Difference between revisions of "ArchivedLogs:Listening"

From X-Men: rEvolution
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The chalkboard menus hanging behind the counter change frequently, always home to a wide variety of drinks (with an impressive roster of fair-trade coffees and teas largely featured) though their sandwiches and wraps and soups and snacks of the day change often. An often-changing variety of baked goods sit behind the display case at the counter halfway back in the room, and the opposite side of the counter holds a small selection of homemade ice creams. A pair of single-user bathrooms flanks the stairway in back of the cafe; at night, the thump of music can be heard from above, coming from the adjoining nightclub of the same name that sits up the stairs above the coffeehouse.
 
The chalkboard menus hanging behind the counter change frequently, always home to a wide variety of drinks (with an impressive roster of fair-trade coffees and teas largely featured) though their sandwiches and wraps and soups and snacks of the day change often. An often-changing variety of baked goods sit behind the display case at the counter halfway back in the room, and the opposite side of the counter holds a small selection of homemade ice creams. A pair of single-user bathrooms flanks the stairway in back of the cafe; at night, the thump of music can be heard from above, coming from the adjoining nightclub of the same name that sits up the stairs above the coffeehouse.
  
It was a busy /afternoon/, at Evolve, today, hectic and rushed and crowded, but this evening is -- not. The throngs of Sunday afternoon brunchers (and laaate brunchers and lunch-I-swear-this-is-still-Sunday-brunchers and okay-now-it's-really-just-lunch-Sunday-is-lazy-okay) have dispersed and as afternoon slips into evening the cafe is quiet. Really quiet. There's a trio of laptop idlers who haven't gotten up for refills in a while but beyond that the tables are empty. And gleaming. Dressed in jeans, red t-shirt, LA Lakers zip-up sweatshirt, Taylor is wiping down the counter, now. Though he's /been/ wiping down the counter for a long time. It's pretty polished, really. It's likely that he's forgotten that he's wiping it down; the paper towel is held in a tentacle and he's leaning against the counter as he wipes, his attention /actually/ on the phone that's in his /hands/. The damp towel squeaks against the countertop on its umpteenth circle.
+
It was a busy /afternoon/, at Evolve, today, hectic and rushed and crowded, but this evening is -- not. The throngs of Sunday afternoon brunchers (and laaate brunchers and lunch-I-swear-this-is-still-Sunday-brunchers and okay-now-it's-really-just-lunch-Sunday-is-lazy-okay) have dispersed and as afternoon slips into evening the cafe is quiet. Really quiet. There's a trio of laptop idlers who haven't gotten up for refills in a while but beyond that the tables are empty. And gleaming. Dressed in jeans, red t-shirt, Golden State Warriors zip-up sweatshirt, Taylor is wiping down the counter, now. Though he's /been/ wiping down the counter for a long time. It's pretty polished, really. It's likely that he's forgotten that he's wiping it down; the paper towel is held in a tentacle and he's leaning against the counter as he wipes, his attention /actually/ on the phone that's in his /hands/. The damp towel squeaks against the countertop on its umpteenth circle.
  
 
"If you keep wiping that spot, Taylor, you're going to wear a hole in it." Rasa brings out the final tray of clean glasses to stack up behind the counter, finishing the prep for the evening. Ze pauses to look down at the surface Taylor's wiping and squats down a little to get a closer look. "Waaait. I think you're making an indent. We could turn it into a punch bowl or serve snacks out of it." There's a small quirk on one side of hir face as ze straightens back up, raising an eyebrow at hir coworker before peeking at the surface of his phone.
 
"If you keep wiping that spot, Taylor, you're going to wear a hole in it." Rasa brings out the final tray of clean glasses to stack up behind the counter, finishing the prep for the evening. Ze pauses to look down at the surface Taylor's wiping and squats down a little to get a closer look. "Waaait. I think you're making an indent. We could turn it into a punch bowl or serve snacks out of it." There's a small quirk on one side of hir face as ze straightens back up, raising an eyebrow at hir coworker before peeking at the surface of his phone.
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"Going to be? Hell. I don't want to incite terror. I don't want to be a terrorist. I... am kind of stuck with the title now. I feel like people are watching in case I do something else that can reinforce that one incident." Rasa is leaning against the barista's counter, wearing loose black slacks and a long sleeved kurta, blue green in shade. The collar rests against gray flesh, hir hair short and curly, just a few shades darker in color. Ze is half slumped, but hir attention is directed entirely to Taylor's side as he is pulling his shirts up to expose the mess of stumps and bandages underneath. For the most part, the cafe is empty, so the fact that the staff are standing around chatting doesn't seem to be a big deal. "Eesh. I... have some experience with limb loss and healing, but... it was different, I guess." Hir mind roils over the memories of those sensations, the thoughts pressing up against the depression that hir current situation has sunken hir into. "Just don't know what else to do -- school being out of the picture now."
 
"Going to be? Hell. I don't want to incite terror. I don't want to be a terrorist. I... am kind of stuck with the title now. I feel like people are watching in case I do something else that can reinforce that one incident." Rasa is leaning against the barista's counter, wearing loose black slacks and a long sleeved kurta, blue green in shade. The collar rests against gray flesh, hir hair short and curly, just a few shades darker in color. Ze is half slumped, but hir attention is directed entirely to Taylor's side as he is pulling his shirts up to expose the mess of stumps and bandages underneath. For the most part, the cafe is empty, so the fact that the staff are standing around chatting doesn't seem to be a big deal. "Eesh. I... have some experience with limb loss and healing, but... it was different, I guess." Hir mind roils over the memories of those sensations, the thoughts pressing up against the depression that hir current situation has sunken hir into. "Just don't know what else to do -- school being out of the picture now."
  
"Shit, dude, I'm --" A sense of apology presses up against Rasa's mind in lieu of the word. "That's just -- is there other options for school? Online college? Other schools that'll take you? There's gotta be -- fuck, ignore me, I'm not trying to -- I'm sure you've thought of all this already. This is just, /fuck/." Taylor is behind the barista's counter, too. Jeans, a red t-shirt; he's just discarded his LA Lakers hoodie on the squeaky-clean counter to show off his BATTLE SCARS to Rasa. Battle /dismemberment/, really; there's bandaging on his arms but three of his tentacles are /missing/, only bandaged (red-raw-weeping-oozing-bloody) stumps left where they should be. At the moment he's carefully replacing the dressing on the stump he'd been showing off to Rasa. "I'm not trynna step up in your business. This shit just keeps /happening/ and happening and happening. I don't -- I'm. There's just /gotta/ be. /Options/. Right?"
+
"Shit, dude, I'm --" A sense of apology presses up against Rasa's mind in lieu of the word. "That's just -- is there other options for school? Online college? Other schools that'll take you? There's gotta be -- fuck, ignore me, I'm not trying to -- I'm sure you've thought of all this already. This is just, /fuck/." Taylor is behind the barista's counter, too. Jeans, a red t-shirt; he's just discarded his Golden State Warriors hoodie on the squeaky-clean counter to show off his BATTLE SCARS to Rasa. Battle /dismemberment/, really; there's bandaging on his arms but three of his tentacles are /missing/, only bandaged (red-raw-weeping-oozing-bloody) stumps left where they should be. At the moment he's carefully replacing the dressing on the stump he'd been showing off to Rasa. "I'm not trynna step up in your business. This shit just keeps /happening/ and happening and happening. I don't -- I'm. There's just /gotta/ be. /Options/. Right?"
  
 
A tall, young man steps into the cafe, blinking at the change of light, and slowly makes his way through towards the barista's counter. He spots Taylor first, slowly a little at the sight of bloody stumps of the red, raw, weepy and oozy variety. The young man leans carefully against the counter, and offers a nod to the two behind it. "Evening. Ouch, is all I can say to that, Taylor. Do you need anything? I could run and get something, new bandages, maybe some alcohol to clean the wounds with?" << Holy shit how heck did that happen? >> The large teen offers a wave to Rasa, "Hey, name's Hercules."
 
A tall, young man steps into the cafe, blinking at the change of light, and slowly makes his way through towards the barista's counter. He spots Taylor first, slowly a little at the sight of bloody stumps of the red, raw, weepy and oozy variety. The young man leans carefully against the counter, and offers a nod to the two behind it. "Evening. Ouch, is all I can say to that, Taylor. Do you need anything? I could run and get something, new bandages, maybe some alcohol to clean the wounds with?" << Holy shit how heck did that happen? >> The large teen offers a wave to Rasa, "Hey, name's Hercules."

Latest revision as of 14:22, 1 August 2020

Listening
Dramatis Personae

Hercules, Rasa, Taylor

2015-10-11


"I find it's easier to actually say, 'I was wrong; I apologize.'"

Location

<NYC> Evolve Cafe - Lower East Side


Spacious and open, this coffeeshop has a somewhat industrial feel to it, grey resin floors below and exposed-beam ceilings that have been painted up in a dancing swirl of abstract whorls and starbursts, a riot of colour splashed against a white background. The walls alternate between brick and cheerfully lime-green painted wood that extends to the paneling beneath the brushed-steel countertops. There's an abundance of light, though rather than windows (which are scarce) it comes from plentiful hanging steel lamps. The walls here are home to plentiful artwork available for sale; though the roster of prints and paintings and drawings and photographs changes on a regular basis it has one thing in common -- all the artists displayed are mutants.

The seating spaced around the room is spread out enough to keep the room from feeling cluttered. Black chairs, square black tables that mostly seat two or four though they're frequently pushed around and rearranged to make space for larger parties. In the back corner of the room is more comfortable seating, a few large black-corduroy sofas and armchairs with wide tables between them. There's a shelf of card and board games back here available for customers to sit and play.

The chalkboard menus hanging behind the counter change frequently, always home to a wide variety of drinks (with an impressive roster of fair-trade coffees and teas largely featured) though their sandwiches and wraps and soups and snacks of the day change often. An often-changing variety of baked goods sit behind the display case at the counter halfway back in the room, and the opposite side of the counter holds a small selection of homemade ice creams. A pair of single-user bathrooms flanks the stairway in back of the cafe; at night, the thump of music can be heard from above, coming from the adjoining nightclub of the same name that sits up the stairs above the coffeehouse.

It was a busy /afternoon/, at Evolve, today, hectic and rushed and crowded, but this evening is -- not. The throngs of Sunday afternoon brunchers (and laaate brunchers and lunch-I-swear-this-is-still-Sunday-brunchers and okay-now-it's-really-just-lunch-Sunday-is-lazy-okay) have dispersed and as afternoon slips into evening the cafe is quiet. Really quiet. There's a trio of laptop idlers who haven't gotten up for refills in a while but beyond that the tables are empty. And gleaming. Dressed in jeans, red t-shirt, Golden State Warriors zip-up sweatshirt, Taylor is wiping down the counter, now. Though he's /been/ wiping down the counter for a long time. It's pretty polished, really. It's likely that he's forgotten that he's wiping it down; the paper towel is held in a tentacle and he's leaning against the counter as he wipes, his attention /actually/ on the phone that's in his /hands/. The damp towel squeaks against the countertop on its umpteenth circle.

"If you keep wiping that spot, Taylor, you're going to wear a hole in it." Rasa brings out the final tray of clean glasses to stack up behind the counter, finishing the prep for the evening. Ze pauses to look down at the surface Taylor's wiping and squats down a little to get a closer look. "Waaait. I think you're making an indent. We could turn it into a punch bowl or serve snacks out of it." There's a small quirk on one side of hir face as ze straightens back up, raising an eyebrow at hir coworker before peeking at the surface of his phone.

"Hm -- oh-hah." Taylor glances up with a swift grin flashing across a face that looks a little bit puffy at one side. (It's probably also noticeable that three of the mid-sized armholes of his sweatshirt are empty, their tentacles currently missing.) "Think we've got some wasabi crackers that would fit." Deadpan, now. He's been playing plants vs. zombies on his phone, which earns a kind of sheepish grin when Rasa looks over. "There should be some kind of rule. If we go an hour without a customer we can close up and go home."

"I don't know. It's not as bad as when the coffee didn't work," Rasa leans against the counter and glances around the store, frowning. Ze refocuses on Taylor and shrugs. "Maybe Shane could just give us old style pagers and when there's a coffee emergency, he could beep us and bring us scampering back on duty." Ze slouches forward and rests arms on the counter, hir limbs taking on an ashy gray color. "Not that I have anything else to do right now -- hey, how are you healing?"

"Woah. Old-school. Then I'd /legit/ feel like a pusher." Taylor looks highly amused at this idea. "Pagers. I want one." He leans forward against the counter, too, slumping more heavily. He answers the question with a hooked-up smile, a small wince of one eye. "You want to see? It's /gross/." Grin. "They'll be good as new in a couple days. Professor al-J... Isra's got some /talons/ on her." This sounds impressed, mostly. "You ever gone up against her?"

"Oh, no, not really. Not really, really. Not a serious fight." Rasa shakes her head to the final question but is leaning forward to see what Taylor claims to be willing to display. "How are Friday nights these days. I've... been a bit afraid to go -- what with my new mutant terrorist status. Don't want to draw any unwanted attention 'til after my court date." Ze gnaws on hir lip, entirely focused on Taylor's limb stumps. "When do you stop bleeding? When does it stop hurting?"

Taylor glances around the room, briefly, but there's still -- nobody entering, their scant few customers still just focused on their laptops. He slips out of his sweatshirt, peeling down to the t-shirt beneath. The three missing tentacles /are/ there, really, just small torn-off stumps at the moment covered with nonstick dressing and loosely wrapped roller gauze. One of the slimmer tentacles pushes the sleeve of the t-shirt back; he lifts up the dressing to reveal the regrowing limbs. Red and raw and kind of oozing new flesh, muscle and incipient suckers with tiny growing hooks, cracked in patchy black and pink where the skin has been unevenly semi-growing back and then tearing again with new growth. "S'pretty nasty, huh?" He seems kind of proud. BATTLE SCARS. "It hurts like a /motherfucker/ until they're long enough for the skin to be -- skin. That'll probably be like tomorrow morning, afternoon maybe if I don't eat enough. Then it's just kiiinda sore."

Gingerly he sets the dressing back in place. He bites down on his lip, too. Quieter: "... are you really going to be a terrorist?" His shoulders curl inwards in abrupt sheepishness. "I mean! I don't mean /be/ a terrorist, shit. I mean are they really /calling/ you -- I mean you need a trial? First? Right? Do you think that's -- going to -- how do you think that's going to. Go?"

"Going to be? Hell. I don't want to incite terror. I don't want to be a terrorist. I... am kind of stuck with the title now. I feel like people are watching in case I do something else that can reinforce that one incident." Rasa is leaning against the barista's counter, wearing loose black slacks and a long sleeved kurta, blue green in shade. The collar rests against gray flesh, hir hair short and curly, just a few shades darker in color. Ze is half slumped, but hir attention is directed entirely to Taylor's side as he is pulling his shirts up to expose the mess of stumps and bandages underneath. For the most part, the cafe is empty, so the fact that the staff are standing around chatting doesn't seem to be a big deal. "Eesh. I... have some experience with limb loss and healing, but... it was different, I guess." Hir mind roils over the memories of those sensations, the thoughts pressing up against the depression that hir current situation has sunken hir into. "Just don't know what else to do -- school being out of the picture now."

"Shit, dude, I'm --" A sense of apology presses up against Rasa's mind in lieu of the word. "That's just -- is there other options for school? Online college? Other schools that'll take you? There's gotta be -- fuck, ignore me, I'm not trying to -- I'm sure you've thought of all this already. This is just, /fuck/." Taylor is behind the barista's counter, too. Jeans, a red t-shirt; he's just discarded his Golden State Warriors hoodie on the squeaky-clean counter to show off his BATTLE SCARS to Rasa. Battle /dismemberment/, really; there's bandaging on his arms but three of his tentacles are /missing/, only bandaged (red-raw-weeping-oozing-bloody) stumps left where they should be. At the moment he's carefully replacing the dressing on the stump he'd been showing off to Rasa. "I'm not trynna step up in your business. This shit just keeps /happening/ and happening and happening. I don't -- I'm. There's just /gotta/ be. /Options/. Right?"

A tall, young man steps into the cafe, blinking at the change of light, and slowly makes his way through towards the barista's counter. He spots Taylor first, slowly a little at the sight of bloody stumps of the red, raw, weepy and oozy variety. The young man leans carefully against the counter, and offers a nod to the two behind it. "Evening. Ouch, is all I can say to that, Taylor. Do you need anything? I could run and get something, new bandages, maybe some alcohol to clean the wounds with?" << Holy shit how heck did that happen? >> The large teen offers a wave to Rasa, "Hey, name's Hercules."

"I know you're not. I ... I think I just need time, you know? Time for some of this to blow over. Time to get my head back into school and not on... all of this and..." Rasa stops speaking when someone walks up to the counter and leans against it, hir brows climbing as ze looks him over. << Friend of yours? >> ze lets hir gaze slip over to Taylor once more when the new person starts speaking to him in a familiar fashion. Ze straightens up and peels away from the counter, in an attempt to look profession. "Hi. My name is Rasa. Can I get you anything?"

Taylor straightens, too, quickly finishing replacing the bandages on his severed limb. He snags his sweatshirt, multitude of arms snaking out to thread through its sleeves, too, and tug it back on as he stands up away from the counter. A bright-friendly smile clicks itself into place on his lips with well-practiced ease. "Welcome to Evolve, is this your first time here?" There's a delay before his answer comes over to Rasa, a veeery faint hint of strain at the edges of his mental voice: << Classmate. New. >> His bald head gives one quick shake. "Nah, I'm good, man. Thanks. Looks worse than it is. Just a flesh wound." The -- severed stump. Yup.

Hercules smiles brightly at Rasa and glances up at the boards for a few moments before glancing back. "I've only ever had your basic coffee. What would you recommend?" << So. Many. Choices. >> His gaze shifts to Taylor a moment, and the quickness with which he hides the wounds. "Better to tell me to mind my own business, 'cause I know that's not just a flesh wound." << Did someone do that to him? Why wouldn't he go to the medbay...? >> The tall teen just shrugs then, glancing back to Rasa. "Do you have anything for the munchies, too?"

"For him, it's a flesh wound," Rasa replies, a little dry. Ze draws in a deep breath and renews hir professional smile as ze steps away and moves to get behind the counter as well. "Do you like coffee, or are you looking for tea? I should ask that before I make any recommendations. Ze finds hir apron and slips it on over hir head before situating hirself behind the espresso machine. << I should have noticed the fresh Xavier's smell to him. >> "As far as the munchies go - sure. Pastries, bagged chips, cookies, anything you could really want." Ze waves a hand over to the display case for the pastry offerings.

"You /know/ it's not?" A chuckle bubbles up in Taylor's throat, his head shaking. "You could just take my word for it? It's not hard to just actually listen to what people say about themselves. Honest." The tip of one tentacle draws a small X over his heart. He rocks back, shoulders rolling kiiind of stiffly. "Tea, coffee, mixed coffee drink? The monsoon malabar is a great coffee if you're just looking for -- /coffee/. But if you want the fancy drinks Rasa makes a /mean/ caramel macchiato. Were you looking sweet or savory for --" He waves towards the menu. "The chocolate cookies are basically an orgasm for your mouth but." Shrug. "We cheat, Shane's dad bakes for here too. Or were you looking like whole meal. Cuz let me tell you --" Another limb gestures towards the mostly empty cafe. "We got nothin' but time."

Hercules holds his hands up at Taylor, "Alright, alright, you got me. My apologies. It just looks pretty bad, you know?" << Heavy mental shrug. >> He lets out a slow breath while Taylor starts going through the list of tasty drinks and food, and the young man glances to Rasa for a moment, "I would like one of those caramel macchiato, since it comes highly recommended." Hercules looks back at Taylor. "Cheat? If it makes chocolate cookies taste even better, cheat away. Do you sell them in bunches? I'll take some back for the room mates. As for a meal, do you guys do burgers?" << Hopefully they like chocolate chip? >>

"Sure. We have burgers. Angus beef or mushroom chickpea?" Rasa places two shot glasses on the espresso machine and lowers the spout as ze starts brewing. "Do you have a milk preference? Dairy? Skim, two percent, whole, almond or soy?" Ze waits by the canisters to snag one of the cheerfully labeled metal carafes that are specified by allergen. "I apologize but there are a lot of choices and options to discuss."

"I wasn't," Taylor says gently, "trying to /get/ you. I was just --" He closes his eyes, the tentacle-tip pressing to his temple. Rubbing there a second, then falling. "How many cookies do you want? And they're just -- chocolate. Chocolate-chocolate. Not chocolate chip. I don't think we have chocolate chip today. It's like this gooey chocolatey fudgey thing that's the best thing you'll ever have in your mouth /ever/. If you're into perfection." He leans over to squint at the display case uncertainly. "Chocolate, raspberry-lemon, and uh --" Frown. "Pumpkin walnut." He grins, bright. "But go with the chocolate."

"Angus beef, please." Hercules leans in a little to see the operation of the machine, and ponders a moment. "Dairy, uhm, two percent. And it's fine, I didn't realize there were so many choices. That makes for a very vast selection." He gestures at the boards above. "You could almost get lost in there." << How do they even remember all that stuff? >> The tall teen glances back at Taylor, "I know you weren't trying to get me. I was saying I was wrong, and apologizing." He swallows and looks at the display case. "Okay, a dozen of the chocolate ones then."

"I find it's easier to actually say, 'I was wrong; I apologize.'" Rasa starts to fill a dairy carafe with two percent before popping the container back into the fridge under the counter. Ze then sets the milk to steaming. Ze falls silent while the machine does the noisiest of the work. Ze is busy lacing the sides of a cup with caramel sauce. "We like to provide choices for as many of the needs of our customers that we can meet. Some people can't handle dairy while others can't process meat."

"It's probably a really good goal to meet in /any/ cafe, really. Like regardless of the mutant thing, honestly? People just have allergies or religious concerns or dietary preferences --" Taylor shrugs. "So we like to try and have a wide range. But on /top/ of that with our clientele here we have /so/ many people with all sorts of different physiologies, so having a really diverse menu means people -- get to eat. When maybe other places they can't." Several of his tentacles lift in another shrug as he gets out a cardbord box, lines it with wax paper, uses tongs to retrieve a baker's dozen of the cookies for Hercules. "I'm pretty sure Shane would've done it no matter what sort of cafe he was running, honest. Dude's pretty conscientious about trying to look after folk."

Hercules lets out a small sigh, and looks to Taylor. "I'm sorry, I apologize. Both for just now and back in the recroom." << I am sincere in my concern, though. May I ask how they got removed? >> He looks back to Rasa, and nods. "Ah, well, that makes sense both out of concern for your customers and to grow the business." Another glance to Taylor, and a grin. "Shane does seem like a pretty cool dude. Have you seen the flying motorbike he's got?" << I hope I go for a ride some time... if I'm not too heavy that is. >>

"Something happened in the rec room?" Rasa is all ears now. Ze dumps one of the shots of espresso into the cup with the sauce, then pours the steamed milk in carefully. Ze pours the second shot in gently and then covers the cup in more caramel before popping a top on the cup. "I have to confess, I am more than curious." Ze takes a deep breath before placing the cup on the counter and moving to the register. "Shane's amazing. Kind of my best friend." << Helped bail me out of jail. >> Ze punches buttons before announcing a sum for Hercules to pay. "And I have indeed seen the bikes."

"Thank you," Taylor says with a small dip of his head. "I accept your apology --" There's a moment of hesitation. "... for this time." Cautiously, almost apologetic himself: "Do you -- /understand/ what it is I was upset about in the rec room, though?" He stretches one tentacle back towards the kitchen door, peeking back in briefly to make sure the burger is underway. Once he's satisfied about that he leans back in against the counter with a grin. "Fighting. Our old astronomy teacher tore 'em /right/ the hell off. YANK." His hand curls into a claw shape, makes a sharp raking motion in demonstration. "Still can't believe they fired her." He sideeyes Rasa. "... you gonna join their motorcycle gang? Is that a requirement for living in their house?"

Hercules looks to Rasa and shrugs, before looking to Taylor. "Not entirely. If you would explain, I can see where I was wrong, yeah?" He lets out a breath, leaning a little more heavily on the counter. << Ripped them off? >> The young man winces. "Fighting? Uh, where limbs get ripped off?" He swallows. "Does that happen often, or... just every now and then?" He looks back to Rasa, "Shane seems pretty cool. Kind of your best friend? Known him for a while then?"

"Well, one, motorcycles don't just grow on trees, so I guess I might have to work a while before I can afford one, and then B'll have to have enough time off school to trick it out. I have not been approached to be in a gang yet -- but who knows. Maybe. It's not like I'm exactly becoming one of them yet. Still sleeping above water." Rasa's skin color lightens up a little bit as ze allows hirself to get distracted by conversation. "You know, honestly, I don't know how many times I've seen you lose a tentacle, Taylor. You might remember better as it hurts you. I just... cringe a lot." Ze turns back to Hercules, still waiting for him to pay up. "Yeah, it'll be three years this December."

"If anyone could develop a motorcycle tree, though..." For a moment Taylor looks contemplative. Then grins. "Well, yeah. Just kind of a hazard of fighting people with lots of claws or teeth or -- mmm. Explosions. Sometimes, you lose limbs." He shakes his head at Rasa. "I've lost track. The twins /ate/ them all once after they'd chewed them off. That was brutal. Better than wasting 'em, really. Felt fucked the hell /up/ walking around without them after, though. Off-balance. Could barely stand till they were half back."

He shakes his head, the cheer in his expression fading to a more serious look. His arms fold against the top of the counter, cheeks puffing out and then letting the breath out slow. "Alright." His voice is quiet, calm and even. "You'd met me like three seconds ago and were asking a bunch of questions about my arms. I asked you not to treat me like a freak. Yeah?" His hands turn upward. "You /could've/ just said, sure, I didn't know you were uncomfortable with questions, something like that, left it there, that'd be the end of it. Boom, done, easy. But, like --" He winces, head dipping as the tip of one arm rubs at the back of his smooth head. "Instead it was, 'I treat everyone the same'. And that doesn't /work/. Because everyone's /not/ the same. And trying to pretend we are just ignores the really different life experiences that we have."

Hercules grins at Rasa, and is about to say something before pausing, looking surprised... and then sheepish. "Er, sorry, once sec." He fishes a wallet out of his back pocket, and pulls out enough to pay and leave a 15% tip. THe tall teen offers this up to Rasa while slipping the wallet back into his pocket. "Three years? Cool. You two just friends or close? Erm. Not that it's any of my business. Just curious, yeah?" He looks back to Taylor, and listens, going through a few shades of red as he goes along. His face grows thoughtful towards the end. "I am sorry. I should have just left it at that, as you said." Hercules takes in a breath. "True, not everyone's the same, we do all have different life experiences, you're right. But I meant more like, the dozen questions notwithstanding... that I try see past the mutations. I try not to stare. I ask questions to show an interest." << I am sorry for making you feel uncomfortable. >>

Talk of the twins eating limbs off of someone they know causes Rasa to grow extremely nauseated, so much so that hir hand grips the countertop and hir body color swirls black and puce. Ze takes a few deep breathes and swallows hard against the physical reaction and tries to calm hirself. There are pictures in hir mind of someone eating hir leg in front of hir accompanied with the memories of pain and being tied down, mingled with the sick feeling of being drugged. Hir jaw clenches as ze pushes the thoughts down and stuffs them deep, already knowing this about the twins and still not holding it against them.

"Wow, a winner," Rasa eventually speaks, hir teeth still stuck together. "Look, our mutations are not a nifty new playstation 4 that you ask questions about. They are our bodies. While you might be full of giddy pride about what you can do with your body, asking someone a billion questions about their bodies makes them feel like a freak." Ze inhales again and releases the countertop.

Taylor winces at the feelings from Rasa, brows furrowing deeper and his shoulders tensing. Winces deeper when ze speaks, his arm still rubbing at the back of his neck, now. A flutter of apology brushes up against hir mind. "That's the thing, though. I /wasn't/ mad about it -- I was trying to just brush past it, you know? Kind of a light comment -- but still pointing /out/ how, like, my experiences are different? So this seeing-past-the-mutation thing -- doesn't work? I wasn't saying anything at all about /you/. I wasn't angry or attacking you or /anything/, I was just saying that, /for me/, this whole package?" His fingers wave towards himself. "Means I'm never /not/ conscious of how different I am."

Two of the tentacles lift to turn upwards at their ends, kind of similar to spreading his hands. "And in response, what did you do? Launched into a huge long spiel about how /you have it tough, too/. And don't get me wrong, I'm one-hundred-percent sure you /do/. I am /positive/ you've had difficulties in your life, I'm /sure/ your mutation hasn't made things easy for you. I'm not saying things are easy for you. But that was a really inappropriate time to bring it /up/."

Hercules looks to Rasa, again going a tad red, and nods slowly to her. "I... I understand. I've been a jackass." << Go team mouth... sigh. >> The young man looks back to Taylor and nods as well, his face a tad downcast. "Yeah, I see what you were getting at now. I... am in a new school, and I am feeling pretty awkward about it and I am not taking the right approach to things. So, all I can say is that I am sorry and that I will do better." Hercules looks to Rasa and then back to Taylor. "I do appreciate that you've been reasonable in talking to me."

<< Nah, Taylor, it's not you. Just... things come up sometimes. >> Rasa moves to the sink and pours hirself a large glass of water and then sets about drinking it down. Hir posture and coloration improves slowly. "I don't mean to be rude and interrupt. Just not feeling well right at this moment. I apologize. I'll go check on your burger." Ze turns and heads toward the kitchen, hir footing getting steadier the longer ze is walking.

<< I know. I just -- mm. You need anything? >> Taylor exhales again slowly, then gives Hercules a quick smile. Warm and bright. "S'cool, man. I don't think there's a person on earth who doesn't mess up now and then, right? S'how you deal with it after that's the important thing." He holds out a fist for knuckletapping. "We're good." There's a deep furrow of his brow, though -- less upset, more /pensive/, like he's mulling something over -- a good long while before he decides on saying, "You should probably know that -- there's been a /hella/ lot of -- complicated shit at school over things like that. Like other students and the /administration/ and teachers just -- basically being, uh, well." His nose wrinkles a little sheepishly. "... jackasses. To kids like us?" Shrug. "And you're gonna be Anole's roommate. He dropped out of school, once, because people were kind of -- really terrible. To obvious mutants. So it's a bit of a sensitive issue for some of us." He props his cheek against the end of one arm. "You seem cool, though. Most people don't want to listen. Thanks. I mean that."

Hercules nods to Rasa, "No need to apologize. I understand why you would be mad at me. Again, I'm glad that you, and Taylor, took the time to set me straight, you know? I ought to know that you guys catch a lot of shit, yeah? And be a bit more sensitive about it." He lets out a breath, and glances back to Taylor. The tall teen reaches out with a fist to bump knuckles, a smile slowly spreading across his face. "I'll do my best to not be a jackass room mate. And I'll stand up for him if I know he's getting it from someone." He gestures with a finger, back and forth between himself and Taylor. "If I can, I'll talk to them, like you did for me. If I have to...", he makes a fist, the knuckles cracking loudly. "I'll talk a different way."

When Rasa returns, ze has a burger on a plate with a pile of french fries. Ze slides it on to the counter top next to Hercules and raises hir eyebrows again. "Oh. Okay." Ze glances over at Taylor and shrugs before heading behind the counter once more. << You going to tell him that they don't like student fights at Xavier's? >>

Taylor chuckles -- whether at Rasa's thought or Hercules's words, it's not entirely clear. "Oh, I'd like to see /that/." << I'm pretty sure that's clear enough in the handbook? >> "Pretty much the /entire/ reason Shane's still around helping out at school is to be a buffer between the asshole teachers and the freak-kids. You should've /seen/ the way teachers treated /him/. /Still/ treat him, really. It's fucked up. But kind of funny. They thought they'd be rid of him at graduation and nope, biggest thorn in the school's side -- if /you/ pick up the mantle I'm sure they'll be delighted. /Thrilled/. /So/ glad to have a spiritual successor." He looks up, straightening again with another quick smile -- this time /past/ Hercules to the door as it opens, letting in a cluster of teenagers. "Oh man. /Customers/." He slides into place behind the register, looking almost (aaalmost) eager to get to work after the long stretch of quiet shift.

"Thank you for the burger. And again, I'm sorry for how I behaved. I'll get out of your hair." This said to Rasa, as the crowd begins to fill in. He glances at Taylor, and grins. "Yeah, they look hungry." << Not sure if serious or sarcasm. >>