2019-08-11 - Voodoo Origins


Priscilla opens up to Jimmy about her past and her worries.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Aug 11 22:45:01 2019
Location: Cafe Wha?

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Theme Song



Again, it's early evening, the boundary between the day-shifters finishing and the night-shifters starting. This time, though, Jimmy has arranged ahead of time to make purposeful use of that. He's texted with Priscilla, inviting her to meet for drinks and conversation at Cafe Wha. No, he doesn't suggest coffee; he'd noticed she didn't have it last time.

He's there already, sitting at a table and working through some study notes. He's not pressed for time, but does have his med-school classes in a little while.

Priscilla arrives pretty close to on-time - as much as traffic patterns allow at those hours - and strolls in much as she did before. Today, though, she walks right over and sits down across from Jimmy without bothering with the counter; he said he wanted to talk, so she has come so that they can talk. She puts her helmet down on one of the other chairs at the table and unzips her jacket, making herself a bit more comfortable.

"Hi." Pris offers with a little smile. "How're you doing?" She eyes the books and notes with a hard, almost bitter look in her eyes, but doesn't say anything else. She just waits.

Jimmy's not a stickler for time. He knows most other people have to deal with traffic. He smiles reflexively when Priscilla's presence arrives, and he scoots his chair around the table to greet her with a hug. Hey, she apparently liked those. "Hey there. You can get a drink if you'd like, it's no rush." He notices the look she gives the books, and gives her a curious look in return, but doesn't push for that just yet. "I just wanted to, ah, let you know. Yes, Darcy already knows about what I am. And I was curious what you think of her, so far."

Priscilla notices that spike of curiosity and expressly does not respond to it as she settles across from Jimmy. "I'm good, for now. I'll get something shortly." She doesn't want to interrupt their conversation just now.

"Mmm. Well, I like Darcy. She's fun. Spirited. Unfiltered. She isn't uncomfortable with me, or with me near you, and that's a big improvement over many. She has guts, and I like that." Not that she's looking to tell Darcy all of her secrets, mind. But she can respect that Jimmy has told his girlfriend all of his; that's as it should be, right?

Jimmy smiles, nodding. "Unfiltered. Yeah, that's a good word for it. She is openly herself, open with her feelings. And that's not exactly common, is it?" And the empaths would know that better than anyone. But he resiss the urge to gush more about his girlfriend. "I noticed how you were looking at my textbooks. Is something the matter?" It gives her a chance to deflect, or just to decline answering. But she can tell the concern that's there, not just curiosity.

Pris sighs and just shakes her head, then she stands and walks away to the counter. She returns shortly thereafter with a large milk - weird, right? - and sits back down. She sips her drink, thinking. Jimmy can feel the conflict inside her, anger and frustration combined with resignation.

"Short version: books piss me off. I suck at reading." Pris admits. She really doesn't enjoy feeling stupid, and the sight of books reminds her keenly of that feeling. All too keenly indeed. "I do get why Darcy's unfiltered nature is something that attracts you. It's one of the reasons why Kori is such a good friend for me."

Jimmy nods to her answer, a hand laid on Priscilla's shoulder. "I see. That sounds really hard. Thank you for sharing." With how she's already resigned to it, he's not going to jump in and start Trying To Help; just offer some attempt at understanding and support. Though there's still the feeling there that he would help, if she asked. He smiles. "I've only met Kori the twice, actually, but… yes, she does seem a nice girl." He rubs his ribs, wincing with memory. Apparently, those two meetings are enough that he's already had an atomic hug.

Priscilla grins impishly as she witnesses - internally and externally - Jimmy's responses to thoughts of Kori Anders. "She's a very nice girl. Not much of a filter on her, either. Very friendly, and as uninhibited as I am, which is a rare find for me." For an empath, being around someone full of bubbly positive energy and feelings is an amazing balm to the soul. And Pris has the unfair advantage of a strong regenerative healing factor, so broken ribs aren't nearly the detriment to her they might be to others; she loves atomic hugs. "She's how I met Eve. And she knows Sarah."

Very friendly. Uninhibited. Even if Priscilla isn't tapping Jimmy's mind actively enough to see the actual mental images, she'll still get an idea of them. You know, an educated guess from how Jimmy coughs, and how his blush radiates to more senses than the visible. "A-Ah, that's good to know." He smiles. "Eve is good, too. We kind of… bumped into each other, because we could both tell the other was weird. And Sarah, I met when we helped evacuate people from a collapsing building. That's how I ended up 'consulting' with SHIELD. And finally working out my, uh, supranym."

Pris smirks at that last. "Trust the well-read to decide on new words like that. You mean your callsign." She shrugs and sips her milk. "Mine is … Well. It's my dancing name. Always has been." She hasn't talked about being super before. She has, in fact, avoided studiously ever talking about it. But given her experience, her talents, she has to have been using her abilities for something, and for a good while. "But I was never public about things. No pictures, no video, no statements to the authorities." She may not be Batman, but she clearly could identify with the aesthetic. "I met all of them because they came to the Club. I …" Whatever Pris was going to say there, however, she decides against it, shaking her head.

Jimmy ducks his head, blushing. "Y-Yeah, callsign. I just heard the other term from a… a novel I read once." And now there's guilt — she could perceive it like his own hand gripping his heart. Yeah, way to go showing off that you read in front of the woman who struggles with it.

So he happily moves on to other subjects. "I did wonder which came first. Using it as your callsign, or up on stage. I did try to keep it secret for a while, myself, but… maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but it's hard when it literally glows from you." He tilts his head at her trailing off, and lays a hand on her arm, an encouragement to continue.

Priscilla shrugs. "For me, dancing came first. Those that found me, trained me, found me at a club almost ten years ago." Of course, if Jimmy does the math, that would prove mighty disturbing; Pris is only in - at most - her mind-twenties. Thoughts of her at a strip club ten years before that? Ack indeed.

Pris doesn't immediately continue, but she does eventually. It feels, empathically, almost like she's tearing pieces of herself open to share this with Jimmy. "I … I've explained before, I'm not human. I grew up as if I were, but I'm not." She shakes her head. "They found me, dancing. It became a huge thing." She doesn't want to go into it. "But they got me out, alive. And they told me what I was, what I could be. They trained me, empowered me."

Pris looks up for a moment, and what is in her eyes, paired with what is in her emotions, is quite literally like a clue-by-four between the eyes at mach speeds. "They became the only family I'd ever known. But we kept it all secret. Hidden. Until the mission went sideways. They disappeared. Might all be dead, I can't be sure. And I'm alone, just doing the best I can. Going through the motions. I've never … helped people. Like this. Never stayed anywhere long enough. Until now."

And Jimmy can tell a part of Priscilla is not sure that's a good thing.

Jimmy isn't sure of Priscilla's age; sure, she looks like she's in her mid-twenties, but she's also a shapeshifter with a healing factor. For all he knows, she'll look like she's in her mid-twenties well into her second century. For the time being, at least, he doesn't process that particular bit of ack.

There are plenty of other kinds. He keeps his eyes locked on her eyes, his focus all on her heart. She can feel his empathy reaching out to her, entwining with her feelings and the story she's telling.

When she finishes, he swoops in and wraps her up with an embrace. "You don't have to be alone. Thank you for sharing that with me, Pris. It must have felt like… taking a knife and running it over old scars. I'm your friend. I'm here."

"We weren't heroes." Pris explains, very softly speaking into Jimmy's ear as they are embraced. "We were … alien hunters. Assassins." Pris feels no shame in this, but she knows its' not something others are comfortable with, something that makes her approach to problem solving distinctly non-heroic compared to others. A 'code against killing' she does not have. "I just … it feels weird, for me, staying somewhere this long, Actually connecting with people - other people, outside my clubs - like this." Not bad. Just weird.

Jimmy moves a hand on her back, slowly stroking. He nods to her explanation. A sense of grimness perhaps, but no judgement, no horror. Perhaps a little guilt of his own; he's not totally clean-handed himself. Even if he hasn't killed, he hasn't always prevented killing. "It's so unlike anything you'd had before. I can understand why it would feel weird, and it probably will for a long time. But I hope you do stay for a lot longer yet."

Pris sighs and shrugs her shoulders. "I'm trying. But staying means having work. I'm not sure how long I can keep up contract at a single club. That's … that's not exactly how it works. Usually you're touring all over the country, even the world. Gigs of a few days, a week, a month tops." And Pris has been OK with that all of this time. Until now. It's a bit helpless-feeling, realizing she has become so vulnerable and connected, and everything is changing on her.

Jimmy raises an eyebrow, as he finally releases the hug and sits back. "Priscilla, you are painfully gorgeous. I can't imagine the club ever not wanting you working there. And even if they somehow get tired of having…" He makes a vague, Priscilla-encompassing gesture. "…this as a headliner, well, you're still a shapeshifter." If the venue wants a new look, that doesn't necessarily mean someone other than Priscilla. "And even without that, there's still time. We can work out some other kind of work."

Priscilla shrugs. "Like I said, I just don't know. Until the Obsidian, I've never had a club that extended a contract. It was always just whatever we first agreed on." Pris has no idea that the owner of the Obsidian asked to extend her contract specifically because during that first month she vastly increased their business and brought them in a new headliner and started training her - Kori is that amazing - and has become a big influence on the other dancers in a short period of time. "It's just so new to me, staying anywhere for any length of time. Let alone actually … getting involved."

Jimmy doesn't know these things either, but he still smiles at her. He offers forth the confidence that he has in her, putting it front and centre for her empathy to feel. "I'm glad you have got involved. You're a good friend, Priscilla. And friends stick together, so if there's anything I can help with too, you just let me know, alright?" He squeezes her wrist, before laying his hand back on the table.

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