2012-05-29: Small Kindnesses


Donna_icon.jpg Jeremy_icon.jpg

Summary: Donna reveals herself to be alive after all, and learns what that means to Jeremy.

Date: May 29, 2012

Log Title: Small Kindnesses

Rating: PG

NYC - Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is easily identified by the white Washington Square Arch. This park in Greenwich Village has a relaxing fountain in the middle, and benches all around for people to sit and people watch, read, or draw. It is common to find the occasional political protest in this park, as Greenwich Village is one of the more Liberal Area's of New York City.

It's warm day in the city, almost to warm so most people give Jeremy an odd look as he's wearing gloves, scarf and a long sleeved turtleneck. Just looking at him tends to make people feel hotter, but then he doesn't want to risk anything. He currently sits in the grass in the shade of one of the trees with a laptop, but he doesn't seem to be typing anything into it, he just stares off at the fountain in front of the arch.

The sound of footsteps passing by, familiar by now to the young mutant. The occasional pause, likewise; most don't stand around to stare long, after all. But a careful listener would notice one set of footsteps whispering through the grass, and halting, for a long moment. "…Maths, then?" comes a familiar voice from just behind and a good ways off to one side of the student's ear.

There's a gasp, followed by a pause of breath as the familiar voice is heard behind him. He doesn't turn right away, not believing his hears but after an almost too long of a pause, Jeremy turns and stares into the face of Donna, the woman he believed to be dead. "Are you a ghost?" He asks cautiously.

"Oh, come now," Donna says, holding out a cup of iced sweet tea and closing, crouching down in front of the boy. "Would a ghost come so prepared? …Don't answer that," she says after a moment's reflection. "The answer is they'd think they would, but it would end badly. Ghosts are often *far* too caught up in their own madness to think that far ahead well."

Reaching out a hand, Jeremy takes the iced tea. "Th-thank you." He stammers not really knowning what's going on. "I…saw the news." He figures that says it all. "I…if you're really not dead then, I'm glad, really glad."

Donna tilts her head, settling herself on the grass and turning her own drink in her hands. "I'm not dead, lad," Donna says, gently. "What you saw was a necessary deception. One, if I might be permitted a bit of gloating, of my best, I'd say. The children couldn't be allowed to come to harm, but the only way I could see to accomplish that was to give that loony slag precisely what she wanted."

Jeremy reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, and puts them between himself and Donna in an unspoken offer. "It was a very good deception, I thought someone had killed you and….I know the kids needed to be saved just.." He takes a deep breath and turns so he's facing Donna then looks her straight in the eye. "Thank you, for everything. It…really helped."

Donna meets Jeremy's eyes, nodding slowly, and taking one of the cigarettes. "My pleasure, Jeremy. Truly. This spat with that Envy person ended in no small amount of enjoyment for me… But in all, I would trade ten of those moments for this, and count myself lucky." Lighting the end with a brief snap of electricity, she allows herself a rare, genuine smile. "I'm very glad to have helped."

"Before we talked, I was seriously considering just…ending everything but, you saved my life and I just thought, I'd let you know and let you know your words meant a lot to me." Jeremy says as he reaches for a cigarette of his own. "You made me realize that I need to give it another chance and just try to make it better. I don't know how I can but…I have to try to figure that out, right?"

Donna holds out a hand for Jeremy to light his cigarette on, and nods once, slowly. "It's not an easy job, lad… The learning can be as difficult as the living… but nothing truly precious, ever came without cost."
Leaning forward, Jeremy lights his cigarette and takes a long inhale. "No, it's not easy. I just wish I knew where to start but, I am glad that I didn't go through with it. There are people out there who have it harder than I do."

"That's as it may be," Donna allows, "but they're not you. And you, lad, are the only one you have to truly worry about fixing. Anyone else might benefit from a hand now and again, it's true."

Nodding, Jeremy quietly smokes for a bit before speaking. "I'm just hoping to graduate High School this year, I just have to finish my senior paper. I just have no clue what to write about. Maybe I should just write about my life, the hardships about being a mutant or something."

"Not a bad idea, that," Donna says, tilting her head. "Though I'm not… terribly familiar with your school system… what's the purpose of this paper, then?"

Jeremy shrugs his shoulders. "I think it's to show what you've learned, like how well you can write, research a topic and then present a compelling paper about the topic you choose. I don't really know what else the purpose would be besides that. I know my last High School also required them too."

Donna tilts her head, eyebrows rising. "Ah… but, how much research would you need to do on your own life, mh?"
"Well, I didn't mean just my life but the hardships of mutants, maybe find out what other kids have gone through, I don't know." Jeremy says looking at his laptop. "I used to be really good at this school stuff but I think that's because my father was a tough man. He had our lives planned out, he probably would have told me what to write about, sometimes…I think that's also what's hard. Most of my life I had someone telling me what to do and I thought it was okay."

Donna's eyebrow rises. "This sounds a much more promising line of inquiry," she murmurs. "So… you've spent the bulk of your life following orders, I take it, little realizing what else could have been open to you?"

"Well, I never hated what they chose for me. I liked the violin, I liked track so I didn't question it. My older brother and sister, it was the same way with them." Jeremy says as he finishes his cigarette. "It was your typical Asian family I guess, do well, succeed, just being a mutant…my parents didn't exactly like that."

"I've *never* been able to fathom that," Donna says, sighing. "Yet more and more often, I hear like from you and yours. Is it *truly* so terrible, to be gifted? Regardless of what form that gift may take?"

"My family was very much an Asian family but at the same time they were Christian and…as I found out later Friends of Humanity. They…thought that mutants weren't godly." Jeremy says with a shrug. "It hurt a lot when I got kicked to the street, when I found out they were planning on killing me but my powers saved my life. I'm…well.." He pauses as he's trying to think about what he says. "I miss having a family but not necessary my family?"

"Well, in that I'd say you've plenty of opportunity," Donna says, taking a slow drag on her cigarette, pushing the smoke upward… and for a moment, the cloud almost resembles a rose in bloom. "Plenty of time and space, to make what familiy you wish, lad."

There's a shrug from Jeremy but it's more of a 'you're probably right' shrug. "I guess." He just needs to learn to trust again. "So, you and Envy, she still going to be trying to lure you into death?"

"Well, lad," Donna says, stretching one leg out, before settling it back in place, "I'd like to think not… But at least I *can* be certain if she comes after me again, she doesn't dare use *children* as her bargaining chip." Another smile spreads across her face, but one that isn't at *all* pleasant. "I put a great deal of thought in making sure that message stuck."

"I just….don't want to lose another person I can trust." Jeremy says to Donna as he brushes his hair from his face. "I'm really happy that it was just a rouse and I'm glad it worked. Though, I should be getting back to school in a bit."

Donna's face twists, as though the sorceress had bitten into something unpleasant. "…I won't lie to you, lad… I'm rather in the business of making enemies. Few on this side of the pond yet, but, that won't mean there aren't like to be more. I… can't promise I'll survive them, either… but I *can* give you my word that I'll be as careful as I know how to be."

Jeremy nods to Donna and it's a while before he says, "Okay, thanks." He reaches out a gloved hand to take her's and squeeze it in thanks. "Thank you for everything, Donna. It's really meant a lot to me."

Donna returns the squeeze, meeting Jeremy's eyes with a small, weary smile that seems to age her by ten years. "And it means a great deal to me, lad, that I could do so much with a small kindness. It's something, I think, I'd feared I'd forgotten how to do."

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