Water Water Everywhere

For trips to Ft. Worth, it's always good to plan for the unplanned, as odd as that sounds. It makes complete sense when one understands exactly what it is that the metroplex has to offer. Dallas may have the arenas, the large aquariums, the museums, but Ft. Worth has the nightlife, and a great deal of 'outdoors' culture. As a result, the need to bring things for contingencies is impressed. Boots, check. Hats, check. Spare cash for drinks. Absolutely. The checking of the lunar cycle? Without question.
Brett's pickup is driven, and with a little teasing and cajoling, he's willing to accept 'no' for an answer with his request that Summer at least try taking shotgun as a 'yote. Of course, shifting back is a little problematic when it comes to modesty, though Brett would never complain. Not him.
Traffic is a bear going between cities simply because they share so much. Neither are 'suburbs' of the other, and as a result, 'rush hour' has no direction where it is less than the other. In order, then, to keep transit time to a minimum (On a Friday night!), Brett's picked Summer up a little later, to let the traffic subside somewhat. After dark, the cars aren't quite so numerous, and the backroads he takes assures the couple that there will be close to no one on the road to get in their way.

'Later' has given Summer enough time to help Toby out, and let him know where she was off to so that he wouldn't worry. She may be a grown woman, but having a father that looks out for her isn't necessarily a bad thing.
There was almost an agreement to the shift, were it not for the logistics of winding up naked in the truck in a potentially public location. While she's not a prude, she does have to draw the line somewhere!
Accompanying the boots, the hats, the spare cash, and a few other things, is an umbrella and a change of clothing. Capris won't work with the boots, so a pair of jeans is necessary. For most of the ride though, beyond the teasing and small talk, Summer has been quiet. Not so much lost in thought as before, just feeling slightly uncertain. Several times she does try to open up and talk about something with a little more depth, and several times she turns to look out the window.
Finally, she turns to look at her 'date', and smiles. "Thanks," she says brightly, "For this, I mean."

Oh, make no mistake.. Brett certainly mentioned where he'd like to take Toby's daughter with the elder shifter. It's not so much 'asking permission' or even getting 'the father's blessing', but more making sure that Toby is aware that Brett is aware he's taking Summer out with the father's 'suffrance'. Everything on the up and up, so to speak.
After a few seemingly false starts, though Brett is actually comfortable with the silence between them for the trip, he looks beside him to Summer's smiled gratitude. "For this?" He shakes his head, though he takes great pains to not make it seem dismissive. "I should be telling you 'thank you' for agreeing. I mean.." Brett lets his voice trail off before restarting again, "Well, I'm willing to bet big money that you'll really enjoy the Gardens. At night, they have coloured lights on the sprays.." Did he want to get into the whole mess?
"I am a little surprised you've never seen it, though. Big tourist trap." His voice lowers and he steals glances now, between the road and his date. "Things are better now?"

"I avoid the tourist traps. I always have. Find me a nice stretch of desert or a hiking trail around the city, and you can bet I've been there," Summer says with a very small laugh. Tourist traps generally mean more people than wildlife, and as she's an outdoor person to the core she just doesn't go exploring in that manner too much.
"Telling me thank you? No, Brett. Really, I'm thanking you for just…" There's a longish pause as she tries to suss out the reasons for why she's thanking him, and finding the right words. "… being you, and inviting me along." Rather than letting her get mopey.
"A bit, yes. I had a nice long talk with Toby and it cleared my head somewhat. He said he grunted at you during the hunt." There's a playful, teasing grin upon her lips. Eyes sparkling just a little.

"Ah.. you just need to know when to go to the traps to not get trapped is all." Brett continues the dance of giving both the road and his date his attention. "This will quickly become one of your favourite places in the metroplex, I bet."
His fingers tappity-taps on the steering wheel as he drives, the road is flat and pretty much straight for miles. It gives him something to do with his hands, though. "Well, not so much as 'inviting you along'. More like, 'I'd like to go see this again, and I've had enough of seeing it with the bro, who is entirely too 'done' with all my Logan's Run references. So, a new audience?" Brett shakes his head and amends, "Well, actually, I really wanted you to see it because it is pretty cool.. and the fact that you'd be seeing it with me for your first time is just sorta.. neat." Neat?
Clearing his throat, Brett chuckles. "Okay.. I didn't say that, but you know.. oh.. and your father? Yup. Grunted at me. Pretty sure it wasn't an overtly hostile grunt. And," he turns his head again to the side, revealing a lopsided smile, "talked to him about this trip, too. And, remarkably, I'm alive."

"I suppose I do, though I have no concept of when that is." Summer adjusts the watch on her wrist, revealing a small bandage. Looking down at it, she makes a face, then peeks out the window again. "Colored water, sounds beautiful, really."
Running her fingers through her hair, she keeps her eyes out the window, though she's watching him in its reflection. "I see," she says, smiling a little. "So rather than bore your brother, you want to bore me," comes the teasing. "Neat? Do I have to wear a poodle skirt?"
Done ribbing him though, she turns at the mention of him talking to Toby again. "You're either very brave, or very stupid."

Brett's lopsided grin remains, "One of those times happens to be in about an hour." Which is about when they'll arrive in the city, find a parking spot and walk to the Gardens. "Even on a Saturday night. Though, the Stockyards are full tonight. But, if we go walk the strip, by the time we're done at the gardens, most of the tourists will have gone back to their hotels for the night." He nods his agreement, "The coloured lights are like little fireworks."
Leaning over, he reaches out to nudge Summer for the teasing. "Bobby-socks, too. And if you don't hush, I might have to dig up a letterman jacket for you to wear." And he'd do it, too!
Brett laughs out loud at Summer's observations and tacit opinions of his dealings with her father. "Hey.. I don't want him to think I'm doing anything .. not on the up and up. After the conversation, he didn't grunt at me to tell me not to take you out. While he didn't jump up and tell and tell me that it was a great idea, he.. well.. I'm not dead."

"Slicked back hair and high ponytail too? As long as you don't make me look like Sandy from Grease…" Laughing at the thought of herself looking like a 50's preppy cheerleader, she just shakes her head. "Your own letterman jacket or one you stole?" Same train of thought at Grease. Someone has only one point of reference for the period it would seem.
"I've seen pictures of Niagara Falls all lit up like that. It really is quite beautiful. I'm sure when you're a lot closer to the water, it's even… neater." Summer had to go there. She really did.
"He knows I can take care of myself, but I'm sure he appreciates you asking him. He likely sees that as being proper." Hence poor Brett not being dead just yet.

"You are in deep trouble if this summer's rec theatre is 'Grease'," Brett teases. "At least it's not 'West Side Story' because I am not a Jet." After that escapes, however, he closes his mouth and looks to think on the idea. "Okay.. maybe I am." A grin relights his face, however, and he laughs at the veiled accusation. "I did not steal it. That's all I'll say about it.. other than you're this close," he puts two fingers almost together in measurement, "to getting it."
Awww.. she went there on teasing him, and again, Brett laughs. "You're lucky they frown on throwing people in the water." Again, he looks back and forth from the road to his passenger and back.. and so on.
"I'll continue letting him know what is going on until he asks me to stop. That's when I know that he trusts me." Nothing about trusting Summer, certainly. She's right. She is a grown woman who can take care of herself, and so has all of Toby's trust. As far as he's concerned, though, trust is earned, and for Brett's part, respect for the man is required. "One day, when I show up dead, you'll know that he didn't like my idea of taking you out."

"Are you a Jet all the way?" Summer really needs to stop now, but she can't. She's amused, and it's been a while since she's felt so carefree. "Going to sign me up for auditions against my will? They'll likely hear me singing and make me Jan." She could recreate the Ipana Toothpaste commercial, even though the play is far different from the movie. "Oh, no! You can't give me the letterman jacket, we're not going steady." Eyelash flutter.
"I'm not afraid of getting a little wet." Winking at him, she turns to look out the window once more, teasing done for now.
"I don't know that Toby actually trusts anyone." She's really including herself in that. "If he stops grunting at you, you should probably be worried. If he starts actually conversing with you, run. Run far, far away." From the smile upon her lips, she's teasing again. Though he'll likely only catch it if he catches her reflection.

Brett laughs, "From my first cigarette to my last dying day, and if you expect me to sing, you'll be sorely disappointed." He enjoys hearing the lilt in Summer's tones as she takes up the cues and gives as good as she gets. What he wouldn't give for that to be her 'normal' tone when with him.
"Well, it'd just be a jacket, which meant that I let you wear it walking home. If I gave you my school ring to wear around your neck, well.. that's serious business." How's that for Fifties' trivia?
The city lights of Fort Worth are in view, though they're still several miles out. "I couldn't toss you in. If we had to go dancing afterwards," Had? "then it'd be uncomfortable for you. Not to mention.. there'd be every red-blooded American male looking at you. And without Corey at my back?" He'd lose.
He falls silent as he listens to Summer's observation about her father. "I'm looking for.. tolerate. Detente." He begins the looking back and forth again and catches the smile, first in her tones, and then on her face. It's merely a double-check. "I don't know. You know, it might be the 'if these walls could talk'. I actually would like to hear what he has to say— unless he's behind the stock of a shotgun. Then, I think your advice is perfect." He grins, and keeps his eyes on Summer a little more, "My mother would dote on you. Two boys? You're doomed."

Her silent smile just broadens a little, and is accompanied shortly by a laugh. "Too late. You are going to be dragged to a karaoke bar one of these days." Had he not brought up singing, Summer would never have thought of subjecting him to the horror that is her own voice.
"Ah, but it would be the jacket that I'd have to keep because it smelled like you, and then I'd have to lie about having it. It's a very dangerous road to head down…" When he mentions the school ring, she chuckles. "There's always the class pin too."
As they close in on the city, she watches the lights loom closer. "Had to go dancing? We don't have to do anything," she remarks, though she's not at all broody. She finds his choice of words to be fairly amusing. "Though I suppose white and going for an impromptu swim don't really mesh."
Summer nods in regards to the discussion on her father. She doesn't touch on that however. She just gives him a soft smile. "I may be. I never had a mother, so I've never been doted on."

"Oh no, karaoke." Brett shakes his head, his expression theatrically fearful. "Cor makes fun of me for bowling. He'd never let me live down walking into a karaoke bar." There'd only be one single defense should he walk through the doors of a bar with that. He was going with his girlfriend. That, right there, trumps all. The boys aren't stupid; rule is, number one favourite thing to do is… 'Whatever it is that she likes to do'. "But," here, he sounds all the world willing to be laid out on his shield, "for you, I'd suffer the consequences."
In terms of the letterman jacket, why did he suddenly get the image of an attractive 'yote curling up on it in the corner? "As long as you don't shed too much on it. Or.." He laughs, "I just have this image of it lying on the end of the bed, and you shifted and curled up on it."
She's right, they don't have to do anything, but they were ready for any contingencies. "True, we don't have to go dancing, but then again, I happen to enjoy it. Well, moreso getting out at the end of a workweek. I suppose it's just our nature— getting out from the four walls and just.. going outside. Somewhere. Anywhere. As long as there's room." Even for the 'non-jock' of the family, Brett likes outdoors more than in-. "And the fact that I get to dance with you? Makes it a must in my book."
He chuckles softly, his smile remaining, though it shifts slightly. Something he doesn't know about her. "No? Never been doted on? What happened, if you don't mind my asking?" Oh, yes.. if his mother is armed with this bit of information, it wouldn't matter if she and Brett were dating or sworn enemies— a girl needs a mother, regardless of age.

"Then he'll just have to come along," Summer offers. Even from only meeting the brother briefly, she's aware that the two boys have a really close bond. Being friends with one, means friends with the other by proxy. "Then he can't make fun of you unless he wants to make fun of himself at the same time." After just ending a committed relationship (sort of?), she's not wanting to rush right into something. "For me? Well you don't have to sing either. You could always go just to laugh and have a good time listening to others."
His image gets a laugh from her. "I only do that with things I'm really possessive over." That's a very honest admittance. Though it is a very good possibility that it could happen, even though she rarely shifts at home.
"What do you enjoy doing in the outdoors, Brett? Dancing is more of an indoor activity, but there are a lot of things to do around the city, outside." Otherwise, she seems to agree quite a bit. Dancing is fun, working out the stress of the week is much needed. Even if that's just reading a book in the park with a small light, or wandering through the flatlands. "So long as we don't dance the night away again," she teases, very lightly.
Then the subject turns a little more serious. "The same thing that happens in a lot of pregnant Shifters. Several miscarriages, and then complications after giving birth. She died a week after I was born, and it's been me and Toby since then."

"Yes, yes he will," Brett can agree easily. "Though, I'll let you turn on the charm there. He can't say no to a pretty face." A grin, though slightly subdued in anticipation to the topics ahead, comes, "in either form."
The other bits are put to the side, including the questions regarding what it is he enjoys doing, in preference for the more serious of topics. For some reason, discovering more about the lady beside him is just more important than anything else he can think of at the moment. "I suppose we," meaning male shifters, "really don't pay enough attention until it happens," is an honest admission. His expression is saddened, and he exhales, "Things make a whole lot more sense. I can't begin to imagine losing.. really losing someone I loved. But" Brett offers a sidelong glance and a touch of a lopsided smile, "you're one heck of a testament to her memory. And I bet your father thinks so too which I know is the reason why he's so protective."
The city lights are growing closer, and the traffic is beginning to pick up once Brett turns onto a major road to enter the city limits. "Which means, he's got to make sure anyone who dates you realizes your value."

Summer has gone completely silent and still. Once more, she's staring out the window. This time though, it's to hide the tears that are welling up in her eyes. That this man, who has only recently appeared in her life, can offer her so much compassion on an issue like this is amazing, and respected. Silence is with her for a long while. When she's stable enough to hold in the tears, she gently wipes at her eyes and turns to him. "It is a rather difficult thing, but not uncommon for our kind," she reminds. Some families get lucky, are of heartier stock, have multiple children. Some don't. "I never had a chance to know her, but the fact that Toby hasn't ever remarried tells me a great deal about her." A smile, though sad, is offered to him. "Thank you," she says gently, before looking out the window again.
Further discussion about Toby is not really ignored, but just met with a small nod. Forcing a grin to her face, she shakes her head. "I don't know if I can be so charming as to convince someone to come to karaoke, but I'll try."

"Not uncommon, but never something to make light of either," Brett agrees, but gently adds his own opinion on the matter. "Fact of life doesn't mean we have to like it. I couldn't imagine not knowing my mother. She's.." He smiles, his expression taking something of a middle distance, "… something else." He chuckles softly, "You know, never really guessed at the motivation, but Cor's adopted. They probably weren't willing to play roulette a second time. I only recently learned, though, that he isn't a blood relative, but he's more of a brother to me than anyone could be. Grew up together, so… and mom loves him as much as she does me. And so does dad.
"Mom'll love you. Doomed. There'll be shopping trips, even if it's just to window shop, coffee at the kitchen table just to talk.. and, if you're not careful, she'll come over to visit and clean your house." Brett grins, "Oh, what a can of worms when you suggested my parents meet your father." He just can't bring himself to call the man by his given name.
The traffic is heavier now, and they're in the lanes for the marked exit for the Gardens within a few minutes of entering the city. "I'm glad you're with me.. thank you for agreeing to come." A soft chuff of air escapes, "and eventually I'll work out who else I have to thank for the opportunity." He shrugs lightly but not dismissively, "Maybe light a candle?" He'll be doing that anyway later for her mother…

"I don't know how anyone could even think to like it. Just imagining going through it, or witnessing another Shifter couple go through such a tragedy is something I would never wish on anyone." Summer looks out the front window now, taking in all the lights of the city. Focusing on the signs, and learning the directions as she does. "I don't blame them," she says quietly. "The difficulties with pregnancy can make anyone wary of wanting children." The way it is said makes it pretty obvious that it's something Summer fears a great deal.
There is one word in the entire conversation that seems to perk the woman right up. "Shopping?" Just the thought of it, going through the stores, finding the cute little outfits with shoes and accessories to match is one of those things that is really appealing to her. "Toby would get a good laugh out of some strange woman cleaning the house. Not that he'd notice the difference, since I make sure someone goes in once a week to take care of it…" Molly Maid is a very good thing for a busy woman, even if it does cost.
She considers bringing up the fact that she agreed to come with him before all the confuddling issues with Mischa occurred, but decides against it. "I'm glad I agreed to come," she says, "but you don't need to thank anyone else. The decision was all mine." Mostly.

"Problem is," Brett begins slowly, glancing back and forth, but keeping most of his attention on the road now, "it's in our nature to look for another.. of us. I mean, I suppose I could pretend to be happy with a non-shifter," Turning on his turn signal, he shifts lanes a few hundred yards before the turn-off, "Or settle. But, we're programmed to want to try and continue the line." He's paid attention to his family, and they're all proud to be who and what they are. There's no shame, but there is the fear and concern that does hang overhead. It's a part of the life of a shifter, however much Brett dislikes it.
Question is, if he's ever put into that position, what would he say? How could he make that same decision?
Very serious, sober topic of conversation for an evening out on the town, and there has to be a way to dispel the cloud that hangs. At least, however, it's not contentious but rather— mutual.
Summer finds it, however, and moves it all around. Laughing, Brett pulls off to a side road, and begins to slow down. They're only a few blocks away, and the search begins for a parking spot. A lopsided grin appears and it makes it all the way to his eyes, "Shopping. Mom likes it too. Groceries, farmers' markets, clothing, shoes, you name it. She's a wiz, though, and I bet she's more than willing to impart some of her secrets to the next generation."

"Isn't that the truth," Summer says, in reply to Shifters having the innate desire to continue the line. It's much the same for Werewolves she knows as well. "Shifter females are hard to find," she points out. "Werewolves seem to be in abundance in Dallas, but I've not yet met another female Shifter." Which is odd, considering the size of the city. "When the time comes, I think it's a discussion every couple should have, no matter their species. Children are a big decision and a big responsibility, and it's important for couples to be on the same page."
With that conversation behind them, and perhaps left for another day, depending upon the future, Summer lets it all go and smiles. No point in dwelling on the past when they're about to go and see something beautiful and breathtaking.
"Find me a woman who doesn't like shopping, and I'll give you a shiny nickel. Has she ever been antiquing? There's a lovely little shop, just a little north of Dallas, they have the cutest things." Summer has gone into total girl mode momentarily, and realizing what she's doing, she laughs. "I'd like that." When the time is appropriate for 'meet the parents' to happen.

"I agree. It's a conversation that every couple should have." Brett is more than willing to let that topic lie for pretty much the same reason as Summer does. Better left for another day; it's something for if or when things grow more serious between them. For the moment, where the pair are is exactly where he likes it— learning about the other slowly, and discovering who the other is.
So far, so good, however.
"I.." Brett stammers, his words taking an amused tone, "…can't. Every woman I've ever met had a weakness for a shop." He shakes his head, though, even as he finds a parking spot. Brett grabs it quickly, and parallel parks the truck easily. "Antiquing? Ah.. no. I'll have to tell her." A chuckle escapes as he puts the truck into park and unbuckles as he turns the engine off. "She'd love it.

A deep breath is taken, and she nods. Outside of the truck, they're moving into 'date' territory. Summer is not exactly ready for that, due to her recent (sort of) breakup. Still, she's expecting it and she still agreed. Unbuckling the belt, she allows it to slide up into the slot, and then says, "As I'll ever be." It says a great deal, though now she's not certain whether she should open the door and hop out, or wait for him to get it. So she sits there, awkwardly for a moment.
"I think we're genetically predisposed to liking shopping. Either that, or it's something we pick up from a young age. Retail therapy is the best kind." She laughs a little. "Unless you have an empty pocketbook. The place is called 'Miss Antiquarian'. Lovely old lady who runs the shop."

Brett nods and opens the door, popping his head in quickly to answer, "Empty pocketbook should never be a deterrent, says mom. She'd said that the young just don't have the same appreciation for window shopping."
Making quick note of Summer's remaining in the truck, Brett closes the driver's side door and moves around the front of the truck to open the passenger side for her. Old fashioned, sure.. but a lady is a lady, and he's more than happy to treat her as she should be. Opening it wide, he offers a hand for support on the step down as he nods in the direction they'll have to travel. "It's about a couple of blocks that way, but we're close."

Normally, Summer would have no issues opening the door and hopping out on her own. The difficulty is that she's not at all sure how one is supposed to act on a could-be-date. Thankfully, he opens the door and offers his hand. Placing hers in his offered one, she steps out of the truck and reaches back to lock the door before bumping it shut with her hip.
"There's not a thing wrong with walking," she offers, with a bright smile. "Especially on such a lovely night. Like you said, it's good to be away from four walls."

Brett's good with calling it a 'date', and when her hand is pressed into his, he curls his fingers around, giving her some leverage as she steps from the truck. The door is closed, and he's loathe to let her hand go. It's warm and fits so easily in his, that he doesn't make any move to release it. She has to pull it from his grasp before he'd relinquish it.
Looking around, Brett's gaze lands on the different locations, brightly lit, and the lamps alongside the street. "Spring has sprung. Now, make sure you let me know if you catch a chill." He grins lopsidedly, "I may not have my letterman, but I won't let you get cold."
Taking the first couple of steps in the direction, he's making sure that she not only follows, but walks alongside him. "Next block, you'll catch a glimpse of the coloured lights, I'm pretty sure."

Volumes are spoken when she doesn't yank her hand away. Summer, having taken a few seconds to consider it, just accepts that this is part and parcel of the night.
"We tend not to get chilly," she points out with a playful grin. "But if I think I need a jacket, I'll let you know." Winking, she follows along beside him. The placement of the lamps, the architecture, it's all admired.
"You may have to forgive me if I run off at that point, to get a closer look." A warning that she may just act like a child when she spots the lights.

Brett's apparently taken a few non-shifters out on dates as it's the first thing he'd thought of; chill of the evening's cool as the night wears on. With the granite, however, and the water sprays? He's pretty sure that it may become a consideration.
Still, he won't worry about it. Not worrying about anything, actually— how could he? He's walking hand in hand with a lovely lady down the streets of Fort Worth.
Brett laughs at Summer's warning and squeezes her hand briefly in prelude to a response. "As long as I don't have to pick up anything behind you.." is given in a sotto voice. Perhaps he's had to do that before when out with his brother?
One block is easily covered, and with the second block, the signs for the Water Gardens are more obvious, and the park is hoving into view. His pace picks up a little in anticipation; he likes the place too, after all.

Summer is quite used to being overheated. She runs extremely warm, even for a Shifter. She's the type of woman that goes out tanning in early spring, and isn't even really bothered by the heat of the summer. But like her 'date', she's not worrying about it. She's determined to be carefree and have a wonderful time.
"I'm not a generally messy person. Especially not when I'm running off." There will be no clothing stripping, no dropping of items, and no er… need to pick up anything after her, in other words.
As the lights of the park can be seen, Summer releases his hand. Just like that, she's off. Running toward the Water Gardens, much like a child. Trying to beat Brett there, and get a good view of the place. There she'll wait though, not venturing down without him.

Summer wasn't kidding with her warning. Taking off like a shot the moment the perimeter is reached, Brett's put in the position to catch up. He starts after her, laughing with each step. He's not a sprinter at all; at least not in this form, and it takes a little work to catch up. She give him a little help, though, when she stops at the gate and waits for him. Smile on his face, he slows down, huffing gently. "You warned me."
Before them now, are the blue, green, and red lights lighting up the sprays of water that can be seen. There is much more further down. The sound of the rushing water is easily heard now, just beyond. "Let's go." With a grand gesture, he reaches out put a hand on the small of her back, ready to guide her down with him beside her.
The Gardens are.. huge. The water burbles down the granite steps; mini waterfalls down to the catch basin in the bottom several dozen large steppes below the top. There are raised, dry granite blocks that serve a steps designed to bring the visitor down and into the middle of the water display. In deference to the night, coloured lights also shine from the sides of the blocks, shimmering through the flows of water, giving a vibrant, living quality to the rushing water.

"I did at that," she says with a laugh. "I just wanted my first peek to be all selfish." For herself, not with anyone. Just for her. A memory she can lock away, like she does quite often with new places. Brushing her hair from her face, she holds her hands together in front of her. Just admiring the view as the colors shift.
Gentle, she steps past the gate, knowing that he's behind her to catch her if she starts to slip. Summer prides herself on being graceful, but when water is involved, one can never be too careful.
"You can lose yourself in the colors. It's like walking into a rainbow," she exclaims, taking the time to twirl around carefully on the step she's occupying.

The mist of the water rises off the blocks in a gentle almost-rain. It's humid, but not cold, nor clinging. On a summer's night, Brett would bet that this is a popular spot. There's no offense taken at her spoken desire to get the first sight of the Gardens by herself. He doesn't want to think of the potential reasons, however. It's a good night, and he'd rather not let the whispers of 'if it doesn't work out, 'their' memory won't be inextricably linked with the display'. That would require self-doubt, and how could he doubt anything while in the company of Dr. Summer Houston?
Brett is indeed behind her should she slip; the moisture is all over the stepping stones, even if it's not flowing over them. He's happy to remain a step behind, and a hand is jammed into a side pocket. "It really is nice. It's much nicer at night. Particularly when the sprays rise—" He stops himself, quickly realizing that perhaps he'd be spoiling a surprise for her. Sure enough, with the next step down for him, sprays rise from the pool at the bottom, and at the same time, lights flicker on; reds, yellows, blues.. and it does catch the attention of those other visitors as well as himself.

There are no other visitors here in Summer's mind. There are only two people and the internal workings of a rainbow. The childlike way she takes in the Water Gardens is something that is rare to see in a woman of her age. Like the water flowing over the granite steps, the entire experience is flowing over her. The misty spray causes her to become a little damp, and her hair to frizz slightly, but she doesn't seem to care one bit.
In this moment, all the tension of the last few weeks just slips right off her shoulders, and washes away in the spray of water. It really is too bad that there are other people around, since running through the Gardens as a 'yote could be quite fun.
The spray, which brings a sweetly surprised, "Oh!" also has her going down a few more steps.

Brett's smile is broad as he is able to watch the absolute… glee that emenates from Summer with each burst of colour from the sprays coming up from below, with each shifting of hues from the sides of the blocks. It's easy to get lost in the pleasure of the other, and while he knows that others are around, there are given little notice. Each step down is a long and deep one; a personal voyage to the center of where it all begins as much as a trek to the base pond.
It's like a transformation for Summer, and Brett only catches a little of it. Her manner and mien has changed, and her shoulders look… lighter. Her carriage is bouncier, and the gentle exclamation of wonder and pleasure with each waterburst brings a new-found skip to the beat of his heart. This was a perfect idea.

When one can lose oneself in something so beautiful — even if it is manmade, it is a perfect idea. Summer's step is lighter the further they delve into the Water Garden. Even as she stops and shifts to the side of the granite step that she is upon, to allow a couple to make their way back up, she smiles at them and offers a very friendly nod before glancing up at Brett.
When a wash of color causes him to look alien green, she laughs a little, and beckons him to come down to meet her on the step. They may as well continue down the next little bit together, now that the steps are a bit wider.
While she waits for him to join her, she turns back around to stare into the center of it all. Then, almost as if on a whim, she starts to work the mood ring off of her finger. Though she does appear to be struggling with it a little.

Brett couldn't think of a better person to see this with. As much as he loved his brother, he's a little guilty at being glad that he's able to share this moment.. as much as he's sharing, mind. Summer seems to be quite happy at using the Gardens as a respite away from self-reflection, and is happy to simply be, and there is no way Brett will begrudge that. Everything the lady has gone through; and the discovery that perhaps things were just not everything she'd hoped they'd be, he also understands her reticence in some areas.
Still, things do look promising for him, and as she turns around and laughs to see him— of course, he has to figure out why and simply can't see the colours blending on his skin, he laughs as well and takes a couple more steps down to the next granite step.
With Summer being on a larger block now, Brett has to watch his step as he makes his way down over the damp large bricks. They're larger at the bottom to accomodate visitors at the bottom. He can't help but see that she's struggling with something, and it's a moment before he realizes that there is still, soon to be 'was' if his guess is correct, still a mood ring.
"You look.. vibrant. Almost energized."

The struggle with the ring continues, even as Brett approaches her. "I am. I feel… alive." In a way she hasn't for a little while. It's very likely just being away from Dallas, and yes, not focusing on self-reflection, and hiding from making any decisions, and just being.
As she finally yanks the ring off her finger, she loses her footing on the granite and starts to fall backward, bottom first. Hitting the granite step with her rear, she just starts to laugh. It's wet, but it's not as though she fell head first into the pool at the base. With the water flowing, spraying, and misting all around them, she's pretty wet. Her top clings to her torso, but she just sits there laughing.
Until she realizes that the mood ring she was trying so hard to remove from her finger has tumbled a few steps below them. She sobers up a little then, and says, "I should go get that before it gets kicked into the pool…"

Closer to the pool, the colours are more vivid, more vibrant as there is less white light pollution from the top. The greens, blues, yellows all stream across the surface of the water below, and with each plume, the lights flicker and change, melding into purples, turquoises.. and playes on the light colours of clothing that the visitors wear.
Summer losing her footing makes Brett move quickly forward in the attempt to keep her from falling into the catch-pool at the bottom. It's deep enough, so if she can swim, there's no danger of a 'shallow water dive'. Still, his reach doesn't quite make it, though she lands on her butt on the block and doesn't move any further. The ring, however, makes a plastic-y sound as it goes *ting*ting*ting* away from her.
Brett laughs, however, as he's getting a little damp as well, though now, nowhere near as Summer is. To look at her, well.. he finds it particularly difficult to take his eyes off her as her white shirt clings to her body. Oh god.. she's.. How could he not notice, and he's already said that he's attracted to her, so.. his reactions are quite physically… natural.
"Ah.." Words. Words can form. Really. Just bring them from the brain to the throat, and then out. "Should you?" Probably not the most politic thing to say, but rather than apologizing, he adds, "Why?"

Rather than answer him right away in regards to the ring, she looks down at herself. "You know, I so would not complain about that letterman jacket about now," Summer says with a laugh. "I wasn't quite planning on getting this wet." It's less about the chill, and more about the way her babydoll top is sticking to her.
Reaching a hand out so that she can get some help to her feet without falling back down on the step, she blinks at him. "It was a gift," she says finally, eyeballing her feet. "While I may not want to wear it anymore, throwing it away just doesn't seem prudent." Besides, Toby taught her better than that. One can't just toss a memory away with a physical object.
"Please, Brett?" There is no hurt in her eyes, no pain. The simple joy from earlier is still there, and she still looks rather happy to be here with him. "And since we're already wet, we may as well trek right to the pool. Not like we can get much more damp than this."

No complaint from him the way the shirt is sticking, but there is the small fact of others in proximity. As he'd said in the truck, his brother isn't around to watch his back, and so.. a decision has to be made, and is. Reaching out to take her hand to help Summer to her feet, that gesture is followed by unbuttoning his oxford shirt, untucking it, and making to hang it over her shoulders. He's got a t-shirt beneath, and he's not too terribly worried about it sticking to his skin. Not that he's got the greatest physique in the world, but he'd be a little less … concerned with stares than she.
"Here, take this. Not quite a letterman," and here, "but it should do."
Shaking his head, Brett exhales. "Does it hold any meaning for you other than questions and confusion? Happy moments? Moments where you look at it and smile, saying, 'I remember when—'?"
Brett's not going to push, lest he look like a complete bastard. There's no glory in criticizing an ex.
"Okay," it's for her, obviously, and taking a couple of hopped steps down, makes to retrieve the bit of silver plastic. "There are two other pools. We've only seen one."

Were there not other people around, Summer might not mind it so much either. As there are other visitors, and she doesn't want actual problems to come up for them, she happily takes the shirt, holding it closed at the neck. "It's warm," she says randomly, even though it's a bit damp.
It's not as though he's not being stared at a little bit by the woman either. Her eyes do shift up to his face when he speaks, and she smiles. "Maybe I'll keep it just the same," she teases.
"No, not really, but it was a gift." There are no qualms about honesty with this. To assuage any fears he may be having about it, she adds, "I'm not planning on putting it back on." Though this is a little softer, and he may not hear it over the sound of the water, as he hops those few steps down.
Following him at a slightly slower pace, she turns her head toward the shirt and sniffs at it once. Reaching him, she blinks. "Two other pools? Let's make sure I don't take a near swim in those ones, alright?"

Brett laughs at Summer's declaration of ownership of his shirt, and can picture the petite, cute coyote curled up in it on a bed. He's also pretty sure she can follow the thought back as he'd mentioned it only back in the truck a little while ago.
He doesn't hear the softly spoken words with the water rushing around him and the spray rising. Searching the granite for the little bit of plastic, he finds it on the corner of the stone very near the bottom and picks it up. Turning around to find her virtually beside him, he holds it up to her to show that he, indeed, has found it. For a heartbeat, he's not sure whether he should restore it to her finger or simply hand it over. The thoughts collide in his head, and there isn't an immediate hint given in terms of what she wants.
"Found it— and yes, two others." His smile broadens. She looks adorable with his shirt on. There's just something about an oversized, button down shirt on an attractive lady. "We'll try to keep you from going in.."

"You realize," she says, holding her hand out, palm up, "that dancing is out now, unless I scoot into a bathroom somewhere and remove the wet shirt." Realizing how bad that may sound she tugs at his shirt. "And tie this one up to look a little more cowgirl, I guess." Clearing her throat, she waits for the ring, and once it's placed on her palm, she drops it into her pocket.
"But let's go," she says, once more feeling lighthearted and carefree. "Show me more wonders of this place." Glancing around to ensure there is no one right beside them listening, she leans in and whispers, "I bet it'd be fun to run through here some night once everyone is gone…"

"That's why I brought a change of clothes," Brett grins. "And there's nothing wrong with cowgirling up." He lowers his voice, "You look cute."
The ring is placed in her hand, and to his pleasure, it's placed into a pocket. Even better, her mood is unchanged; light, carefree and eager to continue discovering the Gardens.
He out and out laughs, however, at the sotto-voiced suggestion, and nods his agreement. "It would be.." His brows waggle ever so slightly. It wouldn't be hard to park his car in an alleyway if they wanted to… and like before, she'd get the cab, he… wouldn't. It's certainly doable, with a little planning. "After, we could check parking areas?"
Holding out his hand for her to take it, he's ready to lead her to the other watering holes. One is 'more of the same', and the last is more of a retaiing pond for a city park. It's still remarkable, but they hit the real treasure first.

Taking his hand, she laughs. "Why Mister Coleman, are you asking me to go parking with you?" A play on words that has her laughing and winking at him.
"I wasn't honestly planning on getting quite so wet, so I didn't bother packing another top. I'm sorry you're getting drenched…" Again her eyes are drawn to his chest, and then quickly away.
"Perhaps one night we can give it a try though, once the crowds have died down…" Heck, she might even ride with her head hanging out the window that night. Who knows? It certainly seems a possibility with the mood she's in.
As she's lead to the other locations, she just revels in it all. Amazed at how such a manmade area can feel almost natural, and knowing that a lot of it has to do with the cool water flowing through on a warm night. "Thanks, Brett. This was a perfect idea."

Her hand is warm in his, and there is no hesitation. Brett squeezes it gently and laughs, "I hear the submarine races are something to watch." Yet another 50s reference! He hopes and prays silently for a brief second that 'Grease' is not the play for Dallas rec this season…
"I.. wasn't planning on you getting quite so damp either." Still finding it hard to be over-upset about it. Now, if she'd done it before, Brett simply didn't notice, but now, there comes a rise of blood to his cheeks when he realizes that, yes, he's being checked out. He doesn't say anything, but there is a.. spring to his step. A preen of a sort. Buried deep within, on a genetic level, he's attractive to a potential mate, and there's a hint of.. swagger to indicate that yes, he's a suitable match. All unconcious, of course.
Brett's walk through the other locations takes time as well, and there is the requisite pointing, the exploration down to see what there is to be seen. The final, something little more than a large retention basin, is the last bit on the tour. The sliver of the moon is high in the sky, and the journey of the celestial bodies is well on its way.
"I'm glad you like it. I really enjoy getting out of Dallas, and Ft. Worth is close, and just.. doesn't feel quite so 'city-ish' as Dallas does. Though, I do like the flatlands, maybe we should consider coming back here later in the evening." For a real romp. "It really could be a lot of fun, and I'm game."

If 'Grease' winds up being the play for the Dallas rec center this season, Summer will be dragging him down there and getting him involved in some way. Probably just for the laugh-factor.
"Tumbles happen, and there's no harm done. Besides, I've got a new shirt out of the deal," she says with a broad grin. Noting the blush, she just looks at him again. Less lingering than before, but she notes the way the shirt is clinging to his torso. When he walks with the spring in his step, and the little swagger, she just shakes her head. It's almost adorable.
With the sliver of moon reflecting in the retention basin, she exhales a contented sigh. "It's so beautiful. Like experiencing a waterfall in the middle of the city. The design is just amazing."

Now here, this would be a nice place to sit and look out over the water as 'yotes. There's something romantic with the way the night sky is reflected on the water. Brett squeezes her hand again and moves his arm so he can stand just a little closer. "They did a nice job with it. In the summer, you can hear the shrieks of kids, but now?" He shakes his head, "Tourist season hasn't started." Which he's glad for as it's still mainly locals.
"The Gardens are just one of a bunch of things I'd like to show you. Some trips might take us down to Austin or Houston, but I promise they'll be worth it." His eyes gleam with the possibilities, though he's also a realist enough to concede, "With your father's fore-knowledge." A laugh comes soon after, "And proof of having rented two rooms for any over nighters?"

Hearing the shrieks of children wouldn't be a bad thing. Especially not considering how much of a child Summer has been behaving this evening. While he gets closer, she doesn't send him away. She does lean forward to the pool briefly, and dips her hand into the water. With an impish smile she comes up quickly, trying to splash him with just a bit of it.
"You have a list of things you'd like to show me?" Curious, but she nods. "Sounds fun." Chuckling, she adds, "Credit card receipts as well. You don't want Toby insisting on joining…" All of it is a tease. Knowing Toby, he'll just grunt and acknowledge that she'll be gone for the night, not making too much fuss. It's not like she's never spent the night out before in her life.

Brett leaps back from the unexpected splash, sliding on the footing briefly and threatening to bring her down should he go. He keeps his footing, though it was questionable for a heartbeat. "Ah.."
Shifting his position, he reaches to take hold and appear as if he can toss her in, should he wish to. He wouldn't, of course, but it's all in fun.
"It's all in an effort for you to continue to go out with me," Brett's grin is lopsided. "Besides, my place is still a work in progress. And, I really do like going places with you. Beats going alone, and you're a great deal more attractive than Cor. Granted, you're game for almost as much as he is." The boys tend to be a little more wild when it comes to shifting, but Brett has the distinct feeling that Summer will come around to being a little more 'footloose and fancy free', grabbing the opportunity when it arises. Celebrate and revel in what they are, Brett believes. He nods, the smile remaining, "Credit cards. Signed, sworn affadavits.."

As he slides and looks like he's about to lose his footing, Summer's eyes widen a great deal. Hanging tightly onto his hand, she prepares to lean back and force him to keep his balance, but he manages to keep it just fine. Much better than she did earlier.
"You wouldn't," she says once he gets hold of her. "We'll be running out of clothing if you do." Though she's positive there's a laundromat somewhere that they can toss a few things into the dryer.
"I should probably tell you that a picnic in the park, or a walk along the waterfront works just as well." Though she does enjoy exploring new places, and she has no fear of it whatsoever. She just doesn't want him going too far out of his way to try to impress her.
"I think Toby draws the line at first born children."

Again, he reaches out, but this time it's to put his arm around her waist as he takes a half-step back. "I wouldn't. Promise." Mmhmm..
"I like picnics. Even like watching the occasional game of whatever. Running out in the flatlands." His voice lowers, "Also like running the Historical Village late at night. Place is great." When he's on four paws. He just .. doesn't want her to equate him with 'dull'. Time inside is all well and good; quiet down time is fine, but only when there's something to relax from. Until then?
They've been in Ft. Worth for a couple hours now, and he cants his head sideways to look at his companion. "What did you want to do? We could drive back and you can get out of wet, clingy clothes, or—" He doesn't mind. "We could stay later, I'll buy you a drink at the Pink Cadillac.."

The somewhat intimate hold has her eyes drifting down to his arms. Before Summer looks back up at him she says, "I trust you." Not to dump her into the pool, that is.
"I was there the other night, ironically. Rescuing a coyote pup. Little bugger bit me," she says, showing off the wet bandage around her wrist. "Had a broken paw, and was pretty scraped up." It was a good thing she had help there too, otherwise the pup likely would have bolted. "Then you're on. I owe you a picnic." Thanks to the Deli, she's good for the food.
"Let's go grab the bags, and find a place to change. If you give me fifteen minutes, I promise I'll stop looking like a drowned rat." That way, no matter what they decide to do, she'll be dry.

"Is that what happened?" To her hand. "At least you're okay. I figured that it had to be something work related. Dogs, cats, guinea pigs.. they all have teeth. As long as it wasn't too bad.." And it didn't seem as if it was or there'd be more 'ow-ow-owies' going on.
Summer fits so neatly under his arm, and her warmth just radiates out. Brett is very aware of her very feminine presence beside him, pressed close, and he looks down, having to resist the urge to put his face in her hair and lay a light kiss there.
"Poor thing. You caught it, though." Statement rather than a question. One of the good things about being a coyote— they're found all over the place. Within city limits, outside..
"You owe me a picnic?" A tiny voice pipes up in his head, Shut up! She's offering a date in the park! and it doesn't take long at all for him to agree. "Okay.. and yeah.. lets get them. We should be good to get at least partially dry."
He chuckles as he takes the first steps away into the direction of the truck. "Drowned rat? Nah.." Coyote, maybe…

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