2007-08-05: Irreplaceable

Starring:

DFElena_icon.gif DFMcAlister_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif

Summary: Elena and Eric visit a SARS'd Ali in Bat Country Labs. Ali notifies them of a dangerous Evolved that may or may not have infected her for the purposes of infecting the rest of the Saints. Elena pulls rank.

Dark Future Date: August 5, 2009

Irreplaceable


Bat Country Labs, New York

The Bat Labs.

The carpets may be faded, but they're still cheery. The bookshelves are loaded with literature, the clinic proper not busy at all - there have been no real disasters. No buildings falling down or guys with sticks getting usefulness out of lumber. No. For once, all the explosions were upstate.

But if you go through the main clinic, and head to the back? There's a room with a door sealed by the simple expedient of tape, with a hand-lettered sign: "BIOHAZARD - SERIOUSLY" - stuck to it where the resident of the room beyond cant see. The top half of the door's plexi - easy enough to see in, and the room ain't exactly /huge/.

Inside? There's a stand, a cot, an empty dinner plate and a (mostly) empty pitcher of water. There's also an Ali, huddled in more than one blanket, looking remarkably miserable, and wearing an oversized (on her) simple oxygen mask hooked to a rolling tank. It may not be high-tech, but it works.

She's sitting up at the moment, in the corner the cot's in, using the walls to keep her upright, a weighty book in her lap.

Er. Her eyes are closed. Chances are? She's half-dozing, there. And.. let's be honest. She could use a shower.

"Jesus Christ."

Elena's dark, gold flecked eyes watch Ali sleeping….sort of peacefully in the quarantined room. "What happened?" she asks Eric quietly, her fingertips brushing over the plexiglass shield keeping her and her companion from contamination. When she found out that Ali was sick, the Saints' second-in-command ventured out at night using one of the Phoenix properties' secret entrances. UberBinky is parked somewhere outside, a beat up, black, nondescript bike souped to the core by Gene and Trina's efforts, but didn't really look much on first glance. And yes, she made Eric ride at the back.

Her bike's helmet, she hangs on a nearby hook. "She's so thin. Has she been eating?" She keeps her voice low - she doesn't want to wake the Voice. Not yet. Not in the state she was in. And now she's on QUARANTINE? She'll ask Cass more later, but at least she can get what happened out of the horse's mouth…whenever she wakes up. Dressed casually in a button-down tank-top and a pair of low-rise jeans, the chill of the evening and the sterile environments in Bat Country is warded off by a slim-fitting, beat-up leather jacket. Her hair has been pulled back hastily in a messy twist.

Eric tried very hard to convince her that she did NOT need to ride on UberBinky. He has the LC MKII to ride. However the LC MKII is not a subtle ride. He still isn't quite sure just how she convinced him to ride bitch on her freekin' bike. All he remembers is talking to her, about to reach for Binky's keys…and then she said something. She did something and his brain flatlined for a moment. All he could see was Elena in the same getup she was in at the medbay.

After that. Boom. The next thing he remembers was being on the bike.

EVIL WOMAN SEX MAGIC. THAT'S WHAT IT WAS!

He glared slightly as he got off the bike, dressed in his denim jacket and jeans. He shakes his head once more as he gets addressed. "…I don't even know." He says with a shake of his head. "I was with you for the past two days." He keeps his voice quiet though, his eyes on the woman behind the glass. "…I…don't know. I've only been here for a week Elena. I didn't know her before I got here." He slides his hands into his pockets, frowning slightly. "…I was going to make sure she did but then…" He waves a hand. "…this happened."

For a moment, it's peaceful. It doesn't stay that way. No - she coughs. A racking, deep thing that jars her out of that mostly doze and has her reaching up to steady herself on the wall. The book goes tumbling, landing heavily.

And she, for a moment, works to steady her breathing.

It isn't long, though, before tired eyes open fully, and she eyes the fallen book /balefully/. Even cursing quietly. "Damnit."

"Yeah….I should ask Prime…" Elena says softly, concern softening her features at the thought of her best friend. Something was eating at him too, but she didn't know what it was. Still, she shakes her head a little bit, and she watches Ali from behind the plexiglass shield. Raking her fingers through her tousled hair she can't help but sigh. "I wish I could say what we're doing isn't necessary somehow, but….if no one makes outward gestures against the government, they'd be too comfortable thinking all this is okay. I know she tends to forget to eat but…."

She doesn't continue it when Ali coughs. She can't help but smile, setting down a small basket of girly goodies. Said goodies include cookies of all kinds, bath marbles, a loofah, and a copy of 'the Bible.' While this would be Cosmopolitan Magazine to most girls, Ali ran Resistance Radio. So instead of a Cosmo, there's a copy of the New Yorker in the little basket. "Hey, Metatron," she teases softly through the plexiglass. "Hope none of the other Saints turned you into Bubble Girl while I was away."

"…no, I think what we are doing is indeed necessary," Eric says softly and shakes his head. "I wish it wasn't," He adds after a moment with a sigh and a slight smile thats directed towards Elena. His eyes go back to the sick looking woman on the other side of the glass. "…and she forgets to eat?" Eric doesn't understand that at all. How can one forget to eat. IT SHOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE!

He glances down at the basket before he shakes his head. Wired woman items. Thats what those are. Esoteric as a wizards tools. Except for the cookies. The cookies are awesome regardless of who you are. "…hey Radio Girl," Eric adds with a lopsided grin.

"Hey.. Hey!" Ali's voice is hoarse - and, for a minute? She goes to stand up. Fails miserably, but she tries - even behind the mask her face lights up; a wide smile, relief in her expression. "Elena - hey, Angel. You okay?"

Another cough, this one not quite so nasty. Her smile remains, in fact. "Nah. None of 'em think I'm cute enough to kiss. All they give me is grief. You know how it goes." Honestly? Even now, she seems more worried about what she missed, those that /aren't/ here, than the .. you know. /bubble/. "Nobody's shot, right? I was supposed to be there - Prime kinda made that not happen. Probably a good idea. Doesn't mean I don't want to hit him. Did he give you those apples?"

"Ali, don't get up if you can't," Elena says, watching the Voice struggle, and then fail miserably in getting up. "And I'm fine - a few new scrapes, but nothing life threatening. The others are fine - they used the vehicles. I picked the pass to make sure we had the advantage. I used Kamikaze Curve as a rally point. Those guys didn't stand a chance, not with the sort of drivers we got. The question is are -you- okay. What are you DOING here? What happened? And why are you so -skinny-? I've only been gone 10 days!"

She nods, giving her a smile. "Yeah, he did. Thanks - you know how much I love fruit." She shakes the basket at her. "I come bearing gifts. But I'll let Cass give it to you in there…..if she's got you on a specific set-up, I don't wanna risk ruining it." Watching the DJ, her expression softens. "Ali what happened?" she asks, all seriousness now. "How did you get so sick?"

"No one got shot that didn't deserve it," Eric replies with a lopsided smirk through the glass. Considering that him and Elena were the only two that got shot, its kinda ironic ain't it? He's still smiling though. "I got to try out one of the new lightcycles, everything went just fine." He adds with a slight nod. "After all Elena is back safe and sound."

He just pauses though, as Elena asked the question that he wanted to. Its not in him to repeat Elena's question.

"Hey. When all this is over? I'm bucking for supermodel." Ali tosses that out, lightly.. but the smile fades, and she pulls that blanket around her. "Cass's been chewing me out already. You know me - I - " She hunts helplessly for words. Forget? Give food away? Have been busy? All the excuses get left behind. "… haven't. Been. Uh. You know. My usual stupid. And Jack gets worried when I'm out. Just." She, flustered, lets that go. What else is there, really? No good excuse.

But even though she flashes a smile, faintly, at Eric's discussion of lightcycles… well. Elena's question sobers her just as fast. "Erin. My roommate - before. I ran into her at the old place when I was stopping through. I thought it was kind of coincidence 'till she.." A moment's pause, for another of those racking coughs. "/damnit/. Mmph." A breath. "'till she started talking. She doesn't know who anybody else is, I think - but she went on about having a job to do, about how 'they' were watching her.." She grimaces. "I.. she was going to kill me there. She was .. she said she had to." A pause, then, a faint shrug. "I talked her out of it."

"I'd vote for you," Eric replies with a lopsided smile towards Ali. He smiles slightly though. "…when you get out of there, I'm going to have Louis cook for you for a week. That should fix you right up." And if she stops eating or tries to give that away Louis will GLARE at her till she finishes. You don't want him to glare at you. He's good at glaring.

"…so she just made you deathly ill instead of trying to kill you?" Eric says, narrowing his eyes slightly as he thinks. There is a pause as he crosses his arms across his chest. How the hell did she know about Ali and her connection to the Saints? Could she have just reconized the voice?

"You're too pretty to be a supermodel," Elena quips back with a wicked grin. She slides her hands in her pockets, rocking back on her heels. She also flashes Eric a look about shooting people. The other boys were used to it, she was slowly getting used to it - but she didn't kill unless it was absolutely necessary, and these usually happened in two scenarios: 1) to Save a Saint, and 2) to Protect a Saint. She nods at Ali's fumbling, but she doesn't press it. Cass can chew people out more diplomatically than anyone else she knows, save Trina. But when Erin is mentioned, her eyes narrow.

"…what, so she's killing people under duress?" That was never an excuse, not even legally. Duress typically justified almost all crimes that involved intent - except murder. But when Ali says she talked Erin out of it, she smiles. "Yeah, you could be pretty convincing," Elena teases, but her eyes are frozen hard. "Ali you don't have to do this now, but you said you know her? Once you're better, we'll talk again. I want everything you know on this woman. I don't recommend actively going after her, especially when she doesn't know anything else - but I do want her on our Watch List."

"Elena - she - controls disease. When I knew her? She was doing everything she could /not/ to hurt people." Ali keeps those blankets pulled around her - "I.. I dunno what she can do. She did this. I know she did… could have been HIV. Ebola. I don't know - "

True statement: everyone always forgets that Ali, given the jersey accent and her usual vaguely flip airiness has a mind. And it shows, "I been thinkin' - it's perfect, isn't it? Something like this - " She coughs, waving a hand at that book - "Typical symptoms. Really contagious. Needs medical attention - she knew once I got sick I'd go back, get help.. she didn't /have/ to know what anybody was. Who anybody was. It was aimed at us.. and she knows who I am. A lot of people do - but she wasn't really aiming it at me. And I walked right into it." She frowns, worried. "And I don't know who 'they' are - all I know is she got picked up and thrown in a camp." A leetle hard for her to hang onto the thread of that thought, but she does.

"She's more dangerous than the hummvees. Worse than anything HomeSec's thrown out before."

"Did she give any indication that she knew you were connected to us?" Elena asks, her eyes narrowing further. "How did she infect you? By touch? Mentally?" This was important. She trusts Ali's judgment. If she was right and Ali had been meant as a viral or bacterial bomb against them, then she had to know how this woman worked. Ali right now was the most connected person to this new threat, she knew her in the past. She'll create a file on her, and circulate it through known channels. Gene could probably get the word out faster. And if 'they' were watching her…

"Ali walk me through what happened." She won't press the Voice to rest when she clearly didn't want to, when she clearly wants to warn everyone she cares about. Elena's not about to stop her, they were alike in this way. She looks over at Eric, and gestures lightly to the coffee maker on the side, silently inquiring if he wanted anything she could fix up for them.

They. Its always a they. The faceless, nameless, they. He turns away to silently snarl as he listens to just what happened to Ali. His mind is already working though, came to the same conclusion. "…Peter might be able to reverse this." He murmurs quietly towards Elena just for a moment before he turns towards the coffee maker. "…I'll fix something, you get the story out of her."

"No. She didn't. I'm pretty sure - she knows I'm useless with the electronics though. And you don't do that kind of show without help." Ali works, thinking - using the walls for support as she reaches up to rub, absently, at her temple. "But I don't think she knows about the Saints at all."

But.. a thought has her go paler, if that's even possible. "She.. got my attention with a bird. Dropped it right out of the sky in front of me. And then, stupid me -" She always has been too trusting - "I hugged her. I mean, thank God I did - her eyes. It's her eyes that give her away. I dunno when - I felt fine until last night. But.. for all I know, she did it when she got the bird."

"You did good, Ali," Elena says softly. And if Ali even got the hint that Erin knew something else, she would've acted on it by asking, or using those frightening persuasion powers to make her forget she even heard of her or the Saints. Seems the best way to get rid of the threat was track the woman down and pick her off from a distance with a well-placed sniper shot. And Jack was -very- good at the long range shot. While normally she resisted going through those extreme measures, the woman had been 'forced' to mess with her own, and that, in her eyes, was usually punishable by death.

"Sounds she could trigger her powers remotely if she got your attention with a falling bird." Much like Elena can affect one to several targets remotely at a given range - the knowledge is useful. "It means she has a range. Mental-based powers need to have a focus. This is usually line of sight too. She could be different, but picking her off from a distance covertly should fix the problem if she tries again." One shot. One strike. Other than that, all bets are off. "What did Cass say about your diagnosis?" she asks. "She's able to treat you? Do we need to move you?"

"You did just fine Ali, really," Eric replies with a smile towards her as he returns with coffee. He offers a cup towards Elena without a word as he glances back towards the glass. He's thinking along the same lines as Elena. Long range shot should work. Now they just have to get their newest threat out into the open is all. Shouldn't be all that hard.

Ali is generally one of the softest-hearted of the Saints, but this time? This time.. there's something bleak in, "Prime. not prime-prime. But - when the other-primes are gone, they're gone. I don't think she can actually hurt him unless she gets the original."

She closes her eyes. "I don't feel like I did. If I'd caught it sooner - if I'd payed more attention. I could have .. " She frowns, behind that mask, reaching up to pull it down, looking back up to the window.

"You gotta promise me, Angel - nobody gets near her. I'm the only one she knows, I think. And I can dodge her, now. I'll even be good, and stay closer to the plant.. if you promise me nobody tries to hunt her. Maybe Prime. Maybe - but if I'm where she can't get to me, she's no threat to the rest of you unless she figures out somebody is trying to kill her."

"Yeah, Prime's immune." Elena either doesn't bother specifying Prime as Prime-prime and his other Dittos…or he really is immune for some strange reason. She's not clarifying it, but there's a strange flicker in her eyes as she says it. When Eric hands her a cup of coffee, she takes it, sipping it quietly, and giving him a small nod of thanks. She offers him a sip as well - this wasn't the first time they've shared the same drink together. "Well…immune in the non-traditional sense. He can just vanish, and reappear like new, as if nothing happened if he was infected. The rest of us ain't so lucky."

She shakes her head. "You knew her. You gave her the benefit of the doubt. You're human too, Ali. If we were in Danger Mode all the time, we'd be crazier than we already are. These things happen - mistakes happen. So long as we all learn….I'm just glad you and Prime went to Cass before this could spread." Her faith and admiration for the head of Bat Country has been unshakable before, it wasn't going to change now.

But when Ali asks her to promise, she frowns. "If she deliberately tries to hit us with the same, I can't make that promise. I won't….go out of my way and tell the crew to hunt her down and kill her. But I do need to warn them, and I do need to let them know to either kill her or get out of the way if they sense a threat from her against our own. I can promise however that I'm not going to call a hunt, if you promise me you lay low for a while. You recuperate, you eat, and you lay low. Stick close to us for a little while. That means no broadcasts for a few, in case she alerted the people she works for that you escaped and that you're a radio personality."

He doesn't even seem to think much of it as he takes the cub back and takes a sip from it before holding it up so she can pluck it back should she want too. Yes. Lucky Prime. He does wonder whats bothering his old friend though. He thinks he might know, but hey…one day, when they have time he'll want to ask.

"Everyone needs to stay a little bit human Ali, hell thats what were fighting for huh?" Eric murmurs before he nods slightly. "…hell. If they were all in danger mode all the time Trina would have shot me, and you wouldn't have had to do anything." He says before he gives his a lopsided smile.

The smile fades a moment before he sighs and nods. "…we have to warn them, and if she comes after us then we need to defend ourselves." He pauses a moment then before glancing at Elena a moment. "…and when you get out of there, and are clean we can get you moved to a bit more secure…and comfortable…place than where you were before. She shouldn't know your around." Privately though he hopes this Erin stays away. She doesn't want to have to worry about some of the more visible resistance locals. Like the Zoo. A disease would devastate that place.

"… I can't stop transmitting. 'they'.. whoever 'they' are. Win. S' all I got, Angel." Ali raises that mask again, after coughing, "I.. it's not right of me to ask. I don't know if she's just after me or everybody else.." Apparently, the same thought's occurred to her. ".. Christ. Can you imagine if she's targeting the zoo? She.. she could send a bird in and wipe out everything in it, and half of the city, too."

The Dj sags back into the wall. "I'm tryin' to protect her, aren't I."

"You have to anyway, Ali. You're not well," Elena says, gently. "You have to be well enough to transmit from -other- locations away from our friendly spots. I'm not doing this because I want you cut off, I'm just saying because you -have- to, for your health and for our security. Once you're out and once you've got some food in you, you can keep preaching to the world….but not before. Not while you're hacking your lungs out and your ribs are showing. I want you well. And I want you safe." She nods. "Yeah. Daphne's the first person I'm going to warn about this. Keep her animals on high alert. Their senses are better than ours in detecting intangible threats." Animal instincts and whatnot.

At the last, she nods. "You are. And I can understand that - you knew her, you were friends. But things are different now. You have to be more careful….we're all we have left. If Jack lost you….he'd burn down the city. He'd do that for any of us who would fall. So….for the sake of New York, don't." She grins faintly at that. She takes the cup back from Eric and takes a sip, giving him a glance - but she doesn't say anything. There's something in her eyes though.

"…its not all you have Radio Girl," Eric says slowly as the drink gets taken away from him again. "You still have your life. Once you get better you'll have your health. Let them think they won, let them believe they killed you off. Then you come back from a different angle, bigger and better than ever." He smirks. "…its worked for me so far." He adds with a soft bark of ironic laughter. It really has worked for him. "We all want you well. Can't be a supermodel if your not well."

He nods though towards Elena. "Yes, the first place we are going is the Zoo after this…" He pauses. "…check that. First place we are going is back to get my bike." He gives Elena a slight smile before he sighs and nods towards Ali. "…we are all any of us have left." He murmurs quietly as he rubs something in his pocket. Its especially true for him it is. Glancing over towards Elena he smiles.

"So no dying, for any of us. Most of my stuff is in New York now. I don't want to insure it all against Jack."

"Yeah. You think I got a chance? I figure I can fit in, like, a size five or so." The woman offers a faint smile. "I'll get better, Angel. I have to - I mean, as much as it'd be fun to watch Jack set fire to stuff? I have some promises to keep. And I'm not ready to go, yet."

Ali sighs. "I promise I'll fight with you about it after Cass says I can go home?"

"Okay." Elena smiles faintly. "Get some rest. I'll stop by again tomorrow." She presses her fingertips on her lips, and presses them lightly on the glass. "Stay savvy." She finishes the coffee, and sets it on the sink in the lab. She glances over at Eric. Ready to go? She doesn't say it out loud, but she does look at him.

"We'll be by tomorrow," Eric affirms along with Elena as he looks mournfully at the empty coffee cup. She owes him…well…he would say Starbucks but they both are a bit too well known for that. He'll take dinner as payment, but he'll bring that up later. For now though he just nods towards Elena and turns to go. "…sleep well, Radio Girl, and get better soon."

"Yeah." And behind that mask? Ali offers them an oddly sunny smile. "You two be careful, huh? no getting caught. And… thanks."

"You're welcome. Stay safe, and get better," Elena says with a smile, wiggling her fingers towards Ali, before she slips through the security door of Bat Country. Taking a step out into the hall, she waits for Eric to close the door and sighs. And then, she starts moving for the exit of the building. "I like how we're so dedicated to the cause but….while we're all expendable, we're not exactly replaceable. Taking any one of us out could cripple us," she tells Eric softly, sliding her hands in her pockets as she walks down the hall.

She pauses, and looks over at Eric. "…and… 'we'? I was going to stop by Daphne's anyway to say hi but I take it you're not letting me go anywhere alone after the last couple of days." She grins. "Prime's going to poke and prod you about that you know."

She glances back towards the door, her bottom lip chewed softly by her front teeth.

"That's what happens when we work so well together, when we are all close to being friends," Eric replies as he slides out of the door after Elena. Pulling his jacket about him he follows only a half step behind the young woman. "…expendable but not replaceable. Trina would agree, Jack would disagree." He says, his voice just as quiet. "…he would say no one is expendable."

"…yes, we, though I'm not riding bitch on Binky anymore. The rumble seat lives up to its name dammit." He grouses good naturedly. He laughs though, his voice light. "…yeah I know, even though he really would rather be the one out here with you."

He glances then towards her and that look on her face, he smirks lightly. "…something on your mind, Elena? That's one of you usually tells you know."

"UberBinky. Trina and Gene have taken a wrench to him more than once," Elena tells Eric with a small smile, and she nods. "I know," she tells him simply, sliding her hands in her pockets. She turns away from the door to continue walking towards the exits of the building. "And I know….we got close while you were gone. He's always been a good guy, I was worried about….what the war would do to him." Eric would get the impression, however, that she's not telling him something. She's not looking at him - traces of guilt. But not of a romantic nature of any kind. This is something else. If she got involved with Prime while Eric had been away, she would've told him flat out. There's something she's not telling him.

When he calls her on it, she blinks, looking up at him. She grins. "Always. More of a doer now, but still a thinker." She exhales a breath. "I plan most of our ops. Strategy, intel. All of that goes to my table and I try to make sense of it. Papa doesn't really approve but….you know me. I'd never be able to fit in your world. Not even as a trophy wife." She winks at him at the last.

She kicks at a piece of debris out of the way.

"UberBinky, my apologies," Eric replies with a smirk towards her. He nods slightly though as they walk. "…he's easy to get close too. Hard to take seriously." He adds after a moment. "He always was a good person though," He narrows his eyes slightly before he sighs. "…I figured you two did. The way he reacted to you being in trouble." He pauses again before smirking, though there is not trace of humor in the look on his face. "…it changed us all. Him included…we survive though." Again a pause before she looks away from him. A raised eyebrow. "…I've been gone for two years, but I don't forget how to read you that quickly, Elena." He murmurs. "…you're hiding something." He doesn't ask what it is, he doesn't even push her on it, just a simple statement.

"…you always will be a thinker," Eric replies before he glances towards her and cocks his head to listen. A slight frown coming to his face. "…you found a good niche for you then. You always were a devil with the details." He blinks though and raises an eyebrow. "…never be able to fit into my world?" He asks. "…which world would that be?" A pause before he adds. "…and you would make a terrible trophy wife. Almost as bad a damsel in distress."

"I am," Elena says softly. "I'm sorry." But she can't tell him. As much as she wants to. Hell she wants to tell everyone. To peel back the metal door and show all the Saints yet another reason why she's fighting the way she is. But whatever it is…it upsets her enough to remember that her eyes start misting over just a touch. She turns away from him. Yes, he read her quickly. And yes, she still hid her tears when she could. She has always been that way. She changed a lot, but in the fundamentals, the details that made her who she was - those were still in her, somewhere. She takes a deep breath, gives her head a shake, and looks at him determinedly.

"Yeah. You know. Corporate negotiations. Business dealings. Even when I was working for EvoSoft two years ago, I was….damage control." She shrugs. "I guess I should've seen it coming." She glances down at her feet. "We should get going, though….grab your bike and head on over to the zoo. See Daphne and her furry creatures."

His hands are still in his pockets as he turns to watch her. He waits for a moment while she regains control, composes herself. When she turns to look at him again, she would find him smiling at her. Not judging, not angry. "You'll explain when your ready," Eric murmurs back before he pauses a moment. Just on the edge of walking off. It's what he should do, just smile and leave. Go get his bike. It would be easier on everyone involved.

…however…

What if he doesn't get any more chances?

That's always the problem in situations like this. They all might be dead tomorrow. Part of him knows he should wait, part of him realizes he can't. One hand comes out of his pocket as he reaches out towards her, cupping her chin in one hand and tilting it up towards him so he can let his eyes rove over her face, so he can search her eyes. He takes a deep breath and gives her a lopsided smirk.

"…I'd give it all up you know," He finally murmurs towards her. "Every bit, almost every cent. The company, the revenge, everything. Hand everything over to Ramon and just go…" If she would go with him. She can't though. He knows that. If he was more of a bastard, if he was more selfish he would do that. Try to convince her to run away with him somewhere.

"…if we live though all this." His words matter of fact. "Remember that," Then he smiles once more and lets his hand drop away. "You're right, though, I should go get my bike," He adds as his eyes close and he starts to turn away. "…I'll be back soon. Stay safe alright?"

"It's not my place to tell," Elena says. "I promised….not until I'm told." She shakes her head. "I….I don't think I ought to hide it. If anything I think knowledge of it would make us stronger, but it's not my call. Not my place." She gives him a small, rueful smile. "It's just me anyway. It's not like I found the secrets of the original Ten Commandments and stored it away somewhere." She nods, when he tells her he should go grab his bike, before they head off to the Zoo. "I'll wait here, maybe I'll see Cass before I step out," she says. She hasn't seen Cass in a while, she missed her.

She blinks when he turns back to her, feeling the warmth and rough texture of his scarred hand cup her face to tilt it up towards him. The gesture surprises her enough her lips part on a question that she doesn't ask, meeting his dark eyes and that intense expression on his face. She can't help the sudden, nostalgic wave of longing - so deep and dormant that she had been convinced she couldn't and shouldn't feel those things anymore while she led the Saints whenever Jack needed her to - that it startles her when it comes up. He was older now, they both were. They were teenagers when they met. There had been a time when they could've been, but…

Her fingertips lift up, touching his cheek lightly, and then letting them drag down featherlike down his cheek. "I know," she tells him quietly. But she can't. Not now. She was too invested. She was needed here. She made the mistake of leaving before, and it cost her Luis and Juanita. She had no one to blame but her selfishness then. She wasn't going to make the same error. Instead of saying anything more, she curls her arms around him, and gives him a hug, closing her eyes for a few moments.

She lets go when he turns away to grab his bike. "I'll be here. And watch your speed." She grins. "We've been doing so well so far. It'd suck if they got ahold of you just 'cause you were speedin'."

"…and I know you and your promises," Eric replies with a slight smile. He can wait. He can be patient until things are told. Till Jaden or whoever holds the key to the secret decides its time for it to come out. "…tell Cass hello for me," He adds after a moment. "I miss her too…and Lachlan the big lug as well." He'll meet with them later, hopefully. Eventually.

At her touch though, he thought that will of his could master even this. He could just keep it all down until its all over. The touch, the startled look that comes to his face the one that melts into something warmer after a moment. His eyes close as he feels her fingertips against his cheek. His arms go taunt with the effort of not trying to just whisk her away somewhere. The hug makes it even more difficult to resist. Resist he does though, a monumental effort of will as his arms fold around her. The hug though is fierce and tender all at once. He face is pressed against her hair for a moment before he takes a deep breath.

"…you give me something to live for then," He finally murmurs into the dark waves. Not something to fight for, but something to live for. He couldn't steal her away, not now. If he did she would never forgive him, and never forgive herself if something happened because they were gone. He could wait for the moment though.

As he lets her go, his fingers trailing down her arms as he steps away. "…I'll be careful, I won't even use one of the super bikes." He adds softly. Then he really does turn away, stepping into the darkness only to disappear between one heartbeat and the next.

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