1964-07-21 - A Whale of a Tale
Summary: Rescuing a cargo ship, saving a whale, and maybe mistaking fishing tackle for a threat.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lara clark vesper 

'Get away from the city," everyone keeps saying. It doesn't matter where Vesper goes. The prevailing advice in every corner is to leave New York on a holiday of any size. She listens eventually. A free day on the calendar and a lull in her experiments puts Vesper into the NYU dorms. Clark gets a firsthand offer to get out for the day. "Have you ever been to the seaside?" Her opening line after pleasantries is direct. "No need for a subway pass." Keys are held up. "We can drive."

All presumably going well requires a short walk to a parking lot to claim the car. Lots of land yachts, Ford and Mercury and Chrysler, but she settles in a much smaller, sleek coupe with its distinctive badge in gold, red, and black. Mr. Kent gets to drive in style - in a Porsche 911 - out to Long Island. Traffic isn't terrible and her aim is straight for the end when land finally runs out.

It's been a fairly quiet day in the big city, but that doesn't necessarily carry over to the nearby Atlantic ocean. This is made evident by the cargo ship that's headed straight for Montauk Point… and not slowing down. It's not an overly large ship, but if it runs aground it could make a really big mess!

Lara was flying along the coastline in her usual 'patrol' over the city, on the lookout for trouble. Unable to help but spot the ship on a collision course with the island, she focuses her hearing… and can hear someone in the lighthouse on the radio, desperately calling the Coast Guard to indicate the imminent run-aground and that they've been unable to make radio contact with the ship after numerous attempts.

This is all she needs to hear, and Lara swoops down out of the sky to the ship's prow, doing her level best to turn the ship aside and around, back towards open water so that there's no more imminent danger of it running aground. It's a small ship of its type… but it's still a LOT larger than something like a car, which would be relatively easy for her to so intercept. Still, she tries, her fingers denting into the metal of the ship's hull as she strains to make it change course!

Clark's dark hair is blowing wildly as the car zooms out towards the more rural environs of Long Island. He seems to be in a great mood—this is the sort of decadence that his upbringing in Kansas simply could not afford or would not be allowed. He looks over, several times, hoping that she's having half a good a time as he is having as he pulls into the park. As his blue eyes trail from Vesper out to the see, he suddenly grows concerned and pulls the car to a halt. He can't tell that Lara is there, yet, but it's clear that the boat is under some sort of distress. On high alert he exits the car and jogs over toward the shoreline. "Do you see that?" he asks back towards the French girl and points towards Lara and her efforts.

Vesper can't help but see everything revealed on the state road. Little other traffic exists this far into Long Island. New York is an hour behind them and the wilds of the county give way to sand dunes and bluffs. She'll never admit it but the fresh air in her face and the huge sunglasses deflecting the light are wonderful for her. She hasn't coughed but once as they got stuck in a tunnel with minor traffic. Here she is more herself. Clark's driving of her prized possession gives no comment or concern for her. When he stops she already has sat up to see over the windshield. Her seatbelt is off in a jiffy. "Is that person trying to drag or push?" Her hand shields her eyes while she stares down at the ship headed for the headland. It's not called the Graveyard of the Atlantic for nothing.

The lighthouse isn't far off. It's even manned. But fat lot of good a manned lighthouse does for a boat trying to become a land bound fail boat. "Towels and blankets in the trunk. Anyone who comes ashore will be cold and wet." She speaks while she runs around to the back, though he's got the keys.

On the bridge of the ship, a lone man is saying "No! No! No!" as there's suddenly a metahuman trying to keep the ship from running around. Outside the bridge, which is locked and barricaded from the inside, several other men struggle fruitlessly to get the door open. Clearly, there's been some kind of mutiny and the one man's taken control of the ship. Of course, this isn't readily evident to anyone on land… or anyone who lacks the sensory abilities to let them see/hear any of it.
Still, Lara's intervention's doing the trick… the ship is slowly being turned aside from its collision course with the island, even with the mutineer's attempts to keep it steered on its destructive course. Within a few minutes, the ship's been turned aside enough that she lets go of its prow and flies up to deal with the man doing the driving.
With his attempts to crash the ship having failed and with that metahuman coming towards the bridge, the mutineer gives up — completely. A single gunshot rings out in the bridge as he takes his own life before Lara can break in to stop him. Victorious and defeated all at once, she unbars the bridge door and lets the ship's captain and his crew in. A short conversation later, in which Lara's thanked for saving the ship and assured that the Coast Guard will be called in to deal with the aftermath, and she flies out and up away from the ship, towards the island.
… and that's when she spots Clark, and comes to a stop, hovering in place about thirty feet up and in plain view from where he stands. She glances, too, at Vesper, even as she reaches up to wipe the back of one of her hands over one eye — she's actually a bit in tears, having witnessed the man's suicide, and having been too slow to stop it. She's also actually breathing a bit heavily, having put forth a lot of effort to turn the ship. "All is well", she says, loudly enough to be heard by the two people below. "… for all but one", she adds, more quietly, before starting to rise into the air to fly away.

Clark flicks the keys effortlessly towards Vesper like a quarterback on a veer option play. He's had a lot of experience doing such a thing out in his yard, playing football by himself, since he wasn't able to be on the team. But his thoughts aren't on the Smallville Crows, they're on the figure that floats high above him. There's a recognition from him, almost as if he can identify with the woman who he's seen before. This is the second time she's done something like this in front of him. The question running through his head is why.

Vesper may miss opening the trunk twice after snatching up the keys. Her unrestrained grab is the stuff of master thieves playing with knives around their fingers. Not bad for a geneticist with a persistent case of consumption. At least she doesn't scratch the paint. The lock is thrown and she pulls out the towels in preparation for helping some poor, wet sailor fighting the waves. Instead, she witnesses the impossibility of a ship turning around thanks to the efforts of a single person. One. No matter how small the boat is, a cargo ship halted in its tracks is enough to leave her staring from the headland. She ghosts up behind Clark. The wind may whip his hair about but hers is still fairly secured. The snapping fabric gives her presence away. "Who is she? We saw her at Washington Square Park by the fountain." Her arms are too full of the bundle to be all that much good at comfort. "If I did not know better I would say she's showing off for you."

Clark twists at the hips and reaches back to put his arm around Vesper as a way to ground himself from the thoughts swirling in his head. "I wish I knew." He can't figure out why anyone might want to show off for him. It couldn't be a coincidence, could it? Maybe she's taunting him.

A sound of surprise comes from the brunette. No Gallic protest though. Vesper fits in fairly easily under Clark's arm and the towels she carries smell freshly laundered. It's an odd juxtaposition: the wind scouring the point, the pretty lighthouse in the distance, a near disaster on the rocks, and Downy detergent. "Next time she comes, perhaps try to speak with her. Have you met her besides that one time in the university?"

"No," Clark says simply as he looks to her when she seems surprised. "I've honestly never seen her in my life, other than these two times." He looks confused, confused and perturbed. The hand comes from around her as he reaches to grab one of the blankets and takes a whiff of the detergenty smell. "I guess worrying about it too much won't really help."

"Clark, you can talk about it as you like." Vesper isn't much of a counsellor. Her analytical nature sometimes falls into place before the emotional side does. She turns her sunglass-shielded gaze up to him. Unable to smile does not mean incapable of showing support in other ways. "Those people may have been hurt, and you were ready to help. I would too. Maybe this is the world's way to tell us have a picnic and count our lucky stars. I don't know what happened there."

"Well, whether it is a sign or not, I think we're both pretty hungry and we can't have that food go to waste," Clark says with a grin. Clark heads back to the trunk to make himself useful and to help carry stuff out to the grass.

Vesper carries the towel to the side of the road where the sand literally meets the pavement. The dunes are active and only clothed in a thin sheath of grass in places. Hardy, stout vegetation is needed to resist the wailing wind and the grey Atlantic. She drops the blanket and hunts for a rock to weigh down the corner so it doesn't flap away and chase her off the beach in a sheet of blue and white stripes. In the trunk of the Porsche is a proper picnic basket along with the typical emergency first aid kit, several books on weighty biological topics, and at least a change of clothes.

"Something about the change of clothing surprises Clark. He pauses a moment before reaching for the basket and straightens, the wind whipping at the blue button down shirt he wears. A few moments later he's set the basket down softly, and once she's got the blanket ready, he takes a seat with his legs set underneath him as he leans. "Thanks for putting this all together, Vesper."

Vesper continues her preparations with all the skill of someone who nearly never takes picnics. She has to fight the flapping corner of the towel to stay down, eventually leaving both her shoes there and possibly a season's worth of sticks pulled from the sandy ground. Not many trees this close to the point, so bits of cast off debris are all she can find in a short distance. Her kerchief needs to be pulled back over her hair to have any hope of success. Down go the sunglasses first. Then she pulls up the patterned square tied at her nape. Her head gets a good shake to dislodge the tugged strands, and her sunglasses go right back to her nose where they belong.

"But of course. The weekend is nearly here. You have worked hard at your courses and your interviews. Good to celebrate, isn't it?" Her smile lives by the measure of a cherry blossom, gone too soon. "I am sorry the ship left a pallor over this. I hoped it might be more… ah, I don't know the right English word. Happy, maybe."

"It's still plenty happy," Clark shoots back with a smile. He leans back on his elbows and watches the water—something very foreign to him given his upbringing. "It's just weird, running into that person again. It's one of those things where you just don't know and not knowing is what really bothers you." He grins at her and shakes his head, "Let's not make too much of it." His clothing seems to contradict everything else about him that screams Kansas. For the trip he's wearing the aforementioned blue button down shirt, rolled up at the sleeves, untucked, and with the top few buttons freed. He also wears a pair of white shorts and simple sandals. With his moppy black hair he looks right out of a sailing magazine.

But what a sailing magazine! Whereas Vesper is the French version in her striped blue and white shirt, and jaunty capris. Her usual attire is quite fashionable by Gallic standards. She carefully skims her fingers across her cheekbone to push back a teasing bit of her hair. "I brought sandwiches, cheese, and crackers. Some fruit, too." By the minute she's slowly purged of the toxins shot through her body by city living. The faint tingle in her skin is the only hint of it. Her bare toes knead the sand when she sits. "All right. Would you rather talk about your interviews or earlier this week?" It's not like she can outright say anything. Coming right out and saying it would be rude, awkward, even downright brazen. A sense of etiquette curbs what is very much dancing around the pink elephant in the room with Clark.

"We can talk about whatever you want," Clark says, seemingly relaxed about both topics. "I don't know how much time you have to spend out here today, but we can talk about them both if you would like." His head lolls in a quarter turn as he looks at her and gives one of his lopsided grins.

"I have as long as you like. At dark, we may need to consider," says Vesper. She laughs behind her curled fingers at her chin. Clark giving her such a comical look can be at least partly to blame for the situation. "Tell me then all these thoughts about what you learned. No more business women?"

"With the interviews? Not really much. I learned that business people like talking about themselves and are interested in getting publicity from journalists. Even from campus newspapers, I guess. I also learned that I'm happy I'm not them." He shakes his head, "I don't think I could ever care enough about money to focus on what they focus on."

"You should be happy as yourself. A piece of wisdom." They can sell it on a t-shirt in a few years and maybe bumper stickers. Vesper digs into the basket for the cheese and blocks the wind with her body so no sand can infiltrate the sacred confines more than they do. Wisps of grass shudder and moan their brittle hymns to the bright summer sun beating down. Still, it's not warm because the point sticks out into the cool Atlantic Ocean and sea winds scour the surface. "Money is not so important. Community, learning, and assistance to others are more worthy goals to me. Everyone is different, I know. I have trouble seeing how helpful a franc is when other people lack a roof on their house or a book to read." Clark is handed the crackers, partly as a diversionary tactic. Sometimes jumping into the deep end takes a leap of faith. Going to the left side where the crackers and cheese are leaves the right side open for her to lean forward and kiss his cheek.

Clark takes the crackers and is almost taken off guard by the kiss to his cheek. Nevertheless, he's all smiles. His hand rests upon her knee and by the time she pulls away, he's looking toward her. "I wish the interviews were a bit more interesting. But if you'd rather talk about earlier this week, we can talk about that."

"Interviews cannot always be so good. Sometimes they are only for the story people need to hear. You will have good opportunities." Her eyes brighten - literally, in a way. Vesper gestures. "No one else saw this ship but us and the lighthouse. You have a story there, is that not something good? You could write about it. Maybe this will bring the strange woman out and you can have your questions there why she keeps doing these things." It ties up in a neat little bow, a gift of knowledge. "Write it well and send something to a newspaper. Maybe the Bulletin or the Times? That's something, a student with a journalism credit." Her cheeks are faintly pink and her heartbeat may be more than a little accelerated from her courageous daring in marking a farm boy. His hand ends up brushed by her fingers. Past that, hesitation means uncertainty. Again.

"That's a really good idea," Clark replies. "If they won't take it, I'm sure the school newspaper would." He slides his thumb up to touch her hand. "Hey, are you alright?" he asks, wondering if she's beginning to get nervous.

|ROLL| Vesper +rolls 1d20 for: 19

The sun-swept corner of New York at its furthest eastern reach is already bright enough, though not wholly because of the friendly yellow star in the sky beaming on the crust like it has since the inception of a molten ball from a dusty planetary disk. There may well be a second source reflecting a much fainter envelope of ambient daylight. Vesper takes the lion's share of sunlight to herself. She also occasionally throws it off in a milder brightening of their ambient environment. The girl glows because she's fairly glowing emotionally. Relief about the ship, finally forgetting the near miss. Not suffocating breath by breath. Good company. "Oui, bien." Her French isn't worried. "Tres bien. The newspaper, oui?" As if she can even remember what she should be saying under the circumstances, glancing down to his thumb that tickles her a little. Not badly. Everything is so sharply alive, delineated in crisp detail not really present before. The sunlight throws back upon Clark from all directions, one land bound.

Clark reaches to hold her hand more firmly, moving to lace his fingers in between hers and hold her hand. With the other hand he munches on the cracker more and more comfortable with the situation as he gazes towards her intermittently, noticing her glow. He's not sure if it's an optical allusion or if it's just that goofy feeling you get at the budding of a relationship.

What it is, it is, though she hasn't lost any of her cohesion. The glimpse into the other comes as a part of being. Their hands together, she turns slightly to face out to the water rather than so directly at the basket, the car, and Clark. Their hands do not break their touch, at least not from her. It's easy to look out onto the waves and the breaking foam in a line. "Those people were right. It is good to get out from the city."

"I agree. I mean, I really like it there in New York and I'm really happy I came to school out here, but sometimes it's just good to get out in nature a little bit," Clark replies. He gives her an upwards nod and then looks to the beach, "You think it's too cold to swim?"

"Non." Emphasis on the no. She releases Clark's hand and puts the cheese back into the basket. Shutting the lid is easy. Next comes the stringing of her keys around her neck on a thong of cotton, and standing at the height of the dune. The rest of the beach is fairly sandy. She picks her way down the gentle slope a little. "The last one in?"

"Not fair," Clark says, pretending to protest as he gets up and begins to follow her. He unbuttons his shirt and tosses it haphazardly upon the sand as he makes his way up the dune towards her and then back downward. "What's the best beach you've ever been to?" he asks.

"Not fair? You can wade in those!" Vesper calls back over her shoulder. Then she slides through the sand and yelps at the heat of the white expanse. Very different from picking her way over the vegetated top. She is fairly quick at pulling her own shirt off, though the headscarf goes with it. Her bathing suit underneath is proof of being prepared to tempt the sun to give her skin cancer. She scrambles a few steps ahead to stay out of Clark's way and so much for those capris. Win or some other choice? It's not in doubt; she runs into the surf as is. The transition of temperature is pretty considerable. "Ah — never much went. Brighton, maybe?"

Clark stumbles in after her and makes a large splash as he drops down into the water. With bent knees gets low into the water and wipes some of the salt-water from his eyes. The change in temperature doesn't seem to bother him too much. "Brighton? I've never even heard of it."

The waves aren't light or gentle given they had time to bash their way through Connecticut and Long Island. Long Island Sound cheerfully wears its whitecaps and the boats out on the water have a pretty nice breeze to fill their sails or knock about their hulls. Greenish water in the shallows is a definite attraction for the brunette forcing herself to wade deeper. Cool water never killed anyone. Stepping on a bit of kelp is weird but not bad. Tripping on a rock is a great way to make it look like Vesper%<u2019>s diving. Really. She makes her mistake and comes up spluttering in a laugh. Those sunglasses are down. Wide blue-green eyes track the horizon back to the farm boy. "See! You do just fine in the water. Brighton is a popular boardwalk and beach in England."

As she comes back up, Clark moves towards her, gliding under the water. There, standing face to face, he's about to do something and say something but stops abruptly, with a confused look on his face. "Wait, I thought your eyes were dark…" His head tilts quizzically.

Coloured contacts are yet to be a thing. All kinds of answers might be deserved. Vesper rubs the water off her brow for as long as possible given her hair is wet. "They do that sometimes," she says. The simple truth, absent compelling evidence, is the best policy. "They change. Then they go back."

"Oh, cool," Clark says and then gets back toward the business of leaning in to plant one on her lips. He immediately assumes she must be a mutant, which doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest. As he pulls away from her, he leans back and floats in the water with his arms outstretched, "Not many beaches in Kansas, but once we went to Venice Beach in California. That was pretty cool."

The gulls and waves have no place intruding too closely, but there might be a seal out there bobbing around for his lunch. The dark head is further out, but it stares with big wet eyes at the strange humans in its neck of the kelp forest. Vesper blushes again, still fairly faint. "It doesn't bother you?" The question given quietly matches her following him, feet kicking in a lazy churn. For a swimmer she is much more careful than he seems to be. It's in part not trusting herself to get out too far. Physicians' warnings for a lifetime aren't her friend. "Venice Beach I've never heard of. What makes it special?"

Clark toes his way back over towards her and wraps an arm around her middle. "Why would it?" he asks, leaving it at that. "Venice Beach just has a ton of people. It's in Southern California and it was really busy and really warm."

"Oh, like the surfer music," Vesper says. The next wave wants to knock her up and about, but she has sufficient anchorage to defy it now. Her grin widens a little. "Did you see them on those long boards? Or were you sitting on the sand turning gold like toast?" Splashing her hand around in the curling waves is more fun than attempt to splash Clark. "A crowd on the beach sounds exciting. Maybe hard if you want to sunbathe or read."

Clark laughs out loud and nods, "Yeah, like the surfer music. I wasn't on the beach very long. My mom and dad wanted to do tourist things. But it was pretty fun." He shrugs his shoulders, "Being the only two on the beach isn't bad either."

"Tourist things. Here you are in a new city. Do the exploring you want to now." Her smile gets a little wider. Vesper slicks back her hair, hanging in a low bun that won't stay in place for long. When it falls then she has a dark curtain of hair shining in the sun. It's only a problem when the ends start turning into light, which they do not appear at all prone to do. "Maybe next time we swim and then have lunch."

There's a ripple in the water, barely seen. It couldn't be…

"To be honest," Clark says as he reaches up to softly brush her cheek with the back of his fingers, "It doesn't really matter to me what we do." The ripple isn't even noticed by Clark. He should, of course, with his array of powers, but so intent is he on Vesper the rest of the world disappears.

So what if he ignores the ripple? There is still time to notice the seal diving under the waves or the rather odd break of the water over a humped shape near to the shore. The gout of air and water blown out from the whale is bound to be audible for a ways, in a minute.

Vesper tilts her head, eyes back to brown. She kicks a bit to float, secure where she is. "Really? You are one of the most good natured people. This is how I know you cannot be from New York. They are always in such a hurry, led by their plans and time tables. I like that you know how to be." Her arm hooks over his shoulder, and assures she's soaked by said whale blast.

At first the blast comes as a surprise to Clark who sort of shudders in a flinch. Quickly, however, he gathers himself and uses his body to sort of block her from getting sprayed too much in the face. "What in the world!" Clark exclaims.

Big teeth. Big head. Big tail.

Clark might not be face to face with the dark whale stalking the shore, but he's close enough. The slap of the tail and the bobbing back reveal the sharp dorsal fin, proving this is no little porpoise or some stranded humpback, but a killer. Orca, properly, with nets bound around its front in a web of pale grey and seaweed knotted cords.

"Eugh," complains the misted Inhuman. She hastily wipes her face, for all the good it does her.

"Oh my g—!" Clark exclaims as he realizes they are legitimately under attack. His large arms swing Vesper around so that he puts his own body in front of her and in between the whale. This could be solved really quickly with his powers, but he needs some sort of diversion. "Run for the shore, Vesper!" he exclaims, maybe with too much gusto. For emphasis he gives her a little shove, even!

Under attack? The spiral of motion leaves the scientist blinking through her wet lashes and about to open her mouth. The reply takes a left at befuddlement and goes zooming down what the hell avenue. "Is that stuck?" Her confusion builds as she stumbles to the push. Clark hasn't hurt her, she is just surprised. And as she moves….

|ROLL| Vesper +rolls 1d20 for: 1

Clark believes that his trick works and assumes she's walking towards the beach. Though his back blocks it, she can see a large amount of steam rising up from in front of Clark as he uses his heat vision to incinerate large parts of the netting. "Not sure! Just run!" he says, having no idea that he may have just outed himself.

The black and white orca chooses to thrash and lunge, the tackle entangled around its jaw and underside flecked in bloody foam. Bits of net fall away and it clacks its teeth, tossing its body around to free itself. It smacks the water again with its tail, flukes churning at the waves in front of Clark. Obviously it's not going to go on land unless it spontaneously evolved, unless it wants to die miserably. The weight is too great to go without water. Seawater break over its upright fin. But now it's not half drowning, still wild with fear.

All falls apart as normal in a split second. When she stops for a moment the reality strikes. Some thought guts her building fear. "No. I can help." Somehow. Her body fades to a radiant translucency, flesh gone to visible plasma and the hazy glow of her visible in considerable detail. Right down to the wet pants, now in light form, she is all there. She's walking on water, throwing a dazzling sheen. And all the daylight goes right back on Clark, deeply concentrated.

Clark can't help the initial feeling that pops into his mind—that Vesper is some sort of angel. But then the memory that she must be some sort of mutant dawns on him. He stops his efforts and watches her, whatever she has planned, and sort of stands there. Dumbfounded.

Inconvenience starts and ends with those little secrets people have. 'My great-aunt was Jewish' in post-Nazi Germany. 'I like hot dogs' if you're anywhere in New York. Possibly 'So I like wearing your t-shirts when you're not looking' at Clark, later in the game.

She hovers atop the wavelets, and it's sort of irrelevant how the water interacts with the foaming surge breaking around Clark himself. His heat vision, though evaporated, still leaves a trace of familiar power drawn into her. Conscious control of her absorption is very much a hit and miss thing for Vesper. Her hair waves around her in casual undulations contrary to the sea and the wind. Gesturing helplessly at the whale still bucking in its efforts to be free, she points. The thin arc of light splinters from her fingertips and goes a bit wide, but that seaweed floating by sure gets zapped!

"Vesper?" Clark asks, still in a bit of shock. He tries to bury it. How would he want her to act if she found out about him? Probably nonchalant and make it not a big deal. "Can you do something to help it?" he asks, trying to make it seem not weird and holy crap the French girl he wants to date is a light bulb.

She's more than a lightbulb. She is a star and the ghost in the machine. The signal and the voidsong of humanity. The inheritance of twenty five millennia of rarefied genetic selection. Vesper is also presently deciding how well she can manage the situation.

"…keep…" Her voice is very soft and half trapped in the spectral wavelength around her. Glowing to a specific frequency means nothing though her brother, somewhere, is sure hear a mouthful about saving an orca. Eyes thin as she circles around the whale and pats its back. All its efforts don't hurt her any. She's not entirely solid. With effort, she gets out, "Maybe. It hurts." It squeaks back at them both in its furious plight.

Clark inhales and looks to Vesper as he begins to pull the netting out and away from the whale. "I don't know anything about whales, to be honest. I don't know if it's going to be okay, or if we should call someone."

The whale squeaks and possibly panics a little, slapping its tail again. Red gleams on the white underside as it struggles to go deeper into the waves, and throw off the tackle. Since much of the net has been thrown aside, its teeth and mouth are finally freed. One roll and it manages to get its belly off the sand, sliding deeper into the water. Further out more of its pod bob up and click their concerns.

Vesper shakes her head slightly. She stoops to touch a wave, briefly revealing all the flotsam. So much for getting back into the water. But Clark's intervention has prevented the desperate creature from drowning, so there is a victory.

"Do you think it's okay if I push it out to sea?" Clark asks. He's not really sure, but it can't just stay there. He just doesn't want it to die. With an exhales and his wet hair dripping water into his face he puts his hands on the sea beast and easily begins to push it out to sea.

A nod agrees to this. She leads the way past the weary whale, standing over the waves and holding her hands out fairly wide. That much leaves the water well illuminated beyond what the sun normally might give, though it's not so terribly deep. Vesper's expression holds certain focus and frustration for the poor thing. Her other options would not be ideal here. "Push, yes. It… help…"

Clark begins to swim, kicking his legs with far more power and quickness than most people. It seems like he has his secrets too. He's not sure how far he has to push this thing out before it can go on its own, and he knows he likely just revealed himself, but desperate times and all that. Plus, she already showed him hers.

Their joint efforts probably serve to confuse the orca. It is young enough to not to weigh as much as a full-sized matriarch, survivor of many shark and seal battles. Those ones are halfway out into the sound, loudly circling and calling back their gutsy juvenile who clearly got stuck in a fisherman's tackle. Next time someone better not go after the easy ball of herring or netted fish. Clark shoves her along and the whale needn't much more to get moving in earnest. Enough to move from the shallows and then the full power of the gleaming black and white body becomes remarkably agile again. Off she goes to her pod like a cat out of a wet paperbag.

The young woman takes a fairly deep breath she needn't actually do. Breathing does not matter when she is made of light. Awkward revelations shall be made all the more when she shifts out of her immaterial form and ends up completely dry. Though she plays escort at the moment. "Looks happy."

"Yeah, I really hope so," Clark looks back, worriedly for a moment. He exhales and looks up at her and shrugs his shoulders. "Hey," he says, changing the subject. "Your power. It's really beautiful," he says matter of factly. It's an olive branch where Clark is trying to not make her feel awkward about something she should be proud of. He's not a mutant, but he is all about mutant rights.

Vesper flits very quickly when unbothered by concerns of regular motion. One moment she is ahead of Clark. The next few strides have her on shore. Remembering how to attain her flesh takes at least quadruple the time. Light simply melts down her body until only the ends of her hair glow and wave about languidly. It's unfair to be the dry one. Now she can get the towel without being stuck with sand all over. "I am sorry. I thought — you said run, and it was dangerous. People always shelter me because I've been sick. But this time…" Her explanation is off her tongue before she can stop herself. Thinking in mortal frames is also slow sometimes. "Headlights for a whale. You saved a whale! That is remarkable."

"I…" Clark stammers. "I didn't want you to know about my secret. No one really knows except for my family, really," he admits. He follows along and gets up out of the water, pulling to his full frame of six foot five. "I just hope he's going to be okay."

It ought to be said, in light form she's much taller than the physical form of Vesper. Their respective differences then are far smaller. Her hands skim over her perfectly dry hair and try to push the strands down. Of course the chances of that happening are next to null until she contains her thoughts. The skill for that comes hard even with help from one of the best.

Her gaze holds immense sympathy and the same kind of uneasy fear. "I am not sure what I saw. Easy then to forget and not try to hypothesize possibilities," says the brunette. Her French accent is all the stronger. Hands lifted in a surrendering gesture. "The whale looked good leaving. But you… are we okay?"

"I think so. I mean, do you think so?" Clark says as he reaches down to grab his erstwhile shirt on the sand. He uses it to dry his face which has the added benefit of shielding his eyes a bit, but he removes it soon enough and uses it to begin toweling off the opper part of his body.

She likewise can go fetch the towel, or her own shirt and hair-kerchief. Having a moment to compose herself proves invariably welcome, and she folds her shirt after lifting it. "I'd like to," says Vesper. Her head dips as she stares at her bare feet rather than delay too heavily on a conversation. "Together we have fun. You are like no one else I know here." Sea breezes ruffle her shirt in arms, squeezed in a tighter embrace. "How you have not run away in horror because of that is valuable. Je ne sais pas. What do you want, Clark? Are you troubled as I'm not simple?" Being a geneticist is, itself, significant. "Happy to be friends at a distance or something else?"

Clark gives a nervous laugh and then shrugs his shoulders sheepishly, kind of looking a bit dopey to be honest. "Really, I kind of already thought we were something else. I mean, don't go kissing all that many people." He pauses. "I realize France might be different," he adds quickly.

Oh, for the laissez-faire attitude of the French? They do not have the hangups in certain quarters. They do not panic when a skirt billows or an ankle flashes, or a gentleman has a certain focused look across a room. Vesper sighs behind her hand. "You are not mistaken. I thought so too. I've… not…" There goes the glow again, the semi-incandescent strands of her hair tilting into the violet end of the rainbow. She has all the subtlety of a psychedelic chameleon but at least he can read her moods as visibly as he likes. How many men get that benefit? Is she angry? Look for her turning infrared.

"The kissing. Not the… uh…" The ground can swallow her up now.

Clark smiles faintly at her, "These things make you unique. They don't make me like you less, they make me like you more." He reaches out to hold her hand if she'll let him.

The silence gutters any more statements made off the cough before they get awkward. Vesper should slide back into her shirt. They should go get the extra towel. Maybe the cheese and sandwiches are a good idea right now. But none of these things so much matter as holding the hand of a man jettisoned by fate to serve a greater destiny than either of them.

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