(2018-11-28) Coffee and Conversation
Elizabeth is downright friendly with Aidan. She must be coming down with something.

Elizabeth stalks into the coffee shop, pulling her beanie from her head and shoving it into the pocket of her sweatshirt. She steps up to the counter, eyes scanning the menu offerings as her toes tap with a simmering impatience. "I'll take whatever the special is, put two pastries on a plate and give me a ham and cheese sandwich, please?" She pulls a roll of bills from her jeans pocket and sets down a twenty. "Also, can I get you to drop it off at a table, like..the one near the windows?" She gives the barista the money and turns to walk over, choosing her seat and flopping into it.

Aidan is already here, in the seat next to the one Elizabeth's just flopped into, in fact. He's wearing a large pair of red on-ear headphones and sketching furiously into a sketchbook. There's a steaming cup of coffee in front of him, plus the remains of a chocolate chip cookie. The redheaded lad slowly turns his head to look at Elizabeth as she comes over, a slight frown touching his brow that probably has nothing to do with her whatsoever. Seems like his face just goes that way.

Elizabeth gazes over at Aidan, offering him a brief nod hello. She squints over at the music machine, letting out an exasperated sound when a Backstreet Boys song comes on. It's also a Chrismas song that adds to the scowl. "Christ." She mutters, getting to her feet to move over to slide a dollar into the machine. She picks a few songs, not Christmas songs, and then goes back to her seat. "Hey." She offers to Aidan, content to be social now that she's fixing the music problem. "What are you drawing?"

Aidan seems to realize, somewhat belatedly, that Elizabeth is talking to him. He shoves his headphones off, letting them rest around his neck. There's a moment's hesitation, then he shows her the page. It's an elaborately detailed dragon, sitting on a large pile of gold, gem and jewels. He's apparently started to fill it in with color, his fingers stained with a red colored pencil he's using to give the scales some life. "Needs work." But it's actually excellent.

Elizabeth looks over the page, leaning in with eyes narrowed to take in the detail. "Doesn't look like it needs work to me. You an art student down at the Uni?" She asks, propping her feet up on an empty chair, looking a bit like a lazy cat. "If so, good on you."

"Yeah," Aidan says, though he doesn't sound thrilled about it. He puts the sketchbook down and reaches for his coffee, taking a slow sip. "It's alright, I guess. Not exactly the top art school in the nation." That latter bit is more muttered under his breath. Looking her over, he comments, "You don't go there, do you?" To him, she looks too old, though she hardly is.

"I don't go there, I'm a cop here in town." Elizabeth responds, canting her head to nod at the barista as her order is delivered to the table. She picks up the cup, smells the peppermint before she tastes it and groans. "Lovely." She takes a drink, giving an enthusiastic thumbs up and smile to the barista who looks slightly scared, moving back to the counter with one backward look at the blonde. "You from around here or are you an import?"

Aidan turns to squint at the barista, almost like he's confused, before that squint turns to Elizabeth again. "Mm. I grew up here, like, when I was a kid, but…then I was gone for awhile. Now I'm back." Yeah, he sounds /super/ thrilled about it. "Are you from this one-horse town?"

"Nah, I was born in California, and I ended up here through a series of misadventures. I like it here sometimes, so I haven't left yet." Elizabeth glances at the barista again, an evil grin on her face. "They're used to me being a little difficult, I think smiling made her think I am up to something." She takes another drink of the peppermint concoction and grimaces. "I'm not though. Just looking for coffee and lunch." She eyes the bag, but doesn't move to open it.

"/Are/ you up to something?" The kid actually sounds suspicious, though he's smirking a little. "Where in California're you from? I lived in LA for awhile…my dad's from there." He glances down briefly, frowning again, and picks at his cookie.

"What would I be up to in a coffee shop?" Elizabeth holds her cup in one hand, an eye on Aidan as she takes another drink. "I don't know where I'm from, I've been through so many foster homes, nobody really knows where I started out." She raises her chin, her eyes narrowing slightly. "I'm not making you /nervous/ am I? I promise, I'm not a monster or anything."

"No, you're not making me nervous," Aidan snaps, scowling. "Why would someone like you make me nervous?" Though it seems like a genuine question: really, why? Considering her other words, he says, "Maybe sometimes it's better not to know where you come from." There's a shrug as he looks out the window and mutters, "Might be nice."

"You just look like I stepped on that cookie or something." Elizabeth's face relaxes into a slight smile. She takes a sip from her cup and sets it down on the table, pulling open the bag to retrieve her sandwich. "People get nervous around cops, and it's kind of silly to be honest. We're not looking to bust everyone we come across. We enjoy our downtime too." She takes a bite of her ham and cheese, chewing thoughtfully before she nods. "Sometimes it is, but not knowing where you came from makes it hard to figure out where you're going. We all try to grow in life, and I'm stunted right now."

"You're a cop?" Yeah, at that, Aidan squirms a little bit in his chair, but he's also not going anywhere. In fact, he's looking at her. Studying her, even, like he's trying to figure her out. "Stunted?"

"Mentioned that, I can see I'm less exciting than that drawing. Which to be fair, is kind of true." Elizabeth notes the squirm, taking another drink from her cup. "Don't worry, they put me on leave and shit, so even if you did something illegal, I'm not in a position to do anything about it." The blonde meets his gaze, letting him look at her, a mild look on her face. "I feel like I'm not getting any better at life, and part of that is because I don't know what I came from. Like.." She goes quiet, trying to figure out how to phrase her words. "..we all come from a mold, and the only way to get a better mold is to know how you were shaped. If that makes sense."

Aidan grunts at that notion. "What if you just wanna break the mold?" He runs a hand through his red hair, which causes it to stand up a little. "That's what I wanna do. Break it and never fucking look back." No wonder he thinks she's lucky.

Elizabeth blinks a few times, looking at Aidan for a long minute before she slowly drawls. "Never thought of that, really. I always assumed that I couldn't get anywhere without my past. You might be on to something though, because ..I honestly don't know if I can ever find it." She takes another drink and a bite of her sandwich. "Might just try to break a mold here or something then, truly settle in or some shit. Though I don't know if I'm destined to live in a small town."

Aidan quickly bobs his head. "Yeah." He even smiles a little. "You should be what /you/ wanna be. Not what some distant past might want you to be." Then he snorts a little, leaning back in his chair. "Small town life is the shits."

"I've lived in all kinds of towns, ki..what..is your name anyway?" Elizabeth doesn't want to call him a kid, knowing exactly how sensitive she was to that when she was his age. "My name is Elizabeth Rothschilde." She leans in, holding a hand out for Aidan to shake. "Anyway, as I was saying, don't knock it. I've been everywhere, and this place is pretty tranquil, considering. The big shit ain't always exciting, it can be pretty bad sometimes."

"Aidan." He adds, a bit reluctantly, taking her hand and giving it an awkward sort of shake. After a moment, he adds, "Arach." He lets out a sigh, drawing his hand back. "Trust me…I know. I guess. I mean…I don't know." She gets a sort of uncertain half-smile. "I guess it could be worse."

Elizabeth hides her grin behind another sip of her cup, sensing his reluctance to provide a name. "I'm really harmless. Unless you're cooking meth somewhere. Swear." She puts her hand over her heart to prove it. "Life can always be worse, Aidan. The grass is greener, but when you get to the other side, you realize it takes a lot more work to keep it that fucking green."

"I'm not," Aidan says, sounding almost pissy about it. He makes a little sound, a sardonic laugh and a twist of his lips at the next thing she says. "I guess." He shoves the rest of the cookie in his mouth and says around it, "Saying that almost makes it sound like you have your shit together."

"I try to have my shit together. I have to pretend that I do." Elizabeth explains, leaning on the table as she tilts her head. "They don't let scattered assholes drive around with guns, it looks bad." She leans back again, laughing as Aidan sounds pissy. "I like that attitude, ki..er Aidan."

Aidan is definitely pissy, no bones about it. "But, what…you're taking time off, right?" He gestures to her with his coffee cup, almost spilling some of the liquid right on his dragon drawing. A splash of it narrowly misses the page. "Isn't that what you said?"

"I got put on leave, actually." Elizabeth clears her throat, glancing away for a moment. "There was an incident, and ..they thought I should take some time off to recover and get my shit straight." She glances back at him, hesitation clear on her face. "So yeah.. this is me, Liz. Not a cop right now."

"Oh." It's clear that Aidan really, really wants to ask about that incident, but he doesn't. The curiosity burns brightly on his face, though. "Why would anyone want to be a cop?" it seems like a truly genuine question, not a snippy quip from a pissant.

Elizabeth takes a deep breath, laughing softly for a moment. "When I was little, I used to watch a lot of tv. The rent-a-parents would use it as a babysitter while they did whatever. I saw a television show one day about a police officer saving a kid from some bad foster home shit, and ..it stuck with me. Obviously it isn't in my wheelhouse to save kids or anything, but maybe I can save someone." She takes a drink from her cup. "You're not into any bad shit, are you?" She asks, a tilted grin showing that she doesn't believe that he is.

Aidan's brow is all furrowed as he listens. Maybe he finds it interesting. Maybe even relatable. But his eyebrows shoot up at her question. "What? No." They draw down again, making him look somewhere between pissed and worried. "Why would I be? I'm just a student."

Elizabeth raises a hand, shaking her head back and forth. "I was your age once. Not even that fucking long ago. I know what goes on, but it's fine. Seriously Aidan. I'm just playing with you." She crosses her legs and leans in, her head tilted. "If you ever do get into some shit, and need someone to get you out.. I won't judge. So keep me in mind, alright? Everyone gets into shit eventually, it's part of growing up."

The worry overtakes the irritation, for a moment, but it's only when he's not looking at her. Once Aidan's glanced her way again, the pissy look is back on his face. "Why would you help me?" A beat. "We just met."

Elizabeth is not a soft woman, she's all edges and a lot of snark. She does soften here though, shrugging as though she's uncomfortable with it. "Because I wish someone would have helped me." She says simply, watching Aidan over the rim of her cup. "Sorry, you don't need it, but like I said, if you ever do.." She trails off, shrugging uncomfortably.

Although the look on his face is sullen, after a long moment, Aidan actually nods. "Well," He looks away again, back down to his sketch. "Thanks." It even sounds genuine.

"Don't mention it." Elizabeth returns, and she sounds like she means that. "I mean, you're welcome and shit." She gestures to the paper, eyebrows raised. "Assignment?"

A tiny smile curves onto his face, before he seems to will it away. He scratches the back of his neck, then leaves his hand there. "Naw, I'm just doing this for fun. I have to rig a character for school, I'm just not in the mood right now." He doesn't bother explaining what that means. But he seems more relaxed than he did before, his narrow shoulders less around his ears than they were.

"I was shit at school, you have to go through a parcel of training to become a police officer." Elizabeth pulls her phone out, tapping out a text before she smirks. "I cheated a few times, which is bad, but I remember the rights to read to someone, so I manage to skate by. Most of the time." She swings her crossed legs back and forth. "What do you ..do when you rig a character?"

"Are you really good at shooting?" Aidan asks. Youthful curiosity at work again. "What's your favorite part?" He downs the remains of his coffee and twists his lips as he attempts to explain. "So, like, you have a 3D model of a character…rigging is when you basically attach pulleys to the character's limb with code, if that makes sense…and then you can make it move. Just like a puppet."

"I'm pretty good at it, yeah." Elizabeth says, leaning back into the chair, clearly amused. "My favorite part of being a cop is knowing that I might make a difference." She shrugs a shoulder and, tilts her head, listening to Aidan speak. Her eyebrows raise a bit as he talks about 3D models, nodding. "So you can make 3D people do stuff? Ever make models of people you don't like and make them do mean things?"

"Might make a difference?" Aidan picks up his red pencil and taps the end against the table. "Have you ever actually made a difference?" It's less snarky than it could be. Then it's his turn to nod. "Yeah, I mean, that's how animation begins. I — heh." He laughs a little, rubbing his neck again. "You know, I haven't, but that's a good idea. I should do that to my stupid brother."

"You know, maybe save someones life or something." Elizabeth gazes down at her cup, frowning for a moment before she responds. "Kept a lot of people from getting blown up?" She shifts her gaze back to Aidan, smirking slightly. "Does that count?" She props her chin on her palm, chuckling softly. "Don't like your brother huh? Why not?"

Aidan bobs his head. "Not getting people blown up is a good one." Then he makes his face. "No, my brother is a dick. Unfortunately he looks like me…" That last part is utterly mumbled.

"Unfortunately? That's how it works." Elizabeth remarks, her eyebrows raised slightly. "Yeah, I almost died to get it done, which would have been an appropriate end. My partner saved me though."

"Yeah, well. He's my twin," Aidan explains. So he /really/ looks like him. His eyebrows go up as Elizabeth continues to explain. "Shit, that's like something out of a movie." There's a begrudging note of admiration in his voice, head tilted and appraising her like he didn't know people did stuff like that in real life.

Elizabeth wrinkles her nose and shrugs. "It was scary." She admits, letting out a soft breath. "I wouldn't recommend that anyone else do what I did, because now I'm out of work for the time being." She sets down her empty cup and scowls at it. "That might be the first time I didn't enjoy coffee."

Aidan stares at her. It's clear he wants the story. "Can you talk about it?" Hey, maybe it's good for him that he isn't just demanding she tell him. He's trying to finesse things, for a change. "Or is it too, like…painful?"

Elizabeth points at Aidan, her eyes narrowing. "As long as you take a lesson from it, not to do the shit this kid did." She states, a scowl on her face. "Someone showed up at the hospital wearing a bomb vest, was gonna set it off, so I pushed him through a window to get him outside. Almost fell out with him. My partner caught me by the ankle, kept me from splattering my brains on the ground." She shrugs, and then looks angry. "Then we got shot at, luckily…not hit."

"Jesus," Aidan breathes. He's silent for a moment, taking that in. "Why'd he do it?" He seems more curious about the kid's action than horrified, though he lets out another breath as she keeps explaining. "That's fucking intense. I mean, I know cops do intense shit sometimes, but…fuck."

Elizabeth frowns, gazing down at her knees. "He thought he was cleansing the world." She says softly, looking a bit disturbed by her own words. She glances at Aidan, taking a deep breath, her bag of food forgotten. "I would give anything to just be pulling over speeders and busting kids TPing houses, trust me Aidan."

Aidan's lips part a little. For a moment, it's like he's a thousand miles away. It's not until Elizabeth says his name that heblinks back to her. Then he nods, rather solemnly, and it's his turn to look down. "Yeah," he says quietly. "People who believe crazy shit…do the worse stuff."

Elizabeth gets to her feet, pulling out a five and leaving it on the table for when the girl comes by to clean it up. She then pulls out a card, setting it near Aidan. "Listen, I don't think you're in any trouble, you seem like a good ki..person. If that changes and you ever need help, call me, okay?" She shrugs, pulling her sunglasses off her head and putting them on. "Or just call if you're bored, who am I to judge." She upnods, tapping her fingers on the table before she walks away. "Put that drawing in your portfolio, Aidan."

Aidan stares at the card, perhaps surprised to be given it, and then watches her walk away. "It's not good enough," he calls after her, but he's grinning a little as he watches her go.

Elizabeth turns around, walking backwards a few steps. "If you only put your good enough in there, how are people to know that you're improving.. asshole." She says, a cheeky grin on her face. She taps two fingers off her temple, offering him a casual salute before she pushes out into the snow.

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