Clay Date

Hope House

Hope House is not a particularly impressive place. It's a two story, old-fashioned house, hemmed in uncomfortably by the surrounding businesses. It seems to have been saved from the brink of destruction when the surrounding neighborhood was leveled to put in office buildings. 'Saved' is a bit of a loose term. There is paint peeling, a slightly grown up lawn, and a general atmosphere of just slight neglect. The structure is sound, however, and the interior is much more well-maintained than the exterior. Clearly, someone is having to prioritize on a tight budget, and the facilities that the residents actually use are put at the top of the list.

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It's art day again, and among other tidbits about various patients, Makea would have been informed that Todd was absolutely under no circumstances to be allowed to leave the building. Or to be unsupervised at any point. Period. Apparently there was an incident the last time he snuck out, and they've deemed it necessary to keep him safe. Needless to say, Todd is getting a little stir crazy, which is saying something for a guy who supposedly has no memory. So even though he gets to play with mud without getting yelled at, he doesn't look terribly enthusiastic about it, just sort of squishing it into random lumps and bobbles, while looking out a nearby window.

If there's a backdoor Joao will find it and sure enough, there is a backdoor to Hope House and it might as well of had a 'Come on in Joao!' neon sign flashing above it because he didn't even hesitate. The lock was child's play and in he goes, backpack hanging limp and heavy from a shoulder, prowling the halls until he stumbles upon the class. First the boy spots Makea and surprise brings him to a startled halt, but then he sees Todd too and glee lights him up light a Christmas tree is in the dead of winter. His cheerful voice carries, "My two favorite people in the same place!"

Makea is supervising once again, though this time she's getting a bit more involved in the creative process. She's traded in her fashionable and loud blouses for a dress shirt, though it's not exactly quiet, what with the ice blue zebra stripes running over the material. Sleeves rolled up, she's working the clay in front of her with a speed that comes with only years of practice. Tearing her eyes away from the half-formed creature, she quickly surveys the room to make sure that everyone's occurpied. Some are more enthusiastic than others, and so she stands to try and cultivate some interest. "How 'bout a friendly game, hm? Why don'tcha try sculpting your favorite- Sug?" Her soft words are cut off by the sight of a familiar stray. "…You know," There's a slow chuckle that leaves her, "Why am I surprised?" As she continues her lazy stroll around the room, the woman picks up where she left off. "Sculpt your favorite animal. I've got a whole purse full of suckers for those who participate." She'll stop to rest her hands on Todd's shoulders, peering down at his beautiful…lumps. "How's that sound?

Todd does not respond to Joaquim because…well, he doesn't know Joaquim, and certainly /he/ can't be that strange man's favorite person. Or maybe he's just distracted by a butterfly outside the window. Who knows! It isn't until Makea puts her hand on his shoulder that his attention is called back to the lumps of clay. "Hm?" He glances aside at what his neighbor is doing, then back to his own, and frowns. Finally, he looks up at Makea, solemnly, and quietly requests, "I'm not very good at this. Can I go home?" Silly Todd, you /are/ home.

oao is quick to make the backpack disappear under a table before sweeping up to nuzzle Makea. She won't get a chance to get her hands on him before he's zipping around the table to hunker down in front of Todd, grin almost manic looking in brightness and width. "Nonono, I just got here!" He's gotten used to this renewal of their friendship and so he boldly proclaims, "I'm your best friend! Check your book, my picture and name should be there." A finger stabbing gesture is made towards where it is generally kept. While he waits those gleaming eyes leap to Makea, "Miss me?"

Driveby nuzzling! The woman doesn't get much of a chance to return the affection, before Joao is gone. With a sigh, Makea's features soften as she looks down at Todd. He may not remember her, but she certainly remembers him. "Have you even really tried, Sug? Can't say you're good at anythin' without givin' it an honest attempt." One hand remains on his shoulder as her other reaches down and taps at the man's nose. "Just do your best, have fun with it." Joao manages to distract her, peering for the book that Todd supposedly has. "Hm? Not the least." Makea answers, wide smile brightening her face as she can't keep the ruse up for long. "'course I did. Now grab some clay- both of you." Stern eye is set on Todd. "Favorite animals, sweethearts. Or any animal. Hell, make one up if y'feel like it." Nobody is escaping craftime.

Todd frowns slightly at Makea, then down at himself. "There's clay /everywhere/. Surely I've tried enough by now…" But before he can really start listing all his evidence to prove that he /must/ been trying, Joaquim distracts him by stopping in front of him. He blinks and stares owlishly for a moment, and finally just responds, "Oh." He gives a slow and tentative little smile, edging toward his more usual, cheerful self. But then Joao mentions the book, and he reflexively brings his hand to his chest, only to encounter an empty pocket. "My book…" He feels at the pocket, as though somehow he might make it magically appear. He gets that kind of distant, preoccupied look people get when they feel like they've forgotten something /very/ important. "Where's my book?" And now his shirt has clay all over it. Of course, it probably already did at this point, so no harm done.

"Clay play! On such a nice day!" Yes, Joaquim is in an excellent mood, which translates into a hyper weirdness beyond the norm. He's about to launch into something or another when Todd mentions the missing book and the teen freezes to a stop. "Ah shit, your book. I'll help you find it, buddy!" Ducking down to peer under the table Todd is sitting at, he inspects the area, only to pop his head up and report, "Nope, not there." So off he goes, crawling around on the floor to sneak a peak under all the other tables, nudging aside this person or that to get a better look. "Lookin' for Todd's book." "Excuse me." "Pardon me." "Can you move your block of a foot? It's an emergency." I did say hyper.

Makea is about ready to dish out a hot spoonful of wisdom about why Todd should keep trying, when it's revealed that his book is missing. Looking mightily confused, she's just about to ask Joao what it's about when he disappears beneath the table. The question is then redirected, shifting so that she can lean down and look at Todd's face. "I've only seen that book once, Sug. What was in it?" Though she's sharp enough to have something of an idea. Like a pro, she calls out to the crawling teen, "Don't you cause any trouble now!" It's a firm command, but not one that begs to be challenged.

Todd watches as Joaquim goes off searching for the book under the table. "Um…Ah…Excuse me…Hello? Mister? I think…I mean, it doesn't make sense it would be on the /floor/…" But Joaquim is off looking under people's feet and disturbing the patients (and probably the staff if he keeps up), so he finally gives up and looks back to Makea. "Um. I…It…." His brow furrows and his hand goes back to the pocket. "My brain. My brain is in it." Then he shakes his head. "No, no. That doesn't make sense at all, does it? Maybe that man knows," he suggests, waving in Joaquim's general direction.

It isn't long before Joaquim has made the rounds and ends up behind Makea, then beside Makea, still down low, now paused to stare at her heels. A low saucy growl is made and then he straightens to a stand, climbing the heights until he reaches the apex. "It has me in it. It has /everything/ in it. His memories and his need-to-knows. Without it—- " a headshake finishes the sentence, highlighted by a clicking of the tongue. "Okay, Toddy boy, where do you /think/ it could be? I'll rescue it. Think it could be in a tree? Because I'm really good with trees." Again he's moving around in front of the older man, table between them, though this time he remains standing.

Not one to be so easily alarmed… Makea is alarmed. "Your /brain/, Sug?" Her impressive deductive skills have helped her piece together what is wrong with this man. Er, the staff that worked at the Hope House might have played a part, but that was besides the point! Joao only confirms her fears, after giving that thoroughly inappropriate growl. Clay-caked nail presses to his nose, "Behave." And then she's hovering over Todd, all worry and crinkling brow. "You- Oh!" Unlike a certain someone, Makea happens to have one doozy of a memory. "They said somethin' about an incident, you were out n' about and somethin' happened." She informs, "Maybe y'lost your book then, Sug."

Todd blinks and his brows lift. "Yes! Yes, that's what it has in it," he says, as though he were actually remembering, which of course he's not. He sure is good at faking that, though. The question causes him to droop a little, and he shakes his head. "I don't know. I don't /think/ it would be in a tree…" He trails off, growing a little distant, suddenly. "But climbing a tree would be nice…" He blinks, and just as suddenly he's back with Makea. "Lost it? When? How? I can't lose my book, that would be terrible. How will I remember my friend?" he asks, pointing to Joaquim.

For the first time in Makea's memory (Todd's doesn't count) Joao's features cloud over and a sadness rolls in to dim the lights of his bright green eyes. A thoughtful silence takes the teen and binds him into a brow crumpling pose that bends his spine as he droops like a willow with the effort to conjure the much needed skill to work this puzzle out. In a flash he straightens as something said ticks over in his mind. "Wait. What incident? Did someone hurt Todd?" A strange bit of dark something flashes across the youthful features. Then to the man himself, he quickly adds, "Don't worry, buddy, we'll get you a new book full of new friends and new thoughts and new memories! Maybe in a flashy color? Like rose red, perhaps?" He flashes back and forth between moods like the weather in Maine.

There's a deep sound that leaves the woman, something like a hum and a growl mixed as she toys with the possibility of someone hurting Todd. Oh, nay nay. That just won't do. "They didn't specify." Her voice is thick, distracted as she stares down at Todd. Poor man is getting scrutinized something fierce, dark eyes peeking for any signs of a scuffle. Scratches. A fading bruise? Joao's suggestion causes her to lose that protective eagle-eye, face smoothing away into a supportive smile. "'course. I'll make sure to tell the staff that you're missin' your book. And Joao n' I will make sure you get a new one right away t'get you started." It's the only thing she can seem to think of, for the moment. One last try, "You sure you can't remember anything about any incident, Sug?" Todd will get a hopeful nail-rake through his hair, hopefully a soothing motion.

Todd blinks, suddenly alarmed. "Did someone hurt me?" Surprised, he glances down, scrutinizing himself with perhaps less anger, but certainly as much intensity as Makea. When he finds nothing, he relaxes a little, with a sigh of relief. "No, no… No one hurt me, why are we talking about someone hurting me? I'm fine!" Luckily, Joaquim distracts him, and he shakes his head. "No, it has to have Captain Sunshine on it. My book has Captain Sunshine." Which probably has a lot to do with why he doesn't have a replacement, yet. He glances to Makea, growing a touch more serious. "I don't know what you're talking about. What kind of incident?" Todd may have not come up with anything on his self-inventory, but Todd can't see his face, or the mostly-healed gash above his left eyebrow.

The gash is eyed, but Joaquim stows that little bit away in lieu of the excitement that started building the moment /that/ name was mentioned. "Captain Sunshine! I can do that! He's gonna owe me a favor really soon." As soon as he finds him again that is. "How about one with Captain Sunshine on it and his bonefied autograph taboot?" He doesn't mention the fact that his own youthful face will likely come stock on several pages with the word 'BEST FRIEND' printed boldly beneath. That Cheshire grin is back, but something shadowy taints it enough to keep it from being fully realized. Someone hurt Todd. "Oh! I brought you something!" A quick zip past Makea to plant a kiss on her cheek and he's heading to the backpack.

Makea doesn't bring much attention to the gash, not wanting to alarm Todd. Poor baby got all worked up at the mere idea of being hurt… But that darkness behind her gaze isn't so easily banished. She doesn't lie, letting out a slow breath, "It's possible I made a mistake, Sug. Jumpin' to conclusions." Possible, but sure as hell unlikely. It kills her not to reach out and stroke that poor abused brow, and instead she acts as Joao's back up. "Oh, Captain Sushine? I've never seen his show… but I have met him." A wink that isn't as energetic as it could be is given. "Just like he said. You'll get a new notebook, and I'll twist the Cap'n's arm until he writes somethin' nice down in it." The smooch to her cheek is as surprising as it is sudden, and it helps to lighten the load she feels weighing her down. For now.

Todd stares wide-eyed as Joaquim announces that he actually knows Captain Sunshine. "You…Captain Sunshine owes /you/ a favor?" he asks, clearly impressed. "You /know/ Captain Sunshine." He looks back to Makea, and his eyes get even wider, as impossible as it seems. "/You/ know Captain Sunshine, too? You have to introduce me!" he requests, suddenly. Joaquim goes darting off, but it turns out that it's okay because Makea is still there, and /she/ knows Captain Sunshine. "Can I meet him? I would just /love/ to meet Captain Sunshine! That would be just…just /lovely/." Todd has already met Captain Sunshine. Twice. But Makea and Joaquim probably wouldn't know that unless they'd been told.

Whatever else that might be lurking in the backpack is left where it is, but two big clunky objects are pulled free, emitting a bizarre sound that remains a mystery until Joao swivels about to start back to the table. It's wheels that are spinning on a pair of 1980s roller skates. These are plunked down in front of Todd with full ceremony. "Yours. I can absolutely see you speeding around in them. All up and down the halls. The floor is perfect!" A runner skuffs the laminate in demonstration. Then it's back to the Captain. "I met him, yea! And he's /going/ to owe me a favor - future tense." A glance back and forth between Makea and Todd has him thinking, "Why don't we make it a party at your house, Mama Makie?" Is he morphing? That sure looks like legit puppydog eyes, complete with the saggy droop.

Makea can up the ante, "Not only do I know Cap'n Sunshine…" She leans in and whispers, though doesn't truely attempt to keep the information secret. "As soon as he calls in for a modelin' job, I'm gonna see him nekkid." Okay, the woman is just a touch to gleeful about that, devious giggles leaving her throat. If the superhero can distract Todd, then she's going to stick with it. The roller skates earn an apprehensive stare, before she thoughtlessly asks Todd, "…You know how to rollerskate?" Knuckles are quick to settle on big ol' hips, as Makea's brow arches high at Joao's antics. "Mmmhm. Would you jus' look at that face? Pitiful." Though she's not saying no! "When Todd's able to visit, I'll see about puttin' a little shindig together." Warm smile is given to the infamously forgetful man. "And you'll get to meet Captain Sunshine."

Todd stares at Makea. "/Naked/." Slowly, his face turns red, his eyes close, and finally, he giggles. Yes, he giggles. "Oh /my/." Well, Todd did ask 'Captain Sunshine' out for drinks. When he finally manages to put together a coherent statement, it is in response to Makea's invitation. "Can he be there to do modeling…?" Before he can get an answer to that, he spies the rollerskates, and that pretty much blows Captain Sunshine right out of his head. After all, that's just a maybe-you'll-see-him-someday. The skates are /right there/. On the table. In front of him. Slowly, he reaches out to touch them, then looks back up to Joaquim and Makea. "Do I know how to skate? …Can I try?"

Makea gives Joao a string of hope and he pulls and pulls, tugging until she has to give in. "You can tell them you'll… you'll… " a hand comes up to scratch at the skull and hopefully loosen the word in the process. "Escort him? That sounds too kinky. You'll… what is it they do at school dances? To make sure you don't try and rub one out on a sexy party dress?" Puppy-dog eyes look pained as the word refuses to come forth. But Makea comes up with the best distraction /ever/. "/Naked/?!" Yes, the whole room heard that now. "Can I join your class?" This story would carry Joao through to his grave - seeing Captain Sunshine posing naked. "Yea, Todd, you skate! You're an expert - you work for a roller rink!" He won't mention he got the skates from a confused vampire.

Makea lets Todd enjoy the mental image. Lord knows she has. Ahem. Joao earns a firm smack upside the head, though she hasn't even bothered to look at him. "It's called a Chaperone, first of all. Second of all, I /will/ wash that mouth out with Habanero juice." A stern finger is pointed his way, and still she isn't able to completely lose that smile. Though it is tight-lipped at the moment. Once again, she eyes the rollerskates, not quite sure if they're safe. Protective as she is, she finally gives in to Todd's request. "…As long as they ain't gonna fall apart on you, I don't see why not." Again, she sounds unsure. Hm? What's that? Naked Captain Sunshine? "Don't think so, Sug. Not in your price range." And she's not about to let Joao sneak into a class, either.

Todd brightens, and is already kicking off his shoes while Makea breaks the news to Joaquim that he won't be getting to see Captain Sunshine naked. He lifts the skates off the table and carefully sets them on the floor so that he can try to stuff his feet into them. On the one hand, they probably shouldn't fit if they are Ronnie's. On the other hand, Todd is a petite little man so we'll just say that they do. Hoorah! Swiftly he laces them up, starts to stand up, and almost immediately wobbles and has to grab the table. Still, he grins brightly. Hey, Joaquim already said he was an expert. Obviously expert skaters must grab tables to stay upright! "/Awesome/."

Joaquim straightens, chin rising boldly, "There isn't /anything/ out of my price range." He's the King of Barter. "I want to learn how to draw -," a sly grin slips into place, "Captain Sunshine in his full glory!" But there are so many distractions and so little time. "You do realize I'm native, right? We drink Habanero sauce with our breakfast." The kid is being playfully punchy and is quick to move out of the range. When he looks back Todd already has the skates on and is clinging to a table, so in a burst of excitement he calls out, "Yehaw! You got it! Ride that pony!" Even so, he's clandestinely creeping around behind Todd to catch should he happen to fall in that direction. We don't need any fresh head injuries - though, it might knock the memories back into place? (This is how Joao thinks).

There's a flex of patience as Makea manages to not lunge for the cheeky boy, instead simply quirking another brow sharply at him. It's a silent warning for someone to behave themselves. The moment a skate-wearing Todd stands, every muscle in her body tenses in anticipation. Just as Joao moves to one side, Makea is moving to the other with her hands loosely folded in front of her. They can easily fly out and catch Todd, if need be. "I have to agree, you at least wear 'em well, Sug." That's an understatement. The man is so cute that Makea wants to run off and buy a camera to capture the moment with. A hand slowly raises, and her attention shifts for a moment. "What's that? Hm. Oh! Right! Candy." There /are/ other patients who have been diligently art-ing. "Careful." She warns Todd, before swiftly walking towards her supplies and taking out a big bag full of suckers to pass around.

Todd has been too busy enjoying the skates to actually make the statues, and cautiously, one foot at a time, he rolls forward, holding on to the table. Grinning like mad, he slowly, carefully lifts his hands from the table. He does not fall over! Victory! "Hey, look! I'm doing it!" He is not moving forward, but he /is/ standing under his own power. Slowly, the slightly unlevel floor causes gravity to take over, and he starts rolling gently forward, very slowly gaining speed. Of course, it's no where near proper rollerskating speed, but at least he won't be having any major crashes, at this rate.

Still another distraction - candy! Joao pipes up, "I want a purple!" from behind Todd, peering around after Makea as she goes for the goods. Both hands are out in an 'I'm ready to catch you' manner, quickly shifting to adjust to Todd's actions. Then the wheels begin rolling ever so slowly and the youth decides to help gravity out a bit and very gently adds pressure to the man's back, which also acts as leverage to keep him aloft should it be needed.

Makea is all too accustomed to passing out treats in a classroom-like setting, and so she listens to flavor requests while keeping an eye on the man-on-wheels. Everyone likes Tootsie Pops, right? "I see you." She laughs, answering Todd's innocent cry for attention when he manages to stand. Circling, the woman is moving closer to the familiar pair of boys as Joao decides to push Todd. Her eyes are froze on the two, relaxing only as she realizes that the teen isn't playing a trick that can turn ugly. Once she's finished rewarding those who participated, she offers a grape sucker to Joao. With a glance to the clock, she gives a sigh of regret, "Alright. Those who want to fire up their sculptures, leave them on the table n' I'll bring them back next time." Seems it's about time to clean up.

Todd gives a delighted laugh as Joaquim pushes him, and throws his arms out for balance. He catches on fairly quickly, at least, and so he's not falling over or anything. Tentatively, he tries pushing forward. He wobbles a bit, but find himself moving a bit more quickly down the aisle. Everything is going great until he realizes there's a wall coming up and no one showed him where the breaks are. "Whoa! Stop! Halt! …/Wall/!"

About that time, one of the nurses walks in to see how the class is going, and spots a very unfamiliar Joaquim, pushing Todd on skates. She does not look like a happy nurse. In fact, she's kind of scowling as she looks around for Makea. Whoops.

Joaquim may be a trickster, but when it comes to Todd he's all protector and facilitator of fun, and maybe sometimes mischief, but nothing that would overly endanger the man. Nice pushing fingers turns to gentle claws that dig in and grab shirt as the warning is called out, so the forward action comes to a stop just in time for the nurse to be spotted. Quick as a whip the boy ducks down making himself remarkably small for as tall as he is and he dashes around the tables on the opposite side from the angry woman, sweeps by the bag, grabs it, and darts out the door in a flash. The hope is that she didn't see his face so when he comes next time, he won't be automatically pegged. Joao knows Makea will take care of Todd, so it isn't complete abandonment.

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