WHO: Jake and Kyrie WHEN: A month ago and Monday WHERE: Around WHAT: Making friends WARNINGS: Minor violence, language STATUS: Complete
------- A Month ago ------- The paper bag lay on its side at her feet, a corner creased from the impact of hitting the ground, it’s contents spilled from the gaping mouth. An apple had managed to roll nearly a foot away but for the most part the goods stayed close enough by to grab. At first Kyrie had betrayed orders, scrambling down to sweep the items back into the bag with the idea of scurrying away as fast as possible but that was thwarted.
A large boot came down on one of the items squashing it flat and another order was barked - ”I said stand up. You fucking deaf?” and Kyrie had risen. Visibly she shook.
And then someone was standing between her and the guards.
He was going about his day, observing as always, when he observed a sight that made his stomach turn. It happened on occasion, not all men were good. Even though who worked for the right cause could be cruel. Jakob was not one of those men. He should have kept his distance, like most of the residents. They had no idea who he was, he wore a badge like all the others, but there he was… stepping in.
“Hey.” Jake called out as two guards started to harass one of the residents. “Leave her alone.” He stepped up between the two guards and the dark haired woman. “What’s your damage?”
“Out of the way kid, this is between us and her.” One of the guards said.
Jake stepped forward. “Nah, I think she’s had enough of you.” If anything, stepping in for a fellow resident would just endear him more to them, so they’d talk more around him. “But I’m game for some fun if you are.”
The other guard put a hand on his friends chest. “Freaks not worth it.” He said, pulling him away.
Once it was clear the two had actually left, Jake turned around to the girl and helped her pick up the groceries the man had knocked out of her hand. “Hey, you okay?”
She felt shame hiding behind the tattooed man whom she had seen before from afar but she did anyway. A shaky breath, her eyes watered, Kyrie bit at her lips with the exchange of words and only when the guards were gone did she take a breath.
Nodding, she knelt down again. Doing her best to get the contents back into the bag and not look utterly rattled she managed to turn her light eyes up to the man. “Fine,” came the reply. She forced herself to smile, “Thank you for stepping in.” He didn’t have to. Nobody had to and nobody really ever did.
“No sweat.” He said, gathering some of the items for her. “Here, let me…” Jake had been intending to do some shopping himself. Sure, he got the normal allotment from the government, but with his per diem he received as part of his employment he liked to get some sweets. It was a simple comfort. He reached back and pulled the canvas bag he’d been intending to use to carry his items in and loaded hers inside. “The bags a little damaged.” He said with a small smile.
Once everything was gathered, he found himself holding the bag as he offered a hand to help her stand. “Are you sure you’re okay? If you want… I can walk with you back to your place. I could use the extra work out anyhow.” He said knowing there was a slim chance the guards would seek her out on her way home- but there was a chance.
Nodding, Kyrie let him take the items from her and put them into his own bag. She knew that there was a chance he could take everything she had, it happened a few time that she had heard of, but something inside of her told her she could trust him. Who stepped in between someone else being harassed by guards for a few fallen grocery items?
Her hand lifted. Fingers curled around his and she moved to stand, ankles popping as she rose to her full height. She was petite, that was part of the problem. At five feet four inches tall she was viewed as weak and small in spite of the power she actually packed in her frame.
Kyrie removed her hand from his not wanting to impose, nodding again. “Sure, that would be great.” If wasn’t beyond the guards to sneak up on her or anyone else walking alone and harass them. She was grateful for the company and the small chance to get to know someone else.
Her hand motioned in the direction of her apartment figuring that this man probably lived somewhere close by, too. “I’m Kyrie,” she managed, turning her eyes in the direction of where they were walking. A quick scan told her that her friend wasn’t around. That was fine, she didn’t expect to have her “cat” there all the time, but she had shouted in her head like they’d talked about.
“Jakob.” He said, as they started to walk. He’d been around the island a bit, had seen her. She worked as a waitress. He knew most the basics of the people on the island, it was part of his job they made sure he was briefed. To know who to keep an eye out for. But he pretended not to know. After all, he was just another resident. “It’s nice to finally meet you. I think you’ve served me coffee and eggs about a dozen times and…” He shrugged slightly. “My bad for not introducing myself.”
Mostly she kept to herself because talking to someone who wasn’t a judge or Fitz set her on edge. She didn’t know how to go about it and it was easier not to do it than to try and fail. Failure was not an option. She was cordial enough waitressing, she found that easy because you didn’t have to be too formal. “Nice to finally meet you, Jakob.” Her smile was more genuine.
With the small population of residents it wasn’t hard not to run into someone quite often. Now that he mentioned being a patron at the cafe she did remember waiting on him - how could she forget those distinct tattoos?
And the way he was easy to look at.
His teenage years had been quite turbulent. The ink on his skin the only reminder. It seemed so long ago, everything that had happened, all the pain and suffering. Then, the government had stepped in. He’d seen some doctors and therapists and everything was better. They’d helped him learn his powers more, and see that being a delinquent was only doing him and those he cared about harm.
“So… I’m guessing you have some sort of super strength.” He said, trying to make conversation. Of course, he knew he was right. Before she could get weirded out by him knowing he held up his hand. “You kinda squeezed it a bit hard when I helped you up.”
When he mentioned the super strength her cheeks flushed with color; she wasn’t blushing because of endearment, rather the color was shame. Her mother hated the idea that her daughter had abilities and never ceased to let her know it. Having it plastered on her ID card where everyone could see it was horrifying.
But hurting someone without realizing it was worse. Her eyes widened, Kyrie stopped walking abruptly, turned and plucked up Jakob’s hand, examining it. “Did I hurt you? I’m so sorry.”
“No, no.” Jake laughed lightly as she looked at his hand. “I’m tougher than I look… I mean not super like, but I can take a good squeeze.” He couldn’t remember the torture that had toughened him up, but the effects from it were still there. Able to take a beating, tolerance to pain. And she’d not broken any bones or did any lasting damage so if it had hurt, he didn’t even realize.
He did pause however, his hand in hers. He was trained, told to make contacts. Friends, allys. Those who would confide in him. Those who saw things. A waitress had the potential to speak with almost everyone on the Island. He’d befriended a few of the other shop keepers, perhaps someone timid who probably listened more than she spoke would be a good source to cultivate. After a moment he wrapped his fingers around hers. “You’re still holding my hand.” He said with a charming smile.
Exhale. She breathed out with relief. Fingertips swept the inside of his palm to check for damage but the skin was supple and unblemished. The idea of hurting someone in a casual encounter frightened her, but she trusted Jakob - he was tough, could take a bit of a squeeze. That made her feel better.
And then her fingers were encircled and the hue of her cheeks did redden with blush. Kyrie let go of Jakob’s hand, pulling herself free gently. “I — I’m so sorry,” she bit back a laugh but the amusement was there on her features.
Those light eyes lifted again and found his.
“Don’t be.” Jake said with a shrug.
He continued to walk with her to her home and up to her door. As she opened it, he held up the bag of food for her. “These belong to you.” She seemed skittish, he wasn’t going to force any more socializing than she’d allow. He was patient.
The walk toward the apartment was quick enough. Reaching the door she took a moment to open it. In the threshold Kyrie reached out to take the bag of groceries from him. “Thank you,” came the words in a breath.
“I hope to see you around again soon.” She really did. A small wave, and Kyrie disappeared into the apartment, the door closing behind her.
----------- Monday 5/20 ----------
Jakob was sitting in the diner, he didn’t have to look at the menu, it was modest and he always ordered the same thing. A black coffee, 2 eggs over easy, 2 slices of bacon and an english muffin. He was there most days for breakfast, never having been much of a cook himself, he enjoyed a good start to his mornings.
When he saw Kyrie approach with a cup of coffee he smiled, as he hadn’t ordered anything yet. “Hey again.” He hadn’t really spoken with her since the day he’d walked her home, outside of when she waited on him. “How’d you know?” He asked, looking at the coffee.
Today her hair was down, dark curls pinned back out of her face enough to make it manageable. She rarely wore it down when she was in the diner but today had decided to do something different with it for no particular reason. In and out the regular patrons came - some were older faces, some newer - and she watched all of them in kind.
When Jakob came in she observed, plucking up a mug and filling it with coffee. Her mind was sharp and she memorized orders long before she knew even their names. The coffee was carried toward the table and set down with a smile, “Hi.” She knew she was guilty of not saying anything except in passing those few times they had crossed paths but he didn’t seem to mind or be upset.
“You always order the same thing,” she reminded him kindly. Her hands twisted into each other in an absent wringing motion, nervous. “Any plans for the day?” Trying to make conversation Kyrie made herself smile at him.
Jakob shook his head. “No work today, thought maybe I’d go for a run later. Maybe watch whatever movie is playing at the theatre.” He said, looking at the coffee. “Am I really that predictable? What if I was feeling like tea today?” He wasn’t, not in the slightest. He hated the stuff. “I mean I’m not… but what if?” Jake smiled softly, gently teasing her.
“So then, if I am that predictable… I guess I don’t need to order then… you already know what I want?” He asked with an arched brow.
Predictability seemed boring and she did not want to imply that he was uncool in the least sense. It happened in a place like this - you fell into a routine, into a rut, with only so many things to do and forever it seemed to accomplish them. Kyrie nodded when he told her what was on the agenda for the day, running or a movie, and her smile grew a bit more genuine. Biting back a laugh, the end of her nose wrinkled in amusement. “Then I suppose you’d tell me, right?” She couldn’t help but be amused, charmed.
Shaking her head at him, light eyes playful, a slip of hair fell from the pin and into her face. Fingers lifted to move it away. “Two eggs over easy, two strips of bacon, English muffin. And coffee, of course.”
“You know me so well.” He said, placing his hands around his cup. “That sounds delicious. I’ll have it.”
Jakob considered her a moment, a small smile playing at his lips. “When are you off today? I always hate going to movies alone. Maybe you’d like to join me?”
A nod would come. She made to take a step away from the table and turn to put the order in when the inquiry caught her off guard. Making herself pause and herself focus, Kyrie considered the statement and the question. “Uh, sure..” came the words. They weren’t as certain as she would have liked but then again nobody had ever asked her to the movies before. “I’d like that. Someone else usually comes in to help with tables around noon, if that’s okay? I know it’s a little bit further away.”
Eyes lifted to the analogue clock hanging nearby. The offered time was almost three hours away but now the day might soar past where normally it crawled.
Turning back to Jakob, Kyrie smiled at him, “I’ll go put your order in.” And before she could embarrass herself any more she was turning and heading toward the kitchen to give the cook the order.
“I can eat slow.” He teased, leaning back in the booth. Jake was pleased she said yes. Kyrie seemed easy to influence, but also very skittish. That meant he had to be careful. She was sweet but fragile and if he pushed too hard it could cause her to recoil. He had to be the misunderstood bad boy, one who both seemed innocent but also a bit of trouble. Though, he suspected once he had her trust, it would be hard to lose it.
It only took a little bit to get the plate together and deliver it back to him. Not much was offered in the way of conversation from her end, she had duties to take care of, but once in awhile she would catch herself stealing glances at him while he ate. Coffee would be refilled accordingly but noon came before she realized it. Her apron was taken away, hung on the hook where she kept it, and after gathering a small handbag which held a few of her things (nothing important enough to fret about if she lost it to the guards) and she was free for the day.
A glance around and she spotted that guard nearby, the one she tried her best to avoid. Ducking down into the booth next to Jakob, Kyrie shifted so close she was nearly in his lap, looking over her shoulder to gauge the distance between herself and the guard.
Chewing at her lip she turned back to Jakob, sheepish. “Sorry,” she managed in a whisper, “He knows my schedule, sometimes he will hang out around here waiting for me. Do you mind if we sit here for a minute?”
Jakob took a sip of his coffee and set the mug down. He took her hand supportively. “Not at all.” His eyes looked back to the man, he really wished he could do something to him. The guard was definitely going into his next report. Stalking a resident was not okay.
Leaning in close to her he smiled. “Maybe I can help… we won’t miss the next showing and you don’t have to get near the guy.” Jake told her. “Come on, out of the booth, it’s better if we’re standing.” He smiled and waited for her to get out. Once she had he took both her hands and looked down at her with a confident expression. “You trust me?”
A breath escaped her. She was grateful that Jakob was understanding. The last thing she wanted was him caught up in the middle of everything between her and the guard. “Thank you.” Never had she been so close to someone other than Fitz and she found that she didn’t mind it so much.
Those soft words had her attention and her interest. Taking a moment to search his face for any hint of what was on his mind, Kyrie let him move away. She nodded, sliding out of the booth after Jakob on the side away from the guard.
Her hands settled into his. Another nod, “Yes.” With confidence and intrigue her gaze was lifted and she waited to see what would happen.
Jake slipped an arm around her, “You might feel a little bit of pressure.” He said as they blinked out of existence from the diner.
His powers were on, but limited, controlled. He never questioned why. It wasn’t like he was going to leave the island, but his superiors felt it was the safest for him. That way someone else couldn’t exploit him. For missions, his control chip was turned off, but while on the island it was set at a setting that allowed him to blink around the island, but that was it. How it worked, he never questioned. But it did allow him to do nifty things, like avoiding asshole guards.
As quickly as they weren’t in the diner, they were standing in front of the theater. An unseen wave of energy kicked up some dirt on the ground in a two foot radius around him.
With a bit of caution amidst that trust Kyrie leaned into his embrace. Her arms wound around him, fingers twisting into his shirt and she closed her eyes. Ears felt as if they were popping but the sensation faded as quickly as it was onset and once her eyes opened no longer were they standing in the cafe at the booth, but at the door to the theater.
She blinked, pulling away from him sheepishly, before casting a glance around. “Wow,” Kyrie breathed, impressed, eyes finding his again. “That was….amazing. Do you do that all the time?” Her question was more loaded than that. Could he do that without ramification? Without anyone saying something? That was convenient.
“No.” He shook his head. “It takes a bit of effort, and I can’t go very far.” All lies, but he seemed to be telling the truth. Jakob, held out his arm for her. “But, if it saved you from having to confront an asshole who would delay us from enjoying the afternoon, it was worth it.” He smiled softly. “Now, do you prefer popcorn or candy… or both?”
Kyrie nodded at him. Whether he was lying or not she couldn’t tell nor did she really care that much about it. It was hard to trust people to begin with, giving someone the benefit of the doubt though was something that came naturally to her. “Still, that’s...impressive.”
She wondered what Fitz would think if he saw her there standing arm in arm with Jakob. A genuine smile painted itself across her lips and with more confidence she looked up at him, “Popcorn, please.”
And popcorn it was. He got them drinks and some M&Ms as well- peanut.
The movie was good, Jake hadn’t ever really watched many movies growing up. In and out of foster homes and Juvie he didn’t have much chance. So, when new ones showed in the theater he liked to get a viewing in.
Once it was done, Jakob escorted Kyrie out of the movie, a few times during he’d brushed his hands against hers while getting some popcorn, strategically lingering a touch. “That killed much of the afternoon.” He smiled. “And one of the better afternoons too- always a good time with a nice person.”
With snacks and refreshments in tow into the movie they went. Two seats were found in the nearly vacant auditorium and she settled down next to Jakob comfortably. It was rare she went to the actual movies, always afraid to go on her own with those guards lurking around, so this was a first for her. She wouldn’t tell Jakob that, though.
Those few times their hands touched as both dove for popcorn she was thankful for the shroud of darkness and tried her best to think nothing of it. Walking out with him when the movie was done she nodded, “It is nice doing something different once in a while, especially with someone else, like you.” That probably sounded lame.
She wanted to do things more, and potentially with him, but trying to phrase something like that was out of her skill set.
“Maybe we can do it again sometime.” Jake offered with a smile. “It’s getting warm enough we could go swimming.” In the designated beach area. “Or maybe we can grab a drink? I heard a rumor there might be karaoke nights starting soon.”
Honestly she didn’t know what to say, how to feel. What would Fitz do in that situation? She had an idea that her friend would have not hesitated to say yes, to agree to do this again, or anything, but then again Fitz was more of a free spirit where she was more reserved. But she wanted to try to overcome the hang ups. Nodding, Kyrie smiled, “I’d like that.”
Swimming, drinking, karaoke. She had never done karaoke before, or maybe she had and didn’t know it. “Um, all of those things sound fun, sure.” She felt satisfied, confident.
“That would be awesome.” Jake said. “Shall I walk you home?”
Things were working out well. Her fear of the guard had definitely been beneficial to endearing himself to her. He just had to keep making her feel safe with him. It would give her confidence to open up more and maybe less reserved. Then, once she was fully trusting of him, he could probe her for things she might pick up in her job.
“Please.” Her arm curled around his and she stayed close. For once she felt comfortable being around someone else in a casual context. Jakob had been nothing but nice to her and falling into the motions of the day had come easier than she thought.
She couldn’t wait to get home and see what Fitz thought of the day.
Maybe should could have something close to a real life, one that included more people.