Roller coasters were the promise. The Confidant decides to be the one to deliver on it. He comes out of an Anywhere, only to pick up Martyr and Gambler and go right back in. Right back into...an amusement park in the late spring. Dogwood trees are in full bloom past the main entrance, where they first appear. It's morning, the best time to not have to wait in long lines. The crowd is sparse for now. And if there was any question as to whose timeline this is, it's answered quickly. A young woman, early twenties, with long dark hair pushes past the trio, groaning. "I got the passes to skip the line but I have no idea why..." She mutters. She flashes four yellow laminated tickets. One for each. "Do I have to babysit you or your friends? Who is actually going to ride with me?"
"Are you trying to say I'm not capable of change?" Chance Reed steps on his sister. He's the closer to The Confidant in looks. Same height and build, save Reed is a bit softer in the middle. His hair is straighter too but just as red. It's cut just above the collar. Reed is deaf and his speech is a little different. His southern accent is more notable. He looks to his partners and says, "Helena, go. Have fun. I want to show my friends around." Then he turns to Gambler, reaches in his back pocket and hands her an iPhone. "The code is all zeros. Go nuts."
The Gambler is wearing jeans and a Circus, Circus, Las Vegas t-shirt. She's got her hair pulled back in a ponytail. There's a slightly bemused smile for Helena and then she's being handed a thing she totally doesn't recognize. "I... but... what is it? Is it like a Blackberry? But there's no keyboard." She gives Chance a confused look. "Is this part of modern roller coasters?"
The Martyr is in his black mesh tee and shorts that luckily don't violate any PDA agreements and have a ton of pocket space. He gives Helena a friendly smile and wave, then leans to murmur, "A blackberry and a sort of mini computer. Future tech."
Chance sidles up to Gambler and taps the screen to past the lock screen. "No need for a keyboard, darlin'. You just touch the screen. He leans his head against hers as he brings up a keyboard in the web browser. "Search for anythin' in the world. It's all right here. I don't know how Cash managed to remember the lyrics to all those songs without this. And we're so damn advanced that this phone basically runs my hearing aids. It's how Chance Reed manages to be a Paramedic. Technology, beautiful." He kisses her cheek and slides over to Dare and hugs him around the neck, from behind. "Another cool thing about 2018 is no one gives a fuck about who we make out with or who we hold hands with. It's June here. They fly rainbows here in June. It's nice after being in the 90s."
As Chance points out one such flag, the clear day reveals a skyline of thick trees and loopy steel roller coasters. "So, do we want to start easy or go right to the most intense?" He stands before them, bouncing on his feet in excitement. "Oh, uh...don't worry about talking to me. I understand people for the most part. Depending on noise and how much attention I'm giving. Shouldn't be an issue. Best practice is talk to the left side. It's better." He's /so/ happy in this moment. Natural. Easy. Comfortable. He's wearing jeans and a Virginia is for lovers t-shirt.
The Gambler blinks, staring at the phone and sort of poking it. "They... put GUI on phones? I... Hmm? Umm... moderate, then extreme, then maybe something lower key. Unless we're going to run out of time, then extreme all the way, or at least whichever is closest and work our way around the park, but make sure we hit the really good ones?" She still staring at one phone, "I don't even know what to ask it." Pause. "Okay, staring at tricorder later. Roller coaster, now." Then she beams and looks around to grab a park map. "Are there any we shouldn't miss? Have you been here before?"
The Martyr leans into the hugging, but isn't really clear on how much touching is reasonable in a theme park in this time period outside of that one island they all went to. Chance reassures him, so he reaches back to give a gentle squeeze, hands a little lower than is strictly polite. He flashes Flick a smile and kisses her cheek, "I've been in 1994 and the far future, but nothing in between except a visit to this time period. I only have a vague idea of how this works myself....I'm easy, Loves. As long as we go fast and are upside down at some point at least once today, I'm happy.
Chance takes his phone and seems to spin it into his back pocket. Dare's got him adjusting his jeans, as he says, "Reed's memories here are hazy but he hated coasters and hated amusement parks. I understand why now. It's noisy and overwhelmin' but I am not nearly as particular as he was. Reed might have hated fun. No wonder Helena was on my case. She used to get season passes. I--er, Reed never did. And the yellow cards let us skip lines." He peers at the map for a moment and looks up. His phone rings loudly, vibrating and blinking as he silences it. "Wooden first, no flips. Then this one. 0 to 55 in a blink. Then loops and a trip underwater...here. He traces a leftward path and bounds ahead. The first stop is a wooden coaster but on the way, they pass all sorts of other thrills. From upside down boats to classic carousels. Chance is in his element. He walks, texts, chats a little but mostly he's a ray of sunshine in human form. He'd skip but he tripped over his own feet twice just turning to say something.
The Gambler laughs and follows after him, eyes darting around. "Oh, yeah, the wooden coasters always feel a bit more dangerous. They aren't, particularly, but they move more. It's a different experience." She kisses Dare's cheek as the trail after. And she, too, is almost bouncing. "Wait, the next one goes underwater? Oh, wow." Her eyes track something else. "Also, later we need cotton candy. But not now."
The Martyr grins as he sees the adjustment. "Ooo! Old school wooden! A fine first coaster! Fast and underwater a fine second!" He gives Flick a pleased look, to see them both all bounce and sunshine, catching the mood himself, "Oh definately. I don' think I ever had cotton candy, just the memory of liking it."
"I've never had it either. Memory of always getting blue..." Chance says, turning and nearly tripping again. Each time just makes him laugh and flush. "Nothin' on my stomach until we ride. I have no idea if Reed'll puke. His balance is messed up, which is why I think he hates coasters. I hope his body doesn't mess up my fun."
It doesn't. Even though the shaky wooden coaster leaves him stumbling and the coiled loops of the next makes him vomit, he just wants to ride again. The yellow passes have no limit. He's too tall for one older ride which gives him the break his body probably needs. He urges his guests to ride without him. This gives him time to find both his sister and enough cotton candy to feed a preschool class. And even though he's laying on a bench with his head in her lap, looking pale and sweaty, he's stuffing blue candy in his face anyway. She signs something to him and he rolls his eyes and dismisses her. She looks worried and angry at the same time.
The Gambler does not have the nausea issues, instead she's bouncing from ride to ride. Even the not-technically-a-roller-coaster ones like The Crypt. She'll pause occasionally to explain some nifty physics trick the designers pulled, when she spots them. And coming off the one for which Chance was too tall, she's laughing as she runs over to his bench. "You're the best!" she exclaims, claiming one of the things of cotton candy for herself and flashing Chance's sister a quick, if slightly nervous smile.
The Martyr takes to walking close to help steady Chance or be leant on by the larger man. He just love the roller coasters: the speed and the motion of them. Still he starts worrying about chance, so is relieved when Cash gets his break. "No Mouse trap for you either, I think." He ducks his head when he encounters Helena's angry gaze, "Sorry. He just seemed to be having so much fun." He bends to kiss Chance's forehead and steal a mouthful of blue. The taste startles him a little, "It's so... not what I imagined and exactly what I imagined somehow."
"You kiss boys now, Chance?" Helena deadpans and signs. There's no judgement, it seems and her gaze softens as Dare tries cotton candy. "It's sugar and air and sticky but light. I reckon it is weird the first time." She strokes Chance's hair as she talks. She's been to the water park it seems. Her hair is wet and she's wearing a damp t-shirt over a one piece bathing suit. "He gets so sick on coasters. I don't know what's come over him." She says, covering her mouth and leaning away from Chance. He playfully pulls on her clothes. "Quit it. You don't get to cry foul." She places her whole hand over his face. "So, he calls you, Vee and you Dare and that's about all I have picked up on because he's acting like he's high. Is he high?" Chance is busy batting her away and laughing.
The Gambler coughs a little and considers Chance. "Probably not. I think he's just happy. I mean, he could be, but... probably not." then she straightens up a little and holds out her hand to Helena. "Felicity, but you can call me Flick. Ignore the Vee, thing. That's... sort of a private joke." Her eyes flicker to Chance and she raises an eyebrow at him, as if asking how much else she should fill in there. His sister, his choice how much to reveal, but she's smiling.
The Martyr gazes at Chance, expression soft, "Yes, sometimes. He's been in a mood to try new things." He laughs, all delight, "Not high, just happy." He offers his hand, "Hector, but everyone calls me Dare."
"Told you!" Chance finally fights his sister off and sits up. He holds out his hand, expectantly. Helena ignores him. "Felicity and Hector. Nice to meet you properly. He brings people around sometimes and he just laser focuses on them but...Stop!" She's has something in her pocket and Chance is trying to get at it. She squirms away and doesn't miss a beat. "He hands out nicknames because longer names can get tangled in his mouth, as he says. I figured you had real names. HERE!" Helena hands him a little plastic baggie containing his hearing aids. They exchange middle fingers, a universal sign. "ANYWAY. It's good to see him happy and having fun. He's a workaholic. We're saving up for moving out west and his implant surgery so he's so focused on that. But we have a rad job lined up--"
Chance cuts her off. "You talk too much. Let's get lunch and then we can tackle the rest of the rides." He beams at both of his partners. "My sister worries. She thinks I'm lonely but I have a whole family I love as much as her." Helena looks at him like he must be high. "These two are more than family. Along with a few others. I'm happy, Helena and in love. Very much in love." Helena scoffs and looks at the other two. "He's a pod person. I know not this man."
The Gambler laughs at the struggles, then leans in to kiss Chance on the cheek. "Lunch would be lovely." And the way she looks at him makes it clear that she's very much in love back. Her glance flicks to Helena. "I suppose it's possible that he's a pod person, though. I haven't known him long enough to say about that." There's a sideways glance to Hector. "What do you think? Pod person or no?"
The Martyr beams at Helena, "It's true. He loves and is loved. Love has transformed him, and so he is different." He slides an arm around Cash's waist from the other side, "No a pod person, just one of those lakes where you are walking in the shallows, take a step, and descover it is far deeper than you thought." For some reason, there is a lot of angel in his accent and syntax today, which is odd, since Angel was never this happy in his whole life.
Helena moves to give the trio space and seems to do so gladly. "That is super sweet. Chance won't say it but I will. He was lonely. I wasn't around for a while and his best friend works in Silicon Valley and all he did was work. He's very proud of his work." Chance leans on Hector for a moment and then switches to Felicity but he's watching Helena closely. She signs as she speaks, not wanting to leave him out. "I'm proud of his work. Becoming a paramedic isn't easy when you can hear and walk the balance beam." Chance snorts a laugh. "So, look, I'll grab us a table over yonder. Y'all snuggle or whatever. He deserves good people and good things." And off she goes, glancing back twice.
Chance sighs. "I feel better. About everything. I needed this. I still...have work to do before we sleep but I feel a lot stronger about it." He looks at his hands. Reed has rough hands but not Cash's musical calluses. Blue collar hands. He offers one to each. "I spend all of my time here. Weeks worth. I just kinda pick a month before that island and...I've had my taxes done. I've worked countless shifts. It kind of just comes back to me. The knowledge. I've sat on my roof and drank a lot of craft beer with my best friend, crying over something that happened...out there. I don't care if it's all false. I love it here. Thank you for coming with me."
The Gambler takes Chance's hand and leans in to his side as she watches his sister go find them a table. "I can see why you'd like it. A sister who loves you, a best friend, and a world that makes sense." She breathes in deep and closes her eyes, snuggling in against him. "Thank you for bringing us. And for the roller coasters. I love you. I love you both."
The Martyr smiles softly, "I don't think he'll ever be lonely again." He lifts Cash's hand to kiss, "I like your sister." He gazes up at him, "I remember how important it was for you after Derek to show us the Island and introduce your friend. I wasn't sure why then, but I get it now." He gazes at Felicity, clearly adoring, "I love you both two so very, very much."
"Right! You met Will. Will is great. A little difficult for others because he doesn't speak. He can. He made a choice to stop in college. Just ASL unless he /has/ to speak. But he's still..." Chance shakes his head and shudders. "Sorry. Chance was lonely and he was my first and that stayed with me. Loneliness. He needed people. I need people. I wonder what came first. The need or the situation to create the need." He kisses them both, suddenly, passionately. A passerby wolf-whistles. Another says, 'Damn...'. Chance parts. "You guys ready? We're burning daylight."
The Gambler laughs and returns the kiss happily, then blushes at the wolf-whistle. "Onward! Food and more rides, though maybe some of the less zippy ones for a bit after lunch." Still she's beaming. "Sometimes... some things are just so deep that it's hard to know where they start and which bit of them caused what. I'm not sure it really serves well to go looking. Knowing that they're there, helps, knowing which came first at the point where both are so ingrained, maybe not."
The Martyr kisses him with no reservation at all, "We didn't mind. It was nice seeing you that kind of happy and I was playing in the waves for Briar's amusement." He explains to Flick, "I still had Finn's body back then, though I filled out a bit after I died. It must have been a sight." He smiles up at Chance, "I think it's in your nature: needing people, I mean. I'm enough like you that... well you saw what Angel was like alone, and even there he had lots of friends he cared about." He insists on craning around Cash to offer Flick a kiss.
The Gambler kisses Dare back as well and then is leading them off towards lunch and the rest of their day until they return 'home' at park close.