2008-07-05: Reset


Niki_icon.gif DL_icon.gif

Summary: Niki and D.L. meet to talk about rescuing Cass (and destroying Pinehearst), but that's not the only thing on their minds. Destiny? Fate? Arranged circumstance? Familiarity? You decide!

Date It Happened: July 5th, 2008


Far below the lofty apartments of the handsome apartment building that's been home to many over the years, a figure waits beside the lobby doors, facing the quiet street. It's late. Beyond late, as a matter of fact. Now and then someone walks past, and because the city never truly sleeps, every so often someone comes home from a night out and walks past into the building. Niki's been seen them all come and go, standing here longer than she really had to. Arms crossed, one foot up against the brickwork behind her and mostly in the dark, she looks like she's waiting for something shady — but in truth she just didn't want to wake up the kids.

He's like a ghost, that D.L., with the way he steps through a building and a car and anything else that's in his way. It's late and dark enough for people to not really notice, he's assuming. But then, he doesn't really care about being noticed too much longer. He's much more apt to paying attention to where he's on his way to. Sliding around the corner, he finds himself shoving his hands into his pockets in an effort to keep himself as inconspicuous as possible. Which, considering his race, just makes him look as shady as the person that's waiting for him. Whom he just happens to be approaching. "Hey."

Niki doesn't see D.L. coming even as he gets closer and closer — even still, after all this time, he's a ghost; it's a feeling she gets right before she hears his voice. She stands up a bit straighter against the wall and looks in his direction, not startled. It's hard to say what her reaction is. Her expression's certainly a mess of different emotions. "Hey." A flash of a smile. It doesn't seem right that husband and wife are meeting like this in the dark of night. "Um." Niki glances down, then pushes off of the building and lets her hand rise and fall at her thigh, gesturing to the doors. "We can… go in. I just didn't want to wake up the kids." Or get Micah's hopes up.

D.L.'s own expression is pretty neutral. He doesn't even know what the problem is anymore. He's in love, but can't seem to get the love back or something. Whatever. There are more important things at work here, than the relationship between husband and wife. Especially, considering, that relationship is pretty much designed to be doomed for failure. Or something close to it. "Aight. Lead the way." Maybe, just maybe, D.L. wants to keep the view from behind as one of the few happy moments in his life.

Inside the lobby is a doorman — because this is the sort of place to have a doorman — but the hour is such that he's fallen asleep on the job, having taken a chair and dozed off underneath an issue of the New York Times with bearing a half-done crossword puzzle.

The lobby is home to a coffee shop named Cafe Destiny, closed and locked-up, but that's where Niki slowly makes her way to once she leads the way into the Deveaux Building itself. She stands by the cafe's entrance to face D.L., though she looks down at her hands. In the mild lighting of the lobby, it's obvious that she's looking like her old self again (or still, since the last time they met). None of that dark or fancy Pinehearst era stuff. Jeans and a plain white tank top. Hair's a bit longer than ever. "Maybe… we could… talk." She looks behind her at the empty Cafe Destiny. "I mean, where it's quiet."

"… Right." D.L. can kind of figure out that she's wanting some of his powers to do the talking here. But he's got no qualms about it. He's been to some of the worst prisons in the system, in his day. Has a clean slate. He might as well dirty it up with some breaking and entering. It's only natural. Reaching out for Niki's hand, he immediately starts the phasing process to help the both of them pass through the entrance of the cafe… so that they can have that nice, quiet, place to talk. Here's to hoping there's no motion sensors on the inside.

Hopefully not. What kind of coffee shop has motion sensors? Quite possibly this one, but all systems seem GO as Niki holds onto D.L.'s hand and they slip inside while the doorman remains clueless. She doesn't let go — taking the lead again, she quietly wanders through the cafe, its upturned chairs and lack of lights taking away its character and making it seem rather haunted by contrast. Well into the cafe's shadows, she does let go and turns about. "We found … Cass," she says, almost reluctantly, as if this isn't really what she wants to talk about. "Again, I mean. She's somewhere else. California. Some … institution. I'm going there soon, so if you'll still help out…"

It's been a long time since D.L.'s held Niki's hand. Thus the reason why he seems kind of reluctant to let go… until she does. He almost sighs, looking down at his hand that's no longer clutching hers, but then he manages to get his composure back under control. A breath is taken, as this is about business, he realizes. Not about saving their marriage or love. "When do we leave?" is the question asked, since he's quite possibly just raring to get this rescue over with.

"We're arranging… uhm. Transportation. Once we're done dealing with that…" Then they're good to go. For all that she wants Cass safe and for this to be done with, Niki doesn't seem thrilled. She's subdued, more than anything. Sullen.

"Gotcha'." D.L.'s response is short and sweet. He's in this to save the life of one of his wife's friends and that's about it. Too any questions are running through his mind at the moment, but he's not exactly at liberty to ask them. So a more general question comes out. "It's over, after that, right? No more saving the world?" Wishful thinking.

"Yeah, I wish." Niki meanders off to the left and hops up on the unused countertop. Gripping its edge, she hangs her head a little as she looks down past her feet. The counter is high enough that her legs dangle. "I didn't ask for this," she says quietly. "Any of it. And this thing, with Pinehearst— it's all gone on for so long. There's so many people, working and trying to fix things the right way, minimal destruction, y'know, and I just want to end it, D.L." She looks up, eyes glimmering with expectancy and even hopefulness. Isn't she thinking like D.L. now? Straight to the point? Burn everything down?

"Then let's end it." D.L. has no qualms about being the voice of reason. "Get Cass out. Get anybody else out that needs to get out. Then blow the place sky high. No Pinehearst, No Problem." And, as an added bonus, he gets to have his wife back. Which means he can get his life back on track and things can be the way they're supposed to be.

That's the answer Niki was expecting. D.L.'s predictable. Usually. This time, she'd like to think of it as reliable, since this time, she actually hears the answer she wanted to hear. Not that it's obvious; she blinks a few times and stares past D.L. at a random dark corner of the empty cafe. After a spell, she wipes at eyes that are getting too damp for comfort and laughs disparagingly at herself. "You think we can— " Niki hops off the counter, looking at D.L. with a furrowed brow and the tense, but promising, hint of a smile. "Kinda … start over? You 'n' I?"

Here's where things get tricky and D.L. gets a tad bit more silent than he was normally. Eyes are taken down to the floor, before he can really come up with an answer. This whole process is one that's tearing him up inside. "I want my family back." finally comes out, with a self-assured tone that he's going to get it. No matter what. "If starting over gets me my family back… then that's what we'll do." And now the time for a small bit of humor, since he saw a possible smile. "But this time, no holding out on sex for six months."

"Was it six months?" Niki replies in a light, teasing tone. A good sign, right? Smiling more naturally, she starts to look marginally more relaxed, shoulders dropping, blue eyes softening with relief. Still, the smile only lasts so long before seriousness settles in again. "I don't really want to talk about the last… however long it's been since we were alright." More than six months. "I will if you want me to." Niki steps in and wraps her arms around D.L.'s waist, sincere eyes locked up on his darker ones. "I'm scared you'll disappear if I do, and— this, D.L., this is it. We can't keep doing this to Micah." When have they heard that before? Could this really be for sure? "We're a family. We're meant to be together." In more ways than one. Thanks, Linderman. "I love you, baby."

"Six Months. Three weeks. Two days. And some hours." D.L. keeps his face firmly planted with a smile, as he's not going to let the seriousness obliterate his happy thoughts right about now. Not while he's got his wifey in his arms. "Listen. What's done is done. Nothin's gonna' change it. Just like nothin's gonna' change how much I love you, Niki." These are very true words that are being spoken at this moment. "I /would/ like to know everything. I don't… we don't do well with secrets." D.L. explains, knowing that she knows all about that part. Hell, even Jessica knows about that part. "But if you don't want to tell me, I'm not going to make you." And now there's the playful tone of challenging. "And don't think because you're stronger than me I can't make you." Oh ho.

Niki manages another smile — even though her eyes are considering all the while. "No, you're right. Secrets have a way of biting us in the ass." She holds onto the fabric at either side of D.L.'s torso, swaying a little before she tries to match his playful challenging tone. "Maybe… we shouldn't do all that talking business just yet then." Wiles. They're womanly. She's gotta hook him so he doesn't forget about that 'starting over' agreement after she tells him what she's been up to for six months, three weeks, two days and some hours, see.

D.L. blinks. He wasn't expecting her to follow through with his advances at this particular moment in time. But he'll be damned if he doesn't bite. "If we do this here, I'm gonna' wreck this place." D.L. seems to be under the impression that he's actually going to put it on Niki. She's the one with the super strength, but that's okay. As long as they leave their mark on this place.

"Are you now," Niki says with a laugh under her breath(and a dose of challenge). The familiar back-and-forth makes it easier to fall back into old ways. "And wake up the doorman?" Doorman. What are they doing in this building again? "Let's go upstairs. Come on," she says, sliding around D.L. to loop her arm in his. There's a pause before she suddenly finds herself adding: "We can take the elevator."

D.L. blinks. He has to blink at this moment. If only because he's wondering just what in the holy heck of hells she means by that. But then, he remembers that he's male and it doesn't really matter what her reasoning for such things is. Especially because it's been too man damn months. "… I love you." are the words that come out of his mouth next, before he just locks his arm with hers, just in case she changes her mind, and proceeds with the speed walking. God, they're going to wake up Micah, aren't they?

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