2010-05-29: It's A Beautiful Life



Date: May 29th, 2010


In the most romantic city in the world.

"It's A Beautiful Life"

Hotel, Paris

It's time to forget about the past
To wash away what happened last

Drip. Drip. Drip. The water falls softly into the tub, one of the handles turned just enough so that the faucet isn't qutie completely closed. The steady sound of liquid dropping against the bottom of the large bathtub provides an almost relaxing sound for the bathroom's sole occupant, a man sitting on the edge of the tub itself. Hands grip both sides of unit, eyes pointed at the floor. A soft light emanates from the flourescent over the sink, the glow just enough to light up Peter's features. There are several other lights he could turn on in the room, but he chooses to stay how he is.

Not happy…

"Not happy…" his voice is low, rough, barely there at all. He shifts a bit on the side of the tub, hands gripping the edges harder. The drip becomes louder and louder until it seems to fill the room, the only sound against the otherwise dark, silent room. He shifts again, eyes moving up to the mirror, his posture and position in a good enough position so he can see his head reflecting back at him. His eyes stare back, and he shakes his head, trying to clear himself of his thoughts, trying to shake the darkness forming in the back of his head, a voice that's constantly tugging at him. "Someone else?"

//… Someone else… //

"Anybody in there anymore?"

This voice is not in his head, or even in the bathroom with him, but is feminine and accompanied by Daphne rapping several times on the closed door with her knuckles. Just before and after, the muffled sound of rattling blinds signifies the speedster moving about in the hotel room beyond, unable to simply hold and wait for an answer. "What are you doing, fixing your hair? I'm telling you, it's fine already." Further away, the outside chatter continues, playful but with a tinge of exasperation that's been somewhat creeping in the last couple of days. Not enough for her not to be enjoying herself, but the right amount to suggest she's got something on her mind.

For now, however, it's only the rustle of something in bags, the on-again, right off-again switch of the television where a newscaster barely gets to get a word out before he's determined to be too boring. "Come on, Peter," she tempts again after a moment, the second half of which raises in volume to suggest she's appeared in front of the door once more. Teasing, provoking: "Try on these new sunglasses I lifted for you~"

Someone else.

"Yeah!" Peter says, startled out of his own thoughts by the sharp rapping against the door. He stands from the edge of the bathtub, reaching over and turning the faucet handle the rest of the way, making sure it's tight enough to prevent any further dripping into the bathtub. While the sound may have been relaxing earlier, a steady reminder of time ticking away, there isn't a need to waste water where it can be avoided.

"Just washing my face," Peter replies to Daphne, moving over to the sink and splashing a few scoops of water onto his features. Grabbing a nearby towel, he dries his face off as he opens the door to the other room. "I wasn't feeling very well," he explains, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips as he looks at her. "I feel better now, though." The towel is tossed onto a nearby chair, one of the few littered scattered about the expensive hotel room. The bed shows sign of use, and the general feel of the room is that it's definitely been inhabited for quite some time— whether housekeeping hasn't made it yet today, or they have a Do Not Distrub sign up is anybody's guess.

Turning back to Daphne, there's another half-tug at his lips, and a hand moves up to brush a stray strand of hair behind Daphne's ear. "What'd you get me?"

Leaning against the left side of the doorway, she's there when he exits, eyes rolling to follow his movement and — briefly — that of the towel thrown. Daphne's quick to straighten, raising aviators pinched between her fingers to nestle them rightfully onto his nose when he comes close enough to do so. "These," she clarifies unnecessarily, flicking a random finger against the glasses once they're perched and leaning back to tilt her head for an intent examination.

For her own self, Daphne looks as though she's belonged in Europe all of her life, fully embracing the dress code of colorful layers, the tight-fitting khakis, hats and bracelets. The latter of each jangle excitedly as she wiggles her hands back and forth in neutral approval of Peter's new look behind tinted lens. Behind her, other things: a few more items to be arranged out on the room table, suspiciously lacking in the bags they should've come in when purchased. She's also lit a candle, and the vanilla scent has already taken over a portion of the room beyond.

"You remember, right," is the casually posed and yet pointed look she gives him, "The first time we met." Pause. A tiny, tiny pause. Then she tugs out her lower lip challengingly, "Well? Aren't you going to ask me where I got them?"

Peter allows the sunglasses to be slipped onto his nose, the wide lenses of the aviator's… not clashing with his features. In fact, he does look kind of cool in them, he thinks, as he turns to a nearby mirror hanging on the wall. Studying himself, he tiltss his head back and forth before he turns back to Daphne, eyes moving behind the sunglasses to check out everything else she's brought home. "I remember," he says, turning his gaze back to her, aviators glasses glinting in the sunlight from outside. "How could I forget?" He pulls the sunglasses off to examine them from behind, before slipping them back on again. "Not bad," he says, but he does turn his head to give her a once over. With a small smirk, he can't help but rib her. "Certainly not as good as you look, though."

A quick kiss is planted on the speedster's lips before he moves beyond her, taking her hand and heading over to a balcony and stepping out into the sunlight, the sunny skies above clear as can be. A small murmur of people can be heard from the pool far below on the ground floor, but it is nowhere near loud enough to disturb the two of them. "So, where did you get them?"

Bemusedly she watches him check himself out, but the cause for Daphne's watchful gaze is something more related to what they're saying to each other, even as she makes it all seem as light-hearted as can be. To his assurance, she doesn't appear completely mollified until he turns the statement around on her. "Oh ho ho, always so— " So something that doesn't matter when they're kissing, instead, because she's lost the sentence by even the short time when he pulls away and leads them off.

Letting herself be wandered to the balcony, the speedster swings her free arm stubbornly, eventually landing it on the railing overlooking their grand view. People out and about below mean nothing to her as she twists away, staring out at the sunlight-bright sky, her chin elevated haughtily as she tests the bond of their hand-holding with her movement. "I stole them," she announces unabashedly, glancing with a sharp jerk of her head along her shoulder at him for his instantaneous reaction before she quickly looks away again as though unaffected. As if this wasn't pushing the envelope enough, she continues, bolder and bolder spoken — and in that way, slightly more purposeful and slightly less truthful, perhaps — "Off an old guy's face. While he was kissing his grandchildren goodbye."

Leaning against the rail along the balcony, Peter stretches himself out slightly so he can look over the edge, studying the trip to the bottom. It isn't for any particular reason, but more something to do while he stands out in the sun. Turning slightly so he can look at Daphne while he continues to lean on the rail with one arm, he reaches up and pulls the sunglasses off. He squints in the light of the sun, but his eyes grow accustomed to it quickly so he's able to talk without squinting at her the entire time.

"Right off of his face?" he says, twirling the sunglasses in his fingers. He looks at them, the sun reflecting rpaidly with every spin of the glasses. His brow furrows, eyebrows creasing together as he takes in the news, still rapidly spinning the sunglasses before he pushes them back onto his nose. "Maybe I should have you arrested," he says, eyes unreadable behind the glasses, but if the smile pulling at his lips is any indication, he's clearly joking.

"Right off his face," Daphne repeats helpfully for him, this time spinning around to really get a look at the reaction, one eye and side of her mouth scrunched suspiciously to the side as she investigates those well-placed glasses, that tip of the iceberg smile. As soon as she sees it, she pounces, waving a finger at his bemused face with an upset that would more suggest he'd actually been annoyed at her. "Oh! Oh you're not even serious," she accuses, hands flying her forehead as she takes a step away on the balcony. It seems a strange thing to be hung up on, but her face is instantly troubled as the charade drops.

"No chastising, no… white knightery— you haven't left my side to save a single civilian. We've had this… this fantastic month in romantic Paris," even as she says it, Daphne seems to want to cling to the image; it's likely the denial that's been carrying her through the last couple of weeks. But, shaking her head and those strands of too-blonde hair, she focuses. "I feel like Lois Lane finally getting her wish and realizing it's wrong. Or… or not wrong, exactly."

Daphne's never been one to be aces at expressing her emotions, and she hesitates and eyeballs the floor enough to keep this true. Finally, though, looking bashful for her outburst, she takes a step towards him and levels, a guilty, wholly vulnerable, look in her eye: "I keep feeling like… like you're about to tell me this really terrible news. And all this — this amazing time — has just been to cushion the awful blow."

Can you really be someone else if you wanted to?

Peter continues to look out at the beautiful view in front of them, and it is unfortunate that he is unable to really take it in and appreciate what he's seeing. Like Daphne says, all this time with her, no chastising, white knightery, no rushing off to save the innocent… no being or doing what really makes him Peter.

But it isn't just to cushion some awful blow. There are many reasons they are here, but to simply break up with her after an amazing time spent together? That's definitely not it. Pushing off of the balcony with both hands, Peter turns back to the room, but takes his time to draw two of his fingers along Daphne's jawline, culminating in a brush of them against her lips. "There's no awful, soul-crushing blow at the end of this for you," he says, unable to help the slight frown that's beginning to form across his features. Whether of sorrow, confusion, or something else altogether isn't known. "I'm still not feeling well," he says, managing to smile at her even as he puts a hand to his forehead. "I think I might take a shower.. that should help." He leans forward, lips touching hers for the briefest moment before he's pulling away again. He pulls the sunglasses off of his nose and slides them onto hers— even though she already has a pair pushed up over her forehead, the additional, oversized pair lend well to giving her a fairly comedic appearance. He smirks at her and begins moving towards the bathroom. "Don't worry, alright?" he calls back, turning around to smile again.

A wavering, hopeful sort of tug urges Daphne's lips to smile even when she doesn't quite feel like it. Baring her insecurities has always been difficult, especially when a less patient person might get sick of hearing the same ones… take off. But she does smile, a little, at the brush of his touch. "Good," she manages to quip back, "Cause you know how unnecessary I feel soul-crushing is." When he frowns, though, she vaguely mimics him, reaching up a hand to meet his own at his forehead, though he's able to once again distract her with that hint of affection. Oddly, it's her own forehead she goes to touch when he's pulled away, the fingers then trailing to rub at the tip of her nose. The sunglasses are slid into place during her distraction, effectively knocking her out of it and putting her eyes on him, wondering.

Sure… sure… he doesn't feel good. So why would he want to hover close and risk spreading something… but…

Unable to see how comical she might look, Daphne's face is yet concerned as she watches him walk away and her arms come to cross each other as if it were cold outside in the sunlight instead of gorgeous. After a second, a fierce shake of her head to chastise herself, she calls inwards, "Hey, I'm not worried or anything but… I'll go get you something. You know, just in case." Movement helps; it keeps her mind on the important things — like running, as she does so out of the room once more to get her ailing boyfriend something reassuring.

"If you're not happy with who you are," Angela says…

It isn't long before the sound of spraying water is heard int he bathroom— the telltale sign that the shower is running. Hot water falls on empty air, however, hitting the bottom of the bathtub and finding its way down the drain. Peter stands at the sink, each hand gripping the edge tightly, his knuckles white. He looks up at himself, steam from the hot shower blurring his features on the mirror. He reaches a hand out, angrily smearing the condensation off of the glass as he continues to look at himself.

Even without the steam, something strange begins to happen… his features begin to bubble and contort, as if his face were literally sliding off… instead of going anywhere, though, it begins to rearrange itself, features melding together, hair growing longer, nose extending a bit from his face. Thick eyebrows over dark eyes, the eyes of a man who was once a murderer, a man who lost his way and then lost the thing most important to him.


Gabriel Gray.

He watches himself for a few moments, ears turned slightly to make sure that Daphne is, in fact, actually gone. Satisfied, he turns away from the mirror, resting up against the edge of the sink as he crosses his arms, clearly lost in his own thoughts. He feels perfectly fine— whatever medicine Daphne gets isn't going to do a thing. It's his own dark thoughts, his own emotional confusion, his own crisis of self he's having that's weighing him down. He doesn't know how much longer he can keep this up— and he has absolutely no idea where it's heading. What was a spur of the moment decision— no, reaction, more than anything— to get revenge has turned into weeks staying in Paris with the girlfriend of someone he wanted to hurt. Where's he going with this? He doesn't even know himself. All he knows is that for now he has to keep it up, make her continue to believe. Until he can figure out what he wants to do… or who he wants to be.

"… how would you like to be someone else?"

Hide behind an empty face
Don't ask too much, just say
'Cause this is just a game

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