Reasons for Leaving Early

Feeling:
sick

Who: Brett and Hannah
Where: Movie Theatre
When: Evening

Brett had seen the ad, notice, whatever thing put up on the journals by some woman saying that she and her husband were having a party and decided very firmly that there was no way in hell he'd be going to that. But, he needed something to do - he couldn't stay in and stare at four walls all day and wheeling his way around town was starting to get dull. Still, he'd done it, just to get out and he'd got as far as the movie theatre and it's announcement about a horror marathon.

Now, horror wasn't really Brett's thing, but it would be dark in there, and he wouldn't have to talk to anyone. It seemed about as good as it was going to get. And so it was that he'd spent most of the day sat at the back, in an alcove that was the best they could do for a guy in a wheelchair. Apparently 'disabled access' wasn't one of the considerations that had come up in the design brief.

It wasn't until late afternoon that Brett started to feel itchy. The cinema was pretty spacious, but still, he could feel it closing in on him. He managed to sit it out until the end of the next film, but then he was out of there, turning and wheeling himself quickly from the theatre, ahead of anyone else, until he was back out on the street, where he sat, taking deep, calming breaths and blinking in the dying light of day.

[open]

 - .

Hannah made no bones about the fact that she was twisted, so of course she'd gone to the horror movie marathon. She wasn't the type who liked to sit around for hours and hours all day, but she could handle a movie or two. It kind of sucked without someone to explain the quiet parts to her, but she made do. Hannah had seen most of the movies they were showing, anyway. And listening to screams and the sounds of people being hacked up had been better - in her opinion - than going to that barbecue and playing nice with a bunch of other freakos.

She decided she'd stretch her legs a bit at the end of the second film she'd listened to; she could leave or take the next showing. She'd been somewhat near the back, having flipped up the armrest between two seats to allow Anubis to sit and cuddle with her, which meant she beat most of the crowd out of the theater when the movie ended. She decided a breath of fresh (if cold) air would do her good while she decided what to do; this movie was passable but the next one sounded kind of awesome in a cheesy way, which meant she had about an hour and a half or so to kill. She pushed open the theater door with one hand, the other on Anubis' harness, but paused with the door open when he stopped.

"Here's an idea," she said, pleasantly enough - though, because she was Hannah, there was always the faint, underlying bite of sarcasm. "Let's try to avoid blocking the doors so the rest of these bitches can get out. Unless there's a zombie horde I don't know about and you're so kindly volunteering to be our first line of defense."

 - .

Brett stopped, mid-inhale and let the breath out, closing his eyes. He'd managed to get through several hours of being antisocial in a public place with no problem and the moment - the moment - he caved and went outside, he got hit with this. And the blind bitch from the diner, if he heard her correctly. "There are other doors - use them," he said, growling slightly and not moving an inch. Fuck her. Sure, he was blocking the doors, but fuck her.

 - .

"Wheels!" Hannah said, face taking on an expression of delight - it wasn't clear if she was being genuine or no. "How's it going, homeslice? I didn't figure you for the type to enjoy several hours' worth of blood and screaming, but I suppose I should've. You've got such a way about you, after all. Positively refreshing." She couldn't help it; some people just brought it out of her. She was determined not to let him piss her off this time - or at least hide it if he did. She had a feeling that all her feigned good cheer might tick him off, and all the better if he was going to be as douche-y as last time.

 - .

"I have a name," Brett growled. "Brett: I'm not some fucking comic book reject, blondie," he added, knowing full damn well she wasn't blonde, but what the hell did he care. Anyway, maybe it'd piss her off and set her on her way. He even moved, despite his promises to himself a moment before, so she could do that, since she sounded so delighted to see him.

 - .

"Well, you weren't half this friendly last time we spoke," Hannah said, grinning. She heard him move and stepped out, letting the theater door close behind her as she leaned up against the wall, Anubis pressed protectively against her legs. "A name! Next thing you'll be inviting me over to bake cookies and paint each other's nails. Fair warning, though, I hit cuticle a lot." She shrugged. "I'm Hannah, though I doubt you care. Anyway, Brett, what if I decide I like Wheels more? I think it makes you more accessible to the public. Cuter, even. God knows your personality isn't gonna snag you any tail."

 - .

He looked over at her, though it didn't matter. He was sure, though, that she was good at direction and pitch. "Do I look like I'm after tail, darling?" he asked, purposefully not using her name. "Oh, sorry - yeah. You have no fucking clue, do you. And for all you know, I'm fucking Eddie Izzard and dragged up with perfect nails," he told her with a wry smile and a distinct lack of humour.

 - .

"Did I say you were?" Hannah asked reasonably. "All I said was that you wouldn't be getting any by continuing to be a tool. But studies show that dudes with cute nicknames do attract the ladies." She shrugged, smiling instead of clenching her teeth like she wanted. "In that case," she said, "you can do my nails. I haven't had a good manicure in ages. Come on, Wheels, be a sport." If he wasn't going to use her name, she didn't have to do the same.

 - .

"Ever think that maybe that's why I'm a tool - because I'm not after any. I realise that that might be an alien concept to you, sugar," Brett commented, his tone turning it into a suggestive insult. "And you're being kinda presumptuous, aren't you? How do you even know I like the ladies? Look, what do you want, anyway? Can't a guy just be left in peace without being expected to make asinine conversation..."

 - .

"Yeah, I totally have no idea what it's like to go years without getting laid," Hannah said dryly, unaware of the flash of deep pain on her face, echoing the pang in her chest. It was true - guys didn't want anything to do with blind girls, and the one who had ended up a cannibalistic psycho. "Guys fall all over themselves for me, don't you know. Can't you see the line around the block? If you're nice, I'll share." She shrugged one shoulder. "If you wanted peace, you probably shouldn't have parked your ass right in front of the doors. Careful, Wheels, one might think you're looking for company."

 - .

Brett recognised the look that crossed her face, but ignored it, telling himself that she'd done it on purpose anyway, trying to get a rise out of him. The sympathy vote, or something. "I needed air," he told her. "Fucking stuffy in there, that's all." He didn't mention his rampant claustrophobia. That was just another weakness. That's all he was though, these days, wasn't it? Weakness piled on top of fucking weakness. Fucking useless. "There are other doors," he repeated. "Your dog should know that, even if you don't."

 - .

"Well, I wanted this door," Hannah said, a little nastiness creeping into her voice as she struggled to put aside memory of Cortez and their last meeting. 'That is my lesson,' he'd said. 'Life will bring you pain and horror in equal measure, it will take away everything you treasure. And if you let it, it will isolate you from everyone and leave you alone, unbelieved and desperate.' She hated that he'd been right. "Maybe I should start calling you Firehazard instead."

 - .

That actually garnered an ironic smile from him - which, of course, she couldn't see. "Maybe you should, sweetheart. Maybe you should," he agreed, his tone unreadable.

 - .

Hannah's face was as unreadable as his tone as she fell silent for a moment or two, as if trying to decipher why that would've gotten a reaction - or lack thereof, which was almost as good as a reaction in terms of sheer variety - when nothing else had. She had a feeling they might be more alike than either would want to admit. "...Now I know how people used to feel when talking to me," she said finally, trying for unreadability, though a faint hint of amusement leaked through. Difference was, she liked being difficult. Dealing with it from the other end was just an entertaining challenge.

 - .

"What unwanted, like a fucking nuisance and feeling like you're missing the obvious?" Brett asked her, rallying from his momentary lapse. "Well, at least you're learning. Maybe one day you'll finally get it. Aren't you missing your movie - though, I'd imagine that horror loses something in the darkness. Or do you get some poor sucker to sit next to you and give you a running commentary on exactly how they're dismembering the next victim?" he asked.

 - .

"Aww, Wheels, you're not a nuisance," Hannah said sweetly, giving him a saccharine smile and batting her lashes whilst putting on a decent attempt at a Southern belle accent. "In fact, I was just thinking to myself, 'My goodness, self, this here is an utterly charming gentleman, you simply must make an effort to call upon him in the future.'" She shrugged then, dropping the accent. "I do all right," she said, unbothered. "You'd be surprised at how different a knife versus a hatchet can sound when hitting flesh. Or whatever the Foley artists use to simulate flesh, at least. Besides, once you've experienced real horror, the film version seems to be a little lacking, don't you think?"

 - .

Brett didn't answer that one. He'd seen his fair share of trauma over the years - even before he entered the experiment - and he didn't feel the need for share time. "Your accent sucks," he said, instead, unable to believe that that was all he'd been able to rake together just then. But she was inadvertently bringing up memories of the life he'd used to have and it hurt.

 - .

"Ow," Hannah said, wincing like she'd been punched, "such a biting comeback, I'm hurt. Right here." She tapped her chest, right over her heart. "Stop, or you'll make me cry." She grinned, but dropped the subject. If they really were similar, then she'd hit a nerve with that last trauma bit. It made her curious, but at least she'd learned enough in the last few months to do unto others, etc (unless they were asking for it), and so refrained from further comment.

 - .

"Yeah, course you are, sugar, course you are," Brett muttered, before raising his head to look up at her more. He fucking hated looking up at people - having them always look down on him. "Well, I feel the need for some more blood and gore. Wouldn't want to make you cry now, would I?" he posed, sarcastically, turning to head back inside again.

 - .

"You'd be one of the few who didn't," Hannah answered cheerfully. "I'm very sad that you don't want to visit with me anymore, Wheels," she said, putting on her best puppy-dog eyes, mostly because it was fun to mess with him. Kind of like baiting cranky bears. So she batted long lashes and gave him big sad eyes, not moving though now she was the one blocking the doors. "My heart is breaking because you're leaving me all alone," she said.

 - .

And now she was in his way. He could just take his own advice and go in through the other door, but it wasn't as wide as this one and he didn't know if he could get his chair through. Probably not - probably he'd just get stuck and frustrated and then she'd laugh at him more than she already did. Fucking wheels. "You mean, you have a heart - who the fuck knew." He gave up, turning and heading off down the street. Fuck her, he'd just go home. He purposefully didn't say goodbye, though he didn't know if she'd even be able to pick up he was gone. He didn't know how true it was that the other senses stepped up when you lost one. He hoped it was bullshit - he'd not got anything as a compensation for losing his legs, why should she get anything?

 - .

"Even the Grinch had a heart," Hannah said, shrugging and grinning. "Catch you later, Wheels!" she called out behind him, hearing him leave. That had been entertaining. Now she just needed to find something to do for another hour and twenty minutes. Crap.