2020-03-29 - Options


Gwen and Emma have a little chat over hot chocolate.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Mar 29 04:46:13 2020
Location: Tavern on the Green

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It has been a bit since last Emma and Gwen spoke, and once again they meet by chance. Emma is seated at the Tavern on the Green, not wanting to be inside she's on a patio table dressed in a beautiful white woolen jacket lined with white fur, possibly ermine, and a hat with matching fringe. Long legs are one over the other as she sips tea. The patio is not even open for the season yet, and still, Emma Frost has service out there. Apparently being a billionaire has its perks!

Gwen Stacy is not a billionaire, and does not enjoy any of those perks. So, she lines up inside like a regular person, and eventually receives what she asked for — hot chocolate, in one of those little to-go paper cups. There's a lineup, and it take forever, but it's not like she isn't already used to this sort of thing. Also, as it turns out, there's nowhere to sit inside. Fortunately she dressed for the weather, more or less, in long jeans and one of those intentionally damaged denim jackets, the kind where you pay more to get one that has just a bit less actual jacket. It seems to be good enough, though. Upon emerging, she spots Emma from behind, but doesn't immediately put two and two together on who it is, as she's walking off to a completely different seat.

Of course Emma is always scanning about her, and recognizes Gwen - the 'feel' of her mind, familiar. Practiced at such things, she just happens to glance around at the right moment, and eyes of pale blue meet darker even from across the closed patio. "Ah, hello again, Miss Stacy. Please, won't you join me?" Probably a good thing, one of the staff was about to ask Gwen to leave…and instead smiles, and motions towards the table. "This way, miss Stacy." Oh, he's smooth! Kind of cute too. Name tag reads 'Ernesto', and yeah, definitely latino.

Emma smiles as Gwen joins her, and then motions for more hot chocolate, not quite peremptorily, but close. She's used to getting what she wants, and right now that is a second service, this one with hot chocolate for the Spider-Gwen.

A friendly enough smile as she sips her tea. "How have you been?"

Smooth indeed; and Gwen can certainly read the signs that she's about to be evicted. She would've just left without a fuss, too, until Emma more or less solves the problem for her. (Also, the fact that Ernesto is a cute boy isn't entirely lost on her, but it doesn't entirely register, either; no wonder she's single.) "Miss Frost," she replies, as she approaches and takes an offered seat; she shifts her backpack from shoulder to floor, tucking it protectively between her feet.

"Pretty sure he was going to tell me the patio is closed. …You must have connections, I see. Thank you for that." She smiles pleasantly, and gives her drink a sip. "Wasn't expecting to see… well, anyone I know here." And that's the truth. "It's good to take a break out of a busy day sometimes. …I've just been rushing around all morning. No rest for… well, I don't think I'm wicked, but no rest for me, that's for certain." She shrugs lightly. "How're you?"

Ernesto inclines his head once you're sat, and moves off to get the second service for Miss Frost's guest. Emma notes the care, wondering if the girl's costume is in the bag, her daughter does that sometimes, seems good reason for such protectiveness. Of course, Gwen might just be careful of her stuff. "Hello." She says to the 'Miss Frost'.

A smile at the observation, and she nods. "Oh, he was. Patio service isn't yet available, but…yes, I suppose 'connections' is a good word for it."

An Mmmmm of assent. "Oh yes, just got done with a board meeting, it was a bit exhausting and I didn't want to wait, so, I came here." A warm chuckle at the quip. "Not wicked? You Should try it sometime, it can be quite exhilarating. Myself, I am just a bit tired after a long work day."

Gwen perks an eyebrow upwards, and tilts her head. "Is that for your new school, that you're setting up?" Exactly what's in the bag isn't at the top of Gwen's thoughts, but it didn't look particularly heavy. (But then, knowing Spiders, it could have been a compacted car engine and it still wouldn't count as heavy for her.) "How is that going, anyway?"

She pauses, and blushes softly. "Depends on what kind of 'wicked' you're getting at," she adds. "My Dad is still a cop, and I still live in my Cop-Dad's appartment, and I'm sure for most if not all brands of 'wicked' it would result in my being grounded until the heat death of the Universe. And, if you think I could just… move out or something, you don't know my Dad." Or his position in the force, she thinks, that's a pretty big factor too.

"No, not the school. this was a…situation…at Frost International, but the School is ready to open soon, actually. The Horizon Academy." Emma doesn't probe deeper either, just light surface scans, and a hostility scan of the area around them. One can NEVER be too paranoid as a billionaire and a woman and a mutant, after all.

"Oh, there's many kinds of wicked that aren't illegal, Miss Stacy…or may I call you Gwen? If so, feel free to call me Emma." She smirks a bit around her teacup, taking another sip. "I can see how your options might be a bit more…limited with a Polciceman for a father." She allows with sympathy. "I was not close to my father, he was a Banker." Of course he was.

"I'm an only child, and my Dad is a single parent," Gwen replies. "So… uncrowded house, I guess. Well, appartment, which honestly is better when it's just the two of us. I don't understand how people live alone in big houses, it just feels so…" she trails off, but 'empty', 'barren', and 'lonely' are all words that flash through her brain. "Well, I mean to each their own, but it's not for me," she finishes.

"Gwen is fantastic, honestly if anyone calls me 'Miss Stacy' I assume I'm in trouble." She sips her hot chocolate, and mmms softly. "Anyway. 'Legal', and 'Dad-approved' are not the same thing by a longshot. But don't worry, I don't do what Dad says all the time and I'm definitely not perfectly behaved. I'm still fresh from being a teenager, and the rebellion hasn't quite fled yet, I promise."

"I had three sisters and a brother, never got on too well with the sisters, though the brother and I were close." Emma smiles. "Big houses aren't much fun, no. Not without a lot of people there, and sometimes not even then. Large homes that are mostly empty? Doubly so." It is about this time than a hot chocolate service is delivered to the table, and Gwen would find herself having a chocolate barista prep her fine china cup, he'll even offer her choice of sprinkles, marshmallows, cinnamon and either whipped or sweet cream.

Once he's finished the prep, the man withdraws to a discrete distance, waiting and watching out of ear shot.

"Very well, then. Gwen…and I'm Emma." She grins wickedly. "Good to know, one should always enjoy their teen and collegiate rebellions, I've found."

whipped cream with sprinkles on top. The multi-colored sprinkles. Lots of sprinkles. Like all of them. …Okay maybe not literally all of them. But, clearly, Gwen is not worried about losing her figure over a cup of hot chocolate, no matter how ritzed up it is. (Scanning her surface thoughts probably indicates she's not worried about the world around her, either; not in the slightest. It's like a ninja wouldn't have to sneak up on her, she'd just ignore him anyway.)

"I've found that what parents call 'rebellion' is usually what teens call 'self expression," she replies. "My Dad told me about how his parents completely didn't approve of the Beetles, but then I listen to what I like and he calls it 'noise' or 'terrible' or whatever. I'd claim that I won't be like that when I'm a Mom, but I probably will."

She pauses, and after a sip from the newly provided and rather amazing hot chocolate, she quirks her lips upwards at the corners. "Thank you for this, this is the best hot chocolate I've had in weeks. …So how did you rebel, when you were a teenager? If that's not a personal question."

And Emma has to envy the younger woman's metabolism, no doubt an enhanced one as well. An amused curl to her lips at the sprinkle extravaganza on the hot chocolate.

"You may have a point, but we are all too often our parents, thank God not in my case, but most often." Emma smiles encouragingly. "Honestly, just be yourself, Gwen Stacy, that's enough."

Emma laughs softly, and waves the thanks away as unneeded. "Truly, my pleasure." And then her smile fades just a hint. "Me? I did the most /terrible/ thing imaginable - I wanted to be a teacher, even went so far as to /date/ one, alas, it was not meant to be. In truth…I was underage, he got into a lot of trouble. Then my father ruined his life."

A calm sip of her tea. "I ran away from home then, and I'm afraid I did many things you would not approve of I'm sure, dated the wrong boys, the wrong girls, did some things of dubious or outright illegality. My life is not one to pattern yourself after." A pause. "Still, I DID make something of myself, and if I can, then others can too."

Gwen shrugs lightly. "There's a cop in my Dad's precinct who had a criminal record before he joined up," she replies. "He had to go through a lot. Had to get a pardon, had to get everything sorted out, it took him a lot of effort, but he's one of the best cops in the city now. Or at least, that's how Dad tells it."

When Emma is talking about dating the wrong people, Gwen's mind goes, just briefly, to a darker place; somewhere she doesn't visit often, and definitely with a boy's face in it. But she doesn't stick around there long. "I've always kinda… I dunno, the term 'make something of yourself' has always struck me as flawed, somehow? I mean, people tell me I should make something of myself, and I'm working on an eventual doctorate, but aren't I 'something' right now?" She pauses long enough to sip her drink, and briefly considers continuing the conversation with a cream mustache, but ultimately decides against it.

"I mean… I graduated highschool with honors, but it's not just about that. I've got a whole childhood and teenagehood full of experiences that I can't just 'quantify'. Why don't people see stuff like that in others? Same as when I asked you, you talked about your experiences, not your financial history."

"Well, I was hardly a menace to society, to be sure…though, I have done some dark things." Emma admits. "Many things I regret deeply and am trying to make amends for, like with my charitable works, and with the Horizon Academy. I think it is meant to mean do things to make an impression on the world."

Emma's tone is thoughtful, musing. "Of course you're something, I'd hazard a guess something wonderful, but people can't see that, not just by looking. They have to be able to see deep inside and all too often we don't bother to look. So…society makes rules, sets standards and they work for most, but not everyone. Not everyone."

"See, and that's my problem, all too often we're just valuing people based on their productivity. Like, I'm supposed to feel guilty if I ever take a day where I just relax and do nothing." And of course, she says that with the full irony if never feeling like she can do exactly that; the curse of being a superhero. And a secret identity superhero, no less.

"I met a homeless guy a few months ago," she muses, after a sip of the hot chocolate. "A couple other people and I helped him out. He was a war vet. How does a war vet end up on the streets? Isn't he supposed to come home to a grateful country? He risked everything and got him nothing."

Gwen goes sildent for a long moment, and tries to look like she's just enjoying the hot chocolate for a moment. …And, indeed, she really is, but there's still an element of brooding that you don't need to be a mind-reader to work out. "Well, I guess that's why I'm gonna vote Democrat, now that I'm old enough."

"Oh, I can be an iron cast bitch, Gwen. I have a reputation as an ice queen and boardroom shark for a reason." Emma bares her teeth is a rather unnerving fashion, and then smiles naturally again, as she warms her tea, adds some honey. "But…people do have value of their own, though I admit I'm no social crusader, I live a life of privilege…both as a youth, and now as adult, in the middle though I lived a rather hard knock life. I have perspective that a lot of wealthy folks, like our current president can't even imagine. It really grants context."

A firm nod. "FI has a very generous policy about hiring veterans, and many of the charities I give to are for veteran relief, you're right that America has failed far too many of them."

A shake of her head. "Honestly, I'm going to too, even though he favors big business, our current president is…not good."

She leaves it at that.

Gwen glowers thunderously. "That's a word for it," she affirms. "Well, two words technically, but you know what I mean." She grits her teeth. "I had to keep my mouth shut at work the other day and be careful not to start a fight with a jerk the other day at work who was convinced he's the best thing ever. I mean, either verbal or physical. It could have gone either way… which wouldn't have played out very well for me at all in the latter, since he was six feet tall and I don't think I've ever successfully punched anyone."

That last bit, very definitely, is a big fat lie.

"Having privelege isn't a bad thing in and of itself. I'm white, I can't claim I don't have any. …It's about what you do with it and wether or not you abuse it, really, right?"

Rich laughter. "Oh, I've abused my privileges on many occasions, Gwen." She looks meaningfully at the patio they're keeping open. "But I also work hard, I worked very hard to claw my way out of the gutter after having run away. I cut some corners, did some awful things, but I went in with eyes open and I paid plenty of dues for what I have. Don't think I'm above using my power for my own benefit, but that's just it, the world is not just black and white, despite my apparel choices. It is grey far more often, absolutes are absolutely /rare/. Good, evil, most things are neither of those extremes."

Emma sighs. "I have made many mistakes, but I'm trying to learn from them, striving to better, and really…what more can anyone ask? I admit to being less than perfect in my efforts, but who *is* perfect?"

Well aware of the lie, Emma say s nothing, she's not going to judge Gwen - she has a right to her secret ID, even if Emma knows, Gwen can't know that.

Well, it's not like Gwen keeps a secret identity for her own benefit, really, she'd be fine with people knowing she's Spider Woman if it weren't for a number of other people who could be hurt as a result of word getting out. So there's that. "I guess that's a matter of perspective, too," she admits. "Like, if you're a cop's daughter, and you stay out way past curfew, and you're only sixteen, and he's waiting at home with the lights on and you know that all the way up the elevator because you live in an apartment and you can see the light on from outside, that's a long, black and white elevator ride. Ask me how I know."

Gwen shrugs. "I'm not religious, but I always remember that bit about he who is without sin casting the first stone. I'm no angel. See? No wings, no halo. I think on the balance of it I'm a good person, though, and I try to be every day."

Of course, trying to be a good person and trying to be a good person who can throw a car are two different things, or at least she definitely sees it that way.

No, not it is not…and Emma is VERY much one to protect her family, her loved ones and what is hers. In truth there's probably only a double handful of people in the world who even know Emma's a mutant, less that know she's a telepath. So, yes, she is in favor of Gwen protecting her family by hiding her identity, even if Emma /did/ figure it out.

A wry smirk. "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord is one bit of religion I've found rather…hard to accept, in truth I'm not religious either and never have been."

Emma nods. "I am sure you're a good person, Gwen, and that you do good every day, that you strive to help others and make their lives a bit better for your having been around. That's -exactly- what you should be doing too."

She sets her tea down, the saucer clinking faintly. "So…what's next, Gwen Stacy? What is on your horizon?"

Gwen goes quiet for a long moment, thinking that question over; a lot runs through her mind, chiefly focusing on how on Earth one manages to balance getting a degree, having a career, and doing all that normal stuff, against being a superhero with a secret identity. And not wanting to give up either. Or, a feeling of obligation to do both. …Not that it's a big obligation, since she wants to do both, but it's still tough, to be sure.

"Finish my Degree, then work on my Masters, then if my brain still works, my Doctorate," she replies, while in her mind she's wondering how the hell one manages to get through that much school while fighting crime by night, even if she does need less sleep than the rest of the planet.

"I like helping people, so I'll probably try to find a career that lets me do that, eventually. …I wanted to be a cop like my Dad when I was a teenager, but I think I'm definitely not cut out for that."

And that's definitely the truth. Masked super-vigilante, however…

"Nothing is set in stone now, though. Might as well keep my options open."

Actually…the obligations one chooses can be the biggest ones of all. They certainly mean the most! Emma smiles. "Good." A firm nod, clearly approving. "As an educator once and future I am *absolutely* in favor of your plans to further yours. I am even prepared to help out, if you need assistance, financial aid being the least I can offer." Not that financial aid isn't important or useful! Schooling is EXPENSIVE. "If you're in need of work there's many options at Frost International, why don't you send me your resume if you're looking. I don't know that you are. Finally, there's the Academy, it will be open for summer session, so…there's that option as well."

Emma sure seems to be opening up some options!

Gwen blushes, and chuckles softly. "I actually enjoy working at Luke's at the moment, he's really flexible about hours and I have friends who work there. But I'll send you my resume anyway. It's always good to be open-minded, especially to employment." She bobs her head, and is about to sip the hot chocolate, when she pauses with the cup halfway up to her lips. "But, the academy, over summer? Mind if I ask you to tell me more about that? I really didn't have any plans for my summer, if I can use it bettering myself that'd be pretty excellent, honestly."

And judging by her thoughts, it certainly would. Especially if it includes education; getting a jump on degree requirements would be awesome.

"Why the blush, Gwen? You're a smart girl with a lot of potential and I *love* seeing potential developed." Emma frowns. "Luke's?" And then she thinks a bit. "Oh, is it your present job that's making you blush? Honey, don't be shy about that, I've done some fairly risque work…" She leans in close, conspiratorial. "…I've even done exotic dancing during those 'clawing myself up from the gutter' years." Of course Emma can see a bit of Gwen's job, the thoughts of the place and her friends as she thinks of it and them.

She smiles as she leans back, hard to imagine this elegant, dignified woman as a dancer, but…she /does/ have the looks for it.

"Do please send me that resume, you have my contact info, yes?" She did give her a card, but Gwen might have lost it. "The Academy? It is very modern, a full collegiate curriculum, masters and doctoral programs, also training in the use of metapowers. There's a medical center on the campus…honestly…we should make time for a tour, I'll be happy to show you, if you like. Regardless, I daresay that any course of study you're pursuing can be furthered there."

Gwen chuckles softly. "Maybe I'm just modest," she replies. "I remember the people — mostly guys — who spent all their time in high school bragging about how aweseome they are, and it was annoying. I don't need everyone else to know I'm really darn good at biochemistry until I'm in a job interview, I suppose." She pauses, and perks an eyebrow upwards. "Exotic dancing is legit work and everyone who does it deserves to be recognized as… well, doing legit work. Just, it's one of those careers that if I chose it, my Dad would kill me."

The young blonde pauses, thinking about where she left the card; after a moment she recalls putting it on her dresser. Right next to Twilight Sparkle and Rarity. "Yeah, I've got it. I'll send my resume over tonight when I get home." Which won't be until four or five am, depending on how much crime she ends up fighting, that is. "And I'm definitely in for a tour. Why not? Curiosity is never a bad thing."

"Just don't be /too/ modest, a modicum of modesty is nice, too much and you might start buying into it yourself if you repeat it oft enough." Emma shakes her head. "No, no…bragging is quite a different thing from being confident and realizing your own value. Braggadocio is generally spurred by *lack* of confidence." A nod of approval. "Indeed, that's one time confidence is crucial." She smiles then as the girl correctly, in Emma's humble opinion (Ha!) doesn't denigrate exotic dancing. "One of my daughters is a dancer, she's quite good, you should drop by the Obsidian Club sometime, she's the headliner."

Really…next to 'My Little Ponies'? Emma cannot help but smile and maybe laugh a bit. "Very well then. The resume, and we'll do the tour." A faint sigh, and then she rises. "Alas, I have an early day tomorrow, thank you so very much for the company and conversation, Gwen. My regards to your father." A soft chuckle at the response that is likely to get.

"Well, I'll pass them on, but I don't think my Dad knows as many billionaires as I do, and I only know one." Gwen finishes off her hot chocolate (the 'to stay' one) and rises from her seat as well, picking up the other hot chocolate (the 'to go' one, that's still warm. First though, it's her backpack that's reclaimed; ever protective of it she is, as she slings it over one shoulder, then the other.

Of course, anyone who wanted to take it off her would have to contend with a woman who actually knows how to fight and has the musculature to benchpress ten tons, so actually stealing it from her might be much easier said than done.

"I'd best be on my way as well, I've got some projects tonight I need to do." Drugdealers. The kind that try to sell the hard stuff to pre-teens. "It's a school thing." Well, sort of, the kids are in school and she'd like them to stay that way. "I'll let you know how it goes!" No she won't.

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