Hot Time in the City


abby_icon.gif delia_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title Hot Time in the City
Synopsis Abby plays with fire, Jaiden stands by as a walking extinguisher, and Delia asks the older man out for dinner!
Date September 9, 2010



It's not an uncommon sight to see in midtown if you go through at dusk, homeless taking up residence, burning stuff for heat in cool evenings now that the heat has finally broken. Fire during daytime isn't all that usual though. Not much need for it. But within a circle of singed and corroded metal drums, flame dances, flickers, licking through the holes and openings, burning hot but not where it will melt the metal. Not yet at least. Just leaves it white hot. Just one right now, but another shows signs of cooling down, red instead of white or the rusty shade that it's seemed to be before.

Someone's been playing with fire.

A little ways away from this is a young woman in a pair of jeans and hoodie with a ball cap tucked over her curly red hair. She fidgets uncomfortably, staring at her feet. One of her sneakers, the right one has a hole in the toe that she's working at prying open from the inside. It's the only thing keeping Delia's mind occupied right now, this is the first time she's been to this area since her mother's death.

Generally, the redhead avoids midtown like Howard Hughes avoided the outside world. The worried expression painted across her face has two reasons to be there now. The first, her father, if she's caught he's sure she'd be used against him. The second, the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach as she watches the fires burn.

If Abby could talk, she'd try and comfort the young woman, she really would. But talking is beyond her ability in this form. The flames rise a few inches, her head rising above the rim of the oil drum that's currently where the normally blonde woman is anchored herself. She'd been moving in and out of it, via the cracks and holes in it's surface, practicing. Drifting away from Delia when she seemed like she might need some time alone.

Thermal vision takes in the fidgeting and if she could, she would call out. But she can't. And so Abigail shifts back down, opting to just sit and hunker down in her glowing oil drum and work on ramping her heat up further.
Jaiden has returned from AFK.

Standing next to Delia is Jaiden, dressed simply in jeans and a t-shirt, Australian Akubra perched neatly on his head, keeping the curls from flying free and into his eyes. A leather satchel is slung over his left shoulder, the strap bisecting his chest, his hand resting on it almost like a gunslinger's holster. And in fact, there might just be a gun in there if one dug deeply enough, but when one has the power to conjure water from the very air, guns are really just for threatening.

Assuming there is one in there, of course.

"You see what you need to see, Del?" Jaiden asks the redhead quietly, resting his right hand on her shoulder, the heat and smoke from the barrels starting to cause him to start to sweat through his shirt. He glances to the girl, then to the surrounding area. No homeless are here stoking the trash barrels, and it's not cold enough to require them for heat, otherwise they'd be in a jacket or something. "I've seen it before, but never knowing someone first hand who was affected by it. *cough*"

Jaiden, very properly, turns his head, hacks, and spits up something when the smoke turns their way, his hand lifting to put up a shield of water to protect the two from the fumes.

Delia's been watching Abby intently, not taking her eyes from the woman for a second as she practices. The hand on her shoulder causes her to jump in surprise and then lean in toward her personal fire extinguisher, bringing Jaiden was easier than carrying a few large red canisters around Midtown.

"I'll be fine, I just.. you know." The young woman angles her face to look up at him and give him a small smile. Almost absently, her arm reaches around behind him before swinging back down to her side and finally coming up to rest on top of his hand on her shoulder. His is squeezed lightly as she takes a small breath of the hot air.

Times up, end of the road, no more. When Jaiden throws up the wall of water, the cool sheet of blue with the blurred heat of their forms behind it, it's her clue to shut down practice for the day and out of the oil drum she comes. No crawling up and out, just her form easing through the holes and cracks till she's tracking across the ground. Hovering a few inches, walking almost on a cushion of air, they can see her moving behind the ripple of water, going to the pre-arrange point of where she'd move when it was time to drop the fire.

Out of view of Jaiden. No peep show, sorry.

At the pre-arranged point where she'd move when it was time to drop the fire, a small satchel (asbestos impregnated, if you must know) was left unattended. Swaddled inside are Abby's clothes, clean and dry and not at all wet, and nearby, a metal building that was once used for a traffic cop's little car - now vacant, with one door leaning perilously on one hinge, threatening to fall if moved too much. A perfect place for a flaming girl to change clothes.

"Yeah, I know." Jaiden murmurs as Abby migrates from the flames, watching her. It's like the legends of efreeti or fire elementals - a woman formed entirely of fire walking, barely touching the ground. It's not the fact that she's naked beneath the flames - it's that she's flames, period. It's kind of neat.

Now it's time for what Delia brought Jaiden for. When the flaming woman is out of the way (no sense in dousing her, after all!) Jaiden lifts his hands and lets out a breath. The surrounding area - puddles, leaks, even one storm drain, start to move across the ground toward him where, with a slow movement, he sends it into the barrels, starting at the bottom, the first creaking and hissing ominously as the water hits it. Sure he could put it out much, much faster, but let's be honest; a mile-wide cloud of steam in mid-town will probably get someone's attention.

All of this is eyed with fascination, Abby's departure, Jaiden's trick with the water, and Delia's lips press into a small smile as she watches the progress. "Looks like I'm sort of useless here, huh?" The steam rises in puffs and that smile drops. Her eyes narrow and she is forced to blink rapidly as she watches the mushrooms rise up into the air.

Her chin trembles and she bites her lower lip hard, almost breaking skin. Her eyes squeeze shut and she lowers her head quickly. The white clouds are just a little too much for her and a sob escapes.

Jaiden puts one arm around Delia's shoulders, concentrating more, the water pouring into the glowing barrels, bouts of steam rising, then dissipating like rain over the barrels, all made to dance to Jaiden's power. He holds her carefully, giving her a gentle squeeze now and again as the water puts out the fires.

"You're not useless, Delia." Jaiden's voice is calm as his hand directs the water over the center of the barrels.

Both of her arms circle the man's waist and Delia leans heavily against him as she watches him work. "Maybe not useless but definitely not useful," she emits with a quiet laugh. Those puffs of steam keep rising up until the last of the heat has died and the rain has stopped.

When it's all done, the redhead winds around in front of him and raises her head to look up into his eyes. "I was in school when it happened, but I saw the news after… It just reminded me a lot of the mushroom cloud. Sorry." Normally, her hair would be flying all over the place, but it's braided into a long tail down her back. "That was pretty neat, I didn't know y— I mean I saw it in the dream but I didn't know you cold do all that. It's pretty wonderful."

It was an emotional time, and Delia's an emotional girl. IF she didn't have some scars from having her mother die in an atom bomb explosion, Jaiden would wonder a little about her. She already slinks through his dreams, now and again, so he'd like to be able to think that the person he's given free reign in his head when they're close enough has a bit of a soul that can be hurt.

Jaiden's arms lower, hands resting on Delia's shoulders as he smiles down at her. "I was in Australia and heard the news over the airwaves. Booked a flight the next day, drove across the country in the Mustang we drove here in and started reporting. t first it was just another story." He grimaces, looking at the destruction. "Then this place got under my skin and I decided to stay. To help."

The fact that he can really do what he said he could do in the dream is left untouched on. "You and I, we should go to the beach. You'd get a kick out of what I can do with a large water source."

Her nose wrinkles when he brings up the beach and she quickly shakes her head. "Jaiden… You really don't want to see me in a bikini. Besides the fact that I have the pastiest white skin in the whole world? It's freckled too." A deep breath is taken and her lips spread into a small smile. One of her hands comes up to rest on his chest and she pats it lightly.

She breaks eye contact by looking down between them and bumping the rim of her cap against his neck. It jarrs her for an instant and a murmured apology is given. Then both of her hands are off him and she's twisting the cap backward on her head. "I'm glad you stayed… Really glad."

"Ah, a little sun'll take care of that. No worries, Delia." Apparently someone doesn't realize that redheads burst into flame - like Abby - at the first kiss of sunshine, and freckle up horribly once they're done burning. "And I don't mind pasty skin or freckles. They suit you, you know. Kind of cute." He taps her nose gently with one finger.

"I am too, Delia. Met a lot of new and interesting people, and I'm actually making a difference with things as far as I can. Good friends like Elisabeth and Abby and Lydia and You."

Letting her hands hang down from her side the redhead's nose wrinkles again as it's tapped. "Kind of cute.. that doesn't sound so promising," Delia chides as the smile grows on her face. She draws back a step and takes a deep breath the smile waning a little. "I don't think I can get a passport to anywhere with an ocean right now— and it's sort of too cold for South Jersey."

Her hand finds his and she twines her fingers lightly between them. "Dooooooo yoooouuuuu think…" The redhead's words are elongated as she twists one toe in the blackened earth, a blush creeping over her features. "Uhm… What did you think about my dad?"

"No, that's good. Endearing at best. Sexy definitely. And yeah…I understand the whole unable to go anywhere thing. Sucks to be you right now. Sorry, kid." Jaiden taps her wrinkled nose slightly before stepping back and crouching, elbows on knees, looking up at her. "Your dad…he reminds me of drill sergeants back in the Army. He really cares about you. Doesn't care for me because, more than likely, he thinks I'm too old to consider hanging out with his little girl. Thinks I can too easily hurt you." Jaiden shakes his head, reaching out to tug the pantleg of her jeans. "Don't think I could hurt you even if I wanted to. You're too good of a friend, even if we've only known each other for…." He chuckles. "Wow, only two weeks or so? Is it that short of a time?"

Chewing on her lip, Delia watches the large man and nods. "He told me that too…" she says quietly and averts her eyes from him, blinking rapidly. Swallowing, the young woman takes a deep breath and shakes her hands out at her sides as though psyching herself up for some sort of challenge. Maybe it is, a personal one, but when her eyes find his again, she angles her head a little to regard him.

"You're the first— male friend— that has ever met my dad." The admission doesn't come easily but it's not extremely hard either, just slow. "Buuuut…" There she is again, stretching out her words. "I was wondering if you would go, uhm, see, I really like you. A lot. Would you like to have dinner with me again? I'll cook and I promise it won't be sandwiches." Even though she's smiling, the red tinge of her face is deep.

The Australian remains where he is, in that crouch, watching her, not saying a word. Hopefully she's taking the advice he gave in text - speak from the heart and it'll all work out in the end. "I'm the first, eh? An auspicious occurrence if there ever was one. I think that, he and I, given time, will get along - or at least see eye to eye." He pauses , reaching up to take her hands in his, standing. "I met him mainly to see what kind of a man he was. If he didn't care, I'd worry about you. But he does, most definitely."

Then she asks him out.

Jaiden smiles faintly, one hand brushing a few of her reddish curls behind her ear with a gentle movement, the hand resting on her shoulder. "Like an actual dinner-dinner? You and I. A date-type dinner?" He's not teasing, just clarifying at this point. "I like you a lot too, Delia. As a friend definitely. As more…." He rocks his head back and forth. "Still trying to make it right in my head, but I could see it happening. I just don't want to hurt you or to get hurt myself. And not because of Huruma or your dad, but because it's wrong to play games with a girl's heart."

Chewing on her lower lip nervously, Delia just nods a little as he goes on to clarify. "Yeah, a date. I'm not promising any herb marinated chicken breasts with roasted vegetables with the best dessert I've had since.." Her voice drifts and she tilts her head down, "..since mom."

Clearing her throat, she takes a breath and gives him a smile as she starts again. "I'm not— I get hurt easy. I'm not gorgeous and thin like my sister, usually when guys see her I sort of fade away." Her lips twist into a grimace of pain and she furrows her eyebrows, "But.. I can't think about her right now because she's still missing. I want something nice and normal, because I'm not."

"I can teach you, if you want to learn." Jaiden smiles and shrugs. "I'm not a gourmet chef, but I'm pretty close. Something to get your mind off of things. Something to be normal with."

He detects insecurity in her voice - hell, even a blind mute person could tell that this girl has some hang ups, and Jaiden's seen the pictures - how the sisters grew up and apart over the years. Sure, Lucielle was pretty, but Delia? Delia's interesting. combine that with cute and you get a package Jaiden would very much like to have at some point if the cards fall in that way.

"You won't fade with me around, Delia. I wasn't looking for anything, but it seems it's finding it's way to me nonetheless."

Fully clothed, done practicing for the day because there's other things to do and a promise of quid pro quo with Delilah and her ability, Abby's finally emerging forth from where she was changing and making herself presentable. Giving the two time to talk. So the scuffle of feet over pavement and loose rubble and polite clearing of her throat by the blonde is given off as fair warning.

"Well, did you enjoy the show?"

"That'd be great— " Delia halts as Abby comes out from changing and turns her smiling face toward the other woman. Her worried expression is gone from her face and in replacement, there's a tinge of blush across her nose and cheeks. "I liked it, it was really neat."

Gripping Jaiden's fingers in her own a little tighter, she swings their hands between them. "I wish mine was useful for stuff like this, or even protecting people like the two of you can. Mine's just— Well not really amazing like that." Although it is and it has so much potential. Looking between the two of them, the redhead tilts her head a little bit and considers them both. "You guys are like opposites."

Jaiden turns to face Abby when she appears from out of her impromptu changing room over there, somewhere, less flaming and more human than before. "It was pretty awesome, yeah. We get that face of the registration, someone with power over wind, and we could be the four elements."

Jaiden chuckles, giving Delia's a squeeze. "you never know. You get into people's head, Delia. If it's just dreams, you can influence people. With practice, you might be able to do it without touching or do it when they're awake and show 'em things that aren't really there." Jaiden chuckles at the thought of Delia, in a fight. Her opponent suddenly starts screaming as invisible dream bees attack him, giving Delia the perfect chance to bash him with a stick. Point - Delia.

"How opposite are we, though, Abby? I mean, if I splash you will you steam and boil into nothing like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz, or will you just get wet and annoyed before you set my hair on fire?" Jaiden does not make a motion to get Abby wet - he's asking a rhetorical question.

"I already told you have an amazing ability Delia. Maybe it just might take time to really let it sink in, in your mind" Time, practice. Right now Abby knows she herself is only good for setting stuff on fire and being a cat toy for a pyrokinetic. "Right now? Water is fine, it doens't bother me day to day. When I'm ignited…" Abigail frowns. "I met any rain that makes it near me, any gets through it just sorta stings… I guess if you were to douse me it would just plain old put me out and i'd go back to good ol without clothes, fresh from the fire pot abby" THe asbestos bag is put down. devoid of anything in it now. "We'll practice, with yours delia, later if you like. Someday, maybe, you'll be like Hoktuo" Like the non nightmare part of Hokuto.

"Someday, it's getting a little easier to jump in. Mostly when I'm comfortable." Delia admits, that blush brightening across her face. Though Abby's thoughts on her own power gives her a pause. "If it stings you when it rains, isn't it possible that it'd hurt you a lot if you got soaked?" Her eyebrows come together into a low point and she chews on her lip for a little while.

"You know… it sounds sort of bad so say this… but maybe you should practice with that part too… Like, find out what hurts you so you can avoid it." There's a slight shrug of the redhead's shoulders and her eyebrows smooth out again. "Also… you can figure out how hot you need to be to get rid of any water in the area… or even be immune to it."

"I'm willing to help out with that if you need to. I don't like hurting people, but if you can figure out your limits, I'm one to definitely help you push 'em. And you'd help me too, Abby. I have problems pulling water from high-heat, low humidity areas." Jaiden grins. "We could work with each other."

"Goal right now is to learn to turn it off at will. With more than just a wish and a prayer. I have a little more time to practice but… unlike Delia's ability, or even yours Jaiden, I'm a little limited visually. Everyone can see fire from a mile away" but that's not to say that she refuses. There's a nod of her head in agreement. "But yeah. Limits. Mist doesn't bother me, snow melts and I don't think I touch the ground when I'm ignited. It's.. a new learning experience and it's a different trigger than healing it seems" She digs her hands into her pockets. "Well, what do you want to do now? I got a couple hours before I gotta be somewhere, do we wanna go to the Cellar and get something to eat? Gun hill home cooked food must be okay but eating out…" in a safe place too.

"We could go to my place when we're done. I've got a full kitchen and I'm not that bad of a cook. We can hit a store on the way there, pick up a few things, and dinner is served." Communal cooking is fun!

Jaiden offers his hat to Delia and slips his bag off on the ground, setting it next to the fireproof bag that he loaned Abby for her clothes, stepping out into the middle of the burned barrels. "Abby, can you do individual parts of you on fire, or is it an all-or-nothing type deal? And do you need to go change again so we don't burn this set of clothes to a cinder?"

Tilting her head, Delia frowns a little in confusion, "The cellar? What's that? Is it a restaurant?" it seems to be where Abby's leading since her voice drifted off at eating out. Dipping her free hand in her pocket, Delia pulls it out to allow a few fluffs of lint and a paperclip drop to the ground. "And I'll have to mooch. I've been too scared to use my bank card."

Taking Jaiden's hat, she finally releases his hand and holds it in both of hers. "I saw a movie once, with a super hero that turned into blue fire, she started it in her hands and it was all whoosh whoosh!"

"You can mooch, Delia. Or you can help cook." Jaiden grins.

"All or nothing and I won't spontaneously combust Jaiden, don't worry, without good reason. My clothes will be fine" She'd worn a hospital johnny to protect her own clothes - and modesty. "Rock Cellar, it's owned by a friend. But Jaiden's got a good idea too. And my treat. Don't worry about money" She gathers her own things up, Abigail checking her phone, adjusting a black strap running across her chest, then satisfied with what's across her screen, looks between the two. "Jaidens and cooking or the Cellar?"

Jaiden turns to look to Delia, the deciding vote.

Everyone is looking at her and Delia just freezes. "Uhm.. uhmm… Maybe Jaiden's for dinner? And Rock Cellar for desert? I don't know?" She lifts her shoulders slightly and lets them drop quickly. "I can cuts the eggies, I have these surgeon hands that are going to waste painting apartments." The tone of her voice carries a hint of bitterness, but her smile counteracts it and she even follows it up with a small laugh.

"Grocery store and Jaidens it is" Abigail smiles, hiking her pack up onto her shoulder. "Onward christian soldiers" A gesture towards the direction they'd snuck into the ruins.

"Good thing my place is clean, innit?" Jaiden laughs, taking his hat back and reclaiming his satchels. "Abby, you and I should get together and practice You making fire, me making water. Might be good to know each other's limits and the like before getting stuck in somewhere." Sidling up to Delia, Jaiden gives her a squeeze around the shoulders. "Don't worry too much….you'll be able to be a surgeon." Somehow.

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