Down With Bigots

July 15, 2017:

Betsy and Emma get a drink and discuss dealing with the bigots.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The message to Betsy Braddock was a simple one, consistent with Emma's informal and infrequent casual invitations. No fancy engraved request, although the front of the notecard was embossed with her personal seal.

Tapas and wine on me. 7p, Fri? ~ Emma

Tucked inside the card: a small business card of excellent stock and design for an intimate venue - her favorite sort - with a decidedly Spanish flair.

Barring any objections, that is precisely where Emma Frost can be found at a table in the furthest corner. In a white mini-dress of lace and breezy crepe ever-so-appropriate for the summer season, she doesn't look particularly concerned as she peruses the leather-bound menu and awaits the arrival of the party of two's second half.

*

«Hullo Emma,» Betsy projects, her thoughts winging out ahead of her arrival. She's dressed for summer as well; an aubergine top with a subtle shimmer woven into it and an asymmetrically slashed collar, leaving her well-toned arms bare. A pink pencil skirt wraps around her hips, with a subtle secondary lining that almost makes it look as if she's wearing flower petals around her waist. Heels to match her top, of course, with straps around her ankles and a manicure sharply on point; and diamonds, simple studs, at her ears.

«Thank you so much for the invitation. Have you ordered yet?» she inquires, projecting her thoughts at Emma and flashing a subtle, rare smile at the blonde. She reaches for the already poured wine and takes a sniff, then 'mms' approvingly and throws back a slow, polite sip.

*

«I haven't,» comes the reply in kind, before the two telepaths ever meet eyes. The mark of approval over her wine choice, brings a smile of amusement to Emma's own painted lips and she goes to pick her own glass back up for another cool sip of it. It's a light choice: bright and somewhat sweet. Notes of citrus.

A hand airily gestures near her shoulder, floating without committing to any pantomime or emphasis in particular. «I was thinking something of the seafood realm, but I wasn't ready to commit without you here.»

*

«Very considerate. Perhaps some paella? And sushi, I'm craving carbs and my hips aren't in charge of me today,» Betsy says, glancing at the menu with a flickering of her amythst eyes. Her hair's worn pinned back in a messy bun, allowing a few tendrils to frame her exotic features and stroke the back of her neck.

«The wine was an exellent choice, too.» She flashes another brief, relatively warm smile at Emma. «How have you been, darling? It's been a little while.»

*

A foot clad in a platform heel of dizzying height bounces its toes tightly as their owner continues to consider. Then, Emma's head tilts, spilling her loose golden curls over one shoulder, left bare by her dress's swagged cut-outs. «And maybe that scallop thing. That sounds delightful.»

Looking up, Emma's pale gaze finally lifts to squarely meet Betsy's own. «And I'm glad you like the wine. It makes receiving an apology much easier when you don't have a mouth full of vinegary swill.»

And into their silence, a server eventually pokes his nose, turning his attention to the lovely new arrival at the table. He's an older man, balding, but with a particularly warm demeanor. "Evening, miss," he says with a professional smile, pulling out a small notepad and pen from the stark white apron he wears about his waist over his dark pants. "May I get you something else to drink? Sparkling or still water? A different wine…?"

*

Betsy hikes one brow at Emma inquiringly, not quite picking up on the gist of Emma's implication. She sips more wine, regarding the woman. «An apology? The blue-blood in me says never to pass one up, but I confess to being mildly uncertain as to why it's being offered,» she says, apologizing for forcing Emma to come out and say it.

Simultaneously, she smiles at the bartender— a fake model's expression, utterly lacking sincerity. "No, this wine is fine— a second bottle, perhaps? And I think we're ready to order," she says, perfectly capable of two simultaneous conversations.

*

"Of course, miss," comes the server's easy reply, starting to scratch on his pad. His eyes glance up only for a moment from that page, to confirm that he's telling the truth when he says, "Whenever you're ready."

"You first, darling," Emma says aloud, easily diving in with her companion in the multi-faceted conversation that is being carried out on two planes. «The last time you came to the Club was a singularly horrifying experience. Not at all what I wanted for you.»

*

Blah blah blah, Betsy demurely and politely orders the meal along with Emma, all Colgate false smiles and aristocratic poise.

Inwardly, the conversation continues unabated; expressions of nuanced emotion that would be impossible to manifest articulately. She does Emma the courtesy of being Honest with her.

«'twas mildly offputting, yes; but I'd hardly call it a disaster, either. I've weathered advances from boorish Russians and lascivious Saudis. Not to mention American eating habits. Consider it all forgiven long since, darling,» she tells Emma, giving her the equivalent of a gracious nod.

*

Once the food is secured, a fresh bottle of wine is off to be communicated to the cellar, and a bottle of still water is promised to arrive with the artistically arranged appetizers, the server leaves, leaning the two women in deceptive outward silence.

But the world the women share is hardly silent.

«That's very kind of you, dear,» Frost replies to the easily won forgiveness, her immaculate French manicure accenting the gentle roll of her thoughts. «But all the same, I'm sorry. Barbarians every way you turn.»

*

« The curse of being a blue-blood, darling,» Betsy tells Emma, eyes dancing in a suggestion of haughty amusement. « Granted you Yankees are still learning the art of it, but there's something to be said for associating with a certain station socially.»

« How are things at the club of late, anyway?» she inquires, giving Emma a polite nod. « It really is a nice social club, as long as social aspirants aren't tugging at your life preserver to keep from drowning among proper culture.»

*

«Good,» Emma replies as she sips at her wine, eyes closing as she settles a little more deeply into the tufted leather of the lush booth they occupy. The warm diffused light of the Spanish-styled lamps ob the walls - married with the torchieres in the corners of the space and chandeliers above - is gentle, and very kind to the eyes. «I am hoping we'll have invitations out soon for the charity gala some of the membership has pulled together. As I said ages ago, dear, it's not all pointless indulgence.»

*

« A gala? Count me in,» Betsy says, smiling at Emma approvingly. «Any excuse to dig in my closet for an evening gown and my good jewelry,» she says, with a suggestion of a smirk.

The food arrives and the waitstaff distributes the food to the two women, uncomfortable with the silence between them as Betsy and Emma carry on their psychic conversation.

« Mm. This looks lovely,» Betsy approves, reaching for a piece of nigiri with a pair of lacquered chopsticks, and transferring several items to her small aperitif plate.

*

Emma Frost arrives from The Sound Stages.

*

"Thank you," Emma says aloud, breaking the eerie wordlessness for sapiens' benefit once all is set down and arranged, the water is poured, and the wine refreshed. "It all looks wonderful." The words serve as a dismissal, and the server and his assistant are only all-too-glad to go elsewhere.

«Good.» And she is glad for Betsy's promise of attendance; Emma's thought effuses a certain measure of relief before moving on. «It's looking very promising. Big names. Deep pockets. Good cause. Good press.» A pair of pan-seared scallops drizzled in something creamy are pulled onto Frost's own plate. «There really are never enough good opportunities for that."

*

« I am gratified to hear your labours are paying off, darling,» Betsy tells Emma, sincerely. « Advertising /does/ seem to be the heart of all commercial successes. Still, money talks; the Club certainly has the power and the influence to move any charity from the shadows to the forefront of public theatre. »

She frowns minutely. « Did you /say/ what charity you were supporting?» she inquires, suddenly realizing she didn't bother to ask.

*

«There's a list,» Emma continues, her conversation unhindered by the fact that she's slowly chewing food and enjoying wine all the while. «The children's hospital, a neighborhood rehabilitation fund, a shelter of some kind, and I forget what else.»

Emma shrugs, and then recrosses her legs under the table. «We're estimating the net revenue to be somewhere in the tens of millions, so there should be enough to go 'round. And with the Club not taking any sort of recognition, there will be lots of organizations who get to look just wonderful for somehow thinking to pool their resources for a noble cause.»

*

« That's splended, darling, just splended,» Betsy applauds Emma, her head bobbing between bites. « And of course, the Braddock family will be dropping off a little donation, too,» she says, with a modest tone to her thoughts.

« Have you a date nailed down yet? Shall I start planning my social calendar for the gala event of the season?» she inquires, moving her chopsticks around with a nimble dexterity of long association.

*

«Possibly the year,» Emma says, her smile quirking up a little unevenly at the praise. «But the date isn't quite firm yet. The venue is set, but I think there are likely to be a few little kinks based on just a few details that I've caught wind of.»

The blonde is more than satisfied to use her boring knife and fork, taking dainty bites of rich food and alternating it with plenty of wine. It is… refreshing, sometimes, to have these wordless conversations with someone who knows how. Where two experiences blend into each other, without interrupting each other.

Or, perhaps, it's just the warmth of the wine in her blood. When she clears her plate, she pulls a little of something new. «I'm surprisingly light on the details, save to put down a rubber stamp or two. To my unending delight, someone from Stark Industries has been handling the vast majority of the logistics.»

*

Betsy helps Emma dole out the last few bites of paella and tapas, making it an equitable distribution; anyone familiar with the woman would recognize the compliment payed by serving Emma with her own hands.

« There's nothing like someone else handling the gory details,» Betsy agrees. « Write the checks, show up, look fabulous, leave early with a scandalous companion. That was my motto for years,» she says, with an almost impish glitter in her eyes.

*

«Oh, baiting the tabloids is the very best part,» Emma retorts, chuckling. Because, you know. The pretty blonde at the table with her pretty friend, neither talking, and one laughing. That can't be just plain disconcerting. ….right.

The mutant businesswoman notes the kind gesture, and she murmurs audibly, "Thank you, darling." Likely to address that growing concern radiating in other, more common minds about them. «And it'll give you something to look forward to, while you are getting down to business in Genosha, hm?»

*

Betsy's smile doesn't move an iota, but the emotion behind it shifts slightly. That duality of her personality shifts— like a mirror being jarred— and there's a sudden coldly malicious amusement behind her eyes.

«Oh, I'm looking forward to Genosha,» she assures Emma, her 'voice' profoundly different for a few moments as the other half of her personality rises to the dominant position. « Some business is the perfect way to burn off the stress of the year; there are few things I enjoy as much as putting some mutant-hating racist bodies in the cold ground.»

*

Frost considers Braddock for a brief moment as she feels that change, and her curiosity less-than-perfectly masked. «Well, then, yet one more reason that I'm glad that you're being afforded the opportunity for your little vacation.» A glass lifts, moving towards Betsy for a toast and its pale gold contents catch the light. «Down with the bigots.»

*

« Down with bigots,» Betsy agrees, and some of the sharp 'edge' leaves her— though to anyone not a profoundly talented psychic, it's doubtful it'd be noticed at all. She smiles prettily at Emma and hoists her glass in unison, clinking the wineglass against hers in an objectively silent salute before throwing back a celebratory gulp.

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