|Mutant Town Memoriam|
|Location||Tompkins Square Park - Mutant Town|
|Participants||Kade, Jeremy, Ciel, Alexandra, Isaac, Irene, Vega, Tiffany, Rohan, Orianne|
|Summary||Mikhail's friends gather for a memorial of sorts.|
|Related Logs||2046-05-19 Luck Whispers|
| During daylight hours, the park is pleasant enough, if not ever truly safe. Concrete paths criss-cross a green space liberally shaded by trees, while the north end boasts basketball and multi-purpose courts of cracked and pitted concrete. The playgrounds have long since been abandoned, and most of the equipment is rusted and broken, while the pool sits empty save for rainwater. It's often filled with teenagers who've long since abandoned school and those who can't find even the shelter of a squat to call home.
Drugs are freely traded at all hours, but when night falls, the park becomes a veritable marketplace of illicit substances. Interested parties come to Tompkins Square from all over Manhattan to partake, if they're sturdy enough to brave Mutant Town at night. After twilight, the park and surrounding areas are home to drug-fueled parties and violence in almost equal measure.|
| It is a spring night. The weather is cool and clear.|
Services for Mikhail Lesin were a small affair, at a local Mutant Town funeral home, presided over by a minister at the neighboring mousehole church. He'll be buried tomorrow at a cemetary in Queens not far away, to rest in the ground of a country far from the one of his birth. There were opportunities today to speak, if one wanted to give a eulogy, and for the most part the funeral was quiet. Insulated from the immediate violence of his death, it was a simple thing, attended by friends who needed to say good-bye.
It's been about an hour since that dispersed, though many who attended are gathering in Tompkins Square Park for a pseudo-official wake. Meaning, food and booze and commisseration. Kade, dressed in a dark, conservative suit and checked tie, is arranging some of said food and booze on a picnic table. There is vodka in abundance. As well as less liver-damaging things like chicken wings and little sandwich wraps. It's not quite evening yet, sun still up, so it's early enough where the harsher elements in the park haven't come out yet. It's an almost peaceful day, weather warm and sweet, one of those spring days that seems to promise bright things ahead. Though that promise might be harder to grasp in Mutant Town right now.
Jeremy is wearing a black sport jacket, a black-and-white striped collared shirt, a black tie with tiny blue checkers, and a pair of black jeans. His sneakers are red and black. It's as funereal as he gets. The only other all-black attire he has is his X-Men uniform, which he has determined would be socially inappropriate for the occasion.
Ciel has been largely silent for most of the day, a supportive presence at Kade's elbow when needed. She's dressed in a simple navy blue dress with her hair twisted up away from her face and held with a clip. Just now, she's helping Kade arrange refreshments, which at present means she's manning the drink table, pouring out vodka or water as requested.
Alexandra doesn't really -- own a funeral-appropriate dress. Instead she wears black leggings and a low-backed black tunic overtop like she's cobbling together parts of an often-inappropriate wardrobe into something passably appropriate. She's been uncharacteristically quiet throughout the whole thing, including now, but maybe that's just another note of propriety. She has a cookie from the refreshments that she mostly seems to be picking at until it crumbles as she stands a little apart.
Isaac lingers somewhere near the gathering, but apart from it. Hands in the pockets of a pair of off-the-rack black slacks (still with the last vestiges of the crease where they were folded over the hanger), he has come by a collared shirt in slate gray and a slightly fraying tie that gives the ensemble a splash of cerulean blue. Cheap athletic sunglasses hide his eyes, but the rest of his face can convey discomfort without their help.
This is not the first funeral and wake Irene has attended and it won't be the last. She owns a lot of funeral appropriate clothing. Today, she's dressed nicely--certainly nicer than Mutant Town ever sees her--in a black dress with just a little bit of draping, heels and just a little bit of jewelry with hair left loose for once. Through things so far she's been even more subdued than usual, speaking quietly and shortly if at all. Still, compliments where they are due, if only to soften things. "Looks nice," she asides to Kade.
Vega has been by Irene's side for much of the day and its services, dressed sharply in a crisp black suit with no tie. A slim collared shirt lays beneath it, a hint of silver at her ears and throat as she stands with clasped hands. Regardless of the day or occaision her boots are on her feet, although they have been polished. She nods at Irene's compliment. "You did a good thing putting this together, Caruthers."
Jacque and Tiffany arrive hand-in-hand amidst a grouping of familiar Open Hands faces. The psionic sisters both wear black dresses and heels. As one might expect, Tiffany's is a degree less conservative than Jacque's. ...well, technically, they are both Jacque's.
The rest of the Open Hands folk are mostly kids who may have crossed paths with Mikhail, or talked with him a little.
Rohan hangs back, near the Open Hands contingent, looking just a little bit awkward. He wears a charcoal grey suit--he doesn't own a black one. It's the only he owns, scrounged for a job some time ago; the shirt beneath is dark, almost black, and his tie likewise. He's shaved off the beard he's been wearing for some months, and his face looks different, the angles off, without it. It makes him look younger.
Kade offers Ciel a small, grateful smile. And motions toward the bottle vodka, if she's playing bartender. He would like a cup of that, please. The lines on his face remain deeper than usual. It shows his age, in ways his natural high energy sometimes ellides. For a moment, after he's finished arranging a tray of food, he tries to catch Alexandra's eye. He doesn't approach her right now, though. To Irene and Vega he shrugs, though he does give them a tired smile. "I wish we could've done more for him. But...I don't know. I wanted to do something."
Ciel measures out a shot - the cup is rather large for it, really, but she's starting him out slow - and passes the plastic cup to Kade with a small smile, the sort that offers silent encouragement. She glances at Irene and Vega, adding, "I'm glad you could come," before she asks, "Something to drink?"
Alexandra isn't quite avoiding Kade's eye, but -- okay, she's a /little/ bit avoiding Kade's eye. She actually nibbles at the cookie a little bit before giving up and starting to make her way over to the booze. She tries to just sneak a drink off the table without having to talk to Kade or Ciel; the tension in her form and face are all sorts of complicated right now.
You have sent your paste to Orianne.
"I know," Irene says quietly to Kade. Though it's a little unclear if the response is to 'wishing there was more to do' or 'wanting to do something'. Maybe both. To Ciel she nods shallowly in thanks. "I wouldn't be anywhere else," she replies with a slight shrug. "I suppose some vodka, please." Solidarity and all that.
Tipping her head at Kade in a slight, but accepting gesture, Vega offers a slight smile that extends to Ciel. "Something always matters," she says quietly. "Speaking of..." Reaching into her jacket, she pulls a white envelope and presses it into Kade's hand. "We wanted," she pauses, glancing at Irene, "To contribute something to this. It's how we always would in the Force." At Ciel's offer, her brows tip up slightly before she nods. "Yeah. Thanks."
Orianne vanished immediately after the funeral, claiming a need to clear her head. When she arrives at the memorial a little after others, she does so in an uncharacteristically grounded manner. Literally grounded, that is: the traceur does not make her way into the park on a railing, bounce off a bench, or anything of the sort. Instead, she walks over towards the crowd like a normal, sane individual, her hands in the pockets of the light jacket she wears.
Jacque hesitates as their group filters in. The rush of emotions that dominates the memorial is no surprise to the empath, but that doesn't make it any more difficult to deal with. Tiffany remains by her side, but siblings aren't always the best support. "Try pressing your temples really hard," Tiffany says dryly, glancing over her shoulder to Rohan, "We might have to go for a little walk and swing back."
Jeremy moseys over to get a drink. He says, "Hey," generally to those clustered around the refreshments. He's gloomy, but in a weary, obvious way, and he manages a smile anyways.
Kade's eyes follow Lexie, before he looks away. Taking the cup of vodka and sipping from it. He doesn't down the stuff like a shot, at least. Not yet. "Thanks..." he murmurs to Vega, taking the envelope and opening it. With the look of a man who has no idea what's in there. Once he's broken the seal, he extends his hand to Jeremy. "Hey, man."
"You don't have a way to block?" asks Rohan, but seems to realize before the words are out of his mouth that it's probably a stuid question. "I could keep you from _remembering_ anything, but..." He pats Jacque's arm a bit awkwardly, and nods to Tiffany. "If you have to, you have to."
Ciel is quicker than that. She lifts a cup to offer it to Lexie before she can sneak one, her gaze lingering on her roommate. As far as signs of solidarity go, the brief second she holds the plastic cup before releasing it isn't much. But it's something. She doesn't force Lexie to linger, or say anything, and a second later she's distracted by measuring out portions for Irene and Vega. "Hey, Jeremy," she says. Her smile is a little easier than most. "Drink?"
Jeremy clasps Kade's hand in his with an arch of his eyebrows and then a drop of them in a ready facial shrug. "Drink," he confirms. "Hell, all the drinks. Well, maybe not all. These are always hardest for the youngest ones." His mouth winces ruefully as he considers just how many funerals he's been to for people under his own age. Shake of his head slight, he asks "How are you guys doing?"
It's money. The envelope contains money. "Normally that sort of thing goes to the family, but," Irene explains to Kade, and to anyone else listening. She does not comment on Lexie trying to sneak a drink away from the table, just nods at Ciel in silent thanks when her own is poured before she picks it up. "Fine," is an answer to Jeremy's question, if not a terribly honest one, and also serves as a greeting. Hey.
"Hey." Reaching the crowd, Orianne pauses near the knot of people clustered around Kade, offering a nod in greeting to him. "Thank you. For..." She gestures around, evidently meaning the memorial itself and the organization thereof.
Vega meets Jeremy's appearance with a nod, shifting back to widen the circle once she's slid Kade the envelope of money. Irene's words get another nod. "You're the closest thing in this case." It's almost a quiet compliment. Taking her drink with a slight smile to Ciel, she glances at Jeremy as he speaks of funerals with a lift of her brows. "They don't get much easier, no matter how many you attend."
Lexie's smile is a bit forced in reply to Ciel's look, but there's something grateful for her roommate's silence. She takes a few steps back away from the table and sips quietly at the vodka.
"Yeah." Kade's eyes go to the crew from Open Hands, and Orianne, at Jeremy's words. He manages a more genuine smile at Orianne herself, when she approaches, though the lines around his eyes and mouth remain pronounced. "Hey, there. Good to see you. Even under the circumstances." He shrugs. "I hope he would've...I don't know if you 'like' stuff like this, exactly, but he had more friends than I think he understood." He money in the envelope makes him blink. He looks on point of pushing it back on Vega. But, after some thought he just says, "I can't keep this but...I'll figure out a way to put it to use. Thank you."
"Yeah." Orianne's smile is still a little lopsided at Kade's words, but she offers it along with a nod nonetheless. "I want to think he would've liked that. Knowing that he's missed. And that anyone cared enough to put this together. That's why I just though I should say thanks." She offers a nod to Vega as well, evidently in apology for having interrupted her exchange with Kade.
New Activity ---------
"Harder, even," Jeremy says. His weight settled on his heels, he lifts his new drink with a lingering crook to his mouth. His gaze flicks past Alexandra, slowing for a moment as he eyes her, but he, like others here present, does not choose to pressure her to socialize. "Yeah," he says. "I mean, yeah, thanks."
"I think that might be for the best," Jacque says quietly, too preoccupied with her own mental defenses to give Rohan and kind of witty banter in response. Tiffany pets the back of her sister's head, leading her off to do a loop around the park. Quite uncharacteristically, she gives Rohan a soft smile of reassurance as she escorts Jacque away.
Irene's expression goes a little tight for a moment, glancing away from those assembled at nothing in particular. When she looks back again, she says seriously, "I have always believed these moments do not go unappreciated, even by those who have passed on." She looks briefly a little concerned Kade might try to push the envelope back. "It's for this. It's what you do," she explains and gestures at the gathering, at the food and the drinks, and vaguely in the direction of the service while explaining. It's at least what she and Vega do.
Kade can't pass it back, Vega's hands have already slid into her pockets. "That sense that they are mourned passes on with them," she agrees softly, casting a brief concerned glance towards Irene. Her hands remain in her pockets. "To help with funeral expenses," she clarifies. Orianne's nod is met with a slight shake of her head and smile.
Ciel splashes a measure of vodka into a cup to extend it toward Jeremy with a rueful twist of her lips. "Young sucks," she agrees. "Especially--" She breaks off, glancing over toward Kade, and clears her throat rather than finishing.
Kade just nods to Irene, and pockets the envelope without further objection. His eyes roam over those from Open Hands gathered at the park. Particularly resting on Jacque, but he doesn't try to pursue her when Tiffany leads her on her loop. "I'm glad he got to see at least a decent amount of New York. You guys went to the Empire State Building, yeah?" he asks Orianne. "I think I saw the pictures."
Rohan seems more puzzled than anything at Tiffany's reassuring smile, and steps back, remaining on the fringes for the moment, keeping an eye on the rest of the Open Hands contingent. He thrusts his hands into his pocket, and glances toward the central group. At one point he gives Ciel a slightly odd look, but glances away.
"Aw, that's nice," Jeremy says. He takes a sip from his newfound vodka after toasting Ciel with it.
"Yeah." Orianne smiles at the memory, this time a bit more genuine and a little less lopsided than before. "And the Statue of Liberty, too, and the lions outside the library. Neither of us had really seen as much of the city outside of Mutant Town as we might've liked, and this is /New York/. So we decided to do all those tourist things together." Her hands are stuffed a little more deeply into her jacket pockets as she adds, "It was nice, for a while."
Ciel's eyes catch on Rohan at that look, and she blinks at him, her brows raised silently for a moment as those who knew Mikhail more than she chat at her elbow. She portions out another drink automatically.
Taking a long draught of her vodka, Vega nods as Kade tucks away the envelope. She tips her head as something comes in on her Eye, seemingly, murmuring a soft, "Excuse Me," as she extricates herself from the group. She'll linger around on the fringes of the Memorial for awhile once her call is done.
"Glad to hear he did see some of the sights, for certain." Some of the /nice/ sights, Irene's tone implies. There's a small wiggle of her fingers in a wave as Vega moves off to take a call.
Rohan has looked away already. He's staring at a tree. It's a particularly nice tree...okay, it's just a tree. He clears his throat, and looks back. Finally, breaking his self-imposed isolation, he approaches, at a sombre pace, reaching for a cup wordlessly.
"Haven't been to Liberty Island in years," Kade says, thoughtful, like he's caught up in that more benign memory. "Maybe I'll go again before the summer crowds come. There's a lot of cool shit in this city. It's easy to forget sometimes." He notices Rohan approaching, inclining his head somberly to the other man. "Hey."
Alexandra takes a larger gulp of her vodka, and there's a moment where it looks like she's really trying to steel herself, trying to straighten her spine and just go back over there. But then she swallows, finishes the rest of her drink, and turns to go, shoulders hunched.
"Everything seemed so hopeful then," Orianne notes to Irene and Kade, a little wistfully. Still, she's evidently choosing to focus on the good memories for the moment, at least, rather than anything that might've come later.
Ciel's gaze tracks her roommate as she turns with hunched shoulders. Her brow furrows, and she scoops up two cups as she leans over to murmur in Kade's ear, "I'll be right back," before she takes off after Lexie with a quick step that briefly breaks into an actual jog, setting the vodka in her cups to sloshing.
"It always does," Irene says somberly of hopefulness, which is maybe not helpful to those trying to focus on the good memories. She is maybe not the best person for that, though. Though she doesn't comment on it, she can't help but track Ciel's brief jog for a moment.
Rohan only nods to Kade's greeting, short and curt. His gaze slides to Lexie, with a clear frown, and then to track Ciel dashing after her with the sloshing vodka. The odd look of earlier clears, and he salutes Ciel with his cup.
Kade turns as Ciel's attention wanders, watching Alexandra hunch off. He nods quick to Ciel. "Take your time. I can get home OK. I'll call you later." He gets a water, rather than a replacement for his vodka, as if to enforce how good he'll be. Around people, anyway.
Alexandra doesn't try to bolt, at least. When she realizes that Ciel is following her, she stops and half-turns back, sighing. "I'm sorry, I just want to go, okay? I'm just gonna go."
"Sure," Ciel says as she reaches Lexie's elbow. She offers up one of the cups. "I'll walk you home." It's kind of a hilarious offer, given that the walk from their location in the park to their apartment building is like, three minutes, but she says it firmly, as if there is no question or room for argument.
"Oh." Lexie, perhaps expecting something else, relaxes just a touch. (Not entirely: most of that tension has nothing to do with Ciel.) "Okay. No," she says to the offered cup, "I just finished mine. I'm good." She smiles, small and tired and full of grief, and then turns towards their apartment again. But this time she's leaning her head on Ciel's shoulder as they go.
"You just want me to be really drunk, huh?" Ciel teases, despite the fact that two shots of vodka is unlikely to do much to her state of sobriety. She combines the two cups with a quick pour, then pops the other into a trash can with a conveniently placed portal so that she can sling her arm around Lexie's shoulders, giving her a quick squeeze before it settles looser as Lexie's head finds her shoulder.
Orianne watches the memorial starting to break up, and then turns back to offer Kade another nod. "I guess I should probably go, too. I'm going to go get in a good run, clear my thoughts." She does not make a move to take a glass of the vodka; she's far less skilled at holding her alcohol than some of her XFS co-workers, and 'drunken parkour' -- or even tipsy parkour -- is evidently not a thing she wants to try.
"Yes. That is it exactly." Lexie is pretty quiet as she lets Ciel walk her home, but it's a grateful sort of silence that settles.
Rohan glances after the pair as they leave and, for a brief moment, his lips curve in the faintest of smiles, although it's gone when he turns back to the rest of the gathering, stone-faced. He raises his cup further, in silent salute, and then pours half of it onto the ground. It seeps into the grass, darkening the ground.
"Be careful," Irene advises Orianne, because she's forever that person. Silently, she watches Rohan pour a little on his glass onto the ground, then nods her head in understanding, even if she doesn't follow suit just at the moment.
Kade inclines his head to Orianne. "Thanks for coming." He seems on point of pushing some of the remaining little sandwich wraps on her, but those don't go with parkour, either. He'll pawn some food off on the Open Hands kids. The alcohol, he seems to think he can find a home for himself. He watches Ciel and Lexie go over his shoulder, expression thoughtful. Though the sight of them does make him smile. He watches Rohan's little ritual with the liquor. He recognizes it, enough to nod deep. And he follows it in kind, just tipping, but it empties what little remained in his cup.
Orianne nods to Irene, rather than simply asking lightly 'what's the worst that could happen' as she might once have done; perhaps she's learning. And then she's off as well, making her way out of the park. Still on the ground, though at least at a sort of half-jog now.
Ciel eventually deposits Lexie at their door, checking, "Do you want me to stay for a bit? Or call Max or something?" Her cup is still loose in her hand, untouched.
"I can call Max if I need him," Lexie grumps, shooing her roommate back away. "Go help Kade. Drink vodka. Make sure he's okay. I just need to have some quiet.""K," Ciel says without argument or grumble in the face of Lexie's grumps. She does tug her into a firmer hug before leaving, pausing to plant a kiss at her temple before she releases her and says, "Love you," before releasing her to head back to the park, this time cheating even that short walk with the help of portals.