2009-11-13: Out of Control



Date: November 13, 2009


The power couple becomes more serious than either of them first expected.

"Out of Control"

George's apartment, Greenwich Village

Having returned to New York ahead of schedule with Hallis and a rediscovered Nathan, George has been doing the best he can to rearrange his schedule and keep it on track. This is nothing new for him, and he has people both here and in the capital to help him out; within a couple hours, the appropriate events have been canceled, pushed back, pulled forward, moved from one place to another. While he's at it, he tweaks things a little more, and soon his daily business is on track to conclude a couple hours earlier than usual. Which means an extra one the day after, but so what?

Glancing at the clock, he considers whether to call and check whether she's gotten caught in traffic on the way home. At least the bag in the fridge will keep for as long as it needs to.

Indeed she hasn't, but she did get sidetracked at her own apartment for a few minutes while she changed and made herself a little more presentable for dinner. When she finally does arrive, she is dressed in a simple cream colored dress and a pair of extravagant shoes. Knocking on the door, she seems a little nervous and giddy all at the same time. Both of which can be seen plainly through the peep hole.

George pauses for just a second before opening the door, smiling at what he sees through the peephole. She seems to be in a good mood, at least. "Hey, c'mon in," he says, leaning in to offer a quick kiss before she steps fully inside. "So how's the real world been doing today? I was stuck on the phone from one all the way to six with… maybe one break, and that was just when the signal cut out."

Hallis returns the kiss and slips her arm comfortably around his waist. "The shops missed me while I was gone." She says in a light tone, apparently making a little bit of humor at her own expense. Looking around the apartment, she smiles a little and then looks up to him. "Your apartment is really nice," she murmurs appreciatively, not venturing further inside until he does. The size difference between the two is rather immense, notably the lack of a bedroom. "I have so much to talk to you about, thank you for inviting me over. I was scared that you'd disappear back to Washington before I had a chence to see you again."

George shakes his head, wandering toward the couch. "Thanks. And no, not unless there was a real crisis, and even then I would've called you. Anyway, what's going on?" He sits down and motions to the spot next to him, indulging in her closeness for as long as it's offered, and watching closely to work out what sort of mood she's in. Is this a good or a bad so-much?

Undoubtedly, beginning the conversation is much harder in real life than it was in her head. Especially since the object of all of her thoughts is sitting on the sofa in front of her. Quickly, Hallis sits down beside him, twisting to be able to see him as she speaks. Her eyes search the room for a moment, presumably to find some sort of distraction, but not finding one, she gives him a nervous smile and takes a deep breath.

"I -" and then she stops. If a mind could be a barren wasteland, it would be just like Hallis' right now. Then, she takes another little breath and grimaces. "You said dinner, what are we having?"

Nervous. Hmm. Well, that could go any of several ways. "I stopped by Chatham Square on the way back, picked up a couple things— nothing big, I wasn't sure if you'd already eaten." He waited till he was back at the apartment before calling, lest he risk getting waylaid himself along the way. "Listen, whatever it is…" He reaches out again, taking her hands in his— she's been in his thoughts these past couple of days, more so than usual, but he hasn't yet put words to the feelings.

Hallis laces her fingers with his, looking into his eyes. "I want to see more of you." She blurts out, not thinking until the words are completely out of her mouth. Then she freezes, terrified, something she's never experienced before. She's always had the control, the power in her relationships to take them or leave them. Perhaps it's not control as much as a lack of concern or true feeling. And then, there it is again, that look. The one where her eyes go wide and her lips pucker out just a little, making her look like she's thinking up some hugely profound thought. "I really like you George," she utters finally, "I just want to make sure that I'm not just a notch or some piece of arm candy."

Faced with this unexpected news, and with that look in her eyes that's definitely responsible for the whatever-it-is that he's been feeling himself lately, George leans closer and cradles Hallis's face in his hands. "Of course you're not," he says. "I— well, at first, we were both just having fun together, because that's what we both wanted. What we both had time for. But since then…" As he considers his own words, he leans forward to rest his chin on her shoulder. "I've had closer relationships hit the rocks because we didn't find enough time to be together. Or I thought they were closer, because now? Now I need to find the time for you. Does that make any sense?"

And there it is. Having said that much out loud, he knows exactly what else is sitting there that he hasn't said.

Closing her eyes, Hallis rests her head against his and slips her arms around him. "It makes sense, I think." She's not the brightest crayon in the box, but she's certainly the most colorful. "I've been trying really hard, George, to clean up my act so I don't make you look bad. I just needed to know that it wasn't all for nothing. I was scared to death coming over here, I went over this conversation at least a thousand times in my head." And there she pauses, tightening her hold around him a little more, causing her to draw a little closer. To her, their closeness feels completely right, perhaps the fear contributes to that.

"Ssh," George whispers, drawing his arms around her waist to match. "I like you a lot, too. A little more, each time I see you. And listen— I don't know what exactly you have that you need to clean up, but don't worry about making me look bad, okay? I'm always going to look bad to someone or other. Don't even do it for me, just do it for yourself. If that isn't reason enough…" With a sigh, he draws back, merely resting his hands atop hers. "…if we don't change naturally, if we have to force it? Well, then maybe we're both wrong about all this." Slowly, his fingers lace with hers. He doesn't want to be wrong.

A small smile tugs at the right corner of Hallis' lips as he speaks. "Does that mean I don't have to go to church on Sundays if I don't like it?" An intense gaze is given as her blue eyes are caught in his. Then she squeezes his fingers lightly, widening her smile. A very long sigh of relief is let out and then she erupts with a single, light hearted laugh. "I was so scared, George. You have no idea, I haven't…" Pause. "I've been trying to stay clean, I haven't even taken my diet pills. Nothing. Well drinks with dinner, but…" Then she eyes him rather dangerously, "If I get fat, you're not allowed to leave without putting me in a fat farm first."

"Church?" George rolls his eyes. "Where I grew up, you couldn't throw a rock without hitting three of 'em. I've had enough church crammed down my throat to last a hundred years." At the mention of her diet, he reaches down and nudges her stomach with the back of one hand. "And I don't think you're in any danger, Hal. But if you're interested, I do know about an exercise program that you might enjoy…"

Hallis leans in and rubs the tip of her nose against his. "I've never been to church, as far back as I can remember," the young socialite admits sheepishly. "I promised I would go this Sunday though, so I bought four alarm clocks to make sure I wake up in time." When he nudges her stomach, she winces backward and shies from his touch, "Don't poke my fat!" The exercise program though, that receives a small smile and a twinge of blush, yes blush. "Does it take a lot of running? Because I don't like running," comes her murmured retort as she leans in again for a kiss.

"I-" Oh, another kiss. Put that sentence on hold until afterward. "-I used to jog," George admits, "I don't have as much time for it nowadays." And he's not in a high enough office where he can pull a Teddy Roosevelt and inflict it on any visitor he damn well pleases. "Actually" - another kiss, lingering a little longer this time - "I kind of had something different in mind." Is he tilting her shoulders back? It feels like he might be.

First, Hallis responds to the kiss, closing her eyes. They remain closed when he breaks it, and she protests the distance by following his lips with her own, delivering a small peck before she leans back on the sofa. "Did you really?" she murmurs, opening her eyes only halfway as she gazes at him with a small smirk on her face. Her legs are drawn up onto the sofa, but not before she slips outof her shoes, letting them land softly on one of the mats. "Tell me more about the different something?"

George shakes his head. "I can't." Lifting each leg in turn and resting it atop his lap, he then leans over, picking up a remote control and pressing a button. No, it's not for the stereo; it's for the lights, which obligingly cut out. "But I can show you…" his voice continues, echoing faintly in the darkness.

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