(2016-09-01) Second Date (Part 1 of 2): Horse Riding Lesson
Second Date (Part 1 of 2): Horse Riding Lesson
Summary: James Proudstar invites MJ to come out to Xaviers' so he can teach her about riding horses.
Date: 2016-09-01
Related: Follows (2016-09-01) Shopping with MJ and continued in (2016-09-01) Second Date (Part 2 of 2): A Swim in the Cove
NPCs: Rosemary (the horse)
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Location: Xaviers' estate, North Salem, NY

The last date didn't end all that well, due to a plethora of misunderstandings on both sides and James wasn't sure what to do. He did know one thing… he should have practiced this dating thing more when he was a teenager but when you are being trained by the Hellfire Club… there's not a lot of good dating options. Especially when one of your teammates manipulates everyone's emotions just for kicks.

A few days have passed but it's starting to close in on a week since the Day of Misunderstandings (As it shall forever be known from that day forth) and James is unwilling to just let things end on a bad/weird note like they did so he called and left a message that went like this:

"Mary Jay-.. uh… MJ. This is James. Duh, you know that." More silence follows for a few moments as if the Apache was trying to find the right words to belay more misunderstandings.

"I know things went sideways and I hate that they did. I know that things are weird for you right now and I can't even imagine what you must be going through. Not really… this may not be your world, but maybe one of your dreams can come true." James pauses again, coughs once, "God that sounded /really/ bad. Crap. Look, if you want to learn to ride still, come out to Westchester in the early afternoon, the students will be in class and you can dodge any attention. I'm here MJ, as a friend, or whatever you need. I'll be near the stables and they'll know to expect you so you can just come straight here. Uh… hope to see you. Oh yeah, wear comfortable jeans, boots with a heel, and some people say nylon stockings help against chafing."


As the time approaches, James has gotten a mare ready for a new rider as much as he can while remembering MJ's leg length and the like and the big Apache is just making sure the horse is watered and ready for a possible run. Now it's just a waiting game.

MJ had been busy all morning, helping a friend of a friend shop for clothes so did not notice the call or message until lunch time. Once she did she hurried home and changed into clothing she hoped would be appropriate… luckily her native double had a pair of western style boots even to wear. She grabbed a quick lunch and got to her car by 2pm… and thus to Westchester county around 3:15pm and finally to Xaviers by 3:30pm.

As James had told her she was allowed onto the grounds without a comment and ran from the parking area out to the stables, hoping she hadn't discouraged him by being so late and by not having taken the time to call in her rush.

Not breathing heavily despite the speed she ran at, MJ sees James as she approaches the yard and doesn't slow, instead she vaults the fence: placing a hand on the top rail and swinging her legs over to land and continue towards him, although she slows to a fast walk to keep from spooking the horse.

There are advantages to learning to ride at this particular Academy for Gifted Youngsters: The horses have been trained to deal with the occasional flare up of uncontrolled mutant power, so a red-head approaching at a brisk pace doesn't even make them skip a beat. At least not the mare that James has picked out to teach Mary Jane how to ride on. As it stands the horse is not saddled, or bridled, or anything of the sort at the moment. That equipment is resting off to the side on a rack that's been placed outside of the stables themselves.

James probably heard the approach of Mary Janes car before the horse did, he probably picked up her unique scent before the horse did as well, and unlike the horse he /can/ tell that her heartbeat is surprisingly steady and slow for a woman who just ran from the courtyard and vaulted a fence without even slowing down. All interesting things, but, none of his business… unless she really is an evil Mary Jane from an evil dimension or some such… it's a risk he's willing to take though.

"I wasn't sure you were going to come. I'm glad you did though." James rumbles towards Mary Jane in a conversational tone though clearly he thought there was a good chance of her coming out, since he got the horse prepped to teach someone how to ride. He rubs the horse's neck with one hand and the top of her muzzle with the other. "Mary Jane," He says formally, "This is Rosemary. She's a five year old skewbald." Which means she's white base with a reddish tan patches on her coat rather than black with white. "She's going to help us teach you how to ride." He looks into the horse's eye, "Rosemary, this is Mary Jane. I'm sure you'll get along great."

As she approaches James and Rosemary she says, "I'm so sorry to have missed your call. I was actually out this morning with someone from the school if you can believe it."

Then the introductions are made and she says, "Hello Rosemary," to the horse and asks James, "Do I approach her like I would a cat or dog with my hand out for her to smell?"

A deep chuckle escapes James at the question and he can't help but smile, "Only put your hand out towards a horse's mouth if you're going to feed it something. That's what they expect and if you're not careful they can take fingers on accident. Just walk up to her side, give her neck and shoulder a pat and a rub. Let her get used to being near you but I don't expect Rosemary to have any difficulties with your presence MJ. Her last rider smells of sulfur all the time on account of breathing fire so I'm sure she'll be grateful to just get some coconut oil and aloe vera."

"Alright," MJ says after mouthing -breathing fire- as an expression of surprise.

She walks up to Rosemary as James'd instructed and pats the side of the horse's neck then rubs the creature's muscular neck and along the side of her neck and onto her shoulder. "Hello, Rosemary," she says again.

The horse seems to enjoy the patting and rubbing because… it's a horse, and they enjoy things like that. "That's good MJ." James says in support to the woman's actions, he is able to easily see over the horse to see what Mary Jane is doing of course, one of the perks of being so tall. "Once you feel comfortable with being close to her, I put a saddle, stirrups, bit, and bridle over there. You'll probably want to familiarize yourself with them before you try and put them on Rosemary here, get an idea for where you think they need to go." Apparently, James is a learn by doing kind of teacher. He leans forwards though and nods to himself, "Nice boots… but I didn't need the reminder of the shirt." He rumbles a chuckle afterwards.

MJ looks confused for a moment then down at her shirt and her face blooms in a bright red blush of embarrassment. "Oh James," MJ says, "I literally just grabbed the first shirt I could get my hands on because I didn't think a lacy shirt would be appropriate for horse riding." She steps up to him and lays a hand on his arm if he lets her, "Its just an attitude shirt, no deeper meaning."

"Depends on the weather. Shirts are just to keep you warm, protect from the insects… not really a necessary component of horse riding." James rumbles in a deadpan, serious rather than joking, "The nylons however… probably save you some pain if you wore them under the jeans." There is a smile and he reaches to lightly place a hand on her hand on his arm. "When you're ready. Otherwise, if you want there's a brush over in the stables if you want to brush her before trying to ride."

"I always understood that you should brush a horse after riding," MJ says citing her breadth of knowledge acquired from romance novels and movies, "Would it be too early to show me how to put the saddle on her?"

"You should, but a horse likes being brushed all the time in my experience and it can help soothe both the rider, and the steed." James rumbles conversationally, "But if you're feeling comfortable enough…" He gestures over towards the saddle, "Take a look at it, pick it up, hold it, examine all the straps. That's what's going to keep you on her back, and give you a comfortable ride… but if all you want to do is learn to ride, and not to care for the gear and the horse I can get her ready for you."

MJ nods and looks over the saddle for a moment, noting where the straps are and their condition. However, she then says, "I appreciate the need to know how to care for the equipment but perhaps that can be saved for another lesson?"

She smiles at James, as she trusts him to not give her faulty straps or otherwise put her at risk.

James raises an eyebrow at how much Mary Jane seems to want to just get onto the horse and ride and he smiles with a shake of his head afterwards, "Don't get to excited MJ, Rosemary will sense how you feel and respond in kind and while she's well trained, she's still alive and might respond unpredictably. This is a regular riding saddle, I don't believe in sidesaddle unless it's for competition and you're an experienced rider… otherwise it's just a good way to break your leg if the horse tumbles." Gesturing towards the gear James says, "Bring me the tack and I'll show you how to put it on and get her ready to ride." Then he'll proceed to do so, strapping the saddle into place, getting the bit into the space between the horse's front and back teeth and he'll explain how the reins work how she'll turn into the side that is pulled but not to pull to hard or it might hurt the horse, etc, etc…

All said and done James knows a lot about horses and he'll get down on one knee so that Mary Jane can use his leg as a step to get one boot into the stirrup and swing her other leg over, with a boost if she needs it though she probably won't.

Once onto the saddle James makes sure that Mary Jane's boots are all the way forwards, heels doing more than making her a few inches taller it seems. He hands the reins to the woman so that she can presumably turn the mare. "Alright, in the movies they always spur their horses, you're not wearing spurs, because it's cruel and unnecessary unless you want to run a horse to death. When you're ready just give the reins a bit of a shake and she'll start to walk. I'll be right here beside you the entire time even if she breaks out into a gallop there's not a horse here who can outrun me, so you'll be safe the entire time."

MJ had to confirm what the tack was and then was attentive as James gets Rosemary ready for her to mount her. When it comes time to get onto the saddle she is a little nervous and Rosemary notices it and this leads to a delay in the actual mounting. Once she is on the back of the horse she is grinning broadly and seems to be relaxing more as time passes. She nods about the spurs - wouldn't want to use a set anyway - and then she gives the reigns a shake as instructed and makes a happily surprise noise as the horse begins to move beneath her.

"Oh wow," she says and then, still watching where the horse was going, says, "It feels nothing like I imagined it would," to James.

"Right now she's going to give you a bumpy ride because you're just sitting on her like a sack of potatoes." James says with a grin, "Put your boots into the stirrups, press down on them like they were the floor and let your heels hook on then you'll be able to feel her move underneath you and your legs will be like shocks, or springs to help absorb some of the motions. Riding a horse properly is a workout." James smiles at Mary Jane as he walks alongside the mare, gently patting her neck where it meets her shoulder every now and again to help keep the horse from picking up on Mary Jane's nervousness. "When you're ready, give another shake and she'll pick up the pace a touch. If you want her to slow down pull gently back on both reins. If you want her to stop pull back and hold steady pressure."

MJ adjusts how she's sitting, lifting up slightly so that she is resting against the saddle instead of sitting on it with her full weight. However, she tries to brace her weight with her knees at the same moment that she shakes the reigns. Rosemary responds to the twinned messages by hopping straight into a lope from the walk she had been doing earlier.

Startled by this, MJ forgets the instruction to pull on the reigns to slow and instead shakes them and squeezes in with her knees a little tighter causing Rosemary to kick out into a gallop, momentarily pulling away from James. MJ doesn't panic, per-se, but she does call out, "Woah!" loudly like the cowboys do in the movies.

James believes in learning by doing, and so he lets Rosemary have her way with things, waiting to see how Mary Jane handles the surprise of taking off like that… after all this is one of the terms where 'Putting the Boot Down' actually came from, foot down in the stirrups, pull back and… well James is confident he can catch up in short order if he needs to. He doesn't laugh, or chuckle, but he does smile instead focussing his senses on both Mary Jane and Rosemary, listening even to their heartbeats from where he stands to get a read on mood from that and scents on the air. It's probably a good thing he's never run into a pheromone based villain… he'd be so screwed.

On the back of what she feels is a run away horse, MJ is growing concerned. She stops looking ahead and begins to look around for James.

Rosemary, being given what seems to her the right to run free is doing so but her rider is uncomfortable…

Suddenly remembering James' instruction, MJ pulls back firmly, perhaps too firmly, on the reigns and yells, "Woah!" then "James!" and…

To firmly indeed as Mary Jane pulls back on the reins it causes Rosemary to thunder to a stop and then rear back and prance on her hind legs. The problem with a well trained horse is that they try to do anything their rider tells them to do and Mary Jane has been telling Rosemary to do a lot more than she thought she was. James however has been watching, and listening, and when the horse seems to have been given it's head James is bolting forwards at speed. No he's not flying, but he is moving very fast just running across the grounds towards the pair. To his senses it's almost like the horse is rearing in slow motion and he gets there in time to prevent anything truly horrible from happening, like the horse falling and crushing Mary Jane.

James reaches out with one hand and hooks his arm around Mary Jane's waist and with the other he gently places a hand on Rosemary's back at the base of her neck and stabilizes the horse so that he can both catch Mary Jane should she be dumped out of her saddle by the rearing horse and keep the equine from falling and hurting herself or her rider.

"Easy Rosemary." He rumbles soothingly to the mare, "I've got you." And then to Mary Jane, wherever it is she ends up either on the horse still or held protectively against his chest, "Both of you. You alright MJ?" His tone concerned, but also soothing so as to not spook either the woman or the mare.

MJ's breathing is more labored in this moment then it was after the run and James can tell it is /not/ from exertion. She got a fright out of this experience but she did stay on the horse and she doesn't seem to mind his arm around her waist either.

MJ works to bring her breathing under control before she speaks and it doesn't take long to do. "That… that was scary," she says before asking, "What did I do wrong, James?"

"You squeezed with your legs I bet, instead of trusting the saddle and the stirrups." James answers, "That was my fault, I never told you not to squeeze with your legs unless you wanted her to go faster. I guess I was distracted…" He frowns at himself, "When you squeeze with your legs it tells the horse that you're secure and ready to run fast. I don't know if you watched any of the older movies but when they lean forwards they press their knees into the horse and lift themselves up off the saddle to put all their weight into the horse and the stirrups and the horse will gallop as quick as it can." He pats Rosemary's neck gently and then looks up at Mary Jane, who is actually taller than him for once while astride a horse but, not by that much. "You also yanked on the reins instead of pulling back gently… you pulled the e-brake essentially. That's why she reared."

MJ makes an 'oh' expression with her mouth and then says, "Oh, that makes sense. So rearing is the horse equivalent of grinding the engine by excessive breaking at speed." She nods and says, "So… does this mean we have to end the lesson or…" she hesitates and leans forward gently - making sure /not/ to brace with her knees - and lays a hand against Rosemary's neck "… can I try that again?"

James smiles, "No reason to stop… you have heard the saying to get back on the horse after it throws you?" Of course she's heard it. "Don't squeeze with your legs this time, you have to learn to trust the stirrups and saddle to do their job and to use the reins. It's not like you're going to be bareback riding a stallion anytime soon no?" A smile follows and he gives a gentle squeeze of his strong arm around Mary Jane and then lets go, "Go ahead and give her a couple shakes and she'll break into a trot. Snap the reigns with a flick of the wrist if you want her to gallop."

MJ smiles at James with a twinkle in her eyes at the mention of riding bareback but she refrains from commenting because she's not ready to introduce intentional innuendo into their still growing relationship. Instead MJ gently shakes the reigns and Rosemary begins walking again as she tries to "stand" in the stirrups the way had described.

"I'll try for a walk again first," she says and then asks, "Am I doing this right this time?"

James nods at the first comment, "Not quite. You're trying to put all your weight into the stirrups and you only want to do that if you need the horse to have free reign to run without bucking you like crazy. Sit in the saddle, but press down into the stirrups MJ, not enough to fully pick yourself up off the saddle but to ease your weight on it so you can move with Rosemary when she does. That way you're not being tossed around by her motions and you're not killing yourself by using every muscle in your legs all the time."

James also keeps beside Rosemary this time, not touching the horse, or her rider, but just in case he needs to take action again Mary Jane will know he is right there.

"Alright," MJ says and adjusts herself on the saddle and in the stirrups as he described so that she is lightly springing with Rosemary's gentle gait and then says, "This doesn't feel natural but… I guess if riding horses felt natural we'd be born with one, right?"

"It takes time to get used to it, and once you do you will be relaxed and it won't be so stiff. You're learning MJ." James says with a small smile and a rumbling chuckle, "Even Michaelangelo and Picasso had to learn before they created their masterpieces. Feeling natural comes with time and experience and every rider is different. Try different ways of sitting until you find one that is more comfortable for you when she is in motion. Then coax her faster, adjust, and continue. I'll be right here the whole time."

"Oh, its comfortable enough really, just not natural," MJ says smiling as she flicks the reigns to signal Rosemary to step into a trot and suddenly looks awkward for a moment or two as she struggles to adapt to the change in motion. However, this happens faster than before and she says, "Hey, its almost like dancing or s-…" well, she cuts herself off before finishing that word, again she's not /that/ ready to move on yet although James can likely smell that she's not embarrassed by the thought coming up in this moment. Instead of dwelling on it she says, "Its like dancing in that you have to learn how your partner moves and how to move with them."

"I never thought of it that way but you're absolutely right." James rumbles with a chuckle, not drawing attention to what she almost said because honestly, he isn't quite sure what to make of it yet and so ignorance is bliss… even feigned ignorance sometimes. When Mary Jane starts moving Rosemary to a faster clip through the range James picks up his pace as well, easily keeping up with the horse at a jog that has zero chance of winding the big Apache. "You are doing well MJ, it's good that you wanted to keep going even after the first mishap. Often the hardest thing to do, is to get back on the horse as the saying goes."

"To be honest, I think I would've been embarrassed to stop unless you insisted, James," MJ says on the topic of staying on the horse and then just rides around in circles letting Rosemary dictate the course within the horse yard.

After a time she says, "I said goodbye to the memory of my Peter a few days ago," right before flicking the reigns again causing the horse to break into a gallop before James can respond, not that he can't likely catch up and talk all at the same time.

He could most definitely do that but James takes some time to process what she had said before clearly wanting a little bit of space and so he lets Rosemary and Mary Jane keep some distance in front of him for a few minutes. In the end though he does catch up and though he is moving at a light run now, he is definitely not sprinting to keep up with the mare and her rider. "Embarassment can be as good a motivator as any." James rumbles with a soft chuckle, "The important part is that you kept going, not the why of it… at least when it comes to this."

Falling quiet again, James doesn't broach the other subject unless it's something she wants to talk about. Instead he says only, "I'm sorry for your loss MJ, truly…" And there is something in his voice that says he does understand what that's like, shared experience perhaps. After another few pauses he rumbles, "Lean forwards, close to her neck so you're looking over her head and through her ears, stand up on the stirrups with your knees bent into a crouch over her shoulders and then give her reins a sharp snap."

MJ does what James told her to and, as Rosemary kicks into a faster gallop than before, she laughs happily as the horse runs free with her bouncing along in a crouch. MJ whoops in pleasure and over the thunder of the horse's hooves James can hear her yell "Thank you, James!"

Of course, now Mary Jane learns why the knees are pressed into the horse's sides as well when running at a full gallop like that, balance and support and Rosemary truly seems to enjoy running and letting loose. James smiles as he hears Mary Jane laugh and woop like that, knowing that the ride is probably going to be cathartic as Mary Jane does something new… with her new life, taking steps she'd not taken before into the unknown.

James runs behind Rosemary and Mary Jane, easily able to keep pace with the gallop though he appears to be at a full run now but not sprinting. He doesn't overtake the mare though, letting Mary Jane have some space and time and not intervening unless she keeps trying to push Rosemary past where Rosemary is done running at a gallop of course, which should be around fifteen minutes.

MJ doesn't try to force Rosemary to gallop farther than she wants to and falls back from the high crouch when the horse slows to a trot and then into a slow walk again. "That. Was. Incredible," MJ proclaims as it was worthy of the six o'clock news. "I'm supposed to walk her for a bit now, right James?" she asks based on her 'previous education' on the subject of horses.

James catches up but stays behind until Mary Jane is talking once again and he'll come up alongside the woman and her steed, "Yes, to water. She'll have built up a lot of toxins in that gallop, her muscles will cramp if you don't let them wind down with a walk. There's water not far from here." After all at a gallop they've traveled at least five miles out into the woods towards the lake. "I'm glad you're enjoying yourself MJ." James says with a smile, "If you want to really be nice… take her to a stop with a tug on the reins, unhook from your stirrups and swing down and then walk her using the reins as a lead so she's unencumbered."

"Oh, absolutely," MJ says as she tugs on the reins and unhooks her feet from the stirrups and then looks over at James and asks, "How exactly do I get down?" with a self deprivating laugh.

James explains, " First, grab onto the saddle horn with your left hand and hold it tight. Lift your right foot just a touch and then slide your foot back, the boot will slip free of the stirrup and then swing your leg over the rump of the horse. Let it drop down to the ground and catch your weight and then slide your left boot free." James of course moves to catch Mary Jane, or help her get untangled should she get caught up in it. It sounds easier than it is honestly so… mistakes are expected.

MJ performs the dismount cleanly after listening to James' instruction. Once on the ground she smiles up at him and says, "I think I could have just jumped down but that would likely have startled her I imagine." As she pats the animal's side and, instinctively, says, "Thank you Rosemary," to the horse.

"Jumped down, with your feet still hooked in the stirrups?" James asks with an upraised eyebrow. "That's a good way to get dragged to death. It spooks the horse and the rider ends up getting kicked by the rear hooves while being drug along the ground… unless the saddle is tight enough they just get dragged. It's not pleasant." He gathers up the reins and then hands them to Mary Jane, "Come on, she'll need to walk a bit more and the lake is this way." He gestures towards what looks like everywhere else in the light woods, but he knows the lands well… that and he can smell the water.

"Oh, no, not still in the stirrups, James, I meant from off her back," MJ explains as the start to walk though the woods and then, after a minute or two of walking quietly she says, "I'm stronger and tougher than I look actually."

"Me too." James says in agreement with Mary Jane's statement and he chuckles, "As scary as that sounds I guess… but you already knew I am a Mutant who can fly at the very least." He looks down at her as she leads the horse towards the cove. "She's used to a lot of things, Rosemary, she's been with the school for years but I don't think she'd appreciate anyone standing on her back, no. She's not a trained stunt horse." He cocks his head to the side, "So are you a mutant too or… did you run afoul something that changed you?" His tone is politely curious, clearly willing to back off if she seems unwilling to discuss it.

"No, I'm not a mutant," MJ says in a way where it is clear that there is nothing wrong with that one way or another. "Its a long story but I was changed in the process of saving my life… and then the Avengers gave me a suit that further enhances me when I wear it. And now I'm here." Its a gross over simplification but she's not doing it to be deceptive… just avoiding a topic she thinks shouldn't be brought up right now - Peter - for James' sake.

Oversimplification though it may be, James doesn't pry as he listens to the story. "The Avengers just gave you a suit?" He sounds surprised by that, "I guess where you're from, the Avengers are much nicer people than they are here… or were in the past. I don't even know how many of them are the people I know but… history is history." He leads through the woods to the cove which takes about ten minutes of semi-hiking and leading Rosemary before the forest breaks and they're at the lake. "Go ahead and lead her to the lake, it's safe enough to drink."

James waits, "So like, how enhanced?" He asks curiously, "Are you enhanced enough I don't have to worry about accidentally breaking something?"

MJ leads Rosemary to the lake and the horse happily bends her head down to drink from the body of water. "I'm not actually superhuman in any single way," she explains. "The term typically used to describe my abilities is 'Peak Human Capacity'… but since its across the board it looks superhuman since I can out endure most marathoners, challenge Usain Bolt's land speed records, out lift most body builders and so forth."

"I don't know about here, I understand that the team went head to head at one point, that never happened at home. After the Metahuman Safeguard Act passed and they created the Academy… well, I was asked to join to help be the public face of the Avengers."

"It sounds like your world was a lot better than this one in many ways." James rumbles softly, "We haven't had much peace here. In fact… before things went weird with the multiverse, one of our greatest battles was against the Avengers who… in their hubris… decided they needed to try and control, contain, or destroy the Phoenix Force. I hope that you don't get upset by the Avengers that you meet from here." Moving away briefly he goes to pick up a downed tree branch and carry it over towards Rosemary and then jams the limb into the ground so Rosemary's reins can be wrapped around it and she can be left alone if need be.

Turning his attention to Mary Jane in full he smiles a bit then, "So then… very breakable still. I'll keep that in mind."

"Those I've met… well, half of us aren't from this world and… I've only met three other if you don't count young Peter and I wouldn't count him," MJ explains. Then on the topic of her break ability, she says, "I would recover faster as long as I'm not dead though also at least, James," with a quirky smile.

"Either way, hurting you is the farthest thought from my mind MJ. It's not something I want to do at all so let's not put your recovery to the test shall we?" James asks with a small wry smile, "I still hope things turn out well for you if you are wanting to join the Avengers again. I don't know what Havok has planned for us.. at least in relation to the Avengers anymore. So many things have changed." He considers, "I should have had you bring a bathing suit too, we could have gone swimming… won't be long before it gets to cold for it."

"I could have my suit change into a swimsuit, but you don't have your's with you either, James," MJ says on the topic of swimming, seeming to not want to discuss the Avengers or her semi-active membership in the semi-active team. "Or would you run to the mansion, change and bring us towels in the process?"

James chuckles, "I could run, or I could fly… either way it wouldn't take long but I don't know what kind of time you are wanting to spend out here tonight. We never really discussed anything so this is all spur of the moment." James then pauses, "Suit? What suit?"

MJ smiles and says, "The one I told you I was given," and then she proceeds to remove her boots. "I am actually wearing these clothes so I need to take them off first, but I can show you in a few moments if you'll turn around?" As she asks she makes a turn around motion with her finger.

"Um.. tell you what, you do that and I'll go get us some beach towels and maybe something to drink from the mansion as well as my own swim suit?" James doesn't leave immediately but he does turn around as requested and takes a few steps away as well. It'd be easy to see if he was turning to look of course, but he doesn't try to catch a peak.

James hears the brief sharp metal on metal hiss of a short zipper followed by the sound of denim moving on flesh.

Next there's the swish of a t-shirt lifting over the shoulders of the person wearing it.

Another couple of barely audible fabric noises are heard followed by a the sudden smell of metal.

He can hear more sounds of fabric as MJ speaks over the sounds to say, "Alright, you can look again now or fly off and return, either way," with a smile audible in her words.

James chooses not to fly off, instead he chooses to turn around and see what this suit looks like as a bathing suit that Mary Jane claims she has had on her the whole time. The metal though, he has smelled that before around her and he notes, "The backpack?" His tone curious just from the smell before his eyes even manage to take in the appearance of Mary Jane after her changing out of her civilian clothes and into a very high tech suit it seems. He cocks his head to the side, "I can honestly say I have never seen that costume before… and it definitely doesn't look like a bathing suit… those generally have more… skin." He says playfully, teasing and not being suggestive actually. Apparently he has taken the friend route to heart.

At her mental command the suit retracts into the form of a one-piece bathing suit with a scoop neckline, spaghetti straps, a scoop tonga back and high cut legs in a mottled metallic red and black pattern vaguely reminiscent of webbing.

"It can change its form. And yes, the backpack is part of the armor," she says answering his questions.

Continued in Second Date (Part 2 of 2): A Swim in the Cove

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