ArchivedLogs:Navigating Chaos

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Navigating Chaos
Dramatis Personae

Alice, Lucien


"Didn't want to bother you, I just -- um, can't really see?"


<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.

It's grown late, and the streets are restless with a slightly different kind of energy than the usual City That Never Sleeps vibe. The rally-turned-march-turned-riot has spread its influence through much of lower Manhattan. The streets of the neighborhoods nearest the core of the heavy demonstrating are awash with wandering, disoriented protesters and a dramatically elevated police presence, especially in the more gentrified areas.

Alice walks briskly up the street, stumbling only occasionally, though her steps are quite uncertain. She's wearing a black t-shirt emblazoned with a red double-helix-in-heart symbol for genetic equality, stretchy red capris, and shiny silver Doc Martens. Tears stream constantly from her swollen eyes and she smells sharply of capsaicin. She staggers up to the door of the Tessier house and knocks on the door desperately.

It's a moment before the door is opened. Lucien is casually dressed, jeans and a silvery-green button down; the tousled mess of his hair and faint oil sheen still on his face all indicate that he's yet to have a /proper/ shower, likely only recently home from work. It's hard to say what he was expecting when opening the door, but the sight of Alice teary and puffy on his doorstep widens his eyes. A touch.

"Come in. {Please}." He steps back -- a bit farther than usual when pulling the door open wide. He is quick to glance behind her -- up the street, down it, as he holds the door. "I take it you were at the courthouse?"

"Merci beaucoup!" Alice blurts as she spills inside and kneels down to pluck -- blindly and clumsily -- at her boot laces. No one follows her in, though there is a police car sitting at the corner of Charles with its lights on. "Didn't want to bother you, I just -- um, can't really see?" Her voice is hoarse and edged with just the faintest hint of panic. "And there's like cops /everywhere/, the LES is swarming with them, and, um -- I'm kind of soaked. With pepper spray." She finally manages to get her boots off and rises unsteadily, squinting at Lucien through her tears.

Lucien closes the door behind Alice, locking it securely. It seems likely that he has taken note of the pepper spray before Alice mentions it -- his faint press of lips is less obvious through pain-blurred eyes but more apparent is the slight distance he's putting between them, the hand that lifts to briefly cover his nose and mouth. "Unfortunate. It is --" Only the /faintest/ hesitation, really barely noticeable! before he continues, "-- no bother. {I am sorry that you went through that.} You can shower down here --" His hand is gesturing, outstretched, just down the hall to the first-floor bathroom. "If you just put your clothes outside the door I will launder them. I can find you -- something of Desi's to wear."

Alice flees into the bathroom, depositing her heavily seasoned clothes on the hallway floor a few minutes later. The shower runs...for a while. The door opens far enough for Alice to stick her head out and snag fresh clothes. Closes again. When she finally emerges she looks -- still kind of a mess, actually, if a cleaner one. Her hair is limp and not very evenly combed out, her face flushed, her eyes red, though at least no longer oozing. "Thaaa -- I really appreciate you letting me clean up." She peers at the living room window dubiously. "Think I'll text my sis, instead of going back out there. She's probably worried sick anyway." Frown. "Hope Desi doesn't have any trouble getting home."

By the time Alice emerges from the shower the laundry is running and her boots have been moved somewhere that is Not The Front Hall. Lucien is carrying a pair of mugs out from the kitchen, setting tea down on the coffee table. He's cleaned up as well, his shower considerably quicker without a mess of pepper spray in long thick hair to deal with. Changed, too; a fresh pair of jeans, a soft black undershirt. "{You're welcome to stay.} There are quite a few leftovers in the fridge if you ever feel up to a meal." His hand drops to his side, fingers tapping absently at the cellphone-bulge in his pocket. He refrains from actually taking it out, though -- at least until he's settled into a chair, a book in his lap and tea in one hand. "Desi is remarkably adept at navigating chaos."