What Grows On Lookout Hill


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Scene Title What Grows On Lookout Hill
Synopsis After escaping Wannabe Poison Ivy, Isaac and 'Joanne' take a stroll.
Date April 28, 2019

Park Slope

Outside the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Isaac Faulkner leans against a tree, regarding the dark building pensively. The live performance of Revenge of the Trees: Arbor Day in Hell had pretty effectively put an end to Rosario's party plans; honestly, that's kind of a pity. Sure, Grandma Biollante had chased everyone off of her lawn on pain of aggressive horticulture, but up until that point he'd actually been enjoying himself. Dancing and firelight, music and flickering shadows inside a vast, darkened building… something about it had spoken to him, in a primal sort of way. This is how it should be. Granted, the killer plants had spoiled the mood somewhat.

But it hadn't been a loss. It had been a networking opportunity to meet up with some of his fellow Park dwellers, and he likes to think he'd made a decent impression… and he'd gotten to stretch a bit, too. That's a plus, too. It's always nice for him to have a chance to show at least some of what he can do, to be the thing in the darkness, without having to worry about inspiring a mob… although admittedly, Granny Biollante probably counted as a mob in her own right.

And Jo had shown up, too. That had been a remarkably pleasant surprise — he'd dropped by Dirk's twice but hadn't managed to catch her home, and then out of nowhere she turns up in his backyard! Seems Isaac's luck is good tonight… but all the felicity in the world doesn't count for much if you don't take advantage of it; that's something Isaac learned early. Most of the guests have either wandered off or are starting to drift away, and it looks like Jo's free; time to make his move. He levers himself off of the tree and approaches Jo, giving his usual easy grin, holding the bottle of Lemon Death Isa had lent him in one hand. "Well. That was an interesting time, I'd say. Did you enjoy the party?"

The redhead finishes up a quiet, indiscernible exchange with Rosario before giving the younger woman a smile that is both apologetic and supportive to send the girl back on her way with her young comrades. Stuffing her hands in her back pockets, palms turned out, she is turning back to consider the dark facade of the greenhouse when Isaac’s approach proves much more interesting. Her thoughtful expression instantly melts into a untamable smile, her shoulders coming up in one playful bob before she steps forward to meet him halfway.

“Are you kidding me?” Jo glances back over her shoulder to confirm Rosario and troupe are out of ear shot. “That was so intense!” Her hands come up, nearly reaching for Isaac’s arms. The gesture never quite makes it. Barely checked by what appears to be a social awareness for personal space, Isis actually withdraws at the last moment to do a quick safety check on her ability. With her senses buzzing, electrified by adrenaline, it’s hard to find all the straps and locks inside.

“Ahem. Wrong answer?” She playfully asks, almost chiding herself. “It’s just… I think I’d almost forgotten how badass it is in New York.” How badass she is in New York - survival of the fittest in the city-jungle. “You were holding your own in there, hm?” She grins.

Isaac's smile widens slightly at her response. She's a daredevil, this one; he laughs aloud. "Interesting times are the best times," he says, grinning… though his grin becomes a bit closer to a smirk at her comment on him holding his own. "What can I say? The night's my element," he says, raising his hands in a lazy shrug.

"But what you did… that took some serious guts, to take it to Grandma Biollante like that. Threatening to burn her house down? While we were inside of it?" he laughs, his grin wide, and takes a swig of the bottle, because it'd be a shame to let some of Isa's best go to waste… then, still grinning, he offers it to Jo. "Brava. Brava. I'd offer you a drink for nerves, but… you don't really seem nervous. So how about a drink just because?"

The redhead pops an intrigued brow at Isaac’s comment regarding the night. “How vampiresque,” she says, a smirk giving a playfully pursed quality to her pale lips. As the man starts complimenting her bravery, though, she busily ruffles the left side of her wild curls - trying to fluff them up to hide a blush coloring her freckled cheeks.

“Oh!” The woman going by Joanne, at least in this case, looks surprised and hurriedly holds up a hand. “Not with you inside. I mean, yes, but - I wouldn’t…. Hurt you.” She cringes, both apologetic and embarrassed. And, now, nervous. Threatening to burn down buildings? Saving kids? Seems that is a hell less frightening than facing the compliments of a handsome man. “Sounds good, but only if we can put some distance between us and Poison Ivy and you match me drink for drink,” she takes the bottle with a playful squint of challenge and tips back a sip.

"More bogeyman than vampire," Isaac comments… then shrugs. "Though maybe a little bit vampire, too."

He doesn't fail to notice, though, that it's now that Jo starts to get a bit flustered — not when she's up against a crazy plant controller throwing a temper tantrum in the Botanical Gardens, but after the fact when he's pointing out how badass it was. Hmmm. Interesting. One might even say promising. His grin widens a bit at her offer.

"Sounds good," he says, reclaiming the bottle and knocking back a sip of Lemon Death — and only a sip, for now. He'd like to be able to remember tonight, thank you, so he offers the bottle back to Jo when he's done. "How about we go for a walk, then? I can show you the sights of Park Shore, such as they are," he says, offering a grin and gesturing for Jo to accompany him.

Boogeyman? That gets a bit of the side-eye, but the redheads smile is undeterred. “As long as you don’t say werewolf, we’ll get along just fine.” Jo chuckles warmly and gives an agreeable nudge of her head before falling into an easy pace alongside Isaac. The bottle is a convenient prop, keeping her hands preoccupied as she puts off taking a sip of the deliciou substance called ’Lemon Death’. “So, other than vampires and a Batman villainess - all very sexy things, mind you - what else does a night in the Park have to offer?” she asks with a playful curiosity, her head tilted up and aside so she share a smirk and a playful side-eye Isaac’s way. “I’ll settle for you favorite spot and nothing less.” An exaggerated nod sends errant, garnet curls dancing along her cheek before she brave a another sour sip of zest-tinted courage. Sip-pass-repeat.

Isaac laughs. "Definitely not a werewolf. Ugh, can you imagine? The shedding would be atrocious," he laughs. "That'd have to be the worst power ever," he says, shaking his head.

He arches an eyebrow at that side-eyed smirk, returning it with a smirk of his own. "Hmm. My favorite place, huh?" he muses. His favorite places tend to be… hard to get to, and as interesting as Jo is, he's skeptical as to whether she can fly. But… he thinks he knows of a place. Yes. Yes, he knows of a place that should do nicely. "Alright," he says with a grin, taking back the bottle and taking a sip of his own before passing it back. "But I hope you're up for a bit of a hike."

Slender shoulders relax under the gray, wool material of her slim coat. One of the fundamental nerd questions had been addressed - Lycan v. Nosferatu - and Isaac has passed. The grin suggests it's with flying colors, no less. Jo doesn’t sip at the drink immediately this time, but lifts a small foot and wiggles a scuffed, black, knee-high combat boot. “Bring it on.”

A small gesture tucks garnet waves behind one tiny, multi-pierced ear. Isis considers the walk ahead and occasionally her boots. When she does mind Isaac from the corner of her eyes, it with a glint of curiosity alongside a hint of skepticism as if he might POOF at any moment. “I am glad I ran into you.” She blinks in a way that suggest the particular tone of sincerity surprises even herself. She flashes a sheepish grin and tries to add an air of casualness with a shrug, but ultimately spares herself any further blushing by taking another sip of Lemon Death.

Breathing out part carbon-dioxide, part flammable remnants of lemony goodness, she clears her throat and passes the bottle. “So, tell me something about you, oh mysterious man o’ the night…”

Isaac nods and turns, starting to walk… though at her comment he glances over to her. The sincerity is easy to pick up on, as is the surprise following it. In vino veritas, perhaps? Or… hmm. In any case, it merits a response; she gave him a truth there, it sounds like, so he owes her one in return. He doesn't have to think about it. "I'm glad I ran into you, too," he says, giving her a smile of his own; his voice is a little quieter, a little lower than his usual speaking tone.

Then he chuckles, and she takes a sip of the drink, and they're moving again. He takes the bottle back, raising an eyebrow at her request. "Hmmm… tell you something about myself?" He considers for a long moment, then looks back to her with a grin. "Alright. Three things. I like high places; whether that's to look out across the world or see it at my feet, I'm not sure."

"Secondly — and probably unrelated — my favorite superheroes, back in the day, were always Batman and Spider-man."

"Thirdly," he begins, and now he pauses, giving Jo a serious, solemn look. He comes to a halt, turning to face her directly, and leans ever so slightly closer, meeting her gaze…

"I love Italian food, but I am a terrible cook."

He holds her gaze for a moment longer, then breaks out into laughter, taking a sip of the Lemon Death. "Sorry, but… I thought you should know. I once burned water, I think," he says, still laughing a bit. Once he's got himself under control again, he offers the bottle to Jo and gestures for them to start moving again. "Your turn!" he calls.

“No way. You too?” Jo turns her face aside to give Isaac a incredulous look. At first, she does elaborate on which piece of information she shares in common. Oh no, that would be too easy. Instead she follows comfortably at his side. She holds the opening of the bottle to her lips and blows a low, hollow sound across the top as she thinks on their impromptu little Game of Truths.

“Okay. Okay. I got it. First one: I have a love-hate thing with the stars. I love laying out with absolutely nothing to block my view and just staring up at them.” She glances up, but the overgrowth of Park Slope and the horizons filled with towers and rubble do not lend themselves to her description of a perfect night. “It feels like I’m floating that way. But, then I realize just how small I am and…” She shudders theatrically and chuckles at herself.

“Numero dos: My favorite superheros were always Catwoman and Phoenix.” She casts a playful side glance that silent dares him to to try and debate their ‘superhero’ status.

“Finally,” she reaches out and grins goofily as she rests a sympathetic hand on Isaac’s shoulder just enough to reveal a sense of seriousness without stopping their stroll. “I, too, love Italian and have burned water. It’s a thing.” She smiles conspiratorially at him. “I’ve also burnt through three microwaves and one kitchen counter. But, I’ve gotten a bit better over the last few years. At least… I think I have.” She grimaces uncertainly before breaking into a warm, melodic chortle.

Isaac mulls over which of the three had drawn that reaction for a moment… but as she starts to talk he shifts to paying attention; that bit about the stars is… fascinating. Catwoman and Phoenix are… interesting choices, too. Those aren't, in his experience, common choices.

The third thing draws a chuckle of his own. "Wow. That's… pretty bad," he chuckles sympathetically, giving Jo a side-eyed grin. "I can usually microwave something out of a can without ruining it, but that's about my limit. Sadly… I don't have a microwave at the moment. I recently fumigated my apartment trying to make popcorn," he says with a grimace. After a beat, though, he grins. "Thankfully! The Safe Zone seems to have a rather robust restaurant scene."

After a moment, he glances to Jo again, this time more seriously. "Why Catwoman and Phoenix?"

“Because they’re badass,” Jo replies, with all the playful emphasis of a well-timed ’duh”. She chuckles lightly enough, though, and combs back her errant locks with a quick gesture that only proves futile when the garnet coils dance right back towards her pale countenance. “But, really - Phoenix for her strength and complexity - this whole internal battle of self. That has to speak to everyone… right?” She raises a brow, considering Silas and her own words in equal measure. The question had started as rhetorical, but somehow now she is seeking validation - unsure.

“And, Catwoman? Well, there’s the suit and the whip.” She sashays her shoulders, but only succeeds in renewing a bright blush under the cinnamon shift of freckles. “In her case, though - it’s her ability to be her own woman. She didn’t bend to Batman’s way of doing things. Hell, sometimes she wasn’t even the good guy! She walked a fine line between taking care of herself and caring for others.” Isis, or Jo she is inclined to reminder hself at the moment, makes a gesture towards the cityscape on the horizon. “If that isn’t what I need to be right about now… then I don’t know what.”

She bites her lower lip briefly and clears her throat before hurriedly covering up her rant-slash-answer with an indulgent drink from the bottle of Lemon Death. “Ooo. That stuff is something else.” She passes the bottle.

Isaac smirks at Jo's comment about Catwoman and Phoenix's badassery, but his expression grows thoughtful at her question. "It's a pretty common theme, definitely; I mean, Jekyll and Hyde is still popular, so… yeah, that's fair enough," he says, offering a grin. He really hadn't expected that answer about Phoenix; he gets the feeling there's something telling in there, but he doesn't quite have a handle on it just yet.

Her comment about Catwoman's suit and whip, though — that draws an amused look from Isaac. The rest of her explanation, though… he finds himself nodding slowly. "True enough. You never knew which way it'd go when she showed up," he chuckles. "I don't think she was ever really a full villain, but she looked out for herself enough to keep herself in the game." He can respect that, definitely.

He takes the bottle back and takes a sip, but he's having to pay more attention to his footing now; while they've been talking, the terrain's been getting a little rougher. They're climbing now, too — it's not a steep grade, but it's noticeable. "Heh. A friend of mine makes it; I asked her for a bottle for the party tonight." He grunts, readjusting his footing. "She's the one who pointed me to Pigeon Couriers for a job; her husband works there."

The redhead’s smile turns grateful and easier thanks to Isaac’s reply. “The best villains are the ones that aren’t really villains,” she adds agreeably. “Like Poison Ivy back there, for instance.” She juts a thumb over her shoulder back in the relative direction of the greenhouse.

“Makes it? That’s pretty impressive. You know, seeing as I can barely make scrambled eggs without having to sandblast burnt bits off the pan later.” Jo drops her chin and looks up to Isaac with a knowing grin. “And how’s that courier gig working out? I imagine you meet all sorts and get to really see all there is to New York.” Her interest rings genuine, her nervousness and blush fading now and making it an easier thing to look occasionally over to her hiking partner. That is, when her vivacious hazel gaze doesn’t flit ahead, squinting into the night for some hint of where they might be headed. Patience is overrated, curiosity is her vice. Speaking of: “How hard is it not to peek in the packages? I mean, come on…”

"They say everyone's the hero of their own story," Isaac replies, chuckling softly. When she asks about the courier gig, he gives a more sincerely amused laugh. "It's a living; not really a lot exciting about it so far, honestly, unless I ditch the bike and just go 'running. That's always fun," he says, pausing a moment to consider his path forward. "Oh. Met a beautiful redhead once, though, that was great," he grunts, making a step up a particularly steep bit of incline; seems he's choosing a more difficult, but more direct, path. "I peek now and again, but for the most part it's not that interesting. Usually it's socks or something. Or chocolate."

He turns back to offer her a hand up, grinning. "We're almost there."

Hazel eyes come around quickly to find Isaac, pale brows furrowed thoughtfully above. She looks as surprised as she does contemplative. “I’ve never heard that.” Slowly the right corner of her pale lips comes up. “I like it,” she says with conviction. And just as she had started to settle into a casual ease, Isaac renews her blush with a fresh rain of compliments. “Oh come off it,” she tries to laugh away the compliment. “As if you don’t have MILFs inviting you inside all the time or anything.” She bumps her shoulder against his lightly, considerate of the unsteady ground they scale.

“Anyway, is it getting hot up here or is it me?” Jo lets her hazel gaze sweep theatrically about as she makes a show of unzipping her coat and giving it a breezy flap. She reaches up to take Isaac’s outstretched hand. Her nerves lend themselves to an uncertain grip on her own ability so the brief contact between his and and hers incites the subtlest of fluttering sensations - easily brushed off as that endearing sensation of butterflies in one’s stomach.

When Isis’s boots land beside Isaac’s she stops, still holding his hand, and catches a soft, stuttered intake of breath as the effect sends a shiver up her spine. She flashes the briefest of apologetic smile but quickly averts her gaze and looks off elsewhere. “The anticipation is killing me, I hope you know.”

Isaac barks a single sharp laugh at her comment about getting invited inside, giving her a hugely amused look; whether it's from sheer surprise or because she guessed accurately he doesn't say. His eyes are definitely on her as she flaps her coat, though, and that faintest flutter of butterflies he feels when she takes his hand goes completely unnoticed; seems perfectly legitimate to him.

"Killing you, is it?" he asks, smiling as he looks at her. "Well. I suppose I can't keep you waiting much longer then, can I?" His gaze remains on her for a moment longer… then he turns and starts forward. He maintains a gentle grip on her hand — if she wants to pull back, it won't be hard, but he's not going to be the one to break contact. "We're almost there," he says back to her with a smile.

The grade is gentler now; seems they've made it past the worst of the climb. Another dozen or so steps and they emerge from the treeline and onto level ground again; despite the rampant vegetation that's reclaimed most of Park Slope, the crown of the hill they're standing on is bare of anything aside from grass — and fairly short-cropped at that.

"Welcome to Lookout Hill," he says, grinning back at Jo. "One of my favorite places in Park Slope." And definitely the easiest one to get to if you can't walk up vertical surfaces. Unlike most places in Park Slope, there's actually a view here — seems someone's been working to keep the trees pruned a bit — and that view is actually pretty spectacular at the moment.

The last gasps of sunset are visible on the western horizon, the sky a vibrant orange; a handful of wispy clouds glow gold in the last of the day's sunlight. Further up, the sky shades into the deep violet of impending night, a few stars already twinkling in the twilight. Lights are just starting to come on in the buildings of the Safe Zone; beyond the city, the rusting hulk of old New York lies dark and dormant, unnoticing as the shadows of nightfall creep over it. Isaac glances at the view with some satisfaction, taking a sip of Lemon Death… then his gaze drifts back to Jo.

As Isaac turns away, their hands still wrapped around one anothers, Jo’s brows shoot up. She grins like a goofball at the back of his head and hurries to find her footing lest the little gesture slip, literally, from her fingertips. His casualness makes it easy to fall back into step and the promise that their destination draws closer gives her something else to focus on - her untamable curiosity.

As they traverse the woodline and step into the clearing, her gaze briefly scans the obviously cultivated area only briefly. “Looks like ‘someone’ has taken a lot of care to-Oh wow.” Her fingers tighten around Isaac’s hand, her chin inclined. Lips gently parted, her gaze is drawn to the skies above, mainly the first peek of the bravest stars breaking the darker blanket pulling overhead.

The redhead is silent a moment, the dusk playing at a gradient, colorful backdrop to the silhouette of her upturned visage. She tips her head a little this way, then a little that. Darkly lined lashes narrow and then, “Ah. There it is.” She freezes in place and her smile softens, finding the perfect vantage that just barely cuts out the earthly world from her periphery.

“Amazing,” it’s more a sigh of gratitude than a properly spoken word.

As far as Isaac is concerned, the look on Jo's face is the real view here; it is exceedingly rare to catch someone in an unselfconscious moment of genuine, unreserved happiness. Jo's always been striking, but the look on her face now is almost angelic.

Isaac studies her silently for a moment, committing that look to memory, then silently turns his gaze out to the city below and the stars above, still hand in hand.

Angelic is a stretch in some ways, and entirely apt in others. Alabaster flesh with a sift of cinnamon freckles does lend itself to a ethereal, innocent quality. The falls of fiery hair, illuminated by the hazy lines of dusk, give a cosmic fiery quality, though. Still, she seems entirely unaware, entirely entranced by the heavens above.

After a short time she finds herself giving Isaac’s hand a squeeze when the unnerving, crushing sensation of her miniscule place within the universe begins to leech into her mind, body and soul. “See?” she allows this casual question to reel her back into her body. She turns to look at Isaac, only to find his eyes on her instead. Her reaction is a mix of confusion and flattery.

“You’re focusing on the wrong thing,” she leans in to whisper, stealing some of the warmth that seems to exist simply by being in Isaac’s presence. She can’t tell if its coming from him or her, but she wriggles in regardless.

Isaac's lips curl up a bit at that. "I don't think so," he murmurs back to her, his smile only widening as she moves in closer. As far as he's concerned, it's no contest as to which is the prettier view.

Gold-flecked eyes no longer look to skies overhead. They linger, searching Isaac's face a moment. She leans into Isaac’s side, head resting against the front of her shoulder and her face turned down and out to the view.

The deepening night plays a cryptic shadow on her angelic-pale features. Though her tone remains light, only the star-speckled and ruin-filled horizon bears witness when her smile falls away. “You’re going to be a distraction, I can tell…”

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