No Rest for the Wicked
Summary: He'd just wanted a scone, for God's sake!
A/N: For Sanyu DarkStar who answered a challenge in the least amount of time to date (I mean, like five minutes after the story was posted 0_o ) and wanted Owen to meet her mystically inclined baker character. So here we are. As is often the case, the original character comes with more background and info than I could reasonably use in a one-shot so I did what I could and apologize for the rest.
Spoilers: Season 2
Disclaimer: Disney, Greg Weisman and Sanyu DarkStar own all the characters appearing in this story. I have simply twisted them for my own amusement.
Owen had an addiction. A bad addiction. An addiction he hid from everyone he knew - a hard thing to do considering David Xanatos's habit of spying on those he cared about most.
Like most addictions it had started innocently enough; David Xanatos had been pressuring him to get out (non-distructively) and try something new. Fox had seconded the opinion and one thing lead to another and then there he was neck deep in trouble.
The blond didn't often have reason or opportunity to leave the Eyrie Building (especially not after one or two notable incidents) without some form of escort but when he did go he always stopped to get a taste of his secret desire.
Yes. He had a problem.
On this particular instance he'd been out to inspect a new construction site that Xanatos planned for a manufacturing plant and found himself with an hour to spare before anyone would expect to see him back at the building and he decided to make a small, perfectly innocent - but absolutely secretive - detour. What was the worst that could happen?
The trouble started with the door. It was one of those Push/Pull annoyances and someone had put the sign up wrong. One did not push to enter, the sign lied in offical looking blue letters, one pulled. Well Owen, ever respectful of authority, pulled for nearly a full minute before someone exiting the building showed him his error.
Owen had been embarrased before, but this was nearly enough for him to turn tail and go home.
The trouble was furthered when he discovered his many options. He'd not been fully aware of the many nuances and varieties his drug of choice took. Should he go with the old, proven standby or - as David often urged him - try something new? He decided to be adventurous.
Then he got to the front of the line - for there was always a line to get through for Owen's particular fix - and the lady he'd come to for sweet, sweet release, had a tag hanging on her shirt that read 'OMEN'.
He stared at that tag for minutes, maybe days, and as he stared the customers that had been served before him slowly shuffled out, heading back to their lives, eager to be back before the end of their lunch break when someone might notice them missing and question their whereabouts. Owen still stared.
"Ahem," said the woman attached to the shirt that displayed the name tag said. "I'm up here."
Owen looked up and, instead of apologizing as he'd planned, proceeded to stare at the woman's face.
Nearly as pale as himself, her eyes were violet and red which may have been contact lenses but Owen seriously doubted it. He didn't recognize her as fae - there were only a select few blonde's on Avalon and fewer still that took to the color in human guise - and there was no tell-tale prickling at the back of his neck to warn him of magic in her.
"Interesting name," he finally said. The woman smiled and it seemed to brighten the room.
"You can pick your friends and you can pick desert but you can't pick your crazy parents," she shrugged, the smile turning self-deprecating. "I've always thought it suited me. What can I do for you today?"
Owen wanted to ask whether she meant that she was a good omen or a bad one but decided it might be in poor taste.
"A cup of coffee," he said instead. "And a blue berry scone."
"May I suggest strawberry?" Omen asked brightly as Owen was fishing in his wallet for the right number of bills. He dropped a quarter. "The blue berries aren't as good today; my supplier says the farms had some unseasonably cold nights recently."
"Very well," Owen knelt to fetch the quarter and slowly stood up. "Coffee and a-" His head cracked against the underside of the counter and swore violently.
"Are you alright?" Omen leaned over the edge of the counter and Owen nearly smashed his head on her chin as he finished standing, rubbing the spot on his head.
"Fine," he dropped the quarter in her tip jar to be rid of what he considered the source of this new embarrassment and pain. "Coffee and strawberry scone."
"Would you like to eat here or should I put all that in a bag for you?"
Owen hadn't considered that. The café was empty at the moment and the large front windows looked out on one of New York's smaller parks. Owen wouldn't be able to enjoy the baked deliciousness in the car, not properly in any case. He couldn't see any good reason to leave until he absolutely had to.
"Here will be fine."
"Great," Omen grinned. "Just have a seat anywhere and I'll get that to you."
Owen sat and went about mentally preparing himself for the partaking of his addiction for what seemed to him to be hours.
It was exactly three minutes and thirty-six seconds according to the clock on the wall beside him but his was the more important opinion.
"Here we go," a plate appeared at Owen's elbow, holding a still warm roughly triangular scone followed by a mug of steaming coffee. "Enjoy."
Owen assured the woman that he would and inhaled deeply. Coffee, strawberries and the unmistakable scent of freshly baked bread goods reached his nose and Owen felt himself relax. Worried that the woman might attempt to make small talk since they were the only ones there, Owen broke a large piece off the surprisingly moist scone and popped it in his mouth.
Owen was not one to make noise while eating if he could at all avoid it simply because he found it distasteful to do so. It was a different matter when eating fresh-baked goods. Now, in particular, he had to actively stop himself from moaning aloud.
At the counter, Omen watched her customer with a faint smile for a moment before returning her attention to a well beaten leather volume, frowning at the text.
Owen was aware, though only vaguely through the pleasant haze of coffee and baked goods, that Omen was speaking and apparently not to him.
" -ar...' hmm. 'Argentum et a...arrum'- no, that can't be right," no indeed, Owen thought mildly. "Ah, here we are 'et aurum involare.'"
Wait a moment. Owen frowned, feeling a slight tug low in his belly.
" 'Postae Pu-'" Owen spat his coffee all over the table in front of him. "Hey! Are you alright?"
Owen snatched up a handful of napkins and stood, wiping down the front of his now stained shirt and face.
"Did you burn..." Omen's eyes widened comically as Owen stalked toward her. "...your self?"
Owen snatched the book off the counter and examined the cover. Not the Grimorum, thank goodness. Though how an apparently common bakery worker could have gotten hold of any spell book was beyond him.
"Do you have any idea what you were doing?" He asked angrily, brandishing the book. "Have you any idea what this is?" Omen stared at him, mouth open.
"It's a book of latin incantations," she said after a long moment. "I was just-"
"Have you any idea how dangerous it is to deal with things you don't understand?" Owen cut her off, eyes narrowed. Omen's own violet eyes narrowed back at him.
"It's a summoning spell," she snapped. "To bring forth a harmless, helpful spirit," Owen snorted. "I wasn't even using any items of power."
"Exactly," Owen said pointedly. The young woman stared at him. "Have you any idea how dangerous it is to do things only half-way through? Do you know what happens when you don't use every part of an incantation?" He waited for a moment, but Omen didn't respond. "No, I rather thought not."
Owen took out his wallet and dropped forty dollars on counter. Omen stared at the money like it might turn into a viper a bite her.
"What is this?" She asked after a moment.
"Compensation for a damaged, incomplete and frankly dangerous book," Owen turned his back on her. "Thank you and good day."
"Now wait just one minute," she huffed and jumped over the counter in enough time to block Owen's exit. "You can't just come in here and take-"
Owen gave her a sharp tap over the head with the volume and Omen pulled back, hands immediately covering the sore spot.
"Thank you for the coffee," Owen said politely, yanking the door open with far more force than strictly necessary. "And the scone was delicious."
He left the bakery stained with coffee, having only eaten about two-thirds of his scone and with an out of print (for a damn good reason) copy of Useful Latin Incantations under his arm. It was not, he reflected, a great start to his day.
A/N: About half way through this I realised that Omen and Owen are literally one upside down letter apart and I found it very amusing. On a side note, I don't think Owen has ever had a good day in my stories... hm.