Around The Dinner Table


devon2_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif perry_icon.gif valerie_icon.gif

Scene Title Around the Dinner Table
Synopsis Dinner is finally arranged for Melissa, her adoptive family, and a +1. And it has to start off with Serious Business.
Date April 8, 2011

Morningside Heights: Perry's Apartment

Melissa has been driving everyone in the apartment crazy all day. There's the usual activity to be expected with her inviting people to dinner, especially since she's meeting Kendall's girlfriend for the first time; the cleaning, the arranging, the dealing with dinner, pausing to feed or change Junie.

But there's some unusual activity too. Occasionally she'd stop and look unbelieveably sad, or pick up Junie and just cling to her, or just stare at the door with a kind of longing. But she wouldn't give a reason for any of it. Just I'm fine.

Eventually though, it's time for dinner. She's gotten take out, and plenty of it, with a nice variety. An overabundance of variety, really. But it's Italian, how can you go wrong with Italian? The table is set, nice and neat, with enough room for everyone, including the high chair at the end. And Mel's gone as nice and neat and normal as she ever gets. Which means black jeans and a black tee-shirt to go with the black streaks in her hair. Junie, on the other hand, is wearing a black and purple dress that just looks adorable on her. If you like baby goth.

When there's a knock on the door, Melissa stares at it for a moment, before moving to open it for Kendall and Valerie. It's Perry's apartment, yes, but she's moved in and made it home. She's comfortable opening the door!

Needless to say, when Kendall met Valerie today, he freaked out and pummeled her with a barrage questions about how she's feeling, if she's got a fever, or a cold, malaria, black death, or hangnails. This likely lasted for quite a few minutes, but as she isn't about to drop dead any second, he felt somewhat reassured. Once finished overreacting, he led the way to where this meeting was supposed to take place, using illusions and helping Valerie along the way. Thus, the two of them are outside Melissa's door, Kendall hovering over his girlfriend with perhaps an irrational level of protectiveness.

Even if she's not sick, Valerie doesn't walk like a strong girl, blonde hair pulled back out of her face, with a cute hat perched on the top of her head. Light colors seem to be her clothing of choice, greens and whites mostly, including a dress that was gifted to her by one of the people at the Terminal.

The attire probably didn't help Kendall's worry, considering how close it was to what he'd seen before. Though that also happens to be her style.

When the door opens, she's reassuring Kendall once again, "Really, I'm okay— this weakness is totally normal, really."

The best way to help out when there's a cleaning frenzy going on? Well, if you can't find a reasonable excuse for escape and can't disappear, it would be to stay out of the way and help when told to. That's how Devon has spent his day. After making and then folding away the pull out bed, stashing his pack into a closet, he helped with normal things. Like entertaining Junie. But otherwise he just stayed well out of the way.

And now that things have settled a bit, Devon's collapsed upon the floor, much to Junie's delight. Face down he makes grumbly noises and feigns trying to nom on the toddler while she flops and pounds little hands against his back. A hand flicks out toward a little leg, playfully digging a knuckle into the girl's leg just at the knee. His efforts are rewarded with some squealing and more hand thumping.

Of course, when Melissa moves to answer the door, Devon's eyes widen and he looks back at Junie. "Quick! Hide," he whispers, loudly, scooping up the baby and holding her behind his back as he clambers to his feet.

Having guests has Perry, it must be admitted, a little on edge. Rarely has such a damning set of items been stocked so densely in bedroom in preparation for a dinner gathering. Behind that door bristle weapons and ammo and all sorts of instructive (and constructive) material for destructive devices. They are stowed away, regardless of the political feelings of their guests. MAC-10's aren't usually great conversation pieces.

So Perry has been pacing a bit, despite reassurance from Mel. A man who spends a great deal of time in his head, anxieties multiply, grown fat on intellection and self reflection. When the guests finally arrive, he looks at the door like the prophet Elijah may just have shown up. When the guests come in - and he recognizes Kendall - he relaxes a bit. Not entirely, but a bit. He moves forward to offer his hand to the young man. "P- uh- pleasure to see you again."

Irrational level of protectiveness? It must be a Pierce thing, whether they're a Pierce by adoption or blooded. Melissa looks at Kendall for a long moment before she's stepping forward and flinging her arms around him. "If you ever kill yourself I will bring you back again and kick your ass for the rest of your life," she says, quietly but fiercely.

It takes a minute, but she's able to pull back and smile at Valerie. "And you must be his girlfriend. I know your sister. Come in," she says, stepping back to allow them inside. "This is Devon," she says, motioning to the teen. Then for Val's benefit, "And that's Perry, and the little girl that's being hidden behind Devon is Junie."

"Wha?" is Kendall's startled response to being mauled with hugs by Melissa. "Augh! N-no worries, I never intend to do that sort of thing." commit suicide? Really? Where did THAT come from? Fully prepared to leap in front of Valerie in case Melissa tries to treat her similarly, he relaxes when she just smiles at her. "Nice to see you again." Kendall remarks, appearing slightly surprised to see Perry. Ohhh, that guy. And then Devon is introduced, and Kendall raises an eyebrow at the guy on the floor with the baby. Smirk.

"I— What?" Valerie says, not because of the introductions, or the knowing of her big sister, but of certain things that seem to also confuse her boyfriend. A cautious glance is cast at him, and raises eyebrows, but then shakes it off. "Uh— yeah, I'm Valerie. It's— nice to meet all of you." She gives a shy wave to everyone, more than a little nervous about the whole thing.

Junie is lifted up onto a shoulder, balanced with one hand while Devon's expression goes from animated to reserved. He nods vaguely to both Valerie and Kendall, polite and not unwelcoming, but not particularly warm either. "Hey," he says with just the faintest of smiles. Really just an upturning of one corner of his mouth. "Nice to meet you. Both of you."

There is a lot of confusion running around the room tonight. Perry isn't one hundred percent on all the details, the references, and the associations bouncing around, but it doesn't really matter in the end. These people have Mel's vouch - he doesn't require details. Perry gives Valerie a polite if old fashioned bow. "Wel- uh- welcome to our home," he says, "can I- uh- take anyone's coat?"

"Good. But if you ever start taking negation drugs, you better let me know because I'm gonna keep an eye on you," Melissa says, giving Kendall The Eye. There's no indication that she's joking either, not in the slightest. But then there's another smile. "It's nice to finally meet you, Valerie. I've been wanting to meet you for a while. Originally I thought double date sort of thing, with you two, me and Perry, but I couldn't leave out Devon or Junie. They're family too." And she glances around, at all the menfolk in the room. "And all you boys can play nice with the others. I trust all of you."

"Never." Kendall states flatly, remembering his dream. He drew that symbol on the paper for a reason! "So you found a replacement for me, huh?" Kendall asks, eying Devon consideringly. "Nah, I'm good." Kendall adds to Perry, though looks at Valerie questioningly. He's ready to assist her in every way possible!

"Why would you think he'd take them?" Valerie asks with a curious tilt of her head, before she removes her long off-white coat and hands it over to Perry to take with a friendly smile. "Kendall loves his ability." Nearly as much as she loves her own, based on the dimples that form for a brief moment.

Devon watches Kendal silently for a long moment, then turns away. Dropping the shoulder that supports Junie, his hands come up and catch the girl. She's placed on the floor and directed to grasp onto the couch to do her thing. Straightening, he turns back to the others, arms folding across his chest.

Perry receives the coat and folds it over his arm before carrying it all of ten feet to one of his work spaces and setting it on the seat. He rises to see Devon handle Junie so acrobatically - it makes him smile mildly. Then his gaze is drawn to the conversation between Melissa and the guests, catching on to something about- negation drugs?

Kendall likely remembers all too well the spurts of light pain Melissa used to deliver, an evolved version of a kick in the ass. And Mel reminds him at his question. "There's no replacing you. You'll always be my brother, no matter how much you annoy me sometimes," she says, though with obvious affection.

Valerie's question has Mel hesitating, and she motions for them to sit down, get comfortable. "I had a dream last night," she admits, voice quiet, subdued. She gives a guilty look towards Perry. Clearly she hasn't told him about it yet. "It was a bad one. We can talk about it after dinner?" she asks hopefully.

Kendall narrows his eyes and mimes kicking something, and a boot appears behind Melissa and aims straight for her ass. Let's see how you like a taste of your own medicine! "I had a nightmare last night too." Kendall mutters, glancing at Valerie. Well this might explain a few things.

"Why are you kicking her? She's just concerned…" Valerie says in a confused tone, looking from Kendall to the older woman, and then around the room to those gathered— not including the baby. "Is this what younger brothers are supposed to be like? I never had one," she questions, seeming genuinely interested.

"I didn't have any nightmares myself, but…" she trails off, moving slowly into the apartment, specifically toward the chair that she's been motioned toward. Sitting is easier for her, even if she doesn't often admit it when she doesn't have to.

A smirk is formed as Devon turns aside again, moving to take a spot, not on the couch but on the floor in front of it. Without so much as looking at Junie, he pushes an elbow into her ribs, playfully generating more space for himself. "Don't worry," he says with a glance up to Kendall. "I won't touch your stuff."

Perry looks alarmed initially as a spectral foot aims itself at Melissa's rear end. Its illusory nature is caught onto pretty quick, but it does give him a start, and furrows his brow into creases that invite the return of his previous anxiety. He looks between Melissa and Kendall, then to Valerie, who seems to share Perry's confusion. "Maybe- uh- maybe we should- uh- uh- talk about this- uh- before? To- uh- clear the air?"

Normally Melissa might look amused at the returned kick. Instead she just gives Kendall a look before shifting her focus to Valerie. "My ability is pain manipulation. When he said that about being replaced, I gave him what amounts to a kick in the ass, so he returned the favor," she explains. "And yeah, it's what younger brothers are like. Kendall and Devon are both like this," she says with a faint smile. She picks up Junie, cuddling her, with the same degree of clinginess she displayed with Kendall earlier, and sits down. "Yeah, guess you're right," she says, nodding to Perry.

"My dream was around Christmas, a few years down the road. Junie was ten. And she wasn't living with me. I don't think I was allowed to see her for some reason. Elaine, Quinn's girlfriend? She was bringing pictures and a letter by, but Junie didn't know me."

She has to pause to cuddle the toddler, who starts squirming and yelling "Yum!" which Devon and Perry know means cookies, cake, anything sweet. "Elaine got a letter from me for Junie, and she'd just asked about…my son…when there was a gunshot. In your room," she says, looking to Kendall. "You'd shot yourself. You were dying. There were negation drugs in your room. I don't know why, you didn't answer me. I don't know why any of it was like it was. I just know that I'm really tired of seeing you die. I hate seeing you die, Kendall," she says softly.

Kendall gives Devon a look as Melissa compares the two of them. Oh really? "I was…. locked up. And Valerie had…. gotten sick and died, and I was making a constant illusion of her at all times, pretending she was still around and just doing her…. thing." he looks at Valerie and winces. "Enough so that it was giving me brain damage." yeah, he doesn't really want to talk about this, but it does explain his behavior towards Valerie now.

"Oh— that's why you were asking if I was sick," Valerie says quietly, looking down toward the table. Luckily the child at the table doesn't have to know what's going on yet— conversations like this just aren't meant for those just barely a year old. There's a thoughtfulness to her expression, but she doesn't speak on it so much as… think. "I won't get sick and die, I promise," she says in soft tones, still lost in the thoughts that she's having.

A frown takes place of the smirk, and Devon looks from Melissa to Kendall to Valerie. That would explain Mel's odd mood, from his standpoint. A small shake of his head follows, though, and then a look is sent to Perry. To gauge his reaction.

This sounds like some wounds are closing, or at least starting to, but Perry must admit that he remains concerned about the appearance and proximity of fatal dreams. New York isn't a city where you can safely write off vivid slumbering visions, not with Evolved dreamwalkers, psychics, and government experiments that black out entire cities. Perry moves over to Melissa, setting his hands on her shoulders, being as physically present as he may, while catching Devon's look. Are they thinking the same thing? The thought alone makes Perry voice his concern. "These- uh- both these dreams were recent? Were- uh- were they like any nightmares you- uh- you've ever had before?"

Melissa glances at Valerie, then back to Kendall, and her expression grows thoughtful as well. "Were there negation drugs in your dream?" she murmurs. "This isn't the first weird dream I've had, even excluding the vision about the eighth last year." Another guilty look towards Perry, along with a mouthed I'm sorry, along with resting a hand over one of his. "A week or two ago I had another dream. Wasn't as bad though. No one died. But if more people are having dreams, and considering the visions…" She trails off, shrugging, leaning into Perry and cuddling Junie.

"I was going to see two people. Amanda and something…Eric? Something like that. They were Messiah. And I was apparently working for the government." A pause, due to the fact that she very much dislikes. "Apparently there was someone who'd gotten killed, and I wanted the one responsible to pay. I was…going to them, giving them information so they could kill B—." She cuts off, looking towards Devon, then up to Perry.

Kendall thinks about it. "Yeah…. they wanted me to sign a form saying I'd get a prescription for it and take it consistently, otherwise they wouldn't let me out." he frowns at Melissa. "Think they're revolving around an aversion to these things? Maybe someone's warning all the Evolved not to have anything to do with them I mean, it might be a common theme, and the last time all of us had something like this, the common theme was November 8th." he smiles gratefully at Valerie. "Thanks. Have you had your flu shot yet?" he asks.

"I'll ask around," Valerie says in soft tones, considering the situation, though then blinking at the question to look over. The conversation jars her thoughts and makes her worried, that much is obvious, but there's a question she should answer, "Yeah, Kaylee made sure I got one."

Shifting his attention back to Melissa and Kendall, Devon's brows furrow. Dreams, bad dreams of any nature are concerning, but common links between two dreams? He doesn't miss the look from Mel, though his expression remains the mostly the same. Maybe a little curious.

"I- uh- I presume," Perry says, glancing down at Mel, "that the negation drugs you saw were- uh- was to suppress the illusion that was- uh- causing Kendall to create the image of- uh- of- uh-," he dips his head towards Valerie, "unless I'm- uh- getting my wires crossed," he frowns, "this- uh- this does sound like a kind of continuity." Mel's self censoring does gain her a glance, but Perry doesn't press on the point, just finds Mel's eyes and squeezes her shoulders. She need say nothing now that she'd rather later, as far as he's concerned. But… "This- this does sound like something. Do- uh- do we know any dream manipulators?"

Melissa grimaces. "My first dream didn't involve negation pills. I was just hoping that there would be less evidence that these dreams might be connected. I mean, what are the odds that you dream about Valerie dying and overusing your ability until you need negation drugs, then I dream about you using negation drugs and killing yourself? And I mean it, I will bring you back and hurt you. Repeatedly."

Pause. "And this probably isn't the way you imagined this dinner going, huh, Valerie?" she asks, smiling faintly. "But I know a dream manipulator. Was a friend, but I haven't talked to her in ages. Delia Ryans. Daughter of Benjamin Ryans, Company agent. I couldn't see her doing this though. She was too innocent."

She hesitates for a long moment then sighs softly. "In my first dream though, I was giving Messiah information so they could kill the current mayor of New York. His name was Bradley Russo." Kendall gets a quick look, gives Perry's hand a squeeze, then she gives her attention to Devon, judging his reaction. She may not know the name of his employer, but she knows he's in TV. Surely the coincidence can't stretch that far, right?

Kendall tilts his head. "Him? The mayor of New York?" Kendall snorts. "Ok, I think we can all be relieved that these dreams are something that won't come true." yeah, so what if Kendall had once formed a dislike for the guy? "I don't think any of this is something we'd have to worry about." probably won't stop Kendall from behaving protectively around Valerie, however.

"My…" Valerie starts quietly, before she hesitates a moment, looking at them, as if trying to decide her words on this. "I know of people who see the future— it's not in dreams, but… It is possible. But visions of the future are just guidelines, not destiny. You can change fate, even if it is a vision."
Devon has reconnected.

This would be one of those times where Devon's shutting down and apparent numbness to odd situations comes in handy. At least for himself. He meets Melissa's gaze evenly, and if there's any connection to Brad Russo, he doesn't show it. After a moment, his eyes tick up to Kendall and Valerie then settle back on Perry and Melissa. "Just a couple of strange dreams," he says with a shrug.

Perry is familiar with Bradley Russo by name and reputation, and the news that this man might become mayor in years to come - and that Perry's organization had plans to kill him - this is not just a strange dream. It's potential intelligence. "I- I'm not looking for a culprit," Perry clarifies, "maybe- maybe some help. Or some insight. If- uh- if she's noticed something strange or-" he quirks his lips, "I'm- uh- I'm afraid I don't actually know much about this. Dream manipulation or pre-cognition. But- but I do know that yes-" he nods to Valerie, "the future can be changed. Is- uh- is often changed by knowledge of it, I think. But- uh- but we do need knowledge.'

Kendall brings a true smile out of Melissa, a grateful one as well. "Thanks." Then she considers Valerie's words and nods. "My vision of the eighth didn't turn out to be entirely accurate. So yeah, we can change this. So…we just make damn sure that bastard doesn't get elected mayor, and we make sure that Valerie doesn't get sick."

She's quiet for a long moment. "I know of two precogs. One's a painter. I've never met him personally, so I have no idea if he'll help or not. The other…I'm not sure she'll talk to me. She's helped me in the past, and maybe, if I can convince her of the severity of the situation, she'll help."

"Mine did." Kendall complains, rubbing his eye. He got punched in the face. Some precog THAT was, he wasn't even able to dodge it in time even though he knew it would happen. "Don't know of any precogs." Kendall shrugs at the others in the room, then eyes Devon. "Have you had any dreams like this?" he asks.

"No," Devon replies simply. He has dreams, just nothing that would seem overly unusual or in line with what's already been described. "Just normal things. As much as dreams can be called normal. I'll let you know if anything changes though."

"Anything- anything would be helpful," Perry says, sounding genuinely concerned, "I- the last thing we want is for the future to come upon us and- and for us to be unprepared." But this was supposed to be a nice dinner. Perry squeezes Mel's shoulders one more time and places a kiss on the side of her head before moving towards the kitchen, ready to make himself useful.

Melissa rises to her feet, giving Perry a warm smile. "Anyway. It's out there. We can talk more about it another time. For now, dinner's getting cold. And no, Kendall, I didn't cook," she says, smiling at him. And she leads the way to the kitchen, settling Junie in the high chair with easy to eat food for baby. "And Kendall? You should come around more often. Missed talking to you. And see, I wasn't the least bit mean to Valerie." A grin shot to the girl, to let her know that it's all said lightly. Mel even seems to like Valerie. Gasp!

And so they sit down for dinner, and Mel doesn't even withhold wine from those who want it, underage or not. Except for Junie. No wine for Junie. But the meal is good, and the conversation is kept light. No more world-shattering dream conversation for this group. Just chatting, bonding even.

But at least one member of the group will go to bed that night, wondering what dream will come this time.

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