Freeze Advisory

June 25, 2018:

Emma has to make some plans and arrangements with her Butler. Emery has something he has to say to his Employer. Did it get cold in here?

Emma's Home

It is where she lives.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Miss Beaumont has become very attached to Mister Papsworth. Not in the romantic sort of way, although someone who might see the text messages that every so often slip from her phone to his might think so. He has been everything that she hoped for and more when she finally set her foot down and insisted that her employer find someone to handle the personal side of her affairs.

It has made her life infinitely easier, knowing that - after 7pm - the only emergency that would find her phone is one that actually required her intervention. She actually went out on a date for the first time in five months last week, and she has not only credited Mister Papsworth with the miracle, but she also sent her boss's butler a note with a flowery embossed cover with just a very simple handwritten 'Thank you. - T' inside to commemorate it.

Things have gone smoothly, all considered, under Emery's perfect management.

But then a text message came from Tasha two days ago. A adopted code by which she can communicate Miss Frost's foul moods without suspicion. 'Weather alert.' The ice storm is coming.

Fortunately, it was Emery's day elsewhere from Emma's employ. He should be safe. There's every possibility and hope that he might not need to worry.

There's also every possibility that he might, particularly when the young woman gets it in her mind to call an afternoon tete-a-tete in order to discuss the upcoming specifics of her schedule and needs. It's the sort of storm that has always caused the staff to beg the butler to assure they're well clear of.

*

When you do not have to sleep..it is easier to manage two households, and raise a 5 year old. And its something that Mister Papsworth juggles with apparent ease, as most are not privy to how many cigarettes and bottles of beer he goes through in a day. He's always pleasant but firm with staff, sending lunches or baked goods during the hardest of times and as always, the hand written scoldings when dissapointed with something.

But when he gets that text message…he is elbow deep in hand washing some garments for his other client and because it isn't followed by repetitive texts or any exclamation points. He figures they can handle it. After all, there's a fail safe emergency plan involving the numbers to bakeries and chocolatetiers, the temperature bath water needs to be, and a pre-programmed Pandora Station.

But sometimes, the Weather Emergency Preparedness Plan just doesn't cut it, which is why Emery is here at this tete-a-tete, wearing a pair of almost painted on black jeans, dark blue doc martins, a black button down, dark blue vest and his hair has been toussled artfully, a hint of scruff along his jawline. He arrives carrying his doctor bag like briefcase and balancing a covered tuppaware tray on his other.

*

And Emma, meanwhile, is in a new 'shirt' that is little more than netting holding together crosshatches of white silk that don't even bother trying to cover up the white halter underneath. Her capri pants, definitely of the painted-on variety but in white, leave plenty of room between the cuff and ankle to draw attention to the stacked platform sandals she wears of the spartan variety. Her hair has been twisted up and stabbed mercilessly with a mother of pearl hair comb, and her talons painted silver. Her lips are painted silver, too, which probably only makes the venom that she is pouring out over the phone when Emery comes in seem all the more toxic.

"You seem to be missing that part where I don't care." she tells the person on the other line as stares out the doors onto her balcony. "Unless they are drowning in a pool of their own vomit and blood, I want them at that meeting. And even then, unless I am in peril, you tell those pathetic cretins that they may bring along a bucket. Do you understand me, you little to—"

A pause, and then her voice is a viper's hiss. "I will call you back. My two-thirty is here. In the meantime, be more convincing."

She pulls the phone away, presses the little red icon, and then moves towards the fireplace to set it down on the mantle. "Mister Papsworth. Right on time," she says, voice not yet warmed to room temperature. "I can always trust you for that. What a pity that isn't contagious."

*

The situational analysis that Emery does happens in a couple of seconds when he enters the abode. Its muscle memory really how smoothly he opens a closet door and sets his bag down in there, pushing it in using a foot and closing the door with a hip. The tray he is carrying gets carried into the kitchen and set down carefully. There's a slow and thoughtful once over given at the attire and his eyebrows raise a fraction.

But he's respectfully quiet as he begins taking the fixings out of the fridge and down from the cabinet of liqour. He's got out lavender and a glass containers of bottled Earl Grey. At the greeting he just offers a small smile, hint of dimples there as he tosses ingredients into his cocktail shaker. Ice, Lavender Sprigs, Earl Grey Tea, Honey Syrup, Ice. And he's shaking emphatically.

"Hello Milady…don't ye look breathtakingly and glacially stunning today." He finally speaks, turns up the lilt and keeps his tone soft. The concoction is poured out over a single round ice cube in an appropriate glass and he tucks a garnish of lavender in there. Then he's uncovering the tray to show the mini cheese-cake bites.

*

If anyone asked her about it, she'd deny she did it, but Emma snorts as she tries unsuccessfully to rein in her temper. It's a compliment she's paid, and they normally turn her mood.

Not today.

She takes a long deep breath, and then moves towards the couch, where she's piled a small number of papers. She pulls them up, rather than sitting down. He smiles at her, winsomely. She simply raises an eyebrow, and then begins sorting through the papers.

She spies the cheesecake. The tea. She wants it, but then it might challenge the foul mood she's spent the past seventy-two hours perfecting.

"Thank you," she says at last, although its tone leaves much to be desired. After another beat, she offers very little explanation, but explanation. She raises her eyebrows defiantly, as though expecting some challenge to her rationale: "I don't take 'no' well."

*

A few cheesecake bites are placed on a porcelain plate, and that is set on a silver tray. The Earl Grey Cocktail is set down there as well. He also puts a couple of white pills in a tiny glass on the tray. Emery moves towards where she is standing, holding the tray up at her side and bowing his head. "Well I'm sure with your charm, grace and…flawless curves, there are very few who would say no to you."

He nods towards the tray. "Come now milady, lets have a seat and take a bit of a break from verbally disemboweling the insignificant little worms that do not deserve to be trod upon by your lovely shoes."

*

"But I like disembowling them," she protests. From Emma's throat escapes a a tiny growl. It's not entirely true, that. But neither is inherently a lie. It hovers, half truth and half lie, in the grey.

Still, Emma's long and swaying stride - made longer by the towering heights of her shoes - carries her to the couch and the tray that awaits her there. She crosses her legs as she settles down upon it. "But, yes. You're right. Your time is much more valuable than sitting around listening about it." A pause, and then she remembers her manners. "Everything has been going to your satisfaction, I hope?"

*

Emery is moving smoothly beside Emma, bending over to set the tray down on the coffee table. "I'm sure ye do, but if ye don't pace yourself, it will soon grow boring and all pleasure will be lost." Straightening up he studies the woman quietly for a few moments before tsking. "Its never a waste of me time to listen to you speak. No worries, Milady, I'm here because I want to be." And to keep her staff from staging a walk out.

Then he continues smoothly. "Everything has been going as well as to be expected…I am assuming everything on/your/ end however has not been."

*

The staff would never… Okay, yes, they absolutely would stage a walk-out. Or charge a fortune.

The telepath doesn't immediately reach for anything upon the proverbial altar of gifts laid before her, her hands settling upon her knee as she considers her butler at length, her head tilting a scant degree to one side. He might feel her, now that he knows what she is, in the featherlight brushes against his surface thoughts. The odd sensation of not being quite alone, or of someone watching, maybe.

"Mm." It's all she offers at first, her lips pursing unhappily as she looks to a corner of the carpet, next. Then, a question as she looks back to him, only to then shrug a shoulder and lift her eyes briefly to the ceiling. "Your powers of observation do not fail you."

*

"I had a…family member who could do that." Emery replies softly after a moment, pausing for a moment in his fluffing of a couch cushion. A hand moves faintly to brush against his temple. His mind has that unconsious layer of protection, faintest hum of a mental shield that he probably isn't even aware of, but not to keep things out but to keep things in.

And he leans against a wall to regard the woman for a few moments, folding his arms over his chest and nodding. "That and me ridiculously healthy mane of hair are two of the tings I highlight in all me dating profiles, Milady." He replies with a hint of a smirk. "Do ye wish to speak on the matter?"

*

An eyebrow pricks upwards a margin as Emma realizes that he's talking about her probing, and her eyes come back to Emery with a look that could well be equal measures stony challenge and appraisal. She most certainly doesn't apologize for the invasion. "A brother, I think you said."

Uncrossing her legs, she then leans forward with her artful arrangement of limb and digit, reaching to take one of the small bites and maneuver it onto a plate. Then another.

"And no, I don't particularly. But there isn't much choice about it." Leaning back into her seat more fully with a fork in tow, she takes a bite and then pauses. Because food that good really does deserve the savoring. Her eyes close as she enjoys it, and then open again as she moves to salvage what power is left of her temper. "That was the board; I'm trying to make some… arrangements. I will likely be spending a little more time out of the city come the fall, and with you in particular, I would like to discuss expectations."

*

"Yeah. In a strange way. He had the strongest of gifts of the mind, the rest of us could only handle surface things. Detect lies and untruths but he…he was truely blessed." Emery finally replies after a moment, looking down at his feet and then back up with a nod."

Then the board and arrangements are mentioned and his eyebrow raises a fraction as he tilts his head to the side. "Of course Milady." Then he is retrieving a leather bound notebook from his bag in the closet and moving back to his position and he prepares to take notes.

*

The tidbit offered her about Emery's particular brand of soothsaying is filed away, but not immediately addressed. For a woman who spends so much of her time in the muddied waters of truths internal and external, it's worth Emma's noting. She must be certain that her dance is a little more precise. A little more considered.

She could press in, perhaps, to the realities of her employee's world and upbringing. But there are appearances to be kept. That careful cultivation of caring, but not appearing to care too much. Too much is weakness. An unacceptable softness that can be exploited.

The woman continues as though it were never said, save a lingering in her consideration before she recrosses her legs and balances the plate upon her knee after another tiny bite of the dessert. "In the current environment, I've agreed to take on teaching a few courses. Or…" Or a course. Or… something. She exhales, sharply, with a sudden show of frustration. "Anyway, it's a bit of a drive, and I haven't decided whether its best for me to stay closer to the campus while the academy is in session or to make the commute. If it's the former, I'll likely have a happier driver on my hands. But I'm not certain whether its the best course. In either case, I will be away from home a fair deal." A pause. "…More. A fair deal more."

*

This is part of the job. Allowing one's client to take the time they need to communicate their needs or changes to their schedules and etc. Emery just idly twirls a pen around a finger as he listens. The hint of frustration and such has Emery asking carefully after a long moment. "Is this the type of teachin' course that ye want to do? Or is this the type of teaching course that ye hav e to do?"

He quickly moves forward though, flipping his notebook open and idly scribbling something down as he waits for the other shoe to drop, eyebrow raising again as he nods slowly. "I see, Milady. And what arrangements are ye lookin' to make with me personally?"

*

Emma's mouth pulls in an uneven smirk at the question. "Oh, Mister Papsworth, I'll have you know that once upon a time - " which, given her age, is really not long ago at all " - I used to have an academy of my own in Massachusetts. All prestigious and private. Taught a small set of students, nestled safely away in the general student population. It's not that I don't like teaching. Quite the opposite. I do. It's just…" Her shoulders roll, however, with a sudden discomfort.

"It's complicated," she decides tersely, irritated with herself for being flustered in the first place. It was all fine and well and good until that stupid cow, Jean Grey and… "And we'll see how it goes."

And now she's on to the beverage that was poured, Emma collecting it and sipping from that. It gets less appreciation, still wrapped in the vexing thoughts that have seized her. Even as she tries to focus on the task at hand. "I need this place maintained regardless of what happens, so that I can change plans quickly and be here or not be here at my discretion without needing to communicate where I am, precisely. You can rotate out whatever you like, donate whatever isn't used to wherever you like. Mutant Town, battered women's shelters, food kitchens. Just be certain you expense everything and keep receipts for the accountant." A pause, and then the blonde tilts her head. "And if you know something that Miss Beaumont doesn't, you will need to keep that information to yourself."

*

"I can see ye as a teacher." Emery nods a bit, mentally pouring over various mental images that take him to a temporary happy place for a fleeting second as he coughs and nods, paying attention to the tone of her voice, and the quick switch to fluster and he gets that. History. He doesn't pry.

He just sucks his teeth and closes his note book slowly as he gets the jist of what's being asked. "Ye want things to rotate as if you are still here, keep the flow of expenses and such consistent and give left over and such to charitable causes." He then pauses and squints. "Are there tings I'm liable to learn that Miss Beaumont has no knowledge of?"

*

There's a barely perceptible lift of Emma's sculpted eyebrow as she feels Emery's mood change, but she doesn't say anything to it. On another day, she might be amused for it.

Not today.

But he dismisses it for himself, moving swiftly on. As Emery quickly seizes onto the point and without her needing to state it outright, Emma nods humorlessly. There's a stillness that takes the mind witch for a moment as she considers once more over a mulling sip of the concoction that he's made for her.

A very refreshing concoction. Ugh. They're not going to have these where she's planning to spend time. If only they knew what she was sacrificing…

"Yes, I suppose there are," she tells him quietly at last, lifting the cup anew to drink. "I'm going to be instructing at Charles Xavier's academy in Westchester should all go as planned. Obviously, there are somethings that I will not be adding to my CV."

*

Arms are folded again and his pen is tucked into a pocket as Emery processes what he is being told. He's quiet at first, nodding slowly before he moves towards the couch, perching on the edge of it at the other side of it to allow Emma her space. "Hm."

Then he falls quiet for a little longer and then clears his throat. "There's a storm comin'. I've felt it before. Its happened multiple times in me life time and despite my devilish good looks I've been here for a while. The universe and God are havin' another talk about equality and where exactly humanity in the continous path towards true elightenment. And this talk comes with lightening, thunder, blood and tears." He folds his hands over his notebook, idly tracing along the edge of the leather binding.

"Children need to be taught to survive and excel. The academy's lucky to get someone like you."

*

There might be a sudden chill in the air, or perhaps its just the waves of frigid demeanor that sheds from Emma as Emery picks his words. "If there's one thing I've learned in my very short time, Mister Papsworth," the woman tells him, "it's that you can't teach children how to survive. When the war comes, you can grow them up, you can do the fighting for them, or you can watch them die. And you get but a single choice." She drinks again, hard and deep, wishing for all the world that there was a little more substance to what's in her glass.

*

Emery takes a deep breath and lets his head fall forward for a bit before he holds up a one moment finger. He stands up and makes his way back to the kitchen and rummages through the liqour cabinet before finding the bottle of whiskey he is looking forward and grabbing two tumblers as he settles back down on the couch. Each glass if filled, generously before he pushes one towards Emma's side of the coffee table and then takes a swig from his own. He leaves the bottle within reach.

Its like the very first time they met, and Emery didn't mince words about what role he could fulfil and his relationship with both his clients. He exhales through his nose and nods slowly. "And that Milady? Is the first time that I've been in your employ and I've heard you say somethin' that pessimistically dumb. For fecks sake, you were once a child were you not? And are ye not alive? If ye go into this teachin' role with such a limited view of your options then you've doomed the future generation to repeat the same mistakes of your own." He thumbs the side of his nose and frowns ever so slightly. "You are goin' to have to fight for them. You are goin' to have to watch them die. You are goin' to watch them grow up…but you can also teach them that there is somethin' worth' fighting and dying and growing for, and that. That is how you learn to survive." His jaw sets. "Somtimes teh world, inspite of our teachings reaches out and plucks them far before their time. But that's not because of what you did or did not teach them. That's because there's chaos and evil in the world…so you prepare them." He takes another sip of his drink and shrugs. "And I, for what its worth, can think of no better teacher."

*

There's very few people in the world who would ever have the opportunity to complete verbalizing the thoughts that Emery is afforded the opportunity to complete. Emma certainly can't bring any to mind immediately in her current arctic rage. He treads on very dangerous ground; her pale and kohl-rimmed gaze looks like it could freeze and shatter her butler down to jagged, crystallized ankle bones were it just one drop more potent.

"I fail to see how your scenario is any different than mine," she challenges darkly in what is very nearly a growl, eyes narrowed into furious slits as the roughly reaches out with her spa-dulled talons to grab the bottle and pour generously into her own glass. "Your argument is built on semantics."

*

There's a shift in the air, and Emery feels it. Anticipates te chill in the air that cold enough to set fire to the ground he is treading upon. But the Irishman's jaw just sets again as he meets that gaze with a quirk of an eyebrow and a small tilt of his head. He meets it dead on for a moment, flicker of a glow in his own dark gaze as he focusses on the task at hand.

He exhales shakily and meets the verbal challenge with a smooth reply. "Nay. Me argument is built on life experience." He takes another sip of his drink. "I killed me first man when I was 16. After that, I experienced what it was like to be boiledin hot oil and skinned alive when I attempted to sleep afterwards. I was taught that there are absolutes in this world and we cannot live or exist beyond this set of universal laws and rules. And I lived me life fighting, fuc-rutting, and following orders. Servant of servants in many many ways. But then, me daughter was born and I swore that I would never raise her to live in absolutes and fear. Every person in this world who has had to survive the flames of destruction and prejudice have been able to because even if the don't know it, they were taught to survive. And ye cannae survive, without hope."

He takes a sip of his drink and sighs softly. "And I'm not arguin' with ye, Milady. You will go and do whatever it is ye see fit, and I will be here to keep your affairs in order…and I will never judge anyting you ever do or say. Even if it is dumb as shite, because I know that we all learn more about life the longer we are here. Even me."

*

"Do correct me if I'm wrong as you do seem so ready to do, Mister Papsworth, but I believe 'dumb as shite' is a judgment statement, hm?" She's only a few sips into the stronger mix of her drink, and already Emma is deciding that it's not helping. It's not slammed down, but the crystal glass marked with the smudges of silver lipstick is not set down with the blonde's usual silent grace, either.

It's somewhere in the middle, and then Emma is up onto her feet again so that she stretch those long legs of hers on a march to the mantle so she can look somewhere that isn't the direction of her presently-vexing butler. It's an exceedingly sore spot he's inadvertently tromped across, apparently. She isn't swift to be cajoled past it.

*

"Nah, I'm Irish Milady. That was far to mild to be a judgement statement." Emery replies readily enough before he is throwing back the rest of his drink and setting it down with a shrug of his shoulder. "But I'll give a choice. I can get to knees and kiss your feet and only tell ye tings that you want to hear. Be the docile help who fetches and obeys." He holds up one finger and then a second. "Or I can sit here and reiterate that I believe in ye because it seems that whatever you about to do has rattled and disturbed your calm. I don't know why, and I won't ask why, but it just feels like ye need atleast one person to have faith in you right now. So that's what I'm doin'."

*

The telepath twists her head and squint suspiciously in Emery's direction, and he'll probably feel her again as she wraps her awareness around his thoughts. Around, but she doesn't quite intrude.

"There are probably no small number of people who would chastise you for that foolish statement, Mister Papsworth." Her hand lifts to the mantle, a finger running along its finely carved edge pensively before she decides to twine her forearms over her belly as her eyes close and she lets her head fall back in exasperation. It hangs there for a long moment as she breathes deep. "But the spirit of it is kind," she finally acknowledges. It's a mostly foreign concept - kindness given with not ulterior motive (which one might contend is not really kindness at all) - and it's unsettling. "So, thank you. …I suppose."

*

And its surprisingly calm on the surface of his mind, his intentions and words are genuine, even though that calm surface is a smooth veneer over shadowy reality but Emery's a complicated being. He just bows his head respectfully at the squint.

Then in true Butler fashion he's on his feet quick as can be and heading towards the kitchen. "You are moooore than welcome, Milady. Now, before ye go. Are there any favorites you want me to have packed away for ye?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License