Ghost Busted

Sean's Office

The office of Dr. Sean Watson is almost stereotypical of what one would find in the office of an active archaeologist. Bookshelves line the walls of the office where there is no window, and where there is the one view outside, there are low-slung shelves. Not only books adorn the shelving, however. With each sectional, it can be discerned what specialty the shelves contain. There are small statuettes of random Egyptian figures of history, a couple of skulls that look very much like the mummified remains of some poor soul who lived a couple of thousand years ago filling the shelves behind his desk and chair, pottery, examples of textiles of the Middle East on the 'far shelving', and the nod to MezoAmerica under the window.

A desk sits on the side, papers piled along the front and on top of the blotter that also acts as a calendar. Pictures are hung on the walls in the spare spots, devoid of shelving, which is only on the wall nearest the door. There, Dr. Watson's degrees are hung, as well as a couple commendations from the archaeological community at large.

Just beside the door, a tall, cherrywood hatrack stands with a jacket draped upon it.


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Ronnie Sean Zoe

It didn't take Zoe long to realize that Sean Watson is intense when it comes to his work. Granted the man has a lot on his plate, but the word "workaholic" wouldn't go amiss when describing him. It doesn't stop her from making an effort to see him, though it's usually 'off hours' (hers, Zoe doesn't think that Sean actually has 'off hours') even if it's only for a cup of coffee or a few drinks over at Bass Cafe.

For whatever reason, however, today she has chosen to 'up the ante' as it were and push that envelope of comfort just a bit. Zoe officially has the remainder of the afternoon off - though she will likely return to the library later on anyway - and through a bit of questioning she knows that Sean has a free block this time in the afternoon when he's not teaching or having actual office hours for the students.

There's a tote bag over her arm, with old personal journals and letters carefully packaged and tucked inside, already signed out and on loan to one Dr. Sean Watson at the University. Zoe's dressed in business casual, but not in her usual style. The slacks are exchanged for a dark dress that hits modestly just above her knees, and she's actually wearing heels for once. Her hair is curled and loose over her shoulders as opposed to straight and pulled back. While the librarian is not a fashionista, she does know a thing or two about dressing to impress and accentuating her assets. If the looks she earns as she strolls down the corridor toward Sean's office are indication, she's doing both quite successfully.

The cardboard box containing the takeaway orders of fish and chips is the piece de resistance, however. It's lunch, and really, isn't the way to a man's heart through his stomach?

Zoe stops by his partically open door, and peeks in. Her voice is as professional and polite as she can manage without bursting into giggles. "Hello, Dr. Watson, do you have a minute?"


With back turned to the door, Sean is standing near the window with a tome in hand, blue eyes set on the page rather than the out of doors. He turns the pages with one white cotton-gloved hand, the other cradling the spine. He's reading carefully, lips moving unconsciously, with the occasional sounding out of a word on the printed page; definitely not English.

The door creeping open isn't quite enough to garner his attention, though the now familiar voice sounding does rouse him from his academic.. stupor? Study. A smile rises, quirking the sides of his mouth, and closing the book slowly, he takes a step back towards his desk and puts it on the desk. Then, one by one, the light cotton gloves come off.

"Hey.. come on in. Was just.." Sean gestures lightly towards the desk and the book, "..catching up.." on recreational reading?


Geek is the new chic, Zoe thinks, her face brightening with a smile at the appearance of Sean's. Zoe doesn't think that she has a 'type' but there is no arguing that there is something charming about Sean when he's in his element like this, lost in his books. Of course, that could just be the academic in me coming out.

"I don't think that you're ever caught up," Zoe says lightly, mirth dancing in her dark eyes. She steps in the office, glancing around as she does. Her steps carry her closer, and she indicates the box with a slight lift and a bit of a shake. "I come bearing gifts. Betting that you haven't had lunch yet?"


"Aaah.. no. No I haven't."

Sean's attention remains on his guest, taking a step forward to open the door a little more to be sure of her entrance. Once she's in, he closes the door behind her. "I appreciate you coming by." He starts a second, the pause something of a stutter before he checks himself, "Even if you didn't come with lunch."

Pulling up a chair, he sets it by his desk, and manages to tear his eyes away long enough to move some piles from his desk to one of the not-quite-so-filled shelves, a couple below his small collection of skulls. His tones turn conversational, his head turning to talk to her as his back remains facing, "You have off today? Or taking a long lunch?"


"There's this brilliant shop near campus that has the best fish and chips. I couldn't resist stopping there on my way in to see you," Zoe explains. A grin settles seemingly permanently on her face, and she can feel her cheeks warming. It's silly, but Sean has that effect on her; Zoe would be embarrassed by such a schoolgirl reaction, but it's been a long time coming so she's just going to go with it.

"I have the afternoon off. I've been doing a lot of cataloging lately and I need a few hours to let my brain do something … else." Zoe settles into the seat that Sean provides, crossing her legs. She's still holding lunch until the desk is clear enough and all the important books and papers are out of the way. "Then I thought that it might be nice to drop by campus and see if you wanted to have lunch with me, and the rest is … " Zoe trails off with a bemused smile and a shrug.


Turning back around fully, Sean nods his acknowledgment of her schedule as explained, and considers, his brow furrowing slightly. "You know.." He pauses and doesn't sit down quite yet. He gets briefly lost in thought and pulls his head up with a start when he realizes that he's started a thought and didn't finish sharing the end of it. Happens a lot.

"I know the place." Get that out of the way first before he continues, "It looks pretty nice out there. How about a picnic lunch— unless you don't mind being surrounded by—" dusty books and academia? Oh, come on!

"Or we can just stay here. Gives us a little more time."


He's so cute when he gets lost in his head like that. Zoe seems to get lost in her head sometimes as well, but that's usually because there is a ghost she's trying to ignore or block out or send mental semaphore signals to. Fortunately, the only intrusion around Sean — beyond that intrusion with Burning Bloke at Bass Cafe — has been Mariah, who is accustomed to being ignored and is happy to disappear or annoy Zoe with running commentary … and odd comments about 'opening the fit professor's eyes' which don't make sense and Zoe has chalked up to Mariah being cryptic.

And speaking of getting lost … Zoe realizes that she's on the verge of doing just that and that Sean is waiting for an answer. "It's good weather, definitely. Spring is making an appearance and I think that a picnic lunch would be lovely." It gets him out of the office, and it also means they can be a little more … casual.


"Right.." Sean offers a lopsided smile and makes a move to come back around to the front of the desk, reaching out to take the package to carry it for her. "Let me get that for you, then.."

He drops his head slightly, his brows rising in brief askance, "You sure you won't catch a chill out there?" Obviously he hasn't been out since coming in earlier in the morning. "Or has it actually warmed up?" Sean's got an idea of where to go; close enough that it's not a burden walking there, and far enough away that he won't be interrupted by any (well, most) of his students. "If not, I have a spare jacket?"


Relinquishing the box, Zoe rises, smoothing down the skirt of her dress. It's not one of those calculated motions performed by younger women trying to distract a bloke, just a simple automatic gesture to be certain everything falls the way that it should. "It's warmed up some since morning, and I think I should be all right. But why don't I borrow the jacket and take it along just in case?" Zoe's happy that she's not young and foolish anymore; she recalls many a time when she was younger that she would have caught a chill simply to impress a bloke.

Turning, though, she takes a moment to place the tote gently on the chair that she's vacated. "I have some more journals and such for you in there. But," Zoe smiles and waves a chiding hand in his direction, one hand resting protectively on the tote, "You don't get to look at them until after we've had our picnic lunch." Not going to let him get distracted, but she does want him to know that the resources are there.


As attractive as Sean finds Zoe, and there's a bit of attraction there on his part, there is just something about the male psyche that appreciates a beautiful woman in a large, men's.. whatever. Shirt. Jacket. It's not so much a 'covering up' as more of a 'she's mine because she's wearing something of mine'. He watches her rise, and at the suggestion that perhaps taking it might be a good idea, Sean crosses the brief distance to the hatrack and pulls a jacket down with his free hand. It's an academic looking thing— conservative dark colour, though it has no patches on the elbows (thank goodness!).

The tote, however— that's like the promise of Christmas and all the trimmings. Presents. Crackers. His blue-eyed attention swings round, and there's a bit of excitement that can be read there. "What did you—" and then there's the deflating. "I promise I won't get too far in if you just let me take a peek?" Negotiation. "You.." He takes the few steps to bring him back next to Zoe, just inside her personal space if she doesn't back away, ".. are spoiling me."

There's the moment when he wants to reach out and take her hand to leave the office, but.. that wouldn't be quite right. Wait until they're out of doors and at least a block away from students' prying eyes. So, instead, he steps to the side and gestures with the hand with the jacket in it. "Shall we?"


"Uh uh, no." Zoe shakes her head. The admonishment lacks any heat, because she's smiling too brightly, and then catching her breath as Sean just barely encroaches on her personal space. Zoe swears her heart really does give a delighted skip, and it's just a natural progression to step closer to him. Professional decorum is not completely breached, even as Zoe reaches out to lightly pat his chest where the lapel of his jacket lies. "You will just have to savor it."

Nodding her agreement, Zoe turns toward the door, but glances back over at him to add, "Just trying to make myself indispensable." She tops the words with a playful wink.


It really is a nice afternoon, remarkably. In London, in early spring, it really is hit or miss as to what the weather will be. Best odds is that there is some sort of precipitation, whether it's in the form of fog, mist, drizzle, or all of the above.

It isn't any of that.

With the sun shining, the traffic on the University 'mall' is a little more populated than usual, and as a result, there are more than a few greetings from students to professors, and a couple of looks cast in the direction of the woman that so obviously holds Dr. Sean Watson's attention during the walk. He has a jacket on, it is still chilly, and has draped another, spare, around the shoulders of the lady that walks beside him. Sean carries a medium-sized paper bag in one hand, leaving his other, the one closer to his companion, free to reach out on occasion to guide, direct, or simply to press a contact in casual conversation.

There's a square not far from the main University buildings, and it is to the grassy section that Sean leads. A couple benches dot the small, landscaped city greenery, and with luck, they're free. Late lunch on a Friday assures their availability.

The conversation is light and easy as they walk along, and rather enjoyable. Zoe likes the warmth of Sean's coat draped over her shoulders, and imagines that she can smell just hints of the man's soap and cologne clinging to it. The schoolgirl in her tries to conjure up a reason to keep it, but knows she's best just leaving the schoolgirl fantasy as a schoolgirl fantasy.

"This is lovely," Zoe admires as they settle onto an occupied bench. She reaches out to squeeze Sean's arm gently, more willing to be a bit more tactile with the flirtation with the sense of being 'away' from his office and work. "I'll bet you know all the good spots for eating on campus." After all, she's familiar with the ins and outs of her alma mater, Alexander College.

Spring has sprung!

Birds are tweeting, people are walking dogs. There are bunnies…

Okay. So. There aren't really a plethora of bunnies hopping across the greens, but there is a spirit-bunny being chased by a girl on roller skates. One who isn't exactly following paths, or caring about running right into… rather through people.

"GET BACK HERE YOU EVIL BUNNY! I can't believe you bit me!"

It's not that ghosts are actually capable of feeling pain (at least insofar as Ronnie knows), but it's the indignity of being bitten by a ghost-creature and having it hop away.

"Totally unfair! I can't hop in these things!"


"I pass by here sometimes on the way to the Underground."

Sean nods in the direction down the road where the London Underground station lies. To look at the pedestrian traffic, a good number of people do seem to headed there. Tourists, mostly— and one can easily discern them with the tell-tale neck-craning and pointing.

Settled now, Sean gets comfortable next to Zoe, and smiles at the hand on his arm and the gentle squeeze. He chuckles softly, and opens his mouth to offer a reply, but it's stuttered, briefly distracted before he brings his attention firmly back around. "My office. I tend not to leave for lunch. Too much to catch up on. And when exam time comes around? I'm already starting to prepare them. Change them every year."


"Making sure that your students avoid the black market on exam answers?" Zoe teases, but it's only half in jest. She never took advantage of such 'services,' but she knows that such things exist. In her mind, it's a cheat and an affront, not to mention that the students are only disadvantaging themselves.

The shout distracts her and Zoe immediately swings her attention away from the professor sharing her bench to glance around the green. She's ready to assume she imagined it, and to explain it away with her usual excuse of 'I thought I heard something,' when she sees the ghost. Not just any ghost, either. The one from Bean Cafe.

Doing her best to school her face, and hoping that Ronnie doesn't notice her, Zoe turns back to Sean. She offers a sheepish smile and an apologetic shrug, "Sorry, I thought I heard someone."

She reaches for the bag then, tugging at it playfully, but not actually taking it from Sean. It's more an excuse to tease and play, and if her fingers happen to brush against his? All the better. "C'mon then. Can't have a picnic if we don't actually eat."


Wouldn't you just know it, the spectral bunny decides to hop right toward the bench before dissipating.
Which leaves Ronnie on a collision course with the bench. She realizes she's about to 'hit' it when she dives toward the bunny to keep it from disappearing. This has her landing face first in Sean's lap.

"TOTALLY BOGUS! I'll get you next time, you vile creature! I swear I will!"

All that without lifting her head.

Probably a very good thing she's a spirit at this point or there'd be a lot of odd looks in this direction.

"I could say 'yes' on that, but it's more that I actually don't do the same lecture twice." Sean offers something of a sheepish smile. "Depends upon how the spirit moves me, as it were. Like, we're in Vedic India right now, but I could easily talk about the Indo-Aryan migration into the middle east and do comparisons of literature and poetry.. and as a side, discuss chariot building and driving techniques." He's pretty sure that she's no longer actually listening as Zoe twists around at what is being brushed off as phantom sounds.

Sean tugs on the bag once more, regaining her attention as she instigates a brief game of tug-of-war, but he does relent and offer it to her. The warmth of her touch is amplified by their teasing game. "True.. and I'm actually—"

Once again, Sean stops midsentence.. and blinks, trying to get his train of thought back. Unconsciously, or rather, instinctively, he straightens in his seat, pushing back a little to set his back against the back of the bench. "Ahhh," the 'word' is drawn out before he finishes, "I'm actually hungry.."


It isn't that listening to Sean wasn't interesting, it's just that those bloody ghosts tend to make themselves known, particularly when they make odd and unusual outbursts. Still, the moment almost passes until her peripheral vision catches Ronnie careening directly towards their bench and landing with her head in Sean's lap.

"Oi! Blimey!" Zoe can't help the outburst. While she's learned how to ignore spirits and block out most of their antics, there are still things that catch her by surprise. Seeing a ghost face first in the lap of the bloke Zoe's interested and not moving away is one of those things. Zoe snaps her gaze up from Sean's lap, cringing inside. Bloody hell! Now he's going to think I'm a perv! Did I actually stare at his lap?

His movements don't surprise her, really. Though there are few humans who can see spirits, some are sensitive to their presence, the tingle on the skin, the cool to cold signatures that they sometimes trail in their wake. There's a brunette head that could very well be doing unspeakable things to the professor if Ronnie weren't a ghost and it's supremely distracting.

"Me too," Zoe breathes quickly, her word tumbling out in a rush. "Hungry, I mean." She shifts as subtly as she can and swings her leg out to trail across the ground. In actuality, she's hoping to affect the ghost and get her to move.


"Ooh! Nice lap! But dude, stop moving around so much though! It's not like I'm going to bite or anything!" Ronnie lifts her head a bit and blinks upward. When she catches sight of Sean she cheekily adds, "Ooor… maybe I'll like, change my mind and totally bite anyhow…"

Then she's kicked. She doesn't feel the kick really, but it annoys her anyhow. "Hey! Don't kick me! That's totally hellacious! I'm not doing anything wrong!" Other than falling into the lap of some guy. There used to be a time when guys would have killed for that experience!

Getting up, she tries to squeeze herself between the two humans. NOT that there is a whole lot of room for her to do so. It sort of has her seated partially on the laps with the lunch floating below her.

"So who's the totally bodacious boy-toy?"


"What?!" Sean reacts to Zoe's outburst in surprise and makes to rise. That's a bit difficult, of course, by the fact that lunch is set and should he actually gain his feet, the food 'on his side' would probably fall to the ground. So, a hand goes out between the two to keep the food from falling just from his start, and hers, even though the desire to just.. move is pretty overpowering. Her sudden attention to his crotch doesn't go unnoticed, however, and he looks around, trying not to look down to see whether or not he'd forgotten to zipper his pants.

The feeling of a spirit, of a soul, is decidedly there.. and, like Zoe, it's incredibly distracting. Finally moving to actually rise as Zoe shifts her leg, Sean searches quickly for an excuse, any excuse, as to exactly why he felt the need to stand up. He's hit with an idea, though it'll go down in the annals of not the best idea, and that is to remove his jacket as if the day is warmer than it actually is.

Even as he rises, the feeling of presence changes, and glancing down at Zoe, he offers a hint of a self-conscious smile and retakes his seat, the jacket that was keeping him warm now off. Sean tries, his voice conversationally light, but still somewhat distracted, "Fish and chips.." Hello Captain Obvious.


If this were a sitcom, the laugh track would start right now, Zoe thinks as Ronnie wedges herself between the pair. It's impossible to not notice the ghost's presence and even harder to ignore Ronnie at this close range. Her best bet is to simply hope that Ronnie will get the hint and go away if Zoe doesn't encourage her. It doesn't help that Sean reacted to her outburst and that this whole situation is a comedy of errors. Zoe's halfway tempted to ask where the cameras are, except that she knows this is her life.

Zoe pretends to not have heard Sean's response, which after so many years of pretending like her odd ball behavior isn't odd ball at all, comes easily enough. She is, however, curious at the coat removal and Sean's own curious behavior and …

No, Zoe dismisses the rogue thought as it squirrels its way in. It's not possible that he can be good looking, intelligent, share her love of books and history and actually be sensitive to ghosts. That's too many positives and her karma is just not that good.

"Yes, fish and chips," Zoe agrees. Then waves her hand in front of her face as though shooing a fly or gnat, "Go away." Her gaze slides to Ronnie's briefly, and then with another hand wave and smile to Sean, "Just a fly or something."


"Just a fly?"

Ronnie crosses her arms in front of her and pouts. "Fine, but then I'm not telling you what I came to tell you!"


"Okay, I like, totally came to chase a bunny, but that doesn't mean I don't have something totally gnarly to share with you!"

She reaches for one of the chips, and her fingers pass through it. Which causes another pout.

"Wait wait wait… dude." Pointing at Zoe, Ronnie begins to giggle. "Oh Dude! You've totally got a crush on the major babe-o-rama of there, don't you? You're on a date!" Shifting her position so that she can get all 'cuddly' with Sean, the 80's-ghost grins. "If you don't kiss him, I will! I mean, he's waaaay too old for me, but I don't think I was ever one to shy away from a guy like that…"


Sean really is good at what he does.. is.. and there's no mistaking the proximity of a soul. Proximity is an understatement.

Ghost. Soul. Same thing.

His brow creases, blue eyes move from the space between them to Zoe.. and back, following Zoe's own glance. Can she be sensitive too? Because there aren't any flies out yet!

Taking a deep breath, Sean lets it out slowly. A decision is quickly made, and he makes the attempt to start… generally, rather than jumping to the point. "You know.." He reaches for one of his chips, and feels that presence again, moving, and so very close to him. Time to take the scenic route, after a fashion, to get to his questions. Mind, it's not one that will take a long time to get to the destination.

"One of the reasons I really like archaeology," he's more than aware of her interests in that area, "is because you can almost hear the past talking to you. Like.. each sherd has a story, and there are some people who say that there are ghosts and spirits attached to items, or locations."


Ronnie is cozying up to Sean, and that sounds just as bad in Zoe's head no matter how many times she tries to rephrase it or reconsider the description. Zoe's dark eyes cut quickly to the ghost and away again, and she wonders what it will take to make the dead woman leave. Very few ghosts are this willing to get close, though they can be persistent. It's not like she isn't use to Mariah, but her dead cousin does know when to leave well enough alone. For not the first time, Zoe wonders if she should learn exorcism rites and if those remove ghosts?

Zoe watches as Sean takes a chip, and manages to neither wince nor smirk when Ronnie fails to share their lunch. Maybe that will make her get lost? Sean's words however …

Zoe stiffens in her seat. He could be making random conversation, or he could be dropping a hint? Yes, certainly it was her affinity to spirits that attracted her to history and archaeology. Could they also have pulled him in? It's a gamble, but Zoe has to take it. She takes a breath and releases it, her attention sliding from the attractive man in her company to the ghost settled comfortably between them. Still, when she speaks, her voice is quivering and low, as though she worries about how her words will be received. Which, quite frankly is true. "You see her too?"


"OoOoh. Hottie can sense me. That could make things totally more fun!" Playfully puckering up her lips, Ronnie leans in as though to kiss Sean on the cheek. Instead, she whispers, "But he can't hear me." That would cause her to pout normally, but she gets the feeling that there's something more there.

"What is he? I mean, he's totally not like you… but he's…" Poke-poke-poke to the poor man's shoulder. "He's actually totally creepy. Like the Crypt Keeper creepy. You sure you wanna date him? I mean, bodacious as he is…" Poke-poke-poke.

"Uh-uh. If he could see me, he'd've been annoyed I was in his lap." She glances back and forth between the two. "And as if! I'm not stuck to an item or a place. We can travel y'know. Those stupid people that can't travel are like, losers. I mean, can you imagine not chasing bunnies?"

Getting up finally, she starts trying to tug at Zoe. "Seriously though. I should warn you. There's like this totally fresh one walking around. I think he shot himself or something and he's lookin' for one'a you to talk to. He's not very pretty. I mean there's blood and matter. Who walks around with their matter hanging out?"


Sean watches Zoe's reactions carefully, studying her, watching the flicker of those dark eyes as they move from the empty space to him, and back once more, her gaze keenly focused on something, or someone with them.

"Her." Sean had a feeling that it'd be a her, and from what he can surmise, it's not one that is particularly.. afraid of him. At least he's not getting the 'back off!' feeling.

He shakes his head, his attention moving into that space between them, even if it isn't that large a distance. "No.. I can't see her. I can tell she's here, though.." He smiles a bit wanly and offers something of an apologetic shrug. "And that she's pretty active."


Sean and Ronnie's words come in a rush and seem to overlap, but Zoe is able to piece out the two separate conversations. A good deal of the tension ebbs out of her body at Sean's admission that he can sense the ghost that's taken up residence in his lap, even if he can't see or hear her. If she wasn't so pleased that she wasn't going to chase this one away because he thinks she's mental, Zoe would analyze it more. As it is, she's merely … relieved.

"Yes, she's quite … active." That's a mild understatement that doesn't begin to describe Ronnie. Zoe flashes Sean a smile that lifts more tension from her body and face. "I'm just … I'm glad. Really. Most people can't and don't and think I'm a bit barmy …" Zoe trails off, not wanting to ramble and then frowns at Ronnie. At least she doesn't have to hide her reactions anymore. "Stop that," the librarian chides the ghost, "He's not -" Creepy. Zoe is so not going to finish that thought aloud. It probably means she just settled another question on Sean's shoulders, but the fact that he isn't going to go running for hills? Zoe can handle questions.

The last bits of Ronnie's ramble catch up with her and Zoe groans, her chin falling to her chest, with a low groan. "I really wish I could just go off the clock." The image that Ronnie painted? Not pleasant at all.

Owing Sean something more of an explanation, Zoe meets his gaze again. "Just so we're clear, this is probably typical for me. I talk to dead people and they don't always like to chat on my schedule."


"Would you rather I totally lay down and play dead, pretty boy?" Ronnie eyes him critically, then tries tugging at Zoe again. "C'mon. He's really creeping me out. You've totally gotta know what he is, right?"


"Where'd that bunny go? Hey! Did he totally make my bunny run away? How'm I supposed to collect those evil critters if Hottie McCreepy-Pants is scaring them?"


"And like, stop talking about me as though I'm not here. I'm totally here. You all are in the wrong time. It's like I got fastforwarded again. I hate when that happens. Helloooo~? Do I need to start cursing in British to totally make you hear me?"

"Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks! Wanker!"

"And he is too creepy! He's got a totally creepy vibe. Tell him to keep his hoodoo to himself."


"No.. you're not.." Sean pauses, the end of the sentence cut off as Zoe addressed the soul in question. "Wait.. you can actually talk to them They hear you. You hear them." He sits and stares at Zoe, though it's not one of those 'Oh my god, get me away from this loon' sort of stares. "Do they just.. find you? Or do you have to know them.. or..?" Most "mediums" he's met have been charlatains, people preying on those weak people who are seeking solace, searching for something to tell them that everything is okay. And those with the genuine talent usually never answered the questions, thus putting their actual ability into some doubt. Now?

Sean knows the soul is still close, and his gaze moves back into the general location where Ronnie is. His brows crease a little; the shift in attitude is felt, and while the activity is the same, there's definitely a change there. Looking back to Zoe, his brows raise in response to the confession of the hours she now tends to keep, "She's not very old." Meaning: The soul is probably up at all hours…


Zoe holds up a finger to Ronnie, the universal equivalent for 'give me a moment.' Just in case the ghost is caught in a particular bad part of the 80s — as opposed to the good parts of the 80s? — she vocalizes. "That's enough, Ronnie. Give me a moment and then we can talk. I really can't hold two conversations at once." Given the choice? Of course, she's going to choose the cute professor sitting beside her. Even Ronnie probably shouldn't blame her for that one.

Zoe is slightly taken aback, though she doesn't know why. Sean did confess to sensing Ronnie, but not seeing her; Zoe inferred — even without Ronnie's prattle — the he couldn't hear the ghost either. His surprise, however, at Zoe's addendum is unexpected. Of course, he doesn't seem to think she's mad, but there's that curiosity in his voice that drives home Ronnie's commentary. He can sense ghosts, but he isn't like Zoe; Sean is surprised that she can hear and speak to them … how is that even possible? Nona would know, Zoe thinks that her grandmother knows a lot, and she only shares on a 'need to know' basis. Wouldn't this count? 'Course, you could always ask Sean.

Zoe gives a light laugh and rakes her fingers through her hair. "Safe to say that this isn't what I had in mind for popping by with lunch." She's explained it before, but somehow it's different when the person isn't halfway to the phone to have you committed for observation. "I don't really know how it works, completely. They do find me. They just seem to gravitate toward me, but there also seems to be some sort of ghost hot line, I suppose. 'Hey, John, that bird can hear and see us, better prattle on to her if you've got something to say.'" It's delivered with a light, corny humor, but often that is what it feels like to Zoe.

She shrugs, "Doesn't matter if I know them. Right place, right time. It's like … do you remember that movie, The Sixth Sense? I've always thought that the director got it right because he's walked a mile in these sorts of shoes." It would also explain why the rest of his movies were crap.


"Not fair! I totally didn't tell anyone! That'd be mean! Why chase away the only person that I could interact with in like I dunno how many months." Years, actually, but Ronnie's… not precisely all there at times.

Arms crossed over her chest again, she pouts. "Am too old. It's not like I'm a total itty-bitty-baby, and I've likely lived a heck of a lot more than you did, Hottie McCreepy-Pants!"

While she's being put on 'hold' and looking irritable for it, she ducks under the bench and tries to find the bunny. "Dude, I'm telling you, he totally scared the bunny. If even the evil bunnies are scared, that's saying something, don't you think?"

Apparently she doesn't take the 'give me a moment' at face value. Mostly because she's a bit creeped out by Sean right now, and well, there's no telling when matter-guy is going to appear.

Ronnie. Sean's brows rise again at the comment regarding Zoe having to hold two conversations simultaneously.

The appetite that Sean believed he had is gone in the face of learning new things, and while he'll regret not eating later, it's certainly not in the forefront of his mind now. Blue eyes flicker between that empty space and Zoe again, and nods as the explanation is offered. "I see." And, remarkably, his manner and mien all support those two little words. "They actually look for you." Assuming they've got something to say, or.. "Looking for someone to send a message to another still living, or just happy that someone can actually hear them, now that they're dead?" He does smile lopsidedly now, one corner rising just a little farther than the other, "I do know that movie. Can't say I've seen it a million times, but yes.. I've sat through it at least once."

Sean can feel the now-identified 'Ronnie' move away, even though she is still close. "


"A bit of all of it, I think. Some just want someone to see them and talk to them. Some want to get messages to loved ones." Zoe's attention shifts as she watches Ronnie go rooting around under the bench. "A good number of them, however need help. They don't know that they're dead." Zoe closes her eyes and winces. She really hates that movie for exactly that line. Still she opens them again, and points to Ronnie, though she suspects that Sean might not realize she's pointing at the ghost and not their lunch. "Case in point on that last bit."

"I've been told that there's a bloke looking for me, who still has his matter hanging out." Zoe's voice and face reveals how she feels about that, but it's something she deals with. The newly dead ones don't always care to tidy up their appearances. She takes another breath, tucking some loose locks behind her ears. Zoe too has forgotten the food, and she's pretty sure that after talking to Matter-Bloke, she won't be in the mood to eat at all. "Also, Ronnie seems to think that you're creepy and that you should keep your hoodoo away from her?" Yes, ghosts say some weird things to her, but Zoe's learned to not discount anything just because it's coming from a ghost. However, to soften her words and hopefully not freak Sean out or put him on guard, she adds, "But she also thinks we're still in the 80s and that there are evil bunnies about." That will probably open a can of worms with Ronnie that Zoe doesn't want to open, but she wants Sean to have an idea of what she's dealing with.


"Lots of matter. Oodles of matter. Totally matterific. It's grody. Won't be wanting to eat chips while he's coming." Ronnie sticks her tongue out, though she's still ducked under the bench so that's not going to matter all that much.

"Dude, there are evil bunnies! They're plotting to take over the world, you know. You people, you totally can't hear'em, but I can." Tapping the side of her ethereal noggin, she pokes her head up through the bench, then climbs through to sit on it all proper like. "It's why I'm totally hunting them."


"He is creepy. Tell him he's a Hottie McCreepy-Pants, and that if he uses his hoodoo, I'll bite him."


"She doesn't know she's dead." A statement rather than a question. Sean's come across those. He can't resist, however, at the pointing. "I'm pretty sure the chips know they're dead.. as do the fish." The quirked smile broadens a little, "Unless the fish are actually still ensouled and they actually enjoy reading the newspaper they're wrapped in."

His brows rise once again at the description of another soul looking for Zoe, and he winces. "Matter.. hanging out." Shaking his head, Sean exhales in a sigh. "I guess there's an upside to my only sensing them, then." Even if he has to deal with physically dead bodies on occasion. It's easy to 'forget' the skulls in his office were actually people… granted, people who died long ago, but.. people all the same.

As the conversation moves to Ronnie's description of him, Sean clears his throat and repeats the salient points slowly, "Creepy.. and need to keep my hoodoo away from her." He pauses a moment before he chuckles, "There is that.." Beat. Evil bunnies..? Evil bunnies?" It does demand repeating. "How are bunnies evil?"


Zoe drops her head, a smile breaking across her face and a slight giggle erupting out. When she looks up at Sean again, there is a brightness to her eyes. Zoe reaches out and rests her hand lightly on top of his, "Thank you. Most people don't believe, and even when they do, they aren't actually interested in knowing the ins and outs of it. I'm glad … I mean, just thank you for not running for the hills as fast as you could." It is hard having this 'gift' as her grandmother calls it, and even harder when so few people know about it or understand it. She's lucky to have Gwen and Liz, who don't judge and take it easily in stride. And as much as she hates the thought of things like destiny and fate, it had to be something of the sort that allowed her to meet Sean, right?

Zoe takes a breath, listens to Ronnie and then continues. "First, bunnies are evil because they're plotting to take over the world. Also, Ronnie wants me to tell you that you're a hottie McCreepy-Pants and if you use your hoodoo, she'll bite you." Beat. Zoe shakes her head, "I can't even believe I repeated those words and let them come out of my mouth … though," There's another beat as she glances at Sean from beneath her lashes, "You are hot." That might just be worse than repeating Ronnie's words?


"OoOoh! Now we're getting somewhere! Just kiss him already! Y'know, I totally bet he wants to kiss you too, but you British are usually all proper and booooring." Ronnie folds her hands in her lap, then glances at the Creepy-creepster again.

"Okay, he like, is totally hot, but I wish I could like, place that bogus vibe I'm getting from him."


"BUNNY!" Then just as quickly as Ronnie crashed into the scene, she's skating out of it. "Sorry, Zoe! I like, gotta go catch it. 'sides, I think you two need time to smooch before I bug you again. Catch ya later!"


Sean can see the relief flood in. It had been there before, but now, apparently, once most everything is said and explained, the gratitude that is spoken is something of an endcap. A statement of finality. He's not spooked by it, but rather intrigued. Curious. Interested in learning a great deal more. As for the hoodoo that he practices? Well.. not yet confessed. Easy enough, for the moment, to simply let it go at being sensitive. It's true that he can't see them or hear them; that he can only sense them. But he's got his ability finetuned that it compliments his work, and vice versa.

In the passing on of messages, however, Sean is pretty sure he could have lived a happy life knowing that he wasn't being called 'Hottie McCreepy-Pants'. "Well, the only way she could bite me is if she was somehow in a body.." Which he's getting the idea that he probably doesn't want to be the one to do it, if only for the feeling he gets of.. well.. a shade of lunacy. Pun intended.

"I can honestly believe those words aren't your own. Somehow I can't see 'hottie McCreepy-Pants' coming from you—" The confession, however, stalls his words, and for a moment, he's at a loss in the compliment. 'Hot' isn't a descriptive he'd assign to himself. "Ah.." Again the brows rise and he looks to find the proper response. "Thank you?"

And after the compliment, Sean's not really given too much time as he can sense the departure of the 'active soul'. He looks around, seeing whether he can sense if she's nearby, but there's nothing to catch. She's gone.

"We probably don't have a lot of time left, but I'm really glad you came and got me." And, he rises to replace the jacket he'd taken off. "A lot of time left before Matter-man finds you. Should we head back to the office and finish lunch there?" He's pretty sure the soul won't come into his office…


Zoe didn't think it was possible to smile anymore brightly, but Sean's surprise at her compliment does just that. It's a good thing when they don't know how attractive they are, and it only adds to the appeal. "You're welcome," Zoe grins at him. She follows his gaze, moving around and nods, "Yes, she's gone. For now. I think she might think she's my new BFF … though that wasn't really the vernacular in the eighties, was it?" It's mostly a rhetorical question and Zoe doesn't expect an answer.

"The office sounds … wonderful." Zoe takes a glance around and nods her head agreeably. With any luck Matter-man won't find her there. Not that she's always lucky where these things are concerned. But she is smiling, and overall, this didn't turn out so bad as it could have. "Next time, though, I'll try to just bring lunch and leave Crazy Eighties Girl behind."

As if. One can hope, though, right?

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