Meet and Greets

October 20, 2015:

Betsy finally introduces Flash and Jean.

Some Coffee Shop


NPCs: A Waitress



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Betsy and Jean have staked out a cafe table in midtown Manhattan, on a quieter street that sees quite a bit less traffic than the regular thoroughfares. As with anything else on the island, prices are a bit higher, but the atmosphere is congenial and it's nicely appointed, making for a comfortable place to sit, drink, and quietly socialize.

"He should be along presently," Betsy says, tapping on her phone screen to confirm the time. "One thing I'll give SHIELD agents is this: they're rarely not promptly on time," she says, with a wry tone. Cupping a thick mug full of coffee in both hands, she takes a sip, then adjusts the light scarf draped around the shoulders of her suit jacket. October has finally started to show her teeth in the chill prickling the afternoon air.

"I wonder why the change. Was it because of our conversation earlier?" Jean currently has a nice cup of some fancy espresso; soy milk with two pumps and no froth/cream. There was a little fidget within her chair as she leans back, then forward.. arms propped upon the table as she tries her best to neatly pick up her loaded pastry with a slight lean forward to take a bite. Though, she was met with little success, bits of frosting managed to tangle itself within her hair, which causes her eyes to roll as she keeps eating.

Who needs to impress when you're already shacked up with a beau who's.. super-suits smell questionably gross? Not this girl! Speaking of..

"Punctuality is best. I do have to make it back to the mansion to start our loads of laundry."

A quick phone call, a few shared words, and the end result is that the young man known as Eugene 'Flash' Thompson finds himself using some of his rare bits of time off to head on into the city. It's not a small undertaking really, to actually get the work-minded SHIELD agent to let his hair down as it were and try to be social. Perhaps on some level he justifies it as it's not just a coffee date with a friend and her bestie. He doubles up on the purpose by deciding to jog around central park an hour before their scheduled meet up…
So when he arrives, he's not exactly presenting an entirely suave and debonair image. He's got on a pair of government issued black sweat pants, a grey sweatshirt that proudly proclaims 'PROPERTY OF THE NEW YORK JETS', and some older sneakers that are clearly past their better days.
So Jean's not the only one who might not be putting their best foot forward. As Flash rolls up, half-jogging as he comes to a stop and standing before the table he looks between the two beautiful women and flashes his easy-going boy next door smile.
"Hey Betsy," Should she proffer he steps in to give her one of those cheek smooches that are shared between friends before he looks towards Jean. "Should I presume this is Ms. Grey?"

"Hullo Flash," Best says, half rising and giving his arm a squeeze in greeting. She smiles briefly and returns the kiss to the cheek, settling back into her seat and recrossing one pantsuit leg. "Indeed she is. Jean Grey, this is Flash Thompson, lately of SHIELD," Betsy explains, gesturing smoothly from Flash to Jean. "Flash, my best friend, Jean Grey— she's a teacher at a private boarding school in northern New York." A nicely vague enough explanation- there are plenty of such institutions all around the state, ranging from borderline juvenile centers to the most elite of preparatory academies.

Given Jean's appearance, Betsy momentarily considers changing her usual policy of keeping lies simple.

The first hints of arrival that are mentally directed in their direction causes her to immediately drop the pastry with a bit of a fluff. Cream flies a bit, which was immediately ignored in favor of a napkin, quickly wiping away at her hands to make sure nothing sticks, as well as attacking the cream that nearly solidified within her hair to make the red dark enough to consider it greasy. "Oh crap.." She mutters, taking up another napkin to wipe at her face, dropping the ruined paper upon the table as she stands just as soon as introductions were made.

"It's so great to finally meet you." She offers up, her hand stiking out for a shake, eyes slowly dipping towards her ruined hair which was immediately pushed back and behind her shoulders. At least the pair of jeans and flower blouse she wore hadn't gotten messy. That.. well, would she even be embarrased?

Taking a moment to pull up a chair, Flash smiles openly at Jean and then looks towards Elizabeth. "Is she the one you mentioned with the great personality?" The corners of his eyes crinkle a touch as the smile reaches them and he winks at Jean slightly sidelong as if sharing a momentary secret even as he ever so subtly readies himself for the probable verbal or physical lashing that might ensue.
Yet he presses on and accepts Jean's hand, giving it a gentle squeeze as he looks back to her, focusing fully and noting the slight blush to her features. "It's good to meet you as well, I hope Betsy hasn't been too cruel in her description of me." That having been said he starts to take up a seat, pulling the chair in and looking between the two of them. "So a teacher? That must be terribly fulfilling. Though I should admit my memories of school are not entirely stellar."
Which, to be fair, is a bit of a white lie which being telepaths they can both detect. He loved high school, mostly. Jean probably gets the same first impression of Flash's mind that Elizabeth did way back when. That cheery exterior, that open manner, the gregariousness all sort of nice shields to offer against the world and given almost on auto-pilot. To be fair he's rather in a decent mood, and that comes through, but there's a subtle duality to him that's like a faint echo chamber as each of his thoughts flit through his mind.
At the moment his thoughts center on the women, how they both look stunning in their own way, even what with Jean being all higgledy piggledy. In his eyes she's a sort of redhead in a halo of down to earth casual beauty. While Elizabeth is this refined queenly sort almost visibly on a pedastel in his mind.

Betsy rolls her eyes at Flash, though her face holds no other expression to it. "I think my precise words were that she was in fact the best friend I've ever had, or something near to that effect," Betsy rebuts, unflapped by Flash's teasing dig.

"Would you care for some tea, or coffee?" she offers the man with polite reflex as he sits. "They're quite good here. The current special is a Jamaican dark roast that's a bit on the bitter side. Perhaps too acerbic for you Yanks, but I rather like it," she says, taking another sip from her wide-mouthed mug. "They've some tarts and pastries, too, if you're hungry. All empty carbs, of course," she says in a wry tone. "Still, food's food."

"How has work been, Flash?" she inquires. "You've been a bit vague in your texts lately. Any interesting new cases you're pursuing?"

There was a little laugh as Flash takes quiet little digs towards Betsy, Jean's brows lowering just a touch as she .. this time.. picks up a fork with the intent to cut her pastry into neater parts. "She hasn't been, I assure you." Of course, when they speak of another, images were usually shared between the two so that no designs or ill thoughts were made. These two make no mistakes.

"Being a teacher really is. So many young minds to mold and meld. There are always bad parts but the good usually outweighs that." She takes a bite of her pastry, snapping up a napkin to lightly dab at the corner of her lip. As the mention of SHIELD rears it's head, Jean's face becomes impeccably neutral. And she remains quiet.

Turning to look towards Elizabeth, Flash responds with that same smile. "Nothing I can really get into. I know, so disappointing." He looks over towards Jean and almost looks apologetic that he can't trot out some glamourous tale of spycraft and derring do. An image of another red-headed woman flickers through his mind and a certain stern manner is apparent there, and they can perhaps sense he makes a few subtle comparisons between her and present company.
He looks back to Elizabeth and goes on, "I had an out of town gig and it went down well but could have gone down better. Since then I've been riding the desk more than I'd like." His sense of frustration is almost palpable, though he's able to keep it mostly hidden from his features. "Just one of those things."
Then he brightens up as he remembers an anecdote he read recently that perhaps Elizabeth might appreciate. "Like how it was during the Blitz." He says that last word with the clear capital 'B' that Elizabeth as a Brit would recognize. "Long periods of boredom mixed with moments of sheer terror."
But then he finally catches the attention of a passing server. "Hi, could I get some spring water with lemon?" The waitress rushes off and he looks back towards Jean.
"So how did you two meet?" He asks, oh so innocently.

"Mhm." Betsy clucks her tongue softly in sympathy. "A shame," she murmurs, though her face is otherwise quite inscrutable. She rotates the handle of her coffee mug around, changing hands, and takes a sip, eyes on the dark brew. There's no instinct to rush ahead to answer 'for' Jean- if anything, the redhead's talent for duplicity on the fly sometimes equals Betsy's. There's certainly nothing wrong with the brain under that wealth of red hair.

"That sounds interesting.." Jean manages to muster through bites. It seems as if the pastry held more of her attention than the actual conversation itself. Though if anyone truly knows Jean, she was really paying attention. Even to the quiet surroundings; the couple in the corner who share pictures of the first house they're going to buy, or the man waiting for his wife on a lunch date while playing with the baby he holds in his arms.

"Mm? Us?" She glances up towards Besty. "She was actually a transfer student to the school I attended. I was given the task of showing her around while she settled in." She smiles just a touch. "Though.. it took a while for us to get to this point. But it was worth it, like any long lasting friendships."

As Jean speaks, Flash glances over at Elizabeth and his eyes narrow somewhat. They can both probably guess what he's imagining even without the gift of telepathy. For a moment he considers what a younger Psylocke would be like in a prep school. He smirks a touch, as if owning up to the thought, but then he looks back towards Jean.
"It's good that you stuck with it. Betsy and I got off to a rocky start as well."

Betsy's eyes narrow minutely. "Not hardly, Flash," she says in response to his unspoken thought. "It was an alternative school for gifted and talented students. I was an exchange student, Jean was already studying collegiate level science courses. The most common article of clothing were jean trousers and a tee-shirt of your favorite band."

"However, yes, it was a bit … antagonistic at times," Betsy says, delicately. "We were quite different. Opposites attract, I suppose. We've been friends for a decade at least, now, despite it all. I wouldn't have passed chemistry my freshman year at Oxford if it wasn't for Jean and Skype combined."

"I'm glad I did as well," Jean murmurs earnestly. There was true, genuine friendship in her tone and gaze, a light smile gone to Elizabeth as she reaches for her froo-froo cup of coffee to take a nice, healthy sip once it has cooled. "It takes a certain person to wedge themselves in with Elizabeth. If I'm meeting you, it seems that you've done it." She grins, placing her coffee down, her head slowly nodding towards Elizabeth.

"Antagonistic is another word for it.. I suppose." Jean offers up, eyes flitting upwards towas the sky. "I believe you said that I could do better, and that the pants that I wore did not fit my frame, and .. some weird British variation of ugly as sin.." She grins slightly, but then nods. "And if it wasn't for Elizabeth, I wouldn't have been able to.. at least have the confidence that I do now.."

Looking between them, it's clear that Flash is amused… or pleased for some reason. It's like a glimpse into people's lives giving him some measure of belief that things can be ok down the line. He shakes his head and settles into the chair, fluffing the collar of his sweatshirt to help him cool down from his work out. "I've kind of learned over my… well not huge collection, but decent amount of years that we kinda take out strength from those around us. It's good you had someone to help you become who you are." There's a pause as he reflects on that, as if he'd just spoken nonsense. So he clarifies. "If that makes any sense."
He opens his hands wide as if to stave off any protest, but then his glass of ice water arrives and he thanks the waitress. A sip is taken and he nods his approval before the server departs. He looks back towards them both and offers his own smidge of an insight. "When I first met Elizabeth I thought she was going to take my head off. Then next time we met she almost did… if I recall correctly." His eyes lift up and to the right, as if conjuring the memory. A ghost of the imagery appears, the angry dour features of Betsy there glowering in an interrogation chamber, her eyes shooting daggers. Though even in the negative light he does sort of have a fond recollection of it, albeit rose-tinted.

Betsy smiles in a predatory fashion, sipping her coffee. "Actually, the next several sometimes. You were quite lucky," she says, in that deadpan tone that makes it very, very hard to tell if she's joking. "But then, I imagine SHIELD wouldn't have let me out of the building if I'd taken one of their rising stars and jammed his insoucient corpse into a waste chute."

She sips her coffee and gives Flash an unreadable look, face as blank as a Maori stature.

"Yeah yeah," Flash smirks sidelong at Betsy, perhaps more at ease with her than most folks would be. Sure she has an edge to her, but for some reason it's all the more endearing to him. Or at least he's not quite as afraid as he might have once been. He holds up a hand as he takes a sip of water as if trying to get her to hold off for a moment, but then he sets the glass down with a faint clink.
"Hey there was a time or two there I was considering booting your butt to the curb and trying to pass it off to my boss that you ninja macigked your way out of there." His lip twitches, "You can be a right proper jerk at times, Ms. Braddock." He affects that formal tone there he used with her for the first few months of their acquaintance.

"Thank you," Betsy says, taking it as a compliment. "I like to keep people on their toes. It leaves them frequently confused and slightly afraid."

She sips her coffee and shifts minutely in her seat, getting more comfortable, saucer in one hand and mug of coffee balanced upon it with her other. It's a primly proper bit of posture, and marks her as an outsider to even the Bohemian culture of the local cafe in a trendy little corner neighborhood in Manhattan.

There was a lift of her hand towards the waitress, a signal of five given an she points down towards the half eaten pastry. Soon, she was digging in again, clearing her plate as neatly as possible while keeping the dirtied stand of hair hidden. She also glances back and forth, witnessing the banter in between the two with a slight grin.

"I have an idea." Jean murmurs, finishing off the rest of her coffee with a few quick sips, the plate and cup itself soon pushed aside so elbows can rest as she leans. "A double date." She looks towards the two of them for approval, one that may or may not be needed. "I'll see if Scott is kindly to the idea." If not, she'll whine. Complain. Refuse him dinner. That usually… doesn't work.

Flash cocks an eyebrow at Jean, then glances at Elizabeth. He clears his throat and gets a sort of half-wry grin, but then lifts his hand to the back of his neck. "That sounds like it could be kind of fun, but umm." He looks over at Betsy and furrows his brow, "We're kinda not, like, dating?" The young agent holds up his hands as if surrendering responsibility for the difficulty and craziness of explaining the situation.
"I mean, sure we sometimes go to places at the same place in the same vehicle and share each other's company but…"
See if this was his facebook page he could just tick the little box of 'it's complicated' and let that serve as his banner against the assault of social mores.

Betsy rolls her eyes again. "One can go on dates with someone with whom they're not currently in a relationship," Betsy tells Flash crisply. "I enjoy your company as a friend— I think I've made that quite clear. Do please try to keep up?" She shakes her head minutely, a stray lock of indigo hair bruishing against her cheek.

"However, if you'd prefer not to join us for dinner, I shan't prevail on you," Betsy tells Flash, turning a palm briefly upwards. "Jean's almost as bad as you are. Yanks are oddly propritous about this sort of thing," she says in a baffled tone. "I blame your Puritan forebears. You should have had more French in your cultural ancestry."

Jean just laughs and shakes her head a touch, only quieting down once the waitress returns with a box of pastries in tow. The woman even tied a bow at the top!

Jean just laughs and shakes her head a touch, only quieting down once the waitress returns with a box of pastries in tow. The woman even tied a bow at the top! She leans to the side to retrieve her wallet, fishing out a few bills to pay for all of the treats that they should decide to purchase, and if not? It'll be a tip for great service.

"Oh gosh.." Jean shakes her head, her lips pursing ever so slightly as she replies to Betsy in kind. "Si nous faisions partie des français , nous aurions triplettes en public au lieu du café et des pâtisseries." She smiles towards the waitress as she gives Jean a weird look, then shakes her head and moves on to process the check. "Either way, it'll be bad all around."

At first Flash looks toward Jean plaintively as if looking for some form of help, but she can sense in his thoughts that he's sort of also laughing. He looks back to Elizabeth and replies, "Hey, I'd love to. Just you know you're so touchy and all." He grins and again winks towards Jean as if offering some hint of jest.
But then Jean starts to speak French and he looks all the more lost. Of course that does sort of conjure an image of Gomez Addams in his mind as the fictional patriarch murmurs his famous line and starts smooching up another image of Jean in a long black Morticia dress.
He smirks again, "Something tells me I should be worried."

"Vos besoins franais un peu de travail, cherie," Betsy replies in polished and almost flawless French, her accent urbane and decidedly Parisienne. "Mme Paris, est pas tout fait ce que bohme." She flashes a smile at Jean Grey. "But if you're angling for another trip abroad, do let me know?" she asks over sipping her coffee, feigning innocence.

Jean laughs completely, giving a slight shake of her head towards Flash. She wasn't going to help him out, not in the slightest. "Oh no, you shouldn't be." Jean offers up. Though once the French was retorted, Jean could only roll her eyes, gathering her box of pastries and her general composure. "Perhaps." She tells Elizabeth. "Though.. just know that if I do decide to go somewhere, I won't go alone." Of course, the Professor did nearly hound her about leaving to travel alone with the recent upsets. There was even talks about benching her entirely until her training was reviewed.

"Either way, I will leave you two at it, yes? I have empty carbs and a movie night planned with the significant other."

As Jean moves to make her departure, Flash slides his chair back and gets to his feet. Ever the gentleman he lowers his head and offers her his hand again, "Was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Ms. Grey. Hopefully we'll see each other again sometime soon." That having been said he gives her a warm smile before retaking his seat and looking back towards Elizabeth.
After they say their goodbyes he'll wait a few moments and then tell her, "I think going out all together could be fun. Though, to be fair, if we can't do it in the next few days I might be unavailable. He smiles a slightly apologetic smile, sort of lop-sided as he opens his hands as if to say, 'that's life.' But then he adds a further detail, "Will probably be going out of town for an extended bit. Depending." On what he doesn't say but she can probably infer.

"I should be going too," Betsy says, rising as well when Jean does. She sets her coffee aside and fishes for a few carefully folded bills, leaving them behind to pay for the cheque. "Do, let's," she nods at Flash. "As soon as you have an evening free, we'll go somewhere for a meal. Nowhere too terribly fancy," she assures him with a smile. "Real food, none of this progressively culinary fare that's all presentation." A joking reference to their last meal, which had featured one small course that seemed little more than a few blades of seasoned grass.

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