Different Kinds Of Cats


adel_icon.gif howard_icon.gif

Scene Title Different Kinds of Cats
Synopsis Adel gets a surprise visitor in the form of Howard.
Date January 17, 2011

Adel's Studio Apartment - SoHo

Years ago, this building likely housed many staving artists of New York City, waiting for their big break. The wide rooms and high ceilings make it rather perfect for those who fill their rooms with paintings and sculptures and even those who want bands to rehearse. Now it's space is a little less artistic, and a little more desperate. The rent is cheap, with each apartment being a studio and barely having enough to be called a bathroom. The hallways haven't been cleaned well, the lights are flickering where they are. The heat is barely there in the hallway, granting a smell of smoke— what heat in the halls seems to have seaped out of the rooms, and even then it smells like their heaters aren't the safest. A personal heater runs in Adel's studio room, behind the door which sports a single digit number. Six.

It's a little better, but she has something to make up for it, in the form of the greatest invention of the twenty-first century… A snuggie. A tie dye hippie one, colorful and bright, that drapes over her body and leaves her hands free to hold the iPod Touch that J.J. had dropped off for a late Christmas present. Touching the screen, she moves her finger along with the sound coming in one earbud she has hanging on her ear, while the other dangles.

The door is locked, twice over, with an extra security bar in place, while most of her attention is on the small video screen, and the sound coming in the earbud.

She rewinds again.

Through that locked door and down the hall, an intruder to this Manhattan studio apartment makes leisurely pace down the hall. It isn't out of a lack of urgency that the sparsely dressed stranger to this building carries himself, but rather a sense of uncertainty and hesitation. It's like a teenager moving out of home, only to have to come crawling back to their parents after finding it too hard to make ends meet. There's a certain measure of humility and awkwardness.

Even harder when it's an ex-girlfriend.

The ghost of relationships past walks with a slouched swagger, and Howard Phillips may only be ghostly in complexion due to the thumping cadence of his sneakered stride. Nineteen degrees outside in the freezing city streets, and Phillips is walking around with an unbuttoned olive-drab Army coat and a threadbare Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirt worn beneath. Even that level of additional clothing is uncomfortable, constricting and too hot.

Approaching the apartment door, Howard fondles the broken necklace he wears, that piece of audio port and broken copper wiring reflecting dully the fluorescent lights overhead. He lifts up one hand to the door, threatens a knock and then grimaces, backing away as he psyches himself up.

This is where Adel agreed to be, this is where — according to the plan — she's supposed to live. Howard knows well how much Adel sticks to any plan, though. She has a genetic predisposition to fucking plans up in every way possible. It's probably why they get along so well, and also why they didn't work out in the end.

That, among other reasons.

Exhaling a sigh, Howard slouches forward and thumps his head against the door, leaning his brow against the wood grain before balling up a fist and finally knocking a few times.

How bad could it be?

The knock on the door draws her eye, and she drops the iPad down onto the bed to leave it there, letting the file on youtube continue to run, though the earbud also falls out of her ear and lands on the sheets, the sound barely a whisper as Adel shrugs off the Snuggie (if only they had been invented with backs) and hurries to the door on bare feet. Even through the door, the walls are too thin, he can hear the patter of her feet as she hops over. She sounds excited, bouncy, exuberant. But then she usually is, even when things seem at their worse.

She'd even managed to keep a smile when their relationship ended, only the shoulder she cried on would know it had happened at all.

Click, click of the locks as they come ondone, she probably paused long enough to look and see who it is, but that didn't make her pause before opening it. The door flies open with gusto, and she reaches out and grabs at him. To hug, and to pull him in. "Get in before all my warm air escapes!" she yelps at the shock of cold air from the hall. The room she rented likely only feels warm to him cause he's been out in the cold so long.

"It's been so long— " Then after a second she looks startled, as she pulls him in and looks around the hall to verify he's alone, before she looks back up at him with worried brown eyes, "Does Benji know you're here?"

Howard's entrance comes with a scoff that might also be a sigh, wriggling out of the hug as he paws a hand right at the middle of Adel's face as if she were an overly-affectionate cat. As he slips out of the embrace and strides in, he balks at the warmth radiating out from the heaters, already rolling his shoulders to slip out of his jacket, wiry frame turning to regard Adel. "The fuck, you tryin' t'bake a fuckin' cake on your couch r'somethin'?" Rankling his nose back at the brunette, Howard throws his coat towards the sofa, turning back around and cocking a look up at the ceiling before looking back to Adel.

"Benji's off playing fuckin' island explorer 'r some dumb shit. I ain't stickin' 'round on craphole island any longer'n I have to. Which— " Howard looks away and reaches up to scrub one hand at the back of his neck. "Is— I mean— I'm not there now so— fuck that place." As if entitled to Adel's hospitality, Howard invites himself to slink as far away from the space heater as he can, eyeing it like someone might a wild animal.

And if she's an overly affectionate cat, then he's a cat that was beaten, burned, shaved and thrown into the water too often and grew up to hiss and bite at anything that got too close. Adel seems to be used to that by the sigh that comes out of her mouth as she closes the door, and by the time she turns around to regard her couch, which— really can hardly be called one. It's more a love seat. It looks like something that was left on the side of the road somewhere. There's no real bed in her apartment either, just a matress with clean sheets, a small table with a chair set that functions as somewhere she can eat and work.

Otherwise, there's nothing else to the apartment except the big floor and the small kitchen and bathroom.

"It's perfectly safe," she says, wandering to be mattress-bed to pick up a fleece and wrap it around her shoulders. "It's more safe than the complexes heater," she adds, glancing toward the old heater visible in the room. The fire smell isn't nearly as strong in her room as it was in the hall.

"You shouldn't have been there in the first place," she says with a shrug, before she smiles. "So I'm glad you got out of there. And I haven't been able to get there myself, so I missed you…" Leaving that emotional sentiment to trail off, she hops over to the mattress and picks up her iPod Touch and holds it up. "Jay got us all one each. Do you want yours at all? I wasn't sure you would— he left them here for me to be his elf…"

"Pretty sure they're not shock resistant," Howard laments, casting his gaze askance. "I still owe you for the one I fried back when…" Awkwardly clearing ihs throat, Howard keeps one of his hands clasped across the back of his neck, head bowed and shoulders slouched. Adel's hospitality is always hard to face. An argument would be something he could understand, a shouting match more in his line of emotional conditioning. But this whole family unit thing is harder, since he'd been gone. He never came back the same.

"You're right, though, I didn't belong there. Wasn't supposed t'fucking be there. Only reason I didn't take Nora with me's 'cause she's…" he waves a hand in front of his face, as if trying to politely (in his own way) indicate her blindness. It comes off as a bit dismissive. "Anyway— I need t'get in touch with Josh an' Cal. Some dumb fuck decided t'try and kidnap Calvin an' think things'd be all hunky fuckin' dory if he let him go. I'm gonna put a fuckin' teachin' on him, 'cause nobody fucks with my bros and don't get a black eye an' a missin' tooth in return."

Howard's blue eyes sweep back towards the heater, offering it a warning stare. As if— it would respond. The heater thrums on quietly, unabated.

"That was ancient history," Adel waves it off without a thought, but she wanders over to the pile of presents. J.J. hadn't had them wrapped, but she went ahead and took the liberty, selecting colors for each of them, and added in a second thing to the box. She picks his out of the pile, and tears off the wrapping paper as she listens to his words, looking a little less smile-y as the topic continues. It's hard to smile when ex is talking about beating up people!

"I can likely get ahold of Josh. I promised him an invite to our first concert," she explains, not even attempting to talk him out of it, and in fact smiling when she pulls out what she was looking for in the package. A CD.

"I though you'd like this, so consider this a late Christmas and Birthday present." She goes into the kitchen, drops the CD into a CD player, and hits play. Another electronic appliance for him to glare at, but he also gets to hear something few people do… Mad Muse in practice.

With the music playing, she looks back and asks, "So can I come? Someone's gotta keep you guys out of trouble!" So says a kind of troublemaker herself.

Hiding a sheepish smile, Howard tips his head to the side and then averts his eyes down to the floor. He's quiet for a time, bashfully so, before finally easing over to that loveseat and setling down enough to perch on one arm, hands coming to fold in his lap. Blue eyes alight to Adel, then towards the radio playing the first strumming bass lines of the opening song. "Shit… you actually went through with it, didn't you?" Howard's look flicks back up to Adel, one brow raised.

"What happened t' th' poor drummer that done gone got replaced by your ass?" A smile cracks across the electrokinetic's lips at the question, followed by a slouch back as one elbow raises to brace himself on what little of the loveseat's back is in his reach. Reclined like a housecat, Howard tilts his head back to stare up at the ceiling again, the same brown stain he'd been watching before.

"Yer always welcome," Howard says, his voice distorted by the arch of his neck. "S'about fuckin' time that some people get up and do shit. Everybody's just fuckin' sittin' an' waitin' like life's gonna fuckin' come t'them or somethin'. That's such bullshit, y'know? I'm sick of this, gonna' start doin' instead've hopin'."

"Of course I did it," Adel says simply, with a grin as she moves to toss the iPad Touch back to the matress so it keeps at a safe distance from him before she plops down on the small couch, still wrapped in her blanket. "They didn't have one, so it's not like I replaced anyone. Robyn had one of her own, but I don't think he was working out cause I rerecorded all his stuff for her album. She added violins too— it's really cool. Not the whole band, but— still really cool. If you need a place to stay, I can tell you about them— I'll even turn off the electric heater so you don't have to hiss at it."

What an accomidating ex— but then again, she's always been the 'glass is half full' types. Nothing really seems to bring her down to the real world. Except blood.

"I'm not waiting— though I'm not sure if things will go well for the band. Someone opened their mouth on camera and said something dangerous." There's a pause. "If there's an opening in the band do you think I could talk Josh into filling it? He's pretty good on guitar."

There's a look shot askance to Adel, one brow raised. "Wait— a fuckin' minute. Ain't that like… You can't just— " Howard looks away, pursing his lips and breathing in deeply, then exhaling a sigh. "Fuck it, an' fuck weasel-face," he mutters. "Yeah, sure. Josh'd love t'fuckin' do it. Dunno if he can play a guitar worth a shit but I bet Mayhem Magnes can't play for shit either." He says in spite of tapping the toe of one sneakered foot to the rhythm of the song.

"You seen anybody else?" Howard looks from the radio across to Adel, then down to her snuggie with a furrow of his brows. "I mean, aside from Jimbo, I guess. S'just me, Benji, Nora, weasel-face and Christ Chix up on that fuckin' island. I ain't seen nobody else, really." It makes him antsy.

It's also easier than saying he misses anyone, especially Adel.

Adel has the good nature to turn a little pink in the cheeks, though she likely hopes it is taken as her face and nose being cold than being embarrassed. The whole apartment is pretty much one room, with the exception of the bathroom, which is just visible through a door. It can't be larger than a closet itself. But that doesn't matter.

"It wouldn't be the first time we've slept in the same room," she says simply, as she pulls her feet up on the couch so they can get under the blanket. "And it's not like we're dating anymore so there's nothing weird with it."

Except that it's very much weird. But she doesn't seem to think so.

Maybe because…

"I'm hoping to see the others so I can drop off Jay's present, but he's the only one I've seen. You've seen a lot more of us than me— but I get to hang out with the whole them," she nods in the direction of the music, "So that's cool. And he can too play! Even if he can't keep his mouth shut." Yup, Mayhem Magnes is the one who said something dangerous. "Josh can too."

"One," Howard lifts a finger, "you're a fuckin' bed hog." How brows kick up a little at the assertion. "Two, I'm liable t'fuckin' taser you in yer sleep, that ain't kinky that's just unfortunate." A third finger comes up. "Three, I ain't… got…" Howard's eyes cast askance to the door, "really anywhere else t'go, so— guess we're gonna' have t'make the most of numbers one and two, 'cause I sure ain't sleepin' on a fuckin' park bench."

Sliding off of the arm of the loveseat, Howard paces away from the furniture and then turns back around, hands on his hips and skinny arms akimbo. "How is it?" Seems sharply asked for the question he's getting at. "I mean— hangin' out with them. Bein' there… doin'— " blue eyes avert down to the floor, and Howard goes quiet.

"How d'you do it?" Howard wonders aloud. He certainly can't.

"Then you get to sleep on the floor. I have a sleeping bag and extra blankets," Adel says, smiling at him, despite the accusations, before she adds with a raised finger, "And I do not hog the bed, they were just too small for the both of us!" And that's how she'll always state it. With a smile.

"It's… not really what I expected it to be, but…" she trails off, expression sobering some as she pulls the blanket closer. "I'm glad they let me in the band. I don't think there's anywhere else I'd rather be right now, you know? It's not easy— but I love it. Do you want an invite if we still do a concert?"

"Not really," Howard dismisses too easily, and in a way Adel knows isn't how he really feels. Howard turns, again, restlessly towards the apartment door, then hesitates and instead turns towards the bathroom, lingering between the two for a short time, hands on his hips. When he turns to look back to Adel, Howard's smile is a wan one. "Must be nice," he admits with a hint of jealousy, "but if you ask me? This is bullshit."

Howard looks askance to the bathroom door, then back to Adel. "All of this, everything. From the fuckin' moment the goddamned riots happened this has been one fucking piece of shit after another." Howard considers the bathroom again, then looks back to Adel. "I'm gonna go down to the Store 24 across the street, you don't want me leavin' what I think I got goin' on in your itty bitty bathroom."

Turning towards the door at that crude comment, Howard seems content to put talk of responsibilities aside and focus instead on more tangible matters.

Like poop.

"Hold on," Adel chirps as she hops up from her couch and she bounces over to the kitchen. The cold floor may have to do with the bouncing more than her general happy moods, but she's smiling as she hops back over and hands him something. It seems she must have been expecting this to happen, cause in her hand is a key, metal colored a metallic blue, and a black rubber hand grip setting it apart from most normal pieces of metal.

"So you can get back in more easily. I'll leave the security bar off. Things'll get better. You should be happy! You're off that god forsaken island!" And on a bigger possibly more forsaken island?

At least this island has bridges.

With a slap of her hand on his backside, she doesn't seem at all concerned about what's going on there. "Go get rid of your shit and I'll pick up some pizza and try to get ahold of Josh." Cause even if he's always in a hissy fit, she's looks like she just caught a bird and wants someone to be as happy about it as she is.

Confusion paints itself across Howard's face as he startles from the slap, eyes wide and mouth parted in shock. It's been a long time since he and Adel had any measure of time together, alone and unsupervised. Her frenetic energy is the kind of thing that Pollepel was desperately lacking. Normally Nora would fill that void for Howard, but since her accident she's been too much the reserved young woman.

Looking down to the key, a smile starts to form on the electrokinetics' lips. Fingers curl around the key and a few sparks dance where metal contacts skin. "Sweetheart," Howard admits with a flash of a smile as he leans towards the door, resting his free hand down on the doorknob. "Me'n you 'r gonna make sweet, mischievous music together."

They never should have let him leave the island.

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