Story: Magic Show (chapter 5)

Authors: ijenn

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Chapter 5

Title: Girl Talk and a Houseguest



She watched kitty fall to sleep, and sighed, kissing her neck from behind, feeling protective and just so... good. She'd have to offer to give kitty a dose of Ivy's formula at the soonest opportunity though. She'd lasted longer than any baseline human had any right too (kitty was obviously in exquisite physical condition--as close to perfect as Hailey could imagine, really, except for the scars she had here and there that looked to be from early attempts at her cat-like 'gymnastics', though even those seemed perfect), but it had still been disappointing that they'd had to stop before the sun came up. And it had been kind of frustrating that she'd had to be so careful not to hurt her too--she didn't want even that barrier between them.

There was this soft little smile on her lover's lips though--this peaceful and thoroughly content looking smile that told Hailey that kitty... that Selina felt safe with her. Really safe, like she didn't have a care in the world. Warm feelings bloomed in her heart anew at seeing that, and she knew this was the start of a truly epic obsession for her. She was going to get it right this time, and she wasn't going to quit until she did. She just hoped kitty would like all that attention, because by this point, she knew herself well enough to know that it would take a lot -a lot- for her to get anywhere near over this enough for her to back down or back off.

She was hooked, and there was no going back, not now. She hadn't always been this obsessive, mind you, it had gotten worse for her each time. That fear of failure, fear of losing the one she loved again. She knew it was there, but she also knew she couldn't make herself not feel that way. She just... wasn't capable of it right now.

Still... she was hopeful this would work out anyway. That kitty would want her as much as she wanted kitty--that look in her eyes... that... that greed for her... Hailey was sure she'd be seeing that look in her dreams... frequently, day and night.

So, with an almost giddy sort of anticipation, she closed her eyes, snuggled up nice and close to her new kitty, and fell off to sleep.

In the morning, she woke up happy and rested and her kitty was gone...

She couldn't help it, she cried.

At least, that is, until she saw the note on the pillow. She snatched it up kind of desperately and read it: 'I could get addicted to you, I think. Tomorrow 10pm. Find me. Love, ~kitty'

Under the note, there was a small ruby.

Hailey clutched the ruby to her heart and laughed, falling back on her back on the bed and feeling positively giddy again. "She wants to date me!"

She wiped the tears from her eyes and couldn't stop smiling as she got out of bed and walked over to the mirror and left.

Her future-tech did have a teleport app, but she liked the mirror thing better because it was so pretty. And right now especially, she was in the mood for pretty sparkly landscapes that went on forever and looked like something out of a fairytale.

As she walked through the mirror world, she looked down at the ruby in her hand. "I wonder if it's a clue?" She thought out loud to herself. She had kitty's location locked in with an app, all she'd have to do would be to ping her to find where she was anytime at all. But, she considered, what fun would that be? Nope, she was going to play kitty's game and follow the clue fair and square. It'd be downright unromantic not to, after all.

A little while later, she walked into her living room through her mirror there and saw she had a houseguest sleeping on her couch. One she recognized right away.

"Aw, cute." She smiled fondly.

She blinked and used another future-tech app to get dressed in a white tank top and pale blue-jeans (just casual stuff, no socks or anything). She went over to the couch and nudged him awake, curious why he was here. They talked on the phone a lot, but she honestly hadn't thought he'd come all the way to Gotham-Metropolis for a visit like this. What a nice surprise. Today was turning out to be a really great day so far... Not as good as yesterday evening yet by any means, but still, she had hopes of getting kitty in bed again later, so things were really looking up for her about now.

"Wakey, wakey, my darling James. Rise and shine." She ruffled his hair and kissed his forehead fondly.

James Jesse blinked and woke, getting up a little and leaning on an arm. "Oh, hey. You're back." He smiled in that causally confident way he had about him.

"Back I am." Hailey replied easily, getting up and walking over to the sink to get herself a glass of water. "Water?" She asked.

"Sure." He agreed, sitting up and getting up, in typical graceful fashion, and following along over to the kitchen. "So... You're probably wondering why I'm here?" He asked.

"Nope." Hailey answered, handing him his glass of water. "You're in trouble--sacred and in trouble." She took a sip of her water. She'd figured it was either that or a break up, but she couldn't tell which while he was sleeping. Awake, on the other hand, she could read him like a book. It wasn't even hard, even though he was trying to hide it. "Don't worry, I'll fix it."

He looked at her bemused. "I'd almost forgot how good you are at reading me. You're probably the only person in the world I couldn't pull something on if I tried."

"Mm, maybe. Don't take that as a challenge though--you know you'd probably regret it." Hailey told him playfully. She didn't really mean it of course. James Jessie (alias: The Trickster) was her friend, and she had precious few of those. He was probably (okay, definitely) her best friend in the world, really, if she were honest. He'd have to do something really awful and monumentally stupid for her to really get mad at him that way.

He just smiled and looked troublesomely thoughtful. Like he was trying to think of a trick she would fall for. Actually, she kind of hoped he'd try it. She'd always been a little curious if he actually could do it. And at least it would be fun... probably. Just not now. Preferably, not until she and kitty were happily married or something... Mm, talk about a nice thought.

Hailey shook her head. "So who's the dead guy? Dead guys?" She asked after who she'd be killing shortly.

"Alas, would that I knew." He confessed.

"Really?" Hailey asked, her interest piqued. "Curioser and curioser. Do tell? And where's Jace in all this by the way?"

James sighed. He ticked off the points on his fingers. "Missing boyfriend. Nightmares about being sent to hell. My apartment blew up. There are these burning eyes that seem to be watching me all the time, I can almost just see them out of the corner of my eye. Then there's those things." He pointed over to the left at the wall.

Hailey's eyes widened a little. There was some kind of symbol burned into her wall! "Now how in the name of all things whacky did that get there?" She wondered, walking over to where it was, her curiosity well and truly piqued. She was going to touch it, then decided to use a future app to scan it instead. The magical energy signature came back with a match in her future records in no time flat. She whistled. "James? Darling? I hate to break it to you, but you've really been cursed or something." She turned and looked at him. "That basically says your soul's gonna get dragged to Hell, but not before she messes with your mind some first."

"She? She who?" James asked, leaning back against the counter and trying not to look as nervous and scared as Hailey could tell he was.

Hailey shrugged. "Some black magic hottie I've never heard of before, apparently." She tapped the side of her head. "He-who-shall-not-be-named's gizmos have all sorts of interesting info on file. This lady's apparently a big deal--the queen of Hell, believe it or not. Serious dark magic--real magic--not like what I do... James, really, what'd you do?" Hailey asked.

James just smiled that smile of his that made her want to either whack him on the back of his head or laugh because it was funny and charming and sweet. This time she was more in the whacking state of mind. "I don't know. Nothing jumps out. Could be anything, I guess."

"Really." Hailey replied absently, yawning and plopping down on a chair. This was going to take a while, she could just tell. It was frustrating. She -wanted- to be figuring out kitty's clue right now. But, she had time she supposed, and James was her best friend and all. She could be patient--to a point... If he kept being annoying about it though, she -was- going to whack him on the head or something so he'd get to the point faster.

"Really." James replied, going to sit down on the couch where he'd been sleeping, elbows on his knees, hands joined. "See... Jace... he kind of had this way of inspiring me..."

"I bet he did." Hailey couldn't help a knowing smile at that. Jace Station -was- devastatingly handsome, for a guy (she wasn't the best judge for guys, of course, because they had never interested her that way, but even she could see why James would go for him in a heartbeat). He was built like a model, had a smile that was pure trouble, and eyes that were all lusty bad intentions. In other words, James hadn't had a chance (maybe not even a snowball's chance in Hell, if she wanted to bring a common saying into uncommon use as a literally accurate pun over this).

James had met Jace shortly after Hailey had left the Gems; after his last boyfriend (Hartley Rathaway, a.k.a. the Pied Piper) had dumped him and gone 'legit' (little weasel was probably giving The Flash a blowjob even as they spoke). Jace'd been trouble from the start, and the two of them had been chased out of town in no time flat. They'd ended up in Faucet City, and Hailey had had to come break them out of prison once. Sylvan had come with her for that, she recalled absently... A flash of Sylvan's eyes when she'd broken things off with her came to her mind unbidden, accompanied by more than a little guilt.

"Well, there was that." He agreed with a sparkle in his eyes, one that quickly faded to concern and sadness.

"We'll get him back... You know, if possible." Hailey assured him, sitting forward and assuming a more thoughtful pose. "Okay, so lets start at the start. What were you and lover boy up to just before this whole 'damned to Hell' stuff started up?"

"Nothing big. I swear. Wait. Do those future records have her name--this 'black magic hottie'--or a picture?"

"Blaze." Hailey replied, snapping her fingers and causing a life-size, very real looking projection of the woman in question to appear before them. Hailey wasn't above enjoying the view, either. She couldn't help it, she had a thing for women who knew how to cause trouble. This one looked like she was trouble down to her toes! "Be still my heart, by the way." She licked her lips a little. True, she was going out with kitty now, and she wasn't dumb enough to want to date the queen of Hell or anything, but none of that meant she couldn't enjoy looking.

"Blaze..." He spoke, understanding clicking in his eyes. "Angelica Blaze--that's got to be it. Fuck..." He got up and started to pace a little.

"Let me guess, Angie's a mark, you conned her, kapow--cursed to Hell?" Hailey stopped the projection with a little bit of regret. Apparently, being bad had it's benefits. If there was a heaven and a hell like a bunch of religions said, she'd take Hell any day over some shiny cloudy place with a beard-guy if the women there looked like that! The again, religions said Hell was supposed to be run by a horny guy, not a horny gal, so obviously they couldn't be trusted as travel guides.

He looked at her. "Yeah." He shrugged. "Basically."

Hailey did a hack and records search in Faucet City and found her. Angelica Blaze--blonde, Caucasian, blue eyes, but that was the same lady alright. Some things a magical makeover just couldn't hide. And this was definitely the same back magic hottie in question. "That's her all right." Hailey relayed.

"...Any idea what we do next?" James asked hopefully.

"Well, this for starters." She went over and tapped James on the center of his forehead. "Now your soul should be locked where it is. Your dreams should be shut tight too."

"Well, that's a relief." James replied. "And hey, no more eyes looking at me." She reported with obvious relief. "What next?"

Hailey shrugged. "Idonknow. Wait I guess."

"Wait? That's it?" He asked.

"Yeah, well, while my bag of tricks does have an app that I suppose could teleport me to Hell, I'm not really very keen on using it, you know? Probably better to wait and see what happens. Besides, I have a date later. I'm not missing it." Hailey told him.

"Even if Blaze comes to collect my soul and drag me down to hell?" James asked, a little incredulously.

Hailey pondered that a moment playfully. "Well..."

"Hailey!" James cried.

She smiled. "Kidding. I'm not going to let any luscious hell hotties muss your perfectly styled hair. Promise. If it happens, kitty will just have to understand."

He sighed in relief. "Well, that's good then." He sat down. "Poor Jace though. I don't suppose there's any chance he's still alive and we can save him, do you think?" He asked hopefully.

"Oh, I think he's probably still among the living and can probably take care of himself." She replied, getting up to go get cookies.

"You're being cryptic again, you know." James replied, getting up.

"Cookie?" Hailey offered.

"No thanks. What aren't you telling me?" He pressed.

Hailey sighed and took a bite of her cookie. "Well... when my future 'magic' I.D.d Angie, it also pinged Jace's energy signature from my personal past records, which it auto-stores. They, um, sort of matched."

"Matched?" James asked, a look of apprehension coming over his face.

"As in brother and sister." Hailey supplied.

"Brother and..." James's voice trailed off.

"Yes, dear James, loveable ne'er-do-well friend of mine... You've been dating and romping around in bed with Satanus, exiled twin brother of the queen of Hell... It doesn't necessarily mean you have to break up with him though." She qualified. "He could have real feelings for you. Granted, this brings up trust issues, but I'm a romantic, so I tend to hope for the best."

He rubbed his face. "Fuck..."

"Well, that was how you got into this mess, I imagine... Not that I couldn't imagine how that could happen. If Angie had met me when I was single, I might be in the exact same boat. Who knew the royalty in Hell were so damn pretty anyway?"

"Not me. So... We're basically going to wait for her to make the first move?" He asked.

"Yeah... My guess is she's using you for leverage on her brother though. That is, unless you did something that -really- got her mad at you. You didn't, did you?" Hailey asked.

"I don't think so. We just stole a lot of money from her, that's all... Well, as far as I know, I suppose." James allowed.

"You think Jace was up to something else, I take it." Hailey replied.

"His name is Satanus, remember? And don't you? It doesn't make sense any other way. Exiled means bad blood. Doesn't track he'd risk bad sister's boot prints on his finely shaped ass if he didn't have more in the game than just money. Any number of ways he could get that without putting his head in the lion's maw, and mine with it by the way." He explained a little bitterly.

"Can I take it Satanus probably just found himself dumped?" Hailey asked.

"Looking that way, yeah." He replied bitterly. "If it was real between us, he would have told me the score going in."

"...Probably for the best then." She answered softly, setting down her cookie, having lost her appetite. "I hate break-ups." She muttered.

"Right there with you." James replied. " least he was drop-dead gorgeous and the prince or king of Hell or something though. Otherwise this would be downright embarrassing. Me, the mark for once."

"It's still embarrassing." Hailey teased him.

"Well, okay, not -as- embarrassing then." He corrected.

"True." She agreed absently, already having moved on to thinking about a certain ruby again.


She was sitting in her bed, legs tucked up against her chest, arms folded on her knees, gazing out her windows at her room's view of the city skyline. She'd spent the morning putting together a romantic scavenger hunt for Hailey and feeling ridiculously happy while she was doing it, and now she was just sitting here in her bed and she couldn't stop thinking about her. It... It actually scared her a little, now that she'd had time to really think about it.

"What am I doing, Isis?" She asked her cat softly.

Isis came over and rubbed her leg and purred to her. Selina absently scratched her chin.

Arizona hadn't come home yet, and it was bugging her that she hadn't. She needed someone to talk to about this, and, as much as she liked Isis's company, her cat just wasn't up to this particular job. For that, her best friend was needed.

Of course, she could hardly blame Arizona for being out. She was probably having wake-up sex with her latest lover. After last night, she felt she understood the need for a lover in a way she hadn't ever quite understood before. She'd had exactly six other lovers in her life--four men, two women. They'd all made her feel really good about herself... well, most of the time anyway. But the point was, a lover was always someone who made her feel nice, gave her comfort, sexual satisfaction, and made her feel less alone in the world... Once or twice, she'd even imagined she might have found love, fleeting though it would turn out to be in the end. Even then though, she hadn't felt like this.

Hailey's every touch, her every look, they seemed to live on her skin, be burned into her heart... They'd hardly even really talked, had they?

Just a little simultaneous illegal entry, a little scantily clad close-quarters dancing at a beach-themed lesbian dance club, a little flirting, then hours and hours of the best, most mind-blowing love-making she'd ever had... Tonight, she was definitely going to have to make it a point to have an actual conversation. It only seemed sensible, right?

...When she'd gotten home though, she'd web-searched her new lover. The Harlequin... She'd known her by reputation before, just about everyone in the city did, but she hadn't ever actually looked into her.

Wanted as an eco-terrorist, a serial-killer... she was suspected of all sorts of crimes, really--though, apparently, only a few of them would actually stick if anyone ever managed to get her into a court of law (which they hadn't yet). Of personal information, there was precious little. The common consensus was that she had to be some kind of genius, or maybe a telepathic meta-human. Genius, Selina would guess. Those eyes--had to be.

There was a lot of speculation. Some people claimed she was a Robin Hood type. Lots of accounts of her saving people's lives--just as many of her ending them though. Some were kind of really asking for it, she supposed, but a significant number of them didn't appear to be particularly bad people and she'd killed them anyway (probably Hailey had her reasons of course, or she'd at least hope so). No acts of -mass- destruction though--so, there was that at least...

How did she feel about that? She, herself, had only killed anyone once... And that was undeniably self-defense (even though the cops might not see it that way if they ever found out about it). She'd rarely even hurt anyone... She was not a cold-blooded killer, or a hardened criminal. She was a thief, a compulsive and exceptional thief, one of the best that ever was, she was sure, but still, a thief, pure and simple.

Was she really going to... do whatever it was she was going to do with Hailey... with The Harlequin? What if Hailey wanted her to help her kill people?

And even if she didn't, could she really live with herself? Having a cold-blooded murderer as a lover? And then there was the obvious question... If it didn't work out between them... If Selina ended up turning her down, would she end up Hailey's next victim?

Intellectually, she was worried about those things... Somewhat worried. Okay, a -little- worried, if that. (Did that make her a bad person?) At heart though, she wasn't actually at all scared of Hailey hurting her, at lest not physically, and certainly not of her killing her. Having danced with her, having gazed into her eyes, tasted her lips, tasted... other things... Her head was inclined to give Hailey the benefit of the doubt for now. After all, a reputation only meant so much, and having met her, it didn't really match the reality of her that she'd seen for herself. That was what her head said. And her heart? Well, it was obvious by how fast her heart beat and how warm-all-over good she felt whenever she thought of Hailey that her heart thought the woman walked on water or something. So, she couldn't actually get herself to believe there was a chance Hailey would kill her, even though, logically, maybe that would be a good idea to be at least cautious of... No, she was more scared of what would happen if things actually worked out... She wouldn't have pegged herself as being scared of commitment, but apparently she was a little... maybe more than a little...

Still... eco-terrorism she could understand. She was a big proponent of animal rights herself. She at least partially funded most of the cat rescue organizations in the country, in fact. It actually was a point in Hailey's favor for her that she seemed to care about a cause like that. The murders though... maybe Hailey would stop doing that sort of thing if she asked? Ethics aside, that kind of public attention she did not need, and certainly didn't want...

It was at least worth the discussion, right? She had yet another very pleasant flashback to Hailey under her in bed... Hailey on top of her in bed... Okay, so the murder thing, it didn't have to be a sticking point, did it? ...Fuck, she really was a bad person, wasn't she? She smiled to herself. Well, she'd kind of suspected it for years anyway... She could live with it.

She was tired of staying in one place now though, so she rolled up onto her knees and stretched a little, her body still feeling like it was fairly glowing with satisfaction from last night. She couldn't help the happy, kind of sappy love-struck sort of smile that came to her lips. She looked at the clock. Ten PM was about eleven and a half hours away... She sighed.

What was she going to do with herself all day?

It was then that she heard the door open and she smiled. Arizona was home. Thank fucking goodness.

She put on a shirt (she'd only been wearing bike shorts) and went out to meet her. Thankfully, she'd come home alone. "Good, you're here." She grabbed her hand and pulled her along with her back to her room.

"Hey, Selina, what are...?" Arizona good-naturedly protested, following along and giggling a little.

"I'm in serious need of girl talk." She hopped up on her bed, crossed her legs Indian style, and patted the bed. "Sit." She prompted.

Arizona giggled some more. "Am I off base here, or did you meet someone?" She asked, getting up on the bed and crossing her legs too.

"Met her, danced with her, kissed her, dragged her up to a room with me, had my way with her..." She smiled bemusedly. "Okay so we had our way with each other... for hours... She tired me out, Arizona... She had my number... like no one else ever has..." She finished softly, looking down at her hands.

"Well, hey, that's great. I mean wow. Has that ever happened to you before? Like, in bed? That you were the one who got tired?" She could tell Arizona doubted it. "Hey, I've seen you naked, -and- I've seen you work out. -I- keep in shape. -You- are -insane-."

Selina smiled bemusedly at that. "No, insane is who I was in bed with last night."

"...You mean her, don't you?" Arizona looked over at the small chest full of treasure displayed prominently on a table over by her dresser.

"Hailey." Selina supplied.

"Harlequin, you mean." Arizona countered softly, meeting her eyes. She was scared.

"You're scared for me, aren't you?" Selina asked softly.

"Selina... My best friend just got very serious with a stone cold, probably dangerously psychotic, serial killer. How in that situation am I not scared for you? For me, for that matter? What if she sees me as competition for your affections or something?"

"That wouldn't happen." Selina told her adamantly.

"And you know that how? I mean, great sex is nice and all... really nice--hell, if you're like me, it's practically your reason for living--but it's never been any sort of guarantee of good behavior. Heck, it's fifty-fifty sometimes if she's even going to be there in the morning, let alone make you breakfast." Arizona argued.

"Yeah, you're always good about that though." Selina spoke. It was true. For all her faults, Arizona always treated her lovers with complete respect. She always made breakfast.

"Was she?" Arizona asked.

Selina felt a little guilt at that. "I, um... wouldn't know." She admitted.

"...What... Wait, you ditched her, didn't you? ...You did, you totally walk-of-shamed a serial killer! Selina! Are you freaking nuts or something!?" Arizona exclaimed.

"I left her a note." Selina defended herself.

"Oh, phew, well, if you left her a -note- that's -completely- different. We're totally dead, aren't we..." Arizona looked actually pretty scared that they might be.

"Arizona, hey. I wouldn't let that happen. And Hailey's not like that, I swear. She's got a good heart, I can tell..." She told her. "Besides, it was a good note. I asked her on a date later. It was supposed to be, you know... romantic." She smiled hopefully.

Arizona let out a breath. "Damn..." She smiled a little hesitantly to her. "You really are kinda nuts sometimes, you know that right?"

"The thought has occurred to me on occasion, yes." Selina smiled.

"...You really don't think she's dangerous? You swear?" Arizona asked.

Selina smiled, kind of smirked a little. "Well, I wouldn't say -that-... I just don't think she's dangerous to -us-, physically I mean. I... I just rust her."

Arizona rubbed her face. "Well, that's something, right?" She sighed.

"...Hey... if you're really worried, just say the word. Seriously, all expenses paid trip, anywhere in the world. Paris? Sidney? The Caribbean? A cruse around the world? Whatever you want. I can call you and let you know when I'm one-hundred and ten percent sure we're safe." Selina offered in all sincerity.

Arizona smiled, looking genuinely grateful. She seemed to be considering it a moment. "Thanks, but... I... um, I think I'm staying." She replied softly.

"But why?" Selina asked, curious. She'd honestly thought, the things she'd been saying, her friend would take her up on it in a heartbeat.

Arizona sighed. "You might need me. I mean, who're you gonna get your girl talk from, if not me? ...And besides... I couldn't really enjoy myself at all if I was always worrying about you, could I?" She smiled, almost a little shyly in fact.

Selina smiled back, wondering, just for a moment, why she and her best friend had never been lovers. "Well... You know, we haven't really gotten to the girl talk part yet, you know?"

Arizona shook her head and rubbed her face again. "Fine, so... go on crazy cat lady: spill."

Selina smiled happily at that. "Okay, so I was just getting out of the water at The Beach, and I was getting something to drink..."

(2b continued)

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