"Why'd he have to choose Walmart as a rendezvous?"
Penelope spared a glance to her passenger. With the canopy raised the Audi TT whispered along the road, and his question had disturbed the near silence.
"That place is, like, my kryptonite."
The corners of her lips raised in a smirk. "Is Loki on to you already?"
A quick laugh, and then Jack answered, "I don't think he made the jump, Penelope."
In response she raises an eyebrow, causing Jack to sigh: he'd written her to speak with her face, but her face would be easier to read if she didn't hold it so intently on the road.
"He's a neutral, or something like that. Dark told us that it's one protagonist and one antagonist making the jump, like some sort of self-regulating New Age balance of the universe..." He struggled to think of a word to some it all up, and ended up swearing instead.
"But am I the hero, or the villain?" Penelope asked, smiling. "I did assassinate the King of Olympus in the name of his brother, Hades."
"Nu-uh, listen to me, Penelope! One protagonist and one antagonist," Jack corrected. "At least that's my theory. 'Cause those two terms are neutral to intentions, whereas 'hero' and 'villain' are loaded terms, y'know?"
"I've known you for all of, what, a week? And already I can tell when you're pulling your degree on me," Penelope chastised. "Now sit tight and shut up, I wanna hear my baby purr."
Jack mumbled something under his breath, likely another stream of profanities.
And of course, Penelope simply grinned.
The car door slammed as Jack closed it, provoking a glare from Penelope. It was the sort of glare that said, "Remember who's packing the weapons, kid," but nicely enough to not send said kid running for cover.
Somehow they had reached an understanding after such a short time, although cross-country road trips have been known to foster such connections.
"He here yet?" Penelope asked flippantly. She knew it was a stupid question, having exercised her usual driving habits even in the suburbs.
Jack nodded at one of the entrances, where two vehicles were pulling in. They flanked Penelope's car and then spilt their passengers, or at least the bulk of them.
"Where's Phoenix?" Jack asked to no-one in particular.
"With Ninja," a voice called from inside the Crew's vehicle.
"I told you, I'm alright!"
"Shaddup and lie down!"
A few more exclamations were exchanged before Spockeh finally chimed in: "Ninja, quiet! Listen to Phoenix for once, will ya?"
"Well then," Jack stated, without any purpose at all. Silence fell upon the small mismatched group, though sirens could still be heard in the distance, albeit faintly.
"Well then what?" Spockeh asked. "You still have some explaining to do, uhm, erm..."
A dumbfounded stare was Spockeh's only reply.
"And yes, that'd be Rubashevskiy."
"Jacky!? How'd you get out here?"
The man cringeed at the name. "Nu-uh. There're two people who can call me that, and, sadly, you are neither of them."
"That doesn't answer the question," Scorch chimed in.
"Besides the obvious," Penelope laughed, looking at the Audi.
"So you're telling me you drove from... wherever it is in Canada you live?" Spockeh asked.
"British Columbia," Jack filled in quickly.
"Took a while to get here," Penelope interrupted. "Better be worth my time."
"And yah," Jack finished. "We drove. Dark tipped us of. Us being the mods. Told us everything he knows, including the fact that his wife is out here with you."
At this, Spockeh and his Crew exchange worried glances.
"She is with you guys, right?"
Penelope stepped on a stray leaf idly, grinding it beneath a cowboy-booted toe.
"Dark is not gonna...," Jack started to say, but his sentence dissolved into nonsensical obscenities.