1963-09-15 - Chapter Two: Walk With Darkness
Summary: Jean and Daimon happen upon each other, they speak of family, loneliness, Hell, and children.
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jean daimon 

Daimon sensed the girl's resonance first. He remembered her, as if from a fevered dream, a creature glimpsed in a strange moment. He'd encountered her in Limbo and, while the Darkchylde who ruled there had caught his attention, he certainly hadn't forgotten the redhead with her secrets, the hunted girl with the fire in her soul.

He, too, had fire in his soul, although his came straight from Hell.

So, when he senses her presence in the city, near his haunts, he places himself in her path, quite literally. She turns a corner and he is there, a dashing man in a fur-lined longcoat, lush mink cradling his neck. He's bare-chested beneath, the brand of his heritage seared into his flesh, puckered like a scar. His expression is wry, however, playful.

"Have you been devoured yet, I wonder. Or is the girl I met still in there?"


Aimless wandering.

Jean promised that she wouldn't search for Logan but there were times when she was alone and often thought to just look in the usual places. But nothing. Maybe it was bad timing. He was there, gone a few minutes later and here she was, wheeling down the street. How many near misses have they had?

Still, wheeling herself around the corner has her stopping, her fingers letting go of the metal that houses the rubber, clearly intending on blowing herself back and into the air to flee, even if she hadn't practiced that certain gift as much as she needed to. That whole business about getting kidnapped and stabbed in the legs kinda takes the cake on that.

Though, still.. Daimon was someone she recognized. All of her dreams were remembered. And as she sees him, she rightly.. or wrongly calms herself with a slight little smile to boot. "Daimon Hellstrom?" She asks quietly. Then tilts her head, a little giggle given. "I hope so.. why?"


Daimon smiles, "You remembered my name. Lovely. I don't mind introducing myself, but it's a pleasure to make an impression," he smiles.

To the question, he raises an eyebrow, "Merely wishing to know which entity to whom I might address myself. Your fiery counterpart, met only in brief, might have gobbled you up while I wasn't looking. Such creatures do tend to love the feel of being wrapped in human meat," he says. "It is not hellborn, however, so I am not so certain that I could exorcise it - if you even desired that. Which I'm not certain that you do."


"I don't think I'd be able to forget a name like that." Jean confesses. She was honest to a fault, and if she did lie, there would be a sure fire way that she'd give off a tell.

'Sneaky devil.' The inner bird comments, which causes Jean herself to become slightly weary.

"What do.. you don't know what you're talking about." Jean flushes, finally gripping the wheels of her chair, backing herself up and turning so that she could continue down the street. "You enjoy the rest of your day, Daimon Hellstrom, and it was good to see you in the flesh.."

'Don't look back. He -will- follow..'


Daimon moves to stroll alongside her, not even making a pretense of merely following, his long strides carrying him easily. He rolls a cigarette with one hand, unerringly flicking the paper to curl around the tobacco as he walks.

"I heard that," he said, "Just faintly, barely. I don't have your gifts, the gifts it would take to house such a thing, but I have my own. Sorry if it hurt, it does that, sometimes, when I read a mind," he says. "Such power. I could unleash it in you, that would be easy. Breaking chains is always easier than forging them…I'm not sure what the cost would be, to you, to the world. But part of me is curious to see. The question is: which part of me?"


Jean flinches, for at first she was wheeling herself away quickly, attempting to get towards the corner so that she could wait for the light so that she could cross the street into the park, until she slows considerably, not out of breath, but.. something else.

Reading her definitely did hurt, hurt enough to turn the tips of her ears red, a pressure behind her eye which has one closing with her hand lifting to press into and rub. "That's because you don't have the training.." She didn't either, but that was beside the point.

"And why would you even want to do that?" She asks incredulously. "I mean, I know you're curious and.." She just shakes her head. He seemed like the type to not care. "Do you not care about what I want?"

'I do..'


Daimon shakes his head, "No, it's because I'm the Son of Satan, darling. The things I do hurt because I am a thing made of pain or, at least, half of me is," he says. "I don't merely read thoughts, I tear them, I rip them from your mind.

He considers the final question, "Care is such a complex word, for a single syllable. I would respect your autonomy - if you desired to keep your potential caged, I would leave it as such. If you wanted it to stretch its wings and breathe free, I would accede to those wishes as well. I'm curious to what would happen. But I'm also curious as to what you want. Because I'm not certain that you know."


"Maybe you should use the other half instead.. instead of the one that actually hurts."

The inner bird is quiet no less, and by then, Jean had already cross the street and was making her way onto the many path structures that line central park. She remains silent for a time, turning down a separate path that would lead partially to lower ground, yet beneath a bridge and darkly enclosed. It was there that she stops.

"Does anyone ever know what they really want?" She asks quietly, her shoulders slumping just a touch. "I mean.. I could say that I want to get married, and have six children and believe that I want that.. but.. is it what I really, really, really want?"


Daimon shrugs, "Alas, the other half of me is terribly corrupted at this point, not to mention not nearly so powerful. Power is useful, which is why people do , indeed, crave it.

He considers, "A valid question. Desire almost always longs for that which has yet to be experienced - whatever you want, you don't really know what it's like to have it. Unless, of course, you've had it before. But even then - just because the steak at that restaurant was wonderful last time, there's no guarantee that another visit will be the same," he shrugs, "If you want certainty, life is not where you'll find it."


"Maybe you can be fixed." Jean says. "Just like you're attempting to fix me."

Jean rolls back enough until the wheels bump the stone wall, her arms soon hung upon the armrest as her fingers idly play with themselves. There was a thought as to how much she could confess, of what she wanted to experience and what she has yet to. A simple kiss. She's experienced that. A hug from a loved one.. she would love that. Maybe other things that weren't worth mentioning that would make her blush..

"Then where can I find it? In death?"


Daimon considers, "And who is that told you you're broken? You are complex, yes, conflicted, but so is everyone. You have great power, yes, more than most, but that hardly makes you a shard or a fragment. I have no interest in fixing you - achieving greatness, yes, because you are interesting and because I…understand what it's like. It took me years of pain and sweat and self-loathing to swallow my Darksoul and make my peace with what I am. The years before I wasted in my wallowing. I would advise you not to do the same," he says.


She didn't even have to think it. It was written all over her face. The memory of those doctors, her parents, her sisters and brothers. Everyone was afraid of her because she was damaged. She's been locked up since she was fifteen because she was broken..

"No one."
'And everyone.'

"I'm not hiding her. Repressing her." Jean clarifies. "I know what she wants and I know what she is. She knows what I am." She frowns a little. "I -am- her. And she -is- me. If there is sense in this." Her hand rubs against her cheek, nails soon flicking against her skin in a scratch. "I'm teaching her. She needs to know how the world works. How we work. How I work."


Daimon smiles, "Then it sounds like you don't need m y help at all. For which I'm glad. It's always better when you can figure things out for yourself, and you seem to have made progress in that even since I saw you last. How is the Darkchylde, by the way? I haven't encountered her since, but you and she seemed to be acquainted," he says.

"We strange and unnatural, we must stick together and look out for each other, for the world, it never will."


'Even though his interest seem entirely shallow..'

Jean doesn't acknowledge the birds words, but she does offer a warm and welcoming smile. "I think this is the best way. I've.. seen what she has done when she's angered." She clears her throat then, the subject of Illyana actually making her smile. "Admittedly.. I haven't seen her since my accident. But I assume that she's getting along well. She has her brother to look after her.."

And for Jean.. it seems that everyone.. just vanishes. She was incredibly lonely.


Daimon considers, "Siblings can be helpful. They can also be harmful," he says, thinking of his errant sister for a moment and shaking his head. "There's a reason wrath is one of the seven deadlies. Thankfully, not one of the worst for me, although I contend fairly strongly with many of the rest,' he smiles. "And indulge them most of the time."

He sees the expression on her face and, tentatively, reaches up to put a hand on her shoulder, "Clouds pass. You will find the light again, whatever its source. You may not even expect it when you do."


"I think this one is very helpful. He's a very large and gentle man." She grins a little, then shrugs her shoulders.

It was an odd feeling, him with his hand upon her shoulder. It nearly makes her want to shrivel up and die because this gesture alone was needed from someone such as him. It really gives light to how truly pathetic she feels. But she knew that the feeling would pass, she knew that she'd swallow it up and just let it all go.

"I can't see it.." She admits quietly. "..everything and everyone is slowly slipping away." Her head hangs slightly, there was even an inner quiet. The bird, whatever helpful words that she did have for Jean went unspoken. It wasn't even thought of. They didn't even think of it.

"I guess I should stop being selfish." She laughs a little, whilst she cries just as much. "I should be glad that everyone has their own lives. That the world keeps moving and turning as it is.." Her hand reaches up to lightly pat his, then carefully moves from her shoulder as she begins to turn and roll along the path. The smell of charcoal hits her ears, she wanted what one of the vendors had to eat. "Do you have family, Mr. Hellstrom?"


Daimon shakes his head, "I've never understood what's supposed to be so very wrong about being selfish. Should I advocate for myself? Want things for myself? Why should someone else be more important to me than I am?' he says. "It doesn't mean I don't care about other people - it means that I simply care about them less than I care about me," he shrugs.

Morality, to him, was a very backwards affair most of the time. "Yes, I have family. A father who hates me, a sister who loathes me and a mother who died insane because she knew what her children were born to…"


"I don't think there is anything wrong.."
'I sometimes do'
"..but I just feel that it's natural to care about someone so much that at times, you'd want them to be their very best. That you .. sometimes just feel that your only purpose in life is to push them forward. To serve.."
'We don't obey.'
"..and to support them, no matter how big, how small, how wrong.."
'To stand by their side.'
"Yes, to stand by their side."

Jean shakes her head, then waves her hand as she stops at the cart, her order placed as she reaches into her bag that was sandwiched in between herself and her chair to pull out a few bits of change. "I'm sorry about your family. Though, what were you and your sister born into?" She pauses, then looks up towards him finally. "Hotdog?"


Daimon considers, "But that doesn't have to be at your expense, necessarily. You can want the best for someone, without having to put your own desires on the back burner. Don't tread on me, as the old flag says. After all, if someone can only rise by putting their foot on your head, do you really want to see them up there that badly?" he says, "Especially if they're perfectly okay with doing that to you?"

He finishes off his cigarette, "A hot dog would be good. And you hadn't guessed? My father is Satan," he says.


"We don't know." Jean murmurs quietly. "I've never considered that."
'It is an interesting thought. Do you do that to people?' The bird questions. Questions Daimon, that is.

Jean shakes her head at the bird, even though she wasn't tangible, she knew that it was felt. But as he actually drops the bomb upon her, her head rears back a little, her eyes widen as she slowly turns away from Daimon to speak to the vendor, brows still high.

"Two hot dogs. Both with everything on them." Jean smiles towards the vendor, carefully picking out the cash from her small purse, then offers up the money. While the man fixes the hot dogs, Jean leans back into her chair, then quietly considers this new information.

'Don't be afraid.'


Daimon takes the hot dog and eats into it with gusto, chewing thoughtfully. "GO ahead, take a moment. If you hadn't picked that up before, you're going to need a second to process it. Don't worry, my father and I don't get along. As in, he routinely tries to have me killed," he says. "And I may have tried the same a few times in my day."


Jean definitely takes her time getting used to that idea. Even as she has the hotdog and picks out a few pieces of napkins, she takes a bite, then allows the chair to turn as it will. Surely the vendor stares as she is pushed along by an invisible force, rolling her way towards a tree in favor of shade and nothing else. "That.." She blinks, then shakes her head. She was truly at a loss for words.


Daimon takes a seat under the tree, his back against it, and explains further. "My father, the demon who calls himself Satan, Shaitan, a variety of other names - he took the shape of a mortal man. He came to Salem, married my mother, had me and my sister. He slowly drove my mother mad, until she snapped upon the revelation of his true identity. He taught my sister and I black magick, intending for us to help pave the way for his rule of the Earth."

He finishes off his hot dogs, having almost inhaled them in shameless voraciousness, "He underestimated the power of rebellion in his own blood. For I did not care for doing as he told me any more than he his Father. Who Art in Heaven and all that rigamarole."


Even thoughout the story, Jean was quiet. She ate her hot dogs in the same fashion, occasionally dabbing away at her lips, then finally releases a little inhale and a lean back within her chair. "I… wow." Is all she could say, her head shaking briefly.

'But does he know who his grandfather is, that is the question.'

Jean smirks a little, then leans forward to place her hand atop of his head. Only because his shoulder was a touch bit lower than she felt comfortable bending at that point. "I.. suppose I should be glad?" Her fingers mess up his hair a little, as she leans back just a touch. "Though.. that just makes you seem a little bit more.. frightening I guess."

'You're unsettled.'


Daimon considers, "I don't mind being frightening. I'm a very powerful person of questionable morality. I could do awful, terrible things. I don't choose to do so, but I don't pretend I'm incapable. If I were sufficiently angered or motivated, I imagine I could be a monstrosity," he says.

"But I have chosen otherwise. Mostly. I sin, but in my own ways and without leaving much in the way of lingering harm. If I'm evil, I'm playfully so and I tend to stand in opposition to the more fundamental sorts of evil in this world. Prejudice, hate, violation, abuse - these things sicken me as much as any other person. Perhaps more so for I have seen them far closer," he says. "After all, how do you think the Devil disciplines his children?"


Jean was quiet still. Eerily so. Even as he brings up the mention of children, her gaze falls upon him .. and she looks away. "I don't know.." She asks quietly. "But riddle me this.. defender against abuse.." Jean shifts her chair to face him properly, then murmurs..

"If you saw a child being hurt, by bullies or.. teachers…" She frowns a little, thinking of Jackson Palmer. "Be honest with me. What would you do?"


Daimon considers for a moment, "It would depend on the child. Some children would want revenge. Some would merely want to be left alone. Given my druthers, yes, I would…punish the malefactors," he says. "Perhaps make them experience a taste of what the other child was given. The teachers - well, them I would simply put the fear of…not exactly God into them. But fear nonetheless, yes."


"But why not take the child away from all of the pain?" She asks quietly. "Instead of seeking revenge, or seeking to hurt someone…"
'Because, that's all we know how to do.'
"Speak for yourself." Jean says aloud. She's well aware now, that the conversation was between the three of them.
'I create. I destroy.'
"What is so wrong with learning how to love? To nurture? To help?"

Jean was asking both of them now, though her eyes leveled upon Daimon, there was a little spark of fire within. "This.. this child is helpless. He's .. the last thought that I picked up from him was that he was afraid to go home. And then there were others. The other day, I heard them all crying out for help. Wanting to be saved, rescued. I don't even know if they need avenging or not but I know that they need -something-."


Daimon considers for a moment, "If I were the righit person to decide where that child mighit go…I might remove them from that home. But I don't…have the capacity to determine that. You might. You are, I suspect, a better person than me. Most people are. There are days when I barely qualify as such," he says.

"But you don't need my advice. You need to do what you think is right. I'm no judge of it. But if you feel a call, to me…you already have your answer."


Jean sits on this for a time, her head nodding slowly. It almost seemed like an internal discussion, though it was nearly one sided at best.

"I suppose I do." She says quietly. "Though it's a matter on if and who I choose to drag down with me in this.." She smiles tightly, then reaches out to take Daimon's hand. Jean was the affectionate sort, so much that she plants a kiss upon his knuckles as if he were a Prince. Though, she supposes he really was.

"Thank you for joining me for lunch." Even though it was impromptu. "I suppose.. eventually we'll see you again soon?"


Daimon smiles and squeezes the fingers lightly, raising an eyebrow at the kiss, "You never know where you might find me," he smiles, "But, believe me, if I sense your resonance about…I'll definitely be checking in. You are a fascinating creature, young lady," he says.


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