2019-09-19 - I Don't Want To Be Alone


Following the big battle, Voodoo and Agent Black reconnect.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: 2019-09-19
Location: Fairgrounds, and then Sarah's Apartment

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Voodoo disappeared for the big fight, but she did tell Sarah where she was going. She only returned afterwards, but she did so triumphantly - after a fashion, as she returned with Jimmy - mostly - in her arms. She surrendered him to Jemmy Simmons, at his request, and once she was sure he was in good hands she was at loose ends.

Now, the skintight purple-and-gold-clad woman is walking the grounds, looking over the damage, and the people. There's pain, for sure, but also a degree of relief and triumph. They did what they set out to do: beat the baddie, and bring back those who had been stolen from them. It's not a bad evening's work.

Urk. Evening. Thanks to the full-coverage mask, there's no sign of her expression as she frowns, realizing she's going to piss off Jeremiah, but she has to call him soon and let him know she's not going to make her shift. Pretty hard to dance after all this tonight. And it still feels so weird, letting other people see her like this … and live.

Voodoo the alien-hunting ninja assassin is supposed to be a secret. But, maybe not so much anymore? Who knows.

Amidst all the aftermath of the chaos, Sarah Black has been busy. There was a moment, a little while ago, when Pris first returned with Jimmy — real, flesh-and-blood, if not entirely whole, Jimmy — when the waves of gratitude and relief coming off the magess spoke more clearly than any words could have. And there was also an undertone of guilt, of feeling responsibility for this having happened to Jimmy in the first place.

Sarah would have liked to take time to talk, then, but duty quickly pulled her away — A team was readying to assault the clockwork-things' hidden base, and Sarah's portaling was the key to getting them there. (Once on site, it will be a simple thing for them to breach the surface, and from there, it will be thankfully no longer Sarah's responsibility.) Before heading off to deal with that, the WAND agent had asked — nearly pleaded — "Wait for me? I shouldn't be long."

And now she's back. There are a few dried rivulets of blood on the right side of her face, where the tiny gears and other miniscule bits of shrapnel from one of the explosions had gotten past her shields, but her healing took care of the actual wounds by now. She's a bit bedraggled and mussed, but otherwise whole.

"Hi," she says, almost shy in her slight hesitance as she walks up.

Sarah isn't the only shy one. Priscilla did wait, though, still in costume. Only she and Jimmy have seen her actual face, and she didn't want to unmask while all of these strangers were about. But with almost everyone gone, now, she's ready. She turns to face Sarah, watching the tactically-attired WAND agnet approach.

"Hi." Pris offers, then reaches up, turning off the vocoder that changes her voice. "Uhm. Hi again." Yeah, so not the only one nervous here. "I'm … I'm glad you're OK. Really glad." Then Pris reaches up with gloved hands, finding and disconnecting the seals, peeling the mask down and away to reveal her face so that they can actually make eye contact. And then one of those hands reaches up to lightly touch the bloodied spot on Sarah's temple.

"We … never really got around to that date." she comments, wryly. "I felt like an idiot, calling you about my 'situation.' But then … then it wasn't you. I kinda had other things to worry about." But now.

Sarah nods. "I read the report, while I was recovering in the Infirmary. I know what happened — about the impostor-thing that took my place, and about how you… stopped it. You stopped that /thing/ that was wearing my face from killing a lot of people, and you paid for it, and I'm so sorry, and so grateful, and I can't tell you how glad I am to see you're okay." Well, at least not with words. But Sarah's emotions are speaking that truth very clearly. "And then just now, thank you for taking care of JImmy. I got him into all of this, and I can't help feeling it's my fault that this happened to him."

Priscilla steps forward. It's presumptuous, and she doesn't ask. But she slides her arms around Sarah and gently tugs her into a hug. Not a crushing thing, but just holding, supporting. "Listen to me. You are not responsible. Jimmy does what he feels is right. Yes, it sucks. But he will recover. I believe this. You have, and that other woman seems to have." And here Pris thought she was the only woman she knew who could fight aliens and crap in the buff and think nothing of it.

"None of this is your fault. It's their fault, whoever is doing this. Hopefully, you and the SHIELD types can stop them. Me? I just did what I could. Little as it was." Pris really doesn't want to take a lot of credit. Sure, she grabbed hold of the SarahBot and ran it outside, let it blow up through her to keep others safe. But anyone would do that, wouldn't they? If they could?

"I got better. Only a dozen or so more little springs and cogs to spit up, and I'll be all done. OK? I'm just … I'm really glad you got free. We never could have found you, or the others, without that." Voodoo finishes.

Sarah more than welcomes that hug. She leans into it, finally letting the Agent stand down, and the young woman who has seen and felt and experienced way too much in the past few days emerge. "I… I think it was because of my healing. I know I wasn't supposed to wake up when I did. And then I had to sneak and finally fight my way out of there and I think I'm going to be having nightmares about that place for a while." She pauses, to take a deep, shivering breath. She's been channeling her feelings into anger and determination ever since Jemma released her from the Infirmary. Into duty, and her need to see Jimmy and Thea safe, and to see to it that the other captives in the base would be rescued. Now… everything she's been holding back is coming out, and she very much needs someone to lean on.

Priscilla is a lot stronger than most take her for, and happy to hold up Sarah as the other woman lets her myriad of intense feelings loose. Empaths make great listeners. And Voodoo doesn't feel like she needs to fill the silence, or interject her own thoughts and feelings. She just lets Sarah get it all out, and holds her.

Later, after a bit, Pris murmurs, "We should find somewhere to settle in. Maybe let you get more sleep." She doesn't try a line like 'but maybe you shouldn't be alone tonight'. She thinks it, even agrees with it. But that'll be Sarah's choice, if she'd like a lifesize cuddledoll for her nap. For now, Pris would just like to see Sarah taken care of. And maybe that'll be the foundation for really trying for that date sometime.

At least now Pris has a better idea of why it was so hard for Sarah to get around to asking her out; woman leads an 'interesting' life, in the Chinese sense of the phrase.

"I… I'd really like to not be alone tonight, and I don't think my cat is going to be enough," Sarah says, trying for at least a hint of a smile, and almost getting there. "Would it be all right if I asked you to come home with me?" And there is nothing but honesty behind her words. At the moment, she is feeling unsettled by, even fearful of, the idea of being by herself.

Priscilla lefts her fingers lightly stroke the lady mage's cheek, and she gazes down into her eyes, her own purple orbs quite dark. "Sure. Sure, it would be OK. You shouldn't have to be alone tonight." She considers for a moment. "We can take my bike, if you can stand it? Or I can follow you? Whatever works." At least the bike's saddlebags have spare clothes. It's not that Pris has any body modesty to speak of, but to set the non-threatening, non-presupposing mood she intends, not being nude would help. "I just need to make a phone call. Definitely not going to the club tonight."

Sarah had been planning on portaling home. But the idea of not doing any more magic for a bit, and of letting someone else take care of getting her home, is suddenly very gratefully appealing. "I'd love to ride with you. My flat is in Brooklyn," she begins, before giving the actual address. It's in a tidy middle-class neighborhood of four- and five-story apartment buildings and row houses, lots of red brick and grey stone (or concrete pretending to be stone).

"Can do. And we won't even wake up the neighbors." Voodoo promises, as she leads the way around to the bike where she stashed it earlier. The tarp comes off to reveal what looks at first like a relatively standard modern-era motorcycle. But Pris straddles it and then clicks a few bits and instead of stomping on it to start up the internal combustion engine, she clicks a switch on the column and a soft whirr starts. Then the wheels rotate in their frames to a horizontal point without the bike dropping or tilting.


Then Pris reaches into the saddlebags and pulls out two helmets. One is clearly hers, that same shade of purple with a coiled gold-accented emerald green dragon across each side, a full helmet which she lifts up and pulls down, then flips up the visor to be more easily heard. Then she offers the other, a simple black that will go quite well with the tac gear. Then she offers her hand to hold and support Sarah as she straddles behind her, encouraging arms around her midsection for support.

The helmets have BlueTooth enabled, so the women can talk easily and hear each other pretty clearly. And the bike is just about whisper quiet in hover mode. Just like an alien-hunting stripper ninja would require.

"I love it," Sarah says, the wonder of the unexpected bit of supertech clearly helping lift her mood. Not that she's a stranger to such things, given where she works and who she associates with, but still. She settles in like she is also no stranger to motorcycles, even if they are usually of the wheels-on-the-ground variety. "Ready when you are," she says, snuggling in close.

"Glad." Priscilla offers. There's so much that has gone unsaid between these two; they've skipped merrily over most of the 'getting to know you' stuff, given their circumstances. But that's just fine, really. Pris pilots the bike smoothly, proving she is quite capable and experienced in doing so in both modes. She flies them over the city, staying low enough to avoid helicopters and planes, and high enough to avoid most notice. It's as if she's done this before or something. And once they reach the right neighborhood Pris brings them down quietly into Sarah's street and keeps it silent and floating at legit motorcycle height right up to her door. Then she puts down the kickstand, and flicks the control to bring the wheels back around as it settles firmly down.

Once the bike is secured, Pris helps hand Sarah off, then climbs off herself, and unsnaps the saddlebags to toss them over her shoulder. Then Priscilla offers a hand to steady Sarah so they can walk right up to her door, get it open, and head inside to get comfortable. "Point me to the guest bathroom, OK? I'll clean up, and come upstairs to join you shortly." She even offer sa light kiss to Sarah's cheek in promise.

Maybe twelve minutes later, Priscilla comes padding barefoot up the stairs to find Sarah, dressed in an oversized NYU t-shirt. Not hard to guess that's all there is. She left her things in the guest bathroom, packed into the saddlebags. She's pretty good at guesting. And she had a cat bath, so she's feeling pretty good. "You want anything before we lay down? Hot cocoa or … well. You're a Brit. I'm going to guess tea is a thing, right?"

The building in question is four stories of brick and stone, of the sort common in the neighborhood where the front door is at the top of a half-story-high set of steps leading up to the first floor level, the 'basement' level below being half above ground. Sarah's flat occupies the uppermost floor, and is cozily decorated like one might expect of a single young professional (and without much at all of 'mage's sanctum' going on about it).

Upon entry, the two women were greeted by the flat's other resident, the fluffy feline one. "Jonesy, this is Pris," Sarah had said, making the introduction as if the cat could understand her words. "She's going to be helping you look after me tonight."

And then the directing to the bathroom, the changing, and all of that ensued, Sarah emerging from her bedroom in a dark blue terry robe held closed by a loosely-knotted belt of the same fabric. "Actually, hot cocoa sounds wonderful about now," she replies, a warm smile finally gracing her lips. She's home. She's not alone, and is with someone she is starting to like very much. Her world has gotten a bit better.

"Hello there, Jonesy. Pleased to meet you." Priscilla offers, but she backs up a bit when the cat hisses his fury. All she can do is shrug her shoulders. "Sorry. Animals … often don't love me. I adore them, but it's rarely mutual." Someday, there'll be explanations. But not right now.

"So … hot cocoa." Pris offers, trying to lighten the mood, and they head downstairs to the kitchen. Priscilla seems to inherently know where everything is, and busies herself doing this the old-fashioned hard way, warming milk on the stove and stirring in the chocolatey powder. It's going to be quite the treat.

"I'm no great shakes as a cook. But this I know how to do." Pris doesn't explain that it's one of the few memories she has from before she was orphaned. Again, too heavy for tonight. For tonight, just fun, tasty time together.

"Jonesy, be nice. Pris is a friend," Sarah admonishes the cat, though given cats, her words are not likely to be heeded.

The cocoa powder Sarah has on hand, possibly unsurprisingly, is Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate. "Mum and Dad send that to me," she comments, "Along with other treats from home. I like it better than what you can buy here. It's less sugary, and the chocolate taste is richer."

And after a moment, she adds, her voice a bit softer, "Thank you again for coming here with me. I know it's a bit daft, but I just feel like it wouldn't be safe to be alone tonight."

Priscilla just turns and - gently - tugs Sarah into an embrace. "You don't need to thank me. But you are welcome. I get it. I really do." Empath. Of course she does. But eventually she's going to have to explain those things to Sarah. For now, she just supports the other woman. Explanations can wait.

"It definitely smells different." Yes. Pris can smell chocolate. Her senses are beyond human; they may not be the equal of someone like Logan, but she definitely is more tuned into her environment than normal. "I'm looking forward to this. I hope you are, too."

Once the milky confection is up to temperature Priscilla pulls it off the head, stirs as it chills a bit, and then pours it into two large mugs. Again, she just seems to instinctually know where things are, where they will be. Makes being of service much easier!

Pris lifts her mug, and lightly taps its edge against Sarah's. "Shall we curl up on the sofa for a bit and enjoy the cocoa?"

"I would love to, yes," Sarah replies, her eyes meeting Pris's for just a shy moment, and a glimmer of a grateful smile on her lips. "Stacy, play mellow mood mix," she says aloud, after slipping off the counter stool where she sat while Pris was preparing the cocoa and starting across the adjacent living room area. "Playing mellow mood mix," the Stark-made voice-control device confirms, and a moment later, a somewhat New Age-y piano piece starts playing softly from the speakers in the corners of the room.

Pris pads over to the sofa and curls up there, making room for Sarah to curl against her, or to take the other corner as she sees fit. This isn't about pressure; it's about what Sarah wants, what she needs. It is yet another example of how Pris seems to be far more selfless than most would ever expect. "I like this." she murmurs, nodding to the speaker playing the music. "Not exactly one of my playlists. But nice."

Sarah does, indeed, curl up against Pris, careful not to spill her cocoa. "It's not what I listen to all the time, either," she says, "But when I want to relax, or when I come home still a bit wored from an op, it helps me calm myself." She sighs, happy for just the simple reassurance of human contact. "I'm going to have to go over everything that thing did while it was impersonating me, and see what damage it might have done. The SHIELD IT people have already taken my office computer, and my laptop, to see if sh— it did anything we should know about."

Priscilla gently slides an arm around Sarah's midsection, just to maximize the human contact and reassurance. "I get that." she murmurs. Here and there, as she listens, she sips cocoa. She doesn't interrupt. She lets Sarah give voice to what she's feeling, what's happening to her, and what she's doing about it. This is part of what she knows Sarah needs to heal.

"When you're ready? I promise to tell you everything I know. It won't be much. But I promise never to hide it from you." That is Priscilla's oath. Rather an odd thing for an alien-hunting stripper ninja, until you realize that her entire sense of self-worth and being is built on the fact she's an empath.

"I am curious about one thing," Sarah says. "What was it that tipped you off that that thing wasn't me? For three days, it waltzed right into what is supposed to be one of the most secure buildings on the planet and up to my office. It talked with people who know me, it went to meetings, it apparently did a bloody astonishing job of pretending to be me. So what tripped it up? What mistake did it make, that gave away its game?"

Unseen - mostly - behind Sarah, Priscilla frowns slightly. She had not meant to get into this tonight. But if this is what Sarah needs? Then this is what Sarah will get. The dancer inhales slowly and deeply, steadying herself.

Sometimes, this does not go well.

"OK. I can explain. But … if you don't mind? I want to be able to see your eyes when I do. And I'd really like yo uto be able to see mine. I promise, it'll make more sense in a few minutes." Pris offers. Then she steadies her mug of cocoa, and shifts around in position, wiggling so that they are beside one another, still in contact, but facing each other just enough. It will work.

"You already know I'm not 'normal'." Pris begins, grinning. "I won't lie, or pretend I am. But I haven't ever explained who, or rather what, I really am." She purses her lips. "Some of what I'd have to explain isn't mine to explain. So … I'd rather not get into the why. Not tonight. But I can explain the what, and I think the what will make it clear how I figured out the clockwork copy."

Pris has laid out the ground rules. Now, she gets to the meat of the matter. "The short version is, I'm an empath. I'm a lot more than that. But I'm an empath, quite naturally. I don't think about it. I don't try. I just am. Other people's feelings are as real to me as my own." And that has to explain a whole Hell of a lot about this woman's performances. "And … the clockwork you didn't feel like you. It was a pale shadow, a diluted echo of you. We only met once, Sarah, but you made an impression on me. I didn't notice right away. But … I did notice. And when I asked it what was wrong … it lied to me."

And the empath knew. Instantly. Unerringly. She may keep secrets. But Pris never lies. Silence is not a lie.

Sarah listens, while maintaining eye contact. It's not hard, with eyes as pretty and as unique as Pris's. And as the empath explains, Sarah… smiles? And there isn't even the tiniest negative reaction from her, emotionally. Rather the opposite, actually. "That… explains a lot," she says, quietly. "Thank you for trusting me with that. I won't tell a soul. But I think you probably knew that already." And then, as she thinks a bit more about how that must have played out, the young magess… blushes. "If she — it, dammit — was like you say, 'muted' compared to the real me…" She shakes her head slightly, with a quiet laugh at herself. "I think maybe I know part of what gave it away, compared to when we met."

Priscilla's purple eyes twinkle merrily with pleasure and amusement as Sarah reaches the end of her thoughts on the matter. "I rather assumed you would not tell anyone. There's more, of course. But you already know some of it, like the fact I survived while tackling it when it exploded." No normal woman, and quite a few metahumans, would not survive that. "And I got better pretty quickly. You've seen how fast I can run when I think it's warranted. You've seen some of my agility and strength." Not all of it, by far. But enough to know Pris ain't normal.

Mostly what would be left would be discussions of projective empathy, telepathy, shapeshifting, and magic. Because Pris is a wild melange of abilities and confusing as heck. Even to herself!

"She — It — wasn't disappointed, when I brought up I'd asked for her help, but still wasn't scheduling our date. That was my first, but not my last clue." Pris murmurs. "The biggest was when it said about this … prince of Hell. It pretended to be very afraid. Concerned. But … it wasn't. Like at all." And that's how the empath discovered the nefarious plot, without having any idea it could even be happening.

There's a bit more of that self-conscious quiet laugh, and then Sarah says, "But your first clue, the first hint, was that it… wasn't as into you as I was, when we met. As I still am, except now… I know more about you than I did then. Not just the beautiful dancer I met then, but the beautiful person I'm humbled and honoured to be getting to know now." She's blushing, rather a lot.

A true player would use this as an opening. And Pris does; but not like a player would. Instead, she leans in close … and kisses those blushing cheeks. "And I'm getting to know a lot more than just the cool, collected, awesome magical agent lady who showed up in my strip club. I'm getting to know the very human, very real woman behind that persona. I like her."


"Jimmy insists that I'm a hero." Pris murmurs. Then she shakes her head slightly. "I'm not. Not really. Not … not the way some others are. But when others' feelings are as real to you as your own, you cannot ignore their pain, their fear, their need. So. When I can make a difference, I give it a try. Doesn't always work out … but I try. Like tonight. I knew where he was. I knew he needed something. And my instincts, my guts, said I could be that for him, where I'd have been almost useless against that behemoth."

Those purple eyes darken a bit. "I'm sorry. For bailing on you, when you needed backup. But … I had to trust you. All of your allies. I didn't think I had much more to offer there than the rest. But … I didn't think anyone else could do for him what I could." And as proof in talisman that she was right, Jimmy is now with SHIELD. Alive.

Sarah shakes her head. "You didn't bail on me, or on us. You went and did what only you could. You did what was necessary. You saved your friend. Our friend. The friend I got involved with SHIELD and all of this and it's on me that he got hurt by it all. But I have a friend who's alive to try to make it up to instead of a funeral to go to, and that may be because you were there. Thank you." And every word of what Sarah just said is sincere and heartfelt. "The night the three of us were taken — Jimmy, Thea, and me — I wasn't good enough. Out of the three of us, I was the 'big gun' down in those tunnels, and I couldn't stop what was happening. I couldn't protect them, or in the end, myself. You didn't let anyone down. But I bloody well did."

Priscilla lifts the hand not holding her cocoa, and hooks her forefinger beneath Sarah's chin, lifting her just a hint so that their eyes lock upon one another again. "You didn't let anyone down. The best warrior, Sarah, can be overcome. Outmatched. Outmaneuvered. You did the best you could at the time. What is important is that when the opportunity presented, you acted. And you acted smart, to get yourself out, to get help, and to create the opportunity to get the others out as well."

Priscilla pauses, leaning close to lightly nuzzle the Brit's cheek. "You demand I be proud of myself for what I did. So, I demand the same of you, and for the same reasons. And I'm here to reinforce it. All night long. I make a pretty good big spoon." she murmurs playfully, but full of heart and truth.

Sarah pauses for a moment. Swallows. Then reaches out to set her half-finished mug of cocoa on the coffee table, before turning to Pris again, and leaning in to rest her head against the taller woman's shoulder, clinging to her with both arms. And then the tears come. Quietly, no sobbing, just quiet crying born of sadness and stress and guilt mingled with relief, and now on top of all that, thankfulness that Pris is here. That Sarah is not facing this dark night of finally being allowed to feel all of this alone.

And Priscilla just warmly, calmly envelops Sarah and holds her close. She lets the other woman cry. She doesn't try to shush her. She doesn't question her. She doesn't push. She is just present, holding and supporting. She makes no demands, no claims. She is just wholly, completely present in this time and place with Sarah.

It takes some time, but eventually, with a shiver and a deep breath that follows it, the tears, at least for the most part, are over. "I feel like I've been holding that in for a week," Sarah says softly. And, well, there's a reason for that. She has been.

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