ArchivedLogs:Cat Tree

From X-Men: rEvolution
Cat Tree
Dramatis Personae

Jax, Tag, Tian-shin




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

The house might have started out looking capacious and respectable, but it has since moved through various incarnations, always colorful, but never colorful the same way for longer than a few days. There is little in the way of what most people would call furniture: a sectional couch buried in fluffy cushions, three bean bags of varying sizes, a scattering of bookshelves, what looks like a human-scale cat tree in one corner, and a low, square table surrounded by zafus.

The floor plan is largely open, criss-crossed by rope bridges linking small elevated platforms to the landing of the second storey, beyond which lie the bedrooms. The kitchen is separated from the living room only by a long counter, lined with stools. Even the appliances are decked out in unexpected hues, edged with designs that change on a daily basis. A row of tins and jars runs the length of the breakfast counter, none of which match and all of which bear brightly colored text describing their contents: teas, coffees, mates, and various herbal blends.

Funhaus has, if anything, been *more* brightly colorful than usual these last two weeks. Tag has tweaked the murals almost every day, and at the moment the walls depict a fantasy landscape filled with trees that resemble exotic corals and a host of vaguely draconic creatures frolicking beneath two suns (one blue, one red) in a sky that ranges from pink to purple. And it's still changing!

Flopped face-up on a vivid blue beanbag, Tag looks kind of drab compared to his surroundings. He's wearing an oversized, threadbare t-shirt in faded rainbow tie-dye and a tiered purple ombre skirt. His hair is pink with purple diagonal stripes that look a bit stuttery where the tresses lie askew. His eyes are closed, and up on the ceiling a whirlpool of purple clouds spins and swirls around a floating oblisk.

The smell of ma-po tofu rises to fill the air. Tian-shin puts a lid on the pot, leaving it to simmer and fills a glossy green bamboo teapot with hot water from the perpetually sub-boiling electric kettle. She has not changed since work, still in a red Chinese wrap tunic with black brocade bats and black jeans. This done, and timer set, she brings an electric blue bowl full of rice crackers into the living room and places it on the coffee table before collapsing onto the couch.

Jax has not changed from work, either. Black capris, mismatched knee-high multicoloured socks, mismatched rainbowy armwarmers (rolled up halfway up his forearms), a black tee swirled with rainbow batik lotus flowers. He is at the sink, finishing up washing knives and a cutting board to stack them next to other freshly-washed dishes on the drying rack. There's a restless /twitch/ of the light around him, shivering and unsteady. He trails out into the living room soon after Tian-shin, draping himself onto a lower tier of the cat tree in the corner. The dishwater on his arms is already sizzling and steaming off.

Tag opens his eyes (with bright neon pink irises) and rolls over. Then over again, tipping himself not ungracefully onto the floor so he can reach the bowl. He bops his sister on the knee with his forehead, catlike, while he munches on rice crackers. He joins Jax on the cat tree, sitting, hand outstretched offering rice crackers. Beneath them, plumes of dayglo color curl like smoke over the carpeted surface of the (presently solid red) cat tree.

Tian-shin scruffs her brother's hair, ruining the neat stripes again. Then she jumps out of her seat, snatching up her sword from the coffee table as her phone goes off in her pocket, buzzing and playing an overly chipper jingle. She stares around wide-eyed, then stares at the phone, then finally looks over at the tea, which she rushes to decant into three ceramic cups, all shaped like bamboo segments but in many different colors. Brings them over on a tray to offer to the others.

Jax twitches sharply, sitting upright when Tian-shin's phone goes off. A burst of light sears out from him; it flashes out into the wall, searing a scorch mark in the mural behind him. He exhales sharply, slumping back down onto the tree and reaching to scoop rice crackers from Tag's hand. His own fingers are painfully hot to the touch. He spares a brief glance back over his shoulder for the scorch mark behind him, then winces, dropping his head down onto one arm. Tag's mural begins to grow, blossoming to life in three dimensions, the trees sprouting outwards from the wall to turn the edges of the room into a surreally forested world with odd creatures dancing and playing through it. Slowly, the heat that can be felt in the air nearby him begins to cool. He reaches for one of the cups of tea with a quick small smile to Tian-shin.

Tag alone seems completely unfazed by either phone or blast of light. His gaze is sluggish as it follows Jax's to the scorch mark. Maybe he's a *little* bit sleepy. Shrugs, unconcerned. He pops the rest of the rice crackers into his mouth and snags one of the cups, a rainbow tornado of a thing. His other hand, held flat, touches his chin and sweeps downward in thanks. He pulls his legs up to fold them under his skirt and leans over to rest his head against Jax.

Tian-shin, holding the tray with its single remaining cup in one hand now, hesitates before answering Tag's sign with a broad, semi-circular sweep out, then down and back toward her body as if inviting someone through a door. She deposits the tray on the coffee table, but hangs onto the last cup as she brings the bowl of rice crackers over to the cat tree. Sitting cross-legged on the other side of Tag, she reaches up to run her fingers through the leaves of the illusory alien trees and smiles wanly.