2010-06-26: This Way and That Way


Multipleman_icon.jpg Renate_icon.jpg Topher_icon.jpg

Summary: Jamie, Renate and Topher meet one another, Jamie gives the other two a small job.

Date: June 26th, 2010

Log Title This Way and That Way

Rating: R (L)

Westchester - Salem Center Mall

On the far end of the Food Court lays the long, wide hallway of the Mall. Over sized skylights let the sunlight pour in during the day, while the florescent bulbs light the Mall at night. This hall has a number of kiosks, selling anything from cheap jewelry to car stickers to on-the-spot portraits, along with them come a number of benches and let's not forget the store fronts calling out to the consumers with their bright lights and attention-drawing displays.

Weekdays normally were good for mall shopping, before work let out and school let out, but school was already out for the summer [for most schools] so it left the place riddled with people on the younger side of the age spectrum and in varying styles of dress. Renate spent a good portion of the morning following varying groups into stores and mirroring their choices, but those that she also knew would suit her. She might be fresh to this but she knew what she wanted. Exiting one store her new espresso colored messenger bag took on the roll of looking bulging, pulling from within it [once she got a few stors down] a black studded belt, looping it through the low rise pants loops and trying again to no avail to pull them higher and get the belt to hold them in place. Pale expanse of abdomen was left bare from the low fall of black denim to the higher risen hem of a lycra like red top that had its own sheen, t'd in the back. White hair was left down and framing pale features that were bare save for the slight sweep of noir lining around her eyes. In her other hand she held papers and a pen, nothing like theiving from the stores that you were also picking up applications at, though most clerks looked at the foreign girl oddly in her request anyway. "I was told exotic dancing was a joke, you have something to do right?" Yeahh…

Jamie Madrox found himself boredly wandering the mall, stopping occasionally by a wall full of paper fliers to post up one of his own. This one, labeled across the top was xXx Investigations. Quietly humming to himself, somewhere across the mall there was two other guys who looked identical to him doing the same thing. Wonderful thing about his powers, they allowed him a certain extent of luxury amidst their headache. The hum picked up into a whistle as he stepped back observed his handiwork and continued to walk down the mall's open walkways, well not so open they were crowded with kids out for summer from all ages. A brush against his shoulder and he was mumbling an "Excuse me." Pausing to look into a department store, racks of clothes and music cds inside, one of them 'gothic joints' not really his style but the music was worth browsing through. Looking in he could see the white-haired beauty within, this gave him additional reason to enter. Whether he was going to talk to her or not yet, he'd not decided.

The place that helped her for that club attire was an easy one to go back into, though none of what Renate had pilfered was worn today. The boots had been even replaced by black and white converse shoes that took her height down to the five foot eleven, for a girls though, still tall, but perhaps it also came with age as she slid sideways between younger kids wearing th spiked collars, one girl even so much as lead by a chain leash by a boy bearing the same looking bracelet as her collar. Renate couldn't help but stop and stare in wonder and bafflement. Tearing her gaze from it though she began to push through a rack bearing more of that lustrous material corset, these black vinyl bearing red buckles across the stomach, a full corseted dress that went to the floor, picking it up with a small dart of oceanic eyes and holding it in front of her while scanning for watchers. On queue a clerk approached with overdone makeup for the 'spooky' effect. "Can I help you?" The smile was offered from behind blood red lips and Renate just looked her over in that study and shook her head. "Nein…looking. Danke."

Having wedged in past the isle containing two young girls talking about certain piercings that to him, their age considered he found disturbing but not surprising. This was normal, Jamie Madrox wasn't an old man nor out of the loop on what was 'in' or the times really, it was quite commonplace for him to send out his dupes to experience things for weeks to months, sometimes longer and re-absorb into him, granting him their shared knowledge. it rather allowed him to live vicariously alot of lives in a sense. Nearing the music and DVD rack he came up closer to Renate just in time to catch her remark to the girl behind the counter. Busying himself for a second while he picked up a CD, Switchblade Symphony… not one he heard, not one he was really looking at but it made him look busy as he considered his options.

"Germany? No way! So your new here?" Renate just looked from the dress to the clerk and set it back on the rack, taking a step away from the clerk and towards Madrox, drawing the clerks attention away from her intent on the dress, though it was already had in the cultural absorption and the clerks want to discuss it. "So..You know of Rammstein right?" The clerk just went on and Renate simply shook her head. "Nein." To this the clerk gave a slight look of disbelief and looked to speak again but was interrupted by a creeped out looking parent needing help to find her kid a decent birthday gift. An exhale came as the clerk and the woman moved away and the dress was snatched off the hanger, back stepping past Madrox agaian to get to the end of the aisle and out of direct view, in her constant study her eyes even flicked over Madrox in a sweep from toe to head. He was out of place here, and speculation took reign.

She was looking at him, she'd not heard of Rammstein either. Definitely foreign, or just sheltered. Still she was looking at him, turning he flashed a quick smile. "Hi there, names Jamie. " She seemed awful paranoid which gave way to a slight quirk of one brow in his greeting, realizing he sort of just blurted that out there. "Just heard her talking, you're from Germany huh?" Idle chatter, how he failed at that most days, some of that isolationist upraising going on. "You ever heard this before?" The CD displayed towards her. "Curious if it's any good." Moving with her angling so she was kept in sight, ending up without thinking it inadvertently creating a block from direct view from the rest of the Mall world.

He was talking to her, and she froze like a deer in headlights, but Renate did not break the solid stare at him as well as a more solid study even lingering on the Switchblade Symphony CD, shaking her head. She was sheltered in more aspects then a few, but she was learning quick enough. "Renate, yes Berlin Germany." Her head tilted slightly, his question pointing he likely did not work here, but it could be a ruse. "Get it and see, if you don't like it at least you learned. You don't work here do you?" Deep blue gaze focused back on his own, only removing to flick over his shoulder and watch the rest of the store in its own world and the clerk still looking rather occupied with the flustered adult. Slowly the dress was being wound up in her grip without so much as another look to it, as if it was all automatic.

"Guess I could do that." Jamie mumbled, some blunt logic there. He looked at the CD and shrugged holding onto it in his hand. "Nope, I don't work here, why? Hey whoah…" He blurts out in realization at what she was up to, a low whisper coming from him,"You can't be doing that." He didn't move though, to break her cover and let her be seen. A quick observation though he realized the two on duty were pre-occupied, someone was around the corner who had a lopsided walk, probably a broken or mis-sized heel and the security camera didn't reach this far over, she was safe unless he said something. Paid off at times having that 'gumshoe' know how.

Renate was giving the CD a curious look of her own, the cover was interesting enough, but that never really defined the content. She did not look up to Jamie until he said what she can't be doing. Her head took on a slight tilt, curiously watching him now. "Why can't I? Watch…" Opening the top to the messenger bag she stuffed the now folded and rolled dress into it, slapping the flap back closed and she had nothing in her hands anymore. "To emphasis the point she held both her hands up and then plucked the CD from his grip if he did not pull back, doing the same with that. "I'll get that for you." Over the past couple of days she had been shown some niceties and simply was returning the favor in her mind. Cramming the CD into the bag as well she slid past Jamie and as she passed the counter she picked up an application and placed it with the rest, heading for the exit as long as she was not stopped. "Danke!" A small wave to the clerk that was still going through items and she got a cheery wave back…Ignorance was bliss…Sometimes.

"No no no no!" He snared the CD back from her,"I'll get this, seriously… don't worry about it." Getting cut off in his objection as her fingers seemed to be adhesive, losing in the battle of grips as he watched the CD plunge into the bag, quickly scurrying past the counter beside her as he looked forward, clearing his throat. Once they'd cleared the doorway thankful the alarm didn't go off he exhaled, breathing again."Geez, you should not have done that. The reason why, is it's illegal, you can't just take things without paying for them… I mean, you can." Jamie frowns at his own words, noting a several times in his own past when he'd stolen, this doesn't stop him from speaking more though."It's just not the right thing to be doing, thats all. Then you top it off with an application, you're something else… uh…Renate, right?"

A slow smile crept up her lips as Jamie spoke, her eyes darting to peripherals to watch Jamie as he spoke and she walked on, not handing him the Cd until she got around the corner and paused by a water fountain. "Well, I did. I have no money, need these.." She waved the applications "..to make money to buy things, until then I take what I need." Leaning over she pulled her hair back and sipped from the fountain, a small flash of black inwork at the nape of her neck before it was obscured again by her rising back up and dropping her hair back into place. "Yes, Renate. You're Jamie. Nice to meet you." The smile was flashed his way as she looked around and looked to her bag. All full, her trip for the day was done it seemed.

The quick glimpse of tattoo was caught, his eyes widened at that and quickly he went through what he knew of Hydra, this 'marking' something he stored away as she spoke. "Guess being broke can do that and you're job hunting, me too actually. Well not entirely broke but job hunting… You end up over here from Germany and no money? What a bum deal." Hydra must have some seriou slave wages. Jamie's hand swept up through short dark brown spikes of hair as her smile disarmed him, finding himself almost forgetting the theft incident, giving one back, though the tattoo helped out in that area quite abit. "So uh, where you headed to now Renate?" Questions, ask plenty of them. Maybe he could find out what she's up to and just maybe there was work itself in that. Curiously wondering what SHIELD would pay for a tip-off, which reminded him, sooner or later he had a dupe to collect.

Renate thought for a moment as he spoke on her deal, repeating back what she had heard in a movie that was like the term he used. "Yeah, sucks to be me.. But I'll live." His noting of the tattoo and any possible reaction did not seem to be taken into account. "I have some money but I pay for my hotel and food with it…" Speaking of food when he asked what she was doing she looked out and down another walkway towards the food court. She was ignorant to feminine wiles so him appearing disarmed at all was beyond her, though the look showed he approved and so she kept that smile there for him when she passed looks his way. "Want to go eat?" Gesturing in the direction of the food court she started heading that way. "What do you do?"

"I'm a Private Investigator." Jamie pulls out a small card, handing it over to her. "Works sort of on the slow side right now so I have been trying to expand out of Mutant Town. Thats why I am here right now." Reasonable enough, but why wasn't Hydra looking after her, surely they had a location here or cells, or whatever it is however they operated. Maybe she was intended to be low-key, possibly she was a defector. Looking her over again he gave a quick study of what she had on, apparel, armaments, anything additional. Nothing matched up to being a full time agent, no special code rings, watches, whistles or bells. "Yeah we can go eat, as long as I get to pay, my treat, how about some pizza?"

Renate looked at the card before she took it, giving it a closer look and then slid it into her pocket. "So you are like Matlock?" Blame the crap cable in a hotel room for that one. His studious flick of eyes though reminded her of her own. He was looking for something or learning and this got him a more focused following of her eyes. He did not look like her, nor did he seem to be like them, but it still had her following him with her eyes on a more careful note. "Pizza?" This had her eyes leaving a sweep down his arm to his wrist and returning to him, with another breif smile. "Sure."

"I guess so, yeah. Matlock is far more successful than I am at this gig." Jamie replied with a sheepish grin, motioning with a tip of his head towards the foodcourt. Both of his hands thrusting back into his pockets while he walked, brushing past a few people to end up a line. Sitting some twenty feet away eating a burger was another Madrox, identical in all ways to the one infront of her. The Jamie infront of her was glaring over at it, not saying a word as it carried on eating, chewing down the rather sloppy looking meal. "Lazy bastard." Could be heard mumbling from the Madrox with her.

Waiting in line she took the moment to look up from Madrox and out over the crowd. The first sweep was a study of looking for something specific, but she did notice one dupe and had to double take, saying nothing of it though as she settled back to speaking with Jamie. "Learn from Matlock then?" As if it was that simple but he made it look easy. "You'll do fine, as long as it doesn't involve stopping thieves." A small prod at him, the remaining smile telling it was a joke, one other habit she was trying hard at. "Is that why you look at me like you do though? Investigating?" The question was silenced at the end as they stepped up to the counter.

"Huh? Oh yeah… bad habit, I tend to do that more and more, probably since I started up xXx Investigations, take it serious your mind starts to navigate itself that way. If it did involve stopping thieves I'd have had you." Jamie offered back towards her as the line soon gave way for them, ordering a large pepperoni with extra tomatoes. "Thats not the whole reason I look at you, you're very pretty. You could be a model." He said with a flash of teeth. Moving to sit down across the foodcourt dining area opposite where his duplicate was. Or quite possibly where the actual Madrox was, one could never be sure with the mutant.

The woman at the counter letting them know the food would be brought to them with a pitcher of soda shortly.

"So you think… I could be ninja, like Jackie Chan." A sage nod from Renate to Jamie as she followed him to the seat, passing another glance to the twin and again, saying nothing of it as her eyes took on another sweep, this time more studious. Nothing too suspicious, no tweed's following her, just the scrutiny Madrox passed her here and there as well as…His praise? "I was told I could be a teacher of language too here, or an exotic dancer - but that was a joke." Setting the papers down she started looking at them and her brow furrowed, setting the pen down over them and looking away. "Model seems to be too idle to me, nothing to learn, though some of them have nice clothes." Leaning back in the chair she avoided the applications now and simply indulged in learning about Jamie. "What do you tend to investigate?" Matlock may be successful, but this was the real deal to her so far more intriguing.

"Whatever I am hired for, lots of women and men seem to want their 'better half's' tailed. Do alot of that it seems… well, alot I guess is an exaggeration, probably three out of the five cases I've done since returning to New York involve cheating crud." Jamie's eyes danced as she said exotic dancer,"Who said that? I guess you could if you're into that sort of thing but wow." A chuckle came out of him as their pizza was set down, a small pitcher and two cups. "I also don't think Jackie Chan's a ninja, he's more… kung fu. But I guess huh, you don't know martial arts do you?"

Renate did not really seem to grasp what he was talking about as his current run of the mill jobs but she did see that he was not pleased with them. "I am sure you will get plenty of intrigue in time, build a name for yourself." Once the pizza arrived she sat back more upright in position and pulled a slice of the pizza free, taking a slow first few bits, as if testing it before she was satisfied and smiled a bit before taking in the rest at a normal pace. Setting the half eaten slice down on a small paper plate that had been put in front of her she answered. "Jakob. As for Jackie Chan he is a mixture but yes, kung fu seems to be his main. He's his own ninja." She was set on that and wasn't going to budge. "I like his style, I want to learn it." It sounded like a child like dream coming from accented vocals and with the smile she bore when she spoke of it. "I know some." But leaving it at that she looked back up and over the crowd, studying again before she picked up the pizza. "Does your twin want to join us?"

Looking back across the food court to his 'twin' aka duplicate who sat happily chewing on a burger Jamie managed a slight quirk of one brow before his head shook,"Nah, my twin is fine where he is, he is supposed to be off hanging up fliers." A headshake is given and he is picking at a slice of pizza,"Ah, a guy friend of yours, huh? How is he is own ninja? Ninja's are a Japanese deal."He asks, pushing the conversation on martial arts and Jackie Chan. The mall around them bustling with activity.

Pouring her own glass of soda Renate tilted her head and watched as the foam rose and fell, hooking one finger over the rim and tugging it close, a feline like curiosity as she peered at it and stuck her finger into the foam and pulled it back to eyes the digit bearing the bit of liquefying foam before she pressed it between lips and tasted. Renate seemed satisfied of it and withdrew her finger from between lips and shook it at him. "I say ninja but do not mean the Japanese equivalent which is shinobi. Ninja is a broad spectrum in my opinion of a unique martial art with stealth, though Jackie makes it amusing." She shrugged lightly and glanced back towards the twin and then to Jamie directly. "He isn't being very effective."

It's been over a month since Topher last left the institute but since then the telepathic teen has been practicing his control, and today he's come to the Salem center for a little test, wearing black skinny jeans, a music themed blue shirt, and red converses, as usual he has his headphones in, playing his current favorite song, once he reaches the most crowded part of the mall he'll test it, if he doesn't chicken out that is.

"Ah, I'm more of a Jet Li fan personally unless you want to go back to the king and just say Bruce Lee." A smile sprouted up across his features and he tore another slice of pizza away eating between bites, realizing he's being quiet he looks over, picking up a slice of mushroom from the pizza making as if it was waddling towards her,"So the Mushroom walks up to the very pretty girl and asks, 'How about a dance?' the girl," Jamie flicks his fork in an air stab at Renate indicating her, "Says to the Mushroom, 'No thanks, I don't want to dance with you.' So the Mushroom says, 'Aw but come on, I'm a Fungi." The cheesy smile grows larger on the young man's features as he looks across at the pale woman. Not having noticed Topher yet in the crowd of people around, not that Madrox knew the man anyways.

"They are both good as well. I just enjoy the fun—-" She paused as Jamie began his joke with the pizza topping, one brow rising and as if a puppets strings had been pulled one corner of her lips rose with simultaneously. The small smile tilted her eyes and the laugh came out as a small heh before eyes were skipping over the food court once more and her head tilted as if listening. "I'd dance with you, but I don't think here is good." Renate had yet to notice Topher quite yet either as the lunch rush was pouring into the court now as well, a dull murmuring of youth taking a break from their vagrancy in the local mall. One hand snapped out and she plucked the mushroom from Jamie's hand, popping it past lips to chew if he relented. "Tastes good too." The smile was wry and twisted her lips. "Want me to help with the fliers? Repay for the lunch." Gesturing to the pizza that she picked up again and commenced eating.

Topher reaches the food court, the most crowded place in the mall, takes a deep breath and pulls out one earphone, suddenly there's a rush of minds in his head, "Ok, ok, ow, bad idea", he shoves the earphone back in and throws himself into a seat at a table next to Jamie and Renate.

"Uh no I don't want to dance, it was a joke…" The mushroom is plucked from his fingers and Jamie blinks as the joke doesn't come across properly, maybe that language barrier there or it was corny of a joke as he figured, Strong Guy was to blame for that." What about Jew and the pizza have in common joke, yeah, big no - that and the blond and the pizza slices, only ones I know involving pizza." He gives on telling her jokes for now, the thought of fliers donning on him and he leans to the side in his chair trying to see around the Renate, then the man in the red converse sneakers walking behind her, "Hey buddy, can you step to the left for a sec… ah never mind, thanks." Cutting himself off as Topher flopped down into a chair. Forgetting about his other self as he curiously looked the guy over, having caught the ow."Eh, you okay?"

If Topher even managed to pick through any of those minds in the brief attempt her's would be like an out of ranged cable channel, static with low voices in the backdrop, indiscernible but there like ghosts. When Jamie spoke of it being a joke her brows furrowed slightly in thought. She needed to figure out jokes, apparently she was bombing them..badly. But one joke she did know was the pizza one, go figure eh? "Pizza doesn't scream when you put it in the oven." She smiled then but it quickly faded as she leaned to the side a bit and peered back to where Jamie was looking, noting the new one that had flopped down by them, her gaze remaining trained on him for several heartbeats in a sweeping study before she fell mute, looking back at Jamie as fingers peeled the cheese off the slice of pizza and slowed her eating, picking it apart now to have in bits.

Topher cannot pick one thought out of another in a large crowd but he did notice a mind that wasn't like any he felt before, it was a little more soothing, but he can't pinpoint the source. He gives the man speaking to him a grin, "Yeah, i'm good thanks, sorry if i bothered you".

"It's fine, was just making sure you weren't about to have a stroke." Jamie gave the teenager an inquisitive look, Madrox mind was shielded only enough as per X-Men/X-Corps/X-Factor training he'd received in the past, which was more than normal enough it didn't leave him a constant open book to wild telepaths, thoughts occasionally did slip through his mind was identical in all aspects save for some mood tweaks to another completely identical man not much further off and somewhere in the mall another one. Hearing Renate's words they sunk in and he scoffed,"Ah yeah, that one."Came a chuckle as one hand rose to rub the back of his neck.

Renate leaned back now, occupying her hands with the glass of soda, though her focus was no longer on the food or the drink at hand it was between Jamie and Topher. Jamie beginning to seem nervous and Topher…She had yet to figure it out yet. In her continual study on attire though and what seemed to be the style she had yet to see people in what Topher was wearing, her eyes going from his jeans to hers, the skinny fit throwing her off, especially at the ankles. "How do you get into those?" One hand gestured to the tight fit jeans and then pointed at her own. Hers were loose fitted and low slung on the curve of hips, held in place by a studded belt - recently acquired. Honestly she was curious, though the lack of any amusement or flicker of emotion when she asked could be taken in any direction. Looking back at Jamie she asked him as well. "Do you wear those?"

Nope, not having a stroke", Topher could range out to here the other two Jamies, but he wouldn't be able to focus on the thoughts to hear them clearly, Renate's question takes him aback a little, people don't usually ask that, "Err, lay on my back and don't breathe, havn't you worn skinnys before?"

Jamie chuckles hearing Renate's blunt question, she really was cutely naive about things. Though, Jamie himself didn't wear jeans like that nor had a clue how to get into them; but he wasn't about to inquire. Cutting his chuckle off with his hand and more pizza distracting himself as he began to eat.

"No…thanks. I choose life." A quote from a movie taken to perfectly portray her reaction to not breathing to wear clothing, though the slight hypocrisy came in her fondness for corsets that came with her first clothing outside of a jumpsuit, but she wasn't in that right now so out of sight out of mind. Jamie's chuckle drew her eyes back to him and a light smile came and went over her lips. Naive, blunt…sometimes it was one in the same.

Topher shakes his head trying not to laugh himself at the girl's reaction, "You can breathe once you get them on, just holding your breathe make them easier to pull on".

Motioning with a hand towards Renate then himself, he spoke,"This is Renate, I'm Jamie, shes on the side of foreign don't take offense to the question. "This said in case Topher hadn't noticed the woman's accent. Pushing the paper plate away he had been eating off in front of him he sat back, resting into his chair. The presence of one duplicate further away now said the lazy one was wandering now or actually doing as he had told him to.

Again Renate's eyes danced between the two, since her introduction was given one hand rose and her fingers shifted in a small ripple of a wave to Topher with a flash of a toothy smile that was there and gone as if an illusion. "Nice to meet you." Hearing Jamie's addition as to why she did not seem to fall in line it was taken to consideration and accepted, a good excuse as any so she did not speak up in protest and sipped her soda instead. Over the rim of the glass though her eyes swept over the fully occupied food court, trying to study any new faces and inventory each, but it was getting too much and the nervous flick of her eyes began to even have her slightly turning in her seat.

"Christopher Matthews, but i prefer to go by Topher though", Topher waves back at Renate, before catching tenseness off Jamie, "What are ya looking for Jamie?"

"Huh, looking for oh… more like keeping a watch out for someone. They're trouble-makers I don't like to take them out in public." A *brrpt* sound was heard and Jamie was shifting lifting up in his seat to reach down and pull out his cell phone, "Sorry guys, one sec." The device pushed against his ear as he spoke,"xXx Investigations, Private Investigator James Madrox speaking… Uh huh, ah… uh huh. You know what, I can help you out with that. If you don't mind give me about fifteen minutes and I'll be in my office and we can continue this conversation, excellent, thank you. We'll talk soon." Clipping the phone closed Jamie grins, "Okay Renate, you've got a deal,… Here" He was handing her the fliers he had earlier stuffed into his jacket "If you hang all these up around the Mall and wherever else then come see me in Mutant Town and I'll pay you, if you run into my er brothers, get the fliers from them as well. My address and number is on there, can't miss it, it's just across from the Power Plant bar." With that he was straightening out his jacket and putting some tape and tacs down on the stack of papers. "Was nice meeting you Topher. If you want some spending cash you can help her out, hopefully I'll run into you two again sometime."

"You already paid me.." She pointed to the food then and watched Jamie leave, even addressing the one who called himself Topher with the fliers. Renate looked at the fliers and picked them up, offering some off the top of the pile to Topher with a small smile. Breaking the ice was not her thing and the crowd was getting to her, the tension was setting her shoulders squared and had deep blue eyes dancing from him and out again. "I will go this way?" She gestured to the west to ensure one half was covered, that is if Topher took a part of the pile she held out, if not she would get it all on her own.

Topher raises an eyebrow apparently he's just been hired to put fliers round the place, meh, it's money, he takes the offered part of the stack, gives Renate a wave and goes in the oposite direction, "Nice meeting you".

Renate waved back to Topher, but did not head out immediately, she put a few fliers on the tables in the cafeteria while she studied a few people that had come in at the end of the rush, an added curiosity that seemed to be reciprocated. A tall red headed woman with two men, their features hard to miss, they almost seemed scarred from a form of pox and to boot well beaten up and their facial bone structure never set right again. It reminded her of something, perhaps she would inform Laura later but it was quickly brushed aside and she was back to walking the halls, this time legitimately and legally wandering the mall.

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