ArchivedLogs:A Little Fun
|A Little Fun|
<NYC> Busboys and Poets - East Harlem
A quiet, artsy spot nestled away on a side street in East Harlem, Busboys and Poets combines cafe and bookstore in a way a Starbucks tacked on to a Barnes & Noble could never achieve. The food is a solid, multi-national cuisine menu that caters to all kinds of dietary choices, and its fair-trade tea menu is extensive. Its weekend brunch tends to draw a large crowd, but there is ample enough seating both at tables and on its many comfortable armchairs and couches that at other times of the week there is never a wait. The walls are adorned with the work of local artists, and tucked in among and alongside the couches are rows upon rows of books, with a definite slant towards the political and the bohemian.
The day can't seem to make up its mind--nice summer weather? Thunderstorms? Maybe? There are clouds clotting on the horizon, thick and dark clouds, with a brisk wind that cuts through East Harlem's streets like hammer strikes. It's strong enough that outside there is a rattle of metal striking sidewalk, a garbage can toppled and sent rolling into the gutter, paper and reeking debris scattered in the path of pedestrians. Directly overhead, however, the sky is a deep, rich blue and the sun pours down on glass and concrete as if its strength might overcome the harsh grit of the streets. Everything is gold touched. Everything is weighted under the threat of humidity and ozone. Hopefully it makes up its mind soon.
Until then there is the cafe! Not /quite/ trendy enough to pull in heavy late afternoon crowds, the space is bright and cheerful without losing the small-time coziness that appeals so often to city-dwellers. And as we all know, city-dwellers come in all stripes--or spots, as the case may be. Though Violet is more dappled than spotted, come to think of it. The catgirl stands at the counter. A to-go cup of coffee has been placed before her and in exchange for this she is counting out coins from an old-fashioned red leather coinpurse. She wears a colorful kaftan-style shirt of patterened gauze over short denim cut-offs, with velcroed sandals on her feet. Her tail flicks lazy behind her, heedless of the looks it--and she--get for being out and about while mutant.
The door opens again; the pair who are entering now are taking their sweet /time/ about it, kind of holding up someone trying to enter behind them -- despite stereotypical East Coast impatience, though, Hive doesn't earn /too/ much of a scowl for his slowness. Probably because he looks like he has an /excuse/, skeleton-thin and /notably/ unsteady on his feet, too-pale. The soft fleece cap on his head (despite the heat), deep red with the Greek letters Theta and Tau embroidered on the front in gold, doesn't /quite/ hide the recently shorn state of his head. He's dressed otherwise plainly, jeans and sneakers and a grey tee and he leans heavily against Flicker's arm as they make their way inside.
Flicker, at least, is looking bright and healthy. In khakis and a light blue polo he's pretty unassuming, too; he keeps an arm curled behind Hive for support as he leads the way to the counter. Leads the way and then stops short at the flicking tail, a quick smile blossoming across /his/ face, anyway as he tucks into line behind. "Woah! Hey. You're -- hi."
Hive just scowls, but then, he's usually scowling. "Mmrrghn," might possibly pass as a greeting. It's not unfriendly. Just kind of grunted.
Anette has been here for sometime though, sitting at a table with a book propped upon in front of her, taking her time with a large chai tea latte. She looks up as the door begins repeatedly opening and closing, casually observing the various people now entering. She also catches sight of the tail flicking and offers a faint grin of amusement but she keeps to herself for the moment.
Violet doesn't turn, not right away. She's already marked the identities of the pair who step up behind her, their personal scents marked and compared to the catalogue she carries about in her head--Anette is in there already, a sharp presence like laser sights in the dark, someone who watches and who bears watching in turn. Flicker's presence flashes by with the impression of a bright smile, identical to the one he wears when he spies her, and Hive's comes with his face reflected for the telepath, pale and gaunt with eyes like haunted pools. Not the wordy sort, in her brainmeats. They're set aside for a moment, sun and moon placed on a shelf as she continues counting--seventy-five, eighty, ninety, three dollars! And so a heaping handful of silver is passed off to the boy behind the counter--he takes it gingerly, as if he expects the coins, or Violet, to sprout claws and teeth at any moment. The coinpurse is snapped shut and tucked away in a front pocket, the coffee taken and then she turns with a flourish to step aside. Her grin is immediate. "Woah hey, I get that a lot. Ya'll are /every--/..." Where. <<(woah hey he's looking worse)>> Hi Hive. Sorry Hive.
"/You're/ everywhere," Flicker answers, light and amused in return. "/We/ had errands."
Hive's eyes narrow a little bit further at the mention of errands. He leans a touch heavier at Flicker's side, teeth grinding slowly.
Flicker shakes his head with a sudden start, a wince of one eye, glancing back to the counter apologetically. "Oh! Right. Apologies. Ordering." An iced cocoa for him, a large triple-shot coffee for Hive, tomato soup and grilled cheese for both. Flicker digs a wallet out of /Hive's/ back pocket to pay. He scoots aside, smile turned back to Violet briefly though his eyes are scanning the tables for a place to deposit Hive. This scan flits briefly across Anette, returning to the other Xavier alum a moment later. "-- Oh, hey. Anette." It's warm, too, if a little more reserved.
"S'the fucking. Place to be today," Hive finally speaks up. "Hear the Mayor hangs out here sometimes. Saw it in the -- gossip."
Anette returns Flicker's response. "Hey," she says simply, closing the book she had been reading and slipping it back into the totebag sitting on the floor next to her. "How are you?" she asks, attempting to create some form of conversation. Not that she's ever been good at it. She looks over and catches sight of Jax. "Hi," she offers him, not feeling to need to turn into a fan girl.
"Maybe I had errands too!" Yeah, right. Even if there /weren't/ a telepath present, the return of Violet's grin--after being startled right off her face at sight of Hive--tells the lie. "Hey, check it out, s'a chair /right here/," she adds, taking the two steps to the side needed to reach said sitting place. And how convenient is that, that the table it's situated at is adjacent to Anette's? Once her coffee is set on the aforemention table, she swings the chair about and looks expectantly at Skeletor there, ears pricked forward and expression gone innocentexpectant. "Age before beauty," she prompts. "Maybe you'll be parking your butt where th'mayor's done sat. Fancy that."
"Fancy-ass chair," Hive snorts in return, and though his teeth are grinding again with a quiet crrrk he sinks down into the offered seat with a relieved huff of breath. He slumps forward promptly, folding his arms on the tabletop and resting his head down in them.
Left to handle actually /retrieving/ the order when it eventually comes up, Flicker remains standing for now, ambling towards the table but just resting his hand against a seat rather than sitting quite yet. "Hey. It's been kind of a hectic month, but I'm doing okay. I haven't seen you since -- uh." For a moment there's a small twitch in his cheek.
"Since the Lofts exploded," Hive fills in helpfully. A little muffled down against his arms. His head turns to the side, cheek against his arms but the other eye squinting open towards Violet. "Coffee's an errand." See, he'll accept her blatant lie.
Anette nods slightly at mention of the explosion. "Wow, I haven't thought about that in ages. That was...well, that was something." Indeed, the memories come back for a moment, one of the few times she's removed her coat in public and revealed her wings. The memories quickly pass and she looks over the people sitting near her. She momentarily debates bringing out her book again to peruse it but decides she'd rather do it privately. One of those cheesy paperbacks about dreams, of all things. "Were you living in the lofts?" she asks, glancing over Hive as she focuses in on the conversation again.
Violet, meddler, actually turns Hive's chair and gets it a little closer to the table so he can prop himself up comfortably. Then she slides into another, one heel tucked up onto the seat with her knee raised high. Can that be comfortable? If one is bendy, the answer is yes. Especially after she reaches back and pulls her tail through the chair's slats, letting it dangle. "Keep hearin' 'bout this explodin' lofts thing, what happened with that?" she wonders as she pries the plastic lid from her to-go cup to release a plume of steam. Through those twisting threads of silver, one eye is shut in a solemn orange wink at Hive for taking a bald-faced falsehood like a /gentleman/.
"Lived there, yeah." Hive's answer is a little bit gruff, even though his mouth is twitching up in a small crooked smile at Violet's wink. His eye closes again. "Actually uh -- we don't. Really know?" He shrugs a shoulder, head only shifting as Flicker heads off to pick up their food and deliver it to the table, a small stirring-straw tucked into Hive's hot coffee.
"From what they've figured out, it seems like someone tried to blow up Ryan's apartment -- uh. Ryan Black? He's a musician. Kind of came out on stage at the Grammys and -- then our apartment blew up." There's a small flush of pink in Flicker's cheeks at this awkwardly blunt explanation. "We lived there, yeah. We live with Dusk?" Flicker tips his chin towards Anette with this. "It was insanely hectic that day I only barely even registered you were /there/ but he says there'd have been a good number more dead if you hadn't been helping."
"Haven't figured out who did it," Hive adds, for Violet's benefit. "Someone who hates indie rock, I guess."
Anette shrugs faintly at the praise. "Well, I don't know about a 'good number' but I did my part. So did a lot of other people. Wish I could have stuck around but...well, I didn't want to be involved any more than I was." And that's all she says about that. "You mean they still don't know who did it? The hell is the PD doing with their time?" She takes another sip of her chai tea. "Indie rock can be mind-numbing but it's not worth blowing up apartment buildings for. Outhouses, maybe."
Violet is not the most tuned in to pop culture but even she can dredge up an impression of music at mention of Ryan's name. He is passing familiar, and the story itself taps at the vault of memory--just took some connecting. It leaves her with fuzzy brows set high. "Yeah," she says on the heels of Anette's observations, "that's some nonsense right there. People, I swear t'God." And she /does/, hand to heart and eyes briefly turned towards the ceiling. What must /He/ think of all this? Sadly no opinion is forthcoming and she is left to shake her head. "Zombies was bad enough, havin' t'dodge fireballs too is a li'l much. Oughta find 'em, see how they like it if y'blow their place up." She means that in jest. Honest she does, though it might be difficult to tell given the general furriness of her expression, and the scorn in her voice.
"Not a lot of outhouses for target practice in Manhattan," Flicker answers this solemnly as he breaks of a piece of grilled cheese to dip it into his soup.
"Can build him an outhouse at his next place." Hive is ignoring his food, taking a sip of coffee from his straw but then pushing it all aside in favor of dropping his head back into his folded arms.
There's a small twitch at the corner of Flicker's mouth at the ending jest, head shaking while he eats his sandwich. "Go down that road and a whole lot of New York's going to be in flames."
"Know a couple people who wouldn't /mind/ that." Hive's voice is dry.
Anette finishes off her chai tea and sets the mug down on the table. "Hmm...fair point. Clearly we need to change that," she says in response to the New York outhouse shortage. Violet's idea gets a stronger reaction from her. "Tempting idea. If only we knew who it was," she says, half serious but disguising it with a joking lightness to her voice. "Zombies, bombings, whatever the hell else has happened. I wonder what's next for this damn city?"
"Met a few of 'em, yeah." Violet shifts back easily enough into more amused territory. Kay flits through her thoughts, animated gesturing, a radiating sense of /heat/. "But y'know how hard it is t'scrounge up a decent meal /without/ everythin' on fire? Pretty hard. And I like barbeque much as th'next Georgia girl but..." And so the joking lightness is seized upon, the half-serious nudged away. Nudged along with a bowl of tomato soup, right towards Hive. Eat eat. "M'bets are on a plague of locusts. Maybe rivers of blood, yeah? Got th'water right there."
Joking voices only go so far with telepaths; Hive cracks open an eye again to peer over at Anette, but his only external response is a quiet chuff of breath. Maybe a laugh. Maybe not. Once his eye is open he can actually pay attention to the nudging of soup, though it's with a small grimace. Even so, he picks up his spoon in one noticeably shaky hand.
"You know, if someone choked up the East River with blood I don't think anyone would notice." Flicker sounds contemplative. "It'd probably actually be safer to swim in."
"End up with a whole legion of vampire fish after that, with our luck. This city has some /crazy/ running -- running --" Hive's words break off with a small furrow of his brow.
"Running through it?" Flicker finishes easily enough. "Locusts are kind of pretty, actually."
Anette glances down at her phone briefly to check the time. "Shame, I have money on dinosaurs coming back from the dead. A giant pterodactyl nest on the Empire State Building. Anyway, I need to head out. It was nice catching up with you guys." With that, she stands up and, grabbing her bag and, with a brief smile to the table, makes her way to the door.
It takes everything Violet has not to just reflexively reach out and steady Hive's elbow for the spooning of soup into mouth. Her fingers twitch, the urge is so strong, but she spends it instead in lifting the coffee--black, still steaming--for a li'l sip. "Could test that theory," she says of Flicker's contemplating, "by dumpin' a boatload of red food color in. Less chance've vampire fish that way too." And maybe that's just what this city needs: a good old harmless /prank/, to push the gloom levels down. Though, with Hive's loss of coherence, the chance of that happening in the here and now is minimal...
"See ya," she slips in for Anette's sake before the woman ventures off. <<(smells funny)(dust)(feathers)(darkdarkdark)>> is there and gone. Even less subtle? "So how come they ain't fixed you up yet, fella? Everyone else is perkin' up," Violet says with a glance and a nod at Flicker. "But you're goin' th'opposite way."
"Later!" Flicker tips his head up to Anette as she departs. A moment later his expression -- perks up! Incidentally somewhere around that glance and nod but /really/ it's because: "Oh, /man/. Hive I'm stealing your credit card. We're going to get /so/ much food coloring, alright -- oh wow do you think Tag could --" Now he is picking restlessly at his grilled cheese, fingers plucking at it with a sudden restless energy. The energy fades in light of Violet's question, eyes shifting back to Hive.
"You can buy all the food coloring you want," Hive agrees, an actual smile creeping briefly onto his face. "If you start pouring it from near home where I can see." His smile fades, too, and his head lowers closer to his bowl to give his spoon not so far to travel. He washes the mouth of soup down with a swallow of coffee. "Bullets and broken legs are a little easier to deal with than --" He shakes his head, eyes half-closed as they look down at his coffee. "Need a lot of surgery before our healers could even /try/ to work their magic."
"You're really gonna do it? Like, for real?" Color Violet briefly distracted, briefly amused. She /approves/. Or she will, when she gets around the less happy subjects. Human speculation is taking over the less verbal animal portions of her mind, a switch timed to a steadier observation of Hive. No one stares quite like cats and she's got her eyes pinned on him, ticking through various reasons for the skeleton impression--AIDS? Cancer? Not a junkie, not with him living with the hippy crowd. But what she /says/ is all feline, a rumbly, "Mrrr?" seeking elaboration.
"Come on, we spend enough time getting into trouble," Flicker says with a small laugh, "we might as well make it the /fun/ kind once in a while."
This earns a very brief smile, too, from Hive. His head is sinking back against his arms, though, shaky hands lowering back to the table as his eyes close all the way. "Brain tumor," he finally answers plainly. "Except it's not just that, I have this. Chip. Thing. Lodged in my skull too. Kind of wrecking shit. Have to take care of them both. Can't really /heal/ out a foreign body. -- Think," this is a little bit wryer, "even the hippies have their share of problems, though. /Could/ have been drugs." But isn't.
Is Hive melting? Hive looks like he's melting, and Violet looks from afflicted man to chaperone with evident concern--by Flicker's demeanor she will gauge her own. But he isn't scrambling for a phone or making as if it is time to leave. So. She considers...and reaches out for the bowl of tomato soup that Hive was doing such a poor job of eating. Sliiiiide. "Yeah," she says as she dips spoon into bowl and dabs excess off on the rim, "sounds like ya'll /could/ use some fun. Maybe not turnin' a river into blood sorta fun but I guess y'take what y'can get. Open." That would be the end of the spoon nudged lightly at the tumor patient's lips. She's got this.
"Know what's also kinda fun? Coney Island. Go get yourselves some fake tattoos 'n funnel cakes."
"What's not fun about biblical plagues?" Flicker sounds serious even if there's just laughter in his bright eyes.
"I could do without boils." Hive grimaces. "And I think we've already covered opinion on -- on --" His eyes scrunch tight, fingers working slowly in and out of a fist. Eventually he gives up and just opens his lips to accept the soup.
"Firestorms?" Flicker supplies, dipping his sandwich back into his soup for another bite. "Jax probably wouldn't survive the darkness well either. But frogs are /adorable/. -- He's got a /real/ tattoo, you know." He says this like it is a scandalous secret.
"Jax does. For work. Sometimes around him you just trip and fall and. Find yourself. With -- ink." Hive is slowly shifting an arm so that he can prop his chin in a hand. "Funnel cakes, though, shit. One of life's greatest --"
"You want to go?" Flicker asks the other two. "We can turn water to blood some other time."
"Better hope neither of you are firstborns," Vi adds to the pot. Soup is tipped past Hive's lips and she's already going back for a second spoonful. He's eating this come Hell or high water. Or biblical plagues, come to think of it. As to Jax, she says, "Ink or princess dresses." A glimmer of pink memory, adrenaline and then rueful (embarrassed) amusement, others laughing--she shoves that aside. Dab, dab, second bite is offered to the newly propped Hive. "Y'mean go now? I dunno, I got this busy schedule. Them dumpsters don't dive themselves."
"Ink or fucking insanity the world tends to turn inside /out/ around some people we know." Is Hive smirking at the memory of princessdress? It's hard to tell he's hiding it in another gulp of coffee before he dutifully accepts the soup.
"Fifth of eight." Flicker gestures to Hive with the question of being firstborns. "You don't /like/ your oldest sister much, do you?"
"Fuck you my sisters are /all/ awesome. He's one of twelve," Hive adds with a quick lopsided smile, "/Mormon/ trumps Thai. Only not the oldest by a /hair/ though."
"I'm eleven minutes shy of being the oldest," Flicker agrees, "and it was only twelve last I heard. Could be more now." For a moment there's a faint dimming to his expression but he shakes it away soon. "Hey there's a Trader Joe's not far from Coney, they have pretty great dumpsters usually."
That...is a lot of children. Even Southern Violet has reason to pause, blinking at the pair. Eight. Twelve. How'd their parents get anything else /done/? It's a question unasked and ha, there's no way the heat in her face shows under all of the fur. Mutation benefit! "Got a brother 'n a sister," she contributes. And on the heels of that--when Flicker's dimmed cheer is spotted, she adds, "But we're just Baptist. Guess that keeps th'numbers down, yeah? Think you're up for Coney Island, fella? We could get a wheelchair from th'hospital, s'always some in th'ambulance bay." The last is for Hive who is being presented with /more soup/.
Hive's lips twitch up for a moment, unasked questions flitting across the periphery of /his/ perception, fur or no for. This smile, too, though, is stifled around another mouthful of soup. "But are they older or younger?" is the pertinent plague-related question, after Violet divulges her sibling status. And, after this: "Yeah. I could really go for some fun today."
Flicker holds up three fingers. "Three sets of twins," he explains at Violet's blinking pause, a small curl of smile returning. "Also, well. Mormon, yeah." With promise of /fun/ on the horizon he wolfs down the last of his soup-and-sandwich, sipping afterwards at his cold chocolate. There's a moment at Violet's mention of wheelchair when his eyes fix on her with brief thoughtfulness, but after this his smile only brightens. "Bonus, strapping bags to the backs of wheelchairs is great for hauling dumpster-loot later tonight."
"I'm th'baby." The very responsible baby, given the diligent way that Violet continues with the spoon-feeding until Hive signals that he is done or fed up with being...well, babied. "That's a whole lotta twins, you'd best warn whatever lady y'end up marryin'," she asides to Flicker, teeth appearing when she finds her grin again. Said grin /defies/ thoughtfulness, showing only amusement, and a gentle sort of teasing. "Sounds like a plan. Y'finish this up," the soup, she means, "and we can get on. I love me some ferris wheel."
"Or just use a condom like the rest of the world," Hive adds dryly.
It puts a /deep/ blush in Flicker's cheeks, eyes dropping as he sips at his cocoa. "I like the huge -- swingy things."
Hive only manages a couple more mouthfuls of soup before giving up. "Anything that /spins/ though I'm just staying on the ground and eating funnel cake. Puking, not the best part of amusement parks." He scoops up his cup but waves aside the rest of the soup. "Ferris wheels, though, I'm down for. C'mon."
"Viking ship?" Yes, let's just breeze past talk of condoms at a meal table. Violet is okay with that, and she's rather certain that Flicker will be too! "Think I saw one of those out there. Bet th'lights are comin' on just as we get there, too." And that, really, in her humble opinion, is the best part about Coney Island's charms--all that glittering light, with the shadows tucked off behind false facades and striped tents. She is /down/ for this, and does not dawdle in standing up. A last sizable swallow of coffee is taken before she leaves the table for the servers to clean.