2008-02-10: Playing Dress Up


Charlotte_icon.gif Leah_icon.gif Ndugu_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif

Summary: Everyone's getting fancied up … for very different reasons.

Date It Happened: February 10th, 2008

Playing Dress Up

5th Ave. Designer Shoppe

"Thank you for coming to shop with us again!" Leah says to a customer, waving cheerfully as the woman makes her way out with her purchases. And then Leah steps from behind a counter to straighten a rack of dresses. The woman is fashionably dressed as she works in the store. It's a nice place, full of clothing for both men and women. The general air of the place is upscale.

Charlotte has found some shoes for Ndugu, and taken him from her apartment to an alley nearby. She leads him inside, turning back to look over her shoulder with a shiver. "Is the cold treating you alright?" She asks the large black man, clearly concerned for his well-being.

Ndugu is, for the most part, staring without expression at the various strange things around him. Despite the fact that he is wearing clothing better suited for the humid jungle, he doesn't seem to be all that worried by the cold. He nods his head when Charlotte questions him, signalling the affirmative. Even if he is lying, there is no shiver to betray it.

Leah looks up as new customers come in. They get a bright smile from the bubbly woman. "Welcome! Is there anything I can help you find, or are you just here to browse?" She asks looking between the two. Ndugu's current clothing style gets a second look, but at work, she's too polite to comment.

Randall has arrived.

Charlotte smiles brightly to the sales girl. "Hello dear. We need four suites, a winter pea-coat, shoes to match, ties, everything." She motions to Ndugu. "Everything tailored. I think two navy, one grey with pinstripe, one black with pinstripe and one black. Oxford shirts, too, every one." She looks back to Ndugu, trying to look encouraging.

Charlotte seems to have the whole suit ordering thing under control, so Ndugu simply nods slightly towards her after she looks at him. Yes, the international sign for 'that will be fine'. He doesn't appear to talk all that much, stepping towards a rack of clothes and running the fabric between his fingers. Hmm.

The last time Randall spent any significant amount of time on this side of town was several months back, when he was working as a warm body restocking racks of clothes. Now, though, he's got a holiday to plan for; and so he slips into the place and heads for the men's formalwear section, trying not to look too horribly out of place. "Excuse me," he says to Ndugu, tilting his body as he passes through to the next aisle down.

Leah nods and then looks to Ndugu. "Sounds good. I'm Leah, and I can help you with all of that. We have a good selection of suits." She states leading them back towards the area full of men's clothing. "I'll need to start out by measuring you." She addresses to the silent man, moving to pick up a tape measure and a clip board to make notes on what she finds.

Charlotte nods to Ndugu. "They'll just measure you and get you some suites for the office." She explains, watching Ndugu with an interested yet wary gaze. She's yet to ask him about it, what she saw him do in Africa. But then her eyes catch sight of something else. Charlotte touches Ndugu's shoulder. "Go ahead over with her, I'll be there in a moment." She steps past him. "Mister Kirkwood."

Ndugu steps swiftly out of Randall's path as Charlotte speaks, following her suggestion and moving to trail Leah into the men's section of the store. Measuring. He can deal with that. Although he can't help but remember that he's never been measured for clothing in his life. How things have changed.

Randall skims past a baker's dozen of same-y white dress shirts, pulling out a red one and squinting at it. Too bold? Well, under the circumstances, boldness may be called for— "Yes?" he replies automatically, draping the shirt back on top of the rack and turning to see who's addressing him.

Leah gives Randall a quick smile. "Good day! If you need anything, let me know. I can get someone to help you, or do it myself when I'm done here." She calls over before her attention is back to Ndugu. "Have you been measured for a suit before?" She asks, taking the tape and moving behind him to start with measuring the width of his shoulders.

Charlotte stands in front of Randall, waiting to be noticed. While she does wait, however, she watches Ndugu, trying to make sure that he's going to be alright with all of the change going on around him. She has an affinity for his village, and thus for him. His village would be pissed if she let anything happen.

"No," Ndugu replies, his voice deep and his accent distinctly not-American. He does't ask what he needs to do, he just assumes. He stands with his arms slightly away from his sides and waits.

Randall spots Charlotte easily enough, though he still looks unsure about something. "Hi," he says to her, picking up the shirt again. "I'm looking for a new outfit for a Valentine's thing. Too much, you think?"

Leah can talk enough for both of them, so the short response doesn't slow her down. She jots a note on the clipboard and moves to continue measurements. Down his arm and then around his neck. "Well, don't think I'm getting too friendly then. I'll be measuring you in quite a few places to make sure that your suit fits well."

Charlotte glances over her shoulder at Ndugu, before looking back to Randall with a dimpled grin. "Maybe a little, although if you go something like a grey suite coat and some jeans, you could be casual yet dressy. What kind of Valentine's thing are we talking about?" She crosses her arms, purse dangling loosely from her shoulder. One finger delicately pushes a rogue strand of hair behind her ear, ethnic dangly earrings shimmering in the light as they move.

Randall scratches his head, considering. "Jeans feel like a little close to my usual outfits. But maybe combine them, this shirt with a jacket over it?" There's still an undercurrent of anticipation in his tone, his stance; usually, when someone addresses you by surname, they have an agenda of their own besides 'hi there'. Goes clear back to grade school, or earlier if one's parents are sufficiently high-strung. "Oh, just planning to take my girlfriend someplace nice," he explains. "We just— well, the past few weeks have been complicated."

Charlotte nods, grinning wider, but more compassionate. "Complications happen, we've all been there. Dress up a little bit, but remember that it's still you she's on a date with." She steps beside him, flipping through some of the shirts hanging there. "The red did look nice, just make sure you downplay the rest of your outfit. One peice over the top is fine, but you really have to go conservative with the rest of it to balance it out." Once more, her eyes turn up to seek out Ndgugu. "Maybe a nice tailored suit, if you're going someplace really fancy?"

"Thats alright," Ndugu answers, and that is quite talkative as far as he is concerned. He knows the general idea of measuring somebody for a suit so he isn't too shocked when the process begins. He stares at himself in the mirror for a moment, a thoughtful expression on his face.

Leah pauses to mark down her measurements before she moves on to his waist and hips. That might seem a little close up, but well, next on her list is kneeling down to measure his inseam. "Last one!" She says cheerfully.

Randall inclines his head to Charlotte. "I think you're on to something there. Thanks!" Well, apparently there wasn't anything else to the greeting, then. Picking up the shirt, he drapes it over one arm and moves on to the suits, eventually settling on a dark gray jacket. With pinstripes, but they're really pretty subtle, so he shouldn't look too much like a mobster stereotype.

Charlotte chuckles. "Anytime, Mister Kirkwood." She's just that polite, it seems. And that awkward, considering their last conversation and their previous meeting. That done, she moves back over towards Ndugu, watching the measurements being taken in the mirror. "Everything alright?" She asks of both the large African and the smaller white chick. Because either one might have a complaint, it's anyone's guess.

Ndugu offers a single nod. Whether it is saying that everything is alright or acknowleding that Leah is almost done measuring is anyone's guess. Either way, he remains silent. Despite his silent and looming attitude, he doesn't offer anything in the way of resistance when it comes to being measured for the suit.

Leah finishes her measurements and stands giving Charlotte a perky smile. "Everything is just fine. Measurements are finished. I can pull some suits in the styles you were interested in and let him try them on." Leah states cheerily. After all Charlotte seems to the be the one inside. So she'll just treat it like Ndugu is a kept man, for now at least.

Charlotte nods to Leah. "Thank you, that would be fine." Oh yes, he's a kept man. Never mind that he's 20 years her senior - weirder things have happened, and with men much less hot. His attractiveness justifies it. Doe-brown eyes scan up the mirror to the man's face, giving him a nod. "We'll get you settled today, I'm sure they have a place all arranged for you."

Ndugu glances sidelong towards Charlotte when she makes some decisions regarding the suits. As for having a place, he nods his head and actually chooses to speak, "Thank you."

Charlotte nods as she is waiting for the woman to return. "You're welcome." With most people, she might gush - you're more than welcome, anything you need, I'm here to help. But Ndugu's silance…almost makes her feel like less words of her own are necissary. He just understands, explination is usually not needed. "Is there anything you need, anything we haven't thought of? Anything special?"

Leah goes through a rack to find suits in the colors/patterns Charlotte has specified. "Let me arrange for a tailor to come back and make any needed adjustments in fit." Leah says, slipping off to find that special person.

"No," Ndugu answers, looking down for a moment to think about the question before he glances back up, "No. That should do fine."

Charlotte nods, reaching for the suits to hand him each one in turn to try on. "You're going to be a regular belle of the ball in these." She says, half teasing. Only teasing because she's telling an African murderer/brain rapist that he's going to be the belle of the ball. Seriously, he's going to look like one freaking awesome snaz. "Once we get to the company, they'll get you set up in your specific team assignments." He may not even have a cover, like she does. She's PR/Kidnapper! He might just be…Brain rapist. Who knows?!

"Good," comes the reply from Ndugu, expression stern as he takes the suit and moves towards the changing rooms, "I'll be hoping for an assignment very soon. All this waiting is not what I expected."

Charlotte is somewhat stunned on two levels. One, has Ndugu ever said that many words in his life? And two, she's really surprised that he seems to want this job. She sort of thought he was taking in grudgingly for the childrens' sake. "I'm sure they'll keep you busy." She says, standing outside the dressing room while she thumbs through a few things on a rack. "Particularly with your…talents, Ndugu. I know they're very excited to have you on board." The fact that they were willing to send an assault team in on a poor African nation is a sort of testiment to that. "We all are." And particularly excited about not having him against them. Cause that would be dangerous.

"My talents," Ndugu answers from behind the dressing room door, something of a mirthless chuckle slipping into his tone for added surprise, "I doubt they even understand them."

Charlotte shakes her head. "I don't think they do." She admits, even though it's probably not the best bit of information to be giving over. "I know I don't, and I've seen your file. Added a good deal to it myself, from what I've seen." Like what she witnessed that night at the raid. Still, she's almost sure he'll be playing that, like everything else, close to the chest. "It's different from when I was hired, I was still…new to the feild. But you're already a professional, so to speak." Translation: her powers were new, while his have been a part of him for some time.

Ndugu doesn't offer words this time. Instead, something of a knowing grunt before he pushes the door open and steps out clad in a light grey suit. He adjusts the tie carefully. For someone who looks like he's never worn a suit before in his life, he's managed to button and tie everything with expert grace.

Charlotte is holding up a pencil skirt to her hips in the mirror when he comes out. Maybe she should start dressing up a bit more at work - oh, here we go. She hangs the skirt back up, walking towards Ndugu. She smiles a dimpled smile. "Very nice." She admits, crouching down just to tug on the pant legs to pull them down a bit, making sure they fit over the shoes. "You look amazing." She tells him, truthfully as she stands. "I'm kind of jealous, I wish I looked as good dressed up. Come on - lets get this stuff to the tailor really fast and let him make a few adjustments, and then we can head over to Pinehearst in the morning."

"Has my first paycheck come through yet?" Ndugu asks, gathering up the rest of the clothing to take to the tailor, "I will need money to purchase a hotel room until I have my own accomodations."

Charlotte waves her hand to him dismissively. "It has; but that's not an issue. The company credit card is an important staple of this business." She explains, withdrawing such one American Express from her purse. "We'll get you taken care of, don't worry about anything." And she heads with him over towards the tailor, where they'll spend at least another hour with Ndugu getting pins stuck in all his new clothes.

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