Home For The Holidays

December 25, 2018:

Caitlin, Donna, and Damian participate in a charity event at an orphanage in NYC.

NYC Orphanage

State run center for dispossessed youth. You know the drill.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Bruce Wayne


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

New York has a few orphanages. They're not called 'orphanages' anymore— they're 'state run centers for dispossessed youth', on the official paperwork somewhere.

But it's an orphanage, no matter what people call it, and it's to here that Caitlin's gone on Christmas eve to distribute some holiday cheer. Mrs. Clause is apparently a little too dumpy; Caitlin's wearing holiday red and green, a sleeveless halter-topped dress with a starched A-frame in poinsettia crimson and edged with white tinsel. A festive stocking cap is pulled onto her head and she wears green leggings and black slippers, and is pulling packages out of a wagon full of presents. It's a modest assortment and, largely, STEM stuff (of course).

"Okay, that's the last of the presents," she says, fretting her lip and eyeing the small stack of gifts. "I really hope I can remember the rules for that white elephant thing, I *always* get that wrong."

She looks over at Donna in the kitchen, rising up to a standing position and setting the large, empty sack aside. "They're gonna bring the kids in soon. Do you think we baked enough?" she asks with a worried tone.


There are enough baked goods to supply an army of Girl Scouts with field supplies and have some to spare for the next holiday season. Pies, cookies, fudge, fruitcake (GOOD fruitcake)… Caitlin's been in a baking frenzy for the last few days, trying to get as much made as possible for their quiet little charity event.
Long distance to Damian Wayne: Donna Troy hugs. "I thought you'd gone to bed."


Donna glanced over from where she was pulling a tray of handpies out of the oven. Kids being kids, it had seemed simpler to offer portable meals they could eat after the main meal as they scurried around. Caitlin was not the only person in the building tonight that had an endless appetite. She was not dressed as festively as Caitlin, but had, at least, opted for a pair of slacks and matching crimson long-sleeved blouse. It was a bit more formal than the season might have dictated, but it was never easy finding something that hid the fact that she was, as always wearing her costume underneath. Even the lasso was still on her person, though she'd wound it around her waist and wore a red sash over it as a sort of 'belt'. In deference to the heat in the kitchen, she's pulled her hair back and away from her face, "Caitlin, I highly doubt that a lack of food is going to be the problem tonight. You did a wonderful job."


Well, this Orphanage?

Sponsored and funded by the Wayne foundation. So guess who's here to make sure everything is in good condition and the people running this operation are actually…running things? Damian Wayne. Son of Bruce Wayne, equally a billionaire and just as adept as his father is when it comes to managing evn what's considered the small things. Arriving in all black, black jeans, black long-sleeve shirt, and a trench coat, with gloves on his hands, Damian walks up to the door and knocks on it.

Okay Damian, time to be the son of Bruce Wayne and not yourself. If anyone answered (namely Donna or Caitlin), Damian would be…surprised to see Caitlin and Donna dressed so festively. and him so…Scrooge-like.


Caitlin glances up at the knock to the admin door, and brushes her hands on a towel to make sure they're clean. "They must be getting ready to bring the kids down," she tells Donna. "I'll get it. We're ready. Right?"

She moves to the door and opens it. Caitlin fills the doorway about as effectively as the door itself did, and looks down at the lean young man on the threshold. She blinks. "Oh! I … didn't think they were sending over any teenagers," she apologizes, realizing she should say something. She looks up and down the hall. "I guess you got here ahead of the rest of the kids… But I guess that's OK. C'mon in! You can have some pie or treats, but you'll have to wait on the presents until everyone's here," she admonishes Damian. Clearly, Caitlin doesn't know who the Wayne scion is, but her smile is a welcoming one as she steps aside and waves him in.


Having stepped away from the oven, Donna carried the tray over to one of the few cooling racks still free in the kitchen, setting them out and pushing the tray towards the back so that no one ended up with 'I literally bought this McDonald's apple pie six hours ago and still burned my mouth on the filling' face. "Yes, everything's ready. I think that was the last batch." Donna missed the arrival of the goth teen (complete with trench coat!), as she took the time to wash her hands and slip off the apron she was wearing before she headed out of the kitchen and into the main room where they had planned the gathering of children. "I'll start getting the drinks ready." Everything was already set out, as far as the drink dispensers themselves were concerned, but the cups still needed unsleeving.


Damian was almost 20! :(

But, needless to say: Urge. To Kill. Rising.

Tone it down, Damian, be nice. Be nice. Don't burn down the orphanage. "Right, well, my name is Damian Wayne. I came to check to make sure everything was running properly for the Orphanage. Nothing broken, or anything in need of fixing or upgrading?" He does take notice of the bombshell in front of him, but doesn't seem to take special notice. She steps aside, and he happily enters.


"Damian." Caitlin's eyes widen at 'Wayne'. "Oh. Oh! Well, gosh! You're right in time, c'mon in and help!" she says. Evidently, she's become a bit inured to being around billionaires, because she doesn't falter for more than a beat or two.

Instead of being ushered to the snack tray, he's nudged to help Donna out. Billionaire playboys apparently get roped into snack duty. "Okay so Donna's almost done setting the drinks out. I need ice in the punch dispensers, napkins set out for the kids, and then if you can start cutting the brownies and cake up, that would be just terrific," she tells Damian.

*Ding!* "Ooh! The pastries are done!" Caitlin heads right back into the kitchen and opens the oven door, admitting a blast of warm air and sweet smelling sugared confections. She pulls on oven mitts and starts pulling racks of pastries out to cool for a few minutes in the air.


Donna, glancing up from where she's opening bags of cups and turning them over in neat lines by the drinks, manages to look past Caitlin as Damian walks in, putting sight to the sound of his introduction, "That apple didn't fall far from the tree." Thankfully, she's far enough away from the pair that that comment, spoken mostly to herself as she took in the look of the son who, in truth did not look much different than his father, the one time Donna had met him in person, doesn't carry. She does, however, offer a smile, as she sees Caitlin direct the young man over in her direction, "I'm certain that another pair of hands would help to speed things along, Mr. Wayne."


Damian doesn't get a say in this does he? OF COURSE NOT. "I was more meaning to-" he's cut off as Caitlin nudges him off to help Donna. He sighs to hismelf, before he takes off his trench coat and his gloves, rolling up his sleeves. "Guess I have not much say in the matter, but why not." he looks to Donna, giving her a smile. "Well, guess I'll help then. What do you need?" He's no master chef, but he can cook at least decently.


"I mean, we could—" There's a murmur of voices and the sound of shuffling feet, and Caitlin shakes her head. "Too late! Places, everyone!" she calls. The rest of the volunteers flock to where they need to be. "They're here!"

The double doors swing open, and the front ranks of the orphans are almost knocked over by the ones behind them as they stop cold. The common area looks like someone hit it with a Christmas bomb. Tinsel, decorations, fresh-baked food… most of the orphans are between eight and sixteen, and they stare at the layout with thunderstruck expressions.

"Presents!" someone shouts, and the raging tide surges towards the tree. Heroically, Caitlin throws herself between the kids and the presents, holding her hands out. Like those velociraptors, in that movie.

"WOAH!" she shouts, palms out. The kids screech to a halt. "Food *first*," she tells them, pointing at Damian and Donna. "Then after everyone's had some food, we're going to play a game called White Elephant, and I'll teach you all the rules for it. AFTER you eat!" she says, and folds her arms assertively despite the grin on her face.

The tide of children grumble and head to the food, but the spread clearly is a welcome distraction from the surprises. A pair of young men (in their early teens) rock the goth look— boots, black cargo pants, black shirt. They beeline towards Damian, giving him a look of wary acknowledgement. "Sup," one ventures, voice cracking between a youthful pitch and manly baritone.

Several girls move towards Donna, murmuring, and the oldest of them bravely squares her shoulders to address the Amazon. "Y-you're Troia, aren't you?" she asks, nervously. "I saw your pictures on the news!"


"You expected to manage to escape the night with just a lot of heavy looking on? You clearly did not anticipate the Fairchild Effect, Mr. Wayne. No one escapes it. It is a stronger force than gravity. Trust me on this one. Thankfully, everything's already done, if you could help with the ice though, that would be wonderful." There are several coolers with the ice still in bags inside of it. Donna had just enough time to set Damian to the task, when the children barrelled in, and she set down the sleeve of cups she had been setting out to greet them as Caitlin diverted the wave in her direction. Rather than getting right to the drinks, once the small group of girls inched over in her direction, she hunkered down, so that she could look at them on their level, "I am. But you can call me Donna."


Damian seems to nod softly to Donna, despite hearing the great cry that would never be heard again: Children who just saw presents. Already moving, Damian grabs two large bags of ice and hoists them up like they weigh nothing, when most young men his age usually struggle a bit with just one. He opens up the bags of ice and pours them back into the cooler, while also placing sodas, waters, and whatever else the children might be drinking. But Damian looks to the two young gothic boys, as if birds of a feather should stick together, and he turns to face them. "Hello." he smiles gently. Black is a good color.


Caitlin starts dishing up food to the kids. Fortuantely, there are lots of volunteers to serve up the snacks. Pies, treats, snacks, and everything else gets served up, and soon the kids are playing with the board games and toys that are available to them.

Damian, naturally, attracts a handful of the surly teenagers (boys and girls) who are clearly Too Old and Too Cool to play with the little kids, and awkwardly congregate in a corner while trying to hide their envy of the smaller orphans throwing toy helicopters around at one another. The fact that there's at least one 'goth' among the adults seems to suggest that the party might not be a total bust.

Donna instantly has a small army of young girls who hear the word 'Amazon' and engage in some wide-eyed hero worship. "What's Themyscira like?" "Do you have a kangaroo?" "Can you fly?" "How stronk are you?" the youngest asks.

THAT opens up a whole new line of 'ooooos'. "Can you lift a car?" "A bus?" "TWO busses?" "I ALREADY SAID BUS, NANCY."


Donna seemed quite content to hang with the girls, answering each of their questions with a turn towards the serious. In this day and age, education was most likely to be the way through so many of the battles that metahumans, mutants, and other people who were 'different' were and would continue to face. And no child enjoyed being treated like children. "Well, I'm sure that you know that Themyscira is also called Paradise Island, and it very much is. I imagine you already know quite a lot about what it is like, if you know what places like Hawai'i and the Caribbean are like. It's very green, with beaches, and it's always quite warm, but never uncomfortably so. Unfortunately, though, we don't have kangaroos there." She turned to one of the smaller girls, "I can fly, but I've never tested myself to see exactly how strong I am. I imagine I could probably handle a bus or too, but I wouldn't want to risk damaging them." Donna glanced back towards the table, "You know I'm happy to answer your questions, but how about we get something to eat and drink, and we can go sit together a while?" Donna was no Diana, but she at least had enough experience and knowledge that she could do a good approximation.


Damian never minded the company. But once his work with the ice was completed, he turns his head to the 'too cool for Christmas' kids. "….You know just because you wear all black, doesn't mean you can't have fun, right?" Damian was straight to the point as he's tempted to start chucking these goth wanna-be's at the fun kids. "It's Christmas. go have fun." His attention is briefly stolen by Donna as shespeaks of herself and the mysterious Themyscera. He also looks to Caitlin, always hard at work. Though Damian is resdy to answer any questions thrown his way, he'd rather see these kids at least attempt to be normal.


"Uh, well…" the teens look around, and one of them produces a deck of cards. "I mean, kid games are *boring* so we usually play poker, but the adults yell at us, even if we just play for quarters," one of them explains. "Y'wanna play a few hands with us? The director won't come yell at us if there's an adult 'supervising'," it's explained. The kids give Damien a sly look. "I mean, if you think you won't lose…" They beckon Damien over as the first hands are dealt and coins start appearing on the tabletop.

The younger children— mostly girls, but with a few boys— flock to the table around Donna. Their eyes are wide with awe. They all grab handfuls of food and drink and start peppering Donna with more questions, rapid-fire, and at every answer they 'oo' and 'aaah' and periodically declare 'TOLD YOU' to one another.

Caitlin seems busy moving food around to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves, and warding kids away from the presents. It's getting close to the appointed time, though, and she's keeping an eye on the clock. The white elephant exchange is likely going to round out the evening's fun.


Donna rose back to her full height, as she carried the wave of girls, and the boys they picked up, helping to hand out food and pouring drinks for the smaller ones, until she was sure everyone had what they might want, at least for the first round. Once that was done, she was happy to settle with them at their table, even accepting the seat one of the older boys, possible eight or nine shyly pulled out for her. If she was uncomfortable being at a kids table with her knees nearly as high as her chin, she showed none of that, simply settling in to field the questions which came towards her. Those that were simple enough, she answered honestly. Some, which had answers which might be too serious for children to hear, she simply answered as carefully as possible. She did manage a glance over towards the Wayne scion, but as he seemed to not be in need of rescue, she left him to the teenagers who were attempting to draw him off. Caitlin too received a glance, and one towards the clock. No one wanted to miss presents.


Damian was going to render these kids bankrupt. But Damian enjoys a good game of poker (his second favorite party game is liar's dice). When Donna looked over? Damian seemed to be playing cards with these kids, and had one HELL of a poker face. Judging from all the quarters on his side, he was probably winning. But he also kept an eye on the clock, not wanting to make these kids pay dearly for TOO long. either way, Damian will likely split his winnings into thirds or fourths, and give them back to the kids he won it from.


"Okay!" Caitlin claps her hands three times, staccato thunderclaps. "It's time fo- NO!" She points a finger at three kids already getting to their feet. They grin sheepishly and sit back down. "It's time for White Elephant game," she explains.

Caitlin explains the rules to everyone. Take a present, trade a present, steal a present, open a present.

It turns into a lot of giggling and fun and only a bit of fighting as people bicker. Unlike a lot of these games, the presents *are* actually kind of nice. Good school supplies, board games, music gift cards… after about twenty minutes, the entire lounge is a noisy cavalcade of teens and kids examining their toys and sharing with one another. Most of the older teens in particular act very altruistically, giving up the better gifts so the younger kids get the things they want.

Caitlin rallies with Donna and Damien in the kitchen, pouring both of them some eggnog. "Thanks so much for being here, Donna. And Mr. Wayne," she tells Damien, politely, offering him a glass. "You really didn't have to come all the way down here. I'm sure there are charity events all over the city tonight."


As the time for presents came, Donna managed to extricate herself from the gaggle of children that surrounded her, leaving them to their toys and games and seeing to replenishing the food supplies while they had the time. Eventually, she did end up in the kitchen, complete with a glass of ice water first, and the eggnog second. "You know that I'm always happy to help, Caitlin." As to Damian, she offered a smile, "It was kind of you to come out. Though it seems to run in the family. The one and only time I met your father, it was also at a charity event." She took a sip of the eggnog, before she inhaled. "I think we have about a thirty second window before we have to once again wade into battle."


"Thirty seconds is all we reasonably need." Damian smiles softly to Donna, and shrugs. "It's a Wayne habit, I suppose." he winks at Donna, before accepting the eggnog from Caitlin. "Don't mention it. I prefer orphanages to random gatherings of fancy individuals who smile too much and give crazy amounts of money away. This is much more relaxing where i can make a difference of the future. i like this better." a smile for both ladies. "And while you two look rather festive-" and ridiculously beautiful, albeit silly as well "I feel slightly out of place. But..I do believe the children are calling." he smiles to both women as the rest of the night is filled with laughter and Christmas cheer!

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