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The woman dusted off a powdery white film of flour from her pants and yanked her hair down from the messy ponytail that had been holding it up. “Take good care of the place!” she called cheerily, “I’ll be back later.” She followed those words with an equally enthusiastic wave as she sauntered out of the shop and down the street, each step she took graceful but with distinct purpose on her way to the subway. Her destination? Coney Island. Her goal? To use the vivacious atmosphere there to concoct some new ideas for treats to serve in her tea shop. Selima was intent on making a spectacle of her day.
Maybe she’d visit the aquarium or the beach? She’d certainly visit the amusement parks there. That was without a doubt. And she’s probably eat her way through the place, trying to mesh unexpected flavors together. Hell, Selima figured she might just pay a little visit to every place she could. Who knew when— or where for that matter— inspiration might strike you, or who— or what— might provide it. There was an extra pep to Sel’s step once she arrived, eyes filled with giddy wonder. She was thrilled for what the day would hold for her— the creation of marvelous baked goods for her to test— and the thrills had yet to even begin. Maybe it was just the promise of something delightful that started Selima’s heart a’ flutter…
Those would do. After the perfectly constructed outfit was made Jasper threw on his combat boots that he always wore and headed to his favorite coffee shop for breakfast. There was where he’d decide what he’d do for the day. Jasper casually made his way through the streets landing at the addictive coffee place. There he ordered his usual then sat at a table to drink his coffee and eat his muffin. He grabbed out his phone using it to determine what places were open and what people who had no friends liked to go do. That off course lead to no results but read a book or get into online gaming. It was just sad what the internet thought of antisocial beings. Something Jasper was not, he just didn’t particularly like people. Well that determined what he was going to do, not really where he was going to go, but definitely what he was going to do.
He was going to go out and find someone he didn’t absolutely despise. It was going to be a challenge, but Jasper was sure up for it. He finished his muffin and coffee then walked out the shop. Outside he looked around Staten Island and decided that he was going to take the ferry to a different area. That way if this little experiment blew up in his face he didn’t have to deal with it when he was walking down the streets of his home. So he was off, to where he still didn’t know. Jasper made good time to the ferry buying a ticket to get him to the main lands. He didn’t really like the ferry. It was quite slow and well boring. People were getting sick which was funny, but it was also gross.
As the ferry came to a stop and Jasper could get off he was definitely one of the first people off. That was when he heard a child chattering on about Coney Island. That actually sounded like a good place to meet people. He’d have thanked the child but he just pushed it to the ground instead. Hey it was still very much annoying. Jasper was now on his way to Coney Island, which was a bunch more time consuming travel, that he did nothing but sit and listen to a bit of music. After all that time he had finally made it to Coney Island. He instantly hated the place, but he was going to get to know it a bit better, especially since it was good practice for the people who he was going to despise.
He looked around the place for something to do first while he looked for someone to talk to. One little shop looked interesting. A place where you could create your own soda. Hmm. Jasper would obviously make the best soda. Time to spend money that he wasn’t making. Jasper walked into the shop and started to look around. It was cute, he didn’t really look like he was in the right place, but he was going to do what he wanted. Even if mothers held their children a little tighter around him.
Notes: It’s not like he’s scary, he’s just a little muffin with fluffy hair. Ouch he bit me.
Her eyes danced over the crowd once more before shifting to the shops around her. Now... where should she start. The simplest answer to that question would be someplace with food to taste and re-imagine, but even then, that left the woman with so many viable and scrumptious options. Pastries and such needed a bit of sugar, though, and Sel’s sweet tooth was insatiable. That cut down the list considerably. Keeping a steady pace, Selima continued to search around until one of the places caught her eye. A little shop where you could try out your very own flavored soda pop? She tipped her head to the side with a low thoughtful hum. That certainly sounded like a promising endeavor!
Deciding to at the very least stop in for a peek, Selima weaved through the growing number of people with her cat-like grace, managing to slip inside the door without any unfortunate collisions outside. And what a relief that was! She let out a grateful sigh, taking a few steps to the side as not to block the door. Once Sel looked the place over in appraisal, she might as well have been a kid in a candy shop. There were so many flavors to choose from, so many possibilities— some of which might never have been tried before! Oh lord... if she taste tested everything she could dream of, she’d have herself sick before she even visited another attraction! She held back a giddy giggle at that thought. How unfortunate that would be...
Most of the people in there seemed as vividly enthused as Selima herself, but maybe not quite everyone was bursting at the seams with energy. One man in particular didn’t seem overtly cheery, and a few others inside eyed him with lurking suspicion. Selima night normally have been one of those people considering her tendency to project her expectations of people onto them before she truly knew them. But Sel was to wiled up to bother being calculated; instead, she was more concerned with the fact that he was standing nearby one of the flavors she’d honed in on almost instantly. Her raspberry-cucumber-lime soda— yes, she was beginning one of many flavor tests— wouldn’t be complete without that tangy citrus kick!
Selima, grabbing one of the seltzer bottles that were lined up for customers to use, started leisurely in that direction. She slowed to a stop once she drew close and racked a hand along the side of her head down through her hair. “Ahh, excuse me,” she said, dropping her free hand back at her side, then tilting the tip of her bottle toward the flavor dispenser. “You wouldn’t mind if I sneak behind you, now would you?” She pressed her lips together and lifted her brows hopefully. It wasn’t much to ask really, and most people would have just invaded his personal space or nudged him out of the way. But both of those options seemed extremely rude to Selima— who as a shop owner frequently dealing with customers— concerned courtesy to invaluable trait to possess.
You wouldn’t mind if I sneak behind you, now would you? Jasper blinked for a moment then looked where he was. The girl tipped her bottle towards a flavor that he was somewhat blocking. Jasper gave a little embarrassed smile and shook his head as he move out of the way. “Truely sorry. Didn’t mean to block you from making your soda.” Now most would have been surprised by Jasper’s actions. Since he was particularly mainly a jerk, but now when someone went out of their way to be kind to him he was different. This was exactly how the Queen of Hearts and himself became friends. The Queen showed him friendship where no one else would. So when the woman passed him he decided he’d keep the conversation going. He turned toward her looking stepping a little back to give her space, but he looked at her bottle.
“Crafting a masterpiece?” Jasper somewhat tilted his head to the side in question. He then looked at his empty hand and felt like maybe an explanation of that would make him seem quite a bit less crazy. “I haven’t even the clue where to begin with all the flavors so I oppeted to look at them all before I even dared pick up a bottle. I’d probably have made something toxic if I just went for it.” With a small chuckle Jasper rubbed the back of his neck. That was dumb of him talking about pretty much poison. Most people didn’t take well to comments like that coming from characters people didn’t want their children around. All the bad juju was coming from Jasper. Maybe he really should stop making people go crazy he was starting to lose some of his own wits; however, Jasper saw that the girl was kinder than most so how she reacted only time would tell.
Notes: Surprise! He’s actually isn’t all evil. He can be friendly to people you see!! He’s glaring at me isn’t he. *screams*
Sel let out an airy laugh, turning her head to glance back at him over her shoulder. “No need to be sorry, I’m not in any hurry at all,” she mused. And wasn’t that the truth? She had all the time in the world— okay, so maybe it was just all DAY, but that was certainly time enough for her to do quite a great deal of things! Making a few soda pop concoctions included. She swiveled her head forward again and lifted her bottle to add a bit of lime syrup. She could tell that the man was still in the same spot and hadn’t moved much farther, so she wondered if he might have something else to say to her. She paused filling the bottle and spun back around as he spoke again.
“Crafting a masterpiece?” he asked, head tilted and expressing a bridled sense of curiosity. Selima gave her bottle a little swish as she twisted her wrist. “Well, I suppose you could say that...” She followed the man’s gaze to his own empty hand as he began an explanation as to why he hadn’t attempted to make a drink of his own. “I haven’t even the clue where to begin with all the flavors so I oppeted to look at them all before I even dared pick up a bottle. I’d probably have made something toxic if I just went for it.” What followed reminded Sel of nervous laughter, especially the way he rubbed at the back of his neck, as if wishing that he could take back his words.
“Maybe you should have someone else do the mixing then?” she suggested with a half-laugh, a light teasing tone to her voice, “Might be safer for everyone involved.” Sel lifted her shoulders in a nonchalant shrug, shining ginger curls bouncing along with the motion. “Or of course, there is a bit of a science to this— you just need to figure out which flavors compliment one another. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.” Hopefully her suggestions didn’t seem too intrusive, she just wanted to share what she knew and help, if possible.
Once he spoke again the girl turned her attention back to him. As he finished his question she gave her bottle a little swish as she twisted her wrist. Well, I suppose you could say that… Jasper couldn’t help but feel like there was more to that sentence, but she just stopped it short. He of course couldn’t figure out what that reason was unless she told him, and since he was already prying into this woman’s life he decided that it would be uncalled for to ask anymore of her. Instead he turned the conversation to himself. Which was most likely a huge mistake. They both looked at his empty hands as he explained his ability to make sugar toxic. You know like a moron. However the girl surprised Jasper once again. She was unphased by his comment, instead she gave him a suggestion.
Maybe you should have someone else do the mixing then? Jasper smiled sincerely leaning against the wall. Her voice held a light hearted teasing tone. So he matched the casualty with his own words. “That would probably be for the best. Leave the mixings to the better skilled.” She gave a light laugh and added. Might be safer for everyone involved. He just nodded his head to this comment. She was definitely right. It would have been a very strange doctors visit. ‘Hello sir I happened to poison myself by making an awful soda please help.’ The girl shrugged her hair bouncing as her shoulders moved. Or of course, there is a bit of a science to this— you just need to figure out which flavors compliment one another. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.
Jasper looked at her bottle again. She had been on a roll with flavors so this would be an interesting opportunity if she would go for it. “You seem like you have the hang of it. Would it be weird if I asked you to teach me a bit about it?” He tilted his head slightly with a bit of question on his face. “I’m Jasper and horrible with flavors. I probably should have asked someone way before now.” He gave a small laugh with a little puff at the end. He wondered what the girl would say. She hadn’t showed any signs that she would say no, but nothing was 100% certain, so there was the possibility that she wouldn’t say yes. So who knew if Jasper was going to maybe get an actual friend or not.
Notes: Teach him the ways of flavor. How has he lived this long without a sense of taste!
Despite the oddity of his explanation, Selima’s response was as genuinely kind as any other she might give, if only a bit teasing. The man matched her honeyed tone with a sincere smile as he leaned against the wall, and Sel shot a glance in his direction from the corner of her eye. “That would probably be for the best. Leave the mixings to the better skilled,” he said, and Sel easily agreed, though in all reality, she felt that he could probably do just fine— needed to give himself a bit more credit. He gave her a nod, confirming that he was pretty certain whatever he made would be toxic. “Just a bit more credit,” she thought with a bob of her head.
She watched the green syrupy color mix with the clear soda water as the man glanced at the bottle as well. In reference to her suggestion about the “science” of making soda, he said, “You seem like you have the hang of it. Would it be weird if I asked you to teach me a bit about it?” His expression seemed to be one of curios as he expected her answer, head tilted to the side. “I’m Jasper and horrible with flavors. I probably should have asked someone way before now,” he added, formally introducing himself, then gave a small laugh— half laugh, half puff really.
“An interesting proposition there,” Selima mused with a cat-like grin. “I’d be delighted to offer my assistance. I’m sure we’ll make a good team.” She bounded gracefully over before stopping at his side. “I’m Selima, master mixologist— that is if we’re mixing tea, or anything sweet really.” She paused, arching a brow expectantly. “So, shall we get to this lesson then?” She took a few steps forward, flicking her eyes in his direction again. “The sodas aren’t going to make themselves!”
At least he had finally done it and didn’t forget. He had mentioned his name with his proposition so it didn’t come as any surprise that the girl noted his proposition first. An interesting proposition there. I’d be delighted to offer my assistance. I’m sure we’ll make a good team. A cat like grin crossed her face and Jasper couldn’t help but somewhat see the cheshire cat in that smile. It was definitely strange since Jasper knew that she was not the cheshire cat. Jasper gave her an equally as excited grin as he replied to her acceptance of the task. “I thank you kindly. I hope I don’t fall short and actually have some hidden skills in the art of soda making.” Jasper shook his head as he left. Living alone in a cage did not give you many skills.
She then bounded over to him stopping at his side. He looked over to where she was now placed as she spoke. I’m Selima, master mixologist— that is if we’re mixing tea, or anything sweet really. Jasper tilted his head to her. “Well it’s very nice to meet my savior.” Once introductions were in place Selima was all work. She arched a brow at him questioning him. So, shall we get to this lesson then? Jasper nodded his head but he figured she didn’t really notice as for she was already walking ahead of him. He started to follow as she flicked her eyes back at him. The sodas aren’t going to make themselves! That they weren’t. Jasper just shook his head as he followed.
Her happiness was somewhat contagious. He couldn’t remember the last time that he had smiled that much. It wasn’t in this world, and he couldn’t even remember if he had in Wonderland. Jasper moved his way to her side with curious look. “So what flavors are we going to start with master mixologist Selima.” Jasper probably should grab a bottle and thinking about it that was most likely where they were going, but he was going to let her tell him. Even if it made him look like a dummy. He knew what that looked like. It was very much the face of the guard when he found out that Jasper had escaped back when he was the Jabberwocky, ah one of the happiest days of his life.
Notes: You are now my master and I am your padawan.
Once she’d stopped beside him and gave her quirky little introduction, Jasper shot her a look, his head tipped a bit to the side. “Well it’s very nice to meet my savior.” Savior, huh? That was some pretty high praise, and Selima couldn’t help an amused giggle. She dipped her head and pressed a hand to her cheeks. “Oh boy, I’ll try to live up to that the best I can.” She took that moment to start walking, determined to get this soda making on a roll and Jasper followed long after her. It didn’t take long at all for him to end up at her side, peeking sideways at her with a curious expression. “So what flavors are we going to start with master mixologist Selima,”he asked, which made Sel grind to a halt mid-step. “Ahh, well,” she said, her voice a soft lilting murmur, “Good question…”
She trailed off for a moment before giving a solid answer, glancing down at her bottle of what was currently a semi lime flavored soda. “First things first, we’re going to get you a bottle to experiment with, of course!” She turned and shot him a smile, “So c’mon, let’s go.” She grabbed his arm and gave it a slight tug as she walked toward the collection of bottle so he could grab one. She continued the conversation as she moved that way, “After that, then we’ll hit the flavors. I still need to add raspberry and cucumber to this little baby.” Maybe the combo might sound weird to him, but she was going to make him understand that this was the beauty of this place— trying out crazy and unexpected things. That was a great way to discover something phenomenal and new!
Selima dipped her head pressing her hand to her cheeks, Oh boy, I’ll try to live up to that the best I can. Jasper just smiled. The fact that she was talking to him was already a great start to her being extraordinary. They quickly started their quest, which had Jasper curious. Selima started to explain. Ahh, well. Good question. Jasper laughed slightly at her comment. “I try to have those.” She finally decided to completely explain what they were going to do. Her eyes falling on her soda. First things first, we’re going to get you a bottle to experiment with, of course! So c’mon, let’s go.
She shot him another smile. He was starting to become accustomed to those. She grabbed his arm then pulled him towards the bottles. Pray to the gods for whoever was going to have to drink what he made. With more thought he realized it was definitely going to be him that was going to have to drink it. Oh god he was going to send himself to the hospital. Save his soul. After that, then we’ll hit the flavors. I still need to add raspberry and cucumber to this little baby. Jasper nodded his head.
Did those flavors even go together? “That’s an interesting combination your mind concocted.” That was all the conversation they got before they reached the bottles. Jasper quickly plucked one up looking it over. There was no turning back now. He looked over to Selima who was still holding his arm. “Well, let’s get this thing started. We need to get you that raspberry and cucumber.” Jasper somewhat to the lead now dragging the sweet girl along to the flavors that she wanted. Hopefully she didn’t think that he was being pushy or anything. He was actually a tid bit excited to see what would happen during this little hangout.
Notes: Take a little sip of sunshine.
Sel nodded in agreement. “Yeah, it is, but isn’t that the whole point?” She arched an inquisitive brow at him, continuing as he grabbed a bottle of his own from the group and examined it. “To let your creativity flow? You might surprise yourself with something you never could have expected.” She gave a soft shrug, still holding on to Jasper’s arm as she shot her a look. “Well, let’s get this thing started,” Jasper insisted, to which Sel gave a fervent nod. She was ready to make soda galore! And to held Jasper with his own creation, but she could kill two birds with one stone, couldn’t she? “We need to get you that raspberry and cucumber.” And with that, Jasper took the initiative, pulling Selima long after him. The woman’s eyes widened, not expecting that from him, but she started walking a bit quicker to avoid being dragged along. She let out another light laugh as they went. “Right, right,” she mused, “I’ve got a soda to finish!”
Fortunately for them, the raspberry and cucumber were nearby one another, which meant that Sel would be able to finish her drink rather quickly. That would give them more time to figure out what Jasper was doing. As she added the bright ruby colored raspberry syrup, she peeked over at Jasper and asked a question. “So, did you have any ideas at all then of what you wanted to make? We could brainstorm something fun, if you’d like.” She stopped using the raspberry, shifting a few nozzles over to the cucumber, which was a glass green color. Once she’d added that as well, her drink had taken on a deep pinkish color now that all three flavors were combining. “There’s a lot of options, so to start, you could pick just one. Whichever one calls to you the most!” Selima suggested excitedly.
“Where you find this as a creative outlet couldn’t someone find it as something that they could finally control?” Jasper gave a slight shrug of his shoulders. “Like if someone's life is just filled with chaos and they need something for themselves. Doing something, going somewhere, pretty much anything if based on what the person doing it believe right? So you know it just depends what you really want right?” What an open book he was. Secretly explaining why he had when into the place and why it had originally stood out to him without even knowing it. But realization had flooded to his face and he quickly moved on before Selima would catch him in that somewhat vulnerable state. Not like it would matter, but he decided not to test that.
So he took the initiative and started to move quickly to get her soda done. She let out a slight laugh before she spoke. Right, right. I’ve got a soda to finish! Jasper laughed slightly nodding his head along to her words. “Exactly, we can’t rush perfection, but we can try.” A bright smile spread across the dark haired man’s lips. He didn’t seem so evil. He really wasn’t evil. Just misunderstood. Well wasn’t every evil person? That at least was their defense. It was lucky that the two flavors she wanted were close to each other it meant that they weren’t running all over the store. Selima took the time to poke into Jasper’s soda creating mind. So, did you have any ideas at all then of what you wanted to make? We could brainstorm something fun, if you’d like.
Jasper thought about what he may like to create. His mind only went to the weird concoctions of wonderland. Maybe they weren’t so strange after all. “I might have some ideas, but I think it would be better to bounce these ideas off someone else before I do anything crazy.” Jasper laughed slightly with a grin. Selima then offered some advice. There’s a lot of options, so to start, you could pick just one. Whichever one calls to you the most! Jasper nodded his head glancing over the flavors. One flavor stood out to him. Fairly ironic actually. “There’s one flavor that interests me..” Jasper leaned on one of the machines then pointing the girl in the direction of the dragonfruit flavor as he said it dramatically. “Dragonfruit.”
Notes: You get it dragonfruit for the dragon creature lolz
“I can see what you mean, but—” she said softly, considering her next words carefully. She didn’t want to pry or upset Jasper, but seeing the expression that had come to his face after he spoke, Sel couldn’t help but stick her nose into business that was 100 percent not hers to be butting into. He looked… sad almost… and well, maybe she could help in some way if he was willing to let down his guard just a bit. It seemed like he was trying to run from his feelings as they started toward the flavors, and Sel let it be, if only for a brief time. He was smiling again as he joked about rushing perfection, so she let her thoughts simmer at the back of her mind. When she asked about his soda ideas, it seemed that Jasper did have one flavor in mind to start things going. “There’s one flavor that interests me…” He leaned against one of the machines and gestured in what Sel assumed was the direction of said flavor— “Dragonfruit.”
“An interesting choice indeed,” Selima mused, “I like it. Let’s start there then.” She sidled up to Jasper and nudged him forward. “Mind if I ask you something? I know you didn’t really seem too keen on continuing that discussion earlier, so you can tell me to shut the hell up if you want, I won’t be offended.” She trailed off, glancing up at Jasper to try to gauge his reaction. “That whole thing about control and creativity, it seemed— oh, I don’t know— really personal to you. It makes it sound like doing something like this—” She gestured around at the soda shop before continuing, “—is you running away from something, the chaos maybe, rather than running toward something else, something that you feel like you have power over.”“Sorry— geez, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have gone there. Ignore me. You’re more than welcome to walk away now if I made you uncomfortable or anything…” God dammit, Selima— would you just snap your trap already, you’re only making it worse.