Mondays in the Park with Loki

March 06, 2017:

Peter takes Kitty to Robinson Park in search of someone who might know more about the gem. They run into a goth girl with an attitude.

Robinson Park - Gotham

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Catwoman

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

"No, seriously. I /actually/ have a job."

These are words that no one in their right mind would ever even consider being uttered by on Peter Quill. He isn't really the kind of person for honest work. If you think about it though, its a bar. Run by a thief. Frequented by a street gang.

…then you realise he sort of fits right in.

Still though that doesn't really matter right now at least.

"Anyway, thats not what matters." A pause. "And the free drinks arn't what matters either! No matter what Rocket and Groot think." A pause. "That damn guy goes though so many frilly umbrellas, you have no idea. Anyway! I was thinking, Jess is working on where Zee and John are. But you're still all tangled up with that gem, and I'm all tangled up with you and that gem. So we might as well ask around and see if anyone else knows anything about magic around here…"

These words are directed towards his companion, who so enjoys to slap him. As the pair stroll by the entrence to Robinson Park.

Its a fairly reasonable suggestion. Since Peter knows nothing about magic. Kitty knows just enough to be dangerous, and most of the experts are in their own brands of trouble.

What makes this more difficult though is the simple fact that the pair of them have no idea they are leaving what equates to a magical scent trail. Something any wizard, sorcerer or random figure of the mystical nature can pick up on. Magic power the color of frost flits behind Kitty in her wake, blood red ribbons of energy bind both the X-woman and the Guardian to something in Kitty's position. Spirits of cold whip in the air behind them, and something…hungry…stalks them both though the dark Gotham night.

…of course neither of them have much of a clue about any of that. Amatures. Entirely.

*

"Uh huh." Kitty looks at Peter skeptically. "A job. A place that wants to pay you for doing things?" The amount of skepticism in her voice is clear. "Who hired you? Are you sure it's not a scam?"

In Kitty's mind, the only person who would hire Peter Quill for a job is looking to scam people. Or him. It's possible both. The brunette mutant, however, stands close to Peter as they make their way through the park. She hasn't had a lot of luck taking the gem out in public in Gotham. It seems this city is rife with magic and evil beings. Or, it just seems to be the case when they are out with the gem. And it's hard for Kitty to be out anywhere without it, as she seems tethered to it.

"I've already told you I can go talk to your parole officer and tell him I'll take care of the gem. You don't have to be tangled up with me." There's a pause, a raise of an eyebrow at him. "Unless that's what you want, of course." The tease and a bit of a flirt is met with a smile and then a skeptical look around their surroundings.

As they circuit the park, she frowns. "This is your idea? We just walk around the park and hope someone magical pops up and asks us about that magical gem in my pocket? You know, that's what perverts ask. We're just going to get magical perverts."

Completely oblivious to the magical trail the gem leaves behind her, Kitty feels at least a modicum of safe with Peter and with her own heightened awareness. She's an X-Man. She can find danger coming from miles away. Right?

*

Magic always leaves a mark. Call it a scent, call it a trail. Call it an indellible stain on the fabric of reality. Whatever you call it, it's there, lingering, threading into the tapestry of creation and what 'is' to make it what it rightly 'isn't.' Signposts that can be followed to discover the truth of things, like discovering the origin of a lie. It can be subtle, of course. Lies, too, can be subtle. The subtle ones are usually the most dangerous. The ones that are right under your nose without the faintest idea—

"You two are really, obnoxiously obvious. You know that, right?"

The words come so flat and vague that they could mean absolutely anything about Pete and Kitty's interactions as they stroll through the park. The one thing that can't be denied, though? Is the fact that the words are aimed -directly- for them. They seem perfectly designed in some subtle, unknowable way specifically to catch the pair's attentions, to cut through the noise and the activity of the park for them and only them. To judge in words layered in a deadpan tone.

The source isn't hard to find. Only cursory glances would be enough to discover a young-looking woman sitting at a park bench only a few feet away from them. Her hair long and black as ink, her lips painted as dark to match, eyes green and eyeshadow unnecessarily heavy which, combined with her darkly painted nails and otherwise black attire that looks like it came fresh from the rack of the nearest Hot Topic, she certainly paints a very specific sort of picture.

One of an indifferent young woman currently taking a nice long apathetic sip from something. It looks like some sort of minty frappe. Or maybe an iced mocha of some kind. It's hard to say.

"It's seriously difficult to watch you and not be embarassed for you. Aren't you embarassed?" she asks, pointedly, not even looking at the pair — but doubtless they are who her words are for. And so, she points out:

"-I'd- be embarassed."

Helpfully.

*

"Look, last time I talked to tall, blonde, and full of thunder, he wasn't that happy with me. I'm pretty sure he's not going to let me off the hook that easily." Quill replies with a grumble. "And NO THAT WASN'T MY PLAN! I was gonna take you to the Tin Roof and we could ask around there. As for who hired me, it was Catwoman." A beatpause. "Does /everyone/ in Gotham have weird nicknames! That Ant-man guy are totally making a list…I should talk to Tim about that. He's from around here…"

He blows out a sigh before looking out of the side of his eyes towards her. "Humph, you would miss me. I'm just taking your fragile feelings into account." He replies with a twitch of a returned smile.

Yup. He's still an ass.

He would likely follow that up with some other remark but the cutting words from a nearby bench grab his attention.

His steps slow, his head turns and he just blinks at the woman on the bench. "Wha?" Yes. Very intelligent there Peter. Glancing down at himself for a moment he takes stock. Bright red trenchcoat. Space guns. Rocket boots. Nope everything seems perfectly normal.

"Hrmmm…nope. Don't see much to be embarassed about. I'm pretty damn awesome actually." And humble. Did he mention he's humble?

*

Strolling next to Peter Quill, Kitty gives him a look. "Catwoman?" She's assuming it is a codename or a non de plume. "You got hired by a someone who only has a codename? How is she going to pay you? See, I told you, this is probably a scam. Though, if you have full access to a bar, we should take advantage of it at some point."

The sigh is met with a bit of a laugh. "Would I miss getting yanked out into space? Or you constantly mispronouncing my name?" She raises an eyebrow, teasing. "I'm not sure, what do you think?"

Then, however, a woman pushes herself off a park bench and approaches them. Wary and worried, Kitty steps just a bit closer to Peter and studies the other woman. She knows the Hot Topic sort of woman from Xavier's. It might have been a school for gifted youngsters, but not even they could escape The Goth Chick.

"Well, we're not you," she tells the approaching young woman firmly. "So, luckily, we don't have to deal with your own embarrassment. Look, just leave us alone." The fact that she may be talking about something else doesn't even occur to her. As far as she is concerned, she just has to shut this girl down so they can be on their way.

*

She's patient. She waits for them both to come to their own, individual assessments about whether or not they should be embarassed, and about what. She's silent the entire time. Just staring. And sipping.

Somehow each one seems like it's designed to pierce right through them and criticize their entire series of life choices that led them to exactly this moment. /Somehow./

Peter, of course, decides he's awesome because his clothes are pretty rocking. The woman just rolls her eyes in the heave of a disaffected gesture before her gaze falls to Kitty, almost expectantly.

Well, we're not you, she says.

"Obviously."

The woman's lips purse. She squints at Kitty. Just… squints.

"I was really hoping you were the smart one. Fine, be on your way," she says with a resigned sigh. She's all too happy, in fact, to let them pass her by — the raven-haired woman does not even once try to halt them physically if they try to move, just sips once more on whatever her caffeinated confection might be. One long, long slurp, before she adds, almost after-the-fact as if it were just coming to her.

"Not my problem if that thing stalking after you eats you both up like chicken nuggets. The way you're bleeding magic like an all you can eat buffet for scary bad stuff, maybe that's just your thing."

Siiiiip.

*

"Well she has her own gang and club and fought some aliens with me, so she's not that bad." Peter replies easily enough. "And she looks good in a catsuit so I'm not gonna judge the rest too badly." Thats pretty much a good way to get into Quill's good graces. Look good in a catsuit.

Then Kitty has to go and be rude to their new friend. Peter is an ass, but he's not really rude. So there is a moment that he takes to process this. I mean this new girl is kinda hot in a gothy kinda way. He could deal with that.

But it looks like two ships passing in the night. Kitty excuses them, Gothgirl replies the affirmative and that could have been it.

Except for the last bit of afterthought that is tossed their way.

"Wait wait wait. What thin—bleeding magic?" A pause. "You can see magic?" A pause again as he smirks slightly and angles a glance towards Kitty. "And you said wondering around the park to try to find someone that knows this stuff was a bad idea."

*

Kitty's response to the goth woman is the typical way New Yorkers deal with the general populace that attempt to engage them when they don't wish it. There are the people asking to join their church, to sign their petition, the give them money, to listen to their theory about lizard people, to join Greenpeace. It's too much and Kitty is ready with a way to push this woman away immediately. You have to assess and dismiss immediately or you'll get someone following you around for hours.

Though she knows that Peter is here looking for some sort of random magic guru, she is more than skeptical about that. "So, you took a job from a woman who fights aliens because she looks good in a catsuit?" She sighs and rolls her eyes. "Why am I here with you?" This is all seeming like more and more of a lost cause.

Then, however, the term bleeding magic reaches her ears. And past that, the thing stalking after them. She knows a little about the latter. She looks to Peter with a frown, a pleading look. Can they please not do this? But, of course, they must.

"No, I still think this is a bad idea. We don't know who she is. Or what she thinks she sees." However, she doesn't tug him away. There's a wary curiosity that has taken over her countenance.

*

And so they walk. And so they stop. Pretty much right on time.

The black-haired woman can't help but smile expectantly at that.

You know. A disaffected sort of expectant smile.

Standing calmly still at the exact spot they passed by, she seems entirely comfortable with just enjoying her drink, if she can even be said to be enjoying it — perhaps she's too sarcastic and ironic to even have a sincere palate. She just turns around right on time to look at the pair the exact moment they stop. First, the question from Quill. She lifts a brow, as if to say 'Seriously?'

"I think even people who couldn't see magic could see what's going on with you two," again, just vague and judgmental enough to be interpreted so many different ways. "I feel like I've just been transported to," what was that wonderfully gauche city called? Oh right, "Vegas. It's blindingly garish." All this, punctuated by another sip. "But yes. I can see magic. All kinds of magic. Even the subtle kinds. Which is not this. You're both bound up in it. Like little red ribbons of fate. God, that's so cliche. But -her-," green eyes track to Kitty. "… she's got a bit more going on. Something… interesting. You both stumbled on something you shouldn't have, didn't you?"

Otherwise, she's content to just wait out their little debate as if it's not happening right in front of her right where she can hear, leaning idly backwards on her heels as her head tilts. She only asides, once,

"Oh. So she -is- the smart one," in that eternally-flat way of hers before she goes back to her drink.

"Phew."

*

"Because you love my winning personality," Quill quips back towards her as he angles a smirk towards Kitty. The banter does help settle him though, he's enjoying it. Even if he's never, ever, going to admit it. Yet at least. Possibily ever.

The flat tone from the Gothlady does cause him to squint slightly towards her for a moment. Then a sigh. "Well excuse us, its know like we are /trying/ to glow like a second sun or anything." A pause for a moment before he angles a glance at Kitty. "…but yeah. Something like that I guess."

He doesn't know this lady, even if she knows magic she likely doesn't think things like gods and Asgard are real. I mean its just better not to do the full expliantion. He doesn't want to seem like a /totally/ crazy person.

A glance again at Kitty. "…well yeah but maybe she can tell us something? I mean…"

They are kinda flying blind here.

*

Kitty feels a bit unsettled as she watches the Goth Lady in front of them. It's like someone in Central Park telling her she can see her negative energy and will read her fortune to get rid of it. "Maybe we have. What do you want?" she asks, getting right to the point. There's not exactly hostility there, but a desire to know the playing field. She's tried the people who wanted to red her fortune back when she first arrived in Westchester and was far more naive than she is now.

The way the woman looks at her causes Kitty to inadvertently put a hand on Peter's arm. It's gentle but firm: an attempt to ground her. "What do you mean?" It's not exactly accusatory when she asks, but she certainly means business.

The quip about his winning personality is met with a raised eyebrow. That is why she's here? God, she's doomed. However, she is there with Peter and for some random reason she trusts him. "Peter," she tells him, quietly, under her breath. It's rare that she doesn't call him a bastardized version of Star-Lord or simply Quill. "We don't know anything about her. We can't just randomly trust some Goth Chick from the Bench in the Park."

*

"I want you to stop being so obvious, mainly," is the Goth Lady's first declaration, stated plainly and damningly simply. She looks from Kitty back to Peter, brows scrunched together. "Oh, boy. You don't even know what you're dealing with. Do you?"

She doesn't even wait for an answer. She just suddenly heaves the most world-weary of sighs like she was suddenly being put upon by -them- rather than the other way around, and stuffs one fingerless-gloved hand into the pocket of her (dark, of -course-) jeans, rooting around there idly as she speaks. "Well, now I'm more worried about you idiots unleashing some kind of hellbeast on the park when all I wanted to do was enjoy my iced mocha so thanks a lot for that. Here—"

And here, she steps forward with imperious, confident purpose to make her way straight for Peter as Kitty grips onto his hand. -She- takes hold of the other one, in a way that might be forward if her grip wasn't like a damn vice, looking to lift it so she can slap her palm against his.

When she withdraws it, there's a card left behind, with a name and information:

Kaylie Olufson

Magical Consultant*

*NOTE: NO REFUNDS IF YOU BOTHER ME WITH SOMETHING STUPID

Beneath, a number and an address. Helpful!

Meanwhile, she just stares. Flatly. And points at herself.

"Kaylie Olufson," she helpfully elucidates, as if she felt they needed that extra step of clarification. "You don't have to trust me. But this is what I get paid to do, and I like getting money, and I also like not dying to apocalypse monsters or whatever your deal is. Soooo." For some reason, she stares more pointedly at Kitty as she says this.

Sip.

"And you two are just being stupid with something that's absolutely not stupid, so you don't have to worry about that last one. You're welcome."

*

Peter shifts just slightly closer to Kitty as Goth Lady advances. He doesn't even realise he is doing it. Much like the fact that her hand is on her arm, its jusut a natural reaction to a possible attack. Priming for a possible bout with violence. He isn't sure what is about to happen but Gotham has made him mistrustful…

…which is why he is rather suprised when his other hand is grabbed and a card shoved into it. There is a series of blinks as the man processes this. Looking down at the card, seeing just whats printed there. A pause, a moment of confusion.

"Er…I'm Peter Quill," He finally replies. "People call me Star-lord."

…look its just automatic at this point. The more people he tells it too, the more likely someone is to get it right.

Slowly he passes the card over towards Kitty, realising then that her hand is on his arm and he's slid just slightly in front of her. Well. Thats just slightly awkward.

And because of that he applies his patented Peter Method of dealing with Awkward Things.

Ignore them.

"…well. For the record I'm not really intrested in dying to anything either. At least not on this backward planet."

*

Kitty, annoyed that she feel safer by Peter's side, looks at the card pressed into Peter's hand. Kitty is not impressed by cards, but she looks at Kaylie with a studious expression, but also one that is clearly testing the other woman. "And what is it that you see exactly?" she asks. She has no intentions of bothering Kaylie about anything stupid, or even believing her.

Her immediate reaction to meeting Kaylie and hearing Peter's introduction is to say, "No one calls him Star-Lord." She has heard, literally, no one say that term.

His own position in front of Kaylie is not met with any sort of a dissection like Kaylie is. "Yeah, no dying. And what are we being stupid about, exactly?" She's not sure she believes Kaylie, but the arm on Peter doesn't relent. In fact, it tightens as Kaylie speaks.

*

'People call me Star-Lord.'

'No one calls him Star-Lord.' "No one calls you Star-Lord."

Those words are delivered in perfect monotone the exact same moment as Kitty does. Just. Flat-out. Synchronized dream crushing.

The woman calling herself Kaylie hardly even misses a beat afterwards as she looks back to Kitty, green eyes an intensely bright shade that mirrors the scrutinizing stare she levels on the other woman. "Blood binding you both to each other. But it's you who's the important one. Frost, trailing off of you like the whip of a blizzard's wind. Something following after, hungry. Ravenous." A hand lifts. A finger points accusingly. At Kitty, and Kitty alone.

"For you."

Ultimately, Kaylie Olufson's shoulders roll in an uncaring shrug. "Look, if you have to ask that question, you should just have to admit that you're already being stupid for asking it and you have no idea what you're doing. I could name a bunch of different reasons why traipsing around in broad daylight in a public place just kinda hoping answers about your obviously dangerous condition while some starving thing spiritually stalks you is bad, but I hope you're smart enough to put two and two together and maybe apologize for even asking that question."

A second passes. Kaylie lifts a finger into the air.

"Not to me. To the park. And whoever else you passed along the way. Probably a bunch of people. You're like… … god. You're like someone suffering from the Black Death deciding they ought to walk around coughing on everyone to see if anything bad happens."

And with that, Kaylie sharply pivots on her heel, meandering away at a leisurely pace. "Look, like I said — trust me or not, I don't care. If you do, feel free to find me at that address. With money. If you're like, still alive by then. 'Til then, I'm just going to… … stay away. From you. And your whole deal. I don't stand next to roving ground zeroes I'm not getting paid to stand around. Sor-ry."

And just like that, she walks away, waving a hand dismissively as she goes.

"Money. Bring -money.- M-o-n-e-y. I can't stress that enough."

*

"…hey! Jess calls me Star-lord sometimes!" A pause. "And that guy that Drax killed did. Just before Drax killed him! So its totally not /no one/."

His protests fall on walking-away ears though as Kaylie strides off. He watches. Mostly because he likes it when they walk. But his attention is turned back towards Kitty after a moment and he draws a deep breath.

Then he slowly lets it out and shakes his head. "Right. I know we are gonna argue about talking to her. And then we are gonna go talk to her. So why don't we skip both right now and go hit up that bar?"

This sounds like a great idea to him as he starts to turn, tugging her away from the 'consultant'. "And we can argue later." A pause. "Because I know you like it."

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