White Queen No More


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title White Queen No More
Synopsis Long Live the Red Queen….. in her Daisy Dukes too!
Date Jan 24, 2011

Elisabeth's Apartment, Dorchester Towers

The apartment's lights are on. The blonde inside it is, for a change, not cooking like mad. Perhaps because she's only gotten back a few minutes ago from checking on Aric's hideaway and bringing food upstairs. Her brown leather jacket is draped over the back of the sofa, the stereo is playing a CD of …. is that Queensryche? In fact, the words to "Empire" are coming from the speakers. She sits on the floor of the coffee table with the parts of guns scattered around her, cleaning them intently. A bottle of beer sits on the floor next to her, half consumed. Wearing a pair of scruffy denim shorts and a long-sleeved V-neck, her hair damp, she looks like she's planning on being in for the long haul this afternoon.

"Boss Hogg causing you problems lately, Daisy?" The question's from near the door where Cardinal's just come in - in his usual fashion, which doesn't involve opening the door - and paused to hang up his jacket. He rubs a hand over his face as he walks in, his smile tired but genuine, "Nice outfit. Wear it more often."

There's a tense jerk of her muscles. It's been a while since she jumped, but the look over her shoulder is pure sassy Lizzie. "Why Enos, you know I don't take crap off that old loudmouth." She winks at him. "Why, my cousins'll just run him raaaaaaaight over and yeehaw the whole way!"

Setting the pieces of her firearm down on the table, she climbs to her feet in a graceful motion to kneel on the couch and drape herself on her elbows over the back to look at him. "Well…. you're all in one piece. Success or failure, babe?"

"Surprisingly? Success…" Cardinal steps along over to stand behind the couch, reaching down to brush his fingers through her hair and pushing it back from her face as he looks down to her with a somewhat troubled look on his face, "I'm — really proud've the team. When something unexpected cropped up, they handled it like pros."

She tips her chin upward, the stroke of his fingers through the damp mass both familiar and comforting. Elisabeth looks pleased at the success, but her brow furrows slightly as she watches him. "Something unexpected always crops up. What was it this time?"

Cardinal's lips purse slightly. "Sylar," he says quietly, "Sylar came for Halebi."

Elisabeth hesitates. "I thought he was working with the Ferrymen or something." She frowns. "I thought your raid was already a combined effort. Why would Gabriel Gray be a surprise." She looks wary. As if she's waiting for the other shoe to drop. He's being very particular about the words he speaks here and she can tell … she's just not sure whether to push.

"When I say he came for Halebi? I mean…" Cardinal brings a hand up to his forehead, drawing a line across it, his voice grim, "…he killed several've the escorts and half the Brians we brought with us trying to get to the coffin they had Amid in."

Well, now she's all kinds of confused and it shows in the look that she offers. "What the fuck?" Elisabeth asks. Like most people who understand what Sylar is capable of, there's a flash of fear. "Who cut his leash?? I thought he was under control!"

"I don't know," admits Cardinal with a grimace, "Well, I don't… know what's going on with Gabriel, but he's definately not under control one fucking bit. I'll ask the Ferry about it, but…" He rubs a hand against the side of his neck, "I know who cut the leash. I know who told him where Amid was."

Elisabeth moves to shove herself off the couch. Her agitation is clear, and for the first time in three months that gentle brush of air ruffles the hair on his arms gently in that low-level hum that gives her away. The instinctive reaction of power to emotion. She leans down to pick up her beer, inviting quietly, "Grab a beer. Come tell me what's what." She takes a hefty swallow of what's left of hers.

Cardinal steps back away from the couch, moving over into the kitchen. The fridge's door is pulled open, and he reaches in to snag a beer from its depths. Stepping back over, he heads for the couch where she's sitting, dropping himself down and prying the cap off the bottle. "Awhile ago," he says quietly, "Sarisa thought I'd left her apartment after one've our meetings, but I hadn't. Sabine was in the bedroom, and Kershner mentioned they were going to go talk to Sylar about something."

She frowns, curling into the cushion with her feet tucked up under her. Her beer bottle rests atop her knee as she watches him sit. "Sabine?" Elisabeth queries, trying to place the name. "I don't think I know that one." Her brows pull further down, though. "You think Kershner sicced Gray on the group? But… why? To what end?"

"It was her convoy," Cardinal points out with a scowl as he leans back, "She knew the route and where the best place to ambush it was… and you know her, she was, uh, the chick that was there with the Dumonts when we visited her little base of ops, remember? As for why…" He shakes his head, "I don't have any idea. But Amid has induced radioactivity. Sprague's power. If Sylar ended up with that…"

Elisabeth's free hand reaches out to stroke the back of his neck gently, feathering through the hair near his nape. She nods a bit, remembering Sabine now that he's given her a context. And flinches. "God, Richard…. it could be another fucking Midtown." She blanches.

"Worse." Cardinal closes his eyes as her fingers brush against the nape of his neck, "Kershner's out of control. I'm going to need to deal with her, I think. Whatever she's doing… if we're right, if she really did this… she has to be stopped. I don't care what her plans are."

Jesus fucking Christ. "Oh good," Elisabeth sighs. "Twelve impossible things before dinner.

"Isn't that the way of it?" Cardinal reaches over to ruffle her hair lightly, smirking over, "For the first time, though, I… think that we might manage this. I think I can see some light on the horizon. Maybe."

"You're sure it's not the fuckin' supernova about to engulf us?" Elisabeth asks ruefully. She takes another swallow of her beer and leans sideways to set it back on the floor, ignoring the weapon pieces scattered on the coffee table. She'll finish it later. Instead she scoots closer to him, curling in tight to his side. "We're going to manage this," she says quietly, her tone dark. "We're going to manage it if I have to walk my ass right into their fucking enclave and kill his goddamn ass myself." She's livid over what's happened to Aric.

"I just hope it's not a mushroom cloud…" Cardinal's arm drapes over her, his other curling over her knees as he leans down to press a kiss to her brow, saying softly, "We'll get through this, Liz. I can see clearly, now."

"Then help me to?" Elisabeth asks softly. There's a sense of defeat in her tone, one she rarely allows him to see. Resting her forehead against his lips, she whispers, "I do everything I can to keep us all afloat, but I'm drowning lately. Everything's unravelling around me. Everything I've done is just getting us in deeper."

"Then we just need to get our feet under us." Cardinal's fingers brush over the nape of her neck, his eyes closing as he leans down against her head, murmuring there, "After I get all the information about what's going on… let's hold a meeting. Gather who we still have, and get a plan down."

There's a heavy sigh and Elisabeth turns her face into his throat. "Okay," she replies, her voice forced away from any trace of hesitance and into the calmness she wears for all of them like a mask. "Sounds good. We're going to need to hold it somewhere other than Redbird — Aric can't go there anyway, and if you want the honest truth, I'm not sure who we've still got. You, me, Lola, Aric — who is seriously fucked up in the head, as if I have to tell you that after you had to handhold me through it all — Felix, and Jaiden. That might be all. And Jaiden's been pretty tied up."

"We've got more agents than that," Cardinal says with a slight shake of his head, "Even if most of them aren't official… maybe it's time to pull some people back into the fold." He presses a kiss firmly to the top of her head, "All we can do is keep going."

She actually chuckles softly. "Well…. at least we're holding true to form," Elisabeth murmurs, pulling away just far enough to look up at him with a rueful expression. "You fall apart and I hold it together long enough to get you on your feet so that I can take my turn freakin' out." She smiles, though it's not entirely in amusement. "Who you want back in? I'd have hauled Gavyn into the fold but she's been reassigned out to California." There's a grimace at that. "Gotta wonder if that was Kershner's way of making sure the squad isn't entirely mine. Kait's pissed because I got our toy drone taken away — not sure where she'll stand. JJ is still an enigma to me. Claire's on the loose out there, as is Gilly. We could potentially tap them if we have a safe place for them to go to ground."

"It sounds like establishing a safehouse is our first priority, then," he muses, Cardinal's lips pursing in a frown, "I'll think on it to figure out exactly what we can pull through… shouldn't be that hard to get a safe place set up."

"Could be harder than you think with Aric and Redbird under scrutiny," Elisabeth says. "Normally I'd say it was time to ask my father, under cover of being legal counsel, to make some real estate purchases through a holding company for us. But…. given his ties to me, making sure he keeps just to the legal side of things for Redbird is the best plan right now."

"I agree," Cardinal says with a slight but firm nod, "We don't want you or he coming under any more attention than necessary… there're other routes, though. We'll get somewhere set up."

She nods, remaining curled exactly where she is, tight to his side. Elisabeth considers. "What're you going to do about Sarisa?" she asks quietly. And glancing up at him, she adds, "And don't tell me I need plausible deniability on this one, okay? You asked me to contact the Dumonts just yesterday, and today we're talking about 'dealing with her.' If you're going to remove her from the equation…. I need to know that ahead of time."

"Proceed with the Dumonts as normal…" Cardinal's lips purse slightly, his chest resting atop her head as he wraps his arms around her, "…don't give any hint that we know about this yet. I'm going to question her. And if I don't like the answers? She's a dead woman."

Elisabeth wraps her arms around his middle, uncurling to slip her legs across his lap and hold on tight. "Okay." Her voice is quiet… and perhaps harder than he's ever really heard. She's pulled the trigger a number of times in the last several years. She's fought as hard as any soldier. But now they're talking premeditation. And there's not a quiver in her voice. A great deal has changed.

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