2008-01-17: Fox on Ice


Fox_icon.gif Mona_icon.gif Portia_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif

Summary: Mona holds Fox's hand as she goes ice-skating for the first time, and they meet up with Portia and Randall, discuss Fox's reading difficulties, and break into song

Date It Happened: January 17, 2008

Fox on Ice

Uptown, NYC - Central Park

She's not homeless! She's just Frisky! What's more, scarves are much more stylish a way to hide one's Adam's Apple than chokers. So with her happy new scarf, gloves, and even a black pair of skates, the young Mona has gone ice skating. All in all, she's enjoying herself, and for once doing something she doesn't suck at. A winner is she. It's not that crowded at the moment, so the few people that are there don't really have to worry about smacking into one another.

Fox walks through Central Park, wearing a heavy coat, knit cap, fingerless gloves, and sturdy boots. As she approaches the frozen pond, she pauses to watch the various individuals and couples that are taking advantage of it. After a minute or so, she moves closer to the ice, and looks around, wondering if there's someone renting skates nearby.

Cold weather or not, Portia is more than happy to wander through the park, guitar strapped to her back. She's actually quite happily playing with her new phone, though. She's finally gotten ahold of one of those keyboard-internetish phones, constantly checking it though there really isn't anyone who would call her.

Calling is so 2007. It's all about texting, these days, right? But Randall is doing neither; his phone is visible only as a clip protruding from a jacket pocket, as he wanders through the crowd as well, hands stuffed in pockets in lieu of a proper pair of gloves. "I keep expecting to see someone doing that barefoot," he says to himself as he looks out at the skaters making their rounds.

Mona sees, meanwhile, young Fox wandering next to the ice, and, hands behind her back, starts a slow, careful skate backwards, so she can keep up with the strolling girl,"You look a little lost. You, like, looking for something?" She pauses in her talking to do a little spin, then goes on,"Maybe I can, like, help you find it?"

"Oh, hi! I was just wondering if there was someone renting skates around here," Fox answers after pausing. "I've never skated before, and it looks like it would be fun to try." Seeing her own breath, she raises her hands to her mouth and cups them, then huffs into them to warm her nose a bit.

Portia does note the ice-skating as she tucks her phone away, her gaze shifting around. Well, a little too cold to play guitar now. At least, not til her fingers are warmer. She looks from the skaters outwards, noting Randall and stopping for a long moment, watching him.

Mona laughs softly, then nods and spins so she is skating forward as she talks,"Yeah. There's a guy renting them down this way. Just follow me." Her eyes flick to the girl with the guitar briefly, wondering if there might be music sometime soon. Regardless, she continues to skate away, wondering,"Not used to being in cold weather, or just like to watch your own breath? I, like, totally pretend I'm smoking, sometimes, when it's all, like, steamy."

Randall is content to remain on solid ground for the time being. "Hey," he offers to Portia, turning and glancing over at her after her faint shadow falls across his field of vision. "Haven't seen you around for a little while— how've you been?" The place where he saw her most often, he's been avoiding himself lately.

Portia glances back to Randall, clearing her throat a little. "I've been good. Just hanging in there, you know, the usual." She peers at him cautiously. "How are you? What brings you out here?"

"Thanks!", Fox replies to Mona, and begins following her along the edge of the frozen pond. "I was just warming my cold nose," she says in explanation. "Why would you pretend to be smoking? That's gross." As they approach the skate-rental person, she digs her left hand into her pants pocket, retrieving a $5 bill. "I hope it's not too expensive…"

Mona eventually points at the guy with his little cart full of skates. They're not particularly clean, but they're hardly diseased, either. "Good luck with that. I usually bring my own for that reason… Anyway, I might as well pretend… I don't actually like to smoke, and it's not like most dudes or chicks really dig me anyway. I'm not here to impress anyone, ya see."

"You're impressing me with your skating," Fox admits to Mona, before turning her attention to the skate-rental man and approaching him. After loosening her shoelaces, she tries on a couple pairs until she finds some that fit properly, and pays the man, and stashes her shoes in a convenient rack before venturing out onto the ice with some hesitation.

Randall nods absently to Portia before turning back to watch the skaters. He's leaning against what would be a bike rack if it weren't frozen into uselessness, letting his sleeves press against the rusty metal. "Needed to get some fresh air, and not where people are lining up to ask me for stuff all day long."

Portia glances over at the skating. "That's a good idea. The park's nice. You might be able to get some air, watch some skaters. Maybe you'll see some wildlife. Deer… bunnies… you know, that sort of thing." She just casually continues to gaze out at the skaters.

Mona chuckles to Fox as she waits,"Well thank you. To be fair, though, it's easier to impress someone when you aren't trying to charm your way into their pants, or at the very least, into a date. A lot easier to relax, you know? You go to school around here, then?" She wrinkles her nose, and holds out her hand,"Here… I'll help you… you don't look like you ice skate much…" She's self-absorbed enough to belief people are ALWAYS staring at her. So Portia and Randall's occasional looks are no bother.

Fox makes a face at the notion of someone wanting to get into someone else's pants. "Um, I guess…", she says if only to change the subject. "Yeah, I go to *** elementary, it's not far from here." Shaking her head, she reiterates, "No, I've never skated before." She smiles at the offer of a steady hand and takes it. "Thanks!" Her foot movements are still rather cautious, as she has difficulty keeping her balance; she waves her free hand wildly to try to steady herself.

"I'd expect more along the lines of squirrels collecting nuts," Randall answers, shaking his head as he continues to focus on Portia with his ears and the skating crowd with his eyes. "And maybe a couple grumpy old men coming out to ice-fish. Apparently, some guys are so into fishing that they don't even wait for it to thaw, you know? Bring a handsaw to cut a hole in the ice, and then try to pick up nightcrawlers while their hands are still freezing. Pretty nuts, too, if you ask me."

Mona rattles off the name of a rather expensive private school,"I go to High, myself. Personally, I think it's a great big joke. But then I, like, totally think it's all a joke anyway. Personally, I'd rather skate and, like, shop all day… It's much more fun." She frowns, though,"Slow it down… You wave your hand like that, you're going to throw off your balance, rather than help maintain it."

Portia tilts her head, listening to Randall while she still watches. People watching, after all. Nothing strange about that. "Yeah, I guess people are just strange like that. You know. Hunting after nightcrawlers like that and all. Some of them, though, if they go on like that they'll just stick their arm in real deep and it'll just freeze there and it'll get stuck. Never quite understood why someone would stick their hand in so deep like that.."

Fox heeds Mona's advice and improves her balance a little. She looks down at Mona's skates and tries to emulate the movements, but isn't as graceful about it. "I feel like a fish out of water," she says after nearly falling, having remained upright only because of her hold on her skating-companion's hand. "I can think of plenty of things I'd rather do than attend class too," she says in agreement.

Randall leans more heavily across the bike rack, crossing his arms and leaning the side of his head against them. "Some people are mentally divergent," he replies to Portia, sounding as serious as ever. "So you land that big recording contract yet?"

Portia shakes her head. "No.. not sure records really notice me. You know, you have to really get out there and stuff. I'm pretty much invisible." She taps her chin a little. "The Julliard program should help, though. Once I have the guts to get the signatures I need."

Mona chuckles and offers,"Well… you're, like, totally on TOP of the water, so you're technically /out/ of it. Um… don't try so hard. Just skate slow. And yeah… I cut classes when I can. I think I only pass 'cause my parents pay out the ass to make sure I do." She lifts a shoulder, and keeps skating, though now she starts to steer towards Portia… "I wanna look at that guitar."

Fox follows Mona's lead, not wanting to lose the hand of support. Adopting a better, more consistent rhythm to her foot movements, she manages to stay upright and moving in the direction she wants. "Don't they automatically suspend you if you cut too many classes?", she asks, curious. "I wish I could get away with skipping remedial English, it's…hard and embarrassing."

Randall smiles faintly at Portia; he'd be more enthusiastic about this news if it weren't for the weather wearing him down. Among other things. But his attention flits back over to Mona and Fox's conversation, as it comes close enough now for him to overhear. "Why are you in remedial English? Sounds like you speak it just fine to me."

Portia glances between Mona and Fox as they head over, and she thought she heard a mention of the guitar, but Randall's question catches her first. "English is okay. I'm pretty good at it myself."

Mona wonders of Fox out loud,"Seriously… you sound like you speak it really good, so is it, like, some sort of grammar thing or somethin'?" She finally reaches the edge of the ice with Fox in tow, noting as she does,"Only if you get caught." Then she's speaking to Portia,"So, like, what kind of guitar do you, like, play?" Curiousity almost always get the better of her.

Fox looks up to Randall, biting her lower lip in embarrassment for a moment. "I can't read well," she finally clarifies as she and Mona come to a stop at the edge of the ice. "That makes everything hard, except art. That's all I'm really good at, and the only class I like. When I read, I have to look at each word separately. It takes a really long time and everyone gets frustrated with me." She wipes her nose and buries her free hand in her coat pocket.

Portia looks over at Fox. "Gotta look at the sentences like little pieces of the bigger art project. Details, you know?" She then turns to Mona. "Acoustic stuff, mostly. I can play something if you'd like. I didn't think I'd go sit out and play since it was cold and I didn't think people would stop, but I wouldn't mind playing since I know someone'd probably listen, now.."

Randall inclines his head to Fox, responding more hesitantly than usual. "Did you just get a late start, or— There's a medical condition that switches letters around in your vision. Is that it?" Because there's obviously no lack of general intelligence.

Mona wrinkles her nose a little, and, after moving to guide Fox through a simple 'in-place' spin, settles her at a stand for the moment,"Oh, oh, oh! Do… um… Uh… Well… The Grudge wasn't really made for acoustic… hm… Do something catchy! Yeah!" She looks over at Randall, after a moment,"I dunno… it sounds like she just isn't good at reading." She looks back to Fox,"It's not, like, really a big deal, ya know?"

Fox shrugs to Randall. "Words look different each time I read them. That's the only way I know how to explain it. Numbers are like that, too. My sister said she'd try to help me. My dad…he just used to yell…" She pauses, deciding not to finish that particular sentence. "He didn't see things the way I do, I guess." She smiles after the spin Mona leads her into, then looks down at the ice again. "It's a big deal when people think you're stupid," she says softly.

Portia pulls her guitar around so she can play, glancing between Randall, Fox, and Mona. "Well, okay.. lets see here.." She tests the strings for a moment before she starts up a song. She figures Stairway to Heaven is pretty popular. At least, enough that some people would catch it. Randall should, at least!

GAME: Portia has rolled PERFORM+CREATIVE and got a result of GREAT.

Of course Randall catches it! Everyone from California is required to grok Zeppelin; it's a prerequisite for citizenship. Fewer people are able to remember the eclectic lyrics properly, but he manages that as well, deciding on the spur of the moment to find out just how well his voice is holding up under the chill.

GAME: Randall has rolled PERFORM and got a result of MEDIOCRE.

GAME: Mona has rolled PERFORM and got a result of GOOD.

Mona offers to Fox,"Oh, come on… all kinds of people think I'm stupid. That's hardly the worst thing they say about me. And I like, totally probably deserve it. Anyway, cheer up, kay…" And then, even as she mentally sends an electrochemical signal out through Fox's hand, she joins int he singing, though only the chorus. It's a very soft, and feminine sound, and very pleasant altogether. It's an all around feel-good moment.

Fox looks up at Mona when she tries to offer words of encouragement, but doesn't respond, because she doesn't want to interrupt the singing. Instead, she watches Portia's playing and just listens to the others.

Portia tries to warm her fingers up a little bit, which is slightly hampering her playing, but she's not too worried. She'll be able to warm them up enough. She continues the song, grinning as she gets singers joining in with it. She looks over to Fox, offering her a smile.

GAME: Portia has rolled PERFORM+CREATIVE and got a result of SUPERB.

GAME: Portia has rolled PERFORM+CREATIVE+CHARISMA and got a result of SUPERB.

GAME: Portia has rolled PERFORM+CREATIVE+CHARISMA and got a result of FANTASTIC.

GAME: Portia has rolled PERFORM+CREATIVE+CHARISMA and got a result of FANTASTIC.

Randall muddles through the familiar number as best he can, which turns out to be neither anything to write home about, nor anything to send one scrambling for a pair of earplugs. The multiplicity of impromptu participants does tend to smooth over the rougher edges.

Mona eventually finishes up, growing bored easily, and instead decides to give little Fox a confidence boost… in the form of a jolt of serotonin from her own brain. Idly, she wonders,"So… you some kind of musician or something?"

Portia grins as the song finishes. "Yeah, guess you could say I am. I try to be, at least." She smiles. "Gonna try and get more training for it. College stuff. Play concerts, things like that."

Fox lets go of Mona's hand to clap at the conclusion of the group performance. "You're good! I tried to learn to play an instrument once…but looking at sheet music makes me dizzy." Looking back down to her skates, she realizes she's balancing on her own, and ventures to make some small, controlled movements, propelling her in a rough circle.

Fadeout, it was getting late…

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