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Relief washed over the clinic collectively once Ryan and Sullivan left. And as much as Elizabeth knew that she had to see Grace and the Rapture Family as soon as possible, she wanted to take this opportunity to check in with those she considered family.
Who knew when that would happen again?
She pushed aside the nagging thought, walking over to Jack by the doorway leading out of the clinic. His expression softened as her hand rested on his arm, and she revelled again in the good that came of all this– they were dating.
And by pure circumstance, Booker already knew about it (saving her the anxiety of that discussion even if she knew he’d approve). It hardly seemed real, which was almost comedic given everything else that had happened.
“Jack,” she asked the unspoken question. So much changed in a matter of hours and most of it impacted him directly.
“I’m alright.” He smiled, putting his hand on hers. “Better than alright. I’ve reconnected with my mother, and now we have the chance to unite Rapture and end the bloodshed. Plus, I have you at my side,” he rushed, his nerves winning over his confidence. Elizabeth chuckled, glad for the attempt regardless.
“You’re sweet,” she consoled him from his embarrassment. “And I know we can see this through together.” Feeling bold, Elizabeth kissed him on the cheek and earned a bright smile from him– and Diane over his shoulder– before she made her way to Booker.
He was working on his gun with his back turned to the group, a sure sign he didn’t want to be bothered. Which was too bad for him because Elizabeth wasn’t taking no for an answer at the moment. There simply wasn’t time for that now.
“Elizabeth,” he sighed in begrudging acceptance. “Congratulations on finally moving forward with Jack.” He set part of his gun aside, though she wasn’t sure which part it was.
“Seems you didn’t inherit your mother’s nature to take the first step. Unless it comes to hitting me with a wrench,” he tacked on sarcastically, though without malice. “That, you can do with no trouble.”
“Har har,” Elizabeth deflected, crossing her arms with a teasing smile. “You know that’s not why I’m over here.”
“I imagine not,” he answered, letting her take the floor from there.
“With Sullivan… What were you two whispering about?”
Booker set the gun down on a nearby desk, turning to her with a grimace. “Nothing pleasant.” It was a warning rather than avoidance for a change, and her silence was his go-ahead.
“Ryan’s gone mad with power, everyone knows it.” Booker stared off in the direction they left in as if his disdain could still reach him. “He had Sullivan murder an artist, for Christ’s sake.”
Booker had no love or respect of artists, especially those in Rapture, but at least he wasn’t behind their arbitrary murder. Well– he’d probably allow the murder of Cohen. Elizabeth waited silently for Booker to continue, and he obliged.
“This Culpepper woman was supposedly in league with Atlas,” he explained, obviously skeptical. “Not that Ryan has any proof but a random conversation they had over a year ago that could’ve been with any Anna in Rapture.”
In that instant, she remembered– when they had made their stand against Fontaine that let him fake his death and she spoke to Ryan on the radio, giving her name as Anna. Unable to fight the habit, her hand went to her short pinky and she ran her fingers over the metal cap.
Bless him, Booker badly pretended not to notice and dropped the subject. “It’s weighing on him because, like every soul trapped down here, this isn’t what he signed up for. The next target from Ryan is Bill McDonough, one of the few truly good men on Earth.”
Elizabeth raised her eyebrows at that. It wasn’t easy praise from Booker, who generally assumed everyone was terrible.
“He’s got it in his head to kill Ryan, and of course Ryan knows it. There’s not a damn thing Sullivan can do,” he sighed, picking up the pieces of the gun again to do something with his hands. “But if a third party were to step in before Sullivan’s men got to him, and if that party had an agreement with Ryan, well… That’d change things.”
What do you want to do, Elizabeth?
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