Mad Fashion

June 09, 2015:

Betsy and Kitty stumble upon Pietro's secret habit.

Xavier's Institute

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: Somebody to Love - Queen


Fade In…

Betsy frowns, looking down at her tablet, and knocks on Pietro's door, accidentally knocking it open with her momentary inattentiveness. Wearing a pale yellow blouse with demi-sleeves and polka-dot yellow heels (making her look a bit like an Amazonian wasp), she cranes her neck, then bumps the door open with her fingertips.

"Pietro?" she calls, walking a pace into his quarters. "Are you in here?" she asks, looking behind the door curiously, then frowning at the room's contents as if expecting him to be invisible or something. "I have some questions about your Institute credit card, there are some discrepancies…"

Pietro can be forgiven for not hearing Betsy's approach. Freddie Mercury is currently wailing 'Somebody to Love' from a walkman (yes, the tape kind) attached to his belt. It's loud enough that when Betsy enters, she can hear the music spilling out from the oversized headphones. There's also the loud thundering of a sewing machine as he slides a hem of deep red material and dots it with teal thread. His closet is open. Inside are boxes of material and clothing on racks in various states of creation. The nearby computer monitor flicks with runway pictures. A pattern has been hastily tacked to the bulletin board.
Betsy gets a good look at all of this until he catches her movement out of the corner of his eye. Then he stands up with a start. A silver blur darts around the room and the closet door slams closed. The red material sticks out from the doorjam. Part of the torn pattern flutters against the bulletin board. His headphones are on the ground.
"…FIND MEEEEEEEE…..SOMEBODY TOOOO LOOOOOOOOVEEEE…."
Pietro looks…well, horrified. "…hi uh, Betsy."

Kitty's room is not that far from Pietro's. They all live on the staff wing of the mansion. They two have been spending time together more and more often. Kitty's showing Pietro the ropes about life at Xavier's and sometimes helping him with his costume, or going out to drink ungodly amounts of vodka. The brunette is moving through the hallway, Lockheed perched regally on her shoulder when she sees Betsy peeking her head into Pietro's room.

"Oh! Betsy. Hey, I've been meaning to talk to y—-" her words trail off as she slows and she can see a bit further into Pietro's room. The tinny sound of Freddie Mercury coming from headphones is barely able to be picked up, but she tilts her head, peeking around the taller ninja into Pietro's room. She could be rude and phase right through Betsy into the room, but she's not about to be that rude. "Why's everyone acting like someone got caught naked?"

Betsy /blinks/. Repeatedly. She looks slooooowly over her shoulder at Kitty, then sloooowly back at Pietro, then rather considerately, closes and /locks/ the door to Pietro's room, giving the three of them some privacy.

"Pietro," she says, holding a finger towards Kitty to silence her for a moment. "If what I /think/ I saw, is what I saw, I think you and I should talk. But, out of respect for your privacy, if you like, I will back out of this room, very quietly, and I won't out your secret to anyone."

She holds a hand towards the closet across the room, forcing it open telekinetically, and brings a pair of sapphire-blue heels flying towards her hands. "I will, however, demand these as payment."

Quicksilver opens the door just before the shoes can float all the way through. His cheeks are bright, bright red. The floating heels are eyed, but he has too much pride to grab for them. They've been restored. They weren't sapphire blue before, and he's added a little gold tip to the end of the heel. There's also the starting of a damask pattern traced onto the heel itself. "They're not finished." And then he sees Kitty. He turns even redder and ducks back into his room. "Whatever you're thinking is worse. It's worse. It's…" He stands with his back to them, his shoulders hunched. "I'm just playing around. I don't wear girl clothes."

Ruffling at the idea that Betsy would attempt to hush her, Kitty stands a bit straighter. At least, though, she manages to stay on the proper side of the door to not be shut out of the conversation. Not that that would really stop her because of her ability, but she would certainly be more annoyed about the entire situation.

The floating heels are studied, eyes narrowing and then widening. "Oh wow! Those are nice!" Kitty may not be the most fashionable woman on the planet, but she knows what she likes. And those heels are part of them. "Are you making those?" Her voice is curious and disbelieving. That's not at all something she knew he could do! Of course, her question may not be the most sensitive way to get information.

"These were /Prada/ at one point," Betsy wonders, staring at them. "I can tell from the shape of the heel spike and the sole. But… my God, Pietro, these are /gorgeous/," she says, an expression of genuine and heartfelt praise on her usually stern features. "I had no- how long- I…"

The leggy kunoichi is at a loss for words. She looks at Kitty, turning to show her the heels, and shakes them as if showing her yes, these are ACTUALLY REAL, agog.

"Pietro, /why didn't you tell me about this?!"

"They were in a Beverly Hills thrift store." And when you're a speedster, a quick trip to the West Coast to cruise through estate sales and thrift stores is NBD. Pietro rubs his neck. "I'm just…I like modifying things." He shrugs sheepishly and avoids eye contact with both of them. He's staring very intently at his walkman as it spins out the last of Side A on the cassette.
At least no one can accuse him of making them for himself. They're much too small.

At least Kitty knows Prada. The other names Betty talked about when they were catching up did not exactly mean much to her. "They are lovely," she tells the both of them sincerely. She can tell Pietro looks incredibly embarrassed about the idea that he likes modifying shoes, but she grins. "They really are, Pietro." Attempting to encourage him, she steps forward just a hair. "Liking to make stuff like this isn't anything to be ashamed of!"

"No. Don't you /dare/ downplay this, Pietro, or I will make sure you spend your days thinking you're a … a … /radish/," Betsy says, struggling for some kind of emotional equilibrium. She moves to his closet and pulls it open, revealing the spill of clothing and designs and the beginnings of a dress on the wall.

She actually steps back, then falls heavily onto a low bookshelf, shoulders slumping. "These are /incredible/," she murmurs, eyes flitting over the designs. "Dresses, gowns… this is all K-pop but with an ultramodern twist. The silver, the contrast of material and light, oh my GOD I have shoes that would GO WITH THAT," she declares, jabbing a finger at a sleek, twisted asymmetrical dress.

There is a lot of asymmetry. A lot of metallics (not surprising) and a lot of warm teals, deep reds, sunny yellows and very little black unless as a contrast. There's accessories - some of it found and modified, others in various states of assembly. There's a fair amount of menswear too, some of which they might recognize as stuff that he wears. What was being interpreted as found pieces on his part were actually made, often by repurposing chunks of existing garments, or by using ends of material.
The sewing machine was shoved hastily in there. The piece he was working on has ugly twisted red thread dug all up the side. The machine itself got damaged in his attempt to hide it.
He doesn't quite know what to make of Betsy's reaction. He slinks back and sits on the edge of the bed and sort of curls up a bit on himself. "It's just…messing around. It started 'cause no one made the stuff I like."

Betsy certainly has more passion for this than Kitty does. The mutant gives the purple haired woman a bit of a smirk as she paws through all the things that Pietro has made. "Oh yeah! Pietro was who I was talking about when I told you I knew someone who loved quicksilver." She glances over at the man in question with an encouraging smile.

Moving forward once it's allowed, she reaches out a hand and gently touches some of the fabrics. These certainly aren't things she would normally wear, but she can certainly see the beauty of them, and can tell that the man put a lot of time and care into them. "They're wonderful," she tells him. "If this is what you do when you're just messing around, I'd love to see what you did when you actually meant it."

Betsy looks over her shoulder at Pietro, sensing the nauseating embarassment and discomfort radiating from the young man. She glances at Kitty, then rises up and walks around the bookshelf, sitting next to him. A bit stiffly- well, very stiffly- she reaches over and pats him. "There, there," she tries.

She looks at Kitty a bit helplessly. She's not a people person. "Pietro, I worked in fashion for most of fifteen years," she tells him. "I've worked in America and Europe. What you have here is good enough to be patterned for any major fashion house. With some guidance and a bit of adjustment, you could sell a lot of these to general manufacturing."

Pietro clenches his hands together and hunches his shoulders. He bites his lower lip. "Nah, it's like…I'm not trained or anything. I just read some books." Really, really quickly. And by 'some' he probably means 'hundreds.' "Mostly I donate them back to thrift shops when I'm done with them." He lifts a shoulder. "Then I go back later to see if anyone bought 'em. One time I saw a girl wearing a jacket I made."

Kitty's still marveling in the closet filled with clothes that Pietro made. After a few moments, though, she turns in time to catch the helpless look the woman gives her. Moving forward, she reaches out a hand to gently take his. "And you liked seeing that, right? Seeing a girl wear the jacket that you made?"

Her eyes move to Betsy's and then back to him. "You like making clothes, right? Designing and modifying the stuff that you find? I mean, Betsy could help you with it. This is really good for not having any sort of training. Imagine what you could do with some help."

"Pietro, you have a remarkable creative gift," Betsy tells him, forcing some emotionally heartfelt sincerity into her stoic and cool tones. "Fashion is far more challenging than people realize. It takes a combination of skills that very few people possess. You have a talent here, one that could be turned into a profession. You don't want to be an X-man forever, do you? Only Quicksilver, not Pietro?" She gestures at the closet. "This is the sort of craft that can help you have an identity beyond just being another member of our family here- a life that belongs just /to you/."

"Something that's gonna make people make fun of me," says Pietro. He kicks a wedge heel underneath the desk, then turns around and flops on his bed. "Look, I appreciate the support. I do. But I dunno if I want to do this seriously, you know? I mean, I like it when people wear my stuff. But I don't know…" he takes a deep breath. "…is there such a thing as someone who's successful at this who has a low profile? Cause like, I'm supposed to be on the secret team."

Kitty frowns as Pietro moves away from her. Idly, she fiddles with the necklace around her neck. "You can be on the secret team and still make clothes," she tells him. "You just have to keep your Quicksilver part of your identity a secret. I mean, look at Iron Man. Before everyone knew he was Iron Man, he was just some billionaire playboy and he still went out and did things in a metal suit." She shrugs. "I mean, I teach here, but that's mostly because I love it here and was already teaching before joining the team."

Her eyes dart to Betsy. "Not that there's anything wrong with being an X-Man, of course. If this makes you happy and you like doing it, we can help you make sure that happens."

"Pietro," Betsy says with the small exhalation that usually signals her patience is becoming a bit strained. "We're /mutants/. We're pariahs to a large portion of the world's population. Do you /really/ think that being a fashion designer is going to somehow mark you for more ridicule than being in the tiny percentile of people wh-" she breaks off, touching her brow.

"I … if you don't do /something/ with this, I will … hurt you," she says, sounding flustered. "Somehow. I'll tell everyone you make them for /yourself/," she says, suddenly rounding on him with narrowed eyes. "And trust me when I say I'll /make/ them believe /me/."

"But," she says, tempering her tone. "What I can do to help you is put you in touch with my friends in the fashion industry. They can give you some feedback. There are shows not far around the corner- fall launches are in a few weeks," she says, somehow just knowing that off the top of her head. "If you have a handful of outfits ready, I will personally take them- and you- to the Fall show. We will wear /your/ outfits, and you will have Cosmo's 2013 cover girl headlining your designs, along with four or five of her close friends," she says, tossing her hair over one shoulder.

Quicksilver is honestly not quite sure what to make of Betsy's double-barrled encouragement/threat. He is, quite rightfully so, a bit concerned that she'd actually follow through on that threat. He looks to Kitty, as if seeking her advice. Then, slowly, he creeps off his bed and goes towards the closet. He pushes things aside, then digs out a garment bag. He wordlessly brings it over and hangs it up on the hook on the back of the door. Then he tugs down the zipper, revealing a teal gown with a gradiated pattern. It's long on both sides and short in the middle, and has a very different neckline. "I uh, I think this would fit. I might have to do a few alterations."
For a usually fast-talking guy, this situation has rendered him quite sheepish.

Betsy's response garners a well meaning smirk. Kitty's attempts are much more subtle and gentle than the other woman's. Luckily, she doesn't seem to disapprove of her methods. Especially since they're gathering results. The dress Pietro pulls out of the closet is meet with an unsolicited "Ooo!" The mutant moves forward to reach out a hand and touch the fabric. "That's gorgeous. It'll look fantastic on you, Betsy. Your hair will compliment the blue-greens."

Betsy's face looks as if God himself had descended from the heavens and offered her an all-expense paid trip to the Dolce & Gabbana exchange. She rises and moves to the dress, touching it, pulling at the material to examine the stitching, the cut, the fabric used. "This is good, Pietro," she murmurs. "This is very, very good. I want it. I want you to fit this to me," she tells him, turning fierce amethyst eyes onto the speedster. "And then you're sewing something for Kitty," she says, jobbing a long finger in the other woman's direction. "And she's going to walk the red carpet at the fashion show, wearing it."

Pietro's colour was going down. But then, the compliments. Normally he's a cocky little bastard, but compliments on this particular skill are harder for him to take. "I'm uh, I'm glad you like it. I found these 1980s pink heels that'd go really well with them but I don't know if they're your size and they're in pretty good shape I just had to do a little bit of repair work on the heel." All of that comes out in the rapid-fire way that he tends to talk around people he doesn't know very well, as opposed to the halting, embarrassed tones he's been using up until now. "I though it would look good with some hair crimping and some big earrings." Because if there's one thing the House of Pietro isn't going to be, it's understated.
Then he looks to Kitty, then over to Betsy. "Only if she wants to?"

Kitty gives Betsy an amused, but understanding look at her response to the dress Pietro holds out. She moves to the side to allow the woman who will wear it a better view and access to it. Then, though, she quickly looks to the model and shakes her head. "Oooh, no no, I don't need to wear anything on any sort of red carpet. I'd sink through it in nervousness. Not exactly what you want in the terms of secret team stuff." It's her turn to blush a very bright pink.

She looks over to Pietro with a 'help' look. Of course, she's the one that's been poking through his secret hobby and giving him pointers on how to not be ashamed of it. Can she expect him to let her off easy? She can hope.

"Nope. Nope nope nope. This is happening. This is alllll happening. Pietro, I'm going to be back later. Get your needles and thread ready. I'm a 38-26-37," she tells him, rising and whipping out her phone, text messages flying. "I'll arrange everything. I even like the shoes. We'll talk about Kitty's outfit," she says. She sends at /least/ five text messages, then whips the phone up to her ear. "Hullo, Evelyn? It's Elizabeth. Yes, darling, listen- no, shut it! I need you to call up Philipe and tell him I need him to look at a prospectus…" she walks off, talking on the phone, then pokes her head back in.

"I'm serious, Pietro," she snaps. "Thirty minutes. Or I'll stand outside your room in my knickers and scream bloody murder until you have /my/ dress ready." Phone up. "Eve, yes, I'm /serious/, darling…"

Pietro watches Betsy go. He waits until he knows she's out of earshot, then looks back at Kitty. Then he cracks up laughing. He can't stop. Part of it is nerves, but tears are streaming down his face. Between gasps of breaths he manages to get out "I…can't…believe…" wheeze. "…this is happening." Ha ha ha ooohhh god.

The minute Betsy turns on the model diva, Kitty's eyebrows raise practically into her hairline. She's seen the woman in many different situations, but this is the first time she's really witnessed what it must be like to work with her when she has the power to do exactly what she wants. There's nothing really she can get in edgewise as Betsy starts to arrange things and strides out of the room. Instead, she remains very still, like a deer trying to fool a predator's field of vision.

Once Betsy is gone, she turns very slowly to Pietro, looking at him with an amused and worried expression. Then, of course, the laugh is contagious. She can't help but join in. "Are…are you okay?"

"No!" says Pietro as he continues to try and contain his laughter. "I'm fucking terrified. She's terrifying!" He points to the door. "But also kind of amazing. Is she really…no, never mind. She doesn't seem like the type to joke about this sort of thing." He rolls over and buries his face in his pillow. "This is all Freddie Mercury's fault."

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