From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Maya, Micah

13 January 2014

Taking candy from strangers. (Also, puppies! *_*)


<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.

It's been strikingly pleasant today, for January, and with midday temperatures hitting 50 degrees, earlier today this park was bustling. After dark, though, both the light and the warmth are gone and going; it's still far from bitter but the breeze makes it feel considerably less pleasant than the afternoon.

Still, Significantly Above Freezing is a godsend this time of year and the park is definitely not empty; there's a game of pickup basketball going on one of the course, a pair playing squash in an enclosure nearby, a busker (covering a Ryan Black song, at the moment) playing guitar in the center of the park. The dog park at the moment is empty, except for one large shaggy tricolour Bernese currently returning a tennis ball to his accompanying human.

The human in question is dressed brightly, vivid pink salwar kameez pants embroidered down the outside of the legs and around the hems in green and gold, currently paired with black boots and a knee-length purple coat. She looks bright, too, wide smile, warm laugh as she dangles the ball out of the eager dog's reach and then throws it to send the dog hurtling after it down the run.

Significantly Above Freezing means that an excitable one-eyed beagle is getting a longer walk and Playtime today, closer to what he thinks is very much his due, than on many of the terribly frigid days this winter has had to offer. Said beagle is still on his leash as he enters the dog park, the other end attached to the green-gradient striped glove of a slender-built young man in his twenties. Micah is dressed in entirely more outdoor gear than the average New Yorker, even today, an olive puffy coat wrapped 'round and 'round by a long candy corn striped scarf and topped with a bright orange Jayne hat (from under which messy auburn hair is sticking out at odd angles). The beagle perks at the sign of Person! and Dog! in the park, setting off at a quick trot in their direction with his human struggling to keep up in a bouncy, uneven jog. "Obie, settle, I didn't come dressed for a run today," he calls, sounding more amused than upset as he attempts to calm the pup and reel him in.

Maya turns at the sound of the paws (and feet) approaching, smile still decidedly in place as she looks over Micah and Obie. "Oh, isn't he precious. He looks like he's /always/ dressed for a run." Her dog is returning, dropping the tennis ball right on the toe of a boot. Nudging at it when Maya fails to /immediately/ pick it up. "It's a nice day for it, though isn't it? Or night, I guess. Ratri's been stir-crazy with that cold snap, it's a /bit/ of a walk to get up here but letting her run free is worth it."

Obie doesn't stop running until he catches up with Maya and Ratri, dancing next to them and only prevented from hopping all over the pair by a firmer word from Micah. "Yeah, Obie kinda gets by on precious," Micah replies, voice well-tinged with southern Virginia accent, giving a chuckle and a smile of his own as he arrives several paces behind. "An' yes, I think that was the only option of outfits y'could order an Obie in." He nods with a somewhat rueful expression at the mention of the recent weather. "I think alla us've been goin' a bit stir-crazy, but Obie wins /out/ on worst of the bunch for our household. You an' Ratri mind bein' fussed at by a beagle? If I let 'im off leash, he's like as not t'run 'round both of y'all's ankles bein' an' excited ball of wiggle."

"Oh, I really don't mind the fuss." Maya is already dropping into a crouch, both to pick up the ball and to reach out an ungloved hand to fuss herself, scritching at the beagle's head while Ratri sniffs at him eagerly. "Go on and let him run, he probably needs it as badly as anyone." Her eyes skip back up to Micah's face, her smile dimming -- just for a moment before she draws in a breath and stands to toss the ball to the other end of the run again for her dog to bolt after. "Though he's -- probably not the only one who could use a little break." She glances after the bolting Bernese, watching Micah again out of the corner of her eye. "Ratri gets to be sort of an excited ball of wiggle, too, except she's bigger at it so she tends to knock people over if she's not careful."

Maya has made herself a new best friend in the form of one cuddle-faced, waggly-tailed nuzzlepup. Micah unclips his leash at the invitation to do so, though Obie stays right where he is for /scritches/. That is, until such time as Ratri goes chasing after the ball. Then Obie dashes off after her with his little legs moving about twice the rate of the larger dog's but still not quite catching up. "Sometimes y'just gotta let 'em wear themselves out. S'like six-year-olds." He looks back up at Maya once the dogs have run off, just in time to catch the recognition in her features and her faltering smile. His own expression dulls a bit. "Oh. Um. I don't mind standin' somewhere else if you'd prefer. An' just...lettin' the dogs play. Y'don't gotta talk at me if y'don't wanna."

"Oh -- gosh six-year-olds I only deal with intermittently but yeah. High-energy activities, definitely a blessing." A small blush takes over Maya's cheeks at the dulling of Micah's expression, and she shakes her head quickly. "No -- oh, no, I -- {sorry}," she offers in quick Spanish, "I didn't mean. It just seems like it's been a hard winter especially for --" She gestures after the scampering beagle. "Your household. It's horrible what -- I mean, gosh, you're here to run your pup you probably don't want to bring that up." Her blush deepens there. "Just -- let me say that -- you probably don't feel it right now but there's a /lot/ of people out there who are on your side. Or your husband's side. Or --" She shakes her head quickly. "It's wrong, what's happening to him. And all those people. He should be getting a medal, not a --"

Her blush deepens and she looks down to the large canvas grocery bag slung over her hip. "-- But sorry, sorry, like I said, shouldn't be bringing up -- do you want a laddu instead? It's -- sweet. Just pretty much really sweet."

Micah's cheeks colour at Maya's growing discomfiture, and he is already taking a step back from her when she finally clarifies her meaning. Somehow, this makes him turn an even brighter shade of red. "Oh. Ohgosh, honey, no, /I/ apologise. I shouldn't've assumed just 'cause y'got less smiley that...y'were judgin' at me. It's just that's what most strangers as recognise me these days seem t'be doin'. Guess I been gettin' a touch twitchy after enough hurled invective an' rocks." His hand moves up to scruff through his hair, but connects with /hat/ instead, only serving to knock it a shade askew. He decides to take that step back forward and hold the hand out for shaking instead. "So, hi. I'm Micah. An'...yeah, I like sweets. That'd be nice."

"I can understand twitchy. But if I'm judging at anyone maybe it's the whole country. For letting --" Maya cuts herself off with another shake of her head, a warmer smile, a step forward to clasp Micah's hand firmly. "/Sweets/. Right -- Oh, /Ratri/." The big dog has returned with her ball, nudging her nose into Maya's thigh which causes a small stumble forward. She catches herself with a laugh. "I'm Maya. This is Ratri. You're not allergic to coconut are you? Because these are /really/ coconutty." She drops her hand to her bag to pull out a small tupperware, little sticky yellow balls packed inside it once she opens it. "My students devoured about a metric ton of these today but /some/ made it back home."

"S'okay, hon, y'can talk about it if y'want. S'actually kinda refreshin' t'have somebody as wasn't a friend of the family afore all this happened.../not/ assume Jax is some kinda horrible person." Micah's smile brightens, his gloved hand giving Maya's a gentle squeeze with the shake. "Nice t'meet y'both. Y'already met Obie... An', nah, I like coconut just fine." He works the glove off of one hand in anticipation of needing to hold sticky sweets. "Oh, are you a teacher? What kind?" The return for the ball turns into a small train wreck, Ratri nudging into Maya and Obie /colliding/ with Ratri's hind legs and blundering over his own for a moment before recovering to weave circles around the bigger dog.

"Horrible?" Maya's eyes widen slightly. "Your husband sounds like a hero. I know -- I mean, I /don't/ know but I can imagine things are -- really terrible right now but they can't. All those children, all those people he saved. People will pay attention."

The domino effect of colliding canines puts a sudden smile back on her face, a quick breath of laughter pulled in as Maya holds the box of sweets out to Micah. "Good. Because it's made of little else but coconut and chickpea flour and /sweet/. Oh and butter. A lot of butter." Her wide smile brightens. "So I hope you're not watching your weight or anything. Personally, /I've/ been trying to pack on winter pounds a little. Some extra insulation." She pats her other hand against her rather plush rump. Which Ratri just interprets as a code to grab the ball back up and /shove/ it into Maya's patting hand.

"I am. I teach music. High school primarily but in my off hours /all/ ages. -- Eesh." She pries the slobbery tennis ball out of Ratri's mouth to throw it again. "Doesn't have very good brakes, does he?" She nods to Obie, amused.

"He is. Ohgosh...he /is/ more than people know. But they're more willin' t'believe the lies that get put out there an' the platitudes from the government than...words comin' out of /mutant/ mouths, y'know?" Micah reaches out a bared hand, uttering a soft thanks before selecting a sweet to pop into his mouth. The stickiness takes some time to chew and swallow before he can answer. "Ohgosh, no. I got friends complainin' at me for /losin'/ too much weight recently. An' I ain't never been a big guy t'begin with." The information about teaching pulls Micah's lips into a broad grin. "S'that so? My momma's a music teacher. Elementary school, but she travels a bit t'do special education in more'n just her home school, dif'rent ages."

Aaaand off goes Obie as soon as the ball is thrown, short legs pumping wildly as he attempts to reach the ball ahead of Ratri. "I think he wore the pads down with too many rapid direction changes on hard wood an' linoleum," Micah agrees with a little amused snort at Obie's expense.

"Losing weight? Tch. Here. Here here, you should /never/," Maya cautions Micah, serious-toned but eyes twinkling, "say that to an Indian woman you're lucky I'm just going to bustle you home with these sweets and not drop by with a whole tray of samosas as well."

Ratri is distracted this time from the flying ball by the beagle barrelling along beside her. She turns instead, dipping forepaws and head in a play bow before she -- rather /gently/, clearly aware of the size difference, swipes out a paw to wrestle Obie to the ground.

"Your mom is? That's neat. My parents thought I was being terribly irresponsible," Maya admits with a giggle, "but the world always needs a little more cheer, you know?"

"Oh/gosh/, you'd think I'd know better. On top of bein' a teacher, momma's also a /Southern/ Jewish mother, so. I really should know... Oh, honey, y'ain't gotta do that, it was just real stressful for a minute so I wasn't eatin' like I should." Micah's cheeks flush deeper as he reaches out to take another sweet, knowing that full well to be the best answer to such assertions. He chews dutifully. "Ohman, now I want chutney. Cilantro chutney an' tamarind chutney an'...pretty much just huge bowls of chutney, everythin' else is optional. Maybe I'll end up orderin' in 'stead of cookin' when I get back home." Micah's head tilts to one side. "Irresponsible? Bein' a teacher? How's there anythin' irresponsible about that?"

Obie is still after the ball, not letting Ratri's halt stop him from his goal of...falling over. He lands lightly on his side from the gentle swat, though melodrama has him on his back with paws wheeling before he twists back to his feet, running figure 8's around Ratri and yipping occasionally, tail a wagging blur.

"Chutney with everything is a good approach to life." Maya nods /approvingly/ when Micah takes another sweet. "Chutney on rice, chutney on samosas, chutney on pizza. Chutney on Ratri. Chutney on you. Everything is tastier with chutney."

Farther away, Ratri is backstepping, turning in a circle much slower than the smaller dog can manage. Occasionally darting in at him with a small play-nip before backing off a few paces to let /him/ chase instead. "Irresponsible because they are all doctors. A schoolteacher, pah. They do frequently try to set me /up/ with a nice doctor-husband, though, they worry I'll starve to death."

She closes the tupperware full of sweets, after this. Aaand -- reaches out to tuck it beneath Micah's /arm/. For safekeeping. "Here. Have those. Get fat. Before it's cold again. I should get home to cook my /own/ dinner -- if Ratri will let me," she concedes, watching the playing dogs with a smile.

Well, the blushing is certainly going well for the evening. Micah's cheeks settle on a fine shade of apple red at the mention of /him/ being tastier with chutney, regardless of how innocently it was intended. He pushes right on with conversation as if this isn't happening. "Oh, psh. I've met /plenty/ of doctors, my line of work? An' I definitely /like/ teachers better, on average." His eyes widen as the container is pushed toward him. "Ohgosh. I couldn't. An'...especially I can't just walk off with your /container/..." His fingers drum meaningfully on the lid of the Tupperware that he's /somehow/ ended up holding. His arms stay outstretched with the container in his hands.

Obie is a dizzying little thing when he sets his mind to it, making up for Ratri's slow circling with just running around /crazier/. Yipping more. /Sliding/ in the grass as he attempts to switch from chased to chasing and back. "Food...right! Um. I can prob'ly get Obie back here usin' his /stomach/, just a..." He leaves the Tupperware in one hand to dig in a pocket, bringing out a small container of training treats and shaking it. This appears to be /dog-summoning magic/. Despite all the noise of panting and barking and running, Obie /appears/ at Micah's side, nudging his shin expectantly, and earning a tiny treat for his efforts. There is also an exceedingly sneaky leash clipped to his collar while he's busy...swallowing the thing whole, truth to tell.

"I have met a whole lot of both. Both," Maya judges, "very prone to nagging." She pats at the lid of the tupperware with this but /doesn't/ take it back. Micah's dog-summoning does most of her work /for/ her, Ratri loping after to chase after Obie. Maya clips /her/ leash back on once the dog is close, scritching her on her head in apology for this trickery. "You keep it. I have more food containers. You, I think, could use more sweet in your life though." Though she doesn't take the container from Micah's hand, she does reach out to squeeze him on the shoulder. "And I have a feeling you'll find some. Goodnight, Micah. And Obie too."

“S'just 'cause they're mostly caretaker personalities,” Micah returns with a meaningful grin as he returns the treat container to his pocket (much to Obie's disappointment). The hand reaches into a jeans pocket, next, withdrawing a business card. He unclips a miniature pen from his keychain and uses this to scribble on the back, the address of the building across the street along with an apartment number. “Not that most people don't have an idea where I live, but this'll give you the right apartment t'buzz, at least. Or y'can just call me an' tell me where t'meet you t'hand the container off, instead.” He passes the card over. The front of it is a vivid blue background with white writing: 'Gorilla AT. Micah Zedner, MSOP, CPO, ATP.' A P.O. Box address. Two phone numbers. A business e-mail.

At the shoulder squeeze, Micah briefly rests his hand over Maya's. “Thank you, sugar, this was...real kind of you. You an' Ratri have a good night and an' excellent dinner. Hopefully with chutney on.”

Maya takes the card with a warmer smile, glancing at it and pocketing it. "I /do/ have a lot of cilantro growing in my kitchen. Chutney is a very real possibility." Her fingers curl in a little wave. "I'll be seeing you, then." And with a gentle tug of leash to urge Ratri away from where she has started idly /nomming/ on Obie's floppy ear, she makes her way out of the park, a bounce in her step as she goes.