The first thing he noticed was that he didn't hurt, his skull was in one piece, and there was a pretty young woman staring at him. In some ways she reminded him of Sue, and that did make him hurt, but he refrained from doing more than reaching up to make sure his skull was in one piece.
"Umm, where am I?"
"England. You confused Kurt, by the way. Bouncing in like he does, but without the stink."
"Blue Beetle." For some reason that made her smile, and he figured not dead with a smiling pretty woman was a vast improvement. He just hoped no one worried about him while he was missing.
"I'll have to introduce you to Spidey, if I go back to New York anytime soon," she teased, before reaching out to offer him a hand up. It passed through him, and she frowned, forcing herself to go solid. "Sorry, sometimes it won't turn off."
Ted was staring at her. "You're able to willfully change the density of your molecules to phase through things?"
Now it was her turn to stare. "You actually know what I do, instead of weirding out and thinking I'm a ghost?"
"Why would you be a ghost? I'm the one who just got shot through the skull. I would ask if you're part Martian. John's the only one I know who does that trick."
The young woman shook her head. "You're going to fit in great. Welcome to Excalibur."
"Doctor McCoy, I presume," came the cultured, slightly irrepressible voice of the blue-furred mutant.
"Wasn't funny last time, Hank," his human counterpart pointed out. He did, however, move to one side. "Ever seen anything like this before?"
Hank studied the corpse being dissected, glanced at the screens of information, marveling again at the technology jump, and nodded. "It appears to be evolutionarily similar to a Skrull, Leonard. Fascinating."
"My sick bay, my rules...don't ever use that word again in my hearing in here. One pointy eared nuisance is enough."
"As you will. We should look for behavioral changes among those we know."
Hank no sooner finished speaking than Spock passed by with Jean Grey hanging off his arm. The two doctors passed a look, and then sighed.
"It's going to be a long mission," Leonard complained.
They were both wary as the music shifted, and they were obliged to dance closer. Too much was riding on this job for them both to give into the steamy chemistry, or to allow the other a leg up in the taking. Tango, or no tango, only one of them could win the prize that night.
Both were quite determined it would be theirs.
The music gave them the break they needed, and they moved away, the passion of the dance giving way to the thrill of the hunt.
One of his cards exploding went in time, then, with the crack of the whip at the fleeing thief in the window.
"Damn de cat!" Gambit growled, getting a whip flick in his direction. He dodged, and then shrugged at her. "Not you, chere...Dat cat belongs to de Spider," he said.
"Seems we both lost...but at least there's still music," she purred, knowing there would be other prizes, other contests, and now she had a feline to outwit as well as a Cajun.
"So dere is, chere." He escorted her back below, and hoped they'd repeat the tango later.
Connor moved slowly through the meditative motions of his kata, trying to center himself, trying not to think about what he had fallen into. One minute he had been helping Kyle and several others take down a new Key, and the next, he'd wound up on a world that was nothing but a city. One huge, sprawling thing that put the word megalopolis to shame.
He hated it, missed his friends, his family, and all that the monk warrior with the laser sword would say was to be patient.
Connor might have studied Zen Buddhism, but patience was fast running out. He looked at Luke, opened his mouth, and was cut off again, with the same word he mouthed.
He was just glad that no one was around to see as Connor's patience dissolved bit by bit, because he was pretty sure he was going to wind up acting way too much like Ollie soon.
The kid didn't look like the average runaway. Nick watched him moving along in the line, something nagging at his senses about the boy. He was worried enough, given the recent rash of teenagers turning up catatonic, almost all of them runaways. The cops had already hassled the usual hangouts to the point Nick wasn't getting any positive help from anyone down here, and Schanke was adding to their unease.
"Schanke...give me a chance with them," Nick said, his eyes going one more time to the small kid with the cap pulled low, only the boy wasn't there.
"Okay, your waste of time."
When the trail led Nick into a park, later that week, he wasn't real surprised to find the kid he'd noted at the shelter. Except now the kid was in some form of armor, bright colors with a cape that flashed yellow and distracted as he fought a green skinned woman. Nick's intercession, and subsequent impalement on sharp, thorn-covered limbs, led to the boy lending him a hand, knowingly. Because Nick had inhaled the woman's scent, and found his nature rising to the surface despite his control.
"You're not afraid of me," Nick noted.
"I'm Robin. I've seen worse."
"You really don't want to be in my way," Lawton drawled at her.
The big (and he meant big in a lot of ways) woman just stared hard at him.
"I will go through you. I'm used to Female Furies, after all."
The other hired gun (had to be, the way she carried herself) just shook her head contemptuously.
"Lady, you going to move, or am I shooting you to finish my job?"
When she didn't reply, he moved, as fast as he was capable of, to get the blonde in sights.
The next thing he knew, he was down, he was in pain, and that was his own gun right at the base of his neck.
"My sister lives, you live. You try that again, you die...one bone at a time being snapped, starting in your feet while you hang from a meat hook. Is it really worth your contract price, when I can pay you far more to just go away?"
"Good logic...I'll take Door Number Two, Monty."
Tambi just rolled her eyes.
The air could only be termed 'regal'. The beauty was classic, although statuesque. He heard her speaking in fluent Greek to one of Onassis's old cronies, watched the older man actually give way to her charm, and just knew he had to meet her.
When Tony Stark decided an action, he followed through. Within minutes, he was in the beauty's personal space, ready to charm her for himself.
"Hello, Miss; I'm Tony Stark."
"Miss Prince, and I'm not interested, Mister Stark. Your company is in violation of several ecological treaties that Themiscrya has signed." With that, she walked away, leaving Tony's ardor piqued and his curiosity rampant.
"Really need your help right now or the whole universe is going to implode," the man said as Nightwing whirled on him. "Don't ask how I snuck up on you, and hi! I'm Captain Jack Harkness, no you don't need to know what I'm captain of. Just trust me."
"I don't trust people just because they tell me, you know," Nightwing said wryly.
"Point." The vigilante readied a line, and just shrugged when Jack joined him for the jump. Of course, when Jack's hand found his ass and pinched...the vigilante shot him another look.
"What? You expect me not to goose the cutest ass on the Atlantic Seaboard next to my own?"
"You don't complain." Jareth had to frown at the girl as he realized, no matter how he changed the rules and her surroundings, this challenger just...kept coming.
"Complaints get you nowhere." She favored him with a look. "You might as well give up. I'm going to be a Titan."
"And?" He sucked in an imperious air.
"And that means if I lose? There's going to be a whole lot of people, real mad, who come and tear your kingdom apart to get me and Mar'i." She smiled sweetly at him, and the Goblin King had to vanish in a cloud of feathers to ponder.
"Why me, belle cherie?" The lanky man watched the dangerous woman, cigarette at the corner of his mouth, casually leaned back with his hands wrapped around the bo staff he still held after the small bar fight she'd...inspired and he had helped in.
"They say you're the best at what you do, and though I do prefer to work solo, this task requires two items to be retrieved at the same moment." Her British accent was refined, but the moves she had shown spoke of life in wilder places than high tea. "I can always take my money elsewhere, LeBeau."
"No, Mam'selle Croft. Remy just the right t'ief for dis."
Coming back to Earth had been a grave matter between Scar and Lexa, as the former was rather of a mind to keep her. Reassuring him had taken time, but now Lexa was blending in long enough to get things yautja culture had no use for. Like chocolate. She was surprised how easily she saw the people around her in terms of threat and prey-rating, her eyes arrested for a long moment by the sight of a small brunette who walked...differently. The ebon-haired woman looked vaguely familiar, but Lexa pushed it aside, focusing on why the woman seemed to be Good Prey, to her yautja trained senses.
Then she saw the woman join a much taller white haired man, a man she did recognize from a highly publicized trial years ago, and understood. The woman, like the man, were of the more dangerous crowd of heroes and villains, the latter, if she remembered details right.
Good Prey, even to Lexa's still human mindset, if they were the kind who dealt death and misery...and yet, as the woman laughed up to her companion, and he bent low to kiss her, Lexa had a hard time seeing killers in them. Maybe, just maybe, the news had been wrong about the man. And maybe Lexa would keep an eye on them for a little while to find out for herself.