ArchivedLogs:Communal Thinking

From X-Men: rEvolution
Communal Thinking
Dramatis Personae

Hive, Jackson, Micah, Sebastian, Flicker

22 December 2013


What to do when you and most of your friends get an eviction notice... (Warning: There's some innuendo going on eventually. >_>)

Location

<NYC> 403 {Geekhaus} - Village Lofts - East Village


There's kind of a college-dorm feel to this place, though some of its occupants have left college behind. Entering the apartment finds visitors greeted by the perpetually messy living room, a mismatched assortment of couches and chairs (and milk crates) surrounding the wide table in the center. The wall holds a range of posters; some political, some sporty, some from video games, and a string of white lights strung over the kitchen doorway might be a holdover from Christmas. A widescreen television stands against the wall opposite the couch, shelving beside it holding a host of video games from different consoles. More shelving beside the windows on the far wall carries stacks of board games, as well as sourcebooks from various RPGs.

The kitchen adjacent is just as cluttered, its table unfit for eating due to its perpetual covering of books, papers, cereal boxes, projects; the fridge is usually sparsely populated. Ketchup. Beer. Not a lot of food. There are two bedrooms here and one bathroom situated between them, split between the three people who live here.

Geekhaus is warm again. Admittedly with New York due to hit 70 today it'd probably be warm regardless. But after its long stint as an icebox, warm is /something/, at least. Warm and /festive/; Flicker is currently in the process of stringing up /colorful/ lights on a small Christmas fake!tree in the corner; there's a box of decorations (many handmade, out of Legos or old pieces of circuit board fashioned into snowflakes and stars and a small angel, many handmade more /elegantly/ in brilliantly colorful shades of glass, whimsical creations that make it very /easy/ to tell which ornaments Jax made and which Geekhaus did) sitting on Dusk's favorite armchair nearby, waiting to be applied once the lights are in place. Outside there's a wreath on the door and inside it smells like cocoa. Flicker is dressed in dark board shorts and a black Jack Skellington-as-Santa-Claus t-shirt, for all the Lofts' current troubles looking rather /cheerful/ as he decorates.

On the couch, Hive has his laptop and a deep scowl, in faded threadbare jeans, socks with a considerable amount of Hole to their toes, and his favorite Original Blue Hedgehog t-shirt. And a red-and-white Santa Hat, perched lopsidedly on his head. It can /probably/ be surmised he did not put it there himself. But he hasn't taken it off yet, either.

Lighthaus has yet to see much by way of HOLIDAY DECORATIONS. Jackson has /plans/ to decorate but not until Christmas Eve, and his plans to procure a (real!) tree have as yet been pushed back and back and back by large doses of Busy.

He's decorated /himself/, though. The lights in his bracelets are red on one side and green on the other, his hair streaked with red in among its bright green, makeup glittering in a similar vein. He's otherwise looking kind of /summery/ with the unseasonable weather, peacock-feather adorned capris and a cheerful yellow Little Miss Sunshine t-shirt, firework-like patterns exploding in rainbow colours on his nails. He knocks but doesn't wait for reply to open the door, toting in a large container full of gingerbread cupcakes and chai-spice cookies. "Ohgosh lights!" His expression lights up, too, immediately. "-- Hive if I sit on your lap and tell y'what I want will you get me /presents/?"

Micah arrives a few steps behind Jackson, yawning a little into his shoulder as he enters. His hands are full of tray with a metal teapot on it, though this particular teapot is full of pre-prepared /cocoa/. His hair is still spiky and a little damp after his getting-home-from-the-shop shower, his clothes the typical patchy jeans, socks covered in rainbow stars, and a T-shirt in black cotton with an interpretation of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' with a Firefly (one presumes it's Serenity) worked into the Impressionist pattern as it flies through the stars. The shirt is new, at least, the primary contents of a very late-arrived and much-battered birthday package from his parents. "I'd watch that show," Micah teases with a smirk at Jax's question. He makes a beeline for the kitchen, fetching mugs to start filling with cocoa.

Sebastian slips in behind his dads, a little /wired/ from a surplus of caffeine and a trip down to Stark. He's barefoot, in black cargo pants and a short-sleeved button down, pale grey and pilfered from Shane's wardrobe. He slips over towards the tree, crouching to dig curiously through the box of ornaments with a small smile. "I guess it would take a whole lot to set up a glass shop at home," he says with regret, turning over a fiery-bright star in his hand. "And I think if you tried sitting in Hive's lap you might just get punched."

"/So/ many lights," Flicker agrees brightly. He looks down at Sebastian and the box of ornaments. "With Jax's it's best if you try to put them just in front of a light. Then they glow."

"Khhh. No punching. Santa's bringing you a fucking /eviction/." Hive glowers more steadily at his computer when the others come in. "Merry gorram Christmas."

"Oh, that's not till /months/ -- OK, /a/ month away. Plenty of time for presents in the meantime," Flicker insists.

Jax sets his box of desserts down on the table, flopping himself down onto the couch to nudge the computer aside and drop his head into Hive's lap. "Punching so ain't on my Christmas list." There's a hint of rue in his voice, fingers moving to touch lightly against the lingering bruising darkening his jaw. "'sides it wouldn't be fair, I've /so/ been good this year. -- Um. In an /apartment/ it'd be hard, s'easy enough t'put a flameworkin' station somewhere with proper space and ventilation but an actual kiln for the hot shop'd be another story entirely. Maybe when we're rich and buyin' a mansion." His smile is bright. He reaches over to the table to grab a chai cookie, holding it up towards Hive.

“Oh, no punchin'! We brought pastries an' cocoa. S'beyond ornery t'punch guests who come with treats. Speakin' of which...who all /wants/ cocoa?” Micah already has two cups on the counter and is making his way to the cabinet for more. “Ohgosh, yeah. Those letters. Do we know who all got one? S'gotta be a few folks as are subtle enough to've not been noticed by management. I was...kinda afraid once the old management disappeared for so long that somethin' like this might happen. We're gonna fight this legally, right? I mean, beyond the discrimination issue folks are under /lease/. Kickin' anybody out early's breach of contract. What month is everybody's lease up?”

"Ours is June," Sebastian pipes in quietly. "Or, well, end-of-May. I think they poke Pa to renew around February but I'm guessing they just -- won't, even if we do manage to not get evicted before then. Um -- they signed Desi's family up /properly/ no problem so I guess it's only -- I mean there's probably a lot of people they don't know about yet." He settles down on the arm of the chair, putting the glass star back and picking up a red and green Lego ball to turn it over in his hands. "... I want cocoa, please, Ba." This is quieter.

"... I don't actually know when the fuck." Hive /frowns/ at Jax, and frowns at his lack-of-knowing, too. But he does put the laptop aside on the table, chomping a bite out of the cookie. "Dusk handles the paperwork shit."

"Cocoa, please. And it's up now," Flicker answers. "Or I mean -- our lease is up at the end of the year. But we renewed in September for all of next year so -- /next/ December, really."

"Oh. That." Hive tips a hand to Flicker when he answers. "When you're rich and buying a mansion can I live in it?"

"When I'm rich and buying a mansion you can /design/ it," Jackson answers brightly. "Um -- Ryan an' everyone got one across the hall. An' Joshua did. Up on five Zombie an' Nate /didn't/ so they ain't cottoned on to /everyone/ yet but I'm guessin' with the average population around here s'a /whole/ lotta those letters gone out anyway." He shrugs, sticking the rest of the cookie in Hive's mouth and hopping to his feet so that he can trot off to the kitchen and pick up the cocoa to start delivering it out to the living room, handing the first two cups to Flicker and Bastian. He forgets to actually say /he/ wants one but him + sugar probably goes without saying. "I ain't real sure if they're evicting the whole apartments or if they'd let other folks stay if they chucked out their freaks. But -- even if we do win it they probably ain't gonna renew, s'near for sure. Move now or move in spring after Registration's got everyone in a tizzy, s'probably six'a one, half dozen the other."

"Think we need t'fight it on /principle/. Make it a big, loud, inconvenient /debacle/ for 'em. Besides the fact that findin' another place in a month, around the holidays, with the mess that the region's been in lately, plus with the anti-mutant sentiment on high, is pretty unreasonable." Micah ends up with mugs of cocoa filled for everyone in the room by the time he's done, hardly anything remaining in the pot. "Whichever way things go in the end, was thinkin' movin' might be a good plan." He runs a hand along Jax's back when the illusionist comes to collect cocoa. "What would y'think of buyin' a place, hon? Ain't gonna be a better time around here, what with the market bein' sour even /before/ the population...dipped appreciably. Can't get thrown out once it's yours. An' ain't anybody t'complain about a dozen refugees camped in the livin' room when there's no landlord. Prob'ly could get a place in sore need of fixin' up for somethin' almost reasonable. An' my credit's good enough for a home loan, at least."

"But I like it /here/." Sebastian curls his fingers around his mug with a small smile of thanks, but his thoughts are unhappily clouded, not so much with the probably more pressing worry of potential homelessness but more with the (terrified) (miserable) thought of having to move away from Geekhaus and Ryan and Liam and Joshua -- it's /them/ more than the apartment that he thinks of strongly as the first and only real home he's ever had. "And I mean it's four blocks from Pa's school and right around the corner from Spence's and even the Clinic and Inkline aren't far and." His hands grip tighter. "... if we bought a place would it be --" << big enough for everyone, >> he's kind of desperately thinking, 'everyone' comprising not just the Holland-Zedner clan but so many others who are just as much /family/ to him. "... nearby here," is what he glumly finishes instead.

"There /is/ a /shit/ton of empty property these days," Hive muses, "and New York property values have /tanked/ in the past month." He drags his laptop back onto his lap, opening up redfin.com to start idly browsing. He takes the cocoa with a grunt that is probably meant as thanks. His eyes skip up over to Sebastian with a small frown, then back down to his screen. "You could probably find something that suits. And between the lot of you and everyone you know you /damn/ well have the skillset to renovate or fix a place up on the cheap."

"An actual house, that would be cool." Flicker sounds a little wistful. "Between the lot of all of /us/ our credit's pretty lousy. But if we just move out /before/ registration me and Hive could probably find a new place without much trouble. It'd be a little harder for them to refuse a sublet to Dusk once we're on the lease, at least, it's harder to deny roommates than deny a lease outright to start."

Hive grunts again, chewing on his lip. "/You/ can fight it on principle, dude, /I/ don't actually /want/ to live any-fucking-where that doesn't want me. -- Lower East's /hella/ fucking cheaper," he adds to Jax and Micah just absently as he browses. "Kinda had a rep for being a mutie slum even before all this shit went down."

Jackson takes /his/ cup of cocoa with a happy hum, happier still for the hand running against his back. "We should fight it," he agrees warmly, "I should go upstairs to Joshua's and see if Mirror's interested in writing something up, too, get as much negative /publicity/ for this as we can." He returns with cocoa to nestle himself into the couch, his expression lighting with Micah's suggestion. He leans in to peer over Hive's shoulder at the property listings, sipping slowly at his cocoa.

While the others talk he is quiet, brightness fading again from his face. Just thoughtful, now, forefinger tapping at the side of his cup. "Y'know, I got a lotta hippie friends -- here an' other places around the country who have --" He quiets again, teeth scraping at his lip. "What if we /did/ get a mansion? Like. All of us we know a lot of folks who could do with stable housing. Or not -- okay not a mansion but. Like a /building/. Or a row of homes, I don't know. I know a /lot/ of different co-ops throughout the city or -- even just co-housing places, we could set one up. Not jus' a house for us. But a /community/ for -- whoever wants to join."

"I know, B, honey, but /here/ don't want us. May not be a /choice/. An' even if it is...don't know if I wanna stay where we're not wanted, either." Micah nods in Hive's direction to acknowledge that sentiment, finally picking up his own mug to grab a seat on the couch next to Jax and Hive. "I was also thinkin' maybe we could find a place where everyone could go together who wants to," he begins when Flicker mentions getting a place with Hive and subletting to Dusk. As Jax speaks, he nods again, repeatedly. "Precisely that. Could get one /big/ place, but that could be a little harder t'pull off financially, an' only havin' one kitchen, likely. S'hard t'build a...diverse kinda /commune/ around one kitchen holdin' t'bein' both vegan an' kosher. Figured maybe we could find a set of town houses or row homes? Maybe with a plot of land attached. Could get a real honest /garden/ goin' right on the property. Have a /little/ separation for privacy an' people with diff'rent dietary needs an' all. But we're gonna need a place t'stay while we find a /new/ place. An' if it needs a lotta renovation, we'll need a place 'til /that's/ all taken care of. But...people would wanna do that, y'think? If we can find a location that's workable an' affordable?" His gaze slides across all of the individuals in the room, as somewhat of a fair representative sample of the people in question.

Sebastian dips his head to sip at the cocoa slowly. There's a slight tremble to his hands, a very /noticeable/ flutter rising in his gills, but these things both calm as his fathers explicate on their suggestion. "Could we -- really? Like a -- like a whole -- whole place. For /everyone/. /All/ of us?" Excitement sparks in his tone. "I have money," he volunteers softly. "I mean, not enough money for all of -- /all/ of -- But I have a pretty decent chunk. Between that and a loan it should help."

Flicker stops with his cocoa drinking, stops with his tree-trimming. He wanders back over towards the couch, leaning against its back and setting his chin down atop Hive's head so he can watch the housing listings. "What's co-housing?"

"Some hippie bullshit," is Hive's grumbled answer. And immediately on the heel of it: "If we can hack it, we'd be in. If it needs a lot of renovation all the better. I'll have a /field day/ with that. I don't know about your hippie-fucking-whoever-wants-to-join crap though I don't know about you but I know a /shit/ ton of mutants I'd rather punch in the face than share a meal with."

Flicker's mouth curls up into an amused smile. His chin presses down harder on the top of Hive's head, as if this is somehow an answer.

"It's sort of like an intentional community," Jackson answers, with a wryly self-conscious twitch of smile that inwardly is /totally/ acknowledging the validity of Hive's 'hippie bullshit' claim.

"S'more collective than normal apartment living but more private an' separate than living in an actual /co-op/. Co-housing places usually -- mmm. Usually the folks who're gonna live there are all involved in the planning process. An' everyone works together on upkeep of the place -- chores and shared meals and policy-makin'. And they tend to have common spaces like -- even if your house has its own kitchen just for your family, you'll have a big common kitchen for the group meals, or a big dining room, play room -- whatever people decide they want to have in common. /In/ cities I've seen it like rowhomes only one house is a common house with facilities set up however folks want. Or apartment buildings with a couple units or a floor set aside as shared-space." He shrugs a shoulder. "It's like -- like couldn't none of us afford a /pool/ or a big garden or a workshop or whatever, but a dozen people or twenty people or twenty /families/ or whatever, all that together and then you can afford to set aside the space for everyone to use."

Jax blushes faintly at the end of this explanation, acknowledging: "Kinda hippie. Usually non-hierarchical decision-making, too. But if we get /enough/ people together who want it? We might could actually afford it." He nestles up against Micah's side, curling an arm loosely behind his husband's back and sipping happily at his cocoa.

"If it's somethin' you'd wanna invest in, B, sure that'd be a help. Don't know about openin' it up t'just anyone, like Hive says...but that's as much a /practicality/ as anythin'. We ain't got the resources t'cover too many folks. I mean, just the people as we know are gettin' tossed outta here might be hard to wrangle into a place. If we could find a block of rowhomes as've been sittin' unoccupied an' need remodelin', though...that we might could be able t'do just 'cause it'd be cheaper. An' we /do/ have a lot of inside advantage on gettin' things fixed up an' remodeled on the cheap, too. Could...put in doors between the units if we wanted, even, so's folks don't have t'go outside t'visit. Have a play-space in a yard for kids. Garden. Shop space. S'all kindsa ways this could actually end up turnin' into a good thing for us." Micah's own smile is broadening as the idea grows. "Just depends on what we can find in the listin's, what kinda loans we can get, an' who-all's on board. I think we should do this. Fight the evictions, make it public, maybe even get a rulin' in our favour...then just all /ditch/ these bigots at the same time. Best of /luck/ to 'em findin' enough new tenants t'fill the space an' not be just eatin' losses." He raises his mug in a mock-toast to the non-present management, taking a decent swig of the cocoa after.

To Hive's senses the /want/ rolling off of Sebastian is achingly tangible, the idea of having a community -- of helping to /build/ a community -- for his loved ones to live in filling him with no small amount of delight. "It's savings. Isn't savings /for/ things like buying a home?" He tips up his gaze to peek over at Jax a little uncertainly, then look back down to his cocoa, some minor apprehension surfacing in his mind over his father's tendency to /fret/ when it comes to his kids pitching in on financial concerns. He pulls one leg up under him on the arm of the armchair, sitting on his ankle. "... could we put in a workshop? And let you make glass? And Ba can make everyone robo-wings."

"Mmm. Right, okay. So hippie bullshit," Hive confirms again once Jax has explained.

Flicker blushes, a deep red flushing across his face. "It sounds wonderful." His head turns down further, forehead resting on Hive's Santa hat.

".. yeah, okay. Actually it does." Hive stretches out a leg, resting his foot on top of the table. "OK. So. Who do we want in on the planning of all this shit? Might as well start looking right now, see if it's even feasible. But we'll kind of need a headcount on who's down for sure so we can at least ballpark what sort of budget we're looking at."

"Rowhomes would be good. Some extra space so we /can/ open it up to other people, maybe." Flicker shrugs a shoulder, sliding an arm down to loop it around Hive's shoulders for a lazy hug. "... and meanwhile do any of you know a good lawyer?"

"Usually with these things -- if you /are/ openin' it up to other people it's like --" Jax's teeth scrape over his lip briefly. "Like you have applications an' interviews an' make sure everyone living there's gonna be a good fit. But this is all hypothetical till we even know if we /can/ an' what sorta space we'll be working with and --" Jackson wriggles down close to Micah, his excitement growing at the idea of this project, too.

"I don't know. We can ask around an' see. Us, obviously. Fair sure Ryan's place'll want in. Zombie ain't gettin' evicted but he might not want t'stay if everyone else is. Joshua an' --" Though here his thoughts are a /little/ uncertain on the subject of Joshua's Current Roommates. "Well we'll ask around. Um. Luci'd probably scoff at the idea an' he's got a house already. S'pose it don't gotta be just people in here. See when Mel's lease is up an' if she an' her folks are interested. Rachel an' Ines. -- Does Jim, uh, still work?" he asks Hive a little uncertainly. He takes a long drink of cocoa, and while there is a /small/ fret at Sebastian's offer he pushes it down in the face of warm-happy-excitement that manages to drown out the stress and worry and upset over the evictions in the first place. "... not sure about the robo-wings you're gonna hafta check in with your Ba on /that/ one."

"S'your savin's, sugar. I'd say this is the kinda thing y'might look into usin' it on," Micah agrees softly, a hand moving to Jax's knee to give it a small squeeze. "Common workspaces would be nice, dependin' on the amount of space we end up with. Workshop, studio, music room..." He shrugs, chuckling lightly. "S'all good for /speculation/ at this point. Since we're so far back in the ideas stage. Are a lotta folks we just /already/ know as I think might be interested." The question of robo-wings earns a snort. "If a genetically enhanced individual comes through Mendel lookin' for a prosthetic wing t'replace one of their own, then /maybe/ it's somethin' I'll try workin' on with /help/." Hive's screen gets a stolen glance. "In the meantime, yeah. Ask folks as might be interested an' we can start checkin' listin's for what might be available. This could be really great."

"No, robo-wings for /everyone/." Sebastian turns large hopeful eyes on Micah. "/I/ made someone fly, you know. No wings, though." And then he frowns, shoving down thoughts of Horus. What new damage he might turn back up with. If he ever turns back up at all.

He finishes his cocoa in a quick gulp, sliding off the seat to go wash his cup. "Daiki," he adds. "He's got a steady job. And no other family. -- speaking of which I should go find him. We're supposed to go down to the skate park with Desi soon. You know it's like /seventy/ degrees today." His hands wipe against his pants to dry them; for a moment he has a brief uncomfortable twinge of wanting to change that he tamps down as well. He slips behind the couch towards the door, lightly trailing fingers against everyone's head as he passes, though since Flicker is standing already he gets a quick squeeze of hug. "We'll probably be out for dinner but I'll see you tonight?"

"/I/ want a gaming room," Flicker opines, "as long as we're dreaming."

"Made someone fly, is that some kind of fucking euphemism." Hive clamps a hand down on his hat as Bastian passes, saving it from being knocked off with the boy's trailing fingers.

Flicker's cheeks dust dark again. "That happened in Buffy."

Hive glances towards the door as Bastian heads off. "Yeah but I didn't think he was boning anyone. 'least anyone besides --" He cuts this off with a quick frown, adding, "/And/ he's not a witch. -- S'Stark have a dress code?"

"Game night, improved." Jackson grins brightly. "And a /studio/." This comes with a wistful sigh. He finishes his cocoa, setting it aside on the table and pulling up his legs beneath himself to just nestle against Micah snugly, his head resting on the other man's shoulder. "Dai'd be more'n welcome. An' okay, sweetie," he tips his head back to peck Sebastian's hand lightly during the passing head-touches, "be safe." His brows pull together after this. "Dress code? I think it's kinda like Xavier's dress code. Like -- don't be naked, don't be crazy-offensive? Probably safety regulations for working with some'a the machinery." He shrugs a shoulder.

“Y'all don't ask /much/, do you?” Micah jokes at the request of wings for all. “Y'can sure ask around folks at school, B. 'Specially with kids as are graduatin' an' are gonna need some place t'go after. See ya t'night, honey. Have fun!” Flicker's gaming room request is answered with an interested widening of eyes and a thoughtful hum. “Your ideas are intriguing...” He trails off, deliberately not commenting on the flying question, though he giggles a little at the Buffy reference and blushes faintly in answer to Flicker's blush. “Don't got much of a dress code as I know of... B's just been. Dressin' different. Couple of times I've caught 'im out the corner of my eye an' thought he was Shane. I'm afraid somethin' happened at school. Kids messin' with 'im or somethin' an' he just hasn't... I've been tryin' t'wait an' give 'im the space t'say somethin' on his own time an' on his own terms, but I may just end up outright /askin'/ 'im soon.” His arm snakes out to curl around Jax's shoulders, hugging the other man close.

"What kind of shitty parent are you," Hive wants to know, "Christmastime and your kid's asking you for /one/ simple thing and you just brush him off."

'Simple'," Flicker mouths, amused.

Hive turns his head back to give Flicker an equally amused look. "Dusk's got wings how hard could it be, motherfucker can barely make toast."

"You can barely make toast," Flicker answers. But then, more concerned: "Messing with him because of what he wears?" He sounds a little puzzled.

"Uh, dude, have you not /noticed/ the skirts and makeup?" Hive's brows lift.

Flicker blushes again. "Oh -- yeah, no I -- I did I just. Forgot that --" His blush deepens starkly.

For a second Hive listens to something no one else can hear, and then snorts. "-- Fair. Yeah. I guess I don't exactly always think of him as a boy anyway."

"If it helps, I don't think B always thinks of himself as a boy either. He ain't never asked to be referred to no different, though. -- Though." Jackson frowns uncertainly. "Ain't real sure he would ask even if he wanted to. 'least it'd take him a /long/ time t'work up to it I think." He closes his eye, relaxing somewhat sleepily on the couch, /his/ usual overabundance of energy sapped kind of early on each day lately with the short days. "I'd take wings," he adds. "Nice -- fuzzy. Soft wings."

"Terrible. Grinchy Jewish-dad. No Christmas presents. Thanksgivin' an' Chanukah both got eaten by zombies this year, too. Kinda owe the kids some pencils an' notebooks an' socks an' chocolate coins an' a pile of fried food." Micah giggles, squeezing Jax's shoulders again. "Really, though, this'n's kinda got the Christmas stuff handled. I've dated Christians before, but never really had cause t'do a family Christmas thing. Gotta learn this stuff on the fly." He sighs at the discussion about 'Bastian, chewing at his lip a little. "Y'know, I've wondered, m'self. An' you prob'ly know what's on 'is mind better'n anybody but maybe Shane, Hive, just by virtue of--" the sentence ends with fingers wiggling at his temple. "I'm not sure what t'do on /that/, either. I want 'im t'be happy, but I also don't wanna force 'im into a conversation he's not ready for... Is slippin' readin' material on gender identity onto 'is desk a ridiculous idea?" Leaving off the lip-worrying, he drinks again from his mug of cocoa instead. "Mmm...fuzzywings. Which reminds me, we should talk t'Dusk about the whole livin' situation. I think he'd be on board."

"Shane's been asking me to teach him how to be Buddhist." Hive kind of grumbles this, but there's a crooked smile on his face.

"Me too." Flicker's face scrunches up. He straightens, finishing the rest of the cocoa. "But I don't think he'll like being Mormon."

"Dude, /who/ the fuck likes being Mormon?" This question earns Hive a lazy /bonk/ on the head, as Flicker moves away to snag Jax's empty mug and take both to leave them in the sink. "He doesn't even like being Mormon," Hive confides to the others.

"That's nonsense and you know it." Flicker blips back out to the living room, returning to the box of ornaments to finish decorating the tree. "But if you and Spence are Jewish and Shane's experimenting and Bastian's undecided it probably means not a lot of pressure on the Christmas thing."

"Or more pressure," Hive volunteers, "because your fucked-up kids with their fucked-up lives haven't had a normal family holiday mostly ever. -- I could /tell/ you what's in his head," he adds, "but that might be cheating. It's hard, sometimes," he admits this softer, looking down at his cup. "Around people like him. With /you/ at least," he glances over towards Jackson, "I know you don't mind me poking when your face is saying one thing and your /brain/ is screaming another at me. With him I don't always know how to --" Briefly, his teeth grind. He takes another sip of cocoa.

"Your birthday done get et, too," Jackson reminds with a nudge of his head to Micah's shoulder. "An' Luci's, an' Hive's. -- Was he okay?" he suddenly remembers to ask with a small frown. "You didn't come back the other night and --" He shakes his head, and settles it back on Micah's shoulder. "I think Dusk would love it. Ain't sure where he's gone off to, we can grab him."

His nose crinkles up at the thought of Christmas, though. "... I ain't been entirely sure /what/ to do about -- well, a lotta things. Kinda flail sometimes at like. I want the kids t'have the traditions that're important to them. An' I want them to be part'a the things that're important to /me/. An' I never know where's the line between making everyone feel included and /not/ feeling like I'm /pushing/ my beliefs on them. Not even just with religion, culture and everything s'like. Everyone's from such different places and I don't -- the twins' biological parents was /horrible/ but that don't mean all Vietnamese culture is horrible and sometimes they bring up stuff they want to do and I worry I ain't doing /enough/ to -- oh gosh," he cuts himself off with a deep blush, "I'm flailin' again. M' --" 'sorry', he signs.

"I've kinda thought the same about B. Maybe leave some literature around where he'll read it, maybe talk to him first. We talked about gender issues a lot in class but he mostly just stayed real real quiet. In class is hard. All your -- /classmates/ there." Around him the light ripples briefly. "I always do kinda feel like he's carryin' around a lot more sad than he lets on."

"Oh, no, Hive, I'm not askin' you t'tell me what B's thinkin', no matter how much I might wanna know. That's a crazy breech of privacy an' I wouldn't ask you t'do that. It's just...if /you/ forget t'think of B as a boy an' you're hearin' 'is head all the time. Just makes me think that ain't the way he sees it, either." Micah finishes his cocoa and leans forward to deposit the empty cup on the table. "I know it did. Guess we'll need t'have a make-up birthday for folks or somethin'. Y'know, I just on Friday got the package that m'parents sent for m'birthday before the whole zombie thing went down. Mail's been a wreck." He tugs at the hem of his shirt. "Honey, it's not like all the little traditions an' things that come with religious celebrations are even all that religious themselves. Or...relatin' t'that religion /itself/. All the tree decoratin' an' lights an' holly an' mistletoe an' singin' an' stuff that happens around Christmastime s'all taken from assorted pagan traditions. We can just pick an' choose things that the kids wanna do. Make your own family traditions, right? An' we can do things that /you/ enjoyed with /your/ family for Christmas, because /your/ traditions are important, too." He takes a deep breath, nodding at that plan for B. "I think...leavin' some things for 'im t'look at could help. Then /maybe/ he'll decide 'imself t'talk about it. If he doesn't, we can always initiate it. I just don't want 'im t'feel all...cornered or like we're pushin' some kinda weird agenda."

"An' Luci's...ugh. It's hard with him. /He/ don't even know if he's okay, t'use 'is own words. Sor--apologies for not lettin' y'know where I was, but y'were already asleep an' it wasn't exactly the /plan/ t'sleep with 'im when I went over, y'know?" Micah's eyes widen suddenly, brilliant crimson creeping up across his face in a nearly cartoonish fashion. "Oh/gosh/, I mean. Not. I mean literally. Sleep. He just needed somebody t'/be/ there so I was just holdin' 'im 'til he fell asleep an' then I fell asleep. Slept." He buries his face in Jax's shoulder, trying not to think /too/ loudly about kissing Lucien because...poor Hive. "I think I need a Mulligan on that entire...thought."

Flicker turns brilliantly crimson at Micah's verbal floundering, glancing over towards the couch with wider eyes.

"Yeah, it's usually hella fucking expensive," Hive confirms an unspoken thought, which only makes Flicker turn redder and turn back to his decorating. "I just think of him as B. And yeah. He carries --" Hive exhales sharply. "A lot. Dusk's on the roof fucking Eric, I could poke him if you want." His lips twitch into a thin smile. "Lucien's /not/ okay, /I/ could tell you that much. Bet he /kisses/ just fine though."

Jax's eye opens wide. /He/ turns brilliantly crimson as well, turning his head to hide his face against Micah's hair. "Oh -- oh gosh." To the talk of Lucien /or/ the talk of Dusk and Eric, he's just -- red. Very red. "That -- that's okay if he needed -- I weren't upset I just -- oh gosh." Now /he's/ thinking of kissing Lucien. Thinking of /Micah/ kissing Lucien. He rubs a hand against his face. "OHgosh. I should. Go. Somewhere -- not here /don't/ poke at Dusk that's so unnecessary."

Micah is fortunately not looking at Flicker /or/ Jax to increase the feedback loop to his own blushing...which doesn't need much help because /Hive/ is /terrible/. "No, I think there's a lotta not okay goin' around an' a lotta people not talkin' about what's goin' on or askin' for help when they need or oh/gosh/." He mooshes his face against Jax's shoulder as if this will help him /hide/ better. "Don't...don't bother Dusk. Pretty sure with Eric's the only time he ever gets t'eat /near/ as much as he needs to--" Micah cuts himself off with a little frustrated noise, the red on the back of his neck and ears showing brighter, even if his face is still hidden. "I...think maybe I should be done with talkin' for awhile because I'm just...fail. No more talkin' for me, period unspecified."

Hive claps a hand down on Micah's shoulder, setting his laptop aside and rising. "Oh, he is definitely eating his fill. And you don't need to talk," he reminds, "I can hear you whether you do or not. You should see what Jax is thinking right now."

Flicker is just -- moving around. Behind the tree. Where he can /hide/.

"And there was definitely some of that going on," he also confirms, so-helpfully to Jax. "You could go somewhere. Like home. To your bedroom."

"/Ohgosh/." The red is spreading out past Jax's skin to tint the air red. "Ohgosh ohgosh." Hive's comments are not /helping/ turn off the imagery in Jax's head, his breathing a little quicker, pulse a little faster. He scrubs at his face again, and this time actually stands, curling his hand through Micah's to give a little tug. "... you can hear me at home too," is a grouse that makes this tug less urgent, though, more just /dying of embarrassment/.

Micah /jumps/ a little at the hand on his shoulder, having been too busy hiding to really notice Hive moving. << Pretty sure you're evil, >> he observes wryly, though keeping to his own edict of not talking aloud. << There's still about a cup of cocoa left in the pot, if Dusk gets home soon. Definitely will need reheating. May need to go in the 'fridge if he's...gonna be awhile. >> He stands with Jax's tug, leading him on and out the door.

"If he comes home I'll just send him up to you guys." Hive lifts his cup in salutation, a /definite/ smirk on his lips as he watches the others leave.