Hoagie Heroes

Summary:
December 16 2014: Constantine and Kitty run into each other in Brooklyn and discuss the varying dangers in their lives.

Hogan's House of Hoagies

Like an Italian diner


Characters

NPCs

  • Lockheed

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Hogan's House of Hoagies. It sounds ridiculous, but the place has been there for at least thirty years, the family business well-established and passed down through three generations, with a fourth working the ice-cream dispenser in the summer.

Constantine's got a booth to himself, one of the rearmost ones near the kitchen that few people actually choose. It's just barely big enough for two people, if they're comfortable knocking knees, and he's busily demolishing a meatball marina sub, coat hanging from the seat back behind him.

It's just the kind of ridiculous that Kitty Pryde doesn't mind. That and she's been promising Lockheed a good sandwich for awhile now. As the young mutant enters with Lockheed nestled into her knitting bag, she starts to pull off her gloves and hat while looking for a place to sit. It's hard to mistake the cut of Constantine near the back of the restaurant. And if it wasn't for his figure, the coat is a dead give away.
Immediately, she angles her way toward him. "Been awhile, Mr. Constantine." The last time Kitty saw the man, he was in the hospital and they did not exactly end the conversation on the best note. However, she's not going to ignore the man when they're both in a hoagie shop together.

Constantine looks up at Kitty without any surprise on his face, chewing slowly. "I remember you. You're the gel with the ghost-punching powers," Constantine says after a few moments of contemplation. He chews, swallows, then gestures at the seat across from him. "Good place for a quick nibble. Do hate eating alone," he says, making it a somewhat diffident, but sincere invitation.

It's possible Kitty wasn't expecting to surprise Constantine, though she is surprised to find him there. At the invitation, she slides into the booth, carefully putting the knitting back with Lockheed down on the bench seat next to her. The small purple dragon noses his way out of the bag, a knitted scarf wrapped a few times around his neck and the edge of a blanket coming out with him.

"Only on special occasions," she smirks as she starts to shed her wool coat, letting it fall down behind her on the seat. "And I'd have thought you might want to eat alone, what with a messy sandwich. Less people to see the sauce stains." She glances about for the waiter or waitress, offhandedly asking, "I hope you haven't fallen out of any windows lately?"

"Got shot at," Constantine shrugs, resting his elbows back on the table and hanging his head down to gnaw on the fairly messy sub. If he's concerned about his table manners overmuch, it doesn't show, and his coffee cup definitely smells of Jack Daniels instead of cream and sugar, despite the early noonish hour.

"Business as usual, luv, what can I say." Despite his attempts to be surly and unfriendly, he can't help but smile at Lockheed peeking his head out of the sewing bag, and he passes the little dragon a nip of meatball sub. "Hey, you lil' rotter," he says, clearly not meaning it. "I see you're still kicking around."

"Hm, not sure that's more of an improvement." Both falling out of windows and being shot at turn to be a bit easier for Kitty to handle than most people, though. She knows enough people with only so-so people skills that his table manners (or lack thereof) don't seem to bother her at all. Finally snagging a waiter, she orders two sandwiches - one a child's size for Lockheed - and a tea. Hers will not be laced with Jack Daniels.

Lockheed ventures completely out of the bag to snag the offered piece of meatball sub, grabbing it in his claws and nibbling at it. If he cares about being called a rotter, he doesn't show it. Or the food softened the blow. "Lockheed'll outlast us all. Probably because he doesn't tend to toss himself into danger unless absolutely necessary. Unlike us."

Constantine considers Kitty's words, then lifts his shoulder in a nonchalant shrug again, sitting back and upright as if the concept of joint dining finally occurred to him to do. He rips his sub into a more manageable piece and rests a napkin across his thighs, even.

"You look like you've got all your bits and pieces yet. You staying out of trouble? Or just lucky?" Constantine inquires in the dry tones of the British, making it unclear if he's being sincere or snarky.

Kitty rests an elbow on the table while she waits for her food. In short order a mug of hot water is given to her with a packet holding a Lipton teabag. Busying herself with dropping the tea in to seep, she smirks. "Six of one, half a dozen of the other," she tells the man sitting across from her. "I've got a few scars, but for the most part my mutation makes it all but impossible to physically hurt me."

She looks over at him. "Same goes for you. You have that magic stuff, right? But, you don't seem to be all the worse for wear. Physically, at least. That coat bullet proof as well as having a portal to Narnia in it?" After all, she did safeguard it for a little while. She knows that it's magic, or there's something off with it.

Constantine chews, eying Kitty, then smirks. "Sorry, a magician doesn't reveal how his tricks work," the Brit tells the woman, after a few moments. He props his elbows up, sandwich held in his hands, creating a bit of an unconscious barrier between himself and Kitty.

"So you're a mutant, eh?" Constantine says, switching topics. "That must be /very/ interesting," he says, his tone somewhere between sarcastic and gently teasing. "Being able to just pop halfway in and out of reality would be a handy skill to have."

Kitty snorts at both the gesture and his response. Lockheed, having finished his little bit of sandwich slowly starts to edge his way back toward Constantine's hoagie, perhaps hoping to swipe another meatball from him. "Isn't that just something stage magicians say to enhance the mystery?"

However, she can tell a closed off subject when she comes across it, so Kitty lets the conversation move toward her own powers. "Interesting? I guess. It's just how I was born. And it's not really reality I'm popping between. Just…hm, I haven't actually thought about it that much, honestly. I normally think of it as just sort of phasing."

Constantine chews, slack-jawed. "So you haven't given it an ounce of bother," Constantine says, gesturing vaguely with his sandwich. He splits off another piece of meatball and passes it to the inquisitive little dragon.

"It's a damned interesting thing you do. I'd give my wisdom teeth to be able to do it, and those things are about the smartest part of my body," Constantine says. "Don't know if it's magic or science, but it sure saved my arse that day. Still guess I owe you one for that," he admits grudgingly.

"It's not really…the bother part," Kitty replies defensively. "It's just something I've been able to do since I was a kid. I've tested what I can do, but not exactly where I go, since I'm always right here, just not touchable. It never occurred to me that there were other dimensions that could be the answer." Or, well, it didn't until there was Illyana. And even then, Limbo was so different that she didn't ever expect what she did to have anything to do with what her friend did.

The sandwich finally slides onto the table in front of Kitty and she pushes Lockheed's toward the dragon. He snatches the bit of meatball Constantine holds out first, putting it on the plate to save for later. "You still have your wisdom teeth?" she asks, obviously going for the most important part of what he said first. "Well, you didn't get too mad at me when I rummaged through your pockets, so there's that. But, I'd love to learn more about what you do. If you're in the interest of paying things back."

Constantine exhales testily, having blundered right into that one. "Rule one, always square your debts fast," Constantine advises Kitty. "Bad karma to walk around with one on your soul, and two, you never know how someone's going to collect."

"My name's John Constantine," he says, reintroducing himself formally. "I'm a demonologist, exorcist, petty dabbler in the dark arts, and sometimes a stage magician," he starts, his tone a bit weary. "That's who I am and what I do, in a nutshell. Day in, day out, plugging up hellgates, saving children who've been snatched up by trolls and the fae, keeping idiot teenagers from triggering a bloody apocalypse. There's an entire world of the weird out there, luv," Constantine tells Kitty, his tone a warning one. "It's a great black pit, and it doesn't like being watched. Once they know you're looking at them, they start staring back."

Kitty can't help but smirk a bit knowing that she may have caught Constantine in his own words. But, the smile starts to fade back into a serious expression by the time he introduces himself formally again. Idly, she plucks her teabag out of the mug, leaving it in the saucer and adding in milk and a bit of sugar while she listens.

"I'm Catherine Pryde, school teacher." That doesn't really sound as good as demonologist, but she's going to roll with it. "I've fought demons and gone to Limbo and rescued people from alternate realities. Being a mutant, I'm already a bit a part of that world of weird, according to the Friends of Humanity. And since I've met you and a few other people who seem to be in a different form of weird, I want to know more about what I may get myself into - either accidentally or on purpose to help someone else. I'm a girl with a purple dragon…I'm not about to settle down to the suburbs, you know?"

"Ok, Catherine," Constantine says with a nod, stirring the whiskey in his coffee a few times before taking a long sip of the cooling liquid. "Fair enough. You've seen a spot of bother so far, and you know what's out there. And it sounds like you're the kind of gel who's up to her bloody eyeballs in trouble one way or another, and at the rate you're going, you're going to get someone's attention right quick."

"There's a world that exists concurrently to this one," Constantine says, making gestures on the table with his hands. "Limbo, Pandemonium, Purgatory, Heaven, Hell, and a dozen places inbetween. Reality itself, as you know it, doesn't exist there. So someone like you, a ripe, fresh face with a gift like you have, could be a major temptation. For a demon," he says a flustered second later, realizing how it sounded.

Kitty wrinkles her nose. "Oh, I thought we were just doing the full name thing for the introduction. Don't call me Catherine, call me Kitty. Only my mother calls me by my full name."

That's one of the only comments that she'll make for the time being, listening to what Constantine has to say with the eagerness of a good student. She didn't get straight As for nothing in school. Plus, knowing this might help the X-Men, should she ever make up her mind as to which team to join. "I know a bit about Limbo. If it's the same Limbo. With all these realities, maybe there's a few of them." At the comment for a demon, she lowers her eyes, remembering her trip to Japan and nods. "Yes, I can imagine." That sharp, painful remembrance is all she thinks of, not realizing it could sound any other way.

"No, you can't," Constantine says, a bit sharply. "Blimey, that's the /problem/," he tells Kitty, wearily. "You can't even guess at how barmy it is out there. Demons, angels, monsters, cretins, creatures, creepers… there are people who will gladly buy all the memories of your family from you in exchange for information or power. Now they know you're out there, and you can find them, they'll start looking for you. You don't know when you'll be signing a lease for an apartment and it turns out to be a Sidhe lord buying the remaining years of your life in exchange for a place to crash."

"Believe me, I know. I thought I was being trained by a man who would save my father and he turned out to be his murderer. And a demon." This is a strange conversation to be having in an old, family style restaurant. While Lockheed has already devoured his sandwich and the little bit that Constantine gave him before, Kitty has barely touched her own. Instead, she stirs the tea in front of her endlessly.

However, the thought of signing a lease and it actually being a contract for something else is a bit startling. The girl straightens and then looks down. "So, I'll start reading everything and bring a lawyer with me."

Constantine sighs and leans back from Kitty, as if wishing he could just distance himself from the girl entirely. "Blimey, they all come to me," he says, under his breath. Mostly. He eyes Kitty, then spreads his hands and sets them on the table carefully. "Look, I don't like giving people the big speech if I can help it. Too many of them end up on meatslabs at the local constabulary," Constantine explains. "But it sounds like you're up to the thick of it already," he exhales. "At this point, I'm going to be up nights drinking if I get word you ended up getting deaded somewhere because you ran into something outside your weight class."

Kitty rolls her eyes at Constantine. "Look, Johnny, I don't need a big speech. I'm a good student and I have friends who'll help me out if you don't want to. I just thought that since you knew what you were talking about, you'd be able to help me figure out what I'm looking for if I get into something." No longer hungry, she pushes her sandwich toward the dragon next to her, though he's watching Constantine now, too.
Annoyed, Kitty puts her spoon back down on the saucer with a clatter and shakes her head. "I've got a friend who doesn't die. If something tries to take me out, he'll hunt it down and he won't care how long it takes. Don't stay up nights drinking because 'you tried to warn me'. Help me figure out what I may be dealing with. Which, by the way, has been nothing so far, despite dragging you out to a hospital and spraying a ghost with a squirt gun."

"All right, fine," John says, in a tone of surrendered exhaustion. He lifts his hands aloft in a gestural agreement, leaning back in the chair. "You're up to your eyes in it, right?" He fishes in his pocket for a business card that has only his name on it, embossed in gold. "This is a hotline number," he says, handing it to Kitty. "Don't lose it or give it to anyone else. If you need to send me a message, just write on the back of it. If it's an emergency, tear it in half and say my name three times. I'll come running fast as my legs can go," he assures her. "Meanwhile, I guess some lessons are in order, if I'm going to get you caught up on the who's who of the supernatural world."


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