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 running from lions, BRIAN BRADDOCK
Esmeralda Bishop
 Posted: Jan 5 2018, 06:23 PM
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RUNNING FROM LIONS
never felt like such a mistake

It was the dead of winter outside, winter wasn't coming, winter was here, and it came with a vengeance. Esme walked the block of Orchid street, knowing exactly where she was going. She wanted to go to a lounge and have some time to herself. The lounge was right on the outskirts of Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge, right in New York City. It was rare she got a night off from Eros for two days in a row, and got to actually have a full day to herself. She wanted to be the one on the other side of the bar for once, so she was going to The Skinny Bar & Lounge, and happy hour was at five, and look what time it was, 4:57PM. She wasn't trying to get plastered, she just wanted to relax a little. Esme didn't have a car, and it wasn't that she was poor but she didn't want to spend thirty-seven dollars on an uber or a lyft. So she took a bus and the F train and walked the short distance to the lounge.

Esme's hands were buried inside the insides of her coat pockets, and if they weren't already numb, she would have done it herself. She reached the lounge walking in, taking her hands out of her pockets, rubbing them together ferociously. The woman at the podium made a joke of it being cold outside and Esme just smiled, not wanting to engage in any conversation that was this close to the door. The woman must have gotten the hint because she ended up telling her that she could sit anyway. It was warm inside, but it would definitely be a little bit before she fully warmed up. She found a booth and settled herself in, taking off her coat to reveal the light colored sweater. Esme was at a steady state of comfort. For once she wasn't dressed like a slag that had anywhere to be, so it was nice to just be in some jeans and a sweater. She took the scarf from around her neck finally warming up after a few minutes.

It was busy for a Thursday afternoon, but since it was a lounge, it wasn't loud and rowdy, which is exactly what she wanted. A waitress finally came over and asked her if she wanted anything or if she needed more time...she didn't. She was hungry and knew what she wanted. "I'll just have the shrimp benedict and...a mai tai...hard.", Esme said with a smile still needing to warm up a little. She folded the menu and handed it to the waitress before she walked away. She exhaled heavily, looking around and looking towards the television that was dribbling on about some sport.

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Brian Braddock
 Posted: Jan 12 2018, 05:56 PM
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Brian had been in the neighborhood, following up on a lead that turned up nothing. He was slightly irritated, but frankly, that was life. You couldn’t control control what panned out and what didn’t; you could only follow the leads that seemed the most promising and move forward from there. He’d considered going back to the office, but Marie and Sofia had both been pushing him to get out (separately or in unison, it mattered little.) So he ducked into a small bar instead, to take a bit of time to himself and to unwind. However, he seemed a bit surprised as he crossed the threshold, looking at the rather small space the place occupied. He’d been in worse places fairly recently, so he couldn’t complain. But he couldn’t help but notice the booths were rather close to the bar. All the same, he moved to the bar, unbuttoning his pea coat and shrugging it off to place it on the stool next to him. As one of the bartenders came over to him, he smiled politely and took a seat. ”Scotch, please. Chilled glass or with stones, if you have them.”

Not every place had stones, so Brian did his best not to come off as an idiot when he ordered, but after the day he’d had, he preferred if the scotch ended up with a bit of a chill to it. Thankfully the bartender just nodded and went about pouring a drink for him in a chilled glass. As she did so, Brian took another look around, eyeing the few other customers present as well as the way it was decorated. He frowned slightly, talking to himself more than anything else. ”Really seems a bit more like Simon’s sort of place…” Then he recalled that, like himself, his friend tended to lean toward liquor that was old enough to order its own and very...shall we say unique trappings, and he shrugged. ”Or perhaps just short of it.”

The bartender came back promptly, setting the glass down in front of him. Brian produced a card and handed it to her. ”Keep it open. Thank you very much.” True, this place was a bit more trendy than his usual places, but the staff was prompt enough, and she hadn’t made any issue about his request. That had to count for something, didn’t it? He took a breath in, smelling the scotch in front of him before nodding, taking the glass in hand. Not exactly top shelf, but not bad, he supposed. ”Nothing like a decent scotch to try and sort your day out.”

He’d been half tempted to utter a small toast, out of force of habit and perhaps because he’d thought of Simon earlier, but he was drinking alone, and toast were best reserved for company. So instead, he took a drink, allowing the amber liquid to burn a trail down his throat and savoring the flavors. He tilted his head a bit as he placed a few of the mentally before setting down his glass, letting the warmth filter into his limbs. Apparently he’d needed this, or something like it. He glanced up to the television behind the bar, catching sight of a basketball game, before shrugging. Despite his height, it wasn’t really his game. He’d always been more of a rugby fellow, much to his mother’s dismay.

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Esmeralda Bishop
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 07:05 PM
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RUNNING FROM LIONS
never felt like such a mistake

Esme’s thumb scrolled through an article on her phone, her mind not really paying attention to what was on the screen because she wasn’t heavily involved with social media or media at all in fact. She kept her head out of politics, especially regarding mutantism because it just wasn’t her cup of tea. She stayed out trouble, stayed under the radar and since she didn’t have anything to partake in when it came to anything involving it. Sure it sucked how mutants were treated compared to humans, and in reality it was obvious who the dominant species was. Esme heard the whoosh of the door from the force of the wind of outside and a gentleman entered. She looked down then looked up quickly again noting that…he wasn’t too shabby looking. The dirty blonde hair and blue eyes was definitely an eye catcher and Esme looked at him a little longer than she probably should have. She made his way over to the bar immediately, and it was practically like she was at work, but for once she wasn’t the one taking the order. The second he opened his mouth to speak and the words spilled out she let out a heavy breath with an exasperated chuckle. Of course, why was it that everyone in her vicinity was British? It was like being home without actually stepping foot on its soil. She frowned slightly remembering why she hadn’t returned to Britain since she left when she was a little girl.

She came back to reality, Scotch, of course he was a scotch kind of man, the amber liquid was a friend of hers as well but she didn’t drink as much as she would have if she weren’t a bartender. It seemed as if she were being nosy, but she was, feeling that piece of home was always a brush of fresh air and her body itched to get up and investigate into the man more. The man eyed the location, as if it were a natural instinct to take in his surroundings before getting comfortable, which was fair. She was sure he saw her but no eye contact was made, and Esme wasn’t one of those girls that went out of her way to make a guy notice her or get their attention but this one…this one was different. He spoke with himself, which made Esme tilt her head in curiosity. She returned with his glass in record time and smiled, it was interesting to see things from this side, she barely went out so picking up on how others worked in her natural environment was fascinating to her. She played with her hands under the table still eyeing the man without being weird about it, she pretended to watch the television, which was obviously not what she was interested in. He handed over his card, leaving the tab open. Oh, big spender , Esme thought slyly. She smiled inwardly, she always wondered about what point of people’s lives did they figure out that they had enough money to just spend and not worry about the consequences of bills later on. Must be nice, she thought.

She smiled a little bigger at his words. He sounded like a food critique. She was looking down at her phone at this point now before…”I agree.”, the words fell out of her mouth faster than she could catch them. She didn’t notice she said it out loud until she heard her voice in open air. She looked up and gave a half smile to the man. Too late now, the moment had passed and she couldn’t take it back now. He’d catch her own accent with the two words she managed to spit out. He probably wouldn’t make anything of it because of course New York was a common place for anyone to be from anywhere. But what were the chances that the last two people she’d met in social encounters were also British? Esme fluffed her brown hair absentmindedly and looked back down at her phone thinking maybe the moment was over already.

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This post has been edited by Esmeralda Bishop: Jan 25 2018, 10:23 PM
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Brian Braddock
 Posted: Jan 23 2018, 02:30 PM
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Brian was wrapped up in his own thoughts when he heard two soft words from behind him. The Englishman frowned, turning to meet the gaze of a young woman, who was giving him a small smile. His eyes met hers for a moment, and a flicker of what might have been recognition, before it struck him with a rather odd, nagging feeling. No, he didn’t know her. But should he? Her face seemed familiar somehow, like he ought to. ”Sorry?” Brian glanced over his shoulder to ensure the woman wasn’t talking to someone else before turning back to her. ”I...well, I assume you were talking to me? Otherwise, I’ll look like an idiot as I turn around and get back to my drink.”

He turned the barstool to face her wholly, a napkin wrapped about the glass to keep his hand from warming the scotch too much. Even if she hadn’t been talking to him, he’d fully engaged himself in her business now. The least he could do was to be polite about the whole thing. Her accent was easy and familiar, somewhere west of home. He had a guess, and that was the thing about having lived somewhere most of your life; when you heard the accents often enough, you managed to place them more often than not. He leaned forward a little, sharp blue eyes relaxing a little since he’d long since given up placing her face. ”English, then? Nice to hear a bit of back home in someone’s voice. You’re a southern girl, if I place the accent right; a Londoner?”

He could be wrong, of course. Being in America might have muddied her accent a bit, since he had no idea how long she’d been away from “home.” Some people viewed New York as home, but to Brian, it would always be on the sea in England. The house belonged to Jamie now, but he’d lived there as a child. It would never be anywhere else. You didn’t call yourself Captain Britain for a few years before thinking of it as where you hung your hat. Brian rose, taking the few steps to close the distance between his stool and her booth, stopping just short of the seat. He wasn’t about to invite himself to sit, but it was more civilized than talking across the bar. ”I’m Brian. From Maldon, actually. So what has you in New York, aside from the drinks?”

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Esmeralda Bishop
 Posted: Jan 28 2018, 04:17 PM
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RUNNING FROM LIONS
never felt like such a mistake

Esme continued to smile as the man recognized that the voice was hers. ”No I’m sorry. I was just saying that that I agree with what you said…about the scotch.”, Esme looked as the waitress brought over her drink and food and placed it in front of her. She nodded at her and smiled to thank her. She grabbed the mai tai taking a sip of it, her eyes widening. It was definitely strong. Esme smiled in appreciation before looking back up to the man. She took a shrimp, biting the meat off and plucking the tail back onto her plate. She swallowed her food before making eye contact again, not wanting to be rude and speak with food in her mouth. She nodded to his statement. ”I was speaking with you”, she chuckled at the second part of what he said. ”I mean I’m not going to stop you from enjoying your scotch, but you aren’t an idiot regardless, at least I’d think not.” Esme said poking the egg with a fork.

He faced her completely now, noting how he held his drink. He was smart, he probably drank regularly to know how to prevent warmth to the glass. As a bartender she knew, so she was betting he was also a bartender…or her first guess, that he drank enough in his life to pick up on tricks such as that one. She smiled at the note of an accent of his own though, and he picked up on hers. Though not as thick as his, but she definitely had one noticeably. Someone from the U.S. wouldn’t know she’d been away from home for as long as she had, but someone, such as this gentleman definitely would since he’d probably resided there longer than she had. She nodded. ”I haven’t been home home since I was six…the accent stuck though, since I was home more than anything and my father did the raising.”, she broke off a piece of bread and plucked it in her mouth. She nodded again. ”That’s right.”, he definitely was intelligent. A lot of people just pegged all British people sounded the same and that definitely wasn’t the case. She appreciated that.

The man made his way over to her table and saw him eye the stool, she smile once more. He was very gentleman like, and that alone made her smile. Not because she was looking to pick him up but because it was nice to see there were still decent people left in the world. ”Help yourself, it’s a free country.”, she looked upwards for a moment noting her words, ”It’s a free seat in a bar” she said with a chuckle. She stuck out a hand to shake his hand. ”Esmeralda…Esme is fine though.”, her eyes went wide for a brief second from the location he said. ”That’s only an hour out from London, give or take. I least I think so.”, Esme was raking her brain to make sure her geography was right. She definitely knew the location, she’d been when she was younger, but it had been so long. She took another sip of her drink, and chuckled. ”I mean I live here…and serve said drinks, but I’m off today so I’m enjoying a swig of my own. What about you? You live about as well?”, Esme said creating casual conversation.

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Brian Braddock
 Posted: Feb 14 2018, 05:22 PM
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Brian tilted his head slightly as she responded that she had, in fact, been talking with him about the scotch. It was something of a relief, not looking like an absolute lunatic in a bar. New York might see worse on a regular basis, but Brian much preferred not to give off the wrong impression. He wasn’t about to lie about who he was, make no mistake, but he didn’t want others getting the wrong idea from an offhand remark either. ”It’s usually my go to, though I’m not afraid to branch out as circumstances dictate.” A good stout or ale was never a poor choice, and sometimes warmer weather called for something lighter. But many of Brian’s friends and family knew the man’s usual preference. He shrugged as she softened the blow, telling him he wasn’t crazy. ”You never know. True, it’s New York, so there are stranger things than a man talking to himself, but…” he sighed, shaking his head before continuing, ”..then again, what is normal, really?”

He nodded as she mentioned coming over when she was six. She was no teenager, but she wasn’t an old woman either, so it had been a while since she’d been back. At least, that was the impression she gave off. It hadn’t been as long for him, but with Jamie given free range of their family home, Brian didn’t tend to spend too long back home unless he was needed. Just long enough to enjoy the old memories before the reality of them started to close in on him. ”Some time, then.” She seemed pleased with his placing her accent, though perhaps he was reading too much into it. He raised the glass slightly in a sort of toasting motion before taking an easy drink and moving on. ”An educated guess, but a guess all the same. It’s nice to run into an Englishwoman. I work with people from around the world, but it’s nice to just bump into a voice from home every now and then.”

After all, you had mutants from all over the world attempting to do their part at Damocles. True, a number of them were American, but that was where a bulk of the action happened as well, so it wasn’t so crazy. As she allowed him to sit, he smiled politely, moving to sit opposite her and settle his drink on the table. ”Thank you.” His eyes met hers for a moment as she said her name, and he nodded, committing it to memory. ”A pleasure to meet you, Esme.” Maldon wasn’t as important as London to most, but it had been home for him. He had spent more time there than anywhere else, so it had a certain appeal to it. ”Not terribly far at all. My mother and father used to take my siblings and I into London for all manner of things; museums, events, gatherings, things like that.”

He was curious about this woman, or at least as much as she was willing to share. It was interesting, to be an American transplant. What would have happened if he had done his internship here? Unlikely he would have been Captain Britain still; perhaps another name entirely? A curious idea, to say the least. ”Do you prefer America, then? After all, you’ve been here a while, so it’s what you’ve known most of your life.” He grinned as she talked about enjoying her day off. He imagined things could get interesting when she worked. That seemed to be the way most pubs and bars in the city went. ”Nothing wrong with a bit of revelry on a day off, then. I’ve just come from the office, actually. Though I live about fifteen or twenty minutes from here.” He glanced around the place once more, before leaning over the table almost conspiratorially, speaking with her. Despite that, I’ve never really been here. As a woman who pours drinks, I have to trust your opinion, though. Am I in the right place?”

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Esmeralda Bishop
 Posted: Feb 25 2018, 07:47 PM
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RUNNING FROM LIONS
never felt like such a mistake

Esme plucked the last shrimp in her mouth before being fully indulged in conversation with this man. She nodded. A scotch man, the type of liquor a man drank said a lot about him as a person. So far it spoke miles. Scotch was a straightforward kind of drink. A no bullshit intake and you had to take it back without flinching or wincing, because once you achieved that, you were officially, the man. ”As a bartender it should be safe to say I don’t have a go to. They all start to meld together. I mean not to be that knocker that’s like, it all taste the same but…it starts to lose its pizazz after a while.”, she said eyeing her own drink. She made a face at it before smiling. Soon, she thought to herself. She laughed openly at this next statement. ”I’ve lived here for quite some time and I can easily tell you it’s not just this state that’s…strange. I’ve actually never been to another state. Once I came here I never looked to go elsewhere. There’s a lot of…differences…with the people in this day and age, so you’re right. Normal isn’t really a thing”, she smiled, comparing to herself, relating fully.

She nodded a bit shamefully. She felt so torn away from her old home. Almost like the place was never home at all. Her accent was even slightly altered by how long she had been there, it was still there but anyone else from home would have noticed, and a piece of her was saddened by that. ”Quite some time…”, she picked at the remains of food on her plate with her fork. ”Who are you telling?”, she snickered. ”I feel like more and more British men are popping up in this city. It refreshing even.”, she was referring to the fact that she’d met three in the past two months. ”Your job must be exciting. What do you do?”, she asked propping her cheek on her fist in curiosity. With Esme’s job she ran into her fair share of people too but it wasn’t on business, it was more so an order of a drink and that was the end of it. She smiled at his thanks and waved her hand as if bowing, exaggerating. ”The please is mines.”, she said sweetly. She listened to him speak on how he used to travel to her previous living residence and he looked like a young boy who spoke of nothing but joyous things. It was lovely to see. ”I’ve considered goin-“, she stopped herself noting she’d be lying. She told herself she wouldn’t go back, her mother…it put a bitter taste in Esme’s mouth just thinking about it. ”Never mind. No biggie.”, she said tossing her hair over her shoulder.

”Psh, do I prefer Ameri- pass. Hard pass on that question.”, she didn’t hate America, she really didn’t, but she always felt like she didn’t quite fit in here either. Like her body was telling her she needed to go back home but even Esme knew why that wasn’t a good idea. ”Let me rephrase that. I have a house here…figuratively speaking…but it’s not a home…if that makes sense.”, it was the only way Esme knew how to explain it. ”I was homeschooled till second grade…then my father enrolled in public school because it became too much…I skipped a grade, kids looked at me funny even then. Whether it was because of the accent or because kids thought I felt like I was better than them because I was smart…which wasn’t the case at all.”, her eyes looked off into the distance as she spoke about her upbringing. She shook her head and smiled once more. ”Anyway, enough dribble! You live in the city? Or…”, Esme knew it was extremely expensive to live in the city, and even extremely was too light of a word. Even where she was living in Queens was pricey. She stood her…seat, as he leaned forward, not feeling off put about the distance between the two. She bit her lip to keep from laughing. ”Honestly…I’m a picky mixer for a drink. The place isn’t too shabby but I’ve definitely had better”, she said plucking the small straw in her own drink. ”But as a man who drinks scotch straight, you don’t bargain for a fruity drink do you.”, she said stopping the straw with her fingernail.

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Brian Braddock
 Posted: Mar 20 2018, 01:17 PM
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He smiled as she mentioned not really settling on one drink or another. It wasn’t so bad, he supposed, as long as you weren’t mixing several different drinks in the same evening. Brian liked alcohol as much or more than the next fellow, and even he didn’t envy those waking up after a long night of “Let’s Try This One.” ”Ah, a woman who prefers variety, then. They do say it’s the spice of life, after all. I suppose I’m just the type of fellow who’s a bit set in his ways.” Boring, to some. But then, there were those who appreciated or at least understood his love of a good glass of scotch and a puzzle or two. Esme talked about never leaving New York and a brow perked. It felt rare to him, but there were many people he encountered through work that considered themselves New Yorker through and through, regardless of heritage. ”Interesting! I wonder if you’re an Englishwoman and an honorary New Yorker, or the other way round. With that much time in state, it would be tough to think of living anywhere else, I imagine.”

The woman seemed a bit saddened at his mention of home, but Brian thought it best to leave it be. He hadn’t struck up a conversation with the woman to make one or both of them have a more difficult day; it had simply been two strangers enjoying a drink and passing a bit of time. He chuckled at the idea of a new British Invasion and shrugged his broad shoulders. ”It’s a good thing it’s a bit refreshing. Otherwise, I was afraid I’d have to pack the lot of us up and send us back home.” He took a drink, enjoying the burn of the alcohol before setting the glass down. ”They sent us all over in the same shipping container, you know. Quite an experience.”

Obviously an exaggeration, but an amusing one. She seemed to need a bit of levity in the situation, and Brian was happy to move away from whatever had darkened her expression. She asked about work, and Brian half-considered a white lie, before letting it be. Why should he; was he so worried that she’d not want to talk any longer after she found out who he was or what he did? This wasn’t the old days, when Brian Braddock and Captain Britain lived separate lives. There was no Captain, only Brian now. ”It keeps me on my toes, to say the least. I work with the UN as part of Damocles. Between New York and heading elsewhere to help out, there’s always something to occupy my time.” He considered his words before offering a small apology. Remembering where you came from wasn’t always a happy occasion for some. ”Apologies if my asking brought up bad memories.”

She attempted to avoid his question all together, and Brian laughed, shaking his head. Whatever her reasons, she wasn’t keen on saying one way or the other which was honestly fine. It was idle conversation, not an interrogation. ”Hah, it’s almost as if you think I’d judge you based on your answer.” She struggled a little to take a different look at it, but it made sense enough to him. His flat was his, but it would never really be home the way the manor had been. So many memories caught up in those old halls that it was really difficult to escape them. ”I know the feeling. It’s where you live, but not home. Not properly, anyway. It’s difficult to find those places, at times.” She elaborated on what sounded like a complicated transition to life in the states, and he felt for her. He’d had to get used to things when he’d joined Damocles, but that was with a group of adults. Children could be unusually fickle or cruel when you didn’t fit in. ”Hardly dribble. It sounds like it was a bit of a transition here, and you did your best to make it work.”

She understood then, by nature of his question. Some people liked to ask if home was here or elsewhere, or if you had a home here, but it just didn’t mean the same thing. He lived in the city, but there was little doubt in his mind that he’d likely retire to England if he ever hung it up. ”I have a flat in Manhattan. My older brother inherited our family home, so I can visit, but…” the corner of Brian’s mouth twitched slightly before he carried on, ”...honestly, he and I haven’t gotten on well in a while. Things just changed and we got swept up in it all.” Both them had their issues. He with his alcohol and Jamie with gambling and whatever it was that had overtaken him. She toyed with her own drink, admitting that the bar was alright but not her favorite. Brian grinned. ”Mm, no. I’m not often one for a sugary drink. If that was the sort of thing I was in the mood for, I’d likely just go to a shop and get some sweets. I suppose they have their place now and then, but I tend toward what one of my employees affectionately calls smelly old man pubs.

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Esmeralda Bishop
 Posted: Apr 16 2018, 09:26 PM
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RUNNING FROM LIONS
never felt like such a mistake

Esme was truly entertained by this man. He wasn’t dry and he didn’t seem to be forcing the conversation, which made Esme comfortable. On any other occasion she would have brushed off some stranger, but that piece of home was staring her dead in the face without her actually having to go there. ”I’m not picky…drink wise that is.” Esme said with a giggle. ”I believe that the spice girls said it best when they said to…spice up your life” Esme was getting comfortable now, where the corny jokes started coming along. ”There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of stability though. It doesn’t make you boring, but I don’t peg you as a play it safe kind of guy. You seem like a give or take kind of person and I like that. Not to pre judge or anything, just what I get by observation in words. Being a bartender and a psych major gives me certain tendencies.” Esme was running through sentences like a road runner but it felt natural at this point in the conversation. She felt like she knew him for years, and it was a nice feeling since she didn’t have too many friends. ”I guess I can consider myself as both. Honestly I’m so disconnected from home I couldn’t tell you…well a lot of things. I still root for our teams though. The accent stuck…obviously. I still eat food from home. That’s all I’ve got.” Esme said laughing a bit and a tad bit a shame in her voice.

Esme pushed the plate away from her with her forefinger and pulled her drink closer. ”Home.” She chuckled once at the word. It just seemed to keep coming up and the question itched at her until, ”When was the last time you went…home?”, she asked dragging on the word. Could she really call it that anymore? As badly as she wanted to be able to say it was a place she called home…it wasn’t. At this point in her life she was just a descendent and a native of the place, and that somewhat hurt to say or even think. Esme’s glance was still down before her head perked up and her eyes grew wide for a split second. ”Damocles?” Esme said with a hint of curiosity in her voice. She knew the word but couldn’t place why, and then he further explained himself. Then it clicked to her and her eyes grew wide once more before she leaned forward and her voice was love, ”Are you a mutant?” Esme asked. Of course he was, as far as she knew, Damocles were primarily mutants, and she could be sure that he probably was one and a piece of her was both excited and put at ease. She shook her head and flails her hand brushing it off, ”Don’t even worry about it, it happens from time to time when I think about my mother and Bri-“, Esme’s mouth closed shut when she realized how much she had said in the excitement of her observation of him. And then the thought occurred to her that she either looked like a crazed fan girl who obsessed over mutants, or she was a dead giveaway to be in the presence of someone…like her. She sat back and pressed her mouth into a line. This all escalated quickly.

”Any…way…”, she dragged out the word in the sense of the setting being a little awkward now. ”Manhattan, I just moved from Queens to Manhattan…East Village to be exact. Flats a little bigger than I’m used to but…I fancy it more than I thought I would.” Esme said attempting to drag the conversation away from how awkward it got…at least on her end. ”I don’t have any siblings, but I do understand getting swept up in the events of…life and such” Esme said with a small smile. Esme definitely found great comfort in Brian, and there was no denying that, not in a creepy way but in a home in a person kind of way…considering she hadn’t been home…not because she didn’t want to but because…she couldn’t. She wasn’t open to discussing her mother, she hadn’t went as far as to ever tell anyone about it either so the fact that she even let it slip out so easily said a lot about how she was feeling in this moment about him. She nibbled at her lip and looked up at him. ”I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make the conversation go left like that…it’s totally my fault.” she said meaning fully what she said.

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@Brian Braddock

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Brian Braddock
 Posted: Apr 20 2018, 05:20 PM
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lionheart
Twenty-six AGE
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Damocles
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Brian BraddockJoe is Offline


Brian was sure that psychology types loved to figure people out, maybe even more than he loved his puzzles. There was a certain satisfaction to it all, so there was no doubt it was at least comparable. He wasn’t sure he agreed with her estimation of him, but he wasn’t about to get into an argument with a stranger. Agree to disagree, or something. ”I’m sure you get to form all sorts of interesting opinions about people.” After all, bartenders tended to see people at their very worst, didn’t they? Trying to hit on others, or worse, being making an absolute ass of themselves… He laughed as she mentioned the two things that she’d held onto from home. ”Hah, sports and food? You kept probably the worst bit of it all, then; the food. Not that I mind, but there are so many more different styles of American style food here.”

She was interested in his own journey home, and Brian smiled a little, thinking. He’d been back to England with Ollie, but they hadn’t been back to the manor...too many memories there, and it was Jamie’s house now anyway. It had been a pleasant enough trip, though. Even if it was a bit skewed by the fact that he and Ollie...well, weren’t much of anything anymore? She’d moved and moved on; it was time for him to do the same, or at least half of it. ”Mm, just England or back to Maldon? I went to London last year for work, but I’ve not actually been home in a while now… My brother inherited the house when my parents passed, and he and I don’t get on too well.” She seemed so intrigued by the idea that he was a mutant, though sadly he would disappoint her a bit. He tilted his head and shrugged. ”After a sort? I don’t have all the genetic markers, but I am different from normal humans.”

As different as flying, lifting a jet and being damn tough could make you, at any rate. She moved on to talk about her flat, unsettled by whatever thoughts of her mother had brought on, and Brian just let it go. It had made her uneasy, and that hadn’t been his intention, He nodded softly. ”It’s nice to have a bit of extra space. My flat’s large for one person, but that makes it easier to entertain if I like.” He had Marie over now and then, a well as a few others. It had been quiet lately, though. ”We’ve always been independent, though Betsy and I have always been closer than Jamie and I. We all just went off to pursue the things that called to us.”

His expression softened, and Brian shook his head. He’d been the one to bring up bad memories unintentionally; the last thing he’d meant to do was upset her. After all, he’d only popped over after she’d begun talking to him. He took the last drink of scotch, setting the glass down before he apologized. ”It’s alright; I didn’t mean to hit things a bit close to home, as they were. Maybe I should get on and let you get back to your drink rather than asking you questions that bring up bad memories.”

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Esmeralda Bishop
 Posted: Apr 27 2018, 07:39 PM
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RUNNING FROM LIONS
never felt like such a mistake

Esme officially pushed the plate away from her. She always did this when she was easily distracted or overthought something, picked at the first thing her hands could touch. Her hair, the fabric of her clothes, things on tables, just about anything. It was a nervous habit. She looked up with a smile. ”You have no idea. Granted, like I said, I don’t like to judge, especially since alcohol accesses the part of the brain that control honesty…and you wouldn’t believe the things I hear” she said folding her hands in her lap now to keep from touching anything else around her. She noted the slight change in his face, it was quick, and if she didn’t ‘bar note’ the way that she did, she wouldn’t have caught it. ”I’m sorry, if I said something wrong. I do that sometimes. The whole psychology thing always makes me overanalyze others.” Esme pressed her mouth into a line slightly guilty. ”But yeah…American food is limited! Burgers…hotdogs…I can’t think of anything else at the moment, but I know I don’t favor it. And if one more American has me explain the fish and chips thing one more time I might lose it” Esme said with a chuckle.

She tapped her finger on her knee, thinking of how she wanted the question answered. ”I guess just England in general. I can only imagine how different it is now., she listened to him speak of his brother, and although she didn’t have any siblings…as far as she knew, but she understood the part about being on the outs with a family member. ”I understand that more than anything.” she slipped out. Her thoughts came out faster than she wanted them to a lot today with this one, she had to be careful. Esme’s mouth turned in curiosity. She was interested to know what he meant by that exactly. ”Not to pry further than I sure I already am but…how do you mean, if you don’t mind my asking” Esme pushed on. She’d been running into more and more of them lately and the outlook on their views on mutation all seemed to differ. She picked up that he gave names that he hadn’t before. ”Betsy…Jamie…I take it these are your family you speak of. The brother that got the house back home, is that Jamie, or…?” Esme’s head tilted slightly in interest. Sounded like he had as many family squabbles as she did. But it was good that they found happiness outside of each other. Esme was still trying to find herself.

She held up her hands and shook her head. ”Bloody he- Ugh. Don’t apologize.” she waved it off with a laugh. ”You didn’t do anything wrong. That’s just me.” Esme said with a smile. She didn’t want to hold up too much of his time. And she was scared this was getting a bit overbearing for him, and she hated feeling like she was bothering anybody. ”It’s up to you love, you’re not bothering me or anything. My fear was that I was bothering you.” Esme said scratching the back of her head. She rubbed her lips together and placed the palms of her hands on the table. ”You know what, let me stop being a ninny, and just take it. I’ve never been so open but…ask me anything you want. I won’t ask anything in return. I need to open up, and maybe a stranger is a good way to go about it…wow that sounds bad and desperate.”, she held her head down with a nervous smile. ”Fire away, if you’d like.” Esme said looking back up at him with a smile.

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@Brian Braddock

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Brian Braddock
 Posted: May 3 2018, 09:28 PM
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lionheart
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Damocles
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Brian smiled and nodded curtly as she mentioned hearing things while she worked. There were much duller jobs in the world, to be sure. It seemed like life as a bartender would always give you a window to other people’s celebrations or problems. There was really no way to now which you’d see, other than simply showing up and rolling the dice. ”I can only imagine. People are bound to share all sorts of things when they’re drunk.” She apologized about her estimation of him, and Brian simply shrugged. It wasn’t worth making an issue over it. People had their impressions, and they could do what they liked with them. ”Quite alright; I tend to prefer honest opinions over dressed up nothings, whether I like the honesty or not.” At the mention of fish and chip, he grinned slightly. He’d had a few Americans look at him funny because of the food, and there weren’t many proper chip shops around. Oh, there were places that tried, but it wasn’t quite the same. ”Fish and chips...well, proper fish and chips, anyway, is an acquired taste. I couldn’t tell you how many people I’ve had stare because I was putting vinegar on my chips.”

She talked about England as though it had evolved dramatically since she’d been there. True, it might have been a bit, but it wasn’t as though there had been a societal revolution or anything in that time. Brian shrugged slightly. ”A few things have changed since I was young, but, overall? It doesn’t feel so different.” She sympathized with him about family struggles, and he nodded. There wasn’t much for it. You didn’t always get along with your family, but that didn’t change who they were. ”It’s part of being in a family.” She seemed rather interested in his origins, or at least what he meant by them. Brian supposed not everyone worked in an office where it was important to know the difference. ”The proper scientific term is mutate, I suppose. I was a normal person exposed to an outside force that triggered my abilities. Most mutants acquire their abilities in puberty, but mine weren’t around until later, in uni. Right place, right time...or wrong, depending on why you ask, I suppose.”

She repeated his siblings’ names, appropriately placing them as such. True, Jamie could have gone either way, but Betsy was more than likely a woman’s name, so that took a good deal of the guesswork out. It seemed to have stuck with her that Jamie had ended up with the family home, and Brian nodded. ”Yes, Jamie is my elder brother and Betsy is my sister...my twin sister, actually. Only a little older than her.”

Esme dismissed his apology, and Brian shook his head. He’d been raised a certain way, and very few peoples’ insistence that he didn’t need to apologize would keep him from doing so. Manners were a part of who he was, plain and simple. Just because he enjoyed a drink now and then didn’t mean he left them at home. ”Nothing wrong with trying to be considerate of others’ feelings.” The woman insinuated that she might have interrupted his evening, which simply wasn’t true. ”Nothing of the sort; I’m just out enjoying a drink after work...well, I was, at least.” He tilted his now empty glass, not a drop left. She...wanted him to ask a question? Hrm. Brian felt like he’d asked half a dozen or more already, and a few of them had already brought up bad memories. ”I...hm. What’s your biggest pet peeve? The one thing that will drive you up a wall the second someone does it.”

She mentioned the whole thing making her sound desperate which...well, he hadn’t really thought of it that way. And even if she’d meant it like that (she clearly hadn’t,) it wasn’t as if Brian was going to just...go home with some stranger, particularly one who’d thought she’d had him all figured out so early one. ”I sincerely doubt you’re desperate. But perhaps you had something else you wanted to ask me? It doesn’t feel fair not to extend the same offer.”

Tag: @Esmeralda Bishop
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