2019-08-19 - Tastes Like Tuna

Summary:

Lena and Mera get surface-dweller dinner.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: August 19th, 2019
Location: Soul-Food Shop, New York

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Theme Song

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meralena-snart

There were so many jokes in her head. Does she sing like the evil body double, voice out belonging to another? Does she yell some odd quote from Splash? Can you summon people from Atlantis? Water, water was the key, at least. Here was the cleanest she could find in the city - it was a chance and word was some 'drop dead gorgeous red-head' was seen in these parts.

Staring out toward the inky waves, Lena waits. She counts in silence, noting the time and sizing up sightings by the minute. Checking her watch, she brushes her hair back and sighs. Maybe another night, perhaps. Turning, she pads down the coast line, toes bare, painted, and digging into the sands.

To be honest, it is more a coincidence than Lena's willpower or intriguing summoning techniques, but on this late summer night there is indeed a stirring in the ocean. At this time of night…morning…there is usually no one around. At least not sober. So Mera is quite happy to stride imperiously out of the water without a care in the world.

And the Atlantean is not in her 'human' clothes either; they're probably in that sealskin backpack she wears. Her outfit is a scaled green armored bodysuit that still finds time to show off cleavage. For those who have encountered both, Poison Ivy and Mera look like they have the same super-tailor. Her red hair wet against her head as she makes her way towards the dry sand. And it is then she notices she is not alone. Someone who may even be familiar. "Lena?"

Lena Snart blinks and turns, looking the woman over and smirking. "That's…impressive. Magical." Is that how magic worked in Atlantis? Chuckling, tsking with a hint of jealousy. Clearing her throat, she keeps her smile and offers a nod. "How're you, Ariel? Haven't seen you in awhile. I admit…I was concerned about you."

"Ariel?" Mera considers correcting but she shrugs it away. She doesn't think it is insulting. "I am well, thank you. I have been rather busy with…tasks. Concerned?" That makes her smile a little. "That is very kind of you, but you do not have to worry about me, I assure you." She reaches up to squeeze the water out of her hair. Mera would be more than happy to stay wet on the surface but that doesn't really let her blend in well. "What are you doing out here?" A momentary look of confusion mixed with surprise. "You were looking for me?"

"It's a joke, remember? You left before I could introduce you to Disney movies. Or stories about mermaids. I promise it would make sense, Red." A glance toward the waves, she looks back to the city scape behind her and then back to Mera directly. "Please, I'm not kind. Curious more than anything. Not everyday someone runs into, well, a person from a lost civilization." Shrugging, she rolls her shoulders and fusses with her dark hair.

"Yeah, I was. I'm not much of a beach person personally. Mick though…keeps talking about going to Aruba." Smirking, she swallows. "I, ah…wanted to thank you for the food you got us when we met." A pause, "I also wanted to clarify something about Mick. He told me what you two talked about. I wanted to assure you that Mick does make me feel beautiful. How I see myself? That's up to me."

"Ah, yes, a joke." Mera smiles like she gets it but…she probably doesn't. "And we are not a lost civilization" she points out. "We are hidden…can you blame us?" She drops her backpack on the ground and opens it up. A few moments of rummaging before she brings out a device the size of a shoebox and sets it on the sand.

"The waters around Aruba are quite pleasant" Mera nods in agreement. "How is Mick?" She listens as the device is switched on and hot air begins to dry Mera off. "I apologise if I was impolite about your relationship or hurt your feelings. You are a beautiful woman, Lena. And if Mick makes you feel such, then I was mistaken and I will apologise to him too." Mera purses her lips. "You have been searching for me to tell me this?"

"Blame you?" She looks around once more, "No, I can't blame you at all." She nods about Aruba, her gaze set on the odd box. Her head cants, curiousity taking over as the frost-eyed girl inches closer to the contraption. "Mick is fine." Pause. "Thanks for thinking so. I think you're wrong, of course, I just didn't want you thinking ill of Mick. No need to apologise, though. No feelings were hurt I'm just…protective." Then she smirks. "Yes. Well, no. I was actually concerned for your well being. It just stuck in my head."

The box's purpose for the moment is to speedily dry Mera off so that she can get changed into her human clothes. "I am never wrong" the noblewoman and prospective queen of Atlantis deadpans. "I did not think ill of Mick. I guess I was just being protective too." A wry smile before the device is turned off and clothes pulled from her backpack. "Have you been safe since I last saw you? If I recall correctly, you did things that some of the other humans found…illegal? Though you both seemed decent human beings to me. And that is rare."

Scoffing, Lena rolls her eyes. "Protective? Of what?" Box gone, clothing out, she takes a step away to give Mera some space. Turning, she faces the sea, her toes wiggling as the tide rolls in and out lazily. "Safe? Not exactly. Surviving. Alive. That's good enough." Another scoff, an honest laugh. "Decent. That's…alarming."

"Protective of you. Of your self-esteem" Mera replies, changing out of her flexible armor and into the same clothes that Lena last saw her in. She really needs a better wardrobe. "It is better to be alive than the alternative" Mera snorts, "But is it good enough? We all aspire to be more than just alive." She turns to look at Lena's back. "Why is being decent alarming? I have encountered many, many humans. You are a far better person than most."

"I don't get that much. Apologies for my apprehension." There's a passive brush, her fingers laying against the fabric that covers her throat. Hand down, she relaxes slightly. "For now, it's good enough." A glance back, she muses, "I need to take you shopping. Get you something pretty." Then the follow up. "Why? Because of what I am and who I am. What Mick is. If we're decent, I'm fearful of who you've met that's below people like him and me."

"You thanked me for the food the ocean provides instead of presuming it was always yours. You haven't tried to shoot me on sight. As far as I know, you haven't poured gasoline into the ocean and laughed. Those are the kind of people I normally meet." Mera throws on her long coat, fluffing her now dry hair out from under it. "Are my clothes not suitable?" Since Altanteans don't normally go shopping on the surface, they were probably retrieved from a shipwreck ten years ago.

"Well…Mick likes pouring gasoline and laughing. He just usually likes burning things. Water doesn't burn so much." Musing, she turns and looks toward the city again. "I'm sorry you meet assholes like that. I guess we can see that dirty part of society. Hell, we came from it." A look to Mera, she smiles now, something slow and warm. Honest. "No, they're fine. Dated, but hey, that's the fashion now or something. I just meant if you wanted something else, I'd get it for you."

"I don't suppose that he would ever give up burning things for the fun of it? All that smoke and pollution. Though I am less concerned about burning water, though that happens, than using it as garbage dump." Mera does a little twirl to show off her clothes and seems to have been given the go-ahead. "Dated? Hmm…if you can teach me about current styles then that would be helpful. Though dated styles are the current style?" Humans are crazy. "You do not have to get it for me but I would gladly take your assistance if you are offering." She purses her lips in thought. "I should ensure that I have the appropriate currency. I have a feeling that gold doubloons may not be accepted."

"Mick? Not burning? No, I'm afraid not. Few things in the world he finds more beautiful than flame." Waiting for Mera to finish and move, she strides along with th much taller woman. "Eh, I'm not one for 'style' myself. Depends on what you like, honestly. My own is, well…punk-goth? I like dark blue and I like blacks. Styles are like genres - it's all very personal and no one can tell you no. If anything, that's the best style." Chuckling, she shakes her head. "If I didn't like you, you wouldn't have any currency at all." A wink. "Don't worry about it, I'll get it for you." There is no comment about paying.

"Ah…what a shame about Mick" Mera sighs - there are not a lot of arsonists in Atlantis so she doesn't understand the appeal. Not a lot of fires either. "Punk-Goth? I don't understand that that is. Wait…that may be how Eve dresses. Do you know Eve? I am not sure if black and dark blues would suit me. It is the colours we would use for camouflage in Atlantis." An arch of an eyebrow at the wink before another of those slight smiles. "There have been a number of humans who have wanted to rob me. It does not go well for them." Mera fishes around in a pocket before bringing out some gold coins and offering them to Lena. "In thanks for your assistance." A beat. "Or would you prefer pearls?"

"Eve? I can't say I do." Not by name, if she saw the girl in person, well…"Punk was a movement that started in the 80s. Rebellion lead to a fashion statement. Goth is the same - and era in time that's related to clothing." She nods to the comment about colors. "Black would do you well, but green works well on you. Compliments the red of your hair." Another smirk. "Those humans didn't know what they were doing. Novices, really." Then there's gold and an offer of pearls. "I, com'on, you're making this too easy. I like my job, I'll work for my scores." Pause, "Thank you, though. Really." Pausing by a small shower head, Lena takes time to rinse off her feet before slipping on her boots. Giving them a tap of her toes for comfort sake, she leads Mera along the boardwalk.

"Are you hungry?" Pause, "Wait, why are you back on land? Business?"

Mention of rebellion makes Mera frown; you can't expect a noble to be excited about that. But there are compliments about her hair to distract her. "Score?" Mera may not completely understand but the offer of gold is refused so she tucks it back in her pocket. "I am often on land" she replies. "You all need watching" is added in a teasing tone. "Though there are…business…reasons for me to be here as well. I am not sure you wish to be involved." A nod. "I am hungry." A gesture towards the ocean. "I could get us something…"

"Score. Payment. Loot. Stolen goods." Lena explains. "I am a thief, remember? Handouts like that would make my skills rot away." A glance toward the ginger, she looks forward and keeps walking, a calm pace set for the pair. "Involved? If you need help, I'll give it." Then food. "Oh, no, I meant you could try something here. Have you had food while on land that you didn't get from the sea yourself? Something other than sea food?"

"So you are a thief because you enjoy it, not because you need to be? Interesting. Though I suppose it is good to have skills" Mera allows, walking casually alongside the Ice Queen. "And I shall keep you in mind if those skills would be useful to my business. You still have those guns that turn things into ice?" She ponders that…they could indeed be useful. As to food… "There are not many cows or chickens under the sea. It could be interesting."

"Originally, it was out of need. Most things are born out of need, after all. Now we're just good at it. There's a rush to it, a thrill. I think if we had to stop it would take a piece from our souls. We're good at it." A glance to the red-head, she offers a nod here and there. "Mmm, Jadis doesn't actually freeze things. Mick's gun doesn't set fires, either. We actually speed up and slow down things on an atomic level." A pause, "However, I'm working on developing a guy that works on cryogenics. So, eventually, yes, I'll have a gun that purely freezes things."

A cross into another section of the street, she sniffs and eyes down a small strip of diners and hole-in-the-wall type settings. "Well, cow or chicken? Pork, even. And do you like spices?"

"At an atomic level?" Mera considers this for a moment. "Interesting. I suspect that could be quite painful. You could be quite a dangerous pair. Theft has become an addiction for you?"

"Chicken? I suspect cow is not too different to whale." Mera has decided this without any proof other than they are both large animals in their respective surroundings. "But I do not think we have anything like birds. Yes, I like spices. You mean 'Puffer Powder'? 'Essence of Seaweed;?"

"Mmm," Lena nods and smiles. "We can be, when we want to be." The comment of addiction gives her pause. "Hmm, I'm not sure, honestly. Maybe? I think it's more a way of life than anything else anymore. I'm not itching to steal all the time." She shrugs, but Mera may be onto something.

"I don't know what those taste like, but we'll see. Well, that's not true. I know what puffer fish and seaweed taste like, but neither of those are spicy." Turning a corner, she heads to a soul-food shop. "Chicken it is." Allowing Mera to go before her, she motions to the menu above the counter. "You can order anything you'd like, I'll pay."

"You obviously haven't had Atlantean spices" Mera smirks about her suggestions before stepping into the shop. A nod to Lena paying the bill; these surface dwellers are so money focused. How can something as basic as food be subject to wealth limitations? No wonder so many fo them starve.

Mera reads the menyu carefully. She may even know what many of the words mean. "'Smothered Chicken'. They smothered the chicken? That seems cruel. I will have that. If it suffered in its death the I shall respect it by not letting that death go to waste."

Lena Snart smirks and shakes her head. "Two, please." She requests, moving along the line with Mera and purchasing spuds of some kind and drinks. Plus biscuits - because you just gotta. Ticket in hand, along with a metal stand and a plastic number, she moves with Mera toward a table. "Smothered means it's covered in other food items. Gravy or cheese. They didn't kill the chicken by smothering."

Lena's gaze lingers on the red-head for some time, silent and contemplative. "Mera, why are you here anyway?"

Mera wonders why they only have a metal stand when they supposedly bought food. Still, Lena doesn't seem upset about it, so it must be how it is done. She sits at the table, placing her bag on the floor next to her feet. "I am here to try your food" she smiles innocently before deciding Lena has earned the truth.

"Some time ago, giant marine life attacked New York harbor. I was originally here to investigate that. To see why they were mutated and attempt to determine who, if anyone, was behind it. When this kind of thing happens, we worry that it is an attempt to start a war between our worlds" Mere explains. "Alas, the trail has gone cold but I did come across another mutagen that has been infecting plants near the beaches. Taking them over. Replacing them."

Listening, attentively, she shifts in her seat and continues to stare. Once the truth comes out, she nods gently. "I think I remember you saying something about that - the giant marine life. We didn't touch on it for long, but I guess it's a good thing it went cold?" Parting her lips, she closes them once more briefly. Their drinks arrive and are set before the pair. Mera wasn't having cow, but she was having milk thanks to Lena ordering milkshakes (vanilla with extra icecream, cherries and whipped cream).

"Do we have such poor relations with your people?"

"You have no relations with my people at all. We are a myth, remember?" Mera smiles; at least she knows what milk is. "Thus, you treat our home like no one lives there. Would you be happy if we dumped garbage on your house? Poured oil over your crops? Slaughtered your livestock and ate only a hoof, letting the rest rot on the ground? And if we announced ourselves? What do you think would happen then? Humans have not shown great tolerance for things they perceive as a threat. You have already tested your nuclear weapons on us." A shrug. "At least we know that you are not all bad."

"I hate to tell you, but our history is littered with us doing that to ourselves. The poisoning, corruption, waste." She frowns and exhales, reaching for her drink and nursing it pensively. "I think, if anything, it's a good idea. The world knows about super beings, Gods, even, why not another myth come to life?" Licking her lips clean, she tosses a cherry in and chews. "Maybe then you can work on pollution control? It won't go away overnight, but some people feel like shit if they know they're screwing with others." A beat, "Some."

"Some" Mera confirms with a wry smile. "Not many" she adds. "We do not wish to shock the surface dwellers. How many would appreciate realising they don't own the oceans at all? Yes, you treat each other terribly, so why would you treat an 'alien' race in your own midst any better? I have seen how you treat the super beings. With fear. Violence." A little laugh. "Sorry, I should not say 'you'. You, personally, have been very understanding. Though your own people consider you a criminal, so they may not think the same way as you. This milk is nice. Dugong?"

"Cow." Lena answers, taking another sip. "I guess you're right to handle it with care. Some heroes, though, are treated with love and respect. Admiration, celebration. You're a nation, too. If we don't own it, we don't own it. I, well, I guess you can't hide forever. If the waters get worse, then what can you do?" Before long, their meals arrive complete with a basket of fries to split between the pair.

"Chicken," she motions with a fork. "Enjoy, Princess."

"I am not a Princess" Mera points out with a smile. "Though the King has asked to court me, and I have given him permission, I am not a Princess and shall never be." A casual shrug as she starts on her meal. "Queen one day…perhaps. Your nations often have wars over resources. Even resources that cause them damage while providing easy benefits. It is like a drug. Do you think they would suddenly stop plundering us if they knew we existed? Or would they just use their militaries to take it." A bite of chicken, savoring it with some curiosity. "Tastes like tuna" she decides. "It is nice."

"Doesn't tuna taste like tuna?" Lena asks, digging into her chicken. "I promise, they don't taste the same." Didn't they? Chewing, she shrugs once more. "I can't say. I'm not sure what would happen, but you're part of this world. Nothing stays hidden forever, I'm afraid. Have a voice or, well, stay gagged by your own hands." She chuckles at length, "Yeah, well. I'm stil showing you Disney stuff. You'll get the Ariel and Princess jokes. As for the king? Look at you, courted by a royal. Huzzah."

"We are waiting for the right time to make our presence known. Well…the King is" Mera replies, not wanting to give the impression she is in charge of anything. A little smile at the praise for royal wooing. "I doubt many nobles are impressed. We are both mutants in their eyes." A little snort of 'amusement'. "I guess we are not that different from you. Some will always hate the different." Another mouthful of food. "I look forward to seeing this Disney. I may have seen some of their work on the internet. We hack into the underwater cables."

"Please, tell me you Netflix and Chill in Atlantis." A pause, she smiles. "I should also show you Atlantis - The Lost Empire. You'll have to tell me how real or how bullshit it is." Smirking, she keeps eating, giggling at some thought before sitting back and nursing her drink. "So, tell me about your royal beau."

"But we are not lost. We are hidden." Mera's brow furrows; surface dwellers telling more lies about her home! "And we have a king, not an emperor. There are two errors already. Netflix and Chill? We do not really feel the cold." Whatever the food tastes like to Mera, she seems to be enjoying it. "The King is brave and noble…" Though whether this is just because he is king or he actually is, is hard to decide. "Wise, caring…sometimes quick to anger. He does not suffer fools gladly. He cannot afford to. Atlantis cannot afford to."

"It's…Ok, it's fiction. I'm just curious is all." Lena holds up her hand meaning no disrespect. Giggling, she almost chokes on her drink, "You're so literal. Man, you have a lot to learn about, well, us up here." Then she smiles. "Yeah? You like him?"

"It is not that important whether I like him or not. He is the King, and it is an honor to be considered, though I was allowed to decline if I wished." And Mera probably would have. The faintest of blushes to her pale cheeks. "But, yes, I do like him. He is very…powerful." She may have said too much so type to disappear into her milkshake.

"It's fucking important. You like him or you don't. You think if I didn't like Mick he'd still be around?" That smirk turns into a playful smile. "Ooooh-ho. You like power, hmm?" Whistling, Lena tsks. "Your crown is showing, Princess."

"If Mick was King of Earth, would you still let him hang around?" Mera smiles sweetly. "I like power" she shrugs casually. "I am powerful, so I suppose I need someone powerful to even notice." A roll of her eyes. "I am not a Princess, so have no crown to show. Please, Lena, I am relying on you keeping all I tell you a secret."

"Depends on if I liked him or not. King or not, depends on the person, not their position." Thinning her lips, she nods. All teasing aside, she sips from her drink and feeds on more of the cherries. By now, her hot food was gone. "I'm going to call you Princess, so you should just get use to it." Then comes the comment about secrets. "Sure. Ok, I don't girl talk much so this is fun." Sitting up, she leans closer. "Why do you like him? Honestly? Not just because of noticing you have power. I can see that being important. But what else? What has he done for you? Not because he's courting you, but because he wanted to?"

"He rules Atlantis wisely and justly. He gives us strength and belief. Is that not for me as well?" Mera notes with an arch of an eyebrow. She is noble born and bred, service is far more important to her than self. Still, she does admit some things. "He is handsome…and kind. What has he done for me directly? Cared about me. Respected me." More blushing before she sucks on her straw. "If you must call me Princess, please do not do it in front of another Atlantean. That would cause a lot of trouble." A curious tilt of her head. "Girl talk? Is that different to other talking?"

"Not personally. That's just a ruler being a ruler." She mutters, drinking again. Sipping, she listens and smiles. "All good things and fine, fine. I mean, you'll have to tell me who one is so I don't." Mixing up what's left of her whipped cream and shake, she chuckles. "Sometimes. Girl talk is just, well, that. Some things you tell other girls more easily than you would boys. Somethings you'd more readily tell your sister than you would your brother - if you have either. Does that make sense?"

"Not particularly" Mera admits apologetically. "I have no siblings. And I do not think there is anything I would tell a female that I would not tell a male. Most other Altanteans have blue skin." She holds up her hand to show off her pale skin. "Half-breed mutant" she smirks. "There are plenty of rulers who do nothing for their people. My King is different." Her own meal finished, she seems content with what she has had. "I have decided that I like chicken."

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