6998/Just the ladies, alcohol and Bushwick... what could go wrong

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Just the ladies, alcohol and Bushwick... what could go wrong
Date of Scene: 19 July 2021
Location: Saints and Sinners Club
Synopsis: Four woman walk into a bar, one leaves early the other three keep drinking...
Cast of Characters: Raven Darkholme, Clarice Ferguson, Emma Frost, Lydia Dietrich

Raven Darkholme has posed:
The Saints and Sinner club, a place for mutants to come and let it all hang out, have a good time, and wander home drunk and worn out. Mystique kept the place clean, well sanitary anyway. What happened in the Inferno or Heaven was kept on a 'need to know' basis, unless of course you partook of the events in those rooms, then you knew.

The club was mostly empty tonight. End of the weekend, most had work the next day, but a few diehards were out on the dance floor moving to the music. This club was the one place left on earth that Mystique could be blue right now, that she could be her beautiful mutant self because the cops weren't stupid enough to try anything here. Sitting in her favorite booth that allowed her a view of the entire main room, a drink of cranberry juice and vodka in hand, she wears a form fitting silver mini-dress that just barely concealed everything, and a stiletto heels that make her at least five inches taller.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Clarice had arrived with the Mystique - dressed in a high-necked, sleeveless white dress, with a silver, rhinestone incrusted waistline, and a little 'keyhole' opening at her throat. A pair of simple silver sandals complete the look, along with a simple bracelet made of silver chain and clear rhinestones. The white dressed was almost startlingly bright against the purple tones of her skin, and her hair,, and facial markings. At the moment, she was at the bar, getting a refill of her drink before returning to her seat beside Mystique - and trying not to look as uncomfortable as she felt in the fancy get-up.
    But maybe - juuuust maybe - she was starting to like it a little as her gaze flicks briefly over her shoulder at one of the men who'd been eyeing her at the bar.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma strides inside with the confidence of a woman who has gambled, and won, every risky shot she ever took. It is the sort of entrance, in her white clingy dress and outrageous fur cape, that would have Guy Ritchie freeze framing her on the spot. Sunglasses are taken from her face and snapped close, left to hang between her breasts as she spots Mystique. There is pause in how Emma looks at the blue-skinned mutant, but no hesitation, a mere exercise in appraising a dangerous ally and rival, before she finds her way to the booth.

The (former?) White Queen stops before Raven with eyebrows perched high on her brow, thick lips curled in faint amusement as her blue eyes take on the spot. "All of this for me, dear? Read my mind." The Frost heiress removes her coat, the dress she decided to wear tonight leaving her arms bare. She snaps a wink at Clarice, far more playful with the lieutenant than the commander herself.

"Shall we drink to something tonight? Otherwise it is just sad, isn't it, and we cannot have that. Please someone, name an occasion so we can get this party started." She takes a spot at the booth, sliding in gracefully like someone who is used to doing just that just about anywhere she goes. Legs crossed under the table, she eyes the othe two mutants. "How goes my friendly Brotherhood these days?"

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia enters the bar, chin up, chest out, like she has something to prove. In fact, she decided to prove that she /can/ be daring and has worn something a little more revealing than she usually does. She's wearing a black sequined dress that shows ample amount of cleavage, that hugs her tight in all the right places, and ends just above the knees. The sequins of the dress catches the bioluminescent glow of the ever-present ectoplasmic mists that surround her and reflects it back making her look like some kind of deep sea jelly that glides across the room. Her hair has been let out. The tight brown curls have been tamed and her hair falls in waves that reach the middle of her back, and the heels of her shoes are a few inches higher than what people are used to seeing her in.

Making her way across the dance floor, both men and women take notice of her. She's no stranger to the club, but rarely has she ever dressed up like this. She strides over to where Mystique and Clarice are at, about to ask if she can join them when her confidence falters a bit at the sight of Emma, being so cozy with her friends. "May I join you?" she asks. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything."

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Watching Emma's entrance, Mystique's amber eyes follow the telepaths every move and her mind already begins the process of building the shields to keep her out. Instinct, ally or not, she didn't want the woman in her head. She gestures toward the booth as Emma comes close, her way of inviting the woman to sit and join them. She is just about to say something to her when Lydia enters.

The reaction is obvious, not at all hidden, as those yellow eyes land on the ectoplasmic mutant. Both brows go up to her red haired line, a broad smile spreads across her face and those eyes don't miss a single movement Lydia makes. Crossing one leg over the other, she watches Lydia approach, then fans herself with her hand.

"Lydia," she breaths. "You look amazing, like jump your bones amazing."

Now that she's addressed the sexy arrival of Lydia, she turns her attention to Emma. "There's been a lot going on, which would you actually like to hear about and which is just friendly banter and platitudes?"

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Ms. Frost," Clarice greets the woman politely, though a smile crosses her features at the other woman joins them.
    That isn't to say she's neglecting to put up her own rather rudimentary psychic defenses as well, oh no. Having Emma burst into her mind and freeze her in place just the once was more than enough to warn her just how dangerous the woman could be - even as she was willing to recognize the very valid concerns that had prompted Emma's actions in that moment, some six weeks prior. "I think we should drink to a very successful community event over the weekend. Despite the NYPD's attempt to disrupt things - there was a remarkable amount of community unity displayed," she points out - as her attention is stolen by the way Mystique is gazeing intently towards the door. She lifts an arm in casual greeting - flashing Lydia a smile in turn.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma narrows her eyes and smiles, as if scenting delicious perfume. She leans in slightly, and then blue eyes meet Mystique's amber ones. "I love this fragrance you chose for the night. Paranoia Nº5 is excellent on you, my dear commander of the Brotherhood of Mutants. I can just *feel* your mental defenses puckering up. Delightful," she says with a flashing grin. Emma knows she is poking a tiger but this has always been her life. Clarice seems to avoid the comment altogether.

At Lydia's arrival, Emma fingerwavles at the young mutant, "Look at you. Just yesterday you were nothing but the least subtle wallflower at our galas, and now you are a woman commanding attention like she's owed. I *love* it. Give us a twirl, dear, and then come and sit next to me. For old times sake." She pats the spot by her side and returns her eyes to Clarice and Raven.

"Quite honestly, Mystique, any story you might have that might be amusing would be one I am willing to entertain. As for the platitudes and friendly banter, I will let you decide which is which. I like how your eyes move when you are trying to figure me out. So fierce." Emma waggles her eyebrows at the other woman with a sardonic smile, looking about as if expecting someone to take their orders.

"We are not going to go into this sober, are we? I refuse to straight edge with you Brotherhood girls. There are limits to my patience and the lengths you go to fight this good fight of yours."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
The blush that flushes Lydia's face at Mystique's comment almost ruins the together, sure of her self kind of sexy that she was going for and turns her more into a giggling mess. "Thank you," she says. "That... it's what I was going for. To prove that I'm not always so..." she waves a hand, "frumpy."

Lydia looks uncertain at Emma's command. She recognizes her from those days when her parents dragged her to those awful Hellfire Club parties where young socialites were supposed to mingle with other young socialites so they could become a breeding pair for future young socialites. She gives Mystique and Clarice a kind of look that screams, 'Help me!' before squaring her shoulders and putting on a mask of determination.

"Miss Frost," she says, oozing all the charm she can squeeze out of herself. "It's a delight to meet you again! I haven't been to the club in, what, six years? I'm surprised that you remembered me at all." She turns and very deliberately sits down next to Mystique, putting her as a kind of barrier between herself and Emma.

Unlike the other women, Lydia hasn't had any training in putting up mental shields, nor does she have any idea that Emma is a telepath, so her thoughts are like an open book.

Raven Darkholme has posed:
A sip of the mixture in her glass is taken, then Mystique's face was to the face that lacked emotion, one of neutrality, the every same mask she always wears in public. She offered Lydia the attention she deserved, and would really love to offer more, but not wasn't the time or the place.

"Emma, Emma, Emma, you clearly read wrong," she offers, resting the glass on her upper knee for a moment. "Because I honestly could not give two fucks about figuring you out. I leave that sort of thing to Erik, who had you completely figured out. If you want to play the game tonight, by all means, play the game, but I hope you realize, I don't play games, I end them."

Another sip is taken then Lydia is offered a smile, "I'm really pleased to see you step out of your usual comfort zone Lydia, your drinks tonight are on me, in fact..." she gestures to the waitress who comes over. "All of the drinks at this table are on me tonight. I think we're going to need a lot of them if we're going to make it through the night without some form of murder taking place."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Sometimes I end them for her," Clarice offers brightly. "Since Mystique's time is so valuable and all." She leans over towards Emma as she adds in a dramatic whisper, "I keep having to remind Mystique here that we aren't killing in Bushwick. Some habits are difficult to break. It takes time."
    She takes another sip of her scotch, before setting it back down in front of her, looking between Lydia and Emma with open curiousity. "I honestly hadn't realized you two would be acquainted. But... I guess that's just the result of both being from a high-society crowd?" Something which is completely out of Clarice's range of personal experience.

Emma Frost has posed:
As Lydia goes to sit with Mystique, one of Emma's eyebrows perks and she graciously nods, "Fear it is. Suit yourself." With that simple comment her eyes go back to Mystique, head tilting at the words from the woman. She doesn't seem too phased, before adding her thoughts on the matter.

"You don't play games, you end them? I am sure that would look amazing on a tattoo." That is most definitely not a compliment, as the blonde asks for whatever might be that is popular around here. Alcoholic tourism. "Must be dull to have a no games policy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and all of that."

Having ordered her drink, the blonde turns to Clarice, and she leans back, whispering not so hush-hushedly at the lavender-skinned teleporter, "It is okay, we must give our seniors some time to adapt." Leaning back she snap-points at Clarice.

"My dear Lydia here is not *just* high society. She is royalty, in her own way. As for you, I guess you are something of a big shot yourself. Tell me, Clarice: do you see an endgame to your fight?"

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
"Yes," Lydia says, "We're acquainted. She runs a rich person's club for rich people to play rich people games with each other and pretend it was high society. I hated it every time my parents dragged me there." She orders herself her go-to drink: a Manhattan when the waitress comes around to collect their orders. "It's a thing I try to avoid doing anymore."

She just rolls her eyes when Emma calls her royalty, and then Emma suddenly has her attention when that woman turns her sights on Clarice. "At least she /has/ a fight," Lydia says, almost growling. "Tell me, Emma. When was the last time you stood up for somebody other than yourself? When was the last time you tried to make a tangible difference to a community that didn't directly contribute to your pocketbook?"

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Shifting very slightly in her chair, she watches Emma play the game, attempting to push the buttons of those at the table to get a rise out of them. It was the same game the woman always played, it helped open up minds so she could ride the emotions like surfing a wave. Mystique wasn't biting. She knew the woman well enough to know the game, so she just ignored it.

"Don't let her get you worked up Lydia," she offers with a smile. "That's what she wants, to get you worked up and bothered by her words. To antagonize you into reacting. I think it would be far better if we talked about something she had no control over, like actually getting Bushwick cleaned up, rebuilt, and a safe haven for all mutants."

She shifts her eyes to Clarice for a moment, before looking back to Emma. "Though Lydia does make a point about you, what do you do for anyone but yourself? Other than money, what do you have going for you?"

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "An endgame?" Clarice repeats. "We rebuild Genosha. We fortify it," so that what happened there once, can never happen again. "We build in ways to get the non-combatant population out, and to safety if the worst ever happens. We help make places like this successful, thriving, vibrant communities. Social change takes time. It was what - only a hundred years ago that women weren't viewed as full citizens? We change hearts and minds - over time. In the meantime, we support one another, protect one another, and stop the people who do us harm," she says simply.
    As easy as that.
    "And Lydia here - as wonderful as she is - isn't royalty," remarks the memember of the Genoshan Royal Guard. "Perhaps you forget - I work with Royalty.
    Granted, both of them disdain their titles, and Clarice takes it far more seriously than either of them.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma seems to take Lydia's opinions on the Hellfire Club in stride. To each their own. When the young mutant goes after Emma personally, the blonde tilts her head as if the glowing woman is speaking in another language. "Honey, poor people worry about money, I settled that little issue a long time ago, and could do so again anytime." The smile is still there as she parts her lips to return with a quip, but stops herself. Her eyes go over to Mystique and back to Lydia and then leave the woman entirely.

"So you *are* trying to figure me out. Aw, Mystique, this time is you that got it all wrong. I am not trying to get a rise out of dear Lydia. She is royalty among human society, independent of what Magneto may think royalty means. It was definitely a compliment, and trust me, liking it or not, your family is your family. There is no escaping your origins, just... surviving it."

With Mystique's last addition, Emma is about to answer when the drinks arrive. She stops her answer, thanks the waitress, and returns her eyes towards the shapeshifter.

"I pray any mutant would have going for them what I have going for me. To have struggled against the world and won, to have grown to accept themselves and their flaws, to be proud of who they've become. It is painful to see how so many of us hide and live in fear, even among peers. It pales the color of a woman's eyes, to exist in that purgatory." Although the plastic smile and playful demeanor remains, she does seem to amp up the intensity of her words a few notches.

"This is the problem with you girls. You dream of Genosha, of Bushwick, of these transient victories. You miss the big picture. Aunt Emma is here for mutants, though. She will make everything alright." Emma frowns at the drink. "I suppose I don't know what I was expecting, but this will do."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia's eyes glance over at Mystique as she talks about Emma's game, and her anger evaporates. "Your right," she says to her companion. She takes a deep, calming breath and leans back into the back of the booth, crossing her legs. "I shouldn't let her get to me like that. Like she always did." That doesn't stop her from directing a glare Emma's way, though.

She nods as Clarice speaks, and then grins when she's declared wonderful and royalty free, but it sours when Emma reiterates it. She just sighs, and decides that the best way to handle this right now is to take a break from it. "I'm going to go use the ladies room," she announces, getting up. "I'll see you all in a few."

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique rolls her eyes, "I'm not trying to understand you Emma, I already do."

She takes another sip of her drink before continuing, "Magneto is royalty, as is Lorna, of Genosha. You don't have to like it, hell they don't, but they are. If Lydia is royalty among humans, good for her, but it means nothing to mutants. You speak of mutants as if they are lesser than you, sorry they haven't reached your rich, lofty position, but truth is you got lucky to inherit what you have."

She sets the glass on the table, no longer interested in it. "I'll give you the same warning Magneto gave you a few weeks ago. Bushwick belongs to all mutants, you won't be Queen over them any more than he will be King. If 'Aunt Emma' tries anything, the Brotherhood will squish you like a bug, mutant or not, because clearly, you don't give a damn about mutants other than yourself."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Guarding him is even worse than guarding Lorna," Clarice laments. "And Lorna's no walk in the park. If he'd let me get him clear when Genosha fell..." He wouldn't have been trapped for months. The rebuilding efforts could have started sooner, and more smoothly. ...what a mess. "I swear, he's determined to give me elevated blood pressure." Mystique //told him// to get clear when the NYPD was closing in. Did he listen? No. Would he let Clarice back him up? No.
    "The worst," she mutters.
    She sips her drink again before adding for Emma, "We're building a world where mutant kind doesn't //have// to struggle against the world. Why would you want them to struggle, and suffer? My misfortunes have made me who I am - but I wouldn't wish them on anyone. Not even my enemies." Well. Other than any surviving magistrates...

Emma Frost has posed:
The blonde eyerolls at Mystique. "Oh, Mystique. If you did you would know better than to drip this tired rethoric all over the floor." Emma doesn't go around correcting the Brotherhood member.

To Clarice, "I do not wish for struggle, but we all struggle nonetheless. This is the nature of the world. Alas, you people have your own ideas of what this new world looks like, and mutants you deem unworthy don't fit. A shame."

"As I've said, Bushwick doesn't mean much to me. What I hope to achieve is something more complex than you people seem to think is possible." Emma sets her drink down, and stands.

"I bid you all good luck in you endeavors, but as it seems I am not wanted or needed, I will leave you girls to it. Ta ta!" The blonde fingerwavles at the remaining mutants.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia looks visibly relieved that Emma is gone, when she finally comes back to the table. "God," she breathes, as she slides into the booth. "She hasn't changed an /inch/ in ten years. And what the hell was that crap about me being royalty?" She slumps and sighs, dragging her as of yet untouched Manhattan closer to her.

She heaves a sigh, takes a sip of her cocktail, and then straightens up, brushing out perceived wrinkles in her dress. "Right. Now. Let's pretend that she was never here and I had just walked up and dazzled you all with how un-frumpy I can be."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Yes, but I think there hasn't been enough attention on how amazing //I// look. Wasn't that the whole point of our recent excursion?" Clarice interjects brightly.

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique watches Emma's hasty departure, hmming softly to herself as she does. She still didn't trust that woman, but such words and actions would lead to trouble in the end, if Emma didn't reign it in. What she wouldn't give for a strong telepath among the Brotherhood members, to be able to just once shove back in Emma's face her presence could cause in others.

"You both look amazing," she says now, pulling herself out of her thoughts. "Clarice, that dress was a perfect choice for you, and Lydia, I'm taking you home tonight, I swear..." She wiggles her brows at Lydia, then offers Clarice a smile before picking up her drink to lift slightly, "To looking so hot you make jaws drop and noses bleed!"

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "We all look lovely," Clarice agrees - living her glass in turn, before taking a drink from it. She lets out a sigh before adding, "I was trying not to think about how my powers are acting up. So - of course - it was just about the only thing I could think about. Being around telepaths is the absolutely //worst,//" she complains.
    "Though honestly, I don't mind Emma that much. I just wish- I don't know. What is this 'grand vision' she claims she has that's supposed to be so much better than what I want for our people? I don't buy it."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
"And you look amaaaaaaaazing, dahling!" Lydia drawls out. "I was too blindsided by Emma's appearance to have given you my full attention. Which you have now. And that dress is so good on you," she says, grinning.

Mystique's comment once again sets her blushing furiously but when the cheer comes she picks up her Manhattan and shouts, "L'chaim!" She gives the cobalt mutant a wicked grins and says playfully, "Get me drunk enough and you just might."

Though something Clarice says nearly slaps her in the face. "Wait. Emma is a /telepath/?" Her jaws clench as she shakes her head, "That explains /so much/, that /bitch/."

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique lifts her glass then takes a drink, "Yes, Emma is a telepath... I've trained for years to block telepaths out, but not everyone has had the time I have to do it."

Looking now to Clarice she says, "I would settle for knowing what her grand vision /was/. She's talked about it so many times like it's the salvation we should all be waiting for, but not once has she hinted at it. I'm still convinced the plan involves her on a throne."

With that said, she waves the waitress over, "Another Manhattan for Lydia, I need her no longer sober."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Whoops," is Clarice's remorseless reply to giving away Emma's secret.
    "Yeah, a rather powerful telepath. She once got in my head and-" She cuts herself off abruptly, shooting an accusing look at the glass of scotch in her hand. This was something she hadn't really meant to bring up, but she hadn't been thinking. Not much for it now, "-temporarily robbed me of the ability to move. It was a weird feeling. She actually apologized for it afterwards, though."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia giggles when Mystique orders her a second Manhattan. "I haven't even finished my first!" she weakly protests. She takes a sip, offering, "I don't think she even /has/ a grand vision. I think it's mostly hot air to make herself look more important than she is. She can't /stand/ not being the center of attention." She shakes her head and scowl. "I mean, look at us. She's left and we're /still/ talking about her!"

Clarice's admission gets a glower out of Lydia. "That's just /wrong/."

Raven Darkholme has posed:
Mystique slowly turns her head to look at Clarice as she says through clenched teeth, "You never told me that." She lets out a breath slowly and relaxes again. "I always wondered what the hell happened that night, you came back freaked out an agitated, but you wouldn't talk about and now I know. If she ever," her voices raises, authority oozing from her. "/EVER/ does that again, you tell me."

Now she has to close her eyes and take a moment, because every part of her wants to go right now, find Emma and beat the ever living shit out of her, but that would accomplish nothing. Letting her breath out slowly again, she opens her eyes.

"This one will just be ready for you Lydia, when you finish the first that is."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "For a reason," Clarice answers Mystique. "It was a misunderstanding. She apologized for the error - sincerely, I believe. I don't hold it against her, but it's something I never, //ever// want to experience again," she states simply. "And I honestly don't think it will. She and I have an understanding, now."
    Looking at Mystique seriously she adds, "I'd prefer you don't let her know I told you that. Please."