What A Pair


elisabeth2_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title What A Pair
Synopsis Veronica stops in on the off chance of catching a supposedly arrested and released ex-cop and confidences ensue.
Date May 2, 2010

Elisabeth's Apartment, Dorchester Towers

Late afternoon on Sunday, Veronica returns to the apartment complex, with a bag of take out from one of the few persistent vendors still open and trying to survive the storm. It's not the best Chinese food in town, but beggars can't be choosers, and there's only so much pasta she can eat — which is about all Brian or she know how to make. After dropping off some of the food at her own apartment for Brian, the Company agent takes the entree of Kung Pao Chicken and steamed rice to visit one of her neighbors: Elisabeth Harrison.

Having shed her coat and all the cold weather gear in her apartment, Veronica looks like a breath of spring on the step after knocking — jeans and a t-shirt, her feet in flip flops since she left her snow boots off to dry in her own apartment.

When she opens the door, Elisabeth looks tousled and disgruntled, her face puffy, her eyes red. She looks vaguely as if she just woke up, and she's moving stiffly. Her expression clears a little and she forces a smile. "Hey, Vee," she says quietly. "C'mon in." She backs up, wearing a white fluffy terrycloth robe. Her hair is half pinned up, and she reaches up to smooth it absently after locking the door behind the Company agent. "Want some tea?" She's pretty sure the kettle can be warmed quickly.

"Oh, shit, did I come at a bad time, or … a good time?" Veronica herself would call it a bad time — if she were the one crying, she certainly wouldn't want anyone else to see it. "I just picked up some dinner and thought you might like something you didn't have to make yourself," she says, lifting the little red and white takeout boxes as she studies the other's face. "I can go — or I can stay. I completely understand either way, you know?"

Shaking her head, she finishes bolting the door and waves the other woman in. "Nah. It's about as good as it's going to get. C'mon." She scrubs at her face and says, "I must look worse than I thought if you're offering to run off on me. Christ." She's moving like an old woman right now, her muscles having seized up a bit while she slept on the kitchen floor. Stupid. "Getting too old for this shit," she comments grumpily. "What time is it?"

"About 5:30," Veronica murmurs, following the other woman into the apartment proper. "And no, you don't look bad, just… you know. Like you're having a bad day. Which … with all the shit going on that's going on, is probably an understatement and I know it sounds completely stupid coming out of my mouth." She offers a slight smile. "Anything you want to talk about? I … doubt I can help. I also have a favor to ask of you — if Chesterfield hasn't passed on my message, which is totally possible."

There's a frown. "Cat had a message for me? Why didn't you just text me?" Elisabeth looks puzzled, shoving her hand through her hair. "We lost Dreyfus again, the sting didn't work. And of course I went and lost my mind at Richard earlier," she says bitterly. "The last thing he needs is a stressed out, hysterical girlfriend or whatever the hell it is that we are."

"No, no," Veronica says, shaking her head at the misunderstanding of her words. "I asked Cat to pass on a message to someone — and I figured I'd double my chances by asking you to do the same, but that can wait." She moves to sit, setting food down on the coffee table. "Dammit. I'm sorry to hear that. I'd like to see Dreyfus strung up by the balls. As for Cardinal — well. You have the right to be stressed out and hysterical… don't be too hard on yourself. I'm sure he will forgive you that much."

Elisabeth laughs soft and fluffs out her hair, gesturing for Veronica to pull up a seat. She pulls out plates to share the takeout. Chinese is fine with her. "I have the tendency of driving away men who attempt to get too close. This one slipped under the radar and now I find that I don't have a goddamned clue how to handle it all," she admits. "I woke up one day and realized that I loved the asshole, and then …. he died. Or … rather, he didn't die. He turned into a shadow of himself and it's worse than fucking cancer, watching him die like this. I can't help, I can't fix it, I can't even hold him and make either one of us feel better. And to top it off, the fucking Russians are running around this goddamned town and beating our asses every damn time we try to face off."

Clearly, Liz is still far, far more frazzled than she realized. It's unlike her to confide in anyone, really. And she realizes it. "Shit. I'm sorry, Veronica," she says as she sets the plates down on the coffee table, her tone distressed and husky with frustration.

The hardened company agent's brown eyes fill with tears as she listens to Elisabeth and she gives a shake of her head, reaching to touch the other's arm lightly. "Don't be sorry. And I'm so sorry. I'm keeping my ears open for anyone who could help but…" she heaves a sigh and looks away.

"Don't be sorry. And I understand. About people sneaking under your radar." She swallows. The confidence inspires confidence, begets confidence, and she suddenly, perhaps stupidly, blurts, "I'm engaged to Brian Winters. No one even fucking knows, except Gillian." She laughs weakly, a hand going to her neck where the unseen engagement ring is hidden beneath her shirt on a chain. "It's just … a fantasy. A fairytale. I don't even see how it's going to happen, to be honest, but … I keep pretending it might."

Elisabeth puts her hand over the one on her arm and looks at Vee. "He's not going to make it, Veronica." She meets the other woman's eyes, her own tormented with the knowledge. "If we don't find something soon, he's just…. going to fade away. I fought with him today over the fact that I was thinking about just standing out in the open and inviting Dreyfus for a one-on-one fight if that's what he wants. I'm so tired of seeing other people pay for what I did. For a choice I made."

She pauses and looks surprised. "Oh…. God. Wow." Elisabeth just stares and then starts laughing. "Christ… Aren't we a pair?" She looks down at Vee's hand. "Yours involves getting married and expecting that it's a pipe dream. Mine doesn't have anything to do with marriage — couldn't care less about that part, honestly — but I would actually like the part of that future that some of my friends saw that included a kid. I think I'd like that a lot. And I keep pretending it could happen, but… " Yeah. She's pretty much in the same boat.

Veronica's eyes harden and she shakes her head. "No. He can't… he can't fade away when he did what he did for us. We'll find a way. Somehow," she says fiercely. "And … I don't care about a wedding or anything like that either — he's more the romantic than I am. That sort of thing, it matters to him, or else what we have would be enough. And he deserves it, if it matters."

She squeezes the other's hand a moment before taking her own back. "You'd be a good mom. I don't think I would, but I don't think children are in my future any time soon, anyway." She never had anyone tell her her bright future, she wasn't even aware there was one — and she isn't aware in that future, she has a child. Brian's child, with the wrong last name.

"Anyway — speaking of people returning to us. Are you, in any way, in contact with Gabriel?"

Teo told her once that she was a fabulous mother. Elisabeth is not sure whether to believe him…. he also said he was proud of her. What has she ever done to deserve that faith? Right about now, she can't figure it out. But the hurt she would cause her father and Richard, the faith that Teo has in her…. those are some of the only things that keep her holding on right now.

"Fuck no," Elisabeth says quietly on a snort. "But…. I know someone who may be able to pass on a message if you need it. Maybe. Why?" Veronica's insistence that he has to be okay? Liz can't address it. She's struggling to keep that hope alive in herself, but it's starting to falter. The longer it takes, the weaker he gets. So she puts her attention on business and tries to keep it there.

The brunette laughs at the snort. "Not a fan, I see," she says quietly. "I asked Chesterfield to pass on the information if she could — she acted surprised that I'd ask to make contact with a dead man, but that's Chesterfield, right? Hard to tell if she'd pass it on or not." She picks up a fork and digs into the container of food, before passing it to Liz. "I need his help to stop his copycat. Gray's probably the only person who can help us trap him. The … suspect has danger sense, along with other powers that basically make it an impossibility to trap him, and … I don't know. Gray might be able to help me get into his mind, figure out something that would work despite that power — and then there's the fact that Gray himself might be enough of a trap in and of himself." Either because Samson would want all of his son's powers, or because Samson would want to reunite with his son — unfortunately, Veronica is banking on the former, given Samson's past.

Elisabeth is uncertain whether Cat knew Gabriel was alive or if she was just covering. "I'll see what I can do about passing the message. I know he's approached Claire in the not-too-distant past. And we have a couple people who might be able to make some kind of telepathic contact. I'll send out the word." She hesitates. "I don't know if you know this or not, but Gabriel's pardon didn't go through because he died. He may be leery about making a meeting. Kershner's convinced that the killer out there is Gray, and I believe they've got a whole task force looking for him. So … be careful."

"I heard," Veronica says with a shake of her head. "And Kershner's wrong. It's not Gabriel Gray. I have evidence and I know who it is — I just can't catch him. Wandering around with negators 24/7 in hopes of coming across him just isn't going to work, and the various traps we've tried aren't working — if it's because of his power or because of the snow, who knows. He certainly isn't being shy about showing up and trying to get powers he wants, but if it's a trap — well. I need Gabriel's help — obviously if he can help bring down the suspect, the better it is for him. Maybe we can manage to get his pardon taken care of, if he helps bring the suspect down." She sighs, and runs a hand through her dark locks. "Tell him I know who it is — it's not a shot in the dark."

Elisabeth tilts her head and nods slightly. "I'll do the best I can," she says quietly. "Wanna tell me what you know, or you want to keep it to yourself?" She'll respect either option — Veronica deserves her trust.

"The suspect is a thin man in his sixties, balding, seems to be hanging out in homeless shelters. Here." She reaches into the back of her jeans, finding the laminated photographs she had been showing around to various homeless people earlier: "Batsu" and Samson Gray. She hands both to Elisabeth. "The elderly man — he's from Newark, New Jersey. If you see someone like that, call me immediately." She nods to the other. "I'm on the look out for that one, too. He was probably controlling the microwave kid — who we have now, by the way. He goes by Batsu." The fact she hasn't given a name for the other suspect is certainly strange.

Liz takes the images and studies them carefully. "All right," she says. "I'll make sure the others get hold of it too." She pauses. "Do you want these in the hands of Rebel and his bunch? They may have fingers in other pies and be able to help, but I admit that I am beyond leery of involving them in any of this thus far." She's not going to push on the matter, though — the parts that Vee entrusts to her, she will simply accept.

"Rebel? No, let's not do that just yet. In fact…" Veronica says, frowning a little. "We have reason to believe Rebel might have assisted in an attack on one of our agents. Probably best not to let Rebel know you're talking to me if Rebel doesn't already know. He… they… might not approve, and I wouldn't want them to target you for any reason. You have enough of that going on."

"I'll keep it off the digital, then. Tell them in person. Don't talk about the fact that you've given this to me via email or phone or anything, either," Elisabeth tells her quietly. "Apparently when they heard I'd been arrested, they were gung-ho to attempt to break me out. I don't think I'm all that important to them, so … I can only assume they were concerned that what I know might be a threat if a telepath got hold of me." She grimaces a bit. "Just better not to tip our hands, okay?"

The agent gives a shake of her head, and spears another piece of chicken with an annoyed thrust of her fork. "Things you shouldn't have to worry about," she says with a sigh. "It's hard enough without having to worry about technopaths and telepaths, right?" Veronica takes the bite of food and chews quietly for a moment. "So … they just dropping the charges or what?"

"The charges were mocked up. Always false." Elisabeth smiles a little. "Though I do admit, I wasn't entirely sure Kershner was going to let me out of the hooskow after the fact," she says dryly, picking up the food and for the first time starting to eat. She's finally apparently settling down some emotionally. At least enough that her stomach is clamoring for sustenance. Curling back into the couch, she props her feet on the coffee table while she talks around bites. "We were hoping to draw Dreyfus out — it worked, but not as we'd hoped. We took out about a half dozen of their guys and ran in another … I don't know 5 or 10. But Dreyfus, if he was even on the scene, got away. And so'd a huge guy who could turn kinetic force into some kind of forcefield or use it to make himself stronger or something. It was very ugly. Cat got her throat cut, Rachel damn near took a bullet in the face. I took one to the chest and got thrown off a catwalk. It was a clusterfuck. They firebombed a tenement across the road and we had to split up to try to save the civilians."

"Ahhh, I see," Veronica says, finally catching on to the connection between the Dreyfus trap and the false charges. "God. I'm sorry. Sounds like about how most my traps go, to be honest. I'm shocked I got out of the last little field trip without an injury — I'm usually not so lucky. 'Course, I shot a kid in the hand and the shoulder. God knows if his tendons and all are going to be okay after this — turns out he probably wasn't even in control of his own actions. Seems all the last jobs we've had have some twist in them — nothing's ever black and white."

There's a soft snort of laughter as Elisabeth looks at Veronica and says ruefully, "Welcome to my world, lady. Nothing's been black and white in well over a year for me. Remember that comment about working on opposite sides? Now maybe you see where I was coming from when I said I don't honestly think we ever were." She sighs and settles in to eat, a faint smile quirking her mouth. "So you and Brian, huh? Now that's not one I ever saw coming. Gimme the juicy details, will you? It's nice to know someone else's sex life is about as convoluted as mine!" Girl talk. The panacea for most ills.

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