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2046-09-06 New Opportunities

From X-Factor

New Opportunities
Date Posted 2016/09/06
Location Alexandra and Ciel's Apartment - Avenue B Apartments
Participants Kade, Ciel
Summary Kade drops by Ciel's to celebrate his re-employment. And share thoughts about alternate universes.
 
KdKade1.jpg Ciciel.jpg
This two-bedroom apartment on the seventh floor of the Avenue B Apartments would be a bit more desirable if not for the fact that the fickle building elevator often turns it into a seventh-floor walk-up. The apartment actually opens to the moderately professional environment of ABC Investigations, which the living room is dedicated to with a large desk, a couple chairs, and various other items. The overstuffed sofa on one side is the homiest piece in the room.

The kitchen is a bit cramped, sacrificing space to the living room, but has all the necessities of fridge, oven, stove, and a very few cupboards. Two doors off the living room lead to the two bedrooms, both on the smaller side but serviceable enough. A third leads to a bathroom a little overstuffed with hygiene and beauty supplies.

A scribbled sign on the apartment door announces it as home to ABC Investigations.


It is a summer evening. The weather is warm and overcast.


Kade usually comms or texts ahead before he drops by Ciel's. The PI business not having dependable 'office hours.' This afternoon, however, he's in a frame of mind to surprise her. Or try to. So it's without prior warning that he knocks on her door. It's done in kind of a jaunty 'knock-knock-knock-knock-knock' rhythm he favors, so it might be identifiable as him even so.

'Afternoon' is not the prime time for tailing with a zoom lense, which makes the odds of catching Ciel in /minutely/ higher. Today, at least, it works in Kade's favor. She's at the door to tug it open, intoning, "ABC Investigations, hi--" before she catches sight of Kade and trails off into a grin. "Hi."

Kade is /just/ perfecting his lean outside the door when Ciel opens it. He has worked himself up for this, clearly. He's wearing a midnight blue suit - a new acquisition - paired with a black shirt and gold-checked tie around his neck. The tie's hanging undone, in an artfully mussed sort of way that probably took him /SO LONG/ to get just right. He's also bearing gifts, in the form of flowers. He's holding a bouquet of a half-dozen, pale orange roses. Well, he's holding five of them. The sixth is in his mouth, held between his teeth. Angled in a way that he also, very likely, practiced for a long time to get the effect he wanted. "Hi there," he mutters around it.

Ciel's grin stretches into a laugh, quiet and warm and broadly pleased. "/Hi/," she says again, and slides forward to loop her hand in that tie and tug him back into the apartment with an appreciative sweep of her eyes. "What's all this?" Ciel, it should be noted, is distinctly casual in faded jeans with a hole in one knee and a purple tee shirt that clearly /used/ to have a print of some sort across the front.

"What!?" Kade asks witha throaty laugh as he's tugged inside. He takes the flower out of his mouth to lean in to kiss her, quick and warm. "Guy can't bring his girl flowers now and again?" Like he does this so often. "You like this color, by the by? I saw them in the shop and I thought they had kind of an autumnal vibe. Kind of blows my mind that it's September already." None of which really answered her question.

"A guy can totally bring his girl flowers whenever he wants," Ciel approves. She lingers close post-kiss, one hand settled at his waist and the other still curled into his tie. "But he doesn't usually bring them in a suit and tie in the middle of the afternoon for no reason." Despite her words, she's still grinning, and she adds, "Very autumnal. I approve."

"Cool." Kade's grin broadens, when she approves of his color choices. He sets the roses down on a convenient bit of counter, enjoying the proximity of her. "I figured I better practice getting dressed in business attire again. I am sadly out of practice. Since I am officially gainfully employed at somewhere other than my ex-wife's bar now. I heard back on that office job over at the Cherry Lane Theater." One of the many jobs he's applied for during his post-space unemployment. "I start next Monday."

"Seriously?" Ciel rocks backward, putting him at arm's length so she can take him in with an up-down look that's equal parts proud and thrilled. "Kade! /Kade/! That's great news! Did you like it? I mean, you think you'll like it?"

"I mean, it's mostly just answering messages and keeping calendars organized and stuff. And possibly fetching coffee. And it's not going to pay any more than the mall did. Though that's not half bad now that I'm paying Mutant Town rent." Despite his attempts to play it down, Kade's blue eyes are very sparkly. He's excited. "But...I don't know. I like the vibe there. The people seem cool. And I'm told I can get cheap tickets to some shows. So. Yeah." Pause. Like he's letting the idea sink in. "Yeah. I think I might like it OK." Like the idea of /liking/ a job is something he's unsure how to process.

"Yeah, but it's not /the mall/," Ciel says, her enthusiasm echoing his own. She grins again, then bounces up on her toes to press a quick kiss to his mouth before declaring, "We have to celebrate. What're you in the mood for? I'll go change!"

Kade catches her lower lip between his teeth teasingly, to hold her in that kiss a beat longer, before he lets her go. "We haven't been dancing in awhile. The Vault, maybe? I am in a mood to /bounce/." He hops on his heels, to demonstrate. "And you just wait until I get paid. First check, I am taking you out in /style/. We'll go somewhere dumb Uptown and get over-priced martinis or something."

"Yeah?" Ciel's beaming at the thought of it, and she spends a moment pressing close in Kade's arms with her own twined around his waist. "That sounds like a night I could handle." For a moment she stands still, grinning up at him with a look that can only be described as 'stupid in love'. She breaks it eventually to spin away toward the bedroom, calling, "There's vodka in the cupboard if you wanna mix us a little pre-game!"

"Pre-game I can do!" Kade says, spinning his way off to the kitchen. He catches her eyes briefly before she's off, laughing in a way that's also high on daffy stupidity. It's a very happy sound. "Helps my /moves/. What've you got to mix with?" He looks for a vase to put the roses in, before he gets into making drinks.

"Sprite in the fridge!" Ciel calls from the bedroom. She doesn't bother to close the door fully, which means that Kade can hear the sound of her muttering to herself as she flips through her clothing options. There's a vase or two under the sink, easily accessible.

Kade locates a vase in not too much time, watering the roses and setting them on the counter. Then, he gets to making drinks. He does not try any showy bartender glass-tosses, so he manages to make two Sprite-and-vodkas without breaking anything. He sips on his, while he waits for Ciel to sort out her ensemble. "How's Lex doing, by the by? And Christian? I've noticed folks filing back from Wherever the Fuck." That is probably not an official alternate universe name.

"Lexie's good!" Ciel answers, her voice muffled by the draw of fabric over her head. "She brought back like, treasure. Oh! I should wear-- hold on." She breaks off for a moment, clearly preoccupied, before she remembers to add, "I haven't actually talked to Christian yet."

"Treasure?" Kade is intrigued. "Sweet. What was it? I looked in on Micaela the other night, and she had a damn shield on her wall. And a crown." That last gets an eye-roll that's probably audible even from the other room. A /fond/ eye-roll. But. "She got kind of banged up, but just the 'lay on the couch and try your best not to be a pain in the ass' level of injured. I got the impression nobody else was worse-off."

"Necklaces, rings, like-- gold coins." There's a clattering sound as Ciel rummages through a pile of shoes, then a muttered, "/There/ you are," before she adds, "Apparently the place was full on fantasy. I'm kind of having a hard time wrapping my mind around it."

"Yeah. She made it sound like some straight-up Lord of the Rings shit. With, like, wizards and dragons. Holy shit, Micaela said she /fought/ a fucking dragon!" Kade can't help but sound excited. And, perhaps, a little envious. "It tried to shoot fire at her." He laughs. Haha, fire at a fire-starter. "I mean, I figure it must've been just a different way of mutations manifesting. Though who the hell knows? I was never the science-type, so I'm not the alt-universe expert." He sounds a touch regretful of that just now.

"That's what I said!" Ciel answers emphatically. She finally appears, pushing the door open to pause a moment in the doorway for framed effect. She's donned a red sundress, casual and fun with an asymmetrical skirt that leaves it longer in back than in front. The thing is dressed up a bit by low, strappy heels and the elaborately delicate necklace twined around her neck. A dragon sits just below her collarbone, its eye blinking red. She's also swept her hair up into an artfully sloppy mass of curls. "Lexie said it wasn't, though. She insists on real magic."

Kade looks up from putting away the Sprite, eyes traveling up and down Ciel's form. The smile on his face lenghtening. He strides toward her, offering her a Sprite-and-vodka glass. "You look damn fine." It takes his eyes a beat to actually pay attention to the necklage at her throat. "Is that it?" He reaches out to finger it, a little tentatively. Like he's half-afraid, or half-eager, for it to magic him.

Despite nine months and counting, Ciel's smile goes a little silly-lopsided for the compliment. She reaches for the glass, wrapping her fingers around it before she lifts her chin to encourage Kade's study. "One of them. She brought it back for me. Wild, right?"

Kade runs his fingers along the chain, pausing them to carress the dragon at her collarbone. "Wild," he repeats soft. "It still blows my mind. Even after everything we saw in outer space. Not to mention Staten Island. The idea that this shit's actually real. That there are...shit, maybe millions of these things just running parallel to where we're at."

"I know," Ciel says quietly. She lifts a hand to curl her fingers over Kade's at her throat, catching his gaze. "Does it worry you at all?"

"Something Gamora said keeps rolling around in my head," Kade says. His eyes lingering on the dragon, before raising to meet's Ciel's. Fingers twining around hers. "When she came to hire us all out, to get Rider. 'The walls have thinned.' Maybe she was talking about what Annihilus was doing, grabbing those people from Mutant Town. Or maybe it was...something else."

Ciel laughs. It's relieved and a little unstead, and it comes with a squeeze of Kade's hand before she looses it and moves to settle on the sofa with her vodka. "Oh, good," she says. "I was trying to decide if I was paranoid, or-- I've been raking my brain, trying to remember everything I can about X-Force's AU files. Dates, times. It seems like there was a cluster around when they started, if I remember right, and then... the one Rider went through, the first time. And then nothing for ages, until the one in Glen Haven. The records were kind of sketchy on that one. And then again nothing until-- until Staten Island. /Decades/."

"Maybe we're both paranoid." There's certainly an intensity about Kade's eyes as he talks about this. An...eagerness, almost. But it's also accompanied by some of that relief for his part, as well. "I wish we still had access to those files. Or that I was the type who had the brain to understand them better, back in the day. Samad might, but that stuff's just as closed off to him as it is to any of us now. Or Rider's brother." Pause. Frown. "I wonder if Rider's heard anything from him..."

"I've been wondering the same thing," Ciel admits. She turns to look up at Kade, lifting her glass to her lips. "If he hasn't, maybe he'd-- touch base? We could make some calls, too. Someone might be willing to share some information."

Kade nods to that. "We should ask him, at least. Maybe Eleanor Rutledge, too. Her daddy's still got more access than any of the rest of us." His off-hand lifts his own glass to his lips. "There's also that...guy. Alistair Extremely-Hyphenated-Last-Name." More than a note of skepticism, about that guy. "His power deals with alternate universes. I wonder if he's felt anything different lately." What with the sucking Christians into them, and all. "If he'd say anything. Dude is seriously cagey."

Ciel wrinkles her nose at the last, but she doesn't actually /argue/ with it. Instead she says, quiet, "Lexie said Christian was-- /intense/. I got the sense that he kind of unsettled her." She drinks, quiet for a moment, and then adds, "I'm worried about him."

"I mean, I think a little intense is to be expected," Kade says. "Kid..." Pause. Christian's not a kid anymore. "...he spent half a decade there. I talked to him a little once. At Open Hands. He talked about one of the dude's he'd met there - Ujarak..." Kade's mouth wraps carefully around the pronunciation of that strange name. "...like he was something like family. He's the one who gave you those letters, and that other stuff. I mean...it sounded like a seriously rough place, but it was his life for a long time."

"No, yeah, I mean--" Ciel breaks off for a moment, drawing in a breath. "I get it. I understand why he is. But I'm still worried."

Kade nods. "I know. Maybe he just needs time." His lips twitch up in a half-smile. "Micaela was gossiping last night. God knows how reliable anything from her is, but she said Christian and Orianne had, like, a thing."

Ciel's brows shoot upward and then instantly furrow down in judgmental worry. "Christian and /Orianne/? Really?"

Kade gives a little shrug, at the judgement and worry. "I don't really know what 'thing' means. She might've just been trolling. Lexie'd probably be more reliable. But, I mean, would that be so bad, if they were? She's a sweet girl, and it might help him settle if he's connecting with people his own age."

"I don't know," Ciel mutters, considering her glass with far more of a glower than it really deserves. She blinks, then, and shakes her head as she sights and lifts a hand up to Kade. "No, nevermind," she says emphatically. "I'm starting to get all worry-y and broody and I'm completely ruining your celebration."

"What we need to do is /move/!" Kade actually twirls for her. He manages to do it without spilling his drink. Though it's half gone by now, so that's less impressive. "Christian will be fine." Does he have any evidence to support this? "And the universe will be OK tonight, too." Probably. Fingers crossed. "Let's finish our drinks and then go hit the Vault until they kick us off the dance floor. Then we can come back here and..." Smile. "...burn off whatever energy we have left."

"That sounds like exactly what we need," Ciel agrees. She climbs to her feet in short order, tilting her glass back to finish it in a quick, long swallow. Lowering it, she fixes on him with a grin and crooks her finger. "C'mere, hot stuff," she says.

Kade knocks back what's left in his own glass, then offers Ciel his arm. "Anywhere you want to go, fly girl," he replies. Tonight, at least, he will have some fun.

"Out," Ciel says, and with a not-so-quick kiss to punctuate her words, she leads him out into the evening and what promises to be a very long, energetic night.

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