Member No.: 345
Joined: 3-May 12
So bold, so young, with such an eager gaze
It might have not been completely in character for Preston to be at the zoo, but Elton found that if he walked about with a sort of bored swagger, with hunched shoulders and hands tucked into his hoodie pockets, it wouldn’t be completely unbelievable if anyone he had met as Preston saw him there. Elton had his own reasons for being at the zoo, the main reason being that he needed to get out and think. He needed to plan and organize, and though all that would be a lot easier back at his apartment where he had his laptop and all his other things, it was too cramped and he spent too much time there when he wasn’t out and about being Preston. After he left his apartment and made sure the door was securely locked, he had started to wander and it wasn’t long until he had wandered right into the zoo after purchasing a pass. Elton always tried his best not to be nostalgic because it could lead to emotional weaknesses (though he was far better at accepting emotion than a lot of the other agents he knew) but there were some times where he liked to go out and remember certain things. It was all well and good if he had control over it.
A very long time ago, so long that it almost seemed like an entirely separate life, Elton’s mother used to take him and his younger sister to the zoo. Even though it was such a long time ago, he still remembered that his mother had always loved the lions and his little sister had understandably fallen in love with the petting zoo full of goats, lambs, chicks, rabbits, and other small animals. They used to spend hours at the zoo. Whenever the Fletchers went to the zoo, it was no small deal – it was a whole day trip. They’d pack lunches and picnic next to the tigers, and buy a few ice creams in place of supper just so they could stay a couple hours more. The zoo trips were somewhat frequent but they began to dwindle as Elton’s mother’s health declined, and eventually she couldn’t take them out anymore, but Elton was old enough to take his sister to the zoo himself, though it wasn’t the same.
Now he was here without his mother or his sister, which was a bit weird for him. He kept expecting one of them to speak up about the lions as he walked over to a bench and sat down, resting his elbows on the back of the bench. It must have been somewhere around ten minutes that Elton sat there in a mixture of deep thought and a complete absence of thought as he stared off into the lion enclosure. Just as his gaze finally shifted, he recognized a brunette figure in front of him. It had to be Juliette Cooper, one of the first people that had allowed him to make progress in his assignment. Befriending her had actually led to him winning Dominic Cooper’s initial favour, which was exactly what he had wanted. Perhaps a bit of casual conversation with Juliette could give Elton a bit more information, and if not, it was nice just to talk to her. She had always seemed so normal, and Elton couldn’t appreciate it in its entirety because Preston got in the way of that, but she was still entirely refreshing.
“Yo, Jay!” Elton called out, the words feeling the tiniest bit foreign on his tongue, but they were a lot more casual and typical for Preston. He stood from the bench and hung his arms at his sides, stepping up beside Juliette and offering her a smirk he had practiced countless times in the mirror. “Didn’t think I’d run into you here. What’re you doing?” It might have been a bit more unusual for Preston to be at the zoo than Juliette, but Preston happened to be a bit more oblivious and less self-aware than Elton was, and he had to make sure he was portraying that. It never took too long before Elton slipped into character, and it was good practice.
Member No.: 249
Joined: 18-February 12
TAG: PRESTON! / NOTES: <3 / WORDS: 736
When she'd been little, Juliette had liked going to the zoo. She found the animals fascinating, and while her favourite had changed pretty much every visit, depending on which were doing interesting things when she went and looking into their enclosures, she had always wanted to come back here. It had been a long time since she had, though, years, probably, and things were pretty different to how she remembered them being. She guessed that that was something that happened, when you went years without seeing a place; they had to build new things to keep the tourists coming in, and here was no exception to that. It was still familiar, though, and that was nice, she thought; she didn't feel like she was going to get lost, at any rate, which was always a useful thing, and maybe it was kind of weird that she was here on her own, but frankly, JJ didn't care about that. She had had to get out of her apartment, away from school, just somewhere different entirely; finals were killing her and studying was driving her crazy, and JJ knew that if she didn't take a break soon, she was probably going to burn her notes or something, and then she'd fail and it would generally be a whole cycle of things that she didn't really want to happen, in all honesty. Nobody liked exams, she'd have suggested that anybody who did get their head examined, but Juliette did like school, and she did want to do well. She'd been studying hard for months, but she had gotten to the point where she was pretty sure that she wasn't taking in any more information, and if she wasn't learning then there was little point in her studying, and getting out for a couple of hours was almost certainly going to improve her mental health somewhat...or she just wanted to look at the animals, but her justification for doing that during exam period sounded a whole lot better.
She'd been here for maybe half an hour or so, and already Juliette was feeling a lot less stressed. She could have gone anywhere to do this, of course, walked along the water front or gone to the music centre, but she wanted to get away from school for a while. Maybe she should have gone to see if her father was home, and play his piano for a bit, but being outdoors helped too, somehow, and there weren't exactly a lot of pianos outdoors. She'd read that people had set some up on the streets in LA or somewhere, so that anybody who wanted to could sit down and play them, and she'd thought it was an awesome idea; maybe they should have done that here. But they hadn't, and while she could have wandered aimlessly for a while, it was nice to have a purpose, in all honesty, and to have something to look at. Most of the little kids seemed to be at school still, which meant that while it wasn't completely quiet, she didn't have to worry about tripping over someone who only reached her knee, either, and it was nice just to be here. She could worry about school again in a little while – even if she was predicted to do well in all her finals, it didn't mean that JJ could just sit back and not study at all. It was important to put the work in, and she wanted to do well, make her daddy proud, and all that jazz. She was doing this college thing, so she was damn well going to do it well.
She turned around as someone called her name, frowning for a moment until she spotted Preston, a smile spreading across her face. She really hadn't expected to come across anybody that she knew here, but it wasn't an unpleasant surprise by any stretch of the imagination, either. “Hey, Preston,” she greeted, shrugging at the question. “I like the tigers. And I had to get out of my apartment for a little while,” she explained; if she hadn't done that, she was pretty sure that she would have torn her hair out by now. Studying was hard sometimes, and it drove her crazy. She looked up at him with a smile. “I could say the same for you, anyway. Never thought a zoo'd be somewhere you wanted to go.”