19 February 2014
Dusk finally tells Micah what's going on. (Set directly after laundry room discussions.)
<NYC> The Roost - Village Lofts - East Village
Dusk's bedroom is a messy place as might be expected, cluttered with books and clothing, forgotten dishes, boxes of Magic cards, other miscellany. His bed is not 'bed' so much as 'mattress on the floor'; though there /is/ a full bed against the opposite wall, it's neatly made and has been untouched for a while. His desk holds the desktop -- somewhat literally. /Far/ more elaborate of a setup than his lack-of-bed, the desk /itself/, with see-through glass body and softly glowing lights inside, has been configured to /be/ the computer case. Closer inspection of a pair of small decorative aquariums sitting to either side of its three monitors finds them to /also/ be computer cases, their inner workings submerged in a pale blue liquid on a bed of aquarium pebbles alongside plastic plants and little plastic castles or fake coral.
Dusk has tucked himself away into his bedroom. His laundry still sits in its hamper, not yet put away, and his thermos stands on his glowing desk though it's since been joined by another thermos in dark blood-red steel. He has a headset on his head, a League of Legends match currently playing out on his screen, wings shifting and flexing behind him in tense-rapid motions in time with the quick movements of his fingers to control the tiny and evidently very angry little girl who seems to be his champion on the screen.
From the smell of dozens of fabric softeners and detergents clinging to his clothes and hair, it is easy to surmise that Micah is arriving almost directly from the laundry room, having taken just enough time to chuck the bag of clean clothing into his apartment on the way up. He stands in the doorway to Dusk's bedroom, knocking lightly on the open door, hair notably increased in muss from being fussed at in the short time since Dusk last saw him downstairs.
"Uh -- huh. Come in. This --" Dusk's teeth are sinking down against his lip. "Be over in two minutes." His wings shiver against his back, eyes fixed on the screen. "You want to sit?"
Micah offers a little wave, walking in when invited. He nods at the estimated time. “Okay.” Slowly, he lowers himself to the floor to sit beside Dusk's chair and watch the angry girl move around the screen.
Dusk's small angry child is summoning an equally angry -- teddy bear. Pyrokinetic teddy bear, apparently. The girl might be a bit of a pyrokinetic herself; there's a considerable amount of enemy minions around her and the teddy bear both smouldering in flame. Elsewhere on the screen the enemy nexus is -- also slightly on fire. And being rather more bombarded by, evidently, Dusk's teammates, because he meets its destruction with a sharp grin and slips his headset off. The grin fades as he leans forward in his chair, swiping both thermoses off the desk. "Cocoa?"
The look Micah gives the screen grows more skeptical as additional details appear. “Looks like some kinda...weird nightmare goin' on there,” he comments idly, waiting for something to be destroyed, apparently. “Thanks.” A hand reaches up for cocoa retrieval.
"Uhh maybe-sorta. There's a lot of monsters. Annie's a -- sorta. Mage. Thing." Dusk shrugs a wing, offering the grey thermos out towards Micah but then quickly pulling it back and offering the blood-red one instead. He slides down off his chair, dropping to sit on the edge of his mattress on the floor. "There are way creepier champions though." His wings tuck in against his back, bending backwards along the mattress where they meet it; the joints at the knuckles in the long finger-bones pop quietly as he leans his weight backwards, pressing down on them in a rather uncomfortable-looking backwards bend. "Sorry. Down there just felt like a -- strange place."
Micah nods along with the video game descriptions, taking the cocoa quietly. "S'okay, I get it. S'just been...a /lot/ of talkin' /around/ it. A /lot/ of speculatin' an' worryin'. Since...tryin' t'convince Hive t'go t'the doctor forever. Discussin' it with him an' with Lucien. /Goin'/ with 'im t'the doctor. An' the followups. An' the biopsy. An' the only one I didn't hear about 'til after the fact was the /results/ appointment. Then he tells me he's got results an' starts makin' jokes about buyin' as many books as he wants 'cause he's dyin' anyway an' he won't.../tell me/." He grips the Thermos tightly, though /his/ grip is at no risk of damaging the metal container.
"Right. Right, well." Dusk curls his fingers around his own thermos, popping its cap open to take a slow drink. "I think he's just been having a hard time figuring out the words. He didn't exactly tell /me/ so much as he just -- braindumped his whole fucking appointment into my skull." He winces slightly at the memory, wings levering himself back more upright. He folds them inward, working the uncomfortable bend back out of them to curl both wings in around himself. His knees both pull up towards his chest.
"I think Rasheed ran all the work himself I don't -- know if building a Clinic is the kind of place you /want/ special privileges at, you just get this kind of news faster." He shakes his head, fingers curling in against his thermos tight again, settling back into the grooves they had pitted there before. "But. Anyway. The biopsy -- the mass they found is cancerous. Astrocytoma, they -- say it's called. Next few months are going to be --" His fingers start to squeeze at the thermos, and then relax. "Well, we'll see."
"Okay. Well, that's...somethin', at least." Micah eyes the Thermos, trying to decide whether to open it or not. It's hard to tell whether he decides against it or just stares at it without coming to a conclusion. "Astrocytoma, okay. That's not...the /worst/ thing that they could find. Especially dependin' on what... Did they give a grade? Or a type? Or say what tissues it's located in? S'a pretty wide range of prognoses an' treatments. Dependin'." His hands slowly rotate the Thermos in his hands. Still not functionally /doing/ anything with it. "Faster's better. With this kinda thing. Faster's better. Would that we'd gotten 'im t'go in sooner."
"Anaplastic -- thats, uh. Grade 3. It's not the /worst/ it could be but it's." Dusk dips his head, closing his teeth against the lip of his thermos. "It's kind of tucked down at the bottom of things where the temporal lobe and the cerebellum moosh up near the brain stem. I guess the -- whole issue he's been having wording might be coming from some of." He exhales sharply, wiggling his fingers towards the back of his head.
"He's got to work out a treatment plan still. Guess Rasheed's going to help him put together people for that. He's -- more than a little concerned that the brainchip is going to complicate surgery options pretty badly. I mean, the chip itself is fucking with his head /too/ anyway but the --" He shakes his head quickly. "Ideally the chip needs to come out, too. But that'd be risky all on its own. Getting it out /and/ trying to excavate a tumor from his head --" His lips curl upward thinly. "From what google tells me, at least, he's an excellent surgeon."
Micah winces a little at that report. "Not the /worst/ thing they could find," he repeats with even less conviction this time. "Temporal tumour'll give y'trouble with speech sometimes, yeah. If it's puttin' pressure on the cerebellum s'a blessin' his coordination hasn't been worse...he's still walkin' okay. Brainstem's tricky real estate for surgery..." His eyes stay fixed on the closed Thermos. "Surgery an' radiation," he concludes of the likely treatment plan. "I'd have t'look up...if there's any kinda chemo s'been effective. Don't...know it off the top of m'head." Then his eyes close, teeth pressing sharply into his lower lip and holding there for some time. "Excellent surgeon. S'a...physician of some renown. Couldn't've asked for a much better contact s'far as that's concerned. So. There's that." His eyes open again. "An' there's folks with special abilities 'round that we know as could at least help 'im keep 'is strength up in the meantime. Try t'weigh the odds a little more in his favour."
"Still walking kind of okay," Dusk agrees, "but it's been rough. A lot of things have been. Rough. I don't think he likes to let on just how much so but sometimes I'm watching him working and it's --" His wings quiver, and pull in hard against his back. "Hard not to wonder how much of shit like this gets aggravated by -- god fucking knows he's put his brain through the /wringer/ this past year. Years. Jesus. And we just keep letting him."
He flops back heavily onto the bed, one wing curling up and around his chest as he shivers. "They're going to have to be figuring out this chip shit pretty much on top of, because Rasheed's pretty sure that even without the tumor it'd be killing him sooner or later and the two things together make it hard to figure out which one is causing exactly /what/. So -- he's pretty much going to just have a /battery/ of doctoring for the next little while. Think he might be more terrified of that than the cancer."
"Kept...tryin' t'tell 'im not t'do things but he took it...like a personal insult. Whenever I said he needed recovery time first. I know he just wanted t'help but y'could /see/ how much it was..." Micah shakes his head, not going any further down that path. "It is...rough. When y'got more'n one thing goin' on. Spendin' that much time in medical facilities is prob'ly gonna be the worst thing..." His hands go back to turning the Thermos. There is some /seriously/ well mixed cocoa in there.
"And he did it again. To get me and Jax out. God knows how many people he --" Dusk's fingers clench against his thermos harder, dinging the metal a little further inward. "I guess that's the basic. Rundown. Flicker's got actual. Notes. If you want that. Hive's just -- not really been feeling up to doing this conversation. Let alone doing it more than once with each of his friends."
"He did," Micah agrees, drawing his knees up to slump against. "Okay. I'll talk t'Flicker, too. I get...not wantin' t'talk about it over'n over. I just. Needed t'hear /somethin'/. From somebody. Didn't have t'be him."
Dusk sits back up, frowning at the dented thermos in his hand. He sets it down on the floor beside the bed, popping the lid back closed, and stretches a wing out to curl against Micah's shoulders. "Yeah. Waiting to hear something had been kind of driving me nuts, too. But then actually hearing -- I don't know if it was much better."
Micah leans readily into the wing that reaches out for him. "S'definitely better. Don't like...whole heaps of uncertainty. M'mind just fills it up with all kindsa...everythin'. Lots of it horrible. S'better. Knowin' somethin'. Havin' a picture an' a plan an'...even if it's...this. It's somethin' t'work with. Thanks. For tellin'. I'm sure that part ain't easy, either."
Dusk's wing just pulls in, tucking Micah closer to him. His head tucks downward as well, cheek resting against the top of the other man's head. "Some part of my brain feels like if nobody ever says it, it just won't be true anymore." His wing squeezes slowly against Micah's arm, and he turns his head to press a kiss to the top of his tousled hair. "Something to work with. Yeah. It's -- a start."