ArchivedLogs:Holding Out

From X-Men: rEvolution
Holding Out
Dramatis Personae

Jax, Steve

2017-09-30


"I'm /still/ not great at perspective, though."

Location

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


The right side of the second storey is not quite as open in design as the left, but it is more plentiful in natural light, especially where it fetches up against the glass side of the conservatory. Towards the rear of the house is a modestly sized bedroom with wide glass double doors leading onto a balcony that connects to the conservatory, and thence to the Geekhaus balcony on the other side.

The room itself is homey and comfortable, a queen size bed well-supplied with pillows and Care Bears, a drafting table beneath a window, a vanity stocked with a vast array of colorful and glittery makeup, and brightly painted bookshelves heavy in cookbooks and young adult fantasy. The room beside it, though similar in size and shape, is almost completely bare and, despite excellent ventilation, always smells of paint fumes. Its only visible permanent features are the small, unobtrusive surround-sound speakers, in addition to which it usually contains only an easel, a stool, and a small table. Hidden behind blank white wall panels, however, are cabinets full of paints, pigments, brushes, and a vast array of other artist's tools, as well as a fold-out computer workstation.

Across the hall are two other bedrooms, a bathroom in between. One is decorated in rustic fashion, right down to the mission style furniture and handmade quilt. The other is quite a bit more eclectic, and prone to changing decor on a regular basis. At the moment, the walls, ceiling, and floor are painted up like a starfield, with a startling illusion of depth that makes the room look uncannily large. The loft bed is shaped and painted like a sleek spacecraft resting on its docking platform, while the beanbag chair beneath it is pattern like an asteroid dotted with innumerable craters. The desk looks like /and actually is/ an exceedingly advanced computer console, equipped with configurable touch surfaces and interactive holoprojectors. A corner of the room is given over to colorful interlocking foam play mats, more often than not home to half-completed LEGO or K'NEX projects.

At the end of the hall, tucked beside the emergency stairwell back down to the ground floor, is a whimsical spiral stairway leading /up/ into a cozy attic room. A slouchy sofa takes up most of one wall and a long, low bookshelf most of the opposite one. A cushy armchair sits under the octagonal window, and several floor lamps provide adjustable angles, levels, and temperatures of illumination. The inside wall of the room has a door leading to a storage crawlspace, and a trapdoor nearby leads down to Spencer's bedroom.

Supper has come and gone, leaving the house quiet with half of its residents already departed for various activities. Steve is padding upstairs, dressed in a crisp blue pinpoint Oxford shirt, slate gray slacks, and mismatched socks -- one with pink heel and toe caps, the other with blue ones -- his shield slung on its harness across his back. His hair is still just a touch damp and he smells of spiced soap and bay rum aftershave. He's carrying a tall glass of some sort of blended fruit juice in one hand and a small plate of cookies in the other, both raided from Workhaus's own kitchen, and transfers both somewhat awkwardly to one hand so he can knock on Jax's door.

"S'open," called from inside. Jax is flopped face-down on his bed in slightly silvery-washed black jeans, a black fishnet layered over a purple tank, laptop open beside him (it's playing /Brooklyn 99/ on the screen, volume turned down low) and a stack of drawings of highly variable quality (all of them depicting the Xavier mansion, from one angle or another) in front of him. "Though it'll be open/er/ if y'brung me cookies." Kind of teasingly sing-song.

Steve opens the door, slips inside, closes it behind him, and sinks down gracefully to one knee at Jax's beside. Voila, cookies and juice! "You were low on milk and I didn't want to use it all up," he offers, only a bit sheepishly. Peers at the stack of art. "What are you working on? I mean I can tell it's the school, but -- is it a commission /from/ Xavier's?"

Jax turns over onto his side, his eye opening into a wider expression of exaggerated surprise. "Cookies! For me! Who knew!" He's already reaching to pluck one from the plate. "Oh /gosh/ no these are my kids I just gotta grade 'em." More thoughtfully. "I guess it's /kind/ of a commission in that they're payin' me money. Honestly I don't know if there's a one of these good enough to hang on the wall or nothin' but maybe by the end of the term they'll have a better idea of --" He frowns down at the blocky rather distorted image in front of him. His teeth scrape lightly over his lower lip. "I mean," he hedges, "I know perspective's a sorta subjective thing but." One hand kind of flails vaguely sketch-wards.

Steve blushes. "Desole, I should have looked closer, I was just --" His eyes travel down Jax's body. "-- distracted. Not sure it's quite a commission unless they're paying you /per student educated./" He sets the plate and the cup down on the nightstand and settles -- carefully, knowing the impact of his not inconsiderable weight -- onto the bed beside Jax. Picks up the blocky distorted house. "Perspective can be tough! Took me a while to get it right, but I mostly drew figures, early on." Glances sideways at Jax, appraising. "I guess these have to be graded come Monday?"

Jax's cheeks flush red, his head bowing briefly as he munches the rest of the cookie. "Yeah, I wanted to get 'em back on Monday. You /still/ mostly draw figures." He turns over the rest of the way, rolling onto his back and resting his head up against Steve's thigh. Squinting with a deeper scrutiny up at the other man. "... tell the truth is it because you still ain't never got the hang of perspective? Tell me all your landscapes come out lookin' like freakish nightmare fairyland." His hands have clasped in entreaty, the dimensions of the room around them starting to skew into vaguely vertigo-inducing physics-defying distortion.

"I /like/ drawing figures," Steve's reply is...maybe just a tiny bit defensive. But then he admits, pretty freely, "I'm /still/ not great at perspective, though. I like to think I've learned better than /that/," he indicates the wibbly mansion piece, then looks up at the room as it shifts around them. "But yes, sometimes my structures do smack a bit of off-kilter funhouse." Small frown. "In the sense of a house constructed in deliberately odd fashion for entertainment purposes, not -- where Joshua and the Huas live." A smile curls his lips suddenly. "Maybe I should find someone to teach me up right."

"Or," Jax suggests brightly, as the room starts to tilt further -- it seems to be bending itself inexorably towards being upside /down/ as well as just hopelessly stretched, "you could jus' embrace it. Start drawing surrealist pieces. Make a killing on /Lost/ fanart. There's a big market for that in some communities. I draw some /strange/ stuff for them. Definitely very far from any kinda kilter." His cheek rubs absently against Steve's leg. "But if you /want/ a teacher I happen to know a pretty aright one."

Steve slips one arm under his head and props it up off the mattress, gazing at Jax with fond intensity and a smile that's growing in spite of the warped room growing steadily more surreal. "I'm working on a 'Lost' piece right now, actually. As a gift to Luci. Remind me to show you." His breath catches at the nuzzling. "I'd love to be taught properly, regardless. You'll put in a good word for me?" He's sitting up now, scooping Jax up effortlessly in his arms.

"I'd love to see it." Jax sounds quite earnest. He curls closer to Steve, one arm wrapping around the other man. His head tilts slightly so that he can crook a mischievous smile up at his partner. "Oh sure. I mean, y'know, Tag's /pretty/ busy so I can't make no promises or nothin' but I'll give a glowing recommendation."

"I dunno, the perspective's pretty weird." Steve's grin is lopsided, here. "Makes the trees look like they're sort of /looming/ over the fearless heroine and her kidnapper." His arms tighten just a little around Jax. "Yeah, I heard he has a lot of marketing to do. I'm a patient man." He pauses just a beat. "Actually, that's a nonsense lie. Maybe /you/ could teach me a bit. I'm sure I could compensate you /somehow/..." He presses a chaste kiss to Jax's cheek. Then several progressively /less/ chaste ones along his jawline and down to his neck.

"Me? But I don't know the first thing 'bout teach..." Jax's breath catches, eye fluttering closed at the kisses. His head tips back, neck baring. "Oh. Oh, gosh. come t'think of it I'm suddenly starting to remember." His fingers curl in against Steve's side, harder. "Wait, should I be holding out for a better offer? This is why I ain't supposed to handle my own business."

"Mmm. How about I save you the trouble and just make you a better offer?" Steve lays Jax down gently -- and again without much evident effort -- well clear of his students' artwork, half-pinning him to the bed with his face still buried in the crook of his neck. His lips trace the line of his partner's collarbone, though he looks up long enough to add, "I never really got the hang of /Capitalism/, either," before moving further down.