2009-11-28: Mushy Goop



Date: November 28, 2009


SPOILER: Gene does not, in fact, push Lena off of the roof.

"Mushy Goop"

Rooftop of Destiny

Lena would be far more excited about getting her first piece of individually addressed mail ever if it weren't for the events of the past couple of days. There's something ominous about receiving a summons via mailman. Especially when the letter indicates that she is to meet on the roof of an apartment building, with a lack of witnesses inclined to take her side of things.

Such is the price for being such a catalyst of hilarity.

The door to the roof squeals open at the appointed time, admitting the young woman into the clear winter air. She's got her jacket on but it's been left unzipped, given the relatively mild weather. She's wearing a band tee for Electric Mayhem, with Animal taking pride of place on the front, and a pair of ratty jeans with holes in the knees. Also, gloves. See? It's a gesture of good faith, a promise to behave herself while apologies are tendered and (hopefully) accepted. Beneath the knitted brim of her cap, blue eyes are simultaneously wary and guilty as they scan the rooftop.

Dressed in a black trenchcoat and a black wide brimmed hat, Lena might for a moment think she was talking the sci-fi revolutionary V rather than someone she knows. The figure stands near the rooftop's edge, watching the city below. If more people knew how easy it was to get to this rooftop, it might be known as a jumper's location. Thankfully, that has not been the case and it can continue to be a place for Gene to speak with people.

Turning toward Lena as when he hears the door open, the young man looks over toward the woman. "Nice tee," he replies, lacking one of his own. He wear some sort of rubber or latex body suit… One that Lena may one day recognize as Gene's 'Prometheus' uniform. Perhaps a sign of his uncertainity, he is wearing driving gloves, despite the mild weather. Perhaps knowing that his suit is not exactly 'comforting' he closes it up, buttoning his trench as he walks toward Lena, hiding all but the tight black pants and the black leather combat boots.

"That's my line." Gloved or not, Lena shoves her hands into her pockets as Gene approaches. Having spotted him, she's doing everything in her power now to avoid looking at the guy, which means that an in-depth study of the roof's composition is being conducted. Gravel. How un-posh. "So. Um. You're not gonna throw me off or anything, are you?" It's necessary to glance up at him to pinpoint his relative location, and with that look comes a nod at the ready for business outfit better suited to a superhero than a geek. "'Cause I think I saw this scene in a movie and the ending really really sucked."

"Trust me, if I wanted you dead, I'd do it in a way that was not nearly as messy and much harder to trace back to me." Gene shrugs. While Lena is reluntant to meet Gene's gaze, he looks for her. Surprisingly there isn't a harshness in it, perhaps the young man able to cool off after he had some alone time. It is almost gentle, if not for a hint of harshness under it all, like rough patches on a mostly smooth plank. "But I've never directly killed anyone yet and I don't plan on having you be the first.

A frown-line appears on her forehead, directed at the ground. It could be mistaken for anger but another stolen glance shows that Lena's lapsed into uncertainty. Maybe even thoughtfulness. "Yeah? Not directly…that means, like, you didn't push them but they jumped anyway, right?" Morbid inquiry delivered, she returns to nudging gravel into uneven piles with the toe of one worn sneaker. "So…I guess I know what you're gonna say. And I'm sorry about yesterday. I mean, I wasn't sorry when I was going it. But I'm sorry for being an ass with the…everything."

The pause that follows is accompanied with an attempt at a faint smile. Time to drop some humor into the well and see what ripples take shape. "You're pretty awesome when you're high, though. You ever want to just chill after saving the world, I'd so be there."

"No, a bit more complex than that," Gene states as he looks to the skies for a moment. A moment or two passes before the young man moves on, clearly deeming the topic not worthy of conversation. He does manage to blush at the 'high' comment, offering the weakest of smiles. "I… really wasn't awesome. I was disrespective and not cool. I say enough stupid things without the help of illegal substances, but well…" Gene leads off, clearly not knowing what else to say on the matter.

Taking a deep breath, Gene shakes his head. "Anyway… You wanted to talk before things hit the fan. Now that I'm sober and we are alone, you have that chance."

Lena crinkles the bridge of her nose, finally lifting her gaze for a longer study of the young genius before her. That he's blushing while decked out in full ass-kicking gear begs for a grin, but the impulse is resisted. "Screw that, man. You know how many people call me beautiful and smart? Not a hell of a lot, I could probably count them on half a hand. You were awesome. But I promise not to…uh…" Oh look, suddenly it's easier to not grin like an idiot. "I promise not to try to slip you anything else, okay? That wasn't cool. Funny but not cool."

Taking a page from Gene's book, she too draws a deep breath and releases it slowly. "Anyway, yeah. You…said something about being able to turn this stuff off," she remarks, removing a hand from her pocket in order to wiggle gloved fingers at him. "Did you mean permanent? For always?"

While the Geek God gives a chuckle to Lena's first words, he doesn't give them a real response, deciding to still focus on business for the time being. As he speaks, he moves around, more to look at his surroundings than circle Lena. Even on an abandoned rooftop, Gene is worried about people watching or interuding somehow.

"No… I meant a drug that dampens it or completely cuts it off. It would be like a birth control of sorts. If you stay on it, you wouldn't have to worry about your powers. I don't have access to it yet, but I'm trying to get it for you and Sydney. As I might have said before, you both have a bit in common with your powers and how you look at them. Unless things change, it might be safer or easier for you two to keep them dampened at the least. Either that, or you girls are going to have to be serious about wanting to get your abilities under control."

"A drug?" Disappointing, and she makes no effort to conceal that. In fact, Lena puts idly watching Gene wander around on hold, choosing instead to begin knocking the piles of gravel over with frustrated jabs of one foot. "I'd have better luck at making whatever it is than having it work on me," she observes glumly, tone in direct contrast to the coiled tension of each kick. "I don't want to control this stuff, I just want to get rid of it, you know? I mean, okay, it can be useful sometimes, but it's not like fireballs, or flying, or…whatever the hell you do. That'd be totally worth going on the run for."

Gene frowns faintly at the 'glass half empty' outlook. "It's possible that the drug will still have it's effect, considering the nature of the drug. That and there might be a way to knock out your power long enough for the drug to kick in. I dunno. I have a friend does DNA research as a side thing, but she's been harder to reach since she got married and had a kid. Trust me, Lena, your power is powerful. If I could trade yours for mine, I would." Of course, Gene would likely be a VERY different person if he was a person able to drug other as opposed to being a genius, but the grass is always greener on the other side. "…But in the end, you were brought to me. Even if the government wasn't causing you trouble, eventually someone else would have. Trust me on this, I know things. Heck, there is a chance AFTER the government, there may be a new threat. Rather than just being reactive… You have to be proactive. Instead letting the power control you, you control it… I had to do that with my own ability when it was killing me."

"Why do people keep saying that? That they'd trade?" Gene's treated to a puzzled glance, and the slow shake of Lena's head to deny the possibility that it might be desirable. "You're the fucking Batman, dude. You don't…mind-rape people, or make them jump off bridges, or sleep with people they don't want to. I have been controlling it, doing more with it and look what's happened." Pause. "I guess that is pretty powerful though, huh?" She is not so far gone in gloom that a small smile can't be managed.

Her sneakers crunch against the gravel as she crosses to stand within polite speaking distance; care is taken not to give any impression of invading the young man's personal space but she does sneak a peek at his profile. "What do you mean, while your power was killing you? What do you do? I figure it's something with machines, right?"

"My ability makes me smart. It was also enlarging a part of my brain and causing it to squeeze off blood flow to other parts of the brain. It was," Gene frowns as he remembers being alone and puking his guts out in the toliet. "..unpleasant. Your power causes pain to others if left unchecked. Mine would have killed me," the young man states firmly. He finally walks up to Lena. While she was careful not to invade, Gene does not share that problem as he is not only a couple of feet from her.

"In the end, it comes down to just one question… Do you want to be in control and take responsibility for your power? Or would you rather let your power decide what you do with the rest of your life, claiming that it is the thing that holds you back?"

"Huh." Lena cocks her head at him, brows drawing down over her eyes. "I thought the smart was just extra. That's…jesus. I'm glad it worked out and didn't kill you. I dunno what I'd do…if…" She trails off then as Gene comes closer, sinking her hands deeper into their pockets and drawing her shoulders up in a defensive reflex. When it becomes clear that he is intending simply to talk, and not push, she relaxes a little. Enough to listen, at least, if not necessarily to agree. "That's not fucking fair, Gene. What would you do if every single person you touch ends up liking you just 'cause of how you make them feel? Look at Chi…he'd probably die if I end up getting snatched, just from the DTs."

Tucking her chin down, she presents Gene with her shoulder and frowns at the skyline. "Besides…when I'm not messing up, I'm trying to help. You've got your knock out drug now. And Syd's not all drooling over that Senator guy."

The young man's tone is causal. It's sad he's gotten so used to talking about abilities, but it comes with experience. "Yeah, you did help. And yeah, Chi may die if you don't learn to get it under control. But your power doesn't affect you. So you're the one that decides how to handle it. Not your power. Rouge has to wear gloves all the time, but she works to control her gift. You don't read about her sucking her friends dry every few issues. And for all we know, you might be able to control your gift depending. But that would only come IF you tried." At this point, Gene gives a weak little smile toward the young woman, trying an slightly cheerful tone. "If you plan on giving up quickly, well, I can't do much with that, now can I?"

It isn't visible, but Lena's flexing her fingers inside of those pockets, glancing down towards the lefthand one as she does so. That thoughtfulness has returned, though the frown hasn't lessened. "Yeah, I guess," she says with obvious reluctance. It isn't easy debating with a super brain. "Rogue is pretty awesome. I…um."

The brunette looks up and attempts to mirror that smile, giving Gene a poor facsimile of it. "You keep a secret? There's this lady…someone who got away from the government. She taught me how to do the thing I used on Sydney. I wanted to try more stuff. Figure it out, you know? I was working on it but that was before that chick found our place and we had to run. I've been screwing up royally since then," she confesses. In a genuine tone of voice, no less. Then she wrinkles her nose.

"If I get my shit together, can we keep helping you guys?"

"That chick… You mean the one that got away from the government?" Gene inquires, clearly confused. Too many women in Lena's past. If it was Jaden, that would be more of a blessing than anything else. "As long as you work with me, I'll work with you. Gene Kensington never abandons a friend if he can help it." He offers a hand toward Lena, clearly ready to seal the deal in a way that doesn't end with him being high.

Lena shakes her head, the smile deepening slightly. "Nah, the one that got away is cool. Kind of crazy and a little mean, but cool. I mean the rich one who's dating the government guy who showed up last night. Hallis. She tracked us down and…um." Yeah, she's just going to let that explanation end, choosing instead to extricate her hand from the pocket in order to complete the handshake. The smile shades into a grin. "Don't go all mushy on me, okay? 'Cause if you get me crying, it's totally not my fault if you decide to go hit a rave or something. I'm not like one of those ladies who gets glowy when she cries, we're talking serious goop."

"Yeah, about last night… Let's not have that happen again. While I know you're cool and so is Tiago and Sydney and Eric… That was like two people I don't have any cool about. While I keep things on the level and don't flip out often, that was kinda fricking me out. And as for the crying…"

As Gene pulls away from the hand, he reaches up to take a finger and wipe the skin beside Lena's nose, following where a tear would fall if she would allow it. If he gets some Lena 'goop' of any sort on the glove, he will run it down the center of the suit. "Why do you think I wore the stuff that washes off easy?" he admits with a smirk.

Gene may or may not have warned people tending to his clothes about Lena, but THAT IS A TALE FOR ANOTHER STORY.

That touch was unexpected. It happens before Lena can pull her head back, and leaves her blinking at the young man. Her own hand lifts to touch that same place, her eyes narrowing a little. But the smile remains. "Yeah, okay, deal. Just…don't go touching me without warning, okay? I know you're wearing a body condom and all but if you warn me, I can dial things down for the just in case, you know?" The look she's giving him turns critical as it scans down the outfit in question. "I oughta get one of those, you do look pretty badass…you think Eric would spring for it? I was gonna hit him up for a phone for Jade, but…"

Which reminds her! "Oh, that girl? She's cool too. I know you don't know her but Jade's good people. She had us in her place before we came to Syd's. Normal but she's kinda like a mini-Tiago. With boobs."

Which is to say, not normal at all.

"Right, if being touched sets you off, no unexpected glove touch unless necessary," Gene states as he puts up the hands as if expecting the police to come in. As Lena scans down, Gene begins to redden until she speaks. Oh, THAT'S what that was about. "Considering it is functional for you too, more than likely. Might talk to him about getting you a new line of clothing that is a little more 'Lena-friendly' if you want me to. As for the phones, I think I'll just make some. I'll see if I can get some that can go under the radar. People trace phones all the time, I know, I've tracked down killers with 'em." Gene decides to be honest despite how many Awesome points it takes away. "A killer," the young man points out as he looks down. "Only did that once."

That brings the two to the second topic. "I see. Well, glad she knows about you guys, but we need to try and keep the informed population to a 'need to know' basis, but considering Jade was a friend before all of this, no harm, no foul." Gene hrms as he considers what to do next. "So, anything else we need to talk about or we good for now?"

"That'd be awesome! I mean, not like I'm a huge freak over clothes but hey, I've been living out of a backpack for awhile now…uh." When killers enter into the conversation, the brighter demeanor fades to be replaced with something a little more sober. Add in a dash of guilt, for flavor, and you get a teenager who's shifting uneasily on her feet. "You tracked someone who'd killed folks? Like…on purpose killed? That's…jesus." She pauses, hesitates, generally fidgets before reaching out to carefully pat Gene's deceptively supple bicep through the jacket and body condom. "I'm glad we're on your side. You're good people too."

But, moving on! Lena clears her throat and removes her hand, returning it to its pocket. "I kinda had to tell her, but I won't say anything to anyone else, swear to god. I think we're good. Thanks for not yelling at me for being a freak."

"Yeah, she was possessing people and using them to kill other people and themselves. I made her not do that anymore," Gene states, clearly at peace with this enough that he's still smiling. He's almost used to talking about Emily, which is frightening. "Glad to help out and glad that you want to help out too… And if Jade and Tiago want to help, maybe in time they can do something to. People without powers are cool too. Have an old friend I'm rooming with while I'm on the run from the law that's human too."

Lena musters a smile, when it appears that Gene isn't about to cry, or pass out, or start shaking. One never knows, these days. "That's some heavy sh—stuff, right there. Maybe what I can do isn't so bad, after all." Pause. "I bet they'd like that. It's…kinda hard for them. Boring, and…well, they don't have to be running, except for knowing me. I'll ask them, see what they might want to try. You guys…well. If you can think of anything to keep them busy, maybe you could suggest it too? Chi thinks you're just about the coolest guy he's met." Another pause, this one while she flashes a grin. "In a totally non-gay way."

"Hrm… Maybe I could find something for them. I know I was teaching my human friend some of my tricks, maybe I could find stuff they could do. After all, while I handle a lot of information, there is only so much I can do at once. If they want to do something, I promise that I'll have work for them… I am almost positive in that," Gene states as he absently rubs the area that Lena had previously patted. "In any case, I've got to get going. I need to make sure everything is alright at my place, talk with Eric and see if my new place is set up. If so, might be able to house people there in a place a little more removed from the city and away from random people."

Lena ducks her head towards him in an odd sort of nod. "That'd be cool, I'll make sure to mention it. I don't think any of us finished school, so this is like a second chance, you know?" Or redemption, as the case may be. The very concept is enough to keep her looking thoughtful. "Yeah, hey, don't stick around for me. You've got super important stuff to take care of, you didn't even have to come talk to me. But I'm glad you did. I think I'm gonna kick around up here for a little bit longer. Thanks, Gene."

"Hey, making sure you were okay and getting this stuff out… It was important too. I'll set up some stuff and we'll see if we can start working on figuring out your abilities and seeing if we can get them under control for you." That said, Gene slowly moves toward the fire escape. As he opens the door, he speaks again, this time without looking. "Oh, for the record? I think you're beautiful and smart sober too. Tiago's a lucky guy, but it sounds like he knows it." And with that. Gene is moving down the stairs.

"Hey…hey!" The cry is a startled one, and he might hear the crunch of Lena's footsteps as they carry her towards the door before stopping some distance from it. But she does raise her voice again, to chase Gene down the stairs. It doesn't take a look to tell that she's grinning. "That means a lot, coming from someone who's sober!"

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