ArchivedLogs:BP Oil Spill

From X-Men: rEvolution
BP Oil Spill
Dramatis Personae

Billy, Jax

2014-06-16


Two former classmates bump into each other for the first time in years. One of them is married with kids and flourishing career(s) and one of them just ...isn't.

Location

<NYC> Evolve Cafe - Lower East Side


It's another glorious day outside this afternoon, sunny and bright and warm, and all this means that one solar-powered photokinetic is kind of /overflowing/ with energy. Jax is just bursting in from outside, bright and warmly colourful himself -- red capris embroidered with black and silver flames up their legs, a black t-shirt with a vivid array of neon-coloured flowers and dragonflies sprawling across one lower corner, glittering oilslick-rainbow nails. Bright tattoos down his arms and on his shaved-bald skull. Huge mirrored sunglasses with sparkly silver frames that he doesn't remove even once he's inside. Slightly shimmery purple Doc Martens. In his hands he's carrying a large case of two dozen cupcakes, tiny and frosted in pale pale green with little pink and green and purple marzipan flowers atop. /He/ skips the line at the counter, not actually ordering anything but trotting over to deliver the cupcakes to one of the baristas together with a small notecard carefully delineating all their ingredients.

The conversation between the barista and Billy is a brutal one. Between having to grill the poor kid about every ingredient in every single thing, including the coffee itself. It almost begs the question, ‘Why eat out at all?’ At the very least, he seems to be self aware enough to peek over his shoulder and apologize to the people behind him in line. He does this more than once, face tilted down and big blue eyes sadly looking up. Billy ends up ordering a redeye and some kind of wrap ...with only grilled chicken and lettuce. Also, he may have provided the tortilla for the wrap, himself. It happened too fast to tell. He looks just the type to act this way with his polo shirt buttoned all the way up, tucked into neat little slacks. If this weren’t a mutant friendly place, he might have been getting looks for wearing all white or the gloves ...or umbrella, to block the terrible, burning sunlight. Instead, it’s looks for being gluten-free. The barista, may the dark lords bless her patient soul, has him all nervous and flustered. So, as he turns with his fresh, hot coffee with it’s lid only teetering atop it, he does so too fast and without realizing who he could soon scolding. Billy Sharpe: catalyst, destroyer of cupcakes and worlds.

"Ohgosh woah caref--" Jax's words are cut off by collision; he's taking a hasty step back as Billy turns but not really fast /enough/. The /cupcakes/ in their carrying case are well enough protected by their plastic lid though the notecard sitting atop gets a solid dose of coffee -- Jax's hands, though, are far less protected from the hot liquid, and he /drops/ the whole case onto the ground with a sudden hiss, lifting his hand reflexively to his mouth to suck at one knuckle. And despite this /he's/ the one who ends up apologizing, reflexive and fretting in his thick Southern drawl. "Oh gosh, apologies, are you aright I didn't -- hey. Billy?"

With his eyes wide and his mouth half-agape, Billy is frozen for a moment before he swells entirely with the sincerest, most pitiful of remorses. “I. Am. So. Sorry,” he whimpers, dropping all of his own books and papers to scramble and save Jax’s container. “Are you okay?” His eyes might actually be misting up, but it’s hard to tell while he refuses to make eye contact. He drops to his knees, trying in vain to simultaneously retrieve the cupcakes and dab at Jax with a nearby stack of napkins. “Are you burnt? I’m really really so sorry, man!”

"Woah woah woah it's okay." Jax's answer is a little less reassuring-toned than it's /intended/ to be, delivered muffled around his hand where it still presses to his mouth. Though there's still a definite wince on his face, he finally drops his hand, nose crinkling up as Billy /napkins/ him. "I'm -- it's only a li'l burny I think, I jus' -- oh, gosh." He gathers the cupcakes back up, cheeks flushed pink as he backs away from Billy to set them on a nearby table so he can open /up/ the coffee-splattered lid and see which of the cupcakes are salvageable and which have been hopelessly squashed by the fall. "Oh. I think that /used/ t'be a flower." He is squinting at one toppled-over cupcake, its icing smashed and its tiny marzipan flower losing its petals.

The apologies continue for some time as he desperately pads at the coffee mess with the remaining soggy napkin from the stack. If he had a whip, he’d be flagellating. If only he’d turn any of that apologizing energy into actually cleaning up the mess. It’s like that BP oil spill parody. “Those look like they were probably so expensive. I’m so sorry. I’ll totally replace them, just let me know how much they were.” Let him know if you want his first born. People are starting to look at Jax like maybe he’s being really mean to this other guy.

"Huh?" Jax looks puzzled at the mention of expense, carefully shifting the top tray of the cupcake carrier off of the bottom one so that he can focus on setting all the cupcakes upright again. "I didn't buy these, I /made/ them. I was deliverin' them so's they can sell them here. An' it's /fine/ jus' a few of them toppled and got kinda squashy, most of 'em are still perfectly aright. Seriously. I'll bring the squashed ones home anyway my kids'll eat 'em." Yes, kids. Though he certainly didn't have any four years ago when they graduated.

Composing himself, Billy rises back to his feet with a few coffee-glistening books clutched to his chest. “You have a baby?” He makes an assumption but by the pitch in his voice, he at least seems to /like/ babies. The texts in his hands are titled things like, ‘Elementary Education in a Contemporary World,’ with pictures of blue skies and monarch butterflies. His head tilts, and he studies his old classmate, “I can’t even keep a fish alive.” It becomes evident that he is not going to be getting a replacement coffee for free, but he’s happy enough to try side-step into the back of the very nearby line to pay, again.

"Oh -- no, I don't got no babies. I got --" Jax is rearranging the cupcakes now, putting the undamage ones on one tray and setting the squashier ones on the table. "My oldest owns this place, actually. An' the littlest's eight now. He'll prob'ly eat /all/ the cupcakes on his own if I let'm though /that'd/ be a nightmare shovin' that much sugar into -- he's already nonstop energy." His blush deepens, and he looks up sheepishly after his rambling to dip his head apologetically. "Pardon, I sometimes don't never shut up. How /you/ been, how's -- everything goin'? S'good to see you doin' --" He trails off here a little awkwardly before finishing, "... m'jus' always glad these days t'see folks made it through." Presumably with the 'these days' he means made it through the recent plague of zombies this past fall, given that a tenth of the city didn't. "You workin' or in school or what?"

Billy is boggled. His head cocks back like a bird's, but he doesn't pry. Instead, he scans the hands he was so desperately trying to dry minutes ago for a ring. It's the next logical conclusion. ...that is, that Jax married some old guy. Billy is sure that he's just lovely, though! If only he could be so lucky, right?! "No, it's nice, you don't have to stop." He frowns, "I-I'm fine, I don't have anything interesting going on-- Oh, yeah! I'm in school! For, uh, education, actually. You're at 'the school,' right?"

Jax's hand (calloused and flecked with tiny burn scars -- he does a lot of glassworking) /does/, in fact, bear a ring, a small band of white gold with a stone that /fits/ the cheerful photokinetic -- a faceted schiller sunstone with deep coppery-red bands, cradled in a setting of short rays bursting out around it. "Oh! That's lovely. I /am/ I teach -- art an' --" He flutters his fingers towards the tray of salvaged cupcakes. "Baking, actually. But mostly art. M'two older kids go there, they're gonna be in their last year now. /I/ jus' graduated last month -- /gosh/ but it's been a trip there was more times'n not I didn't think I'd /ever/ finish. You want to teach, then? That's -- that's awesome do you know what age group you're interested in?" His head is tipping slightly; the sunglasses hide his eyes but from the direction presumably he's scrutinizing the texts in Billy's hands.

“Little kids,” Billy rolls his eyes and stares at the ground, taking a step forward in the moving coffee line. Now, it’s his turn to blush. That is, if he could. As it stands, is creamy complexion hardly changes. “I’ve been told I have the temperament for it. And truth be told, I think it’s a lot of fun.” It’s not hard to guess how a classroom of boisterous older children being wrangled by Mr. Sharpe would turn out. His face does register some concern but still can’t be baited into prying. He just laughs breathily, overwhelmed, “Your ring is really pretty. It suits you.” He’s reminded to look around at the cafe since this is apparently Jax’s, too. …by, uh, transference?

He trails off and replaces the cover on the tray, wandering back up the line though this time he doesn't pass the carrier /over/, just scoots around behind the counter so that he can grab a pair of gloves and start fussing with the display case /himself/ to set some of the cupcakes out. Behind the glass there's a deeper blush on his face at the compliment; he glances down to the ring as he works. "Ohgosh thanks," he says over the counter once he's set out one neat row of cupcakes and put the lid back on the case, presumably to store them somewhere in back. "It's -- m'husband got it made special. Does kinda fit, don't it?"

Billy's eyes twinkle. "It's nice to see you happy," he smiles, turning away only to re-order his coffee. The barista does end up taking pity on him and giving it to him for free, but only because he apologizes to her a couple thousand times, too. "Like, succeeding, I mean," he elaborates a bit dreamily. In front of the dessert display, he loses himself in thought for a moment before blinking back to reality. "I-I have an online exam that I have to finish before three. But it was really nice seeing you." Moving to step away, he pauses, "It's good to see you made it through, too!"

"Yeah, I'm kinda jus' in between appointments at work, m'self. -- It was good. Seein' you. Hopefully I'll see you 'round here more often." Jax's smile is bright and warm; he slips back out from behind the counter with a smaller box in hand, stopping to box up the leftover squashed-cupcakes before curling fingers in a wave to Billy. "Good luck with your exam!" There's a bounce in his step as he tucks the box under an arm and heads for the door.

Billy doesn't go for a last word, offering a too-white smile in return as he finds a table. Of course, the table he tries to sit at gets claimed by a couple just before he's about to set his things down and he's too distracted apologizing to them catch Jax leave. He looks up again brightly to wave goodbye, which he actually does do ...to no one ...apparently. He sinks into his seat and tries not to look around to see if anyone saw that.