5183/Morning Playlist

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Morning Playlist
Date of Scene: 14 February 2021
Location: Jubilee and Noriko's Room
Synopsis: It's Jubilee's birthday and Valentine's Day! Noriko wakes up the birthday girl by playing the cello for her. Jubilee gives Noriko a tiny army of small furry creatures for Valentine's Day. Warning, studies have shown reading this may lead to cavities.
Cast of Characters: Noriko Ashida, Jubilation Lee

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko has skipped sleep 'naps' cycles which basically means she's not been sleeping.  She's been 'sleeping' in this dance of insomnia and crash since the Capitol Hill riot, but that's just when everything got more pronounced even if it's something hard to detect.

But last night?  Last night Noriko knocked her power out for long enough to get some real form of rest for the big day.  Jubes' big day.

Noriko stretches and slips away from Jubes as fast as possible, gently replacing her body with pillows and stuff before Jubes can move or adjust.

When Noriko gets back, she sets up an old rickety stool among their sea of living strewn all over the floor.  It creaks a little when she sits, a cello set between her legs.  Closing her eyes, she takes the bow and remains relaxed.

There's a deep breath before strings meet strings in a soft tender opening of 'Claire de Lune' by Debussy.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilee is not a cute sleeper. She sleeps in a manner resembling a tsunami cleanup effort. Hair in disarray, mouth agape, arms and legs akimbo. The slight shifting of the mattress is enough to get her to shift. She twists into a fetal position and drapes a forearm over Noriko's pillow stand-in. With her eyes still closed, drunk from sleep, Jubilee nuzzles against the pillow and gives it a loving peck.

    Somewhere else, Jubilee is sitting in a dark theater, a concert hall, with Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza seated on either side of her. Her hair is crimped and piled into a thick wall atop her head. "This must be so nerve-racking! How do they warm up?" she whispers, turning her head towards Jerry.

    "They have a piano back stage they warm up on!" he whispers back.

    "No, we would've heard it!" Jubilee replies with a smirk.

    "Oh, don't applaud after she stops the first time -- it's not over yet," a nervous George whispers at Jerry and Jubes.

    The audience applauds as Noriko Ashida walks out onto the stage dressed in a black formal dress. She bows a few times and then sits down at a grand piano on the stage. She rests her fingers on the keys and.... it sounds like a cello. Jerry pops a pez candy from a Tweety Bird dispenser and then places it on Jubilee's knee. He waggles it a little.

    George Costanza turns his head and stares in horror. Jubilee looks at George, then Noriko, and then the pez dispenser. And.... bursts out laughing. She shoves the pez dispenser off of her leg and covers her face. On stage, Noriko looks out at the crowd and stares. STARES. Jubilee can't stop laughing.

    Back at Xaviers...

    Jubilee stirs from her sleep, giggling softly into the pillow. "Spongeworthy..." she murmurs softly before blinking her eyes. Huh? Her hand pats the pillow a couple of times. She can still hear the cello. She sits up and turns her head to see Noriko, in the flesh, playing a...cello? "Nori..." she whispers in disbelief.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko catches the pillow peck in a loving glance over her shoulder while setting up.  The look is as much a random loving act of preoccupation with the girl as it is paranoia about the surprise being ruined.  But it's really not what she's worried about the most.  This performance, rehearsed in a sea of moments stolen here and there from Noriko's world to practice in secret.  She's had to slow down just to get sessions long enough on account of destroying her strings with the friction.  And now.  Here she is.  Her stomach full of butterflies getting caught up in the knots.  Until the music takes her.

There's no sense of time as the girl pours all of her heart into it, each note felt as she loosens on technique.  The song starts out small, like the innocent world of a child tinted with melancholy abruptly interrupted by tumultuous lower notes only to have some brightness burst through high like light spilling at the end of a tunnel.  It gives way to the ethereal undulations on the rise until it finally comes to an end.

Noriko suddenly realizes.  Playing for Jubilee feels different.

"Good morning," Noriko greets with a smile after she opens her eyes.  Her hair is still messed up.  She's still dressed in her rumpled pajamas.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    It takes a few moments for Jubilee to realize what's happening. To realize that Noriko is playing for her. To realize what went into this gesture. To realize what it means. Eventually, she moves into a truly seated position with her back against the wall adjacent to the bed. She pulls the covers around her legs and hugs them, listening to her private concert with utter astonishment.

    Jubilation's brown eyes take it all in, staring at Noriko's fingers carefully changing position on the neck of the cello... at the bow rocking back and forth against the strings.... at Noriko being lost in her playing. When the song ends, she takes a deep, shuddery breath, and drags her hand against the moisture dangling on her eyelids. So many questions. How? When? They can wait.

    "...Nori..." she whispers again. "That was beautiful..."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko keeps hold of the cello in the wake of the song, and when she feels waves of the past swelling up from that dark sea inside, she moves quickly to set the cello aside, too quick for Jubilee to see Nori swipe at her own eyes to banish the evidence and regain composure.  Then she slows into the moment to walk over, sit on the edge of Jubilee's bed to lean forward to give her girlfriend a kiss, a hand slipping to her collarbone.

"I'm glad you liked it," Nori whispers when she breaks the kiss, lingering within a hair's breadth.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilee's eyes rise to meet Noriko's as she comes to the bed. She holds her breath and returns the kiss with appreciation. When they break, her smile slides into a smirk.

    "You must really love me, Nori," she points out. "Because I don't even look cute right now." She knows what she's like after waking up. Yikes.

    Jubilee's hands find their place on Noriko's hips. "...I can't believe you did that..." she adds, still astonished about the cello. Suddenly, she remembers something. Yes, it's her birthday, but it's also Valentine's Day. "Nori!" she exclaims. "Close your eyes." Jubilee moves to try and get off of the bed...

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"It's part of the charm," Noriko grins warmly.  There's no way she's going to let what has happened spoil Jubilee's day.  'Just keep keeping it together.  Make the day we wants,' Noriko thinks to herself, holding onto that new peace of playing and her thoughts of Jubilee.  With activated determination, Noriko puts on the best show, as if willing back some untainted version of events not just for Jubilee, but for herself.  Crafting something true out of well-intentioned lies.  And it becomes easier, effortless, more real as if the transportation is complete.

Noriko reaches up to push some wild stray lock of hair somewhere it isn't so distracting.  "It happened.  If you tell anyone I'll just tell them you're fucking batshit," she says with a smirk.

"Okay, okay," Noriko closes her eyes but doesn't move herself.  She's following strict instructions?  But Jubes knows that doesn't last very long.  Noriko's hands reach out in the vacuum Jubilee's body created when she slipped away from Nori's touch.  Then she blindly searches around, feeling out where Jubilee might have gone.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "Mmmhmm," Jubilee replies, rolling her eyes good-naturedly. Part of her charm. Suuuuure.
    Jubilation has found her way to the closet. There's a brief bit of chaos as items are transplanted from their closet pile to a floor pile in Jubilee's search for something particular.

    Once she finds what she's looking for, Jubilee arranges five identical items on the floor of their room, just behind Noriko. She places them carefully, giving each an equal distance from each other. When her tableau is complete, Jubilee looks up at Noriko from her kneeling position on the floor. "Okay, open your eyes... And turn around," she directs with a giggle.

    "You said you wanted to drain a Furby. I brought you a family of them," she explains with a smile. "Happy Valentine's Day, Noriko Ashida."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
So used to using her sight above all senses, Noriko feels blinder than blind like this and tries valiantly to listen for clues, just an instinct brought on by her natural curiosity.

Finally, Noriko opens her eyes and turns, still seated, then immediately surveys the army as she looms over them with a glint in her eyes.  "Yessss."  All sorts of ideas start flooding her head, and then more ideas.  Ideas such as launching into another kiss that appears out of thin air.

"You're such a romantic."  This isn't irony.  Noriko notices how much Jubilee listened, plucking such a tiny detail from their passing moments together, getting Nori something /she/ wanted.  "I fucking love you!" she shouts to the ceiling, not caring who might hear.  It's Valentine's Day.  They might get a...

"I love you too!" comes back faintly from some other room, surely followed by snickers and chastising from someone's disgruntled roommate.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilee grins and shrugs her shoulders. Yeah, she has a romantic lean. So what?! She taps one of the Furbies on the top of its head. "This one smells like lo mein," she admits, her eyes lingering on the fuzzy family that was not long for this world. "...This one, too. And that one... Actually, they all do..."

    "I got them in Chinatown," she explains with a shrug.

    The shout is startling, yes, and the stranger's response gets a big toothy smile from Jubes. "I fucking love you, too!" she whispers, staring at the other mutant. Again, an erroneous f-bomb for Nori's benefit. "Come here..." She uses her knees to 'walk' closer to Noriko so she can wrap her arms around the other girl and bring her in for a tight hug. "I love you," she whispers again.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Whichever one is the worst, his name will be Lo Mein," Noriko announces.  "I think the smell of plastic will make lo mein a thing of the past."  She bends down again to her knees and pets each one, careful not to spark and spoil her present.

Noriko just smiles dopily at Jubilee throughout all of the ruckus and the only voice she wanted to hear.  "Jubes," she whispers back in faux scandal at her 'liberal' use of the expletive.  The tender moment draws her to Jubilation's arms as if swept up in telluric currents fatefully bound to their destination.  She holds her back tightly like a beloved buoy she may have named Jubes while being stranded at sea.  She wouldn't let go of Jubilation if her life depended on it, but she does loosen her grip after a time.

The girl doesn't spoil anymore surprises Jubilee might find, like a funky retro-inspired slap bracelet that won't slice her wrists open resting comfortably like it always belonged next to the bathroom sink.  She won't mention how she managed to get ball bearings for Jubes' Heelies or install better wheels (which might have been harder than anything) and shave down the diameter to keep them as close to the height feel...or how she broke them in a little even.

"So I don't really have much planned for today," Noriko admits, for all accounts and purposes, sounding authentic and maybe even is.  She squinches her mouth to the side while pursing her lips.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    There's a hiss of air as Jubilee breathes in Noriko's scent. The aroma of lo mein might give way to plastic in time, sure, but Nori is all Jubilee wants to smell right now. Another deep breath and then... Jubilee releases her hold reluctantly.

    Jubilee will surely find those surprises in time. The slap bracelet, certainly. The Heelie adjustment, though, might need some more time to discover.

    "Oh..." Jubilation mutters in response to Noriko's admission. She puffs out her cheeks and shifts her gaze to the side. "...Me neither..." Planning her own birthday celebration is certainly not good form, but it's also Valentine's Day and she could've made an effort there. This is a tricky one. For just a moment, Jubilee looks worried. Just for a moment.

    "Oh, I don't care, Nori!" she exclaims with a smile. "As long as we're together, I'm happy. We don't have to do anything. Right?"

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko feels suspended in the silence following her words and then blinks herself out of that time-slipped moment.  "Well I just wasn't sure what you'd be up for, and I had a million ideas and..."  But once Noriko gets going, she quickly ramps up to an indiscernible speed she is grateful for because she starts rambling about a bunch of them and how she didn't want to leave Jubilation after the riot, of how she only wanted to /be with/ Jubilee after too.

Very suddenly, after about ten whole seconds of fast forward, Noriko cuts off abruptly with a sustained blush.  Truth is, Noriko's stashed one of their tip jars back behind a battery under her bed and it is jammed with rolled up slips of paper containing little and big things.  It's right next to a jar full of 'memories' like some strange random diary of moments.  The ideas jar has been relabeled, 'memories II.'  Stealth.

"I'm sorry...I thought I'd have more time."

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilation lowers her eyes for just a second. Nori wasn't sure what she'd be up to. She exhales and then looks up with a warm smile. "I'm okay, Nori," she says softly. "...I..." She swallows. "I don't take back what I did." After having had a good amount of time to think about the events of that day, Jubilee's attitude on the whole thing has changed. She has a new perspective.

    "The love of my life is here with me. It's my birthday. And Valentine's Day..." she explains, moistening her lips before inching forward. "...I think it's time that I be...a little..." She inches forward a little more. "...bit..." Jubilee gets just about as close as she possibly can, her mouth coming to hover just a blush away from Nori's.


Noriko Ashida has posed:
And this subject is exactly what Noriko wanted to avoid.  How long did she last into the day?  Fuck.  Her eyes turn down and she nods as if she knew Jubilee was okay all along.  Maybe she did, in her head, maybe she didn't, but her heart feels like the perch of an albatross.  But it all lifts in a snap.  Right now.  When Jubilation speaks.

Nori's eyes lift, an innocent grin at the ready that broadens into something else as Jubilee transforms the mood so effortlessly.  Like a Fate stirring patterns in the currents of Nori's future, Jubilee draws her love in toward her with supernatural ease.  Nori drifts to the inevitable with a lazy gaze.

Jubilee might have morning breath still, but Noriko wouldn't care.  The birthday girl will find the speedster's mouth...minty from greedy fingers.