We Are Not Alone

isabelle_icon.png paul_icon.png

Where: Velvet

When: April 25, 2012

What: It's Paul's turn to 'fess up.

Paul keeps pretty quiet along the way, throwing in just enough small talk here and there to keep up appearances: probably a baseless concern, but he's still wound up from the series of unusual events, and is taking no chances. Only once they're safely in a booth and have a drink order lined up does he look Isabelle full in the eyes, considering. "So. I suspected there had to be /someone/ out there."

Isabelle isn't too much in the mood of small-talk, unfortunately; she's looking particularly worried and glum. Understandable, really, since she just exposed her big secret. So she's following along looking unhappy, and even as she takes the seat at the booth, she's hugging her big shoulder bag like her lifeline. That is, until Paul speaks that sentence, that Isabelle furrows her brows and peers back at him. "What do you mean, someone?" She asks tentatively, and reaches up to adjust her glasses.

The briefcase is still lost back in the elevator somewhere, and didn't make for a very good worry item even when it was still around. Paul contents himself with crossing his arms on top of the table as he leans forward. "…someone else," he finally adds.

Isabelle is a smart girl; she clues in fairly quickly on his meaning, but natural caution still kicks in. Narrowing her eyes, she peers at Paul from across the table. "Else?" She repeats carefully. "Are you saying…. /you/ can also do stuff that normal people can't?" She's skeptical, because she's never met another one. Yet.

"I can… pull at people's emotions," Paul explains, uncrossing his arms again and gesturing vaguely. "I mean, anyone can give a speech or something, but this is more direct." With a sigh, he glances back in the direction of the casino. "I tried it back there, but it backfired."

Isabelle continues to frown skeptically. "What did you do back there? And wait, how does that even work, pulling people's emotions?" At least she sounds more intrigued than defensive, and the big shoulder bag is set down on the seat beside her.

Paul sighs. "I /tried/ to get everyone to calm down, so someone could figure out what to actually, you know, /do/ about plummeting to our possible deaths or injuries. But I needed to be more calmed down than I was, so…"

See? She's smart. Isabelle bobs her head slowly as she listens, and seems to be following his logic. "…but you were actually panicking yourself, so you ended up causing more panic?" She reasons, and waits for him to confirm. Still, she folds her arms on the table top now, and tilts her head at Paul. "But I mean, how's that done? Can you show me or something?"

"Pretty much," he replies, nodding. A longer pause: he can, but what would make for a good demonstration? After a few seconds, he settles on… oh, excitement should work well, right? He's /seen/ her excited before, back at the slots the other day.

Happy-excited? Or something less wholesome? Hopefully the former! Not that Isabelle has any say in that. She's just waiting for him to show her, looking expectant…

Oh, the wholesome version. Well… mostly wholesome. There are more ways to mess it up than just throwing it directly into reverse. Outwardly, there is indeed nothing— except for the expectant look in his eyes, and after a moment, it's boosted as part of the effect rebounds into himself.

It actually takes a bit of work, if only because Isabelle is still squarely in the "cautious/uncertain/unhappy" stage. But sure enough, gradually her mood starts to shift; he can see the tension gradually leaving her shoulders - eventually, she even smiles somewhat lopsidedly. "Hey, I'm still waiting." Isabelle prods, not realizing the shift in mood. "But if you can really do that, think about what you can do on stage! Or helping sick people!"

Paul shakes his head. "I think I'd wear myself out pretty quick if I tried any of that." Never mind the whole risk angle, which is a whole other discussion. "But think about it… you were all wound up a minute ago. How're you feeling right now?"

Once she stops to think about it, Izzy realizes what has happened. "Oh." Ahem. Reaching up to adjust her glasses again, she blushes a little and tries to calm herself down. "Sorry." Beat. "That's, uh, a really useful thing to have." She points out. "And it's… subtle. No one'll even know it was you. Not like mine." Another thoughtful pause. "So wait, if you and I have these powers, there must be more of us out there."

A quick grin, then Paul lets the effect ease off, the mood shift slowly tapering back off. "Yes, I mean… two out of seven billion seems about as unlikely as one. Not that I have any idea how to /find/ them, except by accident." Hey, it worked once, at least. "How long have you been able to—?" He leaves off there as the guy with the drinks approaches. She'll get the point, anyhow.

It's strange to have one's emotions played like a puppet, as Isabelle feels her brief moment of excitement fades away, now that she's conscious of it. She doesn't reply right away, nodding her thanks to the waiter delivers the drinks. Drinks! She grabs her and drinks thirstily, and only then does she take a deep breath. "Just a bit over a year? It's…. I'm still learning. That stunt I pulled back in the elevator? I, uh, actually never done it before with… people." She cups her cheeks with both hands, contrited.

Paul doesn't answer that right away, working on his glass more slowly as he thinks it over. "That… that seems really dangerous. I mean, it worked, but what if it hadn't? What /have/ you done it with?" Any sense of cheerfulness from his end of the table is well and thoroughly dissipated now, the worrying back in full force.

"Uhm." Isabelle says in a small voice. "Stuff. Chairs. Couches. But… I have tried it on Joseph! That's… my grandparents' mastiff, and he's probably as heavy as you." She heaves a sigh. "I don't know, if the elevator went all the way to the bottom at the speed it was going, I don't think we would've survived. I had to chance it."

Paul stares into his glass, frowning, then drains some more of it anyway. "No, you're right. It didn't sound like it crashed after all… but we had no way of knowing that at the time." 'We', as in all five of them… "That poor kid. Can you imagine what /he/ must be going through? Probably assumes he was drugged or something."

Her frown returns, before she bobs her head in agreement. "I know. God, I really hope he doesn't go telling everyone. I mean, I think he called one of the women 'detective'." Now she's worried. "What if she decides to investigate me?" Wuh-oh, Isabelle may be in trouble.

"I don't know. You might need to demonstrate for her, too, and just try to talk her into keeping a lid on it." Paul leans back, glancing around, not that anyone else seems to be paying them any mind. "If that doesn't work… well, figure it out if it gets to that point, I suppose."

"Telling a police detective?" Isabelle almost balks at the suggestion. "They're so going to take me away and put me in a lab and cut me up." She cups her glass with both hands and takes a long sip of the drink. "So… what do we do now? Now that we, uh, know about each other?" The librarian shrugs a shoulder and deadpans. "Secret society? Conspiracy? Superhero teamup?"

Paul rolls his eyes. "I'll go buy the Spandex tonight," he murmurs. "No, but seriously… I wouldn't call it a 'conspiracy', but we should at least keep in touch, especially if either of us ever does find one of the others. Or if someone with a secret government lab does come poking around…" If anything, the idea hits him more when he repeats it than when Isabelle first brought it up; he picks up his glass and finishes it off at a go.

She nods to that, at least. Digging into her shoulder bag, Isabelle fetches a small notebook and a pen, and quickly scribbles down her contact information. The sheet is ripped out and handed over to Paul, before notebook and pen are offered to him. "Okay, that's probably as good a place to start as any."

Paul scrawls out his information in turn, double-checking it to make sure it's actually readable, before passing the stuff back to Isabelle. "There. And—" Leaning forward, he moves to take hold of her hand for a moment. "--thank you. For hauling me out of there. For everything, really."

He's taking her hand? That makes her blink. Then blush. Then blink some more. "I'm, uh, you're welcome." Her free hand lifts to adjust her glasses again, awkwardly this time. Poor nerd girl, probably never held hands with a guy before. Maybe. "Just, you know, doing what anyone who can walk through walls would do." Isabelle tries for a joke, flashes a brief, awkward smile, and takes a deep breath.

"Whatever you say—" He pauses, then, thinking back. "There was that girl in the movies who could do that. What was her name, again?" A comic book geek he is not. Also, he's forgotten to let go. Blame the drinks.

"Kitty Pryde. X-Men." In contrast, she is exactly a geek. "It's not exactly the same though. I thought it would be, but… it's not. There's a lot of stuff I can't do, that I wish I can." Isabelle frowns a bit and takes another deep breath. "Uhm. Can I….?" She moves her hand a little, so he'll know what she's trying to say.

That snaps him out of it. "Hmm? Oh, right—" Paul draws his hands back again, blinking. He's not sure where exactly she's going with this, but he's watching and listening in any event.

Isabelle retracts her hand, then quickly regathers her stuff. Well? She's kinda avoiding his eyes now. "So, uhm, we can call each other later? You know, talk about what to do about our situation? I actually…" She picks up the manila envelope she's been lugging around. "…I was supposed to drop this off at the doctor's office for my grandpa. I need to…" She starts to slide out of the booth. "…Call me later? Or I can call you. Either way."

Paul shrugs. "Is there anything else to talk about, yet? But— yes, go ahead. I'll get you my cell number later, I don't know if they'll have to change it or not." Usually you can move it from one phone to another, but usually you've still got the old phone with you. "I'll, uh, see you around."

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