Learning To Bounce

July 03, 2015:

Claire avoids life and runs into a … God?

Central Park, New York City

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# ALL THE DAFT PUNK]


Fade In…

Every great city has a heart, the central location where its world comes fully together and becomes the focal point of its existence. For some places it moves with its population, going where the people gather. At other places it's connected to a building, a skyline that speaks entirely of its life in silhouette. But for New York, it is something altogether other. It is that great sweep of greenery in the center of the urban sprawl, that massive sweep of wood and trees lined with trails and parks so that the citizens of the city are not entirely bereft of nature. Oh there are definitely other parks, but none that serve as such a point of gathering, of where thoughts drift and memories coalesce… as Central Park.

And it is at a time of night just such as this when one realizes that it is entirely so. When the night is heavy with low-hanging clouds and the subtle threat of rain. When the world's shadows creep in, only for the people in the city to shout their opposition to the night by gathering in large numbers.

It had been planned for weeks. Word had flittered across the internet, postings, rumour, circulation. Amongst the organizers they made sure all the I's were dotted, all the T's were crossed. A great stage was erected, though all that was up there during the midnight rave was a deejay and his laptop. Great sweeping lights bounced off the low clouds, lasers darted back and forth. But the main thing that would ever draw the idea was the people. The horde of people that surged and gyrated, that moved to the music and exulted in movement and dance. Most of them were engaged in some indulgence. For some there is the music, the movement. For others there is the drink, the drugs. And for some there are the places where they are huddled together, couples, sometimes more, indulging in each other.

It's at this torrid mass of chaos that the young Olympian known as Alexander Aaron partakes. He's there at the edge of the festivities, leaning against an old oak that provides shelter from some of the buffeting musical waves, that steady oontz-oontz-oontz of the music. A red solo cup is in his hand, and he casually looks over the goings on with faintly glowing crimson eyes.

The night has become more and more a haven for Claire, having stepped out of the woods those weeks ago to try and live a life out in the open. But it's the open life she's hiding in now, escaping the Xavier school and the troubles with Betsy for a different kind of safety; that of a crowd, and distraction, and any place that's -not- where she has to confront the mortality of someone she cares about.

The kids at the school have been mumbling about this event in the park for a while now, and while most of them were underage, Claire was not…exactly. She had no reason -not- to go. Except that she was, you know, different-looking. Upon arrival, however, she realizes with a little smile that it won't be a problem in this particular situation.

So it is that she's shedding her ever-present hoodie, revealing a simple dress that goes to the knee, sleeveless, exposing more skin than she's comfortable with but considered down-right proper given the fashion of the time. It doesn't matter, no one cares; half of the crowd here is in costume or exaggerated make-up, an explosive saturnalia of color and imagination. It's actually very difficult to pick out what's costume and vanity and what's … not. Blink ruffles her curls and smiles, avoiding the booze and the over-press of bodies to skirt along the edge of the crowd, boots stalking to the rhythm, head bobbing to the music, hips twitching in time.

Oh yeah. This was one of her better ideas.

It's during this tumultous ritual of celebration that such prejudices do often get tossed by the wayside. She might see as she moves that she is not entirely the only mutant. There in the crowd might be a glimpse of a young woman with cherubic wings that might seem like something she is wearing until they unfurl and stretch. Another young man dances by while holding up two young women, one upon each broad shoulder as if this act of strength was executed with utter ease.
But then as she moves along the edge of that crowd she might spy another supposed mutant. There's that young man leaning against the tree, close enough to the table with all the coolers and the plastic cups that he can drink steadily with minimal interruption. There's something about him, however. It could be the way his eyes glow faintly, leaving subtle red contrails in the air as his head turns to follow this way or that. His head nods steadily to the beat as his lip curls into a wry half-smile that might give a glimpse at what could be an exaggerated canine. But those things, they are less noticable than the man as a whole. For he is a being that exists in a state of a near Platonian ideal. His skin is pale and his form precisely defined, like some statue that had been given life from the classical period. The line of his jaw, the curve of his nose, they lend to an authoritative profile. A profile that is at odds with the casual clothes he wears.

As she draws closer he turns his head to the side, those glowing eyes falling heavily upon her with a gaze that has the weight of several anvils. Should their gaze meet, he'll smile.

How could she miss him, this creature more pronounced than everyone around him? Her eyes flick to him, her strange, green effervescent gaze leaving little trails of their own in the dark. She's not brave enough to grin but she's bold enough to smile, her energetic dancing fading to something more subdued, ruffling her curls again as she laughs at herself, the sound probably lost (to normal ears) in the music and the excitement of the crowd.

Pink all over, it might take a serious stare to see that she's redder in the cheeks than the rest of her, a flush that disappears under the neck of her pale green dress. Pink energy fizzles about her, a burst of mist as a step towards the thinner crowds and the tree he leans against turns into a skip through space and maybe even through time. She's at his elbow in a second, unintentional, as she bleats in surprise and takes three steps backwards to give them both some space.

"Eek! Uh." She clears her throat. "Hi."

The young deity is a creature of fate. He knows that he has a Destiny, but accepting that also means that he is also a victim of what might be considered 'interesting times'. It is not uncommon for him to decide to spend the weekend on the beach and for that to be the time when a titanic marine creature to attack the coastline. So, in part, it is no surprise to him when amongst the huge crowd of people that fate plays its hand and this unique young woman makes her way towards him, only for them to meet.

Those faintly glowing eyes meet hers and their gaze holds. If there is something vaguely devilish in his gaze, then that smile he offers is in turn so very angelic. "Hello,"

His voice is easy, relaxed, carrying decently well in the faintly muffled area amongst the trees. Alexander cants his head to the side slowly, as if trying to gauge her from a different angle. One long-fingered hand uncurls almost absently to gesture towards the table of coolers and plastic cups. "Can I get you something?"

His manner is so… relaxed, as if he were utterly at ease with such raucous surroundings. His gaze shifts to the table, then back to her where he cocks an eyebrow as he says, "The green and purple ones both are spiked with something alcoholic, but yummy. The red one has ex in it, but not cripplingly so." And, of course, his own cup is red.

Claire is as innocent as a 20-year-old can be in this day and age, which is… pretty surprising. She looks at his cup, the cups on the table, and does that thing to her curls again; a nervous habit (it's also a good way to keep bugs from accumulating in your hair when you walk around the woods all the time).

"I'll … pass. Thank you," she laughs. "Unless you can recommend something that isn't spiked or likely to knock me on my ass? I'd like to remember this night, I think."

Her eyes don't linger in all the places he might expect, taking him with a flick of her gaze before her hands clasp behind her, grinning at him and then looking out at the crowd. "Do you know what music is playing? I tried to catch the name but there's been too much screaming every time a person starts to speak."

Pushing off of the oak tree, Alexander straightens to his full height. Not too terribly tall, but for someone as short as she is, well he does tower over her a bit. That small smile remains in place even as if on cue when she mentions it the crowd screams right as a vocal part triggers in the song, only to be repeated over and over as the tempo picks up.

"I think it's mostly Daft Punk remixes." He says this matter of factly, as if the music is secondary to him. Which, really, it is. He usually comes out on nights like this to watch and see humanity, not so much to be seen.

Having said that he turns and walks towards the table and nudges open a cooler with the toe of his shoe. Only then does he gain the attention of one of the passing organizers, a guy wearing an orange 'safety' shirt to stand out amongst the crowd… and failing.

"Hey man, ten bucks a brew, man!" The patchy bearded young man pipes up even as he gestures towards Alexander.

To which Alexander responds, "I already paid Tiff, no worries." He gestures with a toss of his head even as he reaches in and scoops up a beer. It's domestic but hey, it'll have to do.

The organizer looks a little unhappy, but then rushes off to check with Tiffany assuredly. But by that point, Alexander has returned with the bottle that he casually tosses towards her. "You seem like a unique young woman. You aren't demonic, are you? I tend not to get along with demonic types very well."

The grin on her face melts to a crinkle of her nose and a vexed expression, her brow furrowing at him as she accepts the beer.

"Demonic? Demons don't exist." She takes a swig, makes a face. BLeeggghHhh. And takes another sip. "Do they?" she coughs, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, looking at the label on the bottle.

"Does all beer taste like butt?" she mutters to herself, probably louder than she meant to.

Retaking his place against the tree with his arms folded over his chest, Alexander watches her with a small smile upon his lips. "Yes they do. And yes they do." The tall Olympian lets his smile slip further but then shifts his gaze downwards as he considers her reaction. He looks up and grins as he adds, "Sometimes they can be a great taste after you're terribly exhausted, not entirely sure why. And there's the tipsiness, that can be nice." Not that he gets easily affected by such.

Those faintly glowing eyes narrow a touch, but then he looks back out across the crowd even as the deejay starts up with the next set. Though at this point the music is a slow build, mixed with a countdown so their words are more easily exchanged. "So are you drinking to remember something, or drinking to forget? Usually it's one of the two."

She's distracted by the change in rhythm, watching the swaying crowds, the pulse of the music creating a rise and fall in the wave of arms and the rocking of hips. It's nice to watch, she's even moving in time without really dwelling on it.

She takes another sip, makes the same face but less noise, and keeps on dancing in place. "Not drinking. Moving." Another drink. Bleeeghhh. "And not forgetting. Distracting." It's not in her to lie; she is candor.

"It can be terribly distracting," Alexander takes another swig of his drink, the chemicals dancing around in his metabolism happily and giving him a brief glimpse at a high. A glimpse that dissipates almost instantly as his celestial form cancels out the poison after only a few bare moments.

He glances back at her, "I can usually tell when someone is a newcomer of a sort." One hand gestures absently, "To the scene, or to civilization, or to the wide world of madness." His lip twitches, perhaps at something that amuses only him. He scrunches up one eye as he gauges her and then murmurs, "I get the vibe that you might hit a few of those."

And as easily as that he then offers her his hand sidelong, "Alexander. Or Alex, if you're feeling informal."

Her pointed ears catch every word from him, that last bit making her avert her eyes and scuff her boots, denying nothing but saying nothing too. She takes another drink in her own personal awkwardness, making another face but dutifully swallowing.

His hand comes into the corner of her vision, though, and she's turning her head to blink up at him in surprise. Her lips twist, uncertain, before she draws herself up, all five feet of her, and accepts his hand with a firm squeeze. At least, as firm as she can manage. "Claire. Blink, if you'd rather," she replies, giving a little smile. "Alexander."

"So, Blink." He says her name with a measure of formality, as if rolling it around in his mouth a moment before giving voice. Apparently it seems to satisfy him as he presses on, "What cares could you or I have that would be so dire as to cast your features low?" He takes another sip from his solo cup, swirling around the concoction for a time before swallowing. He cants his head at her quizzically, almost like a curious canine as he murmurs, "For you realize we are young, and immortal, and the night is crazy alive."

He glances towards the surging tumult of humanity even as people start to leap and bounce up and down as the music picks up to a steadily building point, the drum machine rolling its rhythm and then the bass dropping to assault the crowd with the loud power of the song.

It's only after the next thirty seconds that he can go on, smiling the while as those crimson eyes hold hers. "Has your roommate unfriended you? Did the local coffee house decline to accept your frequent buyer card?" Perhaps he's trying to make light… but then again something about the edge of his features might seem like he's making fun of her as well. Or trying to crack a joke… but not a nice one.

Blink is so very … new. If it's so obvious to him, maybe her response won't surprise him.

She laughs.

She laughs because she doesn't see the malice, however faint, that turns a joke into a taunt, blind to it, maybe stupidly so. Or maybe she does and she ignores it, so determined to step away from everything she's leaving alone tonight that she'd rather not let anything shake her from her respite.

"Ah, to be a young mutant with such silly problems, mmm?" A sip from her beer. Less of a face this time, but she does shudder. "GODS will this ever stop tasting like Satan's butthole?" she laments.

When she laughs, she is probably unaware, but he finds this instantly charmnig. So often he encounters people who take themselves and matters so seriously that when he even tokenly impugns their ego or their life… well then it's all up in arms with righteous indignation.

So when she laughs, he laughs as well, as she disarms his casual barb and he shakes his head. "The other drinks taste better, more like… punch. But again, I think that one has everclear in it, the other vodka?" Alexander looks towards the two containers, trying to recall what was said. But he shakes his head and waves it off.

"So if you don't mind the off chance that you will utterly lose control of yourself, the other drinks at the least taste way better." And as he says that she might notice his back is towards the crowd somewhat.

It's in that moment that he's turned away that Blink might notice the approach of that young man in the orange danger jacket, one of the organizers.

"Hey man!" His voice precedes his arrival by a good handful of seconds, but then he gets up to both of them. He's shorter than Alex, but taller than her. He has one of those patchy unkept beards that has become a trademark of a generation and is wearing a backwards baseball hat that hides his long hair in part.

"Hey man! I talked to Tiff, are you Alex?"

Claire is shaking her head rapidly at the mention of stronger drinks. "Nope. No. No thank you. Uh uh," she replies laughing, tugging on a curl nervously, bouncing on the balls of her feet in time to the music. Her eyes flick to the man approaching, her smile melting as she recognizes the gait and shoulders of an agitated person. She doesn't flinch but she does go tense, her brow furrowing a little as she wonders over a possible escape route and the size of Alex in case she needs to bring him with her, all the other little tips and tricks Betsy has been drilling in her head.

"Uh oh," she mutters.

Turning around smoothly, Alexander seems so entirely at ease and is all smiles. He's got that manner of someone a touch high and enjoying it even if he wasn't displaying such a moment ago. His voice lifts over the steady thumping of the music, "That's me!" He says this with an easy cheerfulness that serves as strong counterpoint to the young man's agitation.

Paul, Tiff's friend apparently steps up. "She said you had it covered, but you're Alex Alex? Like that guy that came around last weekend?"

"Very possible." Alex's response is easily given even if it doesn't reach his eyes, though really with such glowing orbs how can one tell? And those eyes do seem to cause the young man some manner of discomfort.

"Yeah well, she's sorta my girlfriend, man!"

"Oh?"

"Yeah we live together!"

"She didn't mention you."

Which, of course, serves to entirely not calm Paul's nerves.

Claire hides her smile behind her beer, trying not to laugh loud enough for the distraught Paul to hear. Her eyes crinkle up and she pointedly turns away, losing herself to dancing in the music, -determined- to not call attention to herself. Which, yes, is a little weird in this situation. Maybe the beer is finally getting to her.

"Maybe you and your mutie friends can piss the fuck off!" Is the next response, which suddenly casts things in an entirely less comedic light. And there's a hint of an edge to Alexander's words as he responds, though his posture has hardly changed, what with him still holding the solo cup in one hand.

"Actually, I am not what you'd call a mutant. And I don't know if she…" He glances towards Blink then back at Paul. "If she's a mutant, I hadn't asked her yet. Also I am not sure if we're friends yet. I think acquaintances…" He looks towards Blink as if seeking a nod of confirmation. Whether or not he gets it he still answers, "Yes, acquaintances."

Then he straightens up a bit, lording his extra two inches over the fellow as he says, "Be that as it may, however. I mislike your tone, mortal." A sort of formality enters his words once again, his subtle outline seeming to become just a touch more real. As if the concert was just in the background and everything else was just a backdrop for the young Olympian. "It mispleases me for you to offer casual and damning insult for your misunderstanding of reality. It lends my mind to wandering of what individuals you must spend time amongst, that you would not fear beating for such words."

To which Paul's response is to shake his head, "Look, fuck you buddy. Twenty bucks, for you and the pink chick!"

The word 'mutie' lets fly and Claire's bubbly nature bleeds out of her. She was involved in a riot last week that got violent, and while she's -fine-, she's still a bit gun shy about how this whole real world thing works.

Still, when he looks her way her lips twitch up into a smile, nodding once in confirmation, one shoulder amending it with a shrug to say, 'hey, I think so' without putting too much pressure on the gesture. She catches the change of cadence, taking another sip, steeling herself mentally for what's to come, be it escape, fight, or something else. She's already putting down her beer.

"For shame, sir." Alexander says this most damningly in his haughtiest of voices. "Come madame, we shall depart." And as he says this he turns on a heel and offers his arm towards Claire, as if to allow them both to storm out in an ever so displeased manner.

Yet Paul is not inclined to leave go so easily. "Twenty bucks, man, for what you and the gal drank! Or I'll go get Tony and the bouncers!"

To which Alexander sort of smiles as he looks back over his shoulder, even surreptitiously sneaking another bottle off the table and flipping it almost casually to Blink as he tells the man. "Go ahead and get them, get them all."

And then he leans to the side to whisper to Blink, "Let's beat feet."

Her eyebrows shoot straight up into her hair line at his whisper, before giving him a bright, near feral grin. "Beat feet? Who -says- that anymore?" she whispers, her hand tucking into his elbow from behind him.

"I got this," she tells him. "I've been practicing." And then there's that feeling of the world folding around them, a blanket of reality, and the sound of energy slamming into itself with a unique, resounding *BLINK*. Her aim is getting better, they reappear around the corner of the public bathrooms, out of the way with no one to see them save a pair of very, very, very distracted youngsters necking against a wall.

Appearing in that blink of reality, Alexander's eyes widen a bit and he looks around curiously. His lips part in that wry smile and he gives voice to a low laugh, so perhaps not to disturb the necking folks nearby. He gives her hand a small squeeze even as he pushes away from the wall, taking a step back and turning to look at her.

"Lovely way to travel," His voice is a touch subdued even as he moves back and away, giving her some small space. "I can see you have some surprises about you, Claire. And here I just thought you might have been some escaped demon from Limbo or sommich."

She beams at him, though her cheeks go dark from a glance at the couple. She peers about and tilts her head in a direction away from the bathrooms and the oblivious teenagers.

"That's the only surprise," she chirps, eyes crinkling as she smiles."I can't really do anything else. Just teleport! And not far. Kurt Wagner says I'll get better with time, and so does Betsy, but…." she shrugs. She's not modest, she's just very aware of her limitations. "Practice makes perfect." They aren't far from where they started, maybe 100 yards or so?

"Where to now, Alexander?" she asks brightly.

"Coffee, I know a place a few blocks down." And as he says this he slides his hands into his pockets and together they start to walk away from the crowd, the tumult, and the chaos.

The stroll out of Central Park didn't take too terribly long. As they departed they could feel the music recede as if it were slowly sliding down off of their backs, like some reluctant rhythmic demon misliking the loss of a pair of souls in their flight. Yet the two seemed to pay the rave no nevermind, as they strolled along and chit-chatted about inconsequential things, about what passed moments ago, and about 'kids these days, gawl'.

But then they reached the ubiquitous corner 24-hour diner and paused at the door just after they'd crossed the street from the park. Alexander held the door for her and she preceded him in. Naturally they got looks, doubletakes from the… three other people in there, considering one was a pink girl and the other was a fellow with red eyes. But at this time of night they've assuredly seen stranger.

Lifting a hand in greeting to the lone waitress on duty, Alex strolled over towards a well-lit booth that gave them both a clear view of the park across the street as well as the distant concert they left behind. Though at this distance all they could see were the tree tops and the bright lights escaping the canopy, little else.

"How do you take your coffee? Do you even drink coffee?"

Scooting into her seat, Claire is a little startled by his question, a giggle escaping her as she settles in.

"Coffee would be great," she tells the waitress when she approaches. "Cream and sugar, thank you." The giggle, though, is also a sign of how nervous Claire is, out in the open, face bare, green eyes darting about anxiously to take in the other customers and the moving shape of the waitress. She swallows dryly and does her best to hide what she's feeling.

"That's a … strange question," she laughs. "Why wouldn't I drink coffee?" She leans forward, whispering, "Do you still think I'm a demon?" She tosses her hoodie onto the seat next to her, forcing herself to ignore the impulse to pull it back on.

Sliding fully into that booth and resting a shoulder against the window somewhat, he props a shoe upon the seat next to him as he sprawls oh so leisurely. Alexander smiles across the way at her and responds easily enough, "Jury's still out. You might be, but I rarely have heard a demon giggle." Then his brow furrows ash his gaze distances, "Well, except once." But he does not elaborate.

Of course it takes little time for the waitress to return with their cups of coffee and she asks them if they want anything else. To which Alexander replies, "A plate of fries, please." Once she departs, the young Olympian returns his attention upon Blink.

"That is a remarkable talent you have, by the bye."

Blink might be naive, but she has the look of someone who doesn't believe a word out of this man's mouth. If he even is a man. "Demons don't exist," she insists. "If they exist then angels would have to, too. And gods." She takes a sip of her coffee, sighing as the heat ripples through her. Wonderful.

"Talent?" she asks, blinking owlishly at him for a moment. Talent. Oh! "Oh, you mean the … teleporting?" Her expression turns sheepish and for a moment, she simply looks at her coffee, stirring it with a spoon as she adds more cream. "Eh. It's .. something. I've only just recently worked a better handle on it. It can be dangerous but now, I can actually take people with me. That wasn't always the case." Magenta brows draw in, her expression troubled. "It used to hurt people."

"Well," Alexander picks up his coffee cup casually and holds it in both hands, pursing his lips and blowing across the surface for a moment to waft the steam away. Those dark red eyes meet her gaze as he replies, "Any talent needs to be exercised to become more effective. Probably came to you when you hit puberty and you've only had like, what, a month or two to practice?"

At that casual teasing, Alex's lip twitches with the hint of a wry smile. He then chooses that moment to take a sip of his coffee and then sets it down upon the tabletop with a faint glassy clink. "But, you should know that demons and all are real. I mean…" His gaze lifts as he tries to consider how best to explain it,

"You know that magical people are around, right? I mean there are some on the Justice League."

Her head ducks at his casual reference to the most traumatizing moment of her life, the color draining from her soft cheeks until they're more of an orange color. It's subtle, though, he probably wouldn't notice. She tries to shift gears, forces herself to smile.

"I am twenty years old, thank you. And I've … had this -ability- since I was 17." She destroys the implication that she's older than she looks by sticking her tongue out at him. But she is speaking the truth. "And honestly… I've been out of the world for a spell," she mumbles, sipping her coffee. "Magical people? I mean, I heard stories when I was a kid, but I never really believed in it. I didn't even know anyone around me -was- a mutant until…. well." There's a shrug and she's averting her eyes and taking another sip of coffee, looking out the window.

Lips parting in a slow silent 'ohh', Alexander gives her a nod and perhaps in some part might redeem himself in her eyes despite his mean comment, as he elaborates. "Well, my dear Claire." He begins, "You have become embraced by a brave new world with wide variety and great design."

It's at that moment when the tray of fries arrive and they're not particularly great looking fries, a bit greasy, probably frozen and deep fried recently. At least they're warm and there's always ketchup. Yet they're enough for him to keep his hands busy with while he talks, picking one up now and again, swirling it into the small paper container of ketchup on the side, then popping it into his mouth. "There are mutants in the world, and they are beings of exquisite variety. Essentially humanity but with a twist. Yet there are also those from other planets and some would say dimensions, those are your outsiders and travellers. Demons could be considered one such a thing. Aliens another. Some good, some bad."

He uncurls a hand to the side, gesturing casually as if dismissing his own words. "But then again I could be wrong. I don't think I am, but still."

Lips parting in a slow silent 'ohh', Alexander gives her a nod and perhaps in some part might redeem himself in her eyes despite his mean comment, as he elaborates. "Well, my dear Claire." He begins, "You have become embraced by a brave new world with wide variety and great design."

It's at that moment when the tray of fries arrive and they're not particularly great looking fries, a bit greasy, probably frozen and deep fried recently. At least they're warm and there's always ketchup. Yet they're enough for him to keep his hands busy with while he talks, picking one up now and again, swirling it into the small paper container of ketchup on the side, then popping it into his mouth. "There are mutants in the world, and they are beings of exquisite variety. Essentially humanity but with a twist. Yet there are also those from other planets and some would say dimensions, those are your outsiders and travellers. Demons could be considered one such a thing. Aliens another. Some good, some bad."

He uncurls a hand to the side, gesturing casually as if dismissing his own words. "But then again I could be wrong. I don't think I am, but still."

Blink gives a delicate shrug, propping her chin up on her hand as she considers his words. "Anything is possible, Alexander," she relents, eyes unfocused. "I've met people from other dimensions, so I suppose … it's not too far off to imagine there are worlds layered atop worlds with demons in them too." Green eyes focus on him again and she gives him a small smile. "But just not me."

She steals a bit of ketchup with her finger, so fast it -had- to be a teleporter's trick, but it's hard for even her to know. "What about you?" she asks, tilting her head, suddenly realizing she has no idea what he is. "You're a mutant. Aren't you?"

Scritching his chin with a fingertip, Alexander looks upwards, one eye scrunching up as if he were giving her question a particular weight in its answering. Those eyes lower again as he remains slouched there in the booth, looking entirely too at ease and comfortable for someone so recently at a supremely loud concert and strolling around past midnight in the world's (arguably) grandest city.

"Well, that depends on how you define it. Some folks have told me that in essence my family might be one of the first mutants of a sort. But I don't think that's true. It does seem to be related to blood a bit, but also there's a measure of ritual to it." It is fairly hard at times for Alexander to convey exactly how he ended up being who he is, but then again he's also had some bad experiences with just blurting it out. Best to be cagey.

She points her coffee spoon at the adonis across the table from her, her eyes narrowing a little. "You are dodging the question, Alexander," she accuses. "Are you a mutant, or aren't you? I mean, there's definitely something different about you but I can't … put my finger on it. Unless being extraordinarily handsome and pretentious is a mutant-ability." Her eyes crinkle over the rim of her cup as she takes another sip. For whatever reason, maybe it's the concert or being out in public like a normal girl, Claire feels a little fearless. And also, if he can prod at -her- sore points, she can tease him when he's being vague. Right? Right.

In answer to her casual jape, Alexander's lip twitches as his eyes narrow with mock indignance. He heaves a short chuff of breath as if harumphing as he looks to the side, but then snares another fry as he looks back. "No, the pretentiousness came later."

Yet it's fair to say that he was dodging the question. He looks down at his cup of coffee, casually clinking a spoon against its base as if giving further thought to her answer. Having settled on a form of explanation, he continues. "I'm not a mutant. If you checked my DNA it would not seem too terribly out of the ordinary… sequence-wise." He lifts a hand from the tabletop slightly, fingers opening as if tossing his own words aside before he continues.

"I am as you see because my father, primarily." He hrms for a moment, "He comes from another sort of alternate dimensional place of refuge. Decided to leave and try his hand at a normal life here. He met my mother, they had me, and because of who he is, I am who I am."

He squints a bit to the side as if it pains him, but then he looks back at her. "If you saw him you probably wouldn't know him. But he used to go by the name Ares, or Mars. From Olympus."

Her eyes instantly narrow, still playful but at the same time … still serious. She looks him over again, considering his words. She considers being angry, accusing him of taking advantage of her attitude, but… Maybe it's the coffee. Or that continued edge of fearlessness.

"You're saying … you're a god." She sips her coffee. She might as well be saying, 'you're a plumber'. "Alright then. Prove it." The words are out of her mouth and she realizes she didn't ask what he's supposed to be the god -of-.

A small smirk flickers into place at the corner of his mouth as he looks back at her with those crimson glowing eyes. He gives a small shake of his head and says quietly, "That wouldn't be any fun." He takes up his cup of coffee again and takes a sip, holding it in both hands. "Since he is my father, that makes me Phobos. God of fear. Me purview is not one that can easily be whipped out for parties."

He lowers the cup, then scritches his chin thoughtfully. "Though if you were afraid of spiders I could make it so you're not afraid of them. But you see, not something that is suitable to being out and about really."

Her head tilts as she looks at him anew, brow furrowing deeper. Her own fears run through her head, the obvious ones and the ones she knows she'll never master. Her teeth worry at her bottom lip as she considers this. "Are you immortal, then?" she asks at last, propping her chin up on her hand again. "Are you like, three thousand years old?"

"Ah, interesting question that," To him at least, "I am immortal, yes. I'll stop aging in a few years I believe, it's very difficult for me to get hurt or killed." But then Alexander holds up a fingertip and replies, "However, I am twenty… two at the moment. I believe." He tilts his head to the side as he considers.

"My father had another son who had the role of Phobos. But he died during a war, and so the mantle fell to me when I was of an age." He leaves out the whole part about him 'dying' and returning to life at the behest of various family members, but best not to overcomplicate matters.

At this point, Blink just looks confused. She opens her mouth to ask a question, closes it, opens it again and raises a finger and then… loses the thought again. "But.. wait. I…" she tries, but just… doesn't understand. "You.. inherited the position of Fear from your … brother?"

Starting to answer Blink, Alexander opens his mouth and murmurs, "Well, sort of. You see there was this war with the Japanese Pantheon when I was… ten…" But then the words trail off as he sees the look of puzzlement and confusion on her features. His lip curves amused and then there's a faint, 'bzzzzt' from his pocket.

One finger lifts as if asking her to bide a moment as he fishes out a small black phone from a pocket on his arm. He zips the pocket back closed, flicks the screen on the phone on… then smiles a bit. A moment passes as he thumbs out a message in response then turns his gaze towards her, "A friend of mine is going to wander by, do you mind?"

Alexander smirks back at the phone and the response upon it, but then sweeps it shut with the brush of a thumb before placing the datapad back into his pocket. "No, she's not." Then there's a beat as he pauses and looks sidelong, "Well, sort of." Again his brow furrows as he murmurs, "It's complicated." And with that he gives her what might actually be a small wry smile.

"Hey, gimme a sec, gonna go wash my hands. I'll be back directly," Having said that he places his hands upon the tabletop and slides himself out of the booth. Tilting his head at her as he gains his full height he adds, "If you're hungry feel free to order something, my treat." That having been said he makes his way to the washroom, strolling along easily enough, pulling the door open and disappearing inside.

It's a balmy summer night in New York City so Jesus' great, great…great, great granddaugher was out enjoying the air…in a non-professional way. For some reason she got the idea to text Phobos. Perhaps to apologise for having to skip his party when she was left all alone with the Gods and Goddesses. An invitation to coffee was not what she expected.

Thankfully when the dark haired woman shows up she is not in armour and cloak and laden with weapons. Instead it is a simple sweatpant and t-shirt combo. Along with the bottle of water in her hand it would suggest she has been out jogging - her long hair tied back in a pony tail. She stops outside the diner and…no sign of him. Has he stood her up and they're not even on a date?

Blink taps her fingers on the table, more out of idle patience than actual boredom. Pink skin, magenta curls, bright, glowing green eyes, she's gonna stand out in a place like this. She turns her head as the door opens, taking in the new-comer and wondering if …? That was pretty fast though. She'd hate to assume. And yet. Hmm.

"Looking for someone?" she chirps, eyes crinkling with good humor and kindness.

It doesn't take too terribly long, but after a handful of moments Alexander emerges from that men's room, pushing a hand through his hair and taking a moment to gauge himself in the mirror, a brief glimpse at vanity before he starts to make his way back up the single aisle of that old timey diner.

He heads back towards Blink, and in that stroll he espies Magdalena. A smile appears and he gives the young woman a small wave as he steps to the door, opening it for her and then gesturing with the sweep of his other hand. "Join us, please." He steps back.

"Yes, thank you" Magdalena smiles to the lovely young woman who spoke to her. "Alexand…" And there he is. Being all gallant again. "Us? I hope I'm not interrupting anything." She looks between the two of them before reluctantly heading inside and finding a chair to pull over. Magdalena offers her hand to Blink. "Hello, I am Maria. Are you sure it is okay if I join you?" Her voice has a faint Italian accent though she looks more South American.

Blink beams at the other woman, shaking her hand and nodding. "No, please join us." She kicks her legs excitedly, the five foot nothing woman not quite able to reach the floor from her seat in the booth. "So Alexander says you're a god too?" she chirps. Yup. Absolutely without fear. Or guile.

A squinty-eyed glance is shot at Blink, but then he awaits Magdalena to take a seat before he slides into the booth next to her. He clears his throat once settled and then tells them both openly, "Actually, I said it was complicated." He glances a sidelong apology towards the scion, then looks back towards Blink.

"Maria, I would like to present to you Claire. Claire, this is my good friend, Maria." Introductions having been made, he goes on to defend himself. "Maria, I had the pleasure to make Claire's, or Blink's as she likes to be called, acquaintance at the gathering in the park this evening." He gestures with his eyes towards Central Park that's across the way.

He looks to Blink as he relates the tale of their meeting. "She seemed out of sort, shared a drink with me, but then was given some small measure of a hassle by an individual. So we departed to have some coffee."

He then turns to Blink, "Claire, Maria is a young woman who I find myself terribly intrigued by, yet I have gone on to invite her to a family gathering and then promptly ignored her most of the evening as I tended to my uncle's wishes. I am amazed she called me back."

"I am amazed too" Magadalena admits in a teasing tone to Alexander's words. Blink's words though have her laughing softly. "No, I am not a God" she smiles before leaning towards Blink to whisper, "And neither is he." A nod towards Alexander before she settles back into her seat. "If you go back in my bloodline long enough then you encounter Jesus Christ. /The/ Jesus Christ. So I am a descendent of His and His blood runs through my veins." Apparently with Blink it is okay to be open about such things and not pretend to be a lbrarian at diocese. "I am sorry to hear about your harrasser. They haven't stalked you or anything?" She glances out the diner to check for shady looking individuals.

Blink is even more lost now, and she opens her mouth again to ask a question. And then doesn't. "Um. You two are…? Wait. Are you two a couple?" she asks, fishing off her coffee and waving the waitress down for another, and then looking pointedly at Maria.

"Did you want something? It's Alexander's treat," she adds, turning to beam at the not-god sitting across from her. "I think he insisted." Her green eyes spark mischief and impish delight, just like the demon he originally suggested she was.

"We weren't followed. It'd be pretty hard for a regular human to follow me around." It's not said with pride or false modesty, just … simple truth.
Blink is also dressed like she was at a concert, in a light green dress that's sleeveless and full around the skirt, and calf-high boots that are absolutely adorable. She may have stolen them from her self-adopted sister, Betsy Braddock, so you know it's in good taste.

As Magdalena denies his divinity, Alexander reasserts it by mouthing towards Blink a silent response of, 'Yes, I am.' but then when Maria should glance at him his countenance is a thing of utter innocence, albeit feigned.

Leaning to the side, Alexander reaches for the plate of french fries that has been nibbled at since it arrived. "We've gone out a few times, and I do entirely have designs on her. But I think right now we're mainly decent friends who would leap to the aid of the other in the most dire circumstances." He shoots a glance at Maria as if knowing there's some element of teasing in his words, but at ease enough to make such comments.

"Though, to be fair, I do owe her an apology. We had this shindig and I got involved with some craziness… then I looked up and she was gone." So he looks towards Maria, "I do apologize for that, please forgive me."

"A couple?" Maria looks slightly stunned at that idea…well…more than slightly. "Umm…no…not a couple." At least Blink didn't think she was a nun so that's an improvement! She nods along to Alexander's evaluation of their non-relationship. "Friends…yes" she smiles, totally ignoring the 'designs on her' bit. A waitress to save the day!

"Could I have a freshly squeezed orange juice with a hint of pineapple and a slice of lime, please" Maria orders before turning back to the wonderfully dressed young woman. "Regular human? Should I ask if you are a god?" she teases before shaking her head to Alexander. "No need to apologise. That Pantheon have always had a hectic lifestyle. It was nice to meet them all…or some of them. I'm afraid I had to leave after satyr asked me to blow on his pipe."

Blink has to laugh at that last bit about the pipe, even as her pink cheeks flush ruby. "Oh… oh my!" she snickers.

"I don't know what such a party would look like. OH, would my eyes melt out of my skull if I looked directly at anyone?" Her head whips around the Alexander, suddenly considering, "Wait. Are you full god or part human?" she asks, gesturing at him with a finger. Then she turns to Maria.

"Can you turn water to wine? I bet that'd get you invited to -all- the parties!"

Spreading his hands open as if utterly apologetic for the satyr's behavior, Alexander looks utterly amused however. He looks to the waitress and says lightly, "I'm fine as I am, thank you." Then turns his attention away so that the others can order further if they so wish.

"Well, it's hard to explain. There are two levels to such things…" He looks at Magdalena, as if expecting her to head him off at the pass, but then he presses on. "I wasn't Phobos until I was around ten or eleven. Since then I have aspects to myself that are decidedly connected to my role as that particular piece of divinity, but I still am mainly just Alexander, or myself and all." He gives a small shrug.

"Told you he wasn't a God" Maria winks to Blink after Alexander's little comment at the end before shaking her head to the other woman. "No. I can't turn water into wine. I tend to just go to parties with plenty of wine already. Much easier that way." Her brow furrows. "Eyes melt…" She looks over at Alexander. "What have you been telling this poor woman?"

Blink starts to get -really- excited. "No no, in the old myths there was talk of the gods being too grand and glorious to look at. -Obviously-, that is not the case here with Alexander, but, the others, that has me wondering!" Oh, she's making fun of the poor, poor Phobos.

As she opens her mouth to pester them both with more questions, there's a buzz from the pocket of her jacket. "Oh, sorry!" she bleats, pawing for the phone stashed away, pulling it out. "Damn, it's Betsy. Hold on, I'm so sorry…."

She answers the phone with a timid 'hello', and is immediately answered with an angry squawk. "Betsy! Hi, ah… Yes, no I'm fine I'm-" More squawking. Blink tries not to wince. "No, I'm sorry I worried you. I went to the concert in central park. The techno shindig. Yes. Yeah! I'm at a coffee place with some nice people, it's been fun." Her brow furrows as she listens to the tirade pouring into her ear, and after about two minutes, she looks apologetic at Alexander and Maria. She covers the mouthpiece. "Um. I think I might have to go," she says with a wince.

A casual elbow is given to Magdalena, almost as if on accident, but it's a playful thing but curious how at ease he is with the other woman. Alexander looks across the table even as she gives him heck, but then her phone buzzes and he politely gives her the silence needed to speak upon it.

Once she's finished, however, he gives the young woman a nod. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Claire. Perhaps we'll meet another time." He stands up should the young woman makes movements of departure. "If your googlefu is decent you might be able to find me again." His lip twitches lightly, amused at himself for some reason.

Magdalena stays quiet as Blink deals with her phone call. Thw squawking noise coming out of the phone causes her to quirk one brow curiously. "Is Betsy a nun?" she asks softly as it certainly reminds her of the haraunging she got from a Mother Superior once. But it looks like the other woman has to go. "It was lovely to meet you, Blink. I hope you enjoyed your concert." Techno? So it probably sounded like the squawking coming out of the phone. "Drop by the church sometime."

Blink is waving happily, grabbing her stuff and pulling on her coat as she stands by the table, phone sandwiched between her ear and her shoulder a she continues to listen to her mentor scold her. She's not rolling her eyes too much, her face puckering a little with worry; the source of her true worries, this woman. She covers the mouthpiece again.

"Lovely to have met you both!" she whispers, waving again, turns on her heel and *BLINKS* away, teleporting in a soft explosion of pink energy that leaves sparks in the air after she's gone. Hopefully most of the diners weren't paying attention. And maybe the waitress not looking their way.

"Poor kid," Alexander says once the motes of light fade from view. He looks sidelong towards Magdalena and smiles easily enough, "She seemed so lost and so entirely out of sorts. I felt this almost instinctive… protective vibe." He shakes his head and scoops up another fry as he shakes his head, "Ah well."

Then he meets Magdalena's eyes and grins with a hint of amusement in those glowing eyes. "S'good to see you."

Magdalena was all ready to stand and give a polite nod to the departing Blink when she just…blinked…out of existence. "Oh. That is what she means by a 'normal human' not being able to catch her." She settles back down as the waitress arrives to hand over her drink. A sip before she smirks back at Alexander. "You could have seen me for a whole evening…a party even. And I dressed up!" It is only teasing 'anger' at least. "How have you been? I see that your gift at finding pretty young ladies is still working."

A small sigh is given as he shakes his head, "Believe me, I would have preferred to spend time with you than my uncle, no matter how amusing he can be." Alexander leans to the side to get a better angle on the plate of fries, "I was heartbroken when I finally got free and you had departed. Though, to be fair, I couldn't blame you a’tall. It can be fairly overwhelming for the first time."

With that said he crinkles his nose at her and then adds, "Sometimes it is not entirely a gift." He shakes his head and tilts his gaze sidelong, "You should have seen her, almost like some waif wandering about with wide eyes and a luminous smile. This one fellow called her the M-word, though I think he was more mad at me." He shakes his head.

"The 'M' word?" Magdalena's brow furrows - the only bad word called a woman alone at night she can think of that starts with an 'M' is…Magdalena. It's so nice to have your name be a synonym for prostitute. "She does have a nice smile" she shrugs, "But that does not mean you take advantage of them, Alexander. By all means help her if she needs it but inviting her to dinner? It's almost as if you set up her stalker yourself." A beat. "I am teasing. And you were heartbroken? Hmm…somehow I doubt that. But thank you for the sentiment."

Crinkling his nose at her, Alexander's feathers get a bit ruffled, "It was to coffee, and she teleported us away from the fellow who was haranguing us. So seemed safe enough, no real threat just… an anti-mutant fellow." But considering the Purifiers of late… perhaps he did handle it poorly. He hms to himself and frowns.

"In any case, I was entirely heartbroken." His smile shifts a touch wry as he looks at her sidelong, offering her one of the choice long fries from the plate should she wish a taste. "Here I had expected to spend the evening with a lovely young woman, but instead I spend it with a jovial old uncle. No comparison."

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