“Only if you don’t keep us too long, we have to get back to a motel in New Jersey before the last train.” The subway ran all night, but not everything did.
She frowned, then nodded. “You’re a superhero.”
My eyes widened.
“I mean, like me.”
I glanced at Kanesha. She looked like she was thoughtful. “Let’s talk somewhere we aren’t scaring civilians.”
She ducked into a maintenance tunnel. I followed, wishing I’d changed my shoes. This wasn’t a fun place for high heels.
“I have superpowers. And I’ve been using them to…protect people who don’t quite fit in. Well, mostly…mostly abused kids.”
“You’re a witch,” Kanesha said, firmly. “There’s no such thing as superpowers. You’ve just kind of…made your magic work that way instead of spells.”
That made sense. “I think she’s right. You look like a witch to me.”
“Does…does it matter? Maybe I’m like Wanda Maximoff.”
I grinned. “Maybe. Anyway. Look. I’m from out of town. And I’m leaving again. There’s not much I can do to help you…right now.”
“What do you need?” Kanesha asked.
“Money,” she admitted. “Money would be helpful. A cop we could trust…” She must have seen me flinch, because she trailed off.
“Money I can’t do right now, but might be able to in the future.” A pause. “All of my good contacts are in DC.”
“No wonder you don’t have money,” the girl quipped, weakly. “I hear it’s even worse than Manhattan.”
“It’s close to the same, really. But yeah, that’s why we don’t have money.”
She brushed back her dirty blonde hair – she was very pale, perhaps she only came out at night. “I just. I felt you were like me or something like me and I panicked.”
“I’ll see what I can do for you and your people,” I promised. Maybe it was a foolish promise, maybe it wasn’t one I should be making. But it felt right to make it, and I worded it in a way that wouldn’t make me an oathbreaker if I failed.
“People always say that.”
“I mean it. I can’t promise, because I don’t know what will happen. But…if you’re taking in abused kids, well, I doubt foster care is any better here than there.”
“They send them back to their parents. I mean, the only kind of abuse those people count is a belt.”
Which meant other, more subtle kinds of abuse. “I know what you mean.”
I frowned. But I didn’t ask to be shown her refuge. I did wonder if Kara might be interested in helping them, though, if it really was her I’d so briefly sensed. “I’ll talk to some people.”
“And I apologize for shooting you.”
“At least you shot me, not…”
“It would only have knocked you out.”
So she could tie me up or something, I supposed. I was just as glad it hadn’t worked.