ArchivedLogs:Incomplete Set

From X-Men: rEvolution
Incomplete Set
Dramatis Personae

B, Steve

Christmas Eve

"Presents can happen any time."


<NYC> Firehaus - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

The sunset ombre walls are the most striking feature of the room by far. A deep, dark purple - almost blue - starts at the ceiling and devolves in even, shaded spreads into a healthy violet, a spunky pink, a sunny yellow, a warm orange, and finally to the namesake: a firehouse red. The common room is fairly open, with the kitchen off to the right of the entryway. A long custom bar with both chairs and backless stools separates the kitchen from the living room, the doors to Steve and Savannah's rooms set on either side just beyond it.

An antique maple-wood coffee table sits squarely in the center of the room, beside a purple corduroy futon couch flanked by matched end tables, one in pale wood and the other dark, each decorated with abstract flame-like mosaic patterns. Two tall bookcases line the wall across from the couch and coffee table, occupying the space that would enshrine a television in many houses. By the window are two plush red chairs, one a recliner and the other rigid but convertible to a backless chair, with a matching ottoman. Plenty of lamps are sprinkled throughout on various surfaces.

It's late, and the the apartment is lit mostly by candles and the fairy lights crowding the small but heavily decorated Douglas fir. The air is warm and heady with the scent of of evergreens, spices, and cider. An antique turntable is playing 'God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen.' Steve sits in the reclining chair by the window with a single reading lamp craned above him to light the book open in his lap. He's wearing a scarlet sweater with the Gryffindor house crest emblazoned across the chest, and black pajama pants dotted with small graphic representations of his shield. A silver mug in his right hand, covered with blue and white snowflakes, is half full of fragrant mulled cider. Zenobia is curled at his feet, dozing on and off.

Nok? Nok... nok? The tapping at the front door is timid. Outside, B is -- already dressed for bed, really; soft purple yoga pants and no shoes, a thick multicoloured sweatercoat thrown on over her tee (it reads 'CHOMP CHOMP' is shark for 'I <3 U'). There's a package in her hands, wrapped in reflective blue paper and tied with a silvery-white bow.

Zenobia is up and bounding for the door before the quiet knocking even starts. She shoves her nose up against the crevice at the threshold and snuffles, whimpering softly. Steve isn't far behind, setting both mug and book (/Updraft/, by Fran Wilde) down on the bar as he goes. He pulls open the door and Zenobia bounces out into the hallway, describing a tight circle of prancing around B. "Oh! I -- apologies, I wasn't expecting..." He glances down at his attire, then at B's, and gives a rueful smile. "Come on in. Can I get you a snack, or a drink?"

B holds the package up carefully a little higher -- even while her other hand drops to deliver scritches to Zenobia's huge head. "Yeah I -- 'pologies I should have mentioned at dinner --" B's eyes have widened, suddenly; ze slides a step back, uncertain. "Um, I could. I could come back tomorrow? I just. I wanted to... {Sorry.} It's late."

Steve accepts the package, flushing just a little. "Oh, no, I didn't mean..." He scruffs one hand through his hair. "{Many thanks.} And you needn't come in if you don't want to, but I'd be glad of the company, at least." Zenobia is nuzzling up into B's hand rather aggressively, whip-like tail thrashing the air rapidly.

"Oh." B's cheeks darken a deeper tint of blue, hir gills briefly fluttering. "I'd like to. Um. Come in." Hir nose twitches, eyes a little wider. "Is that cider?" Hir claws scritch carefully behind Zenobia's ears before ze steps -- also carefully -- through the doorway. "I don't know if maybe the present should have waited till tomorrow, but Ba always put up his... oh. Well. You haven't opened it yet." Her head ducks sheepishly.

Steve sweeps his free arm in welcome (maybe also to urge his dog back inside) and closes the door behind B. "Yeah, cider -- I have some on the stove, still. Would you like some? There's rum in mine, but the pot is undoctored." He pauses and looks down at the package in his hand. "Presents can happen any time." A small smile touches his lips, fleeting, as he unties the ribbon and pulls the wrapping paper apart.

B nods, eagerly. "Yeah! I -- I'd like. Um. The cider. No rum," she adds hastily, as if there were any real danger of misunderstanding there. "Just -- just a good night for cider." She's looking over to the tree, briefly, twinkly lights reflected in her huge black eyes. Inside the wrapping paper is -- a box! Small, light, also reflective-blue, its lid at least easy to lift off.

Steve opens the lid of the box, eyes widening. "Oh! Wow, that's exquisite. {Thank you!} And yes, I'd set up the others, on a shelf by the window already. These will look lovely beside them." He has already started to head that way, then shakes his head. "Cider first, though." Retrieving a mug (this one in shadowy blues interrupted here and there with the silhouettes of cruising sharks as if seen from below), he fills it with warm cider from a sauce pan on the stove and presents it to B. Then retrieves his own mug and carries B's gift over to the shelf that displays his nativity scene constructed of tiny bleached animal bones. The new additions he lifts out carefully, one by one, arranging them around the holy family.

B curls webbed fingers around the mug, a pleased rumble of growl purring in her chest as she cups it close and looks at its design. Padding after Steve, she watches with wide-wide eyes over the rim of the mug as he extracts his present from the lined box it is carefully nested in.

Inside, a trio of delicate figures constructed in bones. Small clawed hands; one has a long segmented tail and digitigrade pawed legs, another walks on two hooved feet, the third rises up on a coiled snakelike lower body. A rat head for one, a small bird on another, some horned sharptoothed chimera on the third that has been reconstructed using a fish as its base. They wear crowns; one has a cape of feathers, one a cloak of fur. They hold small gifts in their hands -- tiny bone boxes with the traditional offerings of gold, frankincense, myrrh, tucked inside.

"You like them?" B sounds so hopeful. "Ba always sets up his Nativity tonight --" Her eyes have dropped to the cup of cider in her hands. "-- so I thought. You should have them /now/."

"Yes, I do -- they're beautiful and uncanny." Steve gives a smile, guileless and wondering, as he steps back to admire the three monstrous bone magi. "I'm endlessly amazed that you actually make those. With your own hands." He turns and stretches out an arm to curl around B. "{Thank you,} truly." His voice is a little thick, and his eyes bright.

B exhales, soft and -- relieved, maybe. Shoulders relaxing and easing in against Steve's side. "{Good. Good, I --} I just wanted..." She shakes her head, lifts her mug for a long swallow of cider. "Merry Christmas."