1963-09-12 - The Den of Sin
Summary: Some teens clean up some vandalism in the Baxter Building while neighbours meet.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
maverick sue heather 

It's midday in the Baxter Building and security at the front entrance has flagged some n'er-do-wells skulking around the block. Of course, these particular troublemakers now are scrubbing the front lobby.

"Scrub, scrub, scrub," comes the voice of the small Korean woman overseeing the kids' behaviour. "Scuffs are made, debts are paid~" she virtually sings as her high heels clap along the tile floor.

The troublemakers mop and polish each in turn, and the teen boys look spat Sue hopefully. "Miss Storm," one of them says sweetly, "you look very pretty in your dress. Navy is definitely your colour."

"Miss Storm," the second one chimes, "the weather is really nice today and it'd be a shame — "

"Aish!" Sue lifts a hand, "You do the crime. You do the time." Her arms cross over her chest. Hooligans beware, Sue Storm CAN (and will) catch you. Do not mess up the lobby.


It is still a touch surreal for David to be coming to the Baxter Building. Accurate or no, he just has this perception of the place as somewhere he Does Not Belong — its more notable residents just make the place feel too… good. Too safe. He's a square peg trying to occupy a round hole. It doesn't work.

And yet the doorman draws the door open and David offers him a quiet thanks as he steps through, clad in his simple black suit and carrying a slender, empty briefcase. He keeps his head down and starts for the elevator.

The exclamation gets his attention, though, and David finds himself stopping to look with a curious tilt of his head.


"But Miss Storm — " the first whines as he continues to mop up the mess of the floor.

"But what?" the Korean woman stares at the teen. "I caught you retreating after," she points to the floor which has deep black scuffs against it. "We agreed that this would restore order and I wouldn't have to call your mothers. I still feel like this is a fair exchange — "

The kid rolls his eyes with exasperation.

The newcomer into the building is cast a polite smile, but it doesn't quite last as Sue's head tilts curiously. "I…" a glance is given to the doorman who let David in, and so she extends a hand to David even while he strolls to the elevator, "I'm Sue Storm. I don't believe we've met." There's a pause. "I know most people in the building, but," her eyebrows draw together. "I'm so sorry if I missed you. I try to make it a point to know all of our neighbours." No matter how full the building becomes.


For about a heartbeat after Sue turns towards him, David resembles a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi truck, staying where he is and straightening his posture in response. Even he isn't entirely sure why.

He gives himself a quick mental shake to jostle a smile loose. "You haven't missed anyone, Miss Storm," he promises, but it doesn't stop him from reaching out to shake the offered hand. "I am staying with a friend for a few days." He's convinced that's all it's going to be. "David North. An honor, ma'am."


"Sue, please," she offers with another smile.

"Can we call you — " one of the teens calls back.

"No," she interrupts bluntly. "People who purposely come into the lobby to scuff the beautiful floors and disrupt my neighbours all because of a bet get to call me Miss Storm." She smiles tightly over her shoulder.

Her attention easily moves back to David. "Mister North, welcome," the smile finds its easiness again when she's not scolding teenagers. "I still apologize. We try to make sure we know our neighbours and their," she struggles to come up with a phrase, "regular visitors so we can maintain some semblance of security." She grins. "Who are you staying with? I hope I've met your friend at least…" now that would be a faux pas.


"If you are to be Sue, then please, call me David." His smile warms a bit and he inclines his head politely. Look at him, being a person. It's like riding a bike.

David tries his best not to look too amused at the byplay between her and the kids, absently shifting to loosely hold the briefcase behind his back, the handle hooked lazily over two fingers from either hand. "I understand completely."

David's eyes flick towards the elevator and, for a moment, he hesitates. People… talk. "…Heather MacNeil," he tells her quietly, quick to hold up one hand. "We are old friends, I knew her husband, it — she's just helping me back on my feet. Nothing more."


"David it is," Sue replies easily. There's an easy rapport that she's built around the public persona. In many respects, it's easier to play Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four than Seo Hyun, her true self.

Her hands clasp lightly in front of her, "Heather! Heather is wonderful. Truly a wonderful woman," she asserts quietly. The defence of staying with Heather prompts Sue's hands to lift. "It's fine. People have friends visit them from time-to-time David."

The teens, however, react differently, "You're staying with a woman? Who doesn't have a husband?!"

"Aish!" Sue scolds over her shoulder. <Teens these days with their lack of respect!>


David leans slightly to one side to look towards the teens from over Sue's shoulder, his eyebrows lofting just so. "Shouldn't you be in school and not vandalizing the lobby of the Baxter Building?" he asks lightly. Sue may have agreed not to contact their mothers, but he has done no such thing.

He sighs and settles back onto his heels, offering Sue a sympathetic smile. <They'll grow out of it one day,> he assures her. His accent isn't too bad — definitely not a native speaker of the tongue, though.


David's question prompts the teens to scrub harder and turn down as they go about their work. NOTHING TO SEE HERE, FOLKS. They've been working this hard the entire time, surely!

Sue turns back towards David, and lifts her eyebrows with surprise. <Impressive! I don't meet many around here that speak Korean so well. And most just assume Joon and I are from whatever Asian country happens to be in the news.> The smile definitely meets Sue's eyes. <I hope the building is working out alright for you, David. And I'm sorry about my visitor's lack of respect. They saw fit to destroy the floor. I really shouldn't be surprised.>


Heather has arrived.


<It's a beautiful language. I don't have nearly enough opportunities to speak it anymore,> David replies with a smile, briefcase still dangling from his fingers. <You don't need to apologize for them, honestly. You're just a resident here, you know. Just a very notable one.> He shrugs helplessly, a bit of a twinkle in his eye as he sort of half-pays attention to the kids scrubbing the floor. Yes. Good.

"I honestly don't know how long I'll be staying," David admits, nodding his head slowly from one side to the other. "But I am not a difficult man to please. There is a roof over my head and pleasant conversation. I have nothing to complain about."


<Well, do not be put off by the neighbourhood. I promise we generally have less hooligan neighbours around.> Sue looks expectantly towards the teens mopping the floor. <And yes, I am just a resident here, but this is our community. It's where we live, work, and play. As community members, it's important we contribute.> She shrugs. <My contributions happen to be more… maternal than I'd like.> She frowns.

"And it's your and Heather's business how long you stay. No one else's." Her lips edge upwards slightly. There won't be any need to defend anything to Sue Storm; the woman lives with three men, only one of which she's related to.


On cue the front door opens and Heather blows in with a warm gust of air. Her cheeks are flushed and she looks a little tired. She's dressed casually but her satchel suggests she's been working. Field work, or what passes for it now. She pauses when she takes in the scene, grows apprehensive when she sees David and Sue in conversation. Still, her smile is genuine as she approaches.

"Good afternoon, both of you," she says warmly. She smells a bit of terrible cigars, cigarettes, and — very slightly — questionable bourbon, if you get close enough.


<Please. The place would feel too sterile without a few punks like that,> David nods with a slight uptick of his chin towards the group of teens, his mouth curving into a lopsided smile. <Communities need personality. They have their place, too.> The note about maternal contributions gets a curious tilt of his head, silently inviting elaboration, but he doesn't press. It would be impolite.

When the door opens again, David turns and blinks once, unable to keep from chuckling. "Speak of the devil and she shall appear," he muses quietly. Once Heather's a bit closer, his brow furrows slightly at the smell carried on her clothes, but his smile doesn't waver. "Just meeting one of your neighbors."


A single eyebrow lifts at the identified punks. <I think they liked getting caught. The novelty of being trapped in an invisible forcefield prison was just too great~> Sue chuckles lightly through a fan of fingers.

Heather's appearance prompts a broad grin over Sue's features and a nod in greeting. "I was just getting acquainted with David here. I heard he's staying with you — "

"I bet the Bugle would buy that article. Baxter Building becomes den of sin," one of the teens muses to himself as he leans on his mop.

Sue glowers.


Heather doesn't flinch, surprisingly. Maybe it's her years of experience dealing with smart-mouthed mutants, maybe it's the alcohol. She says neutrally, "You know what I like about this building, Sue? The incinerator. It's very large and conveniently located." There's something about her expression and her body language that says she's perfectly willing to use it for nefarious purposes, too.

Heather turns her gaze from Sue and David and, finally, scans the boy leaning on his mop. She can do the math in her head for what it would take to take him down to ash, too. She's had to make calculations of a similar sort before. All part of suit testing.


"Mmmh, incinerator is no good," David asides to Heather, his tone far too casual and light for such a thing. He gestures at his own face as he speaks to her, his nose wrinkling in distaste. "The smell would be a problem. Dead giveaway. But I'm sure we could come up with something," he says with a bright smile, looking to Sue with a downright sunny lofting of his eyebrows.

<I'm telling you something incredibly distasteful and nefarious,> David says to her, bouncing lightly on his heels. <Really, it's a wonder you're not kicking me out.>


Heather's neutrality earns a mild smile from Sue. And her body language seems open to the idea of using the incinerator. As for David's aside and Korean, Sue's eyebrows leap higher on her forehead in complete surprise. <That's the single most heinous thing I've heard today!> the tone is unmistakable shock. <How dare you even think such things!> Her mouth forms a perfect circle.

The incinerator, David's Korean, and Sue's reaction are enough to prompt the teens to scrub harder and work faster.

Finally, Sue turns back to Heather, "I've always been more of a contained person. My brother Johnny is quite good with flames. And I'm rather gifted to contain things." She smiles sweetly, "When necessary."


"I can see that." Now Heather is amused. "Hopefully, people learn from their mistakes before they get burned. So to speak." She pauses, then looks at David. "That's what luaus are for, by the way. No one thinks twice about the smell of roast pork. And you get to have drinks with little umbrellas."


David turns to Heather with a look of delight, pointing at her before he taptaps the side of his nose. What a good idea she's had.

"She's always been smarter than I am," David confesses to Sue. "Far more clever about these things. I just go where people tell me." What is perhaps sad is, in a way, that is all entirely true. Or he considers it so, at least.


"Oh! I like drinks with umbrellas!" Sue grins brightly. "Especially if they contain fruit. And alcohol." Her smile takes on a feline edge as she hugs her arms tightly across her body. "We should have a luau anyways. I bet Ben would enjoy that." Her eyes turn upwards, "And if it's a party, Johnny is always in." Thoughtfully she begins to construct a guest list. "I miiiiiight be able to coax Reed," her hand rocks uncertainly. "Jury's a bit out on that one."

A glance is given to the boy's working, "I should," she clears her throat, "head out. I'm expected at a meeting across town." She nods to Heather and David in turn. "I'd love to have you upstairs for coffee later this week, Heather. If you're available." There's a pause. "And I look forward to getting to know you better, David." With that, she steps towards the security guard, "Call Johnny from upstairs if they give you trouble," she motions towards the teens. "Or Ben. Either would be happy to supervise~"


Heather makes a face at David's compliment, and his self-deprecation. "Just let me know about the coffee, Sue. I'm not going anywhere." She grins at the boys, a little wolfishly. "I can always come down and help out if you need me."

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