glowing_skye: (not trusting you)
Ema Skye ([personal profile] glowing_skye) wrote2011-05-22 08:46 pm
Entry tags:

~thirty-eight~ (tying up some loose ends, backdated to May 9th)

[Filtered to one certain Edward Nigma.]

Edward?

We need to talk. About what happened at prom and about the ridiculous amount of chocolate you left on my porch.

[Amazingly enough, she doesn't sound angry or even annoyed. Simply serious.]

[Filtered]

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 12:50 am (UTC)(link)
[...oh, god, what had Mother's Day made him do? Well. At least she doesn't sound upset. For now, anyway.]

...I was wondering when you'd call. Question: When and where?

[Oh so filtered]

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 12:51 am (UTC)(link)
Somewhere neutral.

Meet me in the park?

[Filtered]

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 12:54 am (UTC)(link)
Unless you have a better time in mind?

[Filtered]

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 12:56 am (UTC)(link)
...no. This is fine.

I'll see you there, then.

[Click.]

[Filtered]

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
[Click.

Ema gathers her things and heads out, walking to the park and looking around to see if Edward's beaten her there. To be honest, she's still not sure how this is going to go; it's going to be a let-down for him. He has a history of not taking those well.]

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
[Edward's already there, sitting at a wooden bench with his hands folded in his lap. He's... not entirely looking forward to this talk. All the same, punctuality for a talk like this is critical, so he puts in that effort to try and get there before she does.

When she does arrive, of course, it doesn't take long for him to spot her. There's an uncomfortable feeling rising in his chest, though he tries to shove it back down. God help him if he does something stupid again when he speaks to her today.]
Edited 2011-05-23 01:09 (UTC)

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 01:11 am (UTC)(link)
[Ema spots him pretty easily--he's in green, as always--and approaches carefully. After several heart-to-hearts with the man, she's learned to really think about what she says and does. It's harder to misinterpret clear communication, after all.]

Mind if I sit?

[She tries to give him a smile.]

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 03:12 am (UTC)(link)
[The smile actually catches Edward a bit off-guard. He's fairly certain she hasn't offered him a smile in months. Not since those days back when they'd worked together as fellow investigators.]

Go right ahead.

[He scoots over to the side, allowing her more room to sit down next to him.]

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
[She sits, then drums her fingers on her knees. Time to actually do this.

Of course, there's one issue still--where does she even start?]


Listen, Edward...

[Yeah, she has no idea.]

I don't even know what to bring up first, there's so much. I guess we begin... by figuring out where you and I even stand? The answer seems to change every time we meet.

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
[Edward frowns. Why does she have to shoot him the hard questions first?]

Look. I'm sorry about what happened that night. I... [You what, Eddie? You were in a dark place? You were going through too much stress? Don't give her that. Everything that happened to you that week, you did to yourself.] There's no excuse for my behavior. I was drunk. Foolish. And I didn't handle myself with very much class.
Edited 2011-05-23 03:35 (UTC)

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 03:39 am (UTC)(link)
[Blink. Blink. Edward Nigma's apologizing for his behavior?

This conversation's getting off to a good start.]


I accept the apology. People do stupid things when they're drunk; at least you're aware that you made some terrible choices that night.

But it's not the first time time you've kissed me, nor the first time you've insinuated you want... more than what this is. That's where things get complicated and difficult.

I guess my question is... why? Why me, of all people?

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
[Isn't that just like a scientific investigator? Never satisfied with the answers they're given in the past, always asking, "Why?"]

It's difficult to explain. [Seriously. Eddie takes a moment to sort through that massive brain of his, trying to figure out the answer to this riddle that's been plaguing him for months now.]

There's something about you that just... [He pauses. No, no, that's not quite right.] You're an impressive young woman. Clever. Attractive. You've been here longer than I have, and that hasn't deterred you in the slightest. Even after I'd led you and Scout astray, took us all one step forward and two steps back, you're still... You're still chasing the truth. You haven't given up. Surrender is unacceptable.

[There's a strange moment of clarity in Edward's eyes after that remark. That's it. From that strained moment in his classroom when he'd first kissed her, that had always been it, really. At his core...]

I just want you to accept me.

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
[Ema lets him take his time; she knows it's not an easy question to answer by any means. It's an answer she needs from him, but it's also an answer worth waiting for.

In the end, the response fails to surprise her. He's impressed by her intelligence and her resolve. He thinks she's attractive. Neither of these admissions are especially new, but it's nice to hear it from him directly rather than discern them from context clues. What does surprise her is how touched she feels to hear it, even knowing it's coming. Compliments from Edward Nigma are rare, especially ones she knows he means.

Even the fact that his primary goal is to receive her acceptance fails to really throw her. That much, really, should have been obvious; why else would he share his entire history with her? Why else would be continually cry out for her attention--any kind of attention, even negative reactions--even after being so obviously angry with her after the talk in Makeout Point? He doesn't know the meaning of going halfway; when he chooses a goal, he pursues it with obsessive resolve. It makes him a good ally, if you can get him to be direct and not hide things from you. It makes him a headache of an adversary, insistent on proving himself superior. And it makes him frustratingly constant in situations like this, where his pride is on the line and his sense of vulnerability is uncharacteristically high.

Ema takes a few moments herself, trying to think about how best to respond to him. She's determined to put this all to rest and avoid the sorts of blow-ups that have characterized previous attempts at this conversation.]


Thank you.

You realize that I can accept you without being in a romantic relationship with you, don't you? That my being in love with Klavier doesn't mean you've lost anything? This isn't a contest; it's a human relationship. Scientifically speaking, they're not really the same thing.

[She pauses, turning her body more toward him.]

I accept you. Flawed as you are, frustrating as you are, brilliant and driven and fascinating as you are. Scout still has his doubts, Klavier'd rather I never talk to you again, Schuldig... [No, leave him for later in the conversation.] But I'm still here.

I don't approve of much of what you do--I'd be a terrible detective if I did--but I at least kind of understand where you're coming from and what you're looking for. I meant it when I said I'll be the person who keeps an eye on you, to catch you when you fall. Despite everything, I do actually care what happens to you and about where you end up. You're an important part of my life here. And I take care of the important parts of my life. Even when they make asses of themselves. Even when they make mistakes.

[She pauses, sighing softly. This is the hard part, trying to let him down easily while making herself inescapably clear.]

But that doesn't mean I can leave Klavier for you. Or that I should. I know it's not exactly the kind of answer you wanted, but it's the only answer I can give you. It's the only answer there is.

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 10:02 pm (UTC)(link)
[There's a bit of a silence after Edward's finished talking that puts him ill-at-ease. And when Ema opens her mouth to speak, there's a bit of a nervous twitch in his jaw. He's almost immediately anticipating rejection, considering their established pattern and the way things have unfolded nearly every time he's tried to win her over. But what she says...

Well, it surprises him. She does accept him. She wants to be there for him, even if she doesn't necessarily approve of what he does or how he acts. Even if her boyfriend would prefer that she never speaks to him again. She cares. He's important to her. But... at the same time, she's still rejecting him. She can't give him everything. A relationship with her is still unattainable.

Edward frowns. She's right, after all. It's a well thought-out answer, but it still isn't the kind of answer he wanted. And it's not the only answer there is. Though Eddie's intentions were laid out right in front of Klavier on prom night, they could keep whatever happened from here on out a secret. But...

There's a low sigh as, for once, he tries not to snap back or explode at her. She's still willing to have him as a part of her life, after all. It hurts---it really does. But it's as Ema says. This is the only answer she's capable of giving him right now. This isn't to say he's fully given up on her. Who knows? Maybe someday things will change. Maybe one day, he can pursue something further with her. But for now... it's all too clear that this is the only answer he'll get.

Every riddle has an answer. That's a fact of life that Edward Nigma's always known. As much as he wants to argue against it, as much as he just wants her... He can't refuse this answer. Not now. He sighs, looking back up at her.]


...I understand.

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
[Ema gives Edward a smile that's a little sadder than she means it to be. He's never been good at poker faces; she can tell he's hurt. And it bothers her that she's the one hurting him, even if she's not completely abandoning him like so many other people have done in his life. Slowly, she leans in and presses a soft kiss to his cheek. Somehow, that feels like the right thing to do.]

Thank you. Really.

[Idly, she wonders what they might have been, if they'd met at a different time or under different circumstances. He's right--this isn't the only answer that exists. It's simply the only viable answer for the moment.

But there's no sense in dwelling on that. They're finally on the same page as far as this relationship goes. She doesn't want to wreck that on 'what ifs'.]


While we're here and talking, is there anything else you want to say?

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-23 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
[The kiss on his cheek, however brief it might be, catches him by surprise. He can feel his cheek grow just so slightly warm. He doesn't allow that momentarily bewilderment to stay on his features for long, though, doing his best to contort his expression into something a little bit more neutral. His eyes dart away from her for a moment.]

Don't worry about it.

[Once he's got himself composed once more, he glances back at her out of the corner of his eye.]

I suppose I should thank you as well. For giving me as many second chances as you have been.

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-24 01:20 am (UTC)(link)
You're welcome. It helps that you're an incredibly persistent man.

I guess... I guess part of it is that I remember what things were like when we first met. Back when you were a PI, before I knew the entire history of The Riddler, Edward Nigma. We made a good team. I liked being around you. I wanted to get to know you better.

I don't think you're entirely different from what you were like then. I just... have a fuller picture, I guess. A better understanding of the whole instead of just the parts I liked. And I'm sure you see me very differently than you did when we first met and starting investigating together.

Does that even make sense?

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-27 05:03 am (UTC)(link)
[A persistent man, hmm? Edward allows himself a chuckle at that.]

I get the idea.

[And it's true. He sees her far differently now than he did when they'd first spoken on the phone. When they'd handled their first investigation of the Smith home at that party all those months ago with Klavier.

No, Edward. Don't think about him right now. That'll just make your stomach churn and it'll make this conversation uncomfortable.

Perhaps a subject change is in order.]


On the topic of investigations. I imagine you've been busy since that sweep of the post office you conducted?

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-27 05:09 am (UTC)(link)
[Ema smiles, grateful for the conversational redirect. She has to hand it to him, he's being remarkably mature about this. It definitely gains her approval; he does learn over time.]

Not as busy as I'd like, but yeah. I've categorized and organized all of the data... well, after spending a week being too angry to even look at it.

Without a database to compare it to or a means of genetic testing, it's mostly worthless data. But we have it, just in case one of those things becomes available. There are some people I need to talk to, get their input and assistance.

Until then... I don't know. [She sighs.] I've been here over a year and have almost nothing to show for it. Every time I try to learn something new, I end up empty handed or with results so minuscule they're not surprising or even relevant. I hate not doing anything, but I'm running out of things to do.

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-27 05:28 am (UTC)(link)
[Edward Nigma, mature. Who knew?]

I haven't been stuck here for quite as long, but I'm hardly any closer to finding the answer, myself. Nor are any of my current allies, at the moment. But the answer is there. It has to be. Every riddle has an answer. This town is no different.

We're going to find a way out. I'm sure of it.

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-27 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
[Stranger things have happened. Maybe.]

...

You're right. You're absolutely right. Moping and whining isn't going to get me any answers. [All it managed to net Klavier was an irritated girlfriend and a prom night out of a bad high school movie.]

It's frustrating, but that's no reason to give up. It's just reason to keep pushing harder.

[She pauses, thoughtfully.]

Have you investigated anything, recently?

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-27 06:32 am (UTC)(link)
Recently? Yes. I've been doing a bit more exploring as of late. Trying to see if there's anything about this town I've overlooked. ...so far, nothing out of the ordinary. [Go figure.]

Prior to that, I'd gone to visit the diner when it first sprouted up on the outskirts of town. It didn't end well.

[identity profile] glowing-science.livejournal.com 2011-05-27 07:15 am (UTC)(link)
That's the problem. The facade is so complete, so well-maintained, that it's really, really hard to get past it. To get any meaningful results, that's exactly what we have to do. No wonder we keep coming up empty handed.

What happened at the diner? And what did you find?

[identity profile] puzzlerprince.livejournal.com 2011-05-27 07:22 am (UTC)(link)
My ally and I were ambushed by a young woman who had joined up with Grady. To try and keep us curious types off the highways.

We had to set the place on fire to get that lunatic off our backs. We found nothing.