2007-06-29: Invisible Pizza


Tamara_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif George_icon.gif Kitty_icon.gif Portia_icon.gif

Summary: An encounter in the park turns into a foray for pizza. Tamara, McAlister, and George talk. They are joined by Kitty. Portia goes for some invisible pizza stealing, and the unexpected happens.

Date It Happened: June 29th, 2007

Invisible Pizza

Near Central Park, New York City

It's a grey, drizzly afternoon in Central Park, the skies having never really stopped with the rain, but having never really made up their mind to be serious about it, either. It makes for a lack of the usual sunday afternoon sunloungers, and has certainly cooled off the worst of New York's summer heat, at least for now.

Which is something, right?

But, for some, the Park has its own allure - or necessity. So it is that where Fiddler's Green gives way to the horse trails, where a wide underpass offers shelter from the wet insisting on falling from the sky, there's an Ali. Curled up on the cobblestone walk, she's got her back to the wall, her pack and bag tucked in close at her side. Her jeans are in desperate need of a wash cycle, her shirt not much better - and all of that? Of no moment. See..

Ali has her nose in a book. A /new/ book, no less, a copy of that "Activating Evolution" thing that seems to be making the rounds lately. She's even settled where the yellow-orange light above her offers a bit of extra illumination.
A few passers wander by? But - for the most part, the earstwhile DJ escapes notice, blending in as just another bohemian part of the Central Park landscape.

And then there's the people who will notice you whether you like it or not. Without standing on any ceremony - no 'would you mind company', 'can I share your cover', or even so much as a 'hello' - a younger girl walks into the underpass and claims a seat of her own across from Ali, plastic bag crinkling softly as it's set down on the cobblestones.

She looks in a fairly similar state to Ali - more recently cleaned, but just a bit unkempt. Especially her hair, the dark blonde strands hopelessly neglected, thus mussed and tangled. Tamara seems to pay it about as much attention as Ali pays her clothes, bothered only to shove a stray bit out of her face as she looks over to the young woman with a smile.

Tamara stretches out her legs, leans back against the wall, and fishes two chilled bottles of green tea out of the plastic bag. One is set on the walkway within Ali's reach. The other, the girl twists open with the pop of a breaking seal and drinks from herself.

It's the bag that does it. The crinkling. Ali blinks, looking up - apparently, vision takes a minute to change out from 'book' to 'not book'. But! It does, and when it does, it comes with a warm smile, a nod of greeting… and a blink and tilted head at the bottle of tea. "Er." A beat. Then another. "Thanks?"

But. Ali's World is a shiny place. People don't poison each other, and they do stuff like this. Friendly gestures work, right? And she reaches out for that bottle, picking it up and offering another of those grateful grins across at Tamara. Apparently, it's the small things. "I owe you one."

Tamara shakes her head at Ali's final statement. "No, you didn't," she disagrees. "It's just a moment." Shifting her position a bit, the girl makes a face at the darker spots left by raindrops on her shirt. They prove to not brush off, at which point Tamara visibly loses interest in them. Blue eyes return to Ali, studying the young woman thoughtfully.

"Everything's just moments." Ali shrugs - "That one means a lot, to me, anyway." She folds the book in her lap.. then opens the bottle, paying peculiar attention to it. "It's all about the little things. What is it.. 'it is the smallest thing in the right moment that changes worlds.' Always liked Tolkein - I hope I got that right."

The quote doesn't seem to trigger any recognition from Tamara - so whether her companion is correct or not, it's the same difference to her. The teen folds her hands in her lap, a slow smile drawing the corners of her lips up as she listens to Ali. "It is," she agrees, bobbing her head once. "Snapshots that flow past, one into the next, here and gone again. Each drop in the river, if you look right. It's a little gift; it wasn't what mattered," Tamara remarks, glancing out to the park, her gaze gone distant. "Just a crossing."

Ali offers a grin, leaning back against the rough wall. "Well, it mattered to me. So there. Ha." She offers, "Ali. It's enough of a name for anybody, right?" A swig of tea, then - "I haven't seen you around the park before. Doesn't mean anything - It's kinda a big park."

Tapping her fingers on the cobblestones in a quiet, erratically shifting series of rhythms, Tamara merely shrugs at Ali's remarks. "It's a good place. Lots of quiet, if you look careful. Maybe you didn't look enough. Maybe the mirror wasn't here. Maybe you did, and hadn't caught up to it." The girl turns over her own words, silent for a few moments, then shrugs again, offering Ali a cheerful grin. "Were you staying here?"

Let it never be said that a certain DJ backs down from a challenge - this girl brought /tea/. And she seems harmeless enough - a little confusing talk? Nothing to fret over. In fact, Ali's head tilts as she processes that as best she can - and decides to stick with a safe answer. "I was thinking about it. Depends on if the cops are going to do a walkthrough." Another sip of tea. "I like it here - I mean, don't get me wrong? I'd like a lot of other 'heres' too, but this one's not too bad."

If. That's her province. Tilting her head to one side, Tamara blinks at Ali. Then she glances away, idly catching her lower lip in her teeth, silent for a bit. Though the girl faces slightly away, her face perhaps in three-quarter profile to McAlister, Ali may notice the rapid dilation of her pupils. "It was pretty good," Tamara finally agrees, looking back to Ali with her eyes mostly normal. Or so close to it as they ever are. Retrieving the bottle of tea beside her, she opens it again and takes a sip. "/Too/ long pushed luck, though," she points out. "Better not to have it pushing back. At least from here. Especially without blue."

McAlister blinks. Twice. And she considers that for a long, long moment - another pull of tea. Two. she ventures then, a question - "So. You're suggesting I pick another spot?" A grin, then - "Well, it's wetter, but - there's a copse out in the Green." A shrug. "I haven't exactly been doing this all that long. But, hey - if somebody offers advice /and/ tea? Stupid not to take it, right?" The woman shifts to bring her knees up to her chest, regarding Tamara with undisguised curiosity. "A crossing, huh?"

Tamara doesn't hurry Ali's thinking at all; she takes another sip of her tea, then fishes a loop of string out of her pocket and begins lacing it about her fingers. She looks up to her companion as Ali speaks, and shrugs a bit. "Up to you. Maybe stay here tonight?" the girl suggests. She shakes the cord off her fingers and starts anew. "Shadows cross," Tamara affirms, nodding a bit distractedly. Most of her attention seems to be on the string and its pattern, but she does look sidelong at McAlister. "Strings in a web. Can't catch bugs with a string; webs work better."

"Hon, if you've got a plan for me?" Whymsical and light, Ali leaning over to peer up at the grey sky, then coming back under shelter. "I'll take it. Nothing /I/ plan seems to work." Another sip of that tea. "Maybe you get it. I don't." Apparently, babbling on to apparently mildly crazy conversational companions is taken as par for the course. "I keep wishing I had an owner's manual. 'Life. Chapter three. How to tell what's real.' Be a great book, wouldn't it? Sell a million copies." She raises her own bottle in a .. somewhat distant.. toast. And then.. oddly, asks - "You hungry?"

The teen's response to Ali is a burble of soft laughter. "No. Your shadows were always yours," she answers, shaking her head. "Everything just kept going." Her head cants as the woman describes her fictitious book, suggesting Tamara doesn't quite follow. But she doesn't ask questions about it, either. She just watches Ali toast the empty air, and gives an oddly rueful smile at her concluding question. "We can go if you want," the teen states with a nod, stuffing the bit of string back in her pocket. Her attitude isn't that of trying to downplay the question, or to avoid impinging on Ali's goodwill, despite the oblique answer.

"I'm just offering - " Ali takes a long breath, a deep one. "All I know is there's a place that sells pizza by the slice not to far from here. And I have a little cash - and you know what? I hate eating alone." She offers a lopsided smile, vaguely waving a hand up the path. "Or we can stay here, if you want. I'm easy, you know?" The jersey accent sneaks out a bit more - "You're not kidding, though. It did just keep going. and going. And going. I kinda wish it'd slow down a little."

The girl smiles. "Then don't eat alone." It's as simple as that, right? Getting up to her feet, she grabs Ali's hand and tugs gently. Get up; let's go already. Tamara wrinkles her nose at the woman's remarks. "It never did. The river doesn't listen, ever - it just does what it does." She doesn't seem too happy with that fact herself.

McAlister gets tugged up to her feet with mock-reluctance… laughing, then, and reaching down to snag pack and bag, there, slinging both over her shoulder. "Yeah. I wish it spit out hot guys, too. But if wishes were worth anything, I'd have a rent-control off of park avenue, right?" A quick patdown to ensure she's not missing anything, a quick swipe to grab the rest of that tea, and Ali's looking over - "c'mon. It's not far, and they've got pepperoni to die for. So. Do I get to call you something, or can I just call you whatever comes to mind? I like Medea. You may not, though."

Tamara seems to have forgotten entirely about her own tea, given the way she looks back at it as Ali retrieves hers. The teen moves over to pick hers up, swinging it freely back and forth as she starts down the path. Entirely as if she knows the place Ali has in mind. Her thoughts, however, are elsewhere, brow creasing at the question of names. "Mm… Tamara?" the girl says slowly, suggesting that she had to work for it and even then isn't entirely sure. With a shrug of one shoulder, the problem is dismissed; her expression clears. "It doesn't matter. I knew what you meant."

"Heh. Tamara - I like that." Ali jogs a couple of steps to catch up, and then moves along with - "Really? Half the time I don't know what I mean myself. You're one up on me." And a thought seems to strike - "You're on your own? I mean.. out here?" And.. that seems to bring out genuine concern.

As they walk, Tamara continues to lead the way, just a half-step ahead of Ali. She blinks at her companion, seeming puzzled by the concern - or by the choice of words used to express it. "You're here. And there were always shadows everywhere. Nowhere's alone."

"Yeah, well, places don't get lonely either." Ali keeps her smile, kicking a rock that's strayed across the path. "And yeah, I guess I am, for now. Sorry. It's just part of me to worry, I guess. So. You a pepperoni or supreme sort?" Safe enough topic of conversation. "Me? Shrooms and sausage. But I'm weird, I know."

"Worrying's okay. Just don't fret," is Tamara's opinion of that matter. But she starts frowning even before Ali changes the subject. It may be a 'safe' topic in most circumstances, but the girl is initially silent on it. It seems to frustrate her. In the end, Tamara runs her free hand back through her hair and shrugs. "It was all food," is her remarkably indifferent conclusion, as they come up to the pizza place.

The two … somewhat scruffy, admittedly (dirty jeans, wrinkled clothing) women are at the edge of Central Park proper, coming out of an underpass near a cluster of shops just off Central Park east. The weather's a little rough - grey and drizzly, and the ground's been wet all day - but, the two are simply getting rained on. So it goes.

They're approaching, along the side walk, a pizza joint named 'Joe's', and the heavenly scent of pepperoni and cheese. A siren call - the older of the two, Ali, leaning over to nudge the girl walking next to her with a friendly shoulder. "Yeah? No such thing. Seriously - wait 'till you try their pies - heaven on a plate." Pack and bag are on her other shoulder; Tamara's real encumberence is a bottle of green tea.

George is standing just in the doorway of Joe's, holding an umbrella open above him for the moment. "It is?" he asks, then turns and waves in the direction of the speaker, giving Ali a quick once-over. "I just came here because it happened to be close." ('My lucky day', he adds, mouthing more or less silently to himself.) As the line finally shuffles forward, he folds up the umbrella, but holds the door open for the newcomers.

Tamara doesn't even dodge the nudge - but then, Ali might've unbalanced if she had. She just takes it in stride, along with her companion's opinions. As they come up to the door, Tamara stops swinging the bottled tea in time with her steps, offering George an amiable smile. "They were good," she informs him, nodding a couple of times. She ducks in past him, blue eyes surveying the interior of the restaurant.

Ali rolls her eyes and turns her grin on George. "Thanks - I think I've been rained on most of the day." And.. honestly? It's not overpowering, but she could probably use a bath. Too bad it didn't rain soap, too, huh? Regardless, the woman moves in after Tamara - "Slices are up at the counter - you wanna grab a chair? I'll see what I can hook up for us."

Once the umbrella is safely contained, George follows after Ali, using it as an impromptu walking stick. Not that he needs one, but it has to go somewhere. He shoots Tamara a funny look, idly scratching at the back of his neck: "Oh, did the cat turn up yet?" he asks, while grabbing a handful of napkins.

Nodding to Ali, Tamara glances to George. "The cat?" she echoes, tilting her head. "The cat was fine," she states, still seeming a bit puzzled. Then the girl ducks through the line, weaving her way across the room to a table.

The former DJ takes a spot in line. "Okay, now you know I'm going to ask - " That distinctive alto is certainly amused - "What cat?"

George returns Ali's smile, on instinct, then shrugs. "Oh, I ran into her" (a nod of the head serves to indicate Tamara) "over by Times Square the other day, she mentioned something about a lost cat. And then had to take off, so that's as much as I've got to go on."

"Oh, yeah?" Ali offers a hand George's way, as the line goes forward a person or two. "Ali. I just met her myself - I like her, though. Huh. I wonder if she meant a real cat, or that Kitty chick?" A shrug. "I guess I'll ask, right? By the way. Pepperoni and shrooms. You won't regret it."

"George," the man introduces himself, returning Ali's handshake. "Both, I think— they were together. Picking up a cat seemed to be Kitty's idea." He glances over to Tamara, inviting her to clarify. "Either that, or there are two girls named Kitty running around— it /was/ Times Square, so it wouldn't be out of the question."

Over at the seat she's claimed, Tamara doesn't seem to be paying much attention to their conversation. Her cue to provide clarification passes without being noted. Rather, the girl has acquired a handful of straws and is carefully peeling the wrapper from each one. The self-assigned task seems to demand considerable concentration.

Another step farther in line - "Yeah. Three slices - uh. Pepperoni and shrooms? Two waters. Thanks." Ali drops an order, easy enough, rummaging in a front pocket for a battered ten. According to the counterman, that ten gets reduced to about thirty cents, but hey. Feasting good, right? change thus taken, she grins over at George. "At least you didn't say Hell's Kitchen. Then you gotta wonder if they work at competing strip joints. But yeah, maybe."

George makes a face, briefly. "I haven't been. Thanks for the tip, though." A slice for himself (adding black olives) and a Coke, which runs just over five. "So what's kept you outdoors all day? I'm assuming it's not nostalgia for the drowned-rat look."

"Tribal rain dancing." Straight face. "Seriously cleanses the soul." Ali can't keep the humor out of her eyes, though. "Well, that and the mystic allure of natural lighting. Seriously. Can't be beat." Tray. Za. Glasses of water. Hey, look - /dinner/. And with that? She's heading for that nearby table. "Even if I do look /damn good/ with the drowned rat thing. Seriously."

"I never said you didn't," George muses, grabbing his own stuff and heading over to another one nearby. "But not so much 'because of' as 'in spite of'." Another quick glance over at Tamara, still visibly wondering what her deal is, but lacking any polite way of asking directly. "As for rain dancing, I can see the college crowd really getting into that— especially around this time of year, winding down after finals and all."

Tamara twists in her seat to look at Ali and George as they make their way over - "You can sit here, too," she offers to George - before glancing down at the strips of paper she's tied into knots. Multiple knots, until there's no strip left except the very ends sticking out on either side. Something to keep her hands busy. The girl promptly sweeps them (and the straws they used to enclose) over to one side, making room on the table for the tray.

Ali's careful, setting that tray in front of Tamara, then dropping into the seat next door. "Oh, yeah. It's a huge hit with the liberal arts majors. You know, that whole 'get in touch with nature' thing." She /still/ manages to keep a mostly straight face, even. "The drumming really gets your blood going. It's the rage over at NYU." To the other woman, she offers, "Sorry about the water - best I could do, you know?" There's self-consciousness there, quickly passed.

George hmms at Tamara, then scoots his table over - they're small enough that things would be a bit crowded, otherwise. "Well, you'll have to let me know about the next gathering, then," he deadpans to Ali, figuring there's a joke involved but uncertain of its full extent.

Tamara blinks at Ali, then picks up her bottle of water, holding it up to the light and peering through the liquid. "…There's a problem with it?" Again, her eyes shift, if not so obviously this time. And the girl shakes her head. "No, it was just water. It's fine," she declares, twisting off the cap and taking a drink as if to underscore that fact.

"Well, yeah." Ali rolls her eyes at Tamara. "That's kind of the point." A grin, and she snags a slice for herself, folding it in true new york style. "You know, if you show up on a Saturday, naked in Strawberry Fields? You'll find 'em. Seriously." No, she's not at all serious. "Nah. I'm kidding. Honestly." And she's very quick to say, "Unless that's you're scene, you don't have to." Odd. BUt she makes a point of it.

George laughs, finally, around about the Strawberry Fields part. Takes a bite of his own. "Mmm." Approval in half a word or less. "It's not, really, but it's nice to know what people are up to. Now back in New Orleans, you would've gotten a big crowd for that sort of thing, but for much different reasons."

Tamara doesn't seem to follow Ali's reasoning, but she leaves it be. Setting the water down, she takes a piece of pizza and sets it on a napkin. Rather than just eating the slice, the girl picks off toppings and eats them one at a time. She watches Ali and George curiously as she does so, more of her attention on them than on the food.

"Yeah? I thought people did that stuff all the time down there. Voodoo and snakes and stuff in dark alleys." Ali munches. Well. Ravens. That pizza slice is dissapearing at a remarkable rate.

George goes at a slower pace, in part because he's got less to work with. "I think a few of them do, but you have to go looking for them— I don't count the surface stuff they trot out for the tourists. And most of the tourists don't even care about that any more, they just wanna drop in for Mardi Gras."

Tamara gets about halfway across the slice of pizza before she's distracted, blue gaze flicking to the windows. She drums her fingers briefly on the tabletop, then hops down out of her chair, weaving her way off through the other tables only to eventually return to theirs. Pacing, perhaps, if in an unorthodox fashion.

Yes. One new-york-size slice is gone /that fast/, Ali licking at her fingers, as she points out - "That's why it's good to be a native. You get to worry about the creepy stuff in the alleys after dark." Then Tamara's moving, and Ali's looking up, blinking, worried. "Hey, Tam? You okay?"

"Having to worry about what goes on in the daytime was bad enough." George pauses, wiping his hands as he watches Tamara: two half-conversations is not grounds enough to know what's typical for her, so he looks to Ali for a cue.

"Hm?" Looking over at Ali, Tamara blinks. "It was fine," she answers, sounding unsure of why she's being asked. The girl slides back into her seat, returns to picking at her pizza. "What do you worry about?" she asks of George.

"If you're sure." Ali grins.. and … you know? She goes for a bit of silverware - hacking the remaining slice in half. Longways. Apparently, Ali's content with circumstances as they are - that's about as far as it goes… but she actually seems interested in the answer to that question.

George takes another bite, considering how to answer. Too honest… but too evasive, and he'll just rouse their curiosity further. "Of making mistakes," he finally offers. "Everyday ones come and go, but… big things coming up soon, you know? Could be a big win, or a big loss, depending."

Olive held just above the surface of the pizza slice, Tamara looks over at George. Quiet, at first. Then she replies solemnly, "Yes. I know." Her gaze falls to the half-full bottle of water, but without really looking /at/ it. "Sometimes all you can do is try. Nothing's for certain - but maybe the only road there is in the risk." The olive lands back on the pizza, and she returns to regarding George.

Ali quirks a brow, looking between Tamara and George. "She's.. uh. Right." It's almost apologetic - "So you are from down there, then? This is a long way to go to find pizza." Hey, lookit! Conversation!

George leans back in his chair. "You're right, of course," he replies to Tamara, filing away some more private questions before his attention turns back to Ali. "A few years here, a few years down there. I grew up in Texas— nothing big happened there, most of the time. Why I left."

Tamara studies George for a minute - but he winds up not asking anything. The girl smiles just slightly, reclaims the bit of olive she dropped earlier, and pops it in her mouth. While Ali and George chat, Tamara picks up her topping-less slice of pizza and finally starts eating /it/.

THe half-slice? Gone. And Ali's eyeing the untouched one - but - no. She's good! For now. "Yeah? I thought everything big happened in Texas. Sort of the state motto, isn't it? What is it.. 'the sun is riz' -" Her false southern accent is the /worst/ of outrageous hollywood drawl, "the sun is set, and boy you ain't left Texas yet?'" A grin indeed.

George smiles faintly. "El Paso, 857 miles. They actually /have/ that on a sign. In other words, if you planned on making New Mexico that same day? Too damn bad." Another quick shake of the head. "Problem is, all the /big/ big stuff was going on a couple hours away, somewhere— except for high school football, which is practically the state religion but that's only four months a year, and then the mess in Waco back in '93. That was when I decided, okay, I'm in the wrong place here."

Tamara, on the other hand, shows no interest in the remaining slice of pizza. She's not even apparently terribly interested in the one she's got, as what's left of it is abruptly folded up in the napkin. Pizza in one hand, the water left behind on the table, the teen gets out of her chair again; from the looks of things, her intent this time is to leave.

"So - New York." Ali's Jersey comes through, as she points out - "So I'm guessing it wasn't too hard to trade in longhorns for guidos and a better skyline? More transvestites, less gunfire?" Teasing, though - and.. she pauses as Tamara stands up - "Oh. Hey - leaving?" She sounds oddly dissapointed, honestly.

George squints at Ali, playing along with the tease. "Honestly, can you see me in a ten-gallon hat?" No _All the Pretty Horses_ jokes, please. He blinks and turns toward Tamara once again: sure, people have things to go do, but they usually throw some small talk at the issue.

Tamara's not given to small talk in quite the same fashion as everyone else; even one conversation tends to make that evident. She smiles at Ali. "The river moves on; so does everything in it. There were other days." Another smile is given to George, before the teen walks off towards the door of the pizza shop and back out into the dripping weather.

The other two are at a table in 'Joe's', a crowded pizzaria near the edge of Central Park East - cheap pizza-by-the-slice and beer. Num!

Ali, though, just .. well. She goes for that last half-slice, unashamedly now, watching Tam head for the door for a moment before her attention goes back to George. "Yeah, though. I can. The hat thing. Seriously." She grins. "It'd look pretty good on you. Now, having some rough guy standing behind you saying, "Ah Cain't Quit ya!" - that'd just be /funny/."

George rolls his eyes at the Brokeback reference, but grins in spite of it. "I'll do it if you do," he says to Ali, pantomiming picking up a ten-gallon hat and placing it atop her head. At a rakish angle, naturally. Then he waves to Tamara as she heads off, taking the Hitchhiker's Guide grammar more or less in stride.

Kitty runs into the pizza shop and removes her hood. She looks at Tamara as she leaves and almost says something, but then decides not to, "I'll catch my cousin later" she mutters to herself. She looks around the shop and spots George and McAllister. She immediately breaks into a smile and walks over to the two. "Hey guys!" she says and plops into a chair next to Ali. "I wish Tamara would have stayed so I could tell her about Tiger! He is just so cute!"

McAlister uses a finger to mock-tilt the imaginary hat back. "Partner, I don't know of you texas types could even /think/ of keeping up with a Jersey girl." A wink - and she'd likely say something more, but then Kitty's pulling up a chair, and - well. Startled definitely enters the picture. "Tiger? What?"

Portia has a lot to think about. While she might prefer to stay out in the rain, she is getting a bit cold, having been wandering in the streets for sometime. However, she's not just wandering the streets. She's also invisible. So it may seem a bit odd when the door opens and it seems like no one was there to open it, but what better place to get lost than in a crowd. Perhaps Kitty merely left the door open when she came in. Either way, Portia slips out of the way as she enters, her eyes searching around quietly, taking advantage of her invisibility to take everything in. She's contemplating pilfering a slice of pizza, too, just because she can, and at this point, Portia needs to do /something/ to relieve stress.

Between Ali and Kitty, George is too distracted to notice the door opening by itself. Wouldn't you be, too? "So you did pick one up after all," he says to Kitty. "Orange, black stripes?" There's a half-eaten slice sitting unattended at their tables, along with one cut in half but otherwise untouched.

Kitty snickers and winks at Ali, "Oh yeah! Sorry, my cousin and I went to find a cat and well…. we did and his name is Tiger and he is so cute!" She closes her eyes for a second and breathes in deep breathe and blushes slightly before addressing George, "Nope, he is an Egyptian Mau! Very rare, we found him on the street near my apartment building". Kitty looks back to Ali, "How are things going for you my friend?" Kitty is too busy talking with George and Ali to notice a door opening on it's own.

The one cut in half? Well - half is touched. Oh, yes. Ali is after it with a vengeance. Nom. Ravens. But - hey, she's not as bad as the first whole slice. She might even /taste/ this half-one. And yes, she talks with her mouth full, or at least a little so - "What the heck's a Mau? Seriously - I'm calling it communist kitten. that's it. You're stuck for it."

Thanks to the distraction of the small party, Portia decides that the other half of a slice of pizza and the half-eaten slice are fair game. She's hungry, they aren't paying TOO much attention and it's not as if anyone can see her. So she carefully approaches the table, reaches over and snags the pizza that's left. The real question is.. is anyone paying attention enough to notice it disappear?

GAME: Portia has rolled DEXTERITY+CRIME and got a result of HORRIBLE.

Yes and no. Without looking, George reaches for his half-slice at the same time, but his hand lands on top of Portia's invisible wrist instead. "Huh?" he says, lifting his hand and turning to look in that direction. That definitely did not feel crust-like.

Kitty notices George's reaction to the pizza as she is watching his every move but trying not to be overly obvious about it. She tucks a piece of hair behind her ear and looks at the spot where he is. "The Mau is just a rare breed of cat, Ali you have to come over and see him one day." The young woman is still looking at the spot that nobody seems to be standing.

McAlister doesn't seem to notice the pizza grab. Well. The grabbing /at/ pizza that culminates in grabbing /not/ pizza - but given that George was going for /her dinner/? well. That gets him a lifted brow and a /look./ One of /those/ looks. "Uh-huh."

Oh. That was not supposed to happen. Yet, by some ODD COINCIDENCE, at the same time she grabbed for the pizza, so did someone else. And that is exactly not what Portia was expecting. She quickly snatches her wrist back, taking a few steps away from the table and glancing from person to person to see if they really have any idea of what's going on.

George was actually going for his own half-eaten slice, but the way things turn out, it does /look/ like he was going after Ali's. "I… don't know," he murmurs, reaching for his own piece more slowly this time, and keeping an eye on it in the process.

Kitty shrugs her shoulders and tries not to look at George… too much. She goes off to get a soda and soon returns with one. As she sips the soda, she looks down at the table, "So how are things with you George?".

Ali certainly hasn't noticed - instead? She grins. "Look, if you want to trade? Fine by me. it's fair, right?" The woman takes a sip from her own water, and shakes her head - apparently, amused.

Portia isn't moving. She stares, glancing back and forth between the three. Things seem okay. No one seems any bit the wiser, but Portia herself is a little shaken up. She was sure for a moment that one of them /saw/ her. Not that she wasn't invisible, but that someone could see her /while/ invisible. She's already had enough surprises for one day. But she's keeping a VERY careful eye on the group now.

George picks up the piece, finally, but /still/ doesn't get to eat any of it because Ali is just That Compelling. "I think we might want to save that for the third date," he teases back. "And I'm doing well," he adds, glancing over at Kitty, "just stressing a bit about next week."

GAME: Kitty has rolled MAKE MYSELF SEE and got a result of GOOD.

Kitty doesn't know why she does this but she takes a chance of using her power of the plate that the pizza was on. She lightly touches it and closes her eyes. She opens her eyes a second later and she looks closely at the spot where Portia is, squinting her eyes. She debates whether or not to say something, but her curiosity wins over. "Excuse me Miss? Why exactly are you hiding?" She tilts her head and looks at the spot that Portia is standing; she is slightly ignoring George, which is a shocker. Her is full attention on Portia or the spot that Portia was in her vision.

McAlister gives Kitty the /oddest/ look - standing and snagging that last pizza half. "er. Yeah." A grin across to George. "Look - I gotta run. I come here when I can afford it - who knows? Might run into you again, right?" A bite of Za, and she's arranging bag and pack on her shoulder. "good meeting you, though. And don't worry about her - " A nod at the door. "I got a feeling she does alright."

No. That couldn't possibly happen. Portia's eyes go wide and she stares at Kitty. She somehow saw her. Did everyone in the whole world have one of those powers? Were they /all/ plotting something? Was there more to all this? First Peter, then Jane, her mother… the poor girl takes a step back. Oh, she's /not/ liking this. "Get the hell away from me!" She quickly pushes her way through the crowd to try to get towards the door.

George exchanges goodbyes with Ali, then turns back and— still doesn't see Portia, but he definitely hears her. "No, wait!" he says, getting up and heading toward the exit as well, making an educated guess that that's where the unseen speaker would be heading. The others might think he's crazy— but they'd have to think they were crazy, too, and most of them will put on blinders rather than do that.

Kitty gasps and stands up as if she is going to chase her but then realizes that it's no use, instead she simply says, "I'm not going to hurt you I promise! I'm just as shocked as you are! Please don't run away!" She looks at the door, hoping that Portia won't leave. She looks at George and then follows him to the door.

GAME: Portia has rolled INTO THE BACKGROUND and got a result of AVERAGE.

But now Portia's not just startled, she's scared. And when you're scared, it's easy to get careless. Unfortunately, she can't quite keep up the invisibility entirely. There's a flicker, and there's a visible arm, but that's all that seems visible as she darts out the door into the rain.

George has a folded umbrella leaned up against the table; he grabs it on his way out, opening it up as he reaches the door and steps outside. Are there any patches of space nearby that suspiciously fail to have rainwater falling through them?

Kitty follows Portia out and grabs her arm as she sees that it is visible, "Hold on a minute please. I mean no harm. I only get visions from objects, I can't really hurt you." She smiles in Portia's direction to reassure her.

And while George is looking for spots where the rain is falling through, Kitty's spotted the arm and grabbed at it. But Portia's still not convinced. "Leave me alone!" She cries. "I don't care what you can or can't do.. just let me go.." She's practically in tears.

While Kitty and the mostly-invisible Portia are thus engaged, George walks over, fishing a business card out of one pocket and offering it to the latter. "Here. Look, either you call or you don't, okay? Up to you." No mention is made of any weird abilities that he might have, but just taking the night's events in stride speaks volumes by itself.

Kitty nods and lets Portia go, "See no harm. I am just wanted to know why a invisible girl was at our table taking pizza, you could have just asked you know". She smiles and pats where she thinks Portia's back is. "You seem very stressed out about something hun" She comments and looks at George. "He might be able to help, if you want it.

GAME: Portia has rolled INTO THE BACKGROUND and got a result of POOR.

"Why would he be able to help?" Portia shakes her head, not that it can be seen. "I don't want any help." She looks around to see that no one else can see her partially invisible self, and concentrates on trying to become entirely invisible again. Only instead she ends up being /more/ visible. "Dammit.."

George takes a step closer, keeping the card just under the edge of his umbrella. And, to Portia's benefit, blocking the view of anyone inside the pizza place who might be watching; they'll just see him and Kitty talking, and probably think nothing of it. "Not your night, is it," he says quietly.

Kitty shrugs lightly and looks back at George, "I don't know what he could help you with exactly but he is totally cute! How can you resist help from him?" She then realizes that she said that last part a little too loud. "He heard that didn't he?" She asks Portia and face palms loudly.

GAME: Portia has rolled INTO THE BACKGROUND and got a result of POOR.

Portia, whose face and shoulders as well as one of her arms are visible, glances back to George. "No, I guess it isn't." She glances to Kitty, and actually smiles a little at her comment. "Don't think he's my type." She smiles weakly. At least she looks a little better than a moment ago. Concentrating again, she's trying to just finish becoming visible, figuring that's easier. Unfortunately, luck's against her again, and she's now only visible with her head. "Stupid thing.."

George remains where he is, shifting the card to his left hand. "Sorry, what was that?" he says to Kitty. "I'm a little deaf in this ear." He isn't, of course, but this gives her an opportunity to save face. "Seriously, though— do you want some help with that?" This will probably turn out badly for him as well, but c'mon, there's a kid getting rained on here.

Kitty shakes her head quickly at George, "I was just sayingnothing!" She looks back to Portia and looks around them to check if anyone is watching, "Do you want to go back to my apartment until you sort yourself out? How long have you known you had a ability?" She looks a little excited and grins.

Glancing between George and Kitty, Portia purses her lips a little. She's uncomfortable going back to the Gomez Apartment like this, especially considering how crowded it is and the fact that her mother is there. "Yeah, maybe that'd be a good idea." She rubs her neck. Or at least she would be if you could see that. "Um, a few months now. But I don't know. I'm kind of weirded out that there's something bigger going on or something. I mean.. there's lots more people than I expected with them.. and everyone's got all sorts of secrets and hides them and.. I don't know what's going on half the time. Hard enough just dealing with my own but there's all these people.."

GAME: George has rolled HELPING HAND and got a result of MEDIOCRE.

George has lived with his ability long enough to stop being excited and start being nervous. He has not, however, grown selfish enough to stop trying. With the business card still in hand, he reaches out toward where Portia's shoulder ought to be— just as the wind picks up, snapping his umbrella upward and causing three of the metal ribs to tear through the fabric. He stares upward and shakes his head as the rain starts to mat his hair down.

Kitty nods and takes her jacket off and gives it to Portia in a half attempt to cover her up, "I'm Kitty by the way". She then hastily leads the way to her apartment.

#606, Kitty's Apartment, Downtown New York City

The room is silent and a Egyptian Mau, Tiger roams the room and sits by the door as if waiting for someone. Kitty opens the door to her apartment and ushers Portia and George in. "Tiger I'm home! Oh! There you are." She smiles down at her cat and shakes her hair out and goes to sit down on her couch facing the T.V.

GAME: Portia has rolled INTO THE BACKGROUND and got a result of GOOD.

GAME: Kitty has rolled STAMINA and got a result of GOOD.

Stepping inside carefully, Portia concentrates both on not getting water all over Kitty's nice floor as well as focusing on trying to make herself visible again. And the odds are finally with her. Her whole rain-soaked body becomes visible, and the teen lets out a sigh. "Um, I'm Portia by the way."

Though less badly soaked than Portia, George is still in rough shape, having also managed to step in a puddle outside and get one of his socks completely soaked. He really should have known better than to try what he did earlier. "I'm George. Hi." He waves to Tiger as he slips off the affected shoe and sock, limiting the wetness to the entrance area.

Kitty hops up and turns on the heater and enters the kitchen to make some tea. "Make yourselves at home", she puts the kettle on the stove and leans against the counter. "Do you know people other people with abilities?" She asks Portia.

"Well, I didn't up until a little while ago.. my brother's got one, but we sort of kept them a secret. Didn't tell anyone. Then I ran into this guy in a park.. he could do this too. And cause he could, we saw each other." Portia rubs her neck a little. "Anyway.. he was the only one, and then I started getting really suspicious cause some people around me were being a little weird.. so I just followed someone around. And I met some others. And I'm really not sure what to think. I mean, this whole sneaking around and having powers and the way people've been talking.. I mean, sounds like it's all one big conspiracy or something. It's kind of weirding me out a little. I don't really know who has one or who can do what…" She glances towards the cat, watching it quietly.

George shakes his head. "I haven't met any others that I know about." This qualification will turn out to be Very Important. "Not here, not till tonight. I suppose it makes some sense, though… it's not like you /can/ tell just anyone about something like this, they'd look at you like you'd just turned into a fish. Or worse, they could get scared… and a bunch of scared people are one loudmouth away from a pitchfork mob."

Kitty nods a bit and smiles down at Tiger again, "I only know of you, my best friend Dorian and some chick that has some serious Whodoo, and she freaked me out BIG time". The kettle starts to steam and she takes it off the stove and pours three cups of chamomile tea. "Yeah, I don't want a mob of people coming after me. That would be awful. It's just good to know that there are other people out there like you." She hands Portia and George their tea.

Glancing at the two of them, Portia nods. "Well, I guess I'm glad that we're all in the same boat. I mean, there's not some secret conspiracy of people. At least, not everyone. I mean, I don't know. I guess there's something to it. I picked a book the other day cause someone told me it talked about powers and stuff. The guy who I discovered first kinda recommended it." She sighs a little. "Wonder if we need to come up with secret identities or something. Or what it all means. It's just… weird, you know?" She rubs her neck again. "So there's at least one other person who can turn invisible.. and then my brother's got.. well, he's a little weird. Kinda hard to explain. Um, then there's at least some sort of sound-thing that can break glass.. and then something about crystal balls." She sighs. "I'm not making any sense, am I?"

Kitty sips her tea and scratches Tiger's neck and watches the cat as he pads over to Portia and rubs against her. She leans her head to one side and nods slowly. "So another person that can tell the future like mesomeone that can break things without touching them I assume and a hard to explain brother. Got cha so far." The young woman sets her cup down and turns the heater up, to knock the chill off the room.

George shakes his head, incidentally spattering stray raindrops here and there in the process. "Secret identities? I think doing it badly would be worse than not doing it at all— draw a lot of attention. And I don't even want to think about what would happen if anyone started going around with a cape and cowl… the movies these past few years are starting to get the right idea about it." Now he heads over to the couch, leaning against the back of it. "You can tell the future? That's big… depending on how clear it is. Do you see twenty different branches at once, or what?"

"Telling the future's a lot cooler than turning invisible." Portia smiles a little. "I don't know. I'd rather be visible. Feel invisible enough without the ability, you know?" She pauses. "Yeah, you've got it though." She states, referring to Kitty's list. "And other invisible one like me." Portia pauses. "Well, actually, I can think of another. Peter told me about him. He's got invisibility too… but not just one ability. He's got a whole ton. Peter said he hurts people.. steals them." She frowns. "So we've got to be careful. I mean, Peter said he wouldn't come after me, probably, cause he can already turn invisible, but I guess he collects them or something…"

Kitty smiles faintly and nods a little. She is happy that George is expressing interest in her or ability. "I can see the past or future by touching an object that is relevant to the vision. I've had it since I was 13. I'm pretty good at seeing everything clearly." She then hops onto the counter and let's her feet dangle. She shivers as she hears Portia talk of a man killing and collecting powers. "That's a scary thought, but I know what it is like to feel invisible. My mother is a big-time corporation CEO." She looks back to George, "Do you have any special ability?".

George wanders over and sits down on the couch proper, glancing back and forth between the two from time to time. As it happens, he's probably met Peter, but the first name alone is so common that he doesn't put the link together. "I can— well, what it feels like is pushing luck, one way or another. Flexible, but not really what you'd call reliable." His expression sours as That Guy is brought up. "What about this psycho— any specifics on what he looks like, acts like?"

Portia can't help but smile at the way Kitty reacts to George's attention. She's not blind. She frowns again, trying to recall the picture. "Um, well, Peter showed me a picture of him, but that's about it. I mean, he looked pretty ordinary to me, but I guess if you stared long enough he was kinda creepy. I can try and find a picture again so that you guys know. I mean.. if he can be invisible.. well, it makes it a whole heck of a lot harder to find him for most people."

Kitty listens to the description of George power and Kitty talk about a picture of a serial killer. "Not would be best probably to find a picture of him. I think your ability is cool George." She swings her legs.

George nods to Portia. "You're right, it wouldn't help me much, would it? Have to know what kind of places he hangs out… or else just cross fingers." He turns and regards Kitty, running his fingers through his hair as he thinks to himself.

Portia nods again. "Yeah. Well. I figure if there's only a few of us who can be invisible.. if I see some guy who can see me and he looks like that picture.. I'll warn everyone I know who's got an ability." She sighs for a moment. "Besides, Peter did say he wasn't sure if this guy is still around or anything."

Kitty nods again and drinks the last of her tea and puts the empty mug in the sink. "Hopefully we never run into him," She yawns and stretches and then looks at George. "Are you single?" Kitty stops as soon as the words leave her mouth and she tries to shake her head as if to clear it. "Why do I keep doing things like that?" She asks Portia and scratches Tiger's back.

That gets a smirk out of George, though at least he waits till her attention turns to Tiger first. "Hell hath no fury like a wife scorned? Don't worry, you're not keeping me from anywhere important. Thanks for letting me come by and dry out, really."

Portia can't help but grin. "Probably cause girls get silly around guys they think are cute?" She offers. Smart girl for her age.

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