How To Frame Your Dragon

<November 24, 2014>: Rowan, Simon and America have an interesting encounter. Pie is involved.

The iHop in Queens

It's an iHop.



  • Diner patrons

Mood Music:
Breakfast In America

Simon Williams has been given the week off from the rather strange job of liason to the Atlanteans, and the first thing he's doing (after making his lungs work in air again) is to get dry lander food.

Surfacers, as Rowan has observed so many times, are Strange. Rowan has grown used to them and has noted that, thankfully, they don't generally seem to be opposed to being greeted by those they know. The Dragon Warrior probably hasn't thought this particular greeting all the way through though since his manner of saying 'hello' to Simon (a block from a really good schwarma joint) is to swoop down out of the sky as a thirty foot lizard, snatch him up and carry him off. "Hi there!"

Ihop has a special place in America's recollections. Many times during the Young Avengers' months-long escape from the Mother Parasite, they'd stop at one of these little houses of breakfast pleasure. They also did that in between advetures and misadventures, like the time Kate ended up in the Finishing School of the Damned, or the Dazzler concert at the moon.

It's not that she's feeling nostalgic, but there is a certain comfort in the familiar amidst the not-quite-familiar.

Chavez walks towards the diner, which is a block away from an excellent shawarma joint (little known fact: Earth 626 is the best place for shawarmas in all of the known universe.) However, as per usual, no plan survives an encounter with reality, as a man who looks very familiar to America is snatched away by…

"Damnit." She sighs and pulls her long hair back in a ponytail. A few seconds later she is kicking off the ground at tremendous speed, following the flying creature.

Simon has been greeted by Rowan this enthusiastically perhaps three or four times, and each time involved the attempt to get food, though the first few times were more about the fish.

The most recent one involved a movie producer trying to get permission to film in Atlantis, but the only one who could pull that off is Cameron, and he was looking into filming on Titan, if they could get a crew there.

"Hi there yourself, " Simon replies, hearing but not registering the thoom of Miss America Chavez launching off in traditional Knight v. Dragon style.

Rowan isn't particularly focused on moving very quickly. He circles, Wonder Man in his grip, gaining altitdue so as not to be followed by pesky news helicopters (Which will, assuredly, be looking for him shortly). He also registered America's takeoff, but not it's significance. Hey. Surfacer cities are noisy. "I thought you were at Court. Is everything okay?"

"You've got five seconds to put him down," America says in her usual level of diplomacy "before I decide you've got a head you don't need." She matches speed with Rowan and remains ready to attack, but she does not. Not yet. In her experience, a threat like this is usually very effective- if someone is up to no good, they attack you. If they're not, they usually try to explain themselves to you. She's good either way.

"I got the week off, " Simon answers, casually. "Arthur found out that this was Thanksgiving week and tools me to go have dinner at home with the family. If he knew my brother… wait, maybe he's having a laugh at my expense."

He looks over at Miss A. and waves with his free hand. "Hi! Have you met Rowan?"

The threat does register. Ordinarily Rowan might react in one of the two perscribed ways but he does… tend to overanalyze surfacers just a bit. Why would random lady be concerned with… well, wait let's think about this. Simon's a pretty good looking guy. He makes a living partly based on that. This… flying lady is also fairly good looking and taking exceptional exception to Rowan's greeting. Jealousy? Or spousal concern. The great lizard reaches over and deposits Simon in MAC's arms. "Sorry. Didn't mean to steal your man from you. Were you going to meet before I grabbed him?" Maybe they'd been meeting at that restaurant. He looks somewhat embarassed now.

America's eyes glow. Yes, they glow for a moment before she flies very close to him and says quietly, although still able to cut through the wind:

"The only reason your head isn't flying out of your ass right now is because he obviously knows you."

She distances herself from Rowan to give him some space, and looks down at Simon with a glance that is clearly not amused. "Friend of yours?"

"Hey, he doesn't know any better," Simon grins. It would be amusing, but cause property damage and possible hospital time to encourage the confusion further, and Simon's kinda hungry.

"Rowan, Miss America Chavez," he says, completing the introduction. "We're just friends. She didn't know if you were trying to hurt me. Most people don't do the dragon thing when they want to greet a friend."

He taps Rowan on the claw, to hint that he should let go, and purple ionic energy krackles around him, as he activates his own flight power.

The six winged dragon complies, looking even more embarassed. "Oh so you're not… oh…" Right, well, clearly he needs more exposure to surfacer activities and customs.

"Though… if you two aren't a 'thing' why would she be so worried? Or… do creatures like this habitually abduct people from the streets in broad daylight?" He hasn't seen them do it but that doesn't mean anything. He's underwater, sometimes.

"Because you're a big fricking dragon snatching someone off the street. That's not normal, and when it usually happens it means someone is going to end up a meal. My job is to stop things like that." America answers Rowan, and then looks back to Simon.

"Let me guess. He just hatched out of an egg from Hogwarts or something?"

"Huh? No, Rowan's not from this universe. He's also aquatic, much of the time. He got misfiled here by some sort of vortexy thing. There were quite a few of them a few months back, you might've noticed? Or were you around here yet?" Simon moves a few yards away so he can get a better look at how those wings work.

"Man, whoever engineered your wings is a maniac," he says to Rowan. "This is even more complicated than the water dragon."

He drifts back over to Miss A. and hovers near her. "Hey, I'm starving guys, let's continue this on the ground. Rowan, that means you gotta stop dragoning around though."

"Oooooooooooh… she's a champion like you. Sure. Surfacer food sounds good." Pancakes are good too, or, whatever. There's a lot of it that's good. Rowan begins to shrink, his features becoming less lizardlike by the moment until rather than a six winged dragon he's a four winged otherwise normal looking human. "Engineered my wings? They're magic. I don't really know how they work, just that they do. The Atleanteans and Black didn't teach me much. Just enough to fight."

America gets a sheepish look. "Er. Sorry Miss…"

"-America," she finishes for Rowan. "You're not from around here, I see. You come from an Atlantis, then. Prince Namor?" America tests. She has been to an expansive number of parallel dimensions. Many of the Atlantises she has seen have had a Namor. Many have not, though this is the first one that has two Atlantises and two apparent Atlantean kings.

"Food sounds good to me." She points down to the iHop below. "That place."

The iHop is right there, and Simon drifts down like a purple fire, before extinguishing when he touches the ground. His clothing is a bit unusual. Instead of his usual blue jeans and leather jacket, he's wearing a sort of one-piece leather jeans-and-shirt, with a red scale-covered jacket over the top; it's not like sequins, more like armor. His hair's gotten a bit long, and he's wearing a pukka necklace, and he pulls a pair of sunglasses out to put on in the restaurant even though it's not even remotely likely he's going to go unnoticed. Not after the Dragon Snag. That's going to be on UTubers in … 3… 2… 1… OK, #herotrack is now logging this.

Simon waits for the others to alight before he goes inside to request a table for three.

Rowan alights as well, on Simon's left. His wings seem to freeze and then disintigrate in whisps of white smoke that, if you look at it closely, looks like finely particulated glass. Or, for the more digital savvy, like the smoke is really pixilated. It's an odd effect to see in real life. Rowan doesn't even look at it. "So this is the house of panckaes to which all the nations come?"

America lands after Rowan, not paying attention to the phones trained on her. Wonder Man is known, but the dragon-man and the mysterious patriotic woman are bound to raise questions. Who are they?

"It's only a name. It isn't actually international."

She pauses. "But it is interdimensional, in a way." Because she knows.

"No, it is international now. They've got restaurants all over the place, Japan, Dubai, even Australia," Simon notes. "There's a different place, the Original House of Pancakes, has better food, but there aren't any in New York, and hey, I wanted Land Walker Cuisine, and they have non-pancake food here now too."

Simon might be wrong about no OHoP. The table is provided with great alacrity. Apparently the manager hopes to avoid any kind of an Insurance Incident, without having to refuse to serve the Metahumans. Besides, that guy in the sunglasses, movie star. Sort of.

The waitress takes orders, leaves iced freshwater with a lemon slice floating in it like a piece of lost yellow kelp, and they are left to the Joy of Social Conversation.

Rowan's social graces are A) Military and B) Learned from interacting with Barbara Gordon, Arthur and Mera. Which means while he has manners, sometimes they go into stealth mode and sneak around a bit. This is one such time. "So, Miss America, I apologise again for interrupting your friend zone meeting." While Rowan is rapidly learning idioms and such, some things are non-intuitive to him. Clearly this is a place where friends meet. A zone if you will. MAC and Simon are friends, therefore they are currently in a friend zone. QED.

Miss America simply stares at Rowan. The dragonling/man seemed to have a talent for self-destructive language that simply didn't stop. It was somewhat amusing, and nowhere near as irritating as Noh-Varr's own linguistic idiosyncracies, which in his case were a deliberate attempt to play upon his alleged charm.

"Right. Friend zone meeting." She walks in after them, a very slight smirk on her face.

"Hey, Rowan, who's been teaching you English idioms?" Simon asks. Because he needs to find them and determine whether they need to be punched, or if this is just Rowan being obtuse.

He looks over at Miss A. and grins at her. "Friend Zoned Again. We should open a bar for people who aren't dating and call it the Friend Zone."

A chirping noise comes from his pocket, and with an annoyed mumble, Simon pulls a very thin, very weird looking object from his pocket that turns out to be a smart-phone of some type or other. It has a tiny SHIELD logo hidden in the serial numbers and such that are hard-molded on the back, and it takes only a few minutes for Simon to convince it to shut up.

"Just so you know, I'm NOT really here to check in to the nice people at SHIELD yet. Since this is eating my film career, I'm definitely going to use my," poke poke poke, mutter, "VACATION, myself."

He smiles again at the others, and the first swath of food is delivered. Little dollar pancakes, for Simon, along with some coffee that should raise the dead. Or put them back down.

Rowan cants his head. "Did I do that wrong? Sorry. I've been learning by… immersion. I've recently discovered that your Psi-Ne- er, excuse me. Internet is not a universally trusted source of information… despite the number of times that 'Urban Dictionary' is referenced in various sources." Ah the joys of being A) Dimensionally displaced and B) from 'undah da sea'. "What was an appropriate term for the meeting you were about to have?"

"Generally, just meeting. The only meetings that get special names are the kind that involve something more than friendship," America clarifies, reaching for her coffee. She orders her own set of pancakes with syrup. "Dimensionally displaced. Which dimension do you come from?"

She looks at Simon as he takes out his phone and raises an eyebrow at the SHIELD mention.

"Specifically, a platonic date between friends," Simon says. "Date because I texted her to arrange a specific time and day, platonic because for some reason Plato, the greek philosopher, liked to try to excuse his not-very-well-suppressed affection for his students in terms that made the physical parts of it seem nasty and crude while the mental and spiritual aspects were supposed to be better. I think he was just getting impotent myself."

Simon swigs some of that vile black liquid they present as 'coffee' and makes a face, and immediately adds a large amount of sugar and creamer. When at iHop, make Hot Ice Cream.

"We never gave it a name. Not one that I'm aware of anyway. I wasn't even aware until recently that other dimensions were a thing. The Overlords were researching dimensional travel… I think." It's how Rowan came to be here, though he couldn't without the aid of someone like Tony Stark (or maybe MAC) tell you where 'here' or 'there' were. "It's… not a good place. I don't particularly recommend trying to find it."

The part about a platonic date gets a quirked eyebrow. And then he realizes 'platonic' and not 'plutonic'. One is a philosopher and the other is a fissile material. Which leads to philosophy so only a couple of degrees of separation there.

"Is this a regular occurance for you?"

America smirks a little at Simon's description, but decides not to comment on it- rather, she addresses Rowan's part of the conversation. "So you don't need to go back home. Got it." She doesn't need to offer interdimensional taxi services, then. Good, she wants to check that shawarma place soon.

"Regular? Not really, I just knew I was gonna get the week off," Simon answers, between mouthfuls of pancake. And, the steak and bacon fries are here. Now this is … If Simon still had arteries that carried blood from here to there, they'd clog instantly after his first mouthful.

"I still don't get this 'Overlords' thing you're talking about. How did that even happen, Rowan?"

"There was a war in the surface world. A great war that involved many nations. And ground on, and on, and on. The destruction it wreaked was horrific and rapidly advancing technology only made it worse." Rowan's eyes go a bit distant. "After decades the people were so brutalized that they were willing to pay any price to stop the carnage. Which… sort of happened. A group of powerful individuals, warlords over what was left of North America, united to form the Psychic Overlords. They imposed peace by might, but also a regimented society that valued only what the people could contribute to it. They outlawed magic and made war on the tribes of Naturalists and Homo Magi. We were their allies…" And so they'd gotten inovlved in a continuation. In a way, the great war had never ended. Only changed.

America listens to this. It sounds like a few of the dimensions she has visited. Not exactly, but the themes are common enough. "I should visit that place someday," she says in between bites. Maybe. If she does, she'll swing by Earth 616 first. For old time's sake.

"Yet you knew Arthur and Mera there. So, there's parallel people," Simon notes. "So there must've been something that made it split."

Note: Simon is not an expert in Dimensional Theory. He did, however, watch (and guest-star on a Holiday Special of) a program called Slitherers, about a small group of photogenic people who traveled between universes a lot. Simon played one of the bad guys, the prehistoric lizard people who were able to telepathically control humans. He got set on fire and blown up. It wasn't in the script originally, but the director couldn't help himself.

"What, you can just walk over there? What if these Psychic Overlords can crawl into your brain?"

"Most of them can't, thankfully. And magic can protect you. But it's a risk. Their soldiers, the ones with the right abilities, or the Overlords themselves can do horrible damage to someone's mind." Rowan makes a face, remembering. "In a way that's fortunate. Re-wiring people is hard and maintaining constant control is draining, so damage is mostly what they do. It's pretty horrifying still ot have an ally turn on you or give up secrets, even temporarily."

"I wouldn't be stupid enough to go alone." America clarifies. "So you're working with SHIELD?" she says to Simon. America did not derail conversation trains when it suited her, she usually punched them off the rails and stripped the rails for scrap afterwards.

"Yeah, turns out I accidentally saved the assistant director from Loki, so I kind of got tapped to go help fight Namor when he was threatening to tear up an oil rig, and I ran into Rowan here a few days later, and then he introduced me to Mera and when I figured out how to talk underwater, they decided to ask me to be a liason or something," Simon answers. Honestly, if his hair wasn't black, you'd think he was a bleached-thru-the-root blond sometimes.

Of course, part of that is just giddy relief at not having to talk to that one guy from the Temple of Poseidon again. Geez. What a pushy guy. Zealots.

"Anyway, since I'm liasing, I had to have someone on the surface to liase TO, so I figured, SHIELD since they were trying to deal with Namor, who is also considered a jerk by a lot of the people down there by the way. The whole "imperius rex" thing like nobody else had a say in it. They elect their kings, even in New Thakkor… or they're supposed to."

Rowan shrugs. "In the Blue we have a council and a consul. I understand the structure is considered 'Roman' here on the surface though I believe the corellation is actually the other way around." Either way, at least people have a frame of reference. "Loki? I've heard that name… trickster deity mmm?"

Rowan looks over at America. "I would… be most distressed if something were to happen to you on my account."

"Don't trouble yourself," America says to Rowan. It's not so much a polite gesture as it is an order. The mention of Namor makes a peculiar expression cross her features. "Namor. The only one I can say is consistently an idiot in every single dimension. Let me know if you have to 'deal' with him at any point. I would enjoy that."

She chomps down on her waffle. There may or may not be some historythere.

Simon shrugs at the idea of Loki as a trickster deity — or perhaps at Namor being an idiot in need of 'being dealt with'.

"I guess you could call him a trickster. The Norse gods were treated more like catholic saints, really… except they weren't saintly, and they weren't so much revered as feared, most of the time. Placated. My World Lit teacher at school — this would be prep school, not college — was kind of a fanatic on the subject. Said that they didn't fit the Roman or Greek style where they embodied a thing, so much as they were patrons of certain kinds of stuff. So someone would go to Odin for help with revenge, or to Thor for help making good decisions in peace time, or for ferocity in war. Thor was actually the guy in charge during peace time, being a berserker, and Odin took over during war because he was a sneaky evil skulking wizard. And Loki was … not really called on for much, he was really admired for his nasty sense of humor."

Simon looks at his plate. "Empty already? More gruel!" He grins at the waitress, "Do you have lemon meringue pie?"

What kind of place would it be without lemon meringue pie? Some is provided for Simon on the double. "The gods all left my world, before I was born. Withdrew from the fighting and abandoned the place. Some said it was to save it an even greater war, some said it was because the Overlords had driven them off. I know some had been killed… I talked with one of the more sneaky ones, occasionally. Phobos." The dragon shrugs. "He gave us hints sometimes. Visions from the Fates."

"Thor's a knucklehead," America says, pushing off her plate. She's looking out the window, apparently distracted. Did she see a fleeting glimpse of black and green?

She frowns. "Let's do this again. I've got to see to something." Sliding a bundle of bills out of her jacket pocket and placing it in front of her place at the table, the woman stands up.

"Nice meeting you, Rowan. We'll talk."

Without giving either brunchfast mate a chance to say more, she walks out of the door like a woman possessed.

Perhaps there's kicking in the future. She would like that. Especially if she visits it upon someone else…

"Huh. That means the pie's all for us," Simon notes to Rowan. He's pretty sure that MAC is somewhat, well, differently sane, about certain things, not that he's much to talk, that whole 'year dead' thing and so forth. He pays for his part, and for anything that Rowan's eating, because he has PLASTIC! and it still works, because he now has an Honest Accountant. (And not just because SHIELD is watching.)

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