2014-11-10 Coffee and Conversations in Closets
This scene is rated PG-13
Warning: There might be some language? I can never remember.
2014-11-10
Players: Angelica, Drake
GMed by Both!
Title: Coffee and Conversations in Closets

It's been a night for Angelica Jones, that's for sure. A late night, filled with peril and horror, then the shock of learning the true nature of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. She slept like the dead, but she's still up early, standing in the kitchen in her Xavier School issue clothes, the best that could be done for jammies on short notice. Coffee is brewing, but not nearly fast enough for her liking. She drums her fingers on the counter and watches the slow-dripping machine like it's lagging on purpose. "Why?" she mutters at it. "Why must you defy my perfect will?" She shakes a fist at it. "Render unto me the elixir of life!" Seeing that Mr. Coffee is unmoved by her dramatics, she huffs and flops back against the counter. "Your mother was a hamster," she mutters at it.

Drake hasn't been seen yet this morning! Why? Maybe because he was out quite late last night rescuing damsels. Or helping them find their feet. Or having frank discussions about age and what have you.

Or because he's already dressed for the day!

Drake enters the kitchen at a perky trot, his hair still slightly glistening with residual moisture. Someone's just come out of the shower~! He even smells of French vanilla - if the scent of vanilla can change by nationality.

"Look who's up and at'em," he chirps. That trot brings him right up alongside her, where he goes for a fond shoulderbump.

"Up, I guess," says AJ, stifling a yawn. She returns the shoulder bump. "Not very at 'em." She glares at the coffee machine, which seems to drip slower even as she does so. Nyah nyah. She turns her head and leans in a little. "You smell good. Kind of like cookies." A beat. "I'm not sure it's a boy smell."
Drake turns to face her in return and straightens his posture when she leans in to sniff at him. Her observation gets a bemused, but restrained chuckle. "Any smell that gets a girl to lean in all close-like…" His hand lifts to tap an index finger to the tip of her nose. "…is a boy smell."

"No it's not," says AJ, perhaps just to be contrary. "It's a cookie smell. I lean in close to cookies, too." She wrinkles up her nose as it's booped. Bleh. She sticks out her tongue. ANYWAY. "So. Classes this morning?"

"If I have to be disguised as a cookie to lure ya in, it's a small price to pay," says Drake matter-of-factly, even with upturned fingerpoint. He then nods. "Yeah. Classes are pretty early here. I think I've adapted alright…" Considering back on the west coast, he was mostly a zombie through classes.

Drake bops gently at the girl's belly, playboxing her. Perk! Perk, blast you! "What about /you/? What's your plan?"

"But if you were disguised as a cookie, I might bite you," says AJ, reasonably enough. The play boxing gets a play oof and a half-hearted kick at his shins. Have at thee! Or something. As for her plan, she shakes her head, evincing a troubled frown. "I'm not sure. Like a wise man once said, 'This is the story about how my life got flipped-turned upside down…'"

The coffee machine gives one last, dying gurgle and she sighs in relief. "Finally." Steaming black liquid is poured into the waiting mug. Generous amounts of sugar and cream are added. "I guess I'm going on sabbatical. I have to find someone to cover my classes. I'll probably still intern at Stark, because that has to go on my resume — I worked too hard to get it — but otherwise…" She blows on her coffee and carefully sips. "Otherwise, I need to figure out how to tell my grandparents I'm going to be here. And why."

Ohs noes, a shin-kick! Drake relents on the pounding in favor of turning to lean back on the counter, his elbows propped behind him. "Careful now. Some guys are into that sort'a thing," he teases.

But the conversation has turned all super serious, and he can roll with that. Her life is being turned upside-down, and any help in direction she could get is probably nice; even if it comes from a highschooler. "Have you considered teaching full-on here? Like you do over at Columbia?" She was, what, an adjunct? Whatever that is! Hunkering his head down to his shoulders, Drake widens his eyes to overtake the majority of his facial real-estate and rounds them out to large, innocent circles. "You might even get me in onn'a your classes." Heel-scuff.

AJ almost snarfs her coffee at that. "Riiiiight. As though crushing on a seventeen-year-old wasn't creepy enough, I'm gonna go all Mary Kay Letourneau?" She holds up a hand. "Le no. Le not even a chance. While I'm here, I'm a student, too. And my curriculum consists of How to Win Friends and Not Kill People 101." She wrinkles her nose, serious again. "But that's probably what I'm going to tell them. The teacher bit. Because… it's the only thing that makes sense. As much as I hate lying to them."

Drake laughs and loses the puppy eyes. With a faux-dejected huff, he shoots a look off to the side. "Fine, whatever, there goes /one/ fantasy…" When his eyes return to her shortly after, they're accompanied with a soft smile. "Don't look at it as lying. Think of it as protecting. The less they know, the better off they are - safer."

She takes another sip of coffee — and almost snarf again at the crushing of his fantasy. "Sorry. I'm sure you can play 'Hot for Teacher' with any number of faculty, here." The pulchritudinous teachers are allll at Xavier's. Even she knows that. Word gets around in Academia. The rest she listens to, and it's reassuring. He can see the guilt easing from her shoulders physically — they visibly relax. "Yeah. Yeah, that's probably a better way to look at it." She nods. "Thanks."

"But I wanna play it with /you/," flirts Drake. But he digresses! A soft smile touches his lips and his head cants in acknowledgment. "Welcome. It's even true, too."

AJ smirks and blushes, lowering her lashes. "I'm not really the disciplinarian type," she tells him, then takes a long swallow of her coffee. "And you're going to be late for class. And I've got to get some clothes on — and get out there, and completely rearrange my life." She passes a hand over her face. "Fuck. I'm going to be completely rearranging my life." She stares a moment, then confesses to Drake, "I'm a little neurotic." Ya don't say? "And I don't change well. So… if you can't find me later, I'll probably be in a closet. Eating ice cream."

Drake snickers. "Real talk? That particular thing isn't a fantasy of mine." He gives no better explanation than that! But she's right. He should get going to class soon, just not without giving her a tiny bit more reassurance. Drake makes his way over to her side and goes to loop an arm around her shoulders to tug her into a side-hug. Why not a full hug? Because he doesn't want to risk scaring off the baby bird, and she's carrying coffee. "You're doing the right thing," he says quietly. "And when you're done, we'll hang out."

Side hugs she can handle. Side hugs are nice. And bro-y. She can totally bro. "Thanks." AJ smiles up at him. "Hanging would be good." She drains the rest of her coffee and conscientiously checks the dishwasher. Dirty! Woo! She puts the mug in the top. "Have a good day at school, Dragon." Quick, quirky little smile. Wiggle-finger wave. And she's off!

LATER IN THE DAY…

Bzzt! Bzzt! Angelica has a text!

Drake: 'Hey where are you'

He forgot punctuation.

Bzzt! Bzzt!

AJ: 'You forgot punctuation.'

Bzzt! Bzzt!

Drake: 'Lol i thought you werent gonna be my teacher'

Bzzt! Bzzt!

AJ: 'How am I supposed to tell what you mean if you don't punctuate? It could be, like, sullen. (Hey, where are you…?) Or excited: (Hey! Where are you?!) Or caps work, too. Maybe you're pissed. (HEY! WHERE ARE YOU??) But it could be just a normal inquiry, too. (Hey, where are you?) Which is probably what you meant. But you have to be specific. I'm fragile and prone to extrapolation.'

Yeah. She totally thumb-typed all that. It takes up a few screens.

Bzzt! Bzzt!

Drake: 'tl;dr where are you!'

Bzzt! Bzzt!

AJ: 'Coat closet. Main hall.'

As promised, Angelica Jones is to be found in the coat closet, just off the foyer. It's full of coats, considering the weather, which makes it a nice, dark, close hidey hole. There are those big Tupperware storage containers shoved to either side, as well, probably full of Christmas decorations or whatever one shoves in closets and forgets about for ten months out of the year. AJ is sitting on one. Her hair is pulled back in a hairband, otherwise left long, probably the only time he's seen it down. Her t-shirt — white — has SAVE FERRIS in big black letters on the front. A knee length, kind of fluttery skirt and witch-striped stockings with black utility boots round out the peculiar outfit. But then, she's a peculiar girl.

He's caught her in mid spoonful of ice-cream: Ben & Jerry's S'Mores. "Hi," she mumbles around her melty mouthful. "Giddin before sunbuddy sieze yew."

The door is, indeed, swung wide to reveal Drake! At some point during the day, he'd changed outfits to something somewhat similar to what she was wearing this morning. But he's wearing it almost certainly for different reasons. At her behest, he scoots into the closet and shuts the door behind him. They're both bathed in shadow, so it takes a little bit of feeling around before he sorts out where he can sit beside her.

"How'd it go? Did you get your stuff and move it over?"

AJ scooches over to make room for him. Rather than cookies, she smells like some kind of sweet, exotic incense. Nag champa, if one's versed in fragrant smoke. For someone less versed, she smells like — exotic flowers, sandalwood, and amber. It's subtle. Probably mostly her hair. "Yeah," she affirms, scooping up more ice cream. She's made a good dent in the pint. "The room's nice. Lots of space for books. Flatscreen. PS4." You know. The essentials.

"Sounds ballin'," says Drake. "And how are you doing? Holding up alright?" He can only barely see her in this darkness, but he's close enough to make out her features, at least. "And has anyone showed you around the mansion yet? Did you know we have two pools? /Two pools/!"

AJ blinks owlishly in the darkness. "Why would you need two pools?" she asks. She's sort of whispering — a little above a whisper. But it's clear their meeting in the closet if strictly on the DL. Clandestine, even. "Are there that many people here?" Hello, anxiety!

Drake leans in to nudge against her. "One outside for the warmer months. One indoor and heated for the colder months," he explains, letting his voice lower to match her. "So I hope ya brought a swimsuit, because I'm kiiind of addicted to the water." Not that she can probably see it too well, but he juts a thumb towards his chest. "West coast, represent. Cali', baby."

"'West coast represent' is always followed in my head by 'Now put your hands up,' as sung by Katy Perry," says AJ. Nom, nom ice cream. "So you're from California?" She tilts her head like a curious bird. "How'd you end up here?"
I don't understand that.

Drake snerks. "We were sayin' that before she turned California into Candyland or, or whatever the heck she thought she was doing." Hmph. The question, however, gets a pause. He turns his eyes over to the door of the closet and leans back against the interior. "Ehh, you sure you wanna hear that story..?," he asks. "It's not that glamorous.."

"Yeah. I can see your point," says AJ around another mouthful of B&J's. "Neurotic science prodigy burns people alive and hides in closets is pretty glam." A beat. "Of course I wanna hear the story." Duh.

Drake slants his eyes aside to her briefly, then ahead again. "Feh."

"So, my parents suck," he starts off. "And I.. I sort'a just did my own thing. Ran with a street crew of a few friends. Got some five-finger discounts, tagged some property, did a little B'n'E, hotwired a few cherries…" He runs a hand through his hair, ruffling the obsidian. "And then we ran into one of the bigger crews who were packin'. We scattered, I got cornered, and bam. Outta nowhere, I turn into Lord-freakin'-Raiden and hospitalize a dude. I spend about a year learning to control it and not.. y'know, go overboard, keeping it secret. Then, when I finally cave and tell my dad, he tells me that it's… like… wrong. He accused me of lying first, then when I proved I wasn't, told me to never do it again." He shakes his head and continues, "That was it for me, so I was gonna dip out for a while to get some space. He catches me in the act and tells me not to come back. So… y'know." Shoulders bob. "I didn't."

"Stayed on the streets a while, until I heard a lot of stuff was going on out here. I thought I'd find others like me, so I got a nice little forgery and took a trip. Started holding up convenience stores with electrical powers akimbo, figurin' that would get the attention of the people I wanted to meet. It… kind of worked. Sort of. Ran into someone from the mansion basically by accident in the middle of a heist, and here I am."

AJ listens, quiet and attentive. Solemn. She doesn't interrupt him, even to sympathize — to tell him how shitty it all was. How sorry she is it all went down like that. Maybe she knows he knows. There are a few long beats when he's done. The silence hangs. Then… there's a spoon offered over to him. She's still holding hit, her other hand cupped beneath it to catch any drips. "Here," she says, softly. "Ice cream helps."

Drake turns to look at the offered spoon, then to her face, then back to the spoon. "The Hell of it? When the Professor and Scott filed for custody, my parents didn't even argue it. Just went with it. Gave me away."

"Now I'll have some of that friggin' icecream." True to his word, he mouth-glomps onto the spoon with a soured expression.

It's really good ice cream. Just sayin'. Chocolate with chocolate chunks and toasted marshmallows and crumbles of graham cracker. "You didn't get the parents you deserve," says AJ, putting the spoon back in the kicked pint container. The container it set on the floor. "Not a lot of people do. You deserved better." She shrugs gently. "But it sounds like the people you deserve found you." She reaches out to thumb a smudge of chocolate from the corner of his mouth. She pops her thumb in her mouth a moment to clean off the ice cream. "And you're going to be okay."
I don't understand that.

"Hey, I came to pep-talk /you/," Drake asserts with a little smirk while she fusses over his lips. "I'm good. I've had time to deal with it." That doesn't mean there aren't lingering scars. But he's aware of how valuable his lifestyle is now. That's why he's been making such a hard effort to not go contrary to the faculty's rules.

"But now you know. You have a crush on a seventeen-year-old ex-criminal superhero."

"And Captain America," AJ reminds him. "And Brian Cox. And Neil Degrasse Tyson." She tilts a glimmer of a smile. "But I guess that means you're in good company."

Drake squints through the shadows at her challengingly. "I don't see Neil DeGrasse, Brian Cox, or Captain America sitting in a dark closet with you, sharing a spoon."

AJ smirks. "In fairness, only one of them knows I'm alive. And he's probably in England, right now."

"Does it matter that at least one of them is totally into you?," Drake asks, raising the stakes. He leans in deeply to nudge his shoulder against hers again.

"I know," she replies. "But Brian's married." Tee hee. "He's really trying to make it work, despite his undying love for me."

Drake rolls his eyes and suddenly leans in closer, head tilting to press a quick kiss to her cheek. He gives no explanation - only that quick kiss to her dimpled cheek.

She blinks at him again. "Isn't there someone in your classes?" she wonders. "Girls your age are kind of sexy, aren't they? Maybe in a trying-to-hard kind of way, but still? I bet they don't proofread your texts."

Drake straightens his posture again, looking a little rebuffed. "Uh. Sure, I guess? But looks aren't everything…" He hesitates a moment before lifting to his feet. "I get it. You're weirded out by me being a few years younger than you. That's.. y'know, fine, I guess." Read: very disappointing. But he is making a fair effort of playing it cool. "I'd rather you be comfortable than worry about me hittin' on you all the time, so…"

"I don't think you're hitting on me all the time," says AJ, frowning. She clearly doesn't know where she misstepped — but it's clear, even to her (Miss Broken Social Interface), that she has. "I don't think you're hitting on me at all. I mean, you kissed my cheek. You talk about being into me, and that's really, really sweet — but… I just think you might be happier. With someone who's not as… you know." She shrugs, looking uncomfortable. "Me." She bends to pick up the ice cream container. "Like you said, looks aren't everything. Mine definitely aren't. Go… be a rampaging ball of hormones, or something. That's what you're supposed to do."

"Would'ja stop being so hard on yourself? I /like/ you. I like that you're kind've a spazz. It's cute. I like how you get all blushy when I say the right thing to ya. I mean…" Drake bends forward and sets his hands to his knees. "I'm not perfect. I'm a little dorky, I've got issues, and I don't think I'll ever be the 'cool and collected' type that chicks are into." Beat. "Plus, I'm really pale compared to other Cali'-folk. We've all got our little things goin' on. I just happen to like yours."

Instead of being won by his speech, AJ frowns. More deeply by the moment. When he's done, she shakes her head and huffs a sigh. "You know what?" she says. "Do me a favor. No — do you a favor." She points a finger at his chest and pokes him. "Ask a girl out. A girl your age. A hot girl. And go out with her. Have fun. Kiss her, and not just on the cheek. And then come back and tell me you're into sitting in closets with me while I try to screw up the balls to face a 'crowd' of three. God freaking forbid more. Because what I think — " she takes a breath. "What I think is I'm the first girl that's looked at you cross-eyed since you came out from the Left Coast, and you're lonely as Hell under all that bravado, and you're only into be because I'm standing still long enough to let you be." She stands and reaches for the doorknob. "I'm done standing still."

He gets poked by her index finger, and what comes next is a scowl.

"That's a heck of a thing to say. Is that really what you think of me? That I'm just… desperate? I told you one of the things I look for in someone is respect. So this? Done deal. Problem fixed."

He steps aside for her. "Don't worry. I won't be pining after you."

"Good," AJ snaps. Then, with a softer edge, unhappily, "You shouldn't be."

And out she goes, shutting the door behind her and leaving him in the dark.

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