2007-04-13: Feminine Magic

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif

Summary: Ramon comes back home to find Desiree looking rather comfortable in his own home. Elena explains to him that she offered Desiree a place to stay while she's in New York, and naturally forgot to tell her father. This is totally not a matchmaking attempt. Seriously.

Date It Happened: April 13, 2007

Feminine Magic


The Gomez Apartment, Queens, New York

The apartment is quiet when Ramon comes home for the day. But something smells -good- while just walking from the fifth-floor hallway where the Gomez Apartment is situated. Elena should be home by now after running a few errands, including some groceries, and by the sound of music eminating from the abode itself, it's clear that someone was there. It is Friday, late in the evening. Friday the 13th. The day itself should lend to ominous tidings. It may very well be the case.

The day has lent itself to ominous tidings. First Ramon's personal laptop, first thing this morning, did the thing which computers sometimes do…fried, for no apparent reason. So he spent most of the morning swearing at the damn thing and fixing it, which meant the next job up was late. The next job up had window washers and a squeegie fell on his head. He dropped his cell phone in a puddle which means its no longer working and he's got 17 pissed off voice mails from his boss which he'll have to get on the house phone. So when he comes stomping in, he's ready to be a bear — except the bear is immediately soothed by the prospect of lovely food.

The source of the pleasant scent in the Ramon-Elena Gomez apartment - faintly sweet, wholesome, definitely homemade goods of the recently baked variety - wafting from the oven sits upon the counter. A few rows of cupcakes - vanilla, by the look of them - with pink, white, and red frosting respectively. They're simple, but picture perfect. Shortly after the man of the house enters, there's a little clatter behind the counter, and a figure pops up. She's wearing Elena's white apron with the cartoon onion on the front, covered in patches of flour, but it's not Elena. Surprise Russo! It's Desiree, her hair tied back messily, wielding a spatula covered in pink frosting (some of which is also smeared on her face), and looking like she's settled right into the kitchen. Which she obviously has. "Well hiya! Don't worry, I ain't here to predict your untimely death." She beams. "We made cupcakes!"

Indeed, they are making cupcakes. Elena emerges out of the bathroom after washing her hands off icing, as Desiree decided to take care of the rest. "Papa, you're home! I….." She pauses, and -palms her face-. "Absolutely forgot to CALL you about this." She looks over at Ramon. "Ms. Russo's been staying at this Bed and Breakfast but she's staying in New York longer…but she hasn't gotten a job yet nor did she have the time to find a place given she was running around saving other people. So I offered since the boys and Nita are at Grandma's….maybe she could stay with us for a while." She looks a little sheepish. "I hope it's okay?"

At first, Ramon says something really articulate.

"Uh."

Then he plucks out a perfect cupcake, unwraps it with all due ceremony, and chomps into it. So he says something else articulate.

"The cupcakes are good."

A beat and three more chews later, the overwhelmed man says gravely, "You are welcome in my home, bonita, and thank you for the cupcakes." Brown eyes flick over to his daughter, as if wondering what she's up to. He seems to remember some sort of similar 'I totally forgot to call you about this' scenario right around her Junior year of high school, and he's pretty sure she'd planned whatever that scheme was all along too, but this scheme comes with food for him so it's infinitely better in his opinion.

Despite all of her optimistic, cheerful smiling (how can't you smile when you're in the vicinity of cupcakes?), a tension nevertheless seems to melt away from Dezi's shoulders when Ramon gives the "okay," so to speak. Hazel eyes light up with gratitude. "I won't be any trouble," she says as she heads over to the cupcakes. There's a clear plastic bag of something in her hand. Candy? "I can't thank y'all enough! I'll do what I can to help out." And, you know, be their in-house psychic. "And the cupcakes aren't finished yet, mister, so hands off'a the other ones 'til they are." She goes about arranging little fondant hearts on each cupcake, each one a contrasting colour to the frosting colours, of course, followed by some sprinkles.

"…wow, you really went all out with these," Elena says, admiring one of the fondant hearts. Look at that! Fondant was something she's not mastered as of yet. She looks at Ramon and mouths an apology to him silently. And she didn't really so much as -plan- this so much as improvise it. She exhales a breath when her father allows it though. But she also knew her father enough to know he wouldn't say no. He owed Desiree. "You can have my key in the meantime, Ms. Russo," she tells Desiree kindly. "I have a way to get in the building on my own without it." Her bedroom was right next to the fire escape on the side of the building. All she has to do really is to not lock her window.

"Or I could just go to Home Depot and cut you a new key," Ramon rumbles dryly. But he's staring at this…woman magic. She's turning these cupcakes from food into works of art. He actually takes a step back, the way a man will sometimes when he's impressed by all of this femininity in action and is happy to enjoy the results, but fears it might be catching if he stands too close. "The security code is 5309. It was easy to remember. Because of the old song about the guy with the girl's number."

"I do this as a sorta side-job kinda thing," Desiree explains casually, shrugging as she decorates one of the last cupcakes. "It was somethin' to do while I was at home by myself. There!" She brandishes a finished work of art/cupcake toward Ramon and another to Elena (hers has more pink), then brushes her hands off on her borrowed apron. "I thought hearts was good, 'cause… they're all heart-healthy. 'Cept… don't eat 'em all at once 'cause. Of. The sugar…" And Ramon can't shun them knowing they're semi-healthy now, because he /already ate one/. Sucker! "Well, whatever y'all wanna do!" the woman says buoyantly. "5309. Jenny, right? Yea, I can remember that!" Probably not.

"So you catered?" Elena asks, taking the cupcake and munching on it happily. She's still a teenager, so right now she's loving her carbs. Wait till she's forty. She looks over at Ramon, and then at Desiree. "Or worked at a bakery? Or ran a home business?" she asks. She can't help it. She doesn't know much about Desiree - but the girl also wanted to be a chef of some sort before her mother died. So anyone who could cook, she'd definitely ask questions about it.

Ramon doesn't care if they're heart healthy. They taste good. In reality he complains little about what he has to eat, so long as someone packs his lunch. If he's left to pack his own lunch, or see to his own dinner he's likely to pick up greasy fast food. Or, as was discovered on one particular night when the kids, including Elena, were all asleep and he came home way late from a job, to stand over the sink giving raw hamburger a try because he was clueless about what else to do with it. So he devours this one too. He doesn't eat them all at once. He eats about half, and then he eats the other half. That's half at once. He sits down at the table, listening, quirking an eyebrow to show that he's also interested in Elena's questions.

Desiree waits until Elena's gotten all her questions out, dipping her head down and peering at the girl patiently, before she answers. "Home business," she then replies, her lips pulling into a humble sort of smile. "Made to order. It wasn't very… wha's the word. Lucrative." She snatches a cupcake for herself, definitely not one of those obsessive bakers who don't eat their own food (what is /that/ about, seriously?) and perches on the nearest chair.

"I think that's still pretty cool," Elena says, sinking down on another chair and grinning, toying with one of the fondant hearts on her cupcakes. "I always had trouble with fondant. I just can't get it to be malleable enough. Maybe I'm just doing it all wrong," she says simply. She looks over at Desiree. "But….I hope you'll be comfortable here, really. And you don't mind the pony posters in Nita's room." She nibbles around the edges of the cupcakes - but can't seem to stop herself from taking a huge bite from the edge.

"I don't think I've washed the sheets yet," a dazed Ramon says. "She was sick, but I sent her off be…" he stands up, meaning to do it. He may have no female magic of his own, but a single Dad learns to change and wash sheets. He is still looking fairly poleaxed, but in a pleasant sort of way. "I should go make room in the closet too."

"Well I'll show you," Desiree tells Elena right away with a big encouraging smile and decisive nod, no buts about it. "Aw, I don't mind the decorations," she says with a wave of her hand - a hand that then goes about rescuing her cupcake from its cup, even though it's so frilly and pretty. Her fingernails match the pink fondant almost exactly. "Oh, it's okay! You don't have to worry about it. 'Lena and I already fixed everythin' up. Well, the bed, anyway. Ain't that right, 'lena? She's on the ball, this girl of yours."

"I did," Elena says, flushing a bit at the compliment. "We cleared out a bit of closet room for Ms. Russo earlier, and I prepared the bed already and changed the sheets before she arrived with her stuff. She didn't bring much with her," she tells Ramon. And even if she did, they would've found a way to fit everything in. "And…really? That'd be great, thanks so much," she tells Desiree gratefully. FINALLY. She'll conquer another culinary hurdle. "Ummm…." She looks over at Ramon. "Peter asked me if he could stash some canvas and paint here as well since he's running out of room in his apartment. And Ms. Russo wanted to watch him paint the future at some point. I just wanted to let you know - the broom closet has other stuff in it now." Paint the future?

Ramon rubs the back of his neck slowly. "I thought Peter turned invisible," he says, again feeling like the slowest man at the Quiz Show. "Isn't that what he does?" he glances at Dezi — well if she can see the future /she/ can certainly paint it if she wants to, he supposes. "I won't touch the closet," he promises. "Paints are expensive." He knows that much because Catalina took an art class once.
"Yeah, I wanna see it, the whole paintin' the future thing," Desiree says - conversationally, as if it's the most normal thing in the world, but a contemplative look crosses her features and she looks down at her half-eaten cupcake thoughtfully for a moment. "He can turn invisible?" That perks her up, eyes widening and blinking in rapid succession. "…huh. I wanna switch. I want that instead. Nevermind seein' visions in groceries."

"….well yeah. That too. Peter's….different," Elena says, glancing down at her cupcake. It's really not her story to tell, but…they know most of what's going on were tied to him anyway so she continues. "He has several abilities. He's not like us who are….specialists with what we can do." The first time, possibly, that she's revealing to Desiree that she's got an ability herself, one she's managed to hide rather well despite everything that's happened. "But painting the future's one of the things he can do, as is turning invisible. Papa…" She turns to Ramon. "Ms. Russo knows about the tornado too. She saw it."

"You've saved my life with your visions, twice," Ramon grunts, feeling the need to point this out. For the tornado, he merely grimaces. "I don't know what any of us can do about a tornado. If the painting had come with some person holding his hands up like one of Luis' X-People, that might have come in a bit more handy."

Desiree's brows go up when Elena includes herself in the umbrella term of "us" - however, she doesn't pry. Yet, anyway. She holds up a hand and gives a little shake of her head, pointing out, "I dunno if that's what I saw. Just sounds like it could be, but how could a tornado big 'n' bad enough to do that come to New York?" She's out of the loop on how crazy people with abilities can be with said abilities, okay? She frowns a little at Ramon, modest, but a smile is soon shining the expression far away. "I s'pose it's worth hangin' on to!" Like she has a choice. "I'ma try to keep puttin' it to good use, so we can stop what's comin'. Hopefully I'll get some pictures with instructions."

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