Actions

2046-10-01 Pinkies Up

From X-Factor

Pinkies Up
Date Posted 2016/10/01
Location Bounty - Midtown - NYC
Participants Kade, Samad
Summary In which everyone thinks very highly of Diego.
 
KdKade1.jpg SaSamad.jpg
Right off Times Square are dozens of shops and advertisements, but several avenues east offers something a bit more upscale in the form of Bounty. A large holodisplay of a woman in swank attire and an attractive man on her arm strut near the lounge's front door, and guests are greeted by a doorman.

Inside, the bar is decorated with a primarily wood interior. The walls are a dark pine, and the floor is an original oak from 1952. The bar is polished mahogany, long, and frequented by New York's wealthiest residents.

Beyond the bar is a lounge. The couches and chairs are curved, comfortable, and made from mahogany and ankole leather. Bistre colored carpet sections off the lounge, along with an original, carved, wooden support.

Male and female servers, dressed in business attire sans ties, serve drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Bounty is not very loud - soft, live, piano music is usually played in the evening.


It is a fall day. The weather is freezing and fair.


Kade does not get Uptown all that often, but he got paid this week and was in the mood to spend some of it on top-shelf booze. So he called Samad up and asked him out for martinis. It's into the evening when they arrive but not too late, so they don't have wait long to get in. Kade's wearing a midnight blue suit and tie in a lighter sky shade. The suit's not exactly designer, but he's had it tailored so the fit is /right/ and he wears it with panache.

Samad gently unravels the burnt orange knit infinity scarf from around his neck and hangs it off of the back of his seat. He doesn’t wear a suit but everything from his tweed blazer to his merlot-colored cashmere sweater to his cuffed dark-denim jeans to his tall brogued wingtip boots /is/ designer. “Interesting choice of venue,” Samad purrs and crosses his legs as he plucks up the signature cocktail menu. He refuses to be impressed by anything.

"I already inflicted the Pony on you. I figured I needed to redeem myself," Kade says with a grin. He settles back in his seat, taking a moment to enjoy the soft piano music before glancing at the menu. "And I was in the mood to indulge a little. I came here with Ciel - and Lexie - when I first moved to the city. The martinis are pretty damn excellent."

"You don't have to redeem yourself to /me/," Samad doesn't look up as he sets back down the cocktail menu. He idly glances around at the other patients, "If anything, apologize to my therapist. She's the one that has to hear about my night terrors about that place." Giving a demure little smile, Samad fixes the cuffs of his sleeves and leans back, "Do I detect any particular reason for this ...sudden indulgence?"

Kade laughs. "The trauma never really goes away, but you learn to live with it after awhile. I'm almost at a point where I like the tequila." Stockholm Pony Syndrome. Kade doesn't reply to the last question right away, ordering himself one of those martinis when the waiter comes by. Only after the man's taken his drink order does he shrug and say, "What? Guy can't call up a friend for a drink? I thought you'd like this place." Pause. "And maybe I needed a trip Uptown. Living in Mutant Town is helping my wallet. Didn't have much of a night out budget when I was paying Brooklyn rent. But I need a break sometimes."

Samad does the same, albeit in a much more particular manner than Kade. "Of course you can. And I find it charming here." Looking around again, Samad straightens his blazer. That's about as glowing a reception as anyone is ever going to get. "A break, indeed. Gentle on your wallet to say nothing of your moral," he scoffs, still willing to detach himself from the place to some degree, "Jian keeps threatening to visit O.H. but-" Samad catches himself as the server hovers near. He switches to Mandarin. "{With human and mutant relations as they are. It isn't even safe for him, anymore. Let alone us.}"

Kade nods. "{I'm glad Nina's back in school now. I wasn't thrilled when she said she wanted to go back to Xavier's, but now I'm pretty glad. Whatever the state's done to that place, I don't love the idea of her being in Mutant Town twenty-four-seven.}" His Mandarin isn't as fluid as Samad's, but he switches to it without missing a beat, until the server drifts away. "Yeah, it's been tense. Hoping it'll blow over soon. Much as things ever blow over there."

"Hoping for change rarely brings it about," Samad adjusts his glasses, "How is Nina? She must have a progress report coming soon. It's practically, what? The fourth week of the semester?" Samad's value system is ...pretty clear.

"SATs are coming up." Kade sounds a little nervous, by proxy. "I mean, I think she'll do OK. Her grades are decent. I just wish she was taking it a little more seriously. She starts applying to colleges this year. God knows I wish I'd gone. Having a degree will make things easier for her down the line." Pause, rueful half-smile. "I hope. And I know. About the neighborhood, I mean. I try to do what I can with X-Factor, but the place's problems feel bigger than me. How are you getting on at Open Hands?"

"Everyone knows that standardized tests are an inaccurate measure of a person's intelligence. What are her extracurriculars? Do you know what she plans on majoring in?" Does she have a 401k? Samad sortof half-smiles to the server as their drinks are delivered. Although, it can't be said that he even looks all the way up to acknowledge the young man. Maybe he notices his ass. "Says the man who can walk through fire," He pats the flat of his stomach and pouts in thought, "I am... doing my best." That's how he is. He holds up his cocktail glass to clink it with Kade's.

"And she plays soccer, though Xavier's is kind of in a weird place to do, like, team stuff. I should see about getting her into some rec league stuff, or some clubs in the city. She could come down on the weekends for it." He takes his glass with a "Thanks" and raises to 'clink' it with Samad's. "To doing our best. For whatever that's worth."

“I can only imagine,” Samad agrees mildly, having all but avoided team sports like the plague throughout his own teen years. He sips his martini before gently setting it down. Quite unconsciously, his pinky juts out to balance his hand as he does so. So fancy! “You doubt its worth?” He asks with a tinge of surprise at the self-deprecating addition to the cheers. He pinches his eyes in a contained smile. “I always considered us among the best and the brightest. Then again, we all know how naive and starry-eyed I can be.” He is neither of those things. Wait… was that a joke?

"Not the worth. It gave me a very warm feeling to see those Friends carted off by the cops after what they did to the park." Kade sips as his drink. "I just...do you ever feel like things are moving backward? Not personally, so much..." Though Kade /might/ feel like this personally. "...but, when I was Nina's age, I feel like I had more options. The laws weren't so tight on stuff like registration. And, hell, the government /wanted/ the best and the brightest of us, for our old job. Not so much anymore."

"Oh, absolutely." The corners of Samad's mouth twitch downward in a brief frown. He shakes his head, despite agreeing. "And we can attribute that entire digression to our own generation." He raises his eyebrows, "To some degree, we let it happen. Didn't we?" We let them blame us -- is what he doesn't say. This calls for another sip of his drink. "You've stated with certain specificity that you're meaning is not be interpreted personally, but I have detected several turns of phrase that indicate otherwise." Samad knits his brow with concern. System Error. Does not compute.

"Yeah. We did." Kade agrees with that sentiment without hesitation. "If I had it to do over again, I would've screamed what really happened into every mic I could find. I think Ciel would, too. And I know Jeremy still feels salty about the way his crew folded." The X-Men. "At least we got broken up. They just quit, after the Professor died." He raises a glass, to drink to the departed Xavier. "It sounds naive as shit, but I used to feel like I was part of something that would actually help us." Mutants. "We were working within the system, for our country, and it was good work. But nobody remembers that now. Still blows my mind, how fast it all got undone." He shrugs, at Samad's detection of emotional system errors. "Maybe a little. I used to be able to afford stupidly-priced martinis more than once every few months, after all."

"I remember," Samad says in a very small voice without interrupting. Tilting his head, he casts his gaze down to the elegant drink before him and carefully shifts the skewer of olives. "Yes, well. I suppose this can be taken with a grain of salt but life's many luxuries aren't everything." They certainly don't fill an empty nest. Samad gives a tiny wince, but brings up a hand to adjust is glasses as if to conceal it. "I personally refuse to be of that school of thought." Helplessness. Nihilism. Despair. "If all of the challenges that we've faced together have taught you anything... and perhaps you have forgotten, so allow me to serve you with this reminder..." He shakes his head, "We are the creme de la creme, my friend."

Kade actually seems to find that reassuring. His smile warms some in a way that lights in eyes. "I feel like an ass even bitching about it. It's not like I don't have some savings from back in the day, and my folks will help me out if things ever get dire. There are people in that neighborhood with real problems, not just middle-aged ennui. And I like my new gig." Office work at an off-Broadway theater. "It's very OK, as jobs go. I guess I'm just...I feel like I should be past playing 'what do you want to be when you grow up' at my age." Another sip. "How'd you figure out what you wanted to do? After everything collapsed with the old office."

"Oh, well. I had some idea of my ideal trajectory by the time I was your Nina's age," Samad says super helpfully. "/Our old office/ was something of a massive set-back. An entirely welcome one but nonetheless, a diversion from Plan A. The private sector is just where the money is at. Not government work." Blink.

"Torching part of the Paramount lot will tend to stop studios from giving you call-backs. Not sure how much I would've done with it, anyway. I like actually /doing/ shit more than pretending to do it, and it's a business that can kick you in the teeth even if you aren't one of us. I didn't have a Plan B beyond it, though. And my new Plan A was our old office. Haven't quite figured out how to port that experience. I looked into first-responder work last year, but my particular resume made that a non-starter."

/still has/ some minor…

Eyebrows twitching up, Samad offers Kade a lazy roll of his eyes. "Quite frankly, I can't imagine greater assets for a first-responder to have than yours. I've never had a very romantic view of that particular career path personally, but I do like the idea of you in it a degree more than /Hollywood/." He sips his drink, "I don't know who is the bigger fool. Them for turning you away or you, for taking no as a final answer."

"I toyed with being a firefighter after graduating, but you /have/ to be closeted for a job like that," Kade replies. "Which makes no sense, given my particular skill-set..." Fire-proof, and all. "...but that's the world. And it'd also feel like going backwards, in a way. Kind of a pale version of what we used to do. I know I don't want to go back to Hollywood. Working around theater people has reminded me I really missed that vibe, though. Arts stuff. I'd like to see where else I can go, with the business end of it. It's just a business that cuts off a lot of roads for us." Mutants. Shrug. "Though Diego apparently got himself an acting job now. So who knows?"

Closeted firefighters whut? Samad is listening-- up until Diego is mentioned. He lets out a theatrical groan of his own and his entire head rolls on his neck because, well, rolling /just/ his eyes doesn't quite convey what he feels in that moment. "The lengths that man will go to in order to feed his vanity." ... "I apologize if I am missing the point, but doesn't our former comrade's fortune bode well for you? If indeed you have interest in pursuing your former passion, faults or no, the man won't refuse you if you ask for his assistance."

"I don't want to act anymore." And Kade actually sounds like he means it. "But there's other stuff I think I'd kind of dig, like effects work, or creating more roads for mutant talent. Most agencies in the States won't touch them. Not sure how far Diego could get if his management hadn't been handling his career in Spain, but at least it's an in." He does more shrugging and sipping. "I know he would. Though I don't think he really gets what it's like to try and build a career like that here. He's got the bull-fighting celebrity thing going for him. He talks about acting like something he just fell into on a whim."

"Name one thing that Diego has not fallen into on a whim. Just one." Samad gives Kade a daring look, "As far as I am concerned, Diego's success is your untapped capital. We may have been disbanded, but we will always be a team. I'm perfectly happy to sit here and watch you lick your wounds, but I'd much rather strategize solutions. This is me, in your Ear, telling you that Toro is your foot in the door. His foreign celebrity gives him clout. His loyalty /and ego/ give him more than enough incentive to use it on your behalf. Ask him to get you a position on set."

"I am not licking my wounds." Yes you are, Kade. And he can't really deny it more than that. "But fine. You're right. One mutant gets on TV, it's good for all the ones that might want to. Maybe I'll ask him about what's available through the people who handle him. For other folks like us, if not for me. There are tons of creative people in Mutant Town, there just aren't many places for them to channel it." He nods to himself, looking thoughtful rather than pouty.

That's an unacceptable response. "This is an unacceptable response." See?

Samad is reeling. I mean, he doesn't spill his drink or anything and he's still casually cross-legged, leaning back in his seat... but he's reeling! "If you want something, you'll have to be direct. This isn't about anyone else. This about you." And this is Diego that they are talking about. "Absolutely nothing can be left open to interpretation."

"I need to decide /what/ I want, is half the problem," Kade says. "Like, working at the Cherry Lane, I've been thinking it'd be awesome if there was a venue like that that pumped up mutant talent. Like an X-gene version of the Apollo or Motown or something. You need a boat-load of capital to get something like that started, though."

"I'm afraid I'm less useful as a sounding board in this specific instance," Samad swirls his drink before lifting the skewer to take one of the olives into his mouth. "Mhm." He eats it before speaking, again. "But I don't think you'll have to travel far to find like minded individuals. Getting organized is always key."

"Yeah. You go to any open-mic night at the Oddball, and you see people who'd be into it. I guess there are maybe people in this city who'd invest in something like that. The theater community's huge, and not all of them are on-board the anti-mutant train." For a beat, Kade seriously considers this idea. And that spark remains in his eyes. "I'll give it some more thought. See what's out there in the neighborhood already. Maybe talk to Diego." Which he sounds a little less unenthused about than he did a moment ago. "Right now, I think I will indulge in a second martini. Thanks for the ear tonight, man. You are not an /un/useful sounding board." His lips crook into a grin. "Try as you might to deny it."

"And try to deny it, I will," Samad lifts his fingers just /so/ to get the server's attention before returning Kade's grin with a sedate smile of his own. He's about ready for another one as well.

This page uses the Log form.