AMaze Before Lunch

Summary:
January 2, 2015: Zee catches up Lux and they talk.

Metropolis

In a park, with a maze….


Characters

NPCs

  • None

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


It's cold in Metropolis. There's a light dusting of snow on the ground. Not enough to look pretty. Just enough to remind everyone that it's cold. Audrey's spent as much time at various restaurants and places with heating as she can, though, without getting kicked out or drawing too much attention to herself. So she made her way to the park, where at least the bends and curves of the maze can offer some shelter from the wind. That, and when she gets too cold…Well, at the moment, she's huddled in a corner, layers of clothes wrapped tightly around herself, with a small, warm ball of glowing light hovering close to her.

***

One of the best things about being a Magician who can teleport, is that you can go anywhere you want, really. After her trip to Limbo with Jericho and Illyana, Zatanna Zatara feels like a change of scenery, something more normal will do her wonders. And so, she's found herself in Metropolis, walking through the Bicentennial Park and the maze.

Dressed in a sweater dress, leggings and knee high boots, the Mistress of Magic rounds a corner just before the one Audrey is huddling in.

The ball of glowing light catches her attention and as she gets closer, Zee stops and peers at the figure and the ball of light. She doesn't recognise the other woman from New Years Eve, the layer of clothes are a good disguise. "Ummm hello there…."

***

As Zatanna comes around the corner, Audrey quickly snuffs out the light, tucking her hands beneath her arms and looking up at the other woman. "Sorry," she says quietly, picking up a plastic bag full of what looks like protein bars and sports drink mix. Easy things to eat, store, carry, and high yield. "I know, no one supposed to stay here overnight or anything. I was just taking a little bit of a break."

***

As the young woman puts out the light and looks up at her, Zee frowns slightly and peers at her for a long moment. Seeing Audreys discomfit, the frown is extinguished and a smile replaces it "Looks like a great place to take a break to me, out of the wind and a little warmer than out in the open."

***

"Pretty much," Audrey agrees with a flicker of a smile. She recognizes the other woman. She's not sure yet if she's been recognized herself. And not sure what that might translate to right now, either. Tucking a piece of hair behind her ear, she looks away, doing her best not to meet Zatanna's eye. "Really unpleasant today. And my train doesn't leave for another few hours, so lots of time to kill, you know?"

***

It finally clicks for Zee, she hadn't recognised Audrey immediately but something had pulled at her memory "You were in the bar on New Years Eve, you helped with those lights." She grins a little and holds her hand out "I'm Zee, in case you don't remember, it was a bit wild there for a moment and most of us had to disappear before the police got there."

***

And now it's too late to run. Audrey hesitates, but reaches out to take the offered hand in a cautious grasp. "Hi," she replies, voice low, with the faintest flicker of a smile. "That wasn't really how I was looking to spend New Years. Was the, uh. Wolf guy okay? And the Flash?" Not asking is more suspicious than asking, right? Probably? This is a maze, it'll be hard to run, but easy to lose someone around a corner. Probably.

***

Zee smiles again as her hand is taken "You didn't give me a name the other night… what should I call you?" nodding slightly, she snorts a little "I wasn't expecting to spend New Years like that either… The Wolf guy should be fine and I think Flash is ok, I ummm got distracted with something" like teleporting to Limbo "I'll contact the Wolf guy soon."

***

"I. Ah." Audrey pauses again, brows furrowing briefly. "You can call me Lux," she says after a moment, settling on the name she gave Domino. Not that Audrey's an unusual name, but the more information people have, the more likely it is that the army will manage to track her down. "And that's good to hear. Did anyone know what the Daredevil guy was trying to pull off? It didn't exactly seem like a high value target in there."

***

The pause is noted and ignored "Lux then, pleased to meet you." The question has Zee frowning again though "He said something about paying debts or the like, but no, I don't know. He sure seemed to know me though." Zee shrugs a shoulder "I've asked John to help me work out who he is, he seems really dangerous."

***

"That's for sure," Audrey agrees quietly, crossing her arms over her chest again. "He must have known someone was going to be there?" she suggests. "Maybe you. Or maybe the other man, the one who was talking about buying the place. He seemed to get the worst of the explosion. Had you all told anyone you were going to meet there, or was it a chance thing?"

***

Zee looks at the other woman and chews her bottom lip "I didn't know who'd be there, I got an invitation from an old colleague of my Dads. I was a bit shocked it was in that bar, but I've done some digging since and the colleague is pretty hard up." Tilting her head she ponders again "Mr Washington was just in the wrong place I think…" she shrugs "I just don't know, but when I work out who he is…" she trails off not wanting to finish that thought.

***

"Was that colleague actually there?" Audrey asks, arching a brow slightly. "It could've been a set-up. If it was for you. I don't know," she adds quickly, looking away. "I mean. Just thinking. Not that it's any of my business either way. Except if you all are there all the time, then I might find a different bar to wander into," she adds, looking back with a small, nervous smile.

***

"I didn't see him, so I can't say for sure. But I don't think it was just for me, there would be better ways to do it." The small nervous smile gets a shake of Zee's head "That was the first time and unless Mr Washington buys it and cleans it up a little, probably my last."

The young magician tilts her head and looks at Audrey carefully "You ask some very good questions though. What is you do for a living?"

***

Audrey laughs at that, suddenly, before she catches herself. "I don't, actually," she replies, rueful. "I sort of…dropped out, you could say." Dropped out. Went AWOL. As AWOL as you can go when you're a conscript, at least. "Sometimes I do odd jobs. Mostly I just keep an eye out for myself. Metropolis is nice, as long as you don't make an ugly nuisance of yourself, you know? People are a little nicer here."

***

The laugh and the catch get a bemused sort of look from the raven-haired woman. "Looking out for yourself is rule number 1, of course. I haven't really experienced Metropolis, so I'll take your word for it." Zee smiles again before adding "You obviously have powers though, it was really helpful the other night." Zee is being direct

***

"X-gene," Audrey answers, grimacing faintly. "And it wasn't all that useful. You all seemed to have things under control. I just…helped." She tugs her jacket a little more tightly around herself, awkward. "I didn't ask for it. I was born that way."

***

"It was that useful." Zee corrects gently "With my magic, or how I see my magic, I need to 'things' to work with. Your lights, I could use them to light the guy up. And… I bet you're the one who blinded him, which then let the rest of us push him into that Way."

The young magician shrugs "Help… it's what teamwork is about. Each of us doing a bit to get the job done." The comment about being born that way and the awkward gestures gets a small, sad, frown "I was born with magic, but my Dad was great. Looks like you've had a different experience…" Zee looks like she might be going to add more, but falls silent as she watches Audrey.

***

"I know how teamwork works," Audrey replies with a flicker of a smile that suggests she knows how a different sort of team works, at least. "It's a bit harder when you haven't practiced together, though. And you don't know everyone's capabilities. And I wasn't- I'm not-" She pauses. "I just wasn't interested in going into the family business, is all."

***

"Well that's true. I was lucky that Mikey had agreed to be my wingman that night," Zee grins over to Audrey "we've worked togehter a couple of times. The others who helped, we had to think quick, but it all worked out" and could have been a lot worse. The family business line has the raven-haired woman tilting her head "Mmmm, it's all I wanted to do. What were / are your family into? My Dad, and now I, we're Stage Magicians" Zee smiles brightly at that.

***

Audrey shakes her head at that question. "Doesn't matter," she answers. "Not going into it. Stage magicians sounds nice, though," she adds with a tentative smile. "Sounds like it would be interesting. Harmless. Go lots of places, see lots of things. It sounded like you were fairly famous, from what was said in the bar."

***

That has Zee smiling even more brightly "You're very good at that, changing the topic, putting the floodlight elsewhere. That's sort of what I do in my shows. It's ok if you don't want to talk about it." Cocking her head, Zee nods "It's fun, hard work though, lots of practice… I travel a bit and I'm thinking about setting up show in the tri-cities." a shrug "A bit famous I guess, mainly because of Dad"

The bag with the food gets a look and Zee bites her bottom lip "Did you say you had a train to catch soon, or would you like to join me for a quick bite to eat?"

***

For a moment, there's actually a hint of a genuine smile from Audrey. "Being an illusionist is pretty much the same as being a magician if you really want to accomplish anything," she admits. "Watch the pretty lights over here while the real action happens over there." The offer of food gets a long moment of consideration, and a glance to her own bag. "I do have a few hours left before it's time for the train," she says slowly.

***

"It so is" Zee laughs "and now you know some of my tricks." Cocking her head slightly, she nods "Well, come on then, let's find somewhere to eat." Zee starts walking towards the exit of the maze, slowly as she waits for the other woman to catch up.

***

This is probably a terrible idea. Almost certainly a terrible idea. But every time Audrey's tried to get a hot meal lately, it's been interrupted by something awful. And she can just relocate again, right? The beauty of the tri-cities, that there are so many people she can easily disappear among them. "So is that what you do, then?" she asks as she falls in next to Zee. "Stage magic shows?"

***

"Mmmm, no, I guess you could say I fight crime as well. I'm part of a team called the Titans, have you heard of them?" Not all the publicity the teams been getting has been good. "I have a little bit more than just Stage Magic at my disposal. A bit like you, I was born different." The Mistress of Magic strolls casually as the exit the maze "What do you feel like to eat? I think I would like a burger and fries."

***

"Burger and fries sounds great," Audrey agrees, to the accompaniment of a noisy rumble from her stomach. "And yeah, I've heard of the Titans. And the Red Team. And the Justice League. Public teams of heroes." She looks over toward Zee, a cautious, sidelong glance. "Doesn't it take a lot of resources, though?"

***

Nodding to a nearby restaurant that looks to be many degrees better than the bar they were in the other night, Zee turns in that direction with a smile "Public teams, yeah but I'm not sure what you mean by resources…"

***

"Supplies. Housing. Things that are required for maintaining what's essentially an elite security team," Audrey replies absently. "Those things take money. And time. And then there are the issues of jurisdiction, and what follows after someone is apprehended by someone other than the authorities. And where you draw the line, in terms of punishment."

***

Opening the door to the restaurant, Zee lets Audrey step inside first "Well yeah, they do… I'm not sure how the Titans do it, I'm still relatively new. I'll have to ask I guess… " the jurisdiction questions gets a wry nod as they find a table to sit at "The Titans basically hand everyone over to the authorities. Now there's an Special Investigations branch, I think that's what it's called, it's made things a lot easier for some of the more ummmm stranger people we apprehend. We also believe in no kill." Zee shrugs and hands a menu over.

***

"That's…an option, I guess," Audrey frowns, settling in and taking the menu. It's warm enough inside that she actually sheds a couple of layers. One jacket, one hoodie out of the way. And underneath it all, she's a much tinier person than might otherwise be expected. "Even the police kill people sometimes, though. There's a level of risk where it's just the safest answer all around."

***

At that comment Zee smiles wrly "I know, you should hear some of the discussions I listen to about it. It's something that some feel really strongly about…" she shrugs "I'm going to have that burger and fries I mentioned."

Noting the layers of clothes being shed, Zee tilts her head "Were you just really, really cold… or have you been out in the weather for a long time?"

***

"The latter tends to lead to the former," Audrey answers with a flicker of a smile, putting in an order for a triple with bacon, cheese, and a pile of loaded fries. "I don't so much exactly have…a home," she admits, reaching for a packet of creamer and peeling open the top on it.

***

Which is why Zee had phrased it like that. "Mmmm, are you couch surfing or" she lowers her voice "avoiding people?" As Audrey starts to open the packet of creamer, Zee cocks her head "You're going to drink that neat…. Order yourself a coffee or something!"

***

"Couch surfing?" Audrey echoes, quirking a brow. "I'm not familiar with that phrase. No, mostly, I just…find a safe place when I can. Dry and out of the wind works. It was a lot easier before winter hit and it started snowing, though," she admits, glancing down at the creamer at the last bit.

***

"Couch surfing, where you stay at friends places and sleep on their couch. Different places every few nights." Zee suspects that this young lady doesn't have many personal contacts though.

As one of the waitstaff comes past, Zee requests two cups of coffee and pot of tea. "You can drink what you want then." she smiles slightly. "I see… do you need help, is there anything I might do? I know we don't know each other, but your heart seems in the right place and," the smile gets slightly bigger "you did help out the other night."

***

"Thanks, but I couldn't," Audrey shakes her head to the offer, sipping at the creamer and ignoring the odd look she gets from the waitstaff for it. "There are- There are people after me," she explains. "And I don't want anyone to get into trouble trying to help me. And I don't want to show up on their radar, for that matter. You and the Titans are kind of high-profile," she points out.

***

"Up to you, but the offer stands. Do you still have my card?" Zee shrugs "Titans may be high profile, but there are others who can help and … we do have a number of 'low profile' people we help. If you have the X genes, the X-Men might be able to assist as well"

Their food, tea and coffee is delivered and Zee tips the waitstaff and gives a big smile. "Enjoy the meal, Lux… " and Zee starts to eat her own Burger.

***

"I know how to get in touch," Audrey says with a small smile, though the arrival of food has her well distracted. She eats…well, like she's starving. And given her situation, she's probably close. At the same time, she's neat and efficient about it. Like a soldier.

***

"Good, if you need anything, get in touch." Zee too is distracted by the food and falls silent to enjoy her meal.


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