ArchivedLogs:Real People

From X-Men: rEvolution
Real People
Dramatis Personae

Dusk, Matt, Paige

2016-11-10


"Turned Gay by -- something hella meta."

Location

<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 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 a cool evening, the sun having just set, and Evolve is bustling with a larger-than-usual mid-week crowd. Despite this, there's a sort of subdued ambience here: soft conversation, soft scrape of chairs, soft shuffling of plates and cups. Matt is sitting sideways in a chair by the window, a book poised open in one hand. He wears a black t-shirt featuring the silouette of a man clutching a book to his chest, consumed by abstract red and orange flames, frayed old blue jeans, and brown athletic sandles with white socks on underneath.

One of the baristas sets a steaming cup and a plate with a scone on it on the counter. "Matt!"

He perks up with a bright smile, rises from his chair, and heads for the counter, making as if to close the book in his hands (/Johannes Cabal, The Necromancer/) but /not quite/ managing to look up from it.

Exhausted, tense, and uncomfortable, Paige's thoughts are occupied with her overwhelming social anxiety, not to mention that she's pretty sure her life is well-enough ruined for good. Nonetheless, she is exceedingly grateful for this cafe's 'suspended-pay' system, allowing her to 'purchase' pastries and baked treats whenever she so pleases. One such transaction, as it may be called, has just completed. Turning away from the counter while taking a bite of a danish, her distracted mind does not interpret the fact that she actually needs to be careful with walking. It should be an easy enough thing, but when you've been walking one way for your entire life, having to deal with altered feet is not as familiar. She is only left with a moment to curse to herself before tripping over her own feet and stumbling towards Matt.

Dusk's attire is bland, really; plain black jeans, a soft blue-grey long-sleeved v-neck tee. Not particularly eye-catching -- though the wings draped at his back make up for any drabness of wardrobe. The jet black skin of his wings is currently dotted with blazing white stars; waves of gold, green, blue, and purple layered on the velvety fuzz over top ripple like folded sheets of aurora. Right now one of those wings (batlike, folded, they seemed so /very/ much smaller when tucked behind him) is stretching out (from his seated position, still; though he scraped his chair back from his table he hasn't actually /moved/) wing easily spanning the distance from the table he was sitting at with Matt. A gentle nudge, to tap Matt slightly to one side, before that same wing shifts sideways, one long spar semi-intercepting Paige's stumble.

"Dude. You can put the book down for two /seconds/, I promise it isn't going anywhere." Like Dusk is one to talk, really; he's not actually looked up from where /he/ sits, absorbed in -- a computer? Perhaps, though its display is a holographic projection at his table rather than a proper screen. It takes a moment for him to look up properly, a quick (and very fangy) smile on his face. "Forgive my friend books tend to eat him. You aright?"

Matt's vivid green eyes snap up from his book just a little too late for a course change, but Dusk's wing steers him clear at the last second. "Oh!" he cries, covering his mouth with one hand and tucking the book under his arm with the other. When he drops his hand, there's a sheepish smile on his face. "{Excuse me!}" this in French, his Quebecois accent evident, before switching back to English, "It was a very absorbing passage. Are you quite alright?"

Thunk.

Her forehead smacking the top of Dusk's outstretched wing, Paige proceeds to fall onto her ass. Another curse, this one more audible, can be heard from her as she rubs her forehead which causes her to accidentally brush her hood off to reveal two large, backswept horns. Sudden head-ons and tiredness do not mix well. And now there are people who seem to be talking to her. "I...what..." she responds as she gazes from what intercepted her original path to the monster...creature...person to whom it belongs. "I...I'm fine--" Paige winces as her head twinges with pain, likely the beginning of a migraine. "Shit. Okay, not fine," she grumbles as she starts to stand herself up, awkwardly. It looks getting to her feet and balancing on them is a bit of a problem, but she eventually manages it. "Look, sorry, I didn't mean to slam into you." Cringing again, she decides to swallow her pride and try to suppress her discomfort and asks, "You don't happen to have a seat, do you?"

One of the gleaming sharp claws atop Dusk's wing twitches as he pulls it back in, his brows briefly pulling inward. "{Not fine?}" This echo comes in Spanish, with a small purse of lips. He closes down his work with a few flicks of fingers against holographic modules, turning slightly on his stool to look toward the others. "Happens. Sure, come, sit. Could use a break from -- pretending to work anyway. If I check my Facebook feed one more time my eyes are gonna bleed."

Matt pales a little, frowning as he watches the young woman stagger to her feet. "Oh, do sit down, {if you please.}" He retrieves his tea and scone from the counter with a quick smile at the barista and brings book, cup, and plate back to their table. He pulls out an empty chair for Paige. "My sincerest apologies! I really ought to have been watching my step." He waits until Paige has at least begun to settle into the chair before sitting himself. "/I/ couldn't distract him from that. More remarkably, the bits of this book I keep reading him couldn't. I was about to lose hope, and along you come." He picks up his cup, full of some golden amber liquid, and sips from it, emitting a quiet hum of satisfaction. "I'm Matt, by the way."

Paige somehow manages not to collapse into the offered seat and sits herself down gently. "Thanks. To both of you," she says as she runs a hand through her hair. It doesn't get far, her splayed fingers bumping into her horns, causing a flash of expression, shame perhaps, to cross her face. But the display of emotion is soon replaced by a wry smile as she lets out a chuckle, "You're actually like real people. I mean, well---I, uh...Sorry. Again. Sorry, just ignore me." She fidgets before trying again. "Paige. My name is Paige," she announces. "And really, it's not your fault at all. My feet have been acting up and ... not working right." Her eyes close for a few moments before they open again. "Did you say 'book'? And I don't think I've been on Facebook in about a week."

The thumbclaws on Dusk's wings twitch again, with each further apology. "Almost like real people," he agrees with a lift of dark brows. "Staying off Facebook is probably the wiser path right now. It's a frakking addiction though. And the book you were reading was trash how was that supposed to distract me? Maybe if you'd tried another of those Tinglers." He tips his scruffily-bearded chin up toward Paige. "Dusk," he adds, at the end of this, though he does not bother helpfully contextulizing this bit off information.

"Real people," Matt echoes distantly, pillowing his chin in the upturned palm of one hand. "My /eyes/ were working fine, just working on the wrong thing in that particular moment. On this book." He sets his other hand down on /Johannes Cabal, the Necromancer/, sheathed in a glossy plastic cover and marked along spine and foredge as property of the New York Public Library system. "Which is /not/ trash at all. Do not listen to him. I /know/ good trash, but I don't really feel comfortable reading /Turned Gay by the Existential Dread That I May Actually be a Character in a Chuck Tingle Book/ in public, where nonconsenting persons might overhear. /This/ paragon of poor taste," he indicates Dusk with a wave, "is Dusk. That is his name."

With the way Dusk and Matt are repeating her words, Paige resists the temptation to proffer an explanation for her accidental insult, figuring it would only function to make things worse. Besides, she's in no condition to launch into a debate, especially one in which her ass will probably be handed to her. Instead, the horned woman decides to focus on the present, which seems rather confusing right now, and eyes the cover of /The Necromancer/. "A...pleasure to meet you, then. And, I'm sorry, 'Turned Gay by' what?" she inquires, brows furrowing. "What is a 'Chuck Tingle' book?"

"Turned Gay by -- something hella meta," Dusk supplies (not-so) helpfully. "Chuck Tingle is the greatest author alive today. Matt introduced me. His brilliant work has given me strength through this godawful election. Everyone's gotta find their solace somewhere, right?"

"/Turned Gay by the Existential Dread That I May Actually be a Character in a Chuck Tingle Book/," Matt repeats without the least suggestion of impatience. If anything, he looks rather gleeful about it. "It's a book about a man who is coming to terms with his sexual orientation and the realization that he is a character in an extremely ludicrous piece of erotica. Not quite a real person. It is quite splendid, like everything Dr. Tingle writes." He lifts his cup and takes another sip. Then, studying Paige, "I hope you've not had too difficult a week. The bigots are out in force."

Paige blinks a few times as she tries to process the odd book synopsis provided by Matt. However, for better or for worse, exhaustion pricks at the edges of her consciousness again and she sighs. "Oh, right. The election." Apparently Paige hasn't really thought much about it, despite it being the news of the millenium. "Me? Having a difficult week?" she chuckles sardonically. "I mean, I'm sure my family is happy with the results. In fact, I bet they're celebrating even still," she continues, her voice taking on an annoyed tone. "Doubt they even notice that I'm gone. Like I'd be welcome there anymore." Her ranting is interrupted by another sudden twinge of pain and she sighs again, resting her head in her palm. "Yeah. Difficult week. You could say that."

"Sucks." The word is accompanied by a very brief wince from Dusk. "I feel like lately the whole gorram world's been a lot of people making a /lot/ of noise about where we aren't welcome anymore. I'm sticking with the people who make a lot of noise about where we are." He's getting lazily to his feet, unfurling slowly from his stool with a slow stretch of multi-hued wings. "Anyone want a drink? /I'm/ buying. This hard-ass week needs more than caffeine."