1965-07-23 - Thumbing a Ride
Summary: Julie, Elmo, and Sage pick up a mysterious hitchhiker.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
elmo sage eva julie 

The tang of salt is a freedom that is whispered from the sea. The scene drifting inland on the morning airstreams and telling of how close the coast is. It's four am and well past the devils hours. Things go bump in the night on their way to bed, or becasue they're the milkman who has to get up for their bottle clinking rounds. Tonight is no different from so many others. Clear skies allow witness to the heaves above and down here. Down here on terrra-firma there is just pools of darkness. A highway verge with fat grassy edges helps carve it way through the landscape towards the glow of orange and yellow ahead. A truckers stop still some two miles out.

In the darkness the moon lights the way in a minimal strip and sycle admist the stars. Walking along that road skirting is an outline in a hoodie; Eva. Dark clothing finds contrast taking it from black to duo tone as white pins stretch down into equally dark boots.

It's been a long night after a night at the dragstrip: the nearly-completed "Phantom Woodie," a very cherry-looking '38 Studebaker woodie on a more modern Ford chassis that Diz has been working on with the boys from the Gearhead Garage in Mutant Town. The cosmetics of this car were beautiful, when obtained, almost everything else, not exactly right at all. But now the frame is in some kind of line and better-welded, and a proper flathead mill rests between the front frame members. It's been a long way back, though, as stops have had to be made to repair hoses and fuel pumps and other problems that can crop up after new builds with used parts. For now, things are going well enough as the black woodie cruises up the coast road, only pop music playing at this hour, given the AM radio. But at least the night air's refreshing, the car vrooming up the highway comfortably. "Anyway, the girl driving said, "Bet she'd run fourteens with the right tires. Probably put too much stress on the test, though."

"Fourteens?" Here's the thing. Tessa keeps telling herself that she's going to read up on cars and car stuff. But… she's a science and math nerd at heart (and a few other disciplines too!) so more and more stuff keeps getting placed ahead of the car stuff. Besides, Diz probably wouldn't be happy with her if she didn't bring the Wyvern around for tuning up anymore. "I apologize, you're going to have to explain that one to me, I'm afraid."

Elmo's yawning in the shotgun seat, arm out the window with a lit cigarette burning down too fast in the wind. "Bet she would." He adds to Sage, "Quarter-mile times, like we were watchin'." Then he sits up from his slouch, seeing the white glimmer alongside the road. "There someone out there?" It's weird looking, almost like a pair of white legs walking along by themselves. Which, to be fair, wouldn't be the weirdest thing Elmo's ever seen.

The pace was simple and even. One booted foot after the other, in front of the other. Those walking legs just keep up thier pace until the race of the cyclinders a crank'n can be heard and she deviates that parallel path off the easy walked tar and into the grassy burn of the road. The angled sides of the ditch a determent to any vehicle. From the dark hoodie the face had half turned to hear the noise on the road behind her, but she'd not looked back. Slow and steady she keeps on her path, foot after foot as her hand slips out of the cosy warmth and shapes out into a thumb at her side. It juts out, a half hearted flash of white of attention and request as Eva keeps to the safety of the roadside burn.

Julie hrms, there, as the legs… and thumb, come into view. Says to Sage. "Well, optimistically, maybe, " Dizzy says, in that New York Italian accent of hers, "Just it's I don't miss shifts." This, she punctuates with a downshift, as she slows the vehicle to pull alongside the hitchhiking girl. "Looks like someone else had a long night, guess we better pick her up. Calls out. "Ay! Where ya headed? "

Elmo shifts to get a better look at Eva, curious and wary. Diz is driving, so she makes the call, but be sure if he doesn't like the look of the hitchhiker, he's going to kvetch about it all the way back to NYC.

"Ah. Thank you," Tessa says, her head dipping in Elmo's direction. She might keep putting off the car research, but at least she's interested enough to come see these sorts of things. And it is impressive, seeing what people can rouse their tinkered-with cars to do. At least to her it is. Fascinating, too. "Somewhere? Where?" Sage cranes her head, tugging off those pink-tinted glasses she really wears for no particular reason. Unusual, maybe. "I do think he's right," she says. Her own voice, a perfect Received Pronunciation accent, a stark contrast against Julie's voice. And in no time, Julie shows that she sees someone too.

Average. Normal. The sight doesn't say much save for the short jive dancers skirt. There had been a turn of head that hard hardly featured as movement because of the hoodies protective cover. Someone was guarding the night vision that the headlamps of the vehicle was doing its best to ruin. It is also the reason that instead of turning inwards, she turns about her shoulder to give the vehicle as much time to get the lights forward as possible before looking inside the vehicle. The natural resting face of perturbed puts on its best, casually friendly and not scowling look. "New York." there's the accent there, a born and bred but polished from somewhere else. The eyes slip across the trio, just taking them in and measuring the potential face value threat. "But thinking about grabbing an early breakfast at the stop ahead." Beneath the hood is a pale face with dark brows that help accentuate the perturbed look she's trying to cover up with a smile. Both hands were buried back into that pocket in her sweatshirt. Out of sight… out of mind?

Julie ahs, to Eva. "Kinda where all roads lead from here, hop on in, maybe we'll see if people feel like breakfast. Long night for us, already. Hop in though." There's not a whole lot of question, possibly a 'girls stick together' thing about it. "Get left behind or something? Broke down?"

Elmo's eyebrows go up as Eva becomes more visible. "You doin' okay?" he asks her, something about her attempt to look unperturbed perturbing him in turn. "Everythin' all right? Anybody's kneecaps we oughta break?"

Sage shifts in her seat. She knows too well the need to duck down and avoid notice. Avoid /specific/ notice, too. "Ducking inside would make you less easy to notice," she offers gently. Being reassuring isn't exactly her thing, but she knows how to try, at least. "Out on the road you're more noticeable, even at this hour."

"Thanks." Eva says to Julie, "Great wheels." she acknowledges, but that's as motorhead as she gets. "It's an old story. Me. A guy. Now some…" her hands come out of the pocket. Both empty as she mimes two hands seperating apart. "Distance needed. Nothing much more to say about save, I'm going to get my ass back to NY. So long as he doesn't come this way I figure he can keep his kneecaps." a vague and foggy truth. It is Sage's words that find her pausing, a surprised look at someone who 'gets it'. "Thanks." she says again. Getting on in she just considers the situation. Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Time will tell. "What is the attraction for you all in NY?"

Julie smirks, tossing the car into gear and returning to speed smoothly. "All the sunny personalities," she winks. "Ain't exactly endless summer, but I got people here. And the world kinda comes to us." She hrms a bit at something. "Think I'm just gonna make a couple trick accessory brackets for this, think the old stuff's fatigued or something," she comments to Elmo.

"Some of us were born there and even live there on purpose," Elmo says, and his own accent gives him away—he can't be anything else than a New York Jew. Some people leave New York a while, come back, but not him, he's got the classic accent at full strength. He glances in the rearview at the women, but replies to Diz, "Be surprised if it wasn't, to be real honest with you. Better safe, right?"

"An old friend roped me into being responsible for teenagers," Sage says matter-of-factly. "Apparently I just scream 'teacher'." In that no-nonsense, English boarding school way, no doubt. "And well. Someone needs to make sure she stays out of trouble." One hand gestures towards Julie, and Sage shuffles to one side to make room so Eva can get in.

There isn't much to be seen in the rearview. Hint of white hair, but nothing too definitive. Probaly not natural considering the dark eyebrows. "Yeah, those sunny personalities." she half chuffs and half snorts. "Still, aint no where else like New York." she says. It was just the once she looked back over her shoulder. Twisting up enough to stare out the rear window to check she wasn't being followed. As much as the 'vague truth' had been shared, there were still worries back there. Shaking off that uncomfortable feeling she turns to look at the teacher. A double take is given to Sage. "Whoever said that has got it wrong. You look too cool a cat to be a teacher. The clothes might help with the image, but that can be fixed." She settles into the gap created by Sage before looking back to who's been pointed at. "Got any favourite subjects that help you like teaching?"

Julie just smirks back that way, "Hey, you could be surprised who's a teacher, that way." She smirks back to Sage, there. "Speaking of New York, anyone interested in that breakfast idea, or should we push on into town? Ain't like there ain't places there."

Elmo, noticing Eva turn around to look out the back, does too, and checks every mirror. "Let's keep going," he says, casual-like, but his body language has gone tense. "Enough breakfast in the city."

Sage lifts an eyebrow. "I look cool?" Her expression briefly registers 'hunh', before reverting to normal. "I wouldn't object to breakfast of some kind." A look to Eva. "Perhaps because Americans associate my accent with a school's headmistress? I'd blame Hollywood if I was truly offended."

There's a soft groan from Eva. Did Eva just accidently insult Julie? A quick look at the hot-rod enthusiast provides no insight. "True, teachers can come in all shapes and shades of cool." she acknowledges trying to patch the hole she may, or may not have dug herself.

This late at night, there is only starlight to be seen along the road and in each of the mirrors. If anything is following, it doesn't have it's lights on.

"I did notice the accent, I figured it was from up Canada someway." Eva admits, showing a lack of skill at placing accents." I'm not hungry if that helps with the vote to stop or go." Cold-ish and warming up fast in the confines of the vehcle. Just the mention of stopping found her again looking backward. "Do you guys have an handles. You know, names?"

If there's anyone following, as it happens, Dizzy wouldn't need their lights to know it, unless perhaps they were on hsupernatural horseback. She's listening to the music of this vehicle, herself, perhaps with a critical ear, at this point. "Oh, ah, I'm Dizzy, this is Mo, and Tessa. We'll maybe stop in town somewheres, then, and call it an all-nighter."

"ELmo," says the short guy in the colorful suit, wry. "Sometimes people call me Sparkplug. How about you?" Eva though Tessa's posh accent is…Canadian? He's puzzled by that, clearly, but doesn't mention it. Hey, it's not his job to figure it out.

Sage has been called worse! "No, not Canadian I'm afraid. I've never been." The glasses get put back on and pushed up at least twice as they continue. "I teach a lot of optional courses. Beginner's psychology and sociology," since it's just a high school, really, "biology and mathematics if need be. I'm instructing a few student in self-defense after classes, as well." She nods twice as she's dubbed Tessa. "Some of my students have taken on calling me 'Sage', but Tessa is quite all right."

"Good to meet ya all."

"I'm Eve." Eva responds. Close enough to be truth, far enough of a lie to distance herself a mite from an easy ident-i-kit by police. "Nice to meet you all. Town would be great, the bus terminal even better if we swing nearby it."

Eva sinks into the carseat, checking to see if the leather can swallow her up and hide her away as Sage starts talking high-end ed-u-ma-cation. "Those are some impressive courses." the perturbed look is back as she stares out the window. "Can't say school and me got on. " she chews on the cheek at the lost opportunities. "Are you all in her classes?" the question sounds like a iq check as she shifts uncomfortably in her seat.

Julie smirks, "Ah, kinda. I just teach shop, but she's got your sagacities if you're working on real engineering math. Anyway, you don't wanna be at the bus terminal, this hour. Everything you'd tell your Mama about is shut down around there, but I know this place on Radio Row that'll be open, we kill a bit of time, you can walk from there, how bout?"

Elmo agrees with Julie, saying, "C'mon, I'd feel pretty bad about leavin' you at the terminal middle of the night." He snorts at the question if they're Tessa's students. "Me, nah, I ain't smart enough for that psychology." But he doesn't take offense to being assumed to be a high school student. He looks young enough for it, even if he dresses funny. "Math, yeah, the rest of it? Not so much." He's not exactly relaxed, maybe he never is, but he's decided if someone really is following Eva, it's not like him and Julie can't handle it.

Rather than be judgemental, Sage nods in understanding at Eva. "School is… difficult for some people. It's a problem. Not everyone learns at the same pace or in the same way. I wish there was a way to make it easy for someone, but I have no real ideas, other than one-on-one education, and on a large scale that's just no feasible." Julie's suggestion is met with a nod. "My schedule is your schedule. I have no objections."

There is a look towards the horizon. Someone was trying to esitmate dawn and the time from how the fringes were 'lightening'. "My single talent is making mixers. Drinks with a twist. That's about it. It isn't exactly on the average school's cirruculim." Eva admits not really ready to make eye contact with anyone in the car. Her hand shifts back into the hoodie pocket, rubbing a nickle and dime together. "And yeah, I know the area you're talking about. That works too. I just gotta be back by eight. I got someone to meet." It's the first full truth of the night and saying it just leaves her feeling old and tired. "Hey, have I gotten to my hundredth thank you yet for the ride? I've never been in anything with lines like this. I am super grateful."

Julie nods, "Ah, forget about it. Anyway, this place does pretty good fried eggs." She eyes a racer's watch worn on the inside of her wrist: it's somewhat oversized on her. "I figure you'll make it fine. Moving on from here, I guess?"

A little notebook appears in Tessa's hands. Probbly from a jacket pocket, and she scribbles down a few things before tearing the paper out and passing it onto Eva. Their names. Phone number. And the address for the school they teach at. "I realize we are essentially strangers… -however- should you find yourself needing help…"

"No. I am stuck here for the next few years." Eva admits and it helps explain ther perturbed look lending itself towards a scowl. "Family." she blames as if that says enough.

It is Sage that surprises her.

That. That… does not happen every day. The piece of paper is taken by a hand belated in moving as it was pushed towards her. "Thanks. I'm a born survivor. I think we all are in this city." Eva admits with a grin. "The land lady doesn't have a phone so I can't share a number." No, just a scheeching voice that *feels* like it could reach across the city. "But if you ever need help you can find me at the Opal Room catching the jive." the nose wrinkles a little. "Help as in mixing a decent drink or something. " For example; an alabi for non police entities.

Julie smirks. "Well, maybe we'll drop in some time." Accelerates a bit as the road straightens again. "Must meet a lotta people keeping bar, anyway. Fancy place like that?"{

"Oh, I didn't get a job there. I just… jive." Eva considers the right word. "Money comes from the odd jobs to make ends meet." she looks back through the rear window sub consiously.

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