A Good Use


leonardo_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title A Good Use
Synopsis An old family friend visits Peyton. Leonardo Maxwell asks her to consider using her power to help out Evolved everywhere.
Date September 28, 2009

Peyton's Apartment

One doesn't need much reason to stop by an old… acquaintance's place. Two men, one about two inches taller than the other, stand outside of Peyton's apartment. The taller one might be easily recognizable as Leonardo, he hasn't changed much, especially in her memory, considering he was nearly eighteen when she was just hitting puberty. The shorter, Cassius, is the one knocking on the door, staring into the peephole with a wide grin. They're both in expensive black suits, but Cassius usually wears his with the sleeves rolled up slightly, and the black jacket unbuttoned. And, of course, the white collar of his shirt isn't tucked into the lapel of the jacket at all.

"If you embarass me, I'm melting that bronzed Megan Fox statue you love so much." Leonardo deadpans, eyeing Cassius quite seriously.

"Hey, man, don't mess with the Fox!" Cassius quickly defends in his higher voice, his gaze shooting around to Leo. "If you melt it that'll just kill my thesis on art in popular culture and its effect on the women who drink from the wine fountain tits."

Peyton's enjoying a rare moment alone in her apartment — her new roommate Aaron is off somewhere, probably a therapist's appointment or maybe a musical audition; she's not sure which. The young socialite uncurls from her place on the couch where she's catching up on the past week's television previews that are recorded on her DVR.

She's very underdressed compared to the men standing in the hall of her Upper West Side apartment, but then she was just relaxing at home — who needs to dress up when you don't expect anyone? So after peeking through the peephole and seeing the familiar face of one of the sons of one of the friends of one of her parents, she unlatches the three locks and stands leaning against the door in a pair of very short terry cloth shorts, a tank top, and not much else.

"Leonardo?" she says, with a curious tilt of her head. "It's been a few years… if you're coming to visit my parents, I'm sorry to tell you, they didn't survive the bomb."

Cassius' first reaction to Peyton coming out is the beginning of a cat calling whistle, but Leonardo quickly pushes him to the side by the face and offers Peyon a sympathetic smile. "I heard, I'm very sorry to hear that. I'm actually here to see you, I saw the news, and needless to say… I was surprised. I still remember when you were only around twelve, to think that people could do such things…"

Just what every 20, almost 21, year old wants to be reminded of — their awkward pubescent years, by the handsome, rich businessman standing on her doorway. Luckily for Peyton, even at twelve, she was pretty damn cute, so there isn't too much embarrassment for her younger, gawky self. Her embarrassment really comes in the following years — three years ago she was put in a rehab center for alcoholism, because she took the rap for a celebrity friend's mistake behind the wheel. The news of her passing out in this bar or that, or whatever compromising positions the paparazzi have caught her in.

"Thank you," she says, on both counts, as she opens the door a little wider to allow the two men in. "Come on in. The place is a little messy, sorry about that." She leads them into the living room, which isn't a mess but lived in, more than it ever would have looked in the past. "Can I get you something? A drink or something? Have a seat." She nods to the sofa.

"A drink is fine. Things have been so hard on you lately," Leonardo says as he carefully takes his seat, nodding for Cassius to close and lock the door, then follow. "Is there anything I can do at all? If you need to move anywhere, or need some sort of protection. By the way, this is my bodyguard, Cassius Pots."

"Yo." Cassius ever-so-eloquently greets, sitting back on the couch with his arms spread and his legs crossed, making himself at home. "I'm top of the line security, Magneto in the flesh, I can kill a man with a spoon and, yeah, you want me."

"Please shut up." is casually offered from the man's boss.

Peyton's dark eyes flit from one man to the other, before chuckling a little. "Pleased to meet you," she nods to Cassius. "Thank you," she tells Leonardo again. "I … I don't know. I've been here a few weeks and no one's come to get me, so it's probably safe. The police had a detail assigned to me for a bit, but after a week, they said the main threat had passed." She shrugs. "I don't know. They don't really know what I can do, and it was just a chance meeting. I don't think they will come back for me. I'm no one important." She begins to move to the kitchen to get their drinks. "What can I get you? Water, soda, beer, wine, bourbon…?" She has no idea what they might like to drink.

"Wine is fine." Leonardo agrees with a slight nod, watching her curiously when she says they don't know what she can do. "What can you do, exactly? Cassius here is registered, magnetic field manipulation."

"I think she got that, Ralph," The name Ralph causes Leonardo to wince ever-so-slightly. "Y'know, 'cause I said Magneto?"

"I had to register too, but they think I have some sort of visions I don't understand," Peyton replies, the cupboard doors opening and closing and three wine glasses and a bottle of white getting brought into the living room. She hands the bottle and bottle opener to Leonardo — it's the gentleman's job, right? She sets the glasses on the coffee table. "I saw that movie, yeah. He's the guy with the crazy eyebrows, right?" she asks, with a smile to Cassius. "Um. Are you Evolved?" she asks Leonardo suddenly, a little uncertainty about talking about her power with people she doesn't know very well.

"I don't believe so, though one never knows." Leonardo says as he hints that he's never taken the test, but hasn't seen any signs of an ability either. He does it with a straight face and everything! The bottle is uncorked, lightly sniffed, then all three glasses are poured into equally before he corks the bottle again. "Though I'm a firm believer in Evolved rights."

"You better be, your life is in my hands buddy!" Cassius takes the glass of wine, having large sips as he watches the other two talk.

Peyton moves to an armchair facing the couch and picks up one of the glasses. It's a nice Pinot Grigio, not a cheap wine but neither is it an expensive, ritzy one. "Okay. I just… you know. Have to sort of second-guess myself at times. I've known you most my life, but you never know who's on your side or against you in this crazy city, right?" Like he couldn't have lied. He could be Humanis First for all she knows, but she has known him her whole life, and he even still seems to know where she lives. "I can see… well. I can see what someone else sees, like see through their eyes. If I know them or can see them while I try to use it," she says quietly. "It's not what's on my card, but some people know."

"That sounds like a very useful ability." Leonardo comments, holding up a hand for Cassius to shut up. It's time to get to work, and his 'bodyguard' will only get in the way if he keeps going on the way he does. "So tell me, Peyton, what do you intend to use your ability for? Dreams of saving the world, or perhaps something more selfish?" he asks, his tone sounding more curious than any sort of judgment, taking sips of his wine still.

The past party girl frowns a little. Is that what people think of her? That she's selfish? She knows in the past she has been — no doubt someone like Leonardo and his parents have tsked and shook their heads about that 'wayward Peyton Whitney' and all the grief she was causing her nice parents who were kind enough to take a baby in from god knows who and do right by her. "I wasn't going to use it at all," she says. "I just wanted it to go away. I don't want to use it for my personal gain." She frowns and pushes her bangs out of her eyes. "I've helped some people — or tried, I don't think I helped a whole lot, but I've tried… using it to find those other kidnapping victims and stuff. But it didn't work. I can only find someone if I can recognize where they are."

"How would you like to put your ability to good use, and perhaps practice to the point of truly understanding your limitations?" Leonardo offers, still very casual, not seeming at all pushy about it. It's a friendly offer! "I understand you've had a bit of a, well, past, but I imagine you want to do more, perhaps even be more."

With a tilt of her head, Peyton surveys Leonardo through narrowed eyes. "Doing what? I don't want to use it to spy on corporate competitors of yours or something like that. It's not easy and it gives me a headache, and it's … well, it's not that ethical to look through other people's eyes without their knowing," she says quietly. "What do you consider a good use?"

"Helping Evolved, people who have been through things like you, people who could bring the race closer to having true equality. I have the resources to help you put your ability to very good use, there are so many applications that could help the world, but also destroy everything if it fell into the wrong hands. And you shouldn't worry much about that headache, an ability is like a muscle in that way." Leonardo explains in his usual confident manner, finishing his wine and offering her the glass.

Meanwhile Cassius has already stood up and headed for her kitchen, though Leonardo's attempted to ignore it.

"Helping Evolved? How? What could my ability do to help anyone else, besides spying on people? I mean — the kidnap thing, yeah, that's useful, but I don't want the real cops to know what I do, not totally. I don't want to be put in the wrong hands," Peyton says, and there's a very real fear in her eyes at the thought of just that. "What … what kind of applications do you see me using?"

"Think about the application of spying for a moment. Imagine there was a known Humanis First member, we can find him and everything, but we have nothing on him, we don't know what he does in private, we can't prove it. With you, anyone could easily get this person's patterns and take one more of them off the street." Leonardo decides to simply sit the glass on the table, his body shifting back into a straightened position. "Or if we had pictures and notes on a person who could greatly enhance the science of Evolved, but hides out because they won't allow this person the resources for their work, calling the most basic of research unethical simply because they discriminate against your kind. Wouldn't you like to be able to find people like that? People we could help and offer the resources they need to make Evolved a true science. Not some facade like the Suresh Center so the government can act as if they're truly doing something."

"I don't think I can see people from a picture. I need to know them better," Peyton says. She's tried, and gets varying results, all of which are disappointing. "Or someone I don't know but have at least met, I can do that. Sometimes. It depends." She frowns at something he says, shaking his head. "The science of the Evolved? What do you mean by that? What kind of research and science do you think needs to be done? Understanding why we are the way we are? It's just genetics, luck of the draw, right? What kind of science needs to be done? We just want to be left alone, not poked and prodded and injected with God knows what."

"Of course, we'll learn the full limitations of your ability if you give me the chance. For example, have you tried video, or learning personal details like a medium often does?" Leonardo asks, trying to offer her possible alternatives to open her mind to the things he may be able to do for her. "And the last thing I see Evolved as are test subjects, what I mean by fully understanding the science is being able to help those with unstable or difficult to figure out abilities. If the government gave a fraction of the funding that the military gets, to Evolved research, something like Midtown may have been avoided."

"I guess," Peyton says uncertainly. "If someone's hiding because they're afraid though, I don't want to spy on them and give them up. They have a right to hide and to be unknown, if that's what they want. I don't want to do things that I think are wrong." She frowns, chewing her lower lip as she does when she is nervous. "But I can try to help out. What do you want me to do?"

"Before anything else, I'd like to help you explore your ability." Leonardo says in a completely altruistic manner! Helping Peyton comes first! "Don't worry about doing anything you think is wrong, let's focus on helping you first, alright? And if anything comes up I'll let you determine if you're interested."

Meanwhile, Cassius pops from the kitchen with a jar of pickles. "You want these pickles?" This is asked, of course, while he already has his hand in the jar.

Peyton's brows furrow as she looks with confusion at Leonardo, but then Cassius interrupts. She turns to look, and gives the man an odd look. "Um. Go ahead," she says. What else do you say to someone who's stealing your pickles? She looks back at Leonardo, doubt written on her face. "He's your bodyguard?" she whispers.

"What can I say? Magnetokinesis is a very useful ability. I can look past his… behavior." Leonardo smiles, standing up to offer her a hand. "How about I take you out to dinner? As friends, of course." Becuase, well, he remembers when she liked Barbies, and that's a tad strange.

"Sure," Peyton says, but there's still hesitancy and a touch of doubt in her voice. She's learned not to trust too easily in the past few weeks. But if he will help her learn to use her power better, perhaps she can be of more use to others, even if she doesn't agree with his plans.

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