ArchivedLogs:Pretty Styling

From X-Men: rEvolution
Pretty Styling
Dramatis Personae

Hive, Matt, Horus

2016-03-22


"I've no interest in eating you whatsoever!"

Location

<NYC> {Birdhaus} - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side


This house does not, perhaps, look much like what many people would think when they think of the home of a rock star. Modest and not flashy in a normal sense, it is nevertheless /eye/-catching -- huge tall ceilings, huge tall windows, wide open layout, a balcony from the second floor looking down on the first. Its walls have been studded with a number of long branch-like poles jutting out at angles; from the ceiling hang a few different trapeze-like swings. The furniture is minimalist, low-slung futons and a few overly enormous puffy beanbags, tables set low to the ground. The extravagant entertainment system is the one concession to ostentation.

Most of the ground floor is open in layout, foyer opening up into a huge living room, kitchen and dining rooms adjoining it, a small sunny conservatory tucked to the other side of the living room that looks out over the river, a wide full bath off the conservatory. The three bedrooms off the balcony upstairs each have their own bathrooms. There's another full bath and separate smaller kitchen in the basement, together with two spare guest bedrooms and a somewhat cluttered soundproofed room full of musical equipment.

It's a proper spring day at last, nippy in the shade and just a touch pleasantly warm in the sun, especially as the afternoon wears on toward evening. Matt has not been out enjoying the weather, however. He climbs the stairs from the basement slowly, hugging a book to his chest (/Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman/ by Haruki Murakami) with one arm and carrying a tray laden with cups in the other. He wears a forest green t-shirt, the front almost completely occupied by a paler green snake (gazing at an oblivious songbird) whose tortuous coils look /almost/ like cursive letters, brown corduroy pants, and mismatched socks (both white, one with blue toes and heel, the other with pink). A dense haze of weariness hangs over his thoughts, sluggish and lingering on snatches from the story he had just been reading, their fragments surreal and disjointed even by the standards of the author.

There's a flutter of wings, a brief draft. A swoop of silver-edged feathers as Horus swoops down from his room above, alighting on a perch not far above Matt. The clack of his beak is harsh, his head turning to fix one eye sharply on Matt. Then flutter down further, stopping above the kitchen door with a sharp staccato chattering. His feathers ruffle up, slowly.

Matt looks up at a delay and blinks at Horus. His brows gather in a slow frown. "Hey, Horus...is something wrong?" He stops in front of the kitchen door, looking up at his host. "I should have said hi to you earlier, but I've been downstairs with Joshua..."

Horus just chatters again. Sharper. A little more grated.

<< Thinks you're conspiring with -- well, everybody. >> Hive is just coming in from outside, now. Dressed kind of blandly in workboots and jeans, plain white tee. He closes the door -- maybe heavier than he really needs to, leaning back against it once it is shut. FIRMLY shut. His eyes flick from Matt to Horus, then back. His knuckles rub at his eyes, hands falling afterwards to hook thumbs into his beltloops. << The large influx of people who want to eat him. You come here just to eat him? S'not polite, you know. >>

"Oh..." is all Matt says for a moment. << {Wait...what...?} >> His brain takes a moment to catch up. "Oh, but I've no interest in eating you whatsoever! Nor do I intend to help anyone else eat you. Promise." He bows his head.

Horus, it must be said, does not look /overly/ convinced. Fluffs himself up further, /hisses/ low, shuffles slowly back and forth across the perch.

Somewhere in the middle of all this there's a shake of Hive's head -- a flutter of his mind(s) to Matt's, a rush of connection. A sudden clarity where before there was only hissing-chattering. << -- no no no, certainly no, certainly not come in the /kitchen/ just to /cook/ the birds, do snakes cook birds? J.C. cook-food, some food, okay, snersons maybe cook the food, okay, okay, okay, rude! How rude! Rude enough to eat Horus ruder to /advertise/! Do I go to a /snerson's/ house and wear a snake-eating shirt -- oh I don't wear shirt, hmm, should I wear shirts? Hive can I wear shirts? Dusk will make shirts, maybe, maybe, his shirts are good for flying? Maybe can make shirts that go good with hats? Yeah but I wouldn't wear /rude/ shirts! Not shirts that say /eating Matt/ on them! Not to his /house/! Well he's never invited me but I wouldn't -- well nobody invites me -- maybe because I don't wear shirts? >>

Hive just tips his hand outward to Matt. Tips his head back against the door.

<< Think you're pretty styling without any shirts, >> is drifting up from the basement.

It's about half-way through Horus's diatribe that Matt finally looks down at his own shirt, moving book and tray slightly aside. "Oh! Oh gods, I'm so--" << {Sorry, I have been quite thoughtless. I'll change. Into other clothes. } >> He's already moving to take off the shirt before he realizes his hands are occupied. Stares down at them, not quite comprehending what to do with them. Finally just deposits everything on the nearest table and pulls the green shirt over his head to reveal a sleeveless black tank. "Better?"

Horus's feathers slowly settle down flatter. << Oh, oh, oh, pretty. Pretty styling. Pretty styling. >> His wings spread, feathers fluttering again as he vanishes back off towards his room.

Hive's lips twitch as he pulls away from the door, slouching forward to scoop the tray up off the table and continue to the kitchen with it. "{/Honestly/, dude. Though if the end result is Horus in even more dapper outfits I suppose I'll have you to thank in the end.}"

Matt picks up his book and hugs it to his chest with both arms. He slumps against the doorframe, green eyes not so bright as usual as they track Hive's progress into the kitchen. "{What? I...sorry.}" << {Luci dresses me, in any case, so you may thank him.} >>

Hive's glance to Matt is not unsympathetic. "Eh? You're good. I'll make you tea. Look like you need it." He sets the tray down by the sink, starting a kettle heating before he begins to load the cups into the dishwasher. His brows quirk upwards, slightly amused. << {Lucien dresses you?} >> His eyes are flicking over Matt now, a small huff of laughter snorted out quietly. << {And /he/ didn't catch that slip?} >>

"Mmm...tea." Matt slides down against the doorframe just a little, but his smile is warm and pleased. "{Yes, thank you. I...}" He hadn't meant to think that aloud, but it does not seem to trouble him much--only a vague flash of embarrassment. "{He /picks out/ my clothes, that is. Maybe didn't know I was coming /here/ here. I did not, before leaving the house again.}" Matt's power coils out and feels around Hive's, assessing the extent of his networking at the moment. << {How are you? How is Flicker?} >>

Hive shakes his head, amusement still felt lightly where Matt's mind is joined to his. "{Uhh -- oolong? Green? Wh... what the fuck is white is that a tea? Silver needle? That's what this says. Jax has been stocking this shit you can choose.}" Distinctly here there's grief, fear, worry, though Hive is carefully slotting these somewhere /else/, now, somewhere /away/. << {Flicker's alive.} >> Grim, but grimly satisfied, at the moment, as Hive gets out clean mugs, there is a strongly felt undertone that this is all the answer he trusts himself to give quite yet. << (alive) (here) (/with me/) >> -- /these/ things aren't really answered, just felt, underlying his words. Fiercely held. "{If he picks out your clothes how come he always looks like a million fucking dollars and you always look like three a.m. in the open gaming room on the third day of GenCon?}"

"{Oolong, if you would.}" Matt's reply comes out kind of wispy, for a moment more like Lucien's soft voice than his own. His eyes are fixed hard on Hive's hands as they work. His power twines into Hive's; doesn't pry, doesn't twist, but holds on tight for a moment. "{Because that is how I would prefer to look, of course.}"

"{Sure. Oolong. Uhh -- there's --}" Hive just shakes his head, plucking three tins from the cabinet and setting them down in front of Matt to pick from while he gets out a steeper and measuring spoon. "{/Fair/ enough. Anyway you show up dressed all proper everyone's just going to think even /more/ that you're twins. -- OK by everyone I mean B.}" There's a /lot/ of his power to twine through, right now, his network spread -- fairly extensively through the Commons and then beyond, a vast spiderwebbing out across the city. Country. /Still/ extending far down into Kansas where they had been -- erratically dotted, by now, in sporadic locations between and beyond with no immediately apparent pattern as to /why/ his nodes are where they are. There's a faint tremble to his bony fingers as he works, only marginally noticeable. "{How are /you/ doing? Both of you?}"

Matt rocks back slightly, his eyes losing focus, but his grip on the doorframe keeps him upright. << {She is not altogether wrong, however we dress.} >> When he reaches out to the canisters of tea, he selects the Three Treasures and pushes it toward Hive. Once he has felt out the general shape and extent of Hive's mind, he withdraws, gently, leaving behind the quiet impression of his love and his concern. "{We are exhausted,}" he admits. "{Physically, emotionally, mentally.}" He closes his eyes. Even superficially, Hive can sense the ghost of Lucien's presence in Matt's mind: the little everyday neurochemical adjustments that ease a headache here, smoothes him to sleep there. And vice versa, Matt's mind stretching out reflexively for his brother's, little though he can reach. "{But we are managing.}"

Hive measures out the tea carefully, tucking the canisters back into the cupboard afterwards. He turns around, leaning in against the counter, elbows propped against it and arms folded while he eyes the kettle. Then Matt. "{You've both had -- a lot. On your plates. It's been -- fuck. Fuuuuck.}" One hand uncurls, lifting to scrub through his hair, his fingers running slowly along the side of his head.

His mind twines back along Matt's, gently tucked up underneath where the other man's stretches out -- for /him/, finding Lucien is an easy reach. Bridging the distance across the city rather effortlessly, bridging the gap between /minds/ rather effortlessly, a light touch that, for a moment, rewards that reflexive stretching with a very familiar feel (orderly, structured, neatly groomed. Exhausted as promised, headachey, tight knots of grief and worry and stress carefully packed away somewhere out of reach to allow for more efficient focus on work.) The connection lingers, one breath and then another, fading away as the teakettle starts to whistle. "{Guess right now managing is all we can ask.}"

Matt shakes his head slowly, rubbing at his right temple. "{It's not just us. Everyone has. Had a lot. A lot of pain, a lot of worry, a lot of grief. Maybe we're just not coping with it as well.}" He closes his eyes, concentrating on Hive's reach across the psychic space of the city to touch Lucien's mind. "{You know he doesn't like that,}" he murmurs, but makes no move to /stop/ it, though he certainly /could/. He just buries himself in that contact for a moment, some of his weariness melting away in a bright blaze of love and safety. "{But...thank you.}"

Hive exhales sharp and quick at this, giving his head a small shake. "{Oh, trust me. You're not the only ones who --}" He rubs at his temple, shutting off the stove and filling the tea steeper. Sets a timer on his phone and sets it on the counter. "{There's been a lot of stress. And a lot of trouble coping. It just doesn't all show the same way. But --}" This quiets, though. He eyes the mugs, slumping heavier against the counter. "{-- Just means we'll make sure to keep the tea stocked well.}"