(2016-08-04) Busking and Dining in Mutant Town
Busking and Dining in Mutant Town
Summary: Log Summary
Date: 2016-08-04
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Busking is a pretty common thing in New York. Seated on the sidewalk between the subway and the diner is Serenity. Though her clothing is worn and somewhat dirty, she herself is not. She's currently got a small gathering around her as she puts on a little concert currently focused on the songs of the legendary Patsy Cline.

He may as well have rented out space at that table. The outdoor patio of the diner had an occupied table where a man in a black suit sat. Well, his jacket was off, because it's summer, and there's a lot of sunshine. But he was under a large sun-umbrella set up on the table, and sunglasses were over his face.

Yes, it was Pete. And he had a club sandwich, partially eaten, sitting on a plate beside a bowl of soup.

It's been a while since James Hudson appeared at the gates of Xavier's Mansion and ran into Rachel Grey. And since that time…

…Rachel's largely left him to his own devices. In her defence, right afterward her mom returned from the dead and she found out her best friend had gotten engaged to some reprobate calling himself 'Star Lord', so she's had a lot on her mind! Belatedly, and a bit guiltily, remembering James, she's dragged him out into the city by way of making up for it.

Rachel's walking on the sidewalk, enjoying the simple pleasures of being out and about in a world where not -everyone- wants to kill her, the song being sung bringing a smile to her face as she looks around to say something to James… and catches sight of someone unexpectedly familiar in front of a diner. "Pete Wisdom?" Rachel says under her breath, apparently not having kept up with the school noticeboard either, and angles off in the man's direction, jerking her her head at him to attract James' attention. "Come on."

James took a look around Jean Grey's school and decided it was okay as a hideout, but that he wanted to explore the world on his own a bit more. He has been checking in every week or so, but not doing much there besides crashing in a guest room.

That is where Rachel found him today. And of course he can spare an afternoon to visit New York with the redhead. She is too good looking to tell her no. Plus he had questions about the 'mutant stuff' this side of… whatever side he is. Which is why they ended up in the former Mutant Town and why he is now studying Pete, still at Rachel's side.

As Serenity finishes one song, there is applause from those listening. Some toss money into the hat laid on the ground in front of her before drifting away. Yet others stop to listen as she continues to play, launching into a perfect rendition of Patsy's hit Crazy (Acoustic version). In fact it's a little more perfect than it should be perhaps. The singing almost sounds like it's straight off the album.

The thing about being a spy is it pays to be observant. And it's hard not to notice the red hair and… familiar, Grey-like features of Rachel. When she called his name, he lifted a napkin to his lips, wiping his mouth. "Come join me, Ms. Grey. Been too long." There was politeness, that British charm, and a hint of genuine friendliness. "Your friend, too."

Though it took a sharp ear to notice how there are differentiations in quality from recordings… yeah, Pete was a good spy, but he didn't have superhuman senses. He couldn't catch Serenity's 'copy' of the sounds.

Sneaking up on people has never been Rachel's style, so she just marches right up to Pete's table, assuming that James is following her. She smirks a bit at the formality of his greeting and can't really help replying in kind. "Mr Wisdom." She says in a grave tone, before her smirk becomes a bit more obvious. "It's been a while." She acknowledges, then gets on with the introductions. "James Hudson, Pete Wisdom. Pete's an old…" Acquaintance? Friend of a friend? "…friend." Rachel finishes, as if she's trying out the word, then gives a mental shrug. "Mind if we stop for a bit?" She asks James, then turns to Pete once more. "Pete, James."

With introductions out of the way, Rachel finds herself a chair and slides into it, distracted for a moment by the song, and the singer. "She's good." Rachel remarks under her breath, before her green eyes latch on to Pete again, curious. "You're a long way from home. What brings you to New York?"

"Sure, Red," replies James to Rachel. Then offers his hand to Pete. "James Hudson," he offers. Obviously not the Canadian superhero Guardian, but apparently the blond young man shares the name.

A glance to Serenity and he grunts in assent to Rachel. "Except she is too good. The pitch and sound is too perfect to be natural."

Serenity continues to sing with the sultry tones of Patsy Cline herself and sways a little to her own music. If anyone in the crowd around her thinks there's anything strange about the fact that she never looks up as she plays, they don't seem to be commenting on it. She plays with the music a little, improvising a lick here and there on her guitar to display her skills for the audience.

"James… Hudson?" Wisdom sounded distinctly curious. It ought to be a common enough name. He'll tug that thread later. He scooted out of his chair to give Rachel a bona fide hug, and offer a hand to James to shake. "Lovely to see you again, and charmed to meet you, Mr. Hudson. Please call me Pete. Come, sit. Order. Enjoy the music." He listened to James and shrugged. "Here it'd be no surprise. Some buskers can turn their voices into light. Not good for the X-Men, but it's great for their performances."

James' little revelation draws a thoughtful look from Rachel. She doesn't have his ear, and she's not that familiar with the source, but she doesn't doubt him. "It's not cheating if it sounds that good." Rachel decides, apparently in a good mood, and digs out a bill. The merest flicker of her telekinesis sends it snaking though the crowd to land neatly in the busker's hat. Should Rachel's little bit of showing off draw the busker's eye, the redhead will offer her a nod and a quick grin… and doesn't have time for anything else as she's suddenly on the receiving end of a slightly unexpected hug from Pete. A little surprised she might be, but she laughs and returns the hug quickly. "Careful." She says, a bit teasingly, "You're a lot less rumpled than Kitty always said you were. I'd hate to ruin it." There's a curious light in her eyes, since Pete really didn't answer her question… but then, knowing what he does, maybe she shouldn't be surprised. She looks over at James. "What would you like? I guess I'm buying, since you're from out of town?" As far out of town as she is, really. But she's been here longer.

James flops down on a seat and offers a half-smirk to Rachel's statement. "Aren't we are?" He has no objections to Rachel buying, but he will keep score for next time. A glance to the menu, but his nose already told him what he wanted. Just find the names. Then Rachel mentions Kitty and he blinks, looks back at her. "Kitty? As in Kitty Pryde?"

This is Mutant Town. Serenity is well aware that some mutants can do that sort of thing. While Rachel's contribution does draw a brief glance around to see where it came from, she quickly looks down again. She finishes up singing Crazy then leans forward to collect her earnings. These are quickly tucked into a pocket before she declares she's taking a break. She takes care returning her guitar to its case then picks it up with her as she approaches the diner. Her audience quickly disperses to their other business.

With the mention of Kitty Pryde, Wisdom's face fell a few notches. He pushed his sunglasses back up. "Those were bad times. She brought good out of me. Then we ended. No hard feelings."

Wisdom, you liar.

"But as to why I'm in New York, glad you asked as it directly involves you, Rachel. You're not from around here. No, you're from an alternate timeline. A really shitty one. Have you run across any other misplaced, or displaced, people? There's been a whole ruckus, and MI-13 is working with SHIELD to try to get a lot of these lost children home."

You can't be a telepath of Rachel's caliber and not pick up when you've said exactly the wrong thing to someone sitting within hugging distance. She feels Pete's mood change before it's even reflected on his face. James' question gives her no time to dig herself out of that particularly hole, and she nods in his direction, looking a bit distracted. "Kitty Pryde, yes. She just got back to the school." She almost leaves it at that, because it's hard to imagine an evil Kitty Pryde from ANY reality, but quickly adds. "She's a friend of mine. Ours." She amends, hastily.

Turning to Pete again, Rachel recognises that now's not the time to push that particularly subject any further. Even if she knows he's lying through his teeth. Instead, she lets him get down to business, sitting back in her seat and crossing one leg over the other. Oddly, she seems to find what he tells her amusing for some reason. "I'd better not be on your list to send back, Pete." She tells him in a mock-warning tone, then looks at James and shrugs. "You want to tell him or should I?" Rachel asks, adding telepathically, « You can trust him. »

James gives Pete a long, quiet look. Then he sighs. "Funny, how small the world can be. You dated Kitty too, hmm?" And not over it. Tsk. "Yeah. Different worlds, I guess. Red here thinks I came from an alternate future, but it was not a future, it was… uh," he looks around. "Same year, almost the same everything. Same street names. Same buildings, except for a few new ones. Some of the same people, but usually not quite the same." He sighs. "Confusing, and I have enhanced senses."

It might be difficult to tell with the noise of the streets but Serenity moves in complete silence. Her footfalls are so carefully balanced that they produce not even a whisper. She moves through the crowd walking down the sidewalk without even looking at the people around her since she keeps her gaze downturned mostly. . o O (Thanks again, Remy LeBeau. I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to be this clean and not have people shrink away from the stink.) She goes to the diner to order herself some dinner.

"We at MI-13 are only of the mind to send folks back home if they're hostiles, ie another von Doom or sommat, or if they *want* to go home. Some of them - you, for instance - are interdimensional refugees and we welcome you with open arms." As evidenced by the earlier hug Pete gave her!

Then James started talking, and Pete sipped his drink - looked like an iced tea. He paused when he heard James dated Kitty. But then he heard more details. "So an alternate reality. They happen. It's what I'm trying to fix. Do you want to get back home, Mr. Hudson?" Wisdom asked. . o O ( Oh, God. Kitty's back? She's back in town? At the school? ) Things in Wisdom's head spiraled, from there. Best not to look. It gets pretty sad.

There's plenty of background noise and Serenity is silent - and Rachel still looks up when she passes. Damn telepaths. Another time she'd have tried to talk to her, if only to find out if she was OK - Rachel lived on the streets herself, when she first got here - but right now, with Pete discussing MI-13 and SHIELD's business? Rachel has to let her go. She's pretty sure she can find her again if she has to, anyway. Damn ex-Hounds.

Rachel's eyes are back on Pete in time for his reassurance that she's not on the list, and she smiles wryly. "Glad to hear that. I like it here." The smile becomes a faint wince when James brings up Kitty again, and for a moment Rachel wishes he was close enough for her to introduce a sharp elbow to his ribs. She almost does it telekinetically, but then a thought hits her. She uncrosses her legs and leans forward, resting her arms on her knees. "Seriously, though. Is there a problem with letting everyone stay? Fate of the multiverse or anything?" She smiles crookedly. "If there is, fixing it might be a bit above my paygrade. I'm not the Phoenix any more." She's serious, but trying to keep the conversation light. And her eyes are sharper than her smile when they lock with Pete's. She makes an impulsive decision. « Stop it. Or I'm erasing my bad joke from your memory, Pete. »

James blinks at Pete. "You could bring me back? Yeah, sure." Except no, they can't, because Warworld doesn't exist anymore and that is where James was from thanks to Doom. If Ultimate Earth still exists after the Secret Wars, it has a different 'dimensional wavelength' than James has now. "I got to try, Red." He notes to Rachel. "This place is very interesting, but all my friends are there, and so is my family." Adopted parents, but still his parents.

"I'll put it like this, Rachel. You know just as well as I do, the *threats* of alternate-universe versions of folks. Need I remind you of the Shadow King-possessed Xavier?" She wasn't around for the AU Captain Britain, though. "Merely tolerating evil ones here in my home isn't something I'm willing to stomach. And since this is your adopted home, neither should you. If we can send any AU Dooms, or Sinisters, or Apocalypses or, god, even Phoenixes, back to wherever reality they're from, more the better."

A pause, and he added, "I don't know if we could handle an AU Galactus." When his eyes met Rachel's, he chewed his lip a moment. . o O ( My thoughts are my business. Please stay out of them right now, if you can. ) He wasn't trained in mental blocks, and even if he was, he likely couldn't stand against a telepath of Rachel's caliber.

to James, he nodded. "We've got some of the best minds working on it right now." He didn't give them the bad news though. That they couldn't find Richards, or this universe's Stark. Or even Strange.

Serenity glances at Rachel when she looks toward her. The attention draws a frown. Performing is one thing but right now she's on her own time. When she gets her food she goes to sit down at a table where she can see Rachel without having to look like she's staring to do so. Just to keep an eye on the way too observant person, ya know?

Not quite what Rachel meant, of course, but… Rachel's giving Pete a bit of leeway, over the whole Kitty thing. So her eyes only narrow slightly. "I was thinking of people like me, Pete. People who want to stay because the worlds they came from are broken beyond fixing, and this world is the only chance they've got. I've seen more worlds - more realities - than you have. I know what's out there. If you want my help KEEPING it out there, or sending it back, I'm there." Rachel takes a breath and sits back in her chair again, as if she can push back from the intensity that just had her in its grip. "If you don't…" She shrugs, and there's a sharpness to her gaze again that shows she picked up on Pete's pointed thoughts. "I'll stay out of it."

Taking another breath, Rachel's relaxed when she turns to James, outwardly at least. "Sorry, James. I didn't think. Where I came from… let's say there's nothing to go back to, and leave it at that, OK?" Rachel shakes her head. "If my family - my real family - were still alive, I'd be trying to get back to them, too."

Rachel didn't catch Serenity's frown, but the change in her mind prickles at the back of her own. Rachel doesn't look around. She's not doing so well with her friends right now, she doesn't want to run someone she doesn't know out of the diner.

"That's fine, Rachel. We're Earth, here. We've accepted you, the Silver Surfer, even plenty of villains have reformed." Wisdom took another bite of his sandwich, not minding to talk without his mouth full. "We'll work with refugees. Try to get people who want to get home, home. And try to get people who have proven themselves unwelcome, somewhere else. Is that too black and white a goal, petal?" he asked Rachel.

Then Wisdom's phone started buzzing. "Bollocks." He set his sandwich down, retrieved his phone, and checked it. Reading over the text he cursed, audibly. "Gotta go, kids. It was lovely seeing you again, Rachel. We should really work together again, sometime. You too, Hudson. Hint: google 'Alpha Flight,' and either 'Guardian,' or 'Vindicator,' when you can. You'll see somethin' interesting." He stood up, left a Jackson at his table, and had to obviously scoot.

James is thinking. And loud enough Rachel can hear him going about Kitty. His Kitty. Up until Pete stands up, that brings him back to reality. "Alright, Pete. Good to meet you, definitely tracking you down soon," he will be a good boy and not listen to the conversation on the cellphone, too.

He leans back on his chair and glances at Rachel again. The usual cocky grin returns. "Hey Red. Weren't we about to ask for food?"

Serenity looks down when Pete stands up. She doesn't want anyone to give her a second thought. She definitely doesn't like to attract notice when she's not performing. She actually has to talk to herself as she eats, in her mind that is. . o O (Do not hurry. It will just come up again if you eat too fast. Not like they're cops.)

That little list of Pete's makes Rachel smirk. Reformed villains, the Herald of a planetary-level threat… and her. And she thought they were friends! Rachel might even have made a crack about it if Pete hadn't been saved by his phone. As he reads the text, Rachel's curious - but she doesn't skim the information from his mind. "You know where to find me." She tells him, lightly, and offers a wave as he makes his exit, watching his retreating back for a few moments thoughtfully. She's going to have to tell Kitty something. Exactly what, she's not really sure… and then she realises that it's not just her who's thinking about Kitty. Or at least, a Kitty. "He's a good guy." Rachel tells James, then ruefully shakes her head. "Really. Even if I did nearly get into an argument with him. And you should probably do what he said." Rachel could tell him, but… it's not going to be a particularly awful revelation, so she decides to let him find out for himself.

"Yeah. We were." Food sounds good. Rachel's hungry. "I'm buying, I remember." She tells James, a bit playfully, and after finding out what he wants, she walks inside to order. The stream of consciousness from Serenity is like a whisper inside her own mind, and Rachel would like nothing more than to reach out telepathically and assure the young woman that no, they're not cops. But she can feel her desire to avoid notice, so Rachel holds back, silently promising herself that she'll come back this way again, soon.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License