Chili and Children


alexander_icon.gif brett_icon.gif colene_icon.gif colette_icon.gif grace_icon.gif judah_icon.gif matt_icon.gif trask2_icon.gif

Scene Title Chili and Children
Synopsis Various people meet and converse at a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser. Matt especially gets a (figurative) earful.
Date September 18, 2008

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Manhattan's branch of Habitat for Humanity is holding a fundraiser in the form of a chili cook-off. Anyone who enjoys cooking may register to enter their recipe for a fee of $20. All preparation must be done in Central Park; entrants provide the ingredients for their chili, including a posted ingredient list, while Habitat for Humanity provides at least the basic equipment. The various entries will be judged beginning at 5pm by a committee of Habitat for Humanity volunteers; first, second, and third-place winners will receive trophies, announced at 7pm. The event will also feature games and live music, as well as a bake sale and other food vendors. After the judging, bowls of chili will also be available.

Central Park

Come evening, Central Park usually remains busy, at least for a while — but today is more than the usual. Most of one large expanse of grass has been taken over by awnings, booths, tables, chairs, and — of course — people. Row upon row of tables with small cooking stoves and pots of chili simmering away under the shade of what amount to wall-less tents, with hopeful entrants still waiting on the last few taste-tests and the still-forthcoming verdict of victors.

There are booths with crafts and trinkets — from Habitat for Humanity sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and other typical fundraising knickknacks to jewelry and art made by local crafters. Most of the food vendors are arranged along the outer perimeter of the event, from hot dog stands to popcorn, roasted nuts, and candies to smoothies and shaved ices. Street musicians and magicians have set up shop in the few clear spaces left by registrants who didn't make it to the event, each the center of a cluster of children, adults, and a few teens who aren't too proud to look interested.

Off to one side is a slightly more official stage, where a series of small bands have been playing in rotation. At the very far end of the spread is the open grass where several games were held earlier, from belt-sander races to a semi-contest of who could blow the largest bubble; in the heat of day's end, the dunk tank that sat there idle for most of the afternoon has been opened up, and the general hubbub of the crowd is occasionally overwhelmed by loud splashes and even louder cheers.

"Noooo no no no!" Walking backwards, with her hands laced together behind her head, a young and dark-haired girl beams a smile upwards at the much taller and older man following behind her. "See, this was all your bright idea!" She flashes the man a chipper, if not somewhat wry smile, still not having noticed the smudge on her cheek from the small bowl of chili she had devoured earlier. "You dragged me out of the apartment, so we're going to stay here until its over, no running back to get all buried up in worn n'all that!" She wrinkles her nose, smiling in a teasing manner. "Besides!" Her arms flail out to the sides, waving up and down, "The dunk tank just opened!" The way she says that, and the way her lips twist into a mischevious grin can only meen unfortunate things for Detective Demsky.

Officer Trask is on patrol during the cook off, he and several other unfiroms were brought in for additional security. Even so its more of a vacation for him as long as nothing bad happens, he just has to keep his eyes open and keep order.

Why did Judah think this was a good idea? He trails along several paces behind Colette, a half-eaten bowl of vegetarian chili cupped in one of his large hands while a plastic spoon dangles from the fingers of the other. This, he tells himself, is why he never settled down and had children. Usually, it's the smaller ones who are too much to handle — but in Colette's case, the opposite is true. Keeping up with her is like trying to keep up with an eight-year-old trapped in a sixteen-year-old's body.

From the rough look of him and constant scowl worn on his face, Private Detective Brett Reinhold doesn't appear to /want/ to be here. Why he is, then, is anyone's guess. He is still wearing his full trenchcoat and fedora, but it's lifted a bit from his eyes as to not cover them, contrary to the typical 'style'. He is on the phone, practically growling to the person on the other end of the line. With a louder, "Well, don't come to me when your fucking husband is fucking your sister if you don't want to actually know that it's happening!" Flipping it closed with much more force than perhaps is needed, he looks down as he pulls open one side of his coat to slip the phone in, and just as he looks up…

Bam! From behind comes the surprising force that even someone of small stature can manage when they aren't looking where they are going. Brett stumbles forward and turns around as he catches himself. "Watch where your fu…" the P.I. trails off as he looks down at the girl who bumped him he covers his mouth and coughs lightly into his closed hand, "I. Uh. Sorry."

Chatting idly with one of the chili-makers at a nearby table, Grace notices the collision mostly because it is a stutter in the otherwise continuous flow of passersby. The woman, dressed in a lightweight brown jacket and light blue jeans, turns to look more directly in that direction, producing a brief lull in the conversation as the couple on the other side do the same. By now, that particular girl is getting to be more than a familiar face; Grace straightens from where she was leaning on her elbows and moves a couple of steps — exactly two — in Colette's direction. "I sense a recurring theme," she observes, to no one in particular.

Wheeling around, Colette stamps her foot and puffs out her cheeks, arms thrown down to her sides with hands balled up into fists, "What where you're fu — " Her own words mirror that of the dark-haired man she backed up into, and she too breaks from what would have been an overly profane tirade when she sees the person she bumped into. Colette's mis-matched eyes blink twice, and she cracks a nervous smile, edging back towards Judah, "Ah, eh heh," Awkwardly, the young girl reaches up to scratch at the back of her head, "S-sorry."

The smooth sound — smooth like gravel in a woodchipper — of Grace's voice immediately catched Colette's attention, distinct in the way dynamite is from a firecracker. "Hey!" She exclaims cheerfully, throwing one arm into the air, hand waving back and forth animatedly. She steps away from Judah, waltzing over with a skip in her step towards the taller and older woman. "I didn't know evil masterminds liked chili!" She carries on the joke from days previous, "Where's your henchwoman?" Colette's lips contort into a mischevious smile, her hands folding behind her back as she rocks up and down on her heels.

Trask comes down the aisle, hearing the sounds of conflict he rushes over, only to be releived to find nothing is actually breaking out.

"Reinhold." Judah keeps a wary eye on Colette in his peripheral vision, just in case she decides to run off while she thinks he isn't looking (with teenagers, you never know). The majority of his attention, however, is focused on the man she bumped into — a familiar face around the precinct where Judah spends most of his time. He offers Brett a small, apologetic sort of smile. "I hope she didn't jostle you too badly." Dark eyes dart in Trask's direction, and the officer receives a short nod of acknowledgement. It's good to see him here.

Brett looks up and narrows his eyes a moment at the speaking of his name. Then he sees who it is, and from the sudden change in mood to a more positive one, at the least Brett is trying to seem personable. "Demsky. You on the clock? Or here for the… fun and frivolity?"

Blue eyes half-close as Colette redirects her attention to Grace. "The Brit? Was never mine," she replies easily. "And do you see any chili?" No. Her hands be most empty. Her attention shifts to Judah, as the woman steps aside to clear the way for people passing through. "She needs a bell," Grace observes, as much to Colette as to the presumed associated adult supervision, the rasp in her voice easily masking any indication of tone the words might've otherwise possessed. Amused? Serious? Very much disapproving? Anyone's guess. "Or maybe an air-raid siren. Bells can be missed."

Quirking her lips into a smile, Colette — as she is often prone to do — slips in to invade Grace's privacy, one slender finger reaching up to gently poke at her midsection before slipping past the taller woman, "She has such a way with words, doesn't she Demsky?" One hand moves to brush a lock of black hair out from her face as she walks, and her eyes dart back and forth between the man she plowed into and Judah. She pauses, considering their interaction, and crosses her arms over her chest, looking up and to her side over one shoulder towards Grace. "You're right," She admits after a moment, her eyes halfway closed as she regards the woman side-long, though her lips remain curled into a playful smile. "I don't see any chili. You must be here for some super-secret surveillance or something, right? Maybe the chili competition is some cover for international espionage? Hmmm?" Her brows raise, and Colette rises up onto her toes, reaching out to try and nudge one elbow towards Grace.

Trask watches the by play between the two women, after returning Demsky's nod. He shakes his head a little but then his gaze wanders as there seems to trouble here.

"Note to self: buy a bell." Judah looks from Colette, to Grace, to his chili and then back to Colette again before tossing the syrofoam bowl into a nearby garbage can. He was about done with it anyway, and if the way things are going is any indication — he doesn't want to be holding it the next time Colette invades somebody's personal space. It could, after all, be his. And this is a new shirt. "I'm with the kid," he tells Brett. "What about you?"

Brett eyes the girl through, his expression betrays, what he feels is a bizarre tirade. Then when Judah asks him a question, Brett looks back up deftly producing a card from a seeming supply secreted away somewhere from within his coat. "Working. Or, advertising at least." He hands the card over to Judah, on the front it's the typical 'Bright and Reinhold' business card. On the back is a more crudely printed 'With this card: 15% Fee Discount and an additional 15% of all Fee's Collected will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.' Before Judah even has a chance to look the card over, Brett offers perhaps a little too quickly, "The deal on the back was my idea."

Grace slides away from the jabby finger and elbow. The glance she shoots Colette in the process doesn't even have any humor lurking in its background — though there isn't quite any serious menace in it, either. Translation? Don't touch me. The woman gives no direct reply to Colette, but turns back to the pair behind the table — who seem to be quite amused, if quietly so, by their impromptu guests. "Jessie. Did I see a ladle back there?" She backtracks those couble of steps, bringing her closer to the cooks. "We seem to have a persistent bug buzzing around, and I'm pretty sure you don't have a flyswatter." Safe (more or less) on her side of the table, the other woman just laughs.

Grace's evasive indifference elicits a wrinkled nose and a stuck out tongue from Colette, an entirely comfortable and playful gesture from the woman, even if she doesn't seem receptive to the notion. "Hey!" Colette's attention, however, immediately snaps to Judah, one hopping step over and she jabs him in the side with one finger — just as he expected — "Call me the kid again and you'll go to work with something unfortunate drawn on your face in sharpie marker." She raises one brow, the twisted grin on her lips a remarkably playful and teasing expression. She can't be serious, can she? "I'm quite serious." From the right pocket of her jeans, Colette produces a single black-capped marker, holding it up menacingly, "My name," She turns her focus to Brett, offering the detective one hand gracefully, "Is Colette Nichols!" Her head cocks to the side as she says that with a swish of her bangs, "It's a pleasure." Despite Brett and Judah's interactions, Colette seems more than willing to shove herself into the middle of it.

Trask wanders off from the argument a bit. Heading to make sure that another part of the festival is safe and secure.

Reaching out to accept the offered hand, the private eye's hand is meaty and gives a sense of surprising strength for how… out of shape he appears even under the concealing trenchcoat. He shakes in the way only people conscious of their own strength can, with a confining gentleness. "Colette," He offers, "I'm Brett Reinhold, Private Eye." He releases the hand, "I've done a few jobs for the force, including Detective Demsky here. That last one was fun, eh Demse?" Brett looks now to the Detective in question, "First time I was hired to find a suspect's missing finger. But I guess you had the match that print to something, eh? Just glad I could help you out."

Judah reaches up and touches his nose, almost instinctively. She'd better not draw anything on his face in his sleep, or he'll strangle her to death in hers. "So much fun," he agrees with Brett, his voice flat and without a single ounce of enthusiasm.

Grace glances sidelong at Colette as the girl gives up her ongoing joke. At least for the moment. Odds on it staying that way? Poor. Returning her attention to the booth, she nods towards the chili, and is dished up a bowl of her own in short order. The woman leans back against the table as she blows on a spoonfull to cool it, watching the teen preempt the other conversation with an almost expressionless face.

Something unexpected flashes across Colette's face, an actual serious look for the first time this evening. Her eyes wander up and down Brett, eyeing the fedora and trenchcoat, a crooked smirk crossing her lips, "Yer joking, right?" She finally asks, barely containing a snicker, "Come ooon, I mean, feodra and all?" She shakes her head, smiling broadly, "I may be young but m'not dumb," One hand waves flippantly at Brett, as if to dismiss his appearance, "You…" She eyes the detective for a moment, "You are joking, right?" One brow twitches slightly as she realizes her mouth may have run far ahead of her own thoughts there.

"Uncle Matt!" A dark blonde girl tugs on the hem of the Homeland Security Agent's shirt and points toward a vendor selling jewelry, then one selling shaved ice, then one selling candy. "Looooook!" She tugs once more and then beams a gap-toothed smile up at her chaperone. She only relinquishes her hold on the man's shirt to scratch at the bandage securely taped to her forehead.

"Don't scratch, Cole," Matt says as he reaches for the girl's hand. Hold on. Big park + Lots of people = Protective Surrogate Uncle. "But don't you want chili first?" He does his best to make potentially way to spicy beans and meat sound appetizing to a six year-old, including a grin and raised eyebrows. He knows /he/ wants chili. "Then maybe we can get dessert and something for your mom, hm?" He grips Cole's hand gently yet firmly as he steers her toward the chili table nearest the dunk tank. It looks popular - maybe it's good.

Judah is a simple man who takes simple pleasure in simple things, and the expression on Colette's face certainly falls into this category. Like Grace, he's silent, content to observe her interaction with Brett without involving himself in it. Even when he hears the sound of Cole's voice, he doesn't do much except glance over his shoulder toward the source and narrow his eyes at Matt. Where's Kaydence? That's her little girl over there. Mommy's usually never far away.

Brett narrows his eyes, some definite annoyance flashing across his features. "It's called the classic look, /kid/." He doesn't appear to be doing much in the way of being jovial or 'funny ha-ha' with the verbal jab. "So no," Brett relaxes visibly, "I am not joking." He looks over to the kid with her 'uncle' and those who are in and of themselves observant, might notice Brett appears to be rather taking in alot of details himself.

As the men turn their attention towards someone else, Grace also looks that way. Unlike Judah, she doesn't recognize either — just the fact that they're headed rather directly this way. The woman thus straightens up from where she's leaning against the table, taking her bowl of chili over to where she isn't between them and the cooks. "Is it just me," she observes, raven's voice more or less directed at Judah, "or did we pick the most popular table to stand at?"

This guy looks like some black-and-white movie gone horribly wrong! Colette's thoughts perhaps are not the most censored things in the world, Not bad though, if Judsie knows him and he's a private eye and all that, maybe I can use that. Seeming to be entirely oblivious to where Judah's attention is, Colette offers a lopsided smile to Brett. "Sorry about that! I thought maybe it was, like, ironic humor?" She laughs anxiously, ironic humor, yeah, smooth.

"Soooo!" She edges closer to Brett, casting a side-long stare at Judah, "You known Judsie for very long?" Heh heh, Judsie. "He's a lot nicer once he stops frowning at everything, you know? I'm sure you do." Colette slides her hands into the pockets of her jeans, trying to smooth out the wrinkles made by her improper assessment of the private detective's style of dress.

"But it itches!" Cole pouts as her hand is captured and pulled away from her head. But the lamentation is forgotten as soon as her wide, wandering eyes settle on the detective's form. "Uncle Jude!" She tries to go scampering over to him, but finds herself bouncing back into Matt's legs. "Let's go see Uncle Jude! Can we can we can we? Pleeeeeeeeeease, Uncle Matt?" Mommy doesn't seem to be coming. Whether this bodes well for Judah or not is anyone's guess.

"Yeah, yeah, sure." Just calm /down./ Matt is ever so lucky Molly is never this hyper, but he can't help but wonder if she ever was, or if she would be if she had anything resembling a normal life. As they near, Matt does his best to smile at his old partner's wife's new partner and nods his head. "Judah," he greets before looking past the detective to the chili. "S'it any good? Gonna win?"

Judah's gaze turns to Grace, and he tilts his head into a strange sort of half-nod. "Looks that way, doesn't it?" It's probably a good thing that he doesn't share Matt's talent; if he did, he probably wouldn't be wearing such a placid expression right now. Before he can correct Colette — he's Demsky, damn it! — he finds himself standing face to face with the agent and, subsequently, Cole. "Wouldn't know," he tells the elder of the two, "I haven't tried it." He drops his eyes to the little girl at his leg. "Hey, down there. Where's your mom?"

Brett looks at the kid's joy-tantrum in a reactionless, and some might say sociopathically expressionless manner. A moment later and Brett lets his gaze slowly swivel back towards Colette with left eye narrowed and the right one studious of the girl in a conspicuous manner. "Missing something, right? Don't know if you can afford me."

It's just a bit before sunset in the park, with the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser still almost in full swing. The rows of tables remain quite well-populated — probably because there's still plenty of chili to go around. Plus other food and knicknacks for sale, an assortment of performers scattered about, and a dunk tank off to one side, the source of the occasional loud kersplash and much yelling.

This particular knot of people is loitering around the table closest to the dunk tank. "It's very good," Grace volunteers over her bowl for Matt's benefit, taking care to make the words clear despite her gravel-hoarse voice. "I'd put money on it placing. Not too much, though," she promptly amends — just in case Colette notices and gets any ideas. Although maybe the kid will attract her attention instead. That wager is a purely internal one.

I dunno if I have any nineteen-twenties currency Mr.Bogart! Colette smiles happily up to Brett and tilts her head to the side, "Something like that, actually. But, um," Colette furrows her brow, this would be such a downer, maybe later, "It's kind've a downer, I guess?" She scrunches up her nose, "I'll borrow your card from Judsie later, maybe…" Not going to ruin the good mood with my problems, it can wait.

Eyeing the young girl, her attention stolen by her and the rather sharply dressed escort she has, Colette manages a welcoming smile, the heck is this guy, secret service or some shit? She sways from side to side as she meanders back over to Judah, looking down at the girl, bandage, poor kid. "Who's the gremlin?" Colette asks qith a quirked grin, upturning her mis-matched eyes to Judah, then flicking them over to Matt, "President's daughter?"

"Mommy said the Shrieking Lady is making her do pape'work," Cole explains to Judah very matter-of-factly. "But she said I could go to the park if Uncle Matt would take me!" Matt's leg gets a tight hug before she reaches out for a hug from Judah. "I brought Towser home with me! He's real big now! You should come see!"

Brett takes out another card and hands it out towards Colette. "Yeah. Lets just make sure you have one for yourself, yeah?" He does smirk at the joke about the 'well-protected' young girl. Waiting for it to be accepted, and once it is, Brett tips his hat and offers in a lower voice, "Not to worry, kid. I can find anyone." He then turns to head off with a backwards wave over his shoulder.

Conservation of….something. Because Al is no longer any sort of officer, or detective, or anything close. He's in his usual Army parka, t-shirt, and fatigues, hands in pocket as he wanders towards the food vendors, coming from the general direction of the various crafts on display. His expression abstracted and thoughtful, and a little weary.

Matt lets go of Cole so she can hug her mother's partner, then looks to the teenage girl who is the cause of a growing headache. He frowns at her — the sort of frown an exasperated parent might make. "His name is Demsky," is the first thing Matt says to her before he sighs. "And I'm Matt Parkman, Homeland Security." There's no offered handshake, not even an offered badge. There's only Matt and his stern eyes in his boyish face.

Judah scoops Cole up in his arms and rests her against his shoulder, pausing to examine the bandage she wears on her forehead. "I heard you took a tumble down at the pool," he murmurs, keeping his voice soft, "that true?" Matt saves Judah the trouble of having to introduce him to Colette, but when he declines to make any comment about the girl, he abruptly cuts in to prevent Colette from getting the wrong idea (as she so often does). "She's McGrabby-hands'," he states, and leaves it at that. He hasn't noticed Alexander, not yet.

Well, that redirects Grace's attention quite nicely. She goes from idly watching the introductions and reunions to giving Matt a curious and contemplative regard. Homeland, him? Never would've guessed. Not that you're supposed to. The woman makes a mental note of Matt's appearance — what's bound to be a reaction he gets after virtually every such introduction. Notorious government agency, and all that. Plus, Colette probably thinks loudly enough to drown out Grace's interest. Alex is unfortunately not recognized at the moment, since her attention is first on Matt (and Colette), and second on her own food.

Looking back to Brett as she's handed a card, Colette flips it over between her fingers, reading both the front and the back of the card, Anyone huh? She frowns for a moment, tucking the card into her right front pocket, Sis… Her brows knit at the thought, teeth tugging on her lower lip. She turns around, looking back towards where the detective was headed, //Maybe I should — //

Colette's eyes widen, and she turns to look back at Matt, grimacing awkwardly. "O-Oh!" Shit, shit, shit. Colette grimaces awkardly, "Nice, ah, t-to meet you Mister Parkman, sir!" Colette reaches out a hand politely, Oh shit, okay, he can't know anything right? Homeland what the fuck security oh god this is not good okay just play it cool Colette he can't know so obviously everything is fine let's just keep it cool why did she have to tell me crap crap crap… Colette's mind spins in a circle as she merely passes it off as social anxiety, shakily offering up her hand a bit more. "So you know Judsie huh?" She had completely missed the comment about Judah's name in her own confusion.

The distraction of the young girl's identification serves Colette's mind well, Oh shit, he must be Kay's husband! Her eyes widen, then she smiles a bit more broadly, laughing awkwardly. Looking from Matt, Colette crouches down and rests her hands on her knees, looking at the girl with a warm smile. "Hey there, you must be…" Colette strains, Claire? C… Clem… Coreline? Her eyes narrow, "You must be Kay's daughter!" A crooked smile crosses her lips as she addresses the girl, "My name's Colette Nichols," She offers a hand to Cole, hoping perhaps she'll take the offer where Matt snubbed Colette. "What's your name?" She's adoreable!

HomeSec. Just my fuckin' luck. Al doesn't flinch, doesn't show any sign of recognition beyond a flickering glance at Matt. And then, hey….cops. Alex's face goes smooth, impassive. Gotta play it cool — you run, you only attract attention. So he insinuates himself into the line for food, hands still in his pockets. He doesn't greet Matt or Judah — there's no sign of recognition in the blue eyes. He does, however, blink on noticing Grace, craning his neck a bit.

"Billy Thompson took my doll and I was trying to catch him!" Cole frowns oh-so-seriously and smooths at Judah's hair affectionately in that way that children do when they just need to fidget. "But the ground was slipp'ry. And it was like when I run on the ice— " She holds her arms out to either side and adds her own little sound effect for emphasis, because it is very important to the story, "Whoosh! — and then I slid and hit my head on the diving board and fell into the water! Sploosh!" She claps her hands together and then tries to emulate droplets of water by wiggling her fingers over her and Judah's heads, tapping down on top of the detective's head. See? Water! "They had to close the pool and everything!" She gasps and then smiles widely at Colette. "I'm Colene Marcella Damaris!" She takes Colette's hand and shakes it vigorously. "Your eye is all white! It looks pretty."

Wincing, Matt lifts his hand to rub at his temple. Colette is so /loud/, but he doesn't dare turn the volume down just in case — and there it is. When Alex comes to stand in the semblance of a line they're made, Matt turns to look over his shoulder at him.

With Judah holding Cole and Colette crooning over her, he takes the opportunity to turn and be sociable with one of New York's citizens. "Hey there," he says with a half-smile, slipping his hands into his pockets. At the same time, he focuses his thoughts on Alexander's. "You tried any of the other chilis yet? Tell a guy what to avoid and what to try?" Leaning in with the semblance of confidence, Matt squints — the tell-tale sign of mind-reading, al a Parkman — and adds, "I don't like it too spicy."

As Matt turns around to greet Alexander, Grace's attention is drawn past to him. She offers the ex-cop a bit of a smile, one corner of her mouth tugging back; the chili bowl is lifted in a more obvious acknowledgment. But since Matt's doing the conversing, she occupies herself with finishing said chili.

Shit. Of course he's on me. Hey. It's that air force chick… "Grace, wasn't it?" Al says, momentarily squinting past Matt, before he gives the telepath a guileless look. "No idea, sir," he says, with reflexive politeness. "Haven't had any of 'em." And there's Demsky. Wonder where Damaris is, I don't see her. He glances around, as if expecting Kaydence to be on hand.

Crookedly smiling, Colette nods her head, absolutely adoreable, "Yeah, it is…" She'd forgotten about how it must look to someone on the outside, brushing stray locks of hair away from the eye to let the girl see it a bit more clearly. "And, t-thanks." She nods, tilting her head to the side with a broad smile. Man, how can Grabbyhands' kid be so much cuter than she is. There's no way they're related.

Shifting her weight to one foot, Colette looks back over to Parkman, breathing out a relieved sigh, phew, he's bothering that homeless guy. Looking back, Colette's eyes flit up to Judah, "We should invite Kay over some time for dinner, she can bring the gremlin here." Her tone is gentle and sweet, nose wrinkles as she eyes Cole, "I can cook!" Sure as heck obvious you can't, "We can make it like, a family dinner or something, right? Maybe we can get…" Colette hesitates, shit, goddamned fed, "You know, the whole gang together!" Exactly how has she managed not to get shipped off to one of those concentration camps if she lives with a cop? Wait, she can't be registered can she? That'd be so weird. Then again, it is Judah, and he does have that huge stick up his ass sometimes.

"Is Uncle Jude your boooooyfriend?" Cole giggles at Colette and clings a little tighter to Judah. To her, both the teenager and the detective are simply 'old.'

Matt sidesteps Judah and the girls to pick up two bowls of chili, handing one to Alexander before nodding to Grace. "No? Shame," he says, his attention sliding back to Alexander. "You know, it's a small world. Ran into an old friend's partner," and he jerks his head toward Judah as he spoons some of the chili into his mouth. Matt hums appreciatively, turning his head to nod to Grace again. Good chili! Looking back to Alex, Matt swallows and smiles. "But I don't know who you are. I'm Matt."

"Uncle Jude is not her boyfriend." Kids. It's bad enough that Judah has to put up with this sort of thing in the bullpen at work. Does he really have to deal with it on his time off? "The whole gang together. Right. I can ask, Colette, but I can't promise she'll be able to take time out of her schedule." I might not be able to, either.

"Yeah. Ah used to know him, back when ah was on the fohse," Alex's accent has abruptly gotten much, much stronger than usual. You're a long way from Mayberry, Fife. "Makes sense, since ah don't you know you either, Matt. I'm Lex," he says, laconically, as he's issued one of the milder chilis. He doesn't look like he's totally homeless, but he's obviously rolling pennies for gas poor. Jesus. What does this guy want with me? I'm not even packing. I'm registered, got that, at least.

Discarding the bowl and spoon she no longer needs now that her chili's gone, Grace smiles slightly at Alex. "You remember correctly," she affirms in that raven's voice. Matt's appreciation of the chili earns him a nod in reply — and the smirk that Cole's query evokes is a clearly evident one even in Grace's expression.

Colette whitens, any hint of color in her face draining out as she stares at Cole as if the girl has suddenly sprouted six writhing tentacles and began speaking in tongues. They're related. It takes her a few moments to blink away the sheer shock from her face, before a twitching smile slowly creeps up across her lips, "N-No sweetie, definately not." Not my type. Colette tries to not alienate the girl though, "Judah's my guardian right now," Hopefully for a long time, "Because I don't have anywhere else to go." She smiles gently, tilting her head to the side, "I'm kinda' friends with your mom," friends in making fun of the vein in Judah's forehead when he gets angry, heh heh heh, "But um," don't think about it, don't get emotional, he's gone, he can't hurt you, come on, change the subject, "S-so that's Kay's husband huh? He seems like a nice guy, good with kids too!" Colette turns to look over her shoulder, motioning with one hand to Matt before looking back. "They kind've make a cute couple!" You know they do! He seems awful dopey and nice for a fed, maybe he's a good cop and not a jerkface asshole.

Looking up at Judah at the comment, Colette frowns visibly, I wonder where she is right now… I wonder if she's lonely. "Yeah, I know, I mean… She's got things to do I guess." I wonder if she's okay, "Maybe in a perfect world, right?" Trying to be as upbeat as possible, Colette's thoughts continue to betray her, I wonder if she misses me.

"Guardian?" Cole blinks her eyes several times. "You mean like an angel?" She cocks her head to one side. "My daddy's my guardian angel. Mommy says he's always with us." She scrutinizes Judah with a face far too cute to be terribly critical, "Can't be an angel. I can still see you." It's just a fact. She looks over at Matt and then back to Colette. "That's not my daddy. That's Uncle Matt!" Because this concept that her mother might actually move on and date, let alone marry someone else, is completely lost on her.

"Were you now?" Matt says with interest between bites. "Me too. That little girl's dad was my partner." This, of course, is said in a more somber tone. "Got snatched up for federal work though. This is damn good chili," he says, his mouth half-full for a moment before he swallows again. "Anyway. So I got a tip yesterday saying that some suspected terrorists are going to start targeting little girls." Matt glances back to Cole, giving her a smile before he turns his head back to Alexander. "So one cop to another — you hear anything like that, Lex?" Leave it to Matt to work when he's supposed to be out enjoying himself. It's only a slight bend of the truth, but if it evokes any information that this guy might be hiding, Matt might sleep a little easier tonight. If he gets far enough away from Loudthought McLouderpherson over there. It's like she has speakers, and the things she's thinking aren't exactly what he wants in his head.

It's terribly ironic, really. Because Alex is the one who's supposed to kill Molly Walker. But there's not a glimmer of guilt in the blue eyes, as he works on devouring that chili in short order. "I'm not a cop anymore," he says, mildly, tone laden with regret. "Haven't been in a while. I just drive a cab, now. Can't say I've heard anything like that,"

Colette fawns over Cole, "Oh — oh goodness she's adoreable!" She peers up at Judah, "Can I keep her?" A crooked smile creeps up across Colette's lips as she teases her guardian, then looks back down to Cole. "Nope," She says with a warm smile, "My guardian angel is a lot younger, and a lot prettier." Her head cants to the side, "But Judsie's no slouch," The young girl nods, arms folded across her chest. then, though, at the revelation of who Matt is, Colette grimaces, her lower lip twitching as her teeth tug at it. "O-Oh!" Awkward. "Right, uncle…" There is something of a touched expression when she finally pieces together the bit about Cole's father, poor girl, she's too young to have to deal with things like that. "Well, your uncle Matt seems like an okay guy." Boy he sure pounds down the chili though! Wait, the dunking booth! JUDAH! Colette whips around for no apparent reason, eyeing Judah with a crooked smile.

"Gramma Britt says I shouldn't slouch. Does that mean you have good posture, Uncle Jude?" Cole smiles brightly at him and reaches up to trace one of his ears. Ears are shaped funny. "Uncle Matt's really cool. One time! He let me stay up and watch James Bond!" Which is clearly the coolest thing ever!

"Thanks man," Matt says, suddenly tense and already half-turning to look at the dectective and the two girls again. "NO," he says firmly, and probably a bit louder than is necessary, looking at Colette. "His name is Demsky and no." He eats a bit more chili before he hands the bowl to Cole and reaches out to take her in his arms. "Nice to see you Judah. And to meet you, Colette. Judah? Stay dry. Let's go, Cole. We've still got to pick out something for your mom."

Alexander visibly deflates. Oh, man. Good. The spook is leaving. And Al decides that the better part of valor is discretion, and heads away from all this.

It's time that Judah and Colette got going as well, now that he thinks about it. "Take care of her," he says to Matt by way of farewell, "let's go, Colette."

"Mmnh!" Colette looks up to Judah and scrunches up her nose, next time, dunk-dunk-dunk "Hey ah, it was nice meeting your Mister Parkman!" Kinda, "And you too Cole, I'm sure I'll see you around! Say hi to your mommy for me!" Colette beams a smile to the young girl, waving one hand exaggeratedly over her head before eyeing Grace. "See you around, archvillain!" She winks to the dark-haired woman who'd been so demure much of this time, "Alright, alright. Hey, can we hit some stores on the way back home?" Colette runs in front of Judah, arms out to the side and hands flailing as she animatedly speaks, "I could use some new clothes, and we could pick up stuff to make teriyaki pork, and maybe…" Her voice trails off, rambling all the while with a broad smile on her face as she leaves with the detective.

Cole relinquishes her hold on Judah and jumps ship to Matt's arms instead. "Nice'ta meet'cha!" She waves just as enthusiastically to Colette. "Buh-bye, Uncle Jude! Love you!" She then cuddles up to Matt and yawns widely. "I bet Mommy would like candy…"

September 18th: The X-Files this Isn't
September 18th: The Red Zone
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