ArchivedLogs:Belief Systems

From X-Men: rEvolution
Belief Systems
Dramatis Personae

Shane, Sebastian, Micah, Dusk, Spencer, Daiki

23 December 2013


There's a tree in Lighthaus! Also, lunch.

Location

<NYC> 303 {Lighthaus} - Village Lofts - East Village


This apartment is cheerful, in its way -- bright and airy, its floor plan open and a plethora of windows providing it with an abundance of light. The tiny entrance hall opens into a living room, small, though its sparse furniture and lack of clutter give it a more open feel. The decor is subdued and minimalist; black and white is the dominant theme, with occasional splashes of deep crimson to offset the monochrome, though of late myriad bright-coloured dragonflies swarm across the living room wall. The couch and armchair are upholstered in black corduroy, the low wide coffee table central is black wood and glass-topped, and a few large pillowy beanbags provide additional seating by the large windows that dominate the back wall. The living room and kitchen both hold a rather inordinate number of lamps in addition to the ceiling lights; standing lamps, small lamps on each counter, large sunlights in the corner. More often than not, they're largely all turned on, too.

Towards the back, a couple of doors lead off into bedrooms and bathroom, and to the right, the kitchen's tile is separated from the living room's dark hardwood floors by black countertops. Above the bedroom to one side, there is higher space; a ladder climbs up to a lofted area looking down on the living room. Standing in front of the partition between living and cooking area is a large fish tank: one lone Betta, blood-red, swims regally among several species of black and silver fish. A hallway beyond the kitchen leads further into the apartment. Another bathroom stands just into the hall and the farthest door leads to the apartment's final bedroom, the door usually kept shut to hold in the acrid fumes of turpentine and paints from within.

It's afternoon now, the weather still warmish, if on-and-off rainy. The Lighthaus kids have all been OUT, for the morning, disappearing some time after Jax left for the clinic, on a MISSION.

The fruits of their mission are in full evidence in the /trail/ of shed pine needles leading from lobby door to elevator, from elevator down the third floor hall, and now scattered around Jax's usually pristine floor. The fresh scent of evergreen fills the apartment, from the slaughtered corpse of their conquest -- a thick full tree that if stood up would reach just over six feet tall but is currently lying felled on its side on the floor.

Spencer is /excited/, but when is Spencer ever not excited: they have gone and CONQUERED a Christmas tree, chopped it down with their /own hands/, brought it home. He's poking a finger at the sticky pinesap at the hewn base of the tree.

"Don't lick that," Sebastian says reflexively, just the instant /before/ Spencer's tongue starts poking out of his mouth. He's shed his shoes but is otherwise still dressed for Outside, faintly damp in black cargo pants and a dark green long-sleeved henley shirt.

"Can I make lego ornaments for it like Flicker's?" Spencer asks hopefully. /He/ has a Doctor Whooves t-shirt worn with his jeans.

"Sure. You can make whatever ornaments you like." Shane is crouched by the base of the tree, too, /frowning/ at it and a dismantled tree-stand like this will provide elucidation. He looks -- very strikingly similar to Sebastian, though his henley shirt is dark grey.

Daiki, though, is actually bothering to read the directions. He looks /tidy/, as ever, pressed black trousers and a knee-length black kurta-esque tunic embroidered in silver. His hair has been recently /cut/, no more long ponytail, shorn off now down to ear-length.

Even with the directions, the children look somewhat at a loss; it's more than apparent that /Christmas Tree/ is not a thing /any/ of them have wrangled before.

Micah is home between his early shop shift and an afternoon of consults at the Mendel Clinic followed by home visits. The apartment had been considerably less /forested/ when he arrived in shop clothes and fled to the shower. As much is evident in his somewhat dumbfound expression as he emerges from the bathroom with wet, spiky hair and dressed in his work clothes of TARDIS blue polo shirt and khakis. "Um...when did we grow a tree in the apartment? Is it s'posed t'shed like that?" He gawks at the felled tree, looking concerned.

Dusk should probably knock, but he doesn't, just turns his keys in the locks and heads in, looking pretty much as per usual for Dusk-at-home in jeans, barefoot, no shirt. An /abundance/ of energy, since last night. He's wrapping his wings back around himself after he puts his keys in his pocket, quirking a crooked grin at the kids. "They always shed like that. My dad used to make this --" He hesitates a brief moment, eyes lowering to the ground before he continues lightly. "-- lamb. With rosemary. And my little sister got so exasperated once she was like oh gosh the Christmas tree is even getting in our /food/."

He wiggles his toes against some of the shed needles on the ground. "Not nearly so /delicious/ as rosemary, though. -- Hive said you guys might need a hand, here." He's moving towards the others; his wing unfurls to brush softly against Shane's back as he takes the stand. His cheeks flush reflexively a little darker as he crouches beside Daiki.

Spencer flits over from beside the tree to give Micah a hug and lift his very /sticky/ pine-scented hand towards Micah's face. "It smells good, look!"

"I would totally get a rosemary plant and decorate that," Sebastian decides with a tiny smile. "The whole house would smell /delicious/."

Shane's nostrils are flaring as Micah emerges from the bathroom and Dusk arrives. "Already smells pretty delicious to me." He leans into the curl of Dusk's wing, cheek nuzzling up against it before he tips his head up to nip lightly at the side of Dusk's neck. "So are you an expert? The rest of us kind of --"

"-- aren't really totally sure about this Christmas thing," Sebastian explains, "but it's /really important/ --"

"-- to Pa and he was kind of really sad because he didn't have time to go get a tree /again/ this year so --" Shane shrugs, gesturing towards the tree.

Daiki shifts back slightly, gladly relinquishing tree-duty to Dusk with a small nod of thanks. "Are you Christian?" he asks Dusk quietly. "We aren't decorating yet. Jax-san can do that." He tips his head up towards Micah, his small smile a little apologetic. "{I am sorry}," is in Japanese, "for the mess, Micah-san. We'll clean it all up once this is set."

"Oh, okay...so that's normal. Not t'worry, Dai. Ain't nothin' a broom an' a vacuum won't fix." Micah's eyes widen at sudden child hand in face, backing away slightly to be able to actually /see/ it. "Oh, hey, sticky. Maybe also a mop." His eyebrows raise for a moment before remembering Spencer's reason for hand in face. He breathes in an exaggerated deep breath. "Mmm, very pine-fresh. Wash your hands until they aren't sticky anymore, sugar. The smell's strong enough t'stick around, anyhow. This was sweet of y'all. Maybe we can arrange t'all be around at the same time for decoratin'. That's a thing, right? Have some cocoa an' dress the place up."

Dusk shivers at the small nip, his wing tightening against Shane's back briefly. "I was raised Christian. Now -- I don't know," he answers Daiki, a little wryly. A lot of days, yeah. Some days --" He shrugs, fitting the base over the tree trunk and screwing in its screws to tighten it. "Some days I just /hope/ there's no God because if there is I really need to have /words/ with him." He stands, hefting the tree upright effortlessly. "You want it in this corner? Someone hold it steady so I can stabilize it properly. -- Decorating's /definitely/ a thing. You seen some of those ornaments Jax's made? S'pretty gorgeous."

"Sera and Gaetan have a tree," Spencer tells Micah cheerfully, "but theirs has /fruit/ on it and cinnamon and pine cones. And crystals. And like --" He cups his hands together like he's holding something. "Little bags. Of herbs. I /like/ the sticky," he complains, but he's heading to the bathroom anyway to go wash his hands.

"Fruit? Herbs?" Sebastian eyes their tree with a little puzzlement, but he goes over to hold it upright. "Is that what goes on trees?"

Daiki backs away, eying the tree critically. "A little bit more left," he directs, "it's slanting. I think anything goes on trees that you want."

"/Anything/, that's really broad. Can I put slim jims?" Shane licks his lips, wandering off when the others have Tree under control to snake his arm around Micah's waist for a hug.

"I don't think Pa would like a tree covered in slim jims. You could put tofu jerky," Sebastian suggests, drawing the tree slightly left until Daiki gestures to stop. "/Or/ fruit. Pa likes fruit."

Shane drops his head against Micah's side. Smallbonk. "Are you going to decorate, what would /you/ put on a tree? I want the cocoa already."

Micah returns the hug, squeezing an arm tight around Shane's shoulders. "I'm kind of...agnostic m'self," he replies to Dusk's admission. He watches the tree righting process with some concern, as if afraid it's going to fall and squash someone. "I saw the ones Flicker was putting up over your place last night." Micah's face darkens with a subtle red for no obvious reason. "Wouldn't fruit attract bugs, though? We got some cinnamon sticks we could make into ornaments. Don't know if Jax has a stash of things anywhere... But we got paper an' glitter an' yarn an' stuff we could make decorations out of." He grins at Shane's question. "Sure, I'll help. Later tonight maybe? Y'all gonna be around? I can make some cocoa. Was gonna throw together a sandwich or somethin' for lunch before I have t'be over the Clinic later." Wandering into the kitchen, he fetches a saucepan and sets it on the stovetop.

Dusk crouches back down as Bastian adjusts the tree, sliding beneath it and tightening the screws fully once it is in place to hold it steadily upright. He scoots back out, eying it with a nod of approval. "Fruit? I dunno about fruit. Not a /lot/ of bugs in the middle of winter though," he muses. "I think your dad would rather eat fruit than stick it on a tree, though."

He tucks his hands into his back pockets, eyebrows hitching upward and a quick grin lighting his face as he looks at Micah's blushing. "What's blushworthy about Christmas tree ornaments? Unless you just mean /Flicker/ because he's totally worth blushing over."

"Dried fruit," Daiki explains. "And dried herbs. I do not think Desi's tree is a Christmas tree."

"Of course it's a Christmas tree." Spencer returns from the bathroom with clean but still wet hands that he smooshes down against Sebastian's gills.

Sebastian just grins at this, ruffling Spencer's hair.

"I saw it," Spencer insists, "it looks like this one. But /with/ ornaments on."

"I can make a lunch." Sebastian slips away from Spencer's wethands, heading towards the kitchen. "Do you /want/ a sandwich? I could put together burrito-things too, that doesn't take long."

Shane heads over to Daiki's side, curling an arm around the taller boy and leaning into him, eyes sweeping with some large amount of satisfaction over their Tree. Now he bonks his head up against Daiki, nuzzling there for a moment happily. "/I/ want a burrito." And as an afterthought: "/And/ Flicker. Why agnostic? That sounds lazy."

Micah hides the deepening of his blush at being called out by gathering cocoa ingredients and starting them warming in the pan. "Oh, s'just a conversation we were havin' an' Hive's horrible. Nothin' unusual. An' fruit flies don't care. They materialise from the aether, I swear." He smiles at 'Bastian's offer to make lunch. "Thanks, B. Burritos sound wonderful. 'Specially somebody else makin' burritos." His head shakes slightly at Shane's comment. "I think the lazier thing is t'just accept whatever you're told without questionin' it. I just acknowledge that it ain't a thing I expect t'ever have enough evidence for a definitive answer on. I'm still culturally Jewish an' follow those traditions...sometimes. Just not in a way that's gonna influence my practical decision makin'. Moral system's independent of what some ancient folks decided t'write in their lawbooks." He shrugs, stirring at the cocoa mixture in the pan. "I think everyone should eventually take the time t'think these things out for themselves."

"You don't have to celebrate Christmas to have a tree, Spence," Dusk says with a small shrug of a wing. "And I don't think you can have Flicker. Not without marrying him first." He moves over towards the kitchen though he stays on the living room side, leaning up against the counter with forearms propped on it and wings drooping towards the ground. "I was an atheist for a while but that didn't really seem right to me either. Family's Methodist, I kind of drifted back that way because -- the emphasis on /helping/ people was really appealing. But you don't exactly need a church to go help people."

Spencer follows Dusk over towards the counter, climbing up onto a stool to watch /cocoa/ preparation with a good deal more enthusiasm than he's watching the burrito preparation. "/I'm/ Jewish too," he's telling Dusk this more than Micah; presumably Micah already /knows/. ... Presumably Dusk already knows, too, but it's still important he be told. "That's because my mom was."

Sebastian puts on a new pot of rice to start, grabbing a cutting board after to start slicing peppers and onions. "/Only/ because your mom was?"

Spencer shrugs, eyes still on the cocoa pot. "Liam, too."

"I don't know anything about Methodists," Shane says thoughtfully. "Shinto is pretty cool, though. But I don't know if I have a moral system."

Sebastian's lips twitch, his smile very faint. "You do."

"You do." Daiki's quiet assertion comes pretty much at the same time as Shane's. And, thoughtfully: "I met a god once."

Shane grins up at him. "Thanks, I didn't know I was /that/ good."

Daiki flushes, head dipping. "In the labs."

"You can put God in a /cage/?" Spencer's eyes widen, but then he frowns. A /little/ skeptical.

Chopchopchop. Sebastian is quick about his knifing. "... What /is/ your moral system?" He glances up to Micah for this question.

"Kids tend t'default t'whatever religion their parents follow on account of it's kinda heavy stuff t'sort out while you're still learnin' the basics of...everythin'. " Micah adds some cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to the mix before turning the heat off and fetching mugs to distribute cocoa. "I think Sera and Gaetan's tree is for Yule. I ain't really /discussed/ that kinda thing with Lucien a whole lot, though." His brows loft with the claims at meeting a god. "Really? Which one?" He doesn't try to help clarify for Spence until that answer comes, at least. "I don't know if it's really...somethin' that qualifies as a real /system/. Just...be kind. Failin' any kind options, take the least hurtful one. Help those as need it where y'can."

"Does Lucien discuss /anything/ a whole lot?" Dusk snorts quietly at this, dropping his head down to rest on his arms on the counter. He lifts it again quickly afterwards, though, hiking his brows upwards. "A god?" He sounds a little skeptical too, though he does add: "They /named/ the thing Prometheus, I'm pretty sure that makes us /all/ gods." He lifts a hand, chin dropping into his palm. "Kind is a good system. The world could use it more."

"It's not heavy, it's fun," is Spencer's judgment of religion. He does give Dusk kind of a /stern/ look, though: "You're not a god."

"He could be god of bats," Shane suggests, but this doesn't mollify Spencer much.

"Only if we get to be gods of sharks." Sebastian gets out a pan, tossing the peppers and onions into it with some oil to sautee and then getting out a bowl to start preparing sauce. Lots of spices. Lots of lime.

"You kind of are," Daiki insists quietly. "Ocean gods. Water gods. If the ocean's spirit came to land, I think it would look like you."

Shane's smile at this is brighter, broader as he nuzzles into Daiki's side. Even Sebastian cracks a warmer smile, a brief flash of teeth unselfconsciously in it.

"I didn't meet /your/ god, though," Daiki tells Spencer. "Just a god. Nature -- god. He could control the earth, though. And the sky. And people. I don't think he knew how to be human very well. Not a lot of practice at it."

"We have a teacher who controls the sky," Sebastian says dubiously.

"Not like this," Daiki insists. "He was the earth."

Spencer still looks unconvinced. "Then what was he doing there?" His brow creases, kind of /troubled/ here. His head drops to his arms, too. He tips his eyes up towards Micah. "-- What's Yule?"

"Not sure it makes y'all gods, goin' with the allusion. /Might/ make y'all fire, though." Micah grins a little with this thought as he pours the last cup and places the pan in the sink, filling it with water while it cools. "Dependin' on the belief system, there may be no gods, one god, several gods, or an infinite number of gods, Spence," he clarifies softly. "Some religions argue that we are all gods in one way or another. There's a lotta different ways of thinkin' about things out there." "Yule can be a little different dependin' whose Yule you're talkin' about. S'usually a winter solstice kinda celebration, as the days finish gettin' shorter an' start gettin' longer again. Kinda like welcomin' the light back. Some religions it's a step on this whole deity rebirth cycle an' such, but that all gets more complicated." Micah chuckles at Dusk's question. "An' no, Luci don't talk about 'imself much. Plenty willin' t'talk about other folks, though."

"You do make good water spirits," Dusk agrees with Daiki's assessment. "And if I can't be a god I don't mind being fire." He studies Daiki thoughtfully, wings shifting at his back. "What happened to him?" He's already reaching hopefully for a cup of cocoa, like the shameless mooch that he is.

"I don't know about the gods thing. I imagine Jax can totally get behind welcoming the /light/, though. I kind of prefer it dark," he says with some regret, "but the /cold's/ no good for flying." "Is Lucien /pagan/?" Sebastian looks surprised at this. He opens up a can of black beans, too, to heat them in a small pot, adding spices to them as he pours sauce onto the sauteeing vegetables. "He doesn't seem like --"

"-- he believes in /anything/?" Shane's grin is quick and bright.

"Everyone believes in /something/," Daiki says. "Not religion. But something. /He/ seems like he believes in family."

Shane's smile fades at this, more thoughtful. "... yeah," he agrees, "okay, yeah."

"Can I be fire?" Spencer wants to know. "Sometimes Pa is /kind/ of fire." He's also watching the cocoa pouring hopefully. "/I'm/ glad the sun is coming back. I like summer camp."

"That's a billion years away," Shane answers him. "And you like school, too."

"/Some/ of school," Spencer corrects. "Not the writing parts."

Micah has poured adequate cocoa for /everyone/, so Dusk's mooching-hand is answered with a mug pressed into it. Spence's hopeful look is the last to be answered, in hope that the wait will let it cool at least /a little/ first. “S'hot, Spence, wait for it t'cool an' only tiny sips until it's not so hot, okay?” Micah admonishes before passing the cup to the youngster. “An' sure, y'can be fire /figuratively/, just like the others. Not literally, 'cause y'aren't fireproof, though.” He reaches out to muss Spence's hair. “I like the sunshine...but night's nice, too, when it ain't so blinkin' cold. Like a good mix of the two. Summer's nice for that...an' it ain't a billion years away, just a few months.” 'Bastian's question receives a little shrug in reply. “I think so? S'my best guess short of askin' 'im. Might could ask Desi an' get a better answer. I think he b'lieves in plenty. Think Luci holds a lotta cards, just likes t'play 'em close t'the chest.” Collecting his own mug, Micah moves over to Dusk's side and leans up against him.

"Does sometimes feel like a billion," Dusk allows, glancing towards the window. He takes the cocoa with a thankful smile, lifting it to his mouth -- and then a little /sheepishly/ lowering it when Micah cautions Spencer about drinking too fast. "It was gorgeous yesterday, though. /Seventy/ in December, /I'm/ not complaining I went out flying for hours."

His wing stretches out, curling gently around Micah's shoulders; he turns his head to kiss Micah's temple softly. "Thanks," he murmurs, lifting the cocoa and taking a /small/ sip. He glances over at Daiki and Shane. "... so what do you believe in?"

"There's a whole semester and a half of school to get through before summer. It's a /billion/ years away," Shane insists.

Spencer drags his cocoa close, lifting it eagerly. He takes a -- medium sip, promptly winces, and promptly takes another sip /anyway/.

Sebastian is getting out tortillas and a jar of salsa from the fridge, setting a couple tortillas over top of the pot of beans just to let them warm while the rice finishes cooking. He brings out hot sauce, too, a can of corn, a package of Daiya cheese, setting all these things out on the countertop. The question of what people might believe in draws his brows in together in a deep frown.

Spencer has an answer confidently, though: "Science."

Daiki trails fingers absently down Shane's back as he considers. "I think that's -- been changing a lot, lately. -- Thank you, Micah-san." He takes the hot cocoa with a smile, detaching himself from Shane's side to go sit on the couch to drink it.

"You guys." Shane's pretty unhesitant about his answer, too. Reflexively he starts following Daiki when Daiki moves away, but noticeably catches himself and moves instead to the counter to tuck himself under Dusk's /other/ wing. "/And/ hot chocolate. Thanks, Ba."

Micah nuzzles into the encircling wing, his hands wrapped around the cup to steal its warmth while he waits for it to be cool enough for drinking. “Science is a good answer.” He smirks at Dusk's catch in his drinking. “Love,” he adds, snuggling closer against Dusk and reaching out to pat one of Shane's hands gently. The smirk settles into a sort of 'I know it's sappy; get over it' grin at his own comment. “An' you're welcome, sugar. Thanks for makin' lunch, B. This'll definitely help get through the rest of the day.”

Dusk's wing curls around Shane, too. "Changing's alright. It'd be sort of strange to see new things all the time and never change what you think."

He /snorts/ at Micah's answer, but his wings tuck in closer, hugging the others snug against him. Also quietly starting to hum 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love'. He gives Micah another kiss, though, softer on the cheek. "Yeah. Yeah, I can get behind that one."