2009-12-08: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner



Date: December 8, 2009


Hallis has been going among mad people.

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"

George's Apartment

Sometimes, lack of communication hallmarks the beginning of the end of a relationship. Other times, it's just really subtle. The look in your eyes that tells your partner 'I need something besides words right now' may well be unreadable to anyone else.

Last night was all about that sort of thing. Followed by another typical day for George: going from place to place, playing phone tag, coordinating several working groups - including one with a newfound purpose soon to be revealed. Maybe next term he'll get a better handle on the whole delegation thing. It's already been dark for a few hours by the time he makes it back to his place in Greenwich.

The night spent with George is exactly what Hallis needed. She'd spent too much time talking to so many other people when she should have just been with him. Once he gets into his apartment, the first thing that he might notice is that all the lights are already on. The next? There's a strange smell coming from the kitchen and the window is open wide even though it's fairly cold outside. Should he venture further in the apartment he will find the dainty socialite on her hands and knees on the floor scrubbing with all of her might. What is she scrubbing? Well there's a big puddle of red and black goop on the floor… and she's trying to clean it up.

It's little surprise that she would be waiting to meet him at one apartment or the other, after learning about her run-in with those muggers. From that dishrag of an article in People, no less. Too bad they're not a TV show, then he could try doing to them what Jon Stewart did to Crossfire… Instead, he's caught off guard by the smell, and then the sight of a familiar pair of legs protruding from behind his countertop. Ahem. "What happened?" he asks, catching sight of the mess as he walks closer.

Dropping the rag into the pot, Hallis wipes her cheek tiredly and inadvertently smears a little of the goop across her face. "I was trying to make you spaghetti. It looked really easy but…" She points to the stove, where a pot of noodles rests. She didn't have enough water in the pot or something. Half of the fistful was clumped together and still hard while the other half was overcooked and stuck to the bottom.

"I'm cleaning it up though…" The mess with the sauce? Well to the spectator, it looks as though it had started burning to the bottom of the pot. At that point she might have picked it up and tried to carry it to the sink, but the pot was too hot and she dropped it. "I ordered some Italian for delivery, it should be here any minute." She really did try.

This. This is why he's so into her. Not because she's pretty or friendly or supportive - though she is - but because she always seems to be trying something new. Without another word, George leans in to steal a kiss, then heads over to the closet and pulls out a cheap electric fan. "Don't feel bad," he offers, bending down to plug it in, "I've screwed up pretty bad myself a few times. Picked this up the last time I had to clear a lot of smoke in a hurry."

"Really?" The young woman questions, her voice cracking at the very end of the short question. "I can't imagine you not being able to do something, George. You're always so… good at everything." It's slow work but the woman finally manages to finish cleaning up the rest of the sauce before their actual meal arrives. A faint orange stain remains on the floor that Hallis noticed, but she made a mental note to herself to hire a cleaning service to get that out.

"I'm really lucky that you don't have wall to wall carpet here." She chirps brightly as she pads to the bathroom. It's there that she finally sees her face and cringes. How could he kiss her when she looked like this? Quickly, she cleans her face and freshens her makeup with the litle bit that she's left at his place for emergencies just like this. Once she's satisfied with her face, she sweeps her hair up into a loose bun and pins it into place, letting the little wisps fall to frame her face.

"I can't believe how much I have to tell you still, did you read the Times today? I made first page and the picture is actually good!" The voice drifts from the bathroom just before she does and it is then that she leans in and returns the kiss he initially gave her. "Thank you so much for everything last night… I really needed that."

George shrugs, waving a hand in the air in a so-so gesture. "The specialists do a lot of the work, I just get the credit. Or the blame if it goes south." Leaning back against the back of the couch, during and after the return kiss, he shakes his head: "No, they only mentioned the magazine article because my name was in that one. Do you have a copy?"

At the mention of the previous night, he just offers a quiet little smile. That wasn't exactly the greatest of his burdens.

With a small frown, Hallis shakes her head. "No, I left it at the burger place when I sort of ran out." She gives him a rather strained smile then before continuing. "The People interview, ugh, I really thought Sierra was going to kill that woman for coming in when she did. Poor thing had that huge goose egg on her head." Moving in closer, Hallis wraps her arms around George's waist and leans her head against his chest. The content of the article isn't talked about directly, but when the young woman looks up at him, she wears an expression of hope. "You wouldn't be uncomfortable if I kept seeing her, would you? I really like her, she seems nice."

Oh yes, that little detail. The current girlfriend meeting the ex-girlfriend, an all too common nightmare scenario. And one he was hoping to sweep under the rug, but since that's apparently not happening…

"I can't choose your friends, Hallie," George murmurs, staring off toward the wall even as he keeps her in his arms, "except maybe putting Trenton on a bus to Honolulu… but honestly? Yeah, I feel weird about her. We started having less and less time together, and then when they screwed up her visa— I was already going back and forth between two places, I couldn't handle three. So yeah, it didn't exactly end well." Read, there's no danger of him going back to her. "I didn't want to mess up like that with you, too."

The mention of Trenton causes her to visibly wince. "I promise I won't compare notes with her, we're really just going to go to fashion week together. Maybe shopping and coffee." She's not really worried about him rekindling anything with his old flame, she's secure enough in their relationship that she feels somewhat invicible. Pride before the fall? "Uhm… There's something I really need to talk to you about Trenton," she begins slowly, drawing away from him a little. She moves back enough to make his hands fall away from her so that she can take them and gently lead him to sit on the sofa. "He called me yesterday… to tell me that he's sorry for everything and that he's trying to clean up."

George allows himself to be led, but still furrows his brow at the mention of another name he'd prefer never to hear again. "Oh, that's just great," he mutters darkly. "I suppose he might've been scared straight by now, but what if he catches another case of stupid, huh? Can't throw him at the courts, that could just put what's-her-name on the kidnappers' radar… not that she's blameless either, but still."

The subject is approached as carefully and gently as she can possibly manage. Taking both of his hands and enclosing them within hers, she looks up at him and gives him a faint smile. "I'll completely understand if you don't want to. I sort of don't want to either… but Emily is with him now, I think, and they want to have dinner with us. Trenton said it would be on him, of course. Not that I would expect it to be any other way." And it's out there, one of the pressing issues she had to talk to him about. Three down, only a few more to go.

The hit parade never ends! It's gotten to the point that George actually leans forward, pressing his thumbs into his temples. "I suppose I have to meet him at some point, so I know who to look out for. Who's Emily?" It's a perfectly ordinary name that could easily belong to some previously unknown member of the Chelsea-and-Mitsy crowd. The idea that the unnamed bringer of ecstasy and agony could possibly want to date the man is the furthest idea from his mind.

"Emily is the one that was in the club with us that night. The one he went home with." Hallis explains simply. His reaction wasn't quite unexpected, after all, she just asked him if he wanted to go to dinner with a man that tried to drug her while George was at home on holiday with his family. "I didn't ask how or why, I just promised to deliver the invitation." She expands, looking a little uneasy. "How about we just let this one stew for a little while, you can give me an answer after you've had something to eat and rested a little bit. It's been quite a couple of days."

George looks up, incredulous. "She's… insane. Has to be. And he's insane for taking her up on it." As opposed to hopping that bus on his own. "And Hallie, you are the kindest soul in the world for putting up with all that crap. Just… don't get yourself hurt, okay? I don't know what I'd do if you did." She was (he thinks) all bad-ass with the taser this time around, but next time might not go so well.

Looking down, Hallis seems a little ashamed of herself. "I hired a car company to drive me around for that reason. I don't want what happened yesterday to ever happen again. There's a lot that I didn't tell the police, that I was told not to." She purses her lips and swallows hard. "It was a man that saved us, but he didn't want anyone to know. The only reason that I'm telling you is because he's important and I think you can help each other. Emily told me that he's kind of a leader or something, for people with abilities."

"Well, then I'm definitely interested in talking with him. To say 'thank you', for starters." About time for some good news, it's been long overdue this evening. George resettles himself on the couch, mulling over the implications. "How well does he know her, what's he think about her? Or do you know?"

Smiling weakly, Hallis simply shrugs. "I don't know, I didn't talk to him about her at all really. I was trying to get him to help you. So you could help fix what happened with the trains. I don't know if he's ready to talk to you yet though, he said the best thing you could do is help pass laws that stop that sort of thing from happening." After George is settled in, she leans back and rests against him. "Sydney knows him too… she was the first person that I ever heard use his name." The mention of her ex-therapist causes the woman to shiver a little and huddle closer to him. "I think Sydney's one of them too. She did something to me today, I didn't stay to let her explain though, I ran."

George presses his lips together in thought. "I kind of got that impression myself," he says, without explaining exactly how. So much walking on eggshells! "So we're dealing with a wide-eyed idealist, huh? I'm pretty sure there are already laws against what's going on— the problem is, these people are operating mostly in secret. Tell him I'll work on exposing them."

"He doesn't want all of you exposed though. I think that exposing the trains would expose that all those people have abilities." It's said with a frown, it's quite obvious that Hallis doesn't quite agree with the idea of all of the abilities being kept a secret. "George… I've been thinking about that a lot. Is there some kind of police for people with abilities? I mean, for the bad ones? I doubt that regular prison cells can keep them like they do regular people."

"I don't know," he replies, "it depends how many of us there are, and how long we've been around. I don't know the answer to either one. And you've got a point there about whistleblowing… the other option is to figure out who's ultimately calling the shots, and somehow get them to change their mind. If it really is the president, then that'll be a tall order." The man doesn't have a reputation for doing much of anything lightly.

"You'll do it," Hallis says with a smile, "If there's anyone that can stop what's going on it's you. I think your idea about finding the person in charge and changing their mind is brilliant." She reaches to his hand and twines his fingers with hers. "I'll help you every way I can. Just let me know what to do and I'll do my best."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License