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She entered the room quietly and sat down in her usual place on the sofa.
"So, how did it work for you while I was gone?"
Eliot tried not to wince, shrugged.
"Well, we made it through in one piece, mostly. I'd call it a win, what with the way Nate was coming undone and all." He sighed. "It's a good thing you came back when you did," he admitted.
She laughed her half-amused and half-amazed laugh at his words.
"Wow, that's something, coming from you. He must have been very difficult indeed. Oh, come on," she admonished as he raised an eyebrow, "you don't want to talk about it, fine, but I'm not blind, Eliot."
Fair enough, he thought. He wasn't blind either. That made them about even, he supposed.
"Actually..." Her expression turned thoughtful, almost inquiring. "That's the thing I wanted to speak with you about."
Gosh, this was gonna be awkward. He shifted uncomfortably but there was no sense in backing out now.
"So talk."
She smiled but the smile faded quickly. She seemed genuinely concerned by whatever it was on her mind.
"Well, you see, I've been thinking about it... You know how Nate is. He needs a... a compass. An anchor." He nodded. Of course he knew. He had been there all these months including the ones she hadn't. "And as sad as it makes me I just have to admit I can't be it all the time. I mean, I'd love to but he..." She hesitated searching for the right word, then raised her hands in mild exasperation. "Half the time he just wouldn't listen to me. It's like he grows immune or something." She paused again, looking Eliot straight in the eye with this frightening sincerity of hers. "You're the only other person I know who can actually get through to him. Not all the time, either, but still..." She shrugged, smiling wanely. "And so I thought, maybe... Between the two of us I think we could get it covered."
He looked at her incredulously.
"Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting?"
She shrugged again, smiled but this time the smile was mischievous.
"Just think about it. It could work."
He did. Then he thought about it again. When he was done thinking he looked back at her and he knew he was grinning.
"Yeah," he said, nodding slowly "yeah, it could really work."
She beamed at him happily. "All right, then." Then she grew businesslike: "But first we've got to get him out of prison."