(2018-02-13) Count on Me
Count on Me
Summary: Constantine and Grace bond over how things went so very wrong, only to become surprisingly right.
Date: 2018-02-13
Related: NA
NPCs: NA
Scene Runner: NA
Players:
constantine..grace..

Breakfast Nook, Winbarry Estate
Tue Feb 13, 2018


For a breakfast nook this room is rather large. Large enough to fit a full sized table with chairs comfortably. What makes it a 'nook' is probably the fact that three walls are all glass, the fourth wall is the one that is part if the kitchen, all brick there. A french door leads to the back patio.

===

<FS3> Grace rolls Enhanced Senses: Good Success.

It's your typical happenstance Tuesday, late afternoon and just prior to the second 'half' of the day. Lunch has come and gone, the cleanup done, students off and about to either prepare for the next stint of classes or settle into a spare to study or prepare, depending upon their individual class layouts. Belly full, Grace settles once again into what has become one of her favorite places in the entire estate: the breakfast nook. There's just something so quaint and.. well.. nice about this old-time'y room where three out of four walls consists of glass, admitting the day's sunshine and a view of the grounds beyond. The girl enjoyed lunch out here, cleaned up properly, but then saw fit to return to the seat she had chosen to look after some school work. IT just feels far more peaceful here, even compared to the library or her own room.

Maybe it's just the residual smells of the nearby kitchen, yet strong in her powerful senses; maybe it's just to be close to that wonderfully kind and no-nonsense lunch lady who had allowed her (Grace) to help in the kitchen. Overall it just feels nice here.

Head bent over an open binder, Braid pulled over a shoulder, Grace appears to be the only girl in this space for the time being, sunlight warm upon the crown of her head. Her nostrils flare, fielding scents here-and-there; she can hear students out in the back patio, or in the kitchen and beyond, milling about.

Constantine was out and about on this beautiful Tuesday afternoon, though he heard that Grace was in the Breakfast nook, so he decided to pay her a visit with the added motive of grabbing something to snack on. Silver ball in hand, he smiles softly when he finally finds her doing some work.

"Hey Grace." he says with a little wave with his free hand, beautiful smile ready for her and those crystal-clear ocean blue eyes locking onto her own. He wore a black longsleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, blue jeans, tennis shoes, and a beanie on his head to stylishly cover his head.

"Was hoping to find you. Everything going good? Liking the place?" he asks her curiously.

The girl appears to be quite studious, which is in fact quite a throwback to her pre-incident life. She looks for all-the-world like an average teenager keeping up with a project, until she looks up and locks eyes. Scarlet irises; not colored contacts. Her gaze is somehow 'older' than her visible, physical years.. not necessarily a bad thing. Not always. It is in fact Constantine whose eyes she meets gazes with when she looks up, hearing his greeting. He looks well-turned-out as always while Grace is yet in her uniform of the monogrammed blouse and neatly-arranged skirts. See? She's getting used to things!

If one didn't know her, of her shyness, she would look almost preppy sitting there with her tidy classical plaited hair and studious expression. Again, though: eyes, and tone. Her gaze is still a bit too anxious but her tone is yet friendly. "Hi Constantine," Grace says with earnest happiness at seeing him, she's just quiet by nature.

"S-so far so good," She clears her throat, leans back in her chair so as to not hunch over the binder. She watches him then as she considers, "I'm liking it more, now that I've been given permission to… to bake, in the kitchen." There is it: the creeping flush of pleasure in her cheeks.

Constantine smiles warmly to her as he approaches, taking a seat next to her with a kindness. "I'm so happy to hear it…you got permission to bake? Well, I need to try your cooking now." he laughs a little bit, but it was completely serious. "Were you able to get all your clothes alright?" he asks because she asked him politely to leave her be so she could get her 'girl' stuff. Either way, Constantine looks genuinely intrigued to hear her answer.

Those Red eyes are seriously cool!

But he doesn't comment on them, though he smiles warmly to her as he sees the flush in her cheeks, then looks at what she's working on, though his attention keeps to her eyes. "Hey, if you need anything, you let me know alright? I'll be there."

Gah, how and why is he always so pleasant?! Often (but not always, never to generalize) boys who looked like that, back in Bellingham, were either stuck-up, derpy, jerks or… all of the above. Not like this. He sits alongside her and Grace, this time, doesn't look quite so deer-in-headlights. Maybe it's the location, the confidence that Annelee had bestowed her with, or becoming comfortable with Constantine — again all of the above — that grants the girl this newfound calm. She turns slightly to face him a bit more, now, to include him into the conversation for two. "Yeah.. it's something familiar. That I'm good at. Everything else is still so new and different so it's like a security blanket that you can… uhm… eat." Blink, blush. "T-that sounded dumb but it's how I feel, I guess."

"I got everything else just fine. Just personal stuff.. it's all coming together." Grace admits, truthfully. Her gaze flits from Con, to her open binder —- to look closer if one is inclined, it's some sort of math work — to the silver ball in his hand of all things. Mercifully, Grace's variant of lycanthropy doesn't afflict her with a weakness to such material. She's too shy to hold gazes for long, but she means well. "T-thanks.. what are you up to? There's still leftovers in the kitchen if you want to get a plate."

Constantine had a rough childhood and life in general, but one thing he never wanted to do was treat others the way he was raised and treated…thus has he truly learned manners and standard chivalry. He's kind for the sake of being kind, and is truly a generally altruistic person. A warmth in his smile as he looks to Grace, smiling a little as she shifts to face him, when more often than not she'd do something rather different.

Either way, he chuckles as she comments on her possibly dumb words. "No, no, no….not dumb at all. Nothing wrong with saying how you feel Grace." a kindness in his smile before he catches her looking at the silver ball in his hand, which he levitates with his powers over metal. floating it over to her with a soft smile. "It holds no real value to me…just helps me think, gives me something to focus on. Helps drown out stuff, you know?" helps him get his mind off things he'd rather not think about to…in fact, it -helps- him think. Gives him an outlet for anything.

Though then he's asked what he's up to and he shrugs. "not much really. Finished all my work so now I'm just chilling. Decided to come find you to see how you were doing.. which, glad to say, is good to see you're doing rather well." a warm smile for her then, though he beams when she tells him there's still leftovers. "There's still leftovers?! Hell yes!" he smiles to her as she just made his day. He was starving! He practically nips up out of his chair to snag a few bites to eat before someone else does, though he's actually rather gentlemanly in how the leftovers are grabbed and ready for eating! woohoo!

Ah, ain't that the way? If the pieces all fall into place correctly, a hard upbringing can create a person with true mettle and moral strength. (mettle? metal? see what I did there? so punny—-*brick to face*)

Long story short, Constantine may be powerfully kind but Grace, whose experiences have given her a potent intuition toward peoples' integrity, sees that it is genuine. Not forced or faked… which is further grounds for discovering what happened. But then he's a teenaged boy too, with that terrifying appetite. But we're getting ahead of ourselves here, because Grace is — at present — stupefied by the floating silver ball.

"Ooh.." She exhales, eyes following the ball as it is coaxed into her direction. She looks almost canid, watching it, transfixed. It takes everything in her not to snatch it out of mid-air, leaving Con to do with the bauble as he sees fit. "I understand… f-for what it's worth, it's a cool mind-sink.. distraction." She offers truthfully, looking back to the boy.

At the mention of food, Con's swift and intent reaction manages to bring a half-smile of amusement to her face. "I'll wait here." And she will, closing her binder over politely to make more space for the boy to return. He will find an assortment of sandwiches on a few varieties of bread, with salad and fruit.

Constantine grabs his grub and prepares it delicately! though when he finds out that the sandwich he wants has -ham- in it, he smiles softly before grabbing a few slabs of bologna to replace it, along with a happy helping of mayo sauce….to make it look legit, he even puts a toothpick through the center of it before bringing it right back to the table with Grace. He sees how she looks at his levitating silver ball, and he actually manages to melt it into liquid, performing a bit of metal art. "What would you like?" he asks her as he looks to the metal bar. "What's your favorite animal?" he asks curiously. When she answered, he was going to make it into a metal medallion for her.

Much more metal where that came from.

Either way, he smiles big and warm for her, looking at her. "So, I know you wanted to talk to me about something. Though I don't believe we've had time until now to discuss it." he smiles to her then.

The girl will go on waiting and working patiently, assembling her belongings together into a neat, tidy stack beside where her plate originally sat. Despite the nature of her powers, Grace the girl is very fastidious: she was taught to never abuse a good meal by slopping it everywhere. This is how Constantine will find her, right where he left her, her things cleaned up so as to not be in the way when the boy sets his plate down. "That looks good." She offers, noting the sandwich. "There's plenty in there. Miss Annalee is a superhero of the highest rank to be able to keep a troop of teenagers fed." Said in her mild, thoughtful way.

Blink..? Grace leans back a bit, watching the ball go from spherical to malleable, her eyes round in her face and cheeks reddened in her surprise. "Me? F-for.. me? Oh, uh…" Well, no use wasting this talent. Though she reddens considerably. ".. cows. I love cows."

After answering, the girl engages this next topic. "Yes.. it wouldn't have done to talk about this kinda thing in a street.." Grace tilts her head. "I was curious about.. how you came to be sent here. What happened."

Constantine smiles then at her compliment to what he's scrapped together. "Thanks! I'm not a chef, but I made little lunches for my little sister all the time. I think she thought my little meals were absolute garbage in terms of taste, but it is what it is." he chuckles then with a big smile as his eyes looked into her own.

When told that she really likes cows, he smiles to her and he concentrates, the liquid metal turning into a rather intricate piece of metal, making a necklace for her with a cow medallion. "There you are, try that on." he smiles for her then, levitating the metal towards her. "Now if we ever part, you'll remember your love of cows and me." he smiles then.

Though as she asks him about what his past was, how he was sent here and what happened, he takes a deep sigh. "A series of unfortunate events….need to learn to control this…" he references his powers. While his control over it is -impressive-, it's his control over his emotions that he needs a handle on.

"Your sister, what is her n-" The girl doesn't get far with the query, not yet. She's watching that bit of metal shifting and roiling and shaping itself into a—-OMG.

It's a carefully concealed secret because Grace thinks it's incredibly dorky… but there you have it. She. Loves. Cows. The stereotypical black-and-white-or-brown-or… yeah. It's a bittersweet obsession as she yet eats their meat products… but that's neither here nor there in this moment. Constantine just made her a necklace with a cow pendant that would either be a bitch to find, or be expensive to commission or order. Just like that. The piece floats into her bewildered hands and Grace can only stare at it, her lips pressed together into a touched, somewhat unreadable expression.

"T-thank you, I…" Aw look, she's at a loss for words. Her arms twitch, she leans forth just an inch or two before swaying back, shoulder blades resting against the chair. Was that the beginning of a hug, or intention of such?! She goes on gazing at the piece before carefully working to ease it onto her neck. Grace listens outright to what is said next and she pauses, the cow resting below her collarbones.

"D-do you want to tell me about it? What happened? Because I think… I may have a similar tale… if it's about control.."

Constantine smiles to her warmly then as she asks the name of his sister, even though she cuts herself off. "Aurora. Aurora Ashford is her name. She's a telepath." he smiles to her warmly then, though. A kindness on his voice as she looks at the cow medallion and she seems to mini fangirl over it. Of course, the metal was hard and solid, like it was hard forged…a.nd it's silver! so it's real pretty!

He leans forward then to wrap his arms around her in a hug. "It's my pleasure, Grace." then he pulls away, respecting her space. Though the real test is when she asks him about his past…and he nods a few times. "It's alright. My childhood was…not amazing. My father's a telekinetic, my mother is a healer, but both of them were secretive…harsh, uncaring. I did a great deal of raising on my own, it feels like. I was a protective elder brother, you know….I was bullied, constantly, but I saw no reason to retaliate. Figured it was life you know?" he gets quiet though. "Then I discovered my powers." he looks traumatized by this event. "…in it's entirety." he was serious then.

"I was with my dog. A beautiful German shepherd. Bullies thought to get a little more intense. When I wasn't looking, I was tackled to the ground, beat up on, you know how it goes….then my dog tried to help, they poisoned my dog by putting rather unsavory materials in his mouth." a dark expression on his face. "I lost it….I yelled…metal flew from the houses and buildings, and the ground uprooted as my powers over magnetism and electromagnetism awakened…I don't remember all that happened…but when I came to? Everything was destroyed. By some grace of some higher power, nobody was killed but…" he lets a tear fall to his cheek which he quickly wipes off. "Rest is history….I don't need to tell you what happened to the bullies. I put a contorted metal bar through the bully who poisoned my dog's leg. Likely maimed for life."

The girl initially backpedaled to avoid discomfort, but then kindly Constantine leans in to hug Grace and luckily, she does not stiffen as she has been apt to do, since everything. She's coming to trust the boy and that, there, is the important thing. Despite her small size, to feel her through her clothing is to feel some degree of strength in her limbs and bust.. she's lean, but more 'solid' than a girl her size and stature ought to be, as if muscles are forged of taut, formidable cords. But then? She lifts one arm to give the boy a squeeze in return, and inwardly appreciates when he notes the matter of space. Grace's response speaks of a girl who is not used to affection, but means well. It's a lesson.

But she is silent, then, as her senses swirl around her to speak to her of the room at large while Constantine discloses to her a truly traumatic, difficult… and like (of course not entirely) circumstance. She feels the warmth of the sun, smells the age of the room and of the waning lunch hour… but her sense of sound is completely, utterly held rapt by Con's tale.

Grace knows how to listen.. even as she feels multiple potent jabs of 'me too', she doesn't say a word until Con is finished. Talk of what happened to his dog seems to bring a shininess to her eyes, perhaps goaded by the boy's single letting of a tear in-turn. Somehow she knows…. what could have happened to those bullies. But Con shall see that the girl is not judging; she is highly affected. "I'm so, so sorry.. but it makes sense why.. I mean, what they did was abhorrent. You couldn't.. you couldn't have known that would happen. A-and it doesn't speak of your nature. What matters is that you're here to learn how to control it." In a way, she's speaking for both of them.

Constantine notices how she felt when she returned his hug and he could feel her more muscular, yet quite feminine frame under her clothes…not that he moved his hands…I mean…nevermind. POINT! Constantine nods a few times as she looks like she's not judging him. He looks so happy by this alone…most would call him a monster or try to demoralize what he did. He knows why it was wrong….

"Yeah….when….when your dog is the only true friend you've ever really had besides your own flesh in blood sibling, it…it's hard when they get hurt. It sent me into a rage…my powers are directly tied to my emotional state, that much is plain to see. It's why I -cannot- get angry. Not matter what, I refuse. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore, unless it's for self defense or the protection of someone else." he states then, looking her right in the eyes as he looks at her.

"I thank you for your words…even if I may not deserve them, it means a great deal to me." he reaches as if to rest his hand on hers. "You speak from experience….you understand…how?" he asks then, his sense of perception allowing him to see this.

"That they would do such a thing to an animal, to a dog.." Grace says quietly. "A friend." Man's best friend, afterall. Are there no souls quite as pure as a dog's? Somehow picturing the bullies forcing the animal to eat poison elicits… something… in the girl's belly. It roils there, not just sadness but…. it's the first seed of anger. Those terrible, nasty kids. The one who caught the bar through the leg? DESERVED IT. That vile, dog killing——

Grace looks pained as something hot and angry creeps up along her spine. It always starts with heat, usually in her back, from tailbone to neck. She takes a deep breath and focuses on Constantine, him talking to her. She can't get angry, even if it's on his behalf. Her lashes flutter as she breathes deeply through her nostrils, filling her head with the scents in the room. Focus, focus—

Then he sets his hand on hers and that brings her back. So, too, does the sentence: 'cannot get angry'.

"O-of course.. I…" She doesn't pull away, because being spoken to and touched innocuously keeps her out of her head where anger still whispers. "I understand.. I cannot get angry. I try to avoid it, and it hurts." A whisper then as she looks down at her binder.

Constantine nods softly to Grace as she relates the experience. "It's alright….the dog lived, if not barely. Got him to a vet in time….but when I got home? Parents were appalled… disgusted, rightly so. I cost many people their livelihood…and for that, I can never forgive myself. accident or no. The only thing I can do is move forward." he keeps his hand on hers, though clearly it's affectionate as true feelings of intimacy boil in his heart for Grace, his eyes never leaving hers.

It's good to know that Constantine's touch alone can calm her…to an extent.

He gives her hand a soft squeeze then, looking her in the eyes, smiling at her softly as she tells him how she understands a little bit. "..would you tell me what happened?" he asks her in a soft voice then.

Poor Grace, she doesn't quite know how to respond. She keeps her hand palm-down, not quite ready to turn it upwards to grasp the boy's hand. That would be the normal thing to do, right? She does not pull back though, allowing the contact and indeed drawing comfort and focus from it. She will look up on occasion to meet Con's gaze but look down just as quickly, looking as if she is considering what he conferred to her… though her gaze is still shiny and…. 'redder'…?

"You're here." Another succinct, but kind reassurance. "A-and… maybe it's a lesson for the bullies, even if it was l-like bringing a rocket launcher to a water balloon fight.." Grace looks up, "… to never be so cruel again. What matters is that nobody died.. buildings can be replaced and you're here. You're going to learn how to control it because w-what you can do can be beautiful, you see." She indicates the necklace.

".. what anger does to me.. it never can be. I don't quite remember what I did to be sent here, but I know… I am certain I killed someone." She presses her teeth into her bottom lip, bites it hard as the binder upon which she gazes desperately begins to blur.

Constantine keeps his eyes on Grace, even if they were physically touching, his hands keep on hers even if her eyes go redder and redder…and while he has an idea that might calm her down, he doesn't want to risk that the shock factor alone could calm her down instantly. It could make her extremely upset, if it doesn't work, so he doesn't try it. His hand gives hers another affectionate squeeze as Grace speaks such kind words for him. "I thank you…Grace. Really…your the only person who's ever…" he looks away now then, bright red in complexion as he blushed.

Though then she speaks of what her anger does to her, his eyes looking into her own as she speaks that she killed someone. Worse than his…but now it seems that a strong bond had already formed. It takes the broken to understand the broken…but maybe they can put the pieces back together for each other, and make something beautiful out of the mess. "I'm sorry, Grace…it can't be easy for you. I don't have anything that could change any fact of the past…but your here. Would you tell me of what led to that?" he asks her then, another squeeze of her hand.

The hand squeeze breaks Grace out of her doldrum, her eyes flitting back up to again note Constantine's face. They then swing back to the binder and finally, toward the sunny window and the sighing, omniscient ocean beyond. She looks back to Con in bits.. it seems to be all she is genuinely capable of at this time but she means well, she does! The safety measures are so strong and so instinctive that the fear of letting others get close is acute. But Grace hadn't moved away; her hand remains, her seat still bears her body, and she listens and looks "Of course… of course I'll understand. I-I guess I can't lie and say that I'm unable to feign a sort of.. empathy… because I do. I know what it's like. To have something happen and then suddenly you have to be shipped out fast…"

Her other hand lifts to swab at her face, catching those mutinous dashes of moisture from her eyes. "T-to have parents who can't be bothered… who bought the plane ticket to make the process easier. I get it, Constantine, I do—" Calm.. it's too parallel. Too good to be true.

A deep breath. "I turned fifteen. I was invited to a houseparty, and somebody got too close… I think they put something into my Pepsi." Straight-laced Grace wouldn't drink at fifteen. ".. n-next thing I know they're trying to… to touc—-to hurt me. I don't remember what happened next but if you look in the backlog of online newspapers from October, a boy in Bellingham met a horrible end by a wild animal attack." Grace whispers, and presses her hand to her forehead. She looks devastated.

Constantine looks at her then as she starts to truly voice how she understands. He sees her starting to crack and break down from such ha traumatic experience. Though as she told about how they put something in her Pepsi, most likely to drug then rape her or cause other sorts of bodily danger, he scoots his chair over to her so that they are almost side to side, wrapping an arm around her to hug her. He knows this pain…the pain of just losing control. He kept his hand on hers, but his arm around her to pull her close for such an embrace was both comforting and a deep show of affection that Constantine doesn't show to others, not even a little bit.

"I'm sorry, Grace….it can't be easy…but you defended yourself against those who would do great harm on you…I can't make the pain go away, I don't think…but I am here for you, regardless of your powers." he looks her right in the eyes then, keeping her close to him if she wished. his free hand wiping a tear from her eye.

He really did care about her…the emotion in his eyes for her was apparent in that. He didn't judge her. He didn't call her killer or look at her in disgust. Only the sprout of love and acceptance appeared on him, one of comfort and solace.

The closeness, too, Grace will not back out of. Though there is an initial stiffness once she is pulled into the one-armed hold.. she knows, knows it's borne entirely of goodwill. Bonus is the guy had Bad Things happen when he rages, too. What are the odds of that? It's just, save for the elixir-like influence of her Uncles, Grace is yet new to how people hug and interact and be so utterly, tragically, beautifully human. "It.. wasn't easy. The hardest is not knowing… worrying about would could happen. It's like a blackout… which is why I just can't… I can't let it happen. Once the anger catches, even annoyance… it moves fast.."

She nestles closer, looking down at her knees as she considers. "We can't undo w-what's been done, I guess. But thanks.. I really do appreciate it. P-please be patient with me because I go away from people, sometimes.. sometimes it's a bit hard to bear. So if it seems like I'm running away or trying not to be friends, or make friends, it's…" It's hard to lay bare her behaviors like this.

"I wonder if our parents would get along, then." The girl snarks.. actually snarks. "They s-sound like one in the same. But you're lucky to have the gift of a sibling."

Constantine keeps her close to him then, once he realizes that she isn't exactly spiteful or refusing of his care. When she nestles into him closer as if to ask for more affection from him in such a manner, he smiles to her warmly, moving his hand under her own as if to clasp it, even intertwine their fingers. "I see….I understand, Grace. It's hard…almost unbearable. But all we can do is keep moving forward. I will help you keep it contained." he smiles to her warmly then, lifting her chin so that she looks at him, and their faces were quite close, the temptation to lean in and kiss her were mighty.

However, he looks into her eyes. "It's possible that our parents would get along splendidly….though I think you would like Aurora. She's a good girl." he nods then, happy to have helped her become who she is. Alas, his attention is on Grace. "Grace…you are my only true friend here. I would wait until the end of time, no matter what you did. So let's make a promise you and I….let's watch over each other, okay?" a small caress of her cheek then.

"I-if it were unbearable we have stayed here. I'm hoping to be taught to help make it bearable." She admits. "Anger isn't bad, it can't be, can it—-" she starts, but is caught off guard when her hand is finally, properly grasped. When was the last time her hand was held? Had to have been when she was a kid, and mostly to yank her out of danger or away from somewhere she ought not to be. But this is.. the sheer reassuring care of it. This is new territory. The charming boy lifts her chin but she simply goes on to stare at him, clearly unknowing of how to proceed next.. or if she should. Luckily Constantine ain't pushy because all Grace manages is a quivering, watery smile before she looks down when polite to do so. "Thank you." She says honestly.. meaning it.

"Aurora, that is a very pretty name. How old is she?" She asks gently, before she is derailed again by Con's earnest admittance. She's never heard that before, never thought she would again. "I… I do promise. W-we owe it to ourselves, I think—" He touches her cheek! Eek! Holy smokes! New turf, new turf! She manages a hasty look up at him, then back down to the table. She's evidently a shy sort. "I can do that, I swear it."

Constantine smiles softly to her, nodding a few times as she speaks. "You're right, it's not bad to be angry…not bad to be anything when it comes to emotions. Don't worry, I'll be here for you." he smiles warmly to her as she thanks him with that watery smile. He wipes away some of the tears that stain her face, before she asks about his sister.

"she's fourteen years old. I've been watching over her since the day she was born." he smiles softly at the reminisce….then she equally says that she'll watch over him in return for him watching over her….and now it was time for Constantine to get a little teary eyed. Alas, whether it was instinct or the result of the powerful emotions, he lifts Grace's face up to him and whispers "Thank you." in the most beautiful voice before he attempts to kiss her!

Aw, what a sweet, syrupy scene. Too bad Grace yet has the tact and skill of a nail in a wall. Again, not due to any sort of distaste, just… cluelessness. Inadequacy. Con speaks of being 'there' for her and while it's reassuring and mutual, the wolf girl yet sees fit to… she can't sprint ahead, must think carefully. Granted the ability to control metal is a good trump to her potentially becoming a mindlessly angry monster… but she's still scared. Aware now of the fingers wiping her face as they sit in the sunny breakfast nook, Grace's mind and heart race swiftly in tandem. She is still believing him to be slated for something, or someone, better. Even after the conversation! But that's just Grace being Grace.

"Fourteen.." She echoes, both hands moving now to pull her binder closer to herself. "I hope she has an easier go of fourteen.. fifteen.. than I di" B'uh? Oh, wait.. wut… oh snap. Constantine is-…!

She tilts her head in confusion and his attempt lands on the corner of her mouth. Grace blushes redly.. not out of anger or upset, just surprise. "Y-you're.. wel.. welcome." Said in her fluster. She's so awkward. <3

Constantine pulled away softly from the kiss to the corner of her lips, looking at her with a loving look on his face. He wanted nothing from her….the only thing he could ever asked was her affection, but he doesn't. His eyes lock onto her own. "Me too.." he smile when spoken of his sister, a kindness in his eyes that's directed right at her.

Though as she blushes bright crimson red and she speaks that he's welcome, he looks at her in the eyes then with a soft smile. "Forgive me for asking….but is it alright if I kiss you again?" he asks!

Here's the girl's conundrum: the boy beside her, trying to give her a kiss that he asked for (which is a miracle) … is attractive. Loving of his family and friends. Polite. But then there's Grace who, somewhere along the line, ripped some poor kid to ribbons and strung his intestines from the ceiling fan. And then this sweet boy is asking for a kiss from her. How did this happen? What does she DO!? The logical, wary part of Grace — extended even toward her loving uncles — is nervous and gunshy. But she is yet a teenaged girl who hasn't ever been given an earnest kiss either and who could blame that small, mutinous part of her mind from conceding? She stares outright at Constantine, red as a beet, eyes filling her face. He's right there and so polite, how could she say… no?!

"Uhm.. ah, oh.. okay." Grace blinks quickly, shock well and truly trouncing the madness in her mind and body. She couldn't be angry even if she tried. "Sorry I'm, uh.. I don't quite.. never…" Ramble ramble sputter.

Constantine looks deeply into her eyes then, smiling softly to her. "it's okay…I've never actually had one either." a kiss that is, something that puts them on a mutual playing field. He keeps her close to him though, looking her in the eyes as he leans in ever so closely as he attempts to kiss her dead center on the lips!

Well, if anything…he was more a bold and risk-taking young man, but one with an earnest feeling for Grace. she was beautiful, intelligent, and so like him that it was almost creepy.

The looking into her eyes, it startles and intrigues the girl. IT's an earnest expression of interest, on connection… even if in that ever-ready, combustible other side of her… holding gazes can be a threat. In this moment, this very safe moment, Grace is yet feeling the barest level of threat in her guts. It's the monster railing against the control that this moment has over her… there is yet one other reason as to why she cannot gaze into Constantine's eyes — or anyone's for that matter — for too long.

He has never before… been kissed? Grace wants to voice incredulity but now she knows of his bullied backstory. People grow into themselves, sometimes sadly through unfortunate experiences. Somehow, knowing what she knows now, it's completely believable. "W-what i-if I.." She starts, quieter now, fingers drumming the binder and sliding off to knit into her lap. She does not move away: a sign right there.

She accepts the kiss but will not — cannot, just yet put a huge amount of herself into it. She sees herself as anything but beautiful but not due to the typical teenage awkwardness.., she sees him as deserving somebody better. A few beats of silence before she watches Con's face for a moment, only to look down into her lap shyly. She doesn't know what to feel, but she half-smiles despite herself.

Constantine kisses her! it lingers for a time as he realizes that she doesn't move away. Though this is Constantine's conundrum….he doesn't want anyone else. Not one single woman has managed to get his true attentions or even the feeling of actual, deep affection. Sadly enough, Constantine has reclusively gone into himself in times of distress or confidence, not believing himself to be worthy to women that he's liked.

He smiles softly to Grace as she is the only individual who has managed to change this about him. At this point….she was the only thing on his mind as he smiled to her softly. "Grace.." he whispered to her in such exquisite voice of affection. "I…really like you." he can't bear to say love yet…but he reveals his feelings for her, and leaves it up to her to decide what she does with it. He sees her smile…so is that a good sign?

The wolf girl isn't cold about it, but her stillness is entirely that of inexperience, of not expecting this. How is it that things work the way that they do? It seems that the two are well-matched in their mannerisms of not feeling good, or worthy enough of catching the attention of favored people. But 'lo.. Grace will not let this go unchecked. She's aware of each and every second of the exchange, marveling over it.

The soft smile just about does her in and she clears her through, looking both reassured and stunned. "T-thank you.." Said barely above her breath. "I never counted on anyone.. liking me… I need to let this settle in.. it means a lot…" Grace touches her lips, intrigued. "But please be patient with me.. i-it's all new.. I don't want to mess up." She didn't frown, she bit of a smile is still there.. but it's still confusing and fascinating. She's a monster! How could this be? O_O

Constantine smiles warmly to her then as she appears to return the affection, so he keeps his hand on hers, giving it a squeeze as he looks to her. "Of course…I'll do just that. I gave you my word, did I not?" a kindness in his voice as he looked her in the eyes then, not afraid of red eyes or anything else of the sort.

He smiles warmly to her then, looking her in the eyes but he says no more words. He's given her his affection, let her lay claim to his heart. the rest was up to her.
Constantine has reconnected.

It seems that the timing decides Grace. She yet has a lot to consider and work out in her head, but it's far better than trying to piece together that awful, obscure, taboo thought process of what exactly happened to land her here. Now there's a tangent of light and hope to mull over, even if she doesn't know what to call it yet. But it's not a bad thing.

A student can be heard sprinting through the hallway beyond the nook, hastening to get to class. Grace looks at Constantine one more time, awkwardly collecting her books but not before giving his hand a reassuring squeeze. It's something; not a rebuttal. "T-thank you.." Does she sound or feel redundant? Maybe.. but it's still quite a surprise. If he were to train that charm onto anyone in the town he could have them.

"I have to get back to class… but thank you for trusting me. I-I'll see you after supper, ok?" She asks gently, meaning it. Well, there's progress!

Constantine thinks she's the only one who's ever even come close to understanding him. He kissed her twice , and those sweet touches of their lips? He'd never regret it. At the squeeze to his hand, his smile grows as he watched her. He didn't want any other woman, he wanted her. Though he would never demand anything from her. He has no dark intentions, no cruel mission. He simply fell in love with her.

He watches as she stands up, rising with her to look into those eyes. "Okay, Grace. No, thank -you-." A big and warm smile for her then. At her asking to meet him again after supper, he agrees easily. "Absolutely. I'll see you then." A warmth in his eyes as he kisses her cheek, walking away feeling like the weight of the world left his shoulders.

He trusts Grace.

===
Hours later, after supper..
===

Back Lawn, Winbarry Estates
Tue Feb 13, 2018


A large swatch of green that goes in all directions. To the east and northeast, the lawn goes from the green of grass to the yellowish-brown of sea grass and then sandy beach, the blue-green of the ocean spreading out as far as the eye can see. In the center is a tall overgrown hedgemaze, with dormant flowering bushes at the corners.

===

<FS3> Grace rolls Physical: Good Success.

Sometimes a good bout of physical activity is just what the doctor orders in dealing with Heavy Thoughts. A few hours ago, after lunch and before the day's second 'half' of classes, Grace had been served a bit of food for thought that wasn't bad, just… unexpected. Or really, was it TRULY unexpected? When someone is that kind and sweet and helpful, doesn't that generally mean they are interested? Was she just dumb in not paying attention? Or simply being in denial?

He KISSED her. She liked it. She doesn't know what to do!

So.. run. There's just enough sunlight left in the day, as evening encroaches, to do a few laps around the back grounds of the estate. Grace doesn't feel confident in her sense of direction, yet, to inflict herself upon the town. There's something about being back here with the ocean as backdrop that feels… better. Calming. It smells nice out here and most students are seeing fit to be indoors or elsewhere.

So alone, Grace jogs: she's clad in a fitted pair of yoga pants and a dark matching sweater, bothered not one iota by the cold as she moves at a good clip. She's barely even broken a sweat, and she can be seen jogging the perimeter of the closed-off hedge maze if one were to look out from the patio.

<FS3> Constantine rolls Magnetokinesis: Good Success.

Grace was not the only one in deep thought….

Constantine kissed Grace and he meant every word he said to her….so now he awaits the more anxious part of all of this: the waiting. the silence. He was slightly scared that she was going to deny him completely, but even if she did, he figured they would still remain excellent friends…but he didn't -want- to be -just- friends. When he realizes he's in his own head too much, he decides to go outside and get some fresh air and practice his abilities.

He wears his long trench coat with a black longsleeve shirt underneath, that same black beanie, blue jeans, and tennis shoes. black fingerless gloves adorned in hands and that same silver ball was in his palm…though he extends it, and the ball moves out of his hand and towards the ground. A small breath then as it flattens out until it looks like some thin platform.

He steps on it….and with a focused hand, the metal starts to rise from the ground….

and he has successfully achieved magnetic flight as he hovers in the air on his metallic platform…which causes Constantine to laugh, feeling successful.

There is a potent economy of motion in the girl's movements as she is carried along, ponytail bouncing.. barely even touched with sweat. Lean muscles move in perfect synchronicity; she feels as if she could move like the wind. Once upon a time this run carried her through sleepy suburbs, in a city far away, and now Grace is here. Running soothes not only big thoughts, but anger… though she is nowhere near angry. Despite her emotional knots there is a clear feeling of… almost contentment in her chest, rising into her mind like an anthem. This is what running does.

Veering around the corner of a hedge, this places Grace in the direction facing Winbarry, and this is how she sees a figure on a platform, rising up, up up into the air. She freezes then, soles biting into grass, chin canting to squint skyward to discern——Constantine?!

Grace blushes and pauses, standing and observing in awe from her spot on the earth. She can hear his laugh and her lips curl upwards at their corners a touch.

Constantine keeps smiling a little bit at what he's able to do….the possibilities were nigh endless! Though he had the fear of losing control? Right now, he was anything but. He had complete control over the metal beneath him…though slowly, he would descend, down, down, and down, not having noticed Grace quite yet, Though as he went nearer to the ground, he summons the metal below his feet and transforms it into that same silver round ball that he always had on him, falling just a few inches back to the ground as he chuckled.

"Haha…now -that- was awesome…!" he takes a moment to sit down then on the ground, not bothered by the cold.

Winter was actually his favorite season if you can believe it. He -loved- the cold. Spring is a close second because of the beauty of rainfall. "ah, man.." eventually he stands up, brushing himself off as he ponders what to do next…though Grace could sneak up on him.

The girl is both grateful and rueful that she hasn't such an ability. A useful one. Wielded in hands other than Constantine's, surely there would be the danger of it becoming catastrophic… but she has faith that the boy won't let it go awry. At least not here; he seems to have near-complete control and the girl envies him that, albeit good-naturedly. Whatever it is boiling in her blood, she only wishes she could control it.

She listens to the blonde boy reflecting happily upon his feat and Grace lets him do so, not being one to sneak up and startle him. Not so soon after he's worked his gift. That and she's not quite so comfortable with herself, yet, to be playful… though in better times she will have pounced him to surprise him. Grace, who much prefers the summer and the warmth of the sun, tolerates the cold well and instead of jogging, she pads in his direction with a pensive look upon her wind-chapped face.

"That was impressive," She calls to Constantine amicably. Turning, she can be seen approaching him casually, clad in her running finery. No sneak attacks… for now.

Constantine turns his head sharply when he hears the angelic voice that belongs to Grace, giving her the warmest smile as he starts to approach her as if to meet her halfway. "Thanks! I've been uh, working on that in private for a while now….wouldn't want to fall through the floors of the school you know?" a chuckle then as he looks her in the eyes, blushing now as he just keeps those eyes locked on her.

"Going on a run? I hope I haven't interrupted…." they were quite close now, physically speaking, but Constantine made no moves on her, minus his hand barely touching hers, the only reason why he hasn't tried to claim that hand is because he's trying to be respectful of her personal wishes and be patient….though he's not sure how long he'll be able to resist -not- attempting to hold her hand.

Ah, there's the smile that she knows. It's so ready and that's a comfort. They meet halfway and though Grace isn't the grabby sort, not at this point, she yet notices and appreciates Constantine's patience. He meets her eyes and Grace is conditioning herself, that strange entity within her mind, to not see the gazing into the eyes of another as a threat. There is nothing but kindness to be found here. "W-wouldn't go over very well, the falling into the cellar bit. We're still in the good impressions stage with the staff and other students." Her slightly-upturned smile is still there. It seems the run was good for her state of mind.

His blush is noted, too. "You're fine. I'd say a run is fairly boring compared to floating on a disc of metal…" She admits, though she herself wouldn't wish to be up that high. Reddish eyes flit to watch the boy's hands, perhaps twitching or otherwise moving in a bid not to be so forward as to catch up one of her own as he so wishes to do. The respect touches her.

I've been at it for nearly an hour anyway.. it's probably time for a break" Is admitted next. What? No sweat, no wilting.. she looks fresh and revitalized. "Did I interrupt you?" Asked kindly as she watches him in that oddly intense way of hers.

Constantine would keep that smile forever if she asked him. Either way, he notices her blushing and he chuckles a little bit. Though as she agrees that his actions of possibly falling through the ceilings probably wouldn't go over well, he laughs cheerfully. "Yeah, I'd probably be the dumb kid who fell right into a meeting that -may- get a kid into the school. Yep. that'd be me." he says in a bid to try and get her to laugh a little bit, but he doesn't move away from her, nor does his eyes attempt to find shelter from the intensity of her own.

"Many thanks. Though it's not all that special. Some people can fly on their own without such things, but I'm proud of my littttllee bit of creativity." ALWAYS SO -JOVIAL-. a smile to her then, the talk they must have had earlier must have lifted his spirits a great deal…that, and the -kissing-…and -cuddling-…and…and -hand holding!-.

"Only an hour huh? look like you've only been running for one minute tops. Mad respect." he smiles to her then as his finger accidentally touches her hand as he often spoke with his hands as well. Regardless, he shakes his head when she asks if she interrupted him. "Not at all! I love being in your company." he blushes then, brightly. Did that come out wrong? Who cares! he liked her in a very romantic manner and he wasn't ashamed of it.

That jovial manner is catching.. even for sad-sack Grace. Talk of falling into a stern meeting of faculty actually does it: the corners of her mouth twitch and she actually grins.. laughter! A chuckle. Dear God in heaven, Grace isn't being all moody now.. but is laughing! The mental image has struck her. Constantine, you won! She presses one hand to her lips as she clears her throat. A hitching of breath, she laughs anew. "Sorry.. s-sorry.. that is… that is comical. But wouldn't you think that the faculty in charge of a bunch of superpowered kids would expect anything less?" And there it is: the laughter folds into an earnest smile, puppy-dog eyes still alight with mirth.

"I don't think I would… wish to fly. I am not a fan of heights." Admitted easily. Constantine moves his hands and as his fingers accidentally brush hers, Grace actually catches his hand with hers and looks at him. "A-about earlier… I'm sorry if I got a bit awkward."

Constantine smiles softly as he actually makes her laugh! MISSION ACCOMPISHED! MILESTONE COMPLETE! woohoo! Either way, he beams at her as he actually manages to get her to laugh for the first time. Self high five!

Then his hand is caught by hers! and he looks at her for a moment, before his fingers attempt to lace with hers as he gives her hand a soft squeeze. "Don't be sorry for that Grace…I.. like you. If you don't feel for me in that way, I understand. Please, don't beat yourself up over it, alright?" his other hand comes up to caress her cheek if she lets him, looking deeply into her eyes with the warmest smile.

"I like you too." Grace offers, then reddens. "M-maybe it scared me a bit. But something about… we're so similar… a-and…" She clears her throat. "I was told never to believe in things happening too easily. T-that's my father's take…"

She looks down at her hand holding his. She did that, initiated it… she's not about to let go because it gives her strength. It's a sign that her hand is capable of things other than ripping a kid apart in a moment of uncontrolled ferocity; that she can be kind and gentle.

The squeeze prompts her to continue, "Father said that when things feel too easy, too 'right'.. they're not to be trusted. B-but you are so genuine and I wonder how and what I did to…." She trails off, looking worried. Her eyes flit up to watch Con's face, worriedly.

"I've never been… anyone's girlfriend. I'm so scared of messing up, of hurting anyone, and I don't ever want to hurt you. I want to feel that way too, t-that way.. but I don't want to mess up.." Her brow furrows. "I'm so scared of what I'm capable of, of not knowing it, and it's never been that way before…" She pours her heart out as the ocean sighs, how can she not?

Constantine looks at her then, her words….the way she looked, the way she just -reveals- her heart to him….he practically melts in her hands as he looked at her. "I'm…I'm so glad…" he looks her in the eyes then, a clear overwhelming joy and love on his face, though he keeps serious as he watches her and all that she does, the way her hand comforts his own as he comforts her, looking her in the eyes.

"My father said the same things….told me everything in life is gained through bone breaking work. Love isn't easy, and it's not the kind that would allow one to find the perfect match. So far, I've proved him wrong." He looks her in the eyes then. "We are so similar….so similar it's almost scary…but I wouldn't have it any other way, Grace. I've never been anyone's boyfriend either….so I suppose we're both in the same boat…but hey…" he rests his forehead against hers. "Don't ever be afraid of hurting me, okay? I was afraid I was going to hurt you….I don't know if I can always control these powers…but I'll -never- hurt you. I made you a promise." a glistening look in his eyes before he tries to close the distance and kiss her, Dammit!

It's a good thing Grace is more reserved; were she to be as emotional as Constantine, they'd be deemed dangerous. But that is part of what makes the boy so brave in her eyes, to show emotion, and the girl is at a loss for words when he talks to her. She listens to every word. The love and emotion in his face is overwhelming and powerfully reassuring.. only one person has looked at her in that manner, two in fact.. though more in a familial sense. It's affecting and Grace's lips press into a tight line of emotion.

"S-same.. it's scary… Father was so adamant… and…" She can't continue. Con lays out facts that have already crossed the girl's mind, especially since lunch this afternoon past. Now Grace watches his his face, willingly meets his gaze. She tenses a bit as he moves in to rest his forehead to hers but blessedly, she doesn't move away. As noted, not a scrim of sweat… her skin feels warm. "I-I'll help you control them, okay? But I ask of you one thing, Constantine.." She starts, waits… "C-can I ask of you one thing?"

Constantine understands her words completely….if his father were here, he'd likely be beside himself. But he isn't…and Constantine was alone. Until Grace came along. his hand still in hers as they remained close, their foreheads touching as the warmth of their bodies already begin to comfort each other. Then she wants to ask him a question, though her words of helping him control his powers cause him to smile. "I'll help you too…" he smiles then, though he tilts his head softly.

"What is it Grace? Never be shy to ask me anything…" his forehead still against hers, lips dangerously close.

Oh, she's aware! But talk.. ask first. She needs to be sure. It all hinges on this moment, if he has the resolve to make that decision should, heaven forbid, it happen. "If anger takes me, and you're with me… a-and I don't know what will happen, what it looks like.. it can't be easy to look at. You'll know." She says in full faith, heart thumping away madly at the contact and the gravity of the situation. "If it happens, do something. Will y-your abilities to stop me. If I can't remember what happens each time, i-it must be something I can't control and you have my forgiveness in advance if you were to.. stop me.. whether with constraints or a strike… anything. I trust you to do that, okay?" Ah, a plan B; damage control. Guilt curdles her stomach however.

"I'm so sorry to place such a burden on you."

Constantine listens to her words closely….very closely. Though he seems a sadness in his eyes, he nods softly to her while keeping his forehead against hers. "…I promise you, that if you lose control of yourself and your powers run rampant, I'll stop you any way I can." he nods a few times…his abilities were likely strong enough to contain her, even if he didn't have the heart to knock her out by force. Either way, he'll force himself, if he needs to. She asked him politely after all. "I promise." he repeats, looking her in the eyes. "It's never a burden to ask another for a helping hand…" he smiles to her then. "You can always count on me."

That decides her, because Constantine is entirely legit in his pledge. Grace just knows. It can't be easy to make such a promise. Granted she will do everything she can to avoid such a turn of events but there, knowing Constantine can and will fight back in such an occurrence…. it's what she hopes for and needs. If they are to explore things, she needs to know this. It shows as the tension in her gaze abates, lessens… her head can be felt nodding then.

"Thank you." Is whispered, in a great letting of tension. What a strange pact to make, but in the forging of it… all of Grace's fears abate, for a time. So much so, she can now tentatively and nervously press her lips to Constantine's own.

B'aaww.

Constantine smiles to her warmly then as she thanks him, but what's more shocking is that Grace is the one who kisses -him-! Completely entrapped and charmed by her, he pulls her closer and his arms wrap around her waist as he returns the kiss in full. Though the kisses aren't lustful. He doesn't try to take advantage of her….it's the kind of kiss that one would read in a romance novel. It's slow.. passionate.. loving. He loves every moment of it.

As far as anyone is concerned, He's spoken for. and he hopes that Grace is spoken for by him as well. Now? He wasn't alone…he was in paradise. he keeps her close to him as their lips share such sweet embrace.

Well then! Looks like it's a sealed deal! Even despite the nattering of her parents in the back of her mind, calling this too sudden, too abrupt, too good to be proper and true… Grace just wills it all away with another thought. They're far away, on the other coast; somewhere her uncles are perhaps sensing this lovely disturbance in the force and feeling a degree of calm that they cannot easily describe. Two drastically different responses.

Speaking of Grace, her response is a different thing. There is the sweet, shy tentativeness of the girl and further down, that thing goaded by anger and reaction… a stark, jolting degree of animal want. It's a second-long intermission that intensifies the girl's embrace beyond the shy, nervous first touch if it all.. but she catches herself. No.. whatever this monster is, it will not take this moment away from Grace.

It's a sweet, lingering embrace that the girl pulls herself from slowly, her gaze heavy-lidded and stunned. "Go figure I have to be carted across the c-country and thrown into a place like this to find the perfect boy." She exhales shakily.

Constantine feels the need from her as the kiss, for a split second, turns quite passionate, their tongues -almost- touching, but alas, not quite yet. Either way, he holds her to him before they both pull away, breaking the kiss as he looks at her, moving a stray hair from her beautiful visage. "No kidding…." he says in response to her words with a smile. "But…for the perfect girl? Worth it." he looks into her eyes then with a warm smile, taking her hands in his.

"Should we return to the school? or shall we wait out here a bit longer?" he questions for a moment, though his smile is warm, and inviting. They could stay there forever for all he knows.

It's a good thing Grace restrained herself.. the 'wolf' can be greedy. Fierce and violent and greedy. She's not quite ready to be that way. She doesn't even know what to call that other form yet.. her uncle, even, hadn't told her much about it. Constantine fixes her hair and Grace blushes deeply; he smiles enough for the both of them. She'd be hard-pressed to call herself perfect but he's just so sweet with it that she hasn't the heart to contest it.

"W-we'd better get in soon. I'm finally getting this curfew figured out… and I have a recipe to look up. Before tomorrow, before my spare… I hope to get some kitchen time to try it out." She admits, not yet releasing his hand. Such simple contact seems to keep her grounded.

Constantine smiles warmly to her then, nodding a few times to her as he turns his body towards the house. "Very well, then Grace." his smile and with those eyes….he could calm any storm. Alas, a simply friendly tug as if to set them on their way! smiling from ear to ear….so this is what it feels like to love someone and for them to have such feelings for you in return.

Either way….he was her boyfriend…and she was his girlfriend. Thus a new flower blooms in the garden…..

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