ArchivedLogs:Proper Witchery

From X-Men: rEvolution
Proper Witchery
Dramatis Personae

Desi, Lucien, Matt


"I know it's your birthright to outdo each other, but /seriously/..."


<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 night outside is cold and clear, and late enough (at least for mid-week) to approach some semblance of quiet. There is fresh tea on the kitchen counter, a creamy pouchong with steam still rising from it. Nearby, not quite so hot anymore, is a bowl of chickpea noodle soup which Matt has left largely untouched. He's in the living room, tucked into one end of the sofa with Flèche sprawled half in his lap. He's dressed in a white t-shirt with an ornate red heart bracketed by capital A's in Ace of Hearts fashion and black flannel pajama pants covered with little red hearts. He holds a battered paperback copy of Neil Gaiman's /Neverwhere/ propped open against the dog's shoulders.

Desi is working steadily through her own soup, sitting on the floor beside Matt half in and half on a nest of blankets. She's wearing a soft baby blue camisole and a long gray skirt, what little of her feet visible beneath that encased in black- and blue-striped socks. A dark blue sweater with just enough sparkle in it to evoke the night sky lies in her lap, beside a hard cover library book (/Updraft/ by Fran Wilde.) She stops reading and eating for a moment, dropping her head back against Flèche's chest to give her brother a long, appraising look.

There is a quiet click of keys in the lock, a somewhat heavy tread of footsteps entering. Lucien's mind is sluggish, jumbled, a chaotic strain of neurochemistry that has never /quite/ sorted itself back into its once-impeccable organization, this past month-and-change. Functional, at least. More or less. He is slow in the entryway to divest himself of shoes and outerwear; slow, too, to make his way to the living room. Dressed plain now in jeans and soft black short-sleeved henley, blue-black hair kind of lank and mussed where it tumbles down over his forehead, he leans in the entryway with a small frown pulling at his features. His eyes have fixed on Matt's book before actually shifting to his brother -- and then sister, in turn, brows hitching just slightly.

Matt's eyes flick past his book to meet Desi's gaze, but only briefly before returning to the page. One of his hands, though, drops down to knead at her shoulder, his powers adroitly dampening hers. Flèche wiggles between them, yawns hugely, and then begins to settle back down. Even before Lucien opens the door--and before the dog leaps up and off the sofa to go greet him--Matt's powers have stretched out and threaded into the other man's nervous system, easing the strain of its endless self-editing. "{Welcome home,}" Matt offers with a tired smile. He closes the book and sets it aside, his other hand smoothing down Desi's hair where it had been mussed by Flèche's rapid exit. "We just made tea."

Desi leans into Matt's hand, the tension easing fractionally from her frame--and then returning in force when her warm, furry pillow abruptly takes off. She gives Lucien a very slightly reproachful lift of an eyebrow. "{And I was /just/ getting comfortable,}" she informs him, though there's no censure in her voice, and when she rises it's only a /little/ stiffly. "{I can heat you up some soup, too,}" she offers as she heads for the kitchen.

"And here I was just craving tea. {What a delightful coincidence.}" Lucien's voice is soft, level, though a glimmer of warmth in his eyes affirms per/haps/ there is some delight there after all. His hand has dropped to ruffle at Flèche's head as he skirts further into the room, only adding to his grievance by dropping down to sit in the nest Desi has just vacated. /Tuck/ her blankets comfortably around himself.

"Good to know we're witching /properly/ around here. We do aim to delight." The warmth in Matt's eyes is not quite so subtle, and Lucien can sense a definite flare of /something/ through his brother's powers when he approaches the sofa. Flèche prances along at Lucien's side and sits down beside him, laying her head on Matt's knee this time and snuffling at his hand solicitously. Matt obediently--somewhat automatically--scritches under her chin, his other hand settling on Lucien's shoulder, rubbing slow and firm circles. "{And how was the show?}"

Desi returns from the kitchen with another mug of tea. She gives a small, indignant huff at seeing Lucien in her spot, but gives him his tea regardless and seems perfectly willing to settle on the other side of the couch, retrieving her own cup but leaving the book for now. "{Also delightful, I'm sure,}" lightly, confident. "{We're not the only proper witches.}"

"We aimed to delight." There's a faint tension in Lucien's voice with this answer. His eyes close; he leans minutely back into Matt's touch. His fingers curl around the mug Desi offers, a small smile touching his lips and a small nod of thanks offered for the drink. His mind reaches out, as he sips at it, gently curling itself through Matt's in silent assessment. "{You speak so surely. Have you /seen/ the show lately? In case you've forgotten, we are quite improper witches.}"

Matt's fingers work at Lucien's shoulder--his other hand has joined the effort on the other side. His own mind is a tangle of terror and despair, exacerbated by exhaustion and hypoglycemia, though beside these the warm glow of comfort is not insignificant. "{/I/ have,}" he replies evenly, "{and it has never failed to delight. I do not think our witchery is in much doubt, though how /proper/ we are is quite another issue altogether.}" This last with a gleeful grin.

Desi sips at her own tea, her eyes darting back and forth between her brothers. "{How late is 'lately'?}" she presses, "I went just before break, and enjoyed it quite a lot, if you can believe it." She works her toes under Matt's leg, and is quiet for a moment, petting Flèche absently with one hand. "{Being proper is overrated,}" she concludes at last, a little diffidently.

Lucien's lips compress, the hitch of eyebrow given to Desi's claim Somewhat Skeptical. He does not answer, though. Only quiet -- sips at his tea, his jaw a fraction tighter and his mind teasing at that knotted chaos of despair and fear within Matt. Not soothing it, really. Prodding it lightly more to the fore as if for closer examination. His /own/ mind has tightened, carefully shuttering itself despite its exhaustion into a more steady blank calm.

Matt makes a small, half-stifled noise in the back of his throat, his breath hitching though he does not resist Lucien's prodding. Nor does he attempt to stop his brother from flattening his emotions down, his powers somewhat reflexively assisting in the familiar operation. Under closer inspection, the fear that is still rising up in Matt is familiar, too. Its familiarity makes it more manageable, though no less frightening. "The biopsy came back positive."

Desi just flattens herself tighter against the sofa and hugs her tea closer. Her breathing comes a little faster, but she remains quite still otherwise. "{I've already forbidden him to die.}" There's the barest quaver in her voice, putting the lie to her bravado. "I know it's your birthright to outdo each other, but /seriously/..."

Lucien's shoulders tighten, though there is not so much as a tremor in the clamped-down flatness of his mental landscape. He lifts his tea halfway to his lips -- his hand stills, there, his slow deliberate breaths putting small ripples in the surface of his drink. "{Then I suppose,}" he finally murmurs, "{we will need a /good/ deal of witchery after all. Proper or otherwise.}"

Matt's hands squeeze down hard on Lucien's shoulders, then go still. His fear hasn't receded, but something in him rallies. "{We've all manner of magic to call upon.}" His voice is quiet but steady. "Not least of which is an extremely comprehensive treatment plan." He resumes his slow, gentle kneading. "But regardless--we won't do this alone."

Desi takes up her soup again, but only picks at it, one mushroom at a time. "You would hardly be allowed to try going it alone." Her tone is light again, and she adds, almost offhandedly, "{I'll take next semester off.}"

Lucien's fingers tighten around his mug, a mirroring tightening felt deeper within his mind. "{No, I am sure we can --}" His answer begins quiet, breaks off as his eyes lift to Desi. "{Right. If there is any hassle about changing your plans last minute just --}" This breaks off, as well. "Not alone." It's nearly a whisper. "No. I suppose we are not."