Italian Gods

Summary:
August 21 2014: Jericho and Illyana go out for Italian and are joined by Amara and Alexander Aaron. Follow up scene to Mutual Support

Don Antonio's

Located on 50th street and featuring delicious pasta and pizzas, this may be the best Italian place in Hell's Kitchen


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


Don Antonio's is just down on 50th Street, which means it's not too horribly far from Jericho's place. Enough to be a nice walk and not really enough to be a tiring one. Not that either Jericho or Illyana tire quite that easily. It's getting on to the dinner rush when they arrive but there's a few tables open, mostly for groups. No problem snagging one, though.

"Pasta's good here, I hear. I'm thinking a carbonara myself." K'nert, if he's about, at least has the sense to stay out of sight. And he might not be. Illyana's here after all.

*

Illyana had sent Alex a message earlier that she'd like to talk to him. He answered her on the walk over so she told him to join them. "I'm thinking of an alfredo. I might change my mind once I see the menu."

K'nert? He has the good sense to stay out of sight so as not to piss off Illyana. The demon queen is dressed in casual long-sleeved shirt and jeans to go with her kick-your-ass boots.

*

For once, Alexander is actually returning his calls. Usually when one rings him they get his voice mail along with the terribly distracted and unanimated voice message about how he doesn't like phones, beep. But since the Titan's tower blew up terribly messily, he actually picked up phone or responded to the message rather quickly. At the moment he has a good chunk of ducks to get in a row to deal with what seems to be going down, and when he gets that message from Illyana he makes note of the locale… and heads there.

It says something positive about his character that Alex is punctual this time too. The meeting was for this particular 'o' of the clock and so it might be interesting to some that he wanders through the front door of Don Antonio's perhaps thirty seconds after the designated time.

Again, from a distance, the curious similarity the young man holds to Illyana is uncanny. Sure he's much, much prettier than her, what with the whole godly thing going on. But he's also got a hint of the wound-up growly attitude as he steps through the door by shouldering it open and causing the bell to jangle. Hands still in his pockets as he walks across the room, an ornate katana slung over his shoulder that seems terribly out of place considering the black jeans and 'Bruce Hornsby' black t-shirt he wears. He wanders towards the table and gives them a nod.

"Hello."

*

Amara has been helping with the security in M-Town for the past few days. It's the only possible explanation for why she shows up in jeans and a black t-shirt with SECURITY emblazoned across the back. Because first, that is terrible fashion. And second, who would believe the pretty blonde was security otherwise?

" 'Yana," she calls over as she arrives, waving to the other girl with a weary smile.

"Please tell me they have salads here. If I eat one more piece of fried food this week, I think I might have to explain the concept of the vomitorium to the festival coord-" belatedly, she pauses, taking in the others at the table.

"You have company." And it isn't demonic. From her tone, this is somewhat unexpected.

*

Jericho looks up first at Alexander with a nod of greeting, then at Amara. Hey! Friends of Illyana. Whom he knows, no less. Will wonders never cease?

"Hey you two. Join us?" The invitation is more for Amara than Alexander. He got the whole 'from the same end of the block' deal from the godling when they met at Starbucks, so he's not really surprised that he just drops in. Plus he heard Illy make the phone call, so there's that.

He slides a menu over toward one of the other seats since, presumably they'll want to eat too.

"You're… security, Amara?" The jeans and black-tee clad man asks. Hey, he doesn't know what she does for a living. Both newcomers might note the rather significant color shift in Jeri's eyes, having gone from half-grey half banded amber to mostly amber.

*

"I'm sure they have salads. Now if they have non pasta salads, that I can't promise." Illyana says, looping an arm through Amara's long enough to propel her into a seat. Alexander gets a nod that seems almost akin to a formal inclination of her head and then she waves him to a seat as well before sitting down.

"Amara, I think you've met Jericho? And this is Alexander." She nods over to the oh-so-pretty golden boy with the sword. "You haven't had some cop try to take away your toy yet?" She teases Alexander. She'll let Amara field Jericho's question, as it might segue into what she has to talk to Alex about.

*

Alexander's response is a cocked eyebrow and a measured glance at Illyana, it's the look when one suddenly suspects that another person might very well be spying on them. But then the look slides away and Alexander shifts comfortably into his seat, leaning to the side and crossing a boot over his knee. "A few," He answers, and leaves it at that.

There's a turn of his head as Amara comes over and his gaze lifts. There's a tilt of his head as he says levelly, "I believe we met. There was a small get together amongst some meta people. She was there." He offers a smile, and to be fair it's that smile that perhaps takes some hint of malevolence from the faintly glowing red eyes of his.

He looks back and adds, "We did not really talk."

*

"Do I not look threatening enough?" Amara replies to Jericho with a flash of a smile. "Yes, I am security. At the Burning Human festival. So far, it involves a great deal of assuring people that no offense was meant, and they would be much better served with a bottle of water and a seat at one of the concerts. Which is rather the goal of security, I suppose."

She reaches for a menu, looking over toward Alexander at the introduction. "Forgive me, I'm afraid I don't remember," she admits with a slight shake of her head. "It's a pleasure to properly make your acquaintance," she adds more formally, offering a hand.

*

"Ah, down in M-Town." Jericho doesn't recall if he was told what it is Amara normally does. Or can do. Mmmm… no, don't think so. "Well sounds like you've got it fairly well handled. Nice to see you again."

Alexander gets a glance, particularly for the sword. He doesn't remember the man having that last time. "We should talk about your prior request. Understandable if you don't want to do it here though." That line of questioning? That was scary. Understandable for a god of fear perhaps, but whoo boy. Right now, though, Jericho is mostly focused on the food and company. A waiter looks their way but Jericho waves to indicate the new arrivals need a moment.

*

Illyana looks between Amara and Alexander as they exchange pleasantries and she looks terribly, terribly amused. Her eyes downright glitter with it as she tries to keep from smirking. Finally, Illyana offers over to her long-time roommate, "Alexander's with the Titans." A pause. "He's Phobos."

Yes, the name is Greek, but she's pretty damned sure that Amara will know the Roman correlation.

*
At first he'd sort of been ready to turn his attention back towards Illyana and Jericho. But then that simple flow of words is enough to snare Alexander's attention, and not only hold it but summon to his features a wry half-smile that does indeed shift his countenance to the warmer. A welcome relief considering the dark thoughts of late and what has passed for some of the Titans.

He quirks an eyebrow at Illyana and Jericho for a moment, silent question asked, but then he looks back towards Amara and accepts her hand with the air of a courtier as he shifts his weight forwards, standing slightly from his seat and lowering his eyes to her hand. A small hint of a bow, "I doubt it is the first time you have made a strong impression from across the room due to a distant glance."

The hand is given a small squeeze, released, and then he turns back towards Jericho. "I was hoping you might have word, any discretion should be held on your part. For mine I do not begrudge our surroundings. So as you choose."

*

Low blow, Illyana. Low blow. Amara's brows climb nearly to her hairline when Illyana finishes the introduction, cheeks flushing bright red as she starts to stammer.

"Forgive me, my lord," she says quickly. "I didn't- Illyana, you invited a god for pizza?" she whispers hoarsely, voice climbing an octave.

*

Clearly, Jeri missed something. Perhaps that Nova Roma thing is a lot more literal than he'd realized. Phobos had struck him as a being of power, yes, someone on or above Illyana's level, which is a couple levels above his in some ways, yes. But also as a fairly decent young man with impeccable manners. The interaction amuses Jericho just about as much as he suspects it does Illyana. Perhaps her more, since she's known Amara for longer.

"Well this is the best pizza place in Hell's Kitchen, after all…" He murmurs with a smirk. The information he has for Alexander can wait a minute or two since the deity seems to have other things on his mind.

*

While Illyana is sort of snickering a bit as Amara gapes at her, it doesn't seem to because she got Amara to believe there's a god at the table.

"Shame on you Amara," she teases, knowing that Alex isn't likely to get all insulted at not being recognized.

"And I didn't invite him for pizza," she says emphatically. "Now if he orders pizza, well. Nothing I can do about that."

A wink is given over to Alexander.

"We'll make him bless the food or something when it gets here."

Which is totally mixing religious traditions but hey, Illyana doesn't follow them.

*

Settling into his chair and turning just enough so he can keep everyone in his field of view, Alexander smiles pleasantly enough towards Amara as he says simply, "I happen to enjoy pizza." A nod is given towards her then it continues on towards Illyana and Jericho as if looking for support in such a crucial matter. He then rests his hands in his lap, fingers entwined as he considers them all, no nervous energy evident in his manner as he watches.

"And please, Alexander. Or Alex."

*

Amara just sort of stares at Illyana for a moment with a narrow-eyed glare. There's even the faintest tremor that shakes the water in their glasses and rattles the silverware before she sniffs.

"You are dreadful," she informs the other girl, shifting in her chair and trying to at least sit up a little straighter. There's nothing to be done for that awful t-shirt, though. Shame. So much shame.

*

New York doesn't have earthquakes, so the little rattle of the silverware gets a quirked eyebrow from the hacker. Fortunately awkwardness is averted by the waiter coming over to take orders. Turns out, Jericho really does want the carbonara. Once everyone has placed theirs, the waiter scuttles off to put it in.

Still grinning a bit from the byplay between his three dinner companions, the hacker looks over to Alex.

"So, that woman you asked me to look into…"

His look goes from amused to mild. Illyana knows that's usually a sign of him concealing some other expression, generally a worried or sarcastic one.

"Is a ghost. I'd have brought you the file if I'd known we were gonna do dinner…" He pauses to take a sip of water and grin as garlic bread arrives.

"Mmmm, actually so as not to interrupt dinner…" Alexander's phone beeps. He's got mail. Compressed text file.

*

Illyana gives Amara her best 'innocent' expression. Ignore the horns that hold up the halo. When the silverware starts to rattle Illyana just chuckles.

"Chill, Amy," she coaxes. "I think it's a fairly recent thing."

Her expression turns a touch serious.

"Everything alright at the festival?"

With the current virus scare, most of the X-folks are on-edge. Illyana gets out of doing the mundane parts of the security detail mostly because she's busy in other areas.

*

A small look is given to Amara, perhaps trying to offer some hint of sympathy. But then Alexander shifts those glowing red eyes back towards Jericho as the man places the orders. He gives a nod at the few words given to him and replies, "My other approaches have turned up little as well, though not from trying."

He leans forwards slowly, curling a long-fingered hand around one of the pieces of garlic bread and drawing it back. He casually breaks off a piece of the crust and then gestures with it.

"Do not extend of yourself too far. The possibility of backlash is strong."

*

Amara pauses long enough to order a salad before sniffing at Illyana's reassurance.

"Dreadful," she insists, though it's followed by a brief smile. It's better than the time the demon ate her textbook right before midterms, at least. Probably.

"The festival is all right," she answers after a moment. "People are nervous. Tensions are high. But they're not falling apart yet. There's as much danger from people acting wild out of a sense that everything could be over tomorrow as there is out of panic or anger."

*

Jericho takes a bite out of one piece of bread.

"Tensions are often high in M-Town, I hear, though after the news of all those people, I can understand it being a bit worse. Even if it's no one you know, that's got to rock a community."

It probably does more than that and Jericho is, indeed, shortly to be on his way out to do something about it.

"So long as things remain calm at the festival though, that's good, right? I mean, get that many people together and a few things are bound to slip to begin with…" He shakes his head.

"How are your people doing after the… um… incident earlier, Alex?"

*

"Speaking of…" Illyana leans a bit closer towards Alex so that her voice doesn't carry quite as far. "Do you happen to know if any of your people are mutants? Given that heroes like to jump into trouble, I wanted to make sure they're properly prepared for trouble."

*

Of course as Jericho and Illyana lean towards him that's the moment when Alexander's phone buzzes faintly, just the hum of vibration as he pulls it from a pocket. He keys it on with a slide of a thumb, then nods towards Jericho as he murmurs, "Got it," as he receives that text file from the hacker.

Towards Amara he tells her somewhat calmly, "The Titans' Tower was attacked recently."

He says this matter-of-factly as if it explained everything, but then he looks back towards Jericho.

"They are handling it poorly, tempers are still rather strong." He begins to peruse some of the data, thumb swiping the screen as it flows past.

"And if this information is correct…" he frowns, "I may have to handle this somewhat myself."

Dark red eyes shift towards Illyana.

"Mutants?" He furrows his brow then shakes his head, "I don't know. None have mentioned. It's possible. Why?"

*

"I was sorry to hear that," Amara nods to Alexander when he mentions the tower.

"Though I heard that everyone made it out all right? Illy, you should meet their friend Raven," she adds with a brief smile for the other girl.

"I think the two of you would get along well. She actually reminded me of how you used to be, a few years ago."

Or still is. It's more polite to say a few years ago, though.

*

Jericho catches a nod from Illyana, prompting him to answer for her. Possibly because she's occupied with some garlic bread.

"Because they need to come get immunized against what happened in Syria if they are. HYDRA deployed a mutant targeting virus there, though that's being kept hush hush. I don't know how many people other than me and some of the people in Amara's circles know." That meaning the X-Men but he doesn't want to say that name in public. Not yet, anyway. Not before Roberto's project goes live.

"SHIELD probably knows. Had a meeting with them earlier about it and they seemed more or less in the loop." Food arrives for all concerned.

*

"Hm," There's a tilt of Alexander's head as he considers the others at the table. He's still holding that crust of garlic bread and then asks, "Should this be something I tell them in person, or is this safe for me to convey by phone?"

He then sits back in the chair and crunches into the piece of garlic bread, looking thoughtfully at the others nearby.

*

Amara is quiet at they discuss the vaccine, sipping at her water. She's still not entirely certain which parts of this are meant to be shared, so better to keep her thoughts to herself for now.

*

Jericho smiles over at Amara.

"You can get the full story from your people, I figure. I ran into a couple of them investigating."

That's said quietly before he leans back in the chair and takes a bite of food.

"That said, what brings you all the way to Hell's Kitchen today Amara?"

He knows, after all, what brought Alexander.

"As for the phone, Alexander, it depends. How worried are you that they've been tapped? I'm pretty paranoid myself, but then, I've had a year and a half of hell to get that way…"

*

An answering nod is given as Alexander sets the small slice of garlic bread down precisely in the center of his plate. His brow furrows as he looks towards Jericho and then nods, "It'll have to wait until I head there, then. With this other individual taking swipes it's too likely that the communications are monitored." One hand rests lightly upon the table, a short staccato rhythm is drummed out then he shakes his head.

Looking in turn now to Amara he falls silent, letting Jericho take the lead in the conversation for the moment as he asks as to her circumstances.

*

"As I said," Amara smiles ruefully to Jericho, "it has been a week of fried foods, so when Illyana mentioned she was going to be out this way, I decided to take my chance and run."

"Besides, I'm still coming to terms with the new…situation," she admits, waving a hand vaguely. "It's wonderful to have everyone together again. It is. But it's still strange and new, too. And 'Berto? 'Berto was always just…Well. 'Berto. And suddenly, he's a businessman. And everything is margins, and budgets, and business plans. It is…a change."

*

And Greek Gods at Pizza Parlors. He's fairly sure there's rather more truth than lie to that, though of course the hacker doesn't know for certain. There certainly are rather classical lines to the man's features.

"I imagine it is. Roberto, you knew him from before right? Illyana had mentioned you all had gone to school together."

Just recently of course, though there had been other hints of such things. Like the fact that Illyana and Amara were roommates.

"Well, you'll get used to it I'm sure. You seem an adaptable type."

Jericho glances over to Alexander, not wishing to hog the conversation.

*

Looking between the two of them, Alexander seems content to relax and let them converse. For the moment his attention is on the phone in his hand as he goes through the text file provided to him. His eyes are a touch distant, expression thoughtful as he considers the contents. A small shake of his head is given as he closes the image, then looks back up between the two of them.

"Don't mind me."

*

"An old friend, yes," Amara nods to Jericho. "Like many others." Tucking a piece of hair behind her ear, she looks to Alexander for a moment, caught between curiosity and embarrassment still.

"The party!" she exclaims suddenly. "Garth's party, yes? That was where our paths crossed?"

*

Jericho chuckles.

"If you insist. Your food's here though."

He digs into that carbonara. It's delicious and made with real prosciutto. Which he's certainly not going to find where he's going. Now it's his turn to ease back in the chair and watch the proceedings with a rather shockingly Illyana-like look of amusement.

*

At Amara's exclamation, Alexander's smile broadens and lights up his face. Alright when he smiles he does look a touch less frightening and more like the twenty-something kid that he is when not wearing the mantle of Phobos. A small chuckle slides from him as he lowers his eyes and gives a nod. Looking up back at Amara he opens his hand towards her as if offering to give the words to her, "Yes. Raven gave me a call and told me to come by. He was a good host. You seemed pensive, so I didn't bother you."

*

"I always mind you, Alex. Otherwise I'm liable to get myself into trouble." Illyana says dryly.

That could be taken two ways. That she minds him like he's a bother as he put the word forth, or she minds him like one does their P's and Q's, which is something that few get from her. Of course she could be joking too.

Amara's mention of a party gets tsking from her old roomie.

"Partying without me. I see how it is. We graduate and you ditch me…"

*

"I was pensive," Amara admits, dipping her chin toward Alexander.

"Your friends had invited me over, I think to consider joining your team. But being there, surrounded by so many people like us, reminded me all too well of my own friends and classmates," she says with a wry smile for Illyana.

"To whom I returned, thank you very much."

*

Nom. Sip. Food's actually pretty decent.

"Is that what gave you the idea that Berto then ran with?"

Jericho had heard very vague versions of this story but for obvious reasons hadn't been able to ask Amara herself.

*

A glance is given over towards Illyana as she makes her casual jape. Alexander crinkles his nose faintly as he waves a hand to the side, as if brushing her words away with that simple gesture.

"I understand it is difficult to keep me out of your thoughts. Do try."

As he says that he turns to look back towards Jericho and Amara with a faint smirk, perhaps hiding his expression from Illyana. He addresses the other woman as he says, "Yes, it did seem a touch recruity, didn't it? He never actually asked me. It was curious."

*

"They can't have you. I saw you first." Illyana jokes with Amara before turning a smirk on Alexander.

"Don't worry Alex. I only think about you when I sleep."

Which is another bit of a joke, both Amara and Jericho knowing how little she sleeps. And the why.

"Well, hopefully when we go live, we won't have someone looking to blow up our building."

Of course, their building would come with a lot of casualties were someone to blow it up. It's more than just their HQ, which only takes a few floors.

*

Jericho chuckles lightly as he listens. It seems that groups are sprouting up every time he turns around, though in truth that's probably because he's just now becoming aware of them. Until recently there was really only one group on his radar.

"Well I certainly hope you and Berto don't have to deal with Waller, Illyana. Woman is to be avoided even more than Hill. Hill, I'm fairly confident, wouldn't call in a domestic missile strike because someone annoyed her."

And really, it's fortunate that there weren't any civilian casualties.

"If you end up needing help of some kind with her, I'm familiar with covert operations. Illyana knows how to get ahold of me, Alex."

Or he could give him his phone number… though if Alex isn't confident he hasn't been tapped, then perhaps it's best just not to go that route.

*

"Perhaps a bit," Amara smiles crookedly to Alexander and Jericho alike.

"But it was nice, still. All through college, even if we went to a party, we were outsiders. Different. Garth's party was nice. Being a part of a group of people like…us."

*

Another piece of garlic bread is liberated as he leans forward and takes it up. Alexander looks between them and smiles a touch. Then a small shake of his head is given towards Jericho.

"I think it may be best to avoid getting yourself on her radar. She sought me out for some reason, no idea why. I'll have to find what I can."

That having been said he takes another bite of the garlic bread and looks back towards Amara.

"So, you shall have to forgive me, but why is it that you seem to pay such strong honor to myself and my family?" Alexander watches Amara calmly, gauging her reactions as he speaks. "There are few in this day and age that seem to hold us in such regard, unless we are directly in their line of sight, as it were."

*

Illyana focuses on eating her alfredo, though her eyes watch Amara and Alex, since it's not every day you get to see someone come face-to-face with their Gods.

*

Amara pauses at that question, reaching up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear.

"I am…" She stops, glancing to Illyana. "As they say, not from around these parts. I am Nova Roman," she explains.

"We still worship the old gods that the rest of the world has forgotten. My father is First Senator now, but first he was a legionnaire. There was always an altar to Mars in our home."

*

Ah, so Nova Roma is a bit more literal than he'd thought. Good to know. Jericho's eyes cut over to Illyana, amused. Amara'd mentioned that she'd been texted by Illy, and of course, Alexander came here as the result of a phone call. One might almost suspect her of setting this up deliberately. Which would both in character and fairly funny, to be honest, even if one is dealing with a deity and a meeting of some pretty fair religious significance.

"You didn't…" he murmurs low, knowing she probably did.

*

Cocking his head curiously to the side, Alexander looks at Amara and meets her gaze with no hint of trepidation, "My father spoke to me of Nova Roma. In Brazil, correct?" The young man with the platinum blonde hair lifts his chin thoughtfully as he tells her, almost too casually mentioning his father whom apparently Amara's family had a shrine to in their home.

"We never had the opportunity to visit, though I've…" The young man stops for a moment, as if he were about to continue. But then he looks over at Illyana and Jericho and cocks an eyebrow. One finger lifts to point at them as if scolding them or holding them in check, but then the finger lowers.

Back to Amara Alexander says quietly, "I should probably tell you… yes I am Phobos or Timor. And I do have a… connection to those memories. But I am also Alexander, and Alexander has only been Phobos for… ten years now."

His hands open as he adds quietly, "It's complicated."

*

Illyana glances over to Jericho, her voice lowered so as not to interrupt the conversation going on.

"I did want to warn Alex and his people. They're too likely to be in the front line. And Amara happened to drop me a line. If you wanna blame anyone, blame the Fates. I think they're his aunts or something."

Illyana looks over as Alexander points at the pair of them, smirking back at him but says nooooothing.

*

"It sounds like it," Amara agrees with Alexander, smile quirking briefly. "But yes. Nova Roma is in Brazil."

She dips her chin in a nod before looking back to Illyana and Jericho with an arch of her brow.

"Are the two of you suitably amused now?" she drawls, crossing her arms over her chest.

*

"Nosy, meddlesome aunts." Jericho snickers quietly. He's familiar with the concept, though at a distance. It hasn't been safe for him to contact his family in some time. Nor would they welcome him if he did.

"Quite so," He grins to Amara. Well, if you're caught, you're caught. Might as well own it. Especially with someone who can make earthquakes. In New York.

*

A small chuckle is heard and Alexander looks around the table.

"This has been lovely," He says to them all. A nod is given to Amara as he gains his feet. "But I do feel I should perhaps get word to the other Titans about the inoculation that is required. Shall I have any of them who might need to contact you and yours?"

This last is given towards Illyana and Amara as he cocks an eyebrow to lend the question mark to those last few words.

*

Illyana chuckles and nods over to Alexander as he stands. "Yeah, let me know. I'll make sure that they get taken care of. Have a nice evening, Alex. I'll catch you later." In answer to Amara? She just grins at her old roomie.

*

"And I should be getting back to the festival," Amara rises as Alexander does, digging a few bills out of her pocket and leaving them on the table with a wry smile and a shake of her head for Jericho and Illyana.

"Enjoy the rest of your evening, you two. And it was a pleasure to meet you properly, my l- Alex," she adds to Alexander with a polite dip of her chin.

*

"Nice to see you both. Good luck out there," Jericho waves to both their erstwhile dinner guests with his fork. Yes he's still eating.

"Oh and Alexander. Be very, very careful with that other business. And don't hesitate to drop me a line if it's important, mmm?" If it's not important, he figures Alexander will handle it himself. Which suits him just fine. He's about to be very, very busy.

*

A hand is lifted to them as he backs away. Alexander gives Jericho and Illyana a nod, "I'll endeavor to take what precautions are suitably prudent."

At that his lip quirks as he looks towards Amara.

"Be safe, Amara. I have few worshipers left, would hate to lose one." And as he says that he turns, sliding his hands into his pockets and starting towards the door.

A few moments later he places a shoulder against the door, the bell jangles, and he slips outside.


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