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Hot summers didn't bother Jessica that much. Her demonic blood gave her a nice warm feeling all year long. Still, she did enjoy a nice cool treat sometimes... OK, all of the times. She had needs! Sometimes those needs were just really Envy and Greed spirits working on her. Still, the ubiquitous Starbase was in her sights. And she needed cold coffee treats.

 

One thing about summer that she did enjoy is that people got expressive with dressing down. Especially in Freedom City. People of all sorts flooded the boardwalk. Herself being a red demon woman, she got looks. Good and bad. Luckily no one was silly enough to do anything stupid. Good or bad.

 

Speaking of sights to behold, it was... an angel? Minding his own business, mind you. Though those things were rare she was told. Demons were much more apt to come and stay here. Though what did the black wings mean? Her curiosity trumped her Envy and Greed spirits for the moment. Like a moth to a flame she slowly approached.

Edited by Nightshade

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Indeed, Nephilim stood in line at the Starbase Coffee, already dreaming of that delicious iced treat. Mango-Dragonfruit refresher with lemonade... Maybe he'd get some of those ham and cheese egg-bites, too. Deliciousness could only be savored. The only way it'd be better? If there were curry involved. Today was a nice day, one in which he felt no need to worry about the heat (he never did, anyway, but still) and dressed simply. Being on the boardwalk called for boardshorts and a t-shirt. the T-Shirt was heavily altered given the extra appendages on his back, which he tried to keep folded up as close to him as possible to keep them out of the way of others, but obviously drew their own looks.

 

One earbud was in his ear, playing what some might be able to identify (if they could hear that well) as Power-metal. Something about 'Metal is for Everyone, the Sound is made of Steel!' which he listened to happily, his eyes mostly on the menu but looking about at the various people around every now and again, just in case he had to explain things.

 

When his eyes caught on the red-skinned woman? His first thought was... Absolutely nothing. Followed by 'Oh, smeg.' but at the same time? She wasn't obviously in 'attack' position... And he really didn't want to leave the line. that refresher wouldn't buy itself nor would it find its way to his hands even if it did.

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Posted (edited)

And then he saw her. Well, it was a better place in line. Not that she was in line in the first place. Walk in, see angel being, get distracted. You know the routine. Walking towards him still, she grinned. This was going to be either the worst day of her life or maybe something cool would happen.

 

"I'm sure you get this all the time," she said looking back and forth between him and his wings, "but how do you keep those so light and fluffy?" She smirked, reaching out a hand in peace, "I'm Jessica, and I swear I'm not here opposite of you. Well, unless you're here for some misinformed mission. Do angels do that?" She trailed off with a small laugh.

 

Now that she got a good look at him, he was just a 'normal' beachgoer like her. Her black two piece swimwear, and black shades made the two 'normals' look like some alternative subversion of an actual beach scene.

Edited by Nightshade

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"First off?" he began, "I'm Morgan. Or Nephilim, dealer's choice. I groom them regularly because if I don't they get itchy and regular showers go a long way towards making them not look like they got rolled in dirt. That and they're generally protective against such things, thankfully. And trust me, they're not light. They just look light because of the musculature keeping them upright. If I sit down wrong I go toppling over backwards. And I highly doubt there's anyone in the universe who's my 'opposite' seeing as, well, you can probably guess from the moniker. I'm am most definitely not an angel. You could probably ask any Angel, and they'd either laugh at you or threaten you for even daring to suggest I was somehow related to them in any but the most tangential of fashions." he explained, keeping himself ready just in case but lightening up rapidly. No violence? Good times. It was too nice a day to ruin it with random fighting.

 

"Mom's a Fallen, Dad's a Lawyer. Still don't know how that works, but hey. Gotta love the wonders of Free Will. Something the Angels I've met don't seem to appreciate."

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Well, that was very informative. She almost said out loud. Like really, she didn't know any of that stuff about angels. Mainly because they were kind of bad news to her. "Huh," she said impressed, "cool." She moved along with him as the line shifted ever slowly. Days like this, especially 'hot' days it felt like pulling teeth to get anywhere inside places like this.

 

"Well, I'm a demon..." She grinned and shook her head as a few people around them got a little defensive, "not like any you need to worry about. Never been to hell. I was born here in New Jersey." She laughed at the unintended joke. "I don't have a dark lord, and I will not swallow your soul. Also, angels? Never met any. I guess I should be so lucky after your glowing appraisal."

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"Generally not the best lot, I've found. And I've never been to a hell dimension either. Mom lived in one with her group when they Fell, but then she sobered up and came here. Met my dad, they moved to Minnesota, and the rest, as they say, is history." he shrugged, moving forward with his place in line. "Demon, huh? Never met one before. Met a couple of Fallen who wanted mom to come back and rejoin the 'party,' met a couple of Angels who came to 'talk' to mom about her past 'indiscretions' and her continued presence on Earth... But no Demons." Yep. he used air-quotes. "Ah well. I suppose if Angels can be jerks, and Fallen Angels can be bigger jerks Demons can be tolerable."

 

Still, he was relaxing. He didn't have anything to hide, really. "For the sake of reference, I only go by Nephilim when I'm 'in uniform.' Otherwise I'm just Morgan, the winged guy who lives in a loft apartment... Then again? The 'uniform' in question really amounts to a pair of sweatpants and boots at the moment. It's a massive pain to modify clothing for these things. I ruined so many good suits before I finally gave up and took them into a tailor to get them professionally altered... My poor suits..." He seemed genuinely sad at the loss of his poor, dearly-departed suits.

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She laughed at the word 'tolerable', only playfully nodding in agreement as he spoke. At least he was open about his life. She wasn't that trusting, but little bits of obvious stuff she would give out. This guy however, he seemed kind of like her, but in a different way. Tolerable? Yeah, that plus some. Something she hadn't felt in someone since she met Jack. A friendly connection. Nice.

 

"Yeah, seems a hassle," she said trying to console him. She just met him and didn't want to invade personal space. "They have this material, apparently, that makes up all kinds of clothes. Morphic Molecules. I've never tried it myself, but superheroes around here swear by it on their costumes." She shrugged, "I don't know if it works for normal clothes, but it's something you might want to check out."

 

"As for code names, I go by a few. Some imposed, others just natural. Demon. Red. Synn." She stopped with a silly little grin, "those kinda names got you along during the 'no heroes' times in the past." Taking a step forward they were almost there. "I go by Witchblood as of now." She seemed very proud of that name.

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"I'll look into it, but I don't tend to dress very fancy 'in uniform.' I only tend to dress up in normal clothes unless, like today, I'm just relaxing in the sun... or getting some delicious Starbase Summer Flavors. Mango-Dragonfruit refresher... I just need to decide if I want coconut milk or lemonade..." he said, trailing off as he weighed the options in his head. On one hand? Lemonade was good for the tartness it brought to the drink. On the other? Coconut Milk  was just as good in a sweet way.

 

"If 'Nephilim' is too much? 'Neph' works just as well. I don't tend to make much in the way of 'secret identity' stuff. Kind of hard to NOT show who I am, ya know? After a few years of being 'that kid with the wings' I gave up on the notion of 'fitting in' and just went with it, yeah?" he smiled happily. "Own it, so it doesn't own you."

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Her nose scrunched reflexively when she heard the word 'mango'. She wasn't a picky eater, but mango was something she did not enjoy. Maybe it was a demon repellent, maybe she had weird tastes. Not that she was going to tell this guy. He had his choices. To each their own. Nothing was going to stop her from throwing down some S'mores, or Mocha Cookie Crumble, or Caramel Ribbon Crunch. She enjoyed the thicker drinks.

 

She laughed about the secret identity, "oh yeah. I grew up in a small town myself. Everyone you knew knew everything. My mother was 'the demon lady' and I was 'the demon child'. Luckily we were personable people. Sure we got a lot of stink eyes, but news travels fast when you're 'the good ones'." She smirked, remembering the first time she was called 'one of the good ones'.

 

She looked to Morgan's wings then back to him, "Nephilim sounds ominous. Neph sounds like a pet name. To be honest? I wouldn't call you Neph until I got to know you better," she nudged him playfully, trying to gauge his reaction.

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Morgan nodded, accepting the nudge and letting it go, going back to his regularly-scheduled laid-back line-standing. "Meh. 'Morgan' works just as well as Nephilim." he said, shrugging slightly.

 

For all he might be a snob for himself? He wouldn't begrudge others their choices in food or drink, so her reaction to his liking of mango-flavored drinks had no impact. The talk about small towns, however got him talking again. "Brainerd wasn't too small, all told, but it was 'small enough.' Problem was? The priest. Dude just would not get off his high horse about mom and me, and kept trying to rile people up, I imagine to get pitchforks and torches together and force an exorcism on us or some such. When I was a kid I just thought it was funny. Stopped being funny when I grew up and understood what the words 'Abomination' and 'Crime against Nature' meant."

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Oh man, the clergy. She remembered plain as day her run in with the holy folks. She nodded along knowingly as he said his peace. "Morgan, you're a good guy from what I see. Don't let anyone ever tell you different." Not that she was any judge of character herself, but she liked to think so. "As for the name calling, yeah, people have their beliefs. I learned to either block them out or shoo them away." She coughed out, "non violently." Not that she hurt any of them. The close-minded need more spectacle to back off. Needless to say, it didn't change their minds any.

 

Stepping up to the counter, she leaned on it, watching the black winged angel with a smile. "Go ahead. I got you," she said clumsily failing to palm her card.

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He nodded, letting her pay for this one. "I'll get yours next time, then." he said, smiling.

 

"And yeah... Problem is whether I'll stay the way I am for the next eternity or so. I ain't aging, and I've got it on good authority I ain't likely to age anytime soon, so unless I get my fool self killed somehow? I'm staring down an unending road with a lot of dark clouds over it. For the name-calling? I mostly just ignore it and fly off. One of the best things about being able to fly? The idiots can't follow you for the most part and when you're up in the clouds everything just looks so small, I can't help but feel like a simple name-calling means absolutely nothing." he finished the last with his smile turning wistful. "Well... Unless they're Angels. Then it's just annoying." He said, humor coming back in full force. "No sense getting upset over the little things, right?" Maybe hanging out with a 'demon' wasn't exactly helping his case with the Angels, but who cared about them, anyway?

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The thought of 'next time' sat her mind at ease. She hadn't chased this one off. Not yet, at least. Most random meetings of others of her type were short and one sided conversations, if not hostile. It was good to have someone who understood your plight. If not the same pew, then at least the same church.

 

"Flying, unaging. Phew, sounds like a ball of fun," she laughed trying to add to the mirth. "I mean, eventually I'll get wings. But for now I can only float," she demonstrated by 'stepping up' and crossing her legs in midair. This being tourist season on the beach, a few more phones raised. "And that's only because I know magic, not because of being who I am. Though I'm told if I get powerful enough I'll sprout wings, a tail, a forked silver tongue, and at least four horns." She smirked, "then again, mom was a... teller of tales." She didn't let them know that dear old mom had some of those.

 

Taking orders, she got all of the things she wanted. They were all for her. Large, cold, creamy drinks. She could have gotten more, but she held her Gluttony spirit back and only ordered one of each. Swiping her card, she made good on her promise of paying for his. "So, you have any plans after this? Wouldn't mind hanging around, Being lazy. Seeing what's up in the sky later."

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"I've got literally nothing for the day. I work from home for 4 hours a day in the mornings. 'Being lazy' is pretty much what I do when I'm not going out flying. I don't think you'd look too bad with wings, a tail, and horns. Probably get plenty of fanboys at that point knowing how some people think of that stuff. Somehow Demons get far more positive attention these days than Angels, which always makes me giggle a little even if Fallen Angels still get the short end of the stick 'cause they're neither." he said, happily sipping his own delicious drink. Mango-Dragonfruit... Gotta love it. "Usually they get portrayed as emo pretty-boys, which is something I like to bring up at family get-togethers." he imagined his mother's reactions to some of those stories... And art depictions. It was always funny to see her gripe about not being 'emo.'

 

"So, you can only float?" he asked, curious. "So, what? Can you only go up and down? Or can you maneuver a bit? Believe me, I know how annoying it can be to be limited in comparison to others. My mom, her old 'friends,' and any given Angel... Heck, some humans who can fly, can all fly circles around me. I'm told I'll get faster as I get better at it, but try telling that to a thirteen year old who can barely fly ten miles per hour while his teacher can fly just about anywhere she likes within an hour. And telling him, 'I just have to pretend like both my wings are broken and covered in clay' doesn't help the ego."

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Jessica visibly perked up when Morgan said he didn't have anything to do for the rest of the day. She would hang around with him as long as he would let her. The compliment about her having extra features made her more enamored with him. Probably just the Pride spirit kicking in, but hey, compliments were nice either way. "Yeah, fan boys," she said lightly with a laugh, "doing that social media influencer with a couple million subscribers is my dream job," she said facetiously.

 

She slowly drained the drink as he continued to speak, finishing it with a satisfied sigh. Chucking the cup into a bin, she loaded the second cream filled concoction with a straw. Nodding and 'stepping' into the air when he mentioned floating, "not up and down, but you know, I'm not a speedy flier. It's mystically inclined. Not even demonic!" She did a little midair twirl to show off. "I mean, guess I could focus on it a little more, but like I said. Wings and all. I can afford to wait a little."

 

"You most likely can fly faster than me," she said dreamily, "and like you can carry someone while doing it. And look good doing it." She grinned, "if you would be so inclined, would you oblige me?" She sat her drinks down on a nearby bench. If they were gone by the time they got back, there would be one pissed off demon.

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