ArchivedLogs:Plenty of Tea

From X-Men: rEvolution
Plenty of Tea
Dramatis Personae

Jax, Lucien, Matt

2015-08-07


"How much of a mess, are you meaning?"

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 music downstairs is very, very quiet. It's only playing, currently, in the living room and the kitchen, Prokofiev filling the rooms -- but low. There is a bowl sitting out on one of the counters -- clean and untouched, like someone was /going/ to get a snack and then forgot.

In the living room, Lucien has taken up a seat on the couch; there's a bottle of Scotch on the coffee table, a squat glass in his hand. He's not been home all that long, kind of frozen in the /process/ of getting undressed and changed -- button-down shirt shed and draped over the back of the couch but his undershirt still on, pajama pants folded neatly over the arm of the couch but not yet donned. Instead of continuing this process, at the moment, his eyes are closed, a small smile on his face as his Scotch-laden hand quietly drifts up-down-sideways in time with the music.

Matt is already in /his/ pajama pants, red with embossed pink hearts, and a white shirt styled like an Ace of Hearts card to match. Bare-foot, he pads down the stairs softly and readies a teapot in the kitchen before slipping into the living room. He has a library book tucked under one arm (/Les Chroniques des Crepusculaires/ by Mathieu Gaborit), but he does not open it even after he has settled into the armchair, seemingly content for the moment just to watch his brother. "Jax will be coming over shortly," he slips his words into a lull in the music.

The Scotch glass continues to conduct its invisible symphony as Matt enters and settles himself. There's no discernibe change in Lucien's quiet ease after his brother speaks; it takes a moment before he even cracks an eye open, and when he /does/ it only garners the faintest twitch further of his smile, looking over his sibling's shirt. "Mmm," he finally answers. He takes a pull from his glass, leaning forward, at length, to set it down on a coaster on the table. He sits up a little straighter, plucking his shirt off the back of the couch to put it back /on/, smooth it out, button it back up and tuck it neatly back in. Roll its sleeves up /just/ so. Then pick his glass back up, returning to his previous comfortable posture. "{It is late, no?}"

Matt has opened the book, but takes his time finding his place, letting the pages slide through his fingers and stopping them occasionally to look over this passage or that. "{It is summer.}" He falls quiet, hand smoothing down the page he has decided on. "But also...he's under a great deal of strain." He sets his chin down in the palm of his other hand, propped up on the arm of the chair. "{I'm worried about him.}"

  • (Jax --> Matt): Ring! Or ding-dong? Or knock-knock?
  • (Jax --> Matt): I guess knock-knock.
  • (Jax --> Matt): I don't know what noise doorbells make so I should go with the knocking sound.
  • (Jax --> Matt): I mean to say, I'm outside.
  • (Jax --> Matt): Your door.
  • (Jax --> Matt): And I don't want to ring the doorbell because late.

"Have you ever known a time he was /not/?" Lucien's brows hitch very slightly upward. His eyes slip back closed. He takes another slow sip of Scotch. "{You worry about quite a lot.}"

"No." There's no surrender in Matt's admission. "{I feel I generally do so with good cause.}" A series of soft sci-fi chirrups issues from the pocket of Matt's pajama pants. Extracting the phone, he rises before even swiping the notifications down to read the messages. Striding to the door, he opens it admit their guest with a slightly weary smile.

"Hey -- hi -- hey." Jax's voice is quiet, kind of hesitant as he slips inside. He's still dressed from work, red and black Mendel Clinic uniform, his shaggy mop of hair corresponding black with red (and shiny-chrome-silver) streaks. He slips his shoes off by the door, fidgeting with the strap of the Freak Angels messenger bag slung over his shoulder. "'pologies, I know s'late, I just --didn't want to -- thanks." Rocking forward onto his toes, he peeks cautiously over towards the living room. "Hi, Luci."

"{That, I do not doubt.} Your causes are always /good/." When Matt goes to answer the door, Lucien leans forward to refill his glass, returning to sipping it quietly. At Jax's greeting he lifts a hand, the glass of Scotch raised in lazy salute. "Would you care for tea?"

Matt closes the door behind Jax and wraps him in a hug. "It's fine, I'm no more sleepy than I'd be any other time of day, sans caffeine." The quicksilver grin on his face makes it hard to tell just how much of this he means in jest. His phone emits a different set of futuristic special effects now, and he silences it without even digging it out of the pocket again. "There's some white tea ready now, if you want it. Yin-zhen, very delicate. Can also make something else." He trots back to the kitchen and pulls the strainer from the teapot, setting it on a saucer he had prepared for the purpose.

"I'm -- uncomfortably awake." Jax leans into the hug, uncomfortably /hot/ as well as his arm wraps around Matt, tight. "Tea would be -- wait. No-caffeine-tea?" His nose wrinkles up, tongue poking out in mock disgust. This doesn't stop him from finishing: "Tea'd be lovely." He slips off into the living room, shedding his messenger bag beside the couch but not taking a seat. Instead he wanders off towards the aquariums, folding his hands behind his back and tipping his head down to examine the marine tank. "How's rehearsal goin', Luci?"

Lucien's eyes track Jax across the room. A brightly striped mandarinfish drifts slowly towards the glass, examining Jax as Jax examines him. "No singing. No dancing. There's a startling lack of colour. It is delightful." He swirls his glass slowly, takes another sip. "You're here quite late."

"Well, *all* tea is no-caffeine-tea at the moment," Matt says, unfazed, "lighter teas at this hour is more a matter of habit than anything else, and yin-zhen is a pleasant summer tea." He decants said tea into ceramic cups, brightly glazed with far more enthusiasm than skill, in stark contrast to the tasteful celadon teapot. "Could chase this with something herbal and relaxing," he adds, bringing Jax his cup (speckled magenta swirled with purple and red). "Want any tea?" is clearly aimed at his brother, presumably because Lucien already *has* a drink, though the question still sounds quite alien coming from one Tessier to another.

Jax laughs, quiet and brief, flashing Lucien a very small smile. "Glad you're likin' the change. S'pose some quiet is..." He trails off, turning aside from the aquarium to curl his hands around the cup. "Thanks, honey-honey." He drifts a few steps away, stopping -- eying the couch, and the armchairs, and ultimately folding himself down to sit on the rug on the floor in front of the unlit fireplace. "Yeah, I --" His head dips, slightly, fist coming up to circle his heart. "'pologies. Things just, kinda a mess at home an' I -- Matt said it was okay if I -- I can go if -- I just --" He sounds a little bit flustered.

Lucien tips his gaze down towards his glass of Scotch. Up towards the tea. Leaning forward, he stretches his hand out for a teacup, more than prepared to shoulder the burden of carrying /both/ his favourite drinks at once. "It was hardly a criticism." He answers Jax's Flustered with Mild, quiet and even. "We are hardly lacking for space. Or time. It is just -- the last time you turned up here at this hour --" Still mild. He is looking down at his tea, now, though. "How much of a mess, are you meaning?"

Matt makes another trip to the kitchen and, returning with his own tea, sinks to the floor beside Jax. "I'll probably fall asleep in a couple of hours because I am old and boring, but you can stay." He takes a careful sip of his tea and studies their guest over the brim of his (dizzying cyan-purple-green) cup. "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."

"The last time -- oh." A deep flush suddenly floods Jax's cheeks. He turns his attention back to the aquarium beside him, drawing in a quick breath. "Right. I -- no. No, this ain't -- I didn't. Mean nothin' like that, I jus' -- things is tense at home an' -- y'all ain't -- tense." He lifts his cup for a slow small sip, managing a quick smile. "/You/, old an' borin'? We talkin' 'bout the right brother?" It's only a brief moment of teasing. He follows it with another sip. "... I think I'm meanin' a whole lotta mess. I don't really know how to... where to. Next week s'jus' gonna be nonstop court an' I -- feel like I can't even start thinkin' about what it's all gonna mean after."

"Ancient," Lucien agrees pleasantly, on the subject of his (So Much Elder) brother. In the aquarium, the mandarinfish has glided back behind a coral. A smokey-dark seahorse is bumping its snout lightly against the glass instead. "Is your trial beginning, then? I am surprised the media has not made more of that. They usually love so much to harass you."

"It'd sure be nice if that keeps up--the lack of media attention, I mean." Matt leans on Jax, less weary drape and more reassuring presence. "But even if the news never breathes a word, it's still got to be hell on your family, with everything else that's going on." There's a note of uncertainty in his voice. "But after...you know they'll be there for you, come what may. We will, too."

There's a long silence. Jax leans back against Matt, far more heavily that Matt leans on him. Around them, the light in the room is slowly fading, dimming gradually enough that it is almost hard to notice at first -- though over time more starkly obvious in the gathering shadow creeping in first at the room's edges and slowly pressing closer. Jax turns the ceramic cup around and around in his fingers. "Ain't gonna be no trial," he says, finally. "M'enterin' a guilty plea. S'jus' down to sentencin'."

Lucien does not break the silence, content to sip quietly at his tea as long as Jax sits in quiet. As the gloom becomes more noticeable, though, he sets the tea aside. His fingers press ever so slightly firmer at the glass of Scotch, and he sits up a little straighter, taking a slow sip.

... then a longer one, when Jax speaks. "... Ah." His fingers roll in slow drum at the glass. "Matt's statement is no less true. I imagine your lawyer has spoken with you about what sorts of sentencing you are looking at? I suppose the media circus will come /after/, then." His lips press together. "I should call Mirror."

"Oh..." Matt's hand comes up, not quite to cover his mouth, but he presses two of his fingers to his lips for a moment. "Oh, dear." He wraps an arm around Jax's shoulders, squeezes him tight. "It should be a significantly lighter sentence than...than if you were found guilty in the trial." His brows wrinkle. "But yes, I imagine the media will run riot all over that."

"Hopefully less'a a media circus than a whole trial would be, though." The shadows are pressing in closer, twining in smokey tendrils around where Jax and Matt sit. "M'hopin' to avoid the chaos as -- as much as possible. Things are gonna be hectic enough at home with the pups startin' school an' --" He pauses, takes a long moment to take a slow and careful swallow of his tea. "An' Micah's," his voice here is cautious and very measured, "movin' back to Virginia. Tian-shin thinks the -- divorce may be a factor in lighter sentencin' on account of someone's gotta take care of Spence, but if --" He's finally looking back up at Lucien, here, "there's anything Mirror can /do/ there, I'd be real grateful if /that/ ain't a thing got splashed all over the. Everything." His gaze falls, again, hands a little shaky around his cup even if his voice is steady.

Lucien lifts his cup again. Drains it. "Ah." Quiet, again. "I see. Moving -- when?" He sets the glass down, lifts his hand to rub fingers against the line of his jaw. "A mess at home was no small understatement. I will certainly see if we can get ahead of the tabloids on this." For a moment his brow creases, then evens out. He flicks a glance to his brother, knuckles pressing briefly to his lips. Then lowering to his lap. "What is the plan if your sentence does include jail time?"

Matt actually *does* cover his mouth this time, though it cannot conceal his shock. His vivid green eyes, opened wide, catch the light eerily in the dimness of the gathering shadows. His arm tightens around his friend. "Merde," he whispers at last, picking his tea back up but not drinking from it. "But...I don't..." His head shakes fractionally, disbelief or denial suppressed. "Desole. I'm just...I didn't think it was--" Tips the cup back for a long drink, swallows. "That." His head rests on Jax's shoulder, heavily. "Not that there aren't plenty of places he can go around the Commons, or out with his siblings, but Spence is welcome to hang with me and Sera in the evenings if he wants."

"It's -- it's not --" Now Jax's voice /does/ hitch. The shake in his hands is growing worse, the shadows around them darkening, shivering. "Shane an' Dai an' Dusk an' Flicker'll be around, no matter what, so there'll be people at home, still. Mel an' Rachel'll be there t'check in on 'em if I -- if. So it'll be -- he'll have folks. An' I appreciate -- it'll be good to have y'all -- have as many -- if that happens." He squeezes his eye shut, opens it again. "Two weeks. Once things are settled in court an' the term's done at school an' he's time t'wrap up -- things at work here he'll --" There is a very faint but noticeable tremble in his shoulder, beneath Matt's head. "An' it /ain't/. Like -- like. I mean I /love/ him, you know? I love him so -- much an' he -- he loves /me/ but we can't -- that ain't enough. Not -- not with my life bein' what it -- it's just too much. I think I always kinda knowed it was -- I ain't real good at doin' /relationships/ with -- with --" He stops, here, lowering the cup too quickly; some of the tea sloshes down over his fingers. His face presses down against Matt's hair, words breaking off into ragged breaths.

"If only love actually did conquer all society's systemic ills, the world would be --" Lucien's voice is slightly dry, but not unkind. "Rather a different place than it is now." He unfolds himself from his seat, slipping off briefly to the kitchen and returning with a folded paper towel to gently take the cup from Jax's shaking hands. Just as gently dab the spilled tea from his fingers. "I doubt very much that the issue was entirely one-sided. These things rarely are. -- Will you be alright, in the immediate future? Going abruptly from two incomes to one in this city especially seems like it may be difficult."

Matt sets his tea aside again and coils his other arm around Jax, too, just holding him while Lucien cleans up the spilled tea. "That's...that's a lot, in not a lot of time." He turns his head just a touch, pressing his forehead to Jax's. "I'm not making any assumptions about this situation specifically but like Luci says, you can't put this all on yourself." Very quietly, he adds, "I love him, too. He hadn't said..." His voice hitches, and he doesn't bother finishing the sentence.

"... in the immediate, yeah. I got savings. But movin' forward -- it. It ain't. Gonna be easy. Not gonna lie." Jax relinquishes the cup easily. With his hands freed, he curls his arm around Matt, head tipping down further to bury his face against the other man's neck. The tears that fall there are fiercely hot, dripping down to soak into Matt's t-shirt. "I love him," he repeats again. "An' it weren't -- his -- or my -- it's jus' complicated, you know? I /ain't/ good at relationships. M'always so focused on --" He swallows, voice hitching again. "... an' there's so many things. That's real hard. With him bein' -- human. That -- that's always -- always gonna /be/ hard. An' we /tried/ -- tried t'make it work, we -- but it -- it." This just breaks off into a fresh round of ragged sobs, though, his fingers curled harder against Matt.

"Ah." Lucien settles himself on the floor, as well. Quiet, for a time, through Jax's tears. He sets Jax's teacup aside on the table, leaning back against the coffeetable, himself. "Certainly the cross-cultural issues --" There's a small thinning of his lips. "Are a complication. {I am sorry.} One thing at a time, non?" This, perhaps, as much to himself as the others. "I will see what I can do to make this next week less of a tumult. Externally. Internally --" The breath he draws in is slow. "We have plenty of tea."