Hmmmm. . . Where to now? Thinks Ellie, as she stared at a colorful world map in the New Zealand airport.
I think I'll go home, and then go to England. Dani should be there; it'll be nice to see her again. So, there you have it. Back to America it was. So she bought herself a connect-it plane ticket (it's what she called them, anyway.) This meant she was stopping in Portland, and then going home; then headed to Heathrow airport. She settled back cozily into the coach seat in between the guy with the bad comb-over and the nice lady with the screaming child.
After a tearful reunion with her family with the usual "You're leaving?? But you just got here! You couldn't spend a little time with your family? At least stay the night." when she got home, Ellie was up at five A.M. getting ready for her flight from Portland. Finally managing to get on to her flight, after many promised extended (but not too extended) visits, she plops down in-between a teenager with headphones in and what looked like her sister arranging m and m's just so on her tray.
"You know you're going to have to put those away soon, right?" Ellie quirks an eyebrow.
"Yeah, but I'll just start over. We've got at least six hours, right?" the girl drawls.
"Yeesh, you're right. Need any help?"
About six hours and forty minutes later with a 15 minute waiting period, she gets on her connect-it plane at Boston, sitting now in between what could have been Frodo's stunt double and a stiff business CEO. Or it looked like it, anyway. She didn't mind stereotyping people.
After about six hours solid sleep, Ellie wakes up drooling slightly on Frodo's shoulder.
"Oh! Gosh, I'm so sorry! I didn't hit you, did I? I hate jet lag! Ellie gasped, sitting up really fast and hitting her head on the compartment that held the oxygen masks and dropping them down. "Ugh, dang it! I hate it when that happens," as she carefully stuffs them back into place.
"Um, it's ok, no, you didn't hit me, and how often does that happen?
"Oh, good, I don't usually hit things in my sleep, but I've been known to violently twitch," Ellie replies, rubbing her head.
"And how often does the mask thing happen?" Frodo raises his eyebrows, his mouth twitching upwards.
"Oh, every time I jump about in my seat while I'm on a plane," she chirps.
"Do you jump in your seat on planes a lot?"
"Recently, yeah," Ellie shrugs.
"There's usually plenty of things to be excited about while I'm on a plane."
"Like what?" asks Frodo, looking very curious.
"Like going to a country I've never been to," says Ellie simply.
"Oh… ok then," says Frodo, not sure where to go with the conversation next with this odd person.
"Hey, what's your name, anyway? "'Cause if I keep calling you Frodo in my head, it's going to stick that way."
"Oh," he chuckles, "It's Matt, I get the Frodo thing a lot."
"Oh, does it annoy you?"
"Oh, well that's good."
Five minutes later, Ellie has an empty can of Coke that proves to be very entertaining.
"Hey Matt, I have a question; say you bite the lip of a pop can. Why do you drool like crazy even if the can is just in between your front teeth? And please don't take that in a dirty way, I'm genuinely asking," asks Ellie as she balances it on fish-lips and the tip of her nose.
Matt sprays out the water he was about to swallow. "What??"
The can now balanced by its tab on the tip of her nose, Ellie asks, "Didn't you hear me?"
"Uh, haha, I heard you, but… how the hell do you do that?"
There was a slight jolt as the plane landed. "Huh?" Ellie looks around the plane, dropping her can. "I don't remember the warning saying we were descending."
"You were asleep, remember?" Matt gestures to the damp spot on his denim jacket.
"Oh. Yeah. Sorry about that, I'm usually a talker, not a drooler," She says, as she pulls a grimace.
"So have you been to England before?"
"Nope. But I always told my friend Dani I'd come visit her when I could. You?"
"Nope. But I decided to pay a visit to my sister since I didn't really feel like talking to my dad after getting kicked out of Harvard," Matt confided. He didn't know why it was so easy talk to her about problems he didn't even know how to deal with, but she had a certain disarming, honest air about her.
"Aw, bummer, man. It sucks that you don't want to talk to him, you should always feel that your parents will support you no matter what, but I understand. You can tell me about getting kicked out after we get off and get our stuff," Ellie replies while getting her carry-on down from the overhead shelving.
"Do you even know where I'm going? Do you even know where you're going?" Matt could only be half surprised at this point, since everything she said was unpredictable.
"Nope and nope, but I gotta start somewhere, my intuition usually serves me pretty well, and I feel like following you," A slow smile was creeping on to her face.
"What if I didn't want you following me?" Matt glanced up with a slight smirk trying not to laugh.
Not even looking around, Ellie finally yanks her bag down with a final jerk, "I figured you wouldn't mind the company, you don't seem too put-off by me, and you've never been to England and probably aren't that outgoing, so that's what I'm for, even though we both know I don't know what I'm doing… but if you don't want me around, I'm sure I can handle myself. See ya around," she gets in line to disembark from the plane
"Well I didn't say I didn't want you around, I just said what if. I'm sure I'm in for a long fun afternoon," Matt adds hurriedly.
Ellie whips around with a full grin on her face and squeaks, "Yay! I didn't think you'd disappoint."
Matt eyed her warily," Should I be worried about that grin?"
"Oh, no, I just love adventuring. Especially when someone's with me," Ellies eyes glaze over in her happy state.
As Matt is shaking his head and chuckling, he just now notices how tall this girl is. She had to be about six feet tall or so. Wow. Despite her happy and bubbly demeanor, her very shape and the way she carried herself instinctively told others she was an alpha and a leader not to be messed with. "You're a big girl," Matt blurts out. Shit! Girls hate it and freak when you say something like that. This one might be weird, but she's still a girl.. Shit, I hope she doesn't kick my ass, we're right in front of the stairs, It's gonna hurt when I'm thrown down them…
Ellie half giggles, then groans as she looks down and says, "Ugh, I know, no matter what I do and how much weight I lose, that cup size refuses to recede.. Oh! You mean my height! Yeah, I get that a lot, it's ok, I know how big I am and how much I weigh, and I've never made that big a deal about it. No worries mate."
"Whew!" Matt blows a big sigh of relief, " I thought for a second you might just kick my ass," He says, letting out a couple nervous heh hehs.
"Oh, nah, man, I might not look it, but I'm a huge pansy. I bruise easily and whine a lot. I'm probably more worried about you hitting me, to give you an idea," Ellie admits breezily.
"Ha! I've never been in a fight in my life," laughing at the thought, Matt realized he actually had no clue what to do were he attacked.
"Really? Huh. You'd think with your size and pretty eyes and hair, you would have been a target begging for a shiner," Remarked Ellie as she eyed him curiously.
"A shiner?" Asked Matt, almost hesitant to know.
"Oh, kinda like a black eye. People use it as slang for anything ranging from a black eye to half your face bruised up."
"Oh," Wondering how she knew, Matt studied the girl a little. She wasn't a complete pansy, no matter what she said. This was apparent on the semi-defined muscles you could see on her arms when the sleeves on her tee shirt fell back a little. She wasn't skinny, but she wasn't huge, either. Matt guessed her to be somewhere around 230 pounds or so. Her redish-brown hair was gathered in a messy bun at the base of her skull. Actually, when he looked closer he wasn't sure what color her hair was. It definitely had some red low-lights, but it had some dirty blonde highlights in it too. Only the tips looked to be dyed a faded red of some sort, like she had let her hair grow out without dyeing it. When her bangs flicked out of her eyes, he saw greenish hazel irises surrounding a severely contracted pupil, which he assumed out of excitement.
"Heeellloooo…. Anyone home?" Ellie was tapping his temple with her head cocked to the side. Matt jumped out of his revere as he focused back in. "Haha, it's ok, I do that all the time," Ellie starts laughing delightedly as they were leaving the airport, Ellie with two big suitcases and her carry-on, and Matt with his one suitcase. Ellie had her biggest suitcase strapped to her back somehow, her carry-on over her shoulder, and her other suitcase wheeling behind her, yet she still seemed to be sliding and sort-of tap dancing down the sidewalk. "Eeeeeee…AAAhhhhhh…ahahahaaa… I hope we're walking; it's the best way to navigate a city. Heeeeeeee…. Ah, Michael Buble`, I love you. Haha, coincidence I have a foggy day in London town stuck in my head, gotta ove the random jukebox in my head."
"Um, yeah, we'll be riding the uhhh… tube, is what it says here toward my sisters, who's Michael Buble`?" Matt wasn't sure how he was going to explain this to his sister, she'd probably be just as confused as he was, but she might not go along with it as easily, he wasn't sure. He surveys Ellie practically vibrating on the spot and compares her to his sister… no, probably not.
"Never mind, what's your sisters name again?" asked Ellie.
"Shannon… Look, I don't know how to explain th-"
"Oh, don't worry about it. I'll see you get to her then be on my way, I've got something to do."
"Oh, well, we're meting at Banks station," said Matt as he squinted at the tube map.
"Cool. Where's that?" Ellie slows her dancing and skips a little over to where Matt stood pointing at his map, one of three that she saw in his hands. She sees where he's pointing and asks, "Here, can I see that? And those?"
"Yeah, do you want some help with those? Ill take the one on wheels so you don't have to hold it while you're looking at the maps.."
"Sure, hang on," She whips the suitcase around from behind her and stands it up so he can take the handle. "Mind you, it's a little heavy."
"No problem," Matt takes the handle, tilts the suitcase to hold it better, and not having taken her that seriously, promptly dropped the suitcase handle on his toes by tilting it too close to him.
Sighing, Ellie wonders aloud, "Am I the only one who understands the delicate relationship between suitcase and person?"
"Sorry, didn't realize it was that heavy." Matt then wondered how heavy the bigger one was.
"'S alright, everyone who knows me knows I carry heavy bags and don't even think about it. You just don't know me well enough yet."
He hands over the suitcase and maps so she can look at them, and as she's studying them, he hears her muttering, "Hmmm…k… that one's not needed.. Ok. Got it."
"Alright, so from what I understand, the tube map will be helpful if you can get a full size one rather than a display one in the corner of a brochure for a restaurant, This is a good one for tourists, since it's got little maps to what are probably ridiculously priced vendors, and this third one is written in French," She tells him as she throws the maps over her head and they land in a passing garbage truck. Men, she thinks, I thought they didn't like maps or asking for directions.
Matt blushes and mutters, "Well at least there were pictures…"
"Come on, this way!" she gleefully cheers as she grabs Matt by the arm and starts skipping down the street while singing something he didn't quite catch in time with each skip.
"Wait, where are we going?" Asks Matt with difficulty, as he had to run and jump to keep from falling over when his suitcase kept hitting the back of his foot from the bounding skip Ellie had launched into.
She looks over at him and says, "We're going to find a station, Goose, what else would we be doing?
"Well why are we skipping?" Getting slightly desperate to slow her down so he could stop the pain in his foot, he starts pulling on her sleeve.
This seems to work as she comes to a halt "I dunno, seems like a good idea. Guess I should've warned you."
Matt catches his breath then sighs, "Hang on..."
"Okay!" Ellie grabs his right hand in her left and waits for him to get himself situated, humming to herself and watching Matt shake his head at what seemed to be developing to one series of head shaking a minute.
Suitcase firmly in hand, he braces himself," Okay, I'm ready."
"Wait! Before we start again, you have to sing with me. You know the song skip to my loo?"
"Yeah, my Gran used to hum it," Matt was wishing he had a doorframe or something to gently hit his head against at this point.
"Oh good, you know the tune, then. I'll skip somewhat small so you don't have to over-exert yourself. Alrighty, ready Freddy? One, Two, Three!"
Matt took a deep breath and he started skipping with her through people down the street, lowly singing loo loo skip to my loo.
"You gotta be louder than that Matt, I can barely hear you, match my tone!" Cried Ellie, grinning.
"Loo Loo, Skip to my Loo, Loo Loo Skip to my Loo, Loo Loo skip to my Loo Skip to my Loo my darling!" Actually starting to laugh heartily as he belted the words, he found he was really enjoying himself and being carefree while not minding if people stared, this was fun.
"Now that's better!!" Ellie shouted as she laughed along with Matt and they went singing and skipping on into the tube station and right onto the tube, where they collapsed laughing and barely breathing into adjacent seats.