1964-10-02 - Forces To Be Reckoned With
Summary: Kaleb and Ninette bond over gossip and making plans.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kaleb ninette 

Kaleb gave Ninette a call. They were both mutants, opinionated, pissy, and highly fashionable. Hell, he was remiss to admit he even liked her. He was already there at the beatnik club looking rather stunning in a deep slate suit on black. It was slick, and worthy of keeping very excellent company at that. On the other hand it was nice that he was obviously and overtly feeling much better than a month ago. Echo was still working on his first drink when she came in. He lifted his 7&7 to her in greeting as those long stems carried her in.

Ninette steps in wearing bohemienne couture. Her sleeves are loose, gauzy as they fall to her wrists, and the brocade front falls to a Regency cut, the skirt flowing loose from there. The colors of hazy blue and green suit her, with threads of yellow shot through to reflect the blonde of her hair. Which has been brushed straight and sleek. She makes her way over to Kaleb with an easy, smooth gait. Smiling, she slides into a spot across from him and says, "You look good, as always."

Kaleb cracked a wry grin with a tilt of his head sideways. "Eeeeeh life's been good to me lately. See? I wanted to have dinner in good comany and I called it right. Seriously, have a seat. How can people oogle the woman sitting at the corner table if you'renot sitting?" He's in the mood to wax poetic isn't he? There was a shrug of expressive eyebrows and he sipped his drink before he finally said, "Thank you though. What do you want? I'm buying."

"I don't suppose they have a tartine of any sort?" She looks around the place. "Ooh, or a nice souffle. A souffle, It think." She sets her delicate clutch beside her and keeps skimming the crowd for a waiter she can fix with a pinpoint stare. Thus summoned, she orders a martini, stirred, made with Holland gin. "You look a lot better," she mentions. "Vibrant, more like the Kaleb I know you are."

Kaleb chuckled with a grin. There was a tilt of his head at the compliment but he did sit up a bit straighter. He hated bullshit but boy did he preen under a compliment still. There was a sharp whistle that carried and he pointed to his drink then held up a finger. One more. "Ninette, how the hell are you? Anyone bothering you? I mean please say no. I'm really comfortable and I'd get up to go give someone an earfull here."

Ninette says lightly, "Oh, you know how it is, I get by. No one's bothering me, no more than the usual handsy men who need a little help understanding I'm not interesting" A wisp of frost twines around her fingertips. "There were crystal spiders in a park not long ago, but they didn't like ice much, either." She smiles thinly. "At least as long as they lasted."

Kaleb seemed amused. Man he was in a good enough mood he even had a faint smile correcting over his drink, "interesse pas interessant, mon ami." She was interesting. There was a nod spared for the waiter when his second drink arrived. "Yeah, I saw the spiders. Really… really have been meaning to go have a word with them." The finat smile went sharp for a moment before going back to Kaleb.

"I bet you'll have more than a few," Ninette says. She waves a hand and says, "I don't want to get into those too much, save to say they almost killed a dog and I couldn't bear to see it. Something has to be done." She says this like she's discussing bedbugs or some other grotesque pest that simply must be dealt with.

Kaleb arched an eyebrow, "A dog?" He blinked, ever the consummate professional, taking the information studiously. An ankle crossed the ankle of one long leg over the knee of the other. "We, um… " His brow furrowed faintly, "We saw a dog explode once. By those things that attacked you? The lady you smacked with the tiny ice berg? I don't even care, but that dog she hit? That wasn't okay."

Ninette grimaces and says, "Oh, don't tell me that. You know I have such a soft heart." She shakes her head, sighing. "That was the worst night, Kaleb. Those poor little animals." And people who got horribly killed, but let's focus on what's important: a doggy got hurt. "They're monsters," she says. "And their kind must be destroyed."

Kaleb took another drink. The people he truly didn't care about. They weren't his people. They also weren't any of 'his people by extension'. The dog thoug? He had no problems with dogs. He lifted his hand tot eh table and laid it palm flat on teh surface, "And for now, here? I think they're gone. Thanks greatly in part to Kwabena." He paused and hmm'd "Who, I'm happy to say, has a mech better job, though his new boss?" He chortled shaking his head, "Is sadly a total dick. How have you been feeling otherwise?" There was a woman that came out on stage with a voice like smoked glass. Truth be told it was an interesting talent and she had a slightly Haitian accent giving the vowels a more robust sound.

"I remember him," Ninette says. He saved her life, so he tends to stick out. "Is that his name? Huh." She thinks as she sips her martini. She has to take a moment to access her feelings. It's not like she keeps them close to the surface most times. "I'm… lonely." She smiles faintly, though there's sadness around her eyes. She looks then to the singer, studying her intently. She compares herself to other vocalists, of course, and she judges this one acceptable (but overall not better than her, so she may live). "I should get a dog or a cat. Someone warm to cuddle up to."

Kaleb drank his martini and sat with a thoughtful stoicism. "Well…" He paused and lokst himself to contemplating the singer for a moment before looking back to Ninette, "That I get. But better lonely hurt repetedly. Good company is hard to find. That which can stand up to towering personalities? Less so. But still, better a cat than an ass-kisser."

"Cats are nice," Ninette says. "Independent. Maybe a little white Persian. I can take her to the groomers and they can make her all pretty with a little ribbon in her hair." She considers this. It would be adorable to have a little white floofball she could pamper. "Maybe a poodle instead." More potential for ribbons. "No boxes, though I could hire someone to clean them." She sighs softly and raises her glass to Kaleb. "This is the price of us being too excellent. I do enjoy seeing Jay, though, when I see him."

Kaleb winced, "They look like they were smashed with a door though. like they're running full tilt and someone opened the door - bam- right into them." Echo considered this with ahmmm "I think I like the spoiled cat more than the dog. Dogs are great companions for people who aren't us. You need something glamourous and super opinionated." He quint to her and shrugged, "To keep perspective. I find keeping company wihth my own? Eeeeh surprisingly less judgy."

"But they're so sweet," is Ninette's counter. "And popular. It's either a Persian or a Siamese and they're neurotic. But gorgeous. Maybe I'll look for some rare breed and become a trend setter." She nods to herself. "I don't want what's popular. I want to make waht's popular." This is as it should be. She claps politely when the singer is done with her first song. Praise from Caesar. "I think I'll go with a cat. They're less needy. Or perhaps a bird."

Kaleb snerks, "Gorgeous and neurotic has it's appeal, sure, and birds are messy. They molt and leave their socks everywhere." he shook his head and considered with a wry grin, "Eh if you have a lead on a snow leopard lemme know. I have someone that might be in the market for another. That said? Get a white fluffy cat, dye it in kool-aid. Make her fashionably match your outfits?"

"There's an idea." Ninette looks at her delicate blues and greens and says, "And it washes right out, eventually. Hrm, that's a lot of baths for the cat. I'll think of something. Maybe matching collar." She trails a fingertip along her martini, and the way she pulls the olive off the toothpick with her lips is downright sinful. After she swallows, she says, "I don't mind feathers too much. But the kitty would be more cuddly."

Kaleb shook his head, "The cat will lick itself clean, and taste like blue raspberry. Besides I can guarantee my mom has a friend into pedigree show cats. Get you a good proper cat? Incidently where *are* you living these days? Manhattan? School? 5th Ave?"

"The Upper West Side," Ninette says. "In a gorgeous penthouse, three bedrooms, and just little old me." She says it glibly, as though it isn't something most people ache for yet will never know. "I don't know if I want to take care of a pet. Maybe I'll get fish and hire someone to come care for them. They'll look nice, and I won't have to worry about them getting dirty. They're in water, after all."

Kaleb furrowed his brow in approval, "Nice. Very nice. Good for you. And sure get one of those Japanese ones withthe long fins. Very fashionable. Have an aquarium expert come in. I have someone I can ask to see if they can recommend someone for you. And the fish won't try to shed on you. Ooh, we should get you one of those custom tanks too. like a wall divider. Sure they're probably a pain to clean but that's why we pay someoene to do it."

Ninette clasps her hands together and says, "Delightful. That's exactly what I'll do. I need to bring some life to the place. The decor is tres modern, but a little stark. I love living in art, but it should feel homey too, don't you think?" She taps a fingertip to her lip, then adds, "I'll get some plants all around it. It will look like an oasis."

Kaleb actually cracked a smile and thought about it. "Shit, I have to get stuff for the new apartment. We should go out." He paused and rolled a finger clarifying, "Shopping for various needs . Not implying… you know. We should. You can tell me when I have my head up my ass and I can point out things that aren't making the statement you want. It'll be an outing."

Ninette says wryly, "You're enamored of another." She smacks his knee lightly. "I know what you mean. Let's go show no mercy to retailers." She gets to her feet. "I could use some shopping therapy. These past few days have been dreary." She shakes her head. "The weather, the school — my kingdom for a talented choir — and just all of it. Let's shop it away."

Kaleb eyed Ninette witha squint, too prima nd too put together to give much away. She did get a nod and affirmation, "To say the least." He swung his feet down and paused, really thinking about it. Oddly he added quietly, "I'd sing with you." Was he quali- well he played with sound like potters mushed clay. One could make a short leap to having perfect pitch. He blinked and shrugged apparently intending that for what it was; a statement. Long strides conveyed him to his room to find a smart coat that matched and fit him fit to love that boy as if they were bragging about getting to wear him. He may have no soul for humanity as a whole but he certainly had one for style and impact. "C'mon. We'll make people cry come Thursday. It'll be splendid." Because alterations would take time.

Ninette arches a brow and glances Kaleb's way. "I'll hold you to that," she tells him. Of course, she'd be merciless in her assessment of his talent, but such is the price of honesty. She shrugs into her coat as Kaleb goes to get his. When he returns, she says firmly, "Yes. Let's break every heart in New York City." She angles for the door but lets Kaleb take the lead. She is, after all, a lady.

Kaleb gave her that look as if oh reeeeally but in the end just nodded."I have no urge to do this commercially. You know my opinionon performing services for humans, butI'd be happy to join you." He was too tired to get all teh way up on his soap box for things she already knew. He grabbed his keys, his hat at a jaunty angle and stepped out. Because he didn't despise her or want to puh her into traffic he waited to walk next to her but there was no elbow. Had they happen upon someone else? They might put her into traffic for such an infraction. This weirdly put him in a good mood. "We want to go up to Chinatownor start at Sacks and work our way to Soho?"

"Ah, but it is an art that demands to be seen. People worship songbirds." After all, she does do this commercially and status must be defended. She leaves it at that, then, and instead comments, "You look tired. Yes, let's start there and work our way down. I want to get one of those silk robes with all the embroidery." She walks alongside, casting the traffic a gimlet eye. There has been rain, and no one had better splash her Chanel dress.

Kaleb said flatly, "As if I give a damn about the people. I'll fucking do it for you, but not them. Fuck them." Hitting the sidewalk he paused and looked back to Ninette with a half shrug, "Been busy. A lot's going on. You want to walk or have me call my driver? It's damp, and I don't know you want to risk your shoes on the pavement that far. I thought I'd ask." He wasn't sentimental about it, but he was considerate of the mintuiae.

Ninette eyes Kaleb sidelong. "No one said you had to, ami." She looks up at the sky. "I like the rain, but you're right. Let's call the driver. These shoes are this season." She studies him in silence for awhile, then goes back to watching the street. "Anything going on you can talk about?" she asks.

Kaleb called for the driver to come around. "Pretaining to what precicely?" The words were crisp, but they were curious. Hhe trusted Ninette to be a better class of people by virtue of being Mutant, and better still for also having superb taste. He was curious though. The car came by and did he get the door for her? No because he wasn't her servant. He got the car and wasn't making her walk; his part was doone. He did Extend a hand so she could get in the car though because he still had manners. "I dunno. Bring something up and we'll see."

Ninette takes the offered hand and steps daintily into the car, taking a seat. She ignores the driver. He's there to do a job, not to be part of her day. "How are things with what's his name?" Maybe not the safest topic given the day and age, and there's a spark of mischief in her eyes. Will he discuss it in front of the help? Or does he truly not give a fuck what people think?

Kaleb dropped into the car and spoke frankly, though wether she knew he created a sound barrier so no conversation hit the front of the car was another story. He slouched back one ankle over the opposite knee and considered her question. It wa fishing, certainly but in teh same breathshe had nothing to gain with any information given to her. "Actually… really well." His brow furrowed as if confused by this. "He's been out all last week on business so I'm hoping all repairs and updates are done before he gets back." The gift of home improvement?

Ninette alas only has a passing knowledge of Kaleb's talents. Cheating is of course allowed. "He'd better bring you something nice to make up for being gone," Ninette says. "You're worth it, darling." She is yet caught up in the web where these kinds of entanglements must be transactions, preferably short-lived. Her features soften as she adds, "I'm glad he's good to you. God knows you could use it."

Kaleb warmed a wry grin and assured, "He will even if he's not aware of it yet." The haughty expression lessened looking back to Ninette's less demanding and more erstwhile sentiment. "Yeah I just hope he's alright. But… thanks. It's pretty groovy being appreciated as more than an asset. Hell he's the one I should have find you a fish if you want one. He's mastered finding rare and weird things. Sort of how we met. But I bet he might be able to suggest something."

Ninette waves a hand as she says, "Oh, no, I—" She's not sure if the fish is a metaphor. If so, there lies a land mine. Instead, she says, "Yes, have him talk to a fish man and have him find me something exquisite. They must be the most beautiful." She looks out the window, all coolness and brittle pride. "I think Jay and I are going to be good friends," she murmurs. "The good ones always refuse. It's why I don't pursue them."

Kaleb considered how much he should and shouldn't say. One one hand he didn't fucking care because it had nothing to do with him. On the other hand it had everything to do with his best and maybe only real friend he's known so eeeeh. He gave her an oddly …it wasn't sympathetic, but it was a deference to her feelings. "He's grieving. It's early. it's not you." Truthful, but also not too telling. "If it's too long thnen move on. Don't be miserable and resent him though, I agree. Maybe it is friends."

"Oh no, I don't resent him," Ninette says. "Don't mistake my meaning. Perhaps this time it's timing. Unfortunate, but nothing personal. At the very worst, I've gained a friend. That's great fortune in a world like this." She shakes her head, dismissing it. "It was a mistake bringing it up." After all, she knew what Kaleb was like, and it didn't have anything to do with him. Anything to do with her was irrelevant. It was comfortably predictable.

Kaleb sat in silence for a bit. Traffic was sluggish because it was New York. At least it bought them time. Finally after a long silence he offered to her his unsolicited opinion, "As far as friends go? Jay's pretty much teh best you can get. He keeps trying to put himself last and I worry about that. If he does consider you a friend though, Ninnette? He'll put you firt. Might not be what we want, or what we ask for, but he'll shure as hell won't bullshit you and that's worth more than every agent or vapid socialite has ever offered us, nes pas?"

Ninette turns her gaze to Kaleb, and she smiles softly, the ice melting a touch. "He's a good man," she says quietly. "One of the few. Were I a better person, I would pursue him harder, but you're right. He would put me first, and I would blindly take advantage, and it would be too cruel. Don't get me wrong, if he told me tomorrow he was ready for something substantial, I would seize the moment. The window isn't closed quite yet. It's just that I don't linger, darling. We have fun the way we are. Why fix what isn't broken?"

Kaleb squint from her to the Saks and back again. His lips pressed together thoughtfully and he spoke frankly with a slight hesitation. He was shit with words and more so with people. Combining these was usually disastrous. "I hated… dating humans. I did it because I had to, for my family and political reasons. Fine. Mostly for my brother so he could 'make appearances' and not have to suffer going. I tried to date another mutant and thought well… I dunno maybe that's it? Maybe it'll be different and it was and it wasn't and I was… disappointed that it didn't work out." He took a deep breath and left it at that with a nod. He licked at his lower lip thoughtfully and offered the alternatives, "One day I took a look around and I found there's something in my life completely overlooked. Someone doing something for me who I wasn't an asset for, or a convenience. That waited until all the other things in my life sorted and ya know what? in a way I'm glad those rocks were there and thrown. Made me value that more than I probably would have. Maybe this is that hurdle for you two. Maybe not. It will fortify you both and maybe that's what you need right now. Or if you just need someone to be snotty and opinionated? well I'm here for you. Right now though? Jay needs people and he won't ask. He's hurtin a little. Either way having been where Jay is in the needing of …something? He'll appreciate it in the long run."

Ninette lays a hand on Kaleb's and gives him a gentle pat. "I used to be a silly little girl who thought romance was the pinnacle of existence. What I feel for Jay is nothing so trivial. He must know that I'm fine and in need of nothing, and that my fondness for him has nothing to do with what he might do for me. It's as you say, he's hurting. He won't ask. He needs his friends around him, to support him. That falls on us." She nods firmly. Who else to be trusted with the task? "We need to do something for him. Nothing ostentatious, it's not his way. Oh! Who will be decorating his new room?"

Kaleb arched an eyebrow and didn't pull his hand back but accepted the gesture at face value and let the moment pass. A wry, wicked grin formed from all of the smug he had saved up within him. "Why, we are Ninnette. Vous et moi." He considered this and considered with a fint squint, "We go too upscale he'll feel like a foreigner in a hotel. We don't want that. Maybe classic rustic?"

"Classic rustic," Ninette echoes, regarding Kaleb with a peer's respect. "Brilliant. We'll get things from Kansas or Kentucky or wherever it is he's from. Nothing too kitsch. It will be his sanctuary. Too many things and he'll feel uncomfortable, too few and he'll be condemned to a Spartan life." She shakes her head. "No, we'll find the perfect balance. He'll love it."

Kaleb actually eased a half-grin on hsis embittered face. This? This was the sort of thing he could enjoy. Giving back to a friend and a mutant things they should have had long ago: some place that was theirs where they were wanted. "You heard about my project I'm working on, Ninnette?" He arched an eyebrow as the car slowed to a ahlt. "We've been fishing Muants from captivity around the globe. My thought was there isn't necessarily a need to pull everyone from their home. I mean the option is there but maybe someone doesn't want to leave Morocco or Sudan or Iceland. What then?"

"We establish safe houses within those countries, of course," Ninette says. "Surely there are local mutants who could be convinced to help. We put out feelers now, have them in place before the mission. Perhaps Professor Xavier has contacts you could contact? Or some of the older mutants. They've been around." She brushes an imagined bit of lint from her skirt and adds, "If you want help with retrieval, I could make the time."

Kaleb let the car stop and got out and flipped a hand out to Ninette letting her grab his to get out of the vehicle, but taking it back after dropping his hands into his pockets as he walked. "There will never be enough hands on deck for that. Help would be…fantastic. I'm looking to have my share of my family's company create a non-for profit orginization to aid mutants: get aid, schooling, housing, savety and care. Our people…" He didn't care about the volume of his voice because the sonic made sure she was the only one that heard him. "Our people are not weapons. We are not things. I want their quality of life returned to them. They deserve dignity and respect. We can do something that doesn't necessari;y require us to burn the world we want to habitate."

"Of course," Ninette says. She steps out of the car with Kaleb's help, and she peers up at the sky again. No rain yet, but give it time. "If you need help with the logistics of your non-profit, I did the books for my father's company and turned it from a modest operation to… well, I live on the Upper West Side, don't I?" She smiles primly. "I'm at your disposal. They're our people, for good or bad."

Kaleb chuckled and said, "Tony and his assistant may be in trouble. This launches successfully they might be unseated as most fantastic looking power investors. Thou to be fair Mr. Stark is killing the hair game." He had to give him that. The man had style and airs and Kaleb respected the hell out of that. So long as they didn't get all weird and anti-mutant. He truted their people to stay groovy in taht regard. "Good. And what we don't know we'll learn and figure out. Might talk to Doug too. He's great with language and if we're going to operate international he could be a fantastic asset… I like how this feels like it's going togehter. Maximus even said he'd be happy to help back the project so long as the mony was specifically used in aiding Mutants andnot outreach projects and his people are not put out in the endevor. I assured there's room enough to look after his and outrs. COmmonproblems made for good allies."

Ninette allows, graciously, "He does have good hair. For his age." She flashes Kaleb a wicked smile. Then she says, "Oh, I think I met this man, briefly. There were spiders attacking us at the time." She nods thoughtfully as Kaleb describes Maximus' part in things. "The mutants of the world are happy to have you, darling," she says. "We're a force to be reckoned with. The world just hasn't seen it yet."

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