Not very relaxed

February 22, 2016:

Superman and Meggan have some awkward pizza.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Avenging ain't easy, but it sure is fun! (Citation required.)

Meggan has probably been practicing with her powers on the downlow or, less cheerfully, doing secretarial duties or some other sort of 'helpy' thing, as she is full of enthusiasm and is relatively easily directed. But you have to take a break occasionally.

It is presently 3:10 in the afternoon at Geno's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant, which is the sort of pizzeria you can find at approximately every shopping center in the state of New Jersey. It has a less than perfect position relative to the street, and in fact it faces off on a slightly scenic if currently barren-looking woodlot. The place only has one employee on duty, who enjoyed serving an English woman two slices of onion and mushroom, an iced tea and a bag of spicy chips, and who is presently on the phone in the back with his girlfriend.

Probably his girlfriend.

Meggan went for a booth with the view from the front. What this means is that while some new arrival would have to come in through the door, there's nobody out in the front /to/ see a drop down from above if you're at all clever.

Meggan herself is reading a copy of the Daily News and eating a slice of the pizza. She's wearing sweat pants and a sweatshirt and no shoes because this is an incredibly casual environment.

Hopefully the new arrival's shoes won't make anyone else feel underdressed. They are just brown hiking boots though, but they ARE neatly tied. But otherwise, he's relatively casual, considering he isn't in a suit (of either type), just a very similar set of attire to the last time Meggan saw him, actually - shirt, worn jeans. There's a heavy burst of air that makes the front door of the restaurant jangle, the bell reacting to the 'wind' caused by a somewhat quick little landing.

But then a second jangle, as the muscular man pushes the door open, angling his head over some of the booth seatings towards Meggan with a smile. "Hello," Superman says, simply, as if this were entirely a normal thing that happens all the time.

Meggan looks up with a pleasant smile at the greeting, looks back down at her paper, but doesn't quite reach it. She raises her head again, looking startled. NOW she responds, though the pizza in her hand is about to drip its payload of toppings right onto the paper plate.

"oh! Hello! Well, ah, good afternoon! This isn't a secret base, is it?" (The man on the phone has not greeted the Man of Steel, even though the door made the electrical chime it's supposed to.) "Um—! Please, have a seat if you'd like!"

That's just as well, although the employee is missing out on some awesome news to tell his girlfriend. …Or whoever he's talking to.

"Secret base? If so, I don't know about it," Superman answers, with a curious glance around as if checking. "How's the food? Worth being a secret?" he questions in a similarly friendly tone, gesturing to the pizza that's oozing it's way off of the crust into a blob on her plate. He hesitates a little — which might be really interesting to watch, since his thought and emotional process is quick and might be hard to follow just from his expression — and then accepts having a seat, crossing his forearms on the table automatically.

Meggan considers and then wobbles her hand. "I've had better but also much worse. And it's three in the afternoon, you don't really get high tea quality around here." Speaking of which she opens her /iced/ tea, which is doubtless a defiant renounciation of all that Britain stands for. Then again, it's also tasty.

"I'd just wondered, I mean — Actually I suppose I don't know in the slightest. I suppose we can chat a bit more now that it's less crowded! If you'd like," and NOW she puts the pizza in her mouth so she /doesn't keep talking like an idiot to Superman/.

Superman doesn't seem bothered by her chatter either way, though he has a sort of vague smile. He's trying to determine if this is just her personality, or she's very very nervous, or both. "I don't mean to make you feel uncomfortable, if I'm doing that…." Superman says, sitting back in his chair a little, with a brief, slightly saddened smile. He doesn't like making people feel bad, in any form, and senses he may have unintentionally caused a lot of stress for her. "I spotted you as I was on the way past, and thought I'd stop in, see how you were. It is Meggan, right?" he asks. He has a sort of tired look under the smile. But this is normal, and a major reason why secret identities exist.

The answer is about eighty percent #1 and twenty percent #2. Meggan laughs a little but her mouth is full. Soon enough she's swallowed, and she takes a sip from her tea before gesturing forwards. "Oh, yes - ah, that's my actual name though, I don't really do the entire identity thing, since I don't have much of a family and I feel it's important… um."

She stops and composes her thoughts, which at least makes her face relaxed. What she says has a bit of the air of a quote, but a heartfelt one. "Since I'm a mutant, it's important to be myself and show that that's nothing awful."

Her head tilts to the side slightly. "D'you want something? I mean to eat, or drink or anything. I'm sorry if I sounded negative about it, it's quite good really -"

The counterman has looked over but is still on the phone. He does not recognize the spit-curl from a distance.

And no reason to, really, from the back of a head, lacking a red cape and so forth. Besides, a lot of recognition comes from… being what's expected. Sitting in a booth in a pizza place at 3pm doesn't cover usual places to expect such a person.

"My name is not that big of a secret. Kal-El," Superman offers to her, and the smile does reach his eyes. He does have family to protect: to the degree that he'll sidestep and imply he doesn't have a secret identity to reveal. Then again, he has one of the most massive targets on his back compared to any other superhero, perhaps THE most massive one.

"If I'm not intruding on you," Superman answers her invitation, with a softened, humble smile. He's not an arrogant sort to just shove himself into her meal expecting that it would be fine, and is alert for any cue that she would rather be alone.

"Please, no, you're completely fine," Meggan says, twisting around the plate to proffer the slice. "I've got chips anyway, I'm not going hungry." She grins a little more. "I could always get another if I wanted to, anyway."

OH MY GOD, she thinks to herself, DO NOT BRAG ABOUT YOUR ACTRESS SALARY TO SUPERMAN.

Externally she continues, "I know I must seem a little odd compared to the Captain and everyone. Honestly I didn't expect things to go this way but I'm glad I was able to really make a difference, even if everything got messy. I imagine you've had to deal with more than your share of messy situations!"

How much is this pair going to apologize and carefully circle neither saying the wrong thing to the other? Quite a bit more, as it seems, with Kal-El's blink and gesture of hand for her to keep her slice, "What? No no, I can order my own," he says, unwilling to take her food, but probably not for cootie concerns reasons.

"—-Odd? Hmh. I think your upbeat and infectuous positivitity is… well, refreshing, and attractive," he ends up with, directly complimenting, with a clear pleasure in his tone. And then kind of seems to have his own share of issues. WELL. That came out… awkward. "Your energy, your personality is." Hmmm. Still not ideal, still awful. "So yes, messy situations." Like the mess that just happened because… because.

He rubs his chin some with a few fingers, embarrassed, and looks over towards the counter, because an interruption would be great right about now.

Meggan has no idea herself. This is all sudden. When her other slice is declined she folds it crisply in half and bites into it. She seems to be listening to something.

Maybe the TV? The conversation? (Superman can definitely hear the other person on that line. They are arguing, if in a subdued way, over where the Netflix mailer is.)

No.

Meggan's cheeks color for a moment as she swallows what she'd been chewing on. "I - W-well, I haven't ever liked hearing 'infectuous' as well as I like it when you put it THAT way!" At which point she keeps going but at least she looks cheerful while doing it. "I mean - my job, the, job which I think got the Captain's attention and everything even if it didn't pan out, it's on a television show, you know, and it's set in a hospital, and sometimes I've had to say things about that. I'm really just a stuntwoman though, technically."

And this time she does NOT immediately freak out about saying something that isn't about the fate of the world to Superman.

"I imagine you don't get to just sit and relax very often, do you?" Meggan says.

Superman is relieved. And scraps trying to resolve it, just lets it go, as she clearly offers the opportunity to just roll right along. Perhaps she read it how it was originally meant: just that it was a good kind of Odd, in his opinion. He decides not to show interest… better she not know and feel uncomfortable.

As she went quiet, well. He's listening also — because he listened to that conversation a little, then further. And there's always something, always someone in need. She'll see it: see his attention go out the window as he focuses a little bit. It isn't annoyed reaction, but a sort of tension that he masks: a tension similar to someone that wasn't sure if they'd have to get up and run out of the room to handle something urgent. But something adjusts his reaction, and he calms. Regardless, he doesn't ignore her, blue eyes move back to her quickly. But it could clearly be read as 'Someone needs help …. no, it's handled.'

Which makes the coincidence of her next comment funny, and his brows twitch, and he releases a sudden easy laugh that melts a lot of his tension away. It's a warm expression that he should wear more often: a different quality of charisma from his steady Superman Stare. "….Never," he admits. But not in a sad way.

A missing Netflix mailer is not the end of the world, and it seems as if it is found around now anyway. Apparently it was sitting on top of the DVD player. ("That makes sense," says the counterman.)

Meggan takes another bite as she relaxes further. It's a bit of a feedback loop apparently; reduced tensions reduce her tensions and at this rate everything's going to be a relaxed puddle before long. Her brow furrows at that admission.

"If you ever need anyone to cover you for a bit so you can do something else or have a nap, please ask," Meggan then says, with all seriousness. She leans forwards to add in a lower voice, "No-one will even know. I don't know if I can do /every/thing you can do but I could fake it for a bit."

Superman tilts his head a little bit, with a little bit of an 'aw, it's cute' expression at her. Like that she did something or said something that's endearing. He doesn't do patronizing, it doesn't go there. "I get the feeling I must look terrible, everyone keeps suggesting I take breaks," he jokes, with another brief laugh. He drops his hand back against his other arm to lean forward in a similar motion to her secretive one:

"Be /yourself/, be an Avenger," he says gently. ".. what I really want to see… is that you, all of you, be heroes in your /own/ way. The more of us there are, the more we can do. I have a lot of faith in you guys, that I sometimes can rest. Or hear a call for help, and hear someone else answer it. That's…." he spreads his hands some, unable to form the words around that particular strong emotion of pride and hope.

It's powerful, to him, though. And being a part of others becoming heroes? Priceless.

Meggan takes in a deep breath, and is about to probably start babbling when she opts instead to take another bite out of her pizza.

"I'll be sure to do that," she says after she swallows.

She leans a little closer though to speak with conspiratorial ease. "I do mean it though, if it does come up. You just have to ask. If you're worried you'll put me in trouble, don't. I'm rather lucky that way."

BUT THEN she speaks more normally as she straightened. "You do feel a bit care-worn, I guess… I just felt so awful when you said 'Never' like that. It's like Ayn Rand in that book, not being able to put down the world." Well, she's in the right general neighborhood.

Superman smiles and nods at her, but, well. With much time spent with Superman in the future, she'll learn he'll never put someone else into danger before himself. One of his … quirks? Flaws? Best traits? It's arguable, probably.

"Well, the world needs holding," Superman says, with a brave, and very practiced, assured smile. He's very good at making people feel like they're safe, and intends to show that now. "I'll remember," he adds. Not that he'd ever call anyone in just to let him /relax/! That's a horrible reason!

"I'm only sorry that I was gone so long." …Understatement of the universe. There's a huge PIT of guilt around that. Bottomless, even. "But I'll make up for it." Also understatement. He'll kill himself trying to fill that bottomless pit, if it comes to it. "Don't worry about me, please," Superman requests, reaching out to attempt to drape a hand over hers and offer a brief, human squeeze. He doesn't want that. Her smile and upbeat personality… things like that are worth working overtime to keep.

Meggan feels the near occasion of that pit, but she has a way to veil her reaction as she feels the rather complex sensation. That way to veil it is…

Open her potato chips.

"Alright," she says, "I won't. It's a promise." And then a hand rests on hers! She colors faintly in the cheek and tries not to laugh, before turning her hand upwards and squeezing back the Hand of Steel. Naturally her grip is softer. But it's still firl.

"And if you've any pointers, too, do let us know."

The counterman hangs up. "Hey man, you here to pick up?" he calls at Superman. Still heedless.

Superman used zero strength in the hand squeeze. Completely human level, or even lighter, really. Super powers? He hasn't shown any in particular and certainly wouldn't do it there with an attempt to reassure.

He glances at her hand as she squeezes back, and flushes some. Whoooooops. A flare of interest, and nervousness that comes with being aware he's not good at that sort of thing. Which is masked by a chuckle. Well, maybe masked; she'll have a great view on how he actually feels due to the contact, no doubt. "Pointers? Right," Superman nods, amused. "I'm willing to assist with training or drills if the team needs it." Because of COURSE he is, he doesn't have anything else to do. Giving 110, he should get shirts for Team Workaholic.

"No, but I'll take a pepperoni slice," He calls over his shoulder, bemused by the worker…. and fine with it.

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