15286/Extended Summer Hours

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Extended Summer Hours
Date of Scene: 02 July 2023
Location: Lost Pond Mall
Synopsis: The Lost Pond Mall has stayed open for a local radio station's contest so Emma Frost goes to check on a store she has controlling interest at. She finds Jubilee and the two exchange some barbs... and perhaps a hint of a kind word or two. Perhaps.
Cast of Characters: Jubilation Lee, Emma Frost

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Despite it being a last minute event, there was no shortage of advertisement. Out of nowhere, every radio station, newspaper, TV network, and social media algorithm was dead set on informing the world that there would be a contest at Lost Pond Mall and the mall would have to stay open well past their usual 9PM closing time. Two dozen eager contestants have showed up to place their hands on the hood of a preowned 2004 Nissan Stanza and the last one still touching it gets to keep the car!

    Of course, no one knows the truth of the matter. Though management doesn't know, the Lost Pond Mall is within the borders of the Great Vampire Nation of Westchester and, as it happens, the Duchess needs it to stay open later than usual.

    Jubilation Lee stands in front of the window display of the high end streetwear store, staring glumly at the expensive sneakers. None of them look like anything she'd wear, but they have her attention for the moment. In one hand, she holds a paper cup with a plastic straw poking up from the top. It is stained dark red from the inside.

Emma Frost has posed:
And seeing all of those advertisements, and knowing full well that this isn't the normal sort of thing that happens with these places - even in very posh Salem Center.. But, it's the Fourth of July Weekend, and retail shall spread the curse of suffering to those that wish for time with their families despite the immediate lack of extra interest in shopping at such a time.
    Here Emma Frost is - unaware that it's within the borders of the demense that the Vampire Duchess has claimed for herself, or the girl's immediate connection. But, having a partial ownership in one of the small businesses that she owns a partial share in the corporation that runs it, it's still enough simple justification for her to drop on by inb etween going to the Mansion to 'talk' about the recetn space trip.
    And then when Emma is walking past she sees Jubilee over,a nd then goes to approach. "Why Ms. Lee, you seem rather pensive. Wondering what you might look like with them on?" Emma would ntoe dryly. "If you want, I can arrange to let you trial a few pairs."

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Yeah, Jubilee's shenanigans have a very real impact on the mortals unlucky enough to live within her borders. Retail workers were forced to pick up more hours. Business owners were forced to stay open with the rest of the mall. But, none of them are more miserable than Jubilee is at this moment. Her shoulders fall suddenly, suggesting a sigh that didn't happen. "I wouldn't be caught /alive/ in any of these," Jubilation declares, glaring up at the reflection that has appeared in the window where hers should be. She turns around to face Emma, trying her best at the iciest stare possible. Jubilee reaches up and gives her Ray Bans a little nudge with her finger, causing the shades to fall from their position on her hairline and back down to cover her eyes. She takes the end of the straw into her mouth and takes a bubbly, loud-on-purpose sip.

    "What are you doing here?" she asks in an almost accusatory tone. "Are you here to lower the health code at the food court from an A to a B?"

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would muse over, "And yet here you are, gazing over at them if not longing and distaste.. Certainly not horror. But, Ms. Lee, I have noticed that some of the stores ehre are open rather late, they're not being particularly profitable over the weekend. . And come to think of it, the car that's up for a prize is about as reliable as Quire not cheating on one of his tests. So, I'm here to investigate some things before I see if I need to fire some store managers for taking actions which are losing my stock portfolio money. So, Ms. Lee, if you're not here to enjoy the delightful mid summer sale.. I take it you don't want a beach umbrella?"

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "Okay?" is Jubilee's bratty response. She raises her eyebrows over the top of her sunglasses and shakes her head at Emma just a touch, a gesture that expands her 'okay?' into a full-blown 'what's your point?' She loudly slurps from whatever's in that cup and frowns, listening to Emma's summary of the evening, doing her very best to check for any hidden meanings or jabs.

    "I'm just, like, looking at them. It doesn't mean I'd stick my foot into one of those. Gag-o-rama!" she declares. While they're not what Jubilation would wear, they do have a number of features in common with some of Noriko's sneakers.

    "What, so, I can't come to the mall when it's open? It's a free country," Jubilation answers, though it's plainly obvious there's a lot more to it than just that.

Emma Frost has posed:
The shake of Jubilee's head at her is met with strong amusement from Emma as the blonde goes to cross her arms and gaze down at the girl. "Why, dear.. The mere fact that you're looking at them implies there's some interest. You appeared to be quite introspective on them, far from the.. Gag O Rama I believe you referred to it as? I thought that you would never deign lower yourself to using such a term from before the two thousands." Emma is quite amused by the exchange so far.
    "Of course. But it's not a free country. This costs quite a bit of money to staff and maintain. So while you are quite welcomme during business hours.. As might any customer.. I'm sure that for many of those working here they're not quite enjoying it."

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilee's response to Emma's sudden display of empathy for the retail workers gets a strangely cold and calculated response. "...Well, we all have our parts to play," she answers quietly, tapping in to some of that top-of-the-food-chain vampire worldview she's been getting socialized on. Surely this affront to commerce isn't just so Jubilation Lee can wander around the mall after the usual closing time, right? Right?

    Emma's poking and prodding about her exact interest in the sneakers -- and the introspection in particular -- sours Jubilee even further. She turns to look away from Emma, away from the window display, and focuses her eyes on some store or something on the other end of the corridor. Vampires, at least some of them, can cry. Jubilee's tears come in the form of two dark red drops of blood that slowly fall down each cheek. She was just a moment too slow to hide them.

Emma Frost has posed:
Does Emma have a heart? Perhaps. She does see her employees as needing to be maintained properly to fit the cogs in the wheel that they were. That menat there was only so far youcould run them ragged before you had to take the time and effort to replace them and train someone new. Which was a bother.
    THen as Jubilee goes to shift her head, Emma goes quietly.. "Jubilee, what's the matter?" Emma rarely calls her so informally. It is very much a sign of concern. Emma goes to approach.. But not too closely. Jubilee wasn't the type for direct physical interaction, and it wasn't exactly like she and Emma were confidants.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    That shift of weight to approach is met with a warning shot. Jubilation's free hand rises in the universal 'stop' gesture, but she jazzes it up a bit with a snap-crack-and-pop of plasmoids that pepper the air around her hand. A group of teenage boys snicker as they walk by, one of them pointing out the display of mutant powers. Jubes doesn't even bother to look at them. Instead, her hand changes to be a middle finger, which she keeps pointed at the boys until they're no longer nearby.

    "I'm fine," she says, her voice shifting in tone to account for the crying that she's totally not doing. Jubes retreats her hand and drags it against her cheeks, smearing the blood trails and making them more obvious.

    "I'm just thinking about how hideous those shoes are," she tries.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would glance over at the boys, even as she would just as deftly wipe awareness from thier minds, the memory,a nd remove the two from the prespective of anyone else around so they wouldn't be bothered. The joy of Jubilation already not appearing on camera meant she didn't have to bother wiping that end.
    "You clearly aren't. Your barbs lack the usual venom to them. I might even think you were starting to warm to me." Emma has totally stopped however ad is not approaching. She phrases it in a way to let Jubilee deflect it if she wants to - but also an opening for the girl to use it to explain with justification. Because Emma at least expects Jubilee to -try- and throw things in her face.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "If that's what you're worried about, don't be. I promise, I'm not warming up to you," Jubilation insists. "And that's not even because I'm stuck at room temperature." She turns and stares at the window display again, frowning at each of the high-top sneakers that are wildly overpriced compared to the price of the labor used to make them.

    She stares at the sneakers for a long, uncomfortable moment.

    "I miss Noriko," Jubilee explains, finally saying something to Emma Frost that isn't meant to stoke their perpetual duel. She doesn't look away from the window.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would nod over at Jubilee for a moment, "I'm sorry. What's going on? I wasn't aware." Emma doesn't go to approach the girl - Jubilee has made it clear that she wants her distance and Emma's not going to intrude on it.
    Her tone also a 'you don't have to tell me if you don't wish to' shade of it. Emma was being polite - some things one didn't intrude upon unless explicitly requested.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "Nothing," is the useless answer that Emma gets. Jubilee doesn't look away from the sneakers. None of them bear a resemblance to anything Jubilee would wear, but any one of them could be a dead ringer for the sneakers that a certain electric speedster favors.

    "Not yet!" Jubilee cries out, suddenly turning towards a pair that approaches. One of them is pale, cadaverous, older and yet somehow unblemished. His companion, a twenty-something that looks totally normal, aside from looking exhausted and confused, is being led by the arm. The older one responds with the faintest hiss and turns to lead the boy back to wherever they came from. The duchess's lunch.

    Back to staring at the sneakers.

    "Humans and vampires are not meant to be together," is all Jubilee says. She doesn't sound happy about it, but her tone suggests that it's her own belief.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would take a moment of evaluation, looking at the sneakers, and then Jubilee over. Then over her shoulder at the pair. Crossing her arms, while keeping track of those going away in her mind thoughtfully.
    "And why is that, exactly? I've never heard of such a rule after all. And you're rather newly attuned to the affairs of undead. I presume they might say the same things about mutants and humans. Eternals and Atlanteans. Shi'Ar and Kree. So, do by all means explain to me as tow hy exactly the particulars matter for such star-swept lovers?" Her tone is lightly baiting - she's hoping to elicit a bit more of a reaction from Jubilee by giving the girl an opening to lash at her.
    The snack and the man leading the snack away is unremarkable to her - there's no need fr her to intervene here.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "No duh, you haven't heard of a rule like that. We don't exist," Jubilation fires back, doing her best to sound like she's rolling her eyes, if such a thing was even possible. After a moment of hesitation, Jubilee turns to look around for anyone who might recognize her for who she really is. Anyone who might be able to gossip about what they heard Jubilee say to the mortal at the mall. Once she's satisfied, she continues.

    "It's not just some dumb rule," Jubes adds. "Like, if it was just a rule then, like, who cares? It's not that."

    Jubilee considers how she can explain this without really having to say anything. Finally, she presses her fingertip against the window, pointing at the retail workers serving out their sentences inside the store. "...Do you date them?" she asks, expecting the answer to be 'no.'

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would listen over and muse, "We have privacy dear, if you want to talk. I can make sure of that." Unless Jubilee gestures for anyone else to come to them, Emma will simply be shutting off the brains of everyone within a few dozen meters to give the two privacy. Emma would look down over at her and pay attention.
    "And yet you seem very, very sure and conflicted in the reasoning. It can't be as there's some sort of threat behind it or anyone that could harm you two together." She would listen over then and cock her head.
    "I have. I suppose you could put it as something trite and I haven't met the right person or however. YOu've had a far more successful relationship than I have ever, and a far healthier one."

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Emma's answer that she has dated her employees gets an exaggerated look of disgust. "Ew," she replies, but this is besides the point she's trying to make. "You, like, shouldn't... because they can't say no." And here comes the reveal. "...That's why I wear the sunglasses," she explains, turning to watch the sneakers again. "So people can't see my eyes... So I can't glamour them. We do that."

    Jubes sighs, which is really just for effect. There was no reason for her to even have air in her lungs. "Anyway, that stuff doesn't matter. Who even cares that everyone laughs about me? Like, 'look what she does with her food!' and all that super original crap they say."

    "I'm worried that Nori's changing... like, not on purpose. Like, I think she's turning into a Renfield..." Jubes confesses before realizing she's just casually tossing out vampire slang.

    "I think she's becoming, like, hypnotized...And I told her to stop doing all this stuff for me all the time and, like, we had a big fight and..." Two fresh streaks of blood fall from behind her sunglasses and down her cheeks. After another moment of thought, Jubilation shakes her head and wipes them away.

    "Forget it. I don't even know why I'm saying anything. You don't care."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would listen attentively over to this and cock her head to the side, thinking about it analytically while evaluating the girl's abilities. "I see." She would be thoughtful over in this. "And she's saying that she's not and that it hurts you think you are, and you're afraid you're coercing her in to things." Emma seemingly not caring about the power imbalance of possible rleationships after all. Or Jubilee toying with her food.
    Emma listens while sweeping the area telepathically, pushing anyone else around away, while debating how to best reply to this. "I can say things to reassure you and ones that you can act upon, but ultimately it's to your discretion and judgement. I can completely understand the.. Uncertainness." She doesn't say fear.
    Emma waits for Jubilee to signal anything if she wants her to go on. Leaving it to the girl to gesture. "And I do care. You're a student of mine. And a sparring partner. The others are too nice. You come at me with your fangs out. That's appreciated. I can't have my adversary losing her bite." Reassurance given in a way that Jubilee can bat it away, laugh at it, or take it as a way to continue the conversation without any sort of judgement implied.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "We're supposed to have people do stuff for us. Like, it's how it is. But, like, not Nori. There's a whole way we do this, like... Find some poor dope who wants to live forever and, like, we tell them we'll turn them after they serve us for however long and then we don't do it. /That's/ the natural way of it... so, like, if Nori's becoming a Renfield..." She trails off a little. "...She's just not one of those. She's not."

    Jubilee turns to watch Emma for a moment, considering that she might have similar uncertainty.

    "I can't retract them," she answers, only addressing the point about her fangs being out, and perhaps deliberately missing the point. Still, a small smile forms.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would dip her head, "Ms. Lee, speaking as someone that has been in a mindlink with Noriko before, she is both incredibly resistant to mental powers and incredibly stubborn. If she's enthralled by anything about you, it's far from your eyes. It could be your winning fashion. It could be many things. But do be reassured, that she's far too stubborn for someone as mellow as yourself to commandeer the consciousness of. She cares deeply for you and will do anything she can to make you happy. If that includes making you completely miserable.. That's part of the job."
    She would go to quip over at Jubilee. "And there you go, dear. Showing us all that you really suck." It's a snark for the lowest common denominator.. But it's there to reinforce the girl's smile a bit. Hopefully.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "She really is..." Jubilee replies quietly, staring at the sneakers while thinking about Noriko Ashida's ability to be stubborn about things. Jubes finishes off the last of whatever was in that fountain drink cup, judging by the loud gurgling that comes from the straw. Ahhh.

    "Jeez. That joke's almost as old as you," Jubilee answers, shaking her head a little. She makes a motion, as if to leave, but stops.

    "Thanks," Jubes adds, though with no shortage of apparent pain in saying it. "...Don't tell Nori I was here, please..." She makes another motion to leave and, this time, she does.