Consequential Tea Break

May 09, 2018:

After the events of 'The Idealist and the Free Press' and the consequent Daily Bugle article, Emma shows up at Emery's new place on his day off. They have to talk.

Emery's New Condo

Its a new condo.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Danny Rand

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Its one of those rare days off. Well, its a window on one of his rare days off. He'd usually be securing 24 hour bodyguarding/babysitting services for his spawn and knocking himself out but recent events have delayed him. They have moved from the Penthouse of the Hotel they were staying out to a new condo, in a pricier part of town, a simple 2 bedroom place that is pricey because of location and because its New York. And there are still boxes in the living room and such.

The butler saw that press conference. He did. And he say for a moment, holding his head in his hands and just laughing softly to himself…then when on about his business.

One Emery Papsworth is currently in the kitchen of his new place, carefully arranging freshly baked snickerdoodles in a basket, the condo smelling like sugar. He's shirtless, muscles and tattoos on display and his hair idly tucked back into a black beanie that matches his black sweats as he works silently on what will probably be a gift basket of some sort. Its that type of afternoon. On the kitchen island rests a bottle of something used usually to knock things like horses, maybe elephants out and a syringe along with the necessary alcohol wipes and such, but he's alone so why would he hide that stuff.

*

Probably because one receives a text message from one's employer demanding an ASAP face-to-face.

Emma Frost has never been one to bother Emery on his days off, save for the one time he tried to call in sick. The opposite is true, rather. That she has made it a priority to keep his scheduled days off a thing for him alone to command as he will, with no calls from Tasha or staffers or any other such thing. She often tells him to not come in if he needn't on the scheduled days to work, because she will be out of town or some other run of excuses.

But today? Today, she demands an hour of Papsworth's precious own time, and is already in the car. She's wrapped in a strapless white dress, with a wide belt and a bolero jacket with puffed sleeves as her accessories. Sleek blonde hair falls over her shoulders, and her face has been painted with all of the masterful application of cosmetics - rosy cheeks and crimson lips - one should come to expect from her. She just needs to know where to go.

And where he sends her, she will go. And she will knock politely after sending Alex on with the car, instructing him to stay with the car and not dare move unless the police threaten to arrest him.

*

It was that Text that further delayed his afternoon plans. In fact it makes him stare for a moment, think through all the worse case scenarios and turn to put the kettle on. The new address is provided and as he waits for the arrival he's tidying up as much as he can. Boxes are moved to expose the coffee table and love seat, done in dark colors with lean and classic design. A pot of tea with fixings are set on the coffee table, along with a small dish with some cookies arranged on it.

By the time Emma arrives at the door, he's got a t-shirt draped over his shoulder and is checking the cameras of his security system before opening the door. "Milady! What a pleasant surprise. Come in, come in…" He steps aside to usher her in with a quirk of an eyebrow. "Me apologies, we're still gettin' settled in."

*

Emma does offer a small smile as the door's opened, although it's painfully transparent and does nothing to soften the corners of her kohl-framed, crystalline eyes as she pulls off the enormous sunglasses that were obscuring them. "Mister Papsworth. I am the one who must apologize for the intrusion." Her gaze is cast about for a brief moment, but then resettles heavily upon him. "I wouldn't be here if it were not important."

Pulling her tiny purse's strap off of her shoulder, she wraps its gold chain about her hand as she loops it up and pulls it in front of her. The smile is gone by the time she looks up from her small bit of handiwork. "Thank you for accommodating my schedule. In the last few days, I've found my calendar a little fuller than Miss Beaumont knows." All titles and primness, cold and unsettlingly even tone. The blonde is not having a good day. "I take it that we will not be interrupted?" Not that she isn't verifying it for herself, already pinging the condo for other sentient, waking brains. Nothing intrusive, yet, but certainly surveying the lay of the psychic landscape.

*

"No need to apologize, ye wouldn't have texted if it wasn't important." Emery agrees easily enough, turning so he can slip his white t-shirt up and over his head, smoothing it down and typing in the security code to keep the door locked after Emma enters. He gestures towards the living room area with a sweep of his arm.

The Irishman is indeed alone as he glances around and looks back to Emma. "Just me…I dun usually 'ave me daughter around if I can help it when I sleep. Have a seat, I've got tea out unless ye need someting stronger?"

*

The tattoos disappear beneath the white shirt, but Emma plays it off for all the world as though it were only that shirt's movement that draws her gaze to the artful lines of ink and muscle. She looks down a moment later, only bringing her eyes back up to watch her path as she moves forward. He's her employee, after all, and she's never been one to gawk anyway.

She moves into the living room with her elongated stride, stilettos unapologetic in their fall. And then the blonde settles on whichever seat looks softest. "Good," she says of the daughter's absence, and of the confirmation from her own surveillance. Her eyes turn upwards, and her lower lids lift just a tiny degree in assessment. It's a fleeting assessment as she offers another insincere smile. "Tea would be lovely, thank you. If we need to escalate, I'll keep the option in mind."

*

There is a hint of a knowing smirk as Emery rolls his shoulders and just gives a small nod to Emma as they move on. Once she's settled, he kneels down by the coffee table to start fixing Emma a cup of tea, hands going through the familiar motions. He's quiet though, waiting for a moment before he asks carefully. "Right then. Why'd you come all the way out here to see me with such urgency? Is everyting okay?"

*

"No, Mister Papsworth. It is not." Crossing her legs, the woman drapes one arm over her lap and the other over the arm of her chosen perch. Her frown becomes more apparent, and her head tilts a few degrees to the side as she watches him still with an intensity that might be unsettling - seeming to both see and see through simultaneously - as she waits for a simple, exquisite cup of tea to be delivered over to her. "So let me ask you a question. Do you know what I am?"

*

The tea is handed over and the plate of cookies are pushed a bit closer to her reach before he settles down on the couch beside her, stretching his arm along the back of the love seat comfortably, sipping from his own cup of tea. Emery just squints a bit before tilting his head to the side at the question.

The Irishman just takes a deep breath and looks thoughtful before offering softly. "I know ye are a beautiful, talented, and powerful woman. I know you are a bit tetchy when ye first wake up. I know ye are a perfectionist. I know you are who ye are." He blinks slowly. "I've never really put much merit in /what/ a person is because all the best bits make up /who/ a person is. We can't control what we are born with after all…"

*

"A good answer for a man who wants to stay employed, and who has his own secrets. And that's all fine and well and good, but I am also a mutant. A telepath, actually. Hated even among much of mutantkind for what I am and what I can do." She sips lightly, appreciatively, of the tea. And then she sets it down on the table's edge so she can get into her tiny purse and extract a torn out paper clipping. "So imagine how I felt when the impertinent pup you asked me to consider helping - still soaked behind the ears - ended up in the Bugle this morning with this garbage." The clipping is handed over still folded. "And then I will give you the opportunity to offer one good reason for me to not tear his mind apart and leave him gibbering like an infant and every bit as incontinent."

*

Emery hmms softly. "I had a brother that was a telepath." That's all Em says about that. He sets his tea aside so he can reach for the clipping, pressing his lips together as he opens it and scans it for a moment and then sets it on the coffee table with a shrug of his shoulder. "Let me tell ye a story, Milady. About 106 or 107 years ago, I was born. I wasn't the only one. We didn't have a special mutant gene, we were bred to be tools." He starts out carefully. "Today, I'm the only person left and every day I bounce between takin' care of ye and takin' care of Master Danny not because I have to work and serve, but because I choose to. My life was a series of choices shaped by the tings I could not choose for meself. Every week, I have to move me daughter and fight off kidnappers who want both her and I because of the mystery in me DNA."

He pinches tbe bridge of his nose. "I've lived through prejudices caused by religion, race, sexuality and idealogies in all sorts of cultures and it is during these times that people have to make choices on where they stand." There is a pause. "Master Danny, is young. He's been through trauma and he's swimmin' in an ocean filled with sharks and whales and jelly fish and all he knows is he has a platform to make a difference. He made a choice, and he may have accidentally fucked it up…but would ye rather him turtle and cower like a nutless dog when things get bad, or be daring enough to raise his head and bark back against the threat of persecution?" He gestures vaguely. "He will 'ave to live with concequences that may be far worse than ye turnin' him ino a vegetable. Because people he cares about are gonna get hurt. But he made his choice. Allow him the dignity of that at least…"

*

Been through a trauma? The telepath just lifts an eyebrow at the defense, paired with an expression that serves as an unspoken '…and?'

But Emery does go on. "Except that he can keep talking while he watches other suffer (loved or otherwise), while I am meanwhile denied no small amount of catharsis." Emma's cheeks gain some natural color for the rise in her temper. "So, yes, actually! I would rather him not speak where he is clearly unprepared to speak. 'Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is considered wise.'" The blonde picks up her cup and hovers it near her lips.

"I am young," she continues darkly. "He is an idiot."

And then she sips.

*

Emery mmhms softly as he listens and just regards Emma quietly through lowered lashes before rubing a hand over his face and nodding slowly. "I see." Then he falls quiet to let her continue and he retrieves his cup of tea so he can take a sip of tea. "Do you plan on physically harming Master Danny?" He finally asks carefully. "Punishing him for his unintentional slight against ye?"

*

"And we are so certain that his statement was a slight unintentional, are we?" Emma asks right back, sculpted eyebrows lifted high in open skepticism, without answering Emery's question. "This is not a sitcom, Mister Papsworth. You understand that to say this has weighty consequences is an exercise in understatement beyond any possible comedic value."

*

"Aye, I am absolutely certain that his statement was not meant to be malicious or harmful." Emery replies smoothly. "And I am well aware that this is no small matter. Even if someone has the best of intentions, it can lead to the worse outcomes possible but it doesn't mean their heart wasn't in the right place." Another calm sip of tea. "Master Danny…is an optimist. He is not out to get mutants, he is out to try to help 'em and he didn't realize that by doin so…he's painted at target on his own back, the mutants backs, and every person affiliated with Rand, the company. It'll be a hard lesson." His lips twist wryly. "Again, do ye plan on takin' out your frustration and range about this out mentally or physically on Master Danny?" He asks again softly.

*

Emma sets her lips into a fine line, her eyes narrowing a new as she finds the question about her planning resettled firmly at her feet. Then her nose wrinkles as her lips twist into an unhappy, sneer-like arrangement as she delivers her monosyllabic verdict, thick and resistant, based solely on that one reason that she asked of Emery: "No."

*

Emery stares at Emma, searchingly and then nods slowly. "Ah, for the best then. I'd hate to have to turn in me notice to avoid conflict of interest. Nobody appreciates me croissants quite like you do milady." He winks and then takes a deep breath, shaking his head slowly. "It's cyclical ye know. They always have to find a reason to bring hate into the political agendas…it always starts with a whisper, leads to a bang, then ends with a whimper that fades away and allows people to forget how they got there in the first place…"

The Irishman takes another sip of his tea then shifts slightly on the couch to regard Emma quietly. "How are you doing milady?"

*

As another question is rolled out, Emma draconic gaze slides to some point off to the side and her chin tilts upwards a barely perceptible degree. "Mm. You're not on the clock, Mister Papsworth. You can ask tomorrow when you're compensated. I'll be alright."

The uneasiness of her sleep - or the lack of sleep at all - has made her headaches more common, more troublesome. Bad dreams or no dreams. She self-medicates with indulgences as a result. It all takes its toll, and the fact that she just outed herself when she didn't have the resolve to follow-through is viewed as yet another failure for the books. Nothing to show for her time but a chink in the proverbial armor - a vulnerable spot for someone new to send a spear through.

Her eyes drop to her tea cup. It's a delicious brewing, delicate and fragrant, that she's suddenly lost the ability to drink. She contents herself to the inhaling of its aroma from its place on her lap, warming her otherwise cool hands. "And if you decide to resign in the morning after all, that's alright, too. If the axe falls, I won't blame you for steering well clear." A chuckle follows, hollow, as her eyes lift and she amends, "Not much, anyway. Only a little."

*

"I can take my shirt off again if it'll help Milady." Emery drawls softly, eyebrows raising a fraction. "Because I'm not askin' as ye Butler, I'm askin' as someone who cares about ye." He pauses before offering a hand with a soft tsking and shake of his head.

"Give me your hand?" Comes the soft request as he studies the woman beside him thoughtfully. "Shh, I'm not goin' anywhere. Until ye revoke me access to your home or turn me out on me arse. Did I not promise when ye hired me, that I'd deliver to ye a bloody good game and a diamond in the rough? I tink now…he's just a wee pawn to ye, moved to take a bishop and puttin' himself in the way of a brick wall of a castle." He speaks softly, letting his lilt spill over into his vocal choices.

*

There's a look to the hand, and then Emma frowns. Frowns, but softens with her tone. "It's your day off." But she does laugh after a moment taken to cement her resistance, shaking her head. "And you know I can't let you take the shirt off. It's probably a trap. 'Here, look at my amazing century-refined abs.' And then I'll look, only to find some obscure butlers' guild politely delivering some sort of hefty fine."

Her mouth quirks at its corner. "I see right through you."

*

Hand is withdrawn as Emery laughs, head falling back as he rolls his eyes and tsks softly. "Ahh, right, I forgot about the oggle fine. Its a pain in me arse. Its why I have to wait until ye leave to just clean up your living quarters wearing only an apron and a feather duster." He teases softly and smirking before just giving Emma a tiny chin-up. "Hey, Milady?" He makes sure he has her attention. "There's a storm comin', aye. But remember, I have two hands so I can hold two umbrellas and I don't ever take on a client, that I don't want to take on. Okay?"

*

His laughter coaxes a reluctantly larger smile out of Emma, only for serious talk to dash it again. The cup in her lap, half drunk, is abandoned to the edge of the coffee table once more. "I've been holding my own for longer than I haven't. If it comes down to a choice, don't dither about it. Don't worry about it. I appreciate your support, but we all do what we must to survive. Even when certain diamonds in the rough go about making that survival harder."

Pushing herself to her feet, the woman smooths down her dress to make sure all is in order. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I must hurry home to check my security footage from last cleaning day, apparently."

*

Emery rises to his feet when Emma does as he takes a deep breath, smiling and his dimples peek out for a moment as he nods slowly and sighs. "Just because ye have and ye can do something…doesn't mean you always have to go it alone, Milady." He moves to follow after Emma thoughtfully, preparing to open the door and such for her. "Its usually Tuesdays." He may or may not be joking. Maybe.

*

"Tuesday, hm? I think I still have Tuesday's." She's joking about checking. Probably. Emma definitely does pause at the door, turning to face Emery fully. She opens her mouth to say something more, but the thought dies in her throat. In the wake of that, her lips close once more and she hums through a smile of Mona Lisa's ilk. "I'll see you on your next scheduled day, Mister Papsworth. And, again, I apologize for the intrusion, but thank you for scratching one of my errands off of the to-do list. It's a very full day, you see."

*

There's a slight lift of an eyebrow at the pause but Emery just gives a small nod. "Of course Milady, have a good day and stay safe." He does offer a coy smile, waiting for the woman to start out the door and then he's tugging his shirt back over his head waving it over his head before flashing a grin and closing the door.

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