Hotdogs and Heroes

February 09, 2016:

A pair of mothers and their children meet during an outing in Central Park

Central Park

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Central Park. It's mid-afternoon and people are coming and going. Quite a large number of people to be honest. One woman and her just out of toddler stage daughter are standing near a Hot Dog cart. "Go on Rae.." says Julia with a smile, "Take a bite." and Rachel.. at age 3, is having her first New York Cart Sold Hot Dog.

Rachel takes a bite and her eyes go wide. With a full mouth she tries speaking. "if oood!" she exclaims, and Julia laughs softly, sitting down on a nearby bench and hauling Rachel up to sit on said bench with her legs dangling off the ground as she munches away on the hot dog. "Glad you like it pumpkin." she states as her blue eyes flicker about the area.

A young native american woman is sitting on the next bench over. She's dressed casually in jeans and hiking boots, a leather jacket and navy blue sweater. A handmade crystal and leather necklace lies atop her chest. Most of her attention seems focused on the double wide stroller parked in front of her. Not much can be seen beneath all the blankets inside. The woman turns at the sound of the little girl's voice and smiles as she watches. "They are good, aren't they!" There seem to be half a dozen empty wrappers in the plastic fry basket next to her and the woman is still drinking a bottle of pepsi. "Hi." She smiles brightly at Rachel and then her mother.

Of course, Julia isn't in her spandex today. She's in bluejeans, a simple teeshirt, with a leather jacket over it all. Rachel is in a cute kid's outfit, complete with a unicorn on her jacket and those shoes that light up with every step she takes.

Little Rachel looks over and grins with ketchup, mustard, and relish kinda all over her lips. She's not exactly a -neat- eater after all. "Love it!" she announces even as Julia reaches with a napkin to wipe the mess from Rachel's lips. "Hi." she remarks with her other hand waving, "Twins?" she asks with a grin. She loves babies!
Jesana rises to empty the basket and return it to the hot dog cart, tugging the large stroller easily with one hand. On the way back she sits at Julia and Rachel's bench instead of her own. The two children dozing inside do seem to be the same age, around seven months or so. Jes has dressed them in little I <3 NYC sweatshirts and matching pants beneath the blankets. The babies seem to be resting atop some sort of animal furs. "Well, I usually say they are for simplicities sake but they aren't actually twins. Just born at the same time. Jerimiah, my daughter."

Jes touches the baby on the right side's cheek gently and then her brother asleep next to her. "And John, my son. I'm Jesana." She smiles at the other two again. After a closer look at Rachel's face Jes grins and pulls a backet of wetwipes from a side pocket in the stroller to hand to Rachel. "I love your shoes!" She tells the little girl.

Rachel's response to that is simply to kick her feet fast. Then she jumps up and lands to make the shoes flash. As she does so, she almost loses her grip on her hot dog. Mommy however, has good reflexes, and gets hold of dog and hand to make sure it's not lost. "Careful honey." she says to Rachel. "Eat up." she adds, and Rachel just grins widely, before taking another bite. Ah, three year olds.

Julia looks at the two sleeping infants and just smiles warmly. "I remember when she was that small. But if they're born at the same time, how are they not.. oh, fraternal." she states, assuming it's a different -type- of twin. "I'm Julia. This is Rachel…" she adds. But she -does- take the wetwipes and grins, "I didn't plan ahead, did I? Been a busy week."

Jesana grins. "Honestly, I would've forgot them too but their caretaker is always prepared for everything. He was a soldier. I probably wouldn't have even brought the stroller if it were warmer." She shakes her head. "Which I'm learning is actually a handy thing to have. I thought it was just bulky and awkward but these guys aren't so easy to carry now when they're awake as they were afew months ago." She laughs. "It's nice to meet you both! I'm glad I picked this park today. Though, most of the parks in New York are awesome. Unlike Gotham's." She frowns a bit but shrugs it off. Gotha is.. Gotham.

Nodding, Julia watches over Rachel as she finishes her hot dog, and then chuckles as Rachel turns her back your way and says, "Unihorn!" She doesn't know the word Unicorn properly, but she's showing off the back of her jacket. She loves it and so of course everyone else does too, right?

"I just moved here from LA. Kinda starting over." says Julia with a shrug, "Nice to see the park is a decent place to spend time. I forsee many afternoons here with Rachel."
"It's a beautiful unicorn." Jes smiles at Rachel. "We live in Gotham but I prefer it New York so whenever I've got time, I'm here. Usually at the Bronx park. It's nice too and they have a Zoo that I'm told is good. Zoos sort of aren't my thing but I know kids usually love them. I think this is a pretty great city to start over in. I was doing the same thing when I moved to Gotham last year."

"I've thought of moving here several times but I have a houseboat and the docking prices here are a bit out of my range for now. We've got a pretty good spot now anyway. And when it's warmer, central park is lovely. It's great having so much green right here in the city."

"Well, I couldn't afford it if I didn't land a lucky consultant job. I mean…" offers Julia with a shrug, "Just one income now for me and Rae here.." she states, reaching a hand out to rustle the little girl's hair. Rachel however.. has far too much energy and starts peeking into your stroller, "Baby!" she announces… excited.
Jesana chuckles. It's only recently she's begun to bring her children out where others can see them. She's very overprotective for one, but it's also a recent development that the two resemble healthy human babies. She doesn't seem to mind at all that Jeri is awake now and looking at Rachel with warm brown eyes. A tiny hand moves from under the blankets and waves. "Aww she's waving at you!" Jes laughs delightedly. "I um.. I don't know anyone else with children so they haven't really interacted with any but each other." She tells Julia.

Jes looks as if she wants to ask, but realizes it's not of her business so offers more about herself instead. "It's just the three of us, too and Frederick. He's, caretaker sounds better than babysitter, I mean, he's sixty." She laughs. "I have to be away throughout the day and often night for work a lot of the time so he stays with them. It started off as a part time thing but he's pretty much moved in at this point." Jes admits. "It's made things a lot easier, that's for sure."

"It's good to have help. I have a neighbor who is doin' college courses online while her boyfriend works. Becca's a godsend. She and Rae are best friends too." says Julia as Rachel goes up on tippy toes and reaches in to paw at Jeri's waving hand, "Hi!" she announces… no, Rachel doesn't have a huge vocabulary herself yet.
"But your babies -are- beautiful. Only a couple years younger than Rachel too. Wouldn't it be nice if yours -and- mine had frends around their own age?" she adds… kinda asking for that without -asking- for it.

Jesana looks thrilled by this idea but her expression turns a bit hesitant after a moment. It's been a worry on her mind of late, that her children will grow up without having anyone near their age to socialize with. She'll never be able to send them to a regular school or any kind of daycare. "I think that would be amazing. It's something I've worried about really. If they didn't have each other, I don't know what I would do. They um.." How can she explain without sounding insane, or dangerous?

"You know how there are people that are..different? Like, Oh, Superman, or X-Red. I actually know a few of those guys. They're good people." That should be a safe enough start, right? "We're sort of like them." Jes glances down for a moment but then quickly back up to meet Julia's eyes. She isn't ashamed of what she is, nor is she ashamed of her children.
"Oh.. they -are- special little kids, aren't they?" asks Julia with a smile. She got her abilities after she had Rachel… they're not exactly, well she doesn't know if they'd be passed down if she had -more- children.

But her face is lit up like that's outstanding, not something to be ashamed of. "Every child is special, sure." she states as she gathers Rachel into her arms for a quick hug, "So… it's even more important that -these- tykes get the right upbringing. I can sense that you care, and that is the most important thing, that you love'em and teach them to love."
Jesana's smile returns and she nods. "I..thank you. They're my world. I wasn't in a good place when I found out I was pregnant. They kinda saved me. So I plan to do everything I can for them and more. It would be lovely for them to have a friend. I mean to have more but hopefully not for a few years yet." There's a bit of a wry grin. She's almost certain some of those that know her have taken bets on whether or not she makes it that long. Her nature is more wild than most.

Jerimiah starts fussing a bit and Jes bundles one of the blankets around her and props the baby on her knee so that she can still see Rachel. She watches the little girl with wide eyes while making little gurgling noises. "Aww. That's adorable." Jes grins at Julia.

And Rachel is fascinated. She is an only child, so to see a baby and it not be her, is like.. watching the Discovery Channel up close. "Jare." says Rachel, trying to get the name right. She reaches a hand up and pokes Jeri's nose, making the infant's eyes cross.
"Well, I'm right around the corner. If you ever need a babysitter, -I-… if not Becca, could help out y'know?" she asks as she leans forward and peeks into the stroller to make sure your other baby isn't fussin'

"Oh!" Jes gasps as Rachel attempts to say her daughters name. It's been a long time since she was around a kid Rachel's age. She'd forgotten how cute and sweet they were. "That's right! Jeri. Her name is Jeri." Jes glances over at the stroller and laughs softly. "John there sleeps through everything. All the fireworks on Chinese New Year, he slept the whole night through but none of the rest of us did at all." She shakes her head. "He can hear just fine too. I don't think I've slept that deeply in my life without being medicated or something."

She seems to think for a moment and then nods. "That would be great, I'll keep that in mind. Frederick does like to have a day to himself sometimes and these two are less of a handful now than they were. They might seem slightly more aware than usual for their ge, or be able to hear or see better but otherwise, pretty normal. We um, we kind of have a second form but they aren't able to shift into it now. Not until they're older. I want them to have a normal childhood, or at least as normal as I can manage for them."

"Lord, wish Rachel slept like that. I swear… I didn't sleep at all for six months." offers Julia as she reaches to pull Rachel onto her lap.. a Rachel who is fussing herself, flailing a bit. But once in Mommy's lap, she settles down. It's obvious -why- she got yoinked like that.

"So, no bursting into flame, or picking up the sofa and bashing their siblings with it then?" she asks with a bit of a grin as she rocks gently to help keep Rachel calm.
Jesana laughs. "Oh Fenris, I hope not. They might be stronger than average but if so it'll happen slowly as they grow. One thing I can't tell yet, Jerimiah, she has the X-gene. From what I've learned that won't show up until she's a teenager. With us, I'm not sure it will at all. Maybe it'll be kinda cancelled out or just something she can pass on to her own children. It'll be awhile before we find out I suppose. But gah! I can only imagine the clothing bills if your kid was catching on fire all the time." She bounces Jeri a bit and shakes her head. She seems to be a pretty easy going young woman. It's the thought of clothing costs that bothers her in that situation, not the thought of the power or mutation its self. She'd clearly love such a child just as much. "Oh and it was impossible to sleep half the time I was pregnant it seemed like. There's just no way to get comfortable near the end!"

As far as anyone knows, Julia and Rachel are both just normal. Rachel -is- however, and Julia's main concern is how someone who has powers and can't control them might harm her own little girl. It's a rather understandable concern… for a single mom. Her arms are curled about her baby girl and Rachel just reaches a hand out towards Jeri. It's obvious that it is a.. friends at first sight.. situation for the sweet little girl.
But Julia just shrugs and replies, "Oh lord, tell me about it. Thank god I was able to work off most of the mommy weight." she adds. Yeah, she is in fantastic shape, like a gymnast or some such.
Jes blinks at that and then nods. "Oh that kinda makes me feel like a bitch." She laughs. "I never even thought about that, the weight. I'm really active and my metabolism is.. I mean I ate six hotdogs alittle while ago, fries and a bag of chips and that's the forth time I've eaten today. I burn so much energy just being that.. Yeah. That.. that would have sucked."

She also understands the worry about danger and so has explained alot more than she normally would upon first meeting someone. Julia is also easy to talk to though and Rachel, Jesana loves children. Any children, all children. Jeri reaches her arm out slowly towards Rachel and Jes gasps as their hands meet. "Oh!"

She really hopes this will be something that works out. A friend for her children, someone near their own age.. Jes shifts her hold on her daughter slightly just long enough to get her cellphone from her jacket pocket and then find the photo album. This will either reassure Julia further or maybe send her running. "I'll show you, they really can't shift form right now. It was kind of, turned off. They would have grown far to fast otherwise, you'll see." She finds the picture she's looking for and holds out the phone with a nervous expression. It's an image of what looks like a female coyote, only much larger. She's lying on a pile of furs inside some kind of cave and two coyote pups are tumbling around the furs in front of her. "This is us. As crazy as it sounds."

Inclining her head, Julia looks at the picture. Being an inquisitive little girl, Rachel reaches up to try to get a peek at the picture.. and when she sees it, she says, "Puppy!"
That breaks the silence and Julia just laughs, "I can see how that could be.. challenging." She's trying to be diplomatic though and she shrugs a bit. Heck, she has spider type abilities herself.

"That's right, puppy." she says to Rachel as she bounces the little girl on her lap effortlessly. But she looks back your way and shrugs, "So, they're going to do that again in the future then?" she asks.
"Yep! Puppies." Jes agrees with a laugh. "They will, yes. Not until they've stopped growing though. I had to choose for them and I wasn't sure.. but I didn't have much of a childhood myself. I want for them to have all of the things that I did not. Growing up too fast, I don't think it's good for anyone. It was more than a little challenging and honestly," She grins "Totally terrifying at first but I think I'm getting the hang of it. There were children when I was younger but I wasn't in charge of caring for them. Babies are quite a bit different than puppies." She shakes her head and laughs again. "The first time I tried to change their diapers, oh it was a disaster. Frederick tells everyone he knows about it. He told the people at the deli." She rolls her eyes.

"Oh good lord, did they save up gifts for you for when you weren't ready for it? I remember I had diapers that had color strips to tell what was in them. Hers was blue for number one.. I lay her down and opened it up and blam.. gift delivered all over the place." says Julia. Mommy stories are so much easier than superhero stories!

Rachel grips your hand and grins, "Puppy Lady!" she adds innocently.

Jes laughs and nods. "Yes they did. And with two of them.. and John. Oh, it didn't even occur to me that he can.. well not, aim yet but oh geeze. It went everywhere." She smiles at Rachel and nods. "Yep that's me. What about you Rachel? Hmm.. Unicorn Girl?" Jes guesses. Briefly she wonders if Unircorns are a thing. She'll have to find out. If they are and if it wouldn't be too insane or dangerous to find one then maybe.. she'll work on that thought later. "It was a few days before I finally got the hang of it. The only thing is, it drives Frederick nuts that I only use the cloth diapers. He thinks they aren't conveinent and I suspect he uses the disposable ones when he takes them out but.." She shrugs. "I like them and they aren't too hard to wash."

"Well, I admit I cheated because I liked having colored strips help me out. But when she got all sneaky, it didn't help out as much as I thought it would." offers Julia as she kisses the top of Rachel's head. "Anyhow, I can only imagine how difficult it was. Your Frederick sounds like quote a good friend though." she adds.

Jes nods and smiles. "He is. He'd never admit it and he's incredibly grumpy, or at least acts it but he's got a good heart. When I met him he was guarding this crappy warehouse in the cold and wet down by the docks. I'd just been out wandering around and saw some guy up on the roof go down through a skylight. I almost walked right into Frederick in my hurry to get up there. So it was cold and I was visibly pregnant and here's this poor grumpy security guard that I didn't want to hurt but needed to get past. I asked him if he had any food, I kinda looked like a hobo cause I was just wearing sweats and stuff.

He went to get some leftover pizza from his little guardhouse for me. He could have called the cops or turned me away. So I kept going back to see him and we got to be friends. When I had my little ones I offered him a job taking care of them when I can't. He was a soldier so he can keep them safe if something happens and he's also pretty strict. I'm not. My brothers raised me and they were young. They never told me no a day in my life. I've realized that isn't the best way to raise a child." Jes shakes her head and grins.

Chuckling softly, Julia shakes her head, "No… a child doesn't know what they want or need half the time. Even when they think they know what they want… they're not always right." She kisses the top of Rachel's head, and Rae tries to look up without turning her head up. It's awkward, but kids try the damndest things!
"I want cookie." she says, "Now that.. she -is- right about." she states. "Okay honey, you stay here with Puppy Lady okay? I'm gonna go get a cookie." And she sets Rachel down on the bench after standing up herself.

Jesana grins. "Cookies are always good, huh." She tells Rachel. "What kind of cookie is your favorite? I like lemon cookies. Chocolate cookies are good but you can't give puppies chocolate." She pulls one of the spare blankets out of the stroller to set on the bench and then props Jerimiah up beside Rachel. The baby gurgles and coos before grinning at the little girl. "I think she's trying to say Hi to you Rachel." Jes blinks and laughs when Jeri lifts her arm and waves. "Oh oh she is! That's so cool."

Rachel leans in close and takes hold of Jeri's hand, grinning widely, "Hi!" she announces with a wide smile. That innocent full on smile that gives everything and holds nothing back. Total joy. "Choco Mint!" she announces to you.
Julia pauses a moment, and then heads off to grab a cookie from a cart vendor. She's going to be a minute at least, but she's keeping an eye on Rachel because.. Mommy, duh.
"Eeeeeeeeeie!" Jeri squeels and giggles bouncing up and down a bit as she shakes Rachel's hand. Jesana looks like she's trying to restrain herself from doing the same thing. It's so cute watching the two interact. "Ooh yes, mint is good too." She agrees while keeping one hand on Jeri's stomach incase she starts to topple over or to the side. "Did you like the hotdog too? I love the hotdog cart hotdogs. For some reason they always taste better." Jes tugs the stroller a bit closer with one foot and eyes her son for a moment. Still asleep.. she shakes her head and mutters to herself. "He's gonna be up all night."
Rachel is enthusiasm on feet. Translation, she's a three year old who is a good well behaved young girl. And it's only another couple minutes before Julia comes back with a handful of cookies. Sheoverheard your comment about lemon, and hands you an iced lemon cookie in a paper wrapper. And then she sits down before pulling Rachel into her lap, "Here Rae honey. They had thin mints!" she announces as Rachel gleefully reaches for one of the cookies.

Laughing at her excitement over the cookies Jes takes the lemon cookie and smiles her thanks. She tears off a tiny bite and puts it to Jeri's lips for her to mouth. The baby frowns with concentration for a long moment before seemingly deciding she likes it and taking the bite. Jes shakes her head. "Every time with something fruit flavored. She has to think for a second. John on the other hand, he'll eat anything I try to give him and attempts to eat all kinds of things I don't. They're starting to crawl now and he puts his mouth on everything he can. I was thinking about maybe putting hotsauce on the ends of furniture and whatnot but.. I spilled some from a taco and turned around to grab her and he was licking it up and got so mad when I wouldn't give him more. When he gets all of his teeth.." Jes sighs. It'll be interesting for sure.

Rolling her eyes, Julia snorts. "Then it'll be chairlegs seasoned with hot sauce, eh?" she asks as Rachel noms a cookie happily. Julia doesn't have one herself because… she has a human metabolism. Okay, it's more than that, but she can't do sugar a lot if she wants to keep in shape of course.

"Or something like it. There has to be a taste he doesn't like. I just haven't found it yet." Jes laughs. "Wow this cookie is good. I'll have to remember it. I'm not very good at cooking yet. A friend signed me up for this grocery service and they bring us stuff once a week and Frederick cooks most things." Jes scratches her nose. "He sorta banned me from even trying to cook after my spaghetti disaster. Well, no. After he saw that I ate it anyway. But I'm learning! Or trying to. It's weird I find it so hard when I can mix and make teas and salves and herbal remedies, soap and all of that stuff really well but try to make some soup or a meatloaf and.." She shrugs helplessly. "I make great sandwhiches though."

"Well, I suck at cooking, but I am -awesome- at ordering takeout." says Julia. "But I.." she checks her phone's time display and sighs, "Well, I should be getting her home, so I can tuck her in and get to sleep for early work in the A.M."
Jes glances at the time herself and nods. "Ooh it is getting on. It was wonderful to meet you and Rachel. Really. I hope to see you again soon." Jesana grins. Boy is she glad she chose this park today. "Thanks for the cookie and company!"

Offering a warm smile of her own, Julia gathers Rachel up and takes her hand to lead her out of the park, "Good to meet you too." she remarks as she goes on.

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