2007-10-05: Kid Stuff For Mature Audiences

Starring:

AJ_icon.gif Cam_icon.gif Ian_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif Rochelle_icon.gif

Summary: Kory and Cam enjoy a quiet afternoon at the Lair, until it gets busy and they end up discussing the merits of graphic entertainment and whether it's for children.

Date It Happened: October 5, 2007

Kid Stuff For Mature Audiences


Location: The Secret Lair

The store has just opened up. Kory is just putting Chewbacca's leash away, having clearly just walked him. She's mopping her brow and coming out of the back room with a pensive expression, and saying hello to the Sunday afternoon regulars. She thanks Tito for minding the place during the walk. "Everything cool?" she asks him, and is pleased to get an answer in the affirmative.

It's just a few minutes later that Cam's making his way inside. He steps in and glances around a little as he starts to make his way further in. On seeing Kory, the boy smiles, "Hi."

"Cam! Hi!" Kory greets the boy. "How goes it?" She lifts an arm to wave at him.
Cam waves back and smiles, "I'm fine! I even got some money today," he adds, grinning. "Enough for one comic, anyway." He then asks, "Anything goin' on today? Like games or anything?"

"Sundays are kinda slow," Kory tells Cam. "Usually there're pick up games, but it's still kinda early. You know parents want their kids to have done their homework, and stuff, by Sunday." She smiles apologetically. "But what's that one comic gonna be?"

Cam nods a little bit and shrugs a little, "That's ok." He adds, "I do my homework at school. I'd just lose everything if I didn't." At the question he hesitates, and asks, "The new Uncanny X-Men came out this week, didn't it?"

"Sure did," Kory assures Cam. "Copy in the read box if you want to have a look before putting down your hard earned money. As usual, few other things, too." She points out the box by the comfy chairs. "Have at it."
Cam smiles and shakes his head, digging the money from his pocket, "It's ok, wanna buy it… but, is it ok if I read some of the others in the box still?"

"Of course," Joule assures him, and leaves him to do just that, as she putters around the stores, straightening longboxes and such, while he heads for the box.

Cam goes to retreive the comic he plans to buy, taking it up to pay for right away. Once that's done, he carries it over to the box to pick out a couple others to read. He asks Kory then, "You know Mr. Jones, right? He's one of my teachers, said his parents used to run this store."
"Yep. He's an old, dear friend of mine," Kory tells Cam, smiling warmly. "Known him since I was a bit older than you are now." She glances at him, curiously.

Cam blinks, "Wow, really? Mosta the friends I knew last year aren't around anymore. Cool." Then he asks, "Does he really think comics and superpowers and stuff are silly, or did he just say that because he's my teacher and wants me to read bigger books and stuff?"

Kory winces inwardly. There's a lot of detail there, but not stuff she could explain easily to an eleven year old, even if she believed it her place to. "Yep. I just about grew up here, you might say," she explains. "And …I think it's a bit of each, to answer your question. I think he does want you to reach for the stars. And I think he doesn't want to think superpowers and stuff are silly. But his dad…" she considers her words a moment, before she continues. "His dad kind of paid more attention to the store than him. So I guess he's a little mad at the store and everything that goes with it, y'know?"

Cam listens to the explanation, moving to sit down but picking a spot close enough to talk still. He nods a little and says, "Yeah, guess I kinda get that. I'd be mad too I guess." He then says, "I heard about this hero from a long time ago in Japan, this guy in the park told me about him. Gonna see if I can find some books about him at the library. Think he'd be ok with that kinda stuff? The guy's like a superhero, just 'fore there were comics I guess."

"Yeah," Kory says sadly. "Kids need their dads to pay attention to them." She shakes off the melancholy that seemed to descend on her with that part of the conversation, and brightens as Cam changes the subject. "Oh?" Kory thinks a minute. "Before comics, huh? Who's this," she asks, after thinking about it and coming up empty. Probably didn't jangle the right nerve bundle is all.

Cam nods quickly, "From four hundred years ago, the guy in the park said. His name was… um…" He bites his lip, thinking. "Taz…Tazeko Kensei, yeah. Dunno how to spell it, hope the librarians know. He learned to fight from a dragon and even one battle he fought for eleven whole days without sleeping."

"Oh, yes, the Japanese warlord," Kory pipes up. "There's a museum exhibit on him too, now that you mention it. At the Museum of Natural History, I think. Maybe you can convince Mr. Jones to take you guys on a field trip. Or I could take you one afternoon, if you want, since ancient Japanese history isn't really fit for what Mr. Jones teaches."

Cam brightens at the offer, and he immediately answers, probably a bit too loudly, "That'd be awesome! Thanks! Later this week?" Then he nods quickly, "Yeah, he teaches about laws and stuff."

"Okay. I'll see what I can do. But after school, okay?" Kory asks, gently. "I don't wanna get on your teacher's bad side." She's seen it. It's not pretty.

Cam nods emphatically again, smiling brightly still, "Yeah, for sure. After school. I don't wanna be in trouble either."

"Good. Then it's a date," she tells him with a wide smile. "I've been meaning to see the exhibit myself, and now I have a good reason to go. If you want, afterward, you can come with me to meet one of the dogs."
Cam smiles back and says, "Awesome." Then he blinks at the last offer, "Dogs? What dogs? But sure! I like dogs." He opens the first comic he picked to read, though doesn't look down at it yet. "I'll make sure to get my homework done first too."

"Oh, you didn't know?" Kory shrugs. "This isn't my only job. I also walk dogs for a lot of people in the afternoons and on weekends. Depending on what day we go, we could be walking one dog or a few. If you wanna come with."

Cam blinks at that and says, "Wow, people pay to have their dogs walked? They must be rich!" Then he nods quickly again, smiling still, "Sure. Bet that'll be fun too."

"Yep, or very, very busy, or both," Kory agrees. "I don't mind. I get a lot of fresh air, and exercise. And the dogs aren't cooped up in a stuffy apartment unable to play fribee or fetch. Works for everybody. It'll be fun. I won't walk a dog that doesn't mind his or her manners."
Cam grins and says, "You get to play with them too? Cool. Yeah, can't wait!" He then says, "I always wanted a dog, but my dad only really liked cats."

"Well, sure. Walking them isn't just takin' 'em out with the pooper scooper. Dogs need more than that to be happy and playful. Plus, it tires them out so they're not all crazy soon as their humans get home, which the humans appreciate." She laughs. "Well, Mr. Dresden has a cat, too, but I don't take him out. But he likes kids. So I guess we've settled where we're going after the exhibit."

Cam smiles still and says, "Thanks. This is gonna be awesome. I've never been to a museum before. My mom used to teach me from home, and she *always* knew stuff I asked. Like she knew everything."

"That's a superpower that only moms get, I think," Kory grins. She notices the past tense when he speaks of his parents, but being the careful sort she is, she waits for him to be ready to talk about it. "But anybody can come close if they read a lot. I read more than some people think is good for me."

Cam grins back at the first comment, nodding quickly, "Yeah." Then he nods quickly and again and says, "Mom read all the time. I like reading too, if I'm reading fun stuff, like about heroes and stuff."

"Yeah — who's your favourite?" Kory asks. "Everybody has a fave. I know you like Spider-Man. And the X-Men, but if you could be one, who would you be?"

Cam considers that, flipping another page. "Ummmm.. Iceman, for sure. I love winter and snow and ice and stuff," he adds in explanation, smiling.

"Fun time of year," Kory agrees. "And you get hot chocolate when you're done freezing your patootie off. Plus, in the summer, it's relaxing to think about the colder weather. I like Storm best, myself. Mainly 'cause she's one of the first really powerful girl characters with cool powers. All you guys get the cooler powers most of the time, y'know."

Cam grins and nods quickly, "I hate it in summer. Except swimming, that's fun, but I hate being hot. In winter, it's awesome." Then he nods quickly, and says, "Storm's cool, yeah. Imagine someone really having that power? They'd be like the most powerful person in the world!"

"Oh," Kory muses, pausing to think, "I think there are other powers that are scarier than hers. Plus, she's a good guy. She'd never misuse her powers. Not on purpose, anyway. There's an old story where somebody made her use her powers wrong, but she was kinda trying to defend herself."

Cam nods quickly to that again and says, "Yeah, she's good. All their powers would be scary if they weren't good. That's what makes Magneto, when he was alive, scary too. If he was a good guy, he'd just like them I bet."

"He's a sad story, really," Kory explains. "He is a good guy in his own mind, and in his own heart. He just goes about trying to make the world a better place in ways that make him a bad guy. Because he's been hurt so much he doesn't think regular people will ever give mutants peace and kindess. He occasionally does join the X-Men. You can probably find those old issues in our longboxes. I think I might even have the reprint of one of those stories at my place. I'll try to find it for ya."

Cam considers that, "Really? I never got to see him in too many things, just in the cartoons. He ain't been in many comics since I started reading."

"He's *always* the bad guy in the cartoons," Kory sighs. "Always. That's because TV boils everything down to the simplest, simplest stuff. Movies are even worse. The comics give you the whole story, with all the twists and turns and history. That's why you hear about fans flipping out when a show or a movie doesn't get it right. Because they leave out so much of the rich detail."

Cam nods quickly to that and grins again, "Yeah, I get that! I know lots more about Peter Parker than lotsa real people I know." He flips another page, and adds, "But I like the cartoons too, 'cause they're fun. Just… different worlds. Like Ultimate and Amazing Spider-man."

"It's true. I still watch 'em, too," Kory says, as if confiding a secret. "a lot of people my age would roll their eyes and tell me I'm a grownup and I shouldn't. I say what fun is being a grownup if you have to stop being a kid in all the ways that are fun. What do you say?"

Cam nods quickly again with a grin, "Yeah! That's right! Should always be able to do stuff fun." He flips another page of the comic, obviously reading (slowly) as he's talking.

Kory doesn't object. She knows what it's like to want to read and do something else at the same time. "Too many people forget that. So it's important to remember. At least, to me it is. Don't mind me. I had a weird morning." She shakes her head, and the momentary cloud over her expression goes away.

Cam shakes his head quickly and says, "It's ok! Yeah, lotsa grownups seem to forget to have fun, all work and stuff. My dad was kinda like that. He was still nice and stuff, but was always 'bout work."

"I think that kinda comes with parenthood, too," Kory says, thinking over Cam's words. "My dad worked really hard too. I think they think they have to so us kids get whatever they think we need. Even if we don't really need more than a roof over our heads, food, and love."
Cam considers that, and then nods a bit again, "I guess. My dad was always trying to get more money and stuff for us. Guess that's why, huh?"

"Yeah. Being a grownup has a lot of responsibility if you let it," Kory says, solemnly. "So enjoy being a kid while you can." She rubs her arms as if chilled. "Some things make kids like you grow up too quick."

Cam blinks, looking up to Kory a moment, and asks, "What do you mean? And are ya cold? I'm not good at telling, I like it cold but everybody's always asking why I'm not wearing a coat."

"No, just thinking about my own dad," Kory muses. "I just get shivery sometimes thinking about then." She takes a slow, deep breath, before explaining further. "See, he disappeared when I was a kid. We don't know what happened to him."

Cam ohs and nods a little bit to that. "You didn't ever find him?" That seems to worry him, more than a little. And, not just feeling sorry for Kory either.

"Not so far," Kory says. "The police think something happened to him." Something permanent, even though Kory still can't bring herself to say that exact thing. "But I know my dad. If he could come back to my family, he would. I'm just scared he's got amnesia and is in some hospital somewhere, not knowing where he belongs."

Cam bites his lip, looking down at his comic again shakily. "Bet you'll find him," he says after a few moments, though, looking up to Kory. "Can't ever give up on somethin' like that."

Kory comes around to sit beside Cam and, if he'll allow, put an arm around him. "He wouldn't want me to," she agrees. "But he also wouldn't want me to waste my life pining. So between the two, I work it out one day at a time."

Cam doesn't object at all to the arm around him, leaning in a slight bit even. "How do… how do ya know what's too much and what's not enough?"

"You don't," Kory tells him, turning it into a one armed hug since he seems not to mind. "Not exactly. You just gotta pay attention, and when you realize you're spending too much time focusing on the sad parts, and not enough time focusing on the finding, or the living, you gotta stop, back up a few steps, and try again. You kinda get the hang of it over time."

Cam is quiet for a time as he thinks about that, and then says, "Hope I don't. Hope I can find them before I get used to it." He's at least confirmed where his parents are (or, rather, aren't).

"Your folks are missing, too?" Kory asks, voice surprised, though her expression is a little bit less surprised.

Cam nods a little bit, not looking up now. "Yeah. My fault too. I ran away. I was gone for months. Then I went back and they were just… gone."

"That must've been a terrible shock to you," Kory says gently. "But you know you've got friends here, right?" She puts a smile in her voice. "You can consider me kind of an adopted big sister 'til you find your real one, if you want."

Cam looks back up at that, looking up to Kory a moment. Then he smiles a little again, just a little, and nods. "Ok." He turns a bit so he can hug Kory back finally.

Kory puts her other around him as well, and lets him hug as long as he's comfortable. She lets go soon as he gives an indication he's done. She's well aware he's eleven. "Cool. So if you need anything, you come find me, okay? I'll let Mr. Jones know, so you've got two grownups lookin' out for ya."

Twelve, actually, not that it makes much difference at the moment. Cam holds onto the hug for a few moments, and then sits back again, "Thanks." No tears have fallen, but he does rub his eyes a moment as he sits back. Then he nods and smiles a little more at the last, "Ok." Then he hesitates. "I lied to him. I told him a fake story about what happened to my parents."

Kory nods. "I can guess why, I bet." She thinks for a second. "Figure he'd put you in a foster home where you wouldn't have the freedom to go look for them if he knew the truth?"

Cam nods quickly and says, "Something like that, yeah." He gives a slightly shy look, "And that he wouldn't let me go to school there. They give free food and stuff there, and better than the shelter."

Kory and Cam are tucked away at one of the comfy chairs. Cam's sitting in the chair with a comic open on his lap. Kory's perched on the arm of the chair beside him. They're talking quietly between them, although the store isn't terribly busy at the moment.

Tito is at the register, watching a video on his iPod.

"Okay," Kory says, nodding. "I won't tell anyone," she tells Cam. "But you gotta promise me if you need something. Medical attention, or something some other grownup has to do for you, you'll get ahold of me. We can work out secret words so it looks like your parents gave me the okay while they're busy. How's that work for you?"

Cam nods and says, "He knows I live at the shelter, so that's ok. Just…" He shrugs a bit. "But I'll come to you, promise." He smiles some again, and says, "Thanks." He doesn't notice the new arrival, but then he's not involved in selling stuff either of course.

Aidan picked a good time to come in. The geek level of the store is very low at the moment, not counting the merchandise. There's one woman looking over the romance manga. And a college age boy scoping the collectable card games. And then there's the boy hanging out with the woman in grey and black. She looks up and smiles as he comes in.

"Hi," Tito says, also smiling. "You need anything, give a shout." He goes back to his iPod, though, making no immediate move toward Aiden. The idea is for customers to come in and feel comfortable, not pounced upon.

"Good," Kory says quietly, returning her attention to Cam. "I'll make sure to get you my cell number, and we'll get you half a roll of quarters to keep on you just in case." Phonecalls, or subway fare, or even a snack if he's in dire straits.

Glancing around, Aidan turns his head towards Tito. He nods lightly and bites his lip as he goes to look at figures. He seems to remember Danny liking them, but he can't clearly recall everything about it. After all, one doesn't always pay very close attention to annoying younger siblings. "Yeah, not a clue." He mutters to himself as he reaches a hand up to rub his eyes.

Cam glances back towards the new arrival a moment as Kory does, but then looks back up to her again and smiles again, "Thanks. I can usually get a little money when I gotta, but that'll be great."

Kory gives Cam a pat on the shoulder, "Good. That's what family's for." She glances up hearing Aidan's remark. "Lookin' for something specific? Or not quite sure what you're lookin' for?" she offers, politely.

Hearing someone else say something. "Not a clue. Teenage younger brother. I know he likes figures, but I haven't got a clue what he likes. Beyond that… psh… lost." Aidan says, making a motion with his hand at his forehead as he does so. His voice is a mild tenor. "Gotta send something back home for his birthday." He chuckles, giving a half-smile to Kory.

Kory gets up to walk over to Aidan, leaving Cam to read for a bit while she earns her keep. "That covers a lot of ground. There are a /bunch/ of figures out there. Safest place to start is what's on TV, because cartoons are usually meant to sell stuff. He have a favourite show?"

Cam looks up to Aidan again curiously, but as Kory gets up to try to help he holds back any questions. He does start to read his comic again, though he's obviously listening too.

"I haven't seen him in a year and a half. Considering how fads change, I have no idea anymore. He doesn't talk about things like he used to, but that could just be hitting the teenage years." Aidan says with a half-shrug. "I know he doesn't care for all the anime stuff. He prefers more local things. Beyond that, it's been too long for me to know. Anything that has a general appeal?" He asks, with a head tilt.

"Spider-Man is almost always popular. Particularly with the movies being out and the new cartoon," Kory answers, with that sort of amused sympathy that geeks have for mundanes who just Do Not Get It.
Cam nods quickly in agreement as he comments, "That's like the best, yeah. Or Batman, almost everybody likes Batman too." He flips the last page in his comic as he says this.

"True… and whatever else happens to be a movie." Aidan nods slightly. "Yeah, but that last movie wasn't one he could go to. Strict 'rents." He says with a wink towards Cam. "They're picky about what the kids watch. Hmm. Something Spider-Man should work. Just… what is the question."

"Depends on how old he is," Kory suggests. "If he's under thirteen, then you're safe with figures. If he's fourteen or older, he may be 'too old' for that sort of stuff, unless he's got collectibles, like that guy on The Simpsons." Comic Book Guy is physically over fourteen, but why split hairs?

Cam laughs just a little at the mention of the guy from Simpsons, but he quiets quickly, going to the second of the comics he had with himto open up.

"He still collects things. That much I DO know. It's one of those things my parents say he hasn't grown out of and doubtfully will. But then, he's much more on the geekier side… no offense… than my sister or I." Aidan chuckles. "Not that there's anything wrong with it."

Kory smiles faintly. She's put up with a worse variation on this attitude from Lee, so Aidan's doesn't distress her. "Well, if you're sending it home, you may wanna check his Amazon wishlist, and then pick it up here. They jack up the shipping prices. I'd hate for you to ship it all the way home and then need to exchange it. Unless he's in Philly, which is where our other branch is."

Cam blinks, frowning a bit as he looks back up to the adult, but this time at least he doesn't say anything. He looks back down to his comic, turning another page.

"Our? So… I take it you work here?" Aidan asks, with a bit of a blush. "Sorry. Didn't mean anything by the geeky statement. Just… fact of the matter." He says with a half-smile. Nervousness gets the better of him sometimes. Oddly, not on stage. Just when in front of new people in a more one on one setting. "I dunno if Mom's gotten internet access at home or not. I had to fight with her to get her to get a computer in the first place."

"Manager, that's me," Kory gives him cheerfully, hands behind her back as she rocks on her toes. "I'm Kory. That's Tito. We are geekus maximus, and we're used to regulars coming in here not sure what they need. Don't sweat it."

"Get him a Vampirella," suggests the geek teen who sidled in a few minutes ago.

"He can't get his brother a Vampirella, Croyd," Kory tells him. "That'd probably start a war in the house, even if his brother was secretly grateful."

Cam looks back up, blinking, "What's Vampirella? And why would it start a war?" Geek he might be too, but he also has a lot to learn about still.

"Vampirella is only the hottest girl vam—" Croyd falls silent at a glower from Kory and Tito, then pushes his glasses up on his nose. "Tell you when you're older."

Kory extends her gaze skyward, then glances at Aidan. "Well, if you want to get him something along those lines that may not freak the parents, we do have a Trinity maquette, and a Wonder Woman statue, from the old JLU cartoon. Or were you working on a smaller budget?"

"No idea who that is, but I'll trust your judgment." Aidan offers Kory. "After all, with that reaction, it's probably nothing a traditional southern home would want in it." He laughs lightly. "Honestly, I'll find out if there's a list or not. There's still a few weeks to go. I don't have to get it there right away." He looks at one of the figures on the shelf, pondering to himself. "Trinity, I don't know. The Wonder Woman stuff, that I recognize. And budget… about midrange. You know how it is for dancer/singer…" Aidan coughs softly, "waiters" The last part is said sotto voce, but with a grin.

Cam blinks, starting to say something to Croyd, but then at a glance to Kory seems to think better of it. At Aidan's confusion, he says, "Trinity's from the Matrix movies." Then he looks to Kory, "Or did ya mean a different one?"

"Ahhhh," Kory says, understandingly. "Well, we've also got T-shirts, and graphic novels if the maquettes are out of your range. Justice League and Superman also go over pretty well. I'd stick to Wonder Woman and Superman if your family's …er…traditional southern." Patriotic and all, yeah. That'll work. She beams at Cam. "Nope, that's the Trinity I meant." Yep, dressed from head to toe, even if it's in black leather.

"Oh, never saw those. Heard they were ok." Aidan nods softly, pondering things as he looks over some of the other things. "Ah well, I'll just call and ask. Better to say I don't remember than to look like an as… erm… an idiot later." He says, brushing a hand through his hair as he shakes his head slightly.

"Well, if he's into superheroes, anything you already know the name of is pretty safe. Except maybe X-Men," Kory adds, editing as she speaks. "Wolverine's kinda violent, and Emma Frost? Mom probably won't approve."

Cam nods quickly and says, "Emma Frost is… creepy." Probably not the reason Kory is referring to, of course. "And Wolverine's like the only superhero that kills. But the rest of them are cool. Nightcrawler, Iceman, Beast, Storm…"

"Brain overloading. Too much information." Aidan says with a mock wince. He leans against a bare patch of wall. "If you were talking about broadway actors and actresses, I'd have a clue. But hey, we can't all be into the same things."

"Hugh Jackman has done broadway before," Kory offers mildly. "So has Patrick Stewart. Maybe even Ian McKellan." She smiles, and if she can't quite keep the smugness out of it, perhaps it's forgivable.

Cam blinks, looking up to Kory at that, "They have?" He shrugs a bit again then but nods and looks back up to Aidan, to see his reaction to what Kory says, his comic forgotten for the moment.

"Ah! Ok, yes. Actors and actresses I can place. Especially the classics and the knighted." Aidan says with a bright grin. "Ok, those I know. Finally, I don't feel quite as out of place." He laughs. He moves slightly, his shoe making a sticky sound on the ground.

Kory glances down at the noise, concerned. "I'm so sorry. I could've sworn I mopped this morning." She glances accusingly at the shaggy mutt snoozing obliviously by the door. "Well, glad we've found some common ground, then. Does this help you with your shopping? If not, we can get you a business card and you can call it in when you do decide."

Cam grins again to Aidan and says, "Yeah. Patrick Stewart was Professor X, Hugh Jackman was Wolverine, and Ian McKellan was Magneto in the movies. The second movie's the best, if you're gonna watch 'em."

"I don't think it's your floor. I think it's my shoes. Dancer. My shoes are stickied a lot so that I don't slip when I'm practicing." Aidan says, with a bitten lip. It's quite possible that he's lying, if anyone can tell such things. "I'm sure your floor is fine." As Cam speaks, Aidan ponders. "I really doubt I'd watch them. I mean, superheroes? I have too much real stuff to deal with." As if superpowers aren't real?

Kory raises a brow. She's never heard that before, but it's not entirely implausible. "I hope so, or the dog is in the doghouse, and we don't have a doghouse." She glances back at Cam as Aidan does. "He's totally right," Kory agrees with Cam's movie selection. "Tsk. That's a terrible way to look at things. Too much of any one thing is no good for you. A little escapism never hurt anyone. So you're saying you never read a book, or a magazine. You never go to the movies? But you dance on Broadway. Some people would say that's not real, wouldn't they?"

Cam blinks, but then nods quickly in agreement with Kory. "Yeah, everybody watches movies sometimes! And no movies are real, not really, so what's the difference? It's just for fun."

"Actually, that didn't come out right. I meant… Not my thing. My brother would love it, but I just don't have time for that. I work too much between auditions. I have too many things going on to worry about movies in series." Aidan explains, blushing brightly. "Not to mention the fact that I highly doubt superheroes would go around wearing leather costumes, as most people that might… potentially… if it were possible to have powers… couldn't afford full suits of leather like that." He HAS seen a couple of pictures from the movies. "As for dancing on broadway, that IS a dream in itself. I can't get a gig to save my life. I get so nervous and I start slipping and sliding or tripping." He says, continuing to blush.

Kory arches a brow at Aidan. "It sounds to me like you're maybe psyching yourself out," Kory suggests gently. "And don't you know, all superheroes have bankroll Daddy Warbucks types?" Kory uses the newspaper name for rich benefactor since Aidan's so clearly out of his element here. "But I can understand the light budgeting issue. Dance shoes are not cheap."

Cam nods quickly in agreement again and says, "Yeah.. well, except Spider-man, but his costume's just lycra, and he makes his webbing himself." Probably not helping matters, but anyway. He looks back down to his comics again at the talk of dancing.

"That's probably part of it. That and a lack of control when I'm being watched by people that I know are judging me." Aidan says with a shrug. "I hate applying and trying out. I'm fine when I'm in place. I'm horrible at applying for jobs and at auditioning." That and out of control friction when he's doing it, but hey, he's getting better at that.

"You're gonna have to figure out how to relax, or you're gonna be your own worst enemy," Kory responds with sympathy. "I'm not gonna suggest the whole 'imagine them in their underwear' thing, because for some people, that makes things even worse."

Cam offers his contrubition. "Good point!" Kory agrees with Cam. "He made his own costume, even in the comics. I'm not sure where he got that neat stuff they used for Tobey Maguire. But it's not much different from what you'd practice in, or if you're costumed up on stage, right?"

Cam smiles at Kory's response to his comment, but then just goes quiet again. He's still listening, but he really has nothing to say to performance anxiety. So, he just reads his comic.

"I don't think it's really all that. There are… other things." Aidan says, not elucidating. He still doesn't know a lot about the world as it stands right now. "Oh, by the way. I'm Aidan, just in case I ever DO make it somewhere and you see the name Aidan Murphy in lights." He laughs.

"Other things?" Kory nibbles her own lower lip thoughtfully. It's not a mimic or mockery of Aidan's gesture. Just a habit they share in common. "I think you'd be surprised, Aidan. But it's nice to meet you. If you didn't catch it before, I'm Kory. This's Cam." She indicates the youth. "And Tito's the one over there pining over 'Dead Like Me' reruns." Tito gives Kory a sour look.

Cam looks back up as he's introduced, and nods quickly, "Hi." He nods again and then says, "Nice meeting ya!" Not exactly a formal way of saying it, but honest enough it seems.

"Yeah, weird things." Aidan shrugs. It haunts him sometimes. The fact that his weirdness hurt people in the past. Now it only hurts him on occasion. "But anyway, yeah. So… change of subject away from weird mental things."

Ian isn't dressed as a Sith. Not today. But he is in a BPRD t-shirt, black hoodie, and black fatigues, looking as cheerful as usual. He comes clomping in, pausing just inside the door to survey the store,as if to spot anything new.

Kory is about to break the uncomfortable silence that came from Aidan's last remark, when she spots the door opening. Her face lights up, and she says a quick, "'Scuse me," to Aidan, before opening her mouth and letting out a shrill and joyous shriek. "IRON MAN!" She rushes from where she was standing to fling herself bodily toward hugging Ian. "Dude! How are you! I haven't seen you since you stayed with me in the ER!" The smile she's showing Ian could power the Flux Capacitor.

Cam looks back up from his comic at Kory's shriek, blinking. He watches her greet Ian, grinning a bit but not saying anything. Just curious. His comic once again, momentarily at least, forgotten.

Aidan simply watches the 'attack' with a chuckle. "Anyway, I should probably head on my way. I can come back later." He says, tugging the band out of his hair. After he does, it goes flying, somehow… as if it was shot from his hand. It wasn't, but it flies like that. "Oops."
Oh, best reward evar! An enthusiastic embrace from a pretty lady. Ian beams at her in return, leaning into the hug. He smells faintly of that frankincense and myrrh oil he wears. "I'm good, I'm good," he says, once he's regained his breath. "How about you?"

"Great," Kory says, though the smile fades quickly. Back to professionality? Maybe. "Everybody, this is Ian. Ian caught a kid who got tossed out of a burning building! And then he stayed with me when I had to go to the ER for my stupid shoulder and ankle. He's the Lair's very own local hero!" Even sulky Croyd looks impressed. Tito raises a fist in a 'fight the power' gesture.

Cam's eyes widen slightly at the description of what Ian did, "Wow, that's awesome! How far did the kid fall?" Initial curiosity has now turned to full interest.

You paged Rochelle with 'At present, Ian just walked in. Kory screamed like he was a rockstar, hugged him, and introduced him as the local hero because he saved a kid who got tossed out of a burning building and then took Kory to the ER.'

"You dropped this, man," Tito calls to Aidan, tossing his hairband back at him. "Here ya go."

Taking the hairband, Aidan stuffs it in his pocket. "Wow. I don't think I'd be able to do one of those. The other wouldn't be an issue." He chuckles. "Anyway, I'll be around later." He says, stepping out the door.

"Uh, story or two?" Ian looks a little abashed. "I mean, it was mostly just luck. I'm so glad I didn't drop him," he says, quietly.
"Do not let him fool you, he was AWESOME!" Kory beams. She ruffles Ian's hair. "Don't forget to take a business card in case you figure out what to get your brother," she advises Aidan, scampering to catch up with him. "If we don't have it, we can probably find it."

Cam nods a little and grins, "It's still awesome, yeah. Glad you caught 'em!" He glances to Kory and the departing Aidan, but then looks back up to Ian and says, "Even if it was luck, still a hero."

A few moments after Aidan's departure, the door to The Secret Lair slips open again; Rochelle sidles in with an aura of tentativeness, for once not looking like she just got off of work somewhere(read: Clean). Her boots have still seen better days, though. She even found the time to put on a geek shirt too- a blue tank top with yellow lines of text- Wakka wakka wakka wakka- with Pac-Man and Ghosts along the bottom of the back. It's disturbingly endearing for her, actually. So this is the inside of the dragon-pants store! Rochelle's first thoughts are most likely along the lines of 'oh, shiny'.

Ian looks abashed - he even blushes, of all things. "Nah. I just happened to be in the right place, right time," he explains, with a little gesture of a hand, turning a palm out from the wrist as if to deflect the compliment.

"Gentleman too," Kory gushes. "You lookin' for anything in particular, Iron Man?" This apparently is what Ian is an abbreviation for now, in Kory's lexicon.

"Hey there," greets Tito, to the woman who has walked in. "How's it going?" He smiles at her reaction. That type of reaction is well received here.

Cam rolls his eyes at Ian's embarassment, grinning though. He looks up too to the new arrival a moment curiously, but then looks down at the comic he was reading earlier once again.

Rochelle slips her hands into the edges of both pockets, taking a few seconds to observe her surroundings and the people already there before approaching Tito. "Not that it'll have any bearing on my visit, cause I came to actually browse- Lee Jones lives just upstairs, don't he?" Rochelle even motions halfheartedly towards the ceiling with her eyes. Tidbits of information like that is good to have, plus she's not much of a geek. Small talk is easy to help anything uncomfortable for her.

"This month's Hellboy and BPRD," Ian says, brightly, back on a safe and familiar topic. "And do you have the Hellboy lunchbox?" he asks, cocking his head in a rather birdlike motion.

"Yeah, his sister owns the place," Kory answers, cheerful mien fading. Somebody walking right in and asking quesitons about Lee? In light of recent events, she's a touch uneasy. She's only too happy to turn her attention to Ian. "You got it, hon. And the lunchbox is on me." She scruffles Cam's hair on the way past him to fetch Ian's purchase.

Cam looks up to Ian and blinks, "Thought only kids bought lunchboxes like that?" Then he shrugs and grins, "Cool, though." He looks up to Rochelle and asks, "You know Mr. Jones?"

Attention turning to Kory, Rochelle smiles gently. "I forget these things. He's probably told me a dozen times during some sort of complaint or other." The woman blinks and flattens the corners of her mouth for a second. "I need an address book." See, Kory? Not a crazy person. Honest. Rochelle catches the tail end of Ian's requests, and the whole of Cam's question when she wanders over to eye the racks nearer him. "Yep. We're on friendly terms. I'm Rochelle." Kids are cool in her book. "What's good?" Eyes blinking back down at Cam, the woman shrugs her broad shoulders to shake off that autumn nip. Time to start wearing coats, apparently.

Ian lifts a hand at Cam. "Hey, I never pretended to be a real grownup. In fact, I am fighting the metamorphosis as hard as I can," he says, before flashing the kid a grin. He gives Kory one of those owl faces. "You mean, free?" Captain Obvious asks the Obvious.

Kory returns with Ian's purchase. "Here you go, champ," Kory tells Ian. "Yep. Least I could do for you sittin' in the ER half the night and seeing me home with my arm in a sling and a crutch in my free hand." Her expression relaxes a little as Rochelle describes their acquaintance a bit. "Oh, well. Okay. He's not in just now. I'm Kory. I can take a message." She grins down at Cam as Ian speaks of not wanting to be a grownup either.

Cam grins up to Ian at that and says, "Cool." He glances up to Kory too, and back to the others. He looks back to Rochelle then and says, "I'm Cam. And the new Uncanny's awesome. The last Ultimate Spider-man's a couple weeks old, but it's great too."

"If you could just tell him I was here? I keep missin'him." Rochelle assumes Kory heard the few seconds of introduction with Cam, keeping a polite smile on her face. "Spider-man's pretty much the guy I always look for, if I remember. He's always good for a read, right?" Back to Cam again, she lifts a hand to carefully peek around on the comic shelves. "She-Hulk I never skip, though." Rochelle says this as if it were something of a conspiratorial secret, even hushing for just a bit of comic effect.

"She-Hulk rocks," Kory agrees. "I'll be sure to tell Lee that you came by." She glances at Cam. "How're we on time? Gotta rush anywhere?" Tito is ringing up Ian's purchase, minus the price of the lunchbox.

Ian admits, rather sheepishly, "I'm not a big superhero person myself. I tend to like horror and fantasy. Hellboy, Hellblazer, Sandman, Elfquest….stuff like that."

Cam looks up to Rochelle again and grins, "Yeah, always is." He then shrugs and says, "I ain't never read She-Hulk." He looks back to Ian and says, "Hellboy's a superhero… just a weird one."

Looking abck up to Kory and adds, "Um… I should probably get back sometime soon, but not in *that* big a rush yet. I can go now if ya want, though."

"No worries here," Kory assures Cam. "I just don't want you out on the streets after dark by yourself. I know you're getting big and all that, but still. Big sisters worry." She offers him an affectionate wink.

"Hellboy and Hellblazer, sure." Rochelle sounds agreed on a couple of them. "I'm notorious for picking things based on art, too. Words can elude me." At least she doesn't say outright 'I just like the purdy pictures' and saves herself a few seconds of embarrassment. "Sounds like yer surrounded, Cam, you should think about it." Being surrounded by fans of something and never having read it? He's bound to hear those things eventually. Rochelle smirks a little as he speaks with Kory again, turning herself back to the shelves. Content to poke around for now.

Ian nods eagerly at Rochelle. "I'm there with. A lot of manga I read just for the look of it, because honestly, the plots tend to be kinna nonsensical, you know?" He takes his new lunchbox and lifts it up to admire it.

"I love the art on some books, and hate the writing. And vice versa. There was a book that made me miserable when I was a kid. Shooter story, Milgrom artwork. It was like eating chocolate covered broken glass to read it." Kory shakes her head. "But that's the industry for ya." she grins at Ian. "Looks good on ya," she tells him, of the lunchbox. "Use it in good health."

Cam rolls his eyes a bit and grins, "I can take care of myself." Still, after a moment he adds, "But ok. I'll try to be there by the time it gets dark." He looks up to Rochelle again and grins, "Ok, I'll try it someday."

Rochelle can relate to most of that; this is a more comfortable place when there are familar words floating around. Bring the lady in when there's a Warhammer campaign, and she'll be out of place and content to just play with the figurines. "Pet Shop of Horrors has some unique art, but y'know, it actually makes sense too. A rare combination." She smiles gently back down at Cam again, nodding sharply. "Good boy. I suppose if ya can't get through it, y'all can paint me green or something instead." Roughly the same, but not quite.

"You're gonna regret the big sister thing," Kory teases Cam. She goes to the register and plucks out a roll of quarters. She breaks it in half on the edge of the countertop and hands Cam half. "As promised." She glances at Rochelle and chuckles. "Brave soul. But I bet he'll like it just fine. Shulkie's got a good heart, and she's funny and heroic as any X-Man." She looks over at Ian. "You promised not to be such a stranger, I recall, too."

Ian nods sagely at Kory. "Exactly. I love Frank Miller's art, but really dislike most of his stories," he explains. "Sin City is a love hate thing with me, for instance."

Cam shrugs a bit and grins again up to Kory, "Maybe, but don't yet." He takes the coins and nods quickly, "Thanks! I'll save 'em for emergencies, promise." He stuffs the coins into his pocket.

Rochelle takes enough notice of Cam and the quarters to simply file reasoning it away for another day; it's not any of her business why. Cute, though. After a few more moments, the woman fishes a couple issues out of the rack. "Hey, at least she ain't a brother. She'd be takin'those quarters. I had to fight for mine when I was your age." That's about all the big woman has to offer on the matter as she turns to check out, fishing for the leather wallet in her back pocket.

"I have a brother," Kory agrees. "He was always mooching off me for something," she confirms. "And god, yes, Sin City!" she tells Ian, like he just told her that he had the cure for cancer. "Great art, but what is wrong with that man?! That Batman and Robin thing? He turned Dick Grayson into a borderline sociopath!" She does not approve. She could not look more disapproving if she were a rabbit.

"I just wanna know what his obsession with whores is," Ian says, dropping his voice a bit on the W word. "I mean, really. He made Catwoman one, when he wrote Year One, if I remember right."

If Cam is lacking any understanding of the discussion, it doesn't show. "I only read the first one of his Batman and Robin comics, if it's the one I'm thinking, I didn't like it. I never even hearda him 'fore that." Then he grins to Rochelle on the other subject and says, "Don't think I'd have to anyway even if I had a brother."

"Is that so?" Rochelle, however, is… far more tactless than Ian. In the time between speaking a sentence to Cam and paying for something, she gets a bug in her brain to speak again. "As long as Miller doesn't fudge up The Spirit's movie, I'll be fine. He is pretty obsessed with whores, but hopefully he'll keep his business out of it." Not banking on that. WHORES. Say it louder, Ian. She does.

Kory blinks at Rochelle for a full ten seconds before facepalming. It's all she can manage in response.

Ian is actually blushing. And says nothing.

Cam, of course, shows no reaction to Rochelle's words. Either he knows what the word means and just doesn't care, or he doesn't know what it means and thus doesn't know what the big deal is. Instead all he asks is, "What's The Spirit about?"

"Kind of like a 1940s Batman. A guy who jumped around the rooftops in the dark, fighting evil," Kory offers. "Good in a different way. But the stories are hard to read now, because the style of writing then was so different."

Rochelle doesn't pick up at first, but the facepalming and the blushing? Oh. She peers down at Cam, but since he doesn't mind, neither does she. She just nods along with Kory, tucking her purchase under a forearm as she saunters backwards towards the door. "A guy with fists and a mask. Classic crime-drama hero type'a guy."

Ian leaves the shop.

Cam blinks, "Oh, cool. Hope the movie's good! Sounds fun. Not as fun as powered heroes, but still fun." He grins, and then hops up, carrying two of the three comics he had with him to put into a box near the counter, still carrying the one comic.

Kory nods to Tito. "C'mon, Cam, I'll see ya back. I could use some fresh air." She walks with him to the door, intending to see him all the way to the shelter if he doesn't object.

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