Nowhere Market

May 23, 2015:

A few people shop at the Nowhere Market

Nowhere Market

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Among the occult scene, there's still a desire and need to meet face to face with people. To deal, to bump elbows, to be a part of the larger community (not just the underground part). While the Nowhere Market is where the sidhe and other fey folk make their trade, the 'normals' who dabble in the occult rub elbows at an old warehouse called The Canal Yards.

It's here that John's dragged Kitty Pryde, ostensibly for company, but practically because it never hurts to have a pretty girl along when you're wheeling and dealing with various vendors. He moves through the scramble of loosely organized booths, stopping and examining everything from tiny shards of rare stone to powdered animal bits and pieces. There are perhaps five hundred people wandering around the warehouse, perhaps twenty thousand feet square, and it's packed to the rafters with all manner of wares and customers.

Kitty follows alongside Constantine, looking curiously one way and another at the various vendors and booths. Her purse is slung over her shoulder, Lockheed safely tucked inside. When dealing with possibly shady magic dealers, bring an alien who looks like a purple dragon along might not be the best idea. The last thing she wants is for one of her closest friends to be randomly taken for magical study.

With a smirk, the brunette mutant shoots an amused look to John. "Think I can buy a magic wand here? Or maybe Bedknobs and Broomsticks." Her voice drops, though she actually sounds excitedly inquisitive, "So, are there actually fairies here? With wings and stuff?"

There's people here of all types, of all colors and shapes and sizes and varying levels of 'normal'. It's New York. Defining any population here as 'normal' is stretching the word to its limits.

'Normal' apparently includes a red-haired woman dressed in black. It would, however, be sensible to look a little more closely. An athletic red-haired woman in black. An athletic red-haired woman in a black leotard, grey yoga pants, and a baby blue sweater tied around her hips with a smallish duffel hanging from one shoulder. She also has what appears to be a Frappucino in one hand and a giant pink bow in her hair.

Whatever Natasha Romanoff is doing in a magic market is probably not even best left to the imagination. It's probably best left to avoid thinking about.

"Listen, you mug," Ruby Rowe says in front of a stall, waving what looks like a tiny liquor bottle at a man with elaborate tattoos, "you gave me a four-ouncer of this for real silver and I put it on my car, see, and you know what it didn't do? It didn't WORK, my car is DEAD. You know what I did then? I tasted it, and I tossed my damn cookies! This has calamus in it - I could've died! I don't care I used half of it, I didn't realize it was the WRONG FORMULA. You're gonna fix this or I'm gonna pour the rest of this on -"

She stops abruptly as what looks like a younger person drifts sort of nearby. Straightening up, Ruby smiles at the man with tattoos. "Just replace it. The real deal, pure quill. Galangal, not calamus, you get me? I'll watch you mix it."

Lunair is about as occult as a bag of marbles. But fairies are pretty cool and this might be educational, especially for her powers. Lunair's gained considerable control and finesse with them, although she's still hesitant to push the limits. Probably because there's almost always a Rocky-style montage and montages always pop up at the most awkward times, really. Plus, there might be some really cute or pretty stuff.

As far as Lunair is concerned, Natasha is probably just the face kicking fairy or something. But she doesn't know Natasha is here and no one's trained Lunair to break the forth wall yet. Though, Lunair is dressed in a very flowing get up, like someone finally let the art students loose and the chem department hasn't tranq darted them all yet. Wait, oh my gosh. That lady with the bow! Gotta go compliment - wait, is that Natasha? Lunair heads over that way, deciding to check out the herbal teas along the way.

Vorpal has given up on 'normal' a while ago. Starting with the night that he became what he became, anyways. As a creature who sometimes forgets to exist at random points in time, and who exists as a very colorful upright feline during those other times, the magical and mysterious is familiar ground to him. However, this particular locale wasn't known to him until very recently, and he finally chose a 'night off' to take a gander. Admittedly, he could pass for any of the Pookah, should any of them set shop here, except for the heroic uniform wearing his emblem across the chest. Because if you're a tourist, you might as well advertise, right?

"Curioser and curioser," he mutters to himself. Because it's expected, for crying out loud.

"There's a few," John tells Kitty, reaching for a handful of juicy, ripe looking fruits. He rummages through a half dozen and through no discernable method, picks two, winging one to Kitty underhanded. "But they mostly go around glamered. Sometimes it's just for a laugh- sometimes they're on mission, or just feeling secretive. Best not to go looking for them," he advises the phaseshifter. "Plenty of beings react badly to you outing their secret disguise."

He pays for the fruit with a glimmering pair of coins and keeps walking, peering into the booths he passes. Artwork, trinkets, and even some fine jewelry get passed up, but he spends surprising amounts of time handling powders, dusts, and tiny craft items. One enterprising citizen has hundreds of recycled pill bottles, filled with everything from spider eggs to glass fragments. He spots extrinsic presence of Natasha- looking like she just wandered out of a particularly upscale yoga studio- and from her blind side, gives her a judicious once-over. "Two please," he says, changing coin with the proprietor of the stall and accepting two phials of pale pink liquid. Into his coat they go, and John starts meandering completely coincidentally towards the redheaded spy.

Kitty catches the lobbed fruit easily, raising an eyebrow. "I mean, I can understand those reasonings. Privacy and all that." As a mutant and an X-Man, she can certainly understand secret identities. "Plus, it's just rude."

As they're wander through the general splendor, she can't help but stop and gawk at a few things. It's only as they're nearing Natasha and Lunair that the brunette recognizes her fellow mutant. "Lunair!" she greets, surprised, but warmly. "What're you doing here?" Her curiosity, though, causes her eyes to land on a jeweled comb and she leans over. "Ooo, look at all these shiny things!"

Natasha's found herself in a book stall, apparently. There's books of magic. There's books about magic. There's, let's face it, a few books with little crescent moons on the spine, and Natasha bypasses those entirely — she doesn't have a lot of need for Llewellyn Press. But she has a scrawled list in the same hand as the Frappuccino.

Sluuuuurp.

Her free hand plucks up a properly weathered sourcebook in Latin, purportedly detailing ancient European tinctures and such. She looks over it, comparing its title to the scrawl on the scrap of paper she holds. A scrap of paper written in Cyrillic, apparently, just in case someone finds it.

Her head snaps up when she hears Lunair's name; she sees Lunair's face an instant later, and whatever expression appears initially on her face is replaced instantaneously with a pleasant smile and a little wave. People who smile and wave are definitely not nervous or embarrassed about being here, goodness no. Her eyes flick just briefly to Constantine and move past him. Flick to him again, stay a little longer, and then move to her book again.

Some grumbling from the oiling man ensues and Ruby gives him an idle "G'wan." When he's obviously not getting out more calamus for the abramelin blend, Ruby seems eased. Looking out into the crowd… Other people.

Huh. The cat guy's different, she thinks. Her eyes then follow someone in the other row who seems to be here with his daughter— No, she thinks. Ruby frowns just a little.

No, that's —

Soon enough Ruby has passed in between a narrow gap between two stalls and is coming up on the six of Kitty, who may completely miss her while greeting Natasha and Lunair. "John!" she says, heartily, and if Constantine isn't careful he's getting an arm thrown around his shoulder.

Huh. Lunair looks around. Wow. That's a really pretty… Ah yeah. She jerks, tensing as her name is called. Considering she gets darted on a near weekly basis, it's not a surprising reaction. But then, she smiles and waves to Kitty. There's some incredibly pretty stuff! "There's a lot of neat things. I was exploring a bit. Plus, I doubt they'd send dart drones here." Lunair's criteria might be considered… /alarming/.

And then she smiles back to Natasha. Lunair has a hard time reading people, so Natasha is like a giant rubix cube with red hair and also a Russian accent. She looks a little sensorily overloaded for a moment. "How are you - um, three? No, four- who is-" She's not entirely familiar with Vorpal. Please reboot your Lunair. Actually, it just takes her a bit when it comes to social situations. Super intelligence is nice, but reality is cruel in that most human interaction is learned.

John? John. Two green eyes focus on someone who is disturbingly familiar. Of course he would be here… goddamned chaos node.

!~The universe just hates me, doesn't it?~

And then there's … wait. He remembers that one. Kitty. She was in Greenland with him and that little ball of rage and claws called Logan. They killed demons together- good times. There seems to be a little gathering of sorts, and while Vorpal isn't keen on seeing Constantine, he hasn't seen Kitty in months. It just wouldn't do not to say hi.

He might recognize Lunair approaching soon, too, if he manages to get past a group of skeezy-looking Fae trying to sell what looks suspiciously like monkey paws-

Don't by those, kids. The wishes aren't worthwhile.

"Hey there," he says, approaching Kitty eventually (after pushing the paw-pushers aside), "Long time no see!"

This does mean he's also engaging Constantine in conversation by default, but the world isn't perfect. Perhaps the other people will mitigate his annoyance, too.

John barely sees Ruby hit him out the corner of his eye, falling back a pace and putting an insincere stiffarm up to keep her from flattening him outright. The lanky Brit gives Ruby a sly, knowing grin, allowing a half-squeeze, then steps back a pace to give the woman a once-over. "Well well, little lady Ruby Rowe," he says, making a show of patting his flask, wallet, and pocketwatch, in order. "I heard you were still alive and well. Stuck in this dank berg, still?" he asks the woman, gesturing vaguely at the immediate neighborhood. "I'd have thought you'd have conned someone into a ride to Europe by now."

He lets Kitty pull ahead a few paces, stopping to chat with the literally anachronistic woman assailing him. He glances sidelong at Vorpal, but doesn't move to greet the Cheshire.

Natasha is far more interesting to look at anyway, and her once-and-again elicits a similar response from the lanky magician- neither of them so gauche as to stare openly, but the sidelong glances definitely a familiar part of the dance of oblique conversation between con artists that goes on often long before a word is spoken between them.

Not knowing either Ruby or Natasha, Kitty glances as first Lunair greets the SHIELD agent and the brunette approaches Constantine. There are so many things going on that as Vorpal approaches she blinks again in surprise. How could she not have noticed the cat-like man? Perhaps because she was already primed toward strange sights in the Nowhere Market that she didn't even acknowledge him. "Yes! And yes, hi!" she agrees with Lunair and greets Vorpal. "Certainly a strange meeting point for everyone."

The form of Constantine a few steps behind her isn't completely out of mind. She's sort of half listening to his conversation with Ruby, though her attention is mostly on Vorpal and Lunair in front of her. Her eyes flick over toward Natasha at Lunair's reaction to the spy. Taking the moment to try and give Lunair some breathing space, she takes a breath. "Vorpal, right?" she asks the man.

Ruby rolls her eyes. She's smirking as she does it. "Are you kidding? I'm waiting for the gentrification to hit the Bronx. Then I'll sell my place and buy France. You got a cigarette on you? I'm guessing you don't have my three hundred dollars, or you'd be dressed better."

"Speaking of little ladies, who's this you're out with?" Ruby then asks, indicating Kitty with her chin. "And I'm surprised to see you out here - you didn't get that dream too, did you?"

The other people get examined but in a more sedate sort of way. "She seems popular," Ruby observes further.

Lunair doesn't quite recall if she's run into John. So she smiles faintly. "Who's your friends?" She asks. Lunair is trying to keep up with it all without having to use the Twerker on someone just to focus. Someone's a lil' stunted. Just a lil'. Lunair looks between Kitty and Natasha. "Fate is strange, like when someone tries to lure you into a trap with food on a string." Pause. "… does that only happen to me?" Oh dear. Lunair looks to Vorpal too. Natasha makes Lunair curious. "I hope you're doing well." Yes, indeedy. "I … ooh, is there anything about tea or alchemy?'

An entire convention of people. That's not exactly Natasha's happiest situation, not when one of them knows (slightly) who she is. She doesn't look like a SHIELD agent just now, of course, but one word from Lunair and there'll be the questions and the slight nervousness and the lack of saying anything because they all know she's the Man, and —

It would take another con artist to see the way she looks very carefully entirely comfortable with the talk of 'that dream'. There's just the very slight widening of the eyes followed by a miniscule narrowing. It would just look a bit like a blink that didn't happen, but it's followed with a curious smile: "Dream?" she inquires, glancing between Kitty and Ruby. But to Lunair, then: "Just doing a little shopping. And yeah, they do have a lot of herbals in there. If you want to mix your own, they probably have the stuff for it too in one of these places."

She sees Vorpal then, a smile crooking the corner of her mouth. She gives him one of those reverse nods — the acknowledgement that involves the lift of a chin and meeting the eyes. And though she's apparently more or less ignoring Constantine, that's possibly deliberate. Especially given that he's eternally in her peripheral vision.

Vorpal returns Natasha's nod with one of his own, and a grin- the cheshire is good at those. Acknowledgement between redheads is obligatory, part of the Red Headed League Manifesto. "Yes Kitty- Vorpal, or Keith O'Neil, what you will. I have no secret identity." Because he's dating a man who is green and can't help being green. He looks at Constantine out of the corner of his eye…. ooooh, fine, if he's ignoring him? He can ignore him better. Annie get your passive aggressive gun.

"I don't believe we have met," he says to Natasha and Ruby, giving a wink, "But I do know you… have I apologized yet over the tentacles?" He asks Lunair, with a contrite expression, "I totally didn't intend it for there to be tentacles, they just happened…"

Because that is not the perfect way to let everybody's vivid imaginations fill in the worst parts, because nature abhors a vacuum, right?

"I put in for that property in Queens in the fifties," John agrees with Ruby, drifting the woman with him over to the larger conversation. "With the way rent is going up, I shan't need to sell for quite some time, if ever. I /don't/ have that money on me right this minute, though," John apologizes to the woman, completely insincerely.

"Now, what's this business about a dream, luv?" he asks Ruby, looking from her to Kitty with an arched eyebrow. Positioned as they are, he even goes so daringly far as to actually make proper eye contact with Natasha for a moment, wherein a small volume is spoken without using any words. It'd be masterful to watch if literally anyone else standing there could communicate non-verbally as well as the two professional liars could.

Vorpal's passive aggressive behaviour goes even /more/ ignored. Like, you can't even tell if John is aware he's being ignored. Which is somehow even more insulting than if he was outright ignoring Vorpal. Then, just to rub it in, he lifts his chin at Vorpal. "I see you're still kicking, Chesh," he observes, fishing for a silver cigarette wallet in his coat. "Is your husband still chucking teacups when he gets in a snit?"

"I mean, with a name like Kitty, you'd think more people would be attempting to lure me in with string, but, that hasn't happened. Yet." Kitty grins at Lunair. She glances quickly over her shoulder at Ruby and John, hearing parts of their conversation and realizing she may be a part of it. Not sure if she should interrupt or not, she raises a questioning eyebrow at Constantine. From what she knows of the man, most of the people who approach him don't have the best of intentions.

"Um, I don't know the woman," she tells Lunair. "But, the man is John and this is V—Oh, you two have met! Lovely. Easier on the introductions. Though, I don't think I want to know about a tentacles story." Natasha is given a bit of a tilt of her head. "Hi," she decides to take the lead. "My name's Kitty. Nice to meet you."

The question about the shared dream gets both of her raised eyebrows as Ruby joins the larger group. "What? How did you—" she stops herself, wary of Ruby, suddenly. "What do you know of shared dreams?"

"I'm Nat," the redhead replies, smiling really quite warmly as she returns the nod. See? She's a nice lady. See the bow in her hair? I mean, some would say it's a little TOO perfect. She looks like a yuppie stamped out of a yuppie factory. Apparently she's legitimately enjoying the coffee slushie, though, as she takes another slurp of it.

"Dreams don't get shared," she adds with a little shake of her head. "You sure you haven't been breathing in too many of the fumes from the paisley tent?"

Ruby's eyes turn over past Natasha, seeing perhaps that twitch of her eyes. Ruby's own lips turn up in a small curl of knowing. She puts a hand on her hip, which honestly seems like a gesture so practiced she must have fingerprints on her pelvic bone.

She gives Vorpal an eyebrow-quirking look when he starts talking about tentacles. Then she says, "Well, I've had a couple of dreams lately but this is a family location, and so I" am suddenly holding one of Constantine's death sticks, "will focus on the one that I know came true."

She takes a moment. "Glad to meet you, Kitty, I'm Ruby. You met John? Not at school, I hope…"

Ruby fishes a lighter out from a hip pocket in her dress, though she keeps talking. "Alright so, I'll make it simple. I got this dream from some dame in the year Ten Thousand and Fifteen, who'd gotten up there somehow. It said she'd be coming by in two days exactly. I go up there, of course there's a bunch of other people too - let's see, African gentleman with a bow I think, Superman's sister or whoever it is, this other African lady with lightning powers, a couple of other people I don't recall because this lady, Ronnie, she shows up, right?"

Ruby lights the cigarette. "Huh," she says. "It's pink." She exhales up and away from everyone and squints at it. "Anyway we all get there and she comes out of this sort of hole in space, and right behind her is this goddamn huge guy dressed up like the Flash. Called himself JTT Titor or something." To John she asides, "I was gonna ask him about an IBM 5100 but I think the Superwoman distracted him."

"He gives us this line about how this lady, Hautzig, is really a bad person and is gonna ruin everything - god alone knows how she made it into the future, apparently - and you know, she didn't mean anything by it, everything's fine, she just busted her lip falling down the stairs… So all of us handle it, and then Booster Gold shows up and throws him into the future clink or something."

She looks back down, directly at people. She meets Kitty's eyes, then Natasha's in particular. "And if you believe that one," she says, trailing off.

Fortunately, Lunair does not have a memory of what happened under HYDRA control. Unfortunately, Vorpal is apologizing by something. "Wait, did you guys have a weird dream about a the Flash and there was a lady with an id card and some crystal towers and it was all kinds of weird but I loved the luminescent dress." Yes. "Something about the year 10015. I ended up going to that year at one point, too. And this speedster guy kept going on about Titor who put him in jail while he tried to choke me out. I have such weird weekends," Lunair contemplates this.

Vorpal's words make Lunair peer at him. She blinks. "T-tentacles, what?" She seems uneasy pulling her arms against her chest. Her eyebrows lift. Uh oh. "What do you mean?" She asks Vorpal. Natasha's words get a nod. "I see. I have some exploring to do," Yes indeedy.

"Tentacles…. who said anything about tentacles?" Vorpal panics, realizing that Lunair seems to have forgotten about it all. BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP- new subject! "Dreams can totally be shared! I once was in a dream with an apocalyptic wolf and a computer wiz. totally shared," the cheshire cat nods…

And then glares at Constantine. "Still kicking, Aye. I can always show you. And he's not my husband."

Pause. "Yet."

John listens to the dream being described with an air of cautious attention, flickering his own cigarette into nimble fingertips and making a battered silver bic lighter appear. The cherry tip of the cigarette flares to life and he stokes it with a few quick drags, smoke crawling around his head, and rests his hands loosely in his pockets. Even in a group with friends, his eyes are always flickering around in careful diligence, an ear cocked to passers-by.

At Natasha's proclamation, John lifts an inquiring eyebrow. "The cat's right," he says, wagging his cigarette in Vorpal's direction, while looking at Natasha. "But this doesn't sound like a dream, more like an oracle. Something that /will/ happen, not just a story the mind is sharing."

"Nice to meet you," Kitty tells Nat with a smile. "Oh, you know. In a market that sells herbal teas that are supposed to give you past life experiences, I think you should keep your mind open," she tells the red head with a smirk, truly believing the woman is skeptical of them despite her surroundings. Who knows, after all.

As Ruby describes what's going on, possibly including Storm and the woman's name from her own dream - Barry's girlfriend - Kitty's expression doesn't exactly shift, but turns more closed off. "Right. Something about a bridge being involved, I'm sure." Her voice has turned from the warm thing that greeted Natasha to something almost monotone.

Lunair, is given a similar curious look, though as she knows the other woman, it's a bit more understanding. "You always do have some interesting weekends, Lunair." Her eyes shift to John's, head tilting questioningly, as if expecting him to have had the same sort of experience.

Ruby's eyes turn towards Natasha as she says, with a thoughtful sort of smile, "Yeah? Well, you're probably right. I did have one that /felt/ like it. Someone was playing piano, I was trying to tell jokes, do some dancing…"

She glances at Kitty then, but she seems like she's turned off by the entire thing. Taking another light drag, she asks Vorpal, "What made the wolf apocalyptic exactly? Was it Fenris?"

Is that… could that possibly be a reaction? Because Natasha's eyes do meet John's properly again. For a moment, no more. And there's just a small crinkle between her eyes, but it moves smoothly into a genuine smile. "Well, luckily I was spared that one. I had this sort of mash-up of A Little Princess and Midsummer Night's Dream, only Dickensian. How do you know if something's prophetic, though, if it's taking place in 10015? For a given value of 'never', you're never going to be there." Pause. "Or then. What's the appropriate terminology for time travel?"

She takes another sluuuurp of her coffee muck. It's getting close to the bottom. Her eyes flick back toward Vorpal and John and that ever-so-charming… banter. "Oh yeah, that's where I've seen you. Hard to forget that face. Or that smile. You're a Titan, right?"

To Ruby, she shrugs a little: "I've had some very… vivid dreams myself. But some neuroscientist, I forget who, said that all the faces in our dreams are real ones we've seen, if only for a moment on the train. So we should expect to see our friends. And occasionally that dishy guy in the coffee commercial."

Lunair blinks at Vorpal. Amnesia due to conditioning and drugs is one heck of a thing. She kind of squints. "Then why were you apologizing for the tentacles? Did something happen?" Uh oh. "… you seem afraid." IT SENSES FEAR. DON'T MOVE. Lunair goes quiet for a moment. "I don't know. But I time traveled!" Lunair insists. "There were cops and this ZZT guy and-" Deep breath. "It was weird. Like kinda Blade Runner-y," She coniders. Lunair smiles faintly. Aww. Are Natasha and John friends? Subtleties are hard to read. She nods back. "Thanks, except now I understand why 'may you have an interesting life' is a curse in some places'," Lunair contemplates this. A shrug. She settles in to listen.

Vorpal wrinkles his nose at the cigarette waved in his direction, but his attention is quickly snapped up by Ruby- "You know Fenris? Why, it's a small world. Yes, that's him, Apocalypse Wolf. He's a rather nice guy, for a world-ending lupine. And I usually don't have a good opinion of dogs."

Pause, "Don't say I called him dog, okay?"

The recognition of the Titans makes Vorpal beam, "Yes! I am a Titan." It always made his heart good when his team got recognized. It was family. "I hope you have good things to say about the team- I try to represent them well whenever I can. That doesn't always happen, though…" that whole picture of him dancing on tables… yeah.

Vorpal does not mention tentacles to Lunair after that. He's going to ask questions later, but right now… no.

John nods reassuringly at Kitty, one eye flittering in a brief wink. He brings his hand up and rests it on her shoulder, giving her slender frame a squeeze of his palm. "It's all right, luv," he says, his tone feigning gruffness. "These things happen. Bloody sendings and telepaths will send anyone around the bend," he says. His hand drops, though the suggestion of reassuring support echoes in his confident voice.

"Time travel works for laymen, lass," John informs Natasha, the corner of his lip quirking- very minutely- in reponse to the woman's vanishingly small microexpressions. "You start bandying around terms like temporal asynchronicity, they stop inviting you to swanky cocktail parties."

The strange interaction between Vorpal and Lunair is not missed. Something happened there that Kitty wants to get to the bottom of, but seeing as Lunair seems to have no memory of it and Vorpal is reluctant to bring it up again…well, that's a subject for another time: much like many of the subjects brought up at this Nowhere Market spontaneous meeting.

The name Ruby brings up -Fenris - doesn't ring any bells, but other people seem to know him. She let's that conversational topic continue. It's only the hand on her shoulder that gives her a slight start, strangely primed for something strange to happen. Quickly, she relaxes, though, at the assurances from John. "I know," she tells him softly. The fact that she shared a dream with someone else isn't quite what has her rattled. "Thanks." She's sincere in that word, at least. Lunair's question as to whether Constantine and Natasha know each other is given a smile. "You'd have to ask them." Smiling at the others, she bobs her head. "I saw something I just have to check out. I'll be right back. It was nice seeing and meeting you."

Pointing at Constantine, she adds, "Don't leave without me. I'm afraid I'll get lost and find myself back in New York a hundred years from now. And if that happens, I'll dig up your grave and do…something threatening to it. Think of what that'll be before leaving without me."

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