2010-02-03: A Kiss Before Living



Date: February 3, 2010


Hallis is talked into admitting what she's really thinking and planning.

"A Kiss Before Living"

Hallis's apartment, Greenwich Village

The day had been long, at least for everyone but Hallis. She had spent most of it waiting on a chair in front of the elevators. Finally her salvation came in the form of one grandmother and one boyfriend. She was released into George's custody for a two day visit to home, against the Doctor's wishes.

The drive home had been silent for Hallis, who seemed quite disjointed and foggy. Assuming it was the medication, Lizette had her driver drop the pair off at their building where Hallis got out immediately, without a word, and headed indoors. The cameras and paparazzi were stopped by the doorman and the last flashes of the congressman and the socialite were of the elevator doors closing on them. As soon as the young socialite set foot through the door, she headed for her bedroom and didn't come out again.

Ah, the apartment. Memories of happier, simpler times— well, as simple as times ever were for the two of them, anyway. George checked up on the place a couple of times while Hallis was AWOL, the last time to clean out a few short-term perishables from the fridge. Thus, it only takes him a minute or so to double-check that everything looks to be in the same place as last time, before he leans up against the wall next to her bedroom door. "Hallie?" he calls out. "You all right in there?"

Hallis has been quite busy while George was double checking everything in the apartment. There's a suitcase on the bed and she's been throwing clothes into it, lots and lots and lots of clothes. When he calls out to her she starts and looks toward the door, then the suitcase. A quite a bit of shuffling can ben heard inside the room while the young woman gasps out, "Yes! I'm — I'm fine! Just…" What is she doing? "Just taking inventory of my shoes!" Perfect. A job that would take at least two days if she did it properly. Should George open the door and come in, Hallis can be seen trying to shove an overstuffed suitcase under the bed… She's obviously trying to hide something.

Of course he does! Two days is all they've got, after all, if he can't figure out how to convince the doctors to believe what his instinct is telling him. He should be able to find a way - his whole day job is basically finding ways to get things done - but still.

Spotting his girl trying to stuff a two-foot-high suitcase under a one-foot-clearance bed, he walks over and rests a hand on her shoulder. "Hey. Hey, you realize you can tell me anything here, right? The more I know, the more I can help you out with—" Well, what is she up to, anyway? Something, obviously - it looks like she's planning to make a run for it, but he waits to hear whatever explanation she can offer.

Spinning around, Hallis gives George a rather tight smile. It's forced, she's trying to appear cheerful and happy, but it's clear that she's not. "Uhm… I'm going to look for King George, he's all alone. He's probably scared. I haven't seen him in over two weeks. What if he's dead because he couldn't find food? What if he ate a rabid squirrel? Squirrels are dangerous! They have cute little tails but they have those big sharp teeth! My dog could DIE George!! He could DIE to a squirrel!!" Yes, she's emphasizing the death part, because she's dead. The dog is dead. She has to find him before she gets redemption or her dog will be doomed to purgatory forever.

As she turns, George slips his arms around Hallis's waist, keeping her close. He has an idea why the doctors were concerned… they're trained to look for normal, which Hallis is not. Never has been. It happens that they're right this time, but he doesn't know that; what she's saying out loud is very much the sort of thing he's come to expect from her. "Oh, I'm sure he's fine… but yeah, you should still try to find him. Tell you what, we'll go back to Rhode Island and check the shelters there, and if he's not there, then we'll put some posters up with his picture and your phone number. Okay? Then we can get a motel room, drive back in the morning."

"Uhm.. I have a ride, my cousin came to see me in the hospital. She's going to drive me to find King George. I thought you'd be working…" Hallis doesn't have a cousin, not unless you count extremely distant relatives that stretch into 4th, 5th, and 6th cousins. It's something George should know by now. She's the only child, of two only chilren, who in turn were also spawned from only children themselves. "We're going to leave in the morning and come back… uhm… that night. But I don't know what to wear, so I was going to uhm…" She glances at the overstuffed suitcase and then back up to him. She's a horrible liar right now. Perhaps it's because her heart just isn't into it. But what would he do if he found out? She would be crushed if he was dead.

And this is also a guy who, oh yeah, has to wade through lies, half-truths, and spins on a fairly regular basis. He totally knows that something's up. "Hallie. Listen." George tilts her chin up with a fingertip so he can look into her eyes. "This is me you're talking to, all right? If that's what you want the vultures to hear, then I'll go along with it… but really, you don't need to hide anything from me, I promise. What's really going on?"

The young woman slumps and sits down on the suitcase, "I'm… I'm dead. I have to do good deeds so I can get into Heaven or else I'll be stuck in purgatory forever." She reaches for his hand and laces her fingers with his, his hand is so warm while hers is so cold. Hers is merely a circulation problem from her hospital diet, but she doesn't know that. All she knows is that she's been cold for a very very long time. "My car got run over by a semi… I slid across the road and I saw this bright light and then all of a sudden I was looking at my car and George and an Angel were beside me." She looks up at her boyfriend, her blue eyes already watery. "I saw the car… and the Angel's hand it went through King George, but he could hold my hand."

Okay, so the doctors were right after all. That changes the nature of the game… now he has to talk her out of it, and then convince them that they were right but they aren't any more. Tall order.

"Well, I don't know what happened," replies George, sitting down on the edge of the mattress. "I believe that you saw whatever you did— maybe your vision was still messed up from the crash. Maybe you ran across someone else with an ability." Unlikely, it would seem, but not impossible. "But— you're not dead, okay? I'm alive, I haven't gone through anything - except being worried when I stopped hearing from you - and I can touch you." He gives her hands a quick squeeze. "So you must be alive, too."

Letting her think on that however she wants, he continues on to the other elephant in the room. "Anyway, whether you believe that or not, what's the deal with the— the big pile of clothes and all?" He almost said 'two weeks worth', but that might mean a different amount for her than it would for him. "This isn't just to go find King, is it?"

Hallis shakes her head and tugs on George's hand as an indication that she'd very much like him to sit with her. "Someone came to visit me in the hospital, I have to go with her to Haiti." Then she reaches into the hospital gown that she's still wearing and produces a slip of paper with a cell phone number on it. "I have to call her as soon as I can so we can go." She hands the slip of paper over to George and looks up into his eyes. "I have to go, George. She came to find me in the hospital."

The young woman smiles as she remembers the other blonde, the one that was so colorful in a world full of soft grey and slate blues. "She was wearing a really cute jacket too. You should have seen it, it was red plaid." Leave it to Hallis to remember the important details.

"Plaid's nice," echoes George, staying close as he peers at the phone number. No, nothing he recognizes. "What's her name? Did she say why she's going, or why she needs you to?" More to the point, how long will she really be gone— but that answer will probably come on its own if the others are given.

The blonde just shakes her head and shrugs, "I don't remember her name, I can't remember if she even told me her name. Just that she was going to help me out of the hospital and that I needed to call her when I got out. She said she was going to bring me clothes… but I like my clothes. Maybe I'm supposed to give clothes away in Haiti? They had an earthquake, you know." Of course George would know, he's probably on a thousand appropriation committees ready to send aide. "People probably need clothes… and shoes. I can't forget my shoes."

It's a strange story, but then all of Hallis's stories are strange. It's part of what draws him to her. That, and the way she— no no no, focus, man, focus. "It must be something special, whatever it is. Anyone can give clothes away— this has to be something that only you can do, if she came looking for you like that."

Well, George wouldn't be who he is if he didn't take risks. "All right, go, do whatever you need to. Just take your phone, stay in touch— if you have to turn it off, then let me know first, all right? I'll make sure they aren't waiting with a butterfly net when you get back."

With a squeal of delight, Hallis throws her arms around George's neck and hugs him tightly. "Oh George! You don't know how much this means to me…" To have him believe in her. Trust her. All those wonderful little things that only he can do to make her feel special. Whether she's dead or not, she begins to dot his face with little kisses of gratitude.

"We need to find George, King George. I can't go without him, but I don't have enough time." Hallis says, the worry filling her face again, but she keeps a strong hold of the man in her arms. As she nestled her head into the crook between his neck and shoulder, she curls against him and sighs. "I need to find him. I haven't seen him since that night. I'm so worried. They wouldn't let me take him and I … They took him away from me. They took everything away, my clothes… I can't remember my purse though. It all happened so fast."

"Did she say to bring him with you? I can look for him here while you're gone." Well, have someone on staff go do so, George was only going to go himself to keep an eye on her. "You just finish getting packed, and then get some rest… sounds like you've got a long day ahead of you tomorrow."

The way they're both wound up, and the time they've been apart? He's totally not going to let her rest any time soon. Who does he think he's fooling here, anyway?

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