You Must Be Possessed

Summary:
January 7, 2015: Reese and Hal finally arrive in Metropolis. When realizing they need to find Rowan, they're attacked by Oni.

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Reese wakes up on the edge of Metropolis, a blanket wrapped around her and tucked into the passenger seat as the rental car pulls in at a Steak 'n' Shake. Hal has his fleece jacket on and jeans, opening up the passenger door to let her out.

"Morning, sunshine. I'm sure you feel entirely better after that full night's rest. Me? I could use some caffeine, some pancakes and as much bacon and eggs as they have," he says.

He looks out over the city. Metropolis, of course, had its own character - all shiny and futuristic, like something designed by a fifties sci fi person, except with more smog. But even the smog seemed kind of just like a shimmer of glitter over the place.

Superman's city. And, somewhere in there, Reese's friend. "Don't tell me you only eat, like, some sort of strange ghost food or whatever," he says, still not quite sure what happened with her and the old lady yesterday. But he knows it was something really messed up.

Reese could sleep like the dead. She once stayed asleep for three days straight in Barry's room and only got up just to grab something to eat, only to pass out yet again. When you haven't had a bed that comfortable in so long? You sort of just.. stay there. It was too good to get up from.

The door was opened, waking her from her sleep, her hands lightly rubbing at her face as she lets out a little huff. She wasn't going to take the blanket off, she would carry it into where ever if he let her.

"What do you mean gho-.. Oh." She says quietly, stepping down from the car with a little hop, her head hung low as jaw slightly teneses. "I don't eat ghost food." She says, no emotion behind her words, just a statement. "I eat what you eat. You saw that."

Hal Jordan smiles and escorts Reese into the building. He offers very light guidance, just a hand on the elbow, neither wanting to make a show or be patronizing along the way. "Maybe you were just tricking me. Maybe you just made me think it was regular food, but it was secretly magic ghost food and I couldn't tell because I don't have a ghost brain. See? Bet you never thought of that," he said.

He gets them inside and to a booth, waving down a waitress, "Good morning, Lucy," he says, reading her nametag, "You're looking lovely today. We'd like to start with coffee. I'm gonna want the…" a quick browse at the menu, "Super Gutbuster Morning Special. Yeah, that sounds about right. What about you, Reese? You in the mood to have your gust busted?" he smiles.

She still had her stick in her pocket, but luckily Hal guided her with a gentle hand even though there were no steps up that she needed to take. Once in the diner, she lowers her eyes, knowing the impact it may have on some. "You're not going to let this go, are you." She says, not a question, but a statement.

Once the booth was acquired and sat in, she gives a slight nod towards Hal. "I'll take the same, and three glasses of orange juice." Orange juice was a treasure, a hot commodity. She was totally going to drink up their supply if they let her. "I guess you have questions."

Hal Jordan considers for a moment. It might seem like a long silence, but it's genuine, thoughtful, considered. "I do - but that doesn't mean I'm entitled to answers," he says. "There are things you don't know about me either, Reese. Things that might seem just as fantastic or strange, believe it or not. I'm not stranger to the unexpected or the unexplained," he says.

"I think it would help me to better understand what we're facing, if you think there are things we'll have to deal with, if there are enemies or forces opposing your search - the more I know, the better I can help. But it's your story to tell. And I'm not going anywhere either way."

He takes a sip of his coffee, black and bitter, letting it awaken his senses with the heat of it. "My helping you is not dependent on you telling me. I'll help you if you tell me to go fuck myself. I'll help you if you put a bag on my head and say I have to do it blind, just like you, although I think that would probably be counterproductive."

Orange juice and coffee delivered, Reese took a nice, healthy drink and set the glass down, her hands feeling around for napkins so that she could dab at her lips as to not make it sticky. Each of his words were carefully considered, her facial expressions unreadable.

"There shouldn't be anything to hamper us from finding Kida, save for the fact that we really don't know what she looks like. Which is my fault entirely." The napkin was soon placed upon the table, her fingers attempting to fold and spread it neatly.

"It's about Yama-uba, isn't it?" She asks with a tilt of her head, her gaze rising to where she thinks Hal is sitting, "Everyone has secrets, I know Hal. You've done your time in the Air Force and there's probably more you're not telling me, and I'm alright with that. But you have to believe me, Yama-uba is harmless. She guards the temple and I pay homage to that fact by giving her the gift. She was my friend before she died. She wouldn't hurt me." She reaches out, feeling along the table carefully for his hand. "I really don't want you to go anywhere. I'll never ask you to unless you need to leave." Or.. if there was something wrong? She could go at it alone, and would force him to. "Promise to not bring it up again? The leaving. I don't like hearing it."

Hal Jordan isn't nearly so trusting as Reese is as regards her old friend. The look of avarice in the old ghost's eyes was hard to miss - she could trust Reese without entirely assuming she was omniscient about her own life. But he also recognized that it would be counterproductive to argue about it. "The only reason I'd go anywhere is because I have…duties. Promises that I have to keep, promises bigger than me. Things I have to do that would be…" he normally doesn't mind sounding self-important, but something about Reese always seems to puncture his braggadocio a bit. Perhaps less nead to peacock when the hen can't see the feathers.

"Kida's the only name you have," he says, letting the subject drop, as he spreads to let the food be placed on the table, quickly syruping and beginning to spear his pancakes a bite at a time. "Did she have any other friends or contacts we could check with? Any distinguishing characteristics?"

She draws her hand back, fingers pressing against the table, it wasn't a push of it, but she does add a little bit of pressure as she nods her head. "Everyones got responsibilities. I'll understand if you need to leave then. Then." She holds a hand up, just so that he was clear of what she meant. "I'm alright with getting around on my own. I have so far, right?"

She offers him a reassuring smile, only dropping it as the plates were soon placed in front of them. Her left hand finds the fork while her fingers press against the edge of the plate, searching out to find out which food is actually what.

"Hm. I know she's a lot taller than I am, but by how much, I don't." Her brows furrow as she tries to think. "Don't laugh." She starts. "Try taking a caveman who can speak our language really well, and dropping her or him into the middle of the city, at this point in time." She nods faintly. "I don't think she's out attacking anyone and anything, but I know her words would and could make waves. Along with her mannerisms. She's like a barbarian, but.. extra smart in her own way."
Hal Jordan considers for a long moment, "I'm not laughing - you're smart and you're plenty observant and good with your other senses - you never know what'll be significant." he says, sipping on his coffee, the contrast between bitter and sweet awakening his palate and making it feel like morning.

"Given the circumstances you met her, we should probably start with the people most likely to have seen her - shelters, soup kitchens, food banks. The usual homeless hangouts, which I'm sure you know. Do you guys actually make fires in old oil drums or is that just a thing they do in movies?'

The knife was gripped and grabbed, curled within her fingers as she uses the same hand to pinch the end of the plate. "Hand me a toothpick?" She asks, then leans back a little while waiting, attempting to think. "It was warm out when I was with her. We'd used to sit on the beach and sleep there. Sometimes, there were bonfires from people who were celebrating.."

She didn't know why it didn't hit her. "Rowan. He knows her. He knows what she looks like! But.. last I saw him was at the Baxter building, there was a conference there and.. bugs.." She shudders a little. "He knows us really well. As.. well as anyone can get. If we find him, he can find her for us." She looked a little happy with that.
Hal Jordan raises an eyebrow. Having someone else who knows her would definitely be helpful. Hell, he might just know where the chick was. Admittedly, it would be…kind of disappointing to not have the detective time and be all Starsky and Hutch and underground. But, y'know, he probably should care more about making sure they found her friend safe. And he did.

Mostly.

"Baxter building it is, then. So, who's this Rowan guy? Kind of a funny name for a dude."

Reese grumbles, leaning forward now to focus on cutting up her pancakes. With no guide to help her, she makes a real shit show of it, but that's alright. It was going into her belly, and no one cared what it looked like then. "Baxter building is in New York. Which means we only came to Metropolis for the food." She states, then the question about Rowan. Should she even tell him? Was it her place?

"Um.. Rowan.. funny thing that. I don't know what he looks like either." She laughs awkwardly, then pops pancakes into her mouth without the syrup. She hated syrup. "I think I remember where he lives though. Off the coast somewhere in New York. We're probably going to have to retrace the steps manually instead of without a car. I guess it makes it harder on us, being how cold it is." She looks a little worried, but not for herself. In the end, she always beat out the cold no matter what. She was moreso worried about Hal.

"We can leave in a few hours, unless you have business here.."
Hal Jordan felt like overguiding Reese would be patronizing. Perhaps projecting a bit, since he doesn't like people trying to help him even when he's fully abled - he'd probably be the most bitter, get-the-fuck-off-me-I'm-fine blind guy in the history of blind guys.

Then his brow furrows, "Off the coast of New York? What do you mean? There's nothing out there for thousands of miles. Is your friend a fi—oh my god, he's a fish, isn't he? Is he an Atlantean? 'cause those guys can be SUCH assholes!" he says. Then realizes he's now exposed that he's met Atlanteans. Oh, well.

"My only business here is you, Reese."

His words shock her. She wasn't sure if Rowan was an Atlantean, but.. it would make a lot of sense. It would, if she's ever met someone who blatantly said that they were Atlanteans. "Um.. I think he's a dragon.. too.. you know. How about you just meet him first and you decide he's an asshole." She laughs a little, then smiles towards him.

"You're real sweet on me, Hal. Probably the first in a long time."
Hal Jordan just kind of stares for a long moment. He wants to laugh, but…he knows exactly who she means. Because he met the dragon - well, saw the dragon, they didn't exactly exchange business cards. Of course, to reveal "Hey, I know that dragon", he has to reveal that he is in a position to know that dragon. Which would involve compromising his secret identity and all kinds of complications of him having to explain things, which he's never explained to anyone because he's kept things very secret. Super duper secret.

"I think I know the dragon you mean," he says.

Even though he stared, she demolished the pancakes as if he wasn't there. It was always with that neatness, nothing messing her lips, save for the orange juice she'd drink and dab at her lip with a napkin only to continue. Hearing that she knows the dragon, she offers a bob of her head, thinking nothing of it.

If Rowan transformed in front of a crowd at the Baxter Building, there was a slight chance that Hal was there in the crowd. Maybe she healed him.. hm…

This gets her to thinking, snagging up the bacon and taking a bit off the top.
Hal Jordan had expected something of a reaction, but apparently knowing dragons is just common in her circles. He supposes it might be. He's only been a Green Lantern for a few years, but he's still not jaded enough to just take such things in stride. He's finished his food, sipping on his coffee and putting down a credit card for the waitress.

"At the very least, the Baxter people probably know how to get in touch with him? Or was it just a coincidence you met him there? I could try and contact the Atlanteans…" he says, although he's not sure how that would go.

"Maybe? I don't know. I don't want to lie about such." She realized that she never really caught a name of the people who own the place. Just a few doctors and misters, a few women screaming.. no. A lot of them. It all gives her a faint shiver that she tries to conceal by finishing up her bacon.

Hearing the soft click, and figuring it was time to go, she quickly downs the last glass of her orange juice, then carefully slides out of the booth all the while keeping her hand pressed to the table. The other shifts into her pocket, retrieving her cane and drawing it out, flicking it to unfold as the end presses against the ground. "You do that, and I'll go to his apartment to try to find him. You're going to have to drop me off on the highway and I'll go from there."
Hal Jordan considers for a moment, "Is there a reason you don't want me to go with you? Is he…I don't know, an ex-boyfriend? Wouldn't react well to seein' you in the company of a gentleman?" he says, putting a playful southern drawl on the last part, nodding to Lucy as she takes his card to run it.

"I'm not sure what in the time you've known me would indicate that I'm in the habit of taking blind women, whatever their connection to old Japanese spirituality, and dumping them along the side of the road to go looking for things. I'm happy to disabuse you of the notion, though." he says, rather firmly.

She shakes her head, feeling the presense of another.. who soon leaves. Must be for the check. She moves towards him, then slides into the booth right along with him, her shoulder leaning against his. "There's no reason. It's just a way for us to cover ground more easily, I suppose. It'll be longer if we stick together, especially with me not exactly seeing where his place is." There was that look of regret, one she hadn't felt in a very, very long time. She turns away now, shifting her weight so that she could stand again and possibly move towards the bathroom.

"Just.. do what I say, alright?" She snaps, it was a quick one, one that causes her to stand upright and attempts to shuffle off towards the bathroom, waving her stick near the ground as to not bump into anything in the way.
Hal Jordan looks at her for a moment, feeling her pushed into the side of the booth next to him, shoulder to shoulder, "I'm not very good at doing as I'm told - but I'll try. If I don't, nobody to blame but myself. And if you're afraid - of anybody, of anything - you tell me. And I'll make it so you don't have to be afraid anymore." he says, simply enough. "Here," he says and he gets up to help guide her. She can't be expected to just know where the restroom is, "Let me show you the way."

Hal was just too damn stubborn to even listen to reason. So she just gives up. In a way, he reminded her of Kida. Kida was stubborn as well. "I'm not afraid of anything. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe I need to be afraid of something so it'll just.." She raises her hand in frustration, "..click."

As he offers to help, she just lets him, keeping her words for herself and her idle thoughts. She was on edge, mostly from people not listening to her when she says that she's fine.

Hal Jordan notices that she seems irritated when she has to figure things out on her own and irritated when she gets helped. So he was going to help her and then at least she could be grumpy -and- not have to risk falling or running into a wall or something.

Part of him wants to just put the charade aside, suit up and carry her around in a ball of energy behind him. But Green Lantern poking around the homeless population in Metropolis would raise eyebrows and attention, and, in his experience, probably the bad kind of attention for people who often just wanted to be left alone. He wasn't great at low profile, but he'd keep on trying - for now.

Disconnecting from the side and finding the door to the bathroom, she sets the stick aside against the wall, shucking her coat in order to wash her hands first. THey weren't stick, just greasy with the bacon that she had partook in, which was soon rinsed off, dried, and then towards the toilets she went.

There wasn't really anything to elaborate here, she was a human with human functions! So once she exits, her hands were washed again, and water was soon taken up into her hands to splash at her face. Leaning over to carefully reach for the paper towels, she hears.. something, it was possibly a drip or a little tap, one that has her head swinging left and right as she grows silent.

"Hal? You're not supposed to be in here.."
Hal Jordan blinks and realizes what he was doing, "Oh. Yeah. Right. Sorry." he says, stepping back out again and running a hand through his hair. He nodded to the waitress, trying to pretend that he hadn't just been inside the women's room on accident sorta and just crosses his arms over his chest, trying to look nonchalant.

Alright, her irritation went out the window at that moment. He actually heard her pee! She continues dabbing away at her face, unknowing that as soon as Hal left out of the bathroom? The lights began to flicker. The only notice that something was wrong for her was the slight buzz that was heard within the electricity.

The bun was snatched from her hair by her own hands as she draws her fingers through, even though she couldn't see.. she knew what she was doing and had done her hair many times over. That was.. until a hand pressed against her shoulder.

"Hal, come on. Not here."

The black hand of the Oni pressed and squeezes her shoulder hard, turning her swift enough to grasp her by the arms. The grip was tight like death, so much that it lifted her from the ground as her breath begins to catch. "HAL! You're hurting me, stop it!"

Hal Jordan had been just trying to keep himself busy mentally, idly remembering things like a variety of procedures for piloting an F-14, the roster of the San Diego Chargers, the…

And then he hears the sound of his name being called in distress, the urgent tone making it clear that it's not just some misunderstanding and he flings the door open, "Reese!" he calls, the ring already beginning to flare on his fist.

The door that was opened, was immediately slammed shut in his face. Like most horror movies, the last glimpse he would see of her is the thing, attempting to wrap black smoke around her body.

She screams of course, putting up enough of a struggle to get away, slithering out of the demons grasp and onto the floor, beneath the sinks where she tries to keep herself against the wall in edging towards the door. But the oni wouldn't have that, immediately lurching forward to grasp at her ankle until it was kicked and tossed back upon his bottom with a foot to the face by Reese.

"Hal!" She lets out a blood curdling scream, which was soon silenced by a quick pounce upon her back and a smack of her head against the floor.

Her hair was grasped soon, tugged back to the point her neck bent at an unnatural angle.

The door won't stay slammed long, because it doesn't exist much longer. His clothes vanish, replaced by his Green Lantern costume in a flash of emerald light (boy, that credit card was a bad idea now, oh well). He can't care, though, because raw energy shreds wall and door alike, blasting them to pieces as he steps through, one arm extending to project a green shadow of his own hand, grown massive to try and slam whatever was grabbing at Reese against the wall, trying to get Reese free, "Reese! It's okay, come towards my voice, the second you get free!" he says.

Green Lantern wouldn't have to worry. Lucy was a permanent fixture in Metropolis. She knows all. Sees all. She's covered for many people time and time again, possibly why she likes her job. It was her shop, after all. Right?

The black hand creeps up towards her chin, fingers sinking in to grasp the bottom of her mouth, attempting to spread open and split the skin into a cheshire smile of it's own making.

But that wouldn't come to pass, there was a slap of the hand that smacks the Oni into the wall, it's hanya mask cracking just enough to spill black ichor from it's maw.

Reese's head slams hard against the floor, from being bent and snapped away as such, it was hard to avoid. But yet, she slowly moves, crawling and drawing herself towards his voice.

The oni itself disappears into a billow of black smoke, wrapping around both ankles to draw her back with a sharp snatch and encircle. It doesn't squeeze her, no. It wraps itself around her, prying her mouth open with the intent to drive itself in to possess and make itself home.
Hal Jordan isn't sure exactly what this thing is. Ghost, alien, demon, monster, mutant. Whatever it is, it's trying to take Reese and he's not about to let it have her, "Back off, smokestack!" he says. His energy field extends, reaching out and spreading over Reese, trying to seal her off and cut away the grip of the Oni.

Which the Oni might find distracting as a sort of makeshift energy shotgun forms in his other hand and starts to blast away at the thing, trying to scare it off. "I don't know if you work for that old bitch or if you're just some random, hungry freak, but you're going to find out she's protected and you're going to find out right damn now." he says, his voice steely and hard. Reese probably hasn't heard him like this, not even with the muggers. Hal's will, when he's this determined, this righteous, is a palpable thing, the very essence of him that makes him such an adept with the power of the ring. When he's in the full blaze of determination, he seems to become an implacable certainty.

It would be very hard to guess what's going on right about now. Reese could only hear, not see.. so she imagines him swinging some sort of stick and using his impressive words to drive the Oni away. Or something like that, once she gets the time. But she was struggling, she couldn't breathe..

On the outside, Lucy was clearing out the diner.. Nothing to see here folks!

On the inside? The blaze of power in the form of shells works. He sectioned Reese off from the Oni, and with a little, shrill roar it attempts to dash towards Hal. If it can't have Reese? It'll take the next best thing.

But, the energy shotgun actually does scare it, the smoke stack dashing left and right.. back and forth.. then dashing out of the bathroom window with surprising, explosive might.
Hal Jordan starts to give chase, blasting out of the window and into the air, pulling Reese in his wake until she's floating in the air. She's likely to notice that, the strange texture of now being suspended in solid energy, the bubble connected to his own as he looks around for any trace of the thing, the sounds of traffic all around turning to honking horns and squealing breaks at the sight of the hero in the sky.

"Dammit. What the hell is that thing anyway?" he says, not actually to Reese, just in frustration.

The oni got away, but not in the way that anyone would think. It dispersed into thin air, the light of the day banishing the demon to the pits of hell where it would belong. But that was a horrible thing..

Yet she could feel it, the weightlessness, the breeze that licks her skin as she was carried, curled slightly into a ball, just behind Hal. She couldn't say a word, but only gasp and sit upright, her head whipping this way and that in mild panic. Were they outside now? She couldn't feel the ground beneath her feet. "I don't know what's going on! Why can't I feel anything!"
Hal Jordan realizes that, whatever the threat is, it's gone. Which leaves him with a panicking Reese. While he has kept her safe, now he's freaking her out. Freaking out is bad! He lowers them both somewhat to the ground, 'It's okay, it's okay, you're fine, I just sort of…picked you up for a minute. Here, feel the ground, be careful, just get your footing," he says, making sure not to release until he knows she's stable.

"So…he says, floating down until he's a couple of feet in front of her, "About MY weird stuff…I'm kind of a…y'know, superhero. Secretly. In my spare time. Or when my friends get attacked by creatures of black smoke in women's rooms."

God, this was weird. She never was a fan of flying, even riding on the backs of dragons. She found her footing easy enough, but not before swiping her foot against the ground to make sure that it was there. "Oh god.." She breathes out, her hands smoothing along her face, and soon her neck as she twists her head this way and that. She tries to reach out with her hand to find him, following the sound of his voice.

Hearing that he was a superhero? It kind of gave testament to his stubbornness and willingness to protect. "I.. huh.." Is all she could say about that. Cause.. what could she really? He was at least the second one she had officially.. met. "I.. guess bathrooms are bad now?" Insert awkward smile here.

Hal Jordan makes sure she can reach him, dissolving the energy around himself until he can let her hands find his shoulders, "It's okay, it's okay, I'm right here," he says. "Yeah…I gotta say, that attack didn't seem…random. And the thing that attacked you seemed kind of ghosty. It definitely wasn't an alien. I would know. 'cause I know, like, every type of alien. And that one wasn't one. Unless it hasn't been cataloged…which…yeah, no."

"So, I"m guessing you might have a better shot at identifying the inky black cloud thing that was trying to eat you? In the meantime, just…let me fly us out of here so we don't have to deal with the police at the moment. I feel kind of bad about the diner. Nice place," he says, soon scooping her into his field and flying up into the sky so they can start having a talk about their mutual weirdness.

Shinto Temple:

Yama-uba stares into the mirror, fingers pressing against her face as she notices the wrinkles come all too soon. She scowls, her hand soon smashing into the glass, sending it shattering into a million pieces. Descending from her altar, she spies the Oni that have gathered, her brows lowering as she waits for them to speak.

"A piece of us is in her."

Yama-uba scowls, her voice rising. "A piece?! Only a fucking piece?! You find that half breed and you possess her, and all of her friends! Bring them to my doorstep or you will know me /crawl/!"


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