Paranoia And Hope


melissa_icon.gif perry_icon.gif

Scene Title Paranoia and Hope
Synopsis Melissa and Perry discuss the latest news, and while both are wary, hope remains.
Date January 29, 2011

Tartarus: Melissa's Office

Saturday afternoons aren't exactly Tartarus's busiest times, though the place is far from empty. Goths dance, a few get started drinking early, and sitting at the end of the bar in her customary place is Melissa. Today she's gone for a skirt, knee high boots and a strapless corset, all black leather and all covered in straps and silver buckles.

Though she's drinking, it's just a soda for now, rather than the alcohol she would've been imbibing just a few weeks prior. And as she sips at the coke, she scans the club, watching not only for trouble, but for areas that can be improved to make the club a better place. And a better business.

You maybe wouldn't call Perry a fixture, but is presence at Tartarus has become at least somewhat noteworthy, his visits regular. Enough that he moves over to Melissa's traditional perch with the ease and automacy of the habitual. He's continued to sport contacts rather than glasses, at least when he knows he's going to need them to see Mel, and he tends to don button up shirts and nice slacks, looking a little dressed up but - better than 'witty' t-shirts.

For a man so shy, he's gained a remarkable unworriedness when he enters Melissa's immediate vicinity. Greeting her with an arm around her waist and a kiss against her cheek, it's not that he doesn't care if anyone sees, it's that it simply doesn't occur to him. His attention is not spared in the slightest on anyone not-Mel.

"Hello," Perry says, rather softly, taking the seat next to her at the bar, "you look- uh- I think the word I'm looking for is ravishing." A smile, expectant of Melissa's response.

And Melissa has come to not only enjoy the visits, but to look forward to them, returning the arm around her and the kiss with small touches and a kiss of her own. The compliment has her smiling warmly, and it earns him another kiss, this one directed to his lips rather than cheek. "And you are a flatterer. But I like it, since I hoped you'd be coming in today," she confesses.

She turns to face him, knees bumping his lightly as she waves a bartender over to get him a drink. "Missed you, you know. Kinda weird not seeing you for a few days, after spending so much time together in Hawaii."

"I've- uh- I've heard flattery will get me everywhere," Perry remarks, evoking the near-proverb with an uneven smile that suggests he's warming up into proper flirting. "Though- uh- I'd be satisfied if it got me just as far as your office." He looks over at the bartender, accepting the drink with a grateful nod and taking a sit before returning his full attention to Mel. "I- I know what you mean. I- uh- I understand now, what they say in- uh- in films and television. About- uh- thinking about someone all the time."

Though her smile was already warm, those words have Melissa's face softening. "Careful, or I'll be dragging you off to my office. Though, if you've the time, there is some stuff we need to talk about in private. Can't promise I'll completely behave myself though," she says, grinning impishly at him.

"I'll- uh- I'll try and keep you on task," Perry says, taking his drink and rising to his feet, "but I'm not sure how effective I'll be on staying focused either. Still… we need privacy either- uh- either way, hmmm?" He offers his hand to Melissa.

Melissa laughs and moves to her feet, taking his hand and giving it a squeeze. "I won't blame you if you don't stay focused, baby," she promises before leading him back to her office. "You know what though? You should come over to my place, like on Monday, since I gotta work this weekend. Just spend some time vegging at my place."

Perry follows after, patent leather shoes tapping against the club floor in coincidental time with the music. "We- uh- we are such fine influences on each other…" he remarks, smiling lopsidedly, "and that- uh- that sounds wonderful. But- uh- well…" maybe this should wait until they get into the safety of the office.

"You are a good influence on me," Melissa says, smiling at him, but sounding serious. "I really am thrilled that you came with me to Hawaii." Her office door is unlocked and she steps inside, shutting it after they're both in. She heads over to the couch and settles down onto it. "But uh, what? I can get you onto the island. People do it all the time."

Okay, so maybe Perry will grant that. She was drinking soda, he saw. And, to be fair, he's felt a great deal more sure of himself, more resolute, now that he's got some more comprehensible measure of his self worth, one that deals less with abstract concepts and more with a beautiful girl in a corset. He takes a seat next to her, taking advantage of the privacy afforded them first to draw her close into his arms, second to answer: "Just- uh- how exactly? I haven't been registered."

Melissa's arms move around him as well and she smiles, pressing close. "We be sneaky, of course. We have connections, we can manage it. Hell, Kendall does it all the time, though he does have the invisibility bonus for that," she murmurs. "And it would be worth it. I want you at my place, even if it's only mine until the beginning of March. And I really want to go to sleep in my bed and wake up with you there."

That all sound a-okay to Perry, who smiles with just a hint of disbelief, the actuality of Mel and all that comes with her remaining, at times, too good to be true. He tilts her chin up with a hand and kisses her, affirming just how much he really wants that, that it is only one of many wants, all linked in related series, all orbiting around her. "I- uh- I could stay for quite a while. I can- uh- pay my rent early."

Kisses like that are still new enough, and wonderful enough, to make her all but melt against him. "That sounds wonderful, honey. I can't wait." Melissa sighs then. "But should probably get business stuff out of the way, so we can just enjoy the time later on, huh? It's not really much, just a couple of things…Had two interesting visitors last week."

Laudations are due as Mel keeps them on track. For all his fervent committal to the Cause, Perry remains human, all too human, and moments more of melting Mel might sidetrack him thoroughly. In the interests only of retaining some cognitive capacity, he leans back just a little, though he's still got Melissa close. "Uh- who?"

Melissa is no more eager to put distance between him as he is. "One was Richard. Hiro Nakamura paid a visit to him. This outbreak of the 510 is going to go pandemic. And worse, it apparently doesn't have anyone controlling it. It's just been hiding and mutating, and it's out of control. I've already gotten vaccinated, since I'm registered, and I wanna do something to get my hands on more vaccinations. For you, Junie, Kendall. Others who aren't registered."

Perry's brow furrows, his previous levity suddenly borne down with this new worry. "That- uh- that's grave," he says, "and there is- uh- nothing we can do about it? Except get vaccine which- uh- did you have some sense? I- uh- I'm hesitant to steal it in great quantities. That- uh- that might harm many we are trying to protect. But we do need some for the unregistered. That is- uh- similarly crucial."

"Yeah. The vaccine is crucial. We'll have to do some checking, find out where the greatest supplies are, the easiest targets," Melissa murmurs. "I've stocked up on stuff at the apartment. Food, medical supplies. Got that routine pretty much down given that I had the Plague Den last year."

"As- uh- as first operations go, this is pretty important," Perry says, nodding, "if we- uh- if we managed to land a large supply, more than- uh- more than just our party needs… we should- uh- we should get it out to others. Would- uh- would the Ferry have a means of distributing? That could- uh- that could really help our relations."

"Oh yeah, the Ferry'd be able to give it to their operatives," Melissa says, nodding. "Maybe Endgame too, though I don't know how many of them aren't Registered given that they work with the government to some extent."

"I- uh- trust that Cardinal is taking care of his own," Perry states, "as he's the one- uh- with the information in the first place. In any case, we need that vaccine. And however many of us there are, we'll need to find a way to get it before the first wave of sickness hits. If it's caught, it's too late."

"Agreed. It's why I went ahead and got vaccinated. Just to be safe." Melissa rests her head against his shoulder. "The other visit I got was…just as interesting but not necessarily as important. Probably isn't, actually. Perry? Can you see me as a politician? I mean, honestly? Don't be afraid to be blunt."

Perry really prefers more context for questions like this, and is left to try and imagine context briefly, to extrapolate how this question came to be, before giving up and answering, simply enough. "That- uh- that was the intention, wasn't it? Of- uh- splitting the group? Before- uh- before Marjorie was killed of course," a dip of the head, still respecting their fallen, "but- uh- what exactly was this visit?"

"There was a guy. A businessman. He knew about my connection to you, to Griffin. He was evolved too, but unregistered," Melissa begins, brow furrowing faintly. "He wants to invest. In me. He's got this plan. Get me ownership of this place, use some of the profits to funnel into a foundation for evolved rights, and from there into local politics, to try to basically change stuff. To make it better for the evolved."

"Who- uh- who is this 'guy'?" Perry says, the whole offer seeming much too good to be true, especially considering… "connection to- uh- to us how? This- uh- this sounds pretty dangerous. I mean- of course if it's for real, then it could have remarkable potential but- but I'd advice- uh- great caution."

"Claudius Kellar. And yeah, I was wary too. He had this whole file on me," Melissa admits with a grimace. "But we sat and talked for a while. He…I think he might be legit. I told him I needed a few days, to think over the offer. But…I think it may be a good idea. I mean, I don't know how well I'd do as a politician, but I'd like to do something to help."

"I've- uh- never heard of him," Perry says, though he can't easily be faulted for that, seeing as he is not involved in capital-eff-Finance, "another- uh- background check may be necessary." First Kincaid, now this fellow… "If- uh- if it's legitimate, then- then yes. Yes absolutely. Though- uh- we'll have to be all the more discreet. Politics- uh- can shed a bright light on its practitioners."

"Maybe," Melissa murmurs. "Though I don't wanna have to hide our relationship. I'd like it if somehow we could get your name cleared, so we don't have to worry. But you're right. Politics does shed bright lights, and tends to reveal each and every fault that's there. Every little wrinkle."

"I'm not giving you up," Perry says, with a clearness and forcefulness that suggests this is an unarguable point, "we- uh- we'll just be careful. And that's only if this- uh- this offer isn't a devil's bargain. Did you- uh- did you get a sense of the man? His- uh- his character?"

Melissa smiles and gives him a warm squeeze. "Good, because I'd fight for you." She falls silent for a long moment. "I got the impression that he was one of us. Maybe not in condoning the violence that we do, but in the mission. He wants us, the evolved, to have the same rights as non-evolved. Part of me wants to trust him. The other part is worried, but paranoia is normal for me."

"It's- uh- hardly paranoia when we are- uh- legitimately being hunted," Perry remarks, wryness softened by the smile her first words bring him, "and- uh- I don't think it'd be any contest…" he leans in to kiss her once more, "once glimpse of you and you'd win me."

Melissa grins and cuddles more fully into him. "Sweet talker. And yeah, we are. So I guess that's maybe just normal operation for me, the paranoia. I think the offer's legit though. And I think…I think I wanna take it. I could potentially do so much good with that sort of foundation, and by getting involved in local politics, since it seems like the worst place for the evolved to be is right here."

        He'll take her closeness, drawing her into his arms, ever surprised at her slightness and her warmth. Perry nods, still cautious - as ever - but taking his lead from Melissa's own careful optimism. "Once- uh- once you feel absolutely sure this is what it appears to be… yes. I think it would be- uh- be an excellent idea."

"I've actually pondered, and have been for a while, starting a foundation. Especially once I found out that the Institute was working out of the Suresh center," Melissa confesses, head finding his shoulder, her eyes closing. "It's just been slow going since I don't have the financial resources Kellar does. Isn't it funny how starting a charity can cost so much money?"

"Ch- uh- charity is a one way road," Perry says, nodding, "those who can give it don't need it. We- uh- we have to work towards something more- uh- robust. A way to lift up our fellows instead of just- uh- just keeping their heads above water." He lifts a hand to brush against her hair, before finding her shoulder and squeezing. "This could- uh- could be an amazing opportunity. If- uh- if it all checks out."

"I hope it does," Melissa says, smiling and brushing lips over his lightly. "Oh, and reminds me…Be careful around midtown. Apparently there are robots there, ones who can tell that we're evolved," she says, the smile turning to a mild grimace. "I swear the government's just looking for an excuse to exterminate us. Which is bullshit since the president's evolved."

If she wants to talk business, why does she keep distracting him?  Perry has to take a moment to regain his thoughts after their lips meet, stopping himself from simply chasing her right then and there.  His brows arch in mild, teasing reprove. “You are- uh- sending me mixed signals,” he informs her, “one hand- uh- gives, the other takes- uh- takes away.”

Melissa laughs and goes one step further, just crawling into his lap and wrapping her arms around his neck. “Is this better? More of a clear signal? I’m mostly just trying to keep myself from getting too far off topic, which isn’t an easy thing to do. Mmm…though I do think that’s the last of the important stuff that’s come up in the last week or so. Kellar, 510, robots, you coming to my place…” She pauses, considers, then nods. “Yep, that’s it.”

“Then if- uh- if business is concluded…” Perry says, hand running up Melissa’s back, up into hear hair where he grips gently before drawing her into a very unambiguous kiss.  His other arm slip under and behind her and he lifts her as he gets to his feet, their lips still locked.  His arms tense to keep her in place as he pulls back enough to suggest, “shall we move on to- uh- other pressing matters?”

Melissa’s arms tighten when he stands, bringing her with him, and she melts into the kiss, as she tends to do so easily with him. Someone’s more than a little smitten. “Won’t hear me argue, honey. I’m always ready to move onto other pressing matters with you.”

It is so very, very new to Perry to be wanted at all, let alone like this.  It takes every ounce of manly composure (stocked up specifically for Mel’s benefit) to not smile with wide, helpless fondness at his impossible luck.  Instead he smiles in a manner he hopes is confident, commanding, even, and bears her over to the desk, setting her on its edge before, with great sweeps of his arm, pushing all of Mel’s carefully sorted work items well out of the way, sending some toppling over the edge and to the floor.  Rather than give her a chance to protest the mess, he leans in to kiss her again, both distracting and silencing her, keeping her mind on the next point on the agenda.

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