ArchivedLogs:Hardly Working

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Hardly Working
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt


"{The truth and I have a special relationship.}"


<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 gets home, a weary and frazzled din of rather orderly-if-overtaxed mental noise that, even so far removed from work, hasn't quite let down his diligently careful guard. His clothes are just a little more rumpled than when he left, black slacks and dress shirt not so crisp, silk Nehru jacket folded carefully over one arm. Tired or not, he still takes a somewhat punctilious care with removing his polished Oxfords and stowing them neatly in the closet.

Tendrils of Matt's powers coil out and wind into Lucien's before he has even opened the door, soothing his frazzled nerves and lifting away some of the constant maintenance work. Inside, the scent of brewing tea is delicate but unmistakable. Matt's laptop is on the coffee table, beside it a plate of crumbs, and the man himself emerges from the kitchen a moment later in a sleeveless white undershirt and plain black pajama pants. He straightens out his brother's shirt collar out a touch before utterly messing it up again by embracing him. "{Welcome home.}"

Lucien's breath catches, holds. His lean is careful, cautious -- both the external shift of his weight in against his brother's, head tipping in against Matt's shoulder, and the internal ease of his mind gently into the succor that his brother's brings.

Both are tentative, both fleeting before he is pulling back, pulling inward with a small apologetic smile. "{There is tea.}" An immense and perhaps disproportionate dose of relief in his words, even considering the subject.

Matt quirks an odd half-smile. "{So it would seem.}" He gives Lucien's shirt another perfunctory tug, which does virtually nothing to smooth it out, and makes his slow way back toward the kitchen. He pours the pouzhong tea into two pale celadon mugs, the scent blossoming up to fill the kitchen.

Trailing after his brother toward the kitchen, Lucien claims a mug, claims a seat at the counter. One hand curls tight around his tea; the other comes up to prop up his chin, elbow resting on the counter. "{Gods,}" softly, "{I've really no right to be this tired. As clients go he's hardly taxing.}" A very small crease wrinkles his brows. "{At least not in the usual ways. In other -- quite unexpected ones --}" This breaks off, unfinished, into a small sip of tea.

"{No right,}" Matt echoes, his tone neutral. "{I imagine everyone has the /right/ to be precisely as tired as they feel, even if they haven't been working triple overtime for just about two solid weeks.}" He cleans out the teapot and slides his own mug over near Lucien, bracing his elbows on the countertop though he does not sit. "{How is he? I've some notion it's been a rough summer--rough.../winter/, I suppose, in Brazil.}"

"{He has had a trying break.}" Lucien's eyes fix on his tea; he turns the mug slowly around in his hands. "{I daresay he rather --}" This time, though, he stops with a soft chuckle. "Talking to you about clients feels a bit different when they are your co-workers." His next drink is longer, savoured. "{And you are taking liberties with the truth. I took a couple days off just this past week. The mountains were lovely, Chloe charming, Clint a delight, and the pups precious beyond measure.} You've likely worked harder than I this week --" A frown -- a slightly searching look, "or at least I hope so if you're to be on track for the term."

"{I was asking as his friend, not his co-worker, but fair point even so.}" Matt sips at his tea delicately. "{The truth and I have a special relationship,}" he retorts, "{and I think it completely reasonable to suspect that you somehow managed to continue working during your retreat, which was in any event entirely too short.}" Though he smiles gently all the same. "I don't know about working harder than /you/, but I /have/ been hard at work. Not quite done yet, but I have my lesson plans and syllabi ready, at least."

"{You confiscated my work phone,}" Lucien replies mildly. So innocently. His fingers unfurl to cup at his cheek, eyes slipping half-closed and his smile a soft and indulgent thing. "Syllabi? Goodness, you're talking like a real teacher, now. Have you actually put dates on it? Does it, perhaps, suggest to your students that you will hold them to /deadlines/? If any of the newbies talk to even a single upperclassman they'll see right through it, you know."

Matt rolls his eyes. "{As if you do not work from your personal phone. Or, in a pinch, /any/ phone you can wipe afterwards.}" But he is beginning to smile before he can bring his mug up to hide it. "There are /several/ dates on /all/ of them. My students will look at them and think, 'My! What clear and concise expectations! No longer am I adrift in a sea of academic uncertainty.' And I'll have you know I plan to accept only /reasonable/ requests for extensions this term."

One slender black eyebrow quirks upwards. "S'il te plaît," mildly, "define reasonable."

"Oh, you know. Illness, family emergency, stuff like that." Matt waves one hand vaguely in the air. "Don't give me that /judgmental/ eyebrow. It's /circumstantial/, I'll know it when I see it." He sets his mug down. "{I take my duties quite seriously, thank you very much.}"

"Mmm. Emergency like perhaps a dog that is far too cute. A spontaneous trip to the beach with their siblings. The important things." There's a quiet warmth in Lucien's tone, for all the /judgment/ in his eyebrows. He takes another long sip of tea, holding his mug still close to his face. Less teasing: "{High school is stressful enough. Your students are lucky to have you.}"

"Ah, there, you have it exactly." Matt nods, beaming in his vindication. "I /might/ request photographic evidence of the dog." He takes a sip of his tea and looks up at the ceiling. "{More so for our students, I think, than most. I want to make it a better experience for them, if I can.}" His gaze drops back down to his brother. "If nothing else, they're lucky to have me for study hall. It's my new speciality -- or will be, once we work out my roster." This with a sheepish dock of his head, "{As I said, not /quite/ done yet.}"

"Study hall?" Here, Lucien's eyes open a touch wider, amusement lightening his tone. "{I thought that was universally nap time for students and teachers alike. Are you /actually/ elevating slacking off to a unique and personalized art, now?}"

"{As a matter of fact, yes.}" Matt straightens up slightly without unslouching, somehow. "But plenty of people do work during study hall. /Generally/ for classes later in the day." Here he pauses a beat, grins. "Myself included." He rolls the mug between his hands meditatively. "{In the past, other teachers would sometimes send students actively having trouble with their powers to my office hours or study hall. So I thought, why not proactively assign students with volatile or difficult powers to my study hall? When it comes down to it...}" His smile warms as his gaze lifts back to his brother. "{ others respite from their powers is the first thing I ever learned to do with mine.}"

Lucien's fingertips press lightly to his lips -- it's hard to quite discern the expression that he stifles. Easy enough, though, to feel the quavering touch of mind -- relaxing, gently, where Matt's powers start taking over the work of his own. He drains his mug, now, his posture slowly relaxing into -- /almost/ a slouch of his own, against the counter. "{Leave it to you to make study hall something special.}"