ArchivedLogs:Family Of Choice
|Family Of Choice|
8 June 2014
A caffeine break between XS graduation and more house-prep.
<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. At night, the thump of music can be heard from above, coming from the adjoining nightclub of the same name that sits over the coffeehouse, accessible through a stairway in the back of the cafe.
It's been a muggy-hot day though evening is settling down blissfully cooler. There's a small crowd in Evolve, leftover as the sun sets from those who came in to avoid the heat though it's starting to taper off as people trickle out to get /actual/ dinners elsewhere. Shane actually /hasn't/ been manning his store All Day Long as he did last weekend -- with Xavier's graduation today he's had other obligations through much of the day and has only recently gotten to /work/. Though in the current lull he's not exceptionally /hard/ at work; dressed in neat faintly sheeny-black dress shirt and slacks he is leaning over the counter, bapping catlike at the tassle on the mortarboard perched at an angle on Daiki's head.
Daiki is in knee-length white tunic bordered in pale blue, lightweight blue trousers beneath. "Here." He pulls the cap off his head, perching it on Shane's instead. "/Now/ will you make me my drink?"
In somewhat of a change for Elli, when she pushes open the door to Evolve and steps into it, the scene through the doorway beyond is just what normally lies on the other side - the street outside on this cooling evening in the Lower East Side. not too much of a change, at least, as she is dressed in her usual: a dark red shirt with the sleeves ripped off, a pair of black jeans with straps linking the two legs loosely, and a pair of combat boots that any skinhead would be proud to wear. She is no skinhead, though; her hair is dyed in a rainbow pattern, bands of colors changing with the height of her hair. Her eyes fall on Daiki and Shane and she flashes a warm smile at the two of them. "Heya there, Dai', Shane. Looking sharp, as per usual."
Micah is dressed for spending the rest of the evening painting, having changed after the graduation ceremonies into /already/ paint-flecked jeans and a white T-shirt. The new place's kitchen is sorely lacking in both food and drink supplies, so caffeine to help get through the work is in /order/. He slides into the line, fingers raking through his already-mussed hair. One lifts to offer a wave to Dai and Shane with an amused grin, sort of a sarcastic yet silent 'fancy seeing you here' greeting.
"The /proper/ greeting," Shane tells Elli, flicking a claw at the tassel of the mortarboard now on /his/ head, "is /congratulations/. He finally escaped the goddamn torture exercise that is high school. I think he /won/ high school, actually."
Daiki blushes, turning around to offer Elli a small nod of greeting. "I don't think high school is something you win," he murmurs.
"Class president, prom king, valedictorian, /and/ you're heading to an Ivy League school." Shane is not, it might be noted, making Daiki's drink. He leans against the counter, one elbow propped on it as he ticks off these Winning Points on the other hand. His brows lift as he spies Micah approaching. "What do you call that if it's not winning?"
"Micah-san." Daiki's warm smile comes as it always does with a heavily increased tug of friendly-warm affection. "How is the work going? Do you need any extra hands?"
"I gotta agree with bitey here," Elli says, thumbing her finger at Shane with a smirk at Daiki. "Your graduation means my grades are going to go up just from the curve falling back down," she drawls. Turning to Micah, she raises a hand in a little wave. "Heya, Shane's dad. You look like you're fighting the paint cans and losing. Remember, if they get too aggressive, just pour paint thinner on them. That'll take care of them nice and quick." She steps up to the counter and peers up at the chalkboard, considering for several moments. "How many shots of espresso are you legally allowed to serve me? Because I need some dancing fuel in me," she says, turning that grin onto Shane and crossing her arms across her chest. "Four? Five? Is there a limit?" She leans down onto her elbows, putting her hand on her fists and trying to look innocent and vulnerable. It... doesn't really work.
"I'd call it decidedly earnin' whatever drink it is that he asked you t'make," Micah butts in to suggest, giving Dai a wink. "Y'can add it t'my order when I'm up. The work's comin' along. We're doin' the big paint job in Spence's room t'night. Aside from a few other things here'n there, gettin' that done an' the bed made for 'im s'what we're waitin' on for movin' in. An' if y'wanna join in the paint brigade, I sure ain't gonna say no." His nose bunny-crinkles in mock dismay at Elli's title for him. "Micah's fine. Please. Also, gets confusin' when y'can say 'Shane's dad' an' mean two dif'rent people. Even the 'Mr. Holland-Zedner' thing doesn't clarify any. We had t'go an' make things more difficult." He chuckles at the girl's coffee question. "Dunno. Hive gets a cup of black with three shots in it. /Prob'ly/ that's 'bout the most they'll hand out in one mug if it's what he asks for."
"You could," Daiki suggests helpfully, "order /two/ drinks with three shots each. Also B is still there so the curve /might/ still get broken."
Shane tips his hand outward towards Daiki, like: what he said. "We don't really, um, cut people off until they start -- vibrating."
"That happens with Peter," Daiki explains with a small twitch of lips.
"But he's pretty much close to that point /without/ caffeine. -- What's it gonna be?" Shane's brows lift, eyes shifting back to Elli. "Anyway, /he's/ my Ba, if that helps. They're /both/ my dad so. Ba and Pa."
"I'd like to help wherever I can," Dai agrees. "Our place is mostly good as-is so I feel lazy without something to /do/. Besides furniture shopping."
"That's true," Elli says, dejectedly, to Daiki - though her smile is still smirking on her face. "Ba. Pa." Elli glances back at Micah and grins. "I dunno if I'm qualified to use either'a those. I think I'll stick with Micah, since he doesn't seem to mind." She gives the older man a wink and then turns back to Shane. "Can I get a mocha with three shots of espresso? I can get a second one after, I guess, if I need it." She drums her fingers on the countertop, not all too dissimilar from an addict at the methadone clinic. "I'll probably need it." She digs into her back pocket and comes out with a wallet, hung too from a black chain. "I don't suppose you offer some kind of student discount?" she tries, with a winning smile.
"Yeah, it don't help much if B's in your class, usually." Micah's tone is definitely fond, not the accusation that students might level. "An' Peter /starts out/ wired. Pretty sure most coffee shops 'round Westchester got his picture behind the counters as a /warnin'/." He nods at Daiki's repeated offer. "Love t'have you. Jax's doin' a lotta paintin' an' mosaic work. I been installin' fixtures an' whatnot, but that's pretty much done 'cept what needs t'go /around/ what Jax's doin'. /But/ there's a lot t'do on constructin' the furniture still, if y'wanna try your hand at that, too."
Shane rings Elli up -- at full price. "Discounts are for family and people who are fucking me. Are you in one of those groups?"
"Wouldn't you know?" Daiki's brows raise again, cheeks flushing faintly pink. "... wouldn't /I/ know?"
Shane spreads his hands in front of him. "My dads bring home a /lot/ of fucking strays /I/ don't know when they're adopting a new one." He drops his hand back to the cash register as the drawer slides open, adding lightly to Micah, "Dai'll be good to have around. He nails like a /champ/."
The pink in Daiki's cheeks flushes to deep red. "Are you doing anything fun this summer?" he elects to ask Elli, instead.
"I could be," Elli says, grinning as she passes a few dollars across the counter. "But from what I've seen of your preferences, I don't think I have the right tools for the job." She turns, still leaning against the counter, and wags a finger at Micah. "You should talk to her, talk some /sense/ into her. It's not fair for us slackers," she says, putting a hand over her breast and putting a look of patriotic verve on her face. "It's just not a fair playing field anymore," she says, with a mock sob. One can almost hear the bald eagles crying in the background.
Turning her attention to Daiki, Elli shrugs her shoulders. "Not much. Been hanging about at my folks' place back in Ohio. Boring as fuck."
Blushing is contagious enough with Micah around...even worse when it starts with Dai. His cheeks pick up a fair amount of rosy colour for themselves. "We're not adoptin' anyone that I know of, anyhow." His blush deepens in time with Dai's. "Well...um. Y'know where we live. If y'wanna drop by when you've got the time, we'd love t'have you." Micah's small snort of laughter at Elli's pleading likely isn't what she was going for. "Ohgosh. S'hard as ze's been workin' for so long? I'm not about t'mess with that when hir graduation's close enough." He waits his turn at the counter before stepping up. "Two large mochas...one of 'em s'for Jax, so, mocha syrup. Y'know how he does. Um...half a dozen of the ginger snaps. An' whatever it was Dai asked for earlier. Thanks, hon."
Shane passes Elli her change and rings Micah up, a large half-and-half green tea/lemonade for Daiki added in to his order before he turns around to start in on /all/ the drinks.
"Where /do/ you live? It's so far," Daiki says lightly, "I think I've forgotten the way."
"/Ohio/, that's a shitty-ass way to spend a summer. I've only been to Ohio once." With his back turned Shane's expression can't be seen, though there's a faint tension in his posture as he works, gills fluttering quickly. "It was /so/ goddamn boring it killed me. Literally. Fucking dropped right the hell dead."
Daiki's blush fades, fingers pressing down against the counter. "I -- hardly think Ohio was to blame there."
"I'm blaming Ohio. Shitty-ass state." Shane turns to slide Elli's drink back across the counter. "You could adopt Horus," he suggests to Micah. "He already thinks you're the greatest thing /on earth/ with that freaking tablet."
"Ohio." Elli says to Daiki, with a chuckle. "Akron, specifically. Or in the suburbs outside it, really. And... directions? Just through the door," she says, gesturing to the door to the front, then a moment later, to the door to the kitchen. "Pick a door, any door." She turns her glance back on Shane, raising her eyebrows at his back. "It's boring, no question, but I'm not sure I'd qualify it as lethally so." Elli's voice has a cautious cadence to it, as if treading across thin ice. She stuffs the bills into her wallet, pocketing that, and drops the coins into the tip jar. "Oh. You meant him. I just figured, certainly you couldn't have forgotten the way to Shane's bedroom."
Micah passes the appropriate cash over for his order, along with a generous tip, before stepping aside to wait. "Dunno that it was the /borin'/ that was the issue, exactly." He chuckles at the thought of adopting Horus. "Think he's doin' pretty well. 'Specially now he's at the school an' able t'communicate. We can't just adopt /all/ the rescuees under the age of 18, after all." He shakes his head a bit at Elli. "He's bein' silly. We all live in the same buildin'. Can get between our houses without even goin' outside."
"He fucking hates the school," Shane tells Micah blandly, turning back to finish the other drinks. "Would've probably shot himself in the goddamn head if he figured out how to work a gun without hands. Tablet helps, though. He loves the /rest/ of life just fine."
A touch of pink dusts Daiki's cheeks again. "I live with Shane, I haven't -- and Micah's just next door." He gestures to Micah with the other man's explanation.
"Our house is awesome," Shane adds to Elli. "/Way/ better than Ohio. -- Hey why can't you? There's people who deserve dads /way/ more than I do. You could adopt Anole," he adds, brighter, after. "/He/ needs all the hugs."
"So? I can get between my folks house and yours without going outside, but they're not exactly close." Elli winks at Micah and then grins at Daiki. "That just means it's easier to find. Shane's bedroom, I mean, not Micah's. Though maybe you spend time in Micah's, too. Whatever, I don't judge." She teases, tossing her hands up and grinning at Micah. She turns back to look at Shane, shifting her weight slightly onto her side as she leans against the table. "Way better than Ohio is not a hard bar to set, Shane. Suburban Ohio is only a few steps above leeches - one, two, maybe - so, saying your place is better...." she trails off, shrugging her shoulders and spreading her hands. "I'm sure it's awesome; m'just saying that there's gotta be better standards set."
"Horus don't like bein' at the school? I had no idea." Micah's brow furrows deeply, tone switching quickly from amused banter to concern. "Are people givin' 'im trouble? Has he gone t'any of his counsellors? I should...talk t'him. Admittedly he's mostly just /excited/ 'bout his tech when I see 'im. So I could've missed if he wasn't happy." His teeth dig into his lower lip. "Ohgosh, we done kinda unofficially adopted Anole already...after Nox... Don't know as he'd /want/ anythin' more'n that. The Morlocks're his family outside of school. Don't need t'be legal family t'give nobody hugs." His hazel eyes shoot wide open at Elli's implication, the bit of blush he'd had before put to shame by the deep crimson suddenly colouring not just his face, but neck and ears as well. "Ohgosh, no. No. Dai's like...our /kid/. He's not. We don't. Oh/gosh/."
"S'hard to tell with him because mostly when he's not happy he just disappears. So mostly you just see him when he's, you know. All twittery." Shane shrugs, returning again to set down the two mochas -- marked J and M on their sides -- before handing Daiki his drink. "-- Yeahokay maybe you can give Anole hugs anyway. I just think you should adopt /everyone/. It's not fair we get to hog the best dads."
Daiki's blush deepens furiously at Elli's comment, his head shaking sharp and emphatic as a reflexive shudder runs through him. "/No/," comes unthinkingly about in time with Micah's explanation. He dips his head immediately after this instinctive answer, quieter and apologetic with the following, "They're like /my/ dads. They're my /family/, that's not -- funny." The pull of his mutation is growing sharper, very abruptly, a twisting possessive edge threading sharply through its previous bland affectionate tone.
"Sounds fine to me," Elli says, picking up her drink and taking a sip of it. "My parents are pretty cool, but you've got two dads, so why not have three?" Her tone is suddenly distracted and takes a step away from the countertop, eyes fixing onto Daiki. "Three dads... sounds fine...." She trails off in mid-sentence, eyes blinking at Daiki and tilting her head to the side. "Mm. I guess it would mean you'd have a lot of brother-in-laws. And sister-in-laws. I'd like to be your sister-in-law," she says, voice oddly light. "That would be awesome."
The arriving mochas serve as an excuse to put something in his face that doesn't require talking. Micah pounces on the M-marked cup and lifts it for an ill-advised sip, wincing and putting it /right/ back down after scalding his tongue. "You're sweet, hon," he replies to Shane softly, though his eyes stay on Dai, assessing and slightly worried looking.
"Sweet." This echo comes in a harder tone than Micah's, not from Shane but from a young woman sauntering up towards the counter. "Could go for something sweet right now." Though her eyes are locked on Daiki and not the menu.
Shane has just been boxing up the gingersnaps for Micah; his gills flutter as he offers them across the counter, his smile /just/ a little sharp. "He's not for sale."
The heavy tug is only growing; Daiki pulls in a deep breath, snagging his drink off the counter. "I'll see you at home, okay?" This might be either to Shane or to Micah; his head dips, and he doesn't make eye contact with anyone as he hastens for the door, though quite a /few/ eyes are on him from around the room.
Shane's gills press flat, his eyes narrowing as someone near the door gets up to leave, too. "-- Ba can you walk him home?" There's a faint nervous edge to his voice, too, though it fades as he offers a quicker smile to the new maybe-customer. "Can I help you?"
"Thanks, sugar." Micah's fingertips brush over Shane's hand as he takes the box. He tucks the cookies into his messenger bag and picks up a mocha in each hand. "I'll see you later. An' yeah, I'll take care of 'im. I was headed that direction anyhow. Don't work /too/ hard." This last comes with a small smile and wave as Micah hurries toward the door to catch up with Dai.