Lesson One In The Delicate Art Of Yeeting Oneself


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Scene Title Lesson One In The Delicate Art Of Yeeting Oneself
Synopsis Under Delilah's watchful eye, Aman and Walter engage in their first tutoring session— teaching each other both new language in the process.
Date February 15, 2020

Ferrymen's Bay

One benefit of being a part of the Safe Zone Council is that Delilah has a keen knowledge of dwellings in each district. Where the renovations of old buildings are. Where there is planned demolition. Where new construction is taking place. She has had enough experience with teaching that finding quiet, open spaces is a must. Using her old safehouse senses seems to have worked out so far.

This particular space is one she's picked out specifically for the long, empty space. Used to be a grocery, cleared of contents and pockmarked with only light signs of damage. Private enough to be unbothered, low on the list of buildings being sold or renovated.

Delilah had taken her new cohort to meet her son as he came out of school; Aman got a brief introduction to Walter, getting cautious excitement from the boy. He knows he has to learn. It's intimidating.

But it means he gets to learn-learn. There's a subtle difference between need and want for the boy in this case. Besides, Aman seems kinda cool.

"— and then he threw it across the road and it got stuck onto the bumper." Whatever story that Delilah is getting told sounds like an exciting one, or at least coming from Walter it is. She humors him, because this is him laughing and carrying on as they walk up to the empty building. It's worth it, though,

"So you're an accomplice, is that it?" Brows raise high on Delilah's forehead as she turns her face to the young boy, one hand on the back door. Teasing, but skirting on convincing.

"What?! No! I just—" Stammering just a little, Walter ducks in after her when she slips inside, as if trespassing was just another family outing. It runs in the blood, it does. "It was just funny 'sall. Shoulda seen it dragging behind, it was the best." Affront has turned into pitchy laughter in quick succession, answered by a snort from Dee and a small laugh soon after.

"Okay, okay. Next time, don't, Walter. They will take your little butt to jail and I'll have to call your dad." Lilah's affection is there, despite her exasperation. You little shit. You're just like me. This is going to go swimmingly.

Lingering in abandoned buildings isn't an aesthetic Amanvir particularly wants to adopt for himself or contribute to, but he handles the wait for Delilah and Walter in calm, hands deep in the long beige coat he wears. Be honest with yourself, man, he has to think to himself. This isn't the first time you've met with someone in a place like this for business like this, either. But this was supposed to be different than those other times. The multi-colored stripes of his scarf are bound around his neck and knotted, serving to keep him warm at least. His ears are left uncovered— all the better to hear the two as they approach.

His head turns in that direction, but he waits until they're visible before letting his features lift up in a smile. "Hey there, li'l man. How's it hanging?" he asks. It's an easy question— comes easy, comes smoothly and encouraging. He's got his nephew to thank for that practice. "You ready to go to work today?" Aman glances up only for a moment at Delilah to offer her a nod as well before looking back to Walter.

Aside from the secrecy - understandable - and the strange location, this job for Aman is on the up and up. Delilah even put down part of his compensation beforehand, a gesture of faith. She's not been disappointed thus far. Says a lot about her, too. The door closes behind them on reaching the open guts of the store, and Aman is greeted with Delilah's smile. Walter hasn't stopped chattering softly at her until they make it.

"Hi Aman!" are the boy's first words, hopping right up to Aman, coat unbuttoned and hair windswept. He puffs air to shoo some from his browline. Getting a little long. "Yes." Walter answers the question of getting to work with an emphatic tension. He is excited and a bit terrified, but he's come around to the fact he'd rather do this than keep having accidents.

Delilah too. Maybe at least after the first little while bad dreams won't do what they do. One small step.

"'M glad you're still up for this. I know this—" Delilah spreads her hands at the empty building, short coat shifting with the lift of arms, hair loose about shoulders. "Is weird, and I'm sure sketches you out. But, uh, they don't exactly make gymnasiums for this, y'know?"

Aman lifts his shoulders in a shrug to Delilah. He supposes any gym could do the trick, but it also depends on how open someone wants to be with their ability. He knows a thing or two about that… and they were potentially dealing with an ability effected by emotional state, so reducing anxiety could be key to helping Walter find his feet.


It takes a lot not to want to crouch down to Walter with their height difference, but neither does he want to make the little man feel lesser. Like a child, even though he is one. Coddling him isn't the goal here.

"Let's start from the top, Walt. I want you to walk me through what happens when you've tried using your ability before. What you feel when you try and do it, what you're thinking about, what you have to do to make it work." Assuming there has been a time he did it purposefully. They didn't chat long last time. "Put me in your shoes."

"Hm, okay." Walter listens with a knot between his brows, giving his mother a glance as she finds a spot against the wall, hands in her coat pockets, supervising going forward. She gives Aman a cheeky little thumbs-up for morale.

"I've only tried a little. Mom tried to explain how some of her friends did it, so I tried to copy…" The boy rocks on his heels, "Didn't really— er, go like we wanted." Freckled nose scrunches up, blue eyes looking away and back again. "I kinda just. Uh. Mm. Ate carpet a few times."

"I try to think about putting my feet where I want to be? Like, the," Walter hops, lands on the flats of his feet. Landing. He pushes his hair back from his eyes, squinting up at Aman. "It's like… hm." Delilah, for all her keeping a small distance, is listening too.

"Like a rubber band? Maybe? When you want to shoot it? I guess that's just a slingshot, huh." Rambling turns briefly sheepish, though Walt laughs through biting softly over his bottom lip. "Or a bow'n arrow. Grabbing something springy in my head… it's really weird and I really want to pull it back, but I can't. I have better luck when I have bad dreams…" His voice quiets, passively shameful that he has them in the first place. Dee doesn't say anything, simply makes a note in her head to talk about it another time.

Nocking an arrow. Pulling it back all wrong. Watching it tumble down into the grass by your feet. Everything wobbles. Everything's stiff. He has no certainty on where his hands even go.

Aman is patient as Walter tries to go through his explanation, appreciative of the imagery he draws, the physical movements he tries to make with them. He dons a thoughtful expression and fails to keep standing, crouching now like a coach who's entered a huddle, or helping him line up his shot.

"That's some good imagery. If you've had luck with those kinds of visualizations, then let's keep using them. The thing that it sounds like you might be missing is the impetus to fling yourself where you want to go."

He braces his forearms against his knees, glancing up at the boy to keep a good read on how he's receiving the instruction. "The first most important thing is you have to have a clear idea of where it is you want to go. Okay, you have to hold that image in your mind's eye, because if your aim isn't true, your slingshot is going to go nowhere near where you want it to if you manage to shoot it off at all." Aman's brow lifts as he goes on, "The second thing I want you to keep in mind is how important it is that your aim true. We have this thing called a 'fight or flight response', which kicks in when we're scared, or when we think we're in danger. It sounds like that might be what's helping you to make the jumps you have. In short, it sounds like you might feel like you need to make the jump in order for it to work… to help you get away from something you're afraid of, or closer to safety."

His hands come together as he stresses, "Long term, that's something we want to move away from— letting fear be your only motivator. But we all gotta start from somewhere." Finally, he gives a small smile. "And I think once you get a few successes under your belt, you'll get a better idea on your own which things you need to focus on to make your hops work for you. It's like trying to train a muscle, you might not even know it's there first, but over time we can make it stronger."

Aman looks across the space thoughtfully, trying to imagine a scenario to use in a practice jump, but he turns back to Walter before heading on. "With me so far?"

"Duno if I've had luck exactly." Walter gets in a quiet mutter between things. He does straighten for Aman and his coaching stance, listening as well as any boy can; his mind wanders only a little. "What if it's the fight part? I mean…You did say 'or'—" He's interrupted from behind.

"Don't worry about that part right now." Delilah nips it in the bud, insofar as she needs to. Just a warning. Walter droops, because of course. What's the use of cool tricks otherwise? Just running away? Lame.

"Yeah, that sounds like my dreams 'n stuff." Walter mumbles, turning his head away from Mom and back to Aman, as if he might take his side in an unspoken battle. No, kid. "Yeah I'm with you!" He makes an attempt to brighten up for the sake of it, putting on that little rebel air he'd had coming inside. "That's what mom said, about the muscle. Hers is waaay different though." The last, Walter glances back at her and half-whispers to Aman. "She's poisonous. Okay, how're we starting?"

The scrappy comment from Walter earns him a grin from Aman, one he tries to muster away as his mom bats him down back to the moment instead. Right, they're supposed to be serious at the moment. "We'll work on control first before we get to flair," he promises, unable to stop himself from still wearing a small smile.

It's one that fades just slightly when the boy leans in to share that secret. "That right?" he asks in the same type of undertone. "Well, we better not make her mad at us, then, huh?"

Aman claps his hands together before him. "I'm thinking we work on small jumps first. Keep it in…" He looks around the abandoned space, waving a hand loosely. "here, for now. But if you're having trouble differentiating between spots in here, maybe we put you on the sidewalk and have you jump back in. I want to see you give it a shot.

"Talk it out, if it helps. Go from one step to the other— visualizing where it is you want to go, setting up your slingshot…

"And we'll see what happens from there."

"When she gets mad she gets mad." Walter laughs, face scrunching up with a one-sided smile and a squint at Delilah. It must be the red hair. Which he has too. Give it time.

The boy is attentive for Aman, and it's clear he has the desire to learn, if not the patience, exactly. Nod. Nod. Nod. Looking around the emptied shell of the building, Walter scans the floor around them before padding away to pick up a chunk of fallen ceiling tile. No time for a question when he frisbees it partway across the floor.

"Okay, I'll try for riiiight there! Like a baseball plate." Sort of. Delilah just rubs her hand over her face, letting out a noise between a sigh and a laugh.

Walter, on the other hand, seems completely invested. As kids are. Tongue sticking from his mouth, he's the picture of concentration; at least, til he catches himself looking over to see if Aman is watching. Wait, no, back it up, Hoss. Swallowing a little more dryly, the focus he tries to bring back the second time is more serious than the first. Nerves settle in.

"I- - okay, I'm gonna- - pull it in my head first," He huffs once, mouth pressing flat, blue eyes on the debris he's made into home base. They close tightly, the rest of him tensing up, fists at his sides and face screwed up in thinking as hard as he can. Coaches himself, after a moment, for Aman as well as him. "Or… okay. I wanna hold on, and I wanna go. I need t- -"

It's not like what Aman possessed. It's not a blip. A blink. Once upon a time, it was; but this is not the Walter Trafford of a storied, deadly future. This is the Walter Trafford of a boyhood in peacetime, with a net underneath his tightrope.

There's a small noise, audible at a certain high pitch. A whirr like an aluminum trigger jerking down on a tiny friction wheel. The shrillest of sounds, off-key like a broken toy motor. That same toy's little sparks linger behind, just as brief.


Next thing Aman knows, Walter reappears roughly two feet above the floor.

Halfway to home base.



He lands on the dirty tile floor with a grunt.

Aman winces in sympathy for the way that Walter goes flying. Sideways was not how he expected to see that child pop out of thin air. He could hear the sound of strain from the kid firing up his ability, which also wasn't ideal.

This was going to be harder than he thought. Still crouched, he looks over his shoulder at Delilah for the first time since he'd shifted his focus to Walter, a simple sentiment in it: This could be easier if he could provide more direct advice.

Then again, even with Aman's past experience, they ran the chance of him accidentally throwing himself through spacetime at unintentional angles, rather than just regular space.

He looks back to Walter, unmoving from his crouch. "Get up, dust yourself off. Take a deep breath; Slow yourself down. Then try it again. You rushed through the motions last time. I need you to focus, go through one step at a time, and take as much time as you need." In a gesture of solidarity, he takes in an audible inhale, holds it, and exhales it away. "Hold where you want to go in your mind. Line yourself up for home plate. Take in a deep breath, then pull back the slingshot…"

Walter sits up where he fell, scuffing up dust in the process. He doesn't bother looking at his mom, she's seen it all before and he gets more embarrassed every time it happens in front of her. Fucking up isn't very primal, thanks.

Over his shoulder, Delilah has her arms folded and a set to her jaw, an attempt at keeping herself from interfering. She only has a shake of her head in response. She insisted a couple more times in the course of phone calls. Don't touch it. She didn't explain fully, but given her adamance that Aman not copy it over— it's clear that 1) she knows a lot more than she's telling him, and 2) at the same time she is looking out for Aman's best interests. Delilah has been nothing but forthcoming in other departments, and it's obvious she cares about the poor guy she's dragged into this.

"It was already slow…" The boy offers just a moment of complaint, brows kneading briefly in Teo's puppy-dog gaze before he pushes himself up again. Right. "Okay, so… first." Walter stays just that bit closer to the ceiling tile. Shorter distance. He copies Aman's breathing, mulling over his next go. It folds into a look of concentration which looks more focused on the plate than himself. "First. I… grab the rubber band," Breathe in, right? "Then pull?" He does this little exercise a few more times. Visuals in the head and eye on the ball garbage. His breathing technique is alright for a kiddo.

"Um. So when do I know to let go?" Breathing exercise halts a moment as Walter peers up at Aman. "It's really hard to hold onto it…"

Aman wavers for a moment on his response before pushing himself to his feet. Staying in that crouch wasn't going to do his back any favors. His question is a hard one to answer, because what feels right may not be what's right to do. Just because it felt right to pull a bowstring back a certain amount didn't mean it was the force necessary to get where the arrow needed to go. If the kid overshoots … what then?

Say he does more than just overshoot. His teacher seems all too aware of that potential, couching his wording carefully.

"You know to let go when you've got where you're going fully visualized, when you make sure your aim is true. Just because you grabbed it doesn't mean you have to go anywhere with it." And maybe that was an important lesson to take away from this, too. "Just because you accidentally grabbed the band doesn't mean you have to let it snap. If you don't think you can handle it, practice letting go of it slowly so you don't accidentally yeet yourself sideways again."

Aman smiles just a touch. "Might end up reducing some of those hiccups, too." Smile fading, he nods back at the plate they've set up for him to get to. "But yeah, we gotta work on building up your resistance, making sure your aim is true. It's not gonna happen all in one day, so don't get down on yourself. We've got time."

"If you wind up and you think you aren't going to hit your target, this time try letting go without engaging your ability after you start the pull back. All right?"

Not letting go has always been a thought, but it just- - fumbles. Things fly around anyway. Maybe it just needs him to focus? Walter runs his tongue along the inside of his cheek.

"Yeet?" is the question of the moment while Walter lifts his hands in a mime of pulling back on a band, one eye closed, squinting down the sight of his hand at the tile. He plays on that gesture a moment more. He did want to learn something quick, but Aman reiterating that he won't gets a squash of mouth. Maybe the motion will help. Walter holds his fist out again, the other hand pulling back on an invisible rock.

"Grab, breathe, pull, breathe- -" Just like before, Walter's nose scrunches as his face does. "Hh- -" A small grunt when his pulling hand lets go. The flint-stone effect is smaller this time, a flicker at his string hand.

"- - hhhhrrk!" It turns into more of a squeak that time, as the young boy shifts out of sight and reappears a moment later. Walter misses the mark a second time, but at least he's not upside down or twenty feet up- - he trips over his feet and pinwheels when he flashes back at a diagonal from home base, a sizeable distance away from the target. Still relatively on his feet. That's… an improvement, at least. No telling how long it will keep.

Aman blanches when Walter isn't up to date on pop slang. "Yeet— like…" he starts, and then shakes his head. He's gonna have to find a video to stream for him later, apparently. The closest on-the-fly explanation he comes up with is, "Throw. Throw yourself."

But the kid's trying all kinds of things to help him line up his shot, and as a teacher, that's all he can hope for — for him to not get stuck in the loop of trying the same thing over and over til you get it right. That only worked when you knew what right was to begin with.

And for all intents and purposes, the slingshot visualization did seem to work.

"Look at how close you were!" Aman clamors. "That's an amazing trick you tried just now. Do it again, see if it helps you the same way on the way back. Just remember to take it slow, all right?" For how enthusiastic and confident he is, though, he has to brace himself— hoping Walter's not too far off the mark on the return jump.

Red hair puffs when his breath does. Walter huffs in a couple deeper breaths as if winded, looking over at his mother and Aman nearby. Delilah, for her part, has nearly moved up to the man's side, a visible tension leaving her shoulders. Her face is relieved, but her eyes are in a faraway place as she smiles at her son, clapping her palms together a few times. "See, isn't this better than trying at home?"

"Yeah- - there's- - a lot of room here- -" Two tries have already gotten to him, it seems; Walter has his hands on his knees to catch his breath back, squinting one eye up at Aman and grin crooked. That freckled face is still dusty from the faceplant. "Uff. Okay. I'm okay!" It's nothing! He's gotten booted with soccer balls before, it all felt similar. And he was fine!

"Are you sure?" Lilah chimes in, brow knit.

"Yeah, mum, 'course I'm sure." There comes a growing boy's scoffing sound right after. Delilah looks dubious, but gives a warning nonetheless.

"Just one more, bambino." Affectionately said, which only makes Walter look awkwardly at his new teacher. Don't say anything, it's embarrassing! At least out in the real world. At home, not as much. "Try to get to your base, okay? You're doing way better with all this space." There's a tint of something sad in Delilah's voice, just for a passing second, before she shrugs it out and smiles again.

All of the fussing aside, Walter has his breath back and straightens out. He does the same thing as before, murmuring along with the steps he takes, holding in when he needs to, letting yeet, for lack of words—

And promptly comes skidding past on his butt— and over the ceiling tile. Technically… he got it.

"Ow, ow, ow, my arse—" Delilah gives her son a Look, even as he is standing up and patting himself down, breath huffing and puffing.

"Remember what I said"
"Sorry mum… hhhh, why?! I liked these pants
" Walter grimaces past his hip. Delilah best stifles a laugh at seeing the seat of his jeans scraped off, like some sort of carpet burn from sliding down the stairs. "Mum don't laugh." He promptly attempts to pull his hoodie down, looking mighty dour. "Ngh…Botswarf."

She'll let him have that one.

Aman winces at seeing what's happened to the kid's pants, one eye squinting shut in sympathy. "Botswarf, huh?" he repeats back. "See, we're both teaching each other new words, now."

Both exclamations, at that.

It's a shame about the rugburn, but at least Walter's taking it in stride. Mostly. Aman lifts his hand up when his new student walks back his way. "High five, man. Seriously. You did really good for a first day. Things can only go up from here."

Walter is trying to see if the tear is as noticeable as it feels as he makes his way back; it's not so bad. Still, big hole, seat of pants. He lights up again when Aman reaches up, gamely hopping up on his last step to slap a high-five. Gotta make it Extra. He looks winded, of course, but in the way of a kid after track-and-field, flushed and catching his breath.

"I wanted to do more but.. Ugh. But trying at home was kinda— " He looks up at Dee, briefly. "Nn. I was scared to try harder in the house." Delilah looks back at him with a faint knit to her brow; that's fair.

"I gotcha," One hand lands on Walter's head to scruff fingers in his hair, resulting in a slappish squirm. "Aman—" Watching as Walter wiggles away, Delilah laughs and looks to the tutor. "You're invited to dinner if you'd like to join us." It was a shorter than anticipated first lesson, though a good introduction to having space to move in. The least she can do. (Likely that she'll offer every time regardless.)

"Next time we'll work on how to not let go if you feel yourself winding up. Gotta know how to start and stop." Aman slides his hands back into the pocket of his coat, noting that ruffling of hair is not cool. He lets out a huff of amusement, preparing to stage his exit when his name is called again.

He looks up to Delilah with a blink, trying to decide what to make of that. "I, uh…" He lets out a quiet breath, shaking his head politely. "No, I've got leftovers at home calling my name. Real generous of you, though."

Looking back to Walter, he kicks his chin up. "Don't wear yourself out between practices, all right? Make sure you come at it next time with all your energy." The suggestion to 'conserve energy' isn't even made with so much as a surreptitious glance to the parent figure, though he's confident it'll be an appreciated one.

"We'll do this again soon."

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