2012 02 07 That Upper East Side Thing

Log Title:
That Upper East Side Thing

Jumpstart and Dajan

IC Date:

Upper East Side, NY

Brief log summary::
Dajan and Jumpsstart do a little catching up and share a couple secrets.


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It's a blustery cold Morning, but Dajan's in good spirits. Why not? Her life has completely taken a drastic upswing thanks to Monet St. Croix. Dajan's a little dubious still, but is trying very hard to go with the flow and just enjoy the kindness from this woman while it lasts.

But she doesn't want to neglect her first friend in the city. So she called up Aurelio and asked him if he wanted to hang out. Was it forward? By her mother's standards, assuredly. But what's done is done, so she's waiting just inside the lobby doors for him.

Jumpstart turns up, looking rather puzzled at the address. Well, maybe she had to deliver some food or something to some over-rich hipster who told his friends they had to taste the clam chowder from this one place across town. He arrives in his normal outfit, strolling up the walk.

"Aurelio!" Dajan spotted him, 'cause he's so tall, and comes belting out of the lobby doors with a thermos in one hand. "There you are!" She pretty much leaps the last two feet to fling a hug around his neck. "How you been!" She's all smiles, and apparently, despite her voicemail message from last week, has not frozen to death.

Jumpstart says, "Heyy. You /feel/ pretty warm." with a grin, hugging her back. It means her feet stay off the ground a moment. "What brings you up here? You delivering something in there?"

Dajan doesn't mind being held up in the air for a minute. This is a /good/ hug by her lights. "You not gon' believe it, beb," she tells him, shaking her head. "Dis my current digs. You member — no wait I din' tell you dat story. Long story short, dis woman, she nearly get me arrested, an' den I bump into her at da mall, an' now she gimme a job, an' a room in her apartment. Which is /not/ an apartment, Aurelio." Dajan points skyward. "It da PENTHOUSE, man!"

Jumpstart says, "Bull…what? Why's she doing that? She isn't, uh, putting anything over on you, is she?" He's protective again.

Dajan shrugs. "I tink she just …" Dajan considers her words for a minute. "I tink de attitude is a facade, mostly. She mention someting about a traumatic past, an' den she play it off, but mebbe dere's more. I tink she just — well, lonely. She been like a big sister to me, though. Noting more."
Jumpstart says, "That is weird. You watch yourself. People live up there don't get up there by giving stuff away to people like you and me for nothing. But here I am bein' a wet blanket, it sounds awesome."

"That was what I thought too," Dajan agrees. "But I tink she mebbe feels bad for freakin' me out, too. I tink she also mebbe don't grasp that people witout her advantages, we mebbe a lil tad bit more …" she trails off, chewing her lower lip thoughtfully. "Circumspec' about certain tings, you know?" Her eyes are luminous and bright in the early morning sunshine. "Here, I bring you some /real/ coffee." She hands him the thermos. "I not feelin' quite right bringin' anybody up yet, but we mebbe could go sit in a cafe someplace?"

Jumpstart says, "Thanks, I could use a warm up. Train broke down and the wind is cold in those tunnels. So how did Princess Charming almost get you arrested?"

Dajan blinks. In her excited babble, she mentioned that? Oh boy. "Said someting about me in earshot of somebody who took it da wrong way's all." She pauses, considers. Dane knows, and he's okay with it. Monet keeps /trying/ to convince her that not everybody is gonna freak about it. "Someting kinda personal I don' usually be tawkin' about allatime, y'know?" In for a penny, in for a pound. If she can't trust her very own urban white knight, who can she trust?

Jumpstart says, "Something personal? How'd /she/ find it out? I know how that is. You can't be spreading around people's personal business. Lots of people listening for that kind of thing." Clearly something he believes a lot, as they walk down the sun-dappled street together.

Dajan pauses to beam at a dog-walker walking a prissy Afghan hound. She stops to make a face at a baby in a stroller, much to the relief of the au pair, because the baby was working up to a real serious tantrum. "I could say she jus' nosey," Dajan tells Aurelio, gazing sidelong and up at him. "But the truth is — a lot more complicated." She waits until the morning crowd of people who are serving the rich denizens of this neighborhood has thinned out before hopping up on a park bench so she can whisper into Aurelio's ear. "The truth? She a mutant. " Pause. "…an' so am I. Me, I was raise to keep it under my hat. So I kinda freak when she just call it out like dat like she sayin' I got brown eyes."

Jumpstart nods slowly. "Yeah, okay." he says. "That's, that's a big thing to say to a guy who hasn't even been on a regular date with you." He smiles at her crooked, sideways. Clearly he's thinking this over a lot, in his uneducated, no-book-learning way. He reaches a conclusion: "The way I see it, it makes sense in a way, that people would come across each other like that. You packed up your stuff on a bus and ran clear across the country. She is probably running from something too. I moved out of the old neighborhood, ducked my old pals until…well, someday they might forget about me. Two people moving like that, they are eventually going to be at the same place. " He sips the thermos.

"I know," Dajan answers, looking at him from where she stands on the bench. "But … well, I know I can trust you," she says, though she's clearly had to reach in for some courage to say that. "An' it's like dis. I keep stumblin' into crazy nonsense. If I din' tell you, you were gon' find out, an' den you were gonna be mad like I kep' it from you. Dat's no way to run a friendship. Or an anyting else, don' you tink?"
She brightens as he suggests maybe Monet is running from something, like Dajan — and like him. "De world is smaller dan we give it credit for, yeah," she agrees, though she doesn't get down off the bench just yet.

Jumpstart says, "I….I got plenty of friends who don't know my personal stuff. What exactly it is that I'm waiting on people forgetting about me." He looks up at her, for a change. "You hear what I'm saying. It makes sense you would come across her, /and/ me. I'm telling you the same thing."
Dajan blinks. Once. Twice. "Big ting to tell a girl you ain't even been on a regular date wit' yet," she echoes, smiling. But relief has blown the clouds right out of her eyes. "Mebbe someting about us, we seek each other out subconscious-like," she ponders, now hopping down off the bench. The curiosity about why he'd want people to forget about him is on her face, but she knows better than to push the issue; she wouldn't want it pushed herself.

So instead, she fleshes out the story. "So what happen was I'm on da observation deck of da Empire State Buildin', an' she mentions it all casual like it no big ting. Only she does it in earshot of one of the Avengers, an' he decides I need to be captured an' detained." Her gloved hands fly to her chest in a gesture that seems to indicate this whole scenario nearly gave her a heart attack.
Jumpstart says, "Yep yep. Registration. They're working on rental restrictions too. On account of how registration helps them pick out 'insurance risks'. Nothing wrong with the Avengers, but to them the law's the frickin' law. So Princess got you out of the situation she got you into, and felt bad?"

Dajan shakes her head at the idea of registering mutants. "That's like — a lil tad bit too 1940s Germany for me," she says, giving a distasteful wrinkle of her nose. "Insurance risks. Like we all badass like Magneto or someting." She wrinkes her nose. "Sandman, he apparently wouldn't'a done it excepting he wasn't in his right mind at da time, so I'm told. I saw him a few days later, an' he looked a bit different, and better. I dunno if she felt bad about it. She got dis ting about /never/ bein' wrong. Ever. Like she tink I shoulda been mad at Sandman for attackin' me even though she's the reason he did. But you know what — I'm too broke to question da good fortune, an' if she do anyting worriesome, I gonna run straight to Mr. Grimm… oh, dat's right. dey know each other, which mean' she got somebody good vouchin'."

Jumpstart says, "Wow, never wrong. That must be a weird feeling." He puts his arm across her shoulder and drinks from the thermos thoughtfully. "But you're right not to let anyone hear. The guys I ran with before…they heard. And, uh. They would of killed me if I hadn't gone into the can the next week, and transferred across town on account of them trying to split up the gangs inside detention? And got placed with my uncle when I got out."
Dajan gulps, visibly if not audibly. This is the kind of thing that her mother raised her to be terrified of. "Oh, Aurelio, I so sorry, dat's just awful." She leans into his side as he drapes his big arm around her. "I'm glad you got out an' dat you stayed safe. Keep stayin' safe, a'ight?"
Jumpstart says, "I definitely will, so long as I can keep that info from getting around farther than it already is. I heard Fast Chucky got back from Ryker's on Thursday, and he knows for sure. I'm just hoping and thinking I'm down on his list of priorities, you know? Just a memory." But it's clear he worries, thinks about this kind of thing, asks about it. "So are you still working at the diner then? That's gotta be three transfers between here and there."

Dajan commits the name Fast Chucky to memory. She doesn't expect to run across him, but you never know. "Mebbe if he in da lockup, he got bigger problems, yeah," she agrees.

"Oh, no. Phil, he fire me. Said he afraid too much crazy stuff gon' follow me back one day, what wit' da X-Man an' da ninjas an' den da wedding." She shrugs. "Monet, she say she openin' up a private detective agency. So I'mma be their receptionist." Which allows her to feel, at least, like she's working off her debt to Monet, even though Monet refuses to even acknowledge a debt.

Jumpstart says, "No foolin'? I might have got a gig with a PI too. The Heroes for Hire, Nightwing Investigations. They sometimes need someone who can start a car fast. And they got some uptown clients, too, maybe we'll be competitors!" He laughs, he considers that hilarious.

"Maybe so, but we not gonna let our jobs get between us, are we?" Dajan asks. "I mean, not that we exactly are an 'us' or anythin'."

Jumpstart says, with a delighted grin, "Wow, don't say that so fast, the day ain't yet. You never know when an us might happen." The cafe is full of people cramming into the warmth. "So, now that you're unfrozen and I'm back from picking up those eight cars in Jersey, what would you say to another try at that party? You could even invite the Princess along if she didn't mind mingling with the working class. This band is having a release party at this place over the bridge, and I can score tickets. Some kind of electronic hip hop thing, you in?"

"Yeah, I'd love to. That lil black dress hasn't had its first outing yet," she points out. "Dunno if I could convince Monet to come, but we'll see if she's free an' willin'." Dajan shakes her head. "She has a /bowlin' alley/ in her apartment, Aurelio. Dat is beyond filthy rich. Beyond stinkin' rich, even. That's like 'just don't know what else to do wit dat much money' rich."

Jumpstart says, "A bowling alley in her apartment? Like, with a snack bar and everything? That /is/ weird. Does it even smell like a bowling alley?" Now this is a man who has spent some time in bowling alleys.

"I dunno," Dajan admits as she orders them breakfast. Two platters. She's not shy about eating in front of a boy she likes, at least. "I haven't had the nerve to step foot yet. It's still sinkin' in dat lil me, who grew up in a lil house in Thibodeaux Louisiana is now kinda couch-surfin' in a penthouse."

Jumpstart says, "An Upper East Side penthouse, there ain't that many penthouses better." He grins like he's getting away with something, "I got an Upper East Side outfit just in case I gotta repo something outta one of them and I need to get past a doorman. Brand new." he brags.

Dajan looks mock-indignant. "Oh sure, buy you a nice outfit for work, but not to take a girl out on the town. Maybe my lil black dress will just wait for a special occasion!" She's grinning at him over a bacon strip, though. "Seriously, though? Good tinkin, really. My brother used to say half of gettin' away wit stuff is convincin' other people you belong where you don'."

Jumpstart says, "Only half? Who says I won't be wearing my work clothes at the end of the day? I'm not all wheels, you know, those cars carry something /around/ this town. So, I bet you'll be a fine receptionist. People will love that accent on the phone, and they won't mind waiting if they get to wait with you."

"Yeah. Other half is jus' plain' ol' brashness," she confirms. "And mebbe you will, and I get to see how you look all duded up." She blushes at the accent. "I don' know 'bout dat. I ten' to drop it when I'm around people I don' know well. Monet, she ain' say it, but I know she tink I sound like a hick."

Jumpstart replies, spreading his hands, "I sound like a West Brooklyn goombah. People sound like what they sound like, it ain't any kind of thing. Even rich guys, friggin'Guiliani still talks like he's in Flatbush half the time. I think you sound amazing, like you been places, you know how things are outside the boroughs."

Dajan simply continues blushing. "I soun' no diff'rent dan any other Cajun from dat parta da state, dassall," she assures him, spreading grape jam on her toast. "New York is da secon' place I been. First is where I woke up da night of da blowout." She's come to grips with it now, at least enough that pain doesn't cast a shadow over her expression if it comes up in conversation. "Though I will tell you, dat small town in Kentucky was noting special. New York — is." She glances up, meets Aurelio's eyes. "For a lotta reasons." Back to killin' those eggs.

Jumpstart says, "The blowout? Must have been some blowout to take you all the way to ohhhhh." He will say no more in the crowded confines of the cafe. Someone who is well used to avoiding the verbal minefield created by X-genes, even if he doesn't exactly know if it's hers or not. "Still, that's one more place than I've ever been. But there's all kinds of ways of talking here, when I got out of the can, it had only been a couple of years, but there were all these Ugandans moved in to the old neighborhood. One more new way of talking people learned, heard, and so on. I don't know how many accents there are in this town, probably a hundred, and always new ones."

"Millions, I bet," Dajan muses. She gives him a brief, tight smile as she watches him catch on about 'the blowout'. "It's like seein' the whole world on 24 miles. I can visit a different country just by ridin' the subway a few stops."

Jumpstart says, "Exactly! I do love it here. It would probably be safer, you know, for me to pack it up, save up, get a bus ticket back to, well, like your town, and set up there. But I couldn't leave New York. No way. Love it too much. Live or die, it's my home." with a smile. "Eventually everything good comes here. You did, right?"

Dajan dabs her lips clean with her napkin, smiling behind it. "You wouldn't be any safer in my home town. Buncha narrow minded rednecks, mostly," she assures him. But the grimace of that revelation is burned away by the brilliant smile at his last remark. "Oh, see, now you're turnin' the charm way up, huh?" She scoots around in the booth just enough to lean over and give him a kiss on the cheek. Bold!

Jumpstart says, "Well, I ain't going to /buy/ my way into anyone's heart. So charm, and my sweet dancing moves, is all I really got going for me. As far as you know." he teases. A macho fellow like him doesn't blush when kissed….he does sit up straigher, though, like a rooster who struts standing still.
That he seems to straighten up a little at her small affection does not go unnoticed, even if Dajan doesn't remark upon it. "I guess we'll see what else you got goin' for you. When's this party?" She drinks the rest of her tea, having declined coffee because almost nobody in New York makes it right. "We see if you all talk about the dance moves."

Jumpstart mmms. "Yes we will. It's over the river at this place I never been to before. Not my old turf or anything, but it's pretty fast moving. The guy I know is Ukrainian or something, he runs the equipment for the band? Which I guess with electronic is like being the band. There's gonna be a quick show, a lot of dancing and hanging out, party food mostly. I'll see what kind of wheels I can find for picking up the Upper East Side's latest couch surfer. Wait a second, didn't I tell you that you were classy? And you were like, oh, Aurelio, whatever, you know, you just talking, you just being charming. You were here like two months and already you're living on the Upper East Side."

Dajan can't help the grin that lights up, though she at least has managed to get the blush under control at this point. "Dumb luck, swear. Just like the ninja thing and the weddin' thing an' the groundhog thing."

Jumpstart insists, "If I drop this mug, it'll hit the ground. You got class like this fork got weight. Don't tell me that falling is /luck/. It's just natural." His crappy cellphone goes off. "My uncle. Hang on. Yo, Tio?" He goes on in Spanish for a minute or so. "Si, si. Si." He hangs up. "Got a rush job across town, I'm sorry I gotta split like this, but you will come with me, right? On Friday I pick you up at seven thirty? And if your Princess wants to come, she can bring a date too, I'll get something with enough seats."

Dajan has the manners to fall silent as Aurelio has to pick up the phone. "Okay. I'll ask her." She doesn't protest his insistence she's classy. "Hopefully I don't pick up a racquetball racquet with a gris-gris on it between now and then." She covers the check and gives the waitress the sort of tip only another waitress would. "Friday at seven thirty it is." She walks as far as the corner with him, tiptoes up and kisses his cheek again, before breaking into a run, waving over her shoulder at him, and vanishing around the corner.

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