brynn_icon.gif lance_icon.gif owain_icon.gif

Scene Title Corny
Synopsis Brynn and Owain (finally) have a first date, and it doesn't go as planned.
Date August 4, 2018

Fantasy Forest Amusement Park

There were more than a few options for where to take Brynn on their first date. Sure, Owain could go with Lance’s suggestion and take her to the Yamagato Fellowship Center to see all of the art, but that’s something that can be done any day — and he kinda wanted to do something above and beyond. Make her first date ever (and her first date with him) something much more memorable than a stupid trip to an art museum. That option seemed a bit too lazy for his tastes.

Part of the reason he took so long to take Brynn out is because he was planning meticulously, making sure everything would be perfect. Which is why he’s taken the girl to an old abandoned theme park in Jackson Heights, right on the edge of the Safe Zone border. At one point, it was known as Fantasy Forest — now, though, it’s been overgrown by nature, and the rides don’t work.

He carries a picnic basket in the crook of one arm, his ever-present backpack slung over his shoulder as he leads the way. It’s just through here, he signs to his traveling companion, a small smile on his face.

Brynn's an easy traveling companion, at least. She grew up on the move, just like Owain did, so walking long distances doesn't faze her. She, too, has her go bag on her back — old habits drilled into the child. She's quiet as they move, her gray eyes perhaps just a little wary as they leave the more populated environs of Jackson Heights to approach the border. Owain might be trustworthy and a Lighthouse Kid and all, but… some things are rather unique to girls' perspectives of the world, and being alone with a young man they don't know quite as well as all that is one of those things that in subtle ways makes her more cautious. After all — she's deaf and mostly mute. If he decides to turn creeper and she can't escape him, Bad Things will happen.

Does she think it likely? Gosh no! But… well, she's seen it happen. When she first got to the city, it's what drove her right out of the shelters that were set up for new immigrants and made it all the more urgent to locate Lance and Joe.

The derelict amusement park brings a spark of laughter to her gaze as it falls on the old rides. Primal. Lance and I went out Coney Island beach at one point, and it's even in worse shape. Here you can actually see what the rides look like! She's enthralled by the overgrown, semi-magical place. She has no memories of going to places like this in her life, so it's fascinating to think that people rose these rides and had fun.

Owain prides himself on Not Being A Creep, thankfully, so Brynn’s (very valid) concerns will thankfully amount to nothing. That backpack is filled with the standard array of self defense items, in any case, because one never knows when they’ll need it in this day and age.

Yeah, I thought it looked awesome. I got to go to Indiana Beach and King’s island when I was a little kid, but I was always too small to go on any of the good rides. He grins down at his traveling companion, pushing aside an old fence that he cut apart while scouting this place out. The rides are all too heavy for me to get them going for you, otherwise I would’ve found a ferris wheel for you. Meaning that in that long time between her agreeing to go on a date with him and now, he was out trying to figure out if he could move rides for her.

Here we go! He stops, turning and offering Brynn an exaggerated bow, holding his hand out as if to tell her to head that way; rounding a corner, the carousel comes into view. It has been cleaned of flora as much as it can be, and Owain even scrubbed some of the old graffiti off as well as he could, too. That’s not all, though; a large sculpture, about as tall as Brynn, stands in front of it. It’s composed of several copper pipes, which have been shaped into a (very shoddy) heart shape. It’s roughly done, as Owain is about as far from an artist as one can get, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I hope it’s not too corny. I suck at sculptures, and art in general. Owain offers a sheepish smile, his cheeks burning red already.

She looks startled and then touched by the gesture. I'm not exactly sure that makes me unhappy. I … don't have a clue how I might do with heights. She's never had reason to learn, beyond just a couple of stories of a building. Brynn rounds the corner when he gestures and she puts her hand to her mouth in surprise. Okay… a little corny, yeah, she agrees. But really sweet! she hastens to assure him, seeing the red cheeks. She grins at him and asks, Lunch on the merry-go-round?

She heads into the carousel and climbs around it gleefully, interested in everything. The old horses and other critters are touched reverently, and she pauses near one, tilting her head inquisitively. Reaching out to touch the neck of the winged horse, she brushes away a layer of dried mud. The colors beneath are faded to near nothingness, but as she runs her hand down the dirty sides of the fiberglass animal, it springs into vibrant colors where she touches. It makes her smile a little and she looks back toward him. I can't remember if I ever even saw one of these. They're pretty when they're all cleaned up.

Picnic lunch on the Merry-Go-Round, yeah. Owain grins — he’s still pretty bright red, but he’s pushed the blush down a little, at least. He pauses, regarding the sculpture. It’s messy, there are angles where there shouldn’t be angles; some of the pipes that make it up were obviously bent wrong and then clumsily reshaped. Owain is definitely no artist — but at least he tried, right?

He follows her quietly as she climbs over the carousel; while her eyes are on the old amusement ride, his eyes are on her, watching her with that typical awed expression he wears around her. Delight springs into his expression as she restores the color on the pegasus, and he leans against one of the horses with a content look on his face. Yeah, I always loved these when I was little. My mom took me on them. I always liked the black knight’s horse.

Case in point, he moves over to the bench seat, setting the picnic basket down. One hand idly trails over the saddle of the preferred horse. Mom would always sit on the bench while I rode ahead, a great knight protecting his queen. He smiles warmly, turning brown eyes to Brynn.

Brynn shrugs slightly and smiles. She sounds nice, your mom. I … remember her a little. From Pollepel. As just one of the many kids who were on the island sick near death with that flu, a lot of Brynn's memories are scattered. She moves back toward where Owain is standing and finds a clear space on the bench he's near to sit on. I don't… really know what to talk about, she admits.

For a moment, Owain looks taken aback — then, he relaxes, smiling slightly. You mean Nadira. She’s a good mom — I love her to death, and she gave me Jori. A fond expression crosses his face.

Maybe we can start by just getting to know each other more. Owain smiles, sitting down on the bench and rummaging in the basket; two wrapped sandwiches are pulled out, along with a large bag of chips and some sodas. Owain is not a fancy cook, but he can at least make a good BLT — and you take whatever you can get when there’s a food shortage.

I’ll start. I never knew my birth mom. She was killed when I was four months old — my dad’s power manifested in a really awful way and killed her. He doesn’t give the DETAILS, because those are, at best, too gruesome for discussion over a meal. My dad was arrested, and my aunt adopted me. And for the first ten years, she was all I knew.

He seems sad when he discusses his aunt.

Brynn's a little taken aback by the news, horrified at the truth of Owain's life. I'm so sorry, Owain. She reaches for a soda, but she doesn't open it as she makes herself comfortable. I never knew either of my parents. I remember when I was really little, there were people… but no one stands out. I went into the Ferry after the Midtown bomb. I stayed with Miss Carson for the longest, but I think there were a few different places. After the Beach Street House was blown up, that's when I went to the Lighthouse itself.

She pauses and considers. No one ever really told me, if they even knew, why Miss Carson kept me with her. She was killed at Beach Street, so I can't ask. She was really nice to me, though. Taught me a lot of stuff.

She sounds wonderful, I wish that I could have met her. Owain smiles — he’s had his therapy and recovery, far more than most of the Lighthouse Kids, that’s for sure. It’s easier to talk about these things because of it, and while he is sad about his lost parents…it’s not as big a thing for him as it could be.

I wish you could have met my mom. She was wonderful. Made the best baked goods — I still can’t really eat cookies or cake without missing the heck out of her. He sets about unwrapping his sandwich once he has his soda resting next to him on the bench.

I don’t know if you remember when I first came into Pollepel…when I wouldn’t talk or play with the other kids. I…my mom was killed in our living room while I hid in the panic room she made for me. I heard it all. He takes a measured breath. My dad put me through therapy up in North Dakota, and that helped me work through a lot of it.

Griffin may have been a traitor, but he took good care of Owain and Jori for those last few years of his life. Owain shakes his head. Sorry, this is super bummer first date talk. He grins sheepishly.

Brynn shrugs slightly. I wouldn't know… first dates aren't exactly something I do. This is the world we grew up in — it's facts. Like the sky is blue and the trees turn color in the autumn. She's rather matter-of-fact about it. The people around them die — it's what happens. Honestly, I don't remember a lot about Pollepel at all, she admits. For a long time, I was too sick to be out of bed. And by the time I got better, we were all being evacuated ahead of the attack. So… She trails off. When I first went to the Lighthouse, I didn't talk to anyone for a while either. Beach Street was a nightmare come to life… I couldn't do anything for a while but relive it. I kept seeing people fall and fire in my dreams, and I couldn't do much of anything but draw what I saw. Joe and Lance and some of the others, we all kinda banded together. And we've stuck together ever since.

A smile forms across Owain’s face as he watches Brynn, unable to mask the fond expression. I’m glad you have them. They’re good guys. I’m surprised Lance didn’t try to punch me when I told him I was taking you on a date. At least, he didn’t try to punch him the second time, when they were sober.

So we know each other’s tragic backstories now, Owain signs, pausing to take a bite of the BLT and open his soda to wash a bit down. Good thing about sign language is that you can talk with your mouth full. Let’s do some Q&A. We take turns asking questions, and we both answer.

The metallokinetic grins. First question, he signs, What is your happiest memory? He takes a bite of his sandwich while he awaits his companion’s response.

Wait, what? You told him? The look of abject horror on Brynn's face is evident. Why would he punch you?? You're one of the Lighthouse Kids. One of us. She isn't sure how to respond to any of that, and so instead of asking anything further about it, she too begins to unwrap her sandwich so that they can eat while they talk. The question is hard for her, though… she has to think about it. What is her happiest memory?

When her hands come up to sign, they're slow as she works her way through the thought. When I was … maybe 6?… Miss Carson took me to the zoo. I don't really know if it was supposed to be a class trip or something, or if she just wanted to go there that day. There were not very many people there that day, and I remember it because it was a really cloudy gray day and I was worried it would rain the whole time. But… it didn't. We walked through there and I got to see a bunch of colorful birds inside the dome and they were beautiful. And then we saw sea lions. They were so sweet looking. She shrugs a little and smiles shyly. I'd never seen anything like them and I wanted to pet them. And she bought me an ice cream. She has no memory of the fact that it was her birthday.

She nibbles at her sandwich and then asks, What's yours?

To be fair, I wasn’t trying to. I was just wondering about date ideas at him, then Squeaks ratted me out. Owain offers a sheepish smile. Otherwise, he’d just know that I was taking someone on a date. Anyhow, hopefully I threw him off. Talked about taking you to Yamagato and looking at their museum…figured I’d save that one for later.

As she goes into the memory, Owain listens carefully, a small smile on his face. When she finishes, he nods slowly. That sounds…amazing, he replies, watching the girl. Then, he goes quiet, pondering his response.

Mine was…well, probably the Christmas before I turned 9. I didn’t know about my dad yet. Me and my mom went to my grandparent’s house in Indianapolis. It had snowed the day before, and me and my grandpa went outside and built our own igloo, using this box thing that he had. We’d pack the snow in, pour some water over it, and then move on to the next one. And when we were finished, we splashed buckets of water over the entire thing so it would ice over, and then sat inside and had some of my mom’s cookies and talked. Owain can’t help but smile as he describes his happiest memories to the girl of his dreams.

Afterwards, we went inside and had the best ham dinner I’ve ever had — Grandma Mihangle was the best cook! And for dessert, my mom made some delicious almond cake, and we all sat around and talked. And then, of course, we got to open up presents…I got a giant fire truck and a pair of roller blades. The memory is like a satisfying meal, leaving Owain with a content expression on his face.

After a moment of reflection, Owain turns his smile to Brynn. Your turn! He takes another bite of his sandwich, grinning.

Christmases when she was very small weren't big things… but there was always enough to eat and a few small presents. Nothing quite like he described there, but she never knew any different really, and she isn't a jealous person by nature. And she had caretakers who gave her cool things like colored pencils and sketch books! She smiles as he describes his holiday.

When he says it's her turn to think of a question, Brynn is somewhat stymied. What does she want to know? You came here to go to college, right? What do you want to do?

The question doesn’t falter the smile set into Owain’s features. I’m studying chemistry. He chuckles. It’s kind of a selfish thing — my ability makes it so I can sense metals, and each one has their own feeling attached to it. So my ability helps my studies, and my studies help my ability. He grins.

It’s kinda cool, actually, I really only have to learn about a quarter of the periodic table through traditional means, and the rest I can feel. He pauses, brown eyes trailing up to the ceiling of the carousel. Haven’t really thought of what kind of job I’d like to take after I graduate. Maybe a Toxicologist or Nanotechnologist or something.

Smiling, he takes a bite of his sandwich, waiting for Brynn’s answer — though something tells him he might know what it’ll be.

Tilting her head a little, Brynn chews while she watches him talk. Lance took me to Coney Island a while ago… it was the first time I ever saw the ocean, she signs, seemingly a random statement until she explains. Before that… I'd never seen so far away. I didn't even really know you could. I asked him the same question that day…

She looks a little nonplussed. And while we were talking about it, I kind of realized… we made all these plans for college and stuff because it's what you're supposed to do. But… it's what you were supposed to do before. And we don't really even remember much about Before, you know? So… when I really thought about what I wanted to do, and I got a look at what it really looks like here in the city… it's so different than living out in the country. There's so much that's not the same as what we were taught… I don't even know if I want to go to college anymore. I don't… think I know what the purpose of college would be for me.

Brynn grimaces. I think I accidentally made Lance think too hard about that idea and … he looked like maybe I'd taken something from him. I worry… by saying it out loud — that we live in the After and that maybe all those things really aren't the 'normal' anymore — that I somehow stole his dreams. She looks away, picking at her sandwich for a long moment.

When she looks back, she rolls her grey eyes. I think I really suck at this sort of talking.

To his credit, Owain listens quite thoroughly, a ponderous look on his face. And when she finishes speaking, he stays silent for a moment, quietly chewing his sandwich as he mulls over her words. When he finally begins to sign back to her, it’s with a faint, fond smile on his face. You’re right, in a way…college always was something that was before.

He pauses. But…why give up on the good things that were before? College…learning something that can maybe change things, make them better than they are now. Like…I want to make medicine, or maybe technology, and I think my ability could help me do that. He tips his head toward the girl, watching her for a moment.

After the pause, he grins. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever wanted to do?

See, that's just it — I didn't mean to make him think he shouldn't go! Just that I'm not sure it's where I need to be. Brynn shrugs a little. She takes some time to think about his query.

I don't think my definition of crazy is very interesting, she admits. I mean… c'mon. I grew up with Brian. If she were speaking aloud, the tone would clearly be somewhat amused. Normal in our place was learning to make Molotov cocktails and packing go-bags and being a decent shot with everything from a rifle to a bow and arrow. Learning to make camouflage on skin for all terrain. And tracking and hunting for food and practice, along with growing our own garden and stuff. I mean…

A cheeky grin accompanies that information. To me, sitting in an old amusement park is kinda crazy.

But she does pause and admit wistfully, I always wanted to go someplace like England to see castles. Or to a tropical island with tons of flowers and birds to watch and deep blue and green water. To her, she might as well be asking for the moon in her picnic basket.

The teen laughs. I suppose you have a point, he replies, shaking his head a bit. Granted, I grew up learning how to shoot smaller and smaller cans off of a fence post from further and further away. We had curry for a week when my dad wanted me to shoot the tiny cans of coconut cream, and then spaghetti for a week when I had to do those stupid tomato paste cans. He wrinkles his nose.

Then, he smiles at her wish to go traveling. Well, then maybe we’re in luck. I want to go parasailing in some place tropical, so… He reaches out, taking one of her hands — if she allows it, of course. One day, I’ll take you to Hawaii, or somewhere in the Carribean or something.

Now she blushes and although she squeezes his hand lightly, Brynn shies away from the implications of that statement pretty fast. It seems kind of unlikely that it'll ever happen, honestly. I mean… the world isn't back to the Stone Age or anything, but… She gestures around them. Travel of that kind isn't exactly in the cards if you're not wicked rich. planes are a huge luxury, after all.

He squeezes her hand right back, his cheeks burning a bit. No, it gives me a goal to work toward, he replies, a small grin on his face. One day I will take you somewhere tropical. Even if we’re old and this dating thing doesn’t work out, Owain smiles, I promise I’ll do it. He nods as if this is a fact.

It might be a hefty promise, but Owain likes having future goals — and going on a tropical vacation with Brynn is his kind of future goal. Who knows, maybe I’ll come up with some kind of miracle drug or something that will have me set for life, then we could even live on an island like that.

Perhaps those aspirations are a bit lofty, but Owain is (probably a little too) optimistic.

That's a plan that is way too far in the future for her to see — Brynn's honestly never planned that far ahead and is reluctant to either encourage or discourage Owain. Instead she simply offers a smile and a noncommittal sort of shrug that says if you say so, then signs, Tell me about what you're enjoying most about the city?

Briefly, Owain considers answering that she is what he is most enjoying, but that sounds sappy and might be considered ‘laying it on too thick’. Brown eyes sweep up to the cobwebs in the canopy of the carousel, thoughts running through his head as he ponderously chews a bite of his food.

I’m enjoying college a lot. It’s kind of amazing, having access to a fully stocked chemistry lab. My professors have had to chase me off after hours, I get lost examining all of the different elements and feeling them. He glances down to Brynn, smiling sheepishly.

Other than that…I’m enjoying the freedom, and not feeling like I’m hiding I guess. We were safe at Devil’s Lake, but it always felt a lot like we were hiding away.

Brynn understands that better than some. You were, she says simply. We all were. 'Safe' is an illusion. Even now, those with powers are not — at least I her opinion — out of danger. If they were, there'd be no need for organizations like Wolfhound and no one would be asked to Register if they wanted to use their power to make money. Regardless of the banner, Registration is still a way for Them to keep tabs on you.

She keeps these thoughts to herself, however, simply sipping from her drink. She rarely offers such opinions.

I've been working with Raquelle a bit lately. He's really sweet. If you have time, you should go say hello — I'm trying to figure out how best to help him keep doing what he likes. The food shortages are still pretty broad, and I think he's worried. He doesn't want to bother us, though… we're still 'kids' and all. Brynn smiles slightly. He never treats us like little kids, but he does try to protect us and look out for us. Cas does it too. It's… irking sometimes, but kind and comes from a good place, you know?

I know it is, Owain replies with a small sigh. I wish it wasn’t, but…I don’t think ‘safe’ is ever going to be true again. Not for us. He doesn’t go further into that — it’s a bit too depressing for a date to be talking about how there will never be any true safety ever again.

The mention of Raquelle prompts a warm smile from the metallokinetic. I need to see him, again, yeah. I remember now, he was in Eltingville with my dad and Nadira, when Jori was born. He gave us barbeque. He doesn’t mention the part where he also hid from the robots along with Raquelle — man, his ability would have been great for that day.

I…kind of don’t mind the protectiveness from adults. I get it. I’ve…kind of fallen into that trap with Squeaks. I think she hates me now because I worry for her. He seems a bit crestfallen that Squeaks is angry with him — though he understands that too.

I know she can handle herself, but I can’t bear the idea of letting her get hurt if I can help it. The same goes for you. He tilts his head, watching Brynn with that fond expression on his face. I know very well that you can handle yourself, but I feel like…like I was given this ability that lets me throw motorcycles long distances so I can protect the people who can’t. If that makes any sense at all.

It makes sense, Brynn acknowledges. But … when you've spent your life learning to look out for yourself, someone else deciding you need them to step up
instead of treating them like an equal and letting them ask for help if they need it just sort of reeks of the idea that you don't actually believe that they can take care of themselves.
She shrugs slightly. It's just something to think about.

I don't think she hates you. I think she's naturally suspicious of people who treat her like she needs them… any kind of authority. She's been on her own a long time and doesn't want people to tell her what to do.

For an occasionally often dumb teenage boy, Owain at least listens well. It’s fairly obvious that the gears are turning as he processes Brynn’s point of view, and then he’s nodding his head as though the color changer just made some scientific insight that has almost blown his mind. That makes…a lot of sense, actually. It’s just so hard not to try and protect her. All of you, really. It’s so easy to fall into that role, especially without Jori around.

He seems rather morose about the fact that his little sister and Nadira have moved out of state and taken up residence in Kansas City, though he doesn’t go into that little cloud of discontent.

He finishes off his sandwich, washing it down with the soda. Then, he’s reaching into the picnic basket again, and produces two plastic-wrapped brownies. Not the most fancy or romantic meal ever, as Owain is not a natural cook, but at least he brought chocolate, right? He’s trying really hard here!

Brynn notes his reactions, though she's not entirely sure what has him upset until he mentions that Jori isn't here. Then it clicks for her and she nods slowly. Squeaks isn't Jori's age… and I'm definitely not, she reminds him. Her smile is gentle and she offers, If you get too protective… well, even if I don't say something, I'm pretty sure Lance and Joe will. She shrugs slightly. She's much more prone to NOT confronting a problem, easing around it and just going her own way.

She takes the brownie that he offers and she looks awed. Oh wow… I don't know who you bribed, with all the food shortages, to get this but… wow, Owain. Her grin is brilliant and then she pulls it back just a little, just because she doesn't want to give him the wrong idea. You don't have to work quite this hard just to have lunch with me, you know? she remarks, watching him carefully.

Pretty sure Lance is just casually going around my overprotective instincts, Owain doesn’t seem upset about this — he doesn’t want to be obnoxiously overprotective, he just can’t really help it sometimes. It’s as much a part of him as his ability is. I’ll try not to get too bad with it.

The reaction to the brownie prompts a faint smile to replace the mildly concerned look on his face, and he chuckles softly. I have my ways. Mostly, he took a trip out to that new grocery store in Queens and somehow managed to get all of the fixings for his BLT, chips and brownie lunch for way too much money, but he would say it’s worth it.

It’s not just lunch, though, it’s your first date. And our first date. And…I know it’s not much, but I wanted to try to make it more special and creative than a trip to Yamagato Park. He smiles sheepishly. You’re kind of one of my favorite people ever, so I wanted to treat you, you know?

Brynn slants him a look and nibbles her lip a bit. She's not used to being the center of anyone's attention for this long, and it's a little uncomfortable, she's realizing. It's keeping up a casual conversation when that's not really her strongest inclination. But she has plenty of manners! It's really nice of you, she tells him. And then she offers with a shy grin. If you sell your soul on the first date, though, I think you're going to be forever playing a game of one-up-manship on yourself. Thank you. For the thought. For.. all of this.

Owain laughs a bit. Oh, I have no illusions that I’m going to do better than this one. I’m the least creative intellectual type you’ll ever meet. From here on out? It’s straight out of the ‘how to be a very okay boyfriend’ book. He blushes a bit. If that’s okay by you, that is.

His face bright red, he turns to look over the carousel. When we’re done eating, there’s a few cool sights. If you want, the ferris wheel is easy enough to climb, and it’s rusted so that even I can’t move it. Provides a neat view over the trees.

She looks away, toward the rusted Ferris wheel. Uncertainty is only evident in the subtle hunch forward of her shoulders as she studies the piece of equipment. Sure… we can climb, she agrees. And then gray eyes come back to his face, and Brynn looks hesitant. That word… it makes me… She doesn't seem to know how to articulate what she wants to say. It's moving too fast, Owain. Too… permanent. Too much like a promise that I don't know if I can live up to. Abandonment issues, attachment issues, and commitment issues. The girl is a bundle of issues, though he may just be realizing it. But at least she's trying to put words to it. Though she seriously looks like she might flee at a fast pace here momentarily, uncomfortable for reasons she can't really say.

A panicked look appears on Owains’ face as she suddenly looks like she’s about to bolt, and he lifts his hands, shaking his head. No, no. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…I’m not trying to rush anything, I’m sorry I said that. I’m sorry. Please don’t leave. He looks desperate to keep her from running, but he’s not going to grab her or anything — he really is trying his hardest to be as respectful as he can be.

It doesn’t have to go any faster than you need it to. It doesn’t even have to go anywhere, I’m just… He can’t help but let his head hang slightly, like a sad little puppy dog or something. I like you a lot, and I don’t want to make anything bad or awkward. I’m sorry if I did.

Brynn's unease triples when Owain panics like that, and she looks both guilty and awkward. Because … well… this is probably the single most awkward moment of her life up to this point. This boy is laying out his feelings and she's already not sure what to do with someone so open about this whole 'I like you' thing, and then she's gone and crushed him, which only makes her want to backpedal all the harder. Please stop talking, she begs. Or … talk about something else? She's kind of desperate not to be talking about this. Anything but this will do. Because if it keeps on, she's almost definitely going to flee him.


In one of the lower passenger cars of the rusted old ferris wheel, close enough to easily hop down to the garbage-strewn platform, a pair of binoculars are lowered slowly, and the occupant reaches down to lift… a sniper rifle!

It’s brought up, braced on the edge of the passenger car, and aimed directly at Owain, center mass. The sniper takes the wind into account, adjusts, sights down the barrel… and then fires with deadly accuracy!

Fortunately, Lance is just firing a paintball gun at Owain, and not an actual rifle.

Owain is quiet for a moment, a sad little puppy dog that’s been kicked — or something to that effect. He thought he had it right, that this would be perfect, but he just messed it up by being too eager. After a moment, he starts signing, I’m sorry. Let’s —

It’s at this moment that the paintball hits him square in the center of the chest. A red one, no less. It catches him off guard enough that he suddenly flies backwards over the arm rest, shaking the entire carousel as he lands flat on his back next to the bench that they were seated on. For a moment, he’s still — did he just get killed or something?!

Then, his face twists into a pained expression, his hands raising up to the red smear in the middle of his chest. Is that blood? Or paint? Or both? His fingers find their way to the center, touching it — it hurts like he just got shot, but shouldn’t he be pumping blood?

His face goes through a variety of different expressions — pain, confusion, shock, before it finally settles on some mixture between pain and anger. He’s not signing now — instead, he’s letting out a loud scream of curse words that Lance can hear from where he sits.

Red blossoms in the middle of Owain's chest as she watches… and for a split second, Brynn freezes. Source direction is the first thought that registers, the second thought is Hailey. At which point adrenaline and terror sweep Brynn. She reaches out and hauls Owain by the scruff down behind the little carriage they were sitting in while fumbling for her go-bag to drag it with her. Her hands are shaking even as she takes cover, and there's a high-pitched sound coming from her in her panic.

Brian trained them all. He trained them well. But Brynn is not exactly the combat queen or the weapons master or anything else of that ilk — she's the one who usually is at the rear guard. Taking cover, camouflage, and covering other people's backs. She can't tell from what's happening that Owain isn't hurt, he's obviously screaming, and there's red. It's all she knows as she comes back out of the go-bag with the pistol that lives in the bag for last resort.

Way to go, Brian! The training definitely stuck!

One shot, and— down! Lance barely even waits long enough for the paintball to hit before he’s down hidden in the bottom of the passenger car, silence having left the weapon inaudible and the rusty metal not even creaking underneath him.

He of course had the same training, so he keeps down, not giving away his position.

It takes a moment for Owain to really get his wits back about him. That shit hurts — he’s going to have a welt, at the very least. Not to mention, Brynn is being a strong and independent woman who doesn’t need no man and hauling him behind cover. He might be touched by her reaction, if he wasn’t angry and in pain and confused right now.

The button down shirt is lifted briefly, revealing…red-painted skin, and a perfectly round circle. There’s a tiny trickle of real blood from such a thin-skinned area being subjected to attack with only a thin dress-style shirt to act as protection.

His eyes are clouding with silver as Brynn is pulling out the gun — and he flinches visibly, waving a hand at her to put it away. It was a paintball. He glares out toward…where was he facing…general direction of the ferris wheel. I don’t think we’re in danger. Or you aren’t. He stops signing, then, face twisting up in concentration.

Owain’s ability does not mask the sound of a sheet of metal suddenly yanking itself off of the roof of the carousel, before floating silently down in front of the two to act as a shield.

When he waves at her to get her attention, Brynn's gray eyes flicker. It takes her long seconds to appear to comprehend what he's telling her. They're … what? She looks down at his chest, where his shirt is gaping open, and reaches out to touch the paint with a hand that is visibly trembling. He can see the moment she fully understands; she slumps and her head falls forward. If he weren't sitting right in front of her, he wouldn't even have seen the flash of undiluted rage, it was so brief. Her expression is wiped an instant after that to the calmer one she usually wears, although she's sweating from the adrenaline dump, her heart still pounding in her chest like a bass drum.

She is still for a moment more, then she moves to stand up, tucks the pistol into the back of her jeans, and grabs up her backpack go-bag. Without another word to Owain, she pivots on a heel and clambers off the carousel, leaving herself wide open to further shots fired… if he dares.

The rend of metal off the carousel is audible even from Lance’s distance, and that? That’s his cue to exit, stage left. The door on the opposite side from them creaks silently open and he drops down from it, hopping down to the sand below in a quiet burst of sand from the impact.

His training was more intended for killing a target and then escaping the area, but this isn’t that much different from that. Retreat!

Despite the silvery eyes, Owain still manages to look very concerned for Brynn — but he’s not about to try and stop her. His own heart is still racing, and that’s a painful welt on his chest now. As Brynn turns, he lets down the strong mask, and his face scrunches up in reaction to the pain radiating from said welt — it’s all he can do to keep the sheet metal upright.

Then, he takes a deep breath or two, and raises to his feet. He knows who it is. Lance is the only one who knows about the date — and the only one he trusts to be good enough with a gun to land a red paintball right in the center of his chest. The sheet metal floats out in front of him as he slinks off of the carousel after Brynn — but only for a moment.

Using his hand to direct the flow of his ability, Owain causes the sheet of metal to lift up above his head, narrow end pointed out. For a moment, he glares at the ferris wheel — in part to aim things, and in part to give Lance enough time to flee the scene. After a moment, he points his hand toward the top of the ferris wheel — and suddenly, the sheet of metal goes flying through the air.

As Lance flees, he’ll hear the rather shocking sound of the sheet of rusted metal crumpling against the frame of the ferris wheel behind him like an enormous, smashed soda can. Owain isn’t actually trying to hurt Lance — just scare him a little.

With her back to the action, Brynn doesn't see exactly what he did, but the impact certainly has other effects like blowing some of the dirt and papers on the ground around. So she whips around to look, her face a carefully neutral mask. She looks at the mess near the Ferris wheel, perhaps debating internally whether her brother — whichever one it was, it would have to be one of them — would have been stupid enough to stay there after taking the shot. Resolutely, she decides not to go over there. Gray eyes flicker back to the metallokinetic, taking in the way he looks and the crimson splotch that discolors his shirt. Her jawline firms just slightly and out in the full sunlight, she looks a little pale.

The picnic was beautiful, Owain. Thank you for putting so much thought into it, she signs. She begins to sign something else and then aborts the movement, as if she doesn't know what to do or say. I'll see you later, is what she settles on, and then before he can really try to stop her, she runs from him.

To be fair, Owain made it pretty obvious that he wasn’t out for blood — it impacted the center of the ferris wheel, nowhere near any of the benches. But it’s still a pretty frightening thing that he can do there.

And then, Owain is alone. He messed up the whole thing, and then this shit happened, and…with a sigh, the metallokinetic lets the crumpled metal float gently to the ground, before turning and moving back toward the carousel. He brushes one finger along the not-so-pretty copper heart sculpture, which promptly crumples in on itself until it’s nothing more than a tangled mess of copper pipes and wires.

Then, he returns to the ferris wheel to clean up, his eyes fading back to their normal brown. “Fuck it.”

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