|jackie whittemore is perfect. (perfectioniste) wrote in blackpoint,|
@ 2015-01-01 12:15:00
Adam Young had always enjoyed surprises. Very little surprised him one way or another; although one of the few powers he had never been blessed with (cursed with?) was omniscience, he nevertheless had observed so many happenings early on that now that he was a young man there was not much left that caused him shock or intrigue. Consequently, he enjoyed surprising others - it was as close to the sensation as he could usually manage.
The fact that Jackie Whittemore disliked so much about the season only made the prospect of improving it for her to be all-the-more appealing. Adam knew of her difficult family, of course, in theory if not in practice, and while he didn’t have much experience with difficult families firsthand he could understand how it would sour the holidays so obsessed with perfection and togetherness. Thankfully, there was far more opportunity with New Year’s Eve, and he had knowingly arranged for a surprise for Jackie suspecting that if there was any holiday magic to be had it would be on this end of December.
He knocked on the door to her flat dressed in a dark coat and a festive-enough sweater, his head of golden curls blown around quite a bit by the chilly New Year air. It was just about 6:52pm, and the crowds were already gathering for the ball drop happening a few miles away in Times Square, but that was none of Adam’s concern.
Alternatively, Jackie Whittemore didn’t particularly enjoy surprises. They usually were loud and embarrassing, and she hated being embarrassed. However, she did enjoy when people did wonderful things for her, which made for a lovely caveat to her dislike of being surprised. Adam had too many powers not to be intriguing, and these plans of his were sure to be impressive if by sheer nature of the fact that he was so impressive.
It might’ve been easy for someone to suspect that she liked him purely because of his abilities, because that would not have been terribly startling to those who knew Jackie at a passing level. The fact of the matter was, though, that Jackie never let anyone close purely for the sake of getting something from them. She was guarded and protective of the real sides of her, the ones beyond the superficial bitchiness, and she really quite liked being around Adam. Him wanting to improve her experiences of the holidays was something not at all lost on her.
She wore a flattering red dress over tights and boots, with a coat and scarf to finish it all off, and her eyebrows lifted as she opened the door to greet him. “Eight minutes early. I like it,” she said, grinning, adjusting her overnight bag.
“Better early than late,” Adam said, parroting his adoptive mother, even if time was a human concept that he wasn’t beholden to in the traditional sense. “You look lovely.” And she did - there was little doubt that he meant the compliment as his eyes swept her up and down and up again. Adam was well-used to people liking him, given the hypnotic powers of his birthright, but nonetheless he truly tried to make himself worthy of being liked. Otherwise second-guessing people’s motivations tended to drive him mad, even if he knew that Jackie would assure him that her approval came but rarely.
Despite himself, he was a little shy around her. It was likely due to the fact that he wanted her to like him of her own volition, for Adam was fairly outgoing as a rule. His shyness manifested itself as he gave her a kiss on the cheek; he was fairly sure that most would dash in to a probing kiss then and there all romance and swooning, but he’d never felt comfortable assuming that level of familiarity.
“Ready to go, then?” he asked, glancing at his watch to confirm that yes, he was a little early. Perfect; it would actually align with his plans well-enough that they would be. “It’ll be quite cold, where we’re going.”
“Damn right. I don’t tolerate lateness,” Jackie said, a teasing tone to her words even though they really were true. She’d completely refused to go on dates before because the person was a minute late. “I know. Thank you,” she responded, grinning in spite of her arrogant words, and preening a little with the complement and the way he observed her. She was glad that he was trying to make himself worth her appreciation, rather than using some power to persuade her into it. She may not have known it even if he were trying to hypnotize her, but she could tell that he was actively trying not to.
Jackie was the sort who usually was a lot more forward, and she was used to the same from those she dated. She had, after all, dated Lyle for quite a long time, and the two of them had never shied around physical action. The fact that Adam was so different was intriguing to her. His shyness made her feel it too, and that was a novelty for her. She smiled still as he kissed her cheek, almost blushing at it.
“Absolutely,” she said, nodding, stepping out of her doorway and locking the door behind her. “I packed warm, like you suggested, so I ought to be alright.”
“Perfect,” he said, and automatically took her bag from her. Adam couldn’t help it; he had been raised to be polite. That aforementioned shyness once again reasserted itself as he shrugged her bag over his shoulder and moved his hands to her waist, getting very close - but it wasn’t an unpleasant shyness, not at all. “Are you ready to go somewhere nice?” he asked, his head craning slightly on top of hers. He’d done this before, of course, but he was nonetheless being quite careful.
He was such a gentleman. She couldn’t get over that, and her amused and pleased expression reflected as much. She was pleased by his close proximity, her arms curling around him in kind and making sure that they were close enough that she didn’t end up split into a dozen pieces. She wasn’t sure if his means of transporting worked in the same way as the apparating, but she had no intentions of getting into trouble by not holding on. “Very much so. Let’s get out of here. New Year’s in New York is so cliché,” she said.
“So cliché,” he agreed with a particularly snobby expression, because playing along with her opinions was far more fun than figuring out why she said what she said. Adam wasn’t aware that she was comparing whatever he did to apparition, but either way she would find there simply wasn’t a comparison. There was no tug at the belly, no feeling of flying, no danger of splinching. One moment she was standing outside of her apartment in New York, and the next minute she was standing on a somewhat-precarious railing that dropped far, far down to a river. The skyline would, upon inspection, be familiar; she had spent time here in this city, as had Adam who had once attended a year’s worth of university here. It was 11:53pm in London, the locals preparing themselves for New Year in seven minutes time, and while it wasn’t automatically apparent where exactly she was standing, a closer look at the fact that there appeared to be massive hands telling the time behind her would have told her enough. Big Ben didn’t allow tourists this high, but it was no problem one way or another for Adam.
“I know you used to live here,” he said, his voice low in her ear, “but I thought since it was a good place to start over for you once, you might like to see it from a new angle, now.” Adam regarded her carefully, his expression clearly saying something along the lines of ‘if you hate it I’ll change it, I promise.’
Jackie laughed against his chest as the snobby expression, because he pulled it off entirely too well for how much of a human puppy he knew him to be. Jackie didn’t really enjoy apparition, personally, so the fact that there was no comparison wasn’t something that she lamented. She was startled by the sudden change of atmosphere that heralded the change in scenery, though, and opened her eyes with confusion when their feet settled again. She clung to him just a bit when her gaze was met by the plummeting surface below, but it took her no time at all to recognize where they were.
Jackie was quiet as he spoke in her ear, looking around London with a warmth in her chest, and then she smiled, lifting to press her lips to his briefly to answer the unspoken question. “It’s perfect,” she said aloud. “I love London.” And that much was true. Everything had gone to hell in Beacon Hills, so moving to London had provided her a chance to escape all of that and start anew. She’d adored living in England for the time she’d been there, and being back made her feel like coming home. It couldn’t have been a better choice. “Nice job, Mr. Antichrist.”
“Good,” he answered, relief and satisfaction mingling in his face as he regarded her face so close to his. “Good.”
Adam had never been bad with people, but he desperately liked to guess correctly. Throw a little magic at someone and anyone could be impressed, but that was a far leap from actually doing good. And he could tell from the hungry way Jackie stared at the view below them that this had fed some small part of her, and that was enough for him to relax against her and begin to truly enjoy the evening.
“It’s almost New Year’s Day, here,” he said, “and when that happens - we’re going to go bloody deaf from the chimes from this bad boy, not to mention the fireworks.” His smile lit up at the prospect; tradition with a dash of wild was his favorite way to ring in the holidays, after all. “We’re going to feel the chimes all the way to next week.”
Jackie really appreciated the thought that had gone into this, more than anything. She only ever spoke fondly of her time in London, and he’d apparently picked up on that. The opportunity to be this high up in Big Ben was a really fascinating thing, too.
Being back in London made her want to move back and stay forever, but she knew that wouldn’t be the same. This place lacked the same people and didn’t have quite the same opportunities, and that made it not quite what it’d been before. And she could make it work, sure, but she wasn’t keen on leaving behind what she’d made in New York. Still, it was so great to be back. She smiled as he relaxed against her, doing the same against him now that she knew she wasn’t going to fall to her death or anything.
“If it gets me howling, it’s on you,” she responded, laughing. “My poor werewolf ears.” She was amused by how delighted he was. “I’m ready. And I’m glad I packed an extra blanket – it really is cold up here.”
“It’s awfully cold,” he agreed with a laugh, pulling her close. With half a thought he could have raised the temperature, but he didn’t. It would’ve just destroyed the authenticity, he felt, and besides - “I’ve got a B&B for us at Southwark. It’s got a working fireplace. After we freeze here, I thought we might go for a midnight bite somewhere and then not start another Great London Fire, if we’re able. Cozy in.” He faked a terrible French accent: “Zee whar ze evehning takes us.”
The seconds ticked by audibly from the great clock above. It was only a few minutes until midnight.
“Incredibly,” she said, smiling, and let herself be pulled close. She wrapped herself more tightly in his arms, taking advantage of his warmth. It wasn’t terribly comfortable, the cold, but she liked it for exactly the reason that he didn’t change it – if they were going to be atop Big Ben at New Year’s, then she wanted the whole experience. “That sounds like an excellent plan. Who knew you’d make such a proper event-planner?” she said, poking his chest with a finger lightly. “That’s a terrible accent,” she added with a laugh. “Never do that again.”
“Event planning is my fallback if the whole social worker thing doesn’t pan out,” he answered dryly, the side of his mouth quirking up. “But thank you. I’m glad you’re not hating my guts right now; it’s quite the load off.”
He heard then the sound of thousands of people chanting down numbers from far, far off. The London Eye glowed peacefully, at odds with the excitement in the air, and Adam found himself gripping Jackie as the numbers dwindled down. “Get ready,” he said, eyes narrowing as he watched the massive face of the clock. “If it’s too terrible, I’ll muffle it, but otherwise…”
“I reserve my hatred for more deserving things than a well-thought out surprise,” she responded, grinning. “And as long as comedian isn’t your third pick, you ought to be just fine.” She nudged him a bit, tucking her hands into the pocket of his coat to warm them, wishing she’d thought to bring gloves.
The chanting filled her with anticipation and excitement, more than she’d felt before in the face of this holiday. “Ready as I’ll ever be!” she said, pressing one of her ears to his chest to muffle it out at least a bit. Her ears were a bit more sensitive than usual, after all.
“But I’m hilarious,” he managed in a deadpan voice right before the countdown hit “one” and the fireworks shot into the sky. Big Ben rang every bit as loud as he thought it might, but what took him off guard far more than the noise was the reverberations coming from underfoot their precarious position. It was exhilarating and overwhelming in all the best of ways, and he held Jackie tight just in case it grew any louder - though thankfully it didn’t even with the roar coming from London far below.
“Happy New Year,” he whispered into her ear, and brushed his lips over hers.
“You’re adorable and precious, but hilarious might be pushing it,” she countered, laughing. The sudden burst of sound and the reverberations beneath them made her jump and wince just a bit, but it wasn’t at all as bad as it could’ve been. It was so thrilling to have the mix of it, the fireworks, and the music and revelry below. She smiled at his whisper and against his lips, feeling a sense of warmth in spite of the chill.
After the twelfth chime, they were left with the fireworks and the sounds from the ground, though the echo of the chime definitely still rang in her ears. “You know, I’ve always preferred years in multiples of five.”
“I’m shocked at you having an opinion over something that specific,” he teased her gently, eyes moving over the firework display still exploding through the sky. Adam could almost smell the ashes from the debris; they were so close. “I hope 2015 will be to your liking, all things considered. What do you say we nip down to where the mortals are, eat some lucky noodles in an Asian diner somewhere, and then find out where our B&B is supposed to be?”
“Aren’t you? Especially with how lovely and easygoing I am. Barely any opinions at all,” she teased right back, curling herself closer still. “I think it will be. 2014 wasn’t all that bad, all things considered. And this year holds a lot more promise,” she said. “I think that’s an excellent plan. I’m starving.”