|Harlem Ghost Talker|
|What: Wicked finds herself drawn to the streets of Harlem by the whispers of her ghosts. While there, she meets Zack, Penny, and Professor Wagner. Quentin shows how good he is at making new friends, too.|
Upper Metropolis - Harlem Harlem is known for many things. Beginning in the 1920s it was the epicenter for the "Harlem Renaissance," an explosion of Black culture in the first half of the century. In the later part of the century, Harlem fell on tough times as job opportunities moved away. Crime and poverty both increased. At the turn of the 21st century, Harlem has begun to rebound economically with an increasing population.
"You're sure?" Wicked whispers as she traipses down the streets of Harlem. She looks painfully out of place. A tiny young lady, reaching only 5'4" in her 3" platform goth boots, Wicked is so very pale compared to the black of her prim little dress with the white lace peter pan collar. She is dreadfully thin. Her skinny legs are decorated with black tights with about a million runs and holes in them, so much that it's hard to figure out just how she managed to get them on.
And, just below her bony knees, a pair of tall, black boots with many, many buckles and straps...and a super thick black foam and rubber sole, totter along with her stilted walking pattern. Her feet seem to turn in and occasionally they drag a bit, as if she might trip and fall, but she never does. She just keeps walking along, her long black hair falling in sheets of loose curls down her back.
"You're absolutely sure?" she says, glancing back and forth. "But, I don't see..." she stops in place, bringing a hand to her chin as if in thought. She looks lost, like she might've gotten turned around, or something.
Dressed in fairly plain clothing, Zack's not looking that out of place with his dark blue jeans, white t-shirt, and a black hoodie. His thick rimmed black glasses slip forward a bit as he kneels down to tie a shoe lace that came undone. Once it's secured back into place, he stands up and pushes his glasses back on his face. When he stands up he does catch sight of a girl with a peculiar attachment to something else. He cannot really see what it is and the bombardment of 'light' is enough to make his head throb a bit. Making sure that his glasses are back in place, he decides to approach her, beginning to make his way over to her.
Behind Wicked, a girl in a much less noticeable outfit is walking, and she isn't paying much attention to where she's going, so when Wicked stops, Penny keeps walking on, closing the distance and not veering from her path. Both her hands have bags filled with groceries in them. She drops one of the bags when she bumps into Wicked, "Sorry!" She says quickly, moving to stop too much from spilling out of the bag.
As Wicked is stopped and already sort of listing forward--as if she were about to start walking again, at any moment--when Penny bumps into her at full walking speed, Wicked makes a sort of squeaking sound as she begins to fall forward. Before Zack's eyes, it seems odd that she doesn't lower her arms to try to break her fall...but, even stranger than that...she doesn't fall. Not all the way. She seems to hover, almost completely horizontal to the sidewalk, her hair even kept off the ground and splayed out in a strange sort of black halo around her head.
Then, she's gently lifted back up and settled back on her feet. She stands for a moment, looking confused, then slowly turns and cants her head sideways--too birdlike to seem natural--as she looks at Penny, struggling with her bags. Anything that starts to fall out of the bags is...somehow magically kept from hitting the ground and finds its way back into the bags. Crookedly, awkwardly, Wicked smiles at Penny. "Hellooooo," she says in an odd little way, her eyes too wide, her body all strange angles and bones. "Have you seen a magic boy?" she asks, snapping her head in the opposite direction.
"Ah!" she points, without looking away from Penny, "THERE HE ISSSssss~" She shouts this in sing-song voice as she points directly at Zack. "They've been telling me and telling me they felt him nearby, but I couldn't see him. But, there he is. Right," she whispers, "overrrr....there." She giggles strangely, holding a finger up to her black-painted lips, making an exaggerated SHHHHing face. As if she's telling Penny a secret.
Alright. There's something going on here. Zack's eyes do indeed catch sight of Wicked being caught and then placed neatly on her feet. The young teen approaches Penny and Wicked casually. The lad runs fingers through his dark shaggy hair. "Hello ladies. Are you both quite alright?" His voice is that of someone from Britain's upperclass around London. Yep. Not from around here. He doesn't ask about the auras he saw because of the fact that there's someone else here and since they didn't seem to notice...
Penny Arkwright might be really smart, but the Tin Can is at home, and the only special thing she's seen is a girl floating when she should have been falling. She decides to just pretend she just doesn't have anything to do with anything remotely superheroic. "Woah!" She glances at Wicked again, and then at Zack, and takes a moment of thought before giving Zack a smile. "I'm alright, 'magic boy,' and I think she is, too. She floated." Which probably everyone has seen.
Wicked's eyes light up as Zack walks up and checks on her welfare. How sweet! She grins lopsidedly and waves a dismissive, bony little hand, the fingers dappled here and there with light-colored tattooed symbols. "Psssh, that little thing? I'm fiiiiiine," she says in a chirpy voice. "Poor little...." her eyes roll back in her head for a moment and she coughs out, "PENNY," before her eyes pop back to the fore, "here almost lost her groceries! But, it's okay. We helped her; didn't we, my lovelies?" she smiles adoringly at the empty air around her. She even reaches up a bony arm to 'boop' the nose of ...thin air.
Looking back to Zack, she smiles, and clasps her hands under her chin, "I've been /looking/ for you."
"Looking for me? Whatever for?" Zack says before realizing what Penny said. "Hmm... Magic boy... Well that's the first time I've been called that. Quite a few names other than that from the lads here." He says flashing her a bit of a smile but not outright denying that he is indeed magic. That said he returns his attention to Wicked herself,"And why were you looking for me? I didn't think that anyone around here bothered with that." He says moving his hands into the pocket of his hoodie.
Penny Arkwright tilts her head when Wicked conjures her name out of thin air, "You don't happen to have any invisible friends around, do you?" Because well, it's pretty clear to Penny that this girl has some kind of communication going on that's effective, she just doesn't exactly know what. "You're right though, I'm Penny. Penny Arkwright, and I wouldn't be carrying any groceries if my dad wasn't such a lazy bastard."
At Zack's question, Wicked looks confused, her full lips jutting out in a contemplative pout of sorts. "I was looking for you!" she repeats, smiling, almost like a broken record. Then, she looks at Penny, "And, Penny...Yes! Penny. She helped me find you," she nods happily about it, beginning to fiddle with the edge of her dress. When Zack asks her, again, why she was looking for him, she looks really perplexed. "I don't have a reason. Should I have a reason?" she admits, her grin broadening.
Looking to Penny, she gasps, her eyes wide and her hand going to her mouth, "How did you guess?! Usually, people just think I'm crrrrrrrrraaaaaaaazyyyyyyyyyy." She spins a finger around and around as she says it, waggling her head a bit as she does. "Yes, my friends are invisible, right now. People tend to do a lot of screaming and pants wetting when they see them. But, that's okay! They've learned when to be visible and when not to, I guess. 'Cause I often forget to tell them to turn their lights off," she giggles. "Oopsie daisy!" she winks big time.
"Well usually people have a reason for looking for someone. If nothing more than find out more about them." Zack points out in a manner that makes it seem like this is standard operating procedure. "Invisible friends? Like a kind of spirit? That would explain what I saw when I looked at you. Although not sure how your friends got attached to you... Or are they attached? It's sort of hard to determine." He says tapping a finger to his lips. "Sorry to hear about your father being a lazy bastard. I can say that my father tends to give me just enough rope to hang myself with most of the time."
Penny Arkwright smiles a bit nervously, "I hadn't told you my name, and it looked like someone told you. I guessed that was one of them." She's a smart girl alright, and one at least somewhat accepting of the idea of weird things being real. She looks at her groceries again, and then shrugs, "They'll keep."
Wicked's eyes widen when Zack tells her something that he believes to be standard operating procedure, just...common sense. "No wayyyyyyyy," she breathes. "Well, sometimes, I don't know why I'm looking for someone until I find them. Has that ever happened to you?" she asks, tapping her chin thoughtfully. "Yes!" she replies to his oddly astute question. "VERY much like a kind of spirit," she nods solemnly, rocking back on her heels...and almost losing her balance---but, once again, she's caught before she does and glides smoothly back into a stable standing position. "They're attached to me by an oath of loving devotion," she smiles, looking in at least four different directions. "You can see them?" she asks, lifting her perfectly arched brows.
Looking to Penny, Wicked grins broadly, "I'm reaaaaaally good at guessing names. Watch this," she says. Once again, her eyes roll back in her head so that only the whites show. She inhales in a wheezing sort of way, then points a trembling finger at Zack, "SSSSSSSSSSSSSZZachary," she coughs, her body jerking a bit. Then, her eyes pop back to the front and she beams, "SEE? I'm never wrong!"
A long string of beads seems to float down from above, landing on Wicked's left wrist and twining around until a cross is left laying in her palm. The rosary is extremely stylized, with beads of pearlescent amber and weathered little skulls interwoven into the strand ( [] ). "I hope you'll accept the gift in the spirit of forgiveness, Wicked, doll," a voice says from above, and Quentin Quire lowers himself to the ground, freshly flown in under his own power. His hair is blue today, ungelled and flopping across the left side of his shaved scalp. A clove cigarette dangles carelessly from his lip, a ring of gold around the black filter. His t-shirt says "I'm Blowing Your Mind" above a picture of a mushroom cloud shaped like a brain. His two hundred dollar sneakers land with a careless tread, falling into step alongside Wicked. He doesn't even speak to Penny and Zack, taking a long drag of his smoke and blowing it carelessly out, "Are these people bothering you? Should I make them run into traffic? I'd hate to think I left you so bereft of companionship that you had to go around picking up strays."
"I do believe that you're being a bit of a prick." Zack says as he's interrupted by Quentin. "Try making me do that and you'll see what happens to those who piss me off." He says in a cold hard voice. Zack might be a good kid. There is a limit to his patience though."You were interrupting a conversation. Anyway, to answer your question, I have on occasion found something and realized I needed to find it." He says nodding his head to Wicked.
Quentin Quire may be kind to Wicked, he scares the hell out of Penny. Without the Tin Can, which isn't here, she's just a random teen, and she has no illusions about her ability to defend herself should someone like that try to kill them. "I was just talking to her..." She wasn't afraid when talking to Wicked, because while Wicked may have seemed ... somewhat unstable, she at least seemed friendly. The new arrival doesn't.
Wicked's eyes slide over to the rosary that wends its way around her hand, the cross landing in her palm, and she smiles softly. "Ohhhhh, it's beautiful, QQ," she says sweetly, lifting her tawny gaze to watch Quentin drift down to the ground--in plain view of everyone. "Of /course/ I forgive you," she giggles, pressing the rosary to her cheek. Looking to Zack and Penny, she shakes her head, her glossy black curls shimmering as she does, "Noooooooo. They're not bothering me, at all! And, do try not to make new friends for me so soon! They have things to do," she giggles.
"He /is/ rather rude to most /everyone,/" she says agreeably to Zack. "That's his way of being polite," she adds, with a great big wink. "I think!" she pauses... "I THINK I was supposed to find you because you're maaaaaaaaaaagic!" she waves jazz hands, her new rosary gift rattling as she does. "Ohhh, Penny," she smiles at the cute little ginger, "Don't worry! I won't let him bite you!" She smiles and makes introductions, "Quentin, this is Magical Zack and Pretty Little Penny!"
Somewhere in the near distance, mostly from the up direction, there is the most curious sound. Those who have encountered it before will know it instantly for what it is. For those who have not--well, it's just strange, like the combination of a muffled explosion and a pneumatic pulse. It's not thunder, precisely, but it's still the sound of air being noisily and suddenly displaced. It sounds like 'BAMF'.
A few moments later the smell of rotting eggs wafts by on the wind.
Kid Omega tilts his head back to look at Zack at last, grazing the lad with his baby browns, "Bit of a prick? I was going for full prick. I'm more tired than I thought. But, yes, definitely. Go ahead and tweet about it. "Quentin Quire's a bit of a prick". You'll probably get a few hundred followers out of it, although some of them will probably say disgusting things about your bowels," he says, eyes flicking to Penny, "And please, stop being so nervous, I can hear your little bird bones chattering," he says.
To Wicked, he breaks into a smile, "Well, if you must have pets, darling, these at least are house trained...I hope," he says. The trademark pop and sulphur, however, makes his steps drag a little bit, "Oh, great, get out the sauerkraut, Der Kommissar is coming our way..."
"I think you're compensating lacking something." Zack says smirking a little bit. He pauses for a moment,"Umm... I don't do jazz hands. Magic is something that is done sometimes with nothing more than mere thought. Do you need magic for something?" He asks curiously as he pulls a small stone from his pocket and begins rubbing it between his fingers. The smell of brimstone makes his body tense before it seems like the source is known and he tries to force himself to relax.
Penny Arkwright relaxes a bit, though not too much, Kid Omega is still scary, and the smell isn't adding to her comfort. "So, uh... are you two, uh, involved or something?" She glances between Kid Omega and Wicked, she's still trying to figure out what's going on there. While being scared, "And if you don't mind me asking, who is 'Der Kommissar?'"
Leaning against Quentin, Wicked smiles up at him with an adoring look, "You're so sweet." Looking back to Zack, she smiles, "Don't worry, he's this rude to everyone. He doesn't have anything against you that he doesn't have against everyone else, practically." Then, she tilts her head in thought, "I don't have a /particular/ need of magic, at the moment, but I -might- in the future. Are your prices reasonable?" she asks.
"How sweet of you to notice, Penny," Wicked coos, gently stroking Penny's cute hair. "We're definitely something," she giggles. "As for 'Der Kommissar'... I'm not quite sure. I'm new to the area and Quentin knows a bit more than I do about the place... So, I'd ask him!" she smiles, looking back to Quentin. Then, suddenly, she says, "OH! Someone just appeared. Near...by?" she says uncertainly, her head tilted upward at an angle, as if she's listening closely to that which no one can really see.
There's another of that BAMF sound, and then a third, so soon after the second that they layer overtop each other. The direction changes, from somewhere up above to an alley not too far from the group, cross purposes and currently out-of-sight from their position. The smell of sulfur strengthens, just a little bit.
Then, there's a voice calling out, a man stepping out with it. At least, he's ostensibly a man; although he has a jacket layered over his clothing, it's very clear he's wearing some kind of 'superhero' uniform, and perhaps more pertinently, he's /blue/, with glowing yellow eyes, a long tail sweeping amusedly behind him. His voice has a distinct German accent. "Ach, now, that's a bit unkind, don't you think? /Racial profiling/, I should have thought as members of the so-called advanced species we'd be above all that. Hallo, Kinder."
Kid Omega purses his lips, "Magic, eh? Shouldn't you be wearing a tuxedo or pulling a handkerchief out of your sleeve or something?" he says. He slips his hand down to take Wicked's slender, small hand in his, "We're something all right. Something spectacular," he winces a bit as he feels Kurt manifest in the nearby alley, realizing that the teacher is definitely going to stop and say hello. Lame.
When Kurt actually makes his appearance, Quentin, if anything, gets more defiant, his head tilting back a bit, eyes narrowing. Whatever he might think of Penny and Zack, they aren't the enemy. Not when there's an -adult- around. "The history of societal advancement, Professor Wagner, is one of constant denigration. Verbal stereotyping has a rich history. Also, if 1980's New Wave songs represent the worst of my offenses to you, I've been slacking way off. I'll try to do worse in the future."
"That's stage magic. The real thing is something that goes beyond all things you're thinking of right now." Zack says shaking his head and under his breath says,"Not that it takes much." Pausing for a moment, he makes a small gesture and a business card with his name and phone number on it appear in between two fingers, "Actually I don't charge for magic. Charging for magic is rather a forbidden thing. Feel free to call me if you need help."
Penny Arkwright is kind of quiet for a bit, watching these guys talk and not having much else to say. Then she hears Kurt say something, and she narrows her eyes a little at him, "Advanced Species?" She asks, kind of indignified sounding, "Is that how you call yourselves? There's nothing better or worse about mutants and metahumans, just something different." She sounds like she's pretty convinced on that point, at least, "How dare you use racist language like that so soon after Iron Man sacrificed himself to protect you?"
Wicked's slender fingers entwine with Quentin's as he takes her free hand. She turns to look at Mr. Wagner and smiles, "Woooooooooow. You are /very/ cool looking." She has no tact. Not a bit. "What's sauerkraut?" she asks, her eyes wide and innocent with wondering. Looking back at Zack, her face lights up with the small bit of magic--which could be viewed as a trick, but it delights her no less--and she bounces awkwardly on her thickly soled boots. "Oh, wow! Very nice, Zachary! Very nice!" she says, accepting the card and sliding it inside the collar of her dress. It...doesn't fall out, so it's presumably somewhere in there. "I think it's pretty awesome, what you do for people. Thanks," she smiles brightly...seeming almost /normal/. But, then, she ruins it by laughing far too loudly and beeping Zack's nose.
"Advanced? Mmmm, maybe? Different, yes. Similar, yes. Equal, probably. Who knows? Who knowwwwwwwws, Penny?" she whispers intensely at the ginger girl. "It's racist to think that mutants might be somehow advanced, because of our pretty little X-genes? That doesn't mean that non-mutants are lesser! I...don't know who Iron Man is, but it was nice of him to sacrifice himself to protect people. Didn't save my family. My country. But, hey! Not everyone gets to live! That's life. And, death," she smiles as consolingly as she can. But, it comes off as slightly off-putting. Especially when she strokes Penny's hair, again, her fingers and the rosary getting slightly tangled in that pretty red hair.
"Nein, I am quite certain you can come up with something truly offensive given the opportunity, Quentin, I merely thought the potshot at my ethnicity was particularly low-hanging fruit for you. A little substandard, nicht wahr?" Kurt closes the distance between himself and the children a little bit, giving them a few feet to remain comfortable and not feel like he might be about to pounce on any one of them at any moment. He has his hands tucked into the pockets of his coat. One of his eyebrows lifts--the one that's always just a tiny bit higher than the other one /anyway/--and his gaze turns to Penny to consider her thoughtfully. It's hard to track his eyes, but Kurt seems to go out of his way to make it clear who he's looking at by actually turning his head.
"Ach, I think you misunderstand me." He says, and his tail gives a single, abrupt jerk to the side. "It is not my phrase. It is the Latin, ja? Homo sapiens sapiens. Homo sapiens superior. A ridiculous tag some scientist gave us at some point or another which has given a great deal more trouble than it's ever given good. It's not--actually--anything /I've/ ever given much credence to." His head turns to glance at Quentin, briefly, as if he's implying something. "But if I have offended you, I am sorry. It was not my intention."
Wicked gets a toothy grin. Oh look, he's got /fangs/. "Danke, liebchen. Sauerkraut? It's a German delicacy, if you go for that sort of thing. Vinegar-soaked cabbage. Pickled. Not for everyone."
Kid Omega rolls his eyes, "Ohhhhhhhhh, please, not the 'all men are created equal' crapola. If Thomas Jefferson were here right now, I would totally kick him in the nuts," he says, then responds to Wicked, "Iron Man's this rich dude who built a suit of armor, 'cause he wanted to be, like, a knight or something, I dunno. Tony Stark, he makes a whole bunch of techno stuff. Anyway, he fought some sort of evil alien...thing and got himself blown up. And apparently Penny had a poster of him on her wall and is -real- upset about it," he says.
To Kurt, he just grins rakishly, "Just because something's tried and true doesn't mean it's worthless. Anyway, the low hanging fruit would be the three-toe, freaky face thing, wouldn't it? I haven't said anything about that in at least, like, a week." he smiles, almost innocently, if you didn't know oh so much better.
"Iron Man is a genius inventor. While science is not my forte, it is something to be admired. It requires quite a bit of brains to do it." Zack says looking at Kid Omega,"Your abilities are not that much better than a man who can sculpt or paint, or create music." He points out casually,"Skills are skills. THose who are talented deserve praise unless they're otherwise pathetic in nature that creates a counter." He adds in a cool voice,"I'd like to see what would happen if you went up against someone like Doctor Fate." He says smirking a bit.
Penny Arkwright proceeds to dismiss any further input Kid Omega has to offer, on the rational principle of 'this guy clearly intends every statement to piss people off.' Instead, she considers Kurt a little more, "So, I guess you're from Germany? What's it like over there?" Penny is a teen, carrying groceries in Harlem, chances of ever having been to Europe: nil. "I kind of want to go there some day, and maybe visit the neighbouring countries like Austria, Switzerland, France, Poland... and you know, all of them."
Wicked nods attentively to what everyone says about this Iron Man, Tony Stark guy. Genius inventor, fought an alien bad dude, she listens to her ghosties, as well...who give her a fuller account even quicker, having gotten information from surrounding spirits, and delivering it empathically. She smiles and nods her head, "Ahhhhh, gotcha." She begins trying to gently extricate her fingers and the rosary from Penny's hair, but ends up getting help from her Frighteners, who are careful to only touch Wicked's skin while they untangle the digits and jewelry.
"AH HA, there we go, Pretty Penny. I apologize. Your hair is just so delightfully ginger! I haven't known many gingers in my life," she says with an odd little smile. "But, would you like a little help with your heavy grocery bags? My friends would be happy to free up your arms, if you like! You can still pretend to hold them, though, if you want," Wicked grins.\
"Mmmm, sauerkraut sounds pretty delicious. I'd like to try it, sometime!" she says, her stomach gurgling loudly. She laughs nervously at that, hoping no one presses her on how long it's been since she last ate.
Kurt simply smiles at Quentin, as if it's the most naturally thing to do, his eyes bright with amusement. He doesn't make commentary on the 'three-toe, freaky face thing'. Maybe he hasn't anything clever to say. Maybe he's just not rising to the bait. Instead, he turns his attention back to Penny. "It is very German. I find it sometimes hard to explain for someone who has not been there. It is steeped in history. It is nice to live in a place where you can be in another country, another culture, in just a few hours. I miss it, sometimes. Not always." He watches the interplay of Wicked and Penny's hair with a thoughtful expression, tail curling behind him. "Luckily for you, it is easy to find in most grocery stores. It makes the house stink less to buy it already jarred, as well." The flash of his fangs indicates this is probably a joke.
Kid Omega isn't in the least offended to be somewhat ignored by Kurt. Good, insofar as he's concerned. He slides his cellphone out, idly starting to flip through his apps. One of them, MuteBlast, is of his own design, programmed on a lazy afternoon instead of his ethics homework. It's essentially a meet-up app for mutants, letting you find others with the app and hook up for anything from mutant protests to support to shenanigans involving booze and underwear. Maybe all three. Thirty three downloads today, not bad. He's giving it away for free, for now, but only until it starts to pick up. Then he can monetize it.
"Stop muttering to yourself, Zach, it makes you look craaaaaazy," he murmurs idly, finding a phone game to play called "Murderer's Row", where your cartoon gangster flings knives at prostitutes and drug dealers. "Steeped in history, huh? Smells like it was steeped in old urine," he murmurs, starting up a simulation in Omega City, his mind multi-tasking at an alarming rate as he switches from game to fantasy to conversation to the way his fingers are tracing an Omega symbol on the inside of Wicked's wrist.
"I've spent a bit of time in France but not the others." Zack says shrugging a little bit. "And you would know all about crazy, wouldn't you?" He says smirking a little bit at Kid Omega again. "Although I really don't care for sauerkraut. Tastes horrible to me." He says with a bit of a shiver. Sauerkraut is very low on the list of things that he actually considers to be food. His blue eyes go from one person to another. "You do smell of brimstone." He says wrinkling his nose.
Penny Arkwright has mostly been ignoring the playing with her hair bit, on the principle of 'seems unstable but currently harmless, let's not upset her' "Thank you for offering, but I'll be fine." She considers what Kurt has to say, and finally says, "I'm kind of curious what that's like, but... furthest away from here I've ever been is Gotham."
Wicked finds herself tonguing her canines as she stares unabashedly at Kurt's pointy fangs, her perfectly lipsticked lips open and lifted to show her teeth as she does so. "I'll have to get some," she says in a vacant-sounding voice as she continues to watch Kurt's mouth as he talks. It seems to be particularly fascinating to her. She giggles, though, from time to time as Quentin's finger tracing an Omega symbol over and over again on her wrist tickles her. The giggles seem random and probably in appropriate, given some of the conversation topics.
At the mention of the smell of brimstone, Wicked finally looks to Zack and said, "Hey, I was wondering what that smell wa---" Her eyes roll back in her head and, as is now becoming familiar, she begins inhaling in a croaking wheeze...and strainingly says, "Due...to-tel.....eport-method." Then, she snaps out of it, again, and seems to lose track of everything, in general. Her eyes wander, even as Penny turns down the offer, and she doesn't quite seem to hear it.... She's staring off into space.
"I do." Kurt agrees with Zach, his eyebrows lifting faintly. "Especially if I have used my gifts recently. It lingers, for which I am sorry but also for which I can do nothing to correct. You know, it was first one of the three heavenly elements, in alchemy? To symbolize the spirit everlasting. It was used to purify, in ancient times. Funny how it has such a different reputation now." He sounds contemplative, thoughtful in a way that stretches the gap between absent and deeply personally interested.
He turns his head back towards Wicked, mouth curling around in half a frown. There's something a little concerned in his expression, and his tail loses some altitude, but he does confirm a moment later, "Ja. When I teleport I technically open a gateway to a pocket dimension and pull myself through it. It smells rather overbearingly of sulfur, I have yet to figure out how to file a complaint on that matter..."
Kid Omega considers, "Interdimensional Customer Service? Ask Professor Summers, I'm sure one of his kids has called to complain about him before," he murmurs, "Also, did you just spout some friggin' -alchemy-? Dude, I don't know if I'm impressed or disgusted. I mean, on the one hand, that's some Final Jeopardy shiz. On the other, it's so obsolete that Zack's probably majoring in it," he says. Oooh, got that one right in the liver, double points score. And she was an alcoholic. Bottle the bloody gin for a health boost. Yes. "By the way, Professor, since I imagine you know all too well what it feels like, try not to stare at my girlfriend like she's freakin' you out," he says, although he doesn't actually look up from his phone.
"Not really that surprising when you consider Fire was thought to purify the body and soul." Zack says shrugging a little bit,"But generally speaking now it is associated with demonic forces." He says grimacing a little bit,"And actually it is not that obsolete. Science had advanced beyond all forms of alchemy in a way but potions and such are quite a valid thing. I personally spend more time learning spells, incantations and things of that nature. I know about potions but they're not my forte by any stretch. I am quite good at transmutations and conjurations." He says looking at Kid Omega as if he was considering doing a transmutation.
Penny Arkwright listens to a lot of these things, but she's entirely tuned out Kid Omega at this point, she probably wouldn't even notice if he said anything not intended to further negativity. "Magic sure sounds complicated, are you sure it's magic and that it isn't some kind of mutant or metahuman ability?" She's not saying that in a tone of doubt, really, just one of thought, like she's trying to understand better.
Wicked begins rolling her head arrrrround, and arrrround, and arrrrround. Her hair, so beautiful and long, and black, and shiny, and curly, covers her entire face. It feels so good to do this. It makes her a little dizzy. And, without even thinking about it, Quentin's holding her upright with his TK--he's familiar with her habit of almost falling down quite often. So, she can do this as much as she wants. She giggles to herself as her neck muscles ripple and warm up, her head beginning to spin and whirl. She giggles delightedly and, feeling Kurt's eyes on her, she rolls to a stop and peers at him, smiling at him through her hair. Then, resumes rolling her head around and around.
When Quentin chastises Kurt for staring at her, she stops her rolling and looks at Quentin through her hair. "That's the first time you've called me your girlfriend, QQQ," she beams and hops dizzily upwards to kiss his cheek, not bothering to move her hair out of the way. Looking to Penny, she whispers, "He's not so bad, really, once you get used to his sense of humor. I mean, he was never mean to me, but I'm weird. You've noticed; right? EV'ryone notices. He treats me like I'm not so weird, but interesting. That's not a bad thing; right?" She lolls her head at an angle, finally shifting her hair from her face.
"Quentin," Kurt says, almost fondly, his eyes sliding to the side briefly, "I understand it may be somewhat of a foreign concept, but there is a distinct difference between 'concern' and 'freaked out', and I assure you, this was the former, not the latter. If you ever really wish to know," He brings his tail around now, displaying it in front of himself for the entire group. "You will know by the level of floof." It stands to be noted, he has zero 'floof' at the moment, his fur laying a sleek against his tail as it ever does. A moment later he's glancing to Zack. "Ja, but an unfair reputation nonetheless. The modern mind has the cause and effect backwards."
Kid Omega shrugs, "Whatever, dude. Just lookin' out for my girl," he says, and he actually breaks into a smile when Wicked kisses him on the cheek, "And, of course, you're my girlfriend, babe. And I think you're interesting 'cause you -are- interesting. You know I'm a terrible liar," he says. He's actually a fantastic liar, of course, but you couldn't tell necessarily, because he seems entirely truthful when he says he's a terrible liar. Next level: Slaughter in the Grocery Mart. Kill all the shoplifters before they ruin our capitalist system. "And I absolutely refuse to monitor floof. Floof is completely off my radar. Just, like, text me or something. I'm just lookin' out for her. Somebody's got to," he says, knowing full well that Wicked herself usually doesn't. "Potions. Sheesh. Are you planning to brew glory or bottle fame? Maybe put a stopper in death? I mean, that is, if you have...the pre-disposition..." he says, his voice getting deeper, resonant, slightly British, a little sneery.
"You travel through a dimension that has a rich brimstone. Being covered in brimstone doesn't make a demon. I've seen humans that utilized it for a variety of reasons." Zack says shrugging a bit at Kurt,"I tend to judge from how things are. You do not strike me as a demon so, I have no issue with your presence. If you were a true demon then I'd have to try and send you back to your home dimension." Turning towards Kid Omega, Zack smirks,"Oh lovely. You're turning into Snape. Perhaps next you'll get head out of your arse and say something that's bloody useful. Anyway, I know a potionmaker, it's quite difficult to brew a proper potion. It's a bit like mixing chemicals for a chemical reaction, which I find a touch easier."
Penny Arkwright replies to Wicked, "I'm weird, your boyfriend is weird, your teacher is weird, and yeah, you're weird too. Everyone is weird, least you can hope for is to be weird in an interesting way, and you've done that while I haven't. I'm jealous, I'm pretty sure most people who focus on it that much wish they could be as interesting as you." She smiles as she says it, and she sounds like she believes it, too. She turns to Zack again, and sighs, "You didn't answer my question, Zack."
Wicked looks between Quentin and Kurt, feeling very touched that both are concerned for her. She doesn't know how to express herself, so she just bursts out in a pretty, but very loud, sustained vibrato note. It sounds happy, at least? She rubs her cheek against Quentin's bicep and smiles warmly. When he breaks out his Alan Rickman-as-Snape impression, she cannot help but giggle in delight and bounce a bit! "Ohhhh, I love it when you do Snape, QQQ, I love ittttt," she laughs. To Zack, she makes a playful raspberry sound, "Oh, now! You have to admit it's a good impression! Hmmmmm?" She grins so sweetly, leaning closer to Zack, "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?" She winks and boops his nose.
To Penny, Wicked gasps, her eyes wide and expressing her shock, indignation. "WHO told you you're not interesting? They are WRONG. Because you are VERY interesting. You're beautiful, with lovely red hair, and a sweet disposition. You've been holding those heavy groceries for, like, twenty hours without complaining, too! So, don't ever let anyone tell you you're NOT interesting, because that's just... Well, it's just a bunch of hooey," she nods fiercely.
Kurt looks down for a little bit, listening to the others, maybe mostly to Zack. He considers his toes in his strange shoes. His smile curls upwards again. "Mein jung Freund, while I appreciate your assurances, I'm well-acquainted with who and what I am. I don't actually need to be told I am not a demon. I already know." There's a flicker of the spade of his tail, near his ankles, a sudden quick back-and-forth motion. He lifts his face a moment later and smiles widely, the sort of smile that more or less takes up his entire face. "The Professor once told me that there is no such creature as 'normal' anyway. I think there was wisdom in the statement. There is...always...something to be said for not standing out so much you cannot stand /in/."
Kid Omega waggles his eyebrows at Wicked as she kisses his bicep, listening as she very sweetly compliments the ordinary girl. Such a generous spirit, she has. Several of them, even. "You know that's not actually a comeback, right, Zack? Keep up, buddy, if you wanna play with the big kids," he says, allowing his eyes to flick up to Nightcrawler. "Does Professor X ever talk in anything that hasn't come out of a fortune cookie?" he says, and he projects a psionic illusion of Charles Xavier's face to the four, only the voice coming out definitely still sounds like Alan Rickman <<There is no such thing as normal! A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush! I have a dream! Male pattern baldness is attractive to ladies!>> it babbles, before he shuts it down. Idly thumbing open his Instagram on his cell, he pushes his cheek against Wicked's and snapping a quick selfie. His thumbs bang out <Shoppin' wit my boo. Jealous yet? #ghostwiththemost #youwish> underneath.
"Sorry Penny, I can tell it isn't a mutation because mutations do not require the level of study working on incantations that I have to do with magic. Just because I make it seem like I do it without anything, it's a form of magic where my brain processes the entire spell in a matter of seconds." Zack says looking at Penny,"I specialize in the creation of what I call golems, but they're not the Jewish kind. They're embodiments of the elements. Takes a bit out of me and I'm not exactly the kind that does things in secret. I use much magic and it's like having a flare." He pauses for a moment before looking at Kid Omega,"Somehow I wonder how much extra space your brain has because it's pretty obvious it only utilizes less than a normal person."
Penny Arkwright smiles when Wicked says she's interesting, and glances down at her groceries, "I do groceries all the time, and other lifting, my dad's a lazy bum and my mom's got no time. ... but thanks, I'm glad to know the most interesting person I've met all month thinks I'm interesting." She glances to Zack, and thinks what he's saying. "I guess, I'm not really knowledgable on any of all that stuff. Most of what I've got going for me is that I'm somewhat smarter than my classmates."
Wicked can't help but grin at the hologram-like illusion cast of Professor X, whom she met back on Genosha...when everything happened. He's a very nice man, Professor Charles Xavier. He invited her to come with him---and, after she helped rebuild Genosha a bit, she decided to take him up on his offer. Then, on her very first day, she met Quentin. Quentin, who made her feel special, and didn't think she was crazy. Who looked out for her... Then, Zack's insulting Quentin's intelligence and she finds herself frowning.
"Zack... I understand that Quentin has been far less than polite. And, I'm not one to step into his affairs, because he handles those without my assistance... But," she pauses and turns her head eerily to one side, her eyes scarily intense, "I don't like what you just said. At all. So, please, don't say that, again. I would really appreciate it." Her voice sounds oddly lucid, and there's a hint of creepy anger in her tone...as though she's barely holding back from exploding.
As soon as she's done, though, she smiles sweetly at Zack and briefly squeezes his arm gently, affectionately. Then, looking to Penny, Wicked beams, "Oh, man. You're really fascinating. The way you live is so very cool. I mean, it blows that your dad's a lazy bum and your mom's always busy... But, still! You're very neato-spiffy-keen," she nods.
As Quentin stoops to press his cheek to hers, she automatically poses for his selfie, looking waifish and sweet, her eyes flirting with the camera. She's...really practiced at this, somehow. As he finishes the shot, she kisses his cheek, again, and rubs the lipstick from his cheek with her thumb idly.
Kurt laughs. He actually barks a laugh, briefly, expanding his expression to view the group of kids in front of him. "Oh, sometimes," He assures Quentin, the laughter clinging to his voice. "Sometimes he quotes from movies also. 'Come with me if you want to live' was one of my favorites." But then there's insults being slung, and Nightcrawler quiets, the smile fading off of his face.
Kid Omega takes a bit of pride in seeing Wicked put on her scary face on his behalf. Seeing that she's starting to get a little bit agitated, though, he figures...well, he's not going to be the biggere man, but he can at least snuff the fuse before it goes off. Anyway, it mighti score him a few points with Kurt, which might make it easier to get weekend pass for that Kesha show next month. Or, um, for the totally important museum visit they're going to do. Yeah. Totally.
"Dude, I'm just pullin' your..." he flicks his eyes back to Kurt, then shrugs, "I mean, I'm just jokin', dude. No need to get all butthurt about. Bygones and all that stuff. I'm just tryin' to have a little fun, blow off some steam while I'm outta school. Private school can be kind of a pressure cooker, y'know, and I start to feel a little like a pot roast if I don't get to let my... juices... okay, so, that's not, like, the best metaphor, but you get it, right?" he says, mentally giving Wicked the psionic equivalent of a petting, almost sort of scratching her behind her mental ears.
"Just for the record, though, about my mental capacity, I'm currently doing my biology and English lit homework, updating my Netflix queue on my phone, planning a really spectacular date with Wicked, cataloguing the various parts I'm going to need to build an actual hoverboard for one of my classmates to use in the Danger Room aaaaaaand...talking to you. But, seriously, let's just try to play nice, okay? No need to pick fights, buddy. Can't we all just get along?"
"I'd ask you let my arm go... Not a huge fan of being touched by people I don't know." Zack says blinking a little bit at Wicked,"If you wouldn't mind. I just really not a huge fan of being touched by people I know... Especially when I have my glasses on. Just makes me a little bit on the uncomfortable side." He says casually. Pausing for a moment,"I understand about private schools. I've attended that sort of thing my entire life. Private Schools are usually more about performing than they are about being yourself." He pauses for a moment before smirking at Kid,"I'm sure your juices work just fine."
Penny Arkwright thinks about the idea of private schools, and looks a little more jealous, "Private school sounds nice, though..." She doesn't sound like she has any practical experience with them. "I mean, sure, it's a lot of work, but..." She shrugs a bit, "That's probably better than my school, everything's so easy I can do all my homework in like an hour a week, and I still have to sabotage my tests to not make it look like I'm cheating..."
And, so, because things had gotten to a point of some minor offenses, everyone said their goodbyes. Wicked promised to check in with Penny at some point, and reminded Zack that she had his card if she ever had need of magical assistance. Grabbing Quentin's arm, she and he wandered off to do more sightseeing and Professor Wagner BAMFed off to parts unknown. Penny went on her way home and Zack wandered off toward his next destination.