2008-01-06: A Lot More Complicated


Kory_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif Portia_icon.gif

and Leslie_icon.gif this time he goes by "Dusk".

Summary: A dinner date is cut short by an uncharacteristic bout of fatigue.

Date It Happened: January 6, 2008

A Lot More Complicated

Tabla, Upper East Side

Around lunchtime, Kory sent a text to Randall. The gist of it was: 'Chrises home. Triple OT paid. Free as a bird. Swanky dinner, my treat?' Along with the suggestion he meet her at her place, because every time they try to meet up any other way, something goes wackily wrong…but it's hard to get that across in 160 characters, especially when one isn't sure one's boyfriend has unlimited text messaging.

He does not, as it happens. The reply is equally constrained, amounting to: 'Shirt and tie dressy enough? Insist on Something Different after.' At least Randall picks up on the meet-at-her-place part correctly, running quickly so as to minimize the fare run-up of the cab he's got waiting by the curb.

Kory confirms shirt-and-tie dressy is appropriate, and is likewise in her fancies when he knocks. She went for the little red dress at Christmas, so this time it's a shimmery little blue dress that goes iridescent when the light hits it. The shoes match. The stockings are sheer black with seams up the back, and she's wrapped in a thick shawl of some manner of fun fur. Chris Tango did her hair again, and it's a confection of curls, upswept and dangling around her ears. "Wow," she tells Randall, as she pulls the door shut behind her. "You clean up nice."

"Yeah, and you look good in that color," says Randall, "you should try it more often. Only not at the Lair." The D&D club doesn't need any more excuses to roll critical fumbles in their pants. "Sorry about the wait— had to drop back by my place first. So you've got a place in mind, or what?"

"Thank you," Kory says, still a bit unused to a genuine, honest compliment. She's learning quickly, though. She beams at the even bigger compliment of suggesting she doesn't wear anything like this to the Lair. "Only for you," she promises, winking as she lets him hand her into the taxi. "Uh-huh. We've got reservations." And plenty of time because she made the reservations late enough that they wouldn't miss them if the wacky mishap still found them.

Randall grins. "Good thinking— more of these high-end places seem to go over the one-hour limit than I can keep count of." He spends most of the ride glancing down at his tie, fiddling at it in a doomed effort to get it to stop looking an inch too short.

Kory reaches up, and adjusts the tie with a few quick motions, to get Randall to quit fiddling. "How'd your day go today?" she asks, settling her hands back in her lap as if nothing had happened. "You still haven't gotten any headaches, have you -- from the night we were at Lucky Joe's?" The cab pulls up, and she pays, tipping a teense more than modestly. Unfortunately -- or perhaps, fortunately — the driver is not Mohinder Suresh.

Randall smiles for a moment, moving his hands out of the way. "I never got any in the first place," he says, scratching his head. "It's always pretty faint when it happens, if that's what you meant— and I didn't pick up on any of it that night in any case. Except you, of course."

"You know I light up for you already," Kory teases affectionately as a waiter who's introduced himself as 'Gerald' shows them to a cozy candlelit table in a corner. "So I guess you don't see it like I imagine you do. What does it look like?" There's soft music — enough that intimate conversation is possible, but enough to make a nice illusion that each table is its own little island, with no cacophonic conversational overlap.

Or, from another point of view, it's not an illusion after all. Keeping people separate socially is keeping them apart really; Randall would be discomfited if not for the one familiar face. "Usually little threads of color," he explains, "depends what's going on. If a typical person is just pushing themselves really hard, there's more red and blue than usual."

"Ah!" Kory nods, bright-eyed, as she settles into her chair. "That explains it. I thought sure you saw auras around us or something like that. I figured if you did, given the company that night, you might've been enduring more than you were able to keep up with. I'm glad that isn't the case. Migraines are no fun." This from experience, but hers subsided after sleeping a nearly unprecedented six hours last night…and she's more interested in Randall's gift since he knows a bit about hers already.

If someone were closed-captioning this dinner, then Randall's expression would merit a "…" at this point. "Is there something specific I should know about those two?" he asks, keeping his voice low just in case the musical dampening isn't as reliable as it seems. Peter was in the bookstore that one time when some of the shelves got knocked around, but then so were several other people. Bekah he's seen more often, but just in her role as a doctor.

"One of those two," Kory confirms, lacing her fingers and resting her chin on them. "He's…shall we say … multitalented." She sits back up and reaches for her menu at this point. "And a good friend," she adds, before opening it to peruse the selections. "Ooo — bruschetta!"

Randall arches a brow. "He is? According to the theory, that's possible, but pretty rare— even single abilities can't be very common, otherwise someone or other would have drawn attention by now." Then he rubs his eyes, as if he does have a headache after all. "But why'd he look like he was sitting at baseline, then? Maybe an interference pattern…" He trails off, lost in thought as he picks up his own menu. "Wait, what's this one?" he asks, tipping it so Kory can see.

Kory watches him ramble for a moment, charmed. Yes, she thinks it's cute that he thinks out loud and talks himself in pensive circles. "Clams in hot sauce," Kory tells him. "It's probably because he only has one on. The rest he calls into play as situations warrant, I expect."

What? She actually followed all that. Rationally, he knows she should be able to, but emotionally… He's been hoping. And waiting. To be able to actually have conversations like this. "That does seem likely. And I'm up for them if you are." Let's hope the sauce only goes up to, oh, eight at most.

Kory makes a face. "Not if you want lots of long, lingering kisses later," she counters, coyly. "What about this?" She reaches to point his attention to another item on the menu. "Veal medallions in cream tomato sauce with truffles and penne?"

Randall rests his chin in his hands. "You know me," he quips. "That one sounds great— but what do truffles actually taste like? I always think of them as gourmet pig food, for some reason, I think I read something once and it just stuck in my head."

Kory has to stifle the laughter that comes from his definition of truffles. "They're just really spendy, tender mushrooms," she assures him. Gerald comes by to take their drink order. Kory asks for sparkling grape juice. Even though the wine list is impressive, and something in her mien implies she's okay with Randall partaking of something stronger should the mood take him.

Later, at Give 'Em Hell Kid Arcade, Midtown West

Gene is on his way out the door, while Portia is still back at the old-school Donkey Kong game. While she was distracted in saying goodbye, she had a big of a gameover. She glances back to the screen and glares at it, folding her arms over her chest as she looks for something else to do.

It's a night out on the town for Randall and Kory; he's swapped out his usual T-shirt for a proper shirt and tie, though it's loosened up by now. "See what I mean?" he says to her. "Someone went to a lot of trouble building up this collection."

Kory is on Randall's arm, fun-fur shawl over her shimmery iridescent dress. She stops and looks around in abject astonishment. "Wow, they sure did," she agrees. "Is that …it is. It's a first edition Donkey Kong. Old school. Proto-Mario." The girl is a geek, and it shows in the reverence her voice holds speaking of the classic arcade games. "I thought they'd closed all the arcades in New York." She's delighted to be wrong.

Aw. Portia glances up to see the two dressed up for a date and she smiles a little.. and then she realizes exactly who it is. Oh, but they won't recognize her as an invisible figure, just that girl who pops in now and again to the Lair and plays music. Moving out of the way, she watches them, but doesn't quite speak up or anything.

Randall shakes his head. "Coney only got targeted because it's a lot of real estate all at once. Sometimes it pays to be the little fish." He wanders over a little, checking out a cabinet labeled Icebreaker— but oh, there's Music Girl now. "Portia, hi! Guess I shouldn't be surprised running into you here, huh?" The opposite may or may not be different.

Coming out of the rest room is a broody figure. Well, he's dressed a bit too brightly to be properly broody. He has on the colors of a Sbarro uniform under a black canvas duster and fedora decorated in black Sharpie with sigils meant to look mystical -- clearly an attempt at a poor man's Harry Dresden outfit. The nerdboy formerly known as Gareth-- real name Leslie — who is surprised to see Kory and Randall here. He just skulks in a shadow, though, rather than doing anything to draw attention to himself.

"Portia, hi there," Kory tells the musician girl, lifting a hand in greeting. Unlike Lee, she doesn't comment on how late the teen is out, and wouldn't her mother be worried. At least, not tonight she isn't. Tonight, she's leaving all the worries in the backbrain and enjoying the company of the man she walked in with.

"Oh, hi!" Portia isn't quite ready to just run away and hide, especially because that would look guilty, like she'd done something wrong. "It's nice to see you here. Did you just come in to play something?" She gestures to the Donkey Kong game she's standing next to.

Randall hasn't noticed the cosplayer, either, he's looking the wrong way. A good thing, too, otherwise he might be tempted to snark back a bit. "Yeah, something like that. I figured we could use a companion piece for the fancy dinner she talked me into. What about you, just here on your own?" Non-judgmental, just noting the apparent absence of direct peers.

Kory tilts her head. "I don't know if I've still got the reflexes," she says thoughtfully. "I haven't played any of these since I was little." But she glances sidelong to Randall. "I'm game if you are." She goes to find the change machine, sweeping past Whatever He's Calling Himself This Week. He catches a whiff of her perfume, and breathes deeply. *Cha-Ching!* And a ten dollar bill becomes a pile of quarters.

"Yeah. I was looking for somewhere to hang out, but I really didn't find much. Saw the guy with the cool R2 again, though." Portia remarks, looking around. "You guys look really nice." She offers.

"Thanks," replies Randall, nodding to Portia. "And yeah, I remember him— you know what school he's from? Usually you hear that sort of thing from MIT." Or Cal Tech, but he came from the other end of that state.

"Oh, the shy quiet—" Kory begins, about to offer her notion on Gene into the conversation, when she has to suddenly reach one hand to the wall, a dizzy spell making her drop some of the quarters.

Of course, her fanboy rushes to pick them up for her, looking up at her with some concern. His mouth works with the palsy of the socially stunted — his brain's attempt to come up with something cool enough to say out loud thwarted by the fact that she, being a geek female, probably knows where he'd get all his best lines.

"M-maybe we better postpone the gaming, Randall…" she says, apologetically.

"Not sure. He didn't mention it." Portia nods a little. "I'm sure he probably goes to one of those.. he seemed pretty smart. And definitely geeky." She looks back over to Kory, blinking in surprise as she notices the move against the wall and the dropping of the quarters. The girl seems surprised, especially since it was the second person today that she'd see not feeling 'so well'. She moves quickly to go help if she needs to. "Hey, are you okay? You should sit down.."

Randall starts, heading over to catch hold of Kory's other arm. Not only is this a person near to fainting, but it's his girlfriend, and the person who's always peppy and full of jumping beans even after working multiple jobs and staying up half the night. "Yeah, I think you're right. You don't have any allergies, do you? Maybe something at dinner?" It's the one thing that he knows has changed recently.

Kory looks up at Portia, terribly embarrassed. "I'm good. I'm just a little more worn out than I thought." Typical issue for insomniacs, right? She leans into Randall, and shakes her head. "No. Peter and I were just up really late working." She tiptoes up to finish the rest of that statement in a whisper that the beeping and jingling of arcade games should, with any luck, drown out. "I was helping him with his problem. Sylar is a lot more complicated than I expected, and I pushed to my limits, I guess." She blinks as the Dresden wannabe hands her her quarters without a word, then slinks over to play Tron. Kory smiles her thanks, but he's already turned away from her.

"Peter?" Portia hasn't heard about Peter in quite a while, but she guesses it is because she hasn't followed her mother around, invisible, while she's off having secret meetings about stopping evil things from happening. "You mean Peter Petrelli?" The girl's quite familiar with the name, but she doesn't really want to interrupt too much. "I know him. He's.. nice."

Randall blinks once, glancing over at Portia. More circumstantial evidence of the audiokinesis that he suspects she might possess. But his attention remains mostly on Kory. "I had a Sylar brand watch once, years back… lost it over spring break. Is he part of that family?" It's not a common name - and, while it was also floated around in connection with the Virginia Gray case, it's fallen out of the news lately in the absence of new leads.

"Yeah, Peter Petrelli," Kory tells Portia, having had a moment to collect herself. She's still looking a little tired, but not like she's about to tip over again. "Inspired by it, more," Kory says. "You'd have seen him in the pages of 9th Wonders." The Big Bad. The one Hiro took out at Kirby Plaza. Yep. More proof the artist could draw the future.

There's a look between the two of them, and Portia's getting suspicious. She's got the urge to head off, go InvisiGirl and follow them, just because they're talking Peter Petrelli. And if Peter Petrelli's involved, then somehow it's going to be interesting and End-Of-The-World, possibly. She doesn't say anything, for the moment though.

Randall was mostly avoiding 9th Wonders, in case he saw himself in it. Then he did see himself in it, and continued to avoid it, because that weirded even him out. But if this guy is someone who pushes Kory to the edge… then he ought to learn what it's all about. "I'll call another cab, all right? I think we got all the change together, we can use it up next time."

"Okay," Kory says. The fact that she's not resisting his idea to take her home is telling. "Night — um… Gareth," she calls as the trenchcoated Sbarro employee gets out of the Tron game.

"It's Dusk," he tells her, glancing sidelong at her and a longer, darker look at Randall.

"Dusk, then," Kory amends, with a final wave to Portia. She may very well conk out on Randall's shoulder on the way back to her place.

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