2010-09-24: Burgers Cupcakes And Birthdays


Connor_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg Robyn_icon.jpg

Summary: A celebration of Rashmi's Birthday.

Date: September 24, 2010

Log Title: Burgers Cupcakes And Birthdays

Rating: PG

NYC - Burgers and Cupcakes

This little restaurant lives up to it's namesake of serving Burgers and Cupcakes and not much more. There is a big glass display on the counter displaying the days cupcake specials. A big board behind the counter shows their small menu of the various burgers and toppings you can get. Small metal tables that barely fit four people with wooden chairs line the floor and bar style seating lines the window for those who want to people watch as they eat.

It's Friday evening and after classes Robyn and Connor have arragned to meet up with Rashmi at a little burger place in Hells Kitchen called Burgers and Cupcakes. Where it's not the fanciest of places it's something he could afford. He waits at a table with Connor for Rashmi to show up wearing a black button down shirt with a red tie and over a pair of black jeans, yeah he dressed up a little for her birthday. He also has a large gift bag with him that sits on the floor. He looks to Connor and sits back in his chair from his slouched position. "I'm glad we were able to drag her out here tonight to relax a bit on her birthday."

Connor's gift by comparison is small, in a small bag of course, and the contents are not known by anyone but him. Smiling at Robyn, he settles back, already having gotten a drink from the waitress to help keep his focus in the room. He's instead dressed in a green collared shirt, and a pair of chinos, looking rather upscale for a change, his hair pressed down and managed with a bit of styling slime that makes it glisten a little bit. No tie for him however, this seems to be as far as the other young man goes, "Rashmi knows how to relax, you know… she just chooses not to. Some people like busy lives."

Few places in the Kitchen could be described as decent enough to hold a birthday party, in this day and age. However, Burgers and Cupcakes is definitely among them, and the place was long familiar to Rashmi, thus the arrangement was quickly agreed to. A touch later than she'd expected to be, the redhead breezes through the restaurant doors, skirts swirling, an apologetic smile on her face. "Sorry about that," she says as she makes her way to the boys' table. "I had to change after work, and let Mike know about the party. He should be along any minute now."

Exactly a minute, in fact, though it's a complete coincidence. Barnes uniform hidden by image-induced long-sleeved tee-shirt and jeans, Mike's arrival is unremarkable; he's carrying his gift for Rashmi in a mailing tube as tall as he is.
A glance through the room locates his friends, and he walks up with the poster.
"I hear there's a celebration of the second to last birthday that a woman will traditionally admit to?"

Robyn stands up and gives Rashmi a big hug. "Hey Rashmi! Happy Birthday!" Robyn says with a big smile. "I hope you like Burgers and Cupcakes cause that's pretty much all they have here." Then as Mike walks in Robyn gives him a wave. "Hey Mike, long time no see? How's the new school treating you?" He says as he waits to give her the bag till they're all sitting down. "And don't worry about being late, it's your birthday so that means you're right on time." He jokes.

Connor mimicking throwing a Halo Plasma Grenade at Mike in reply to his appearance, smirking at him as he stands up and moves around to give Rashmi a hug of his own once Robyn is done, "I've never been to a place like this… nothing like it out west. You're looking good." Once done, he goes over to one of the unattended seats, and pulls it out for the only woman here, before he adds over to Mike, "I'd like to know too. Kinda missed you during DR class."

Once the hugs are handed out, Rashmi hikes a thumb in the general direction of her block, grinning. "This place was *always* a super-special treat growing up, Robyn, you picked *really* well." Turning to give Mike a hug of his own, she slips into the seat pulled out for her, chuckling. "Thanks, Connor… I've been running pretty nonstop, it's hard to squeeze in time for a decent hair-brushing. You guys are looking good too, by the way," she says, looking back and forth between Connor and Robyn. "…And now I'm feeling under-dressed. Wow. *Really* good, both of you."

Mike baseball-bats the mimed HPG with the poster, watching it arc over the horizon, then looks back at the mailing tube and says, "Oh noez, grenade adhesive! Boom!"
He sits in an empty spot, and smiles.
"I've missed you guys, especially since Connor has been blowing off our Friday night online races. To answer your questions, I'm doing great, they have me doing regular classes plus extra stuff because they figured out about the whole 'bored Mike causes trouble' … I like the place. And now, we deflect all the attention back to She Who Is Officially Older," and he smiles almost evilly at Rashmi. "We found teflon tape. You got the recreational filing finished, I take it?"

Robyn blushes and shakes his head. "Nah, you're not underdressed, I just decided to over dress and Connor here took me lead." He jokes knowing that it really isn't the case. "I just felt like looking sauve for your Birthday, or something." He says taking a seat. "Happy Birthday Rashmi." He looks to Mike and nods. "Well you can always come back and visit, it's not the like you're forbidden to come back. Rashmi comes back often enough. Or not often enough I should say." He jokes before looking to Connor. "I thought you went home on Friday nights?" In regards to missing online races.

Connor laughs a bit, and then shrugs, "I do normally go home… I've got an Xbox up in my room, and usually after dinner Mike and I goof off. I've just been under a heavier class load lately, so I'm having to hop back to the school right away. I've been promising him to find a better night… but mister SchedulesALot over there is just as busy as we are." Reaching over and thumping Mike's shoulder hard enough to make it echo a bit, before he turns to look at Rashmi, "So… Dinner or prezzies first?"

Rashmi flushes quietly, snorting. "It wasn't *recreational,* just payback for knocking them all over," she huffs, shaking her head. "*Any*way… hmm. Tough question, actually…" Looking from the bag, to the box, to the tube, her cheeks darken. "…Okay no presents definitely."

Mike thinks about that. Return to the mansion to visit friends, Mom would probably explode. Then again, seeing them in the city, also not something she'd be happy about BUT it's not like she wants him never to see friends again either.
He leans over to answer Robyn, "Can't do it without permission from Mom, but if nothing terrible happens there for the next few months, I think I can get her to OK a day visit. Or we can always meet partway like this."
He sends Connor a text message: My schedule is up on LookOut.com, name is MotorMike.
"What would you like for food then? They don't have a curry burger, but I think they have lamb with rosemary."

Robyn hands her the gift bag, which is kinda heavy. There's a card inside along with a sage green pashmina shawl with a black design inside along with gargoyle he made for her so she can have a protector in her new room at Barnes. "I hope you like it." He says and inside the card is a bit of mushy stuff about being a good friend. "Sorry it's kinda heavy but I guess that's why Mike is with you, to help you carry stuff back." He then nods to Connor. "I've never been that good at video games. I remember playing Super Mario 64 as a kid though." He looks at Mike and shakes his head. "See this is why I don't tell my Mom everything that goes on there."

Connor watches Robyn pass his present over, and decides to wait his turn rather than flooding her with things, before he replies, "My parents actually found out about the whole Ahab thing, sans the weird future brain-swap, and the fight in front of the mall… they're concerned, but apparently Dad had a talk with Miss Frost, and is cool with things. Mom blew the usual drama-gasket and near-demanded I get pulled… but seriously… am I really going to function at a normal school." Reaching over he hugs Robyn's shoulder, "That they're worried means they care."

Rashmi's eyes widen sharply at the sight of the shawl, pulling it out of the bag and wrapping it around her shoulders immediately, beaming. "Oh *wow,* Robyn… this is just…" Peering back into the bag, she lifts out the gargoyle, a wide grin on her face, and sets it on the table to read the card. Mushy stuff read and sniffled at, she leans over to wrap her arms around the boy's shoulders, hugging tight. "Thank you *so much,* it's *wonderful.*" Settling back down, she clears her throat, snuggling briefly into the shawl. "Um… yeah… Mami and Papi worry a lot too, but a lot less now since I sort of have an Avenger on speed-dial, you know? Also I made it a point to tell them about the school, and how safe it is, and what sort of self-defense stuff they have all the students do, so… It helps. But as much as went on there, it's still really the only decent place I know of that can handle kids like us, so…" Trailing off, she shrugs a bit, gently placing the gargoyle back in the bag.

Mike shrugs ruefully. "You may have noticed that some mothers have Mom Sense that lets them know when their kids are up to something? My mom has the Mom Sense of ten ordinary mothers. Apparently this is my own fault. But … I've actually been working on her about this, and she said since Mr. Summers and Dr. McCoy and Mr. Silvercloud wanted to check on how I was doing at the start of the school year after the 'repairs' incident, that I could go over on Friday. So I'm going to milk that for a few hours, at least see how much of a mess Theo's made in the garage since I'm not there to defend it. Also, Dad thinks she worries too much."
He hands Rashmi the tube. "I know you miss the nice views we had at the mansion, so I went to the posters place and had some 'window' posters made."

"I'm glad you like them Rashmi." Robyn says as he is curious to see what his other two friends got her as well. "My Mom, she doesn't have as much of that Mom Sense. I think it's because I'm not around much and, I dunno." He dosen't want to say that maybe it's also cause they're not blood related? "She knows stuff happens but I think she's happy not knowing. I mean the car accident was bad enough, but I don't wanna get on that subject." Robyn says putting on a big smile, today is a happy day. "I still wanna meet your family some day Connor."

Connor grins at Mike, "Nice idea… I would never have thought of that." He flops back in his seat a bit, motioning for the waitress to come by and refill him and get orders from the others while he waits. Tilting his head a bit, one hand taps on the table softly, playing a steady rhythm while he waits and watches, smiling the entire time, "My Mom wants to meet and interrogate all of you, trust me. Especially you Rashmi. Careful… she might be trying to figure you for relationship material." Rolling his eyes as he continues to smirk over it all, "Maybe Thanksgiving or something… we've always got open spots at the table, and it's the one meal a year Dad makes instead of Mom. No Tofurkey!"

Rashmi pops the top of the tube, pulling the posters out and unrolling them partway. Middle-Earth scenery earns a predictable squeal, and the rolls are dropped back into the tube so the robotic teen can get his hug. "Oooh! This is *cool,* Mike, thanks! …Yeah I didn't think of that either, but he's right," she says to Connor and Robyn. "The views from the main areas are *incredible,* but the dorms… well not so much." Clearing her throat, she sits back down, throwing Connor a wry glance and a chuckle. "I'll keep that in mind.. but yeah I'd really like to meet them even so. Not sure about Thanksgiving, Mami likes to make a big deal of it too… We'll see?"

Mike murmurs, "Ow, denting the hood!" as he's hugged, but he doesn't actually mean it. He laughs at the 'well not so much' … "It's like living in a little cardboard box."
The posters were a success, all is well. Mike absently blurts, "Oh, wait, Connor? Your mom works in a bookstore, right? Mom said she saw someone the other day who looked just like you did in that picture we took of the Excelsiors out-of-uniform."

"I'd ask where Barnes was but with going to Xavier's, I kinda know the drill." Then at Connor's offer of Thanksgiving Robyn nods. "I'll think about it, I know my parents want me to come home for the holiday as well so…we'll see if I can talk to them. I've never been to the other side of the country." He admits as he looks at Mike. "Where does your Mom live?"

Connor grumbles softly, "Must've been Magus books… yeah, that's my mom… especially if she was recommending teas and stuff from the special diet part of the menu in the tea shop. If she had her way, we'd all eat like we're diabetic or needed a macrobiotic diet… or whatever new thing she read that week." Slumping on the table a bit, he then rolls his eyes, "At least her chicken and goat cheese pizza isn't TOO bad." The small box is passed to Rashmi then as he smiles, "I'd say save the best for last, but I kinda feel like I cheated."
Once Rashmi opens it she'll find a silver pendant with an engraving of the Evenstar on it, filled in with dark blue instead of the usual black to offset it slightly… on the back of it is the circular elven script of Middle-Earth in a ring of it's own, all attached with a simple black leather piece that has a clasp.

The box is opened, and Rashmi breathes in slightly, eyes growing wide. "*Connor,*" she whispers, lifting the pendant out carefully, "…wow… *Wow.* Um. I… wow." A rare thing, when the redhead is at a loss for words, but there it is. Unbinding the cord and undoing the clasp, she sets about putting it on… and pauses as a thought occurs to her. "…Question, Connor… Did your mom start hinting about the girlfriend thing when you got this, or before?"

Mike answers Robyn, "Her job's in Olympia, Washington. She works for the Episcopal bishop there. She and Dad get a week together once a month, or he goes out there, mostly. His shop is still in Cleveland."
Magus Books, not Merlin's Teashop, that's the OTHER other place. He thinks for a moment going over the conversation in memory, "Yeah, that's the one, Connor. She was up north, some sort of campus group meet thingy."
The present is presented… "If you get it hot do letters appear?"
He hasn't mentioned his own T-Day plans, mostly because they don't exist yet - his folks will be in different parts of the country and it's inconvenient for Celebration.

Robyn can't help but snicker a bit at Rashmi's comment. "That's really pretty Connor. But goat cheese? On pizza?" He makes a blah face. "I didn't know both you guys were from the same place. So we have two New Yorkers and to Washingtonians here today. And my Mom's not the bad cook, my Dad is. Well he's not bad just adventerous? He likes to try a lot of things that don't always work. He has fun with it." He says finally picking up the menu. "The problem is deciding what kind of burger."

"I suppose after… she kinda helped me pick it out, after I told her about you, and how much you loved Middle Earth..", Connor mumbles out with a gulp, looking at the other guys, "What?! I don't know how to shop for a girl! And it's not like I could ask my sisters for advice, they're both into iCarly and t-shirts with sequins!"

Rashmi chuckles quietly, finishing the clasp and seating the pendant, reaching across the table to squeeze Connor's hand. "It's okay, Connor… Seriously, it's *beautiful* and I really love it. But yeah, it's also the kind of thing that would earn major boyfriend points, so that explains a few things. But thank you *so much,* really." Sitting back down, she gives the menu a once-over, Mike's suggestion clearly influencing her choice. "Ooh… Lamb, goat cheese, mango salsa… That *does* look really good, yeah."

Mike's explanation to Robyn of his peripatetic childhood and his parents' ODD migratory work habits is cut off before it begins, when Connor reveals that his triumphal feat of birthday shopping was mother-assisted, which of COURSE turns it to a feat of clay. As if. Mike's not going to confess that his Mom picks out his clothes still because he'd wear exactly the same thing every day.
He cheerfully avoids discussing food, but when time comes to order, if there's a waitress or some such, will answer, "I'm trying to make weight, have a wrestling weigh-in Thursday, so just water for me please."
Which is true, he does have a wrestling match, but his weight won't be dropping just because he's drinking water.

"Yeeaah, I don't really think I could ask for parental advice in any gift giving especially if it was…uh…for a significant other." Robyn says chuckling a bit nervously. "Lamb burger…I don't know…I think I'm just gonna go with a regular burger. With bacon. And cheese." Robyn says as he likes a classic burger and goat cheese is something he really hasn't been exposed to so he's not sure if he wants to try what Rashmi's having, even if he is curious. "Mike, so you're becoming a jock over there are Barnes?"

Connor grins as he peruses the menu, and goes WEIRD, "Okay, I'll have the Tuna, with Brie, Hickory Smoke Bacon, Grilled Onions, and Avacado… and a caeser on the side." Closing up his menu, he looks over at the others and passes his menu back up towards the server, "Dinner's on me guys… don't worry. Once I fessed up, I got some extra allowance in my account for the night. So if anyone wants extra sides, now's the time."

"Well it was either that," Rashmi says to Robyn, "or they let him take the more interesting, um… cars for a spin every night. …Or cook up Mad Office Science with that one guy in Admin…" Raising an eyebrow at Connor's order, she tilts her head. "…California Roll Burger with extras?"

Mike raises an Eyebrow at Rashmi. Hmf. "Always was a jock, sorta, just not into team sports. So in this case, the wrestling is with someone who matches me for strength and speed. And it turns out one or two of the staffers are also aikidoka, so I still get to practice that. But no big huge immersive collaborative video game room. Yet. Also, that rubber band gun turns out to have amazing crowd control potential."
Mike meanwhile considers ordering an antidote for Connor's order. Tuna, sure, but brie and hickory? Not having a sense of smell for food can be a real blessing sometimes.

Robyn gives Connor a look when he offers to pay. "How about you and I go half and half." He says as he did save up some money for this. "See now I feel like I have to do something adventurous to go with you two." He says as he orders his burger with just cheese and bacon and a side of fries with some lemonade. "How is the training at Barnes going, and have you guys made any friends there yet?"

Connor waves his hand at Robyn, "Allright, halfway… this is what I get for not discussing with you beforehand… and besides, it's not like this is anything adventurous. I need to take you all to a vietnamese food place, or better… we can go mongolian." To Mike he replies, "Brie's a soft cheese… and bacon goes well with anything when done right… trust me… but yeah… tell us about Barnes. Xavier's is boring without you both around. It's only Magneto, Lucas, and Theo to keep us amused… with spouts of Jamesisms."

"Oh yes," Rashmi says airily, glancing at Mike and grinning, "that's just a beachside vacation right there… Okay. So. Training. Not sure how they do it at Mike's level, but for me… There's cardio three days a week, martial arts the other two, 'special' training extra on Fridays and Tuesdays, and then there's this Marine sniper guy who runs me through friendly-fire courses Saturday evenings, after I'm done at the Embassy. The 'video-game room' is pretty neat, but not quite up to Xavier's standards… But there is this." Dipping her hand into her bookbag, she hauls out her phone, pulling up an image of her in a neck-high black bodysuit suit, draped in a red-trimmed brown sari, its ends attached to a bracelet and an anklet to keep from snagging on anything. Apparently, Rashmi has herself a full-fledged superhero outfit.

Mike protests. "I had brie when I could still eat whatever I want. Stinky cheese, even if it's mellow, with hickory, it's two tastes that I can't imagine together."
He smiles to himself, and bumps 'sense of taste' up two more notches in the list of desirable features for Schematic 2.5, since 2.0 got scrapped after his brief encounter with the future. "What happened to Tara, Jinx, Chezlie, the speed freaker girls, the too-tall guy, Rush and his sister who was supposed to be there by now, and oh yeah, that new madgirl, Kisha? You should have more than enough troublemakers."
He grins at the thing Rashmi's showing… "I just have the school uniform which I don't wear out in public."
"My training? Uh. Cardio, weightlifting, etc. no good for me, as I wear out rather than train, and they figured that out pretty quickly. So they have skills improvement stuff instead. I have regular classes from 8am to noon, study break when I could have lunch if I wanted, and then one to five is the other regular classes. No more than five students in most classes, but that might get up as many as ten, in some. I have vehicular training from six to eight at night, and on most weeks I have three or four research papers. Not that many friends-as-friends, so far, one kid who's kind of but he's … I dunno. A little spooky." Mike shrugs. There's lots of friends among the staff and working crew in the machine shop and docks, of course, but they're not fellow students.

"They're not really trouble makers. I mean Tara though there is that new kid…on the Corsairs, looks like a porcupine. The toilet seat was all greased up on me a few days ago." Robyn says as the rest have been lying low. "And I love how you named half of Alpha Squadron there." He says since Cloud, Star and Kisha are on his team. "Wow Rash, you got an actual costume. Nice. I just have the two for the two teams I'm on, like Connor. And what's a little spooky?" Robyn says raising an eyebrow.

"Yeah", Connor adds as he leans back, "I'm on New Mutants this year under Mister Guthrie, Chezlie is the only person from the old class under Dr. McCoy with me. After that is the whole XTC thing we're still trying to figure out… on top of that Mister Forge might be teaching me how to ride a motorcycle once the driver's Ed group is done, and Mister Guthrie is teaching basic Blackbird Flight. Between all that, six classes, and two DR a week… it's pretty full up. The whole school feels different… like someone lit a fire under staff's collective backsides… you think?" Looking to Robyn for confirmation.

Rashmi shrugs. "Personally? I'd say it's because of Ms. Frost. I met her at the party Mr. Stark had in July; she doesn't exactly seem like the kind of person who would waste an opportunity if she had a choice." The arrival of her food interrupts for a moment, but as she picks at her bun, looking for an at least halfway-dry spot to pick the burger up, she resumes. "But that's good, right? I mean… obvious problems aside, they're doing real things, not just reactive helper classes. That's a major improvement, I'd say…"

"My suite-mate? He turns invisible, walks thrugh stuff, and does that phasing objects trick. I almost called him Casper. Also, toilet seat greasing? Sounds like a master of the Slapstick Path. It's the fast way to the power of the belly-laugh but it's seductive, it leads to the Gallahger." Mike looks over at Connor's declaration of motorcycle driving being taught by Forge. That would be interesting. Maybe he'll see this 'backside fire' when he stops by on Friday for his tune-up.
"Y'know it'll be three months more before I can get my learner's license in this state? I could've had it already in New Mexico or Wyoming. On the other hand, I could get a pilot's license at 14. Crazy world huh?"
Water is here! Mike … savors the water. Really kind of odd, not being hungry.

"I'm going for my drivers license with Forge. And self defense with him too. I've also go a busy year, must be something with being a senior." Robyn says with nod. "I don't even have weekends fully free, Sunday's are JRXTC training and Saturdays are homework day. But I really like the new teacher Ms. VonReginleif. Her mythology class is awesome." He likes the class a lot. "I like Ms. Frost too, she's not perfect but you can tell she's trying. Even if she does keep that wench around."

Connor eyerolls at Mike as he gets his nightmare burger and takes a bite, making a bit of a face as he chews, before saying, "Brie's a little strong with it… you're right… but the alien green slime fruit cuts it a bit. Huh." A second bite, and then his salad to clear his palate and a big drink from his Dr. Pepper before he adds, "I wish it wasn't my senior year already… I have to admit the school's done more for me personally than any other place." Then there's a chuckle, "Day one of Mental Defense class Mister Falk just looked at me and said 'You know I can fix that' pointing to my head. It was kinda creepy, but then I told him I'd rather manage it my own way… and he agreed. I still wish the mental stuff didn't leave me with a migraine after."

Rashmi bobs her head, finding a good place to pick her own burger up and taking an experimental bite. "Hey, wow, this *is* pretty good… Anyway, yeah Connor, that's why I spend Sundays there now. Usually doing cleaning or cafeteria work, that kind of thing. Just, y'know, trying to give a little back after all the good they've done for me." 'That wench' earns Robyn a glance and a small snort. "It's not *perfect,* of course, but I'd sort of be startled if it was after so little time. But, at least I have my Embassy work to keep me from missing the um… exciting part."

Mike's distracted by Connor's expression with his burger and fails to process the phrase 'that wench' as having any relevance to something he needs to care about. Instead, he's watching other people eat, and checking his fuel level, and running a quick process cleanup, since he doesn't need to remember the stack of references he had open to start the morning's research paper, as he's saved the bibliography already.
"So what's your plans for after-scholl looking like?" the robot-in-disguise asks Robyn. "Or yours, Connor? Or both but not at the same time?"

"I'm hoping to go to art school and Ms. Frost is talking about getting the whole…dependency under control so I don't have to worry." Robyn says as he doesn't want to talk about being a psychic vampire so blatantly. "Though I know what Connor and Rashmi are saying. The school has done so much for me and for the last year and a half, it's been my home. I've been there since my Sophomore year. I mean as many times as I just wanted to get out of there, I don't know. I think a big part of it is…..you guys honestly." He likes the friends he's made.

Connor picks up his half empty glass and holds it to the center of the table, "To weird twists of fate, and the pleasant surprises that come with them." Making the declaration for the others and waiting for the obligatory toast to be fulfilled. Though for a moment he looks down at his burger and salad, eyeing both a bit more hungrily now that the first bites have settled, but then it's back to the foursome as it were.

Rashmi chuckles, raising her own glass of water in response to Connor's toast, clinking it gently against his soda. "Hear hear. And Robyn, you're p[ractically a shoe-in for art school. Honestly? You should see about taking photos of some of your pieces and putting a portfolio together. After all, it can't hurt to have the colleges drooling over you now before you really have to worry about all the horrible paperwork. What about you, Connor? You don't really talk all that much about life-after-high-school, as it were… Any plans?"

"I wouldn't have chosen to leave, but, honestly, I think I'm doing better where I am," Mike says to Robyn. "I went to so many different schools, it's insane."
His glass is raised to the toast: "To the unexpected. Also, to more birthdays."
He nods as Rashmi advises Portfolio. He's already building a collection of patent-worthy design ideas for his own future work, but most of them would be really hard to accomplish from scratch.%

"Oh I plan on doing that Rashmi, as soon as I have time. And someone whose good with a camera. I can point and shoot and take a picture but I'd rather have someone make it look good, ya know?" Robyn says blushing a bit a the compliment. He joins in on the toast and smiles at Connor, Rashmi then Mike. "Yeah Connor, what are your plans?" He knows Connor likes several things but he never really talks about what's next.

There's a bit of a nervous smile there, and to cover himself for a few moments, Connor takes up his tunaburger and takes several bites before finally settling it, and sighing. A bite of salad and then finally, he says, "Well… I've been getting back into writing, and after snooping around online, really becoming an author isn't going to pay the bills… so I need to learn some other stuff. I'm thinking I might actually travel for a bit. I mean… I -CAN- travel… no plane fare, literally go home to sleep if I want to… and there's a lot to see." Still dancing around the topic, he takes another bite and swallows, "Honestly? I've been thinking of seeing if I can apply to Barnes next year for the college program. What I saw of the place was nice enough, and I might find whatever it is that can give me the direction I'm missing right now."

Rashmi nods slowly, glancing left and right to make sure they aren't being overheard, and leans in a bit. "It's not a bad idea, Connor… Honestly it isn't. But, I'm serious here… it *is* a government-funded school… A *very* particular department, to boot. So if you *don't* have much of an idea what kind of direction you're after… Well, you just might have one handed to you, you know? I'm not saying it's a *bad* idea at all… Just one you're going to have to check out from as many sides as possible before you go diving in." Leaning back, she lifts a shoulder, taking a bite of her burger. "…Y'know, like I did. But I've had most of my life planned out since I was a freshman, the last year just sort of bumped it a little one way. I'm well in over my head, and I know it… But I still know what direction I'm headed in."

Mike watches Connor topic-dancing… it's the facial expressions that are interesting. The argument Rashmi makes is exactly the one he'd feel very uncomfortable making, because, well, he feels that he owes Barnes… and he's aware that they're going to want him to do stuff to return on their investment, like, at a minimum, NOT being a menace. Harder than it seems.
He decides, maybe he should drop the bombshell. "I've asked Jono to help me train, and he's agreed, but I'll also need to ask for training from the guy who made my first voicebox, or I'll probably not actually learn anything."

Listening to Connor, Robyn puts a hand on his friends shoulder and smiles. "Well do what's going to make you happy. Having the most money isn't always needed, but if you wanna go to Barnes next year, well, you have Rashmi to look after you." He says with a grin as Barnes isn't even an idea for him next year. Not something he wants to do besides it's not an art school. "Good, well hopefully Jono can help you. I think Ms. Frost wants me to start working with other people since she thinks Addison is going…easy on me."

Connor hmphs once, and attempts to not act like he's embarrassed by all of it. Taking a breath, he then smiles back up towards Rashmi and then tilts his head, "I'm glad you're getting all that extra work on Robyn… hopefully it'll mean a few more nights in the dorm room and not the art room." Winking at his friend he then looks to the others again, "Whatever happens with me, I'll be sure to let you all know. So… who's birthday is next? It'd be nice for this to be a sort of thing. I'll even put up for the 'taxi' service."

As the only one who seems to remember Mike's first voice box, one would expect Rashmi to be blown away by the bombshell; instead, she pauses in her eating, giving Mike a curious glance, and nodding slightly. "…Actually that's probably not a bad idea… But you'll want to look out, um… Magneto sort of doesn't have much in the way of a regular sense of humor, I don't think…" Nodding again, she looks to Connor, eyebrows pulling inward a bit. "…Hm. That's a good idea. And I don't know, really… I'll have to look. Or ask the staff this Sunday."

"Is he? Going easy on you?" Mike asks Robyn, then sips on his water. The next birthday… "My birthday is January 1st. Connor, I think yours is the 22nd of January, then Robyn on the 27th. Lots of January babies at this table."
What? Mike has a built-in organizer. He can remember that stuff.

"Yeah, I know Connor and I are five days apart." Robyn says with a grin as they were born on the same year. "And I guess Mike is also January so we'll have to do one big celebration then or something." He says as they continue their chatter before the birthday cupcakes come out and they all sing Happy Birthday to Rashmi as her cupcake is the special one with the candle in it.

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