Jim picks Hive up to take him home. Set right after Good News
<NYC> Iolaus's Apartment - East Harlem
Down a hallway and overlooking a open air market in El Barrio, Iolaus' apartment is not particularly a large one. It is three rooms - the main room shaped like an L with kitchen at one end, a small bedroom large enough for a full bed and a dresser, and a bathroom barely large enough to fit the bath inside it. The walls are a light yellow in the main room, with a large bookcase sitting against one wall and occupying much of the space, stuffed with books as it is. Two couches sit across from it, pressed up against the corner of the L shaped room. The kitchen is separated only by the transition from wood floor to grey tile and is sparsely filled with food and cookware both, and the bathroom is equally sparse of accouterments. In fact, were it not for the full bookcase and the clothing hanging in the closet, it would look almost as if the occupant had moved out and left some few things behind in a hurry.
Hive is in Iolaus's bed. Sleeping. Like a boss. His cellphone is still clutched in one hand. There is absolutely no gayness going on.
You hear that? That's the sound of someone trying to get in downstairs. And by 'get in', it's someone that wants to get buzzed in. Insistently.
Out in the main room, Iolaus is buried deep in paperwork. The sheaf of papers that he had stared with when Hive went to sleep is now scattered around him in a semi-circle, and covered in highlighter marks and little tab notation things. He glances up at the door with a frown, standing slowly and stepping carefully around the paper-piles to get to the door. He glances on the viewscreen, then presses the intercom. "Yes, who is it?"
"-who is it, my ass," mutters Jim outside, leaning a shoulder against the wall and answering, "Jim Morgan. We met in the morgue. I'm here to get Hive home."
There is a pause. "Oh. Tree-dude. Yeah, come on up." Iolaus says, pressing the buzzer button. He then turns and knocks on the door to his bedroom. "Hive?" he calls, quietly. "Jim is here to pick you up."
The answer comes as Hive burrowing further under Iolaus's covers. Something uncomfortable /pushes/ against Iolaus's mind. Heavily. Hive puts a pillow over his head.
Soon enough, a sedate knock comes at the door. Two quick raps. Jim's found his way up.
Iolaus gives up with a wince and heads back to his front door. He checks through the peephole, then opens it. "You're going to have to go in after him. I tried waking him up, but he just shoved at my brain." he says, bemusedly. "Good to see you, by the way."
Hive is gradually extricating himself from the bed. In that he's pulled the pillow off of his head so that he can glare blearily at the time on his phone, which is telling him it has been Not Goddamn Long Enough since he fell asleep. He stares at the ceiling, next.
"Hale and hearty," Jim thumps a fist at his chest to demonstrate, face deadpan. He slips into the apartment sideways around Iolaus, "I see you haven't been bombed yet." That earns a passing shoulder-pat, scanning the apartment. Partly in search of some neon light saying 'Hive Found Here' and general occupational curiosity. "Where's he at."
"Give it a couple days. I'm waiting." Iolaus gestures to the bedroom as he goes and plops back down on his couch. This disturbs one of his pile of papers, partially spilling onto the floor... and onto another pile of paper sitting down there. "Fucking hell," he mutters, picking the pages up and starting to sort them again.
Jim is nothing if not inclined to Poke Around at the slightest provocation. He moseys towards the bedroom, cracking the door and poking his head in, "Dude. The fuck."
Hive drags himself out of bed slowly, fingers scuffing through his hair. He can be /felt/ waking up before his eyes are properly open, another pulse of mental pressure bearing down against Jim and Iolaus both, this time. He does open his eyes eventually, though, to peer at Jim blearily. "/You/ slept yet?" Cuz Hive has. Like an entire half an hour.
"Go home and get some sleep, Hive." Iolaus comments, without looking up from his paper-sorting. "Some /real/ sleep. And consider that an order." He smiles, glancing up for a brief moment. "And you'll see me on Tuesday on CNN. Hopefully me, not just my picture."
"Hell, no." Jim's external gruff-blandness is badly undercut by a profound well of confusion and concern he is doing his best to compartmentalize internally. What the fuck, this isn't normal, christ, that's a hard push. "I've been in the sewers. Think I picked up some moss from down there. You smell it?" While he's saying this, he's reaching out to give Hive's elbow something to brace itself on while he stands. "You heard doctor's orders."
"Sewers, shit. Thought that was just your usual aroma." Hive leans slightly into the bracing as he gets up, starts to head out. He's not quite /unsteady/ but he's tense, moving carefully, his expression tight through the clench of jaw and press of lips and squint of eyes. "Shit. Good luck. /Relax/ before then, yeah?" His fist thumps against Iolaus's shoulder in passing. "The fuck were you in the sewers for?"
Jim jerks a chin at Iolaus on the way out, and falls into whatever pace Hive seems content with. He plods slow as casually as he brisk-city-walks, one hand crammed in a pocket. The other hangs at his side, on the Hive-ward side in case the guy looks like he might need a steadying. "Buddy of mine, another investigator. He's lookin' for a lost mutie kid. Tracked him down there. I tagged along to help out." Or to Cause Problems if the guy seemed dangerous and needed some stopping. A motivations he /hadn't/ been so forthcoming with, with old Murphy Law. "There's a whole slew of mutants down there, I guess." Visions of Tatters and Nox pass by quickly, distractedly. Because there are other things on his mind, "What happened." He asks with his eyes directed forward, seeing them down the hall and through whatever other elevator or stairways are needed to get to the exit.
"I've heard something like that," Hive says, carefully, his brow creasing into a frown. "And I guess that dude's been poking around a lot, he hit Jax up too. Like Jax knows /all/ the mutants in the city instead of just, uh, most of 'em." Hive's pace is kind of slow. He's fidgety, his eyes darting restlessly around once they're outside, skipping from person to person with a twitchy sort of agitation. "You find the kid?" The question makes him grind his teeth, briefly. "Head's kind of fucked."
"He's a little intense," Jim admits, watching the other man surreptitiously through the corner of his eye. Marking each small dart of eyes or fidget of movement. "But he's alright enough. He's got a heart." << And a soft spot for kids in trouble. He's a mutie, too - perfect recall. Not a thing he sees, he can't remember perfectly later. Useful guy to know. >> He pushes open the front door, holding it open for Hive. Over the blasts of cold air and night sky, loud traffic and city lights, he asks, "This happen a lot?"
Hive tugs his jacket tight around himself, ducking his head into the cold. "Sounds useful," he agrees, gruffly. "But fuck if that doesn't sound like a headache, too." At which there's another quick throb of mental pressure. It fades away almost immediately, but Hive's eyes are skipping around the street. Watching the traffic go by. "I dunno. Not a lot. Not /not/ a lot. Tired. Stressed." His lips compress into a thin line. "-- And there's a -- thing. That makes it worse."
"Yeah, well, he ain't a happy man," Jim grunts, following Hive's gaze out to the traffic; then his lips compress and he steps in /front/ of Hive, pointing up at his own face. << Eye contact, dude. Focus up here. >> "Thing. What thing."
Hive's eyes /snap/ back towards Jim, and this time the pressure is not quick, squeezing down heavily before it pulls back. "Right. Uh. Sorry. Tired. It's a --" He's looking away again, frowning at a pair of people passing them by on the sidewalk. "When I was in the -- they put a thing. In my head. Like a --" He shrugs. "Chip. For my brain. It's still there. Hurts sometimes."
The heavy squeeze of pressure is endured; it can't be said it's /easier/ after Jim's recent experience with it, but it is certainly more familiar. There's something to be said about removal of alien confusion. He grimaces at the news, "Damn." He puts a shoulder braced against Hive's to get them walking on their way (and to give the other guy something tactile to focus on). << I'm guessing there's not a lot that can be done about it. >> Calm words. Anger beneath. And frustration.
Hive does lean against the shoulder, and as they walk, now, his eyes focus straight ahead. The edges of his mental voice when he speaks are ragged, tired; it makes his voice both more raw and less painful all at once, rasping but not /stabbing/. << Had a friend. Technopath. Used to check up on those of us with them. Make sure they stayed /off/. They try to turn themselves back on every so often. But they, uh, took him. Back. Now it's just a shitty malfunctioning piece of hardware. Don't really, uh, know any good neurosurgeons. Shit's got so many wires I don't like to think what'd happen if someone took it out /wrong/. >>
Jim is a solid guy for leaning on, pulling out his cigarettes and fitting one into the corner of his mouth. << What's been keeping you up. >> Gruff-forceful, his mind is pretty solid, too. The throb of anger is kept low, churning heaviest towards the back; full of only lightning strikes of surface thoughts. Most of them along the line of << --/bastards/-- >>, << --still /doing/ this-- >>, << --his /brain/-- >>.
<< Yeah, well, I'm not the kind of guy you want to try to lock up un/leashed/. They -- this shit's /so/ not ready for -- or even legal for -- uh. Anything, but they -- are working real fucking hard on tech to control people. It's not very /good/. On the fritz a lot. >> In his brain. And then there is quiet, for a long while. Walking in radio silence without answering that first question. But at length he speaks again. << Jax thinks he's found one of the places, >> comes eventually. Heavy. Brusque.
<< Hah. No. Wouldn't want to make an enemy of a guy like you without all the fucking /advantage/. Fantastic. >> Jim allows the radio silence as best he can, a monotone-mantra of Latin chugging steadily over the shreds of ice cycling like glass shards over his mental landscape. Until the rest comes naturally. And his mind runs cold. << Where. >>
<< Upstate. >> Hive might be leaning a /little/ bit more solidly now. << Not much of a drive. Close enough to be there -- whenever. >> His mental voice is still raspy-abrasive, but here it comes with a rather foreign undertone to it, a noticeable taste of fear lingering even after the words have faded. << Still need details to work out. Don't just charge in unprepared. But we'll -- it'll be soon, I think. >>
Jim slings an arm across the back of Hive's shoulders around the same time he leans harder. No commentary on it beyond, "Khhhhh." His lower row of teeth is pushed forward beyond the alignment of his upper. << What do you need. >>
<< Need to figure out the security at this place. Figure out how heavy they're staffed. What times are best for hitting them up. Jax, uh, said something about mutant-seeking murder-drones but that's -- new. Fuck. What the shit. >> The harsh tang of fear is not really /dissipating/. << Need, >> he says, very /reluctantly/, << someone to snoop. >>
<< Luckily. >> Jim grimly pats Hive's far shoulder. << That's what I'm best at. I'm in. >> Simple as that. A thousand cluttering questions boil up, many pragmatic, many just /furious/, and he ignores all of them in place of the dominant words: << But right now, you're pretty useless, dude. I'm taking you to my place. It's closer. >> He extends a hand towards the street - no cab comes /yet/. But they will. They can smell a fare. << ...and there's been a lot less press coverage around it. >> He wasn't /trying/ to add this. But he is thinking it. And with a telepath, they may as well be the same thing.
"Hhhah." Hive slumps against Jim's side, with a heavy exhalation and another /press/ of mental energy. And waits for a cab. Because sleep.