Childhood Memories


elle_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title Childhood Memories
Synopsis A day spent that indulges Graeme's pleasant childhood memories, and Elle's lack thereof.
Date May 11, 2011

Lakeside City Amusement Park, Connecticut

When Graeme pulled up to the Starbucks that was agreed upon as a meeting place for picking up Elle, it was in a BMW X6, the car that he very occasionally borrows from Remi, since his erstwhile roommate is not in a position to be driving it around, and sometimes, well, he just needs to have access to a car. The ride to the amusement park, up in Connecticut rather than New York City proper, has been just over an hour, spent in pleasant conversation and small jokes, though perhaps Graeme is every bit as nervous as he ought to be. Mention of Elisabeth, or Endgame, or his boyfriend have all been avoided, in the stead of lighter, more pleasant conversation.

Or maybe the nervousness is just from the fact that he's remembered the conversation with Elisabeth that Elle is sort of wanted by some people and shouldn't be out and parading about either. But nonetheless, Graeme's determined to have fun, and he maneuvers the car deftly into a parking spot a little bit down the main row.

Lakeside City Amusement Park is nowhere near an actual lake, nor is it exactly the same amusement park as the one that sat on the same land on those rare outings when Graeme was young. It's a different one, purchased, renovated, modernised after the Bomb, because with the tragedies of the past half decade, people need amusement even moreso. Now, more rollercoasters than he remembers grace the skyline above the park, which is immense and massive, with over a dozen rides visible and many more attractions inside. The weather is a pleasant spring day, and it has remained pleasant so far, but it isn't crowded yet. Enough people for relative and easy anonymity, without being so many that it's a hassle. Which is just fine, really.

As he turns the engine off, and removes the key to hook it carefully back on his belt, Graeme looks across the passenger seat to Elle. "M'lady," he says, that same drawl she has become accustomed to by now. "We have arrived."

Elle was timid upon meeting up with Graeme. Paranoid, really, but she's managed to pass that off for just being a bit on the shy side. You don't grow up a Bishop without learning to act a little. Through the course of the car ride, she's slowly opened up a bit, falling into the light, pleasant conversation with more and more ease, though she has skirted away from any personal questions. He's nice. And horribly, horribly cute.

Too bad Elle has absolutely no sense of gaydar.

As they pull into the park, her face positively lights up as she stare up at it with wide blue eyes, a smile slowly forming over her features. There's a little sadness to it; she really wishes it would have been her father who brought her here, but…well. That's probably not an option any longer. So she will take solace in this complete stranger, instead. Did she make a mental note that he's cute? Because he is.

A smile is turned toward Graeme, the woman a bit on the giddy side. She may be 27, but she's feeling almost child-like with excitement. "Thanks for this." She murmurs this a bit abruptly, her hand on the door handle. "I hope you don't mind if I cling to you. I wasn't lying when I said I've never been on a rollercoaster before."

Overall, Graeme hasn't asked that many personal questions. And he's skirted and deflected the few personal questions that she asked, as well. Total strangers, but such a small world that they're connected via several people, but he's not sure how to bring it up. He respects the paranoia, and he was expecting it, overall, just enough to seem courteous, and respectful. And maybe looking to make sure that today goes off without a hitch, because he's not keen on any displays of electricity or the like. A gentleman, overall. And he's pleased to see her smile.

"Thank you," he says, in response, perhaps slightly wistful himself. "I haven't been here in a very long time. Twenty-five years, or so, and …" the words trail off, with a shrug. Then he looks sheepish at the admission of his age. "There're some small coasters, we'll start with those, perhaps?" He grins, before getting out of the car and going to open the door for her, if she'll let him.

As Graeme opens the door, Elle steps out. She's dressed in nice jeans and a nice blouse, courtesy of Warren Ray. She didn't actually tell Warren that she was going out with another man for her first rollercoaster ride. She figured that might make him a little unhappy. But it was for charity, and this guy is nice. And extremely cute. Way too good looking for his own good, really.

She stands, linking her arm in his, if he'll allow it, smiling up to him. Apparently, she doesn't mind so much about his age. Why would she? He's not old by any stretch. "Glad I could indulge your childhood memories, just as you're indulging my lack of them." She doesn't offer more details about that line of topic. "Sounds like a plan. Start off small…"

Blue eyes wander over to the largest rollercoaster in the park, which features a large array of loops and twists. Then, she points with her free arm. "I want to ride that by the end of the night, though."

"One of the few worth indulging," Graeme says in response. "Right, that one. The Vortex, I believe." There's a silent sigh of relief that the one she pointed out isn't the large rollercoaster that ends in water several times over. Courteous as always, Graeme lets her link her arm through his, but there is perhaps the remote detachment of it being done out of courtesy rather than of true attraction — she's nice, and he does want to make friends, and he's being quite serious about Elisabeth's chiding to be good to her — but there's still a difference that may or may not be noticeable.

And this particular childhood memory and the desire to indulge it just wasn't something that he wanted to bring up with Aric. Better to be vulnerable with a near stranger.

When they reach the line for tickets, there's a brief consideration, before Graeme comes out with a platinum Visa card when they're at the window. "Two adult tickets, please." He's not letting Elle pay, at the very least, and there's a determined set to his jaw as he takes the tickets and leads her away from the window before handing her one. "Alright, so, come on. They've got this great wood coaster, one of the ones that was here when I was a kid. It's small, but fast, and pretty fun. And no water." He grins. Apparently, he will admit to his slight knowledge of her ability. Or at least to the part about water not being a great idea.

Elle will happily be staying away from the rollercoasters that involve a dip in the water. None of that for her, thank you very much! Water sucks again, now that she has her god-given gift of electricity manipulation back. She almost misses being radioactive. As for noticing his detachment…well, Elle never really was the best at making social observations. She's oblivious.

She doesn't protest much when he pulls out the card, though she looks like she did want to pay. After all, he dished out a lot of money for this 'date'. She accepts it with a sheepish smile, following along with him as he leads the way through, pocketing her ticket. She's smiling all the while, as they walk, occasionally glancing at the map she grabbed on the way in.

At least, until he mentions the water. Then, she just stops, letting her arm slip from his, and stares. "…What about water?" She's suddenly looking at Graeme with a rather suspicious look on her face, brows knitting together.

He dished out a lot of money, but as he so firmly explained to Elisabeth just the other day, Graeme has the money to be throwing around, especially considering he's living rather modestly at the moment. And when she lets go, he frowns a bit. "Elisabeth warned me," he states, flatly. "I figured I'd heed her warning. She'd skin me alive if I didn't."

That said, Graeme looks at Elle, gently, concerned almost. At least, the way he figured to explain for himself was easier than explaining that the man who'd gotten Elle's ability in the power-switching thing is also his boyfriend. That would be much, much more awkward than simply mentioning the woman who is Endgame's den mother to gay Evo boy-terrorist wannabes. "But so, well, there're only two rides here with water, and we can avoid those. Plus, I didn't bring dry clothes or anything." It's a weak attempt at humour, but it's there.

The tension in Elle's posture doesn't go away. Instead, she simply stares up at Graeme, a bit unsure how to react. Part of her really just wants to run away and get lost in the theme park. Part of her wants to give him a chance. But an Institute agent could just as easily know that she is associated with Elisabeth. It was Cardinal who they turned her over to, and he was undeniably linked to Elisabeth.

Tension still holding her back straight, she carefully approaches Graeme, staring up at him. "Who are you?" Sorry, not that easy to de-paranoid the little electrokinetic. Especially with remarks that hint at knowing her weakness, the one thing that will turn her into a helpless little blonde, rather than a deadly little electricity manipulator.

She's starting to wonder if it was a bad idea to not bring her gun.

Graeme doesn't move, just stands there and looks at her and lets her approach. "Pretty much who I said I was. My name's Graeme. Graeme Cormac, or Graeme Fionn, if you're going to be picky about it even though it's technically been changed away from that." He pauses. "I'm sorry. I really, really didn't mean to startle you." The apologetic attitude is definitely genuine, and Graeme is slightly wary of her. "Liz was kinda … one of the first people I met when I moved out here a few months ago, and so." Graeme pauses. "I live with Aric, at the moment. I work as a bouncer at Tartarus, and am a substitute teacher in some of the middle schools." Then there's a gesture to the bench at the side of the path. "Let's sit down, could we?" He's nervous having the discussion in the middle of the road, more than anything else.

The tension slowly drains from Elle's posture, though she still remains alert. Still paranoid. Anyone would be, really, if they knew that the Institute was after them with the intent of sticking metal poles into their body. And that they're destined to have a baby implanted in them by said Institute, likely, that they will die giving birth to.

Quietly, Elle follows Graeme to the bench, settling down next to him with her hands clasped in her lap. At least his story sounds plausible. For the most part. She stares at him for a long moment, then offers a slow nod. "You know Liz. And Aric. I can, at the very least, give you the benefit of the doubt…but just know, if you try anything…" She holds up two fingers, a brief charge of electricity lacing over her fingertips, before snuffing out.

"I don't want to go where some people want to take me." She frowns quietly at the man, lowering her hands back into her lap.

There's a very grim, perhaps serious expression on Graeme's face. "I don't think anyone'd want to," he responds. "And for today at least, they'd have to get past me first. Which isn't as easy as it might look, I'll have you know." The seriousness of his expression eases into a bit of a grin, though his voice is still pitched for private conversation and blue eyes dart, alert, over the street, before glancing at the electricity.

"Oh good, at least I'm not going to get randomly zapped or anything? But really. They'd have to get past me. I do like you, Elle." If not like that. "And getting past me ain' as easy as it might look. And yes, I know our mutual friend, and … I trust her more than I trust anyone else alive."

Those were the right words. At least Graeme knows how to deal with sociopaths with the occasional paranoid delusion. Not that Elle is wrong to have paranoid delusions, but that matter is for another day. For now, she's got a brief upset to smooth over. She regards the man with a thoughtful expression, brows raised in contemplation.

Then, she smiles faintly, offering a slow nod. Standing, she holds a hand out to Graeme. "Okay. Let's stop standing around, and get me on a rollercoaster. I'll try not to scream too loud. Promise." Better to skip over all of that complicated talk, for now. But hey, at least he likes her. What does he mean by that, anyhow? Was that a flirt? Elle really has no clue when it comes to being flirted with.

Hmmm. Maybe a trip on the ferris wheel is in order later today.

"See, there was a little while where Aric was still losing control and zapping me by accident and all. So I'm glad I ain' gon' get zapped." There's a careful, gentle smile along with the drawl of words. Graeme does know how to deal with paranoia. And how to deal with people, in the best possible way for the circumstance, generally, whether that is being gentle with them or pushing them into talking.

In this case, the former, and though he's not flirting, obviously that attempt at telling her that he's both gay and taken failed, but Graeme isn't going to worry about it. No, he's determined that he's going to have fun, and that Elle is. And that maybe by the end of the day she'll have relaxed some from the startlement and enjoyed herself.

"So, this is the one I mentioned as a start. It's a pretty fun one, really." And one of the few in the park that they'll actually let children on, which is perhaps why Graeme remembers it. "Wooden coaster, wooden carts that go along it, and it gets pretty fast." He takes her hand, and turns off down one of the side rows, past interestingly shaped bushes that are shaped like various fish and such, and then into the line for the rollercoaster, with perhaps twenty people ahead of them, that they should get on the next ride.

While still alert, Elle is fairly distracted by her surroundings, blue eyes darting from bush to bush, a smile playing at the corners of her mouth. Now that the paranoia bit is out of the way, she's starting to feel the tug of that youthful excitement once again. As they reach the line, Elle stares at the ride with wide eyes, watching as one car rolls off with that familiar rumble of the wheels on the track.

She holds Graeme's hand just a little tighter; the anticipation is pretty overwhelming itself. Will she freak out? Will she scream? What if she falls out? But Graeme…he does a pretty good job at assuming the role of a protective figure in all of this. After a moment, she peers up at him with a smile. "Thanks again for coming along. Sorry for threatening you."

The cart, each with four seats, two and two, is very sturdily constructed, but as they climb into the front of one of them, and the seatbelts go on and the bar goes down, the coaster does the thing that wooden coasters are very good at, of perhaps seeming a little less sturdy than they are, and more like they're constructed, of well, wood. Graeme grins, and offers her his hand once again. "You know, I probably deserved it. There's no good way to ask about our mutual acquaintances, honestly."

"I should know better than to startle people." And then the switch is flipped, and the carts begin to slowly advance forward, into a dark tunnel with a soundtrack of howling wind and crickets, and they're climbing upwards.

A bit nervous, Elle climbs into the car, making sure she is strapped down as tight as she can be strapped down. Falling out of this thing would suck in a very bad way. Graeme's arm is liberally taken, Elle wrapping her arms around his arm. And she's holding on fairly tightly, her nervousness more than showing through in her vice-like grip on Graeme.

"Yeah…these days, it's not the best idea to startle people. Then again, I'm overly paranoid anyhow." Then, the ride is moving, and Elle is clinging tight to Graeme's arm, eyes widening. It's loud and rickety-sounding, especially that clicking noise produced by the belt that is pulling the rollercoaster car up the first hill.

"I know. Honest, I tried to figure out a way to neither startle you nor sound like I was insane, and it didn't work." He grins. They're still climbing. "Hell, the last time I was startled … well no, that's not fair. The last time I was startled, really, it was at the gala for the ballet thing, and that's totally not a good example." Or at least, that's the last time that Graeme can easily remember. Everything else doesn't count as startled, muffled and pushed to the level of 'just fine' in his awareness by the ever-present effect of his ability.

There's a slight squeeze of her hand offered in return, even as she clings to his arm, and then, a little as the car starts to speed up, Graeme looks over at her. "I think we start to go in curves now."

And his prediction is pretty accurate. The clicking stops, and the cart begins to speed up, going in slightly mind-bending curves down the dark tunnel, though there are patches of light that come in through the walls and ceiling every two to three feet. And there's a low chuckle in Graeme's throat. For all of the alertness and perhaps overcautiousness that he has had so far, being out in an amusement park with Elle, he's definitely genuinely enjoying himself now. And it's hard to be worried when the speed of the rollercoaster is slightly causing one's body to go in the directions of the curves.

The grip tightens, and then Elle lets out a squealing shriek as they plunge into the tunnel; all throughout this tunnel, she's squealing/screaming her head off, somewhat akin to a banshee. And she is loving every single minute of it. So this is what rollercoasters are all about.

Graeme grins, and the end of the curves begins a climb further up and up and up out of the tunnel and into the morning air, and the bright sun, though the soundtrack of wind remains, the crickets are replaced by the sounds of birds. Maybe the speakers are in the carts, that would make the most sense, overall. He looks over at her. "Just wait for what comes next," he says. There's a wistful, but definitely happy, expression on his face.

"You know, part of me thought it would be different, experiencing it now. It isn't. Well, it's different, because life is, but the thrill is the same. This is the only—" Graeme's words are cut short as the coaster curves downward along the outside of what is most obviously a mountain sharply, and then begins another ascent and climb, the precursor to the rest of their day at the park.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License