|Location||Tompkins Square Park - Mutant Town|
|Participants||Donny, Luka, Richard|
|Summary||Idle chitchat in the park. Luka gives Donny & Richard his business card. (Do those still exist?)|
| During daylight hours, the park is pleasant enough, if not ever truly safe. Concrete paths criss-cross a green space liberally shaded by trees, while the north end boasts basketball and multi-purpose courts of cracked and pitted concrete. The playgrounds have long since been abandoned, and most of the equipment is rusted and broken, while the pool sits empty save for rainwater. It's often filled with teenagers who've long since abandoned school and those who can't find even the shelter of a squat to call home.
Drugs are freely traded at all hours, but when night falls, the park becomes a veritable marketplace of illicit substances. Interested parties come to Tompkins Square from all over Manhattan to partake, if they're sturdy enough to brave Mutant Town at night. After twilight, the park and surrounding areas are home to drug-fueled parties and violence in almost equal measure.|
| It is a winter day. The weather is freezing and overcast.|
It’s rare to see anyone taking advantage of the sad playground island in Tompkins Square Park. ...for its intended use, anyway.
Although the day is overcast and still chilly, the wind is more forgiving than it has been in the past week. This makes being out and about much easier to swallow for those who have given in to winter as their lord and master.
With his hands in the pockets of his brown leather jacket, Luka slowly paces the playground area. He stops every once in awhile to kick at a pebble or offer a holler of encouragement to the little girl, the spitting image of him, who climbs the sad excuse for playground equipment. Everyone once in awhile, a thug or tweaker will approach him. Rather than being hassled or hustled, Luka usually receives a respectful greeting before they’re on their way.
There's a fairly new addition to Mutant Town wandering around the park, taking in the sights, his hands tucked into the pockets of his jeans and his long hair getting tousled by every other wayward breeze.
Donny Donahue makes his way past the playground, offering a nod to the man and the young girl playing there as he looks for an open patch of ground. Upon discovery of a suitable spot, the wiry guy slips out of his jacket and sets it down on the ground, before he has a seat on it.
A little bit of shifting is done, but he finally gets his legs underneath him and rests his hands on his knees, eyes closing he just starts to relax.
"Afternoon," Luka returns the nod with an easy one of his own. The word alone isn't enough to betray what little accent he might have. The tall man doesn't smile but does wear a generally altogether pleasant expression. "Jesus," he groans audibly when Donny removes his jacket. He shakes his head and glances over to check on his daughter in the same movement, shivering just at the thought.
Donny pops an eye open at Luka's groan and smirks, saying, "Little cold out for ya?" His hands move to tuck wild hairs back into their spots. He chuckles softly and clasps his hands together, letting them fall between his legs, "You just gotta...y'know, ignore it. Block it out."
Does the whole heat rising thing count up in the sky? Richard still looks chilled when he drops literally from overhead to touch down lightly on the ground near the playground. His nose and ears are a bit flushed under his olive complexion, although perhaps not as much as one might expect. He's in a coat and scarf, though. He ruffles a hand through his wind-whipped hair and offers a quick glance over in Luka and Donny's direction. He snorts with quiet humor at Donny's comment.
"For everyone, I think," Luka grumbles, shifting his weight from foot to foot, "Accept for you and her." He narrows his eyes pleasantly at his kid.
For her part, Maryanne jumps around unabashedly as Richard touches down. With a youthful sprint across the playground, she makes right for the flying man, "Wwowww!"
"Hey!-" Not moving from his spot, Luka throws up an index finger. Directing it at the little girl, he says a few gruff words in Serbian about talking to strangers. Of course, if you don't know Serbian ...he could be saying anything /in/ anything.
The little girl stops just three feet from Richard. She throws back her head dramatically and groans, "Can I talk to him?!" She asks while giving her father a whole lot of side eye, only after being scolded.
"Right on, man," Donny offers up to the newly-landed Richard with a smile. To further clarify, he makes 'flying' movements with his hand. He looks over and smiles at the interaction between Maryanne and Richard, offering, "Maybe the rest of you guys are just wimps, yeah? Me and her; we're the tough ones."
Richard blinks briefly at Maryanne's aborted approach, and then smiles. It's a world-weary sort of smile, but it holds a certain wry warmth for her childlike enthusiasm. "Hi," he offers her, and then nods to Luka in quick acknowledgment. Not trying to mess with your kid, promise. "It's colder up there," he points out mildly to Donny.
"Is it?!" Maryanne's eyes bulge at Richard. Whether or not she's willing to admit it, which she doubly won't now because she doesn't want to be a wimp, it's cold as hell down here!
"What if he flies away with you? Huh?" Luka moves gradually closer, not appearing too concerned, "Who will I replace you with? I'll have to fly after you and be even more cold!"
"You can't /FLY/! WIMP!" The little girl cackles maniacally. Her father gives Donny a good-natured but sarcastic look as if to say, 'Thanks for that.'
Donny grins at Luka and reaches up to give the man a half-salute before his hands move back down to his knees and his eyes reclose, the long-haired hippy-type slipping back into his meditative stance.
"I do try my best not to make a habit of flying off with kids," Richard says solemnly, but with a slight humor hidden in his eyes. "To be honest, it /feels/ colder down here, but only because I don't notice it as much when I'm flying at speed."
Luka chuckles quietly at the salute. With no particular ulterior motive, he watches Donny hippy for a moment. (Hippy being the verb, here.)
"Really?" Maryanne places both of her hands on her hips, "/Fascinating./" Fascinating is her new word this week. With a woeful sigh, she scuffs her shoe against the dirt. "If I get powers," she explains to Richard quite coherently, "They probably will not be flying." Sorry, Richard! She obviously knows this will come as a big disappointment to you!
"Flying's for the birds," Donny says with a wave of his hand and a little smirk at his own joke. His eyes unclose once more and he looks between Luka and Richard, contemplating something for a moment before he asks, "Either of you two know of like a ...fairly cheap place to live? I crashed in an alleyway last night, and y'know, shelter is shelter, but I kinda grew accustomed to places with a roof, y'know?"
"Well, you never know. Sometimes they can be a bit inexplicable, even if your dad's is totally different than flying," Richard offers Maryanne. There's a certain sense of patience as he converses with the young child that suggests a certain comfort with dealing with younglings. He looks over to Donny with his smile fading into something a little more like sympathy.
"Really?" Maryanne lowers her head, inching closer, "Fascinating." The dark-haired little girl brings up a finger to tap on her chin, "I was thinking I would like the /opposite/ of his. Does that? Sometimes?" And then, arching her eyebrow, "Are you a super hero?" This is asked of Richard in a particularly lowered voice, as if she does not want Luka to hear.
Uhmmm, Luka does hear, but it doesn't appear to be something he's forbidden her from asking people. ....so he doesn't really care. "Here, wait," he starts to answer Donny, but appears to lose much of his attention to patting around in his coat. "I have business card-" In being just a little flustered, despite the relaxed pace of his search, there is a pang of his native accent in his voice, "-somewhere."
Donny waves a dismissive hand a Richard's switch to sympathy and explains, "I lived in India for eight years with nothing but the clothes on my back and the straw bedding they gave us. This is paradise." He chuckles softly and looks to Luka's patting, raising his eyebrows and standing up, picking his coat up, as well. He smacks at it with his hand for a moment before putting it on and zipping it up, offering a little bit of a shiver and 'brrrr'.
"Sometimes, I think," Richard replies to Maryanne's first question. "I guess it's probably more common for kids to have similar mutations to their parents', but I don't think it's a rule." To her next question, his smile blands a little. "Ah -- I guess I used to be, a little. For a certain definition of 'superhero.'"
"My dad was an X-Men," Maryanne brags in near-silence, puffing out her little birdlike chest. All the while, she shifts her eyes from Richard to her father to make sure she isn't heard, "But he wasn't very good at it, either." This time, it's Richard's turn to receive a look of sympathy. From a five year old.
"Ah! Here we are," Luka produces a thin stack of business cards, pulling one free and holding it out to Donny. Their corners have seen better days, but they're still legible. The header and subheader read: 'Open Hands' Mutants Helping Mutants. "There are rules," Luka waggles his eyebrows and shrugs, as if /he/ didn't make the rules, "But we usually have beds available, even as temporary help."
Donny looks the card over and smiles, offering, "Huh." He tucks the card away and offers a handshake to Luka, "I've never had a problem with rules before, so I figure it'll work out fine. I'm Donny, by the way. Donny Donahue."
Richard is actually startled into a laugh by the little girl's candor. "I'm sure he was fine," he says out of some need to be polite. "I have a friend who was an X-Man, too. And a few other acquaintances. It's a small world, I guess."
"Oh, but you weren't?" Maryanne asks with the shake of her head, bringing both hands together in front of her. She digs one foot further into the soil beneath her. "You mean your /girl/friend?" Because she KNOWS girls are X-Men, too.
"I am Luka," Maryanne's father accepts the hand as it's offered, "Zdravkovic. And this is my demon-child, Maryanne." Which he pronounces 'Mar-yan.' His handshake is firm, but he doesn't exert too much strength into it. He's got nothing to prove.
"Don't-" Maryanne huffs, eyes widening, "-tell people I'm a demon." Blushing, she looks between her father and Richard with alarm, evidently very concerned with what the flying man thinks of her.
"Stop bothering people," Luka warns her with a pointed finger, more amused than actually scolding. "Where is purple ball? You insisted on bringing it. Go pick it up before it is lost."
"Ah -- no," Richard replies with a certain dry huff of humor. "I don't have a girlfriend. My -- friend -- is a guy." (But it's true, there are also girl X-Men!!) "I wasn't in the X-Men, no. I was in X-Force. Before that I was a cop here in the city." He glances over at Luka again, humor lingering as he stuffs his hands in the pockets of his coat. "I'm sure you're a very nice demon child," he assures Maryanne.
Donny slips his hands into his pockets and looks around, saying, "Well, I should probably go see about finding this place. Thanks for the help." He smiles warmly to Luka and offers a happy wave to him, Richard and Maryanne before he pulls his coat a bit tighter around himself and begins wandering down the pathway through the park.
"Fascinating," Maryanne nods, "I'm sorry. I have to find my purple ball." She tries to exit the conversation with as much grace as possible, despite how difficult her father is making such a feat. "Bye!" Aand she's gone, running around the playground in a frenzy.
Luka nods in understanding. In a display of quite unfortunate timing, it is in fact the same nod as his daughter's, "Oh, please do! Tell them that I sent you, please." Turning to regard Richard with a soft, amused expression, Luka offers him one of the cards as well, "Here. For you, too. We are always looking for volunteers. Especially ones with so much patience." He chuckles.
"Ahh -- okay." Richard looks a little awkward as he accepts the card, but he does look down at it and pocket it. So -- you know, not throwing it away in front of Luka, at least. "I don't have superhuman patience or anything. I just like kids okay."
Luka throws up both hands in playful mock surrender, not forcing a sale, "Hey, o-kay." The corners of his eyes crinkle into the beginnings of a smile, "It's mostly teens, really. Some adults. They are too messed up or age out of places like Xavier's, and need some help." The explanation is said softly, and quickly. "You find ball?!" He turns to call over to his daughter, who responds that she has despite clearly still being in the throes of a great search.
"You sound like you'd get along with my friend Jeremy," Richard says with a wry smile. "I'll at least keep it in mind if anyone's looking for a place." He glances back over at Maryanne when she insists against evidence she's found her ball. "Cute kid," he says, looking back at Luka. A bit belatedly, he adds, "I'm Richard, by the way."
The Serbian man offers a simple nod of thanks at Richard saving the card. His mouth opens up into a proud, sincere, toothy smile at the praise, revealing a sharp (although not *supernaturally* sharp) pair of canines. "She's /alright/," Luka scoffs, throwing a hand dismissively in her general direction. "I'm Luka," he chuckles, not looking at Richard but looking out after his daughter on the playground.
Richard slips his hand out into the cold so he can offer it to Luka. His smile twitches a bit wider at his scoffing. "Nice to meet you," he says. "You been around the neighborhood long?"
Luka does a small, unassuming double-take at Richard's hand. Without hesitation, he takes the other man's in his own with a warm, welcoming shake before replacing his hand in his pocket, "Good to meet you." To the question, he wobbles his head back and forth on his neck in thought. "A long time, I would say. In one form or another." How DIPLOMATIC of you, Luka. "And yourself?"
Richard slides his hand back into his pocket, too. It's cold. His smile turns almost a little smirkish at Luka's response. "The same," he says. "In one form or another."
"And what is it that you do, Richard?" Luka asks. Keeping his attention half on his daughter and half on Richard, he presses his eyes into thin, happy crescent-moons, "/Besides/ being a superhero." He flaps his hand towards the playground, "They have it in their heads that we all turn into them. I don't have the heart to tell her."
"I'm not superhero," Richard says, smile shading briefly melancholy. "Not anymore, anyways. I do a lot of odd jobs. Do some work for X-Factor Solutions. Fight at 18th Street sometimes." He glances over at Maryanne. "There's not a lot left for us."
Luka tsks, glancing over to Maryanne as well, "No, there is not." His broad chest heaves with a sigh as he watches his daughter distract herself by playing, ignorant to the situation of her own people. "You fight?" Don't sound so surprised! He raises both eyebrows, leaning away somewhat to give Richard a good down-and-up look. His surprise diminishes when he realizes they're not really all that different in size.
Richard's brow quirks at Luka's surprise, but he doesn't seem offended. "Yeah," he says. "I'm pretty fast, and I have the training. I haven't died yet at least."
Pressing his lips together, Luka gives Richard an impressed nod, "And does that help?" He asks earnestly. He doesn't specify /what/ it might help with, but there certainly is no judgement in his tone.
"Help with what?" Richard asks, brows lifting again.
Luka widens his eyes childishly, giving a great shrug. "I was just- It is..." He searches his mind, "Cathartic? Hm? Fighting, that is." And then, shaking his head and smiling, he adds, "I am envious, that is all. I can't fight-" The man nudges his chin towards the playground as if Maryanne were the reason. Well, the whole reason.
Richard's expression shutters closed a little. "It's -- a job," he says, just a touch evasively. He offers a quick, more strained smile. "Anyways, I need to get going. It was nice to meet you."Luka studies Richard's reaction without shame, "I hope I didn't hold you up." He offers pleasantly, unable to help himself from smiling with his eyes. "Yes. You, too." Nodding once in solidarity, he moves to start over towards his daughter.