2010-07-21: Leap Of Faith



Date: July 21, 2010


Sometimes miracles happen.

"Leap of Faith"

Central Park

Sunlight shines brightly into Central Park in the late afternoon. Kids play, people walk, and joggers jog. Wheelchair-bound Janet McCarty rolls… to a hot dog stand. She's spent the entire afternoon craving a hot dog and now, finally, after her physio therapy, she's here starved and ready for the delicious particle board of meat that is the hot dog! She gets in line and rolls up to the vendor, "One hot dog with everything on it please! And the sloppier, the more delicious!" The vendor is shot a large toothy grin as the brunette reaches into her pocket and extracts a bill to pay for the hot dog. "Also. A diet coke."

"Comin' right up, luv!" the vendor sputters as he begins to prepare Janet's hot dog.

From somewhere off behind Janet comes a stiffled giggling snorty sound. "Little girl likes the big sloppy ones!" The face should be marginally familiar to Janet…seeing as how it belongs to one of the Evo execs. The EvoEnt marketing executive, in fact. It looks like she has a similar craving, for a nice footlong. Domino's not too familiar with the doc, but she's seen her wheeling about the offices every now and again on the way to the Epic Penthouse of Love or something like that. When it comes to Jaden, she's learned to just put Epic in front of practically everything and then sit back and get a raise.

So, this is the one and only Central Park. Stepping in through the gates, Aiden can't help but pause and silently marvel at the place. Certainly, it is nothing like the backwoods Louisiana salt dome the young man comes from. He seems dazed for a long moment, stunned by the park setting, possibly. Finally, however, he shakes his head, pulled from his reverie by a grumbling stomach. Hands in his pockets, he strides casually over to the same hot dog stand that the wheelchair-bound woman and the Evo exec have stopped at.

He slips into line behind the women, fidgeting as he waits, trying his hardest not to stare at Janet. However, that Southern upbringing of his pokes its head through, and he finds himself quietly staring at her with an almost sad look upon his face.

Domino is issued a bright smile from Janet as she accepts her hot dog, "Ms. di Vincenzo, right? I don't think we've actually met, have we? Janet, Janet McCar— Doctor Janet McCarty," she extends her hand towards the other woman with a bright smile. "How is it possible we've never formally met? So managed to escape EvoSoft at a decent time of day, I see?" the grin extends to her eyes bright and hopeful. There's something unusually upbeat about the wheelchair-bound doc.

She catches Aiden staring at her only to shoot him that same bright smile, toothy, warm, and inviting. Pity isn't something she'll wallow in, not now. And hopefully, not ever.

"Well, now it is!" Domino exclaims, holding a hand out to the other wom…doctor, she means, and giving a sort of limp-wristed girly shake. "I've seen you tooling about Cain Tower and what have you! And yeah, they let me out…but they don't let me go too far. See!" Domino points at a bench where a rather heavyset man sits sweating with a chauffeur's cap on the bench next to him. "Car services, courtesy of you know who. I could've let him wait in the air conditioned car, but, what sort of business leader would I be if I promoted wasting fuel like that!" Twinkle, bling, ear-to-ear grin with a little shine on those teeth.

The young man goes bright red, fidgeting a bit and looking away for a moment and doing his best to keep himself from staring. Finally, however, his eyes turn back toward Janet, and he offers a small smile, speaking in an obvious deep south cajun accent. "Excuse me, ma'am? If I may interrupt for just one moment. I apologize for starin'. I was just wonderin' what happened to such a beautiful woman to put you in a wheelchair. You are far too pretty to have bad things happenin' to you." He shifts his weight from foot to foot as he watches Janet.

"Well yes! I suppose it is!" Janet's handshake is firmer, solid despite the chair. "And yes, I am around Cain Tower quite a bit, especially lately!" An eyebrow is arched at the chauffeur as her smile turns dimpled, "Well, that's just like him, isn't it?! Too generous for his own good! And good for you— the driver looks like he could use some sun anyways!"

The comment from Aiden reddens Janet's cheeks. The smile turns thoughtful, but it remains there on her lips. "Oh, it's okay, I'm still getting used to the chair myself— you see I was shot like three weeks ago in this bank heist type thing! And the doctors keep telling me not to rush the physio so here I am, bound in a chair but only temporarily! I'm convinced I will walk again… but thank you…"

"You got…shot? In a bank heist? Sheesh! Now I know why I let other people handle my money for me, right? Like, so I never have to go down to the bank or anything." For her part though, Domino keeps herself from interjecting even more and telling the both of them about how she handles her finances…or just more about her in general. That's just rude, afterall. Why would they want to hear about a fantastically successful, rising young star of a marketing exec at one of the world's biggest companies who rise to this lofty position from absolute obscurity in the American midwest? Note to self: TV movie.

Aiden's face breaks into a concerned expression, a frown drooping across his features. "My goodness, ma'am, that is awful! I am so sorry. I hope that they caught the person who did that to you." He fidgets again, turning his eyes toward the ground. Then, he straightens, glancing between the two ladies. "Please, won't you two beautiful ladies allow me to buy you both some lunch? I am a simple man, and it would just brighten my day to treat the both of you." A slightly dopey smile is offered to the two ladies.

"Oh wait! It was a museum and it was like a heist except not because it was like these guys trying to get a painting back that was stolen if that makes sense— I mean they knew what they wanted but— it's all very confusing!" Janet holds up a single hand in forfeit. This is one story she can barely grasp; explaining it to someone else seems nearly impossible. With a small shrug she quips, "It was an ordeal! Believe you me!"

"Oh yes! They have both of the men involved in jail right now, but I'm inclined to think that one that shot me didn't like mean to shoot me— it was an accident, I think! Everyone else just thinks I'm out to lunch about the whole thing, but seriously! SERIOUSLY! He wrote me letters! And sent me money— which I sent back— " Pressing a finger over her lips, Janet manages to stop her chatter and nod at Aiden. "That'd be great! Thanks! I'm Janet, by the way! You both can call me Janet— everyone does, other than my best friend Parker. He pretty much calls me whatever pops into his head— "

"Well…it's nice to official meet you Janet and…" Domino says looking at the man in line with them. "I'm afraid I didn't catch your name. I'm Domino. If you somehow figure out my real name and call me by it, well," she pauses. Domino clears her throat and adopts a more menacing position with her shoulders hunched a little bit, trying to flex those scrawny arms in a muscle pose. "I must break you," she says in her best Ivan Drago voice.

Aiden has a big grin on his face as Janet chatters, laughing softly. "Well, I'm happy to hear that you've at least got a good outlook on life, Miss Janet. I certainly would be much more upset than you are about havin' to stay in a wheelchair." He pulls out his wallet, stepping around the ladies and handing the vendor a bill. "I'd like to pay for whatever these lovely ladies are orderin', and somethin' for myself, as well." He offers a winning smile to the two. "My, you must think me rude, I haven't even introduced myself. My name is Aiden Calcasieu. I'm from Avery Island in Louisiana, and I've come to New York to see what life in the big city is like."

"And nice to meet you, Domino! I still can't believe Jaden never introduced us, but he's kind of like that about the business side of things I think," Janet beams before nodding at Aiden and finally receiving her very very sloppy hot dog. "Mmmm. This looks amaaaaazing!" the grins widens a little more with deepening dimples. "And as far as having a good outlook, I'm sure life is about my reactions and attitude as much as it is about what actually happens, y'know? It's like I told Parker I can let the dingo dig in my yard or I can take that dingo to the nearest zoo because dingos don't belong in New York City!" This makes perfect sense in Janet's mind, even if other people thinks she's a little odd. "Good to meet you Aiden! Welcome to New York— I hope you like it! You need to do like ALL of the New York-y things. Except don't go to Harlem. I got lost there once and it was bad. So I suggest never going there…"

"If you've got dingos digging in your yard, I think you have a bigger problem. Somewhere along the line I mean. Of course, you probably also have two or three broken down cars in your front yard up on cinder blocks and stuff too, so there's that." Maybe that was just her family though? Domino's order is a little simpler than Janets: a footlong Polish sausage with some spicy mustard and onions. That's it. "But the really deep south huh? I can say that life in New York is pretty much like like in any other big city…except 10 times more expensive. I'm from Kansas City, myself. Kansas, not Missouri, that is."

The young man grins widely, though Janet's statement about dingos seems to go right over his head. "Thank you, both, for your welcome. I like it here so far…despite the noise, it's quieter in a way." He glances out over the park and the walls of buildings, blowing hair away from his face as he orders his own, getting one almost identical to Domino's, except he adds mayonaise and ketchup. "Avery Island is where McIlhenny Tabasco sauce comes from. I grew up on an ATV, pickin' Tabasco peppers, and going out on the Bayous on a jet ski. So a big city like this is amazin', to me." He grins to the ladies.

"I grew up near here so… I'm used to the city, you know! But no we didn't actually have dingos digging in our yard it's like a figure of speech. Like the only thing to cry about it when you run out of Superman ice cream and even then it's completely replaceable with another scoop or another tub or… one of those things or something…" Janet's face flushes a little. "It's like that one time in med school when I was operating on a cadaver and.." she manages to silence herself again before taking a bight of her very slopping hot dog.

"I like tobasco sauce! It's tasty— spicy things are good for that though— livening the tastebuds, and I think they actually keep people from getting sick! It's like full of vitamins and stuff…"

"So are feet I hear…open mouth, insert foot. That whole deal. You know it?" Domino gives Janet a little smirk after chewing down a bite of the hot dog the vendor offers over to her. Careful to wipe off that mustard first though - no looking like a dope here! Nope! "The things I like best about the city are designer dresses," she says with a casual tug on the dress she has on, "and designer shoes," she finishes while lifting a foot to show off the heel. "Don't think that's much your style though. Unless you're into women's clothes…not that there's anything wrong with that!" Oh Seinfeld, you crazy cultural reference.

Aiden offers a laugh, nodding. He doesn't seem to be bothered by Janet's mention of cadaver, and it either goes right over his head again, or he chooses not to respond. "I practically sucked Tabasco sauce out of the bottle since I was a baby! Healthy as a horse and strong as an ox now. Could be because of m'lifestyle, though." He shrugs.

As he recieves his dog, he tells the vendor to keep the change, taking a large bite and chewing it down. "No ma'am, I'm not quite into women's clothes, unless they are on a woman. I'm quite happy in my jeans and t-shirt."

"It's true— lots of designer clothes here in the city! And the noises— I like the noises! I enjoy that it's not ever entirely quiet, you know? Like there's a comfort in a city that never truly sleeps! And I like the lights! At night the skyline really is quite pretty— I just love it here. I mean, I'm not one of those crazies who can never leave or anything but I do love New York City it's bright and fun and there's Broadway…" Janet presses her lips together again, forcing herself silent. "Sorry. When I get excited I tend to ramble. Or when I get nervous. Or when I meet someone new." After a pause she adds, "I just talk too much in general. Sorry."

"I can certainly see why Prince Cain keeps you around, huh? You seem to have more energy than a caffinated hummingbird on crack." Have fun imagining that one, folks! Though, to Aiden, Domino gives a little wink. "You like the clothes better when they're on the woman? Not when they're on, say, the floor? What a strange, gentlemanly sort you are!" See also, someone not as much about oogling the cleavage 24/7 as Jaden Cain.

And suddenly, Aiden turns on the charm (or at least, in his mind he does). He looks at Janet with those wide blue eyes, offering her a dazzling white smile. He reaches out, gently taking Janet's hand and raising it, pressing his lips to the back of her hand. "Cheri, there is no need to apologize. I certainly don't mind your rambling in the slightest. In fact, it's quite endearing. Adds to your beauty." He lingers with her hand close to his face for a moment, before he gently releases his hold and takes a step back.

Domino's remark gets a blush, and he shakes his head, stammering. "N-no ma'am, my momma raised me to treat women like the ladies they are. To do any less would be disgraceful. I may be a simple man, but I do my best to be a gentleman."

"Yeah… Jaden and I keep up with each other well— " the pair have a strange kind of hyperactivity particularly when together. Janet's face flushes as Aiden kisses her hand. It's wholly unusual for her and it draws redness in it's own right. "Thank you— I appreciate it, I do talk a lot though, I'm working on it you see… " And then as if she has the perfect opening she quips, "Well your momma raised you right then! It's good to be a gentleman!"

"Heh, I wish I had been raised around real gentleman. Just drunks and womanizers when I can coming up. Pretty good childhood, huh?" Though, that certainly made getting things by sleeping with those womanizing sorts that much easier! "As nice as it was to meet you to - and thanks for the hot dog by the way - I think I should be skeedaddling back to work. I've got about three more movie posters to finalize and sign off on, and I think Mr. Stay-Puft over there is going to melt if I keep him waiting in this heat too much longer!" With a salute of a hotdog, Domino says her adieus to the pair, and leaves them to gab. She clickity clacks off down the walking path to the driver, then toward the park entrance.

Aiden offers a smile and a wave to Domino. "It was certainly a pleasure to meet you, Miss Domino. Perhaps we'll see each other again some time. You might find that being around a gentleman is far more gratifyin' than bein' around drunks and womanizers." He takes another few bites out of his hot dog, before smiling to Janet. "I like to think as much." He tilts his head, once Domino is gone. "Miss Janet, may I ask you, is there nerve damage from your gunshot wound? And does your back bring you pain?"

There's a quiet moment as Janet considers the question, almost like it's loaded and hazy. She doesn't admit things easily. With a silent press of her lips, she studies Aiden carefully as she holds onto the arms of the wheelchair. Finally she answers honestly and quietly, "Sometimes." Contemplatively she tilts her head, "There's a little nerve damage— nothing extensive and I'm relearning to walk and I will walk again, there's no doubt about that— attitude alone can motivate me that way…"

Aiden nods quietly. He finishes off that slightly messy hot dog, wiping his hands and mouth with the napkin before throwing the trash away. Then, without another word, the young man quietly kneels beside Janet, holding his hands out. "May I touch your back, Miss Janet? I promise, I'm not tryin' to get fresh with you or nothin'. And if you never want t'see me again, I'll gladly leave you to your food and be on m'way." He fidgets a bit as he waits for a response.

"I… whaaaat?" Janet quirks an eyebrow at Aiden. "I… guess?" her eyebrow furrows as she adjusts and leans forward to permit Aiden to touch her. Staring at Aiden she tilts her head. "I'm a doctor… I've seen experts, I've done reading, I'm not totally out to lunch on what's going on with it although at times it's hard to think of yourself as a patient…"

'Central Park.' Like it's one big homogenous place where Izzy can just go. Always delivered with a sly smile aside to the other party climbing in the back as if in the smile prepended the phrase, 'ZOMG we're going to—'. Central Park. But the tourists are decent tippers, and ten times less likely to call after a lost wallet than locals, and so, "Central park," gets called back to the couple, a feigned bubble of excitement under the words, as if Izzy, too, were excited to go see the place. Wheeeey. An eye roll up to the rear view mirror, then down to the side mirror, and it's out into traffic again.

The man's hand carefully finds its way to her back, gently pressing his palm against her spine and closing his eyes. "Mmm…but nothing beats a li'l bit of God's Magic, I find. Please, don't freak out, Miss Janet…" And with that, he closes his eyes, his features going slack for a moment. After about thirty seconds, he stands, taking another step back to watch the woman. "This won't last, but…"

"It…" carefully, Janet straightens, confusion written across her face. "Ohmygosh what just happened?! You're like… you're like… you're like…" her mouth gapes and her eyes widen as she stares at him. Her spin feels normal. She feels like she can stand from the chair. "What… holy… sweet Jehosophat and all that is holy— what…"

The man offers a warm smile, holding a hand out for the woman to take. "This will only last while I am near you, Miss Janet. It is my gift from God." Aiden tilts his head to the side, watching the woman carefully. "And I am happy to extend it to you for as long as you wish." He offers a small flourish of a bow. "I believe you can stand up, if only for a little. Please, don't push yourself."

The hand is accepted as Janet carefully stands to her feet, using him to balance. Surprise and shock are written across her face as she takes a small step, something she's been trying too hard to do since she wound up in the chair in the first time. "That… is… " her face pales a little; she doesn't exactly have the best history with evolveds, particularly after the Alpha Protocol nonsense. "That is amazing," she finally manages, her jaw literally dropping as she takes another small step.

Aiden smiles warmly, carefully supporting Janet's hands to ensure she doesn't strain herself too hard. "Thank you. I praise God for my gift. I am blessed with the ability to help people." He tilts his head to one side. "Please don't be frightened of me, Miss Janet. I have only the best intentions, and I think you deserved this."

"I'm n-n-not," Janet stammers a little as she continues to hold Aiden's hands and takes another step forward. She didn't exactly have the easiest time with her first evolved encounter with Tracy (who destroyed her doorknob). "How— how does it work? Will… it's temporary?"

"It only works while you are in my sights, sadly." He offers the woman's hand a squeeze. "I can…control nerves, kind-of. I am not sure how it works, really, but I can tell you have a nick in your spinal cord, and I can make it so your nerves flow right." Aiden peers down at her feet, then back up to her face. "All I can really do is help you keep your legs in good shape. Don't know how well it'll help your recovery, but it can't hurt, right?"

"It's true. Keeping my legs active would be good— " Janet agrees as she steps back towards the chair. "I need to go… but… would it be alright if we met here again tomorrow? I could use… I appreciate… is that alright?" she begins to lower herself back into the chair which has, in essence become a part of her these last few weeks.

Aiden smiles warmly, helping Janet down into her seat once more. "But of course, Cheri. I would be quite happy to meet you here again tomorrow, or any time you'd like me to meet you here." That dazzling smile remains on his face, and he once again raises her hand to his lips, kissing the back of her knuckles. "I truly look forward to seeing you again, Miss Janet."

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