|Tatum was (never_missing) wrote in repose,|
@ 2016-01-09 14:21:00
|Entry tags:||*log, norm jones, tatum ryder|
Tatum and Norman: Outside the Music Shop
Who: Tatum and Norman
What: Tatum is hit with the music store good beam.
Where: Outside the music store.
When: Before the events of the train.
Norman wasn’t doing especially well this season, and Tatum didn’t like leaving him looking like a kicked puppy all day. With winter break on, there wasn’t school to distract, and she knew Norman was more keenly aware of the absence of his mother and sister now than he had been since their initial loss. So, she’d opted to drag him out of the house.
They were walking downtown, with plans to stop in at the Arcade and the Music Store. She was funding the day with a little help from her mom of course. She walked next to him, hands buried in the pockets of her coat, scarf around her neck catching the wind as they walked. The mess of curls around her face peeked out from beneath her hood, making her turn her head farther in order to eye him. “Maybe you should take up drumming.”
He barely paid attention to what they were doing today. Norman was deep in his dark day, which was quickly becoming a set of dark days or maybe even a full dark season, but he couldn’t help it. He toyed with the brightly-colored plastic bead bracelet on his wrist, elastic stretched to fit over his wrist.
When Tatum spoke, he looked over at her, struck again by how cool she looked. How did she always look so cool? With that big, pretty hair and a dope hoodie, and meanwhile he was wearing a cheesy knit cap piled on top of his already-staticy hair. “I can’t take up drumming,” He said gently. It would be awesome, of course. He’d finally be one step closer to the level of cool that Tatum so effortlessly resided in, but he couldn’t be a drummer. On days like today, he already felt like an interloper, a barely welcome guest in Tatum’s home, but adding a drum kit on top of that seemed expensive and irresponsible and, worst of all, just rude. “You should be a drummer. Or a bassist or something.”
“Why not?” she asked. “Def Leppard had a drummer with only one arm,” she pointed out. Tatum made a point to encourage him any time she could. She could just sense that he needed it in his life, someone to try and make things sound possible for him, when he was far too concerned with dismissing things out of hand.
“And I would be a bassist,” she said with a firm nod. If she was to do anything band related, she would definitely pick up a bass guitar. In a lot of the music she listened to, she always found the bass line in it automatically. It was a heartbeat she could follow.
It wasn’t so much that he physically couldn’t, though that was a concern for Norman too, but it was more that the idea of becoming a drummer seemed to disruptive and it just wasn’t something that felt he could do at Tatum’s home. But he also didn’t know how to tell her that.
He considered not mentioning anything about those feelings at all, but that, too, didn’t seem fair. Feelings sucked sometimes. Shoving his hands further into his pockets he shook his head. “You’d be a great bassist. But I just….I dunno about the drums. Doesn’t seem fair.”
Tatum arched a brow. “...fair? How's that?” she asked. As they kept walking, she started to feel a little...not great. She slowed a bit, wondering what was going on. She gave herself a second and kept going, even if the feeling hadn't abated. Was she getting sick? Maybe. It was certainly possible. It was that time of year, or something, even if she didn't get sick a whole lot, period.
“It’s like...it’s not fair to you and your mom, you know?” He still couldn’t figure out the words, but he could see that she’d slowed a little and out of instinct, he slowed to stay beside her. Maybe she just wanted to stroll? When they were out of the house, the tended to have missions and stuff to complete, so maybe it was nice to just walk slowly even if it was kinda cold outside.
“Fair how? It wouldn't be a big deal. And mom would like to get you something cool like that,” she said with perfect confidence. She and her mother were close, and she often felt like she could speak to her feelings on matters even if they hadn't ever discussed them. Her mom worried about Norman just as much as Tatum did, and she wanted to provide a good home for him. In fact, she even probably tried to overcompensate for not being his real mom sometimes.
“It'd be fine, Norman,” she continued though after another ten feet closer to the store, she had to stop. Her face pinched, and she held one hand on her stomach, feeling light headed. “...sorry, I—” she started, but she didn't finish the statement.
...Ok, not good. All thoughts of drum kits forgotten, Norman stopped when Tatum did and immediately reached for her. With a hand on her shoulder, his eyes scanned her face and tried to figure out what was wrong. “Tatum? What’s happening?” Why was her hand on her stomach? Was she gonna barf or something? “Do you need to sit down?” He could hear the panic in his voice. Tatum didn’t get sick. Tatum was strong. What was happening?!
She nodded, even as she swallowed down a wave of nausea. “Let's just get to the store,” she said, figuring she could sit down there, and get her bearings. Then maybe she'd feel a little better. Or maybe she wouldn't and they'd call her mom to come get them.
Tatum got closer to the store, but as they came abreast of the actual building, she collapsed to her knees, a wave of inexplicable pain shooting through her. The worst part was she didn't see an origin. It didn't seem to come from anywhere in particular, it came from everywhere. She groaned and dropped down even more, her hands hitting the sidewalk beneath her. Breathing hard, she tried to ride out the pain, but how could she when she didn't even know where it came from?
“Tatum!” This was really not ok with Norman. Terrified, Norman dropped down beside her, shaking hands reaching out for her shoulders to try and help to sit. What the hell was he supposed to do when he couldn’t see the problem either? What if this was something left over from The Incident? Something that hadn’t come to light until now? His mind was working a million miles a minute, trying to figure out how to get Tatum back to normal and discern what could be causing her this pain. “C’mon, Tatum, sit down...Please just sit…” This wasn’t an obvious injury, something he could have easily jumped in and helped with. This was...this was really bad.
She tried to get up, but there was a strangled little cry from her and she was back to the ground, curled up in a ball. If she didn't know better, she'd have wondered if she'd been shot. But she had to imagine that at least that would have a source. That she'd feel pain from somewhere in particular, and she was even more willing to figure that Norman would have been screaming about blood by now. Squeezing her eyes shut tight, she tried to concentrate on breathing. In. Out. In. Out.
She opened her mouth to say something, but she wasn't sure what to say. All she did know was that Norman looked like he was going to panic, and she reached for him, to take the help to sit back up. “Hurts,” she said through clenched teeth.
Think, Norman, think… What the hell was he supposed to do? Get her out of the open. Get her somewhere out of the open. Literally anything could be attacking Tatum right now and all he could think was that he needed to get her somewhere safe and out of site. Eyes darting around, he locked on a small bunch of bushes just a few feet back toward their house. There. It wasn’t as secure as he wanted, but it was private and it was shelter. He couldn’t take her into the music shop without knowing that the hell was happening to her, or if someone or something around them was hurting her. How was he supposed to explain the problem to anyone else right now, anyway?
“I know, I know..C’mon,” He said, ducking to wrap her arm around his shoulders and his own around her back to try and hoist her up. “I promise we’ll stop moving, just...just gotta get you somewhere safe.” It had to only be about ten paces back but it looked like it was closer to a mile. Like the sidewalk stretched sickeningly outward from where they were and his end goal of those bushes. “Just over there, I promise,” He said, starting them hastily toward the shrubbery.
Tatum tried to help as much as possible, but she really couldn't do that much. Though the closer they got to the bushes, she started feeling the pain lessen. When they got there and she leaned heavily on him, she felt a little more able to keep her feet, even if she was still feeling sick and in pain. It wasn't as bad now. She gave herself time to breathe again, to try and clear her head. “I don't know what's happening to me,” she told him, trying to sound calm, and she managed it.
She'd always managed it before, so now wasn't any different. You didn't wind up leading people if you panicked at the drop of a hat, or lost it when you were in pain. You had to hold it together. “...I'll sit here for a minute, if you want to continue on, and by the time you get out, maybe I'll be feeling better,” she suggested to him.
“Are you kidding me? No,” Norman said simply, though with more determination than he managed to say most things. Crouched right beside her, he instantly started working. Or at least, the closest thing he could to working. He was moving her hair away from her neck, moving her hoodie to inspect the skin around her throat and the back of her neck. “Nothing scary there…” He murmured, gently replacing the hood on her head again. Giving her a scan, he looked for any pooling blood but saw nothing. What the hell was happening here? “Where did the pain start? Like...your stomach, right?”
She let him look her over, actually hoping he spotted something that she didn't know was there. It would make her feel less bewildered if he did. She had to think about her answer. “I don't know. It didn't start anywhere. I felt nauseous, and then as we kept going, pain started. But it didn't start from anywhere. Even now, I'm a little better, but I don't know where it's coming from,” she admitted. “It's like it's everywhere at once.”
“Ok we gotta get back home somehow.” But they didn’t have phones. And he wasn’t leaving her side. This was not a decision he was equipped to make. This was a Tatum decision. But she was hurt. And now he was starting to feel sick, but he tried to push it away because Tatum needed him. “Ok...ok so...let’s try this. Let’s try...let’s have you get some breath back and then we can try and walk some more back toward the house.”
Or he could go to the music store and call Tatum’s mom. But then he’d have to leave her out here in the bushes. Making decisions blows.
“You can run into the shop and call mom,” she said, unconsciously echoing his thought. “I don't know what's wrong, but I don't want to feel vulnerable the whole way home,” she told him. It was tactical. If something was affecting her this bad, she didn't want to wind up weak and an easy target for anything in the area. She'd rather handle a few minutes alone than risk walking all the way back and getting worse as they went. She didn't know if or when the next wave of pain would hit.
“Ok…Ok, I’ll go to the music store and call.” Thank god. At least Tatum was ok enough to tell him what to do. He’d be so lost without her. He almost rushed off, then smacked into a bush when he planted his foot and stopped himself. “Hang on,” He said, reaching around his neck and producing a necklace with a plastic yellow and blue whistle on it. Then he fumbled in the pocket of his cargo pants and brought out a small, pink canister of pepper spray. “Here, hang on to these, ok? I’ll be right back, I promise.” But he still didn’t move, waiting to see if she really would be all right enough for him to leave her alone. He didn’t want to, the fear evident in his face, because he absolutely could not lose Tatum too.
Tatum didn't imagine she'd need such things, but she knew enough to understand that he'd feel better if she took them, so she did. And she guessed, one never knew. So, she nodded to him, trying to look encouraging. She made eye contact, and swallowed down more nausea. “I'll be fine, Norman,” she told him, trying to keep her voice steady. “Go ahead.”
“I’ll be right back,’ He promised, nodding at Tatum and then rushing through the bushes and back toward the music shop. It took all of about five minutes to get in, call her mom, and come back out. The nice people inside the music shop had given him a bottle of water for Tatum and told him that if he needed anything else, just to come back and find them.
So he came barrelling back to Tatum’s side through the bushes again and knelt beside her, cracking open the water bottle. “Here, this might help. Your mom’s coming to get us. Did anything happen? Do you feel worse?”
She took the water and swallowed a good quarter of it down, shutting her eyes as she hoped it settled. “Not worse,” she said. Not better, either. It was a steady hit of feeling awful. She'd dry heaved a few times, which hadn't been fun. She thought she had it down, but she didn't know. Tatum just knew that her best bet was probably to go home and lie down. “Sorry we didn't get to go to the shop,” she told him, meaning that.
“What?” He asked, the sheer ludicrousness of the comment throwing him for a loop. Softening, Norman reached out for Tatum’s hand and held it, squeezing it gently. “We’ll go some other time,” He said. “I just want you to be better, Tatum. I don’t care about the music shop. Just you.” He needed to try and find some way to get her mind off of this feeling. “We should watch a movie when we get back home. Like...The Goonies or something?”
“Sure,” she said. “Feeling like this, I figure all I'll be good for is laying on the couch watching movies,” she admitted. She gave him a smile, and squeezed his hands to reassure him. She had to admit, moments like these made her glad he was there with her. That he hadn't gone off to foster care somewhere else, or something. Norman was a true friend, and those, as far as she understood it, were pretty rare. And it wasn't like she was oblivious to other things going on there, but she kept things on the friend level. She just appreciated the hell out of him.