At the Beginning
Unexpected camaraderie and discord is struck when two travellers cross paths. Amity takes it upon herself to discover Marjory's mission.

King of Cups Pub

May 2nd, 2013

"If we are at base animals, then maybe it's more important to get in touch with the inner beast than foster the inner philosopher?"

The dimly lit pub is almost jarring to people coming in from outside. Mostly because it's quite light outside, and weirdly dark inside. Cedar panelling covers the walls and oak hardwood floors may inspire some to wonder how many trees had to die in order to create the ambience. But it certainly is rustic. The dark coloured bar seats a number of patrons, even at eleven o'clock in the morning. Breakfast at the bar isn't unheard of. Especially not for your friendly neighborhood drifter.

Amity looks down one end of the bar and then the other. The large white plate, covered with eggs benedict and hash browns has a smattering of ketchup on the side of the plate. Her lips curve into an easy smile as she peeks down the bar. Her hands rest upon the top of the bar and her gaze turns up to one of the many televisions in the room. In one abrupt motion, she throws her hands in the air as she yells at the screen, "Ref, you need glasses!" And then, as the bartender directs his attention to her and her yelling she responds with a large toothy grin, "You saw that, right? The ball was totally in. I know what I saw and the ball was in." She shrugs lightly, "Sorry, I like my sports. Well, I like pieces of sports." Her nose wrinkles as she turns towards the person sitting on the stool next to her, "You saw that the ball was in, right?" There's a hint of hopeful triumph in her tone, but her eyes and toothy grin imply that it doesn't matter what her stool-neighbor thinks.

It's early enough that no one minds the girl who steps quietly into the pub; the dim interior may seem timeless, forever night, but the clock marks a time kinder to those who look under the legal age to imbibe the establishment's hearty drinks. Yet she's without any guardians, the fair, vivid redheaded, delicate slip of a creature. The messenger bag held crosswise over her body ought to weigh her down, but she wears it like it's no more a burden than her jacket — the brown leather that makes an attempt to age her up despite her youthful aura.

Beneath the buzz of the sports on TV and the chatter of the bar — of Amity —Marjory moves almost demurely, as if thinking that if she walks very daintily and doesn't make eye contact with anyone, no one will see her. It works — to an extent. She's careful, just incase. She waits until the bartender has drifted away from the bar entirely on another task before she makes her way to it; red hair swings one way and the other as she gives the place an invested, furtive glance.

A polite voice at Amity's side, opposite her first stool neighbour, then — haunted softly by a British accent. "Excuse me…"

Amity pays the red-head little heed until the latter's niceties specifically draw attention. The first neighbour is forgotten, much to his delight (not everyone wants to meet the crazy yelling girl in the bar. The twenty-something's grey blue eyes sparkle with bemusement as her lips continue to curve upwards with some hidden delight. "Hello~" she virtually sings, the smile extending even more, if at all possible.

After the greeting as been said, however, the smile tames some as her eyes narrow. There's a certain amount of scrutiny in the stare as her lips hitch up on one side. And then, as if having made some vastly important decision, she twists around in the stool to face the television and her breakfast once more. "Grab a seat, kid. Lots of room at the bar." For whatever reason, Marjory has been deemed an acceptable pub mate. At least for now.

Marjory isn't quite so eager; after the woman turns back around, the younger observes the other almost suspiciously. No, not quite; it's simply that she tries to assess the meaning behind the simple kindness. She sits in the seat without a word, at first, a faint rustling settling upon her lap — she holds a twice-folded piece of paper in her hand as tightly as she can without wrinkling the apparently sacred document. "Do you happen to know," she starts to ask, pausing to look from the woman's breakfast to the TV and back again, "what time this place closes and opens? It's not listed…" A query best put to an employee, yet Marjory purposefully poses the quiet words to the customer.

There's an easy openness about Amity's demeanor. Her black leather flack jacket, red t-shirt, and dark wash blue jeans certainly don't make her seem imposing. The laced black leather boots and the red motorcycle helmet resting on the bar are the only truly imposing parts of her appearance. Amity forks at her food and her eyes stare up at the screen once more. The question posed, is first responded to with a quiet "Hmm?" as if she didn't hear the question.

Despite herself, however, Amity hears the question despite not listening. "Oh. Uh…" her face scrunches into a plaintive scowl. "Well… it opened pretty early. Got here at 9. Drank some OJ and decided to linger," the scowl fades back into a smile. "Closing… probably not until eleven at least. It'd be weird if it was even eleven. I think most bars tend to have long hours, particularly at night. Booze hounds spend ludicrous amounts of money." She shrugs. "Why?"

A smile might be just beginning to form on Marjory's small, precise mouth, but her lips press together and form, instead, the defenses of a teenager. She sits up a little straighter with a soft hiss of her own leather jacket; instead of stiffening, the poised posture with a raised head seems truer to her form than most average kids' slouching. A soft noise, perhaps a defensive "well," is murmured. "Because," she forms, trying to be polite, but with the utmost infallible logic, "I need to know."

Amity uses the side of her fork more like a knife to cut into the eggs benedict before she repositions it and shovels the egg-treat into her mouth. There's another bemused smirk as she chews her food and leans a little closer toward Marjory. "Clearly," she talks around her food, "I had you all mistaken." She swallows and lets her fork rest on the side of her plate as she turns in her stool to face Marjory entirely, "You must be one of those booze hounds I just talked about. Intending to close the place down tonight?"

And then a pause. "You must have one killer fake ID."

The briefest instant passes wherein the young woman is distracted by Amity's eggs. After, her eyes lock onto Amity for, truly, the first time face-on: pale in colour but not pale in strength. "No," she says, straight. Her head turns slowly to face the bar, purposefully giving Amity her profile, as still and fair as carved ivory. "Thank you very much answering me." Politely spoken, sincerely — but firmly, clearly evading. She holds the already secure strap of her packed bag across her chest tighter, as if preparing to slink away once more; yet she stays, right there, on the stool. Marjory has a logic and plan all her own. She keeps it close to the vest.

There's another pause at the simple, straightforward answer, which has Amity turning back towards her breakfast. The smile takes on a sly quality as she glances at breakfast. The fork is left where it is while just her head turns this time to focus on the teen. There's a moment where it seems like she'll just let the conversation stop there. But then, something eases. "You like benedict?" she asks with an arch of her eyebrows. "Last time I checked you don't need a fake ID for breakfast. Or lunch as the case may be." The smile grows as she waves towards the bartender. "Can she see a breakfast menu — ?" A glance is given to the TV and then back to the red-head. "You like soccer? I have mixed feelings about it. Grown men getting paid to kick around a ball? That seems like a hell of a way to live, doesn't it? But man, I love the freedom sports give people."

Marjory looks quickly at the woman. "I— " She wants to protest, but she buffets up against some manner of barrier and shuts her mouth — for the time being. She looks down as the menu is asked for, then focuses a bright, if critical eye on the TV screen. "I don't see why people make a big deal of it," she confesses, expressing a subtle distaste instead of being outright dismissive. Her words are spoken well, precise, although the more she speaks the more the faint note of saltiness in her accent makes itself known. "I understand the freedom of play, but the victory seems so exaggerated, for kicking around a ball. It's not a true contest. It's just a game."

"It is just a game," Amity agrees. "But there's something wonderful about the spectators." Her finger pointedly extends towards the screen, "They can yell," her nose wrinkles with a strange satisfaction, "jump up," her sense of wonder reflects in those grey blue eyes as they fixate on the images of people in the picture, "and they can dissent. It's sort of glorious." Finally her gaze peels away from the television back towards Marjory. "Tell me there's nothing extraordinary about that. It's like freedom embodied. Suddenly all of the rules that dictate the way we live are out the window."

The bartender slaps a menu in front of the teen before turning his back and retreating back to his work. Amity's eyes track down to the menu and then back towards Marjory. "Get whatever you want. It's on me."

Amity's sense of wonder sparks Marjory's. The kid of bright, dreamy imagination is suited to her young face as she stares at the TV, seeing beyond it. "That is sort of glorious," she has to agree — a smile even appears. "It reminds me of the spectators in a Roman arena, watching gladiators fight," she says with the same wonder and a tinge of excitement — slightly lessened as she adds, "Or what I imagine they'd be like." No doubt she has. Marjory's red head eases down. Her gaze is pointed at the menu, but she neither reads the list of hearty pub fare nor touches the glossy pages. Her mood shifts once more, the barrier going up. "I don't want charity."

Triumph characterizes Amity's face while the edges of her lips claim their victory in silence. "Yes! I think there would be a wonderful rowdy-ness at the coliseum! And while it's barbaric it's incredibly human. To latch onto entertainment wherever it exists. To unleash something other-worldly…" There's a chuckle at the notion of charity. "It's not charity. You're the first interesting person I've talked to since I've rolled into town." There's a shrug. "Believe me, bar hounds, lollygaggers, and layabouts hardly make good company. And really, I've been traveling awhile and haven't had a half useful conversation in weeks." Including those fellows who kept plying her with drinks just the night before. Not that it had any modicum of success.

Despite her prior defense — the rise of the wall — Amity's words have Marjory brightening ever-so-subtly again. A little spark, being fanned. Her lips press flat, straightening out as if to crush a forming smile, giving her a bashful appearance as she looks at the menu without looking at the menu. "… Me too," she convinces out eventually. Her too. It's as clear an acceptance as Amity's going to get.

Marjory swivels an inch or so toward the woman, momentarily forgetting breakfast. "Even though the gladiator games are barbaric blood games, and the gladiators were technically slaves, they still were true battles," the teenager picks up again, eagerness jumping behind her precise words. Talk of battle feeds the brightness in her eyes. "The victor was celebrated for beating death — for being the best." A far cry from kicking a ball into a net, perhaps. "It's like you said. The crowd was allowed to be free, and to face such violence right in front of them, to embrace it, even cheer for it — and be allowed, without consequence. It is human. I think it's fascinating!"

"It is fascinating," Amity agrees with a smirk as her fingers toy with the fork resting on her plate. "There's something deeply important about it all and how it changes, well, everything. If we think of ourselves as animalistic rather than civilized it changes the entire game of life. And if we are at base animals, then maybe it's more important to get in touch with the inner beast than foster the inner philosopher?" She winks. Again, she shovels another almost-too-big bite of eggs, hollandaise, and english muffin into her mouth. She chews for a moment before setting her fork down on the plate again. "I'm Amity, by the way," she says around the food she hasn't yet swallowed.

Marjory is smiling, a happy expression settled on her face like a rare treat. Though more and more and more swims behind her gaze, sharply intelligent thought and imagination, she's content to just let it swirl and mingle with Amity's words without giving voice to her own just now. "Marjory," she replies and the soft tone is thank-you.

The idle approach of the person behind the bar gains her immediate observation, then; she taps a bare nail to the menu. "I'll have this, thank you." A big breakfast featuring eggs, home-fries, and whatever passes as salad in a bar. "Benedict," she clarifies of the eggs before focusing on Amity again — then off, as though shy. Unused to the flow of conversation, but ever-so-curious. "Where have you travelled from?"

The word bendict strikes just the right chord, prompting a large toothy grin from the twenty-something. The mention of travel though only extends the smile. "Depends on whether you mean most recently or at the start, I suppose." And without further prompting she offers, "Here and there really," her nose wrinkles, "Most recently the Mayan Riviera." There's a pause as she waggles a finger, "Don't be mistaken though, it wasn't some two-bit all-inclusive deal. I'd rather live with locals. Eat local food." Her eyes narrow, "Be on an adventure." She smirks. "There's too much life to live to stay put."

"Before that? Belize. Bermuda. Turkey… almost set up roost in Istanbul, but if I'm honest there's too much world to see and not enough time to see it. Greece." Her lips twitch to the side in thought. "Before all of that? Well, Manchester." Her eyebrows arch upwards. "How about you? You from around here?" Logic would probably dictate Marjory is not, but if Amity has made this conclusion, she doesn't let on. Not in tone, body language, or word.

Amity chases back Marjory's age with every place she lists; childish — or rather, unbridled, innocent human — wonder floods her expression, into every soft corner of her face. Longing, too; a longing to see and experience all of those things. She looks down abruptly, a furrow of darkness marring her for an instant. "I'm from different places," she decides, choosy with her phrasing. "I was born in England, in Suffolk." But that's not really her home. And she's not from around here. "I'm a traveller, too," she says upon looking up, her shoulders gaining a prideful stature. "But— I haven't been— to those places!" Excitement picks up where it left off, a rolling ball that only gains momentum— "What was the Mayan Riviera like? Did you see the pyramids? Did you see where the conquistadores invaded? Did you see a wall of skulls— ?!"

"The Mayan Riviera was… awesome! I can't even begin to explain how incredible it was." The food, for now, is forgotten as Amity adjusts her chair to face Marjory instead of the bar. "I saw a little bit of everything, and I wish I'd stayed longer to see more. The pyramids were pretty epic. And really, there's so much to see, I'm not sure a person can see everything there is to see." There's a small twitch of her lips as she poses her question, "So where have you been? I'm always looking for the site for future adventures — "

Marjory clings to every scrap of information with adventure still shining in her eyes. She's shifted around, too, to fully face Amity. The paper she carries is still held tight but momentarily forgotten, pressed into black denim. When it's her turn, her gaze falters, along with her voice, when it emerges— "Well— …" But she gains momentum. "Across … Canada, mostly. And up," as opposed to across, "North, even to the Arctic. All through the wilderness, through forests, and the mountains, and I visited every historical site I could find, every fort and ancient settlement and so many cities along the way… I want to travel the whole world," she says eagerly, though it's counteracted with a determination and ironclad responsibility rarely glimpsed in teenagers her age as she explains staidly, "but I have to stay here now."

There's something familiar, easy, and soothing in talking about travel adventures. "There's a lot to see across this country," Amity's gaze turns upwards momentarily. "I think that's next on my list. One end of this magnificent country to the other." She sucks on the inside of her cheek in consideration before lifting her chin, "Anything draw you North or just the desire for adventure?" She gives an easy smile before asking, "There's a lot of world to see and we all only get one lifetime to see it." Her lips purse as she hooks her ankles around the legs of her chair, "Sometimes I just have to anchor myself into the moment." Her eyebrows arch, "I find it hard to stay anywhere for very long anymore… how do you manage to stay put, even for a little while?"

"I have a plan for everywhere I go," Marjory says easily, swept up in the excitement of the conversation; it's not until after the words have left her mouth that she pauses to consider how they sound, and how much she cannot, or should not, explain them. Even to this woman who seems to just get things. "I'm here— because I have to do something," she explains that much. Even vague, it's still ironclad. Try as she might to sound casual, the gravity of her mission keeps on strengthening her otherwise delicate voice. "I'm looking for something. I can't leave until I find it, or until I know it's not here. Then I'll go somewhere else, looking, and somewhere else to find it…" It's clear that an angry fire wants to flare in those eyes, but she keeps it just tempered. Just barely. Her young jaw clamps and releases. "To every end of the earth until I do."

"Sounds pretty important," Amity replies towards the television rather than Marjory. The curve to the twenty-something's lips softens some, but the smile still remains, almost as if painted on her face. "Well I admire your determination. I think there's something admirable about finding purpose in the wandering." Something which Amity hasn't yet managed. Not since she started this journey. "What are you looking for, anyways?" The smile softens further, "I think it's great that you are looking… a lot of people expect to find what they seek without ever leaving home, but I'm not sure that's possible for most of us. I think staying put mostly fosters disappointment and bitterness."

Marjory's hands fidget slightly on her lap. She remembers the paper she holds and flattens it purposefully against her leg again. "Yes," she agrees, looking down; though she sounds sincere, she's quieted considerably. "That's very good." She looks over her shoulder, checking on her food just to look somewhere else for a moment. "It's a bit different for me… you know that saying, not all those who wander are lost? Well I'm not lost because I'm not wandering." The teenager's voice drops and intensifies. "I'm hunting."

There's a twitch of Amity's lips at the brevity of the word. "Hunting," she repeats, allowing the weight of the word to wash over her in a sort of magical trance. Her lips part only to meet again in careful consideration of the word choice, and the ways in which this teenage girl may be hunting. Some people might back off and halt the conversation, but then Amity isn't people. She doesn't even look like people. And so the conversation continues, "What" much like Marjory, her voice drops and meets that intensity, "are you hunting?"

The girl's head drops while her gaze sticks on Amity, her intensity leaning forward while she, herself, doesn't get any closer. She seems to study and grade every curve and precise notch of the woman's face and mind; or is Majory just stalling. "I can't tell you."

"Hmmm," comes the easy response as Amity brings her coffee cup to her lips. She takes a long leisurely drink, inhaling the coffee's scents as she quite literally takes a pause. "Well, Marjory," she nearly soothes, "you just got a whole lot more interesting." Her lips twitch into a mischievous half-smile. And then, like a kid in a candy store, she leans forward on her barstool, "Can I guess? Will you tell me if I'm right?" The twinkle in her eye indicates that now that there's a puzzle, a mystery afoot, her interest as piqued.

Surprise lights up Marjory, distracting her from truly considering the curious proposal right away, before her youthful, untarnished brow furrows under the weight of a responsibility far heavier than her years. In the midst of this intense little conspiracy, breakfast: her shoulder twitches as the bartender sets it down, but she doesn't look just yet. She keeps thinking.

"Alright," Marjory agrees after a spell, speaking almost regally, deigning Amity the privilege of guessing. "But you'll never guess."

One of Amity's eyebrows quirks at the response, but she doesn't verbalize her thoughts about that. She rests her elbow on the bar and perches her chin upon her hand. "Hmmmm," her lips press together thoughtfully while she considers all of the things a teenager could be hunting. "What about a bird?" There's a pause. "Will you let me know if I'm hot or cold? Or is this only a yes/no game? I'd rather it be hot and cold because that'll make it more fun — "

Amity gains a funny look, serving up an answer before Marjory voices one. A bird? No, obviously not a worthy answer. She indulges a bit of attention in her breakfast, reaching for a fork and twisting to scoop into the piping hot offering. An odd little consideration drifts in just as her mouth opens; she's suddenly pondering the guess in a new light — nevertheless, she lands decisively upon: "Cold."

"So nothing bird-like, I'm guess," Amity's gaze turns upwards as she straightens on her stool and presses her pointer finger to her lips like she's keeping some secret. She lowers the finger, "Is it… a dog?" Her eyes narrow, "Hotter or colder?"

Outwardly, Marjory pushes all of her concentration into the pile of potato wedges on her plate; it's such a simple question, on the surface, yet it seems to be presenting the girl with some manner of great scientific or philosophical debate. The more she thinks, the stiffer her posture becomes, the tighter the grip on her sturdy pub fork. She tears at an impaled home fry like it's a piece of tough meat when she bites it, lost in this inner war. By contrast, she sets her fork down primly. "W… warmer," she decides, uncertain about the answer but certainly angry about it in the same instant.

There's a delicious feeling of victory that washes over Amity, but she doesn't let on. Her head lulls to the side almost lazily as she allows the heaviness of her head to mirror her concentration. "So it's more canine than bird?" she taps her chin with her index finger once more. "Is it a type of wolf?" her eyebrows furrow tightly together.

Marjory takes a deep breath in. It gets sucked into a void, never seeming to release. Tightly jawed, she flattens her hands — and paper — on the bar on either side of her large plate, turning fully away from Amity. No laziness in the questioned, as she practically vibrates with contained energy the mere word, 'wolf', elicits. "A wolf in name." Hatred: it's clearer than her riddle of an answer.

Amity's eyes narrow into slits. Her jaw tightens and any delight or victory she'd felt moments before have disappeared. Her face pales slightly as she allows Marjory her space. A different feeling washes over her, but she doesn't try to think on it, doesn't allow herself to give it a voice, instead she lets it linger like a fire boiling in her very blood. In a weird way she feels stronger. Finally after a few moments, she clears her throats, "Many things are wolves in disguise." Her throat clears again, "How are you hunting it?"

Perceptive to the change in Amity, a flame recognizing a flame, Marjory looks deeper still into the woman when she regards her next, upon the newest question. "By never stopping," she says, a brutally honest dedication bound to that utterly literal answer. "I'm following a trail. Every good tracker knows how to follow a trail," she divulges; answer, advice, and mantra. "And even predators like wolves leave a trail."

There's a tight near-statuesque appearance to Amity's expression reminiscent to statues of greek heroes. Resolute. "Everyone leaves a trail," she agrees in clipped words. Again her eyes narrow, "Does it know you're following it?" Her lips press into a thin line as she considers something. "What kind of trail are you following?"

Something that knows has prescience; Marjory studies Amity and wonders what she's thinking, what she knows. This time, no answer. She regains her fork and prods idly at a scrap of lettuce. "You've stopped guessing."

And then, with an all too knowing smile, Amity's eyebrows perk and she quips, "Well so I have. I suppose I nearly ruined the game. And no one will rightfully accuse me of ruining anyone's fun." Her eyes narrow a little at the thought of a wolf. Evidently it's not wholly wolf, only in name. "Well you've given me quite the riddle. A wolf only in name." She hmmms again. "Is it a grey wolf?"

Marjory gains the faintest hint of a smile, enjoying that she's the Sphinx in this scenario, though her countenance is quite stony, for a game. Serious, for a sixteen year old. She barely eats. She quirks her head toward Amity, as contrary as she is curious when she queries, "Is a grey wolf not a wolf?"

"Touche!" Comes the brighter tone. "Well then I suppose the key is in the riddle," replies Amity somewhat coyly. "A wolf but only in name…" she nearly whispers — to herself rather than Marjory. And then her eyebrows knit together, "It's a person, isn't it? A person with the name wolf?"

"No. Not a person." She's adamant. More adamant than anything that came before. But it's not a dismissal, no, it's an insult; person is too noble and gentle a word to describe what she's hunting; no, if they were still playing the game of hot and cold, Amity would indeed be getting warmer. And there's fire in Marjory's veins: seeming unable to glower hatefully downward for a second longer without splitting in two, she appears apt to leap from the barstool. Instead, she whips her head in the opposite direction from Amity, gripping the bar. When she looks back it's easy to see the darkened eyes of a warrior; inextricable from the angry spite of a child. A dangerous and unusual combination.

"I can't answer anymore," Marjory insists harshly, then hurries to add, "It's not that I don't want to tell you." She wants to scream it through the city streets. "You seem— different, and I don't get to talk to a lot of … anyone, about it, unless they know something, but see, it's too dangerous. It's my quest."

Amity's lips clamp shut and purse at Marjory's response, but she says nothing. Instead she slides the plate away from her and reaches for her coffee. Again she brings it to her lips. She takes a long slow swallow, letting it fill each of her senses in turn. There's a weird unsettledness about her. Her muscles tingle, nearly buzzing with a strange energy, but she writes it off, letting it go. She takes a slow deep breath and sets the cup on the bar once more.

"I can understand having your own business," she answers nearly cautiously. "But danger doesn't worry me. At all. Ever." Oddly, her eyebrows knit together as if realizing this truth about her own life for the first time. And then almost ironically her lips crack into a sardonic smile, "I don't think I can remember a time I felt… huh." Her lips twist into a strange smile-frown, but she shrugs instead of putting it into words. "What exactly is it you're hunting then? Not a person, not a wolf, but simultaneously something near-human and near-wolf, at least in name…"

"Something so awful, and terrible, he's neither," Marjory tells Amity in an abhorrent half-whisper. There it is: he. "He's a beast, a killer. You'd know danger, if you met him. He'll know it, when I find him." Little girl against the big bad wolf. She leans in, intent. "You mustn't tell anyone," she says, her tone that of the utmost necessity hushed under the dull cacophony of people cheering on TV. "I don't know why I'm telling you this."

"I…" and then comes Amity's first real admission, "don't actually have anyone I would tell anything to. Much less something important." Her lips twitch upwards a little. In other words, "Your secret is safe." And then comes the real question lingering on Amity's thoughts, "Are you?"

Tenuously bolstered by being in the confidence of this woman who was, an incredibly short time ago, a complete stranger, Majory's expression becomes a natural reflection of Amity's, the little upward twitch of her lips. "I…" She shakes her head through a realization. When is the last time she's been safe? "No," she replies solidly, but it's without fear. "The world's not safe." A basic, cold fact for someone who was so recently a young child. "Especially not the one I walk in."

The glint in Amity's eyes isn't easy. It's not wholly mischievous, not wholly secretive, instead, it's somewhere in between. In between mischief and secrets. In between playful and dire. Always in between. The twenty-something sucks on the inside of her cheek, considering the answer. Her eyebrows tweak upwards again and her lips part, "I could help you." And then with the sentence given, she manages, "Not with your quest. But with your safety. I would never stop someone on a mission, nor would I presume to join them on it." Her head cants to the side, "But maybe you could use someone to watch your back. You said yourself anything can be tracked."

"How?" Cutting and immediate, Marjory has honed the tendency to be suspicious, but she nevertheless considers Amity with a softer inquiry. More curious — more full of wonder, for an offer that seems to odd to her, it must be odd. "And why?" Her reddish brows cinch closer. "What do you do except travel?"

There's a chuckle at the question. "Admittedly I've done little except travel for awhile," she states blandly, "but I do know Aikido and silat. They're martial arts." Pause. "A gal needs to know how to take care of herself when she's on the road all on her own." And then she adds, "Otherwise I'm a fast learner. And I'm intuitive. It's a necessity for traveling all of the time. Knowing when you can and can't trust people is important for your quest." She shrugs.

"I believe you." Genuinely, she does, yet the questing teenager remains wary. "But I…" Marjory struggles to put her misgivings into words. Struggles — and falls short. Again, she looks at her plate, taxed by the uncommon dilemma. She lands on the most simple answer, decisively firm though it's tinged with a kind of regret: "No."

The word no warrants a narrowing of Amity's eyes, particularly at the length of time it takes to receive the one word response. The dark hair woman twists back into her seat to face her food. For a moment, Marjory might think that that's that, particularly when Amity's gaze turns up to the screen followed by some nonsensical yelling about a sport she barely understands, but no such luck. After calling out to the team that can't hear her, her voice quiets, "Why not?"

Marjory began eating in earnest in that moment in which Amity turned back to soccer. Once she started, her appetite kicked in. Though she eats at a measured pace, it's with a contained ferocity, as though she hasn't had a proper meal in days. Weeks. It's the truth. If it weren't for that fact, she might bolt as soon as Amity's posed the simple question to her; as it is now, she barely seems likely to put her fork down.

She looks across, her gaze appreciative of Amity's seemingly unstoppable interest, yet barricaded. "Because I can't tell you everything," she replies clearly. "And since I can't tell you everything, it wouldn't be fair to watch my back. You don't know what might be at my back. You'd be in the dark. It's not fair. If you want to ask why I can't, well, I just can't. Even if you did know, it would still be too risky, because you're just…" She blinks pale eyes at Amity and then stares. "You're just…" Her fork tinks lightly on the edge of her plate; Marjory still stares, wondering.

"Believe it or not, not knowing everything doesn't worry me much," Amity shrugs as she stares at the screen, seemingly interested in the game, which she's not. Because she doesn't actually care. She just likes the shouting associated with it. "Sometimes not knowing is better than knowing. And if I deem the not knowing as fair, doesn't that mean it's fair to me?" She shrugs.

"And it's not as if you haven't made it clear that there are obvious risks to me and my person. On top of which I'm just a wanderer, it's not like anyone in this world would miss me anyways." All truth, but the twenty-something doesn't sound terribly broken up about it. "And what am I just anyways?" now she peels her gaze away from the screen to study Marjory just a little bit closer.

Marjory has been given an unusual dilemma to think about. wrapped up in the winding words of Amity; the question, always a question, jars her out of it before she comes to a conclusion on the fairness of it all, leaving her looking dazed. "A … person," she says after all, casually as she can, "Just a person." Just a throwaway phrase, right? What kind of a person isn't just a person?

What kind of wolf isn't just a wolf?

"A person," Amity repeats, seemingly fueled by this new revelation. "Well aren't you?" her head lulls lazily to the side as she studies Marjory. "A person. Just a person?" Her eyes narrow while she focuses on the teen. "A wolf that isn't a wolf, but a person who is just a person? And when is a person not a person and a wolf simultaneously a person and a wol — " She blinks hard as if she's just answered her own question in the asks. "A werewolf? But that's not — it's not remotely possible — " she pauses " — unless it is…" And now, perplexion has taken over.

The notion of a werewolf (of all things) weasels an unexpected little smile out of Marjory, amused, how silly. There are bigger and badder and more amazing things out there than werewolves: a thought that goes unsaid, along with all else, as she puts her barrier back up. She shakes her red head rapidly, shovels several forkfuls of eggs benedict, salad, and fries in as fast as she can (which is fast indeed; accustomed to eating on the run and where she can, this one). "Never mind," she says, launching from her seat, escape mode engaged. "I have to go— "

In her hurry, the paper she'd been clinging to securely this whole time slips from her grasp, fluttering from her palm down to the legs of Amity's stool.

Eyes narrowing at the red head's response and seemingly cagey getaway leave Amity at odds with herself. The paper that flutters to the ground, however, catches Amity's line of vision. Carefully she hops off the stool and then bends down and grasps the paper. It's not just given back, however, it's inspected.

A print-out of a building layout is spread out before Amity on the paper, describing in a line-drawn architecture the very pub she stands in. Small, neat drawings of padlocks — a definite addition, in pen — denote each locked door: the front entrance, the back exit, and the Employees Only door inside. Most stand-out, though, is the thick red ink circle in the middle of storeroom.

"Give it back!" A childish declaration backed by the strong demand of a teenager who thinks herself all grown and beyond human, Marjory's noticed her foible and rushed back with her hand out, reaching for the paper.

A coy half smile spreads across Amity's lips while her eyes stare pretty openly at the illustration in question. "Casing the joint?" she asks while a single eyebrow ticks upwards. She expels a slow breath. "What's in the storeroom then? The key to your hunt?" The paper isn't, however, returned. Instead, presses it to her chest. "I could cherish this for the rest of time spending an eternity staring at the picture and all of its lovely implications. I really do think of paper as dear to me." Pause. "OR you could let me watch your back."

"Be quiet!" Marjory warns — demands — her voice swooping low in an example of caution when the employees of the joint she has "cased" may lurk about. She stands wide-stanced, poised more to do battle than come to an agreement. Even though she's clearly angry, right down to her fast-paced spiteful breathing, she respects the woman's angle throughout. She breathes out slower through her nose until it's all expelled in one frustrated huff of acquiescence, tucking her lower lip up. "Just this once. Tonight."

The demand actually seems to give Amity pleasure. Evidently scolding at her yields a different reaction than the one intended. "Excellent," she declares with a lift of her chin. She's too pleased with herself. "When?" her head cants again, leaving her with an all too pleased with herself posture. Must learn to pick things up and threaten to keep them more often — this is filed away as a mental note.

"Tonight." Marjory steps closer, side-eying the bar to note the distance of the bartender — distant enough — before she goes on indulging in this conspiracy. The teenager lifts her chin, impressing the seriousness of the situation onto her new acquaintance as intently as she can. "After it's closed," she adds, still sounding frustrated, as well as decisive: that's that. She doesn't bother giving any more details than just that. Amity can show up when she wants! She eyes the paper in the woman's possession but leaves it be, twirling right around to march through the pub for the streets.

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