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TheAbsurdist

Studio Time

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October 16th. 8:17PM

Amir al Misri leaned back on the hood of his sweet, sweet ride. Well to him it was, the spunky little Abbarth had plenty of get up and go, and more importantly was the right size for the city. But his car wasn't really important now. Apologies were. He had been avoiding this particular conversation, and a lot of others since he got back. But it needed to happen, he felt he owed her an explanation and an apology. The date had gone well, and then schedules, and then... yeah... A frown on his face as he looked up and felt a few splatters of rain on his cheek. Wonderful. Not particularly wanting to come across as so melodramatic, he moved to under the eaves in front of the recording studio, it wasn't hard to find which one she was using, he actually owned several. Now he just had to wait. And hopefully not get slapped.

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Zenith Studio was her little pride and joy. Over the last few months she had built up a little stable of talents that whilst they hadn’t had an massive hits they were well regarded within there fields. Who knew she’d be a better businesswomen than she was a pop star.

And all this despite the studio only having a small staff, who with no one using the studio today consisted only of herself and Gail. Gail was on the phone with Stephanie, her friend she was always going on about but Agnes had yet to meet despite her promises, when she looked up and saw Asad standing there.

“Um Ms Stone I think you should see this?â€

“Gail I keep telling you call me Agnus…†Agnus stepped from her tiny office only to stop when she saw Asad “What is that idiot doing out there in the bloody rain.†She threw open the studio door and shouted in a very unladylike like manner “Oi you idiot get your arse in here before you catch your death of cold.â€

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"In my defense I had not planned on the rain." Still he looked rueful and contrite, reaching up and scratching at the back of his head, as he moved into the studio. "I have a lot of things to worry about, that is the least of them..." He flashed a smile that soon faltered, and then he just looked down. "Right, I came to apologize for not talking to you or calling you back, at first it was scheduling... then there was me some messed up laboratory held by a crazy scientist who was trying to use me to unlock the potential of mankind. I will be blunt, it sucked, I am still a little frazzled by it, but... I though it wise to come back and apologize to you. I had fun on our first date, I would have liked a second one... yanno barring getting abducted by a supervillain." It was a fantastic story, and while Asad was good at dancing in conversation he had been conspicuously absent for over almost 9 months. To the point of speculation that he was dead.

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Agnus gave a little sigh. She really wanted to be mad at Asad, it had been six months after all, but it wasn’t like she’d gone through a few crazy ady herself. The fact that with her heels she could look him in the eye for one…

“Gail go make us a couple of coffees, then you can take the rest of the day off. Go say Stephanie I said hi.â€

She crossed her arms and her face looked stern but there was a softness in her voice.

“How about we take a seat ever here or the office, though the chair here are better. And you can tell me the whole story in detail.†She managed a little wry smile “Maybe less of an info dump this time.â€

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Asad managed to look real sheepish and nodded. "Probably for the best..." He folded his arms across his chest and laughing softly. "Mm, alright." He moved towards the chairs, holding himself from flopping into them, instead he waited for her to take a seat first. One of the key components to his charm was his chivalrous streak, and it never came off as forced with him, of even something he thought about. "So... yes, I left the country for my father's birthday. I decided to spend a couple nights in Monaco to destress after spending time with my family, and some mercenaries under the employ of a mad scientist grabbed me. That's the short version." And he laughed a little and looked down, not having really talked about this with anyone yet.

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Gail bringing in the coffee’s allowed Agnus a few minutes to sort out her feelings. In some ways it would have been simpler if he had broken up with her. Despite the time that had gone by she still had to admit she had some feeling for him.

“Well it’s a better excuse than most of boyfriends, and when you feel up to it I’m here to listen to the whole story.†She stopped and leaned forwards “But that was months ago, did you lose my number?" A small smirk might have undercut the disappointment in her voice.

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He looked at her for several moments after she said that, and he took the cup when it arrived, and offer Gail a small smile and an appreciative nod, and then he looked back to her. Not noticing that he was leeching off the heat from the coffee.

when he spoke again, he was glossing over things, she knew he could talk, that he liked to talk, but this he was skipping over things, and was in no hurry to revisit what had happened. "I just got back a little over a month ago, and then there was the doctor visits and the psychiatrist visits and the therapists visits... and other things. I am not here to smooth things over and pretend it did not happen, I came to apologize. No expectations."

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With a subtly movement of her head she shooed Gail away, she trusted her not to repeat anything to anyone else. Except maybe her friend Stephanie and she wasn’t sure how much she trusted her. She wouldn’t be surprised if this meeting turned up as a rumour in one of tomorrow’s tabloids. She kicked off her shoes and tucked her feet up, sitting down she was fine, and if anyone was going to notice her dramatic change in height it would be Asad.

“Well apology accepted.†She paused to take a sip of her coffee; she couldn’t kick her flare for the dramatic. “But why exactly are you apologizing to me? We had like one and half dates six months ago, what makes me so special?â€

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He blinked a little bit, while observant sometimes, he skipped over the height thing, at least initially, instead at her comment he blinked, and seemed genuinely puzzled at her question. "Well, it was rude to go on a date and then to never say anything again, even if I did vanish." He smiled sheepishly, not trying to turn on the charm, it just came naturally. And then he sipped at the coffee, and made a small face as the coffee was now cold. "It was something I thought a lot on as I was imprisoned... Helped me stay more or less sane. Though, I imagine the jury is still out on that one." He laughed softly, and shook his head.

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“Here you’ve made that cold, let me heat that back up.†She took the mug from his hand “I can work a Microwave you know.†As she walked to the corner where all the supplies lived she carried on talking.

“Maybe it’s me. At the height of the fame I lost it a little, no wait a lot, I could have anyone I wanted. I thought nothing of spending a night with a guy and then just throwing them aside. After all it was just a bit of fun, what harm could it do?†she handed the rewarmed coffee back to him "Now drink it whilst it’s hot.†She took her seat again and picked up here mug.

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"Yeah... that has been happening now too." He laughed a little bit, and shook his head, looking down, fidgeting a little. Looking less the smiling and assured man he was normally seen as. "I was like that too, for a long while, but it bites you back eventually." When she came back he lifted his head and smiled a little bit at her and took the cup, nodding a little again. "Thank you." And then without even paying much attention, he knocked back the hot liquid like it was nothing. In truth he had discovered he was largely immune to heat these days, that had gotten stronger since his... vacation.

"And I am rambling a little, or a lot. I do not really want to be a guy who just vanishes like that, I have tried to change myself, so even when I was... powerless to prevent that situation from cropping up I still feel guilty that I left you in a lurch."

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Agnus gave an understanding smile, his words had dragged up some painful memories but the last thing he needed was to know how it still hurt her.

“It sucks doesn’t it? To suddenly realize how you’re past actions have hurt and alienated people. If it makes you feel better it took almost dying and a year of penitence to reach the point I could deal with the damage I’ve done. And there are still people who haven’t forgiven me for what I’ve done.â€

She rummaged around in her bag a drew out a hardbound book, the cover was a publicity shot of her during the height of her career, titled Ex-Factors.

“Someone just written this about, it’s a good account of my rise and fall. My manager managed to sneak me a copy before publication. I think she expected me to complain about it, but I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it’s my personal hair shirt. I wanted to give it an official sanction and make a few corrections, mostly for the worst. But it seems a personal recommendation isn’t good for tell-all books sales.â€

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His expression was unreadable, and he looked at the book, and then folded his arms across his chest. "Attachments happen, even if you are honest and say that you do not really desire entanglements. Sometimes they write books or do interviews about you... and sometimes they shoot you with an RPG." He frowned a little, and lifted his head to look at her directly. "Of course it is hard to tell if the person across from you is talking to you because they like you, or because you are famous, or rich, or what have you."

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“I’m just saying that if you do need to talk there is someone who sort of understands what you're going through. Oh and you can read the book if you want, but it wouldn't hurt to buy a copy I think the author deserves the money. I know I’m planning to pick up a copy.â€

She sipped at her coffee carefully watching his reactions, trying to work out her next move. Finally she decided to just go for it, what was there to lose?

“So what now? Where do we go from here? What do you need right now a girlfriends or just a friend?â€

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He set the book back down on a nearby surface and frowned as he looked at her, but it wasn't an expression of displeasure, he was sorting his thoughts before speaking, which a lot of people would say was a rare happening. "I really do not know. I would like to get to know you. We really did not make it that far. Getting to that point would be nice. That is where we got left off before, and I would like to know you better. That is how you get a girlfriend, right? I might be a little rusty with the rules of engagement in these scenarios, and apt to use business terminology." A flash of the old Amir, that disarming smile as he moved the cup around and around between his hands, the only sign he was nervous. "I mean, I might irritate you. I have been told I am good at it. And you might tell me why you are taller."

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Damn him, he was as sharp as she remembered. But how to explain what was she was without giving to much away? But then an idea struck her.

“Hannah Montanna!†she gave him a slightly embraced look “Which as a 40 something Heterosexual male you’ve never seen. But you’ve know the premise of the show right? Well this is my Hannah identity, or it Miley?â€

With no need to hide anymore she sat more formally hand tucked in her lap, looking a little nervous.

“I’m in the same business as you, but I choose to maintain a secret ID. At some point I’ll tell you who I am, but not until we’ve sorted out what’s going on between us.â€

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"I am aware of it's existence, and could probably ballpark what I remember the licensing costs to be. Also I know that the premise of the show requires all the characters be more than a little idiotic about not being able to recognize who she is. But then while I do not have children, I have employees that do." And then she let the other shoe drop, and he nodded at that, he leaned towards her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Do not fret over this. Everyone has secrets, given my last six months or so I was have expecting you to be a Grue replacement." And then he showed her that smile, and gave her a conspiratorial wink.

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“Well it’s a good job I can’t shapeshift then.†She left out the fact that for a few weeks see could change her appearance “Keeping it a secret doesn’t bother me too much, I’ve got a couple of trusted people that know the secret and that’s enough for me.â€

She gave him a broad smile in return “You know the coolest thing I can do? I mean it’s handy to be able to lift a bus, and teleport helps with the commute, but I really enjoy the thrill of flying.†Her eye sparkled as she talked “There just something exhilarating about the freedom.â€

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"Ah, British humor. How I love it." He laughed a little and nodded at her words, his expression wry. Having lived in England he had gotten familiar with that dry sense of humor. "I like flying too, the best thing about all of..." Amir trailed off for a moment, and then he grinned rakishly as he looked at her. "Ms. Stone, would you do me the honors of an evening flight tonight?" Slowly standing after asking that question and extending a hand out to her.

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A bright glowing aura of light surrounded Agnus and she begun to float a few feet above the ground. She then gave a broad smile as she spread her arms out wide.

“Why Mr al-Misri I’d be delighted. I better lock up the studio before we go, lucky we’ve got no bookings for the rest of the day.â€

She floated across the room to the door and begun to throw the bolts on the door.

“There’s a set of stair at the back that leads to the first floor. At some point I’m going to create a second studio and maybe a practice room. Anyway from there is rooftop access, quite handy in our occupation.â€

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He rose from his chair, and landed on his feet, and held his hand out. "I am faster than I used to be, but you might still speed past me." It was a side effect of whatever the hell that sick, sadistic jerk Green had done to him. But he was aware of a lot of heroes being faster than him. After all, the flight part of his powers made no sense, at all. Well at least as far as he knew.

"I had something like installed at the Summit building. And at my townhouse. Which you really should see sometime." Giving her a flirtatious look. "I generally have to have company over if I want any privacy, and I am actually a passable cook. I can make grilled cheese and tomato soup, out of the can!" Moving with her towards the upstairs exit of her studio.

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Agnus paused for a second and gave a mock hurt look.

“What kind of girl do you take me for? I expect diner at least before I see your townhouse.†The effect was ruined slightly by her broad smile.

It didn’t take long to lock everything up and as Asad predicted she was soon streaking past him leaving a streak of light behind her. As she left the building she gave a little roll and hovered a few feet above the building, waiting for Asad to catch her up.

“Just to be clear we’re just here to fly around a little, none of that mile high club melarkey.†She gave a saucy wink “At least not today.â€

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"Oh, really? Please, do give me some credit Agnus, I am a consummate gentleman after all." A grin on his face as he pushed off the roof and he moved up to her floating after her, not trying to move as quickly as she did. "I should take umbrage to that." His own grin was a bit more sly, as his tilted his head and looked at her still.

"Certainly willing to go out for dinner first..." Smiling now as he saw that wink. "You little minx." A small chuckle, before he held out his hand for her and nodded his head off towards the skyline.

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Agnus held his hand for a few minute enjoying the feeling as they flew towards the heart of the city. After a little while she let go of his hand and began to fly literal circles around Amir.

“Well there are a couple of restaurants around here that allow people to literally drop in out of the skies. But I guess that Freedom City for you. But I’d like to put on a nice frock and make myself look pretty first â€

She hovered in the sky for a few moment before pointing at the massive buildings of the Pyramid plaza.

“That’s one of my favourite spot to just float around and watch the city go by. Though I get some strange hinky feeling about the place sometimes.†She give a sly smile “If you’re really go I’ll show you my favourite view point of all.â€

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Amir wasn't slow, but the flying thing seemed secondary to his powers. He did notice the glow she had. Arcing through the air after her, he rolled slowly, keeping his eyes on her. To himself, he had to admit that this was perhaps the best bit of flirting that he had ever experienced. "I do know about the restaurants, I own a few... have you tried getting a parking spot on a busy night?"

He stopped sharply and looked at Pyramid plaza. "They are nice, especially at night." Looking to her when she got that sly expression on her face. "I do like buzzing just above the surface of the water... but I am more than game to see you favorite spot."

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