ArchivedLogs:Spread a Little Sunshine

From X-Men: rEvolution
Spread a Little Sunshine
Dramatis Personae

Desi, Jax, Lucien, Matt, Steve, Gaétan, Izzy

2017-05-28


"Did you put him up to this?"

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.

Steve is just finishing his third helping of peanut noodles and stir-fry vegetables, washing it down with the last of his tea. He's dressed in a crisp botton-down shirt in sky blue, the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and dark gray trousers. "This was delicious, merci." His posture is straighter than usual, though not /tense/, as such.

"We have Izzy to thank for that. I've been terribly idle today." Lucien's plate has one solitary noodle left on it; he's been absently spinning it through the sauce on his plate with his chopsticks for some time now. "I suppose there is nothing /stopping/ me from cooking on Sundays but by now it seems a foreign thought."

Matt has not eaten much this meal, and is still nursing most of a ginger ale. The pallor of his complexion is not at all improved by his moss green t-shirt (its front largely taken up by a light green snake whose coils suggest letters), and he looks as though he is slowly drooping out of his seat. "Truly, your indolence is legendary." His tone is remarkably dry, his smile rueful. "I really don't know how we've survived." Despite his outwardly exhaustion, his powers are twined with Lucien's, steady and bolstering.

'Idle'. Jax mouths this silently to himself, head giving a small but dubious shake. He's leaning -- propped up or propping -- against Matt's side, one foot tucked up onto the bench seat beneath him. "Do that mean the same thing to him it means to normal folk?"

Gaétan's plate is full, anyway. Not so much with dinner anymore as with lemon bar cookies drizzled with raspberry sauce, which, stacked atop each other, he's eating more like cake. He shrugs in answer to Jax, getting up to start clearing away dishes from the rest of the table. "He had an appointment after his show and then a conference call and then about three hours of emails to get through but it's true he didn't make dinner or walk the dog. /And/ I saw a spot of algae on the tropical tank." His tone is /severely/ chiding.

"Glad you liked. The peanut noodle is a new recipe for me, but the stir-fry is my favorite standby." Israel is wearing a rainbow block print tank top and a black kilt, shaggy white hair hanging down almost far enough to cover his eyes. "Not sure about normal folk, but I think 'idle' is Luci-speak for 'only doing ten things at once.'"

Desi's arrival is quiet enough, but still rouses both Flèche and Zenobia from where they were napping in a heap on the hearth rug. She slips off her sandals, distributing both treats and pettings to the dogs before drifting into the dining room, her steps slow with weariness. "Bonsoir, everyone." The dogs are trailing hopefully in her wake. "Smells great--did you save any for me?" Apparently not leaving this to chance, she snags a chunk of bok choy from Matt's plate as she passes.

"If you ever need an outside force to stop you from cooking -- on any day -- I'm happy to supply it." Steve sets down his chopsticks and frowns, considering. "Not /any/ day, I suppose, but you know my schedule. Bonsoir. There's plenty, despite my best efforts." He offers scritches at the dogs, but they're both far more interested in Desi. "I'll fix you a plate now, if you like. Stand down, Pups, /you're/ not getting fed."

The corner of Lucien's mouth twitches. "{I will do better tomorrow.}" His assurance to Gaétan is mild. He finally plucks the last noodle up, popping it into his mouth before offering the plate and his chopsticks up to his youngest brother. His now-freed hand hooks upward, curling around Desi for a brief hug. "As it happens," just as mild, "I could use a hand tomorrow. It's not too late to clear your calendar. Spend the day quietly instead." With a questioning lift of brows, he's helpfully taking out his phone already.

"I'm the only one in this house who actually knows how to /idle/ properly." Matt drapes on Jax a bit more heavily as if to underline his skills in that department. "Present company /included./" He slowly winds another noodle around his chopsticks and pops it into his mouth. "Don't worry, Steve, we'll keep you busy, and you won't even have to make any speeches."

"Ex/cuse/ you," Jax huffs indignantly. "You can't lay sole claim to that. Just yesterday guess who slept for twelve hours /straight/, got everyone else t'make him food and didn't do a /single/ chore?" After a brief pause: "... it was Obie. -- Desi! There's definitely stir-fry left an' enough dessert to put you in a coma."

"Salut! Stir-fry might need heating up, but the noodles are supposed to be cold." Israel eyes Matt thoughtfully. "Dude, you better work on your routine before you get out-lazyed. Out-lazed?" He frowns. "That sounds like something else. Oh frak, /dessert!/ I need that. And tea. Anyone else?" He finishes off the tea still left in his own cup.

Desi settles her weight against Lucien for a moment, and it takes her an effort of will to start moving again. "I can get it," she says, waving off Steve's offer of assistance. "And make the tea. Doesn't Steve have to go memorialize with the President tomorrow?"

"No, but Cap does." Gaétan has whisked the dishes away to the sink and now lingers in the doorway of the dining room. "And the mayor and -- who else, Luci? Probably everyone."

"Oh, yes, it's Cap they want -- in that ridiculous comic book-style uniform based on my old stage costume, no less." Steve gives a rueful smile. "I would love to lend a hand here, but canceling all my Memorial Day appearances would probably mean more work for /you/ managing the fallout. Far more work than I'd be saving you, anyway."

"It would be manageable." The small flick of Lucien's fingers is dismissive. He leans forward once Desi has moved away, picking up Gaétan's fork and snagging a large chunk of lemon bar off his brother's unattended plate. "Even Cap might need a sick day once in a while. After all the work of impressing upon people you are, after all, human, /some/ day you might care to use that to your own benefit." His smile is fleeting. "Though you do look rather charming in that getup."

"Do you have to carry the old shield, too? It's got that whole medieval knight sort of appeal, but seems less ideal in terms of aerodynamics." Matt has finally left off pushing his dinner around his plate and gone back to his ginger ale, though he also passes his empty teacup to Desi with a signed 'thanks.' "But there /is/ something to be said for playing hooky. Come on, we can be sick buddies together. I'll take care of the whole being sick aspect of it."

"You know, you ain't half wrong about the virtues of a personal day to spend how /you/ like." Jax's tons is more than a little pointed. Brows lifting at Lucien. He's scooping up both his cup and Luci's to nudge (big-puppy-eye'd) toward Desi, signing his thanks as well.

"Seriously, man, you need a break. Just sayin'." Israel picks up his own cup, peering into Steve's and Gaétan's to make sure they're empty before taking them as well and following Desi into the kitchen.

Desi accepts the empty mugs with a not-at-all-weary smile. She looks like she could easily manage another few, but does not try to take the rest from Israel. "How about Three Treasures? That goes well with fruity sweet things." She /sounds/ perfectly confident, but her eyes dart briefly to first Matt and then Lucien before she ducks out of the room.

"Merci beaucoupe," Steve tips his head as his cup gets whisked away. "I like Three Treasures quite a lot, and I will take any of your word over my own as far as tea pairings go. Well, /maybe/ not yours.." He adds to Flèche, who has poked her long, pointed muzzle up to sniff hopefully at the table. He gives Lucien an appraising look, his expression inscrutable. "Everyone needs a break sometimes. Speaking of which, if you would indulge me for a moment..." He breaks into song, his clear, bright tenor filling the dining room, "Back in my younger days, when things were going wrong, I might sulk, I might pout." He rises and plucks up his messenger bag where he had left it hanging from the back of his chair along with his shield, slowly circling the table in slow, gliding steps as he continues singing.

"Now I've learned if I just, pitch in and do what's right, things will always work out..." As he nears Lucien's seat, Steve reaches into the messenger bag and produces a stack of hundred-dollar bills, deftly slipping off the band that holds them together, his voice swelling as he launches into the refrain. "...And if we all could spread a little sunshine, all could light a little fire..." He shuffles his hand rapidly over the top of the stack, launching the bills up to flutter down around Lucien. "...we all would be a little closer to our heart's desire..."

Gaétan snerks at Desi's tea description, starting to head back toward the kitchen. He pauses at the first notes of song, though, turning to look at Steve with widening eyes as the scene unfolds. '... fruity,' he mouths back towards Desi. "{Are you prescient?}"

"Indulge you. What do you think I've been trying to do, here?" Lucien's expression is neutral, save for a very slight uptick of one eyebrow. A small twitch curls at one corner of his mouth when Steve bursts into song -- though the appearance of the money sends his other eyebrow up to join the first. The widening of his eyes is slight enough to be largely overlookable. His hand lifts -- fingertips pressing in a delicate cage across his lips. That hand slides higher, fingers splaying over one eye and the bridge of his nose, as the cash begins to rain down.

Matt props his head on Jax's shoulder, watching Steve's performance with a bemused half-smile. His hand also comes up to cover his mouth, though it does not stifle the laughter that bubbles up as Steve showers his brother with cash. He gives Jax a delighted sidelong glance. "Did you put him up to this?" he asks, a bit breathless, between bouts of giggles and between verses in the song.

Jax touches his fingers to his chest, eye 'who-me' wide and innocent. He looks in no way surprised by this sudden turn of events, though he does squeeze Matt tighter and stifle a delighted laugh. "I /may/ have given him some kinda lesson in proper money distributing techniques but that's all!"

Israel sticks his head in from the kitchen, then just leans casually on the other side of the doorway from Gaétan, munching on a lemon bar as he looks on. The dogs, meanwhile, are varying combinations of excited and confused by the whole thing, dancing and jumping and snapping at the bills as they fall.

Desi pokes her head back in between her brothers when the laughter starts, covering her own incredulous smile with a purple mesh gloved hand. But she's also quick to whistle for the dogs when they start mobbing Steve and Lucien, rewarding them liberally with both biscuits and pettings when they flock to her instead.

Steve is in full performance mode, and neither laughter nor leaping pups have any effect on his delivery of music and money. "God's wisdom teaches me, when I help others I'm, really helping myself! And if we all could, spread a little sunshine, all could lend a helping hand; we all would be a little closer..." He fills the beats of the pause in his singing with a spin and flourish of the remaining bills fanned out in one hand before throwing them up into the air. "...to the Promised Land!"

Lucien tips his head up, exhaling long and slow as the last of the bills flutters down around him. Carefully plucking one out of the air before it lands in his lap, he studies it pensively, then places it down on the table in front of him. "You could have quite a career on Broadway, you know. Trade one silly costume in for dozens of them." His hand lowers from his face, elbow propping on the table and his fingers tipping out to the mess of bills scattered around them. "/Dare/ I ask what has prompted this display?"

Gaétan has slumped into the doorway. "/Why/ is he throwing -- P-/lease/ tell me you're not boning Captain America." Though his hands cover his face in an expression of Abject Despair, it doesn't quite muffle the laughter buried in his own voice.

/Matt/ is applauding, anyway. He looks as though he might well have literally fallen over laughing if Jax were not holding onto him. His mirth subsides, leaving him visibly drained but grinning brightly still.

Around Jax there's a shimmer of warm golden glow, faintly coruscating as he leans back against Matt, laughing as well. "See?" he carols to Steve. "He's still sitting!"

Israel is scrubbing his face, looking delighted but perhaps not all /that/ startled by the whole scene. "I'll get a broom," he offers at last. Adds to Lucien on his way through the dining room. "The expression on your face was /priceless./"

Desi has slipped quietly back into the kitchen and found something to keep the dogs occupied--the scrabbling of claws and the rattle of kibble inside some puzzle toy can be heard once Steve's singing is through. A moment later she emerges with a tray full of freshly filled teacups to distribute. To her younger brother she replies, "Stuff and nonsesen. /Clearly/ this is an expression of gratitude for the cooking lessons."

Steve blushes just a little. "I will never doubt your wisdom again," he tells Jax, his smile going a touch sheepish. "I guess, strictly speaking, that expression on your face cost exactly this much." He hands Lucien the paper band that had held the stack of bills together; the bank had printed it with the amount and denomination of the currency it held -- $50,000 in $100s. "Those who've suffered my cooking before you took me under your wing might agree it's a bargain." He sits accepts his tea from Desi with a signed thanks and sits back down. "But no, it's back pay for the PR management. We can go over the math if you like, but either way I intend to pay you for that work going forward." His gaze is steely and his tone quite firm. He lifts his cup for a slow sip and raises both eyebrows at Lucien ever so slightly. "I am more than ready to fight you over this. But retiring to the living room for dessert would be a much better use of our time."

"Will you /actually/ fight him?" Now Gaétan is dropping his hands. /Bright/ and unabashedly eager.

There's a very faint paling in Lucien's cheeks as he takes the slip of paper, a brief but audible hitch to his breath before he relaxes again. "Back pay? When I first offered I never intended --" His lips press together firmly as his eyes meet Steve's. Quietly, he reaches out to hand the band over to Matt. His eyes tip upward for a moment -- before he breathes out quick and sharp, cutting a small sliver of smile at Gaétan. "My gods, you have no shame. /I/ certainly prefer dessert to /fisticuffs/, at the very least."

"When you think about it," Matt allows, tapping his chin with one finger, "people do, in fact, pay you to make expressions." He does not react quite so visibly as his brother to the number printed on the paper slip; if he goes pale, it's hardly noticeable against his already sickly complexion. "Well... His cooking /has/ improved, by orders of magnitude. We can compromise--/you/ two fight while the rest of us spectate over dessert."

"You're /not/ allowed to cheat," Jax is already cautioning Matt of this Sternly. After a moment's consideration: "For either of them!"

Desi has returned to the kitchen and emerged yet again with a platter of pastries in one hand and her own bowl of stir-fry in the other. She does not set it down on the table, but moves gracefully through toward the living room. "Fight or no fight, cheating or no, dessert is coming this way and so should you."