You And I Collide


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title You And I Collide
Synopsis Some information comes to light that is quite unexpected.
Date Mar 2, 2011

Redbird Security Solutions, Cardinal's Apartment

How often do men dream about getting a booty call in the middle of the day? For Cardinal, it's something that occasionally actually happens. He was oh-so-innocently sleeping the daylight hours away when a blonde slinked into his apartment on a lunch break and woke him up. With her mouth. On a variety of parts of him that are guaranteed to make a man cry out — or just plain cry — with pleasure. And quite frankly, the woman was apparently in the mood to drive him out of his mind.

Only now, laying on her back at a 90-degree angle from him with her head on his tummy and her legs crossed so that one foot dangles in the air, does Elisabeth lazily comment. "I probably should have called ahead," she admits in the dimness of the room he's blacked out to sleep in. One hand toys with a lock of her long hair. "Glad you weren't otherwise occupied, lover."

The tips of Cardinal's fingers stir through her hair, stroking it away from her face and caressing the curve of her cheek. His head's propped up on a folded arm, since the pillows ended up on the floor at some point, looking down to her with a quiet smile curving his lips. "Yeah, well, you know my sleeping schedule," he points out, "And apparently you were in a bit of a mood…"

A quiet chuckle, "Or something, anyway. Been a hard week, I take it?"

She laughs at him. Not in the truly amused way but in the 'ha, ha, you're so funny' kind of way. Elisabeth's reply is quiet in spite of the chuckle, though. "Yeah… shot a guy in the face two days ago when a motorcade at 1 PP was attacked by Humanis First," she replies. He knows she hates that shit. "Just…. missed you," she admits. In some ways he's been her touchstone — Humanis First incidents tend to rock her hard. They bring up what few memories she has of being in their hands and what came after. They bring up nightmares usually.

Shifting her mind off of those, Liz looks up toward him with a grin. "Besides with all the overtime I've racked up, they can do without me for a couple hours here or there. I mean, seriously."

At the mention of the motorcade, Cardinal grimaces slightly. "I brought Elle home," he says, grazing his fingers over her cheek, "She's a little… shook up after her own time spent with the Firsters. Maybe you can stop by and talk to her at some point? I think she'd… appreciate it."

"I will," Elisabeth replies instantly. Her free hand, the one not toying with her hair, comes up to capture the fingers on her cheek to kiss the tips of them. "I'll do it on my way back to the base," she promises. "I'm just damn glad she's okay." There's a faint grimace. It brings something to mind, though, and she mentions softly, "Graeme hasn't heard from Keira yet." It's not necessarily the best conversation to have right here, but … well, they're both here and not running off to yet another emergency. When better?

"Me too. She'll have… scars, on her wrists," Cardinal closes his eyes, "We're just… damned lucky that 'Howard' guy was there to stop her. She very nearly went Sprague on us. It would've taken Roosevelt Island off the map. The dome would've protected the rest of the city, but…"

There's a wince. Christ. Elisabeth's face pulls tight and she shifts position a little, rolling so that her head is more up on his chest than his stomach. Where she can hear the steady beat of his heart pumping blood through his body. Elle….. is stronger than she gives herself credit for but a sociopath nonetheless. "I hope it hasn't… " Changed her. Warped her further. Elisabeth doesn't even know what to say to that. So she just goes silent.

"No." Cardinal leans up - and down - to brush a kiss against her hair. "I think she's… trying to be a better person. So spending time with her's one way to help her with that, to help her evolve, change herself." A faint chuckle, "Warren and some other guy are fighting over her, too. Kind've funny."

That's… wait, what?? Elisabeth snerks on a chuckle. "Ooooo-kay. That's interesting," she comments. "Well. Elle's trying to be a better person, Warren's trying to be a better person. Christ, babe… we're life changers or something!" She grins at him.

"That's what we do, lover," Cardinal says with a slight, crooked smile, hand stroking her cheek, "We change people's lives… their future and their present." And sometimes, just sometimes, their past. The smile fades, then, and he leans his head back, clearing his throat, "So. Um. Speaking of… life changing."

His tone brings a hint of tension to Elisabeth's body. Not bad tension, just the kind that comes with paying closer attention. She moves to prop up, snugged to his side with one hand on the other side of his body to brace her. "What's up?" she asks curiously.

It's an awkward thing to mention. Cardinal's silent for a moment, and then dark eyes drop down to her face, arm reaching to lightly curl around her waist as he admits quietly, "…Harmony's pregnant."

Elisabeth's comprehension is perhaps not entirely all there yet. "God," she murmurs. "She's not doing anything for us that we need to reassi……" And then it sort of hits her. Because … the tone he used was sort of guilty. Not just giving the information. Confessing. She blinks blue eyes at him, speechless.

The apple of Cardinal's throat rises and falls briefly as he clears it. "Yeah," he says quietly, confession as he looks at her, meeting her gaze.

For a long moment, Elisabeth seems to have no idea what to say. Her eyes shift from him, shock painting itself across her features as she looks around the room. Her tongue wets suddenly dry lips as she pushes entirely upright. Though she doesn't get up or pull away from him. She takes in a deep breath and lets it out slowly, perhaps trying to sort through her thoughts…. or maybe just reminding herself to breathe. "Okay," she says softly. "Uhm…." Trailing off, unable to look at him until now, there is confusion in her gaze. "So… what happens now?" she asks. There is a vulnerability to her expression that she's never shown him before, a kind of hurt and uncertainty she usually hides — if she ever feels it.

As she looks at him like that, in a way that he's never seen before, Cardinal's own expression softens; one hand raising up to press against the side of her cheek, he leans in to rest his forehead against hers. "I love you," he tells her fiercely, "Nothing's going to change that, Liz. And I… don't love her. Not in the same way that I love you. She knows that, and she's just fine with it. She doesn't expect a life with me, or anything. Okay?" Trying to squash any possible worries or doubts right off the bat, laying about all possibilities with a verbal mallet like a whack-a-mole game.

"So…. " Elisabeth blows out a breath, tilting her head to study him. They're sitting here on the bed, nude, talking about a woman he has gotten pregnant. The situation would be funny if it weren't so odd. She reaches up to rub the side of her forehead in that same spot that's become habit. "I'm not sure how to react to this," she admits. "I mean… not like I expected monogamy, but…. considering the situation, I didn't quite expect this, either."

"Yeah, neither… did I, exactly," Cardinal admits, his eyes closing and head dipping down a bit, "It's my fault, of course. She's been— really— good about it, though." There's a pause, "I expected more yelling. Or possibly hitting."

Elisabeth grins a little. "I don't think I've gotten past shock yet," she admits. "The hitting part…. might come shortly." She's feeling a multitude of complicated, confusing emotions. "You…. " She bites her lip and shakes her head. There's some amount of frustration in not being able to articulate your thoughts. "Do I need to worry? I mean… do we need to… be tested for anything?" Because, you know, she isn't running about being with other people with no protection! Well.. okay, there was this once but…

"What? Oh, no… no," Cardinal's nose wrinkles a little once he realizes what she's saying, his head shaking tightly, "No, you don't have to worry about that at all. Christ. No. We're fine." One little mistake!

She holds up both hands in a whoa! gesture. "Hey! Don't gimme the face! How'm I supposed to know??" Elisabeth demands, somewhat cranky. Apparently getting past shock is coming. "I don't know her. I teased you about her once, and you totally went running off. To her, apparently. And now you've got a kid on the way, which… seriously, Richard, just blows my mind. I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around it. And while I appreciate that you're telling me, yeah… I'm… wondering what this means for us! And God help me for being a bit irrational at this precise moment, but…. wow. Because wow. I kind of always thought I'd be the one telling you that you're having a kid not the other fucking way around!"

Okay, this is more like what Richard was expecting. There's a slight wince as he draws back, sitting up further, his hand brushing along her hip as he watches her for a moment. A swallow, and he says quietly, "It… doesn't mean anything for us unless you want it to, Lizzie."

Well, she hasn't pulled away. She's still sitting there on the bed. Blue eyes are on him, and Elisabeth is…. not furious. Just…. honestly flabbergasted. Furious might come later, but probably not when he's around to see it. This is bringing up emotions that she's not even able to identify right now and she doesn't know what to do with them. So she resorts to flat honesty with him. "I love you. I don't want it to change anything at all — but don't you think it's a little … naive to think that it won't?" she asks. "Not for her, maybe. But for you it sure as hell changes a lot." And the worry resurfaces. And true to form, it's not for herself. "What if he finds out about her?"

A long moment as she stares into his eyes and Elisabeth suddenly laughs one of those laughs that a woman gives just before she cries. "God, I'm such a fool… what if he already knows? And he's lied about everything?"

"She knows how… important it is to keep it quiet. And it doesn't change anything for me," Cardinal states firmly, his hand lifting up to curl against her jawline as he meets her eyes, saying more quietly, "Not between you and me, Liz. And you know he's a fucking liar…"

"I do," she says softly. And she leans forward to rest her forehead against his. Closing her eyes, Elisabeth murmurs, "Okay." Blowing out a soft breath, she repeats, "Okay. Well… I admit that I'm… not too thrilled here. But that said… ultimately, it's not really my business except insofar as knowing that you do have a kid out there somewhere…. if she ever needs anything for it and can't get to you, she can come to me, all right? I'll help." Because what else would she do? This is his blood, and she loves him. She'll protect what's his as necessary.

"You're right, though, you… don't know her," says Cardinal quietly, "Maybe we could all have— dinner, or something? You could get to know her." Yeah, because that wouldn't be awkward at all. He rests his brow to hers, his eyes closed as he murmurs, "Thank you. I… didn't want to lose you over this, Liz. You mean the fucking world to me."

Elisabeth's words echo his thought as she chuckles. "Yeah, that won't be awkward or anything, right?" The woman who asked to give him a child hanging out with the woman who is. Her hand comes up to wrap around the back of his neck. "I might still hit you," she admits, keeping tears at bay with humor. "You won't lose me — you fucking died and couldn't get rid of me. But I might still hit you. Really really hard."

"Okay." Cardinal's nose rubs against hers lightly, a faint smile curving to his lips, "At least let me get dressed before you beat the shit out've me, huh? And maybe pull on a cup, because I'm pretty sure you fight dirty."

"I'm thinking maybe you're going to need armor," Elisabeth retorts in a choked tone into which she forces a watery chuckle. If she can't laugh, her heart's going to break sitting right here amid the rumpled blankets. Her hand on the back of his neck is… tight. "You're not going to lose me," she promises him softly. "I love you. But damn, babe…. you know how to stab a girl through the guts." This is the second time; the first was giving Niki and Niklaus their mother. Neither situation is a matter of fault — but it doesn't mean they don't hurt like fuck. "I… I need to get back to work," she says softly, though her hand doesn't release him yet.

"Call in." Cardinal asks, softly, leaning in to press his face in against her hair, murmuring near her ear, "They can do without you for a day. We can just… hang around. Watch movies. Just… forget about everything for a little while. Please?"

With a quick, tight breath, Elisabeth hesitates. And then she smiles slightly, turning her face slightly into his, her hand slipping from the back of his neck to the side of it as she draws back. She looks at him, those damp blue eyes holding a hint of a bruised look in them but she meets his gaze. "I think that might be the first time you've ever tried to lure me into playing hooky," she murmurs, amused.

"You know me. I'm all about business." Cardinal's thumb brushes up against her lower lip, his own gaze on hers; dark eyes worried, worried that he's going to lose her, even just a little bit of her. "But today I just want to make my business you, love."

She'd been planning on demuring — the please made her hesitate. But how the hell is a woman supposed to say no to that? Elisabeth quirks a brow at him and her smile is faint, somewhat rueful. "You been practicing that?" she demands mildly. She leans forward to kiss him, seeing the worry and wanting to reassure him. "There are things you could do that would make me leave you." She won't lie about it. He's already seen what happens when that happens. "But telling me to my face that you knocked up one of your lovers and not letting me find out by accident? Not one of them. I still reserve the right to hit you at a later point to be determined by me."

"Deal." Cardinal leans in to kiss her lips softly, leaning back again with a crooked smile, "I won't even ask for a warning on that one."

Elisabeth just shakes her head at him, climbing over top of him to get to her phone. She hangs off the side of the bed and texts the ops center that she's taking a few hours to handle personal business and is available by text if they need her. Then she leaves it on the floor and pushes back upright to look at him. "Good," she tells him drily. "Cuz I'm not giving one." She starts to wrap her arms around her knees and then changes her mind, scooting into his lap. "Dammit… now I know how you felt." She finally realizes the problem — she's never really felt jealousy before. "I don't like this feeling. It makes me… cranky."

Cardinal slides his legs to either side of her, arms wrapping around her middle and head tipping in to nuzzle against the side of her neck. "Well, then we'll have to make you un-cranky," he murmurs against hair and skin, "Bruce Willis marathon and I'll cook dinner, how's that sound?"

Oh god. The poor kitchen.

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