52_dropoff: (Default)
Charlie thumbs through the rather vast collection of poems the Bar provided today. Some of the stuff he knows, much he doesn't. Some is good, some is crap.

And he's dogearred several pages of note.
52_dropoff: (PB no face)
It used to be called the flying dream. The dream everyone has. The one where you are flying. About ten years ago, it was renamed. It's now the Superman dream.

Charlie used to have it when he was alive. The sensation of flight. And of being able to do anything. From what he read, it's considered a healthy dream, a dream of seeking to transcend boundaries and be better. Charlie never found it that pleasant. He liked being human.

That changed when he got to be Captain Atom for three days. Suddenly, he really could fly. He really had some amazing powers. At the time, he was sure that such powers weren't really something he wanted to have. It was just an experiment, one he was glad was ending quickly.

Since then? He has the dream. Two or three times a week. He is Captain Atom again, and he is soaring. He is happy.

And in most of the dreams, he is not alone. He is carrying a pretty, vivacious young woman named Sallie. She is enjoying the ride, but she is teasing and testing him all the way. He likes that. He likes her.

And that is confusing. Because he knows that isn't the Sallie he knows. She was like that once, but that's not her. And yet...when he sees Sallie in the waking life, he sees two faces, the older one and the younger one of his dreams. Very confusing indeed.

And so, on this night as on many others, he dreams of flight and power and friendship and...surely not love. That would be foolish. But not just lust. Or infatuation. But something pleasant and calming and good. And when he wakes up, he feels fine. And wonders about being Captain Atom again. And about Sallie. And about how, just this once, Superman has nothing on him.
52_dropoff: (Default)
Sallie isn't nervous. There's no reason to be nervous - she has hosted plenty of dinners for plenty of people before. Maybe it's because this is the first one that she has run in a new kitchen in her new apartment in her new position as Barman. She compensates by cooking. A lot. If Charlie comments on it, she'll say that she's making it to put out for the Bound patrons for the holiday.

By the time Charlie knocks on the door, the table is set and Sallie has finally pieced together the stereo she borrowed from the Bar so there could be some music going on while they ate. Sallie flutters around and talks to Charlie while setting out the roast - even manages to tell a joke or two when they come to her. Conversation turns at one point to the music Sallie chose - piano-qin duets that she prefers - and eventually it occurs to her that maybe she should get her pie out of the oven where it had been staying warm.

Eventually, Sallie throws her napkin up on the table in defeat. "I can't eat another bit! Thank you for coming - I hope everything turned out well for you."

Sallie and Charlie talk a little bit about Malcolm and Inara coming to Shadow the next day for Christmas before Charlie stands to excuse himself, taking some of the food he probably guessed had been cooked just in case he wanted it back out to the bar on Sallie's behalf. Sallie opens the door and kisses him on the cheek lightly before he turns to leave.

Good day.

It doesn't feel like another planet. Or even another time. It could be a ranch house in the Mountain West, for all he knows. One that is just a little on the high tech side of things. He bets that Bruce Wayne has more gadgets than Sallie. So it feels oddly comfortable.

The evening is pleasant. More than pleasant. It's like being with family. Which would mean being with Professor Rodor and Renee and Richard. He never got to spend a proper Christmas with Renee, what with all that morphine in his dying body. He wonders what she'd make of this. He wonders if she's met Sallie yet.

He also wonders what might have been if he'd met Sallie when she really was young. There is something in her firm gentleness that reminds him of Myra. He thinks of Myra for a second, and when he smiles, Sallie catches it and he decides to tell her about his one great love. Charlie is very grateful that memories of Myra are not lost.

After dinner - after a meal where he's stuffed himself more than he has in about twelve years - Sallie and Charlie probe the pieces of his memory that are gone. He can't remember more than six members of the JLA, or the members of President Luthor's Cabinet. He knows all the presidents, the Ten Commandments, and the ingredients of every health shake he ever made. He doesn't recall many of the things Natalie Teeger told him about her life, but remembers training her and kissing her. The conclusion of the discussion? The gaps are random. Sallie suggests he talk with one of the Bar's doctors, and recommends an associate of her son's named Tam.

He's a bit disappointed that he didn't get to meet Malcolm and Inara, though he can't help comment about how much Malcolm looks like Bill Pardy. Sallie admits that her son seems to have a common face. Charlie makes plans to introduce himself to Malcolm, though he isn't sure Malcolm will like him. He's not sure why, though, and keeps that to himself.

At night's end, the food gone and the fireplace burning down, Charlie thanks his hostess, accepts her leftovers and her kiss, and offer a small bow. "Thanks for inviting a lost soul into your home." He doesn't quite know why he puts it that way, but after the past week of being lost in thought, it seems apt.
52_dropoff: (Captain Atom t-shirt)
As the cool of the morning fades, Charlie prepares the exercise mats and other equipment near the lake. He's looking forward to seeing Natalie, but he's also just a bit preoccupied. Which means that he best sit on one of those mats and meditate till she arrives.
52_dropoff: (closeup - 52)
Once again, Charlie is set up to train Natalie. He's got the mats and the bottled water. He also has a jump rope. And today he's dressed in a basic karate outfit, with a white belt.

While he waits for Natalie to arrive, he sits on the grass and meditates.
52_dropoff: (Default)
Charlie has staked out a spot on the far side of the lake, away from any and all signs of runaway bread dough. He's laid out a large exercise mat borrowed from the gym, and has brought some bottles of water and some towels. He's not quite sure what route to take to train Natalie, but this is at least a start.

April 2010

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