2009-12-21: Alone Together in the Dark



Date: December 21, 2009


The new friendship turns a corner when secrets are shared.

"Alone Together in the Dark"

Lower Manhattan

Tonight's forecast: dark.

With Jade showing up mid-afternoon for a shift - with a hot pink scooter and some personal gossip to boot - Randall was able to get away from the store for a bit. Pick up some groceries, an odd bit of dry cleaning: nothing earth-shattering, like some of the thoughts rattling around in the back of his mind. As planned, though, he returns just before closing time to see her off again and settle in to wait for that one familiar face. Pretty, friendly— and with the potential to once again change everything.

Stephanie is a pretty punctual person, really…it comes with the whole geek bit. So she's actually waiting outside from about five minutes before closing. She sees Randall as he returns, and a nervous smile crosses her face. "Hi there."

Ooh, tricky. He trusts Jade, but Stephanie might not, so he wants to keep her at arm's length for now. "Hey, I actually need to run off again, can you go ahead and lock up?" A response is called back - there's a teasing mention of blonde something - then he turns back around and offers a smile of his own. "Hi. Walk with me?" he suggests, gesturing toward a nearby avenue with streetlamps illuminating blank storefronts.

Stephanie considers. It's a street, after closing time, with a strange guy…but then, it's not really THAT late. And maybe she has mace in her purse. She nods, and moves to walk with him towards the street. "Where'r we going?"

"There's a Starbucks, a few blocks down that way," says Randall, "they're open pretty late. Nearest club's a ways further." Which means they'd have a few blocks worth of private conversation available; more, if they decided to stop along the way. "So… you wanted to talk, right? I think we might have the same idea, but I might just be assuming."

She looks to him, and sounds a little hesitant…she's had several hours worth of building up butterflies. "Sure…so, tell me what idea you have. You go first." It seems safer to her, somehow.

After a few more steps, Randall does stop, turning to face her. "I think… what we talked about in the bookstore? I don't think that was the first time you'd heard of some of those things. I think you were more than just freaked out about that video— that you were scared. For someone you know." Which includes his other idea, if a little obliquely.

Stephanie is quiet a long moment, slowing her pace some as she walks. "Maybe." she says, after a moment. "But the problem is, even if I'm worried about it…what is there to do about it? Do you know anyone who can help?"

Randall bites his lip as he continues onward, face falling in and out of shadow as they cover ground. "Not yet, not directly. But apparently there's a friend of a friend of a friend… Hopefully soon, maybe as soon as tomorrow." He reaches a hand out toward hers. "If you are worried… then I'll let you know as soon as I know, okay?"

She listens. She's curious, but at the same time, she seems to sense that she needs to give up a little before pressing for more. "You were right." She says, her voice quiet. "I was scared. For me."

And his eyes go wide. There's believing, there's suspecting… and then there's knowing. It really does change things. "So was I," he whispers.

Her eyes go a little wide too. "You too? What do you do?" she asks, eyes looking up and down as if somehow that would reveal the answer to her.

Randall gestures with his hands. "I see… things. Those lines I was drawing? They're a sort of fuzzy green, like absinthe. I can see emotions, sometimes, yours are mother of pearl." His gaze meets hers, silently: he doesn't echo the question out loud, but it's easy to guess that he's thinking it.

She looks a little puzzled, trying to suss it out. "Like some kind of aura sight?" She asks, trying to understand. "And…I can make people have visions. Like daydreams, but more real. Hallucinations, maybe."

He doesn't answer right away: just stands there quietly, imagining. "I wondered, once, what that would be like. If I could get others to see what I do? But I think they still wouldn't get it. But you… that…"

He trails off, picks up again. "I know someone who can do that, only they are dreams, the person has to be asleep. You can do it while they're awake?" Out of respect for the privacy of others, he doesn't mention that this someone is his ex; all Stephanie would see is that he looks conflicted, all of a sudden.

Stephanie nods. "Yeah, it's sort of like they go into a daydream, except I'm making the daydream. Not that that's gonna help if the government comes looking for me."

Randall shakes his head. "I don't know, it might. If you made them think they've already caught you? But if you didn't see them coming first…" Suddenly, he's moving again, looking ahead in hopes of making out the familiar logo. "C'mon, let's go somewhere where there's people, all right?"

Stephanie nods, feeling a little nervous in the dark and open. She moves along with Randall, putting a little more quickness to her stride as she tries to get into a more populated area with him.

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