“Hey, Laurel. Hey, Laurel. Hey, Laurel. Can you hear me?
(To no one in particular) I don’t think she can hear me. Can anyone hear me? (Nevermore flies around the cabin at full speed, flying through things and people.)
(From outside the plane, as loudly as Nevermore can yell. Which is amazingly loud.) Look, I’ve got a great joke. No, Laurel. Laurel. LAUREL! Look to your left. Other left. Outside.
(Face against the window) There’s… som’fin… on’na wing!
(Cackles and comes back in. Settles on Laurel’s shoulder, staring at what she’s typing.) Oi, that is not what I sound like. I sound proper sophisticated, I do.
Look, I can see what you’re writing when you make fun of me.
(Hops repeatedly from one of her shoulders to the other) Am I bothering you?
(Hop) Are you sure?
(Hop) I think you’re bothered.
(Hop) Are you bothered?
Bother bother bother bother bother. Bother. Bother. Bother. Botherbotherbotherbotherbother – hey, if you say it enough times it sounds all weird and nonsense-y.
But you don’t know how to exorcise me.
Look, this is silly and I don’t like reading. Just talk to me.
Why don’t you just turn around and talk to me like normal?
Well… But, you are a nutcase, Laur. Tell me I’m wrong about that. Come on, sad don’t fit right on you. Get angry. Get up and yell at me.
Tell the whole plane you’re not crazy? Well… You know, Irish could probably convince them… Naw, naw he couldn’t. You’d need Harlan for a lie that big. (Dodges as she actually moves to swat at him)
Aw, but I am a great friend and companion, love. An’ yeah actually, you did ask me to come with you. I was willing to just go dwarf-sit.
You really did.
Course you don’t remember it, your memory’s shit.
I can’t? Why can’t I hold a camera?
You’re sure? I mean, my memory’s perfect, love, and I know all your credit card numbers.
Well… could you write it for me? (He slaps Laurel’s arm with a wing). You could be like my ghost writer!
That was a joke. Did you get it? Did you get the joke?
Laurel… Laurel? Laurel. Laurel. Laurel. Fine, ignore me.
(Is quiet for all of two seconds.) Hey, what’s the Henge?
It went fine, far as I know. I did recon and was their eye in the sky while they cased safes and freed Beowulf. (Laurel’s eyes go wide and she types furiously)
(Blinks and shakes his head at Laurel.) Untwist yer panties, woman. Comport yourself with some dignity, for fuck’s sake. You’ve got a wedding ring on that finger. Fuckin’ hell, you’ve got two. (Actually hops into her lap, peers at her hands and pecks at the two different rings on each hand, given to her by Gunnar and Apollo.)
(Teasingly) Aw, you got a thing for a Legendary Norseman? Does little Laurel have a crush?
(Laurel actually shifts in her seat. Nevermore gloats.) You’re an awful liar, love.
I don’t get it. Since when d’you have such a thing for vikings? (Laurel tilts her head meaningfully towards Gunnar)
Right… Look, you don’t need to fawn over Beowulf, you’ve got your own viking. Follows you faithfully into multiple hells, and back. Went through that circus of a wedding for you. An’ he cracked his knuckles at me! Nobody’s ever bothered to do that to me on your behalf before. Thought I heard the world shudder then. Speaking of, I’mma tell him you’re getting all hot and bothered over some clown named Bear-wolf. That name don’t even make any fucking sense. You are either a bear or a wolf. You cannot be both.
Right, well… Kennings are bollocks and that is a right stupid name. Gunnar is much cooler. And I’m gonna tell him.
No, not ‘at he’s cooler, about Beer-wolf. Your viking don’t need a bigger ego.
Oi, fine! (Nevermore is literally hopping on Gunnar’s head, peering down over his forehead) Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar.(Flaps his wings around Gunnar’s ears) Gunnar! Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar. Gunnar. (hesitates) The Cubs suck. (Nevermore flinches, covering his head with his wings, waits, then finally turns to Laurel and relaxes.) You know… I don’t think he can hear me.
Hey, that’s… I don’t speak Latin. Are you really trying to exorcise me?? (Laurel grins)
Yeah, I’m not talking to you anymore. (A moment of glowering silence, Nevermore flies around the cabin, sits next to O’Shea for a moment.) Sup, Irish? (Keeps looking sideways at Laurel, fidgets then finally settles back down next to her, unable to stand not talking to her.)
Okay, you’ve been punished enough, I’m talking to you again. (Laurel smiles softly) Well… after they freed the fucking “beer-wolf” (settles his wings derisively), then Kassandra let the cats out.
I dunno, something about feeding them Jotun blood and letting them hulk out. How the fuck should I know?
Yeah, Kas let them out cuz they were cats. I guess Kane corp. were pumping Aslan full of Jotun blood from the bee-wolf.
Well Aslan is the lion. All lions are Aslan, didn’t you read all that Narnia tripe? What kind of childhood did you ha-… (Laurel actually turns to glare at the empty air where Nevermore is). Oh. Right.
Erm, anyway. Yes, they are. S’like all tigers are named Paco, where have you been?
Because the first tiger I met was named Paco, I just figured it was like a genus name or something. Felinus pacovia. You want I should conduct a census?
Fucking tea? Really? You think I drink tea?
Well for your information, I don’t drink tea, unless it’s of the Irish variety. (speaking as if letting her in on some great secret) That means it’s got whiskey in it. The Irish like whiskey. That’s what Nate taught me, and he made me honorary Irish, you can ask him. (Eyes widen) No, don’t ask him, I wasn’t supposed to tell you that.
Anyway, the adventures in New York went awright, I stayed up in the air after Kas let the cats out.
I mean, at least it wasn’t like there were people on the streets, what with all the apoc-a-lip-sees. And after that, there was a meeting of some sort and Jack was there.
Yeah, I’m sure it was Jack. My memory is perfect, love.
I don’t bloody know, he was in an all-encompassing state of elsewhere.
Yeah. Jack was there but Harlan was not.
You never talk to him, why are you going to start now?
Oh. OH. So that’s why Gunnar ran off to Mexico. Yeah, it’s kinda bollocks.
Did it hurt?
Well, I mean… you didn’t make a big deal about being hurt or anything. Just put on your viking’s coat and scooped your babies up in your arms and kept walking. You didn’t seem like you were all that bothered. I mean, except for the fact that your um… lower half was all… yeah.
Ha! So I was right when I voted you “least likely to ever lay down and die.”
Um, yeah, Harlan sent him back home. Dunno what else happened there.
Right, cuz you’ve just got this abundance of free time. When would you find time to make it back to Norway?
Three more? Who else was there? You didn’t say there was anyone besides Kane.
Oh… Yeah, I think she was in Vegas helping Ixion with the spthfinks (he has some trouble with the word) thing.
Oi, I um… it slipped my mind.
Aw, Red from the unicorn brigade was there? Did you help her?
Laurel, are you aware how absolutely cruel and insane that sounds? You should be freaking out, trying to get her away from those nutjobs. Carmen especially. She’s probably already taught Red to suck on anything with a… yeah.
If it were your viking, or blondie, or Kas, would you just leave them, too?
Big words, there love. Make sure you’re not all talk when the time comes. You don’t even feel a little bad for her? Really? At all?
Surely there was a reason she was with Kane and company.
So you don’t even sympathize with her?
I don’t get it, love.
Right… You wouldn’t even hear her out? Why not?
Yeah, but that’s like, completely the opposite of what I heard you just fucking tell Gunnar.
Why are you taking them to Jack?
Yeah, about that. I think you’re being stupid. I think you should stay with your kids, love. Kids need a mum.
(Laurel looks pointedly at her boys as she’s typing something) And why the fuck not?
But you kept them safe in the desert, and they look pretty normal.
Yeah, but Kairos said he was sorry. I mean, it didn’t make me feel any better, but… (He shrugs.)
It has occurred to you, I hope, that they are still not completely going to be out of harm’s way. I mean… Shit’s gonna come for them, whether you’re there or not.
Are you crying? Seriously?? (He gets right up in her face) Yeah, riiight… Somefin’ in your eye.
Wot-ever. I still think it’s bollocks.
All of it. The shit with your kids, the shit with Kane and Cordelia. And I think you’re being really petty and selfish.
She needs your help and you’re holding out because she made a mistake?
Fuck. I couldn’t go into the light if I wanted to, you need me around to be all Jiminy Cricket for you.
Oi! Why the bloody hell couldn’t I be?
There are worse things to smell like. And the metaphor stands, love, especially since Viking obviously ain’t gonna rein your crazy ass in. Nor you him. Now I can’t even yell at him for it. (Waves a wing at Gunnar’s face).
(Nevermore is stunned into silence, beak open but saying nothing.) Fuck me, love. You’re a right and proper heartless bitch, you are. Cold-hearted and everyfin’.
But it’s your job to protect people, Laur. Sometimes from themselves. You said so, I read it. You think nobody reads that shit you keep driveling, but I do. For some reason I keep thinking I want to know what’s in your head, and every time I regret it, but that’s not my point, here. You said your mum was trying to teach you how to protect people, how to love them. What would she say? What will Apollo say?
Daddy issues? Laurel… Seriously? Well, hello, fucking pot. Have you met my friend, Laurel, the hypocritical kettle?
Dealing with it? How do you figure that? It don’t look like you’re better, so tone down the hubris, pet. It just looks like you’re distracted by some other shiny thing so you’ve been too busy to whine about how Daddy isn’t there for you.
Alright, fine. Sensitive topic, there. Guess maybe it reminds you of how your boys won’t have their Daddy, either? What will they think of you two when they’re old enough to give a damn that you’re not around?
Think maybe they’ll wonder why Mum and Dad are so bloody selfish? Think they’ll get heartsick counting up all the games and plays and “normal shit” you weren’t there for?
And you blame Aphrodite all you want love, she didn’t make you two sleep together back in Orleans. It’s your fault your boys are in the middle of this, and it’s your fault they’ll grow up with Jack. You’ve got no one else to blame.
Right. Threats again. I’m glad to see your new years haven’t changed you, like Gunnar’s have him. Lemme know when you wanna talk again.
(He stays on her shoulder and is quiet for several long minutes before Laurel catches his attention again).
Um… (Nevermore shifts a little uncomfortably, looking serious for a brief second.) You don’t need to be sorry, Laurel. (The seriousness fades, fast.) Especially not if you were planning on cooking. Plus, eating turkey might be a bit like cannibalism. And that’s gross.
(Nevermore laughs really hard) Well thanks for that. It’s good to know you don’t really wanna kill me. So uh… what are you thankful for, love?
Naw, I’m not sure I do. I mean… s’why I asked.
(Never is quiet for a second and does something with his beak that almost looks like smiling.) That’s not a bad thing to be thankful for, not a bad thing at all. And… don’t let it go to your head, but… You are a pretty nice looking bunch, you Esparza clan. (He’s mostly looking at Laurel and the kids, since Gunnar looks a little… rougher after the episode with Kairos.)
(feigning dread) Oh fuck, there’s supposed to be more of you?
Well how did he know that?
So she was yours, too? She was a looker, sure enough. I mean, for a human.
Well they’re a nice lot. Even if that husband of yours is prone to acts of inexplicable insanity. What the fuck was Viking thinking, going at Tesla like that? (Nevermore makes a face that Brendan is probably starting to realize means he’s switching from nice to catty).
I had hoped you would be the one to talk some sense into him. Or maybe that you didn’t know any better, that you had no idea what he was up to.
Love… you do realize that makes no sense. I mean, you’re the doctor, but… Women don’t have dicks, I’m pretty sure.
Right. So you knew what he was planning and didn’t say anything?
I never heard you say anything to him.
(A beat of silence) I feel… so sorry for that man. (Looks at Gunnar lamentingly)
So what did you say to him?
The man attacks someone endorsed by Fate and you don’t lift a finger? You didn’t try to stop him?
Because you were obviously outmatched, your sons were standing right at ground zero and you and your Viking were fucking teasing the divine equivalent of a nuclear warhead. Why not concede defeat, give him back his toy and just call it a day?
So what, you want him to get himself killed?
I never heard this conversation.
It fucking should for you two, you act like idiots when I’m not around to keep you in line. So what brilliant conclusions did you and your Viking reach?
That is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Somewhere to hang out? Lemme guess, that was Viking’s line?
Yeah, well that was the wrong fucking answer!
Well maybe you shouldn’t have got married.
Laurel? Laurel? Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it… (Laurel closes the laptop and goes back to fussing over her kids, pointedly ignoring Nevermore).