2011-07-12: I Will Not Let You Fall


SophieD_icon.jpg Hosea_icon.jpg

Summary: A common need for bread to toast turns into a reason to make a toast between Hosea and Sophie as they express their feelings for each other.

Date:Tuesday, July 12, 2011. 10:13pm

Log Title: I Will Not Let You Fall

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Kitchen

This kitchen was designed to feed large numbers of people, and looks it with its bright white walls and stainless steel appliances. The stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are all larger than normal. There is an island with stools around it for people to sit and eat around along with a table for twelve by the windows in back. Along the wall is a hole in the wall looking into the dining room so food can be passed back and fourth. Anything you want to cook or eat in the kitchen you will find the food and supplies to do so.

It's getting on in the evening, and the Xavier Mansion is fairly quiet; particularly with so many students away for the summer and the curfew in effect. In the kitchen though, there is the sound of cupboards being opened, searched, and shut; then opened, searched, and shut again, over and over. "Lo difcil que es dejar el pan en el mismo lugar que fue la ultima vez?" comes a muttered question, coming from the voice of Sophie, followed by a muffled, wordless sound of frustration.

Hosea, having had not much place to go for the summer, has been around, and has shown little worry about the ongoing tax to the school. Still, he's been cautious. He walks calmly into the room, hearing Sophie's voice, and arches his brow. "Sophie?" he asks before he fully enters. "Is everyting all right?" He is carrying a bowl that used to hold oatmeal. Not a normal evening meal, but it was there and it's healthy.

Sophie ohs! as she hears Hosea's voice, and she tilts her head to face towards the doorway. Her left arm is encased in a cast, and rested in a sling about her neck; and underneath her dress the bulk of bandages around her abdomen, mostly on her right side, is fairly plain to see. "Hosea! Si, I am fine. It is just that I would have liked jam on toast, only someone has moved the bread and not put it back where it is supposed to be. And so now I cannot find it." Her cane is collapsed, and dangles from her right arm, which she has been using to go through cupboards systematically. "And right now I cannot reach the highest shelves."

"I can help you!" the African enthusiastically answers. He goes to the breadbox, which is empty. "Hmm, dey did not put it back, you are correct. Let us see, shall we?" He pats her back as he draws near to the girl, and starts checking the cabinets. "Ahhh…" he lets out as he searches, not yet seeming to have found it. "It must be heah somewhere, yes?" Hosea says as he continues his search, the sound of one cabinet after the next opening. "Unless someone ate it all."

Sophie laughs softly, and bobs her head with equal enthusiasm. "Si! I thought you would. I am glad you have come, Hosea; and not only because otherwise I might never have had my toast." She flashes her teeth as she grins, standing still and allowing the Nigerian to pick up her search. "Though, if they have eaten it all, then I still shall not get it. Unless if there are bagels in the fridge… I suppose I could toast that." She pauses, and attempts to claps her hands in front of herself; until realizing that her arm is, indeed, still broken and still in a cast. "Are you enjoying your summer thus far, Hosea?"

Hosea continues to search, and he's running out of cabinets. "Maybe someone ate it to be certain," he obseres. But perhaps we can go to da store to get more, yes?" It just won't do for Sophie to not have jam for her toast! Not when Hosea can fix it! "Is your arm healing well?" he asks. "It is sad for me to see you with a broken wing. But you are still a beautiful dove, yes?" he adds.

Sophie shrugs her shoulders lightly. "It will heal," she replies. "It doesn't hurt anymore. My side is still bad from the shrapnel, though, and I am still taking antibiotics. …Tara is doing much better; I have been able to heal her." She bobs her head. "The jam I have found… I… think. At least it is a jar that feels like a jam jar; it might be marmalade. At least I know it is not vegemite." She snaps out her cane, and taps the floor as she guides herself towards Hosea's side. "I am not sure what time it is; we would not be breaking curfew, would we? I do not wish to give the professors cause to worry for us, solely over some toast."

Sophie shrugs her shoulders lightly. "It will heal," she replies, as she blushes softly at the praise. "It doesn't hurt anymore. My side is still bad from the shrapnel, though, and I am still taking antibiotics. …Tara is doing much better; I have been able to heal her." She bobs her head. "I am going to be a beautiful dove covered in scars, if I am not careful. Eyes, arm, belly… but… thank you, Hosea." Her blush deepens, and she tilts her head down demurely. "The jam I have found… I… think. At least it is a jar that feels like a jam jar; it might be marmalade. At least I know it is not vegemite." She snaps out her cane, and taps the floor as she guides herself towards Hosea's side. "I am not sure what time it is; we would not be breaking curfew, would we? I do not wish to give the professors cause to worry for us, solely over some toast."

"I believe it is, but dere is nothing for you to worry about. Wit my powahs, we can go and be back in a couple of minutes, yes?" Hosea suggests. "It would be very fast. Da professahs worry about too many tings. "If I were a rich man, maybe I would take you to get a whole dinner, would dat be nice?" Hosea, however, is not a rich man of course.

Sophie's mouth opens and closes, and she looks all flustered for a moment. "oh! Why… well, then, of course. How could I say no?" She takes another step forwards, and comes to a stop just within reach. "I am not a rich woman either. But there are far greater riches than only money, si? And I am sure we have plenty of the things that truely matter."

"Indeed we do," Hosea says excitedly. He reaches out to take Sophie's hand. "Are you ready?" he asks. The African looks out to the window to where his first teleportation location will bring them. "It is warm outside, it will not be cold like da first, you see?"

Sophie snaps her cane into itself, and holds out her good arm. "Si," she agrees. "Hold me close, Hosea?" She pauses, and her face flushes once more. "Err… it is hard to hold on properly, with only the one good arm. Occasionally I wish I could heal myself, too; this is one of those times." She steps closer, and reaches out with her good hand, patting the air in front of her as she searches for Hosea.

Hosea smiles. "Do not worry, I will not let you fall." He wraps Sophie into a large hug, and adjusts their weight, a flush of humidity and heat washing over them as if they had stepped outside, which in essence, they did. The next port brings them high above the compound, followed by an immediate change to over Westchester, and then into a grocery store parking lot. "Hah, dere is Gristede heah," he announces, the smell of warm asphalt and car exhaust now surrounding them.

Westchester - Gristede Supermarket

It's not much to look at, a simple grocery store, and while it is clean, there are signs of age at this particular store. The parking lot is rarely crowded, and the lines in the parking lot are in desperate need of a repaint. Inside the off-white tint of the local market betrays a certain age to the store. It isn't fancy, but it carries what you need in groceries.

Sophie sucks in a deep breath and holds it, as she's drawn through space and time (well, mostly just space) along with Hosea. She holds on tight with her good arm, and breaths a sigh of relief once they arrive. "That was easier than the first time," she observes. "Thank you, Hosea. It is good to go out with you." She can't help but grin, as she moves to stand by Hosea's side. "I will have to hang on with my right arm… I can't use my cane at the same time, so… warn me if Iam gonig to trip over anything, si?"

"I will keep you from tripping," Hosea offers. "Do not worry, I will not let you fall." A second assurance of the same statement. "You are important to me, I would not have it." He starts to lead them to the entrance of the store, and the automatic doors open, letting out a blast of chilly air from the supermarket. "I nevah undahstand why da stores heah are so cold. Are dey dis cold in Spain?"

"Thank you." Sophie shoots a grateful look up towards Hosea, as she falls into step alongside him with her arm on his shoulder. "And, sometimes. It depends on what they are selling, I suppose. Here they just want to make sure the food stays good until you buy it, si?" She pauses, and giggles softly. "Or perhaps it is simply that a lot of people here do not spend enough time outside when it is hot, and they do not like it."

"It is not too hot," Hosea answers. "But I suppose dat it is not normally so hot heah as in Africa. I certainly do not like da winter heah!" He laughs a little. He adjusts so that her hand can rest in his hand, curling them together at the forearm if she allows it.
"We must find da bread, yes?" Hosea recalls aloud. "I do not go shopping for food vedy often."

"Si." Sophie bobs her head, as she clasps her hand with Hosea's with a light squeeze. "It should be towards the bakery end of the store. … I do not go shopping so often either," she admits. "But I will be able to smell it when we are close enough, but I expect you will see it long before then." She laughs softly. "Life is quite the adventure when you are blind. But it is better to have someone to help guide you, I have found."

"I imagine it must be, you are vedy brave. Like a hero in a story, yes?" Hosea wanders the aisles of food. "It always amazes me how much food is in da stores in America. It is like you would never run out of food. If only my brothers in Africa could see it. I have told dem, dey think dat I make it up. Dey say it is not possible to have so much food in one building, everyone would steal it!" He chuckles, but it's half-hearted. "I tink I see da bread up heah. Dere are many kinds. What is your favorite? We have rye, and wheat, pum…" he pauses, trying to sound out the word. "Pum..per…nickel. Dat is a strange name."

"You should try focaccia bread," she replies. "it is very tastey." She pauses, and shakes her head. "But wheat bread is the best for toasting, I think. Unless if you would like to try something else? I am happy with anything. Only… I think perhaps I am more the damsel in distress? You are the hero, who rescues the damsel from the monster; though in this case the monster is only the darkness, I suppose." She pauses, and her grip tightens momentarily. "…And… the problem with America, and Europe, is that we horde too much food. We throw away quantities of food that could feed entire people, while in other places people go hungry. It is wasteful, and shameful, and… and I am ashamed of it."

"Yes," Hosea says, "But you are da girl of light, and while you see darkness, everyone sees light dat you give. It is a blessing." He looks for the mentioned bread. "I… do not know how to spell it. Here is da wheat, you had wanted toast, so we can get what you wanted." Hosea adds to her statement about the horde of food. "I was vedy angry at America when I first came heah. It is not right dat so many people go hungry when America has so much food. I have seen many people starve in my life. I do not wish for anyone to have to see dat, but I suppose dat some people must to undahstand. Da school even has so much food, I do not undahstand how dey can keep it." He seems to grow slightly more tense as he speaks, and lets out a forced sigh to try to relax himself. It's moderately effective.

Sophie bobs her head. "Thank you," she murmurs, as Hosea claims the wheat bread. "There are some people who understand. I… I have been hungry, before I was taken in by the Church, my Mother could not always provide enough to eat, though I cannot say I have ever truely starved. But there are people who understand; they organize to bring food to the people who need it, especially children, and often ask for donations to help their cause. There only needs to be more people who give, so that others in need may receive." As she speaks, her blush returns. "Girl of light, though? I could get used to that."

"Yes," Hosea agrees, "Der are some who undahstand. It is good to know need, because it is in poverty dat God teaches us to sacrifice. People will say dat suffering is a bad thing. Suffering can be vedy good for us I have learned, it is not pleasant, but good. I could call you my anwu nwata nwanyi!" He tells her. "You are da Sun Girl!"

"Sun Girl?" Sophie's eyebrows rise, and she tilts her head to face up towards Hosea. "I know my chest glows sometimes… or so I am told. I have never seen it; it did not start until after I lost my sight." She pauses, and giggles softly. "You must tell me about it sometime, si? …but perhaps after we get back, or the professors will worry. And then assign homework, I am sure." She smiles pleasantly, letting her mirth enter her voice as she speaks. "Did you want anything while we are here, Hosea?"

"I do not need anything, der is plenty of food dat I can choose from back at da school. Maybe I will have some toast with you, yes?" The Nigerian begins to lead Sophie back to the front of the store so that they can pay. "Dere is someone before us, we will need to wait for dem, and den we can pay."

Sophie nods her head quickly. "Si," she replies. "Then it is a longer bit of time that I can spend with you, in this place, then." She grins, though she does promptly jump when someone comes screeching past, driving a cart with a stuck wheel much faster than it ought to go. "…Goodness! Well. Perhaps it is good that it is only one person in front of us."

Hosea grins widely as Sophie jumps, but avoids laughing at her response. "It is all right, dey did not hit you." He examines the face behind the blindfold for several seconds. "Sophie, are you vedy afraid dat you have been made blind?" he asks.

"I used to be," she murmurs. "When it first happened, I used to cry myself to sleep every night. I didn't want people to see my face because… because I thought I was ugly, from the scars. I still don't want people to see. I was… I was always afraid that I would fall down stairs, or walk into something, or knock something over… and my mind used to imagine monsters in the never ending darkness." She shakes her head slowly. "It is not so, anymore. I am used to it… but I still get startled easily."

"God shall make you a vedy strong woman from dis," Hosea tells Sophie. "You are learning well from what He has given you. He gives you otha believers to help you to show da Truth. I am vedy blessed to be one of dem," he adds. The line moves up, and it is their turn to pay. Hosea places the bread on the conveyor belt to be purchased, and the cashier rings it up. He digs in his pockets, and finds a wad of bills. Three of them to be exact, all 1's. He places two of them before the cashier, and takes the change.

Sophie waits while the bread is paid for; and then it is someone else's turn to pay, and the store exit beckons. "There are many different sorts of strength," she observes. "So… I suppose you are right, si?" She holds on tight to Hosea's arm once more. "Actually, I… I have gotten so used to being blind, that when the Headmistress suggested the other day that it might be possible for me to see again, someday, I… I wasn't even excited. It was as if I would merely accept it if it happened, but I have to be honest, it isn't something I would spend much time striving for; I would rather spend my time helping others. Is that foolish?"

"Dat is wiser den most people," Hosea answers the question. "You see? God has made your blindness strength!" He flexes both arms for emphasis, which of course Sophie would be able to feel in the one she holds on to. "Ha, think of da people who can only see weakness in being blind, dey may be more blind den you, yes?" He lets out a deep chuckle. "It is part of why I love you, yes?" Suddenly, the Nigerian gets goose bumps and a slight cold sweat. Did he just say that out loud?

Sophie walks alongside Hosea, and giggles at the same time as the Nigerian chuckles. She opens her mouth, but only manages to say "I—" before the slip; and of course, she feels the goos bumps as well, where her fingers touch his arm. She falls silent again, for a short moment that might seem like a very long time. "I love you too, Hosea," she replies at last. She tilts her gaze upwards and sideways, towards Hosea, and smiles warmly.

Hosea hesitates in his step slightly, but smiles back once she answers in a similar feeling. "I…" He seems to be searching for a way to express his thought. "I am unfamiliar with da way dat da western men pursue women," he confesses. "What I see dem do." He reaches over with his other hand on top of her hand. "In Africa, a man goes to da father, and says dat he wants a woman for a wife, and pays dem to marry her. It is not like dat heah, you must think it a vedy strange thing. Heah, dey do 'dating', and I do not know much of it. It seems a dangerous way to make relationships."

Sophie's brow furrows. "But what if the girl doesn't love the man who wants her? I would be afraid for both of them." She shakes her head slowly. "It wouldn't… well, I don't know how it would work, if we were in Africa. I don't have a father." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "But… I think we're on a date right now, actually." She flashes her teeth as she grins. "Si! And it is good."

"Den da fatha he says to da man, "You may not pay me to marry my daughter," the Nigerian shrugs. "He helps to think whetha da man who wants to marry his daughter is worthy to do so. Sometimes a girl says yes, she love da man, but it is not a wise man to marry." He returns to Sophie's statement. "I do not have a fatha eitha. He died some time ago." He looks around himself as she suggests that they are on a date. "We are on one now?" he asks. "Are you sure?" It really hadn't occurred to him. "But, I have not spent a large amount of money, and tried to strut like a peacock!" he contests.

"I don't think you have to," she replies. "You took me out, and you said that you love me… I think that's easily good enough to qualify as a date." She gazes forwards, and giggles softly as she walks. "Besides, if you were to strut like a peacock, you would have to tell me what it looks like, si?" The blind girl stumbles abruptly, and her grip around Hosea's arm tightens as she saves herself from falling. "Goodness! I do wish people would pick up after themselves, though. …But, si. I think all that is important is what we feel."

Hosea reaches out to put his other arm around Sophie to catch her so that he faces her. "Do not worry. I will not let you fall," he says confidently. His voice coming from a conveniently close location from the girl's own. Close enough that some of his long curly locks of hair brush on Sophie's face.

"Oop!" Sophie gasps as she's caught, and comes to rest against Hosea's chest. "I know you won't," she whispers. "I know you say you don't know Western ways… but you are a true gentleman nonetheless, si?" Her unbroken arm trails up over the Nigerian's arm to rest on his shoulder, and she leans back, just enough to tilt her head upwards to face him. "And… I hope this is only the first date, si? There will be a second one soon?"

Hosea stares through the blindfold at the eyes that he cannot see, and that cannot see him. He could answer many ways, but his words seem to be failing him at the moment. It's not the most romantic setting. It's just a grocery store parking lot in the middle of the night, with a loaf of bread between them. All the same, he leans down to meet her lips with his own, with much less nervousness than the Nigerian might have expected from himself.

Sophie has little to say as well; the blind girl gazes back up at the person she cannot see, who's arms are around her. When Hosea's lips touch hers she doesn't seem surprised; rather she simply… relaxes, and tilts her head to one side just a little. She sighs happily, and shifts her good arm to rest on his back, with her cane still dangling from her wrist. By the time they break off, her cheeks are a bit rosy and her heart is aflutter, but her lips can only form a smile as she continues gazing upwards.

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