Get Used To It


maria_icon.gif mallory_icon.gif

Scene Title Get Used To It
Synopsis Sarcasm happens
Date January 2, 2009

Outside the The Nite Owl in Chelsea

Before the bomb, Chelsea was most known for being "gay-friendly," home of the stereotypical "Chelsea Boy." It was a place of culture and art, of eclectic ethnic restaurants and cutting-edge performing arts studios.

One of the last places in Manhattan to be reopened to the public, the streets of Chelsea almost give the impression of an urban ghost town. Many buildings are dark, inhabited only by the homeless, if by anyone at all. Their walls have been tagged with graffiti, the windows broken; forgotten cars line the streets, slowly rusting away. Close inspection reveals that their interiors have already been gutted of anything valuable or useful.

Housing in Chelsea is quite cheap; it therefore doesn't stay on the market long, despite the potential threat of residual radiation. The population has become a mixture of all ethnicities, desperation being their thread in common; those who have the money to live elsewhere do. Culture seems to have been washed out entirely on the neighborhood scale, survival taking vast precedence over art.

Mallory makes her way down the street, hands stuffed into the pockets of her puffy jacket, a tuque with a pom-pom on her head and a surly expression on her face. She slows down when she gets to the Nite Owl, peering into the window with her nose wrinkled. Music blares from some sort of device on her person, not entirely masked by her headphones.

She isn't alone in approaching the Nite Owl, or in having music piped into her ears. A female shape approaches from ahead of Mallory. She isn't walking, however. The woman's on a diagonal path, starting about a block away, and getting steadily closer to the ground. Maria lands gently ten or twenty feet ahead of the teen and starts walking from there, her eyes trained on the diner. There is food within, and this is what she's after, having decided not to cook and eat at home tonight.

Should she be looked at, this one is five feet three inches tall, brunette, clad in a winter coat with jeans and athletic shoes. The earbuds of an iPhone are in place, supplying tunes.

Looking at her may also reveal something else: she's the one from the newspaper accounts of a flying woman saving a child from a burning building.

Mallory's gaze flicks to the appearance of a new figure in the window's reflection; her eyes narrow. Something familiar? Turning about, she gives Maria a full-on squint that looks suspiciously like a scowl, trying to place her.

Maybe she didn't look at the papers and see her face in them today, or maybe she did and doesn't care. Maybe Maria is just used to being looked at funny. Whichever is the case, she simply eyes the teenager with a mildly bored expression, then looks over her shoulder to see whatever the girl may be scoping out, or pretending to for dramatic effect. "What's going on?" she asks, once inside earshot. "Is there a clown behind me, or someone handing out suitcases of cash?"

The photo in the news is definitely her.

"No and no," Mallory says, frowning. "Get used to it. People are going to stare at you constantly now."

'"Get used to what?" Maria asks, her forehead wrinkling. "I've been flying for years, and since we were outed I've not hidden it. Staring's just a thing that happens. Before I could fly I sometimes got grief for being non-white. I just am who I am." That response, it would seem, answers the question of whether or not she saw her image in print.

"Get used to staring. I guess you are." Mallory's eyes widen slightly. Her voice remains deadpan. "I guess you weren't serious about the clown or the money." She shrugs. One earbud pops out of her ear and she moves to replace it.

Her head tilts. "Is there some reason other than flying around that's going to make people stare more?" Maria seems puzzled. Her own earbuds stay in place, the volume low enough to still hear other things. "And no. Defense mechanism, crack jokes in situations like that." The woman laughs a little. "Am I the only flying woman, or flying person, you've ever seen?"

"I don't know. Most of them probably don't advertise," Mallory says flatly, nudging the bud in place. "You're not very good at recognizing sarcasm, are you?"

"I am. Good at it myself, too," Maria remarks. "The whole looking over my shoulder thing, looking for something or someone, when I knew you were looking at me? Sarcasm." She stops a few feet away and takes a stance not uncommon to someone with law enforcement or military experience. "It doesn't make me not wonder if I'm the only one in New York."

"Maybe you could put up fliers or take an ad out in the newspaper or something," Mallory suggests, still blandly. "Form a group. Meet on Tuesdays. Eat cookies and drink apple juice and discuss goggles."

Her head falls back with laughing. "Nice. I'll call it the Come Fly With Me Club." Maria moves, taking a few steps toward the Nite Owl door.

Mallory removes a hand from her pocket and gives Maria a thumbs up. "Good luck with that." She stuffs her hand back in her pocket.

Her eyes roll. "Teenagers. Always with the attitude." Maria opens the door and holds it for Mallory. "Good food in here."

Mallory shrugs. "I know." She glances inside again, shakes her head, and turns about to resume walking.

January 2nd: Some Days, You Feel Like the Bug
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