|Location||Roof - Avenue B Apartments|
|Summary||Raquel heads to the roof to practice her Cello, only to find Oscar already there with his own thoughts.|
The sounds of the city are sharp and clear up here on the roof, honed by the chill in the air into crystaline things that cut across the urban landscape. A siren climbs in volume and pitch, then fades as its source races down the street and past the building. In the relative quiet of its parting, a screaming fight can be heard through a cracked window in the next block over.
There is a flickering light up here, a small fire set in a metal pail that casts an inconstant glow on the face of the man who stares into the flames. He's bundled up in a coat against the chill, and seems lost in both his thoughts and the limited warmth of the small fire.
The door to the roof is suddenly flung open- not angrily by any means, but whoever it is that's stepping onto the roof is doing so backwards. Dressed in a heavy sweater and a pair of tights along with some UGG-style boots, Raquel carries a chair out onto the roof. "Ola!" she offers in Portuguese to the man lost in thought and warmth as she plops her chair down near the edge of the roof. She then turns back to the door and opens it again to grab something else she's placed at the top of the stairs- a cello. She approaches the chair, takes a seat and quietly gives her cello a spin. "I do hope I will not be bothering you." she offers in that obvious, but clear Brazilian Portuguese accent.
Perhaps to his credit, Oscar does not jump at the noise, though he does watch the woman curiously, his body hunched against the cold air, his hands deep in his pockets. Thanks to the glow of the fire, enough of his face can be seen to reveal a slightly arched eyebrow and a lopsided grin at the site of the cello. "Well," he tells the woman, that grin growing, "I guess that depends on how well you play, now, doesn't it?" Moving his foot, he slides a small cooler by his side a couple of feet in her direction. "There's beer in there if you want one."
"I am what they would call a dedicated amateur." Raquel offers simply, "Thank you, though, for the offer. I'm not sure how well I would play drinking a beer." She teases with a quiet grin. "I am Raquel- I only just moved into the building." she informs who she assumes is her neighbor.
Raquel's bow touches the strings of the Cello and she begins to play quietly. Not so loud as to drown out a conversation. For now, it sounds as if she's tuning the instrument. "As for how I play without the beer- best to wear ear muffs." She teases with a somewhat bright grin.
"I like that...'dedicate amateur'." Oscar's smile flashes white in the darkness. Pulling his hands from his pockets he holds them out to the little fire bucket. They glow orange in the light. "Annnnd...I left my ear muffs downstairs. I'm Oscar. Apartment 3F." He tilts his head then and listens for a moment to the gentle hum of the strings, punctuated as they are by the other sounds of the city. "I'm new here, too," he says softly into the music after a bit. "Where you from? That accent."
"Apartment 7E. And I am from Sao Paulo, Brazil." Raquel offers then, still smiling- a bright thing. "My accent seems so odd to people here in Mutant Town. I will tell you, it is your American accents that are exotic to me." she assures Oscar with a cheeky grin. The song seems to begin in earnest now- a piece of classical music that's played so softly and delicately so as to not drown out the conversation. "I grew up between Sao Paulo and Greenwich Village." she remarks, "So, I have graduated high-school here in New York City."
"High School...now I feel old." Oscar laughs and shakes his head, his mirth mingling with the notes of the cello on the rooftop. "Brazil, though. I should have guessed. All the prettiest people come from Brazil." His breath fogs in the chill air. "It's dope to think I have an exotic accent to someone, though" he continues with a grin. "So...what brought you to mutant town? Or...is that a stupid question?"
"Oh, you have a sweet tongue." Raquel says with a grin, perhaps not commanding English completely. Its not her native tongue, after all. "It is kind of you to say." she shakes her head, "Well, I could probably live life outside Mutant Town, to tell you the truth- I don't have a mutation that is particularly visible." she says- the cello making some truly awful sounds that causes the girl to flinch- she puts it to the side for a moment, resting it against her thigh. "Well, I should practice more- clearly. Not dedicated enough." she teases, "To answer your question: I felt it was important to move here. To live with other mutants and to show solidarity. Many here do not have the choice of where they live, they are forced into this ghetto where they struggle to survive. I wanted to join them here, because at the end of the day I am also a mutant and someday may face the same overt hatred as those less lucky to appear as wholly baseline."
"Ah," Oscar says, the sound coming out in another puff of vapor. "Welcome to the invisible mutant club." He gestures to himself, then reaches down into that cooler and fishes out a can of beer. He cracks it open, then extends it. "Sure you don't want one?" He doesn't wait for the answer, but sets it down within reach, then fetches another for himself. "That's nice, though. That sentiment. I wish I were here for some lofty goal...all for one and one for all and all that." He hoists his beer in a toast.
Taking the beer, Raquel gives a smile as she lifts it and returns a toast, "Saude!" she says in Portuguese. "I'm glad you appreciate the sentiment." she offers next as she takes a sip of the beer. "Why are you here, then?" she wonders, "If you have the choice, you can make it at any time, no?"
"Yeah, I..." Oscar trails off for another sip of beer, then rolls his shoulders and pauses to look out over the city skyline. "I choose to be here. It's not that. I came here on purpose. I needed to disappear for a bit. You know? I thought maybe the best place to do that would be the ghetto. It's just not noble. Self-serving, I guess." He blows out a sigh. "Wow. I am really batting a hundred today aren't I? What happened to my sweet tongue?! Maaan."
"I'm sure its still there. Just made bitter with beer." Raquel teases, as she lifts the can of beer back before taking a long sip. "Why did you need to disappear?" she wonders next, it seems the obvious question. "Did something happen?"
"It...it's a long story," Oscar says, risking a smile and another sip of beer. "Better for a warm night when sitting still for all of it doesn't make the cold penetrate your bones. "Suffice it to say that my mutation earned me some unwanted attention, and I still don't know much about why that happened or who was behind it. So. Herd mentality." He rolls his shoulders. "I took a job with X-factor solutions, and they helped me find the place here."
Raquel nods quietly, listening. "This is the thing I'm talking about- you and me, we do not *look* like mutants, but we are. They will always call us mutant, first. That is what we are first to them, now. We must stand together, because we need each other. We can make this place as good or bad as we desire." she notes, with a friendly and sweet smile. "I know X-Factor, yes. I have signed up, too, for work with them. I am not sure what I will be doing, though. I am not what you would call 'highly-skilled'."
"Dedicated Amatuer, was the phrase I think," Oscar laughs with a nod to Raquel. "I'm sure you can help in any number of ways. And with a mutation, especially one that is difficult to detect. Well. That always comes in handy." He swallows more beer, then leans back on his little chair. The fire in the bucket is starting to fade. "Maybe we will get to work together. You met any of the rest of the crew?"
"I've met a woman named Lexie." Raquel replies, "I have not met anyone else who was in X-Factor, though. Apart from you." She smiles, "It is difficult to see, yes- I am, however, physically perfect." she says, with a grin. "I mean, that in the human sense. I am as strong as the strongest man. As fast as the fastest man. I can run for hours and not get tired." she shrugs, "It does, however, mean I can not compete in athletics. This has always made me sad- I wanted to be on Brazil's Jiu-Jitsu team when I was young." Raquel states. "I think I would like that, Oscar- to work together."
"If anyone else had told me they were perfect, I'd probably laugh," Oscar says seriously, over his beer. "But I believe it coming from you." He wiggles the can, then drops it into the small cooler. "In any event...I think that will probably come in very handy at X-factor." He risks a smile. "I haven't met anyone else yet. Just you." Abruptly he shakes his head. "I should probably head back down...leave you to your cello playing."
"A pleasure to meet you, Oscar." Raquel offers with a bright smile, "We will see each other soon, I am sure. We are neighbors, after all." she says as she gives a wave and picks up the cello again- she once more quietly starts to practice with her instrument as Oscar begins on his way.Oscar offers another smile, then rises and colleect his little cooler. He leaves the remnants of the fire burning in the little metal pail, then folds up the battered lawn chair and sets it to one side of the roof. "Good night, Raquel. Good to meet a neighbor." And with that, he pulls open the access door and slips down the stairs.