ArchivedLogs:A Little Bit of Both

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A Little Bit of Both
Dramatis Personae

B, Desi, Matt, Sera, Shane


"You didn't build the bikes to leave the world behind. You built them to take it /on/."


<NYC> Tessier Residence - Greenwich Village

Understated opulence claims this spacious and well-kept townhome, the decor throughout the whole of it of the highest quality and carefully chosen. The front door opens onto the entrance hall, a closet close at hand to receive coats and shoes -- the pale hardwood floors gleam underfoot, unsullied by tracked-in mess from outside. The living room beyond the entrance is all dark woods and pale earth tones, comfortable couches and armchairs and a thick soft rug laid down beneath. Two large and painstakingly aquascaped aquariums flank the entrance to the dining room, with several brightly coloured species of fish within. Most of the rest of the wall space, notably, is taken up with shelves -- shelves crammed with books of every subject and genre.

A study branching off of the main hall is cozy, small, done in pale blues and lined with books as well around the large computer desk and smaller futon, though these rarer books are cased behind glass. Another securely locked door leads to the basement, and another to the full bathroom downstairs. The kitchen connects to the living room; in contrast, it is sleek and modern and well-appointed, stocked by someone who takes their cooking seriously. And takes their alcohol equally seriously -- to one side of the kitchen there is a fully-stocked bar. The back door to the kitchen looks out on a small well-kept garden.

There's a low hum filling the air in the street outside, droning closer to the house before shutting off. It's followed by muffled voices, the closer sound of laughter actually coming up /to/ the door. A key turns in the lock, footsteps thud inside as boots are shed by the door. "... still needs a little fine tuning," one very tiny biker is saying from still inside hir helmet, adding (SO reassuringly) "but we didn't fall /out/ of the sky so that's something!" B has hir crossed-fencing-foil kutte on over a pink ribbed tank, black denim pleated skirt, hir tall stompy boots left by the door.

Behind hir, Shane's violin-bow MMMC kutte is paired with neat seersucker button down and pale linen trousers. He's shed his helmet already, tucked under one arm as he ambles in behind B. "Well. We kinda fell. Just landed smooth." His toothy grin is alarmingly complacent about this.

Desi has shed her helmet, too. She has no motorcycle club gear. Just a denim jacket -- fringed -- and thick jeans paired with a strappy red tank. She's locking up again behind the twins before skidding on past them in socked feet to slide-trip-skip into the living room. "Landing's the only part that matters, right?"

Matt, dressed in a dark green bamboo shirt and brown cargo shorts, is sprawled in his armchair, laptop open on the coffee table before him. He isn't looking it, attention consumed by the huge maroon book propped up against one knee. Curled against his side, dressed in a daffodil-yellow dress, Sera looks mostly asleep. A soft voice, accompanied by piano, issues from not the laptop itself, but the sound system: "If I could begin to be, half of what you think of me, I could do about anything, I could even learn how to love..."

"I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear all of that," Matt says, but when he looks up from his book he is smiling. "Sticking the landing is important, but you have to make it there without crashing into anything first." He leans forward to tap the space bar on the computer, pausing the playback even as the song fades out. "How'd it go?"

Sera stirs and sits bolt upright. "Ohno! I missed the part where she gets her wings back!" Her dismay is short-lived, however. "You /didn't/ crash!" is what she offers the teenagers by way of greeting as she climbs down out of Matt's lap. "Does that mean /I/ can go with you next time?"

"We didn't crash into anything," B assures Matt, as she follows into the living room to lean against the back of the couch.

"... mostly cuz there's not a lot of traffic in the air," Shane tacks on. "Pigeons are smart enough to get the fuck out of the way." He drapes an arm across B's shoulders, lazily leaning. "Oh, man. I love that ep..."

"You love all the episodes," B cuts in.

Shane just grins. "We might have to hammer out a little more of the -- not crashing before we're passenger ready but. Soon?" He looks first to B and then Matt for confirmation on this.

B just shrugs. "Pa just whimpers and curls into the fetal position every time Spence asks."

"I think that means yes," Shane says with a firm nod.

Desi is stifling a laugh behind shiny black and silver nails. "I'll look for a properly fitted helmet." She trails past the pups to scoop an arm around Sera, whisking her briefly up off her feet for a kiss on the cheek before setting her back down and dropping her own (far too large) helmet over the little girl's head. She drapes herself against the back of Matt's armchair, resting her chin down against the top of his head. "{What about /you/?} No desire to fly?"

"We can watch it again," Matt assures Sera easily, closing his book (/The Tales of the Thousand and One Nights/) and setting it on the table beside the computer.

"I want /wings/ on my helmet." Sera plants her hands on the sides of Desi's helmet and flutters them by way of illustration. "Wings made of /water/."

"Me?" Matt huffs a weak, breathy laugh. "I do like to keep the earth below my feet." He rubs his cheek thoughtfully, looking from the pups to Sera and back. "I'm not saying 'no', but I'm not saying 'yes' either..." He lets the ellipses draw out, as for dramatic effect. "At least not until I've tried it myself."

"--I could probably actually arrange that," B starts to muse, wriggling out from under Shane's arm and hopping lightly /over/ the back of the couch to plop down onto it. Ze pulls out hir tablet from hir messenger bag, swiping at it to pop out a holographic display. "Though a constant reservoir of water would be -- really impractical but. Uh."

"Kind of awesome, you gotta admit. Anyway if you had 'em in some kinda case you wouldn't need it to be /totally/ ridiculous," Shane points out, "only --"

"/pretty/ ridiculous?" B is giggling. "No, no, I can /do/ this." Hir eyes flick up, briefly, over towards Matt. "S'something to be said, once in a while. For leaving the world behind you."

Shane leans down further, crossing his arms on the back of the couch and leaning his cheek against them. His head turns to the side, eye mooshed up closed and his other squinting over at Matt. "You're /more/ than welcome," one side of his mouth has hooked upward, "to ride with me anytime."

Desi leans down, scooping one of the cushions off the armchair and tossing it towards Shane's head. "{That's it,}" she declares. "I told you, you're cut off. Only allowed to hit on my brothers once per day. -- Anyway, I /like/ the world. But it's nice to see it from up above."

"Just to be clear," Matt reminds Sera, "having a helmet does /not/ mean you get to go hover biking without asking me or Luci first." Recognizing the glint in her eyes, he adds, "/Or/ regular biking."

"Ooookaaaay..." Sera sighs and hauls herself up to sit beside B on the couch, still wearing Desi's helmet. "Ooh, can I put a lapis lazuli on my helmet?" She does not seem to have any endurance for extended pouting today.

Matt leans forward and picks the book up again. "Leaving the world behind /is/ pretty great sometimes, but I usually accomplish it this way." He runs his hand over the book as one might pet a beloved cat. "I'm not going to knock it without trying it, though. Probably makes me a terrible role model. I can just see Luci's reaction now..." This he demonstrates by bowing his head and rubbing the bridge of his nose with thumb and index finger.

"Once per /brother/ per day," Shane protests indignantly. He's looking to Matt for confirmation of this rather than Desi -- c'/mon/ -- "I only flirted with Luci this morning."

B settles into a corner of the couch, shifting the display to sit equally in front of Sera as well. "Probably could! We could ask my Pa, I bet he'd paint one on for you."

"Like that's even a question. As if Pa needs incentive to paint Steven Universe characters /or/ do nice things for Sera." Shane scoffs lightly at this thought. "And don't front. You didn't build the bikes to leave the world behind. You built them to take it /on/."

For this, B only has a very small curl of smile.

"It can be a little bit of both. All things in their turn." Desi leans over, now, to (gently) nab Matt's book from him. Yoink. Thiefing it. Mostly so that she can traipse around to plop herself down on the rug in front of the coffee table and open it up herself. "And you're right. Luci would undoubtedly react that way --" She hesitates a beat, glancing up to flick a look up-down-up over Matt, "if you went out dressed like that. You're not suiting the /biker/ part at /all/. Not even /trying/ to get into the role."

Matt raises both his hands, as if to absolve himself of responsibility for ruling on how many brothers Shane may hit on in a day. "Uh, it's not my rule, but I certainly don't consider myself just a /component/ of some entity known as Desi's Brothers. We're not a hive-mind. Well, at least no more than anyone else in this city might be at any given point in time."

Sera claps her hands and bounces in place, though the movement upsets the oversized helmet balanced on her head, causing it to slide down over her eyes. She pushes it back up. "And can the part that covers the eyes be like a mirror?"

"See, /Sera/ knows how to dress the part," Matt says, smiling indulgently. "I'll just let her design my biking outfit." He makes a face at Desi, but does not attempt to recover the stolen book. "Take on the world, huh? The world better look out, then." He leans back in his chair, watching B's hands move over the holographic display. "You are formidable, hoverbikes or no."

"You don't?" B looks genuinely surprised at this, glancing up from hir display with a confused blink. "But that's the best part of being a twin, you get to be --"

"-- you know they're not /actually/ twins, right?" Shane flicks claws towards Matt, brows lifting.

B just blinks again. Puzzled. For a moment more ze focuses on Matt with a very faint narrowing of eyes, then turns her gaze back to hir holograph with a slight /hrrf/ of breath. "Mirror, huh?"

There's a slight smirk on Shane's face, a quiet breath of laughter in counterpoint to B's huff. "Hope MIT recognizes it better than --" For a moment his teeth grind.

"Oh, lies. They're totally twins." Desi isn't looking up from the book, just answering this with a note of dismissive laughter in her tone. "Matt was just way more eager to get out and see everything. Luci had to sit and /deliberate/ about it /forever/, jeez." Her fingers flick towards B. "They'll recognize it. The /world/'ll recognize it. She'll /make/ them."

"We kind of are," Matt admits. "Luci is probably out there nosepinching right about now, and doesn't even know why. Or maybe he does..."

"Luci has magic," Sera says, matter of factly. "Me, too. But not the right kind. Maybe Matt needs your Pa's help, too? Make him shiny. You /can't/ look boring if you're on a flying bike." She nods gravely.

Matt gazes at B, eyebrows knitting faintly. "There's a lot of things the world could stand to recognize better."

"Everyone's got their own kind of magic, that's okay." Shane's tone is light.

"And it's all the right kind for them." B's addition is a quiet murmur.

"... speaking of things the world could stand to recognize," Shane adds in.

For a moment B's gills flutter, before hir eyes meet Matt's. "The world usually needs kind of some help. A lot of people don't -- learn on their own."

"That's," Shane comments with a very small frown, "why there's teachers."

Desi glances up from her book briefly, then back down. Grimacing. Her lips press together. All she says is: "You're right about that, Sera. You /can't/ look boring if you're on a flying bike."

Matt closes his eyes, his face fixed in concentration for a moment. The mood in the room lightens almost imperceptibly, leavened by Sera's relentless enthusiasm. "You definitely have the right kind of magic," he agrees.

Sera smiles, and for a moment her joy is palpable. "Well, you still look boring."

"Fortunately for me and for the sake of Fashion Itself, I don't plan on hoverbiking right this second." Matt's eyes open, only a touch damp. "Anyway...I'm not so arrogant as to think that I can teach the hidebound and the willfully ignorant. But there's plenty I /can/ teach. I hope."

A faint crease rumples at Shane's ridged brows. He shifts over to take a seat on the floor as well -- not far from Desi, though /he's/ near the base of Matt's chair; his head tips in to bonk the other man lightly on the knee. "/I'm/ hoping the hidebound can learn," there's laughter in his voice, but a twisted-up knot of pained as well, "cuz there's a lot of teaching to do right at home."

B just shakes her head. "You honestly think acceptance is going to come begging for scraps of it there? After all those years? There's a whole big world. And there'll /be/ a place for us. If we carve out our /own/."

"Carve it out with hoverbikes?" Desi's brows lift, a quick smile flashing across her face. "I'd come live in /that/ place." Her eyes are still fixed on the book. Turn a page slowly. "I'd /say/ fortunately for the sake of Fashion Itself you have Luci and I to help you but --" She flutters her fingers in Matt's direction, her tone teasing. "It's never helped you before now. Sera, can you make him less boring?"

"I don't think we'll get any acceptance by begging for it or waiting for it." Matt leans forward, rubbing his temples. "I think we're going to have to fight for it. As for separatism..." He shakes his head. "That would depend on the shape it takes, I guess? I wouldn't be eager to carve out a place for ourselves if it meant trading one flavor of tyranny for another, or leaving my human brother behind."

Sera leans over and examines Matt with a critical eye, her head tilting far to one side. At last, she nods. "This will be very hard, but I can do it. We'll need ribbons. And glittery makeup. And a /cape!/"

"I have waited for this my whole life." Matt does not sound even a little bit sarcastic. Sera's excitement about this makeover has infected him.

"We're always going to have to fight. It's just going to be --" B is flicking a claw kind of restlessly at the holo-display in front of hir.

"A question of how." Shane's voice is very soft. His head leans back against Matt's knee, eyes settled briefly on his twin before they close. Just for a moment. When they open again, he has a bright toothy grin. "Glittery makeup? How /much/ glittery makeup? Do we have to head back to our place and raid my dad's cabinet?"

"Our ribbon stores are strong," Desi answers, "but nobody can hold a candle to the glittery makeup stock at Lighthaus. And Sera has a /challenge/ ahead of her. C'mon."

" the question, yes." Matt's hand settles on Shane’s head. "But you know what my weapon of choice already." Tipping his head in the direction of the nearest of many, many bookshelves. "Whether by book or by sword, though, we'll fight the battle another day. After Sera has made me less boring."

Sera has already forgotten her brief attempt at Serious, and now takes to her task with glee, hopping down off the couch. "Oh I made a drawing of Obie I want to show Jax, too!" She returns Desi's helmet. "Hey! We could get there so much faster if we /flew/…"

Matt runs his hand through his hair, smiling despite himself as he rises. "We could, but not this time. Slow and steady wins the race."