|Welcome to the Team|
|Summary||Kade and Irene talk kids and jobs. He's only a little exasperating. She is too.|
| The front entrance to X-Factor Solutions has been kept meticulously clean, with neat white walls and a floor that's polished regularly by a tiny robotic housekeeper (when it's not broken down). Despite that, the place looks run down. A crack runs from one corner of the ceiling nearly to the center light fixture, and several of the floor tiles have chipped corners. A pair of red vinyl wing chairs sit to one side just in front of a pair of doors that lead to a small gym and a conference room. The receptionist's desk, which is more often unmanned than not, is a tall, black thing with scuff marks suggesting it was bought used. Even the old-fashioned bell resting atop it with a 'ring for service' sign is dented, and the door behind that opens into the staff lounge hangs a little crooked on its hinge.
This is a building that's seen more than a few long years; the only new thing about it is the hand-painted sign across the storefront's glass, declaring in neat black lettering, 'X-FACTOR SOLUTIONS', and below that, 'Mutants for hire.'|
Kade is knocking around the X-Factor offices. They're empty otherwise at present, other than Jeremy's roomba-like robot cleaner, who hums along in the background occasionally bumping into walls. And making attempts at escaping, though Kade has sealed the exits effectively against that for the moment. Kade is presently having a conversation with the empty air. Though his Eyes are glowing at either side of his temples, so he's probably talking to /someone/. The holo-feed just isn't up for anyone else to see. "If you hear from her, you'll give Mister Wallace or me a call, right? ... Right? ... Yeah, OK." He doesn't soundly reassured. "I'm coming up to Westchester this weekend, by the by. We're due for some quality time. ... Well, fit me into your busy social calendar, then."
When entering, Irene has to nudge the little cleaning robot out of the way to keep it from making a break out the exit--and she looks at with with an expression that suggests she might think it tried on /purpose/--but that's probably not true. Probably. She's a little suspicious. Anyway, she is here on business, dropping something off, which she does without interrupting Kade's phone call--or his mental break, but it's probably just a phone call. She may be eavesdropping a little by proximity on it, though.
Surely the robot in the XFS office hasn't gained true sentience. ... Surely. It's a good thing Irene stopped it, at any rate, hard as it was angling for the door. Kade, absorbed in his Eye-and-Ear conversation, doesn't notice. "OK. Brunch Sunday, then. ... Yes, I know it's Valentine's Day. You saying you have other plans? Are you making Valentine's plans now?" His tone is teasing, but also a little perterbed. There's a length of silence that suggests lots and lots of talking (perhaps of the exasperated variety) on the other end of the line. Finally, Kade replies, "We're doing brunch. It's a date. Bye, love you." His Eye lights click off, and he lets out a low whistle.
Irene is not the person who would know if the robot gained sentience. She'll probably be one of the first they go after when the AIs take over, though, for abusing her technology. "Kid?" The question is perhaps a little abrupt following the end of Kade's phone call. (Okay, so she was listening. It's not that big of an office, okay?) Irene tucks her hands into the pockets of her all-weather jacket and looks at Kade evenly.
Kade blinks at Irene. Frowning, that she snuck up on him. Like he's a little miffed at himself for allowing it. Though the actual question earn a wry grin, and nod. "Yeah. I think my daughter is making Valentine's plans behind my back." He asks, in a way that tries to be casual and rather fails, "Did you have, like, an actual boyfriend when you were fifteen?"
Just imagine if she had been /trying/ to sneak up on him. "Mhm, probably." That is not very reassuring, Irene. "Although if she's up in...Westchester, she probably doesn't consider it behind you back." Also, not reassuring. "It's probably not something to worry about?" She shrugs gently, and leans against a wall. "Did you?"
"Maybe it's Just Bryan." Kade says the 'just' like it's part of the poor kid's name. "Nina brought him to her Quinceanera last year. Along with some of her other friends, but he was super-nervous. He's shorter than her, and my ex-wife freaked him out." These are all points in Just Bryan's favor, as far as Kade's concerned. Her last question gets an awkward shrug. "I had girlfriends at fourteen. I had a fear of setting things I touched when I got too excited at fifteen." Frown. "She's got better control over that than I did at my age, though." Alas.
Poor 'Just Bryan'. "Isn't that how most people feel about your ex-wife?" Irene is not just dragging Sierra for no reason, she's met the woman several times and arrested her at least once. "Girlfriends." The plural is emphasized just a little bit and you can almost hear the roll of her eyes in her tone, though her actually expression doesn't much change. "I suppose setting things on fire is a turn off," she deadpans.
'Just Bryan' is probably going to be six feet tall and smoking hot the next time Kade sees him, the way teenage boys grow. Alas. Kade can enjoy his illusions while they last. Irene's crack about Sierra gets a smirk, but no laugh. He's not sure how he feels about /other/ people dragging her. "Her bark's worse than her bite. Most of the time." He actually grins when Irene exasperates on his plurals. Not that he goes into detail. And his grin turns wry, about the fire. "It kept me out of trouble for a year or so. One kind of trouble, anyway. You checking up on work around these parts?"
Hey, he might be six feet tall and gangly awkward. Keep that hope alive. "Sure," Irene says, and while she doesn't continue to drag on Sierra, she does sound a little skeptical about Kade's assurances. At his grin, she actually does glance at the ceiling in exasperation. Really. "I very much doubt that," she says of his keeping out of trouble. "You could say that."
Kade beams at Irene and winks. It's an expression that seems designed for insufferability. Then, after a moment's though, he sighs. Deeply. And his expression falls. "I'm sure Nina's smarter than I was at her age." Keep hope alive. "You got any? Kids, I mean. You seem to know what a one-sided Ear call sounds like."
He's certainly successful and being insufferable. Irene looks over at the door, like she's reconsidering this entire conversation. "If she isn't, you only have yourself to blame." That's helping keep hope alive, right? "One," she admits after a pause, a smile warming her features for a moment. "But he's at the age of giving out those pre-made valentines to the whole class."
"Hey!" Kade sounds wounded at that. "Her mother'd be to blame, too." /That's/ not a comforting thought. He shudders, and moves on. The idea of pre-made Valentine's makes him grin. "Still grade school, huh? Those are good years." There's a tinge of regret in his voice, as he says that. And he moves on again. "The job list up is pretty current. A couple people are working on stuff, but nobody's brought in big paychecks this week. We also get spot work sometimes, people just randomly messaging in, but doesn't look like anything came in today."
Kade frowns. Like he's not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not, about who his kid takes after. It's not comforting to /him/. About the jobs, he nods. "There's a lot of work coming in, but it's mostly of the odd variety. I'm kind of swamped with my day jobs this week. I am trying to dig up some info on that runaway mutant kid for the people working it, though." He taps his Ear, like that's what the conversation with his spawn was actually about. At one point. "I'm not sure how helpful that was, but I can try to transcribe teenager-speak into something useful."
Irene does not elaborate or comfort, she just let's Kade stew in his own thoughts. "I had been given the impression that odd is not uncommon." She shifts to stop leaning against the wall, standing straight again, a little more obviously at attention. "The technopath? Shit. I heard about that." And she looks a little genuinely worried, if quietly. "I know someone who might--has anyone found her? She--it sounded like she might be in a difficult place."
Kade shakes his head. "Huruma - tall African woman - is looking, judging by the posts on our internal mailbox, but I don't think she's found her yet. I don't /think/ Nina knew where she was. Like, she wasn't exactly being super-talkative, but it didn't sound like the kind of lying where the person actually knows something. She thinks this girl might've had a townie boyfriend and run off to go be with him, but she didn't seem sure." Frown. So much frowning.
"Don't know her, but she sounds easy to spot." More than Irene knows, even. She listens as Kade explains his daughter's 'not lying' talking, expression mildly thoughtful the way it often is. She sighs, and rubs at one of her temples. "I'm honestly not sure if that's better or worse, that she ran off with her boyfriend."
"Yeah. I don't know, either." Kade runs a hand over his short-cropped hair. He half sits, half leans against the reception desk. "Anyway. That's one thing going on around here. I think there's a bounty hunt job in the queue, too. Those are pretty reliable cash, if you can handle yourself. Which you can, from what I've seen." He adds, with a less insufferable grin, "Thanks for carrying me out of that mess with the Russians, by the by. If I didn't get a chance to say it before."
"I suppose it depends on the boyfriend...not that I'm for leaving school early." Irene shrugs slightly, hands in her jacket pockets. Concern lingers a little in her expression, and when she smiles it's brief and doesn't' touch her eyes. "Generally speaking, I'd say that's correct." She pulls a hand out of her pocket to idly wave off the thanks. "It's just what you do when you've got a man down." Well, it's what she does at any rate. "Sorry you got hit."
"Eh, car only hit me a little." Kade should probably stop saying that. It isn't getting less ridiculous. To that sentiment, he nods. "Were you military? You've got the look." It seems to be a compliment. "I did a few years with the Feds - which I'm sure you know. I get the feeling background checks were done after that tragic abduction of my suit." His beloved suit. "Not quite the same thing, but at least they train in a similar mentality. Watch your team's back in the field."
"No matter how many times you say that, it doesn't sound less stupid." Right to the point, is Irene. She raises her brows at Kade. She nods, though, and offers up a little more with the detail of, "Army." She doesn't appear to notice that may have been a compliment. She certainly sounds less complimentary as she says, "Yes, I've heard." Or looked it up. Or both. Her mouth slants just a little down in one corner. "Not quite the same, no." She seems like she might leave it at that, then sighs and nods. "Yeah, the team's the priority. After the mission."
"Hey!" Kade is very wounded at that comment. He doesn't insist anything else about his totally not serious injury, though. "Anyway, it's healed up now, so no permanent damage done." There's a hint of tension in his shoulders at that silence. Like he's prepping for a more pointed comment about his past service than that. He doesn't quite relax, when it doesn't come, but he seems content to leave it at that. "Yeah. Well. Glad to have folks like you aboard. Even if it's under shitty circumstances. That was fucked up, the NYPD letting you go like that, from what little Thompson's said about it."
Irene does not apologize for her apparently very wounding comment. Stop saying it, Kade. "Good." She doesn't say anything more about 'his time with the Feds' although she doesn't look like she's about to pin a medal on him for it either, in any universe. She's probably smart enough not to pick a fight on her first day, though. "Thanks," she says, a bit dry, though it's aimed at the circumstance and not at Kade, for once. "What /did/ she say about it?"
Kade shrugs. "From the broad strokes I've gathered, the amplifier showed up in the precinct and things went nuts with her plasma abilities. And I'm guessing your..." Pause. "What is your thing, anyway? I'm assuming additional strength is a part of it. Or I'm a lot more dainty than I figured." Not that he's a large guy, but he's average-sized enough for most women Irene's size to have trouble with Princess Carries of him.
"That's...about it. Yeah, she...kinda of exploded plasma all over the precinct. She's incredibly lucky no one was killed." Irene smiles, but it's slanted and a little bitter. "Her luck was my bad luck." She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, crossing her arms tightly over her chest. "What, you've never been carried around before? Regular people can dead-lift 200 pounds." That's not answering the question at all, Irene.
"I've been carried around, but not like that, and not several blocks without the carrier breaking a sweat," Kade replies. When he doesn't get a real answer, though, he doesn't press the matter. "Anyway. Welcome to the team, such as it is. I better not linger here too long this evening. The train back to Brooklyn waits for no man."
"Yeah, well...I'm tough. Kinda all around." That's probably the worst possible way for her to answer that question, but it's...sort of an answer. Irene shrugs again. "Yeah, I've got to go too." Because she doesn't really hang out on evenings and she certainly can't now, either."Mmm." Kade digests that sort-of-answer. It's enough of one to draw at least some conclusions from. All he says for now is, "See you around, then. Later, Atwell." And off he goes.