ArchivedLogs:Think First

From X-Men: rEvolution
Think First
Dramatis Personae

Gaetan, Lucien, Matt


"{A few hours? You ought to have made it permanent.}"


<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.

It's a dreary evening, chilly, drizzly, rain pattering down against the windows. With outdoors decidedly unwelcoming, the house is kind of noisy inside -- a trio of not-quite-teenage boys have taken up residence in the dining room. The dining room table has been pushed aside to make room for the (magnetic) dartboard now hung on the wall, though Gaetan and his friends are splitting their attention between the darts game and the laptops out on the table (which are turned clandestinely Away from the kitchen, as though Lucien, as Resident Adult, might perhaps /interfere/ with their internet activities.)

Lucien seems little concerned with what the boys are getting up to, though. He is more occupied at the moment with the preparation of dinner. In jeans and a black button-down, sleeves rolled up past his elbows, he's at the counter, carefully spooning filling into the depressions of a rolled-out sheet of pasta. Quietly humming along with the /Wicked/ soundtrack that is currently playing.

The front door opens and closes, and though Matt's powers have already reached Lucien, probing gently as is his habit, it takes quite a while for the man himself makes his way into view. The jacket he has presumably stripped off kept his seafoam green Moby-Dick t-shirt reasonably dry, but his hair is soaked and likewise his cargo pants. He looks a little pale and shivery, but his smile is bright when he pokes his head into the dining room to wave at his little brother and his friends. That smile has begun to falter by the time he makes it to Lucien. Though his trajectory suggested intent to hug, he draws up short--perhaps not keen on getting rain all over the other man or interrupting the creation of ravioli. Instead, he just lays one hand on Lucien's back; it feels cold even through the fabric of the shirt. "{I'm fine, and I'll go change presently,}" he says quietly, and puts the kettle on.

There's a chorus of greeting from the dining room: "Yo", "Hola, Matt", one indeterminate sort of grunt. Lucien says nothing, just leans into the chill hand placed at his back. His mind feels much as it has lately -- exhausted, overtaxed, straining to keep itself Very Precisely in its strictly regimented order. It doesn't show through in the neutral calm in Lucien's expression, the faint hum as he turns his head to look at his brother. His hand shifts, the back of his arm (warm!) pressing lightly to Matt's cold one with his own quiet assessment. "{Mmm. Fine enough that you need to reassure me of it first thing?}"

Matt's own biochemistry is kind of a wreck, identifiable to Lucien only as the aftermath of /some/ emotional turmoil, certainly not much improved by the physical stress of a long walk in the cold rain. The warmth of the touch alone eases some of the chaos inside him, though. "{Pardon, I should have been more specific, but 'fine' was shorter than 'not about to die of hypothermia.'}" He starts to rest his head on Lucien's shoulder, but then shakes his head and pulls away. His steps acending the stairs are ponderous, and the water is at a quite lively boil by the time he returns, wearing a black t-shirt featuring Coyote from Gunnerkrigg Court and soft, worn blue-jeans. He has toweled off his hair, but still looks shaky as he turns off the fire beneath the kettle pokes through the tea cabinet.

Lucien's brows pull inward, his eyes following Matt up the stairs. His ravoili is filled when Matt returns, one sheet of pasta covering the other. There's a dishtowel hanging over his shoulder, hands only slightly damp when he moves over to nudge at his brother's arm, turning him from the tea cabinet instead to an tea steeper on the counter, already measured with enough Bai Hao oolong for two mugs and just waiting for water. The nudge comes, as well, with a faint flush of warmth, quiet and gentle before Lucien turns back to the counter to start crimping and cutting his pasta.

Matt offers Lucien a grateful smile, only a touch faint. He allows the kettle the sit for another thirty--staring kind of vacantly at it all the while--seconds before filling the teapot. The two mugs he pulls down are from the 'eclectic' section in the back of the cabinet, one a comemorative stoneware mug from some festival or another, a long green dragon coiled languidly around it, the other is just white and largely covered with cartoon puppies. He sinks down onto a stool at the counter and props his chin up in the palm of one hand, watching his brother work. "{How was your day?}"

"{I spent the morning entertaining /the/ most tedious bore from our Milan chapter. I half fell asleep listening to him drone on about his family's money.}" Lucien's wheel slices in trim lines, cutting his ravioli into neatly scalloped pieces. "I got a callback. The week after next." That, almost as an afterthought. Kind of bland as he focuses on his pasta, eyes lifting from it afterwards to eye -- the tea, rather than Matt.

Matt's eyes had drifted down to the tea, also, but then lift back to Lucien's expressionless face in a start. "Oh! That's..." There's a long pause, his jaw works. "{That's wonderful. Which production is it?}"

Lucien just shakes his head, slightly. Makes a noncommital hum at odds with the faint tightening of his jaw. "{A new thing. Some fairytale business.}" He slides his freshly made pasta into a bowl together with other recently cut ravioli. Moving aside, he takes a seat beside Matt at the counter, pouring out the tea into the two mugs. He slides one to his brother, his hand resting lightly on Matt's. "{Do I get the more specific version, now?}"

"{Fairytale?}" The vague description only seems to pique Matt's interest further. "{Tell me about it? Or send me a link, at least. Thanks.}" This last reflexively, as he wraps a hand around the puppy mug and pulls it over to him, bathing in the steam for the moment, not drinking. He nods, once, but remains quiet for a several long seconds. Though outwardly still, he is not idle, his powers curling tight around Lucien's and taking over their regulating by degrees. His hand is still cooler than Lucien's, but the touch reveals he has calmed a great deal since he first came home. Even so, he feels raw with vestiges of anger and remorse. Finally, he pulls in a long breath and speaks again.

"{I went to visit Steve at his animal rescue event in Central Park. He had this enormous, delightful dog.}" He smiles, childish joy fluttering through him, bright and brief. "{B and Joshua were there, too. Then Iolaus showed up}" The faded anger in him revives, fierce but manageable for the moment. "He was going on about how he wanted to take us all out for a coffee so he could /make amends./"

"{I will.}" Though not now, evidently; this seems all the more Lucien cares to say about the audition at the moment. He pulls in a slow breath, too, relaxing minutely as Matt eases his mental strain. His free hand reaches for the other mug, drawing it near, fingertips tracing absently along the tail of the dragon as he listens. His brows hike up -- though he takes in his brother's shift of emotions quietly there's no answering feeling from his own flat even mental landscape. Outwardly, just a quiet puff of incredulous laughter. "Coffee? My goodness. After all this I should think you have earned some quality tea."

The assurance of more details to come seems to satisfy Matt with regards to the audition, for he does not press after it any longer. "He /was/ making the offer to B specifically, at first--but then, she /also/ likes tea better." His head shakes as he raises his cup for a sip, careful of its temperature. "But really, the offer was clearly about assuaging his conscience and nothing else." The anger in him is joined by guilt and something less definable, but almost like fear. "{I hurt him. Iolaus. I used Joshua and I--I hurt him.}"

Lucien's hand squeezes down a little more firmly against Matt's. Just faintly, really, a whisper-soft touch of soothing warmth coming with the squeeze. "{Hurt him. /With/ Joshua?}" The laughter has left his tone, just softly questioning now.

Matt nods, closing his eyes. His hand clenches into a fist beneath Lucien's. "{I made him take on Scramble's power and used it to.../push/ Io. It'll wear off in a few hours.}" There's a trace of regret, and he quiets as the music crests--'No Good Deed' is distracting even as this soft volume. A small smile flits across his face, but there's no joy beneath it. "{I ought not to have done it,}" at last, quietly.

"{No, you oughtn't.}" Lucien acknowledges mildly. "{A few hours? You ought to have made it permanent.}"

Matt gives a soft huff of laughter, though he does not look or feel the least surprised at Lucien's response. "{I've seen the man mad, I don't think rendering him so for an extended period would serve anyone.}" But his hand has relaxed again. He starts to turn it over, palm up, but stops. Drinks his tea intead.

"{A less-functional sort of madness, perhaps. I'm sure you could have managed one.}" Lucien's tone is lighter, though there's lingering concern in his eyes as he watches Matt. His tea is yet untouched, his fingers still just playing against the mug. "How is Joshua?"

"{I do not had all that much experience with Scramble's ability,}" Matt admits, sighing. "{I'm not sure she'd appreciate my asking for a lesson in puppeteering her. Joshua was...rattled.}"

"{Well. If it were for the purpose of incapacitating the good doctor, she might feel more inclined to oblige you.}"

Somewhere in the dining room, there is a thud -- a crash -- a sharp yell followed by a hasty: "{It's okay!}"

Lucien's eye twitches -- just slightly. His head tilts, listening, for a moment, but when no further yelling is forthcoming he turns his attention back to Matt. "{You are also. Rattled.}"

Matt raises his eyebrows in the direction of the dining room. "{Those Minecraft videos certainly are getting lively,}" this mildly. Then, with a sigh. "{Well, yes. I--it wasn't necessary. I've never been cruel for its own sake, and it feels /jarring/, to have to done that. Even in anger.}"

"{Hush, you. I'm sure they want me to think that 'Let's Play' means something far more titillating.}" The small smile that crosses Lucien's face is fleeting. He shakes his head afterwards, exhaling slowly. "{I have seen cruelty, Matt. There is a vast gulf between calculated malice and --}" Sliding off his stool, he shifts his arm, curling it instead around his brother's shoulders. "{You were hurt. You /are/ hurt. It can drive people to a lot.}"

"{Are you kidding? There are some /very/ tantalizing pixels in those videos. A teacher knows these things.}" Matt leans hard into his brother's embrace. He /is/ hurting a great deal, though much of it feels like the same hurt that has been ripping through him these last few weary months. "{But I can't allow myself to be driven to lash out, Luci. People like--like me. We can't.}"

Lucien's breath is quick and sharp, pushed out harsh through his teeth as his fingers curl tighter against Matt's shoulder. His head tips down, cheek resting atop Matt's head; for a long moment he is quiet. "Then next time you'll think, first."