2007-08-07: DF: Not Being Paranoid


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Summary: Personal matters are belatedly attended to.

Dark Future Date: August 7, 2009

Not Being Paranoid

Fabulous Fireproof Hotel, New York City

Another long work day has finally wound down. George wanders in, brow furrowed, walking over and sitting down on top of a squat chest of drawers near the door. Bringing work home with him, it seems, though not in the physical sense.

Shortly afterwards, Aileen wanders in, coffee cup in hand. She's been drinking a lot of coffee lately. Most likely because she's been working pretty hard on the project. Coffee cup in one hand and big pile of work tucked in the other arm, she doesn't quite spot George as she walks in.

George's gaze is unfocused, so it takes him a second to react as well - it's more to the sound of the door opening again, rather than who it is specifically. "Oh, hey." He ambles over, resting a hand on one shoulder. "And I thought I was overdoing it. You didn't bring a centrifuge with you, did you?"

Though startled that George was home, Aileen relaxes after a moment, setting her papers aside. "Nah. Don't want to overdo it TOO much.. just want to see results. I was hoping to be further along before the President even found out about the project so I could just go straight into testing and he could see clear results, but.. now I just have to struggle and play catch-up."

"I can imagine," he replies, picking out an armchair as a better place to sit while company is present. Still with that puzzled look, though. "It is pretty damn ambitious. I've just had a couple of individual cases— Lord of the Flies, that girl with the earthquake schtick. Felix and I are still scratching heads over that one— oh, he said he ran into you the other day. How'd that go?"

Moving to sit down as well, Aileen nods. "You've got a few pretty tough cases there. Don't envy you. See, you've got to deal with people. I've just got to find out what makes them tick." She moves to a chair, sipping her coffee. "Felix? Oh, it went well. It's nice to be able to just get out and destress from all the work. Gotta remember to take time and do that occasionally or I'm likely to just snap from all the pressure."

George glances around at the room. "Bit difficult to manage in here, too. Damn cookie-cutter rooms. Mostly I asked because he thought maybe you were heading toward a breaking point… was this back after you met Nathan? Still need to ask him about that when I make it back to DC."

There's a pause. Aileen peers curiously towards George. "He thought I was..?" She blinks, then rubs her head. Then seems to have realization dawn on her. "Oh, for god's sake. It's what I get for letting out every little thing I was stressed about the second I get to take a break from working." She shakes her head, another long sip of coffee. "Yeah.. it was the day after I met with the President. Paranoia's still floating around in my mind, but honestly, it's hard not to be paranoid in this day and age. Not being paranoid gets you killed." She rubs her head with one hand. "I don't know. Maybe I am heading towards a breaking point."

George decides to get up and pour a glass of water at the sink. He's had enough coffee already throughout the day. "Paranoia implies lack of reason. It's not paranoid to be concerned about long shots when lots of people are taking long shots. Anyway, like I said, maybe— he wasn't sure about it, wanted me to help fill in the gaps a little."

"I see." Aileen lets out a breath. "Well. If you want to know the truth.. I'm still pretty jumpy from everything that happened. "I just don't want to make the wrong move and end up dead." She glances back over. "Be honest with me, George.. do you think this project could get me killed?"

"Honestly?" The water is shut off. "Anything could get you killed. Walking down the street could get you killed. Do I think it's likely… I don't know, I think it's too early to tell. But I hate to think of you freezing up over it."

"I know. Things are crazy, now. I just… it's not really the idea of dying that worries me as much as it is dying alone." Aileen rubs her neck. "Sorry. All this being nabbed by terrorists is making me kind of morbid."

George is caught by that one mid-sip, putting the glass aside. "Hey, now. No. You—" Stepping forward, his arms find their way around the doctor's waist, drawing her in. There's a familiar stance. "We've been here for each other for how long, now?"

Wrapping her arms back around him, Aileen leans in close. "I know. Honestly you're a livesaver, George. We just.. I don't know. We just both work too damned hard sometimes." She lets out a sigh.

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