From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Jax, Micah, Eridani

8 January 2015



<NYC> {Lighthaus} - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

Bright and sunny-light, this house lives up to its name. With a plethora of enormous windows flooding the place with light and an open layout, the ground floor feels more spacious than it is.

The small entryway has a closet space for shoes and coats, and doors at either side leading to the neighboring apartments. Past this it opens straight into the living room, a wide expanse of space bordered on one side by a curved set of stairs leading up (with colourful glass tiling on the risers between each stair) and next to these, the half-wall into the kitchen. Cool pale tile underfoot and many dark cabinets with a small walk-in pantry, plentiful custom granite countertops, black and speckled faintly with rainbowy flecks, lots of hanging space overhead for cookware, a large double-oven. There's a strip of rather detailed mosaic-work in the kitchen backsplash, colourful glass tiling depicting strange fantastical herbs and small faeries and firelizards darting among them. In back of the kitchen, a door opens up to a small sunroom, wide and two-stories high with a balcony overlook from the second floor; two of the windows here have cushioned windowseats, and there's a wealth of herbs growing in hanging pots and small window-boxes.

The back wall of the living room is nearly entirely dominated by windows, huge and allowing a view of the river beyond with bench windowseats lining the sills. There are plentiful paintings on the wall, surreal and fantasy-inspired, mostly in shades of blacks greys with bright bursts of colour that are mirrored in the decor -- monochrome upholstery on the couch and armchair but colourful throw-pillows, black and white huge corduroy beanbags (and one large red doggie-bed,) soft throw rugs also in mostly black and white with splashes of rainbow woven in. The hand-built furniture -- tall chairs by the kitchen/living room counter, dining table and chairs in the kitchen, low coffeetable in the living room -- has been hand-painted as well, black with bursts of colourful abstract designs.

Along the living room's other wall, doors branch off to a full bathroom -- in white and deep blue with one wall of the shower done in colourful intricate mosaic too, an underwater scene full of strange mythical water-creatures; tiny water-sprites have been interspersed at random points in the rest of the wall tiles, as well. There's a small studio space beside the bathroom, large windows as well and a gratuitous amount of shelving and cabinets along the walls; this room has very /little/ colour in it, just white walls and black furnishing.

Afternoon is quiet here -- but then, it's been quiet here a lot, lately. There's a soft pitiful whining from the sunroom where Obie has been shut up inside with his food and water and bed and toys; he's ignoring these all, though, in favour of nosing and pawing sadly at the door. In the living room there's only quiet scratching, Eridani lying on a Care Bears decorated blanket on the floor over top of a squishy pad, a colourful plastic mobile arcing overhead with bright birds and insects dangling from it into their reach. Eri has commandeered a blue and green parrot, gnawing on it thoughtfully. Beside the mobile Jax is curled up in a beanbag, in black leggings with brightly coloured mismatched leg warmers and fluffy mismatched socks, rainbow colour-blocked sweatshirt on over a grey henley. He looks just as pale and raccoon-eyed as he has all week, a little shivery, more than a little wilted. He has his laptop in his lap, though he's staring rather glassy-eyed at it without actually drawing anything; the painting on his screen (incomplete, a messy blur of bodies melting together in a twisted mess of flesh and limbs) looks much the same as it did a week ago. His stylus twirls between his fingers restlessly, spinning back and forth and back and forth without ever actually being set to tablet.

Micah had been out at the workshop for a bit this morning after the arrival of the rather odd assortment of parts he ordered to start crafting some form of person-alternative method of blood delivery to the baby. He is dressed /warm/ for the frigid day: Batsignal hoodie, dark blue sweater over lighter blue henley, lined jeans, soot sprite slippers. The degree of muss to his hair implies working out some frustration on it, perhaps /prompting/ this particular break. A stop at the kitchen nets him a fresh thermos of black cinnamon-hazelnut flavoured tea. He gives Obie a few minutes of attention while waiting for water boiling and again for steeping, though not nearly what the pup would like. Aiming himself toward the living room with slightly cautious steps, this dissolves into an entirely unexpected laugh that startles even him at the sight of Eri nomming on the parrot. "Well, that'uns likely t'be pinin' for the fjords soon enough. 'Pologies if I'm interruptin'. Just had a whole Monty Python sketch flash through m'head, on account of...parrot." The laughter is too-quickly replaced by a return to fatigued tension in his posture. "But. Um. S'this a good time t'talk?"

"-- Huh?" Jax doesn't seem to notice Micah when he arrives, doesn't really look up through the moving around the kitchen. Doesn't look up at the laugh, either. It is only the direct question that finally pulls his gaze up, fixing -- just about as glassily -- on Micah instead of on his screen. "What? Um. I -- guess, yeah, I'm. Not." He closes his computer, shaking his head as he sets the stylus down. Then picks it immediately back up to start twirling it again. "Doing anything. What's – up."

That glassy-eyed distraction from Jax only deepens the worry lines on Micah's brow. He moves over to the beanbag, settling himself on the floor beside it to facilitate conversation. "I'm not sure where t'start," he admits with a shade of sheepishness layering over the tired. "Just feel like we need t'check in with each other. We been /'round/ each other more'n we even usually get t'be, but I we ain't really been /with/ each other. Not really talkin' or anythin'. Just occupyin' the same space." He cups the thermos in his hands, spinning it very slowly in fidgeting fashion. "I miss you. Just thought maybe it'd help t'check in."

Jax's glassy-eyed stare continues until about halfway through Micah's words, when he starts to sit up, shift his things off his lap, squeeze his eye shut and open it again with a hint more focus. "M'right here," he says, giving a small shake of head when Micah says he misses him. "Check in on what? You been here. You know what's been goin' on."

"Not really, honey," Micah disagrees gently. "I been here, you been here. We both know what's goin' on /out here/. But we ain't been...talkin'. 'Bout how we're feelin' or dealin'. Or what /we're/ needin'. How t'get through this without...fallin' apart completely." Reaching out, he takes Jax's hand, bringing it close to press a kiss to his palm. "I need /you/. Not just your body walkin' 'round doin' chores an' feedin' the baby. You."

Jax's head turns slowly down, a frown creeping onto his face as Micah takes his hand. His clammy-cold fingers twitch briefly in the other man's before he pulls his hand back, a twitchy uncomfortable motion. He drops his hand to his lap, head shaking again. "Fff. You been doin' fine enough already. Fallin' apart ain't hardly been on /your/ end."

Micah's shoulders curl in a little, expression clearly unhappy with the quick withdrawal from Jax but accepting of it. "Think I've been doin' a pretty good job foolin' ev'rybody but me on that one." His hands go back to fidgeting with his thermos for lack of a better way to occupy them. At least the lighteners will be well mixed in by the time he gets around to drinking the tea. He pulls in a deep breath before surging right ahead. "I...know I got no right to it. I /should/ be holdin' it t'gether. I'm /s'posed/ t'be makin' things better. But I'm terrified an' worried sick an' I don't know. What t'do. With this mess I've made."

"Mess we made," Jax corrects reflexively, even as he curls in on himself in the beanbag. He glances over towards the sunroom, brows knitting as he looks at Obie, now slumped in a moping heap by the door. "You been holdin' everything t'gether enough for the both of us." His tone is kind of listless, kind of dull. "Ain't real sure what you need me for."

"I still feel responsible for all of it. Guilty...for all of it. This whole thing was my idea. I just...completely missed. Some really heavy implications. An' I'm sorry for that." Micah's head shakes slowly. "Not...really holdin' it t'gether. The pups've practically disowned us. Spence is still havin' a hard time adjustin' t'/that/ more'n Eri themselves, I think. Though that's not easy, either. Even /Obie's/ depressed an' isolated. I got an infant I haven't figured out how t'feed proper, slowly poisonin' me an' more so /you/ since y'tend t'feed 'em for longer stretches'n I do. 'Cause /I/ couldn't figure gettin' m'class covered an' /I/ don't wake up as quick at night. An' I've managed, somehow, at the same time, t'run m'husband ragged while makin' 'im think I don't need 'im. Really...not t'gether."

"Have disowned us, I think." Jax's tone is just as numb here. "Dai says. B says ze won't talk t'us long as Eri's here. Didn't say nothin' 'bout Shane but seein' as he won't answer no texts or emails from me I'm guessin' he's jus' stickin' with B." His stylus starts to twitch between his fingers, not the deft-quick twirl that is his habit. Just a rapid tic-tic-tic seesawing back and forth between his first two fingers. His eye widens slowly as Micah talks, a puzzled frown pulling his brows back together. "You don't need me. Every time I try to do anything it's like no go lie down I'm already on top of this way better than you could be anyway."

"I haven't… tried t'talk at 'em at all. I sent 'em each one message askin' t'please let us meet an' talk an' then. Figured I should stop. Prob'ly makin' it worse." Micah blinks back at the hotness in his eyes with this. "Honey, no. It's not like that at all. I just...worry that with it bein' winter y'need /more/ sleep, not less. An' that /anyone/ feedin' Eri too many times in a row the way we're doin' it now is extremely unhealthy from the chemicals in their bite. I only been tryin' t'make sure you get sleep an' don't get /drugged/ t'death. 'Cause I /do/ need you. An' I won't /have/ you if y'keep pushin' yourself in this way. All I'm sayin' is that we should balance the feedin's an' the /sleep/ so neither one of us ends up in the hospital over it. But I need you. We got hardly no time t'give Spence anymore, an' I need you t'help 'im. An' you been doin' all the cookin'. I don't know how anybody'd be eatin' if you weren't. An' just...cleanin' an' gettin' groceries an' gettin' Spence to an' from school an' me doin' my class still. How'd I be doin' any of that without help?" He starts to reach a hand out to Jax again but then hesitates, letting the hand drop. "But it's more'n that. I /miss/ you. I miss talkin' t'you an' knowin' what's on your mind an' holdin' you an' ain't nobody even... Short of comfortin' Spence when he lets me an' curlin' up with Eri it's been hard even t'find a hug lately. We're s'posed t'be takin' care of each other, too. An' I've been doin' a terrible job of that."

Jax's shoulders tremble, the stylus toppling out of his grip to roll down the edge of the beanbag and clatter to the floor. His eye slips closed, breathing slowing as Micah talks. Eventually it opens again, though. His fingers curl against the corduroy beanbag cover. "What do you need?" He clenches the fabric into his fist, squeezing and releasing. "From me, I mean. What. Could I be doing. That I'm not." One shoulder twitches, kind-of almost a shrug. "My metabolism is kind of. Shot anyway. With the winter and -- Goblin don't like the light so I." Another almost-shrug. "Ain't gonna be drugged t'death. Jus' kinda draggin'."

Micah simply pulls himself up onto his knees, climbing onto the beanbag beside Jax and wrapping his arms around him if there is no resistance to this. He lies quietly for some time. “Just...this. Be here. Be you. Talk t'me. Be with me. I /love/ you. Helpin' out with all the other things is great, but I want /you/. An' we /need/ t'come up with a better feedin' schedule that lets you get sleep an' light. I'm sure if we just spreadsheet it out like we did folks feedin' Dusk we can get somethin' where we're both only doin' half of things an' nobody's doin' nothin' too incredibly unhealthy.”

"Dusk got a whole huger roster'a folks he's feedin' offa so don't nobody get bit more'n once a month. Don't think a schedule's gonna help much with a kid needs fed every two hours." Jax doesn't offer resistance to the hug, though he isn't terribly responsive. Cold and shivery and otherwise just sort of limp-draped against Micah, head dropping back against the beanbag. "You got me." Another shake of head spills black-and-magenta hair over his eye. "Don't really know what else t'say. 've lost the pups an' Spence jus' keeps askin' when he can leave too. Ain't really no way t'fix nothin'. Jus' -- kinda --" His jaw tightens, gaze shifting to Eri and then down and away. "Make do."

“Just meant...makin’ sure nobody’s doin’ too many feeds in a row by alternatin’. Even if it’s just us two alternatin’. Be easier t’keep track of with a schedule’s all.” Micah pulls back away a little at Jax’s unresponsiveness, close but no longer curled up against him. He swallows hard, an odd little sound in his throat that might be suppressing tears or being sick. “I… I… This ain’t fair. To any of you. I been tryin’ t’think of ways that can get the kids back here. The pups an’ Spence. I haven’t… I haven’t come up with anythin’ but for me t’take Eri an’ move into a dif’rent unit here. If they’re not here. If I’m not here. Then you all could at least have each other again. An’ be safe in your own home again.” His voice is tight through all of this, as if in pain, words fumbling. “Is that...I mean would you…? Is that somethin’ y’all would want? ‘Cause I would. If that’s what it takes t’get y’all back t’gether. I would.” He wraps one hand around the opposite arm, steadying it from trembling.

There is silence in answer to this, a long while, punctuated only by the thwack-scrape of Eridani's wing against the bright plastic toys as they lose their grip on the parrot and flail for a new chewtoy. A small wisp of shadow curls around Jax's arm and then fades away. "M'I s'... s'posed t'choose 'tween you an' my kids," Jax finally asks, voice low and hollow and his eye fixed straight ahead on a point on the wall, "'cuz you gotta know m'gonna choose them every time. But I don't. Know. That that would fix anythin'. Ain't really no way t'know since they won't talk t'us."

"It's not like that. Not exactly. I just…if none of the other kids will be here anymore with Eri here. Then I'll take Eri not here. If that would help." Micah does his best to keep his tone and breathing even, resulting in a lot of choppy sentences and frequent pauses to achieve what he can. "This ain't an ultimatum. An' it's not a competition. They're your kids. They're the most important thing. That's not even a question. I was askin' mostly…in case there was other thoughts of somethin' t'do. An' t'make sure I weren't makin' unilateral decisions or… That it was even somethin' people would want." His teeth dig at his lower lip, blanching the skin as they pull. "I think maybe if we're offerin' solutions. Maybe that'd change things. So far we was just askin' 'em t'accept what was happenin'. But I…want t'know what they want us t'do. Maybe there /is/ another way. Maybe this could be a temporary option. I just… I think we've gotta put /somethin'/ on the table or they ain't even gonna talk it out." Leaving off the lip-biting, his fingers squeeze back into his arm again, exchanging one uncomfortable fidget for another. "I don't /want/ t'do this. But I will if it's needed." His breath hitches, leaving him taking a few deeper ones in and out before continuing. "I've…killed for this family. T'keep y'all safe an' t'gether. I'm not gonna let my own stupid mistakes tear you apart. So if it's what it takes, I'll do it."

"I jus' don't know. We can offer. See what they say. If it'd change anything. Think it might be. Too late t'change anything." Jax shakes his head, quick and twitchy. "Can see if they. Answer at least. I jus'." His fingers curl into the corduroy again, eye still fixed blankly on the wall. "You're part'a this family too. Or were. I don't know what's left of it."

"Okay. At least this can be a…somethin'. T'maybe start a conversation with." Micah's eyes squeeze closed tight with a longer beat of silence. "I know. I… If I could think of anythin' else t'do, I'd… I just love all of you. So much. An' want y'to have what y'can. If that means I can't be as much a part of it, at least for a while…" He finally turns his head away, even if Jax hadn't been looking at him to begin with. "I'll send a message to 'em. Or…have someone talk to 'em who they'll talk to. Somethin'."

Jax's gaze slowly pulls away from the wall, shifting down to lock onto Eridani, still flailing vaguely towards the toys above them with soft clicky noises rattling in their throat. His jaw tightens, hand moving from the beanbag to rest in his lap. "Right." Listless and flat, there's not a lot of hope in his tone. Not a lot of /anything/ in his tone, really. "Somethin'. Sure. I -- right."

"I'm sorry. This is all…awful. I didn't mean for any of it." Micah struggles back up to his feet from a beanbag that seems determined to keep him stuck. "I'll let you get back t'what y'were doin'. Sorry." These last words spill out a little too-quickly in an effort to get them out at all.

"Right. Okay." Jax nods. Acknowledgment, acceptance. Something. It's a mechanical sort of gesture. He doesn't reach for his computer again, and his stylus stays where it has fallen, forgotten where it's rolled away against the wall.