2019-12-15 - Rubbing Elbows AND NOTHING ELSE


Zatanna and Alison go on what might possibly be a date.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Dec 15 03:23:39 2019
Location: RP Room 5

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Theme Song



People talked to people and an appointment for a meal has been made. A secret meeting. No need for paparazzi to get crazy. In a little Italian restaurant down a dark alley in the mean streets of Greenwich Village, the very minor recording artist known as Dazzler waits in a booth in the back. No management, no entourage, just her, dressed in boots, jeans, and a sweater against the cold outside. All very casual.

Zatanna was obscurely disappointed Alison didn't come to the after party on the night of the show, but understood why not. Parties are draining; parties as a celebrity are barely even fun, more like a job obligation you have to smile and get through. It's only Zatanna's unhealthy love of being the center of attention that has her enjoy them as much as she does. Still, a nice dinner is a good substitute, and the warning not to dress too ostentatiously was well-chosen. Who knows what Zatanna might have showed up rather than a wine-colored sweater, blue jeans, and now visible jewelry other than pink studs in her ears if she hadn't been warned? Even with the warning, she can't resist showing up in boots, tactfully hidden under her denim but still patent polished and elegantly heeled.

Zatanna smiles easily and openly as she approaches the table. "Hi!" she greets warmly, but without using a name, maybe taking the whole surreptitious thing too far but hey, she's trying. She rests her hands on Alison's shoulders and kisses each cheek. "So good to see you again. How are you?"

"Hey, glad you could make it" Alison replies happily while shoving her phone in her back pocket. "You look lovely" she manages to get out before returning kisses to cheeks. A gesture for Zatanna to sit. "I'm doing okay, thanks. Working hard. Sarah's got some gigs lined up and I'm getting noticed on YouTube a lot more. Never know, might even be able to break out nationally soon. First, New York, then the world" she gloats in a self-mocking tone. "How about you? Still being magical wherever you go? Drink?"

"Let's just say I'm not carrying a purse, but I still have everything I need somewhere on me," Zatanna answers easily as she takes a seat. This is partially a lie, of courseeven though her sweater is baggy, it would be impossible to carry all the personal care products she might needbut she does like to stay in practice for her sleight of hand, so the essentials are stored away in places no one would think to look and that she doesn't let them think of looking at anyway. "Who's Sarah, your manager?" She nods her assent to the offer of a drink and smiles her thanks, not interrupting the question or the answer with words.

"Ooh, maybe I should check where you're hiding everything?" Alison winks - a born flirt. A nod in return to the drink idea. Dazzler is, legally, too young to drink but somehow she finds a way. Drink orders are given to the waitress - cranberry vodka for the songstress - before she answers about Sarah. "She is. Manager and Agent…and anything else I can convince her to be. Sarah Rainmaker. She is a lifesaver, believe me. Things have improved so much since she got involved. Hey, maybe you should also take her on as a manager?"

Zatanna raises her eyebrows, impressed at the extremely not-white name of the extremely white singer's manager. Alison supports diversity! Good for her. "Maybe," Zatanna agrees as she waits for her appletini (it's an Italian restaurant, she may as well go all in on the carbs today). "My crew's dynamic is special, and I don't want to risk souring it by bringing in people willy-nilly, but there's no reason I can't talk to her. What has she done for you? Or do you think that's more a question she should answer for herself?" She ignores the flirting, for the first time since meeting Alison, to give that speech. Apparently she's very serious about her crew.

"Sarah has made sure she that I have everything I need to do everything I want. Not in a fawning way, I don't want 'yes women', but as someone who is eager to make sure I do my best. She definitely makes sure I don't rest on my laurels" Alison smirks. "But I guess you already have great management. It's not as if you're not famous already and killing it wherever you go. Though you should definitely talk with her." She laughs. "Sarah might think I am trouble enough for her. Definitely don't want to interfere with anything you've got going. I'll send you her deets and you can take it from there. Ooh, here are the drinks."

Zatanna accepts her high-stemmed glass of unnecessarily green alcohol with a smile, and turns her attention back to Alison. "Yeah? She sounds like a great manager. The way you were talking about her, I wasn't sure that was all she was." Which of course it isn't, she's also an agent and Zatanna knows that because Alison told her, but how Alison responds will be informative to say the least.

"She's a great friend too" Alison replies with a sly smile. "You know how much I flirt…and more…but we don't want to do something that ruins our professional relationship. Luckily, we're mature and sensible individuals." A sip of her pink vodka. "Mmmm…that is nice. So, are you going to tell me how you did those magic tricks? Or is that some super secret Magician Code and you will be forced to shoot me if you tell me?"

Zatanna shakes her head gently, smiling. "Sorry. I have a responsibility not just to myself and my crew, but everyone else who makes a living as a magician. But I guess maybe if you show me this flirty side, I might be convinced to teach you one thing," she says coyly, circling the rim of her glass with one finger, implying that what Alison's been doing hasn't been flirting at all.

"I'll try…but I think I'm in the presence of a Professor of Flirting" Alison smiles back over the table. "You got magic working right now and I'd love to see the big climax" she purrs, her vodka glass held casually in the air next to her mouth as Alison studies her dining companion. "Though, with the enchanting spell you cast, are you trying to tell me that you don't have someone already?"

"Yeah," Zatanna agrees to this last, nodding seriously. She's quiet for a moment as she looks searchingly at Alison, trying to decide if she's about to go too far, before twitching the barest hint of a shrug and just going for it. "I've never really had a chance in my life to explore the part of me that loves women, and I really want to. I try to send out all the right signals, but I know how straight I look, so that makes it hard to even get a date. Then, when I do get one, it's usually with someone who doesn't live the kind of life I do, who doesn't understand the obligations of my job or who wants to use me for my money or whatever, so those relationships never really go anywhere (boy or girl). So it's… you know. It's difficult. I like to flirt, and I'm not looking to get married tomorrow or anything, but I've done the cheap fling thing and I'm not into it any more. I want someone I can connect with. You know?" she asks frankly, looking over her glass at Alison, taking a sip of burning alcohol to overpower the fainter heat of embarrassment at such an admission. Her cheeks are colored with that vulnerability, but her gaze is steady.

"Seriously? You dress in those fishnets and those tiny panties and you think you look too straight?" Alison giggles at this. "Honey, you cross off so many of my favorite things without even trying." She reaches out with her free hand to give Zatanna's a squeeze. "Sorry to hear you haven't tried the better team yet" Alison smiles warmly. "I guess we do have a few things in common with our lifestyles. Though you are totally more famous than me. But, hey, you're a smart, funny, beautiful woman, and if you don't mind how little we'd see each other…and maybe a roaming eye on my part…and yours if you wish, I won't mind…then maybe we can call this a date?" Alison giggles. "I'm definitely not a cheap fling. Totally expensive" she teases.

Zatanna laughs. "Hey, those boots, this hair, and this lipstick are all VERY straight. I can admit my issues." She drops it there, though, not wanting to sound like she's throwing Alison's compliments back in her face. "But thanks, Alison. Really. I'm having fun with you, or else I wouldn't be here." Her smile is sweet and somehow naked; a far cry from the open flirtation on the stage. She rests her elbow on the table and her chin on her palm as she asks, interested, "So is it just your eye that roams? I don't want to judge, I just want to be sure I understand the ground rules."

Alison screws up her nose guiltily before shaking her head. "No, not just my eyes. You never know, one day I might be blindfolded and I bet I'm still roaming with something" she jokes. "The way you look is not straight per se, it's hot. You just need the right woman who can see that." She holds up her hand to signify she totally finds Zatanna hot. "I'm going to be honest with you, Z" Alison sighs. "I fool around. I haven't hurt anyone doing it…that I know of…but I don't want to start hurting people either. But I guess, being selfish, I don't want that to prevent me from finding something more. Wow, don't I sound like a bitch. Thing is, if you want to give this a go, I'm open to it. No promises on where it may end up and I will never deliberately set out to hurt you. And I certainly won't rub anything in your face." A wiggle of her eyebrows. "Okay, there may be some things I'll be willing to rub in your face."

Zatanna rolls her eyes more in indulgence than irritation, smirking at Alison. "Wow. Not the best pick-up line I've ever hear, honey, but it does get the message across, so points for that. So let's hear your followup. What are you gonna rub my face in?"

Alison shrugs and smirks at her seduction technique. "It may not be great but it gets the job done. No beating around bushes with me. If a spark is there, it deserves to be made a flame." A playful gasp about providing details on face rubbing. "Sweet Zee, the whole point of immature innuendo is never to make it clear. Just make it sound it could be dirty." She leans closer to whisper. "It is totally dirty." Leaning back with a wiggle of her eyebrows she asks, "Were you hoping I was that way inclined or do I just give off a bi vibe?" A little laugh at her own question. "Hey, 'pop star', I think it's in my job description to be so."

Say something sweet, or say something honest?

If you have to take time to think about it, then it's best to be honest. Zatanna admits apologetically, "I don't really see anything about you that says you like girls. You just kind of responded to my flirting when we met, so I thought maybe there was something there. If I'd had to guess, I'd have said you were more bi-curious than bi. Why? Are you trying to give off more signals?"

"Curious? Oh no, past curious. Totally a willing and eager participant" Alison smiles. "I mean, c'mon, you're intelligent, awesome, funny, and incredibly beautiful. How could I not be attracted?" A self-mocking giggle. "I'm a fan of flirting myself…you probably can't miss that signal." A slight tilt of her head as she studies Zatanna. "But seriously…and I can be serious…I would love to help you out with your explorations. Hopefully, you will find some treasure that will be all worth it."

Zatanna grins wryly. "Isn't 'treasure' a euphemism?" she teases.

"I hope so" Alison teases in reply. "But, hey, no pressure. We should do all that 'get to know you better' stuff first. No point you just jumping into bed with the first incredibly hot perfect woman that comes along." A beat. "Unless you want to…" Her eyes narrow in thought. "Did we order yet? I've been rather distracted. Happily so though."

"Damn, girl, pump the brakes," Zatanna chides playfully. Why did she say that? It doesn't sound like something she'd say. She probably heard it somewhere. Doesn't matter. She changes the subject and asks, "So, do you have trouble meeting girls, when you look so straight? I have trouble, and I'm trying to decide if I think my look is the problem."

"What does a lesbian look like?" Alison asks, amused. "Short hair and overalls? Never judge a book by it's cover. Judge it by what it says and what is inside." A shake of her head. "I don't think your look has anything to do with it. You just have to put yourself out there. Flirt with women like you did with me and every now and then, you'll get a nibble back. Oops, sorry, meant to be pumping the breaks now." A dramatic sigh. "All the things I could say about 'pumping'" she notes wistfully but she will control herself. "Looking beautiful is not hindering your chances, I promise. I haven't had any trouble meeting women."

"Duly noted," Zatanna says drily, which reminds her to sip her water. She does so. Ah, good stuff, water. "But I think looking beautiful can be a problem, because not everyone thinks the same things are beautiful. Like, this hairdo, I really like it… but let's face it, this haircut is beautiful for men."

"I like it" Alison pouts about the hair. "You should never assume what certain groups of people like. Everyone is different. You're right, everyone has a combination of likes, dislikes, interests, disinterests, that are unique. You can't second-guess that. If you cut your hair to meet what you think a gay woman would be interested in, then you're not being yourself and that will show. Who wants a girlfriend who doesn't know who they are? Who wants a girlfriend who is trying to do what they think someone else wants?" She purses her lips for a moment. "Okay, a lot of men would but who wants that kind of guy? The old term for us would be 'lipstick lesbians' but who does labels anymore?"

Zatanna leans back, eyes wide and most open, fingertips tented on her chest, cinematically aghast. "No labels????" she asks, all four question marks audible in her voice. "How could I have an identity if I weren't able to tell myself I'm a twee hipster with normcore leanings????" She drops the act with a little smile and shakes her head. "More seriously, though, labels are just how people work. We build an identity based on the narrative we acknowledge in ourselves, and in the process accept limits on what can be considered part of our identities. Those limits are what we call labels."

"Who wants to be limited?" Alison replies with a dismissive wave of her hand. "It's the new generation, Zee. No non-legal limits. Explore life. Explore love. It's a bit like hippies but more constructive than isolationsist. Making the world a better place for everyone who wants to be what they want to be. It may be how they work now but that doesn't mean you have to go along with the herd. Just be Zee. That looks pretty good to me."

"Everyone wants limits," Zatanna says seriously. "There can't be a Zatanna unless Zatanna is somehow different from everyone around her. No limits would mean no basis for self, or allowance for morality. Like, if you have no limits, then you're good with hurting or killing people (that's not a legal limit because it's possible to legally hurt and kill people)."

Alison shakes her head. "I disagree. That's akin to those people who say that if there is no God then the world would be all murder and rape. God is the only thing that keeps people in control. And I find that kind of a terrifying idea…and it also has me worried about people who say that. What do they think about doing before remembering there is a God?" A shiver at the thought. "I don't think people are wired to hurt each other willy-nilly. Of course there are wars, murders, robberies, but the cause of those is not their human nature. Humans are innately moral not immoral. The cause, you could even argue, are those labels and those limits. A need to follow those labels and limits. Whether it be the label of 'most powerful nation' or the label of 'husband who must provide' or the label of 'wife who is owned by husband and cannot think for herself' of the label of 'my religion is the only real one'. Those labels rob you of self and morality by causing you to blindly correspond to something you never agreed to." A laugh and a grin. "Wow, this got deep quick."

"So it sounds like you're arguing for an objective morality, which exists apart from any given person's sense of right and wrong?" Zatanna asks.

"Hmmm, I think I'm arguing for a natural desire to assist and not kill each other, especially as humanity has evolved over the millenia. I believe a person's sense of right and wrong align pretty close to the next person's. What they are taught as right and wrong to subvert that sense, that could be worse…or better…than if we were taught nothing at all. Education is really important in all this. Be open to all ideas. You may not agree with them but if you understand how they came about, you are less likely to leap to the idea that it is an enemy that must be destroyed. This is a really complex discussion for a first date. I'm sure I'm going to say something off the top of my head that will be expressed badly and have you freaking out. Couldn't we go back to innuendo?"

Zatanna waves a hand dismissively. "Oh, you freaked me out a few minutes ago, so I dialed 911 and am now just stalling until the police get here," she deadpans. "We could do innuendo, though. Um… let's start with 'so I notice you decided we should eat out on our first date.'"

"The cops? Again? Oh, that will get my Dad excited" Alison quivers in mock fear before her warm smile quickly returns. "We're eating out becuase I didn't want to poison you with my cooking. And I think our 'people', despite our desire to have a private meal, would love a photograph of us hanging out." A quick look around for lurking paparazzi - nothing yet. "Though it would do much more for my career than yours. Oh, shoot, sorry, back to innuendo. We could always eat dessert back at my place. I'm in the mood for something that tastes of honey. Creamy too."

Zatanna raises an eyebrow, mildly amused, mildly masked. "Sounds like something you could get for $1.29 off a gas station rack," she observes. "You don't want something more, I don't know, nuanced?"

"Nuanced? I wear a white jumpsuit on stage and have blinding lights everywhere. I'm not the most subtle of souls" Alison laughs. "And don't put yourself down. You're worthy way more than $1.29. And your rack is incredible." A little wince. "Okay, I'm not the classiest bisexual you could meet." Her grin returns as she adds, "But I am enthusiastic! So, how did you become a huge star of the stage? And when is the Netflix series happening?"

Zatanna chuckles. "It's not a good story, narratively. There's, like, no big villain or central conflict to overcome. I just practiced very hard, and learned from the best, and when people told me women can't do magic I turned it against them to make myself famous. You know? What about you? Is there a story behind your career?"

"It sounds like there was at least a little conflict to overcome. Girl power!" Alison winks before shrugging about herself. "Oh, you know. Child of important father wanting to do something trivial like sing for a living. Cut off from family. Street living for a while. Usual things. And you are pretty famous, Zee, you won."

Zatanna raises her eyebrows. "Won? Am I fighting the magicians or am I fighting you?"

"The magicians I hope. You don't need to fight me. I'm happy to surrender" Alison blushes a little while fluttering her eyelashes at Zatanna. "Which I guess, technically, means you also won over me. Definitely, you have won over me."

Zatanna chuckles. "I'll be sure to tell my sifu his techniques brought me victory and him glory. Do you know any martial arts? I could put you in touch with him so you could maybe learn to fight better."

"I have ways of protecting myself that don't involve martial arts" Alison promises. "Though I wouldn't mind learning some. I'd prefer to learn from you though. You know, when we get up in the morning, do a little practice before breakfast."

Zatanna smiles briefly. "So you weren't into martial arts. What are you into, Alison?" She ignores the hint about how Alison can defend herself: it's not hard to guess what she means there.

"I'm into singing. Dancing. Playing. Performing. Having fun! Like you, I think. I'm also into love, romance, bad innuendo, laughing. All the things that make life worth living" Alison replies with a sparkle in her eyes and excitement in her voice. "And if I can make other people's lives a happier or safer place, then that's an added benefit."

That last bit is interesting, so Zatanna latches onto it, eyebrows and the corners of her mouth raised. "Safer? How so?"

"Oh, you know…" Alison shrugs, a little bit anxious about saying too much. "A happier world is a safer world." She totally covered that slip. Right? "Would you like another drink? I would like another drink."

Zatanna laughs, taking the hint. "Sure, I'd like another drink."

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