ArchivedLogs:In One Stroke

From X-Men: rEvolution
In One Stroke
Dramatis Personae

Hive, Matt, Lucien

2017-02-12


"{Well, this particular bit of sibling rivalry just happened to be dramatically appropriate, too.}"

Location

<NYC> Mount Sinai Hospital - Harlem


On the cutting edge of many medical technologies, Mount Sinai Hospital is often ranked as one of the nation's best hospitals. The medical school attached is one of the best in the world, meaning that even your med students know what they are doing. Chin up, then -- when you come in here badly mutilated after the latest terrible catastrophe in Times Square, you're in good hands.

The late-morning sun streaming in through vertical blinds tiger-stripes the linoleum floor with stark lines of warmth. The room has only one bed, but a lot of monitoring equipment by way of compensation. Everything in it is one of those neutral non-colors endemic to hospitals. There are no flowers or cards on the bedside table, though there is a stack of books.

Lying in the bed, hooked up to quite a few of those monitors, Lucien is not reading any of the books. One forefinger taps lightly against the sheets, out of sync with the rhythm of any of the monitoring equipment around him but in time with the tune of Spring Awakening's "Touch Me", currently playing in his head. Beneath the music his thoughts are less orderly -- kind of pained, kind of fragmented, with an uneasy (unhappy) (kind of scattershot) mental attempt to re-structure themselves.

Collapsed in a chair with his head and arms resting beside his brother on the bed, Matt looks asleep at first blush. He is, in fact, awake, if only just; a haze of exhaustion lies over all his anxious darting thoughts, mostly revolving around Lucien’s health, but also about needing to send out his lesson plans for the substitute, checking in with their younger siblings, and answering various worried texts. His hair is a hopelessly tousled mess, and he wear a seafoam green t-shirt with an immense white whale curled beneath an eight-pointed star, threadbare blue jeans with tattered cuffs, and tan hospital sock-slippers. A green backpack and a pair of ancient brown hiking boots are tucked under his chair.

Unlike the Tessiers, Hive is /totally/ awake. Very awake. Matt could feel this waking up -- some considerable while earlier, in a sweeping wave of the telepath's presence rippling through a number of minds in the hospital; ever since then Hive has /been/ here (and there, and there, and there, and there) going about the business of the nurses and doctors and patients and clerks and janitorial staff and --

-- as such there's not, particularly, much forewarning when one more bit of Hive among the many approaches the room: so far this morning both Luci's nurses have also been Hive. But this time when the door opens /this/ Hive is more familiar, sharp and bony and directing his habitual scowl over toward the bed. He has a large coffee in one hand, its heat sleeve decorated in Evolve's colorful graffiti-esque logo. There's a thermos tucked under his arm, a paper bag in his other hand. He's dressed in jeans, too, heavy workboots, a corduroy jacket hanging open over a black denim button-up.

Trudging closer, he hooks one ankle beneath the leg of another chair, drags it with a scrape over toward the bed beside Matt's. He offers the thermos out, nudging Matt silently in the shoulder with it.

The opening of the door jars Matt into what probably passes for alert in his current state. Pushing himself slowly upright, he twists in the chair, eyes bleary and bloodshot and blinking in the light. He looks at the thermos when Hive taps his shoulder. Looks at it for almost a full second, his mind processing its implications sluggishly. When he finally accepts it, though, he grips it as though it were a lifeline. << Merci, >> He rises to wrap Hive in a tight hug before uncapping the thermos and taking a not-overly-cautious sip.

Hive returns the hug tight and long, then slouches back in the chair. One foot lifts to rest on a wheel of Lucien's bed. His eyes fix on the younger Tessier's face, brows faintly knitted. "{It's hot.}" This gruff warning only comes after Matt has already sipped at the Darjeeling within. "{Christ. He trying to one-up you?}"

Matt flinches at the temperature of the tea in time with Hive’s warning about the same, but sighs with pleasure immediately after, nevertheless. He leaves the thermos uncapped and hugs it to his chest, leaning back in the chair. “{He /is/ very competent.}” The reply is even, noncommittal. His eyes also stray to Lucien’s face, his frown attended by a sharp stab of fear that burns through the fog of weariness in his mind. << {But perhaps he wanted to pre-empt me this time.} >> He is very pointedly /not/ thinking about a certain phone call.

"{So I've noticed.}" There's a crinkle of paper as Hive unrolls the top of the bag. He reaches in, plucks out a scone from inside. Carefully, he breaks it apart, pulling out a small packet of butter from within the bag as well to butter its insides before setting it on a napkin and handing it over to Matt. "{The overachieving seems like it's getting out of hand.}" His cheeks puff out -- he slouches further in his seat, heavily. His eyes slide sideways, flicking over to the man beside him. The ripple of his vast mindscape can be felt -- starting to reach for Matt's, at that determined not-thought, then /just/ as pointedly pulling back inward. "{How long will they keep him?}"

Matt accepts the scone with only a momentary hesitation, though he takes only a very small nibble from one corner, and chases it with a much more careful sip from the thermos. “{Well, this particular bit of sibling rivalry just happened to be dramatically appropriate, too. We all have our weaknesses.}” Tensing as he senses the shifting of Hive’s network, Matt threads his powers into the telepath’s, ready to clamp down, though he never does. The metaphorical circling of the fighters distracts him from some of the unpleasant foreboding in his mind, though not for long. “{I don’t know.}” << {/They/ don’t know. It was bad, but he is not what they expect.} >>

"{Jax baked them.}" Hive explains the scones, though Matt's first bite probably explains it still more succinctly. He lifts his own cup, takes a slow swallow of coffee. His gaze has returned to rest on Lucien when he finally speaks up again -- it takes a while. "{He's only been in here since yesterday.}"

Matt nods sedately, nibbling on the scone. Though he has little enthusiasm in actually eating, however excellent the food, there's a quiet pulse of joy in him at the thought of Jax back home and baking in his own kitchen(s) again. "{We meant to go visit this evening. After the show.}" He closes his eyes, takes another sip of tea. "{Yes. It hasn't been long. The brain is remarkably adaptive. His more than most.}" There's a hollow note in his voice, though; he believes what he is saying, but the words do not assuage his fears.

"{Better to wait, anyway, the Commons is a fucking nightmare. Goddamn hordes swarming the gate, surging around clawing and slavering for flesh.}" Hive's fingers have tightened just faintly against his coffee cup. He takes another long gulp, eyes narrowed a little further. "{He's only been in here since yesterday,}" he says again, "{but your screening results were due back Friday.}" Softer: "{You didn't call.}"

"{He can handle ravening hordes.}" The only indication Matt gives as to which 'he' is a weary lean toward Lucien. "{Zombies, too. Or he could, under normal circumstances.}" << {Gods know I can do neither, even in the best of health.} >> A tremor runs through him, and he lowers the scone. "{They want me back in for more tests.}" Soft, matter-of-fact. "{It's just an abnormal blood count.}" He's gripping the thermos very tightly.

<< {With you here to help him, he will again.} >> Hive has gone very still, at Matt's words. His eyes close, his breathing slower. He relaxes his grip on his own cup -- reaches out to curl his hand gently against Matt's, over its deathgrip on the thermos. "{I'll go with you.}"

Matt just nods, once, jerkily. << {But if I /am/ sick--} >> He derails the thought quite deliberately and focuses with an abrupt intensity on Hive, his power twining into the expansive telepathic network without doing anything at all to it. Just clings to it. "{Thank you.}" Something inside of him eases fractionally at Hive's touch, though he doesn't let go of the tea. "I--I'm not sure I can do it alone, and I don't want Luci worrying about it. More than he's going to, anyway."

<< {If you are sick,} >> Hive's multifaceted voices murmur back softly, << {nothing will change overnight. You'll still help him recover from this. And then he'll help you.} >> His mind shifts, coils, wrapping around and against Matt's. It presses up firm and steady against the other man's, an immense and strong foundation that for all the power promised behind it only touches up against Matt's mind with a gentle care. "{He's --}" His hand squeezes just a bit tighter. "{He's your brother. He'll worry. But you all don't have to do this alone.}"

Matt's hand slowly unclenches and turns to grips Hive's--no less tightly. He emits a small, breathy noise that in no way matches the complexity or magnitude of his relief as he subsides into his friend's presence. For a few moments he does not move, does not speak. Just breathes. Then he methodically finishes the scone and stretches out the freed hand to touch his brother's--gently, just a brush of fingertips. "{No,}" he agrees, "{not alone.}"