2019-11-22 - Meeting the 'Rents


Trip to Hank's familial home around Thanksgiving. Anxiety about meeting the 'rents!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Nov 22 00:00:00 2019
Location: LaGuardia to O'Hare to Dundee, IL

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Theme Song



Hank is more than a tad nervous - he's /never/ taken a girl home to meet the 'rents before. Well, there was one girl he was tutoring, but that was very brief, and she was /not/ interested in other than Hank's brain, and that was very obvious. Regardless, he picked Betty up at her apartment, driving is cobalt blue 1978 Ford Grenada. Betty would surely note the fact that even fully loaded - the car's suspension does not budge when their luggage and /their persons/ enter. Once he's gotten the luggage situated, he opens her door, very gallantly. "Have a seat, dear lady." Once she enters, he circles the car then joins her inside for the drive to the airport. After he buckles up, he smiles and cups Betty's head. "Nervous too, mm?" Said with a grin.

Betty was packing light. She had one bag that could be a carry-on if she so wished it to be. Dressed for the weather, she goes to put everything away only to have Hank to do so for her. Smiling, shaking her head, she moves to her door. That, too, is opened for her. Another smile, she slips into her seat and buckles up. Looking around and outside the window toward her apartment, she doesn't greet Hank until he's in and has his hand on her cheek.

"I couldn't sleep." She admits, chewing at her lower lip. "I don't, um…haven't met parents in a long time. Or…ever?" Had she? Sighing, she nestles back within her seat. "I don't want to upset them or anything."

Hank's manners are from a prior decade, like…the fifties…OF course he gets her door and deals with the baggage. He's dressed in comfortable khaki's and a long woolen coat, though he doesn't seem too bothered by the cold. And a hat. A fedora in fact, though that is doffed inside the car. Before they go anywhere, he presses his brow to hers, and just shares that moment of nerves, before he kisses the brow, starts the engine, and then gets them underway. "I've never brought a girl home before, so we're both treading on new ground."

Hank's driving is smooth, the car suspension stiff enough that bumps aren't much fun, but with his mass - yeah - needs to be reinforced. Also, the stereo? HAS to be his work, the sound is absolutely flawless, no echoes, currently playing softly some classical, sounds like Music of the Night right now, possibly the soundtrack.

"I think you'll be just fine, Betty. Just be yourself, Norton and Edna McCoy are really very kind and accepting people, just be you." He advises.

"Norton and Edna." Betty repeats. At least it fit well with her mother's dated name, too. Granted, her name was Elizabeth and she didn't have much room to speak. Her head rests back and her eyes fall to a close. She wasn't sleeping, her breathing didn't suggest that, but it was obvious she was simply trying to calm herself.

"Does it sound bad that I wish we were driving so I could shake it off for longer?" A plane was cheating as far as time goes - cursed convenience. "I want to get them sometime, or I should have made something, y'know? Can we do that before arriving?" Eyes open, she glances his way, "Are we staying at their house?"

"Norton and Edna." Hank agrees with a nod. "And I their only son." He shifts his hand down to take and hold one of hers, holding it and offering comfort though her hand is /utterly/ engulfed by his, she should be well used to that by now of course. A deep bass laugh rumbles through him, and he shakes his head. "The flight is about four hours, the drive would be a few days…and plans can change, would you really rather we drove?"

A firm nod. "We can stop and get them something, of course, and we are indeed staying at their house." Beat. "Mom would be very hurt were we to say anywhere else, but don't worry, we'll stay in my old room - it is separate from the main house, converted the garage. Has my old lab equipment and such, would that be okay?"

"Days?" She chuckles. "Honey, where are you driving to?" Smirking, she shakes her head and lifts the man's hand, giving its back a press of her lips. "No, no, it's fine. We can fly and keep things as they are. That and I'm not sure if I could drive your car. One, I don't know how to drive, two, well…it's fit for you." Nodding gently, she keeps that smirk, the dimples it presses into her cheeks. "Staying at your place, huh? Oh, I'll feel like I'm in high school, again. Should I toss pebbles at your window? Climb up some lattice work?"

"Well…just over thirteen hours straight through, I figured you'd like a break at some point if we drove, so we could stay overnight at a hotel on the way." Hank smiles, it would also have lengthened the travel time, because that was her stated desire. He smiles over to her, driving at a safe and sane pace to La Guardia for their flight.

A grin. "I reinforced the frame, stiffened the suspension, modified the sound system…well…actually, it is custom." He holds his thumb over the center of the stereo until a holographic display shows the music available. "Lady's choice, have at - that's my music server, so pick whatever you like." And Hank's tastes are eclectic, so there's a lot of choices available. The interface is very simple, he slides his thumb across the stereo, moving the smallish projection over so Betty can see it easily.

Another laugh. "No need, only one floor, so no trellis to be climbed. Now if you wanted to stay in the guest room at the house /I/ could do that?"

"Don't make me feel odd about playing kissy-face with you at your folk's place." Betty murmurs, seeming content with the idea of actually taking a plane. Studying the interface, she starts to browse without a hint of judgement on her features. Sniffling, she clears her throat and keeps looking. "I'm going to be out of my neck of the woods, Henry. You'll take care of me, right? Tell me where to go and where not to go?"

Blinking, she glances his way once more. "Have they seen you without your hair? I mean, of course they did, but now?" A blink, "What do they like? As a gift, I mean? Drinks? Food?" Her eyes widen, "Shit, I shouldn't swear, should I?"

"Aw, only playing? I rather like kissing you." Hank, being Hank does look mildly flustered at the thought of doing it in front of his parents, however. "Betty? I'll take care of you, yes. I'll help you, always, in any way I can. Always." He promises. He frowns very faintly at the sniffling. "Betty…relax, this will be fine. I promise. My parents will love you, how could they not?"

A pause. "They have not." And then he looks to her, curious. "Betty…can I ask…did you prefer me fuzzy? As for gifts…mom collects figurines, and dad is rather keen on meerschaum pipes. Also tools, but…that's an odd gift."

He laughs warmly at her eyes widening. "Swearing won't offend them so long as it isn't really vulgar, shit is fine, damn, but not much stronger."

"I bet you do." She smiles and at least nods with the whole kissing thing. Granted, her expression dampens at the idea of his parents being present. She didn't understand it, the parental kick in her adult confidence becoming annoying.

"I know you will, I just…I don't know. There's a lot about me not to love, too. If we talk about religion or something, I'm going to be a heathen." She explains.

"Fuzzy? Well, I didn't mind it, but what you did had nothing to do with me, though. It was for you and that's the important part." Another nod, she glances out of the window, leaving the music selection as is. "Ok, we can do that. What type of lil figures?" A beat, "Keep it PG, got it."

"Safe bet." Hank says with a quirky half-grin. He definitely understands her consternation about kissing in front of the parents though. "Mom and dad are rather casual about affectionate displays, but also not very demonstrative in front of others, if that helps?"

He smiles. "You are who you are, dear heart. Good, bad, indifferent - the SUM of you is what -makes- you you. I have many flaws, I've made many mistakes, as to religion - mom and dad are quietly Protestant, and not prone to proselytize or judge. They will NOT treat you ill for your Norse faith, they simply will not, that much I am sure of. They might not share it, but they won't knock it."

He nods about the fuzz. "It is just something that's come up with a lot of my friends, concerns, questions. It made me wonder if you'd prefer me the other way, the way you first knew me."

A grin. "Mom? She /loves/ glass animals, her collection is fairly extensive, but she inherited a 'seed' from her grandmother, that her mother also worked on and I might have added a bit here and there…" A nod. "…PG is best."

"I'm not going to be screaming it from the rooftops or anything. I just…I've started studying lately. Apparently, I have some magic in me and…yeah." A glance his way, she offers him a nervous smile. She'd done this before, that odd-off cast of expression, unsure of his reaction when Magic meets Science. Swallowing, she rests back and brushes down her lap. They were getting close to the airport and the nerves were sparking up again.

"It comes up alot? Why?" Turning to look his way again, she glances to the traffic before them then back again. "They're not being mean, are they? It's different, but it's you regardless of what you look like, right? I mean, I'm supportive of what you did for your. It doesn't bother me, if it hadn't worked? We'd still be in this car, going to visit your parents. It worked, and we're still in this car."

"Oh, she had a collection…um, is there a certain animal she's missing? Maybe I can find her something in Duty Free…or some shops around the city?"

"Really? You're a budding mage? That's fascinating - when I played D&D I was almost always a Wizard or a Paladin." Hank admits, not mentioning he STILL plays D&D sometimes. "You know, when I play - most of the time I was the GM." Hank smiles, clearly not fashed a bit about the magic. "If there's anything I can do to help, you'll let me know? I would dearly love to see you spellcast sometime."

He turns the car into the exit lane, parking at the long term parking, they'll take a shuttle from there. Fortunately they don't have all that much in the way of luggage, so they'll manage.

"Not mean, no, but some expressed concerns about my changes and the impact they might have on others who I teach and such at the institute, that the message it sends is a bad one. Other friends asked if I was ashamed of my mutancy." A shrug as he parks. Hand resting atop the wheel. "And that got me to thinking about possibly reverting to furry form, I /do/ miss the super senses, I admit. Sometimes. I don't miss the shedding and meticulous need for grooming." A grin. "I /might/ be a touch fastidious."

He smiles. "Anything, though she does seem to really like graceful animals, and fantastic ones like unicorns and dragons. And I know a shop or two we can stop at, there's some fairly significant shopping available in the city and burbs."

"You still have to set up tabletop time with me. I haven't played in awhile and it'd be fun. Even if it's a one-on-one campaign." She smiles, giving him a once over as they pull off and onto the airport exit. "I can see you as a paladin." Chuckling, she shifts in her seat. "I don't know about spellcasting. I don't know much about any of it yet. There's study, reading," ritualistic sacrifices… "and my abilities are just unshaped as of yet. I don't know what I can or can't do. I tried a lil spell at home and shrunk my dishes. I was suppose to be cleaning them." Beat. "They turned pink."

As they park and stop, she unbuckles and slips out of the car. Waiting for him by the trunk, she frowns as he continues speaking. "Well, you weren't ashamed, were you? I think they forgot that the hair wasn't originally part of who you are, right? It was a mishap? So you correcting that shouldn't set a bad example. There's no hiding what and who you are." The way her cheeks start to grow red would probably tell the man she was getting defensive on his behalf. "That's bullshit. It's like saying, 'Hey, Jim cut his hair, he must fucking hate himself, what a bad example.'" Grumbling, she taps her foot and then eyes up in his direction. "Who's saying it? You need me to talk some sense into them?"

"So I do, and so I will. Oh, I'm looking into getting an apartment in the city, by the way, probably in Greenwich Village, I liked it there when I was fresh out of school." Of course Hank ended up moving when the antimutant sentiments grew during the Registration act and he was furry. "I like to think I'm a good Paladin, but I love me some mage too, especially transmuters." Of course he likes the 'maker' mage.

"Mm, I remember the pink plates, and I expect it is like any other skill - you have to learn the methods, then learn to apply them." A chuckle. "Just more exotic means and methods employed. That said - what do you /want/ your abilities to be?"

Hank gets the luggage and locks the car up, he's actually got a reserved spot since he travels a fair amount. "Many of them didn't even know - some did, however." And no, he cannot hide his nature even without the claws and fur.

He hugs Betty one armed, squeezing with infinite care and the smiling. "Oh, I was able to sort things for the most part, but that multiple sources had concerns made me ponder. I can always revert the changes. So far things are quite stable, but who knows what might happen when I go to a permanent solution."

It takes her a moment to allow her rage to fade. "Well, that's good, but if you need my help…" The offer is there. "I think, in the end, you do what makes you happy. To hell with what others think. You're not doing anything wrong, and if they're curious, they can ask you directly." Her arm hugs around his lower back, giving him a squeeze before she starts rolling her bag behind herself.

"What do I want my powers to be? Probably more than I could handle. I think…I'd like to defend and protect? I don't know." She scoffs, "So…I did a test at the place I'm learning magic at. My teacher took items and put them together. I was suppose to pull them apart and set back into their natural shape." Smirking, she shakes her head. "I…kinda did that, but didn't. I changed them into something else with the same properties of the originals."

"If I'm not careful, the State Alchemist are going to come after me."

Hank is more than a little touched by Betty's ire on his behalf, it means a lot to him. "Thank you, Betty." He grins. "So…you're a budding Transmuter? Awesome. I'm a bit jealous, I admit." He does grow more serious about the rest. "Defense, Offense, and Movement…the cardinal points for any character, I think they apply here too. I wish I could be more help, but I'll be happy to assist however I can should you wish a sounding board, if you even /can/ without offending your teacher."

They soon have their shuttle ride to the airport and will have to keep quiet about a lot of these things. After getting through customs, and yes, Hank gets eyed more than a little just for his sheer size and otherness, they'll on their flight soon enough, non-stop on United flight 493. Of COURSE they're in first class, because - Hank had a LOT of miles, and wanted to make sure the flight was tolerable. Also, the big seats are a lot more comfy for him!

The in-flight movie is Disney's Maleficient: Mistress of Evil. It is a shortish flight, about two to three hours not considering boarding and departure, just enough for Betty to have a nice nap snuggled up to her beau. She'd be awakened by a gentle shake as they start their descent. "Wake up, sleepy head, we're here."

At first, Betty is taken aback. She wasn't expecting first class and after noticing that's where she was sitting, she attempts to converse with Hank on the matter. He didn't need to spend that money on her, she would have been fine in coach. There is none of it to be had. Nervous, somewhat out of sorts, she settles back into her seat. She couldn't kick it for comfort, and with a final protest of him spending too much, the woman dozes off, hugging herself around his massive arm.

At his shake, she blinks, slowly coming to and looking around. "Hmm?" She questions before sitting back and rubbing at her eyes. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sleep. Short flights just take me out, never knew why." Brushing at her hair, she sighs and starts waking herself up. The sudden jut from the landing helps further that attempt. Then it hits her. They're in Chicago, and her eyes widen.

"It cost me next to nothing, I have a lot frequent flier miles." He says with a grin, and he wouldn't lie, so it must be so, right? Regardless he is perfectly fine with watching the in-flight movie while Betty naps on his arm. He actually likes the trust that it shows, the comfort level.

A warm hug as Betty wakes and then a laugh. "Oh, not to worry, I simply watched the movie and was happily a pillow." He smiles and kisses her brow, and then they start their descent. Fortunately, First Class gets let go first, and Hank gets their overhead luggage down, handing Betty her bag, before they head into the terminal. He is clearly waiting to see her reaction to something, and that something becomes readily apparent once they hit the terminal - to wit: 75' long by 40' high Brachiasaurus (replica) skeleton behind glass to greet the arrivals in terminal 1 for United.

The airport is CRAZY busy, even at late hours, it nearly never is 'quiet', not quite. "Peckish? We can grab a bite here, or on the way home…it is about a half hour drive from here." And then he ohs, and takes out his phone, texting his mom so she knows they've just arrived. "I have a rental car waiting, well, and SUV, cars are awkward for me sometimes."

Betty Brant dutifully follows after, her hand going up to brush down her hair. She wasn't sure if it was a mess, but her brain was still swimming in a tired haze. Noticing the massive figure loaming over them causes her to reach out and hold to the cuff of his jacket. She wasn't ready for that, it seems. Laughing, at herself, she sighs and shakes her head. "No, no, I'd like to get out of the airport. They're not my favorite places to be, truth be told." Taking that time to slip her arm around his own, she matches strides and keeps walking with him.

"I'm a lil hungry, but I can wait, too."

"As you wish." Hank says in his best Wesley from Princess Bride impression.

Definitely well acquainted with the airport from years of flights to and from he guides them deftly, arm in arm to the baggage claim and thence to pick up their Avis rental, though that involves a shuttle ride to the lot where they pick it up. It is actually a bit chillier in Chicagoland than it was in NYC, Hank of course puts his coat about Betty's shoulders, which ends up hanging to nearly her ankles. Still, warm, smells of Hank, probably not too unwelcome a thing.

Once in the truck, they can finally speak again for the half-hour drive to Dundee. There's a touch of snow on the ground, and it is a clear night as they drive. Fortunately, once out of the airport the expressways aren't too bad at all. "So…there's a mall not too far from here, WoodField Mall, it is a huge indoor mall…largest in the world about thirty years ago, but we should be able to find the gifts you wanted to get there."

In the car, buckled up and ready to go, draped in a large coat, she cuddles down into it and smiles contently. The sight of snow seems to ease Brant in a way he'd never seen before. He mentions the mall and she looks to the clock on the audio unit. "It's a bit late for the mall, isn't it? We can try tomorrow, if you'd like. I just want to get them something."

A shakey breath later, she looks his way and then forward down the dark road. "I-want to meet your parents sooner than later. That's the part that's killing me, really. I need to just…we need to do this. Then we can have fun."

"Mmm…yeah, I'd have to drive really fast to get there before they fully closed, the restaurants are open later, but you're right. Tomorrow then." Under the coat Hank is at least wearing a warm looking shirt, long sleeved even, though the material is very snug to chest and forearms in particular. Dark grey with green sleeves and shoulders, he definitely looks comfy in that and his khaki pants.

A warm smile as she sounds all nervous, and then he nods. "Right then." Buckled up, he drives them to his family home in the suburb of Dundee. The area is pretty well developed all along their route, and they take tollways at first, but only one toll before they're back to street level.

Dundee itself is not a terribly small town, the population is some 65K, but the neighborhood they come to is very relaxed. Two and three story homes, larger properties, and old trees. The McCoy residence is a two story, with a detached garage. The building eggshell with tan trim, the front yard dominated by a positively HUGE oak tree. Pulling into the drive, he sits a moment, before cutting the engine. "Home again, home again, jiggity-jig."

Betty Brant sits in the car for a long time. She stares at the home, eyeing it cautiously and looks toward Hank for some direction. Home again, sure he was - it was so beautiful it was almost heartbreaking. Swallowing, she sighs and reaches down, undoing her buckle, and slipping out of the vehicle. The chill hits her first, turning her face a mixture of pale and pink. She hugs the coat around her tightly and shudders in place.

"Henry," she murmurs. "I'm locking up."

Slipping out of SUV on his side, he gets the luggage out and then circles round to Batty as she declares her worry. He sets the bags down, the drive having been kept clean in anticipation of their visit. Noting her nerves, Hank just gathers the girl close and holds her, letting her soak up some of his body heat even in the cold, but also letting her feel the shielding grasp of his arms about her.

Only once the shudders stop does he even think of moving.

Softly. "It will be okay, dear heart. Nothing to fear."

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