2009-11-15: Dirty Little Secrets



Date: November 15, 2009


Hallis joins Alexandra on her rooftop for a bit of gossip and Alex ends up dishing a bit of dirt.

"Dirty Little Secrets"

Uptown NYC- Alexandra's apartment building

Following the discussion of the other night, Alex has been quite eager to hear about how things turned out for Hallis and George. In true girly-girl fashion, the conversation has to take place face-to-face though! Nothing else short of Hallis coming over and telling Alex to her face would do!

So here it is, a moderately sunny fall day, unseasonably warm, and quite a lovely day to take advantage of the garden up on top of Alex's apartment building. Hallis has already been buzzed up, told to take the elevator all the way to the very top floor, and call Alex if there are any problems. Unconcerned with how Hallis perceives her outfit today, Alex is in jeans that are dirtied up, a plain t-shirt, and has her hair messily put up in a bun to make her end-of-the-year gardening tasks easier.

Hallis is walking on cloud nine, literally, and as she floats into the garden area of Alex's building, she does a little twirl. She is dressed in a light long sleeved t-shirt, black leggings, a cream colored wrap is loosely fitted around her body. The brightness of the day required a pair of Channel sunglasses, but oddly enough, the young woman's eyes are completely clear once she takes them off.

Spotting her friend, she wrinkles her nose at the dirt, but she says nothing… her news is just too big. "Alex! OH MY GOD!!" she squeals, almost running to the petite brunette. "He said he loves me! And in front of my therapist too! Can you believe it?! And then and THEN he said he meant every word of it again this morning!" The younger blonde is definitely beside herself with glee.

When Hallis appears off of the elevator and through the rooftop door, Alex is just hauling herself up from the foam mat on which she's kneeling to dig around in the potters and soil boxes. She's smiling, but her hands are pretty dirty, even after she wipes them on her jeans. Despite her best efforts, she's managed to get dirt on her forehead and cheeks too, probably from scratching as she works. "Hey! That's great! See! I told you you should just ask him, and see what happened!" Alex takes a few steps towards Hallis, mayhaps for a hug, but thinks better of it, holding up her dirty hands in an 'I didn't do it' position. "I'd hug you, but you know…I've been doing garden stuff all morning."

Wrinkling her nose, Hallis backs up a step from the dirty woman but a wide grin spreads across her face. Nothing can destroy the mood she's in, aside from Level 5 escapees rushing in and lighting the place on fire. It's been known to happen. "Can you believe it? I can't believe it." Then she raises her eyebrows and glances at the dirt on the woman's hands again and puckers her lips in thought, "Don't you have a man that does that for you? I only have a few little plastic plants in my place, but I have someone that comes in every week to water them."

Hallis's confession makes Alex grin and chuckle pretty loudly. "You water plastic plants? What're you thinking! And no, I don't have a man to do this for me. It's pretty…cathartic for me, you know. Very relaxing." She motions around the garden, which is for the most part, bare now, save for a few hardy plants and tiny evergreens that will stay through the winter. "I'm pretty much the one in charge up here. Not a lot of other tenants like to take care of the garden here, just use it for parties and barbecues and all." After putting her hands down, she motions to a little bench that Hallis can sit on. "Hope you don't think I'm rude, I just wanted to use the nice weather on my day off to get this all squared away for winter."

"You don't? What if they die?" Apparently, Hallis is not that plant smart, either that or she's never really paid attention. As Alex makes the explanation about the garden, she looks around thoughtfully and a small, quite serene, smile finds its way to her face. "We should have a party or something up here. It's very pretty, you do a really nice job. Or… this isn't what you do for a living, is it?" It had never occurred to Hallis to ask what her friend did for a living, she's always been dressed fairly well but even dog walkers in the city have been known to wear Gucci. "I mean, not that it matters or anything, I don't do anything at all…" Then she widens her eyes and grins widely, "Guess what?! Grandmother is going to be having a Christmas party at her estate, you should come with me!"

Alex shakes her head a little at the insinuation that this is her job. "First of all, plastic plants can't die, because they're fake; made of plastic. If you're paying someone to water them for you, he's ripping you off. And second, nope, this isn't my job, just a hobby. I work at an engineering firm in the daytime, a big multinational sort of thing, helping them with their oil drilling plans." As she gives answers to each question in turn, Alex kneels back down on the mat at the side of one of the larger planters, about the size of a normal bath tub. "Maybe…that's still a ways off though. I don't even know if I'll be going back home for Thanksgiving yet. Haven't even solidified my plans that far ahead," she replies, and sets about her work once more.

Maybe she's naive in thinking that her body shields what she's doing from Hallis, or maybe it's just so natural to her to work with her ability, but she begins removing some of the wilting plants in the planter by making the dirt around them move out of the way. Maneuvering her hands in circles, she makes holes in the dirt appear around the roots, the dirt seeming to undig itself into a litting mound around the plant, leaving a nice hole to just pull the plant from. As the plant is pulled out, she runs her hands over the roots, and the dirt seems magnetically attracted to her hand, as she cleans it off, and dumps the dirt back into the hole, before waving her hands over the hole, which fills itself back in.

Wrinkling her nose again, Hallis looks down to the ground at her feet. "Well I was just doing what I thought was best. I mean, I didn't want them to die." A small flush comes to her face as she realizes her faux pas and how stupid she must seem. "Thanksgiving, I wonder if George will want to come to Grandmother's. I wonder if Grandmother will let George come… she seemed to like him when they first met." The young deb drops to the mat beside her friend and begins to babble on as the brunette works her way through the dirt. "You know what's funny? I bought a pair of shoes that were too big for me yesterday, and I have no idea what happened to them or even where I was. The whole afternoon is completely blank." Slowly her eyes pass over where the dirt seems to be moving itself. Then her jaw drops.

"Th- dirt isn't supposed to do that… What…" Her face pales a little as she looks between the woman and the self moving dirt in the tub. "Are you… You're one of them, aren't you?" Hallis scrambles backward and takes in a few gulps of air, she has a few flashes of memory, a man that throws fire from his hands, another that can throw shelves around like they were paper airplanes. "But you…"

Alex seems to be jolted out of some wonderful little day dream, nodding at Hallis as she talks, nodding as she slides onto the mat next to her…but it's only when Hallis jumps back from the mat and pants a bit that Alex seems to come out of the little dream and turn to look at her. She's blushing…fiercely, and smiling a bit sheepishly. "I….yeah, I'm one of them. I guess I kinda got lost in my own thoughts there for a moment…didn't realize you were watching."

Hallis's last statement makes her furrow her brows a bit, though. "What? What do you mean 'but me'? Did I do something wrong?" All the warnings of others race through Alex's head…Hallis doesn't seem like the government lackey sort, the type that would rat her out and get her captured.

Cue the unexplainable panic attack, from some source that even Hallis doesn't know. "I- I—" She takes a few gulps of air, like no matter how much she breathes in, she can't get enough to sustain her. It doesn't take long before her vision fades, and by the time Alex is asking her 'did I do something wrong?' everything dims. Fortunately, she's not out quite yet, everything sounds like it is underwater.

Uh-oh…Hallis doesn't look too good. Before she can pass out and fall down onto the concrete of the roof (why did it have to be concrete!), Alex stands up, and despite the dirt on her hands, helps Hallis back down to that bench. "Hallis…are you ok? Here, sit down, breath. Relax." Either Alex is stronger than she looks or Hallis is every bit as tiny and light as she looks, but Alex is able to easily maneuver to a sitting position on the bench, sitting down next to her. She takes one of her hands, and rubs the back of it, wondering if she should call 911 or something.

Hallis doesn't even protest as she's moved to the bench. When she is safely seated, she ducks her head between her knees, a technique that she's used most of her life to avoid passing out. Being a just a little bit shy of food (we don't call it anorexic), passing out has happened a lot. "I'm sorry, I don't know what happened." Hallis chokes out, her eyes closed and her hands gripping the sides of her head to hold it up. "I just, last time I saw one of … them… I just can't remember. He was throwing fire, and there was another man that, he was just really strong. They killed people." She keeps her head down, not even moving to give Alex a reassuring gaze. "You don't kill people though, right?"

"Kill anyone? Lord no! I think…the most I've done is flip some cars and things." Alex strategically leaves out the part about dirt filling the interior, trapping the drivers, and the fact that the drivers were clad in black and armed with machine guns. "But…there are people out there with abilities who use them for bad things. I'm not one of them. I just like to sit here and dig around in the dirt. Now you know why it's cathartic to me…it's a nice release, to use my gifts, but without doing anything bad." When Hallis leans forward, Alex rubs a hand across her shoulders and back, patting her. Surprisingly, the dirt which rubs off on Hallis's clothes then gets picked back up by Alex's hands like a vacuum cleaner.

"Flip cars?" Hallis squeaks in answer, this is a lot to ingest for a woman that really doesn't like to eat. "I can't even flip a crepe…" she manages, slowly tilting her head to the side to look at her friend. "Why would you flip a car? I mean… was there a puppy or a kitten underneath it that couldn't ge out?" Slowly, her breathing turns to normal and she takes a few long and deep cleansing breaths. "Okay, it's okay, I'm okay."

"It's…a long story. Suffice it to say, there are lots of other people like me out there. The government feels like they needed to round them up…good or bad. And there was this whole big incident to help a whole train full of them escape, and…well, the government didn't want to see that happen. So…I was responsible for keeping them from stopping us after we stopped the train car." Listen to Alex…talking about the 'us,' the 'we,' the bigger group of Evolved to which she belongs. A month or two ago, she had no idea there were so many out there, let alone that the government was rounding them up and holding them captive illegally. Now she's responsible for helping a bunch escape.

Hallis straightens up and nods once, she has a very confused expression on her face. "Okay. But… George is in the government, I don't think he would ever do that. He… he's the one that told me that there were people that could do things. He said that he's seen them." Lowering her eyes to the concrete at her feet, she runs one of her hands through her hair. Squinting, she rapidly blinks what could be tears from her eyes. "So they load you onto trains? Like cows or Jewish people?"

"Well, not me…per say. But others. And not like cows or Jewish people. Like terrorists. That's what the government calls us, after all. Terrorists." Of course, given Hallis's experience with them, that doesn't sound like it's too far off the mark. Some are bad, but most are not..hence the mission of the Company, which sort of failed. "But…I think we gave them what for. Busted a whole bunch of them out…including some kids too, I think. I really didn't get a good look at them…I was a little busy you know…not getting shot."

Hallis' color had just come back to her face when Alex mentions getting shot at. "You— seriously?" Another bunch of rapid blinks and she shakes her head quickly. "This is a lot to handle." She says quite honestly, her voice still a little shaky from fear. "So… You didn't even know you were showing me? I don't understand, you weren't thinking about me being there when you did it?" Of course it all comes back to her, the poor girl can't carry a conversation that doesn't somehow link back to herself.

"It's curious…usually I can like…you know feel people coming up behind me and stuff. But when I do my gardening, it's like…I'm in another world. Plus, we're way up here on the top floor, and it's all concrete. A little harder for me to do what I do, after all. I guess I just kind of lost myself in my task…I really do like to relax and just play in the dirt…world's biggest tomboy, I guess," Alex says, with a sheepish little smile. "So no, I thought I was shielding it with my body…that I could cheat a little and get away with it, but I guess not!"

Frowning, Hallis nods somewhat and gets up from the bench, albeit slowly. "I'm sorry." The young woman says sheepishly, offering a shrug to the other woman. "So… you keep it a secret then?" Then a small smile tugs at the corner of her mouth, "But you're just a bad secret keeper?" Then the socialite reaches up and brushes some imaginary dirt from her shoulder and picks off a bit of imaginary lint from her wrap. She's a little bit uncertain about what to do, and it shows. "I— I should get going, did you want to meet for coffee tomorrow? Or…"

"Yeah…I guess that's exactly it. I'm a pretty terrible secret keeper…plus I really like my ability. Not something I'm exactly shy or ashamed of," Alex replies, smiling at Hallis. "And if we have coffee tomorrow, it'd either have to be during lunch…or after work. Some of us do have a job we go to regularly for a paycheck, you know!" If nothing else, at least Alex can still rib on Hallis for being a flighty little socialite who hasn't had to work a day in her life!

This brings something of a smile to the young woman's face and she places her fists on her hips. "I work… sometimes. It's hard getting your picture taken and looking this good all the time." One of her hands flips her long hair over her shoulder, and she rolls her eyes good naturedly. "I'll do my best to keep it a secret, and I'll see you tomorrow evening for after work drinks, okay?" Hallis bargains, nothing like a good martini to keep the social status alive. "Besides, George might be back in Washington by then, so I'll have nothing to do except paint my toenails."

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