5428/Stray Cat Strut

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Stray Cat Strut
Date of Scene: 04 March 2021
Location: X-Factor Investigations
Synopsis: X-Factor Investigations may have a new regular client.
Cast of Characters: Jamie Madrox, Rachel Summers

Jamie Madrox has posed:
    It's mid afternoon on a week-day, and as usual the offices of X-Factor investigations are bustling with... inactivity. There are no clients in the waiting room, the phones are silent and lifeless, and even the coffee pot in the kitchen/break room is tellingly full and untouched. As has been for the past few days, things have been slow. Not that Jamie Madrox is worried about the lull in business - being a fairly new face to the PI scene, he has expected that it may take some time to get things up and running. That, and he also realizes that any business - and private investigating specifically - has its ups and its downs. It just so happens that right now they're going through a bit of a 'down' cycle.

Of course, Jamie's lack of concern may also have something to do with the visitor that he has discovered in the alley behind the X-Factor building, which is where the so-called Multiple Man is located at this very moment. Having left one of his duplicates in the front office, Jamie has been in the somewhat dingy alley for the past twenty minutes or so, currently crouched down a few paces away from the dented and banged-up dumpster that services not only X-Factor investigations, but a few of the other buildings that share this same alleyway. With a half-eaten turkey sandwich in one hand, Jamie has been picking of pieces of meat to drop down on the ground for the aforementioned visitor, a scruffy orange cat with tufted fur that alternately eyes Jamie with careful scrutiny, and then guardedly gobbles up the offered lunch meat. From the way the feline's tail is sticking upwards into the air as it munches, it seems as if it may not be a stranger to receiving hand-outs from humans.

Rachel Summers has posed:
"I never quite took you for a cat-lady." Is the bemused tone of one Rachel Summers coming from the front of the alley-way. She hasn't been around too much, of late, spending a lot of her days and nights at the X-Mansion. The way Rachel figures it, if Jamie needs her for a case, he'll call. If he doesn't need her for a case, well, she'll see what she can do about helping out with the X-Men. ..Especially given the current state of the world right now.

Regardless, the red-head keeps her distance, allowing Jamie and the moggy to connect, no need in scaring the kitty.

"If I had known, I would have brought some freeze dried chicken treats. I hear cats, and dragons, love them." Of course, Rachel is referring to Kitty's 'pet' dragon, Lockheed. Who Rachel adores and when she can, spoils, though she would never, ever admit that out loud. Ever. Perhaps only Kitty knows.

Crossing her arms over her chest, the red-leather jacket with the fringe down the arms whisps about Rachel's form as her head tilts slightly to one side, watching Jamie.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Glancing up at the words, Jamie offers a bit of a grin to the accusation of being a 'cat-lady'. "Cat lad? Cat gentleman?" he suggests in alternative, though even as he speaks them he realizes that perhaps neither roll of the tongue too well. A shrug follows afterwards, before he drops another few bits of turkey meat onto the ground for the hungry orange stray. "To be honest, I'm not sure I would have either. I mean... Even though I was an 'only' child, it's not like I was ever hurting for company when I was growing up. But..." He glances down to the furry critter, smiling a bit wider. "This little guy just kind of showed up and I couldn't quite resist the big green eyes he gave me."

Jamie watches the orange-striped cat hastily scarf down the meat, then turns to Rachel again. "Just as long as it's only the treats, and not the dragon. I'm afraid that the dragon might like the cat more than the chicken treats..." Of course, Jamie hasn't had all that many interactions with Lockheed, so while it may be evident he knows of which such creature Rachel is referring to, it's also evident that any encounters may have been while Lockheed wasn't in the best of moods. Or maybe the purple guy and Jamie just didn't hit it off. In either case, Jamie starts to stand up fully again, the cat craning its neck upwards to watch as he does so.

"Good to see you," he states then, his tone genuine as he smiles to the red head. "Afraid we don't have any new cases yet. Still a bit dry, but I'm hoping things will pick up closer to tax day. You know, spouses hiding refunds, folks cooking the books and hiding embezzlements from the boss. All that stuff..." From his tone of voice, it's clear that Jamie doesn't consider such cases to be terribly exciting, but they at least pay the proverbial bills. He keeps his attention focused on Rachel as he continues, "Been staying at the mansion? The extra room upstairs above the offices is still available if you'd like it." He pauses, a bit hesitantly. "I mean, I know the neighborhood's not that great and all, but, it is kind of nice not to be right in the middle of Gifted Youngsters central..." Meanwhile, the orange cat makes a short 'mrow!' sound as it continues to look up at Jamie, evidently displeased at both the lack of food and the lack of attention.

Rachel Summers has posed:
"I've heard cat-dad be phrased from someone before, bit better than those. And I don't think Lockheed would eat a cat, but then again - he is a dragon. He was also a fantastic date for Sadie Hawkins." Rachel's tone remains bemused sounding, as she idly begins to lean against the side of the building, thinks better of it, and instead simply leans against an invisible telekinetic barrier between herself and the wall itself.

With her arms still crossed over her chest, Rachel inclines her head at the information of things being 'quiet'. Her nose wrinkles upwards, not afraid to show her own displeasure at such 'fun' cases. "Whatever is necessary to get things going, and pay your bills." She offers with a raised eyebrow. "Here I thought all detectives lead such luxurious lives, hiding out in abandoned buildings, diving onto car hoods, helping people from bad guys, getting beat up by said bad guys, and then saving the day while wearing a stylish hat and suit, naturally covered by your own blood."

Rachel, it may seem, has been watching the Rockford Files, or maybe Magnum P.I., or T. J. Hooker, or some form of nineteen seventies or eighties 'cop/detective' show. At the last bit, Rachel's expression dims, ever so often, a guarded look entering her green eyes. "Ah, thanks but I don't want to impose." And then she changes the subject. "Your master is calling."

Jamie Madrox has posed:
"You've been doing your research, I see!" Jamie beams at the mentions of diving onto car hoods and wearing stylish hats and suits. "That's the big leagues, though," he clarifies with a grin. "We're just starting out right now. Instead of abandoned buildings, we get to hide out in abandoned cardboard boxes. Instead of diving onto car hoods, we hop into a conveniently arriving taxi and yell, 'Follow that car!'. You know, at least until we get some more experience under our belt. Then it's things like hanging from helicopter runners and sneaking into a crime lord's lair disguised as a delivery man."

At Rachel's slight dimming of expression and initial decline, Jamie responds with persistence as he ensures that the offer is kept open. "Impose? Not in the least! The room's not being used at all as it is, and..." And then the 'master' calls again, this time a bit louder of a 'MroW!' that has quite an insistent tone to it. Jamie casts the furry thing a glance, pursing his lips together. "I already fed you half my sandwich." Of course, he still has more than quarter left, of which he plucks another bit of meat to drop it at his feet, the cat nearly swiping the treat out of the air before it hits the ground. Jamie shakes his head with a grin before he looks back at Rachel. "Well. I mean, it's your choice, but, I ah.. Wouldn't mind the company." His gaze flicks down to the cat again, before he ads. "Besides, I may need some help with this thing if he starts bringing around any friends."

Rachel Summers has posed:
"You feed one, and they know. Oh they know." Rachel warns, speaking not from experience, but from watching a lot of youtube shows. A lot. Of youtube. Sleep is something that Rachel doesn't get a lot of, and thus, midnight viewing of youtube, television shows, internet surfing, and movies is always in order. "He'll bring his friends, who has girlfriends, who have children, and the next thing you really will be a cat-dad, complete with offspring, all of which think you're the cat's, heh. Meow."

Rachel stands up right then, casting her hands into the pockets of her jacket, shoulders idly shrugging upwards then back down. "And thanks, it's good to know I have some place away from the many kids, and all their thoughts and worries and constant chatter."

Rachel's come to enjoy silence, and all the emotions going on in the mansion tend to infiltrate her thoughts, no matter how powerful her shields are in place.

"I have been doing a great deal of research, I've gone through season one of T. J. Hooker, and three seasons of The Rockford Files, as a side note, I do hope we don't get thrashed as often as that man does." Rachel's nose wrinkles then, shaking her head as she continues. "And I'm highly disappointed that our first case, we wont be diving onto a car hood."

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Jamie's eyes widen a bit as Rachel details the legions of cats that are likely to start knocking on the back door of X-Factor investigations at this point, his mouth turning downwards into an exaggerated scowl as he regards the orange stray nearby his feet. "You didn't tell me that when you pulled that 'woe is me big eye' look," he chides the creature. "Look, I'll make a deal with you," he continues, as if the cat can understand him completely. Which, from the way the feline cocks its head to one side, it appears as if it just might. "You bring no more than two - that's two," he underscores, holding up one hand with the first to fingers pointed upwards into a 'V', "Of your buddies or kids or girlfriends or whatever, and I'll feed all three of you on the regular. But any more than that, and I'm calling the pound. Deal?"

The cat's answer? A quick sound from the back of its throat that almost sounds like a 'Meh!' before it quirks its tail and scampers out of sight behind the nearby dumpster and presumably off down the alleyway somewhere.

"Well. I guess that's settled," Jamie sums up to Rachel optimistically with a smile. "And - yeah, no obligation, but any time you want to crash here, or, you know, just start moving some of your stuff over, the room's yours. No children chatter, telepathic or otherwise," he grins. "Though, ah, I do have to confess that I *have* been accused of being child*ish* on occasion before, but I assure you that it was a complete misunderstanding," he avows with every iota of innocence that he can muster. "Each and every single time."

To the last bit, he does nod and note, "Well, if you want to start jumping on car hoods, don't let me stop you. I mean, I just figured it would be easier for you to, you know, lift the car up off the ground and watch as the bad guys get all confused when they rev their motor and the wheels just spin and spin in mid air..." He can't help but giggle just a little as he pictures that scene, the mental image clear and visible enough so that Rachel is likely to catch it even if she isn't trying to - some scuzzy thug gripping the wheel of his getaway car, elbows locked as he jams his foot on the accelerator, the motor revving and thrumming to no avail. Meanwhile, he equally scuzzy partner in the passenger seat looks out the window, and then down at the ground, his features going pale and slack jawed...

Rachel Summers has posed:
"Uh-huh." Is Rachel's answer, watching the moggy cat dash away with a disgusted sound. This only confirms Rachel's suspicions, Jamie's going to be swamped with kitties soon, all seeking attention, food, nums, shelter, water, litter boxes. Oh, Rachel's very sure Jamie's in for it.

As far as moving stuff over? Yeah, Rachel has everything in a backpack, and that's it. All her worldly possessions include a few articles of clothing and what she has on, so, the red-head sort of just ignores that last comment, instead focusing on the idea of actually LIFTING this imaginary car upwards instead of diving onto the car hood.

Catching Jamie's thoughts, Rachel laughs outloud, "That works too." She offers, before taking a step back. "Well, I'll catch you later, be sure to give me a call if anything comes up, and if things get too loud at the mansion, I might stop by again." And she moves to head on off again.