Underneath the bushy beard and the hyper-religious jargon, there was something familiar about Comstock. Elizabeth had been too pre-occupied with her torture and impending surgery to dissect the feeling, but now that the leash was in place, she had thoughts to spare. And at that moment, any thought was preferable to the ones concerning her current predicament. Lying naked in the tub full of water, the candles flickering wildly over Comstock's face, she tried to discern whom he reminded her of, and why.
Perhaps if she listened to him speak once more she would figure it out.
"Is it really necessary to watch me?" she asked. "I have the leash on."
"Your leash won't stop you from drowning yourself," Comstock said. "Privacy is a privilege, not a right. It's a privilege that must be earned, my beloved daughter. I look forward to the day when you prove you can be trusted to bathe alone."
She was so close to making the connection that it was driving her mad. Perhaps if she could touch his face, feel what it was shaped like under that beard...
"Do you really expect me to be able to wash my hair while I'm chained up like this?" She waved her arm, and the heavy chain slithered on the ground. "Will you at least help me with the soap?"
He knelt by the tub and lathered soap into her hair with gentle hands. After a moment, he submerged her head under the water to rinse her hair. As she re-emerged, she raised her right hand as high as she could, so that her fingertips brushed his cheek. Comstock rubbed soap over his fingers and then laid hands on Elizabeth. She swallowed as he slicked up her shoulders, her belly, and her breasts.
"That's enough," she said. She wished her voice wasn't so quiet. "That's enough, Father. I can manage the rest on my own."
His hands plunged under the water, massaging her knees and thighs as if he hadn't even heard her. She kicked at him, feebly, and splashed water across his shirt and the floor.
He chuckled. "And I suppose that is why most parents simply join their children in the bath. I would have thought that only infants splashed so much water onto their parents, but I see now that I was wrong. You're lucky that these tubs are big enough for two, my Elizabeth."
He stripped off his clothing and climbed into the bath with her. She caught just a glimpse of the criss-crossing raised white scars on his chest. In the poor lighting, it was a miracle she noticed them at all.
"Where- where did you get those scars?" she asked, swallowing hard.
"They're proof of my heroism at Wounded Knee," Comstock boasted, sinking into the water with her. "I was so focused on fighting the savages that I didn't notice one of the squaws had taken a knife to my chest until after they were all dead."
He forced her legs apart, and Elizabeth thought she might be sick. Her wrists rolled in their shackles, wet skin chafing against hard metal. He couldn't be, he couldn't be, he couldn't be- but she'd seen those same scars before, she'd felt them under her fingers while she pumped life through the heart underneath them, she'd asked about them-
"Booker?" she whispered.
"He's abandoned you, my child, just as I warned you he would." He kissed her cheek.
Elizabeth's legs stopped kicking. She let him take what he wanted, what she'd almost offered to Booker a few times, when they'd been hunkered down to catch their breath in a Vox hideout and he'd been all shirtless and sweaty and stoic and streaked with blood. He'd had the scars on his chest then, too. She'd asked him how he'd gotten them, and he hadn't wanted to talk about it. But never, even in her wildest nightmares, had that scarred chest ever pinned hers down, and never had those hands held her knees apart against her will.
"No, no," she wept. "Booker would never... he would never... Booker wouldn't do that to me! He wouldn't, he wouldn't!"
"And yet..." The lips on her cheek moved to her ear. "I guess you didn't know him as well as you thought, dearest Elizabeth."
She shut her eyes and refused to look at him again. When he stood up, there was more water on the floor than in the tub, and what was left was nearly cold. Elizabeth escaped so far into her thoughts that she was surprised to open her eyes and find herself in her nightgown in her bed. She spent most of the night staring at the ceiling. If Booker became a daughter-raping cult leader in this dimension, did that mean her Booker could just as easily have become one in his dimension? And if her Booker was strong and gentle and concerned about her, could this one also become that way?
The next morning, she accepted Father Comstock's daily invitation to pray with him before breakfast. He rewarded her with a kiss on the forehead and a bounty of fresh fruit on her breakfast plate. They prayed together again that evening, while he secured her shackles to his headboard and kissed over and under her nightgown. Elizabeth closed her eyes and imagined New York on fire.