From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt, Steve


"{I had the distinct impression that ship had already set sail.}"


<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 house is filled with music, Rimsky-Korsakov's /Capriccio espagnol/ flooding all the rooms downstairs, though it's difficult to immediately spot most of the speakers the suite is playing through. The smell of food floods the house as well, rich and winey from the mushroom stroganoff Lucien is tending on the stove. He is dressed in neat grey trousers, slim-cut vest, green button-down, humming quietly along with the melody as he stirs at his pan.

Steve is outside, looking up from the phone in his hand to the house number to confirm he has the right place. He's wearing a navy peacoat, plain-front khakis, and black Oxfords, carrying a silvery insulated tote over one shoulder. Tucks his phone away. Goes up the steps. Knocks on the door three times, firmly.

Matt comes in from the garden, bringing a short blast of chill with him. He didn't exactly dress for his brief foray outside, still in just a black t-shirt (with Coyote from Gunnerkrigg Court dancing across the chest) and faded blue jeans, bare feet damp from the snow. Inhaling deeply, he emits a pleased hum and bops his forehead against his brother's shoulder as he turns on the fire beneath the kettle, then moves on to the tea cabinet. He has not yet selected a canister when the knock comes, and trots into the living room to answer it (though not without peering through the sight first). "{Hi! Please, come in,}" he pipes with a kind of weary smile, his French casual and heavily Quebecois. "{Let me get your coat. Would you like some tea? Coffee? Something else?}"

A slim smile ghosts across Lucien's face, eyes flicking to the side as Matt enters the kitchen. "{You do know it is still winter, yes?}" He looks back down to his pan, lowering the heat underneath it while Matt turns the kettle on beside his burner. "I think perhaps Three Treasures? -- Oh." The smile vanishes from his face at the knock at the door. There's a very faint crease in his brow as he returns to tending his food, though it's gone again soon enough.

Steve flashes Matt a smile as he steps inside. "{Good evening,}" in equally casual but continental French, though not the sort most North Americans are likely to hear. He surrenders his coat as he shrugs out of it and stoops to remove his shoes before he tracks salt and slush everywhere. "{Tea is fine, thank you. Jax sent some uh...scones? And soup.}" Holding up the tote.

Matt puts Steve's coat away in the closet before turning back to accept the tote, as well, peering inside. "{Ooh! Thanks. Come on, sit down. I'll get the tea started.}" He trots back into the kitchen, depositing the food on the island counter and picking the canister of Three Treasures oolong from the tea cabinet. He picks a plain celadon teapot (pushing a gaudy, unevenly glazed one farther back on its shelf) and scoops the tightly bunched green leaves into it. "{How are you doing, Steve?}"

"{Of course he did.}" There is gentle amusement in Lucien's quiet voice. "{It's a compulsion with him. Good evening.}" He turns aside from the stove, plucking up the food as Matt sets it down to stash the soup away in the fridge. "{I hope you've been well.}"

Steve is a little slow to follow Matt into the kitchen, distracted by the fish tanks. "I am well, got a couple of days off owing to the weather. Thank you for having me -- I hope it isn't too much of an imposition." He comes to rest on the other side of the island counter from the brothers. "How are you?"

Matt traces his fingers over the smooth curves the teapot. "{I took some time off for the snow, too. Didn't spend /all/ of it playing mercenary in the snow war.}" He looks up at the whistling of the kettle and, turning off the heat, fills the teapot carefully with the steaming water. "{It's fine, and if you two need some privacy, I can go...}" His eyes dart to the clock. "{Well. When the tea is ready.}"

"{The snow was an imposition. /You/, I invited.}" Lucien fills a pot with water, now, setting it on the stove to boil as well. He leans back against the opposite counter, hands bracing loosely against it to either side of himself. "{As for privacy, I suppose that is up to Mr. Rogers' comfort level. I admit, I have only an inkling what he might be wishing to discuss.}" His hand tips out towards the kettle. "{Whatever it is, it's certainly better discussed over tea.}"

"{You don't have to go -- though I won't press you to stay, either.}" Steve dips his head slightly at Matt. "{Even if you were not near and dear to so many I now call family, I have accepted that my private life is subject to scrutiny by government and media, and therefore just about anyone. But since you are, the matters on my mind probably have some relevance to your interests, in any case.}" He rests his hands lightly on the edge of the counter in front of him. "{I also wanted to offer my condolences to you and your family.}"

Matt snorts softly. "{Well, yeah. /Everything/ is better discussed over tea.}" He gives Steve a long, appraising look, his own expression unreadable. "{I don't want to seem /too/ eager to scrutinize your private life, but I'm probably going to offer you unsolicited advice that you may feel free to ignore.}" The shift of his body toward his brother at the expression of sympathy is subtle and perhaps not altogether conscious. To Lucien it registers as a very faint fluttering tug at his calm--gentle and reflexive. "{Thank you. I've not had the energy to go out and.../people/, but I'm glad of the company when it comes to me.}" He smiles a small, wan smile. "{Including yours.}"

Lucien's eyes fix on the pot of water, staring at it as it heats. "{Don't believe my brother, he is a chronic meddler. He will jump at the chance to improve /anyone's/ life. You may have some familiarity with the type.}" The small hint of smile that has been tugging at his lips slowly dies away after this, though. There's a very slight twitch of his head -- perhaps a nod, at Steve's words. It comes with a harder inward clamping, pressing down, reflexively tightening back his iron-hard grip at that flutter to pull the landscape of his mind into its firm flat blankness. "{Thank you.}" His voice has slipped quieter, fingertips pressing just fractionally harder against the counter's edge. "{The house is not quite the same, now.}"

"{I'm familiar with the type.}" Steve's pale blue eyes flick down to the glossy countertop. Back up to the brothers -- the small shifts and gestures are not lost him. "{Don't think anything is quite the same.}" The words are startlingly quiet and unsure coming from a man usually confident in speech and bearing. "{If there is anything I can do to help, please do ask.}"

Matt, through this, has watched Steve keenly. By degrees, something in his posture relaxes a little. He finally does step over fully, settling his hand over his brother's. "{Never /denied/ being a meddler,}" he grumbles. His powers thread through the tight clench of Lucien's, but does not attempt to pry it loose. Just holds it there much like he's hold his hand. "{I'm just not quite presumptuous enough to expect that my splendid advice will always be /well-received./}" Green eyes dart to the clock again, and he brightens just a little as he pulls down three celadon teacups (cyclindrical, no handles, ringed with fine, smooth ridges from the potter's wheel) and pours out the oolong tea. He hands Steve his first, then Lucien, then hunches around his own. "{But if you're going to ask whether you should date Jax, the answer is 'yes.'}"

Lucien accepts his tea with a nod of thanks, but sets the cup aside untouched. His hand turns up, squeezing in around Matt's. He drops his brother's hand as the water on the stove starts to boil, stepping forward to pick up a sheet of pasta -- in neatly twisted spirals, it is not dried but fresh and hand-rolled. He tips it into the pot together with a sprinkle of salt, a splash of oil. "{/Should/?}" Now the small quirk at the corner of his mouth returns. "{I had the distinct impression that ship had already set sail.}"

"{Thank you.}" Steve accepts the teacup. Lifts it, inhales. "{There are so many more kinds of tea than I ever imagined.}" He comes very close to taking a tentative sip, but then freezes and looks up at Matt again. "{Oh! Yes, we are -- sailing -- or trying to, at any rate. That was one thing I wanted to ask: how to disclose our relationship to the public.}" Then, blushing, he adds hastily, "{It's not that I think we ought to make a big deal of it, but if the media finds out on their own, they're sure to make a scandal. I don't want to put his family through that if I can avoid it.}"

"{This one is called Three Treasures, an oolong tea from Fujian, in eastern China.}" Matt just basks in the steam from his cup for now, rising onto the balls of his feet as if the very scent of the tea is buoying him up. "{I feel slightly wounded that no one told me. Last I checked, that ship was riding at anchor just outside the habor with a big sign that reads 'This is not a ship.'}" His pout is quite transparently affected. "{At least I found out before the Daily Bugle did.}"

"{Trying?}" Lucien's brows lift, eyes flicking briefly toward Steve. "{Are you waiting for a good stiff wind -- or just in need of sailing lessons?}" He stoops to get a colander from a cabinet under the range, setting it down in the sink. "{Some of the media will try to stir up scandal regardless. That is, unfortunately, unavoidable. We can do our best to set the tone it first breaks in, at least.}"

The breath he exhales is quiet, now, a quick soft laugh. "{I would not be so sure about the Daily Bugle. Those fireworks the other night were visible through half the city, I should think. Honestly, Matt, you have no one but yourself to blame for your astonishing lack of observation.}"

"{Less waiting on the wind and more figuring out how to sail...but this metaphor is really getting away from me. I'm just very new to this, and loathe to see him hurt by the interaction of our fame and infamy.}" Steve takes a sip of his tea, brows lifting up. "{This really is splendid, thank you so much!}" He manages to blush only faintly at the mention of fireworks. "{I hadn't realized we would make such a grand light show, but I suspect that if the Bugle had a story they'd have run it by now.}"

"{I'm glad you like the tea, that one is among our favorites. And it is not a /lack of observation/.}" Matt flicks Lucien in the arm. "{I merely don't like to make assumptions. Just because there are fireworks, it does not follow, necessarily, that the ship has set sail.}" He has the sense to look vaguely embarassed. "{Forgive me, those metaphors don't really cross over well. I'm happy for you, regardless, and happier still that you're being careful with his heart.}"

"{The display was quite splendid.}" Lucien's tone is very solemn. He plucks out a potholder, switches off the burner, picks up his pot to tip out the pasta into the colander. Shakes the colander out a couple times before tipping the pasta into the stroganoff. "{The Bugle has the story.}" This is casual, almost offhand. "{And that metaphor was doomed the moment my brother got a hold of it. Are you hungry, by chance?}" He tucks the colander into the pot, sets both in the sink, starts to transfer the food into celadon serving bowls.

"{I'm all the more careful because he seems inclined to hide not just his hurt, but his wants and needs, as well.}" Steve blinks rapidly. Rests his teacup on the countertop, though he does not remove his hand from it. "{Oh. They /have/ the story and they /haven't/ run it? But why -- some kind of censorship?}" Both the arch of his eyebrows and the hesitation in his tone suggests he doubts this very much. "{I suppose I should be grateful of the reprieve. And...yes, I am more or less /always/ hungry.}"

"{Fine. I am a negligent friend and am mildly ashamed of myself.}" Matt doesn't actually sound /all that/ contrite, though he hunches his shoulders. "{Next time I see him and we're not both running to class, I really must press him for the bright and shiny details. But I stand by my metaphor; you're just jealous of what we have together.}" He smiles a faint smile from behind his teacup. "{You should stay for supper. Luci is a spectacular chef and I want to respectfully pry into your life some more.}"

"{Yes. I am pining over the intimacy you and language share.}" Lucien sounds quietly amused, as he moves the food out of the kitchen and to the already-set dining room table, returning momentarily to collect his tea. "{Oh, they /will/ run a story. Soon enough. I was not sure you and Jackson were ready for it quite yet. You've had quite enough on your plates without --}" His head gives a quick shake. "{But asking for a favor will only last so long. They certainly won't be very happy with me there if someone /else/ catches wind while they were sitting on it. Perhaps a small human interest piece. The two of you volunteering together. Or at church. Dancing. Something wholesome.}" His hand tips out towards the dining room. "{Shall we?}"