|Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe Gathering|
|What: People meet by chance and opportunities are extended.|
Evening gowns are usually worn ... well, in the evening. But Heather was actually escorting a Congressman at a charity luncheon. The congressman has just gotten into his limousine with his own personal security secret service types. Heather's job was to be arm-candy, and to make sure he managed to survive the lunch. The fact that nobody made an attack doesn't mean that the guy didn't think he'd be attacked. So it is that she stands beside the road out front of the expensive hotel while the limo drives off. Sure, right now she certainly stands out....
...but it's hard to stand out as much as Justin Hammer. He is on his way out of the very same luncheon, smiling and laughing as he chats with another of the attendees. By the time they reach the curb, the two share a firm handshake.
"I look forward to seeing your prototypes, Mr. Hammer! Tomorrow morning?"
"Bright and early," Hammer confirms, smiling brightly and raising a hand to wave goodbye as the older man enters his limo. "Drive safely, now!"
With the afternoons as mild as they are in the New York summer time, Aloke Suresh, known to some as Laser, is sitting across the street from the big formal thing letting out, at an outside table for a non-chain coffee place. He has a mug of something hot on hand, but seems primarily focused on sketching the people and goings on outside the party. He's obviously watching the party-goers, and is definitely drawing them, not something unrelated.
Having just come from the subway, Kit trudges along the sidewalk, hefting his backpack. It really is time to do some actual studying, since he's supposed to be in college next semester. Might help to refresh his knowledge on the topics he's supposed to be studying. He walks somewhat uncomfortably, shifting his left shoulder a bit. Stupid thing still hurts. He stops outside the charity luncheon, watching people get into their cars. A low whistle, and he comments to no one in particular, "Yow. Must have been some bash."
It was nice, sometimes, to not be under all the media attention. Kate smiles as she exits the luncheon not far behind Justin. In Gotham, she would not be here so freely. Though, glancing around, she does notice someone who seems intent on getting pictures of the party-goers. And he looks familiar too. She watches the man curiously as she makes her way down the steps, spotting Heather as she reaches the bottom. "Lose your escort already?" She asks with a grin.
"Kinda.." remarks Heather towards Kate as she raises a brow. She turns to regard Kate for a moment. She pauses for just a moment almost as if speechless. Then her smirk turns into a grin... not a smile, but the sort of grin that doesn't usually get caught on cameras for a model. "Wow... you've got the sort of natural red hair I know lots of girls -try- to get out of a bottle." Yeah, that's the sort of detail Heather knows right off. "But oh, you asked about my escort?" She gestures down the street, grin still in place, "Well, I was only here for the luncheon... the congressman had a plane to catch and I wasn't traveling with the guy."
As his conversation partner is driven off, Justin Hammer smiles. He does love a nice, productive afternoon. There doesn't appear to be a car coming for him, though -- or, if there is, he seems to have decided to ignore it. Kit may not have been talking to him, but he did overhear, and he shoots the young man a wide smile. "It was a very nice bash," he says with a bob of his head. "No burned food or anything. Top notch hosting."
Hammer, at least, remains oblivious to the artist across the street. Alas. If he knew he was there, he'd probably start posing.
Seeing Heather and Kate standing next to each other is just too much. Aloke whips the current page around to the back and frantically begins sketching the pair as they stand there talking. His pencil is literally a blur as he works, glancing down at the paper occasionally, but mostly up, looking across the street.
When he's replied to, Kit looks up at the man, offering a smile--then the proverbial light bulb clicks over his head. "Mister Hammer," he says, the smile widening ot a grin. He uses his left hand to keep the backpack on his shoulder as he goes to offer his right for a firm handshake. "I read your interview in 'Scientific American' last week. Wow. It's really great to meet you." It does pay to keep up on tech news, apparently.
Kate smiles, chuckling a little at the compliment. "Ah, so you aren't with him. I had noticed you together inside, and was wondering if he'd taken the car and left you. Which, I have to say," her smile becomes more of a grin, "Would have been quite a shame indeed. Though it's certainly lucky for me. Heather Danielson, right?" She offers a hand, "I'm Kate Kane."
"Indeed.. Ms. Kane, right?" replies Heather as she reaches up to pluck a small strand of honey blonde hair from her face that the wind has yoinked from her tied-back hairdo. She gestures beyond Kate and asks, "Isn't that some corporate bigwig?" .. gesturing at Justin Hammer of course. Sure, Heather knows famous folks, but only when they're fun to know about you know? Corporate executives are a bit lower on her priority list. But she spies Kit and her blue eyes flicker about... looking for Rin Tin Tin.
"Oh, go on, this isn't a board room -- Justin is fine." Hammer seems genuinely happy to be recognized on the street and takes Kit's hand for a shake with precisely /zero/ hesitation. "Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate that. Now, what's your name?" he asks Kit, fixing him with his most charming smile. "What do you do?" Amazingly, he actually seems to be truly interested in finding out.
They're talking to each other, excellent, profile shots of both women. It almost seems like Aloke's pencil should be throwing up smoke at this point, but it seems like he finishes that sketch quickly enough, because he actually pauses, and relaxes a moment. Captured it. Relief. He slowly turns the page again to a fresh sheet, and looks around, noticing the kid shaking Hammer's hand - Justin Hammer's hand! Terrific! Aloke bent to begin sketching Hammer, capturing the handshake, staring at the man to take in every detail, a stare which can potentially burn holes in things, but fortunately isn't doing so just now.
And the man seems genuinely interested in talking to him. That surprises Kit, but only in a good way, and it makes his grin warm up even more. "Umm, Walker, Mis--Justin. Christopher Walker. I'm more a 'fan' of science than a scientist, myself, but I was really intrigued by your position on position on military technology. Do you really think we can make those kinds of strides in the near future, so soldiers can stay safe?" For a beat, he ignores the rest of the proceedings, though he does glance at Heather. Still, he's interested in what the man has to say, since anything that saves lives is something that piques his interest.
"Kate, please." Kate shakes Heather's hand before stepping back to get a look at the figure in question. "Ahh, Justin Hammer. Yes." She grins, answering ironically "Some corporate bigwig, indeed. You've heard of Hammer Industries, right?" She watches the man shake hands with Kit curiously, wondering briefly what kind of PR stunt this is. Because with anyone that high on the 'bigwig' scale, everything is a PR stunt.
"Kate it is then." offers Heather, "As long as you pay me the same courtesy." She turns and ends up standing next to Kate, looking towards Kit and Justin. "Hammer Industries?" Her grin turns to an overly amused smirk, "God, that sounds like something involving overcompensation." She shakes her head, muttering that so that -hopefully- only Kate can hear it. "But, my work for the day is done now. Me? I want a latte, and a snack.. Care to join me Kate?"
"I do!" Justin replies immediately, taking a smooth step to bring himself next to Kit, rather than staying in front of him. Sorry, Aloke! He just doesn't want to keep blocking Kit's view of the proverbial red carpet, and besides, it lets him do a little people-watching as well. "Scientific advances are only going to keep coming if we're willing to push ourselves and set the bar high. We really can achieve amazing things if we're willing to dedicate the time, the effort, and the resources to making them happen. I absolutely think that ten... maybe even five years, is a pretty safe estimate."
Are Justin's ears burning? He glances curiously towards the ladies he hears namedropping his company and just smiles pleasantly. Hey. They know his name. What else matters?
Crap! Freakin Hammer. Aloke's glowing eyes flash bright for a moment, practically unnoticeable in the bright daylight, but still. They do. Aloke looks back down at his sketchbook, and then realizes, -Hey, Hammer's shaking hands with random people, I should go meet that guy!- He sets his pad aside, lays his pencil on it, and glance back to make sure everything will stay where he's left it, turns to cross the street, and freezes. The two women look like they're coming this way. Aloke immediately switches gears again (sorry Hammer!) and awkwardly sits himself right back down, and flips his sketchbook open to the one he did of the two of them, /casually/ leaving that page face up on his little table there.
Right now, Kit isn't all that concerned with the red carpet. He's got the attention of one of /the/ foremost technology-oriented businessmen, and he really is a fan of science. "So what about competitors delivering substandard armor?" he asks, looking at he man. "Or competitors like Stark Industries, who are more worried about getting more guns into soldiers' hands than getting them home? You're up against a lot." He doesn't sound confrontational, not in the slightest--if anything, he sounds more than a little curious. He sounds genuinely like he wants Hammer to be able to get troops home safely, and wonders how he can do it against what almost seem like insurmountable competition.
Kate can't help it, she just has to laugh at that comment. She notices Justin's regard as she recovers. Giving him a nod of greeting, as he's still occupied with Kit, she slips an arm through one of Heather's and replies, "My pleasure. Perhaps we can check out our fan across the street there. I know I for one would like to ensure that he's gotten my dress right." As in, she hopes he actually left it /on/ in whatever he was drawing. Offering Mr. Hammer a small wave, she then proceeds to lead Heather across the street toward Aloke.
Not really fighting the arm in arm idea, Heather goes with it. She snorts at Kate's comment about the fan. "Wouldn't be the first time I've been photo, or sketch, manipulated. I mean just yesterday my agent tried to talk me into saying yes to an offer from Playboy." That said, Heather rolls her eyes, and her tone of voice says that -she- obviously has no intention of saying yes to any such offer. "Should we invite the boys?" she asks, jerking a thumb towards Justin and Kit.
"Ah, competition is healthy," Justin replies to Kit, returning Kate's smile and wave before returning his attention to the young man. "It makes us all work harder. We do lose sight of what our real goes should be sometimes," he admits, holding up a hand. "Your note there about Stark Industries is, sadly, not inaccurate. He's a good guy, Tony, but sometimes..." He shrugs helplessly. "...but on a good day? On a good day, the right armor makes it to the right hands for the right reasons. I try to care less about who made it and more about how well it does its job for the people relying on it."
Aloke leans back, picking up his coffee cup, and does his best at looking nonchalant, and elsewhere as the ladies approach. Definitely NOT at his sketch of them. Regarding the sketch however, it's surprisingly detailed and accurate, considering the bare few minutes he spent working on it. Looks almost like a filter overlay of a photograph. He scratches his ear, and shifts in his seat, sipping at his coffee to keep his attention on something.
Well, that does certainly appeal to Kit, who makes no attempt to hide it. He purses his lips and gives a short nod, then says, "That certainly sounds good, though I admit I'm more than a little curious about how your armor is actually being made." A grin, there, and he adds, "But I know better than to ask about trade secrets." Especially with the press milling about, taking photographs. At least he, himself, shouldn't end up in a newspaper or the like; he's just some random young man that Hammer chose to talk to. And he seems rather warm and receptive to the man, since he sounds like he has a solid plan in keeping people safe.
"As you like. I certainly wouldn't mind picking Justin Hammer's brain while I'm in New York." Kate glances back curiously as she releases Heather, letting her invite the men as she continues on her way to the artist. "Nice." She comments when she gets closer to Aloke's table, her head tilting to get a good view, "You work fast, I see. And accurately."
When she's released, Heather almost transforms. Granted, it's all body language... not only is she in public, but she knows she's on camera. She is moving with a strut that moves those hips in a mildly exaggerated way. She's heading right towards Kit and Justin, and she makes sure all of the photographers get a good look at her approach. "Mister Hammer!" she exclaims as she gets closer. Then more softly, off the record when she -does- get close enough, she remarks, "Mister Hammer? Mister Walker?" Yes, she remembers Kit! "Would you care to join Ms. Kane and I for coffee?" she asks with a gesture back that way. It's a ready-made photo op." Of course, she's smiling beautifully for the cameras around.
"You seem like a smart guy, Christopher," Justin tells Kit, looking him over before flashing another smile. "College, right? We /do/ offer paid internships. You wouldn't get to see all the cool secret stuff, but I like to hire the best ones on full-time once they've graduated. You know where our office is?" he asks curiously, before Heather comes over and distracts him. What? Does he want to have coffee with a Kane? He smiles winningly and gives Kit a questioning look. "What do you say, you thirsty? My treat."
Aloke must have seriously seen this facial expression in a movie or something, because he looks like he's been practicing. This bud's for you, Grown Man Acting Like a Teenager. His expression is one of, 'Oh, I didn't see you there, why hello!' "Oh, hello," he says, and smiles up at the woman. There's a weird second there where his mouth quits working, and the rest of the script plays out in his head. Finally, he says, "Um, sorry, I hope you don't mind. It was a good angle, and the lighting..." He sets his coffee down and carefully pulls the page off the spiral binding. "Here, you should take it. I'm not a paparazzi or anything like that." Just a garden variety lookie-loo. Lovely. Nice going Aloke. But tearing that page off leaves the Hammer drawing revealed, and facing up from the table now, just in case that becomes relevant.
Well, Kit certainly doesn't have to be asked twice. Especially by the head of such an important business. "Umm, yeah--I'd love to, actually," he says, surprise on his face as he goes to follow Hammer pretty much anywhere. "And I think I know where the office is--I'm technically a law student, but I like to think I'm pretty good with the tech-side as well..." He hefts his backpack as he looks to the other man, keeping his right hand on the strap while shoving his left hand into his pocket. He's growing rather comfortable around the businessman, which surprises even him.
Kate glances at Heather, one eyebrow raised at the strut. When she looks back to Aloke, it's with an amused smile. She's not buying it. She is, though, surprised at being offered the sketch. Taking the page, she smiles more warmly, "Well, thank you. Though I certainly don't mind. Especially when the work is so well-done." She takes a seat at the table then, not seeming to mind that she hasn't technically been invited, and glances inside at the staff behind the counter(who have been staring since the party ended), "Do you draw professionally?"
Unless she's stopped then, Heather will insert her own arms into both Justin's and Kit's arms, between the two of them. "Well then gentlemen, smile for the cameras." she says, pausing to give a photo op before she begins moving along with them towards the coffee shop. "Looks like Kate 'n I have a fan over there too." she adds with a smirk. "You buyin' for me too Mister Hammer?" she asks in addition.
"If you'd like me to, Miss. Aw, don't do that," Justin adds with a laugh and a wince. He's fine with having his arm taken, but he's quick to try and wave the photographer off. Poor Christopher is just a normal guy, he doesn't need the hassle. Still, once they're walking, he slips his free hand into his jacket for a business card and a pen. "We can always use interns in the legal department," he tells Kit, leaning back to talk around Heather. "I'll put you in touch with our chief counsel, you two can talk it over, yeah?"
Aloke blinks when Kate sits at his table, mentally kicking himself for not inviting her already. Of COURSE he doesn't mind. He does seem to be ironing out the awkwardness a bit though, and laughs softly at her question. "Oh, um, yes, I guess you could say that. I'm a professor at NYU, in the art department." It finally occurs to him to extend his hand as well, and say, "Oh, I'm sorry, Aloke Suresh, at your service." He smiles broadly, and the glow of his eyes becomes quite a bit more noticeable, though possible to miss still in the daylight. He's focused on Kate and has no idea he's currently being approached by a supermodel, a billionaire, and The Most Amazing Intern Ever.
When the cameras start shooting, Kit leans back a little and turns his head to look behind Heather at Justin. Just another young man thankful to be in the presence of someone so fiscally powerful, that's all. Hopefully it means he'll be out-of-focus, maybe even cropped out of the shot altogether, though he's pretty sure /that/ won't happen. When Hammer mentions the legal department, he grins, saying, "That sounds like a great idea. I'm sure we'll be able to work something out." He actually sounds rather enthusiastic. If the hours are flexible enough to allow for his--other--activities, it'd be a great way to start moving up in the city.
"Ahhh." Kate looks over the picture thoughtfully. She sets it down to offer another smile, "Kate Kane, a pleasure Mr. Suresh." She pronounces the name fluently, either she has a good ear or she has some familiarity with his language. "Interesting... contacts you have there." She comments, catching sight of the glowing effect before she looks to the approaching trio.
Then the amazing trio steps over closer. Heather inclines her head, quite used to folks talking -around- her when she's in her arm-candy mode. Which is exactly the mode she's in now. She does kinda nudge Kit when she realizes he's trying to avoid the cameras. But her smile never falters. "Oh look, Kate's already made a new friend." she says as she approaches to within speaking distance, "Mind if we all join you two?" she asks, gesturing to the free chairs at the table. Of course, there may not be enough for five, hard to say.
Once across the street, Justin offers Aloke and Kate both a charming smile and slips his arm free. "She insisted," he notes with a tip of his head to Heather. He looks down long enough to quickly write on the back of the business card, then offers it across to Kit. "She's more reliable about e-mail than calls," he notes in a conspiratorial voice, winking at him. "I'll let her know to expect a note from you. Now, what are you drinking?" He straightens back up and smiles cheerfully, looking between Kit and Heather as he returns his pen to his jacket. "I'll go pick it up."
Well, it's a little round table, typically for four people, but a fifth could be squeezed in easily enough. Aloke blinks at Kate's comment, but doesn't have time to comment before everyone shows up. He rises smoothly to his feet, and smiles. It's obvious he's pretty nervous, but also enthusiastically welcoming. He drags another chair over from nearby, completely forgetting to put away his drawing of Hammer and Kit, almost as high quality as H&K's, except for Hammer STEPPING AWAY. Grr. "No, please join us." He smiles, and will sit after both of the ladies are sitting.
Taking the card with a "Thank you," Kit looks at both sides curiously, committing the information to memory as he slides out his wallet. The card gets put just behind a driver's license, or at least photo identification--a place to keep it safe. He does put Hammer's offer in high esteem, after all, so isn't going to just shove the card wherever. "Umm, just regular coffee, I guess, Mist--Justin," says Kit, still trying to get used to using the man's first name. For someone brought up with older-fashioned values of respect, it's not that easy.
Kate gestures to the open seats as though to say 'help yourself'. "Please." She echoes the artist. "As for me, something iced and chocolatey, please." She smiles, chuckling a little at the adorableness that is Kit's nervous behavior. Its so much fun when they do that. Turning to Heather, she slides the picture across the table, "Come see what our new friend has been working on. Its quite good, actually."
Now comes the shocking moment for Justin, when he realizes that he might have to go to the board of directors to release funds to feed Heather. "Oh, I'll have a caramel mocha latte with whipped cream and extra whipped cream. Can you ask them to actually add a quarter packet of hot cocoa to it as well?" She asks. "Oh, and a dozen of those fresh baked cookies they serve in there." Just when you thought she might be done, she says, "Oh, and a handful of those little biscuit bruscetta stick thingamagoobers." Yes, she said thingamagoobers.. "And four of their banana nut muffins please." She offers the most charming smile she -can- offer before she hears Kate's words and blinks before flopping down into the offered seat and reaching for the picture, "Hrm?" she asks, "Oh wow... I should hire the guy full time!"
Girl, please. Justin Hammer is literally a billionaire. He takes the orders in stride -- including Heather's -- and nods once. "Got it. I'll be right back," he promises, smiling cheerfully and turning to make his way inside. Aloke gets a friendly, grateful pat on the shoulder on his way past. He does appreciate the table space!
Finally sitting amid the flurry of meet-n-greets, Aloke looks a little shell-shocked. No one needs to tell him who Heather is, but rather than make things weird, he just introduces himself to everyone. "Hi, everyone. I'm Aloke. It's nice to meet you." He seems a little confused about the Kit person, but he must be a VIP too, it seems, since he and Hammer only just met on the street. No matter, he would learn! He picks up his coffee and sips at it.
Looking at Heather for a moment, Kit just arches an eyebrow as a smile appears on his lips. The Phantom has seen her pack away the food like no one's business, but it's still somewhat amusing. He shakes his head once, then goes to pull out a chair for the woman. "Here you go," he says, motioning to the chair, and if she takes his offer he'll help her scoot it in like a gentleman. Only after that does he introduce himself to the others. "Hello, good afternoon, and so on--Chris Walker." A grin offered to the others, given as he reaches his hand forward to give a firm but not overbearing shake to the others in turn.
Kate once more raises an eyebrow at Heather. Its not like any model she knows to do much more than ask for low-calorie water when offered a drink, and she knows quite a few models. Still, stranger things. Taking Kit's hand, she shakes and smiles politely, "Nice to meet you, Mr. Walker. Kate Kane." As she settles back into her seat, she glances to Aloke, noticing then his still open sketchbook. "Ahh, I see we weren't your only subjects."
Well, Heather hasn't really hidden her life from folks. It's not everyone who makes the cover -because- she was shot in the middle of a photo shoot and healed from it on camera. She offers a bashful and blushing smile before she reaches a hand to Aloke, "Heather." she says, formal introductions are a formality, right? "You've got real talent and.." Kate's comment hits her again, "We're not? Oh look Mister Hammer, looks like -you- have a fan too."
"It's nice to meet you, Mr. Walker. And well Ms. Kane, figuring drawing is pretty tricky, so it's fun to practice when I can." He then takes his own turn, shaking hands all around. Once he's settled back again he plays conversation roulette. "So... Ms. Kane, what do you do?"
Once the model is seated, Kit takes his chair as well, interlacing his fingers and setting his forearms on the table, content for the moment to listen to the others. He does glance down at the sketch of himself and Hammer, then looks back up to the others. He's more than happy to not be the subject of discussion. He's pretty sure anything he'd have to say would be incredibly boring by comparison.
Kate grins at Heather, giving the sketchbook another appraising look. in response to the question she chuckles, "Well Mr. Suresh, that's a good question. And one I've been trying to decide the answer to since I returned to Gotham. I have the ability to do something with my family's money that could easily rival Wayne Enterprises. I just don't know what that something will be yet." She shrugs a little. Not knowing hasn't bothered her yet, as she's only been in Gotham a short time.
The conspicuous sound of a rumbling tummy can be heard from Heather's seat, and she blushes once more at the anticipation of food and coffee. She just kinda shakes her head and murmurs, "Sorry, haven't had much to eat today." Though Kate might know better. It was a luncheon and she at least had a small sandwich and a salad there. But she needs CALORIES! "Seriously though, would you like me to talk to my agent about putting you on retainer for your artwork?" she asks towards Aloke.
A somewhat perplexed-looking employee of the coffee shop emerges from inside, pushing a small cart -- normally, it's used when busing tables, but right now, it's been given almost entirely over to delivering Heather's order. Caramel mocha latte with extra whipped cream and a little hot cocoa mixed in, a plate stacked with fresh cookies, a second for bruschetta, a third for muffins...
Justin himself emerges not long after, carting the other three drinks in a little cardboard carrier, and a paper bag. The bag is offered to Aloke, with a broad smile. "Here. I thought a cookie might be in order for putting up with all of us," he says with a wink, before he delivers Kate and Kit's drinks to their rightful places.
Aloke nods at Kate's explanation. Seems to make enough sense to this middle-class schlub, at least. Then he blinks at Heather's offer, and finally speaks. "Um, wow, I dunno, I've been at NYU so long, it's been ages since I've had any commission work." But then, he only got super powers two weeks ago too, which completely amplified his abilities, but never mind to that. "I um, maybe we could set up a meeting, yeah. Thanks." And then Hammer and snack wagon are trundling out the front door and Aloke just has to shake his head in wonder. "Oh, thanks Mr. Hammer, you didn't have to do that." Aloke smiles and peers inside the bag. Yum! "It's nice to meet you, by the way," he says to Hammer, extending his hand, "Aloke Suresh."
Coffee-flavored coffee. Kit's almost surprised to have such a thing, considering all he'd heard about coffee shops in the States. He offers another "Thank you," to the man when he's handed his coffee, and he really can't help but chuckle as the mountain of food is delivered to Heather. "He doesn't have to do a lot of things," he says to Aloke, "but I'm getting the feeling that doesn't stop him very often." Yes, the Hammer has already gotten something of a fan in young Kit.
"Thanks." Kate accepts her drink, taking a sip and sighing with pleasure at the cold drink. Kit gets another amused glance before she too looks to Aloke, "If you don't accept her offer, you'll have to listen to one from me. So think about it."
Chuckling softly, Heather's eyes are immediately drawn to the food. They widen in pleasure and she smiles. Yes, that's the smile.. the one lots of teenagers hope might be shown to them personally. She reaches for the cart and says to Justin, "Perfect! Thanks!" before she fills her mouth with a cookie and then takes a sip of the coffee to help wash it down.
Then of course, as Kate comments to Aloke, she simply nods and remarks, "Mffmmrphle.." as if saying something like, 'what'll it be?'
"You're very welcome, Miss Kane." Once he has a hand free, Justin takes Aloke's hand for a firm, friendly shake. "And you didn't need to share your table. Justin is fine, please," he says with a grin, taking a quick look around for a free seat to claim for himself. He doesn't scoot in to the table, since it's so crowded, but hangs back so he can sit comfortably and drink his own coffee. "Ah, this is nice. I don't do this enough."
Aloke is suddenly beside himself (no, not literally this time), stunned at the offers rolling in, although more at the nature of the offers, considering his mild media coverage in the last week. By the same token though, it was kind of fun that no one here recognized him from /that/. They were only interested in his artwork. Terrific! "Ah, well ladies, as the saying goes, there's plenty of me to go around. NYU is still on break, of course, and it's my understanding that many artists have more than one patron. I work quickly enough, I imagine I could complete whatever projects both of you have in mind." He smiles, falling into the comfortable rhythms of Way Back when he used to be doing the art openings, and the exhibits and the... ahh, the good old days. Could it be real again? Could he live that life? Aloke moves to deftly tear off the picture of Justin and Chris shaking hands, and offers it to Hammer. One never knows where commissions might come from, after all. "This one was for you, Mr. Ha- uh, Justin."
Looking around at the group, Kit's gaze settles on Hammer. "I don't think many of us do this often enough," he comments, then leans closer to Aloke, grinning. "An artist talented as heck, with women throwing jobs at you. Man, I know a few guys who'd cut off their leg to be where you're sitting right now." That's said with a tone of humor; it's a well-intentioned joke, even if it's true. Plenty of guys would like to be sitting between two beautiful women as job offers pour in from each.
Kate nods with Justin, "Agreed." Though, in reality, she does still spend a great deal of her time doing this. During the day, anyway. Setting down her cup, she opens her clutch and takes out a business card, which is offered to Aloke. "Here. I'll be back in Gotham in a week or so, give me a call." She turns, then, eyeing Justin curiously.
While folks are talking, Heather's managed to finish cookie number two, and is halfway through a muffin when she hears Kit's joke. She almost laughs, but manages to control herself so she doesn't choke on a hunk of muffin. Chewing quickly, she swallows and sips her coffee, "I was thinking like... retainer, on location to give a different viewpoint of photo shoots and the like." she adds. Then to Kate she asks, "May I have one of those? I think I'll be doing another Victoria's Secret commercial shoot in Gotham in a couple weeks. Maybe we could meet up for coffee again?"
Ooh? Something for him? Justin perks noticeably, curious, and leans forward to accept the offered paper, turning it around so he can get a look. "Oh, wow -- this is very good," he muses approvingly, before he leans over to show it to Kit. "Did you see this? Look, look how nice this is, the -- so many artists draw people so stiff, you know?" He looks to the others at the table with raised eyebrows. "I mean, this is nice, there's motion here, it flows. Thank you," he adds, more directly to Aloke. No job offer, though. At least, not while the poor guy is getting it from two other sides.
And as long as Kate broke the seal on business cards, Aloke reaches into his jacket pocket and produces four of his NYU business cards with his office number, email, etc and hands them out around the table. "I can easily imagine sketching a shoot, Ms. Danielson. It would be a unique perspective on the process. And Ms. Kane, I will certainly be contacting you next week. Thank you for the opportunity." Aloke fishes that cookie out of the bag Hammer brought him and takes a big bite, looking pleased, and then washes it down with more of his coffee.
When the picture is shown to him, Kit leans over a little to get a better look at it. "It /is/ very darn good," he has to admit, though it's almost too good. On the other hand, he supposes he shouldn't really worry about it too much. It's not like it would probably lead back to him, at least in a bad way. Looking to Aloke, he leans forward to take the card, and at the same time he gives a nod and says, "Yeah, thanks. I mean, I know I wasn't really the intent of the drawing, but--dang, you make me look pretty spiffy." A grin for the older man, there.
With a nod, Kate accepts the card from Aloke and puts it into the clutch. She leans forward once that is done to snag a cookie from one of Heather's plates. "So, Mr. Hammer," She looks to the 'bigwig' curiously, "How's business of late? I confess I'm still catching up on all things outside of Gotham."
There actually is a moment of narrowed eyes as Heather watches Kate snagging a cookie, but then she shrugs and reaches for one of the biscuits. She's packing it away, and somehow maintains not a super skinny body, but an athletic and toned one. Girl must -really- work out. She shrugs and opens her mouth as a guitar riff comes from her little clutch purse. Anyone who knows rock will recognize the opening strains of ZZTop's Legs. She closes her mouth and reaches into her purse. "Crap, that's Beth, asking why I'm late. I totally forgot I had another appointment."
Rather than fold the drawing up and tuck it into his jacket, Justin just holds onto it in one hand, careful not to bend or lose it. He doesn't want to ruin it with fold lines, man. That's disrespectful.
"If you'll indulge me a pun, Miss Kane," Justin replies to Kate, flashing her a grin, "Business is booming. Thank you for asking. How are things in your neck of the woods?" he asks curiously, taking the offered business card(s) with a polite 'thank you' and a card of his own. Best CCG ever.
Aloke just sits back to bask for a moment, enjoying the thrill of possibly making money as an artist. What a concept! He pockets the cards he's collected (gotta catch 'em all!), and takes a long sip of his coffee as he lets Kate and Justin discuss business.
As for Kit, now that the focus is off him for the moment, he leans forward and retrieves his coffee, as he looks to Aloke. "So you said you were a professor at N.Y.U., eh?" he asks, arching a brow in thought. "How's that compare to Empire State? That's the one I'm going to, so I was curious." A college student hanging out with a professor, even if of a different college. That does strike him as humorous.
Kate smiles, accepting the pun. "Well enough." She answers, "Vague, still. I haven't decided what exactly I want to start with." She shrugs again, "And with Bruce still employing most of the best Gotham has to offer, I think I'm going to have to start looking elsewhere to get the advice I need."
"If I can ever be of any help, you just let me know," Justin tells Kate, smiling and inclining his head respectfully. "I know how hard it is when you're just getting into all of this stuff. The specifics of the business, I don't know how much help I could be -- everything works differently, after all -- but I'm happy to try." And not a single bit of flirtation to be found. Justin either knows enough about who he's talking to to know not to bother, is actually vaguely professional, or really isn't Tony Stark.
Aloke leans forward as well, engaging in the cross-talk with Kit. "Oh, good. Yeah, ESU's a great school. In my opinion, I think NYU really has your art department beat, hands down. But for business, or pre-law? I could see ESU in the lead." How diplomatic! Or Aloke doesn't harbor a violent sense of 'school pride'. One of those.
"Conveniently, I'm going to E.S.U. for law," replies Kit with a grin, lifting his brows as he goes to take a sip of his coffee. "So you're an art teacher, I take it?" He nods to the picture in Hammer's hand. "I mean, heck, you've certainly got the talent for it." He looks back to the man with that grin still on his features; he'd really be surprised if the man were teaching much else, really.
"Oh, absolutely," Justin smiles, leaning back in his seat so he can gesture with his coffee down the street. "We're out in the Financial District. I have a morning meeting tomorrow, but other than that, just let me know when you'd like to come by and I'll make sure I'm there for you." He's not ignoring Kit and Aloke, but a man has got to get his schmooze on when he can.
Aloke raises his cup in salute to Kit, "Well hey, good choice then!" He smiles and takes another sip of his coffee. "And thank you. Yes, I've been teaching Freshman basics so far. I'm not tenured or anything. Although, in my field, doing commissioned work is like the science dept guys writing papers. It moves you up in the hierarchy, so who knows. This time next year? I might get to teach something other than 'The Basic Elements of Drawing 101'. That would be a nice change of pace." Aloke grins, not at all worried about the business types gettin' thar biznass on. Ducks gotta quack, after all.
"Well," says Kit, shrugging his right shoulder, "I'm sure there would be plenty of people to take a more advanced course. Not me, of course, even if I were a student of N.Y.U., but still." Another grin, there, as he figures there'd have to be at least enough advanced students to fill one classroom. That's just statistics. "Besides, you got two offers thrown at you already, so I'd be surprised if you weren't tenured this time next year; getting your name out there and all, the school'd be crazy to let you go so easily, eh?" Another lift of his brows in humor and sincerity as he takes another swig of his coffee.
Kate nods, "Perfect. Why don't I meet you for lunch then." She pulls out another business card, sliding it across the table. She glances at the other two as she does this, considering the artist again. "Don't worry, Mr. Suresh, you'll be the talk of the department by the time we finish with you."
Justin trades Kate a business card in exchange for hers, beaming as he tucks it into his jacket. Oh, this was a good day, indeed. What bad could /possibly/ come from becoming more involved with business in Gotham? "Lunch sounds perfect. I'll have something delivered." Smiling happily, he settles back in his seat. Okay. Now he can pay more attention to the fellas.
Aloke laughs softly at Kit's joke and nods. "Well, here's hoping!" He takes another sip as if he had toasted, and sets down the empty cup. He smiles, a little unsure of what to say between all the compliments, but decides on, "Thanks, both of you. It'll certainly be a nice change of pace." As his smile brightens, encouraged by all this good feeling, and aided slightly by the afternoon sun finally tucking behind a building, the yellow glow in his eyes becomes much more noticeable. It could certainly be dismissed as a trick of the light, but if one looks closely, soft light is actually shining /out/ of his eyes.
That yellow glow is somewhat noticed by Kit, though with all the strange things this city alone has to offer, he's not about to judge. He's not even about to make any guesses as to its origins. Might have been one heck of an accident with a flashlight, for all he knows. I'm--sure it will go pretty well," he says, lifting his cup as if in toast. "I mean, heck, talent like that, yeah--I'm sure it will all go pretty well."
Still assuming the glow is just some kind of super-unique contacts, Kate smiles at Aloke. "And how about you, Mr. Walker? I see you've caught Mr. Hammer's attention, does that mean you are interested in science and technology?"
Justin is kind of disappointed that he's managed to get a glimpse of the time through the coffee shop's window. He's having fun, this isn't fair. Alas. "I should probably be getting back," he says reluctantly, sliding to his feet and carefully returning his chair to its proper place. "But it really was lovely talking with you all. I will see you tomorrow," he says to Kate, flashing her a grin, before he turns to aim it at Kit. "And you soon after, I hope. And you," he muses, waggling his eyebrows at Aloke, "I suspect I'll see in the papers. Please, enjoy the tower of food." Just because Heather had to leave doesn't mean it shouldn't be eaten by /somebody/.
Aloke stands and shakes Justin's hand as the man leaves, but a college professor on summer break? He's got NO WHERE to be, so he settles back into his seat, and listens in on Kate's question and Chris' answer.
Getting to his feet as the businessman leaves, Kit shakes his hand and tells him, "You'll definitely be hearing from me." After sitting back down again, he turns to Kate. "Umm, yeah, actually," he says with a grin, combing his fingers through his hair. "I--come from a small city, so I haven't really been exposed to the sort of technology that Hammer Industries puts out." Which is, technically, the truth, as far as it goes. "I take it you're something of a mover and shaker too, eh?" That's said with another grin; he couldn't help but see how easily she dealt with the likes of Hammer. And someone walking down a red carpet--not exactly a college student, there.
After a wave to Justin, Kate gladly accepts the offer and makes herself a plate of goodies. After all, she'd actually not eaten much at the party. She'd been too busy schmoozing and flirting. Mostly the latter. She smiles to Kit as she sits back to snack, chuckling at the question. "Have you heard of Wayne Enterprises?" She asks, continuing before he has time to really answer, "Mine is... the other family of means in Gotham. And as I was saying to Mr. Hammer, I've recently decided to do something more constructive with our wealth."
Kate Kane, Chris Walker, and Aloke Suresh sit together at a little round table big enough to seat four on the patio outside a non-chain coffee shop here. They appear to be sharing an enormous plate of muffins, cookies, and other sweets. "That's truly admirable, Ms. Kane. If you'll forgive me for saying so, too many of your well-to-do colleagues rest on their laurels and don't reach out to their communities." He smiles and offers Kate a nod. And lucky for Aloke, since his coffee is empty, and thanks to their ridiculous order, one of the baristas is heading out to check on them and see if they need anything else. Aloke orders another coffee, and requests a boat load of cream and sugar to come out with it.
"I actually have heard of Wayne Enterprises," says Kit, though I don't know as much about the company. They do tech as well, don't they?" He reaches for his cup to take another ship of his coffee, something he's been nursing since he doesn't really drink such a thing very often. His phone suddenly goes off, a light and airy tune that might be reminiscent of Vaudeville if one thinks of such things, and he pulls out his cheap, pay-as-you go phone. The conversation is short: "Hey, Mandrake. Yeah, I'm at this--how can you know that? Well, alright..." He chuckles as he shakes his head. Friend of mine," he says by way of explanation. "This ought to be good..."
Mandrake approaches the smaller coffee shop as he stands outside the door. He tilts his head towards a glass window and sneaks a quick peek inside, wincing as the sudden movement causes his bandaged ribs to ache. He takes a moment to straighten his bow tie and adjust his hat as he pushes the door open, gliding in through the Coffee Shop. He calmly walks up to the counter and places his order, a small Cappuccino, to the waiting Barista. "Now, my dear...Did you know these napkins..." He points to a cup full of napkins is haunted." He stands to the side as the napkins begin dancing in the air. The Barista rolls her eyes at Mandrake. "Leon, I said to stop that...it freaks out the customers..." Mandrakes lets out sigh. "Magic, young lady is never freaky!" The barista sighs as she finishes his drink. Mandrake pays by pulling change from behind the Barista's ear, giving her a wink. "Chris!" He calls out as he glides to the table.
Kate is nodding to Kit when the magician enters. Raising an eyebrow, she looks to the man who appears to be the friend Justin's new companion had mentioned. Eyes on the man, she answers Aloke, "I will, and easily Mr. Suresh. I was one of them myself until not to long ago. Thankfully, I've had some good learning experiences."
When the stage magician approaches, Kit rises to his feet, offering the introductions on his behalf. "Mandrake the Magician, this is Aloke Suresh and Kate Kane." He gestures politely to each in turn, and waits for Mandrake to pull up a chair before reclaiming his own. He also manages to pronounce the Indian name with perhaps surprising accuracy, though it might also show that he's got more than a little familiarity with the relevant cluster of languages, and the details of his pronunciation might just point to him being West African by birth.
Aloke sits back and enjoys the show of this delightfully eccentric man buying coffee. He takes him a moment, and then he nods to himself - yep, that's the guy. Mandrake, they call him. What fun, and Chris is his friend. Interesting! But Aloke is content to sit back and watch the introductions. When they're made, Aloke stands to offer his hand, smiling broadly, causing the yellow glow in his eyes to become unmistakably obvious, and definitely not a trick of the light. His eyeballs are producing wattage. "It's nice to meet you, sir."
Mandrake as he approaches the table, he spins the the saucer his class came on, causing the whole drink to fly a foot or so towards a spot for him on the table. The cup lands without spilling a drop as he bows at his waist, doffing his hat. "A pleasure to meet both of you!" As he pulls up from his bow, he flinches in pain as he takes Aloke's hand shaking it. His gaze peers into Aloke's eyes. "A fellow magician?" He asks with a hint of mirth as he takes his seat. "A pleasure to meet both of you."
Chuckling, Kate watches the show. "And you as well. I believe I've heard of you, Mr. Mandrake." She takes a bite of some of the bruschetta left behind by Justin and Heather, watching the magician as he watches Aloke. Interesting.
"Today's been a rather interesting day," Kit says, grinning at Mandrake. "I'll give you the details later, but it looks like I've got a shot at an internship with Hammer Industries--their legal department." He's going to school to study law, so this is right up his alley. "And I met this incredibly talented artist," he adds, gesturing to Aloke, "and this philanthropist." A gesture to Kate. Pretty good day, indeed. "How're you holding up?" That's asked with a sympathetic glance to the other man's chest; he'd taken a nasty hit the other day.
Mandrake cocks an eyebrow towards Kit and nods. "Good, good. An Internship will be very good for you." He offers his friend a friendly smile. "Your father would be proud. As for me, the show is going on and my legs are intact. Plus no one has mentioned a Scottish King, so I am good." He adds as he looks to the others. "An Artist?" He nods. "That explains it then...what is your artistic medium?" Mandrake asks with genuine curiosity, even if he might know the answer. He looks at his glass. "I told the Barista this place was haunted...everything seems to have a mind of its own." He tosses a wink towards Kate Kane. "Lovely and a good citizen, a devilishly intriguing combination."
Chuckling, Kate offers Mandrake the sketch that Aloke had drawn of herself and Heather earlier, as they had exited the charity luncheon, "Well, I don't know about philantropist." She jokes, "But devilish, certainly. This is his medium. And I for one am glad I found him, I was just thinking how desperately our office needs some better art."
"Pencil on paper, mostly. But some charcoal as well. And paint. But pencil is my favorite," Aloke says to Mandrake's question. Aloke doesn't exactly blush when Kate produces the paper, that would be a bit hard for his complexion anyway, but the drawing is embarrassingly good. Nearly photo-realistic in detail and quality, at least no one mentions that he did it in about a minute. He nods at Kate's comment, but explains for Mandrake, "I do commission work, but I'm a professor at NYU. Which is not to say I wouldn't enjoy a bit of a 'summer job', of course."
"I'll be lucky to graduate on time," Kit quips with a grin, "and this guy's a full-on professor /and/ a darn good artist to boot." He leans back in his chair, bringing his coffee cup up for another sip. There's still plenty left, too, which of course comes from continued nursing of the thing.
Mandrake takes the offered picture which he studies intently. "Very good...very good. The detail is exquisite and the strokes, quick and precise." He holds it back for a moment as he studies it. "DI am in need of new promotional material...if you are available." He asks casually as he hands the picture back to Kate. His eyes flicker towards her. "Modest and a wit." He offers politely to Kate as he reaches forward to take his drink, giving it a polite sip. "Did you meet Mr. Walker at University?, he asks of the table with the hint of older brother concern, his eyes darting towards Kit.
Kate accepts both picture and compliments with a gracious nod. "No, actually. This is our first meeting." She points across the street, "I was leaving the luncheon across the street," perhaps this will explain why she is dressed for a formal function, "Along with Justin Hammer, who ran into Kit on his way out. And eventually, we all ended up here having coffee."
Aloke smiles, and nods his thanks at Mandrake's compliment. "A portrait of yourself, perhaps? I'm afraid I'm not much of a graphic designer, but a big portrait project could be fun." Then he's nodding along with Kate's explanation. "It's true - three disparate souls brought together for coffee by sheer happenstance!" He grins and sips at his own coffee. "Besides, Chris is attending Empire State, not the esteemed NYU." Aloke feigns disdain as he pronounces 'Empire State' like a dirty word, but only kidding.
That makes Kit chuckle, and he arches a brow as he looks to Aloke. "Hey, now, Empire State's got a competitive legal department and besides--the tuition's a little easier on the wallet." A lift of his cup, there, with a friendly dig at N.Y.U. He looks over to Mandrake, saying, "Seriously, though, yeah, it really was that--random. Almost freaky, really." Met the guy for the first time, and got a possible internship out of the deal. Not too bad at all.
Mandrake looks at Kate and Aloke with long looks as if appraising their words for honesty, his stage smile never leaving his face. His look turns to Chris as he speaks, Chris' words reassuring him. Mandrake continues, "Good! Good! The fates are always moving in mysterious ways!" He smiles at Aloke. "A large portrait would be fantastic! Perhaps in front of the Empire State Law School Building? Shining majestically in the background?" He asks as mirth dancing through his words. He then looks at Chris. "Now, Mr. Walker...where are your manners? I have given you six tickets for my next show and you haven't offered them to your friends?" He looks at Kate. "I can arrange more, if you would like to auction them for charity or give them away to charity? Always looking for good causes to support."
"He seems like a very good guy." Kate muses, "Definitely unlike my own imaginings." But then, with playboy Bruce Wayne as one's example of 'corporate bigwigedness' anyone would be impressed by Justin's much more polite and businesslike manner. Considering Mandrake's offer, she nods a little, "I'll take fourty, then."
Aloke smiles at Kit's joke and holds his hand up in defense, "Hey, I couldn't have afforded NYU either!" He laughs right out loud at Mandrake's suggestion though. "Anywhere but there, sir! Please!" Then the offer of tickets gets an eyebrow raise from Aloke. "Your show? What kind of show is this, then?"
"...when did you give me--?" Kit asks, then cuts himself off. He knows better, by now. With a grin and a shake of his head, he reaches into his pocket--and, sure enough, pulls out six tickets. He grins at Mandrake and sets the tickets on the table. "It's the greatest show on Earth, I dare say," he says, looking back to Aloke. "Feats of prestidigitation like you haven't seen, and I'm not being paid to say that." A small waggle of his brows, there, and he drains the last of his coffee.
Mandrake smiles at Kate. "Forty? I shall have them by by the 'morrow. If you have a card? I can send them there?" He offers casually as he looks at Aloke. "Ah, my good sir, I shall cave to your demands as I want you to draw from my good side." He smiles at Chris. "Only on Earth?" He offers in jest. "Oh...that reminds me, your check will be in the mail, for your...books, of course." He tips his hat to Chris. He looks at Aloke. "But in all seriousness, it is a humble show designed to delight audiences and invoke curiosity."
Kate pulls another card from her clutch, along with a pen which she uses to write on the back, "This is where I'm staying for the week." She says as she hands the card over, "The other number is my business address in Gotham." She glances at Kit, grinning in amusement at the sleight of hand.
"That sounds like fun, I love a good magic show!" Aloke says, secretly hoping it's not offensive to call it such. He produces his own business card, encouraged by the silliness all around, to do so with a dexterous flourish that shows absolutely no training in sleight-of-hand but does reveal a deep agility. The man's got good hands! His card has his NYU contact info printed on it, which he offers to Mandrake. "About that portrait - I wonder if you enjoy the barter system, and would perhaps be interested in trading a trade for a trade? A full-size painting for lessons in sleight-of-hand, perhaps?"
A chuckle given at his friend for the comment about the check, and Kit picks up one of the tickets to look at it. "You're really moving up in the show-business world," he comments, glancing over to Mandrake. Then he looks to Aloke, "And it sounds like you might be moving up in the art world, backed by a lovely philanthropist." A smile and a nod to Kate. "At this rate, everyone's going to be world-renowned in weeks." He grins at the others at the table, as he sets the ticket back down.
Mandrake takes the card with his left hand which he rotates over his knuckles, forwards, backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards, and gone! He nods to Aloke. "Me too!" He smiles, reassuringly at Aloke letting him know that magic is the proper term. His right hand takes the card which he studies for a moment, before doing the same disappearing act. He smiles at Aloke. "All Magicians love a good trade! That would be, fantastic!" He exclaims as he clasps his hands together. He stands and tucks his chair back under the table. "I shall be in touch..." He turns and walks out...after a few steps, he slaps his forehead. "Where are my manners?!" He turns back to the table. "My humblest apologies..." He lifts the top of his hat with his right hand, a small...rabbit's foot?...slips down two business cards with Mandrake's contact information. "My cards!" He takes the cards from the white paw which slips back into the hat. He hands one to Kate and one to Aloke. He bows once more. "Now take good care of Mr. Walker, here!" He says as he waggles his fingers at the others. "Or I'll get you with my magic!" He winks to the entire table, undermining the seriousness of his words. He flourishes his cape as he walks out....on the other side of the door, he grasps at his side, leaning against a wall...waiting for a taxi.