There Are Better Ways To Get Into A Girl's Pants


alexander_icon.gif helena_icon.gif romero_icon.gif

Scene Title There Are Better Ways To Get Into A Girl's Pants
Synopsis Romero uses his ability to meet up with Helena once more.
Date October 20, 2008

Deveaux Building — Rooftop

After lunch, Romero found a quiet spot to sit in rapt contemplation of mathematics as he waited for Helena to be alone, still and in someplace quiet. His eyes closed and his surroundings more or less silent, he can very faintly hear and see Helena's surroundings via the gateway he created at their meeting. He doubts he'll find a better time or a much better location than the one presented just now, and so, uttering an apology that she may or may not be able to hear, he reaches into his own chest, his arm disappearing and coming out through Helena's back. There's not much to feel but her hair being disturbed by his arm's extrusion as he gropes for something solid to grab onto, inverting himself and pulling himself through the portal. It's not a comfortable sensation for him — probably not for her either, once she has some concept of what's happening.

Helena sits up straight, shifting her shoulders and feeling vaguely sick, and then rises, reaching awkwardly behind her as something comes out of her. Wind stirs all around, setting the previously sleeping pigeons into flapping alarm as Romero finds himself pulling himself out of a debris swarm. There really are easier ways to grab a girl's ass.

As soon as his head has passed through Helena, Romero starts apologizing. Profusely. Also begging her to give him a moment to explain. "I promise," he says, "I'm not going to do anything to hurt you. Or, you know, whatever." Yes, this is likely the worst second impression he could be making, but you know, questions need to be answered. He needs to understand.

The presence of the debris storm, granted, sort of answers one of those questions already. The entire process of coming through should take less than a minute, if he's not actively impeded in his effort.

Helena holds quite still until he's out, and then that rather scattered swirl of wind seems to blast forward, with enough force to send an average type back and slam them against the pigeon coops. And it's suddenly gotten very, very cold. Helena stands there, her hands outstretched in an offensive fashion, focuses on the new arrival who violated her solitude, and in more ways than one. "What do you think you're doing?" The wind dies, but the chill remains. She seems oblivious to it. "You've got five seconds to convince me not to send you flying over the edge of this building."

For all that the gateway is still active — anything that enters Romero exits Helena, and vice versa — the winds are diffuse enough that it doesn't make much difference. And the cold is certainly nothing his abilities can cope with. "In the deli you obviously knew a lot about people like us," he says quickly. "I was not sure why, but I am new here, and I thought it better to learn more about how things are for us. I am sorry. I did not know how else to find you." He watches her warily. He can save himself, he suspects, if she tries to blow him off the roof, but it's unlikely to make things any better between them.

The gateway's probably what prevented him from slamming into the pigeon coop. Helena's quite capable of gale force winds. "How things are for us? You should have done your homework before you crossed the Atlantic. Registration is required here, Homeland Security has special task forces for us, and there's a Company who's sole purpose is to study us, experiment on us, or lock us up. It hasn't gone beyond just registering yet, but I expect that will change. Evolved have already died simply because they were so misfortunate as to have a reg card, making them an easy target. We lose loved ones. Because of fear, and hatred…" she trails off. "That's how things are for us."

Romero shakes his head slowly. "I know the laws," he says. "I've been in the US for a year, coming from LA to here. You aren't registered any more than I've got a green card." He's guessing, of course, but based on what was said at the deli… he feels safe in this guess. "I am sorry, Helena, because I did not want to frighten you or to hurt you, but if I am to be here…" He makes a broad, encompassing gesture that seems to indicate the city as a whole. "If I am to be here, I want to find those like me. There is safety in numbers, as you Americans say, yes?"

"Of course I'm not registered." The chill in the air recedes. "It's a violation of my civil rights. There's plenty of others to be found. You could even conceivably look up the registry, but is that what you're really on about?" She cocks her head. "If you've been in this country for a year, then you should know a lot more about what's going on with the Evolved than you're letting on." Then, "Forte e libero." Teo taught her the Italian, not so far off from the original fortis et liber. "Is that what you're looking for?"

Romero nods. It's more or less as he expected. "Evolved do not so much talk about what they are in public, in my experience, for fear of being caught, as you say, and experimented upon, or worse. I do not wish to register. I wish to live my life, and I think perhaps this is the right place for it. But I know in this country it is not safe to be without friends, si?" He considers the words she offers. Forte e libero. "It is perhaps what I seek, yes. You speak Italian?"

"Living without registering is easy enough. Don't register, don't show off your powers, no one will ever know. At least not until they figure out a way to detect us." Helena says. She's not stupid. One day, there will be a way. She takes a careful circular walk around him, as if sizing him up. "I told you, I have a friend from Sicily. He's taught me a few words. Most of which I'm too lady-like to repeat. It's one thing to have friends. But if you're interested in the strong and free, that requires a lot more risk then just wanting to go unnoticed."

Al can use his powers to bear himself safely up through even the less safe parts of the building. There's the sound of booted feet on the stairs, and he comes nosing out on to the roof. No verbal greeting — he glances to Helena, one brow quirked. Who's this?

"You told me," Romero agrees apologetically. "I can be forgetful sometimes. I do not flaunt my ability, but I use it when I must. I do not wish to live in fear that I may be caught at it and forced to register, or worse." He grimaces, starting to pace a few steps this way and that. "Perhaps," he continues, "you should tell me more about this 'strong and free'. I do not quite understand, perhaps." In one of his pacings he glances up, spies Alex, and then glances at Helena in turn, waiting for her to indicate that this is somebody she knows.

Helena whirls on her heel to gaze up at Alex. "Darfur." she says, seeming apropos of nothing, and when she receives the correct counter-password, she looks relieved. She doesn't make introductions. Alex will decide if he wants Romero to know his name. She gives Romero a sussed look. "Playing 'dumb foreigner' really isn't going to get you anywhere. PARIAH has made national news and you've been in this country a while. We all live in fear of being forced to register and worse, but only a handful of people are willing to do something about it."

Alexander murmurs the appropriate passcode. "And who's this?" he says, with mock cheerfulness, hand thrust in his pockets as he swaggers forward, cocking his head to give Romero a very open looking over.

"I am playing nothing," says Romero dryly. "I have paid little attention, thinking I would leave America behind when I got bored with it as I have in so many other nations." He turns toward Alexander, acknowledging the other man with a nod. "Romero Laudani. Piacere di conoscerti." And then, to Helena, "But yes, I have heard of PARIAH. I do not mean to seem… foolish."

"You know, you're not as pretty as your brother," Al says, sententiously. "But, uh, you'll do," He actually winks.

Romero blinks at the question and shakes his head. "No, not that common, but not uncommon either." Mention of a brother causes a guarded look to cross his face, and stay there. "Who is this other Laudani you know?"

Helena sees the guarded look. "His name's Teodoro. We call him Teo. He's the one who taught me nasty Italian words, because he's sweet like that. Is he your brother?"

Alexander nods, head still canted somewhat to one side, as he listens.

The way Romero's mouth tightens to a thin line is perhaps all the evidence needed to answer that question. But he hedges: "Maybe. Teodoro is a common enough name in Italy." He wonders now if he should move on. It's getting toward winter and Australia is lovely this time of year. But there is a chance it is not actually his brother, and there is more chance still that PARIAH could be good for him. Maybe. Possibly. He'll have to see, and running from mention of Teo is not going to give him such an opportunity. So he'll wait and see. If worse comes to worst, he can be in Beijing or Istanbul or Buenos Aires within minutes.

"Is 'Teodoro Laudani' a common enough name in Italy?" Helena counters calmly. She's not really one for denial. "You look like him." she says. "Only skinnier." She considers a few moments. "I could arrange a meeting." she says. "And you can see for yourself." Her tone is neutral and she watches him carefully.

Romero grimaces. He and his brother always shared certain aspects: their father's chin, their mother's eyes. "We did not part on good terms," he says as evenly as he can manage. "Perhaps a meeting, but not yet. I must find my own place here, without him, for now."

Alexander flicks a brow up. "How so? These….not on good terms?" he prompts, leaning in a little.

Helena cocks her head to the side. "I'm afraid that might make things difficult." she says frankly. "He's rather instrumental in certain things you're curious about exploring. But the choice is yours. If you need time…" she trails off with a shrug and looks over at Alex. She makes a little face — she doesn't want to know the reason for the brotherly squabble.

"I would prefer not to talk about it," says Romero. He's spent the last eight years, nearly, avoiding such thoughts as much as possible. He doesn't know either of these people well enough to reveal that much yet. "I wish to know more about PARIAH," he concludes. "If I will fit into this group, then I will deal with my brother." If he must.

Alexander purses his lips, but doesn't press the issue. He gives Helena a fractional nod.
"Trust takes time." Helena says, looking thoughtful, and seeming to mean it from both directions. "How does your ability work. You…use people as teleporting gates? It kind of made me nauseous."

This is far easier to discuss, particularly with one he knows to be evolved, and one she clearly trusts. "I fold space between myself and another," he explains, "so that what would enter one of us comes out the other." He pauses a moment, mentally unfolding the space between himself and Helena. "I have removed the tesseract between us," he tells her. "I will not do such a thing again without warning you, or asking."

"How'd you even find her to do that in the first place?" Al wonders, curiously.

"How very Madeleine L'Engle." Hel muses, adding wryly, "I appreciate that. Sidelong to Al, "We met today at Piccolo's in Little Italy. Some poor guy was slipping up with some kind of teek or maybe grav abilities. Had no control and was terrified someone would call HomeSec. He smelled like pizza."

"The other guy," Romero is quick to clarify. "Not me." He does not smell like pizza. "I linked us there, and kept the gateway open until I was certain you were alone, Helena, and again, I apologize for invading your privacy this way."

"There are better ways," Hel drawls, "To get into a girl's pants."

Romero smiles wryly. "I am aware," he says. "But it seemed the most expedient way. I am more deft, in general, I assure you."

Helena lets out a little laugh. "Okay." she says. "Do you have a phone number yet? An address? Some way to get ahold of you?"

Alexander suggests, cheerfully, "Passenger pigeon?"

Helena's backpack, left over by the table, starts to ring to the tune of 'Ring of Fire'. The Cash version. She murmurs an excuse and goes to see it, finding the phone inside. She blinks at it a moment, and pulls it out like it was the last thing on earth she expected to see. "Alex…" she trails off, indicating that he should continue talking with Romero, and opens the phone to speak into it. "Hello?"

PHONE> Helena's voice comes on. "Hello?"

Romero nods. "I do," he says, rattling off both, one after the other. The phone is a prepaid cellular, and the address is an apartment where he's sleeping on the couch of the cousin of a friend from Delhi, but he has both phone number and address to give. "I do not think my friend would appreciate pigeon droppings on her floor, however," he notes in tones that are so serious as to be intentionally comedic.

PHONE> A voice comes over the phone, one that hangs with a strong southern drawl, "Well then, ain't you singin' a tune two notes higher?" Then, after a moment's pause, "Put Cam on the line, damnit."

Alexander hastily scratches down the info on a bit of paper drawn from a pocket. "Indeed," he agrees, tone facetious.

PHONE> Helena pauses. "He's not available." she says tersely. "He's…I'm afraid he's dead. Who is this?"

Helena murmurs into the phone, expression going dark. "I'll meet up with you two another time." She makes a shooing motion. "I have to take this."

PHONE> There's a long silence. "Well shit," Another long pause, and the muffled sounds of two people arguing, though quietly. Then the sound of a hand removed from the reciever. "Well then missy, ain't you in a whole predicament. Cam's shipment is in and I ain't just gonna sit on it. It's all paid for and I need to get it offa' mah hands now." Another momentary pause, "You must be one'a his confidants, yeah?"

Romero nods his understanding to Helena. "Piacere mio," he says, nodding toward each in turn, and then turning away before he stops and realizes something: he is not entirely sure how to get down from here. Ah, conundrums.

PHONE> Helena keeps it simple. "Yes. Can you give me the details?"

Helena looks over her shoulder. "Door." she indicates with a tilt of her chin. "There's a stairway down. You'll want to head south back to the lower end of the island." She goes back to her phonecall.

PHONE> Helena asks, "How big a truck?"

PHONE> The voice says, "Pickup'll do if'n you got yourself a tarp. If you ain't here in an hour it's gettin' dumped somewhere, so you best beat feet little girl."

PHONE> Helena sounds intrigued. "I'll be there." With that, she hangs up.

October 20th: Lunchtime in Little Italy

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 20th: Concerning Miss Childs
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