A Metropolitan Tale

January 8, 2015: Elizabeth Braddock and Hunter Rose meet at the Met.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The largest art museum in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world.



Mood Music:

New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice. It is home to such landmarks as Stark Tower, the Baxter Building, the Daily Bugle, and St. Patrick's Cathedral, just to name a few. But it also contains a seedier element. Crime is rife in the city, both from superhuman villains, and from the regular dregs of society. Grendel can be found somewhere in between.

While it might be a stretch to call a man with no powers a super villain, he certainly rises above the common folk. But today, he is out and about under his civilian guise as famed novelist Hunter Rose. He's come to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, often known simply as the Met.

The sound of his cane hitting the tile flooring echoes in the chamber as he walks up to the building, taking a moment to familiarise himself with the current exhibitions. There is the Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry, Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague, Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, Cubism, Madame Cezanne, Thomas Hart Benton's America Today Mural Rediscovered, and Tullio Lombardo's Adam: A Masterpiece Restored.[%R][%R]It has been some time since he last visited, and the man, dressed finely in a grey three piece suit, studies the options on display before making a decision.

Aah, New York. The top of the town. The city that never sleeps. The one that is so popular, it's seen fit to have multiple songs sung about it.

It's a cold, blustery winter day, the kind where most normal people would be curled up in their homes, and not adventuring out in the bitter chill. Naturally, New Yorkers are not normal people, and frankly don't care about stopping their lives for weather, or anything else for that matter. Still, it ~is~ cold outside.

For one Elizabeth Braddock, just returned to New York after an extended vacation away, it's a day to relax, enjoy the moment, and experience life as a normal, mundane personality on the street, or for that matter, in a museum. The tall, purple haired mutant's steps lead her through the doors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as her gaze sweeps past the many people that linger around. Crowds. She does quite dislike them.

Her clothing is a definition of her taste and sophistication, designer slacks of pitch black, heels that rise her height of five foot eleven upwards past six feet, a silk blouse of blood red, and of course, a thick wool coat.

A few more steps and Elizabeth's steps pause ever so minutely, her eyes alighting upon the well dressed individual with the cane. His face is - familiar, one that she has seen before, though not in person, but in magazine, or ah yes. The back of a novel she read going the long distance from her home in the UK to here. If she had it with her, she would be tempted to ask for an autograph, it is, after all, rare to find a book she enjoys. Sadly, she might be caught staring - her mind whirling over the proper etiquette or if she truly does wish an autograph.

With a deft movement, Hunter switches his somewhat simplistic looking black cane from his right hand to his left, and then he reaches past the jacket and into the vest to withdraw an antique gold-plated pocket watch on a chain. After noting the time, the watch is returned to its place of hiding, and the movement of the cane is also reversed. Judging from the action, he favours his left foot.

He tilts his head in a slight downward and to the left while standing there, reaching up with his left hand to scratch an area just above his left eyebrow. Though young looking, he curiously possesses a small patch of white hair above the right side of the part in his hair.

The can moves forward and he takes a strident step forward with his right foot, and then he abruptly stops, changing directions mid-movement to turn. He had caught the eye of an admirer, and he returned it.

While she may question the proper etiquette, he chooses to act boldly by extending his hand, "I do apologise if this is terribly forward of me Miss Braddock," his voice is calm and measured, and curiously English. The biography in the dust jacket of his book suggested that he was American, yet that accent, he must have enjoyed an extended stay in London.

"But my name is Hunter Rose and I have long sought to make your acquaintance. You look absolutely breathtaking today. I," and he pauses for a moment, "I really can't fathom why you haven't done more modelling of late." While he would never be so crass as to directly reference the change, he does bring it up in a more subtle manner.

The proper, and polite, thing to do would be to quietly stop staring at the celebrity and move on, Betsy doesn't have the novel with her, and it would draw probably unwanted attention onto him if she were to ask for it. Just as soon as the thought to step to one side, and continue her tour of the museum enters, Hunter's drawing towards her with an introduction of ever so pleasant of manners. And accent!

Eyeing the outstretched hand but a moment, Elizabeth's initial reaction is to feel slightly mortified that she got caught staring, yet the man's words do bring a slight curl of a smile to her features. The corners of her lips twisting upwards ever so minutely. Her own gloved fingers, caught in a pair of warm leather, extend outwards to offer a return to the handshake, a strong grip, though very swift and precise in greeting.

"It is no more forward than my staring, Mr. Rose. I apologize, however, it is my own pleasure to make your acquaintance Mr. Rose. I am a fan of your work." Is the beginning introduction that Elizabeth makes, her form a rigid reminder of her upbringing, straight, tall, and dignified in baring and manners.

At the compliment, Betsy is not demure, she doesn't lower her eyelashes, or offer a coy response. Rather, the tall figure merely keeps the same half-smirk upon her features, "Modeling was a hobby I enjoyed, but like many hobbies, one does grow out of it."

With the slight curl of a smile beginning to form on her lips, Hunter brings the warm black leather of her gloves up to his own, which kiss the material softly. "You my dear, have nothing to apologise for. On the contrary, I am in your debt. It is not every day that a commoner such as myself, a colonial in fact, can garner the attention of a member of the peerage."

After releasing her hand, he placed both his hands on his cane, which now rested in front of him. "Oh my, is that so?" He positively beams at the compliment about his literary work. "I wish I had a copy I could sign. But, I could have one couriered to you, if you like?"

She's a bit taller than him, thanks to those heels of hers, but he does not seem intimidated in the slightest. "Well, in any event," he refers to her modelling, "your photographs, lovely as they are, do you a great disservice. You are far more splendid in person."

Both of Elizabeth's hands lower downward after the handshake, to idly rest at her sides, while her dark violet eyes take in Hunter. The twisted half-smile, half-smirk remains upon her features at the man's words. It has been a long time since she's been treated with such genuine respect, and admiration.

It is the novel and autograph that first draw her attention, as Betsy's head inclines ever so slightly. "I would be honoured to have an autographed My Little Chickadee to add to my collection. It is quite the interesting work, and I am currently enjoying the read."

Truthful in her words, Betsy's gaze moves away from Hunter and towards the crowded museum filled with people milling around. With a slight incline of her head to one side, Elizabeth draws towards an unoccupied section, rather than as open and in the middle as they were.

"Thank you, Mr. Rose." She begins, her voice accented with the rich tones of her heritage, though Betsy pauses in her choice of words, deciding to change the subject with an inquiry. "Will you have a new novel out this year? I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to read it, if so."

At the mention of My Little Chickadee, Hunter of course things of Stacy Palumbo, his fourteen year old war, and the girl he wrote it for. Well, not so much for, but, in order to convince the authorities to let him, then a 19-year-old, become her legal guardian. It took him three days to write the book.

"Then you shall have it," though he will need an address to have it couriered to. He doesn't immediately ask, since he's curious if he might arrange to meet her again. Elizabeth Braddock is a stunningly beautiful, intelligent, and articulate young woman. She is so very far above the people he usually meets. Sometimes he wonders if it was a mistake to leave England.

He will follow her lead, walking with her, cane echoing with the footsteps, and when she changes the subject, he ponders, should he write a novel based on her? A British East Asian protagonist, someone with an adventurous spirit to be sure, and perhaps a terrible secret? It has its merits. Maybe if he included a fantasy element as well, with ties to Arthur, Merlin, Robin Hood, or Sir Percy of Scandia?

"Oh, I would count on it, and if it would please you, I believe I could arrange for you to have an early copy of it. I do have a lot of influence with the publisher," he teases.

With a swift and deft movement, from the small handbag at her side, Elizabeth pulls loose a business card. The stock is, of course, of the most expensive, with elaborate detailing and the Braddock name across it. The address is of an uptown townhouse, along with Betsy's business phone. "Thank you." Her expression does not melt in the least. There is no warmth to her smile, yet there is no hostility either. It is the cold professionalism of her heritage.

Whatever else Betsy might have been going to say is drowned out by one of the museum tour guides announcing the top of the hour tour is about to begin, forcing whatever Betsy might have said to dwindle down to an apologetic expression. "It has been delightful speaking with you." She begins, "However, I am expected elsewhere and need to take my leave."

Spinning about on her heels, Betsy pauses a moment, to incline her head ever so slightly again, purple locks spilling over her shoulder as she does so. "Feel free to contact me any time, sir, especially when you might get that new novel out." The twinkle to her violet gems is given but a moment, before she once again starts for the door heading out and into the blustery cold.

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