<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's early evening; outside it's still light, though it's waning. Dusk is nevertheless still wearing a pair of sunglasses as he enters Evolve, actually /dressed/ for a change in jeans and Vans sneakers /and/ a shirt (a soft grey-green henley carefully modified to allow for his wings.) Though it's exceedingly unlikely anyone /here/ of all places is going to hassle him about the wings, he still tucks them in close and tight at his back as he enters. More out of pragmatism than anything, most likely, they're /enormous/ even if they fold up much smaller -- they actually look /bigger/ than they used to, claws trailing on the floor behind him when he walks. After a moment he twitches them a little higher somewhat self-consciously to avoid scraping up the flooring. There's only a small line at the counter and he doesn't quite join it, hanging back with a small uncertain frown as he studies the options chalked up on the board today.
Isak emerges from the bathroom and moves towards the back of the line. He's actually dressed fairly ordinarily - for him. Skinny jeans rolled up at the cuff, a white t-shirt and a powder blue blazer pushed up to his elbows with a striped lining.
Dusk is pretty conspicious, even though the last time he saw him, it was sans those big, conspicuous appendages. He hangs back a step or two, then glances from the board down to the winged one. "The soup's shit, at least it is if it's the same as yesterday's cream of mushroom. All cream, no shroom."
"You're full of shit," Dusk answers automatically without actually looking around, "I haven't had anything here that wasn't good, their cooks are --" It's only as an afterthought that he actually looks over at Isak, trailing off into silence. There's a noticeable tension that tightens his wings further against his back, his brows lifting up behind his sunglasses. His tongue runs briefly across his upper row of teeth, and he looks back to the menu uncomfortably. "-- solid," he only finishes in a low murmur. "I don't do cream anyway."
"Well, maybe I got the bottom of the pot," says Isak. He lifts his shoulders and loops his thumbs in the pockets of his jacket. "Good to see you up and around. I won't insult you by asking if you're okay. Kind of a hard thing to get to okay from."
Dusk's fangs scrape against his lower lip, and he finally steps up properly /into/ line behind Isak, decision apparently made. Not too close behind, admittedly; he hangs a bit farther back than is /necessary/ for politeness, wings shifting uncomfortably at his back. His head bows, hand lifting to scrunch fingers into his thick dark hair. "Yeah, it --" Though he just stops here, head tipped down towards the floor and his voice dropping into silence again. Until, abruptly, "Did I hurt you? Back at the house, did I --" One wing twitches upward in an uncertain shrug.
"Me? Nah. I knocked you out. Sorry about that." Isak pauses and then adds, "You might want to get some Fancy Feast for Rasputin, though. You nearly had yourself a cat snack." He rocks on his heels and pretends to be engrossed in the board again for a moment.
"No, no apologies, I was -- I was --" Dusk fidgets where he stands at the back of the short line behind Isak, wings rumpling at the fabric of his shirt. "I was -- it was bad, I'm sure if you -- knocked me out, I /needed/ -- sorry." His tongue darts out to run against his lip again -- a sort of unfortunate motion given that it is timed with Isak mentioning eating Rasputin. "Fuck. He's okay, though? I know I hurt some -- I just. Haven't seen most people yet and. Shit."
"Hey, sorry. That was a poor joke. Cat's fine. No one got hurt that I saw. Little startled, but." Isak lifts a shoulder. "It was real rough, what happen to you. You're in one piece now, yeah? Well, at least the physical parts."
Micah is far from a novel face around Evolve. As is common enough for him, he's breezing through on his way home from work to collect coffees to bring home to fuel the furniture-crafting of the evening. He is still dressed in his usual TARDIS-blue polo shirt and khakis, auburn hair late-in-the-day mussed, an olive messenger bag bumping along at his hip as he walks. He recognises Dusk in the line before he joins, a smile brightening his sleepy features. After waiting a moment to avoid interrupting the conversation, he waves a bit. "Hey, Dusk. Isak. How's things?"
"Oh." Dusk relaxes at the assurance that Rasputin is fine; his arms curl tightly around his chest, head dipping in a small nod. "OK. OK, good. I should still. Can you tell him to come by -- I'll give you my new address, I can't really. Visit him right now but --" He breaks off again as Micah arrives, wing slowly unfurling to hesitantly brush against the older man's shoulder and then pull back. "... I did hurt some people," he adds, softer, to Isak, "I just. Can't always remember who I need to apologize --" His head shakes slightly. "I just needed -- I don't know we don't really have food in our house yet," he explains to Micah.
"I seem to be making him feel guilty by my presence." says Isak in answer to Micah's question. From the half-smile, he means that as a gentle tease. Then he looks to the winged man. "It's really fine. You've got no reason to apologise to me. No harm done. Honestly, we should have let you be."
"Oh, it's not you, sugar. S'just a state of bein' for now." Micah pets at Dusk's wing, leaning in a little for a light hug. "Y'know y'can always come by our place an' forage? Ain't got any meat in, but should be better'n nothin'. Also, I can take you for groceries if y'need for your place? Bring Hive along, it'll be a whole outing. With food." He gestures up at the counter. "There's definitely food here. I think Jax made cupcakes an' brought over earlier."
"Yeah, um, apologies, it's. Really not you, I'm just. Kind of. Adjusting." Dusk's wing is just as tentative when it curls back around Micah for a brief squeeze of hug. "Just keep telling myself it's over but I --" He shakes his head, giving a curious glance to the display case and zeroing in on items marked Vegan. "The really adorable ones with tiny /flowers/ on top? That looks like his work. Maybe I'll get one of those." He moves up, flicking a claw in indication of the barista when the line moves on and leaves Isak at the front. "... I did steal pie from your place the other day," he admits. "There was a stray cat... girl. Who looked like she could use good pie. Maybe I should send her on down the safehouse if I see her again, how are things there?" This last is addressed to Isak, with a lift of brows.
"Adjusting takes lots of time. Anyone who thinks it won't is lying to you or has never had any bad shit happen to them or who they love." There is a note in Isak's voice that suggests he's speaking from personal experience. "And you shouldn't apologise for not feeling normal. You don't owe it to me to act like things didn't happen. Here, what do you want? It's on me." Isak steps up to the counter. He orders a latte for himself. "You too," he nods to Micah. "My treat."
"It's okay, honey. It's...yeah. A time thing. At the very least." Micah chuckles and nods as his attention is directed to the flowered cupcakes. "Mmhm, those are the ones. Oh, we was wonderin' how the pie got all eaten up so quickly. Just were hopin' it wasn't all Spence." This gets another giggle. "Catgirl? Like...legit... I mean, anime-style catgirl? Haven't met her m'self. She was hangin' 'round the Commons or somewhere else? Should direct her to the FnB meals if she's needin' an' close, too." He shakes his head slowly at Isak's offer. "Y'don't gotta buy drinks for me. I'm just pickin' up for me'n Jax."
"Oh hey thanks. You sure?" Dusk, at least, has no problem mooching off people who are clearly more well-off than him; former homelessness means that he is a /well/-habituated moocher. He nods in thanks to Isak, ordering a double-shot vanilla latte with almond milk and a small cup of black bean soup, together with one of the tiny-flower-dotted cupcakes (the label says they're green tea with marzipan, and vegan.) "Straight-up anime fucking catgirl," he affirms to Micah, "fur and tail and ears and /Jesus/ she was --" The flick of his first two fingers against his chin in ASL could be 'sweet' or 'cute' but the shift of his eyebrows and breath he exhales gives it an /inflection/ that would /probably/ translate better somewhere along the lines of 'smoking hot.'
"Down by the Commons, I think just enjoying the scenery? I forgot that we'd probably attract a lot of strays -- not just the cat type, I mean, I think we made the grounds /too/ pretty. Downtown people are going to grab /park/ where they can fucking get it. -- There still free space there, though?" This time it's to Isak. "Because yeah she did seem like maybe at least /knowing/ where there's safe couches to crash on wouldn't be unwelcome."
"Last I heard, the safehouse was still safe and welcoming people in. I've had some family things to take care of, so I haven't been around as much as I have been." Isak pays for his and Dusk's. He holds up ten towards Micah and plops it down on the counter. Not taking no for an answer, it seems. "Though if this cat-girl comes and also Rasputin, are we more a kennel in that case?" He cracks a crooked grin.
"Awesome, catgirls are /adorable/. It's a rule of the universe." The slightest hint of pink in Micah's cheeks answers Dusk's /eyebrows/. "Ain't too pretty if it's attractin' the right kinda strays. Which it seems t'be doin'." The sincerity of his statement probably means that the implication was people-with-abilities not just /hot/ people. Though that doesn't hurt. "I'm sure once the spare rooms in the common house're furnished, people wouldn't object t'havin' folks crash there sometimes, too." He breathes out a little heavily, not quite a sigh at Isak's instant payment. He orders a soy chai latte for himself, almond milk mocha with /all the sugar/ for Jax, and a pair of vegan dark chocolate walnut brownies. "Thanks." He does finally give in and slide the ten over along with a few bills of his own to cover the remainder and tip.
"Things like work or -- s'everything alright, man?" Dusk steps aside to wait for his soup and drink, moving to the end of the display case so that he won't block the selection when he leans up against it. "Jesus, uh, we've got /me/ and J.C. and -- Ion's /kind of/ like a puppy? But it's basically a whole fucking. /Menagerie/ in there already, yeah." His lips twitch at Micah's reply. "Hella adorable. Said she'd been by here and met Shane and Rasa, too. -- Ffshit that reminds me tomorrow's Tuesday. Hey you want to swing by Pandemonium with me after this? If we get some new things we can have game night /tomorrow/."
Isak is being a bit rude by checking his phone while they're talking. Something that pops up makes him frown. He gathers up his latte and makes a face again at the screen. Then he sighs. "Sorry. Gotta go. Other life's rearing its ugly head. Take it easy, see you around." And with a salute with the hand holding the phone, he makes quick tracks out the door. This dual life thing can be a bitch.
"Oh...hope everythin's okay, hon. Thanks again for the drinks." Isak's rapid departure is met with a wave, though this is at the man's /back/, so whether he notes it at all is questionable. Micah looks thoughtful at the mention of game shopping, sidling down to wait on his order as well. "I'm...really s'posed t'get back an' work on the dinin' room table. But we ain't exactly on a timetable for any of the other furniture since Spence's room got finished. S'long as we swing by t'drop off Jax's brownie an' coffee first, don't think anybody'd fuss over a short trip. You're gonna need someone t'drive with all the boxes. An' I wouldn't wanna postpone game night gettin' started again as soon as possible. Folks need...somethin'."
"Hey thanks man." Dusk tips his chin upward as Isak heads off, staying leaning right up until his coffee and paper bag with cupcake balanced atop a soup cup are placed on the counter. "Yeah, I think it'd be good. Just to have something to get people together again. Relax. /Enjoy/ this new place we -- and Hive's been. Not in a good -- I think he could use it. I can help. To make up for you driving me. With the furniture shit. I mean, I don't know shit Hive and Flicker are way craftier than me but I can pound nails straight and screw just fine."
By the nature of order placement, Micah's drinks and brownie come out soon after Dusk's soup and coffee. "We should hang out long enough for you t'eat if y'haven't all day. Wouldn't object t'havin' another hand on deck later, though." He manages not to giggle at Dusk's phrasing, but his blush picks up again. "I was just tellin' Jax the other day that carpentry an' home repair just /always/ sound more suggestive than they should." Gathering up his items, he leads the way to an empty table that looks to have enough space around it for Dusk to be able to relax his wings a little.
Dusk just shakes his head, paper bag crumpling in his hand as he closes it at the top. "I'd rather -- I can eat back at home. It's --" He glances around the cafe, wings tightening at his back again as he looks around the /people/ gathered there, following Micah but not actually sitting. "There's just -- a lot of people and --" He pulls out a chair slowly, turning it backwards and sinking one knee down onto it. 'Sorry', he signs, "I should probably. Get used to." His wings twitch against his back, a crooked smile showing a brief flash of fangs. "Yeah. All the pounding and nailing and hard wood in your --" A flush is creeping into his cheeks, too, tongue darting out again to swipe across his lips. "Shit, you're right."
"Ohno. No, that's fine. We can just go straight back an' eat there, since we was needin' t'go get Jax his things, anyhow. I just didn't wanna make y'wait if y'were hungry." Micah hesitates when Dusk does sit, shifting from one foot to the other like he can't decide whether to join him at the table or head for the door. "It's up t'you. Whether y'wanna try t'get used to it or go home. I'll do whichever." A lopsided grin answers Dusk's elaboration, his own cheeks finding a bright cherry-red to settle into. "Yeah, 'tween that an' the hammerin' an' screwin' an' drillin' an' handlin' tools... S'amazin' how anythin' useful ever gets /done/ in a wood shop."
Dusk draws in a small breath again as Micah speaks, curling out a wing to brush against the other man's back. "... Is Jax home?" he wonders, almost offhand as he stands again somewhat /hastily/ and turns the chair back in towards the table. "All this talk is making me /really/ want to --" He folds his wing back in, his own grin just as crooked. "... get some carpentry done."
Micah leans into the brush of wing like a cat into a stroking hand. "I think so. S'been a lotta...furniture an' art stuff t'do at the house. An' he's back t'bakin' all the time now our kitchen's workin'. Might be makin' actual dinner, too. Which you're welcome t'come for, if so." Pulling his phone out, he swipes his finger over it for a bit. It chirps a few times and he nods along with the last text he sends before sliding the phone back into his pocket. "I have confirmation of both Jax and dinner." The red seeps into his neck and ears. "We got /so/ much carpentry t'do at our place."
Dusk doesn't, actually, answer this. Not aloud, anyway. He just curls his wing around Micah, rubbing it against the other man's arm as he ushers him towards the door.