Titania turned down the upscale housing afforded to Guardians because she had never been one for fancy abodes. Hilde stayed in a tiny civilian's apartment because it was Titania's tiny civilian apartment. Some nights, though, she contemplated badgering Titania about moving to a place with more leg room, or at least one closer to a Warlock library.
Tonight, at least, they didn't need much space. They huddled together on the fold-out couch and queued up a nice long playlist of old movies. Hilde got first choice, which spiraled into all the choices, the first of which was flickering on the wall: We Never Talk Anymore.
We Never Talk Anymore: 23rd century film about a 21st century romance: two people meet over the Internet, get to falling in love, and before either of them can see the other's face the Grayouts strike, and the two lose each other. By stroke of fortune both are New Yorkers, and as the two live their lives, over the course of years they slowly draw closer to each other until they meet at last the year of first contact with the Traveler.
It was rated two and a half stars out of five, which Hilde thought was terribly low.
"Are all of these movies about New York?" said Titania.
"Yeah. I mean, why not? It's New York," said Hilde. "Look at that architecture. Nothing looks like New York. I mean, the City's a looker and all, but New York has character. It's got history! Only history the City has is a history of everybody being terrified all the time."
"In a sense," Titania said, "that's the only history mankind has ever known."
"You know what I mean. They were scared of things like nuclear war or, like, racial tension." She laughed. Hilde was a fair blonde born in the Tranquility Colony just before the Fall; Titania was the child of no-shit Zulu warriors back in the 24th century (thereabouts). "Hell, they'd be terrified of us, huh? Just sorta getting along the way we do."
Titania smiled and ran her thumb along Hilde's ear. "That and the sorcery."
"That and the sorcery." She rest her head on Titania's shoulder. "Keep an eye out for any strikes around New York, okay? Maybe we'll get to take a trip there sometime. Get paid, too."
Titania's thumb slowed, paused.
"...Titania. Don't give me that look, Little Miss Can't Be Wrong."
"You're a warlock, Brunhilde. You don't know?"
Hilde paused the movie. "Tell me or I'll... make you tell me."
"The Fallen destroyed the New York sewer system towards the end of the Collapse. It's been washed out to sea by now."
"...No way. They built shit to last back then."
"They built things to last after the Traveler came. All that's left of New York are waterlogged Golden Age skyscrapers and most of the Statue of Liberty. Nothing's left worth fighting over. There haven't been invaders there in decades. Nor kin there to do more than mourn."
Hilde felt her skin flush. "Son of a bitch."
"All the Fallen responsible are dead now, Brunhilde."
"That doesn't make it better! It means I can't get revenge!" She kicked in the air. "God, first they kill me, then they kill New York? The hell do they get off?"
Titania planted a small kiss on her forehead. "I know. They're mean."
"I'm gonna disintegrate the next Fallen I see." Hilde pouted.
Titania's smile returned, a little wider now. "You're cute when you're angry."
"I'm angry when I'm angry."
"You're angry in a cute way."
"You're mean. Like a Fallen."
"You're cute, like a Ghost."
"But I'm not a big dork like a Ghost."
"Far from it." This kiss was on the lips. "You're not a dork at all."
Hilde sighed. "Alright, alright. I forgive you for the bad news."
"But you still owe me one. Get some more popcorn."
"Sir, yes sir."
"Don't call me 'sir.' I cast spells for a living."