2019-08-05 - Jazz Festival in Blue


Two music lovers enjoy quality music in Central Park … and each others' company. The magic of music!

Log Info:

Storyteller: priscilla-kitaen
Date: 2019-08-05
Location: Central Park, NYC

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Theme Song



There are those who would never expect someone with such a night job, like Priscilla, to visit the parks in daylight. But it's mid-to-late afternoon, and Pris has made a point of coming out today. She saw a flyer a week ago, advertising a multi-band jazz festival being held throughout Central Park, and one of the acts mentioned is supposed to be a Dixieland-inspired group with performers from Lousiana. Home-grown nostalgia did the rest, and she has come out to the Park this afternoon.

It took a bit for Pris to find one of the leaderboards explaining which bands would be at which venues across the Park. She has already hit the Big Band performance at Belvedere Castle, and the Latin Jazz performance around the zoo. Now, she's headed across the Park to the shores of the Reservoir Lake, where the Dixieland performance should be beginning any moment.

Of course, Pris really doesn't blend. She's not big, blue and furry or anything, but she is most definitely not what anyone expects of a jazz enthusiast. Painted-on tight jeans, beaded and bedazzled, paired with an off-white t-shirt and a purple-accented black motorcycle jacket, Pris definitely looks like she'd be much more at home at a metalhead performance, especially with the black motorcycle boots she's sporting. But the mixed-race woman definitely shows enthusiasm for the beat, swaying and twirling as the strains of the music reach her ears. And there's something mesmerizing about Pris when she really gets into the music …

Hank is also one that does not blend very well, sure, he's only a bit tall, just under six feet - but he's very solid, his shoulders spanning more than a yard, and then of course he IS blue, blue-black truly, and also covered by a furry pelt. Having been exceedingly busy with labwork of late, he was thrilled to see a flyer for the festival on a board at Columbia university where he'd been consulting with a colleague. When he saw it, he just had to come!

For the occasion he dressed up a bit, though not in his usual - this afternoon he's dressed in slate grey slacks and a matching vest, and wearing a white long sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He's been absolutely delighting in the music, and more importantly the people. Maybe not the truest 'jazz' attire, he would not other than his more exotic features seem out of place at most jazz clubs all the same.

Eyes of blue are intent, even as he approaches that Dixieland performance he cannot help but note the mocha skinned lady who is so clearly enjoying the music. Her attire nearly as striking as her appearance in general, Hank is not the only one who's attention is caught.

When the latest song ends, Priscilla twirls about and claps excitedly, even more clearly demonstrating how happy she is, and how much she is enjoying the performance. She's not alone, by far, but the applause is not as whole-audience-encompassing as it ought to be, owing not a little bit to the number of folks anywhere near Priscilla who have noticed her … and been drawn in.

Still, Priscilla's excitement and pleasure is infectious, and her many admirers are soon applauding excitedly as well. They just seem to be mostly watching and applauding her, rather than the band. Not that most of them can tell the difference. Pris does not seem to have noticed the presence of a blue and pelted music lover just yet. But she is looking around, now, noticing everyone who is noticing her; it shouldn't be long.

One of the best things about most Dixieland is how /energetic/ it can be, the horns and piano more often than not very peppy indeed. Sure, there's slower songs, and some can and do edge right over the line into the Blues, but man…nobody can fault any of it for the passion! No doubt for an empath such energy is quite exhilarating, and it amps up with the mood of the crowd.

Blue eyes take in the dynamic of the crowd, and then Hank laughs very softly to himself as he raises low level shields about his own mind. Not a telepath himself, he is nevertheless quite familiar with such - he's trained with some of the very best in the world.

A bratty grin on his blue-skinned and furred features, he laughs and claps along with the woman as she makes her pirouette. A thought. ~Your energy is quite infectious, miss.~ Formed with diamond precision and clarity, meant to be heard.

Priscilla basks in the high energy and enthusiasm put out by the band, echoed and magnified by the audience, and almost seems to glow from within as that energy and vitality flows through her. She's such a natural empath it would never - and has never - occurred to her to block out or even tamp down that sense of hers. But she does try to restrict reading others' actual thoughts. Even so, noticing a mind that seems to have no surface thoughts, an island of stillness where a warm person is standing, draws her attention. When those purple eyes sweep over the blue-furred form and then she hears a single phrase, crystal clear with no background chatter of other thoughts, it definitely focuses her attention.

Priscilla shifts and begins dancing forward, closer to Hank, as the next song begins. She tries to send a thought back, but it should be noted that it comes across more like a piercing shout, the telepathic equivalent of sound over-amplified until it nearly becomes feedback whine screaming through. Which is all quite at odds with the gentle message being transmitted. « Hi there. Aren't you unique? I love the dapper gentleman look. »

Hank definitely is receptive to the return communication, he was essentially inviting it with that thought he sent. Again, a sure sign of someone familiar with telepaths. Despite his lack of actual telepathic ability, she could easily sense the man's mind is probably /stronger/ than his frame suggests body is. He frowns very faintly at the power of the return sending, adjusting his shields a bit to help 'synch' with it, though…yeah, he's better at blocking than tuning. Still, he tries.

As she dances forward, he ponders a moment and then steps to meet her, a hand that could span a dinner plate offered as he makes a gentlemanly bow in response to her comment. ~Well then, perhaps the lovely lady would honor me with a dance?~ He grins, fangs almost dainty besides his bulk. "Hank McCoy, ma'am. A pleasure." Should she accept the hand he'll step in, and then twirl the woman to arm's length.

Priscilla doesn't get to dance with a partner very often, but she gladly - even eagerly - accepts when offered. And she really is that good a dancer, graceful, a natural at reading her partner's intentions and movements even before they happen and complementing them quite naturally. "I'm Priscilla Kitaen. And thanks." She makes a little moue. "Sorry about the 'yelling'. I'm afraid I'm still not very gentle with my telepathy." And quite obviously her mind is incredibly powerful; she's just really bad at containing and restricting that power.

Clearly not someone who grew up for a decade or more in a school dedicated to teaching such skills.

Oh, no question, Hank's in over his head here - she's far better a dancer than he is, but the man does have literally superhuman grace and balance, he doesn't have her polish but he'll compensate with raw atheticism and quick wits. "Oh, no worries about the yelling, Miss Kitaen, it is a skill like any other and inventing the wheel — well, not as easy as originally advertised." A small clear area forms about the pair, between her aura and natural beauty, and his bulk, and Beast, well, yes, room is made for them to dance. Fortunately Pris's natural aura of atrraction makes it so the people clap and egg the pair on!

Hank will close then, one hand on Pris's hip, the other holding to her hand as he grins hugely and dances with great enjoyment. "You know, I don't get to dance all that often." Eyes of blue meet eyes of purple and his smile and the emotions behind it are quite genuine. "Thank you."

Hank can quickly tell Pris hasn't a shy or retiring bone in her curvy body, as she slides in to fit naturally against him, without grinding or anything excessive. She flexes the fingers that rest on his shoulder, letting her nails scritch through his fur lightly, likely intended as an affectionate gesture to pair with the warm smile. "I don't get to dance with someone else very often." Or with her clothes on, but she decides not to share that just now. He's such a gentleman, maybe he wouldn't be so comfortable with that, and she's too much empath to relish making another uncomfortable. "You're right. It's not easy. And takes a partner willing to put up with the headaches." So she sticks with aloud conversation and that delightful accent. Not hard at all to guess where she learned to love Dixieland style jazz.

Truly, Hank does, but the energy of the crowd and the lively music…and the fact this lovely and exotic woman is not even /faintly/ off-put by his fur and bulk? Yes, he is only too happy to get past it and enjoy the moment. A little frisson at the friendly scritching, and he definitely can feel how adept she is at this, and how well she adapts. A bratty gleam illumines bright blue eyes, and he pushes the pace a little bit, and will, should Priscilla prove willing, try some fairly acrobatic moves, twirling his partner as is she were a bit of gossamer in a breeze. "Lousiana…" He observes. "…possibly New Orleans, though no, perhaps not…" His own voice is deep, it almost rumbles. "As to headaches, well, I am not any sort of 'talent', but I have some training, I'll be happy to share if you like."

Priscilla proves to have astounding athleticism to go with that grace and talent, more than sufficient to play along with Hank's gossamer games with glee and excitement. She even gets the ready excuse that she's just playing along with the obvious mutant, so no one needs to worry too much about her. And damn, but they don't put on a fine show, inspiring the crowd. Pris proves to be - as Hank detected earlier - not just a receptive empath, but a projective one as well, and her glee and pleasure flow outward from her to reinforce that of the crowd. This is likely to be the best and liveliest of the performances for today's festival.

"Good ear for accents." The Cajun-influenced woman offers warmly. "Not just, but yeah." Pris' smile warms tenderly. "'Preciate the offer. But I don't like makin' others feel poorly. 'Specially not my dance partners." Of which, as she said, she has few if any.

Hank's shields are quite good, even so, he's definitely affected by Pris's projections - in part due to being open to her sendings, but also because she's very strong and he needs to really focus on shielding to keep them up and effective. It is work, and he's having too much fun to really concentrate all that hard, he does have a mind of unusual scope and focus, but at the end of the day he's just not going to do more than slow a true telepath in most cases.

So, the dancing and the music, it is a heady and intoxicating rush for them both! To have a partner who can so perfectly match him, and who's skilled ehough to compensate where her lacks? Definitely an experience he'll treasure, and one the crowd and the band will benefit from as well — everyone wins.

"I love The Big Easy, lovely city - and the FOOD…" He rolls his eyes in evident awe. "…so good. They know how to SPICE down there, no question." He smiles, and her warmth actually brings some blush to his cheeks, his fur almost seeming to darken. "Ah, well…I must say that training often requires taking some lumps, the good part is seeing the growth and development, experiencing the improvements." A shrug as he bows over her hand, and kisses the air just above it. "Everything carries a price, dear lady."

"True 'nuff." Priscilla murmurs in response, a slight nod for Hank's final words as he air-kisses her hand. "I guess I just prefer to pay that price myself, rather'n' someone else." She shrugs slightly, and curtsies as if she were born to it, despite wearing not even a skirt, let alone a full dress. "I do miss proper spicy, sometimes. Can usually find a place in a big city, a transplant who knows how t' do it right. But it's tough."

Word choice, too, can be very informative to one with an ear for it. Given his talents, Hank can likely tell a few things about Priscilla: she seems to have no difficulty understanding him, even when he gets very flowery. But her own choices are pretty indicative of minimal education; this is not just 'aw shucks' Southernism.

The applause of the crowd encourages Pris to turn and offer a sweeping bow to those watching their performance. Then she purposefully gestures towards the stage, making it clear even without words she gives all due credit to the amazing musicians up there. The band leader and singer notice this, and she uses her microphone to call out, encouraging the symbiosis, "Glad to see folks bein' so moved. Let that Dixieland spirit fill ya'all!" The and leader nods to the singer, and then calls out what might be a slight change in program, as the band adjusts and then starts another song.

"Of course you do. Forgive me if the offer was o'erbold, it was made in earnest, however." Hank grins and makes a proper bow, one hand to chest, the other extended to the side as the only proper answer to Pris's curtsey. Something of a student of language, Hank can certainly judge education level by the words chosen, the turns of phrase, even the inflection. Lack of formal education, however, does not indicate stupidity. This woman is -clearly- intelligent.

He grins then as she speaks of finding a good place. "Well, I know a place or two, if you've a taste for such." A nod. "In truth I make a fair jambalaya, though that takes time."

Hank is rather less comfortable in the spotlight in this particular venue, he's used to speaking in public, but never really been a performer, so this is a new experience. Not sure which way or who to bow to, he contents himself with a mildly embarassed but cheerful smile which probably earns some good natured laughs.

Playing along and clearly making an effort to ease Hank's discomfort, Priscilla gently takes the lead, guiding him through a return bow and then sliding up to chat with him as the next song begins; no more need to be center-stage, even when they are this far away from that center in reality. The nice thing is, now that she isn't dancing, tuned up and pumping out that aura of hers, most of the crowd returns their attentions to the band, so they aren't being stared at much at all, other than a few hungrier stares at Pris herself.

"Maybe after the performance? I'd love to share a taste o' home." Pris offers, giving Hank's hand a little squeeze of appreciation. "An' y'weren't being too bold or nothin'. I know you meant it, down deep, too. Nothin' to forgive." she offers, another light scritch through that blue fur as she stays at his side, watching and listening to the band. Thus close, at least, they can make themselves heard, and not bother anyone else's enjoyment. Ideal, right?

Hank's gratitude at the guidance is manifest, he follows Pris's lead, and is indeed relieved to be out of the spotlight. Her proximity after, is definitely something he notices, and definitely in a good way. Some of the less polite starers would be on the receiving end of a fairly formidable baring of Hank's own pearly whites, and the look is anything but friendly. Pris might find it amusing that he's protective of her honor! That's how Hank rolls, he really is a gentleman.

"After the performance would be absolutely wonderful, Miss Kitaen." He grips the hand back, his own warm and a little leathery in texture, returning her squeeze. "Oh yes, not prone to prevarication am I." He affirms, and he definitely does not mind the scritch, and keeps hold of her hand unless Pris reclaims it. Definitely more comfortable, he smiles. "Might I call you Priscilla, or have you another preference?"

"Such a sweet gentleman." Pris murmurs, leaning over to kiss a fuzzy cheek. "Priscilla's fine. My friends, though, they call me Pris." She gives the hand holding hers a little squeeze. "Your choice, though. 'Hank'." She smiles at this, as if somehow such a name seems ill-fitting to this dapper gentleman in her view. It's still his name, though, and she uses it respectfully. "Don't go growling at anyone, OK? No need to ruin your image for them." Apparently Pris is very used to how others respond around her, and has made her peace with it.

The kiss surprises Hank, and to his credit he makes no bones about that fact. His smile is a little on the shy side. "Pris then, and yes, you assuredly must call me Hank, Henry is far too formal." And having noticed her relative lack of education, he doesn't mention his own title of Doctor. Seems way way too formal, and might make this charming and engagins lady uncomfortable.

Hank leans back, a hand pressed splay-fingered to his chest. "Growl? Moi? Perish the thought, Pris. Oh my stars and garters, I would never growl."

He leans back then, grinning. "Oh, well, maybe I might a little if anyone were to offer any insult. I suppose I might be a tad protective, a smidge."

"Just a smidge, maybe." Pris teases lightly, a warm and playful twinkle in those purple eyes. "And I think it's adorable." And she offers a warm chuckle of amusement; stars and garters indeed! It probably is best he hasn't mentioned being a doctor, though. She's pretty smooth and easy-going, but that could be the bridge too far. "Hank it is, then. I promise." See? No Henry. But she does seem to like knowing what's behind the Hank. "I do love this music." she offers after a bit.

Releasing Pris's hand, Hank holds it up a moment, fingers curled save the thumb and index finger, which are held a tiny fraction apart. "A smidge, definitely." Her teasing seems to relax Hank a little, and then — being exceptionally brave — he daringly (for him) risks putting his arm about Pris's shoulders as they enjoy the show. "And I know a southern belle such as yourself is a woman of her word." He says with solemnity quite spoiled by the amusement in his eyes. Perfectly content to spend the rest of the show so arranged, Hank smiles, eyes on the stage as he answers. "Well, it is very good, and all the better for company." Says the man in a crowd!

Pris indulges in a warm, rich moment of laughter as Hank names her a belle. "I know more than a few back home who would object to calling me that. But thanks." She does not shy away from the arm around her shoulders, and leans in during certain moments as the performance continues. "Almost everything I've ever known gets even better shared with good company."

No doubt Hank's both warm and sturdy as a leaning post! He squeezes a bit as Pris laughs. "Dear lady, who cares what 'they' think? To quote one of my favorite movies of all time…" Hank tries to do a higher voice, with less than stellar results, but…yeah, barrel chested and deeply bass. "'I mean, I thought a gentleman was somebody that owned horses. But it turns out, his short and simple definition of a lady or a gentleman is, someone who always tries to make sure the people around him or her are as comfortable as possible.'" Hank smiles, voice gratefully normal once more. "Which makes you very much a lady, Pris, a 'belle' in southern parlance — at least in my experience you have been charming, and gracious to a fault."

He surely agrees with her last comment, his smile growing as he watches the stage still. "Indeed."

"I don't, generally." Pris offers, eyes twinkling merrily. "But I guess even I have a few things I tend to avoid. Habits of a lifetime." She does seem to enjoy the quote, too. "Not sure where that's from, but I like it." That said, she taps her toes - despite the heavy boot they wear - as the last song spirals out into the air. "I admit, I like where they chose to put these performances. This lakefront is awesome."

"An older movie from nineteen ninety-nine, 'Blast from the Past'." Hank provides, he seemed utterly unsurprised by Pris not caring what 'they' think. "Starring Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone as the leads, it is a very cute film. Some other amazing actors and actresses in it, anyway, the quote was from there. Should you get a chance I highly reccommend it, I don't have a doubt in the world it is on just about every streaming service out there." Hank is less prone to moving as they watch and listen, perhaps afraid that movement might chase Pris off!

He smiles and nods agreement. "Say what you will, Central Park is a beautiful backdrop, especially the lakefront, I concur wholeheartedly." Turning then, he (regretfully!) recovers his arm from about Pris's shoulders. "So…were you up for some Cajun, or shall I simply thank you for sharing a lovely concert with me, and beg on bended knee for your number?" He's CLEARLY prepared to do just that too, poised to even!

"Hunh. Not one I'd ever heard of, or seen." Pris admits. Not that she's a great movie watcher, but she's far better with movies than with reading books; darn squiggly monsters of confusion that those are.

When Hank withdraws his arm and then asks, Priscilla tilts her head slightly, considering Hank at a different perspective for a moment. "I said I wanted to go share the food. Why would that change?" She banishes her confusion, though, and just pushes on. "So, let's go. If we need a ride, though, we should call a rideshare; I don't think both of us will fit very comfortably on my bike. We can get my number into your phone at dinner." And with that, they join the throng of those gathering themselves to depart the performance.

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