under your spell
molly & red, january 2018

god i wish he didn't come in here every damn night--

--to do this, it's the same goddamn menu--

--who she's running from, bruises like that.

the last thought is aimed at her. molly keeps her eyes on the beer in front of her, well aware of what she looks like even without telepathy or any of the other powers she has now. her skin is too pale to not let the bruises look so dark on her skin, so prominent. putting make up on had been too annoying to deal with after awhile, and then she ached too bad to do so. even telekinetically--she just didn't want to shift around so much at all.

she traces a finger over the rim of her glass, not even half way to buzzed. her hair hangs long and messy in her face, the rest pulled back in a half ponytail. her shirt is a size too big on her; madelyne had left so many notes for her when molly had arrived back in her body, and molly wasn't surprised that she had dropped weight after an extreme ordeal like that. her stomach still felt too delicate most days for the greasy food she kept stubbornly eating to try to gain the weight back, to say nothing of the shitty beer along this impromptu roadtrip.

maybe impromptu was the wrong word. necessary felt better. necessary to leave boston for a bit, to try and go to see someone familiar. to go recharge with someone who cared about her, and maybe just--

well. she wasn't sure what she wanted past getting to london. she just had to get to him.

for now though, she glanced over to the rest of the bar from her spot. the thought that had come through, about her bruises made her curious. she hadn't exactly picked the friendliest looking place; half the people here were clearly locals who looked rougher than expected, a fourth looked like your usual truckers looking for a brief respite, and the rest ranged from bikers to wayward tourists.

she took a sip from her beer, letting her powers stretch out over the bar. filtering through the usual local chatter, trying to find the owner of the thought, to not get dragged down into their minds entirely. it seemed more and more natural to be able to do this now, to push her powers in the direction she wanted, needed them to.

--probably should say something, the thought comes and molly glances to her left.

to her surprise, it's a guy wearing a tattered shirt, a red leather jacket slung over his shoulder as he eats what looks like to be a messy arrangement of eggs over easy and toast. he's got tattoos on his neck, both arms, even on his face, hair a peroxide, spike blonde. she looks away before he can catch her in the act; but as she slides into his thoughts, letting them roll over her, she finds he's been glancing at her since she walked in.

and from his perspective, she winces, almost choking on her beer when she swallows. the bruises on her neck are even worse from his perspective--or maybe she'd been under-reacting to how deep they were. she'd healed a bit of it with magic--maybe she hadn't gone far enough. and certainly, from his perspective she looked much thinner than she felt.

she sets her beer down, puts down a hundred bill--and almost bolts out of the bar, into the cold.

"hey, miss?"

molly is startled enough that when she jumps, she accidentally shorts out the light above her. the guy--the one from the bar with the red jacket, is standing to the left of her, brow furrowed as the other lights flicker. her heart races in her chest--but he hadn't reached out, hadn't inched towards her at all. she'd just let her mind wander, trying to figure out what she wanted from the stupid machine, and had forgotten her surroundings.

she kicked herself mentally, fixing a smile on her face, as if she wasn't the reason for the light shorting out. "y-yeah?"

the guy considers her for a moment, and then he says, voice careful and still very, very new york sounding, "think you dropped somethin', back at the bar." he moves slowly, pulling out something from the back pocket of his tattered jeans. she tenses up--and then relaxes when he offers her a wad of cash. her face flushes when he says, "bartender didn't think it was fair to keep all the change. pricey for a beer."

she reaches out. what's in his mind is different: him standing up, speaking to the bartender. demanding the money to give back to her, laced with the threat of violence if he didn't give the money up.

molly smiles a little when she takes the money. "thanks. you staying here, too?"

"down the hall, yeah," he says, and it's the truth. he watches her carefully, and molly doesn't doubt that he's looking at the bandages she's wearing or the way she favors one leg. "been here a couple of days with my outfit."

"what's your name?" she asks, not turning back to the dispensing machine just yet. "i'm molly."

he gives a sharp tug of his lips. not really a smile--but enough to be friendly. "red. nice t'meet you, molly."

she should really... just walk away. take the kindness for it is and not look a gifthorse in the mouth. the smart thing to do, and not based on what she's skimmed from his head. she should just keep to herself--but fuck. mol feels lonely, desperate, and she aches to hell.

she glances at the vending machine, and then at red and says, "you wouldn't know a place around here that's got better food, would you?"

red bobs his head. "i do. you mind riding with me?"

molly smiles in response.