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Jack stayed silent with his back to them, unreadable for the moment. Elizabeth, though… Diane’s naivete and honest wish to change Rapture with the rebellion moved her. She saw an innocence in Diane and there was this tightness in her chest– regret? Mourning? Elizabeth smiled, sliding her arm out from Diane’s and resting a hand on her shoulder.
“It does mean something,” she began, her mind already made up about Diane before she’d even spoken to the others. They would just have to understand. “But not to Atlas. I know another group who has done honest good deeds and can do even more for these people, but you have to promise to keep it secret.”
Elizabeth heard Jack turn and felt his eyes on her as real as if he’d reached out to her. She continued only to Diane, her eyes wide and all even hopeful. She simply nodded, the ghost of a smile still on her face.
With the help of Diane, perhaps more would join and then… They could do more than save the girls and Jack. Elizabeth would have to tell them all her hopes, although for now, just having the hope was enough.
“Then come with us. Jack,” Elizabeth offered and held out her other hand. His eyebrows raised, he took her hand and Diane held the other.
They walked together in the shadows, avoiding the firefights and vandalism with surprising ease. It wasn’t often they were that lucky, and Elizabeth chose to believe it was a sign she’d done the right thing.
Once they reached the Bathysphere, however… An announcement overhead repeated that there was an incident at the Kashmir and at least one attempt on Ryan’s life, screaming and clanking echoing in the distant halls. The chaos had driven some of the unarmed citizens away, even as the corpses facedown in puddles proved that not all made it.
Diane stepped closer to Elizabeth, watching as she tried to access the Bathysphere and the radio on the wall dinged. “I apologize, but you do not have access to travel now. Given the emergency, only leaders of Rapture can travel. Thank you.”
“Oh, oh no,” Diane muttered, shaking her head. “What’ll we do now? Ryan, he must’ve found out, he…” Her free hand went to her chest, and her voice caught. “This’s my fault, isn’t it?”
“Let me try,” Jack said, pushing ahead and opening the door instantly. Without so much as a glance to them, he stepped inside and set to directing it to Olympus Heights.
Diane lowered her hand and slowly turned to Elizabeth. “Is he… With Ryan? I never met him, never saw… Elizabeth, what’s going on?”
“I can explain once we’re back.” Elizabeth faced her, holding an arm out to the Bathysphere ahead. “Please, I need you to trust me.”
Moments passed, the gunfire coming closer even in that short time. Diane breathed in and out carefully and went inside without another word. Though she sat at the opposite side from Jack and they traveled in silence, she was there. That was a start.
Elizabeth went first with Diane into the Sanctuary, dank as always, watching her for a reaction. The girls’ giggles floated to them first and Diane reflexively beamed– a weight off Elizabeth’s shoulders.
Then Booker rounded a corner, his button down shirt hanging open as he searched the area. Presumably for the clothes Jack took, but… Diane sighed wistfully, tapping Elizabeth’s shoulder. “Oh, you didn’t say you had such attractive men here.”
“Diane,” Elizabeth introduced her with a gesture that passed back to him. “My father.” Diane gasped, her hand over her mouth before an apology could escape. Elizabeth tried to do the same for her laughter… Mostly succeeding.
“Call me Booker,” he told her, settling his gaze on Jack wearing his clothes. “I expect my clothes back clean, Jack.”
“Right,” he mumbled behind her, shuffling to his bed to change. Or so she assumed, at least.
“Is no one going to ask why Ryan’s toy wife is here?” Tenebaum had collected herself, at least, but Elizabeth put herself between the doctor and Diane at that statement.
“Tenebaum!” It was an accusation, a demand for an apology, whatever Diane wanted.
“She’s, she’s the one!” Diane pointed over Elizabeth’s shoulder. “Ryan said she’s been taking them little girls away.”
“I have and I will continue.” Always the same bluntness with her… Elizabeth frowned, Tenenbaum took out a cigarette to light. “Your husband continues where Fontaine ended, and he will sink the city–”
“I know he will!” Diane marched to stand beside Elizabeth, her brows furrowing once she was there. Jack made his way back to them beyond her, and she looked to Elizabeth for support.
“Go on, Diane. You’re safe here.”
“I’ve seen it,” she started softly, eyes locked on her clasped hands. “The party, and then… People burning, screaming, those hulking monsters killin’ people, and now Bathyspheres are all closed up.”
Silence hung in the room for a moment. Booker was already sold right there, with his soft spot for people in need ever since Columbia, but Tenebaum? She smoked, studying and inscrutable.
Diane kept on, finally looking up. “We got nowhere to go and I… I just wanna help. Elizabeth said your people were better than Atlas, is all.”
Booker scoffed, buttoning up his shirt for what little it mattered now. “Hard not to be.”
“But I’ve got questions, you know?” Diane took another step forward and Elizabeth couldn’t help being proud of her friend. This was so much growth, so fast, and yet she was still holding to her ideals. “I don’t want to be blind to this no more.”
“As do I,” Tenebaum answered. “Elizabeth, what exactly is your plan? You kidnap Ryan’s wife now, and he will notice. Eventually,” she corrected, and at least Diane and Tenenbaum looked equally disgusted in that moment. “His attention is on his mistress and Atlas for now, but–”
“Mistress?!” Diane recoiled, her hands clenching into fists instantly. Before Elizabeth could get a word in, Jack came forward.
“What?!” Diane snapped, stomping her foot and turning on Jack.
“Hey, hey, would you both stop it!” Booker raised his voice, but soon all the shouting blended together between them.
What do you want to do, Elizabeth and Tenenbaum?
– – –
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