2010-01-04: Dinner and a Movie and Conspiracies



Date: January 4, 2010


Stephanie invites Randall over for some personal time, and to ply him for more information on the government and his friends.

"Dinner and a Movie and Conspiracies"

Upper West Side

After their trip to the zoo, it's been a few days of general quiet on the Stephanie front. Finally, she calls up Randall from out of the blue, and asks if he'd like to come by for a night of dinner and movie at her place. The offer extended, she's worked on making dinner, getting everything ready before the appointed time. When the knocking comes at her door, she opens in. She's gone slightly dressy for the occasion, in a blue dress that she probably wouldn't have worn if she had to go outside in it in winter. A bright smile lights her face. "Hey there!"

Randall smiles back, welcoming a chance to do something besides worry about men in unmarked vans. "Hey," he echoes. Either acknowledging the season or defying it - or both - he's wearing a dark jacket over a red button-down that might look garish if it weren't mostly covered up. "Nice place here, lot less crowded than mine."

The place /is/ nice; a condo off on the Upper West Side. "Thanks! It's pretty nice, sure!" She seems a little nervous, but just a little. "Can I hang anything up for you? I've got dinner ready, I just need to bring it out." She tucks back a stray lock of blonde hair that's slipped into her eyes.

Catching himself halfway toward instinctively reaching up and helping her with it, Randall instead pauses and nods, slipping the jacket off. "Sure, thanks." He's not too terribly out of place here, but things with Stephanie are feeling a little more relationshippy each time they meet - despite their claim to be leaving that idea alone - and he's had his share of problems with that sort of thing.

She takes it, and moves to hang it up in the coat closet, before returning. There is a sort of date vibe, though it's somewhat mild. She gestures out towards the living room. "Have a seat? I'll go bring dinner out."

Randall nods again and heads over, relaxing some as he settles into the couch. Which is, of course, a nice couch. How's a college student afford a place like this? Probably a generous scholarship; he's met a trust fund baby recently, and Steph doesn't seem the type.

Stephanie specifically kept it out of the dining room, since that would feel more formal and datey. She returns with a plate and silverware for Randall, which she sets on the endtable near that end of the couch. On it is a meal meant to fall somewhere in the middle; corn as the veggie, with french fries and a parmesan-topped, lightly-crusted chicken breast. "What can I get you to drink? I've got cider, milk, water, OJ, Pepsi, and I think there's still one bottle of beer in the fridge."

As she returns, Randall straightens up and leans forward, drawn out of his wandering thoughts once again. "Looks good. Hmm, cider sounds good, what kind is it? We used to have bottles of apple cider all the time when I was growing up, I think because the farms were pretty close by."

That gets a slightly surprised look. "Apple. Is there another kind? I'll go get you some." She matches action to word, heading into the kitchen, and returning with two glasses of such. She offers him one, then sets the other on the other end-table. A last trip back out sees her returning with her plate, and she sits down on the couch. "Hope you like it…"

Randall scratches his head. "I think so— I mean, calling it 'apple cider' implies that you need to specify, right? I think there's something with pears but I've never tried it." A quick sip, then he starts in on one corner of the chicken. "Yeah, it's pretty good— I usually just go for TV dinners at home."

Stephanie chuckles. "I'd probably go broke if I didn't know how to cook. I've got a really quick metabolism, so I end up needing to eat a lot. I think buying all of it in easy, pre-made mode would cost a fortune." She takes a bite of her own. "So…I was thinking about your ability." she starts. "How close do you have to be to somebody to tell?"

"If they have one of their own, you mean? It depends…" Randall sets the plate down again, turning to face Stephanie. "Usually I can't tell that about people unless they're actually using it. And then sometimes it's obvious anyway, sometimes it isn't. I can see emotions, though, like— right now yours is white, with a little bit of blue around the edge. Or maybe purple." This seems to mean something coherent to him, heaven only knows what.

Stephanie sighs, just a little. "Okay. Was just…I was just curious." There's more to it than that, but nothing she's going to go over, at least now, it seems. "So I've got a ton of movies…" She indicates shelves on the wall, holding a surprising amount of DVDs. "What's your poison? Sci-fi? Comedy? Action? Drama?"

Randall hmms, getting up and wandering over to take a look. "Sci-fi's always fun. Unless it's one of the ones where they're obviously just blabbing stuff because they think it sounds cool… What's this one about?" he adds, pulling out an unfamiliar one from what appears to be the right general section.

Stephanie stands, walking over to check it out. "Equilibrium. It's kinda cool. It's got Christian Bale before he got famous, really. Futuristic gestapo society. They kinda beat you over the head with the message, but the fight scenes are out of this world. I've got more recent stuff, if you like it. Got the new Star Trek movie."

"I could go for fight scenes, I guess." Randall looks around for the player, and pops the disc in if it's obvious enough. "I liked Star Trek, too, but that one's better if you have a group of people. At least four, so you can get a good feel for McCoy and Uhura mirroring each other's attitude."

Stephanie lets him, and comes back to the couch, taking her seat. "That movie was great, though. Everyone had their crowning moment of awesome. Even if it's the world's longest string of coincidences."

Randall leans back as he sits down again. "Yeah, well, you kind of have to buy into the whole destiny thing, you know? People who want Battlestar Galactica type complexity know where to find it."

Stephanie smiles. "That's what I like about talking with you. I can be as geeky as I want to be and you know what I'm talking about." She leans back, looking relaxed. "We should do a regular movie night or something."

Except… Randall turns again, frowning. "I'd like that, but I think my name's been put on a certain list recently. Listen, if I fall out of touch for a while, I promise it's not for any of the usual reasons, okay? I'll find you again as soon as I can."

Stephanie frowns. "It's not them, is it? You told me you knew people, and you haven't told me how to make contact with any of them."

Randall nods. "You're right, I haven't… I've been out of touch with some of them myself, but I'll at least get you some phone numbers, okay?" He doesn't voice the worst-case scenario out loud, but the implication is clear enough.

She frowns. "All right. You're not gonna tell me more?" She looks concerned. Sounds concerned.

Randall bites his lip. He doesn't really want to hear it himself… much less spook Steph. But she's already spooked, and she needs to know more. "A couple friends of— well, a friend and her boyfriend got kidnapped. Tortured for information. They got busted out again, but she basically said to count the days till they show up on my doorstep, you know?"

Tiago and Lena. And they know Randall. Interesting. She doesn't let it show on her face as anything except concern, though. "Busted out? Who busts people out from the government?" she says, shock and surprise on her face.

"I don't know," he replies, shaking his head. "But I hope I find out someday, so I can thank them." I hope we both stay alive and well that long, he thinks to himself.

Damn. So much for that angle. Stephanie nods. "Me too. I hate the thought that people can just hunt us and there's nothing we can do."

Randall shakes his head. "Not nothing." Without really thinking about it, he reaches out and takes one of her hands in his. "We've got friends— even if it's only a few of us. And I'll let you know anything I find out, in case—" In case they come after you too.

Stephanie smiles, squeezing his hand. "All right. I will too." With little more to say, she settles in to watch the film. Circling the problem, but no direct way of attacking it. This is going to take more thought.

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