1964-09-25 - Pop Culture
Summary: Kamala visits Hope, and the pair takes a field trip into the real world.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kamala hope 

Hope's whole life has been training for a great battle. From the time she could barely walk, Nathan trained her to fight, to survive. And just because the battle they thought she was preparing for is over doesn't mean she's ready to stop training. In truth, she hardly knows what to do with herself otherwise. So when she's not bothering whoever's in the lab, or getting a little air outside the mansion, she's usually training.

Firearms training is generally discouraged inside the mansion, which is why she's currently taking on a dummy in the training room, a flurry of knees, hands, and elbows that send it swaying.

Kamala showed up at the mansion with a small gift for Hope. It's a book. Well, it was her book once upon a time. A copy of the Time Traveller by HG Wells. The young woman is dressed in her casual garb, but as she hears the noises from the training room, she moves to peek in. There's a pause at the doorway as Kamala watches hope in action.

She clutches the book and note that she wrote with it in front of her, holding it in place. There's a brief look of confusion, and then a frown as she realizes why Hope is so well trained. What she must have gone through. What she's trying to do now. Why Bobby was wrong. The X-Men - whoever they were - couldn't be murderers, not if they were future Hope's inspiration.

And she may be staring a little bit too long with large brown eyes that she may not realize that she's clearly seen and easy to point out in her simple, yet hero inspired colorful garb.

Hope ducks low with a sweep of her leg, only to leap back up with a punch that looks like it was taught by someone considerably larger and more powerful than she is. It's still enough to send the dummy plummeting to the floor before it rebounds up, caught with one forearm as she looks toward the sound of footsteps, breathing hard.

"Oh, hey," she greets, smiling awkwardly for a moment. "I was, uh. Well. You know. Were you looking for Cap?" Because of course no one would come looking for her, right?

There's a blink. "No, she's on a date tonight. Was.. well.." Kamala blushes a hint, the color darkening her already well-tanned cheeks. "…looking for you." She steps into the room and approaches, before holding out the book to Hope. "You asked me what an H.G. Wells was last night. Thought I'd share this." she offers as her own smile turns awkward.

"You looked.. wow. Very impressive. Like Matt Carter in 'Karate, the Hand of Death'." So she likes cheesy movies.

"Karnak would probably have a heart attack if she ever saw me training like that. I mean.. that was way spiff."

Hope blinks, pausing for a moment. One might get the impression she hasn't really received many gifts in her time. Eventually, though, she steps forward to take the book, holding a hand over the cover with a small smile. "Thank you," she says quietly. "I'll…have to read it." Though sitting around and reading books isn't her usual pastime.

She tucks the book under one arm, against her chest, as she looks back to the training. "Nathan used to push me like that. I used to get mad sometimes, that it wasn't fair. But it kept me alive when it mattered. So I keep it up. The fight's not going to be over for a long time, so I have to stay ready for it."

"There's a note on the inside." Kamala suddenly offers. "I figured. Someday. When you get back home. And you need a reminder. It'll be there." the Pak-American responds as she hands over the book and grins. "I'm supposed to be training like that, but I just don't know if I'm ready." she admits, looking around for a place to sit before gesturing towards the benches.

"Are you alright?" she asks, because she feels like she needs to. "I mean, last night was pretty intense. But ice cream fixes everything. But I'm not sure if I did that two nights in a row, if someone would say that was a date." she laughs a little at that. "You asked me last night how I got my powers. I mean. I was told not to tell unless I trust someone. And I sorta.. well, no. I want to trust you. If that's cool?"

"Honestly?" Hope laughs softly, moving to sit next to the other girl, gently setting the book down next to herself to start unwrapping the bindings around her hands. "I kind of have to be. Enough people have given their lives for mine that I owe it to all of them to be…everything they wanted me to be."

A faint smile quirks at the question, head tilting. "Yeah," she says, turning to face the other girl more fully. "Yeah, I'd like to hear it."

Turning to face Hope for a moment, Kamala studies her features for a moment and then lowers her hands into her lap. "A couple of months ago - I had this really weird dream. Someone told me I was special. I mean, I'm not really. I'm just me. But he was convinced I could help. And I ended up at this strange place with people I'd never met before. They were different. I mean, they have powers. But not mutants, and not Avengers, well. Some of them are."

She sighs. "So I helped them out for a while. I mean, it was really neat and and keen and I think I really did help them!" she says warmly. "Anyway, as I was getting to go back to my so boring normal life, I found this small blue crystal. And it glowed. I guess I should have checked it for radioactivity or something, but at the time, I wasn't really thinking about that. I just thought it was neat, and took it to keep as a good luck charm. I wore it around my neck on a little leather cord."

"There are lots of ways that people end up with powers," Hope nods, hands clasped on the pile of wrappings in her lap as she tucks one leg beneath herself. "I mean. Well. That's a bigger discussion. But I'm guessing that little stone was a little more complicated than just a pretty rock, yeah?"

Kamala nods. "Yeah. Gamma bombs, super soldier serums. Things like that. Me? I had a hissy fit." she says with a smirk. "I snuck out of my house one night a couple of weeks ago to go to a party. Because my parents kinda frown on that stuff. So they offered me what they said was juice, but it had vodka in it. I'm not allowed to drink alcohol by my tenants. It's not halal." comes the explanation. "Not approved. So.. I panicked. And I was angry. And hurt. So I ran away. And I had the crystal around my neck and I threw it against the wall and it broke and it released this.. gas. I breathed it in, and passed out. And I had some really freaky dreams. I mean, a hedehog with Hulk hands, and Captain Marvel asked me what I wanted to be. And I said I wanted to be her. I woke up and was in this.. coccoon thing. I broke my way out and .. I wasn't me. I mean, not like this."

Reaching up, she brushes her fingers into her brown hair nervously. "I was pretty." she explains. "Blonde, tall, but I also looked just like Carol looked when she was Miss Marvel. Except I didn't have her powers. I could stretch. And change myself. And the first thing I did - was change into her. Because I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be pretty. I wanted to be.. normal."

"Okay, well, first of all, Carol's not the only way to be pretty," Hope says, holding up a hand. "Seriously. Trust me. I have known some people who had the whole classic blonde hair, blue eyes, all the curves, et cetera, and they were just…not pretty. Seriously. So. Don't go hating on you."

She lowers her hand, offering it out instead. "And I may not know a lot of about normal, but the one thing I do know is that just about everyone I've every known has wished they were normal at some point. Granted, pretty much everyone I've ever known has also been a mutant? But, you know. It's growing segment of the population."

Kamala blinks at the hand as it's held up. "Yeah, well, when you're a mousy brunette that doesn't get a second glance in the hallway." she says with a little laugh. "It's been a pretty hard lesson to learn. And yes.. it seems a side effect of being a mutant is that you're gorgeous, as well." she responds, before studying the hand that's offered to her, and without much thought to it, her own finds Hope's, settling in to hold it.

"So.. those friends I was telling you about. They found me. It turns out I was one of them this whole time, but noone knew it. Apparently.. a long time ago, there were these aliens that experimented on humans, and their genes were passed down from one generation to the next. Not everyone has it.. but this gas, that was in the crystal? Activated my powers."

Hope laughs, giving her hand a reassuring squeeze. "If every mutant believed that, I don't think we'd have a Mutant Town," she points out before she falls silent to listen again, head tilting. "So it's…kind of like being a mutant, except it doesn't just happen to you. You get exposed to whatever that is and then it happens. Wow. That sounds…potentially way less traumatic than most mutants," she says, rueful.

The squeeze makes Kamala blush, but she doesn't withdraw her hand, instead she holds on a little longer. She glances down at her lap and makes the hand in Hope's slightly larger before shrinking it again. "Right. But the catch to that is imagine being in a place where you're just getting a coffee, and there's this gas and the next thing you know, you're changed forever. I mean, mutants and pubtery is a private thing. This could be a mass thing, you know?" she asks Hope, glancing up to her and meeting her eyes again. "Do you want to get some more ice cream? Or maybe a burger and a shake?"

"Change is messy," Hope says, giving her hand another squeeze before drawing back. "And unfortunately not always private, even for mutants. That's what I was doing when I got thrown back here - trying to help a mutant whose powers were out of control. Every one since I came back, since…They're all like that," she frowns quietly. "And of course, no one knows why. Or why I can stop it. But hey," she says, forcing a smile as she stands up. "The good news is, I've got plenty of time to think about it until I figure out how to get back, right? With ice cream, no less."

There's a grin before she moves back to her own feet and Kamala considers. "Well. You don't have to do that alone anymore. You have help." Her hands settle against each other again and she grins. "You want to change first? I can wait. I mean, I don't think you want to go all messy and stuff. But you so are going to show me some of your moves later!" Not an innuendo, promise.

Hope looks down at herself. "Oh. Uh. Right. Yeah." She clears her throat, sheepish. "Kind of have a bad habit of forgetting that sort of thing," she admits. "Wasn't real important for…most of my life. Be right back," she promises, pausing long enough to pick up the book before she jogs down the hall to her room. Changing doesn't take her long, though when she comes back in jeans and a sweater it's pretty clear that she only half brushed her hair, but…close enough.

"Wow, looking to impress me." Kamala teases gently. She doesn't mind, really, giving Hope a slight bump hip to hip before walking down the hallway to the staircase. "It's okay. We'll have you acting normal in nooo time." There's a grin flashed at that, warm and infectious as she bounces down the stairs, heading out the front door and to the street beyond. "So. What movies have you seen? I mean, I assume you've gone to the theatre, right?" she asks curiously. "If not, I am so going to find a way to fix that."

"That'd be a no," Hope laughs, shrugging with her hands in her pockets as she walks. They may just be going for ice cream, but there's still an ever-present wariness to her, watching the streets around them, the reactions of anyone passing by. "There were no movies growing up. And then there wasn't time after we got back. I mean, I know what movies are, just…not something I've done before."

"Okay. We're going to fix that.. I mean. If you want to!" Kamala says, turning to watch Hope for a moment before moving to walk beside her again, swinging her arms. She seems so natural and just oblivious to it all around her. A free spirit that doesn't seem to know to look for trouble. "So that gives the option - do you want to go to one of those theatres where you sit inside in air conditioning and watch, or a drive in? We'd need a car for that, but you get to sit in your own vehicle and can get all types of food and stuff!" she says with a brightening smile as they get closer to the shake and burger shack. "I know.. you have a lot to think about and concentrate on. But.. you need to remember that you need some you time. Or you lose yourself. And.. that's something I need to work on, too."

"You say these things like I have any idea what the difference is," Hope points out, amused. "I kind of feel like a drive-in sounds more…" Tactically advantageous. "Less pressure." The last, though, sobers her a bit, shoulders rising with an awkward shrug. "People say that. And I get that's a thing that…people are used to. But I'm not. There's never been 'me' time. Any time I've tried to do something for myself, I've ended up causing problems or hurting someone else."

"Let's think about this pratically for a moment." Kamala arrives at the shop first, opening the door and ushering Hope in for them to claim a corner booth in the back so that can sit and talk privately - and Hope has a full view of the diner, it's windows, and the kitchen - and a Kamala right in front of her on the other side of the table. "..I don't have powers you can copy." she points out quietly. "So you can't hurt me that way. I'm very flexible and stretchy, so sparring with me won't hurt me. And.. I don't think you would cause me a problem." she says finally, glancing up as the waitress comes over. "Two belly washers. One with no bacon, please. Two large chocolate malts, and a big basket of onion rings to split, please!" she says to the waitress as she waits for her to leave before turning her attention back to the redhead. "So. There is no pressure here. Got it?"

"Can I get that in writing?" Hope smirks as she settles into the booth taking a look around. "Preferably on something fireproof, so that after we're suddenly and unexpectedly set upon by a horde of aliens or a bunch of genocidal maniacs from the future, it doesn't get incinerated in the crossfire. I'm just being practical here," she says with a hand to her chest and a utter failure of an innocent look.

"I'll get it welded in steel so you can put it on the wall." Kamala sticks her tongue out after a moment and grins at her. "No, you're looking for disasters. I should totally get you to write stories with me." she says with a small laugh. "Especially since supposedly.." she winks. "I'm an alien." there's a roll of her eyes at that and she reaches over to give Hope a playful nudge. "Alright. So lets try this. When Nathan was telling you about the past.. was there anything you really wanted to try?"

"He didn't talk that much about this time, honestly," Hope shakes her head. "He was, uh." She laughs, rubbing a hand at the back of her neck as she looks up to the ceiling. "He was time-displaced, too. His parents sent him ahead with someone else because they didn't have the technology to save him. So he grew up in the future. A future. Also not one with drive-ins and onion rings. He didn't really talk about the little things here and now."

After a few moments, the waitress returns with the two milkshakes and the waters. She is definetly giving Kamala a not so friendly look, especially the way she's just chatting with Hope. And the fact that she placed the order didn't help much. Kamala offers a smile and a polite, "Thank you." before the girl leaves and returns her attention to Hope. "And without that either." she rolls her eyes a little and sighs, taking the cherry out of her shake and drops it into Hope's glass. "Then you have a lot to learn, and I have a lot to teach."

Hope definitely picks up on the attitude, head tilting as she looks after the waitress then around the diner once more. "Like…what's with the attitude?" she asks, brows furrowing as she takes the cherry out to eat it off the stem, pointing a thumb after the waitress. "Do I smell?" She sniffs at herself, then shrugs. Her sense of 'does she smell' might not be on par with everyone else, admittedly.

There's a little sigh. "Remember what I said about being pretty and blonde? That's the other part. I'm Muslim. And dark-skinned." As if Hope hadn't noticed as Kamala swirls the straw in her drink. "And to a lot of people, that means I'm not an equal." she explains quietly. "Women only just got the right to vote a few decades ago. And people of color.." she closes her eyes. "At least we're not in the South. It's worse there."

Hope's brows rise at that, and she takes another look around the diner, now with a new filter. "Wow. People are just…damned determined to create divisions where they don't need to, aren't they?" She takes a sip from her milkshake, still watching the crowd. "Are they likely to make trouble about it?"

Kamala shakes her head. "I don't think so. There's no divided 'colors only' aread." There's a little laugh at that. "I'm Pakistani. So I'm not white. Or of African descent. So.. I'm not sure how they react sometimes." The onion rings and burgers arrive in short order, and Kamala takes a moment to make sure there's no bacon on hers before she bows her head in brief prayer, her soft words in Urdu probably reaching Hope's ears alone.

"What difference should it make?" Hope frowns, though she falls silent when Kamala prays. She may not be familiar with much in the way of prayer herself, but she can recognize when someone is engaged in something that's important to them. "I mean, to be fair, there's no reason for it to make a difference anyhow, on any part of the scale, but…I mean, if it's based entirely on skin color, then nationality shouldn't matter. But skin color and nationality aren't the same thing anyhow, so it just- Wow. That is really stupid. And people are just okay with that?"

"They were. At least a century ago. Civil War and all. Now? Nope. That's why you see marches about civil rights and such. People want everyone equal." For a moment, as she's reaching for an onion ring, Kamala touches Hope's hand before withdrawing it quickly. "I mean, I had hoped at one time that meant mutants and other powered beings as well, but that didn't play out on your time well. Maybe we can still make a difference."

"Well. Things were still rough for mutants, but…I mean. If it helps, by the time people are adding cockroach DNA to their own to survive nuclear winter, they kind of stopped caring about skin color?" Hope, sometimes better at being inspiring than others. She smiles faintly, picking up an onion ring and giving it a once over before she takes a careful bite. "Nuclear winter. Bringing people together."

"I prefer my winters to throw snowballs, Hope." Kamala responds with a laugh, starting on her meal with gusto, quick to start tucking in on her burger. Then she pauses as she realizes something. And her cheeks color. "You know, here I am, talking about taking you to do all these thing, and you may not even want to do those things with me, or have a guy that you want to do them with instead. Gosh. That's boneheaded of me!"

"Kamala," Hope points out, taking another bite of her onion ring. "I live with old people. And the alternative is a- a place full of people who're closer to my own age, but who I put in danger just by hanging around, and who don't really understand that I'm not just another kid. So, not to make you think it's you by default, because you're definitely the coolest person I've met so far, but you've kind of got the lock on being not old and not clueless," she grins.

Kamala laughs at that. It's a rich and warm smile as she looks down into the basket of onion rings. "…yay, I win by default!" she says with another laugh as she starts to work on her meal, not sure what else to say at the moment, before she comments, almost too quiet. "I do like spending time with you." she says with a shrug of her shoulders and a grin.

"Hey, the point was not default," Hope grins, pulling her milkshake a little closer. "But also that you're not really keeping me from anything. Pretty much if Tony's not at the mansion and willing to put up with me tinkering with his work, then I don't actually have anything else I have to do. I train because it's…I mean, it's what I do. And sometimes I hit the streets because this city is- It's a lot of people for me, and moving helps sort of even it out, makes me feel less trapped. But otherwise? Not a lot of obligations. For now."

"You're not allowed to be trapped anymore!" Kamala says with a firm nod. "I don't mind training with you. But you have to agree to go out and do things with me. Fair trade if you ask me." She comments as she slurps on her shake, making that obnoxious mostly empty straw noise as she works on the rest of it and turns to finishing off her burger as the waitress is very quick to show up with their ticket, eager to have the pair out of the diner. "Oh! I know where we can eat next time. Ever been to an automat? You go there, and there's these doors. You pay, open the door, and there's food. No waitress to tip." she glances towards her shoulder with a smirk.

"Once we survived on recycled astronaut pee," Hope notes, rueful. "The fact that you can go just about anywhere in this city and find food? Still sometimes baffles me. So just so you're prepared, my standards for food are pretty low." She looks back to the waitress again, shaking her head. "It's just disappointing, you know? You're a good person. She should be able to see that."

"Some people don't bother to look further than the color of the skin. In that, Hope, you are a rare gem indeed." Kamala responds, as she pulls out a few dollars to pay for the meal and still leaves a tip regardless before standing. "Walk a girl home?" she asks with a playful smile, straightening out her skirt and patting her belly in satisfaction. "That'll hold til breakfast. Just a week left." she sighs.

The idea of going hungry isn't all that strange to Hope, though choosing it is a little less familiar. "It's a religious thing, the fasting?" she asks as she falls in step, following behind. "And the prayers before meals. And what you eat." She may not know the details, but she's obviously picked up on some of what's been happening.

"It all is, yes." Kamala explains. "I'm a Muslim by faith, so I follow the tenents of the Quaran." she comments. "For instance, for me, this is the year 1384, but I recognize it's 1964 for everyone else. It's also my New Year. This is supposed to be a time of self-reflection and quiet contemplation, and I'm not supposed to attend joyous events." There's a glance towards Hope and a smile. "You're kinda ruining that for me." She clearly doesn't seem to mind.

"That may be the first time that anyone has accused me of being joyous," Hope grins. "Usually it's combative. Or stubborn. Mostly stubborn, actually. Defiant, I get that one, too." She's got her hands in her pockets once more, head on a swivel as she walks. "I guess a new year seems like a good time to stop and think about things." She pauses, smile flickering. "Any time you get a chance, really. Life goes by fast. If you don't ever get to stop and think about it, it can get completely out of hand."

Oh, in thirty years? Kamala would totally get that quote. She's relaxed compared to Hope, hands out, before she glances over at the redhead and shrugs. "You're good company. You make me smile and laugh. Maybe stubborn last night." she shrugs a little. "But you had every reason." After the short walk back to the Mansion, she pauses just inside the door, her hand held out for a moment to Hope. "I should see about getting back home. It's getting late and I don't want to burn through all of my 'Captain America said I could stay late' excuses yet. I hope you like the book and note.. and I'll see you again, soon?"

"Thank you for the book," Hope says as she takes the offered hand in both of hers, smile warm. "I'll probably read tonight. And yeah, of course. Come by tomorrow if you want, we can spar. Maybe in the morning, so you're not too hungry," she suggests. Ever practical.

"Sounds like a plan." Kamala says, and covers Hope's hand with her other, giving it an affectionate squeeze before moving to let go. "Just don't make me work up too much of an appetite, because then you'll have to deal with me the rest of the day and my stomach growling and me going 'Sooo huuungry, is it sundown yet?'." She smiles warmly, before releasing the hand, and before Hope can react, steps in and hugs her again. Because hugs are nice. And she could use one. Which she is left in the air, before she's moving to disentangle to head off. "See you tomorrow!"

Hope has not had enough hugs in her life. She's still surprised, still briefly awkward, but she does return it in kind when she catches up to her brain. "See you tomorrow," she agrees with a flash of a smile, waving from the doorway.

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