Cat and Elf

June 18, 2015:

While catching some sun in Central Park, Tigra is happened upon by Blink.

Central Park

Sitting on 843 acres of public land, Central Park is one of the most famous sight-seeing spots in New York, and is considered large enough to have its own police precinct (the Central Park Precinct) dedicated to its protection. The Park boasts several lakes — all of which have been created artificially — extensive walking and bridle paths, two ice skating rinks, a variety of outdoor theatre spaces, several playgrounds, and a considerable collection of whimsical statuary. It is home to Belvedere Castle, the Carousel, the Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory, and Cleopatra's Needle (one of three, 70-foot Egyptian obelisks from the Temple of Ra in Helios, its mates residing in London and Paris).


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It's a gorgeous day to duck your mentor's ever friggin' watchful eye, to get away and disappear into the city with it's loud cars and louder people, using the sound as so much foliage to hide in to. Soon she finds herself amongst the grass and the trees, following a path that's paved and clean. The sun dapples through the trees and the young mutant breathes deep and long for the first time all day.

Central Park is a busy part of the city, as many areas often are. There's a lot to see and do here, but some are just there to relax and enjoy the sun. Among them? None other than Tigra, who's found a slightly secluded spot away from the more populated parts of the large park. It's close to one of the manmade lakes, at least. There's even part of a boulder sticking up out of the ground that she's found as an especially warm spot to stretch out on.

Blink gets tired of the hood she has to keep up around her face, pushing it back to feel fresh air and sunlight, noting the quiet isolation and finding safety in that. She ruffles her unruly mop of magenta curls, peering about. She spots the boulder but not its keeper, not yet, and wanders over to see if maybe she can climb it herself. She's noisy, finding no reason for stealth, scraping her shows over stone and cursing when she almost chips a Betsy-maintained nail.

Though in a state of slumber, Tigra is not truly asleep. Cats have that sort of sixth sense and an ability to stir on a moment's notice. It's the scraping sounds that lead to this particular one squinting an eye open and yawning, then she moves. The 'rock' has a crest to it that she moves to peer over the top of, claw-tipped fingers on one hand curling along a ridge as she peers with the upper half of her face at whoever's there.

Blink is very focused on what she's doing, reaching up to feel by fingertips, blind under the curve, the short young-woman scrambling upward. She freezes however when she senses movement, wondering if it's in her head before she strains upward, trying to peer up and over.

Tigra is still there, no mirage or vision, and as she lifts herself up just a few inches more the definite signs of orange, creamy white, and black stripes can be made out over her face and along that one hand and arm. "Hi there," she grins, as if very comfortable with herself and this sudden encounter. "Come to share my rock? There's room on it." She's already taking note of the other one's own features.

Blink by nature was always timid, and now she's become full out skittish. Her squeal of fright is shrill and piercing and her sudden jerk backward is met by a lost grip and quick topple to the ground. It's not high and she's not that heavy, so the whoosh that leaves her is mostly air. She takes a moment to catch her breath, squinting up at the feline woman, Blink pressing a hand to her own chest as she struggles to get he r dignity and composure back.

This reaction is met with..well, mild amusement might not be the right way to describe it, but Tigra's certainly left curious enough to scoot up further, so she can cross her arms along the crest of the rock and rest her chin atop it. "Haven't had a reaction like that lately. You all right?" The sight of a striped tail waving back and forth slowly behind her might be noticed as well. "You might think I escaped from the Central Park Zoo, but I can promise you it's not like that," she adds with a fangy grin, moving afterward to crouch atop the large rock. "Want a hand?"

Blink's first instinct is to bolt, but it's born of terror that she's doing her best to ignore these days. Her second instinct is to relax, and her third is to take the woman's offer for help. With a grumble and a squinty stare, the young mutant clambers to her feet and reaches for the boulder, doing her best to climb back up it again. "Zoo? At least you don't look like you fell out of a bottle of pepto," she mumbles, her pink cheeks growing rosier.

There are a lot of things that can be told from someone's body language, and right now the signs the tigress is seeing definitely fit that bill. If nothing else, she looks quite comfortable in her own skin, or rather fur, and she shifts places enough to offer a hand back up. "Yeah, I guess you win that point," she agrees, "but we don't all get to pick and choose what we want to look like. Name's Tigra, by the way."

Blink takes the offered hand, huffing as she pulls herself up. "Fitting," she mumbles, her lips curving into a small smile. She's in her dark orange hoodie, knowing it clashes with her skin terribly and makes Psylocke's skin crawl, a pair of baggy jeans and decent running sneakers. She settles atop the rock and shucks her jacket, sighing with relief as her skin is met with fresh air. She peers about.

"We're not likely to be stumbled upon out here, are we?" she worries. "I'd rather not cause problems. And my mentor would murder me if I got into trouble. Like, figuratively murder, with pushups and curling irons and pedicures, maybe even high-heels and laps." She's twitchy but oddly comfortable with this new person. "And, you know, don't want to cause -you- problems either. I'm Claire."

Tigra glances side to side. They're not completely alone, but nobody seems close enough to pay much attention to them unless they take a second look. "That depends on whether or not anyone comes along the same way you and I did. Why, would you rather find a safer place?" She comes off as unconcerned about the potential for trouble, literally waving that thought away with a hand. "Don't worry about it. I'm good at taking care of myself and intimidating others if I have to. But..that sounds pretty rough. High heels and laps? Pedicures?" Tapping her chin, she grins and thinks aloud. "If it included brushing, I might have to go see about this myself. By the way, I didn't mean you look bad or anything. You've kind of got that elf thing going. It's cute."

Blink's cheeks go red again, and she messes up her curls again, ducking her shoulders. "I think I looked normal before I … changed." She looks at her hands and frowns; she can't remember what they looked like before. "And it might sound nice," she replies, looking at Tigra with a small grin, "But nobody makes pedicures and laps and heels a punishment like Betsy Friggin' Braddock." She rolls her eyes. "She's awesome and bad ass but she's a little crazy. It would make more sense if you've met her, but she makes me feel safe." Her own eyes dart about. "Maybe that's why -I- feel nervous," she mumbles as an after-thought.

"I used to look normal too," Tigra answers without elaborating on it any further. "But if you did change, you just have to learn to live with it if there's no way back. I've seen others and trust me, you're in much better shape than a lot of them." She says it like a friend, or someone trying to sound like a friend, then she grows quiet and speculative, her head even leaning a bit to suggest curiosity. "You don't say?" she comments at Betsy's name being brought up.

There's a little shrug of her shoulders and Blink's on her verbal way again. "I'm used to it now, I've been this way for over three years. It could be worse, sure, and I don't like strangers so much anyway, so it works out." She tilts to look at Tigra, curls flipping over her effervescent green eyes. "You, though, are oddly easy to talk to. Are you doing a mental-thingy at me? With the splutzing thoughts and soothing auras?" she asks, deliberately irreverent to all things psionic.

Tigra still has the look of someone who's in deeper thought, then the moment passes with a quick shake of the head. "A little longer than that for me, but I've done a few things along the way since I went all kitty," she grins. Back to more of a crouched position for her, balancing easily in place. "Mental thingy? Nah, unless you just like cats. Maybe it's that."

Blink nods a little, smiling again. "Are you from around here, then?"

"Oh, no. Chicago, then a while out in California. After that I decided to see what was what out this way," Tigra replies, the tip of her tail resting against the top of the boulder where it rises and falls, rises and falls, rises and falls. Then she's grinning back. "So, how high are these heels you're forced to wear?"

Blink listens, then cackles at the question. "Five inches! I don't even know where she -gets- them!" She snickers. She eyes Tigra's lovely tail. "Ooh. Is that… I mean. Can you feel that in your mind, your tail? Like your fingers or your foot?"

Tigra makes a face, a sympathetic one. "Girl, I'm /so/ not jealous of you right now." A pause. "Not that I couldn't handle heels." She's sure to make that part clear before she turns her attention to what's captured Blink's. The question leaves her to squint briefly. "Of course I can feel it. It's as much a part of me as my fingers or my feet." This is said with another grin.

Blink wriggles her feet in her comfortable shoes. "I don't understand heels. Heels or shoes that look nice or make you look nice but hurt just to walk in. Or underpants that split your ass in half or tops that are sheer so you can see what kind of bra you have underneath them." She makes a face.

Tigra's tail continues its job of acting on its own, curling here, swaying there, or just tapping against the rock. "You have to make sacrifices for fashion," she quips, making quotation marks with her fingers at the 'sacrifices' part. "And the rest of the time it's just to make sure people are looking at you and not someone else." Attention? Who'd have guessed a cat would understand that?

Blink tugs on her curls and grumbles. "Maybe that's why I dislike fashion," she laments. She peers at Tigra, curious again. "If you're not from here, what are you doing here, if I can ask?"

"I've got no problem with looking good, but I don't always want to cover these up /all/ the time," Tigra says of the stripes, tapping a couple of them along a forearm. "And I've heard there are a few groups out here full of people like me..maybe like us, actually," she continues, gesturing toward Blink. "Might try getting in touch with a few of them and see what happens."

Blink looks confused. "That look like us?" She rubs the back of her neck. "Well, I'm at the St. Xavier school, for … educational reasons, board and the like. There's plenty of folk like us there." She tilts her head. "Maybe you should visit?"

"Maybe like you, if you can do anything beyond looking like an elf," Tigra lightly teases, showing another grin. "St. Xavier school..I'll look it up, maybe see what's what there. You can tell this Betsy if you feel like it." Adjusting her place on the rock to lounge more properly atop it, she explains, "I've done some detective work, and with what I am, it makes it easier for me to help do the right thing and lend a hand when someone's in trouble."

Blink opens her mouth to reply or comment, but then her phone blares in her pocket. With a squeak and a flailing attempt to catch up her phone, it's comically juggled for a good half minute before she finally grabs it properly and accepts the call. "Hello? Oh! Hey, no, sorry, I wanted to look around-" She pauses, rolls her eyes after a moment. "NO I haven't been talking to strangers. Well, I mean, I made a friend! Or a nice person." She eyes Tigra all shifty-eyed a moment. "She's like us. What? YES I'm sure. Seriously, unless she's had some MAJOR surgery- OH WELL FINE. I told her I attend St. X and she might drop by-" The volume on the other end of the call goes up about ten decibels, and the pink of Blink's skin fades out to a sickly yellowish tinge. Someone's in trouble.

Tigra makes a show of not really listening, even stopping long enough to groom the back of her hand - yes, with her tongue, and yes, she just did that - while Clarice has her conversation. A brow inches higher at a couple parts, especially when she's brought up and how (cue amused sniff), but when it seems the one on the other side of the line is particularly upset, the feline offers a sympathetic expression. "Sounds like you might be getting the eight-inch heels soon."

Blink says, "Ok." She stammers, "O-O-OKAY, I heard you. Fine. ALRIGHT. Yes ok, the corner of the- …" The yelling tapers off. Claire sighs. "Yes. Ok. JESUS I SAID OK." And she hangs up. She looks at Tigra apologetically. "I have to go. And… it looks like I'm gonna get it no matter what I do, so why don't you visit anyway?" Her color rises a little with her mischief."

Tigra begins to visually measure out how much five inches are, using her fingers, then she extends it to approximately eight inches, her face twisting into a show of pain. "Your toes are going to be /so/ sore later on," she quips once the call's ended. "And if that's the case, I guess I owe you that much. I'll drop by soon. Should I expect to find in the local hospital, or not?"

Blink slips down the boulder, grumbling as she snatches up her hoodie and pulls it back on. "Well, I doubt I'll be leaving the school grounds in … EVER," she laments with a huff. "And we have our own medical staff, so…" She realizes that Tigra is probably joking, and snickers as she draws up her hood. "Maybe the heels will be so traumatizing that I'll try to -blink- out of them?" She giggles.

Tigra begins to reclaim more of the rock now that it's all hers again, stretching out for maximum warming and sun, though she faces Clarice. "Forever is a long time, but I'm sure you're clever enough to find some loopholes." The mention of the medical staff is marked by a mostly silent 'Ah' before her head tilts one last time at what she's told. "I'm not sure what blinking's going to do to get you out of heels, but good luck. I'd better not keep you any longer, though. Be careful."

Blink rolls her eyes as her profound joke is missed. "Thanks. It was nice meeting you, Tigra. I hope to see you soon!" she chirps, wriggling her fingers as she heads back the way she came.

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