Careful What You Wish For


everleigh_icon.gif shane_icon.gif

Scene Title Careful What You Wish For
Synopsis Shane's manifestation continues, and concern grows. So does he.
Date February 7, 2020

Shane's Apartment, New York City

Everleigh and Shane have been trying to determine what's going on with Shane's Evolved ability. Two days of continued evidence bring certain ideas to mind. His body has physically changed, 'gradually', ever since the trauma of the car accident triggered it.

Shane had gained a few inches in height and some weight in the first four days; it's been a week now, and he's still on that same road: he's gained that same amount again. The morning height measure put him at 5'9", with a worryingly large weight shift (40 pounds is not nothing), and obvious (and slightly odd looking) bone shift, that was particularly painful for that night.

They'd both been up with his extreme pain from his shifting ribs, but in the morning, around 8am, he felt a little better, albeit drenched in sweat. A shower later has shown a new issue: his clothes don't fit. It's made for an embarrassed and uncomfortable Shane, in a bathrobe and bandages, eating the massive egg breakfast he's made a habit of for the past two mornings. They're expecting this to get worse: it has every other day after breakfast. Is he able to control it? What should they do?

"Okay, so I'm hoping that these fit and will hopefully do so for a while…"

The door shuts behind her as Everleigh bumps it closed with a hip, a bag of groceries in one hand and a bag from what looks like a clothing shop in the other. "I kind of just guessed and given how quickly you're changing I'm not sure how long they'll last so I got a couple of different ones just in case. Better be safe, after all."

The groceries are left on the kitchen counter for the moment, while the doctor herself moves to check on him. "How's the pain now? I think you've got about an hour before you're due for another dose, but if it's bad we could do it early." Her eyes scan him with concern. She's meeting immediate needs, certainly, but there's still the long term to contend with. They're both aware of it.

"I know I'm a doctor but this isn't the kind of doctoring I'm meant for. We need to determine what this is doing, we need to know if there's an end or if there's more or…" She trails off, not wanting her worries to weigh more onto him.

"Or if I'm going to be Sasquatch?" Shane asks, getting up off the couch as she comes in, and bangs his shin on the coffee table, sending it bumping out of the way as he reacts and stumbles. The robe stays closed; he favors grabbing that and only losing his balance more. Pride of nudity over pride of having his bearings. He's like a puppy that isn't aware that he doesn't fit in a lap.

"Thanks, I'll see what fits," Shane says, gamely coming over to look at the clothing bag, and pull the contents onto the counter with his left hand. Being one handed makes him fumble anyway, let alone the rest of it. "I just took a dose, honestly, as soon as it was safe to. Last night…" was the opposite of fun. He frowns, teeth clenching briefly, and shakes his head while standing by the counter. He focuses on the bag, without any real concept of what will work or not. Blah. Everything's just a guess.

"I feel like I'm drowning in uncertainty," Shane laughs. It's not funny but he's trying to smile.

She's doing her best to stay the steadfast pillar of strength that she's convinced he needs right now. While Everleigh isn't sure she's actually the best for that, sheer determination can make a major difference. "Well, hopefully that dosage will last you for a while. Last night was rough," she can agree to that part. Her expression is filled with worry, but she's being hopeful.

"Look, we're keeping an eye on you, we're seeing what happens. Worse case scenario, we take you in and they give you negation drugs and hopefully you'll be just fine. And that's just the worst." She offers him a smile. "You think I'd let anything bad happen to you?"

Shane nods; he's seen negation drugs in action. Working for SESA has included that. "I'd thought of that. When to call it, to consider needing them. But I don't seem to be in pain from /that/. Other than my shin just now." Shane picks something that seems reasonable from what she bought. He won't be winning any fashion shows in drawstring pants and oversized tshirt, but right now it's awesome. "Thanks for getting these." He carries his selection to the bathroom with a "Just a minute."

Not long after, he returns, clearly glad to not be sitting in a robe. The things fit fine. "I feel really weird, I have to tell you, though. Like I'm not me." Shane comes back out to finish his eggs, gently handling the fork left handedly. The burns on that hand weren't as bad as the other, and the days of healing have helped his use of it.

Everleigh seems to approve of the now-fitting clothes. He just looks like he's taking a comfortable sick day. Which he is, minus the comfortable part. "That's pretty normal. Usually people find they get used to being a certain way every day so when something changes so drastically so suddenly it takes some getting used to. That applies to more than one thing… manifestations, relationships, major disasters, unexpected deaths." She pauses. "As in someone close to you dying, obviously not your own." She felt the need to clarify.

She moves to sit down near him, glancing back over with a concerned look, but mostly just watching him eat. "So I guess we'll just be ready for after breakfast to see how much things change. If we get more than a couple of inches of height, though, I'm starting to think we need to throw in the towel."

"I was thinking I should try to somehow focus or direct this the other way," Shane says, while still eating. He glances down at the eggs. And then sideways at her, still chewing slowly. "I really don't want to stop eating, but maybe I should," Shane asks, as if it were particularly difficult. He stirs the eggs a little with the fork, thoughtful about it. "We don't know that it's fueling this, but it seems logical." Connected. The bulk has to come from somewhere.

"How do you make the Lavender happen? How does it feel? I don't know how to do this," Shane asks, quietly. He stirs the eggs more, and a flush comes up in his cheeks. "I'm alarmed, but I'm not … unhappy about it," Shane says. Why would he be? "Maybe it's just a delayed puberty. My brother was six foot. It never made sense why." This is a familiar line of commentary; Shane hated and loathed his tall brother's unfair height in high school. Life was very much not fair at that time. Shane liking this? It's what he wished for over and over in high school, even if he didn't put it in those words.

"If I'm hungry all the time now, though, that … could be a problem."

"I don't know, it's a little hard to describe. It's kind of like a mix of both concentrating and relaxing at the same time. You let go, but you focus it." Everleigh does take the opportunity to demonstrate, not because he'll be able to understand how she's using it, but because he could use the relaxing effect. It's not long before there's a hint of the scent in the air, nothing strong, but enough to be able to detect it's there.

"So we'll wait until you hit six feet, see how it is when we get there, but… I think you've got a good point. This is fuel, certainly. But can you do anything else with it? Can you shrink? Can you strengthen your muscles? A lot of this is stuff I can't help with, I can fuss over you plenty but using an ability is personal to a person. It's not going to feel exactly the same for you as it does for me. What I can do is give you suggestions. When I was first figuring things out, I lay back and I focused on my body. I tried to feel for if there was somewhere or something that it linked to. Did it feel like a physical part of my body, did I feel an emotion that it resonated with, that sort of thing. It gets you on the right track. Kind of felt like an instinct when I was on the right track and I just… leaned into it."

She offers a smile. "This is just your experimental stage, but with less emo-hair."

Shane continues to eat absentmindedly while he listens to her description. He smiles a little. "I tried for… years and years to think up a way to trigger this. Doing what you're talking about. Nothing." Of course not, it had not been active: whatever it is he has, it's happening now, though.

And her use of her lavender does affect him, he seems to calm a little more, tension in shoulders easing. "Let's try what you're talking about. Lay back. Try to feel through it," Shane suggests. "Try to adjust my size, or hair color, or whatever else. I'm open to suggestions, and a witness." He smiles at her, moving his emptied plate to the sink.

"Though I was thinking," he says, "Maybe it has to do with being injured. That my reaction to being injured is to do this. Maybe uninjured it'd be different."

Everleigh moves off the couch and gestures towards it so he can lay there if he wants to. "I'm happy to sit and watch and tell you if you drastically look different. It's worth a shot and we've got the time, right? Far more exciting than you watching me read my book." There's a hint of amusement there as she moves to slide down onto a seated position on the floor, her back to the couch's arm.

"I don't like your suggestion of it being injury-based. The only way we'd be able to test that is for you to be injured again and purposefully doing that is not something I'm particularly comfortable with. Injury may have triggered it, certainly, but I'm not convinced there's a reason to assume it's the reason your body's acting like this."

She looks over at him. "My theory is that you just don't know how to control the growth yet and that's why your body's screaming at you for more food. It's fueling the growth but we're feeding into it in a way. If we can get you to focus and stop it, I feel like you'll stop being so ravenously hungry."

"Your book reading has been invaluable. Makes me sleep," Shane teases her in return, snarky, but he grins a little and crosses towards the couch. He bangs his leg /again/, but mostly ignores it this time. Over time the coffee table is migrating across the room away from the couch. He moves to lay there, with a slightly self-conscious peer at her as she sits on the floor.

He winces as he lower back; his ribs need more time to heal for sure. But he makes it, and reclines there, relaxing half due to her own evolved ability that's helping him. He clears his throat and settles, trying to close his eyes and look inwards like she'd mentioned.

"Okay. Focusing on… fitting into my work clothes," Shane says, with a slight peek of a smile.

The floor-sit is very intentional. It allows her to be within arm's reach if something goes wrong. Not that Everleigh expects anything will go wrong or even that she can help, but it's at least a backup measure for the unlikely event. "I'm so glad that even without my ability's help I can lull you into a slumber. That's just what everyone likes to hear. You're lucky I'm thick-skinned enough to survive these barbs of yours." Were she a teenager, she'd have stuck her tongue out at him. Now, she just gives him a look—the same sentiment is there.

She relaxes herself, though no thanks to her ability—never seemed to work on her, but she hasn't questioned it too much. "Just focus. If you feel anxious at all or feel as if you're too tense, say the word and this whole room will smell like lavender."

"I feel okay, really, Scully," Shane says, moving his left hand to gangle it off the couch near her. She can't really take his hand easily, but his forearm is there, and it's the sentiment of it, the intent. He knows she's there helping, and he's using her suggestions. He's just not the meditation type, but he does know how to go inward and review evidence and facts. He can try to focus on that needs to be done here.

And so he lays there, attempting to focus, quietly breathing slow and deep.

Everleigh does reach her hand out to at least brush against his forearm, just as a continued reminder that she's still there to help. When he falls into silence to focus, she rests her head back against the couch's arm, staring forward for a few moments before she shuts her eyes. She doesn't want to focus too much on herself, mostly listening and trying to monitor how he is just by being there.

Instead, she focuses on trying to think of how to help, of some way to compare her ability's use to his to try and help him understand how to control it. In some ways, she feels like she's failing not because ability use was unique to the individual, but that she had spent so little time working with hers. It was an embarrassment to her, a mark of shame. She didn't think about it much, so to be faced with a situation where her experiences with it and her actual usage of it were helpful was a little out of her league.

It was all out of her league. She doesn't know what she's doing now and she hates it.

"I don't feel anything,"Shane finally says, as if dismayed he has to admit this. "Just a little hungry, and weird that my feet are up." Because he's taller and doesn't fit on the couch as well now. "And kind of fat."

Shane releases a breath slowly, and moves his fingers to brush her arm with the backs of them. "I'm sorry. I'm not saying I'm giving up." Shane doesn't generally give up: that's the stubbornness there. "This is frustrating." He's relaxed, though: her ability is doing that. He's not actively getting upset. He's sort of calmly dismayed.

Everleigh actively has to move to look at him more fully. She shifts, moving her back and instead resting her arm against the couch's. This way she didn't have to crane her neck as much to see him, and she felt like she needed to. This was the emotional support she was there for. "So don't focus on your body so much. You told me you felt something, that your body felt weird or different. That's what you need to focus on. Find that feeling, feel it out. See what it's telling you."

She gives him an amused smile. "I know that sounds all meditative or new age-y, but it's the best I can suggest. A lot of my ability use has been finding what feels different and trying to feel what it instinctually tells you." There's a long pause. "It's not always clear. Mine doesn't feel like 'lavender' to me. It doesn't even feel like 'relaxed'. So it might be harder to picture. But see what your instincts say about it. You've got good instincts, Mulder."

Shane gives a frown but leans back. "I feel like …. When I'm working a case and I'm trying to make a particular suspect fit because it would make sense. But it isn't that suspect; maybe they have an alibi. And no matter how you stare at it, it still isn't them. That I need to step back and look at it, and there will be some evidence I missed. Something obvious if I hadn't focused on that it should be that person. Trying to tear holes in the alibi doesn't make it more them."

Shane turns his head to look to her, watches her a long moment as she describes how her ability feels. "How do you make it happen?"

"So I focus on that strangeness that's there, like what you were saying you felt. I find it, wherever it is." Everleigh holds up an open hand slowly closing it one finger at a time. "You grasp it, you are entirely aware of it. Then it's like… letting go. Like you're giving it permission to do something. For me it's… I feel. It's intensity. You know when something really moves you and you feel emotional but you can't quite pin down if you're happy or sad or overjoyed, you just feel? That's what I grasp. Then I let it go and those around me smell lavender and are lured into the sweet scent of relaxation."

She peeks over at him. "I sincerely doubt that's how it'll feel for you, but I think the idea of grasping and releasing is a good way to attempt things. It may be tricky because your ability seems to affect you and not others. Maybe you don't let go, maybe you just grasp. Anyway, if you feel as if for some reason you aren't getting it, maybe you're missing evidence. Has anything else changed besides your weight and height? Shoe size?" She reaches the hand she still has raised over to touch the top of his head to feel for any sort of hair growth.

"You know full well I haven't the dexterity right now to tie my shoes, or even put my shoes on, for the last two days stuck in this apartment feeling like an invalid," Shane points out. When she runs her hand over his head he smiles a little, eyes closing, letting her do that. Smooth enough.

"I used my electric on it earlier, I felt like a grubby homeless man," Shane clarifies. He was able to carefully do that: there's the real stubbornness at work. Setting his mind to do something like that, a task, and making it happen. He just lacks the direction to stubbornly attach to.

"But yes, these cups feel little. The razor felt little. Maybe. It's hard to tell, bandaged and left-handed, this is like oven mitts," he snorts, showing her his wrapped right hand.

"I feel just… crushed and compressed. Like under that door."

Her hand remains for a moment even though he explains the lack of hair, mostly cause it's a nice sensation. Everleigh removes it before too long, certainly not wanting to make either of them feel awkward just because it was nice. "Well, good to know what's changing and what's not. So it's not hair." She seems thoughtful, then grins at him. "We could play Cinderella if you'd like. We can test and see if you've changed there, especially if you're feeling like your hands feel big."

It's certainly hard to tell, what with the bandages. "Maybe we should have been measuring limbs and whatnot." She takes a moment to study him. "You've been paying more attention to your body than I have." She pauses. "Obviously. Anyway, that weight has to be going somewhere other than just height. How do your muscles feel? Do you feel as if you're stronger or denser or…?"

She's just making suggestions. She's trying to help. She's grasping at straws.

Shane seemed to relax more as she rubbed his head. It was pleasant. When she stops, he opens his eyes. "My muscles and bones still hurt like hell, like I've been in a taffy puller since the accident," Shane answers, but pulls his legs in a little, to curl his bare feet against the cushioned arm, with his legs now bent.

"Mostly I feel big and awkward, Scully," Shane says, turning his face away partially, and closing his eyes again. He's not tense, necessarily: he's in a cloud of Lavender, but there's still confusion there. "Okay. We know that I'm creating mass. I'm taller and heavier. And doing so didn't make my fractures feel great, last night." No, that was terrible.

Shane swallows and rubs a few fingers of left hand to his cheek and mouth. "If I'm stronger or denser, how do we test it? Maybe that's easier than trying to focus to shrink, at least to test. If you want to cinderella, though — does that make you the prince?— we can. He lifts his feet and scrunch-scrunches his toes.

"I make a terrific prince with a vast kingdom and I am beloved by my people," Everleigh says, glancing over at him… and his toes. "So we start with the shoe, see how well that works, then we move on to some strength testing. You have any weights around here or a gym in the building or around the corner somewhere?"

"Yes, I have weights. I normally use my hands for that," Shane supplies, lifting both hands to show her the problem with her suggestion about weightlifting. "I don't think I'm going to grip anything today."

"Back to the gym idea, then. If they've got a leg press you should be able to use that, shouldn't be the worst but…" She shakes her head. "Anything physical you do is going to hurt, which means strength testing may just have to be off the list." Everleigh drags herself to her feet, then reaches over to briefly rub the top of his head. It's almost akin to an affectionate hair ruffle, if he actually had hair.

"Let me get a shoe."

"Next time I decide to manifest an evolved ability I'll be sure not to injure myself so badly," Shane says as she touches his head, giving her an amused look as she does that. "It isn't that I don't think I can lift handweights or grip them. It's that I don't think it will tell us anything. I could lift them before. You have a good point with the idea of a press, though. Or something that won't involve my injured core."

Shane watches her go find the shoe from when they came home, but there's not going to be any real question when she gets it close. No way will that fit. It puts some of it in perspective for Shane, though, and a lot of color drains from his face as he watches her with it. This was a fun, interesting experience, but what is he turning into, exactly? Is he still /himself/?

As Everleigh brings the shoe close and they're both painfully aware that this is definitely more than just a height and weight problem, she sets the shoe down and moves to sit close to him. "I won't lie to you, I'm starting to get really concerned. As much as I'd like to figure this out and see what it is, I'm worried that it might not stop. What if you can't? What if you can't consume enough calories to keep up?"

She hadn't thought death would even be an issue with a couple of inches of height, but the more that things progress and the more he needs to consume, the worry is growing. "We either need to figure this out fast or we need to take you back to the hospital and find whatever special wing they handle uncontrolled Evolved abilities in. I don't want to be the one worrying, I'd like to be the one standing here and being your rock, but I don't think that's entirely possible because things are beyond our control."

She watches him, searching his expression for a visual indicator of his thoughts.

"Okay, Everleigh, I need you to breathe, you're starting to freak me out," Shane says, switching out of the Scully name momentarily. He does it when things /are/ serious. It's like calling someone by their first /and/ middle name. Things have some weight at that point. She is making him worry.

"I'm aware this could go bad. I could still explode," Shane quirks a smile at her, but it's more a joke now. Trying to get her to calm down: humor as a defense. "I'll just try to slow my eating, and we'll see if that helps. If it doesn't… then we'll go back to the hospital, or I'll contact SESA. A minor perk of working there, my calls go right through." He swallows and pushes himself to sit up with his left arm, lowering his feet, and extending his hand out to try to catch her wrist.

Unfortunately for Everleigh, the lavender scent does nothing for her. Weird trick of the power. It leaves her with nothing but her own force of will to keep herself calm and collected and she's done great so far. But her continued strength pushed up against the growing worry that something was wrong and she couldn't help—it was the accident all over again, but it was in slow motion this time.

She needed him to be okay. Her wrist is easily caught, she doesn't really try to move, just a little frozen in place as she tries to gather her thoughts. "I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to be the one losing my cool. That's your job, right?" Usually if things got to this point she could retreat home. Emotions were a thing she dealt with in private. It was a little more complicated when she was forced to deal with them in front of someone.

Shane normally would distract her. Pull her out of her own head, make her forget about retreating. And do it in such a way that she never realizes that he's doing it. "C'mere, we can do a quick strength test. Come on." Shane smiles at her some, getting up with care, but moving just to sit up, and position his elbow on the couch arm. He hasn't let go of her wrist yet. He brings his right hand up to guide her to turn her hand around.

It's blatantly an arm-wrestling position. "I'll focus on muscle and everything. Channel that vicious strength from high school," Shane smiles, with a beckon of his other fingers that are less wrapped.
He steadies there, waits for her, palm open. It's not high school, though; and there's a weirdness to Shane just in how unfamiliar he's starting to feel. Her little buddy isn't as present here with the broad hand and thickened wrist and forearm.

Perhaps the suggestion of arm wrestling would have been enough to pull Everleigh from her thoughts and bring her back to the moment, but the moment only serves to bring the full situation to her view again. With her hand close to his, it's easier to see just how strange and different his hands are now. Perhaps it was something she shouldn't judge at this point in time, all things considered. Perhaps she should step back for a moment and reassess the situation.

She doesn't, however. This feels like the test needs to happen. Maybe he'd be different because of the ability, maybe he'd just be a normal fairly decently strong man who worked out. She could provide the resistance, that was a thing she could do to help. Somewhere along the line, the lavender scent stopped. It was hard to tell when, but it simply wasn't there anymore. She places her arm down into position, reaching to grasp his hand, once again very aware of the change.

Usually something like this would be grounding, allowing her to re-center herself and put on that calm exterior she's so used to using for the general public. While she had mostly held it together because she felt he needed it, it left no energy for her to try and deal with residual emotions leftover. Crying in the car hadn't really done a great job of healing wounds. Several feelings well up in her in quick succession: fear of losing someone, anxiety over the inability to help, and the desperate need to be able to connect with someone. The feelings, however brief, are palpable in the room.

"Okay," she says, slowly gaining determination in her voice. "Let's try this."

But Mulder over there is perceptive. That's one of his gifts. And being in pain or in the middle of some strange Evolved puzzle does't change that. He watches her, he doesn't move his arm, he studies her with a critical eye. An eyebrow arches - the man can eyebrow arch to an amusing degree, and doesn't even know he does it - and waits for a long moment. Watching, sensing the emotions fluttering over her face.

"Scully?" Shane asks, instead.

"I'm fine," Everleigh offers him, shaking her head a bit as she looks between their clasped hands. "I'm just silently shaking in my boots wondering if you're going to crush my hand." She grins, amusement evident on her face. Humor to break the tension. She's right back to gathering her wits and doing her best to control things.

"So, if I start screaming in pain, you'll know to go easy, got it?"

Shane looks at his hand, opens it up, palm now spread, no grip on her actual hand. He's taking her serious, because that is, in fact, not an irrational concern. They don't know what's going on with him. She's as likely to pull his arm out as he could be to crush her. They don't know if he's Mr. Fantastic or the Thing or some third option they haven't thought of.

"Yeah," Shane answers, injured hand spread open. He then begins to exert some force, easing her arm backwards. "Gonna have to fight," he teases her.

"You know I'm a terrible fighter," Everleigh replies, her expression still one of amusement. They can make light of the situation. She is, however, certainly going to test his strength. She puts up some resistance, enough to meet the pressure he's putting on so she can find a good starting measure. Once there's resistance on both sides, she starts to really push, applying strong pressure with the assumption that he'll push back harder—she's going to give it her all, though, if it appears he's keeping up.

And he should keep up. Everleigh's not much for lifting weights and her general strength, at best, is rather average for her age and build. By all accounts, he should be stronger—but not utterly crush her. Hopefully. This test was to find out exactly where that was.

Shane just … eases her arm back fully and gives her an odd look. He lets go and pulls his hand back. And continues to give her a funny look, then at his forearm.


"Okay," Shane observes of that. That was a thing.

Everleigh looks stunned. She was most definitely applying pressure there that didn't even seem to matter. She blinks at him for a long moment, slowly lifting her arm up to look at it as if it had somehow betrayed her. "I swear to you I was trying, that wasn't just some practical joke that I somehow tried to play at the absolute wrong moment." She's still somewhat stunned, her hand reaching out to feel his arm.

It's not a comforting gesture, it's an assessing one. Her finger press in gently and her hand squeezes, trying to feel just how dense the muscles feel and how pliable it feels like they are. He certainly had strength, that could explain some of the density where his weight was concerned, but she's still baffled by the height. "Good thing we tested that," she murmurs.

Shane lets her do that, embarrassed and surprised, allowing her to have his forearm and bicep. He feels like a highly compact, very strong, weighty guy, but nothing unnatural just in examination. Lots of the mass is apparently going there. He doesn't flex or anything as she presses and moves over his arm in inspection. Still, it would be reasonable on the physique of an active field Agent in a movie seen rappelling down walls and into secret bank vaults. …It's just not /Shane/.

Shane's a sleek, quick investigator, blending in, quick with a gun, but…

"I have a theory," Shane says. He draws his arm away to reach to his breakfast, and pick up the fork. He turns it carefully, to put the base against his inner palm, and the tines between other fingers of the same hand. He curls his fingers in, crushing the fork.

Shane offers her the mangled fork. "No squeezing your hands, no." No, bad plan.

Maybe he's embarrassed about her examining his arm, but it certainly tells a lot—while 'normal', it's still not Shane normal. Everleigh settles her hands in her lap, though she leans forward a bit to look at him. The fork trick? She's certainly surprised and the look on her face is a very clear example of it. "Okay, yeah, I kind of like having a hand."

She rubs her face for a moment, her mind racing to try and explain it. "Okay, Mulder, what are you thinking? Because at this point I have no clue."

"I'm…. a very calm, tan Hulk?" suggests Shane. He's staring at the fork, with a mix of a kind of stunned disassociation. He doesn't really believe his theory panned out either. He drops his hands, not stopping the tremor there, as he catches up on what's just occurred as well.

"It's strength. Okay. That's straightforward at least. I've made myself strong somehow." Shane sits back on the couch, shifting down a little, to let his head rest back, trying to take a minute. And finally focusing inwards, to check through his inner library of evidence. Does it fit? Does it make sense off of….

"That's how I got the door off myself. It fits."

"I mean, I certainly think you look better tan than green," Everleigh sounds entirely too amused by that. "Okay, right, so it's strength. That makes sense for the accident. Sure." She's nodding along to the facts. "So is all this growth and stuff just you hulking out in a way? Becoming more dense and whatnot? But I want to know if the growth is going to stop, if you're safe, because I swear if you're not safe after all of this…"

She looks momentarily overwhelmed, but she sucks in a deep breath to compose herself. She's not the one with the big serious thing to worry about, she's there for him. "Okay, we'll just keep monitoring to see that you stop at some point, sound good?" She offers him a pleasant smile, marred by the slightest hint of worry.

"I know as much as you. I guess we'll see," Shane says, a little restlessly and helplessly. He has a theory, but how true is it? "I don't know where it stops either, or if it stops. It's still probably time to communicate with SESA about it." Shane fetches his phone from the end of the couch. He starts to make a message, but then looks up, and stands, to go to the wall of pencil marks. "Let's get the update first," he says, in an thoughtful but focused way. When he gets near it, it'll be easy for her to tell he's up again. It's scary; where's the ceiling on this?

"Right." Everleigh moves to make the next pencil mark, carefully looking over the height difference. It's kind of hard to make the marks at this point. "At least you'll have the data to offer them. I'm pretty sure they're going to want you to head in to the hospital, though. It's not exactly evident where the end to this is." She steps back to give him space once she's done making the mark.

"You'll be fine, you know that, right?"

Maybe it's to convince both of them.

Shane turns after she's done marking to look at it, and his frown is clear, jaw tightened. He has a bit more jaw, more weight overall getting dispersed, though it's harder to detect for someone that's standing there watching it, as it's quite gradual.

But still, it's a matter of days, not years: this sort of weight shift should be months at the very least. Days is scary, unhealthy. Impossible. And only explained by that it has to be his Evolved status. There isn't another explanation, because it's so impossible.

"I mean, yes. I don't think I'm dangerous to myself. Unless my heart can't keep up with all of this," Shane says, reaching to try to feel his pulse, but his hands are wrapped. He fumbles that, and instead steps towards her, seeking help. But then the proximity makes it weird and awkward, she seems so tiny. It sets him back a little. He relies on certain truths and expects certain things from the world around him: and this is really throwing him.

"I know some people can turn into flame, or rock, or sand: this can't be any stranger," he says, trying to ease himself. "I just… have a twenty year delayed puberty." Ha, ha. But maybe not far off.

"I'm afraid there's no going back," Shane admits, finally.

"No," she agrees. "I didn't think it was the kind of thing you could undo. Once I saw the strength there it was sort of striking me as not the typical grow-shrink size change ability. You're a bit of a different case in that aspect." Everleigh does offer him a smile. "Well, look at it this way, you've always wanted to be a bit taller and perhaps more intimidating, right?"

She's trying to keep a positive attitude going, mostly because she's unsure of how he feels about everything currently—she knew they were both concerned, but it was getting hard to read his emotions in all of this. Which is unfortunate, because his emotions were exactly what she needed to be reading and looking out for. "You've certainly got a more interesting one than I do, that's for sure."

"Am I intimidating?" Shane asks, catching on that particular phrasing. Does she find him intimidating? Being tall, or taller, doesn't necessarily mean being scary to somebody. He still looks at the wall, again, though, those measurements, and moves to pick up his phone, and slowly key in the letter he's trying to work out to SESA.

It's taking some time, being as he pretty much has two fingers that are usable on the touch screen, and he's being careful. He remembers that twisted fork. It's in view, too, sitting nearby, a little mangled. That could have been Everleigh's hand in an arm-wrestle. THAT is intimidating.

"I think we should consider going to the hospital. And locking this off before it gets worse. Before I can't use a phone anymore," Shane floats the idea, and looks at her. THen the phone. "Let's see what SESA says," he sighs, continuing the message. There's a bunch to include. "And try to skip lunch, see if that slows this." Even if he'll be starving…

"Intimidating, not in a bad way, just in the fact that I'm smaller than you now." Everleigh gives him a small grin. "It's not a bad thing, I promise. Just different." She looks back at him, then she nods. "You're right, though, we don't know how far this is going to go and we're to the extent of what I can really measure and monitor. I can't keep you safe from whatever is going forward."

She lets her look turn serious, though. "I'll stay with you, though, until this is sorted. Okay? You don't have to be stuck in this situation alone."

Shane continues with his message, then finally sends, and the phone makes a noise agreeing that it is sent. It's final, he asked for assistance from SESA.

"Able to part with a hug? I'll try not to mush you, if I give one back," Shane asks, some brittle tone to his voice. He's pretty sure he won't mush her; it seemed to at least be partially intentional with the fork. He'd used it fine earlier. It seemed to be connected to some effort, whatever strength he has.

"Of course, provided I'm not accidentally hurting you in the process. I know you haven't magically healed from those ribs and everything." Everleigh turns to face him again. "That's unfortunate, though, it would have been pretty useful in your profession to be able to regenerate or something of the like." She places a hand on his arm. "It'll be a gentle hug."

After that, she does move to hug him. It's probably one of the most cautious hugs she's ever given, doing her best to put no pressure at all on his ribs but letting her presence still be known and felt. Comforting, but not crushing. She's trying to avoid more pain, he's had more than enough lately. "You'll be okay. I'll make sure of it."

Shane is very careful in the hug too, and appreciates she too is mindful of his poor injured ribs. But all of that was something he was willing to deal with, to have a brief and gentle hug. He lowers his head, she'll feel his chin on top of her head. It isn't 'better', or worse, it's just different, a different sort of expression than cheek to cheek, for her cheek at his upper chest instead.

"I know. Could have won the lottery there, able to rush into bad situations heedlessly?" Shane laughs softly, with a briefly pained cough. "I hope I will be. But this isn't stopping. I…" he holds her a bit more securely, just out of worry. It doesn't hurt though. "One day at a time."

"I would hope you wouldn't rush into situations like that," Everleigh chides mildly, her tone fairly serious. "But I mean it. We'll get it sorted, I'm certain that they can handle it better than I can. Like I said, worst case scenario we get negation drugs and carry on from there." She's still gentle in her hug, unwilling to inflict potential pain even if the hug was potentially more necessary.

"One day at a time," she agrees.

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