Log:Day At the Beach

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Day At the Beach
Characters  •   The Addict  •  The Confidant  •  The Martyr  •  The Optimist  •
Location  •  Parlor and Anywhere Room
Date  •  2019-03-06
Summary  •  After chatting in the parlor, the Confidant takes the Addict, the Martyr, and the Optimist to an island beach circa 2018.

The Addict emerges from their room dressed for the evening. Not, in this case, in a slinky gown or fishnets, but rather a black nightie that falls to mid-thigh, and a short red satin robe with black lace trim. Their hair is loose and damp from a wash, and the scent of strawberries clings to them from their bubblebath. They're clean shaven, legs shaved too. Alas, they no longer trust this place not to have broken glass, so they've donned a pair of dainty black slippers, too. "Dare?" they call as they step into the parlor. "Are you out here?"

The Martyr is eating some sort of heathy looking cereal of the type one buys at a coop. It's got bits of nuts and dried fruit floating in it. He's wearing blue plaid flannel pajama bottoms ad his old mildly battered Shriekback shirt on. he's curled up on the sofa under the jewel toned Crazy quilt from his bed. The radio is turned low and Eubie Blake's "Memories of You" is playing in the background. "Briar, Love?"

The Confidant has been quiet. His door's been closed and with his usual written welcome remaining on the door, there is now an addendum. 'Please knock if closed'. But knocking would go unanswered, unless persistent. He need to think, he says. Just think. All of that, until now. His door opens and out he creeps, barefoot and wrapped in the quilt from his bed. A quilt made of men's shirts. He might be trying to be sneaky as he heads into the parlor with his head down. As if there is /another/ big redheaded fellow here. He is heading towards the dispensary. So sneaky, this one.

The Addict perks up and says to Dare, "Are those my pajamas?" The thought seems to delight them. But then the super sneaky Chance stealths by, and Briar looks right at him. "Hey," they say, and they come up to wrap their arms around him (having learned nothing from the Fool and the Creepshow). For awhile they say nothing, they just hug the redhead, not at all shy about their scantily clad state, but neither are they putting the moves on. It's all rather innocent.

The Martyr beams at him, "They are, yes." He blushes, "I wore them most of the time we were parted. They're larger, of course, but I remembered the pattern, so..." He smiles at Briar, "You are a viosion everytime I see you." Because they look Damn cute. He waves at chance, "Hey man. How are you doing?" He takes a lst few mouthfuls of cereal and set it aside, rising in case Briar needs some sort of cuddle reinforcements, setting aside his own quilt.

From off down the normal corridor way - if anything could be normal - there is a 'click'. Somewhere down there the Optimist has showered from his fake-surf experience, and is now back in his blue vest and shirt and slacks. With glasses. He heads back towards the dispensary where everyone else is, his sign under his arm. Take that, Facility. You can grow another one.

The Confidant likes hugs and accepts The Addict's gladly. "I'm alright." He says softly while parting. "Thank you. I kinda needed that." He now acknowledges Marytr with a little wave. "I'm good, really. I've been finding myself a little overwhelmed. The Encounters and the struggle I have all while trying to give so much of myself to so many..." He looks up at The Optimist. "What's with the sign?" He looks at him, slightly bleary-eyed. Usually The Confidant is all questions and smiles and help with a face as new as Optimist's. But the guy looks tired.

The Addict gets in some good hugging before drawing back, then they give Chance a kiss on the cheek. "You take all the time you need, sweetheart," they say. Then they give the man some space, turning to take Dare's spot on the couch, compete with wrapping the blanket around their shoulders. "HEllo, Boots," they say as Optimist makes his way toward the dispensers. "Where are you going with that?"

The Martyr pauses to kiss Briar's cheek. He waves at the Opptimist, "Hello, Boots! Have you met Chance? I've lost track. Briar used to be the Danny I was telling you about when you first came. The one I was waiting for."

He closes the distance with chance, eyes serious, "I wanted to apologise for my behavior the other day. I pushed you in ways that were rude and I had no right to. I really do like you and respect the strength is takes to do what you do." He searches his face, trying to figure out just how bad their history is going to mess things up.

"I'm going to see if we have a garbage compactor," says the man, who peers around in the kitchen area. He glances at Chance, and then he says "Well, it's my sign, so I'm going to see if I can destroy it." It is a bright yellow sign with a tsunami warning symbol and a man carrying a surfboard towards it. Boots puts it down on the nearby table, and he eyes Dare and Briar together "Mmm. Ahhh, I see. That makes sense. _Is_ there a garbage compactor here? Or maybe just a big knife..."

The Confidant is quick to shake his head, "No no! You didn't push me. It was fine. I mean...it should have been. I usually don't...well, I've never been bothered too much by what happens in the Encounters. I mean, the snapshots or the Encounter itself. Well, The Noc kinda got in my head but that was the second one and we were all very confused then. And Prosperity was a gut punch for us all but, uh, anyway--my point is, I didn't expect to have a reaction or else I'd have said so. You're fine. We're fine." He looks to The Optimist. "Things get cleaned up around here. You can probably like..leave it out of the way and mark it as trash and it's go poof! Maybe." He looks back to Dare. "I like you too, man. I like everyone but it's doesn't mean you aren't special. or Briar. Or Boots." Beat. "Boots, right? Why Boots?" Now he's back to looking at Optimist. "If you don't mind me asking?"

The Addict snuggles up to Dare under the blanket and says, "It'll be back tomorrow. You can throw it away though, if you want." Looking to Chance, they admit, "You're one of my favorite people. I worry about you, stretching yourself too thin worrying about the rest of us." To Dare, they say, "I met Boots earlier. He just got back from the beach. I kind of want to go to the beach sometime, but in a time where I don't have to worry about bashers."

The Martyr laughs a little grimly, "Oh there are knives." He keeps watching the Optimist's face. Eventually, nods, "It's not hard to imagine why this would have been bad even without the obvious reasons. We're a little too alike for me not to get that. Still, I am sorry for not having been as good to you there or here as I should have been." He curls his arms around Briar, that being one of his favorite things to do. "Why don't we try Fire Island half a century after we died. We can watch the twinks walk by and drink coktails with umbrellas and body surf and go dancing after?"

"Really? Excellent!" says Boots to the Confidant, and he flips his sign over. It has exactly the same symbol on the other side, with maybe a hook for hanging it "I just want to test it as an idea - Encounter? That's what you call those events that we're forced through? I see. I haven't been in one yet." He takes a sharpie pen out of his pocket and writes 'Trash' across the sign and puts it down on the counter. As Briar speaks, he nods "So I hear, but I figure I may as well test it." He glances at Chance "Well, I though it sounded cheerful," he comments "And I like that. But anyway. The idea of going places in the future is strange, but apparently I come from there, according to Briar? Or at least from somewhere more futuristic."

Something odd comes over Confidant's expression. "I'm the only one here right now from the isle." He looks and the look is hope. "I can get us there. The island...our first Encounter--yeah, that's what I call them. Because we always end up facing something down." He regards the room at large. "You could see me as Chance. My favorite. And, uh...yeah. No bashers. It's 2018 at a music festival. No one will care." He's smiling. "I can get us there. I know it. Beach again?" This to Optimist and then Martyr.

The Addict inclines their head to Boots. "From the perspective of 1989, anyway. That's as far into the future as I've ever been." They glance at the old-timey radio. "And it looks like we're going back again." They wrinkle their nose. "I wouldn't mind seeing this 'future' everyone's talking about." They glance around at the three of them. "Should we go to the beach?" they ask. "Could we? I mean, I've got nothing planned right now."

The Martyr calls to the Optimist, "Please don't do any Durian fruit based tests. The future makes sense. It sounded like computers are more advanced where you're from." He gives Chance an encouraging smile, "Just make sure it's well before the... whatever it was happened, okay? I would definately like to see it." He kisses Briar, "And I get to see you in a swim suit."

"Oh, dear, I don't think I'm really a fighter - not very physical, you know?" says Boots, who purses his lips "Okay, Chance. Well, actually, I'd be happy enough to try out just about anywhere. A music festival, a beach..." He glances at himself "Even if not dressed for it. And...computers? I mean, yes, they are very tiny...you know, they have to be for smartphones." He pauses "What's durian?" Then he moves over to Chance, to see what he intends to do.

"Chance had the coolest phone. He could connect it to his hearing aids wirelessly." The Confidant says with glee. "It'll before. Uh, first day we were there or something. I just...well, if...I need to find Chance's sunscreen. He was very fair, burned easily. But that's fine. It's okay. I don't care. He unwraps himself from his quilt cocoon and folds it nicely before setting it on a chair. He goes to the anywhere room's door. "Ready when you guys are."

The Addict tells Dare, "Could we keep my hatred of durian on the down low? Saying 'don't do something' is a huge invitation to do it. They'll do it just to spite you." Addict likes their fellow people, they don't necessarily trust them. "When, if you don't mention it at all, they'd never think of it." To Boots, they say, "It's a fruit that smells like someone took a dump on a pile of hot garbage." Then, to Dare, they complain, "Now he's going to order one just to see. Just. Don't mention durians anymore. Nothing good will come of it." They get to their feet, and they say, "I guess I'll get changed when I get there." They follow after Chance.

The Martyr smiles sadly, "I wasn't either last time, Boots. I mostly helped with things like organizing information and searching for records and things. There is more than one way to save the world. There are people who are way better at the more physical things. Chance here was amazing in that line and did all sorts of things i never could have managed. Smartphones? Are those like in Star Trek? Wireless? Like one of those big phones rich people get they can carry around the house? How would you connect it to hearing aids? That must have been amazing! I go lobster easily too. I know our clothes change, I wonder if weget objects too?" He looks down, "Okay. I won't. It's nice in smoothies at least." He follows Briar towards the door.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were Chance for some reason," says Boots, eyeing The Confidant a little awkwardly "Well, it takes a while, but I burn too, eventually." Though he is very dark "I am ready." And then he glances at Briar, and he grins, briefly. His teeth are white "I see, that sounds awful. Yes, now I want to see what it is like, but I don't need to right now." Something occurs to him "Oh," he suddenly says to Briar "You are from before AIDs was easy to treat, aren't you?" Because blindsiding people is what optimism is about. Then he says "Yes, smartphones - I mean, they're a glass panel about the size of my hand, you get everything on them. Everything. Every book you want. Some of them measure your bloodsugar, if you are diabetic. But it is not like a science fiction story. It cannot, wermmm...do 'magical' things. It's just like a very small computer you carry everywhere you go that tells you everything you might ever want to know and has every book, I guess?" He adds "Wireless, yes. Ah, I see. Organising...oh dear. Well, maybe I can jump on a grenade." He follows.

The Confidant says, just before opening the door, "I am Chance. But the name comes from this Encounter. My first. It's the name I like the best." Then he stands at the door. "So I just...open it?" He closes his eyes first, waits a few beats and opens the door to paradise, 2018...

It's the perfect time of day. A perfect hot, tropical day. Breezy. The ocean's on the air. Along with sunscreen and booze, if you smell deeply enough. The Confidant's dropped them near the lodgings but the beach is just a short walk away. The Confidant is somewhat transformed from his flannel PJ and t-shirt combo. He's wearing a uniform. White shirt with a tag that says MEDICAL STAFF and dark uniform pants. His hair is a little shorter and a lot neater, pushed back from his face. Professional is the word here. And he's wincing like he's in pain but not quite, just confused. "Whoa...seriously?" He says, a little too loudly, his voice is quite different.

He did say that Chance, of the Isle, was deaf.

Meanwhile, as almost he wished it to prove his point, a pair of women are making out in front of one the the luxury huts in this area. Hell, even The Confidant points them out while he checks his pockets.

The Addict recalls that Chance was deaf, and when he talks too loudly, they say, "Oh, dear." They're no longer in a nightie. Instead, they're in a lacy white shrug over a skimpy pair of swim bottoms, sunny yellow and leaving little to the imagination. There's no real use for a bikini top, alas, with the flat planes of their chest. Besides, who wants the tan lines? They've got straw sandals with silk tropical flowers on them.

They've got on sunglasses, and their hair is slapped up in a bun. Their lips gleam with a fine sheen of gloss, and a little blush makes those cheekbones pop. Looking around, their gaze settles on the women making out. "Hello," they murmur. Relevant to their interests.

The Martyr nods a little grim, and his voice is a tad flat. "Yes. I hear it's better in the future." He peers at Boots as if he is listing magical things, "How can a word processor test blood sugar?" As he steps through, his is wearing Star and Moon themed swim trunks, flip flops, and a straw hat. His chest hair is still quite sparse, but the chest itself is significantly more filled out with his new lean musculature instead of being a tad concave and undernourished looking.

He gives Chance a worried look. Making sure to face him, he says clearly, "Are you okay, Man?" He's more worried about the wince than he is interested in reassurance about the atmosphere right now, thugh he does double take at Briar's get up and flash them a smile that suggests he very much like the look.

"It's warm," says Boots, fanning himself. He comes from climes that are usually sunny, but rarely this hot. His own clothes shift and change - no more neat suit and vest, instead he now suddenly wears a bright pink and white open-fronted shirt in a gauzy material, as well as boardshorts with bright green plants printed on them. Sunglasses, and flipflop shoes. Cape Verde clothing. He also has a straw hat. Boots glances at the way Chance reacts, and then looks towards the two girls.

"Oh! You remembered to look at me. Thank you!" The Confidant beams. "I'm fine. Disoriented as hell, but fine. It's comin' back to me." He looks across the huts and he breathes out a sigh. "That was my place. I'm going to change...because I assume my luggage would be there. My hearin' aids would be there too. And my phone. His phone. Whatever." A bit too loud, a little mushy but not difficult to understand with a southern cadence. "Beach is that way. I'll meet y'all?" Beat. "Chance didn't think to pack a hat. Weirdo. Packed a case of sunscreen though." Chance has freckles that The Confidant lacks to match the fair skin. His features are softer too, more body fat. "Welcome to 2018."

The Addict gives Chance's shoulder a squeeze. Looking at him, they say, "Okay, sweetie." He gets a kiss on the cheek, and then Briar loops their arm through Dare's and heads toward the beach. Boots is glanced at, up and down, and Briar isn't very subtle about the way they say, "Nice."

They saunter lazily down to the beach, doing a pretty good job of hiding their tension. People are gonna look, and they might not like what they see. But Chance said it was the future and therefore okay. "They don't really make phones that are smart," they say. "How can a phone be smart? It's just a phone."

The Martyr looks directly at the Addict, "I wish I knew ASL. I'm sorry." He watches his enunciation carefully, not knowing how bad chance's hearing is or what sort of future tech hearing aids he has or how good theey might be. "Yes. Please bring sunscreen." He gives him a smile. He grins at Boots, "Looking sharp!" He seems happy enough walking with Briar. he keeps an eye out for trouble, but he trusts chance and anyway, if they die they'll just wake up fine tomorrow. "And if it's palm sized how can you type on it?" He's pre-internet. All the computers he knows do things like word processing, spread sheets, and games. Tell him a home is a computer and he pictures himself trying to write a brief on one of those giant '80's car phones only assholes have.

"Hats mean you can see," says the Optimist, who is giving Chance an odd look. He is having some issues with the way names move back and forth between people. Still, he turns towards the beach, and he says to Briar "I like bright colours. Er, it is a nickname for them. I don't know exactly why they are called that. You just type on the keyboard that is projected onto the screen, with one hand. Most people don't really use them as phones. They're more like...little computers just carried everywhere. Some of them, you do your shopping on, or organise things, like calendars. But when they get dropped in water, they die, and you lose, like, your whole diary." Boots tries to explain it "The phones I am used to have vastly more. Uh. Computing power than a space shuttle does. Some of them have AI assistants that can tell you where to go in a city, or help you ressucitate someone. Or meet dates."

"You're messing with me," Briar says. "How do they make a coputer that small? Where do they put the screen? And how does a phone work without wires?" They laugh. "More computing power than a space shuttle. What's an AI?" As they walk, they talk, looking around as they go. It's not just about being seen, it's about doing some seeing, too. To Dare, they say, "My dad got a Commadore 64, and there was this thing where you could talk to other people on it, but it was a toll call so Mom only let us use it a few minutes at a time. I never got the point, when I could sneak down to the Catholic school and meet girls my age in the flesh. And boys."

The Martyr eyes tthe Optimist, "You say this isn't magic, but it really really sounds like it. How can you shop on a phone? Or a computer? Do you phone up the store and then go get it like a drive thru? I suppose if you drop your diary in water you lose it too. Are you using your phone in a pool? Wait, so it phones people up and asks them for dates for you?" His brow is knit as he tries to picture all that. "Seriously, how could you possibly fit a bunch of super computers in something so small? Those things take up whole rooms. An AI is like data on Star Trek, so I guess there are maybe sexy androids you can call to give you directions? Maybe?" He is impressed, "Oh! Those are really expensive. I admit I bought a mac and a printer to write breifs and case work on, but it was all so expensive... Ooo! Did you have an Atari so you could play PacMan at home?"

"The whole...ah. Phone is a screen," explains the Optimist, who steps over to the sand, and draws a phone-size area with his finger "There's not really, ah, buttons - one to turn it on. But the screen is capacitive - a touch screen. An AI is an artificial intelligence, they sound fancy, but they're really mostly just like a big encyclopedia linked up together. Not everyone has one - you still need a satellite to talk to, basically. Not every country has them. Oh! A Commadore 64 - that's a really, really old computer. Now they're faster, the colours are better, they're like a phone and camera all together. And sometimes, yes, Dare. Or they mail you things. We have different supercomputers now that still take up rooms, but they are much more powerful. Er, no androids. I mean. Not really. Robots are still mostly assembly line things, and the occassional planet-explorer, like on Mars. Not Venus - they all burn up."

When The Confidant catches up, he has something that Chance didn't. Confidence. He's wearing green board shorts and flip-flops and nothing else. Chance has scars. A lot. Expansive swathes of old skin grafts from the look of it. Mostly on his upper legs and torso. His body is much softer than The Confidant's greek god physique, as inherited from Derek. And he is not as wasted as Jody was. He's carrying a beach bag with towels and sunscreen. He's wearing one black hearing aid that he'd made no effort to hide. Instead he is way more excited about what's in his hand. An iPhone 8. The mystical item called a smartphone. And boy, is The Confidant eager to show it off. And he's going big as he hands it to Martyr. "I pulled up a timeline. Uh. Gay history. Look! You push with your finger to scroll...bam. Federal marriage."

The Addict watches Boots draw a small rectangle in the sand. "Like Data? But in this little box?" They still sound dubious. "They got robots on Mars," they say, and they give Dare a bland look. Yeah, they're still pretty sure Boots is messing with them. "That 64 was top of the line, state of the art. My mom could've throttled my dad for spending the money a toy that expensive."

When they look around, though, they pause as they see someone walking by talking on a small black rectangle. "Oh, my God. Look at that. Dare, look!" They turn to look at Chance, and they say, "You're so cute!" Then, "Look!" They reach for the iPhone with grabby hands, promptly and accidentally clicking on an ad.

The Martyr tries really, really hard to follow Boots, but it's clear most of that is going right over his head. "I am so sorry, Boots. I know most of those words, but I can't picture it at all." His eyes are wandering rather. He is a man at a beach, after all with ll that implies, in a future in which surrepticious looking likely won't get him pounded to paste, or at least he's been so assured. "Wait, you sent robots to Mars? That's pretty cool!"

He looks chance over slowly out of the corners of his eyes. The scars are quietly added to his mental list of things he knows about Chance, but not reacted to openly or commented on. Instead he agrees, "Definately cute!" He stares at the thing in his hand, holding it where Briar can look too and tentatively attempts a slow scroll as directed, "I think i'll see if my bookshelves have the filings when we get back." For a little light bedtime reading maybe. "This is so small! How can they fit all the files in it? How can you even get the disck inside?" He nods in response to danny, "This thing must cost more than a house!"

"Wow, you must be a survivor," says Optimist, blinking at the Confidant's numerous scars "Oh! Yep, an iPhone, here we go." He nods firmly. While the one he drew in the sand is somewhat bigger than it should be - the proportions of the screen are pretty much spot on "That's why I like them," he adds to the man "I mean, you can look up just about anything. Only you say it's 2018? I thought it was 2019...?" He sounds just faintly uncertain. Then his hands slip into his pockets, and he says "Yes, robots are cheaper to send than people. They're trying to work out more about Mars. While it's kind of sad when a robot dies, you can always make a new one. You can't make a new person." He nods, and then people are being pointed out on their own phones, and he says "It's solid state. Just like the first computers were gigantic, than smaller, this is smaller still. They are actually, uh, fairly expensive still? But so much business is done on them." Now, though, he is looking at the water, and he says "I'm going to go cool off."

"This is 2018. Summer." The Confidant confirms. "But, I suppose I could drop into next year. I'm a little scared to try." He looks at his scars. "Oh, yeah. Chance had meningitis as a kid. All of this was...snapshots. But that's how he lost his hearing. Most of it. I can hear like, beats? But not much else without the hearing aids. And the phone, which will be amplifying the conversation once they stop marveling over it. It's connected wirelessly. And my radio here? Connected wirelessly too. So I was able to use the radio...most any radio. I was a paramedic here. A good one. And I couldn't be without technology. Bein' here puts things in perspective." He scratches his shoulder. "Chance hated his scars. Poor guy." He looks to the Optimist. "I shouldn't be referring to he and myself by the same name. Confusing, I reckon."

The Addict tells Boots, "I owe you an apology for doubting you. This is amazing." They offer the phone back to Dare, who they swiped it from. "We would've been so old in 2018," they say to Dare. "This is the kind of place I want to be young in." Then they look up and down the beach. "I want to soak up some sun. I should've brought a towel." They glance at Chance. "Do you have a towel? I'm going to make a list next time and come prepared."

The Martyr explains to the Optimist, "We're in your past and our future, Boots. I'd be very sad if data died and he's fictional. I can just imagine how diistressed people would be about the real thing." As Briar hands back the phone, Dare looks a little sheepish as if he'd been caught playing with someone's wheel chair. He looks at Chance forth rightly, "I think you look really good like this too. Different, but good, and surviving is defintely nothing to be ashamed of. You don't confuse me, if that's any help." He bends his neck to kiss the Addict, "I bet you'd still have been ridiculously hot, Love. Think I'd have looked good with silver hair?" He flashes a grin at the Optimist, "I want to swim!" He drops his hat and steps out of his flip flops. Soon he's doing a joyfully goofy Minister of silly walks run towards the surf.

The Optimist pauses long enough to listen to the man, nodding to Chance "Yes, that is still a pretty bad disease. That's one we haven't really managed to do much about. I see." He rubs his chin, and he says "I am pretty confused, but...this isn't so bad. I mean, look it's pleasant, it's chill, and modern technology is back, _phew_." He shivers at that, and then he nods as Dare himself gets up "It's time to swim," he says, and he steps towards the water, forgetting that, well. Who knows if he _can_ swim? He sure heads out anyway.

The Addict walks down to the water, and they shrugs out of their lace wrap. Then they step out of their sandals, reduced to that sunny yellow scrap of fabric. They've got a nice shape, slender without being skinny. Masculine, alas, though their makeup is working those smoky eyes. With a sigh, they resign themselves to sitting on the sand like some kind of towelless peasant. Then they lean back on their elbows and watch Dare and Boots (and anyone who might be watching them, so they can preen appropriately).

The Martyr is splshing through the surf delightedly, but looking back when the waves are above knee height he spots that very nice shape in glamourous pose, manages to trip, likely over his open feet, and flops forward into a wavelet. He gets up on all fours, sputtering, just in time to get hit in the face by the next wavelet. So suave.

The Optimist on the other hand dives into the water, with complete confide...no, wait, he can actually swim. His head pops up some distance out, and he curls around in the water, to bob and then realise that Dare and Briar are...well. Briar is sitting on the sand, and Dare is collapsed into it. Huh. He treads water comfortably, hanging in the serene blue, head tilted "...it's nice," he calls out "Not cold." Up and down he bobs with the waves.

Meanwhile, The Confidant, has been quietly watching the others with a look of relaxed delight. Once his phone's back in his hands, he fusses with it and slows down. By the time the others are in the water, he's sitting under an umbrella near The Addict, eyes stuck on the screen. He has a dazed sort of look and he trembles slightly when the phone goes off. Which is loudly. It vibrates and flashes and trills sharply.

The Addict laughs with delight when Dare goes down in the surf and gets splashed by a wave. They sit up and clasp their hands together. "Careful," they call, so helpfully. Then Chance's phone goes off and Briar starts. Clasping a hand to their chest, they look at the phone, catching their breath. "That thing scared me to death," they say. "What's it doing?" Sure, the warm water is a tempting delight, but this devil contraption has the Addict perplexed and a little terrified.

The Martyr is soon up with a cheerful, "I'm okay!" and a wave. Soon enough he's out bobing around with the Optimist, managing to float in all this salt water despite the naturaly lack of buyany he experiences in other environments. Eyes closed, he smiles up at the sky.

The Optimist swims like a man born to the sea. He does hear the phone, but like many people of the modern world, he barely reacts - just glancing up and over to see if he is needed. Then he goes back down again, eyes open in the salt, before he brings up a brightly coloured shell and tosses it towards the sand with the others. His hat drifts off across the edge of the water, bumping up on the beach.

The Confidant clutches his phone to his chest and blushes red. "Cha--He had to have it loud to hear it and it flashes in case it's not on him. See it. A message came through. That's all. Text message. Because...even in 2018 we didn't talk to one another. I had an excuse but.." He rolls his eyes and waves a hand before looking at his screen. His eyes, always blue, big, and expressive go wide. "My sister is looking for me. Can...the Doorless be here?" He looks around, almost fearfully. "Oh fuck. If you see a girl with long brown hair and wearing an apron, don't let her sneak up on me."

The Addict watches the hat drifting up to shore, once they're sure the phone isn't anything to be alarmed about. "Yeah, the other night Cass saw someone she knew from here, who had a clinic. We went there around 2010. Everyone was teenagers. It was adorable til Dare pointed out we were the adults, then I had to get out of there." They wave to Dare and Boots. "I've thought about going to New Orelans, 1903, to see my wife and daughter. It means becoming like Martin again."

The Martyr flips over and finds his feet. He waves back at Briar, then starts swimming out towards the real breakers. His Australian crawl is awkward to look at, but he actually does seem to know what he's doing well enough not to actively alarm any life guards. He can swim, but no one is recruiting him for any sort of swim team.

Body surfing is pretty fun, but there is a hat to retrieve. Boots rolls around in the water, and then he swims tightly for it, eventually dragging himself up the wet sand to collect it and slide his flip flops back on. The clothes will dry quickly in the hot sun. He takes his shirt off to wring it out for a moment, then slides it back on and pops his sunglasses back on. He does peer out at the Martyr, but decides that he can swim well enough not to worry about him. After a moment he waves to Briar, and then comes back to sit near the umbrella "You look nervous. Something wrong?"

The Confidant stares at The Addict, blinking. "She did? I..." It's not a brunette woman that creeps up on Chance, it's a blonde, bearded man in blue swim trunks and a tank top, probably to hide a pudgy waist. And it's not a creep so much as a full body tackle into the sand at high speed. The pair begin wrestling and play fighting in the sand and suddenly it's like a testosterone haze has landed on these tropical beaches. Chance assures onlookers that he's fine but it's hard to tell if he's laughing or crying.

"The phone," Briar tells Boots. "It made noise, and it scared me to death." They laugh a little, more than aware how much of a rube they must seem like to someone to whom these phones are normal. They're about to say something else, but then there is a man tackling Chance. Briar lets out a startled yelp and snaps up a straw sandal to make with the beatings, but they can't tell if Chance is in need of aid or not. "Who are you!?" they demand. "That's our redhead!"

The Martyr can't hear the conversation at all, though he does tread water a bit to watch Boots wring out his shirt, because he is not dead and that guy is impressively cut, and catches the wrestling spectacle, which has him temporarily mesmerized. At which point a wave he didn't see arcs up. He notices the change in time to turn and get smacked open mouthed as it crashes down. Several moments later, the wave spits him out all knees an elbows in the shallows, where he sits, coughing and laughing. "Get him, Briar!"

Well, not dead right _now_. Boots half turns back, trying to make sure that Dare is fine, but when he sees him laughing, he says to Briar "Oh, yes, they can be loud - man, I've grown to hate the alarms on them, le me tell y-" And in comes someone else. Boots smiles, easily, assuming good nature "Hi!" he says "My name is Boots, this is Briar, Dare, and...you know Chance?"

The tumble twins in red and yellow break it up as sandals are being wielded. The blond stands up, hands raised. His look is one of pure mischief. "I'm Will. Chance is my friend!" Now this guy is deaf and spoken rnglish is not his first language. Chance pulls his hearing aid out of the sand and shakes it off, while explaining. "This is Will. He was one of my Doorless." The Confidant turns slightly on the Doorless statement, not wanting Will to pick it up. He probably doesn't want Will to see him cry because tears are flowing down his cheeks. "He was my best friend since...boarding school, basically. But he's profoundly deaf. Born that way. So I translate." His words are wobbly but he smiles. "I'm fine." He motions for Will to put his arms down. Will does so and sits under the umbrella beside The Confidant. He lays his head on the redhead's shoulder and smiles, cheekily. He signs something and The Confidant signs back, as if three other lifetimes didn't pass. He regards the others and opens his mouth to speak but the blond pinches his side, starting a minor slapfight.

The Addict looks like they might hit Will with the sandal anyway for startling them, but their expression softens, and they say, "Okay." They will permit it. Then they sigh softly as Will lays his head on Chance's shoulder. "You two are adorable." Then the slapfight starts, and they say, "I'm going for a swim." They saunter toward the shore, leaving slapfights to the boys.