|Location||Lounge - X-Factor Solutions|
|Summary||Lexie is not thrilled to have Irene on the team.|
| The lounge is the one place in X-Factor that shows some signs of personality, and as such, it's far more comfortable than either the sterile neatness of the front entrance or the sleek tech of the conference room.
One wall has been painted kelly green, a color which sets off the less-exciting black of the refrigerator, cabinets, and microwave that make up the tiny kitchenette area. Another wall has already earned some graffiti. It's become common for new employees to leave a signature of sorts, scrawled somewhere on the wall in varied-colored marker. They range from literal signatures to symbols and pictures depicting mutations or call signs or some other mysterious image. They appear to be getting more elaborate as time goes on.One wall has been kept clear for a holoprojector that can be configured for use with any number of technologies, though its most common use is as a television. A pair of couches long-since worn down into narcoleptic comfort flank it, and a single wingchair sits opposite the coffee table set between. Behind the comfortable cluster, a small round table can seat four, and next to it a staircase leads up into the offices.
| It is a winter evening. The weather is cold and snowing.|
It's an incredibly busy Sunday in New York, between the Chinese New Year's parade in the afternoon, to all the people celebrating Valentine's Day and getting ready for dates in the evening. All is quiet in the X-Factor lounge, though. The holoprojector is off, leaving the room silent but for the sound of some traffic outside and the occasional bit of shouting heard through the walls of the building. (It's that kind of neighborhood). And Irene has been a familiar face in the neighborhood for the last several years, if not in the context she now finds herself in. Currently, she's standing around in a dark grey, all-weather jacket, her hands tucked into the pockets and leaning just a little forward to stare at the graffiti wall. She appears to be trying to decipher some part of it. Or maybe all of it.
"Yeah. Yeah. No, nothing like that. Listen, I'll send you the pictures and you can decide what you want to do. Okay. I'll talk to you later." Lexie breezes into the lounge all restless energy and snowy hair. She comes up a little short -- uncharacteristically so -- when she happens upon Irene peering at the graffiti wall. She still has a certain instinct to get lost around the Mutant Affairs detective, but -- well. /Former/ Mutant Affairs detective now. Still, her greeting is a somewhat wary: "Detective."
Slowly, Irene stops leaning forward to look at the graffiti wall and stands up straight again. She looks over at Lexie when she comes up short while breezing into the lounge. "Miss Brady," she greets, just a touch wryly, hands still tucked into the pockets of her jacket. Boo?
"So I guess this is a -- thing. Now." Lexie stuffs her hands into her pockets and tips her chin up a bit, eyeing Irene.
Irene lifts her brows at Lexie, just slightly, the only change an an otherwise even expression. "What is?" Is she being deliberately obtuse? Maybe.
"Oh, you know. The Mutant Affairs detective now working in Mutant Town," Lexie replies, tone a little dry.
"Technically, I've worked in Mutant Town for the last nine years," Irene corrects, rolling her shoulders back. "If that's the 'thing'."
Alexandra snorts in a clearly-skeptical fashion. "That is /not/ the same thing," she says.
"Maybe not to you." Irene shrugs faintly, casually, but her gaze doesn't stray from Lexie. "Doubt you'll be alone in thinking that."
"Yeah, well." Lexie shrugs, attempting carelessness as a naturally empathetic nature wars with innate stubbornness. "People don't really take kindly to police harassment around here."
"I know." Irene neither defends police harassment or apologizes for what she's done as a officer. "Probably better than you do. Can't arrest anyone for taking a shot at me now, though."
Lexie's gaze flits back to Irene, narrowing slightly as she studies the former detective. "Could still have them arrested," she says lightly. "Or try, anyways. Might feel a little unfair, though; not like they can hurt you, from what I hear."
Irene gives little away under study, annoyingly. "Could try," she says, rather noncommittally. Calling the police does lack that personal touch. The last bit gets her to raise her brows, though, at Lexie. "Oh? What do you hear?"
"That you're invulnerable," Lexie says, voice flat but gaze curious. (Just /how/ invulnerable?)
Irene honestly cringes when it's just said like that, blunt and factual. "Ah," she says, taking a deep breath and blowing it out slowly, boots scraping softly against the ground as she shifts her feet. Poor Lexie's curiosity goes decidedly unsated.
Alexandra strides forward to close the distance between them. "So, like -- /how/ invulnerable? Cause Max is a /little/ invulnerable, but he still got shot through the ribs."
When Alexandria closes the distance, Irene stands up a little straighter again, not quite at attention. "Yeah, I know. I was there for the aftermath of that," she reminds dryly. "Pretty sure you told me you didn't know anything about it, though, when I tried to ask you questions."
Lexie's smile widens. "Did I?" she says, voice innocent. "I can't recall. I must have forgotten about it when I talked to you."
"Might want to make sure no one is messing with your memories, then," Irene suggests, just a little too dry to sound properly concerned. "You seem to have some concerning gaps in there, Brady."
"Har har," Lexie tells Irene, clearly to let her know how incredibly hilarious she is.
The corners of Irene's mouth hook in a smile, because of course she's hilarious. "Just trying to help." A beat later, she adds, "Pretty sure I've told you that before, too."
"Yeah, I can't imagine why I didn't believe you at the time," Lexie drawls. "Not really sure I believe you now, either."
"You find it hard to trust people?" Irene suggests with a lift of her brows. She points her chin at Lexie as if her last words make the point. See?
Alexandra crosses her arms, a stubborn twitch at her jaw. "I find it hard to trust /cops/ for what are pretty obvious reasons."
"Yeah, just imagine how much quicker that Russian situation could've wrapped up if you hadn't had such trouble recalling anything useful." Irene does not cross her arms, hands still casually in her pockets, seemingly unmovable to that stubbornness. "Your boyfriend doesn't have these trust issues."
"If you really think you all would have magically fixed up everything, you're kidding yourself," Lexie says flatly, an early hint of temper in the edges of her words. "Max may have been nicer about it, but he's just as careful as I am."
Irene snorts, quietly dismissive. "Nothing magically fixes up anything," she says bluntly. Her life would be quite different with magical fixes. "But he helped. That's enough."
Alexandra rolls her eyes expansively. "Great. Okay. If you love him so much, why don't you date him."
"I wasn't aware he was available. Maybe I'll give him a call," Irene deadpans.
"/Ugh/. Whatever." Whatever Lexie came into the room for earlier, she's clearly forgetting about it: she turns in a flounce to go.
Irene casually watches Lexie flounce away. She doesn't smile. Really. "Have a good day, Miss Brady," she bids, so pleasantly."Ugh!" Lexie says again in farewell before she's gone.