2009-10-28: Hairstyles And Attitudes

Starring:

Lee_V4icon.pngKory_V4icon.png

Date: October 28, 2009

Summary:

Lee apologizes to Kory AGAIN, yeah.


"Hairstyles and Attitudes"

Kory's Apartment, New York City

Lee comes over to Kory's apartment, as he has so many times before, having had some time to cool off after a big blowout fight, and wanting to patch things up. Not to mention make sure that the government hasn't kidnapped her or whatever. He knocks on the door, then returns his hands to be jammed in his jacket pocket, smiling wryly at the peephole.

Kory doesn't really bother with the peephole. Not since that August a year and change ago. Peepholes are pointless when people can teleport. Or rip the door off the hinges for the third time. So she opens it and blinks in surprise at who's standing in the hallway. "Lee." There's a hardness on that last syllable, like she stopped herself from continuing to say his entire name. "Hello…?" she adds, uncertainly.

Lee says, "Hey, Kory, how's it, uh, going? Can I come in?" gracefully, even that 'uh'.

Kory regards Lee dubiously but with some warmth nonetheless, like the proverbial old woman running across a half-frozen snake begging her for five minutes by the fire. "Yes. Of course. Come on in." She steps back and allows him room to enter. "Get you anything? I just made a pot of coffee." Which she doesn't drink, but has long been in the habit of making for visitors.

Lee says, "Oh, uh, sure, coffee's great. It's getting cold out there." He enters, looking out the window that he was thrown out a year or so ago, but after being thrown out of a window, how scary can an apology standing in front of it be? "Hey, so, I had some time to think, and cool off, and really…I blew the job thing out of proportion. I don't like it, I still don't like it, but it's your life, I don't have any right to tell you how to live it. I was wrong. And besides, it's not like I'm completely morally blameless in my job either, these days." Hm? "…and really, I'd prefer to be friends again."

"Yes, it is," Kory agrees, nodding, and leading him toward the kitchen to pour the coffee. She turns around to look at him as she hands him the steaming cup. This is some swanky, expensive coffee, which fits her swanky, expensive lifestyle.

At his attempt at an apology, she opens her mouth, as if to defend herself. But she lets out the breath in a soft hiss between her teeth rather than forming words with it. "I've missed you too," she admits. "And really, I'm glad you've come over. I'd rather be friends too." But that's not all, says her expression.

Lee takes the coffee gratefully. "Thanks. Good stuff!" he says, unironically. Lee never had a problem with luxury, per se. "I heard from Charlotte that you and Randall are finally quits, and for good reason…" Lee has apparently kept in contact with his former student - Kory one of the few that knows she only got her GED from Lee last year.

"Yes," Kory says a little stiffly. Accepting it is one thing. Being okay with it is another. "It was inevitable, really. He needs someone he could sleep with in the literal sense as well as the colloquial." She shrugs and blinks hard. "You have heard, by now, that trouble is rearing its ugly head again." It's not really a question and the set of her thinned lips does not imply she means Leslie, Nequebaard, or any of the old troublemakers from the Lair.

Lee says, "Yeah, the government. I can't say I didn't see it coming, but to think that they'd hit on the exact same moronic style when they're one of the few groups out there with even the capacity to do more is mindboggling and annoying. Not to mention the usual suspects are still out there being idiots on top of everything else. I've got a few things cooking to deal with things within my reach. You?"

Kory gives a shake of her head. Her hair doesn't move. It's expensively coiffed to a fare-thee-well these days, and she looks completely unnatural with it in this style. "Peter said he wanted me to switchboard but we haven't really done anything. I've tried a couple times to reach Sophie. Micah. They're missing. I don't know if they're drugged or if I've just let my connection to them stretch so thin I can't find them easily anymore." She settles into the kitchen chair and clasps her hands in her lap disconsolately. "So what have you got cooking besides…" you know, she does not add, sneering derisively?

Lee seats himself. He doesn't remark about her hair - a sure sign that he hates it , leans forward with the mug in his long-fingered hands, and says, "Be careful with Peter. He's working with the Company that kidnapped him. Short memory on that guy. I don't think he'd do anything particularly bad - unless ordered to - but he might put in a report, and the same damn people are doing the same damn things there." How exactly does Lee know that? "I remember Micah a little bit. You know, I think he and Charlotte were connected up, you might try her and see if she knows anything. Oh, except I assume you got the text message about her."

Kory hates it too, but the whole idea behind taking this job that Lee hated her taking was to fill up the bank with enough money so she could take on a threat like Arthur Petrelli…and now the threat is the government. "It's not a short memory," she says. More like Lee's is. "They did that to stop him from paradoxing himself out of existence." Because both Peters walking around and into each other? Probably not a happy thing. "And what people are doing …what?" Why does Lee know, let alone how? And then, "…text message? Um. No, Lee. No one's texted me about her."

Lee blinks. He's surprised, Charlotte talked like she and Kory were very close. "It went out to everyone in her cellphone or something, I thought you might have gotten it." He gets out his iPhone and shows it to her - from someone named 'Rebel' saying Charlotte's body's been taken over by someone. "Actually that was the second time they kidnapped Peter." he says as she reads and absorbs. "I don't think you knew him the first time. I guess he figures if they're going to kidnap him at least if he's working there it's a short drag down the hall to his cell." He shakes his head. "I called Charlotte's cellphone and yep, it's someone else in her body all right. A real jackass by the sound of it. Kind of weird to hear another voice in Charlotte's throat, you know?"

Kory and Charlotte are pretty tight, yes. But Kory's also distanced herself even from most of the people she's closest to. She blinks down at her g1 and frowns. "No —but wait." A few seconds of screenhopping and she does find it. "Oh. It went to the alternate inbox."

"Not in charge of her own body. That's a problem," she says after a moment to digest it. "So who's the jackass in her body, Lee? and how do we get our charlotte back?" Because that's the sort of angle Kory would prefer to approach it from.

Lee says, "I have no idea. I don't even know where they are. Could be anywhere if whoever it is has access to her ability." Anything Lee knows, he trusts to Kory. "I told them to get over their drama, that Charlotte had important stuff to get done, and that it didn't matter if their body was super-ugly, you can't just take someone else's without being willing to pick up the rest of their life too. I was a little steamed." he admits at the end.

"…and the impostor laughed and hung up on you," is Kory's wry-mouthed guess. Because Lee's tirades don't endear him to his friends; unlikely they'll reach people with whom he's got antipathy. "That approach is probably not going to help. How long ago was Charlotter really herself that anyone knows of, do we know?"

Lee says, "They didn't laugh." with a certain degree of satisfaction, but continues: "I don't know. I got the message at the same time you did, and it's all I know. She has been keeping her activities a bit of a secret from me, by mutual agreement. Ah…" He rubs the back of his neck. "Peter's not the only one working for the Company these days." he admits. "A few months ago I was approached…they'd gotten these kids who had 'incidents' in public schools and pulled them out in order to cover up the secret. Their parents knew about it and kinda sorta approved. But they needed a teacher who knew powers existed and I was the only one in the file. And…I couldn't just leave them there to be taught by videotapes and boneheaded corporate knuckledraggers like Primatech. So almost every night I take a train out to the boarding school and give them three hours or so of the one room schoolhouse experience."

"…Really." Kory's eyes go wide at that. She's surprised Lee consented to that. "I'm glad you're looking out for them." She has more to say but doesn't let it past her lips. It's too much like comic books, and she and Lee are tiptoeing back toward being friends. That would just start another fight.

Lee says, glumly, "Yeah. Nima called me Professor X." And that's why Kory and Nima were best friends, they think alike. "I couldn't just leave them to their fate. Some nights I wish I could have. Those idiots out there have no clue what they're doing. Anyway, though, as a precaution against them doing something nasty to the students, Charlotte and I were making plans - just as a contingency, mind you - that if something happened, we could get them out of Primatech and into some kind of safe house or something until their parents could be secured to come and get them. I think she was doing the same for some of the government refugees, but I didn't want someone from the Company to read that out of my mind, so she never told me any details."

"Yeah. she did the same for a bunch of kids last year, before Primatech burned down. She had enough heads up to know it was all going to go ugly, and she teleported them to safety all over the world. Smart woman." Kory's voice holds admiration. "But now we don't know how to help her unless this Rebel —" and Kory has an inkling who that is " — lets us know it's safe and that it really is Charlotte again. Of course, I could go find out. Whoever's wearing her skin has to sleep sometime." And Kory still doesn't.

Lee nods slightly. "I wonder if Charlotte is still in there somewhere, or if she's just zonked right out…" he says, distractedly. "I am worried about her, but she's beyond my reach at the moment. I can't trust any of the Company goons to do anything but ram their heads into walls and blame me when it hurts. If you come up with something I can do, I'll be happy to give it a go, of course…" Just like old times.
And that — that twinkle of his trust, his willingness to be involved in this mess, even though he hates it both silently and vociferously — is enough to bring a smile to Kory's face. A smile that brings the old Kory out. She leans across and kisses him on the cheek. "I'll keep you in the loop," she promises.

Lee gives her a quick hug, perhaps unexpected but definitely fierce. He's been isolated in his two-job world, between the uncaring sneers of Brubaker and the aghast paranoia of Passaic, the only ones he's able to connect with being, well, students. "Thanks. I miss you when we're fighting, you know." he says gratefully.

Kory returns the embrace, warmly, but tightly. "I missed you too," she assures him. "Let's try to be grownups next time, hmm?" she offers once the embrace has run its course. "We were friends before all this powers stuff made the world crazy. We shouldn't let it come between us."

Lee says, confidently, "Right, right. It's all going to blow over eventually. We'll look back and laugh." He sits back and finishes his coffee. "You look good, I love the outfit." He doesn't ask about the master plan, but he can at least compliment her on the fruits of it.

"Thank you." The clothes, well, yeah, nice side effect. "I think I've divested my portfolio enough that come the new year, I can walk, though. It wasn't a good fit. You were right about that." And the job cost her Randall, to some degree, as well. "It's getting tougher to keep the mask on all day."

Lee is surprised. "Seriously? After all that, you're just going to stop?" he asks.

Kory nods at him, giving him a crooked smile. "Well, yes," she tells him. "It was never meant to be permanent. It was just meant to give me a big enough figure to start with so that I could invest it and have enough cash to sort of move around on short notice." She looks bewildered. "Did you really think I was going to turn into a suit altogether, irreversably? Me?"

Lee says, "You wouldn't be the first person that's happened to. Money changes everything." Something else Lee knows from painful personal experience.

"I have an advantage," Kory reminds him with a faint smile. "My ability means I still see what other people's dreams are. That reminds me what I'm supposed to be doing this for, not just to line my pockets and keep the Batcave stocked."

Lee still seems skeptical. Of course he would be. Powers to him are nothing. "Well, I hope it works out for you." he says.

"I've always been a natural born dreamer," Kory reminds Lee. "You think my brother would let me turn my back on that part of me? You think my mother would?" Money is nice, but to thine own self, yada yada.

Lee says, "They certainly didn't put up the fight I did." Then immediately says, "Too soon after the apology?" with a self-deprecating and thoroughly charming smile. He gets to his feet. "Okay, I have to go get some lesson plans done for tomorrow and catch a few winks, tomorrow's a two-school day."

"Oh, really?" Kory laughs. "Anzeti would still be not talking to me if I hadn't bought him a peace offering." She reaches over and ruffles his hair. "You're still a schmuck," she teases, "But at least you're honest." And isn't that refreshing after working in Advertising and Marketing for a year.

Lee laments, "That's what I keep telling people. We can fix their stupidiity if they're only honest about it. For some reason they don't listen. It's a mystery." He would ruffle her hair back but it would probably bruise his hand with all that product. "I'll see ya around."

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