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Dramatis Personae

Alejandro, Ion, Jackson

Good Friday



<NYC> Harlem

Harlem's gritty reputation has become less and less earned over the past decade or so as gentrification has set in. Its reputation as a hub of jazz and culture, however, is still very much earned -- throughout the years Harlem has been renowned for its contributions to music, from its swing dancing and jazz culture back when speakeasies were prevalent to the many hip-hop artists with Harlem roots in modern day.

Good Friday has come, for some that observe it is a somber day, and yet for the children, its the beginning of something joyous - Easter eggs. In observance of faith, the congregation of St. Martin's is slowly gathering for the forthcoming Good Friday Mass. Some of the older members already in church, knocking out their pre-mass personal prayers so they can socialize a little before mass begins. Others so they can get their favorite pew even.

One of those in the vicinity, at least, is Alejandro Montoya who is actually moving towards the church. Not a member himself, never having attended a Mass there, he still seems to follow along with the flock. Then again, other denizens going about regularly activities in the city mingle and walk through the flock just the same.

Erstwhile, at an ally somewhere between Alejandro and said Church, there is another congregation of the truant/delinquent sort. A few teens looking mischievously back and forth, each then ducking into an alley. It would seem their suspicion is but an indicator that they could, theoretically, be up to no good.

One very /colourful/ member of the congregation is hopping out of a very distinctive TARDIS-blue cargo van (it's emblazoned on the side with a gorilla in a racing wheelchair) to make his way slowly across the street and towards the church, head tipped upwards to soak in what sunshine he can get in the cool partly-sunny sky overhead. Jackson is -- as distinctive as the ride he's just come from; he doesn't quite seem to /match/ somber-traditional /Mass/time. Dark clothing, for sure, but he's in a dark silver-bordered black /skirt/ swishing in layers aroud glittery silver-red-black stripey mismatched socks, chunky silver and black sneakers, glittery-silver-pinstriped black buttondown, a sweater coat pulled over it in an enormous array of grey-black-silvery chunkey patchwork. An eyepatch over one eye, with a fiery red salamander embroidered into a black background. Stripey red-and-black cap pulled down over his head.

He is heading towards the church -- slowly, just a little bit /careful/ in his walk, stopping to greet one person here and then another with a cheerful-bright smile and easy warmth for all he /looks/ kind of out of place in the churchgoing crowd. His single eye kind of squints up towards the alleyway in mild curiosity, head tilting slightly to one side. Eying the alley. Eying the church door.

Ion, for his part, looks a good deal blander than Jax. Khakis, dark blue button down. He has a plain leather jacket thrown on for warmth (it has a very small patch over one sleeve with his Mutant Mongrels MC patch rather than the ENORMOUS motorcycle club patch his /regular/ kutte bears -- its logo is a modified skull-and-crossbones, though the skull, less human than most, has fangs and horns, and the crossbones on /his/ are a crossed pair of lightning bolts.) There's a distinctive purr of motorcycle engine from a sleek black-and-chrome Harley that thrums up to the curb -- right /by/ Jax; its vanity plate reads WIRED and he leeeans in to BAP the older man on the arm before VROOMing off to go park his bike around the corner before returning at a FULL ON SPRINT in contrast to Jax's careful walk. "EY YO SUNSHINE."

Somber? Who's somber, it's certainly not Ion. His grin is /bright/ and broad and very full of bright teeth and he /swoops/ in to lift Jax straight off his feet, spin him around (probably with a swish of skirt), set him back down a few feet off where he started. "{/Sunshine/,}" this time his exuberance spills out in Spanish, "{Motherfucker, good to /see/ you,} every-time I go, yeah, I think, maybe that boy he be dead I get back. You not dead?" He's pinching Jax's arm. To check? Then following the photokinetic's gaze into the alley. "What's that stare for? What I /miss/? I just get back, {I missed a /lot/ I've heard,} Dusk's gone crazy in the attic, freaks killing-up freaks, but the sun's still in the sky I think we doing okay yes?"

Spanish in Harlem isn't entirely unheard of, to say the least, but Alejandro picks up on it all the same. Perhaps in part because of the harley, the BAP and the return of the speaker in the regelia of what Alejandro would consider an American Biker, that and the colorful greeting of the other colorful man. Simly curious, he's walking near the alley which most people are avoiding even if they saw the kids ducking in, simply because they don't care, don't know or don't want to know or care about the teens that went into its depths.

Ready to pass it himself even, smiling curious at the two men ready to go into the church, maybe wanting to say something, simply to practice his native langauge, he gives a pause. Hearing a sound from the alley, that anyone might hear just the same, he turns at it. Its a fairly distinctive sound of spray cans rattling as if the kids are ready to put some new art into the walls down there. It might be every day, certainly, then Alejandro thinks that it is, after all, Good Friday and this might not be the day or location, so close to church, for this artwork. He turns to head in, diverting from interjecting himself with a greeting towards the two men.

"Ohjeez." Jax's eye opens wide at the sudden bap, and then at the return /tackle/-hug-spin; he's wobbly on his feet when he's put back down but he flings his arms around Ion. Perhaps as much for /balance/ as out of affection, laughing but clinging, pale and -- "Oh/gosh/. Oh gosh, /you're/ alive -- I'm alive, yeah, you. /Gosh/ I thought you was -- /yes/, we're -- here /you're/ here there's -- /gosh/." /His/ accent is just thick-dripping with the molasses-heavy accent of the /deep/-Deep South, a syrupy drawl that marks his roots as /also/ very plainly Not New York. He loops his arm through Ion's, leaning heavily on the other man as he turns back towards the alley, wandering a little bit closer. "/Goodness/ but you got a lot t'be caught up on, -- but what /happened/ t'you where you /been/ we been so worried."

His head tips to the side and he gives the kids in the alley a quick-curious glance -- but his weight rocks back onto a heel as he hears the spray cans. His smile actually curls a little bit wider, a small chuckle escaping him. He grins, bright and broad, tugging Ion towards the mouth of the alley. "-- Mornin', kids," is his chipper-bright greeting, and, "Mornin', sir," to Alejandro.

"/I/ didn't die. Al/most/ maybe. But we count-up the time we al/most/, die, mi sol, we /all/ fuckin' zombie here, si?" Ion makes a good /sturdy/ leaning post as he saunters towards the alley, all rangy-ropey muscles bolstered up hard against Jax's side. His head rolls back, tipping up towards the sky too in a slow lazy stretch that pop-pop-pops as he rolls out his neck. "After church you catch-up me on /all/ the news. /Every/ news. Three in the fucking /morning/ I get back here I /crash/ the hell in bed I ain't heard a damn -- oh-ho." He grins again, broad-bright at the familiar sound of the spray-cans.

His chin jerks up like it's a greeting, friendly-easy, including Alejandro in this as amiably as it includes the would-be spray painters. "{Hey-hello. You got a /spare/.}" Maybe he's teasing, maybe he's not, it's hard to tell from his cheerful grin. "Broad daylight, that's some-balls-y at the least. You all artists?" The sweep of his dark eyes turns to both Alejandro /and/ the kids. "My pretty-friend here," his elbow pokes at Jax's side, "/he/ an artist. {/Fantastic/} artist, you want to learn you some art /proper/, I think he'll teach you how to do, /right/, some arts."

Ready to say something himself the other men gladly greet the teens, who even as they are met by the others proceed to spray. There are five of them, boys, mixed heritage Harlem natives all of them. Two were starting to spray, the swish of paint through the air sends tendrils of paint, and its distinct smell, swirling about. Half in testing their nozzles for effect and just starting to tough the wall. They stop though, not sure what to do at the moment that they're actually being confronted.

Alejandro gives pause and turns to the two voices, "Ay, Hola, good morning," he says in Spanish, direct from Spain, middle Spain - Andulisan/Madrid - for those familiar with accents and dialect. Then in English, "Today might not be the day to bring art to the city, at least not here," he offers in his own ponderance, not sure what stance the other two men are coming from.

A thin, taller kid in the group speaks up on their behalf, "Ya, mornin' or something, sure, art, just thought we'd cheer up the place here." He looks over his shoulder and the other two with the cans, lackeys, start to spray again as they don't think they're in trouble at the moment. The thin kid looks at Jax, chin juts a greeting, "You're an artist, eh, I know your work - where do you tag mostly?"

"Not on churches," Jackson answers lightly. "C'mon, man, this ain't the place for --" His hand waves towards the wall, fingers fluttering at the spray can. "I get around, though. Lower East Side, mostly. The Village a lot. But I get up more north sometimes, you've prob'ly," his lips twitch faintly here, for a moment, "seen m'stuff here an' there." His teeth are pressing down against his lip, eying the boys thoughtfully. Single eye lifting to eye the /sun/ thoughtfully.

"/Pfft/," Ion dismisses Jax's answer with a wave of his hand. "/Every-fucking-person/ in New York's seen his damn art, you remember the day last month the /entire/ damn city got repainted? That was this motherfucker's styling right here." He jostles at Jax's side. "Only fucking person to tag /every/ building in the whole of New York all to once. Better places for it, though, hombres, two-block-south by the fruit market issa mural that could /use/ some love." /His/ accent is in contrast out of Argentina, though intervening years have given it quite a bit of traveling bastardization. "This church," His hand, wrapped in fingerless leather glove, reaches out to rest on one very /new/ stone of the church, "she been through a lot already, lately, yeah?"

There is some nodding from the boys mostly, a slight shrug at church not being the place for tagging. The boy ponders that it is he might of seen of Jackson's, its not until Ion points it out that the boy catches on. "What, that, that was some mutant I bet." He doesn't connect the two concepts immediately even as he says it, but when the cans stop and the other four all turn to look, it does dawn on him then. "You're ... you're one of ... them?" He says ponderously, the boys look at each other and it seems they're starting to rethink this idea, cans are going to the box they brought. There are mutterings amongst the other four, slanderous surprise and nervous about mutants. Maybe some descrimintion but kept in quiet tones.

Alejandro laughs lightly then, "Si, as the man says here, perhaps the fruit market mural needs some love." Then he claps as if that dismisses everything, "Just stay inside the lines and you will all make a fine fixer-upper of it, no?" Then he quietly says towards Ion, "There are lines for them to fill in right, like in, how do they say, coloring books, si?"

"It was," Jackson says cheerful-bright, "/totally/ some mutant." Around him -- for /just/ the briefest of moments, there's a shimmer-glow in the air, sunny and warm. "Bringin' cheer t'the town. S'a good thought, like y'all was sayin'. An' Ion here had a good --" He leans back into Ion's jostling, nose crinkling up as the glow arund him fades away again. "Two blocks." His head tips, down the street. "Only jus' that-a-way." He offers a hand out to Alejandro, together with a warm smile. "M'Jackson, by the way. Jackson Holland-Zedner." Even if the glowing /hadn't/ answered the question about being a mutant, to anyone who follows news on mutant issues the name certainly /would/ -- up there with Magneto as one of the most notoriously /public/ mutants countrywide. Possible Terrorist, Possible Hero, depending enormously on who you ask. Though at the moment he doesn't look a whole lot like either. Just kind of cheerful, if kind of shaky-pale. The news /does/ have a way of aggrandizing all the issues.

Having /been/ imprisoned in one of the torture-labs before Jax's team broke him free, Ion is going to come down /solidly/ on the side of Hero. Which he /announces/ with a great deal of /zeal/ right now: "Hell /yeah/ he's one of them, ese, this boy he the /greatest/ one-them I /know/." He claps his hand on Jax's shoulder and while the others look nervous his grin only /brightens/, hand squeezing a Jax tightly. "I don't know what thoughts-you-think in your heads this boy, he a mother-fucking hero. Save more people I can fucking /count/."

"{Fill in, make /new/ lines, sure, sure, either way,}" Ion finally answers Alejandro, just as cheerfully, "{The world can always use some more art. -- /He's/ Jax, /I'm/ Ion, who are /you/?}" His hand, fingers calloused-rough past the well-worn fingerless leather gloves, swings out to offer handshake to Alejandro as well, his other arm staying locked though Jax's as long as he seems kind of droopy and in need of leaning-post.

The boys probably don't see it as hero in any context and perhaps are more of humanist in their traditions. "Two blocks down, sure," the leader nods, they gather their stuff more uncomfortable with the dispaly perhaps. Even if just a shimmer-glow, they catch enough that they don't want to be in this ally it would seem.

As things seem in order enough, Alejandro turns more directly to Jackson and Ion, "(Occupied away from the church)." At least his concern for them, not saying either way his own thoughts on tagging and guerilla art. As Ion continues to speak Spanish, Alejandro remains under the idea that Jackson speaks, or understands, at the very lest. "(I am Alejandro Montoya, it is a pleasure)," he takes Ion's hand with a firm shake, offers it to Jackson just the same. "(I must hear more of this colorful display, I have not been in the city long ... or the country for that matter ..." He gives a look to Jackson, the originator of this event they were referring too.

Jackson's hand is /fiercely/ warm, far hotter to the touch than most people's is when he takes Alejandro's, a firm shake before he returns to leaning against Ion's side. "Alejandro," he echoes, eye squinting up slightly as he attempts to follow along with the Spanish. Doesn't attempt to /speak/ it, though, continuing in his thick-drawled accent. "Oh, gosh, Ion's exaggeratin', I didn't --" His cheeks flush, deep red. "It wasn't -- /exactly/ me. It was jus' -- my /art/. I -- paint. An' my -- /art/ kinda got -- splashed all over the city. It was /like/ tagging except /I/ wasn't doin' it. I /am/ a artist though." His blush has deepened further -- creeping /out/ from his skin, slightly, to tint the air around him reddish for a moment before it vanishes. His head tips to one side and a moment later he ventures a curious: "Country?" It's uncertain, like he's picking out what bits he /can/ grasp of the Spanish. "Where're you from?"

"He's shy don't listen to him it came straight from his /brain/ and colored the whole-damn-city /beautiful/. {And when he /does/ tag it's fantastic. Canvas or walls the man's a genius.}" Understanding or no, Ion slips between English and Spanish with little /care/ for Jax's comprehension. How else is he going to learn more? His handshake is firm, too; it comes with a very slight brief static-zap. Crackle-pop. His tongue swipes across his teeth with a small sucking noise; he returns to just standing against Jax's side like a supportive leaning-post afterwards. "Eh? Not-long? Where you come in from? /Why/ you come in from, huh, this place it's a shithole." Though he's laughing as he says it. "But always it's a /adventure/."

Taking in both observations, one more humble and the other boistrous, Alejandro puts it somewhere between; Jackson must certainly be good, if not genius. "Si, Spain," he replies, at first towards Jackson and then between the two. "There is little for me back in Madrid and indeed, if this is a, as you say, Shithole," he continues, in English with his accent thick, "Then it is the place I wish to be. Much as they sought to bring cheer, perhaps so do I, in my own way." Which, normally he might not even suggest that, but as both seem to have shown a little of themselves to him, he doesn't hold back. "And for the adventure, certainly, yes. Your friend, he is an artist," nodding to Jackson again, "You are as well then?" Asked of Ion.

"/Cheer/ I can relate to." Jackson's tone warms again, here, light and easy. "And Ion's a bit -- this place is, well, it's /sure/ got it's rough patches but I wouldn't get /so/ down on New York it's got it's /gems/ too. It jus' --" His nose crinkles up, his smile sunny-bright as the glow had been around him. "Jus' needs some /love/ here an' there, y'know? But I think everyone does. Cities ain't no different then --" He draws in a quick breath, leaning a /little/ bit harder on Ion, for a moment. "Ain't no different from people that way. Got their dark spots. Need some help pullin' through 'em. But if they get the support they need they come ridin' through aright. -- Y'like adventure?" He bobs, just a little, on his toes at this. Juuust a litle. Wobbly-bob. Curls his arm more firmly through Ion's, for balance. "Cuz we tend t'have that in /spades/."

"/Leetle/ miss Sunshine." Ion is deliberately /leaning/ on his accent, here, drawing it out in heavy exaggeration as he elbows Jackson in he side. "You find gems everywhere, huh? But yeah-no fair/enough/ it's true there /are/. Stars scattered all /around/ this fuckin' --" His smile curls up with lopsided good humor. "{And if this whole /world/ got through the fucking zombie /apocalypse/ I think we can handle a few more rough patches, huh?} New York, though, we /know/ from rough? One explosion after other here. /Everyone's/ a artist," he tells Alejandro. "Only question, always, huh? It's what's your --" His fingers snap. He pokes at Jax's side again. "{What's that called? Medium?}"

Smiling, Alejandro pauses at the expression of having adventure in /spades/, perhaps not familiar with that but able to draw a conclusion from the context at least. A nod is given, "Si, if there is adventure, it is the right place indeed." His hands search for his pockets for the moment without anything to do, he offers more to Ion, "(The world can go through a lot perhaps)." Even as they just went in, one hand comes out to scratch is clean chin then his mustache, "Medium, hmmm, perhaps my medium is the blood of the people and bringing them some cheer are the strokes of my brush. You could say I am like the two of you, si, and that is my medium to help the people." Not sure of the metaphors, but hopefully saying enough without being more direct.

There's a small puzzled look that crosses Jax's expression at Ion's question, his head shaking -- don't know that word, can't help translate; he looks relieved when Alejandro speaks up again and elucidates. "Ohhh. S'a fair excellent medium t'work in, I'd say. Think you'll do well here -- or, /anyway/ you sure won't never be short on /subjects/ t'work with." He squeezes at Ion's arm, glancing for a moment back across the street to the van he came from and then over to the church. "We should prob'ly-maybe get t'Mass else-wise we might be late. Don't s'pose you'd want t'join us? Not sure how much /cheer/ there is t'be found on Good Friday. Kinda saving it up till Sunday. But Sunday I'll cook," he says this like it's an invitation, "everyone a /feast/."

"/That/," Ion cocks a thumb and forefinger towards Jax at this invitation with a chk-chk click of tongue, "that is one-bit cheer you do not want to be missing, he may be artist with colors but he's a goddamn /wizard/ en la cocina, yeah? {Come here Sunday it'll be /good/ for the soul.}" His hand drops to the small of Jax's back, absently starting to steer the other man towards the door of the church. "Blood of the people," he's musing, "some the folk we know, I don't know if that's a metaphor or not. Blood-kinetic, you know one-of those?"

Looking to the church where they are intended, Alejandro nods, in at least that he'll walk with them until they go in. "Si -- no, not blood-kinetic. That sounds like an intrigue, I meant I do what I can to bring cheer to those less fortunate, to help ease their situations." He hopes that makes sense, then smiles more, questioning of Ion, "Ay, la cocina, (I cannot refuse a good meal, I shall be sure to return on Sunday if I can)." A chuckle even, he rubs his ear and finally gets that hand back to his pocket so that both are covered on this spring morning. Back to Jackson, he offers, "I have not been to Mass in a few years, I mean to return, but I do not think that day is today. It is by chance me feet guided me this far I suppose."

"Dated one once, actually," Jackson answers with a soft laugh. "Haemokinetic. An' you're definitely more'n welcome Sunday brunch, it's gonna be enough food for an army, I ain't the only one cookin' by far." He stops when they're near the church door, turning away from leaning against Ion to reach out and squeeze at Alejandro's arm just above the elbow. "Maybe chance," he says, light and lilting, though he gives a glance back to the church door as he says it. "Though right outside here I ain' sure chance had the only role in it. Do hope we see you back Sunday. If you been feelin' like returning, could be there's a reason for it. Y'have a good weekend, sir. Stay cheery, yeah?"

"{That day is /any/ day you're feeling it. Fuck chance, dude, God's probably been calling you home a /while/ you just gotta wander close enough to /hear/.}" Ion reaches out, too, jostling-light /bap/ on the shoulder before he returns to hooking his arm through Jackson's. Just in case Jax /falls/ over while he's not looking. "See you on Sunday maybe? I /hope/. Easter sees a lotta folk back, anyhow. Was nice to be meeting you, Alejandro." His chin jerks upward in a parting nod, before he turns to lead Jax towards their Totally Uncheery Mass. Even if /he's/ grinning still while doing it.

With a similar nod, and slight inclination of his head, Alejandro returns the parting, "The two of you as well, it was a pleasure, we shall see what Sunday brings us, no?" A grin, he walks back and turns before tripping over anything, then walks his way to street and along with other pedstrians not destined for the church itself.