The Hardest Things

January 26, 2017:

Sofia and Peter meet under odd circumstances and end up in the cafe where Sofia works, discussing space and demons.

Bristol - Gotham

North of Gotham City across the Gotham River lies the storybook come to ife lands of Bristol with it's rolling hills, acres upon acres of peaceful farmland, rich pastures and lush woodlands.

Bristol is a stepping stone between New York City and Gotham itself along Interstate 98 before one reaches the Robert Kane Memorial Bridge that leads in to East End.

Within the attractive expanse of Bristol one can find Brentwood, an upper-class suburb, the Gotham Heights surburbia district and the very wealthy Crest Hill community. This wide strip of residential area is generally called the Palisades and much of it doesn't even fall within Gotham City limits, especially Crest Hill and Brentwood.

Brentwood Academy, the Palisades Country Club and the Gotham Cemetery can also be found here.


NPCs: Lou the Manager

Mentions: John Constantine, Doctor Strange, Groot, Rocket Racoon, Kitty


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Bristol is not usually the kind of place someone would find a person like Peter Quill. The self proclaimed Guardian would fit more with the denizens of East End than with high society. However, that is where he makes his home now, so high society must put up with him.

He doesn’t seem to care, so why should they? That’s his usual view of thing at least. For…just about anything.

Strolling down the sidewalk, he sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. Red leather jacket and his science fiction-esque outfit does not make for the trending fashion. Again, he doesn’t seem to care as he walks along whistling to himself slightly of tune as he listens to the battered old walkman tucked into his best. Occasionally singing along to what song that happens to be playing.

Yes. He’s one of those people.

But he is who he is, and in typical Quill fashion the rest of the world can deal with it however they want. He’s going to get lunch.

The only reason that one finds Sofia Strange in a neighborhood like this is because she passes through it on her way to work.

Dressed in a pair of black leggings, a lack leather miniskirt, a red and grey print shirt and a ladies black leather jackets with the sleeves pushed up, there’s a small bag over her should.

The sight of Quill is caught and a brow arches. He certainly doesn’t look like he belongs here anymore than she does but since the cafe is not too far from here… Eh. Who knows.

A hand is run through the silver-white streaked black hair and it’s given a shake as she starts to pass Quill. If she doesn’t hustle, she’ll be late for work.

Peter spares her more than a glance as she strolls by. He’s just like that. He always has to look, but he smiles and nods. Friendly at least, which again might mark him as not from around here. Most of those in Gotham seem to take minding their own business to the level of a professional sport.

It;s likely just easier to survive here that way.

Not Quill though. He has to interact with the world around him. It’s how he’s wired. It’s just how he is, isolating himself doesn’t work for him so he just flies in the face of most of the rank and file of the big city.

That’s not all that might catch her attention though.

There is the faint sense of something…hanging around Peter Quill. For lack of a better term. As if something mystical, magical, and not altogether friendly is following the man around. Not from the man himself, he seems to be possibly the least mystical of people, but something is watching him. Something that doesn’t like him much.

“Morning,” his slow drawl greets her as she starts to pass by.

The friendly nature of the man draws a grin from Sofi. He’s definitely not from around here. It’s a nice change. She nods back, tucking her hands into her jacket pockets.

No more than a foot past him, Sofi comes to a dead stop and turns to face him. Her eyes narrow faintly. She can feel it… Sense it… It’s almost as if she should be able to see something but it’s hiding. Nothing has ever been able to hide from her sight before.

Her head tilts and since she can’t see anything… Telepathy and empathy come into play next to see if she can feel anything.

“Hey… What’s up with the magic thing goin’ on?”

Subtle may not really be Sofi’s thing. Given how not friendly that thing feels though…

She stops, he stops. One eyebrow quirks up as she eyes him and the air around him. “…you know, I can take a picture for ya if you want.” The grin that comes to his face is easy, slightly lopsided with his amusement.

The question though, blunt and to the point, is greeted with a surprise that flickers across his face. “Er…” A pause as he glances around. “…I totally have no idea what you mean. I don’t do magic…”

He’s just been around it. A lot lately.

The Empathy and Telepathy? Well, Quill’s mind is sorta an open book. There’s surprise and confusion there of course. Exasperation too. WHY DOES HE KEEP RUNNING INTO MAGIC TYPES?! He has no idea.

That feeling though doesn’t go away, instead as she expands her senses? There is a feeling coming from the roof of a nearby building. Predatory. Watching. Very focused on Quill. As if something there is hiding, following him. Just waiting for a good moment to strike.

…but what demon would want to stalk some guy in a bad Star Wars cosplay?

“Mm. I might take you up on that, handsome.” Sofia saunters up to him and when she’s close enough, reaches out to grab his jacket and pivot so his back is to where she can sense the source of those feelings.

She reaches up, as if to wrap her arms around him even as she leans in, making it look like she’s kissing him. Her voice is barely more than a whisper when she speaks.

“You don’t but the thing following you does… You’re being hunted… And whatever it is, doesn’t belong in this world…”

She’s not a hero. It’s not her problem. And yet… Here she is. Getting involved. Why? Don’t ask her. She doesn’t have a good answer.

“I work in a cafe not far from here… Come with me there and we can talk. Whatever you’re mixed up in isn’t good.”

Woah. This is new. Usually they don’t of this. Usually this is what gets the cops called, or him slapped or something like that. Peter has no idea what happened. Was it the new soap he used?! He doesn’t know!

But he isn’t complaining.

One arm slips around Sofia’s waist. You know. Just to make it look real and all. Gotta sell it and everything. Her words though bring the picture in a bit more clear.

It wasn’t the soap.

“Aw man, I though those things would leave me alone after I broke ‘em the first time.” His reply is tinged with annoyance instead of fright. Which means he at least has some experience with this sort of thing.

So maybe he’s not just a weird sci-fi freak after all.

“Lady,” Now it’s amusement in his voice. “Ever since I got here, almost nothing I’ve been mixed up in is good. It’s a gift. Sure though, I was on my way to get food anyway. Lead on,” A pause. “I’m Peter by the way. Peter Quill. Some people call me Star-Lord.”

His arm slips around her and Sofi smirks. He’s not bad looking and the scent is nice but she’s not in the habit of throwing of randomly through herself at strangers.

The surprise is clear in her eyes as it becomes clear that he knows what’s following him. “You know what it is then?” She doesn’t. Just that it’s Not Good(tm).

“You might consider returning said gift. It seems a bit defective.” She twists, reaching out to wrap her arm around his. “Sofia… Strange. And yes, I swear that’s actually my last name.”

Onwards towards the little cafe just a few blocks away. “Star-Lord, huh? Interesting nickname… Which do you prefer, handsome?”

“Uhhh, I know. it’s ugly and mean and doesn’t like me much. Also takes a lot to put down.” Peter offers as they walk. It’s not that far and he’s not about to refuse requests made by pretty girls in miniskirts.

“Jeeves said that it’s some kind of…extra-planar thing?” A pause. “I’m not real clear on the technical terms of magic…stuff. I mean I only figured out it was real…like two months ago.”

A newbie. Gotta love it.

“One of my friends is named Groot. I’m not one to judge names here.” A pause. “And most people can call me Star-Lord. You can call me Peter.” Since she hasn’t slapped him yet. “…I’m not from around here. If you hadn’t guessed.”

Sofia arches a brow as they walk. “How long have you been dealing with it?” Her brows then knit. Gods, if she has to ask her father for help this early…

“I have no idea what a Jeeves is. Or an extra-planar whatever but… I know someone who probably will.”

The cafe comes into view and Sofi shrugs. “I’ve known it was real most of my life…I;m still learning but Doctor Stran—my father—he can help.”

At the cafe, she grins and reaches for the door. “Lunch is on me if you promise to carry on a conversation that doesn’t involve ‘Oh. Mah’ Gawd!’, ‘OMG’, and the word ‘like’ a dozen times in a single sentence.” Clearly, she’s used to the stereotypical box-blonde college girls.

“Oh uh, Jeeves is…” Peter has to pause for a moment. He was introduced but it wasn’t a cute girl so his mind kinda wondered a bit…what was the name? “Ah! John! Constantine. Yeah. He’s english, so I called him Jeeves.” There we go, that’s the ticket. “Anyway, that guy,, that’s what he said. Something not from this world but it go into it and now it doesn’t like me.” A pause. “Or Kitty. Or Rocket. Or basically anyone that touched this weird gem thing.”

A shrug. It’s complicated. Space is much more understandable than magic.

“Anyway, I’m totally never going to say no to free food and the company of a pretty girl so I’m all yours.” A pause. “And I have no idea what OMG actually means so you’re safe on that front.”

He smirks and reaches out to pull the door open for her. “I’m from Colorado, originally. Grew up a little further away than that though.” A pause. “A few hundred light years further away.”

“Who?” She has no idea who John Constantine is. Hell, until recently, she didn’t even know what Sorcerer Supreme was and he’s her father! There’s a shrug of her shoulders. “If you need help with it, I know someone who can. Me? I’m still learning. What gem thing?”

A brow arches up at him. “Pretty girl, hm? That’s… sweet.” Which, from the sounds of it, isn’t something she’s used to. “It’s used in text as a way to abbreviate ‘oh my god’. How do you not…”

The explanation comes as she steps into the cafe. And it has her pausing. “Wait… What? Light years? Seriously?”

One would think she’d be a little more surprised but she just recently found out she’s not entirely human. It’s going to take a lot to shock her right now.

“I… have no idea where I’m from originally.” She looks around. So far, the cafe isn’t too busy. “Alright, handsome… Grab a seat. I have to change and clock in and then I’ll bring you a menu.”

“Sofia! You know the polic—“ A man from the back has stuck his head out.

“Not a boyfriend, Lou. Chill.”

“Right! Not a boyfriend, Lou!” Repeats Peter as he grins towards the man and waves. He lowers his for to add under his breath, “Just a random passerby on the street that apparently has a magic curse on him.”

That seems to amuse him more than anything. Most people would be worried, even just a little bit. Not Quill though.

“And yes seriously,” He adds as he looks over the menu. “Grew up out…” He waves a hand vaguely at the roof. “…there. So yeah. Missed a little bit.”

It doesn't take Sofia long to change and she had walked away chuckling. The red and black uniform isn’t nearly as curve hugging as her original outfit and the somewhat messy hairstyle is now pulled back into a neat ponytail.

Rounds are made and things refilled. Finally, she comes to a stop by Peter’s table. “So how’d you get that thing attached to you anyhow? And yeah… Maybe just a little bit.” Her eyes drop pointedly to the walkman and she smirks before looking back up at him.

“Must be a hell of a thing to play catch up on.” She’s really tempted to take a seat but Lou would have a meltdown. “Get whatever you want. Like I said, it’s on me.”

"Your number on the menu?" Comes the reply from the space traveler. I mean really, she should expect this by now. He's not that hard a figure to read. The grin on his face is bright before he returns his attention to the menu in front of him.

"You might have a hard time believing it if I told you, so why not. A god gave it to me to keep safe. That gem thing anyway. Asgardians, some kind of mighty quest or something. To make up for something that happened on Asgard." A pause. "Totally not my fault by the way."

…in other words, community service.

"But yeah, thats why its attached to me. Now it is though, I wanna put paid on whatever it is, because getting hunted down my magical beasties is totally a bummer."

Bright blue eyes seem to sparkle, an amused smirk curving her lips. "That depends.. If you have it, would you actually call?" Oh, he's fun! She could get used to this one. She can't help but chuckle.

"Peter… You're talking to a sorceress who is only half human… You told me you were raised in space… You have a demonish thing following you…" A brow arches. "Why in the world would I not believe you were given something by a God?" Her head tilts slightly. "Asgard… That would make it the Norse pantheon, right?"

And then she kneels down to be eye level with him. "Are you telling me… You're performing cosmic community service?" This seems to amuse her to no end. "Tsk tsk. What /did/ you do, Star-Lord?"

The semi-seriousness of it all though has the smile slipping slightly. "Look… My…father," Clearly that last word is hard for her to say, "is… really powerful and has an extensive library… Would you mind if I talked to him about this? See if, maybe, he knows of a way that could get rid of it? For good?" Is she… actually worried?

A shrug. "My friends arn't even half-human, and I'm only half-human. At least thats what someone told me." A smirk at that. "Shouldn't matter too much. But yeah. Asgard. Norse pantheon. They got a really nice setup in Asgard." A pause. "Its not really a heaven you know, its like a slightly different plane of existance. You can get there. Eventually. And they have the /best/ mead."

A pause.

"And they have a bunch of rules involving defacing of public property that I didn't bother reading before we all started to get down to the serious business of mead drinking."

…so. Barfight.

On Asgard.

"Anyway, anyone that can help I'd welcome the help. Not like I know a lot about magic or anything." A shrug at that, before a ring in his pocket gets his attention. He fishes out his phone as he answers. "What?" A pause. "Yes Rocket I'm getting food." Pause. "No I can't go somewhere and get Cheezits!" Longer pause. "What do you mean Groot wants Cheezits?! He's a plant! Geeze stop yelling! Fine! I'll get your damn Cheezits!"

A shake of his head before he smirks. "I'll have to get that food to go, my buddies are getting restless. And when Rocket gets bored he has a tendency to make explosives."

A grin then. Amusement tinging his look. "And I might call, I guess you'll have to give it to me and chance it?”

A hand is clamped over her mouth to stifle the laugh that threatens to bubble out from her. When she has it under control… "You're serving cosmic community service for getting into a bar fight in a city belonging to Gods…" Oh that's just beautiful.

She falls silent as the phone goes off and is answered. "There's a corner store three blocks down… Just a sec…" She steps away and grabs a to go bag. The amount of food she packs in there should feed a small army… Mostly sandwiches, baked goods and sweets. When she returns to the table, she takes a moment to tear of a check and write her name and number down on it before dropping that into the bag.

"Call to see what I've been able to find out at least, okay?" Her brows knit as the bag is handed over to him. "And Peter… Be careful, alright. That… thing? It isn't particularly fond of you. At all."

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