Date: December 12th, 2009
Gene and Lena clash after the confrontation in Sydney's apartment. Sparks fly, words are exchanged and Baby Jesus makes a special guest appearance to save the day.
"Unstoppable Force, Meet Immovable Object"
Greenwich Village Alleyway
The advantage of living in a nice neighborhood, in a nice apartment building, is that there really aren't many people just loitering in the area when one is trying to make a hasty exit. Fewer witnesses is always a positive when one has reached the boiling point. It means that Lena was able to kick the wall beside the elevator (leaving a black scuff on the oh so elegant wallpaper) and pace back and forth without being seen until the doors slid open.
By then, of course, she's decided that she's too worked up to ride down to the lobby like a civilized person. It may well be that the sound of the stairwell door being slammed open is heard down the hall, at Sydney's apartment. Down and down and down she goes, exiting into the lobby with an extreme lack of breath and somewhat more control over her temper.
It's that control which has the brunette lingering outside in the cold and the dark, in an alley opposite the building's entrance. Her shoulder's braced against brick, her hands are deep in her pockets and she has her face turned up beneath the fur-trimmed hood of her jacket in order to catch the light of the street's lamps. All that's missing for this to be a truly epic noir scene is a cigarette dangling from her lip.
"I'm surprised…" A familiar voice calls out, revealing himself to be Gene as he turns to the lip of the alleyway. "I would have pegged you as running for blocks and blocks. I guess using your powers likely tuckered out the body, but the blood is still boiling." The tone is calm, but there is a slight chill to it. He stands directly in the center of the lip, tilting his head faintly to the side. He tucks his hands in his peacoat, watching Lena carefully. "Either way, now we talk."
Well, it isn't the cops but it's almost as bad. Lena pulls back from the pool of light at the mouth of the alley, tensing until her shoulders hover somewhere close to her ears. "I'm guessing you're not gonna apologize, huh?" A small huff of breath is released, lingering frustration sending a swirl of fog up in front of her face. Who needs cigarettes, when it's this cold outside? "So what happens to Syd when they ask her why he's got enough hospital knock-out drug in his system to take out an elephant, man? We should have fucking dumped him in an alley and moved tonight. Get her off the grid, out of sight where he can't find her. Him or the rich bitch."
"We could have moved you both before we called the cops, that is true," Gene states in his usual calm. He pulls out his scarf, wrapping it around his face. It's cold after all. "You could have purged him. We could have worked out a better solution. But you decided to let fear and anger overwhelm understanding and cooperation. I asked you to do a favor for me and you decided it was guilt. Considering I am the one expecting an apology, no, I will not give one. I /am/ sorry that this had to happen. A true comedy of errors."
"I have spent the last three weeks walking through the halls up there like I was a goddamn criminal because of her. She's the reason I'm running, and then she walks in and finds me and…and all of a sudden we're listening to her ideas, letting her call me a rapist, tell me I'm wrong, call me stupid? I can't talk with someone like that! And you've been helping her? What the hell, Gene? Understanding and cooperation don't mean shit if you don't tell me what's going on. You promised."
Following that shaky tirade, Lena spins deeper into the alley and spending the fresh surge of anger by pacing again. Her hands are scrubbed hard over her face, a few breaths are taken. When she faces him again, it's possible to do so without snivveling, or growling.
"I saved her life… Just like I would have for anyone else that was in her situation. It was not a special favor, it was not something uncommon. She wished to repay the favor and tell me any information she had, but it was not not something similiar to what we have been doing. It happened recently and I didn't have the chance to talk about it… Not that there was much to talk of," Gene states with a sigh. He slides on his sunglasses, completing his 'I'm in public' disguise.
Signing before he goes on, Gene runs a hand through his hair. "I'm not expecting you to approve of her, or even to allow her calling you her name… But when someone else's life is on the life, personal feelings come second. I would think that if you were dying, you wouldn't want me agruing with Senator Wynn instead of calling for the doctor. If you wanted to stop running, maybe getting some understanding would have been a good first step… You got so angry, you couldn't even see how much you are hurting yourself in all of this, not to mention everyone else involved."
"I…I can't believe this. Whose life? Syd? She's not going to die, he only had his hands on her throat for maybe two seconds before I took him out, and I've been choked longer without needing to see a doctor. And…and she has my name now. I don't want to understand if it means working with the person who…who…this is my life, Gene," Lena says, almost plaintive now. The anger's gone, because it is near impossible to remain angry at someone who appears so calm. But the hurt is still there and she's clinging to it. "You really would have stayed there to talk to someone who was calling you a rapist, who was barging in where she didn't belong and…jesus. I can't believe this."
The young man merely pulls out his little inspirational for moments like this. The plastic nativity Jesus, which he displays with a small smirk. "You called?" he says with a faintly joking tone before he puts it away.
The genius swiftly sobers up though, even his own humor able to raise his spirits for long. "I'd be pissed yeah. Just like I wasn't happy about being dragged between a fight with you and Hallis that had nothing to do with me. But I stayed there until I was sure that help was coming for Sydney. While it's likely that she would be fine, how would you feel if she HAD died? You can always rebuild a life. I'll be having to do that too. At least for you, all you need to do is work things out with Hallis. Somehow I don't think the Alpha Protocol will listen to reasonable discussion."
Lena might have been disarmed, even charmed, by the fact that Gene carries a Baby Jesus in his pocket, but for what he says afterwards. She stiffens, drawing herself up and lifting her chin at him. "I didn't leave until you and her figured out your plan. You think I'd leave Syd if I thought she was in danger? If you hadn't been there?" She pauses. "You really think that, or you wouldn't be shoveling this guilt shit out so thick. And last I checked, she's still sleeping with a government guy. Someone who knows about us. She still tracked me and Chi down, even though we were careful about letting folks know where we lived. So I'm not seeing why it's okay that she's deciding what we do just because she walked in at the wrong time. Now she knows my name, that you're one of us…"
"A conversation that also happened somewhat recently… According to Hallis, the government guy wants to help Prometheus and enlist his aid. In order to ensure that his political agenda was not at risk by helping Prometheus, I told him to work on his own, leaving the seeder stuff to Prometheus. I have no idea if he plans to do that, but it would seem there are those within the government that do not approve of the Alpha Protocol… But that isn't the important thing, right?"
Seeing that Lena has calmed a bit, the young man moves toward the woman. "I listened to her because her idea seemed the best at the time. It wasn't about taking sides. All I know is that I told you that I felt that Hallis' plan had potential and we needed to work it out, then you accused me of 'siding with the woman calling me a rapist' or something to that degree and stormed out. It just seemed that you were operating out of hurt and anger rather than reason. As for dealing with Hallis," Gene puts a hand on Lena's shoulder. "I'll talk with her. Considering I saved her and her friend from getting kidnapped, I'm sure the least she can do is promise to never bring up charges and forgive you for what she likely feels was an unprompted attack on her."
Hopefully he can forgive her skepticism. The news of George's willingness to help is greeted with a grimace. "She had no right," Lena growls, puffing up with self-righteous anger again to balance the stinging in her tear ducts. "You didn't say shit when she called me that. When she talked to me like that. She fucking earned a wet willie, Gene, and you just let her…let her do what she did from the start. Take the credit, force her way in, act like her shit doesn't stink. I haven't ever killed anyone but she did. And she got off."
The hand isn't shrugged off, although it might feel that she's trying to do so; really, Lena just needs to swipe at her nose, which is running. It's the cold. Honest. "I don't want you saying anything to her about me. I don't want her forgiveness. And I don't want you doing anything else for me. Not if it's gonna be held over my head. I fuck up a lot, and you've cleaned up a lot of my messes. I owe you a lot because of it, Gene, but I'm not gonna have that waved in my face to make me behave like I'm some goddamn dog."
There seems to be the sound of beeping and sirens, so Gene just escorts Lena futher into the alleyway, placing his arm around her shoulders in an attempt to guide and comfort her at the same time. "I didn't hold it over your head… Last I checked, you told me that if I ever needed anything, I just needed to ask. I asked. I'm sorry if I made it seem like I was trying to take advantage of you and force you into something. Trust me, if I wanted to force someone into doing something, you'd know. If you had stayed, I would have talked about what she did… And I will anyway as soon as I get her update on what is going on." Gene pauses to look back, seeing a fire truck, a couple of police cars, an ambulance go by. Seeing that he has no call yet and he knew Hallis was calling 911, he figures that his aid isn't needed. "Can I at least try and work this out between you two so you can be personable to one another? I really would like not to have to walk on eggshells when I'm involved with anything between you two. More so if you both honestly want to 'fight the good fight'."
Lena uses the opportunity of being ushered further into the gloom to sniff and rub again at her nose. "I told you to ask, not…not bring up how much more you've done for me, than me for you," she mumbles into the leather on her glove. But seeing as how he's apologized for what she sees as the sin of the evening, an attempt is made to meet the man halfway. "I'm sorry I said what I did, right before I left. It was…I was just trying to hurt you and that was a shit move."
A look is cast over her shoulder, over his arm, eyes squinting at the lights bouncing off of the street and buildings. "God, I hope she's okay…no." Lena's attention snaps back to Gene, eyes turned up to his profile, expression pained. "No. It's…maybe she isn't working with Alpha people. But sometimes people just…no. She's telling everyone I'm a rapist. Sometimes people just can't work together, Gene. If…if you're gonna work with her, fine. I'll stay out of it, I won't break her stupid skinny nose. We're not even from the same fucking planet."
The young man gives a small smile at the sorry, but he doesn't seem too relieved. Maybe he already knew she didn't mean it the entire time… Or that he's too much on his mind to be at ease now. He does give a small weak smile in though. "You were talking about hurting me because you felt I hurt you… Well, maybe what happening between you and her is the same thing. A little misunderstanding that has gotten out of control. Maybe one day, you ladies can work this out and get along, but that needs to be something you both need to be ready to enter into together. Like heck am I gunna try and force you both to do that. I deal with enough fights as is without looking to start 'em. If you need a place to stay, I can get you into some motels for a few nights… We can work out a more perament place in the days to come. That sound good?"
"Yeah, but you're like…it's just different, Gene. I'm not gonna freak out at her if she leaves me alone though. If I don't have to take orders from her. I promise. Just…be careful, okay? Working with her." Tenacious to the end, that's Lena. And all too aware of class differences. But she's able to muster a thin smile, answering his in kind. "It's okay. Eric's got the new place pretty much set up, I think, we just had to get our stuff over there…I think he should just spring for movers. I don't wanna…fuck. You do too much. I know where I can crash, and it's free, so don't worry about me, okay? You should make sure Syd's okay." Pause. "And that what's her face isn't talking to the press."
"Hallis will let me know what's going on. I can't get too close either… If police are involved, I can't get too close. Your fear is her reporting you in. I'm already a fugitive… But we'll get this worked out." Gene gives a faint grin. "And you don't want to have sex? Gee, I'm not sure if I should feel flattered or sad for Tiago. Either way, unless there something else we need to talk about… I should get going. Handle a few things here and there. But I'll be careful… That's one of the things I do best." Gene lets go of Lena at last, stepping back as he prepares to leave.
That finally earns a snort of laughter from the brunette. "Well shit, I didn't know you wanted to go to a motel with me. Your timing sucks, I'm not fucking anyone till I can turn the drugs off." She pauses then to look off towards the mouth of the alley, the cluster of dancing lights still visible there. "I'm not worried she'll turn me in. I didn't do anything the cops care about…just gave her more of the crap she uses all the time. Not like it was her first blackout. It's just…even if she isn't a spy, she likes being in the papers. A lot. Doesn't exactly work for people like us, you know?" But Lena sets such depressing thoughts aside in order to find another faint smile for Gene. "Nah, I'm good. I'll try to stay away from the panic button. For the next day or two anyway."
"I think she is trying to change… But we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out. either way, I'll see you around. Tell Tiago I said hi," Gene replies with a wave before he turns to make his way out of the alleyway. He's got a long night ahead of him it would seem.