2010-07-05: Missing Persons



Date: July 5, 2010


George is called in to help "Hallis" deal with an identity crisis and a missing friend— actually, make that two.

"Missing Persons"

Hallis's apartment, New York

For the last few days, when she hasn't been at the studio or out and about, the socialite that is Hallis Van Cortlandt has been pacing her apartment worriedly. Of course, it's not something she'd let the outside world see. It's bad press. She can't have bad press. Not right now. Not ever. Well…her wishes of not having bad press ever are hopeless. She's bound to get bad press every now and again. But she's not going to give any news paper or magazine the chance at the present moment.

The young socialite is seriously worried though. She's got a few things on her mind. Perhaps that's why she finally called George. If anyone could help her, it would be him…right? At least she hopes so. He's like…a congressman or something. That means he's got tons and tons of power at his disposal, right? Right. So now, she waits. She waits and she waits. What's taking him so long, anyway?

In a badly-written drama, George would be ignoring the call out of spite. In a soap opera, he'd miss it because he was busy enjoying someone else's bed. But no, in this case, it's just that the message gets stuck bouncing around the satellite network before it gets through to his phone. Blinking at the caller ID - he'd pretty much given up on hearing back from her any time soon - George taps 'accept call' and 'speakerphone' in quick succession, then drops the phone onto the passenger seat of his car as he navigates a turn. "Hallie? That you?"

Luckily for Hallis, this is neither a badly-written drama nor a soap opera, because Hallis is definitely in a worried state. "Mon cher…" Hallis starts but then quickly changes to, "George? Thank God you answered. Umm…yeah. Yeah. It's me. Hallis." She takes a deep breath in. "Look um…I…I ummm…can we talk?" There's obvious agitation in her voice as she speaks.

George arches a brow. "I see Paris rubbed off on you," he replies, misinterpreting the choice of language. "I'm on the road right now, but I'm heading back to the apartment… do you want to meet there?" Whatever she wants to bring up, he doesn't want to try to pay attention to it and traffic at the same time.

"Paris? Paris Hilton?" There's a pause as Hallis thinks. "OH! Paris, France! Yes. Yeah. I um…yeah. It sorta did, you know." She takes a deep, shaky, worried breath in. "Um…yeah, if you could come to my place, that'd be awesome. I just…please? Thank you, Georgie. I just really need to talk to you."

There's something a little off about the conversation… but then there's something a little off about everything in George's life lately. And it would hardly be the first time Hallis was in a weird mood. "All right, I— I'll be there as soon as I can." With a shrug, he returns his attention to the road, idly flipping through radio channels until he finally reaches the building. A good twenty minutes late.

Hallis continues to pace back and forth in her apartment, awaiting George's arrival. After a while, she carries a chair and sits it near the door and waits there, hands fidgeting as she stares at the door, waiting for someone to knock on it.

It takes George another couple minutes to get the car parked and wait for the elevator car. Wait, which apartment were they supposed to meet at? They're on the same floor— he stops by his own first, his voice faintly audible in the distance as he calls out to see if she's in one of the back rooms. Satisfied that she isn't, he heads down the walkway toward her place instead, fishing around for his copy of her key.

As she hears a faint voice that could, possibly, be George's, her eye goes directly to the peep hole. When eventually he appears, fishing around for his key, she pulls the door open and jumps out to give George a hug. "You made it! You really made it!" She says as she sighs. Pulling out of the hug once more, she grabs hold of one of his arms and pulls him toward her apartment. Once inside, she closes and locks the door.

George is pulled easily enough, caught unawares - to the point that he drops the keys near the doorway, focusing on hugging back instead. The contact is familiar and strange at the same time, but after two months apart, is that any surprise? "I did," he murmurs, looking around. "I heard— well, never mind that, how are you? Is something wrong?" He doesn't particularly buy the 'just a purchasing agent' spin on the Jaden story, but there'll be time enough to bring that up later.

Hallis looks up at George with wide eyes. "I…I'm worried!" She lightly bites her lower trembling lip. Quickly pecking George on the cheek she says, "I…umm…I have this friend. She's got an ability. She mentioned something about loosing the ability, and then she just dropped off the radar. Like…I can't reach her on her phone, she's not called be back. I can't find her at work. I just…I'm worried! What if her disappearance has something to do with her ability also disappearing?"

George scratches his head, heading over to the nearest chair and settling down. "It seems like everyone in the city's lost their abilities now - happened about a week ago, around the time of the solar eclipse, whatever that means - but we've been all right, otherwise." Except for people that were doing stuff like, y'know, flying at the time. But close enough. "Is it anyone I know? Have you been over to her place to check, anything?"

Hallis gulps slightly, looking worried. "It's um…it's Sierra." She says with her brow furrow in constant worry. "She's not at her place. I assure you. Why is it all tied in to the solar eclipse? What's causing this?" Without a second thought, she sits down on George's lap and snuggles up to him. "I'm worried George. This doesn't just happen, does it? I mean…if there's others…and…does that mean…your ability is gone too?"

"I don't know," answers George, shaking his head and peering into Hallis's eyes as she draws closer. Always full of surprises, this young woman— sure, she knows that abilities are out there, but to take the issue this close to heart when she doesn't have one of her own? The two of them must have grown closer than he realized.

The girlfriend and the ex. Or the ex and the other ex. Either way, not so good for him. "I could call her if you want, but— I've been out of touch with her longer than you have. I guess I could ask someone to go and look for her?" He does still have a few members of staff whose official job duties are 'I'll figure something out'.

Hallis takes a deep breath in, looking up at George with her icy blue eyes. "But…but…is there a way to reverse it?" She sniffles. "I've tried calling Sierra. She hasn't answered and she hasn't returned my calls. What if she turned into someone totally unrecognizable? And she's unfindable?" Her eyes begin to water. "What if she's never able to turn back and she's forced to stay in the form she took, and she can't see us or her family again because she'd never be recognized?"

"Well, she might have," George murmurs, thinking it over, "but… even if she was stuck, she could still talk to us, couldn't she? She'd just have to say some things that she'd know, but a stranger wouldn't." He closes his eyes, resting his chin on Hallis's shoulder. "I'd be more worried that she got hurt… do you want me to see if Robin can track down her cell phone? It's only been a week, it might still be working even if she's lost it somewhere."

Hallis sniffles once more as she curls in tighter, a hand lightly rubbing against George's cheek. "I…I'm just worried, George. Worried that if she…if…she is changed, like it seemed like she might be, that she won't be able to change back. And that she's ashamed of how she looks. Can we try to find a way to change her back, George. Please? I care about her."

And there's another thing about Hallis - physical appearance is a Big Deal to her. Not that George has ever actually complained about it, but… "I have no idea, but if I hear anything, I'll let you know. Like I said, everyone in at least the city seems to be dealing with this— at least one of them is probably ahead of me on the 'how' part." Absently, his fingers find their way into her hair. "What about you, though? I haven't seen you since—" Well. Since she was throwing herself at Stuart, come to think of it. "Did you have any luck figuring yourself out, or whatever?"

Hallis sighs heavily. "I'd love for you to look, George. I really would. It would mean the world to me. And…see if you can figure out how to fix it too. Or else I'll have to go shopping with her to buy her a totally new wardrobe. And that's gonna take a LOT of work, you know." Tilting her head to look George in the eyes, she says, "Me? I broke a nail on set the other day. It was horrible. Just horrible!" She says, shaking her head seriously. "I've found it's hard to figure myself out. I've been reading these books that ask me to ask myself questions like 'Who am I?' or 'Where is my life going?' And I thought that those would be easy. But they're really not! I mean, I'm more than just Hallis Lizette Van Cortlandt. And I suppose my life is going to be more than just being an awesome weregoldfish." She frowns. "But I don't know how to answer those questions! How would you answer them?"

"I don't think I can answer that for you, sorry," murmurs George. "I mean, I had to go through the same thing, but the path I took is so much different— I'd say to go ask Sydney, but last I heard, she'd turned up missing, too. Have you heard from her lately?" There's plenty of upheaval going on under the radar, it seems.

There's something familiar about that set of questions, so George offers another one from the same set. "Where do you want your life to be going, Hallie? Or do you know yet?"

Hallis blinks. "Sydney's missing too?!" There's a louder sigh. "What's going on? I'm hope she's alright too." She frowns. "We need to find both of them! You think we can, Georgie? Honestly and truly? If something's going on, we gotta do something…right? Because it's the right thing to do!" Hallis twitches her nose slightly. "I…I don't know yet. I don't know if I ever knew. Though I thought I did. Maybe. Kinda. You know?"

George sighs, leaning back into the chair. "I'm not a detective, I wish I knew someone who was. I heard about it from Jamie… I don't know how to get in touch with her directly, but if Rebel's around, he might know. But Jamie doesn't know where she is, either, she said she's staying with some guy named Saul now."

Hallis shakes her head. "Please, George." She begins to plead. "Find out what's going on. I'm worried sick. I just…" A shaky breath is taken in and then released. "Please…see if you can get in touch with Rebel. He might be able to find out what's happening and what to do about it…if he hasn't been affected by all this either."

Has he been? Good question. Does he have an ability of his own, or just ties and computer skills? Was he far enough away to escape the effect - and if not, how much can he still do? "All right, I'll try. But we should get you to bed, meanwhile, okay? You're all worked up and that can't be good for you." Or for her complexion, for that matter; beauty sleep isn't just a cliche.

Hallis sniffles and shakes her head. "Not until you tell me how you are." She says quietly. "How are you doing? And…this means you got no ability right now too…right?" She searches his eyes with hers. "Do…do you love me, George?" Maybe she only asks because she's been stressed by this whole situation. Who knows. But she's asked anyway.

"I'm… okay. Not great, but okay. The campaign's hit a couple hitches, but no disasters." Yet, he thinks to himself.

"I'll always love you, Hallie," his gaze meeting hers, "but… beyond that, I don't know how to feel about you, not yet. You did hurt me. And I still don't know how you feel about that part, you know? Maybe you don't even know how you feel, yet." It ought to be covered by the whole 'where are you going' thing.

A tear falls down Hallis's cheeks. "I'm sorry, Georgie. I really am. I just…I'm always so confused. And…I…well…I love you too, Georgie." She closes her eyes and leans her head on George's chest. "I'm sorry." She whispers.

George nods, rising to his feet as best he can and pulling Hallis up with him. "C'mon," he says, motioning toward the bedroom, "you've had a long day, you should get some rest now… I'll make some calls, get things moving. It's a long shot, but it's worth taking."

Hallis wraps her arms around George as they stand up, slowly walking alongside him. Sniffling and nodding, she says, "Thank you, George. It means a lot." Blinking, a few more tears roll down as she looks up at George. "How does my make-up look?"

"Honestly? It's starting to run a little." George wipes away some of the excess moisture with the side of one hand, which doesn't help the situation any, really. "Do you want to get a bath first?" Normally he might suggest a drink to go along with it, but as worked up as Hallis is already, it might just throw more fuel on the fire.

Hallis sniffles and nods, smiling. "Yes please. I'd very much like that. I hate when my make-up runs. Makes me look like someone in a strip club or something. And I'd hate that."

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