2011-03-20: Working Too Hard



Date: March 20, 2011


A persistent journalist is diverted, but not without cost.

"Working Too Hard"

Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, DC

It is the middle of the day. Evette has cleared the calendar for George and her to catch the festival as asked earlier. The young woman has run to the DC hotel to change her clothing. She shows up in a pair of jeans that do show off her curves and a simple t-shirt. Evie then looks around the crowd to try and find the man in question and her employer.

Around them there are media, but they are not the focus this time. The smell of cherry blossoms linger on the air, scenting it beautifully. People mill about as they look over the monuments and the change of scenery. It is a soft breeze catches the hair as some small festival games of chance are also set up.

It's a day of mixed feelings for George. It's a slow day, relatively, which Sundays usually are but not always. Tomorrow, it's back to New York, with all that that entails— and at some point seeing Alexandra again, which is usually fun but… lately, there's tended to be a tense moment, sometimes a lingering one. He hasn't given up on the relationship, but it's clearly In Some Sort Of Trouble.

And then there's Evette over there, and she'll probably follow him back to New York as well. Most of the time, she's easily worth her salary— it's just those couple of issues that keep coming up. "Hey," he says, approaching her right off the bat: because otherwise, she'd approach him right away anyway. If she's found anyone else worth hanging around with, then it's news to him.

Eve has actually kept a bit out of his way. It is almost like she's been dealing with something of her own and she didn't even give him crap when the schedules weren't set to the brim. It could be the fact one of the media outlets ran the story about them. Her hair is pushed out of her face as she watches him approach.

"Hi." Evette leans against his shoulder in greeting. "how are you doing?" She then leans back away to give him his space. The woman has already made her reservations on his plane and will be going with him. She's been really up on her job, but silent. The staff is even breathing a sigh of relief as she's been more kitten and less dragonlady.

Although they're waiting to see whether she proves to be a tabby or a sabertooth— as is George himself, now that he's had time to notice the little changes here and there. "All right, I guess. At least the gossip rags seem to have had their fun and moved on." A glance out toward where the journalists are gathered: a few are waiting to catch one of the many famous attendees for a generic sound bite, but most are just reporting on the crowd.

As the momentary contact registers, he turns, studying her more closely. Nope, she's as difficult to read as ever. "What about you, figured out what you're doing after this winds down?"

There is a silent moment before she gives George a sweet smile as he comes up next to her. "I'm not really sure. I figure I'll just see where a few balls in the air land." Her fingers start to reach up to straighten his hat. "So I was thinking you could try these games of chance." There is a laugh for some reason before she drops her hand back and grins a bit more. "Maybe I'll get back in front of cameras or something."

A wry almost-smile creases his lips momentarily. "Appreciate the suggestion," says George, "but I think I'll pass. Last time I tried throwing something, I hit somebody in the head with it." Of course, he was aiming for their head, but that's a story for another time. "You should try it, though, you might have better luck."

Evette grins to him in a foolish sort of manner and it allows the goofy humor to fill her eyes. "I will totally try.." and miss. ".. if you are my cheerleader. Like I want to see you jump up and down while chanting." There is a laugh as she knows he won't do that. "Or you can share some of that funnel cake that will look amazing on you and go straight to my hips."

The first suggestion is given the withering stare that Evette must have seen coming from a mile away. "I could go for some funnel cake," conveniently glossing over the 'share' part, "I was going to get a hot dog later but the line's longer. Figured it could wait till things wind down a little." Hands in his pockets, George looks up at the trees as some of the heavier-laden blossoms lose a bit of their pinkness to the wind. "At least it's not raining like last year, I ended up skipping out on that one."

Evette bumps her shoulder into his. "Oooooh Comeon George. I could totally make you some pom poms and you could shake your skirt." Her hand reaches out to try and loop through his arm, but it is a companionable manner; not seductive. Aftar a moment, she ponders the words. "Do you know how long it has been since I have had a hot dog?" Evette tries to come up on her toes to smell some of the blossoms. She indicates for him to do it too. "I think I was in California last year around this time."

George rises up on one foot for a moment - a token gesture, his head already close enough to the lowest branches to give him pause - before answering. "Why's it been so long? Some parts of New York, it seems like you can't throw a rock without hitting two or three vendors. You don't like them or you just haven't gotten around to it?"

Evette laughs. "I have spent most of my life denied of foods that would put fat on my body." There is a little inside to Evette. Look, she's sharing past info. "So the last one I had was sometime in .. wow.. high school?" That seems to catch her off guard. To be fair, she is very beautifully constructed and there doesn't appear to be too much added weight on her person. Then she looks up at him. "You realize that when we get back to New York, it means we are going out for the hot dog lunch or something. You can show me how they do their 'dogs' in New York." Yes, she finger quoted dogs.

George shakes his head. "That's a shame." A hint about his preferences? Maybe, maybe not; he doesn't particularly have a type, or not that he's ever noticed. "I tried the vegetarian thing back in college, just to see what it was like. Got bored with it after a week or so. Then I got to New Orleans— if you're on a diet in New Orleans, then you're doing it all wrong. Never seemed to do anything to my weight either way." That damnable luck of his. Or maybe it's the jogging, he does still manage to get a little in here and there.

Evette smiles. "Oh.. I went on this pizza binge after my last pag…" Evette suddenly points past him. "Hey.. funnel cake." There is a light laugh to that. "I figure at some point I'm going to try everything bad for me. I was pretty sure I was going to die from food overload around your family in Texas." Meat, meat and well more meat. Evette's blue eyes lift up to his. She's seen Alex and Hallis, there is a feel for type there. Which she is neither blonde nor southern. Then she reaches out with the free hand to attempt to tap his stomach. "I don't know.. you look like you might be packing on the pounds." Which is an easy lie.

"Hey, you didn't have to go for the beef ribs. I think you scored some brownie points for trying, though." Having grown up around the Consume Mass Quantities attitude, George is more accustomed to it, even if it's not his own personal thing. Leaving the crack about his weight unanswered, he goes back to poke at Evette's unfinished comment instead. "Your last what?"

"Yeah. I was pretty sure your family was trying to see how much meat the California Girl could take." Evette gives a soft chuckle. To be fair, she was skittish but less bitch around his family. There is then that pause as she realizes how awkward that statement was. The arm looped through his tightens as she studies her shoes. Is that a blush? Well hell. It is. "Time I had funnel cake?" Confusion fills her tone. "Never."

And a smirk in turn, as George realizes he's got her cornered. "Oh, c'mon, I know a bad lie when I hear one." She's usually so glib… it must be because she's the one in the hot seat. Best if he keeps her just to the side, where she's more comfortable… but that's just when it comes to work. Here? Here, he can knock her off balance all he wants. "What is it? You were a cheerleader yourself, weren't you. I can just see you jumping up and down and yelling about school spirit."

Evette turns to stare at him. There is a different dynamic and yet it is the very same dynamic they live. When they are working, it is best to balance each other. She picks up the bad for his good and the structure to his flight. Now, in a personal side, it is very much different. Eve is almost uncertain how to deal with the teasing man over the growling, prickly one. So she gives him a radiant and playful smile. He may know her well enough to know she's trying to throw off his balance. She knows his triggers. The arm linked through his tightens as she lifts up on the balls of her feet. The other hand swings around to attempt to tap his nose. "Oh, I bet you can just see me jumping up and down in a cheerleading outfit."

Prickly she wants? Prickly she gets. "Knock that off," he murmurs, even as they reach the end of the line for the food cart. "The tabloids haven't all given up yet." A quick nod of his head— and there's that other woman again, making her own way through the crowd. The one who spotted that Evette was wearing some borrowed clothes that one morning. And if she sees the two of them together again this afternoon— "Go try out the ball toss, would you? I'll stay here, should just take a couple minutes."

Evette evaded the question, but sometimes she wonders at what cost. There is a strange look to her eyes as she slides her arm from his. "Yep." Nothing more for that as a longing look it tossed to the funnel cakes. Oh sweet sugary bread badness, denied. There is a smile as she knows a lot of faces in DC. Afterall, she's the girl on the sides of the cameras. Eve moves towards teh ball toss. "Let's try this…"

This is going to be a matter of careful psychology. Wander away from the reporter without making it look like he's wandering away from her, or in fact that he's noticed her at all. There's a crowd gathering around some new band doing a live performance, if he can just make it over there—

"Congressman Dawson, how good to see you again!" she calls out, waving a hand for good measure to compensate for her petite stature. Well, crap, so much for dodging that bullet. George turns, offering a faint smile. "It is, isn't it? Good turnout this year now that the weather's cooperating."

Evette stops as she hears the familiar 'Congressman'. It's not really her fault, she's trained to go into high alert on those times. So her feet stop not far from where she previously travelled. For now though, it is just watching.

The reporter grins towards him a bit more as she walks over. "Are you enjoying the festival alone today?" Her eyes start to scan the crowd for familiar faces or anyone reacting to her presence.

That's it, Evette, keep your distance for now. It probably doesn't matter all that much whether they're seen together again - the woman already has enough from the other day to make up a wild-ass story - but there's a certain dark satisfaction in stonewalling her just on general principle. He's saving honesty for the honest reporters, if any of them happen to be around.

Naturally, it doesn't work. Just as George is about to open his mouth to answer, she turns and spots the connection she's looking for. "Oh, I see you're not alone. Are you two enjoying the festival together, then?" She waves again, this time motioning to Evette to come on over and share the spotlight.

There is a moment of indecision on Evette's part before she finally gives in and walks over to the reporter. Her blue eyes look her up and down for a few moments. "It is lovely to see you again." She looks over towards George and then smiles most vibrantly. "Congressman, how you enjoying the festival?" There is nothing really spoken to if they were here together or not. Then she looks back to the reporter.

Now of course this must mean they are together. To be honest, this reporter wouldn't be the first one to think it. Afterall, doesn't his girlfriend think so, even after the mutual protests? The petite woman allows her lips to curve like a wolf that has just found the lone sheep without a shepard.

At least Alexandra has a genuine interest in the matter, however justified her worries are… and after that run-in at his apartment the other day, they really sort of are. It's not like she can read his mind and know he's being straightforward with her.

Picking back up on the admit-nothing-to-this-nosy-idiot vibe, George merely shrugs, glancing around. "Going pretty good so far. It's nice to get a day off from things." Or it would be, if not for you, he thinks, eyes hardening just a little as he regards the woman looking for another scoop.

Evette steps next to George and sets a hand upon his arm. This is something typical when she sees the hardening look at someone other than her. Everyone has seen it. She's done it a dozen times. The problem is, the reporter hasn't. That lovely reporter picks the moment to launch. "So!" The word is like a bullet to the brain. "How long have you been seeing each other? Is it true that you already took her home to Texas to meet your parents?"

Wonderful thing about the press. The truth is a lie that you can't deny and still remain honest sometimes.

Oh, great, bring that up, why don't you. Well, now you're going to get more than just stonewalling. "Evette has been working for me for about six months now," George answers, his patience gradually slipping, "and she did accompany me on a personal trip in her role as campaign manager. This is all a matter of public record— but then I'm sure you knew that, you've done your homework, after all. Now if you'll excuse me, I think the band's about finished with their sound check—"

Turning to look again, he spares no further glance toward the reporter, nor toward Evette. It's a little colder than how he actually feels— but then the reporter hasn't seen their moments of genuine sort-of-friendship, either, so intent is she on picking out just the salacious bits.

"Congressman could I…" The reporter starts but George is walking away from both of them. Evette supresses her urge to groan before she looks back towards the reporter. "I'm sorry, I would be happy to go over any questions at an appropriate time." There is a flash of her card as she hands it over to the woman. "I will be sure to be honest in all regards as well." Evette does the bad, evil thing… she extends her hand.

When the reporter takes her hand, she smiles towards Evette. "You two make a wonderful coup…" It might seem odd that the reporter just sort of stops talking. Evette's eyes become a bit more of an intense blue. "You know isn't it strange how people say that about us, knowing how professional our relationship is?" Suddenly, there is a wiping of all traces in the woman's brain of touches or of the information to go with them. She really can't even remember the story. It's like a switch. The petite reporter draws back her hand with a laugh. "It really is."

Of course all of this happens in hearing range as George walks away. It goes perfect with his thoughts on what her powers really are. There is no outward display that the reporter doesn't remember any of it. In fact, at first, there is no display at all. "Here.." The reporter offers towards Evette a kleenex. ".. your nose is bleeding." The next moment, there is a shocked noise from spectators as Evette falls into a dead faint on the street where she was just standing.

This is the other reason George tends to hold Evette at arm's length. He doesn't know exactly how her ability works, but after seeing what she did to that one union boss… and what she just did to Rita Skeeter here. It's all in the interest of keeping things running smoothly for him and his staff, but still.

Would she ever turn that on him? Would he be able to do anything about it if she did?

Well, at least he's still worried about it, so she can't have done anything already. Surely that would be the first thing she'd era— holy crap she just collapsed. "Crap. —Can we get some help over here?" he adds, raising his voice enough to get some people's attention. He'll call about getting her to medical care, but if there's a doctor around already, so much the better.

Our little Rita is completely unsure what is going on. "Miss?" She reaches for Evette and tries to find a pulse on the woman. Is she even breathing? Then her eyes turn fearful to glance up at George as he calls for medical. It is DC. There are doctors and one is already coming in. "Clear back, let's give her some room."

The doctor is already looking through his stuff for smelling salts, which is really just ammonia and smells horrible. Evette is out cold and clamy. As well her pulse is weak and thready. So the doctor does what any good doctor would do. "We need to loosen her clothing." He moves first to the bra under her shirt to unhook it and rips a bit of her neckline. Nothing shows at all. It is still decent.

Evette's lashes finally flutter and a groan leaves her lips. There is a shudder as she tries not to open her eyes. "Tell me what day it is.." The doctor goes through awareness and brain damage questions. Then he looks at George. "I would get her somewhere quiet. Do you know if she has migraines?"

George stays well out of the doctor's way, letting him work— and walks around to the other side as he goes for the shirt. No gawking here; not even the appearance of it, lest the gossip columnist start accumulating some new and inconvenient memories. "It's Sunday, Evette. —Not that I've seen," he adds for the doctor's benefit, "I think maybe she was just out in the sun a bit too long."

How hard did she have to push herself to pull that off? It's a comfort to know that her ability has limits, as guilty as he feels for thinking it.

Is the guilt that her power has limits or that she hit them for him? That should be the real question. Evette's hand comes out to thrust at the doctor to get the stranger out of her personal space. "It's like he said. I just need water and… shade." Her eyes are bloodshot. Horribly bloodshot. If there wasn't a doctor it would almost look like she ruptured something. One hand lifts for George to help her up; as she's still a bit disoriented. "Dehydration." Like what happens to all the stars when they can't explain what is really going on.

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