Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch

September 14, 2015:

Cameron hits up a hot dog vendor for lunch in Central Park. Tigra has the same idea.

Central Park - New York City

Sitting on 843 acres of public land, Central Park is one of the most famous
sight-seeing spots in New York, and is considered large enough to have its
own police precinct (the Central Park Precinct) dedicated to its protection.
The Park boasts several lakes — all of which have been created artificially
— extensive walking and bridle paths, two ice skating rinks, a variety of
outdoor theatre spaces, several playgrounds, and a considerable collection
of whimsical statuary. It is home to Belvedere Castle, the Carousel, the
Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory, and Cleopatra's Needle (one of three,
70-foot Egyptian obelisks from the Temple of Ra in Helios, its mates
residing in London and Paris).

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Central Park is the nice big green space in the middle of New York City. As is typical, it is kind of pricey, kind of crowded, and kind of crazy under normal operating circumstances. However, a week after Labor Day has the place slowing down from the summer crush and not quite into the fall and Halloween madness.. so a little window is open where the vendors are hawking their wares, hoping to make some late-season sales.

It is by one hot dog cart, then, that a nigh-Amazonian woman with flame orange hair stands, making hand signals with the vendor whose face is going increasingly pale.

"Lady, if I sold you that many you'd get sick. There's no way outside of one of those eatin' contest that someone eats thirty hot dogs. Aside from which, where'm'I supposed t' put the overflow as I'm cookin' em'?"

To her credit, Cameron doesn't duck down but she does cringe as she looks around warily to see if anyone else is privvy to her conversation…


The open spaces of any park are a nice retreat when Tigra's looking to find a respite within the city, though Central Park is not quite like just any park around. It's practically a miniature city of its own, filled with grass, trees, and much more. While making her way through, the feline with the coloring reminiscent of a bengal tiger's shows no real concern for the stares she receives. If anything, she enjoys the attention and it's enough that she playfully waggles her fingers at a few people along the way.

As she continues along a path, it brings her closer to the hot dog cart, its owner, and the very, very tall woman currently trying to make an enormous purchase. "Ooh, hot dogs," she says to herself, tail twitching a few times at the tip as she makes her way closer. What isn't quite apparent yet is who the tall woman actually is.


Cameron winces a bit as she pulls out three twenty dollar bills and sets them down on the cart.

"I don't think you'll have to worry about where the overflow is going to be at. Honest." As if to emphasize her point, her stomach growls audibly and menacingly from hunger. "Not, um, trying to, rob you, even… just… um please?"

"You realize you're clearing me out for the day, right?"

There's another glance around as she tries to see if she's being watched…


Tigra wastes no time in stepping up alongside Cameron. Though she's nearly six feet tall herself, she's still over half a foot shorter than the other woman. Pretty quickly she figures out Cameron's trying to pay for a lot of hot dogs, and she clears her throat when she hears the owner talk about having his inventory emptied.

"Hey, can I maybe get one or two of those for myself? I'm kind of hungry too, you know," Tigra states, and that tail of hers moves slowly side to side in back of her.


The vendor looks at the twenties, looks at Tigra, looks at Cameron, and then nods to Tigra. "So, how many you want and whatcha want on them?"

The taller woman sort of curls in on herself a little bit and bites her lip as she gets rudely passed over for the new arrival. "Two dollars a dog, gots all kinds a fixins"


Tigra flashes a great big smile at Cameron. "I think he's a cat person, don't you?" she asks before turning her attention back to the vendor as she fishes out a five-dollar bill, previously tucked in somewhere at the side of her shorts. "Two with everything," she decides.

Then, she stares at Cameron. "Wait a minute. I remember you."


The man is a New Yorker and a businessman, and is assuming that Cameron's request is some sort of sick joke. He eagerly goes about preparin' the two dogs for Tigra, loading them up with gusto and flair before handing them over. The taller woman sort of shifts from foot to foot anxiously, watching the three twenties on the cart.

"You do?"

It's not hard for people to remember Cameron between the orange hair, the height, the being on the Justice League, being a public heroine — though she is getting a bit nervous herself now that this is some sort of set-up by the paparazzi that stalk her….

"Um… from where?"


Tigra happily accepts the hot dogs after handing her money over, but just as she opens her mouth to shove one of the tasty-looking things into it, she stops, turns back to face Cameron, and simply stares. "You know where," she claims, a brow going up as she says it. The fact the vendor didn't even seem to bat an eye at her whole appearance is secondary.

After taking that bite, and a big one at that, she says while her mouth is half full, "Hw cn yoo f'get me ennyway?" Swallow. "I mean, hello, walking tiger-person?"


"I'm sorry, I'm a little slow right now because I'm really hungry. Haven't eaten all day and it's making me cranky and slow." There is a bit of a pause as the guy gives Cameron a strange look as if she'd grown an extra limb — but apparently cat-people are a-ok by him. After a moment or two of deliberation, the guy shakes his head. "Keep your money, this is all some sort of joke."

The angry vein that everyone has twitches a bit on the statuesque woman's forehead, and she reaches down to pick up a discarded aluminum can, squeezing it with one fist and then rolling it between two fingers as the metal makes horrible squealing sounds. When she's done, she's left with a marble-sized chunk of rough aluminum, which she sets down next to the money.

The vendor sort of boggles at that, jaw dropping.

"Listen, I'm trying to be polite, respectful, and pay you fairly. I'm REALLY hungry right now and it's starting to get into my judgement. Please. Make. Me. Some. Hot. Dogs. With. Everything. Thank. You."

There's another brief hesitation as Cameron rests her hand on the hot portion of the cart. She doesn't burn, there's no smell of burnt flesh, no sizzle of something cooking. When the guy sees that his eyes bug out and he waves her off the grill, and starts putting a bunch of hot dogs on the cook surface.

That scenario apparently resolved for the moment, she turns and glances to the tiger-woman.

"I grew up in Metropolis, miss. I see stranger walking to work." There's a slight smile there, like someone who doesn't quite know how to smile but is trying to not look like a complete psychopath…


Meanwhile, Tigra's working on wolfing down the rest of her two hot dogs. Catting? Tigering? Whatever. Her eyes dart between Cameron and the vendor, then the vendor and Cameron, and after another swallow she notes, "Never seen anyone in New York City refuse someone's money. I think that's a first."

But, Cameron's whole reaction to it and her very…distinct way of making sure the hot dog man knows she means business leads to Tigra moving a half-step away, then a full one. "I'm thinking maybe you'd better make her some hot dogs," she deadpans, staring at the woman's hand as it notably does not burn.

Following Cameron's answer to her, she sniffs and chews on another bite of tasty hot dog. "You calling me strange?" Then, she adds a couple words that ought to jog one's memory. "The tunnels?"


As the hot dogs are coming off the grill, Cameron's taking them in hand, and one or two bites later they vanish into that seemingly bottomless appetite. There's barely any time for the food to register as being inserted rather briskly. After about the first four she slows down and lets the guy cook a whole bunch up.

"No, just said I've seen stranger at home, was all. You're actually pretty tame, all things considered?" The tone is intended as a compliment, but it comes off sort of flat. And then the mention of the tunnels causes her to pause a bit.

"Oh, sheez. I was supposed to follow up with you and others, but I got swamped under with work. I'm sorry! Cameron Tenoaks… gig alias 'Columbia', Justice League, Metropolis Fire and Rescue… and… hey… you kind of ditched me when I talked to the police!"


Tigra is now scratching lightly at the back of her neck, fingers sifting through her hair as she watches Cameron really putting the hot dogs away. "Yeah, I'm thinking you could have given Kobayashi a real run for his money," she says as she shakes her head slowly. No doubt the vendor's taking note of this as well, and it's pretty tough to fake what's going on.

Then, "You calling me tame?" she retorts, and this time there's a hint of a teasing grin before the words jog the woman's memory. "Yeah, that's right. The Justice Leaguer and all that," Tigra nods, though her expression twists a bit at the end of it. "I think we were all just glad we weren't dead. I wasn't really in a position to stick around after all that."


There's a bit of a pause and then she takes up again. Kobayashi who? Yeah, those sort of mortal measurements are not designed for the super-set. And despite the devouring process, there doesn't appear to be any sort of wasted weight on the taller woman. And yes, the vendor is taking notes, and pulling out all the hot dogs, even the ones he'd set aside for himself for after the shift.

"Relatively tame?" Cameron shrugs a bit helplessly at the teasing, then nods. "I… could have healed everyone. It's… part of what I do?" The idea of people leaving the crime scene got under her skin then, and the passage of time has done little to ease that sting…


Tigra makes the sign of rubbing her fingers together to simulate money as she grins a fangy grin at the vendor. "If she becomes a regular of yours, you might want to start stocking up on more dogs." By now she's finishing off her second, which looks like it's good enough for the time being.

If Cameron is still upset or annoyed with what happened in the aftermath of the Carnage thing, Tigra can only shrug. "Look..I heal up fine on my own. Sometimes I might get a little reckless because of that, but if it was as simple as just letting someone make it all better with a touch, I think it'd kind of make it harder to come away learning a lesson or figuring out what not to do again the next time. Yeah, I heal faster, but I still feel the pain." Tigra logic.

The cat-woman's tail lashes a couple times behind her and she even shares, "I had a husband once. He was a cop, and I like to think he was a good one. But after what happened in there, I wasn't really in a state of mind to wait around and give a statement. Sorry if that bothers you." The apology isn't made harshly, but she does sound a little..agitated, if the tail's motion is any indication. "I sent the police what I knew later on."


If anything, the giantess is trying to figure out how to make her next trip easier on the budget. Sure, she gets by, but… Well, at least she doesn't have to pay for transportation. The maw continues to be fed in a far more reasonable fashion now that some food has been introduced to her system. Her manners have improved, as well.

"You're not the only person who's told me that, and I respect that. Kind of have to, there's this whole set of liability I open myself up to if I treat folks without consent… plus…it doesn't seem to work well with folks who don't want it." There's a bit of a pause.

"You touched base with local law enforcement? That… Alright. I'm sorry if I came down a bit hard there, I… well… public identity and all, y'know?"


"Just a personal thing. Glad you understand." Tigra's own attitude (cattitude?) starts to mellow again as it appears both are more on the same page than before. "But for the people who want it and need it, at least you can do that for them. I don't really get the food thing, though." She crosses her arms in front of her after licking a couple clawtips clean, having got a bit of ketchup and mustard on them.

Then Tigra shrugs. "I did. Anyway, that was just bad stuff, and I ran into the thing again a couple weeks later. Something like that. It didn't go so well. Then I heard there was something that happened at the Statue of Liberty with The Joker, and things have been quiet since then. I'm not really in a hurry to cross that thing's path again."


"If I don't put away at least five thousand calories a day, my body starts eating itself. If I don't eat at least ten thousand, it gets kind of cranky. No, I have no idea how it works, other than the fact it's probably my metabolism being through the roof between flying, taking all kinds of hits without slowing down, and just being tough?" There's a bit of a pause as she downs a couple more dogs.

"Are you okay? That thing was hard for a group of us…."


Tigra whistles low. "That's..a lot. And I'd rather not be having my body eating me up from the inside, thanks," she remarks, back to scratching the back of her neck in a thoughtful manner, growing quiet as yet more hot dogs are done away with, the vendor either listening in on their conversation or not.

Finally, another roll of a shoulder and twitch of the tail, and Tigra admits, "I dealt with it in my own way. Let's just say it wasn't one of my favorite memories."


"Yes, tell me about it. This… is a small snack." That gets the vendor to boggle again, as he prepares the last few hot dogs. She pauses for a moment then nods.

"Hard to stay sane on this gig long without coping mechanisms."

She could have quoted her partner Eric directly there,

"Say, you got a card or a point of contact number or anything?"


Tigra whistles again, murmuring, "Can't imagine how expensive that gets. Don't even want to think about it." She flashes a look toward that vendor, as if to ask 'Can you believe that?'

"Everyone handles stuff the way they have to," she nods, finishing that thought before adding, "I..don't really do cards. I'm on Facebook, though."


The paramedic shakes her head and smirks a bit sadly. "You have no idea. Thankfully, there's a few folks who I work with and the League is no stranger to large appetites so it's not as bad as it used to be… but… yeah." She considers and looks around a bit, downing another dog.

"And I'm not on Facebook, not after someone tried spoofing me on Twitter and Facebook last year. Swore off social media after that. Stupid paparazzi." She gives another wary glance around, as if her looking about could secure the area — it can't.


Naturally, there are some around with camera phones and Tigra hams it up for one of them, flashing one of those silly anime-girl smiles and going so far as to make a 'V' sign with a couple fingers. A moment after that, she acts like it never happened as she takes on a more normal, somewhat more serious look.

"I mean, I can put away a good meal myself, but..yeah. Anyhow, I'm not really worried about other people. You shouldn't be either. If you're in the JL:A you don't really have a private life." That's her perspective on things, at least, and she sticks around a bit longer until the conversation comes to an end.


"You need a lift anywhere? I can get you anywhere in New York in fifteen minutes if you want?" Cameron suspects that she knows the answer to that one, but it never hurts to ask… and then the feline adventurer flashes the victory signs and she sort of winces. To her credit she doesn't try to cower from the pictures for a change.

"I'm working on it, I'm working on it… it's still rough. Folks should be doing stuff to make the world better, y'know?" Barring an answer in the affirmative, the paramedic will prattle on about seeming trivia for a bit longer to let the conversation kind of die out naturally…


"I'm good. Gonna spend some more time in another part of the park before I get back to my place. Thanks, though." Sure enough, Tigra plays at being independent. Maybe she's not into flying unless it's in a plane? "And you're right, but not everyone has it in them to. That's where we come in." When the time comes she finishes with, "See you around, and hopefully staying under good circumstances."

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