ArchivedLogs:Not Nothing

From X-Men: rEvolution
Not Nothing
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt, Shane

2016-09-06


"How did you ever know what to -- do?"

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 windows have been thrown open, inviting in the cool evening air, though the smell of dinner (ambiguously tomato-y) lingers still. Matt is curled into a corner of the couch with his bare feet on the next cushion over and a candy-colored hardbound copy of Jeff Noon's /Vurt/ in the crook of one arm. He wears a white t-shirt adorned with a large ornate heart bracketed by baroque capital As in Ace of Hearts fashion, and black cargo shorts. His hair, though recently trimmed, is sticking up in every direction.

There's a hum somewhere in the street outside -- followed not long after by hasty footsteps, the insisent pressing of the doorbell. On the stoop there is one small and nattily-dressed blue shark, vest and slacks and crisp short-sleeved dress shirt, restlessly adjusting his (neatly-tied) bow tie.

Matt is up and making for the door before the bell rings, and so it needs not ring for long. His smile is bright and ready as he pulls the door open. "Shane!" He steps back and sweeps a hand to welcome his guest in. "I was about to put on a pot of tea. Have you eaten? There's...um...tomato bisque." Then, a beat later, his smile going sheepish. "My handiwork, alas. Do not recommend."

"Oh -- uh." Shane scurries in, slipping off his shoes and dropping his bag on the entryway table. "I haven't -- eaten." He looks just a little skeptical on the subject of Soup, though, teeth scraping against his bottom lip as he considers. "Maybe the tea. How'd, uh, class go?"

Matt closes the door behind Shane. "It's not my worst effort! We also have some hummus and crackers and frozen burritos... But ah, yes, tea. {Excuse me.}" He darts into the kitchen to put the kettle on and returns a moment later. "Class was fine--a bit chaotic, everyone walking into the wrong rooms and so on. Met a few new students. Had a faculty meeting. You know. First day stuff." He picks up the book he'd left open on the couch, closes it, and sets it on the coffee table. "Your classes also start this week, no?"

Shane drifts into the living room, hands tucking into his pockets as he wanders towards the aquariums. His toes curl against the floor, weight rocking back and forth, eyes flicking to follow the path of a bright purple and yellow fish. "Uh -- tomorrow. Yeah. Spence was -- his first day was today. Was supposed to be today."

By many standards Lucien has been quiet, in his emergence from his study, bare feet making little noise in their soft tread across the hall until he draws near to lean in the living room doorway, shoulder propped against the doorjamb. To present company, though, there is little surprise in his arrival, noise clear enough to keen ears, the scents he brings with him sharp and fresh out of the shower (sandalwood and a light touch of lemon), the clockwork whir of his meticulous mental organization pinging steady and familiar against his brother's mind. He is dressed in jeans (dark, crisply cuffed at their hems) and a short-sleeved leaf-green seersucker button-up, a comb in his hand that he is lazily pulling through damp hair. "Supposed to be?" This echo is mild, a small lift of brows with the question.

Matt perches on the arm of the couch and watches Shane, a very slight frown developing between his brows. His smile returns when Lucien appears in the doorway, then fades again. He also echoes Shane's last words, in perfect unison with his brother, though his tone is more concerned.

Shane's eyes stay focused on the fish. He nods very slightly at the question, a small slump in his shoulders. "Yeah. I'm not very good at -- this whole. Being -- Jax. Thing. He's always on top of all his shit, you know, and I can't --" For a moment there's a low growl in his voice, before he shakes his head sharply. "Anyway I thought we'd done all the back to school shit we needed to do but it turns out the one thing we /didn't/ get done for him is like. The only fucking thing we /had/ to do or they won't let him into fucking school so."

Lucien lowers his comb, fingers raking briefly through his hair to leave it mussed. His fingertips crook lightly against his mouth, a very faint press to his lips. "Mmm." The thin press of his lips grows. "I should imagine you are not very good at being Jax. You are not him, non? And you have had -- quite enough on your plate being Shane without trying to be anything else."

Matt's frown deepens as Shane speaks. "There's a /lot/ of paperwork involved, it's easy to make a mistake, especially if you're new to the process." In the kitchen, the kettle starts whistling. "Excuse me again." He leaves the room again, returning a few moments later with a tray bearing a round celadon teapot and three matching cups, leaving the whole on the coffee table for now. The clean, mild scent of milk oolong rises from the pot. "Is there any way we can help?"

Shane turns away from the aquarium, gills fluttering rapidly. Leaning against the back of an armchair, he drapes heavily over it, arms folding and his head pillowed down atop the cushion. "But he's not here." There's a slightly sharper edge to his voice, his clear inner eyelids sliding shut. "And Spence needs --" His teeth click sharply together. "... I don't know what the fuck he needs." His fingers press in, needly claws prickling with a quietly audible pop as they puncture the upholstery. "Right /now/ he needs a checkup so a doctor can tell his school he's healthy and all vaccinated and definitely-not-a-zombie and shit. But after that..." His eyes lower. "We've never even changed his primary care doctor since the Clinic -- you know."

Lucien's eyes flick briefly to Shane's claws. Only briefly. He tucks his comb into his breast pocket, moving further into the room to settle down on the couch and claim one of the teacups for this own. "He needs his family, I would imagine." His voice is quiet, fingers curled snug around his cup where he has rested it on his knee. "We do have some small experience with being that. We were not parents. Are not parents. But what we /are/ is not -- nothing, I should hope."

"And what /you/ are is certainly not nothing." Matt picks up a cup and wafts the fragrant tea in Shane's direction. "Here, have some tea," this softly. "Anyway, on the immediate practical side of things, I'm sure Hank would be willing to perform the checkup. I'd gladly take Spence with me to school with me tomorrow--you can pick him up when you're done classes."

"Not nothing," Shane echoes, slowly, "but is it enough? How did you ever know what to -- do?" His gills press down flat again, and he gently extricates claws from the fabric as he straightens with a grateful half-smile. Slipping nearer, he accepts the cup from Matt, folding himself down to sit cross-legged by the coffeetable with it. "Merci. He'll be glad of any excuse to go kick around the school. Even if -- not -- so much the checkup part."

Lucien's answer to this comes on a slow quiet chuff of breath, softly exhaled into his tea. "Would that I had a more reassuring answer for you, but I cannot say that I ever really /do/. Or that it ever really is. You try. And then you -- keep trying. I suspect we all of us fall short."

"{It's nothing.} But no, I'm afraid it's never enough," Matt agrees gently, taking up the last cup and sinking down onto the couch beside Lucien. "That's not unique to siblings trying to navigate parental responsibilities. We keep trying. We ask questions." He takes a long sip of his tea. "We Google a lot."

Shane doesn't answer for a long while, silent as he stares down at his cup. Turns it around in his hands, claws clicking lightly against the ceramic. His eventual nod comes slow and a little heavy. "Well." One side of his mouth pulls up in a crooked smile. "Googling I definitely know how to do."