Mortal Mavis & The Sumblimes x2

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Mortal Mavis & The Sumblimes x2

Carter, November, Mavis

5 October, 2019

Mavis bumps into November and Carter coming out of Club Violet. Introductions are made to Carter and he politely pries a little into the mortal's life, assessing Mavis' worth.


      An Uber had dropped Mavis off nearby. She wanted to stretch her legs and explore the city just a bit on her own without Amity's anxious company. Her friend, the concierge at the Red Clover Hotel, was always more tense anytime they went out together into public and Mavis' guesses as to WHY that was are... way off base.

      The mortal ambles along the sidewalks, alone, and with her hands stuffed inside of her hoodie pocket. She turns her head this way and that, peering curiously at the buildings and, sometimes, the people that she strolls past. The dusky-skinned artist slows, stops, turns around to take stock of where she is and skim a few of the establishments lining the street. Mavis could do for a bite to eat, maybe a couple of drinks. Nothings TOO wild.

      November is a snowflake, not a snake, but going out for a night on the town with the Devil does leave one with so, so many entertaining sartorial commentaries in the wings... In this case, the unspoken reference to the serpent in the garden, seeing as those leggings of hers are iridescent scales, and her pendant is a blood red apple with a bite taken out of it.

      Of a height with Carter, thanks to kick-ass boots, the Totally Human Yep Soooo Human rainbow steps out of Club Violet first, flourishing a graceful and unnecessarily fluttery bow while playing doorperson and holding it so he can get out without fighting door + cane. "How much of that do you think he'll remember tomorrow?" the androgyne inquires, glancing up and down the street and, upon spotting Mavis, shifting her attention toward the ambling mortal. "Ah." She lowers her voice to murmur a discreet, "Mortal. New employee," before raising the volume and calling, "Mavis! Fancy meeting you here."

      One teeeensy weensy problem: today, she is not muting her power. She's as Sublime as Sublime gets...and so is Carter!

And Carter is /exceptionally/ Sublime. If Mavis were capable of seeing past the Mask, she would see the Devil in all his infernal glory, surrounded by a Mantle of Spring so thick that the air practically bleeds it. As it is, though, he's just a /devilishly/ handsome man in a suit of rich plum, limping along at November's side with a cane in his hand and a slight, amused little smile on his face.

And yet... he draws the eye as much as she does. There's something about him that is very much Not Normal. Even if mortals like Mavis can't exactly tell /what's/ strange about him, they know. Half of them stare with mingled fear and envy. Most of them step aside to allow him to pass as he walks alongside November onto the street. He laughs at her question, and when he speaks, his voice carries over the noise of the city, a rich, rolling, bassy sound, deep and resonant, that settles on the back of the brain like a weight and drags the listener's ear around to listen.

"I imagine he'll remember enough to be very confused," he says, his smile growing the slightest bit. "And very pleased, but mostly confused. And- ah." He glances towards Mavis, and his eyes move to take her in, a quick up-down motion that takes her in from head to toes in less than a second. He lifts his free hand in greeting, but doesn't say anything yet, apparently content to wait for Mavis to close the distance before making introductions.

      Mavis squints down the street and then across the road, weighing her options of where to go against the contents of her wallet, while gnawing uncertainly at her bottom lip. She's starting to regret not inviting Amity along, at least there would be someone to soundboard her ideas against. A voice calls out her name and Mavis' shoulders give a little jolt and she slowly turns her head, as if a ghostly hand had curled beneath her chin, along her cheek, to ever so gently pull her face to peer at November and Carter. The mortal blinks, honey-brown eyes distant and dreamy, and when the haze clears she pays a quick, frantic look from left to right like someone about to bolt for it but Mavis doesn't go anywhere.

      Instead, she coerces her lips into smiling at over November. She waves and calls back out, "Oh! Hi, boss! Uhh," Mavis trails off, darts a glance toward the handsome dapper beside November, and forces her feet to carry her over to them. For some reason, they didn't want to and Mavis attributes this to being caught out and about by her very-stunning-tonight superior. Just like the people that decide to pass around Carter, giving him a width berth, Mavis stops several feet away from the pair. She clears her throat somewhat respectfully and steals a peek at Carter again before turning her attention back to, November, the more familiar of the duo. She wasn't sure how to introduce herself to this tall, distinguished man. The tawny-skinned artist flicks a quick look down then back up November and she puffs out earnestly, "Wow!" Her inky eyebrows shoot upwards. "You look- uhm. Sublime?"

      November, naturally, accepts all hesitation and berth-giving with the unreadable amusement which seems to be her default state. How DOES she feel about it all? There's no coercion on her part when she returns Mavis' smile, slanted golden eyes bright with unspoken laughter and the jollity of one who has just spent a MOST enjoyable evening.

      "He does, doesn't he?" the rainbow deliberately misunderstands, gracing Carter with a sidelong look of playful up-down appraisal before introducing, "Mr. Carter Logan, miss Mavis Baines. She's a dab hand with a set of power tools; I've been tempted to put her in the same room as Widget and a heap of materials, just to see what comes of it."

      Thankfully, her voice doesn't have the same drag-your-ear appeal as Carter's siren song. It's a pleasure to listen to, certain sure, but it's not a distraction from everything -else- one is doing.

The man standing behind the radiant November seems to share her naturally unreadable state. His smile, light and somewhat amused, remains fairly static as Mavis approaches. If he notices her somewhat unusual behavior as she approaches, he doesn't comment on it. Presumably, he's used to it. The only thing that might be read as an actual reaction is the barest twitch of his smile upwards when Mavis steals that glance at him, and that's so brief and subtle as to leave the observer uncertain as to whether or not it ever happened at all.

He inclines his head when November redirects that compliment towards him, the smile becoming a grin that carries the slightest edge of wickedness to it. "You flatter me, Miss an Nua," he says. Again, that sense of the mind being tugged towards the sound of that voice; its smooth, rich tones are like effortless music, ensnaring everyone around as its audience. More than a handful of passerby stop to stare for a moment when he speaks, before shaking themselves free and setting off again. "But I'm nothing if not vain, so I won't object."

He lifts his head and turns that small grin on Mavis. When introductions are made, he extends his free hand - the strange cufflinks he wears catch the light for a moment, gleaming brilliant gold - for a handshake. "A pleasure, Miss Baines," he says. "It's always good to have a few more mechanically-inclined types about. Miss Widget is quite talented, but also not particularly good at concentrating, and is prone to either breaking things or going well beyond the project parameters. Often both at once." He laughs, and the sound causes a few more passing mortals to pause in their tracks. "As much as I am fond of her, it will be nice to have a more reliable source of repairs on hand if needed."

      That smile of November's puts Mavis more at ease, but her honey-brown gaze slips over to Carter and the hair on the backs of Mavis' arms inside of her hoodie sleeves all stand up when he speaks. Mavis looks down at her mismatched shoelaces, to make sure the ground was still beneath her and she attached to it by that invisible tether of gravity, then peers back up again at him. She stares down at his hand a moment, at first not realizing it was offered, then not wanting to take it, then too anxious of NOT accepting that casual gesture. Mavis pulls her hand out of her pocket and slides it into his after wiping her mortal sweat off on her own hoodie. Bracelets circle Mavis' wrist, rings band her fingers, and the nails at her fingertips are bitten down. Her digits curl to apply just the right amount of pressure then Mavis quickly retracts her hand and ducks her head. "My name's Mavis.. Or Mav. I just moved here," she murmurs in a quick, scripted rush, then add, "Mavis Octavia Baines. It's nice to meet you, sir."

      She flushes at November's praise, turning her toes inward and scuffing the top of one worn boot with the sole of the other. "Ahh- Thanks. It's common sense, really," she modestly explains, shrugging and tucking her hand back into her hoodie pocket. She hears that name again-- Widget-- and prompts November with a raise of her eyebrows and a curious, "Widget?" When Carter's laugh rolls into the shells of her ears, she takes on that dreamlike quality again and slow-blinks at him. Then her head turns she wonders if the couple that had just been passing them had heard it too. She gives herself a small shake-- get it together, you weirdo-- and laughs as she admits, quite candidly, "Sounds like gasoline to a fire, but I _am_ quite curious to meet this person when they have both of your endorsements. Plus, another grease monkey like me?" Mavis gives a bit of a self-deprecating chuckle. "Sign me up."

      On the bright side, at least Carter's hand doesn't feel like he's been sticking it in ice water. He's already an improvement over November! The rainbow, notably, doesn't seem to care a whit that it's a whopping 35 degrees outside and spitting lazy drizzle-drools of frigid rain. It never quite seems to touch her. Whatever wig she is wearing -- because nobody NATURALLY has hair that crystalline and colourful, much less so perfectly straight -- must not be humidity-reactive, either, because it doesn't frizz at all, even with the air so thick with moisture it's like breathing in a nearly-frozen soup.

      "Widget is petite, very energetic, and has the writing skills of a teenager who skipped most of her English classes," which is a sin, from the vague disapproval in the pale androgyne's tone, "but she is generally well-meaning." Her lips quirk in an evanescent little tug of a wry smile an instant before she admits, "She also makes an excellent kamikaze paintball grenadier. A mutual acquaintance threw her, bodily, to win the point."

Carter's skin is indeed less jarring to the touch than November's. Quite warm, but not /quite/ unnaturally so. Generally smooth, with slightly calloused fingertips that that brush lightly against Mavis' as she withdraws from the handshake. As she lifts her hand away, though, there's a brief scent of something - cologne, perhaps? - that /just/ evades proper identification. Whatever it is, it's as rich as his voice, and just as enticing.

The man himself just laughs, more quietly this time, and shakes his head. "'Sir' is a bit much, at the moment," he says. His voice shifts slightly as he says it, the barest mote of teasing entering its tones, a slight, distant note of piccolo over the soothing bass of the rest. "'Mister Logan' will do, if we're being formal. And yes." He tilts his head briefly towards November. "Widget is my... niece." The pause between the words is very slight, but also very deliberate, and accompanied with another very slight widening of his smile. "An exceptionally talented young woman when it comes to all things metal and mechanized, and an absolute artist with a wrench, but not particularly interested in much else."

He settles both of his long-fingered, elegant hands atop the silver handle of his cane, watching Mavis' expression as she struggles under the weight of twin Sublime auras. He glances aside to November for a moment as she relates the paintball anecdote, but his expression remains as enigmatic as hers. His grin is slight, casual, effortless, and betrays absolutely nothing about what he might be thinking other than that it is, apparently, rather amusing. After a moment, he says, "Miss an Nua tells me you're her newest employee, Miss Baines. Might I ask which of her various business ventures you've been signed on with? I don't imagine the tourney grounds, as entertaining as they are, have much use for a grease monkey."

      Mavis feels that pang a short person gets stabbed with each and every time they're planted before two people taller than themselves. She seems smaller with her hands tucked in her hoodie pockets and with that shy, uncertainty in her eyes. A scent, unidentifiable and tantalizing wisps up Mavis' nostrils and she draws in a deeper breath, trying to capture more of that aroma to parse and dissect it, but this is a futile effort. The artist lets that breath go then keeps her chin ducked while November talks to her, peering up at her with a timid smile that soon turns into a grin as she learns more about this Widget person.

      "I skipped most of my English classes too." Although she had been keeping journals for years and had a decent grasp of the language. "And math classes- and science. Seems like I should meet this whirlwind," agrees Mavis with a broad flash of her white teeth and the sliver-gap between her two front ones. The mortal glances back at November and clarifies, sheepishly, "Off hours, of course, boss." At least she didn't skip her work shifts.

      She rocks back on her boot heels, teetering a moment, and removes her hands from her hoodie pocket. Mavis pulls the garment's hood up over her head to shield the light drizzle of chilly rain and it smooshes her black hair around her light-brown face, framing it. Ahhh.. Warmth. How was November's hair not rebellion against the weather? Mavis' black strands have begun to frizz, like any mortal's.

       "I like your niece already, Mister Logan," she notes to Carter with the polite nod and prim smile of a good-hearted hooligan who was a troublesome influence in the past. Mavis was never malicious, though. The mischief she got into smacked of the same brand as Widget's, however. "Not a lot of dames picking up wrenches and blowtorches," she remarks to him. "Even these days, yanno? The few who do are usually, hmm, eccentrics." Mavis gives a weak, guilty smile that's meant to include herself in that sum, but she's struggling to find her easy equilibrium with this pair. She looks a little put on the spot when Carter directs those questions at her about her other ventures and Mavis squirms where she stands, trying to produce words. "Ah.. Well," goes Mavis. "None?" She winces, that sounds lame. He'd been expecting more, Mavis felt. "Working at the paintball range has been great. Busy," she comments. "Very busy. But the hours I'm clocking will help me get settled in my grandma's house. She's dead, grandma, but I guess she wanted it kept in the Baines family. No one's lived there for years," Mavis explains, nervously licking her lips with a dab of her pink tongue. She was rambling. "Haven't had any time to start up my art, been lodging over at the Red Clover Hotel. The front desk over there's really nice, we made friends pretty quickly. So.." The mortal shrugs. "There's that."

      Being a polite employer, November says nothing about Mavis in particular at the paintball ranges, sticking to a more general, "Once the indoor range has been completed, I expect our business over Winter will pick up a bit more." She glances at Carter, explaining, "Ordinarily, we heat the paintballs as best we can, to ensure they don't shatter when fired, but it's still an inconvenience to use them outdoors, and cleaning the guns is atrocious when they do break in the chamber."

      Streeeetching up her arms, navel-less belly bared briefly by the ruffly edge of that acid green peasant blouse, the rainbow turns, mercurial creature that she is, and abruptly kisses a fingertip, said fingertip placed with a decisive certainty upon Carter's lovely cheekbone, before sauntering off northward with a pleasant, "Sweet dreams for the wicked, lovelies," cast over her shoulder as she leaves, long stride as effortlessly graceful as any Keeper could ask it to be.

Carter watches with his eyebrows very slightly raised as Mavis shifts nervously in the spotlight he's so casually placed upon her. If he's put off by her nervousness, he doesn't show it. He just waits patiently, smile still in place, the very picture of poised, perfect politeness. The emphasis, of course, is on the word "perfect" - on closer inspection, there are things about him that are almost as unusual as those regarding November. No man's hair could remain that perfectly coiffed in this intermittent rain.

When November places that proxy kiss on his cheek, he gives a slight chuckle, turning his head to watch her saunter away. "My dreams are always perfectly sweet, Miss an Nua," he calls after her retreating back. "And /exceptionally/ wicked. May yours be the same." And he briefly lifts a hand to signal goodbye before looking towards Mavis once again.

Whether or not things are improved now that the poor woman is confronted with only a single Sublime aura is... difficult to determine. On the one hand, the air isn't /quite/ so choked with Wyrd now that November has left - even if Mavis doesn't register it consciously, or quite understand what it is that she's feeling, that's still very much the case, and quite noticeable. But, on the other, Carter's attention is now wholly and completely upon her, and no one else.

He isn't rude or strange about it. Quite the opposite, in fact; the man is exceptionally composed, and very much at his ease. But there's something unnerving, all the same, about having those eyes on you. They seem to silently command that you become something worth looking at. And, at the same time, there's that voice. It doesn't compel her to stay, but it does demand her attention, and its warm, soothing, almost hypnotic tones make turning to run seem just that little bit less of a desirable option.

"Most people like Widget," he says, his smile quirking upwards again. "In small doses, at least. She's quite friendly. She can, however, be rather a handful for most. But I'm sure you'll get to meet her presently. You mentioned something about art?"

On that last clause, there's the slightest upward lift of his voice, the very barest note of genuine, if slight, interest on top of the politeness that was already there. It's the audible equipment of a hand extended with palm upraised, in quiet, undemanding invitation. And the man voicing it has raised his eyebrows just that littlest bit higher as he says it, his eyes fixed on Mavis' face.

      Mavis twists a thumb ring around her finger with her hands inside of her pockets, finding something concealed to fidget with as she stands there before November and Carter. She goes a quiet, reflecting back on all she'd just said with a sense of dread like she'd said too much. Dammit, Mavis, why'd you have to go and run your tongue so much? The mortal bites down on her bottom lip and saws the flesh back and forth, gnawing on it anxiously. She wanted to get out of here, whatever expiration date set on this specific encounter had already ticked by. Then November stretches, as serendipitous as ever, and Mavis tries to keep her human eyes from gawking too much. She coughs a little sound, withdraws her hands from her hoodie, and pulls on the two draw-strings to further snug the hood around her head. Now if only she could suffocate herself like this...

      "Bye!" She calls out, a little late, waving with one arm and the bracelets around that wrist slide down her slender limb. Her farewell sounds strained and forced. "See you on the flip side!"

      Great. Now she was alone, except not alone. Mavis was facing Mister Logan a.l.o.n.e. and the passersby on the street faded to a dull, periphery blur once November's boot-heels had click-click-clicked out of hearing. She tries to smile when he speaks to her and Mavis lifts her chin when the corners of her mouth quirk upwards. Without her boss around, it was easier to focus on the suited gentleman.

      "Charms must run in the family," she quips, flashing more of a smile and the spacey-gap between her incisors for just a moment." Mavis tilts her hoodied head at him, furrows her dark brows, and adds, "And the trouble, too, maybe?" She blinks, not too sure why she said that and Mavis gives a weak laugh to poorly cover it up. The change of over to art is welcome, but she's uncomfortable about it. Soon, Mavis explains, "It's not something most would call art, honestly. Art critics say it's.. What was it," Mavis pretends to have forgotten and raps on the side of her head with her knuckles. "Oh, right. "Aimless and confusing" and a "migraine expressed in scraps and bolts", but, hey, at least I have a handful of technical skills that someone," she jabs a thumb with a gleaming band of hematite wrapped around it off in the direction November had sauntered off in, "can appreciate and, more importantly, employ. Junk Arting isn't exactly.. appreciated, even though I'm doing the world a favor, y'know? Picking up the bits, giving them a purpose." She puffs out a disparaging sigh, shoulders slumping. "Welding equipment and carpentry tools aren't exactly cheap either, some of it's too heavy to lug across the states and too expensive to ship. Sold a lot of stuff off before I made the move. So's, you see," Mavis looks down and scuffs her boot with its untied, neon-pink laces over the sidewalk, "your niece sounds like my kind of people."

For all of Mavis' nervousness, her little quip about trouble seems to go over well. It gets Carter to laugh again, at least, more loudly and unrestrainedly than before. The sound of it is almost heart-stopping in its easy, musical confidence. Too perfect. Too, too perfect. November is beautiful, but alien. Carter is both of those things, inhumanly poised, impossibly handsome, impeccably dressed - and all the stranger for the way that /his/ perfection, unlike November's, seems to entice as much as it intimidates.

His smile, when he presents one again, is still very slight, and more than a bit teasing, but there's an edge of approval in it now. The eyes are just that slightest bit kinder when they look down at her. On anyone else, it would be warm, even welcoming. It is on Carter, too - but there's that slightest part of the brain, so far in the back that it's barely registered in conscious thought, that recognizes that look as one of danger. His eyes commanded her to become entertaining, and she succeeded, however briefly. There is silent applause in it, the kind that comes from the high balcony.

"Right on both counts," he says. He leans forward over his cane, briefly, in a sort of half-bow. "I am infamous for both my charm and my troublemaking nature. It's rather my entire reputation, at this point. But I wouldn't have it any other way." He straightens, then gives the slightest flick of his head, along with a brief, one-shouldered shrug. "And I've never given half a damn for the words of art critics. Stuffy, pompous, arrogant, and boring, all of them. I've always been far more interested in the ideas of the creators than those of the consumers."

He lifts one of his hands by an inch or so, apparently without thinking about it, and again the light catches on those little golden cufflinks. "If you turn junk into art, then you'll most definitely get along very well with Widget," he continues. "And if your art is so unusual as it sounds, then we'll certainly get along just fine on a personal level as well. I've always enjoyed finding new and exciting forms of artistic expression, though most of my previous work has been in music. I used to own a record label, back in the day. But I've always enjoyed seeing what new creators can accomplish in other mediums, as well, and occasionally picking up a piece or two for my private collections." Again, there's that brief, fleeting scent of something not quite identifiable, but infinitely attractive, as he settles his hand back atop his cane.. "I'd love to see your work, some time."

      Mavis had shuffled a bit when he laughed, dragging her heavy feet over the cemented sidewalk, wet under the light rainfall. A shiver grips her and the artist's skin prickles with gooseflesh in the wake of that shudder. She puts her hands back into her pockets and tucks her arms close to her body, holding onto the warmth by packing it in tighter.

      When he smiles at her, Mavis visible relaxes to a small degree, sighing out a breath and chuckling about it. Somehow, Mister Logan struck her as the sort of person you only got a chance to make an impression with the once and, by some measure, Mavis had scraped by on her own merits. She catches herself bowing back at him, although not with much grace and a fussing of "where do the arms go when I do this?" that is probably a little amusing to witness. Mavis rolls her eyes at herself; she'd bowed at November on their first meeting too. What was with people bowing all of the time? Maybe it was just this quirky little town, she tells herself.

      Mavis finds herself quick to agree with the man's sentiments about critics. "Insecure, envious, grubby lot of vultures," she tells him in a voice tinged with restrained vehemence and a dark flash in her eyes. "That's what they are. Without us? They'd have no scraps with which to live by." Clearly, this struck a nerve in the girl, but she quickly composes herself to listen to Mister Logan's smooth, baritone voice with a look of captured interest. Her brows shoot up when she hears the words "record label" and suddenly Mavis is a little more timid once more, intimidated by that success. The contrast stung her pride a wee smidgen. It made her uncomfortable that Carter Logan, a man of distinction and accomplishment, wanted to scrutinize her work.

      She's thankful to be able to truthfully admit, "Ah.. I'm flattered, Mister Logan." Her gaze darts down to the hand he has settled atop his cane and back up to the man's striking, blue eyes. "But none of it's with me." She shakes her hoodied head, lifts one shoulder to shrug helplessly. "I left it all behind. Gifted, donated," Mavis explains with a small wave of her tawny-skinned hand and slender fingers. She could have been a pianist; Her mother was. "Once I get settled in, though. I bet your niece, Widget, knows all the right connections to put me in touch with, I'd love to pick her brain," the artist remarks and she gives a squirrelly squirm. "Then.. Sure? I mean, I don't sell pieces too often so prepare to be underwhelmed," Mavis cautions him, laughing with a sense of honest humored despair. "Some Russian dude buys a piece every couple of years, has it shipped to some country I can't even pronounce. Has all of those weird letters. He pays a ton on special shipping and customs, I think it's probably more than what the art actually costs on its own. It's such a pain to dissemble them, too," these projects of Mavis' must be LARGE in scale, "but at least I don't have to put it back together, right?"

"Precisely." Another flash of approval in those dark eyes, and Carter's little smile becomes the smallest of grins, revealing just the thinnest slice of perfectly straight, brilliantly white teeth. No gap to match the one between Mavis' incisors here. Again, that feeling of unnatural perfection - but that spark of warmth in his expression is so, /so/ pleasing. It's almost enough to make one feel at ease under his gaze.


"Critics are, and have ever been, hangers-on with little to no actual talent of their own," he continues. His voice manages, somehow, to be simultaneously disdainful and friendly, condemnatory and casual. Like an old friend taking you into their confidence on a serious matter. "There have been a few exceptions here and there of passionate individuals with true understanding of the art they curate, but the vast, overwhelming majority are shameless leeches. It's part of why I started up that label - I consider it a point of pride that I helped many young artists find their feet in the business and establish a true career for themselves."

He straightens slightly as he says it, and his grin gains an edge of pridefulness that does nothing to offset its warmth and welcome. "I don't head the business any more, of course," he continues, "but I still lend a hand where I can, here and there. Funding a new start-up. Offering advice, critique, occasional instances of instruction or a useful phone number in exceptional cases. As I said, I have most of my experience in the realm of music, but..."

Another shrug, this one involving both shoulders. They move very slightly oddly, but that may just be due to the fact that he still has to lean somewhat on his cane for support. "In my experience," he adds, with another flash of a grin, "whether or not art /sells/ is rarely an indicator of whether or not it is actually /worth buying/. Market value is a function of mass appeal rather than merit. Never judge yourself or your work by any standard but your own, Miss Baines. Of course, you should strive to make your standards as exacting as possible, because you should strive to be as /yourself/ as possible, but if others fail to see the value-" another laugh, another brief scent of something intoxicating "-then that is their loss, not yours."

He pauses for a moment to straighten one of the sleeves on his perfectly-tailored suit, then looks back to her face. For a moment, there's that sensation of being weighed up again, though the standard feels distinctly different. She's passed the first audition, it seems. Whatever he's judging now, Mavis has managed to cement herself as at least worth the effort to have a genuine conversation with.

"And I hardly mind waiting," he finishes, after a moment. "I am a creature of intense and unapologetic indulgence in all things, but the reality is that most things worth indulging in take time. So I'll make sure to let Widget know that there's someone she should meet, and in the meantime, I'm certain that I can find you a supplier of tools and materials on the cheap. I should very much like to see what you can produce, given sufficient time and resources."

      The hoodie bunched against the side of Mavis' head begins to grow irritatingly uncomfortable and she starts to feel self-conscious. The fabric flattens her hair, crowding it against her neck, and the hood is framing her face starts to feel claustrophobic. Mavis can imagine how she must LOOK to this smartly dressed man: young, wayward, and scruffy. She loosens the hood, wondering how it had gotten that way and remembers doing this when November had stretchy-flaunted her lithe form before she breezed off into the night. Mavis pulls her hoodie's hood back down to her shoulders and runs fingers through her damp hair, wondering why the hell was she like this? Dr. Phil would have a lot to say about the subject. She shivers, trying to ignore the cold, and wants to bend down to tie her untied shoe but it seems rude to do that while talking to the suited Carter. So her left foot just gets cold. She'd live.

      She listens to him, drawn in by their similar opinions of about critics, and love of art and music. At one point, she admits, "I've always loved music, got that from my ma, but I don't play." Mavis pauses, then adds sounding a little heavy-hearted, "Mom did, though. Anything she could get her hands on." Then Mavis prickles when Carter mentions something. She stands up straighter to her total five-foot-four, bringing her chin higher, too, and the mortal tilts her shoulders back. There's a decidedly defiant undertone to her posture, rigid and unyielding.

      The whole shift had happened right when Mister Logan had said that about helping young artists find their feet. A moment later, Mavis tells him, "It's not like that." She shakes her head and raises both hands to tuck her glossy, black hair behind the shells of both ears. Carter had all of her attention, she doesn't even notice being cold anymore. Her body's still aware of it, shuddering now and then in an effort to stay warm. "Not to sound ungrateful or anything, but I'm fine on my own. People don't like my work, it's not just the critics," she tells him somberly, shrugging in acceptance of this. His helpful nature raised the hackles of her pride, but Mavis draws in a breath and sighs it back out. She shoots him an apologetic look and tries to quantify her boundaries. "I don't want to be someone's start-up project, but.. a few contacts? Well, that saves me a lot of time and trouble sussing them out. Plus, scrap's a lot harder than to get hold of than you'd think. Your niece sounds like a godsend, honestly. Does she have a workshop here in town?"