2007-10-21: The Quiet Puppeteer


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Mikhail_icon.gif

Summary: A potentially dangerous situation is neutralized by the most unlikely of persons.

Date It Happened: October 21st, 2007

The Quiet Puppeteer

Parking Lot, Seville Medical, Brooklyn, New York

Despite feeling a little under the weather still, Elena woke up with a start from her afternoon nap when she realized, upon moving to the mansion to further help with the quarantine, that she had forgotten the helpful transmitter Eric had sent her under the bed of her old room in Bat Country, somewhat devoid of a Cass now that she had flown to Texas with Mohinder to help with their predicament. Given her condition in the last few days, she's rarely out alone. Simultaneously, she received a call from Mikhail asking whether she was fit to be visited yet. The Evolved virus only affects Evolved, right? There shouldn't be any harm provided she doesn't hug him. She'll have to keep her hands in her pockets at all times.

Peter being the sweetheart he was offered to get the transmitter for her in the labs while she waited in Seville Medical's Parking Lot for her friend. She is careful not to touch anything….it was a little late when she remembered, and a little later when Mikhail gets off class, so it's around seven o'clock when she manages to step foot into the open aired parking lot of the medical center, her hands jammed into her pockets. Dressed in a warm, fitted black peacoat and a bright red scarf, half her face is covered by the scarlet thing. It was closing in on November. It was getting cold.

She doesn't seem to notice a trio of questionable looking men eyeing up the medical building, all with the telltale bloodshot eyes of substance abuse. In fact one breaks away just so he could get a closer look at the building. Clinics and centers like Seville Medical, after all, needed to hold the requisite amount of painkillers to service the people who walked through their doors.

A reunion after so long. Okay, so it's not a reunion - more like…catching up? It's the same on different scales. Mikhail is actually glad to go and visit her after weeks of her absence. He shouldn't really say anything about the most recent of tests he nearly failed, but that can always come later.

The dark doesn't bother him; it's better than looking at flourescent lighting all of the time. Then again, it would be nice if the lighting were a bit better around this place.

The scarf is wrapped soundly around his neck as he walks, dressed for the cooling weather with his gothy flair. The trench coat almost drags on the ground behind him, its tails flapping around his legs. No, he doesn't notice anyone else around here, either. Once he does see Elena, he raises a gloved hand. "Yo," he breathes in greeting, half-smirking.

She turns around, and Elena smiles - he won't be able to see it since her scarf has covered half her face, but he'll be able to tell by the slight crinkling of her eyes on the sides. "Miki," she says, half in relief and half in….what could be described as a friend who's just happy to see him. She had mostly been stuck with the same people all through her two-week quarantine, it was great to see friends from school. She was still a teenager, after all! "I can't hug you even if they say that this thing…doesn't really affect other people, so….we better be careful, yeah? I don't want you to get sick. How are you?" She pauses, and eyes the trench coat. "….you need to have that hemmed or something, it's so long." There's laughter in her voice.

She continues on. "How are things?" she asks. Beyond her shoulder, Mikhail would easily see a stranger from across the street, one from the group of three, ambling up to them his hands jammed in his pockets and hunched low, his baseball cap pulled around backwards on his head. "Easing up any with that professor of yours? Hey, speaking of…remember when I said that my boss is probably going to throw a Halloween party? He is! It's a benefit too for this senatorial candidate he's supporting, I can tell you more if…"

"Excuse me," the newcomer remarks, inclining his head. "Was wondering if you two kids can help me a lil'."

When Elena turns around, there is a click, and her eyes drift down to the revolver pointed at her chest.

The not-quite-mugger inclines his head towards Mikhail. "…if you don't want me to pop a cap on your girlfriend, kid, you're gonna do a little shopping for me." He nods to the medical center.

With what is said, Mikhail blinks. He's curious about what she means by that particular bit of information, but he shrugs. "Hey, no problem," he answers softly, holding up his arms in fake surrender. To maintain his stoicly cool status, he can do without the hugging. It's ruined when he holds the ends of his coat up like the billowy skirts of a dress. "I like it this length. They never have anything made for shorter people anyway."

All of the lightness of the conversation suddenly takes a turn when the new person appears. With a gun. Mikhail's eyes widen, but he says nothing as the man tells his objectives. Following orders? "You've got to be kidding," he murmurs, more to himself for Elena's sake.

Eyes fall upon the gun, then on the man, and back to Elena. A move. A risky move. Should he? Do it and friend is safe. Don't and that's the end of said friend's life."That…wouldn't be wise," he says quietly, eyes turning downward before he raises his arm. Reflecting the man's recent gesture with the gun, he suddenly locks his own arm, forcing it to point skyward.

"Yeah?" the gunman taunts, smirking at Mikhail. "What are you gonna do about it, pretty b— "

Suddenly, his arm is jerked upwards, the gun pointing harmlessly to the sky. "Wh— what the— !" he yelps, grabbing onto the arm that's pointing upwards and trying to force it down….but he can't. It seems stuck there. "Wh…what the hell?!" The more he struggles with his arm, the more it looks like he doesn't have any control over it. It just REFUSES to go down.

And then? His finger reflexively pulls the trigger when he continues to struggle with his stiff and uncooperative limb, firing a single shot in the air that causes Elena to back away and almost stumble onto the ground. What the hell…who was…did Peter…?

Her dark eyes flick to Mikhail, who's got one arm up into the air. She turns her head to look at the gun wielder, whose arm is also up in the air. It looked like a game of mirror, or copycat. And Peter's still inside Bat Country down at the basement, so how is…?

"Miki….what…what did you do?" she says, her eyes wide even as she continues to stare at the would-be mugger as he keeps trying to put his arm down but can't.

"SONUVABITCH!" comes the frustrated cry. "What's happening to me?!"

His two other friends across the street, for the moment, don't seem inclined to do anything, but when the shot is fired off, they start hurrying in that direction to back up their friend. Elena catches sight of the movement, and she turns, grabbing Mikhail's unoccupied arm with a gloved hand. "Miki. Miki, we gotta go!" Her first instinct is always to run. Despite learning some finer points of control with her powers, it's an instinct that's served her well in the past.

Mikhail remains standing with his arm raised, staring at the man all the while the gun goes off. He then tilts his head upward, subtly defiant in his mannerisms. "…I can't help it. I was born this way," he replies calmly. A brief glance falls on Elena, her own gaze saying something else as he continues to do this.

One of his secrets is now known. Coincidence? Maybe.

Now with the two men running to aid their friend and Elena tugging on his arm in order to flee, the artist moves with her, the raised arm now forced to aim at the men. Thankfully, he doesn't go and make a trigger-like motion with his fingers. Holding them up should do it.

Is it Peter? Well, it could be, if there were really good windows from inside the clinic entrance. The young former nurse, current retail clerk, is just stepping out of the medical center with a backpack that's carrying what she left behind, as well as a few supplies for the mansion. Medication and equiptment for taking and storing blood. After all they'd made plans to take rotating samples for study, so that they could make sure the virus doesn't mutate further than it already has. But considering the surprise on his face at the gunshots— probably not the case.

Despite the fact that he's sick, he moves rather quickly toward the sound of gunfire, catching sight of Elena and someone he saw briefly from the dance rehersal. There's a gun. There's people yelling. Shots had been fired. People are running toward a guy holding a gun, and he doesn't know enough about what's going on, but he does see Elena and the Asian boy fleeing, as they should.

There's still a gun in the equation, even if it's not pointed anywhere near his girlfriend, so he calls out, "Put the gun down." His voice is supposed to be very convincing, but it's difficult to convince someone who can't even follow the command.

The gun arm is out of the man's control, swinging around when Miki swings his arm around to point towards the two others who are running towards the scene where the single shot is fired to back up their friend….only to find the gun pointed towards them.

"Jackson, what the f— ?!"

"What the hell are you doing, man?! It's us!"

This opportune moment is when Peter steps out of the medical center, with a backpack and using his persuasion powers on the man wielding the gun. When he's told to put down the gun, the would-be criminal, or maybe he is one and just didn't get what he wanted this time around, turns his head towards the former nurse with wide eyes. "I…I can't!" he says, trying to push his arm down again, his gun hand shaking towards the rest of his crew. And he actually looks scared. Sure, maybe he didn't go about getting drugs the right way, but he doesn't want to hurt his peeps!

Seeing a witness, and realizing that Jackson isn't about to fire his gun, his friends, as typical of these scenarios…ditch him. They scramble out of there, leaving the poor man holding the gun, his arm stiff in front of him and having absolutely no way to do what Peter just said.

Peter's voice echoes somewhere behind her, and Elena turns around only to see her boyfriend….do his thing. Well, one of his things. She also sees Miki's arm pointed like so, very much like the man pointing the gun at…well, nothing now. Since the younger Petrelli brother is there to handle it…well, she'll talk to Mikhail about what she just saw later. "Miki….Miki let go," she says. As an added emphasis, her gloved hand reaches out to the arm that Miki is pointing away from himself, and tries to lower it. "Peter's got it," she tells him reassuringly. "Trust me."

But her friend certainly has some explaining to do. She's still looking at him, somewhat wide-eyed…but her friend and dance corps teammate might also realize that she's not as scared or weirded out as she could be.

Why is that?

Another voice. It's someone on their side. The youth looks over a shoulder as he moves back with Elena, briefly catching sight of Peter as he nears them. Blue gray eyes then sweep back over to Jackson, watching as the man panics and his 'friends' escape.

He can take it a step further. Control. The control to use the man's weapon against himself. The mimicked gun arm raises, his wrist twisting to face the barrel slowly toward Jackson.

And then, a pause. "…" Instead of following through all of the way, it aims at nothing. It could have lead to something fatal if Elena didn't tell him to stop. Miki drops his arms gracelessly, waving it out as he keeps his cold gaze. After a while, he glances back at the other two, staying quiet for now.

What the hell is going on? Peter looks from Mikhail, to Elena, to the gunner— to the fleeing friends… and then he continues forward as the man turns the gun toward himself. He blinks in surprise, noting that the boy is doing a similar gesture at the same time. He couldn't drop the gun. Such a thing would be possible with telekinesis, he knows, but this doesn't look the same, either. He continues closer, looking at the man when his arms drop away.

A deep breath of relief, but he does add, in the same persuasive tone, "Leave the gun and go home. Think twice about doing something like this again." He's not saying he can't ever do it again, but maybe if he thinks on it more than once, he'll realize it's not a good idea…

He'd never been a fan of robbing someone of free will, but if it keeps them from jumping at doing something like this again… it's a step in the right direction.

Freed, Jackson staggers backwards, rubbing his arm and staring at it incredulously still. Whatever that was, it felt like something not of his devise was holding his arm up and controlling it. However, when Peter uses his persuasion powers again, he stares at him….and feels strangely compelled to do what he says. He won't go and start a new life or whatever, but he does drop the gun, and turns to go home, like Peter said. His steps are a measured run.

The word 'don't' is frozen in her mouth as she watches the gun turn to a different direction altogether, noting Mikhail's cold gaze and the anger frozen on his face. Elena keeps her grip on his arm, and squeezes tightly. "Miki, come on. Let's just get out of here, okay?" she says. But when he finally releases….whatever he was doing to the other man, she relaxes visibly, and slowly lets go of her friend's arm. She takes a step back, and watches him intently.

Silence falls on the parking lot again. Elena watches the gunman leave the gun and go, but it's only when it's just her, Peter, and Mikhail left that she speaks again. She turns to her friend this time. "You said you were….born this way?" she wonders. It wasn't just a fluke, right? She wasn't being delusional from the fever? She casts a glance over to where Peter's standing, and she can't help but give him an approving smile.

His hardened expression gradually goes back to the tired side, eyes half-lidded as he turns his head to look back at the fading Jackson. It takes another moment for him to get back on track with the question, sorting out answers in his mind. He chooses an inappropriate one. "…I meant the 'pretty boy' thing. But…whatever," he says softly with a weak shrug.

His arm gets some feeling back in it after the girl's grip loosens, but he remains staring off into the other end of the parking lot. He might as well explain himself. He can't just blame everything on sickness and hallucinations. "I don't know. I guess you can say that. I only found out about a year ago. Nothing spectacular or anything, really. A guy got punched by his girlfriend while they were having a spat. I was across the street from them unloading grocery stuff." Miki sighs, his nose wrinkling a little. "Of course, I sorta…moved with it. I tested it out more later on, but…nothing like this. Never like this."

Moving past them, Peter walks over to retrieve the abandoned firearm, sticking it into the bag with the rest of his medical supplies for the moment. He really needs to learn Jack's trick of sending objects somewhere else— because that would be handy right now. Either way, he looks back and hears the response, returning his girlfriend's brief smile, before he listens to the description of events that led up to this moment.

"So you can make people… move like you move?" he asks, being a little nosy since they barely know each other. Miki he'd heard of, and at first he thought he was a girl from the game. He'd gotten corrected on that. "Sorry— that's a little… I'm Peter. Elena's… boyfriend." He still looks sheepish when he says it— sheepish and feverish both, but the second part is due to being sick.

"Miki I didn't even know you were…..like me," Elena says, admitting it, now that Peter's approaching them and standing near them. She casts a glance at Peter, and then she looks at Mikhail again. Though when he says that the comment had been made because he was called a pretty boy, she…well, she doesn't really snicker, but she does flash him a look. However, when Mikhail launches into a story as to how he found out about it, she blinks. "….you discovered it by….stopping a girl from getting slapped around by her boyfriend?" she says incredulously. She glances down at her hands and mutters. Man. Why couldn't she have discovered her powers in a way that helpful and cool? It wasn't fair.

Though when Peter says what he does, she looks up at him, and then to Mikhail to see if he would confirm it. And then, the introducsion. The relationship was new, so she's still getting used to it as well. A sheepish glance is cast to Mikhail. "Sorry, I should've said something sooner. Peter, this is Mikhail…" The russian pronounciation is a little…well. Shot to hell. "I can never pronounce it right, so he's Miki. Miki, this is Peter, my…yeah." She watches her friend for a moment, and then… "So…what Peter said…is it true?" she asks. "You can…make people do stuff?"

He nods, fixing the scarf with his free hand. "Yeah. Like a marionette. Sort of. Or…something voodoo-ish. Weird stuff." The description doesn't really bother him at all while he says it.

Mikhail looks at both Peter and Elena as they are confirmed as a couple. The man that she was on the phone with that other time during lunch. "Ah, okay," he smirks. Now to correct the pronnunciation. "Mikhail. Miki's fine, though." With a soft, amused snort, the artist shakes his head. "Mirrored movements. It works most of the time unless they're really set on not being controlled. I know, it's…disturbing. And I didn't think I was really 'helping.' The situation was just…there." Being an outside observer was something he wasn't unfamiliar with, and actually doing that surprised him just as much as that 'lucky' couple.

"You did help, though— stopping someone from hurting another person is a very good thing," Peter says, giving the younger man a very serious look. It's a very creepy and dangerous ability if used by the wrong person, much like the one he just used to make the man put down the gun and leave, but at the same time, in the right hands… it can be very useful. "Thank you for helping Elena, Mikhail," he adds, though he doesn't do much better with saying his name correctly, even with the demonstration.

"I…" There's a glance at Elena, a worried look for a moment. What if he can make people move now too? She knows him well enough she could figure it out, so he takes a slow breath and raises his hand to reach up and touch his nose, thinking of the young man nearby as he does.

"…I could've taken him," comes the petulant grumble - something perhaps to try and lighten up the mood some, and something a young woman her age might say. But Peter knows very well that Elena most of the time was extremely hesitant at using the negative aspects of her powers - which is probably also the main reason why she prefers to run than engage like she was doing earlier. But at what Peter says, dispatching words of Heroic Wisdom to the young Padawan, she nods. "He's right, Miki, you did really good. Both times." She peers at him curiously. "I'm….how does it work? Can you control just….motor functions? And people can break free of it? That's really interesting." She rubs the back of her neck. "….can't really say you're the only one around though."

She points to herself. But…well, Peter's status as 'special' will be evident if he manages to absorb Mikhail's ability. It looks like he's testing it now though. She casts a glance over at the younger Petrelli brother. And while this demonstration is going on, she looks around furitively to make sure no one's watching them. You never know this day and age. IT COULD BE A TRAP.

Only not. It's dark, and quiet, and pretty cold. She huddles further into her scarf and coat.

Another nod. Mikhail returns the serious look for a short time, eyes turning toward the ground as if he spotted something interesting on the asphault. Right and wrong never felt this strong to him before. Everything fell into a wide gray area. Still, it's encouraging to be told that his power is helpful. "…Yeah."

When his hand suddenly starts to lift on its own, his eyes widen again. Fighting it will do no good since he already knew how it works; just having it used on himself feels different. Miki's fingers touch his nose in seconds, the young man feeling silly as he stands there like this. "…Pretty much," he says flatly, somewhat muffled now that his hand is in front of his face. "If their will is strong, they'll be able to get out of it quicker. Or a high level of stubbornness, anyway." A sideglance is given to Elena and Peter, an eyebrow quirking. "Now that it's been tested…you also got some 'splaining to do. I mean…you were surprised, but not totally freaking out like those other guys."

Letting his hand drop away, Peter consentrates on something else entirely, an ability he understands how to use instead. It's the best way he knows to avoid using a brand new ability, though it causes his eyes to look a little greener in the dim light of the parking lot of the medical center. "I can do what you can do— at least now I can," he explains with a hint of a shrug, glancing around at their surroundings with a little enhancement on his senses that he hadn't had before. "And more besides. You're not the only one with special abilities out there— if you hadn't know that already…"

There's so many of them now, he's not surprised at all anymore. But… he does look back at him, rubbing his hand over his face. "Sorry— I just had to see if I— sometimes I can't control abilities that I just picked up and I didn't want to risk hurting anyone by discovering it at a bad time…" From the sound of it, there's been bad times to discover abilities in his life. And he's only speaking for himself, here, not the young woman with him.

"We're like you," Elena tells Mikhail. "That's why we're not too weirded out. I didn't really….I wasn't aware of mine until really early this year, but Papa thinks I've been unconsciously using them since two years ago. Peter's known about his for longer." Implying that her father either might be like them, or knows enough about his daughter's predicament to know it. She rocks back on her heels a little bit, inclining her head to watch Peter as he uses her ability to keep a newly absorbed power in check. In fact he can do this so well now that he doesn't even have any trouble with it when this particular aspect of her powers still gives her a bit of trouble…at least when it comes to the shakes.

When it's her turn, she closes her eyes…and when she opens them, Mikhail would note a similar effect with her eyes, a little more gold-tinted than their usual dark color. "To simplify…the good side of my powers are really good. The bad side is pretty bad. It's why I don't really like using the other half unless necessary. Mostly I just run away when there's trouble. And I still don't know my range, or what else I can do with what I have. A friend of ours…me and Peter's…she's not really a doctor but she's been studying this stuff and helping Peter train her powers. Here." She points to Seville Medical. "At the basement. Her name is Cass. Cass Aldric."

Her hand moves to the side to find Peter's unconsciously, threading her fingers through his. "She's not here though. She's trying to figure out how to cure us. What we have…from what I was told, our illness - it's not airborne by the way so you won't catch it just standing here with us - it only affects people like us. You, me, and Peter. I thought…I didn't think you were so I didn't tell you. I'm sorry, Miki. I should've been more honest it's just that….if you had been normal and if I told you this you would've just thought I was crazy." There's a pause. "…maybe." Eyeshift. They were all pretty weird anyway.

Simultaneously with Peter's gesture, Mikhail's arm drops halfway before he regains his control to stop it from falling all the way back down. "…Like a sponge," he muses, flexing his fingers. "Interesting." The same hand waves at the man, something along the lines of 'it's cool,' and then crossing over the other arm in a casual manner. However, he does tilt his head in curiosity toward what Peter had actually done in the past with these acquired powers. He won't ask about it.

At Elena's description of her own ability, Mikhail raises his eyebrows. Again, interesting. "…And to think that everyone was normal," he adds with a soft chuckle. Eyes look up at the building the three stand not too far away from, nodding slowly as Elena continues. So that's why she's been away for so long. And he can be at risk if he…what, kissed them or something? Better to stay standing there, then.

The last part makes his head tilt forward. "…Well…" His thought lingers. Considering how the ever-growing college group was, it could have just been something left to the imagination. Or drugs. "…Yeah, pretty much. We're not perfect. Or…completely 'normal' for the most part. That's fine."

"I've only known for a little longer than you— found out about a year ago now," Peter explains, looking between the two of them for a moment. He seems surprised that Elena said so much, since she tended to keep such things secret— which is why he offered up himself as 'the weird one'. There's a long pause as she brings up his boss, and mentor, and her training, but he just nods, agreeing. He's got another new one to add to his training regime now, but he'll figure it out. Just like so many of his other ones.

"It's not likely to spread easily, so just talking to us should be okay," he adds, about the disease they have. "It's been a couple weeks almost and no one else has shown symptoms yet. If you do get a cold, though, you might want to come into Bat Country when Cass gets back, just to make sure it's a regular flu and not… whatever this is."

She would talk about the illness to those like them that she keeps frequent contact with…Elena doesn't want it to spread. Hell they don't know how it spreads, so they have to be careful. But she didn't want her friends getting it, and if they're Evolved…almost all of them now were, they had to be warned. She already talked to Ian, and left Monica a message to see Cass if she ever felt sick…but Mikhail had been left out of the loop because he never really did anything until now. And this wasn't the sort of thing where one could just go… 'oh hey are you weird too'? As for the details in her powers… the only people who fully understood it were Cass, Jack, Peter, Eric, Gene, and Ramon - people she trusts implicitly. Mikhail, somehow, got counted in that number and the fact that he just helped her out and some random girl in the past only encouraged it.

Mikhail reminded her of Peter in a lot of ways. The same, or similar insecurities, were there. The same introversion. The same 'on the outside looking in' complex. Maybe not the same fashion sense, but…

"Just in case," she tells Mikhail softly. "…and…I won't say anything. I promise. If you hid it this long…you must'a not wanted other people to know. Nothing wrong with that too." She looks up at the sky. "…it's getting late…" she says softly. And cold. She suppresses a shiver.

"Duly noted," he says with a small smile. It wouldn't be good if he became a carrier of the unknown virus. More company for those quarrintined! He feels pretty healthy so far, so it's okay. Maybe he just needs to practice better sleeping habits.

And on a separate note - admit it, his fashion sense is awesome. He was questioned about that the other day, anyway.

Mikhail bobs his head rhythmically as if he was listening to music. Habit. "Well…thanks. If it does come up, I'll say something. Don't worry about it." Beat. "…Yeah, I…I shouldn't keep you two out here if you're still getting over it." Getting better is the goal, not getting worse!

With a glance at his shivering girlfriend, Peter shifts the bag as if he's tempted to hand her his coat. In fact he even starts to shrug it off to offer it over, but a gesture from her would make that end pretty fast— unless she actually does want his longer and slightly thicker coat to add on top of her own. He's wearing layered shirts— he'll be fine. "We should get back, yeah— I honestly don't want to be carrying a gun around longer than I have to in public…" He nods towards the bag, where he stashed it. They're not the safest things to be carrying around— especially when he hasn't tried to get the paper work to actually carry one.

"It was nice to meet you, Mik— i. We're hardly experts, but… you're not alone. That much you know at least." Which is more than some people, he's sure.

"No, it's okay," Elena murmurs when Peter starts to shrug off his coat. She might be cold, but he's worse off than she is in terms of fever, and she reaches out a hand to stop him gently from doing it. She looks over at Mikhail and she nods. "Yeah, I'm hoping Cass comes back with some answers. Latisha's about ready to kick me off the team….I suppose I can do what Ian says and say I have mono or something." Which had been a pretty good idea, actually. Though this does let Peter and Mikhail know that she's talked to Ian recently and that Ian might know about this too. But she does shift her hand from Peter's arm, moving to tuck her own arm around his, half-hugging to it like his limb was a teddybear hanging off his shoulder joint. "But you're right, best not make this worse…"

She looks around. "We'll talk more later," she promises Mikhail. "You be careful on your way home, okay?"

Not alone. That's something he needs to hear more often. Shoulders hunch and relax as Mikhail finds it hard to say anything else. The most he does is look at them and nod. "Maybe I can dazzle Latisha to help distract her from the thought," he says. Mono? Oh, Ian. It's something he's going to have to look up. Another nod. "Whatever you have to do."

Mikhail grins, turning to leave and let them go. "Aight. And I will. You two take care, too." And with that, he's gone.

Not being alone is very important. Even though Peter will often try to do things on his own, he never truly feels alone anymore— since his abilities all come from other people and his connections to them. "Since you won't take my coat, we should get you back home. I found that thing you left." He nods towards the bag, which also holds the gun and lab supplies, but— it does have the thing she wanted too. "Hopefully we'll be in good enough shape that Elena can return to classes and I can come and watch your practices again too." He adds, raising a hand in a wave at the younger man, before he leads his hugging girlfriend off. The quick way home would be the car. So at least they won't have to take the subway, or anything.

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