Armageddon It, Are You Getting It?


edgar_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif ling_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif russo_icon.gif

Scene Title Armageddon It, Are You Getting It?
Synopsis Melissa's choice of movies is fairly tragic considering the news she just delivered. Five words or less? She's not allowed to go. Another five words or less? Kendall ruins the moment.
Date September 28, 2010

Little Green House

This house is set back from the street slightly. A stone wall, made of black stone largely covered by dark green ivy, separates the tiny front yard from the street, though it's more a retaining wall than a wall meant for privacy. A small black iron gate does a pitiful job of blocking the stairs that lead to the walkway that leads up to the small porch, one which is accessible by two small sets of steps on opposite sides. The back yard is much larger than the front, and is fenced in, though the fence needs repair in a number of places. It's largely grass, though there are a few medium sized trees which provide shade. At one point it looks like part of the yard was a garden, but it's long since grown over and been claimed by weeds. From the back yard it's possible to see the harbor.

The house itself is largely a gray-green with white trim, and looks to be at least several decades old, and a century wouldn't be out of the question. It's two stories, though there are windows which seem to belong to an attic. The house as a whole has seen better days, though it looks like it's structurally intact. At least for the most part.

It's been a very full twenty-four hours for Melissa Pierce. Plans to turn into an astronaut, spending the night in Manhattan thanks to curfew, then coming home to a visitor in her backyard. And now Russo is passed out, and Mel is downstairs, sitting on the couch, barefoot and tipsy, contemplating the DVD of Armageddon in her hands. She sighs softly, then leans back and shouts towards the stairs. "Anyone who's here, get your butts down here will ya?"

From his bedroom up in the attic, it's hard for Edgar to hear the bellowing of the little blonde in the living room. It's about five or ten minutes later, when in search for something to eat, he actually comes down. Oddly enough, he's not wearing or carrying anything weird. No tampons up the nose, no journal in hand, no handheld game system that's been liberated from the dead turned alive… He's just Edgar Normal.

Hands in the pockets of his polyester pinstripes, he's dressed to impress, maybe he has a date. His black t-shirt has a few bleach stains on it from where he tried to do his own laundry. It wasn't a good day for Melissa, having to come home to a house full of suds when he put the dish soap into the washing machine because he couldn't figure out the measurements to the laundry detergent.

Ling isn't far behind Edgar, looking similarly dressed to impress - if one didn't know better, they might think the two are going out together. Such is not the case, however, if any thing it simply spears to be Ling being Ling. The Chinese woman arrives into the downstairs with a questioning look flashed at Melissa. "What in the world is so important that you need to shout?" she inquires, arms folding across her chest. She should be used to this by now, or at least one would this. Still, even then Ling doesn't entirely enjoy being interrupted out of typing up a new resume by shouting from on yonder.

Kendall heard Melissa's call, heard people going downstairs. Hehehe. Checking his reflection in the mirror, he smiles and starts going down as well, evilly laughing to himself. Halloween is coming up soon! Gotta get his scaring started. He's wearing a button-down shirt, unbuttoned save for two right in the middle of his chest, with the sleeves rolled up. As he becomes visible to those downstairs, he has a very serious, maybe even worried expression on his face. "Hey, Melissa… there wouldn't happen to be any, uh… side effects to being brought back to life through temporal intervention, would there?" He glances about and sees others present as well. Hehehe. Wait, who's that? Edgar's eyed suspiciously. Maybe he's the carnie Melissa mentioned.

She will not mention the suds. No she won't. Melissa will bite her tongue and behave, because there are more important things to discuss! Ling's question though, does her her lips twitching, and she can't fully suppress a snicker. "Oh, nothing in the world," she mutters softly. Then Kendall's worried question has her darting to her feet and looking worried herself. "What? Side effects? There aren't any side effects. I'm fine. You never actually died. What's wrong?" she rambles.

Kendall's suspicious eyebrow is returned with one of Edgar's own and the carnie just moves toward the kitchen. "'Oo yelled? I din't 'ear no yellin'." The kitchen gets a fresh trail of black footprints as he trudges through opening almost every cupboard and drawer, even the fridge as he searches for something palatable.

After leaving little Family Circus footprints all over her freshly cleaned floor, the carnie returns with a banana. It's not what he was looking for, he wanted a poptart, but it's possible that someone took the last one in the box. Or it could have been Edgar himself and just accidentally left the empty box in the cupboard. He does it all the time with the milk and orange juice.

Ling sighs, rolling her eyes at Melissa. "If it is nothing of any importance, you know that I prefer to be called, and-" she stops when Kendall mentions side effects of having been mucking about in time, and Ling immediately clams up, attention turned over to Kendall. "Out with it," she says sternly - and curiously, as if she wants this information for herself, more than she's worried about Kendall.

Ok then. "Well, I didn't want to say anything before, because I thought it'd fade after a while like my illusions tend to do, but it didn't, so…" after that moment of dithering, he unbuttons his shirt and opens it, revealing… a bullet hole in his chest, exactly where Melissa remembers him getting shot. "I mean, it's not bleeding or anything, and it doesn't hurt, it's just well… kinda freaky. Maybe I'm a zombie." pause. "Except eating brains sounds kinda gross, so I guess not?" now, let's see their reactions!

"I yelled. And it's important, just not in the world," Melissa says absently to Edgar and Ling. Then Kendall's showing off the bullet hole and she looks, for a moment, like she'll either scream or faint. "Kendall…that's not possible. You weren't actually shot, remember? It was an illusion. Is it…just…like…I don't know. But you're not a zombie. You can't be a zombie. Time travel doesn't make you a zombie!"

Peeling the banana, Edgar calmly stalks over to the boy and pokes at the bullet wound with one dirty finger. He goes so far as to actually try to stick his finger into it. "Y'know, one o' them nose plugs'll stop tha' right up." His limey accent is a little on the nonchalant side as he prods and flicks on the bullet hole like it was a bandaid.

"Y'know, they go' fake vomi' an' dog crap… I be' she'd 'ave a kitten if she though' 'er dog laid one ou' on the sofa."

Ling's eyes don't deviate from looking down at Kendall as he shows off his supposed bullet wound, at least not until Edgar starts prodding at it, something has her recoil back a bit, looking disgusted and maybe a little pale. The mention of dog crap on the sofa doesn't help. "You are disgusting," she intones somewhat darkly, before glancing back down at Kendall.

Kendall actually predicted something like this to happen, and might even have done it himself for authenticity. Edgar's finger actually goes into the hole, up to three inches into Kendall's chest if he pokes that much. Edgar will feel squishy skin and fractured bone fragments. And no, flicking at the bullet hole doesn't make it go away. He's nothing if not thorough. "…that doesn't look very sanitary." Kendall complains. "Could you at least wash your hands first before you do that?" he eyeshifts at Ling and Melissa. "So… what do I do, then? Just pretend it's not there?"

Edgar gets a dirty look, then Melissa looks back to Kendall, concerned and heading closer so she can examine the wound. She's had enough of them that she feels like she should try to do something. "I don't understand how it happened though. But I guess we should bandage it. I'll go get my first aid kid," she says, brow furrowed. She's honestly upset, very upset, about this.

Pulling the finger from the wound, Edgar recoils a bit and drops the banana on the carpet as he spies the blood. "Oh no… 'ang on! I go' this!" The blur and displaced air of his wake has a few loose papers following him up the stairs. In an instant he's back… with a tampon and unwrapping it. "Okay 'old still… I'ma pu' this inni'"

If Ling looked pale before, now she looks like she's going to be sick, and immediately she's turning away from Edgar and Kendall, making her way back towards Melissa. "I am going to teh Kitchen, someone please let me know when this is over." She's not going to actually get sick, but if she stays near that any long, it's pretty much inevitable.

As soon as Kendall sees the tampon, he slaps his hand over the bullet hole in his chest. "What the hell. Get away from me with that!" guys aren't supposed to handle tampons! It's girl stuff! Girls put it in their, uh… y'know. And they're all gross and stuff.

"He knows what it is. I've told him," Melissa says absently as she moves into the other room to retrieve the first aid kit, returning a minute later and opening it up. "Sit down so I can clean it and bandage it. Ling? Don't go anywhere. I've got something I need to tell you guys. It's big. Very big. And Kendall, because you even think of saying anything, no, you can't go."

"'Ang on, calm down!" Edgar practically yells as he attempts to flip the boy on his back and plug the tampon into the wound. "We'll ge' this in there 'an I'll ge' you to sum'one tha' can fix it up propeh." Sucking chest wounds are nothing to joke about as far as Edgar's concerned. From his experience when he was shot multiple times before they'd caught up to him and sentenced him to life in Moab, the man is very careful. He won't risk Melissa losing him twice. Even if he has to kill Kendall with a tampon while trying to keep him alive. "Stop yer squirmin'… Got teh… Ge' this… In…"

When Edgar grabs Kendall and flips him back, Kendall has to do a little improv with his illusions. What Edgar grabs isn't actually Kendall, although he feels real enough. No, the improv is making it so that the real Kendall doesn't actually get moved, he steps back away from the illusion while keeping it going. And if Edgar actually tries sticking a tampon in the bullet hole, that Kendall disappears and the real one reappears a few feet away, sans bullet hole and looking annoyed as he hastily buttons up his shirt. "What the hell, dude." ya ruined his prank! "So anyway, what are you talking about?" he asks Melissa. "Doing something dangerous again?"

When the illusion disappears, Melissa blinks, then slowly looks over to Kendall. He might be reminded of the look on her face when she picked him up from the holding room of Vegas Corinthian. Except this is worse. "Kendall…You might not want to talk for a little while. You should sit your ass down and remember that until Thursday, I'd been mourning you for a fucking month. This…was not funny," she says, voice perfectly calm, though it's clear that's a trial. "Once everyone is in here, I'll tell you what I'm talking about. But I swear, you do anything like this again, and I will literally kick your ass."

One thing that does end up happening is that the banana gets squished into the carpet when Edgar kneels down on it while trying to stuff the tampon into the chest of the illusion. When Kendall disappears there's a look of confusion on the carnie's face akin to a dog facing an unfamiliar scent. The man scrambles around for a second, thinking that he actually killed the boy. Turning to look behind his shoulder when the illusionist speaks, Edgar growls and rises to a stand. The banana squished between his knee and the carpet drops back to the floor before Edgar stomps up the stairs.

Ling has been hanging at the entrance to the kitchen out of sight, only returning when it's made clear that Kendall has been screwing with the three of them. Her arms are crossed across her chest as she steps back into view, staring hard at Kendall. "Perhaps next time, you should use some tact before making use of your tricks." That's the Ling Kendall's known at least. "And if you choose not to, at least make it something far less… disgusting." That bit is more of a request than anything else.

Kendall shoves his hands in his pockets and looks off to the side. "Just getting some practice in, Halloween's only a month away." he replies, although it's kinda quiet. Well, now that it's done, he does feel guilty. "Just a joke." he mutters. ok, he'll go sit down and be quiet now.

"Edgar, you're gonna want to hear this," Melissa says, dropping the first aid kit on the coffee table and grabbing some paper towels and a rag so she can clean up the banana. As she starts to work on that, she begins to talk. "In about two weeks I'm going to be gone for a couple days. It's non-negotiable, and Kendall is not coming with me. He can't." She glances up, and around at the faces of the family she's made for herself.

"I'm going into space. To take out some Institute satellites."

The floor creaks as a certain house guest literally stumbles down the stairs. He's not so drunk anymore, instead he's painfully hungover. With a palm pressed tightly to his forehead, he allows his other hand to guide him down the stairwell — sliding along the wall for balance, he's been there long enough to hear Melissa's words. Russo groans with each step, each movement staccato'ing his already forming headache. He groans louder, murmuring some expletive under his breath — immediately bringing a flush to his cheeks.

His eyes resist against the light, narrowing to let less in. More than anything he wants to drink some more, instead he shoots Melissa and her roommates a lopsided smile, complete with puffy, bloodshot grey-blue eyes, "Hi." There's a small pause as his gaze shifts between them. All-in-all his appearance is in complete disarray. His ripped work jeans are still half-caked in mud, his shirt is askew against his frame, and his hair is tousled.

He'd heard the announcement from his perch at the top of the stairs yet he's not entirely sure it actually happened. Not yet, anyways. Maybe he drank more than he thought he did and so, staring at her only one questions comes out, "What?"

"Space? Wha' you wan' teh do tha' for?" Edgar intones fairly loudly after Russo's little stumble down the stairs. He's dressed in a new pair of pinstriped polyester pants, these ones a glaring red color with thick yellow stripes. They don't match his black shirt and he pretty much glares at Kendall the entire time he makes his reappearance. "You go' a lot teh learn 'bout wha's funny boy." At this point, Kendall's placed himself on the same rung as another teenage boy that Edgar's been acquainted with.

Settling himself in one of the easy chairs, he stretches his legs out and gives a forlorn glance toward the place his banana was laid to rest. Poor little thing, it never had a chance. Turning back to Melissa, his eyebrows furrow together roughly and he purses his lips into a displeased thin line. "You can't go nowhere it'ain' safe. I know you're a tough lady, bu' there's jus' some things a lady shouldn' do. 'Ow're you goin'teh wear a frilly skir' in space? It'll floa' all o'er an' you'll be showin' yer knickers n' bits teh e'eryone."

Ling peers at Melissa, her concerns and agitations with Kendall momentarily forgotten. "Into Space?" she responds incredulously. "And who is planning this? Peter, or Rupert?" Russo entrance is regarded with suspicion, Ling having already spoke too much to take it back. "I know you want to put it to the Institute as much as the rest of us, Melissa, but I believe this might be a bit much."

Kendall blinkblinks at Melissa. "You're going into SPACE?!" he exclaims, leaping to his feet. "Not fair!" Kendall totally wanted to be an astronaut at some point in his adolescence even if it never stuck. And then ANOTHER stranger is in the room, and Kendall frowns. Too many people he doesn't know. Out comes the ring from his pocket, and onto his finger it goes. Aww, Kendall's shy. Also vanishing from sight. He's more than likely still there, though.

Hearing Russo's voice, Melissa winces. "You…weren't supposed to hear that." And mentally she's running through just about every curse she knows, in both English and Mandarin. And they're just not enough. "Brad, meet Ling, Kendall and Edgar. Guys, meet Brad Russo. And Brad…if we're friends at all, you'll keep what you hear here a secret. Because it could get me in serious trouble." Beat. "If not killed. Can I trust you to keep it all to yourself?"

Arching a brow at Edgar, she asks, "Why shouldn't a lady go into space? There have been several women astronauts. Like that teacher chick." Of course she got blown up when her shuttle went boom, but no reason to point that out. "And no, it has nothing to do with Peter or Rupert." But she's not going to share whose idea it was right now. Brad isn't in the loop, after all. Of course, she's waiting on his agreement to be shhh before giving any details.

Kendall, however, gets a hard look. And when he vanishes, she gives that look to the space he just occupied. "Kendall Cunningham, stop acting like a kid and take the ring off. You can't go into space. It's not as simple as boarding a shuttle and flying around. And like I just said, I've lost you once. I won't do it a second time. So sit down, shut up, and ditch the ring!" Oooh, she brought out the mom tone.

There's a shocked gape at the presence of the strangers, the words, and the random notion of Melissa being killed. He combs a hand through his already messy hair, furrowing his eyebrow further. If anyone ever wanted to punk him, this would be how. His practical joker sensibilities keep him staring at the others blankly, unsure how to make heads or tails of this situation.

Finally, through the advice of Mary Poppins, he clamps his mouth shut, if only to stop looking like a cod fish. His eyes stare where Kendall used to be before trailing back to Melissa. Finally, shoving his hands into his pockets he manages another word, "What?"

When Kendall disappears, Edgar's link between him and the other boy just grows a bit stronger and that puts him on a bit of an edge. His eyes flit around the room, looking for the invisible boy before flickering quickly between Melissa, Ling, Russo, the place where Kendall disappeared, back to Russo, and then finally back at Melissa. "There's jokes made abou' tha' teacher sum'then abou' findin' 'er shampoo on a beach. Why're you goin' up? Why no' a real astronau'? Or sum'one 'oo don' 'ave people teh take care of?"

He's not talking about himself of course, he's talking about Kendall. Maybe himself just a little. Probably more Russo though, since he did come down from upstairs and although it's possible he came from one of the other bedrooms, it's likelier that it was from Melissa's room. With a curious expression, he turns toward Russo and raises his eyebrows, "You see tha' stuffed animal?"

Ling stares at Russo, also unwilling to share much more in her presence, regardless of any promises to keep his mouth shut - it's just not in her nature to want to speak out someone who isn't in the know. So instead she simply looks over to Melissa and shakes her head. "I think what you suggest sounds crazy," she remarks simply, pacing over towards the couch.

Kendall pulls off the ring, although that just reveals a sulky expression. "Yes, Mom." ooh, he's being bratty now! "Still not fair." he mutters. "WHY are you going into space?" Russo is eyed suspiciously. "And who the hell is that?" rude.

Kendall gets a glare, then Melissa says, "I just told you. His name is Brad Russo. He's a friend of mine." She looks back to Russo. "Can you promise? I'd really hate to have to kick you out all things considered." A glance to Edgar has her brows lifting. "How do you know about the stuffed animal? And I'll explain everything in a minute."

Fortunately enough time has elapsed for Brad to reanimate and regain some measure of hungover composure, "Is this seriously happening?" His face scrunches into a nearly indiscernible scowl, used more to block the light from his eyes in a squinty way then to actually share any open emotion. "What stuffed animal…?" He leans against the wall, still gaping at Melissa again. A vague glance is given up the stairs. "How much did I drink?" And is he still drunk? He needs to stop going on these benders.

But watching everyone else's expressions clues him in a little more, "Fine. I promise. Who would I tell anyone?" The question bears irony with it as he clues in; he has a captive audience if he wants it. "Right. Yeah… I won't say a word to my producer."

"Uhm… Stuffed animal? I dunno wha' you're talking abou' Melissa." The innocent expression that accompanies Edgar's confused question and denial of something he just brought up is so convincing that he might as well be a professional. In another lifetime, he might have been. The carnie remains quiet for a while though, simply waiting for his house mate to spill her guts. His hand brushes over his polyester striped pants, pulling little pills off of them.

He winces at one point when one of the pills is still attached to some elastic in the pants, creating a run. Another pair of pants ruined…

"Or anyone else?" who knows why Kendall suddenly took a disliking to Russo. Must be the fact that he's a stranger? He frowns at the man, suddenly acting all protective. Of Melissa?

The question from Russo has Melissa arching a brow, but when he clarifies she nods. "Okay, here's the deal. There are some satellites in orbit. They're able to track any and all evolved anywhere on the planet. And the Institute now controls them, though they can't get access to them. Yet. But if they do, then they'll be able to pick and choose who they grab for their next experiments. It could even be one of us. I'm going up to make sure that they can't use the satellites like that." Beat. "To protect all of you."

She looks to Edgar. "Someone else might be able to go up, but no one else volunteered." At least not enough. "And I may have people to take care of, but, whether you realized or not — and I didn't until just a few minutes ago — we're not roommates here. We're family. I know that if something did happen to me, that you guys would take care of Kendall. But if I don't do this, then we risk one or all of us being grabbed to be turned into a lab rat or a monster."

"I can't let that happen."

"Wait…" Brad's eyes narrow; he's very behind on exactly what Melissa is talking about. He holds up a single hand, physically showing that he's unarmed here, but in more ways than one. First, he's non-evolved, and second, he's wholly unclear as to what's going on. "The Institute is running experiments on evolveds without the consent?" Oh Brad. So young, so naive. "But that's illegal… who's behind this? They can't do that legally, it's not enacted in law, hasn't passed parliament… there's got be more conventional means to fight this then flying into space and taking out some satellites…" His eyebrows knit together tightly.

"Propeh channels take time, friend, time mos' of us don' 'ave." With a surly glance to Kendall, Edgar's expression softens as he stares at the boy. For Melissa, he'll let him be… Maybe he can teach him the same things he was taught as a boy. Nothing like a little knife throwing to get the blood pumping.

"Y'don' 'ave teh worry, Melissa… We'll be 'ere when yeh ge' back. The boy n' I'll keep the 'ouse righ' as rain." Those words coming from Edgar's lips are exactly like telling a child that there's a bogeyman in the closet. Without thought, the carnie can put the entire house into a disarray. Without Melissa there to clean up after him, what will it be like when she gets back?

The naive comments have Melissa staring at Brad, giving him an are you serious look. "Brad, dear. The government locked evolveds in a prison, often with no reason other than because they were evolved. I should know. I was one of them." She gives Edgar an uncertain look, and glances to where the banana was. "Uh…just keep Kendall safe and we're good. And yes Kendall, I'm sure. And if he destroys the house he'll rebuild it."

"But there are other ways to bring these things to light. The key reason why things happen is because people don't know about it. Honestly, humanize a problem and people pay attention…" Brad's gaze flits to the wall, it's easier to talk to the wall. "Worldwide people die of starvation everyday. Meanwhile, the news does a segment on some cat stuck in a tree and it's the huge problem. Why? Because it has a face. Because they can see the problem and identify with it."

When Melissa starts talking about the prison, Edgar's hand instinctively reaches to touch two fingers to the scar on his neck. His eyes drift over to the petite blonde before he lowers then to the floor. His mood is quite mellowed, it's possible that even Kendall's antics couldn't bring them up again. "'Ow 'bou' we jus' watch the movie an' talk abou' this when y'ge' back from the moon, eh?"

Kendall looks at Russo. "Even bringing attention to something doesn't mean something will be done about it." he points out. "Or bringing attention to something would bring the wrong consequences. Look at what happened with the Evolved, we're being treated like Jews in WWII. We just haven't had to get tattoos."

Melissa sighs softly and shakes her head to Brad. "People have tried, Brad. More than once. Why do you think I got so heated when we were talking about this being a second holocaust? It wasn't because people listened." She gets up, moving to put the DVD in the player and turn the TV on. "Brad, you're welcome to stay and watch the movie. It's appropriately themed. So everyone sit down, shut up, and I'll go grab popcorn and some drinks. Who wants what?"

"There's always more that can be done," Brad counters with a heavy sigh. He's arguing a losing argument, so before long he's shuffling to settle in to watch the movie. "Thanks Missy, but I'm not hungry." Too hungover and now distraught to eat. After he sits his arms are hugged over his chest, tightly held against him, but there's nothing else to say.

Edgar keeps quiet for the most part while the opening credits of the movie play, he's got a few of the throw pillows that Melissa keeps on the couch stuffed around him and he's hugging one of them. Staring at the screen, his eyes widen as he watches the astronaut trying to manipulate the satellite, then he glances toward Melissa, then the first meteor hit, another look to Melissa, then the astronaut's visor is ripped apart. Edgar's eyes grow even wider as the shuttle itself is torn apart and then explodes in front of his eyes.

He's blinking rapidly, too rapidly for most of the people in the living room to even notice. What they can notice are the long sniffles every once in a while, just before his voice cracks. "This some sick sorta joke yer playin' Melissa?" He clears his throat to stop sounding like a prepubescent teen and then tries to talk again, "'Cause this ain' makin' me feel no be'er 'bout your goin'. I'm tempted teh tie you up an keep you a' 'ome."

Kendall eyes the movie, then eyes Melissa. "…so, you're going into space, according to you, and you're watching this movie? Why not Apollo 13 too while you're at it?" he asks her with a frown. Then he catches sight of Edgar and rolls his eyes.

Melissa settles herself on the couch to watch, and doesn't seem at all phased by the meteors. "Relax guys. I'm not going up there to fight asteroids or anything. And this was the first space movie I thought of. And it's better than Apollo Thirteen which was worse. But if you guys want I can shut it off and watch it later, by myself."

Brad turns his head to watch Melissa. "This… probably wasn't the best choice." He swallows hard. He's seen this before. And there's something that eats at his insides at the notion of a father figure actually doing something touching. Benjamin. From Primatech. His lips purse as he rubs at his own eyes. He'd argue for allergies. Clearing his throat, he manages to croak, "You shouldn't go." Plain and simple.

Kendall may not be man enough to get in touch with his feelings, but Edgar has no qualms about it. There's a woman that he considers family going to face almost certain death and there's nothing he can do to protect her from it aside from betraying her trust. It's a burden, a very heavy one. On screen, the families and friends are saying goodbye to each other and one of the pillows is lifted by the carnie and rubbed into his face. Sorry Melissa, the satin covering on that one can now be called a snottin covering.

Kendall is man enough that he doesn't need to. "How about Galaxy Quest then?" Kendall suggests. "After all, it has a reasonably happy ending." well yeah, but it also involves getting kidnapped by aliens.

The remote is picked up, the movie stopped, and Melissa waves a hand to Kendall. "You know where the movies are. Toss it in." She looks at Edgar, patting his shoulder lightly. "It's not that sad a movie. And you're replacing that pillow, hon." She hesitates before she looks to Brad. "I have to, Brad. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't and someone I care about got taken."

Brad just hmmms in response. Once again, he just digs his heels into his position in an odd silence, his headache preventing any true argument from formulating. With a loud sniff, he tightens his jaw as he presses his palms into his thighs, pushing himself into a standing position. "I should go, maybe." He lingers a moment, glancing at Edgar, Kendall, Ling, and Melissa in turn. "Thanks for letting me crash." He points upwards before shuffling towards the door.

Edgar also stands and tosses the snottin covered pillow back onto the chair. Melissa's order for a new one? He looks at it, then her, then reaches down to turn the pillow over, pressing the snot into the chair. "You'll ge' a new one when you ge' back. No before. "G'nigh'… I'm goin' teh find Lydia or Smed. I think I need teh ge' my mind off'eh all this death." He leads the way toward the door, not shy about wiping his eyes as he reaches for the doorknob.

"Eh." Kendall shrugs and starts towards the stairs. He's got video games he can play, and the mood just died.

Melissa blinks and glances at all three who are departing, and she sighs, slumping down on the couch. She doesn't even say anything about the snow pillow. "Fine. Everyone leave. Didn't want the company anyway," she mutters to herself, arms folding over her chest.

From where Ling stands, having remains silent since Brad's entrance, she rolls her eyes and shakes her head. "I will stay," she remarks, if a little begrudgingly. "Let me get my laptop, and I shall be right back."

As everyone else but Ling disappears, Brad freezes in place, that distinct aw geez expression spreading across his face, her words causing him to linger just a little longer. "Look Missy, I appreciate what you did for me today. I do. That was… I think…" His eyebrows furrow tightly together. "It was amazing. I haven't… I don't… " Uncomfortably he runs a hand through his hair as he emits a soft chuckle followed by a shake of his head. The smile turns sheepish as he shakes his head again.

"Of course. Though why do you need your laptop?" Melissa asks curiously. Then she looks back to Brad, head tilting. "I'm just sorry it ended up being worse for you than expected. And I'm pretty sure I know something about Primatech, too, just can't figure out from where just yet." She pauses, glancing around to make sure Kendall and Edgar are really gone. "You never did answer me earlier. About whether you thought our date was a real date or not," she whispers towards him.

"I was working on a new resume. As much of one as I can manage," Ling replies as she turns back towards the steps. "After all, you heard what was said to me at d'Sarthe's. I have no intention of sitting around teh house all day long than I need to, I'm afraid." And with that, Ling is headed back up stairs.

"I'll get my producer to look into it too. Tell her its for a lead I'm chasing or something." A wry glance is given towards Ling before Brad's gaze turns to his feet. His sheepish smile peeks out, even as he stares at the floor. His cheeks flush slightly, try as he might to hide it. When Ling disappears to get her laptop, however, he takes a single step forward, his gaze still turned downward. "It was as real as you and me," he whispers softly, his lips twitching with emotion into a near-smile.

"Resume? What? But what about Tartarus?" Melissa asks, straightening and frowning towards the stairs. She goes still then, glancing back at Russo, head slowly tilting as she blinks a few times at him. Mouth opens, closes, she frowns, tries to speak again, stops. "I…am not quite sure what you mean by that," she admits, sounding apologetic and confused.

Brad stifles another chuckle and shakes his head, while his gaze turns downward again, "Neither am I." The admission is punctuated with another sheepish green. With that, he takes a step back, a slow shuffle away, only to freeze mid-step. "I just… reality is subjective experience." And then, to clarify his own subjectivity, "It felt real to me. I… worked on your garden because I thought… look… I wouldn't do that if…" His smile strains, "And when I walked you to the door… at the door — " he cuts himself off.

There's a minute of thought, then Melissa smiles. "Yeah, guess it did. And the gardening thing surprised me, but in a good way." There's a long pause. "You didn't give me a good bye kiss at the door though, remember? Tsk, tsk on you." Another, longer pause, glancing towards the stairs to check and see if Ling's returning. "I'm not sure I'm a good bet though, Brad. I mean, there's always something going on. My life is seriously insane." And too lonely. "And with you having already lost one…your fiance, not sure it would be fair to you."

"I wanted to. At the door. I… I was inspired to leap." Brad forces another smile and issues her a shrug. "I lost everything. Everything. All at once." His lips press together as he shakes his head. "I'm damaged. My mother lied to me my whole life and she went up in flames with the only other woman I ever cared about, leaving me with nothing but more questions, a chip on my shoulder… and… other problems." Addictions issues. He swallows hard. "If anyone is the bad bet here, I'm afraid it's me, Missy." He opens his palms in a what you gonna do about it? motion.

The smile fades into a more sympathetic one as Melissa nods. "Yeah…that wasn't fair of your mom. I'll help you with that. I've got…sources of my own I can tap about primatech and Ryans's working there. We'll find him, if you want to meet him." Fingers tap lightly on her knee and she glances again towards the stairs. If Ling showed up right now, Melissa would sink into the couch. Or blush. And she never blushes. But…"You should've taken the leap," she says softly as she glances back to Brad. "Because trust me, your issues? Totally workable." What's a little surprise dad compared to terrorism after all?

"So I take it you two had a little fling, huh?" Kendall asks as he pulls off his ring, revealing him sitting quite comfortably on a nearby recliner not too far away from the two. When did he get there?! At least he's focusing on that rather than the angst.

While she speaks he's stepping closer towards her, closing that distance between them. At the notion of taking the leap, Brad leans towards her like he's going to kiss her, but is quickly interrupted by Kendall's voice breaking into his actions. He shoots Melissa another sheepish smile as his cheeks flush a bright red. He takes a quick step back. He glances back at Kendall, his smile tightening. "Maybe I should go…"

Kisses are nice. Kisses are good, and Melissa isn't going to turn down this one. She's tilting her face up and temporarily forgetting about Ling's impending return, then…"Goddammit Kendall!" She snatches at Russo's sleeve to try to keep him from leaving as she turns a glare onto Kendall. "Since when do you eavesdrop, and it's none of your business, especially since you just kept me from getting the only action I've seen in months! You…you…" She makes a strangled sound, and poor Kendall gets a sharp, but quick, burst of pain towards his backside. A psychic kick in the ass. A bad one.

Yoik, that hurt! Kendall leaps up and surreptitiously rubs his butt. "Just making sure no one's taking advantage of you." he mutters, and slinks off.

Just as Kendall turns to leave, Ling's reappearing with her laptop under her arms and the charger in her hard and a confused look on her face - all she heard of the previous outburst was "goddamnit kendall" and something about action. Otherwise, she seems entirely unaware of the preceding events, gaze centered on Melissa. "A resume is simply a nice tool to have, she states. "Not to mention that I have no issues with working multiple jobs. I will not be needed at Tartarus at all times, I imagine." She pauses after taking a few steps, looking between the three people in the room, still looking confused.

The pull at his sleeve keeps Brad there, his cheeks flushing brighter as Ling steps into the room. Embarrassment is the rule of the day. He nods at Ling's explanation though, "Yes. Resumes are good." He nods at this fact, his discomfort growing by the minute. "I… I'm sorry," he murmurs quietly to Melissa.

"You have nothing to apologize for," Melissa assures Brad, before looking at Kendall, arching a brow. "Kendall. With my ability, who could take advantage of me? And okay, point. I'm hardly one to bitch about multiple jobs. Speaking of, you gonna come to the ball? Both of you?" she says, looking between her and Russo. She already knows Kendall's going.

Ling's eyes narrow at Melissa and Russo, the Chinese woman considering for a moment. "I am not sure. A large costume ball is not something I am entirely comfortable with, I'm afraid. We'll see though. Perhaps I can show up and help run things, if nothing else." Another look is offered over to Russo before she starts towards the couch.

"I… don't know yet," Russo replies with a lopsided smile. "Maybe? I don't think… I don't think I'd know what to do…" His cheeks flush again. "What are you dressing as?" He glances at Ling, also engaging her with the question.

"Well you could wear a mask so you could just relax," Melissa suggests to Ling. "Actually, masks are required. It's part of the thing." She looks back to Russo. "It's this black gown with a Venetian style headress and mask. Actually a video game character from Diablo Three called Mistress of Pain. Found that out after I picked out the costume though," she says, looking back to Ling and grinning.

"I'm afraid I don't know," Ling replies dryly to Russo, rolling her shoulders in a shrug. "I am not the costume type. If I do dress up, it will likely be a simple mask or something of the like. Nothing terribly ornate." She looks back to Melissa, giving a bit of a nod.

"Sounds… adventurous. I'll see if I can make it… if I can I'll be there," a glance is given to both of the women before he's taking a step back again. "I should head out. Work tomorrow and… a hangover to sleep off tonight." He gives the both a small shrug and lopsided smile as he begins to tread to the door with slow heavy steps.

"Nothing wrong with a simple mask," Melissa says, shrugging to Ling. She nods to Brad then and smiles. "See you soon I'm sure. I mean, you gotta finish making my backyard look pretty, right?"
Kendall has disconnected.

Ling gives a bit of a nod to Russo as he announces his need to depart, moving to set her computer and charger down. "«Adventerous is one word for it,» Ling replies in Mandarin, most of which Melissa should be able to understand - a fact that has escaped Ling's mind. "I should hope not. It certainly conforms to the rules," Ling replies to Melissa dryly.

"Yeah. I'll be back. I have a love of gardens," Russo shoots her another smile, broader this time, and a little easier than before. "Take care guys." That said, he disappears from the house. Once outside, he extracts his cellphone from his pocket, "Hey, K. It's Brad calling. Look… I need you to do some research for me, it's a lead on a story." He lies to her voicemail. "Primatech paper… see what you can find out about them. Thanks…"

Melissa lifts a hand to wave to Russo as he heads out, then looks to Ling curiously. "What's another word for it then?" she asks, propping her feet up on the coffee table.

Ling looks like she's been caught with both of her hands in the cookie jar when Melissa poses that question to her. Of all things she's forgotten lately, it's that she's been teaching Melissa her native language. "Silly. Unusual. Bizzare." Her responses are quick and nonchalant. "Those don't have t be bad things," she adds as a cautious note at the end, though it is ambiguous as to if she believes this herself.

Melissa's lips twitch. "I know you're really not that into the idea. It's okay. Not everyone is. But I need a bit of fantasy, something to just help me…unwind a little after everything. I think this could help, even if it is work too."

Ling gives a shallow nod as she takes her seat, pulling her laptop over into her lap - and the promptly standing back up when she realizes she forgot to plug it in. "It's fine," Ling replies with a shake of her head. "I will come and… attempt to enjoy myself. The more I see how how the club works, the better, after all."

"That's all I ask," Melissa says with a smile. "On a more serious note…The name Primatech paper ring any bells for you? I know I know it, but can't place where I know it from. It's driving me nuts."

"I'm afraid not," Ling is quick to reply as she takes her seat back on the couch, looking over at Melissa. "I can't say taht I've heard it that I can recall off hand." A pause, and she turns her computer to face Melissa. "Have you checked the internet at all?"

"Not yet. I haven't had the chance. Just heard the name this morning, and I've been pretty damn busy most of the day," Melissa admits. "Might ask…" Who would she ask? "I don't know. I'd say Abby, but sort of mad at her right now."

"Perhaps it has something to do with certain… events," Ling replies, pointing to her head in a somewhat subtle motion. "I can look into it, if you would like. I am to see Richard soon, I can see if it means anything to him."

"Mmm. Yeah, I guess. Don't mention me. I don't think he's too happy with me. He's against the whole space shuttle theft thing," Melissa says with a faint grimace. "Cat though, she might know. Rebel suggested I talk to her anyway." Which makes her frown.

Cat. That name sounds somewhat familiar to Ling, but only as a nagging feeling in the back of her mind, one she quickly forces away. "Rebel did?" she replies with a suspicious look, frowning a bit. "Perhaps I should go with you, just in case this is some sort of trap. At least then someone knows." Paranoid? A little.

"Not sure it's a trap. One, Cat's Ferry, two, we were both at Rebel's meeting last night. Three…well, three is just if something else goes wrong right now, I may well lose it, and fate can't be that harsh," Melissa mutters, shrugging. "But company's welcome. Very welcome."

The Ferry is a nebulous thing Ling still hasn't heard too terribly much about, and frankly doesn't particularly care to. The fact that Melissa seems to think that this associations is trustworthy enough is enough to satiate Ling, at least for the moment. "I will come, then. Perhaps she is someone who can answer questions on our other problems."

"Who knows. If anyone can, she very well might." Melissa says as she rises to her feet. "And now, I think I'm gonna go jump in the shower and head to bed. I'll see you tomorrow though."

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