1964-06-17 - Surprise Subway Encounter
Summary: Kamala Khan meets an unusual mutant in the subways under New York.
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kamala-khan draco 

Kamala Khan waits.

You'd think that would be obvious, with trains coming and going at all hours, but since she missed her stop last week she's on a curfew and the way her parents shook their heads, she's really not planning to make them up the game to vigorous headshaking. Don't know what she'd do if they did THAT. But she's waiting for the 4:15 and it's not due for another fifteen minutes, and she's just kinda bored.

With the hijab around her neck as a scarf, she's just leaning against a wall people-watching, and enjoying her time as much as she can. "One bag of potatoes. Two bags of potatoes. …six bags of potatoes, what the heck do you do with four bags of potatoes?"

People watching, makes it easy when there's this many people around. Some people probably stand out more than others. One person in particular does seem to stand out. The guy wearing a heavy coat and hood in the middle of summer.

He seems to be keeping to the side of the platform, for now, with his back to the wall. He takes a seat against it. Looks like he might be a homeless guy, maybe a veteran judging by the olive drab jacket. Of course if someone spares him an extra look, his clawed feet are very visible.

Kamala, with a good way-too-long free, has many extra looks to spare and is therefore a candidate. Of course, most people tend to ignore the brown girl anyway, with her obvious signs of differentness. She's…*gasp*…Muslim! That's like being from Cairo, or Alaska. Nobody understands those strange people.

But in this case it's pretty simple. "Awe, you're a lizard! My friend Bruno used to have a bearded dragon, he loved scritches over his eyes, do you like scritches? I'm usually not supposed to scritch sentient beings but you definitely look like you could use one right now, are you hiding for a reason?" Yep. Dives right in the deep end, but she's smiling so wide that she's unlikely to notice.

To say that the dragon man is taken aback by the response he gets from her, well, that's putting it mildly. He shifts his weight a bit when she gets near him, but that smile is very disarming, to say the least, "I…I don't really know." He replies, as he looks up at her, seeming a bit confused.

"You're not screaming in terror or callin' the cops..What gives?" As to her second question he thinks about it for a second, "I'm hiding 'cause most folks'll run in terror when they spot me. Or you know, throw stuff at me. Or worse."

See, Kamala shrugs at all that. Holding out her right hand, she inspects the long-coat and shakes her head. "Nah, a problem needs to be pretty gigantic before anybody notices it at all, really, and most people just make up something to fill in the holes if they bother to look at all. But you gotta notice things, y'know?"

She offers a place next to her, with her potato-counting, and says, "Because when you decide not to be afraid of things, you find friends in super unexpected places. And you look like a super bizarro bearded dragon, I'm all about hugging little dragons. I heard this girl had a real baby dragon out in Westchester but I haven't managed to pin her down yet, have you seen any other dragons? I keep reaching up to scratch your eyeridge, don't be upset if I do it by accident at least once, do you count people while you hide here?"

And, breathe.

"I won't hold it against you." He says, in response to her questions about scritching him, "I haven't seen any other dragons…Didn't even think they were supposed to exist until I turned into..Well, this." He kind of motions at himself with a hand, "Used to be a totally normal human. My dad seems to think I'm some kinda demon or somethin', but I don't think I am, 'cause I still feel like me."

"So you got a name?" He finally asks, "'cause I mean most folks got names, right?" He realizes it's been a few weeks since he's just sat and had a conversation with somebody, so it actually feels kind of…Normal. Which is a weird sensation in and of itself as of late.

Kamala sticks out her tongue at the question. Not at him though, more like an automatic young-person response to a question she doesn't like the answer to, which is proven to be the case mere moments later. "I'm Kamala, which is a dumb dumb-type name for dumb people and I hate it. All my friends have the cool holidays and normal names like Kim or Bruno and I get the wierd stuff that just makes me stand out so nobody looks at me normal."

She reaches up, scritching at …well, he's too tall for the eyeridge, so she just pats him on the shoulder and smiles. "Well, you're…wait, a demon? Oh come on now, demons are real things. You're hardly going there, it's not a life choice you make when you got your first tattoo or something like that. Parents suck."

"So what's your name?"

At the question about his name, he pauses for a couple of moments, "Rex." He says, figuring she's gonna laugh. A lot of people laugh at his name, 'cause that's the kinda name you give a dog, "But I guess I've sorta taken to calling myself Draco lately for…Obvious reasons."

He sits up a bit straigher, "So Kamala, I have to admit it's nice to have someone to talk to, who doesn't care what I look like and who treats me like I'm human. Rare to find that…Especially back in Texas."

Kamala Khan raises an eyebrow, the whole process being less impressive on her than it might be on someone of stature but still she makes a go of it anyway. Eyebrows are silly but you use what you've got. Wait, am I talking about eyebrows for …focus, Kamala! He probably thinks you're not paying attention. "I'm a writer!" she blurts, as if that explains everything.

Then, she explains with her hands being animated and waving about, "You might not have noticed, but I'm actually a girl," she says, pulling her scarf out of her face. Again. Gah, mouth scarf. "Girls don't get published, or even taken seriously, so I have to hide who I am too just to get my stories looked at, and it's not remotely the same but there's similarities and you have to lean down a bit man if I'm going to scritch, you're way taller than I thought when we started this. Texas? I hear it's hot, but good if you like good food. Which I don't, but you have to start conversationsn with that or it's wierd." Not like she's that, never that!

"I..Well I would say I understand, but I only recently have been anything other than a purebred white country boy." He says, as he rubs the side of his head with one of his claws, adjusting one of his dredlock tendrils that hang down his back, "It's harder than I could hav eever imagined, having to deal with that..Hate from folks, just 'cause you don't look like them." He shakes his head, "But enough about that…I can cook up some mean BBQ.." He pauses for a second, thinking about one of the meals he ate on the journey between Texas and New York, and how he'd roasted it himself using his fire breath…Probably best to not mention that part.

Kamala puffs out her cheeks, then blows exasperately. "Tell me about it," she says, completely on board with how awful it is to be treated odd because you're different. Be it scales or a headscarf, though at least you can remove one of those. She sighs, then leans against the wall again. "Gonna be honest Draco, I've never had barbecue. It's infidel meat, totally against what I'm allowed to touch and it's just not worth Ammi's wrath if I did the touching."

She puffs up, mimicking her mom or someeone of the sort, and waggles a finger at a passing dog. "Don't you dare, Kamala! We'll have you up in front of Sheikah Abdullah and you'll be off to bed right now, you disrespectful child! I have no idea how we raised such a girl!" Blah.

This actually gets a faint chuckle from him, "I can cook up chicken and beef too, but I understand." He replies, "My dad is super religious, and a war vet.." He rubs his muzzle for a second, "Every day we'd be up before the sun and wouldn't be done until every chore was finished no matter how late it took."

"He's a good man, really. I think I just scared him, is all.." Draco glances around at the platform. Indeed, it seems she was right. Most folks aren't even paying the two of them a second glance. Lucky for him.

Kamala chuckles a bit, glancing about. She unconsciously understands that people hit their acceptable wierdness level and ignore anything over it, or run if it's dangerous. Since they're not being visibly dangerous…they're ignored.

"Are you? Because I know that the temple is doing food for anyone who stops in tonight, and mostly we're pretty accepting." She raises that eyebrow again, that horrible, horrible eyebrow, and adds, "You'd have to be more than a dragon boy to scare Sheikah Abdullah away, or the ladies that make our meals. Assuming you're okay with Bheja fry or Baida Roti. They're yummy, just don't ask what goes in them.

The dragon can feel his stomach rumbling with all this talk about food, "You know, that sounds pretty good." He says, as he pushes himself back up to his feet, "I suppose I'll have to let you lead the way I'm new to this city still."

Still if she's right and they'll serve him even with the way he looks, it's a better deal than trying to hunt something to eat down in the subway tunnels like he was planning on doing.

Kamala Khan is glad. Because she was getting worried, and the train is here. "Well, let's go then!" and she's off, noting that this isn't the strangest person she's ever brought home. ah well, life's fun that way.

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