|"Take me Out to the Ball Game"|
|What: Strangers meet at a ball game, having appeared for different reasons.|
The Yankees, amazing team as they are, play a second game today. It's about fifteen minutes before the game is set to start, with people leaving, and arriving, a kind of ebb and flow of fans. They're playing the Kansas City Royals today.
Halfway up the seats, in the 'I have a mediocre income' seats, a woman waits patiently for the next game. She seems to be frustrated or bored.
Not exactly a baseball fan, Tanya nonetheless finds herself in Yankee Stadium. Part of it is that a thankful customer had given her a ticket for the work she did restoring his old Caddy, and part of it is that Yankee Stadium is a part of New York's history. Granted, not /this/ version of the stadium, necessarily, but it's the thought that counts, right?
One hand shoved into the pocket of her jeans, she starts clumping down the stairs, footfalls heavy from the motorcycle boots--and the general lack of care about trying to walk quietly. She peers over her sunglasses at the seat numbers, seeing very few people waiting for the next game. Being the gregarious type, she decides to go right up to the nearest one, and ask the young woman, "Umm. Hi. I don't suppose you can help me find my seat?" She gives the woman a semi-embarrassed smile as she holds up her ticket.
Passwall looks up lazily, and raises an eyebrow. "Adventurous, ain'tcha?" Apparently she means talking to her is possibly dangerous. But she's so small! "Yeah, why not. Lemme see." She uses a hand to gesture that she's willing to look at the tickets, still rather bored. "Might wanna be quick. Game starts in ten. Someone's gonna steal your seat."
Grinning, Tanya hands over the ticket, and shoves her hand into her jeans pocket. "Eh, I suppose I am," she says with a careless shrug of one shoulder. "Better'n staying home all the time, right? I don't have any cats, so I can't do the 'crazy shut-in' thing, and I'd go stir-crazy in a week if I tried, anyway." It's actually kind of weird, really, to not be reacted to for how she looks--but this is definitely one of those times where "weird" is not "bad".
Passwall takes the ticket nonchalantly, and after a few seconds slips into the next seat over, handing the ticket back. "Guess I shoulda figured." She sighs a bit. "Yeah. Better than inside. 'Course if ya did, then you'd go hungry 'cuz you didn't go get some. Gotta go outside sometime, yeah?" She's not even hiding or denying it - she just tries to change the subject - that she had been in Tanya's seat.
"Huzzah," says Tanya as she takes the ticket back, shoving it into her pocket before slipping into the seat. She slouches so she can put up her feet; there's no one in the seat ahead of her, so until there is, she props her feet on the back of that seat, crossing her legs at the ankles. "And yep, definitely. I'm what they call the gregarious type; social, liking to be around people. Think I'd go crazy if I had to do the shut-in thing." A beat, as she grins and peers over at the other woman. "Well, crazi/er/, some would say. By the bye, name's Tanya." That's said as she extends her right hand for a firm shake. And no, she's not going to say anything about the woman being in her seat.
Passwall raises an eyebrow. Not minding the seat having been sat in? Holy hell. Especially in New York. She takes the hand and shakes with a smile. "Yeah, good to meetcha." She notes the woman's eyes, and looks about to speak, but changes topics suddenly. Or rather, keeps on track instead of switching suddenly. "Cordelia." She doesn't offer what they call her in response to gregarious. "So uh... The pink." There's the comment. "That natural?" She's not even smirking. Apparently, she's serious. "Looks good on ya."
Folding her hands over her stomach, Tanya grins at the woman again, brows lifting a bit. "Thanks. And that's a nice name, Cordelia. You don't really see that name a lot anymore," she says thoughtfully. "As for the pink, well. Depends on what you call 'natural'," she says, then looks back out over the field. "Wasn't exactly what I was /born/ with, no, but, eh--now I don't exactly have a huge choice in the matter. Let's just say that a few years ago, I made a choice without reading the fine print, and there've been a lot of changes since then." She's well aware that that might not exactly be the clearest way to put it, but then again, this is New York City, where people in odd outfits throwing fireballs and lasers and what-not run around every freaking day, so.
Passwall nods a bit. So it wasn't an X-Gene. Something else. "Yeah, I getcha. Normal life, suddenly bam you're pink. The uh... Body and tats aren't part of that, huh?" She fidgets in her seat a bit, sitting on her side to get a better look at Tanya. And a small sniff. "Naw. Smell like a mechanic. The strong bod you got ain't nothin' but hard work. Good for you." She's so easily ignored the praise given to her name. "/Are/ you a mechanic? Or somethin'?"
That makes Tanya grin again, and she arches a brow as she regards the other woman, saying, "Ayup. If you've got a classic car you need repaired, I'm your woman." She brings out her left hand and shows the palm then the back, both of which are of course empty. Then--a flick of the wrist, and a business card appears in her fingers. Okay, so it's not exactly a light show spawned by the X-gene, but still. That gets handed over to the woman, and it reads, "Mack and Co. Automotive Repair", and gives the address in Harlem, the phone number, all that. Below that, "Tanya Li", and below that, "Restoration Specialist". "Oh," says Tanya suddenly, "and in answer to your question, well--nah, the body art wasn't really part of the bargain. I'm just one of those who really dig ink and brands and stuff."
Passwall takes the card with a quiet 'cool'. "Ha. Awesome. Nice trick." She pockets the card, and nods. "I'd get 'em too... If they didn't fall off. Too expensive for that." Oh, she's not kidding, apparently. "Which just means I like people who have tats. And funky hair like yours." The woman chuckles, just before the baseball game starts, with people standing for the national anthem. "Oh shit." She quickly hops up, doing the 'good American' thing. But she doesn't sing. It's all a show.
And of course, Tanya hops to her feet as well, doing the hand-over-heart thing like everyone else. She really /is/ proud to be in this country, considering the alternatives--but that doesn't stop her from voicing her thoughts aloud. "You ever notice how no one sings anymore?" she murmurs, leaning to the side a bit. "We've stopped singing in public; even the National Anthem is done by one person at most events like this..." She looks out over the stands and field as she murmurs, trying to remember the last time she can recall people in crowds like this actually sang. When she was a very small girl, she thinks.
Passwall shrugs a bit. "Yeah. I don't really remember the words though. Plus it's like. Forced and stuff? People only stand and take off their hats because they feel like they're being pressed to it. But they don't have to. So part of them wants freedom from the social standard... And shit." And she was so close to sounding smart! Always ruining it. The song ends and she sits, with the first pitch thrown not long after that. "I'd look outta place if I didn't. Which is bad for me. So I gotta."
"True, really," says Tanya as she retakes her seat and slouches down again. "But I think that, /along with/ that, it's also that we're becoming a nation where if you don't think you're going to be the best, don't bother. At least in some areas, though singing's definitely one of them. So what if people sing off-key, right? Though, that said, I still agree that it's partly a forced thing, at least at large events like this." Another shrug, this one given with a small wave of her hand. It's in some ways moot, and she knows it, but whatever. Either way, she watches the start of the second game of the day, against the Kansas City Royals.
Passwall doesn't seem like she cares so much about that. "Eeeh, I guess. But like. What about the people who don't care to sing? Gonna force them to? People who ain't got any national pride?" She points to a few rows up, where a collection of Royals fans sit. "Lookit them. Team pride, even though their team has sucked for years. Now the reverse. Country might be great, but people ain't sympathetic all the time. With that, another shrug. She simply doesn't care too much. "I mean yeah, this country ain't perfect, but it's still cool. Kinda. Grin and bear it, yeah?"
Arriving fashionably late, during the first inning of a double header, Mandrake arrives, his top hat carrying the logo of the Kansas City Royals. A large grin is plastered on his face as he starts to make his way to the seat listed on his ticket, within the section of Kansas City Royal fans. As he sits, he reaches into his jacket, pulling out a bag of peanuts and Cracker Jacks, offering some to those around him.
It's hard to miss the man in the top had and tails, though if Tanya weren't already familiar with him, she might just pass him off as someone with eccentric taste--not unlike herself, in a way. "Nothing wrong with a little team pride, I think," she says, then nods to the man with the logo on his top hat, of all things. "See him? That's taking team spirit creatively, I think. Though it might help that I've met him before." A grin, there, and with that, she sticks her index finger and her thumb in her mouth for a shrill whistle. Granted, it's not like the man is across the stadium, but she isn't exactly the type to worry about drawing attention. Obviously. Either way, she'll then lift a hand to him in greet, offering him a grin as well.
Passwall looks up behind her, to the man... Oh wow. Top hat and... Takes all kinds. "...Holy damn. Yeah that makes sense. Only way the Royals will win tonight is with magic." She laughs. "Dude is all dressed up for the part. Maybe he can pull a win out of his hat."
Normally, Mandrake would be far too engrossed in the game, but there is something about the whistle from a lady, a lady with Magic tattoos that lures the Stage Magician like the Sirens of Lore. Looking up, his eyes look with Tanya who he gives a broad wave! He takes to his feet, bounding down towards Tanya and her friend, his eyes twinkling with glee as he bounds down. "And a baseball fan?" He asks of Tanya, as he reaches the row behind the two. He makes his way to the empty seat between the pair and extends his hand towards Passwall. "Mandrake, Mandrake the Magician!" He offers warmly to Passwall with a bow of his head.
"If anyone can, I'm sure it's him," says Tanya as the magician approaches. She grins up at him, then, and admits, "Actually, no. I got the ticket from a customer who really liked having his old Caddy finally going again, so thought I'd check it out. Plus, what the hell, it's Yankee Stadium, right? Not quite as historically-rich as the old one, yet, but still." She turns to Passwall, the grin still on her face. "He's one of a very few really awesome people who helped me out when I'd--barely gotten out of a jam," she tells her, a good bit of genuine respect in her tone. It's not everyone who would help out like that, after all.
Passwall just goes 'huh' at Tanya's tale, or rather summary, shaking Mandrake's hand firmly. "Cordelia." She's still on a bit of a 'strange clothes' thing in her eye, but just for a half second. Then she's back to not caring so much. Well, at least looking more interested in the game. "Must be good to have friends. Last time I checked, my friends were all fictional or otherwise non-existent." The way she says that... "Oh, yeah, guess there's Rain. Don't know her much though." She chuckles. "So yeah. Friends sound like a good thing to have."
Letting out a laugh, Mandrake looks at the two. "Baseball is scared. A magic free zone...unless Bo is playing!" He offers, referring back to Bo Jackson of Royals of yesteryear. He matches Passwall's handshake. "Cordelia, a pleasure!" He offers to her, his smile growing wider. "You are friends with Rain? Fantastic! A friend of Rain's is a friend of mine!" He says airily as he offers the duo Cracker Jacks and Peanuts. "So, that ups your friendship total of this realm to three? Unless I am a fictional character..." He mimes being stuck in a box, a few Cracker Jacks spilling out. He smiles. "But lucky for you, I can break the fourth wall!" He turns back to Tanya, "Ms. Li, you flatter me unjustly! Yes, New Yankee Stadium is...interesting. Not the charm of the old, but at least it opened with one Yankee Legend? Jeter is the real magician."
When the young woman mentions Rain, Tanya pauses and blinks once, eyebrows lifting. She opens her mouth--then shuts it when the magician notes that he, too, knows Rain. Wow. The little witch really does get around. She shakes herself out of her reverie when Mandrake addresses her directly. Looking up to him, she says, "Actually, I flatter you very justly, and you know it." Twisting around in her seat a little so she can look at both of them more easily, she says, "And I can't believe that both of you know Rain. She's my roommate, kind of--and if you want a good friend, a real, non-fictional friend, she's a good one to have." That last directed more at Passwall, obviously, given with a slight wag of her index finger. "How do you two know her, though?"
Passwall gives a little 'meh'. "She and me and this monster-demon guy and a super strong merman all fought some kind of remake of the Golem of Prague." Yeah, like that's supposed to be normal. "...Well, aight, mobster guy and merman guy did most of it. But Rain was like. Trying to be helpful, and I was a distraction." The woman laughs, looking out to the baseball field. "Funny as hell, seeing that thing try to hit me and just /whoof/, totally didn't expect to not be able to. Rain and me talked a bit after."
Mandrake looks between the two, nodding as he listens. "Oh, Ms. Rain showed up to a show I was doing with a friend, we had a lovely conversation." He looks over at Tanya. "Far too much a straight arrow...No vices." He offers to Tanya as way of explanation. He looks over at Passwall, his eyebrow raised. "Oh dear, the Golem of Prague...at least people are sticking to the classics. What kind of work do you engage in, Cordelia?"
"Hey, she was telling me about that," says Tanya, resting her arm on the back of the seat, and smiling between the two. "Dude looked like Spock, right?" She turns to Mandrake, then, grinning, "This big golem-thingy was all smashing the docks, and that merman guy went all Imperious Rex on its butt, batting it around like a baseball." She glances back to Passwall, "And she said the same thing, that you did more of the work and she was just kind of there." She smirks a bit, more in amusement at the fact that the two people each think they did less than the other.
Passwall waves the whole thing off. She obviously doesn't think she did much. "Naw. I was just taunting the big bastard. True facts." She lets out a very loud swear to the pitcher suddenly, as she stands. Then she sits down again. "Anyway. I don't exactly /have/ any uh... 'job' per se. Just a knack for finding things people lost. And I get paid to find them."
Mandrake looks at Passwall and nods his head. "Finding things is often profitable, unless it is trouble." He offers with a note of concern. He smiles as he listens to the story unfold. "That sounds exciting!" He lets out a cheer as the pitcher notches a Strikeout. "Being your own Boss is the only way to be."
"I agree with Mandrake," says Tanya, all but ignoring the ball game. She really doesn't know enough about it to follow along very well, and that aside, these two are much more interesting. "I think I'd go more nuts if I didn't have the freedom I have. My hours aren't set, so I can come and go /almost/ as I please--but finding lost stuff sounds more interesting, anyway." A grin, there, as her attention flicks between the other two. "Man, a stage magician and a stuff-finder. Those are much more interesting jobs, I think."
Passwall chuckles. "Stuff finder. Yeah, that's glamorous." She rolls her eyes. "If people knew how good I was at it, I'd work at like. Stark Industries or something." A vendor carrying around slushies, lemonade ones, gets hailed and she buys a single one, to slurp. "Stage magician, huh. You dress for it." Obviously this is to Mandrake. "Kinda cliche though."
Mandrake looks down at his clothes. "My dear, a good stage magician should be prepared to perform at a moment's notice. Plus, a gentleman should always dress his best, because you never know who you are going to meet." He chuckles. "Is that because you are good at finding things, or Stark Industries just loses a lot of things?" If Mandrake was offended, he didn't let it show.
What the hell, a good slushie is hard to find. Tanya gets one for herself as well, mixing the icy treat a bit as she regards the other two. She's ignoring the Yankees at the Kansas City Royals; she doesn't even know which side's at bat. She's half-turned in her seat to look more at Passwall next to her and Mandrake behind. "I think you should take a tip from Mandrake's book and really go for it. If you can get hired on at Stark, go for it! It'd be a hell of a lot more money, if nothing else." The takes a slurp of her slushie, then, giving a glance back out to the field.
"Naw, they don't need stuff finders... But I'm a good problem finder, too. Like. Those guys that break into companies so they can show the flaws and whatever? I can do that." Just how, is a mystery. But she doesn't elaborate. "Stark would be good money though. I'd jump on that."
Mandrake smiles at Passwall. "You should go for it...or Hammer Industries. I hear good things about them too."
"I've heard good things about Hammer Industries, too," says Tanya, looking back to the pair. "I've wanted to try out some their stuff, but what's not expensive is a bit out of my reach anyway..." She shrugs one shoulder, then swirls the straw in her drink. "Seriously, though, I think he's right--go for it. I mean, it couldn't hurt."
Passwall sighs. "Hammer is a buncha fuckin' posers. They come along with some damn hodgepodge of Stark's shit, like they're big boys wearing big boy pants with big boy toys. They ain't got /shit/ on Stark though." Another sip of her lemonade. "I don't work for liars and arrogant asses."
Mandrake eyes twinkle as he nods to Passwall. "Not both, got it..." He adds bemused as he looks at the game for a long moment. "I think I can stop lying...." He muses.
"Hey, have you even seen some of Hammer's designs? Bah," says Tanya, though good-naturedly, with a smile on her face. She takes another sip of her slushie and looks out over the game as well. "I still think you ought to go for Stark, though--I mean really go for it. I think it'd be pretty neat, if nothing else, to be around all that tech and stuff."
Passwall chuckles, though it's likely because the catcher got a ball that hit the ground and bounced up to nut him. "Yeah. I'll look into it. But hey, no promises." She grins.
Luke Cage is reasonably recognizable these days, being the ex-con who broke out, and went on to prove his innocence AND his new super powers. He's been in the news a fair amount, but his current exposure cycle is just about wound down. The last thing about him in the news was a minor mention of his new company, Hero for Hire.
And here comes the man now, Yankees cap on backwards, sunglasses on, the biggest beer they sell in one hand, and ridiculous pile of stadium nachos in a cardboard tray in the other hand. His ticket juts out from his ball cap, so he leans over to show the attendant. What do you know? It's right next to Mandrake's seat, on the aisle. He slips in next to the magician, apparently not noticing the girl in front of him he met the other night.
Mandrake smiles as he leans back in his seat, the KC Royal's logo stitched into his foppish top hat. He looks over at the gentleman in the backwards hat sitting next to him. He smiles to the man, offering him some of his Cracker Jacks. "Cracker Jacks?" He offers, "The Prize is still in there..." He offers the new comer.
"Meh," is Tanya's mature and adult response to Passwall, then a shadow looms overhead. A human-shaped shadow. Wow. Leaning hear head back so she's peering up at Luke Cage, her brows lift in surprise. "My, you're a tall drink of water, aren't'cha," she says, grinning and holding her sunglasses in place. And yes, she doesn't immediately recognize him--though that proverbial light bulb does click on a moment later. She's just that outgoing, apparently. "Oh, hey, dude who broke out and all the rest," she says next, sitting up so she can twist around in her seat and look at the man properly. "Hot damn, apparently everyone's a fan of baseball."
Passwall looks at her watch, then looks up to see Luke. She nods. 'Sup. Then she stands, moves to the aisle. "Well, sorry folks. I like you all and such, but you know. Work calls." She's lining herself up for... Something. A smile and a wave, and she suddenly sinks into the cement floors like nothing was there. Oh, she's /that/ kind of finder?
Luke raises an eyebrow at the oddly dressed man, but eventually smiles and says, "Sure, thanks." He holds out his hand for a few of the snacks, washes it down with some of his beer. He turns around and sees the woman who greeted him, and the flash of recognition is clear when he sees Passwall. She gets a friendly 'Sup' as well, and he doesn't blink when she drops through the floor, and then he nods to Tanya, smiling gently. Never know where you might find a client! "Yes m'am, that was me." He sets his beer down in the cup holder and extends his hand to Mandrake and Tanya in turn. "Luke Cage. Nice to meet you both."
When Tanya takes his hand, it's for a firm grip. No, she's not trying for a strength contest, but she's not shaking like some dainty little flower, either. She shakes like someone who means it. "Pleased to meet'cha. Tanya Li," she says, smiling at the man as the magician suddenly gets a phone call from some man named Lothar. Weird, but it sounds to her like an emergency, so she bids goodbye to the dapper man as he makes a hasty departure, then looks back to Cage.
She folds her arms on the back of the seat, finding him much more interesting than the ball game. "So, I know you probably get asked about it a /lot/, and if you want me to shut up and just let you watch the game, that's fine, but--come on, what was it like having to fight your way through so much just to prove your innocence?" She's genuinely curious and intrigued, though that can't be a surprise. That kind of story made the headlines for a reason, after all.
Luke is not perturbed by the emergency departure. It's doubtful much upsets this man. Instead, he just smiles and nods, pushing his sunglasses up on his head to regard Tanya with his brown eyes. "It's fine, I don't mind," he says. Several people certainly crane around to sneak a peak. A couple of kids even snap cell phone pics, but Luke ignores them. He's not a big enough celebrity where people are going to lose their minds or anything.
"It's just, sometimes enough is enough, you know? I wasn't exactly a model prisoner, because I knew I was innocent, and that attracted all of the wrong kinds of attention. So when I discovered my... abilities, I just up and left. I feel bad for the people I hurt, like I said in court, but it was honestly self-defense. But the day I was proved clean - best day of my life, Miss Tanya Li. Best day, ever." He smiles broad, and raises his beer in a toast.
Raising her slushie as well, Tanya says, "Certainly sounds like it. Salud. And please, just Tanya." She takes a slurp of her drink, then, and regards the man. "Damn, man," she says as she wipes the corner of her mouth with a fingertip. "I don't think I could have done all of that, but hell--and you got yourself going as--what was the name of it? Heroes for Hire, right? I didn't hear much about that part, I admit, but that's because the bartender changed the damn channel." That's the problem with not being able to really own any electronics--she has to watch the news down at the bar, when the bartender decides to actually keep it on. On the other hand, what's wrong with one more excuse to go to the bar?
Luke nods again as he sets down his beer. He takes a big bite of nachos and offers the platter to Tanya as well. He nods at her question about Heroes, but his mouth is full! He chokes it down and laughs. "Oh yeah, that's our thing. Helping people out for a paycheck. Honestly, I don't know how that /Superman/ pays his mortgage." He laughs and takes another bite of his nachos.
"Heee," says Tanya with a grin. "I bet he does something similar, though on the sly. I mean, you look at that guy, and you don't see him slumming for money like the rest of us, right? I bet he's all, 'Here you go, warden, this man was caught doing something bad--that'll be a thousand bucks, please," and if they don't pay, whammo, he threatens to loose every criminal in prison." That's said with a nod, the grin widening a bit. Okay, so she has an active sense of humor and an imagination to match. "I dunno, though, I mean, me--I'm no hero, so I hold down a regular job. Means I've got a nice if small apartment which I like, and as long as you're happy, what the hell, right?" She continues to lean on the back of the seat, still ignoring the ball game. She didn't pay for the ticket, so why not, really.
"Yeah, yeah, I know how it sounds," he says, laughing at the 'thousand bucks' comment. "I do what I have to in the heat of the moment, of course. You heard about Rhino bustin' up the street the other day, right? No client, so no charge. That was just for fun. Felt good puttin' him down anyway. But I'm for hire too, you know? Figure I'd make a good body guard, somethin' like that." He grins and sips at his beer again.
Suddenly the crowd goes nuts and Luke leans forward, almost like he's just going to straight up kiss this woman out of the blue, until the meaty smack against his hand that was reaching past her. He pulls back again as the folks around them clap for his catch. He holds the ball out to her, grinning. "Gotta watch your back at these things." He picks up his beer and tray and steps over the seat backs and settles in to the seat next to Tanya, so they can chat, and she can face the game at the same time.
"Hey, I'm not sayi--" Tanya starts, then is cut off as the crowd goes wild. She actually ducks a little from the noise, but then that's forgotten when the large man leans forward. The loud THWACK as he catches the ball, though, that does get her attention a bit more, and her eyes widen as he produces the baseball. At least she has the good grace to look a bit embarrassed, complete with a hint of red on her cheeks as she takes the ball from him.
She grins as he moves around to sit next to her, and she dutifully turns around in her seat so the next time she can hopefully duck. Though she's not exactly looking forward to a next time. "Thanks, Hero," she says, grinning up at him. "Maybe after the game I can even get you to sign it, hmm? Though, I've got'a admit, for a second there I thought you were gon'a do something else besides grab a fly ball." That's a term, right? She's pretty sure that's a baseball term. Either way, she says that with a grin and a slightly mischievous look as she lifts her brows.
It's been a while since Passwall's been seen... But when she heads down the stairs with a hot dog and a beer in hand, looking rather nonchalant, and plops her butt in the chair as previously, she acts normal. "'Sup. What'd I miss?" Didn't she... But then... And she... What? "Oh uh. Sorry about that earlier. Work called." Munch munch, beer guzzle.
Luke winks at Tanya and the possible implications left unsaid. Mystery is charisma, after all! Then he leans forward to look past Tanya at Passwall. "Sup, girl. Didn't know you were coming out tonight. Missed Tanya here just about getting beaned in the head with that." He points at the baseball in Tanya's hand, raises his beer in a salute to both of them, and sits back again.
When the woman returns, Tanya smiles at her as she sits down. "Cordelia, right? Hi again. Thankfully Mister Cage here was, well, here, so he could save my head from this thing." She tosses the baseball into the air, though not very far, catching it again. "You know I'm going to have to buy one of those--plastic--things--that you put baseballs in that you want to keep, especially if you sign it," she says to Luke. "And we'll have to work out some sort of payment at some point, I guess." That's said with a grin, and she hurriedly turns to Passwall. "Anyway! Hey, so, I'm curious, and feel free to tell me to mind my own, if you like, but how'd you do that--disappearing-into-the-ground thing? It looked really neat."
Passwall looks over to Tanya with an eyebrow raised. "It's uh... Something genetic. Know what I mean?" She leaves it at that, but it's obvious she's a mutant. To demonstrate again, she slowly runs a finger /through/ the chair in front of her, the plastic rippling like water where she touches before she pulls back. The chair becomes solid again, in the shape it was before. "So you met the big guy, good for you." She doesn't look impressed. "He's nice, but he's never taken me out for dinner once. Not /once!/" And that's time for a minor glare to Luke. "You owe me at least a hamburger, dammit!"
Luke grins and nods at Tanya. "No problem. I sign it for free. But the rights to display said merchandise will cost a thousand bucks. And if you don't pay, I'll let every criminal in Arkham out. But really, that's just cuz I hate Gotham." Luke tries to keep a straight face but just ends up chuckling into his nachos. He scoops up another big bite full of cheese and jalapeños, and offers out the platter to both women. "What do you mean, P-Dub? I bought you these nachos." They're half gone. Woo, he keeps that straight face a full second longer before grinning ear to ear. "Nah, but it's true girl. I do owe you." To Tanya he adds, "She did some work under the table for Heroes. You know how it is." Apparently he assumes every tatted-up citizen probably knows at least a little about the seedier side of life. That, or he's just a damn good judge of character.
The exchange between the two makes Tanya arch an eyebrow and grin at them, then she buts in with, "Hey, man, you got'a take a girl out and treat her right, especially if you owe her. She does work for you and you still haven't taken her out to dinner, hmph." She crosses her arms in what's meant to be some kind of oh-so-serious show of solidarity, between women, mutants, what-have-you, though it's belied by the grin on her face. She's sincere, but she can tell joking around when she hears it. Keeping her attention on Luke, she leans over to Passwall and stage-whispers, "Give him a bit more time, and if he doesn't take you out soon, use your genetic thing to get into his house and steal the beer. Or something else I'm sure you can think up." The way the man acts, stealing beer should be a humorously "bad" offense.
Passwall laughs at Tanya's suggestion, and pats her shoulder. "Girl, you really want /Luke Cage/ angry at you for stealing his beer?" She blurts this out rather loudly. "I've done some stupid things in my time, but /never/ am I dumb enough to do three things: Break into Stark Industries, make out with someone's wife, and /steal that man's beer/." She grins widely, as if this was all a joke... but it's really not. "But I could totally go in and rearrange his kitchen."
Luke fake-tenses at Tanya's suggestion and pretends to nod his approval at Passwall's denial of beer theft. Then he laughs outright at her kitchen threat. "Shit, P-Dub, I don't know what the hell is in there /now/." Apparently he enjoys the company of these two oddballs, and feels quite comfortable to laugh and be himself.
leSigh. Too bad, Luke. Several rows toward the front, an obnoxious collection of fans from either team have been at each other verbally for a couple of innings now as the Yanks have proceeded to trounce the Kansas team. Finally, someone threw a punch. Luke sighs and shakes his head at people being people, but at first doesn't look inclined to intervene. It looks like even odds, and nobody's playing dirty. That is, until the first knife flicks. "Aw, now, why he gotta go and play like that? Ladies, if you'll excuse me." Luke leaves finger imprints in the metal armrests as he stands, clearly annoyed by this. Striding down the aisle, he doesn't shout his arrival, he just picks up the first guy with a knife, and starts laying in to the rest, standing around for the police to finally make their way over here. He eventually goes with them to make his statement. At least it's all on camera here. Shouldn't be a problem.
Passwall chuckles as she watches Luke leave, to take care of things. "Man. He's always jumping in. 'Course the guy's a friggin' bruiser." It's hard to tell, but... Is she watching Luke, or leering his way? Hmm. "Anyway. Yeah. You gonna case that ball, you're gonna want to know where to put it. Else it's just a trinket, yeah?" Then she thinks again. "...Then again, you got Luke to catch it for you. And he didn't keep it. Think he likes ya."
"I think those are three things to not do," Tanya agrees with Passwall, though has to add, "but you never know--they might be fun." That's said with a lift of her brows, and she slouches a bit to get somewhat more relaxed. When the fight breaks out, she grimaces--but Luke is already apparently going to take care of the situation. She has to look up at him with--not surprise, really, but more respect. And she'd already respected him before, so. Now, she just has to remember to stay on his good side.
As he starts laying in to people who don't know how to just enjoy the game without turning it into a blood sport, she leans over again to Passwall. "Think so? Well, I'll have to make double-sure to get one of those plastic cases-things, I guess." She grins, there, attention flicking between Passwall and Cage. "I have to say, though, at least you two are more interesting than the ball game. I don't even remember which team's turn it is. Speaking of interesting, how'd you two meet, anyway?"
Passwall shrugs a bit, still watching as Luke is led off by security. "Well, me and him go back... Uh, like two years? I dunno, been a while. He needed someone to help uh... Get some things for a med clinic. And that clinic was in /really/ bad shape. So... He came up with the plan, and we went and got them." Not paid for them, to be noted. It's not said. "Whenever he needs a hand with getting something he can't get? Well, I'm the girl that can."
That makes Tanya emit a low whistle of appreciation. "Damn. That's pretty cool, really," she says, bringing up her right foot so she can rest it on her left knee. "Seems like a cool guy, but what about you? I mean, forgive me for being curious, but hey--it's not a lot of people, even fellow mutants, who can look at me without wondering if I'm a freak of really weird proportions, so--I'm curious. I'll even give you a condensed version of myself in return, if you like." A smile there, more sincere, for the woman.
With a shrug, the mutant woman goes on. "I hit puberty, and I could suddenly walk through most things. Walls, floors... Living in the hood means I could be top dog, y'know? Takin' what I needed or wanted. Yeah... Apparently not such a good idea." Passwall frowns. "Anyway. I'm not really interesting. You are, though. All the pink and tats and exotic and shapely. So go on about you, prolly more fun t'talk about."
"You think I'm shapely, huh?" replies Tanya, grinning again. "That'd be the sports bra and two nights a week of Jeet Kun Do classes, I think, but /anyway/..." She rubs the outer corner of her left eye, taking that beat to think. "Well--I'm half-Chinese, as you can see, but--my dad was very traditionalistic, y'know? You know how boys are the 'better' kids to have in China, and--surprise!--I wasn't a boy. My mom convinced him to keep me, though sometimes I wonder--meh. I did say condensed." A small and embarrassed smile, there. "Anyway. So puberty comes and along with Aunt Flo, I get the ability to manipulate electricity. Not /create/, but /control/. So, not only is his daughter a girl, but a mutant as well, and--you can see how /that/ went over." She starts fiddling with the baseball in her lap, turning it over and running a fingertip along the stitching.
"Anyway, so my friend and I are messing around with the occult--we were stupid as shit, I'm not gon'a deny it--and long story short, I sign a contract I didn't read properly, end up with arcane abilities and tattoos that talk to me. The tattoos themselves weren't part of the bargain, though; It started out--yes I'll admit it--a rebellious thing. But the more I got, and when I got into the branding and stuff, the more I liked them. My favorite is this mural on my back, if you want to see it." Another beat's pause, then, "See, my story can be summed up with 'I was a moron who didn't think things through'. You, at least, just deal with what you were given, and I think you've been dealing with it pretty well. I mean, you've kept your girlish figure when you could have raided a Ben and Jerry's warehouse, for example." Another grin as her attention flicks back to the woman.
Passwall laughs. "Are you kidding? I did some /really/ stupid shit. Like break into a bank once and steal about thirty G. That got me a year and a half." She doesn't seem too down on it. "Yeah, I know better /now/, but I was an arrogant little chick." She waves it off. "Hey, parkour becomes a lot more extreme when you can do what I can. That's how I keep my 'girlish figure'. Ain't nothin' but lots and lots of runnin'."
"See, that's pretty cool, though," says Tanya, turning in her seat to face Passwall more directly, that grin staying on her face. "I mean, it takes a bit of mental discipline for Parkour, so that automatically makes you more interesting than a lot of people, even if you /did/ do some dumb shit when you were younger. Besides, as you said, you know better /now/, and isn't that what's important? Not whether you do the dumb shit in the first place, but whether you learn from it. And besides, if nothing else, Parkour is just cool, and that makes you cool for doing it." A lift of her brows, there, though the humor is notably cut with sincerity.
Passwall blushes a bit, hand raising up to scritch her cheek. "Aw, ya think so? Well, thanks. It's mostly instinct, though... Knowing the city and stuff." She looks like she's about to explain, but decides not to. "...'Sides, even your 'stupid shit' got you some really cool stuff. I mean, talkin' tats? I like tats on women anyway. And being /that/ cool just makes you more uh..." She looks for the right word. "...Interesting."
It's apparently Tanya's turn to blush, and she rubs the back of her neck as her attention flicks downward for a moment. "Umm, thanks," she says, partly for lack of anything else to say. She'd obviously never been genuinely found interesting, like that, before. "See, that just makes /you/ more interesting, because not many people would take the time out to actually talk to someone looking like a Green Day groupie or something, but, if you like tats, let me show you the mural and tell me what you think." And with that, she bites her lip and goes to turn around, and she pulls up the back of her shirt, reaching over her shoulder to pull up the back of the black and red sports bra while she's at it. No, she doesn't care that she's in the middle of a ball game. At least she's not actually flashing anyone. Still, most of the mural can be seen, though how far down it goes is a mystery, as the waistband of her jeans cuts it off. Definitely inspired by her Chinese heritage, it's a dragon winding through flowers and columns of water. It also obviously took a very long time to complete. (( http://tinyurl.com/d4dthch ))
Passwall looks on in awe, reaching out a hand to /almost/ touch. But she doesn't, as that might be considered rude. But the full-back thing, especially with tattoos, makes her blush a bit more. "Wow. That's... Really cool." And before Tanya can turn back around, she sits straight in her seat again, trying to play cool. "Seriously jealous, though. Like I said before, tats just fall off of me when I work. I tried once, but... Yeah."
If Tanya hadn't been trying to peer over her shoulder, she might have missed that blush, but as it is, it makes /her/ blush as well. She's about to lower her shirt again, but then reconsiders. "You can touch it, you know, I don't mind," she says. "I mean, I don't mind /you/ touching it, because you actually appreciate that sort of--oi, you know what I mean. Just--I'm ticklish, so don't mind the jerking." She realizes just then how not-right that came out, which makes her grin rather widely as she lowers her head a little. "Umm, anyway! You can also tell me why tattoos don't 'stick' on you," she says, trying to deflect from her last comment.
Passwall looks over, oh-so-nonchalantly, and tries to hide her excitement. She fails to do so, as she reaches over and rubs a single finger down the dragon's back, tracing it as far as she can go. "It's... Well, tattoos are inked flesh, yeah? Which uhm. Kind of makes them more /thing/ than skin? I guess?" She caught Tanya's comments, but is trying to be nice and not torture her with it. "And so when I phase through... Uhm. Well, all my dead skin falls off. So I come out pretty clean. I can choose certain items to not drop off me and stuff? But skin is like... Lots of tiny things. Cells and whatever. So the tattoos... They kind of peel off. It's painful."
Gooseflesh appears on Tanya's back as that finger runs along the dragon, and there are small tremors as she tries to keep herself from jerking away. She /did/ warn she was ticklish, though that blush of hers can be seen on her neck as well, so ticklishness is likely not the only--issue. "That--wow, I'm sorry," she says a touch more quietly, at least partly out of respect for the issue. "Guess there's got'a be a--downside to everything." The small pause in speech as she tries to not jerk away when that finger gets to her side. She does, though, give a smile over her shoulder at the woman. The gooseflesh doesn't immediately go away, either. "I still think it's neat that you can at least do the--the phasing thing, though. More unique and thus interesting than the latest fire-hurler or whatever, so..."
Passwall pulls her finger back slowly, biting her lip a bit. The sense that she wants to put her whole palm on Tanya's back is obvious, but she refrains from it - a public show here would get them on camera - and instead pulls back again. "I-it's nice. Uh. T-toned body, too, like I thought." She blushes and looks to the game, but her thoughts are still on their conversation. "Really, there's... Probably cooler things people can do out there. I still need practice anyway. A year and a half in jail means I was locked in a cell too dense for me to get out of. Alone. And stuff. So yeah, it's limited. Like, a lot." Downplay your interestingness, Passwall! It's bad for you!
There's a soft breath as that finger is removed, though it's not exactly a sigh of relief. After a beat, she lowers her shirt again, then reaches behind her so she can slip a hand under that shirt and fight with her sports bra. "Oh, pìhuà...!" she mutters under her breath, arching and wriggling and doing a bad version of a chair dance. Finally the damned thing is in place, and she turns around to face Passwall once more. "I think that it might be limited, but that doesn't make it less interesting--it means you're /more/ interesting, because you have to work with those limits. You have to /think/ about how you're going to do what you're going to do. Sure, there might be people out there who can do /more/ than you--but they're boring, you know? Someone who can just /do/ things without thinking about them--that's boring." She bites her bottom lip and decides--you know what? What the hell. She goes to take Cordelia's hand lightly in hers. "I think that no matter what, you're not boring," she says a bit more quietly. "I think you're very interesting, and--I'd like to know even more about you." So there it is, laid nearly plain.
Passwall doesn't try to stop Tanya at all, because let's face it. She'd like to know more about Tanya as well. "Uh... Well. Kinda... Yeah, this is awkward, but you aren't see-" She stops herself, and re-routes to something less /right in your face here it is/. "You free this weekend? Maybe see a movie or somethin'?" Yeah, smooth, Cordy. Real smooth. "'Cuz like, there's this new comedy out. And whatever." Yep, playing it off like it's nothing, like a bawss. Except, y'know, for that blush that threatens to make her faint.
"Yes," says Tanya, grinning like an idiot, a relieved and rather happy look coming over her. "I am /definitely/ free this weekend. Either day; Saturday, Sunday, whichever. A movie sounds great. I love comedies. I like dramas, too, but--yeah. Umm, thank you. That's--yeah." She realizes like she's babbling, also like an idiot, and that blush returns, but that grin stays on her face. Much wider, and the top of her head is going to pop right off. The sad part is that she's trying to rein herself in, maybe even try to play it a bit cooler--but that just ain't happening.
Passwall smiles faintly, eyes flicking back and forth, trying to get a read on Tanya's expression. It's hard to, though, considering... Her eyes are just pink. No whites, no pupils. Just pink. Taking the side of bravado, with caution to the wind - and damn the cameraman who catches it - she lurches forward to plant a quick peck on Tanya's lips. And /hopefully/ she doesn't get slapped. But hey, she can deal. Maybe. Depends on how hard of a slap might happen.
...surprise is the first reaction, but it's /very nearly immediately/ followed by Tanya returning that kiss, eyes closing as her hand lifts to settle on Cordelia's shoulder near her neck, fingertips to lightly play with the hairs at the base of her neck. The kiss is soft, a light suckling of her bottom lip, then her upper, and Tanya finally has to pull back a little--but when she does, it's just a few millimeters, and she's grinning like an idiot again, panting just softly. "Wow..." she whispers, letting her forehead rest against Cordelia's.
Passwall lets out a small giggle, a 'heh, that happened, oh my god' look. "Yeah. Okay. So. Best baseball game ever." She looks up, and... Aw /dammit/. They were caught on the camera. "...I swear, I'm going to punch a camera in some day. Or reach in and pull all the vitals out of one..." The phase-walker sighs, and goes back to Tanya. "So, can I get your number?" Ha, that's out of order. It's number first, then date, then kiss, then... Else things. She's done it all wrong! "'Cuz uh... I don't have a cell phone. Or a home phone. Money's tight and whatever, have to use a pay phone and shit." Wow, she /really/ needs a job that pays more than a thief's wages.
"Heee, yes, that's probably a good idea," Tanya says, grinning even still, then clears her throat and leans back. Reaching into the pocket on her thigh, she pulls out her cell phone, another business card, and a Bic pen. She scrolls through the menus on the former, then jots down her number on the back of the card, complete with a "Call me!" with a little heart as the dot for the exclamation point. No, she doesn't know her own number by heart, but who does, really? Okay," she says, slipping the pen and the phone back into the pocket, then she hands the card to Cordelia. "Here's the number, and..." Now she reaches into her right thigh pocket, to pull out her wallet. "And don't argue with me on this," she says as she pulls out two twenty dollar bills, "but use this to get a cheap pay-as-you-go phone. We can--think of a way to pay me back later, huh?" That's said as she lifts her brows again, then she goes to hand the money over as well.