2008-06-02: Sapphire and Teal


Randall_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif

Summary: Caught between the concrete and the abstract, two lovebirds attempt to make the best of things.

Date It Happened: June 2, 2008 (immediately after What Do You Do With A Problem Like Elisabetha?)

Sapphire and Teal

Kory's apartment

Among the eclectic set of skills that Randall has picked up during the past quarter-century is the ability to clam up on short notice. He has some strange (and partly incorrect) ideas in his head, and used to talk about with them with anyone who was listening - and they'd laugh, or cringe, or offer a patronizing nod, all of which got old really quick. Hence his steadfast refusal to gush at Charlotte in public the day after he was accidentally teleported to California and back, much as he would have wanted to.

Rarely, if ever, has he had occasion to shut himself down in front of Kory. Now, though, the barriers come thudding down, leaving her question ringing in his ears as he slowly works out a reply.

Why don't you move in with me?

"It… it's not that simple."

It's been a rough few days for Kory. Having to call in a favor and rustle up both a helicopter and a limo on short notice, only to find the chronally displaced Peter Petrelli (and Niki) all busted up in upstate New York, followed quickly by an argument with the aforementioned chrononaut and shortly thereafter, the discussion of the Garibaldi-Belmont problem. So her emotions are a little closer to the surface than she customarily wears them — and that's saying something.%r"Why not?" she asks, simply, expectantly. Arms fold over her chest both petulantly and protectively. She blows a wisp of blue hair out of her face, and meets Randall's eyes. She leaves it there — waiting for an answer, rather than launching, Korylike, into a list of reasons why it'd be a good idea, starting with the obvious.

Randall leans back, bending his knees in front of his chest and wrapping his arms around them, his chin just peeking out above the knees. "Okay… let's get the minor issue out of the way first. I did move in with an old girlfriend once, a few years ago, and things fell apart after a few months— I think they would have, anyway, and and she's not you, and you and I have already been through a lot more than she and I ever were. But the idea makes me feel weird anyway, and you deserve to know that." Not that he ever said anything about it until she broached the topic.

"The real reason is…" Now he unclasps his hands, gesturing helplessly in the air between them. "…well, the main reason I picked the apartment I did is that it's sitting almost right at the middle of a magical quiet zone." Oh yeah, he thinks abilities are magic. Always has. He did mention that at some point, right? Suresh's work, Pinehearst's— same thing, different trappings is all. "I can partly move here, but if I give that place up completely, I'll lose a good part of a year's worth of work. And I'd have a hell of a time trying to ever get it back again."

Blink. blink. Blink. "That's not possible," is Kory's response. "This is New York City." She's practically vibrating with the holding back of enthusiastic Korybabble. But, to her credit, there are no tears, no wibbly doe-eyed aspersions cast on whether this is all a dodge for Randall being typically male and commitmentphobic. "New York City is on land stolen from indigent people. And built on top of burial grounds. And the subways and bridges have cost the lives of workers, to say nothing of the people killed by the mob. There is no way you found one spot clean of psychic energy or bereft of ley-lines. This whole city is one big disturbed area." Trust the girl who never sleeps to have actually read enough about tha parapsychological underbelly of the City that Never Sleeps.

Randall shakes his head. "Oh, believe me, I have some idea. It's not silent - and it may only seem as quiet as it does because I'm still deaf along some dimensions - but there's something about it. Building materials, or multiple effects damping each other out…" Finally, he uncurls again, leaning back and staring up at the ceiling. Nice smooth monocolor, very peaceful. "Like I said, I can come here - I'd love to, really - but I'd need to keep it as a work area."

Kory raises a brow. "Okay." She isn't sanguine with the idea entirely, but she's not in the mood to argue. She's already had one argument today, and that's plenty. One more than she'd prefer to have had. "I take it the Batcave doesn't have the same vibe or lack thereof?" she asks, tilting her head pensively. "Or does my presence throw the reading off?" To say nothing of the timelost Petrelli sulking and sleeping in the guest room.

"It doesn't," Randall confirms. "You— well, pretty much anyone's presence tends to throw things off. And when I'm with you, I'm not trying to take readings." So his priorities aren't completely screwed up… just tilted a bit. "Anyway," he continues, reaching his hands out toward hers, "do you want to go out for some coffee before we get started? I don't know about you but I could use a cup."

"How about we just call it a night, and get started the next time you have a day off. You do look wiped," Kory admits, taking his hands and letting him draw her close once again. "Besides, I'm not in the mood to go out amongst it all just now." She is, if one had to put words to it, a bit more pensive now that they're more or less alone. "Just having you here to stay for longer than a few hours is an improvement."

"Mmm." Randall pauses long enough to steal a kiss, followed by another. "I won't argue with that. "Should be Friday, unless John calls in sick at the last minute— I'll call you as soon as I know for sure."

Oooh. Kisses. Oh, if Randall could truly see what he thinks he can, Kory's psyche would almost certainly be giving off little glowing pink cartoon hearts. She's that crazy about him. "Okay." She hangs on tight for one last kiss before turning for the kitchen. "I've got coffee in the kitchen." Why? She never needs to stay awake. For guests, maybe. "How do you take it?"

Blue swirls, actually. And not just because of the evil hair dye; he thought he saw them a month ago, too. "Um. Milk, light sugar." Randall rubs his eyes, blinking a few times before he continues. "I don't suppose there's anyone on Sophie's dating radar lately? Might be a good way to keep her hands occupied." Oh, sure, overload the poor girl. There's a good idea.

"If there is," Kory says, thoughtfully, "She hasn't mentioned him to me. I think she's kind of scared of that, given her ability is tactile-trigger." She sets the coffeemaker going. It makes pleasant wheezy sounds, like a laid back Vader. "We'll find her some summer weight clothes so she doesn't give herself heatstroke until it gets cool again. Or did you have like, a double date in mind?"

Randall shakes his head. "I didn't have anyone specific in mind, though we could if anyone does come up… I still don't know that much about her as a person, as opposed to her as One of Us. You've spent some more time with her, haven't you?"

"Uh huh, but she tends to play it close to the vest, still," Kory admits, looking a little guilty. "And I haven't been really good with the whole friendship thing for friendship's sake since I got handed the list. Little distracted. Which is why I'm taking her shopping. I should've noticed weeks ago how uncomfortable she must be. And Lee … grrr." Kory actually bares her teeth as she growls her friend's name. "He just poked a big hole in her ego, and it's still a little tender. If he hadn't come around about the idea, I'd go after his freaking Tomes of Important But Boring Classical Stuff with a Super Soaker."

Randall winces. He doesn't know a lot about Lee either, other than Leslie's misaimed series of death traps, but what little he does— "What would he poke at her for? I mean, she's still in college, you'd think she'd be right up his alley."

"Because she asked him to help us with the Garibaldi-Belmont sitch. Using her gift and mine. And he hates our gifts. Your gift. His own gift. He hates that they exist. Mom and dad issues, see." Kory shrugs, shaking her head. "I understand, but he has spent so long sneering at everything his parents believed that he can't let go of the cope mechanism, especially now that they've been proved rgiht."

Randall makes a sour face. "So just a general I Don't Like You. At least it wasn't anything personal, I guess…" At this rate, he may not make it as far as coffee; his eyes are only half-open, and while his words remain coherent, they're coming more slowly.

"Oh, no, he likes Sophie just fine. He likes me just fine. It's her memory abilities and my dreamwalking he hates. And your parapsych-vision. And his own telekinetics." She smiles, though, noticing Randall's slowing down. He gets another kiss. "The coffee can be microwaved in the morning. How 'bout we hit the Wal-Mart uptown and get you a pair of track pants to sleep in?" Of course she's not going to sleep, but lying all cuddled up with Randall while he sleeps has its own charms.

"How far is it?" Randall returns the smile, then pulls himself back fully upright. "I can sleep in these just fine— then again, walking around might help me wake up." Or they might run afoul of a mugger, he doesn't add out loud.

"Not that far," she assures him, "But if you're comfortable in that, sure. We can watch another one of those Red Dwarf DVDs until you fall asleep," she suggests, catching his fingers in hers and tugging him toward the hallway. She'll even set the alarm so he doesn't oversleep.

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