Book Shopping and Moontree Manor

Summary:
December 28, 2014: Pepper and Dana go shopping and end up in Rains Basement with Zee, Fenris and Lucky

Moontree Manor

Moontree Manor is a modest-sized, imposing manor built in Gothic style, complete with foreboding paint job. The roof and spire on the right are done in a dark blue paint that offsets the white. It's like someone went a little wild with the colors. A wrought iron fence surrounds the property, and the lawn grows wild, with various herbs and flowers taking over. Ivy and vines crawl up the walls, hopeful for sun. The building seems to be in good repair despite this.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

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


The weekend after Christmas is usually a day for people to dash out and hit all of those post-holiday sales as if they hadn't spent enough money beforehand. For Pepper, though, it's a chance to spend some time away from her usual work-related responsibilities, even if only for an afternoon. She went to eat lunch with friends, then invited her friend Dana (and accompanying canine companion Rex) to go do a little casual shopping. That usually means browsing through the small, individual-owned stores in the more kitschy parts of the city in an attempt to avoid the shopping frenzies elsewhere.

Having agreed to meet up at a vintage book store in a likely section of Queens, Pepper stops outside of the tiny establishment to check her phone to make sure she wasn't here stupidly early. She's done that before. Tapping past various work-related emails (that she'll go back and check later), she doesn't see any messages so figures everything is still intact and not on fire in Stark Tower.

***

While Dana does bring Rex along, the deal is he doesn't walk visibly into the stores with them. (Which, of course, doesn't stop him from coming along invisibly. Hellhounds are stubborn like that.) She crosses the street from a bus stop a little further along and gives Pepper a light wave when the redhead looks up from her phone. Stepping between a pair of parked cars onto the sidewalk, Rex appears at her side, trotting happily alongside her as if he weren't the biggest dog on four legs in the borough right now and one of Annwn's infamous Wild Hunt curs.

"Hey," Dana says by way of greeting as she nears Pepper. "No fires to put out?" That's gotta be a first.

***

Pepper Potts smiles hello to Dana and gives Rex an affectionate ear rub before turning to open the door to the book store. "Surprisingly, no. It kind of makes me wonder if something worse is about to happen." The bell in the doorway jingles cheerily as she pushes through and into …

***

You know who else likes the holidays? Credit card companies. Debbie Downer was onto them this whole time. But Rain doesn't have to worry too much about Christmas shopping. Not really. Captain and the staff are easily satisfied, and for Loki, odds are good she's gonna have to go questing. At this time, Rain is playing with a soldering iron and some circuits in the living room as a fire keeps it warm. Magic manors are murder on the heating bills, so one copes as one can. The staff are quiet, doing their thing. A goat headed man argues with a roller derby t-shirt wearing succubus on the merits of Hell's Kitchen. A younger succubus is piling firewood up just outside, wearing a human guides (thanks magic! This one wasn't Obama at all).

However, there is the basement. It normally functions as the wine cellar, with racks of old, expensive bottles and booze from this century and last. The oldest hail from the late 1800s. Rain's aunt was blessed with near immortality (except for you know, the whole house thing), it seems. And when you're old and immortal, collecting booze is hardly the worst of hobbies. There are dusty parts, but it seems cleaning had begun and goes in fits. A few candles and electric torches line the walls, and it seems like not a malevolent place. Aside from the periodic surge of magic and power that draws in forces, people good and evil.

***

As they pass through the threshold of the shop door and into the manor's basement, Dana reaches out to snag Pepper's arm. By the time she does, however, they're standing amidst antique wines in a cellar just humming with magic. "Sonuva…" She lets her hand fall from Pepper's arm and reaches into her be-runed satchel for her rod — just in case. Rex moves to stand in front of the two women, his hackles high as he eyes the shadows dancing from the candles and electric lights. "I hate magical hijackings…"

The last time this happened to the pair of them together, they ended up in the Unseelie Court…

***
…. okay, Pepper had THOUGHT this was a book store. She's sufficiently confused that she doesn't promptly step back outside again, and that might give the door a chance to close behind her (and Dana/Rex maybe?). Of course, once the door is closed, there's nothing but a blank wall in its place. When she turns to look at Dana questioningly and sees that there's no longer a door there, Pepper goes from surprised to angry in about half a second. "Constantine." She turns to walk briskly through this wine cellar to find the obnoxious git of a spellcaster, as she's had quite enough of his 'help' this year. Of course, she doesn't even get one step forward, what with doing his guard dog duties. Pepper doesn't argue with the hellhound or try to push past him, she knows better and he outweighs her by a good bit.

"I swear, I am going to rip that man's lungs out with a spoon," Pepper tells Dana with a good bit of ire in her voice.

***

Zees been looking for a store on the same street as Pepper, just not the same store. After checking the address on the Internet, she's dressed for shopping in Queens and teleported to the location.

As she steps out, she frowns and looks around. "This isn't where I wanted to be…" and looks at the two women in the room with her, and that ginormous dog… "Uh hi… I'm Zatanna… Do you know where I am?"

***

Dana recalls Constantine from the Christmas party at Stark's. Bit of a prick, if she recalls. Rex certainly recalls. He lifts his nose and takes in the scent of the place. The obnoxious Brit is not among the scents he detects. He glances back to Dana for a moment, who shakes her head to Pepper. "Rex says he's not here…" Doesn't, however, mean he's not behind it.

Then, however, there's the light of a teleport and the Mistress of Magic stands before them. The witch's brows rise in some surprise, though she has to look away from the heroine's dazzling aura quickly enough. Yep. Her powers are working just fine in this place. "Best guess: a witch's wine cellar." She comes from a long line of witches. She knows the signs. As her concentration allows her to filter out Zatanna's aura, she takes a moment to look around again, moving to stand beside Rex. One hand rests on his shoulder, the other grips her glowing rod. "Beyond that… you're guess is as good as ours."

***

"Let me be a bit more specific for you then." Says a deep, rumbling voice. "Moontree Manor. Home of one Rain, a hedge witch of some skill and some greater manners." Which means Fenris likes her. She doesn't go around causing trouble. "Hello Dana. Pepper. Zatanna."

***

Dun dun duuuuuuuun! When you have basement like Rain's, you don't have some sort of warning or alarm to let her know that the conduit has done as conduits are wont to do. And for better or worse, Captain is the first in the household to notice. Probably because he is a cat, equipped with awesome cat hearing. Can openers, falling food, women dropping into the basement, he hears it all. And indeed, at the top of the stairs, the door slowly opens. A crack of light shines in. In all of his glory, and might and power!? Well, he's a rather jowly orange tabby from the rough streets of Gotham. His voice is a deep, right Baritone (think Salem) as he cackles. "I urge you to accept — HOLY MOTHER OF TUNA, HELLHOUND ALERT!" He bolts. His four feet propel him easily, as cats are capable of great bursts of speed, especially when they sit on laps or spot dogs.

And even Rain is going to notice all of the powers gathering at some point. "A hellhound…?" There's a soft voice. "Wait, is that-" And soon enough, the door opens a bit wider. "He's clearly evil," Captain grunts. "You have an antidog bias," comes the second voice. Indeed, at the top of the stairs is soon a second form - tall, slender (probably doesn't eat half the time when ideas hit her) and wearing a terrible physics pun t-shirt. "… hello? It better not be Cenobites, tentacle monsters or those pamphlet pushers again…"

***

Pepper Potts startles when Zatanna appears rather abruptly, though her surprise seems to be more that it's a woman than because she just appeared out of nowhere. She nods to Dana and actually seems to relax a bit when she's told that Constantine is not in this room, and she actually relaxes a bit more when she hears Fenris' voice. "Why are we all here, then? I was … kind of expecting to get to browse through a book store."

With a brief pat to the hellhound's back, she steps gently past him and Dana and further into the center of the room and realizes with a faint 'oh' that they're in a wine cellar of some sort. The voice from the door at the top of the cellar stairs startles her yet again, so she didn't notice that it came from a cat. "Wait, Did you say Moontree Manor? This is the house that appeared out of nowhere?" Yes, she reads the newspapers. "Well, that does explain a few things." By this point, there's a young woman's voice calling down to them from the cellar door, and her manners kick in. "Hello. Are you Ms. Moontree? We seem to have, well, ended up here a bit accidentally."

***

Dana's hand curls into Rex's fur, preventing him from racing after the fleeing feline — way to trigger the hunt instinct there, tabby. He's not happy about it, mind, and it's a near thing. But Dana is always his first priority. Of course, the presence of the Old Wolf helps, too. As Pepper moves past her, Dana straightens and glances around to see the Norse god. His endorsement of the owner of the cellar is… helpful, actually. It lets her lower her rod, rather than charging it up. She still hates magical hijackings, however. "I sure hope it's an accident," she says dryly, quietly, in response to Pepper's attempt at diplomatic greeting. Her own experience with magic tells her otherwise.

***

"Oh, I didn't mean to startle you." Zee starts to apologise but then there's Fenris and the talking at the top of the stairs… and Dana, who Zee peers at intently for a minute or two. Peppers doing the talking, so the young magician turns to look at the basement "Well, this is pretty cool really. Normally I just get to meet Constantine, and that's not really much fun."

***

Fenris chuckles. "Hello Rain. I do hope we're not bothering you. I dropped by to make sure everything was okay. Felt a 'disturbance in the Force' if you will." To wit, he felt Rune and Zee and Pepper all abruptly arrive at the same place without crossing the intervening space. And Rain's cellar is known to have occasional infestation problems of the magical kind. "Hello to your Rex, and you as well Captain."

***

Rain is a cowardly sort. It's just a character flaw. And paranoia serves you well as a homeless person. Rain sort of cranes her neck down, and pauses. "Oh, gosh. Let me turn some lights on." There's the sound of a light switch, with the electric torches flicking on. The basement is a good deal brighter now. "Hi!" She greets Fenris warmly, and looks to he others. Captain is completely fluffed out, looking comical in his tan trenchcoat. He does not like Rex, but he settles for staying quiet and eyeing them all. While being poofed up.

"Huh? Yeah, this is Moontree Manor. It was my aunt's." Was. Captain sighs deeply. "Another conduit malfunction." Rain looks to the cat. "I am. This is Captain. And that's okay, this conduit seems to pull people and things in. We're working on it. Uhm. I guess you can grab a drink and come upstairs. I'm not a /terrible/ host. watch the steps though." Even well lit, it seems Rain's aunt liked a challenge. It seems Rain has no control over it. "And uh, there's no English mages here. I'm not really important enough to be on that radar." She shrugs. Captain snorts.

***

Pepper Potts ahs and nods to Rain and her cat at the top of the cellar stairs, mostly out of politeness. She's not entirely sure what 'conduit malfunction' means in this context, but she'll let that slide. She quickly parses what was said, and glances around at the very ecclectic collection of bottles. They really do all kind of look the same when stored like this, but the one catches her eye. It's smaller than all the bottles around it, and one of the ones more thickly coated in dust. She steps over and very gently lifts the bottle out of his holding spot to squint at the faint label.

"Glenavon, Balli…" her eyes go wide and then she's clutching the bottle to herself and not caring about getting dust on her clothing. Do NOT drop this bottle. Do NOT drop this bottle.

***

Dana can guess what 'conduit malfunction' means. The house has Nexus Point glowing all over it. "I think that's most people's assessment of Constantine," she comments dryly to Zee. As Pepper starts to make her way forward. Rune slides her rod into her satchel once more and brushes past Rex to follow her forward. A wry smile touches her lips as she hears the reverence about the old bottle of wine, and she makes a mental note to mention it to Wassea when she gets home, later.

As the group eventually ascends the stairs to join Rain, there's the scent of freshly fallen snow and somehow, as Dana and Rex pass over the threshold of the door to the main floor an icy shimmer takes them. All that's heard is a whisper of wind outside and Dana's impatient voice fading as she says, "Oh, for cryin' out loud…"

Being a Realmwalker seriously sucks, sometimes.

Nevertheless, both she and the Cwn Annwn are gone without further trace.

***

Suddenly from a portal in the ceiling out falls Lucky, wearing nothing but a towel, and his birthday suit, into a nice three feet fall right onto his face. His black hair's still completely drenches and he leaves a bit of a puddle as it seems he was just getting out of the shower when something brought him here.

A few rather strongly worded inappropriate expletives flow from the overly scarred mans lips, as he tries to come to grips with what just happened, his cigar completely smashed by the impact. His various tattoos are on full display from the standard military tattoo's to a few skulls and the like along to his more specialty designs like some sort of eagle with a shield in it's chest, and a list of names with angle wings on either side. He's got a few more tattoos then would would really even come to expect from the musclebound man.

***

Rain doesn't seem to mind her guests taking a bottle or two. She smiles to them from atop the stirs. "Oh dear. I hope she's okay," She looks after Dana and the Hellhound. "But yes, please take a bottle or two. The fire place is going and um, I think Stephen has brisket on. He's household help my aunt hired," She explains. "And I don't like booting people out, you know?" And then suddenly, a lucky.

Her eyes widen. Her face goes BRIGHT RED.

NAKED MAN! She eeps softly. Captain sighs, putting a paw atop his face. "This. This is why you're going to die alone." Yes. "Hey! You need a towel or robe man?" The cat calls in his rich, baritone voice. And yes, the cat talks. The group looks to Fenris.

***

Fenris takes off his long coat and hands it Lucky-ward. "Lucky what on earth happened to you? Wait no, don't tell me. I suppose it's good you arrived alive and not dead." He looks over to Pepper with a chuckle and a smile. "Your employees. I think you rather did that on purpose sometimes."

***

Pepper Potts very, VERY carefully puts the small green bottle back where she took it from, and offers Rain a small smile. "I think I'll stick to tea," she offers, but then yelps as yet another person suddenly ends up in the cellar. "Jason?" She hurries over, claiming Fenris' trenchcoat on her way to offer to Jason as she reaches to help him sit up. "Are you okay? What happened?" Well, she can guess by his attire (or lack thereof) that he's just stepped out of his shower, but still. And if she caught Fenris' slightly joking comment about her choice of employees, she's ignoring it for the moment.

***

"Don't worry, I've got a towel" Jason offers accepting the jacket so that he can actually have something to wear again, tossing the towel over his shoulders. Which is a good thing for him to have considering the little towel wouldn't really have been enough to cover up well anything really, it's only a hand towel.

"I know I said call any time you need me, but I didn't think call would mean bring, and any time would be when I'm in the shower," his towel being used to rather quickly clean out his eyes.

With the water out of his eyes, and a smashed rather expensive cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth Jason tries to get a good idea of who is really in his surroundings. "I mean next time at least give me the chance to grab a gun, or a bathrobe, something."

***

Fenris chuckles and steps up to the top of the stairs and looks about. Roller Derby Succubus? Golem Butler? Mmmmm, not that he can see. Maybe they get days off. "Kind of you to be so understanding about this. How have you been?" He knows that Rain was studying under a certain Norse Trickster God. He doesn't know that she spend a few months undah da sea. "Pepper are you… quite alright down there?"

***

Rain's face is still bright red, and Captain sighs as he doesn't get a response to Jason. He shakes his head. "Hey!" He calls to the man. "Uh, looks like you got a jacket." Rain takes a deep breath. "Uhm. You guys can come up… it's a bit musty down there. But do feel free to grab a bottle and come up," She offers. The door is open more fully. "Stephen, please fetch a robe for the fellow and maybe an extra towel." They have guests. Oddly, a goat headed man bows neatly, and wanders off.

Timey wimey issues are at hand, and she is quiet a moment. There's a polite smile to Fenris. "David is out running himself some errands. He seemed intent on trying some bakery thing before it sold out." The Roller Derby succubus is probably waiting for Stephen to get back so they can debate more. "And it's okay. I am - okay." Yes. That's one way to put it. The witch takes a deep breath. "I'm a bit worried. This conduit keeps acting up, but I can't really close it unless I want to deal with a whole mess of backlash…" Sadface. "How are you? And um, you know any folks…?" Any of their new guests?

***

Pepper Potts helps Jason stand up off of what is very likely a cold cellar floor and leads him to the stairs where Fenris and Rain await them. "I didn't do this, Jason. Trust me, I'd at least call you first if I were going to have you magically dragged somewhere." She's pretty sure that tall and skinny Fenris's trenchcoat will not make for suitable guest attire, and at the… wait, was that the CAT? At the offer of something to wear, Pepper brushes aside any confusion and says, "A bathrobe or something would be very much appreciated, yes. Thank you."

***

Jason's still trying to get some of the water off of himself, unable to really hide that fresh out of the shower look. He's not even had the chance to put on his favorite cologne and already he's out in this basement he's found himself in from time to time. Not that he really wears cologne but he didn't even get the chance to hold the bottle in his hand start to apply then decide against it like he loves to do.

Looking back up the stairs, Jason offers. "Thanks for the offer, kid" trying his best to offer a friendly smile but failing completely to offer anything more then a slight smirk, his ruined cigar having the old soldier turned young again already in more then his share of a foul mood. Put that together with the very unform fitting coat and he looks a bit less then well comfortable, not nearly as phased by the fact that there is a cat talking as someone in their right mind SHOULD be by that sort of thing.

***

"Oh yes, I'm sorry. This is Pepper Potts and Zatanna, a mage not unlike you, and Jason Lucky. An immortal of sorts. They're all decent people, I don't think you need worry about them. Well, your succubus might have to watch out for Lucky." Is that a joke? Yes it is. Does Rain know Fenris has a sense of humor?

Er… does she?

***

Rain is quiet, listening. Captain stifles a snicker. Rain's face is still bright red. "I uh, yeah. No worries. Stephen's fetching some stuff. He looks about as tall as one of the guys who helps," And Rain is skinny herself. Captain sighs, "I'm Captain, the witch is Rain. Welcome to our mansion." They step aside to let people through the door. She smiles politely at Lucky. "We apologize. The conduit is - really behaving oddly of late." Poor Lucky.

She looks to Pepper. "It isn't anything you or anyone did. It seems to act of its own agency or that of certain summoners." She smiles at Fenris. "Thanks. Maybe she'll take him to a roller derby." Most guys would probably quake a bit at that. Oh dear. "I hope beef is okay. The fire place is going, so help yourselves to snacks and sitting by it." Yup.

***

Pepper Potts smiles and nods to Rain. "That sounds wonderful, thank you." She leads Jason up the stairs and forces herself to not give the coat-wearing cat more than a polite nod. Staring is rude, after all. "Is there, perhaps, any tea? If not, I'll be happy to fix some for everyone."

***

Fenris heads to the drawing room like he's been here before. He has. And he knows there's usually tea about. If Rain doesn't object he doesn't even mind serving it. "Tutoring lessons still going well, Rain? I hope your Tutor is behaving." He knows well enough who that is and 'behaving' is not often a thing he does. Still… there's hope. Right?

***

There's not much really for Jason to do other then be lead up the stairs not really looking all that uncomfortable for the state of his clothing, more just mad at his cigar. He mutters something under his breath about cigars, and cuba, taking each step with care, offering the cat a small tip of a nonexistent hat. "House just needs a" the rest of it a bit to muddled and muttered to really be distinguished, as Jason tries to dry out his ears.

***

Rain is quietly standing to the side, letting them pass. Captain, too. He grunts stofly. "Yeah, he's been pretty busy. Off… doing stuff. Nothing seems to be on fire or in total chaos, so it's good." Rain counts her pluses where she can, and when you live with Loki, well. Well. Rain smiles to the group politely. "There is hot water, we can steep up whatever you want. Or you can serve yourself, I'm not going to duct tape anyone to anything," She offers quietly. She seems quietly amused by Jason. Captain nods back. "Huh?" Peer.

The cat talks, and he seems unruffled in turn. "You're welcome. And just don't drink anything from the shelf labeled reagent," The cat remarks. "Those are special herbs. We don't use them." Captain pointedly eyes Jason at that. Smart ass cat. Well, one could probably scratch out the first two words and have it work. But all that aside, the two do seem to care about one another and their group.

***

Pepper Potts leads Jason along after Fenris to the drawing room and gets the former settled there near the fire, hopefully with a blanket or something until the offered clothing arrives. Drafty old house is drafty. When Fenris offers tea, she accepts a cup gladly. "Well, this wasn't exactly how I'd planned my afternoon."

***

Fenris puts the tea on and peruses Rain's selection of tea. She has quite a lot and all of it's quite good. "Glad to hear that, Rain. And we'll keep that in mind Captain." Beat. "How did you end up called that anyway? Oh, earl grey Pepper? And what do you want Lucky?"

***

"Makes two of us," Jason offers drying off his face with that small towel of his, only now really getting enough of a look at it to muttering something about it being a different color then he remembered. He's not really too phased by any of it, but then again it's hard to really tell anything with how scarred up his face is.

After a few moments spent in silence staring through the fire off miles and miles into the distance the question of drink brings him crashing back just enough to offer a rather distracted "Coffee" his eyes still having that sort of glazed over look to them.

***

"I just liked it," Captain states with a feline smile. His tail flicks a little. He's accepted Fenris, oddly enough. Stephen emerges from a hallway, holding up a surprisingly elegant and rich looking black robe with jogging clothes. "Ehm. We believe this may suit Mister Lucky…" Well, it's not quite a leisure suit. And indeed, there's a lush selection of teas from nearly everywhere. Witches take their drinks very seriously, it seems. Nevertheless, Rain smiles to Lucky.

And then she looks thoughtful. There are blankets on the couch near the fire place. "I really should redo the warming enchant, but it's kinda big and I worry about overdoing it. Maybe on the weekend," She puts her hands on her hips. "Ehm. I'm sorry," She looks to Pepper. "I can probably get you a portal back," Then Captain snorts. "It's /teleporting/ I have a problem with," Rain folds her arms. "My portals are fine." She just really seems to hate teleporting for some reason. "But we are glad you came by and apologize for the inconvenience. I go by Rain, by the way. That is Stephen and… the others are on break or hanging out."

***

Pepper Potts smiles and nods to Rain thankfully. "I go by Pepper. It's a pleasure to meet you, Rain. And Stephen. Captain. Thank you for the hospitality." She's actually content to stay here so long as Lucky and Fenris are willing to do so, or until she gets a call from Stark Tower. Whichever happens first. "I hope we didn't interrupt your afternoon by dropping in the way way did."

***


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