ArchivedLogs:Indulging Passions

From X-Men: rEvolution
Indulging Passions
Dramatis Personae

Doug, Iolaus, Lucien

2014-06-09


A chance meeting in a bookstore.

Location

<NYC> Strand Books - East Village


The Strand manages to pack a whole lot of character into one bookstore, but they have a lot of space to fit it in. They advertise themselves as having eighteen miles of books, and whether or not that is true, it certainly is true that they have an enormous number of shelves packed into their rows and rows and rows of books. A book-lover's haven, this East Village landmark boasts an enormous collection of volumes of all types among their stacks, crammed into the narrow aisles. Well-known for their rare and out-of-print collection, they have many hard to find volumes tucked away in their labyrinth of shelves as well.

The Strand is a hushed place, an almost oppressive library feel to it compared to the hustle and bustle of the New York afternoon fading into evening. There is not much talking between the long, narrow shelves, but the talking that there is takes place in hushed, reverent tones. Perhaps as much about the watchful eyes of the overseers of the Strand as it is about the culture of the place. Still, for rare or out-of-print books, there are few places that are better. Perhaps that is why Iolaus is tucked among the shelves, dressed in a fine white dress shirt, browsing the shelves. Somewhat anonymously, it turns out, with Alec a few paces away making him as utterly disinteresting as most of the rats or tourists that walk the streets outside.

Lucien is casually dressed, a white button-down (shot through with pearlier white strands) paired with black jeans and loafers. His cellphone is in his hand, eyes fixed on his screen as he makes his way into the rare books section. For a time he's ignoring the shelves, frowning instead at his email; the frown decidedly lingers even once he's put the phone away, breath exhaled quick and sharp before he relaxes, turning his attention to the soothing balm of /books/. And utterly ignoring Iolaus, thanks to Alec's influence.

With the work day finished, Doug has Projects to see to. Which is what brings him to the Strand. Dressed in jeans and a pair of red Converse sneakers, with a black t-shirt emblazoned with five commas and a graphic of a tie-dyed chameleon, the teenager may have been here a while. Under one arm, half-braced against his laptop bag, are four books, the top-most's title marking it as a book on furniture restoration. He likewise doesn't notice Iolaus (good work, Alec!), intent on the spines of the books lined there. His finger taps against the spine of one at eye-level, marking it and turning at the sharp exhalation nearby. "Oh, hey, Lucien," he says, offering a small grin at the older man. "How are you?"

Distracted by books, Iolaus doesn't notice either of the two men near him - not immediately, anyway, pulling a book gently out of the shelves and cradling it in both hands as he opens it to check the title page. When Doug speaks up, though, Iolaus' attention is aroused, and he looks up. "Lucien?" He blinks and then waves at Alec, stepping forward to the other men. It isn't that he appears, per se - he was definitely there before - but he fades into being himself rather quickly. Iolaus' eyes sweep over Lucien and he nods at the other man, giving him a warm smile. "Lucien." His voice is soft, almost a soft caress. "I should say I'm surprised, but I'm not sure where I would be more likely to find you than here."

It takes a moment for him to register the presence of Doug standing near Lucien, and he blinks several times when he spots him. "Oh, hello. I'm sorry, I didn't see-- hello." He tilts his head to one side, and a brief look of puzzlement flashes over his face before it sinks in. "Oh, hello, Doug."

Lucien's fingertips have been dancing lightly against the spines of the books, trailing there gently -- /also/ kind of a soft caress before he looks up, eyes faintly wider and a reflexive half-smile on his lips, at the sound of his name. The half-smile stays where it is, brows lifting slightly as he puts face to voice. "Ah. Doug. Busy, as ever." There is a faint beat of hesitation before his polite addition, "And you?"

The half-smile grows into a warmer one, though he does a slight double-take at Iolaus's sudden presence. "Ah. Iolaus. And Alec. Delightful to run into the both of you. Have you found anything special today?"

"The same," Doug says to Lucien, ducking his head. "At least school's done, for now. Gives me time to deal with stuff." His arm jerks, indicating the books, although he doesn't elaborate, other than to add "I'm moving into a new place next week, so..." he trails off as Iolaus speaks up, and he has a wide smile for the good doctor. "Oh, hey, Doctor Saavedro," he says, blinking a bit at the slow recognition. "I didn't see you over there. How have you been?"

At Lucien's question, he rolls a shoulder. "I haven't found /exactly/ what I'm looking for, but I haven't given up hope." He holds up a finger confidently. "It's here, somewhere."

"Quite well, quite well, Doug, thank you." Iolaus says, voice warm. He glances back at Alec, who is ignoring the trio in favor of the shelves. He, at least, seems quite at home among the narrow halls of the Strand and happier than he normally does, to boot. "I haven't, yet, though it's waiting for me behind the counter. A special order that they finally managed to locate for me." He bounces once on the balls of his feet, excitement clearly visible. "But in the mean time, I've been browsing. A dangerous occupation, to be sure. At least, for your wallet. I know I've found several things that I had to have while looking for the thing I came for," he says, with a nod to Doug. "And yourself, Lucien?"

"My answer has not changed since I gave it to Doug twenty seconds ago," Lucien answers Iolaus in a quietly amused murmur. "Goodness, you look like a kid on Christmas morning. It must be something excellent." His eyes slip back to Doug, a very faint tug twitching at the corner of his mouth. "Oh? Good for you. I had heard about the rather unfortunate circumstances of your last place. Hopefully the new home will have a happier ending. What exactly are you looking for?"

Doug grins at Iolaus' excitement, and nods lightly at Lucien's comment. "Yeah. You look like my team mates when they announce a production meeting at work," he says wryly. "So it must be choice." There's a flicker of shadow that passes over his face at Iolaus' question, and Lucien's follow-up comment. Color blooms faintly along his neck, and his smile fades to a neutral expression that borders on rueful for a micro-second as he mumbles an acknowledgement. The conversation shift at the end seems to cheer him back up a bit. "I'm actually looking for a book on cabinet-making," he says. "Particularly one that talks about roll-top desks." He wrinkles his nose, his eyes crinkling at the corners. "Oddly, there don't seem to be that many that offer such specificity."

"Roll-top desks? I wonder if you might have the most luck talking to a carpender from Amish country and seeing if they'd show you how do to it." Iolaus muses for a moment. "Oh, it's one of those things that I have been looking for some time. A personal favorite of mine. An analysis from a few centuries ago of a story about my namesake and his far more famous companion, Hercules, that was roundly rejected at the time and buried for discussing what most historians these days have long since come to terms with." Iolaus says, smile threatening to engulf his entire face, words rushing out of him. He stops himself, visibly, and takes a deep breath to steady himself, pink blooming at his cheeks. "It's a book that there are few copies of left. The library at Harvard has one, where I first saw it when I was much younger." Iolaus says, slower, calmer now. "I meant, Lucien, have you found anything worth bringing home?"

"You, too?" Lucien's brows lift at Doug's answer, curious. "I swear half the people I know are currently constructing their own furniture -- then again," he muses absently, "I suppose a lot of them do have reasons to need replacements. Still, that is generally what, ah, furniture stores are for. Or failing that there are quite a number of skilled carpenters about more than happy to take custom commissions."

His attention settles with more interest on Iolaus, a small smile touching his lips at the explanation. "Oh. That /does/ sound interesting. I wonder if I might have a look at it, after you've --" Amusement twinkles in his eyes for a moment. "-- had some time to spent alone together? I do have a fondness for mythology." His eyes slide back to Doug briefly, then away to the bookshelves. His head gives a very small shake at Iolaus's question. "Not quite yet. But I did only just arrive."

"Oh, I've already bought the desk," Doug says, shaking his head. "I'm going to turn it into a computer shell, ultimately." He lifts his eyebrows, and rolls his shoulders. "But I figure before I go ripping it apart, I should know how it's put together." He colors again at Lucien's comments on the number of people building their own furniture, and manages the smallest of nods. He perks at Iolaus' description of the book. "Really? That sounds really cool. Is it in English, or will you have to translate it?" Lucien's brief look is noted with a mildly confused tick of his eyebrows before he's looking back at Iolaus. "I love reading stuff in the original language."

"It is English, though not the kind we speak today. The book dates to the early 18th century," Iolaus says, glancing around him with a smile at the different shelves. "So, it will require a translation, in a sense. And, of course, Lucien. You know you are always welcome." The doctor laughs and shakes his head despite the blush on his cheeks. "You can be assured, I know books well enough that there is no need for /alone/ time, as you put it. It's one thing to read a translation - or even a copy. It's quite another to look down on one of the originals. Even the same words... they hold a different color." He glances between the two other men and chuckles. "You can tell, I have somewhat of a passion for it as well," he confesses, with a playful smile.

"Ah." There's another very small twitch at the corner of Lucien's mouth when Doug colours, but it's brief. His fingers trace against the spines of the books again. "It is a passion I understand quite well. Everyone has their --" He trails off with a small frown as his pocket buzzes again, lips compressing faintly as he extracts his phone from it. "-- {Sorry,}" he murmurs in quiet French, "I need to take this." It's back to French as he answers it, tipping his head to the others but drifting off soon out of earshot as he heads away. "{Hello, this is Lucien -- no, that was meant for /tonight/ at -- /shoot/ someone if you have to, I don't have time for--}"

"Older English is tricky, but it's a good read," Doug says to Iolaus, smiling widely as he nods. "I read The Cantebury Tales in the original Middle English in high school. Talk about /passion/." This seems to be a tease, with the teenager snapping a quick wink at the good doctor. "But I get it," he says, lifting a shoulder. "I get the same way over new tech and new software. It's good to have a passion. Keeps you going." He blinks as Lucien's phone rings, and watches the older man walk off, furrowing his brow at the conversation before it drifts away. Then he turns back to Ioalaus. "Early 18th century shouldn't be /too/ hard to cypher," he says. "The language is fairly modern, comparatively speaking."

Iolaus glances curiously at Lucien as he walks away - talking on his phone. He glances briefly back to Alec who is still completely disinterested in the activities of the plebians. "No, it shouldn't be so bad," Iolaus says, turning back to Doug. "Not nearly as bad as some of the old Greek documents that I've read. Those have almost nothing in common to Greek as we speak it today. And whoever decided that pitchfork writing was the way to go deserves to be dead, even though he is long so." The doctor snorts, shaking his head in disapproval. If he notices the flirtation, he doesn't comment on it. "It's a passion I haven't been able to indulge much of, of late. But, c'est la vie."q

"Ancient Greek gives me a headache, but it's an amazing read," Doug says. "When you can find side-by-side translations, that is. There's not a lot of stuff /published/ in that language." He makes a disappointed expression when Iolaus acknowledges his lack of indulgence, and tsks lightly. "You should always find time to indulge your passions," he says sagely. "Otherwise, you'll burn yourself out in no time. /Trust/ me." His own phone quacks, then, and he shoots the older man an apologetic look as he looks down at the text briefly. "And the mutant population is a bit fond of you to let /that/ happen," he finishes, offering a bright smile. "Even ten minutes a week is better than nothing."

Iolaus looks momentarily surprised, giving Doug a second, appraising look. "I didn't know you spoke Greek. It's not the sort of thing that's necessarily in your medical files," The doctor says, with a warm smile, switching to the aforementioned. "And you are quite right. You're in good company with your chastisement, believe me," Iolaus laughs and shakes his head, a bemused expression on his face. "But burn-out isn't something I'm particularly worried about,and I have precious few minutes a day to spend that aren't already allocated. Still, I appreciate your concern - really. You don't have to worry; I'm not going anywhere that easily."

Iolaus' smile flashes as a bright gleam of white for a moment, then he looks behind him, towards the back of the store. "For the sake of my wallet, I better pick up the book I came for and escape with at least some of the money in my wallet. It was good seeing you again." He raises his hand in a greeting, then turns to head further into the back. Even as he walks, he fades from attention as if transforming, becoming no more than the man on the back of the Clapham omnibus.