ArchivedLogs:Catnip and Belly Rubs

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Catnip and Belly Rubs
Dramatis Personae

Violet, Micah, Jax, Doug

21 June 2014

Late on Jax's birthday at Evolve. /Eventually/ dancing. Eventually.


<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 is late. /Late/. The party upstairs is jumpin', and Evolve is still doing a brisk business with the late night and drunk munchies crowd. The crowd is in a constant state of jittery circulation. Some of this has to do with the sweetness of the night, the cool kiss of dark air, the bright lights, /summer/ is here and it's Saturday and life /can/ be good...sometimes. Some of it has to do with the steady pulse of music filtered down from above, a bass hum that shivers through the building to its very foundation and works its way into eardrums, bloodstreams, /souls/.

Not everyone has gotten the memo about energetic, however. There, off in the corner, stretched along one of the sofas--because of course she's going to take All Of The Seats--is Violet. She wears her leopard-print leggings still, but the hoodie has been stripped off to her in a tank top. Her fur is mussed; it looks as if she's /been/ active recently. But now? Now she is lounging like the pro that she is, somehow making a simple recline seem dynamic and charged and laaaazy in all the right ways. Mostly because she has a tiny pouch of fabric pressed to her nose. It looks to have been cut from a t-shirt and then pulled tight with a bit of floss to make a drawstring, and its sides bulge with crunchy, pokey aromatic something or others. Get close enough and one will even be able to hear, under the nightclub's throb, the steady, shallow pulse of her purring with each breath. Her eyes are hooded. Her tail curls lazy against the cushions.

Life /is/ good sometimes.

Micah is dressed in simple weekend clothes, for once not /also/ grubby for building furniture, painting, or gardening. He wears a pair of faded bluejeans and a chocolate brown tee on which a stegosaurus curses a T-rex for his 'sudden but inevitable betrayal', auburn hair end-of-the-day mussed. The bright leopard-print leggings catch his eye and he waves in their direction. “Evenin', Violet!” he calls, not quite certain if the cat-girl is /awake/ or not.

Jax -- /definitely/ has gotten the Energetic memo. Energetic has been his /watchword/ for today, bubbly-bright and spilling over with /exuberance/ that he can barely contain even now that the sun has set; there's a faint glow to him that he doesn't try to /hide/ here in the freak haven, a very subtle luminescence that goes with the bright attire -- sheeny metallic-red denim capris, black and silver-starred tank, glittery silver nails, bright red and black sneakers, a /bounce/ to his step. Despite all the energy he's already got he's here to acquire /more/, in search of caffeine as he evidently intends to go dancing tonight. He detours after ordering his (triple-shot, vegan mojito cupcake that he probably baked earlier) upon seeing the catgirl, though. "Hihihi. Howya doin'?"

Violet is awake! For different interpretations of the meaning of the word. One eye cracks open, a glimmer of bright orange visible but most of that iris swallowed by black black black. Her pupils are /blown/, man. Like, whoa. The mind behind them still functions, thankfully, and after a brief survey recognition clicks in--Micah, Jax. And Jax is /glowing/. The catgirl pours herself up into a mostly seated position, elbow on the arm of the sofa, one knee hiked up, regal as a queen while raising her empty hand to the pair. Fingers curl. They are being beckoned. "You look like a star. He looks like a star." The first for Jax, the second for Micah, the word tumbling out of her in a brook-bubbling purr.

After a brief stop at the counter to obtain an iced chai, Micah joins the other two by Violet's couch. "He always looks like a star," he opines with a fond glance, free hand reaching out to tug Jax just a little closer so that he can press a light kiss to the other man's cheek. "S'just glowin' more'n he usually does in public here since this is safe space t'do it in." One brow ticks upward as he notices the odd quality to Violet's eyes. "You doin' okay?"

"Oh -- gosh m'--" Jax cuts off his spoken apology to sign it instead, fist circling against his heart as the glow dims and then vanishes. "Does that bother your --" His fingers flutter towards Violet's enormous pupils. "I just, there's /so much/ sun an' I don't really know where t'put it all an' summer is -- /intense/ I ain't never really quite figured out how t'handle it an' it kinda puts me in overdrive an' -- gosh y'look /real/ elegant right now like super super pretty an' I'm ramblin' but I'm prob'ly gonna ramble for the nex' three months or so so apologies /are/ you doin' okay?"

To the question, there is a moment spent in thinking. A moment full of half-lidded eyes and that continued lazy ticktock of her tailtip. The loss of Jax's glow pulls /down/ the corners of Violet's mouth but manners dictate--answer first, complain second! "Y'know they make /holistic/ catnip now? Holistic. Organic? Something. S'sssssssso smooth. Like. All the smooths." All the smooths, much as they have all the Souths collected here in this very room. The makeshift potpurri bag is flipped over her fuzzy fingers to be bounced at them. Her lisp is rather more pronounced, tongue too eager to remain pressed against spiky little teeth. "Put your star back /on/, fella. Shine on, shine on...y'folks wanna sit? Wanna chat? Wanna sniff?" The last query comes with another dangling of the bag, back and forth in a way that seizes her own gaze.

"He's a little supercharged. We actually came t'go t'the club upstairs t'night. Let 'im dance some energy out." Micah chuckles at Violet's attempted description of her catnip. "Sure's we can stay an' chat awhile if y'don't wanna tag along, though." He takes a seat on the far side of the couch that is less full of cat-girl droop, tugging Jax along with him. "You'll hafta tell us which kind t'get planted in the gardens if y'got a favourite."

Jax relaxes, a bright smile warming his expression again as his faint shimmery glow gleams back out through his skin, soft and just slightly luminescent once more. He settles down on the couch beside Micah, though he's back /up/ a second later when his order is called, grabbing his drink and only then returning to the couch with his drink and cupcake. He sits back down, slinging a knee over Micah's leg lazily and peeling his cupcake. "Oh gosh yeah I could. Sniff. Could plant it if y' -- if that kind's -- the /best/ kind? I ain't like a. Connoisseur. Of catnip. Am tryin' t'make sure our garden's well-rounded though." His tongue swipes out through the cupcake icing, eye squeezing closed happily at the lick of sugar. "You wanna come dancin'? I told m'kid I'd start tendin' bar up there on Saturday nights through the summer but. Not tonight. Tonight /I'm/ dancin'. This is my birthday cake."

Doug is not a regular face around here, for Reasons. But, even Reasons occasionally find themselves with an exception, and tonight is one of those. Clearly, since the young man is slipping through the front door and heading for the line at the counter. Dressed in jeans and a black t-shirt with a yellow lightning bolt on the chest, with his ever-present laptop bag slung across his chest, he seems a bit /nervous/ as he waits for his turn to order. He even looks around furtively, his hand coming up to tighten around the strap on his chest. Like he might be found /out/ or something.

"Whiskers," Violet hisses, more due to speech impediment than need for secrecy or ire. "That's the store was getting the delivery. East Village. They'd know. You're like...a sun battery?" This meets with so much approval from the feline female. What cat doesn't love draping themselves over warm glowy things? She doesn't quite go /that/ far once Micah and Jax have settled--the latter for the second time--but she does push off the arm of the sofa to topple towards them. Closer. Basking in the glow, belly up, head tilted back so she can peer at them with those huge dilated eyes. Upside down, of course, the angle sadly preventing her from noticing Doug's furtive--therefore stalkable--behavior. "A birthday battery. That's worth dancin', sure, sure." Once she's done being melty. And making a /spectacle/ of herself before all and sundry.

"S'pretty much a solar battery with laser beams an' pretty pictures." Micah ruffles Jax's lack-of-hair. "Yep, birthday dancin'. Y'mean the decorated pancakes didn't count as birthday cake at brunch?" His grin goes lopsided, only play-offended. "Nobody wants me bakin'," comes as an explanation for Violet's sake, since Jax is already more than aware. The girl's belly-up basking has his arm twitching as sure as if she were just a cat doing the same. "I'm gonna admit I'm /sore/ tempted t'rub your belly just now." The admission is also sent Violet's direction. He busies his hand reaching for his chai instead, bringing it up to sip from it.

A purring rumble hums in Jax's throat, and he rubs his bald head up into Micah's petting. "Pancakes was delicious but I /never/ get enough'a cake. -- Whiskers? I know that place, I used'ta go there t'get these. Fishflake things that my. Sprite. My Bengal kitty used t'love." He nestles against Micah's side, licking again at the icing of his cake. "I'm pretty much -- yeah. Like. A heatlamp. Solarpanel. Sunrock." His smile curls wider. "I'll check 'em out. Put somethin' nice in our garden. -- Are you gonna be, uh --" His nose crinkles up, eye flicking back towards the back corner of the room. "Well, okay, you sure'll be far from the only person high up there." His nose crinkles up, an edge of a giggle in his voice. "Hey, if you're lookin' for a belly t'rub --" His brows hike up. He /does/ notice Doug's furtive slinking -- possibly it's long guard-training that hones his gaze /in/ on sketchy behavior, eye training in on the younger man for a moment curiously with a sudden flush touching his cheeks, hand lifting hesitantly then dropping back like he can't decide whether or not to wave.

Doug hunches his shoulders as he steps up to the counter to place his order for an extra-large dark roast with two shots of espresso and four cupcakes to go. He continues to look uneasy as he pays and moves down the counter to wait. Rocking back and forth on his heels, he bounces his attention from the counter to the seating area to the door leading to the back with equal measure. When one of those bounces includes a familiar glowiness and accompanying scrutiny, he blushes in response, and also offers an almost-wave. Then his head dips sharply before he's turning back to check the door to the kitchen.

It has to be a trap--stretching in a way that leaves a gap of belly floof exposed between waistband and tank top hem. There are little flecks of white there mixed in with the black and orange. But Violet's /grin/ is less an invitation and more of a challenge, the set of ears and eyes allllll predator. Lazy, drugged out predator but pointy and sharp nonetheless. "Catnip, food, walkin' sun lamps...y'folks might get yourselves adopted, you're not careful." This sounds like a /threat/, even pitched in the laziest of drawls. A second, even deeper stretch sends outthrust arms across their mingled laps and she yawns immediately after, exposing a pink curl of tongue. Personal space: not a thing. "S'fine. Me. 'm fine. Better'n fine, did I say happy birthday?"

"Good enough," Micah gives in, rubbing more at Jax's scalp with the nuzzling. His expression clouds briefly at the talk of their former cat. The hand moves from Jax's head to rub his belly instead at the invitation. This doesn't /stop/ him looking tempted at Violet's teasing. Though he doesn't act on it without invitation there, as well. He miiiight trace a fingertip along her forearm once she's stretched it /in/ his lap, though. Fur is kinda hard to resist petting /a little/. Catching Jax's glance, he gives him a slightly concerned look. "S'everythin' okay, hon?"

It's a trap that Jax is /caught/ by, dropping a hand reflexively when Violet stretches into personal space to /poke/ a fingertip at that gap of belly floof. Poink. He does it with a small cringe that suggests he hasn't /missed/ that predator-sharpness though the cringe dissipates in another deeper rumble of purr in his own throat as his own belly is rubbed at; he leans back against the couch, his glow shimmering /just/ a little deeper. "Mmm. Yeah. S'just --" This time his hand does lift, and he waggles his cupcake towards Doug in a wave. See Doug slink. "It's been a /real/ happy birthday, thanks. Did so much nappin' in the sun. -- We seem t'get ourselves adopted a lot. S'worse things."

See Doug slink, indeed. When his order is completed, he moves to take the cup and accompanying paper bag and carry them to a spot where he can add sugar to his coffee -- coincidentally not far from the basking couch. Once there, he adds several packages, chewing on his bottom lip as he adds the sweetener quickly. As he reaches for a wooden stirrer, he manages to knock over /both/ cream pitchers in the process. Fortunately, they are the kind with lock-tops, so the spill is minimal. The noise, however, is not. Doug's face goes deeply red as he scrambles to right said pitchers, looking around worriedly before he mops at the tiny puddle with a napkin. "Damn it."

The fur there--arm and belly--is thinner, softer, without guard hairs. Violet makes paws of her hands, fingers curled into palm, claws hidden away. But the steel jaw trap promised by her stretching /does/ come: Micah's finger is "trapped" between her balled hands with a snatch, Jax's poinky hand almost pinned when she snaps her knees towards her belly. The attack, such as it is, is short-lived and ruined by amusement--the catgirl uncurls almost immediately, sneezing out her laughter in sharp, soft bursts. "S'worse things," she agrees. "Like--" But the world will never know what Violet thinks of as worse. The clatter and rush over there causes her eyes to snap fully open, her posture to stiffen and twist as she jams an arm straight beneath her to lift up. She's seeing Doug now, staring, bristling.

"So much nappin' an' so much eatin'," Micah adds to the day's description. "An' yeah, we either adopt or get adopted an awful lot. S'kinda how we operate." He squeaks /just/ a little as his finger is trapped, though this turns rapidly into a delighted giggle as he tug-tugs his arm back. Not hard enough to succeed, likely, but enough to play the game. He lets Violet go as she shoves upward quickly, eyes darting over to the source of the clatter. "Oh."

Jax's cheeks flush red, his grin brightening when Violet's knee snaps towards his finger. He almost drops his cupcake onto her belly, fumbling it towards her and catching it again not in his hand but on a translucent platform of shimmering /light/ that appears beside his hand, reaching out to pick it up out of midair a moment later. He presses his coffee cup to his mouth to hide his blush, swallowing down a quick gulp of cold coffee. "Hi, Doug," comes a moment later; he rights his posture, hastily slipping his leg off of Micah's lap. "-- Y'all ain't met, have you?"

Doug looks like he could crawl under the closest piece of furniture and wait for the earth to swallow him whole, but he offers a tight smile when Jax speaks up. "Hey, Jax," is uncertain, but comes with a small wave of soggy napkins. Napkins that are hastily dropped in the nearest handy receptacle. "Micah." He studies Violet with a narrowing of one eye as he searches his memory. "I don't think we have," he says, shaking his head slightly before lifting a hand in Violet's direction. "Hello. I'm Doug." He reclaims his cup, and waves it indistinctly at the couch. "I just popped in on my way home."

It takes just a blink for Violet to determine that the spilled cream is no danger. A /temptation/, perhaps, but not a danger. And then as if a switch has been switched, she flops down--allowing momentum and cat gravity carry her a liiiiittle closer to certain adjacent laps--to resume stretching. Upon finishing that, she drapes, slightly curled, with her head tilted over the edge of the couch. This time, the floof remains on display without the intent to trap anyone. Seemingly. Perhaps she is oblivious to the tension in the air, perhaps not. Does it matter, so long as there is petting? "Nope," she confirms. "Ain't met. Vi. Violet. You get hit a lot?" Hello, random question.

Micah giggles again at the magic light-carpet ride the cupcake goes on. "Jax: Rescuer of Pastries!" he declares through ongoing laughter. He offers a small wave to Doug. "Hey, Doug. Y'don't gotta explain why you're in a coffee shop. S'here for coffee. Well, an' tea an' pastries an' dance clubs." Okay, now there is /deliberate/ floof and the girl is /kind of/ in his lap. That's enough of an invitation to pet a tummy, right? The hand that reaches to stroke the exposed fur is more tentative and /certainly/ less familiar than the one still on Jax's stomach. Dual-wielding belly rubs!

"Hopefully not around /here/ he don't." Jax's glowy /purring/ is resuming, with the continued belly rubbing. With all his icing gone off the cupcake, he's now peeling the rest of the wrapper so that he can take a large bite. "We're dancin'," he informs Doug brightly, bouncing in place on the couch as his bright-energetic chatter resumes. "Well not /now/, clearly, but we're gonna be -- soon -- upstairs, that's where the dancin' is. You been dancin' here? S'a good DJ t'night. An' a good night for dancin'. Saturday ain't no day for jus' sittin' around at home."

Doug blinks at the question, his brow furrowing. "Um. Not really," he says, looking over his shoulder at the counter. "You're not planning on hitting me, are you?" Micah's assurance gets a small flush, and the blonde gestures weakly at the shop in general. "Kind of feel like I do," he says, and he manages a small smile for the almost-joke. "At least in this one." He inhales deeply, glancing over at Jax and smiling at the bright-energy. "Oh, no," he answers the question, looking up at the ceiling and then at the older man. "I'm not really much of a dancer. I just came in to get some cupcakes. I forgot to do it the other day, with moving and all."

"He moves like it. You move like it. All twitchy like a mouse." Not the most reassuring thing to hear from the mouth of a woman shaped like a cat. But Violet is not in a focused frame of mind and is easily distracted. Pettings from Micah leave her harmonizing her deeper rumbly purrs with Jax's glowy purrs, that lazy lidded look creeping back in. He bounces, she is simply jostled a little, refusing to turn off the basking. "Wouldn't hit no one, not on a birthday. Y'oughta try dancin' though. I'm gonna." One of these days, maybe when the buzz is off.

"Mmn, yes, tryin' not t'have any violence hereabouts if we can avoid it." Micah's fingers scritch a bit more firmly once both of the people leaning on him are fully purring. "Eventually dancin'," he confirms, since right now there's a lot of lazy lounging and petting and snacking and drinks. "Welcome t'join when we /do/ head up." Scritchscritchscritch.

"Did y'get the mojito cupcakes?" Jax asks hopefully. "An' no, this ain't no night for /hittin'/ neither. Don't think nobody's plannin' on no hittin'. I mean --" His eye flicks up to Micah, his lips twitching up into a crooked smile. "Well. Not without consent nohow. Guess if you're /into/ that --" He shrugs, polishing off his cupcake quickly and then tapping lightly on Violet's shoulder, a quick forewarning before he wiggles himself off the couch. "Speakin' of. I needa. Do that. Dancin'." His bouncing is getting a good deal -- bouncier. "Think I'm gonna bounce a hole in the floor if I ain't careful. Y'all join me soon?" He pecks Micah on the cheek, tips a hopeful glance to Vi.

"Yeah, well, the twitchiness is new," Doug says to Violet, his mouth flattening into a line as he shrugs. "But people don't generally hit me a lot." He furrows his brow at her promise of no hitting on birthdays, looking confused. "How did you know..." He looks /more/ confused, now, and he grimaces at the offer. "Oh, thanks, but I think I'll give it a miss. My roommate and I are going to do a birthday thing with pizza and movies." He holds up his bag of pastries, and nods at Jax. Mojito, indeed. "And cupcakes, now. Should be fun." He offers a small, lopsided grin, and raises his eyebrows. "In fact, I should probably get moving," he says, not entirely convincingly. "Don't want him to think I got mugged or something. It was nice to meet you," he says to the young woman, and lifts a hand. "You guys have a good time." And with that, he's moving towards the door, disappearing before whatever he's probably avoiding actually catches up to him.

"Nicetomeetyou!" Violet is genetically incapable of following the pleasantries but that doesn't mean she can't hustle through them either. See, she is not a follower. Following is for other people. The taps land on her shoulder but in a twinkling, she's poured herself from the sofa and Micah's lap onto her feet. All of that lazy? Gone, girl, gone. In its place is a madly crazed cat girl intent on /winning/. And winning, in this case, takes the form of beating the boys to the dance floor. So she--and her little 'nip bag--go streaking by Jax towards the stairs. Somehow, somehow, she doesn't collide with anyone on the way. Instead, she oozes through spaces.

“G'night!” Micah offers to Doug with another small wave. Then Jax is headed for the dance floor and Violet is /off/. He hurries to his feet, taking Jax's hand to chase after the girl. “Hee. Herdin' cats.”