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Dramatis Personae

Jax, Kyinha


"An' you don't gotta be /ashamed/ of nothing to want a rest from all that hate sometimes."


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

This house does not, perhaps, look much like what many people would think when they think of the home of a rock star. Modest and not flashy in a normal sense, it is nevertheless /eye/-catching -- huge tall ceilings, huge tall windows, wide open layout, a balcony from the second floor looking down on the first. Its walls have been studded with a number of long branch-like poles jutting out at angles; from the ceiling hang a few different trapeze-like swings. The furniture is minimalist, low-slung futons and a few overly enormous puffy beanbags, tables set low to the ground. The extravagant entertainment system is the one concession to ostentation.

Most of the ground floor is open in layout, foyer opening up into a huge living room, kitchen and dining rooms adjoining it, a small sunny conservatory tucked to the other side of the living room that looks out over the river, a wide full bath off the conservatory. The three bedrooms off the balcony upstairs each have their own bathrooms. There's another full bath and separate smaller kitchen in the basement, together with two spare guest bedrooms and a somewhat cluttered soundproofed room full of musical equipment.

The living room has been commandeered by a rather impressive mazelike tangle of tracks, sort of rollercoaster-looking -- Spence is still currently in the process of making his erector-set labyrinth grow to continue enveloping most of the room. It's made it somewhat trickier to navigate, admittedly -- albeit not impossible. Even so, the tangled metal structure is possibly why Jax has retired to the conservatory. Not particularly sunny now that it's after dinnertime but it's dong a good job of faking it anyway, several bright sunlamps filling the room with warm light.

Jax is just setting down some pecan pie and two mugs of rich spicy cocoa on a small table before folding himself onto a low cushioned futon on the floor. He's dressed warm and comfortable, thick fleece-lined tights with mismatched scrunchy legwarmers over them, a pleated black and purple minskirt over that, a /very/ thick and /very/ soft purple sweater. His eye flicks briefly to the closed glass door to the living room, but only briefly, Spencer happily busy outside with a friend from school. His attention shifts back to his guest after this. "{Oh! You don't want} -- um, ice cream? or nothin'? {For on the pie? I forgot to ask.}"

Already curled on the futon with a blanket arranged around him nestlike, Kyinha is dressed in a leaf-green sweater and olive cargo pants over several other layers with a space-dyed blue knit scarf and matching beanie. Even dressed like that, his shoulder are hunched as if permanently huddling from the cold. Beneath the waves of glossy black hair spilling out from under the cap, his brown skin looks washed out and unhealthy. His dark eyes sparkle with mirth, if none of their wonted fire, when he follows Jax's gaze to the construction in the living room. "{Ah, no, I am quite happy with the pie as it is.}" He takes up his cocoa first with a grateful bob of his head. "{And the chocolate. Thank you. It has been an unpleasant week.}"

"Yeah, looks like." Jax's teeth drag against his lower lip as he settles in beside Kyinha, picking up his own cocoa as well. "{You sure there's nothing else I can --}" He cuts himself off with a wrinkle of his nose, an apologetic dip of his head. "{Sorry, you've just. Been doing so rough, I -- fret. Habit. I just.}" He looks over at Kyinha -- eye lingering a little too long on the lines of the other man's face. "... just know how hard winter gets." It takes a moment longer for him to pull his gaze away, looking instead towards one of the sunlamps with a faint shiver running through him. "{Do you need more blanket.} Oh! Oh gosh there's the frettin' again."

"{It's been so cold and gray.}" Kyinha wraps his hands around the mug. "{Days are getting longer, but it feels more like winter than ever.}" When he smiles, it's just with a show of teeth, no fiery glow behind them. "{I am warm enough -- any more blankets and I will disappear into a pile of fabric...and not come out until spring.}" He frown slightly behind his cocoa. "{Actually, this sounds very appealing. But...there is something you can do. Several somethings -- sticking some needles through my face, for example.}" He grins wider.

"{It's been /so/ cold and gray.}" Jax's shiver now is more pronounced, as if just the mention of cold has made him feel it more. He glances back up at Kyinha when the other man smiles, a quick smile lighting his own face as well and a touch of colour darkening his cheeks. "{-- You know, if it'd -- help you feel better I could probably -- help you feel better?}" He nods towards the sunlamp. "Feel like there ain't no call you havin' to /stay/ so miserable if. I could help you power back -- /up/." He lift his cocoa, taking a long drink. He perks up a little straighter at Kyinha's grin, brightening himself. "Needles? I /do/ love needlin' folks. Where'd you want me to stick you?"

"{Ah, for you to help put more light into me?}" Kyinha pulls a flap of his blanketnest up over his lap. "{Hank suggested that, and I had thought about it a few times before, too. We have done it in training, after all, and I've been spending so much time under lamps that it wouldn't take /too/ much. But...}" He takes a long sip of cocoa and smiles -- this time a thin, rueful kind of smile. "{Well. Being like this?}" He gestures at the general area of his face with one hand. "{Always reminds me how nice it is to...have eyebrows people can see!}" He lifts both black eyebrows up, then scrunches them down, pulls them together -- a series of caricaturish exaggerated expressions. "So I thought, put some rings in it!" His index finger plays along the series of seamless titanium rings in his right ear. "{I think it will help. With communicating. Once I am back to...looking how I look, you know?}" For someone who is clearly quite unwell in the absence of his powers, he sounds rather unenthusiastic about getting them back.

"{Yes. I mean, I could, if you --}" Jax breaks off into a brief laugh at Kyinha's facial contortions, a small shimmer of light fluttering around him and then dying off. He closes his eyes, sinking back for a moment against the cushions with a heavier sag, though his smile is still bright and warm. "Those is always nice eyebrows. I can brighten 'em up for you, sure. When do you think you want to come in?" He lowers his cup to his lap, head tilting slightly as he studies Kyinha's face. "Lookin' how you... oh." His brows lift, understanding coming only a moment later. "Right, because this ain't how you normally -- right." His blush deepens sharply. "{I would be glad to help if that would make. Easier. You don't sound...}" He hesitates, teeth wiggling at one of his own lip rings. His head just shakes, though. "... can I help with anything else?"

Kyinha cants his head slightly at Jax. "{Ah, quite right! I had been thinking, I should get my eyebrows pierced while they still have color contrast, but I forget that you can /always/ see them.}" He pulls the beaning from his head and scruffs a hand through his hair (it's an absolute mess). "{Any time that is convenient for you, then -- do you work on the weekend? Tomorrow, perhaps. I haven't been doing much besides laze around under sunlamps.}"

But here Kyinha pauses. Sips his cocoa. "That's a lie. I've been going out far more than is probably prudent when I am so prone to hypothermia. It's just..." He gives a very small shrug, smiling. "{Now, I walk down the street, or into a shop, or a restaurant, and people don't push their children behind them or grip their phones and purses close --}" He stops, rolls his eyes. "{-- well, no, they still do. Just a lot less than I'm used to seeing.}" He wraps both hands around his mug again. "{The fire is a part of who I am. I don't feel /right/ without it. But...}" Tentatively. "{...could you take it from me. Even while I'm like this?}"

"{These days I work whenever I can.}" Jax sounds a little bit wry, here, lips briefly twisting downward. "{Though lazing under sunlamps...}" He takes another drink from his mug, setting it aside afterwards with a quick twitch of smile. He tucks his legs up beneath himself, pulling a blanket in around him. The smile fades as Kyinha talks, his brows pulling together. "I..." There's a small pause, a moment of hesitation. "{I yes, I can.} -- I /could/. If that's -- if you want that. It -- but won't that -- I don't want t'/hurt/ you, honey-honey. You look -- real unwell. I mean, I ain't gonna --" /His/ hand brushes through his hair, now; short as it currently is, it doesn't leave it particularly mussed.

"{Days are getting longer again. You spend not too much more time --}" He gestures to the sunlamps around them. "{You will be back to your -- usual charge. You don't want... that.}" It's only halfway a question. Also tentatively, his hand is turning up, extending in offering to the other man. Cool, at least in contrast to his usual fierce warmth. "{If this is what you want. I am just worry about if you will be --}" There's a very faint sag to his shoulders. "{Okay.}

"{It doesn't hurt me, in itself. I'm just very sensititive to cold, and not used to having a human metabolism.}" Kyinha licks his lips. Frowns down at his hands, still clasped tight around his mug. "{I am not well,}" he agrees, at last, "{but I think it would hurt me more right now to go back to --}" His eyes lift back up to Jax. "{I /love/ my fire, I think it is beautiful, and I /do/ want it back.}" There is something almost like his usual spark in the depth of his dark, dark brown eyes. "{ feels so good to be seen and /accepted/. As a person. Maybe a desirable one, even. Just...for a little while longer.}" He peels one hand away from his mug -- warm, heavily calloused -- and takes Jax's hand. "{Please.}"

Jax's scarred pale hand closes around Kyinha's -- oddly cool, at least in contrast to his usual fierce warmth. "{If you do want your fire back,}" he says quietly, "{I can help with that too. But once the days start getting long again if -- if you ever need to have this. Break from it, too?}" His hand squeezes firm around the other man's, bright blue eye meeting Kyinha's dark ones. He pulls in a slow breath, focusing carefully.

It's slow, gentle, but certainly very noticeable, the siphoning of energy out of Kyinha. A tug that draws power out -- and out -- and out. With every breath Jax takes the room around them glows brighter; it starts as a faint dustmote shimmer glittering in misty swirl in the air but then glimmers more brilliantly in a shiver of rainbow colours. A pulse of fierce warmth in the air. A faint luminescence to Jax's eye. One breath and then another, continuing the steady pull.

Kyinha nods. "{Thank you.}" Sets his cocoa down. Squeezes Jax's hand back and closes his eyes as if he expects pain, though he knows better. When the shimmering light grows bright around them, he opens his eyes again. Smiles, even as his eyes glisten. He starts shivering despite the blossoming warmth in the air, and pulls the blanket up over his shoulders with his free hand. "{Beautiful,}" he whispers, "{if only all eyes could see it so.}"

Jax pulls in a shivering breath, his eye not leaving Kyinha's face even as the slow drain of power continues. "... s'funny," he answers softly. "I was thinkin' the same thing."

"You know," Kyinha smiles wider, "I went to a bar the other day and just /talked/ to people, for hours. New Yorkers are so extraordinary in their variety." A shudder runs through him, but he does not seem much bothered -- only hunches tighter into the blanket. "{A few of them gave me their phone numbers. One invited me to a party next week.}" He's a touch paler now than he had been only minutes ago. "I don't suppose I should go. This is still a costumed caper. I shouldn't get too attached."

"It's a big city. S'a whole lotta people to get to know." Jax's eye closes, his already pale face losing a touch more of its colour. A moment later he opens his eye, brows furrowing as he looks at Kyinha. "{Is this too much? I stop?}" He shifts a little closer to Kyinha, nestling back into the cushions. "That -- s'a decision only you can make really. I mean, I can -- do this? If y'ever wanting to go out. But." Shrug. "The terms you feel comfortable getting to know folk on, that's. Gonna just have to be your call."

"{No, I'm fine but...I think...this is enough.}" Kyinha is shivering steadily now, pulling the blanket around himself and curling up close to Jax. "{Thank you.}'s tempting. This is /me/, too -- no less than when I have the fire. {But...I don't really think it's the best way to go.} No matter how tempting." He picks his cocoa back up -- cold, now -- hand shaking. "{Thank you, again. And please, don't...tell anyone at school?}"

Jax releases Kyinha's hand, the outward flow of energy stopping. He curls his arm around Kyinha's shoulders, pulling the other man close to his side. Quiet, kind of tired: "Any time, honey-honey." There's a small clamp of tension in his jaw, though, a furrow in his brow. "{Of course I won't. My home is --}" He hesitates, resting his cheek against the top of Kyinha's head. His gaze travels out towards the glass door, where Spence and his friend are sending fuzzy robots out to explore their mazelike course. "... safe. I hope."

"{I know the winter is tough on you, too.}" Kyinha closes his eyes. "If ever I can help -- other than patronizing you -- please let me know." Though, after a brief pause, "'Patronize', that is the correct word, yes? You being an artist..." He trails off, evidently not /too/ concerned that he had been misunderstood. "{It is not that I think you or your home unsafe, I just...}" His head shakes quickly. "{/I/ don't think it is wrong to ask this thing, and I wouldn't care for it to be a secret at all except it would be easy to misinterpret. I don't want people -- especially not the students -- to think I am ashamed of how I look.}"

"Yeah, that's right." Jax reaches forward, picking his cocoa back up. The glittering lights around them start to fade away as he takes another drink. "{No, I get -- well. I can't say /I/ get it but I saw -- what B --}" He pulls in a slow breath, tipping his head back to look up at the ceiling. "I just mean your decisions on this is your own. The school's got their own agenda an' there you're a teacher but here you're just. A friend, right?" The small upward curl of his mouth is thin. "An' you don't gotta be /ashamed/ of nothing to want a rest from all that hate sometimes."

"Well, privacy is kind of a /loose/ concept at Xavier's, I accept that." Kyinha smiles mirthlessly. "{But it's nice to just be a friend.}" Drains his cocoa and turns his attention to pie. "Of course, but a lot of people would imagine it is shame. You...get plenty of hate all your own." Turns far enough to watch Jax's face out of the corners of his eyes. "Get enough rest from it?"

"So is autonomy." Jax isn't smiling, here. His eye closes, fingers kneading gently at Kyinha's shoulder through the soft thick blankets. "Ain't no hate here now, is there?"

Kyinha's shoulder tenses briefly, then relaxes under Jax's hand. His eyes slide shut again. "{No. No hate.}"

Jax swallows, pulling the blankets in closer around them. "Well. Then."