ArchivedLogs:Physical Therapy

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Physical Therapy
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Ryan


Ryan recuperates.


<NYC> 304 {Ryan} - Village Lofts - East Village

Similar in layout to many apartments in this building, the front door opens into a narrow entryway with a small coat closet. The living room beyond is wide and receives plenty of light from its high windows; floored in dark hardwood, it is separated from the adjoining kitchen by a half-wall counter, stools perched on the living room side and the sink and counterspace on the kitchen side. On the other side from the kitchen stands doors branching off to a pair of bedrooms and one bathroom; to the left of the entryway, a short hall wraps around past the kitchen to the second pair of bedrooms, a second bathroom at the far end of the hall. The apartment here stands often in a state of disarray, musical equipment or books or scattered notes spread among the pair of couches or coffeetable. The kitchen, at least, is usually kept neatly organized in contrast to the living room's clutter. At odd intervals from the walls, sturdy wooden poles branch out, somewhat akin to very large bird perches.

Midday in the apartment is a calmer time than most. With his invalid status, Ryan has been (begrudgingly) relieved of refugee duties, except for at night, the most of the still needing to be placed or otherwise supervised moved over to Jackson and Hive during the day. Which leaves Clarice and Horus to fret over the distraught rockstar on occasion-- but not now. Now, it is totally clear of anyone but the musician, heard channeling all his excess frustration into his art as he sits on a stool near the window, plying away at the keyboard in front of him. Drowned out by the electric sound, much lower is the quiet lull of his voice as whatever compilation he performs projects just past the door and into the hallway.

He could totally control that if he wanted to.

Lucien probably should have buzzed his way into the apartment, but a neat coincidence of timing means he piggybacked his way into the building with a woman from the seventh floor. He stops on his way out of the stairwell, head tilting slightly as he listens to the music. He's dressed casually, though the tailored fit of his clothes belies their cost. Dark jeans , green long-sleeved henley shirt, black leather jacket. His footsteps approach the door -- quiet, to most, likely more perceptible to an audiokinetic -- and there's a long moment where he doesn't knock. He stands outside the door, listening to the music, slowly letting the rather exhausted expression on his face ease away. By the time he /does/ knock, it's been replaced by a relaxed smile.

Ryan immerses himself in the zone, deeply attuned to every minute sound, synchronous to the melancholy ballad his fingers churn out or disruptive. Entranced as much as his music is entrancing, the cadence of his voice picks up higher in its sorrowful lilt at the approach of footsteps, the notes infused with a pervasive sense of peace, lull-inducing with his siren's touch. Aware of that presence lurking behind the door -- he called Lucien, after all -- he continues to the end of his piece until it fades on its few, last hollow strokes of the keyboard that resonate throughout the apartment. "Door's unlocked," he calls from his place, fingers stretch across the white rectangles and experimentally pressing down in the start of a new melody.

Lucien opens the door, habitually slipping off his shoes as he closes it behind him. He doesn't interrupt this new melody; at least not /much/; he drifts closer to Ryan, stopping behind the stool with a light brush of fingertips against the back of Ryan's neck in greeting. The touch comes with a subtle shiver of warmth, not particularly noticeable but neatly complementing the sense of peace filling the apartment. It isn't /just/ a pleasant greeting, though it certainly serves that purpose; with the contact comes a quiet invisible press of scrutiny, Lucien's senses extending to a quick once-over check of the other man, gauging mood, gauging /pain/ (poor cripple), gauging his general state of being. Lucien moves back to lean against the back of one of the couches. He listens, eyes slipping half-closed. Only half. He's half watching, focused somewhat attentively on the movement of Ryan's fingers against the keys.

Beneath the surface pulses a tension, restless from inactivity coupled with the exhaustion of mind from constant worry; pain is a dull, subdued thing, numbed by medication. Mood -- that is harder to discern in an empath, troubled by the message of lightheartedness his music conveys despite its tone, and the half-smile permanently stamped across his face. Ryan persists with his idle keying for perhaps another minute, adding nothing of his own vocals to the tune, nor overtly reacting to the probing touch of fingertips; nothing can distract him from his music. Quieting, letting silence fill the air, he picks up his head with a broad grin to stare across to Lucien at the couch. "Hey, thanks for coming." Notice how he doesn't move, one leg particularly immobile and a pair of crutches stubbornly cast out of reach, unused.

"When you call, how could I resist?" There's warm humour in Lucien's tone; it touches the smile on his lips, too. These things come easily, though to empathic senses they don't ring /entirely/ true. Not entirely /un/true, either, the warmth genuine but the ease less so, layered by dint of careful practice over a muted backdrop of worry and tired. "You're hurt." It's not a question; Lucien's bright green eyes flick to the crutches and then back to Ryan. It might be teasing or it might not be, the follow-up: "Thank the gods it was not your hands, the world would be so deprived."

"If only I could resist, my bank account would thank me for it," Ryan muses, not shy about the nature -- or business -- of this meeting. His empathy is an unprying thing; it is easier to accept the mood conveyed through facial expression and add a teasing influence to sway it here or there. "I'm a cripple. For a while. Nothing major, just some neat stitches on the back of my leg and a limp." Crutches, what crutches? He refuses to follow Lucien's gaze back to the abominable things, choosing to laugh instead. "That was my first thought when I injured myself. Thankfully, I'll live to keep playing." A pause. "How are you?"

"What's the point of money," Lucien answers, lightly amused, "if not to help make life a little smoother." His smile remains as he looks back to the keyboard. "Thank goodness, though, I just got my sister tickets to your Bowery show. She'd be so disappointed if it was just your corpse propped up on stage, sans music. I suppose your corpse propped up on stage /playing/ music would be an entirely different sort of disturbing, though." He gives this thought a moment of consideration, concluding: "You could pull it off. But you'd need to start playing gothier music. What happened?" It's a casual-light sort of questioning, fingers flicking towards Ryan's leg.

"True, especially when it's daddy's money," Ryan smirks, hands falling still over the keys. He presses a button or two, altering the settings but otherwise leaving it untouched. "Guess I get a guilty conscience sometimes. Like I should be writing checks to the poor." He taps his mouth contemplatively, imagining, "Mm, yeah. My looks would go eventually. Can't imagine a corpse smells too good either." As far as explaining his injury, "Oh, y'know. Owed some big scary dude on drug money. Had to ditch through a rusty fire escape in one of those piece of shit buildings. Cut my leg up nice sliding down to the alleyway on a broken stair. Don't worry though, I got my tetanus."

"I've read your wikipedia page," Lucien says, solemn-voiced but with an amused twitch of smile, "you can't pretend like you are a stranger to charity." He doesn't say: /hippie/. But the teasing that slips into his voice now does. "Goodness," he says, and the amusement here grows, "I feel like I should be flattered." In honesty he is more entertained than anything, not entirely convinced of this tale but not arguing with it eiter. "I mean, you were crippled fleeing such danger, just to save your money for --" His hand turns up, for a moment, then drops back to his knee. "More enjoyable pursuits. Tetanus is hardly attractive, either. I have never been that into lockjaw."

"Cuz everything on the internet is true," Ryan muses, forearms tensing against the keyboard. Bracing himself, he drags his leg out of its stasis, hauling himself out of his stool. "Gotta live for the thrills. It's not like I /couldn't/ shell out," he informs Lucien, hobbling over to the couch without any overt signs of pain. Collapsing next to him, he breathes a sigh of relief. "Dunno, isn't lockjaw a risk of the trade? Or a way to gauge popularity? Like a sore throat or Carpel tunnel for a musician." He snickers.

"If I can't trust wikipedia, who can I trust?" Lucien shifts to settle in beside Ryan, one hand moving absently to rest against the musician's. Gauging, but also seeking out any pain he hides, to quietly slip in and dampen it. His finger traces lightly over the tattoo inside Ryan's wrist. "Surely," he says with some amusement, "there are better ways to get that rush." The question just makes him laugh outright, head tipping downward with the faintest hint of pink tinting his cheeks. "Oh, it's a risk, alright. But one best kept in control. Sudden jaw-clamping is not exactly /pleasant/ for the other party involved."

"Twitter?" Ryan's suggestion comes with a questioning inflection, as he leans over to help lift his leg up onto the expanse of the sofa. Shifting his body closer, he side presses in against Lucien, gaze downcast to the tickling sensation of fingers against his wrist. It coaxes a lighter smile, erasing the signs of strain from relocating from his face. "Hey, the opportunity arose, and I took it. Besides, now I'm a wanted man. It's kinda cool," he boasts, shoulder bumping his. Laughing, unabashed, "Oh man, do I get extra points for making you blush? /That/ must be a feat. But nah, I can't imagine it'd always be pleasant, picturing it brings to mind a guillotine." Sympathetic wince for all men.

<< It'd be a blessing for the city, though, if he bit it off, >> Hive's voice does not /beat/ into Ryan's mind like it usually does; it slips in in his strangely chorusing echo of many voices, soft and underlaid with a whisper of thoughts. Underlaid, too, with amusement. << But a huge hit to the condom distributors around here. >>

"Twitter. Of course. If you can't get the truth in one hundred forty characters, it's probably not a truth worth knowing." Lucien's fingers continue to trace against Ryan's wrist, and over top of the quiet easing of pain from leg-injury there is a subtle-soft trickle of warmth, contentment, that slips in. "A wanted man. I suppose your profession is one where an arrest record could increase your popularity. I'd think with your target audience you'd need to do something a little more, you know. Fighting the /Man/. Molotov cocktails in Wall Street windows." His free hand lifts, the backs of his fingers scuffing against his cheek like he can wipe /away/ the colour there. "A guillotine. Now, there's a mental image. I have been with people who are into all /sorts/ of fetishes but that is a level of pain too extreme, I think, for even my most hardcore masochists."

"Straight from the horse's mouth, too. I'm glad I've opened your eyes to the truth," Ryan murmurs, voice dropping with proximity as he continues to stare down following the movements of Lucien's fingers. "Right? I'm just following along in the footsteps of my great musical forefathers. Adds an edge to me that fans like. Watch, I'll bet the Bowery will be twice as packed," he assures the other man, flexing a bit and brandishing a smug grin. No longer under his touch, he picks up his hand to poke at Lucien's cheek when he removes his, watching the white imprint his fingertip leaves on flushed skin. "Not quite as dramatic as Jax, if it's any comfort," he teases, chuckling. "Yeah. Please warn me before any onset of lockjaw. I'm told the sex industry would go bankrupt as condom sales declined." << Shut up. >> goes out to the telepathic intrusion.

<< -- maybe we should get Jax a hooker for his birthday, >> is an idle musing, << think a /proper/ dungeon might satisfy -- hey! >> This is brighter. << It could be a boon to your music. Leave you /so/ much more time to focus on being productive. Besides, think how much kids would put a damper on your career. >> But look. Then there is no more Hive. Mental presence withdrawing with a rippling suggestion of laughter left in its wake.

"That boy turns crimson at the drop of a hat," Lucien says with a soft laugh. His cheek scrunches up under Ryan's poking, hand sliding back to rub, perhaps sheepishly, at the back of his neck. "For the Bowery to be twice as packed you would need news coverage. Still, I am glad I got those tickets /already/. Before the scalpers are selling them for five times the price." His hand drops again, this time resting on Ryan's leg. Carefully. Just in case of CRIPPLE. "/I've/ had my tetanus shots, too," he assures Ryan so-very-seriously.

"I'll have to make a game of it sometime. See who explodes from embarrassment the fastest." Ryan withdraws, emitting a misplaced chortle over some mental interference only he is privy to hearing. "Oh man, I hope so. Some positive press would be good right about now. I'll be live-tweeting backstage so you'll be able to confirm that everything is true." He picks up his arm to spread them out across the back of the couch, one sliding down to rest across Lucien's shoulders. "That's good to know you're all up to date on your vaccinations," he says, face approaching closer. There is no contortion of his features in pain at the touch of his leg, just an invitation to move in -- then away as common sense speaks, "Have I given you a tour of the whole apartment yet? I'm told the bedroom is particularly nice."

"Hardly a game. It'd be Jackson. No question." The laughter draws a curious look from Lucien, but he does not question it. "I do not actually have a -- ah, Twitter account," he admits, "but most of my family follows you." He leans in comfortably when Ryan's arm settles around his shoulder, but then stands at the question. "I did see it," he admits, offering Ryan a hand once he is on his feet. There's bright amusement in his green eyes. "But I could do with another look. It /was/ the most enjoyable room, last time."

Ryan employs Lucien as a human crutch to help him stand and navigate, leaning against him as he grasps his hand to pull himself up from the couch. "Guess you'll have to ask them for updates. Who knows, maybe I'll give a shout out or something," he ventures, starting with his unhurt foot forward, warm smile splayed and unlikely to go anywhere as he draws the other man back towards his bedroom.