|ᴅᴀʀᴋᴄʜɪʟᴅᴇ (magiks) wrote in avengers_logs,
@ 2021-09-03 09:06:00
|Illyana liked exploring. And even though she hadn’t expected to wake up in a completely new city, well, why not? Why not take advantage? Most anything was better than being experimented on or whatever the thing was to do to those who carried similar genes as she did - whatever had gotten Rogue and Remy so involved with unsavory things, whatever caused Rogue to decide that being a spy beneath the noses of a whole Tower full of do-gooders was a great plan.
Ugh. Very questionable - no wonder she disliked most people. They never gave her any reason to change her mind.
That was probably why she set out to do some exploring on her own - and one of the things she loved most was coffee, especially the iced kind. It was hot, and summer felt equal parts muggy and equal parts cool and damp thanks to the marine air. She had on a rain jacket and a short-sleeved dress, pairing sneakers with that - vintage-styled Vans, something she could wander around in and take a long walk without having to resort to teleporting back because her feet hurt. On her return trip to the Tower, she stopped in a little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop - something with colorful, kaleidoscope-esque murals and the promise of beans that were roasted not too light, and not too dark.
She didn’t care. She just wanted the caffeine boost.
One order for a pastry (it was a cronut, which she had never heard of before - how weird) and the largest iced coffee available, and she was waiting for her order at the counter, Lockheed in his plushie form peeking out over the top of her purse.
Since arriving to San Francisco, Kate had spent almost every day exploring. Well, after purchasing some clothes and shoes(thank you, Mr. Stark!). It wasn't like she had a lot of other things to take up her time. She'd have to fix that eventually, but between wandering the streets of SF and Netflix, she was pretty good on activities. At least, she was keeping herself busy.
That thing she'd always heard and read about San Francisco being super cold all the time? Total bullshit. Some of the days it was foggy and muggy and chilly, and others it was hot (and foggy and muggy). Kate never knew if she was going to be a sweaty mess when she arrived back to the tower, or if she was going to wish she'd thought to bring a sweater.
But one thing she needed every day, even the days she needed a sweater, was coffee. So she'd been going to different shops each day to pick one out. Today she was in a cafe waiting for an iced coffee when she saw a woman who looked very familiar order a... cronut. What was a cronut?
Kate couldn't help herself. She collected her iced coffee and stepped closer. "...I've never seen one of those before. What is it?"
At first Illyana thought she was talking about Lockheed - so she glanced down, dark gaze finding her plushie companion, and then realized that the question was about her snack. Ooh, exciting - and this girl lived in the Tower, didn’t she? Illyana thought she recognized her. One of those superhero types - or maybe she could be a spy. You just never knew, apparently.
“It’s a cronut,” she informed the other woman, accent a silky caress of those words - and the word ‘cronut’ probably sounded a little odd with a Russian tinge to it. “A mix between a donut and a croissant. It has some fancy filling in it. Salted caramel, or something like that.” Actually the menu said dulce de leche but caramel seemed to be easier to pronounce for her - even if English words were odd sometimes. “I will let you try some if you want?” It was a big enough pastry - and while she could eat the whole thing by herself, maybe she shouldn’t be such a glutton.
The first gaze that Kate got to her question seemed a bit unusual--made her body tense in anticipation of the fight/flight thing. An overreaction to her question about the food? But almost instantly the expression faded, and Kate’s body relaxed just a little. “...I have a hard time imagining a mix between those two things. Sounds… good?” And then the woman--who Kate thought she recognized from the tower, but since Kate was still so new she couldn’t be sure--was offering her some. And Kate smiled brightly. “I’ll grab a knife and a table.”
Back in her world, Kate was surrounded by people. Friends, mostly. And Clint, who was something other than a friend. More than a friend. Nowhere near romantic, but definitely more than a friend. Hard to describe. Anyway. Here she’d felt the loneliness creep up on her. Having arrived several days ago, she had spent the majority of the time wandering alone or watching Netflix alone. It was starting to wear on her. She was thankful for a friendly face.
She grabbed a plastic knife from near the napkins and headed to a table to sit and wait while the other got her coffee. Then Kate realized she hadn’t introduced herself. And she felt like a moron.
Illyana wasn’t really the friendly sort - but, well, she was trying. She promised Stephen that she wouldn’t kill anyone, so - surely this counted as something positive? Sharing her cronut?
Slurping her iced coffee when it arrived (and her name was an illegible scribble on the side of the plastic cup - she should have given them one like Bambi) she headed over to where New Friend had snagged a table. Lockheed was tucked further down in her purse and she settled in one of the seats, a dainty flop as she adjusted the skirt of her dress. “Here - “ The blonde, her hair up in a crown braid to keep it out of her face, sliced into the pastry and cut it into two perfect, equal portions. The shine of caramel was evident, and the inside of the cronut in all of its light and airy fluffiness looked mouth-watering.
“My name is Illyana,” she added, with a bat of long lashes, sucking spare sugar granules from the edge of her thumb. “I live in the Tower.” Not that she’d be announcing that to just anyone, but she remembered seeing cronut girl there.
Illyana. She'd cut two perfect pieces of the crount, and Kate slide a napkin across the table for Illyana to set Kate's portion. She could eat from a napkin instead of a plate. (And quite often did.)
"Kate," Kate replied. "Kate Bishop. I'm uh... new? I'm new." She lifted her iced coffee for a sip, then set it back down again. "How long--how long have you been a resident? I mean, it's weird, right? I think it's weird." Kate leaned in a little, sitting up in her chair and lowering her voice to a conspiratory whisper. "Tony is Tony, but he's not Tony. Not the Tony I know."
She laughed a little. “It’s very weird,” Illyana agreed, a smoky murmur since they were speaking all confidential-like. “I can turn around and find myself someplace new but it is called teleporting. Being kidnapped by a different universe is a whole other weirdness.” At least that’s what she assumed happened here - literally, one moment she was on Genosha and the next she found herself in the Avengers tower and with no way back to where she came from. Not that she’d want to return there anyway - she much preferred a life here, with an apartment and a Sanctum and a grey-streaked sorcerer she could pop over and see anytime she wished (most anytime - she did the mystical equivalent of knocking first, always).
“I have been here a few months,” she added, taking a big bite of her cronut half. Mmm. She was someone who really loved to eat, and she wasn’t ashamed of that. “I like it though. I have been learning more magic and I work for UberEats. I’m their best delivery person.”
Again, that was handy when you could teleport. “Your Tony is different?”
"You're a teleporter?" Kate said, her voice a hair above a whisper. She didn't know how much of this was public and how much was confidential, so she wanted to make sure and keep her voice down. Until things either really excited her or really freaked her out. Then all bets were off.
"Months..." Kate said, frowning. "I don't know if I can handle months. I'm needed back in my world. How will Clint remember to feed Lucky?" The guy was seriously a walking dumpster fire. It was amazing that he and pizza dog lasted as long as they did without Kate. At least, in her opinion.
"He looks different. Acts a little different. Sounds a little different? I don't know. This Tony's a lot more handsome, if you ask me." Please don't ask her. "A lot of things are different. I looked online and found all kinds of stuff that's way different from my world."
Illyana was definitely not going to ask. She swirled her straw in her coffee, dark eyes twinkling like a slick of oil on a midnight tide. “I am a teleporter, yes,” she confirmed. “I will show you - later. Especially if you want a fast ride back to the Tower.” Or they could walk, or take the streetcar - but sometimes it was just easier to do a blip. Not particularly subtle, but that’s what dark alleyways were for.
“Maybe we exist in two places at the same time?” she suggested. “It is some science stuff I do not understand. Either way I hope your Lucky is being fed.” There were probably others who explained it better. Illyana was more magic, less science. She was mostly trying to get by, working on her sorcery and trying to balance between the Earth realm and Limbo - oh, and take care of Remy’s cats too. They were good companions.
"That's so cool." Kate hadn't spent a lot of time with a teleporter. She knew some back in her world, but not super well. Tommy could run fast enough that it was almost like he was teleporting. Billy could do pretty much anything. America made portals, but that was different than teleporting, right? All the superpowers made Kate's head spin a little. She nodded. "I'd love a fast ride back to the tower, actually."
The coffee was cold and bitter and perfect. Kate was a coffee junkie, but almost always took her brew black. Sometimes she'd add a little cream or sugar, but not often. Today was a black coffee kind of day. She looked up from her sip and nodded. "I hope so, too. I'm sure Clint's taking care of him, but... well, I worry."
Then she turned her full attention to the pastry. "What about you? Do you have dogs at home waiting for you to feed them?"
“No,” Illyana shook her head. “I do not have any pets. I did not come from the best circumstance, should we say?” She wasn’t sure how to explain that her childhood trauma led her to ‘create’ a place in her head called Limbo, one she’d escape to with Lockheed when things got difficult, but Limbo was actually a real place (a whole other dimension) and she was its ruler. Because she had the soulsword, because - well, she was just destined so, she supposed.
All of that would sound wild though not as wild as turning around and finding yourself in a new universe. So maybe it wasn’t too bad. Another time for explanations, perhaps. “There is a lot I still have to learn about fun things to do and even living in the States - you could be my tutor, if you do not mind giving me tips,” and at that, she flashed her pearly teeth in a grin.
Kate frowned lightly. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she responded to that. Because… what else does a person say to something like that? Kate had a shit childhood (comparatively), and a very, very bad experience in Central Park one night as a young teenager. She didn’t expect anyone to open up over coffee and a cronut because she sure as heck wasn’t planning on doing that. Maybe later over drinks.
“I can try,” Kate added, breaking into a warm smile. “I mean, I was born and raised here. And I like having fun. So… that’s a start.” She bit into her cronut again. “What sorts of things have you tried so far?”
She had to think about that for a moment - what had she tried? Mostly Illyana had been studying magic, the crackle and ozone of it in the Sanctum and how it was so familiar to her - she loved reading too, even caring for the books with teeth. Oh, and she’d been to Hell to help bring back those twin boys - also a fun trip.
“I played Monopoly?” she grinned sheepishly, straw poking around in her cup at all the ice. “It was at a graduation party. But that is about it. I am...something of an alone person. I do not have many friends.” And you were supposed to go out and do things with friends, yes? Hence the problem.
Kate laughed at that. “Monopoly? Oh, honey, we’ve got so many better things to do.” She beamed, thinking that her new friend needed her guidance more than anything. “Well, I hope that you’ll consider me a friend eventually. I… I’m used to being surrounded by friends, and I've been pretty lonely since I've been here.” It was a little difficult to admit, actually.
After finishing the last bite of her cronut, Kate dusted her fingers over the napkin. “Hey, we’ve got these Stark Credit Cards, right? Maybe we should go get some board games or dvds or something. Are dvds still a thing? I’m sure we can find some.” She climbed up from her seat. “What do you think? Did you have other things to do today?”
The phrase oh, honey, we’ve got so many better things to do sounded very promising. It was the cherry atop this sundae - a true delight for a seeker of thrills such as herself. She nodded, cronut consumed and slurping up the last dregs of her coffee - the caffeine was a pleasant buzz, right next to the sugar. Usually she didn’t think she had much of a sweet tooth, but the available desserts (and breakfasts? Everything was so sugary here) had her changing her mind.
“I can take us anywhere we want,” she promised, sliding closer with a bounce to her step. “Let’s go.”