From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Billy, Dusk, Jax




<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.

Jax's house is bright, right now; it's designed that way, huge windows admitting /so/ much noontime summer sun to flood the place sunshiney-warm through most all of its rooms. Jax had third shift last night, out at the clinic from midnight till eight; even so he hasn't yet slept -- actually, he hasn't slept in days. It's hard to tell, he's still got a rather ridiculous amount of energy to him. There's evidence of this excess of energy in his kitchen, the counters crowded with cookies on wire racks -- key lime snickerdoodles, half the wire racks empty and implying that the bulk of the haul has been taken off tho Evolve -- under which two maple-blueberry pies also sit.

Jax now has left off the morning's bake-a-thon. He's dressed colourfully as ever, in a swishy knee-length skirt whose colour is incessantly /changing/, purple this moment, the next swirled in fiery hues, the next silver and dotted with dragonflies, the next vividly neon with a starburst pattern. And on, and on, and on. He has a ribbed cotton tank top that leaves many of his tattoos bare -- both the tank top /and/ his tattoos are also shifting, the cotton colour-changing like his skirt and the tattoos swirling and dancing against his skin. /He/ is sprawled out on an immense beanbag on the floor with his laptop and drawing tablet, working on a very vividly colourful digital painting. A surreal city-scape in neon hues that could almost be mistaken for cheerful if one only glanced at the light and lively colour scheme and didn't look too closely at the fact that its crowded streets (that look almost like a party is taking place) really feature the inhabitants tearing each other apart in rather creatively gory ways.

Bringing the back of his hand up to his brow to block the sun, Billy peeks through the entryway. In complete contrast, he wears a pair of off-white skinny jeans that's he's sawed off into shorts and a flimsy, pale tunic. The partially transparent nature of the already low-cut shirt shows off a boyish torso void of tattoos.

"Ehem," the young man nibbles on his bottom lip, too blinded to make out Jax where he sits, he all but looks right through him. He groans quietly to himself and retreats a step back into the hall. "I didn't think this through," slapping a shopping bag at his side, looks aimlessly around.

"Wo-o-oah." Jax's tattoos are climbing right off his /skin/ as he looks up at the small sound. A dragonfly flitting up into the air. A huge monstrous chimaera climbing off his shaved skull to flex large black bat-wings and climb up onto the window-seat. A dove fluttering out from where it's partially obscured beneath his tank strap to perch on the counter. He glances over at Billy, pierced eyebrows raising in confusion, his attention not /really/ managing to shift fully from art-mode to real-world-mode for a few seconds before /abruptly/ he snaps back to reality with a sudden bright smile. "/Oh/! Billy! Woah. Wait. You're in my house. Uh. Hi! Hey. Didn't think -- what? 'kai help you?"

Billy hesitates, but smiles nonetheless, "OF COURSE, I'm in your house? That was not my intention!" He laughs, waving the Anthropologie bag in the air, "I was looking for uh.. Dusk?" Is that his name? "I ruined his sheets last week and felt bad." Nope. No explanation. None. The bright smile is met with a brighter one from Billy, happy to squint his eyes into tight little half-moons, "Your place is SO ...BRIGHT!"

"Ohhh. Dusk. S'probably home. I ain't sure he's awake or not yet he ain't really what you'd call a /mornin'/ person? Though I guess it is goin' on past lunchtime by now." Jax is twirling his stylus rapidly between his fingers, the pseudo-pen moving in a deft and rapid blur until he catches it quickly. His fingers close into a fist, knuckles pressing to his lips to stifle a giggle as he sets tablet aside to bounces quickly to his feet. "Oh. Oh gosh, really, cuz I done ruined a fair /few/ of his sheets by now I think." This comment comes with a /deep/ flush of crimson darkening Jax's cheeks. The chimaera on the windowsill is shifting and changing, its heads merging together into one altogether more human one, its body stretching out lean and muscular. The bat-wings stay. Jax bounces on his toes, rapid-restless, stylus set to twirling again. "'pologies, it gets a bit sunny 'round here. Kinda eat it up. -- Oh! Oh forgive me I ain't even offered -- can I get you somethin' like mebbe a drink or. Or. Anything? S'juice an' lemonade an' sweet tea. Or or Dusk I could prob'ly fetch him too if that's your cuppa tea."

Billy is too dense to pick up on the blush. After all, he didn't ruin the sheets *that way.* Surely, there'd be a white-faced, white-handed person running around if that were the case! "Have you?" He laughs, again not even picking up on an implication. "Well, this probably makes up for the both of us." He sets the bag down on whatever surface space is available, not seeming too concerned about fetching the man in question. "I would love a water. I mean, I don't want to impose! You looked like you were into something," Billy trails off, sniffing the air, "It smells so good in here!" He can't help but follow his nose in a step or two.

"Yeah, I kinda got an unfortunate tendency to light things on fire. Now an' then." Jax leans down to clip his stylus to the edge of his tablet, trotting off towards the kitchen. The chimaera on the windowskill is fading away; his clothes are settling back into steady colours (skirt swirled in peacocky blue-green shades, tank white and dotted in purple fireworky-stars) though his tattoos still shift and dance against his skin. "Oh -- oh! I was bakin'. The cookies ain't gluten free but the pie is. Blueberry-maple. I kinda got like a /thing/. For maple. It does /unreasonable/ happy-things t'my tongue." He grabs a glass from the cabinet, opening up the fridge to get out a pitcher of filtered water and pour the glass full. "My kid did mention. Runnin' into you. Glad y'all all got /out/'a that aright -- anyhow you ain't imposin' my door is pretty much --" He grins, waving a hand around his very /literally/ wide-open house, bright open windows, unlocked doors. "Open. I jus' get a little lost sometimes when I'm artin'."

"Could you always? Set things on fire, I mean?" Billy is impressed, after-all, with his old classmate's prowess in life. "I never knew that." Thankfully, he's not one for power-envy. Just all the other envies. "You remember I'm gluten free?" "Anyone who doesn't love maple is insane." There is some hesitation at the mention of Shane, and Billy doesn't bite, but rather shifts the conversation, "You know who I did run into who we went to school with? Anette? Eccleston? The owl girl." His tone goes low: "She's with the Brotherhood?"

"Naw. Couldn't always. Kinda picked up that trick in my last year or so at the school when --" Jax trails off, his glittery-nailed fingers lifting almost absently to trace fingers against the strap of his (also glittery, pale purple lined with sparkly silver-black) eyepatch. He waves Billy further into the house, scooting back out from the kitchen to offer out the water. "I remember all kindsa things. My youngest boy's kosher an' the twins can mostly /only/ eat meat an' /I'm/ a vegan an' allergic t'pineapple an' kiwi an' papaya an' my mutation kinda /forces/ me into eatin' like a hummingbird an' I got friends who'd die if they /looked/ at dairy or sesame an' -- out at the school 'tween everyone's different powers there's a world of. Well. Needs? An' I teach baking there an' I send goods in with Shane half the week for his shop so I kinda got used to, uh. Rememberin'. Anyway you want?" His brows hike up at the mention of Anette, his single eye widening. "She what?" There's a sharp startlement in his tone. "... she tells people that?"

"I can barely even remember names." "Thanks," Billy takes the cup in both hands and holds it to lips, drifting further in, "I don't remember if she told me or not. She almost stabbed a guy the other day at the Chinese Grocer." He narrows his eyes and shifts his gaze to the side, leaving the bag meant for Dusk by the dooray, "And I think she would have twisted the knife."

Shuffling footsteps come through the door that leads to Geekhaus. It may be afternoon but Dusk still looks like he just rolled out of bed -- thick dark hair tousled, a sleepy-wilted droop to his shoulders, enormous wings both wrapped around under his arms but otherwise kind of entirely around himself like a cocooning blanket. Barefoot, the boxy electronic monitor is still visible where it's strapped around his ankle. He has sunglasses shading his eyes and one hand is lifting to stifle a very fangy yawn as he makes his way into Jax's home, ignoring the conversation and just leaning up against Jax's back, forehead pressing to the back of the other man's neck. Though the sunglasses cover his eyes everything about his manner suggests /probably/ his eyes are closed. Zzz. "... who's getting stabbed," he finally mumbles.

"Yikes." Jax's eyes open wider. His tattoos cease their movement, briefly; instead there's a flutter of colour that skitters and dances in the air around them. "/Does/ kinda seem like the sort of thing you'd want to keep, um -- secret -- oh. Hey, honey-honey." Jax's head tips down when Dusk's forehead butts up against his neck, his skin rather /excessively/ uncomfortably warm to the touch. "Well, nobody, right now. S'sayin' this classmate'a ours joined the Brotherhood and stabbed a dude the other day. Almost stabbed a dude the other day. That's rough. I didn't know her real good at school. Kinda a shame where some folks end up."

Billy doesn't say one way or the other how well he knew her, rather he clams up at the display of affection - pretending instead to look out of the big windows into the city. "Yes, it is," the sunlight forces him to squint, uncomfortably. He alternates eyes for a moment before fully turning to face away from the windows, again.

"Jesus you're burning up. Can't you just explode or something?" A small tension coils through Dusk at the ongoing conversation, and he pulls away, drifting towards the kitchen to nab himself a cookie off the rack. "Whatever. Have you looked at the world lately? You can't tell me you don't understand it. They locked you in a cage and cut your /eye/ out. They cut your kids open over and over and over. They shoved /them/ in cages to /kill/ each other just for entertainment. They've killed half of everyone you know. The whole fucking zombie plague was because they were trying to kill /all/ of us. And they put /you/ and /me/ in jail for it. They --" His wings shiver at his back. "Some people get sick of it."

"Yeah, I probably should, but. I don't want to --" Jax shakes his head, frowning over at Billy. "Hey, m'so -- apologies, are you aright." Jax moves to lean against the back of the couch when Dusk moves away, elbows propping against it. His brows furrow, head shaking. "... yeah, okay, no, I. It ain't that I don't /get/ it. Cuz I /get/ it. I mean, I'm angry. You think I ain't? I think we're all /angry/. It's just that stabbin' folks an' all, it ain't gonna /help/."

Billy blinks up at Jax, too marked with concern with what's just been said to answer whether or not /he/ is okay. "Lashing out at people /like/ the people who did those things... it, uh, isn't going to heal anyone." He watches Dusk sadly before trying to ease away from the rough subject, "And good morning." He sips his water.

"Naw, yeah, stabbing random people isn't going to help shit. That's just fucking dumb," Dusk agrees easily enough. "It's just, you keep getting angry enough, it's eventually going to spill out somewhere. Joining up with people who are doing something about it --" He pushes out a sharp breath, his long thumb-claws twitching atop his wings. "Well, shit. I'd /hope/ that would /stop/ you just stabbing random people." He relaxes after this, leaning back against the counter and lifting his chin to Billy. "Yo. You taking care of yourself?" He looks like he's doing fine -- at least the tear to his wing has vanished entirely and the bite on his arm has faded into just a faint dimpling of teeth-shaped red that's healed up /insanely/ faster than the huge chunk that was missing a few days ago should have. But, mutants. He /does/ have a /new/ bandage strapped around his /wrist/. But. Mutants.

"/Doing/ something about it, like what? Like making the whole world just think we're /all/ a bunch of violent terrorists?" Though here Jax's cheeks flush deeply red. "... I guess /I'm/ doing that too, ain't I?" His hand scuffs over the smooth bald top of his head, and he exhales heavily. "They'll prob'ly think that no matter what." He shakes his head, leaning more heavily against the couch and forcing a bright smile as he returns to restless bouncing on his toes. "/Mornin'./ No wait. Afternoon. S'jus' mornin' for this guy s'a vampire he don't do mornin'. -- I think Billy'd actually come by t'see /you/, Dusk. Jus' only got a bit turned around?"

Billy nods, smiling faintly. His hands find the spot on his ribs that was injured, but he doesn't seem to be in pain any longer. "I don't think they'll think that no matter what," he offers, though not in a particularly confident tone. "Oh, it's stupid," he gestures with a pail finger towards the shopping bag by the door, "I brought you guys new sheets."

"Dude, Jax used his powers to save the last mayor from getting shot and people were calling to throw the book at him for using his powers in public. Some mutant was losing control of their powers and he protected a cop from getting hurt by it and /that same cop/ turned around and ticketed him for public display of mutation. He got locked up and tortured by the motherfuckers at Prometheus and then when he starts freeing people from their torture labs they turn around and throw him in jail for terrorism on account of the virus /they/ created." Dusk's wings tighten where they wrap around his body. "Yeah. They're gonna treat us like a bunch of violent terrorists no matter what. So what do you do. Sit and take it?" He nabs himself another cookie, eyebrows hiking up as he wanders over towards the shopping back, a lopsided grin on his face. "Seriously? You did? Sweet. Thanks. You want uh, cookie? Or pie? There's pie?" He's totally offering Jax's desserts in exchange for the sheets.

"They do kinda -- like to think the worst," Jax allows, nose wrinkling up for a moment. "But that jus' means we gotta be /better/. Do /better/. Than /alla/ them. Cuz we get half as much credit for bein' twenty /times/ as good. So if we're /fifty/ times as good --" He spreads his hands in front of him. "S'why I don't sleep. I got time t'make up for. You're welcome t'the pie."

"No... thank you," Billy fiddles with his glass, running his finger along its edge, "I certainly don't think going out and actively /being/ the terrorists they want us to be is the answer. 'Oppression is no excuse for vengeance,'" He quotes Professor Xavier, pushing the glass away a little, "It is hard to know where to draw that line."

Dusk quirks his eyebrows up at Jax. "Math is not your strong suit, is it?" One of his wings is unfurling in a slow stretch of shoulder; the other wraps around him tighter as it moves, curling in firmer arond his side. It's enough of a shift of motion to see that he is very likely not, actually, wearing /clothes/ beneath the huge drape of wings, but they're enormous enough that it's /not/ enough of a shift of a motion to leave him actually immodest even once the first wing just hangs down to drape against his back lazily. He brings his own bathrobe with him.

"I don't know man." His wing rolls in a shrug at Billy. "That sounds like the talk of someone who just hasn't run into the kind of situations that /deserve/ some cold hard fucking vengeance. Come back and talk to me about vengeance after someone cuts your arms off and shoots your brother in your arms just because they think he's a liiittle too freaky." Dusk's tone is oddly /light/, here, a lopsided half-smile baring sharp fangs behind slightly-parted lips. He chomps down his second cookie, wandering back over to clap both his hands solidly against Jax's shoulders to jostle the other man amiably. "I am /all/ for being the /best/ shining -- /very/ shining, in your stellar example -- case of a /model/ mutant citizen that you could possibly ever be. Convince them all we are wonderful friends and neighbors. But don't tell me you don't wake up some mornings wanting to put a laser beam in some motherfucker's eyes." He drops his hands, sucking a stray cookie crumb from a fingertip. "And don't tell me some mornings you wouldn't do it if you weren't gonna get caught."

Jax blushes dark, dipping his head sheepishly. "S'why I went to art school, I was too dumb to hack real college." His pierced brows knit together at Dusk's talk, eye cutting over to the other man and then back to Billy. Then back to Dusk. Beneath the jostling he shivers, shoulders tensing and a ripple of shadow curling out around him. He doesn't answer Dusk's question, just looks down at his hand, fingers curling loosely inward and his thumb brushing against the knotty snarl of scar tissue left where the smallest finger on his right hand /should/ be. For a moment his bouncing stills; the tendrils of shadow curl around his arm, his lips pressing together, jaw set in a harder line quite unlike his usual sunny smiles. He gives his head a sudden shake that dissipates the shadow abruptly. "We all got nightmares, honey-honey. I don't want to turn our world into one." He tips his hand out to Billy, his smile returning. "You jus' continue the cycle for/ever/ an' /then/ where'll we all be?"

"That's offensive," Billy says quietly, "Just because I haven't had my /arms/ cut off doesn't mean I don't live in this world. And it doesn't make me any less of a mutant." He can't make eye contact and is talking so low, he might not even be heard. His eyes flick sadly up, watching Jax, "Are you... talking to anyone? About all of this? Like a therapist?"

"Fuck you, you patronizing fucking asshole," Dusk answers Billy, smile dropping away /sharply as he whirls on the other man with a sudden wide flare of wings -- though the membranes on them look delicate and thin the snap of motion as they unfurl knocks Jax's couch clear across the room. There's a growl rumbling beneath his words, overlapping his normal voice with a rumbling undertone. "You think standing here and quoting your trite bullshit at me /isn't/ offensive? Because I /have/ had my wings hacked off. And my eyes gouged the fuck out. And been shoved in a goddamn caged and sliced the fuck open over and over and fucking over. And watched the cops shoot my --" His voice cracks, for a moment, words faltering though the growling only rumbles louder. "And then /you/ want to tell /me/ how the fuck /I/ should feel about vengeance? I didn't say you were any less of a freak. You don't /need/ to be a freak to wake up every fucking night screaming for --" His teeth click together, head shaking as he glances briefly towards Jax. "The fuck world are /you/ living in. It already /is/."

"Oh -- oh, yeah, I --" This is as far as Jax gets with explanation before he is ducking sharply away, stumbling slightly to keep his footing as the couch is sharply pushed out from under him where he leans. His eye opens wide, the light around him fluttering rapidly in odd shades of yellows and reds before it calms down into just a pale hazy mist. "Hey-hey-hey." His tone has sharpened, a little bit louder though he lacks Dusk's /growl/. "/Dude/. I just /got/ this house you don't need to wreck it we're just having a conversation."

Billy pulls his head back indignantly but quells any desire he does have to escalate things. His voice /is/ a little shaky, but he tries to keep it smooth and calm as he can. It's the school teacher in him, "I did not mean to devalue anything that you went through. I still don't believe violent recompense are the answer. They just make /us/ into monsters." He may have wrapped his arms around himself at some point, eyes swelling up.

Billy's calm voice only sharpens Dusk's growl, the rumbling thrumming low and harsh in his throat. His fangs bare sharp, wing snapping out further with one claw pointing towards the other man's throat -- though it's oddly Jax's sharper aggression that calms him, drawing his limb back shy of making contact. His wing curls back in around his body, eyes narrowing, and a distinct shudder passes through him when Billy mentions making them into monsters. "Oh --" Now his voice his just a whisper, head shaking quickly as he backs up a step. "Fuck. I gotta --" Go, apparently. Because that is what he is doing, fleeing quickly back towards his own part of the house without another look at the other two.

"Oh -- sweetie --" Jax winces, and exhales heavily. The haze around him vanishes, and now /he/ curls an arm across his chest, wrapping fingers around his opposite bicep. "Oh. Gosh. M'couch." His nose wrinkles up, and he watches after Dusk goes for a moment before wandering over to where his couch has been shoved over to the wall. He doesn't actually /move/ it, just frowns down at it thoughtfully. "There /is/ a difference, though, y'know?" he finally ventures, slow and cautious-thoughtful. "S'like the difference t'ween tellin' someone in a general philosophical sorta way that forgiveness is a real good human virtue an' tellin' a /specific/ person who's tellin' you /this/ specific person stabbed them in the face, well, /I/ think your anger's worthless an' my forgiveness is better."

His knuckles scrub against his cheek uncertainly, words kind of hesitant. "I don't know. I'm bad on analogies. Only his anger wasn't the general state'a mutant oppression in the world -- though I'm sure he's pissed enough about that. It was that people done hurt him an' killed folks he loved. Ain't a whole lotta /useful/ in tellin' someone you got just as much a valid viewpoint about how they should feel about /that/ on account'a we're all mutants together, y'know? Sometimes I think people just need to be angry till they're done bein' angry."

"You know, they say something about anger. Being angry. Angry like that, even when it's 'done.' just makes it easier to get angry again, in the future," Billy ventures, eyeing the bag of new bedsheets and leaving it where it is as he passes through the room. He pauses to shrug, still holding himself, "I am sorry, though. I didn't mean for that to happen." And he leaves.

Jax doesn't move, till Billy has left. It takes a long while for him to put himself back into gear. Eventually he shifts, muscles tensing and coils of shadow curling back around his arms as they flex, jaw setting hard while he pushes his couch back into place.