"Just appearances matching up with reality a little."
<NYC> Greenwich Village
It's a beautiful near-fall day, mild and pleasant, and this stretch of MacDougal street is bustling. With school recently back in session it's a heavy mix of locals, returning students, new students and tourists -- the latter groups often more easily distinguished by a somewhat heavier predominance of face masks, not quite yet used to New York's relative safety in the midst of pandemic. Outside one small restaurant -- barely just a storefront, selling kati rolls and lassi and not much else -- there are plenty of students waiting in line or settled onto the sidewalk patio tables.
Lyric is one of these, elegant as ever in a white turtleneck top bordered by black and white houndstooth trim that ties at the back, a matching paneled houndstooth skirt, makeup impeccably done to a 'natural' look, pink headscarf tucked and wrapped into a long pleated drape over one shoulder. She has a paneer roll and a can of blood orange San Pellegrino, chair angled out toward the sidewalk for ease of watching both. 'It was a DISASTER', she is signing, and even for those wholly unfamiliar with ASL it's clear from her motions and expression that she's quite animated, 'I was spoiled by your choreography last time around. What will I do when you leave? Who is going to measure up.'
Desi is sitting catty-corner from Lyric, dressed today for the autumnal cool in a lilac suede jacket, open over a seafoam green blouse trimmed with white lace, purple three-tiered layered mesh skirt, and brown suede high-heel boots. Her long brown hair is done up in a neat dutch braid that curves along the side of her head to drape down over the opposite shoulder. 'That bad?' Desi's signing is considerably less fluid than Lyric's, though she's making a concerted effort to express her dismay in her expression. Her chicken tikka roll is neglected for the moment, along with a cup of milky tea. 'Sorry it was so bad. I'm sure people will get better. And I could come back on as...' She struggles for a sign, comes up with '...advice? If I have time. But might be really busy.'
Kitty emerges from the store onto the sidewalk, chicken roll in hand, brown hair up in knot away from her neck, where a red and gold knit scarf wraps around and tucks into a orange and blue striped cardigan, a starry Magen David pendant pulled haphazardly over top. She looks around, eyes scanning for an open seat on the patio. There is one just clearing next to some familiar looking faces. Kitty crosses to the table behind Desi, putting her bag down quickly to claim the stop before turning and giving the pair a small wave. She looks like she might interrupt, but pauses, reaches for her phone to type out something quickly in the Notes app. 'Hi,' the message reads, when Kitty points the screen to the two women.
Blake was lucky enough to be wearing clothing built to keep one warm during the Autumn weather. His blue jacket hugged his figure loosely, seemingly a mixture between a sweater in a bomber jacket. The shade matching that of his pants that seemed to be a lot more comfortable then what they actually were. Under his jacket a strip of his white T-shirt would show and his shoes simple yet appropriate for the temperature. He had already packed lunch and didn’t see much reason to spend money so early in the school year. He wasn’t one for taking risk and would rather hear the gossip about the food served rather then purchase it and try it out on his own. With this being said, a normal brown sack lunch was all he needed for the day. He walked over towards the section seeing masked faces everywhere. Seemed kinda hard to meet new people when everyone’s keeping their faces covered. He walked eyeing the tables seeing most of them occupied. However, his eyes caught a glimpse of one open seat directly beside Lyric. He walked over as his dreads bounced claiming more attention then he liked. “This seat taken?” He asked casually through his black mask designed with a variety of music notes all colored with the shades of the rainbow as if letting everyone know his sexuality before having to ask.
'Please. You will be busy-busy-busy with bigger and better things than student performances. Broadway is waiting.' Lyric looks up with a polite smile that brightens into a warm one when Kitty brings her phone out. Her wave is chipper, and she scoots her chair just a little back in order to widen her circle of conversation. She digs her own phone out of the white and pink purse that hangs on the back of her chair, putting it on the table to start swiping something. It gets as far as 'GOOD TO SEE' before Blake approaches and her note-writing pauses. Her smile stays warm, though at first her brows furrow uncertainly, eyes darting briefly to Desi with a questioning lift of brows when Blake stops beside them.
Desi offers Kitty a polite smile that blossoms into a brighter one at the introduction of a phone. She fishes her own--its clear case decorated with pressed wildflowers--out of her purse but waits for Lyric to type her greeting. At Blake's arrival she starts to simultaneously sign and speak, "If it's okay--" Then breaks off, blushing. "Just a moment." To Lyric she signs, 'He ask, can he sit here? I don't mind, if you don't mind.'
Kitty smiles back, a little bit more comfortable now that there are more phones on the table. She turns the chair so she can face them both, quickly scrolling through her settings to bump up the font size on her phone. She takes a bite of her lunch, looks up, swallows quickly when she sees the newcomer. "Hey," she says with a wave. A glance to Lyric and Desi, and she quickly types, turning the message around to everyone while she reads it to Blake - "You must be new here. No masks needed in New York."
he looked to her as his eyes would widen. "wait really?" he would slowly pull the mask down looking to kitty. "Eh yeah, only been here for about a month. just getting moved in and finding work" he admitted before looking to the other still standing with his lunch considering no one had given him permission to sit just yet.
Lyric's finger swipes rapidly over her screen; a moment later the phone is reading her note aloud in a pleasantly-neutral robotic voice. 'Some people are skeptical because they don't trust Mutant Cures but it is mostly safe here. Still so fashionable though. I have many I like to wear anyway. Cute accessories and people perceive you less. Win-win.' She picks up her soda -- her other hand sweeps out toward the empty chair in clear invitation as she sips it.
Desi seems relieved to follow Lyric's lead, swiping out large text on her phone now in lieu of awkwardly switching back and forth. 'The influx of new students probably confuses the issue a bit around here, at least. Do you go to NYU?' Her phone doesn't read the message out, but she angles it for Lyric and then reads it aloud herself. Then, gestures at herself, Kitty, and Lyric, she taps one lavender french manicured fingernail at the word 'NYU' on her screen.
Kitty's got another mouthful of chicken roll, but it doesn't keep her from nodding along with Lyric's read-out. Her other hand furious typing, she's slower with one hand but it's a short message: "Go Violets." She accompanies the message with a sad little fist pump. "But yes. Mutant cure works. Breathe freely."
he looked to the three before taking a seat and pulling out his cellphone. the casing around it consisted of a dark gray shade with a image of pair Angel wings spread outwards. beneath the wings were golden broken chains and scattered along the casing was broken goldens links assumed to be from the chain found in the bottom of the image. he would trace his fingers along his screen quickly typing on his screen before turning his phone outwards as he read along with it "if i don't they definitely need to refund me my student loans. So... does that mean you three are um Mutants too?" he asked looking to them as if this were a new topic for him.
Lyric nibbles carefully on her own paneer roll as Blake situates himself, eyes darting rapidly between the others' screens. She covers her mouth with one hand, covering a quiet laugh at the student loans remark. Her head shakes after this; she returns to quickly swiping, letting her phone read aloud for her while she returns to her roll. 'New York has a reputation but not everyone here is a mutant. The man who gave us COVID vaccine, he is a very capable one, though. Saved many lives.' A brief pause and she tacks on at a delay: 'Heredity deafness is a mutation. So maybe in that way yes.'
Desi smiles brightly at this. 'Welcome, then! To NYC & NYU.' She forgets to read this out at first, though after she takes a sip of her tea she speaks it aloud somewhat belatedly. Then, swiping rapidly, clearly used to one-handed typing, 'Green eyes, also a mutation', she points at her face, her eyes an uncommonly vivid shade of green. 'Joking aside, I know that's not what you mean. We have very active campus groups for mutants and allies, though.'
Kitty nearly chokes, coughing as the roll clogs, then unclogs in her throat. "Sorry," she says, signing the word as well, then whispers "Jesus" under her breath. Typing, then reading, "Not everyone is gonna take that question well, buddy." A glance at Lyric and Desi, more typing. "But there are places in the city mutants tend to frequent, if that's the crowd you're looking for." Her tone is light, but a little on edge compared to before.
he looked to them as he felt even more nervous after just outing himself as a mutant. what was wrong with him? Blake was lucky enough to have a mutant gene that wasn't so noticeable aslong as he kept his stress level low. usually he had no problem hiding his mutation, but after outing himself to three strangers, and seeing kitty's reaction he would give a slightly embarrassed half smile. then the feeling begin to take over, another tremor. He would look to his phone realizing his hands were shaking before checking elsewhere. he looked down as it wasn't just his hands, his body began to vibrate also along with the table. lucky his phone was in his hand as he would think quickly putting the phone to his ear. "Eh hello?" he stood up taking a few steps away from the table to take a fake phone call. he had hoped the girls would write it off as his phone just being set to vibrate instead of causing himself more attention.
Lyric's head dips in a small sympathetic wince when Kitty chockecoughs. She's starting to swipe again -- 'Evolve Cafe' is as far as she gets before the table thrums and Blake gets up with his phone. Shrugging this off, she erases her note and starts a different one, actually completed and spoken aloud: 'Kitty how are the stars doing?'
Desi also starts to type something, but then deletes it when Blake goes to 'answer' his phone, evidently unperturbed if she noticed his slip at all. 'All that smoke in the air can't be any better for astronomy than it is for lungs,' she types, then finally takes a bite of her kati roll.
Kitty’s eyes narrow a bit, but ultimately shrugs just a bit when Blake wanders off. Quickly typed, not spoken: “Kids these days.” A beat while she holds it out, then another bit of typing while she tries to summarize what the hell astrophysics is. Deletes and retypes a few times, settles on a sentence, reads out loud. “West coast data worthless right now. At least no satellites going up, so that’s good. For the stars.”
he would lower the phone from his ear as he looked to his hand seeing as the vibrating had passed. he would exhale feeling stupid for bringing up the mutant conversation at all. he had hoped they would forget about it all as he found himself walking back to the table and taking a seat "sorry, parents" he would say as he typed it out on his pone showing the table before joining listening to the conversation.
'Every time I see pictures it looks like the apocalypse out there I'm glad the stars are less bothered.' Lyric's shudder is exaggerated, her head shaking and eyes a little too-wide. Her smile returns when Blake sits back down, and she reads the message with a sage nod. 'Mine aren't even far and they worry all the time. Probably 2x as bad if you came a long way.'
Desi shakes her head slowly. 'Just appearances matching up with reality a little.' Doesn't bother reading this out loud. When Blake returns she offers him another friendly smile. 'My brothers keep their fretting pretty contained,' she swipes out. 'But I think they still fret.' She considers the newcomer for a moment. 'So, what are you studying?'
Kitty nods sympathetically at Blake’s typed message. “Been there,” she types, with a wry smile. Then, realizes- “we skipped a step here. I’m Kitty.”
He would look to them as he would chuckle a bit typing and showing his phone as he spoke “I’m Blake, and I’m studying Mysic Production” he said before looking to Desi “you?”
Lyric's writing is getting a bit choppier, in between busily polishing off her wrap. 'I'm Lyric. We dance.' is al the information her phone initially offers, as she gestures between herself and Desi. She crumples the wrapper of the kati roll into a ball and wipes her fingers clean. With her clean hand, smooths at the pleats of the tail of her hijab. With this fussing it's some delayed, when she glances back to Desi's phone, tacks on -- in sign language, not using her phone to talk this time: 'This apocalypse is disappointing. On TV it's always so stylish but this country is going down TACKILY.' By the twist of her expression, Highly Unacceptable.
She's getting up from her seat to toss her trash and hitch her purse back onto her shoulder. Her wave is chipper, and even if the others can't catch all her words, her signed: 'Good seeing you! Nice to meet you!' is clearly warm, cheerful, as is the added (and more widely familiar) ILU sign waggled at the gathered company.
Desi nods at Lyric's phone, her own one-handed swiping adds, 'Ah-ha, you're also Tisch, then. Welcome, again!' She guffaws at Lyric's comment, then hastily scrambles to convey it in speech, "Oh, she says, um, the world is ending really unstylishly." Then, "Good to see you, and nice to meet you!" She flashes back Lyric's final sign as a wave as the other girl departs. Then, just aloud now, "Speaking of dance, I had best get changed for my project rehearsal. It was nice meeting you, Blake..."
She roots around in her purse and comes out with a pale green business card decorated with simple vine graphics, reading 'Desirée Tessier', with a host of social media information beneath it. "If you want to add me on any of these, I can set you up with all kinds of campus social information. Including any social justice organizations that might catch your interest." She slides the card across the table to Blake as she rises. "Good seeing you, Kitty! I imagine I'll see you both around." She drains her tea and tosses the cup, then departs still working on her kati roll.
Kitty's eyes go wide, trying to follow the sign language, but her expression is still relieved and grateful when Desi translates. There doesn't seem to be enough time for her phone - Kitty settles on a wave and a returned ILU sign, statically held by her smiling face. "See ya!" She calls after them, then turns to Blake, who's still there. "Desi is probably a good bet for connections, but if you're looking for mutant spaces -" She grabs the business card, writes "Evolve Cafe" and her university email on the back. "I know a few places."