Your Kind


bolivar_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Your Kind
Synopsis After Bolivar kills one of her kind, Elisabeth goes to see how he's doing and reassure him that he isn't going to lose his job and stuff. He is remarkably nice about it. It's been a weird couple days.
Date March 25, 2009

Edge Of Harlem — Bolivar, Logan Rose, and Nina Lou's Apartment

Dinner's in the microwave, rotating, protein and sauce and a few particles left behind from the rainwater seep-through when he'd carried it in through the inclemency of weather, minutes before duty called him out again. There's only enough dinner for one. Normally, Bolivar is better at that; he doesn't accept visitors often and it is good to do it right when he deigns to, but he's been a little—


Tired, too, after the physical, issuing the statement, speaking to his captain and revolving set of psychologists and public relations people across a revolving series of desks for a cumulative seven fucking hours, or something. His whole apartment is darked out excepting the living room.

Nina and Rose lay on the floor, fretfully watching him pad around the kettle on slippered feet. Something's wrong. You don't have to be a trained cop dog to know that. There's an odd glaze to the mercurial color of Bolivar's eyes. A T-shirt hangs off the piano-key jut of his ribs and his hair is rumpled.

When the doorbell rings, it shouldn't be unexpected. She did, at least, call ahead for his grudging acceptance of a visit. Elisabeth comes bearing gifts, too… a hot pizza. When he opens the door, the aroma of sauce and cheese and spicy meats will hit him in the face immediately. Normally she'd come bearing home-cooked stuff, because… it's just what she does. But she hasn't had the luxury of cooking in a while. "Hi," she offers, her blue eyes taking in his scarred visage.

The scowl Bolivar shows her is reflex but lacks the skin-peeling venom that his real anger would have been characterized by. He steps back with a flip-flap of rubber soles, pulling the door open to grant the woman ingress.

"I hope there are greens on that," he says by way of salutation, poking his chin in the direction of the pie. He shuts the door behind her, two-handed, winds up rubbing the scarred plateau of the back of his left hand in the palm of his right.

She's been here before. It hasn't changed much. Still smells faintly of pot— medicinal, surely. There's a small, round table and an odd, mismatched assortment of furniture, a fat velour armchair — under which the shepherd Nina Lou appears to be napping, a woven straw half-sphere of a rocking chair, a flat backless bench of black metal, mixed shelves of wire grid and old wood.

All signs point toward 'terms of divorce.' "Full day of interviews, assholes have been making cracks about emotional constipation since fucking eight o' clock. And how are you?" His voice is even, slightly droll. He goes to get the tea and paper towels.

There's a laugh. "There's pepperoni, sausage, onions, mushrooms, peppers, uh…. tomato, actually… and black olives. And spinach on half — I like spinach on mine when it's done right, so if you want part of that, go to it," Elisabeth tells him. And she heads toward his table to set the pie on it. "Don't go telling me you're a vegetarian… I'll definitely have to rethink taking the detectives' exam if I missed that."

She glances after him and says mildly, "I'm doing better. Worried about you, though. Saw the report, figured you were going to take a lot of heat."

Slap-slap-slap. Bolivar returns with tea and kettle and roll of quilted paper stuffed underneath his arm. The mugs seat themselves on the top of the furniture first, and then he lets the towel scroll drop out from his side and slide to a halt against the kettle.

Steam drifts out of the stout like a diaphanous white serpent. "I'm not a vegetarian. Only thing I'd never consider eating is Vietnamese dog, and I'm pretty sure that's over-sentimental bullshit on my part; I've heard good things." His eyes move restlessly beyond the trajectory of her gaze. He pushes stools out from underneath the table.

The leg of one nudges into Logan Rose, accidentally, when the spaniel comes trotting over to sniff at Elisabeth's ankle with her button-black nose. "Lucky me. The political climate favors my case. For now, anyway."

There's a shake of her head as she leans down to pet Logan Rose and scritch her ears briefly, and then Liz goes ahead to wash her hands real quick. As she comes back to the table, stealing a paper towel to dry her hands, she replies quietly, "It's not just the political climate, though that's certainly going to help matters some. I read the report you submitted. IAB's not going to have a leg to stand on with your shot, Bolivar. No matter what the kid's power turns out to be, no matter whether he was coming at you to attack or just because he was scared…. you had no way to know, and a split second to choose to make the choice. It's tragic. But it's not your fault."

Of all the times to speculate that Jason Bolivar Rodriguez-Smith has a soul—

This is an inconvenient one, if you ask him. And to be sure, a whole fucking lot of people have. Poke, pry. Cutting implements, stethoscopic lights, the whole inquest was one extended metaphor for investigative surgery, like investigative surgery is one big extended metaphor for cinematic bloodshed. He pulls out a slice of pizza. It is an amazing-looking slice of pizza.

Bolivar wishes he had more of an appetite or, at least, that his lack could be attributed entirely to the fact his health is always radiation-blasted to shit. "You're an odd girl, Liz." He puts himself on his chair and glances at the meniscus of his tea water darkening color. "I'm sworn in to protect and serve, shoot up a cub of your kind, and you're checking how well my ass is covered.

"What kind of fucking terrorist are you, exactly?" Go figure. The only way Bolivar knows how to approach the elephant in the room is the same way he does children.

Elisabeth chuckles softly at his 'odd girl' comment, because…. well, what else should she do? Sliding into the chair across from him, there's barely a pause as he comments on the 'cub of her kind' — he's have to be stupid not to know she's Evolved at this point, though he has never to this point remotely opted to acknowledge it. She takes the slice of pizza and sets it on her plate as he demands what kind of terrorist she is.

And then she looks at him, her expression calm. "I'm checking out how well your ass is covered because you're a good cop, and you're my friend, Jason. Do I act much like a terrorist?" She'll let him decide if he's pursuing his line of questioning; does he really want to know? She's trusted him with her life on more than one occasion, but she knows how he feels about Evolved criminals, too.

A scarred coil of fingers grips the handle of Bolivar's coffee mug, and he lifts it up that he might drink. It is unsweetened, but green tea is supposed to be that way. Good for his blood pressure. The pizza slice he'd bitten through droops tendrils of melted cheese onto the square of paper towel he had set down for himself.

Inevitably, grease will bleed through anyway. It's fine. He has time to wipe down the furniture. He's going to have a lot of time for the next few weeks. "I don't know," Bolivar answers, after a moment, conceding her point. Maybe he doesn't. The truth is, he loves the law, but much as it is with his dogs, his friends, his former wife, he only does so acknowledging its limitations. "I've never met one.

"Guess I was hoping for the kind that doesn't actually practice any fucking terrorism. Been awhile since any group other than Humanis First left their signature on an exploding building.

"HomeSec likes to reinvent the English fucking vocabulary a lot, doesn't it?" Back to neutral territory. Almost. Interdepartmental rivalry is good for idle banter, anyway. He pries an olive loose and washes that down with tea, too.

Picking up her slice of pizza, Elisabeth toys with it and says mildly, "If I were going to be a terrorist, I think I'd want to be the kind who did things like….. breaking my friend Abby out of a cell on Staten Island, rescue her from that fucking human trafficking ring and the underground cage fighting ring who held her hostage. Or the kind who…. saved the world from actual terrorists trying to do stupid shit like…. loose biological weapons on the population of New York City. I guess you'd have to say people like that are terrorists, after a fashion… though the only people they'd actually be terrorizing would be the people who do the bad shit. Sorta like Batman, I guess." She shrugs and bites her pizza, leaving it alone.

"What kind of words is HomeSec reinventing now?" she asks mildly as she takes a bite.

"'Vigilante justice' is a crime, too," Bolivar replies, his eyes narrow from over the uneaten fragment of crust. The breaded bar rolls in his fingers, before he tosses it down and enhouses his tea mug between his palms again instead. "Lucky for Staten Island and the little healers who get their skinny white asses dragged over there, where there's no fucking law there's no fucking crime, either."

He leans back. Though his stool, by nature, has nothing to rest his weight against, the kitchen counter is conveniently right behind him. Bolivar moves through the space of his home without needing to look, much of time. Symptom of having been here too long. The corner of his mouth finally flattens down, out of that half a smile evoked by her use of his name. His real name, one might say.

"Fuck. Just 'terrorism,' mostly. Coercing a legal government with threats and violence, eh? Don't know when we started recognizing genocide cults as a legal fucking government. Granted, PARIAH was a different can of shit. Batman's loco, you know." He squints at her. In case she forgot.

Megan snickers softly. "Yeah… the DA's setting THAT up real nicely, isn't he? Just laying it out that if Staten's a no man's land, anything goes." She shrugs a bit. "Well, I'm just grateful to whoever did pull her out, cuz God knows… the things she went through are terrifying." She does grin around a piece of pizza. "Well, he's sort of loco, that's true…. there's that whole big argument about whether the Joker would even exist if Batman didn't, but I'm not going into that." She studies him quietly and shrugs finally, she says merely, "Whatcha gonna do? Just gotta work with what we've got. It's an imperfect system, but…. not like there are too many other alternatives out there."

If it was a perfect system, it probably wouldn't have accepted Bolivar into its ranks. Ha, ha. Bolivar smiles slightly. Very slightly. Rumors had gone around after the splash that Abigail Beauchamp's chicken-thin limbs had sent up through their pond, so he knows a little bit about that. Either she got raped or only orally or with a steam pipe or something?

Beaten, abducted, imprisoned and half-starved, too. It's sad, when the most theatrical of the accusations seem no less likely.

"Never read comic books growing up," he says. "Didn't like to fucking read at all, but I still figure Batman was the wrong cape-and-spandex queer for you to bring up. No superpowers, can't relate to people who do. Or anybody else. Wrong kind of hero, chica.

"This war is going to get worse before it gets better." As segues go, that was — abrupt, but it isn't non-sequitur. Not exactly. "How's it feel like playing on the Darwinistically favored side?" Bolivar's scarred features fade to blank, bleak as th e season.

"No… he's the right kind of hero," Elisabeth disagrees immediately. "No superpowers, has to fight both with allies who do and against villains who do using only the intelligence God gave him, the wits he cultivated, and the gadgets he could get his hands on. And he held his own… just a normal guy, working alongside all those amazing powers, on equal footing. It's a damn shame that's not closer to reality, isn't it?"

She's used to his abrupt turns of conversation, and she bites her pizza again before answering. "Interesting that you'd think so," she says quietly. "Considering that between my job and the fact that I'm not just your average cop, there's a pretty big target on my back at the moment. You think what I can do is going to save my ass? I'd beg to differ."

"No. I'm pretty sure we'll both be dead before this shit is over," Bolivar replies, his shoulders flattening out in a reasonable facsimile of relaxation against the tile-topped plaster of his kitchen island. He's teasing now, maybe, a hint of laughter narrowing and brightening his eyes, quizzical tilt to his brow. "Don't be so self-centered, muchacha. This isn't all about you, by yourself, one Elisabeth Harrison.

"I mean— you're Evolved. And you're sure as shit not the only one.

"There's no way the world's going to be rid of you all, no matter how many troupes of lunatics roll their missiles and supervirii in to end it. Linderman, Petrelli and Mitchell can try, but they aren't going to stop mutation by writing angry Post-Its to FOX News about it. Fuck. Maybe someday everybody on Earth is gonna be Evolved.

"Maybe that's too far away to matter right now." A shrug of thin shoulder. He lays one leg over the other and glances down at Logan Rose's curly head. She is staring hopefully at the underside of the table. Years of bomb detection training have developed her pizza detection skills, too. "But I wonder how it feels."

Elisabeth laughs softly. Self-centered. Uh-huh. If Bolivar really thought that of her, he'd just never open the front door. But as she listens to him, she offers quietly, "How it feels to be Evolved?" She sets her pizza down and helps herself to a drink, sipping from the tea silently for a long moment. "You're asking a tough question… not just Evolved status, but you're asking a female cop too. Which skews the dynamic a little. But…."

She pauses and says quietly, "I feel … pretty much the same as I did before I had powers, I think. I mean… my opinions have shifted a bit about some things, but …. for the most part, Jason, I'm the same woman. I hid it for a long time — being a woman is hard enough, being a woman cop moreso… and now that some of them know that I'm Evolved… let's just say that trips through the stairwell have a whole new set of worries to them. I'm just… me. I can do this thing that has effects around me, but I don't feel like it fundamentally changes anything about the person I grew up to be."

"I'm trying to remember how I felt the first time I held a gun." Bolivar's closes and opens his eyes a few times despite that they don't feel dry, or at least that blinking doesn't help them feel any less so. His back straightens, throwing a brief, painful arch against the creaking lines of his bones and strings of his muscles. "I guess it doesn't fucking matter.

"What matters is what I learned to do with that gun, isn't it?" Despite the residual ache in his leg, there's a careless arc to his feet dragged up, jumbled around, one over the other. He glances into his mug to see how low his tea has fallen. Cynicism sketches skepticism across his features, though nothing specifically cruel. Not at her, anyway.

"Power's supposed to corrupt. Or at least," a vague gesture of scarred fingers. "Give you something to say that isn't so sweet I'd go into an insulin coma if I wasn't about to die of boredom first. What kind of saint am I supposed to think you are?"

Rolling her eyes. "Never said I was a saint — just that I wasn't any different a PERSON than I was before. I'm still a bitch when I'm tired, a bitch when I'm on the rag, a bitch when you piss me off…" Elisabeth grins slightly. "I still make bad choices. I still make all the same kinds of mistakes that everyone makes. My taste in men still sucks sometimes…. I still can't commit to a long-term relationship and I sleep around because it makes me feel good, even knowing I have a guy who'd rather I didn't. I still have friends who are cranky bastards sometimes, and I think I can count on one hand the number of women in my circle of acquaintances who I actually like."

Some inarticulate emotion creases over Bolivar's features, ends with his eyes closed, a sigh leaving him silent, almost, as a simple exhalation of breath. "I get it," he replies, finally, in the tone of someone who had originally perhaps intended to say something else. "Fuck it. You're still human and a heel under stress. 'S fine. Mind if we wrap soon?

"I'm fucking tired. Listening to Lau's baggy cunt exhale vitriol at me took more energy than you'd think. I'm off-duty for a month pending conclusion of my psych exam." Bitterness twists the corners of his mouth upward so sharply that you'd almost expect the skin at the sides of his face to tear like so much thin paper. He doesn't apologize, but there's nothing in him to indicate that he's precisely happy to see her go.

Elisabeth nods her head toward his pizza, and she says gently, "Eat first, okay?" She's not sure what he intended to say… and she's not sure what he was looking for with the question. But she gets up to pick up the kettle and refill his cup, taking her paper towel toward the kitchen as she moves. In a gesture that is far more characteristic of her than he might like, she drops a quick kiss on his head. Not like she can offer any other kinds of comfort unless he tells her what he needs. But she's offering her support the only way she can.

And it's better that she does, or Bolivar might well be a soul all unaccompanied in a city wherein far too many people probably want to kill him, right now. A twelve-year-old with, what, day-glo paint on his corneas. That's Humanis First!'s modus operandi, not New York's finest — and she's an exception, among cops who look at him different, now.

"What if I don't wanna? My old man has a belly. I have to watch my girlish figure." She's brought food, better than the puddle in the bowl growing chill in the microwave now. He always looks tired, but he looks unusually tired now. There's a twitch of spare tension at the gesture dropped on his head, but an unwonted ghost of a smile the next moment, though it's dried, faint as if effaced, something discarded on old parchment.

"One for Rosie," he says magnanimously, pointing down at the eager spaniel, "and then you can see yourself out."

There's a faint grin. The cops are in a furor — the anti-Evo ones talking in whispers in the locker room who think Bolivar should have just kept shooting. The smaller number of pro-Evo ones just ducking and covering at the moment. Liz has had her own issues with the Thin Blue Line and it's seemingly endless ability to shift. "Keep the pizza. I brought it for you and the girls more than myself," she tells him softly. "You call me if you need me, Jason." And she's not just saying it to say it. Whatever other cops may think of him, Elisabeth has faith that he would not have killed a kid without serious provocation or a serious situation going sideways. Maybe she's naive. Maybe she's just a fool. But she'll stick by him in spite of himself.

Maybe she's a fool, an idealist, optimist, but it might not have been a bad move anyway. If a cop's running around shooting up baby mutants and obviously about to get away with it in large part, mollifying him with pizza, kisses, and reminders of universal humanity might not be a bad way to go. Not that she's that sort of manipulative, or never has been in Jason Bolivar's experience.

He wishes he felt like explaining.

It's no real skin off his nose when she doesn't coddle Logan Rose as requested. She has places to go. He has— something to do. Get high. Try to understand. "Believe in safe sex," he says, dryly humorous, gunsure hands flaring in a wave. "Go to the clinic when the discharge turns yellow. And remember the boys only talk about you like that because you fucking encourage them."

After she sets her paper towel in the trash and her cup in the sink, she heads back toward the table. Elisabeth's grin is truly amused. "The boys only talk about me like that because I won't give them the time of fucking day," she tells him calmly. She squats down so that both dogs can come and get their lovings from her, because she never leaves with loving on them both a bit. They're both sweet girls. And as she gives them scritches and nuzzles, she murmurs to them, "You take good care of your dad, 'kay? Love on him a lot. He needs it." And then she stands up and walks toward the door to let herself out. She turns to look back at him, her blue eyes concerned. She knows he probably won't call even if he needs anything, so she'll make a point of checking on him in a few days. "I'll see you soon." And then she lets herself out.

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