past_rylie_icon.png past_zan_icon.png

Where: The Moulin Rouge; Las Vegas

When: August 17, 1955

What: Finding a hole that spans the years leads Zan and Rylie to an important time in Vegas history. But even Zan's panache for trouble has its limits.

Through the rabbit hole, as it were, comes a view that people Zan's age have only seen in black and white photos. If they've seen it at all. Out of the little room he finds himself in, a small dressing room of sorts, he can see a curtain half-pulled back to reveal a wide dining room set up. Circular tables, men in wing-tips and doubled-breasted suits, women in fashions long since past. And the band plays a jazzy tune that becomes clearer on this side of the wall.

This is either some sort of elaborate costume party, or something really weird is going on at this house.

"Holy— what the heck is this?" Rylie asks in a whisper from just behind him, leaving their hole behind her. And behind a rack of costumes.

"Wonder if they're serving meatloaf," Zan responds. It's not really the answer to her question, but given the situation it seems fitting in the mind of a movie junkie. He glances toward the costumes, poking at a couple of them as though wondering if anything would fit in with the theme on the other side of the closet.

Before they can speak further, a shadow passes in front of the door, and a large man pulls the door open wider. He's dressed in slacks, a vest and a skinny tie, and he lets out a sigh at the sight of the two of them in there.

"Better get over your nerves, hunny. You're up," he says to Rylie rather than Zan. He reaches for her, but not unkindly, and tugs her out of the closet. "Miss Kitt likes to get on stage promptly. If you want your full set, get moving." "But I— " "Come on!"

Rylie looks back to Zan, but rather than seeming worried about being thrust suddenly onto stage, she grins at him as she lets the man usher her along. Wherever he's taking her, it leaves Zan with at least a few minutes to explore, since attention is gone from the little back hall.

"Wh…" Zan shakes himself out of staring after Rylie and the very odd engagement happening and eases himself out of the costume room and into the main room. He makes little effort to blend in, staying in the back and keeping to the walls while trying to follow the strange man and Rylie.

At least fancy menswear hasn't altered too much. He may not be in the right cut or the right shoes, but he blends in a lot better than Rylie's outfit lets her. Which might be why they assumed she was a performer. She gets handed a piece of paper, and gets enough time to look it over briefly before it's taken away again and she's all but pushed onto the stage.

Zan gets to watch from backstage as the eyes in the dinning room look her way, in her red slinky dress in front of a band. A short brunette girl comes to stop by the side stage, in a costume herself. She frowns, but watches from the wings as the music starts.

I know I stand in line until you think you have the time to spend an evening with me
And if we go some place to dance, I know that there's a chance you won't be leaving with me
And afterwards we drop into a quiet little place and have a drink or two
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid, like I love you

As it turns out, Rylie's handle on music goes beyond just drums and DJing, and the fact that this surprise blonde is any good makes the little brunette let out a disappointed sigh as she pulls off a little sparkly hat to fiddle with.

The back stage area is wandered just a bit as Zan looks for a good vantage point. One he can see both audience and Rylie from. Not the easiest of things to find, and he settles for somewhere that gives him a solid idea of where the strange people watch from and an easy view of the girl on stage. His head tilts slight to one side when she begins singing, having not heard her sing before. A slight upward curve tugs on one corner of his mouth.

I can see it in your eyes, that you despise the same old lies you heard the night before
And though it's jut a line to you, for me it's true and never seemed so right before…

The little brunette notices Zan there, in that particular spot, and she comes over to lean against a nearby wall as she pulls out a cigarette and lighter. "Never fall for the singer, baby," she says in a voice hinted with a Brooklyn accent, "You don't get to open for an important show in Vegas by having it in you to get sappy over romance." It comes as a bit of friendly advice between puffs, and she even pats him on the arm. It is a city built more on fleeting pleasure than family values, after all.

I practice every day to find some clever lines to say to make the meaning come true
But then I think I'll wait until the evening gets late and I'm alone with you
The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red and oh, the night's so blue
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid, like I love you…

"What?" Zan turns away from the performance and levels a look on the brunette, the start of a frown forming. "What are you talking about? Important show? …In some strange underground off a dilapidated house?" His gaze flicks to Rylie, then back again, to the brunette.

The girl laughs at that, her head shaking lightly. "Don't you know where you are? You're at the Moulin Rouge. Soak it in, there's not another club in Vegas where you'll see a girl like that," she says with a nod toward Rylie, "opening for someone like Eartha Kitt." Who must be around here somewhere. Never mind that she's dead in two-thousand-twelve. On stage, they've transitioned into another song, something a bit more sultry, which has the audience approving more than the last. They came for sultry, after all. A few moments into it give away the tune of Fever, which apparently Rylie knows as well.

That causes Zan to shake his head. "Right. The Moulin Rouge," his brows tick upward slightly in question. "And opening for Eartha Kitt? Easier to believe she's opening for Elvis." He shakes his head, looking at Rylie again. After watching another verse, he looks at the brunette again. "What's the date?" Since the paper upstairs had been new, and from the fifties.

"Who?" The name doesn't seem to ring a bell, not for the little brunette, at least. But she turns her attention to her cigarette when he falls silent. This odd boy with his odd questions, though. She eyes him a little, like she's not sure if he's pulling one over on her. "August seventeenth. Don't worry, lots of people lose track of the time here, hun. But whatever you've been drinking, it must have been wild."

While Rylie sings on where she should be, the girl turns to Zan and holds a hand out. "I'm Thisbe, by the way. Local talent." As if he should know the name.

"August… Seventeenth." Zan catches himself staring at the brunette as if she were the one who was completely daft. Forget the fact that she doesn't know who Elvis is. His eyes tick to her outstretched hand then back up, a shadow of distrust setting into his expression. "Who's the president, Thisbe?"

Thisbe puts a hand on her hip, as it cocks out suggestively. She can't help it, it's second nature in this town. "Eisenhower. I'm not stupid, you know." Up on the stage, Rylie's turn seems to come to a close, and while she forgets to take a bow, she dashes off the stage with a laugh. And a grin.

"Did you see that? What the hell just happened," she says, a grin stuck on her face except for the moment she takes to press a kiss to Zan's cheek. And in the space of time it takes for Thisbe to give her a disapproving look, the headliner of the evening passes them by to take the stage herself. She smiles their way, but it's a very brief brush-by, but it leaves Rylie staring for a moment. Because, hey, Eartha Kitt looks not only alive, but young. "Holy shiiiiit."

"Eisenhower," Zan echoes flatly. That distrust is more defined, marked with a line formed between his brows. One can almost see the wheels turning, trying to work out what could possibly have happened. "How…" But the musings are cut off when Rylie returns.

He smiles at her, wraps his arms around her waist. "You're great," he chuckles, though it sounds forced, nervous. It turns even more noticeable when Eartha Kitt herself walks by. "We have to go," he says quietly, leaning in to whisper the words into Rylie's ear. "This isn't right, we're… somehow we're in the Moulin Rouge. We've got to get out." Somehow.

"We're in the what?" Rylie might know her Vegas history, but not well enough to place the name right off. Especially with it's much more well known French predecessor. Zan's worried, which does get her to pay closer attention, but before she agrees, there's a glance back toward the stage.

"But— Zan, I mean…" She doesn't want to come out and say what she's thinking, given that there's a local standing right there with them and looking at her like she doesn't like her all that much. "This is like, a once in a lifetime, you know what I mean?"

He's not unaware of the opportunity. A no longer living legend literally feet away, in a casino that lasted roughly six months before shutting down indefinitely. Zan looks at the woman on stage, at the surroundings, even the brunette glowering off to the side. "The Moulin Rouge," he repeats, still leaning in close enough to whisper into her ear. "Rylie, that place is gone. Decades ago. That paper you saw upstairs is probably from this day. August seventeen." He pauses, then adds the year, "Nineteen fifty-five. We've got to go."

It's hard to say if Thisbe is paying attention to them anymore. They're weird and she has a job around here, presumably. But more importantly, a cigarette to finish. But Rylie casts a glance her way before refocusing on Zan. "Right, but— I mean, this is— We could— Do you know what we could see here?" Clearly, she's going to need to get dragged out of here. And maybe quickly, because as Thisbe drifts away from them, she heads to that very closet they came tumbling into the past through. "Don't you want to try to meet a gentleman mobster? Or, oo! I wonder if Louis Armstrong is here. Was he here in fifty-five?"

"Maybe another time," Zan answers. However unlikely it might be. He turns apologetic, shooting a look toward Thisbe and the closet before he fishes out his phone again. It's the best he can offer, lifting up the phone to take a photo of Rylie with Eartha Kitt in the background. Proof that no one but they will believe as authentic. One more picture to be sure follows, and as he pushes his phone back into his pocket, he begins tugging her toward the closet. "I'm sorry. Staying isn't a good idea."

The pictures seem to remind Rylie that she can do the same, and after smiling for his, she turns to take a few quick shots of the singer for herself, too, since Zan is determined to get back to the right timeline. And as much as she might like taking a walk through Nineteen-Fifty-Five, she doesn't seem to want to do so alone.

"When did you become the sensible one? I can't believe we're going to walk away from here… Just an hour? One hour!" Bargaining. Even as she lets him get them back toward the closet, she doesn't stop looking longingly stage-ward until the curtains are out of sight.

Fingers rake through his hair, indecisive. Zan keeps on toward the closet, only stopping once there. He doesn't go in though, looking toward the stage then back to Rylie. Pleading. "Something about this doesn't seem right," he explains. "How'd we get here? Why are we here? What if we can't ever get back?" He chews on the inside of his cheek, looking toward the stage again. "One song," he offers to her bargain. "One song and we go."

"I don't know why we're here. But that man wanted someone to find this out, don't you think? Or why would he have giving the address. It could have been a secret forever if he hadn't passed that paper to you, right? So maybe there's something here we're supposed to fix. Or stop. Or something." Rylie glances toward the closet at the mention of maybe not being able to get back, but she doesn't seem to know what to say about that.

So when he offers his compromise, she grins and steps in to press a kiss to his cheek. But before they can head out to properly enjoy the show, Thisbe sticks her head out from the closet again. She reaches over to grab onto Zan's jacket. "What did you mean? What did you mean why are you here?" The brunette casts a worried look back toward the closet, but looks back to the pair of them with a furrowed brow.

"Maybe," Zan's slow to agree, though he's already agreed to one song tonight. He places a hand on her lower back in start of going back to the stage to watch a song. Or two. When the hand grasping his coat stops him from going far. He turns to face Thisbe, putting himself between her and Rylie as he shakes his head. "Why're you eaves dropping? Why did some guy crash a party I was at and give me this address?"

"I just— " Thisbe points back toward the closet, but whatever she was about to say, she aborts. There's a laugh and a shake of her head before she looks at him again. "Nevermind. Sorry for listening in. Let me get you a drink. On the house."

Rylie looks between the two of them, brow furrowing just a little. Now something isn't sitting right with her. Enough that she's letting her one song play on while she's back here eyeing this brunette.

"No," Zan answers. And though the word is quiet, there's an intensity behind it. His gaze remains fixed on Thisbe, though he reaches behind until he's found Rylie's hand. "No, I think you need to answer. What's going on? You just what?" His gaze flicks to the closet, then looks at the brunette again, brows raising sligtly. "What?"

Rylie takes his hand, stepping up close behind him so he can feel her there at his back. Thibe looks uncertain again, looking away from them, her head shaking before a more genuine, but sorrowful look comes over her.

"He never came back. He said it was amazing, where he ended up. He visits, but he's never come back. You're here and I thought… maybe you could bring him home. But it's— It's just unbelievable," she says, those last words coming as a whisper. Like she might not believe it herself, and she's been the one living it.

"The guy at the casino," Zan says over his shoulder, intensity abating. Some. "We might know where he is," he says a little louder, directed at Thisbe. He might even be alive, though he's not holding out hope. "My girl and I get to watch one song, and then we get out of here. And we'll try to find your guy and send him this way." Which seems unbelievably crazy. "Fair?"

"Zan," Rylie says over his shoulder, although she doesn't quite finish her thought. Maybe because Thisbe is standing right there. "Fair enough," is from Thisbe, whose face breaks out into a grin. She is holding out a hope. Maybe more than one. She darts off, ushering them not toward the wings, but out from the back and toward a table. It even has a decent view.

And while Rylie sits, a tight smile going toward Thisbe, she leans over to Zan as soon as the other girl is out of ear shot. "Zan, what do we do if he's dead?" Her gaze moves to the stage, but the worry doesn't leave her expression. It's harshing her zen. Just a bit.

Zan's hand stays firm around Rylie's as he follows Thisbe to a table, releasing it only once they're sitting. "I only said we'd try," he answers, though he's worried as well. "If he's dead, we tried. But I can't bring dead people back and neither can you." He watches her, rather than Eartha Kitt's current song.

"No, we can't. But she'll be waiting by that closet forever," Rylie says, and luckily, this song is a mellow one and it doesn't look that odd that she's lost her grin even as she watches. She falls silent, though, for her very brief date with the impossible, and even when the song fades out and a new one starts up, she's reluctant to look away. But her hand squeezes Zan's, as if letting him know that she knows it's time. She's just… lingering, is all.

"She's doing that now," Zan says quietly. It's meant to be comforting. He looks up at the stage though his mind isn't on the song or the experience. When the song ends, he looks at Rylie, covering her hand with his free one. He lingers as well, by producing a pen and scrawling a note to Thisbe on a napkin.

The note, once it's finished, is turned so Rylie can see. A word of thanks to make even his dad consider the sincerity and a hint that the brunette's friend may not be coming back. And after she's had a look, he stands and draws her to her feet, to take her and the note back to the closet.

The note is looked over, and Rylie looks from it to him before she stands with him. Subdued, compared to mere minutes before. She slides her arm around his waist and lays her head against his shoulder as they walk back to the closet. Thisbe doesn't seem to notice them leaving, as she's chatting with the bartender. When she brings drinks to their table, she'll be disappointed to find them gone.

But when they get to the closet, Rylie pulls the door all the way shut behind them, before she moves the costumes aside to reveal a hole with a view back into the blue and gold room. From here, the house doesn't look so abandoned. It looks loved and lived in. But there is one thing that's just a little unsettling.

That hole's gotten smaller.

Zan's arm finds its way around Rylie's waist as he guides her back to the closet. He presses a kiss to her forehead in apology before following her into the small room. "We don't belong here," he tells her, though he seems reluctant to say so. "I wish…" The rest goes unsaid as the note is left near the door, where it can be found with a glance and Thisbe's name showing on top.

He turns to face the hole and the way back to their time. A spike of adrenaline hits him, seeing the hole smaller. "We have to go," he says more certain this time, fear barely subdued. He nudges Rylie ahead of him. "Hurry."

"I know. It's just… not everyday," Rylie says with a wistful smile. Bittersweet, maybe. She watches him place the note, her mind on things other than their way home. She doesn't seem to notice the change in size, not until she's trying to slip through it. It's doable still, but a tighter fit for sure.

So as she's coming through, and even when she lands on the other side, her hand doesn't let go of Zan, as if having a hold of him would make sure he could make it through, too.

Zan's right behind, wedging himself into the hole. Feet push against any purchase he can find, and while one hand stays with Rylie's the other reaches for something ahead to hook onto and pull. "I know," he forces a laugh. "No one'll believe it."

After a moment, he stops struggling against the constriction, forehead dropping against the side of the tunnel. Maybe he can use his ability to shoot himself through the hole. Not a pleasant thought, but better than being stuck. Or crushed. "Don't stand right in front," he calls up to her. "And put on some eye protection." Might be an odd request, but the reason behind it should be apparent when he proverbially ignites his ability to literally maximum speed, to shoot like a bullet out of the hole.

And tugging on him is only so helpful. The request gets a worried look toward the other side of the room. She steps away from the hole to push one of the couches to the right angle to catch him, instead of a wall.

But she steps out of the way and covers her eyes in time to not watch him come barreling out of the wall. Behind them, the hole folds back together, leaving just a crack up the wall and the sounds of the past muffled through the wall. Closed, but not entirely gone.

Out of one wall and through another, his outstretched hands saving his face from eating it this time. There isn't space enough to stop on a dime going that fast. The second impact does the trick of slowing him enough to regain control and come to a tumbled landing in the hall. "Rylie," he calls, a little shaken, a little pained, sitting himself upright.

When Rylie steps out into the hall, she comes to crouch down next to him, her hand moving to tough his face. Careful of his newest cuts and bruises. "I'm not sure if that room needed another hole in the wall," she says softly, her tease a mild one. She plucks the handkerchief out of his breast pocket to press against the worst offender. Her hand on his shoulder doesn't let him go further than sitting up just yet. "You okay?"

"Don't think it looks better with a window there," Zan answers with a small grin. His coat seems to have taken a fair beating, and amazingly, what cuts and bruises are visible don't seem terrible. His head tilts, cheek touching her hand. "Yeah, just…" He lays his arms in his lap, a little protective. "Hurting some. Are you okay?"

"I bet you are. You well enough to get back to the car?" Rylie doesn't move yet, but looks ready to help him if he needs it. And maybe even if he doesn't. "I'm okay. I just thought… You know, I thought it would be a fun mystery, not such a depressing one. We should have gone out and gambled instead." In the past. Because that wouldn't change anything in the future what so ever.

"I'm sorry," Zan says, sincere in the apology. "You were spectacular, singing. I wish we could have stayed for the rest of the show." Maybe gotten an autograph. He kisses the back of her hand, reiterating his apology before getting to his feet. He's reluctant to use one hand, the other a bit less grudging. "I'm good. I can make it."

"You're probably right that it would be a bad idea to stick around back there. Might end up killing my own grandfather or something like that. It's always like that in stories with time travel." Rylie stands up, but helps him up, too. Before they head out, though, she steps back into the room to grab that odd little newspaper.

Once she's back again, though, she takes his hand to head back toward the street. "And thanks. I don't get too many occasions to show off. I guess I figured if I sucked, who cares, right? Those people are so totally old by now. Or dead." She leans her head against him again, her smile more gentle. "Staying over tonight?"

"It was too weird," Zan agrees. He smiles when he straightens, though it turns a little confused when she goes back into that room. He makes an 'oh' and a nod, seeing the paper, and then eases the not-so-grudged hand into hers. "I wouldn't have let you end up dead," he says, leaning over to kiss the top of her head when she leans in against him. "I think I am," he says more quietly, smiling at her.

Mystery solved, more or less. He doesn't look back when he starts them back toward the street. It'll be when they get to her house that he thinks to look at their phones for the pictures and video.

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