ArchivedLogs:Comfort Food

From X-Men: rEvolution
Comfort Food
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt

2016-04-02


"{I really can't help you if you're immune to the charms of the Napoleonic wars /with dragons/.}"

Location

<NYC> Tessier Residence - Greenwich Village


Understated opulence claims this spacious and well-kept townhome, the decor throughout the whole of it of the highest quality and carefully chosen. The front door opens onto the entrance hall, a closet close at hand to receive coats and shoes -- the pale hardwood floors gleam underfoot, unsullied by tracked-in mess from outside. The living room beyond the entrance is all dark woods and pale earth tones, comfortable couches and armchairs and a thick soft rug laid down beneath. Two large and painstakingly aquascaped aquariums flank the entrance to the dining room, with several brightly coloured species of fish within. Most of the rest of the wall space, notably, is taken up with shelves -- shelves crammed with books of every subject and genre.

A study branching off of the main hall is cozy, small, done in pale blues and lined with books as well around the large computer desk and smaller futon, though these rarer books are cased behind glass. Another securely locked door leads to the basement, and another to the full bathroom downstairs. The kitchen connects to the living room; in contrast, it is sleek and modern and well-appointed, stocked by someone who takes their cooking seriously. And takes their alcohol equally seriously -- to one side of the kitchen there is a fully-stocked bar. The back door to the kitchen looks out on a small well-kept garden.

It's late, by the time Lucien returns home. A long day -- auditions and a meeting with the mayor, a meeting with Mirror, a client afterwards. The traces of strain in his mind can be felt upon his approach long before he actually manages to get the front door open, worn and fraying with the effort of keeping his preternatural calm. He's casually dressed, jeans and green button-down, shedding his ankle boots and black leather jacket just inside.

The house is redolent of warm spices, and Matt emerges from the kitchen as Lucien enters, his powers stretching out and threading through his brother's, taking over where it strains to keep his neurochemistry balanced. He's wearing a blue t-shirt with a cartoon figure reading under an arch of books, bracketed by the words 'Best Time Machine EVER!', and old, worn blue jeans faded almost to white. His hair is all askew, and he carries a copy of /His Majesty's Dragon/ by Naomi Novik, transferring the book to the crook of one elbow when he goes to embrace Lucien. "{I think I finally got the chickpea noodle soup right,} he murmurs. "{And tea will be ready in a minute.}"

Lucien closes his eyes, not returning the hug so much as just slumping into it. Forehead dropping to Matt's shoulder, his /mind/ easing its exhausted work to let Matt pick it up for him. When his hand does lift it is only to touch lightly to the spine of the book, a small smile flitting across his face. "{Soup sounds perfect. /Tea/ sounds perfect. So long as I do not fall straight asleep in my bowl and drown.}"

Matt presses a kiss to Lucien's head and steers him to the couch, leaving the book with him when he goes back to the kitchen. He returns a minute later with a large glossy black bowl full of thick, steaming noodle soup, then disappears again to bring back two glossy celadon mugs full of light, fragrant Dong Ding oolong. "{You don't really imagine I'd let you drown in your soup.}" He sounds far more indignant about the implication than actually concerned about it happening as he folds himself down onto the couch beside his brother.

Lucien is nodding kind of drowsily when Matt returns -- though he admittedly seems less likely to faceplant into his soup than he does likely to faceplant into the pages of the novel, which he has held open above his bowl. "{No, you'll only let me drown in this trash. My goodness, it has been a while since I read these. I forgot how awful they were.} Still," his smile is a little thin with this admission, "far better than Pern."

Matt hugs his tea close to his chest and props his chin on Lucien's shoulder, eyes skimming the pages of the open book, a faint smile on his lips. "{I really can't help you if you're immune to the charms of the Napoleonic wars /with dragons/, however mediocre the craft with which it is represented.} It's good, clean fun. But /Pern/..." He shakes his head slowly, taking a sip of his tea. "...does not set a high bar."

"{I far prefer my Napoleonic Wars with magicians.}" Lucien keeps the book open, carefully rests it upended atop Matt's head. Hands freed, now, he plucks up his spoon for a mouthful of soup. "{And Susanna Clarke is /excellent/ at her craft.} Pern sets a very high bar for some things. If you're overly fond of a side of rape with your dragons, for example, they've woven it neatly into the fabric of society."

Matt ducks his head and allows the book to slide down into his hand, though he doesn't look to be very seriously reading it, in any case. "{I know where to find /good/ alternative historical fiction when I want it, just as I know where to find trashy action fantasy /without/ the rape.}" He elevates the book in his hand slightly and then snaps it shut, setting it aside. His eyes follow Lucien's spoon, eyebrows slightly uplifted. "Is it okay?" There's an almost /timid/ note in his voice. "{It's a simple recipe, but it ended up so bland on my previous attempts.}"

Lucien is slow to answer this. Busy eating, mostly, taking a few more mouthfuls, washing them down with a swallow of tea. The tip of his tongue presses up against his upper lip, eyes dropping to consider the soup. "{It is better,}" he finally answers. "{I like it. Thank you.}" There's a heaviness to his voice, though, posture sagging in against his brother's after this before the reluctant admission: "-- It is not Jackson's."

Matt sits up a little straighter and drapes an arm across his brother's shoulders, gathering him against his side. "{You're welcome,}" he murmurs quietly. "I miss him so." The statement may be simple and sedate, but beneath it and clearly sensible to Lucien is an immense surge of love and worry and fierce, implacable anger. His steady hold on Lucien's power wavers, but only for a moment. "{Well, he inspired me to make it. I'll have to ask him for some tips on improving it.}"

Lucien draws in a quick breath -- ragged, unsteady, at that brief wavering. His eyes stay fixed down on the bowl, breathing returning to calm as his mind does. "Well, with any luck," his tone is very dry, "if I continue to forgo sleep, by this time next year perhaps they will actually allow him mail. {I am sure he will be glad to offer you advice.}" He lifts a hand, forefinger and thumb rubbing hard at the hollows of his eyes. "{Is it better or worse, do you think, if a select few of these protests grow violent? In /general/ I would think the extra noise is a plus but people are already so primed to be afraid of the dangers of mutant anger.}"

Matt huffs a sharp breath that might have been laughter under different circumstances. "{Nonsense. He'd say it's delicious and perfect and...}" He trails off and never picks it back up, though his arm tightens around Lucien. "{Better, if the violence can be shown to come from the police.}" His voice is calm and measured. "{Preferably with attending mass arrests. That will help keep the media's attention, put more stress on law enforcement, and probably motivate more people to join.}"

"Mmm." Lucien's brows furrow. He stirs at his soup, slow and absent. "{I can wrangle that from New York's police surely enough. MID is always /so/ helpful when I need them to be. As for the rest of the country --}" His cheeks puff out; he taps the spoon lightly against the edge of the bowl. "{DC and LA should be easily managed. I have a glaring lack of pull with any police in flyover country. Perhaps Hive could be persuaded to assist there.}" His voice now is mostly -- tired. "It would have been so much more convenient if all these heroics could have waited until after securing a new Justice. There is only so much I can manage at once."

Matt cocks his head slightly, studying Lucien sidelong for a moment. "The fallout from all this may kill the chances of some less desirable candidates for the bench, but we can't count on that." He takes another sip of his tea before setting it aside, freeing his hands to knead Lucien's shoulders. "{I'll sit with you while you work, but I cannot keep this up all night. Will you not sleep, at least for a little while?}"

"At least one." Lucien's shoulders relax, breathing easing at the small massage. He sits up a little bit straighter, turning his attention more properly back to his supper. "{When did I last sleep? It does sound so tempting. Perhaps --}" For a moment, he hesitates. "{Perhaps for a little while.}"

"{Tuesday night.}" Matt doesn't even need to pause to consider the answer. "{It would not only be pleasant, but wise. You end up needing more rest if you burn youself out.}" There's no warning or reprimand in this, though his concern comes through loud and clear even if Lucien couldn't feel it directly. "{In any event, /I/ would like it if you'd get a bit of sleep.}"

There's only a very small wince from Lucien at this answer. Faint, not much surprised. He eats most of his soup before setting it aside, rubbing once more at his eyes. Only a trifle reluctant: "I suppose my email will still be there in the morning." He is slow to stand, taking his dishes with him. "{Gods know Jackson and Ryan are not going anywhere.}"