2007-08-23: On Her Toes


Portia_icon.gif Rafe_icon.gif

Summary: Portia runs into Rafe again. They talk about music, the end of the world, and eating. Which may be exaggerated.

Date It Happened: August 23rd, 2007

On Her Toes

Times Square, New York City

There is not a lot of quiet to be found in the midday bustle of Times Square, traffic both vehicular and pedestrian rushing from one place to the next, venders hawking their goods, panhandlers begging for change, tourists pausing in inconvenient locations on the sidewalks to snap photographs, buskers playing their music wherever they can grab a decent corner. Rafe is in that last category, today: the boy stands at the side of a building, saxophone case open in front of him with a desultory scattering of change and bills spread in it. The tune he plays is lively, cheerfully jazzy — still, no matter how good the performer, it is hard to draw busy New Yorkers out of the rush of their lives long enough to listen. A few people slow, but most pass him by — not that he seems to care, attention focused mostly just on the instrument in his hands.

It seems that Portia is on her way to pick up school supplies. Really, though, she's just looking for an excuse to get out. However, hearing the music, the girl heads over close, reminded again of when she met the boy in the park. She'd never heard him play, though, so the teen settles down on a nearby bench to watch and listen, a smile on her face.

The music continues, nimble fingers working over the keys. For a while, Rafe's eyes stay closed, the music pulling his focus away from the rest of the world, but at length he looks up, dark eyes locking onto Portia as she listens. The tune continues a few more bars — and then cuts off abruptly, lively music halting as he lowers the horn to hang from its shoulder-strap. "You!" As greetings go, it isn't the most mannerly, true; but he seems cheerful enough about it. He rocks forward onto his toes, squinting at Portia curiously.

The greeting causes a laugh from Portia as she glances back over. "Well, hello again." She offers cheerfully, glancing at his case. "You seem to be doing well with the music, there."

"The music is doing okay with me," Rafe replies brightly, looking down at his saxophone and then back up at Portia. "Where did yours go?"

A laugh. "My guitar's safe at home. I've still got some here, though." Portia points at her throat. "You're pretty good. You know that? You should join a band. Make music all the time."

"I'd need to know other people to join a band. I don't know any." Rafe's brow creases briefly at this, but the expression smoothes out quickly into another smile. "I make music all the time! Just, sometimes nobody else hears it but me. — Do you keep a /lot/ of music in there?" Rafe takes a half-step closer to Portia, peering intently at her throat, but doesn't come any closer — on the busy New York sidewalk, half his attention lingers on his open saxophone case that he does not want to move away from.

Moving over closer to allow him not to leave his case, Portia offers a grin. "Yup. Lots of music in there. And music up here." She taps her head. "It's always going. And you know me! That makes two people who know music well. We could get one more person or two and then we could have our own band."

"I know you?" Rafe sounds surprised by this, and his eyebrows lift high to disappear beneath his fringe of shaggy dark hair. "Oh, wow! I guess I do. Do you know me, though?" His lips press together, expression abruptly puzzled as he ponders this.

"Maybe I do. Maybe just a little." Portia states. She likes his weird way of looking at things. "It takes a while to really 'know' someone though, I guess."

"I don't think /I/ even know me. It takes a long time. Long time." Rafe rocks slowly from heel to toe and back, and then crouches by his saxophone case to put his instrument away. "We don't have a long time. The world's ending, you know."

"I don't know about that. The world may go downhill, but I don't think it'll just /end/. Not for a long, long while." Portia states, eyeing Rafe carefully. He's starting to sound a bit like her mother. Desiree was talking about the storm all the time, though it wasn't quite 'rar the world is ending'.

"My world's going uphill," Rafe informs Portia with a swift flash of a grin, something in his smile not entirely — sane. "And sideways. Downhill's too easy. /Besides/, all you get if you go /down/ is Jersey. I'd take the end of the world over that any day."

That she likes. He was positive. Going uphill. Portia grins at his words, even if they were a little less than sane at times. She still thinks he's interesting enough to hang around. His words always made her think on her feet. She liked that. "You're right. End of the world does kind of look inviting when you compare it to Jersey." She laughs a little. "Alright, alright, you win."

"Do I get a prize?" Rafe's fingers curl into a loose fist, and when he uncurls them there's a tiny gold trophy resting on his palm. "I don't have anywhere to keep prizes. Need shelves. Need a house." He snaps his case shut with one hand, picking it up as he gets back to his feet. His other hand still holds the miniature trophy, carefully, as if it is very valuable. "Winning's kinda overrated. It doesn't get you /dinner/."

"How do you know it doesn't get you dinner?" Portia asks, peering back at him. "We could get dinner. You look hungry anyways." She offers, cheerful as ever.

"/Does/ it?" Rafe brightens, bouncing on his toes. "I should win more often!" He pivots on the heels of his shabby sneakers, bright eyes scanning the multitude of stores around Times Square. "I haven't eaten in about /seventeen thousand years/."*

*may be an exaggeration.

The teen grins at the idea, then nods. "Sure! Dinner's alright. Just pick a place and we'll go. My treat." Portia insists, glancing around. "Seventeen thousand years is a long time to go without eating. So.. pick a place!"

Rafe's method of picking a dinner location is highly unscientific: he spins around in place, and points at random once he's stopped — in New York City, it's a given that if you walk in any direction long enough you'll hit somewhere to eat. "Over there!" he decides cheerfully. "If you get dinner, I'll get ice cream for dessert." With this proclamation, he is off, steps light and bouncy as he makes his way through the busy sidewalk in search of food.

"Ice cream sounds wonderful." Portia grins, nodding as he points in the random direction. "Alright. That's a good place to eat, I'm sure!" She follows after him, content that the simple act of having a meal and ice cream was in store.

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