Feng Shui

September 9, 2014: Kitty and Doug help Roberto move his new furniture into his apartment.

Da Costa Penthouse

A grand penthouse with a largely open floor plan and minimalist architecture, this home is designed to rely as much as possible on natural light. Tall plate-glass windows dominate every exterior wall. The furnishings are modern and chic, and pale hardwoods and white dominate the color scheme. The decor is less refined, with framed movie posters and Brasilian futebol memorabilia giving a sense of the occupant's interests. There's a high-end entertainment center, a sprawling kitchen, a wide patio with a hot tub, and every other imaginable amenity.



  • Human Simon

Mood Music:

Roberto has spent a whirlwind couple of days spending money. Well, spending more money than usual. Well, spending less money than usual, because even expensive furniture is nothing compared to the general overhead of a corporate multinational, but it has been in addition to the usual expenditures. That leaves the grand sum slightly greater than the usual, thus this meandering paragraph.

Now, the Brazilian scion thinks he has enough furniture to fill out his penthouse. A couple of trucks were necessary to move it here, which he borrowed from the DCI motor pool, and of course a few extra sets of hands are going to be necessary to get it upstairs. Those sets of hands have been pulled from his personal support staff and any friends he could beg over with the promises of fancy snacks, drinks, and perhaps a celebratory night on the town later.

Roberto himself makes a hell of a mover, especially around midday. At the moment he's cloaked in flame and shadow, lifting a couch in one arm and a chaise-lounge in the other. Turns out minimalist design doesn't actually make the furniture less heavy.


One of those personal staffers - or a friend, might be the better term - Kitty has come to help Berto move furniture. Unfortunately, she doesn't have super strength, so her own contribution is either at the other end of a larger piece of furniture or lifting something less heavy, like chairs or end tables. She's definitely in it for the fancy food. And the helping the friend part. Of course.


Doug wasn't much of a personal staffer, even less for moving things around. What he -could- do, however, was coordinate, find efficient placements, and even use the layout of the room to determine feng shui, at the least. Just the way the room 'spoke' of Berto's personality? That mirror goes over there where Berto can contemplate his image whenever he looks up. The bookcase goes behind him because it was easier to pull things out from behind his desk. The TV absolutely had to be placed at an angle where sunlight would never make it difficult to watch. The desk had to be placed under a sunlight. And so on.

Of course, this sort of subtle thing…? Doesn't exactly get appreciated at the time, which is why Doug is currently straining at a box, having been pressed into LIFTING duties. "Uh, Berto… where do you want -this-?"


Roberto stops near the freight elevator, awkwardly trying to figure out how to shift the furniture he's carrying enough to free a hand to push the button. Apparently the old 'it's not the weight, it's the bulk' problem applies even to the super-strong. These are the wages of showing off, 'Berto. Eventually he balances on one leg and tries to poke the button with his toe, but he can't quite stretch his leg far enough — the couch is preventing him from getting close enough to the wall to hit the button.

"Human Simon, where are you?" he wails. "I need a button pushed!" Yes, seriously. That just happened.


Though not Human Simon, Kitty shifts what may be a dining room chair to her hip and then presses the button for Roberto. "All this strength only to be defeated by a little button." The brunette gives a friendly smirk. Her own help here is mostly morale and shifting things about. But, she's also not about to let Doug get off easy by directing them about like a conductor. "I'd offer to help carry part of it, but I think I'm better off being the button pusher." She glances over her shoulder toward Doug and the box he's carrying. "You doing alright over there?"


Hey, feng shui was a perfectly honorable occupation, worthy of at least a little bit of TIME to get everything just so. Just because he wasn't able to hold up a box didn't mean Kitty -had- to bust him.

So the look Doug throws at Kitty's question is more akin to a childish pout of 'I hate you for making me do this'. Even though they both knew perfectly well that Doug -was- trying to avoid doing the heavy lifting. "Just fine," Doug retorts ironically as he staggers the box towards the shelves. "What did you put in this one, barbells?"


Human Simon pops into view carrying a pair of barstools, his horn-rims askew. He looks vaguely annoyed when he realizes what a minor crisis 'Berto called him over, but smiles at Kitty when she takes care of it, rolling his eyes sympathetically at the nonsense people around Roberto always end up dealing with.

"Obrigado, Kitty. What would I do without you?" Roberto says, his tone gracious and amused. She has a point, and he's not above an occasional laugh at his own expense among friends. He shifts the couch into the freight elevator first and sets it down: now they'll have somewhere comfortable to sit on the way up. "And of course, Doug. You don't think I look this good by chance, do you?"

It's not actually full of barbells. It's full of dishes. Roberto's weights were outside on his patio, and therefore not vaporized during the attack. However, that's not going to stop him from having a little fun at Doug's expense.


Kitty gives Human Simon a grin and an understanding wink as she shifts the chair back to a more comfortable position in both hands. Once she's pressed the button, she steps back in an attempt to keep out of the way of the man and his couch. No need to get squished while helping a man move. That would certainly be an inelegant end. "You're welcome. You only have so many hands." She laughs at the quip about what is in the box Doug's holding and drops onto the cushions. "I would think lifting barbells would be child's play for you."

The look she returns to Doug at the pouty glare he sends her way is innocent and wide eyed. What her? "Just checking!"


"For -Berto-, maybe," Doug grumbles as he shifts his grip on the box and moves towards where the gym was. That would probably be the best place to put it. And so what if the box actually said -fragile-? If Berto said they were barbells, barbells they were!

Dusting his hands off as he returns, Doug puts his hands to his hips, doing what he can to not venture too close to Kitty just in case she shoved another box in his hands. "Hey Berto," he says, seating himself on top of the desk. "Just how closely affiliated is your business going to be with your dad's?"


"Well, only if I cheat," Roberto tells Kitty, sounding almost offended. With the furniture set down, he lets the grim form of Sunspot fade. Underneath, he's wearing a simple tank top and shorts: decent clothes for moving around. He dials for the penthouse and continues, "So long as I look like this, I can work out the same way anyone else does." His mild, accented voice sounds a lot less incongruous when he looks like himself, too.

He flops on the couch, putting his hands behind his head. "My business is my dad's business, Doug. He transferred the ownership of a section of it to me, but it's all the same corporation. I'm like a stockholder, sort of." He looks slightly uncomfortable as he adds, "He's technically my boss. Technically the whole Red Team's, removed by a few degrees. But he doesn't interfere — wants to see me sink or swim on my own. I think he was a little annoyed that I didn't sink at 19, to tell you the truth."


For now, Doug is safe. She has no more boxes to force him to carry. As of the moment. She looks to Roberto curiously at Doug's question, nodding as he answers, but she can't help but grin at his semi-offended tone. "Hey, if I could lift couches all by myself, I would totally cheat. Working out sucks. I'm glad I can mostly keep myself in shape by practicing my forms." Training in Japan certainly had its perks.

"So, your dad is kind of like a shadowy Professor Xavier, but his power is money instead of telepathy. Also a power I wouldn't mind having." She shifts a bit on the couch, sinking further into the cushions. "This is really comfy. When I make my first million, maybe I'll get you to help me furnish my Manhattan apartment, 'Berto."


"Yeah… well, in addition to looking good, I figure, the more you work out, the stronger you get. If things get augmented when you power up, anyway. Maybe we should get you to buy out one of those supplements companies," Doug replies, eyebrows arched. "Get Human Simon to run a few tests."

Kitty earns a snort. "The power of money can't get -everything-. At some point, you gotta have brains on how to spend it, and where to hide the bodies when you have to."


"My pai is nothing like Xavier," Roberto answers as the elevator pings and the doors open. He returns to his Sunspot form and starts moving the furniture into the apartment, but just before the shadow makes his expression unreadable, the talk of his father seems to have left him in a grim mood.

His tone is still casual as he slings furniture around, happy to take a bit of direction from Doug on the matter of placement. "I'd be happy to help, Kitty. You can rent in this building, if you want, although it's pricey." He turns to wink at her — one of the few expressions he can make in this form, thanks to the glowing embers of his eyes. "There are free, furnished apartments for Red Team, too. Just sayin'."

He snaps back out of the shadow of his high-energy form and grins at Doug. "Already done! You're right, real muscle makes my shadow muscles even better. I didn't even have to acquire GNC to find that one out, fortunately."


Perhaps picking up on Roberto's shift in demeanor, or perhaps because she has nothing left to add on the subject of his father, Kitty keeps the conversation moving toward her theoretical apartment. "I doubt I could afford to live in this building." And by doubt, she means there is no way she has the money for that.

Picking up the chair she was helpfully carrying before, she's quick to move it inside the apartment and go back to whatever else was in the elevator other than the couch. She grins at Doug, "Well, luckily, I've got the brains. I just don't have the money. I'll have to work on that." With a laugh, she shrugs her shoulders. "Maybe. And while I wouldn't be doing it for a free, furnished apartment…I gotta say it's a nice perk."


"Just make sure they don't do, you know, steroids or HGH…" Doug adds, as a followup. "Otherwise the drug tests are going to bust you so hard."

Whatever else he might have to add on that subject would have to wait, as Kitty heads for the elevator. Hopping off the desk, Doug shifts to follow, being extremely -not- helpful in moving something unless it was too obvious Kitty needed help. "You know, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Illyana's here. And we could really work wonders with Berto's systems. Team Supreme, again!"


"I'm going to try to be good and not use my irresistible powers of persuasion on you," Roberto tells Kitty with a grin, "but you're certainly welcome." He holds up a finger, sobering suddenly. "So long as you and Doug do not go around calling yourselves 'team supreme' again. That was sort of endearingly dorky when we were teenagers, but come on, now." There is a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth, in spite of his attempt to sound serious.

As they all go back to the elevator to make another trip, he adds, "I run the company, Doug. I'm in charge of drug test, so that's not really much of a deterrent." He chuckles quietly as he pushes the button for the garage. "The side effects of steroids, on the other hand? No thanks. I get enough 'hothead' jokes as it is."


"I appreciate that." Kitty grins back at Roberto, but then she leans over toward Doug and whispers sotto voce, "I think he's jealous of Team Supreme." She, herself, has quite the serious face in response to his egregious mocking of the their teenage dream team name. But, just like before when she gave the innocent look to Doug, there's a mischievous tint to it.

The look only continues when Roberto mentions steroids and their after affects, but she's not about to make the joke out loud. For her, it's fine just to give a pointed look.


"I think he -wants- to be part of Team Supreme," Doug responds with quite a mischievous grin, before he lifts a hand. "Though he's got a point, you know. Maybe we should, like, call it 'Mass hysteria!'" Pause. "Dogs and Cats living together!"

There was an eyebrow arched then, and Doug voices what Kitty won't say. "Not to mention that them cojones of yours will end up being -definitely- sunspots-…"


"The mood altering side effects of steroids!" Roberto blurts out, throwing his head back. "Not everything is about my caralho, you know. Get your minds out of the gutter." He points at both of them, eyes narrowed, as though daring either to continue with the teasing. Unfortunately, his mock seriousness undermines the threat.

The elevator lets them all back out into the garage, and Roberto sets about getting the heaviest stuff possible into the lift car. "I literally have my own team now!" he banters as he does so. "Why would I be jealous? If I wanted to call it Team Supreme, I could have."


"You left out human sacrifice, Doctor Venkman," Kitty snickers, shaking her head. "That'll surely bring the team into the hearts and minds of all those who think mutants are out to get them. The Friends of Humanity would have a field day. Though, I'd totally call Spengler." If they're going with Ghostbuster names.

Back to picking up heavy things and moving them, she grabs a box and starts to head back to the elevator. "It already kind of came with its theme, though. There's Blue Team and Gold Team, you definitely had to go with a color, though I think we missed an opportunity by not calling it the Rainbow Team."


"Dibs on Stantz," Doug quips, smiling as he looks towards Roberto. "Don't worry, we wouldn't notice any mental side-effects anyway."

Eying the boxes with disdain, Doug aims for the lightest one. He was totally convinced Kitty was using -her- phasing power to make her box light enough to carry around as she liked, but he had never been able to prove it, and so Kitty's hands get a hard look for a moment, before he gets caught up with the team name. "I don't know, if we did the Rainbow Team, we'd probably get a lot more questions about our sexuality than our genes. Red's good enough." There's a brief pause. "We, Kitty? Have you made a decision?"


"They're all having a field day anyway. Look as us in our fancy tower with our fancy uniforms and our fancy powers," Roberto says dryly, perching on the back of an easy chair as he taps the penthouse button again. "We're just like the Fantastic Four! No, wait. The Justice League! No, that's not right. Oh, yeah: just like Hitler!" He shakes his head and sighs. "Sim, I've been reading the internet again. Someone remind Human Simon to remind me not to do that."

He cocks his eyebrow at Doug. "You wouldn't notice constant temper tantrums, but you would notice if my package got smaller. Good to know where your priorities lie, Doug," the Brazilian teases. "And yeah, I think Simon would kill me if I tried to recruit him for the Rainbow Team. And Sam would get all flustered… better to just pick a color and go with it."


Unaware of Doug's suspicions, Kitty moves her box, though he'd have to throw something at her to figure out if she's actually using her powers to make things easier. Of course, Roberto can use his Sunspot powers to lift the couches, there's no harm in using phasing to make things a little lighter. If that's what she's doing. "Well, if they're talking about our sexuality, then they're not talking about the mutant thing. Though, of course, they could just start bemoaning the rise of the homosexual mutants."

Kitty shakes her head, "Don't do that, 'Berto. Never read articles about yourself and never read YouTube comments. Godwin's law is in full effect there. Someone always turns out to be Hitler, though, honestly, I seriously take offense at the thought that everything you disagree with suddenly becomes Hitler. As far as I know we haven't attempted to systematically wipe out people we found inferior." Her serious speech is interrupted by a snort of laughter, however at where Doug's priorities lie.

"Well, I mean, I'm not a 100% sure yet, but you brought up Team Supreme. How can I break up the Team Supreme." With a grin, Kitty sets the box down inside the elevator. "Plus, living near Illyana is really a good selling point."


"Or start trying to classify all homosexuals as mutants, if it's a genetic thing…" Doug comments, as he follows, moving ever so closer to see about shoulder-checking Kitty. Not that it matters. "You know, there's a simple solution to that. I can just put in a filter that only allows you to read about yourself without the bad. Or just block everything altogether."

That Berto's package was being observed earns an eyeroll, followed by a "As if." No real good comeback because it wasn't -his- style. "Anyway, just give Kitty what she wants. She'll earn it all back in the hardware fixes, plus you know my programs work better when -she- does the hardware."


Roberto may not cheat when he's working out, but moving furniture? Heck yes. He suspects Doug might just be jealous of the fact that the others' powers help in this situation, but knowing that the linguist can be sensitive about that, he doesn't tease him about it.

Gay mutant superheroes? That he can tease about. "I wonder what we would do for Rainbow Team uniforms? I mean, obviously yours wouldn't change much, Doug…"

He smiles over at Kitty as the doors open, then starts lugging furniture into his apartment again. "I've been tempted to try to systematically wipe out YouTube commenters, I guess, but only tempted," he jokes. "I'll be happy to have you on board, Kitty. And of course you'll have all the equipment you need. Both to do any kind of job you want, and to hack the comment boards off of YouTube and take out the middleman."


"Yeah, but they think it's a choice. I don't think they're idiotic enough to think genetic mutations are a choice, though. Then again, stupidity is limitless." As Doug shoulder checks her, he comes across a solid shoulder. "Ack, hey!" Kitty just pushes back against him in a playful manner. "I know. But, I prefer the strengthening the willpower necessary to not look at them."

There's a roll of her eyes, but she's smiling while she does it. "Now you're being too complimentary." However, she's not denying the fact that it would be nice to have state of the art equipment that she can build from. Putting in the last box, she grins at the teasing. "See, now, that would be a worthy cause. I think I'd be nominated for a Nobel Peace prize if we accomplished that."

The doors of the elevator slide shut in front of them.

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