Secret Lives Of Pokemon


everleigh_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif

Scene Title Secret Lives of Pokemon
Synopsis After literally running into each other, Everleigh and Kendall hit it off and geek out over pokemon and cosplay.
Date April 11, 2021

Elmhurst Hospital

The days of easy access to life necessities such as internet and cell service are, regrettably, a thing of the past and (hopefully) the near future, at least for a good portion of the US of today. Forced into such extremes as having to hang out around the outside of the Elmhurst Hospital just so Kendall can try to at least catch his daily Pokemon and spin that Pokestop! Woe.

Pacing down the sidewalk outside, he keeps losing connection, causing him to need to swerve closer periodically as he grumbles under his breath, occasionally sneezing at the scent of smoke when it drifts by his nose. He's on the hunt! Focused on the game, he's not paying attention to much else.

The smoke is enough of a thing that Everleigh's been avoiding spending too much time outside. While she's managed to get ahold of a facemask that helps with keeping it out of her lungs, there's nothing to really keep smoke and ash from irritating her eyes. Tucked under one arm are several full bolts of cloth wound around their cardboard structures, while a loose handful of papers are clutched with them in an attempt to keep them from escaping. Her free hand, as it turns out, isn't particularly free as she's doing her best to wipe water from her eyes.

Stopping to blink a few times and wipe her eyes, she's not aware of the fact she's impeding the path towards the spot on the sidewalk with the best connection. When she does notice the Pokemon hunting, it's a bit too late. Through bleary eyes, she notices someone or something headed in her direction. She attempts to move towards the edge of the sidewalk to avoid a collision, but her impeded vision keeps her from seeing just where the curb rests. Everleigh's foot misses where she should have caught herself as she moves, losing her balance. While she manages to keep ahold of the bolts of fabric, the papers are scattered.

The loose sheets of paper seem to be a mix of some rough sketches, printed photographs of various costumes with colors isolated for references. She doesn't go for the papers right away, instead making sure she's not stumbling into the street and that the Pokemon Trainer isn't going to go spilling that direction either. "Oh god, I'm so sorry," she says reflexively.

"Gah!" Mid spin as he was just about to hurl a great ball at a Snivy, he runs into someone and makes her drop stuff. He looks up and almost bobbles his phone, clasping it for dear life. Kendall huffs out a breath at that near fatal mistake, which then turns into a small coughing fit, fortunately with the temerity to use his elbow instead of right into her face. Deciding rather than risk it with another bout of fumblefingers, his phone is turned off and disappears… into his pocket, in a completely normal way.

"Oh, geez, sorry." he catches sight of the papers that scattered and tackles some that look like they were about to blow away. "Here, um…" a glance at them and he raises an eyebrow, peering at her. "…cosplayer?" No, he's not naming her that. A second look, this time at Everleigh herself, and he frowns slightly, deep in thought. "Cliché, I know, but have we met before?" belatedly he holds out the sheets he rescued from the winds of oblivion. "Er, you ok? Sorry again." the bolts of cloth are eyed curiously. Well. If she is a cosplayer, she must be one of those that go all out!

There's a bit of a sheepish look as Everleigh reaches out to take the papers back. "Something like that, I usually don't wear them myself," she admits. "But I'm sure going to make sure that someone else looks good doing it. Costumes for performances and things too, I just really enjoy people bringing their favorite heroes to life." His mention having met before gets a worried look for a moment.

"You aren't a p—"

She cuts herself off as it comes to her. "Ah! The disappearing act. That was very impressive, I think Seren was delighted by that more than anyone. I can't say I expected that, but it certainly made for a good night."

"Oh yeah, from the-" wait a second, might need to be a bit more, uh… circumspect about discussing illegal venues in broad daylight. "…dance." Dancing was one of the tamer activities people were pursuing there that night. Kendall snickers. "Would've stayed longer to properly say hi but I had to rescue a damsel in distress. Though as it turns out, she ended up rescuing me instead."

Pause. "I'm Kendall, recently returned from the dead a second time. Kidding." It’s an important distinction, but why ‘second time’? Anyway. "But yeah, making costumes for other people? That's even cooler. I wasn't really into that much myself, except-" he pauses again and shrugs it off. "Well let's just say I'm pretty good at looking like anything I want." he sighs, regretfully, idly rubbing his eyes against the smoke with a wrinkled nose. "Pity it doesn't work for pictures. I used to have a friend that dragged me along."

He glances around, then to the hospital, then back to her again. "Think they'd mind if we loitered in their lobby? This smoke is awful. And uh… there's a Pokestop there." wifi might not be available everywhere but Kendall made sure to find as many as he could! “I mean, it’s for our health right?”

The mention of it not working in pictures gains Everleigh's attention. "Oh, it doesn't? So it must not be some kind of physical manifestation and simply trick the mind into seeing something it's not…" She may be nerding out a little about the ability to just create illusions wherever, especially with how brightly she responds. "Nice to meet you, Kendall-back-from-the-dead. I imagine that's quite a story. I'm Everleigh."

He's made a nice point about the smoke, though, and as Everleigh wipes her eyes with the back of her hand, she nods in the direction of the lobby. "I'm sure they wouldn't mind, given the circumstances," she points out. "Besides, I could never get in the way of catching them all." There's a bit of amusement in her tone, but nothing that screams that she's disingenuous about the fact that he's wandering around catching Pokemon. She takes the lead, already wandering in the direction of the hospital's lobby.

Woop, new friend! Kendall laughs a bit self-consciously when she brings up catching them all, remembering a time when he thought people in their 30s who still played Pokemon were losers. Ahem. Not that he’s quite there yet, but…

“Yeah… on the plus side, it means I only have to do half the work because other people’s minds make up part of it. Kinda like what Seren did with you when I walked up.” Kendall follows behind Everleigh, perfectly willing to let her go in first. “Nice to meet you. Officially.” fishing his phone back out of his pocket now that it’s not in any danger of escaping his grip, he turns it on and glances at the screen, flicking it and then looking back up. “Still kinda weird to discuss it like it’s no big deal though. It’s one thing when other people are flinging stuff around but…” shrug.

Once they’re inside the lobby, he wipes at his eyes with his sleeve again. “So what kind of costumes, aside from just ‘heroes’? Marvel, DC, or other stuff? Video games? Anime?” it’s always great to meet another nerd.

"What, the illusions or the Pokemon?" Everleigh removes the mask she was using to prevent smoke inhalation, revealing an amused smile. "I'd say both are valid. I almost never talk about mine, it was always a taboo thing growing up… hiding it tends to be easier most of the time. The ability, not the Pokemon."

She shifts the bolts of cloth in her arms, moving out of the doorway to an unoccupied section of the lobby where they won't be in the way of anyone actually there for hospital purposes. "Oh, yeah, heroes is a broad term because it's meant to be. It's more that if it looks cool I like to try and make it. I made what I was wearing to the… dance." She, of course, uses the same tone to refer to the perfectly legal event as he had. "It's probably the hobby that takes up most of my time when I'm not working. I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into what I do. Not literally, of course."

I’d have to question your methods if you did.” Kendall replies dryly with a smirk at her. “I mean if that’s what you can do, uh, power to you, but to be honest it’d probably be kinda gross to wear something made of or with bodily fluids.” and then Kendall had to go and make it weird. Good job, Kendall.

“So, uh, since I’ve been outed already, and if you don’t mind…” he hesitates a little. Show me yours and I’ll show you mine? “Well of course you don’t have to but now I’m curious.” is it rude to ask someone about that? He’s not even sure if there is an etiquette involved in such a thing.

“Er anyway, on the subject of Pokemon, do you play? I could use a few more friend codes.” Pokemon friend codes, the new, cool way to ask for someone’s digits. No really. He glances at her bolts of cloth, then back up at her. “Need me to hold one for you? Looks a little awkward to hold all of those at once.”

"I'm pretty sure it'd take quite a bit of creativity that I don't have to make a costume out of such things," Everleigh replies with a laugh. While there's an uncomfortable look at the suggestion of sharing abilities, it's clear he's made a good point. "Don't laugh too much. I can make it smell like lavender to relax people. I'd make a killing running a spa." It's pretty obvious the humor there is certainly to relax her, not in any attempt to actually be funny.

"Oh, yeah, friend codes! I haven't played much in a while, mostly because I don't get out as much as I probably should." The offered pair of hands to hold one of the bolts of cloth is gratefully accepted as she passes over one of them so she can fish out her phone.

“Hey I won’t knock the aromatherapy. Technically I can make people think they’re smelling something but illusions for the things you can’t see or hear are a bit harder for me, and of course it isn’t real, so yours sounds a lot more useful.” Kendall takes the bolt of cloth from her one-armed, using his own phone one-handed to get over to the friend code page. “My QR or yours?” he waggles his brows at her with a mischievous grin.

“Cool you can do that though, I’ve always wanted to go into one of those candle or uh… body smell shops” it’s called BATH AND BODY WORKS, Kendall. “…but I always felt like people would give me weird looks if I did. I guess less so now but.” ok why is he still talking about that? “Anyway.”

"I actually don't think I've even got anyone on my friends list," Everleigh admits, navigating towards the friends code. "I know it's supposed to be a social game, but… can't say I really know that many people that play it. So it's good to have a friend." The fact that he isn't laughing at her ability seems to relax her immensely. "I can't make it work on myself which is weird, but I assume it's because of something in my biology. I've never done too much research into it or examined it, mostly because it was such a hush-hush thing growing up and it's not as if I'm flying or setting things on fire."

Her attention briefly is torn away as she catches one of the receptionists offering her a familiar wave and she sheepishly returns it before looking back. "One of these days I'll really delve into seeing if there's more I can do with it, but for the most part I don't even use it at all."

When she mentions it being hush-hush, Kendall grimaces, looking away, even as he holds up his phone with the QR code for her to snap a picture with on hers. “I didn’t have the best experience with it.” he keeps that vague enough, shaking his head and looking back at her. “No friends?! But sending gifts is the best part! Those 7 kilometer eggs sometimes have super cool stuff in them.” pause. “Not sure why it’s always kilometers for it, you’d think the English version would have conversions to miles already.” shrug. Pokemon is a much better subject to talk about.

“But, well, if you think you need to work on it, I know a friend who would probably be pretty enthusiastic about making his salon smell really nice.” he grins at that. “Raquelle Cambria, if you know who that is. I’m pretty sure he’d dig the aromatherapy thing too.”

"Yeah, there used to be a lot of stigma with it but I at least feel better knowing I can talk about it in a public place and not get hate speech thrown around," Everleigh smiles, though it's clear she's had some experiences with that as well. "I tend to keep expressive gene chatter to my professional life for the most part."

She centers the phone's camera on the QR code to snap it, offering a sheepish smile. "Friends require you to admit you're playing it and I always feel out of place bringing it up around people. I'm a bit more of a secret nerd. Not that there's anything wrong with it, I'm just a bit of an awkward person at times."

Everleigh shakes her head. "Can't say I'm familiar with the name, but if someone's cool with me using it, I'd actually enjoy the opportunity. I don't particularly like to use it on anyone unsuspecting so people being okay with me using it would be great. I just don't like to feel intrusive when I do it."

“Oh what secret lives we lead, powers and Pokemon! Each an embarrassment of riches!” once she snaps the picture, he drops his gaze to his phone, waiting for the little letter icon to show up. He accepts, and grins brightly at her. “Well there we go. You now have a friend. And they added stuff that lets you invite friends to raids so now if you have a remote raid ticket you can join if I’m loitering near a gym.” Sorry Everleigh, you now have someone gushing excitedly over a children’s game. “Er. Sorry, haha. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to talk to someone about games.” Kendall clears his throat. “I swear I’m an adult.” Lies.

“Raquelle would probably adore you then. He does have a lot of nice smelling stuff there, though I probably couldn’t tell the difference between uh…” he squints a little as he tries to think of two different flowers that smell like stuff. “Lavender and roses?” he sounds uncertain. Wait what does lavender even smell like? He’s sure he knows but he doesn’t often go smelling flowers.

"That's alright, I don't usually get to talk about these things either," Everleigh offers a knowing smile. "Besides, being an adult doesn't mean you can't enjoy things. It's healthy to have some activities that you genuinely enjoy just for the sake of them being something you like doing. Granted, it might be wise to not walk too much while we're dealing with all this smoke and ash but…" She gives a shrug, then latches onto the discussion of the flowers.

"Roses are what you think of when you smell flowers. They're sweet. Think of lavender as more of a stronger, more herb-like scent. I could demonstrate, if you like, but it's not really something flashy. I just tend to smell nice and sometimes people relax a bit around me. Not the worst thing in the world but… not everyone can fly or make illusions. Sometimes people are just ordinary, even among those with the gene. People wouldn't really know I was using mine if I didn't tell them first." She offers a wry smile. "Lavender's what they use in spas. It's got all sorts of natural qualities. They've done studies that actually show some promising use in mice that could eventually be used to help combat cancer or dementia. When I figured out what I could do, I did a bit of research. Can't hurt to know the positive impact I can make, right?"

"Well the downside to illusions is that they can't really do anything but trick people. I can't affect anything that actually exists, it all depends on what other people perceive." Kendall politely listens to the talk about flowers and nods to her. "Yeah I don't know much about stuff like that but there's a real effect you can have on others, even if it's just to relax them or make them feel good."

Kendall considers that for a moment. "I wonder if the smell of weed would do the same thing without uh… side effects." Because there's nothing like encouraging illegal behavior. He belatedly realizes this and coughs. "Well, uh, probably shouldn't find out."

Everleigh raises an eyebrow. "Can't really do anything but trick people? You have no idea how incredibly powerful that could be?" She seems genuinely curious. "People believe things they think are likely. Our minds try to make sense of things to really understand them and they fill in the blanks if guided in the right direction. There are so many things you could do with something like that. It might sound like a silly thing, but the applications of something like that could be endless."

She gestures around the hospital. "You could help a dying old woman to rest by allowing her to see her late husband's image for the last time. You could help people escaping abusive families by disguising them or making them unseen so they could get out. Those are just from the top of my head, but there's a lot more than tricking people with something like that. You could tell amazing stories to a crowd of children. I bet they'd be fascinated seeing them animated in some way."

Everleigh manages to crack a smile at the suggestion. "I can't say I've ever tried or managed other effects rather than just sort of soothing and relaxing people. I bet I could get people in a lot of trouble if I managed that scent, though. I can't say I fully know how it works, but I've never really tried too much with it. Growing up, my family never liked talking about it and my best friend never really knew either, so I didn't have much of a chance to think about it or explore it. I suppose that's something I've never really gotten over."

"Well. I did actually do a few of those things." Kendall admits with a smile. "I used to have a mental block on it and had to draw it first, or use a prop. But when I got to where I had to use it to save myself from dying, well, you break stuff like that quick."

When she mentions her own background with her power, he raises his eyebrows at her. "So… your parents knew? And were… okay with it, relatively speaking?" he sighs. "My parents disowned me and kicked me out of the house in the middle of winter when they found out. I think they were hoping nature would take care of me." His tone is bitter when he recounts that, shaking his head. He drops his gaze back down to his game, tapping a few things. Ding, Everleigh receives a gift from a friend!

"They knew there was something different, but I don't think there was ever a conversation about what it was exactly. It was sort of an out-of-sight-out-of-mind experience, we all just pretended things were fine. I think my parents pushed me harder academically to sort of try and make my life about something else," Everleigh gives a shrug. "I suppose it worked in the long run, but I've definitely got complicated thoughts about these things when it comes to myself. I'm not even sure if I would have registered for a long time if it weren't for the fact that the medical profession makes it a bit more difficult to just hide things. Certificates and licenses are easier if you're up front and entirely honest."

The mention of being kicked out gets a compassionate look from the woman. "My parents tried very hard to have me. I don't think kicking me out was an option in their eyes. They couldn't get rid of it, so everyone just pretended it wasn't there. It wasn't as if it were some obvious thing in the first place, so it was easy to sweep it under the carpet when I was growing up." Her gaze goes to the phone, smiling slightly at the game's notifications.

"My parents had super high standards for me, as soon as they found out I had a talent for art, they plotted out my entire life. I don't think they ever saw me as a person, guess that made it easier. I think my father might've been a Humanis First supporter." he scowls down at his phone.

Abruptly Kendall blinks and gives her a sheepish grin. "Woops… sorry, didn't mean to dredge up shit like that. So what kinds of costumes have you made so far, specifically?" Back to the nerd stuff pls, much nicer to talk about. "My skill level for cosplays is picking a character with a simple outfit and raiding a few Goodwills until I find what I need. Not that I've been to a convention in years, but…"

Everleigh offers a small smile. "Nah, you don't have to worry about that. I'm used to hearing about those kinds of things. I think my parents just saw my ability as an obstacle and it was best to just ignore it. I think they were scared of what might happen. I can't blame them in that regard." She looks down at her phone for a moment.

"I've done costuming for theaters before, things that work for dancers… so my work isn't just purely the realm of nerddom. I just like to try a little bit of everything. I usually don't make costumes for myself, though I've designed outfits for myself before. Sometimes it's easier to make something for me than to go trying to find something that doesn't fit what I have in mind." She shrugs her shoulders. "I prefer fabric to any sort of armor, though, that's often way too hard to work with. Embroidery and detail work, though, are just fine. All of the fabric-related things are much easier."

"Theater nerds still nerds." Kendall laughs, shaking his head. "It takes a certain kind of person to get involved in something like that. Either they are an attention whore who wants to 'make it big' and bask in the adulation, or they have a real talent and passion for it and would probably talk your ear off about things because they adore it. Guess which ones stay."

On the subject of how to make costumes (or normal clothes, for that matter), Kendall glances down at his faded jeans and equally faded t-shirt with Captain America's shield on it. "I'm low budget. I've half-assed foam armor before and you get out as much as you put in." Smirk.

"I definitely think it's more satisfying to put some work in, but there's nothing wrong with something simple. It's nice to have anything sometimes. I leave the cosplaying to the professionals, I just make it. Not a huge fan of the spotlight. I'd rather watch someone get some use out of something I've made and know I somehow helped in that."

Everleigh can't hide another grin. "Thankfully I've learned not to talk someone's ear off, especially because some things are harder to just explain. Most people wouldn't know the difference between a serger and a sewing machine and if I started talking about seam allowance and how to prevent fraying I'd probably lose you."

"Probably." Matter of fact, already did. "Kinda feel sorry for the people who don't have something to nerd over, to be honest. People who go through the motions of life, workaholics, um… alcoholics." Other holics. "And people who enjoy ruining it for others." A light shrug at that and Kendall thinks it over for a moment. "I guess some people hate seeing other people happy. Or hate fun. Gimme a video game any day and I'll be perfectly content to leave those kinds of people alone."

A rueful look is given his phone again, and then he glances back to Everleigh. "The biggest obstacle to my way of life now is wifi… so many games out that require internet. And that is how I end up chatting in the lobby of a hospital."

"I guess I shouldn't tell you I'm a workaholic then," Everleigh glances back over. "When I'm not being a workaholic, though, I enjoy my hobbies. I find that I enjoy my work, so even when I spend a lot of time doing it, I'm still getting something out of it. But I can definitely say I'm not trying to stop anyone's happiness. In fact, I'd say quite the opposite. I'd rather aid in it than keep people from it."

She glances down at her own phone. "There's a lot of old games out there that don't require it, though. Harder to find these days but it's pretty worth it. But finding people to chat with is a nice trade off. It's good to at least experience the occasional lobby chat, right?"

"Oh. Um. I meant the people who don't have hobbies." Tiiime for Kendall to backtrack. "I lost all my stuff during the war." He sighs regretfully. "Past ten years or so, most of my belongings fit in a backpack. I had a computer, but not everywhere has electricity, let alone internet. I've suffered." Wimp.

At Everleigh's words about preferring to help others, Kendall nods. "Yeah, I've always loved drawing for other people more than for myself. It just… means more that way. And when it was safe to do so, I do like showing a little magic to others." A light grin to her as he alludes to the Wonderland event.

"Those are some pretty cool tricks, there's some joke to be made about 'being great at parties'," Everleigh's gaze momentarily goes to her phone before back over at Kendall. "Having a backpack full of stuff sounds like that's the rough part of life, not the lack of electricity and internet. People use stuff to settle down roots. If you can carry your stuff everywhere, finding a place to consider home might be a bit harder."

She pauses. "Or something. Don't mind me. I'm getting carried away." She smiles sheepishly, distracting herself with her phone again.

“Oh no worries on that regard, I got picked up by the— uh, group of young adults who bought a place together who have a few extra rooms for those in need.” does ‘Lighthouse Kid’ mean anything to the general public? “They’re letting me stay with them, but yeah I haven’t really… stayed in one place in the last ten years. It was rough, yeah, but… for the most part I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I only made it back here a month ago.” Kendall sighs. “It’s certainly a lot different the last time I was here.” well a war happened, after all.

“Oh I got plenty of tricks I can do with it.” Kendall grins mischievously, and with a glance around to make sure no one’s looking, the bolt of cloth he’s holding suddenly turns into a small stack of books. “Easy enough. So long as it’s believable, no one would even give it a second glance.”

He does shift in place, however, looking around again to make sure no one WAS paying attention. His grin fades as he does so, and with a shrug it’s back to normal. “I know it’s more accepted nowadays but… a lot of stuff happened to get it to this point.”

"Well, it's a good thing you aren't alone in things. I've found things are a lot harder trying to go it on your own. Take it from my experience," Everleigh says, though the sight of the cloth now appearing as a stack of books gets a childlike look of delight on her face. "See, I'd love to be doing something like that. It'd be like some kind of natural adrenaline rush. It's more accepted, certainly, but it doesn't mean that most of us don't have some sort of trauma related to it. There was a civil war, it's not like that just gets forgotten because it's over."

She gives a nod in his direction. "But it seems you're doing well, so that's a good sign."

Kendall grins back at her when she expresses delight at his little trick, though it does fade a bit again at her words. "Yeah…. Well I've always had the philosophy that when shit goes sideways, it's always better to laugh than to cry. As for holding myself together, well…" he hesitates and shrugs. "Illusion is kind of my thing. I've spent the last ten years faking it."

Whatever 'it' is, anyway. "It's definitely a nice feeling to be appreciated for it, for sure. But in a lot of ways, the war isn't over any more than the first civil war is. The reason for it to be fought in the first place is still an issue."

"You're right," Everleigh agrees. "There's always a war, especially when it's such a complicated situation. The fact that we've ever had to hide and that it's still something we have to worry about is proof enough of that. I've seen plenty of damage done, emotional and physical, and some of those are wounds that won't ever fully heal. It sounds like you've at least got a good attitude to coping. Sometimes if you laugh, people will laugh with you. There's a release of tension that's hard to find any other way."

She looks at the bolts of cloth, both the one she holds and the one he does. "Some of us have worse coping mechanisms, but to each their own."

A slow eyebrow raise as he follows her gaze to the bolts of cloth and he snickers. "Making clothing and costumes, how dastardly. Right up there with doing drugs." Wasn't Kendall the one talking about making things smell like weed earlier? Of course, Everleigh probably wasn't talking about that, but there's jokes to be made anyway.

"Yeah…. So long as there's people willing to still fight on both sides, there's no real end. And it's not ethical to eradicate one side or the other. And it's not ethical to forcibly change someone's mind, either. I've met or heard of a few people."

"Ah, but there's my secret. I hide myself away and throw myself into projects so I don't have to deal with the realities of my own life. I much prefer allowing others to live theirs," Everleigh's grinning, but it's clear there's a strong note of truth there. "The problem is that a lot of people don't come into the situation with an open mind. It's hard to see from someone else's perspective, when you only know what you've lived. People fear what they don't understand. At the very least, it's a lot easier for people to see and understand things now. It's not perfect but it's a start."

She nods in his direction. "I'd say it's a positive direction. At least I like to hope so."

"Heh. I'm the same way with video games. Give me a world I can disappear into for days at a time. Books would work too but they're a little harder to carry around with you when all you have is a backpack." Well ebooks exist too, if the internet was available.

"That's always been the way people are, there's no way to fix that. And technically, trying to fix that leads to other problems. If everyone thought the same way there'd be no originality, or individuality. There'd be no reason to talk to other people because there'd be nothing to say. So… gotta take the bad with the good, I guess." Kendall fiddles with his phone again, swiping with his thumb.

"So are you settling down with your friends and actually giving yourself something more than a backpack of stuff?" Everleigh grins, nodding in his direction. "Because there's a wealth of books scavengable in some of the areas more off-limits. Not that I'm saying you should, of course. If you did, though, I imagine you could have plenty of shelves full of books. Books are a good escape for me, less so than games, mostly because I like the challenge of seeing how my mind can picture what is happening."

Her phone is glanced at again, mostly so she can check on what she's doing before she returns her attention to him. "People are wonderful and unique, not all of them great, but I'd say all of them interesting for one reason or another. Seeing people, hearing their stories, watching their lives, be it in person or fictional in some medium… it's definitely something I've found I enjoy. I think I do a bit better from a distance, though. I'm pretty sure if this is a story I'm the side character."

"We're all protagonists of our own story, don't let anyone do or say anything to convince you otherwise, including yourself." Kendall waggles a finger at her, still holding his phone. "Don't think that just because you don't have bright colored hair, a snazzy hairdo, or flashy clothes that you don't matter. So long as we're all the best person we can be, we are the main character." +10 for inspirational, -5 for comparing real life with anime.

He glances at the bolt of cloth he's holding speculatively. "Though it does sound like you would be perfectly capable of making one of those snazzy outfits for yourself but I'm not sure how well that would go in public, haha." He smirks over at her. Yeah, sure, she probably wouldn't want to wear one of THOSE outfits.

"As for settling in, there's been a few bumps but for the most part I think I can manage. Money, uh, is a bit of an issue. But I'm working on that." Depressing thought: gotta be an adult. With bills.

Everleigh's laugh is genuine, even if there's something bittersweet in the tone. "Maybe. I think I'm more of the main character with the vague attributes created so you can put yourself in their shoes. I could certainly make myself a strange outfit but… kind of neat to see what someone else does while wearing it. I like to see myself as an enabler."

Ah, adulting. Money. "Anything you have particular skills in, aside from your illusions? I might be able to see if I have any resources I can direct you to in the job search."

"I'm an artist. That's actually how my power manifested, I drew things and they came to life." Which caused all sorts of problems for Kendall but he won't get into that. "But I applied to SESA, actually. Way I figured, if I want to help people, that's probably the best way. And at the very least I can use my ability in a more, uh… legal manner." There's a few stories involved there, for sure, but he doesn't elaborate.

"But nothing says I can't do the art thing on the side, just need to find a good venue, I guess. Nothing super special about what I draw, no predicting the future or anything like that. So if you know a few places willing to take in art from a nobody…"

"SESA is a great way to help people. I've worked with quite a few agents in the past, so I can say from personal experience it can certainly help people," Everleigh agrees. "I can't say I know any particular job openings for an artist in particular, but I'm sure you can find something." She pauses, however, stuck on a few things he says.

"Just because you don't predict the future doesn't mean you aren't special or are a nobody. The art world is hard to compete in the first place. Besides, with a skill in art and having illusion as a technique, you could probably create some art that's so unique no one else is really doing it. Could be something like a performance piece, illusions creating something around an audience, letting them be in the art. So you could do something like that for a side gig. Word of mouth would be pretty amazing to draw people in, and if you did some for free initially I'm sure people would be more than willing to pay for tickets later."

"Oh, uh, I meant powers-wise, nothing special. But… that's actually not a bad idea. Might be a bit outside my comfort zone at the moment, though. Not sure how I'd feel with flaunting what I could do. There's still plenty of people out there who'd see that as a good target for stuff. But, uh, among people I know, I don't see why not. I could try drawing something specifically for interaction."

Kendall looks thoughtful at that; perhaps he's thinking about stuff he could do? "Heh that reminds me of this one time I played D&D with a group of friends, and I made the entire room look like the scene described by the DM. We all looked like our characters too…. More or less." He looks a tad bit embarrassed for some reason.

"I think I would have been thrilled if someone had done that for me back in my D&D days," Everleigh seems thoughtful. "We were pretty good at using our imagination but seeing us looking like what we'd imagined would be certainly a different experience." There's a small smile at the embarrassment. "If you're concerned that I'm going to judge you for this, don't be. I'm of the mind that you should enjoy what you enjoy, especially if it brings light and life to your life the way many things do for us as children."

She grins. "And I'm definitely older than you, so you can always be glad you're not me."

"I wasn't even going to comment on that." Kendall replies with a straight face. She said it, not him! Kendall also doesn't elaborate on why he felt embarrassed, but Everleigh doesn't need to know about how he made the characters look. Ahem.

"Guess DnD has been around forever. I don't actually know when it first came out." A few taps on his phone, and his eyebrows raise. "Huh. 1974. DnD is almost 50 years old!" He exclaims in surprise. "Damn, people my parents' age could've played it." Kendall's grin fades a bit upon the mention of his parents, but then he shrugs that off. "But yeah, anyway. That makes both of us young in comparison!" He glances over at her and snickers. "With a few more people, we should totally have a DnD session. Know any other nerds?"

"… I'm afraid to even ask how old you are because I'm afraid that will make me feel old," Everleigh says with a laugh. "I had a few friends in high school who I played it with, but not many. I wasn't exactly the popular kid." She offers a smile in his direction. "Some things never change, I guess. Most people I know who would even consider something like that… I simply don't have contact with them anymore. It's a shame, really."

She rubs the back of her neck, seeming actually awkward for a moment. "I don't really get out much. Aside from work."

"28 in a few months, but who's counting?" He shrugs with a straight face. "If you can remember a time where you thought your current age now is old, there's no point in worrying about it anymore."

When she brings up not being a popular kid in school, though, Kendall heaves a sigh. "Me neither. Then again my schools kept getting blown up. So…. And then I died once so stopped going." Pause. "I got better. I'm not a zombie, I promise."

Anyway, moving right along past that fascinating declaration. Kendall brings Pokemon Go up again, then grins over at her, then gestures to the side where a wall blocks the view from the hospital lobby, and suddenly there's an Eevee there. "I don't bother using that AR button, my whole life is augmented reality." he brags.

"Oh thank god I'm not old enough to be your mother," Everleigh gestures towards him. "Which means I'm old enough, but not old so don't go asking." She can't help a smile. "I mean, I can't say I've ever died but I've heard a whole collection of incredible stories. Coming back from death is certainly among them. But I'm pretty sure zombies don't catch Pokemon anyway."

She brightens at the sight of the Eevee, looking amused. "Yes, I do believe you'd be great at parties. Never a dull moment. You'd definitely be the popular kid now. Minus the kid part."

"So long as no one makes any requests for anything X-rated, sure." Those really aren't the kinds of parties Kendall is interested in joining. "And I wasn't going to ask, everyone knows it's rude to ask a lady her age." Pause. "And weight. And cup size. Actually, just don't ask unless you want to get smited."

Well that's a slight hole Kendall just dug into himself, and he quickly turns to the side, and uses his phone to fling a pokeball at the Eevee, causing the illusory one to get caught too…. Or would if it didn't break the ball in his phone. He sighs. "So much for showing off." He tries again, and this time it stays caught, the pokeball disappearing. That's quite the shifty look he gives her afterwards.

Everleigh's smile doesn't lessen. "Smart man. Personal questions are always a dangerous territory to venture into, particularly unwittingly. I can't say I've ever smited anyone, though, much less in the context of revenge for prying questions." She laughs a bit, nodding towards the disappearing Eevee and his phone.

"It's still impressive, if showing off was what you were going for. I certainly can't do that and you've got some flair for the creative. I'm a little jealous of anyone who can do some kind of visual ability, it's always something visible as an impact, an easy way to see an effect on a person from what you've done. I can never be sure if someone relaxes because I have a soothing voice or because it smells pleasantly of lavender."

"Well so long as the end result is the same, does it really matter? That's not something I can do so don't sell yourself short either. Defusing a potential crisis by calming someone down, for instance, is nothing to" pause. "Sneeze at." Innocent smile. Nose puns, har har.

"I mean if you can make the smell of smoke go away too…." On a more serious note, Kendall gestures outside. "It won't get rid of anything else but I'm sure making it smell different would calm a lot of anxiety. Haven't heard that it's getting closer but I'm sure it's worrying a lot of people."

Everleigh grins. "I'll forgive you for the bad jokes in light of the fact that you're nice," she notes, though when her attention is drawn to the outside again she frowns. "Not sure I could mask the scent, and even if I could I wouldn't want anyone breathing deeply. Inhaling a lovely scent that calms them is kind of worse if you're allowing them to breathe in smoke and ash at the same time."

She looks back to Kendall. "I mean, indoors I can calm people who are worried about the experience, but I can't say I'd be particularly useful in dealing with the fire in any way." She frowns. "During the war, I spent a lot of time going around after people and picking up the pieces of the people who had been damaged emotionally and physically. Metaphorical pieces, mind you. I'm great in an aftermath, but not so great in the midst of some sort of catastrophic event."

“I know what you mean. Though for me, it was more… doing what I could to help people who had no business being in the middle of riots. And then doing what I could to make life less… suck, for a lot of people. It’s so nice here, in comparison.” Kendall glances outside again and grimaces. “Well, except for that. I’ve seen enough of that for one lifetime.”

He heaves a sigh. “A nice rain and some wind thataway would be nice.” he gestures towards the direction where the fires are coming from, according to The News, whatever that colloquially refers to at the moment. “Then again I guess it’s pretty self-centered to wish nature would conform to make things easy for you. Nature’s more likely to kill you.”

"I wonder if they've got any hydrokinetics helping fight the fire, or someone with some kind of weather control able to help bring a storm or some wind to blow the smoke in a different direction," Everleigh seems thoughtful. "There are quite a few people in recent days I've seen using what they have to try and make the world a bit of a better place. Emergencies do seem to band people together… at the very least, you can rely on the strength of the human spirit for that."

She chuckles. "Nature might be more likely to kill you, but it doesn't mean there aren't people who bend nature to their will."

"The downside to that is there's a few stories about people who can change the weather that end up making it worse. Making the wind blow here might cause a tornado elsewhere. Plus there was that one winter we had where a lot of people froze to death that was caused by someone with an ability." Kendall actually met her twin sister!

"But yeah, hydrokinesis and pyrokinesis would probably both be good in this situation. At least, a pyrokinetic could keep the fires from getting bigger, maybe do some, what's it called, backburning?" That doesn't sound right. Or does it? Kendall isn't knowledgeable about firefighting techniques. "The thing where you light a fire to already burn stuff ahead of the main fire so it doesn't have anything to burn."

Everleigh nods. "That's a fair point, weather's a pretty delicate science. I can imagine a pyrokinetic might be able to actually hold the line, so to speak. If they can control the existing fire, maybe they could keep it from getting closer to somewhere that it might be dangerous. But we're just speculating. Neither of us really have the ability to do any of that, and I'm sure they've already thought about that sort of thing long before we have."

She offers a smile. "In some ways, I'm glad what I can do is more simple… it'd be a lot of responsibility to try and fight something like this. I'm a workaholic as is, but I can't imagine the kind of responsibility I'd feel if I had a way to help."

“I can convince someone I can though, heh.” Kendall holds up his hand and a small ball of flame springs to life, flickering. Then he closes his fist and it disappears. “Would only last to the point where someone wants me to actually use it for something. Couldn’t keep anyone from freezing to death though, unlike real fire.” he shrugs over at her. “And nothing I can do about it either so let’s just hope people who can are stepping up.”

He glances down at his phone again, then back up at her. “So do you have a favorite pokemon?” a grin accompanies his question as he raises an eyebrow. Hopefully it’s not Wailord. “And what work do you do when you’re not catching ‘em all?” he can be a bit nosy, right?

Everleigh laughs. "There are all kinds of things people can do to help in situations like this, regardless of being able to control fire or water or do something like that. I never fought in the war, but I followed behind in its wake. Because when the fighting's all said and done, there are people who still have to live with it. That's a whole different war to fight." She looks down at her phone at the mention of favorite pokemon. "That's easy. Eevee. Mostly because of the potential. Eevee's really cute on its own and could be great, but there are so many different ways Eevee could evolve. But it doesn't always have to."

Her smile turns into more of a grin. "I'm a psychiatrist, private practice. I do a bit of everything but I tend to focus on helping with the aftermath of war as well as people living with the trauma that's sometimes associated with being an Expressive. Manifesting can be incredibly traumatic depending on how it happens, and there are so many things that people generations ago just didn't know that we'd be dealing with now. So… I help how I can."

For a moment she looks a bit sheepish. "Sorry, I'm way more used to other people doing the talking. Talking about me ends up feeling a bit strange to me."

When Everleigh explains what she does, Kendall goes quiet, looking down at his phone again. "Yeah. You can say that again. No wonder it's so easy to talk to you. But eh. Pretty sure no matter how much of a workaholic you are that you need some break from it." He waves a hand dismissively, then smirks at her. "There used to be all those online personality tests that claimed to be able to tell what kind of person you are based on your favorite pokemon, or else picked your favorite pokemon based on the personality quiz, but those were pretty garbage because they had like… 8 pokemon for a possible result."

He snorts softly at that, and then a second Eevee shows up, bouncing up and down and looking up at Everleigh. "Everleigh and Eevee, hahaha. Even the names fit." Kendall jokes. "Limitless potential, hmm?" He rubs his chin thoughtfully. "I'd say that makes you an optimistic individual who constantly strives to see the potential and worth of others, and aid them in seeing it in themselves, though rarely do you give yourself the same treatment. Eevee can evolve both through outside stimuli, or by its feelings for you, the trainer. This means you are also a firm advocate of nature versus nurture, and choose to believe that with the right amount of positive influence, anyone can be rehabilitated."

Everleigh is grinned at again. "Something like that?"

"I like to think I'm easy to talk to because I'm me," Everleigh grins back, an amused look tossed back in Kendall's direction. "Mm, I would say that's accurate. I've always just sort of seen people as perhaps the best version of themselves and it would frustrate me when they'd not meet their potential because they simply didn't know how. Maybe in some other life I'd be a high school guidance counselor."

The doctor laughs a bit. "But I don't think nature versus nurture is something that can fall firmly on one side or another. I would say I don't think anyone's beyond improving, though, beyond rehabilitation. The war showed me a lot about the potential of emotionally injured individuals overcoming things. I've even heard some incredibly traumatic manifestation stories and seen positive outcomes. I guess the bottom line is I like people succeeding and it makes me happy if I can somehow influence that."

For a moment, she seems to have caught the bit about 'rarely giving herself the same treatment'. "I'm not particularly fair to myself, I'm more than willing to admit that, but I get a lot out of my work. I get happiness from it and seeing other people overcoming trials almost feels like they're my own triumphs as well."

She nods in his direction. "So what does your favorite pokemon say about you?"

"Hmm. The pokemon I like best isn't in Pokemon Go yet. Probably because Pokemon X and Y had a…. delayed release in the US." 2013 was a bad year. "Had to pick it up in the Midwest to play it a few years ago." Kendall glances to the side, and an Aegislash appears floating in the air.

"Don't ask me what the implications are of liking a pokemon who drains the life force of anyone who touches it, hahaha." he smirks over at Everleigh. "I just think it looks cool. Especially the shiny version." The conjured pokemon's color scheme changes from purple, white, and gold, to black, silver, and red.

"Ghost pokemon in general are super cool, and a lot of them have creepy stories too. Makes you wonder if the games are really kid-friendly."

"There's a fine line on what I'd consider kid-friendly and not. Kids are all unique. Some people handle things much, much better than others. Scary stories are also very human. Children, at a certain point, are able to learn what fear is like and handle it in an environment where there is relatively low risk to them. Fear is an incredibly human response," Everleigh offers a grin. "It's a matter of figuring out how scary is too scary. What could a child handle? How safe do they feel?"

There's a pause. "It's an interesting choice for a children's game, but it's a way to present the concept of death into something in a way where it doesn't feel dangerous to them personally."

"I guess there's also a fine line between whether it would make them more resilient to fear, or else condition them to expect more where there shouldn't be." Kendall regards the Aegislash consideringly, then holds out his hand, bringing out a pokeball and 'returning' it. "Heh I dunno, I've played against a few people and they take it very personally when I use Royal Guard." and it doesn't seem to make him feel guilty at all.

"In hindsight though, I guess you're right. Being exposed to fear at a younger age might help you better handle it later. I got into quite a few dangerous situations even before the war started. Especially when you have people relying on you. No pressure, right?"

"The key component is being scared but being safe. You can learn to understand fear without it paralyzing you because you're in a safe environment. People like scary stories and horror films because the sensation of being scared is presented in a safe environment and it gives an adrenaline rush," Everleigh says, grinning a little bit, though the mention of the war again gives her a moment of pause.

"It's rough when you know people are depending on you, but it certainly becomes a motivating factor. People can overcome a lot for other people that they aren't willing to overcome for themselves."

"Yeah, I know what you mean. I joined the Ferrymen for that reason, and kept doing what I could even as the world went to shit around me out west." There's a slight shrug as Kendall looks off into the distance. "Sometimes though, there's nothing you can do, and the hardest thing is turning and walking away."

Pause. "Or turn yourself invisible and hide." Yeah, because so many people can do that. He grins lightly over at her at the last bit. "Or sometimes just for the heck of it." If Everleigh is able to remember the party at Wonderland, that is, because apparently they had The Good Shit after he left. "Always fun to do that, though that's also a good way to save people."

Everleigh grins. "I prefer my saving people to be less dangerous and more conversational. I know where my talents lie, and they sure as hell don't involve being some kind of 'hero'. Good on you for the Ferrymen thing, that's far beyond my scope. They really helped people in very tangible ways. It's easy to look at someone bleeding and know they need help, but people don't often show their emotional damage so easily… and therefore any recovery tends to be below the surface. Bit hard to evaluate."

She pauses. "But I don't mind that. I see the difference in them. I see when they show up and how they deal with things and how they can progress. I get to see that journey even if no one else other than them does. I like it."

Kendall sighs. "Meanwhile, I tried too hard to save people and it ended up getting me killed. Uh, I got better, as you can tell, but it was a thing." he pauses awkwardly after dropping that little gem. "Uh, can't elaborate on that but needless to say I don't plan on wasting my second chance."

He tilts his head, regarding Everleigh. "I think your job is a lot harder, I agree. Much easier to fix physical things than mental things, you can have it, haha. I'll stick to doing what I can. I'm not nearly good enough with words to know what the right thing to say would be."

"You know, it's less about knowing the words and more letting someone talk. Most of my job is making observations and asking questions. It's not so bad, really. But I suppose we can each go with what our talents are, right?"

Everleigh offers a kind smile. "I can't say I've ever been killed before, but it doesn't sound like it was a pleasant experience. I don't think a lot of people really get that chance to come back."

"Exactly. And I want to do what I can to keep others from being in the same situation. I think that's why I'm still here." Kendall flicks the Pokestop again on his phone, then sighs. "As much as I'd love to stay here and talk more, perhaps the entrance to a hospital isn't the best place to do so. I'd hate to get arrested for loitering now that there's police again."

Kendall tilts his head in Everleigh's direction. "Wanna share numbers too? If you ever want to talk about nerd stuff, or need someone to test try on some costumes, feel free to send me a text." Not… that Kendall is trying to get her digits or anything. "My contacts list is depressingly empty." Fishing for sympathy, perhaps?

"Hey, I don't think they're going to kick you out for getting out of the smoke," Everleigh notes. "Usually they're pretty nice about not endangering someone's health." She looks from the hospital lobby, back to Kendall. "Yeah, of course. And I'll never turn away anyone willing to stand still and let me drape fabric over them. I know that sounds a bit odd… but it's much easier to have a real person than the dressmaker's dummy. People can tell you if something's slipping or is too tight."

She reaches in her coat for a moment, then pulls out a business card. Instead of just handing it over, she takes a moment to write an actual number on the back. "You can reach me at the work number, but it's not the greatest if you want to text me about something at 3am. My cell's on the back." She extends the card in his direction, Dr. Everleigh Madison printed boldly on the front.

"Even better." Kendall closes Pokemon Go and immediately dials the cell phone number provided, though hangs up as soon as it rings once. "There we go. If you need something and I'm not busy, feel free to ask." After quickly adding the relevant contact info, he tucks the card away in his pocket, then grins at her.

"I'd rather encourage someone's creativity so the offer to be a live mannequin stands. Can't say I'd look good in a dress but how I look isn't a problem, eh?" on the subject of draping cloth however, Kendall suddenly looks down. "Oop, better give this back before I walk away with it." Untucking the bolt of cloth he was holding for her, he offers it back with a small bow.

"And now that the fun's over, I'd better get going. I've got some school supplies to get." there's more than a little trepidation in that self-conscious statement, but rather than elaborate he lifts his now free hand in a wave to her, then pulls his shirt up over his nose as he leaves. Hm, maybe he should also get a mask…

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