Chapter 5: Ice Queen and Papo
Over breakfast one morning everyone tried to stay away from reading the newspaper. For two months all the headlines all over the country were about Frank and his heroics. “How come it’s always been you and Cap on the pictures?” John complained. “Oh shut up you don’t do field work remember?” Jennifer replied. “The pancakes are getting cold Jennifer, you should go wake up Frank now” Yehleen said. “Don’t bother he went out for his daily jog, relax he is just nearby” Erick said. “Since when has he gone out jogging in the morning?” Jennifer asked. “About a month now, don’t worry he always comes back with donuts” Erick explained. “Donuts? What donuts?” John asked and Erick laughed. “Sorry it is I who sees him first so we eat everything on the roof” he said. John frowned and stared at Erick, “You are selfish! You eat it on the roof so I can’t go there right?” John said and Erick acted innocent.
“Are you sure Frank is okay?” Jennifer asked. “My Jennifer you seem concerned about Frank” Yehleen teased her. Jennifer looked away and raised her eyebrows, “It’s not what you think, I am just doing my job” Jennifer explained. “Hmmm…when he is around you are rude to him, but when he is not you act so concerned” Yehleen added and Jennifer stared at her angrily.
“Here, a GPS monitor, I placed a tracker in his watch” Erick said and handed the device to Jennifer. She took a look and saw Frank was just three blocks away. “You like him don’t you?” Yehleen asked and Jennifer stood up, “I said its just work okay?!” she yelled. John, Erick and Yehleen smiled at each other as Jennifer walked towards the living room and turned the television on.
“Guys take a look at this!!!” Jennifer yelled and the three came rushing towards the living room.
“I am just outside the old orphanage as you can see the building caught fire. Several children have come out with the orphanage management but they say there are still a lot of children inside. Firefighters are on their way but according to bystanders they saw a man enter the burning building only a few minutes ago” the reporter said.
“Poor children, I hope they all got out safely” Yehleen said. “That sure is one big fire, at least one person was courageous enough to enter” Erick commented. “Yeah, maybe he thinks he could be a hero like Frank. This isn’t a movie pal!”John said. “Wait, isn’t that building three blocks away from here?” Yehleen added and they all looked shocked.
“Frank!!!” they shouted in unison.
“Wait there are more children coming out of the building along with two adult figures. I am going to get closer. Excuse me sir are you the one who entered the building just minutes ago?” the reporter said. “No…no…he is inside two more children upstairs…Frank is inside” the man said.
John and Erick rush towards the elevator as John sends out an emergency call downstairs. “John you know what to do!” Erick yelled as the elevator door closed. “Yeah I am on it!” John replied. “Wait look its Frank!”Yehleen yelled and Jennifer prevented the door from closing and they ran towards the television.
On the screen the camera focused on Frank as he walked out the door carrying two children with him. It was just like a movie, the burning building as back draft and Frank walking out with two children smiling as he approached the camera. Yehleen was in tears so as with John, “Damn you Frank you are just like a real superhero now” John said and everyone laughed. Jennifer stood up and walked towards the elevator, “Where are you going Jennifer?” John asked. “Where else to pick him up of course” she said with a straight face.
The three smiled at each other and laughed. “She is concerned about him “Erick said. “I can see it in her eyes she really like Frank, she is just trying to hide her feelings that’s why she acts rude to him often” Yehleen explained. “Yeah but Frank does not feel the same way about her, he is still you know, oh well at least he has not been trying to kill himself lately” John added. “Hey do you think Frank has moved on?” John asked and Yehleen pouted, “I really don’t know, eight years is tough, it would take half of that to totally erase her from memory, but the moving on part I am not sure” Yehleen said and the elevator door opened and Jennifer stepped out.
“I thought you were going to pick him up?” John asked. “I changed my mind, he knows how to get home by himself” Jennifer said as she sat down on the couch. The three remained silent and smiled at each other.
Thirty minutes later the elevator door opened and Frank stepped out holding two boxes of donuts. “I’m home!” he said and Erick rushed towards him to get one box. John wheeled quickly to take the other and Yehleen hugged Frank. As Frank was about to seat on the couch Jennifer stood up and slapped him on the face. Frank was stunned and so as the others. “Never do that again! You had them worried!” she said and she walked towards the elevator and headed up to her room.
Frank sat down and Yehleen sat beside him, Erick and John munched on the donuts as if they were having an eating contest. “She was worried about you” Yehleen said as Frank was still feeling the sting on his cheek. “Sorry guys, it just happened and I just did what was right” Frank said. “No need to apologize dude, but keeping the donuts from me every day that is really bad” John said and they laughed.
“Look heart shaped donuts” John said as he showed them the last piece on the box. “Me here too” Erick said likewise and he passed the box to Frank. “No thanks I will just grab some pancakes” he said. “No, you should give them to Jennifer” Yehleen suggested and Frank laughed. “Two heart-shaped donuts, really? And what get my other cheek slapped too?” Frank commented and they all laughed. “Just think of it as a peace offering” Yehleen explained and they all smiled at him. “Why are you all smiling then?” Frank asked and everyone started to act innocently. “Just go give the donuts” Erick urged him. “Isn’t it supposed to be three pieces to mean...”John was about to say but Yehleen covered his mouth; “Go on now Frank give them to her” she said smiling.
Frank knocked on Jennifer’s door and he heard her say “Come in” so Frank slowly walked inside holding the box of donuts. “Hey I brought you some donuts” Frank said. Jennifer stood up and walked towards him and opened the box. She stared at Frank and he innocently looked away. “Two heart-shaped donuts” she said. “It wasn’t my idea it was their idea actually” Frank explained. “So you were just forced to give me these donuts then?” Jennifer asked. “No, I wanted to give you donuts but the two parasites downstairs ate most of them and left these two” Frank explained.
“Have you eaten?” Jennifer asked. “Not yet, I will just go eat the pancakes” he said. “You can have the other donut if you want” she replied. “No, this are for you, I am fine with the pancakes” Frank said. “I left you some waffles, but they must be cold now” Jennifer told him. “Okay, I will just go now and eat the waffles” he told her. “You want me to reheat them for you?” she asked. Frank smiled at her and walked towards the door, “No thanks, I can eat them cold as long as you made them” he said and he walked out of the door. Jennifer closed the door and smiled, she looked at the two pieces of donuts in the box and she smiled even more.
The following day Yehleen and Jennifer were cooking breakfast as the three stooges just arrived from the first floor.
“How come I don’t get one of those?” John complained as the three took their seats on the dining table. “Because you don’t do field work” Erick explained. “What’s that all about?” Yehleen asked and John showed her the new communications device. “It looks like the old one” she said. “Yes and no, Frank modified it” John explained.
“Look at my unit, instead of having one button, now I made them four. The first one is for General communications meaning whatever I say can be heard by everyone. My second button I set if for Jennifer, third one is for Cap and the last one if I want to talk with you John” Frank explained. “If you press the button let’s say for Cap, he will be the only one who can hear what I am saying, it’s the same for the other buttons” Frank added. “Secret communications, why are you hiding secrets?” Yehleen teased Frank. “No, it’s just security measures and they said I have to wear this always because of what happened yesterday” he said.
“Right, secret communications” Yehleen teased him again and Jennifer suddenly placed a plate of waffles in front of Frank. She took her seat and examined the new gadget; Frank looked at the others feeling embarrassed since he was the only one who had waffles. “Uh Jennifer, why am I the only one with waffles?” Frank asked and Jennifer looked at the others. “Why do you want waffles too? I can cook some more if you want” Jennifer said. “Oh no, I don’t like waffles” Erick said as he looked at Frank and grinned. John and Yehleen looked at Frank smiling, “You want some?” Frank offered but their smiles turned to grins. “We don’t like waffles” John said slyly.
Jennifer plugged in her ear piece and tested the gadget. “Since we have these things on always I should say we use code names” Erick suggested. “I can’t use Brainiac anymore so I would choose Xavier, ha you like that just like Professor X of the X-men” John said. “No, I think you should not choose your own, let others choose for you” Yehleen suggested. “Fine with me” Erick said.
“For the Captain I would say we choose LOUD SNORE!” John said and Erick reacted. “Hey! Not fair! Choose something more decent, braver sounding” he said. “BRAVE SNORE!” Frank said and everyone laughed except for Jennifer who was busy still testing the device. “Oh you want to play that way okay, John I am going to call you TWINKLE TOES and you Frank, CRY BABY! Now how do you like that?!” Erick retaliated and more laughter erupted.
“Wait, why not Erick you choose for John, John you do the same for Erick. Then Frank chooses one for Jennifer and vice versa!” Yehleen suggested and she smiled at Frank. Jennifer raised her eyebrow and looked at Frank who bowed his head. “Okay, I say we call John…TWINKLE TOES still!” Erick said as he laughed louder. “Hey! I thought we were being serious already…fine! CHIEF LOUD SNORE!!!” John retaliated. “Oh you two shut up! I will choose for you two, Erick is VALIANT and John is MERLIN” Yehleen said and the two calmed down and nodded their head. “I like it, yes I can go with VALIANT” Erick said. “MERLIN sound so cool, thanks hon!” John said and he smiled at his fiancée.
“So Yehl how about me and Jen?” Frank asked and Yehleen smiled, “You two choose for each other, I just mediated with these two kids” she said. Frank looked at Jennifer as she looked back at him. “Okay, I would say your code name will be ICE QUEEN” Frank said and Jennifer looked angry. “Ice Queen, I see, because of my cold attitude towards you. I get it, fine with me!” Jennifer said. “No that’s not the point” Frank said but Jennifer walked away and headed to the living room. Frank bowed his head and shook it, “She even didn’t listen to my explanation” he murmured. Erick moved closer to Frank as he pressed the button on the gadget for Jennifer’s channel. “So tell us Frank why you chose Ice Queen” John said as he saw what Erick did.
“Well you see the Ice Queen is my favorite comic character, she is tough and brave woman just like Jennifer is. The Ice Queen has this diamond barrier which protects her, just like Jennifer, she has a barrier, I mean even though she acts cold most of the time but I can tell she is a kind person. She is caring just like the Ice Queen, and lastly they are both beautiful so I thought she would like the name but I guess she is not a comic fan after all” Frank said as he kept his head bowed. The three took a peek at Jennifer who was seated at the couch smiling as she held the ear pieced steady at her ear.
A few seconds later Jennifer came back to the dining area and everyone remained silent. “I can choose another name if you want” Frank said as he looked at her. “No, Ice Queen is fine” Jennifer replied and the three looked at each other smiling and giggling. “I have one for you too” Jennifer suddenly said and all eyes were on her. “What is it?” Frank asked. “Papo” she said and everyone repeated in unison, “Papo?”
“Yes I will call you Papo. If you guys need me I will be in my room” she said and she left. Erick looked at Frank who was bewildered just like the others. “What the hell is Papo?” John commented and Yehleen shook her head. “Sounds like a clown name” she said and they started laughing. “I actually like it” Frank said and everyone was surprised to see him smiling. “I am used to her calling me harsh names or insults, this Papo, I never heard before, and it doesn’t sound like an insult. So I am happy with it” he explained.
Frank went to the roof and lit a cigarette and enjoyed the morning breeze. He placed his earpiece and stared at the buttons, centered his thumb on the second button and pressed it. “Ice Queen are you there?” he said.
“What is it Papo?”
“Hi, I just wanted to thank you for the waffles”
“You are at the roof again are you?”
“Yeah just enjoying the breeze”
“You are smoking again”
“I told you to quit smoking”
“Okay I just killed it”
“Ice Queen, what does Papo mean?”
“I won’t tell you, if you don’t like it then choose another name”
“No, I actually like it”
“Hey Papo…isn’t Emma Frost a villain?”
“Yes and no, she used to be one, she joined the X-men so she became good, but now she is a villain again…but I didn’t really choose her because she was a villain”
“I know…hey Papo tomorrow when you go for a jog wake me up”
“I want to go jogging too”
“Why would you want to go jogging you have a great body?”
“Just wake me up okay?”
Friday, January 9, 2009
Chapter 5: Ice Queen and Papo