1964-09-05 - At Least They're Not Werewolves
Summary: Doug and Jay take a walk to catch up, run into Ninette in the park when a bunch of crystal spiders try to kidnap a woman and her dog. Heroics!
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
ninette douglas jay 


Running into old acquaintences is hot and cold in a place as big as New York. Luckily for the mutant community and the few number of places that are deemed safe for them, it helps bottleneck the chances a little bit. Bumping into Doug at the school on his way out, Jay's invited Doug along for shits and giggles while they catch up. The dwindling warmth of summer starting to melt into autumn, cooling down a little bit, but still not to the point where anything is inhumanly cold, it's seemingly perfect timing for a stroll.

Guitar strapped to his back, Jay walks along toward the park—the small oasis in the heart of the better part of town, where he's getting plenty of people avoiding the sidewalk to not walk on the same side of the street as the guy with giant wings. But toward the park, there seems to be music emanating and a general shift of attitude.

"So where'd you go from there?" Jay questions smoothly, listening to Doug's stories from abroad, what he was doing, wheere he went, what he got to see. He's a good listener. Attentive. Happy to let Doug explain in detail for long periods of time without interruption.

"Oh. Well," Doug says, "From there, I went to Ireland, where I worked for a few months teaching gaelic to schoolchildren. They were very surprised at how well I spoke it given the givens, but they were happy to have the help—" He has all kinds of stories about traveling abroad, meeting people. Having to flee from Italy because he got cozy with the wrong girl.

A couple of things make themselves apparent about Sam's friend as he discusses his time across the pond:

He has a bottomless thirst for adventure.

Beneath the bow tie and the amiable, nerdy smile, he's a wee bit of a tomcat. Tiny bit.

"So anyway," Doug says, "There I was…"

Doug's sense for adventure is a fantastic excuse to ask about all the /places/ he's seen. It isn't so much adventure that Jay lusts for. His is strictly a wanderlust, kicked into full gear since the happening back home that drove him this way, and sated for now by proxy through Doug's stories, tohugh there is a wistfulness in his encouraging whisper of a smile as they stroll toward the park. "Ah bet they were surprised…" He chortles mildly. "Teachin' yer way across th' world."

The park is normally a place of solace for Jay. A place where multiple worlds colide and one way or another they decide to live together peaceably. Lingering music hovers around the very outskirts, toward the entrance they approach, the fountain surrounded by the usual group of beatniks and their poetry sessions before they hand it over to folks making signs for whatever next big march will be on the books later in the evening.

Deeper in the park, there's a vague chittering of disturbance in the air. Small spiders rush from tree to tree to tree composed of hard crystal, unnoticed by patrons so far. Scouts, perhaps. Dodging from cover to cover, ignoring pot-smoking hippies and other lazing humans for now.

"You know you could just GO. There isn't anything stopping you," Doug says. "It's true, your wings do make you stick out, but there's something to be said for being able to literally fly away from danger." Doug makes his way along amiably enough, before he strokes his chin at some of those hippies, "Maybe later." He says, half to himself. "But seriously, I know some people in Paris who'd *fall apart* at the idea of being able to paint you or have you stand as a model for sculpture—"

Then he pauses talking to Jay about things that would mortify his brother and he holds up his hand. "Something's not right." He looks straight ahead, and squints. "There's no birds singing in those trees."

Walking through the park, Ninette stands out. She's dressed sharp as a tack, and there's little whimsy about her as she moves among the counter-culture music and wonder. Get a job, hippies. But remain fashionable. Her steps slow as she spies a familiar pair of red wings. Her features soften, at least a little, and she angles her stride to walk toward him and his friend.

But the friend is right. Something is wrong. Her brow knits in mild frustration. She hasn't clued in to the birds not singing, just that something isn't right. She clutches her purse a little tighter and keeps walking, though her gaze is now more wary than disdainful.

Jay smiles at Doug's encouragement, the pleasant expression he normally wears warming a little bit, uncertainty hanging on the very edges of Jay's aura as he takes a quick breath against it and exhales the lightest chuckle when it's pointed out to him that it's hard to stop someone with literal wings. "/Now/ yer soundin' a little bit like another friend of mine. Just pimp mah way through Europe on who wants ta get a look at me? Eh. Somethin' t'be said fer resemblin' a recognizable figure. Ah don't know, Doug. It sounds nice, I'll give it to you. Maybe if you think about goin' back some time, Ah'll join you this time, huh? By the sound of it, you could use someone t'keep you out of trouble." The affable young man casts a bemused smile sidelong toward Doug.

The alert Doug gets makes Jay frown and steps begin to slow, but not stop entirely. "Not raght? You really think so? Ah mean…maybe someone's jus' got a dog or somethin'…" Wishful thinking, Jay. Such wishful thinking. Brows touch together briefly, eyes sweeping the area and wings slowly eking away from his shoulders with an anxious flutter. He keeps on forward, slowed and cautious, alert, which is probably the only reason he notices Ninette from down the path as far as she is. He would know that figure anywhere, though the look written on her pretty face is largely an alien one to him. An arm shoots right up into the air, high above his head, like a pale beacon to the fashion forward ladylike his wings aren't enough. "Well there's a sight fer sore eyesNinette." Her expression makes his steps quicken once more, closing the space between them. "Hey, you doin' okay?"

Leave it to the guy who can read literally everything to read that situation right. Something is amiss. Something with eight little legs that chitter as they move, living crystal clicking as joints move. No sooner than that gap is closed between the trio of mutants is there a surprised shriek just across the field as a medium crystal spider crawls from around a tree and pounces on some poor layabout's dog. A chocolate lab looking thing, jumping up and screaming as it runs in circles, trying to get the damn thing off him.

"Now you sound like your *brother*." Doug says, somewhat airily. "No. No. I think… this is more than that. Something is not right." And then he says, "And that would be it." He looks up to Ninette, and says, "Friend of yours? She's cute, but she's got 'tightly wound' written all over her. Your brother always liked wild women… maybe you really are his polar opposite."

Then he waves his hand and says "Pleasure to meet you, but there's something I have to take care of. I'm Doug, by the way—"

Doug picks up a rock, and waits for the dog to turn its back to him, before he whips the stone at the crystal spider. "GERROFOFTHATDOGYAUGLY—" WHAP!

That expression shifts into something far more familiar to Jay; Ninette perks up and smiles, like a sudden wash of sun over ice, there's warmth in her. She strides up to him and tilts her head, clearly expecting a kiss to the cheek. That warmth hasn't dispelled the tightly-wound air about her, but it proves her human or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

"Jay," she says with delight. "I'm well. Looking for a decent designer in Greenwich Village. I need a dress." Her gaze settles upon Douglas, and though the warmth dims a little, there's still a fair share for him as she asks, "Is this your friend?" She offers him her hand, the angle meant for paying courtesy, not shaking. "Ninette Laurent." Her accent is right out of Paris, but her grasp of English seems fair.

"Ah'm not too proud to admit when another man might have a good idea or two," Jay admits with a crooked little smile when Doug accuses him of sounding like his sibling. Glancing back and forth between Ninette and Doug a couple of times, distractedly. "What? Ah, uh, okay this might be weird sayin' to you, but don't judge a book by its cover." Buh-dum, ching. Enjoying the irony of saying that to the man who indeed reads people just like books.

Closing the distance, Jay does not disappoint, giving the French woman a familiar and quick peck to her cheek, wresting one hand out of his pocket to touch Ninette's forearm lightly. "Oh, did you ask Kaleb? He's been all over the Village Ah'm sure." Because he sure as shit isn't ANY help in that capacity. Looking over at Doug, between the two again, Jay nods, still rather unsettled by whatever the aura of the area seems off. "Yeah, this is Doug Ramsay. He went t'the school with mah brother. Just got back from Euro—oh, hell." Jay's eyes go wide when he notices that dog get jumped and Doug whips a rock at it. "Not these things again…"

One medium spider jumps on that dog, the rock simply pings off it like nothing, not even scratching the surface of the curious creature as it continues trying to wrap all of its legs around the animal while it runs wildly around, snapping at the animal, but it's like biting rock. The owner also jumps to her feet, grabbing the nearby leash and trying to whip the spider with it when four smaller spiders drop down from the tree onto her. They're much smaller, but quickly start to weave a net of some irridescent material around her, working all in tandem to try to make quick work of it.

Doug growls, and grabs a stick — "Oui! C'est un grand plaisir de vous rencontrer, mais si vous m'excuserez …" And then he's advancing on the bigger spider, the one on the dog. "Hey!" He pokes at it, in the face, "Hey! I'm talking to you—" Poke poke, jab! "Great, crystal spiders, and maybe I can say something REALLY SNIDE to them and embarass them into not attacking everyone in the park."

"I remember you could sing like nobody's business," Doug says, to Jay, "How are you at finding the resonance and shatter-point for materials?" He watches the spiders attack the woman. "Oh COME ON."

The French woman wears her coldness like armor. The inside is young and hurt and frightened, but oh Lord never tell her that. "I talked to Kaleb about…" There's a dog being attacked by crystal spiders. Merde. "Un plasir," she murmurs to Douglas, but yeah, these spiders are distracting.

When the spiders attack the woman trying to defend her dog, the scared, hurt little French girl cries out, "Mourir, demon!" And she rushes the spiders. The air gets cold around her. Very, very cold. Frost creeps along her hands as she grabs one of the smaller spiders. Do they respond to freezing?

The rest of the park is starting to notice what's going on now that the poor dog is running around. It's a slow-burn, that panic, but sure enough, once people start realizing what's happening, they start to yell and run. Panic is like a virus, and it only grows as it starts jumping from person to person, feeding off of the fire that it builds until most of the people from that area are evacuating en masse to other areas of the park. People don't like spiders. Who knew?

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Never has that held more true than these moments as the spider holding on to the dog starts trying to clamp on to the scruff of its neck with those weird mandibles while Doug pokes it in the /face/. Ow, you jerk! The dog takes particular dislike to this and yips and flops over on its back, rolling and wriggling all over the place while it whines. Hey, here's a plus: one of the lower joints on one leg to the spider snaps off as the dog rolls over. So they can be destroyed.

The smaller ones don't seem to react to the cold, at least not outwardly, though a white frost begins to appear on the small spiders, collecting around the joints while they make their web netting. It could very well make them brittle. The panicked woman tries ripping the netting off, but they quickly wrap her arms up and ankles together, causing her to fall. Whatever it is, it's strong and she tries yanking at it, still screaming like a banshee for help.

Jay rushes forward with the rest, grabbing someone's women's rights half made sign and rushes forward to whoop some sense into that larger spider along with Doug. "Funny you say that, Doug," Jay grits his teeth and snorts, dropping the sign and instead, reaching down try to grab two of those back legs off the flailing dog's torso. "Ah was supposed t'be workin' on that with someone, but he kinda got…busy." Busy being abducted and broken for a little bit. It happens. "It's on my to do list! They break if ya hit 'em hard enough."

"Okay." Doug says. "That's great." Doug starts to kick at it. "It sure is handy that my power is super strength," Kick kick kick, "Oh wait, it's not." He aims for the thing's legs, trying to snap them off at the joints. "Let go!"

Then he scoffs, once, and says "These things look like they could cut bare skin—"

He kicks the critter in the face where he was poking it.

"Might be a good idea to find someone else who can work on that with you—"

"I do have perfect pitch—" Then he offers, helpfully, "Try getting one really cold and throwing it against a tree?"

Ninette takes off her shoe, and the cold doesn't seem to bother her, despite that the pavement is frosty and the grass is getting brittle. She does with the small spider what she does with other spiders: she smacks it point blank with her stiletto heel. "Demon," she mutters.

She tries to fling it at the tree, but it's pinned to her stiletto, for better or worse. Her $200 stilettos! "Merde, merde, merde."

"Yeah, well…" Jay grunts and strains against the pull of the spider's legs. He shoves his flip-flop against the spider's back while the dog continues to scream and now starts snapping at them as well in a panic and grunts with a hard yank, snapping one of those lond, sharp legs right off at the torso and tossing it aside. Jay shrugs at Doug. "Ah know Ah should. It just ain't that /simple/ these days, though. Things are a little different." Jay says before Doug starts to lecture him about the importance of continuing to learn how to use one's powers. "Nobody's really gotumph!" Jay tries to use the spider's own leg to chip away at it with, but it's not super effective. "time!"

It has to be strange for a fellow like Doug. He can read the spiders like any other creature. And the whole time, they are communicating, make no mistake about that. Communicating back and forth through body language and subtle nuances that the rest of them probably cannot hope to catch. Right now, they're still trying to coordinate and still think they can win this, somehow. Or maybe they're just that desperate. At least, they were right up until Jay yanks off a leg and Doug boots the medium sized spider in the face, knocking off one of its mandibles. The resulting high-pitched shriek is an unearthly, ear splitting thing. Panic is starting to set in.

Panic amplified when Ninette brittles the small spiders and shishkabobs one on her stiletto heel. The spiderlet screams as well and the others decide to leave their sobbing prey alone, turning to come after /her/ now. Not that they can help their companion, but two of the three small crawlies turn and advance on Ninette now, their joints moving rather slower as the frost builds on their smooth surfaces. The third small spider just continues to spin webbing, but it isn't going to be taking that woman anywhere on its own.

"You have to make time to practice on your own, too!" Doug says. "They communicate with one another" He frowns, "Small movements, sub-auditory noises based on tones created by vibration"

Doug considers something, and then says, to Jay, "Give me a High C Sharp! In the whistle register!" …That's gonna be painful as hell.

He backs off, from the spider he was kicking, which now looks really mad…

Ninette pulls the spider off her stiletto, then stamps on it with her shoed foot, just to be sure. Die, die, brittle crystal creature. Then there are three more upon her. She wants that medium spider, though, before the poor dog is killed. She proves fluent of swearing in French as she tries without much success to shrug them off.

It might speak to some latent soft-heartedness that she's saving the dog before herself.

She goes in at the medium spider. Curse these warm sunny days of late summer, but New York has its share of humidity. This becomes important when she grips one of the spider's remaining legs by a joint. She freezes it, but then the frost deepens into ice. As she tries to immobilize it with ice she also holds it still by virtue of gripping it, all the better to bring down the stiletto heel on its head. The nuances of their communication is lost on her. She just can't handle the screaming of that poor dog.

"Ah practice!" Jay calls back to Doug, sounding a wee bit like the little brother that Doug remembers him as. "How bout we hold off on the lecturin' until we're not gonna get chewed up by spiders?" Jay glances over at Ninette as the spiderlings start to advance on her and she rushes in their direction to try to help with the larger creature now staining the lab's neck fur dark as it breaks through his skin and causes hysterical panic from the animal. "'Nette!" Jay drops the leg he tore off and jumps straight up, wings flapping hard to carry him up and over in an emphatic arch right over the Lady Winter and down on top of one of the spiders that was chasing after her, crushing it underfoot. Squishy flip-flops aside. The songbird doesn't ask questions of the elder mutant, but takes in a deep breath, opens his mouth and gives Doug exactly what he asked for; an ear-splitting sound, high c-sharp as he kicks at a second spider with an essentially bare foot.

Two more lil spiderlings skitter-chase after Ninette as she leaves them to try to help the poor bleeding animal being ravaged by the larger spider. Likely as a distraction of some sort while the others wrapped up the woman. They're getting crafty. The lab is hysterical, snapping and rolling, making it rather difficult to actually help him. His body language is basically right in the range of 'fuck fuck fuck fuck help run kill help help bacon', predictably.

The spider perched on the dog's back on the other hand was not expecting ice or the sound and begins to /scream/ as well. Its crystal body doesn't seem like it's going to crack or falter at all from the noise, but the frequencyas judged by our resident babelfishis enough to trip something in its head and make it freak out. Releasing the dog, but it's too late. Much too late. One of its legs are snagged by a delicate looking hand and ice travels its body with surprising speed for the season. Still screaming, trying to slash at Ninette and at Doug with its freed legs right up until that moment where its head becomes encased and suddenly…silenced. Well, the screaming stops at least, its legs are still flailing around in stilted panic until it's given a crack with the fancy shoe. The heel pops through the ice and cracks the head, but it could probably use a good boot in there to really drive it home and end its miserable existence.

The other two small spiders? Scream and begin to flee. Same with the dog. Released, he starts limping away, shaking and bleeding. Jay keeps up the sound for several seconds.

Doug puts his hands over his ears. That is quite a noise, and it makes him want to howl, too — but it was necessary. When it ends, he shakes his head to try and dispel the tinnitus, but then he's moving to comfort the dog. He speaks dog — of course he speaks dog. It's okay boy, you're safe, it's going to be okay. See? No more monsters. You're okay.

Then he looks up, and says "And that is what we in the Mutant business call a 'bitter medicine' offensive. It's not pleasant for anybody, but it works, doesn't it?"

Ninette shakes the last of crystal spider bits off her shoe, then puts it back on and tosses back her hair. She steps over to the netted woman, working on getting her free. "What were those?" she demands. Angry, offended that these things would come to her reality and start messing things up.

"Is that dog going to be okay?" she calls over to Doug, then, "Jay, are you all right, ami?" She can be angry and imperious and still check in on her people. In fact, it comes as naturally as breathing.

Jay shuts up and swallows once, looking a little bashful and apologetic for the discomfort, rubbing one of his own ears with the heel of his hand. The little spiders are long gone, the two that survived, and the dog is laying down, whimpering and panting heavily on the grass. Most of the cuts look superficial, but the bite on the scruff of his neck will probably need stitches, probably a couple others as well. But nothing fatal. He does calm down very much so to Doug's comforting, though everyything he has to say is along the lines of 'ow'. The woman in the webbing is almost completely wound up in some very strong looking, irridescent webbing, small sobbing sounds can be heard coming from inside. Ninette will probably have to freeze and tear at them to rip it open with her strength.

Jay nods a couple times in understanding to Doug, frowning a little bit. "Yeah, sure did the trick. That was a good call. How'd you know that that wou—actually, never mind." The young man smiles in spite of himself and shakes his head. "Fergot who Ah was talkin' to. Quick thinkin'." Jay compliments Doug and walks in Ninette's direction, helping her tear open that human hot-pocket. The webbing doesn't fall apart in his hands, but it crumbles easier while he yanks it apart, like trying to tear thick denim apart. Clearly he has some modified strength. "Ah don't much know, honestly, but Ah've seen 'em around a few times now. Ah've never seen 'em spin anyone up before though. If you can believe it, they get even bigger." Jay explains to the both of them, though his eyes flick to Ninette far more. "You were really impressive, Ninette. Ah've never seen you, you know, fight before." Impressed over her abilities, he shrugs and nods. "Yeah, Ah'm always all raght. Are you okay?" He winces and adds, "Sorry about yer shoes…"

Aside from being rather hysterical, the woman inside the hot pocket of webbing is unharmed and pops out practically clinging to Ninette, sobbing and thanking her.

Doug gives a little smile, and a fairly saucy wink at Jay when Jay asks him how he knew to hit that note — "I am the Mutant Master of Language." He says, before he looks around at the others, and then says, "This is a problem that's going to need to be dealt with… people are getting hurt. Maybe we should talk to the—yeah. I think maybe I will." He looks at the woman, and sees that she's all right.

Then he looks to Jay, and says, "Well. I don't know about *you*, but I am FAMISHED. Let's go find a spoon—the greasier, the better."

Ninette tilts her head, still shaking out the remnants of that high C#, then she goes back to ripping at the webbing. It's an effort for her. No augmented strength with this one. She starts as the woman lunges at her, and she's about to lay down some frost, but then the woman is sobbing, and Ninette puts her arms around the woman. There there. She pats her on the back, strokes her hair soothingly, and says, "You're all right, Madame. Your dog is alive. He will need a veterinarian."

The air around her starts to even out as she eases up on winter. She coaxes the woman to her feet. "Can you stand? Yes? Here we are." She leads the woman over to Doug and Jay, and most importantly the injured dog. "Here, he wants to see you." Dogs are saps for their humans, right? Ninette has heard that. She glances at Doug and Jay, then drops her gaze. "I'm glad you're all right," she tells them.

The mimic gives Doug a classic 'oh you' look, smiling crookedly at the elder mutant and a bemused shake of his head. "Thanks, Mister Webster." Jay jokes and takes a deep breath as the trio rejoin and the frantic lady is reunited with her animal. A couple more people come back hesitantly and help them off.

Jay sets his hands on his hips, staring down at the melting, shattered body of the spider that was latched on to the dog, frowning thoughtfully and nodding in agreement to the others. "Yeah. Ah think Ah know someone who was supposed to be lookin' in to all this stuff, but Ah haven't heard anything up on it yet. It's startin' to get real outta hand. Ah never thought Ah'd say this, but Ah sort of miss the zombies." Swallowing down once, the musician scoops a hand through his hair, ruffling it around a bit before slicking the mass back again. A fair hand reaches out toward Ninette, offering a touch or a hug—some kind of physical contact for the sake of comfort.

"Yeah, food sounds like it'd be the best plan right now, before people start askin' too many questions." Flee! If it's one lesson that Jay's learned it's that it's best to get gone when things calm down. "Ninette, you feel like chow? Ah'm sorry yer shoppin' day got interrupted."

Doug nods, and puts his hands on his hips. "Yeah. I'm sure we can find someplace. You're welcome to come along" He gestures. "I'm kind of checking in on Jay from time to time, I'm an old friend of his brother's, and Sam would want to make sure someone was keeping an eye out, though I am pretty well convinced Jay can take care of himself"

He strokes his chin. "Zombies, or giant crystal spiders. What a choice. Were the zombies fast or slow?"

Ninette will very much take a hug. She leans in against Jay, eyes closing as she lets out a calming breath. "At least it is not werewolves," she says. She smiles up at him tenderly. Not many people get this sort of regard from Ninette. Doug, by virtue of being Jay's friend, gets a metaphorical foot in the door. She offers him a friendly smile if somewhat reserved.

"I'll come and at least have something to drink," she says. She leaves Jay to the description of the zombies. Thankfully, she never had a shopping day ruined by those.

Jay wills himself not to blush when Doug mentions that he knew Jay when he was, well, younger, and he's assigned himself as Big Brother Pro Tempore, and it mostly works, though he does shift slightly back and forth on his legs, leaning an even smile in Doug's direction that speaks of appreciation none the less.

"They were a mixed bag," Jay explains as he wraps Ninette up in a hug, encircling her with one arm and tucking the fashion forward woman into his side while he rubs her arm vigorously with the other, as if trying to warm her up. Hah! "Some of 'em were fast, some of 'em were slow. It just depended on how bad…you know, off they were." What he means is how badly decayed they were but can't quite say it. "Ah, yer right. The werewolves sounded bad. Ah was glad Ah missed them." He agrees with Ninette and maneuvers them around some, giving Ninette another squeeze and a smile before letting her go so they can carry on. A wry look passed on to Doug. "Welcome home, huh? Summer's been all werewolves, spiders an' zombies. Nobody told me about /all that/ on their trips back home." An accusatory for fun jab back at Cypher.

Doug rolls his eyes upward. "Yeah, I first met Jay back when he was till called 'Josh', and he had a big mop of curly red hair and freckles, before he sprouted his wings. He could sing in three part harmony with himself and he dreamed about singing with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson." Doug puts his hands on his hips, and grins. "Well that would've been *bragging*, wouldn't it? And your brother is many things, but a braggart he is not."

Doug taps his chin. "You know I remember this really great British pub—"

Ninette's brows lift. "Josh?" She looks at Jay, humor in her eyes. That will come back around again, surely. Jay can't escape. "I bet he was adorable," she says. "I didn't realize he was quite such a singer, to hit such a note. And three part harmony?" She gazes at Jay as though he were still that adorable wee cherub.

She warms to Doug all the more for the story. "It is nice to meet you, properly now that we're not being attacked. You missed such a summer. I was bitten by werewolves." Did Jay know that part? About the biting? "I got better, though."

Jay /groans/ emphatically and drops his head back, grinning at the sky. Willing away the heat he feels flourish all across his face, the young musician whispers a chuckle to himself while he endures the bane of every single younger sibling on the planet with as much grace and good humor as he can muster. With a fwip of his wings and an embarassed glance toward Ninette.

"Mah birthname is Joshua. Joshua Zachariah, just to get that one out of the way too while Ah'm at it. But when mah band started pickin' up some speed, we decided 'Jay' sounded better." Eyeing Doug a little bit. "An' fer the record, Ah'm still gonna sing with Th' Man in Black /an'/ the Red-headed Stranger. Mark mah words, Doug, you wait and see. Ah'm gonna open for them some day." Hitting up that claim and holding staunchly to it with a smile and softly whispering chuckle.

He smiles serenly to Ninette with a light shrug when it comes to the matter of his various talents, hidden and not. "The wings ain't my only mutation. Everyone just assumes they are cause they're the most out there an' the others ain't hardly worth mentionin'. Ah've always sang, but mah voice ain't normal. Most guys' voices crack—mine split apart in different directions. Had to re-learn how t'speak but…" Jay shrugs and smiles modestly. "It has a few perks."

Looking back to Doug while he tries to figure out which way toward that pub. He's unsurprised by the werewolf biting part—remember, his roommates had to tell him about that. "Doug jus' got back from rompin' around all over the world. Perks t'bein' a livin' translation dictionary."

Doug shrugs, lightly. "Omnilinguist." He says, "It's a thing, a thing that I do. It's not as sexy as singing your own melody or rocketing through the air but it pays my bills." He snaps his fingers. "All right. I remember where it is now, we'll take a cab. Dinner is my treat—"

"We should sing together," Ninette tells Jay. "I've no mutations for my voice, I just have an excellent voice." No false modesty for this lady. "It pays the bills better than making my own ice cubes." She smiles. She remains near Jay shoulder to shoulder. Her hand might brush against his, but surely it's incidental. To Doug, she says, "That sounds lovely, thank you. Your French is quite good."

"It's tons less destructive than rocketin' through the air, Ah'll tell you that much," Jay murmurs under his breath and scoops a hand through his hair while he flips through his rolodex of memories regarding precisely that. "How th' school ever carried on after that, Ah'll never know." Jay leans in to Ninette and murmurs loud enough for Doug to hear. "He's bein' modest. He can read anythin', not just words. It's incredible." Talking Doug up, not that he needs it, but exchanging high praise for—well…sort of high praise and teasing?

Turning back to Ninette, Jay continues his serene smile and nods. "If you'd like that, Ah'd be honored." Why he never mentioned that he can sing to the lounge singer is an absolute mystery. Jay nods to Doug and presses forward to follow along. "Free meal? Sounds about my budget. Lead on, Dougie."

"You should hear my Xhosa." Doug says, cheerfully. "My powers have expanded a bit since I've left the school," He admits. "I've talked to Mutant and meta-power experts across the world and gotten answers ranging from 'Meta-psionics tapping into the Jungian superconsciousness' to 'Specialized hypercognition centering on pattern recognition' but I prefer to think of myself as an Omnilinguist—it's just that really, everything is communication of one sort or another."

He beams. And doesn't say anything about what he's picking up between these two. No way. Uh-uh. It's a complete coincidence that after dinner when they break for the night Doug will slip Jay two tickets to Nina Simone playing in Harlem, say "I couldn't find a date," wink, and walk of whistling.

"Ah, the school! I'm teaching music there. Can you believe they didn't have a singing instructor?" She shakes her head. "I will whip them into shape." She follows along with Jay, wherever he goes, she's game. "Omnilinguist. That's fascinating. You've seen what I can do. In Paris, they call me Dame d'Hiver. What did they call it? Cryokinesis."

Jay strolls along easily as Doug picks the venue. The cab. He's more than happy to follow along wherever the man wants to lead, utterly trusting of the man. Things may change, but Jay is still a wide open book to Doug—not that others aren't, but he sucks at deception when he tries, which is rare. Though the idea of talking to mutant and power experts all over the world perks Jay's wide-open interest. For a guy who isn't terribly forthright about his own mutations, there's an odd conflict with his interest.

For the most part, he's quiet and allows the conversation to float around effortlessly, smiling between the two new acquaintences. "Fancy words fer the things we can do. Wonder how many new words they've had to shuck up to make sense of it all."

Tickets? Jay seems surprised and confused, then skeptical. "Yeah, sure you couldn't." Since when could HE not get a date? A crooked little smile for Doug in gratitude. "Thanks."

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