A Little Death Between Friends

Jul 27, 2014: Illyana and Alexander are both at Central Park to listen to one of the many summer concerts offered there. Then they get some party crashers of an old, familiar sort.

New York City, Central Park



  • None

Mood Music:

The skyline is what New York is known for the most part. It's that iconic line of buildings that tower high above the city's denizens like some great sentinels watching over them all. But ask most New Yorkers what the soul of the city truly is? And many of them will say Central Park. It's the city's place of rest, relaxation. It is the place where art is allowed to thrive in the open and given as a gift to most of the people. It is a place where those in the city can escape the dark greys of the world and find the green once again absent in so many lives.

And today it is a lovely time to be a New Yorker. A public music festival is held in the warm summer weather. Only a few clouds threaten the day with the hint of grey as they float over, but all in all it is a good day. There are young musicians play upon the tall stage, picnics are had, people sitting across the park. Though, to be fair, the concessions are hugely over-priced.

And within that crowd is a young man in jeans, t-shirt, backpack looking around curiously. More people-watching than anything else.
While people-watching is a hobby of Illyana's as well, today most of her attention is on the concert itself. While most know she's partial to metal, she does enjoy other types of music as well. Today she's dressed much more simply, and likely out of her actual wardrobe instead of conjured. A NYU T-shirt, jeans, plain sneakers. She's at the edge of the clearing towards the back. The sound isn't the best, but she doesn't feel like mixing with the crowd today. She's leaning against the trunk of a tree, the canopy shading her from the strong sunlight.

Her enjoyment of the day, and the music, is interrupted as something tickles her senses. Magic. Black magic. Given the disturbing number of summoning attempts that have been going on in the city lately, it has her straightening and turning towards the treeline behind her.
As for Alexander he is not sensitive to such things unless they are keyed to something close to him and his. There is no tingle of alarm for Black Magic, and so he moves forward slowly, looking around the people as the crowd seems to ebb and flow almost to the dictates of the music. It is a strong center, however, a focal point. He knows enough that great magic is often wrought through crowds.

The good news is that this isn't one of those summoning attempts. The bad news is… Bad Things are already here.
Illyana has time to see the flicker of golden eyes in the shadows under the trees a moment before demons, the size of cats, start to stream out from the undergrowth. There's probably two dozen of them, a deep midnight blue with long, spade-tipped tails. Their forms are emaciated, their bone structure standing out sharply beneath their skin. The face is all glowing eyes and sharp teeth. It looks like they have hands and feet but they run on all fours, tiny claws digging into the turf.

Illyana summons her Soulsword to her, dropping into a guarding position as they come towards her… but then they split, flowing around her like a river to go for the crowd behind.

"Spit and Hades!" Illyana curses, switching her hold on her sword, moving to attack the small, nimble forms. She manages to cleave two of them before they're by her. Screams rise from the back of the crowd as the small demons bite and rip and tear, attacking the picnicers.
Amongst the sudden Chaos, it might disturb those close to him that might realize how at home he feels with the sudden swell of fear and panic. He tries not to smile, really he does, but he can't help it for an instant. One of the drawbacks of being the representation of mankind's fear is growing faintly stronger when you are submerged in it.

Those demons are before him, him having been near the back of the crowd. With a frown he drops his backpack down, starting to move forward amongst the people. No easy place to invoke his manifestation, the appearance of Phobos amongst these people could easily go too far and send them all into wild predatious flight. He breaks into a run moving towards the girl with the glowing sword and the armor, perhaps at first thinking she is a centerpiece of this invasion… only to see her strike down the creatures.
The crowd becomes a chaotic sea, as the screams ripple outwards and people run for the edges. Those being attacked claw at the creatures who nimbly evade. They tend to gang up on a target, three and four biting and clawing. The scent of blood starts to ride the air and one of the victims falls to the ground. Being prone just attracts some of the straggler demons who were chasing the runners.

Illyana, just her left arm and shoulder clad in that bright armor steps over and swings her blade in a wide, sweeping arc with little concern of the writhing victim. The demonlings scream, some scattering and others falling with gaping wounds. Her sword doesn't harm the man on the ground, but that's hard to notice with all the wounds on him from the demons.
A folding chair he lifted into his hands is quickly torn asunder with a loud metallic creak that screams of tearing metal and hateful rage. This annoyance, these demons, these _insects_ that dare occupy his time and his space, how dare they interfere with his efforts to spend some time amongst his own kind. He did not even have a chance to chat up that beautiful brunette girl that was walking past.

But those sentiments are best left off as now it is time to strike. He growls with a loud roar as he /leaps/ into the fray. Striking out viciously with the wrapped and warped metal that are almost like metal whips or blubs that bend with each impact into the creatures.

The first targets are to clear the fallen people, those that are accosted by the many small demons. Once a suitable perimeter is secured about them he moves towards Illyana, perhaps they can create an area of safety that some of the people can take refuge in.
Illyana's blue eyes, so hard and cold and… empty meet Alexander's as he moves towards her. A short nod and then her attention is turning back to the creatures. Small dark bodies have started to litter the ground, a few of the victims lie there groaning or unmoving. The crowd is mostly gone now, only a few stragglers as Alexander and Illyana continue to clear the beasts off of their human victims.

"Leibchen." Comes a voice from the treeline, the word dripping with malice and a dark hunger. Illyana's head snaps around that way and she goes a little pale. The creature there has dark blue fur and glowing yellow eyes along with a long spade-tipped tale much like the small creatures that they've been fighting. The demonic looking being gives a slow, fanged smile.

"No." Illyana says, teeth gritting and the demons and their victims forgotten. Her words are rough with suppressed emotion. "You're *dead*."

The demon laughs, spreading arms wide. "What's a little death between friends?"
That devillish visage carries much weight with the young woman, that much is apparent. There must be some connection between them, some tale whose telling would grant insight into the severity of this moment to match the outlook of that beautiful young woman. Alexander turns as he takes up position at Illyana's back, making sure those smaller demons do not press the attack for those few remaining civilians.

Yet he turns as they exchange those words, as he sees the effect the demon's countenance upon her. Yes there is much passing between those two. Fortunately, for Alexander, he knows the man from naught.

And with no warning, nor preamble he spins around and /hurls/ one of those jagged lengths of metal straight at this creature from hell, hoping to bludgeon or impale it as he snarls perhaps towards Illyana, perhaps the monstrous Nightcrawler. "You talk too much."

The length of metal flies through the spot where the Nightcrawler *was*. Now he's perched in the limbs of a tree. Closer. Still looking towards Illyana. But now his gaze shifts over to Alexander. "And who is this, Leibchen? Another to champion you? They have such a poor record…" The demon smiles through it all, the German accent making it take its time with the words. Drawing them out.

Illyana's lips press into a hard line, cutting a glare over at Alexander. For the attack or thinking the words are sent at her isn't clear. "Save the people." She bites out at Alexander, and then a two-dimensional disk of light flares open at her feet and moves upwards, swallowing her in a flash. Almost at the same moment, another opens near the demon and the blonde falls through the portal, swinging that flaming sword.

The demonic Nightcrawler nimbly flips away and with a *BAMF* he teleports again. This time he appears right behind her, arms coming around to grab her and touch in ways that have nothing to do with a battle. His tail too, wraps around her leg. "You forget leibling. I like you with less fight." And then he starts to teleport again. And again. And again. The clearing fills with the scent of brimstone and when he reappears after the fifth or sixth teleport, Illyana's body is limp in his arms from the strain his teleport takes on other people.
For a time the young godling stands there, angry, annoyed. It's hard to tell which dark emotion reins. But when he sees the devillish creature teleport away, he scowls and looks after the girl. Perhaps she has a strategem for dealing with him, perhaps her familiarity will aid her to victory. So it is with such reasoning that he turns and moves towards the handful of survivors there amongst them.

A hand lifts and he gestures quickly, "Move you fools, get clear. Is your life that worthless to you?" And there's af licker of the crimson eyes, a glow of shadows about his shoulders that might put some hint of true fear into them to send them flying in the direction of safety.

Once they're secure his scowl deepens and he spins to look on after the combat between the demon and… the unconscious girl. Shaking his head he scowls, "Son of a whore."

Starting to move forward his voice lifts, lashing words towards the demon, "Face me, Puck. I'll be sending pieces of you back to Titania tonight. If you surrender now you get to choose which piece is first."
Illyana isn't unconscious, but by all the dark gods, she wishes she were. Nightcralwer's attention turns to Alexander, the Force of the godling's presence impossible to ignore. Lips peel back in a snarl, bearing those fangs at Alexander even as that tail lashes back and forth behind the demon. "Walk away little boy. You're not part of this game." The demon lets Illyana slip from his arms to fall to the ground in a heap. The blonde manages to partially catch herself, but the dry-heaving she's doing takes *all* her attention at the moment. Her sword is held limp in the one hand of the arm that (kinda) supports her.
The young man _hates_ to invoke his family, _hates_ to trade on his name and status. But the thing is with Demons so much depends on how they feel about the situation, themselves, their chances. For to his experience demons tend to be cowards and bullies. Then again… he doesn't have as much experience with demons as Illyana. What this creatures snarling words do, however, is trigger Alexander's longest self-introduction in a long time.

"You fool of a sprite," The word chosen out of pure desire to insult. "You launch yourself into a realm seeking vendetta of some sort, not knowing what principalities lay claim to where you choose to hunt." As he stalks forwards the red eyes glow like embers and the very stuff of shadows frame him in the silhouette of a creature much larger. "I am Phobos! God of Fear. I am _master_ of the stuff you seek to create with pathetic fang and horn. And you have the gall to lay claim to my subject and my woman? You child."
Nightcrawler can feel that Fear creeping over him. And he is not a creature that is easily cowed. More, he has long been cowed by Belasco, and so strength of will is not his strongest virtue. The demon cringes back, literally, dropping into a crouch with back hunched to make himself a smaller target and the demonlings have all disappeared. Hopefully they haven't slipped into the city to cause more mischief. Nightcrawler holds one hand out, in defense or supplication it's not clear. "The girl belongs to my master, and I am here to fetch her home."

Illyana has managed to recover. Somewhat. Enough to catch Phobos' words and despite feeling wrecked she *glares* at him. No one claims here and here's two people doing it! "I don't belong to Belasco." Illyana spits at the Nightcrawler. "I beat him once and I'll do it again." She closes her hand tight around her sword, pushing herself up to her feet somewhat unsteadily.

Nightcrawler's gaze shifts between the two and then he flashes those fangs again in a feral hiss. "This isn't the end, leibling." There's another *BAMF* and then he's gone but this time, he doesn't reappear anywhere in sight.
As soon as the demon disappears, Alexander's features slowly return to something akin to normal. Now that his eyes are not ablaze, now that his face is not contorted with rage, when she looks at him it is not the face of a devil, demon, nor god. It is a face that would belong to one of The Host, a face that would be at home haloed and amongst the clouds. But the severity of his look when he faces her might chase off any hint of gentleness.

"I would ask you to explain if I thought you would be direct in your answer. So I will ask you this alone, do you understand why I made the claim that I did?"
Illyana's jaw works as the demon, literally, from her past disappears. Her first reaction is to give chase but she knows, /she knows/ that she won't be able to Scry him. Which means that he could show up again.

As she manages to gather some of her composure she turns her attention over to Alexander again. "To scare him off and make him have to face you to take me." Illyana says, her words a snarl. "Oh trust me, I understand protecting people by making claims." She still doesn't seem to be very happy about it, her knuckles white around the sword in her hand.
"If you act now you play into their hands." He steps up to stand beside her, Alexander's eyes upon the spot where the demon disappered. He looks askance at her and now she'll see those eyes of his that still gleam with crimson only now not as much as moments before. He offers her some advice calmly, "Gather your forces, consult, then choose your course of action."

There's a moment, and then his smile springs to life, suddenly making that stern vicious young man look like a typical twenty year old boy who tells her with a touch of laughter in his words and eyes, "As your man, I would hate for you to rush off and get slaughtered before I learn your name." And as he says this he steps past her, walking forward to investigate the ground that the demon departed from.
"Take it back." Illyana says, expression grim and her eyes hard. She's no stranger to battle, be it a single fight or a drawn out war. But she doesn't snap back at him that she knows how to handle the situation. Right now, what most would take as a throwaway line is foremost on her mind. The claim of a God is a weighty thing. Something her demonic side can't ignore. Mortals, especially those of the Western countries, see themselves as free first and foremost. Words mean little to them. They mean a lot more to demons.

The ground offers little information, mostly the stink of brimstone and the impression of three-toed feet.
Turning slowly as he rises, the blonde young man squints across the way at her. She can almost sense the myriad of thoughts that flicker through his mind. That this woman is ready to wage another battle so soon after having been in such dire straits. There is pride there, pride rampant behind those soul-deadened eyes.

"You would draw blade and set to for a claim made in effort to save you from defeat? And now you fear the bindings so?" His own jaw sets, tendons bunching as she might see a hint of fangs. Then he shakes his head and says quietly, "I hold no claim over you. You are your own."
Illyana stands quietly in the wake of those words, and then finally lets out a slow, hissing breath. Her head turning down, her gaze finds that sword he brought mention to and after a moment she opens her hand and the blade fades away. Her mouth is still set into a thin, hard line.

"I can't… I can't have those kinds of claims made on me. It would jeopradize my hold on my kingdom, and that's a danger to everyone."

There's another tensing of her jaw and the words she gives are begrudging at best. "Thank you… for helping."
There's a furrow to his brow, as he knows that he has not the full picture nor even its edge. He simply watches her, then Alexander steps slowly to the side. He looks off distantly, face shifting through a faint look of anger or annoyance. But then perhaps surprisingly he heaves a small laugh and shakes his head. Those eyes turn back to her, "What else can one do when demons threaten a night of righteous rockin'?"

The young man gestures absently at the now deserted rock music festival, frowning the while. "I didn't even get a chance to hear DethKlok." Another scowl settles on his face as he steps forward and gives a too human frustrated kick to one of the scattered folding chairs, sending it clattering into a pile of debris.
Illyana's brows rise a bit at the band mention and it's enough to crack that dark mood with a small smirk. A long exhale escapes her and she pushes a hand back through her hair. "Well, welcome to my 'day that ends in y'." She says of demonic interruptions with sarcasm riding her tone. But her manner is still shaky, and she puts a hand down on the back of one of the chairs to help her stay upright. Seeing Nightcrawler, *that* Nightcrawler on top of the physical strain of him teleporting her multiple times still has her off-balance. Physically and emotionally.
When she shifts her stance just enough to augment her balance by resting her hands upon the chair, he looks over towards her and gets a faint hint of a frown. Turning, a few steps carry him over towards her as he pulls out one of those chairs for her and one for himself. He drops into his seat and sighs, "Man that took a lot out of me, take a seat. I may need a hand if somebody jumps me."

As he says this she might catch on that he's lying, saing that so she can save face and sit down with him. But chances are she might not notice a'tall and might very well sit down with that cover story intact.

"My name is Alexander, by the bye."
Illyana by the Look she's giving him oh, she caught it alright. But she doesn't call him on it, moving to ease herself down as though everything hurts. It kind of does. "Illyana." She answers. Then there's that smirk. "I thought it was Phobos." She remarks, her tone touched with bitter mocking.

The mirth, however dark, doesn't last long though. She shakes her head, leaning her weight forward onto elbows supported by her knees. "He's dead. I know he's dead." She saw him die. Saw Cat's sword punch through the center of his chest. There's a so-slight tremble to her hands that she hasn't quite noticed yet. Old, old memories. Ones put in the grave long ago.
For a moment he has the instinctive response to her emotional state, almost reaching out to comfort her. But he does not, that instinct changed instead to a slight tremor in his hand that is quickly suppressed. Instead he follows the movements of her eyes as if trying to follow along with her thoughts. He chooses not to ask her of the demon, instead he answers her first few words, "Phobos is my name as well, or my title. Depending on how you look at it."

He leans forwards, resting his elbows on his knees, fingers interlacing as he turns his attention out upon the abandoned music festival. "Though forevermore will I answer to 'guy who saved my ass' whenever you choose to speak it." He looks back at her, smirks.
The pair of them are an odd mirror, both in that same leaning-forward position and, as Illyana notices that tremble in her hands she interlinks her fingers as well to arrest it thus completing that mirroring.

Those that meet Illyana have often called her Angelic, with refined features, long blonde hair and a sense of Presence. Sitting next to Alexander, she's like a shadow. What those that have never seen an angel might call angelic.

Illyana's lips twitch a bit. "Well. That I'm familiar with." She comments dryly, then finally rolling her attention up to him with an arched brow. "How about," She says, still in that dry tone. "Not." She smirks as well, though. "You don't seem like you're from around here." Her eyes narrow a bit, thoughtful. "The speech. Too formal at turns."
And there looking off into the distance, that young man who looks like the Morningstar made flesh, presents to her a profile that is a stern thing and handsome. Sometimes he has no concept of how he looks, though earlier she might have seen evidence that he was very well aware of how he can look and utilized it to his advantage… especially against that demon that disappeared.

Then at her words he looks back to her and cocks a wryly faint smile and murmurs, "Would you care for the poetical answer, the practical answer, or the biological answer? All have their merits and drawbacks."
In that, they share more similarties. Illyana doesn't hold herself or dress like someone who uses their looks to draw attention. If she wants it, she has other ways to demand it.

The blonde girl chuckles at his answer, so very in keeping with that odd manner of speech. "All of the above? Sounds like quite the story." And Illyana could use focusing on it to keep her mind off of the events that just happened. Though, a glance around has her remarking, "You like coffe? Or tea? I think maybe I don't want to be here when the cops finally show up."
"I have been known to tolerate either." Alexander gains his feet and then offers her his hand, "Come, I'll walk us to a suitable place for us to gather our thoughts and you can continue to make veiled comments about the silliness of my existence while I pretend to ignore your clearly middle-school like crush on me you hide from me by making them."

As he says this he smirks openly, not caring if she fixes him with an entirely new flavor of that glare she has kindly shared with him so often so far.
Illyana eyes that hand for a long moment, indeed giving him one of those Looks at his commentary. It's followed by a wry smirk however as she places her hand in his and accepts the help to her feet. "You're definitely selling the 'I really am a god' bit with the whole egotrip, Lexie." She says, unable to keep herself from making the dig. It's in her nature.

It being Central Park, they're in the middle of everything, so it's not long to find a coffee shop that's open. Illyana opts for an iced chai latte in deference to the summer heat and they find a quiet table towards the back.
After he survives that most vicious barb impugning his ego, they make it to that coffee shop and he procures some sweetened tea for himself. They make their way across the room, their movements catching the eyes of passersby. Some people might even go to the extent to take some pictures, as if assuming these two ridiculously beautiful young blonde people must be from Hollywood or on television or something. Alexander doesn't seem to care though Illyana might.

Once he drops into that seat opposite her he tells her, "Alright, where were we?" A pause as he looks to her. "Oh yes, where do I come from. First, the biological. You see, Illyana, when a man and a woman love each other very much…" He luckily evades any attack she might deem appropriate to counter that answer. But then his calm features shift into a half-smile as he waves off any protest, "Alright, alright. Forget the biological. The practical is just a summary of the poetical. So we shall indulge in that, agreed?"
Illyana isn't terribly keen on having her picture taken, but she doesn't do anything uncouth like smacking the person. Usually the unsettling presence she has on those about her because of her demonic nature is enough to make people look away or otherwise avoid her. This is obviously Alexander's fault.

His launch into the Birds and the Bees speech gets another narrow-eyed look at the blonde, one that sends *most* people heading for the hills. But then most people aren't so intimately aquainted with Fear as Phobos. "Yeah, I think we can skip the Sex Ed lesson." She says dryly. A turn of her hand invites him to proceed.
A small nod is given and he looks down at the table. There is for a moment something that might pique her senses, something mystical at the edges of his reality as he rests his hands upon the tabletop. She might get the ghost of an impression that he awaits something ephemeral… letting the moment drift on… and then he has it.

When he looks up and speaks there's a certain vibrance to his words, a certain rhythm. "A score of years in the past, a child was born unto a man and a woman. The father was a builder, wise of mind, strong of arm. The mother passed, mourned by the family she left behind and leaving the father to make do as he could for the boy. It was with much turmoil and love that they survived together."

A pause, then he continues. "Ten years pass, and the boy grows. The great lord Amatsu-Mikaboshi looked down upon the man and his child and hatched a plan for him to shake all the heavens with war. Knowing the path he must walk, the despoiler struck, capturing the boy and carrying him off away from his father. At the hands of Mikaboshi the boy learned the ways of blade and blood, then was turned loose at the head of his armies to lead them in war."

"The enemies of Amatsu-Mikaboshi fell before the blade wielded by the boy, until only the great mountain stood beore them defiant. It was at the gate to the mountain that the boy confronted the last warrior who would stand against him. That warrior was his own father."

"Enraged, Mikaboshi set son against father and they clashed. Through love and faith in his blood the boy was saved, at the end turning on Amatsu-Mikaboshi and slaying him. It was then that the boy learned of his role, his lineage. For he was Phobos, Son of Ares, child of war."
The smirks, the sarcasm, the mocking, they all fade away as Alexander starts his story. At first, maybe it's that timbre. That rythm. But all too soon… it's a story that seems too familiar. Illyana leans back in her chair, hands pulling back off the table to rest in her lap even as he places his upon that wooden surface. Her drink is left there, ice slowly melting and condensation dripping down the sides.

"They stole your life." She says, her words a soft murmur.
Knowing only his tale, he does not key in to how it mirrors her own in some ways. He gestures absently to the side as if brushing away those now fading words of that tale he just told, Instead he tells her quietly, "Perhaps, perhaps not. Perhaps I cannot entirely know what was done. I was a child… then I was not."

He looks across the way in that small coffee shop, eyes moving from patron to patron as if gauging them, "Once I accepted the mantle of Phobos I was still myself… but there is something older in my thoughts, an aspect of those who must have been Phobos in the past.Yet we are all one in the same." Those gleaming red eyes shift back to her and he smirks faintyl, "I know it makes little sense, but here it is."
Illyana leans back, finding something to put a foot up on as she reclines, gaze settling on Alexander, not flinching away from the red-tinged gaze. "So the turns of phrase, that's in part because you were raised elsewhere… in part because of what's inside you." Illyana herself runs into that at times. Her speech patterns weirding others out. One of the reasons she tries for 'normal' so hard.

She gives a sigh and then looks over, flagging down one of the servers. When the woman comes over, Illyana reaches out to take her pen and then ignores her. Instead she reaches for Alexander's hand, pulling it over to write a phone number on his hand. "I'm going to need to track down Mr. Creepy from today." She won't call him Nightcrawler. She won't. "But you made your claim and he obviously believes it, which means you might get some attention from him. My phone reception is spotty, but you should be able to leave me a message." The server is there looking annoyed. Illyana remembers her mostly because the woman is *still standing there*. She glances up with narrowed eyes and the other woman blanches a bit and skitters off.

"I need to go." Illyana says then, standing and grabbing her drink. Today's events, Alexander's story… she needs some time to think. To process. She doesn't thank him again, just gives him a nod and heads for the door.

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