2010-01-10: Ready to Move



and introducing King George the Second of Mills Haven

Date: January 10, 2010


Colby and Hallis catch up on the implications of Marilyn de Souza's sudden death.

"Ready to Move"

Greenwich Village, New York

A cold day in New York is better than the hot days of Texas, why? Because it means that Hallis and her new dog can dress alike. Well not exactly alike, the dog doesn't have any clothing on because his owner is showing off the new dye job he's got and she's in a matching pink rabbit fur coat. The standard poodle is trotting happily alongside the dainty socialite, his back coming up to her waist, he's just that big. They aren't kidding when they say everything is bigger in Texas.

"Georgie! Do you want to run?" She's shuffling quickly along the sidewalk, trying to keep up to the dog. The dog looks back at her and steps up his pace a little, dragging the poor girl in her Ugg Boots. It's a good thing the sidewalk is a little icy, because just holding onto the dog allows her to slide behind him without much effort at all.

Not counting recent holiday celebrations, it's been a while since George has gotten more than a few waking hours in a row that aren't taken up with either work or errands. The latest development over at Homeland Security isn't how he would have wanted that to change— but as long as it's turning people's attention elsewhere for a bit, he'll take it.

It's been longer since he's gone out jogging, and that doesn't look to be changing today. One, there's ice. Two— "I still say you should have named it something else," he murmurs, tugging absently at a no-longer-familiar pair of blue jeans as he catches up to her strides. "Like people around us didn't have enough misunderstandings already?"

"I wasn't the one that called him that, Georgie, not you Georgie, you Georgie…" The young socialite glances between the dog and the congressman as she tries to hold a conversation with the latter. "It was his name when I bought him, besides, your sister thought it was a good one." After the initial botch with the barbecue sauce the two women got along famously. She looks up at her beau with a smile and reaches out with her free hand to take his.

Her fingers lace between his before she pulls back on the dog's harness to slow him down to George v1.0's pace. "I think it's a good name too, King George the Second of Mills Haven. Would it make you feel better if I called him King?"

Thank you, Michelle, for talking Hallis out of a name change. Note to self, give her the deed to a coal mine next Christmas.

"That would probably work, actually," replies George. "Probably make him think he's a golden retriever, but then he thinks that anyway, the way he acts." He's really just making random guesses here - he's a cat person himself, though he left his last one behind with a pair of friends in Louisiana - but they're presented with an instinctive pretense of understanding. "How's he adjusting to the apartment so far?"

The dog already slowed his pace to match the his two humans, well his human and the man that takes his side of the bed. He's ignoring both of them to sniff at random things as they walk along, sometimes jerking Hallis across the sidewalk to investigate things. He's really too big a dog for her as he's taller than she is when he's on his hind legs.

"Do dogs think like that, George? Really?" Hallis isn't sure she wants a poodle that thinks he's a retriever, retrievers stink. Her nose wrinkles up as she thinks about it for a little while, giving the congressman a nice little bit of silence. Eventually she does start up again and chirps an answer, "I think he's doing really well. I saw on the dog whisperer that I just need to walk him every day and he'll be perfect in the apartment. He really likes the princess bed that I got him… well Prince bed…"

Prince, king… she's totally enabling whatever delusions of grandeur he might have. With cats, presumption of royalty is a given. "Hmm, I'll take your word for it," replies George. "We had dogs a couple of times when I was growing up, and they— oof!" He nearly loses his balance for a moment as King switches from one side to the other, jamming the leash into his knees. "Well, they were a real handful, but then we were a little too young to really understand how to take care of them."

Worry not George, Hallis is there to support you if you stumble or fall. Both of her hands move to grip the man's arm tightly when his namesake's leash cuts across his knees. "No King, stay on this side." She guides the dog gently back to her right side and touches him gently with her hip as a signal to stay there. Another tip she learned from the dog whisperer. She's been a real addict for television lately. "What kind of dogs did you have? I wasn't allowed to have any pets, but you know about the secret spiders already." Of course he does, it's one of the things she shared with him on their first real date. "Grandmother had a cat, his name was Ruffles but I was too allergic so she got rid of him."

And thus why George hasn't picked up a cat here in New York. That, and he'd be away for too long at a time - well, he might be able to get away with one in Washington. "Well," he continues, balance now recovered, "there was a brown mutt about King's size that left the backyard full of potholes the size of your foot. And a chihuahua that I was told had some serious hygiene problems, not that I noticed at the time."

A look at the dog with another wrinkle of the nose, "Gosh, I hope King doesn't have hygiene problems. He's pretty clean so far." And he doesn't stink, that's for sure. The royal man of the house has a penchant for perfume and finery, including sniffing at his mistresses shoes. Though the latter has earned him a few very serious NOes. "There was something I was hoping to talk to you about when we got back… I think Andra's found a new place or something, or a boyfriend… I was thinking about getting a live in, what do you think?"

George thinks back… he hasn't seen Andra around since mid-December, when they and some others were out at dinner. Her own holiday plans would cover some of that time, but not all of it, not without more explanation. "Live-in what?" he asks, slowing down as he spots a stretch where more ice than usual has built up in a dip in the concrete.

"Live in house keeper or butler, like Grandmother has. I don't like the thought of living all by myself." Hallis' voice quiet doesn for a moment as she regards the dog, it was just one of the many reasons why she'd gotten him. As George slow, so does she… and the other George, now known as King. "Myabe a live in bodyguard! I wonder if Mister E and his daughter would move in." She hasn't actually talked to George about Mister E yet, their time together has been spent doing other things.

"A housekeeper could work. Butlers normally stick to houses that have a lot of guests over, don't they?" George turns, scratching his head. Is this someone he's forgotten about? No, not that he can recall… "Who are they, friends of your grandmother's?"

"No, he's the man that's been driving me around wherever I need to go." Hallis explains quite glibly, "I met him in the costume shop and then he and his daughtr invited me for milkshakes and french fries. Then he taught me how to make waffles." Her cooking has been better as of late, perhaps it's all the practice she's been putting in. Though for the past few days all she's been making are dog cookies. "He's a great help, he actually went to school to become a butler, can you believe it? He's simply a godsend."

George nods, taking it in at more or less face value - though he notes that there was no mention of whether the man completed said schooling. "I'd be curious to meet them some time, in that case. Why were they in the costume shop, did his daughter have a school play or something?"

Shaking her head, Hallis hugs herself a little tighter to George the man as a stranger passes them on the sidwalk. A stranger that causes George the dog to growl unhappily until they have passed completely. "They weren't, Mister E was. He was soliciting donations for children's charities." Very unconventionally. "I met him there and then I met his daughter when I ran into them at the little burger shop." She licks her lips to wet them in the blistering cold, just as they reach the building. "He was the man that gave me that waffle cookbook, did you see it?"

That does sound pretty unconventional, all right. Why not a playground or somewhere else where there are more parents to be found? Well, maybe he was looking for ones with extra money for things like fancy costumes. "I don't think so. They have a whole cookbook just for waffles?" George reaches out to keep the door held open until the others are through, rubbing his hands together for warmth once they're all three inside.

The pink dog earns a few stares from the other residents of the building, but the couple themselves don't receive a second glance. Once they've reached the elevator, Hallis pushes the button to call it and leans against her significant other, hugging his arm. "Yes, they do actually. My favorites are the ones that he made one day, they have almonds and apples in them." She just have been making a lot of those kind, because she's gained a little bit of weight since Christmas, enough that her clothes are clingy and not hanging from her frame.

But not enough for George to have picked up on, not unless she prompts him about it. "Not a bad choice, as long as you don't have an allergy to nuts or something. One of my cousins does— I think, it might just be peanuts." They've just arrived at their apartment building after a brisk dog-walk, waiting for the elevator car to arrive and their extremities to finish thawing out.

Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Colby is in her dorm room at Georgetown, an open book in front of her at the desk. Her roommate is out, possibly continuing to celebrate the weekend while Colby's decided to crack down and get some studying done. Semester's just started but it doesn't mean its time to slack off. On the stereo is something sounding faintly like Techno-Pop. Upon further study, it's in Japanese, possibly some kind of anime soundtrack. Colby's singing along in perfectly spoken (or sung) Japanese, while focusing on Spanish homework.

When the elevator arrives, she tugs both Georges onto it and resumes cuddling the human one for the ride. Hallis has been a little bit clingy herself as of late, late night phone calls just not being enough for her. Though with all of the problems with the government as of late, she's just been glad to have a few minutes with him here or there. Smiling up at him, she presses the button to their floor and then rocks back on her heels to wait for the doors to slide closed.

Speaking of: just as the car drops them off on their floor, George's phone goes off, indicating a message… which, according to the display, was sent a couple of hours earlier. The network must be backlogged today or something. Recognizing the area code but not the number, he waits till they're safely inside one apartment or the other before calling back, turning on the speakerphone in case it's who he thinks it is.

The message carries the voice of a young woman, early twenties. There's no sound in the background since this is important, and Colby doesn't want to be considered a 'kid' and tries to act professional. "Congressman, this is Durden. I know this is probably just one more message in a pile that you're getting right now, but it has to do with the press conference. All I have to say is… Pieces on the board are changing. Are there any new instructions? I can relay to everyone else here if you'd like. Alright, take care. Durden out." As succinct and as quickly made as possible, Colby feels that the message should be enough.

It's a long sigh from Hallis, that's what the phone receives. It's not new news that she hates playing second fiddle to the small device and as a result she draws away from the man in favor of her new dog. "C'mon King George, is it supper time? Is it? Is it?" She baby talks to the very large dog as they make their way out of the elevator and down the hall. In answer, the dog gives her a very big and excited rwof! and bounds around her. "We'll be inside Georgie, did you want something to eat?" Her apartment has been full of food lately, more than just toaster strudels and ramen noodles. Some of it even edible.

But she doesn't have to play second fiddle for this particular call. Not exactly. "She's on the train team from the other office," George explains to Hallis as he calls back. Speakerphone once again. Ring ring. "Hello— Hello, Ms. Durden?" He raises his voice as he overhears the J-pop unexpectedly blaring in the background.

It takes a second for Colby to get to the phone, having to wheel from the desk over to her bed. She doesn't take the chance to check the ID. "Konnichiwa!!" She yells into the phone, figuring it would be her roommate. When she hears George's voice, she blanches.. "Ohmygod! Hold on a sec!!" She puts the phone down and rushes (as fast as she can) to turn off the music. In her haste, bumps and tumbles can be heard as she knocks things over. She returns. "Congressman Dawson, I'm sorry. What can i do for you?" She asks, out of breath.

The apartment door has been left open and Hallis's boots are in a neat little pile near the door. Her pink fur coat as been hung up in the closet and she and her pink dog have both settled into the kitchen by the time the congressman makes his way in. At the moment, the little woman is preparing food for the dog and setting his place at the table. Not the dining table, but his own table. The new dog own is very consciencious about issues that might affect the health of her giant cotton candy colored dog and has invested in a table for him to save any strain on his back while he eats and drinks.

George settles into a chair, setting the phone down on the dining table and staying more or less out of Hallis's way. It should be safe to jump right into things, right? Colby would've warned him if anyone else was listening in on the other end. "I just got your message from earlier. Let's see, introductions— Hallie, this is Colby Durden, she's part of the Special Projects team based out of Washington. Ms. Durden, the other voice on this end is Hallis van Cortlandt, our original informant. And the other other voice you might hear is her pet dog."

Colby nods. "It's just me here, and you're not on speaker. We should be good unless I'm bugged… and if that's true then I've got bigger problems." After the introductions, she nods. "A pleasure." she adds. "Have you heard of the recent proceedings down here?" She asks, speaking of the press conference and De Souza's death.

"The pet dog has a name and it's King George!" Hallis calls out, somewhat annoyedly. The new addition to her household is more than just a pet dog. He's her comforter and itty bitty buggaboo. The dog is ignoring the entire thing, phone and all, in favor of the meal on his little table. Once the woman is satisfied that the pooch is content, she mixes a drink for the man on the phone. Scotch, neat.

George arches a brow at the drink, but doesn't go so far as to refuse it. Who knows, he might decide he could use it after all. "I have, yes," he replies to Colby, "and you're right— this will change things. In a hurry. Tell the others that they need to be ready to move quickly as well. No more details yet than what's been publically released - you'll be informed as soon as that changes."

Colby nods. "Move, as in logistics, or to enact? It's gonna take a while if I need to relocate. I'll need to get a transfer and.. well, you know. I'll do it, I'll just need the heads up." her homework is pushed aside for now, as Colby pulls out a notebook and pen.

Hallis has moved off again after depositing the drink in front of George. Her own beverage seems to be one of her special bottles of water that she's gotten out of the fridge. Cracking the bottle open, she takes a few sips of her diet supplement and licks it from her lips. "What happened, George?" She doesn't watch the news unless it has something to do with fashion or pop culture, so most of the conversation has been lost to her. Especially the parts about game pieces and logistics… she didn't take Greek in school.

"I appreciate your dedication," George answers Colby, "but I just meant 'move' as in 'react'." She does, after all, have some counterparts already in New York. "If things go badly enough that you need to leave the city…" Then transferring course credit may be the least of her worries. "Then I'll let you know."

"The Secretary of Homeland Security died of a stroke," he adds, turning to face Hallis and fill her in on the basics of the latest development. "It's sure to shake Alpha Protocol up, one way or another— we're waiting for word from Nathan's office. Hopefully this'll make it easier for him to fill the figurative void."

Colby nods. "Alright. Our ears will be open. Is there anything else? If I hear anything about Petrelli I'll let you know. I'm sure Daddy and his people are keeping an eye on things as well." She looks up as the door opens and her roommate stumbles in, on a crash course with her bed.

"Oh…" Hallis eyebrows furrow together somewhat and she looks down at her bottle of water before moving into the chair right next to George's. Her knee touches his lightly, mostly because she's feeling very very frightened with the situation and his involvement. After the noise ont he phone from Colby's end starts, she looks up at gives him 'that look' the one that says "We need to talk."

George arches a brow. Daddy? Note to self, ask about him during their next conversation. "No, I think that's all for now. I'd better let you go." Because of that sound in the background, but mostly because Hallis is giving him That Look. He reaches for the Scotch now, a suspicion forming as to what she's concerned about.

Colby nods. "Alright. Durden out." She says before hanging up. When her roommate asks her who she was speaking to, she just tells her it's one of her brothers. With three of them, it's not like her roommate can keep up anyways. She goes back to her homework.

When the phone is disconnected the young woman purses her lips again and wrinkles her nose with distaste. "I don't want you to do this any more George." The dog looks up from his dinner, all of a sudden very interested, he heard his name. "I don't want you to die," it's a very real fear now. Two heads of the AP have died now, from Hallis' count. While her counting skills have been under fire before, she's pretty sure she can count to two.

Yeah, that's more or less what he figured. Setting the drink aside, George instead reaches across the table, taking both of her hands in his and giving them a (he hopes) reassuring squeeze. "I don't want me to die, either. Nathan's the one going after the public spot, remember? He's the one taking the big risk. I'm just pushing from the outside, in case they stonewall him— or in case they let him in, but then try to put rose-colored glasses on him."

Or in case Logan manages to wrest control of the senator's mind again, he thinks to himself. And now he does take a swig of the scotch, after all.

A few rapid blinks before Hallis leans forward and collapses against him, hugging him tightly. "I remember George," she whispers hoarsely, "Just promise me that you're not going to get caught and double promise me that you're not going to die." She moves to sit in his lap and presses her lips against his cheek softly. "Will you be going to Washington soon or staying here?" Either way, she's likely not going to see too much of him, maybe. "If you're staying here… Do you think you could stay here when you're not working? I think with everything that's happening, I'd rather have you close instead of at your apartment or sleeping on your desk at your office."

"In a few days, at least that's the plan right now… it could change on short notice." Instinctively, George draws her closer, arms around her waist. "I… should be able to stay here, sure, mine's just down the hall if I do need something. I might need to use headphones sometimes." He's been getting better about working long hours, but he might not have much of a choice.

"You could use a cone of silence, as long as I know you're here." Yes, Hallis has been catching up on Get Smart reruns, trying to get a little bit better with relating to her boss. It's slow going, but she's been filling her head with lots of pop culture references lately in hopes of impressing him. "Poor King George, he'll have to use his doggie bed instead of your side." That is unless the dog climb in between them, which they have been known to do.

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