2007-09-24: Who Needs Airline Tickets?


Mariska_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Neither Mariska nor Nathan needs airline tickets.

Date It Happened: September 24th, 2007

Who Needs Airline Tickets?

Midtown, NYC - Empire State Building

It's beyond visiting hours, and still, someone occupies the upper surfaces of the Empire State building - though higher than any tourist would risk or be allowed to go. And despite the hour, New York City still glimmers with life, the groan of traffic audible even this high. It's a truly spectacular view, which is worth the discomfort of the continuous wind that tugs at Nathan's hair and clothes, and he wraps his black, weather resistant jacket tighter around himself as he simply regards the city. It'll be winter soon. He's getting his last, comfortable excursions in before he has to deal with ice and rain up there.

…krak. …krak! …Krak!

Above the din of the bustling city that echoes up from the street below comes a series of popping sounds; not unlike a firecracker or a whip-snap. It's not necessarily an alarming sort of racket but it doesn't seem to be occurring at a regular interval so… what is it?


It's a good thing that if Nathan fell off the building, he'd be perfectly fine. Incidentally, he doesn't, just pauses and raises an eyebrow. There's never any sound up here other than the muted tones of the city below him - that's half the point. And so the presence of something else— well, that can't just got missed. Somewhat tense, somewhat wary, because he's really not supposed to be up here - or even able to get up here - Nathan turns to find the source of the strange noise.


The last one comes louder, like a gunshot, and comes from a definitive source — a dark-haired woman in a black, fitted coat. She just, get this, spontaneously appears out of thin air! (Gasp!) She's about a quarter of the way around the airship mooring ring from Nathan but she's standing in such a way that suggests she surely sees him, at least from the corner of her eye, and — oh, hey, yeah. Totally spotted. Her head turns full on and she just sort of stares with a pair of pale eyes and an expression that clearly reads 'well, this is… awkward…'

Gasp is right. Nathan jerks back a step at this sudden display, eyes widening at the sudden presence of the stranger. His first instinct is to— well, it's actually to fly away. Up here, that seems like a legitimate mode of escape, more so than it does generally, but he squashes down the instinct, narrowing his eyes at her. It's dim, the place really only lit by the city lights bouncing back and forth between ground and sky, creating that permanent night time glow found in the hearts of cities. Maybe— hopefully— she doesn't recognize him. "What're you doing up here?" he asks, defensively. Sort of an irrational question, 'how did you do that?' should, by rights, be more suitable - but he came here to be alone, damnit.

Crap. Mariska's first instinct? Hold real still. Maybe if she doesn't twitch a muscle or blink an eye, she'll totally blend in to the shadows that creep in the contrast between darkening day and illuminated night and this guy'll just go back to performing whatever obscure sort of maintenance requires him to be up here at this hour… unharnessed… without any tools…


"What are you doing up here?" she counters in a Soviet drawl. Hey, when all else fails? Just repeat the question.

Just go. Leap off the edge and fly away. But some last sense of self-preservation keeps him from revealing that particular secret, although the fact that he stands so confidently towards the edge of the platform, his back turned to what would be a devastating fall if he only took a couple of steps back, might just be strange enough.

Also? Good question, and when it's turned back to him, Nathan is silent for a moment. What was he doing here? He glances away, seeing just an angle of the view, then back to her with a slightly wry smile. It's with a slight tone of defeat that he says, "What anyone does when they get to the top of the Empire State Building. Take it all in."

Good answer.

They're not unlike a pair of gunslingers come face-to-face an hour too soon to duel; cagey and stoic but brazen all the same - both precariously close to the edge and yet projecting similar auras of rampant disregard for the fatal mistake one false step might make. Mariska turns at the shoulders slightly and allows Nathan a momentary respite from her pinning stare in order to take in the lit-up lines and angles of the George Washington Bridge and the borough beyond. "You really can see everything from here - the whole city…," she says to the wind as it plays havoc with her shoulder-length hair and kicks up her coattails.

If he wanted to, Nathan could probably earn himself a better view. As she talks, that's where his gaze goes - upwards, regarding the cloud cover, then back down towards the ground, leaning his body just a little to observe what's directly beneath them, a fate for those who might not be able to snap back and forth through space or Peter Pan their way out of it. "Yeah," he agrees, pulling his jacket back around him once more. "Consider yourself lucky, most tourists have to pay to get up here. Never this high, either." He feels a slight twinge for the necessity of climbing all those stairs, using those elevators, taking his kids up to the observation decks - back when, you know, it was unusual to access such a height. He looks back towards the woman, studying her closer now. "You— come here often?" he asks, haltingly when the irony hits him mid-sentence - a line more popularly delivered in bars and clubs than rooftops.

"I'm not a tourist," she says while wearing the shadow of a smile. No, really, honey? Nathan probably hadn't been able to puzzle that one out yet. Thanks for clearing it up. Of course, she doesn't particularly sound like a local… unless she's come by way of Brighton Beach.

Mariska's eyes are still set on the bridge but they come back 'round soon enough when her curious new companion inquires as to the frequency of her visits. "No," she says, shaking her head. "Usually… I am over there…" She steals a step or two closer in an attempt to close the distance as she then tacks on to her reply by shoving an index finger out on the horizon in defiance of the wind. What she really means is down there because there isn't actually another building nearby anywhere as close to the height of the Empire State but, she's indicating a formidable skyscraper not too far off to the east. Mariska then casually draws chin to shoulder and gives Nathan a subdued but sly look and quips, "You?" Oh, yeah. This is completely casual.

Nathan does a slight double take, not at first sure as to what she means, what she's indicating, before he looks closer, spying the skyscraper. The corner of his mouth twists up in an uncertain smile, still in place when she inquires as to his stomping grounds. While he doesn't make a habit of it… he still turns, moving to look beyond the mooring mast so he can point in a different direction. Again, lower than the Empire State, but still impressive, and not quite as lit up as the others surrounding it, making it difficult to gauge out - but from up here, most things are visible. "Over there," he prompts, then adds, "Not often." You know, as if he has to convince a complete stranger that he's not always this irresponsible. "But sometimes you need a little clarity."

Once show and tell time between the pair of preternatural travelers comes to a close, the dark-haired woman shoves both hands into her coat pockets and sweeps her green-eyed gaze out across the big city all aglow. It really is a spectacular sight; breathtaking and beheld by only a rare and special few (freaks). Nathan's words can only momentarily clutch at Mariska's ears before getting blown away by the whipping wind, however, she nods her head forward with a rusty double-bobble motion and adds one word: "Perspective." And then she's staring at him again. Wait — is there recognition dawning behind those pale eyes or is she just trying to undress him in her mind figure something out??

"How did you get here?"

Recognition is something that is… well… recognizable to Nathan, now. When bartenders, checkout girls, baristas kind of glance for a moment and catch familiar features that they've seen on posters, on TV, and Nathan kind of just smiles as charmingly as he can and goes about his day. Here, recognition is less than ideal - and so Nathan kind of angles away a little, stepping back. "I didn't appear out of nowhere," he says. "Why don't you take a few guesses? I'll just be over here." Because unless he broke into the building - there's no point in denying he had his own special means. He's just reluctantly to say it out loud. Nathan moves away from her, now observing the view he came to observe and following the curve of the platform.

Wait. Mariska watches the man trundle off, perhaps in an attempt to escape her somewhat intrusive staring, and contemplates his back for a moment before — Wait! Is he…? Could it be…? Misha's met more than her fair share of freaks here in the city that never sleeps but she has yet to encounter anyone (to her knowledge) who can do what she can do. Nathan's sudden concession to coy in combination with their remarkable location prompts her to take a chance…


When point of origin and destination are but a few feet away, Mariska's distortion of space sounds more like a whipcrack and less like two rounds from the same revolver. She's no longer left behind his back; they're side by side again, like it or not. "I didn't appear out of nowhere," she replies, chin inclining, mouth fighting the birth of a smile. "I came from over there."

The noise alone is enough to startle him, Nathan jumping just a little when she suddenly appears beside him, a hand coming up to press against his chest as he gives her a look of annoyance and disbelief. "That's not very subtle," he comments, over the wind, before sliding his hands into the pockets of his jacket, keeping his eyes then trained on the horizon. Still not about to tell her, it seems. "You mean to say you can go anywhere you want? Just like that?"

Well. That was something. Only… not the sort of something Mariska was going for. This guy? Clearly not impressed. This girl? Kinda puzzled and put off. Unless… oh! Duh. Obviously, the reason for Nathan's lack of amazement must clearly lie in the fact that he can do it, too. "Can't you?" she asks, head turned to the side. Let's forget about the skyline and focus on the guyline. "I've never met anyone… like me… before." Hint. Hint.

When you have a brother who is the Swiss army knife of superheroes and seems to come home with a new one every day, you learn to adjust after the initial exclamation mark. That's a hard conclusion to arrive to, however, and it's a shame… Mariska is almost right. Kind of. "I'm not like you," he tells, meeting her gaze briefly— and finding it too searching, so back to city-viewing from him. "But I don't need airline tickets either." He tilts his head a little, indicating the sky above him. "That's where I came from."

Wait, what?? You mean… this guy's not a teleporter, too??! "Oh." Lame. Mariska's expression crumples even as she casts her gaze back out to the dark and light-latticed cityscape. But, just so she's clear, she wonders aloud: "You can… fly?"

Disappointment? Not what he was expecting, and Nathan gives a glance that might communicate 'what is wrong with you?' before shrugging. "Yeah," he says, with a hint of defense. "I can fly." WHAT OF IT. Now, he turns towards her, even as he starts stepping back, towards the edge of the platform. "I can keep a secret," he says, because assumedly, she wants the same thing he does, "if you can keep a secret." It's when his foot finds open air, that with a sudden rustle of fabric, he's gone, creating a breeze that for a moment defies the direction of the wind up here, just for a split second. It's not the whip-crack disappearing act Mariska has done… but it's close.

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