Description: Rafferty tries to get his pretty little head around the possibility of his girlfriend being a terminator.
As the end credits roll on Midnight In Paris, Rafferty mutes the volume and sits back against the headboard, with a contemplative look on his chiseled face.
"If you could live in any place at any time, where would it be?" he asks of Nena, who is currently with the teen model in his dorm room. Ryan, his roommate has gone to a concert in town and informed Rafferty not to expect him back before dawn. Relations have been a little strained between the twosome, since Ryan witnessed Rafferty pondering the idea of being called Prince.
"I think for me, it would be eighteenth century France. I'd be one of those aristocrats, before they started getting their heads cut off anyway. I think I'd really work that whole fashion look." His long fingered hand moves to brush back a lock of platinum blonde hair from his smooth skinned forehead. "I'd probably skip the dumb wigs though."
He exhales loudly as he focuses his blue eyes on his girlfriend. "Sorry if I'm going on about movies, history and fashion. I suppose what we should be talking about is...well, you know what happened earlier, at the boardwalk."
He seems to visibly cringe as he says this, obviously reluctant to actually discuss it.
The petite brunette turns her head to the right, then up to make eye contact with Rafferty as he speaks. An empty watermelon-and-tomato-juice smoothie cup still rests in her hand, though it's been drained since the beginning of the movie. A bowl filled with the unpopped remaining kernels from a bag of popcorn sits in her lap, though she hasn't touched the popcorn itself - her boyfriend has had the run of it.
"Rafferty, I do not believe that you would find eighteenth century France to be as ideal as you contend. According to my understanding, they were deficient in amenities such as hot showers and hair products, without which you have previously stated that you would be unable to survive."
She tilts her head to one side.
"I would prefer to live in this time period, because it is a time period with hot showers, hair products, and you, my boyfriend, Rafferty."
She turns to face ahead, her expression blank as her eyes take in the credits passively.
"Were you distressed by what happened at the boardwalk? If you would prefer, I will refrain from ordering licorice and mango in combination in the future."
At the mention of the smoothie combo from hell, Rafferty pulls a disgusted expression, mirroring the one Nena would have witnessed earlier, upon placing her unusual order.
"I suppose watermelon and tomato is a small upgrade on mango and licorice, but I wouldn't thank you for it. I will thank you for that popcorn though, it was delicious and I was so hungry after throwing my dinner up!"
His usual charming and disarming smile is in place, though perhaps there's signs of some tension behind it. Reaching over to remove the empty drink container from Nena's hand and replacing it with his own hand, he starts to run his fingers over the flesh there softly. He seems fascinated by watching this motion, tracing her skin in silence for at least a minute, before saying "It's not about your choice of refreshment though. It's about your hand coming off."
Once the words are out, he seems mildly panicked and he changes the subject with enough speed to give himself a bad case of whiplash.
"You're totally right about the showers and the hair product. Imagine having no internet too! I just got to wear the clothes like they used to, in a fashion shoot once and damn, I looked good."
The teen visibly preens after saying this, losing himself in the glory of the memory for a moment, before he forces himself to focus on the matter in hand again.
"Are you actually a human, Nena? Because no human I have ever seen could take their hand off and put it back on. The way you fought too. You grabbed that guy out of the air and..."
He sighs dramatically. "I just don't know what to think."
Seeking to make eye contact with her again, he adds "That was sweet though, what you said, about wanting to be here with me. I mean if you weren't a human, you wouldn't have feelings, would you?"
The skin of Nena's hand certainly feels human enough - the same hand that the brunette had casually detached from its socket to reveal some kind of strange energy cannon behind it earlier the same day. Even now, the point where it might separate in such a manner again is invisible to the naked eye. She is frustratingly humanoid, on the surface.
Yet, the mannerisms, the speech patterns, the mango licorice smoothies - let alone detachable hands - all point to something certainly being /different/ about Nena.
"I am an ordinary teenage girl," Nena states calmly, repeating a line that she has stated more often than any ordinary teenage girl would ever do.
She remains silent for a moment, staring at Rafferty's eyes.
"However, I find that your concern is valid. My research shows that detachable hands are, in fact, not a common feature amongst ordinary teenage girls. Yet, instinctively, I became aware of my capacity for doing so, when confronted with a dangerous situation. It is possible that I am equipped with prosthetics as well as rocket boosters, and that I am suffering from amnesia regarding the process by which my limbs were exchanged for artificial ones."
Her head cocks to one side. "Otherwise, I am not an ordinary teenage girl, and that is unthinkable, because Simon told me that I am an ordinary teenage girl, and Simon would not lie to me."
She straightens her head again.
"I cannot confirm or deny whether non-humans are capable of sentimental attachment, only that I do not wish to exist in a reality separate to yours."
Rafferty's expression brightens, as Nena tries to explain her situation.
"So you were probably in an accident or something then, that made you lose your memory and they had to give you those parts to save you! Like that Gedo girl we met on the beach!"
He starts to nod his head rapidly, as if convincing himself of this scenario.
"I bet it affected your tastebuds too and that's why you like mango and licorice smoothies!" He snaps the fingers of his free hand in the air, warming to the theme.
"This Simon guy must have been appointed your guardian, because all your family were killed in the accident or something and...man, this would make a great movie."
A faraway look appears on his face, as he imagines some future where he plays the crucial role of himself in the Hollywood blockbuster version of Nena's life. He'd be perfect for the part!
He pulls the brunette close to him, giving her a hug and tipping over the bucket full of popcorn kernels in the process.
"You've been through so much, babe. I'm glad we exist in the same reality too, so I can be here for you."
It seems like a genuine moment of sincerity from the often self absorbed blond.
"Yes. This sequence of historical events seems plausible," Nena agrees in a completely even tone as Rafferty lays out the steps to a reality where he doesn't have to contend with the possibility that his girlfriend is a Terminator.
"Simon is my uncle, and my parents are indeed perished in an unfortunate accident some time previous," the ordinary teenage girl confirms dispassionately.
"Perhaps it would be useful to seek further information from my uncle, Simon. He is my uncle, and a reliable repository of answers to greater than seventy percent of all questions that I pose to him."
She looks down at the popcorn kernels now covering the floor and her skirt.
"However, first I must recover these kernels of popcorn for proper disposal."
"Ah, just leave them" Rafferty shrugs. "They have mostly gone on to Ryan's side of the room anyway."
Running his hand up and down the length of Nena's arm, he listens to her suggestion of consulting Simon.
"Yeah, sure if you wanna know more, babe. Don't go upsetting yourself though. It might be best just to live in the present."
His expression darkens, as a horrific memory of his own comes back to him.
"That reminds me! I found out some truly nightmarish news today in lunch break. People were talking about the results of that Rising Star competition and it isn't a search to find a star at all! At least not a star like me. It's for fighting stars. From what they were saying earlier, Edenlith and Tsugumi have been taking part in and it just doesn't seem like my kind of thing at all. I mean, can you imagine?"
His toned frame shudders against the petite girl."I'm going to have to find a way to get out of it. It's a shame, because I'd bought a new suit and everything. Tom Ford."
While her expression does not change, Nena's eyes linger dubiously on the popcorn kernels for a long moment. Her attention doesn't divert until Rafferty starts to talk about the Rising Star tournament and the horror of realising that it's a tournament for fighting stars.
"I see. I concur. A competition for fighting stars does not seem suitable for your conflict-averse temperament and delicate bone structure."
She smooths down the front of her skirt, removing the popcorn kernels from it, before kicking them to Ryan's side of the carpet.
"It was under my suggestion that you pursued entry into the Rising Star tournament, Rafferty. Do not be concerned; if you are not prepared to submit your posterior for kicking, then I will present mine as a substitute, because I wish to be a good girlfriend."
"You'd really do that for me?" Rafferty asks, gazing down at his girlfriend with fluttering dark lashes.
"I mean, I feel like you'd do a lot better, considering the way you handled those guys earlier."
He strokes his cheekbone softly, then nods his head.
"After careful consideration, I accept your kind offer, Nena. You really are a good girlfriend. I'm so lucky."
He beams a smile at her in reward and kisses her lightly on the forehead.
"I might skip coming to the fight though. I don't wanna vomit again."
"Do not be concerned, Rafferty," Nena says reassuringly, reaching out to place her hand on his arm. "As I previously stated, I will refrain from ordering a mango licorice smoothie in your presence again."
Log created on 15:32:04 03/30/2021 by Rafferty, and last modified on 20:12:02 03/30/2021.