The first time Annie teleported anywhere when it wasn't a matter of her life depending on it, rather just to see if she could get herself to the hospital to meet George for coffee, she found herself somewhere else entirely. Unfortunately, she couldn't just teleport straight back, for a start she felt a bit drained from the effort of getting there and also because she'd getting a slagging from the boys if she had to admit she didn't know where she'd been. She was on a footbridge over a busy main road somewhere. In front of her the road stretched off into the distance and behind her there was a roundabout and a bridge that blocked her view of anything other than the top of a few buildings on the other side. One of which looked suspiciously like the kind of concrete monstrosity that usually houses bus stations. That way it was then. She gazed longingly at the park to her left before gathering her resolve. Find out where she was (and if she could get a bus home) first; eat chips in the park second.
Annie followed the bridge round and down to ground level and from there could see footpaths and some nicely decorated underpasses, which seemed a good indication she was walking towards the town centre not away from it. As she came up from under the bridge she was confronted with the sight of a castle, fenced in by the roundabout, its feeder roads and the railway bridge. There ought to be laws against that sort of thing she thought to herself as she ignored the keep out signs and went for an exploratory detour, and on further thought reckoned there probably were. Castell Newydd, according to the sign which at least told her where she was. Newport. Maybe the train station would be less of a concrete monstrosity she thought optimistically as she headed off in search of it.
The most embarrassing misdirection involved appearing behind a curtain. Which from a teleportation point of view was excellent as no one saw her, but had the disadvantage that the people on the other side of the curtain were having really noisy sex. From the view she could tell that she hadn't actually travelled that far. There was the harbour in front of her, and the cathedral poking between the buildings and the cinema just across the water. From the height and angle she reckoned she must be in the Youth Hostel and looking at the windows sparkling in the sunlight her cover story formed.
The young man who opened the curtains got the fright of his life and the half-naked girl on the bed behind him squealed a little. Annie raised a disapproving eyebrow at them both along with the cloth and empty bottle of windolene she'd forgotten to put down before attempting to teleport to the shop for some more.
“This can't be more embarrassing for you than it is for me,” she assured them.
Annie materialised on the balcony and was briefly distracted from the view by Nina's likelihood of throwing up on the people below. It was the first time she'd tried to teleport anyone else with her and the short hop across Bristol for some Japanese food had seemed a reasonable experiment. A discreet cough from behind her dragged her attention away from her friend. Annie stared at the slightly stunned waitress who'd clearly witnessed their arrival. The waitress stared back. There was a long moment while they both waited to see what the other would do or say. Pragmatism clearly outweighed the potential existential crisis of discussing whether teleportation existed or not and she asked “table for two?”
“I'm fine!” assured Nina from behind Annie, still holding fast to the balcony rail but sounding decidedly steadier already.
“Please.” Agreed Annie, smiling winningly at the waitress, “Just give us a minute, yeah?”
The waitress nodded her agreement and went back to folding open the patio doors of the restaurant. Annie in turn returned her gaze to the view. The weather was decidedly sunnier than it had been when they left Bristol and Nina hadn't actually specified which branch of Wagamamas they should go to for lunch. Plus there were a bunch of rather fit looking army blokes doing some sort of exercise with a Spitfire and very tight t-shirts on the Plas below so the view was an improvement too. As she carefully pried Nina's hand from the balcony rail and spoke temptingly of the noodles to come, she wondered idly how much the train back from Cardiff was these days and whether as a ghost she could claim a concession.
Snow fell lightly around Annie as she stood bathed in the soft light emanating from the cinema. A poster by the door indicated that they were showing It's a Wonderful Life which was in fact the film she'd been heading to the rental place to hire. Despite the heckling that she knew she would have to tolerate from the boys who failed to understand her love of it.
It was a proper old-fashioned cinema, tiny though it was, and suddenly the thought of getting stiff in flip-up theatre seats and eating fresh buttery, salty popcorn was the most appealing thought in the world. Just then one of the usher's popped his head out the door and saw her.
“Here for the film?” He asked.
“I was just passing,” she said, “are you sold out?”
“We were but,” he paused to look around and continued conspiratorially, "someone cancelled at the last minute so we've one seat free.”
“I'll take it,” responded Annie gleefully, and pausing only a moment for a quick twirl in the snow she followed him into the warmth.
Mitchell stared moodily out over Avon Gorge, his hair blowing dramatically in the autumn breeze. Annie picked her way down the grassy bank and leaned on the fence beside him. Despite the threatening sky it was a good view. Even if he was ignoring her. Annie settled in to wait.
Eventually, and without looking at her, he spoke.
“Two buses,” he said cryptically, “You need to get on two separate buses to get from the house to here. You hate buses, you have existential debates with the bus drivers and get thrown off. Also I didn't know I was coming here, so how could you know I was here?”
“I didn't,” Annie assured him, handing him some sandwiches, “you forgot your lunch, I was just intending to drop it off at the hospital for you. Tried to teleport there for speed and here I was. Or rather, there I was in front of the Camera Obscura, which is closed just for a change, and who should be just down the hill from me?”
Mitchell did look at her then, half a smile briefly flitting across his face.
“Still not quite got the hang of navigating when teleporting yet then,” he said affectionately.
Annie looked up at this shadowed eyes and leaned her head on his shoulder.
“I always seem to end up where I need to be.”