ArchivedLogs:Hot And Cold

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Hot And Cold
Dramatis Personae

Micah, Tess, Dusk, Jackson, Kay

2 December 2013

A second run-in with Tess in a park. Now with added "scarier" mutants! ^_~ (Part of Infected TP.)


<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 sun is just starting to tease the horizon, leaning against it gently and taking on a blush of rose to its fading golden-orange. At least the day has been relatively warmer than those previous, with a promise of no freezing overnight and the wind favourably calm. It's a pleasant enough day to be out-of-doors, and so a Micah can be found on a park bench with his denim-covered knees pulled up to his chin for warmth as he watches a pair of squirrels playing a mad game of hide-and-seek in a nearby tree. His olive jacket, green gradient-striped gloves, and obnoxiously orange Jayne hat also team up to conserve heat as he waits out the brief period between his own arrival from work and Jax's. The Thermos of tea in his hand steams slightly when he opens it to sip from its contents, smelling faintly of clove and cinnamon. The scents mix oddly with the underlying motor oil and metal smells that cling to him from the shop.

Whether or not Tess has a good reason for being in the area, she's here. She notices Micah, a fellow she's met before, and cautiously heads in his direction. Since the last time they met, she's gotten a worn backpack, it's clearly far from new. She doesn't quite approach him, she merely watches him while leaning against a nearby tree.

The city once more is proving an unpleasant place to be obviously a mutant. Even in the normally accepting confines of Tompkins Square, Dusk draws more than a few looks today as he crosses through the park; some openly hostile, some just uncomfortable as people move to keep just that much more out of his path. If he notices the stares (or hears the one man rather colourfully telling the mutie freak to get out of the park) he doesn't seem to respond to them.

He's carrying a mesh shopping bag over one arm and he's dressed pretty normally, warm fleece-lined denim jacket, jeans, Vans sneakers, green cap pulled down over his ears; the truly enormous bat-like wings that push through the back of the jacket are wrapped in around him like a cloak. One of them unfurls as he approaches Micah's bench, though, reaching out to brush against Micah's arm as he hops up to sit on the /back/ of the bench, feet resting down on its seat. His wings drape down behind him, towards the ground. "So what's it like, being back in the land of the employed?"

Jax is not in Dusk's obviously-a-mutant camp, but with as much as he's been on the /news/ around mutant issues he's still looking mildly /harried/ by the time he arrives in the park, hurrying past people a little bit more quickly than he might otherwise need to. Once more he is colourful, peacocky hair fading from purple to blue to green from roots to tip, rainbowy fingerless knit gloves, silvery jacket, black and purple-plaid pleated skirt over shiny silver leggings and mismatched bright-coloured legwarmers. Today he lacks sunglasses; instead he has a blue eyepatch over one eye, a silver dragonfly embroidered into it.

"Ohmygosh. Guys did I mention that I completely forgot to prep for a new semester and suddenly one /snuck up/ on me?" He leans in to give Micah a small kiss, then stretches up onto his toes to do the same for Dusk before sitting down on the other side of Dusk's legs from Micah. His head tips back against the back of the bench, a crooked bright grin on his face. "Micah, honey-honey, tell me you're better at your job than I am or we're all gonna be so boned." It's only after this greeting that he glances around, gaze skipping curiously around the park and then lighting on Tess with a bit of surprised recognition. "Huh. Didn't we meet her yesterday?"

Micah spots Tess watching him, but also notes her cautious-lurking body language and doesn't acknowledge her directly. He does reach into the messenger bag at his feet, withdraw a plastic sandwich container with half of a peanut butter and apricot jam on wheat toast (cut, not chewed on) inside, and place it at the far end of the bench from himself. Casually. He doesn't even have to pretend not to pay excess attention to the itinerant girl as Dusk approaches.

He twists to sit three-quarters turned toward backward on the bench, reaching up to pet at the wing that strokes against his arm. “Hey, Dusk! I never did ask, since y'do so much work on the computer an' can be long-distance an' all, if things kept up for you or not? It's...good t'feel productive. Actually made three appointments this mornin' for power wheelchair repairs before goin' back t'the shop. Sure it'll feel even better gettin' back into /my/ work, once that comes, y'know?” Micah's face brightens further, smile broader at Jax's kiss. “Hey, hon. The first day of classes is always just gettin' t'know folks an' issuin' out textbooks an' such, anyhow. I'm sure nobody noticed too much. Might could be y'have some homework of your /own/ t'night, though.” His gloved fingers tickle-poke at Jax's side. “I'm fair decent at what I do, when I get the chance t'do it, anyhow. An' yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the same girl.” A slight inclination of his chin indicates the sandwich at the end of the bench.

Tess notices the sandwich, she looks pretty hungry suddenly. She starts to head over when she notices Dusk and takes a couple steps back. It's not exactly hate that's in her eyes, it's fear. And a lot of it. She carefully moves back, never taking her eyes from Dusk, going back to her earlier spot where she was just watching. She HAS overheard some of the conversation and says, "Pretty sure I am, yeah. Unless both I and you have dopplegangers and it's all sheer coincidence."

Dusk's wings unfurl when Jackson takes his seat, one wing draping loosely across Jax's shoulders and one across Micah's. He sets his grocery bag down, pulling out another fatter thermos; its cap unscrews into a small bowl into which he pours out a steaming hot orange soup smelling faintly of ginger. "Sweet potato," he says, "and it was mostly Liam so it's delicious. I just chopped shit." He offers the cap-bowl in front of him. Jax. Micah. Jax. Micah. Maybe they will have to WRESTLE over it.

"Pfft who cares if you fuck it up, what's the school going to do, dock your nonexistent wages? Micah will just be your sugar daddy till the clinic's in full swing and your studio's back open." This assertion comes with a wide warm grin that doesn't bother to hide his long sharp fangs. "Oh, I've still had a spot of work. Just less time to do it in." The grin doesn't fade when he follows Jax's gaze towards Tess; for a moment his cheerful (fangy!) smile is directed at her but then it thins, a little bit sharper, a little bit narrower. His wings lift, flexing for a moment in a slow rippling stretch that extends them to their full fourteen-foot span before they pull back in to rest against the other men's shoulders again. "Seems charming already," he comments drily.

"Ohmygosh that smells kinda heavenly." Wrestle, /pah/, Jax nabs the soup immediately, hand darting towards it like it is /magnetized/ by sweet potato. Except then he promptly just offers the cup to Micah instead so all that speed has netted him nothing. "They /kind of/ pay me, I mean, you know it's like. Technically like 40k /each/ for tuition there right? Not that hardly anyone can afford it." He shivers reflexively when Dusk's wing moves away, but nestles back comfortably against it once it returns. "S'cool though Micah I will cook you delicious foods and keep house an' it can be /my/ turn to wear the frilly apron for a while while you rake in the dough. We can take turns bein' the houseboy. Clinic's plannin' on being in full swing soon's all their /staff/ is settled anyhow an' then I guess the /both/ of us'll have a little more cash comin' in."

He glances back to Tess again when she actually speaks, his own smile just as warm but considerably less vampiric than Dusk's. "Might have dopplegangers, some'a the things I've seen I wouldn't rule it out. But I don't know none. This is the park I was sayin', by the way. Hot food three days a week." He does notice the look Tess gives Dusk, though he doesn't comment; just reaches up a hand to absently pet at one long clawed bone of the other man's wing.

Micah snuggles back against Dusk's wing when it drapes over his shoulder, letting Jax claim the soup without competition. “Go ahead, hon,” he says through a chuckle, waving at the offered container. “I'll trade you for tea in a minute.” His Thermos gets passed up to Dusk first, though. “Oh, good. I wasn't sure how much of your work was local,” he observes at Dusk's assurance that his work has remained steady. He giggles at Jax's descriptions of various work/home situations. “I think we'll prob'ly /both/ breathe a little bit easier when we're both bringin' income in again. Upside t'the lack of mail's been an utter lack of bill delivery recently, though. Sure we'll be seein' all /that/ soon enough.” His nose crinkles in distaste at the prospect, though the expression fades quickly into an admiring gaze at Dusk's fully mantled wings. “I know I've said it about a thousand-thousand times, but that never stops bein' impressive.”

“You're welcome t'the sandwich, honey. Ain't nobody gonna bother you none,” Micah assures with a little wave directed at Tess, once the girl engages the group. He nestles back into the embrace of Dusk's wing when it returns. See? Cuddly.

Tess takes a deep careful breath and approaches once again, she's still rather skittish but grabs the sandwich anyway. Hunger overcomes fear, apparently. "Thanks." She takes a few quick bites, and looks rather ready to bolt at any time, if needed.

"S'in here?" Dusk sniffs at the tea, his eyes sliding half-closed as he inhales the steam. "Man, it smells like winter. In a good way, you know? Like -- sitting around a fireplace after you've gone sledding." For the moment he seems content to just breathe in the scent of the tea rather than drinking any. His wings press in tighter, nestling snug and warm against Micah and Jax's shoulders as their lower claws click down against the bench. "Some's been local. Enough of it isn't that I'll still be fine on -- well, maybe fine. Used to have four incomes to our apartment and at the moment it's down to just me so." His brows crease at this, fingers tightening around the thermos. "Course, still haven't heard shit-all from management so maybe we won't be heckled for rent for a bit yet either."

The frown evens out at the petting, though. His posture relaxes, elbows propping down on his knees. With Tess contributing nothing further to conversation he seems equally content to ignore her, leaving her in peace to claim the half-sandwich. "I know. I am always impressive," he agrees cheerfully. "And that's nothing, sometime you should fly with me. I've got a harness for it, you know. Like tandem skydiving 'cept I don't need the plane. Probably in summer, though, you won't have /any/ fun freezing your tits off in this weather."

Jax takes a long swallow of the soup, his smile warmer with the taste of the sweet potato soup. He and Dusk and Micah are sitting on a bench in the park, Dusk on the back of the bench and the other two on its seat proper. Jax is as colourfully dressed as he ever is, all bright silvery and peacock colours, his purple-blue-green hair currently contrasting the dark of Dusk's wing as he nuzzles back into it. "Luci was tryin' to properly rent an apartment till his house is fixed, he's -- I think actually just kinda squatting now, he couldn't actually get in touch with anyone /to/ give them money." A small troubled frown crosses his face at this thought. As well as just the rest of the conversation: "-- S'Flicker gonna have work again? Hive --" He closes his eyes, taking another sip of soup and then passing it off to Micah.

There's a smile reappearing on his face after this, though. "Oh gosh he's right though for sure. When s'warm again you /should/ go flyin' with him, it's kinda exhilaratin'." He stretches upwards to sniff at the soup. "Ginger in the soup an' cinnamon there, we /must/ be in winter. You make winter sound so /cozy/ though. Think this one's like to be brutal."

“'Welcome,” Micah replies to the girl with a warm smile and nod. He looks thoughtful at Dusk's question. “S'one of those crazy spice blend teas. Carob, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, I think some white pepper...prob'ly other stuff. It just smelled delicious, so I put it in a Thermos.” He frowns at the report on non-management. “Guess that means y'all still have no heat. You're welcome t'bunk over as long as y'need. I can poke at your thermostat an' see if it's just somethin' simple with that, maybe.” He nuzzles in against the tighter squeeze of Dusk's wing. “I'm tryin' t'have comments t'make about flyin' but m'brain got stuck on you an' /harness/.” The corner of his lips curls up into a little smirk, the eyebrow on that side lofting along with it.

“Yeah, if they aren't sayin' 'boo' over somethin' like certain money from Lucien, that ain't the best sign. I hope they're okay an' just /fled/ at the first sign of trouble, comin' back all slow-like.” Micah chews at his lower lip a little, accepting the soup to sip from the cup instead of continuing to worry at it. “That does sound cozy. All glitter-covered cookie tins. When...yeah, I'm afraid what it's gonna be like out there after how cold it's gotten a few times already.”

Tess finishes the sandwich, and while she still seems a bit afraid, she's at least calmed down enough to speak again. And try to avoid showing he fear too much. "I guess I didn't introduce myself when we met, if you're gonna make a habit of feeding me, I should at least get you something you can call me. My name's Tess." She's not extending any hands for shaking, "Don't ask for more, you won't get it."

The sharp throaty /roar/ of a v-twin engine ripples across the park grounds, startling a few hapless pigeons bobbling around the sidewalk into a disorganized frenzy of wings and plump bodies and crazy bulging bird-eyes. Plowing through them is Kay, flagrantly capitalizing on these lawless times to cruise his motorcycle right up the sidewalk, an ominous /lead pipe/ stuck in the back for easy access.

"YOW-yi-yi-yi!" He crows, dressed out in full MC gear, black leather jacket, motorcycle kutte vest with full Mutant Mongrels patches decking out the back, 1%er patch to the front right breast, ROAD CAPTAIN patched over the left. Watch out, he is actually /accelerating/ the closer he gets, lank blond mohawk fluttering over his sunglasses, an aggressively shit-eater grin splitting open across his face as he /buzzes/ the group. Here he comes! ... there he goes!? At the end of the block, he cuts such a sharp turn that the front wheel stops while the back end orbits around a full ninety degrees. Now he's FACING the park-goers again. And REVVING his engine. AGGRESSIVELY.

"Winter is cozy. I mean, shit, okay, winter is brutal fucking /hell/ when you're out on the streets," Dusk freely acknowledges, "nearly froze my ass to death. But winter from the /indoors/ is like. Triumph. Curl up under a blanket with cocoa in one hand and a lover under your wing and shit, winter is looking out at the snow on the windowpane and /laughing/ at the world's attempts to kill you. I love winter. /Now/. Uh. Slightly less now I don't have heat but I'm sure eventually I'll start loving winter again."

He tips his head down, wings curling in tighter to BRING Jax and Micah a little closer so that he can place firm kisses to the top of either of their heads. This is followed by a bright toothy grin at Tess. "-- These guys make a habit of feeding /everyone/ and holy shit have /I/ been grateful for that when things are lean. They kind of compulsively pick up strays, though. I doubt they'll ask for more, dude, they don't ask shit of anyone ever. -- Wooooah holy shit!"

The grin spreads wider at the sound of the motorcycle, and soon he is on his feet -- though still standing /on/ the park bench as his wings flare out wide behind Jax and Micah's heads. "OY, motherfucker, come give me /five/." Yes, he is holding out a /wing/ for -- drive-by hi-fiving? It's actually only got /three/ fingerbones and its sharp top thumb-claw, but whatever. /Kay/ still has five to slap.

Jax lifts his hands, palms-out in a kind of surrendering gesture. "Tess. I'm Jax. An' we didn't ask that much t'begin with, honey-honey. Jus' tryin' to help, not to --" But whatever he was going to say next is cut off by the revving of motorcycle; the drive-by Kay prompts a startled but delighted laugh from him. He leans in closer to Dusk during the kiss, a bright grin on his face too. "Oh -- oh gosh /hi/," he calls out, before turning his attention back to the others. "-- OK now I'm conflatin' Dusk in a harness with tuckin' in under a wing with cocoa and I gotta say none of this sounds bad to me." He waves a glittery-nailed hand towards Kay. "-- Come get soup," he says cheerfully, and then immediately blushes: "Ohgosh you're right we /do/ sorta compulsively feed people don't we. -- An' I just mean I think this winter'll be extra-special brutal, not just the weather but. I'd guess --" He frowns abruptly. "Well I'd guess there's a whole /lotta/ houseless folks didn't /make/ it through all this -- but I'd guess a whole lot /more/ folks 'bout to be displaced when all this shakes out into a fresh swell'a joblessness."

"S'alright, sugar, whatever secrets you have are yours t'keep. We ain't the sort t'pry." Micah sort of pats at the air in Tess's direction before Dusk steals his attention again. "Okay, bein' inside durin' winter can be nice. It's the havin' t'go outside /ever/ an' the...slipperiness that I object to. Icy streets an' sidewalks can keep their /own/ comp'ny, thanks." A hint of a blush brightens his already cold-rosy cheeks at the kiss. "Southern," serves as a one-word explanation for the compulsive people-feeding, a hand gesturing between Jax and himself as he gives Dusk a playfully pointed look. "Doesn't sound bad at all," he agrees with another grin before drinking from his soup again, barely managing to swallow it without choking when the bike comes motoring up from behind him. "Son of a /biscuit/..." Somehow, Micah doesn't spill the soup everywhere. Neither does he move, which would be the logical course of action when motor vehicle noises approach a body blindly. Instead, he just throws a protective arm over Jax like that will actually /accomplish/ something.

Micah looks up, swivelling around when everyone else seems to be mostly amused by the goings-on, relaxing and laughing a bit when he recognises Kay. "Subtle, ain't he?" The tight grip around Jax also relaxes as he lifts a hand to wave at the biker. "It's. Ugh, yeah, it's gonna be rough. I'm really hopin' some kinda relief effort is mounted for the folks as lost everythin' in this. S'only so many people /we/ can keep feedin' an' puttin' in our livin' room. An' so much of the ci--here has been in similar straits. Think we're gonna need outside help."

Tess listens to the complaints that are being made about winter, and just kind of mutters. "I think summer will be worse, if I'm still on the streets by then." She doesn't really say that loudly, and the motorcycle comes just after she's done muttering, so it's easy not to notice. "Do you mind if I come by more often in an attempt to score food?" She watches the motorcycle, but doesn't really know what to do, so she just sits there.

VRRRRRRMRRMRMR!! Kay KICKS into acceleration, rocketing back towards the group again and leaning /forward/ over the handles until the last moment, when he yanks back so abruptly that the bike is approaching /sideways/ peeling off two parallel strips of rubber (and ripping up a little grass), coming to a stop with one hand thrust out towards Dusk's wing. It isn't a PERFECT stop, he's kind of got a fixed OH SHIT I DIDN'T THINK THIS THROUGH grin by the end, but that thrust out hand comes to a stop just a few spare inches shy of Dusk's extended wing. So he just has to... kind of... lurch forward to BAT it. With his proximity can be felt a thick wave of infernal dry heat. It ripples faintly against the cityscape behind him. "FUCK yeah, bitches, you see this shit?" He slaps a hand down against a (slightly singed and battered) decal on the bike, proclaiming MUTANT MONGRELS. "I broke 'er OUT!" The bike is still making an ominous 'vrm-vrm-vrm' motoring until he finally kills the engine and stands up, straddling the seat, reaching out hands to /gladly/ accept whatever edible item is handed him. Apparently /knowing/ these people means he doesn't have to make greetings, though his lively amber eyes land on Tess, "Whozis?"

"Shit and she's looking good, too, prison hasn't hurt her any." Dusk facilitates the hi-fiving by shifting his wing forward with a quiet /slap/ of fuzzy-thin membrane against Kay's warm hand. "Here," he offers the /rest/ of the large soup-thermos out to Kay, flicking one thumb-claw down in Micah's direction, "he's got the cap, for drinking out of. Think you scared the shit out of him, man." Though this seems to /amuse/ him as he takes his seat back on the bench. "This is Tess," he introduces cheerfully, "she's one of their strays. Tess, Kay. If you think /I'm/ scary, holy shit this man," his wing curls forward around Jax to /jostle/ at Kay's shoulder where he sits on the bike, "is fucking terrifying. Though I guess when it comes to the shit-your-pants department of freaks, you're no slouch either." He drops his hand to Jax's shoulder to squeeze it. "Except you kinda need to take scary-lessons from Kay I think."

His wings settle back again, curling once more snugly into place around Jax and Micah like he is /claiming/ them both for his own. "You got a harness, dude, I'll put it on for you. Micah did you really just say son of a biscuit I don't even know what the hell to do with that." He twitches up a shoulder in a lazy shrug. "I'm sure there'll be relief efforts. And we'll just have to keep doing what we can for the people who aid doesn't cover. The fight house has been packed to the frakking /gills/."

"Know lots of folks who help get people back on their feet. Clinic's got social workers -- Rasheed's and Io's /both/ now really -- an' Mel down at Helping Hands --" Jackson shrugs a shoulder. "There's resources t'help not be on the streets anymore, if y'want to look into 'em." But given that she's turned down offers of help before, he doesn't really press the issue, instead just leaning into Micah's protective hug. "We could get you a palanquin," he offers cheerfully. "Carry you regally around so's y'don't have to step foot on the ice. I bet the pups'd actually /do/ it, too."

His smile brightens when Kay comes back, and he gestures invitingly to the soup-cup in Micah's hands. "You jailbroke your motorcycle?" He stifles a giggle at this. "Of /course/ you did." His cheeks flush dark at Dusk's introductions. "I ain't /usually/ scary." Though his grin fades into a more contemplative look as he looks back at Tess. "I don't rightly know," he admits honestly. "We ain't exactly overflowin' with funds ourselves but -- Southern. I don't hardly say /no/ to sharin' what we got. Except." His warm drawl is slipping more serious than his previous cheer, and he lifts a hand to pet slowly at the wing that Dusk curls around him. "The way you was done skittering away from Dusk like he's gonna bite you -- /that/, I do mind. 'Cuz if you got a problem with mutants in any way, that's a problem I don't want no part of. But if you're okay -- well, then you're okay."

"S'a public park, sugar, y'hang 'round all y'want. As far as food showin' up here, you're best off the nights that they're servin' for folks in need, like Jax said. We ain't always sittin' here with food for folks, much as we might like to," Micah informs the girl gently. He winces a little as Kay comes rumbling back at them, his shoulders only easing back down once he's failed to connect with Dusk in any unfortunate or injurious way. "Oh, um, s'almost empty." The cap is held up in offering back to Dusk, since he's the man with the food to put /in/ the thing.

The way in which Micah snuggles back into the wing implies he certainly doesn't mind being claimed, though the skin of his face and neck takes on even redder hues at being called out on his...not-cursing. "I refuse t'believe you've known me this long an' /not/ heard me say that afore. Always end up fussin' out food items when somethin's surprisin'. I mean, Southern an' m'momma's a grade school teacher /an'/ I work with kids, what d'you want from me?" He's practically laughing through this last rather than truly being defensive. "Oh/gosh/, no, nobody's totin' me around in no kinda...that's just ridiculous." Micah finally gives in and covers his now-crimson face with gloved hands.

Tess frowns at least a little bit at Jackson's objection, but instead of any kind of apology or explanation, she just says, "Didn't mean any kind of harm." She glances in between the group of people, and even though she tries to suppress it, there's some clear fear there. "Really, I didn't mean any harm."

"Of /course/ I did," Kay agrees AT Jackson, "figured since the god damn government left my /last/ bike in a pile of twisted metal off the side of the highway, they /owed/ me my girl back. --Southernfreaks are gonna have to learn to say no /sometime/," Kay licks at a front left canine of his stained and crooked teeth, extended hands inviting them to use their powers COMBINED to make soup happen, his wired livid eyes fixed on that cup, "I'm a god damn carrion-eater. You give me the last'a your food and my ass is gonna put it in my mouth with a SMILE on my face. The fuck is her problem." He jerks a thumb towards Tess, asking this first of -Dusk? Or Micah? Then he just flat out turns toward Tess, "Kid, you couldn't harm us if you /tried/." He's probably supposed to be saying something gentle. But he's not. One hand is still gesturing for soup-soup-soup, put soup HERE.

Dusk tips the thermos into the lid, refilling the cup and putting it in Kay's outstretched hands. Now he is holding /both/ thermoses, Micah's tea tucked between his knees; he takes a sip of /that/ one and returns it to Micah like compensation for relieving him of the soup. "Boy, you are fucking /terrifying/, I'd crap myself if you were pissed at me and I could benchpress Kay's motorcycle with Kay on top of it." His fangs flash bright after this statement, maybe in agreement with Kay: "We are a hard group to hurt," he agrees, "but it's still nice to just hang out with my family here and /not/ deal with the cringing away like I'm some kind of monster. I only bite," he says this cheerfully leaning down to /nip/ lightly at Micah's neck, "people who want to be bitten. -- I could put you on my shoulders," he offers when Micah refuses the palanquin. "But that won't come with fancy seating."

"Oh-oh-oh but we could do like a whole. Embroidered curtain an' -- it could be all made of /gold/ Micah who doesn't want to be toted around in a litter made'a /gold/." Jax's hands clap together like he's already totally delighted with this idea. He gestures to the sidewalk beside Kay's bike -- empty before, but a moment later a palanquin /appears/ there, heavy velvet curtains and intricately filigreed gold patterning along its walls and carrying poles. A jewel-encrusted gold crown appears on Micah's head a moment later. "An' we could /still/ put the whole thing on Dusk's shoulders."

His nose crinkles up in a quick laugh at Kay. "Ohgosh. I prob'ly would put the last'a my food in your face if you turn up at mealtime. But I always manage t'scrape t'gether some more." He bonks his head lightly sideways into Micah's shoulder when Micah covers his face. "Don't think he wants nothin', honey-honey, you're just kinda adorable." He shrugs a shoulder at Tess's reply. "Y'didn't cause no harm. M'just sayin'. We ain't the people y'want to be comin' to if breakin' bread with freaks puts you all a-quiver. Sharin' food's supposed to be a welcomin' sorta thing. The point where I do say no," he's informing /Kay/ of this, now, cheerfully warm again, "s'the point where anyone's turnin' it unwelcoming."

"I told you weren't nobody gonna bother you, hon. An' I meant it." Micah gives Kay a brief sidelong glance with that. Taking the Thermos from Dusk, he passes it immediately to Jax, since he hasn't had any tea yet. "So y'don't gotta act like they're gonna. Don't matter how nobody loo--" This sentiment is quite thoroughly interrupted by teeth against his neck, a pleasant lopsided grin spreading across his lips as his eyes drift closed. "What was I...? Oh." He blushes deeper at the illusory lavishness Jax creates. "Look at it this way, Jax, hon." He holds two hands level, palms up. "Fancy chair," he moves one hand to indicate its representation, "or sittin' on a hot guy?" The other hand comes up several levels higher like unbalanced scales, the first hand finally sinking lower to emphasise the lack of /contest/ between the two.

Tess takes a deep breath, and looks at Kay, before saying softly. "If you say so." She closes her eyes for a few breaths, to gather her courage. "I don't know what to think of fr... mutants anymore. I used to hate, but..." She looks rather helpless, and seems to be dealing with some memories, as a tear starts forming in the corner of her eye, it stops moving halfway down her cheek.

Glupglup, Kay tosses back his drink. "Then sweetheart," he says this while lifting up a foot to REV his motorcycle back to life, "you better make up your mind /quick/, huh?" He hands back the cup and sits his weight back down, shaking his HEAD at these people, "Christ, guys, get a room. My fuckin' /teeth/ are gonna rot out." He ticks off a very lazy two-fingered salute and drops his hands to the handles of his bike to peel off, waving a final hand once he's hit the street again.

Dusk's eyes widen, a quick bark of laughter escaping him at the sudden!chariot. "Holy shit, but Micah, I'm not nearly as stylish as /that/. I don't have gold leafing!" He tosses up a middle finger in answer to Kay. "Room, pfft, this is like our front yard, dude, you can deal with the sugar." His wing baps absently against Kay's arm in farewell. His brows quirk up at Tess. He pours more soup, taking a gulp himself and then giving the cup back to Micah. His lips press together; he watches the tear with a slow breath, but there's a tension to his shoulders unsoftened by the display of emotion. "You make it sound like there's some kind of /question/. Try 'I don't know what to think of nig -- uh, black people anymore. I used to hate, but --' and then how you sound like /kind of/ a jerk with it. Like hey I'm glad you're reconsidering and all but uh."

The palanquin vanishes. Instead, Dusk's /clothes/ change, a richly embroidered cape over a silver-and-blue tunic. The same delicate filigree wraps itself over Dusk's hands and face and wings, gilding /him/ thoroughly in gold. "There," Jax says triumphantly, "now y'don't gotta decide. Fancy chair who /is/ a hot guy. /I'd/ ride him any day." He pokes his tongue out at Kay, laughing too. "This whole neighborhood's ours, honey-honey." He accepts the tea, drawing in a long gulp and sighing contentedly at its warmth.

The smile fades from his face as his attention turns back to Tess. His teeth worry at a lipring, small frown creasing his brows. The frown deepens at Dusk's words; he doesn't look like he /disagrees/, though, curling an arm up behind Dusk to squeeze the winged man gently. "We're jus' people," he says, quiet and gentle. "Ain't really sure what more there is t'think on past that."

“Ain't just 'cause I'm sayin' so. It's 'cause it's the way it is. Y'can see so yourself, yeah? Ain't been nothin' but helpful.” Micah raises a hand in an indolent, slow wave as Kay takes his leave. “As much as folks complain about tooth rot an' toothache around me, I'm figurin' there's a local dental practice owes me some kinda commission by now,” he teases back, shaking his head slightly. “Pssh, since when have I been known t'choose 'stylishness' over substance, hon? I know how t'pick a good ride.” With that he worsens his own blush, though it doesn't help that Jax goes for the same suggestive pun. Micah may actually go well with his brightly-coloured hat soon enough. He takes the cup back from Dusk, drinking from it again before holding it up to trade with Jax in ongoing musical-refreshments.

Tess takes another deep breath, "Normal folk can't do things like this." She points to a nearby body of liquid, and kind of freezes a cross-shaped portion of the surface, "It scares people. It scares me that I can do that. That it isn't even particularly hard. My parents beat down that point a lot, 'they can kill you if they like, and nobody can stop them, they don't even have to draw a gun to do it.'" The tear falls down to the ground, and shatters.

Dusk glances down at his new duds with a /grin/, bright and highly entertained. "Shit, man, that /never/ gets boring.” His wings squeeze in, snug around the others' shoulders. "And you are both more than welcome to ride any time you like."

But Tess's display fades his grin, too; he leans forward to set the soup-thermos back down on the bench between Micah and Jax. "Oh Frith." He squeezes Jax on the shoulder again. "This is your turf, I think, have fun with that." He hops down off the bench, wings flaring out briefly only to tuck in again more comfortably. "I tell you something, though, kid, your parents fed you a line of bullshit. I mean, yeah, we're dangerous as fuck, that's for /damn/ sure. But humans? Humans will kill you just as fucking dead and not think twice about it. And when you watch your family get shot to death around you? It doesn't hurt any /less/ because it was a bullet and not a laser." His wings twitch, unsettled, at his back, and he turns after this to spread them, taking to the sky with a few powerful beats that stir up a sudden whirl of breeze around them.

"Different folk can do all kinds of different things. Normal folk also can't run like Usain Bolt or play the violin like Joshua Bell. Normal folk can't paint like I do or build people whole new limbs like he do." Jax nudges at Micah's side here. "Normal's all real relative and don't none of it mean you're any /less/ a person. I could kill you if I like. So could that guy over there." He gestures to a man at the edge of the park getting into a car. "But you know what stops most people from murder ain't a lack of superpowers, s'a lack of /hate/."

“See you inside in a little bit, hon.” Micah's brows knit as he reads the obvious /upset/ growing in Dusk's words and on his features. “Thanks for bringin' the soup.” He sighs heavily, turning back to Tess. “Does it help t'know that seein' y'do that didn't make /me/ more scared of /you/?” he asks gently, watching the girl reveal her ability. “Just 'cause y'can freeze things don't mean you're gonna do that at /me/. Why would y'want to? Maybe y'could, but y'could also pick up a rock an' throw it at my head. An' y'ain't doin' that, either.” He nudges Jax back gently, shoulder against shoulder. “I mean, I'm just as much a stranger an' likely t'be a threat as Jax is. Might not have any superpowers, but what if I were a crazy killer-face who poisoned peanut butter t'give t'kids in the park? S'about as likely as him wantin' t'laser at you or you wantin' t'freeze at me. Y'gotta judge people as /people/...y'trust folks as have special abilities the same way as folks who don't. By their actions.”

Tess sighs as she listens, wiping her eyes to prevent more tears forming and turning away. "Maybe it's easy for you to say that. But I didn't really have a whole lot of exposure to other viewpoints than that of my parents and the Friends." She sighs. leaning against a wall, taking a deep breath. "Finding out about this... I'm scared of myself, of everyone. I don't even know why I'm telling you guys this."

"Ain't none of this ever easy," Jackson replies mildly. "An' the world sure don't make it no easier. But all that stuff folks say, t'ain't true. It's just fear. M'sorry that's all you growed up knowin'. But it ain't all there /is/." His single eye shifts away, watching where Dusk flew off with a small press of lips. "Everyone needs someone they can talk to. Don't sound like you've had yourself a lotta that. An' dealin' with finding out you're a mutant's hard enough without havin' to deal with it on your own."

"Folks is folks, sugar. Ain't really any viewpoint t'need, other'n rememberin' that. Place I grew up weren't too friendly t'no kinda different, neither. An' I really never met anybody with genetic enhancements that I /knew/ about 'til I moved up here. You're allowed t'be open t'new things whether y'came from 'em or not," Micah reminds with a soft smile. "Give yourself that chance. Everybody deserves as much."

Tess sighs and turns around. "I'm just ... well. My parents pushed me into going to anti-mutant demonstrations. I found out while I was going to visit a friend after one. They're with Friends of Humanity, what you say makes sense, but what my parents said made sense too, to me... I'm just..." She stops talking, seeking words but finding none.

"My folks told me gay people was gonna destroy the country an' burn in hell." Jax sounds almost cheerful about this declaration. His hand squeezes briefly at Micah's, eye dropping to the fiery sunstone ring on his ring finger. "An' my whole town pretty much wanted to burn me at the stake for bein' a freak but. Sooner or later you kinda gotta make up your own mind what's what. An' the thing is --" He looks back up, out through the park with a crooked half-smile on his face. "There'll be a grain'a truth in what they say always. Because people is people. An' people -- mutants or humans -- we're all capable of some real --" His fingers curl loosely inwards towards his palm, thumb brushing unthinkingly over the missing stub where his smallest finger should be. "-- some real horrible things. But we're all jus' as capable of some real incredible ones, too. S'like he said," he nods towards Micah, "kinda gotta just judge folks by what they /do/. Not what they was born as."

"Think of it this're the same person y'was before y'found out y'had abilities. If y'were a good person before...ain't no reason for that t'be different now, is there? You're still just you. Good, bad, or otherwise." Micah leans his shoulder against Jax's. "'Cause people with abilities are just /people/ with abilities. An' you're not alone. There's places that are acceptin' of that. It's okay if /that's/ too much for you for now. Just somethin' t'keep in mind."

Tess nods to the two. "I get what you're saying, I really do. It just... it goes against everything I kn... thought I knew. It's hard." She looks at the cross-shaped bit of ice she made in the water, and how it's already shattering and melting. "I want to believe what you're saying. Just don't know if I can."

"It's hard," Jackson agrees with a sympathetic smile. He caps both thermoses, tucking one under an arm and holding the other in his hand. "An' it'll be hard. But y'ain't alone in it, jus' remember that."

Micah looks down at the Thermoses, brow furrowing slightly. "I feel like we should go check on Dusk," he says quietly to the other man as he slides off of the bench onto his feet. "Ain't nobody pushin' y'to accept everythin' all at once. Or t'take any more help than you're ready for. But y'know how t'find us if y'need to, okay?"

Tess nods, turns around again and smiles nervously. "Thanks for listening, at least. Don't know what good it'll do, but it probably won't harm me." She carefully extends her hand, "Don't shake it if you can't handle the cold, I'm freezing." Literally.

"Prob'ly should, he's been havin' a rough time'a it already." Jax stands, too, leaning forward to extend a hand and clasp Tess's for a quick firm shake. His own hand is rather the opposite, noticeably hotter than most normal people's. "Stay safe, hon."

“I can just steal body heat from this one later,” Micah asserts with a playful grin, patting Jax on the back before extending a (gloved!) hand to shake Tess's rather enthusiastically. “G'night.” His hand slips into Jax's as they head back across the street.