ArchivedLogs:A Little Time
|A Little Time|
26 May 2015
Part of the Future Past TP.
This courtyard is the lush central hub of the surrounding Harbor Commons, bound in on three sides by rows of duplexes and triplexes, cutting upward at the sky with the sharp thrift of a minimalist's style, neat lines and bountiful windows, boldened with accents in wood towards the upper stories, stone towards the base, the whole of the compound sealed in by a low stoneworked wall that opens entrance gates to the streets beyond at its two far corners, smaller gates at building back doors.
The fourth side of the courtyard is open to the East River, the ground forming a slight decline, controlled on one side by micro-retaining walls to form wide steps where picnic tables sit beneath the nominative shelter of a trio of dogwood trees, accessible by ramp. The other side is allowed to slope at its natural angle, a wide open yard space, until its cut off at the river's edge, where a massive pair of oak trees stand, a staircase leading away up one of their thick trunks.
The yard itself is carpeted in an organic flow of emerald grass swirled through with wending channels of smooth-paved cement walkways, flowing naturally away from the building's front entrances, where some are arced by trellis, some flanked by hosta plants, fern and lilies, a few laid in gentle switch-backing ramps for wheelchair access, before forking off at matching angles to sites of small garden installments. Bird feeders and baths suspended from the necks of small lamp posts, a rock-lined koi pond, a sleek gazebo tucked to one side in simplistic varnished wood, its southern side overgrown with a mass of thriving grapevine and a caged-in barbecue pit under its sheltering roof. A play area and proper garden are within sight off another branch, until finally all paths spiral in like wheel spokes to a shared common house at the center of all traffic flow.
The day has been hot, though sunset is cooling it somewhat. It's possibly the fact of having been at work or possibly the heat of the daytime or possibly the solitude he has been stealing often lately -- maybe some confluence of these factors that has prompted Jax to be tending the Commons garden rather late tonight rather than a more usual afternoon or evening hour. At least, that's where he /has/ been up before now, judging by the dirt on his knees and boots and the direction he is ambling over from, Obie tagging along sometimes at his heels but more often darting ahead -- the beagle also has quite a bit of dirt on paws and nose. Maybe he's been helping.
The beagle's influence leads his path kind of meandering, following the snuffling dog to investigate /this/ rock and /that/ bug and /this/ lamp post that desperately needs to be peed on. They end up over by the koi pond, a frog startled away as the dog clambers up onto the stones to take a drink. Jax follows after, resting one boot on the rocks and an elbow on his knee, watching the beagle as he laps at the pond. Kind of uncolourful today in grey cargo pants and a black ribbed undershirt, save for his brightly dyed hair and the ink he always has -- which is faintly luminescent and intermittently animated.
Micah is dressed in his usual for the evening: black Reading Rainbow-dash tee over rainbow-patchy jeans and sneakers, hair unkempt from lack of care after his shower upon returning home from work. He hasn't been in the gardens just now, but rather taking care of after-dinner dishes, the evidence of that in a patch of damp from dishwater on one denim-clad thigh. When he finds his way outside, it is first to the garden, then tracking Jax and Obie (albeit in a less meandering path) to their current location. He presents a tall glass of lemonade with basil with a smile. "Hey, sugar. Figured y'could use some refreshin' by now."
Melinda is still trudging home from work, dressed in black trousers and a white shirt, looking a little bit like she's been held over a steamer for the last few hours. She is busily trying to peel strands of hair from her face and tuck them either behind her ears or back up into the pony tail she keeps fixing, her lips pursed in thought. She pauses when she sees movement and looks over at the couple and their dog by the pool, raising a hand in greeting.
"Oh -- oh, hey." A soft smile touches Jax's face as he straightens, leaning in first for a small peck to Micah's cheek and then taking the lemonade. "Thanks, honey-honey. Has been kinda tirin'." Obie's muzzle is still dripping water as he pulls away from the pond, thrusting his face at Micah's leg with not just his tail but his whole rear half wagging in greeting. Jax lifts the glass of lemonade, waggling it as well to wave hello to Mel. "Hi, sugar. Look like you've had yourself a long day. Lemonade?" He holds up the glass in offering.
Micah's smile only brightens with the kiss, leaning in to nuzzle gently at Jax's neck before righting himself once more. “Playin' in the dirt's the good kinda tirin', at least.” He gives a little 'oomph' as he is plowed into by wet dog, a half step taken back by his opposite leg as the Obie-bumped one picks up a little more water. “Well, guessin' I'm just meant t'be wet t'night,” he declares with a chuckle, leaning down to scritch behind Obie's ear. “Hey, Mel. S'got basil in. Just brought it from the house, so's nice'n cold.”
Melinda turns her feet and heads over toward the couple, her hands thrusting deep into her pockets as she moves. "Oh, that does sound good. Thank you." The whole hands in pockets thing is short lived, one slipping out to take the offered glass. "Are we digging to China now?" She casts a glance over Jax and the dog before looking to Micah. "Amazing how loved ones get us messy. I have to completely steer clear of Tola any time I wear white."
"Not quite so far's China. Only so far as we needed t'move some'a the seedlings outta their pots in the sunroom an' into the beds proper." Hands in pockets is trading places; when he relinquishes the glass Jax slips /his/ hands into his back pockets, rocking back onto his heels. His lips quirk up into a small smile. "... I got that problem with the pups an' white sometimes. They /bite/." His eye drifts back to the pool, head dipping in a nod. "S' -- the good kind. The not-thinking-too-much kind."
“Don't think I even own white, outside of undershirts,” Micah admits with a chuff of laughter. “Guess I gave up on it without even realisin'.” He leaves off petting Obie with one hand to rub at the back of Jax's neck with the other, just a light-soothing presence. “I got their helmets all finished up in time t'be graduation presents. I'm hopin' the style suits enough that they'll /use/ 'em.” The dog switches from enjoying scritches to making circles around Micah's legs in an almost cat-like fashion. If cats were bouncy and tail-a-wag. “S'there more waitin' for t'morrow or did y'get 'em all in?”
"Not thinking? Suits and helmets? Did I miss something? Is the world coming to an end again?" Melinda blinks between the pair and takes a sip of lemonade before leaning over to pet Obie. "There might be other reasons to give up on white. Maybe it just makes you look washed out." She takes another sip as she straightens.
Jax tenses, mouth opening and then closing again. His jaw clenches up, skin shifting a bit hotter beneath Micah's fingers. "They're learnin' to ride motorcycles," he finally manages to answer Melinda. "The world's still here, I think."
"Just helmets. Suits as a verb...as in their taste. I made the things, an' I'm not gonna claim t'know what's biker-cool. I mean, I consulted with Ion, but his taste's just over the top as far as he can push it," Micah clarifies with a lopsided grin. "But...yeah, guess I'm a little fair for not wearin' some colour." His free hand moves to mock-fluff-flip at his hair. "S'much as it as I've been able t'lay eyes on lately still is, at least." More than a little used to Jax's temperature changes by now, his hand remains, reassuring and firmer.
"Ahh. Well. I used up all my good listening skills at work, I think. Besides, my next guess was going to be coordinated sky diving." Melinda shrugs and then hands the glass back to Jackson, nudging him with her shoulder against his lightly. "I am sorry to bring up a bad subject. I am a little punchy now. I should probably leave you guys to your evening."
Jax leans against Mel a moment longer than just the nudge would warrant, taking the glass back with a small nod. "I think the pups would go for skydivin' jus' as much, honestly. They're kinda into -- crazy." His nose wrinkles at the mention of Ion, his plain black tank growing an encrusting of shiny diamond studs. "I can't say I can see Shane goin' in for /bling/." He lapses back into quiet after this, nodding again to Mel but just sipping slowly at the lemonade.
“Ohgosh, /flyin'/ sharks. Teeth from above. Help us all.” Though Micah /is/ grinning as he says this. “Ended up doin' kind of a...galaxy pattern on black for 'em both. More blue for Shane's, purple for B's. /Little/ bit of lighting that can be turned on an' off, in matchin' colours.” He barely stifles a snort at the last. “Completely bling-free, I'm afraid.” He gives Mel a nod as she starts to take her leave. “No worries, honey. Prob'ly nice t'get in an' rest for a moment fresh off of work, too.”
Mel leans into Jax's lean and gives a small smile to the pair. "Apologies, but rest is probably best. You two have a lovely evening -- and I'll try not to think of our very own sharknado as I head to sleep." She gives a final wave and heads off toward her apartment.
"Get good rest, honey-honey." Jax offers a small smile to Mel, though his gaze returns to the water after she has headed off. "... only but the world always /is/ endin', ain't it?"
"G'night, sugar," Micah calls after Mel lightly, offering a small wave. "Does seem like we're good at findin' one crisis after another. Keeps makin' that farm out nowhere down south seem real appealin'."
Jax twitches, shifting away to crouch by the side of the pond. "S'still part'a the world."
Micah follows after, crouching down at Jax's side. "Y'got me there. Pretty much everyplace's still part'a the world. 'Less y'get yourself an invitation to the space station. Not too many other places t'go." He leans in and pets a hand down Jax's back. "Sugar... I been awhile now gettin' a feelin' there's more'n just reg'lar terrible from those dreams weighin' on you. An' I'm not pushin' you t'tell me. But I'm /here/. An' I wanna listen if y'do wanna tell. I love you."
"I jus'..." Jax closes his eyes, head shaking. "I jus' don't know how to. There jus' ain't nothin' to be done about -- it's like. People keep havin' all these dreams an' we keep. Kept hopin' to find some way. T'find what was causin' it so we could. Could figure out how t'fix it but I -- but it's --" He swallows. "I don't know what t'do when you get t'the end and there jus' ain't -- nothin' –"
"Jax, honey, did they find somethin'? I'd been watchin' some of the Sentinel footage helpin' t'look. An' it's all been /horrible/ but nothin'...specific. Nothin' of much help. Did someone else find somethin' bigger?" Micah's arm tries to hold Jax close. "We just gotta...see what we've got an' figure from there, don't we?"
Jax jerks away from Micah's touch, tense and stiff and braced with one hand pressed hard against the rocks to keep his balance on the pool's edge with the sudden motion. "They found a whole lot. Don't expect B was like to share none of it. Not when it --" He shakes his head again. "It was me. That's what we got. Not no terrorist attack or bomb or -- jus' me. What exactly do you figure from there?"
“I...” Micah's mouth opens and closes again. “There must be more to it than just that. Circumstances. Ones that can be avoided.” He reaches out as if to take hold of Jax again, but does not press the motion.
Jax flinches back when Micah reaches out, still tense. "'course there's more to it than that. Don't change nothin'. That that possibility's /always/ gonna be there if I lose control. /Always/."
"Honey, I seen you... I seen you in some of the worst situations anybody's ever /been/ in. An' you ain't never. I've seen you knockin' at death's /door/ an' you ain't never done. If you did...do...it had t'be somethin' particular-awful. An' we can avoid it. Now that we know what it is that /could/ cause it. We can avoid that, can't we?" Micah's hands just clasp against one another to stop him from reaching out again, lending his words a slight pleading air.
"No." Jax's answer comes immediate and firm. "We can avoid /that/. One. Particular. Event, maybe. We certainly can't avoid /every/ single thing that might every be a stress or hurt or danger. An' you seen me /now/. Today. Mutations evolve, Micah, they get more /powerful/ over time. You seen me /now/ when I light our /bedroom/ on fire when I have a nightmare or when we have sex. Who's to say what I'm gonna be like in a year? In three years? When I started at Xavier's I couldn't even explode /nothin'/. When I started high school I couldn't even make shields at all. The amount my powers have grown in the past couple years is -- is a lot. The amount they could increase in the next few?" His head shakes. "You ain't seen me. /I/ ain't seen me. An' there's sure no way we can avoid things we don't even know yet."
“We can sure keep you away from that event. Or ones like it. Y'were dead, Jax... Did they...know what lead up to it? If someone...” Micah's teeth find his lower lip, biting down on it. “If someone /killed/ you, honey, while y'was doin' the kindsa things you usually /do/. We can stop. We can stop doin' the things we been doin'. I know I said that I'd stay with you an' fight this fight, but... If you fightin' this fight is a danger t'you an' goodness knows who else? Maybe this is it. Maybe this is what tells us t'get out of it. T'go away. T'keep you an' the ones you're fightin' for safe by livin' quiet somewhere.”
"I was /teachin'/. At the school. There was a raid. They was killin' the /kids/ there." Jax shakes his head fiercely. "But it don't /matter/, Micah, don't you get it? It's /irrelevant/. That day or any other. I'm always gonna /be/ dangerous."
“Not...not like that. Not like when you're defendin' kids against killers. We'll go somewhere remote where nobody's got cause t'bother us. Y'won't need t'die protectin' no one an' it won't /happen/ like that.” Micah's hands squeeze one another tightly, blanching the fingertips. “Please.”
"It won't happen /like that/." Jax wraps his arms tightly around his knees, gaze fixed down into the water.
“How many years in the future was it? Meantime... Maybe we can find some version of the depowerin' treatments that y'can just...keep on hand. In case somethin' does seem like it's goin' wrong.” Micah leans in, hugging his own knees, small but close. “There's options. Honey, y'been thinkin' on this longer'n I have. What d'you want?”
"The depowerin' treatment don't work at -- light-speed. If somethin' was goin' wrong on that scale folks'd be dead afore I could --" Jax shakes his head. He still doesn't look up from the water, fingers pressing hard against his shins. "I asked Matt an' Luci to kill me." His voice is flat, here, quiet and mostly toneless.
Micah's eyes scrunch closed for a time, his head falling forward to rest on his bunched knees. “I s'pose I should be thankful Matt was there.” His tone is dull, voice quiet. “What about Matt? He can tone people's powers back. There's him an' maybe the chance that there could be...a medicine. A device that could do the same. Just. Control how strong your powers /could/ be. Between that an' stayin' away from trouble. Honey...”
"I can't spend my whole life hoverin' in workin' range of Matt, sugar. An' I /ain't/ spendin' it jus' prayin' for the off-chance someone invents a niche device that'll fix this before I hurt someone. It ain't /jus'/ stayin' away from trouble. That's jus' where the future went. It's --" Jax's head drops, too, chin resting on his knees. "... you can be thankful he was there. I ain't."
"Not your whole life. Not. Just until we can get somethin'. We have /time/. It was, what? At least two years? Three? So much can happen in that amount of time." Micah's shoulders hunch, a sob cut off in his throat before it can find full voice. "I love you, honey. Our kids. So many people. There's gotta be a way."
"So many people," Jax agrees, soft and a little numb. "I --" He straightens slow and stiff, lifting his hand to rub a fist hard against his eye. "M'sure there's plenty different ways t'get t'a different future'n that one. But I don't -- see a whole -- lotta --" He swallows, shaking his head. "Should get Obie in," he finally says instead. "He ain't had his dinner yet."
“Please, honey. Just don't do nothin' drastic 'til we can find other options, okay? We got time. Please...just give it time.” Micah shifts upward, as well, reaching to help Jax to his feet. He taps at his leg to call the beagle back to follow them inside. “Just give us the time t'help.”
Jax just keeps one arm curled tightly around his chest, eying Micah's hand uncertainly but not taking it. "We don't know that we got time. I hate these stupid dreams. They tell us /one/ thing an' everyone acts like we know somethin'. S'jus' one possibility. Jus' cuz /that/ ain't happenin' don't mean --" He shakes his head, hard. "We don't know anything." His head stays bowed as he hurries back inside.
Micah's hand curls empty back on itself. "But it's years. It was...you ain't no dif'rent in your powers /now/ than you was b'fore we got that data..." His arguments have grown a little weaker, though still a little frantic in tone. Shoulders hunched, he follows after along with the dog. When he speaks again, it is mostly to himself. "Just a little time, please."
Jax has no answer. Just a small swirl of shadow that flickers and then fades into the warm lights of the house.