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 Friends Are For Now, Best Friends Are Forever, February 20th | 20:50 | Closed
Notion
 Posted: Feb 15 2018, 05:26 PM
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Charlie frustratedly let a puff of air escape her lips, the first stage of the reaction she showed at Cal’s mention of the casual dismissal of the truths uncovered at the inauguration. She assumed the blatant show of what happened in Utah, as horrific and cruel as it was, would have shown people human and mutant alike that things weren’t alright, and needed to change. Well, they had been changing but hardly in the direction that Charlie and others of her genetic predisposition could be thrilled about.

“Fucking ridiculous,” Charlie couldn’t help but muse aloud, her words dripping with disdain. It was easy to hate the other when you couldn’t see their pain, but how could things be getting this bad when there was irrefutable footage of those horrors broadcast for all to see? “Narrow minds and hardened hearts,” she assessed, shaking her head at the words. Those descriptors could have been used to describe Charlie at various moments in the past, but she wasn’t above acknowledging that fact. It was part of her drive for change, a full shift in her way of thinking. Putting higher value on mutant life versus human was the same level of bias she was being subjected to here and now. Part of a Changing Chuck was relinquishing her title as a hypocrite.

Tempted to wax poetic about what changes needed to be made and where her focus was currently set in how she’d be a part of that change, Cal’s next words caught her off guard. What she’d meant as a jest turned out to be not far off from the truth. She couldn’t help but cackle at the coincidence of it, her shoulders shaking with the music of her laughter as she leaned back into the couch. Flashing a toothy grin back at Calvin, she voiced her dramatic faux protest. “But I’ve only just gotten my Cal back!” She proclaimed, her smile turning only briefly into a sullen pout before she broke. “I joke, I tease,” she leveled, a comically stereotypical Israeli accent thick on the phrase. “That’s incredibly romantic. And thankfully not permanent,” Charlie assured him, her friendly blessing lacing the words. “Take lots of photos for me, I’ve always wanted to go there and may need to live vicariously through you with that one.”

When Calvin scooted closer, the thought to resist or recoil away didn’t pop up in her mind. The awkwardness that she felt when they first reunited had melted away, and it felt like old times again. “Me too,” she agreed, leaning into her friend. Charlie wrapped both arms around the man who had draped himself over her, resting a cheek on his forehead as she rested her head on his. How she had gone without the presence and love of her best friend for this long was currently beyond her. Moments like this were essential, where she was able to enjoy another persons company and comforting touch. She was thankful for that proximity a moment later, as it kept Calvin from seeing the candid reaction to his latest inquiry.

Charlie’s forehead creased, both surprised at the question and perplexed as to what its answer might be. What she had put Roberto through… well, what they’d gone through together after the creation of their little agreement, wasn’t something she was ready to face again. The guilt and shame that laced the memory alone was awful enough. But all ego aside, Cal was her best friend, and she would do her best to at least try to make things amicable between herself and Roberto. In theory, at least, that was her plan. What would actually happen when they finally met face to face again was completely unpredictable.

Releasing him from her clutches and sitting up a little straighter so that she could meet eyes with Cal again, Charlie ventured an answer. “Cal, you know you’re my best friend. If trying to work things out to with Berto is important to you, I’m willing to give it a try,” she explained, her voice soft and low with her friend snuggled so close. Whether Roberto shared that same sentiment was another thing entirely, in addition to the fact that there was a great chance things were irreparable between them. They reminded each other of some of the ugliest sides of one another, and Charlie didn’t feel ready to revisit that just yet.

Perhaps she still had some time. Perhaps Calvin would read the hesitation on her brow and reconsider the possibility.

“Do you think he’d even agree to see me?” Charlie inquired as she reached to the table beside the couch and rummaged through the drawer before retrieving something to calm her rising sense of dread. Since turning much of her life around, she’d taken steps toward healthier avenues. That meant quitting drinking, and trading cigarettes for this godforsaken, lightsaber-looking, ridiculous vaporizer. It was lacking in most of the things that made Charlie happy about cigarettes, like rolling them herself, fiddling with them in her fingers, and tasting the earthy tang of tobacco. But it provided her with much needed nicotine to keep her from karate chopping strangers heads off when her anxiety was running high.

Glancing to Cal before she brought it to her lips, she hesitated and figured it best to ask before she started. “Do you mind if I…” she lifted the pen and wiggled it in her hand before adding, “It’s créeme brûlée flavored. Because who wouldn’t want to smoke créeme brûlée?” She grinned at him and shrugged, shaking her head at the thought of just how different they were now compared to their meeting some months ago. Boy, how times flies when you’re having fun… or not having fun.

Mimic
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Mimic
 Posted: Feb 17 2018, 05:08 PM
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Pursing his lips slightly to suppress the smile his friend would otherwise have elicited, Calvin poked at Chuck's shoulder when she feigned being upset about losing him so soon again already. "It's mostly to avoid your dramatic behaviour, Chuckles," he teased her in return. "But yes, we'll be returning on Sunday evening." But not because Calvin was particularly keen on coming back, if he was being honest. Even without knowing what Rio would be like, the idea of spending time with Berto in the country the man loved so much it seemed to fill up every fibre of his being had his interest piqued. And, Chuck and Jean aside, there wasn't much keeping him in New York. He would have to talk to Roberto about it, to see how long it would take for the proper arrangements to be made, but going to Brazil for more than just a few days was something Cal could very well imagine happening in the near future. That was something he'd keep from Chuck for the time being though, not wanting to actually upset her with the thought of her bestie moving halfway across the world. That it went against the promise they'd made to not keep any secrets from each other did not escape Calvin, but there seemed to be no point to telling her until he was certain.

"I will make sure to send you all of the pictures," Calvin promised as he pulled himself out of his brief mental detour. "I would promise you a painting, but with only four days there and having to keep up with an excited Brazilian during carnival, I don't think I'll have the time." He was sure he would find a lot of inspiration there, but doing anything with that would have to wait. "Vicariously living through me seems like the best idea when it comes to carnival regardless," Cal added. "Ninety degrees, seventy percent humidity, half a million or more people gathered on the streets..." He figured he did not have to actually explain to Chuck why that was not the ideal environment for her. "But if you can, you should visit." Beto was biased, sure, but even taking that into account Brazil still sounded like an amazing place to visit.

Calvin would have offered help in facilitating a visit, but considering that would require Berto's involvement, he wasn't sure if that was a real possibility. Even with Chuck willing to give working things out with Beto a try, that wouldn't be enough. He frowned when his friend asked him if Berto would even consider seeing her, not actually having given that any real thought before now. "I think so, yeah," he decided after falling silent for a bit. "If I asked him, he would." Cal was fairly sure if there was anything he could ask of Beto and receive a não as a response, but that didn't necessarily mean he would feel comfortable asking.

"Go right ahead," Calvin told Chuck when his friend asked if he'd object to her sucking crème brûlée flavoured vapour from her lightsaber. The Mimic did not like it when Notion smoked, his enhanced senses picking up on the stink of it even with his friend's honey-sweet scent present, but he had no objections to crème brûlée. Vapourised water seemed less damaging than the byproduct of burnt tobacco as well, so he wouldn't have to harp on about the associated health risks either. Probably. Cal didn't really know how vaping worked.

Once Chuck had settled in again with her gadget, Calvin leaned back against her shoulder. "I don't know if I should ask Beto if he'd be okay with seeing you," he sighed, returning to their earlier subject. "Just because I know he'd say yes doesn't mean I should put him in a position where he'd feel like that's his only option." It just wouldn't be right. And that was without even taking into consideration what it would be like for him. Sure, he liked the idea of his best friend and his boyfriend getting along, but he could still clearly recall the last time those two had been in the same room together, and how hurt he had felt by what Berto had said to him then. Even without pheromones factoring in, Calvin wasn't sure he was ready for that. "Maybe I should just... leave things as they are? For now at least. And hey--" Calvin turned his head a little to smile at his friend, "--this way I can have two good things instead of just the one." And with everything he had been through over the years, having just two good things in his life felt like quite the luxury to Cal.
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Notion
 Posted: Feb 19 2018, 11:35 AM
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Charlie inhaled deeply, the pen lighting up an eerie blue as she pulled vapor through it. “You know --” she began, her voice coming out a bit deeper in the denser medium as a cloud began pouring out along with it. Brows furrowed, the woman clearly not enjoying her change in nicotine applications, she swatted at the opaque mass of vapor that had settled between them. “This fucking thing…” she grumbled, cursing her ambitions for a lung-cancer free lifestyle as they betrayed her once again. “-- It might be a good idea to give it some time and space for now. The whole thing is still pretty fresh,” she finally finished her thought, quirking a brow at Calvin in the last part of her statement. Charlie’s brief little smoke break gave her enough time to really consider what Cal had asked, and where she stood on the topic. In short, she wasn’t ready to face Beto again, not yet at least.

For now, she was more than content with having this particular friend back and sharing her space with him. Of course it’d be great if everyone got along, and they could all hang out on Beto’s yacht or something, but the reality of the situation was that shit went down and it was still hella complicated. Charlie was only just getting good at this new normal, and adding interaction with others was a slow process. Roberto DaCosta wasn’t high on her list of imperative reunions, but if it meant a lot to Cal it was something she was willing to work on. All things in good time.

Avoiding this subject much further was currently riding high on Charlie’s list of priorities, and as she took another drag and stretched out on the couch, her gaze drifted out the nearby window. In the pair’s few months of friendship they had endured so much together. Trials and tribulations, failures and victories, each one leaving their mark and eventually leading up to this sweet reunion. It was comforting to know that regardless of what scars marred the surface of their relationship, they could still enjoy one another’s company in the simplest of settings. Charlie turned her attention back to Cal, her smile warming as she met his hazel eyes.

“You and Berto wouldn’t happen to have any beautiful, well-rounded friends with super-human metabolisms, would you?”
she inquired, defaulting to self-deprecation as a means of avoiding uncomfortable truths. Charlie felt she was meant for love of her own, as her mutation had demonstrated time and time again. When your life was a hot mess to begin with and your dating pool amounted to a literal handful of suitors, true romance just didn’t seem to be in the cards. Loneliness ebbed and flowed, at times the woman content with her fate and others distraught with what she couldn’t have. But it didn’t keep her from feeling joy in the love that Calvin had found, nor did it make her bitter that Cal felt he might have to choose Roberto over Charlie should it come down to it. He was lucky enough to have found someone that brought out so much love, and in no way would she take that joy from him.

Jokes at her own behest were the preferred way to mediate this underlying sense of dread that Chuck would end up alone. There still was consolation in that little pact she and Calvin made one late night back at Station M. In the event that their 35th birthdays rolled around and they were both without a partner, they’d give it a try. Looking at Calvin’s loveable mug right now, Charlie couldn’t help but scoff at the very thought of such a ridiculous deal. And given how head over heels Cal was, and how real the love he described seemed to be, there was a good chance they’d never have to come to that potentially awkward moment. Taking her third indulgent drag of her nicotine allowance, Charlie blew a lazy arc of smoke rings above Cal’s head, the only positive she saw in the whole vaping thing being how easy it was to do tricks with it. For a moment, one looked a wee halo floating above her friend’s crown.

“Do you still keep up with anyone else in the Brotherhood?” Charlie ventured to ask. “Other than Suvik, of course,” she teased, nudging him in the arm with her elbow. Charlie hadn’t talked with Reece since Genosha and very little even before then, but she did keep in touch with Elliot. Calvin and Charlie were two peas in a pod in the Brotherhood, among a slew of unsavory characters who she had little intention of ever speaking with again. Hindsight was truly 20/20 for Charlie now that she had rescinded her membership to the Brotherhood, the kind of person she might become within their ranks more obvious now than it had been weeks before. “What a hell of a life,” she mused aloud before another drag from the vaporizer, a bit awash in her own thoughts and the joys of good company.

Mimic
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Mimic
 Posted: Feb 23 2018, 12:38 PM
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Though he was okay with Notion's new way of acquiring nicotine, Calvin did shift a little so he could lean away when she puffed out a cloud of vapour. It wasn't unpleasant smelling, like regular cigarettes were, but he didn't need to be right up in there. "That does actually smell like crème brûlée," he observed, nose scrunching up slightly as he took in the scent. Definitely better than the tobacco stink that came with the real thing. "And yes, let's just... leave that one for what it is for now," he added, addressing the Berto and Chuck situation. "Maybe it'll just... happen naturally. Like, you two will just bump into each other while shopping for groceries. Soho's practically right around the corner." It wasn't, of course, unless you had the kind of speed at your disposal that Cal currently did. Plus, that would require Berto to actually go grocery shopping, which was something Calvin did most of the time. Cooking aside, his love and household chores didn't really go together well, not because Beto was lazy or didn't want to do them, but because he had never been in a position where they were a thing. Cal was pretty sure he was still going through an adjustment period when it came to not having a butler.

"Hmmm..." Calvin considered for a moment when Chuck asked if Berto and he had any friends that met her criteria. Even if his friend had been poking fun at herself, Calvin couldn't help but give it some actual thought. He did want his bestie to be happy, after all. "You know, we don't actually have any mutual friends," he realised then, his thoughts diverting from the actual topic almost immediately. They had both departed Xavier's around the same time, though for very different reasons, and had since broken off most ties with the school in their own... unique ways as well. "I mean, there's Jean, but... no, I don't think she approves of Beto and I being together. She thinks he's a bad influence on me." Calvin couldn't help but laugh at that. Somehow that just struck him as something that would only be true on Opposite Day. "That's going to make for some awkward birthday parties." He added with another laugh, before looking towards Chuck with a more serious expression. "Mine's in less than two weeks, by the way. March 4th. No pressure." Calvin took a sip of his water then, before adding with a straight face and quieter tone, "Could always find a new best friend..." Mouth twisting into a grin, Calvin gave Chuck's upper arm a playful poke. "I'm just kidding, you're not getting rid of me that easily." If what had happened with Beto couldn't get between them for long, Calvin was sure that nothing would.

"You know, speaking of the Brotherhood--" Calvin raised his right index finger when Chuck shifted gears to discussing the Brotherhood, "--Ash has a metabolism that's second to none." The smirk that Calvin's expression had twisted into made it immediately evident that he was just joking. Ash did fit the metabolism criteria, but Calvin would hesitate to label the guy as either beautiful or well rounded. He wasn't a bad guy behind all that bluster and stupidity, but definitely didn't strike him as Chuck's type. "But no, aside from Reece I haven't really been in touch with anyone in the Brotherhood since I left." He'd closed that chapter of his life and wasn't planning on looking back. "Elle pops in from time to time, you know, the way you'd expect her to, but I don't think I'd count that as keeping up." The technopath was always a welcome sight (or maybe digital presence was a better term), but their paths had diverged and they didn't have the same history he had with Reece. "I keep meaning to get in touch with that Rat kid, but then I don't want to put him in an awkward position. I'm pretty sure there's a few in the Brotherhood who are none too happy with the fact that I left, or that I'm on such good terms with even one of the X-Men." It hadn't been an issue back when he'd still been a member, not even when he'd stuck around at the inauguration to actually help the X-Men, but Calvin still didn't think keeping close to too many Brotherhood members would really work out in anyone's favour. "How about you?" he wondered, turning the question back towards Chuck. "Have any fun spa dates with Anna recently?"
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Notion
 Posted: Feb 26 2018, 01:56 PM
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Raising a brow at Cal’s causal suggestion that she and Beto might run into one another while shopping around town, Charlie didn’t work to hide her reluctant expression. It was still far too fresh and far too soon for her to begin considering casual encounters with Roberto da Costa without anything but lingering dread. She would make a valuable mental note to avoid any SoHo bodegas for the time being. Working to scrub that apprehensive look that Cal’s casual joke had inherently inspired, her friend did the hard work for her by taking her jab as an actual request for matchmaking.

Her face twisted into an amused grin as Mimic wracked his brain trying to think of possible suitors that hit her specific criteria. The initial suggestion of Jean made Charlie laugh out loud, her whole-body chuckle filling the small apartment with its music. Among what Cal had told Charlie about Jean, she’d spent a good amount of time reviewing the X-Man’s file during her time in the Brotherhood. Where Charlie lacked in invulnerability or raw firepower, she made up for in understanding of her adversaries. And if there was anything she understood about Jean Grey, it was that it’d be wise to stay away. The telepath was staggeringly powerful, and undoubtedly drank the purest of the pure Xavier’s Kool-aid. Something told Charlie that she and the redhead wouldn’t be the best or most compatible partners.

“Jean Grey, the X-Men’s ace? What could go wrong there?” She teased, shaking her head at the thought. Charlie was lonely, but she wasn’t desperate. Noting Cal’s quip about his birthday, the Israeli tapped a finger to her temple, showing that it was already logged in the memory banks. “What kind of friend would I be if I forgot your birthday, Cal?” She inquired of her friend, her playful smirk mixing with a feigned frown of disapproval. “No way I would miss an opportunity to spoil or embarrass you,” she added with a wink, not wanting to give any more of her plan away.

Cal’s next suggestion of possible candidates stole the smirk from Charlie’s lips, her face twisting into a grimace. Nothing against Ash, he wasn’t a bad looking guy, but seeing as he was nowhere near her type and now a 17 year old man-boy-child, the suggestion gave her the heebie jeebies. Charlie figured Cal didn’t know, but her expression served as evidence enough that the suggestion wasn’t one that would take. “Ash… Ash is now a 17 year old boy,” Charlie ventured, her lips parting again as she considered just how to adequately explain the whole de-aging mindfuck, then reconsidered. “It’s a long story… but aside from the whole age thing he’s not really my type,” Charlie assured. In truth she wasn’t fully sure what her type was, just of what it wasn’t. Given the logistical nightmare that intimacy with her mutation posed, she hadn’t been with a man since her time in the IDF, back when she considered it possible to make a somewhat normal relationship work.

Unfortunately for Charlie, without some sort of immunity to her pheromones, time and time again it was proved to her that wasn’t possible. Her passing joke had suddenly taken more of a role in the conversation than she would have preferred, the constant reminder of her compatibility with the vast majority with the world not the warmest of feelings. Luckily for Chuck, Calvin knew her well enough to see when a lighthearted change in topic was needed.

“Oh, yes, Anna and I get mani-pedi’s every other Wednesday,” she replied, rolling her eyes at the thought. “Seriously though, I speak with Elle and Rat sparingly, and I’ve seen Ash since he disappeared from the Brotherhood if that counts. But honestly you’re the only one from that phase in my life that I still keep up with,” she explained, shrugging at the statement. Charlie was hard to trust when you were privy to how her mutation worked, seeing as it left one constantly second guessing what was real or genuine in interactions with her. “And Reece must not have gotten my messages… must have the wrong number,” she joked at her own expense. Charlie did her best to keep her interactions with Blink cordial, even though the pink mutant didn’t have the rosiest outlook for her. She was Cal’s best friend and though by now Chuck was sure she and Reece wouldn’t be pals, she didn’t have anything against the woman.

Taking one last draw of her vaporizer before setting it back down on the table, Charlie shifted on the couch to get re-cozified. “So, about that falafel…” she ventured, all this quality friend time reminding her that she actually was a little hungry. Cal had been a good sport for waiting so long, as his metabolism had more than likely been nagging his brain to refuel for a while now.
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