The Game Of Trust


ling_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title The Game of Trust
Synopsis Melissa shows Ling around her temporary home, and warns her about the fanboy and the lech.
Date July 7, 2010

Little Green House

It's not that far to walk from the church to the little green house that Melissa and her 'guests' occupy. It's not really a bad looking place either. And it's definitely clean. It even seems homey. As soon as Mel slips her key in the door, the sounds of two dogs barking is hard, one high pitched, one low, and she just rolls her eyes. "The dogs are friendly, honest. Just tell the big one, Jerry, no, if he tries to jump up on you. He'll listen." A pause, then muttered softly, "Mostly".

The door is opened and Mel heads inside, taking the brunt of the dogs' excitement, though soon enough they're sniffing curiously at Ling. "Make yourself at home. Don't have cable, but there's a fuckton of movies. I don't cook, but another of my residents does, and you're welcome to use the kitchen yourself if you want. If not, then that's all good too. I have a bunch of takeout places set on speed dial on my phone for a reason."

Keys, phones and a wallet are dropped on one of the shelves before Mel looks back at Ling. "I know this is probably really weird, so I'll just ask what you wanna do first. Can eat, show you the shower, take a tour, pick out some clothes, hear about the others who live here…Your wish is my command."

Ling had been mostly quiet, considering the position she found herself in now walking with Melissa to her home. The only real responses she offered were quick, simple, and often followed my muttered Chinese words of disdain. She is visibly nonplussed about this whole situation, and hearing the dogs as Melissa beings to open the door certainly isn't helping matters. "The dogs won't bother me unless they make a note of it," she intones quietly as they step in, listening to Melissa rattle off information, even as she looks around, takes in her surroundings.

The mention of things being weird is rewarded with a scoff from Ling. "Probably?" she responds with a somewhat malicious laugh. "I trust you don't know weird as well as I do." Still being confrontational, Ling's arms fall to her side as she looks around more, wrinkling her nose. "You were right earlier, it's been sometime since I hate. I… will appreciate whatever you wish." A wince. She's not used to being so… subservient. "And tell me about the others here."

The attitude has Melissa arching a brow, watching Ling closely, but it seems that she's going to give Ling a pass, at least for today. Traumatic experiences and all that. The answer has her nodding, and she moves to the back door, opening it and shooing the dogs outside. "What do you wanna eat? Like I said, we got leftover pizza, stuff for sandwiches, TV dinners, and the phone to call for delivery. You can have whatever you want. There's sodas, water, juice and beer to drink. Same goes there."

"And let's see…others here. Let's start with Kendall. He's seventeen, like a mix between my kid brother and adopted son, and he doesn't know jack about the Institute and I'd like to keep it that way. He's innocent, you know?" she says, frowning a little and watching Ling, clearly hopeful that the other woman will agree to this point.

Ling looks around for a moment long before turning back to Melissa, arms crossed across her chest. She eyes Melissa appraisingly, and then looks off a bit to the side. "Some takeout would be fine. Unfortunately, I cannot say I cook much either." She wrinkles her nose as Melissa lays down her request, but nods. "Alright. That's only fair, since you're willing to house me." She takes a few cautious steps further into the house, hands clasping behind her back, standing in a very straight, businesslike posture.

Melissa relaxes a little and nods. "Thank you. I'm willing to help, but he's just…He's become family and I want to shield him from as much as possible." She gives a faint smile as she moves towards the phone. "Chinese fine? There's a good place that delivers here. I'll make the order then tell you about the others."

Ling chuckles a bit, shaking her head. "A shame it's not true Chinese," she remarks, "but that should be fine, yes. Something with- chicken. I am in no position to be picky for once." She wrinkles her nose as she speaks, looking slightly unhappy. Looking around, she spots a seat, and promptly takes it, logs crossed and fingers steepled as she stares forward.

Melissa nods and makes the call, and a few minutes later an order has been placed. When she hangs up she motions towards the fridge and leans up against the counter. "As I said before, help yourself if you're thirsty. The house is pretty much community space except for my bedroom." At least it is now that the skeleton's been dealt with.

"Okay…Tony. You might wanna watch out for Tony. He won't hurt you or anything, but…he's a lech. No doubt he'll come on to you if given half a chance. He seems to love trying to get women in the sack. But harmless. Sweet even, if you can get past the constant horniness," she says with a faint smile. "Lastly, there's Faron. Another sweet kid. Kind of odd, but it's almost in that so cute you wanna pinch his cheeks kinda way. All of 'em are evolved though, so you don't gotta worry about that with 'em. Just Kendall's innocence and Tony's horniness, really."

The descriptions of the other housemates elicits a chuckle and a shake of her head, and a look of disinterest respectively. "I don't think either of them will be a problem. I doubt Tony would be able to touch me if he tired. As long as he isn't obtrusive, I will handle him just fine." She makes no comment about Faron - he sounds largely uninteresting to her so far. "Alright," she says, sitting up a bit. "That last part is important, Melissa. I am very… cautious about being Evolved. Even if my days as a businesswoman are past, I do feel a reputation to keep."

There's a smile, and a nod. "Yeah, I know. But it would take extraordinary circumstances for me to allow someone in my house who wasn't evolved or pro-evolved. Like…a gun to Kendall's head extraordinary," Melissa explains. "So when I said you can feel safe here, I meant it. Use your power if you like, talk about it if you want, and the worst you might get is interest if it's something that Kendall thinks is cool. But I find that's more of an ego boost than anything, though that could just be me."

A short laugh is Ling's response, along with a nod. "A good thing to know. Freedom to use in front of others, however, is not something I am used to."She can't get any straighter, so she leans forward instead. "Should I take that as curiosity as to what my ability is?"

The question earns Ling a brilliant smile, showing off straight white teeth. "Of course you should! Though if you don't want to share, that's fine too. And yeah, most people aren't used to being able to be openly who they are. But I figure, if you can't be yourself at home, then you're just screwed, so I've made my home as safe and open as I can," Melissa says, the smile losing some of that brightness, but it remains friendly.

She regards Melissa carefully, silent for several moments. Slowly, she rises up from the seat she's taken, a devious smirk on her face. She holds a hand out to Melissa, wisps of smoke beginning to rise up from her hand, arm, shoulders, even the tips of her air. Her fingers motion for Melissa to attempt to take her hand.

The visual effects have Melissa's brow raising, intrigued. "That looks pretty cool," she allows, even before she reaches out as asked, and she looks surprised, startled perhaps, when her hand just passes right through Ling's. The look on her face changes, showing something akin to wonder, and her hand lifts again, to pass through that smokey hand once more, watching it billow about with the air currents. Finally she grins and looks back up to Ling's face. "You turn to smoke. That's pretty fuckin' sweet. I've seen people who can turn into metal or shadows, but I think this is cooler."

Ling smirk doesn't fall, and with Melissa's correct ascertation of her ability, the smoke ripples back from where her hand had been, the rest of her body following suit, billowing out across the floor. It stays largely as one mass, if stretch thing, as the smoke slithers across the floor, and back behind chair she had been sitting in - notable that the clothes she had been wearing now laid at the floor where she stood.

The smoke rises up again, forming into a mostly humanoid - but still distinctly smokey - form. "//If you could be a dear, and bring those over…" Ling remarks, her voice a whisper as it moves on the wind and to Melissa.

Melissa glances down to the clothes and she laughs. "A handy talent, but with a few inconveniences huh?" But she picks up the clothes, moving over to set them in front of Ling. "Still fucking cool. I guarantee that if you tell Kendall about it, that he'll go all fanboy on you. Hell, Faron might too, I don't know. But if you want an ego boost, you certainly came to the right place."

The clothes delivered, Ling quickly returns to a more terrestrial, solid form, partially hidden by the chair. She reaches down and takes each article of clothing one by one, only stepping back out once redressed. "It requires something tight," she intones in that disdainful manner. "I used to have something for that." but now it's gone she almost adds. The idea of people "fanboying" over her prompts a raised eyebrow and skeptical look. "I'm not sure I understand."

"Like a skinsuit or something?" Melissa asks. "That sorta makes sense," she says, nodding. Then she grins. "Fanboying…The male version of a fangirl. Like you get those girls squealing over actors or movies or whatever? Going nuts over how hot or cool or whatever they are? Basically, he'd just think it was the coolest thing on earth until the next coolest thing on earth came along."

"I… see," Ling replies slowly and with narrowed eyes. "Yes, like a skinsuit." She takes her seat again, legs crossed once more. "And what, Melissa, is it you do? I am curious as to how you managed to make my soreness disappear earlier."

Melissa smiles. "I'm a pain manipulator. I can give it or take it. It's temporary, unfortunately, though I wish it wasn't." She glances at the clock on the stove. "Actually, it'll be coming back in a little bit. I can give you some meds to help with it. So they'll kick in around when my ability fades off."

Ling sighs and frowns. "I suppose there's nothing wrong with that," she remarks. Hands fold in her lap, but she doesn't really make any movement otherwise. "That's an interesting ability. Must be handy if you are in a spot."

Melissa shrugs and moves to one of the smaller cabinets, taking out a bottle of pills and offering it to Ling. "It can be useful. Can be draining as hell too, depending. But I like being able to help people, so it suits me."

"Hmph," Ling intones. "Helping people? Not something most would think to do if they could give anyone they wish as much pain as they wish." Taking the bottle of pills, she rises, looking towards the kitchen. "Are their glasses in the cupboard, or elsewhere?"

Melissa points out the cabinet with the glasses. "Well, to be honest, until just a few months ago I thought it was a one way gift. Give pain, no taking. So it's nice to be able to do both after years of just hurting people. Though I do both when the situation calls for it. I'm nothing if not practical."

Ling reaches up into the cupboard and withdraws a glass, filling it out so that she can take the provided pills. A long gulp follows, and then Ling turns, leaning back against the sink. "Interesting," she says dryly. "Perhaps we should do something else until our food arrives. I think you said something about clothes?"

Melissa nods and pushes away from the counter. "I did. Most of the stuff I have is black, but there's a lot of variety to the style. Goth, punk, formal, business crap…" she says as she heads for the stairs to lead the way up to her bedroom. "Just hope you don't like leather, 'cause I love my leather. Although it is pretty hot right now, so not really leather weather."

"I don't think you need to worry," Ling says, again in that dry tone. "Black suits me just fine. As do… formal and business." She pushes away from the sink, following after Melissa with a stoic expression. "I'm afraid I'm not a very casual person."

Melissa tosses a grin over her shoulder. "It's okay, a lot of people aren't. I'm all casual, so the suits don't get worn too often." One of the doors is pushed open, and she steps inside. Oddly, the bedroom doesn't look like you might expect. For one, there's no black. It's all dark wood and jewel tones, heavy on the sapphire blue. And on the black and silver sheets of the bed is a…teddy bear. Yes, pain girl apparently sleeps with a stuffed animal. But she moves right past it towards the large closet, turning the light on and motioning inside. "Help yourself."

Ling stands at the closet for several moments, sifting and sorting through various garments and pieces of clothing, looking for something to her tastes, and after a moment she does pull out a black suit - not quite what she's wear around the house, but preferred over what she wears now, at least for the moment. "This will do just fine," she remarks as she pulls it out, holding it up for a better look.

Melissa nods, not seeming to mind the choice. "Alrighty. Pick out anything else you want. And if there's anything you need besides clothes, just make me a list and I'll grab it for you later. I'd say I could swing by your place, but it would be kinda pointless to hide you here then lead them right back to you."

"I have plenty of money. If there's a way to get it." Ling doesn't forget about the money she receives from Linderman, ever, and there's still plenty of it left. But then, there's the catch. "Perhaps your friend can help with that."

"If you wanna grab some of it, we can get it," Melissa says, nodding. "Just give me the account number and all that, and I'll take care of it for you. Almost positive we can get it to you without it being traced from the bank to here." She smiles. "It's good having friends."

Ling laughs at that, shaking her head. "I am not a fool," she intones with a odd sense of mirth. "I'll worry about that the next time I speak to Peter myself." Turning back to the closet, her head tilts, and a slightly more casual, but still somewhat formal looking black outfit is withdrawn. "I think this will be fine for now, thank you."

There's a slight frown at that. "You trust Peter but not me?" Melissa asks, sounding confused. "And you're welcome. C'mon, I'll show you to a bedroom," she says, hitting the light and leading the way towards another bedroom, this one more empty, with just a dresser and futon.

"I don't trust either of you," Ling corrects, very matter of factly. "I appreciate your help, but I'm sure you can understand why that is." She wrinkles her nose, turning to follow after Melissa. "You do make a point. If you two are in this together, it won't matter who I give any information to."

Melissa smiles back at Ling. "Totally understandable, just sounded like you trusted him and not me. But you're right, you have no reason to trust either of us. I could promise that I wouldn't abuse the information, but you'd just have to trust me for that to mean anything. Of course, on the other hand, I'm trusting that you won't kill us all in our sleep." She shrugs a little. "Trust is one hell of a complicated game, and the rules are always changing. If you'd rather give the information to Peter, that's fine. It's your money, you can do what you like with it."

"Trust is not something I deal in very often, Melissa. It comes from the nature of my work, I'm afraid." She eyes the futon for a moment, arms crossed. "But for now, I can assure you I have no plans to kill anyone here, unless I should find out you work for Doctor Cong." A momentary pause, and she looks over to Melissa with a narrowed eye. "Tell me, are any of the residents here blonde?"

Melissa shakes her head. "I don't even know this Cong guy, and if it's involved with the Institute, believe me, I'm not working for him." The blonde questions has her grinning and glancing down to the strands of hair that have fallen over her shoulder. "Besides me you mean? Then no. I'm the only blonde. The others are all darker than me."

"Mmm. That's good, then," Ling remarks, with a noticeable look of relief on her face. She eyes the futon a moment long, apparently this is her bed, and that doesn't sit well with her. Doubting there is much to be done about it, she turns back, stepping out of the room. "Was there anything else I needed to be shown?"

"You got a thing against blondes?" Melissa asks with another curious frown. "And not that I can think of. Bedroom, kitchen…you're welcome to explore, like I said before. Backyard has a great view. And if you need anything lemme know and I'll do my best to get it for you."

"Only one blonde," she remarks with her frown. "A man, as well." Looking back the hallway, Ling gives a bit of an uncharacteristic shrug. "I believe I am fine for now, food aside. Thank you, though."

Melissa smiles and nods. "Alright. If I have to leave, and I probably will at some point, I'll leave my cell number. Just in case. Trust or not, I do take the safety of everyone here seriously." The doorbell rings and she smiles. "Food's here. I'll leave it in the kitchen for you."

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