A Bacchanal for Unpleasantness
Roleplaying Log: A Bacchanal for Unpleasantness
IC Details

Kate Kane meets Emma Frost over an obligatory appearance at the Hellfire Club on behalf of her family. Bonding over homes and Kite Men ensues.

Other Characters Referenced: Bruce Wayne
IC Date: March 29, 2019
IC Location: Hellfire Club, New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 30 Mar 2019 18:30
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's the glorious first night of spring, after a long winter. After a bit of "recent unpleasantness" among the citizens of New York, surrounding that troublesome registration law. And how does the Hellfire Club of New York decide to deal with all of it?

With a proper bacchanal, that's how.

….Which is really just a very, very fancy word for what really boils down to an upscale toga party with wine and rich people, rather than beer and frat boys.

Management hired a harpist for the ballroom this evening, rather than a quartet. The typically hyper masculine decor has been modified to incorporate ivy and grapevines dripping from here and there, as well as numerous bouquets of fresh spring flowers. There are passed hors d'oeuvres served by women dressed as wood nymphs and a not insignificant part of the membership has dressed up to play along. It makes for a rather surreal environment, especially once you start throwing in the occasional cloud of pipe and cigar smoke.

It used to be, Katherine Rebecca Kane was a much more common sight at things that are really just very, very fancy words for what boils down to upscale drunken revelry. The Kanes are a family with a long and storied history — and being a family with a long and storied history, and money, in the tri-city area inevitably means some variety of lasting membership to the Hellfire Club.

It was a membership Kate abused infrequently when she wanted to inject a higher quality method of making poor life decisions to her usual repertoire of dive bars and questionable substances. Now…

… now, well, it serves as a convenient excuse to be in New York, on those occasions where her particular brand of work takes her that way.

And so it is with the "recent unpleasantness" in New York that the redheaded heiress of the Kane Family makes another appearance on behalf of her family at one the Hellfire Club's dressed up toga party, sans-toga. A sleek tuxedo affair is her answer to the fine costumes of the day; the laurels she wears on her short red mop of hair that she may or may not have plucked up along the way her idea of a compromise as she leans herself back against the southernmost wall of the party hall and watches nymphs and pseudo-Romans flit about, plucking up a glass of wine as one of said wood nymphs pass by with a glib "ave" as she goes.

She'll pay her dues, say the right things to the right people, then get to work. These days, she doesn't like staying at these places longer than she has to.

Good wine, though. … don't judge. She's only human.

Emma Frost is a more regular staple here, certainly, although she has gone a little further down the route of compromise. For her, it's her choice of dress — an accordion-pleated crepe dress in white. It's strapless with a low back, the front of the bodice draped from a gold band about her throat and her hair pulled up in some curled updo that seems passably "classical".

And she is deeply into the cups by the time she crosses paths with Kate near one of the silver trays so expertly held up by a willowy brunette who knows how to make posing an art. With a graceful movement that speaks not only of her drinking, but her deep familiarity with moving when she's been drinking, Emma sets down her cup on the tray and moves to take another glass of the red wine she finds there. She hopes against hope it's the cabernet and not the merlot that she finds just a little too dry to suit her.

The young woman sips, verifies that it will do the job for now, and then turns to take in those around here. Eventually, that means that her pale, kohl-framed eyes settle on one tuxedoed Kane, and her iced-rose colored lips turn a polite upwards curve.

One hand slipped into her pocket, the other pinching the delicate stem of her wine glass between middle, forefinger and thumb, Kate Kane offers a few passing smiles and nods to the faces that pass her by — a few she knows, a few she's supposed to know, and many more she knows by reputation — only a few of them of the good variety. A few off-handed words are offered here and there — despite her background with the military, this is a particular song and dance she knows by heart. One doesn't grow up with old money without perfecting the rote of its niceties, even by sheer osmosis.

It doesn't stop the redhead, however, from pausing as she feels the weight of another stare turn on her from the peripheries of her vision. Green eyes meet blue for a brief moment; red brows scoot upward scarcely a fraction of an inch. And Emma's polite smile finds itself a darker-hued companion in the upwards tick of Kate's burgundy lips. They part. And,

"For some reason, I keep expecting someone here to be playing a fiddle."

… is her first greeting for Emma, the glib quality of her words accompanied by the warmth of an easy sort of confidence in her voice.

"Well," Emma says, her exquisitely sculpted eyebrows arching with amusement, "We would certainly have more than enough men ready and willing for the part. But who should play the part of Rome?"

There's a feigning of deep consideration, and then the blonde smirks wickedly. "I suppose I have a long enough list of candidates I could provide." A bare shoulder shrugs after that, the gold cuff on her upper arm catching the light just so. "It never hurts to be prepared for any occasion."

She glides across the distance between them, closing it as the heels of gladiator sandals clicking lightly against the expensive floor. "Unless, of course, you'd rather offer up your own list of enemies to burn. I can be patient a while longer yet."

"Oh, I see you've given this some thought, huh?"

The words come hot on the heels of Emma's observations and her smooth approach; turning, Kate slips her free hand out of the pocket of those tailored slacks, lifting her terribly pale hand in the air to gesture towards some unseen point with the swivel of her wrist.

"Well, I'm from Gotham," she begins again, and — after a pause that only a true expert in dramatic timing could achieve — concludes with a wry,

"… so if I started trying to list them all, we might waste away the rest of the night."

Pearly white teeth flash in a grin not seconds later; and without so much as missing a beat, Kate offers to the approaching woman, "Besides, you've obviously given this a lot more consideration than I have, so I'll defer to your expertise."

Her glass of red lifts in mild greeting, contents sloshing gently in the clear crystal of the glass. "Kate Kane."

Gotham? The named locale earns the start of a raised eyebrow, but then Kate is so quick to offer that little bit of humor to acknowledge and diffuse in the way of a native that is likely very accustomed to acknowledging and diffusing.

The well-practiced redirection does its job, setting Emma instead to a soft chuckle. And then a new task. Because this is her home turf, and she has her own set of expectations to uphold…

It's a quiet thing, the way she stretches out her consciousness to reach between them. To brush against Kate's surface thoughts to see what there is to glean there.

Outwardly, all Emma does is sip and ah, quietly. Gotham's Kane family, after all, is at least familiar. "Emma Frost," she offers in kind, the glass in her own hand lifting in reciprocation. And then, there's the matter of polite small talk to handle as a plate of fruit and camembert passes by on another carried tray. "What brings you to New York?"

"Well then," Kate brings that glass to her lips, green eyes dancing with amusement. She knows the name of Frost; anyone in these circles would. And so she offers simply, casually,

"Hail, Ms. Frost."

As is in keeping with the theme of the night.

The surface thoughts of one Katherine Rebecca Kane are a simple enough thing to sneak a peek upon; thoughts grace thoughts, and within them, in no particular order, Emma can find the following:

- Kate is a fan of cabernet
- This is not her first drink and will probably not be her last
- Something about her father, though it's not especially clear what
- A stray, flitting thought about wondering where someone named 'Karen' has been


- Strong appreciation for Emma's sense of fashion

Kate knows her priorities.

Those thoughts are crisp and orderly, far from one might expect from the way Kate comports herself; it's a bit closer in line to a soldier's thought process, all told, with just a dash of a socialite's for spice. For those who know the Kane's military history, it might not be that surprising, but — she certainly doesn't look the part, at least.

"Family business." The redhead's voice cuts through the haze of surface thoughts, friendly and relaxed and punctuated by another sip of wine. Again: fan of the cabernet. "And by 'family business' I mean, 'my step-mother likes to try to meddle.' There's a couple charity functions she wants me to be making an appearance in her stead, because she's convinced the next gossip headline about me might be a positive one if I just keep at it." She pauses in this explanation so that she may aside, with all grim gravity,

"The track record so far leaves a lot to be desired."

Shoulders roll in a hapless kind of shrug not seconds later. Her smile is a mild one, pressed easily to the corners dark lips.

"It's not so bad," she admits, as she peruses the passing plate. "More stimulating conversation partners. Less being mugged by Kite Man. All in all, it's been a refreshing change of pace."

First, a few items of note. One: Emma is also a fan of cabernet. Two: Emma is also far past the first drink of the evening. Three: Emma appreciates when someone appreciates her sense of fashion, as she does put a great amount of effort into the curating of her wardrobe. As such, Kate is immediately deemed to have superior taste. Kate could likely this a victory, except that Kate is blissfully unaware that she's being spied upon.

Emma has no intention of enlightening her to the contrary.

Rather, the blonde continues to sip her wine as she disengages from her snooping, content enough that there likely isn't anything worth the diving and risking of the lovely warm glow that she's been nudging along since the party started.

As the other woman speaks on the horrors of family, Emma makes a sympathetic grimace that speaks to a deep sympathy on the point. She'd say something to it, except that more comes after it. And the more sees one eyebrow prick upwards. "Kite Man?"

Sufficed to say: Frost really hasn't made the trip to Gotham much.

Sympathy. It's a look that tells so much despite really saying so little. A look, and in Emma Frost, Kate Kane finds a kindred spirit. Maybe the stripes of it are different.

But that's not the kind of look shared by anyone but a person who understands the rigors of family.

She might have commentary on it all her own — really, she probably does. But the conversation flows with only a passing look of appreciation offered. Common ground, of a sort. Maybe later. For now —

Kite Man?

"Kite Man."

— there's more important things to be talking about.

One of Emma's brows rise. It's matched by a mirrored turn by one of Kate's. "You've never heard of Kite Man?" Skilled as she is, she feigns passably convincing shock at Emma's disbelief, a hand resting on her chest. "Goodness, Ms. Frost."

It doesn't last; a grin cracks her lips not seconds later before Kate drains the rest of her drink, letting that hand rest comfortably at her side as she speaks. "Kite Man, aka Charles Brown. Charles Brown. As in Charlie. He commits crime with gimmicked kites, and, I quote, 'overwhelm his foes with a barrage of kites.'" A second passes. She lets that sink in. "A barrage. Of kites." Lets the sheer gravity of the tone play at odds with the twinkle in her green eyes.

"All he ever says is 'Kite Man!' and 'Hell yeah!'. He's a mystery. He's kinda like the tourist trap of supervillains." Her head cants in Emma's direction, the gilded laurels on her short red hair sagging just slightly towards her right with the effort. "Not much of a frequent visitor to our fine city, huh?"

"Not so much, no," comes the slow reply, an uncharacteristic drawl, from Emma's lips. Those lips then purse up, not immediately sure what to say on the subject of Kite Man and his presence in the Gotham gallery of W.T.F. personalities. Granted, there's not a whole lot of room for her to climb up too high on her proverbial horse.

She's certainly run into her fair share of personalities that were not - in her estimation - nearly up to snuff. But they haven't thrown kites at her, so one might suppose that it's a little alright to judge.

"I hardly know how I can say that I've ever truly ever lived, not having experienced that for myself." The sarcasm drips from her words, thick as honey.

"It's okay," assures Kate Kane, treated to the expected reaction to the revelation that is Kite Man — the man, the myth, the legend. It's expected.

"I'll try my best not to hold it against you."

But no less a treat, really.

Pale hand finding itself back in the comforts of its home in Kate's pocket, the redheaded socialite (layabout) leans herself back into the nearby wall, shoulder blades bumping up against stone. "You know," she asides, looking pensively at her empty glass. "I've lived all over the world, and in a lot of options objectively better than Gotham, but I always end up back there. I guess we don't get to choose where 'home' is, huh?" Her expression is one of subtly sardonic amusement when that green gaze finds Emma next —

But then her conversation partner adds her next thought to said conversation. Kate's brows heft upward in unison at the molasses-thick drip of sarcasm that rolls off the tip of Emma's tongue next. Dark lips purse together —

— and then the Kane heiress just laughs. Rich and rueful and — at least by sound — genuine, she shakes her head, crossing her arm over her midsection to let that empty glass rest its base against her side.

"Well, Ms. Emma Frost," she begins as the laughter dies, her tone quite cordial. "If you ever decide you need a break from the devolving drama that is New York City and decide that Gotham is somehow a more preferable place to get away in, look me up. I'll show you all the best spots to pretend that Gotham is a decent place to visit in."

She looks around, nods her head once in a small gesture.

"From what I hear from the news, it might be a good time to get away for a bit, anyway."

And yet, here she is.

"Perhaps," Emma allows as the harpist takes a break and leaves the surrounding rooms feeling the loss of it, her glacial gaze striking just a little sharper than before. "But I dare say that, while you may not ever get to choose what 'home' is, you can certainly put a few hundred miles between you and there and keep it there as often as humanly possible."

There's a pause, and then the blonde clarifies: "Boston, in this particular reference."

Her next sip sees the wine glass again emptied; it empties a little faster than she'd intended it to do so. She lifts her hand to rest the empty glass against her clavicle, the other arm wrapping about her waist. "Well, Ms. Kane. Should I ever find myself in Gotham, I may very well call. It seems like the sort of place best toured with a guide."

Music leaves the room, bleeding out with the last plucks of the harp, and it's remarkable what that does to change the perspective of the party simply by the lack of it. The drunken revelry looks a little more abashed; Emma's gaze, a little sharper. And Kate…

"Hah. Glad to see one of us has even a shred of common sense, I guess."

… well, if nothing else, Kate remains a bastion of consistency.

"Or maybe I'm just bad at cutting my losses."

Observant eyes fall away from Emma in the seconds after she finishes off that wine in a reasonable record time for the evening. A hapless look, an equally hapless shrug; Kate tilts her wine glass and considers its emptied contents musingly. Eventually, the redhead pushes herself back up off that wall.

"Wise choice. I come highly recommended," she assures, as to her qualifications as a tour guide of Gotham. "My prices might be a little steep, but you know — you can't put a cost on quality. Without the right tour guide, you might run into some really awful ne'er-do-well like Kite Man."

She leans in, just a bit, as if confiding in Emma a secret:

"And even worse, you might run into Bruce Wayne."

She's allowed to badmouth Bruce. It's the right of cousins.

With that, she leans back again, her smile one of an easy kind of confidence as continues on. "For now, though, I don't think I'm quite ready to be properly presentable for my business affairs, so I'm going to see what I can do about fixing that problem first." She lifts her glass and wiggles it demonstrably at the stem.

"Care to join me?"

The smile that turns Emma's lips — dark as the wine she's been drinking — is a different kind altogether as Kate decides to turn on one of their lofty own. It looks nearly genuine, and it finds a laugh matched to it that is the inoffensive sort that they teach in fancy finishing schools. Melodic and restrained. But just because it's quiet, doesn't mean that the telepath doesn't mean it.

"Perish the thought," she says on the matter of Bruce Wayne, before moving on to the more important matter: a refill.

Just one more glass. It shouldn't be an issue.

Except that the woman seems to catch sight of something across the room, and her entire demeanor immediately changes to something a little more sober despite her hard-earned party buzz. "I wish I could," she says, and there does seem to be a note beyond the required show of disappointment. "But I think there's someone else looking to have a word. Not the patient sort, I'm afraid." She smiles apologetically. "I'm terribly sorry. But perhaps we'll see each other again at another soiree." Her hands spread a little, indicating the room at large. "Never a shortage of reasons for them."

Laughter. It's short but sweet before it leads to a more sober stare; Kate's green gaze flickers out a blink of a response, casting a curious glance in the vague direction that Emma looks in before turning a more sympathetic look the blonde's way.

"One of those, huh?" commiserates the redhead. She considers a moment, before tipping the rim of her empty glass Emma's way in mild gesture.

"This was fun. But I'm sure some disaster or another will have us crossing paths again at their appropriate parties soon enough," agrees the Kane heiress, glib to the last. "At that point, it'll have to be fate. Or maybe just a sign that we go to too many parties."

Her glass raises. An empty cheers.

"In the meantime, I'll just have to drink in your honor."

A grin to go with that promise. And with the careful adjustment of her Laurels of Revelry, Kate pivots on her heel towards the drinks, casting a smile and wave over her shoulder as she goes.

"See you at the next soiree, then."

One of those? Kate asks, and Emma's tried expression - however wordlesss - confirms he is.

"No such thing as too many parties," Emma replies once the Gothamite has said her piece, in a common retort to such sentiments in these circles. A drink in her honor? "Please do."

But then Frost watches Kate make her retreat, laurels and all. The mind witch holds her ground with all of the stillness that might — to the right person with the right substances in their system — make her look like one of the decorative statues. She watches, and considers.

She smiles her polite affirmation, for the next soiree will surely come eventually, and then turns to make her departure by way of another vector.

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