Empire Emotions

Manhattan - Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is 1,250 feet tall, with a 204-foot TV tower that makes the total height 1,454 feet. The building has 86 floors of office space, as well as a tower and two sub-basements, which brings the total to approximately 102 stories tall.

The lobby is a beautiful entrance of grey marble from various places in Europe, stainless steel, and glass. It features an exhibit of "The Eight Wonders of the World", opened in 1963. These eight illuminated paintings show the Seven Ancient Wonders, with the Eighth being the Empire State Building. At the rear of the lobby is a black granite wall with an image of the building inlaid in aluminum, superimposed over a map of New York state. In front of it is a heavy information desk.

Admission is charged for visitors to go to the observatory on the 86th floor, and tickets are available for a few dollars at the desk in the lobby. The observatory itself has a glass-enclosed area that is temperature controlled, as well as an outdoor promenade which goes around all four sides of the building. From this altitude, when the sky is clear, visitors can see close to 40 miles in the distance.


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Lilith Graves Kevin Curtis

"This is so Sleepless in Seattle," Lilith mutters to herself as she steps off of the elevator that leads to the observatory. "You are certain he comes here every year on June sixth?" Frowning, she holds up the bag in her hand. She honestly hasn't looked in it, just took the ghost's word that it was something the man was looking for.
It's often better to not think about things too much during the times she's forced to help them.
"It's been twenty years," she murmurs. "How do you know he'll be there?"
He's always here on June sixth. I watch him every year.
"So you'll recognize him?"
Lilith feels like a crazy person, talking to this ghost as soon as she steps off the elevator, but it can't be helped. At least she's started carrying a blue tooth earpiece with her, no matter how douchey it makes her look.

Kevin likes the Empire State Building. He doesn't get up here often enough, but there is something soothing and pleasant about being so high up and looking out across the vastness of the City. Up here, the people are small, and the world seems far away. The world along with its pressures and stresses. He watches the sun set over the city and night's approach and feels a weight lifting for his shoulders. It won't last long, so he treasures it while he can.

Kevin doesn't appear to pay much attention to the people coming and going this time in the evening. His cop instincts are always on, however. He knows that the teenage couple talking low with their arms around each other are plotting on finding a place to screw, he knows the young man with the camera has been on and off the phone, negotiating for the sale of other pictures he's taken. Even up here the City moves and lives.

He knows that the woman who just stepped off the elevator is familiar to him, and he turns to watch her progress, waiting until she notices him - if she notices him - to give her a nod and a half-smile.

"I don't see him," Lilith murmurs. The hour is early yet, but she DOES have a life, and she really doesn't want to spend all night up on the observation deck, waiting for some old guy to retrieve his bowling bag. She supposes she could just leave it there, but then she can't ensure that the ghost in question will move on, and won't come back to haunt her another day.
Turning left off the elevator, she catches sight of the detective and curses. She still has the man's card, but Mandy has proven quite elusive. She's seen the girl around, but talking to her? Fat chance of that happening. It's hard to talk to a ghost that's having difficulties believing that they ARE dead let alone try to get information from them.
Offering a small wave in return, she figures 'what the hell' and goes over to ask if he's seen the man in question.
"I don't suppose you've noticed an older gentleman wandering around? Mid fifties, maybe? Bald up top, a bit of a toupee…"
It's black and it looks awful on him. He's not got a wedding band either.
"Black toupee, no wedding band…"

"Inquiring for a friend, or off the clock?" Kevin asks with a curious tilt of his head. He looks around, though he's hardly capable of seeing ghosts. A shake of his head is given, "Not so far, no, but I haven't been here that long."

Currently, he's not asking about Mandy or the lack of contact. Either Graves has been in touch with the ghost and doesn't feel like talking, or she hasn't. Kevin has another contact in that area - sort of - and a favor that he's called in. A clairvoyant profiler isn't the same as a necromancer, but if it gets the job done, he's not going to argue it.

Shifting her gaze to the spectre, she coughs gently to clear her throat. "I wouldn't call it a FRIEND per se, but an acquaintance, yes. Need to make a delivery." Because Lilith really wouldn't be caught dead (pun not intended) wandering the city carrying an old, beat up bowling bag with her, filled with God only knows what.
"Speaking of, I haven't heard from our friend in the alley." Not that she's been trying overly much with the girl either. She should, she knows, but she'd rather the girl go through her death orientation, or whatever it is, before she attempts to talk to her again.

Holding his hands up as if to ward off blows, Kevin flashes her a boyish grin. "I wasn't asking. No pressure here. I figure I'd have heard from you if you had." He figured no such thing, but he says it anyway.

The former cop shoves his hands in his pockets, and rocks on his heels. It's a youthful, boyish gesture that makes him look younger and more relaxed. Looking back and forth again, he asks, "What's the guy we're looking for look like again?"

He's cute.
Lilith rolls her eyes at the ghost, and has to hide a laugh. At least this one is far nicer than Gilbert. Turning to look over her shoulder, as though the thought of him is going to make the annoying one appear.
"I know you weren't. I just figured you're here, I'm here, isn't any harm in updating." Shrugging, she glances around again.
She can almost feel Esther's hands pushing her toward Kevin, and she huffles. "Balding, bad black toupee, no wedding band. About…" Lilith glances at the ghost to watch where the had goes. "Five six? Five seven?" Pause. "Slightly chubby."

"He shouldn't be too hard to miss in this crowd," Kevin says with a wry smile. It's a cool sixty-seven in New York tonight, and a few degrees colder than that with the temperature dropping. Not many are braving the observatory tonight, and the crowd is thinner than what would be typical on a warmer, balmier early summer night.

He looks around again, and then gives a nod of his head off to the side. "Want me to take a jog around the whole observatory and make sure he's not hiding in some little corner we can't see?"

Lilith blinks at the detective, then laughs with a slight shake of her head. "There's no need to go out of your way. We can all take a walk around. If he comes to this side, Esther will let me know."
That should appease the ghost. She's making nice with the 'cute' man.
"Though, maybe if you don't mind carrying the bag for a while? I've carried it up eighty-six floors, and my arm is getting tired."

"My pleasure," Kevin grins, holding his hand out to take the bag. It's really not a problem, and he can't imagine what the ghost thinks giving Toupee Guy a bowling bag will achieve, but he's not the medium and it's not his haunting.

Thank God. Kevin is reasonably certain he would go insane if he saw and talked to ghosts every day on top of what his current line of work throws at him.

"Let's take a stroll, then."

If Kevin were remotely aware of how many ghosts haunt a place like the Empire State Building, he might just jump off. Lilith has considered it a time or two when she's been up here. There are too many damned spooks in the city.
Once he takes the bag, she rolls her shoulders back and then twists her head to each side to alleviate the pain it's been to carry that bag all the way here. "Thanks."
Glancing at Esther, she says, "You stay here. If you see Bernard, pop over and find us."

Kevin looks toward the ghost he can't see and politely nods his head. Shifting the bag from his left hand to his right, he falls into step beside Lilith. He taps his ear to indicate her bluetooth. "Good idea. Looks like you have a reason to be holding one side of a conversation."

"Beats holding up my cell every damned time," Lilith says, walking beside him. She still feels like a moron for wearing it, but at least it keeps people from staring at her like she's crazy. Since Gilbert couldn't shut his big damned mouth, she's been running errands after work as much as possible. Only the more she does, the more they bother her.
Lilith determines to ignore them from now on as much as she can.
"Have you heard any more about the case? She seemed adamant that it wasn't her boyfriend, but the last I read he was a suspect. Is this one of those media blackout things now?"

Considering that he's working the case, Kevin has heard plenty about the case. Mostly frustrating dead ends that have him drinking a bottle of beer in his boxers with the box fan propped in the window while scribbling on the whiteboard he picked up at an office closing sale for cheap. He makes more with the Priory than he did as a cop or on his own, but he still lives modestly. You never know when fate my slap you in the face … or screw you up the ass without lube.

"Media blackout," Kevin says with a shrug of his shoulders, because that much is true. "But. Wasn't her boyfriend."

Things are touch and go with the Priory and a lot of their operations involve gut instinct and feeling people out. Sometimes you have to make a call and decide who to bring in and how much to bring them in on. Sometimes the call is wrong, too.

Lilith is an unknown. A celebrity and a necromancer, but doesn't mean she's trustworthy or able to handle the big picture. "The police are persuing that avenue, but my firm isn't." They know beter.

Lilith glances at him, then nods. The police obviously still have reason to think it was the boyfriend, but she lost faith in the police long ago. Too many bungled cases that she's heard the spirits complaining about.
"I mean, it's good to know. Something positive that I can bring back to our… friend if I happen to run into her again."
Tossing a glance over her shoulder to see if Esther is within hearing range, or following at all, she laughs. "You know, they keep pointing out how cute you are. You must be sending out one hell of a vibe."

"I don't even want to imagine what that's like," Kevin shakes his head with a long suffering and sympathetic sigh. "For you, or for them." He hopes like hell that when he dies that that will be that and he won't be hanging around due to some unfinished business. Life is over, sayonara, ciao, buh-bye now.

The detective looks around before he can stop himself, realizing she's speaking of the ghosts. "They do?" Surprise in his voice, and he shyly rakes his hand through his hair. There may be a hint of color in his cheeks and to his ears as he looks away for a moment. "I can honestly say I've never been complimented by them before."


"That I know of."

It's fun, Lilith realizes, to tease the hell out of the detective.
"I'm sure you have. You've just not HEARD them." Winking at him quickly, she turns to face ahead again, looking for the man in question.
"It sucks," she answers honestly. "It's not like I can just turn them off and will them away." Slowly, she points out a woman by one of the viewscopes. "See that woman? Three steps to her left, there's a young man and a little boy." Turning again, she exhales a sigh. "That man has an old woman watching over him. Likely his mother, waiting until he's settled down and given her a grandchild." It's a tad creepy to be pointing these things out, and these are the types that she doesn't MIND helping. Simply because they're not down her throat begging for help. They're actually the lost souls that need it.
"They're not wrong though. You've got this ruggedness about you."

"Is that where we get into the conversation about ghosts peeping in the shower?" Kevin teases. He ruffles the hair at the back of his head and hopes like hell that the color filling his cheeks isn't noticeable to the woman. That question brings up thoughts, and things that he's done in the shower - both alone and with company - and he doesn't want to think about some sort of pervy peeping Tom of a ghost watching him.

"Ruggedness. Isn't that just another way of saying 'He doesn't look like a caveman when he doesn't shave'?" Kevin asks. He slides her a smile. "Thank you, though."


"That was a compliment?"

"They do it. That is the one place where I can honestly say I pretend not to notice them at all." Lilith did make that mistake once in high school. A teen who'd died possibly fifty years before she was even born, had a nasty habit of being a peeping Tom, and she yelled at him. Which meant he realized she could see him. Then he wouldn't leave her alone.
"It's more than that. You look outdoorsy. Comfortable outside. My guess is you used to enjoy camping when you were younger."
Another laugh escapes, and she smiles at him. "Yes, detective. It was a compliment."

"I can't blame you for that. The bathroom is a sacred place. It's sanctity should be respected by all. Roommates, dogs, cats, long dead Aunt Myrtle and her beard."

Kevin gives his head a tilt and considers. "Outdoorsy?" He nods and rolls his shoulders. "I do like the outdoors, which is weird for growing up in the city. I was a Boy Scout though, and did a lot of camping in high school." Getting out of the city is a good change, and lets him have some down time. Kind of like coming up to the top of the Empire State Building. For some city dwellers, the lack of hustle and bustle would make them crazy. Kevin just uses it to regroup.

He gives a low whistle. "Been a long time since I've gone though. Work keeps me pretty busy here in the city."

"It really is."
Lilith is uncertain why he feels so comfortable making fun of the ghosts, but for some reason it's not as unsettling as the hecklers she gets at her shows. Maybe it's because he actually believes her? That could be it, though she's not entirely positive that's what it is.
"Good guess on my part." That's part of the 'job' though. Knowing how to read people with a quick glimpse, in order to try and make them talk more and give her something to work with on the show.
"You aren't a werewolf are you?" Her voice is very low, and as there aren't THAT many people out on the observation deck at the moment she's not overheard (or if she is, no one seems to think anything of it).

Kevin blinks at her and lifts a brow. "No, I'm not a werewolf." He answers it honestly, and there's no mocking laughter or disbelief in his voice. He's surprised that she asked so seriously, but then again, maybe ghosts have shared a lot with her. "I might know a few, but I'm not in that club."

What club is he in? Human. All the way. No wolf, no vamp, no psychic powers, no magic skill. Just a plain old human guy who got mixed up in all the weird ass supernatural shit.

"Last guy I knew that liked camping was a werewolf." Lilith is a bit blase about it, yes. Much as she'd like to do away with the supernatural world around her, it's there. Besides, there have been werewolf ghosts in the past, which is just REALLY confusing come full moon. Seeing a gigantic wolf running around, freaking out, and then realizing that it's a spectre?
It's bad for her health.

"So one guy who likes camping is a werewolf and that makes us all werewolves?" Kevin asks with a boyish, easygoing to smile to show that he's not offended and he's teasing.


"If I tell you I don't like garlic, are you going to ask me if I'm a vampire?" All right, he knows that's one false myth, though it was one he learned in the field, on his first encounter to meet a vampire, and Ashcroft actually had a good laugh at his expense.

He blinks and frowns into the crowd, "Over there," a small point is given. "Is that our bad toupee guy?"

"Not really, but it never hurts to know who I'm dealing with." Lilith winks at him, continuing walking as he keeps teasing her.
"I could tell if you were or not," she says, keeping her voice quiet. "They have a very distinct presence, and beyond that their souls are tainted." Lilith isn't the BEST at describing it, but that's what it is. She can detect a taint in them. It's not like she can feel the souls of a living, breathing human, but vampires are entirely different to her.
Nearing the crowd has her shutting down that type of conversation. "It might be. Esther?"
The spirit of the woman pops up right in front of Lilith, and it's a damned good thing she's not carrying the bag. It would've gone flying. "JESUS, don't do that!"
What? Appear? It's what I do. Now go on there and give that bag to Bernard!

"I assume our friend … called back?" Kevin asks. He almost, almost wishes he could see ghosts, but it's short lived. He's much happier in his happy little world where he doesn't.

Hefting the bag a little, he continues, "Should I make a delivery? Or do you have to do it?"

"Yes. Just surprised me a little."
Lilith HATES this part. She really does. "Come with me, just play along?" The easiest way she can do this is to lie. She really doesn't want to explain how she got the bag.
Pinching each cheek to make herself not look quite so pale, she grabs Kevin's hand and marches toward the man. She pulls her phone out with her other hand, and glances down as though looking at a picture.
"Look, honey, that must be him. He's older, but don't you think it looks like him?"

Playing along is one thing that Kevin is good at. He follows obediently along and leans in to take a closer look at the non-existent picture on her telephone. "I think that could be him. A little bit of … muscle, but yeah. Looks like him." Where muscle equals body fat, though it's an assumption that the man wasn't always overweight and it's better than pointing out the very bad wig.

"Worse that can happen, we ask and we're wrong."

Lilith breathes a sigh of relief when the detective plays along with her. Giving his hand a squeeze of thanks, she smiles, and continues to lead her way to the man with the bad wig.
"Excuse me," she says, keeping that smile firmly in place though the very last thing she wants to be doing is smiling. Her only hope is that he doesn't watch the show. "But are you Bernard Jones?"
Thank goodness Esther is right there giving her the name in an excited, and giddy voice.
The man turns, bad toupee skewed to the left, a wilted bouquet of blue gerber daisies in his hands.
Lilith ALMOST feels bad for him.
"Er… I am, but who might you two be?"
"Lil," she offers, releasing Kevin's hand and holding hers out to the older gentleman. "We just bought a beautiful little home out in Queens, and were doing some renovations. We found something that might belong to you, and the lady from next door said she grew up with your old sweetheart. It was a really touching story, she told us, about how Esther went missing, but that you come up here every year on your anniversary to wait for her."

Kevin realizes he should have asked for the story before being face-to-face with Bernard. The man looks sad enough as it is, and Kevin does feel sorry for him, especially after hearing Lilith's recap. However, Kevin can keep a straight face, and gives no indication that this is the first time he's hearing this.

"It's a romantic story, and full of so much love. The sort a lot of couples hope to find and follow." He looks over at Lilith and gives her a fond, affectionate smile; maybe he's a little too good at playing along. He says nothing, just hopes the look speaks for itself.

The fond, affectionate smile from the detective is almost enough to throw Lilith. She was expecting him to play along, but not THAT well perhaps.
Bernard reaches up to fix his toupee, and looks down at the daisies in his hands. "You've… you've heard from Esther?"
"I…" Lilith wants to keep up the charade, but she's faltering. Even she has her weak moments where she feels sorry for people. "In a way, yes. As I said, we bought her parents old house, and we found this." Nudging Kevin, she means for him to hand over the bowling bag.
Tell him that I'm sorry I never came up here that night. Tell him I'm happy he married and had children.
Lilith wants to KILL Esther at this point.
"I'm sure she's sorry that she never made it the night you were waiting for her. Wherever she is."
Bernard looks at the bowling bag, and then blinks curiously at Lilith and Kevin. "I haven't seen that in… years. I can't believe she kept it." Reaching for the bag, he shoves the wilted flowers at Kevin.

Kevin blinks at the man, but takes the flowers in exchange for the bowling ball case. He can't hear Esther, which is probably a good thing at this point. He hasn't a clue what's in the bag, and is pretty much just here … because he chose not to leave and he's curious.

"She never looked inside it, I'd wager. I asked her to hold it for me when I was sent to 'nam." Bernard looks like he's about to tear up, but he carefully opens the bag. Inside are a few scrapbooks, which he opens up and flips through. There's a picture of a young man and Esther at a soda shop.
It's not until he pulls the small box out that Lilith nearly loses it. She doesn't even have to know what's inside it to know that Esther has a good inkling of what it is.
He was going to… but then I… Esther starts to cry, which just makes the entire situation worse for Lilith.
"You were going to propose," she says quietly, offering a sad smile to the man. Reaching for his hand, she holds the ring box closed and whispers, "Esther didn't leave you, Bernard. She didn't run off. She left home to become a nurse, and her unit went missing overseas. She was sent back as a Jane Doe. She wanted very much to marry you, and she's happy that you went on with your life after she was gone."
Realizing what she's just said, Lilith takes a step back and clears her throat. "I'm sorry."

Kevin's first thought is Oh, shit. His heart seizes when he sees the man remove the small jewelry box and doesn't need to be a medium or a clairvoyant or anything else to know where this is going. He really doesn't want to hang around for it, but he's stuck now.

Not seeing or hearing Esther at this point is probably a good thing. He can see how it's all affecting Bernard and Lilith, and he just acts. Doesn't think. Just acts.

One arm is wrapped around Lilith's shoulder in support and the free hand reaches out to grasp Bernard by the lower arm. "This can't be easy, and I know it's hard to believe, but Lil - " He still uses the abbreviated name she gave "- has a special gift. Sometimes, our loved ones, they stay, keep an eye on us and try to reach out. Esther found Lil, and she wanted you to have that, and to know that she loves you, she's proud of you, she's happy for you, and she wants you to find peace."

It's the cop instincts kicking in, but he thinks that he's reading Bernard right. Anyman who waits year after year for his first love, has a lot of hope in his heart, and probably a belief in those things just a little bit intangible.

There's a bit of a tensing when the arm is wrapped around her. Only because Lilith wasn't expecting it, and she's never really been emotional like THIS when dealing with someone, and their ghost follower. She can play up being emotional, but she's honestly just lost herself and trying desperately to hold back the tears. Watching Kevin grasp Bernard by the arm, and talk about what she can do just makes it worse.
She ACTUALLY starts to cry.
Which sets Bernard off as well.
"You saw my Esther? You can see her? She went to war? The silly girl. I'd have come back to her."
I see a door. Is that for me? Esther moves toward it, and opens the door. Thank you.
"She just… she's at peace now. She wanted to see you… one more time. To let you know that she never forgot you."

Kevin has said all that he thinks can be said, better to be strong and silent than say something to screw things up. However, when both Lilith and Bernard start to cry, he sighs. He can feel the weight of the moment, the heaviness of it all, but he has trained himself to react as little as possible in these situations. Having someone be the stalwart one stops things from spiraling out of control.

He absently rubs Lilith's shoulder, it's more a habitual response of comfort than anything else, and he reaches out to give Bernard's shoulder a squeeze as well. "She's happy. She's at peace, and that's what she wants for you."

Lilith can't explain why she's absolutely lost it. If she did this on television, they'd cut to commercial. There's no cutting to commercial here in the real world, and she's not very good at the whole setting-things-to-rights for the spirits. Not that she likes to see them suffer, it's just not something she's bothered with much.
Allowing a deep breath to escape, she leans back into the rub and digs in her purse for a small packet of tissue. Handing one to Bernard, she takes one herself and dabs at her eyes. "You are a very sweet man, Bernard, with quite a bit of love in his heart. Esther was very lucky to have had you in her life, even if it was for far too short a time." Reaching forward, she squeezes the man's hand again and smiles. "I hope that some day, I'm as lucky as she was."
Bernard looks at the young couple before him, and gives Lilith's hand a squeeze in return. "I can see your young man feels pretty deeply for you, my dear." He regards them for a moment, letting the last few silent tears run down his cheek. Wiping them away with the tissue, he holds the small box out to Kevin. "Esther would have wanted a young couple like yourselves to be able to enjoy this. I know she would. That woman was all heart."
It takes ALL of Lilith's willpower not to lose it again. "We couldn't."

One day I am going to ignore that little voice that tells me that I want to be out and about, and not in my apartment with a cold beer. If he'd ignored it tonight, he wouldn't be here right now, with a teary-eyed medium in one arm and a stranger whom he doesn't know trying to hand him what has to be considered an heirloom engagement ring in this day and age. It probably doesn't help matters that he's been unconsciously stroking Lilith's shoulder and back the entire time she was drying her eyes, and that he's played the 'caring boyfriend' a little too well.

He imagines that his calm facade is slipping as he holds up a hand to refuse the ring. "No, really, we … we really couldn't. That's yours, it'a family heirloom."

"I'm not taking no for an answer," Bernard says again, giving the box a squeeze. "Really. It's something Esther and I would both agree on, and I can't bring it home to my wife."
Lilith is about to argue again, but it the snarky part of her has completely disappeared. "Thank you," she says quietly. "How about we hold onto it for you until you decide if you'd like it back, or you'd like it for your children or grandchildren?" Pulling out a business card from her purse, she exhales a breath and adds, "You can reach me at this number any time. All you have to do is tell me that you want it back, or that you've put it in your will, and I'll make sure that you or your lawyers get it?"
It's a compromise, she knows, but hopefully one he'll think about more when he's not so emotional.
Rather than give the ring to Lilith, he holds it to Kevin again. "You might not be ready to give it to your young lady yet, but some day you will be. Keep it."

Arguing will be pointless, Kevin can see that now. He, however, agrees with Lilith's idea, but isn't going to say it again. With a long-suffering sigh, he nods and takes the ring box. "Thank you, Bernard."

He gives the necromancer's shoulder another squeeze, this one a quiet warning that he hopes she understands. Kevin has no intention of keeping the ring (obviously) but there are ways to return it later, or to send Bernard a letter reiterating what Lilith said. Kevin has a name and face, possibly a location from where Lilith picked up the bag, and with Priory resources, delivering a letter with both his and Lilithi's business cards shouldn't be a problem.

Kevin slides the ring box into the inside pocket of his jacket and gives the man a small, wistful smile. "I'm just glad we could help you and Esther."

Lilith just glances over her shoulder and smiles. Obviously the detective got that it would be pointless to argue with the distraught man, but he thinks similarly to what she does. The ring belongs with this man. Esther didn't go through everything simply to give the man some photo books. She wanted him to have closure, and right now, getting rid of something he's been holding onto for so long is definitely closure.
"Thank you, both of you. It's been a long time, and I'd always hoped that some way she'd find me again." Bernard reaches for the wilted blue gerbera daisies and smiles at them lovingly. "You two have a good evening."

"You too, Bernard," Kevin nods to the man as he takes back the flowers. He waits until the man is a good distance away and looks over at Lilith, patting the ring in his pocket. "I figure you have a little background on him and my firm can find him. I'll send him a letter with our contact information and reiterate what you said."


"You do this often?"

Nodding, she exhales a sigh. "Esther wanted him to have that bag. I feel bad about him giving you the ring. I'm sorry I pulled you into that." If Lilith had any idea as to how emotional that was going to make her, she'd have just asked Kevin to wait for her, rather than make him come with her.
"I… really don't. To be honest, I avoid it as much as possible. But sometimes, there's cases like Esther's, where I just feel so bad for the other person that I can't NOT do it." Then there's people like Gilbert, who she hopes she never sees again.
"That man came back from the war, expecting her to be waiting for him. He waited for her every year since, even though he married and had children." She frowns. "I had to do this for HIM." Not for Esther. "To prevent HIM from becoming a lost soul, and wandering around waiting for her."

"I'm sure he'll want it back once he's had to think about it," Kevin says, although he's not sure of such a thing at all. "I feel bad that he felt the need to give it to us because we're both too good of actors."


"No offense." Kevin looks skyward and hopes that doesn't count as eating his foot. He doesn't want to offend the woman. Especially now that he's seen her in action and is pretty convinced that she's the real deal.

He gives his shoulders a roll, and realizing his arm is still around her shoulder, slowly withdraws it.

"That was pretty intense. That's … I've never been the hopeless soulmate romantic type, but it's times like this that you really do hope that you can find a love that strong and intense someday." Well, Kevin would go for a second or third date, but women tend to not like it when you repeatedly disappear on them for 'work.'

"I hope so." If not, Lilith will write a letter to his lawyers with the entire story, and leave the ring for his children. It may give them some insight as to who their father was.
She wishes someone would give her insight as to who and what HER father was or is.
"None taken," she replies with a small laugh. "You must've had quite a bit of practice consoling people as a detective. You did a very good job of it when I couldn't."
Lilith is not used to things being so intense. She's used to dealing with stupid ghosts, and people who just want to hear that their loved one has crossed over and wishes well for all of them. It's why she's in show biz and not helping spirits full time.

"Yeah, unfortunately." Kevin rakes his hands through his hair, mussing it up even more than the altitude wind has done. He shoves his hands in his pockets. "It's part of the job, and I've done it way more than I like."

Looking over at the woman again, Kevin studies her for a long moment, and then asks quietly, with a dip of his head, "You sure you're okay?"

"I'll be fine," Lilith replies quickly. It's been YEARS since she's actually cried, and she's never done it in public. Not since the night her adoptive parents died. It brings back a lot of bad memories, but nothing she wants to talk about with the detective.
"Look, I'm fairly certain I gave you my card the night we met near the theater, but take this one." The card she'd only recently put back in her purse is held out to him. "For the letter you're intending on writing to Bernard. You can call me to get the rest of the information Esther gave me."

The detective doesn't need to be told when to back down and let it go. If it's a situation where doing so won't harm anything or impede a case, like now, he does it. The necromancer doesn't want to go over things or talk about, and Kevin is fine with that. He did have to ask, however. "Good, had to ask," is all he says.

"I do have it still, but this one can go to Bernard." Kevin takes the card from her and tucks it into his inner pocket as well, right next to the ring box. "I'll call you, and mail you a copy of the letter as well."

"Well," Kevin says after a moment. "This what not at all how I planned on spending the night."

"I know."
Lilith has dealt with death for a good portion of her life. When people are upset, it's human nature to ask if they're okay, if they'll be able to handle it, if they're sure they're fine. She knows.
"Thank you." There's a pause, as if she's considering something. Exhaling slowly, she looks at him. "Can you do me one favor though? Can you send me a picture of the ring as well? Just to ensure that I don't forget to do something with it to help Bernard or his family in the future."
A sardonic laugh rings out, and she glances skyward. "Me either, honestly."

"I'll do that," Kevin agrees with a nod of his head. "I'll have it put into the office safe, but I'll make certain that everyone knows it's fine for you to retrieve it for Bernard or his family." He's not even worried about how he'll explain it all. They deal with a hell of lot of stranger things every day. An engagement ring intended for a dead woman, being held for when the original owner changes his mind is nothing. It'll be harder to explain how he's met with Graves now and hasn't lured her into helping with the case more.

Maybe it's time we did, but I really need to talk to Ashcroft and Blackwell first. That's not a call Kevin is going to make on his own.

"If you're heading out, I'll ride down with you and see you to your car or a cab?"

"Yes, sure." Lilith generally would've said no. That she can make it downstairs fine on her own. Right now though, she's well aware that having someone who's been through this with her in the elevator with her on the way down, will keep her from losing it again.
Walking toward the elevator in silence, she looks around. There are plenty of spirits milling about up here still, but none seem to want to bother her. Lilith is extremely grateful for that, because she's not certain she could handle another one asking for a favor right now. She supposes that means her light has dimmed a little from the extreme emotional energy she let loose.
More likely, it's just that none have noticed her.
"I need you to promise me one more thing."

The detective looks around as well, though he knows he's not seeing anything that Lilith might be seeing. It's more casual curiosity and perhaps a sense of camaraderie. The experience with Bernard (and Esther) is going to stick with him for a good long while.

Pausing a few feet from the elevator, Kevin stops and looks at the woman. "What would that be?"

He didn't say he would promise it, but he will at least find out what it yes. Yes, he's spent too much time in the supe world to a) blindly promise anything and b) invite strangers into his home.

"If Bernard is absolutely adamant that you keep the ring, keep it."
Lilith turns to look at the detective and frowns a little. "I don't want him coming back to haunt me because you tried to get rid of it when he really wanted you to have it."
It's not as though Bernard is a young man. He had to have been in his sixties.
"Save it for your girlfriend, or give it to your wife."

For a moment, Kevin stares at her. He bites the inside of his jaw, and then eventually gives a very slow nod of his head. "Assuming that I'll have a girlfriend or wife to give it to, I promise to do so." There's no need to go into the logistics of it, how his work really is a suck on relationships and how he has a (bad) habit of focusing his attention and pursuits on women who are way, way out of his league or completely wrong for him.

"I wouldn't want Bernard to be upset with either one of us, so if he really doesn't want it back, I'll keep it … if I have someone to give it to."

"Thank you."
Lilith really wants Bernard to pass peacefully in his sleep, with no unfinished business, so that he can meet up with Esther on the other side. It's foolish. Silly even. But any man that would hold onto his first love for so long deserves to have a happy afterlife.
"Now let's get downstairs before these elevators get too busy and we're squished against the wall."

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