2007-07-15: Loony?...no, just Trite

Starring:

Lee_icon.gif Bekah_icon.gif Samantha_icon.gif

Summary:

Lee recruits Samantha and Bekah to help his father and his family escape the clutches of Ramon, who is crazy. However, it is proven that Ramon may or may not be crazy, it's quite possible that he may be just cliche.

Date It Happened:

July 15, 2007

Loony….no, just Trite


The Jones Apartment

Lee invited Bekah (and Samantha, through her, so it's not exactly a strictly romantic situation) over for a bite to eat, and he sounded a bit…frazzled. Tired and strung out. It's not /for/ dinner, exactly - he needs their advice, and to talk to someone, and it's clearly driving him crazy because he's cooked a lot. Like, pasta and meatballs and garlic bread and salad and different salad and different pasta and red sauce and white sauce and and and…the apartment smells great, the food is delicious, Lee is coming around to talking in his own time. When even Lee is silenced by something it has to be big.

It can be said without a doubt that if there are pork products, Sam is eyeing them longingly, but not partaking. And if there's a choice of pasta available (Lee just might be that borderline obsessive) she goes for the tortellini. "This is marvelous, Lee." she compliments once initial niceties are over and the tucking in has begun. On occaision there are Feminese expressions toward Bekah, musing as to what's going on.

Bekah gives Samantha a discreet shake of her head. She has no idea. She's not exactly hating what the frenzy has brought about though. Because, hey, good food she didn't have to cook. Bekah has a plate full of it, some of most of what he made. "This is wonderful. You're obviously good at cooking when you're trying to avoid thinking about something." That's as much of a prod as she's giving at the moment though.

Lee says, "My sister and I both learned to cook because our parents could ruin a cheese sandwich." Aaaand that does it, he's cued. "My father's alive." he tells Bekah. He adds, to Samantha: "My parents disappeared in 2004. One day Nima came back to the shop and found they were gone. Didn't pack anything, didn't leave any clue. Just disappeared. They never found them. Until, uh." Gulp. "Now." He swirls leftover sauce around his place with a fork. "He's in a private hospital, sort of in bad shape. It's what I wanted to ask you about."

"Your father? Which hospital?" Sam asks with interest. "Though I'm not sure what either of us can tell you. But…this is a good thing for you, right?" Her phone rings and she has to step into the hall to take it.

Bekah looks over to Lee. Well, hospital, it makes sense inviting the doctors over for mass quantities of food. "What's wrong with him?" She asks before she says. "Is it a hospital in the city?"

Lee shakes his head slowly. "He's in a…private facility. Seville Medical. And I think he's in trouble. See, the police contacted us about two months ago. He was in the Army in the seventies so they had his fingerprints. Someone tried to burn down the shop, and…they found his fingerprints on the gas can. So the police are after him. To question him, at least, but…they might arrest him if they knew where he was. And the person who put him where he is knows this." He lifts his head, looks at Bekah. "According to the doctors…who I am not completely sure I can trust, he had a massive overdose of psychoactive drugs. I brought a copy of his chart out, so maybe you can look at it later."

Bekah looks over to Lee. "Overdoses can be self inflicted, but they can also be forced onto a person." She points this out as she toys at the pasta with her fork. "Is he conscious? I'd definately be willing to look at that chart for you."

Lee says, "He came in and out of consciousness while I was there. But that's not the whole story. See, this guy who put him in this facility - name of Ramon, a nasty character. Eyepatch. Pistol. Delusional…Ramon knows the police are looking for my father, and he says that my mother had been at Beth Israel hospital briefly with a similar overdose, but that when she recovered she checked herself out quickly and disappeared again. And the hospital records confirm that. She left before the police could talk to her and before Nima or I were notified." And that's heartbreaking to him, clearly. "Ramon claims that they're not acting of their own free will, that they're being controlled somehow. He says psychic powers. Given the drugs, I'm thinking brainwashing."

Bekah considers that for a moment. "Psychic powers, huh." She states. No, she hasn't told Lee she can heal with the touch of her hand. "Well, the drugs may mimic that effect or lower their resistance to suggestion." Or to psychic powers.

Lee says, "Right. I looked that much up in the library. But here's the thing, Bekah. I don't know what to do. This Ramon guy, he's got my father…and me, and Nima, and…and everyone over a barrel. The night of the arson, he was here at the store and he had a pistol. Nima took it away from him and held onto it. But now he's got all the leverage. I don't want my father in that place, under his thumb, but how can I turn him in to the police?"
Lee adds, "And what if he runs again, like mom did?"

"He may be trying to keep you out of it. To protect you and Nima." Bekah suggests before she adds. "What do you know about this Ramon guy? Is he part of the people drugging your parents?"

Lee says, "Here's what he's told me." He leans back. His voice begins to take on the more usual sardonic tone, though there's a bitterness here too: "His wife was murdered by a serial killer. This serial killer preferentially targets women who were the subject of a genetic engineering experiment carried out by a mysterious company. The killer supposedly has the ability to control people's minds with psychic powers, to the point where he can force them to commit suicide, or murder. Ramon believes my mother and father were pawns of this killer, who he is naturally hunting, the police of course not being much help in the search for psychic serial killers." He adds: "To this delusional roman a clef we add a daughter who is involved in a group of criminals who staged an attack on said mysterious company and the belief that he himself, Ramon, has psychic abilities. I'd scoff, but I just don't have the distance to be really sarcastic. It's scary."

Bekah looks over to Lee quitely for a second, just pushing her pasta around even more. "What if I told you that I believe that psychic powers, that all that Activating Evolution stuff could be real? Humans use such a small percentage of our brain power. Did he believe that your parents had powers?"

Lee says, showing off his ability to be self-absorbed and tone-deaf in conversations: "I'd say it's not funny at all." He thinks back, adding: "No, he never said anything about that, and come on, he'd never be able to convince me of that, I lived with my parents until I was eighteen. They were…they're…they are…" He shrugs helplessly. "Just a couple of nerds."

Bekah leans back in her chair silent for a good awkward stretch of time. Then she reaches out to take Lee's hand. "Trust me." She says as she reaches out for the knife, knicking his finger with it if she can get him to hold still. Her hand about his wrist is tight, to keep him from pulling away. The cut is shallow, just deep enough to draw blood.

Lee is looking at her weirdly when she says 'trust me', so he doesn't jerk back in time. "What the fuck!" he says with a yelp of pain.

There's no real feeling for Lee as she heals his hand. The pain just stops. Bekah reaches out for a napkin with her free hand, wiping the blood away. "If powers are crazy shit, what do you call that?" She says as she lets his hand go. "Life is weird."

Lee stares at it for a moment, then flexes his hand, touches it. "Fuck." he says, with feeling. Then it slowly sinks in and a new expression comes over his face: he's pissed off. "This is bullshit!" he declares. "Fucking bullshit! Why…god dammit!" He puts a hand over his eyes as if to stop from crying. "God /damn/ it!"

Bekah reaches out tentatively to put a hand on Lee's shoulder. It's a gesture meant to comfort but at the same time, it's wary, as if she's afraid he won't want her touching him. "But at least you know your parents aren't doing illegal things of their own will."

Lee is on his feet, "It's so fucking cliche!" he yells. "It's so…so derivative! The woman I care about has this fucking secret all along? Two comic book shop owners get tangled up with people with superpowers? The bad guy is telling the truth when he's talking crazy? A serial killer murdered his wife and now he's out for blood? What's fucking next, Bekah? What's next? He meets the serial killer and it's his wife's boyfriend? Or maybe he becomes a serial killer himself? Who'd see THAT coming, excluding of course those who have read the back of a book in a grocery store in the last twenty fucking years?" Trembling with helpless anger.

Bekah leans back in her chair again crossing her arms over her chest. "What? It's not like that was the first time I healed you!" She states, which is likely not the right response. "It does sound like that should all be the plot of a bad soap opera. But sometimes life is stranger than fiction. I'm sorry it had to involve your parents."

Lee says, "Not the…in the hospital…" His hand unconsciously goes to his head. "That night…" He sits back down, taking a deep breath. "Yeah, okay. It's crazy, it makes sense you wouldn't tell me, didn't know each other that well, blah blah blah, let's just take all that as said and done." Which may not be the best thing for him to say either. "This doesn't change the fact that this Ramon guy has my dad stuck in a private hospital and can give him up to the police any time he feels like it."

Bekah nods her head. "Well, yeah, I slowed the bleeding down that night. It was too messy. And, uh, well, our first date. I healed your burns. And…" Likely there's another time or two she's done it. "But it's not something you just tell anyone. I didn't want you to think I'm crazy." She says before she nods. "It doesn't change that fact. But it does show that he's not insane and may have been telling you the truth."

Lee says, "I…did have an experience once before. At the school the day before I met you, when it was set on fire." He hasn't overlooked the possibility that the arsons are connected but he doesn't go there. "…I saw someone walk through a wall. I had almost chalked it up to smoke inhalation, shock…when you experience something you can't explain…" Finally he looks back at her. "I mean, you see a guy walk through a wall. Your girlfriend can heal with her hands. Your sister calls you crying in the middle of the night and your parents have disappeared."

Bekah stays sitting as she shrugs. "Well, people with powers are just like everyone else. Some of us are good, some are bad, most are just selfish people who fall somewhere in between." She states before she says. "It doesn't change the basic facts. The drugs might have been making your parents more susceptable to the psychic. Do you think Ramon would be willing to help get him out?"

Lee says, "He said he would let him go if I had someplace to take him. But I don't want dad back in harm's way…or in jail, for god's sake."

Samantha had to step out due to a call, and promptly returns. She sees Lee's bereft state, and then looks at Bekah for clarification of what's going on, though she doesn't actually voice her query.

"How much do the police have on him?" Bekah asks. "Just fingerprints in the area or where they somewhere damning?" She pauses for a moment before she says. "Have you shared this with Nima? Maybe between the two of you, you can come up with a place. I don't know one off the top of my head." She states before she looks to Sam. "I, uh, told him. Well, showed him really." And the bit of blood on the knife and napkin might show how. "His parents have been under the control of someone psychic. Something about a serial killer and another man, Ramon, with powers."

Lee says, "They're on the gas can that was being brought here to the store to burn the place down. It's not…it's not good. And possibly at another crime scene, depending on how loony tunes…sorry, how trite you think Ramon is. And if he left voluntarily…" He doesn't know /what/ to do in that case.

"A serial killer." Sam echoes, her expression growing momentarily bleak. "Is there a name attatched to the serial killer? Does the name Sylar ring a bell?" she moves to sit down again. Oh, the psychic thing? Sam takes at total face value.

Bekah seems to expect that Sam will have no issues with a psychic. And know just what she meant by telling Lee. She looks to Sam at that name before she turns to Lee. "Did Ramon give you a name?" She asks before shaking her head. "If he left voluntarily, it was likely to try to get away from the psychic, or to protect Nima from him."

Lee says, with a sigh. "No…John Carter was the name Ramon gave me. John Carter, get it? John Carter of Mars? Never mind." He glances between Bekah and Samantha. "She knows too? All right. All right, fine. Maybe everyone does but me. Nobody told /me/, but everyone else knows."

Samantha shakes her head, apparently not keeping track of things very well. "What hospital is your father being kept in?" She did miss some important points. "After Bekah and I look at his chart notes, maybe…I don't know. We can figure something out."

Bekah looks over to Lee and shrugs. "Well, I've known her a long time. And you know now. It's a big secret to trust someone with." She says before she looks over to Lee. "If it's a hospital in the city we might be able to find out more."

Lee says, "That's just it, it's a private facility. Seville Medical. Someplace the police can't find him. I have a code for the door to get in, I could get the two of you in with me…It's just driving me crazy waiting for the other shoe to drop. What does this guy want from us that he's keeping our father from getting arrested? I mean, the store's in the black but Nima doesn't have a lot of money, and clearly we're in a whole different book of cliches than a story about mere /money/." He rolls his eyes, and that's the real Lee coming back a bit, it's more good-natured than angry. "You two will help? It would…it would really mean a lot to me."

"First we have to see if we can. But we could start by learning more about 'Seville Medical' and what kind of facility it is." She looks over to Bekah. "We could maybe have one of the admin make a couple of consult calls. You think?"

Bekah nods her head. "I think that sounds like a good place to start." She says to Sam before she turns to look to Lee. "I haven't heard of Seville Medical, but I'll help, however I can." Because well, because it's Lee that's asking.

Lee says, "Thanks." Bekah gets a warmer, more personal, "Thank you." before he goes to a desk and takes out some well-thumbed Xeroxes. "Here's the chart copies I got…I…still have to tell Nima. I just…I almost couldn't face her with this. Now that I know it's nuttier than I thought, she's…she's a lot better than me at dealing with complicated situations. I won't tell her about you, Bekah, but." He'll tell her something.

Samantha seems hesitant to change the subject but her earnestness is prompted by concern. "Listen, Lee…if you hear any more about people who might be…well, like Bekah," Yeah, she figured that out just based on word choice, "Or like this psychic guy, be careful. It's not safe out there."

Bekah nods her head. "Be very careful." She adds before she says. "Try leaving me out of it. If she won't believe the crazy stuff, let me know. For your sister, I could do another demonstration, if I have too." Not first choice, but willing. She reaches out to take the papers from Lee, letting their hands touch a moment longer than she has too, a quick reassurance.

Lee says, "Permit me one quick moment of childish petulance: I don't even like comic books." A sigh. That felt good. He squeezes Bekah's hand. He isn't really ashamed to need that bit of affection. "I have no desire to get involved in one on any level."

Samantha looks between the two a moment. "I need to get going. Bekah, why don't you see Lee through a cup of tea, make sure he's steady. I'll see you both later." Woth that, she rises and heads for the door.

Lee says, "Thanks, Samantha." He appreciates her coming - and her discretion in deciding that now's a good time to leave. It makes her go up several notches in the sardonic teacher's eyes.

Bekah looks up to Sam and nods. "I'll see you tomorrow. Thank you, Sam." She says before she looks over to Lee. "Tea is a good suggestion. I know you're not going to completely relax, but maybe it can help you lose some of the jitters. Do you have any in the kitchen?" Because she'll go make it.

Lee says, "I'm all right…well, I don't want any tea. I cooked. That's what I do about the jitters." He moves over to Bekah's side and awkwardly puts his arm around her shoulder, drawing her into an embrace, he probably should be falling over but somehow he balances neatly and pulls her gently forward into a hug. A very nice one, at that.

Bekah leans in against Lee. If he won't take the comfort of a cup of tea, she'll give him the comfort of simple touch. "Sometimes I'm so very glad my parents are as boring as they are. I know this must utterly and completely suck."

Lee says, "It really does. I mean…the police always said they left of their own free will. Then it looked like that was true even to me. And now it's back to 'maybe not.'" into her neck. "And something dad said…he was drifting in and out…he was asking for mom, asking if she was there…finally I got through that it was me. And the first thing he said was he was so disappointed in me. I know it's probably the drugs, but." He squeezes her a bit tighter. "It's probably the drugs."

Bekah nods her head and then leans it against Lee's shoulder. "It probably is. He may have even been feeding back to some earlier incident. Sometime that you royally screwed up as a teenager." Bekah states. "It's also a possiblility that he may hallucinate."

Lee says, "Yeah. You know, I always sort of thought…I will find him, or the police will. I never thought, hey, an escapee from a 1978 men's adventure novel is gonna be the guy." He's smiling again when he rocks back slightly on the balls of his feet, kneeling eye to eye with Bekah, "When I first got back here from LA, I must have gone to every Warhammer game, Star Trek fan club, and bootleg anime dealer in the city looking for them…"

"Life throws us some of the craziest, most fiction sounding things, sometimes." Bekah says before she shakes her head. "I wouldn't even know where to find any of those. I bet Nima did though, huh? My parents wouldn't ever have been caught dead within 100 yards of one of those." And she doesn't make that sound like a good thing.

Lee says, with just that hint of self-mockery that shows he's regaining his footing, here next to her, "Well, at least I won't be surprised by anything that happens now. Unless you fly or throw cars or someting like that."

Bekah grins over to Lee. "Who knows. We might all start speaking Japanese like we're in Anime. Or making sound effects when we move." She shakes her head then. "I don't fly or throw cars. I can heal wounds. From a cut to a gunshot wound." She's not going to mention at the moment that she might not be able to fly, but she knows someone who can…

Lee nods slightly. "Handy." he says. He kisses her then, tenderly, with more vulnerability than he has shown before. "Thank you." he says softly. "You've given me a lot of chances. I know I'm not the easiest guy to be with."

Bekah returns the kiss then rests a hand on Lee's check as she gives him a geniune smile. "No, you're not. But it goes both ways. I'm not always the easiest girl to be with either. My job is demanding, my schedule can suck, and all of that."

Lee says, "Good thing this is such a cliche. If one person has a tough job, the relationship won't work, but if they both do, it's guaranteed to go the distance." Now he's teasing again, and yes, even smiling back at her.

Bekah gives him a grin back, looking relieved at the teasing. "Distance? Does that mean I can drag you out running a few miles with me?" She teases back before she says. "Because we both must be crazy to do the jobs we do. So we might as well be crazy together."

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