2008-01-11: The Great Battle Of Our Time


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Cass and Lachlan have a scene that doesn't involve screaming and shouting. Amazing! Lachlan learns of her aspirations to join Pinehearst and seems fairly supportive despite some reservations.

Date It Happened: January 11th, 2008

The Great Battle of Our Time

A hotel

After The Great Battle of '09, a decision was made to take Ramon up on the offer of a hotel. Things were done carefully to avoid leaving a trail, and then Lachlan agreed to give the one-eyed man a call and enlist his help. Which he hasn't done yet, because he's been busy trying to work out all the names involved. It's a very tedious process. Especially when you're Lachlan and paranoid that the next knock at the door will be another messenger. He's taken a vacation from work to avoid having to go out. The less he goes out, the less chance he'll be spotted, and the less chance he'll be followed back to the hotel. He's seated on the bed with a notebook and pen nearby, but he's watching TV instead of writing at the moment. There's an ashtray with several cigarettes tamped out inside, and there's Bonnie curled up on his feet. Because he wouldn't have gone to a hotel that didn't accept dogs.

There's a lot that Cass needs to do, which is why now she is the one nervous and hating being pent up in a hotel room when she has so many things to do. She's brought some work along and her old clunker of a laptop to try and research some more, but she can't do what she wants to do in a hotel room. She needs to be able to do it in her lab. So while she has some papers out herself, trying to work through one thing or another, her mind really isn't into it and she kind of just pushes them away from her with a deep sigh and leans back against the headboard of the bed she's working on. This is maddening.

On the other hand, Lachlan has been able to relax a bit more since getting the hotel room. Cass going out and coming back in has been a source of mild terror, of course, but compared to living in the apartment, he's having a much easier time of things. Which can't be said for George, who is restless being cramped up in just one room. He's currently balled up on the bed near Cass' feet and dozing. When she puts aside her work with a sigh, Lachlan picks up the remote and starts to turn down the TV even further. "Sorry, s'it too loud?" Someone's been a little extra sensitive since the fight.

Which is nice and a little more comforting to Cass as well as a little suffocating. She's trying to get used to this whole not being in the apartment thing, watching where she's going, making sure she's not being followed, but she's not sure if she's cut out for it. "No, I'm sorry. I've just got a lot on my mind, a lot of stuff to do and I can't do any of it hiding in a hotel room. It's just frustrating." And, despite appearances she's not blaming it on Lachlan. Well, mostly not blaming it on Lachlan.

Lachlan nods a little and shuffles around a few of the cigarette butts in the ashtray before grinding out the currently lit cigarette. "M'sorry." He's been saying that one a lot lately. Hiding is just what he needs right now, so he's not really frustrated. But Cass' frustration isn't easy to live with either. Even if she's not really blaming him, he's blaming himself. So he offers out the pack of cigarettes toward her. Because smoking makes it all better!

However Cass knows that smoking is only going to make her even more jittery and that's not going to help the situation at all. What she needs is a drink. Strangely enough. So sliding off the bed, she makes for the mini-bar. Why not? This she'll make sure doesn't get put on Ramon's tab, of course. This will be paid for all by her. Pulling out the tiny little bottles, she starts to line them up and grab a cup. Who needs a mixer? She can't exactly tell Lachlan that it's not his fault, because right now it is. All she can say is, "I'll be fine. I just…I need to get back to work soon. And if that means not being here as much…that's what it's going to have to mean."

Lachlan just goes silent at that, glancing down at his pack of half-empty cigarettes and frowning. Cass not being here as much means she'll be more vulnerable. Which means he'd be more vulnerable. But he doesn't really have much to say on the matter. At least, he doesn't have anything he wants to say on the matter. But after a moment, he pulls out another cigarette and reaches for his lighter. "Ye should no' go out much," he mutters quietly.

It's not like Cass doesn't already know this. "It's not like I don't already know that," she sighs, pouring a couple of shots into one of those plastic hotel cups to make an actual drink. "But…Gene has a life-threatening health problem I'm trying to help him cure, I just found out that my brother had an ability that most likely led to his own death - which I never knew, and some company wants to hire me and I would like to know something about them other than their name and their flier because as far as I know they could just be another branch of the Company. Even if they claim their not. Plus, the guy who offered me the position is supposed to be dead. So, I've got a lot on my mind right now and pacing the floors of a hotel room is a little…" she doesn't even have a word for it. So, instead, she just takes a big swig of her alcohol and makes a face. "Ylech, why did I pick Jack Daniels?"

"Yeah, well, ye canna do any o' tha' if yer dead," Lachlan mumbles again, lighting another cigarette and dragging from it deeply. He's probably smoked about ten years off his life these past few weeks. He holds the tip over the ashtray and grimaces in sympathy. "Jack Daniels is shit. Packed some scotch, y'know." Because Glen Moray is about twelve billion times better.

"Yeah, but I also can't do it all from here." Cass sighs and finishes the rest of her JD with a grimacing face. "You've been holding out the Scotch on me?" It's more of a tease than her actually being angry. "Pull that out. I can't stare at pages I've been staring at for the past three days non-stop any more. And there's nothing I can do about it tonight, either." Frowning, she looks at the cigarettes. "You should really think about quitting, too."

Lachlan grins a bit, then sets aside the cigarette and ashtray and slips his feet out from under Bonnie. "Was hopin' ye'd no' find out," he grunts as he heads over to his duffle, "but ye looked so pathetic with yer Jack Daniels, dinna have the heart ta keep it from ye." He produces the bottle from the bag and holds it out toward Cass, then frowns a little and also glances at the cigarette and the ashtray, as though noticing how full they are for the first time. "Yeah. Mebbe." He's been smoking for most of his adult life. That's tough to give up.

"That's the real crime in this room, now." Cass follows behind Lachlan so as to get first dibs on pouring out a generous amount of the scotch. When she drinks, she doesn't really go for the hard stuff, really. Normally it's just girly sorts of drinks and gin here and there. It may be hard to give up, but it's also very unhealthy. The only reason Cass hasn't really been on him about it earlier is because she indulges, too, from time to time. "If we survive all this, the last thing I want is to see you get lung cancer."

"Yeah, well, if we dunna survive this, s'no' gonna make much difference anyway." Lachlan heads back to the bed and picks up the ashtray again. "B'sides, I've been smokin' fer years an' havena had a problem." Except some emphysema. And difficulty getting over colds. But yeah, sure, no problems here. Even as he argues, he's already grinding out the once-smoked cigarette and setting aside the tray.

At least he's not picking up another cigarette. For the moment. Pouring out her glass of Moray, she moves to sit on the bed again and take another drink. Ah, soothing. Sort of. "We'll get through this. We've made it through explosions and viruses and gun fights." It's a bit of false bravado. No matter how much they go through, it's harrowing each time. "Yeah, well, if you've been smoking for years that means that you have a higher risk for that sort of thing. Plus, you're turning your lungs to char."

For the moment. That's the key phrase. Lachlan flops over on his belly on top of the mattress and hugs a pillow beneath his chin with a low and long sigh. "Yer just worried I'm no' gonna be able ta last as long in bed," he retorts, reaching out a hand to give her side a playful shove. Right, yeah. That's what Cass is worried about.

Well maybe it is what she's worried about. Okay, probably not. "You know, it's been so long I'm not sure I can remember how long that would be to compare it to." There's a wry grin shot in Lachlan's direction for that. "Plus, you're right, sex with you alive as opposed to no sex because your dead is a big difference."

"S'pose ye could have sex with me when I'm dead," retorts Lachlan with a grin. "'D be a stiff, righ'?" Oh god, save them from the pun invasion. He rolls over onto his side, tucking one arm under the pillow. "Yeah, sorry. Things've been crazy, an' I've no' been in the mood." Coming from Lachlan, this is definitely an indication of something being Very Wrong. But he grins again.

A loud groan escapes Cass at Lachlan's pun and she just rolls over. "That was terrible." Then she frowns and sighs instead. "I know. You don't have to tell me twice that things are crazy." And Lachlan not being in the mood just sort of fit in with all of this. "I know it all is."

"Ah c'mon, it was funny," wheedles Lachlan with another gentle poke to Cass' side. No, no it wasn't. "An' speakin' o' crazy stuff an' bein' dead, wha's tha' ye were sayin' 'bout werkin' fer a dead guy?" Now that they're not wallowing in super amounts of tension, he seems to recall that as something that struck him as very 'wtf'.

Having sex with a dead fiancee? Not really up Cass' alley of humor. "Hm? Oh. Pinehearst. It's some research facility. The man who wanted to hire me…when I talked to my father he told me that everyone thought he was dead." There's a pause. "I mean, that may mean that he just faked his own death. It's just…a weird thought. You know?"

Her father. So the dead guy is Company-known or oriented or something. Lachlan frowns a little, brow furrowing as he stares at Cass from his pillow. Then: "Yer no' gonna have sex with 'im, are ye?" Facepalm.
At least known, though Cass doubts oriented, hearing the way he talked about the Company. "Ew. Why do you always think I'm going to sleep with someone else?" Sighing, she flips back over to stare at her fiancee. "He's something like seventy years old, Lachlan. And British. Even if he were 29 and British and extremely handsome I'm not about to sleep with him."

Well, he was more alluding to the bit about sex with corpses earlier; he's not actually concerned. But the mention of being old and British brings a grimace to his face. "British? Bloody hell." He flops over onto his back with a grunt. "Yer no' werkin' fer a Brit." He doesn't sound at all serious about this one either. It's almost good-natured. Almost. Except for that little bit of edge.

"Oh, and what if I am?" Cass gives Lachlan a bit of a grin. "Maybe I like his accent and just can't say no to his opportunity. Nevermind the idea of running a full high-tech lab who wants to help people around the world. It's the accent that's really selling me." Does she sound serious? No, not at all. Even if she's talking about something that she is seriously thinking about.

Lachlan raises an eyebrow and peers sidelong at Cass, frowning. No, he's not wholly serious either. "Ye wanna Brit accent?" he grunts. "A'righ' then." And then he suddenly lunges forward in an attempt to wrap his arms around her waist and drag her closer. "Why 'ello, Miss Aldric," he croons in his best impersonation of a British accent — which is really not too terribly bad, save the light Scottish tint, "aren't you looking right sharp today. Tip-top and all that. I've a mind to give you a bang."

"You just sound like a prat," Cass giggles, though, thinking his British accent is just silly. "You still sound Scottish." It's one of those accents that just sort of slip through everything else. "No no, I'll just have to go find a real Brit to give me a real British accent."

"Ye bloody well will no'," snorts Lachlan with a friendly neck-nibble. "Scottish's better anyway. Brits're a buncha nancies." Nibblenibblenibblenibble, ear nibblenibble. "So this lab place's a'righ', then? Helpful?"

Giggling, Cass doesn't mind the nibbling at all. In fact, she cranes her neck just so to make it easier for Lachlan. "Mmm. Is that right?" As for the lab, she pauses, serious for a moment. "I hope so. I'm going to research it a bit more." Then, however, Lachlan is nibblng on her ear and it's hard to concentrate on serious things like good and bad jobs. "Maybe I do like Scottish better. Just a little."

"Well, if s'a'righ', then I'm happy fer ye." And he sounds it, too. "Just be careful." A little wary of the fact that, well, the Company seems to know something about the man running it, but he's willing to trust Cass' judgment for now. Plus, he's a bit distracted by nibbling on Cass' ear, so he's got other things on his mind. "Just a little?" Well that won't do! So he gives Cass a pull to flop down with her on the bed, because she obviously will need a little more convincing.

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