ArchivedLogs:New York Initiations

From X-Men: rEvolution
New York Initiations
Dramatis Personae

Jax, Jerome, Micah, Lucien, Matt

29 September 2014

Food and random meetings outside the Mendel Clinic.


<NYC> Lower East Side

Historically characterized by crime and immigrant families crammed into cramped tenement buildings, the Lower East Side is often identified with its working-class roots. Today, it plays host to many of New York's mutant poor, although even here they are still often forced into hiding.

It's a pleasant clear evening, twilit sky mostly drowned out by the brighter lights of the city. In one rather dreary section of the Lower East Side there's still a very /determined/ sprinkling of protesters outside the Mendel Clinic, a lonely trio of humans rather politely handing out flyers -- to inform patients coming to the mutant-friendly clinic that there is still counseling and therapy available to them through Themis House (in its temporary location until the swankier digs can be rebuilt.)

With things quiet the guards on duty are quiet as well. A good distance down the block one tall blond man leans against the wall, sipping coffee and chatting idly with one of the receptionists, just off work and lighting up a cigarette. Nearer the door, Jax is dressed in the crisp red-and-black guard uniform as well -- it matches his short fuzz of regrowing hair, dark with red tips to it. Despite the darkness of the evening hour he's still got sunglasses, huge and mirror-lensed, shading his eyes. At the moment he's sitting on the edge of a large planter, the leaves of the small bush it holds prickling up against his back. His head is tipped down towards the screen of a phone in his hand, thumb flicking lazily through his email.

Jerome heads through the area with his hands in his pockets, clearly checking the buildings around for those awesome 'We're hiring!' signs that seem to be getting rarer and rarer. He looks down for once, hand running lightly over the strip of hair down his head. "Another day in paradise," he grumbles lightly, stopping to look at the clinic.

The evening is pleasant and the walk short enough, leading Micah on a stroll from the Commons to the Clinic with a canvas tote bag over one shoulder and his usual messenger bag on the other. He is dressed evening-casual, in sneakers, bluejeans, and a black T-shirt with a reproduction of a parchment page full of sketches of Toothless and prosthetic designs. An olive newsboy cap rests atop his still somewhat shower-damp auburn hair. His steps pick up some bounce as he approaches Jax, ending in a tight-squeezing hug. "Oh, good, y'look like you're on break already. I brought you dinner." Hence the bag.

Lucien doesn't work here. He is, accordingly, /dressed/ like he doesn't work here, dark jeans and a green button-down, both neatly tailored. As he exits the Clinic he rather habitually pats at a pocket, reaching for a cigarette pack that isn't actually there.

He is trailed shortly after by another young man, shorter, darker-haired, similar bright green eyes; Matt is less carefully dressed, jeans a little overlong and fraying at their hems, a t-shirt with small cartoon images of the mascot-animals for the four Hogwarts houses. He has a light blue jacket pulled on over top and is looking a little shivery in it despite the mildness of the evening, stepping in closer to Lucien once they're outside. "... You quit, remember?"

Lucien just grumbles at this reminder, moving over to slump (crankily) down against Jax's -- shrub. Or the edge of the planter, anyway. His eyes narrow out at Jerome, brows lifting. "Paradise. Are we in the same city?"

Matt, on the other hand, brightens, moseying over to sling an arm around Micah's shoulder and pluck at the bag to shamelessly peek at its contents. "I don't know, if there's enough dinner for sharing I'm thinking it's pretty Paradisey." Though he is side-eying the Themis House people with a distinctly distasteful look creeping into his otherwise cheery expression.

"Mmm." Jax barely looks up from his phone, just leaning into the hug with arms reflexively lifting to squeeze back tight around Micah. "Dinner delivered t'me without even askin' for it? Extra bonus Tessiers t'share it with? I'm comin' down pretty heavy on the side'a paradise, for sure." He bumps his shoulder lightly against Lucien's when the other man sits beside him, tipping his head forward to peer into the bag as well. Jerome's approach draws his gaze upward, though, brows quicking upward before, after a moment's delay, a warm smile spreads over his face. "Heya. Y'need any help, sir?" His molasses-thick Georgia drawl places him very squarely as Not a Native.

Jerome looks over at the others and flashes an easy enough grin. "Look at it, paradise." He waves a hand at his surroundings. "When your friendly neighborhood chef can't find work because of circumstances he can't change, and police open up on a group of protesters because one sprays them with color." He shakes his head a bit before exhaling slowly. "Sorry, name's Jerome." he drawls out, rubbing his forehead lightly. "Just a little annoyed. Can't find a job and I'm running low on funds. Sure as hell can't go back to Georgia. At least not home." When Jax speaks he shakes his head a bit. "Unless you know of a place that needs a cook or mechanic, afraid you can't help much."

"Figured I owed you for that dinner I was /gonna/ bring 'fore I got arrested the last time," Micah replies with a giggle to Jax's musing. "Might could be enough food, if y'don't mind sharin' dishes an' utensils. Luckily I brought big containers of everythin' an' figured t'just haul whatever was left back. S'a mixed-mushroom, black bean, tomatillo-sauce chili. Thermos of almond milk chai. An' cinnamon-sugar roasted peaches for dessert. S'/kinda/ like pie only capable of not bein' ruined utterly in my hands." He throws in a self-deprecating smirk along with his commentary, then looks abruptly pensive. "Oh, also, no sesame seeds. So we won't kill your brother. Hi, by the way." Greetings are apparently of secondary importance to food. Amusement tugs at his lips again as Jerome speaks. "Jax, I think y'might have some kinda Georgia-boy magnet on you. Y'seem t'pick 'em up often enough." Jerome gets a head-nod instead of a handshake, since Micah has his hands full of foodstuffs. "Evenin', Jerome. I'm Micah. This'n's Jax." He lets the Tessiers handle their own introductions, should they choose to do so.

Matt's grin is quick and broad, and he reaches into the bag to snag the peaches before anything else. "I never say no to pie."

"It isn't a pie." Lucien just gives the container a skeptical look. Then his /brother/ a skeptical look. "Like a puppy, this one. He behaves as though I never feed him."

"When was the last time you fed me pie?" Matt huffs back, peeling the container open to pluck out a peach with two fingers.

"Thursday," Lucien answers promptly. He tips his head upward in a small nod to Jerome. "If you cannot find a job you are being far too picky. The zombies did quite a lot for the unemployment rate."

"What kind of a cook?" Matt is licking peach-juices off his fingertips, green eyes flicking to Jerome as well. Only belatedly does he remember introductions -- these come with an offering of the container of roasted peaches as well. "Hey. I'm Matt. That's Luci."

"S'the blue eyes," Jax tells Micah brightly. Even though his are currently covered by Sunglasses. "Every other country song y'hear is someone offerin' some blue-eyed young thing a ride in his pickup truck." He slips his phone into his pocket, teeth scraping down against one of his lip rings. For himself he digs the chai out of the bag first, popping the lid to gulp at it greedily. "Mmm. I know a cafe what's hirin' a chef only but s'kinda a --" His glittery-nailed fingers flutter in the air. "Specialized sorta crowd, ain't everyone gonna be comfortable with."

Jerome looks over at Micah, "Hey, met you the other day. Got a hug before I got shot," he reminds, though this time his face isn't covered up. "Glad to see you got out without much issue." He turns to watch Matt and Lucien for a moment. "I made the mistake of registering." he admits. "Thought they'd appreciate me abiding by the law. The last thing they want is somebody like me after the zombies. And, I can cook just about anything. Only thing I really have issue with is crepes, but after a few I usually get into the hang of it." He looks over at Jax, "I'm looking down here because they're generally more accepting. Though still the occasional issue from what I hear."

"S'kinda like...pie fillin'? Gimme a break here, I didn't wanna wreck what may well be the last of the peaches 'fore they're entirely outta season." Micah nudges Lucien's shoulder with his own at that. "'Sides, it's been a lotta days since Thursday with no pie. No wonder he's hungry." There /might/ be some borrowed Spencer logic going into this reasoning. Jerome's claims earn a brief furrowing of brow, processing who hugged whom when, though the mention of shooting does narrow it down a bit. "Oh, right. With B. Bandana guy. Everyone came out of it okay in the end. Just lost another night t'takin' up space in a cell. An' B's mended up well." He nods as the other man continues his explanation. "Might could be the right kinda specialised crowd, then. An', well...there's at least an occasional issue just about everywhere." His fingers work the lid off of the chili container to spoon some into the only bowl he brought along with one of the pair of spoons to accompany it.

"S'delicious kinda-like-pie-filling." Matt pulls the peaches back towards himself when Jerome doesn't take any, offering them to Jax next. "Hugs tend to be pretty plentiful around Micah. He kind of breaks out in them in all seasons." The mention of registration puts an uncomfortable frown on his face, though.

Lucien just shakes his head. Turns a hand out towards Jax, long fingers extending to indicate the glittery photokinetic. "There aren't many freaks more famous than this one and he still has /twelve/ jobs. I think you're just not trying hard enough."

Matt grimaces, jabbing his elbow into his brother's ribs. "He's just being a dick. This whole by-your-own-bootstraps thing is a crock of --" He shakes his head, eyes slipping over towards the Themis House leafletters. He bites down on his lip, shaking his head.

One side of Lucien's mouth hooks upwards in a thin smile. "Evolve is a lovely place to work, if you do not mind getting burned to death."

Jax shudders at the mention of being burned to death. "Can we not joke about -- just. Not." He frowns down at his hands, reaching slowly to take the bowl of chili from Micah. He glances towards the Themis folks, as well. His shoulders tighten, faintly. "... I don't even know what kinda therapy they're still /offering/ now that they can't -- can't." His cheeks flush deep red, head shaking slightly. He bites down on his lip again, taking a moment before he answers Jerome once more: "Well, /this/ place is acceptin'. An' always hirin' though -- not. For no cooks or mechanics so." He shrugs. nodding towards the clinic door. "... plus s'kinda nothin' but a giant target, anyway."

"Thought you looked familiar." Jerome drawls out to Jax, offering a hand. "Do my best to help out when situations get sticky myself... Usually gets me shot a few times. Gotta love New York." As for the peaches, he probably just didn't notice and flashes an apologetic smile. "I'm a risk." he explains. "Micah saw me in action, for the most part. Could probably see why some places don't want to hire me." He keeps his voice relatively low, only so the present company can hear. Or whoever passes close enough. "If they need guards still? I can do that too. As long as it's honest work I could be cleaning dishes and toilets."

"I try." Micah gives Matt a smile and a faint blush at the food-praise. "Y'know I don't think /I/ hugged anybody that time? Was B. An' Hive was offerin' 'em t'cops. That was entertainin'. 'Specially when I was all red-dosed an' not worried 'bout worryin' none." He gestures to the assorted containers now out of their bag. "Y'want anythin', Luci?" A snort of laughter interrupts the offer. "Ohgosh, yeah. No jobs left in the city. Jax took 'em all. Had t'make my own when I moved up here. True story." Another nod agrees with Jerome's story. "I mean...I wasn't 'xactly in m'right mind or payin' the best of attention at the time, but I'm pretty sure he mighta spared our group a few extra bullets." Once he has a hand freed up, he scritch-pats at Jax's back. "No one's burnin' nothin' down, sugar."

Matt shakes his head, tearing his eyes away from the flyers. "I don't know. They can still preach even without. Drugs. Still make people --"

Lucien's lips are pressing tighter together, here. He pats at his pocket again. It still holds no cigarettes.

"Though I actually did come here to -- work with Dr. Toure on. I mean, that drug of theirs /could/ be helpful, there /are/ lots of cases mutants might -- have a /good/ reason to want to suppress their powers --" Matt's brows are furrowing deeper. He plucks another peach out of the container, nibbling at it slowly.

"What kind of a risk?" Lucien's brows have quirked up again, eyes turning away from his brother to look at Jerome. He dismisses Micah's offer of food with a shake of his head, though a twitch of amusement tugs at his lips. "Hive. Hugs. That I wish I could have seen."

"Hive gives loads of hugs. Just, uh, not to cops." Matt's nose wrinkles. Slowly, though, his smile returns -- albeit a little bit lopsided. "It's not New York till you've been shot a few times. What brought you up here, anyway?"

"Some people like to live dangerously," Lucien replies.

"We have a scoreboard in the guardroom," Jax admits with a small sheepish duck of his head. "How many bullets you've soaked, how many assassination attempts you've stopped." He starts digging hungrily into the chili, a small hum of appreciation in his throat. "Oh gosh, honey-honey, thank you. I was dyin' for a proper meal." His forehead bonks lightly against his husband's shoulder in thanks. "-- Anyway, I don't do none'a the hirin'. Not here nor Evolve. But I can point y'towards where to apply if you're really lookin' an' you don't mind workin' at -- well." He waves his spoon towards the door.

His brows furrow over the edge of his glasses, though, voice a little quieter when he addresses Matt again. "... it could be helpful," he agrees softly, "but that's. I mean, that's gotta be rough on you, don't it? After all you've -- you really gonna be okay gettin' all prodded at some more?"

Jerome lowers his hand now, just really noting the food, he might be a touch out of it at the moment. "What kind of risk?" he asks, looking over at Lucien. "Your typical overpowered kind. I guess plenty of people believe that power does corrupt, and for every time you get one good thing out somebody shows up and does ten negative ones." He reaches up to rub his jaw. "That or they try to militarize what you can do." As if to highlight his words small bone spikes tear through the skin to stud the knuckles of his visible hand for a brief moment before disappearing back. It's obvious from his facial expression it's at least a semi-painful experience.

"They still got all their so-called psychologists t'twist up people's heads," Micah points out with a disgusted crinkle of his nose and shake of his head. "Ohgosh, honey, that's good of you to...I can't imagine how hard that must be for y'to keep doin'. But you're right. I mean, the kids..." He trails off on that thought, teeth worrying his lip. This time when he shakes his head it is to clear if of that line of thinking. He collects the thermos of chai to take a swig for himself. "I /wish/ y'were kiddin', Matt, but. Most've m'family's been fulla holes at some point. Ain't escaped that m'self. An' that's not countin' the number of times people /missed/." His hand travels up to pet at Jax's hair-fuzz after the headbonk. "More'n welcome, sugar. Weren't hardly no work today, no-how. Had the chili in the slow cooker since this mornin', tossed the peaches in the oven, made the tea. An' here we are." It's unclear whether his wince is from the mention of militarising mutant powers or the painful-looking demonstration of Jerome's.

"It's not -- easy. But it's. I mean, it's Dr. Toure, that's different than..." Matt trails off, setting the peaches aside and straightening, arms curling around his chest. "I've actually been more worried what other mutants are going to think."

"I suspect not everyone will be in favour." Lucien shakes his head, lips thinning again as Jerome speaks. "Power does corrupt." His gently accented voice is soft, rather mild. "But for the moment, at least, most people would be fool to think that there /is/ much power inherent to --" He nods towards the bone spikes. "Those sorts of abilities. Power corrupts quite a bit, and it is still humans who wield the vast bulk of it on this planet." His arm curls around his brother's shoulder, and he nods to the others. "We should get home before the /rest/ of my puppies start clamouring for /their/ dinner as well. {Good evening.}" The salutation is in quiet French.

A worried frown flits across Jax's face. He reaches a hand up, squeezing Matt's shoulder gently before the brothers get up. He gives his head a small shake, settling back against the large planter. "New York ain't always been like this. Things jus' been gettin' worse an' worse lately -- plus I think you run with a particularly danger-prone crowd." He looks juuust a little guilty when he says this to Micah. "I got plenty'a friends been here for ages an' ain't been shot even /once/." His head tilts in quiet interest with Jerome's demonstration, though the mention of militarizing powers puts a distinctly noticeable tension in his shoulders as well. "Folks'll look for a weapon in anything."

Jerome nods once. "Have a good one." he replies to the French before looking back at Jax and Micah. "And that's the last thing we need. It's human nature to shun different things or take advantage of them. Though I'm sure there /are/ mutants out there that have their hands in every aspect of it as well. Can't put all the blame on one set group or it'll lead to even more tension." he stretches a bit before checking his pre-paid smartphone. "But when our heroes are being labeled terrorists? You know things are bad. But it doesn't mean they should stop. I know I won't. All evil needs to succeed, is for good men to do nothing."

“It helps, havin' a familiar face an' not horrific intentions.” Micah stands to throw his arms around Matt in a big-tight hug, followed by a smaller one (avoiding skin contact) with Lucien. “Say hi t'the little ones for us. An' feed 'em somethin' extra nice.” He returns to Jax's side as the brothers leave. “S'pose I might could have some sampling error in m'personal experience set.” Collecting the peaches, he offers the container over to Jax. “Here, hon. Sugar makes lotsa things better, at least for a little bit.”

"Think that's been the way of it since jus' about forever," Jax answers Jerome with a small huff of laughter. "Whether you're a hero or a terrorist in the history books jus' depends on who /wins/ in the end." He plucks a peach out of the container, slurping it down and then offering the peaches out to Jerome. A small sigh escapes him as he leans back in against Micah's side. "... I should maybe-possibly get back t'work. Maybe. Slow night means I got actual /paperwork/ t'get through." Which he sounds So Very Thrilled about, honest.

Jerome waves off the peaches with an apologetic smile. "Made diablo meatballs today. My stomach would kill me if I tried to eat anything else right now. I'll show up tomorrow to get information on who to contact for a job. Maybe look into the training areas I heard about while I'm at it. Give me something to do other than wander New York and continually bump into Micah here."

"I'm kinda hard t'avoid. Do get 'round a bit," Micah half-jokes with a broad smile. "You finish your food, then I'll haul the leftovers back an' let y'be 'til your shift's up." Though apparently not with stealing a little cheek-kiss first.

Jax's blush only deepens at the wording of Micah's joke. "I'll be on shift here t'morrow after four in the afternoon, if y'want me t'introduce you to the captain'a our guard here. Or the woman who manages HR." He lifts one hand -- though his head /has/ been bare, a moment later a large silver-trimmed black Stetson appears on his head, just so that he can tip it to Jerome. It vanishes again once he picks up his spoon again. "Y'take care, now." The cheek-kiss is answered in kind. "You spoil me. S'kinda wonderful."

Jerome nods once. "I'll be around. Y'two take care now." Then he's turning to head out.