ArchivedLogs:Not Quite Relaxing

From X-Men: rEvolution
Not Quite Relaxing
Dramatis Personae

Finn, Lucien, Matt

2016-03-02


"What I wish, and what I can do are very different things, unfortunately."

Location

<NYC> Tompkins Square Park - East Village


Small but popular, this tree-lined park is a perfect centerpiece to the eclectic neighborhood it resides in. Home to a number of playgrounds and courts from handball to basketball, it also houses a dog park and chess tables, providing excellent space for people watching -- especially during its frequent and often eccentric festivals, from Wigstock to its yearly Allen Ginsberg tribute Howl festival.

It's crisp and cool, once nighttime has fallen in the city. Though late, the park is hardly dark, plenty of lamps providing illumination to its pathways and playing courts -- as well, a trio of fire spinners in one grassy area nearby the chess tables is giving both light /and/ warmth, hoops and poi glowing bright amidst their dancing and drumbeat.

On a bench nearby this, one young man is -- not particularly paying the performers /much/ mind, really, attention drifting between a nearby chess game and the book in his lap. Dressed in well-tailored jeans, a slim-fit leather jacket, green-trimmed black scarf draped loose around his neck without properly being wrapped there, Lucien holds a thermos in one hand, book in the other, fingers occasionally tapping idly against the gunmetal silver outside of the the flask.

Finn had to get out of the apartment, and over the course of the evening managed to find his way all the way into the East Village before settling on a place to, well, settle. He had intended to find a quiet place to read, away from a crowd, or an audience. This park isn't perfect, but it will do. He spies a bench, where the lighting is adequate considering the time of night, and makes his way toward it, hardcover book in hand; someone with sharp eyes might note it's not a novel, but looks more like a textbook. Marks Standard Handbook.

"You mind if I share your bench?" He asks the man sitting there already, who is idly tapping the flask. Finn will try not to let that bother him. He doesn't wait for permission, and eases himself down into the seat, doing his best to keep a respectable distance from the bench's primary occupant.

Lucien does not have a novel either, but only on a technicality -- /The Ladies of Grace Adieu (and Other Stories)/, his place held in his short story collection by one forefinger as he glances up from the pages. His bright green eyes flick up and down over Finn in brief appraisal, and it is only after the other man has actually taken his seat that his head inclines in acceptance. "There is plenty of room, certainly." His voice is quiet, a soft francophone accent colouring his words. He looks up again at the fire-spinners dancing to their drums, a faint thin twitch pulling his mouth sideways. "Though this might be a bit of a distracting place to study."

"Thanks," Finn says, opening his book up and finding the section he had been meaning to read over. "Not studying, just reading," he says. His own voice carries a distinctly New England accent, his tone a bit curt. He didn't really come here to chit-chat, and people have a tendency to get on his nerves at the best of times. But then, this fellow could have been a complete prick about the whole 'sharing' thing, when it came to the bench, and he didn't put up a fight. "Sorry, it's been a long day," he says after a moment, looking up first at the man beside him, and then at the performers. "I'm not worried about distractions, really. Kind of why I came all the way out here, actually. The book is just an excuse; nothing I haven't read a hundred times already." There, see? Nice, pleasant conversation. He even gives a polite smile.

There's a faint twitch of tension that goes through Lucien at the apology -- small, but there, in the curling of his fingers against his thermos, the small tightening that puts slight lines at the corners of his eyes. "{Sorry,}" his echo of the word comes in reflexive French, the tone of apology at least ubiquitous across languages and the lapse into not!English common enough habit among New Yorkers in these post-zombie plague day. "some days do just /call/ for a familiar book, non? These days perhaps moreso than ever." His eyes drop to his own, if briefly, before lifting back to Finn. "All the way? Not your usual stomping grounds, then?"

"Not my part of town, no," Finn says, idly turning the page of his textbook. "Here is far enough away from my place that I can feel like I actually got some distance, without having to actually leave town. One of the things I appreciate about the city, I guess; easy enough to get a change of scenery." He taps on the page, "I hated this thing when I was in college. Required reading, one of those books that I was told I'd be referencing for the rest of my life. Every one of my professors had it on their desk. Bet they'd all laugh their asses off seeing me reading it at night in a park, just so I could relax a little bit," he says, a smirk coming to his lips.

Nearby, a chess game is wrapping up rather anticlimatically, the old Chinese man playing white good-naturedly laying his king down before collecting the pieces. His opponent is a young man with touseled brown hair, wearing a gray and green jacket and faded blue jeans torn at the cuffs where they drag on the ground. "Good game," he says as he gathers his own chessmen, smiling. "{Thank you,}" he adds in somewhat toneless Mandarin as he rises and, picking up the olive canvas Blue Suns messenger bag he'd left his feet, trots over toward Lucien. The two men do not resemble each other in any extraordinary way, but their green eyes are identical. "Hi," he says, flashing a bright, friendly smile in Finn's direction as he comes to Lucien's side and plucks the thermos from his hand. "Am I interrupting?"

"You can get from beach to rock climbing to wide open green spaces to and never leave the city limits. It does, on -- occasion, have its charms." Lucien has glanced back down to his book, now, taking a small sip from his thermos before he lowers it back to his lap. His fingers return to tapping at its side, in time with the heavy drumbeat of the nearby performance. "College. An engineer?" His brows quirk up, questioning. "I expect your professors might feel vindicated. Has it taught you a lot, by now, or is it just --"

His words break off as the smaller man approaches, brows pinching in together as his thermos is plucked from his hand. He eyes his empty hand a moment, head tipping back after this to look up at Matt. Mildly: "Only my /tea/."

"I suppose it has, yes. Formulas and practices, all kinds of things. Most of them rather useless to me at this point, but for some reason I still want to keep it fresh in my mind. Getting a bit old to be going back," Finn says before Matt interrupts. His eyes lift toward the newcomer, but the smile isn't returned. "Hello," says in response, tensing up ever so slightly at the chipper greeting. He doesn't pick up on the relationship between them, or notice their eyes match; Finn just isn't that observant about such things. They obviously know each other, but that's where his inferential ability ends.

If Matt is much bothered by the cool reception from either of the other men, he certainly does not show it. He snaps open the lid to the thermos and drinks deep from it before returning it to Lucien's hand. "I'm a scoundrel," he admits, perching himself on the edge of the bench's back, the better to read over Lucien's shoulder. "Learning can be its own end, too--at any age." This sounds more like musing than anything else.

"A thief and a knave. You are the reason this city is in crisis." Lucien's tone is still quite mild, really, not changing in inflection much with this accusation as his tea is pilfered. He tucks it lazily in the crook of an arm once it is returned to him, angling slightly on the bench to give Finn a longer look. Slightly surprised, eyes a touch wider, brows faintly raised. "Too old? Is that so? People finish school at every age, these days. Not," he acknowledges, "that it is some sort of /requirement/. If you want to keep the knowledge simply because you like the exercise of it --" His hand tips outward in a small shrug. "Is it of no practical use, though? I admit I know little of what the /job/ market for that sort of work is like in this current economy. Pickings have been slim in --" His smile is somewhat thin. "Many fields. But companies like Stark, they seem to be flourishing regardless."

Finn watches blankly as the newcomer brazenly steals the first man's tea. They must know each other well. "Not the only reason," he says in response to both men's comments about school and age, but doesn't elaborate. He's not about to tell his life story to two men in a park, drinking each others' tea. "I re-read the book because I would feel the time was wasted if I let it slip, not because I'm going to be working for a company like Stark at any time in my future. I don't look much at the job postings for mechanical engineers these days, but I'm sure whatever the market is like, it's worse for those of us who can't go back," he says finally, with some more frustration and bitterness in his voice. He closes the book, and places it on his lap, gripping the spine tightly. "You two seem to know each other well," he says, motioning idly between them. "Old friends?"

Matt looks up at Finn, tilting his head slightly. "There's more to the practicality of a skill than who will hire you for it, too. In any case, you do it for your own reasons, at least." He props one of his feet up on the edge of the bench seat next to Lucien. "Us? Oh, yes, we are the /oldest/ of friends," he assures Finn. "Also, brothers. I'm Matt." He lowers his head a touch sheepishly. "It's none of our business how and why you apply your studies, of course, and I shouldn't like to pry beyond your comfort, but...you do sound like you /wish/ to go back to school."

'Shouldn't like to pry.' Lucien is kind of mouthing this to himself as Matt continues on ahead. There's a faintly amused curl to his lips, a very small shake to his head, his eyes lowering back to the page of his book. "Brothers, yes." He looks back up from his reading, extending a hand towards Finn for a handshake. "Lucien. {I'm sorry for --}" For a moment the upward flick of his glance seems almost like he's considering apologizing for his brother's forwardness, but instead, simply: "... life. New York will perhaps recover eventually from its recent apocalypse. I imagine even then the world at large will still, overall." A small shrug. "Suck."

Well that makes sense. Finn offers a nod at the revelation that the two are related. "What I wish, and what I can do are very different things, unfortunately. Sometimes you only get one shot at something, despite all the wishing in the world. Second chances aren't as common as we're led to believe when we're kids," he says rather matter-of-factly. "You're probably right about that; whatever happens, good or bad, the world at large, as you put it, probably won't get much any better, in any way that really counts for something. We're all fucked in the end," he says with a shrug. With that he stands up, and without offering his own name, despite the fact that they introduced themselves, makes his excuses. "Nice to meet you boys, but I think I'd best get back home before the roommate burns the whole place to the ground," It's not exactly delivered as a joke, because it's not really a joke, but they may take it however they choose. He offers the briefest of waves, and starts back toward the street, no more relaxed than he had been when he arrived; possibly even less.

Matt goes just a little stiff--perhaps not very noticeably, to anyone but Lucien--at the mention of second chances. The slump in his shoulders after that is more resigned than relaxed, but he smiles again all the same when Finn excuses himself. "Take care," he offers, with a rather limp wave of his own, "and I hope you get a second shot...even if it isn't a shot at the same thing twice." Then, much more quietly, almost to himself as he reaches for the thermos again, "Never really is."

Lucien only tips his head up in a nod -- really all he offers by way of parting as Finn heads off. Though Matt's comment prompts quiet humming that devolves into a brief snatch of singing: "... just like my country, I'm young, scrappy and hungry --" He shakes his head, closing his book and standing. "Young, nihilistic and hungry doesn't scan quite so well. Come, now. Dinner?" /He's/ getting dinner, anyway, whether Matt is so inclined or not. There is a greasy hot dog somewhere out there with his name on it.