Almost Human

Summary:
August 1, 2014: <Elizabeth and Grayson meet for the first time at the horse track. Normal things happen. Cause normal is the new weird.>

Aqueduct Racetrack

A crowded canopy for those with deep pockets, lined with summer chairs and tables for those to chat, drink and watch the festivities of the horse races. Many of the rich and often times famous rub elbows here, while the stadium is filled with those of a lower standing below.


Characters

NPCs

  • Various crowds of people
  • The Accountant

Mood Music:


"Lucky Strike coming around the bend, close fifth against 'Too Hot to Trot'. 'Too Hot to Trot' is falling in line with Brooklyn's Greatest while.. 'Oh No She Didn't' takes the lead…."

Betsy really didn't care too much for horse races, but the fact that she was meeting her accountant there was a little bit troubling. She wore a sundress in the color of purple, form fitting to show off her best assets, yet loose enough to allow her mobility should the need arise, high heels that put her at a shocking 6'1, which straps up at a criss cross beneath her knee. As she sits with one leg crossed over the other, the thin fabric rises to give show to the tensing of a runners thigh.

Fingers delicately hold a pen, the other reaching up to grasp the brim of her decorative hat, the fan of it so wide that it perfectly shields her face from the sun. Nevermind the too large sun glasses she wore, they were Dolce, and to fit into the look of 'made of money', a diamond tennis bracelet circles her delicate wrist, and a rock that would possibly make the most famous jealous upon her middle finger.

"Oh no she didn't is the winner!" The announcer calls out, just in time for the accountant to sit with a stricken look upon his face. It was clear, that he lost. "Please tell me that you are not squandering my fortune away on this vulgar sport." She holds up her hand, shaking her head as she pulls her purse from behind her, opening the little clutch to retrieve a few papers which were folded with care. "Look over this and tell me if it's feasible." She all but throws it at the poor man, who immediately retrieves his glasses from his inner pocket to slide on and look. All the while, Elizabeth glances out towards the many minglers, her mind stretching out to listen to their inner most thoughts in the meanwhile.

Out of nowhere with an abrupt /fwoompf/ of sound a man snaps into being, causing a faint breeze to waft forth as the displaced air is sent rushing out. He appears right at the edge of the observation railing, casually dislodging a nearby person lounging there as that tall thin silhouette comes into being. "Whoa there fella." The blonde guy braces the other guy, making sure he doesn't fall over.

Such a sudden appearance causes a few people to gasp and stand-up, some fingers pointing as hurried discussions are had. Yet the human mind can rationalize away many things so the stir created is quickly pushed away by the start of the next race.

Suddenly the bell rings, suddenly the horses are running and suddenly the horses leap out of their stalls and start the wild race. It draws Grayson's attention and he leans there against the rail. He pulls out a handful of bet stubs and proceeds to watch the progress of the horses. His eyes are bright and his smile wide, and weirdly enough he sort of fits into the crowd even though he's under-dressed in those worn jeans and a white New York Giants t-shirt. And should she ever so subtly touch his mind she will find little at the moment before internally him pulling for 'Attaway Baby Girl'.

That was the second round of the races, but Betsy wasn't paying attention. There was a void out there, as if something was newly being created into existence and suddenly.. it was there. Usually, minds would have been ever present, approaching.. but this was wasn't there, and now was. Her brows furrowed at this, her hand lifting to grip the arm of her sunglasses to pull down to scan the crowd. She focuses in on a woman.. no. Not her. A man. No. Not him. A few children.. wait.. what are children doing here unattended? Oh, the thoughts of a father wanting to feed them were near.

It wasn't her gifts that found the possible culprit, no. It was the sudden commotion, no matter how small, that drew her attention. Violet eyes remained upon the man, the glasses soon removed and placed upon the table as the Accountant cleared his throat to speak. "You need all of this, why?" He asked, flicking a finger at the paper. "Surely, none of this will even budge your account, this is small potatoes." Betsy's gaze falls upon him, her brow raising. "Then make it so. And I want a detailed report of the last years spendings." She knew that it would come up perfect, no flaws, however.. it was mostly said to put the fear of god in the man. She does pay him well. "Yes, Mr. Braddock. Also, I'm to deliver a message. Your brother says to return to the estate, he's left a gift for you."

Her gaze falls towards the aimless man again, her lips puckering out in thought. "Mmhm. Okay." There was really nothing else for the two to say, so he makes his exit post haste.

"Attaway Baby starts strong!" The announcer calls out. "Looks like no one can touch him! 'Dream Weaver is close on the hind quarters, making it a solid second..'.."

~Boo.~ Betsy mentally rings out towards the suddenly appeared man, just to toy with him and inspect his reactions.

As his horse rounds the bend, Grayson's gaze is on it steadily, expecting it to surge forward all the more. His lip is curled and his blue eyes alive with the thrill of gambling. Sure he doesn't /really/ care, but it's so fun to act like he is. It gives him a sense of belonging and a way to connect with those around him.

Which makes it all the more interesting when he manages to connect with another person in an entirely unexpected way. At the sound of the voice in his mind he straightens up and blinks a few times. She'll hear him say in his mind, ~Hello?~ So he at least has encountered another telepath in the past as he's able to form his thoughts and project them back down the line towards her.

With his attention seized he presses his tickets into the hand of the man beside him, "Here, take these." If they turn out to be winners, fine. Right now he needs to focus.

"Oy! Thanks mate!" The man chuckles out, skipping through.. okay, not skipping, but he does rush to through to get away from Grayson in case he changes his mind about the tickets.

~That was a very bold move what you did, and in front of people who could see.~ Betsy slowly stands from her spot, her hat soon removed and tucked beneath her arm along with her clutch, her eyes cast down towards the table to make sure she hadn't forgotten anything and the Accountant had taken her papers. ~I should warn you, recklessness can get you killed. Or worse.~

It was really, just a warning. She wasn't threatening to murder him at her own hands, but she felt it important to keep those like her safe. With everything gathered within her grasp, she pushes her chair but does not approach him just yet. She wanted to see how clever the young man was.

The answer to that question most likely is given in its entirety when his mind touches hers with the casual response, ~Gee, thanks, Mom.~ Though from her position watching he cannot spot her, cannot sense who is this person that is speaking inside his mind. So he's encountered telepaths if not had any training.

But as he steps away from that railing, no longer caring who wins the race, she can sense him reaching out with his thoughts sub-consciously as he scans the crowd. And then… against all likelihood he spots her. Those blue eyes of his fall upon her and he cocks an eyebrow. ~Ah hah. There you are.~

Slowly he starts to make his way towards her, pausing only long enough to snag a beer and pay for it with a crumpled up twenty dollar bill. As he gets closer he asks, ~So is it a genetic anomaly that all telepaths have to be beautiful women? Does it sorta piggyback on the babe genes?~

Betsy was tempted to put the blinders on him; such as, sending a shock of pain with a mental nudge, thankfully she didn't. ~Very funny.~ Though, she really was amused, in fact, it was one of the many times she could actually relax and possibly take a stroll around the tracks. Releasing the back of the chair, she watches and waits for him to find her, and once he does, she lets loose a brilliant smile.

Though, soon after, that smile drops, her face wrinkling into something akin to disbelief. ~I don't know. I haven't thought about it. Would you rather me be ugly?~

She waits until he was near, then begins to stroll in the same direction, turning just a bit to see if he were following or not. ~What did you do back there? It was like your mind was birthed into being.~ She had her suspicions, but it was good to get a definitive answer.

Once he draws near and falls into step with her, he slides his hands into his pockets and doesn't even notice who wins the race. Grayson smiles to himself however as he thinks back to her, ~No, just curiosity. In my experience they're all beautiful, haughty, proud, and…~ The young man looks at her sidelong before he adds with a faint grin, ~vain.~

Of course some moderate digging and she'll find his exhaustive experience with telepaths extends to… one other. An image of a perfectly cultivated pale blonde woman is able to be seen as well as some negative memories. But at least he learned from the brief encounter.

~As for what happened, sometimes when I create the world from moment to moment there's a hiccup and I seemingly appear out of nowhere.~ On some level she can sense he's lying… on another he kinda believes what he says.

The announcer was drowned out in favor of the current conversation. Just learning about new people even if their powers were somewhat similar was a good past time, one she indulges in without hesitation. ~Vain? Well…~ The inner voice trails off as she gasps a little, taking a look up towards the sky to finally crack a sweet little laugh and a quick nod of her head. ~I can only think of one person who isn't vain, but.. yes. Yes.~

The image came through clearly, her lips pursing, her violet gaze falling upon him as they continue their stroll. They were heading out of the canopy and inside the stadium where many people were gathered. ~Who is the girl?~ No matter his tale of how things happen, in a way, lying or no, it seemed a little poetic.

Stopping at the railing of the stairwell that leads down from the stands, Grayson looks sidelong at her giving her a slow blink as if trying to hold back his thoughts and keep his own counsel. Yet she can see the initial images that her words spawn. The scantily clad blonde, the way she attempted to warn him and in turn blackmail him. Then, to his credit, he says into her mind. No idea. Another nosey sort who tried to tell me to be careful?

There's a pause as he looks up towards the scoreboard, then crinkles his nose as he looks back to her. "Why, jealous?" He tries to swap to actual words as opposed to thoughts, yet she can sense that he goes on the verbal offensive in this manner to perhaps try and keep her off balance. There's no sense of sincerity to the supposed flirtations.

Betsy took the answer at face value, on the surface. She was going to leave well enough alone, yet his snarky response had her stopping in her place, one foot upon the step below, her body turned partially towards him. ~Fair enough.~ In her previous state, she possibly would have snapped and hit him, but this was a public place, she'd look like a hypocrite if she were to do something untoward.

His further words made her smile though, yet this time it was genuine. "Should I be?" She returns, and unlike her mindspeak, her accent shone through heavily. With crowds of people filtering through the stairs, she lets out a silent little grunt and erects a little field around her, which subtly pushes those aside as she walks. "Because I certainly don't see a reason why."

"No, I don't suppose you should." The young man's answer is blithely delivered and lets some feelings surface to the fore. Despite the woman's beauty the memory wasn't pleasant. There was some negative emotion, ill-will. Then he gives it voice as he tells her, following along in her wake. "To be honest she was kind of scary. Then again so are you in a way." He twists his shoulders as he follows, avoiding the impact of people in the crowd. "But I haven't seen her in a dog's age. So currently you have the edge in the intimidation Olympics right now."

As he walks with her he finally takes a sip of that beer he'd been carrying around. For a moment he considers his bad manners and then offers her the beer if she'd like it. "So now are you going to try and recruit me for your band of international hired killers? If so will I get a cool uniform and codename. That would be super keen."

"Thought not." She states, finally clearing the stairs as well as the crowds that rush to join those upon the canopy. There were still people milling about, a few gathered off to the side sharing drinks and laughs of times past. A couple remains hugged in the corner, which Betsy looks upon, then continues forward with a harsh press of her lips and a shake of her head. "Nothing intimidating about me. I'm just .. me." Cue some random theme-song about growth and what not. That probably wouldn't be Psylocke.

Though, his assumptions get another laugh, her head shaking almost eagerly. "No. Not really. I'm not a hired killer or a leader of some evil cult or group who seeks to take over the world by massing large amounts of money or nuclear weaponry. I just wanted to talk to someone that doesn't know me." The ugly truth.

"But I see you're a little bit on the defensive, stop me if I'm wrong. If not, I'll go on my way and you yours, and I'll say it's a pleasure to meet you." She pauses, her eyes squinting. "I'm Elizabeth, by the by."

When she says it's a pleasure to meet him his response is fairly telling when he asks her, "Why?" as he looks at her as if she were crazy. But then he adds, "I mean, I know I'm a pretty great guy and all, I'm just curious which of my many flavors of awesome is your favorite." As he says this he ends by taking another pull from his plastic mug of chilled beer.

As he says that he continues along on the way descending the stairs and watching her warily. "My name is Grayson, or Gray if you want." He opens his hand towards her instinctively offering to guide her through the crowd near the ticket windows, though she clearly doesn't need such help. "I am what is officially known as a ne'er do well. And you?"

For some reason, that little 'why' sort of hurt. She didn't really know how to take that, so she remained silent. She didn't even offer up a shrug of her shoulders as most would, she just stayed the course towards a quieter and less traveled part of the 'arena'. "I was being nice." She bites back, she hadn't known him long enough to really truly enjoy his company. The walk was nice, however, getting away from the crowds added to it.

The opened hand was reacted with hesitation, and finally she joined with her own, clasping onto his and allowing him to lead the way, letting her guard down which kept people instinctively away from her.

At this question, though.. she wondered if she should tell the truth. He probably would believe whatever word he said. He seemed the type almost. "I'm a nobody. One of those invisible faces in the crowd. I work, I go home. I relax in hideous hats and itchy dresses." That dress did -not- itch, by the way.

"Don't lie," Grayson says that with a curious gentleness. "You aren't at all. You can do things others can't do." The young man opens a hand, "I mean… you really don't need someone like me regaling you with all your merits. But in case you do…" He uncurls one hand, ticking off fingers as he speaks. "You are beautiful, probably a model. You can do that mind trick thing. You seem to have no fear, you're drawn to the unusual, and you seem like you could easily be cruel but you don't let yourself be."

There's a pause, then he smiles and says, "Except for that last bit about only being nice. That was a lil mean." He extends a hand towards her, "Here. If you want, I'll destroy the world for you. How's that sound? Just take my hand, pick a place you want to be when I build it again, and that's where we'll be. Alright?"

A nod is given to himself as if the decision was already made.

Elizabeth hated sentiments. No, not sentiments, sentimental moments that would probably make her blush if she weren't feeling as if her demons were beating down her door. The look she gave him was a little pained, the smile slightly appearing upon lips that thinned out and puckered with a puff of air. "Th.." She started off, then shook her head, a little laugh drawing from her lips as she glances around at those still milling about and lingering.

It was clear that whatever he was going to do, he was probably going to do it in front of prying eyes. So she made them not see, a little suggestion that kept eyes and thoughts off of them, making them to be figures that were never really there to begin with. Erased, forgotten. "Alright." She finally says, shimmying her arm so that her hat and clutch wouldn't be lost in the rebuild. Her eyes close, and that little smile soon grows into a darling grin. Her hand extends, searching the space for the one that was offered to her, a slight tug bringing him in closer as she leans against him, allowing the permission for touch if necessary.

"The first place that comes to mind is Starbucks. I have a taste for something caramel and sweet, and needlessly expensive."

Starbucks.

Wow.

"Starbucks?" He says that as if disappointed, shaking his head as he looks at her. Grayson takes her hand and rolls his eyes, smirking to himself as he looks off across the sea of humanity as people rush towards the pay windows to place their bets. "Seriously?" Another shake of his head, "Man, you give someone a wish from a genie bottle and that's like telling the genie, 'Hey I want to go down to the Safeway and get some shopping done.'"

But as quickly as he says that he shakes his head again… and then they both disappear in an outrush of air, flashing out into nothingness as the world barely notices.


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