Caffeine and Cars

June 12, 2015:

Ryden meets Betsy and GoGo while out for coffee and then promptly forgets about them.

Alba's

Small Bistro

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Alba's is rapidly becoming a favorite little bistro for the purple-haired mutant. Mostly because it's within a reasonable walking distance of Betsy's new apartment. Convenience is an important factor when one needs to caffeinate somewhere. Despite her English prediliction for good tea, Betsy enjoys a cup of bitter dark roast.

"She was very sweet," Betsy explains to GoGo. They sit at a four-person table; it's a bit crowded in there today, with students studying for exams and midterms. "She brought me my new lamp, we had tea, and she even made breakfast this morning." She sighs happily and sips her coffee, a satiated expression on her normally stoic Asian features. "Though she said she was only in town for a day. She said she'd text me after the weekend, so…" Betsy shrugs at GoGo, leaving that conclusion up in the air.
"That's cool." GoGo says as she caffenates. There's not one but three large cups of coffee on the table. She's sipping from one absently while she watches the world go by. Cars. Bikes. Scooters. People? Nah. Not noticing them. Wheels? Every single one.

"Never been much for one nights but that's just me. If it made you happy, cool."

Across the street a man is strolling down the sidewalk. He looks to be around thirty and with shoulder length dusky blonde hair and the kind of rakish rogue handsomeness that draws the eye of many women and even a few men. This morning his focus is on the book he's reading while he walks, oblivious to the looks he's getting from passerby. Most are admiring but a few look askance at his dress. Leather sandals and a knee length black skirt. He's wearing a soft brown silk men's shirt that's unbuttoned partway down his chest and has a very old fashioned but sturdy travel pack hanging from his shoulders. He draws even more stares when he crosses the street heedless of oncoming traffic and walks face first into a stop sign. Ryden looks up from the sidewalk with bemusement. "Who the hell put that there?" During his rather ungraceful attempt at getting to his feet he manages to flash the crowd when his skirt hikes up. Sighing he makes a beeline for the coffee shop and plops down at the next table.

Betsy's amethyst eyes flicker to Ryden, appraisingly- she can certainly appreciate a fine-figured man. The skirt, though, gets a swiftly upticked turn of her fine eyebrow, which is about as expressive a gesture as she ever makes. She glances at GoGo and bites her lips behind her coffee mug, trying very hard not to giggle at his unusual dress or his clumsy wardrobe malfunction. She composes herself before he sits down, elbows on the table and coffee cup in both hands.

"It wasn't a one-nighter," she says, attention returning to her roommate. "Just… you know, the first one. I hope." She clears her throat. "We've gone out a few times, so she's hardly a stranger. It's just been… you know. A while," she mumbles, finding something interesting across the street to look at.

"Yeah." GoGo gets it. She briefly - briefly - touches Betsy's hand. Then she picks up her coffee again. "Having Honey Lemon and I in the next room over can't help. Well, when we are in the same room. We've both been putting in late lab hours. I'm working on a wheelchair. Regular wheelchair design is ass stupid. Pretty sure no one who ever sat in one used it."

GoGo briefly looks at the guy in the skirt with the clumsiness and then goes back to talking to Betsy. "I'm trying to come up with a cheap design that can be 3D printed."

Ryden looks up from studying his book for damage and sighs in relief. It wasn't harmed during his fall. He flicks the top of the pack at his feet open. If anyone looks inside all they see is a weird black pit, not the inside of a back pack. He strokes the cover of the book lovingly with one finger and it shrinks down into a tiny square before he lowers it into the bag with one arm and then closes the flap again. When he looks around he notices a man about to leave and grins. "Hey buddy, could you get me one of those super chocolate caffeine things?" The man looks a bit disgruntled at being mistaken for a server but when Ryden grins again he relaxes and nods, turning back to get the drink. Ryden glances over at the table next to him then and blinks. His eyes are a startling sky blue and seem focused on Betsy's purple hair.

"I know, I haven't seen you two except in passing for days. Thank you again for coming to the Bistro with me," Betsy says, flashing a quick smile at GoGo. She brushes her fingers against GoGo's for that microsecond. Just enough to let the other woman know she appreciates the gesture, however discreet.

She flickers her gemstone gaze to Ryden when he looks at her, then looks back at GoGo with the haughty disdain of a dyed in the wool diva. Too good to be seen looking at strangers, she is! "I really don't mind you two being in the next room," she assures GoGo. "It's not like it's a surprise or anything, and you're reasonably discreet about it. Oh my," she says aloud, eyes swivelling to the street. "Is that a '67 Corvette?" she says, admiring a sleek, cherry-red convertible rumbling merrily down the road- vintage, restored to a classic glory.

"'66." GoGo says, automatically. "Good job on the restoration. Not all the parts are vintage. Someone hand crafted the bumper but used a blend of steel that's more common today than it was then." Yep. She can tell all that from a glance. "Met the king of Wakanda yesterday night. He was a jerk." She finishes her first coffee and moves onto the second.

Ryden hands the man who brings his coffee a handful of cash and urges him to take it when he protests its too much. "Nah, don't worry about it man, and thanks!" The guy slips the money in a pocket and hurries off. After watching the car go by Ryden looks thoughtful. "You ladies wouldn't happen to know where I can get one of those, would you?" He gestures at another car going by, only its a small smart car. "Uh..not that one. Good gods that looks unsafe. And tiny. I need someone who can drive it too."

Betsy nods at GoGo. "Well done." She frowns at Leiko's assessment, though. "T'Challa?" she says, digging in her memory. It's entirely possible Betsy knows the name of every soverign monarch in the world at any given time. "I've not met him, though I've heard he's quite taciturn."

She leans around Leiko when addressed, giving Ryden a cool and glacial look. "Google it," she suggests, as if it's obvious. "Or take a taxi. Without a license, you won't get far, though," she points out to the man.

GoGo looks at the man in the skirt again. "No makeup." She notes. "Hair's not right." She notes again. "Top doesn't match the skirt quite right. Shoes don't go with it." She nods her head again. "Ever know a drag queen who wasn't proud of his appearance?" She asks Betsy. "There's a mystery there. If you care about it."

Ryden is still puzzling over Betsy's remarks. "Well, I don't want to drive it. That would be a horrible idea. So I don't need a license unless things have changed *that* much." He looks around for a moment and then shrugs conceding the possiblity. "What the hell is a google? People keep saying this and I…I have no idea what it is." Twice he asked and they just looked at him like he'd crawled out from under a rock somewhere. His eyes focus on GoGo and then he frowns down at his clothing and sighs. "Zee tried to tell me. But it's just so damn comfortable." He mutters to himself and takes a long drink of the frozen chocolate coffee.

Betsy looks at Leiko, exchanging inscrutable expressions. It is one thing she likes immensely about the other woman- she's one of the few who doesn't need to ask what Betsy's thinking constantly. A shared heritage helps with that. "Quite right," the Brit agrees.

Leaning around Leiko, Betsy rests her coffee on the table and wraps her hand around the mug for warmth. "Sir, would you care to join us?" she invites him in polite tones. "It seems you're adapting to an unusual situation- perhaps we could fill you in on some gaps in your understanding. If you're inclined, of course," she says, ever the polite aristocrat.

Ryden looks up from staring gloomily into his coffee. Nothing has been like he'd expected or hoped since he got back. "You have no idea how grateful I would be. I've missed so much I don't even know where to start." He gets up long enough to scoot his chair and pack over and then snags his drink before settling back down. "I've been…out of touch with the world for the past Ohh.." He closes his eyes and thinks a moment. "Fifteen years? Maybe seventeen? I didn't realize how much time had passed."

"Fifteen years ago men still didn't normally wear skirts and blouses." GoGo points out. The 90s weren't THAT experimental for most people. "Nothing wrong if you do but you should at least do it right." She finishes her second coffee. "I'm GoGo. This is Betsy."

"Charmed, I'm sure," Betsy says absently. She nods with GoGo's assessment, eyeing Ryden a bit curiously. Despite her normal good manners, she pushes a searching tendril of psychic energy towards him, sniffing at his surface thoughts with a cautious wariness. "I still keep thinking 1995 was ten years ago," she murmurs to Leiko, sipping her coffee delicately.

Ryden thinks about that for a moment and laughs. "Yeah okay, they probably didn't. Fashion has never been my thing. I just don't have the drive to pay attention to that kind of thing. Saw a bloke wearing a kilt and were no where near Scotland nor Ireland but I figured if he was wearing that then I could wear this. I was also in a hurry." The man admits. "I'm Ryden. It's a pleasure to meet you ladies." He grins at both of them, his expression sincere. His eyes narrow at Betsy suddenly. His mind is very well shielded and her probe, however gently is felt and shoved back a bit forcefully. "Shit. Sorry. Automatic relflex. That's not so polite though." He settles back and studies the two women, a lot more wariness on his face than a few moments ago. "Humans generally can't do that kind of thing." Ryden comments.

GoGo glances over at Betsy, then back to Ryden. Something just happened. She's not sure what but something happened. Interesting. She stays quiet. There's no need to say things since people tend to talk to fill the void. She'll learn soon enough. Besides. Coffee.

Betsy winces at the fashion statement. For just a second, there's a possibility she's thinkig of slapping Ryden. But the fashionista restrains herself, though her foot bobs a little more quickly under the table.

At his rebuke, a look of startlement crosses her fine features for a moment. "I do beg your pardon," she murmurs, brushing her hair back from her face absently. "That was rude. Please excuse my curiousity," she says, apologizing to him. She glances at Leiko, then touches her own temple in a brief but meaningful gesture. She turns to Ryden, gathering her cup again. "I'm not strictly human, Ryden," she explains politely. "I'm a mutant."

"Huh." Ryden strokes his chin absently while he looks at Betsy and then GoGo. "A mutant that can read minds? Geeze lady, you need to be more careful. A lot of people would be freaked out by that. Or decide you're very useful and be convinced you're worth the risk and trouble to have." He grins a bit. "Not everyone is as nice as me. That's one thing that hasn't changed." He looks relaxed again but there's still a bit of tension in his posture, a trained eye might note he seems ready to move at any second.

"This is what the King of Wakanda was doing last night." GoGo notes to Betsy. "Deciding that the chicks didn't understand something or didn't know something or didn't have years of experience with something and mansplaining how they know better." She frowns. "Word of advice, guy. You meet someone with powers that can control them and knows what she is? She probably already knows the score."

"Mmhm," Betsy agrees with Leiko, slurping her coffee a bit obnoxiously. She pops her lips softly, rolling her upper lip back to catch a missed drop of coffee. "Precious few people would have even sensed my presence," she informs Ryden. "Let alone responded as forcefully. It's a reasonable precaution to take when meeting unusual individuals," she points out primly. "Fortunately, I'm not terribly concerned with niceties. I have plenty of friends."

Ryden grins again. "Fair enough and I'm sure, other wise she'd never have survived this long." His grin fades and he looks into the distance. "Some things, they never change. No matter how much time passes. People fear what they don't know. Their are always greedy bastards who will do anything to get more and things aren't always what they seem. I look like a human, a weird clueless moron maybe.." Ryden gestures at himself. "But still a human. I'm not though as your friend just discovered." He shrugs. "I'm not sayin you're wrong, thats a damned useful ability you have there. Just that you should remember this." He laughs suddenly. "My mother would come back from her grave beat me bloody if she thought I was insinuating a woman didn't understand how things were. I meant no offense, truly."

"Lot of guys don't mean offense. They still do it." GoGo points out. "Best way not to do it is be aware you do." She finishes her third coffee. "Got to hit the head." She notes to Betsy. "Be back." She leaves her messenger bag here, trusting her roomie to take care of it.

Betsy narrows her eyes at Ryden. Politeness wars with a surge of irritation at his manner. "Do you always pass off life advice to complete strangers, unprompted? I would have thought your mother would have educated you on manners- I assure you I'm quite mature enough to let my own life experiences narrate my decisions," she says, a bit of bite to her prim tones.

Ryden can't help but look a bit amused. People don't usely have such a prickly reaction to him. "Honestly, I don't spend a lot of time with people. The people where I was were…it's complicated. Let's just say they were very easy to deal with. Boring after awhile but easy. Of course, they weren't really real, so there is that." He sighs a little. "I'm sure she did try to pound whatever the manners of the time were into me. That was a long time ago and I've always had a rather narrow focus." For a moment the man looks depressed. "I can't remember what she looked like. Can't even remember when I did." He shrugs and takes a drink of coffee.

Perhaps mollified by his explanation, Betsy's waspish nature withdraws a little. "Perhaps a little exposure to culture would do you some good, then. No one enjoys being pontificated at," she says in her elegantly cultured British accent. Quite at odds with her half Asian appearance and that striking purple hair.

"If you're unsure of where you're going or what to do, you've picked… a hazardous city," she says, weighing the words. "New York can devour the unwary."

Ryden shudders. "Maybe but its a helluva lot better than Gotham. Oh man what a hole..I..am not opening a store at risk of being burned out and looted every week. Plus its just so damn gloomy there. New York is close enough by train or whatever. There's someone I want to keep an eye on. It's part of the reason I came back. Now that I've had a bit of a look around I've decided to stay put. I'll land on my feet eventually, always do."

"Mmm," Betsy says, more in acknowledgement that he's spoken than agreeing- or disagreeing- with his sentiment. She finishes her coffee and sets it on the saucer and slides it to the table's edge. "I suppose that's reason enough to linger," she agrees cautiously. "And New York is filled with opportunties- for an adaptable individual," she cautions.

Ryden looks amused again. Now she's giving advice. He can see why she'd think he needs it and actually probably doesn't hurt to listen. He shakes his head, realizing he might be giving offense or seem to be mocking her. "I'm sorry, it's just funny. I have trouble taking people seriously sometimes. See you, you're obviously a grown and mature woman. I can see that and logically I know it if I think about it but I'm just so much older, I know so many things. It's hard to remember that just because someone isn't or hasn't been around as long as I have..doesn't mean they're clueless. Probably even know some things I don't."

"Everyone is an expert on something," Betsy says with a small nod. "But age isn't a guarantor of achievement- or wisdom. And youth isn't a guarantor of innovation. Best to avoid making assumptions in either direction," she suggests, one hand moving in a neutral gesture, before she interlaces her fingers on the table's edge, sitting primly upright with impeccable posture.

"How do you know you're older?" GoGo asks as she returns, sitting back down. "Maybe she's three hundred. Maybe I am. You're doing that thing where you assume and that's a stupid thing to do." She settles herself and sips from the new coffee. Yep. Number four.

"I just do. You can sense it. You don't have the..the look, for lack of a better word. Or sense of someone who's been around long enough to see and do everything. It changes a person. Usually not for the best. I could be wrong of course, but its a safe assumption to make. There aren't many people around who live that long. The ones that do aren't human..or mutant. I suppose it could be possible some day but, mutants weren't around when I was I born."

"Mmm." And Betsy checks out of the conversation, cool disinterest washing away her expression. The leggy model looks at GoGo. "Leiko, shall we, darling? I'm a bit peckish yet, and there are some briskets in the icebox," she suggests to the shorter woman. Betsy's /tall/. Almost as tall as Ryden. She looks at that latter individual and bobs her head in a gesture vaguely reminiscent of a curtsey. "A pleasure, Mister Ryden. Good luck in the city."

GoGo Tomago isn't tall. She's short. The top of her head comes up to about mid-chest level on Betsy. "Sure, I guess." She grabs hold of the messenger bag and slings it over her shoulder. "Mongolian barbeque? Stuff is the best."

Ryden nods and smiles. "Yeah, thanks. It was interesting meeting you both. I gotta go see about a store.." He trails off. There's a rack of newspaper machines nearby he's caught sight of and rises and grabs his pack to go browse them. "Yes! Alright, ten different papers, total score." He seems to have forgotten all about the two he was just speaking to.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License