6295/Beer and Bentleys

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Beer and Bentleys
Date of Scene: 22 May 2021
Location: Harry's Hideaway (Bar)
Synopsis: Scott's solo night at Harry's is interrupted by Emma. A heated discussion ensues ending in offers of mutual assistance. One blouse was harmed in the making of this scene.
Cast of Characters: Scott Summers, Emma Frost

Scott Summers has posed:
Harry's is the quintessential place for anyone remotely associated with Xavier's School and over the age of twenty-one to grab a beer or whatever other poison they might like. The paragon of rigid discipline himself isn't able to escape the call of decent alcohol and billiards.

And so, there Scott is wearing blue jeans, a black shirt, a pair of sturdy but trendy leather shoes, and the unescapable ruby lenses. With a pool cue in hand, he lines up on the pool table and strikes the ball. The sharp crack marks the breaking of a racked set, balls thumping and clacking as they scatter across the green. He pauses, sipping from a long neck, then stares at the situation. Done right, it's a game of skill and tactics. Scott methodically plans his next sequence of shots.

It's a greatly desired distraction. No students. No missions. A little moment of zen.

Emma Frost has posed:
The chain of events begins inside Harry's Hideaway as two patrons stop in the middle of what they're doing--one holding up a game of darts in the process--to walk to the door and climb inside their cars, the two nearest the entrance. The pair quickly and efficiently move their cars elsewhere in the parking log before returning to the bar and continuing from where they left off to the confused consternation of their companions. (This doesn't mention their own confusion when grilled by their colleagues as to what had happened.)

Moments later a Bentley Mulsanne Speed (OOC: https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code=XZFAVVZ333JjkX6mDhAMDOVI7wKbSTgLtjy), ghost white, rounds the corner and heads directly for the vacated places, parking near the entrance of the pub. Out of it steps Emma Frost, resplendent in her "porn studio business look" outfit, blue shades covering her azure eyes as she strides in her eye-catching way to the entrance.

As she enters, another patron presses the final button in her selection at the jukebox. AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long".

"Harry! Wonderful to see you again!" Emma enthuses as Harry puts her glass of claret on the counter. Bills exchange hands, including a playful linger paired with a familiar wink.

"You know me so well," she purrs, as she leans, back against the bar, to scan the residents. "Oh, Scott! I didn't see you there. Lovely day today isn't it?" Emma slithers over to Scott's table to watch the shot.

Zen peace destroyed.

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott's mastery of geometry extends itself well to the game before him. By nature of his power or simply days, weeks of experimentation with trajectories, Scott is an absolute shark. His grasp of tactics grounds him preventing him from showing off. He methodically sinks one ball at a time, the cue ball set into a beneficial position in the rebound of each shot.

Despite his focus, he's situationally aware enough to notice the series of odd events. His brow knits over his glasses. He pauses and glances toward the patrons who fail to explain their actions to their friends. He's concerned... and then Emma enters.

Now he is even more concerned. He sighs. It doesn't take telepathy to garner his thoughts on her apparent abuse of power. He takes another shot, its not quite as precise as the others, but he still hits the mark. He starts chalking up the cue as he responds Emma, "A lovely evening... to maybe not harass Harry's customers?"

The Scott Summers patented grim expression paints itself across his lips in something not quite a frown, definitely not a smile. Another sigh follows, "Nevermind... You aren't a student. There isn't a student here to see the example, and no one's hurt." He's more speaking to himself then the woman in front of him. He sips one more from his long neck.

"What brings you to Harry's, Emma?"

Emma Frost has posed:
"The companionship, obviously," Emma says with a bright smile. "I had a nostalgic yearning for the low brow and immediately thought back to fond memories of taking abuse from colleagues and coworkers here."

The tone is bantering ... but in the time-honoured Emma way of 'ha-ha only serious'.

"What about you? Is life at the mansion still agreeing with you?" Emma takes a seat nearby to watch as she talks, crossing her legs demurely and sipping from the wine momentarily. "Children still driving you crazy? You should come to me for that if they do. I'm quite a gifted therapist. None of my patients ever complains after my treatments."

It's hard to see her eyes behind the blue shades ... until she removes them and hangs them from the breast pocket of her duster-like blazer. Then they dance with amusement.

"Come now, Scott, there's no reason to be nervous of my presence. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott listens, lips curling into a faint smile that wouldn't quite reach his eyes if they were visible. He watches take her seat and perch demurely. His beer bottle comes back to his lips as his sun glasses maintain an illusion of a stare. "We've got the help we need, but if that ever changes. I'll consider the offer."

An eyebrow raises over a ruby red lens. "Who said I was nervous? Just cautious. Let's be honest. If we swapped bodies right now. How at ease would you be?"

He shrugs, "But if you are just here for companionship and a few verbal jabs. Alright then. There's worse people to spend an evening with."

The game is resumed, Scott walking around the table, lining up shots as he continues his run. "Staying out of trouble, Emma?" He asks to keep the conversation going.

Emma Frost has posed:
"I have been involved in no detected crime," Emma concurs, nodding. "I did launch a project recently, however. I'm actually out and about gauging its coverage and delivery. Have you seen any of the media blitz?" (OOC: +bbread 4/323) Emma's faux-causal voice is belied by just a little tension at the shoulder. "It's a project I have invested some personal interest in, so needless to say I'm on more than a few pins and needles now."

Emma confessing to weakness.

What does she want?

"It's a rather ambitious project and I'm marshalling up support for it now. It's the kind of project that tends to attract the wrong crowd."

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott softens a little bit, maybe it's the show of vulnerability or maybe its Scott has been following the news. He sets the cue stick on the side of the table and turns to face her, leaning against the edge. He replies, "I have."

A moment of silence lingers as he considers his next words. A mind reader might realize he's being tactical in his word choices. He doesn't want to completely put aside his disapproval of the little display of power that had just occurred yet he genuinely admires her efforts in Bushwick.

He sighs and decides to give the woman her due. "It's a noble thing, and I'm honestly impressed. It's something you are uniquely positioned to do. I hope it works out... and if you do attract the wrong crowd, you can give me a call. I won't speak for others but..."

Nodding to her, he taps the side of his glasses, maybe he was guessing what she wanted. "I'll show to help... Save me the heartbreak if you've got ulterior motives though. You know we'll find out eventually if you do."

Emma Frost has posed:
"Oh don't be silly, Scott! Of course I have an ulterior motive. My heart does break for these people-recall that I can actually feel what they're feeling when I'm there, and that the first skill I had to learn was how to STOP listening to others!-but there are naturally motives beyond that."

She's looking a little peeved, but not at Scott's implied accusation. More at his naivete.

"There are practical considerations in any such project, and in my case that practical consideration is money. Save Mutant Town and make it a vibrant community whose members are proud of themselves yes. But in the process make money. Because I can't have a monetary sinkhole for a wide variety of reasons, including that a self-sustaining, and indeed profitable, such community can fund another uplift, then another and another and another. So if you think profit motive is an 'ulterior motive' worthy of judging me, judge away."

The face is purely defiant. Almost arrogantly so, in its challenging gaze at Scott. The body language reads differently though. The arrogance is a front as it often seems to be.

"Charles doesn't hold a monopoly on caring for others while turning a profit, Scott. Nor does Erik. This is my hat toss into the ring."

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott frowns at her, but he listens. He takes it all in, listening to each word. He reads the expression of defiance and allows a moment of silence to linger before he replies. He wanted to make sure she was finished.

"Been practicing that speech, haven't you?" He approaches Emma and leans forward. Close enough, her visage is mirrored in the ruby glasses. It's good she can read his emotions. With the windows to his soul perpetually obscured, he's a hard man to read.

"That sounds practical to me. You obviously don't need more money, but you can't keep up your operation without resources. Yes, Charles... Erik.. they do not hold monopolies on turning a profit. Neither does Emma Frost have a monopoly on strategy." He raises a hand and practically puts a finger between her eyes.

"Don't talk to me like I am an idiot. I've got my ideals. I work hard to realize them, but I'm pragmatic. If I wasn't, people would die." He lowers the finger. "I mean real ulterior motives. Power plays. Same reasons I give Erik or any other powerful mutant the side eye. The same slippery slope..."

Emma Frost has posed:
There's a long stare. An uncomfortable swallow. Probably a quick thought of what it would take to get out of Scott's line of fire. Involuntary. She's Emma Frost, yes, and one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet. But she's not invincible and Scott's not exactly a lightweight himself.

"Scott, please. I know I'm mistrusted. And with good reason. But surely you've spotted the pattern by now?"

Another strained swallow. Were Logan here he could have heard the elevated heart rate. Smelled the fear in the sweat breaking out.

"I love our people more than most, Scott. Maybe more than Charles." She tightens her mouth a bit. "Maybe not as much as Erik, though." She shifts uncomfortably in her chair. "I let myself get led astray by a monster, Scott. One who told me what I wanted to hear. One who used my inexperience, my naivite, and, yes, the broken goods nature of my personality to ..."

Her voice breaks. If honest she's close to tears. If not, she needs an Oscar.

"I've done things that are wrong, Scott," she says after recovering. "You and I both know it. And I know more than you because I have the memories still. But at no point have I ever taken an action that went against what I thought were the interests of our kind. You know this, Scott, even if you don't want to believe it."

More of her arrogance and bluster fronts her. Her crutch. Her inability to admit weakness for long.

"Mutant Town breaks my heart, Scott. Our kind suffer there, but because they're not useful to anybody they're passed over. Erik wants to gather powerful mutants and children he can brainwash in his sick war against the humans. Charles wants to educate, but because of limited resources, like mine, focuses on those like you. And me. And Kitty and Kurt and Jean and ..." Her voice trails off.

Another painful swallow, but this one isn't one of fear.

"Mine are the dregs, Scott. Those thought of as unimportant in the grand scheme. The ones who fall through the cracks: can't pass as human in a human world, not impressive enough to warrant attention in the mutant world. These will be my people, Scott. I will build them into a community. Give them pride in themselves and their surroundings. Make. Them. Happy."

Then, overwhelmed, she lets out a confused mix of a sob and a giggle.

"Not the way you're thinking."

Scott Summers has posed:
Once more, Scott listens. He keeps his poker face out of habit, but his thoughts are analyzing and considering every word. He questions if he's being manipulated, but still, he listens on.

There's a touch of shame on the surface of his mind. He adjusts his posture, making himself a little less imposing. He silently considers. "You are the accomplished therapist, Emma... I'm not the one you need to convince."

He sighs and raises the same finger then pokes her unceremoniously between the eyes. Its an intentional shock. Maybe he wants to trigger some outrage. Anything to distract her from her welling emotions. "Maybe I am an idiot, because I believe you. I can't help but think about Kurt and Hank. How privileged we are to not have to face their same challenges. The world doesn't deserve people like them. It can use more people working on fixing that."

A stoic nod follows, "Glad you are using all your privilege for something worthwhile: Beauty, Money, Power. Make it happen. For those who need it... including yourself. Seems obvious to me, you've got something to prove."

Emma Frost has posed:
"Would you PLEASE," Emma growls, "STOP. Every time your skin touches mine I have to fight off your thoughts." She holds up her brocade-covered hands. "Do you think I always wear gloves as a fashion statement?!"

Yes. Annoyance worked at distracting her from her near emotional outburst. If it was real.

And old Emma comes back. Cool Emma. Calculating Emma. Libidinous Emma using her looks as a weapon.

"If you're intent on skin contact, my car is more than large enough to do the job properly."

That inviting smile would melt hearts ... of those lacking the experience to see the flames of malice in the eyes. The hungry wolf eyes packaged in the come-hither smile and posture. The smile of someone who knows that the other is seeing those same wolf eyes...

And then it vanishes.

"Thank you, however, Scott, for hearing me out. And for your offer. In an ideal world you'd never have to deliver on that offer, but we don't live in an ideal world do we? Consider what you'd like in return for such assistance." She pauses, tapping her teeth against the side of her glass a moment before taking a gulp of the blood-red liquid within. "Just to be clear, while I may not be in agreement with Charles' approach, I bear his mob no ill will. You helped me when I needed it and took me in when I had nowhere to turn. Say what you like about me, but I do repay my debts."

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott gives Emma an infuriating grin out of satisfaction that the tactical 'poke' was successful. His eyebrow raises once more above his glasses as she reassumes her icy guise. Few would accuse Scott Summers of having 'game', but he can read a threat and knows when something is being 'weaponized' even if the weapon is tactically applied sex-appeal.

"Somehow, I don't think a quickie in the back of any car... even a very expensive one is your style, Emma. Save the mask for someone who hasn't seen behind it." He gives her some space and leans against the pool table. "Or at least find a better way to ask me out on a date."

Another stoic nod is given in reply to her thanks. "Emma, when you do the right thing, for the right reason. I've got your back." He goes to drink from his bottle but releases its empty. "And thanks for the lack of 'ill will', we don't exactly need more enemies. As for the debt, pay it forward. But if we do need help, I won't hesitate to ask. In the end, the more of us that have each other's backs, the better."

Emma Frost has posed:
"A date? Is that what the children are calling it these days? It all moves so quickly." Emma's vamping persona disappears as quickly as it appeared and in place is the relaxed, playful, teasing, after-hours Emma once more. "When I was in college we called it 'hooking up'. Now we're back in the terminology of my grandparents." She frowns a bit as she considers. "Come to think of it, in those days it was also the boys who asked the girls, so maybe it hasn't quite come full circle."

Then, mirthfully, teasingly, she adds in a low purr, "But don't knock the back of a Bentley, Scott. I've had hotel experiences with less room to manoeuvre..."

And again it's off like a light switch. "Tragically, however, I lack time for 'dating' these days, and I'm well past my 'hasty and desperate grapples in the back rooms of clubs' date. There's no rest for the wicked, it seems, and even less for those attempting to be less so. This Bushwick project is occupying what little free time I had left and sometimes eating into sleep time."

But apparently not her daily beautifying routine if the impeccable hair and makeup job is anything to go by.

"Even when I come to an old haunt to just relax, I do so with an eye toward marketing. I was hoping to see someone from the Mansion."

Coy smile. This one reaches her eyes.

"I'm glad it was you. You have the right blend of idealism and cynicism for me to gauge an honest reaction from."

Scott Summers has posed:
"Probably a good thing all this altruism is keeping you busy instead of tying up heart strings." He leans past Emma and places his empty beer bottle behind her on the table.

"Hasty and desperate grapples? That sounds more like combat training. Starting to make me really wonder what constitutes a good time for 'Emma Frost'." He seems amused by the banter.

"I have the privilege and disadvantage of being brutally honest most of the time. It makes me a good field leader and terrible at more things then I can count. Well, marketing mission accomplished, Emma. You've got my number if you need me... or us if the threat warrants it." He turns toward the bar and begins walking.

"I'm getting another beer. You jetting since you've gotten what you want, or are you going to share more stories of 'Bently gymnastics'?" He shakes his head with a genuine chuckle.

Emma Frost has posed:
"If my presence is still welcome, Scott, now that you know my ulterior motive for being here, I wouldn't mind just putting my feet up, letting down my hair, and relaxing a while."

Emma does precisely that, leaning back on her chair's hind legs to put her thigh-high boot clad legs on the table, crossed, and throwing her head back to flip her hair back in a wave behind her.

"I've been working a bit too hard since leaving, trying to get my own projects going. You know about the Centinel naturally. It was while working on that that I felt the ... desperation. The hopelessness. And that haunted me until I came up with my outreach foundation." She snorts. "And now that the wheels have met the pavement on that one, maybe it's time for time off. Just Emma time."

She toys with her glass, running her middle finger over the rim until it starts making a high-pitched ring.

"Or Emma plus guest?"

Again that peculiar vulnerability showing through the cracks in her self-assured facade. She wants company in her solitude, it seems.

"If I'm not ruining your image, that is."

And there they are. The protective hedgehog spines of cynicism.

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott returns with a fresh beer bottle and grabs a chair at the same table as the 'boots on display'. He spins it around and straddles it, forearms resting on the back as he takes a swig.

He seems to be relying on the same conversation tactics this evening. He uses silence as a response to her quips or barbs. In the comment about ruining his image, he stares. Once the silence is almost unbearable for himself, he shrugs. "You are the one slumming it, not me."

"As for being overworked. That's actually the same reason I'm here. I'm trying to get just a little more balanced. I thought I'd hit my quota with a little beach volley ball.... But then Kurt exposes us to this ridiculous scenario that ended in 'Sky Sharks." He can only be talking about some kind of Danger Room training session.

"I knew I had a problem when I was legitimately trying to figure out battlefield tactics for fighting off sky sharks while staring at the ceiling of my room." He gestures to their surrounding, "So here I am." He taps her glass with his beer bottle. "Now here we are."

Emma Frost has posed:
The laugh is genuine as Emma pictures Scott's sleepless night with sky sharks. And it is thorough to the point she spills some of her wine on herself, causing a bit of a kerfuffle as she hastily sets down the glass and starts dabbing. "Seltzer, please, Harry!" she calls out.

While waiting for that and dabbing, she still manages to giggle. An actual giggle. Complete with the hint of a snort at the end.

"Kurt can be an ass," she says, eyes dancing as she dabs at her blouse, soaking up as much liquid as she can with napkins until Harry hands her a glass of seltzer and a proper cloth. "But I'm sorry, the picture of you staying up late at night thinking about sky sharks is just too funny, Scott. I dream of long stays in Buddhist monasteries with nobody speaking within a hundred miles, and you dream of sky sharks."

She giggles again, helpless to clean off her blouse.

Scott Summers has posed:
"Kurt didn't give me a chance to resolve the scenario, so it's driving me out of my mind. I'm like a dog gnawing at a bone. An unsolved contingency. Yep, I've got a problem." He laughs and takes a long pull from his beer bottle.

He acts like he wants to help with the stain, setting down the beer bottle, but the apparent awkwardness of any attempt to dab causes him to keep his hands to himself. "Well, I guess a stained blouse is a small price to pay... or given your tastes... a big price to pay for a good laugh. Either way, probably worth it."

Groaning, he leans back, straightening his arms. "Yes, he can, but never in a truly mean way. Just in a sometimes annoying... kid brother... way."

Sipping again, he considers the tranquility of a Buddhist monastery. "Sounds great, but I bet I'd just end up drawing defense plans. Maybe if it was on a mountain with flak guns for countering air assaults. Ah, now that sounds peaceful."

A little paranoia is expected after fighting a war against giant robots.

"But yea. Me, Sky Sharks, and a Cat named Scruffles. That was my big night." He sighs.

Emma Frost has posed:
"Now that I can help with, Scott," Emma says, mischief lighting her face as she makes 'spooky spell-casting' gestures Scott's way. "Tell me what you want to forget and it will be gone." Yes, she's joking. But it's one of her famous jokes with a serious edge. It's an offer couched in a joke. "Or if that bothers you, just come visit me. I'm quite adept at making people forget everything but the here and now." This is less joke, more offer. "When life overwhelms you, I don't have to make you forget entirely. I can just make you forget a few hours."

Damn. If there isn't a whole lot of loneliness behind those eyes.

"Think about it," she says, standing and frowning at the stain. "I'm afraid my clumsiness is cutting this short. This blouse needs emergency attention I can't get at Harry's, unfortunately."

She leans forward and, despite her earlier scolding over skin contact, initiates skin contact: brocade-covered hand on his right cheek along the jawline, ruby red lips on his left cheek in a perfect, symmetrically-applied kiss. "It was lovely seeing you again."

And CEO Emma is back, as she straightens and waves, striding off confidently, though landing one more barb over her shoulder.

"Wash that cheek before you visit whoever your paramour is these days, Scott. They don't need to see that imprint."

Musical laughter follows her out the door.

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott stares and considers the offer. She was a therapist after all. Maybe she could induce a few moments of peace. It's a kind of vulnerability that might be easier to express to someone besides a mentor like Charles. The double entendre isn't lost either.

He doesn't retract when the brocade-covered hand or the ruby red lips touch his cheeks. At the barb, he reaches up and draws his thumb across the site of the cheek, checking for red. He murmurs, "I just spent a few minutes talking about not having a life... and she jokes about paramours."

Watching her go and the musical laughter lingering on his ears, he takes another long sip from his beer bottle. "Harry. I might need you to talk me out of a very bad idea."