"You're a person, not just the shoes you wear."
<NYC> Tompkins Square Park - East Village
Small but popular, this tree-lined park is a perfect centerpiece to the eclectic neighborhood it resides in. Home to a number of playgrounds and courts from handball to basketball, it also houses a dog park and chess tables, providing excellent space for people watching -- especially during its frequent and often eccentric festivals, from Wigstock to its yearly Allen Ginsberg tribute Howl festival.
The lights of night owls flicker among the buildings of New York, brining life with it. Many shops have closed for the evening, but there are those special few that remain open. The streets remain littered with those that like to walk amongst the darkness...and those that really want to sleep but man something is just keeping them up! Among them is Kaylynn, who looks like she's coming back from a quick trip to a grocery store. The chocolatier has two plastic bags, one in either hand, and is dressed in a pale blue sundress that swirls about her knees. A purse is looped over her shoulders, and the woman hums as she walks along. The Yellow Rose of Texas appears to be the melody, though she wouldn't know the words if anyone asked.
There is a lot of noise over by the dog park as Kaylynn passes it by. Not just the usual barking and yipping of playing dogs -- though there's some of that /too/ -- but angrier human voices, raised and yelling. There seems to be a confrontation of some sort -- a number of people clustered near (but not /too/ near) one more. "-- your fucking dog and get out," one man is saying -- his yelling sounds somewhere between anger and fear.
Jax -- dressed vividly bright in lime green and black cargo skirt, chunky black and silver sneakers, purple t-shirt reading 'Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty', huge mirrored sunglasses (despite it being nighttime), meanwhile, has a small one-eyed beagle at the end of a purple and green leash. Obie is frisking around, eager to get out and play; he whines unhappily as Jax pulls him back behind the fence to tug him away from the park. "-- Maybe next time, sweetie." He digs a small dog treat out of his pocket to offer the beagle, shoulders a little slumped.
Tag is loitering in the middle of a walkway with phone in hand, his face bathed in its cool blue glow. Blue, too, is his hair, with glints of silver here and there, hanging loose over his face and down over his shoulder. He's wearing a cropped t-shirt covered in irregular blocks of colors like a rainbow crystal and black cargo pants with yellow lightning bolts down the outseams. He looks up from his phone at the shouting. His irises are a shockingly inhuman shade of silvery blue. He pads over toward Jax, tucking his phone away as he goes. "Hey," he says brightly, kneeling to pet Obie. "Sup?"
Kaylynn's humming pauses as the shouting reaches her ears, and the chocolatier's steps also halt. There's a furrowed brow before a hand is suddenly on her hips and there's a very loud southern lilt floating through the air, "Well aren't /you/ just a little bit of sunshine. Talk about noise pollution, geez." Not that the Texan has any idea what's going on. Her sentiments right now mostly consist of 'poor dog'. Now though, she's taking Tag and Jax into consideration and her eyebrows raise slightly. So many colors! She really can't help but stare, which is rude, but she does it anyways!
"You got a fucking problem?" Behind the fence, the man in the dog park has turned his glare on Kaylynn instead.
Jax's cheeks flush at the mention of a little bit of sunshine, his head bowing and one hand scrubbing uncomfortably at the back of his neck. "It's fine, miss," he mumbles, his own Southern drawl noticeably thick as well. Obie scrambles eagerly up into Tag's lap, tongue slurping at the other man's face. "Tonight is not dog park night, it turns out."
Tag's eyes flick to Kaylynn, curious above a bright smile (with dog kisses). "No dog park means you get /extra scritches/ to compensate!" He ruffles Obie's ears, flapping them like wings. He straightens up and offers /Jax/ a hug, too. "Though uh," he adds in a stage whisper, "I probably shouldn't make you stay here with Canine Neighborhood Watch staring you down. C'mon, s'plenty of park."
"Yeah, you're an ass!" Kaylynn yells this to the man before reaching into her shopping bags and pulling out, of all things, a pudding cup. It's promptly thrown at said man before she's sprinting off. Though, she does pause for a brief moment to turn and tip an invisible hat to both Tag and Jax. "Y'all have fun now!" And with that she's off!
"Hey -- hey you see that, they're fucking assaulting us /again/." Someone behind the fence is pulling out a phone, now, after Kaylynn throws something at them.
Jax just winces, shoulders tensing as he leans into the hug. "... Yeeah, I, uh. That's. My cue to -- nngh. People are -- frustrating." His grip on Obie's leash is tight as he hurries down the path. "At least he can run around at the Commons. Just only a couple other dogs there to play with."
Tag's eyes linger on the person pulling out the phone, but then he only gives a quick shake of his head before following after Jax. "Commons could definitely do with more dogs," he opines. His hair starts turning purple from the roots down (though the silver highlights remain), barely perceptible at first in the dark. "Should bring it up with housemates, though me and Joshua both have crazy schedules, and Tian-shin's got New Job soon..." Trailing off, he turns to study Jax through a curtain of blue-purple hair. "Hey. How're you holding up?"
"Probably Dog not the best thing for Joshua's schedule," Jax agrees with a wrinkle of his nose. "Maybe a -- cactus. Oh! Oh, you only have to feed snakes like once a month. Maybe a snake."
He lapses into silence as he heads out of the park, pausing to let Obie sniff with great intent at the wire around a young tree. "I'm not real sure," he finally admits. "Everything just feels kind of not -- real."
"Not sure a cactus counts as a *pet*, but I'll keep it in mind if we ever have a House Plants conversation. A snake now..." Tag nods solemnly. "Maybe. Still *want* a dog. I'll just have to hit yours up for pettings when I start jonesing." Flashes of pink work their way into his hair, then red. "You don't have to know." He looks down at his sandals; their bright yellow straps turn pink. "Fall's coming on fast. You think maybe that'll help? Being busy?"
"Obie will never turn down extra pettings. I think /he'll/ be pretty happy with this arrangement." The beagle looks up at the sound of his name, ears prickling eagerly where he balances on three legs to christen a stop sign with pee. The furious thump of his tail makes the stream scatter kind of erratically. "I feel pretty busy already. But it's gonna get /so/ much more crazy at school after the end of this week I -- I guess I won't have /time/ to... mope." His brows furrow uncertainly. "Not sure whether that'll be better or worse. Things all pile on, I jus'. Have a hard time sometimes stayin' -- rememberin' --" He trails off uncertainly. "... 'pologies. I'm rambling."
"That's going to be...huge." Tag tucks a lock of hair (which has gained orange and is working on yellow, too) behind one ear, clearing half of his face. "Huge news, huge to-do, huge...flood of new kids. But yeah, I guess my thought was basically along the lines of 'too busy to mope', although I think there's more to this than *moping.*" As if the slowly developing rainbow in his hair weren't enough, glimmering ribbons thread the concrete beneath their feet, fading in and out of existence, winding their way onto Tag's sandal straps in a many-colored braid and remaining there. "It's okay, though...the rambling, I mean. I really don't mind, promise. Sometimes when I ramble if helps me sort my thoughts out."
"Huge," Jax agrees, gently tugging at Obie's leash to urge him further on down the street. "I don't really know where my head is at. Half the time I barely -- feel like --" His fingers flick vaguely towards -- all of him. "Like this is /me/ or. This life is --" He shakes his head once, bright pink and purple hair flopping down over his eyes. "I mean, it's fine, I think. It's not like I'm -- I mean, I still. Get everything done I need to do. So." He shrugs once, quick and a little jerky.
"Jax…" Tag reaches out to touch the other man's shoulder. Each fingernail tipping his fine-boned hand is painted a different metallic shade, some glittery and some not. "It's not fine. You are not your ability to get things done. Being functional is…" He frowns, eyes searching the empty sidewalk as if looking for words. "...well, it's a thing, an *important* thing, but it's not everything. Not that..." His fingers squeeze down. "Look, I'm not saying you have to *deal with it* right now, but you're a person, not just the shoes you wear." His eyes narrow slightly. "However excellent those shoes are."
"I'm -- not sure if that's true." Jax's teeth press down against his lip, wiggling slowly at his lip ring. "I don't know what I am aside from the things I do. I don't think I'm -- much of anything, if I don't..." Around him, the dim evening air turns a few shades darker. The breath he lets out is kind of shuddery. "... this is going to be a long year."
"I know it's only my perspective, and I wish I could show it to you, but..." Tag lets go, slowly. "...you're so much more." His shoulders hunch, all the same. "But yeah. S'gonna be a long year, no argument there."