1963-12-05 - Do Something Else
Summary: After finding Gabriel's box, everyone retreats to Scarlett's apartment, shared with Marie-Ange. Gabriel reveals a little about himself and a discussion and want is had about doing their own thing, everything is left undecided.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-12-05-operational-failure
Theme Song: None
marie-ange gabriel jean rogue 

Early evening in Greenwich Village brings a strange turn in the tide, an unusual degree of quiet for the middle of New York City. Those folks with actual jobs on the retail circuit just now trudge onto the trains and buses, favouring that over the chilly weather outside. The performers are barely rising for their breakfasts, or the first round of joints for the day. Students have given up on life in their books, facing their next round of final exams at Columbia, ESU, or NYU. Traffic is fairly light, and the be stirred night owls hoot irritably at anyone who goes by. Enter Albert Chambers, one of the tallest buildings in the district, one crowned by the floral abundance of Scarlett's hidden witch garden.

Disregard that, though, for the chill outside cannot penetrative through the windows of her rarity of rarities, a two bedroom flat on the highest floor. It's one of the largest apartments in the building, and that means hosting company comes easily. Gabriel's evil coffin is currently on the roof. The man and his girlfriend, per Lorna gossip, are installed downstairs with a proper pot of tea, hot chocolate being made the old-fashioned way with melted squares and milk, and the resident elder redhead of mystic ways floating midair while seated in lotus position, convincing the spoon to turn. Quiet music filters out from the record player in her bedroom, a soothing Indian melody that can just as easily be replaced by a hard bhangra beat. Her collection being eclectic, might as well tap that experience as much as the Berlin club scene, such as it exists.

"You know, Jean," she's busy saying, "you planted a thought in my head. 'Asking permission.' Exactly whose permission do we need? This is an age of permissiveness, specifically anyone doing whatever the hell they want and justifying it afterwards. Put a title and a label on it, and you need no further permission. People telling you to do this or that disturbs me greatly, especially given you have authority enough to negotiate with her. I'm fed up with treatment of others that discounts everyone around them. Title or no title, I'm a bloody egalitarian. I say we give ourselves a name, and let that be our sanction to act in the world the best we can."


Marie-Ange draws Ten Wands.


Jean was still.. Jean. A sad, sorry sack of a thing that kept herself upon the couch, her back turned towards the outer living room as the rest of her faces inward. It actually smelled nice, like some sort of calming potpouri, calming enough to allow her eyes to close, to curl into a ball, still in her black leathers yet with the zipper undone and gloves tossed upon the floor. It was unclear if she were crying, but there was just.. this.. defeated aura. A dim glow of a light that once was.

"I know.." Is all she could quietly say. "..but she was eerily quiet tonight. Something's brewing with her, I feel."


Another night out — and she's been out most of the day, too — but another failed mission. The quest for the Perfect Gift continues, and each night she fails to attain her goal, it just means she'll have to venture out again tomorrow. The day after, too, cards permitting. In truth, it's pretty nice for Marie to have a driving force… and one that /she/ chose, mostly… to keep her busy.

Not to mention the asking around the building to see if any of her neighbours need an odd job done here or there. Anything to get together the money that will be eventually /spent/ on the present. And possibly the occasional foodstuffs.

It's a surprise to her to open the door to find company, though. The cards didn't tell her to expec— oh. That's right. She did /her/ reading. Not Scarlett's. If it had been Scarlett's, the company might have been seen, but as the surprise washes away, the girl in the ankle-length black coat first peeks downwards — checking the cards in her pocket. There's a stranger. The Ten of Wands suggests that the redhead she /doesn't/ know carries a heavy burden. This is kept in mind. It's part of the reason she's not going to speak up and announce herself right away, either; she may live here and therefore have the right to be here, but Marie's a timid little thing around strangers unless the cards /tell/ her not to be. Usually to her (brief) dismay. Instead, she's going to busy herself with hanging up the delightfully warm vintage coat.


Are they really strangers at this point though? Everyone in this room has seen Gabriel naked in some fashion or other. He walks out of the library area where he was looking through books, a strange look on his face as he is carrying two of them, one in each hand. Normally stuck with Dr. Seuss type books, he seems to be rather interested in these; that is until he sees Jean still upset and he sets them down on a shelf to make his way over to her. For a long while he is quiet but he looks at Rogue, then to Jean, and finally comments.

"You cannot let the opinions of others impact you this much. They are mean people. They are mean to you. They were mean to me. Why care about what mean people think?"


Gabriel came running over a field in Westchester County wearing nothing more than paper. Gabriel emerged from a sooty, bug-gored coffin in front of Jean and Scarlett. Clearly the curse of going sky clad belongs to the forerunner of the hippies over there, the one encouraging the spoon to rotate at a steady pace through the thickening concoction of hot chocolate that perfumes the air with the indelible stamp of cacao and darkness incarnated. She adds a dash of red pepper, for her way of making hot chocolate is of course atypical; everything about the soul thief is unusual, a byproduct of her malleable nature or desire to distinguish herself. She's the original rebel, just call her Luciferia. When the front door opens, her current position in the kitchen does not give her perfect sight lines, but she can guess. "Cherie, comment allez-vous?" The French lilts off her tongue effortlessly, testing; someone who can't respond clearly isn't the Other Redhead (TM), and therefore likely to end up fried, drained, and left squashed under the collective weight of three adult metahumans, but seeing this is not the case, all shall hopefully be well. "I am making some cocoa, and I have several of those sugar cookies, pastries, and mistrals left. Do you want a Grand Marnier pastry?" Let's just bribe the one person incredibly susceptible to getting drunk, shall we?

Scarlett's insidious behaviour trends towards subtle, but then blame Columbia. They teach their students to skirt the edges of the law, exploiting loopholes, and intellectual stiffness on part of the unfortunate souls at lesser institutions. "Would you care to explain how they were mean to you, Gabriel? I am missing part of the story, most certainly why Crystal would accuse Jean of such harsh things. And believe me, I do not look lightly upon her accusing you of what she did." The air doesn't rattle and no terrible sense of impending doom tilts down. The redhead's censure is a frown and her eyes glowing a too bright shade of green, no more. "Thus I recommend a radical option which addresses the situation. That's to say we go our own way together, and start apologizing later. Though you have nothing to apologize for. She's no telepath. She certainly has no position to measure from, and if Charles does it, and taught you, that's on his head to discuss the ethical boundaries. I'd trust his take, after all."

Tilting herself sideways, she looks over at Marie. "This is Jean, the third of our triumvirate in red. Someone insulted her and now she feels poorly. Gabriel you know, and he is getting his footing here. I put the box he fell out of the sky in on the roof, grounded it on the gravel, and put a line of salt around it just in case. If it starts misbehaving, you'll call the Doctor? His number is posted in the closet." Because people might run into the closet if Doctor Strange is needed? Her logic is sound.


Cards.. that was the first thing that was on Jean's mind as she felt the new one enter. A slight turn and look over her shoulder and another sigh that brings her upright to sit. Her hair was a slight mess, one which was fixed with a few pumps and primps, those hands now fallen down towards her uniform to finish the zippers descent towards her middle.

Her arms were shrugged through, gaze remaining lowered as she tries to summon the Her. She who dwells within who only surfaces part-way with a glowing red eye upon the left. That was when she looks up towards Gabriel.. they, look up to Gabriel, and a little frown coats her lips. "I d.. don't know if I care. I just know that it hurts. I'm frustrated and it hurts. And I'm angry and we're tired.." The one red eye glows a fierce glow, a little apologetic look given to Marie.

"Our own thing. Do now and apologize later.." She looks towards Gabriel, beckoning him close. Someone was in need of comfort and his words carried wisdom even if spoken so simply. "..I know Charles wouldn't mind it.. I just feel it. I.. Gabriel?" She looks at the books in his hands, her eyes squinting. At least it wasn't green eggs and ham. She performed that for him through flails, funny voices, and dance.


The one voice that Marie knows best in this country is enough to break her out of her shell; with Scarlett around, she knows she's safe. Even if there's a man in their home that she's seen nak—

Ohgodshecan'tgetthatthoughtoutofherhead. Out, out, out!

Those watching the quiet one might notice her turn a couple different shades of red as memories flood her upon spying Gabriel, but after a moment to force it down a /smidgen,/ she replies. "Tres bien, ma cherie! I hope I am not intruding?" That's right. Marie's worried about intruding in the place where she lives. She's just considerate like that. However, the bribe is responded to with a bright, "Oui, c'est vous plait!" …yes, she gets drunk easily. No, she has no regrets.

Speaking of considerate, polite, and other such things, knees bend to allow the slender girl to dip into a proper curtsey towards Gabriel and the other redhead — who's soon intruduced as Jean. "Enchante, mademoiselle Jean. My name is Marie, it is a pleasure to finally meet you - Scarlett speaks highly of you." she adds in case the other redhead doesn't speak French, offering a small smile to her and -dun dun dun- her boyfriend. "Marie." she repeats, pointing to herself. The last time she saw Gabriel his language skills weren't that good. She /means/ well, and both thoughts and tone suggest this.

"It is okay, mademoiselle Jean. Rest easy, you are among friends. You are both. If there is anything I may do to ease your burden, simply ask." Pause. "People can be very mean. But other people are very nice, yes?" is offered hopefully. There was an optimist inside of her dying to come out, and her present surroundings allow for that easily.

…why the box is on the roof and the phone numbers are in the closet? It must be an American thing. At least that's Marie's best guess.


One day Marie will be hiding in a closet from the pernicious hoofed cambion of the oozing wastes, and she will want that phone number. Or she'll want to chat with some kind of privacy and pulling the phone into the closet is the best place to do that.


Gabriel follows the beckoning action of Jean and moves over to sit next to her, laying the books on his lap in between them. The front of one is easily recognizable, that being one of the oldest texts known; the kama sutra. Silly Rogue leaving her collection out for someone like Gabe to find. Although at least he isn't blushing at the fact he was looking through the book.

At Marie's introduction, he looks over at her and smiles, "It is good to see you again, I am … glad to get to meet you under better circumstances." It would appear his language skills have increased since he was found fleeing the mansion. At Rogue's question he looks to her, then to Jean, then shrugs. "When I first went to the uhm… the Mansion?" He tries to think if that's the correct term, "When I first went there looking for Jean I did not know how to enter, so I went in through a window. There was a large gathering and I interrupted it and the one who was rude to Jean was rather rude with me for not knowing how to behave. The gruff man also implied I was not to leave, like a prisoner. I do not know if it was the intent but either way, I would have fled then were it not for Jean convincing me otherwise."


Books. The kama sutra? Jean didn't know what the hell it was, though as Gabriel sits with the book upon his lap, Jean willingly pushes it aside. Her head serves as a replacement, crawling halfway upon him with an arm laced through his leg in a protective hold. "Yes.. other people are nice.." She comments towards Marie quietly. But then a turn, a lay flat upon her back as her feet prop up against the arm of the couch itself. One flame eye, the other green, stares up towards Gabriel curiously, obviously her mind in a torrent of thought of what she could possibly want in that moment.

"A burger.." She says wistfully. A burger with bacon and cheese and all things fried. "..and an idea.."


"Ah, tres bien! You speak much better, Monsieur Gabriel! It is good to see you again. You look… how you say… very dressed!" Marie replies cheerfully, clapping her hands briefly… and then frowning as Gabe tells the story of what happened. Well. She can understand someone being upset that Gabe went in through the window… but she knows how /she/ felt when she left the convent. The entire outside world was brand new to her; between then and now, she's made her fair share of mistakes.

"I believe, monsieur… you may have frightened this man. Perhaps he did not mean to be rude and was simply afraid that you might be a burglar, or something similar." she guesses, trying to comfort even as she moves to find a seat for herself. Sitting demurely. She's among friends, she knows this now, but her 'be polite!' mode is still on. The treats on the way may see to changing that soon enough.

…and thank heavens above that Marie doesn't know what the book Gabriel's got is. Probably some educational book that's responsible for him being so well spoken. That would be a good reason for it, and Scarlett /clearly/ wouldn't have anything scandalous around!

Then comes Jean's request, and Marie nods; she's up like a bullet, the natural instinct to serve the guests kicking in as she heads for the kitchen. "I will see what we have in terms of your burger, mademoiselle." Granted, going out and /buying/ one would probably be easier… if she could make it to a burger joint before they closed, that is. …without riding the Chariot or something else as noticable.


Scarlett is too busy worrying about the hot chocolate to leave the kitchen, given it's reached that critical point where she absolutely must babysit its existence or else it will end up a scorched mess. She leans over the pot and keeps stirring the concoction, adding a splash of milk carefully to avoid scalding it or, worse, creating a latex skin that could be a horrifying mask in a Dutch play. Who wants to be the blackface cultural hero? Let's not go there, on second thought. Cups will be pulled down for everyone to enjoy in moderation, though her humming carries through three-fourths time.

The book which Gabriel holds is very much an Indian treatise on love and its permutations. On the other hand, Scarlett also owns a dizzying variety of books on arresting topics from astrology to Napoleon and Julius' Caesar conquests, Sun Tzu to Lao Tzu, and playwrights of English varieties, French cynics, and Australian mythology. She has probably the entire collection Columbia owns of ancient Norse tales, plenty in original Icelandic and, worse, Old Norse. The occult side is probably enough to get her burnt nineteen times over by anyone who believes that Salem was caused by evil witches and not ergot. The primer in question is luminous in its illustrations, the English translations lacking a bit, but they're helpfully annotated by someone who /does/ speak Hindi. (Read, it wasn't Scarlett.)

"So you have people used to different cultural roles and norms assuming you understand everything, instead of acting on reflex. We have a princess daring to dictate to a telepath, and largely a number of very unhappy people due to a total lack of manners. Is that about it?" Her hands go to her hips. After the chocolate is poured into the mugs, that is. Someone is not happy.


Gabriel gently soothes Jean's head when she rests her head upon his lap, the gesture being one to alleviate tension but also to pull at that flame that is touching her eyes, tugging at the energy some to try and dissipate it away into himself. "I think that is about right." He explains calmly back to Rogue. "I do not know enough to speak on such things. But I do not like it when people upset Jean, or others for that matter. It makes me wonder why they would do it. I just don't know enough." He sighs softly, continuing to make the soothing hand gestures over the red head.

Looking at Rogue and then Marie he manages a small smile, "I am grateful for us to have a place away from … others, from those who seem to judge her. She needs rest and support. It has been a challenging time."


"Yes.." Jean affirms to Rogue. "..that's about right." As Marie jumps and rushes to the kitchen, Jean's eyes follow the woman with a raised brow. She was really nice, and sweet too. It was a wonder that Scarlett hung around this one, even chose to live with her.

But the light pets to her head were soothing, her eyes slowly closing as her body gives a slight little twitch and a twist, her eyes fluttering closed as the energy was unknowingly pulled in light paces that cause her to sigh. And then yawn.

Her hand reaches up to rub at her eye, the red glow dimmed completely. Faint hints of green peek through the fire, and her own hand reaches up to lightly caress his cheek. "Are you hungry too?" She asks quietly, sleepily. In fact, she even goes so far as to turn to face his stomach than to suffer the outside world with her yawning..


"How does the expession go…" Marie wonders briefly at Gabriel's words, "…your home is my home?" Well. The words may have failed her this time, but the intent shouldn't be too hard to be deciphered. Off to the kitchen she goes! "Scarlett," is offered once Marie's inside, "…have we the necessary ingredients or a burger? Mademoiselle Jean was asking for one." …she's eaten a burger before. This doesn't mean she knows how to make it or even took the time to decipher what went /on/ it. The girl has a voracious appetite, and food is to be devoured, not studied!

Then comes the Tallest Red's assessment of the situation — and obvious distaste for it — and Marie's instinct comes naturally. A hand reaching out to squeeze; directed at some clothed part of her friend. It seems her role is that of the comforter all around. At least until her role becomes the easily embarassed girl turning fifty shades of red, or the highly intoxicated girl deciding she can fly /without/ her cards.


"Mi casa su casa," offers Scarlett, a definition made without difficulty. "We ought to have them, I think, though doubtful much lettuce or cheese. My stomach has been sensitive of late." To say the least, this is a girl who drinks mostly tea and in the past week, ate primarily black currants for no conceivable reason. Finding black currants in New York is difficult at the best of times. Sourcing them has been a nightmare in and of itself. Her burden is not explained in any sense, though she at least has bread. Buns are a bit harder, though the Grand Marnier filled pastries? They're in a cardboard box suitable to a patisserie on the counter top, from a suspiciously Parisian address. In fact, Marie can probably vouch for them being of Paris, not a knockoff, and no more than a day old.

A sigh follows the squeeze, and the young woman pats Marie's arm where deemed safe. Gloves are commonplace today, as many days. Watching Jean and Gabriel, she says, "At least the two of you are happy. You are welcome to stay if you want. I can make accommodations and move about the furniture. It might be a tad tight, but that's cozy, no? Looking upon all of this, I am even more inclined to be sure none of us are adrift. Is it not enough to just make a go of it together, and call ourselves whatever we want? No ACT-F or Fantastic Four, but we can at least solve things for ourselves."


Marie-Ange draws Eight Swords.


Gabriel shakes his head in the negative to Jean's question managing to respond quietly, "No, I am not hungry right now." Which may be a bit misleading considering his stomach just growled in her ear, but that is not the focus for him at the moment. Rather he's concerned about her comfort and being able to carry on a conversation with the other ladies. "The offer is kind." He says to both Marie and Scarlett before glancing at Jean, "She sleeps with difficulty however and worries about her dreams causing damage so I do not know if she'll desire to take that up. I believe there is a place she stays when in the city so perhaps when we are done here I will find a way to take her to this place." He does frown however, it is a big city that he's never been in before.


There's a quick nod to the confirmation that yes, burger makings /are/ available, and the tiniest of redheads in the apartment sets about trying to approximate one for Jean. Grills may not have been very commonplace in her convent, but Marie /does/ know her way around a kitchen, and she knows how to cook up the individual pieces that make up a burger — complete, yes, with bacon. That was something she clearly recalls sticking out of the last burger she had, and it was /delicious,/ so it's going to be included here. The telltale sizzles will alert those /not/ in the kitchen that at least a partial victory has been achieved.

Meanwhile, one of those delightful pastries is plucked, and teeth quickly go to work sinking into them. Is Marie hungry? Marie is always hungry. And the packaging itself makes her smile. Homesickness really isn't allowed to dwell much by this one.

When the suggestion of letting the other two stay at the apartment as well is brought up? Marie pauses in her tracks. Cards are retrieved and consulted; the Eight of Swords. A card that she's been able to identify with many a time, speaking of isolation. A feeling she doesn't care for, and would never wish on another. "That sounds like a wonderful idea. It is not safe out there; but it is within these walls." she agrees, smiling over to Scarlett, then glancing back towards the happy couple. There's another brief pause, as she uses the lessons she's learned in America and assesses the situation. "…you are wed, oui?"

Afterall. She's been told that some girls come to America to find husbands. They /are/ acting all cute and cuddly together. She doesn't know them well enough to know otherwise… so she's guessing here.

"If you both wish, and Scarlett approves, you are welcome to the room I stay, and I can sleep upon the furniture out there." It's still a step up from where she /was/ sleeping, it /is/ the holiday season so she's feeling extra giving… and she's the selfless type regardless.


Because the redhead will not stand for it, Scarlett says, "Oh for love of Idunn's apples, you stay with me. I would not put you on that couch. It will be comfortable, but not comfortable enough for residency. It's not as though anyone will mind, and you deserve some privacy. My hours are mistaken and confounding enough to make your life difficult, but you can always use some ear plugs and a sleep mask for some uninterrupted slumber. Though Jean's nightmares are not unfamiliar. Nothing we cannot fix, Gabriel. We hang up the paintings again, we put out the fires, and assure her that everything will be well." Her thumb taps against one of the mugs of hot chocolate she brings over, delivering them to sit alongside the hamburger. A row of three will occupy the glass low table. The fourth is reserved for herself, though she's not up to drinking it particularly fast.


Gabriel glances down at the resting Jean then shrugs his shoulders a bit at Rogue, "Whatever she desires, we'll do. Where she is most comfortable. It is very distressing, all of this. She only desired to try and find some information to help uncover what has happened to me, to help figure out who did this to me." There is a bit of self blame in his tone but it fades, not very deep. He mostly blames those he sees as responsible. "She is a good person." He isn't explaining it to Rogue, or himself, just stating the truth. He looks up at Scarlett and where Marie had departed, "You all are."


"You're trying to learn where you came from, and why you are here, yes?" A tip of her head leaves Scarlett comfortably in her element, asking questions. She walks through the living room and drops into a comfy chair opposite from the couch, feet swept to the side, her movements controlled and careful. "You cannot hold yourself to account for the actions of others, any more than Jean can. The reality of the situation, I'm afraid, is that we are only ever able to control ourselves and reactions. Thus why I extend my offer. Hearing the anger over her suggestions this afternoon took me aback. I've never expected to hear such spoken about her, not even when she nearly burned off Logan's face. That wasn't her. She is more than the sum of those parts; her generosity and empathy are why I esteem her so much. Thus, here we are. How to choose a path to the future?"


Gabriel looks at Rogue and smiles softly. "Yes, she is much more than just those surface things. She cares when few others would even look… and what she struggles with, I do not understand but I can endure it." He bites his lip and looks at Scarlett more intently now that Jean seems a bit more at peace and out of it. "When she.. when the flames come they do not harm me, I bring them into myself. I do not fear her the way others do."


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