1964-08-13 - Sunday In The Park With Lux
Summary: Harper and Teddy talk in the park.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
harper teddy 


It's a hot summer night. Even though the sun's been down for many hours, it's still close to 80 and muggy. It's New York though and there's almost nowhere that gets truly deserted even at 3am. Since it's not quite midnight, there's still a few people braving the darkness. Granted, probably half of them are selling drugs - mostly pot - and the other half are buying. There's a few others though such as Teddy, who's sprawled on the grass and leaning back against a tree not far from one of the street lights. In shorts and sneakers, a tee shirt is tucked intot he waistband of the shorts.


Harper had an assignment tonight. A job. Nothing big, just security for an executive meeting in town, but once it was over, she wasn't quite ready to call it a night. She didn't expect to find someone she knew out here at the park, but when she spies Teddy, she can't help but come over to investigate, peering down at him. "You get kicked out of the house or something?"


Teddy tracks the person approaching him then lifts a hand in greeting when he recognizes who it is. "No. I like the park. It's green. Central Park is nicer but this is closer. I wasn't tired enough to go to sleep so I came here. You're up late."


"It's the middle of the night," Harper quirks a brow, but she moves to sit next to him, watching the latest drug deal across the way with a tilt of her head. "I had a job, things ran late. Wasn't really feeling like bed yet. So I thought I'd make sure things were all right out here. Thought you might be a corpse for a minute."


Teddy chuckles. "Not that easy. Thought I'd keep an eye on things too since I was here. Make sure nothing serious happens." Drug deals obviously don't count. "So you work this late? Waitress?" he guesses. "Or at a theatre?"


"Something like that. Had a business meeting to keep an eye on tonight," Harper replies, though there's a wry amusement in her smile as she pulls her knees up toward her chest. "Were you planning on giving and would-be criminals a stern lecture in your sleep?"


"I wasn't sleeping." Teddy points out. "And yes, I thought I'd start with a warning if there was time. Distract them and draw their attention over to me so anyone else can get out of here." He shrugs slightly. "Easy enough to do if I'm here."


"Your friend, Billy." Harper goes quiet for a moment, staring blankly out at the park. "He thinks what I do isn't a mutation. That it's some sort of magic." Another long beat of silence, as she considers. "Is he usually right about that sort of thing?"


"Yeah, I heard." Teddy agrees, giving Harper a look as if he was trying to see for himself. Which he can't and didn't really expect to. "Oh, if he says you do magic, then you do magic. No question about it. He can see it in some weird kind of way. And since he wasn't tripping, what he saw is what is there. You're magic." Of that he sounds absolutely certain.


"It's unsettling, you know?" Harper muses. "To have been doing something for as long as you can remember, to have studied it, to have practiced it, to have felt like you know what was going on and how it all worked. Only for someone to tell you it's something else. I get how mutations work. I mean, as much as anyone without some sort of advanced degree gets it. The potential is there, you get into some sort of stress, it activates the mutation, then you train it like any muscle. Magic…I mean, I lived in New Orleans, I picked up some ideas, but hell if I know how it works."


"I know what you mean. I always thought I was a mutant too." Teddy tells her. "Then I find out I'm half alien instead. I think I'd rather be magic." he concludes but shrugs. "Not like we have a say in it. Doesn't really matter anyway. We do what we do so what's it really matter what the cause is?"


Harper quirks a brow at Teddy's confession. "I feel like that's a big deal." Looking away again, she reaches up to rub a hand at the back of her neck. "Sort of matters. To me, at least. I mean first, I was raised by nuns when I was little. Catholic. Super Catholic. So yeah, the whole magic idea is a little unsettling. Sort of? Like I said, New Orleans, so it's not like I haven't been exposed to it before, but still. Thinking that I've been doing magic without meaning to is a little uncomfortable. But then the second half of my life? Everything about it was because I was taken for a mutant. That was basically the defining fact of my life. But apparently I'm not."


"Well, the alien part is." Teddy agrees. "But it's not like it changes my powers any. I still know how to use them like I always did." Reaching up, he runs a hand over his hair. "From what Billy said, it's not like you're actually /doing/ magic as you're thinking of it. There's casting spells and then there's just being magical. Like Billy said, he first thought he was the son of Zeus. Maybe you're the daughter of Apollo."


Harper laughs, smile crooked as she shakes her head. "I doubt that. I kind of feel like if you were a god, you might take exception to your child being raised in the church of another god. Besides, aren't demigods supposed to be a bit more indestructible? I'm strong, but I'm no Hercules, and I can assure you, I bleed just like anyone else."


"So maybe you're his grand daughter." Teddy suggests. "Or great grand daughter. Or great great great. Anyway, I think that's what Billy was saying. Less doing magic and more are magic. Which doesn't change what you do or all the training you put into it."


"Maybe not if you live in the first century." Harper looks up toward the sky, shaking her head slightly. "It just makes me curious. More curious, really. If this was different, then what else might be different? What else could I learn, or know, or do? It's a whole different world of possibility."


"Yeah, curious I get. I'm really curious about whoever my dad was. I doubt I'll ever know though so I'm not going to obsess about it. Does make me wonder though." Teddy agrees. "Just try different things, I guess. Read up on different gods that do light stuff. Or other mythological creatures that do it. Give you ideas."


"Maybe I'm a fairy," Harper chuckles, a flicker of amusement crossing her features. "Awkward, that. I think that's the biggest fear, actually," she muses. "I don't know the rules about magic, but I know there are rules, and that means until I learn more, I'm vulnerable to the people who do know the rules. What if I'm part fairy, and if someone spills some sand in front of me and tells me to count it, I have to do it? I wouldn't know it was coming, it's not the sort of thing you normally come across."


"You're a little big for that, I think." Teddy says with a quick grin. "Do you always worry so much about stuff that might never happen? I mean, whatever you are, it's not affected you for however long you've been doing this. Just be cool and Billy can help you figure it out."


"Yes," Harper laughs. "Yes, I absolutely always worry about things that might never happen. That way, when it does, I'm prepared." She wraps her arms around her knees, resting her cheek on top. "I was ten years old when they recruited me into a program meant to turn mutants into soldiers, Teddy. Black ops. And sure, I'm strong, and fast. But I'm not super strong or fast. Not inhumanly so. My powers are geared for stealth, for illusion, for distraction. I get in, I get out. But being able to get out often means being prepared for whatever might come."


"Yeah, I get that." Teddy states. SHIELD's been teaching them similar things. "But there's stuff that's likely to happen, stuff that might happen and then there's stuff that will probably never happen. You can't try to think about every single thing, no matter how unlikely, and prepare for it. You just gotta improvise if something like that happens." Brow furrowed, he looks at Harper a moment. "So, you an assassin?"


Harper is quiet for a long moment at that question, the humor fading from her eyes. "Sometimes," she finally answers. "I hate that word, though. It makes it sound like it's…elegant, or something. Like there's some sort of higher reason behind it than someone decided someone else should be dead, then sent another person to make it so. Death isn't elegant, no matter how good you are at it."


"It sounds nicer than murderer." Teddy points out. "Well, you were a kid. And you didn't know better. And you escaped once you figured it out. Billy doesn't trust governments and spy agencies either so you should have something to talk about."


"Does anyone trust governments and spy agencies?" Harper arches a brow, that faint smirk returning. "If they do, they kind of deserve whatever they get, if you ask me.:


"Depends on the spy agency." is Teddy's answer. "I don't think I'd trust any government. But an agency that was concerned more about everyone without answering to a specific country… Like the SSR."


"The Strategic Scientific Reserve," Harper recites, as if it's a lesson she's learned well. "The people who created Captain America. The greatest scientific achievement the military ever had. The good guys for all good guys." She looks over, dry. "You know how many times they failed before Captain America?"


Teddy nods to Harper. "Yeah, I do. With volunteers so they weren't like what that Weapon X one did with you. Actually, I shouldn't have mentioned them since they were really American. But they became a join Allied effort which is when things started to work."


"Just because they volunteered doesn't mean they understood what they were volunteering for, or were treated fairly," Harper shakes her head. "Trust me, there are plenty of skeletons in that closet. What do you think they modeled the Weapon X program after? They just figured they were starting with a leg up by picking up people who already had powers. Now, maybe things have changed," she shrugs. "But the whole idea behind any of these things is the kill the other guy better."


"Consider it was Hitler and the Nazis, I'm pretty glad they did." Teddy counters. "We don't need something like that today though. No one's about to take over the world."


Harper snorts softly, shaking her head. "There's always someone about to take over the world, Teddy. They just don't usually announce it until they're pretty sure they've got the whole thing covered."


"Hitler was doing a pretty good job at succeeding at it." Teddy points out then shrugs. "I don't know if we'd have beaten him if we hadn't done what we did. Maybe. Maybe not. But that goes back to worrying about what might be. Can't worry about everything that might happen."


Harper lifts one shoulder in a shrug, looking out over the park. "You can trust who you like and prepare how you want. I'm going to learn as much as I can about this whole magic thing. If there are dangers or weaknesses, I want to be aware of them before I stumble into them accidentally."


"Well, that's reasonable." Teddy agrees. "You have people to ask who can help you try to figure it out. If you didn't, that would be a different matter since you'd just be shooting blind. Billy's magic dad is pretty much /the/ authority on magic stuff. If anyone can figure it out, he can.":


Harper nods once. "I'm…well, looking forward to it might be overstating things. I'm very interested. I'm very curious. I'm driven. I want to know more. I'm just…still a little bit worried about what exactly I might find out. So I'm focusing on the useful parts, I guess."


"Look at the bright side… You're unlikely to be related that giant with all those eyes. Or one of those cyclops… es?" What's the plural of cyclops? Shaking his head, Teddy just goes on. "Now that would a downer. But light based things in myths seem pretty cool."


"Mmm. I'll relax about that when I know what the answer is," Harper grimaces. "I'd rather not decide how I feel until I know for sure what the explanation is. Magic is odd, and capricious. Like I said, at least I knew the rules for mutants. This is a whole different story."


"You realize there might not be any new rules, right?" Teddy asks. "Billy just does what he does. It's different from the actual doing magic that he's learning to do. He can walk on holy ground and go out in daytime and everything."


Harper snorts at the last, smile flickering. "Uh huh. But from the way he explains it, Billy's magic translates to can do just about whatever he wants because magic. I'm pretty sure that's not how most magic works. Common knowledge in New Orleans. Magic has rules, and magic has a price."


"Don't they do that voodoo stuff down there?" Teddy asks. "Pretty sure you don't do that. Pretty sure Billy doesn't either. So obviously, there's different kinds of magic. You'll learn about it, I'm sure."


"More than one kind of magic in the world," Harper agrees. "More than just voodoo, and more than one kind of that, even. New Orleans is a melting pot. Picks up things from all over the world, from a mixed heritage. But yeah. If Billy's dad is everything he says he is, then I guess I'll get my answer eventually."


"Apollo." Teddy says, nodding once. "Bet it's Apollo. Greek god heritages might not show up for a long time or something. But yeah, you'll find out." Climbing back to his feet, he stretches. "I should get back. Think I can sleep now."


Harper pushes up as he does, brushing herself off. "I should probably give that a try myself. Your bet on the subject is noted," she adds with a flicker of a smile. "Suppose we'll find out."


Teddy nods. "Night. Talk to you whenever." Turning, he starts heading out of the park.


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