People Food And Magic!

September 07, 2015:

Esme tries pizza for the first time. She and Clint foil the dark mage who woke her in his second attempt at capturing the living gargoyle-without leaving his apartment.


Apartment buildings on a quiet street.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It's two hours after dawn and Esme is just waking. She slowly rises from the low crouch she'd assumed before turning to stone and unfurls her wings while she stretches and yawns. Her eyes go to Clint's windows across the street as soon as they open. When she doesn't seem him she reaches for her night gown and manages to get it back on without damaging it further. Much. It's so fragile. She's not feeling threatened or alarmed at the moment so she's still appearing human, aside from the wings and bits of metal. The strange stone quality of her skin hasn't reappeared yet. Esme glances across the street again. Maybe she should have landed over there. She'd barely made it back to this building before the sun came up though.

Clint is home. He doesn't habitually keep his windows open though. And his apartment is a bit of a mess truth be told. It often is. Kate calls it the Bed-Stuey. Which is… probably appropriate. He has a bit more time to clean these days and… sometimes he uses it.
Breakfast today is cold pizza. Which is a better breakfast than it sounds not the least of which because he doesn't even have to go through the trouble of warming it up.

Esme sees movement across the street. He is home! She peers over the side of the building and looks below. There are cars driving by occasionally and even people walking but none of them seem to be looking up. If she can time it just right.. then maybe no one will notice? It doesn't occur to her to simply go downstairs and use the door. She just wants to get a bit closer. Maybe peer in the window. She's so excited though that she forgets, she doesn't have her claws when she's soft skinned. She can't stick to the stone either. She's across the street and hovering in front of one of Clint's windows with a growing expression of panic when she does remember. "Oooh nooo!" What should she do?? Fly up?, land? or hide? Maybe all three.

Clint is oblivious to a lot sometimes. But he kind of can't miss the shadow in front of his window and the flapping and then the sort of panicked noises and the 'Oh no'. That voice sounds familiar. So familiar in fact… "Esme?" Yep there she is. Clint sighs and stuffs the slice in his mouth before going to open the window. "Get in here. QUick. WHat are you doing out there?"

She scrunches herself up easily enough and manages to get inside without breaking anything. Esme brings her wings in as close as possible and then sits on the floor. She knows she's too big and he let her in! She doesn't want to mess anything up. "I.. I was trying to look. To make sure you were okay. I .. I forgot that I can't hold onto the wall like this." She waves a very normal looking hand about before clutching her knees to her chest. She looks and sounds very flustered and she's blushing furiously and that is only alarming her further because why is her skin hot?! Is it a sickness?

"Uh, no I guess you can't." It's kind of creepy to think that she just wanted to look in on him. But then also kind of nice in a puppy dog kind of way. "Well I'm here. Got in late last night and slept in a bit. I was just having some pizza." He waves toward a plate of cold pizza slices on the table with a beer. Breakfast of champions, that. "Want some?"

Esme looks looks over at the table. She's just tall enough sitting to see the beer but doesn't recognize the can as a beverage holder. The gargoyle gets on her knees and carefully crawls over to the table. She is not going to touch his chair. She so did not mean to break that bench last night! "I didn't mean to!" She eyes the pizza and then Clint before gingerly lifting a slice and looking at it with wide eyes. "People food!" Her voice and expression are both more than a little awed. She takes a tiny, well, tiny for her, little bite. The intent look of concentration on her face while she chews might be kind of cute, or strange depending on how you look at it.
Clint watches Esme with amusement as he eats another slice. "How is it?" He's going to guess she hasn't eaten much regular food. And has never had pizza. Of the inventions of the 20th century, Pizza has to rank among the highest and the New Yorkers have elevated it to an art form. "So… how have you been? Adjusting… okay?"

It takes a few moments for her to answer that. This is people food! Her first people food! Aside from a small hard candy her last Master had given her. She doesn't remember that so well. "It's so soft! And.. and.." Esme trails off and looks bewildered. She doesn't know how to describe it. "Thank you!" She bounces a bit before settling back on her heels and poking at the pizza slice while she looks it over. "I went flying in the dark to look around. People found me." Her eyes get wide and she looks a bit frightened. "A woman who thought I was a demon and Astryd and a.. a man. He looked like a human but I wanted to fly away and hide when I saw him. Danger! I don't know why." That had been confusing. The gargoyle takes another bite of pizza, still with that intent expression.

"Ooooookaaaay… Well at least you're not hurt." She does look rather like a demon what with the bat wings and all. It's a good thing that she wasn't attacked or mistaken for one. Clint has heard there's been a lot of that going around. "DId you learn anything in particular?"

Esme swallows hastily. "The scary people have bigger things to worry about than me." She looks relieved. "I don't want to go back to sleep now. Or be unmade." The gargoyle fiddles nervously with the hem of her nightgown then pushes at the cheese on the pizza with one finger. Then she blinks and looks up at Clint, her eyes shining. "Look! I look like a human now! No claws, see?" She smiles delightedly. It's possible she's picked up on how she seems to make him uneasy at times. Or maybe she'd just been told that people wouldn't like her before and believes it. "Except for the wings." Which are still curled against her back. And the fact that she's still seven feet tall and has metal bits growing from her human skin like one of those crazy extreme piercing fetishishts, and purple eyes.

"You do… yeah except for the wings. And the metal." Clint's less nervous about her appearance than he is about her puppy-dog demeanour. It's like she literally was born yesterday. Which is a bit unsettling for a man used to dealing with extreme life or death situations. Every instinct tells him to keep her away from it. Except he doesn't think he'll be able to.

Esme blinks at him. Metal? Her eyes move to the side of her right arm and after she puts the last bite of pizza in her mouth she reaches over and touches it. There's more of course. The star on her forehead. The rings in her ears and protective covering over the spine and back of her neck. Similar little plates rise from various spots. Some seem to be in vital areas and others just randomly place. All of the metal has the same detailed scrollery though unfamiliar symbols etched into the surface. "It.. is for something." For something, but what? She doesn't remember. "I think. Maybe I will figure it out or remember later. I wh-" Esme stops talking mid word and freezes. Her eyes widen and expression of alarm and fear comes over her human features. Clint can see her skin start to change to her stoneform in some sort of instinctive response to danger. What that danger is though, is not immediately apparent.

Clint reaches over and flicks a finger on her arm. "Those, yeah." He cants his head, listening as she tries to remember something of her past. He's going to guess that the purpose is magical and like all magical things it's really quite beyond him. There really isn't any level of this that he's competent in. May might know but that's about it. Speaking of May… "Have you met an asian woman. Short. Angry all the time. No sense of humo- … are you okay?"

The metal feels strangely warm in contrast to the coolness of her skin when she's in stoneform. Esme's focus remains directed inwards for several moments as her skin hardens and changes color. She matches the outside color of his building now but still looks frightened and her wings are trembling where they are tucked against her back. "No short women." The gargoyle murmurs distractedly. She's supposed to do what she's told but her masters are dead and the one trying to call her now is not a good man. He reeks of fel energy and the dark side of the arcane. He isn't a demon though and she isn't supposed to fight humans. She had fought the ninjas attacking Clint but that had been confusion and instinct moments after she'd first woke. "He calls for me. I think… I think he is doing a very bad thing to bind me again! Esme doesn't know what to do!"
"Wait. Calls for you? Who calls for you?" Clint had only gotten the very basics of Esme's story and really isn't aware that one person can do that to another. Or to a construct in Esme's case. "Is there, uh, any way you can ignore him? Play loud music or something?"

"It is magic. Magic calling to me. To make me go to him and obey. Her eyes start to gleam brightly and the metal bits glow softly. She doesn't know exactly what the dark mage is doing. She hadn't been taught much more than what she needed to know to fight demons. "It is like he is here." Esme taps her head. "Like I am in his too…and he.. Ooh no." She shivers and looks horrified as she gets a glimpse of what is about to happen before the dark mage realizes the connection he's trying to forge is allowing her into his own mind as well and blocks her out. "He will kill her! A woman. She looked so scared!" Esme jumps to her feet and looks towards the window. "I don't know where! Not exactly.. the building I fell from you know where that is?" She asks Clint. Her wings are shaking and she's fighting not to unfurl them and go charging through his wall and.. do what she doesn't know.. something.

"Um. It's in Gotham." Which isn't close. Clint points away south. "Which is that way. Um It's not close. Are you going to… look do you…" Oy, he's going to hate himself for this. "Do you need help?"

Gotham. Yes, she remembers. The place with all of the statues she found comforting. Esme frowns. She won't be able to get there fast enough. "I cannot fly that fast! How can I save her if I can't get there in time? Even your fast carriage isn't enough. He will strike just before the sun rises I think. Kill her, capture me and then find me while I am frozen and helpless." She makes a soft sound of distress and her wings flutter a bit. If one were to think about it, it's probably obvious this dark mage isn't a genius. He might be a bit smarter than the average but that's it. He's failed once already and given up his plan before hand on the second try. If he's still in his apartment and keeping a captive there, a simple visit from the police should interrupt him well enough, save the woman and make this guy way easier to track down, but Esme doesn't know any of this.

"Do you remember any of the numbers or letters on the building?" Clint remembers the general area. He knows Esme can't read but she can probably draw. If he can just get a hint. "Or are there any numbers and letters in the vision? Something that can tell us where he is?" He'll make that 911 call if he can get an address. The archer goes and gets a paper and pen and sets them on the table.

Later she'll marvel at being offered a pen and paper. Drawing! Her! but right now she's too focused on remembering. She'd spent the morning and rest of the day a few buildings down and then had taken a closer look before leaving when it got dark. She remembers the building was on a corner and the markings on the sign. Edric St. Esme closes her eyes and counts. How many windows up was the one she'd fallen from? "Onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineteneleventwelvethirteen. It was on the thirteenth floor. The one with the broken window." And she'd broken the man's jaw so its likely they cops already know the place, if not what actually happened there.

"That'll do Esme." Clint makes a phone call. The conversation is brief and Esme isn't likely to understand it but when the archer puts the phone down again, he seems confident that the problem has been solved. "There. In about ten minutes he won't be able to hurt anyone. For a very, very long time."

Some of her distress fades into excitement. She can hear the voice on the other end of the phone! It must be more magic. She does follow the conversation easily. "Oh yes! She will be okay and Esme is still free! Thank you Clint! Thank you!" She bounces on her feet and claps her hands before taking a step closer and then Clint might have thought she was going to hug him but instead she looks a little a confused. She wants to do something but she isn't sure what. "I am really glad!" That still doesn't seem adequate but the gargoyle can't think of anything else but to smile.

"Look if it keeps you and someone innocent safe, it was my pleasure." And it hadn't been hard. It might have been had Esme not remembered enough detail to pinpoint the place. But she did and all's well in Clint's book. "Okay, I'm going to have to take care of a few things. Can you get out on your own?"

Esme nods. She's just as mobile while in stoneform. She's just a lot harder to harm. "Yes. Thank you so much. Esme is going to go back to her perch and stay there and be good!" She smiles again and can't help but make this silly looking little dance on her way back to the window because it expresses her joy. No one died and she's free! The bad man can't hurt her now. After peering outside for a moment to be sure no one is looking, Esme turns back and flashes Clint a grin. "Esme will be there if you need her!" Then she's gone and across the street settling herself in a spot where she can watch the street below. If he's still watching he might see her seem to just disappear as she camouflages herself against the stone wall.

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