1964-10-11 - The Cat and the Witch
Summary: …meet, once again.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
keith billy 

It's evening, and Billy is out and about. At present that means he's floating above the trees, dressed in his work outfit: a dark green suit with panelling along the sides and along his arms that have designs like the stars. A deep red, hooded cape flutters in the wind around him. He's looking for trouble! To save the day! But not finding any, he slowly descends to the ground and lands at the edge of the park, pushing the hood back. Anyone making Little Red Riding Hood comments might get electrocuted.

Yippie yi ooh
Yippie yi yay
Ghost riders in the sky…

Merry old England had been very educational for Keith O'Neil. He has heard music, seen things, and done random jobs here and there. Still, at the end of the day, absence makes the heart go yonder. Fonder. Wander. One of them, anyways. It has been a long time since these shores have been home to the Cheshire Cat, but that changes tonight.

There is a sense of chaos that briefly permeates the atmosphere, before a tear in the fabric of space appears. Through this tear, some tendrils of fog slip out before Keith's Harley roars through, flying for a second in the air as he clearly miscalculated the height at which the portal would appear.

With a loud landing, the motorcycle screeches to a halt as its rider takes off his helmet, shaking his hair into coppery red locks.

For a moment, there's nothing but the purring of the engine, and then the young man's resonant tenor.

"Huh. Well. I guess I overshot."

The young man stops the engine and slowly gets off his bike, taking his surroundings in stock. Yep. Now that looked like Central Park, alright.

Billy, in this guise more aptly named Wiccan, is not the Sorcerer Supreme. It is not his duty to safeguard reality from eldritch horrors from beyond the veil. But! He's something more. He's the Sorcerer Supreme's son, not to mention the Scarlet Witch's, and that particular mix makes him adventurous, brave, studious, and not as cautious as he should be. He sees the tear in reality before it fully manifest, and he frowns. "Oh no you don't, you flipping spider monsters!" He lifts his hands up to pull it on his head again, and he rises up into the sky and moves towards it, spreading his hands as his cape billows out from behind him, caught by the wind. Electricity coils around his hands, and he's ready to fight the eldritch — motorcycle?

"… Keith?" He lowers towards the ground and extinguishes the electricity. He's confused. "Did you just come from the outer darkness?" Squint.

The redhead raises an eyebrow as he is interrogated, and his lips tighten into a sardonic smirk for a moment before answering:

"Manchester, actually. So, yes."

The young man dismounts in a creaking of leather. He pulls off his gloves and looks at Little Red Witching Hood for a few seconds before snapping his fingers in Billy's direction, as if trying to do a magic trick of his own.

"Billy!" he says, indeed conjuring a name out of the depths of his memory. "Billy. Funny finding you here." A pause, and a small frown. "What exactly are you wearing?"

"My Wiccan suit." Billy says, giving a little bit of a shruf, and pushing the hood off his head. Its not like it really does all that good of a job of hiding what his face is, after all. He spreads his hands a little, "I was patrolling. Looking for a dimensional rift to the crystal spider dimension so I could go get The Team and we could take care of it." He pauses a moment, frowning, "Wait, Manchester? But that read as sort of — chaos theory math." Math? "I didn't get a really good look at it because the wormhole wasn't open for very long."

Keith's eyebrows go up and he says "Ah," as if this were the most natural thing in the world. Then again, who was he to judge? He used to hang out with the X-men and they went by all sorts of names. They all seemed to favor outfits, too. He left before Professor Xavier could slap a uniform on him.

"It looks… flattering." He tries to find something positive to say about it. "Your name … what's a 'Wiccan?' And why are you looking for spiders, and… the team?"

He takes a quick breath, and then says, "I've been gone for a year, you realize." Or a month away from it, at least, "I don't have the slightest hint of a clue of an idea about what you're talking 'bout."

"It means witch." Billy says, as if he's used to people asking that; after all, in the 60's, the Wicca movement has barely left England, and even there is pretty underground. He chuckles softly, "Right, see. There's been breaches in the dimensional walls, and these crystal spiders come through, killing some people, stealing some others. It happens …infrequently, but we haven't really gotten the problem solved yet. " He then waves a hand, expansive, but meaningless as a gesture, "The Contingency Plan. My team. Of, you know, people who fight giant crystal spiders and save people. Between college classes and work, which usually means at night, so sleep? I remember when people slept."

"I sleep all the time." Yes, he avoided answering Billy's question about the portal. He was good at slithering out of things. "Witch. Does that mean you're a good witch… or a bad witch?" he asks, walking over and taking a corner of Billy's cloak in his hand and holding it up, his smirk turning from mocking to more light-hearted.

"You have a team. It seems like everybody I know now has a team." He ponders for a moment how he had intended to go to Westchester and had landed here instead. Maybe it was because he secretly feared he wouldnn't be welcomed back. Or that nobody would remember him. Or barely.

Billy seemed to have remembered him. But Billy was unusual. Those few encounters had been unusual, too. "So you fight crystal spiders from another world. You look good, for putting your life in insane amounts of risk I mean."

He drops the edge of the cloak and crosses his arms. "And you're a college kid, to boot. Where's that tall and hulky friend of yours? You know, the one with the shoulders almost as broad as you are tall?"

"Good witch. Totally a good witch." Billy flashes a dimpled grin immediately, choosing not to hear or see any mocking, "Having a team is good. You have people you trust on your back. Helps especially when your go-to trick is being a glorified taxi cab." He shrugs, "It's not insane. I Unmade one, though Dad got really upset about that. Apparently I'm supposed to ask Mom to explain why Unmaking is bad." He seems totally clueless on that, "So far I've hardly gotten injured, though this one time they were all surrounding me in a shield and that was a little alarming, I admit." Then he flushes slightly, "He's at home." The texture of home in his voice makes plain that its their home.

The young man's expression has a little surprise added to it. And, perhaps, a little envvy in those green eyes as well. "I see. That's very nice. You're doing very well for yoursself."

He hadn't taken the time difference into account, either. He had left Manchester at six in the morning, so of course it was probably rounding out to be eleven at night. He was going to have to decide where he could crash that wouldn't be chilly in the cold of Autumn. He turns around and inspects his motorcycle with the apparent intent of mounting it again. "I'm probably interrupting your hunt for spider-things from another world," he says.

"Things are busy, but good." agrees Billy, nodding his head, dimples showing again. He shakes his head then, "Its no interruption, I scouted around, didn't find any, probably means a portal isn't opening tonight. They don't open every day, sometimes not even every week. You hungry? I want some chili cheese fri— hey, wait, are you mathing?" He tilts his head to the side and leans towards the shorter teenager, "You're mathing— that's something about light refraction, that's something about patterns and a transformation function…" He's maybe a little crazier then he used to be.

"I have been called a lot of things in my time, but that's a new one." Keith says, slowly turning around to look at Billy. His expression makes it clear that he is waiting for the young man to explode or do something equally crazy. Like turn into gerbils. He slides his hands into his jacket pockets. "I'll do algebra, I'll do trig and maybe even statistics. But graphing is where I draw the line."

Lame joke achieved, the young man's brow furrows. Unbeknowns to him, the illusion that fools the whole world as to the fact that Keith O'Neil is just a regular-looking human being comes apart to Billy, leaving the Cheshire Cat.

"Now what are you talking about? Please tell me all of this spider business hasn't left you madder than a box of frogs?"

Finally, the math clicks into meaning, and Billy blinks, "Illusion." He nods his head, "You're surrounded in an illusion. The math— ahem, the spell— is real close to the surface, so I didn't notice it at first, and then— whoooooooooooooooa you're a cat." Billy looks astonished. Dumbfounded, perhaps. He stares, mouth open, eyes wide.

And the cat was out of the bag. Literatifiguratively speaking. His expression sours at once and he quickly turns around once again to mount his bike. That's where Billy might notice that his pants have a custom hole made to let his tail be. All of that had been hidden, but it is no longer a secret to Billy Kaplan.

Without a word, he mounts onto his motorcycle and fumbles for the keys in his jacket, clearly flustered to no end.

Billy lifts a hand, and bands of force wrap around the cat-man and his bike and lift them up into the air slightly. Its gentle, he's not being held completely immobile, but the 'hey, stop' from Wiccan is fairly effective, "Hey, man, I'm cool. My boyfriend's an alien." is blurted out, the first thing he can think of to relax the situation, though he immediately winces, "…which I'm not supposed to tell people so let's pretend I didn't say that." Pause, "Are you an alien, too?" There's no disgust or anything but gentle curiosity in Billy's voice, "My twin sister is a mutant, my dad is the Witch King, my mom is a mutant-witch, my other brother is a magical being that came into existance when my parents were sex-magicing." He's trying to say, 'yo, I am cool with weird', right? Right. "…okay?" He gently sets the cat man down.

Keith is clearly not amused at being restrained, but he gives Billy his attention when he starts talking. He remains with an impassive, inscrutable expression throughout Billy's spiel, so it is very hard to tell how he is reacting to all of this information.

It is to his credit that he doesn't simply peel off when he is set down. Instead, he quietly dismounts his bike and walks up to Billy. His boots don't echo on the ground as it did- because he's barefoot. The illusion has come completely down, and it shows all of the features that he usually hides from the world.

He gives Billy a long, intense look but no other emotion in his face.

And then he says:

"You family tree is severely screwed up."

"You have _absolutely_ no idea." Billy says with feeling, implying clearly that all the above? Is only the tip of the iceburg. There's nothing on Billy's features that are any different at all then when Keith looked like a regular person. He dimples, "Hey, look, man, there's a lot of different in the world and if we want to define ourselves by our differences— which is so a 60's thing to do let me tell you I hate that decade, I can't wait for it to be over— then we will all suck it, but whatever. Me. I define myself and my friends by what we have in common. Do you like bacon?" He tilts his head, "Tell the Jew Witch the truth, this question is important because let me tell you, bacon and I have unholy thoughts for eachother." The dimples turn into a grin.

Keith's lips form a taut line, and he seems to resist it turning into a grin. Eventually, he manages to stop it at a half-smile half-smirk.

"I like bacon." Then, he feels he should share something about himself, consiering Billy just performed the Nae Plus Ultra of oversharing short of bringing out his baby pictures. "Also, like you, I like guys. I eat all the bacon I want. Guys? Well. One out of two ain't bad."

He snorts, "I'm not an alien. I'm The Cheshire Cat." The way he speaks it you can hear the capitals. He's having a hard time being gruff, so he tries to play it detachedly cool. "The sixties aren't over, why do you talk about them as if you know how they end?" Because he foresees questions about him being the Cheshire Cat, and maybe he can deail those.

"The Cheshire Cat? Like the movie?" Billy clearly doesn't entirely understand what that means, and… is seriously not aware there's a book about this whole thing, but if it doesn't happen in space then Billy is not aware of the fiction in any coherent way. He grins then, "But since you like bacon, we can be friends. Buut… what dos 'I am the Cheshire Cat' mean? Is that your superhero moniker?" The guys thing doesn't even register: he figured that out already. But he hesitates a moment, then shrugs, "I'm from the future. I haven't been born yet; I'm 18, my mom is 25. Crazy magical accident ripped me out of the future and stitched my life into now, and let me tell you, the 60's suck. It gets way better later on. Especially about like.. you know. We like guys." Pause, frown, "It gets worse too in some ways."

"Well, I'm stuck in the here and now. And unlike you and your dimples, these are the goods I'm stuck with." He gestures to himself with a hand, smirking. "So it ain't getting any worse for me than being this walking disaster no guy ain't even going to come near to."

He pauses and reaches into his jacket, taking out a cigarette and a lighter. He does this because the comment about the movie made his hackles rise, just a little. Because in that movie he is roly-poly and purple and pink and no. Simply no. "Book. It comes from a book. Wonderland is real. I am real. I'm kind of a big deal. Was."

He takes a puff from the cigarette after it is lit. "I *am* the Cheshire Cat, Billy. I don't have a 'superhero' moniker. I'm not a hero. Nor much of anything."

He gestures with his cigarette. "Maybe I helped some of the mutant kids when they were being hassled." And had his picture taken in the newspaper when he helped stop that attack on a bus by the Leos of the Zodiac Cartel with Arachnid, Darwing and Pointdexter… but that had been in August of last year, and he had remained out of the public eye since then. He was pretty sure nobody would recognize him, especially since he had gone full feline then.

But then again, Billy had remembered him from those three or four meetings. He hopes that he didn't read the newspaper that day, because he would remember that. Wouldn't he?

|ROLL| Billy +rolls 1d20 for: 4

Billy handwaves dismissively, shaking his head, "So you got fur and a tail. That's not a deal breaker for some people; not where I come from, at least, and what I know of the 60's is that everyone's the same, just hidden. For some people its downright a bonus." The thing about the book gets a squint, and then a slow nod, "I don't really know what that means, still. I'm a sci-fi nerd, I didn't read the book, or see the movie. What's it mean? Obviously you can do illusion, and make wormholes. That's cool." He flashes his dimpled grin, but then there's a cigarette, and he frowns, pointing, "That will kill you. Cigarettes cause cancer. I know." But then he nods after a moment, considering: he squints, regarding the cat man with a long look, "Something is familiar." He can't quite place it,… yet. "But being a hero is an attitude, not a state of being. You see someone beating someone up, do you let that stand? You helped the mutant kids. You didn't have to. What happened to them— and what would have happened if you did nothing?"

"They probably would have been fine." He looks at the cigarette. Then he looks at Billy. "… this will kill me? For sure?"

Yeah, don't argue with the time traveler. "Well, so much for one of the few remaining pleasures."

He looks at the cigarette with a somewhat remorseful glance, and tosses it on the ground. Immediately he steps on it.

And then he winces vividly, because he is not wearing footwear. "Ah $*#@#$!"

He ends up leaning on his motorcycle to get his foot off the ground for a bit, glowering.

"Not where you come from. I get it. Unfortunately I can't get to where you come from."

Billy squinting at him makes him slightly uneasy. "Of course I'm familiar, you know me. As for what it means?" He leans forward and boops Billy on the nose with a smirk, "That's your homework. Read the book. It's classic. I'll even autograph it for you. I've got a big part in it."

"Eventually. The more you smoke, the faster. Fills your lungs with tar, the tar causes cancer, the cancer eats you alive." Billy says with a serious nod; being from the future isn't always all warm and huggy. But then he has to laugh at the cussing; sure, he doesn't ever cuss except that one time he was turned into a girl and had to deal with boobs in a super tight t-shirt, but otherwise? He's distracted by this line of thought by being booped, which makes him wrinkle his nose and rub at his nose and glower. "Dude I have enough homework, and I only read sci-fi. If there's anything you want me to know, you'll tell me. But. I gotta get home." And so *he* boops *Keith* vengefully. If vengefully can encompass boops, but really, it can't. "Stonewall Inn. Ask for Billy." On what is familiar or not, he leaves off for not— because suddenly he *vooshes* up into the air.

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