2010-02-26: The Right Track



Date: February 26, 2010


Adam doesn't hate his 3rd wife, just the fact that she wasn't satisfied.

"The Right Track"

The Train

Leave it to Adam to arrange the tickets to Washington D.C. and get stung. That's how Hallis feels anyway. If she had made the arrangements, they would have been leaving at a decent hour. Of course, they would have gotten in much too late for the meeting, but still, she would have gotten enough sleep. The brunette at the desk was surprised to see the pair depart, Hallis had ordered practically everything in the boutique/room service and Adam had ordered practically everything in the minibar… both of them several times over. It made for a pretty hefty bill, one which Hallis didn't even bat an eyelash at as she handed over a black credit card.

Not even an hour into their trip, Hallis is already snoozing. Her head resting lightly against the window, that is until the train turns and she with it, bumping against Adam's shoulder. It's a little more comfortable than the hard window so with a couple of very slow shakes, she makes herself comfortable again. Poor Adam, from warrior to pillow.

Usually peeved by such superfluous signs of what might be perceived as affection, Adam can at least recognize the ungodly hour at which they left sort of necessitates his role as a human pillow. He even goes so far as to grab one of the women making their way through the cars to check on the passengers in the really ritzy, expensive seats to make sure they're ok.

When Hallis would next wake up, she'd find herself covered in a rail-line blanket, with a tray of food waiting for her. It's not super fancy stuff like eggs benedict or anything, but it's a pretty nice spread for breakfast; some yogurt, granola, juice, cereal, and fruit. Adam, it would seem, is already munching on said breakfast foods, long about the time the train nears the Pennsylvania state line on its run to DC.

With a small groan, Hallis rubs her eyes and tries to focus on the tray in front of her. The blanket confuses her and pulls it down and looks over at the blonde man for a moment. "Uh… thank you," she says quietly. A quick flit of her eyes to his shoulder puts her at ease that she didn't drool on his arm, that would have been much too embarrassing for words.

He's being awfully considerate, something that confuses her. It's almost as though he lures her in with a little bit of kindness only to beat her back with a stick using very hurtful words. "You've done a lot for me lately, I probably owe you more than .. well I don't know." Then she picks up the juice and opens it up before looking up at him again. "Why? I mean, you do nice things, then you… What did I do to make you hate me?"

"I don't hate you. I hate my third wife." His answer is surprisingly short and to the point. But…third wife? That's an awful lot of committed relationships for this man to have entered into before God at his age. Well, his apparent age at least. "She was vain. Her vanity killed her." Of course, with history and science being pretty much 20/20 in hindsight, he knows that it was her leaded makeup that killed her. Because only the bourgeoisie could afford it, however, there wasn't a rash of millions of deaths by women trying to beautify themselves. Thus, no big concern is a woman turned up dead from 'the vapors' or a weak constitution, or some other bunk medicine of the day.

Blinking rapidly, Hallis tries to digest the information. "So… You're mean to me because you hate your third wife?" It doesn't compute, not in the young socialite's mind anyway. The fact that it's the third doesn't make her double take at all. He seems to be in his late twenties or early thirties, in her social set, there are many men that have been through at least that. Always looking for love in the wrong places. "Why did you marry her if you hated her?" It's a good question as far as she's concerned, her own parents are at least fond of each other. Lizette, she married out of love, something that she couldn't pass down to her only son.

"I didn't hate /her/. I don't hate /you/. I hated her vanity, as I said. Since it wound up killing her. She wasn't ever content to just…be beautiful. No, she had to go and slap on the makeup, night after night after night. And then she died of lead poisoning." Wow, little slip of the tongue there in giving up his age. Lead hasn't been used in makeup in decades, at least! "I did love her, though. She was that unobtainable flower, and I won her over with my sparkling personality back in those days." Before the dark times. Before the Empire.

If there's something that Hallis knows about, it's makeup and fashion. When Adam lets it slip that his third wife died of lead poisoning, well. "Oh… oh wow… that was a long time ago." How long, she's not exactly sure, because mathematics just isn't her strong suit. A lot to digest. When the attendant comes around again, Hallis holds up her hand and gives her a small smile. "Can I have something to drink please? Uhm… a bourbon maybe?" Something good and strong to make the orange juice and conversation go down a little easier. "So, you don't think you have a sparkling personality anymore?"

"Well, clearly. Call it…a maturation. I'm not a wide-eyed optimist anymore." Nope, not any more. Just a boozing cynic and realist. "I suppose that's what 30 years in a holding cell does for you though, hm?" Again, more crazy math that probably wouldn't compute even if Hallis were good at math. "People find my personality grating, yes," he finally comments, after shifting in his seat a little as he wraps up the breakfast. "I don't find a reason to sugar-coat things anymore, unless I need to." Or unless he's looking out for his own neck (and head)…literally.

"Sometimes, I think you're very nice and very funny." Hallis says lowly, pausing at the attendant returns with the alcohol. Smiling up at her, Hallis murmurs a word or two of thanks and then proceeds to pour a little bit of the juice into the shot. "I haven't had bourbon since I was in New Orleans last year. Did you know that we missed Mardi Gras? I'm actually kind of sad about that. That's always a fun party." Then she lifts the cup to her lips and tips a bit of the liquid back. The young blonde hasn't touched any of the food in front of her, not yet at least.

"You missed the whole thing? Strange. I was there myself. One of the few things I still actually enjoy and look forward too." Well, of course he would enjoy that; it's all booze and boobs, afterall! "This last year, however, I picked the wrong party to crash…" he starts out, remembering. "Can't quite recall the specific name, but it was a really stodgy sort of party. All old blood and formal, masks and tuxes. Luckily for me, I always keep a tux or two on hand for just such an event."

Shaking her head, Hallis lets loose a little 'Mm-mm' sound as she takes another sip of the booze. "I was there last year, at a party, this year I missed it." She explains a little further. She opens the yogurt and pushes it around in its little container with a small spoon, but she doesn't eat any of it. "My grandmother's family has a party there every once in a while, I don't know.. sort of like a family reunion or something. I went with her. Definitely too hot there for a masquerade, I picked completely the wrong outfit."

"Well, what exactly were you wearing that was totally wrong? That seems like one of your areas of expertise." Adam snickers a little bit before making his next statement. "Because firing a rifle certainly is not." Maybe if Rambo Barbie had some more yogurt, she wouldn't go flying out of the back of jeeps when trying to shoot people. Adam just shakes his head a chuckles, recalling that rather ridiculous sight.

"It was a really pretty dress, I had peacock feathers on my mask and in my hair and everything. But it was just too hot. I made the mistake of getting something here and bringing it there. Instead of getting something there. I was a bit scared that they wouldn't have anything left in the shops there." Hallis says in a light conversational voice, she's enjoying just talking to him, even when he makes the crack about her 'crack shooting' she just looks up at him with a smile. "I meant to do that, really. Uhm.. I was going back to protect you. I just fell." Really, that's exactly what it was.

"Really? Do you believe I need protecting?" Especially given that she saw him take an entire clip of bullets and live to tell the tale. Of course, she didn't know that at the time, but that's beside the point! The bigger issue is that, at the mention of her dress at that party, he flushes, as much as a somewhat tanned, but mostly pasty Englishman can flush. "And yes, that does tend to be the problem. New York fashion isn't often well-suited to operate below sea-level."

"Everyone needs protecting from something. If I hadn't gotten shot, I probably would have ran back for you. You're my… Well even though you're mean, you can be really nice. And you're my hero, the way you just ran up and picked a fight with that awful awful man… You're a hero." Hallis says as she actually takes a bite of the yogurt, her face is turned down to the little cup for a moment but when she turns back to him. "Adam! You're blushing… why are you blushing?"

"Well, there's ah…no reason, particularly. I just seem to recall a dress like that the year before. Now, it's probably just coincidence, and someone wearing last year's more reasonably-priced fashions." It should occur to him (but at the moment, it does not), that these New York boutiques often make one-of-a-kind fashions, to be thrown away or shelved after wearing out once, to keep the exclusivity. "Regardless, heroing is only a part-time job for me anymore. I tried to be a hero once…." To win a girl, no less. "…and that turned out poorly." He's clenching a fist, cursing Hiro Nakamura under his breath.

The young woman's jaw drops, "No, impossible. No one has that dress. It's one of a kind. I still have it in my closet. I only danced for an hour or so, there was only waltzing and a string quartet at that party." The fact that someone else might have the same costume as she does actually bothers the little woman, especially since it wasn't at all reasonably priced. It also wasn't as big of a hit as she had hoped but she blamed that on the fact that the only entertainment they had at the party was booze and a mystery man. "Well even if it's only part time, you're still my hero. I would probably be dead in a tent if it wasn't for you."

"Oh, I think I'd bump that place up to shanty. Not quite a tent, but nothing like a hut." To her comments about the dress, he just shrugs. "I know what I saw. There was definitely a woman at the party I was at masquerading a peacock. The rest of the night was filled with booze and trying to explain who I was to all the old money there, seeing as how I didn't actually have an invitation or anything. Just decided to crash it…and picked the wrong one, clearly." Next to her, he just leans back in the seat and reaslly starts to get comfortable for the rest of the trip.

"I can't believe someone stole my dress." Hallis murmurs to herself, then she turns at look at him. If his eyes are closed (or at least closed as far as she can see), the blonde woman reaches up and places her hands over his eyes, not touching him just to see. Then she takes in a small gasp of air and lowers them quickly. The rest of the drink is downed and her food is packed away into the small garbage bag hooked near the window. When that is done, she leans back as well. Adam has a wonderful way of making the young woman feel like a failure at every turn. This time, fashion and entertainment. It's a wonder how she has a self esteem around him at all.

"Maybe it really is a one-of-a-kind dress, and we were both at the same party. Stranger things have happened. But since you're trying to figure out if I was me, maybe this will help." It really did look like he was asleep, or at least settling in; his eyes were shut! Apparently he can still tell dark from light through the lids though. To help her out, he holds his hands up over his eyes, making circles from the index finger and thumb, holding the rest up like owl feathers. "Look familiar?"

Slowly, Hallis raises her hands and mimics his action and holds her own hands in the same fashion against her face. "Yes, a little bit." Whether he saw or not, she lowers her hands and pulls up the blanket to her neck. "You're a good dancer. Thank you for asking me." He was a bright spot in her night that night, the rest was relatively disappointing. "I suppose my grandmother's cousins don't know how to host a good party, or I don't know how to entertain very well."

"Well, I've had a few hundred…uh, parties to practice." Whoops, almost slipped there. Not like it would or should be very surprising to her at this point; she already knows he can take a ton of bullets and live, and that he has regenerative blood. Oh, and that dying is pretty much a chore for him. "It was an alright party. At least the booze selection was good. The weather certainly could've been a little nicer, however. To be expected, I suppose." For the moment, they're avoiding the two ton White Elephant in the room with surprising dignity and grace.

"You're supposed to say, 'You're a remarkable dancer as well, Hallis.'" She mimics his accent near perfectly as she gives him his line. The small smile on her face remains as she makes herself comfortable again, this time giving him a small query of "May I?" before resting her head on his shoulder. "I'm glad you don't hate me and I'll get better at firing a rifle before our next adventure. I'll put it in my list of things to get better at. Right after cooking and driving a stick shift. That way I won't be lying to people when they ask me if I can drive."

In the seat beside her, he just chuckles. "Fair enough. You're a remarkable dancer as well, Hallis." Except, rather than using his English accent, he tries to put on a debonair southern accent…which comes off remarkably well. Thank you years fighting for the Confederacy, except for that whole surrender deal. Finally though, blissful silence. He finally gets a chance to lean back in the seat and close his eyes for the rest of the ride.

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