2010-06-28: Paradise In Trouble



Date: June 28th, 2010


This vacation sucks.

"Paradise in Trouble"


Under a blue sky as vivid as the waters below it, people of all sorts are already coming and going in the sun — and it's only morning. There's just not enough time in the day to soak up paradise. That's what it looks like: paradise. Near one of the most lavish resorts, a spread of small, colorful huts topped in line a walkway by a pale sandy beach with a backdrop of lush green. At the end of the walkway is a pier, the home to a few expensive boats.


Or is that… Paradise, Trouble In.

Amidst the people who stroll the walkway — tourists and islanders alike — is a woman who has been keeping to herself. The tall blonde in the white bikini, oversized black shades, and loosely worn, colorful patterned kimono styled robe as an cover-up to the swimsuit weaves amongst the small crowd. Gotta blend in, and around here, that's colorful and carefree — just someone enjoying paradise. Truly, the displaced ice queen is very much on watch. She slides scrumptiously onto a stool of a small hut with a straw roof; by night, a bar, by morning, a juice bar. She idly orders something off the menu and watches along the length of the walkway — to the pier, where the boats are.


This is something that the man of the hour doesn't particularly care to be. But, there are some times that a man must go off and do things on his own. A time when a man must be one with himself and the water and the big ass boat that cost him more money than he actually could afford to spend. But hey, when you're as charming as this fellow is… negotiations tend to run very, very smoothly.

Ivory Wynn is the man in question and he steps up and onto the deck of his boat. Which, for the record, happens to be the second biggest in the pier. He stretches, looking around and just kind of enjoys the sun for the moment. He's got a big smile on his face, cool shades and is definitely not wearing a shirt. Who wears a shirt in Fiji? Really!

Every now and then, Tracy catches a glimpse, from down the way, of Ivory on the boat. But at this distance, she can't be sure it's him, but the boat… the boat she seems to recognize, lifting her shades to narrow blue eyes at the name she can just barely see scrawled across it. The shades drop back down, and she spends awhile — now with a tall glass of something pink in front of her, garnished with lime and cherries, paying it little mind save to twirl its red straw — watching and waiting to see if the figure on the boat will come or go.

When he doesn't — not fast enough to satisfy her need-to-know — Tracy stands up and meanders away from the juice bar, leaving her drink where it is without concern. She keeps close to the various huts along the walkway, ducking in and pretending to be browsing whatever they offer every so often. After living as a fugitive, she's more than a little familiar with being cautious. At the very last little building before the pier, she stands just barely out of sight, glancing around a wooden pole wrapped with lovely white and yellow flowers.

Stretching. Waltzing. Chillin'. It all seems to be the same to Ivory, since he's paying no attention to anything in particular. He's mostly got his back to civilization, as he's more interested in peering out at the water and things of that nature. It's a beautiful view, that's for sure. Somewhere in the midst of enjoying the view, Ivory catches a glimpse of his watch, which is just blinging like crazy in the light of the sun. Frown.

As he heads off for the inside of the boat of awesome, he doesn't come back out for a few moments. In fact, if one is paying attention, they'll realize that the boat has been started up. Ivory does slide back out, for a brief moment, to grab the rope tying the boat off and drops it down onto the deck. But, just as quickly as he does that, he's back down below, so that he can get his driving on.

By this time, Tracy is sure, without even a shadow of doubt, that she's found Ivory Wynn, as he lives and breathes.

After Ivory disappears below deck, Tracy — looking around the wooden support pole — pulls her sunglasses off and narrows her eyes exactingly on the boat that's about to take the waters. She nods her head once to herself — and grins. "Bingo."

Braving the open, Tracy walks across the wooden-slatted path toward the beach. As her bare feet whisk through the sand, she drops her robe; it slides down her body onto the beach halfway to the water. Her sunglasses land on top of the silky fabric. She wades into the beautiful ocean and, once she's far enough, she dives forward and disappears under the gentle waves.

Nobody on the beach really notices that she doesn't come back up.


The corner of the resort and its lovely beach is becoming more and more a memory as Ivory's boat moves further out to sea. On deck, there's a sudden splash.

Ivory is paying no attention to anything that may or may not splash on the deck. That's kind of what happens when you're driving a boat… THROUGH WATER. Things splash. Water flows. All of that kind of stuff. Which is why Ivory is focused on making sure that boat is headed off towards the horizon. He can hardly even see the resort anymore. Not that he cares.

Tis, at this point, when Ivory decides something to drink is in order. He just kind of sets the boat on Cruise, whilst he moves away from the controls and off towards the wet bar (ha!), so that he can make himself something delicious to drink. And alcoholic.

The second Ivory goes below deck, a stray puddle of water — not so stray at all — moves toward the door to the cabin. It reforms upwards with a force of its own, swirling into the shape of legs, of a body — of Tracy. The door swings open, and in it, the silhouette of a woman and a rush of cool ocean breeze. Tracy is barely recognizable. The dynamic, watery figure takes on a blueish hue, starting to freeze as she stands there, barely human. Her voice, on the other hand… "Miss me this time?"

Behind her, the bright sun high in the morning sky just starts to be edged out by an ominous dark shape.

Ivory is in the middle of fixing his drink, not really worried about anything. In fact, he's having too much fun with the whistling to actually know what in the hell is going on behind him. He's just about to bring the drink up to his lips when he hears a voice and whirls around. Nobody else was on the boat but him. This is not good.

"The f—!"

His glass chatters against the floor, effectively censoring his bad language. What a coincidence. Though, he's not quite sure what in the heck he's looking it, but he does know its female. And he does recognize the voice.

"What? Trac— what the hell?!"

Yeah. This is not good.

A wash of water left behind freezes on deck in a thin sheet of ice and the small doorway even crackles as everything around Tracy becomes cold. The figure takes a step down, forming into a more recognizable shape as she does — the water and ice is slowly replaced by bare expanses of skin, the white fabric of a bikini, and long, wet blonde hair. But what moisture would cling to her skin is crystallized, frozen. While her eyes aren't frozen, her gaze is certainly cold. Nothing but cold hate. "Did you think I wasn't gonna find out, Ivory?" A humourless laugh. "Find you?" Her voice and her body is full of warning as she steps down onto the last step. "I know what you've been up to."

Up above, the sun darkens more thanks to the solar eclipse — but not enough, yet, to mar the bright blue sky.

The whirr of an engine sounds in the distance.

"What the hell? What're you talkin' about?! Find out what?!"

Ivory is freaking out here. Just because he, well, is a little freaked out by the fact that he's being haunted by some crazy blonde chick of unimaginable power. He just kind of stares at her, holding his hands up… but then he realizes they might be too close and drops them back down. His feet get to backtracking though.

"Look, I don't know what the hell you're doin' here. But this is private property. If you don't get off my boat…" He'll what? Call the police? Yeah, that'll go over well. Ivory is so screwed right about now.

"You'll what." Tracy knows she's in control here. For once. She takes that last step down. "You know exactly what I'm talking about, just the same way you knew in the elevator," she insists with the utmost conviction. It takes no effort at all to muster up the bitterness. It's right there at the surface of her cold skin. She stands still — not going so far as to approach him — and only looms with all her anger focused on Ivory, every muscle tense. "What happened, you couldn't just live and let live?"

The sound of the engine outside becomes not-so-distant, the dull roar becoming louder. The boat sways side to side, angrily churning water outside it causing it to rock.

"I don't know what you're talking about!" Vehement Denial is the best way to stay alive, here. At least, that's what Ivory's hoping. He doesn't seem to look like he even knows what's happening. "Look, I don't know what has you all upset, but it's not me. I don't do anything to anybody. I own a strip club, for cryin' out loud! Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I went from Senator to seedy club owner in less than a year. And you're pissed off?" Ivory actually takes a step towards her. Challenging. "You! You're the one who turned on ME!"

Of course she's 'pissed off'! "I didn't do anything to you," Tracy all but spits out. It seems to be a challenge for her to keep her ground and stay where she is, at a distance — but it's out of anger, not attraction. The noise outside garners her attention, barely — she glances sidelong, but her gaze whips right back to the ex-Senator.

"You— USED me. You manipulated me for your own purposes! Then you reappear out've nowhere and what, you're trying to blackmail me? Ruin my life?" The woman's brow furrows and her expression veers from pure anger into a pleading sort of wonder — with a side of disgusted. "For what. Why?" she asks flippantly, masking half the sincerity. "I was trying to get my life back. I couldn't just let it go!"

So she comes out here in the middle of the ocean and… does what?

Ivory's boat rocks hard to one side, and Tracy goes stumbling with it, grabbing on to a cupboard to keep upright.

There's a definite thump above deck that sounds mysteriously like someone climbing on board. Someone who doesn't have the luxury of being able to turn into water and slip on quietly like Ivory's latest visitor.

"Tracy, I swear to God, I didn't know. I didn't know what I could do. I didn't know what I was doing you and everyone around me. All I ever wanted to do was love you. And when I saw… when I found out that I messed that up… I couldn't take it anymore. So I ended it. Or tried to. Turns out, somebody upstairs didn't want me to go." Ivory's explanation comes rolling off the tongue. Look at his eyes. There's no way he can be lying. "I don't know what's going on with you. I swear I don't. But ever since I've been 'back'? It's been the hardest thing to stay away from you. I wanted to see you. But I also knew that…" Ivory looks down at the floor, not really caring that he's being shaken from this side to that side. Crazy turbulence. "… you wouldn't understand. Or even try to."

Ivory does, however, stop when he hears that thump. He pauses, holding his hand up and bringing a finger to his lips. "Wait." His voice has dropped to a whisper. "… did you hear that?" Worried more now.

As she clings to the cupboard — her stance still strong and ready-to-move, despite the near tumble — Tracy stares unblinkingly at Ivory. She bites down even as her mouth poised to say something. As for what, it's up in the air. That anger of hers doesn't budge an inch, but what started out as steadfast determination, of having it all figured out, starts to waver just a bit. She looks undeniably conflicted just before she cautiously follows Ivory's gaze up the small set of stairs.

It's getting strangely dim up there for mid-morning.

The doorway darkens yet more when, preceded by stomping boots, a man appears. Scruffy from the journey through saltwater and who knows what else, what the wiry little guy lacks in stature, he makes up for with the semiautomatic weapon slung around him.

All it takes is the sight of boots that he doesn't know and a gun to have Ivory doing something that's incredibly stupid. He actually moves towards Tracy. Perhaps too fast. Perhaps too anything, considering how on edge she is. He keeps his feet moving until he's standing directly in front of her, his back to her and his eyes on the stairs and the descending intruder.

"I never meant to hurt you, Tracy. I swear. All I wanted to do was be with you." There's a small moment of him taking a breath to get some more nerves. Or maybe he's bracing himself for some freeze action to come at him from behind. Who knows. "… I'm sorry."

No more words are spoken. He just brings his fists up and waits, as if he's going to be able to take out a man with a semi-automatic weapon. This is going to suck.

But there's no freezing, no sudden movements. Tracy stays still as Ivory puts himself between her and the intruder, a cautious, antagonistic stare directed up the stairs. "I take it this isn't a friend of yours." Then again, she wouldn't quite put it past him to have an armed entourage.

She takes in a quick breath, sighs it out, and frustrated looks toward the ceiling. Maybe it's a concentrated effort not to leave Ivory here to die; if he stays there in front of the armed man another second that's surely what's going to happen.

The intruder snaps a few words back to someone out of sight — in another language — and raises his weapon, and fires down at Ivory.

As soon as the weapon goes off, a surge of water strikes the man, vicious and forceful enough to send him flying back onto the deck. Its source: over Ivory's shoulder. The second the man sprawls out of sight, Tracy rushes around the ex-Senator up the stairs to slam the door shut— and freeze it shut, ice crawling over the cracks of the door. "That won't keep 'em out forever," she says as she rushes down. And she's probably right — sounds of shouting outside suggest the man has a sizeable amount of cohorts. The boat rocks again. "It is really getting dark outside— " But there are seemingly more important things than the strange shift from light to dusky.

"… Trace?"

The slumping of Ivory's body makes a bit more noise than it probably should, since he's actually smacking against the wall and sliding down. There's a trail of blood that streaks down the wall with him, before he ends up slumped down there, bleeding from the shoulder. He actually seems to be more worried about the fact that she used her ability in the public eye than the blood leaking from his shoulder. "… You okay?" He doesn't sound too good. Could have something to do with the fact that he's never really been shot before.

The realization that Ivory's been shot registers on Tracy's face with surprise, which she quickly clamps down on. She rushes to her right, feeling the wall. "Contrary to what you're probably thinking, I didn't come here to kill you." There's a pause as she looks from what she's doing to eye Ivory. "I'm still trying to decide if you deserve it. I can get us outta here— " Her look turns concerned, just barely; perhaps skeptical is a more fitting word.

Boots stomp all over the deck. Shouts. Someone rattles the door.

" — but you'll hafta be able to swim."

"I… ow. I think my arm's down for the count." Ivory explains, trying not to sound like he's being sarcastic, even though he probably is. It's very hard to be shot and also come off as a person that's not as evil as the other person believes him to be. He reaches up to hold onto the bullet wound, blood oozing around his fingers and he just kind of shakes his head towards anything. "Just go. Whoever they are, they don't want you. They want me." With a grunt, he starts trying to get back to his feet. It doesn't work out so well. "I'll try to hold 'em off as long as I can." Maybe he can charm their pants off or something.

Tracy shoots a discerning stare at the door. She could escape easily if she left Ivory behind. She might even be able to take out the rest of the intruders, but it's a risk and figuring it out would waste time they don't have, she thinks. Switching tactics in light of Ivory's answer, she states, with raised brows: "If you can't put up a bit of pain in order for me to save your life, that's your problem." Shaking her head hurriedly, dismissive, Tracy turns away; her hands waver and shift into water in preparation to get the hell out of dodge.

… only to reform seconds later. Sighing in frustration, she whirls around to Ivory and grabs onto his good arm, her fingers digging in. It's daring, touching the man given his particular power; she makes her bitterness known by digging in hard. Looking close into his face with knitting brows, she informs him sternly, "Play valiant all you want, Ivory. I know you don't deserve my help." But, since Ms. Strauss is such an upstanding citizen, she reaches out to the wall behind him — marked with his blood — and splays her free hand there. Freezing spreads around it rapidly, threatening the integrity of the boat. "Just don't let go," she instructs begrudgingly, despite every single thing she just said before it. "And don't even think about using your ability."

She slams her elbow into the wall. The icy wall starts to crack. The ocean outside groans against it.

"If I haven't yet, why would I now?"

Ivory tries to make a valid point. He could've easily started Enthralling her the moment he saw her. But he didn't. He's been trying his hardest to just get the woman to calm the hell down. But, since she's a woman, that may just be something that he's not ever going to be able to do. Regardless, he finds that she's got him by the arm and he concentrates on not sending out any of his Enthralling, more worried about the pain and the blood in his other arm. But he sure as hell isn't going to let go. Ivory opens his mouth to say something, but closes it back with a sigh. Better to wait until he's actually saved than to risk getting lost at sea or something of that nature. He really loved this damn boat.

He has a point; Tracy hasn't been following Peter's advice and keeping cold the entire time she's been talking to him. Focused completely, however, on getting them both out alive, she slams her bare elbow into the wall again, trying to encourage the wall to let them out as bangs sound from the door. Every slam of her elbow scrapes it, every effort causing a soft mmf of exertion. Hurry up!

As the wall cracks further and protests, liquid starting to spray and trickle through, the door flies open. The first man with the semiautomatic has a whole slew of pals.

Tracy's hand shimmers into water once more, preparing this time to get the both of them the hell out of dodge, only to become normal again.

This time, it's not on purpose. "My … my ability— "

The wall gives and the ocean suddenly floods in, roaring and ferocious.


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