The Other Way Around


jj_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title The Other Way Around
Synopsis Mother and future son meet up after a stressful run-in the day before.
Date July 29, 2011

Piccoli's Delicatessen

Everything about Piccoli's is welcoming. There's a large, cheerful neon sign mounted on the roof, the interior is brightly lit and spotlessly clean, and the old-fashioned decor is more reminiscent of mother's kitchen than a successful business. Since the doors opened in 1946, Piccoli's has been best known for pastrami, hot dogs, corned beef, and salami. The wait can sometimes be a little long, but the prices are reasonable and the food is always worth it.

It's an hour after the lunch rush, but still busy enough at the popular deli that it's easy to blend in to the crowd; no one really pays attention to anyone else at Piccoli's when they have their food demanding their attention, anyway. JJ waits in a corner booth where he can see the door. His face is recognizable, thanks to the news and magazines, but a pair of glasses and a baseball hat do their job of disguising him without disguising him.

A tray of food already waits in front of him, both his and Monica's orders purchased and picked up, so all she has to do is come slide into the seat across from him when she arrives. He passes the time playing something on his iPhone, but his watchful green eyes dart up each time the door opens so that he can wave down his mother quickly.

Doors with bells are really a ninja's worst foe. But it's okay, Monica's not really trying to sneak in, but just to be inconspicuous. But the door announces her as it has everyone else who's passed through, and she does a quick sweep over before she catches sight of JJ sitting there. So with a smile, she slips over and into her side of the booth without much ado.

"You didn't have to get lunch," she says, her tone striking the balance between an actual chide and a subtle thanks that seems to be a habit for her. At least at this age. The good news is, though, that there's no trace of the wound she got the day before, although her clothes must still be in bad shape, as well as short supply, because she's in what is clearly a shirt meant for a man. But beggers can't be choosers, and she honestly doesn't mind not being a terribly fashionable person. Function over form.

The young man rises when Monica comes to the table — perhaps forgetting that such manners are conspicuous — then sits back down once she's sitting in the booth across from him. Pale green eyes move to the side of her head, looking for any damage and finding none.

"I got a corned beef and a pastrami — whichever you want, I'll eat the other one," JJ offers, tapping the two sandwiches as he says their contents so she can choose. "And like I'm not going to buy you lunch."

He grins, then taps his head. "Lene take care of it? Do you have a headache, any blurred vision, any thing like that?" he asks, brows knitting together. "I should've stopped it before it got to that point. It could've been a lot worse."

That he blames himself for her getting injured is evident. "I'm sorry."

The gesture makes her smile, amused at her own future self for making the time in such a war torn setting to teach something like manners. But it's what her mother would have done. What her grandmother has been doing, but still.

"I'm just sayin'!" She says with a crooked smile that turns a little sheepish as she reaches for one of the sandwiches; eating out is something of an unaffordable luxury at the moment, so she can't really deny that she's glad for the opportunity. "She did, good as new. I told her she didn't have to bother, but you know." Stubbornness all around.

When he starts taking on blame like that, she drops an elbow to the table and points a finger in his direction, "Don't start thinking I'm some delicate thing that can't take a hit now and then. That was barely a scratch as it was and I've had a lot worse, so. You know, don't fret about it." Her hand drops to the table there, and she gets just a hint of a smile, "Plus. I came out just fine, so nothing to it. There was more to worry over."

His cheeks flush and he looks down, properly chastised. "Yes'm," he manages, before reaching for the other sandwich, unwrapping it carefully. "Lene's a good kid. She knew I'd worry, so she did it more for me than for you, probably," he explains.

He takes a bite of the sandwich, chewing slowly, before nodding her way. "How are you doing? You know… if there's anything you need, let me know. If you don't wanna stay at that place, I can rent somethin' — most days I stay at the headquarters or with Adel," his cheeks flush a little more at that statement, but he's not about to lie to his mother. "But I can rent an apartment and you can stay there, with hot water and electricity and all that stuff." JJ's voice is low, his expression earnest.

"I'd hate to see what you guys'd do when I'm really getting myself into trouble," Monica says, only partially teasing. Since she does have a tendency to get into it often enough. Family trait, perhaps.

The note about his sleeping habits gets a bit of a chuckle and a shake of her head. If she disapproves, it's hard to tell, but it's more likely that such squimishness took a flight after she joined the terrorism business. Can't judge too hard when you're… beating up cops and sniping bad guys. But the offer does get a raised eyebrow. "I wouldn't want to get you in any trouble. As much as a place to myself appeals to my Batman-like loner personality. I don't really stay there very often. I mean, my stuff is there — " not that she has much stuff at the moment " — but I like to roam. I don't know how much rooftop dwelling I did where you're from, but it's sort of my thing."

JJ makes a face when she declines, but chuckles. "I guess it's okay as long as the weather's good. But in winter, I'm gonna be more insistent," he says, pointing his finger at her this time. "And no, not a lot of rooftop dwelling, but I'm sure I put a damper on that sort of lifestyle. After the camp, we mostly stayed up north."

Code for Pollepel, though he doesn't speak the name.

He takes another bite of sandwich, then sets it down, expression growing solemn as he chews, and then his eyes drop as if to examine the sandwich carefully. "I'm sorry you had to see me … you know. At work. I mean, most the people at that rally… we're part of what they're opposing and all."

Monica lifts her hands in surrender there, nodding a little, "Alright, when the weather turns bad, I'll come stay in an apartment. So long as there's an understanding that I won't have to worry about walking in on you two. Sock on the door. And windows." She uses windows a lot, she can't help it. She can't help teasing him a bit there, either, but what can you do. "Not too much in the way of rooftops up that way, true. Too bad, too!"

Her expression softens at his apology, though, and she reaches over to give his arm a squeeze. "Hey, it's okay. You guys did good. It's a good example of the fact that not everyone is part of the big bad monster. And seriously, who in their right mind decided to show off a healer like that? It's asking for trouble."

"Trust me, I am not gonna let you walk in on… anything." His cheeks are a rosy color — the tendency to blush picked up from his mother shows much more on his fairer skin.

JJ shakes his head at the question. "Stupid move. They told us they were gonna do some minor, non threatening displays like the juggling and illusions, but they didn't warn us about that. I'm just glad no one was seriously hurt."

He smiles and reaches to pat her hand across the table. "Especially you or Robyn."

His blushing leaves her stifling a chuckle behind a bite of her sandwich, but she relents on that train, at least. What good are time traveling kids from the future if you can't ruffle them a little?

"Yeah, it's lucky your team was there, really. Without the interference, someone would have gotten seriously hurt. A lot of someones, probably. As rare as it is for someone in my position to say so, I am glad Frontline was there." she tilts her head a bit, as it takes a moment to connect that Robyn is Quinn in her head, but when she gets it, there's a quick series of nods. "I don't know her too well, just through happenstance and, well, Magnes. But I like her! I really should get to picking up some of her music. I hear she's pretty good!"

His sandwich is finished in a couple more bites, chewed behind a close-lipped smile when she pushes away his worries about her seeing him at "work."

"Emerson's all right. This squad's all right. They're just like cops, you know? Trying to protect and that means all people. But like all things, it'll get out of hand. Dooley, she likes the robots." There's censure in his tone, but he shakes his head. "She's all right, too, just… the robot thing."

His soda is picked up and drained before glancing at his watch. "I gotta get to work, but I have my truck. You wanna lift? It's a bit bright out for roofing it." JJ's eyes twinkle as he pulls out his wallet to take out some bills, holding them out for her to take.

"Yeah, those robots," Monica says with a bit of a frown and a subconscious roll of her scarred shoulder. She's not a fan of those robots and their spidery, flame spitting tricks. "But I'm glad you're in a good team." That's another thing that could be worse, given that it's Frontline.

"It's true, I don't do my best work in daylight," she says as she starts to wrap up what's left of her sandwich for the road. The money, though, she gives him a bit of a look before letting out a sigh. "I'm pretty sure this is supposed to go the other way around."

The young man smiles widely. "All the rules are broken. There's no supposed to, I don't think, in this crazy relationship. Let me guarantee you that you gave me everything you could with what you had, and this," JJ shakes the handful of cash before pressing it into her hand, "is not even going to touch what you've done for me over the years."

He pulls his hand back empty and slides out of the booth. "I'd be a bad son if I didn't try to take care of my family in times of trouble. You taught me better than that. And," he grins over his shoulder as he begins to move toward the door, "I take loan payments in Nana's chocolate chip cookies."

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