|Location||New York City Police Department|
|Summary||Vega gets a surprise birthday visit on Christmas.|
It's Christmas Day, and although you wouldn't know it by the lack of decorations inside the police station, the lack of personnel at work is very apparent. Everyone left in the precinct either doesn't celebrate the holiday or is just new and unlucky.
Irene has the day off, but despite this she comes strolling in through the precinct's doors, even though she doesn't look like she is here to work. Her hair is left loose and long, not pulled back into a practical pony-tail as usual, and she's traded jeans and a jacket for an emerald dress and a black peacoat. With one hand she's holding onto her son's much smaller hand, the preschooler dressed in a red and green 'Christmas' plaid shirt and a red jacket, and a dark hat on his head, bundled up against the cold. In her other hand is a wrapped plate with a piece of cake on it and a fork. The pair of them approach Vega's desk with smiles, only Irene's expression is a little tight around the eyes.
On the list of the non-celebrators is Vega, who sits with her feet kicked up on her battered desk with a tablet in hand. The long pink tail of her hair trails behind her, practically touch the ground as she leans back in her chair. Her fingers flick nimbly over the screen in a manner that is more indicative of video games than of actual work. At the sound of footsteps in the office, she sits up straight and drops her feet down with a clink of metal. Lifting her brows she flashes the pair a smile. "This is a surprise. Merry Christmas, Idris! Did Santa visit you?"
"What do we say to Vega, Idris?" Irene asks her son as Vega notices them approach. Idris doesn't answer immediately, but when he does it's an enthusiastic, "Happy Christmas!" Irene purses her lips, but it does nothing to hide her smile. "Close enough. Happy birthday, Zhang," she says, setting plate of cake and fork down on her partner's desk. As for Vega's question, Idris nods and throws a hand into the air. "He came on reindeer and ate all th'cookies!"
The years positively fall away from Vega's face as she cracks a broad grin at Idris's enthusiastic greeting, his small voice ringing out in the empty office. Her eyes widen as Irene sets down a slice of cake on her desk. The curve of her mouth softens, falling open as she stares at it for a moment, finally glancing from the cake to her partner and her son with a soft expression. "For me?" She asks, voice low and delighted. "Thank you." Her soft expression only lasts for a moment before Idris answers her question and causes her to laugh warmly. "Did he? You must have been a good boy."
At least this time Irene doesn't make a crack about Vega looking like she's twelve when she smiles. "Yeah. Sorry it's not really birthday cake." It was clearly not well planned, this cake delivery. The red and green of the icing is pretty at least. Idris nods his head at Vega again, his dark eyes wide and serious as Irene gives her son's hand a squeeze. "Yeah, he's been a good boy," she says softly. "Bad boys get coal," Idris informs Vega seriously. /Coal/, Vega. The /worst/.
She does look like she's about twelve when she grins like that. "It's cake. It's my birthday. I think it counts," Vega argues with a delighted smile that takes in both Irene and the cake. "It's awesome." It isn't hard to transfer that smile onto Idris as he looks at her so seriously. "Oh… Coal." Right. "Well, I wouldn't expect you to be anything but a good boy. Your mom wouldn't have it." Her brows quirk impishly as she flashes her partner a grin.
"Well, Happy Birthday. I'm not going to light candles and sing, though." There aren't candles, anyway. Maybe next year. Irene's smile tips crooked in amusement briefly, then goes soft again. "Yeah, I don't know why coal." She's still relatively new to this whole Christmas thing. Idris doesn't need to know /why/, he just knows that coal=no presents and that would be the greatest tragedy. Well, of the moment, anyway. "Imma good boy! I got presents!" PROOF. "Thanks," Irene says to her partner, dry, but with a smile.
"I'm sure you have a lovely voice but let's not set off the fire alarms," Vega says with a vague point towards the roof. They are very sensitive. There was a pyrokinetic in the office last week. Maybe next year. "Me neither," she offers, shrugging as she looks down at Idris with bright eyes. "Did you? What did you like best, buddy?" PROOF. A smile is flashed towards his mom, just a little cheeky. "It's true."
"You don't want to have to clean up the precinct again?" Irene teases, glancing up at the alarms. She smiles down at her son next, he of the Presents as Proof, her expression getting a little tight around the eyes again. "I gotta ZOO!" Idris tells Vega with so much excitement you might think it was a real zoo. "There's an elefnt and a giraff and they are friends and go places together and then come home again to the zoo because there's a tree." It's a pretty great tree.
"Ruined a perfectly good hair day," Vega drawls with her all too high maintenance ponytail tossed back over her shoulder. She didn't care. "I don't really want to clean on my birthday though, no." She chuckles for a moment before Idris captivates all of her attention. "A zoo?" She says with delighted shock, all appreciative wide eyes. "That sounds really exciting. You'll have to make sure everyone makes it back to the tree when it is bedtime." That's an important job. It sounds like a pretty great tree.
"Least it didn't get singed off," Irene points out, quietly, in case the person who did get a little too close with their lovely locks is anywhere near, or here at all. "You're already working on it." Sucks to be you. Given a direction, Idris bobs his head and looks at Vega with those big, serious eyes again. "Okay!" He chirps. He will keep the animals safe! "Even the bear can come!"
"Point." Wincing a little Vega glances around the office, before deciding that 'nope' it's just her. "It's better me than everyone who wants to spend the day with their families. I don't have anything like that to get back to today. Besides, it's a great day. You brought me cake." Almost as enthusiastic as Idris in her own way, she flashes Irene a grin. It's a great day. Leaning down to look at Idris, she nods at that bobbing of his head. "I trust you've got it, buddy." He's reliable. She can tell.
"Really?" Irene seems a little surprised at this, tipping her head slightly to the side. "Your...family doesn't do anything?" It /is/ her birthday. That feels like it should merit some acknowledgement. She shrugs though, like to each their own. "Uh-huh," says Idris, attention wandering as he looks around the police station.
"We'll do something in the evening. My siblings all do the Christmas thing with their kids," Vega explains with a wave of her hand. It isn't a big deal to her. "If not with everyone than my moms'll take me out to dinner." Family. Each to their own. Smile lingering on Idris for a moment, she shakes her head. Kids. "Oh. I almost forgot." Bending down, she digs around in one of her drawers and pulls out a small wrapped package. "Here you go, Idris. Merry Christmas."
"Ahh. Gets everyone eventually, I guess." Christmas. "That's nice at least," Irene says and leaves it at that. She brought cake, she's done her bit. When Vega goes digging around in her desk, Irene gives her partner a mildly quizzical look, while Idris regains an interest in what is going on. Curiosity turns to enthusiasm quickly. He giggles as he lets go of his mom's hand--and she his for a moment--so he can streeeetch and take the small package. "What do you say, Idris?" Irene directs her son before he gets to unwrapping. "Thank you," he tells Vega solemnly, drawing out the 'ooou' sound. "You didn't have to do that," she says to Vega, but it's paired with a genuinely warm smile. Idris tears into the paper with no shame.
"It sure does." Christmas. The collector of all. There is a genuine appeal in Santa Claus and cheer and gifts, even if one isn't of the faith that practices it. The package is green and striped with shiny paper that crinkles when Idris holds it. "You're very welcome," Vega tells the small boy fondly, smile slow and genuine. Glancing to Irene, she shakes her head with that lingering smile. "It's Christmas." The little ones like it. The paper flies about to match Idris's enthusiasm to reveal an alphabet book on dinosaurs with thick pages that are easier for little kids to turn.
Irene has been something of a reluctant convert into celebrating the season, but it's difficult to avoid as a parent when you don't really have anything to replace it with. So, lights and presents and good cheer. It's not bad. Idris tears through the paper, leaving it to fall on the ground and holds up his new book like it's the next king of the lions for Irene to see. "Very nice," she says warmly. "We'll have to read it today," she promises, picking the wrapping paper mess off the floor and depositing it in the trash.
Their holiday celebrations occur later to ring in the new year, but a small child would have trouble waiting months to celebrate the New Year. Lights and presents and cheer are exciting for anyone. Vega smiles as Idris holds up his book to show it off to his mom. "I think you'll like it," she says quietly, pulling out her trash bin so Irene can dispose of the paper. "So where are you two off to? I can't imagine you got all dressed up to come and see me."
Instead, some children get completely spoiled celebrating Christmas and then the New Year a couple months later. Having shown off his book, Idris is now flipping through it and trying to pronounce some of the dinosaur names to himself. Some of them are really tough. "Christmas celebrations with his grandparents," Irene answers succinctly, confirming Vega's guess they are not dressed up for her. "More presents and dinner."
"That'll be nice," Vega says with a tip of her head and a brief smile. Her gaze flitting towards Idris as he tries really hard to work through some of the longer names. They aren't really dinosaur hard, at least. "You guys'll have to get a move to make it across town before traffic locks up this afternoon."
Some day Idris will be up to 'Dinosaur Hard' names, but it's not this day. "Yeah," Irene says with a smile that is more tense than happy. "Yeah," she says again, this time with a soft sigh. "You're right. Alright Idris, say goodbye." The boy dutifully looks up from his book and gives Vega a wave. "Have a good rest of your day...May nothing too interesting happen here." She takes up her son's hand again, preparing to leave. "Happy Birthday, Vega."
Irene will graduate to those names with him. "Only if I'm lucky," Vega says with a crooked smile, wiggling her fingers in a wave back at Idris. "And Irene?" She pauses, hesitating for a moment before smiling broadly. "Thanks for the cake.""You're welcome," Irene says, shooting a smile over her shoulder as she and Idris walk hand-in-hand back out the door. More Christmas celebrations await.