Friends And Collars

March 3, 2015: Magik drops in on Zee whilst she's having a manipedi

New York City



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Mood Music:

Jericho-laptog had certainly put Zee off balance. O.K, so had K'Nert transporting her to Limbo, even though she needed the assistance. As had being called 'Kitten' by the demonic duo and waking up in bed in Limbo.

However, a trip to Gotham and some 'sage' advice from a certain Druid has Zee feeling so much better. Perspective, is a wonderful really… and the Mistress of Magic has determined to only allow her current 'bargain' be a problem, when it's obvious it is really a problem.

What better way to celebrate the fact that you're alive and kicking, nineteen and your whole future lies ahead of you… A manipedi of course, at one of the best salons in New York.

~~ Cue music and cheesey dancing as the salon owner performs the 'bend and snap' for his patrons…. or …. maybe not. ~~

Zee is currently sitting with her feet immersed in warm water, her head against the chairs headrest, utterly relaxed.


There's that cheerful sound of the bell on the door ringing, followed by the background chatter of greetings and questions. Zee won't recognize the tread of Illyana's boots or the sound of her voice at first as the blonde waves off the oh-so-friendly attendants. She's not here for them.

A chair is rolled across the floor nearby, but there are no hands to pull her feet out for a massage. Not yet. "See? You do content well." Illyana's Anywhere America tones are easy to recognize. They always have that slightly mocking tenor to them.

The blonde is in a lot of black leather today, her hair held back in a bun with a pair of chopsticks that leaves two long pieces hang down to her collarbones, framing her face. She's sitting on a reversed chair, arms crossed along the back as those icy blue eyes rest on the Mistress of Magic.


Zee's eyes fly open and she sighs deeply. "Illyana…" another sigh "Contented today, yes, but not because of you or Jericho." Not quite snark, a statement of fact as she sees it. "Are you here to harrass me about making time with your boyfriend?" Yep… she totally went there… Jericho-lapdog has had her concerned.


Illyana chuckles. "Making time isn't really part of your schtick, as I recall." The blonde replies easily. "Besides, why would I harass you for helping to take care of Jericho for me?" She swivels a bit in the chair, feet tilted to rest on the toes of those heavy boots. Her manner is relaxed and easy. "No, it sounded like you were all in a tizzy and I figured you might feel better if you could talk to me directly."


Making time might be part of Zee's 'schtick', with the right person… but not just yet. "I'd help Jericho, regardless…" Zee murmurs, as she would for any of her friends "I wouldn't do it just for you."

The young woman doing the pedicure approaches the chair, looking between Illyana and Zee and hesitates. Zee motions her forward, she doesn't want wrinkly feet.

"Not in a tizzy…" her tone is resigned "just concerned. I…. misread…. the situation." Heaven, or maybe it's Limbo, help the young magician. "So, do you own me?" a direct, if maybe not so nice, question.


"I never said you wouldn't." Illyana notes. "I know you'd help him because that's the kind of person you are, Zee. Not because you owe me anything, be it favors or fealty." The technician gets a glance, but that's about it. Illyana doesn't care if the woman works and since she's publicly out she doesn't usually have to worry about what she says, either.

The question gets a smirk. And a lifted brow. The blonde sorceress' tone is oh-so-mocking. "Own you like what, your body? Your mind? Your soul? C'mon, kitten. You should be able to answer that one. If I tell you to go stand on the sidewalk and quack like a chicken, what are you gonna do?"


The technician looks between the two women and continues the work on the pedicure.

"Tell you where to get off." Zee's snark matches Illyana's mocking tone. "So why then… and what does it mean?" her rises to touch the tag on the collar. "You didn't say I wouldn't help Jericho…" the young magician colours slightly "But he came out of my room and just flopped… he could have asked…" she's petulant.


"That has less to do with my 'claim' and more to do with him being tapped out." Illyana says, amusement gliting like sunlight on ice in those chilly blue eyes. "Think of it a bit like being drunk and having no filter and lowered inhibitions." It's not exactly the same, but Illyana's hoping Zee gets the gist of it. It's just Jericho's 'drunk', i.e. tapped out, knocks down his natural defenses to Illyana's demonic influence.

"But yes. You'd tell me where to get off. And if I wanted to make you, I'd have to try to wrestle you or something. In other words, I have no more dominion over you than anyone else."

And now Illyana pauses. "Except what you give me."

She waits a moment more, to let that sink in. "Part of it was an object lesson. Just because someone doesn't seem evil, doesn't mean you should go making deals. And if you tell me you didn't realize you were making one so help me I will spank your ass. You're a sorceress. You should damned well know what your Words mean. You gave me an opening, Zee. One I could have used with Power. I didn't. But you still gave me the words." And so Illyana's still making a 'claim'. It's just not backed by anything. Except maybe Zee's honor.


"He might have been tapped, Illyana, but …" Zee shakes her head, she'll deal with that if it happens again.

The technician tentatively interrupts the conversation to show a choice of polish colours. It's fairly obvious that Zee isn't 'in the moment' as she absently selects a shade, her attention totally on Illyana.

Her eyes flash a little "I've never been spanked in my life and you certainly won't be starting it." Blowing out a breath, Zee sighs "but you're right… I … grew complacent … and I trusted Jericho, and through him, you. Through one way or another, I gave you some expectation with my word." And she does honour her obligations "I would have worked with you if you had asked…"


Illyana still seems rather amused, and yeah. She'll let Zee grumble at Jericho for what he does. Because really, that's more fun.

"I suppose, to you, I abused your trust. On my end? I just proved it. You served yourself up on a platter and I just asked for a taste." Her smile is perhaps a bit more sad now, definitely not mocking. "People like us, kitten, we don't get to just forget who and what we are. How every word matters."

The blonde draws a breath and lets it out in a long sigh. "And honestly, for me, this is how I'm trying to show friendship. It's just clearly not one that you're familiar with or used to. Yeah, it's posessive and a bit domineering but c'mon. I'm a freakin' demon." That's at least said with enough humor that it could just be a joke. As far as the technician's concerned anyhow. "I said, in no uncertain terms, 'this is my kitten'. That comes with a promise of support, and protection. It means you mean something to me, Zee. Way more than any kind of 'you must do as I say because I own you' bull. It means I have the right to be in your life. And I want you in mine."


"You acted within your nature" Zee's quiet "Constantine has been at me for years about that…" and when he finds out… Zee expects a sound lecture.

She shrugs slightly "I don't have many friends, Illyana. I might appear outgoing, but I can count my 'real friends' on one hand… maybe it's just going on two now." Zee earns the trust of many, but there aren't many who she would call 'friend'. And a friend who understands magic, has a certain appeal. "I would have accepted you into my life, without the collar, Illyana… It just stings a little, you know?"

The technician finishes adding polish to Zee's toenails and quietly leaves the two women too talk… no one will be suggesting Zee pay and vacate the premises real soon.

"You'll notice, that I still wear it even though I know what it means." Zees tone is slightly sad "I'm happy to have you as part of my life … and will gladly be part of yours."


"This is the real me, Zee. Stings and all. This is how I show I care." Illyana says, her manner still relaxed, fingers lightly entwined as her hands hang down at the wrists, forearms on the back of the chair.

"Doing this any other way would be… dishonest, I suppose. I may not advertise, but I'm way more demon than most people are comfortable with. That means that when I say you're my friend? Yeah, it's a possessive thing, all emphasis on the 'my'. And that's where the trust comes in. You trust me not to abuse that." Illyana shrugs and leans back then. It's that trust that is really what Illyana's after. What she craves but so few can give her. What, oddly, really helps her hold onto her humanity. Because humans just don't think that way. Usually.


"And I still wear the collar, Illyana. Even after finding out what the tag says and the collar means…" and Jericho treating her like some magical battery. Zee tilts her head and regards the blonde "That means I do trust you… Trust that you'll do right by me." Despite what the Scarlet Witch and Dr Strange had to say, Illyana had already gone a long way to doing just that the other night. "I…" she gives the other sorceress a crooked grin "just don't like being called, Kitten…."


"The tag was partially for the amusement factor," Given it basically said 'if found, return to Illyana' "But also so if something went sideways you should end up someplace safe." Mind you, only Illyana and Jericho probably ever think of Limbo as 'safe'.

The objection to being called 'Kitten' gets a pshaw, Illyana's smirk quirking upwards again. "I can't just call you Zee. Everyone calls you that. I'm not everyone. And you're not a puppy. That'd be Jericho's spot anyhow." Well. He's older. That's why he gets to be her wolf.


"A pet name for your new pet?" Zee grins back, in a slightly better mood "The tag is only amusing until someone reads it aloud…" She pauses "Wait.. what… can I say those words myself and end up there?" That could very useful at times, like when she comes up agains the likes of Bullseye again (and she's sure she will). "I'll just have to think of a pet name for you then… so we can be even."

Quirking an eyebrow at Illyana, Zee sits forward and retrieves her shoes… simple slip ons that won't destroy the lovely pedicure she's just had, slipping her feet into them.


Illyana gives a soft snort of amusement. "You're the pet. Not me." Illyana points out. Silly demons and their hierarchy. "I suppose I can find you something else." The glint to her eyes though, says perhaps Zee might regret that request.

When Zee asks about the tag, Illyana is clearly trying not to roll her eyes. "Yes, silly pet. I know you can teleport into Limbo, but where you end up? Could be frying pan into the fire. There's very few ways past my Wards." And that tag's one of them.

Illyana stands up as Zee finishes with her pampering. "Now if you're done, I'll prove I'm a nice Mistress and take you for ice cream."


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