From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Micah, Ion, Jax

10 January 2015



<NYC> Candyland - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

The stairs lead up into a landing hall, bright as well with a set of bay windows and a wide cushion-strewn ledge beneath them at its far end. To the right of the landing the first doorway opens into the bathroom, warmly coloured in yellows and reds and sandy tiles; its large bathtub-shower also holds a mosaic on one wall, strange fire-creatures and manticores echoed in the small fiery faeries sprinkled at sporadic intervals around the rest of the room. Past the bathroom on the right-hand side is a smaller door into a linen closet before the actual door into Spencer's bedroom. Spencer's sturdy furniture set has been designed with rambunctious children in mind, most of its structure climbable with a loft-bed connected by a short tunnel to an also-lofted reading nook with a sliding door to turn it into its own private cave; the desk and dresser sit beneath the bed and there is a shelving unit beneath the platform that serves also as steps up into it. A slide down off the bed falls down into large squishy beanbag and the whole of the structure has been designed and painted reminiscent of a spaceship, a theme echoed in the way the closet doors have been painted to look like the TARDIS.

On the left-hand side the first door leads into the master bedroom, bright-lit not just from its huge windows and skylight but from a rather exorbitant overabundance of lamps. It's colourful in here, the hand-crafted wood furniture (king bed against the left-hand wall, pair of small nightstands to either side of it, a pair of dressers flanking the closet on the right, a large desk with a multitude of drawers and shelves along the back) cheerfully painted, the walls home to plentiful artwork, brightly coloured glass figurines scattered around the shelves and stained-glass suncatchers hanging in the windows. One set of windows leads out onto a balcony, stretching out to share with the guest bedroom adjacent; it's set up for /lounging/, a large hammock at one side, a pair of hanging net chairs flanking the table on the other.

Next to the master bedroom is the smaller guest bedroom, sunny-yellow and furnished with queen bed, dresser, a small desk of its own; doors here lead out into the balcony as well. At the end of the hallway shortly before the window nook, a hatch in the ceiling drops down a rope-ladder that leads up into the tiny attic-space; not so much a proper /floor/ as it is a sloped-ceiling nook of space beneath the roof, it nevertheless has its own circular window and skylights and rather than left unfinished it's been furnished with beanbag and folded futon-mattress and a tiny low table with drawers tucked beneath it.

It is COLD today, temperatures threatening not to break out of the teens even now, with the sun riding high in the sky. But it is a cloudless sky, bright and clear. With Isra taking Eri for the weekend to give Jax and Micah a little recovery time, the dressings on every single window are thrown open wide, spilling sunlight gloriously into every corner of the house. Despite a late wakening, Micah has showered and gotten a few casseroles going in the oven in hopes of tempting Jax to eat once /he/ wakes. Butternut squash and sweet potato with walnuts, maple dijon green beans and red potatoes, and faux-cheesy garlic grits bake are layered in the oven with many a timer set on the phone in the redhead's back pocket. Micah is dressed snuggly-warm in his Batsignal hoodie, sunshiny yellow henley layered under a slate tee on which a band of Minions are escaping with one stolen TARDIS, lined jeans, and soot sprite slippers. With the food on oven detail, he has moved his camp to the kitchen table where he appears to be operating on a giant stuffed hedgehog. A water bottle full of red dyed water, sewing materials, a toolbox, and various and sundry bits from tubing to syringes are scattered around the table where he works.

Blip-thump. There's a quiet pop followed by a thump of boots on the floor; Ion doesn't really /knock/, just kind of enters unannounced, popping into the room by the kitchen's breakfast nook and presumptuously plopping himself down at the kitchen table. He's bundled for cold, fingerless leather gloves and his leather jacket paired with a black fleece-lined hat, red scarf, tall shitkicker boots, heavy jeans, lined flannel under his jacket, motorcycle helmet tucked under his arm that he plunks down on the table beside Micah's project. "Eyyyy, Cyborg, man, howsit, huh?"

It might not be /that/ startling on an average day, but even after a good night's sleep, a solid week of non-stop stress and sleep deprivation does tend to over-excite the startle reflex. Micah's chair squeaks against the floor in protest as he sits stark-upright from his previously hunched working posture, his eyes gone a bit wide and darting up in the direction of the noises in the room. His eyelids flutter closed, mouth opening for a deeply-relieved sigh of breath when Ion speaks. "Ohgosh. Ion, hello. I'm a little jumpy." He finds a good spot on the poor hedgehog to stab his needle in to hold things until he is ready to resume work. Pushing himself to his feet, he moves to Ion's chair to wrap his arms around the other man in a tight hug. There is only a little wince at the pressure this applies to his much-abused and much-bandaged forearms as he releases the other man. "Quiet, today. Isra took Eri... Oh, the egg. Their name is Eridani; I been callin' 'em Eri. Anyhow, she took 'em for the weekend so we could get some recovery time. 'Til we can get a workin' method of feedin' 'em that don't involve gettin' bit an' venomed every two hours it's quite challengin' from just a /physical/ standpoint." He flushes, faintly, dark-circled eyes cast downward. "Apologies. Ramblin'...brain's been kinda on one track since I sat down t'work. How are you? Can I get y'somethin'?"

"Hhhah I can see /that/, dog." The hug comes with a jolt; Ion returns it with a heavy clap to Micah's back. "Yeah, I seen the little monster. Got a fucking earful from the tinysharks. You look like shit, you know." He braces a palm against the edge of the table, rocking his chair back onto its rear legs. "Where your husband at?"

Micah's shoulders twitch a little at the jolt. "Did they seem okay? Eri and Isra?" At the mention of the twins, it could be possible to watch his heart sink down into his stomach through his eyes. "The pups? Both of 'em? They talked to you... Are they okay? Did they say...?" His head shakes, a lump travelling downward in his throat. "Sleepin'. He's a light sleeper an' with Eri bein' up every two-three hours, he's taken the worst of it. An' 'tween wintertime an' Eri's photosensitivity we ain't been able t'get 'im near enough light t'supplement." He chews at his lip, slowly backing into his own chair. "The pups leavin' is... He's not good."

"Seem healthy. Bloodsucky. Toothy?" Ion's first two fingers curl into a fang shape to hook near his mouth. "They aright, they fine, they good. We have a fun. I show the tinybat around. Some my favorite places." His chair wobbles a little as he tips it back farther. "Seen the littlesharks last night, huh. Fight club night. Talk some. Punch a lot, yeah? They mad, bro." His chair thumps back down to the floor with a bang. Rocks back up onto its back legs again. "They not so good as the tinygremlin I think." His shoulder hitches upward quickly. "What all this?" One hand waves to the pieces of Stuff scattered over the table.

"Good, good. It's good for 'em t'get out when they got folks 'long with who can protect 'em." Micah's lips twitch to one side, the concern of what might happen when /he/ takes the little one out alone just one more weight heavy on his mind. "I know...I know they are. S'enough of that t'go around." These words struggle to find a tone, somewhere between exhausted-resigned and frustrated-angry. "Please..." He gestures to the floor where the legs had smacked down. "Jax's sleepin'. He wakes so easy." At the question, his hand reaches out, almost petting the thick, brown, sheepskin-like fuzz making up the hedgehog's back. "A bottle, essentially. Blood delivery method for Eri." Flipping the hedgie over, he exposes its tanned human-skin like belly. Digging his fingers kind of sickeningly into the side of it, he peels the skin back (also so pleasant to watch) to reveal compartments and tubing inside. "Heartbeat," pointing to a metallic object, "purrin' sound," then to a smaller metallic object, "blood pool," a compartment currently housing a small pouch similar to those that hold blood in hospitals, "veins," the last round tubing running under the fake skin. "I'm hopin' it's enough t'get 'em t'use this instead of people. If it works, can make a small collection of 'em as can be swapped out for cleanin' an' repairs."

Ion /is/ starting to lean back in his chair again, but he dips his head apologetically at the reminder of Jax sleeping, dropping it -- more carefully! -- back to the floor. "You making a blood doll that, uh, that's. Good and creepy." His eye squints up as the skin peels back, lips pursing and twisting to one side. "You mad?"

"T'feed a baby who happens t'be a venomous vampire, gotta get a little creepy." Micah manages a faint smile at this. A nod of gratitude is given at the more careful lowering. "Yes. I think, given time, we'll be able t'manage Eri fine. Baby Eri, at least. If we'd had the ability t'plan an' prepare, this would be /so much/ easier now. But we didn't, so we need time. But we ain't gonna have that time. S'more than a little frustratin' that most ev'ryone else seems /okay/ with just lettin' Jax break." His hands go through the motions of reassembling the gutted hedgehog perfunctorily. "Can't even give any temporary compromises. Or any kind of workin' t'ward nothin'. Nope. 'parently ain't worth that." His lips press thin, though this soon deflates with a heavy breath through his nose, a sagging of his shoulders. "I've tried t'be patient an' understandin' but it's wearin' real thin /always/ bein' the patient an' understandin' one."

"Hah, yeah. Is a little creepy, huh, ain't he?" Ion grins bright and wide, only now finally unwinding his scarf from his neck, stripping off his jacket to drape it on the back of his chair. "What you want to work towards?" His head tilts thoughtfully to one side. "What compromises you want to make, vato? You think this gonna get better in time?"

There are quiet shuffling noises from upstairs, quiet footsteps on the stairs. The pad of paws, first, quick and eager as Obie is let out from the bedroom; Jax follows slowly after, trudging, dragging. He's in soft black yoga pants, a grey sweatshirt overlaid with torn strips of rainbow cloth, mismatched fluffy rainbow socks, his mop of black-and-magenta hair in a disheveled state of bedhead. He's still too pale, a little too shaky; there's an aura of sickly green-and-smokey-black clinging to his skin, but at least there /is/ something clinging there, unlike the past week where he hasn't had enough energy to even display sickly-unhappy murk.

Obie barrels into the kitchen first, tail wagging, overeager, skidding across the floor to thud up against Micah's chair, shove his nose against a leg, immediately turn around to rear up on hind legs and thump paws onto Ion's lap. Jax appears a minute after, sans glasses or eyepatch, just bleary-eyed and drooping. Sniffing at the smell of food that's been cooking but ultimately just sinking down to plunk exhausted into a chair and fold his arms onto the table, head thunking down into them. "Mnngh."

"I think maybe we can qualify 'em as as creepy-cute? I mean, t'people who take the time t'get to know 'em a little. Prob'ly any natural first reaction to seein' 'em in a baby carriage'd be...startled. At least." Ion's smile is infectious enough to twitch Micah's lips back upward, though this falls apart completely as he returns to the main thread of discussion. "Just...even bein' able t'/discuss/ anythin'. S'gotta be some kinda middle ground 'fore utterly cuttin' off contact or demandin' infanticide. At least the...sudden overwhelmin' /everythin'/ should get better when we've got systems in place. When we're not servin' as sole food sources an' gettin' poisoned constantly. Just need /time/ t'work through the problem solvin' an' can't seem t'get..." He stops speaking at the sound of the door opening and Obie's claws skittering down the stairs. He reaches a hand over to scritch at the dog's ears but-briefly before the pup has moved on to Ion. "Hey, sugar," he greets Jax softly, pushing his materials into a smaller pile to make space for everyone at the table, then taking a break from messing with them at all. "Can I get y'somethin'? There's a bunch of casseroles in the oven, but won't be done for a little bit yet. Could do juice or caffeine or somethin'." Micah tries to keep his offers casual and not overly pushy.

"/Adorable/ fucking monster," Ion agrees cheerfully, "if you like things that want to rip you fucking face the hell off. I get a feeling, most people, they ain't gonna want. To get to know. All claw and teeth and jesu-fucking-cristo. /Ey/-o." He leans down, rubbing both hands at the top of Obie's head, trailing fingers along the beagle's floppy ears. "/And/ you. Boy you look just as much shit. Everybody, they not-kidding, huh? Little-sharks, they say you maybe dying." Ion's cheer fades, lips pursing again as he examines Jax critically. "How you feeling, Sunshine? You ain't looking. None too sunny."

Obie's tongue slurps against Ion's hand with this petting, his tail whumping against Micah's leg as he soaks in attention. Jax shivers, slowly turning his head to the side so that he can squint his eye open. "Not feeling very sunny," he acknowledges softly. "'pologies." His brow furrows, teeth wiggling at one lip ring. "Probably need. Some calories." Though he doesn't sound like he /wants/ any. His shoulders tense up, teeth sinking down against his lip. "You talked to the pups?"

"Prob'ly not most," Micah agrees simply. "Calories... I'll get you some juice, just t'start. some apple cider. Prob'ly kinder t'the stomach than orange just now. I'll get y'that just t'put somethin' in your belly." He hops up, quickly running through a series of tasks to make things more comfortable for Jax. The dining area and kitchen sunlamps each are flicked on, juice delivered to the table, and a fuzzy Care Bears blanket retrieved to wrap around Jax's shoulders as Micah returns at last. He curls an arm around his husband's shoulders as he places the blanket. "At the fight club last night. They was there, Ion said."

"They was there," Ion agrees. "Not-so-happy. Couple people missing some chunks." Now he rocks back in the chair again, palms gripping the edge of the table once more. "So all this what. Is just the end. Bam done over. Trading kids now? Newer model? Is what they maybe thinking."

Jax groans, dropping his chin to his forearms. Beneath his new blanket-covering his shoulders shiver. "No." The shadow in the murk around him deepens. "No, no, no, that's not. Not what I -- not what we. Ever. Wanted. It just. This all. Happened so -- wrong. An' I think I..." He trails off, swallowing hard. "I think I..." His eye flicks up towards Micah, and then closes. His head turns down again, burying his face once more in his arms.

"Well, that is what they go there for." Micah has less sympathy than usual for people getting beat to hell at the fight club just now. "Of course not. We want them back. I told Shane we wanted 'em back more'n anythin' an' asked would take. Since they said Eri not bein' here was the only way they'd ever talk t'either of us again. The only way I could see t'take Eri away was...if I took 'em. So I even offered that, textin' Shane. That I'd take Eri an' go if they'd come back. Then at least Jax an' the pups an' Spence'd be t'gether again. An' maybe we could figure somethin' out from there. Shane said no. An' that he didn't wanna talk no more." He chews hard on his lip. "Only option he gave me for them comin' back was /killin'/ Eri. An' that's 'bout the one thing I /won't/ do. They aren't givin' us /anythin'/ t'work with." Once Ion is caught up, Micah bites down on his lip even harder, quieting himself. He reaches over to pet at Jax's back through the blanket. "Jax, shh. Y'don't hafta say. But if y'wanna, then please. Tell us what you're thinkin'."

"You fucking off, that wouldn't exactly get them /back/ now, huh? That just be /you/ fucking off." Ion's brows hike upward, his head giving a small shake. "Monster not here /now/ is he, yo? What, you the /only/ damn person on earth can take care a baby?"

"Isra took them for the weekend," Jax mumbles into his arms. His head slowly lifts from his arms again, eye still kind of scrunched up as his chin digs into his forearm once more. There's a long stretch of silence, his fingers squeezing and relaxing down against his arms. "I just," he finally says, soft and shaky, "don't know if we -- don't know if I," he amends, "/can/ do. This. I think this was all a bad -- bad. Choice."

"They asked for /Eri/ t'be gone. It's the one thing they asked for, so I offered 'em that. Usin' the only method I could come up with. An' that still wasn't good enough. It wouldn't get them back for me, no. It's /nothin'/ that I'd /want/ for me. But they'd be here for Jax. An' they'd all at least have him again. An' maybe it could be temporary while somethin' else was worked out. I don't know what else to do! They won't talk to us t'even tell us what they need. It's like playin' a game without havin' any rules t'work off. Doin' this blind ain't helpin' nobody but they won't /help/. It's selfish an' juvenile an' I know they're teenagers but there's /lives/ at stake here." Micah's eyes and hands both scrunch closed at the same time, slowly releasing before he speaks again. "Isra's just watchin' 'em for a couple days. She already said she can't raise 'em. It's not like there's a line outside our door of good an' capable families askin' for Eri." His molars catch on the inside of his cheek at the rest of what Jax has to say, not knowing how to respond.

Ion's brows raise, hands spreading outward. "You /looked/?" His chair thunks back to the floor when his hands spread. He drops his palms back to the table a moment later. "Ain't pretending it's gonna be easy but you telling me you done ask -- who? How many people? How far you search?" He waves a hand towards Jax, then over towards the door of Geekhaus. "Sunshine, Darkwing, you /seen/ their fucking family, huh? They been collecting us freaks and monsters and labrat for years, no? You think all these monsters we call them family, not-a-one us step up. You even /try/ asking? I tell Isra, Kay-and-I, we be glad to raise a monster, /we/ sure ain't even /heard/ till last night one /existed/. Dusk he got a lot of people watching that back."

Jax sits up a little bit further, briefly burying his face in his hands before picking up his juice. His hand is a little bit shaky as Ion speaks. He sips at it slowly, eye sliding closed. "No," he finally whispers. "We ain't. Didn't. Look. Didn't really. Talk t'nobody else at all. Jus' kinda rushed into this an'. Didn't --" His head shakes fiercely, one hand lifting to scrub its heel against his eye. "... I don't think we... don't think I. I don't think it was. The right." He swallows, hard. "It certainly weren't the right move for the pups. Don't think it /can/ be for me without m'family together." His teeth click against the side of the glass. "... ain't /gonna/ be for Egg," he says, lower and more hollowly, "'f I spend the rest'a my life feelin' that they're the /reason/ m'family's broke up through no fault'a /theirs/. It was jus'. All too fast an' too. Messy an' I. Screwed. Up."

"We really didn't even get the chance," Micah replies heavily. "Weren't like no one was volunteerin'. An' it was maybe a month from when we first even proposed this t'when the egg hatched? We didn't even get a chance t'talk t'the pups 'bout what they were thinkin' an' feelin' an' needin' but it was /here/ already. On account of they wouldn't talk to us /that/ time, either. S'kinda a /really/ unhelpful pattern. If they had /talked/ to us an' we knew t'' had /time/ t'look. Maybe it could've happened b'fore it got t'be /this/." Micah blinks at Ion incredulously. "Sugar, I said I wouldn't kill Eri. That also means I won't put 'em into a situation that I know they ain't gonna survive. Findin' another home for Eri would mean findin' one both willin' /and/ able. You an' Kay got the resources t'take care of /any/ baby, much less one with special needs? 'pologies for bein' blunt, but I think that's necessary just now. I'm honestly askin'."

"Man, fuck you, white boy." Ion's brows hike upward, and though one side of his mouth has pulled upward crookedly again there is no humor in the baring of his teeth this time. "You think you swank-ass gringos the only ones know anything about raising a family, {Jesus motherfucking Christ.} You damn fucking /right/ blunt it's needed right now. /I/ doing a better fucking job looking after /your/ damn kids than you are, so you tell me who more /able/ when your pups they come to /me/ with /your/ goddamn family trouble." His head shakes, neck making quiet popping sounds as he rolls it back towards the ceiling. "Gonna kill your own damn /husband/, you want some fucking blunt. He talking, /you/ not listening."

Jax sets his glass down, the green-and-black haze fading from around him as he winces. "/Kill/ -- Micah why would --" His cringing deepens as Ion speaks, head lowering back into his arms. But then lifting again. He makes a quiet strangled noise in his throat, teeth returning to wiggling at a lip ring. "I don't think --" He slouches back in his chair, head dipping and his hand moving to pull his blanket around him.

"Please, please stop for a second. That's exactly what I was tryin' t'say I didn't mean." Micah puts his hands up just above the table level, patting at nothing. "What I'm sayin' is that I am considerin' what you're sayin' /seriously/. As often as you'll tell jokes or say things off-hand, Ion, I needed t'know you /meant/ that when you said it. An' I don't /know/ your situation. So I was just askin'. What it is. T'know if you actually meant it." His eyes start welling up again. "Because if you'd just said it an' y'didn't mean it an' I started goin' with it an' then you didn't I don't think I could take it. I really couldn't."

"This a life, dude. This a /lot/ of fucking lifes. Monster's and the leetle-sharks' and Sunshine's, I /dead/ fucking serious. Dusk and Isra they got so many damn brothers and we got them on this." Ion shakes his head again, looking back between the other two. "Last night I go. Take Isra, in jail, we see Dusk, yeah? I tell them, Kay and I, maybe we take the egglet. Maybe our whole family we take it. Kind of stupid anyway, only two people raise a kid. Not enough people I think. We got plenty more than that."

Jax's head stays buried in his arms. His shoulders shake, breath hitching as Ion speaks. Quiet, at first. Then again, a little louder, a choked-off sob that comes with a shudder-tremble of the light around him.

Micah has to wipe the back of his hand across his eyes several times before he can speak again. “Okay. Okay. I don't...I honestly don't even know who all you're talkin' 'bout. But more people is better. In gen'ral. I mean...where're... I'm sorry, I'm kinda overwhelmed right now.” He finally gives up on stopping the tears running down his cheeks. “I'm gonna ask stupid questions. I know they're stupid, but please. It helps me t'hear 'em if you'll answer stupid questions. Please?”

Ion slides his chair over, legs scraping loudly across the floor to pull his chair closer to Jax's. His hand drops against Jax's back (tinyzap) to rub in slow circles against the fuzzy blanket. "Stupid, right, yeah, shoot. You ask. I answer maybe."

Jax's sobbing -- /quiets/, though it doesn't /stop/, shoulders still shaking, head still buried, light still shivering around him in erratic twitch-spasms.

“Okay. Okay, I know I'm gonna sound like I'm arrangin' a babysitter, but it's kinda. That. But longer. Right? Okay.” Micah attempts a deep breath in and out, hands trembling. “Isra's okay with this? An' Dusk? This big group you got...some of 'em /do/ have experience with /babies/ not just kids? An' they're all okay with this? I dunno how big we're even talkin', I just... Mmn. Okay.” He sucks another breath in. “There's space they can stay in that's safe? Where there ain't other little ones gonna be in danger?”

"They okay with it, yeah. And yeah, people there they care-fored babies before. /I/ care-fored babies before. We don't got none there now, though. Couple kids, though. Old enough to know better than to let the monster bite." Ion's mouth hooks upward in another crooked grin, a very /dry/ sort of humor to it. "And freaks every-damn-one-a us, ese. We /know/ from /special-fucking-needs/."

The shaking of Jax's shoulders finally begins to slow. There are still tears streaking down his cheeks when he finally lifts his head. Rests his cheek against Ion's shoulder, breath still kind of hitched. The light stops its shaking, though. His eye fixes down on the table, fingers fidgeting restlessly where they grasp the blanket around himself.

Micah scruffs his sleeve across his cheeks and his eyes just to look a little less /maudlin/, not because the tears have stopped. "They got a paediatrician at the Clinic already. I'll give you the medical files. We've figured out a couple things this week. Um...they're very photosensitive, so there'll need t'be a dark place for 'em. I got designs sketched out on m'tablet for a set of...well, infant sunglass-goggles, really. I can keep workin' on that for you." Apparently he's reached the instruction stage of the babysitting adventure. "They don't fit no normal clothes. I'll give y'what I have an' can show you which designs worked best for wings an' tails. If y'all need help with makin' more, I'll do that. Dusk prob'ly could, too. Flicker an' I've been designin' some furniture thoughts for 'em, too."

The fingers of Micah's left hand find his right wrist, stroking at it rhythmically. "Feedin's the biggest problem. They're real bitey. We've found havin' bite gloves is helpful t'discourage that. An' bite redirection toys an' Chewelry. We can pass all that along an' I'll give y'all websites where t'get more." Finally leaving off the rubbing, he reaches over to grab the hedgehog. "Almost finished with this prototype blood-doll. I'll finish this an' y'all can try it. I can help problem solve with that an' make more...s'kinda unique as adaptive equipment goes, s'far as I'm aware. I can also give y'websites for just basic replacement parts if y'want." His breath hitches again, entire body shaking a little. His hand closes tighter on the hedgie doll. "It can be real hard, psychologically, transitionin' caregivers like this. Prob'ly Isra might help. They've known her the whole time. So havin' her 'round sometimes could help that. I can also...maybe sometimes? Visit with 'em. If that's okay. Just not here."

"Maybe-hard, maybe. Probably better though now than a month from now, a year from now, three year from now. Sure Isra can help. Dusk if he ever gets his damn ass outta jail. We gonna have a whole-fucking-lotta folk around can help." When Jax finally sits up, Ion's hand circles around, finger chucking lightly beneath the other man's chin. "You with us, vato? Look some-bit-lost."

Jax shakes his head, slow and heavy, eye still fixed on the table. "I don't know." His fingers still fidget with the blanket. "Yeah. I don't know. It's. Better. It'll be better. I think. For them. For the pups. Probably. Maybe. We'll have to talk to them -- see if. If." Slowly, his gaze drags upward -- almost reaching Micah, stopping short, dropping back to the table. "... are you going to hate me?"

"I just had no idea. Dusk an' Isra an' nobody ain't really talked 'bout there bein' no big group of...I had no idea. Dusk kept sayin' there weren't nobody as would take this kinda kid. Kept talkin' 'bout how their only options was strugglin' t'raise 'em alone when they didn't think they could or /killin'/ 'em. So we... I mean, that's why I..." Micah's head just shakes and continues shaking slowly back and forth. "I had no idea." His breathing becomes shaky once more at Jax's question. He scoots his chair closer to his husband's, wrapping arms around and tugging him close, practically into his own seat. "Honey, why would I hate you? You tried. You tried so hard an' it just...was practically /set up/ t'be the most impossible thing for you. I /love/ you an' we found somethin' that sounds like it'll work for Eri. Will work /better/ for Eri. An' I 'em an' I'll miss 'em, but. Honey, this is better for /them/ an' it's better for /us/. I love you." He leans in to kiss the angle of Jax's jaw. "Don't ever doubt it."

"They ain't exactly talk with us neither. Me, I not know till last fucking night this kid they exist. I think maybe every-damn-body this whole thing got them stress and not know how to fucking." Ion shrugs a shoulder. "Deal." He drops his hand when Micah scoots closer, lips pressing briefly together. When Micah wraps his arms around Jax, he rocks his chair back and away, scooting slightly away from the other men. "Maybe the leetlesharks, you find them too. Talk at them too, huh."

"Because this is -- you wanted -- I didn't -- I'm not -- I've screwed up -- I ain't -- I failed at --" Jax's stumbling words break off into a hitched breath and then another ragged-gasping sob at Micah's kiss. He sinks forward, head dropping down to thunk against his husband's shoulder, hand lifting to fist up in Micah's shirt. "M'sorry. M'sorry, m'sorry, m'sorry."

"Someone else might have to...tell 'em. So that they'll talk to us. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't even look at another message from me at this point." Micah's hands pet at Jax's back through the blanket in slow, soothing circles. "No, honey. Y'didn't screw up. We made a bad match for Eri. This...happens. Even with kids whose needs're far, far less complicated than theirs are. Eri's gonna have a good home an' they're gonna be /fine/. An' you helped get 'em there when no one else would, even though it was so hard... Okay? That's not failin'. That baby's gonna have the best situation available for 'em. That's not failin'." Some of those words might be aimed as much at himself as Jax, the wateriness still not clearing from his eyes. "This ain't the only child in the world, sugar. It ain't a now or never kinda thing. If you still want...if we still want. /Later/. Much later. When /everyone's/ ready. We could try again. With a situation we're set up t'handle. If an' when, okay?" One of his hands moves up to pet at Jax's hair, cradling him closer. "Right now we gotta tend t'the family we shook up. That's the only thing we gotta worry 'bout right now."

Ion stands, dropping a hand to each of the other men's heads, briefly tousling either of their hair. "You two maybe you need some bit together now. I go talk at your pups. Check-in on Isra and the monsterpup." He scoops his helmet up off the table, frowning for a moment at the two men. Then disappears.

"I want them t'be okay. I want them t'be okay an' t'have a good home I jus'. Want the pups t'be okay, too. Need /them/ t'have their home. An' want /you/ t' -- I --" Jax doesn't actually finish speaking, here, words cut off yet again in more hitched sobbing, muffled against Micah's shirt. "M'sorry about all this. I didn't. I wanted. I was tryin' to – m'sorry."

Micah looks up briefly at this hair-ruffling, nodding at Ion's announcement. “Thank you,” is barely-voiced to the other man before he vanishes. He turns back to Jax, nestling him in against his side. “You got nothin' t'apologise for, honey. I want all those things, too. You tried. We tried. This'll be better. It's the right thing t'do.”