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Falling Upwards


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The Claremont Courtyard.


It was a moment of scattering brilliance, as motes of white lights erupted and faded leaving her standing in the air with Pan, an index finger poking at the tip of his nose.  Her power around her in that digitized swirling distortion.


Now, if Corinne was poise and grace, then Zenith was a wildfire.  One who didn't want to be contained by dancing in the gym.  While she loved to perform, it was rare she just could dance for the enjoyment of it, and it well up like a lava in a volcano, which led to now.  With one hand going to her skirts, she gathered them up, and started to truly dance with him.  She started to flatly show off what her years of dedication translated to in movement through space, when unconstrained by the limits she imposed on herself, or the fear of her powers.

She was in love with them now.  It responded to her, and it was a light show around them.

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Suddenly, they were some place else. Brillant light, as white as could be. It took Pan a short moment to recognize the courtyard, and what had happened to Corinne. A short moment of confusion, which clearly showed on his face, before his lips split into a brilliant grin, almost rivaling the brilliant lights from before. He could still hear the music from the hall, but it was muted by the building. As she danced, Pan was left staring for another brief moment. A wildfire was an apt description, lights exploding all around her as she moved.


She could dance! Nothing holding her back, just moving! Oh, he liked that!


Fairy dust falling from him, Pan moved in, doing his best to match her movements, as music began playing around them. She could bring the lights, he could bring the music! It was something he had heard back on Neverworld. A fast melody, played primarily with flutes and violins, but a guitar could be heard as well. Now this was a show!


Moving in close to Corinne for a moment, he asked a simple question. He had heard others talk about her, of course, but he had not seen this happen himself. "So this is Zenith?"

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Her dress melted into something akin to a shift, it changed to the reds, golds, and oranges that one would associate with the fall, though it still covered her, even as her limbs trailed off into the light that surrounded and dances about her, even when she went still.  Zenith was more real, yet ephemeral, at the same time.  She could release her dress, and she lifted her arms, and drew them down, fingers splayed, and her power erupted remaking the world around them in a swirl of that distortion, turned into the leaves of fall. as she sculpted a veritable castle out of the the things, though in small scale, as leaned towards him into the arabesque pose.

"I am, or Corinne's id, if you like the view of a long dead misogynist cokefiend," Zenith spoke like a chorus, echoing and rising up.  "We are free, so that we might be caged, and she is the cage for me.  I am sure there are so many other metaphors, allusions, and such you can interpret."  Then came a joyous, riotous laugh, "They don't like me, because I don't care.  Of course... Corinne doesn't care either, but she is a better liar to herself.  Or I am."  She rose her sole foot on the ground to en pointe, before she lowered herself, and then dipped as she bent her knee.  Her body tensed like a spring, and then released, leaping up into a grand jeté, landing on her other leg, only to pivot on the ball of her foot, and spin about on a surface whose friction changed just for her, the rest of her limbs held in a pose to resemble a flame.


From there she transitioned to something free, though aggressive and fierce, to make her stature and the moving, undulating corona of hair about her form.


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It was beautiful, it was chaotic, it was freedom as a dance! Oh, Pan liked what was happening here. It was interesting. The pose she struck was elegant, a dancer's move. Corinne, or Zenith, was in her element here. The world changed around her, in a way much more real than any image Pan could conjure. This was actual changes, not just images made almost real. 


"I know nothing of this cokefiend, or his views! And if that is what he was, then why should I care?" Pan made a great jump, glimmering Pixie Dust trailing behind him as he flew more than just jumped, landing right next to her, where quickly spun around, offering a hand to her. He would match her movement, as well as he could. "So you are the same, and yet you are two? Two parts of a whole, or two wholes apart?" She was interesting. He had never met one that changed as drastically as this, before. He danced, he moved, using his flight, as he made the music around them change, matching Zenith's movements.

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Zenith spun, leaped, and just got to be free with her movement.  And, well to show off.  Something Corinne did, though rarely.  The fact she could walk on air added another level to her dance, and her acrobatics.  She gleefully engaged with Pan, moving with him, around him, letting him lead, or taking lead.


Without conscious thought, or at least the appearance of such, she exerted her power, distorting, changing their surroundings.  From leaves, to ice, to whatever thought drifted across her mind in the moment.  "You are putting too much thought into it!" Zenith cried out, between peals of exultant laughter, before she crashed to him, and took his hands in hers, lacing their fingers together before she leaped again, and rose up.  Palms press, she balanced herself his hands, holding herself upwards from him, before her feet catch on the air...


... and perspective shifted, and she drew him up, or was it down now?  Against the pool of shimmering iridescence.


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"Probably, but I'm curious by nature!" It had taken a few moments of dancing that had been filled with laughter from both of them, but he had managed to get a response out, as their fingers were laced together, as she rose up above him. And then everything was upside down, he was falling upwards, or down, everything was shifting. It was confusing, it was disorienting, but he held on through it all. 


The world was shifting and turning, but he could stabilize himself. Still holding Zenith's hands, he spun into yet another dance move, swirling around her, as he laughed the entire way, before grabbing her hand once again, pulling at Zenith to send her into another spin. No more words, then. Dance, it was!

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Now, there was more dancing, but in the middle of this.  In the middle of the music came a booming, "Ay, yo!  This is some psychedelic s---!" From off to the side, that heralded the arrival of at least some of the Brohort.  Brobastic leading the charge, as it were, a big, blocky, grinning meathead, all freckles, and a shock of red hair.  Behind him was a shorter guy, known as Gains, who look Southeast Asian, and had on horned rimmed glasses, and a side shaved hair style, his arms even more defined than the Brobastic.   The both were wearing tuxedo patterned t-shirts, with the sleeves cut off to really show off the guns.

"I was gonna check out the dance, look for honeys, but we should be droppin' somthin' ovah this!"  Brobastic laughed as he looked around at the leaf fort that Zenith had made.


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The fun and dance and changing of reality itself came almost to an abrupt end, when a voice called out. Pan continued dancing, even as he looked over at them. He had never met or even heard of these two before. Were they fellow students, or something else? They sounded like trouble, at the very least. Big, strong, dressed in ridiculous clothes. 


"Anyone you know?" he asked Zenith. He knew little of the fashion of this world, but he at least thought that the pair looked ridiculous. He had moved closer to Zenith once more before he had asked. Pan did not try to hide his annoyance at the interruption, either from Zenith or from the two muscular men.

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Her eyes widened, and then blazed brighter, light leaking away from her face in streaks that trailed after her as she 'fell' with a graceful back flip to land on the ground and faced them.  They were ruining it! Her arms started to rise, and in response some of what she made reacted, twisting into sharp crystalline sharped, and spreading around after her.  Following, and aiming at them.

She didn't have to respond Pan for him to get the idea.  Zenith just growled in her throat.  "Hello Robert."  Slowly she let her hands drop, and the spikes fell apart in a swirling scattering of leaves once more, shaking her head as she spun away, before starting off in a dead run, and throwing he hand before her, creating a platform that she leaped onto, and skated away on it, up into the air.

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Zenith knew them, and didn't like them. The spikes made her message more than clear, after all. Few friends liked being met with sharp objects being stabbed at their faces, after all! He followed her down, slowly descending alongside his dance partner, the glimmering Pixie Dust falling from him. 


He didn't touch down on the ground. They were flying, as it were. There were no reason to touch the ground, the dance had already been interrupted, after all, and quite rudely so. Looking down at the duo, Robert and his friend, Pan quickly followed Zenith on her platform, catching up to her, and flying alongside her. "Well, that was a mood killer." He did not care for the way the duo had spoken. He looked over his shoulder at them, just to see if they were still standing around, or had left. 

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She rose.  Not, perhaps, at the speed he might, but she rose nonetheless.  Putting distance between her and there.

That place.  She hated it.  And it was only an effort of will to not rip it down to it's foundations and make something better.  When Pan followed she didn't glance to him, the sparkles were a give away for his presence.  When he spoke she responded, "I... no, they are meatheads.  Not... bad, I just didn't want to be bothered by them," her tone dismissive of all of it.  "Let that be a lesson, don't get caught up in a moment and kiss someone, hm?"

Turning towards him, she made a cutting gesture, and her platform stopped rising, and they were thousands of feet in the air, and the thing started to drift away towards... wherever?  The river probably.  At a leisurely manner.

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"Oh, I get caught up in all kinds of moments." Pan had idly floated by, keeping pace with the platform. He was sitting in the air besides her now. They were high in the sky by now. He could see the lights below them, the great big shining city of Freedom that he had made his home for now. There was something more here, probably more to the story than Zenith was sharing, but he had no need to pry. "But I shall keep the advice in mind."


He waved his hand, Pixie Dust glimmering on it for a moment. Images began appearing on the sky and clouds all around them. Great ships, flying through the sky all around them. It had been a while since he had created something this grand, but he wanted to show off a bit, since Zenith had gotten her chance before.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"According to the movies we're supposed to have a moment, I don't really feel like that.  I think staring at the city at night is lovely..."  She trailed off as he made a show of things, lips parted in the middle of words coming out.  She stared at what he showed, bright apertures of light, that served as her eyes were wide, and the discordant glimmer around her, and movement of her hair seemed to settle.  To becomes more orderly.  She stepped towards the edge of the platform and watches the show he put on play out around her, lost in it.

Her hands rose, reaching out, moving a little as if tracing in air the things that Pan was making.

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Pan had seen some more movies in his time here, sure. Micah had convinced him to see some, but the moment that Zenith mentioned eluded him still. He simply shrugged. "It is not something I know much about. At any rate, why do what is expected of you? That just gets boring, and predictable." Did they need a moment? He was not sure, but did it matter? No, not at all. 


Zenith seemed to be calming down now, so he just kept painting the images on the sky. If she liked them, then that was great. The great ships moved to and from, drifting by an imaginary wind. The city was more than visible below, the shining lights of his new home. I mean, do we even need a moment, whatever that entails? I think this is perfectly nice. I never saw anything quite like Freedom City back home. All those lights, all those buildings. So many people, all gathered in one place." He was still sitting in the air beside her, his elbow on his knee, his head resting in the palm of his hand as he looked out on the sights.

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She rose onto the points of her toes, growing taller as she did so, above her already impressive height.  And she leaned forwards, pitching beyond the point where she might fall forward.  Her arms outstretched, and moved gracefully, chasing arm his creations  "They say, you say.  Everyone says, even when you don't talk.  The choice is already made, unspoken.  The compact made, hm?"  A shiver moved through her form, shaking the platform that they moved on lazily.  "I don't, she doesn't, want to be a hero.  That we can call them wrong, what they do... not everyone with powers is made to leap into the fray."  She frowned a little bit, and turned towards him, breaking her eyes away from his images now, though it was clearly with effort.


There is a sly twist of her lips then, "It doesn't help, she and I are tall, pretty, and confident with our body.  I dance, it upsets Nicole.  I am in a leotard and it bothers Micah, and Monica.  We speak our mind, and it drives Ashley up a wall, and she glowers like we would hurt Judy, or it pisses everyone off... because... I don't know.  And Summers toys with us for goals and molds that she wishes us to fit into.  And... she and I just want to dance."  And Zenith moved into arabesque on an exhale like it was as natural as breathing.


And then she moved slowly through an graceful, expressive movement of limbs, in a slow circular moment to drop down to squatting position, her arms around her legs, her hands a short distance apart before her, and then was an explosion between them, blinding light and fury, contained therein.  "And her power... Or I am her power, and it is unlimited choice, and options... and it binds me to a world we never fathomed or wanted."  She lifted her head to look up at him, before she rose smoothing up, and once again was on her tiptoes, before she leaned in close and kissed his forehead.

"The moment always happens, silly Pan.  If you didn't want one, you would not have followed."  Though she did not push beyond that, it didn't feel to carry a romantic weight.  It just seemed... natural to her, if he was going to chase her when she was upset and be there when she spoke.

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She was tall. Now, Pan had never been accused of that particular characterization, but looking up at Zenith (or was it Corinne now? No, it was probably still Zenith, the way she talked), this was one of the few times he had even considered people's height. Tall or not, Pan did however agree. Not everyone with powers were meant for action or adventure, were they? Power, or magic, or extraordinary abilities, seemed to be more common back on Neverworld, though usually weaker than what was found here on Earth. Corinne, or Zenith, possessed great power. Far greater than him, probably.


She danced again. And Pan was simply staring. Her moves held great beauty, and he was captivated for the moment as she rose up, and planted her lips on his forehead. It felt... nice. It had been a long while since he had been that close to someone.


Still, he took a step back, shaking his head as he smiled. "There are always moments, are there not? You are upset, so why would I not follow? I must admit, I did not seek anything in return, but I could not leave a friend alone." He looked out at the images on the sky. They were changing a bit. The ships disappearing into the clouds. "You can never please everyone, or at times anyone, can you? And yet, if there is one thing I have learned, it is this: Be you, don't be someone else. It is admirably to be a hero, sure, but it is not for everyone. And I do not mean to say that doing something else is anything but brave! If you wish to dance, then dance!"

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She shook her head, and she sighed a little bit.  "I don't think I get that choice any more... since it happened, since I've been here things are moving.  And dreams are just that, hm?  Just dreams.  But here I am a teenage godling trying to be deep because she can reach out and create, change, and... destroy."  And she shifted a bit, snapping her fingers as she held her arms up, a jacket forming around her torso , and her arms.  Her hands moving to curl and shrink the platform until it was the size of a rowboat or so, and there was a pile a wood.

She snaked an arm around his shoulders, and urged him down as she made tossing motion and the fire erupted on the wood.  "You gotta be cold... breath is showing.  So, Pan, are you the guy in the book?"  She leaned against him lightly, not cold, but enjoying the small measure of contact.

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"We are the sum of our experiences, and yet, our dreams are still a part of that. If you are indeed a godling, then who is to say that you are not a god of dance?" There was jest to his tone, but also sincerity.


"Is it? I had not noticed." Now that she was pointing it out, he had to admit that she was right. They were up here in the sky, in the wind, in the night. He was starting to feel cold. As the platform shifted and shrank, he accepted her unspoken offer, with her arm around his shoulder, sitting besides her. It felt nice to be this close to someone, in a silent moment for once. Sure, Pan liked to hug, but it was mostly a spur of the moment thing, when caught up in excitement. This was something much calmer. It was nice, yes.


So, the question. He had heard a few variations in his time on Earth. It did not bother him, but it was usually just a matter of time. "Maybe?" He grinned at her again. "Honestly, I have read the books a few times since I arrived here. Watched a few of the movies too. A lot of details are right, much else is wrong. Still, it is curious, is it not? How could someone write a story about me more than 100 years before I arrived in this world?" If Zenith (or was it Corinne?) needed the change in topics, then he was willing to comply, of course.

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She laughed, and shook her head, and her incandescent hair fell about them both in the pinks and golds of dawn's light.  "Like I know... I haven't finished my high school diploma.  I know mitochondria is the power house of the cell, I've had to read Great Gatsby twice, and the performance stuff..."  She settled against him, and lifted her hands, holding them before her, as she idly plucked at the air, and pulled out strands of light as she quickly went to work making a cat's cradle.  Lacing luminous strands to link her long fingers.

It was clear, not matter the form she was a fidgeter.  It was a constant, even sitting still she was moving, even if a little.  Still...


She arched a brow, as she leaned against him.  "But, I can make things from nothing, which isn't possible either.  So, you tell me, is it possible?  In the nevernever?"

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"Hm, what makes this Gatsby so great?" Pan idly wondered, while Zenith plucked strands of light from the air itself. His book was just called "Peter Pan" not "Great Pan". Why did this Gatsby get to be named great? He did not know why, but it somehow stung his pride.


It was fascinating to watch as Corinne worked. Pan could play with images, sounds, a touch, a smell, even a taste, but still, it was all just false images. Corinne was actually creating these things. Pulled straight from the air, between her fingers. Without really thinking about it, he moved his arm around her shoulders as she leaned in, holding her close.


Anything is possible, as far as I am concerned. Just look at all the wonders of this world, just look at you. As you said, you make the impossible possible. And is that not a wonderful thing, in its own way? So, of course it is possible." He made a slight shrug. "Still, I would like to know how, and perhaps why. There must be some significance, why else would I have ended up in this world?"

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"It's, like, metaphor?  Not literal.  It's a criticism of American culture, or parts of it..."  And she moved her hands a bit, hooking the strands around one of his fingers, and she wove it around him.  "Literary you isn't that?"  She shrugs, a bit, staring at the complex shapes she was making with her hands, and around his as well.  She laughed a little bit, "I don't know... I never read it, just seen the movies, and may have performed in a ballet themed on it..."

Her laughter settled into a little giggle, as she realized this was suddenly awkward.  "I don't, we don't, looking into significance.  Sometimes it is just an accident.  But then I change things that's what I do."


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Pan grinned at the laugh and the giggle, gladly offering his hands for the complex shapes, his eyes fully focused on the glowing strands. There were ballets based on the book about him, too? "I had not heard about the ballets!" He was even more famous in this world than he had thought! So many different tales and stories, all about him, twisted and changed though they might be. 


"Oh, I have read the book a few times now. It is kind of weird to read about someone that is you, but not at the same time, if that makes any sense?" That had to be some significance to being here, right? "But maybe you are right! If I will ever understand if there is a significance of being here, rather than there," a map of Neverworld appeared in the air before them, with New Avalon, Victori, the Wish Isle and more, and moving images of sea monsters in the water around the islands, "then perhaps it is best to just let it happen! Besides, where would I even go to figure it out?" There was a bit of triumph in his voice, his optimism still shining through. 

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"Ya lost me, I am not really the introspective type.  I like making things, I like dance, and I like being and doing pretty, I am not really going to think about myself, or my circumstances like that.  But there is nothing like that stuff about me, so it isn't something I've had to think about."  And then she tugged at the stands, and then pulled around his wrist, and hand, and fell off, as if she had never wrapped him up in them.

"I think you go get nachos.  Yes.  Nachos help most things."  She nodded sagely as she regarded him, and pressed a hand to the platform and urged it down toward the river, at a steep rate.  

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"Well, you were the one that asked if I was the one from the book." He winked at her. He was not terribly introspective normally, but something about that book and his connection to it seemed to bring it out in him. It was a bit disconcerting, to say the least. But nachos! That sounded wonderful! Much better than all these solemn thoughts! What could be a better solution to something like this than nachos?


"A brilliant idea!" And off they were, racing towards the river. "I do not believe that I have tasted that yet! There is so much amazing food on this world, so different from back home!" It was different, this. Flying on not his own accord, but it was interesting. "How fast do you think this can go?"

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There was a sly smile on her face as she looked at him, and she took his hand, lacing fingers together, "It's relative Pan.  Get ready for a showstopper!"  And her other hand was thrown upwards, banishing her creation like mist under the noonday sun, though with a shimmering cascade of light.  She held him up as she stood on air for a moment, and then dove with him down from several thousand feet above the river.  Her free hand outstretched and made a circular movement, and before them tore open a hole in space, showing a scene of a sidewalk on a busy street.

As they fell through, they were skidding in front of a the big front window of a tacqueria, with Zenith able to keep her balance on her feet adroitly.  "Voila!"  And then she was laughing, doubling over a bit as peals of delight left her mouth.

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