Bedtime Stories


adel_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif

Scene Title Bedtime Stories
Synopsis It's 'I Heard You Got Shot' day.
Date March 2, 2011

Elaine and Quinn's Apartment

Elaine didn't want to settle in bed. Well, mostly because it was harder to have people visit or to see if anything was going on when in her bedroom. She's currently tucked in blankets on the couch, taking up a good portion of it with only a little spot left by her feet. Quinn would have been at her side like she'd been most of the time, but the Irishwoman had run off to go grab groceries, leaving Elaine in charge of the place. She left the front door unlocked, just in case Elaine might have visitors. Currently, she's flipping through channels with a bored, somewhat tired expression. At least she's not as pale anymore!

Some people knock when they enter a room.

And some people don't. The door suddenly flies open and there's a semi-tall dark haired young woman in a long black coat standing there. A scarf hangs around her neck, even with the heat returning to the world as the seasons grow closer to spring. "So I hear you took a bullet!" the voice says, with a little too much joy for the situation. Adel is often a little on the off side of things. A little.

Or a lot, depending on the day.

"I brought you a get well present! It's a book," she says, as she moves over, pulling a thick book from a bag. Just at the sight of it, it's not written in English. "It's Arabic. I heard you were good with languages," she explains. It's not just Arabic, but an original language copy of Kita-b 'alf layla wa-layla. One Thousand and One Nights… or more commonly known as Arabian Nights.

Okay, Elaine is slightly startled. Right, startle the one who got shot. However, the interloper appears to be Adel, which isn't really a bad intrusion. There's a smile from the redhead as the book is pulled out. She blinks for a long moment. "That's… that's wonderful, Adel. Thank you. Presents are nice. Maybe I should do this getting shot thing more often." She shifts on the couch, wrinkling her nose. "Or not."

"I wanted to find a version with all the cool artwork, but— the best I could find with that is the English versions— this one's in the original Arabic, and a…" Adel looks up toward the ceiling as if trying to remember. "I think it's a late 19th century version. Not when the book was published, just— the edit." The book itself looks fairly new, likely printed during a revival of Arabic speaking peoples moving to the United States and wishing to have books in their native language.

"And getting shot totally sucks, I would not recommend doing it ever again. Next time get presents for good things. Like…" she waves her hands up in the air, as if unable to think of one. All the while she makes her way back to the door and shuts it.

"Like my birthday? That's in a month." Elaine points out, glancing at the book as she leafs through it. "Thank you, though. I really like this. I mean it. People always find me cool copies of books and… it's really nice. I'm glad you came by. And you're right, though. Getting shot is… I dunno. It's really scary. Mostly scary because of how other people react. Quinn was trying not to freak out, but…"

"Birthdays, yes! Those— those are so much nicer than 'Heard You Got Shot' days," Adel says with a cheerful grin as she moves over to sit down on the floor beside the couch, rather than any of the chairs. It may seem weird, but her bag also looks pretty full, like she may have brought a spare pair of clothes along just in case she decided to stay the night. Curfews are curfews. "I'm just glad you were okay," she adds, a little more seriously.

The overstuffed bag actually brings a tiny smile to Elaine's lips, and she looks back to Adel. "I'm glad too. It was just unexpected… I mean, I knew the guy. It's just kind of scary that someone you know might just… do something like that. I guess people just have all kinds of secrets. I sat in the same row as the guy in one of my classes."

"Whoa seriously, you knew him?" Adel asks, drawing her knees up closer to her chest so she can rest her arms on the upraised knees and her chin on the upturned hands. It makes her look younger than she really is, and like she's waiting for a story. "I guess you never really know people a lot of the time, especially ones who are just in your classes and stuff."

"Yeah, he was in one of my language classes and was having a hard time. I think he was frustrated cause it was so easy for me because of my ability, but… I didn't know he was the type to even carry a gun," Elaine says, resting one arm over her stomach. "I don't know. I guess it's really scary that someone can be right in front of you and then do something like that. And me. Of all people, I don't do anything to anyone. Well… once. But that's it." There was the Evil Sable from an Alternate Timeline, but…

"There's people who can find any reason to hurt someone else," Adel says with a sad look on her face, before she offers that small smile again to try and keep the mood from getting bad. "If it wasn't you he probably would have shot someone else— and you are okay, and you have friends who'll take care of you." She nods her head toward the bad. "Quinn'd offered to let me say the night a bunch of times, and I think I'll take her up on the offer this time. My only fee will be a story or two from that book! In English."

"That's wrong of them. People like that… well, they usually get what's coming to them, though. I bet the guy will never get to finish college… kinda threw that away when he pulled out a gun." Elaine looks back to Adel. "Well, I guess you're right. He might have shot someone else. I guess I'm glad it was just me and not anyone else there." She does nod. "You're always welcome to stay. You can even have a bed, if you want. Plenty of room here." She looks at the book for a long moment. "Well… you're in luck. You get to see me use my ability. I actually don't know Arabic yet. So… you may have to bear with me if I read it a little slower as my brain decides to translate. But I'll get it. Doesn't take me that long. I've got lots of practice."

"You don't know Arabic? That's awesome— I figured you would since it's like… such a pretty language. I mean it's like all calligraphy and stuff," Adel says, tilting her head at the picturesque characters laid out on the page, to be read in a totally different way than many of the languages that are more common in the United States. "I picked it cause I was often told Arabian Nights stories growing up. There's so many cool girl characters. Scheherazade, Dalilah the Crafty, Morgana, and Princess Parizade… Sinbad and Aladdin and all them were cool, but the girls are so much cooler."

"Partial to the girls, are you?" Elaine teases lightly, glancing at the characters on the page. "I love historical stories like this, you know? They're tales of old. They're special. I like the King Arthur stuff myself. I've heard a few of the ones in here, but… I can't say I've ever read through the whole thing. So this'll be fun. People usually don't sit and let me read to them. My mom used to do that to me when I was little, and I've kind of missed that."

"Mine did too," Adel says with a smile that seems to get smaller, more personal. "We didn't really have enough money for cable TV and all that fancy stuff, and radios stopped doing cool story broadcasts, so most my entertainment came from my family. Either music or listening to my mom read books. Or both. Sometimes there'd be sound effects. And voices, and it was really nice." There's nostalgia in her tone, before she adds with her head lifting, "And I liked the Gawain story of the Arthur tales best."

"Oh, Gawain's story is fantastic," Elaine agrees, smiling warmly. "I always got the voices too. I think I'll do that… when I have kids. If I have kids. I'm still holding out that I'll have some. And you know what? You're probably better off for not having TV. That's pretty awesome, having those stories. I couldn't get enough books when I was younger. I loved the stories, though. I guess I'm lucky my ability is what it is. I can read the really old stories the way they're meant to be read…"

"The old stories are the best," Adel says in agreement, with a grin. "Mom would find used books and like— Neverending Story, and the Wizard of Oz books, and Alice in Wonderland— which was just so weird— and the Sherlock Holmes stories, those were the best since they were short, so we could finish a whole story before bedtime… We started the Tale of Genji, but we never got to finish it. I tried to find that, but I couldn't find it in the original language at such short notice." Getting shot, and all, bullets move fast. "Sorry, I'm kinda rambling… do you need anything? Like water or something?"

"Oh, oh! Tale of Genji! I've actually got that. Well, not in the original… but I got a copy back around the time I was learning Japanese. I figured some of the history and feel of the tale translated into English would help me get the feel for accurate Japanese translation. I had to pick up Japanese for work, so…" Elaine points out, then she looks to Adel. "That's okay, I don't mind the rambling. It's nice. Don't need anything, though… but the company's nice. It really is." She laughs. "So what's your favorite book from childhood, then? You sound like you've read everything worth reading."

"Well— this is gonna sound completely silly," Adel says with a blush on her cheeks. "War of the Worlds. Because the first version I heard was a musical version. And there was this one song called Thunder Child, where the ironclad fights the Martians and dies so that the steamer full of civilians can get away. And the song goes…"

After a slow breath, she starts to sing. Voice unpracticed, but better than she might admit it to be:

Moving swiftly through the waters

Cannons blazing as she came

Brought a mighty metal War-Lord

Crashing down in sheets of flame

Sensing victory was nearing

Thinking fortune must have smiled

People started cheering

'Come on Thunder Child'

"But… I was like six when I first heard it and I was totally convinced that Thunder Child was a super hero not a big ship. And a girl super hero at that."

"Oh, no, that's not silly, I think that's fantastic," Elaine can't help but laugh. "Of course it'd be a superhero… did you ever want to be Thunder Child as a kid, then? I think I wanted to be a lot of things. Just as long as they got noticed. I wanted to be special so bad. When I first got my ability I wasn't sure if I got it because I was just wishing to be different so badly."

"Kinda, yeah. I mean it fought to insure that the narrator's family could get away from England and to safety, and that's totally what heroes do. Even if they fall," Adel says with a grin, seeming relieved that she's admited to this old fallacy that she'd had as a kid growing up. "If my whole family was threatened by giant machines, I'd want to be able to fight long enough so that they could escape."

"I'd probably do that too. Not sure I'd do much good, but I'd fight. Take a bullet, so to speak. These days, though… I dunno, there are giant machines out there, so be careful what you say," Elaine frowns just slightly. "A gunshot's pretty routine compared to some of the shit that could happen. Kinda wish I could go back to being a kid for a while, you know? I… miss my parents, a lot," she admits.

"I get that," Adel says with a hint of a smile, still showing that nostalgic side of her again. That's the way she often is. All smiles, but there's always something behind each smile. "Sometimes I get accused of being too childish, cause I like to act like things are easy and simple, like they seemed to be when I was a kid— but I think things are always too… hard. So it's easier for me just to try and view things from a more innocent point of view, you know? Like in War of the Worlds. The Martians were bad and scary, and humanity had to struggle to survive— but they survived."

"I know what you mean," Elaine says, wistfully. "Kinda wish I had more of an opportunity to be a kid. I grew up all in the period of one day, and that was tough enough. I'm pretty good at acting like it's not all that hard, but really… I just wish things were simple. I'd just like to be happy for a while and not worry that my life's gonna fall apart tomorrow."

"Kids should be kids as long as possible," Adel says with agreement, as she gets up off the floor finally, looking around toward the kitchen. Likely she's thirtsy now that they've talked a lot. And she even sang. She avoids singing. As much as possible. "I think I took that motto a little to the extreme, cause I'm twenty-one and I still consider myself a kid," she adds with a grin, before gesturing toward the kitchen. "I'm gonna see what I can scrounge up to drink. You want something? You're gonna need your voice so you can read me a story!"

"I stopped being a kid when I was fourteen," Elaine admits. "And I'm almost nineteen now. You're lucky. I wish I could consider myself a kid still. Too much happened, though." She admits. "You can get me some water, please. And help yourself to anything. There are cookies and some ice cream and stuff if you want some. I dunno that we have much real food. That's what Quinn's out getting."

"We'll just have to make sure that your nineteenth is totally freaking primal," Adel says with a grin. "With presents and cakes and ice cream and roller coasters and ferris wheels— or at least a really awesome concert." Cause at least that she can help give the younger woman. With that, she bounces off toward the kitchen, raising her voice again with a loud, "Cookies and ice cream and water coming right up!"

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