Tea after Terror

November 04, 2017:

In the aftermath of the traumatic Gala, Emery makes sure to check on Emma and they talk over 'fortified' tea.

Emma's NYC Flat

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There have been worse nights in Emma Frost's life. Not many, but a few.

After the gala fell (was blown) apart, Emma did what any responsible woman in her position would do. She enlisted the help of a nearby officer to get her out of the way and towards the nearest cab that could get her home, talking to as few people as humanly possible. Especially of the EMT, ambulance chaser, and reporter variety.She parted ways with Summers somewhere.

The car ride home was filled with uncomfortable conversations with lawyers, publicists, and fellow C-Suiters from Frost International. A text conversation was started with Emery: 'Safe and clear? Take time as needed. Available, if any ?s.' but any response got buried as her legal team devoured the bulk of her time driving through the sea of flashing, angry lights and sirens going to deal with the dead and wounded at the Stark Expo.

With all of the chaos, it's nearly 2am before the woman is hauling her sorry ass through the door and into the bathroom for a blazing hot shower. Her shredded ivory gown, now splattered with the brown of oxidized wine and blood, gets left on the bathroom floor even once she's done and goes to just collapse on her couch with only a few scattered accent lights lit to offer their mild glow and illuminate the oft dazzling white of her penthouse. Wrapped in her robe, she sets her phone on her belly, throws an arm over her face, and doesn't move.

*

Lets consider this…somewhere between people finally getting ambulanced to places and Emery has been…super busy. Again, he's been holding people's stomachs closed and he's been holding people's hands as they are in so much pain. He shot a text to people he trusts to make sure his daughter is safe as he was on the phone with Tasha to get a list of anybody on the help staff he manages and oversees to get an estimated body count of any shortages they might be happening. Then he was ordering condolencences bouquets and gift baskets for other families. At one point he was placing an order as somebody worked on digging a bullet out of his hip.

He has had the expected manners to get cleaned up. He wears a simple white tank under a dark blue hoodie, a pair of dark blue sweats and black and blue converse sneakers on his feet. His hair is wet from having been washed and it is dark and wavy and still damp. And there's almost a glow about hit, unnatural in a way for someone to be this exhausted yet seem like he's full of life. He is however knocking on Emma's door. A soft ramping and a call of 'Milady?'.

*

Fortunately for Emery, the immediate circle of his influence seems to be unscathed, left out of Miss Frost's gala plans. Alex - who should have been there to pick up Miss Frost but had been missing in action, hence a cab - is eventually reached through the jammed up phone lines. The car got wrecked by some flying debris, he's worked up as all hell after having only just gotten out of said car to use the facilities, and has said he's taking the next two days off or he quits.

Tasha was quite adamant that Alex is not permitted to quit, and she herself is admittedly a little more sharp than has been her habit of late with the silver-tongued new addition to the household staff. She's been rallying the HR staff and coordinating a few other efforts, and this thing is not sitting well with anyone.

But here, with Emery in the hall, there's a long silence.

Long because inside, unseen, Emma whines with self-pity to no one but herself before dragging herself off of the couch and across the room. She squints into the hall and is… kinda surprised to see him looking as well as he does.. "Mister Papsworth. Good to see you still in one piece." And, beneath the fatigue there is a chord of sincerity. The door is left hanging open as she abandons it to find her way back to the couch. "Do come in? Come, come." She gestures broadly at one of the chairs in front of the cold, dark, cavernous fireplace. "Sit."

*

Tasha is going to receive a gift basket with spa products in it. Emery will be busy soon to get Alex over a 5 star hotel with a spa treatment and boat ride gift package, something that can be redeemed if he agrees to return to work in 2 days. He does however just send out a text that reads 'Sleep it off, check your email in the morning.'.

When that door opens however, he ducks his head almost sheepishly, moving a hand to rake fingers through his hair as he exhales softly. "Aye, I wanted to come and see and make sure ye got home safely, Milady." He looks to himself and then enters as invited, edging closer to the chair that is offered but not yet sitting. There's manners of course, so he's waiting for her to sit first. "Ye look tired, Milady…me apologies for the intrusion."

*

"It's kind of you to come by. And… tired is a great deal better than dead," Emma says with a half-formed chuckle as she moves to get the remote for the gas fireplace. "It's just a bit of a headache. Nothing to worry about." She lifts the remote up very close to her face for a moment, and then holds it out to flick the button that will get the fire burning and make her abode look a little bit less like a cave.

"It's the headache tomorrow that I'm dreading." As blue flames begin to lick upwards from the ceramic logs, she taps another button to build the fire higher. And then she sets the remote aside and sits. She wipes her face and subtly rubs her temples with her the base of her palms - the prelude to a sigh large enough to lift her shoulders for a moment. "I cannot help but feel that I owe you something of an apology, Mister Papsworth."

*

Emery settles down only after it is appropriate and he listens quietly for a few moments before he offers softly. "There are many I will 'ave to light candles for." He agrees to the bit about being tired is better than being dead. It takes all his composure and years of training to not let it show jittery he feels inside, how alive and almost like a junkie who just get a super awesome hit…swirling within his core. He just presses his hands together as he takes a seat, leaning forward and resting his elbows against his knees as he regards Emma with a tilt of his head. "I'll make sure to 'ave a cup of tea ready for the next few days. Just a spot of somethin' to help with any migraine that may happen." Then he quirks an eyebrow. "An Apology Milady? On on earth do ye 'ave to apologize for?"

*

The smile on Emma's lips is a self-deprecating sort, rare as it is. "Because I remember, my dear sir, that you've a sprite at home and you would not have been at that horror show were it for my handiwork. I don't like giving apologies, so you really should take your opportunity to have one of your very own before I change my mind about it. I'd even autograph it for you, were it tangible."

Emma lifts pale, naked eyes lift to regard her employee for a moment with a certain intensity, hidden behind heavy lids. "It can be leveraged for a very significant severance, should you believe there to be a position where you don't risk being blown apart before you've even had a proper 90 day review."

*

There is a weighty silence from Emery as he takes in the context of the apology and he raises his folded hands to press to his lips for a moment, inhaling and exhaling as he takes a thoughtful breath. "Did ye tell the people who showed up to speed, explode, mind whammy, and shoot up everyone and everyting there to actually come and attack the Gala?" Emery Papsworth asks softly before narrowing his eyes.

"This is not teh first time I've been to a black tie event and it all went tits up Milady. Not even the first time there was a body count involved. When ye deal wit' people with money or prestige, ye risk your life. Its the nature of servin' the uppercrust." A pause. "It is however, the first time I ever saw it 'appen quite like /tat/…"

*

Did she ask for the events to unfold like they did? No, says the frown and defensive crossing of her arms. Then he continues and brings a bit of commentary to the sheer magnitude and spread. Hands spread in a silent 'there you go' as her eyes close. "I'm sure that's Stark's fault, somehow," she offers dryly. "He does like to put on the biggest show."

Her face disappears back into her hand soon after. "This is going to likely get uglier before it gets better. That is how it tends to go, particularly now that they've brought genetic politics into the mix."

*

"Aye, but I tink they forgive him because the word on the street, or at least amongst certain models is that he's an exceptional lover. So. Mebbe it feels he has to amp up the douche-a-meter to make sure he keeps up appearances." Emery drawls softly before exhaling softly as he pushes himself to his feet and makes his way towards the kitchen. Yes, he is…predictably starting to get the kettle, fill it with water and pull out tea fixings.

He's Irish. He's Irish from a time where Discrimination was alive and well. He's from a country where its inhabitants were discriminated against in multiple countries. Then you mix in the ethnically ambiguous nature of his appearance and the fact that his DNA is all shades of abnormal. There's a bit of understanding but its muddied for him as metas, mutants…his brain isn't wired to classify people like that.

"Explain tat bit to me, if ye don't mind Milady. The 'Genetic Politics' bit? Ye mean all that nonsense bein' tossed around about 'mutants' and 'being complicit'?"

*

Emery details his thoughts on Stark, and Emma waits until he's on his feet and off to the kitchen before opening her eyes only to narrow them back again to nearly draconic slips - something that looks nearly like suspicion - before choosing to just close them again and curl up against the arm of the couch.

"Precisely so," she affirms. "The mutant population isn't precisely the most beloved. Some places it's more apparent than others. Genosha tends to be a prime example of what happens when you let that particular breed of close-minded bigot run amok, but they've hardly cornered the market. There are all manner of international pedigrees. There are your religious anti-mutant bigots, your conspiracy theorists…" A hand lifts to be visible over the sofa's back, rolling dramatically from the wrist. "So on. So forth."

*

"Mm." Emery eloquently responds with a soft grunt as he puts the kettle on and then sets out the tea cups, and finds the honey as he waits for water to boil. "And…ye believe that this attack will give those groups the platform they were needing to amp up their desire to protest and go 'see, we told you all they was proper bastards'?"

He twists in a way that makes him look down at his body and remember he has bandages under his shirt and he gives a quick shudder and retrieves a canister of tea that involves lavendar, rose petals, and chamomile no doubt. "Well that indeed sucks Milady." Because it does. So much so.

*

"Doesn't it just?" Another sigh, and Emma's pulling her feet up under her. "Particularly since the American varieties tend to be so… Well, I think Cro-Magnon man had greater philosophical depth."

The blonde listens to the sounds of tea beingg made, and her frown slowly takes over those lips. "I guess we'll see what happens over the course of the next few days. Once the casualty numbers reach their final tally."

An eyebrow arches as she asks further, "Have you really not seen the lovely little idiots scrabble about over this stuff?"

*

"I 'ave seen people scrabble over all sorts of tings, Milady. Many many tings." Emery admits with a wry twist of his lips. "But me focus since I've arrived in this city really 'as been on getting settled in and not gettin' killed in the process."

Hot tea is poured into both mugs and then he's found a tray so he can set out the honey, and tea cups and walk the tray into the living room with methodical grace.

*

It's an art not lost on Emma Frost, that observance of tea and all of the graces surrounding it. …Even though she's still just an American who has been steeped in finishing schools and then wrapped herself in all of the airs that distance her from the Bostonian upbringing she abhors. And she appreciates the art of it.

As Emery comes back into view, there's a small smile as a wordless mark of her gratitude. "Is it that regular an occurrence?" she asks, pulling her terrycloth robe a little closer as she nestles in up until the chin. "I mean, where are you going that this is a common concern, Mister Papsworth? Are you a fan of illegal fighting rings?"

A pause. A tilt of her head. "Or," she continues more gently and quietly, humming a note, "does this perhaps have to do with that little extra bit of spark in your eyes that I saw at the gala?"

*

The closest low and flat surface near where Emma is settled is where the tray is set, hands moving by almost muscle memory to make sure Emma's cup is prepared according to past preferences. There is a pause as he pats himself down, and the retrieves from an inner pocket a sleek silver flask, pouring a bit of the whiskey into each cup of tea. It has been that kind of day. It also affords Emery time to consider how to reply.

The Irishman does chuckle at the question about the fighting rings. "Nothing quite that illicit Milady." His jaw sets. "But tere are people who try every now and then to take a crack at swiping me and me daughter. That usually gets bloody. Then…just alot of weird shite tends to happen near me."

But that final question has him offer the mug of tea to Emma before he runs fingers through his hair and lower his eyes. "That is a wee bit more complicated to explain Milady…but if ye have questions…I can try me best to explain."

*

The appearance of the flask earns Emery a half-hearted laugh from the woman in white velour and no protest at all. It has definitely been that kind of day. Emma takes the cup when it is offered, and closes her eyes as she sets her face above the steam of it. She is unhurried and doesn't mind giving him time and space without intrusion, save to carefully monitor the unseen around him for thoughts and feelings that might escape that kintsugi-esque mind of his.

"You needn't if you don't wish to, but I usually appreciate a good story if you do."

*

Emery waggles his eyebrows at the reaction caused by the appearance of his flask. He quickly does pick up a cuppa of his own, taking a sip…pausing and thaf flask comes back out to top it off, Irish style. "Mm. Well, me mum was a nun who swore she was knocked up by an Angel. She was also mad as a hatter and twice as insane. I grew up in an orphanage always knowing she had me but not able to ever call her mum. I never knew who me Da was but I had one of them mentor types that used to know the bastard and he got me all my learnin. All me trainin'…'."

Then the Irishman pauses, his thoughts and feelings churning like a sea stuck in a plastic tub in the sink, memories of violent lashings, being impaled by blades and hot pokers, swirl of images of corpses, flashes of blades and chains clinking before he takes a deep breath and calmly sips his tea, blinking a few times.

"Eh, ye looked like ye had a wee bit of a headache when I came…do ye still have it?" He sets his tea aside and offers a hand. "Easier to show ye, than tell. Promise I won't hurt ye."

*

It's a good story, told by a good storyteller. But wait, there's more!

Emma pauses mid-sip and shoots a wary glance down to that hand when it's slipped in her direction, pale gaze weighing it and all of the things he doesn't know she sees. But then? Then she ultimately puts her money where her mouth is. "Alright," she agrees, setting her own cup down so that she can reach her porcelainesque hand out to meet his. Because curiosity is a hell of a thing, and her head is admittedly still pounding from the toxic stew of stress, explosions, and unexpected mass fear. "If you promise."

*

"I promise." Emery repeats almost gravely before taking the hand in his own larger hand…his grip is gentle but his palms and fingers are developed in the way only those who have had to train or hours with meelee weapons or knifves manage. He just keeps them well manicured. He shifts slightly to kneel beside the couch, curling his hand around the woman's own.

Then there is that very faint glow of his eyes as he inhales deeply and concentrates, opening that invisible gate in the empathic channels of connection to draw that sensation and feeling of pain and discomfort into his own nervous system, lips parting as he exhales softly. Gaze darkens and his lashes lower and the pounding starts in his own scull. Taking on the burden through that physical connection.

*

The touch of a rough hand is hardly a foreign one; it doesn't give Emma pause. Instead, she is simply a creature full of wonder as she watches a new thing work for that long moment. She feels the release of that awful headache as it passes along to a new home, but also that strange empathy. And if she's not careful, if she doesn't understand the way he works quite right and shut against him appropriately, he might feel hers.

But her lidded gaze assesses him, considers him, and takes in the glow of his own. Then, quietly, she tucks her chin and asks, "Are you alright?"

*

Emery maintains the connection, deep breathing through it as someone with a migraiene might, idly cracking his neck and flashing a stained yet dimpled smile. He does not delve deep enough to pull any emptional pain but he brushes the surface of feelings and stops short to stay in the physical.

Usually he would keep it going until the headache fades or medicine has been administered so the other person is sufficiently numb or sleep but he slowly slips out of the connection, releasing the pain, significantly lessened now backmto its origianl source.

"Hm? Oh aye…headaches were me version of zits growing up with all the drinking I did." He winks before releasing Emma's hand with a soft sigh.

*

Emma stretches her neck and rubs at the back of it as she reclaims her hand and her remainder of her own headache with a small inhalation. "Hell of a trick," she praises over a tiny wince, smiling as she reclaims her cup despite her portion of the pain that remains.

All talk of the gala is, for the moment, forsaken for this new discovery. All attention keenly set on Emery, whether he likes it or not, even as she moves to pick the cup back up. "I promise to not try to add a new clause into your contract." Sipping, she closes her eyes and sighs. "And you let me know if you need help, hm? With the staying alive. The other bits. Anything else that comes along."

*

Emery retrieves his cup of tea, raising an eyebrow slightly and bowing his head as he raises the cup in a semi-toast. Mentally, counting backwards from 60 as he reacquaints himself with his own feelings and his own sensations. He's fresh off a 'feed' so to speak so his recovery period is faster as he evens out his breathing and takes a soft sip of tea.

Then he just admits softly. "I appreciate that Milady. As long as I can keep me daughter out the hands of people who would love to see if she's like me…and by the same token, keep meself out of the hands of others who'd like to figure out how someting like me works…" He exhales softly. "Its been a challenge. If it was just me I 'ad to worry about, I wouldn't stress out as much. But she's only 5 and I'll do everyting in me power to make sure she never has to go through what I did to become what someone else wants her to be."

*

"Is she?" Emma asks with her gaze considering the man beside her, although neither the question nor her expression are particularly demanding. "Like you, I mean. Or will you need to wait to know?" There's a comfortable ease with the subject, devoid of the awkwardness that someone else might perhaps feel for it. "And, if you'd rather not say, that's fine. The offer holds all the same, for whatever that's worth. I can appreciate the desire to want to set protective boundaries."

She's certainly erected one or two in her time. And she's seen what happens when they fail.

The blonde sniffs sharply, and then goes back to the matter of her fortified tea.

*

There is a pause as Emery shifts and scoots to rest his back against the couch, his bum planted comfortably on the floor and a knee bent so he can rest an arm against it. A rare moment of something akin to being relaxed. He gives another sip of his tea, considering how to answer that. "There's no real…way to know this young. She's got me blood in her veins, so. People who know I exist, or rumors of me existance…and know she exists…they want to find out." His jaw sets and he shrugs a shoulder and lowers his eyes.

He worries his bottom lip. "It would be easier I tink to say 'oh, lets go see if she's a mutant…lets get some medical testin' and shite'.' But…ah." A clearing of his throat. "I do hope none of this will be a problem, milady. Its never interfered wit' me work."

*

There's a chuckle that escapes from behind Emery as his employer finds herself amused. "I'm remarkably unconcerned on that front, Mister Papsworth. I mean, there are all sorts who prove themselves to be very adept at the working world despite our genetics." Setting her cup aside again, Emma settles more heavily against her couch's arm to watch the fire as it burns on and lifts fingers to play with one of the straight tres. "If the day comes that it does interfere, I very much doubt it will be chased by reprisal from me. We all do what we must."

*

The Butler falls silent after murmuring a soft 'Thank you Milady'. And he stays quiet as he finishes his cup of tea, in long thoughtful sips. Then, just like that the Irishman is pushing himself to his feet, and setting teh cup on the tray as he rolls his shoulders and chuckles softly. "Alright Milady, did ye need anyting else tonight? I know you've had a trying evening but I'm glad to see ye be alright."

*

"As am I!" Emma quips, though the shine of it is fatigue-worn. She doesn't rise, but she does continue to smile. "The only thing I need from you is the promise that you'll get a little rest yourself and that we've a perfectly lovely way to move forward from here."

She shrugs her shoulders. "Miss Beaumont seems to have been right yet again, and I think I've grown even more spoiled since you've come into my employ. I'd rather not see anything change that."

*

Emery gives a soft laugh, retrieving his empty tea mug but leaving the tray where it is with the tea fixings, just in case Emma needs a refill as he heads towards the kitchen. "Very well. I will get the schedule made up and send it over to the household staff to take care of things for a couple of days, then I'll be back in your hair, Milady. Perhaps I'll try some lady fingers or eclairs." He flashes a dimpled grin and bows his head.

*

The fact that they're both smiling after the events of the evening is probably a good thing. And she might need more tea, if the way to picks that lukewarm cup back up and begins finishing off the contents with more earnest. "That sounds divine. I hope the rest of your…" Emma's crystalline gaze slides to her clock, and then back again to the man before her, "…morning is far less eventful. Be safe, hm? And I will see you in a couple of days. Let Miss Beaumont know if you need anything between now and then."

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