5095/Fixing Up The Place

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Fixing Up The Place
Date of Scene: 09 February 2021
Location: X-Factor Investigations
Synopsis: Rachel gives X-Factor Investigations a make-over, much to Jamie's initial confusion. Rachel also blushes, but recovers quickly. Jamie is not so quick to recover.
Cast of Characters: Rachel Summers, Jamie Madrox

Rachel Summers has posed:
The music over the speaker is loud and full of sound, not so much in the way of lyrics, but it's got a beat and you can dance to it. There is a sign over the door to Jamie's detective agency that boldly states (in what appears to be crayon):

Closed For Remodeling, Call Jamie For Help. (And it gives Jamie's work number.)

There's a large dumpster situated on the street that is currently half full of old wallpaper, wood paneling, and floor boards. The sign on the dumpster reads:

Dumpster For Rent, Hourly, Daily and Weekly rates available.

And there's a red-head floating up about three feet from the ground. She's dressed in an old shirt that has seen better days, ripped along the bottom, the neckline is slightly askew and off her shoulder from the ill-fit, a pair of jeans drop down and into a pair of beat-up, old, and well loved leather boots with a thick, chunky heel. She's also covered in a dark green paint, matching hue to the paint that makes up the walls.

For Jamie - he's been gone most of the day - Rachel isn't sure where he and all of his dupes have gone TO, but it's given her an opportunity to do what she's wanted to do. Get this place up to date. Thus, the squeeky boards at the entrance have been ripped out and replaced. The wallpaper has been torn asunder and Rachel is floating in mid air, three brushes idly moving on their own accord next to her, and her own hand rolling the paint up and down on the wall. There's only a tiny bit left that needs to be done.

It's probably best not to ask where she got the money to get the paint, the boards, or the dumpster.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Precisely where Jamie has gotten off to today - and why he didn't leave any duplicates back at the homefront manning the office - are both bits of knowledge that, frankly, are beside the point at this time. The fact of the matter is - he was gone for most of the day, and now he's back. And is greeted by a scene that is quite unlike the one he left, and even moreso unlike the one that he was expecting. Strolling down the sidewalk from the direction of the parking garage that he leases a spot at, Jamie stops about a quarter block away to blink a bit in dumbfounded fashion before he picks up the pace toward the office of his detective agency. Or, at least, what he thought was his detective agency. Given the fact that the dumpster outside of the building is already half full (and growing), the question remains as to how much of the interior is left.

By the time he's at the front door proper, Jamie's almost elevated his pace to a sprint, and he skids to a halt at the cardboard sign. The expression on his face easily conveys what's going through his mind. Is that crayon?? Shaking his head, he flings open the door to forge ahead, gawking more than a little bit at the interior of the establishment. He's quite prepared to fly off the handle, but when he gets a glimpse of the dark green paint, the new flooring, the way that everything actually looks pretty much *exactly* as he had pictured, his only left to stammer for a moment. "Wha..."

Taking a moment to collect himself, Jamie inhales deeply and then lets the breath out slowly. "Okay..." he starts again, the initial confusion melting away to appreciation. "I do have to admit, this is looking really, really good. I mean. Like, really nice. You even found an antique coat-and-hat rack to go by the door, which just looks awesome." And he does seem really impressed. Even though there is a 'but' that is coming along. "But we don't have the kind of money for this yet, especially the dumpster out front, those things are spendy! How did..." Jamie blinks then, starting to head to his interior office. "You didn't use the company credit card, did you? That's supposed to be for emergencies and I've already got it almost maxed out with an advance for the rent...!"

Rachel Summers has posed:
The very last of the paint is applied as Rachel calmly lowers to the ground. She can sense Jamie's distress well before the man enters the establishment, but she's hardly concerned. She did, after all, pluck this right directly from his thoughts, and knows he's going to like it. The brushes that finish their own sweep lower towards a bucket filled with paint cleaner, as does the roller that Rachel has in her hands.

Calmly, without concern, the red-head idly scans the walls with a critical eye as Jamie gets out his frustration, and his fears. There are no spots that she missed. She didn't get any paint on the ceiling, nor the floor. There isn't anything that is going to drip down. Dusting her hands off onto the fabric of her old shirt, Rachel is quite content with how everything is looking. Now, she just needs to start upstairs. Yup. Oh, is Jamie still talking?

Casting her gaze towards Jamie, Rachel offers in a casual tone. "There is this delightful place that sells refurbished wood, used paint, reconstituted nails, and used furniture. All of this cost seventy-five dollars, including to tax." Rachel doesn't state how she paid for that, again, maybe it's best not to ask.. As she states afterwards. "The dumpster I stole from a work site, which I already planned on emptying at the local garbage disposal site and returning empty."

Her hands are still coated in green paint, indeed, Rachel has green paint across her cheek - down her arm, and over most of her clothing, she really got into the painting.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
With one hand on the doorknob to his office, Jamie pauses in mid-stride as Rachel lowers down and begins to explain how she managed to procure the materials and tools for her renovation. "But that's just it," he begins as she offers her first response. "The business doesn't *have* seventy-five doll-" And it's then that the bombshell about stealing the dumpster is dropped and registered, and Jamie's eyes almost bug out. "Wait, you what? You *stole* the dumpster??" The hand that was on the doorknob lifts up to cover his face briefly, a prototypical facepalm that develops into a slow threading of his fingers through his mahogany brown hair. "You.. you can't just..." he begins to mumble, before just shaking his head minutely and letting out a quiet sigh.

"Okay," he states then, perhaps more to himself than to Rachel. "Okay. It's all right. The employment paperwork hasn't been made official yet, even if they trace things back here, it can't be pinned on the buisness, so they can't revoke the license... Okay. Good, good...." He rubs his hand over his face again, stopping to briefly pinch the bridge of his nose before he surveys the refurbished front room again, and then Rachel. "Well," he states after a long moment, eyes sweeping back around the space once more. "It *does* look pretty fantastic in here. Thank you," he adds with genuine gratitude. "You know, provided you don't start building up a rap sheet..." The tone is only partly serious, the initial incredulousness and concern of the situation giving way to amusement and mild disbelief more than anything else. Jamie starts to grin in a lopsided smile, the expression soon growing to a full-fledged grin as he regards Rachel. "By the way," he adds. "Not sure if you've noticed, but you are positively covered in paint. Like. It's just everywhere."

Rachel Summers has posed:
"Don't worry." Rachel's voice is full of everything that she's made up of, confidence, self assurance, absolute boldness. "I am a telepath." Which should just explain everything. Absolutely. Everything. And Rachel has never said she's a completely morally upstanding Paladin. (She read online about role-playing and dungeons and dragons when Kitty mentioned she and Doug would get Rachel into a game.) She has her own sense of morals, and when it comes to something like this? It shows. A lot. She considers herself - chaotic good.

Waiting for Jamie to finally come to terms with the fact that Rachel did this, and this happened, and it finally does click with the young man, that Rachel's expression turns from the neutral tone of one that is doing her best to remain emotionless, to a slight smile. "You're welcome. It looks so much nicer, and those annoying floor boards don't squeek."

And then, the last of Jamie's words register, and Rachel idly lifts her hands upwards, casting a gaze down at the crumbled bits of paint along her arms. The green hue is drying slightly, leaving bits and pieces stuck to her arms, at least what she can see. Her fingers lift upwards, idly feeling of her nose, her cheeks. "So I do." She offers, her nose wrinkling upwards, as she reaches over to grab a towel from a chair, idly trying to rub her cheeks clean. It just spreads to other parts of the scars that run parallel down her face.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
While Jamie wouldn't consider himself to be overtly 'lawful' in the good category, he's also not quite as 'chaotic' as Rachel has aligned herself either. Really, he's more of a Neutral Good kind of guy, which is why the ends-justifying-the-means philosophy that Rachel has seemed to adopt is at first a bit of a shock to him but, ultimately, something he can at least come terms with. Enough not to lose much sleep over it, at any rate. For a brief moment, he considers making a response to her answers-everything statement about being a telepath, but only for a moment. The impulse is fleeting and he decides against it, perhaps to address another day or maybe never. As long as everything is taken care of at the end of the proverbial day and no one is harmed, right?

"To be honest," he admits, "I kind of liked the squeeky floorboards. Let me know when someone came in the door. Now I'm going to have to get a little bell to hook up on the door frame that'll ring whenever anyone opens it..." The way he delivers the line, it may be difficult to tell if he's kidding or not. "Now, just need to update the furniture and it'll look just about perfect...." Jamie pauses, quick to add to Rachel. "That was not a request for some chairs to 'accidentally' fall off a delivery truck somewhere, by the way..."

As Jamie watches Rachel attempt to wipe at the paint, he can't help but grin and chuckle at little bit. "You're... You're only making it worse," he informs her, smiling a bit wider at the comedy of the situation. "You're not going to get very far just using a dry towel like that." He snaps his fingers, a duplicate appearing with his signature *pok!* sound to then dash into the kitchenette for a moment, returning with small bucket of sudsy water, a sponge and some additional towels. The first Jamie plucks up one of the towels, dipping a folded corner into the sudsy water before moving closer to apply the wet, soapy cloth to Rachel's cheek if she lets him, dabbing at the smeared paint there. Thankfully, the water's warm. "Here. You need some soap and water to take care of it..."

Rachel Summers has posed:
Aaand Rachel can't help it. She idly scan's Jamie's thoughts, listening to him come to terms with everything - and is content to let him get to it on his own. ..not that Rachel would change Jamie's mind, but she's happy that he's decided the ends do justify the means. And no one got hurt. Except the drug dealer who Rachel took the money from, she wont mention him. Or the fact a drug dealer turned himself in to the local law enforcement agency. It's best just to let that one slide. Which Rachel keeps to herself. Entirely.

With a roll of her green gems, Rachel idly dismisses Jamie's idea about chairs falling from delivery trucks. "Oh please. I do have more class than that. I'd at least lift them off the truck, and not let them fall." It's difficult to say if Rachel's joking here, or not, she offers the words with such a deadpan tone.

Turning her attention towards the walls, her full attention suddenly gets riveted onto the dripping paint that is about to hit the floor - which is swiftly lifted upwards and spread out. So intent upon making sure the paint doesn't drip anywhere else that Rachel is initially unaware of what Jamie has planned - which is why she's caught slightly off guard when Jamie idly begins to dab the smeared paint along her cheek with the warm water.

"Oh.." Is Rachel's first response, taking in Jamie's closeness - the gentle feel of the warm cloth against her cheek. The smell that he has. And the red-head actually lets things transpire for about a minute before her hand reaches upwards, and she collects the rag, taking a step back. "Thank you - but I have a better way." To disguise the flush to her cheeks, Rachel's entire form is suddenly cast in red, a glow that surrounds her entire form, and when it fades away, the paint is in a small pile that is lifted towards the bucket of soaking brushes, and Rachel's regained her composure.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Though he may be tempted to, Jamie doesn't respond to the deadpan delivery of Rachel's, and her unspoken suggestion that she completely misses the euphemism of items 'falling' off of a delivery truck. Still, he does give a critical eye to the red-head after the comment, wondering to himself if she indeed is really that dense about turns of phrases in this timeline/dimension or if she's just doing her best to have fun at his expense. If that latter, Jamie decides not to rise to the occasion, though he does twist his mouth to one side briefly as he restrains himself from correcting her.

Instead, he moves in to help clean the smudged paint off of her features, also a bit surprised himself at his own reaction to the physical proximity that the gesture brings. He's honestly not certain if such closeness was planned on his part, but he's just realizing that he actually kind of enjoys it when Rachel suddenly steps back and... does her thing. "Wow, well, that's one way to do it," he remarks with a blink. He's just a tad flushed as well, though as he doesn't have any telekinetic aura to disguise it, he uses his own tried-and-true fallback, humour. "Can you do the same with laundry and dirty dishes? Because I'm telling you, we can save a *ton* on electricity bills if that's the case..." The second Jamie busies himself by collecting the towels and bucket he'd brought in, eyebrows creasing together ever so slightly as he turns to ferry them back to the kitchenette.

Rachel Summers has posed:
Did he catch her fluster? Did he see? Should Rachel 'peak' in and find out? She doesn't. She just allows the subject to be changed (in a way) and everything return to normal. "Yes, though I would expect a raise in my pay, especially for having to do laundry." The red-head once again offers this in a deadpan tone, though there is a bit of a grin that escapes her carefully neutral expression.

To compensate for her fluster, Rachel goes about cleaning up the last of her mess - the paint brushes are cleaned out, the plastic on the floor is removed, everything is cleaned up and put back into some semblance of normalcy. She doesn't allow herself time to think, or process, or even go over what just transpired, she just moves, cleans, and puts it all back to how she left it. ..only better.

Thus, Rachel leaves the detective agency for a time, and by the time that Rachel returns (and the dumpster outside has been restored to its original place, sans the items that Rachel dumped into it), she's once again composed, closed, and completely clear headed.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Ah, if only Jamie could clear his own head as quickly and with such efficiency. Unfortunately, when the proverbial voices in one's head can turn into literal voices of other selves to talk to - second guesses, recountings and internal monologues become magnified to a sometimes near-exponential degree. Almost as soon as Rachel departs to take care of the dumpster and other materials, the two Madroxes inside begin to confer amongst themselves - idle thoughts turned into nagging questions and compounded by actually being given sound and room. "What was that all about?" "Was she blushing?" "Was *I* blushing?" "I was just helping clean up some paint, wasn't I?" "Was I?" "I don't know!" "Well, one of us better know, she's a telepath!" And so on, completely over-analyzing the fleeting moment far more than is honestly healthy.

At least he's mostly got everything out of his system by the time that Rachel returns, though hardly resolved. Still, the duplicating mutant puts on a well enough front, long ago having incorporated awkwardness and idiosyncracies into his daily routine so as to make them seem hardly out of the ordinary. Thus it is that the evening is spent with both Jamie and Rachel largely doing their own thing - though, from at least one half of the equation, more than a few questioning glances and thoughtful reveries are yet spent before the evening is over.