ArchivedLogs:Making the Grade

From X-Men: rEvolution
Making the Grade
Dramatis Personae

Gaétan, Matt

2018-06-04


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Location

<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.

The living room has, as it is wont at the end of each Xavier's term, become Matt's office. He has not one but two tray tables set up, each piled high with papers, his computer open in his lap, an octagonal Battlestar Galactica clipboard propped up beside it, and a large silver thermos (usually reserved for camping) tucked beside him in the armchair. The music is turned down low, perhaps too low to suit the defiant Cruxshadows song currently playing. Flèche is stretched across the sofa, as though intentionally occupying as much of it as she can with the within the limits of her modest frame.

The man himself, in grey cargo shorts and a moss green t-shirt mostly taken up by a lighter green snake whose coils suggest cursive letters, looks sleepy and unkempt. His hair lies all askew, his eye sockets shadowed, and though his face is growing less gaunt all the time, there's a rarely seen scruff of stubble on it. He isn't actually grading the paper in front of him, though the pen in his hand suggest he might do so, any minute now. Instead, his eyes are closed and he is rubbing a knuckle slowly over his left temple.

Gaétan is just wandering in from outside, kicking shoes off my the front door before he ambles further in. He drops his guitar case by the couch, delivers a few scritches behind Flèche's ears. Leans over to casually swipe the paper from in front of Matt. His eyebrows inch higher and higher as he skims it. "{Yeah, I'm getting at same headache and I've only been looking at this a second.}"

Flèche pops up into a sitting position and snuffles at Gaétan's pockets, tail thumping hard on the sofa cushion. Matt evinces no objection to the theft of his work, but does slowly squint his eyes open and offer a thin smile to his younger brother. "{I could handle her insistence on centering Christianity or her love affair with her thesaurus, but /both/ in one paper.}" He gives a small, helpless shrug. "I may just have to accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, after all." The faint scrunch of his brows doesn't look entirely connected to this resigned conclusion. "{Have you eaten?}"

"{I mean, if you ignore the awful prose and gross mishandling of the subject matter, I think managing to convert you in the span of three double --}" Squint. "{Double and a /half/ spaced pages should definitely earn an A.}" Gaétan scrunches up his face as he returns the paper to Matt. The eye roll he gives Flèche does not stop him from digging in a pocket for a somewhat lint-covered piece of dried lamb lung that he offers to her. "I had a popsicle."

Matt guffaws, accepting the paper back. "{No credit for saving the heathen, I'm afraid. I have a rubric and I'm sticking to it, though I am idly curious how many points I can get away with docking before she cries religious persecution.}" For all Flèche's wide-eyed excitement and thrashing of tail, she takes the treat from Gaétan almost primly. Then, all delicacy flown, bolts it down with hardly any chewing. Matt closes his laptop and sets the clipboard with paper on top of it before levering himself out of the chair, still rubbing the side of his head. "{Well, I'm going to make Hot Pockets, if you want to get in on this exciting culinary adventure}"

"That's new and different for you. Keep up this /standards/ thing and people will stop taking your class at all. You know ninety percent of them are in it for the easy A.}" Gaétan drops himself down onto the couch, lazily wrestling Flèche's head under an arm. "Hoooow adventurous are we talking? On a scale of cheese pizza to 'Mexican-style'," heavily exaggerated air quotes, "Fajitas?" He's absently rubbing the side of his head, too, as Matt gets up. His eyes close, and he slumps sideways against the dog, only halfheartedly turning his head to avoid the excited kisses that follow. "{Want me to grab you some ibuprofen?}"

"Oh, I know. The edgelords, evangelists, and actual pagans all added together are still a small minority. On the bright side, fewer students means fewer papers!" Matt's grin is quick and crooked. It fades a touch as he studies Gaétan. "{Mm. I would appreciate some medicine, yes.} As for the Hot Pockets..." He disappears into the kitchen briefly, stepping back into the doorway with a box in hand. "It's just pepperoni pizza...but wait, what's /this?/" He turns the box in his hands and examines it intently. "/Garlic butter crust!/" He slaps one hand to his mouth as if to keep his jaw from dropping open. "{Truly we live in an age of wonders. I think there is regular pepperoni, also, if you are not ready for the brave new world of exotic crusts.}"

"{Think if you only had a half-dozen papers to grade you'd actually get them done in time?}" Gaétan is slow about rolling up and off the couch. He stifles a yawn as he pads to the bathroom, a quiet rattling of pills following soon after. There's a large bottle of Advil in one hand when he emerges. The box gets a cursory glance, Matt's shocked expression a hike of brows. "You barely look ready." He pushes past Matt intuí the kitchen, pushing the pills into his brother's hand and yoinking the box in trade. "{I know it isn't exactly as effective.}" A small nod to the pills as he gets out a plate.

"{I'm /going/ to get them done in time,}" Matt's retort is an unusual blend of determined and petulant. "Oh, come now. Can anyone ever /truly/ be prepared for such magnificent things? But I am adaptable, and trust that, like all Hot Pockets, its primary flavor will be the scorching of my tongue." He accepts the Advil with a signed 'thank you' and dumps four out into the palm of his hand, tossing them back all together without anything to wash them down. "{They will serve,}" his answer is quiet as he sets the bottle down. "{I have managed far worse pain with far less.}" A long pause as he watches Gaétan ready the food. For a moment, he looks about to intervene, but sinks down onto one of the stools at the counter instead. Flèche comes padding into the room, scenting the air and eying the box of Hot Pockets with keen interest. "{You know it was not your fault.}"

"Well, you got two minutes to prepare yourself. Steel your tongue. Gird your... tastebuds." Gaétan slips the sandwiches into their sleeves, pops the plate into the microwave. He is quiet after this, back turned to the counter though his shoulders stiffen slightly beneath his tee shirt. "I wasn't even there." His voice is gruff. His fingers tap restlessly against the microwave door handle. Sharper: "{/You/ could've stopped it. You're supposed to keep him safe.}"

Matt does not reply immediately. His brows wrinkle slightly, but his expression remains otherwise unchanged. "{You are right.}" His voice is quiet and neutral. "{I fucked up, and I failed him. And Joshua. And you.}"


Gaétan is silent, thumping his head forward against the microwave door. Though it's clearly not possible to see the countdown clock from his angle, he straightens and tugs the door open a minute later with two seconds left before the chime sounds. He pokes a few holes through the crust of each sandwich before folding the sleeve and turning to set the plate down in front of Matt, his own hot pocket held in one hand. "Is he ever going to get better?"

"Merci," soft and low, as Matt gingerly rotates the plate in front of him, so he does not yet pick up the food. "{I dunno.} It's possible--perhaps even probable, given that all the other damage was temporary, if slow to heal." His frown, which never faded all together, deepens. "But it's hard to do much more than speculate when we don't know the mechanism of the power."

Gaétan leans against the counter, picking at the corner of his hot pocket with a frown. "How do we figure that out if it just --" His brow creases deeper. "Fucks people up."

"Chances are fairly good that it doesn't /just/ fuck people up." The slow rub of Matt's fingers on the side of his head looks slightly more contemplative than pained now. Slightly. "{You were too young to remember, but that's all Luci's did, too--at first. To your question, we generally look at /how/ a power fucks people up, but yours...}" The tilt of his head is minute, and faintly alien-looking. "Well, the main difficulty is that it /doesn't/ just just fuck people up. It.../hides/ itself--from me, from you, from Luci, and possibly even from the genetic test."

Gaétan's eyes narrow slightly on his food. He breaks a small corner off the crust, tossing it aside to land in Flèche's food bowl. "What did you see? When you did see it?"

Matt finally picks up his Hot Hocket and nibbles off a corner. "I don't /see/ it, but it /felt/ like..." He gestures vaguely with one hand, eyes unfocusing as they sometimes do when he concentrates hard. "Reaching, grasping, /twisting.../" Flèche bounds over to her food bowl, scarfing down the morsel discarded there before returning, not to Gaétan's side, but to Matt's, staring up expectantly.

"Fucking people up," Gaétan concludes morosely. He directs a scowl at the steam rising from the open corner of his hot pocket. "{I'm glad school is done, anyway. Who knows what the fuck I could be doing to my roommates.}”

"{I wish I could tell you that you haven't been doing anything at all to your roommates, but...}" Matt idly pinches off another bit of crust and passes it to Flèche. "{It may not be much reassurance, but as far as we know, it has only resulted in injury coming from Joshua--it may not be strong enough in you as yet to do anything of the sort--and only in self defense.}" It would take a keen eye to discern the tightness in his jaw. "{The /first/ time I noticed it...you were worried about me because I was gravely ill. It /may/ have been trying to heal me, for all we know.}" His fingers return to his temple, digging in hard. "{It will be difficult but...stop and focus when you experience strong emotions. You have sensed before, what it feels like in action. I know you can do so again.}"

"/Bowl/." Gaétan's chiding, accompanied by a flick of fingers toward Flèche's bowl, doesn't have much heat to it. He finally bites into his sandwich -- carefully -- chewing it over slowly. "Sure. And in the meantime I'll just try really hard not to get any older just in case it --" Small shrug of a shoulder.

Matt has the decency to look a little sheepish at the reminder, and the next piece he breaks off he tosses into the dog bowl. Flèche whirls around and darts after it. "There's the spirit!" It might not be obvious who this is meant for, except that he snap the fingers of his free hand at Gaétan as he speaks. Then licks said fingers appraisingly. "Not as garlicky or buttery as advertised," he mutters. "The whole J.M Barrie approach may have its shortcomings, but we can workshop it. There's a long summer to come, yet." Now he finally bites into the Hot Pocket in earnest--not carefully enough, judging by his wince.

Gaétan snorts. A quick smile darts across his face, not entirely hidden by the downward tip of his head. "Just as hot as advertised, though. So not a complete wash.”