ArchivedLogs:Maybe Enough

From X-Men: rEvolution
Maybe Enough
Dramatis Personae

B, Peter

2017-08-09


Maybe sky-bikes are enough.

Location

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Treehaus - Lower East Side


A spiral of sturdy slatted wooden stairs winds up the trunk of an enormous oak, leading the way up to this treehouse positioned between a pair of trees at one side of the Commons yard, abutting the river. It's clear enough upon ascending that this is no ordinary treehouse, built sturdy-strong and with a polished finish that would rival most /regular/ residences. Spanning the distance between the pair of oaks, the treehouse is a long one-story building, equipped with both plumbing and electricity. The stairs lead up onto a wraparound balcony that projects out at one side to overlook the East River rushing by below.

The doorway inside leads to a furnished sitting room, long low futon-couches on the pale wood floors, walls painted in leafy shades of green, exposed-beam ceilings that seem to have worked some of the actual branches of the tree into the curvature of the roof. The front room is bright and airy, large windows looking out on the Commons grounds and the river outside. Recessed lanterns in the wall give the room a warm glow, come nighttimes, and in the center of the room amid a stone-tiled patch of flooring there is a squat glass-encased gas fireplace providing warmth in winter. Off to one side of the room there is an elevated loft up nearer the ceiling, accessible by ladder and furnished with pillows and plush futon mattress and lots of blankets.

The adjoining room is decorated in watery river-blues instead of leaf-greens; in here there's a small kitchenette to one side with sink and stove and toaster oven and counter space, cabinets on the walls. A long dining table in this room seats eight; by the windows, plenty of cushioning sits in the wide window-seats. Off in the very back, a tiny half-bathroom holds a sink and toilet. No stove in here; the wintertime tends to find this room much chillier, but there's generally plenty of warm blankets lying around the house.

There is, just now, to anyone listening *very* closely -- a faint and distant sound from the Treehaus ceiling. It resembles a squirt-gun firing and making contact, followed by a slight, whisper-soft whump. THWP -- *thud*.

A few moments later, and a young man -- a little short, a little bug-like -- slinks in through the window, touching the glass from outside with one hand and slowly pulling it up. He rolls in with a snake-like roll, feet whipping behind him only to land on the floor -- before quietly closing the window. He's very cautious, and seems to be taking great pains to make sure he's not noticed in the early hours of the morning -- though once the window is shut, the tension in his neck and shoulders seems to immediately melt away.

Despite the warmth, Peter's wearing a loose gray hoodie and sack-style backpack; once he's inside, both are thrown off and slung over a shoulder, revealing his more typical dress -- a blue collar shirt, partly buttoned up, partly untucked from dark slacks. He peers into Treehaus to see if anyone is home. "--B?" Very quiet; not wanting to wake anyone up.

There is nobody sleeping inside, at least. B is nestled into a corner of the futon, wrapped in a fleecy blanket (it's covered in bright multicoloured stars and hearts) and dressed in short black cutoff jean shorts and a silvery-black tank, bare feet curled up under her. There's a steaming mug and a plate of eggs and sausage (half-finished, though it looks like it was once heaped quite high) on the table in front of her, though both these things are currently ignored as she instead focuses on the screen of her laptop, webbed fingers clicking rapidly against the keys. "You had breakfast?" she asks, nostrils twitching though she doesn't look up.

Peter's chitin-clad face splits into a grin upon seeing B; particularly at the sight of her bundled up in that fleecy blanket. The grin starts to slip away as he takes note of her focus on the laptop, though -- he lays his hoodie and sack-pack down and slinks over to the futon, hopping atop of the other side of it. "Yeah, though I'll finish anything you can't," he offers -- fully expecting that B's wholly capable of finishing that plate herself. He eyes the laptop she's tapping away at, before asking, quietly: "--verdict might be coming later today?"

"/Can't/." B scoffs lightly at this, gills rippling in silent amusement. "That's a strong word." She shuts the lid of her computer, leaning forward to skewer a chunk of sausage on a claw. The next ripple of hir gills is faster, unsteady. "Maybe. Hard to say. I think they're nearly ready for closing arguments though. It's been -- kind of a ride."

“A ride,” Peter agrees, watching the fluttering of those gills rather intently. “I mean, I’m still trying to recover from the idea that your dad is dating /Captain America/,” he confesses; there might just be a slight *hint* of indigo seeping into his face. “That’s like, too much hero for one family, and now they’re trying to send Jax to prison /for/ hero-ing, and I’m just like…” One hand moves up to mop down his face, as if to wipe away all the confusion. “...well, okay, that part isn’t actually all that shocking.” Peter’s eyes drift from B’s gills down to the laptop; his obsidian-shaded hands briefly make a series of gestures. {Do I want to know?}

"He's dating Steve Rogers," B corrects reflexively. "Captain America is more like a third wheel." B glances over to Peter, a lopsided smile on her face. She leans forward, snags the plate from the table, sets it on her closed laptop to dig in more properly. 'Probably not,' she signs back. Aloud: "I was reading news. Never read news in the morning. Did you know we might be about to have more nuclear war? Honestly, this all feels like living in some kind of --" Her head just shakes. Nestling back further into her blanket, she works her way hungrily through more of her eggs. "Anyway maybe it'll end today, maybe not. I'm just -- glad it's likely to be over before school. This past year was pretty rough when he was in jail." She's uncertain as she says this, though. Gills fluttering more.

“Oh,” Peter replies, brow crumpling in thought. “Yeah, I guess it would be weird if anyone /I/ dated referred to me as…” He lets the thought trail off; the indigo returns, briefly. The sign is received, and a hint of tension tightens over his face and shoulders -- though he slowly forces himself to relax as B continues to talk and chomp away at the eggs. “Rough. Yeah.” Again, Peter mops at his face; it’s a habit he’s started picking up. “Confusing, too.” Then, scooting over closer to B, he adds -- as she nestles into those blankets. “--are you going back?” His voice is quieter, now; hushed just above a whisper. Like he’s sharing a secret -- or asking for a secret to be revealed.

"As Captain America?" B finishes this in a brighter teasing tone. "That /would/ be weird." The question slows her eating. She leans forward again, this time to grab her tea. Needle-sharp claws click against the side of the mug as she considers. "... I don't know," finally. "We're supposed to, right? But it's -- it's been --" Ze slumps a little heavier, blanket bunching up around hir shoulders. Almost defensively -- a little like trying to convince herself -- "We're already /doing/ the stuff we'd need a degree for."

Peter audibly *snerks* at the Captain America comment; as B grabs that tea -- nibbling at the edge of the cup -- he listens, scooting just a little closer. When B slumps, Peter reaches out (ever so slowly; ever so carefully!) to touch the edge of the blanket, careful not to touch bare skin -- applying just a faint hint of pressure. “Yeah,” he says, a little dejectedly. “I figured you might feel like that. I mean, I…” His nose wrinkles. “...kind of even can’t argue with you on it. But, I don’t know, it feels a little bit like giving up? Like, this is how it’s supposed to work, you’re supposed to…” The words trail off; Peter quietly puffs. “I dunno. I think I keep waiting to get to the part that’s supposed to be /good/; the part where things are supposed to be normal. Feel normal.”

"Do /you/ want to go back there?" B's eyes are wide. Fixing on Peter intently. Hir weight shifts, slightly, pressing up against Peter's touch. "C'mon." Another small ripple of laughter flutters through her. "We make /robots/ and have flying bikes and have entire squadrons of superheroes to call on if we need help. How is that not good?" Her cheer is dogged. "And sometimes people try to kill us. That's just kind of always. This is normal. A new kind of normal."

Peter, in contrast, looks a little sullen; when he feels B press up against that palm, his grip tightens with more confidence, applying an even pressure -- grasping B’s shoulder gently, but firmly. “--yeah,” Peter agrees, and even through his momentary gloom, he can’t stop the flickering smile that tugs at his mouth. “That /is/ pretty awesome.” Then: “I don’t know. Still figuring it out. At least,” he adds, and the flicker becomes significantly stronger, “I know that I want to come back /here/.”

B meets Peter's smile. Leans heavier against him, pokes at a piece of sausage to offer it up to her friend. "/Pretty/ awesome. I could go on with this list but shouldn't flying bikes be enough?" Her brows pull downward, black eyes lifting to stare at the ceiling. "Then that's what you should do. The rest of it --" Smallshrug. "Maybe all the things we're /supposed/ to do just don't matter so much to people like us."

Peter hesitated for just a for just a moment at the offer of claw-sausage, but quickly bobs forward to snatch it up with his teeth. *clkt!* Those choppers just barely make contact with the claw’s edge; he snakes back to chew, watching B as her jet-black eyes lift toward the ceiling. The arm at her shoulder snakes around a bit more closely, sneaking a body-press against her flank as she gives that smallshrug. “Maybe,” he agrees, although he doesn’t sound /entirely/ convinced. But he also doesn’t sound /entirely/ resistant. More than anything, he just sounds tired. “Maybe,” he says, “flying bikes /are/ enough.”