“You an’ everyone else that asks.”

          Anna offers a smile in return along with a slight shrug of her shoulders. It wasn’t at all uncommon for her to get questions like this from anyone that knew where she worked.

She also knew better than to expect that the topic would just be dropped. 

“That is true.” She agreed as she climbed out of the cab. The X-Men and SHIELD had rarely had much to do with each other, mostly in the interests of some of the team’s members. Rogue wasn’t the only one that had some bad history that might not sit well with the other organization. “An’ if yah would like tah change that, Ah’d be happy tah work on it with yah an’ Ah’d be glad tah show yah some o’ the school if yah wanted to see what we do, but jus’ because you migh’ not use the information on our kids fo’ anythin’ bad, don’t mean that someone else wouldn’t. It’s jus’ in their best interest that Ah don’t discuss specifics o’ their situations outside of the school very often.”

“To be fair, it’s sort of my job to ask.”

     More her job to just know, but she can settle for asking since she doesn’t already. Fingertips press against the door, the dull thud of metal behind them as they move away from traffic toward the line of buildings with windows gleaming in the late-afternoon sun. There are still some idiots stopped in the crosswalk on 14th trying to take pictures of Manhattanhenge. Jesus christ. A soft shake of her head and she tears her eyes away from them, jaw tipped toward Anna-Marie while they walk. Nearing a coffee shop, she gestures gently toward the door- the bar they want is accessed through the front, but otherwise it’s unmarked. 

“You know? I wouldn’t mind that at all.” She’s a firm believer in keeping relations open, because while they might not be an enemy now- having a lack of a relationship with the X-Men could have the potential to harm them in the future rather than help. “I’ll have to look at my schedule, but I’m certainly open to arranging a meeting at the school.”

     Once inside the bar, the atmosphere changes significantly. Like most ‘secret’ bars, this one chooses to employ the old Prohibition speakeasy vibe. They’re directed to a private booth near the back and it’s not clear whether the hostess recognizes Maria, but there’s definitely a flicker of a knowing glance between them before she flits away. Sitting across from her companion, Maria nods solemnly, opening a menu but not yet looking it over. 

       “Devil you know?”


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