Hungry Like The Hound

October 14, 2017:

After picking Piotr up from the airport, Illyana and Rachel decide a shave, haircut and shopping trip is necessary. A not so innocent appraisal leads to a larger discussion between Illyana and Piotr.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It hasn't been too long since Illyana and Rachel picked up Piotr from the airport. In fact, they've yet to arrive at the Mansion, and instead have decided that Piotr needs not only a new wardrobe, but certainly a shave and a haircut. The Grizzly Adam's look is so yesterday.

Outside an affluent barber shop close to the shopping district, Rachel is backing Illyana up on this idea. "I agree one hundred percent." What Rachel agreed to, well, that's for Illyana to decide, as the red-head shifts her stance a bit, casting a gaze towards the fairly empty barber shop then towards the brother and sister. "Besides, there wont be any wait at all." She continues, rallying to the cause for the large man.

The shopping district is alive with people moving, looking, gawking, touristing, and just generally going about their own business. Plans have already been made to take Piotr to a nice clothing store, and then lunch! It'll make the long trip to the airport, and wait, a bit more worthwhile than the instant trip one might have had via Illyana-limbo-port.


See, Piotr? You should really have let Illyana port you right back to the mansion. At least then you'd have a chance to deal with your jet-lag before your sister and Rachel set about making you look presentable. Now you have to be shaved, and that's only the beginning of your troubles.

"You might as well give in now, brother. That beard is not coming home with us." Illyana's words are implacable, but there's an impish glint in the blue eyes that are usually so guarded. Taking Piotr's arm, which against her hand looks ridiculously oversized, she attempts to draw him toward the barber's shop.

"No wait means more time for shopping." Illyana agrees, looking past the mountain that is Piotr to catch Rachel's eye and give a nod of approval.


For Piotr's part, the brawny Russian is doing his best to take everything in stride although even the bushy beard that he currently sports can't quite hide the growing concern that's starting to draw overtop his features. "I do not think that a full visit to the barber is necessary," he begins as he eyes the establishment warily. "All I need is a new razor…" His bags left back in the car, Piotr is left with his hands empty and available for one of them to reach out and rub absently at the tangled growth that sprouts from his chin. His thick eyebrows furrow together briefly afterwards, before he turns to glance at first Rachel, and then Illyana. He's about to say something else, when Illyana grabs his arm and starts to tug him forward.

Caught off guard by the indication of shopping afterwards - and the tone in which Illyana mentions shopping gives an indication as to just how long that process might end up taking - Piotr's eyes widen as he finds himself being led towards the threshhold of the barbershop. "There is to be shopping afterwards? You realize that I have just been travelling for more than twelve hours? I was hoping for a relaxing ride home and then to sleep…" Despite his protestations, however, the big guy seems resigned to his current fate and is left to enter the shop fully and greet the barber on deck with a hapless shrug.


The barber is a friendly enough older man who's been watching the going ons outside his shop with a glint of amusement to his eyes. If he wasn't about to make a quick bit of cash on a beard and a trim, he might have sided with the Russian. Money is always a morality pull. As it is, the man offers a hearty, "They finally convinced you to come in, eh?" With a throaty laugh and a gesture to one of his chairs.

All things considered, Rachel and Illyana don't have to wait too long for the much needed weedwhacking of Piotr's beard. Rachel, almost, feels bad for making Piotr go through this entire shopping and hair removal trip. Almost. If he'd just agreed to Illyana's porting through Limbo, he wouldn't have jet lag to begin with! So, yeah, Rachel is a bit in agreeance with Illyana's thoughts on this, not that Rachel can read them of course.

After several minutes of waiting, and then paying, the trio head out towards the many different shopping areas to choose from. Turning to Illyana, Rachel inquires. "Do you trust your brother to pick out his own outfit, or shall we accompany him to the men's department?" Her tone is impish, she's relaxed quite a bit from her previous almost fearful state at the airport and is only too willing to back up Illyana on this.


Illyana looks up at her brother with every outward appearance of sympathy as he complains about the ordeal he's already been through. "Then you should have let me come and get you." She tells him in a sweet, reasonable tone of voice. "Then you wouldn't be tired and we wouldn't have passed the shops on our way home." Her smile is past impish and well into mischievous now. "But don't worry, I can help with that, too."

Once Piotr is ensconced in the barber's chair, Illyana decides it's safe enough to leave him, with a last word to the barber as she does so, "Whatever he says, that beard has to go." Another smile is directed toward Piotr as she says it, before she makes her way to the back of the shop where an ancient coffee machine lurks. Once Piotr's face is free of fuzz, a cup of hot, black coffee with so much caffeine in it that it could probably be used as rocket fuel is pressed into his hands. "Drink up." Illyana tells him, then pauses. She looks at him for a long second, then smiles. This time the expression isn't one of fun at his expense, but seems genuine. "That's the Piotr I remember." She says, and the dark shadow of memory flickers in her eyes for a moment, quickly hidden.

Illyana's answer to Rachel's question is simple. "You have to ask?"


"Da," Piotr answes the barber, a slightly rueful tone in response to the older man. In all, however, the trim and shave does not take so long and after it is finished the Russian sizes himself up in the mirror with acknowledgement that he certainly does look a lot tidier - and more familiar. The same hand that had rubbed at his beard now performs the same motion on his cleanly shaven cheecks and jaw, and the man gives a nod of approval to the finished product. His hair, too, is shorn up nicely - not too short, and combed back a little along his scalp as is its default. Piotr settles up with the barber and thanks him, before the topic of clothes shopping is brought up back outside the front of the barbershop.

"I do not need any new clothes," he states plainly, "I have plenty that fit well. Besides," he continues, "I am perfectly capable of picking out new ones myself if I did need them…" Piotr can only imagine what types of outfits Rachel or Illyana may pick out for him, given the fashion senses of the pair of them. In fact, he's *seen* some of the options that Illyana has attempted to foist upon him before. Rachel may probably do the same, from what he knows of her. He shouldn't be surprised that the two girls seem to be establishing a friendship, really, at least as far as those clothing sensibilities are concerned. Certainly, if left in their hands as far as an outfit is concerned, they would have him wearing leather pants and a studded leather jacket, and he would be mistaken for one of the Village People.

As this less than encouraging thought is running through Piotr's head, the hot cup of cofee is suddenly thrust into his hands. Though perhaps he should know better, Piotr takes the offering from his sister with a nod and word of thanks before reflexively brining the liquid up to his mouth to take a sip. And from the way his eyes pop open, it's clear that the drink has quite a bit more pep than he was anticipating. "Snowflake…" he begins, pulling the cup away to stare at the black liquid dubiously. "Just what did you put in this coffee?"


"Hn." Is Rachel's wise words, as she continues with. "To the men's department!" Piotr's complaints are ignored. Entirely. His thoughts, however, ring out to a telepath as loudly as if he had spoken them, forcing Rachel to pause and then laugh. Out loud. Her green gems turn to Piotr as she attempts to be fairly annoyed at the man. "Leather pants is far too seventies. Skinny jeans with a good bit of shredding might be nice though." And Illyana might find Rachel's gaze lingering on her brother a bit too long, before the red-head shakes her head and heads off to the men's department.

Yes, Rachel was just checking Illyana's brother out in a not-so just team-mates manner, and the red-head is feeling slightly ashamed for doing so. Slightly.

The department store that the trio (or well, Illyana and Rachel) have chosen is large, expansive, and filled with people. It does take a minute to find the proper section, as the men's department is upstairs, versus the women's department downstairs. (Stores always know who to cater to, after all.)

Up an escalator ride later, and the men's department is within eyesight. Rachel leaves Piotr wrangling to Illyana, as the red-head moves to mill about the area for dress shirts.


Illyana is quite happy to take her brother's objections in the order that they're presented. In fact, she goes so far as to tick them off on her fingers. "One, yes you do. Two, I might have stolen a couple of those lumberjack shirts you have far too many of, and three…" Illyana just smiles and shakes her head. "Even if that were true, you don't need to, because we're here to help." See? They're doing him a favour, really!

Illyana's finely-crafted narrative is disrupted a bit by Rachel's declaration on the suitability of leather pants. She looks at Rachel in a silent question, mouthing 'leather pants?' at the redhead, then frowns when she sees Rachel is still looking at her brother. Illyana's eyes cut over to Piotr, then back to Rachel, and the redhead is STILL staring. One of Illyana's brows twitches upwards, and her left hand idly flexes as a thoughtful look comes into her eyes.

As for the coffee, Illyana seems to take great interest in watching Piotr as he takes his first sip, and gives a small nod of satisfaction when his eyes widen. When questioned, however, she links her hands demurely behind her back and does her best to radiate innocence. "I just got it from the machine." She tells him, "What makes you think I put anything in it?" For someone who's usually so good at lying, she's a little less than convincing this time. "Come on." She tells him, trying a reassuring smile for size. "It's nothing that'll kill you. And you're going to need it with Rachel around." She adds the last bit almost to herself, and gets that thoughtful look again as she follows the redhead upstairs.


Though he hadn't actually spoken his fears aloud about being clad from head-to-toe in leather, Piotr is currently too jet-lagged to realize that Rachel was responding to his thoughts rather than something he said. Accordingly, the use of her telepathy is completely missed by him - as, too, is the none-too-subtle look of appraisal that she offers him before the trio are headed to the sprawling department store. "I do not think I would like 'skinny jeans' any better," he answers, before focusing on the responses from his sister - both her reasons for shopping for him and her feigned innocence regarding the contents of his coffee. "They are warm and durable shirts…" he qualifies almost feebly at the suggestion that his wardrobe is too full of the flannel garments, before giving the coffee another wary look and cautious sip. The liquid stays in his mouth for a moment before he swallows it - as if Piotr is trying to figure out just what his sister did to the coffee - and after he actually does finish the sip he states matter-of-fact, "This is not standard coffee." But, as the extra caffeine does seem to be counteracting the jet-lag, he takes another sip as the trio moves along.

It's only as the group is upstairs in the men's department that some of the other words and expressions from the moments prior start to click in Piotr's brain, and as Rachel wanders off towards the dress shirts and is not in direct earshot, at least for the moment, the large man turns towards his sister. His own eyebrow lifts in inquiry to her muttered comment. "Why do you say that? About Rachel, I mean?" His blue eyes dart over to watch where the red-head is perusing dress shirts and other fancier attire, quite a bit oblivous still and truly confused as to Illyana's commentary or the reason for it.


Before she darts off to be on her own, Rachel has to offer Illyana some explanation on the entire 'leather pants' thing. So she offers a wry, "He thought it. He thinks we're going to make him part of the Village People." As to Illyana catching Rachel staring at her brother. Rachel offers a quieter, softer, "Sorry. Leather pants on your brother wouldn't be so terrible, though." And if Rachel were any other person, she'd flush. As it is, though, the red-head offers the comment with a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders upwards. The truth of the matter is - the Russian is quite the man and even little sister can't deny that.

On her own now, Rachel puruses the nicer dress shirts and suits. With Halloween just a few weeks away, Rachel is pondering different costumes she might wear to one party or another. Surely there will be -some- fun to be had the weekend before, or even the night of! Add a men's tuxedo style dress shirt and jacket with a tail, and she could go as a magician.

Running a hand through her short locks, Rachel continues to gaze through the different, finer outfits, pausing on a very nice long 'big and tall' dress shirt that could easily be transformed into a nice, silken night shirt for Rachel. As she browses, she misses anything going on currently between Illyana and Piotr.


Illyana watches Rachel as she disappears into the clothing racks, eyes slightly narrowed. She looks like she's trying to come to a decision, and Rachel's parting words may have swayed the jury inside Illyana's head.

Which WAY Illyana's mental jury has been swayed remains open to question.

Piotr's question pulls Illyana's attention back to him, and s slight frown mars her face as she looks at him. "…seriously?" She asks. "You didn't see that? Imagine someone hadn't eaten in a year." Illyana knows exactly what that's like, but skips over that detail as unimportant right now. "And then they saw a steak." And just in case he's feeling terminally slow today, Illyana adds, "In this example, you're the steak." Illyana holds Piotr's gaze long enough to be sure that message has sunk in, then glances in the direction Rachel disappeared.

"I haven't decided if she has to go hungry yet." Illyana quietly muses to herself, then appears to shake off the thought. Swinging back around to face her brother, Illyana offers a bright smile. "I'll start slow, don't worry." She tells him, and then stalks off into the racks herself. In short order a well-tailored, dark red shirt, a pair of expensive black jeans and - yes - a leather jacket come flying toward Piotr. "What do you think?" She asks, not giving him much time to form an opinion. "And -no-, I will not let you look like a Village Person. Have a little faith." She says the last in an aggrieved tone, rolling her eyes for emphasis.


Standing there at first with a mostly blank expression on his features, Piotr listens mutely as his sister equates Rachel's demeanor to someone who is starving - and then paints the picture of himself as the proverbial food. As her message sinks in, Piotr's features fluxtuate from mild discomfort at the frank way his little snowflake is talking to him, to chagrin that he completely missed the initial appraisal in the first place, to growing curiosity towards Rachel and her apparent interest in him. The man casts a look across the clothing department to where the redhead is surveying over-sized dress shirts and other apparel, his own interest starting to replace that curiosity as he ponders the woman from the future in a completely different light. "That is not your decision to make," he replies to his sister then, regarding whether or not Rachel will 'go hungry'. He appears prepared to continue, when the blonde girl abruptly changes topics and starts tossing one garment after the other towards him, leaving him only able to start collecting the clothes in a heap along his arms.

"I have seen the types of clothes that you like to wear," he answers her follow-up comments and the indignation that she may lead him towards the path of the Village People. "Especially in Limbo." The name of Illyana's dimension does not roll of off Piotr's tongue easily. "I think I have cause to be worried… But these may not be so bad," he adds, taking a look at the red shirt and black jeans. "Though I am not certain about the leather jacket." He pauses then, turning his head back to regard Illyana and asks the next question with such a genuine tone that it will be difficult for even his sister to tell if he's being honest or just trying to get her goat. "Do you think that Rachel may like it?"


It's just a darn good thing that Rachel either can't read Illyana's thoughts, or is so focused on her own task that she isn't trying to pick up on Piotr's! At this point, Rachel has completely put behind her initial inspection of Piotr. After all, he has always been first 'off limits' due to Kitty, and also for the fact he was always a role-model to her in the future, him and Kate. Why on earth Rachel viewed him just now as something else is beyond her. Maybe she's finally starting to fully rationalize that this world is not her own, and is fully coming to terms with it. Or maybe, the thought of the Russian in leather pants is more than enough to turn the head of even the most prude of individuals.

With any case, Rachel is continuing her browsing of men's clothing. Out of the corner of her eye she can see the pile of clothing that Illyana has given to Piotr and an initial inspection of the wad in the man's arms does have Rachel internally nodding her head in approval.

Turning back to the section she's in, Rachel gives up on trying to find a Halloween costume, and instead offers a wave at Illyana, then a gesture down, Rachel's heading down to the bottom floor of the department store and is going to head to the women's section.


When Piotr made the frankly ludicrous suggestion that she wouldn't get a vote on Rachel's dinner preferences, Illyana didn't say a word. She did, of course, look back over her shoulder at her brother with a slow smile, but she didn't SAY anything. And then she's waving back to Rachel as the redhead goes back downstairs, a friendly smile plastered across her face.

She's not so reticent when Piotr critiques her sense of style. That gets a big grin, before she spreads her arms as if presenting herself for inspection, and says in a mock-offended tone, "Are you saying I don't look nice?" After all, who could take issue with the black tank top that states 'I HATE PEOPLE' in big white letters, the very short shorts, the fishnets or finally the heavy boots?

Illyana's to focused on her big brother's needs to wait for an answer anyway. "See?" She says smugly when he doesn't dismiss her first suggestions out of hand. "I -told- you I'd start slow. But the jacket is compulsory." There's a look in her eyes that suggests she's going to dig her heels in on this point… until Piotr asks The Question, and Illyana's response is juvenile and immediate. Rolling her eyes, she mocks gagging, then smirks up at her brother with a challenging look. "Do you -want- her to?"


Also still keeping one eye on Rachel as he is talking to Illyana, Piotr catches the gesture from the redhead that she is heading downstairs. His hands are full, so he can't give the same type of acknowledgement that Illyana does, though he is left to continue pondering things as the redhead disappears down the escalator. He's not the best at hiding his emotions, though he often tries, and the expression there is certainly one of quiet contemplation. And then Illyana is grabbing his attention again, challenging him with her signature sense of fasion.

Truthfully, Piotr has been doing his best since arriving at the airport to pay little heed to the way in which his little sister has dressed herself. But, when she flings her arms out the man is forced to address the attire. Or attempt to. "*You* are beautiful, snowflake," he begins. "Your clothing, on the other hand…" But he doesn't get very far, as she just forges onwards and tells him in no uncertain terms that she will not relent in getting him to wear - or at least purchase - a leather jacket of some variety. Piotr eyes the garment heaped over his arms and then finds his own question regarding Rachel's tastes cleanly tossed back into his court.

At first grinning at the juveline reaction from his little sister - after all, that type of mock-disgust is what a big brother *should* expect from his little snowflake! - Piotr's expression changes to a surprised blink at her turnabout to him. It takes him a moment to formulate his thoughts for an answer, or at least to formulate his words. "I… have not decided yet," he begins, before becoming a little more honest. "Perhaps," he admits then, lifting his eyebrows slightly. He then catches himself, and gives Illyana a mildly reproving look. These are not really the types of conversations he is used to having with his sister, after all, even as guarded as he is being. So, he changes the topic and starts making a show of looking for the nearest changing rooms. "If you are determined to dress me in these, I should at least make certain they fit, nyet?" And the man nearly flees as he heads to the fitting rooms - drawing his thoughts with him as he powers through the rest of the shopping venture and eager to finally get home.

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