"It's a state of mind of wanting good breakfast food whenever and not the state of mind of hanging up the bullhorns and picket signs tomorrow at noon, right?"
<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 dreary weather has cleared up some as the afternoon wore on, though the temperature is dropping, too. The protest at TSP, however, is just picking up steam. The banners and signs declare "No Space For Hate!" and "Protect Our Neighbors!", and in addition to the stage on which a rotation of local performers have been playing there's also a hot beverage station, a table serving up food, and a warming tent. The vibe feels more like a block party than what some might expect from a protest, but the organizers have made it clear that taking care of their neighbors--housed and unhoused--is a priority here.
Skye had been helping to shuttle supplies in earlier for the setup, but that done she's now helping herself to a large cup of coffee with as much milk as actual coffee in it. She's in a slim black coat buttoned up tight, a gauzy voluminous pink circle scarf filling the gap between its collar and her neck, and purple jeans tucked into black platform boots. She drifts through the crowd, smiling at a mix of faces familiar from leftist protests or just from the neighborhood.
Ryan has been over by the food table for a little bit now, chatting cheerfully with those who come by for food. For him his outfit is subdued -- black newsboy cap perched just slightly aslant on his head, metallic, glossy magenta jacket with oversized lapels and epaulets and entirely more buckles and straps than seem necessary, a wide-gauge black sweater over a gold button-down shirt and tight blue jeans covered with a faint, abstract feather design in slightly lighter blue--more visible on the darker, less faded dye--and no-nonsense black ten-eye boots. As the gathering picks up, though, the crowd at the table is getting bigger (and bigger, and bigger), a lot of people clustering excitedly whether or not they actually want food --
-- somewhere in the middle of this he extricates himself, hands off his pot of jambalaya to a brightly pink-haired comrade, makes his way (with many apologies) through the gathered crowd, trailed at a short distance by a heavyset brown-skinned man in a thick wool overcoat. Ryan's practiced smile grows warmer when he catches sight of Skye; he swoops in toward her with an arm out in offer of hug and an earnest: "-- You ready to go back to brunch? Revolution ends at noon tomorrow, I hear."
Kitty is coming from the warming tent, flat boxes tucked under her arm. They formerly contained hand warmers - now they were en route to a recycling bin. She’s dressed boldly in a long red down coat, thick black leggings and chestnut coloured boots, gold Magen David resting on the collar of her off-white sweater. Whatever direction she was headed in is forgotten when Kitty spots Skye, changing direction with a smile. Seeing Ryan reach Skye first, Kitty hesitates for a second, lingering some steps behind the superstar and giving a small wave.
"Heeeeey!" Skye accepts the hug, a bright surge of happiness in her voice. "I never stopped doing brunch, but only cuz I don't get up early enough for regular breakfast. Guess we'll just gonna have to start another revolution, then." Her eyes pick out Kitty as she steps back, her smile unwavering. "Oh hey, Kitty! Been a minute, how are you?" She glances between Ryan and the other woman. "You two know each other?
Ryan's eyes go wider, something alarmed suddenly in his expression. "Wait hold up are you telling me brunch is time constrained? This is the first I'm hearing about this." He pivots on a heel, following Skye's look toward Kitty. It takes a moment before recognition clicks into place -- whatever tension passes through him is brief but still sharpens the attention of his nearby bodyguard. His smile is still warm, though. "Oh, hey -- yeah, um, that day in the park with Jax and --" His head shakes quick. "How've you been?"
Kitty’s smile is more sheepish and awkward. “Yeah, not the - not the best time for introductions, that.” She shrugs her shoulders, curls bouncing slightly as she does. “I’m okay, been doing okay. I was helping at the,” she jerks a thumb in the direction of the warming tent, wiggles one of the labeled cardboard pieces at her side. “Oh, finally found a fash-free apartment, I think!” She seems genuinely excited on this front, her smile becoming more relaxed and wide. “What do you think about midnight brunch for the housewarming?"
"Oh, yeah, I wasn't --" Skye winces, managing to keep much of her embarrassment off of her face though it's loud and clear to Ryan. "I kind of figured you might know each other through Jax but yeah that was. A lot." She shakes it off easily enough as the others move on. "Oh, that's excellent! I personally think all apartments should be fash-free." She shoves her free hand into the pocket of her coat and sips at her coffeee. "I always thought of brunch like -- a large, late breakfast? A breakfast that happens at lunch time? But I guess you can have it really, really late." She pulls her hand back out and taps her forehead, leaning conspiratorially toward Kitty. "Like at midnight."
"Hey that's great! -- You know, I never thought to explicitly ask about the fash allotment of my apartments, I usually assumed that fash-free was the default but I am suddenly reconsidering -- everything." Ryan waggles a hand casually toward the cardboard at Kitty's side, glancing across the street to the recycling. "You want to offload those?" He's entirely shameless about adding: "I always thought midnight was just a perfectly normal brunch time but then -- my schedule has been a little out of whack for, uh, a while."
Kitty grimaces. “You know, I thought so too. And yet. You gotta ask the weirdest questions these days.” She nods her head to Skye gratefully. “I really appreciate your help with, uh, that whole mess.” Her expression eases, glancing at the indicated recycling bin. “Oh, yeah! If I’m interrupting, I can just go dump these, get out of your way.” One knee bends, as if to step away, before Kitty tags on - “Oh, I support midnight brunch, don’t get me wrong. Brunch is a state of mind.”
"I -- also never really thought to ask that sort of thing before I met Kitty," Skye says. "I stil didn't ask about it before moving into my current one, but it's been pretty solidy fash-free. Anyway, I don't think you're interrupting anyway, we're just out here trying to keep the neighborhood fash-free." She gestures around them with her free hand, then starts to walk with Kitty toward the recycling. "Apparently brunch is a lot deeper than I thought. But just checking, it's a state of mind of wanting good breakfast food whenever and not the state of mind of hanging up the bullhorns and picket signs tomorrow at noon, right?"
"You got a pretty solid fash detection system in your current one." Ryan's shoulder bumps Skye's lightly with this as he falls into step alongside the others. "For me the state of mind is usually like --" His hands gesture, animated, as he speaks, and the warm cadence of his voices is ever-so-faintly an infectious thing, just a touch of cheerful spillover energy rippling through the others. "That sweet spot of delicious food and good company that makes you forget you been at the table two hours already. Anyway, I'm physiologically incapable of hanging up my bullhorn so I'm pretty sure the dance party will continue for me long after the swearing-in and the resuming of brunch, midnight or otherwise. But if we gonna keep at this for years I sure would rather keep at it over chocolate beer waffles."
An extra spring creeps into her step as Kitty winds her way to the recycling bin. “Nah, that’s some other thing. Brunch liberals wouldn’t know good brunch if it fell on their Mayor Pete merch.” Kitty chucks the flat boxes in without ceremony, grinning when she turns around with free hands. “I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon, but chocolate beer waffle brunch? With cool people?” Her eyes are wide and sincere when she laughs. “If I wasn’t already sold on this, that would do it.”
"Oh, man, for a second there I was about to get a real big head about my haxxing skills." Skye bumps Ryan right back, picking up his cheerful energy. "But yeah, to begin with it never needed to be an or situation. Like you can hastag-resist and have brunch. Maybe even with the peeps you're hashtag-resisting with." She shrugs. "Anyway for me the bullhorn and the picket signs are all kinda...metaphorical? Metaphysical? Logistical, anyway." There's deep amusement in her voice that runs alongside even if it doesn't displace an equally deep anxiety. "The brunch is pretty literal, though, and now you got me craving chocolate beer waffles damnit."
"Oh no way am I trying to knock your way impressive hacking skills but if fash were at my door and it came down to you armed with a laptop vs. Hive armed with -- Hive, I'm sorry to say but I know who I'd pick as backup." The press of Ryan's knuckles to his crooked smile is only semi apologetic here. He stops, straightens once the cardboard is in the bin, hands clapping together and his eyes flicking between the other two. "How much of a craving? 'Cuz I make killer chocolate beer waffles. I know it's not midnight but we could do -- dinner brunch. I bet you Jax hasn't eaten either," he's pulling his phone out of his jacket pocket already, "and he could stand the company."
“I don't know. Skye with a laptop still seems like good backup to me.” Kitty’s brows furrow, a little hint of confusion slipping into the general cheer in her voice when she speaks. “Oh, did I miss your set?” She shakes her head, smile easily returning. “I should check with my crew but I'm pretty sure I can take a dinner brunch break.”
Skye laughs, bright and genuinely amused. "You only say that because you don't know my roommate. I'm happy to let him bash the fash if it comes to that. My way's a slower burn anyway, unless you count the memes." She gulps down more coffee, then nearly chokes on it. "Oh man, like a craving that can definitely wait until after your set, unless you've decided that just ain't you today." It's hard to tell whether the current of anticipation is about brunch or music, now. "Careful, if you tell Jax now he's liable to beat you to the punch. The brunch...punch."
"What?" Ryan's just looking up from the text he has just sent, his eyes wide and startled -- and then chagrined, his cheeks suddenly flushing. "Oh, crap. You're right, I'm such a f--" His lips press thin, eyes flicking at the crowd of people around them as he cuts himself off abruptly. "No, right, yeah, uh." He's stopped halfway to tucking his phone back away, tapping it back on again to send another quick message. "Music first, brunch -- later. Hope you're ready to work up an appetite, knowing Jax, he'll probably have a whole-ass feast ready for us by the time we're done."
Kitty looks between Skye and Ryan, her mouth making a small ‘o’ when she catches up. “Music-then-brunch sounds like an excellent plan,” she says, an overall pleased feeling humming through her still. She glances over at the crowd gathered in front of the stage and grins. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem.”