2012-04-01: Awkward Meetings

Fiona_icon.jpg Tabitha_icon.jpg Donna_icon.jpg

Summary: Fiona introduces Tabitha and Donna to each other. And then things get interesting.

Date: April 1, 2012

Log Title: Awkward Meetings

Rating: PG

Hell's Kitchen, Donna's Apartment

Location description, if any, goes here.

The sun has set over New York, and in Hell's Kitchen the dingy, worn out streetlights cast their anemic glow on the dark surroundings. The flow of traffic and pedestrians continues much as normal, and into all this drives a Pontiac GTO with a ticking engine and a rough, haggard look to it. The driver guns the engine and zips into a parking stall; a potentially hair-raising end to what was otherwise a relatively sedate drive. The driver door opens, and Tabitha Jones emerges, pausing to reach into the back seat to retrieve a McDonald's bag that looks pretty full, and a hoodie that she ties arond her waist. "Probably the closest parking we're gonna get to your place," she comments. "Or, well, your teacher's place, or whatever."

Fiona slides out of the passenger seat of the car, prying her fingers off of the armrest which now has nice little fingernail indentations in it. That's not to say that Tabitha is a crazy driver - but certainly crazier than Fiona's parents. She's not really used to riding in cars that much, anyway. "Heh. It's fine," she chuckles a little, stretching and smoothing out her clothing to look at least somewhat presentable after the long ride back through traffic. "It's just right up here," she heads towards a rather run down apartment building - one that is coated in graffiti with various lowlifes hanging around in front of it. Strangely, when they see Fiona coming, they give her a bit of a wide berth. Hmm… why could that be?

One possible reason, perhaps, would be the woman emerging from the front door, daintily picking her way down the building's front steps. Barely taller than Fiona, arsenic-pale skin and straight black hair arranged to fall over one eye, she crosses her arms, tapping a finger against a bicep. What can be seen of her face is… less than amused. Less than much of anything, really, flat and unresponsive, with an air of seething menace that does a lot to clear a wide berth around her. Some people, you Just Don't Mess With.

Tabitha hunhs softly, as she looks at the lowlifes milling about in front of the building. "Tough crowd," she observes nonchallantly. She continues to walk alongside Fiona, with the smell of burgers wafting from the paper bag in her hand; a well-stuffed paper bag, given that she ordered enough for three. Upon catching sight of Donna, she quirks an eyebrow upwards; but her step doesn't falter, and she simply continues ambling forwards. "That your teacher?" she murmurs to Fiona.

Fiona pauses, freezing and looking something like a little puppy that just pissed on the floor and has now been caught. That is not a happy Donna! Though, she's not sure that Donna has ever looked happy. But she does have a less scary face, and that's certainly not it. "T-this might not be a good time," she hisses at Tabitha, "She doesn't look happy. You should probably like, I dunno. Run."

Tap tap tap goes the finger, the girls' progress tracked with an unflinching, barely-blinking eye. "Fiona," she says quietly, her voice faintly accented, and every inch as pleasant as her expression is not, "what have you brought to my door?"

Tabitha snorts softly, and shakes her head. "Run? What? Why would I run away?" Tabitha tilts her head sideways, and gazes up and down at Fiona. "You, uhm, okay there? You look like something just bit you in a personal area." When she turns her gaze back to Donna, she slows her advance to a halt, and falls silent for the moment. She brushes her fingertips of her free hand through her hair, smoothing a few locks back into order, as she seems content enough to let Fiona do the introductions.

"Er, this is my best friend… Tabitha! We sorta… sorta fell out of contact while I was away. But we were just catchin up a little 'n… you know?" Fiona asks Donna. "It's fine," she lets out a breath, relaxing a little. Just fine. What was she afraid of? Nothing. "Anyway I just wanted to show her where we live… you know. Like friends do."

"Friend," Donna repeats, mulling over the word. "…Well. If I'd known to expect company…" A glance is thrown at Fiona, the words noticeably barbed, "I might've done a spot of cleaning. Still… no help for it now, I suppose. Let's get inside, then, before anyone gets ideas about the food you carry." With that, she turns on one heel, mounting the steps of the New Haven apartments without looking back to see if she's followed.

The rat girl watches Donna turn and depart into the building, before shooting a glance sideways at Fiona once more. "Your teacher seems…" she trails off, fishing for an appropriate word. "Uhm, unique." Tabitha shrugs lightly, and turns to head in through the building's front door, though she does at least wait up to make sure Fiona is coming too. "Let's go before our burgers all get cold. The fries are probably already getting frostbite."

Fiona blinks. Fiona wasn't actually aware that she was /allowed/ to have friends over. She had, of course, just figured that maybe Donna wouldn't be there and… well… At any rate, she follows after Tabitha and Donna, bringing up the rear. "Yeah, unique is one way to put it! Though she's not so very different from me at all, I don't think. If she were, I'd probably be dead…"

"I'm not certain if Fiona saw fit to mention," Donna speaks up as they enter a stairwell that stinks of old urine, cooked cabbage, and despair, "but it's a good thing for you, Tabitha, that I *was* home. ….Security measures, you see," she says, with a flash of teeth that might only charitably be called a smile. "Fiona, herself, has a pass. You, however, do not. I'm sure Fiona could tell you all about how unpleasant it would have been, were I not here."

"Ohh— Hell! Tabitha declares, upon making the mistake of inhaling in the stairwell. She nearly drops the McDonalds bag, and lifts a hand to cover her nose. She hurries up the stairs, and gets out of the stairwell just as hurriedly once it becomes clear which floor Donna is heading for. There, she takes an experimental whiff of the air, and finds it at least better than what was in the stairwell. "Security measures, hunh? Fair enough." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "I wouldn't know what to expect, though I know Fiona uses magic." She glances back at the purple-eyed girl, and humms softly. "Hope you didn't get hit by anything too badly?"

"It pretty much causes intense pain in every place in your body that you can feel anything," Fiona shrugs a little, "I wasn't gonna try and take you inside the apartment though. I figured we could go up to the roof or something…" the girl trails off - the smell in the stairwell doesn't seem to bother her. Yeah, it smells awful - but she's quite used to it. It'll pass. Although she doesn't have enhanced senses… "It um. Picked me up and threw me against the opposite wall. So yeah, it hurts pretty bad. But why do you think we can live in such a bad neighborhood and not be messed with?"

The fifth-floor landing is reached, and opens out into a cramped, shabby, run-down hallway, spotted with dubious stains, and less-dubious graffiti. "There are benefits to being terrifying, Fiona," the woman murmurs, lips twitching up at the corners. "Perhaps one day, you'll learn how to reap them as you need." Stopping in front of an unassuming, flimsy door, she takes out a plain housekey, unlocks, and steps in. "Tabitha? You are welcome in my home, for this visit."

"Thank you." Tabitha pauses, before stepping through the doorway and into the cramped space. She pauses to kick off her shoes, and arranges them neatly by the door; at least her feet don't stink. "And, you're welcome to a burger," she offers. "Fiona's and mine are in there too, but just take whatever, I'm not picky." She sets the bag down… wherever happens to be convenient and not in the way, as she waits for Fiona to enter as well. "Actually," she adds, looking back to her friend, "I'm curious wether Jules' powers would've worked… but I'm not curious enough to risk blinding agony. …Or being rude, for that matter."

"That means that the spell won't blast you. It's okay." Fiona murmurs, "I don't think… that they would. I wouldn't wanna know what would happen if you managed to get inside without it working, either. It hurt bad enough just being on the edge," she grins a little, "Last time Jules was around I just took him up to the roof instead." She wanders into the apartment, reaching for one of the burgers.

"Curiosity," the woman says, as a fold-down panel in the wall clicks shut, hiding away whatever might be inside, "has long been known to kill cats, child." The apartment is clean. Shabby, with furniture very obviously secondhand and hard-used, but intact and neutral-smelling. Turning to the kitchenette, she flashes another one of those probably-not-a-smiles Tabitha's way. "*Imagine* what it could do to you, child."

Tabitha shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Hasn't kiled me yet," she replies. "Anyway, I always thought that saying was short-sighted, if you don't mind my saying. If nobody'd ever been curious, then instead of having electric lights, dishwashers, and an American flag on the Moon, we'd all be squatting naked in the forest somewhere, rubbing two sticks together and grunting at each other." She plucks not less than three burgers from the bag, each of a different variety, and stacks them one atop the other; this still leaves three more waiting to be chosen. The rat girl glances about, and ultimately just stands there, waiting to follow Fiona's lead on where to sit it would seem.

"Well, of course but… with magic, curiousity really can get you into a whole heap of trouble…" Fiona takes a bite out of her burger, munching on it while she leans casually against the kitchen table. "Physics won't seek to manipulate you, but there are plenty of beings with magic that will. I guess you have a point though. Just sayin," she nods.

Donna rolls her eyes, busying herself with the kettle. "Children," she mutters, shaking her head. "So," she says, placing the kettle on the stove and leaning against the counter, "friend, mh? That sounds like a bit of a story."

Tabitha, for the briefest moment, looks like she's about to say something right after the muttered comment from Donna; but she apparnetly changes her mind, and remains silent. She takes her cue from Fiona, and stands next to the table as well. The stack of burgers is stood in front of her, like a miniature tower of greasy meat and cheap buns; then the top one is unwrapped. A quarterpounder, indeed, of which a significant portion disappears into the rat girl's mouth in the first bite. "We've been through a few, uhm, exciting times together," Tabitha explains. "And Fiona was great about visiting me when I got a bad concussion, this one time."

"It may seem strange, but most people have them! Actually, I've met quite a few people in this city…" Fiona rubs the back of her neck. She grins a little, actually, "Yeah… there was that one time, we got attacked by a giant sand cat! That was pretty crazy. And then…" she trails off, shrugging a little. "I used to have a really exciting night life."

Donna throws Fiona an unamused look, a black eyebrow arching. "Yes, Fiona," she says, showing her teeth, "I'm well aware of the theory. *Thank* you." The teakettle starts to whistle, and is taken off the stove, a mug brought down from a nearby cabinet. "Sand cats… my. *What* is New York City lacking, truly?" Shaking her head, she takes down a can of shredded tea leaves, pinching a few of them into a wire-mesh bowl. "I suppose I should be glad that she still has friends, Tabitha. What she's been through isn't easy on one's mind, *or* one's social skills. That speaks well of you, child."

another large chunk of burger vanishes down Tabitha's throat, and she merely shrugs her shoulders lightly. "I know what it's like to be in a rough spot," she answers, quite candidly. "Fiona is one of several people who stuck by me when I needed it, and I learned a good lesson from that." She inhales softly, and purses her lips as she peers at the tea that Donna is busy brewing. "…Your tea smells good," she observes after a moment. "Actually, I'm pretty happy that Fiona stuck by me as well, after what happened when we met over the summer. Even given that I had no way of preventing it."

Fiona frowns a little… "Yeah… yyyeahh…" she murmurs, shaking her head. "I'm still not sure what that was all about… or even if I totally wanna know." The sorceress peers at her hamburger, as if deciding the optimal spot to take another bite out of it, and then chomps down. "Magic may be crazy, but mutants do tend to go through their own fair share of shit… It's not too dissimilar! Well, except that it's perhaps a bit more normal." She glances over at Donna for a moment.

"Magic is *not* crazy, child," Donna says, dropping a pair of sugar cubes into the tea, adding a splash of milk. "Magic has rules, laws, structure, like anything else; it only *seems* mad, because those laws aren't often in line with the rest of the world. Yet, they are laws." Sipping at her tea, she raises her eyebrows in appreciation, nodding to herself. "What happened, then? Last summer?"

Tabitha arches an eyebrow, and pauses, holding her burger in hand without biting it for the moment. "Last summer? Couple of mutant criminals, who go by Mindbender and Upgrade, broke out of prison. Mindbender messes with people's heads in a pretty supreme fashion, and Upgrade boosts the abilities of other mutants. I had the supreme misfortune of encountering them, so I spent my summer holiday under the impression that I was fighting a zombie apocalypse. And thanks to Upgrade I was able to go toe to toe with the Avengers — and did." She shrugs her shoulders lightly, and takes a step back, to lean against the wall. "I'm not bragging. I mention that so you'll understand the full implications when I say I tried to kill Fiona, one afternoon, because I thought she was one of the bad guys."

"I was totally okay though!" Fiona replies, laughing, "It was pretty scary back then but it's almost funny to think about now. And, I mean, I know magic has /rules,/ but it's way different than the rules that govern physics and stuff. Like I said, there aren't malicious entities like faeries and demons out there just… waiting… though I guess there are mutant supervillains…" she concedes, chewing thoughtfully. "Anyway. Tabs is probably my closest friend. And then there's Kalindi. I guess. But I haven't even seen or heard from her in a while…"

Donna's mouth opens, most likely to deliver a less-than-polite lecture to Fiona on the price of power, but at the new name her eyebrow twitches upward, once more. "…Kalindi?" A blue eye flicks from Tabitha to Fiona. "…And who's this, then?" Pausing a second, she rubs the bridge of her nose, muttering under her breath. "I swear, friendship is practically a social disease hereabouts…" Drawing a steadying breath, she waits for the answer.

The rat girl's eyebrows both shoot upwards. "You know Kalindi? …I completely did not realize that!" Tabitha pauses, and opens her mouth, then shuts it again. She glances at Donna, looking over the woman's expression, and the wheels turn over in her mind. Finally, she just shrugs. "Kalindi is my girlfriend," she blurts out, unashamedly. "Except she was kidnapped a few weeks ago. I know she's alright, just… Well I'm still worried. Like, really."

"Yeah, she's this girl I know, I mean she lies around on golden discs 'n stuff," Fiona shrugs, "I mean, she's basically involved in some sort of mafia or something. But, she's really not that bad of a person, outside of business and stuff. She saved my life once! Actually, she saved me from Tabitha, even," Donna's apprentice giggles a little. "So… wait, she got kidnapped? Oh man. They must've been insanely strong to kidnap her…"

"Gold, you say," the sorceress murmurs, eyebrows furrowing. There's a moment of silence, then realization strikes. The mug is slammed on the countertop, visible eye locked onto Tabitha as though piercing through to her very soul. "Fiona. Unlock the cabinet," she says, her tone of voice one normally used by people handling nitroglycerine. "Put the front down. I need to find something out. Now."

Tabitha casually sets her burger down, and shifts her feet a little; she stands up straighter, and lets her hands hang by her sides. To Donna, at least, the body language is probably well known, subtle as it might be; Tabitha has adopted a much higher state of alertness, as most practiced fighters do when they're anticipating trouble. "Excuse me," she drawls, as she focuses her attention more fully on Donna. "But although I appreciate your hospitality, if you're planning on opening cabinets and finding things out, I'm going to need you to tell me what exactly it is you're on about. Especially if it concerns my girl."

Fiona blinks back and forth between Tabitha and Donna, as if considering for a second. But really, there's nothing to consider - even if she /didn't/ want to (and she has no reason to not want to, really - no reason to assume Donna would hurt Tabs)… Well, Donna is terrifying when she's angry! Fiona is probably one of the few people that's witnessed that before. So the teenager backs up over to a nice semi-ornate looking cabinet, and her fingers trace around on it until it pops open. There's some stuff inside. Probably. Arcane looking stuff!

Indeed there is; on one shelf rests candles, mirrors, crystals of varying size and shape, a couple coils of gold chain. On another, hand-bound books of all shapes and sizes, and no few bookstore-sold sketchbooks. On the hinged part that lowers as Fiona opens the cabinet up, a black cushion affized to the center of the panel, with a ring of inlaid copper circling it to the edge of the cabinet, about five feet wide all told. "I'm sure you do," Donna says dryly, her voice brooking no argument. "And I'd be happy to. Once you sit down right over there, that's a love. You've my word that no harm will come to you from it, and that you'll likely only leave this house upset with me, no worse."

Tabitha perks an eyebrow upwards at Donna's reaction, and spares only a quick glance towards the cabinet and cushion and all that, before looking back at the more senior sorceress. "And I could live with all of that," she replies, "But people don't react like that when everything is all peaches and cream." The rat picks up her burger, and stuffs the remnants of it in her mouth before she ambles at her own pace towards Fiona and the cabinet. "Just one thing," she adds, coming to a stop beside the cushion but not moving to sit on it yet. "Before I play your game? I want your word that no harm is going to come to Kalindi, either."

"Tabitha…" Fiona trails off, glancing between Donna and the other girl. This is baaad! She doesn't look particularly happy. Because it IS Donna they're talking about, and killing people who serve demons is kind of her mission in life. It's like asking a cat not to catch mice.

"I'll not give you a promise I'll likely break," Donna says quietly, and a heartbeat later a pair of *thumps* sound against the wood at her feet. Where the blackened-steel balls came from, and the chains that rise to wrap about her wrists came from is a mystery… less so, why they're beginning to arc and spark the way the are. "What I *will* give my oath to, is that no working I do this night will directly affect her. Right now, child, *you* are a most pressing concern, and I will see that concern dealt with, immediately."

Tabitha pauses, glances sideways at Fiona, then returns her focus to Donna. "Then I'll give you my oath," she replies evenly. "You ever touch Kalindi, You'll be dealing with me, and I won't be holding back. And I am by no means a weak mutant." The rat girl turns, though her ears swivel, always facing towards Donna as she assumes a seat on the cushion. She kneels, as if ready to spring back to her feet at a moments notice. "Do your thing, then."

Fiona frowns. "Tabitha…" she trails off, backpedaling away from the two and resuming her spot leaning against the kitchen table. This is pretty much /the worst/ thing that could have happened, and it really doesn't look like she wants any part in it… She'll have to warn her against fighting Donna later…

"That's a bridge we'll have to burn when we cross, child," Donna says quietly. When Tabitha sits, she lets out a quiet breath, stepping around Tabitha and collecting a few necessary items; a can of Morton's salt, a few carved-wooden candlesticks and tapers to put in, a wide, shallow silver bowl and bottle of ink. The last two ingredients, held out to Fiona. "Fill the bowl with water, Fiona, leave two fingers' width from the rim." Once Fiona takes the slightly heavy bit of tableware, she fetches the last piece of equipment; a bleached-white human skull, half-melted black candle secured to its top with a wide pyramid of dribbled black wax. The skull, set inside the ring in front of Tabitha first, its candle lit. Once done, candles and crystals are arranged at geometrically-perfect points about the mutant, finished with a circle of salt atop the copper ring. A second circle, much smaller, poured about Donna herself, their edges just barely touching.

Tabitha watches the proceedings in complete silence, though her ears continue to track Donna in her movements, even when the rat isn't looking directly at her. She remains kneeling in what must be an uncomfortable position, but one that she's sticking to nonetheless, with her arms folded across her chest. Her tail twitches, perhaps the most obvious give-away of how she feels about all this, though by some chance it manages not to disturb any of the various stuff that Donna is setting up. "Hey, that explaination," she pipes up at last, albeit deadpan, "Any time would be good."

/Fantastic./ Now she's involved! Of course it couldn't happen without her having to do stuff. Nonetheless, she follows Donna's instructions, bringing the bowl back mostly full of water - she still looks confused, trying to imagine exactly what this ritual is about - some sort of demonic mind control detection? Who knows. "She's probably worried about demonic possession or some kinda mind-fuck thing goin on… demons are pretty awesome at that stuff. Like you wouldn't believe."

"Fiona, you *have* been paying attention," Donna murmurs, a note of pleased surprise in her voice. "I think I'll have to apologize for that bruised rib yesterday evening, in that case… hm. Anyhow." Settling herself down, Donna draws in a deep breath. "In case you're unaware, Tabitha… Kalindi is what those in magical circles would term 'thralls.' People who have, for whatever reason, bound themselves to powers beyond mortal understanding, in the hopes that they gain something of it for themselves. In *most* cases," she continues, cracking an eye open and glancing at Fiona, "thralls are at best unlit bombs, and at worst no better than crazed lunatics. What is always true about them, child, is that they are *dangerous,* because many demons are as determined as rug-cleaner salesman; a foot in the door is just the beginning. Sooner or later, they will need to be put down, because there will be nothing left of them that is human."

"*I'm* dangerous," Tabitha asserts, turning to glare sideways at Donna. She gives the woman a steely-eyed look for a long moment, before gazing forwards once more. "I'm not going to bother defending Kalindi's reputation in this room. You've clearly made up your mind, and I'm not going to risk telling you something that she wouldn't want you to know. You've heard everything I have to say on the matter." The rat girl perks an eyebrow upwards, as she shifts her eyes to rest on the other girl in the room. "Fiona, I spent my summer mind-fucked, and being made to hurt my friends and innocent people. Trust me when I say I know *plenty* about being mind-fucked and I would very much believe it."

"Well, yeah and…" Fiona shrugs, looking down at the toes of her boots idly. "Look, I don't know what you went through. But you're fine now, right? At least as far as that goes. But people like me, will never be okay. That's why I'm here. If I don't work to fight it, one day I'll just be gone, a shell. All she wants is to help," she tilts her head towards Donna for a moment, "I don't know about Kalindi. I don't want to fight her, I don't want her hurt either. Heck, she saved my life!" The girl swallows a lump in her throat, "'n there are a lot of other people out there who are probably a bigger threat than her, anyway. But if she IS messing with you in some way… you might not even know."

"And therein lies the problem," Donna confirms. "What you *think* you know and what *is* are as likely as not to be utterly different, where a demon is concerned. And if it *has* been messing about with your brain, child, I'll spot it, and learn something about it, and begin to patch up whatever damage might be. Now. *Hush,* child, though it clearly taxes you to." And with that, the circles of salt seem to *snap* faintly, glowing a soft, flickering white. From Fiona's vantage, Donna has dropped into her center of power, and turned the circles into magical constructs entirely closed off from the world around them, bereft of the background-scatter of energies present everywhere there is life.

"My name is Tabitha," the rat girl mutters, "Not child." She purses her lips, waiting patiently while the sorceress gets about her business. The salt starts to glow around her, and Tabitha's hackles rise; her fur stands on end in some places, much like a cat puffing itself up to look bigger. Her tail twitches, but she looks up and continues to stare straight ahead. Only the movement of her eyes indicates what she's examining; the door, a window, a chair in the corner, Fiona. She licks her lips to moisten them as she waits, ears ever trained on Donna.

Fiona simply watches the proceedings intently, arms folded beneath her breasts. It is rare that she appears totally serious (outside of when she is having a major drama episode) because joking around around has kept her sane. But right now with her friend trapped in that magic circle and all she'd rather just this get over with as fast as possible - without accidentally finding anything that didn't exist.

The water-filled bowl is set in Donna's lap, the inkwell's cap removed, and three drops let fall into the water. One by one, the crystal points begin to glow white, softly and stady as the salt circle, simple, angular runes resolving in the air above them, lambent symbols hanging impossibly in midair. Then, the candles flare alight, their flames pale green. Once all is put through what seems to be a mystical boot-sequence, Donna's mouth opens, her words lent an eldritch reverberation.

Sehen Sie,

Zeigen Sie mir die Note des Damons.

Glauben Sie,

decken Sie zu mir auf, was Schwarzung versteckt hat.

Wissen Sie,

die Wahrheit undeutlich gemacht durch bel.

Sagen Sie,

erklaren Sie mir, was ich wissen muss.

Tabitha's ear twitches, but as she doesn't speak German, the words coming from Donna's mouth are meaningless to her. She suck in a deep breath and holds it, and her hands climb a bit higher, almost protectively as she waits for the ceremony to finish. She finally tilts her head, turning to look over her shoulder and watch Donna; she slowly forces her hands to lower and rest on her thighs, calmly preparing herself to spring to her feet, just in case.

Fiona continues to watch. Because watching is cool. Maybe someday she'll learn how to do this! Yeah… but until then, she'll continue watching. Also making sure Tabitha's not in any danger - though she tursts Donna pretty much completely not to do stuff like that…

The words hang in the air, thrumming with power in the confines of the apartment. All around Tabitha, the crystals dim faintly, tiny black spots appearing in the heart of the light, swimming like chaotic jellyfish amid the purity… and the bowl remains quiescent, the drops of ink a faintly swirling mass of nothing. Letting out a breath, Donna opens her eyes, shaking her head slowly. "It's done, then." And as her toe smudges the joined lines of the circles, all the power releases with another faint snap, the runes bursting into sparkling motes that drift away into nothingness, the light of the salt and crystals fading. "Nothing. Whatever danger you are to me, *Tabitha,* and I'll grant it's likely considerable, it all comes from you. Your Kalindi hasn't gone that far over the edge, then."

Tabitha watches the various lights and effects of the magic spell wink out; as they do, she stands, stretches, and moves off the cushion with the same unhurried air as she had when she assumed a position upon it. She stretches her arms behind her back, before she slowly turns, coming to a stop facing towards Donna. Her arms cross once more, folded beneath her breasts; and she coolly regards the sorceress, eyebrow perks, but not a word issuing from her lips.

Silence, then! Yeah. That's pretty much the order of the day. "Well… that's good to know, I guess…" Yeah, trust Fiona not to stay quiet! She never was one to follow the estabalished order. "Kalindi is kinda… odd. Really." She scratches her head. "I honestly don't think she's that much of a threat."

"I'll determine that for myself, Fiona, thanks very much," Donna snaps, visibly on edge as she climbs to her feet, visible eye narrowing at Tabitha. "And *shut up,* you. If it makes you feel any better, your girl is either going to come home safe and sound, or she'll truly be turned into a monster, if she's in the same boat as the others. And if she *is* brought home, you'll have Fiona to thank for it. So *leave off* already."

Tabitha opens her mouth to say something, then shuts it again; the rat girl ends up tilting her head, and peering at Donna as if there might be something wrong with her. "Shut up? I wasn't even saying anything," she points out. "And You're damn right Kalindi will be coming safe and sound, and she's not in any sort of boat, let alone one with a bunch of whack-jobs."

Fiona bites her tongue, glancing back and forth between Tabitha and Donna. .o(What a horrible idea. Never should have put them into a position to meet each other…) "Tabitha, I'm sorry," she starts, rubbing her left arm with the right one and looking thoroughly embarassed and redfaced… "I didn't mean for anything to happen." She glances over at Donna, also apologetically, clearly uncomfortable with the amount of tension in the room.

"You're welcome, then, I'm sure," is all Donna says to Tabitha, shaking her head and looking to Fiona. "It's not your fault, child. How were any of us to know that your friend is dating yet *another* thrall, whether or not she's turned." Raking a hand through her hair, the sorceress lets out a breath. "…Very well. This is a tetchy problem, and requires a tetchy answer. Tabitha." Turning to face the rat girl again, she clasps her hands behind her back. "I'll not fault you your anger. You've not seen what I've seen, you've little concept of how bad it could truly get for you, and for your woman. Hate me all you like. And know that whatever comes, if you need *help,* and you need help that can only be given by sorcery, you need but ask. One favor, I offer, in time of need."

"Not your fault, Fiona," Tabitha murmurs. She slowly lets herself relax, and come down from her heightened state. "You didn't do anything wrong." She pauses, regarding Donna, waiting for the right words to find her. "And so far, neither have you. Yes, I'm angry, but I don't hate without reason." She brushes her fingers through her hair, and sucks in a deep breath, letting it out in an audible sigh. "If I take you up on that favor, it'll be to save Kalindi from something… not to save me from Kalindi, right?"

"I think," Fiona pauses, "That what she meant was saving Kalindi from… Well, you know. Herself, I guess." Turning, she eyes the now rather cold hamburgers, poking a finger at one. "You can handle yourself pretty well, after all…" She looks slightly more relaxed now that everyone's not going to be screaming at each other, or worse. Also that neither of them seem to be blaming /her./ That worked out!

"No," Donna says, scrubbing her face, "that I *can't* mean. Calling in a mark to save her from me would likely result in my death. Or injury. Which would help Fiona one jot. Beyond that… You decide, Tabitha, when to call it in." Turning to the cabinet, she snatches up a small stone roughly the size of a Scrabble tile, with a rune similar to what had been seen earlier, etched into it. Bringing the stone to her lips, she whispers a word, the sigil glowing for a moment with bright white energy, then fades. "Here," she says, holding the stone out. "Should you have need of me, speak the name Stormwaltzer three times on its face, and I'll come as I'm able." The corner of her mouth twitches upward once. "A name to conjure by… At any rate, it's the best I can do to repay for my poor hospitality."

Tabitha holds out her hand to accept the stone. She turns it over in her hand, then tucks it neatly away in a pocket, which is zipped up tight. "Fair enough," she replies. "Since we're sharing names, I go by Patches as readily as I answer to Tabitha. I'd explain about mutants and code names, but I think you've already got that one figured out… and I'm afraid that saying it three times will just get you funny looks, I don't have any abilities that work that way." She thrusts her hands in her pockets, which makes her stance about as un-combat ready as one can possible get while still standing upright. "Fiona has my phone number, and I keep my cell on me at all times. If you think there's any kind of problem that might concern me… I'd much rather you get in touch with me before jumping into anything."

Everything went better than expected! How's that for crazy? Then again, Kalindi is still out there and apparently kidnapped and well… Donna actually helped rescue her. On accident. She wonders if it is, indeed, related to the Xavier's kidnappings.

The long and vastly unnecessary caution against looking like an idiot earns Tabitha a bemused look. "….Yes, child," she says, "I'm quite well aware of the difference between mutant and magic. *Thank* you." Shaking her head, she sets about cleaning up the meditation mat, putting things back in their proper place, the salt swept up into a deep, narrow wooden bowl. "I'll bear your offer in mind, but… truly, *must* you mutants *always* assume that an offer for assistance *needs* to be replied in kind? Was I speaking to *Fiona,* when I went banging on about how I needed to solve a problem? Next time, perhaps, simply tuck your powers back in your pants, and say 'thank you.' *Much* more gracious."

Tabitha sighs heavily, and her shoulders hunch over as she deflates. "Yeah, well… thank you," she replies, dropping her voice to a mumble. "Look, I wasn't trying to imply anything. Just… trying to do my best to look out for my girl, alright? That's all." She pauses, and shakes her head. "And she's still kidnapped, and I'm still a basket case filled with worry and fear about it, an' it frustrates the hell out of me that I can't do anything. So I'm sorry if I came off overzealous."

Fiona glances over at Donna, drumming her fingers on the table idly. .o(I know something you don't know!) She grins inwardly, but figures it might better be left unsaid. And then she actually leaves it unsaid!

"Overzealous? No." The last of the items is put away, the cabinet lid nudged up with a toe and closed. "Pedantic, smug, superior, and generally infuriating, yes. But dealing with your kind, I'm finding, tends to be that way. At any rate. It's getting on, and I'll be needing to sleep off this work. So, Fiona, if you'd be so kind as to escort our guest to her car, I'll have to say farewell. Tabitha, go in peace, and know that whatever happens, what can be done has been."

Fiona looks to Tabitha, looking totally relieved that this is all over with now. Note to self: Don't bring people home to meet Donna. She rolls her eyes a little bit, slightly wondering what it would be like if she were to meet Jules… Tabitha is actually the more /normal/ of her close friends… Sadly. She smiles a little at that.

"Oh?" Tabitha pauses, and then moves to the door to retriev her shoes, but she doesn't put them on just yet; merely collects them off the floor. "To be honest, Stormwaltzer, it's been my impression that the only real difference between a sorcerer and a mutant… is that the sorcerer chose to embrace their power, whatever its source." She meanders across the room, heading to stand near a window. "Believe me, I didn't choose this." She pauses near the window, long enough to stuff her feet unceremoniously into her shoes. "Don't worry, Fiona, I… think I'd rather skip that stairwell, no offense. Thanks for bringing me up, it was good to meet your teacher." She stretches, audibly cracking the bones in her neck against each other, before she peers out the window. Abruptly, Tabitha simply vanishes; not a sound or a flash of light or anything, as she is simply gone. Moments later, a car engine that ticks unhappily can be heard, growling angrily before a squeal of tires announces the rat girl's departure.

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