2008-04-18: Cue Billy Joel Please

Starring:

Kory_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif

Summary: Randall visits and soothes an agitated Kory, and they discuss what she's expected to do with The List.

Date It Happened: April 18, 2008

Cue Billy Joel, Please


The Deveaux Building - Kory's Apartment

Kory left Randall a text message that was brief in its urgency. Not quite so brief as to have sent 911, but still, urgent. His schedule's been such a mess they keep missing each other; but it's to the better that Kory is back to her old, unsleeping self. She's pacing the floors while glancing at the mail table by her front door, where the list has been spread out with its companion photos. She pauses to wring her hands, then with an exclamation of frustration, turns toward the kitchen to put the tea kettle on. At least her nerves will be a bit soothed while she waits, worries, wonders, and ponders.

Randall's reply is non-committal - his new position as Chief Director in Charge of Staying Late to Get Stuff Done doesn't leave him much leeway to cut out on short notice - but at least by now he has some idea which subway lines are busier at any given hour. Before too terribly long, he heads down the hallway, double-checking the number before knocking.

The apartment is partially unpacked now. The books are unpacked. And the kitchen. And the computer. The two comfy chairs from Kory's old apartment, and that's it. There is a sleeping bag in a distant corner of the main room, which indicates Kory snuggles into it for that brief period she does need to sleep, when not working or worrying. The knock on the door heralds her racing back from the kitchen to open the door.

She's beside herself with having had time to dwell and think on the matter at hand, so she greets Randall not with words, but with flinging herself bodily into his arms.

Caught off guard, halfway through stuffing the paper back into his pocket, Randall manages to get one arm around Kory's waist before he has to back up a step with her and regain his bearings. "Whoa, what is it? That lawyer didn't throw another spanner into the works, did he?" It's always tempting to keep fighting the last war.

Kory hangs onto Randall tightly for a long second, saying nothing, before backing up and drawing him into the apartment. It's not until she has the door shut and locked and she's had a chance to plant a fervent kiss on his lips before she tells him, "No. That's all fine. It's …something else."

Once inside, Randall's proper measure of poise shows through, bringing his right arm into play as well as he returns the kiss. "What is it, then?" he asks, fingers resting at the small of Kory's back as he draws back just enough to hear her out.

"This." Kory says, voice equal parts exasperation and frustration, as she gestures to the mail table. The List is spread out across the table, with names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and in some cases, photos. "Peter came over and said I need to get us all together. And …talk. About Pinehearst. About how to stop them. Stop that future where Peter-with-the-scar comes from."

She's trembling; he can feel it since they're this close. "…and he left you off. Something…I don't know, he won't say, he wouldn't say, and if we don't stop it…" Yeah. There we go. Just when she thought it was safe to stop being scared and freaked out.

Randall frowns, biting his lip as he looks the list over briefly. "Peter-with-the-scar came over, you mean? Is present-day Peter still missing?" Turning around, he shrugs, exploring the simplest idea that comes to mind first: "Maybe it's going to involve some skill or some type of danger that I'm not cut out for? I mean, the kinds of things Pinehearst is working on, they're gonna have higher security than a padlock and a Doberman."

Kory nods, "Yes, Peter-with-the-scar, and Our Peter is still missing." There's an emphasis on 'our Peter', as the one with the scar is definitely not considered 'ours'. "No. It's something…something bad," she says, dragging her hands through her hair. "I pressed him. He said something about you not being satisfied with who you are." She burrows into his arms again. "Why…why wouldn't you be satisfied with who you are? Who you are is amazing."

Randall laughs, even as he draws Kory closer, figuratively placing himself between her and Whatever It Is. "Oh, you're flattering me. Who I am… sure, but there are plenty of things I'm not. A doctor, a lawyer" - there are good ones out there, Leslie's hired shark notwithstanding - "or Ice Man, for that matter. So… let's see… in his timeline, whatever we do, we do without him coming back to warn us about anything. What would be different because of that?"

Kory is warmed and comforted by the sound of Randall's laughter. "Flattering it may be, but you sacrificed your safe little life to rescue me from Leslie. When you told me if anything like that ever happened you'd run the other way, fast as you could." Her eyes find his, bright and warm. "No one has ever done anything like that for me." Hopefully, there won't be a reason to do it again anytime soon, but clearly this rates ''amazing'' in the Kory lexicon. "There could be any number of things that could be different. He said something about Logan, even. Logan…" she pauses, pondering how to say it, before deciding straight is the best way. "Logan's his brother's split personality. Evil twin trapped in the same body, kind of."

Randall shakes his head. "I said if someone was threatening me, I'd run away. Threatening you was a whole different thing." Well, there was that series of deathtraps that snared Lee instead of him… But back to the more immediate issues. "In the present, future, both? Is he tied in with Pinehearst that we know of?" Business and politics could be connected, but not always.

Kory crinkles her eyes, smiling. "Quit trying to be modest about it," she affectionately scolds. "You know, I have no idea if Logan's involved with Pinehearst," she admits. "But that's a good suggestion. Maybe somebody else on the list knows." But she's not completely swayed from her concern. "You're not going to go looking to change who you are, right? Promise me."

"I wasn't planning to." Randall squints at a couple of names on the list, one familiar, one not. "If something suggests itself down the line— well, maybe it's what he warned you about, maybe it isn't. At least I'd run it by you first. But if he thinks I should stay out of it when you talk with these people…"

"I don't think he is sure," Kory says. "And I'm not leaving you out of this. I can't handle this by myself. Besides, you think around corners and I don't. I need you on this, whatever it is we're going to be doing to keep Pinehearst from giving everybody powers and turning the world into a …dystopian nightmare." Kory sighs, and turns to the kitchen as she belatedly registers that the tea kettle is going off, and has been for a minute or two already. "This sounds so crazy, but …I guess crazy is our stock in trade now, huh?"

Randall nods to Kory, and resumes examining the list; he may as well, if he's going to be in on things after all. "Maybe this is just me, but giving everyone access to powers sounds sort of like giving everyone access to guns… lots of people won't bother in the first place, and lots of people who do won't do anything bad because of it. You think there's something else to it, like maybe the people with abilities get witch-hunted by the others?"

"Have nots are gonna have a problem with the Haves is my first thought," Kory admits. "Peter was not real forthcoming with the details. Maybe one of the people on the list is precognitive. Or maybe we could get Charlotte to tell us what Pinehearst is up to…isn't she working for them? She'd know if they were really up to anything nefarious."

Randall shrugs. "That was my first thought, but he said that some of them didn't know about everything they were up to? I trust her enough to ask, but she might not know any more about the others than we do. The more or less she knows about this formula— well, I guess that's our best guess for how much she knows about her fellow employees, too."

"Well, there's also Sophie. Maybe Charlotte knows something she doesn't know she knows, but Sophie could pluck the memory out. I guess we'll have to figure out what everybody on this list can bring to the table before we make any concrete plans." She has decided against the cup of tea, it'd seem. "In which case, I am gonna try not to worry about it until we've met some of the folks on it." No segue, change of subject without signalling. "So — what d'you think of the new place?"

After taking a fresh look around, Randall taps a hand against the side of a pile of boxes still taped up and stacked up. "Very college-bachelor, this part over here. You do have some extra room to walk around in, if you like walking around…"

"Well, I do need to do some shopping," Kory admits. "I've never had so much room to work with. The kitchen looks okay, but my bed looks so lonely in there all by itself." All the bookshelves seem to have ended up spaced neatly around the foyer and living room, and there's still room. "But it can wait. I'd rather stop the future crisis than shop for a sofa."

Randall bites his lip again. When your girlfriend mentions anything about her bed, while you're alone with her at her place… but no, this clearly isn't the right time. "You take column 1, I take column 2? Or you think it's too late to start ringing people up today?"

"Probably a bit late. It's Saturday night; everybody's either out doing what people do on Saturdays, or they're in for the night already." Like Kory herself; who probably hasn't been out today. "We could rent a movie and get a pizza and work on it tomorrow?" If Kory's aware that mentioning her bed sounds like an invite, one Randall hasn't taken her up on, she doesn't give any sign.

"Sounds good to me. Sunday mornings are iffy, too" - a fair number of people are off at church at that hour, though Randall generally isn't among them - "but afternoons are usually good for catching people." Setting the list carefully aside, he looks around for anywhere that might house a phone book.

Under the mail table is where Kory keeps it. "Okay, then we have a plan. We can start tomorrow afternoon. Or emailing tonight if we're feeling industrious after fortifying ourselves with stuffed crust pizza."

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