ArchivedLogs:The Mutant Menace

From X-Men: rEvolution
The Mutant Menace
Dramatis Personae

B, Jax, Steve


"{We're /kind of/ hopeless like that.}"


<NYC> NYPD Station - Garment District

Despite the fashionable clothing of those outside, almost everyone inside the NYPD station is wearing the same dark blue uniform, gold badges flashing on their chest. A few, however, are in business clothing, and a rare one or two are in crisp white uniforms. The police station is several floors high, each dedicated to a different department, and a rare parking lot in the back where the cruisers and trucks sit.

It's dark, in the cell back here, the lights switched off both in the cell and the hallway outside and heavy shuttering over the window. Kind of cold, if not /horribly/ so. Some dinner had been brought by last night -- turkey sandwiches -- and some breakfast this morning -- eggs and bananas -- but it's been a while since either of that. Jax is curled up on a cot on his side, blanket pulled up over him, eyes closed. Not asleep, though; he's been humming quietly to himself for a little while, now.

Steve actually /has/ been sleeping, intermittently. Not /well,/ though, restless and starting awake often. This time he blurts out "No" (after some considerably less intelligible murmuring), sitting up. The cot creaks slightly under his weight. He still, waits for his breathing to slow again. Rises, pulling the blanket with him like a cape. Walks to the useless window, then to the bars. Looks back at Jax now. "Hey." Slides the blanket from his shoulders, holds it out. "{Are you cold?}" he asks in quiet Spanish.

Jax curls in tighter when Steve approaches, relaxing at the sound of the other man's voice. His humming stops, head shifting against his cot. "{Aren't you?}"

Steve hesitates. "{A little,}" he admits. "{But it doesn't bother me too much.}" He deposits the blanket on Jax's cot -- possibly on Jax, possibly not; he probably cannot see too much detail in the gloom. "{Been a lot colder for a lot longer.}"

There's a shifting from Jax's cot as he sits up -- kind of shakily. Also kind of shakily rearranges his blankets. Thunks back down again underneath them. "{Sorry,}" he murmurs, soft, "{probably be a lot -- brighter in here if you weren't stuck with me. Light's at least a tiny bit of warm, usually.}" There's a pause before: "{Holding up okay? You -- weren't napping too good.}"

"{Thanks.}" There's a shifting from Jax's cot as he sits up -- kind of shakily. Also kind of shakily rearranges his blankets. Thunks back down again underneath them. "{Sorry,}" he murmurs, soft, "{probably be a lot -- brighter in here if you weren't stuck with me. Light's at least a tiny bit of warm, usually.}" There's a pause before: "{Holding up okay? You -- weren't napping too good.}"

"{It doesn't /hurt/ me. But you -- dark, makes you sick, yes?} Steve has started pacing, very slowly, as if measuring the width of the cell with his steps. "{I'm mostly just hungry. Sleep...I haven't slept much good since...a long time. Nothing to do with jail, or dark.}"

"{Sick. Yes.}" Jax's agreement comes quietly. "{Between the light and the food it --}" He breaks off, lapsing for a moment into quiet. "{They should bring lunch for you. Maybe soon. I know it's not /enough/ but.}" He shifts again, pushing himself up into a seated position, blankets wrapped around him as he leans back against the wall. Dark or no dark, /his/ eye tracks Steve's pacing easily in the gloom. "{I feel you there.}" There's a soft clicking as his teeth fidget with his lip ring. A little bit lighter: "{Once, Lucien made me a thing. To keep away bad dreams.}"

Steve stops, turning to face Jax's voice in the darkness. "{You said half a day with no food, you pass out,}" he says softly. "{If also no long do you think you can last?}" Then, quickly, "{I'm sorry, you don't have to answer that. It's not really my uh...}" He shakes his head. "{A thing? Like a...magic.} Walks over Jax's cot. "{Mind if I sit? Here.}

"{I did have a banana this morning,}" Jax points out, though a little wryly. "{But no food, no light...}" He doesn't really answer, just pulls in a very shaky breath. "{A magic. Thing. Like protect... I don't really know.}" His voice sounds very tired, now. Even moreso when he adds: "{Please sit.}" His head falls back against the wall. "{You been arrested before?}"

"{Thank you.}" Steve sinks to the cot -- heavily, as if worn out just from the bit of pacing he did. "{Twice. Never...court. Just cops grabbing people to break up uh...}picket lines." He's quiet for a moment. Then, "{Did it work? The magic thing.}"

"{You? Really?}" Jax scoots closer to Steve, unfurling his blankets to drape half of them over the other man, his shoulder tucking up against Steve's; it makes it easier to feel the low-grade trembling that runs through him. Exhausted though his tone is, there's a note of laughter in his voice. "Commie. {Strangely the arrests didn't make it into all your} propaganda." His arm curls around his knees, legs pulled close to his chest. "Mmm? Oh. {Maybe. I did sleep easier, for a bit. Which is -- usually hard to come by.}"

"{Thank you...}" Steve wraps an arm around Jax's shoulder. "{Being socialist wasn't /as/} un-American {back then as it is now.}" His voice hitches with soft laughter. "{But yes, they left that out. They left out a lot. Like I didn't even exist, before Captain America.}" His fingers start to tighten on Jax's arm, but he relaxes them again very deliberately. "{Bad dreams? Or more like...} insomnia?"

Jax exhales a soft breath when Steve's arm curls around him, head dropping in against the other man's shoulder. "{Both, honestly. I get powered by sunlight? So when the days are longer I /can't/ sleep well. And then even when I do...}" His shoulder hitches, quickly. His fingers pluck at the hem of the blanket restlessly, then drop to rest on the mattress between them. "{... so then. Who was Steve Rogers? Before.}"

Steve shifts, settles Jax's head more comfortably into the crook of his neck. "{So in summer you have too much energy and can't sleep, in winter you don't have enough...and still can't sleep.}" Even in the darkness, the smile can be heard in his words: "{Spring and Autumn are nice seasons.}" He tilts his head back, as if looking for the answer in the blackness of the ceiling. "{Skinny, sickly kid from Brooklyn. I loved Broadway shows and baseball. Sold newspapers. Drew pictures. Did odd jobs. Got beat up...a lot. Sometimes just because, easy target; sometimes because I stood by what I believed.}" He shakes his head slowly. "{What about you? Before you become the Mutant Menace.}" Somehow he has learned how to say /that/ in Spanish.

Jax chuckles quietly, his small nod easily felt against Steve's neck. "{I do like the spring.}" Slowly, as Steve speaks, his hand moves from the mattress to rest on the other man's knee. "{Stood by what you believed.}" He squeezes down gently. "{So not much has changed, huh?}" He pulls the blanket a little closer around himself. "{Me?} Oh. Gosh. {Farm kid. Georgia. Loved swimming and -- country music. Worked our vegetable stand. Drew pictures.}" His smile, here, is felt more than seen. "{... got beat up, a lot.}" There's a pause before he continues, a little shyly: "{There's a whole lot of new stuff out. On Broadway. Maybe some time you'd like to -- go?}" He swallows, qualifying here: "{I mean. I mean -- with. Me.}"

The light goes on in the hallway outside before the footsteps can be heard. Then the light in their cell, stark and glaring after the long stretch of darkness. The officer who appears outside looks kind of bored as he clangs their cell open. "Rogers. Holland." His thumb jerks towards the exit, head jerking as well in a silent: come on.

"{A lot /has/ changed.}" Steve relaxes just a touch -- it might have been hard to tell he had been tense before except by comparison. "{But not that.}" He squeezes Jax's shoulder gently when he mentions getting beaten up. "{Well, we didn't get beat up /this/ time.}" He goes still for a moment. "I -- {I would love to go. With you.}" If he was going to say anything else, it's cut off when the light comes on, blinding even when it's only out in the hallway. Though his eyes instinctively squint shut against the cell's harsh fluorescent light, he stands at once when the guard opens the door, sliding one foot back as though he expects an attack. Blinking away the glare, he nods to the cop and offers Jax a hand up without completely turning to face him.

"/Oh/." The relief in Jax's voice is nearly tangible at Steve's answer. For a moment he relaxes in against the other man -- though only a moment. When the lights go on he sit up, straightening with a ragged gasp, a soft edge of whimper in the sound. His face turns reflexively towards the light even though his eye has closed. "... oh. Are we --" His brows furrow; he reaches for Steve's hand without opening his eyes, calloused fingers closing tightly into the other man's. When it pulls himself up it's with a noticeable unsteadiness, weight leaning into Steve's heavily enough it seems he might have a bit of trouble staying upright otherwise. He sheds the blankets to fall back to the cot. "Right. Thank you. Sir."

"Bail posted. You can fill out your paperwork and collect your things at the desk." The man waits only briefly for the others to get to their feet before leading them off to enjoy the thrilling tedium of Paperwork. Things to sign. Personal items to collect.

They've barely been shuffled through the door again out into the lobby when a colorful whirlwind of metallic silver-foil skater dress and velvety blue leggings and stompy boots is descending upon them, B swooping in -- not for hugs but to THRUST a soft-sided cooler in their direction. Then change her mind and grab Steve by the arm to drag him towards a chair. "{All night we've been. Here. Try to send food in. Or tell them bring food. Do they listen no. Sit eat.} You can't even wait three /seconds/ after an apocalypse to get arrested again?"

Steve is still shrugging on the harness for his shield when they get intercepted by fretting sharkpup. He offering no resistance to being /maneuvered/ into a chair by someone a fraction his size, dragging Jax with him kind of automatically. "{Thank you, B}" he mutters, staring at the cooler with one eyebrow quirked, like he's not /completely/ sure what he's looking at. "Oh! /This/ is food! God bless you." Unzipping the cooler, he offers it to Jax. "{We're /kind of/ hopeless like that.} In our defense, the defying of law was kind of incidental."

Jax is still leaning heavily against Steve as they emerge, pale and very noticeably shaky. It doesn't stop the smile from spreading across his face, bright and warm when he sees B. /He/ reaches for a hug, at least, quick and squeezy before he's carted off to collapse gratefully into a chair. "Ohgosh thank you. I think I was near t'dyin'." It's hard to tell how much of an exaggeration this is; at the least he is reaching with a quickness into the cooler. "{I waited at least a minute there.}"

The cooler is in fact full of food, protein bars and juice boxes and clementines tucked in alongside a small tupperware with chai snickerdoodles, one with a large quinoa-chickpea-black bean salad, one with a lot of potato leek soup, now kind of lukewarm. "{Wait a month next time. Wait a year. Wait till you're /off/ /probation/.}" B's gills are rapidly fluttering as she flumps down to sit on the ground in front of the men. "Seriously. Hopeless. -- You should /see/ the field day the news is having -- no, wait. Food first."

Steve picks up the soup container and goes through almost half of it while B speaks. Then sheepishly passes it to Jax. "{Hey, it's the first time /I've/ been arrested in over 74 years.}" He doesn't /quite/ manage sounding indignant, gratefully helping himself to salad. "The news?" He stops. Stares down at B. "Have they convinced the world we /caused/ the collapse? {Or...worse, /he/ caused it and /I/ was saving the children /from/ him?}" He shakes his head sharply, scrubbing the blond stubble on his chin with the knuckles of his free hand. "Oh gosh, I need a shave."

Jax goes for a juice box first -- though he passes it to B to put its straw in, his hands shaking too badly to get it into the small hole. Once he has it, though, he sucks most of the thing down in short order, pausing only once Steve passes him the soup. "{Please don't tell me. I don't want news. I just want --}" He stops here, his cheeks flushing deep red as he looks over at Steve. "... sleep," he finishes, gaze dipping downwards.

B's brows quirk upward. "{So you made a habit of getting arrested /before/?} Man, you two /are/ a good pair." Hir eyes shift between the two men at Jax's blush, lips twisting slightly to the side. A brief flutter to hir gills. There's a few beats of silence. "... okay. Sleep first. News later. {I'll go bring the car around.}" Hir head shakes, and she pushes hirself back to hir feet, leaning in to press a kiss to Jax's forehead before she heads out.

"Right. {Yes, sleep, would be nice.}" Steve nods kind of dreamily as he pries open the container of cookies. Looking sidelong at Jax, he seems perplexed by the blushing. Briefly. At B's analysis he's turning /pretty/ red himself. His jaw drops open a little, and for a moment he looks like he's considering a rebuttal. But then he stuffs a cookie into his mouth instead.