Date: December 17th, 2009
Gene kindly interrupts his pre-Christmas vacation (and ass-whupping) to fill Lena in on a few details.
On the Phone!
Both Jade and Tiago were out late last night, and now the both of them are sleeping in late like the slobs they are. That they have real beds to sleep in may also have something to do with that. It's a good morning to stay curled up under the blankets, tucked away from the sunny but cold world beyond the walls of their new home. Not Lena, though. She's been up for a little while, fully dressed even, and is currently in the townhouse's kitchen (thank goodness Eric already arranged for the power to be turned on) boiling some water for hot chocolate.
As the kettle heats, the brunette has her phone out, and she's scrolling through saved texts. Beep. Beep. Beep. Nothing. "Fuck," she grumbles. Her thumb stabs at the buttons again, one number on speed-dial selected and mashed with the angry energy that comes from anxiety. Holding the phone to her ear, she fixes an unseeing gaze on the opposite wall and talks over the tinny sound of ringing. "Cmon, answer…cmon…pick up your phone, man…"
Unlike days past, there was no response. This time, however, there is something different. "Lena. I take it you still haven't heard from Sydney," the calm voice of the Geek God replies.
For all that she'd been hoping, Lena hadn't truly expected an answer; her imagination already has the majority of Team Awesome tucked away in a cell or a lab somewhere. That explains the sudden yelp of, "Jesus!" Then silence, because she pushed away from the counter with far too much energy and dropped the phone when it slipped from her cloth-covered fingers. Gene is saved from the sound of plastic hitting tile due to a last-minute grab. "You're okay! Oh, Christ…I was fucking worried, Gene. No, no I haven't. Is she alright? What's going on?"
"Two days and you already assume the worst. Trust me, if something serious had happened, you would have been warn about it. There are others like me in the world after all," Gene replies from his end of the phone. As usual, he's mostly calm, the only concern coming toward the end of his words. "Last I checked, she was resting in the hospital. Something about her throat almost getting crushed. She was in stable condition and they expected her to recover. I have been unexpectedly delayed due to some work here and there, but it's nothing major. I take it from your voice something has happened on your end."
That gives her pause. It doesn't pay to forget that she is speaking with a super genius. Lena draws a short breath, squinting in sudden and painful thought. "It's just…well, shit happens, you know? It isn't a nice place out there, folks are still being grabbed, right? And…and…oh my god. She was really hurt?" As realization dawns, the young woman's voice grows smaller under a fresh burden of guilt.
"You can apologize if you wish… If you do, just make sure to let it be. If you let the mistakes of the past engulf you, you'll just spend more time regreting then you do rejoicing." There is another bit of silence. "That was some pretty sweet advice right there. Very Christmas Zen right there. Anyway… Was that the main reason you wanted to talk?"
She is not so sunk in guilt that Christmas Zen advice doesn't win weak laughter. "Yeah, if I had a pen I'd totally write that down. You should do fortune cookies, dude. I…maybe we can go see her. Do you know what hospital she's in? We could…" Like Gene, Lena lets a moment of silence draw out. "Yeah. Yeah, I mean…I was worried. Maybe you didn't notice but there aren't a whole lot of people like you around. And Syd, she's…she called me her sister. It's…"
She has to pause again, thinking zen. Breathe in, breathe out. In the background, the kettle starts to whistle. "I was thinking, Gene, you maybe want to check in with Dex again," she says, apropos of nothing, while she goes to move the boiling water off of the burner.
"There are… They just don't have their act as put together as me," Gene replies with a hint of a smirk in his tone. "When I come back to New York, I'll see about finding her. Knowing that woman, she'll be looking for me anyway."
The smirk disappears, considering the contradiction to Lena's words. She agreed herself that Dex was trouble and crazed… So why would she send Gene to check with her? Something was up, but Gene figured it is best to play along. If he doesn't get the answers from Dex, he'll know where to return.
"As for visiting Sydney, you and Tiago should be able to do it. You both are still under the radar. I wouldn't be able to for obvious reasons, but I figure I'll be able to see her again once she gets out. Hopefully she'll understand."
Except Tiago may not be as under the radar as he was just a few short days ago. Lena busies herself with pouring hot water into the mug she'd prepared, her lower lip caught between her teeth and insuring her silence for a moment longer. When she speaks again, it's to deliberately avoid the topic of Dex. As if she'd never mentioned it.
"You know, you're awful smart but sometimes you don't get it. It's you that matters, man. The guy, not what that guy does for folks. You think we'd have stuck with the team if the people weren't worth hanging around? Pft." She pauses to stir the cocoa mix into the water. "Syd will understand. I'll let her know when I go visit her…are you gonna be back soon?"
"I do it get. And that's what scares me. A group… An ideal should never be limited to one person. If it is only that person that keeps a movement, a value going… It is hard to foster a spirit of friendship. A willingness to defend what no one else feels they should. I don't plan on going anywhere soon, but hopefully, if I ever have to go, I can be confident that others will continue on the work."
A brief sigh breaks Gene's words before he goes on. "I dunno. It depends on the work here, Christmas plans with my grandfather… Me being what I am… It makes the usual parties we would go to kinda out of the questions."
"Don't even talk that way, Gene, you're not going anywhere." The words come out sharper than she'd intended, and it requires a conscious effort for Lena to dial down the disapproval, softening her tone. "I'm not talking about the movement, or the team, or whatever. I know there's other folks out there doing the same thing but you asked if I was worried and I was telling you why. Fuck, this is why I don't talk about mushy stupid friend stuff. People either take it the wrong goddamn way or they get all weird about it. I just want five goddamn minutes without thinking about the bigger picture or government conspiracy or Syd in the hospital with tubes sticking out of her. Forget I said anything."
His sigh is mirrored. Grumpy Gus will be more personable once she's had her daily dose of chocolate, honest.
"That's cool, anyway. Sounds nice, even without the parties…getting time with your grampa. I'll stop spamming your phone so you can enjoy your vacation, okay? Thanks for picking up this time."
"Sorry, Lena… Thinking about the big picture all the time is what I do, so other people don't have to. I'm not being weird, just expressing my concerns just like you did. They're just… different. Anyway, I'll talk to you later."
As Gene gets Lena's response, he soon hangs up. As he does, he looks up to see a large Asian man rushing toward him. "Oh crap!" Gene exclaims as he gets picked up by his flannel shirt and thrown onto his back. Now on the leaf covered ground with his eyes to the trees around him, Gene is merely thankful he was able to keep his PDA in his hand. Which doesn't last for long as it is pucked out.
"Your call was finished. I warned you the training would continue as soon as you were done," the man in the black sweats replies. "This is why driving while texting is so dangerous."
"People driving while texting don't have to deal with crazy as frick martial artists. I need the phone back. Seriously, I think Hallis is gunna call me with an update soon," Gene grumbles as he gets up, dusting off the mud and leaves from his jeans.
"You know the rules."
"Fine…" With that, the two get into their fighting stances, Gene preparing to go at the man yet again. Worst Pre-Christmas Vacation. Ever.