Almost Normal


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Scene Title Almost Normal
Synopsis Winters insists on meeting Veronica early to see she's all right after hearing about Primatech's explosion. They discuss Gillian and Goodman and the possibility of a normal life.
Date June 26, 2009

Village Cinema, Greenwich Village

"I need to see you, right now."

Only the beginning of the conversation that led thim to this clandestine meet. Winters laid out very specific instructions on where she should go, at one point meeting at a public park. Only to await for a specific taxi. Watching from afar, to ensure she was not being followed Veronica's transport eventually takes her to the movie theatre they had intended on meeting Saturday. But due to recent occurences, Winters has decided it would be appropriate to bump up the meeting time to now.

Seated in the very back row, Winters has his hat pulled down low. Hands folded in his lap, one leg bouncing up and down in a nervous habit, waiting for her to come to him.

She'd agreed to meet, but getting away unnoticed from the new Company facilities took some effort and deception, of course. Now, Veronica's silhouette, dark against the black and white film showing on the silver screen behind her, moves closer to him before sliding into the seat next to him. She doesn't look injured in the least, but for a scrape across the knuckles of her right hand that's a few days old.

"Why the urgency? I mean… you knew I was okay as soon as I answered," she points out to him softly, leaning over to kiss his cheek. There are only two other people in the theatre, an old couple sitting toward the front.

His hand goes to brush over the cut on her knuckles. Not looking particularly worried about it, though he does spend some time examining it. "I got worried." He explains just as softly. "Vocal confirmation isn't enough. I had to see you." He points out, fingers working around her injured hand to find purchase on the wrist. He goes to lift the wrist, going to plant a kiss on the cut there. "Are you alright?" The way he asks it, implies more than just physical ailments.

Her dark eyes, the room too dark for their hints of gold to shine through, drop to their hands, watching his fingers sliding past the cut there. When he brings her hand to his lips, she tilts it to stroke his cheek lightly. "I'm … all right. We lost some people. Not a lot… no one I know personally, but it was rough," she whispers. "Do you know Nalani Hollingwood? She was there… her brother died. Right in front of her." A shiver runs through her when she recalls being affected by the grieving and distraught woman's ability.

"Rami Hollingwood. I met him." Winters states, tilting his head a bit. "Never got to know him, or anything. But I remember him. So he's dead?" The way he says it, it sounds as if it doesn't really bother him. Any of it really. The only thing that seems to affect him is Veronica's state of being. When she shivers, his hand practically springs to rest soothingly on her leg. "Who attacked?"

"I don't know. Some guys, crazy people, with bombs and one had a shotgun instead of a hand," Vee murmurs quietly. "It's okay. I'm okay." She turns to look at him, pushing up the armrest that divides them, and then turning back to face forward, her head resting on his shoulder as her feet curl up on the seat. "Where are you staying? Don't go near the apartment — I think they're checking them for any possible … spies or shit, you know?" She frowns. "Do you need anything? Money? Clothing? I mean… I'm guessing you're not using your bank account and credit cards and everything…?"

"One of me is at a hotel right now. Paid for by someone else. And one is infringing on an old woman's misplaced sense of generosity." Winters explains smoothly as his arm works around her neck to secure itself around her shoulders and keep her close to him. "Money would certainly be helpful. I'm cut off. And yeah, of course I've stayed away from the apartment. So.. what are we going to do now? Just keep meeting like this in crappy movie theatres late at night?"

Veronica closes her eyes. She hasn't slept in 48 hours. "I don't know. I don't know what to do. If I leave, like resign, you know they'll wipe me. Everything I've worked on in the past few months has been restricted. And I … I'm not as optimistic as you are… how could they not catch us, Brian? With all their resources. Let's not talk about it right now. I can't think." She heaves a sigh that wracks her body and his. "I'll give you the money I have on me, and next time I can bring you more."

"You can't be wiped." He says urgently, sounding a little desparate. It took a long time to get her to actually like him, he does not want to have to fight to bring those walls down again. "They don't find everyone, Vee. Fine. We can talk about it later." He concedes, bringing up his free hand to idly brush through her hair. "I think.. I think I have a sister."

Her brows furrow and she opens her eyes to look up at him. "A sister?" she echoes. "From your… birth family?" She reaches into her pocket to pull out her wallet while she remembers, taking all but one bill out and pressing the wad of cash into his palm. "Did he… Goodman… tell you that too?" Her voice trembles slightly on the word Goodman.

"He told me she was killed when I was born. But now this girl finds me, says she's adopted, doesn't know what happened to her birth parents, and her real last name is Winters. She knew, the other me. Which it seems like everyone in this stupid city does. But yeah.. we're getting a blood test. To see if it's real. I guess if it comes out we are related then.." He gives a little shrug. "I guess that means Goodman wasn't completely full of shit right." Reluctantly and slowly he folds his hand around the cash and goes to slide it in his pocket. "I hate taking your money."

"It's just money," Vee says with a wave of her hand. "I have more than I have time to spend. Company pays us well but then what do we have to spend it on? No family, no real life, no real friends, except…" Him. Minea. Kat. The people she's lost, or thought she had lost. "Winters is a common name, though. I mean… Just because her name's Winters, and she's adopted… you'd think she wouldn't know her real last name, if they were covering their tracks." And no, not everything Goodman said was a lie. She doesn't say the last part though.

"She wasn't supposed to find it.. A friend of hers, found some list, secret list of people who had been artificially injected with powers. And I was.. That's the first thing Goodman told me after I lost my memory. That I was experimented on, and then my twin sister was experimented on. But she didn't survive the testing like I did." Brian explains. "So either that second part is a lie, or this is a huge coincidence. Well.. either way. The lab tests won't lie."

Veronica's brow furrows at the thought of testing on babies. Her prejudice against those with evolved powers weakens a bit more. "I'm sorry," she says softly. "Does the other… Brian… know about it all?" she asks quietly, peering up at him, curiously. "And be careful… who you tell, if it turns out to be true." As if she has to tell him to be careful.

"I don't know. I don't care. I'm not him. Anymore. I'm me." Brian states with confidence, moving his head over he goes to plant a kiss on the top of her head. "I think you would like her. She's a good girl. She's given me good sisterly advice already." Winters says with a little smirk. "Of course I'll be careful. But I'm already trusting you with everything, so I figure telling you is alright. Right?"

There's something so strangely normal that it feels surreal — curled up with a guy in the back of a theatre while Casablanca shows on the screen in front of them. But when they go their separate ways, she will be headed to Camp Hero, which is anything but normal. "Yeah. You can trust me," Veronica says quietly. She's good at keeping secrets. Everything is a secret these days, or so it seems.

Planting another kiss on her head, Brian leans back a bit content to just let her curl on him with his arm twisted around her. The movie he could care less about, but there's something more fascinating about it with Veronica leaning on him. A very satisfied sigh squeezes out of his lips as he silently wonders how long they could stay there until someone would ask them to leave. His hand idly combs through her hair, until finally he leans in to silently whisper. "I love you." And then leans back, continuing to run his hand through her hair, smiling dumbly at the screen.

Veronica doesn't speak, but her eyes well up with tears. Tonight, she's not the tough girl he told his might-be sister about, but a broken and scared and confused girl. The tears slip down her cheek and she turns to bury her head against his shirt, her face warm and wet against his chest. Her body trembles a little as she breathes in deeply, trying to settle her emotions.

Pressing her to himself tightly, Brian frowns for a moment. "I didn't mean to make you cry. I'm sorry." Winters says in hushed tones. "She told me to tell you that. I- I didn't know it would bother you so much. I'm sorry, Vee." The young man says softly, rubbing his hand up and down her back soothingly.

She laughs weakly, shoulders shaking a little before she lifts her tearstained face to headbutt him slightly. "It doesn't… bother me," she says with a shake of her head. She brings her hand up to wipe away her tears. "I'm just… overly tired. Over emotional. I don't normally cry at the drop of a hat." Or an 'I love you.' She leans up to kiss him lightly, her mouth tasting salty from her tears. "It's nice to hear. I … appreciate it. It's just confusing."

"Why confusing?" Brian asks mid-kiss, a little too caught up in her words to be distracted by the kiss. His hand remains on her back though he looks down at her with his own confused expression. "I don't have to say it I guess. We can be one of those modern couples that don't love each other." Winters states dryly, "I just thought.." He gives a shrug. "Whatever. I'm sorry."

Veronica chuckles and stretches out, her knees tenting over the armrest on the other side of her seat as she lies on her back, her head now in Brian's lap. She looks up at him, wet tears still clinging to her long dark lashes, but her dimples show as she smiles. "Brian. You know I'm screwed up in the head. Please don't be offended by my inability to trust and commit and be otherwise a normal girl." She says it playfully. "But you know. You were gone. You were missing. Goodman said he thought you would have talked to me… and I had to wonder why you didn't. So suddenly you're back … give me some time. You didn't really leave, but my heart doesn't know that, you know?"

"Okay." He concedes, playing with her hair some more. "Do you talk to him? Goodman? What else did he say, about me? What else did he say in general? And believe me, after following you around for months and not talking to you." A big sigh is let out. "I'm not going to abandon you again, Vee." Winters promises silently, running his finger through her hair, down her forehead, over her nose to touch her lips lightly.


Of all the things she doesn't want to talk about and more than that, is not supposed to talk about, Goodman's at the top of the list. She shakes her head. "He just asked if I'd talked to you about something he'd told you about, and I had no idea what he meant," she says. It's a half-truth, but there's enough truth in it that it doesn't sound like a lie. "You were already gone and I felt stupid," she says with a shrug of one shoulder as she looks up at him. "Brian, I don't know how to be normal."

"Hm." Brian lets out, tilting his head at her. "I don't think I do either, Vee. But we pretended like it before. We don't know how to be normal on our own, but I'm sure we can pull it off together. And fuck, even if we can't who gives a shit. We can be un-normal in a normal way." Brian says, trying to sound comforting. "And if that doesn't work, we'll just have lots of sex." Bright smile.

"Spoken like a true twenty-whatever-you-are male," Veronica tosses back, with a smirk. The final scene is playing… Here's looking at you, kid. I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship. "We'll see. Not right now… it's too tense. Too many betrayals. They'll look harder now for someone who they think has too much information. Maybe if we just bide our time. I can't promise anything, though." She frowns at that, her mirth slipping away, like her hair through his fingers.

"Oh shutup. Don't make me start making old jokes." The young man insists, smiling down at her. And she's frowning and getting sad. "God you're depressing." Brian mutters, shifting his hand under her head, he goes to pull it up so that he can kiss her deeply.

She kisses back, sitting up and leaning up into the kiss before pulling away and laughing. "You just called me depressing. That's romantic. What every girl wants to hear," she teases him. "All right. They're gonna come kick us out I think," she says, as the old couple leaves the theatre, and they're actually alone, or seemingly so, for a moment.

"Then we have a couple of minutes to make out in peace and quiet." Brian assures her with a grin, going to try and pull her up so she's fully sitting in his lap rather than just laying in it. In the process he is sure to plant a few kisses as he goes. "I'm a hopeless romantic. I'll call you depressing whenever you need a little pick me up."

Veronica's lips quirk into a smile and she wraps her arms around his neck for a tight hug. "I should get back before anyone notices I'm missing. I don't want to jeopardize you in anyway," she says, though she kisses him again. "Where are you staying? Is there a way I can reach you if I need to?" She gave him her number, but has no idea how to communicate if she needs him.

"Piece of Cake Bakery." Brian says soundly, giving a little nod of his head. He smiles as she kisses him again, going to return the favor. "You look beautiful. By the way." With that, his arms slide around her back and her legs as he goes to stand, easily supporting her weight. Leaning in with a big grin, he plants one final little peck before letting her down to her feet. "Talk to you soon. I'll miss you." He says in a puppy dog sort of way with a relatively goofy smile plastered on his lips.

She catches his hand in hers for a final squeeze. "I'll miss you, too," she says. It's a strange truth, as once upon a time she was irritated at having the "replicate" for a partner. She wipes her face once more to be sure no more tears linger there, before slipping out of the row, down the aisle, and out of the theatre.

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