ArchivedLogs:That Pivotal Moment

From X-Men: rEvolution
That Pivotal Moment
Dramatis Personae

B, Dusk, Isra, Jax, Shane, Steve

New Year's Eve

"{For luck, then, if nothing else.}"


<NYC> Harbor Commons - Game Room - Lower East Side

Together with the dining room, this is the largest room in the common building, a plentiful expanse of gathering space for people to come and socialize. There is typically a brightly-coloured array of whimsical artwork hanging on the walls, and its wide windows overlook the grounds. Tall cabinets along one wall hold a wide library of board and card games -- there's a sign-out sheet for the use of these clipped to the front of the cabinet doors. The room provides plenty of place to /play/ games in, as well, with several separate wide tables -- three ringed by straight-backed chairs, two nestled amid more casual clusters of couch-and-armchairs -- scattered throughout the room. In the back of the room there's a ping-pong table; over near the windows on the right, an air hockey table, while a pool table stands to the back of it. Doors to either side of the room lead off to the media room and the children's playroom.

There's music playing in the game room -- the mix that's been on tonight is kind of eclectic, given that everyone around has the ability to add to the playlist. At the moment, though, Jax is bopping his head along with the music, fingers drumming against the table as he peers down at the cards in front of him. "-- We mind our manners and we talk real slow, down here buddy, that's the way it goes," he sings along with the current song. He's dressed, right now, in black skinny jeans dusted up their sides with a glittery silver constellation pattern, a metallic blue tank top worn underneath a sweater crocheted with a wide lacy pattern in black and silver. An enormous black Stetson, trimmed in silver tassel around its brim, is currently perched on his head -- though it certainly wasn't at the beginning of the game.

"Oh!" After some studying, first of the board and then his hand, a bright smile lights his face. A small flock of tiny-tiny baby ducklings, rolypoly and fluffy and yellow, tumble out of his hand when he sets his card down on one of Steve's. "{Okay so despite the truly awful day he /had/ been having,}" he says brightly, "{the butler was just lucky enough to stumble across a dose of cheer because suddenly out of nowhere -- or maybe it was out of that horrible death-pit he'd stumbled into, I don't know, there was a nest in there -- but this whole /drove/ of ducklings danced around him an' honestly who can stay gloomy when they're getting tiny-bird cuddles, /have/ some cheer.}" The smallbirds frolic for a moment atop Steve's card before tumbling off the edge of the table to plop onto the floor, instead. Jax picks up the bottle of cider sitting by his own cards, taking a gulp.

/Steve/ seems delighted by the ducklings, at least, even if it means counterintuitive ill for his standing in the game. His clothes look brand-new and actually fit him -- a long-sleeve waffle thermal shirt dyed in sunset hues and crisp blue jeans with no holes in them whatsoever. Resting against his chair, his shield has been re-colored: the star at its center gold and the concentric bands around it rainbow-colored and glittery to boot. A tiny black top hat is perched on his slightly messy blond hair, secured in place with a hairclip. He laughs brightly, shakes his head. "{All right, let's see...}" His Spanish is casual, quite rough and heavily Italian-accented. Peering at his hand critically, he selects a card and places it carefully atop another one of his own. "{Sadly for the Twins, they their way to school when they were...taunted by a pack of tigers. It was awful, I promise. This would probably be a more interesting story if I spoke Spanish better.}" Takes a drink of /his/ cider -- he's gone through easily twice as many anyone else at the table. "{Or if I could get drunk.}"

There's been some rowdiness -- thankfully less audible than it would otherwise have /been/ in the next room, given its soundproofing. Maybe there's video gaming going on there. Maybe movie-watching. Maybe participatory movie-watching. It's kind of hard to tell. There has /definitely/ been drinking, though, that much is clear when Shane meanders (a little wobbly) through, leaning heavily against his twin. At least at first. He switches to leaning heavily against Steve's shoulder once they approach the table, squinting down at the cards.

"{Oh my god,}" he places a webbed hand over his heart in feigned shock, "{you call /those/ stripes, tell me you're kidding me with that look, you really don't have the figure to pull it off. And that --}" His claws flick very lightly at the edges of Steve's hair, "{fur of yours, honestly if my stylist had done that I'd be hiding up a tree scared to show my face.}"

Trailing along with Shane, there's no sign of /wobble/ in B's walk. She lingers nearby the table, hands folding behind hir back as she rocks back on hir heels. "{Tigers are very fashion-conscious, it seems.}"

Dusk should probably be paying some attention to the cards now. But instead he is leaning, one elbow propped against the table, wings draped down behind him, teeth clicking against the rim of his glass as he sips at his tequila. "{Have you seen some of the competition they're /up/ against in the jungle I bet they're getting shit from the fucking. Peacocks. Nonstop. -- Is tiger-taunting a frequent problem in the life of Twin?}"

The cards lying in front of Isra indicate she has done rather well for herself in this game, having managed to off two of her circus family after driving them to the depths of despair. She herself looks downright festive in a red wrap dress to set off her holly-green skin and shining gold horns and talons. The wings mantled behind her look like fields of gleaming snow overlaid with gold filigree. She smiles a thin, sharp smiles when the twins enter, one wing stretching out and around Jax, easily enough reach to curl around B. "{No wonder they keep to themselves,}" she adds evenly. "{Other beasts either cannot measure up to their standards, or make them feel self-conscious.}"

"Oh, gosh. Who knew tigers was so catty?" Jax is giggling as Shane adds on to Steve's playing, a pair of felt puppet-y greying tigers (one with a thick mustache, one with prominent bushy eyebrows) perching themselves on the table with forepaws crossed. "{/I'm/ not drunk and I'm still enjoying you.}" The cider in front of Jax is, at least, the only one currently there.

"{Oh my stars,}" Steve cries, coming up a little short of even mock-dismay. Acting is not his strong suit. "{You're the cruelest creatures on the planet!}" He chews on his lip, considering Jax's puppets. "{That's a reference to something, isn't it?}" And then considers Jax himself. And then blushes and suddenly busies himself reorganizing his hand. "{It is almost time?}" He cranes his neck around to look at a clock, holding Shane up kind of reflexively so the sharkpup doesn't topple when he shifts.

"{Enjoying...}" B echoes this with a puzzled look creeping across hir face. "{You mean having fun?}" she suggests, cautiously.

"{Toootally means enjoying him.}" Shane thunks more heavily into Steve's side, kind of /faceplanting/ against the other man's shoulder. "{Shit yeah. Almost. Midnight. Better than some New Years', huh? Two fucking years ago --}" A soft growl rumbles in his chest, his eyes shooting over to Dusk and Jax with a small flutter of gills. He straightens unsteadily, looking over to the clock as well. "{Almost midnight. Did they kiss people? Back in the stone age when you were young? Dusk kisses /everyone/.}"

"Shane," B chides, gently. "{They hadn't invented kissing that long ago.}"

"Muppets reference. {Another thing for your list. Statler and Waldorf are fucking hilarious.}" Dusk's richly decorated wings twitch behind him at the mention of New Years past; sans shirt it's that much easier to see the ripple of tension that tightens his muscles. He downs the rest of his tequila in a hard gulp, pouring another couple fingers into his glass. He snorts at the banter between the twins, though, leaning slightly back in his seat. One wing stretches, touches its edge lightly to Isra's. "{There's just a lot of people in my life I'd like to keep close.}"

"{Almost,}" Isra echoes softly, the higher of her voices almost dropping out entirely. Her wing presses back against Dusk's, strong and steady. "{/I'm/ having fun.../and/ mildly intoxicated, which is no mean feat.}" There had been some brandy earlier. "{I can't disagree with Dusk, though. If kisses on the cheek or head count, then I will take the tradition more to heart.}"

"Oh!" Jax flushes /deep/ crimson, the illused tigers blinking out of existence. "{Having fun, oh, yes, I meant --}" His eye flicks towards Steve, head ducking as he scuffs a hand -- straight /through/ his Stetson to run over his scalp. "{My Spanish isn't... um. Whose turn is it?}" He reaches for his bottle, curling his fingers tight around it. "{Two years ago --}" For a moment he frowns, but it soon passes. He gulps at his cider. "{I'm pretty sure any kinds of kisses count. It's just a silly tradition, right? Something about kisses cementing your relationships growing closer in the new year? I've never been quite sure. I like it that way better than the stupid way about if you /don't/ kiss anyone you'll be lonely all year. That just seems dumb and --}" He shakes his head. "Pressurey. I just like more love."

Steve tenses just a touch when Shane growls -- it might not be noticeable to anyone else, and it doesn't last. "{Two year ago...was an extra bad one, then.}" It's not quite a question, and he nods slightly, almost to himself. "{Last one I had was --}" He looks blank for a moment, then smiles abruptly. "{-- recent! Hardly five months, that I can remember. And I think it's Dusk's turn.}" Digging a small, dogeared notepad from a pocket, he scribbles down 'Muppets' in tight but neat cursive beneath a long list of media, about a quarter of them crossed off now. "{But yes, we had that tradition, and others. Kissing, drinking, singing 'Auld Lang Syne' really badly. Different people had different reasons, I guess. I like yours, though.}" This last to Jax, quiet and almost shy, before he looks at the clock again.

"{Man you're just stacking /up/ new years. And we still sing Auld Lang Syne shittily, some things never die.}" Shane ricochets back from Steve to B, looping an arm around his sibling's waist. His head bops up under Isra's wing. "All kisses matter," he tells her, deadpan.

B snorts, pressing a kiss to Shane's cheek. "{Come on,}" she's starting to steer her brother back towards the media room, "{it's almost midnight.}"

"All kisses matter," Shane calls back over his shoulder as he is steered out, "{but they matter /twice/ as hard if you kiss my dad. /Tell/ me you haven't noticed how hot he is? Or those eyes he's making, maybe there's some kind of hero -- wait, no, /eye/ he's making. Whoops.}"

The small noise B makes at this is -- a little strangled. "Happy New Year," she squeaks, shoving Shane out the door.

"{New Year 2014 Jax and I spent in adjoining prison cells. I prefer --}" Dusk looks down at the cards splayed in front of him, then lays one down, "{this year, where my poor faithful hound is getting unfortunately crushed to death by a whole cartful of cabbages after some careless would-be heroes went rampaging through town and cause chaos in the local bazaar.}" He, at least, seems quite unfazed by Shane's contributions, just kind of humming thoughtfully: "{Twice as much? I don't know if you can really /rank/ kisses. Not that there aren't a million good reasons to be kissing Jax.}"

Isra's wing tightens briefly around both the twins before letting them go. "{We have had some bleak times,}" she says mildly, ears pressing back. "{As I imagine you have, as well. But a new year is a fresh start. Likewise for...}" She glances down at Jax's cards and places a mostly-transparent one neatly over one of them. "{...Professor Helena Slogar who, despite her many injuries and misfortunes, has cracked the code and will surely go down in history as a brilliant cryptologist and a patriot. Unless she is later found to have socially unacceptable traits.}" She smiles a fangy smile. "{You might think it's because he's been drinking, but Shane does that when he's sober, too.}"

Jax's eye (singular!) opens up wide, the red spreading outward to tint the air around him with a flush of crimson glow. "Oh /gosh/, Shane -- is." He crinkles his nose up, rubbing knuckles against his cheek as a lopsided smile curls across his face. "{always like that, yes. /Um/. Wait what!" Suddenly derailed from this thought he peers over at the cards, tapping a finger at his Professor. "She's a /necromancer/ how socially acceptable is that? She has stolen human remains to reanimate them for her nefarious --}" He pauses (with a brief flinch, a small ripple in the light around him, the red fading but the ambient light flickering) as, somewhere outside, the world erupts into a crackle of fireworks. From his chair, his phone buzzes. "Oh!" He relaxes again as he looks at the clock -- though his blush returns as he glances back up at Steve. A shimmer of glittery confetti appears from nowhere, fluttering down from the ceiling. "Happy New Year."

Steve claps a hand over his mouth, his cheeks blushing bright red as well, though somehow he manages to choke out "{Happy New Year!}" as B maneuvers Shane out the door. He recovers his composure enough to nod at Dusk's explanation. "{That was...when all those videos were made. About the labs.}" Though he turns red all over again when he looks back at Jax, then tilts his head to study the character Isra has just blessed with success. "{Maybe her} necromancy {is secret. And wholesome...?}" He sucks in a quick breath and grips the table when the fireworks begin -- tightly enough that the wood creaks faintly in complaint, which reminds him to let go. Blinks a few times when the confetti comes raining down. Lets out the breath he had been holding. "Oh gosh. {Not because Shane said I should, but...}" Stretches out a hand to Jax. "{...may I?}"

Dusk presses the rim of his glass to his lips, stifling a chuckle. "{Wholesome necromancy. Those are good /churchgoing/ zombies.}" The chuckle is undercut by a low rumble of growl thrumming up in his chest when the fireworks begin -- one of his wings stretches out towards Steve reflexively when the other man grips the table, but he pulls this back and instead leans over, reaches a cautious hand to rest lightly on the other man's shoulder. Brief. Veeery small squeeze. "{Happy new year.}" After this he's setting his glass down, his wing curling around Isra as he drops his hand from Steve and moves closer to her. Leans in for a light kiss. "{Not that I have much doubt about 2016,}" his grin is quick and bright, "{-- but kissing you is always nice.}"

Isra gives a very small shrug, just a faint upward hitch of brightly colored wings. "{Perhaps less far-fetched now than before,}" she agrees. Her pupils contract at the flash of fireworks from outside, and she spreads out the wing on the side of the window as if to shield her eyes--but instead she presses it to Jax's shoulders. "{Happy New Year, gentlemen,}" she says softly and flashes a sharp grin at Dusk when he kisses her. "{For luck, then, if nothing else.}"

"{/Secret/ church zombies, this sounds like a} cult." Jax leans slightly into Isra's touch, head tipping to press his cheek lightly to her wing. The light around him calms. "{Happy new year.}" Softer, and warmer -- though he still looks up with a small catch of breath, a look of genuine surprise, despite all the previous conversation, at Steve's question. "Oh! You..." Some of the glimmering confetti freezes, halted in midair around them as he looks at Steve's outstretched hand. The smile on his face brightens as he reaches to take in, fiercely warm fingers curling around the other man's as he moves from his chair to step closer. "... I'd like that."

Steve relaxes, fractionally, beneath Dusk's hand. Darts him a grateful glance. He does not flinch any further at the fireworks, nor at the sharper reports that some will easily recognize as gunshots, aimed out of windows at the frosty sky. Rising from his chair, he steps toward Jax just about as the other man does the same, putting them -- perhaps unintentionally -- almost nose to forehead. Blushes fiercely. Mutters something softly (maybe an apology in French? It's lost under a barrage of fireworks). Grips his hand...kind of tight, but luckily not with his full strength. Tilts his head and plants a kiss on Jax's right cheek -- not shy, but chaste. "{Happy New Year.}"