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Movie Night in West End

Thunder King

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Saturday, October 20th

The cab pulled up near the theater, and Henry handed the money to the driver before opening the door and stepping out. He drew himself to his full height, over six feet, and walked towards the door. Black leather shoes tapped against the pavement as he strolled towards the door of the small theater.

He was clearly out of place. He wore a long coat over a buttoned up shirt and slacks. There were a pair of black leather shoes visible under the coat and a hat sat on his head. He knew wearing a hat like that in public was long out of style, but he felt naked without it. Men just wore hats in public more often in his time, he supposed.

As soon as he was inside, he politely removed his hat and was surprised to see a short line of about fifteen to twenty people. None of them dressed remotely like him, of course, but he could forgive changing fashions after nearly a century away from Earth.

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Since her return Lucy had gained an interest in Vampire in fiction. She’d read and watched almost everything on them, even the one with sparkly vampire though modern editing and pacing still confused her.

But Nosferatu was different. She had gone to see it with her then boyfriend, later fiancé, and in this very movie theatre. So it held special memories of a person she had lost, to her at least, only recently. The place hadn't changed much despite the intervening years; she looked around drinking in the atmosphere. So lost in her memories of the old places and old times she hadn't noticed the back of the queue and collided with the man in front of her.

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Henry spun on his heels at the impact. He had intended to be polite regardless, but at least wanted to know the face of the aggressor and, if necessary, defend himself. He had not expected to see the short, sharply dressed woman before him. Her clothing seemed odd, and he wondered if she was truly at the theater to see the same movie.

"Ma'am..." He said with a polite nod of his head. His voice was deep, with a hint of gravel to it, an edge of roughness that showed his age. It was colored with a splash of a southern drawl and the hints of something exotic and foreign. "If I was in your way, I apologize." He gave a bit of a grin to show that yes, he was aware she ran into him, but no, he wasn't bothered.

He didn't think much of her odd appearance. After so long in space, every human appeared odd to him from time to time.

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For a few second she thought she was still reliving her memories, having literally bumped into a suited man who reminded her a little of her fiancé. For a few minutes she forgot herself and looked him in the eyes and gave him a bright friendly smile.

“No apology necessary, I wasn’t really looking where I was going. You know how I get when I’m thinking about something…â€

Then reality came crashing back and her smile turned into a frown, she broke eye contact and looked down.

“Sorry you reminded me of someone I knew, a long time ago…â€

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Henry smiled a little sad smile, having remembered all of his friends from his military days. His friends in the Zarnashi military. So many people he left behind, or watched die. For a moment, he too was caught up in a melancholy mood.

"Well, it sounds like I reminded you of someone special." He said with his best sympathetic smile. "Have you seen this show before?" He said, trying to distract this sad woman from her mood. He wasn't much good for this sort of thing, but he could at least try.

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"Yes, yes he was. It was a long time ago...but it doesn't seem that long to me." She managed a weak smile "I'm sorry I dumped this on you, and we've not even been introduced. "She offered out a hand "Lucy Harker. Pleased to meet you..."

She gave a smile, more genuine this time. "Have I seen this movie? Well yes, but it so long ago you could say it was almost when it came out."

Which was true it had been a couple of months after it release before they had gone to see it.

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"Henry Mason." He said, shaking her head. "I saw this show many, many years ago. I saw that they were doin' a special Halloween showing, and I just had to see it, for old time's sake."

He smiled his best, nicest smile. "I wouldn't worry too much about dumping things on me, I can take it. We all got burdens to bear, and, sometimes, they're just too heavy to handle alone." He did not know who this sad woman was, quite yet, but there was certainly something intriguing about her.

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Despite his assurance there was a little bit of her Victorian upbringing holding her back. Besides she didn't tell everything to someone she had just met. A girl had to keep a little mystery.

"I like the costume, it a shame I didn't know it was fancy dress or I'd come as Theda Bara." She struck her best Vamp pose.

In truth she had planned to change before coming here, but into something less conspicuous. A run in with a mugger had scuppered those plans.

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"Costume?" He said, obviously confused for a moment. "Oh, my clothes. I like to dress up on occasion, I think some things never stop looking good." He said, holding up his hat as to show it to her.

"to be honest, it's been so long since I've seen this that it'll practically be a new movie to me." He kept having to remind himself to use modern day speech. It wouldn't do much for his secret identity to break out with sayings from the turn of the century.

"It's the best time of year to see a movie like this." He said, gazing up at the marquee. "...though the world sure has changed." He muttered to himself.

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Without really thinking about Lucy fell in beside him as the queue begun to move forwards.

"Don't get wrong I like to see a man in a suit." she gave him a good look up and down "And you look good in a suit. It's a shame that people only wear them out at this time of year."

She looked around at the movie theater, full of memories, but here and there reminders of how things had changed.

"Just imagine what it would be like for someone who save the movie when it first came out? So much has changed since then."

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For a moment, he stiffened, it had been a long time since anyone had complimented him on anything at all. He had been in space, surrounded by aliens who, to him, looked as alien as he did to them. In fact, it had been so long that women did not compliment men like that in his day. Ah, must be the new youth, he thought.

"Thank you Ma'am..." He said with a bit of nerves in his speech. "The world has changed a great deal within my lifetime." He said gazing up. "Fashions, technology, movies. Everything is so different, sometimes I wonder if I stumbled onto an alien world."

He turned and smiled to her. "It's good to know, though, that beautiful women don't change even when the times do."

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She never been quite sure how she could but Lucy could blush, something she did now. She had never considered herself pretty and still didn’t totally believe people, but it was still nice when people told her.

“Why you old charmer you.†She gave him a broad smile “But I’m nothing special. It seems that my look has fallen out of fashion, at least among most people†she glanced towards a couple of pale teens preparing to enter the theater.

“But I find there are two ways to deal with changing times. One is to embrace it, to soak it all up, enjoy the new. Not that you need to abandon the old. Or you retreat into the old ways, and grow stagnant and possibly bitter. I’ve unfortunately meet people like that, I can’t help feeling sorry for them.â€

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"I just call it like I see it." He said with a shrug. "Beauty isn't a matter of just looks, but of a good heart, a nice smile, or eyes. Some people are obsessed with the wrong kinds of beauty."

"Life moves forward, forever, time never stops or slows down for nobody. I don't want to be a bitter old man, angry and bitter all the time. Life should have joy to it. I've seen people get bitter and angry, that's not my way of doing things. I'm going to continue to adapt as I get older, continue to live my life looking forward."

He put his hands in his pockets and kept his eyes open, looking around the area, apparently taking in the decor.

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There wasn’t really much she could add to such a philosophy. As the queue shuffled forwards she realized something. Her hand went to her face and she looked genuinely embarrassed.

“I’m sorry it’s seems I’ve imposed myself upon you. What you must think some crazy woman bumping into you, babbling on about old times…†not that it was unpleasant to talk to this man “Are you meeting anyone here tonight?†Sometimes the direct options were the best options.

She really hope the answer was no, she wouldn’t mind spending the evening in man's, no gentleman’s presence.

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"I was planning on taking in this show by myself, but plans can certainly change." He said with a smile and shrugged. "I don't know anyone who would have come with me. It's been a very long time since I was in the company of a woman, see, so I can't guarantee I won't be a little rusty. However, if you're willing to put up with a man who hasn't been out in a long time, I was wondering if you would do me the honor of sitting near me, and enjoying this film with me."

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If she could she would have blinked at him, it had been about a year for her (and much nearer a hundred for everyone else) since everyone had taken the time to formerly ask her to spend time together. You could even call it a date. It was a sweet thing to do and she couldn’t help but give him a warm smile, but in spite of herself she couldn’t help but comment.

“Should I get permission from my parents first?†she gave a little laugh “I’m sorry but it rare to meet a Gentleman these days. I’d be delighted to spend the evening in your company.â€

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"Ma'am, if you require the permission of your parents, I'm afraid I'd be worried. I am grateful, though, it is nice to see a movie with someone." He did not ask her what was next on his mind, that being whether or not she'd like to go out for coffee and a bite afterwards. He'd wait, patiently, until after the movie. If she found him insufferable, there'd be no point in asking a question like that.

"Two for Nosferatu, please." He said to the lady in the window. He figured he'd cover her ticket, and if she were a 'modern woman' she could insist on paying for her own if she wanted to. But back in his day, it wasn't right for a man to let a woman pay for her own way like that, there were rules about that sort of thing. Still, this was a different time, and he knew it would be prudent to listen to her if she insisted on paying for her own. After all, offending the lady was hardly his idea of smart.

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When she was young she remembered book that her mom use to have about proper decorum among ladies of breeding. She could never be considered a lady, but she knew how women of her era were meant to behave. By the way Henry was acting he’d read the same books to. It left her in a bit of a quandary. The independent woman in her wanted to insist on paying, but he was a really nice guy and she didn’t want to hurt his feeling.

“While you get those sorted out I’ll go get us some popcorn and sodas.â€

With little pause she made her way to the concession stand, something the Movie Theater didn’t have when she was last here. Hopefully this would help keep both of their honors intact.

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Henry respected her decision to cover the concessions, though back in his day, you had popcorn, maybe, and that was it. "Seems we're all set." He said, nodding politely and smiling.

The movie was as good as he remembered it, and, to his surprise, people in the theater seemed to think so too. Apparently, it had become a 'classic and iconic piece of cinematic history', something one of the young people dressed in odd clothing remarked upon. Still, despite the movie's quality, he found himself concentrating more on the lady beside him during the movie. She was nice, friendly, pretty, and seemed to have a certain, something he couldn't put his finger on. A quality to her that was timeless, classic and made him want to know her better.

As they stepped into the cool October night, he pulled his hat back over his head and smiled at the lady beside him. "Ma'am, it seems that a bit of a chill is in the air tonight. I was wondering if you would do me the honor of joining me for coffee. I know a place that makes a fine cup of coffee not that far down the road, maybe grab a bite to eat too?"

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The movie was everything she remembered. At the time she wasn’t really interested in movie, more in spending time with her boyfriend. Of cause now she had more of an investment in the whole vampire, catching moments of truths in literature. As she wandered out of the cinema with henry she was feeling pretty good.

"Ma'am, it seems that a bit of a chill is in the air tonight. I was wondering if you would do me the honor of joining me for coffee. I know a place that makes a fine cup of coffee not that far down the road, maybe grab a bite to eat too?"

She tried to act all nonchalant when Henry asked her for coffee but her heart would be pounding, if her heart still beat.

“It would be a pleasure to have coffee with you.†She couldn’t help but give a broad smile.

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Within a few minutes, the two found themselves at a nearby cafe, having ordered. With his coat and hat off, it was obvious that Henry was a large man, dressed in slacks and a short-sleeved button up shirt. All of his clothing was neatly pressed, and his hair was cut neatly. All in all, he looked well groomed. He sipped his coffee, and put it down.

"Nothing like a cup of coffee to warm you up from a chill." He said. "I confess, I'm not used to small talk." He was awkward, and nervous. He cursed himself, he wasn't supposed to be as awkward as he was, but then again, he hadn't had the chance to talk to a lady in...about eighty years. After that long of a time, he'd be out of practice.

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She took her coffee extra strong and black and still it tasted like slightly flavored water, it was one of the downsides of her resurrection. But at least she could appreciate the company she was with. As a former lawyer she had a talent for reading people and he was radiating nerves.

“Oh don’t worry I’ve got enough small talk for both of us, and if not well sometimes it’s nice to spend time in someone else’s company, no conversation is necessary.†She gave a reassuring smile “But why don’t we start with the basics, where’s home?â€

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"I've got a nice little apartment, not that far from here, actually." He chuckled. "Not much to it, but I don't spend a lot of time at home anyway, so it doesn't matter. I'm a firefighter, see, so home is a place I see occasionally." He shrugged and sipped his coffee.

"What about you?" He asked. "Where's home for you?"

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“I’m a Freedom City girl through and through. You could almost say my life is bound within the foundations of this city.†She smiled to herself at her private little joke “In fact I’m living in the very house where I was born. Though I did move out for a little while. It’s been taken over by a whole new group of immigrant’s, like my parents, who came her to start a new life away from old fears or to find new dreams. So I’m the first generation of the Harker’s to be born in America.â€

She often wondered how many other generation had followed on from her, but she didn’t think that her sister decedents would want a relic like her forcing her way into their life.

“Actually there’s a wonderful view from the window of the city, I often sit out on the roof an just watch the city bustle about. Maybe I could show you the view sometime…â€

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Henry went white for just a second, and then smiled. "I'm sure the view is wonderful." he said, not sure what her invitation meant, but knowing people in this modern era, he had no idea.

"I grew up in Kentucky, actually." He said. "Parents died at a very young age, was raised by a relative. Joined the army as soon as I could." Sooner, actually, but she didn't need to know that. "Did a long tour of duty and settled in Freedom City. I liked Kentucky, but it just didn't suit me much." Truth be told, he liked the city, with it's lights and noise. And despite those lights and noise being so much newer. He liked the city now, too.

Of course, a 'long tour of duty' was nearly a century, but again, not need-to-know information.

"Decided on becoming a fire fighter, figured after going to war, I could try to save lives."

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