly, "would be yes." In the darkened street, her expression lit only by the streetlights, Elisabeth looks … haunted. "It feels strange to be lumped in with the likes of Danko," she admits softly. "I look at myself sometimes and I don't recognize who I've become. God Claire…. the more we change things, the worse it seems to look." There is despair. "We're dying out there. One at a time. Saving people who have no clue they've been saved. We're hated. And every time we stop one horrifying thing, something worse comes down the pipe. I feel like we're spitting in the wind. Like nothing we're doing out there matters. We're dying for… what?" she asks in a hopeless tone.

"Don't look at it in relation too the people now, Liz." Claire says after a moment of thought. "These people today, don't understand… no. But… what will the people of tomorrow think? What would their lives be like? Didn't we already get a glimpse of that?" Her head turns a bit to give Liz a sideways glance, a small smile tugs at the corner of her lips, "Besides.. I thought as a cop you were use to a thankless job."

"You saw in that mission room what the world faced if that bomb went off." Claire glances up as the pass under a street lamp. "We have to keep that in our head… it's all about the end game. Not now… not five minutes from now.. not five days or even years… The end of the road. It's what Richard wanted us to focus on."

Finally,… finally, she breaks. Elisabeth's face crumples into tears, her free hand coming up to cover her mouth as the sob threatens to overwhelm her. "What Richard wanted? Christ, Claire," she chokes out. "He's gone into every goddamn fight we've had expecting to die. He's expected all along to have to throw himself into this; he warned me from the start. There are no happily ever afters for people like us." She sucks in a shuddering breath and wipes her eyes. Pivoting on her heels she starts purposefully walking once more, sniffling a bit. "And stupid, stupid me, I dared to keep having hope. That we could make it in spite of ourselves. That we'd changed enough of the future that … " She shakes her head, her strides lengthening even in the heels. "Oh, we changed enough. The up side is that so far Helena, and Alex, and Trask aren't dead. But now instead of getting his happy future where he's a cop and a guy with a life, Gray's dead. Eileen doesn't get her happy future because … Gray's dead. And who knows how many others will die because we changed Arthur's game plan and all those fuckers from Moab escaped?" She rubs her forehead, a wet sniffle accompanying the move.

"Fuck all of this. I'm tired, Claire. I'm tired of losing people I love to this war, I'm tired of feeling like we cannot find a middle ground much less win. I wish I had damn well died too, because you know what? He was right!" Elisabeth slashes her hand across her face again, the tears simply streaming. "He was fucking right. There is no rest until we're through, and the only way we're through is if we're fucking dead. Teo's accusing me of selling out, Cat thinks I drank the Kool-Aid, and all I'm really trying to do is…. get by! To find some kind of place to be in all this that doesn't require me to give up some semblance of a life — and maybe that's just too fucking much to ask, I just don't know anymore!"

Eyes cast to the ground, Claire can only listen to the rantings of the other woman. Eyes blink rapidly as she tries to stop the tears that threaten her own eyes in sympathy to Liz's sorrow. "There always has to be some sort of hope, Liz." The words are soft and hesitant. "My hope is that my friends families in the future.. have a future, cause unless by some miracle I'm killed, I get a front row seat to watch the struggle. Your kids, grandkids.. their grandkid… Always." It's something she's had to come to terms with recently… Living a very long life. "I don't know.. I… wish I knew what to tell you Liz. I really do. I think the others will come around once you prove what your doing. I think right now, Cat and Teo can't seem to see past their noses about the FRONTLINE thing. It scares them."

"It's not just us changing, it's the face of this war that's changing as well. We're just adapting to the new challenges. You in FRONTLINE seems like a good change. " Claire sighs softly, "Life.. is unfortunately, never fair."

Putting her hands over her face, Elisabeth struggles to pound it all back down, down deep where it just can't see the light of day. "No. It's not. And some days, I wish I were still blind. But you can't unsee reality. And reality is that we, in part, caused some of our own problems here. Moab was our fault; we fucked up. We loosed the future versions of people on this timeline, and now they have their own agendas." Sucking in a breath and blowing it out slowly in the cold night air, Liz looks around. "I feel so damn alone and overwhelmed all the time. What we know is … huge. What we suspect is even bigger. And I just… " She bites her lip and looks at the regenerator. "I don't know what to do next, Claire. I'm trying real damn hard to hold it together for you, for Peyton, for everyone. But I don't have a goddamn clue."

Under the glow of one of the streetlights, one of Claire's hands stops Liz and pulls her where she can look at the regenerator. "What do we do next?" She asks giving Liz a determined look, "We hold on… We look to the next crisis and power on. I think Rebel is giving us the next clue as to what is coming our way now." Her other hand moves to grip Liz's other arm. "We needs to get in touch with Rebel. We need to talk to him… gain his trust… plus we need the ally. We need him to trust us to do what is right. We focus on his warnings. See what we can find."

Blue eyes search the other woman's face. "We need to keep doing Richard's work. We give up on that….. we give up on him." Claire's fingers unwrap from Elisabeth's arms as if she's been burned, suddenly feeling like she's said to much, glancing away form Liz. "Sorry… I… I'm sorry Liz."

There's a soft sigh and Elisabeth nods slowly. "Well, Richard always wanted a technopath ally," she says quietly. "Guess it can't hurt." She shakes her head a bit and says softly, "If they're really building camps out there… we're in a world of deep shit, you know." She nods a little. "But you're right." She smiles faintly. "And you just stepped into the lead position when I have to be out of town by virtue of at least having a half of a clue how to kick me in the ass, okay? I need you to help keep the others focused on actual tasks."

"History is full of camps…. none of them good." Claire murmurs softly, moves to walk again, listening to the soft click of their heels on the cold pavement. "So yeah… it scares me too." A small smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. "I never saw myself as the leader type… there were times I wanted it… but was never good at it. Do you know Cameron threw leadership of PARIAH at one point at me." Her eyes widen a bit at that thought. "I wasn't good at it. Even Peter told me I sucked and made stupid choices."

Grimacing, Claire sighs. "Either way. I'll sit down with Bones.. and have him throw something out on the web. See if we can get Rebel to notice us and talk to us." She smiles a bit and glances at Liz. "Make use of the new guy."

There's a slow nod. "Use Mack, too." Elisabeth smiles slightly. "As he points out — he's been around a lot of good leaders, some of their knowledge is bound to rub off. He used to be partnered up with my old captain, the head of SCOUT." She pauses and looks at Claire, laughing softly, "I forget that you were with PARIAH for a while. About the time I started working with SCOUT. Sure glad you don't hold grudges, kiddo." She keeps walking with Claire and murmurs, "I think between Mack and the fact that I'm goign to be in and out of town as much as possible during that month, you'll be okay. I probably won't be available during the day for a lot of contact, but I'll have my cell. You can get to me every night if you have to."

"Nah…" Claire says with a grin, looking at the path ahead of them, "PARIAH did things wrong. Had to grow up some and watch others doing what I did to see it." Moving to slide an arm through the other blonde's she hugs it there briefly. "So no… on that I don't hold a grudge. There are better ways of doing things then being a terrorist.. though… this new thing may force us to go up against the government again." That seems to sadden her a bit… He may be a future version, but the president was still her father.

When Claire takes her arm, Liz slides out of the grip and wraps her arm around the petite girl's shoulders while they walk. "Thanks, Claire," she says quietly. "Sorry I freaked out on you." The sorrow still weighs on her, but it's a little lighter now. "If we have to go up against them again, we will. One thing I do know…. Richard had an in with the future version of your father. I don't know what it was…. and shit, I don't know how to find out. But … maybe it's somewhere in those papers that are locked up. Or maybe he told Xiulan or someone. She's good with secrets. We can hope that there's some kind of roadmap out there."

"Liz… " Claire gives the audiokinetic a matter of fact look. ".. you lost someone you love and got all that responsibility drop on your shoulders, your allowed to do some freaking out." She smiles a bit. "Seems like Edward Ray had a plan.. if I remember what I was told.. He somehow knew I and Richard had to be there. Maybe if we're lucky.. he'll have something dropped off again." The way she says that makes it sound like she isn't holding her breath for it.

"Either way… works not done." Claire declare firmly. "We've said our goodbye… time to keep moving forward." It takes a lot to say that, since the people lost will always be mourned.

"Yeah," Elisabeth says quietly. Giving Claire's shoulders one more squeeze, she says, "I'm going to catch a cab from here. If you want to stay at my place tonight, you're welcome." There's a hesitation. "I warn that it's unlikely to be a good night."

"Actually… I'm gonna go back to the library… " Claire grins stepping away after the hug, "See if I can catch Bones, get started on the problem and maybe sort some papers." She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "I'll do what I can to try and not screw anything up. I'll wait till you get a cab though, but you know how to get a hold of me if you need me."

Elisabeth smiles faintly. "I've lived in this town my whole life, and been a cop in it for almost half of it. I can get around, Claire. I'll be by the library tomorrow and I'll check into when I need to ship out. I think it's no later than Wednesday."

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