1963-12-28 - The Acme Chocolate Factory
Summary: Testing out those speedster powers confirms there's a faster kid in town.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
tommy hope 

A brisk run from Springfield, New Jersey to Chicago, Illinois in the afternoon? It seemed like the right thing to do for a couple reasons. For one? Hope looked like she was hungry, and if Hope was hungry…. well, it was important to /him/ that the girl from a time when they had to scrape for food got to try some of the best things in this era. Like Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza. On another? The jaunt could be made with a brief skip over two of the Great Lakes. It meant getting to try the running over water thing again in a controlled setting. He made the call. They said fifteen minutes.

He was waiting for two.

About twenty-eight minutes later, Tommy returns with a couple of brightly colored pizza boxes in one hand, and a couple of two-liter soda bottles under his otherwise free arm. "I woulda been here sooner, but ice." he points out, calling out through the house to wherever she might be hanging out at the moment. "At least the lakes weren't /completely/ frozen over today," else he would've had to blow up some ice. Which could be fun in and of itself. Nonetheless, he's setting down the boxes, and the bottles on the countertop. Leather jacket is peeled off and tossed aside, allowing the white sweater beneath to carry on the task of covering his upper half from the chills of the winter — the lower half is served by a couple of pairs of pants, of which snow is being brushed off.


Lou Malnati's or Giordano's might be in the future, at least on a wide scale of awareness. And that's fine because Malnati's is a freaking casserole rather than a pizza, but you present Hope with spinach, cheese, and a lot of tomatoes on some kind of crusty trencher, and that girl will eat. Fifteen minutes at flat out speed won't get them to a pizza, but the bribery of a meal and a test of her skills — something borrowed, to go with something old and something new — will earn Tommy some points. 10 points to Speedypuff. Leaving without her? That loses him most of that score. 9 points from Speedypuff.

She's left leaning against the counter, wiping down a few forks with a rag, and drip drying. The pile of her damp red hair is pinned in place by three pens, none working, and no sign of occupation is left anywhere in the house except the kitchen. She's scoured all proof of her existence. It's going to be that way almost anywhere he encounters her 'living.' There is no sign that Hope actually lives there.

Might be like living with a ghost, except the ghost is a soulless ginger and prone to snarky commentary.

"So your neighbors got a dog they aren't feeding, by the looks of it," she announces when the speedster blurs into reality again. She nods at the box. "Can we give him a piece? Do dogs eat pizza?" Might as well ask if the sky is also blue over Boston still. Her spider senses are tingling as the dwindling charge of his powers in her surges to the fore again. There's almost some buried relief; that strange feeling is more common here than anywhere else. "Smells tasty. How'd you not eat it on the way here? Or are the boxes empty and this is where you look guilty and grin at me with those ridiculous dimples?"


Of course, to Tommy… there /is/ no borrowed. He figures she could've easily raced him to the other side of the globe by going the opposite direction. One of these days he'll find out, and /then./ Then that'll figure more into the equation. Right now? He figures it's the one thing that /won't/ be new to her.

When she speaks, however… well. There's that grin. And those dimples. And one hand rubbing at the back of his head. "Well… you seeee….." he draws it out for only a couple moments, then laughs and whips open a lid to reveal delicious food inside. "…no, I didn't eat it all. Or any of it. I wanted to see your /face/ when you try to bite in and get overloaded with amazing toppings. Pizza soup, right there." Pause. "It was really hard, though." Pause. "You should start eating now so I can too." …his hand /is/ inching closer to the box. Exaggeratingly so. He can control himself, but it's more fun not to.

As for dogs and pizza? Tommy grins, "Of course we can. I mean, I figured three pies would be good to start us out and get our energy up…" he's not sure how much she's been eating before running into him. She /does/ seem to like food an awful lot, after all. "…then if we wanted more you can join me on the return trip." Pause. "Do they have bodies of water where you come from? Have you tried running across it?"

…that's part of the reason she wasn't invited on the first trip. Because he wasn't sure he wouldn't sink like a stone. But it's safe. And he's grinning. "Dogs will eat just about anything. Chocolate and coffee are HUGE nos," …do they have chocolate where she comes from? That gives him many ideas. "and there's a few other things, but pizza's fine. It'll just mean a gassy puppy for a while, but a happy puppy nonetheless." Because dogs love people foods. It's just the law, it's how things work.


Half of Tommy's laws might actually make sense. The ones that don't, there is always Mom or Billy to back him up by telling him reality is what's what. Scary thought.

When Tommy does figure out that Hope has his power and every last power that ever was or is, by proximity, who knows what that will change? The fact is, she is a speedster around him. It's as native to her as it is to him, and she instinctively whips her hand out to flatten the lid of the cardboard box. Nice try, buster!

"I cleaned off two plates." Oh yeah, doing it proper, but at least she isn't some kind of horrible monster who uses a knife and fork. Maybe she just anticipates the shell of medieval times pizza needs a proper foundation, and for that, she's right. One of those pastry sides springs a leak, the cheese is going to bleed and swamp the kitchen a foot deep in scalding hot tomato. It's new, though, to have a place where she seems to belong.

"Of course we had water. Not always deep. I mean, there were bendy rivers and the sea, but we just didn't live by the sea much," admits the redhead, and she is across the kitchen in a blink, plates intact. Those are put down, carefully reviewed, and then they're free to rip out the box's tender underbelly and feast like savages, licking their lips.

It takes about a half second for her to bite the crust. Nom! Bread.


Honestly, it probably won't change too much. Other than that he'll encourage her to use them a /lot/ more than he already does. Tommy's powers are fun. Do everything at high speed /and/ blow things up? Seriously, there aren't many he can think of that would be better.

Some that he might consider borrowing for a while, like, say, invisibility or shapeshifting, but no straight-up trades. There's nothing that appeals nearly enough.

When the lid is slammed shut? Tommy just /grins./ Yes. A girl who can keep up with him. If he's going to willingly tie himself down to just one girl? That's an important trait. Perhaps not necessary in the literal sense, but when it's available? Oh, so many points earned.

"Wh—" Then he realizes. "Oh! You didn't have to do that." Pause. "Sweet of you to think about it, though." he adds quickly — he has to remind himself still. She's not used to everything around this time of… time. Eating pizza by hand may not come natural. Of course, the sight of no utensils is a step in the right direction, there. …and then, well, she turns out to have been /right/ about the plate being needed and he can't help but give a sheepish look. Okay, maybe it /was/ needed.

Nonetheless? He's zipping over to the table as well — bringing the bottles. Two bottles. One for each. It's maybe not enough, but he's getting a feel for how she works yet. However, he /was/ just running across the country… so he's also chowing down.

..and while she's left to savor? He devours his first slice in mid-blink. Because he can. "Whatcha think?"


"I am not your grandma. Eat." Truer words never spoken, at least when it comes to hunkering down and dining. Hope is, and probably will remain, a very efficient eater. She doesn't much care about chipmunk cheeks when it comes to getting nourishment down her gullet. The important point is the nourishment, and they can risk manners afterwards. Because, really, is there any point in arguing with gobs of stringy cheese trying to pile up on your face? Don't swear the small stuff is a mantra created for pizza.

Though she is learning real quick the right angle to eat at when the whole mass quivers like a jelly poked by a toddler's finger. Gobble around the fringes and not the tip or else the magma sluices right off and vaporizes flesh. Need to be quick to nosh down the thick goodness of all that meat and succulent crushed tomato heaven.

Is he hearing right? Yes, yes he is. Tommy, witness a girl who sort of purrs, a trill of tasty satisfaction in the air. Then that piece is gone and she's onto the next, caught red-handed.

Conversation lasts a few seconds, tops. "So. Running over lakes? How long's that gonna take?"

Fuel up seems the name of the game, and she munches her way with the study purpose of a locust through a gardening centre. Food! Any impressions maaaaybe she was starving?

Or maybe just out to torment him by licking her fingers clean. One lick here, one lick there, and popping an individual digit free. "Cheese," she replies, having probably no idea of what that entails. Photographer Tommy, go!


"You blinked, didn't you?" Tommy asks, grinning smugly. That's one he won; fingers point to an empty plate where a slice was, and the missing fraction of the pie — he did eat a slice already. He just did it at superspeed. Honestly, when it comes to /this/ kind of pizza? It's one of the best ways to eat it. Gravity works slower than a speedster does, so those toppings that might be in danger of falling in another's hands? No such opportunity is gained here, save maybe a millimeter or two of distance — still not enough to escape the trip into Tommy's mouth.

More slices disappear in the same manner. This is how Tommy eats when he's at liberty to do so: read, not out in public, not surrounded by normals… to a point, not even surrounded by non-speedsters. Because he would eat an entire family dinner left to his own devices, and… that's probably not the wisest. "Bodies of water. Oceans work, too. Obviously, depends on how far we go, but… you wanna go out," Pause, another couple slices are gone. "for a run once we're done? I know a path, and a trip into the city sounds like a good ide—…"

Then, yes he notices things. There are images that burn into a young man's mind when seen. Images that will never be unseen. This is very likely one of them, and the desire that he might have to seek out a camera? Green-lit by the 'c' word. There's a blur, a trip to grab a polaroid, a long second of holding down the button for the picture to be taken, and a picture spat out by the camera. Which is then taken and shook. That's a keeper, to go along with the memory that'll surely scar poor Nathan if his brain's ever peered into.


Nathan is nothing but scars. Probably he can't help but view Hope except as a five year old, precocious, holding a big gun in one hand and a flower in the other as she asks what the hell that icky weed in their way is. Moments for daddy to be proud, right?

Little girl she is not. At least not in terms of youth or shortness, given her huge pockets-studded coat — which is basically a person pocket with pockets when you get right down to it — is slung over a chair, revealing her to be an actual functioning semi-adult of semi-adult years. She nibbles around the edges of her next slice of pizza per the first, and then risks everything to take a bigger bite. Speedster bites prove to be terribly effective, though to her, she's just pigging out a tiny bit. Omnomnom. Take that Tommy. Nothing that camera can do about the third slice down, because there is technically no devouring of it. She vaporized it at will, according to Mr. Polaroid.

"I think that's good. Let's go give the dog some food and you show me how you can do that miraculous running on water thing. Are there still sharks in Lake Erie?" The hopeful note is totally messing with him, but he might not catch on. "I know there isn't much else in there, except rivers on fire and stuff, but I figure they ought to still have sharks."

Save the poor man. Save the poor man who has infected another person with being less than serious. "Is it going to be somewhere I need more pants for? Because you're wearing half a general store right there. Probably should put on my warmer socks, but…" Thinking about that for a bit, she carries her plate off to be rinsed and put away exactly where she found it, or close enough to exact. It's not where she wants to spend her time, but erasing her tracks is so ingrained, she doesn't remember any better.


As the coat's slung over there, Tommy takes a moment to admire it. That many pockets could hold a /lot/ of stuff. Getting something like is suddenly placed upon his list. Besides, the effective extra layer of fabric from the pockets would provide extra warmth for times when speeding things up wasn't the best of options, but more important, pockets for stuff.

One plus effect of the way Tommy's powers (might?) affect Hope? The metabolism to go along with it. Literally eating as much of anything you want and not gaining weight. Which is why, despite the abundance of clothing and devouring of foods, Tommy has a runner's physique in there somewhere. "Race you."

Just like that? Tommy, and another couple slices are gone. His destination? The neighbour's yard. There's loud, surprised barking that accompanies the arrival, but that's something that's brought to a stop when the poor, malnourished pup catches the scent of delicious food upon the air. Some things are more important than barking!

"I've got to take you out to get more clothes. If you want to do winters here, you've gotta be ready for them… not to mention beaches. We're gonna have some shopping to do soon." Having a place to put it might be a concern for Hope, but Tommy hasn't thought about that yet. Especially when his mind lingers on the thought of Hope in a bikini. Cue the goofy grin on his face. "No lakes; the ocean's closer." he points out, pointing in that general direction. "We'll arc around it a bit and then drop back into the city for more fun. Fair?"


The coat really is a piece of horrible sartorial craft: it might also be a torture device invented by the Jacobins for stylish French people. Oh yes, Mr. Aristocrat? We won't cut your head off it you can find the pearl ring we stowed in a pocket in just one minute. They would have lain their head willingly in the bloody cradle and called that basket salvation.

Hope has to watch for those emergency departures, for speed of thought means something with the fluffy headed twin getting a comet tail in blue by just erupting into movement. She huffs a sigh, and looks at the damp dish rag. The next time Tommy zooms by, he's getting the rag smacked at his side with a wound up twist, full reflexes possibly likely to save him. Maybe not. She's using her regular strength but speed is another matter, since velocity times crazy man equals loads of delicious trouble.

She goes to fetch her coat and bag after that. Just accept they don't go anywhere without her, or vice versa, since she never knows when she's going to run into trouble, Nathan, or a combination thereof. It's fairly important, after all, to be ready for the inevitable and he might tan her hide for being unready, an impossible state of affairs.

Zipping up the oversize coat and determining the canvas sack is safely tethered to her, she waits by the front door. "Which way?" Hey, he's going to have to at least point her, though she does have a compass stowed in there with a flashlight and a lot of other unnecessary items for a city. "I think we can run on the water. If not, I'm going to swim really, really fast and then…" Then what? Probably be dripping wet, cold, and running, what else?


/Yelp!/ That's what happens when Tommy's smacked by the wet rag; mostly out of surprise, as the three layers of shirt he's wearing take some of the impact out of the strike — although not all of it. Oh, she'll pay for that one. He's already plotting revenge. "Dog is fed," Tommy informs as he waits for Hope to fetch her coat and gear, leaning up against the countertop. "The canine ambassadors are pleased with you and wish to honor you with a medal. It's kinda covered with drool, though." he adds, snickering a bit.

He doesn't ask questions about /why/ she's getting all her stuff — he figures she's got meds or something else she needs. Or that they might see something shiny and need to grab it. He understands /that/ particular feeling very well. "Also, belatedly… no sharks in Lake Erie yet, but there still are a few aquatic leopards. Endangered species. Lots of hunting. Goes both ways." Tommy replies matter-of-factly. This time he holds his face. Oh, it takes /effort/ though. There's signs of cracking if she looks close enough.

Once she's done, though, he's after her in a moment, meeting at the door. "Oh, man. That's so unfair, making me picture you soaked." he tells her — no filter on this one — before grinning. "Literally, though; we're going to run East until we hit water, start an arc North to take us towards New York, and end up somewhere back in the city. You're welcome to follow me and enjoy the view, though." Pause. "Three, two, one…"

And he's off!


Three layers of shirt prevent him from getting a satisfactory thwack, and likewise prevents the noodle effect from wrapping around his side or flank for maximum impact. Go ahead and blame her for as much as he thinks is necessary to assuage his barely smarting ego. Tommy Shepherd, smacked by a girl. "I don't need their collar medal. I have no where to put it," she replies.

When all things are put together, let them take off while he struggles not to laugh and she pretends to believe him. The corner of her mouth twitches slightly higher. She almost gets to the point of smirking at him, but that would be falling under the spell of the ridiculous dimples shared between too many people in that family. The ones he asked if she belongs to; no doubt as fate would have it, she's his great-great-grandaunt or something.

"No one said anything about fairness." They really didn't. East means Atlantic coast. North means hitting the Hudson River? Or Connecticut, which she won't know from a hole in the ground, and swinging back west. Cue it. Taking a deep breath, the girl starts off at a pretty reasonable jog for her, though she can soon enough feel the direction he takes splitting away.

Choices are tough on this front, but only one can possibly happen for pride. She kicks on the speed and pounds through the city, weaving and darting around buildings, cutting what she hopes is the direction of the rising sun. The blur really ought to produce a sonic boom.


"Point taken." Tommy admits, enjoying that mental image for just a moment more — and quietly plotting at how to turn it into a /real/ image — and it's almost too long a moment as he comes close to running smack-dab into a building. But Tommy Shepherd is a /pro./ He's happy to run through the city, using his memory of previous runs as an aid — and yes, he's pouring on the speed himself. Pride means everything. It means bragging rights that can last a while, after all!

The route /he/ takes also takes him past a hot-dog cart — which ends up minus one wiener, plucked from the hand of the the vendor en route to a customer. Must have been the wind. The very hungry wind that's enjoying a snack on the road, weaving past wind-blown pedestrians left and right, vaulting over a bench or two… and eventually in sight of the water.

He's going /right/ for it. Body tilts forwards ever so slightly to improve his aerodynamics, and shoes switch from running across sand to running across the surface of the water… leaving ripples with each footfall and a wave similar to, but not as grand as Moses parting the Red Sea that follows in his wake. It's here that he looks around for Hope; trying to make sure she's able to keep up and reproduce the trick — and very ready to fetch her if he needs to.


He is a pro, and that expertise gives him the edge at maneuvering: a plus, of course, in a very densely populated pocket of North America. Tommy probably kicks ass threading around stationary rush hour traffic, but the speedster thief using his favourite kind of discount — one hundred percent — might lack a little velocity.

Is that the difference to help them catch up or one surpass the other? Maybe. Hope tucks her head a little, trying to put up with the vague sting against her fluttering lashes. Zipping around a door slowly opening, she practically melts into the cars lined up on an asphalt ribbon closes to the sea, though the drop off is classic Jersey: cement embankment, scrub, forgotten beach awash in plastic junk and broken glass. Her rapid adjustment stops her from hitting a chain-link fence and getting clotheslined unexpectedly. Dashing until she finds the break in the fence, she dives through and hits the pebbled plain at full bore.

That might be how she knows precisely where Tommy is: she has her powers without the funny drain that happens from time to time. She can bolt along the water, pausing a bit to try and focus. If he's not near, the senses are muddled, but the thrill of defying time's iron grip keep her from worrying about that too long. There's water, and now it's only a matter of flying through the surf while startled sandpipers peep at one another, bugs lift, and nothing seems to care that either of them tear by at a breakneck speed.


Once he's sure that Hope's not going to fall into the water — keeping the momentum going was the big trick, there — he makes the turn, sailing through the water with ease, kept above the water line thanks to his abilities, and out of sight from the public thanks to the sheer speed. What any onlookers would think, with the two trails of disturbed water appearing out of nowhere? Only they would know.

The run across the ocean itself is rather uneventful — and it leads back into the city of New York, which means more dodging traffic, trying not to slip on patches of ice, and similar things like that. He takes the journey inwards for a while before eventually slowing down — sliding into a skid that leaves an impressive little hill of snow at his feet. No matter how many times he's done it, these powers are /always/ a rush. Literally.


The ocean does not have any ocean liners or subs. No great giant ships powered by steam or paddlewheel here and nothing remotely resembling a giant turtle with an island on its back. What legendary stories percolated up to her particular timeline did not bestow Hope a great deal of knowledge about seas still somewhat teeming with life. Alas, she'll take up her disappointment later over a beer or some pilfered drink or…

… "Where are they?" They? Hard to say where they is, except that the blur of streets and tangled alleys, parked taxis and humming trains means nothing. They look like the features of any other premodern city, ablaze in light and graffiti and dim-dull dishwater hues so decidedly apart from the glories of the countryside or natural grottos or even European cities with terra cotta roofs and fancy plaster walls. When he stops, she goes careening right past and then jams her heels in to avoid going feet over tea kettle into a wall or something terrible.

Aside from rather tangled hair — braids, girl, braids! — Hope is actually alive. She may wobble, though.


When Tommy spies Hope flying past, he's quick to move again. Blurring momentarily before reappearing next to her with an arm intent on slipping around the redhead to offer support. Because running over water can be disorienting, if only for the fact that you're not /supposed/ to be able to do it.

"You alright, red?" asks the silver-haired one, laughing merrily. "I knew you could handle the run. If we keep up the speed, we can circle the globe doing that. Who needs boats or jets to vacation anywhere we damn well please, right?" he adds, tone full of cheer. Honestly, he's more than a little excitable right now from the fact that she can match him step for step. It makes him wonder a bit about other things, too… but there'll be time for that later.


"You know the Pacific is really wide or Siberia is stupid cold, yeah? You'd need a lot of protein shakes and energy bars to make it that far, and those are totally heavy." Her teeth sinking into her lower lip, Hope worries it a little left and right. Catching up to the speed of thought is something there. She is easily snagged by the arm, slim enough to scamper a little to the side and getting nowhere. At least he isn't holding her up by the scruff while her feet fly a mile a minute two feet off the ground or something horrid.

"Red? C'mon, I'm not Red. That's like every redhead ever. Try again, Cottontail." Keep up with it and she might stick her tongue out at that, and she rocks back on her heels, cocky as a jay on a spring morning. All that water kicked up in a spray has her wet from the waist down, at least.


"Well, yes." Tommy replies, his lips twisting into a thoughtful grin. It's an effort to distract more than anything else, giving him precious seconds to think of a comeback. "But I've never met a challenge I'm not up to… but I'd probably need to find an all-you-can-eat when I /got/ there, because I can't imagine that I wouldn't be starving by the end of the trip, y'know?" he replies. Actually, an all-you-can-eat buffet doesn't sound bad at all, and Tommy's distracted for a few moments by that very thought.

…but then she's talking again, and Tommy's laughing. "Well, you /are/ red, but you're not /Red/… just like you're soaked, but that's not much of a pet name either. Unless you want to be the astounding wet girl or something." he teases, thoroughly amused… before considering for a moment. "Do we need to get you something dry, or…?" If she's from the future, who knows what the climates like there. He's been around people from hot places. They don't do well in cold or wet (especially not both).


An all you can eat buffet is a concept totally lost on a woman from an era where food was either in abundance beyond words, or not really readily available again. She puts her hands on her hips, surveying their current location, kicking up a little of the snow. Clods fly through the air on a white rainbow arc, landing in puffs, and her dripping boots eventually freeze or shed their droplets of water to her endless light movements. "The Astounding Wet Girl. This from Captain Runs-at-the-mouth?" Hope isn't afraid to tease him back. "No, that's not good. Honey Lips. Yeah, that sounds more like a code name. The Incredible Honey Lips, making his debut, trying to sweet talk the secret source into coughing up what he knows about the bad guys." A finger sways at him as she struts by, keeping in motion and trying to encourage her pants to drip dry a wee bit faster. It's not exactly working, but wringing the hems out every so often helps a whole lot more.

"Really?" Eyerolling at his well-intentioned question, the redhead blows out a sigh. "We already had a pizza so I figure we probably should worry about something sweet to build up energy. Protein bar, maybe. Mm, one with chocolate and oats, that would be really good." And cue, missed.


Oh, it's a nicknaming battle, is it? Tommy can't help but grin the entire time. "Accurate. " He's not above self-deprecating humor; it's some of the best kind because he knows /he/ can take a joke. She obviously seems like she can, too. But the second one? That causes an arch of his brows. "Someone's a bit focused on my mouth." Tommy sing-songs, clasping his arms behind his back and grinning smugly. "I bet you want to /taste/ and see if my lips actually taste like honey." Then a wink, "Or you might want to see if I can do other things instead. Spoiler alert: I can, you'll love it, and you'll want more."

More food? Something sweet? Tommy considers. What might they /not/ have in a world on the brink… "I think there's a chocolate factory a few blocks away." A glance down at his watch. "It's late enough that they're /probably/ closed and down to the night watch… /but,/ there'd be a ton of melted chocolate in there and we're probably fast enough not to get caught." Another blur to put him in front of her, walking backwards. "I guess it depends on if you're an angel or if there's some horns hiding under all that hair, though…" …it's a challenge. And a way to find out more about her.


Oh ho ho, is that how it's going to be? Hope throws a look over her shoulder, mid-rotation to bend and tie up her boot laces a little firmer, assuring they won't come loose for all this fast paced roaming around a state. Eventually the knowledge of how fast they zip around the map will sink in, and leave her mildly dazed, but reality's finer details tend to be left behind for another day. "Yeah, I already know what they taste like." Let Tommy juggle with that possibility. She doesn't mean to be rude, giving a long pause before her mouth forms a smirk. "I had a taste of my own, you know? Cheese, bread, and red stuff all over it. I already know you don't taste like honey unless you stopped and got a big pot and stuffed your snout in." Winnie-the-Pooh, going strong in 2114? "You sound pretty sure like you can do other things. Fess up then, since you're bragging, what are those?"

Her hands hook into the back pockets of those jeans that desperately need some tailoring, and her fingers press in, preventing the belt from doing any more work against gravity. Until he answers that question, apparently she's content to stay completely put. "Captain, you surely know no redhead is really an angel. Every last one of us is bad, rotten to the core. We just pretend to be good. You've already figured that out, haven't you?" Pulling an innocent tone is awfully difficult to do, jaded as she is, but the little smile helps. It frighteningly does.


Oh, dirty pool! Hope's bending over, and Tommy can't help but stop to watch. Any thoughts that were bouncing in his head bounced right out of his ear. Granted, she's got the /coat/ on so it obscures the sight, but inside his mind, he's got a bit of the x-ray vision to imagine the difference between what he sees and what he wants to. Then she's talking and it's a soft 'huh?' that she gets first before his eyes go /wide./ "Have you been doing things to me in my sleep?" Not impossible. He's a heavy sleeper. "Man, that's not even /fair./ I mean, I'd at least wake you up so you could /enjoy/ it first…" he tells her, laughing. As for the things he can do? "Well, for starters?" A pause, a look to the left, a look to the right. There's a couple people walking this way, so Tommy leans in as if he's about to whisper something to Hope.

…and if she doesn't pull away? His lips /vibrate/ against her ear.

Then he pulls away, winking. "So in a nutshell, you just hit the jackpot, sweetheart." …is that a /strut/ in his walk? Not quite the Winnie-the-Pooh shuffle, but there's definitely pride in his steps. "Well then," he agrees, glancing over his shoulder briefly. "Three, two…"

…and he's off!


Totally does things in his sleep. Like… also sleep. Or try to sleep or pretend to sleep or…

Hope blinks. She loosens up her grip on the laces, only to find he isn't where she left him, but stands behind her, or beside her, relative to where she was facing. The hum against the outer conch of her ear resolves into words about six microseconds after her energy knots and swirls, peaked to react at breakneck strides. "I wonder how much you practiced on yourself to perfect that." Apropos of nothing, he's running off and leaving her to smile faintly at the pedestrians curious about what the heck is going on. She shrugs at them from afar and saunters her way in damp jeans up the road opposite them. Running all over the place seems terribly unfair, especially in a city she doesn't know, so time to try another tactic.

He's never seen her run vertically down a wall or leap a balcony carelessly, but with the surge of speed in her veins, the art of free-running is practically a piece of cake once she gets her rhythm. Humming the bars of a long lost song, she sets her stride up easily, feeling for the movement, and then robbing anyone of sight of her once she gets up to a jog… at speeds known only to speedsters. The blur traced behind her is a faint green and red, on account of that shapeless coat and her hair, but she plunges into motion. A leap to grip a fire escape gives her some leverage to spring to the next window, and then the joy and freedom of the chaos becomes something different. It's seeing the city in four dimensions, and springing from wall to wall, her shuffling steps and chasing leaps giving her leverage to race along the building.

Wherever Tommy is, she stands a good chance of seeing him from up there. Or running right over him.


Tommy's been sticking through the streets — it's easy navigation, and he's been sticking to the kind of paths that would be easy for her to follow. A 'few blocks' tends to be understated, but it's not too far of a run, especially when you consider their speed. However, by the time he reaches the destination — the sign outside labels it as being 'Li-Lac Chocolates', rather than charge immediately inside he skids to a stop, leaving another mound of snow, and is left looking around for the redhead.

Behold, the Tommy in his natural habitat. Watch as he searches for his prey, before she can become the predator himself. Little does he know, that the one he's searching for stalks the very skies (or at least rooftops), hunting him as he does her. Little does he realize that fire escape that he's only feet away from would provide a perfect launchpad. "Spicecake?" he calls out, holding a hand over his eyes as if to block the sun, which has gone down by now. The streetlights, instead. The perfect target, but the question remains — will she take the leap.


Spice cake? Actually not a bad nickname, all things considered, unless he's playing bakery Marco Polo. Could be!

The voice gives her something better to hone in on. A dash becomes a succession of leapfrogs, springing from window to window, stitched overhead on a path more zig than zag and up and down than flat on the horizontal plane. She is just getting her hands onto the lip of the roofline, scrambling to pull herself up, when she hears it. Pivoting without breaking the momentum that got her up, she dashes along the cement tiles and peers down. There he is, cock of the walk, crowing about cake and chocolate. A fast survey shows her a path as she knows it, running down the converging walls of a building, following that ledge there, and leap to the fire escape, voila.

She flings herself over the edge of the building with a horrifying degree of carelessness for someone who isn't a Hulk or indestructible. Her feet catch the opposite wall where the two make a right angle, and then it's a matter of slowing her descent by bowlegging it. A speedy adjustment by diving forward into a roll puts her on the ledge — barely! — and she scrambles up, springing off to catch the fire escape. Riding it all the way down on the rails is too easy, no style there!

Grabbing the rail and swinging around, so much cooler. Pity it's not a fireman's pole she could spiral down, but failing that, she clutches the metal in clammy hands and switches sides, facing outward. Feet balance off the front of a rung. Three… two…



…and he only sees it coming when it's too late.

Not enough time with a gravity-and-velocity flung Hope coming his way at least. There's only enough time to throw his arms out before she connects, sending him barreling backwards. The presence of the snow mound created by his skid? That results in instead of his simply falling onto his back, but falling into a backwards /roll./ A roll that he's definitely going to try and pull her along into, which will lead to the two of them going end over end for nearly a dozen feet propelled by the momentum of the initial impact.

Either way? Once he stops moving, Tommy just can't help but /laugh./ He laughs for several long moments. Then he grins at her. Whether that's up or down depends on whether she came along for the ride, and who ended up on top if so. "Nice one, Spicecake. You win that one. Ready for your prize?"

Exactly what that is could be left into interpretation.


ROLL: Hope +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 2


What fun is it to go tumbling without the subject? Lame, seriously.

Hope has the wherewithal to wrap her arms around Tommy when she punts him forward, but she does not, in any sense, release him once they are both in motion. It might be safer this way. She knows instinctively how to break her fall even at speed, since it's all natural to her, and rolling protectively onto her shoulder to redirect momentum would hardly be tough. But navigating around a side street with another person is a whole new can of worms. They somersault together, her limbs tucked in, and absorbing the brunt in the huge puffy coat that has purposes other than storing everything, a miniature personal department store. A few edged things bite into her hip or jostle around noisily, but she does this enough — parkour, not pouncing people — that they're all relatively well cushioned. Spin, spin sugar leads to an end, and the final rotation puts her atop Tommy, staring at a stretch of asphalt, ice, and graffiti bogeymen. Rar, tentacles in green paint!

Will that do? Not on his life. "Hmm." She sways slightly, her hands planted briefly on the ground to either side of his head, and then pulled back as she sits on her haunches. Sort of haunches. Politely trying not to squash him means…

There's that look in her eyes again. A calculation. "Sure," she answers to the question, a bit distracted. To flip or not to flip…


That was definitely fun. 10/10, would roll again. Tommy just lays there for a few more moments, letting his own brain work. Oh, there's things that he could do, things he'd love to do. But should he?

Of course he should. Especially when the opening is noticed. Knee jerks upright and pushes down against snow-covered pavement, sending them into a roll to the /side/ designed to end with him on top. Of course. She can then try and keep the roll /going/ and… well. They'll likely be doing that for a while. Either way? As tempting as it is to stay tangled up with her.. the cold will add up eventually and catch even the fastest of them, and while that could lead to /warming up/…

"C'mon gorgeous. Let's get inside." he says, zipping to his feet — and offering her a hand up.


Given they'd be rolling sideways, they're going to hit a building sooner than ending up rolling really fast over the Mid-Atlantic and smashing into the Azores or Morocco. That would probably be impossible, given their rolling won't make them capable of staying above the waves or dealing with the monstrous troughs that form in the open ocean, sending them to a drowning death unless one of them can somehow manage to run. What joy! It'll be Hope, undoubtedly, who reaches that grave first. Not a lot of mutants dwell in the middle of the sea. New meaning for grim tidings!

Thus a twist flumps her onto her back, and the redhead stares up with a blink. "You mean this?" Her feet already start to slide against the ground, gritting over broken bits of stone and ice, and give a potential launchpad to….

Kip up, apparently. She swings her arms back as Tommy vanishes again, bending them over the ears, and tucking her elbows close. Then she drives her hips down, lifting her shoulders as though about to perform a sit-up or two. Her core muscles tighten and she utters a grunt for the effort to crunch forward, and unrolling with a seized wave of flesh and apparently boneless grace as she kicks her feet out with one powerful burst that pulls her upright into a standing stance. Landing roughly on both feet, she turns and pats his hand. "Got it."


Tommy grins cheerfully at her as she kips right up, pretty clearly impressed with the move, even if it didn't exactly involve him coming to the rescue. Amused, he is.

"Impressive. Follow me, keep your voice down." he says, as if he's been there before. He doesn't run at top speed this time, but fast enough it'd be tough for a normal to catch sight of him. Into a door on the side he goes; past a few offices — including the security office — and onto the actual production floor. The workers have gone home, as he'd guessed.. but the machines are still there, and still full of chocolate ready to be molded into various delicious candies, wrapped and sold in stores. But right now? It's basically just a lot… a /lot/ of melted chocolate. "So, is our sweet tooth ready?" he asks, grinning. "Keep your movements fast. If someone comes in, go top speed and mess with things; people like us can play ghost better than most, which'll buy us time at worst, privacy at best."


Zipped lips, huh? She can button them easily enough, and not complain for it. Maybe silence is the place to be. Shrugging, she follows Tommy, trying to keep to his path without drawing much attention to herself. There is a thrill to break and enter, though is it really a felony when they're only giving the place a look around? She blinks when he chooses to enter an office, and she slips around the doorway, tugging the door mostly shut in her wake if they were not open. Zipping into the production line area is a good way to get a nose full of chocolate, and here's going to be the greatest shocker of them all. "What's that?"

A point at the melted chocolate. He might be really questioning what bloody future doesn't have melted goodness incarnate? Damn grin. Damn dimples.


Breaking and entering is not something that's new to Tommy. He's even been to this very place. Both months ago and decades later. That's why he knew about it! However, when she admits to not knowing what chocolate is… that causes brows to arch and hair to turn white.

Oh, wait, it already is.

"You don't… you mean… I never… no way." he struggles to /word/ at a time like this, deciding to let his actions do the speaking for him, and let the taste handle the rest. One finger is held up, and in a flash? He's scurrying off. In the same flash he returns, but this time? His finger's covered in liquid chocolate, one again held up. "Taste. If you ever trusted me on anything, trust me on this."


Turn white, indeed. Or possibly brown, if Tommy ends up knocked into a vat of liquid chocolate. It's better than other options, presumably. Does he fancy being crusted in powdered sugar?

"You never?" Hope arches her eyebrows in response. "You said… Oh. We'll have to try…" The word begs to be danced around, even if the dancer herself is demonic and living up to the threat she had neither soul nor wings in white feathers, yes? The benign influence of a smile brings happy reward, a finger offered to her. A pause lingers, but the offer is an offer, and something not to be disputed on the basis of ignorance. "Mkay." That's a fairly neutral sound as she flicks her tongue against the liquefied heaven running down his finger. Blotting her lips with the pad still pressed to the lower curve, her tongue traces her teeth and then she seals her mouth around the top of the digit up to the first digit.

The slightest pressure drags inwards, creating a vortex that mildly curves her cheeks, locking him in place. The fencing match led by her tongue is plain unfair, dodging rivulets of the substance kept molten by the inner heat, her teeth pressing down lightly past the poor man's nail bed. A low vibration might be a non-committal answer about how it tastes.

And then she hums, reverberating down the only connection they share with his willing consent.


Oh, this girl. He's said before that he works fast, it's a principle that he lives his life by — every part of it. It might be in relationship to his abilities, and the way he thinks.

They'll have to try… what? Try anything, really. Maybe everything. He's not the kind to shy away from anything, and even charge headfirst into it /because/ it's a bad idea. Then there's other things entirely. Like offering chocolate to a girl who's never heard them before. He has his mental images, and then there's the ones that show up in real life. The later is better because it runs right along with other sensations. Like those lips. Those lips and that tongue that do such marvelous things — causing Tommy's eyelids to flutter a bit as he gets a taste of the kinds of things /he/ does to people. Hooboy.

His own tongue slips past his lips, moistening the pair in brief thought as his eyes lock on her. Lips curved into a well-practiced grin and dimples working their magic. "Like what you taste?" asks the male speedster, tone inferring plenty, mischief dancing in those eyes.


"Tastes like chocolate," Hope agrees, popping free that digit, and she goes zipping off through the production line of the factory. Her merry laughter will have to be imagined, since it's not wise to traipse about even at high speed and give ideas to those who might be listening. Watching, even. The blitz of motion finds her roaming between the machines and giving a compressor a wide berth, springing up to swipe a chocolate before it gets stamped with someone or another's logo. Boxes make a fine place to hide and pop the cocoa confectionary onto her tongue, lurking there in the dark, flying by the seat of the pants to figure out the next place she ought to go.


A happy Hope is a Hope that's definitely good for him, and he spends a moment watching her fly along… before doing the same himself. Yes, he's going to get more than a little chocolate-y in the pursuit of a good time. Hand is used like a spoon more than once, and for actual purpose in others. Chocolate is covered in chocolate on a couple of occasions, and frankly? It's just /divine./ Eyes occasionally flicker towards Hope to keep track of her, as well, making certain she's alright… and watching for when she's had her fill.


She isn't eating much of the chocolate, this much is clear. Now collect a few pieces for later? That sounds remarkably fun, and she will undoubtedly enjoy the fruits of that labour, but they ought to be had in much smaller doses, finer tastes, and brief licks here or there. Maybe she shoves a bar or two into her pocket, and pops a round bonbon into her mouth now and then, but the whole purpose is largely sweeping around the building to ensure that no one is coming, no security guard about to stumble over them giggling drunkenly on the floor. Her narrowed eyes flicker to the doors and windows, and she dances among the single-file line of candies punched out by a machine that will wear down in a half hour, tops. Not everything is automated, not everything is babysat either. The cleaning crews have to come through at some point, and will they worry about the twenty smiley faces drawn on a few chocolates? Not likely. Such is the mark of Hope, and she checks on the Charity case bouncing around the walls. "Still hungry?"


Tommy looks up when he hears a voice; female voice, definitely not the security guard. He's pretty sure there weren't any female security guards in the sixties. Honestly, even in his home-time it wasn't the most popular profession for a woman. So he's grinning when he does look up. "I'm good. Let's blow this joint." Pause. "Way we came in, pour on the speed. Don't stop until you pass four stoplights; first alley on your left. That'll give us a chance to clean up before we show a public face again."

…and it seems he'll meet her there. Unless she zooms off /first/, that is.


Let him be the one to zoom off first. Three more bonbons will be gone in that time, and the redhead pauses to consider whether she should grab another one. Nope, probably not. Down for the count, those sweets end up in her cheeks and she rushes off at a run through the doors left in his wake, though in one instance, she accidentally opens the door to a broom closet. Oops. Spin around and onwards, eventually she'll end up outside through a window. Tumbling a neat somersault, she comes up on her feet and bolts for the joy of it. Someone is going to pass out hard tonight for sleep, but launching herself joyfully into the air and landing on something barely wide enough to support her is simply worth it. Spring down the rail, leap, and voila! Life is all thrills right now, something that helps with the chocolate endorphin high. Run, run, run - - stop!

She'll have to ponder cleaning up, mind, but nothing like moseying by without a care in the world, licking her fingers clean with laps of her tongue. Nope. Totally nothing off here. La la la.


Similar to Tommy's plan. Clean fingers, wipe them against other bits of skin — especially around his lips — that chocolate was smeared, and then clean fingers again. It's a process that's almost done when Hope arrives. "Was wonderin' what took you so long." he teases, winking at her. The visuals? They still delight. "So, was it everything I promised and more?" That's the reputation that Tommy tries to put forth, especially around girls. The one of a show stealer. The kind of guy that they want to hold onto even if it's a lot like riding a bucking bull, because frankly? The ride's too fun to pass up on.

After a few moments, green eyes take a keen interest in her face. Brow arching. Watching for a couple of long moments. "Uh — you missed a spot. Hold still, I've got this." he suggests, moving in — /if/ she holds still? Hope may just find that Tommy's methods of cleaning involve kissing the affected spot; in this case her lips, followed by a brief, almost playful lick. However, it's the one thing in life he'll /gladly/ do slow more often than not. Taking more time to do it means more time to live in the moment. Of course with her? It also means plenty of time to get out of the way if she chooses.


"How'd you manage to do that," asks the redhead, "but manage to miss the…"

Hello, what now? Her glittering green eyes are twin unnatural flames in a pale face, and her hands rising to check her hair or be visually inspected for any missing chocolate scraps are left in a surrender position when he kisses her. A small sound of surprise unbuttoned her lips, a vibration of 'Mrf?' between them. Hit the button, rewind, and sync back up to reality. There isn't any hurry to it, no need at least for him to hurry. Tommy may have many spots to poke or buttons to jab, but being bitten or mauled isn't one of them yet. Not really. Just the taste of chocolate on the tongue and a question lurking in her heavy-lidded eyes, a measure of doubt and an opening to curiosity.

"Still chocolate, I think," she murmurs. Smooth operator, that one.


Victory! Pulling away just a bit — but still remaining close enough to be considered in her personal space, he forms his lips into a lazy smile. It's the kind that comes naturally, rather from practice like a lot of the faces he makes. This is the kind that just comes from good things happening, and stays there when they continue. Tongue briefly appears again to finish he job of cleaning /his/ lips, before he nods once, amused sparkle in his eye.

"Still chocolate. But you're better." Wink. Of course, they /were/ near chocolate vats and the two could've been easily combined… but there's always things for another time.

"Back to the house, then." he suggests, giving one of her hands a brief squeeze as they pass one another. "Race you there~" And three.. two… he's off like a bullet. A bullet that makes sure to keep in sight of the one chasing him, sticking to as many straightaways as possible. He's not sure if she knows the way back by heart yet — or even have it marked on the maps he brought — and having her get lost en route? Not on his list of things to do.


Where exactly is he running? The house. Place in Jersey. South. Hope blinks and fishes into her bag to find that damn map again, opening it up and peering at the various geographical forms in the way. There, yes. And over there. Yes. Memorizing the route she needs to take, she darts off behind the bullet en route to find a place without considerable happiness, through all the McSuburbs and tangled commuter towns that New York tries to eat within its metro area. She won't be the fastest on this one, given the route back is still a mystery, so those cues are welcome.

Time, time flits and bends, turning back on itself, and exploding into blurs of motion when something is familiar: that park, this intersection, that big bold blue highway on the map being a big mess of unmoving cars. She spins and twirls through the gaps, chasing Tommy down. There has to be some way to keep up, right?

Though eventually they probably do reach that drab house, and its unshoveled walk, the lawn still mostly free of footprints.

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