In Kind
Roleplaying Log: In Kind
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Warren catches up with Betsy after she gives him a hand with his jail situation.

Other Characters Referenced: Alison Blaire, Rachel Summers, Matt Murdock, Lorna Dane
IC Date: April 11, 2019
IC Location: New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 12 Apr 2019 18:03
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It has been a very eventful week and a half, to put it lightly, but ultimately Warren and Alison were both summarily ejected from prison in a very timely fashion. Alison got out by virtue of her tyrannical father's influence, and Warren because a number of people pitched in for his (ridiculously high) bail quite literally while his back was turned. One of those people he's met with already; the other, Betsy Braddock, he has extended an invitation to meet today for the purpose of acknowledging her intervention on the matter.

'It's finally warm enough. Meet me at The Roof. I shall not let 'being paid for' go unanswered in kind,' read the message sent to her. His dry humor is audible even in the text.

The Roof is, as its name suggests, a rooftop lounge topping the five-star Viceroy Hotel, with beautiful 29th-floor views of nearby Central Park. Likely 'Lady Elizabeth Braddock' would have no issues getting in, even without Warren Worthington having left instructions for her to be shown up immediately on arrival: with those instructions, she's whisked upstairs with impressive unctuousness. Usually at this time of evening — a sedate 6 PM — it would already be buzzing with well-dressed people with more money than sense, but today as she arrives she will find it empty except for just one well-dressed person with more money than sense. Warren has reserved the space for the hour. He never was good at sharing.

Warren is waiting on the outdoor terrace of the space, leaned back in his seat with his wings draped comfortably over the sofa's low back. He must have come from a prior meeting, as he's dressed in a charcoal two-piece with a dark red tie and ivory shirt. By now, though, he's in his shirtsleeves, and his jacket — with its characteristic wing-slits — has been tossed carelessly over the back of the sofa. He appears to have been passing the time by entertaining himself with the hostess; she is standing by the arm of the sofa, looking a little poleaxed as he idly works his charms, though it's clear to the practiced eye that his actual interest in her does not rise beyond the level of 'plaything.'


She had been toying with the idea of sending back either a teasing reply of the 'you can work it off' variety, or explaining that it just makes good sense to let one of the pretty, premier faces of the fight be able to be seen, and not withering and going without sun in a cell. But in the end, Betsy does her best imitation of being the Lady her title suggests, and arrives.

The dress is halter style, in smoke and rose, purple curls gathered over one shoulder. The accessories are top shelf but tasteful and subtle, and the makeup is as it should be - undetectable in presenting a flawless face. She looks like she could have stepped out of a society article's picture, or off the inside of a magazine. The grin she gives at seeing Warren bedazzle some poor girl, however, is one only those she is comfortable with ever see.

"You requested my presence, Mister Worthington?" She will interrupt with that crisp, upper class British accent, one eyebrow ever so slightly hoisted above the level of the other.


The first indication Warren is aware of Betsy's arrival is a slight lift of his feathers, a ruffling of his wings that precedes the slight turn of his head. He takes her in in a glance, though beyond her impeccable attire and immaculate presentation — a necessary armor for any appearance in public — he's looking for the particular tone of her expression and the cast of her grin. What he sees relaxes his wings.

"And here she is," he says, before glancing back to the hostess trapped unhappily(?) at his elbow. "Give us the space, darling. No one comes up for — how long do I have this place? An hour. No, we don't need a bartender, before you ask. I have poured more than enough alcohol with my own hands in my time."

After the hostess's departure, Warren relaxes further, obviously relieved by the privacy. "I did, Lady Braddock," he returns with a similar level of mock formality, rising as she steps nearer. Just good manners. "I'm extremely unused to people paying my way in anything, and I'll have my revenge. Even if only to buy you a drink and an hour's peace in retaliation — and to ask how you are." He crosses to the bar. "Things have been heating up out there. Rachel was deported."


She will move, heels nigh silent as she gracefully strides to offer the society chic air kiss near his cheek. She will offer a blinding smile to the young woman making her exit. "That poor thing. You've right turned her head. She'll never meet another man to look at so adoringly as our own bewinged Adonis." She keeps the words low, but there's teasing in them, the light of amusement in her eyes.

"Well, I have enough peace and solitude at my townhouse in Manhattan, darling. But I will never turn down a drink made for me by one of the most famous mutant business men alive." She will move to slide with a model's slink to sit. "I've already got people in Britain looking to try and protect her. I've also got that hot shot barrister you're so fond of keeping tabs on possible loop holes." She will lift her chin. "I've been slipping him money on the sly. I know the lady he represents is not well to do, and well, she's perfect for a lawsuit like this. Sweet woman, middle aged, mother, teacher.. I mean.. try this in the court of public opinion and I think even mutant haters may waver some." Her small rose hued clutch will find a table surface to reside upon. "But I know she's also not his only client, and most of them haven't… the same resources." Betsy could never model again, and not suffer.


Accepting the air kiss, Warren returns the favor with two of his own, one ghosted to each side of her face, the socialite's greeting coming as easily to him as a handshake might to those more… down to earth. He steps aside afterwards, making the way clear for Betsy to sit, and proceeds to the bar. The hostess, already dazed, gets the full force of Betsy's smile as she's leaving, and looks even more stunned. She actually misses the door handle at her first grasp, before managing to let herself out.

"I'd be worried I was losing my touch if I didn't," Warren says, amused, when Betsy observes how he's turned the girl's head. "A man needs a little practice to keep sharp once in a while, and — " His wings tighten a little, feathers sleeking in that telltale way that indicates a little stress, " — I have a certain image to upkeep. You understand." Those last two words speak volumes. He leans against the bar, inspecting what's on offer. "Ah, but she'll recover. And she will have an Instagram story for later. Besides…" he slants Betsy a glance over his shoulder, "she may well prefer you to me, judging by that look."

He glances back at the array of bottles. "Pick your poison," he says. "Or you can have what I am. I know what I want. They seem to have some decent Japanese whiskies in."

He sobers as conversation turns. "That'll be a help, I think… Rachel's working to try to get back by end of month, early next. You know how slowly bureaucracies grind." He quiets to mention of Murdock and the lawsuit, however. "I am rather fond of him," he says. "I have known far too many lawyers, and they all irritate me in much the same way. Murdock has something rather refreshing — some indication he may actually have a soul. Terribly busy, though — though that is not surprising."

He pulls up two glasses and sets them on the bar surface. "They've selected a good 'face' for the overall suit in Mary Peterson. I know first-hand that mutant-haters are not so easily convinced, however." His wings twitch.


"Warren, you'll be a silver fox to outshine the ages." Betsy nearly croons, a glance back towards to door. "Hmm. Tempting, but no. I wouldn't want to poach my friend's fresh catch and release. Too easy." There's a wicked, edged grin there that suggests it may not be just the pretty boys that Betsy enjoys.

She will lift her chin to toss her hair back. "I have heard great things about the whiskies they're coming out with. I'm fine with one of those choices." She doesn't indicate anything about unease. She has no idea if she ever tasted those spirits while on that soil. She doesn't want to know.

"Well, I've pulled the few, pathetic bureacratic contacts I have. Most of them have dissolved since Father died and I chose to go globe-trotting, if you will."

"Very ernest, your choice of legal representation. Very much one of the working men types. I liked him. Handsome, and doesn't bother, shoots right to the truth. If Mary's suit doesn't go through, I have one of my own waiting with him. " She shrugs, before her head tips. "I am sorry I wasn't there to help. I've been busy with some ferrying of those who need to get out, a recently manifested powerful mutant who has to be kept pretty well isolated away from the city.. everything is chaos."


Warren laughs easily at the tease, one wing flicking its white feathers in what seems to be an avian gesture of amusement. "I hope so. If I lose all my looks suddenly at fifty, I'll have nothing left and may as well leave the world." His blue eyes spark. "But true enough. No challenge going to work on a girl I've already softened up."

He doesn't seem aware of the tension that arises in her at him offering her a Japanese whisky in particular. He knows some things about Betsy Braddock's past — the broad strokes that indicate kidnapping, brainwashing, a significant struggle with identity — but in respect of privacy he has not tried to pry about the specifics. He himself hadn't been around very much during that time period. After Jean died, he went into a spiral of his own, a rather self-destructive cycle of substance abuse (that received rather heavy media coverage) which finally ended with the murder of his parents by his uncle. Becoming a sudden orphan has a way of snapping men out of their self-indulgences.

He does know that she speaks Japanese. He does himself, for business. That seems to indicate enough interest to him, so he ultimately picks out a bottle of Yamazaki 12 and pours first for Betsy, and then for himself. "I got fond of this one last time I was in Japan for business," he says, plucking up both glasses and handing hers to her, before taking a seat opposite her. "A significant amount of our avionics interests are over there, I have to make the pilgrimage rather regularly. You speak the language quite well."

Perhaps fortunately, he gets distracted by talk of other things. "I'm sure it'll be of some help to Rachel," he says. "We could certainly use her back. She was looking into this entire mess with SHIELD before things went askew…" He drifts a little, swirling the whisky in his glass absently. "As for Murdock… I did look into his background prior to retaining him. Very much working class, then came up to Columbia Law — and then went right back to his neighborhood." He looks thoughtful. "He may combine your suits into a single federal class action. There's certainly enough injured parties in the mix."

He essays a sip of the whisky. "Oh, no need to apologize," he says. "My wing's still on and, well… no one could have predicted how bad a turn things would take with the press conference and the raid. And it's been important to take care of those caught in the middle who don't have our resources." He pauses. "This other mutant can't be brought to the Institute?"


She accepts the glass with a murmur of thanks in the whiskey's native tongue, with an excellent accent. "I've only gotten out of Scotch and started to explore the other whiskeys in the last year or so." She states, before she will take a small sip as a test. Lashes are low over her eyes, hiding them when he remarks on her skill in the language, the whiskey gone bitter and hot on her tongue before she swallows. "Spent some time there."

That small murmur is left behind as they return to talk of Rachel, violet eyes lifting to look at his face. "I worry for her. She's got some excellent papers, I'm sure, but none the less. A friend worries." There's a wrinkle of her nose at the mention of SHIELD before her expression smooths at mention of Murdock. "Now see, that one would be a challenge. He's not simply the well mannered working man's lawyer, though I've not gone snooping." Because she has manners, as well.

There's a shake of her head, another sip of whiskey. "Certainly not now. Be the worst place to bring a mutant that doesn't have at least some sort of significant control over their power. And not if we want to keep the computers and cell phones in working order. Poor thing has incredible electromagnetic powers. They were unleashed later than we usually manifest after an… emotional breakthrough of some deep trauma."


"There's a wide array of them, to be sure," Warren says lightly, settling back and slinging a wing across the back of the sofa the way most men would sling an arm. "I just used to drink Scotch and the Irish whiskies, myself, but have become rather fond of bourbon — and then branched out. This particular one is a single malt, but Japan is an excellent hand at blended whiskies, so far as I understand…" He trails a little, however, as his sharp eagle's eyes finally notice a hitch to her expression. The brevity of her remark on having 'spent some time there' is noted as well. "Ah, I see," he says, his expression shading a bit concerned in the event he's stepped wrong… but he does not try to pry.

For people like them, so much in the spotlight, privacy is the most important thing they can respect about one another.

"I am sure she'll be fine," Warren says, of Rachel. "I can't imagine anything keeping her down for long, much less anything so trivial as the British government." A dry smile, as he sips from his glass. "I understand the worry, though. You've been friends some time? Did you spend much time with Excalibur?" Her remark on Murdock draws his curiosity, his clear blue eyes turning to Betsy quizzically, though again — privacy is all-important to him. And Murdock seems the type to guard his very jealously.

What Betsy says about this newly manifested mutant, however, thins his mouth. "It goes without saying we've all seen how devastating electromagnetic powers can be, uncontrolled," he says. "I suppose there's no helping it — though it is hard to have to be isolated until the powers are reined in. It's kind of you to help them. Probably best they remain hidden, anyway, for the immediate moment… the Sentinels would target them with such prejudice for that power set."


She will give him that blinding, perfect model smile - that elegant mask. "That's where I was kidnapped to, Warren. The body swap…she was Japanese. It's nothing you said wrong. I'm still just a little off-step when things like that pop up, not always sure what it will feel like."

"Certainly not the stuffy Brits, oh no. Not our Rachel." She will tilt the glass in slow, circling motions to swirl the whiskey. "Not terribly long, no. But she's like the bird herself. She burns bright, and she doesn't take kindly to fools. Hard not to like her, really. At least for me. And she has the most interesting tastes in clothing. She knows her taste is not everyone's, and has a terrific eye."

She laughs at the quizzical look. "He's blind, Warren. Most men see me and that's enough for them to be interested if their tastes run my way. Your barrister friend would be a much more interesting one to try and catch. Or perhaps I'm all looks and polish." There's a smirk there before she sips, clearly she doesn't believe that.

" And these are pretty uncontrolled, for the moment. I'm working on it, but they're so /angry/. So much rage makes it hard to contain. It's safer for them and us, if I play the connection between civilization and cabin in the woods, for now, so to speak." She's so careful to not mention a name. She has to be protective, on guard even now. "It's my fault, of course. I knew they had powers. I didn't know what unleashing them would do."


Her smile is as clear an indication as any that the topic is difficult. Warren knows the mask Betsy suddenly wears. It is like the cool, patrician confidence he is accustomed to wear for most hours of the day; it is like the performer's mask Alison wore when she still had a career as the Dazzler. 'Never let them see you flinch,' his father used to tell him. 'Never let them see anything but something that's fit to print.'

His own mask comes up a little in reflection of his discomfort at the moment of awkwardness, his lovely features smoothing into the high-souled poise of a man prepared to be skewered by too many cameras. "Ah… I apologize. What a terrible ordeal." His head lowers a little, blue eyes shadowing under his long lashes. "It's understandable, not knowing how to feel. I'll recall that."

The moment passes, mercifully, though. "Neither of you take kindly to fools," he observes of Betsy's remarks on Rachel, leaning back with half a smile. "I imagine that's why you get on so well. Though for how strong she is, there's a certain… brittleness to her, in certain lights. Something about me bothers her. It must be from her past; she will not tell me what it is. She has been through a great deal."

But beautiful and well-socialized as he is, Warren is still a man, and so rather amusingly oblivious at times. He doesn't immediately make the connection on Murdock until her clarification, and when she does he laughs. "A blind man would be a challenge," he says, "if we're to say that you're only your looks, which is obviously untrue. I think the bigger challenge there is his case load. He's become quite an in-demand resource, with the climate what it is. One of the few law outfits who'll stand up for a meta." Warren lifts his brows, almost conspiratorial. "He is terribly good-looking, though. Speaking as someone familiar with 'good-looking.' I see it in the mirror every day." Clearly Warren is not a man afraid to have a look at his own gender once in a while. Or a man with any modesty.

He grows a little more serious at discussion of this uncontrolled mutant. "I understand the anger," he says slowly. "I was angry for the longest time after these came in." The feathers of his wings lift slightly, ruffling in the faint breeze along the rooftop. "I wouldn't frame it as a matter of fault, though, Bets. If you hadn't done it then, who knows when those powers would have come out in the future. Likely in a much more dangerous setting. The one thing I have learned over the course of my life is that we cannot stop these things from emerging. I tried to cut off these wings enough times. The best we can do is provide the safest environment for them to manifest — and learn."


"As there is a brittleness in certain parts of me. Perhaps that is why I am so fond of her. Powers in kind not withstanding." Violet eyes are at once violent and vunerable as she looks at him. "She's not from here… and I'm not always sure I'm from me. It relates, perchance." She sips whiskey, and the violence, the war behind her eyes drains away.

"Are you so sure, Warren? That I am not just looks and powers?" She asks, voice gone soft and silky. "To be honest, I'm not sure if a handsome man is the best idea. I mean, with him, at least he wouldn't hog the mirror." She smiles at Warren in amusement. "But I know I could be a lot, for some men to take on and handle. It's probably not for the faint or light of heart. Especially not in this climate. Before you know it, relationships between mutants and non will be taboo, or illegal."

She nods. "I can only hope to help them come to terms and learn control. I can not undo what has been done. I do not expect them to forgive me, and they very much blame me, currently."


Warren lapses into a certain pensiveness as Betsy looks at him with that dichotomy in her eyes. He wonders, briefly, who it was that she was switched with. Perhaps part of that woman is looking out of her eyes at him right now. "It does relate," he agrees, for a few moments looking far more tired and abstracted than the flashy Worthington scion ever allows himself to look in public. His right arm drapes over the arm of the sofa, his glass dangling from his long fingers, half-empty. "Well — we all have our brittlenesses. We bond together because of them, I think. Though — of course I would never presume to understand what it is like, to go through what Rachel has… or you." His wing draws back in slowly, the great feathered appendages tucking in. "Only what I have."

Though perhaps before long, Warren will understand such things more than he ever wished to.

"What I do know," he eventually says, "or want to know, is that none of us are just our looks or our powers. Not you… not me. I've spent too much of my life resisting what ideals or images people want to push onto me because of how I look — " There is a brief moment where his wings fan to their greatest extent, blatantly angelic, before they subside again with a rustle. "I'll spend even more of it preventing any kind of eventuality where mutant and human relations would be illegal." His brows quirk with a little humor. "Whether they can handle you or not."

He finishes off his glass, leaning forward to set it on the table with an exhale. "At any rate… I don't think you have made the wrong choice. With time, I think this person will come to understand." He glances at his watch — a tasteful A. Lange & Sohne piece. "But I should not keep you. I wished to thank you in person for your concern — and for my designation as a moron, perhaps deserved." He smiles faintly, rising to offer the lady a hand up from her seat. "I will see you back down."


"I've been through nothing much worth mentioning." Not that she would, if she could. But so much of it was eroded, or hidden, when she was put back where she belonged. "Oh, I have no doubt many mistook you for just a pretty boy long before the wings made you look biblicly beautiful, darling."

She chuckles into her glass, finishing her whiskey. "Come now, Warren. I'm a model with a low level British title, top tier telepathic and telekinetic skill, and can fight like a ninja. Most men don't dare ask out just the model, before they know anything else." She's flushed, mildly amused, as she rises to her feet after taking his hand.

"I just didn't like the thought of my friend in jail, over some stupid, fascist leaning law." Her hand will lift, fingers to brush his cheek. "Such gallantry." She will move to take his arm and head down.

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