2009-11-22: Night and Day



Date: November 22, 2009


After a night of recovery, Hallis fills George in on her fight with Sydney.

"Night and Day"

Hallis's apartment, Greenwich Village

Hours after Sydney has left the apartment, many more hours since the message was left on her phone. Hallis is three sheets to the wind and one of the bottles in her liquor cabinet is close to empty. It's been a rather trying day and she is just getting ready to settle into bed. Alone. As she makes her last round of the apartment, turning off lights and straightening pillows, she takes a look at the door. All of the deadbolts are unlocked, though in her stupor she completely misses this small tidbit. A stumble to the bedroom later finds her curled up on her side, under the blanket. Another night where she wishes the world would just go away.

But not the entire world, hopefully. Winding down from an equally long day, albeit a different and mostly more cordial sort of long, a mostly sober George finds himself leaning against the wall as he makes his way toward Hallis's apartment at last. Right up to the point that his weight causes the door to swing inward and slam into the wall, opening into pitch blackness. Frowning, he walks forward with more urgency, turning lights back on as quickly as he can remember or spot the switches to do so. "Hallie? Are you okay?"

Lifting her head, Hallis turns from the window to the voice echoing down the hall. "I-I'm fine George, in the bedroom." She says in a low tone, falling back down to the pillow. That was a bad idea. So was closing her eyes afterward, because the room begins to spin around. Luckily, she has the antidote. A single foot on the floor to ground her. "Please God, if I get through this… I'm never ever going to uhm… I'll never do heroine again, okay?" She's bargaining. Not the first time it's happened, but she's running out of her habitual drugs to stop using in order to keep drinking and actually get through it alive and intact.

She doesn't sound fine, but 'not stabbed to death by a burglar' will do for now. "All right," George calls out in response, before doubling back on his tracks to lock the door and turn out most of the lights. Her reputation in his eyes remains safe for the moment; he doesn't reach the bedroom until after her odd little prayer is concluded. "I'm sorry, one thing came up after another— how are you feeling, are you sure you're okay?" If she didn't see the news herself, he would have mentioned it on the phone earlier.

OF course she didn't see the news. If it isn't the society pages or a tabloid the small form in bed likely couldn't care less if Canada invaded New York and declared it a new French province. "Uunngghh… I feel a little bit sick." Hallis groans, admitting that perhaps she can't hold her liquor as well as she usually does. Then again an entire bottle downed in the matter of a couple of hours can't be good for anyone any time. Turning a bleary head towards George, she tries to straighten her line of sight, picking out the middle congressman to stare at, rather than the two on either side of him. She gives him a bleary smile, "Hey, you know, I think I like you as triplets."

George doesn't miss a beat. "I can't even tell you what I'm thinking right now." Sitting down on the edge of the mattress, he reaches down, supporting her at the neck and waist in that order and lifting her a little further upward. There's a faint odor of off-brand liquor on his breath, but hers is a good bit more obvious: he waits quietly for her to continue explaining.

"What are you thinking?" Hallis murmurs, still staring at the middle George. Her eyes cross and become unfocussed for a moment but she straightens them out as much as she can before licking her lips. "Heeyyyy," she sing songs to him, lifting one of her hands to cup his cheek, giving him a little smile. "I'm so happy you're here… I missed you. You know what I need George? I need you to keep me out of trouble. You're so good at that… I'm no good without you." Slowly, her eyes close and she takes a deep breath inward before opening them again and grimacing. "Oh.. that was such a bad idea."

Well, he might do just that if she were sober enough to enjoy it properly, but since she obviously isn't… "I'll see what I can do," George murmurs back, easing out of some of his clothes and slipping in closer to her. "I think you just need a good night's sleep. Tell me all about it in the morning, all right?"

Curling as close to his body as possible, Hallis shakes her head a little. "No, no I don't need sleep George. I just… I ju-" And she half closes her eyes as she winds her arm around his body. "I jus' need. Need to know. I'm a bad bad girl George." She takes a deep breath and holds it for a moment, letting it out into the blanket to save him for getting intoxicated, or perhaps to save the paint from being stripped off the walls. "You know that, right? Because I'm jus' jus' soooo horrible to everyone."

"You're not," he insists. "You feel that way - I get it - but think about it. If you were that bad, would I still be here?" Now he's working on her clothes, whatever's left of them, loosening things so she has a chance to cool off a little. "Whatever else went on today, it'll keep till morning, I promise."

Lifting her arms and head, Hallis tries to help pull the thin tunic off as best she can. Other than her skivvies, that's all she's got on, a byproduct of her earlier surprise for him. "You had suuuch a long day. I wish…" she begins, blinking slowly to get her bearings, "I wish that you were there when Sydney fired me. Maybe I wouldn't have been so mean. Cuz… cuz I'm a big meanie. Everyone knows it." She flops back into bed once the tunic has been stripped. Once again, she curls into him and presses her clammy face against his shoulder. "loveyouso so much," she utters lowly as her hand snakes to his waist.

Unseen in the dark, George blinks once. Sydney fired—? That'll be the starting point for the next morning's inevitable heart-to-heart. As for tonight, the only thing remaining for him is to keep Hallis thoroughly distracted from talking. Which he knows just how to do.

It's an amazing thing, the stamina of young people; no matter what else life throws at them, they always seem to find a hidden reserve when it comes to the important things. Like each other. There's a price to pay, though, and George is feeling it in spades when the first stir of consciousness returns. Mumbling incoherently to himself, he pushes himself just enough to avoid Hallis's hair getting trapped under his arm and inadvertently pulled.

Groaning as she feels the movement, Hallis rolls over and throws one arm over his body. "Just five more minutes…" she mumbles, pulling herself closer to him. She was very drunk the previous night and now? She's very hungover. Thank goodness for her sleep mask, because it's not letting in any of the light pouring through the windows thanks to her forgetfullness the night before.

"George? Issat? Mmmm…" she moans and presses her lips to his shoulder. Yes, he's still there. But now she's vaulting from the bed and running for the bathroom. There's no way she's going to let him smell morning after breath. A few minutes later, she returns, a little refreshed and that eye mask pushed up into her hair like a headband. With all the grace of a triple jump contender, she vaults back into bed and on top of him. "Morning, Georgie.."

In the meantime, George has gotten as far as turning over onto his back and readjusting the pillow. He's almost gotten as far as starting to think about the day's schedule in the back of his mind, when—

There goes another hour.

Afterward, he reaches up, running his fingers through her hair and smoothing it back. "I worry about you sometimes," he murmurs, "one of these days you're going to collapse from sleep deprivation or something."

Smiling down at him, Hallis gives him a kiss on the nose and shakes her head. "I'll never collapse, I'm going to just exist on love or something like that." She then falls over on him and pulls the large white duvet over the two of them, covering them against the cool morning air. "What time did you get here last night?" She queries softly, looking into his eyes. "I don't remember you coming in, just… everything after." The wicked grin that follows has her covering his face and neck with more kisses.

George laughs, reluctantly pushing her away. "Almost midnight. Stop it, you're gonna kill me!" He indulges her anyway, but only for a minute or so, this time. "So— what happened before I came in? You want to talk about it?" That definitely smelled like a drown-your-sorrows type of drunk, more than a party-it-up type.

Groaning, Hallis rolls onto her back and stares up at the ceiling. "Sydney fired me… That's the big part." It's pretty much the truth, pretty much. Squinting, she stares up at the ceiling and lets off a very deep sigh. "I did something, she .. I think she knows who the mind rapist is. But she said that she was just calling her Carol or something in her notes." She turns her head to look at George, a slight look of remorse on her face as she continues with her story. "I wanted to look at her notes, she said I would have to make an appointment. That's when I got kind of ugly."

Hallis, ugly? George doesn't buy it. Yes, she has her faults - there was that thing at the restaurant the other day - but this is her friend they're talking about. "Wait, how would she know? I thought she didn't believe you, about the arsonist and all." Actually, he assumed that himself, based on the thing about writing the letter— give him a break, it's still barely past dawn.

"What? You thought? No… Georgie… she believed me. Really believed me." Hallis says in a low tone, her depression on the subject weighing heavily on her. "She started saying a name, then she said Carol. Maybe the mind rapist is Carol, but I'll never know because she's not talking to me anymore." Then she rolls over and wraps her arm around him. "I'm sorry…"

There are way too many levels of who-thinks-what going on at once here. Giving up on figuring any more of them out on his own, George simply draws closer, shaking his head. "Don't be. I hope you two get things patched up somehow, but that's between the two of you." He draws back to get a look at her eyes. "Is that why you were drinking last night? I can imagine—"

Nodding slowly, Hallis has the most pitiable look on her face. "I started as soon as she fired me. I just… I don't know what I'm going to do without her George. I just felt so so horrible as soon as .. all that happened. What if she knows who the mind rapist is? What if she's protecting her?" There are so many unanswered questions pouring through the blonde's mind right now, and her head just hurts too much.

"What? No, she—" George pushes up onto one elbow, scratching his head. "She wouldn't. Even if she does know who it is, if anything, she'd be protecting you. We still don't know if there's a safer way to approach whoever it was." Before Hallis can say anything else, he puts a finger up to her lips. "Ssh, don't worry about right now… we should have an answer in a few days anyway, remember?"

The finger receives a kiss and then Hallis pushes it away in favor of pressing her lips against his briefly. "I guess, I don't know how though. We'd have to get something of Sydney's. Hey, do you think she still has that hoodie? Or … think we can get it? We could have a DNA test or something run on it, do you think maybe they kidnapped me or something and that's why I can't remember?"

"No, we--" George pauses long enough to return the kiss. "—we don't need her, we need you. Well, something of yours. Do you remember what else you were wearing right after, or right before? That should be enough, I think." How well did he explain about the person he's calling in? For that matter, how well did she explain it to him in the first place? It's been a while…

Looking around the bedroom, Hallis' eyes fall to her massive collection of shoes on the opposite wall. "I think I was wearing… uhm… I don't remember. What about my purse? Will that work? I had to have had it, I carry it everywhere. It was the Prada bag, I'm pretty sure." She looks up at him and smiles a little, somewhat sadly. "Can we not talk about this any more? What did you do yesterday? I didn't see you or talk to you almost all day… well except yesterday morning." The last part is murmured softly, with a coy grin.

Oh, that. He'd been postponing thinking about that, actually, but it can't be put off forever. "Most everyone was asking me questions about that video. I had to stall— I mean, you and I know it's the truth, but I can't just tell people that." Obviously. "I can't tell them much of anything until the president says something first. Or Senator Wynn—"

"Speaking of," he continues, "I met one of his advisors last night, briefly. Turns out Sydney was on to something, he's gone missing, but she asked that we keep quiet about it until we hear otherwise. It'd blow up in their faces if word got out right now, you know?"

Well the whole secrecy thing has never settled well with Hallis, "But what if someone has seen him? Wouldn't knowing that he's missing be better? I mean, there are zillions of people that could have seen him." Obviously statistics don't mean that much to her either, and zillion isn't really a real number, is it? "I just don't understand why the government keeps all these secrets, I mean, like aliens and things. They could probably just be people with abilities playing a joke."

"The police already know about it," George explains, "they'll have people out looking. Telling everyone— well, they'd just be flooded with a thousand false reports, not to mention pulling the crazies out of the woodwork." He draws his knees up to his chest as he thinks. "I can understand why they'd keep this secret. If someone did prove it, thoroughly enough to convince the skeptics… can you imagine the panic? There've been enough movies about that sort of thing."

"Like what movies?" Those movies aren't exactly the kind that Hallis watches, and the blank look in her eyes is testament to this fact. Rolling onto her side, she props herself up on her elbow and gives him a little smile. "So that's all you did? Work on the news and talk to that guy's advisor? You know, it sounds like I could do your job. Do you think I would make a good congressman?"

George offers a faint smile. "That was the short version of my day. The long version is, everyone had a hundred different questions in mind and a hundred different answers they want to hear— and any one of them could be tomorrow's 'career tanking!' story." In a real publication, not the ones on the impulse-buy rack at the supermarket. "Tell you what— if you get some free time yourself, why don't you come with me for a while and see for yourself?"

Biting her lower lip to hide the grin, Hallis looks into his eyes and raises her eyebrows. "You mean like bring your girlfriend to work day? Or a real job?" For some odd reason, the topic is keeping Hallis' interest. Then she laughs and shakes her head, rolling on top of him again. "Remember when we tried that before? We went to that cherry tree bowl or something. But… if I went this time I would actually get to see you do congressy stuff right?" The idea of it sets the wheels in her head to turning. "I'll have to buy something to wear…"

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