The Queen and the Cat

July 19, 2015:

Emma Frost is out doing her own unique form of shopping, when Tigra suddenly shows up. They interact interestingly.

Upscale Boutique - Upper East Side - New York City

As the name implies Upper East side is the north eastern part of Manhattan Island. Once known as the Silk Stocking District, this is one of the most affluent areas in New York City. Collectively the neighborhood has about two hundred thousand inhabitants, and is home to some of the finest residences in New York, including the last of the River Villas.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The time Emma has been spending up in Westchester has to come from somewhere. Some of it is time usually spent in the office, making money, making the business grow. Some of it is time usually spent at the Club or other functions, building the connections that increase her own personal power and influence. And soem of it is time she would usually spend on herself. Time that usually fits under the heading of 'self-improvement'. Or in Emma's case, often 'shopping'.

This particular upscale uptown Upper East Side boutique is one that only opens it doors upon appointment, and only for the most exclusive clientele. The price tags here are the kinds that skew the local economic index. A single dress might cost several thousand dollars. And it's worth it. Every piece is a unique and original design, custom-tailored to the one woman who buys it. The best of the best.

Emma Frost is here today simply because she hasn't been here at all in the last two weeks. That's unheard-of. And certain appearances must be maintained. She may not know what she's going to do about the dark future she believes is coming, or the change in path she believes is necessary - despite having not been able to figure out what that change ought to be. But Emma knows that to maintain the power she has, so that she can use it when she needs it, she has to keep up appearances. And so she is here today, looking over items and selecting those she will try on, and then have fitted perfectly to her.

The GDP of a small nation is about to change hands.


Inside, someone who may well represent the 1%% of the 1%%.

Outside, someone of considerably less importance.

The plan wasn't even for Tigra to be going through this part of the Upper East Side, but there had been word that a certain someone was spotted in another part of the city and even if she doubted the rumor had legs, she was going to find out for herself one way or another.

But first? Well, there's nothing wrong with a bit of window shopping, for cats are often curious and this one has caught sight of one thing or another in one of the windows of a place that looks as if it caters to high fashion. "C'mon, Greer. Forget it. This stuff was out of your league even before you ended up with your own fur coat," she tells herself, a mixture of good humor and open honesty. She then looks across the street, finding an even more expensive-looking place one Emma Frost is in the midst of shopping at. Whether or not the woman is visible through any of the windows, Tigra stares in that direction for a moment, then another, her tail doing its usual big of swaying on its own.


There is indeed a bit of visibility, even if it is only a glimpse of that platinum blonde head, a hint of those ice blue eyes. Emma Frost does not see whomever or whatever is outside the boutique, because all of her thoughts and concentration are inside. But there is that glimpse, and if Greer gets close enough, perhaps with a bit of altitude, she might catch sight of some of those unique sartorial constructs she is sifting through to find just the right ones for her incredible credit limit to claim as her own.

Inside the City, Emma keeps her mind pulled in close behind her telepathic shielding screens, lest the oppressive weight of so many minds and so many thoughts drive her mad or crush her mind to paste. As such, Emma's senses are limited to the same five everyone else has, outside of the store. Until something rather remarkable happens, her concentration is on shopping. But she has made selections, and is considering going to try them on, now.


The striped feline does manage a brief look inside, and it leads to Tigra making her way across the street for a better view. A peek at whatever's on display in the windows just causes her to laugh. "How long would you need to work to afford that?" she wonders, again just to herself, the question more rhetorical than anything (the answer: a very long time).

Having no specific reason to enter the establishment, as out of place as she may be, the decision is made and the feline woman turns to head along the sidewalk even as some stop, stare, and point. Suddenly, she's forced to change her mind as the squeal of a car's tires alerts her to something that ought not be: a car on the sidewalk! It's blind luck there's nothing in the way but a bench, and a couple newspaper racks and, well, her, but she acts fast by throwing open the door to the place and diving inside just as the car zips past. "The road! Stay on the damned road!" she can be heard to shout from a seated position a few feet into the store, hands flat against the floor as she catches her breath.


First, Emma feels the forceful pounding of fear and panic against her shields. She feels the sharp, decisive conclusion of a mind prepared to respond to danger, and the door to the rather private upscale boutique caves in as someone or something comes lurching through. Unlike the owner and her staff, however, the icey blonde does not gasp or shout or stumble away. Instead, she simply turns coldly, measuredly, towards the gaping doorway and watches the car's taillights as it speeds off down the sidewalk … and then careens off the sidewalk, across the street and slams into a light pole, coming to a rather abrupt halt.

Emma is not amused. And that driver ceased being conscious twenty-seconds before that impact.

The staffers come scrambling forward, one moving to assess the damage to the door as the other moves towards the woman - if it IS a woman - who just come tumbling through that door. "Oh my God! Are you … " And what was 'are you alright' changes in her mind, as the light falls on Tigra into 'are you human'.

Then a cold, clear voice addresses the situation. "She is unharmed. And yes, she is human, simply not just human. Now, get the door closed, girl. You have your jobs to do."


Human, but more than. That's Tigra, down to the stripes, claws, tail, and all. Just what caused the driver to veer onto the sidewalk is not something she can say for sure. Was the car malfunctioning? Did he have a seizure? Was he drunk? Did he see her and decide to try to run her down? Half of those reasons would be excusable. Half would not.

From her perspective, Tigra can still see the vehicle as it comes to an abrupt stop, and even though she was nearly run down the first thing that flashes through her mind is uncertainty at the driver's well-being. "I need to check on him," she begins, glancing back at one of the employees that had gone toward her only to freeze, seeing the reaction in the face of the person as the feline is seen for what she is.

That's when Emma Frost's voice cuts through, and even Tigra's eyes snap toward the one in white. The door itself isn't really damaged, though it did put a mark in the wall from the speed in which it was opened. "..should I know who you are?" she begins, moving to her feet as her tail darts behind her, another glance following through the window toward the car.


"If you followed the news and the society pages, yes. You should know who I am." Emma intones. But she dismisses the slight of being unknown, as the staff check the door and then get it closed up again. "For the record, the driver is alive and relatively unharmed. Being that drunk, he was far too loosely-limbed to suffer much when the car slammed into the pole. The car is ruined. He is bruised."

Given how upscale this neighborhood is, it should come as no surprise at the rapid approach of sirens, but Emma doesn't seem to care. "Alright, ladies. I have more outfits to try on, and you more to pin and mark. Stop staring at our guest, she won't bite unless you ask her to."

And just like that, the platinum blonde sweeps back beyond a changing screen and a curtain, as the staff heads back to help out and the owner stays out front to gather up items and keep an eye on the interesting feline woman now also in her shop.


"I'm not much of a socialite," Tigra replies, that tail of hers still on the twitchy side. "I think I've seen your picture before, though." If she ought to be impressed, she instead comes off as casually…normal. She doesn't react like someone who's in awe, like someone who's just going to fawn over the woman and seek approval.

Another peek is made toward the exit as she's told of the status of the driver, and now her tail lashes a couple times, a sign of agitation. "Too much to drink? He's lucky he didn't hurt anyone more than himself." Hearing the sirens, she moves away from the door, no interest in dealing with giving statements right now. And, as Emma returns to why she's here with an apparent nonchalance to her demeanor, the cat-woman can't quite hide the sniff of amusement. "Nobody's ever asked me to bite them before. At least, not in range of me hearing them." Now she crosses her arms, likely debating how long to stick around.


"No one at all? How droll. Then again, the male of the species repeatedly proves cowardice and weakness." Emma opines from behind the dressing screen, as a while fall of fabric appears and flops over the upper edge of the screen. More rustling sounds, as the platinum blonde apparently works on changing into another piece.

Emma doesn't seem to give much mind at all to Tigra's situation, or to the driver's now that he has been dealt with. It's just not her job, and the cops are on the scene now; he represents no further threat, so why should she care? Neither does it seem to bother her that Tigra doesn't recognize her. Such is life, really.

"So, what is it you are hunting? It most certainly is not a top of the line new outfit." Emma inquires, with a modicum of bored curiosity.


As moments pass by, a hint of amusement begins to creep into Tigra's words as she considers what Emma says and replies to it. "Maybe once, I'd like to see someone ask. That might be…fun." Yes, it might just be, fun enough that it causes her to smile to herself. The ones watching her could see it, but the haughty woman in the midst of changing and being sized up for more clothing could have another way of telling the mood.

Tigra finds herself watching, curious if nothing else, even if what's behind the screen is kept private. "White's not really my color anyway, and usually wearing too much isn't a great idea for me," she offers honestly. "But, if you must know, it's Carnage. I keep hearing things on the street about where he is, but nothing's checked out yet. You see any of the news about that?"


"Everyone has a color. Mine is white. Yours might be black. Or a colder grey, perhaps." Emma opines as she finishes changing into the latest piece. She makes comments to the staff as they start marking things, refining the fit the way she wants it, before she continues with Tigra.

"I have seen a bit. I admit, I have paid little real attention. It does not interest me." At least the cold bitch is honest. After all, the likes of Carnage are rarely a threat to people of real power and influence; they just never seem to be in places where the likes of a Carnage make trouble.

"What is your interest in the creature? Personal vendetta? Do-gooding? Looking for a challenge?" the platinum blonde inquires.


"You should see what I used to go around in before I got the fur and stripes," Tigra comments dryly. "Then again, maybe you shouldn't. Yellow and blue is all right, but I like it the way I am better now." Maybe black is for her at this point. "Haven't really thought about it that much," she says, as she thinks about it.

Taking to moving back and forth a few feet to either side, she keeps to herself rather than interrupt the business at hand Emma's dealing with. It doesn't take much to tell that's an important matter in its own right, even if it's not to her. When she has reason to speak again, she's honest enough. "Trying to do the right thing and keep him from killing more people. I was part of the group that found the tunnel workers he'd killed, and we fought. I'm not dumb enough to think doing that again would just be a fun test."


"I will never understand that mentality, no matter how often I witness it." Emma offers, as she continues with another piece getting fitted out properly. Presentation is everything in Emma's world, and she is working on just that right now. So it is important, though she recognizes many would not see it that way. At least, from her perspective, Tigra has the grace to accept it's important to /Emma/. That's rare, in her experience.

"I cannot really say for sure, never having encountered the creature myself. But I have not picked up any hints that anyone around here as witnessed it either. So I suspect you'll find no clues here." Emma offers the feline woman, still not explaining how the Hell it is she's doing any of this.


Tigra remarks, "You saw me. It doesn't really matter what I wear. People are going to focus on the rest first. If I had to hide that for some reason? Well, I have a little secret that helps with that. You look rich as hell, so looking a certain way probably matters a lot more to you. I wouldn't even be in here right now if it wasn't for that drunk driver." Whether it's accepted or just an understanding that they are two very different people, there it is.

When it comes to Carnage, Tigra admits, "I'm probably a little better equipped than you are to fight him up close if it gets to that, but someone told me he hates sounds. I need to find out more about that. And..no, I didn't think anyone in here knew anything about him. Just trust me on this one when I say he's bad news."


"I did see you." Emma answers. Hence her earlier advice on color selection. But she gets why the other woman would care a bit less about presentation like that, especially outfits. Not that Emma could ever imagine living a life like that, but she can accept that others do.

"I do trust you. What I've already picked up about this Carnage is more than convincing on that front. As to hating sounds, I don't know. But 'sounds' can be pretty broad. If you're going to hunt something like that, I'd suggest a wide array of preparations. One of those hand-held fog horns. Perhaps a synthesizer attached to massive speakers. Something to let you mix it up and discover which sounds have the best effect. Assuming any do." Emma offers. Odd, perhaps, coming from a woman who says she'd have no idea why anyone would really do anything like Tigra is.


Tigra would not have predicted she'd be speaking to someone about fashion, let alone Emma Frost. One never knows what each day will bring. However, she seems to have no more to add beyond a musing thought. "Who knows. Maybe it'd be fun to try a few new things, but.." A quick peek at a few of the things on display leads to her whistling. "Not here. A bit out of my price range."

With the talk of sounds and Carnage still a big topic of conversation, she considers what Emma talks about, answering with an 'mm-hmm' a couple times. "That's right. I don't know what kinds of sound would work best. Heat, too. That was the other thing." A pause before she quips, "Guess I'd better get some good earplugs and try not to get singed." Sounds like she may be joking about part of that, at least.


"I think both would be advisable precautions, before going hunting a creature like this." Emma opines. She finishes with that outfit, and starts working on yet another. These outfits are out of most people's range. She buys outfits that cost as much as high-end cars. And she considers them worthwhile investments. Given her successes, she must be right on some level. "So. You have made your peace with your abilities, and the life you lead because of them. Many struggle with that."


Some would say 'If you've got it, flaunt it.' That could apply to different things in different ways, though. Tigra gives the staffers who aren't dealing with Emma a long look, likely trying to see if or how they'll react to her. "Harder to prevent the fur getting singed without covering up," she admits, though if anything the cat in her is resistant to such an idea. The talk of her is a good way to keep her interested. After all: cat! "I've been what I am for a few years now. I couldn't go back on it even if I wanted to…and I don't want to. I'm not shy about who and what I am."


"That is a good thing." Emma opines, because she can. Because she too flaunts it because she has it. "It is the best way to go about life: no longer shy about who and what one is. It offers a measure of control over one's circumstances that is lacking, otherwise."

The other staffers are watchful and mindful of Tigra, but they do not stare; the earlier shock has worn off, helped in no small part by the fact that Emma is so blase about the feline woman's appearance. That they are talking so urbanely doesn't hurt either.

"The police have moved on, now." Emma comments. She's nowhere near a window, but she sounds so certain of her facts. "They have cleared the scene." She doesn't say 'so you are free to go,' but it's implied by her tone.


"If I worried all the time about hiding what I am, I'd just be hurting myself," Tigra explains. "And if someone has a problem with it, that's for them to work out as long as they aren't trying to shoot me or something." Then she smiles. "But if they did, they wouldn't have the gun very long."

After the police are mentioned as having departed, the tigress moves back to the door to have a look. "So they have." Now she's eyeing Emma with closer interest, but she decides against pushing further with any probing questions. Regardless, the 'How did you know?' one is in her thoughts just before she reaches for the door handle. "I'll leave you to your expensive dress-up, then. Who knows. Maybe we'll cross paths in a different setting. If we do, you can call me Tigra." Door then opened, she will leave once she's sure the conversation, such as it is, is over.


And as Tigra departs, Emma murmurs softly, "I will keep that in mind, Ms. Nelson." That said, Emma says nothing more, allowing the feline woman to depart, as she continues her 'expensive dress-up.' "One more, ladies, and we will be done this evening. Thank you for your time and attention."

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