Mall Rats

April 03, 2017:

Mattias invites Rogue out to the Salem Center mall for a shopping adventure and to discuss important subjects such as how to not be like Pwediepie.

Salem Center Shopping Mall


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

If Mattias Larsson's bedroom is any indication, the new tenant is in some serious need for stuff. Stuff. It's the American experience and a living embodiment of success, and Mattias is far behind the 8-ball in terms of wordly posessions.

So, a few days after watching a horror movie on Netflix with Rogue, Mattias rap-rapped upon her door and asked if he she wanted to go to Salem Center's Mall so that he could buy things for himself. Once again, he's got a license, but no insurance, and the pitfalls of modern American life leave him with a severe need for both a driver, some company, and…he has no friends.

That, and Mattias offers the lure of coffee.

One hour later, Mattias' heavy black boots are clapping against the polished tile floors of the shopping mall. He's wearing his black leather jacket and a button-down shirt underneath, though the few buttons left untouched detail the tank top he wears beneath. The jeans? Old enough to need replacing, and after a cash-drop of ten dollars, both he and his co-shopper have to-go cups of coffee in their hands.

"I need to be sure of something, Rogue." Mattias looks over to Rogue, sticking the straw from his drink into his lips for a sip. "What is a dooosh-bag and how do I keep from looking like one?"

Rogue had eaccepted the invitation because her class work had been completed for the day. She'd even offered to use her car that she'd bought last summer. A green and black Dodge Charger from the early 1970s.

So once in the Mall, Rogue walked with her hands inside of her dark blue Xavier School hoodie, she had a black scraf wrapped around her neck, a black tanktop on beneath the hoodie, some dark grey/faded jeans and a pair of black leather boots on her feet… and of course, dark blue gloves covering her hands that were inside her hoodie pockets.

Rogue was looking around the Mall interior when she heard his question and she looked over at him and offered a smile, glancing him up and down once more to re-evaluable his dress conduct. "You don't look like one." She said to him with a small grin. "I mean, unless you go around with a Ponytail… Guys with long hair need t'avoid those."

After grinning for a second or two longer she shrugged her shoulders. "Everyone's gonna have a different definition of what a doosh looks like though. Can't please everyone, afte'ahall."

"See, that's confusing to no end." Mattias smirks and nods his un-tied hair. He takes a moment to reach across the distance and give Rogue a quiet shove, then points to the other shoppers heading in and out of stores. "How am I supposed to know what a dooooosh-bag if everyone's definition is different? How about this." A beat. "If you see a doooosh-bag, then point it out to me?"
"Just look in a window, He-Man!" A bratty teen in a beanie laughs and skitters off with other teens, off to wherever teens go with their skateboards.

"See?" Mattias laughs and rolls his eyes, turning to walk backwards and lift a finger off towards the teen, smirking at the kid's back. Mattias being over six feet of raw muscle, he's little fear of the teen. Though, after he lifts his finger, he blances and looks to Rogue. "Sorry," Mattias snorts and looks to her face. "Unless, you know, you want to go help me throw him into a trashcan."

Rogue openly laughed at the teenagers comment as they ran off. "I'm pretty sure that was one of our students." She said with a smirk at the kid that was fleeing the scene. "I think his name is Jose." She added before reaching a gloved hand up to push her white bangs back behind her right ear on that side of her face. She'd shake her head side to side then at his question further along.

"Nah see, if we did that, then we WOULD be dooshbags, cause he was just landin' a solid burn on ya afte'ah he heard what ya'd said." She shook her head again. "Can't fault someone for a sick burn." She said with a grin at Mattias whilst they walked.

"But in all seriousness?" She exhaled and formulated her words. "Anyone who's not… self-aware… is a doosher. Ya know, if someone is brash or arrogant about themselves when they really have no right t'be?" She glanced over at him to see if he was following her train of thought. "Arrogance, thats a big determinin' factor toward one's dooshitude. But, thats just personality-based judgement. You can LOOK like a doosh, and not be one. And vice-versa too, I guess…. I don't know… Its complicated."

"Oh god, I don't want to sound like that comedian who doesn't get America and says I lawff dis Kontray." Mattias tilts his head back, eyes to the ceiling way high above them. His lips part and he lets out a scratchy sound from his throat that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Japanese ghost from the movie a few days ago. Shoulders back, he lets the sound run its course, then clamps his head back to watch the road ahead.

"I think I understand, though." Mattias tucks a lock of his own hair behind his ear and looks to Rogue, smiling cautiously. "So just don't be a punk who thinks he's special, and even if people might think I look like a dooosh-bag, at least I won't be one, and that's what matters to my friends?" Mattias ticks his head a measure and looks forward again.

Before them looms a shop filled with all kinds of in-fashion clothes, carefully separated with one side of the store for women, the other side of the store for men. Good for the both of them, but it's also the store with the ass-bedazzled jeans and plenty of Affliction wear.

"What my friends think matters more to me." Mattias nods softly. "I can live with that."

Rogue looked at him with a smirk while he did his horror movie impersonation and she gently shook her head. "Now you're just gonna make everyone around here think you're a honest-to-goodness psychopath." She said with that thick southern drawl of hers.

She'd spare a glance at the store he seemed intent on going toward and she could see its… interesting apparel choices. "See, you're at a serious disadvantage though because you're a foreign man who has long blonde hair and is in great shape. That just screams doosher." She teased him as she approached a pair of those bedazzled jeans. "Ya may as well just give in an'start sportin' some'a these around."

Rogue would lift the jeans up and jiggle them a little on their hanger for him, smiling over them at him, the pants would make little plastic noises as the plastic gemstones would bounce off of one another. "Wanna try'em on, Pewdiepie?" She teased him a bit more.

Mattias lifts his brows, listening to Rogue while he sips again from his coffee. Swallowing the bitter iced coffee down, he comes to a stop to look to the jeans she's holding up. His blue eyes aren't sure what he's supposed to do with all of the decoration over the pockets, but he has seen people around the mansion wearing them. Careful, his eyes look from hers, to the jeans, to hers again. Once again, his head ticks, like a confused dog's.

"Joakim emailed me and said that I need to overdo the accent and tell the President that I've come for all of America's womens." Mattias rolls his eyes and reaches out, taking the jeans from Rogue and giving them a once over. "Be grateful it's me here and not Joakim. When he was Jose's age, he almost got shot while hiding in a girl's closet. The girl didn't know he was in there. I about threw him over a house for the whole thing." Mattias snerks and holds up the jeans for Rogue to see, then drapes them over one arm.

"Rogue, I'm relying on you." Mattias points to his eyes, then to hers, waving for her to follow him down the racks and help him select some outfits. "Good shape or not, I want to look good while I'm here. Not like a dooosh. So your eyes? So necessary here, m'lady."

Rogue snatched the jeans back from him after he hung them over his forearm. "If you don't wanna look like a doosh, then don't dress like…" She glanced around. "Anythin' thats in this damn place." She put the bedazzled jeans back where she'd found them and shot out a quick sharp exhale.

"You're what… twenty one?" She asked him then. "You're still supe'ah young, so yeah… people kinda expect ya t'still dress like a hipster doofus. But ya don't have'ta do that. A real sexy man is the kinda man that dresses all dapper'n shit." She motioned across the Mall corridor to a suit store. "Ya know, fancy dress clothes'n such. But…" Her eyes went back toward him. "Thats kinda expensive t'live in attire like that."

Her head gently shook side to side. "I'm glad its you here too and not the Closet Hide'ah. I'd have to kill him if I caught him in my closet, tryin' t'sneak peaks, I guess?" She smirked. "Bad bad idea there."

"Oh, so no on the jeans?" Mattias huffs, shoulders sagging a little as he stops, turns on his heel, and does an about-face to Rogue. He stops before her and flattens his lips, brows lowered, having gone from confused dog to confused cro-magnon. "No on the jeans, yes on the plaid, but no on the plaid and yes on the suits and ties?"

Mattias laughs and lifts his hands to his face, rubbing at his eyes for a second. Letting out some confused steam, he rakes one hand back through his hair and brings the other down on Rogue's shoulder, trying to center his eyes on hers.

"I can maybe afford one suit, but I can't wear a suit everywhere. And yes, I'm, like, twenty one but that's not super-young by any means; fokk, you can't be any older than twenty-three, right? So…" Mattias rolls his shoulder and looks away with a puff of breath. "…so confusing."

A beat passes.

"And yes, you'd have double-killed Joakim. He was trying to catch her in her underwear. When I found out," Mattias smirks. "I texted him. She heard it."

Rogue was steady as a skyscraper whenever she was nudged or touched. She seemed to be an immovable (albeit somewhat softy human body still) object. She smirked at him when his hand came down on her hoodie covered shoulder. "I strongly doubt thats the limit that your peepin' friend was hopin' to catch'a peek at. Thats probably just what he told ya t'tryin' save a little face."

Rogue would then glance back out of the mouth of the store they were inside of and at the suit shop. "Eh… one suit probably won't be good. Cause you'd end up wearin' it out then…" She sighed and glanced back at him. "And I'm twenty five, thank you very much." She said with a smirk. "So don't tell me that twenty one is old… Or you'll make me feel all manner'a sad." She smiled then softly at him.

And after a heavy inhale of oxygen between hre pink painted lips she shook her head. "You should just do casual stuff, simple blue jeans and flannels'n'hoodies'n'such. Tshirts'n the summe'ah. That kinda thing. I like guys with long hair who wear beanies too, an' the hair is all pokin' out from unde'ah it." She grinned. "Makes'em look cute as a button. But… we're about t'be headin' into hot weathe'ah." She sighed then. "Which sucks for me, but, whatevs."

"No." Mattias pats his hand on Rogue's shoulder, then pulls it away. He turns to stand alongside her and look to a wall of jeans that aren't SO over-done. "Twenty-one isn't old. Neither is twenty-five. We're in the same group and what matters is that we're not Jose's age." Mattias mutters, chewing at the corner of his lip. When he spots some normal jeans, his lip flubs back into place. He offers an arm to Rogue to lead her back to the end of the store.

The less expensive, less bedazzled-ass section.

"So maybe I'll get a beanie. My head gets all overheated while I chop firewood." Mattias grins to himself while he walks. "But one thing that's weird? No matter how cold or hot it gets, I always feel normal. I could probably wear a parka to the beach and it wouldn't make me sweat. No one's really run my blood to see why that is, but maybe someday, I'll know. What this means is," Mattias stops at the rack and pulls down some more normal blue jeans with no ass-chandelier. "I can wear what I want."

And then Mattias looks over to Rogue, suddenly curious.

"But why not you?" He blinks. "I mean, Gods," Mattias looks back to the racks of clothes. "You're a very pretty girl, in great shape. They make clothes for girls like you."

Rogue took his arm by putting a hand around his elbow and letting him guide her around the store. She did seem a bit uninterested in clothing shopping for whatever reason, as her eyes weren't running over all the various items that might appeal to a girl her age or a body type such as hers.

"Well." She started to form her response. "When I was Jose's age, I was livin' on the street.. so the clothes I had on me were pretty much just donations given t'me by good samaritans, or what have you. People that took pitty on me, or were tryin' t'take advantage of the poor lonely homeless girl."

She smirked a little then. "I've just come t'not really worry about what I'm wearin' that much. I put on what I can find, and I do a little shoppin' here an' there, but nothin' major. I like my money goin' elsewhere." She glanced at him and swiped a gloved hand across her face to move the white strands of hair that were tickling her skin there.

"As for the summe'ah months, well… that all just ties back inta me not able t'touch nobody. I gotta bundle up and sweat my butt off, t'make sure I don't accidently zap somebody. I learned that around the time I was Jose's age too."

She would look back at him then. "So I'm jealous'a your ability ta just kinda… mellow out your body temp. Wish Ah could do that."

A little light falls out of Mattias' eyes as he realizes, or remembers, that she can't touch others. There's a sympathetic twitch to his lip and he holds her gaze as long as he can before he looks away. His forearm squeezes the side of hers, and he's back down to setting another pair of jeans aside.

"Stop me if I'm out of place." Mattias sets down a few tee shirts and an off-blue beanie atop his growing stack of clothes. "I wouldn't want to seem patronizing, because if you throw a rock at our house you'll hit someone who's had some rough times. None of us are better than the other, but I figure everyone's stuff feels bigger to them than it does everyone else…"

Mattias quiets, letting his pause fill the void. Pregnant as the pause is, his lips part and he looks out of the corner of his eyes to her face.

"I'm not gonna hold whatever you're jealous about against you, but-" Here it comes. "-how do you test to see if it happens to everyone you touch? I mean, what if there's someone out there you can touch?"

The Southern Belle would listen to all of this and just stand around like a patiently waiting friend should, observing the various items that he picks out for himself. She nods approvingly at the beanie-cap too. Her armes would go to cross forearm-over-stomach and she'd smirk at his eventualy question.

"Cause… silly." She said back at him in that husky voice of hers. "Ah can't just go around… all.. willy an' nilly, touchin' folks t'see if I'm gonna win the lotto on who I'm able t'touch. Sides, ya know how life works. Whomeve'ah is out that that ol' Roguey can touch, they're gonna be like sixty-somethin' years an' and probably a fatso-weirdo that lives in a shed behind an Arby's." She grinned mischievously. "So yeah…"

A second later and she picked up further. "I once… accidently touched a little boy, when I was sixteen an' livin' on the streets. This family'a Hispanics took me in to their campsite for the night. They were having like party or whateve'ah. When I was sittin' down mindin' my own business their little boy ran up and jumped on me from behind, he put his face up against mine, ove'ah my should'ah…" She moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue and shook her head as she thought back on it all.

"When his mothe'ah freaked out about what happened, their little boy layin' in the dirt on his back unconscious. Ah tried t'explain it, said It wasn't my fault. But, she said I was Death. Said I was the Grim Reape'ah, come t'take people t'the grave." She glanced back at him then, falling silent for now.

Okay. Maybe some people have had it worse than others. At least, this thought is written over Mattias' face as he gathers his pile of clothing in one arm and turns to face Rogue. His boots shuffle and his brow twitches, frowning for the woman, for the boy, for the…horror of it all that Mattias can clearly only comprehend. He's clean. Whatever guilt the man has of his own isn't of the same caliber, and probably isn't as bad as the sins of his childhood friend, Joakim.

"That's." Mattias fails for a word, returning Rogue's look with a slight frown. "That sucks. I don't think you're the Grim Reaper and I won't tell you any lies, Rogue. I've never - well - I don't have anything that compares. That must have been hard, and I won't downplay it all by trying to do the priest thing."

Mattias flattens his lips, mostly a frown, then reaches out to touch her hoodie-covered arm. His fingers squeeze, then he tugs gently, motioning with a jerk of his head for her to follow him to the counter for him to pay.

"I'm strong." Mattias looks to her. "I'm brave. When we get back if you want to try, I would do this." Mattias whispers to her, keeping talk of mutant powers between them. "You're my friend now. You should know whether or not you're safe to give your friend a hug if you can."

"Clothed hugs, yes." Rogue responded to him then as she'd turn to follow him through the store toward the register. "Naked hugs? Thats a lot less likely." She grinned at him then. "But… this is why you'll usually see me wearin' somethin' with a hood on it. Afte'ah that night in Santa Fe… I just… I don't wanna hurt people that don't deserve it."

She'd put her gloved hands back into her hoodie's side pockets and then glance over at him again. "That includes you too. Cause, there ain't no way I can touch ya… thats just your hopes makin' ya wanna try. Fact is… I'd drop ya, an' steal stuff outta your mind in the process. Stuff that Ah couldn't give back neithe'ah. Memories'n such."

She quieted about it all once they reached the Clerk at the register.. No trendy Mall clerk probably wanted/needed to hear stuff like this getting talked about. So Rogue just idly went about eyeballing things on and around the register, knick-knacks and such.

Mattias quiets at the register as well. He hasn't exactly tried on the clothes, but clothes can be returned. While Rogue distracts herself, she misses a wealth of small talk about punch cards and signing up for a store credit card. Even the clerk can sense the strange silence between Mattias and Rogue, so she handles it all so gently. She rings out his purchases, gives the large man a bag, drops his punch card within, and wishes them well.

"So." Mattias laughs softly as he leads Rogue out of the store. "I'm not Joakim. I'm not trying to lobby for naked hugs. I was just saying, sometimes an arm gets in there and," Mattias waves his coffee cup before the two of them, rattles the ice within, then lowers it to his side. "It shouldn't have to feel like a hazmat exercise."

Mattias sniffs in, then chews at his lip. Thinking on his vocabulary, he winces one eye closed, then looks her way.

"That's your decision to make, but I didn't offer because of hope, okay?" Mattias grins. "I'm not going to sneak into your closet. I'm just saying that," Mattias lifts a shoulder. "Maybe I don't care so much about risks and maybe on a human level the risks are worth just knowing. If no's no, I won't muskrat you about it." Muskrat? Badger? What? Mattias misses the wrong word, deftly. He's serious at the moment, damn it.

"If you ever change your mind let me know. We can do a fist bump." He holds up his fist, tough-like. "It'll be the non-awkward version of a naked hug."

Rogue was standing off to the side while the register stuff took place, there were two other girls waiting in line and one of them had started telling Rogue how much she loved her hair and wished to know how Rogue had gotten it like that. That was something that happened now and then to the southern mutant… she hadn't really ever come up with a good way to explain that it was like that for a very strange reason, not related to hair dyes.

So Anna-Marie had simply chosen to say she knew a guy who was really good at hair-stuff. Eloquent, as ever.

Rogue followed along beside Mattias once he was ready and she listened to him and grinned. "There's a small… time gap between touchin' me and bein' dropped by my mutation. Hank told me it was around one point two, t'one point six seconds, dependin' on my heart rate. Thats why the first time it happened, was when I kissed a boy from back home. It was the first touch that had lasted longe'ah than that span'a time since the mutation took root inside'a me."

She glanced over at him once they were walking outside the stores again. "A fist bump is probably too quick t'do anything, but, yeah… I just, don't wanna hurt ya." She paused and grinned at him. "No matte'ah how brave'n'tuff you claim t'be. Muskrat."

"I know. I wouldn't want to hurt anyone, either." Mattias sticks his tongue out, capturing it with his teeth. His fingers curl against the handgrips of his bag, pinky and index finger out, in his best heavy-metal fingers. Unashamed, the northman tilts his head and lets his hair hang over one side of his head while he walks. "I'm sure you have this conversation all of the time, too, don't you?"

Picking up the pace, Mattias steps a few feet ahead of Rogue and turns, walking backwards with her. He glances over his shoulder once, judging the amount of road he has, then looks back to her face. The zippers on his leather jacket bounce and he swings his bag out, batting her side with it gently.

"Tell me I'm right." Mattias grins broadly. "I'm a brave Muskrat Pewdiepie, so exclude me from this. But I'm right, aren't I?" Mattias clears his throat and then motions from himself to her. "Rogue says: 'I gotta be careful' and the guy says: 'You're pretty and I'm awesome, I can handle it', and then you say: 'nope, still not risking it'." Mattias rolls his eyes at himself and then glances over his shoulder once more, veering his path to avoid a small crowd of tweens.

"I must look like an idiot and you could go through this script with your eyes closed by now." Mattias offers, turning his eyes back Rogue's way. "But." Headbob. "I get it."

Rogue laughed gently at him when he came to realize this and hit her gently with that shopping bag. She inhaled once and then slowly started to nod her head as she averted her green hued eyes over to look at him. "Once or twice." Was her kind response then. "Mostly at the bars though, when I meet a guy who is a repeat-meet and he tries t'get to know me bette'ah. Once he finds out the skinny on whats goin' down with me, he'll usually cool his jets an' then just wave at me from across the room a few times, then just ignore me all togethe'ah as he'll zero in on a new target."

"But." Rogue said then as they approached one of the glass railings that overlooked the floor beneath them and she sprung off her feet and up onto the railing! "Thats my lot'n life, no reason t'dwell on it.." She said with her arms out as she balance-beam-walked along the metal railing… other mall-goers were watching her now and pointing at her.

The heel of Mattias' boot squeaks as he turns to walk forwards again. He slows, backing out of the way of Rogue when she leaps up. Careful, he eyes up to her balance beam act. Old instincts kick in. He should keep an arm free, right? His coffee switches over this his shopping bag hand, and he keeps one meaty arm extended just barely, forgetting entirely that, should she fall, she could fly herself to safety.

"Well, lot-n-life or not," Mattias absolutely butchers Rogue's southern accent, making it sound like 'Riverboat C3P0'. "Don't be a stranger. I don't care what your personal space rules are and I'm not some lonely drunk doooosh-bag in a bar. You won't be ignored and if it gets too boring, just text my cell phone and we'll head to the lounge and watch something." Mattias looks up to her, then tilts his eyes forward. "I'm not a selfish person."

Rogue didn't want to flaunt her powers of flight in the mall like this, especially since some of the kids with cell phones were recording her already. She just played it up a bit for the cameras and started moonwalking backwards, gliding her feet across the railing for the cameras, like a real diva.

But when a loud whislte sounded out down the corridor, Rogue turned and saw two white-shirted Security Officers and she flashed them a grin, offered a wavey-wiggle-finger motion at them and then dropped off the railing down to stand beside Mattias again.

"You're sweet as can bee, MIstah Pewdiepie." She said at him, leaning over against him affectionately for a moment before saying in a sultry tone of voice. "We bette'ah move, before them Mall Cop'ahs come'n slap their plastic handcuffs on us." She'd pull back then and start walking forward once more, waving to the kids with their cell phone cameras in that same flirty-way that was seemingly common with this silly girl.


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