ArchivedLogs:In Which Teenagers Are Quite Unprepared For Children And Ponder Questionable Birth Control Methods
|In Which Teenagers Are Quite Unprepared For Children And Ponder Questionable Birth Control Methods|
"I've got brainweird stuff sometimes."
<NYC> Evolve Cafe - Lower East Side
Spacious and open, this coffeeshop has a somewhat industrial feel to it, grey resin floors below and exposed-beam ceilings that have been painted up in a dancing swirl of abstract whorls and starbursts, a riot of colour splashed against a white background. The walls alternate between brick and cheerfully lime-green painted wood that extends to the paneling beneath the brushed-steel countertops. There's an abundance of light, though rather than windows (which are scarce) it comes from plentiful hanging steel lamps. The walls here are home to artwork available for sale; though the roster of prints and paintings and drawings and photographs changes on a regular basis it has one thing in common -- all the artists displayed are mutants.
The seating spaced around the room is spread out enough to keep the room from feeling cluttered. Black chairs, square black tables that mostly seat two or four though they're frequently pushed around and rearranged to make space for larger parties. In the back corner of the room is more comfortable seating, a few large black-corduroy sofas and armchairs with wide tables between them. There's a shelf of card and board games back here available for customers to sit and play.
The chalkboard menus hanging behind the counter change frequently, always home to a wide variety of drinks (with an impressive roster of fair-trade coffees and teas largely featured) though their sandwiches and wraps and soups and snacks of the day change often. An often-changing variety of baked goods sit behind the display case at the counter halfway back in the room, and the opposite side of the counter holds a small selection of homemade ice creams. A pair of single-user bathrooms flanks the stairway in back of the cafe; at night, the thump of music can be heard from above, coming from the adjoining nightclub of the same name that sits up the stairs above the coffeehouse.
She sure has been visiting Evolve a lot, lately. Why just last night, she was telling Shane to say high to Taylor for her, and talking to kitty-Taylor about an art show! All in all, pretty fancy-pants. Today, though, she's not drinking coffee. She's drinking tea today, and even has a selection of scones and a brownie in front of her, which she's staring at? Seeing as the weekend is approaching, the club-going crowd is already beginning to pack in in eager anticipation of club-time. All in-all, it's a pretty colorful evening. Eve is content without clubbing, though. She's underage. No. She'll just enjoy good tea, good baked goods, and... maybe good company, too? Who knows. There aren't many open tables, so it's a happy circumstance that she's managed to occupy a table before people have actually taken all of them.
The kitchen door swings open, disgorging one tall and muscular ink-skinned teenager; his t-shirt (reading 'All I have to do is stay black and die') heavily mended to allow freedom for all of his many limbs. Taylor is swinging a duffel bag up over his shoulder as he emerges, his two longest arms coiled around his torso and the others hanging more loosely in various states of rest. "He-e-e-y, you came back." His smile is bright and easy; his path diverts from heading for the door to veer off to Eve's table instead, leaning up against one side.
Desi has just ducked under the eave of Evolve, shaking her metallic purple umbrella out before collapsing it and coming inside properly. She certainly looks ready for nightlife, resplendent in a faintly iridescent purple satin corset dress over a black crepe blouse and ruffly layered black skirt (or skirts?) of the same material. She wears black platform boots, and purple satin gloves that go up to her elbows. Her hair is arranged in an intricate braided updo with just one stray lock hanging down beside her ear, curling broadly. There's a faint dewy glitter to her hair and face, though her actual makeup is fairly subtle, black eyeliner with purple ombre shadow and iridescent light pink lipstick that leans toward lavender. Seeing Taylor as she's heading toward the counter, she waves and offers a friendly smile. Then, following his gaze, she spots Eve. Her expression doesn't change very obviously, but a faint blush rises in her cheeks and slowly creeps up toward her ears as she approaches the other girl's table. "Bonsoir! How are you this evening?" This seems to be directed at both Taylor and Eve.
Just behind Desi, B is umbrella-free, though doesn't seem to mind the sheen of damp that's settled across hir face and spiky black hair. She peels off a long silver raincoat, folding it over one arm and trotting after the taller girl. She is dressed in a black and silver dress, tight at the top and ruffly at its bottom, chunky black sneakers and thick metal wristcuffs at her slender wrists. Silver eyeliner gleams in sharp wings from hir eyes, though otherwise she is makeup-free. She has a backpack slung over one shoulder, claws fidgeting with it restlessly as they come up by the others' table. One shoulder bumps gently up against Taylor's side in greeting, a faintly chagrined flutter of thoughts surfacing in hir mind that swirl around a dog park and a bitey gargoyle toddler. "Salut," she offers, more quietly as she rocks back and forth between toe and heel of her thick-soled shoes.
The girl immediately perks up at the appearance of the tall gent, << Oh, yay! >> Eve grins and waves in the direction of Taylor, pointing at the scones on her table meaningfully,"Have something to eat? I mean... I know you probably get these all the time, but good food is good food, you know? Of course I came back." << More than once. >> Her olive skin flushes a little, but she's still smiling. And then? Look! It's Desi and Friend-B! This DOES stir thoughts of the encounter where she was bit by 'Egg'. And the terror of that moment. No lingering bad feelings towards them though. And, to some degree, her pleasure at how she didn't need the bandages for very long. Which sets up a whole cascade of thoughts about how she's actually been feeling healthier than she can ever remember in recent memory. Is it the new diet? All these thoughts surface and fade in mere moments and what's left is pleasure at seeing the other young ladies,"I like your eyeliner, B. Desi, you get fancy-pants points just for speaking French. I was informed this by a friend of mine, Nancy. It's shaping up to be a good evening I think. Offer all of you something to snack on? I hope I didn't upset your tiny little friend the other day too much." Yeah. She's worried. On Egg's behalf.
"Desi /is/ French so I'm pretty sure the fancy points would come from speaking anything else, wouldn't it? How fancy can speaking your native language /be/? Though that dress is pretty fance." One of Taylor's serpentine limbs is lifting to drape around B's shoulders in a quick hug; another pokes up to wave to Desi. "Oh man I kinda already gorged myself getting ready to go out. Though /damn/ if those brownies aren't good tonight, they're always on fucking point when Jax makes 'em." Despite having juuust said that he just ate he's eying the scones anyway. "... is that one of the berry ones?" Suddenly hopeful, a slim tendril-arm wiggling out toward it.
"Some might argue /being/ French is in itself fancy, but I'm Quebecois, so...only /slightly/ fancy?" Desi's smile relaxes as it becomes obvious Eve is not stricken with traumatic flashbacks of their previous encounter. "Merci, Taylor." She twirls on one toe with perhaps startling ease and grace, considering her footwear. The many-layered skirts flare up airily. "It's a bit flouncier than my usual look, but I love the color." << Still probably shouldn't have bought it, though... >> She looks down at the desserts. "I was going to grab something with my tea, anyhow, but if you've more than you want...I appreciate it." She pulls off one glove and plucks up a brownie for herself. "Shane still in back?" This directed at Taylor.
"I'm sure Egg will recover from the encounter. Toddlers are kind of tiny demons they don't have a lot of conscience yet about that kinda thing." << Take some years from Ion's life, though. >> B shakes her head at the offer of a snack, eying the food uncertainly. "I think it's /pretty/ fancy. You and Luci skew my perception some, though."
"I mean, I guess I could've gotten the plain ones, but... why when I can have... BERRY." She smiles in an odd sort of way as she holds up the scone in question that Taylor reaches for, offering it to the tendril as if to encourage him to take the item in question. << Berry scones? So he likes fruit and stuff. Good taste. Aaaah. I wish I could pull off skirts like that. She's adorable. >> The last thought has a definite hint of envy to it, though Eve shakes it off quickly. << Oh shit? She's got pretty wicked teeth if she's like her brother. Do they even like non-meats? That was thoughtless. >> She ventures, after a moment, to B,"I think I have some peppered jerky, if you like, though I'm not sure if I should be offering people food in a place that serves food if it wasn't bought here. Or am I over-thinking it? Um. Sorry. I've got brainweird stuff sometimes." << Wait... well... You know, huh? I mean, you're hearing all this, huh Taylor? >> MORE BLUSHING. "I suppose you're right though... Does that mean I have to learn ANOTHER language if I wanna be fancy? Anyway, you're both looking fantastic, and I think we can all agree on that. So... If Toddlers are demons, does that mean thrown salt and bible-chanting make for effective birth control?"
Taylor picks up the scone, wiggling it at Desi before he takes a bite. "Fancy." He spins a chair around at the table, dropping his bag beside it and dropping down into it. "We're not really too big on rules about that kind of thing here. Nobody's going to kick you out for bringing your own food. We kick people out for /hella/ shit but not that." He leans forward against the chair, munching again on the scone. "If you wanna be real fancy maybe, um, Finnish? It has bizarre cases and crazy compound words." His tongue pokes out of the corner of his mouth, swiping stray crumbs off his lip. Only a little sheepishly: "I'm hearing."
Desi snickers, covering her mouth. "Matt and Gae make up for it, though. Fancy or not, knowing more languages is not just a resume item these days. It's a survival skill." She chews on her brownie and watches the others with an expression of faint bemusement. "I'm not sure that salt and scriptures actually wards off toddlers, but either way, you generally need the birth control a while /before/ they become toddlers."
"I don't know, /enough/ bible-chanting and salt-throwing and probably there's lots of people that wouldn't want to sleep with you," B suggests with a small darker flush. "So that's -- one route?" She tilts her head slightly to one side. "Brainweird?" Curiously.
"That's okay. Just... apologies if I get loud. Do brains get loud? Oh God. Do I think loud? I think loud don't I? You're a trooper, hun." She relinquishes the scone with a fond smile, then fishes in her things until she finds a package of would looks like homemade jerky with bits of pepper on it, and offers it, hand open to B. "Is it weird that I'm sort of glad that's not something I'll to worry about for a long time if ever? Children seem terifying." In truth, there's more melancholy attached to that thought than happiness. But it's a distant sort of thing. Filed firmly in future-worries. "I don't really dedicate a humongous portion of my brain to thinking about sex or anything anyway. I'm more like at the... thinking about holding hands and drawing hearts on notebook stage." As for 'brainweird'. "It's... everyone's got their difficulties, right? I'm kind of... you know... maybe not the most stable person. So it's weird. Inside my brain. I think? So... where does one go to learn Finnish besides Finland, I mean." Now the Helsinki complaints choir is playing in her head.
"Maybe my first pick wasn't so good. Fancy or not I don't know if Finnish would be much help against zombies." Taylor furrows his brows. "Besides in Finland, I mean." The tip of one small arm rubs at the back of his head. "And brains get loud." One eye squinches up. "You have no idea how much time /most/ people spend thinking about sex." This comes with a small slump in his chair. "Honestly kind of a relief when people aren't --" Shrug. "But yeah, everyone's got their things. Are children really that terrifying? I'd be more scared of. I don't know. Everyone /else/."
"I suppose if you're not used to being around little children, they might seem intimidating." Desi sounds a little wistful, fleeting recollections of a small, exuberant girl summoning waves of grief. << Désolé, Taylor. >> "Even so, I don't think it's at all strange to be relieved that you don't have your own children to look after." She inclines her head, offering Eve a sympathetic smile. "Nor is it strange to not want children, considering the kind of world we live in." She's stopped eating now. "I find that 'neurodivergent' is a useful catch-all for that, but 'brainweird' is certainly fine for your own use if you like it. As for languages...I might be biased, but how about French? Since you are not yourself French, it /would/ be fancy for you, no?"
B's nose crinkles up. "This world is tooooo terrifying for kids. I could never. I mean, it'd be bad enough to have a /human/ kid when they're probably going to starve and have no health care are who knows what we're doing to their schools and the environment but wilfully /making/ a potentially mutant kid in this world seems like an actively evil choice, honestly." A shudder runs through her, together with a tangled spill of emotions bound up in both fierce anger and fierce protectiveness, Tola and Egg and Sera and Spence central to it. Her head dips afterward, a little sheepish. "'pologies. I don't mean to -- anyway. I kinda like 'brainweird'. I think most people I know are a little bit. Weird. Brainwise." Her smile after this is kind of lopsided. "Nobody ever thinks Vietnamese is fancy."
And of course, Taylor bringing that up will make Eve think of countless hours spent in front of a mirror criticizing her own appearance in a mirror. Sex involves being seen naked. She's not such a fan of that. "But then you speak of it and you can't NOT think of it." She's actually doing an admirable job of stopping herself from thinking of it! Right now! "Children can be really scary. I don't really know what to do with them, and they don't listen real well, and sometimes, they cry for no reason I can understand..." Eve looks to Desi with a certain amount of gratitude though. "Neurodivergent. Yeah. Sounds fancy even in English. French. I suppose that'd be worthwhile. And it's latin-based. So there's some small similarities. I only speak two. Don't most Europeans speak, like, three or four?" << Shark girl's got some bite to her. Neat. >> Her eyes flutter over to B, a sort of shrug following,"I... haven't thought it out that much. It's just, I ever want kids, I'm pretty gonna have to adopt anyway. Unless science really explodes, it's not gonna be possible. But that's way far in the future for me to have to think about. Anyway, you speak Vietnamese? Badass. Is it racist that I want Pho now?" Pause. "Do you like Pho Taylor?" Head swivels back towards Desi,"Don't suppose if we hang out, once I've got the basics, that you can help me practice? Immerse myself and all. Actually... On that note... is Vietnamese difficult to learn?"
Taylor's brows furrow, his fingers picking slowly at his scone though now he's not eating it. Just kind of dismantling it into crumbs, plucking out a berry but not eating that either. His eyes are a touch unfocused, briefly distant until he hears his name again. "Oh. Um. What about Pho? Who's a racist?" His teeth dig briefly at his lip. "Lo siento, I got a little distracted. Maybe even the /specter/ of kids is too much for me."
"It's probably easiest to start with a Romance language, if you speak Spanish already anyway." Desi is doing her best to sound and feel perkier. "Europe, and a lot of other places in the world, actually. New York is fast becoming one of them." It takes a palpable effort for her to start in on her brownie again. "B is, in fact, both badass and fancy, but she knows Vietnamese because it's her language." A flutter of amusement runs through her. "And if you want to hang out and speak French, the summer is a great time for that. Friend me and we'll work something out."
"It's --" B shifts awkwardly from one foot to the other, giving this question some consideration. "Not /as/ racist as saying I'm badass for speaking my native language," she finally settles on, head still dipped and voice softer. "Anyway, I don't know, I never really had to. Learn it. Um, I'm going to head up. And. Maybe dance." She slips her backpack off, setting it down beside Taylor's. "Can you take this over when you head out? I'll be over in maybe an hour or two, 'kay?" Her hand reaches to Taylor's shoulder for a small squeeze. When she lifts her head the smile she gives Eve is brief and shy. "See you later, probably." Her mind is still kind of a swirl of jumbled emotions -- though the undirected worry about children has shifted seemlessly into a more directed concern about Desi. It doesn't show in the brightness of her tone as she adds to her friend: "You promised me a dance." /She's/ turning to flit away toward the stairs up to the nightclub.
The girl looks somewhat mortified. "I didn't know it was... Actually, an apology sounds correct here since it should've been obvious. It was me, apparently." The girl lapses into quiet. She takes a sip of her tea, and looks between the gathered people now. Between Taylor and Desi. The departing B. She stands, drinking her tea down in one long motion. "I'll look for you online, then, Desi." A pause. << Why do I get the feeling I put my foot in something... >> She nods to Taylor,"You okay? I'll see you later. Thanks for hanging out a little." To B,"Enjoy your dancing." And to Desi,"Seriously. Summer will be awesome."
"Oh. Have fun. I'll bring your shit over. Desi, try to wear her out enough we stand a chance later, huh?" Taylor squeezes B back, absently. His knuckles rub against his cheek, and he offers Eve a wan smile. "I mean, maybe you did. I'm not sure anyone really looks at B and thinks Asian. Apologizing for it's good, though." His shrug is quick. "Besides that I think kids are just a -- maybe a heavy topic for a lot of us. You know?"
Desi /looks/ none the worse for the heaviness of the topic, though she certainly cannot fool Taylor. "It's not actually all that obvious, but--what Taylor said." She pops the rest of the brownie into her mouth, chews, swallows. "Merci, and do enjoy the rest of your meal...or dessert, as it might be. I /do/, in fact, owe her a dance." She tugs down at the bottom of her corset. "And while I appreciate your confidence, wearing B out is probably beyond me. See you both around!" With a wave, she trots after B skirts flouncing.
The girl hesitates a moment before she offers to Taylor,"Same goes for you, Taylor. Find me online. Friend me. Maybe we can hang out somewhere besides work, unless you just like hanging out here. If not? No big deal." << Ugh. How long has it been since I slept? >> She takes out her phone, checking the time on it for a moment. << It can't have been that long.... Not possible... >> She waves to Desi,"Well... at least dance until you don't want to anyway. Maybe you can show me a thing or two about dresses. I could never carry that off." The girl smiles wanly and waves fingers at them before turning towards the door.
"I don't know, I think you pull something like that off. Something -- fancy. If you wanted." Taylor gets up, too, two long arms twining around his own bag and B's as well. His smile now is quick and broad. "Yeah. I'll find you. I mean, I'd like that. I mean." His head shakes, quick. "-- Maybe you should get some sleep. I'll see you, yeah?" Off-duty or not, he's still work-conscientious, hanging back to neatly push in all the chairs and sweep all his crumbs off the table into a napkin, whisking off to throw out the trash before he leaves.