2010-03-29: Wok With Van



Date: March 29, 2010


Sydney burns herself a lot, George comes over, Hallis likes attention, and there's kids NOT walking (woking) on the zebra rug.

"Wok With Van"

The Safehouse of the Wackjob (Hallis' Apartment)

After an afternoon spent shopping for swimsuits, Jamie is in a really cheerful mood, moreso than any time since Hallis laid out the rules of the apartment. She's got one of those dancing competition shows on the TV, and (careful not to step on the zebra), is dancing along with it. She's actually got quite some talent, picking up the moves almost as fast as they're being performed on the screen, though it's just as obvious she'd need a lot of practice before competing herself.

It's been a pretty nice day for George so far. Late start and on-time finish due to some schedule conflicts, only a couple of things snarling up at the last minute - and the better part of a week to chase down the loose ends. It's almost enough to make him stop stressing about the lack of progress against the secret kidnappers.


Bag of leftovers from the office in one hand, he drums the fingers of the other against the wall of the elevator, waiting for the familiar sight of the floor that he shares with Hallis. Among other things. He's managed to keep missing the two new roommates she mentioned on the phone the ohter day, but maybe this will be the time that that changes.

Trent is off out of the way of Jamie's dancing, and away from the zebra.. one of those really cheap portable electronic games.. with the option of sound or no, car racing to be exact. He has the sound off. Figuring Hallis might yell about that. He'd really like a DS, or something, but he knows right now, that's not possible. His bare toes digging in the carpet. When he's in the appartment, the shoes and socks come off, and he lives barefoot the rest of the time. As always. Even at Fred's.

The bedroom door is closed, which means silence in the rest of the house. Hallis isn't hungover or even sleepy, she's modelling the new dress that Mr. E brought her from Egypt. What is she modeling it with? A plethora of shoes, of course. the dainty socialite is a pleased as punch with the fit, after getting it altered and is twisting and turning in front of her full length mirror. "This dress is fabulous!" she exclaims to no one but her own reflection.

Exhaustion registers on Sydney's face as she steps out of the kitchen wearing a red and white apron. She's making dinner. The therapist believes in paying for her keep, or at least, doing some work for it. And so she's cooking a stir-fry. This has already amounted to some measure of disaster for the now-blonde therapist with several burns, but such is the price of good food. She moves the vegetables around burning herself again, "Ahh! Ouch!" She moves to the sink and runs it under cold water.

Jamie's dancing is momentarily forgotten as she hears Sydney's exclamation. She may have missed the others, but not that one. She quickly runs over to the kitchen, "Are you ok?" She's, of course, totally forgetting the whole silence rule.

Trent also hears Sydney, and is on his feet. The game coming with him. thinking Hallis might have a fit if it is even left on the floor. He runs out to the kitchen and nearly bumps into Jamie. He peers at her and laughs a little. "Sorry." then he's clamboring up on the counter by the sink, to sit there and watch Sydney cook. "Need help with something mom?" and there it is… he slipped. He frowns, "Um I mean Sydney. Sorry, I used to help mom sometimes."

There's a quiet metallic thunk as the front door lock is turned one way, then the other - oh, it was already open - and George peers inside. "Hallie? You—?" but his question is cut short as someone cries out from the direction of the kitchen. Oh dear, did she decide to start experimenting again? He heads off in that direction at a fast walk to see what's up, setting the leftovers down and pausing as he sees everyone except the one person he expected to. "…I take it this is the mysterious Other Guest, then?"

There's a scream from the kitchen, Hallis ignores it. There's the childlike voices of concern, Hallis ignores them. There's the familiar voice of a congressman, Hallis does not ignore that. Opening the door to her room, Hallis runs down the hallway toward the new arrival. "George!!" she cries out, throwing her arms around him and giving him a dramatic cling for her dear life. She's been working on that, with her new job she needs all the dramatics she can get. Unfortunately, the young woman has a flair for overdoing it. Completely overdoing it. "Are you here to take me out for dinner? To a movie? To the opera? There's a wonderful off broadway production, it's not the weekend so I'm sure we can get good last minute seats…"

There it is, the feared word. Mom. Sydney blinks a couple of times before forcing a smile, "I'm… I'm okay. Thanks, guys. I'll be okay…" her cheeks flush a little. "I'm okay, actually. Just distracted. Thinking about… things." Her cheeks flush further before she shakes her head. "Nothing of consequence."

Syd shoots George and then Hallis an apologetic smile, "Sorry. Just… making dinner…"

Jamie, of course, doesn't see the implications of the slip, just finding it funny, so of course she just giggles a little. Then George is there and she looks back up to him, "Hi, are you…" Before she can finish the question, Hallis is ther answering it, and she grins, "Yep, her boyfriend." Then she adds, "I'm Jamie, that's Trent, and that's Sydney."

Trent peers at George and just waves, falling quiet for now. He smiles at Sydney, an apologetic look in those blue orbs of his. "Well, you're kinda like one." he says softly, but then looks at George and Hallis, and the way she's all over him and the boy's wrinkeling his nose when Jamie says boyfriend. He's hopping off the counter and with a "Nice to meet you sir." he's skittering off, out of the way and out of view of the overly mushy stuff.

It's a good thing George set the extra food down when he did, because now he needs both arms free again - one to return Hallis's Tiger Crane Tacklehug o' Doom, the other to wave to the kids as they're introduced. "Good to meet you, Trent. Jamie— I've, ah, seen your work." Which made his work - both public and private - that much more complicated… but that can wait.

Now, finally, he turns toward Hallis and returns her affection in kind. "H'lo, you. So what's this about off-Broadway?" Dinner and a movie are so overdone that he's surprised she'd even suggest them - and the opera, well, that's Senator Cornpone's turf (R-GA, midway through his third term) and he's welcome to it as far as the junior rep is concerned.

The young socialite doesn't let go of the politician, no, she's just snuggling closer and resting her head on his chest, hiding her face from the view of hew house guests. Until he begins to speak to Jamie, then she pulls back just a little and juts her lower lip out slightly in a pout. She's used to sharing his attention with food, the insult of having to share it with children is almost unbearable. So her arms slide out from around him and she heaves a long sigh and rounds the counter into the kitchen.

Peeking into the wok, she wrinkles her nose a bit and turns to rummage in the pantry. When she turns around again, her arms are loaded with spices that have funny labels on them. One by one, she begins adding a dash of this and that, taste testing between each sprinkle. When she is satisfied with her little additions, she steps back and places the cover on the pan.

Jamie grins and says, "Cool. Everything I said was true, you know. Well, Micah wrote it for me to say, but it was all true stuff he wrote. I just wouldn't've used as many big words, if it was just me." She leans against the counter, looking curiously towards where Hallis is adding to Sydney's cooking.

Trent smiles at George, for some reason, liking him. "I didn't get to see it, but I bet she was really awesome." he says trying to open up. Even though Hallis is there, looking a little upset about him talking to Jamie. Jamie really isn't his sister, but he's there at her side, like a brother should be, or he thinks he should be. His game has turned itself off by now. "She's really smart."

Oh, great, now she is experimenting in the kitchen. Well, there'll be no stopping her unless something actually bursts into flame, so George just leaves her to it instead, leaning back against the wall. "I've heard, yes," he offers to Jamie. "We're trying to figure out who the big boss is, so we can blow the whistle on them— even if people don't believe the part about abilities, if we can convince them that they've been kidnapping kids for any reason…"

He just hopes it doesn't turn out to be the president. He likes the president. Also, when someone in the movies goes after the president, don't they tend to get gunned down in the second act?

Nothing bursts into flame today, not because Hallis had something to do with it anyway. In the past few months she's been watching way too much food network and taking too many classes. There's also Mr. E to thank for her new culinary prowess. It's not exactly perfect, but everything after the first month has at least been edible. She just doesn't eat any of it. The conversation between Jamie and George has been ignored during the Hallis Van Cortlandt Cooking Show but now that it's over, she's ready to join in.

Since Sydney's nursing her little burn wounds, she adds a bit of water to the stir fry and sets the cover back on. "Isn't the president the big boss? I mean, it's not like we have a queen or anything… though that would be so fabulous."

Finally having her burns semi-tended to, Sydney turns back to the conversation and peers at the stir-fry, giving Hallis a broad grin. It smells right. And it definitely needed more water. "Big boss?" Beat. Following Hallis' question, the blonde asks, "Can anyone easily go over the President's head?"

Jamie considers a moment, then says, "There's machines that can tell when you're lying, right? I'll tell everything that happened to me on one of those! Then they can believe it's happening, even if they don't believe I can change into water. But I'll do that in front of everybody too, if you want. Hate hiding what I am." She looks up to Hallis and Sydney, and says, "Sometimes, on TV, they don't tell the president things so he can say he didn't know about it. Does that happen for real?"

Trent stays by Jamie's side. She might be about a year older then he is, but he almost feels a need to protect her. Even though she has her own ways of dealing with things. Though he realizes he's thirsty so he heads back to the sink and cupboard with the glasses and clambors up with his knees on the countertop once more to grab a glass. Though he stays there, sitting and filling the glass with water and sips at it, listening, watching. Being quiet… half expecting Hallis to yell at him for climbing.

"Or they don't tell him things so he really doesn't know about it. That seems a little more likely here." George carefully leaves Jamie's other suggestion alone, wandering over to check out Hallis's handiwork instead. It's occurred to him - it might be the last nail in the black op's coffin - but it's a nuclear option. How many people would he be putting on the wrong end of torches and pitchforks? He doesn't know what to do about any of it himself yet, much less how to explain it to the well-meaning young girl.

A pair of sharp blue eyes follows the boy on his trip up the counter, then his sitting on the counter. She takes a deep breath inward and perhaps there's a vein on the side of her forehead that's throbbing on her forehead when, "Excuse me, I think I need to call my grandmother." Yes, Lizette would know exactly what to do with a child. She always knows exactly what to do about everything. Slowly, Hallis slips down the hallway and into her room. She doesn't close the door though, so her voice might be drifting into the greatroom as she speaks. "Hello? Grandmother? How old do you need to be for military school? They have those, right?"

"I think… I think that's enough super secret revolutionary activity for one day," Sydney says as she turns off the stovetop and the stir-fry she's been working on. "Alright folks. A quick dinner and then onto… the pool." She cringes a little. It's still a point of wariness — heading outside, but she can't very well keep two kids cooped up forever. "So. Go wash up and then set the table. Scoot."

Jamie grins at Sydney's words and says, "Ok!" If she hears Hallis' words to her grandmother, it apparently doesn't sink in. She's on her feet and running to the bathroom to wash up.

Trent grins, sets the glass down and leaps off the counter. Then he's rinning after Jamie to get his hands and face washed. He's hungry.. soon as he's done, he's back and again, having to climb to reach the dishes.. but it's not long and he has the table set, for all of them. Even Hallis, who probably won't eat, but he does anyway.

The mention of military school is what finally snaps George out of his brief reverie. "Aww, be nice, Hallie!" he calls out, stalking off to find out where she's gone. Not that he's above teasing the kids, though: "There's a perfectly nice boarding school in Trenton…" He does close the door - and doesn't open it again until well after the others are gone.

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