2010-06-26: Shock And Aw(kwardness)



Date: June 26, 2010


Morgan meets George, Aaron and Elle crash into each other. Morgan crashes into Aaron and Elle. Awkwardness ensues.

"Shock And Aw(kwardness)"

Central Park

Project Fresh And New had begun for one Elle Bishop. After a rather disastrous interview at Gloss magazine, Elle decides to take a jog to clear her head. And what better place to jog than Central Park? She'd changed out of her interview clothes and into an electric blue jogging outfit that consisted of a sports bra and shorts, then taken to the park. After a few stretches, Elle begins her jog on the bicycle path, her blonde ponytail bobbing up and down with her stride.

Likewise unlucky in her pounding of the pavement, given that she really has no marketable job skills (her expertise on supernatural phenomenon isn't likely to land her a well-paying job, especially as any 'facts' she knows are actually just fiction from the brain of an over-active imagination), Morgan has taken off the rest of the afternoon from her search. The tall blonde glances down at the Help Wanted ads, marked with pink highlighter, and the map she'd been using to navigate the city, marked with various businesses — all of which gave her a polite thanks, but no thanks.

Crumpling up the map and the newspaper, she tosses both with exasperation into the nearest trashcan, then heads to a stand selling coffee, soda and water. She needs a pick-me-up, that much is sure. Dressed in a pale cream skirt and blazer, her long legs are bare, with her feet ending in strappy heels — which are giving her a blister. Morgan reaches down to loosen the strap from behind her ankle, wincing a little. She should have brought a pair of flip flops to change into.

The place is always nice, but the time… that's another matter. Jogging in the middle of summer? George grew up with worse heat than this, but he stayed indoors for a lot of it - and he'd originally planned to make it out here early in the morning before it got too bad, but between fielding phone calls and wading through small talk, this was the first chance he's had all day at a real extended break. So much for his day off…

His usual sweatsuit has been exchanged for a Mets t-shirt and a pair of shorts that wouldn't look out of place in a soccer match, and he's doing more walking than actual jogging. Right now he isn't even doing that much, instead pausing to look around for a water fountain. "Looks like you could use some gauze for that," he offers, glancing over toward Morgan. Hmm, is a buck fifty worth the convenience? It's looking more and more likely by the second.

The verdure of Central Park is a refuge for many and for various reasons. It also seems to be a place where many find themselves jogging, likewise for many reasons. In Aaron Michaels's case, it's endurance training. What better way to get away from someone trying to kill you than running like Hell's after you?

Unlike most who are running, he's dressed in more casual wear. A light blue t-shirt and khaki pants, short enough to not trip on. A comfortable pair of runners mean his feet don't ache as he continues his brisk pace through the park. Every now and then he shifts his gaze over his shoulder. Despite the fact that it's in broad daylight, he still has some concern for his personal safety. All things considered, it's probably a good thing, even if his lapse in attention means he doesn't spot the fact that he's gone astray and is on a direct collision course with the electric blue blonde.

Breathe, Elle. That's right. Inhale. Exhale. Clear your mind. Elle's mental pep talk was in a yoga vein today, which was a good thing. With the fraying of her control on her powers earlier, more calm was better. It helped that there were fewer electronics in Central Park; fewer things to trip up with her presence.

Speaking of tripping… Elle is so caught up in her mental unwinding that she fails to notice the approaching runner until it's too late to halt her momentum. Her frantic tries to stop are almost comical, as she skids slightly and then, if nothing is done, just about bodyslams her fellow runner. At least she's little.

The dark green eyes of the tall blonde peer up as she adjusts her shoe, then straightens to look George Dawson eye to eye — showing absolutely not a whit of recognition for the politician. She takes a step forward in the line when someone vacates it, but they're still a few from the front. "Yeah, they're brand new, no time to break them in," she says, glancing down at the shoes — they look good, pink strap-backed peep toes showing off a pretty silvery pedicure — but they're certainly not practically for trekking around the city. Of course, all of her shoes are new, as are all of her clothes. Not a single item she owns is older than two weeks.

She watches the joggers, lifting a brow. "I should probably try the whole exercise thing one of these days," she murmurs, more to herself than to him. That's when she notices the young man in pale blue and the woman in bright blue just about to — "Oh… watch—" Too late, it seems.

George nods absently to Morgan. "Know the feeling," he replies. "Got a pair of Birkenstocks once that—"

The impending collision is like a car crash, minus the twisted metal and bleeding: you can't help but watch, out of morbid fascination. Except for the guy behind Morgan, whose attention is drawn elsewhere: he does recognize George, and not in a good way. "Hey, this is for lowering the tax brackets, jackass!" he yells, before throwing a full bottle of Evian right at the man's chest. Sploosh! "Now I gotta pay, what, an extra thousand bucks next year?" Temper sated, he stalks off without waiting around for a response.

Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Aaron has a similar mantra he uses at home while practicing to not destroy the contents of his house with a random thought. In this situation, however, the only thing that leaves his mouth is, "shit." His gaze is righted in time to spot an inch or two of blond hair and that's nowhere quick enough to avoid the collision — though he does avoid Elle's comical attempt at avoiding him. Can a person gracefully crash into another person? If someone can, this is not one of those times. There is awkward placement of hands as Aaron attempts to both prevent himself and the diminutive jogger from getting too scuffed up. Somehow, Elle ends up on top.

What was it with Elle and guys? It's like she sent out some sort of homing signal and they were pigeons. Wherever Elle went, there were always guys running into her - this time, literally. Maybe they saw the invisible neon sign above her head flashing 'Daddy Issues'? Or maybe it was the daddy issues that drew her to them. Whatever it was, Elle was never without a guy in her life. And now one was under her. Again, literally.

A curse leaves her mouth as she tumbles to the ground, the breath knocked out of her as she lands on top of Aaron. "Uh. Hi." This is her awkward greeting to the man suddenly beneath her; her grey-blue eyes size him up. "Trying to sweep me off my feet?" Her quip is slightly breathless from her fall, but her sense of humour seems relatively in tact.

At the shout of some angry Evian-toting man, Elle's head turns, and she winces in sympathy for George. Well, at least the water would provide some sort of relief in this heat? Still, Elle shudders inwardly. Understandably, she was Not A Fan of water.

Much of the water and the bottle aimed at George also gets Morgan wet, the bottle bouncing off the man's chest and hitting her in the nose. "What in hell's bell's is that about!" she gasps, reaching up to wipe her now wet face, dark mascara already seeping down her cheeks to make her look like a raccoon. A wet raccoon, at that. "Tax brackets?" she says, arching a brow at the target of the assault, then turning to look at the result of the head-on collision that the water-dousing made her miss.

Indeed, George seems to be taking the impromptu protest in stride, dabbing at his eyes with the washcloth and then using it to sop up some of the excess moisture from his shirt. "People get angry when they think you're hitting them in the wallet. He's probably wrong" - tax brackets are one of those things that are easy to misunderstand - "but if he can afford to throw his drink away like that…"

Hang on, Morgan's still looking blankly at him. Maybe he'd better back up a step. "I'm running for re-election this year." Does that trigger any new reactions? For all he knows, she may not care about the subject at all. Meanwhile, he's still paying peripheral attention to Aaron and Elle a ways away, but they seem to be sorting things out all right on their own so far.

Beautiful blonde on top of him? Under other circumstances, it might be an enjoyable experience — and he could argue still is — but there is a girl on top of him and he did crash into her because he wasn't paying attention to where he was going. Paranoia sometimes does not pay off. Sometimes it does.

"Uh, hi," Aaron offers back, sapphire eyes meeting those pale blues. Her question makes him blush and his first instinct is to help her up. Of course, he can't really do that since she's the one on top of him. "You're kind of on top of me." Congratulations, Aaron. You win the award for declaring the obvious.

Elle's lips pull into an involuntary grin at Aaron's blush. Well, what girl doesn't like making a handsome man blush? And he was handsome, she couldn't help but notice, though she mentally pinched herself afterwards for doing so. Weren't there enough Complicated Male Relationships in her world already? Still, she felt proud of herself that she was getting the hang of this whole flirting thing.

"I seem to be, yes," is her reply to Aaron's statement, and she begins to rise, placing a hand on each side of him. Oh, this was deeply awkward, as in her current position, she was sort of straddling him. It's her turn to blush as she fumbles somewhat unsteadily to her feet, then leans down to offer him a hand up.

"They'd make a cute couple," Morgan remarks on the two joggers trying to extricate their limbs from one another's after their collision, then looks up at George, with still no recognition there. "Oh, I see. You're a politician of some sort, I suppose? I … I'm a bit out of the swing of things. I was, um, on a… a walkabout in Australia… for like three years… And I was living in California before that… and I grew up in Alaska." She never settled on a back story, so everything she and Erin discussed as possibilities sort of falls out of her mouth at once.

Thankfully the person in front of her in line is done, so she turns her back on George, one hand coming up to smack herself in the forehead, before looking at the guy manning the cart. "I… something … Diet Coke?" she stammers, reaching into her purse for her wallet.

"Huh? Oh, sorry…" George hasn't moved forward yet - he was really more standing near the line than actually in it - but some other people have since lined up behind him anyway, and the first of them just gave him a none-too-subtle nudge. Scratch one more vote.

"That's right, I represent the city in Washington. Most of it, anyway." George squints, giving Morgan a proper once-over for the first time - why does he feel he ought to know her from somewhere else? - then politely shakes his head, fishing out a money clip of his own instead. Hey, it's not her fault he got doused.

Aaron is all about that which is Complicated. It pretty much defines his existence at the moment. Once Elle has untangled herself from him and offered him a hand, he reaches out and gets to his feet. "Well, that was … completely my fault. I should have watched where I was going. I'm sorry." He ruffles his own hair and looks behind him for just a moment. It's what he was doing before he was involved in the collision. His eyes drift to the cart currently entertaining a frazzled, former soap opera character and accompanying politician. "Can I get you something to drink?"

If Aaron likes Complicated - always, always with the capital C, and often underlined and circled and written in block letters - he'll absolutely love Elle, the epitome of the word. Brushing the grass and dirt from her sports bra and shorts, Elle spends a moment straightening her appearance before she looks back over at Aaron. She blinks, seeming to take a moment to process his words, then nods. "It's okay. I wasn't really looking, either. And we're both fine - no harm, no foul, right?" Another smile comes to her lips. "Sure, it's awfully hot out here. I wonder if the cart has ice cream?" Elle muses as she begins to walk towards it, casting a glance over her shoulder to make sure Aaron is following.

"So you're a congressman?" Morgan asks, and the man pulling out her Diet Coke smirks and shakes his head at George — the man must have a thing for ditzy blondes, right?

"Pretty bad when the schlemiel manning the drink cart knows who you are and the person in the business suit don't," the short merchant tells George, earning a flush of cheeks from Morgan who sets down a dollar anyway. She grabs the can and hurries away — only to stumble on her too-long legs and plow into the two joggers as they make their way to the cart.


George shoots the cart vendor a dirty look. He may not have grown up in this state, but he's plenty familiar with the classic 'mind your own damn business, pal' look. Without a word, he hands over exact change and turns— and winces, as at that exact moment the two-jogger pile-up claims a third victim. "Whoa, are you guys all right?" he asks, stuffing the plastic bottle into a too-small pocket and walking over to offer them a hand up in turn. He's going slowly enough that he shouldn't bump anyone himself, but he's still got that damp shirt on, unaware of the potential danger to the one in the blue top.

Aaron catches up with a few quick strides before walking alongside Elle. "I doubt it. Not worth having, anyway," he says of the ice cream the vendor may or may not have. After crashing into someone, he is a bit more aware of his surroundings. The fact that he's watching as the woman breaks away from the cart and comes careening towards them makes it easier to react. Although he reaches out to catch her, he nevertheless comes close to ending on on the ground with a beautiful woman on top of him. Again.

Aaand down she goes. Elle ends up in a tangle of limbs with the other two people, her body falling somewhere on top of Aaron and under Morgan. Once more the breath is knocked out of her, and for a moment, she can only blink. "This is one way to get to know people," is offered as soon as she gets the breath to speak. "A little help?" With that plea, George is nearby, though she can only see his left half as Morgan's body is obstructing the rest of her view, given the angle they all landed.

Morgan squeals a little; the can of soda is thankfully not open yet as it goes flying out of her hand to land a few feet behind the trio, bursting open and fizzing cola along the sidewalk. Caught by Aaron, she manages not to fall completely onto the ground, though it's an awkward moment to balance and right herself. Her now empty hands come to her flushed face as she stares at the other two, both on the ground again, and all because of her awkwardness. "Oh, my goodness, I'm so sorry…" she says with a sigh.

Half promenade, honor your partner! While Aaron finds himself pressed into service as an impromptu crash pad for the second time in as many minutes, George kneels down and leans closer to get a better hold of Elle's hand and pull her up with some leverage. Not that she's heavy or anything, but the day has already tired him out… if this were a typical vaudeville routine, then losing his grip and letting her fall back onto her rear is exactly what the script would call for next. Alas, he overcompensates a bit, enough for her to stumble a step closer to him once she's back on her feet…

Aaron was ready for Morgan. He was not prepared for Elle to get caught in the mix, and it surprises him to see Morgan standing, awkwardly, while he's again lying on his back with Elle on top of him. "We have to stop doing this," is the only thing he can think to say. Once George has pulled her off of him, he brushes a hand over his shirt and gets to his feet. Blush can be seen in his cheeks as he realizes he and those with him have made spectacles of themselves. God forbid it end up on the local news. Some brat with a camera phone records former star musician Aaron Michaels getting toppled. Twice. "We all OK, nothing broken?"

Elle accepts the hand up from George gratefully, and hoists herself up without too much effort. She doesn't account for his overcompensation - or worse, for his damp shirt. As the moisture touches her bare skin, Elle shivers, and the slightest shock emits from her skin. It's nothing stronger than what one would get from shuffling stockinged feet over shag carpeting, but it's still noticable.

It shocks her, and might even travel to those touching or in close proximity to her, she can't tell immediately. Luckily her control over her power is such that this small spark is the only result of her contact with water; it helped that her nerves weren't particularly frazzled. Once more, she turns to help Aaron to his feet, only to see he's got it covered. "I'm okay," she doesn't mention the shock. "Everyone else?" Grey-blue eyes dart from the woman to the man, an eyebrow cocked upwards.

Damp still from her own encounter with the water bottle, Morgan does blink when the slight shock jumps to her, but she's too busy being mortified by the fact she caused a three— no, make it four, now that George has gotten knocked into on over compensation — person pile-up of sorts. "Fine… I'm … I'm okay… I'm sorry…" she manages, glancing from one person to the other and then the snickering schlemiel behind them all.

"I'm such a klutz, I … these shoes are new," she manages stupidly, green eyes starting to well with tears as she backs away from the trio. On second thought, she reaches down to take her shoes off, clearly worried that walking in the heels any further will likely set off World War III, and she starts to walk away in bare feet.

"I— think I'm okay," replies George, caught off guard: not only did he not see the little shock coming, but he doesn't know enough to put it into the right context when it does happen. Did she just give him a tingly feeling? That's not supposed to happen, whatever stereotypes the joker behind the drink cart may be entertaining. For a second, he just stands there, waiting to see whether some other explanation will present itself.

Aaron feels barely the slightest shock as he momentarily reaches out to make sure Morgan is in fact steady on her feet. He doesn't think much of it, though. "Hey, don't worry about it. I just practically did the same thing not three minutes ago." And he didn't even need shoes to blame it on. If she only knew how much of a klutz he's been in the past, she probably wouldn't feel nearly as bad. Not that he'd share, and besides, she's pretty much fleeing anyway.

Addressing his previous fears, he looks around, wary of anyone holding a cell phone. Few are, thankfully. He relaxes a bit and looks back to Elle. "Well that was definitely … different."

Elle also goes to reassure Morgan, a smile on her lips. "It's okay, Miss.." Realizing she doesn't have a name for the woman, she just leaves it at 'miss'. "None of us are worse for wear." She's talking to a retreating back, though, and isn't sure if Morgan heard her. Turning her attention - and her smile - to the two men, she takes a step back so that she's no longer invading George's personal space. "I'm Elle, by the way," is her greeting to the pair, and Morgan as well, if she's still in earshot.

Morgan fumbles in her purse for her sunglasses to hide the tears that well up in her eyes as she heads for the path that will lead her to the street, the subway, and finally to Erin's home. It's nothing a grown woman should cry over — after all, she is a fighter of crime, a defeater of evil! Only she can't even walk without falling over her own two feet, or giving away her lack of any real-world knowledge every time she opens her mouth. All in all — just another day in the life of Morgan Gale.

George glances over toward Morgan, shrugging off her rapid exit: easily understandable after what just went down, and he certainly knows how random strangers gawking can eat at a person. "George, hi," he answers, offering Elle a polite handshake once the other guy has a chance to introduce himself in turn.

"Aaron." No need to share his last name. No one else is, and if nobody has recognized him, it's to his advantage — and he's not giving them anything more to ring any proverbial bells. There's nothing he hates more than the awkward questions of why he doesn't seem to have any gigs anymore or where he disappeared to for so long. Or worse, people talk about how awful the loss of his band was. Yes, he's very much aware of how bad it was, thanks. He has more than enough permanent reminders of it.

He offers George his hand, not that he's ever been particularly formal. "Well, that was fun." May as well break the ice. He spares a glance back at the vendor, suddenly craving something a bit stronger than water or soda. "Anyone up for some real drinks?"

"I'm game if you two are." Alcohol! A liquid Elle enjoyed. It was the little umbrellas in the drinks that got her; she used to hoard them when she first left the Company. Handshakes concluded, grey-blue eyes flick from George's face to Aaron's, and her smile widens. It was the whole guy thing all over again. Pigeons and all of that. However, at this particular moment, she didn't much mind. It was good to be normally social again. "Know any good bars nearby?"

Man, you don't need to ask George twice. He'll probably end up with a headache later, depending on exactly how dehydrated he's gotten already— but screw it, he could do with taking the edge off of things after all this. "Actually," he offers, "there's one that opened just last week, I've been meaning to check it out…" He's already starting to walk, pulling the plastic bottle back out and belatedly twisting the cap. 'Nearby' is still a couple blocks down the street, it's a big park after all.

"I'm always game." Even if there are a number of disadvantages to imbibing alcohol, not the least of which being that it makes it harder to react to crazy people coming at you with fire. "Convenient," Aaron says with regard to the new place that just opened last week. "And if it's no good, I know a great place. Serves the best wings in the state, I'm telling you."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License