|Scene Title||Java House Rules|
|Synopsis||Gibbs and Dion have a little chat over coffee.|
Sultry notes of Jazz waft through the air, along with the fine aroma of over fifty different types off coffee. Ranging from the esoteric (and delicious) Jamaican Blue Mountain to the almost mundane flavor of amaretto, the Java House carries them all. The interior, while somewhat drab compared to Starbucks, is almost entirely in neutral earth tones. The Java House is less like a house than a long hallway, one lined with a variety of trendy peices of art.
The noise from all the shoes of the customers in here treading on the hard wood floors sometimes drowns out the music, but it still produces a rhythm all it's own. The vibration from the tunes, and from the many feet walking on the wooden floor, almost fills the room with a subtle buzz, one that only complements the excellent coffee here.
Dion has captured a table in the cafe. At the moment, an attractive young fair-skinned woman is keeping him company, while a darker-skinned and equally attractive young man sees to the line-waiting and ordering. He gives the sense that he's almost holding court, and he makes conversation easily with anyone who catches his eye. In particular, he seems to be trying to engage those who otherwise might be sunk deep into their VR tech. Trying to keep them in the 'real world' for a little while, not that he really counts New Atlantis as the real world. He looks very comfortable, and likely to be there a while.
Norman Gibbs enters the Java House somewhere in the midst of Dion's court-holding situation. Today he wears the appearance of a thoroughly average young New Atlantean, at least so far as mortal eyes are concerned. Dion, like any other Scion, has divine ichor coursing through his veins. As a result, while Gibbs' clothing remains utterly average - if well-tailored for his frame - for a New Atlantean resident, Gibbs himself looks infinitely more handsome than any average New Atlantean - any average mortal really - could ever hope to look.
For the moment, Gibbs doesn't seem to pay particular attention to Dion. The Special Agent is making his way toward the service line, gaze shifting semi-casually about the interior of the Java House. Who knows who or what he's looking for as he waits on line.
Dion casually looks at everyone going in and out, as though it is absolutely his business. His voice, when he speaks, would fit more on a young woman then a young man, but then so does his face. He speaks with his hands a good deal, using them to enhance his words and emotion. He double-takes when Gibbs comes in. He is a very, very pretty man, after all. He doesn't stare, exactly, but he doesn't hide that he's looking, either.
Gibbs is definitely a very, very pretty man. Such is the price one pays for being the son of Erzulie. At the service counter, Gibbs orders a special coffee blend. If one knows their coffee, it's pretty easy to recognize as a particularly high caffeine blend with a very distinct, almost smokey aroma to it.
Only as Norman turns from the counter after paying does his gaze shift toward Dion. An eyebrow quirks as Gibbs regards the younger man, his gaze shifting this way and that in a semi-inquisitive fashion. Casually, Gibbs makes his way toward Dion's table, watching Dion all the while with a single quirked eyebrow.
"This seat taken?"
By now, Dion's order has arrived along with the two other drinks for his companions. The young man takes a seat on Dion's other side, and there's a brief show of affection that makes it very hard to tell exactly what their relationship is. There's been the same affection for the young woman, again too vague to be sure whether it's more than a friendship. He sips his drink as Gibbs comes over, then smiles to the older man. "It isn't, no. Please." he gestures towards a free chair.
Gibbs takes the indicated seat, though he casually turns it around before sitting down. Dressed in New Atlantean corporate casual attire, Gibbs really doesn't look like the sort to sit on a backwards chair, but it's not like it's going to draw much attention. Norman idly folds his arms across the seat back as he studies Dion's face for several moments.
Indeterminately affectionate relationships don't seem to faze the older man. He remains quiet for a few moments longer before offering a shrug. A moment or so later, he offers a hand to Dion - presumably for a handshake - as he smiles a genial smile.
"Norman. You are?"
As Norman studies him, Dion studies Norman. Now that he's not the only one staring, he doesn't pretend he isn't. He's smiling though, as would one that likes the attention. When the hand is offered, it's met with Dion's. His skin is soft and smooth, and obviously cared for well. Skin care is terribly important, after all. "A pleasure, Norman. I'm Dion. This is Terrance and Madelyne."
The door to the coffee bar opens and in steps Drew. The man probably didn't meet the requirements for Gibbs and Dion level pretty. He was handsome and a bit more rugged around the edges but he'd been called pretty boy before. He was Baldur's baby boy after all. A smile on his face as the man steps into the room and realizes not all eyes are on him. He makes note of Gibbs and heads in line for a cup of coffee.
Gibbs' hands are not nearly as soft and smooth as Dion's, though they are by no means rough and calloused. Somehow they are somewhere in between the extremes, perhaps out of habit or convenience. The world may never know the truth behind why Gibbs' skin is the way it is.
"Nice to meet you, Dion," Gibbs nods to each person in turn as he speaks, "Terrance. Madelyne."
For a few moments, Norman falls silent before disengaging his hand from Dion's. The older Scion glances at Dion's companions for a few moments before looking back at Dion.
"So. Is there a particular reason that I seem to have caught your eye, Dion?"
Terrance and Madelyne both smile and offer greetings, but they easily defer to Dion. He settles back in his chair comfortably, and has a sip of his frothy, sweet coffee. To the question, he says "Well, you are incredibly attractive. Why wouldn't I admire?" The other two don't seem to get that, but clearly Dion does.
The pretty young man does continue to watch the comings and goings, so takes note of Andrew's arrival but stays focused on Gibbs for now.
Dion's answer does nothing to drop the quirk of Norman's eyebrow. He studies Dion perhaps a bit more intently than before, tilting his head this way and that as he considers the younger man. Finally, Gibbs leans back just a bit on his chair as he resettles his arms across the chair back. Sitting with a chair backward is very awkward to describe in words, isn't it?
"I wouldn't say that, Dion. I'm just a normal guy. Wouldn't you say, Terrance? Madelyne?"
A wry, entertained smile spreads faintly across Gibbs' face. Sometimes being a shapeshifter has benefits in entertainment value alone. Like Dion, he is somehow aware of Andrew being here - although that may not be immediately obvious - thanks to Parallel Attention.
Sometimes not being the prettiest man in the room has it benefits. Like right now everyone's watching Gibbs and Dion. Drew? He's snapping his finger in front of the girl taking order's face, "Uhm.. hello? Eyes up here sweetheart." He finally gets the young woman's attention and she looks up at Drew. He gives her a winning smile that makes her almost jump back but melts in Drews eyes. "Oh uhm hi?" Drew grins, "I'll take a large, I mean it's vendi ain't it? just plain old coffee. No milk, no sugar, and no cream." She writes down his order going uh-huh. Distracted by some of the prettiness in the room. He's getting cream and sugar in his coffee.
Obviously, the two mortals with Dion don't see it. He just pats their hands, though. "If you insist, then I suppose you're a normal guy." he says to Norman. "And what brings you to my table? Just curious why I was? Not that I'm complaining. I'm a people person. The more, the merrier."
Gibbs actually has My Eyes Are Up Here active at the moment. So, fortunately, Andrew probably is not having nearly as much trouble getting things done as he would if Gibbs were actually allowing mortals to see him in his full glory, so to speak. On the other hand, My Eyes Are Up Here really doesn't work very well on Scions and other supernatural entities because they are capable of withstanding the purportedly mind-searing (or mind-flaying) possibilities of higher level Appearance/Epic Appearance combinations.
Norman smiles cheerily at Dion and shrugs a little bit.
"Maybe it's just the lighting. I get that every once in a while… As for why I'm at your table, I figured this was the in-place to sip coffee. You had kind of a royal court thing going on, so I was curious."
Andrew recieves his cup of coffee and takes a drink, yip he should have used Lasting Impression on the girl. But it was for a cup of coffee after all. Besides most the time he was probably the best looking man in the room. But he moves over to the side to a table that would put him nearby but out of both men's direct line of sight. He picks up the newspaper there and goes to reading. A slight grumble on his breath as he drinks his cream and sugar.
Dion ahhhs. "Well, I am awesome." he replies with no shame. "I don't think enough people embrace their awesome. Do you?" he asks then, before his eyes flit over the room again. When he meets someone's eyes, he smiles brightly and openly. It does make some nervous, but he has a very charming something to him.
"I embrace my awesome when I need to. Sometimes it is difficult to be awesome and do the sort of work I do. Attention can be hazardous to your health in some situations."
Gibbs' coffee finally arrives at the table and he takes a long sip of the hot, strong brew. He regards Dion quietly, possibly watching Andrew out of a set of eyes hidden under his hair. With Gibbs, you never know if that's going on or not.
Looking interested, Dion asks "What sort of work do you do Norman, that awesome can be hazardous to your health?" He's quite at ease as they speak, and he continues to include others in his conversation even if it isn't really concerning or interesting them. Just so they know they're still on his mind.
Eyes in the back of your head are handy. So is a fellow NSA agent covering your back. That's what Drews doing. He figure if Gibbs needs help that's where Andrew comes in to play in this mess. That and somebody got to drink the botched coffee.
Smiling over the top of his coffee cup, Gibbs does not immediately answer Dion. He shrugs a little bit once more, taking a sip of coffee every few seconds like clockwork. The Special Agent finally sets his coffee down on the table and regards Dion thoughtfully.
"I'm a private investigator. What about yourself?"
"Ohhhh…" Dion replies, still looking interested. And he doesn't particularly look guilty about anything. "I'm a senior. In high school. In my spare time, I extol the virtues of enjoying life, and looks very fashionable while I do it." he says with a smile.
Gibbs looks vaguely surprised, though not entirely off-guard at the answer Dion supplies. He takes another sip of his coffee as he regards Dion for a few moments more. Nodding, the Special Agent offers a cheery smile.
"I bet you and my mother would get along pretty well," he cryptically remarks over the rim of his cup.
Dion smiles. "Really. What does she do? Or is she just one of those wonderful older people who doesn't let their age decide how to enjoy themselves?" he replies. "I think life is serious enough, don't you? We have to enjoy ourselves where we can. It makes everything else seem less dark."
"My mother is definitely one of those older people who doesn't let her age decide how she enjoys herself."
Gibbs need not explain further the very concept of Erzulie. He's increasingly suspicious of Dion's heritage for various and sundry reasons. Not the least of which reasons being that Dion seems somehow different from the rest of New Atlantis' population. Norman sips his coffee again and smiles thoughtfully, regarding Dion at the question.
"Life is what you make of it. I think Serious Things happen because some people take life more or less seriously than other people do and the disconnect causes friction. Without a balance between seriousness and fun, the world would not work. At the very least, it wouldn't be a place for kids to be kids."
Dion is not making a huge effort to hide that he's special. Actually, he's making no effort at all. "Oh, I definitely agree that there has to be both. So many shrug off the importance of play, though. Or they confuse just going off and getting laid with real recreation." His expression turns thoughtful, then. "I hadn't really thought about that. The friction between the two being a lot of the problem. I can see it, though. I figure there's a lot of people who focus on the serious stuff. And I can be serious, too. But there aren't really enough who want to inspire people to play. To let off some of all that steam that builds with the pressures of life."
"Society is not really geared toward recreation anymore. It is a problem, but it is one that society will learn to fix eventually. Particularly if there are people like yourself out there advocating it."
Something about the inflection of Gibbs' voice makes that last statement seem extra poignant. Maybe it's just a trick of the mind, some subtle nudge from Fate, or maybe it's really just something that Gibbs meant. Either way, he doesn't seem to think the least bit about having said it. Instead he takes another sip of his coffee and glances over at Terrance and Madelyne for a few moments before looking back at Dion.
Dion mmms. "Well. I don't know. New Atlantis seems all about recreation now." He makes a bit of a sour face, though. "Too much of it seems to be the online kind. It's not the same as really being here and interacting physically." He sighs a bit dramatically, then says "I guess it'll be like this until things go back." So… apparently he remembers the way things were. Terrance and Madelyne seem to know what he's talking about too, but then the Scion-connected 'things' didn't change.
"I didn't think you were old enough to be awakened," remarks Gibbs. He offers a slight shrug at Dion's observations, but otherwise remains passive for several seconds. After a brief sip of his coffee, Gibbs tips his head thoughtfully at Terrance and Madelyne.
"New Atlantis is a utopia for a reason. Utopia, however, is not always terribly interesting for those of us inclined to act against type."
Dion's eyebrow arches. "I'm eighteen. Old enough, apparently." he replies with a smile. When he dips his head towards the other two, the teen explains "They're my attendants." He's not at all embarrassed by it, and Terrance and Madelyne smile. They don't seem to be there against their will at all. "I suspect 'utopia', like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. Not that I'm not having a really good time at the clubs. The music has been great."
He looks over Norman then, her expression considering. "You're one of 'us'? Or are you just very aware of the real world?"
"I am like yourself - to an extent, I may even be more like you than you are at the moment," is Gibbs' cryptic reply. He regards Dion thoughtfully as he sips his coffee for a long few moments before setting it down again. "/Everything/ is a matter of the eye of the beholder. Never forget that."
His comment causes Dion to look more curious. "More like me than me?" He watches Gibbs, also thoughtful. "I'm told I'm already a little over the top. You must really scare people then." he says with a smile.
Gibbs laughs softly at Dion's response, a bright and good-natured smile spreading across his lips. The Special Agent hangs his head for a few moments, still chuckling a bit before he gets himself back on track. Norman smiles, eyes seeming to have changed color while his head was hung, they seem an especially bright hazel just this moment.
"I mean to say that I'm significantly more powerful than yourself. And we seem to share some traits in common, at least with regards to exceptional countenances. Though I've got mine masked. I can't imagine the Royals are terribly permissive of others having power like theirs in this city."
Dion can't help smiling, when Gibbs laughs. When he explains, he ohhhs. "Yes, well. Father only spoke to me last Autumn. I'm not in any rush, though. There's time to enjoy the trip, right?" He waves off the concern about the royals. "It's not like I draw that much attention to myself." Ehem. "I'm just a kid, having a good time. There's lots of us around the city. I haven't heard of anything being done to them. Have you?"
"Strange things have been happening to this city. This is not the first or the strangest thing I've seen or heard of in the past year and I somehow doubt it will be the last."
Gibbs takes a long final sip of his coffee, setting the cup back down on the table. He regards Dion thoughtfully for another few seconds, his expression floating between serious and thoughtful as he considers his words.
"I haven't heard anything about them doing anything to people like us, not yet, but we do represent a potential threat. I have heard of other things happening people like us. Coincidences in some cases, outright violence in other cases. Either way, someone or something has been harming people like us and other people who I consider to be under my protection.
"Either way, that's something I can't help but stand in opposition to. It's an unnatural blight upon the city and upon an unprepared populace."
Dion hms, his forehead wrinkling a bit in thought. Though, he then runs his fingertips over the skin, smoothing it. "I know we get hurt or worse sometimes. I'm told it's just the risk of being us. We can't just hide our heads in the sand. I mean, not that I'm any sort of fighter. Obviously." His expression says he has no illusions about that. "We have to do our best regardless."
He nods then, saying "It isn't right. But this big thing isn't something I can do much about. Not at this point in my life, anyway. So, I'll do the little things I can for now, and leave the big things to people like you, that are further along. Also, don't automatically expect help from some of my peers." he adds with a frown. "Some of them like the changes and probably want things to stay this way. Just something to be aware of."
Gibbs nods a bit as he adjusts his jacket. A subdued smile spreads across his face at Dion's response, chuckling softly to himself.
"We can. We do. It is an enforced risk of us being who and what we are. There is a difference, however, between that and what has been happening of late. Like I said before, everything is a matter of being in the eye of the beholder."
Norman shrugs a little bit, "I don't expect help from many people, Dion. I expect to have to help many people… Speaking of which, I think I'm overdue for a meeting. Try to take care of yourself and your attendants. You have potential that I would hate to see wasted."
Somehow, quite impossibly, Gibbs starts to turn away from Dion. As he turns, his body seems almost to twist into a shadow that was not - /SHOULD/ not - be where it is. By the time Gibbs should be standing and turned full away from Dion, Norman simply does not seem to be anywhere.