From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt


"I might find time to fit in political scheming -- in between my /actual/ rehearsals."


<NYC> Tessier Residence - Backyard - Greenwich Village

Living in the heart of Manhattan means space is precious, and as such, the yard behind this house is small. It is as exquisitely well-kept as the rest of the place, though; all available space has been meticulously cultivated and transformed into a lush retreat from the concrete and asphalt of the city. The borders of the garden are lined in a wealth of flowers, the selection chosen to provide a panoply of color in all seasons save winter. A grassy rock-bordered pathway separates these from the raised-bed vegetable garden that dominates its center. The far left corner of the garden plays host to a tiny rock-lined pond, goldfish and a pair of turtles living in its burbling water. To one side of the pond is a garden table and set of chairs and presiding over the pond, a large oak tree with a hammock underneath, its branches spreading out over the tall brick wall that screens the entire area off from the city outside.

It's mid-evening, twilight just approaching and the first glimmers of fireflies appearing in the garden outside, when -- somewhat abruptly -- Flèche perks up from where she's been lounging on the living room floor, gnawing somewhat halfheartedly on a Kong long-since emptied of its peanut butter. Her ears prick, tail wagging, and finally she bolts -- into the kitchen, through the recently-installed dog door to the garden outside.

Lucien should, perhaps, have been expecting a sudden faceful of Mutt -- but nevertheless the huff (exasperation? laughter?) from the garden is sharp and startled. He's still by the door out to the street, just locking it behind him; the small black carry-on suitcase he has with him is promptly abandoned to topple into the grass. Flèche is rearing up, excited, bouncing, paws thwumping solidly against his (previously crisp-and-clean) seafoam-green dress shirt as /he/ thumps back against the door, hand lifting not to push the dog away but to scruff behind her ears.

The kitchen door opens, and Matt lingers on the threshold just for a moment, framed by the stove light streaming out from behind him. Despite the hour, he's dressed as if for work: a crisp seersucker shirt with leaf-green and white stripes, lightweight linen trousers, though, at the moment, sans footwear. This serene vision does not last; he shuts the door behind him and, like the pup before him, bounds up to Lucien. "Welcome home!" He throws his arms around his brother and holds him tight--from the side, so as not to displace Flèche, dropping one hand to scritch under her chin.

Lucien snaps his fingers, gesturing down with one hand as Matt approaches. Flèche is still wriggly, eager, but does at least drop down to all fours -- rump edging towards the ground as though she's /considering/ sitting, though ultimately stays standing, leaning up against Lucien's legs.

Lucien's smile is quick -- small, subtle, though the warmth it puts in his eyes is not. He lifts an arm, curling it around Matt's shoulders to return the hug tightly. "There were," he says solemnly, "/so many/ Republicans."

Matt releases Lucien slowly and looks up--farther than usual, with him barefoot and the already taller man shod. /His/ smile is neither small nor subtle. "I heard that was the general idea behind the festival. That, and making America great again." He picks up the abandoned luggage and begins coaxing his brother toward the back door. "I'll make some tea. Cleanse your palate."

"{When was America ever great?}" Lucien's grumble is small. He isn't resisting the coaxing, following along with one hand dropped to stay scritching at Flèche's head as she pads along at their side. "I don't know that even tea can get that taste out. Something stronger, perhaps."

"{Doubtful, even by the definition they likely have in mind.}" Matt's eyebrows raise up high. "The right tea can cleanse away just about anything, but I'll happily throw in a glass of whiskey and a shoulder rub." He steps inside and turns on the fire under the kettle, continuing on to the living room. Other than the mug and book (Deborah Harkness's /A Discover of Witches/) he'd abandoned on the coffee table, the house looks startlingly neat. "{Hungry?}"

"That sounds far more appealing." Lucien trails Matt toward the living room, pausing in the doorway to let his gaze sweep the room. Then continues in toward his aquariums, hands folding behind his back as he examines the marine tank. "I should go on business trips more often. {And I'm ravenous.}" He leans closer to the tank, brows furrowing just faintly. Shedding his suit jacket to fold neatly and drape it over the back of an armchair before beginning to carefully roll up his sleeves. "Have you discovered many witch?"

"I'd do more housework if you weren't always doing it first." Matt's complaint comes out light, good-natured, through a bright smile. He sets down the suitcase and darts out of the room, returning with a tumbler containing three cubical black stones submerged in amber liquid. "There's fettuccine alfredo--Desi's handiwork, not mine." He passes Lucien the drink and glances at the book with a slightly mournful frown. "Only a couple of chapters in, but it's heavy on exposition, and the author /really/ wants you to discover the witches."

The first response elicits a soft chuckle from Lucien. He digs under one of the fish tanks, coming back up with a small thin metal blade. Reaching in to the tank, he carefully scrapes a faint speckling of algae from one wall. "Unfortunate." With his other hand he claims the glass upon Matt's return. "The book, not the pasta. And certainly not /this/." There's a noticeable relief in the set of his shoulders, his expression, when he takes his first sip. "{Haven't you got witches enough right here?} Admittedly, I also cannot promise I'll go easy on the exposition."

Matt watches Lucien for a moment, wordless, then steps out of the room again--again, briefly. Upon returning, he steers his brother toward the couch and waves a freshly peanut buttered Kong tantalizingly in front of Flèche. "I thought it would be good trashy urban fantasy. It's on the slow side, but might still mature into that, after all." He picks up his empty mug. "{I was feeling a little low on witch when I picked it up, but that has now been remedied.} And I want to hear everything--" He perks up at a beeping from the kitchen and begins heading that way. "--after I get you supper."

"Not trashy enough for you?" Lucien flicks water off the ends of his fingertips, though it still beads all along his arm as he turns away from the tank. Crossing the room, he settles down on the couch with a quietly pleased sigh. Another long swallow of whiskey. "It was a truly spectacular parade of bigotry," he reports -- oddly cheerfully, as Matt heads back to the kitchen. "/And/ incompetence. Not a winning combination." The whiskey stones clink quietly in his glass as he swirls his drink. "{We should move ahead with getting your citizenship straightened out.}"

"Perhaps I should have gone to the RNC for my trash fix." Matt chuckles as he flits off into the kitchen, returning with a plate of creamy fettuccine and silverware to set down in front of Lucien. He does not immediately comment on the suggestion, but perches on the arm of the couch behind his brother and begins kneading his shoulders. Then, finally, quietly, "{I'd have to register.}"

"{Perhaps.}" Lucien's shoulders tense faintly, beneath Matt's hands. "{I've been making friends a lot of places.}" He doesn't reach for the food, yet, just tips his gaze down to his glass. "And I don't care much for leaving things to the whims of our next administration."

Matt's fingers dig down harder, and his weight shifts forward, pushing down into Lucien's shoulders. "Either of the potential next administrations." It's not a question. "{Perhaps I'm better off getting legitimate, even if it does mean registering.}"

Lucien is just quiet, after this. Head dipping forward, taut clench gradually easing out of his muscles. He leans forward to pick up the plate, twirling noodles around his fork. "{I would leave the country with you, if it came to that. But --}" He doesn't finish this. Just slips the pasta into his mouth, shoulders slumping slightly downward.

Matt works his knuckles down along Lucien's back. "That would mean uprooting Desi and Gae from what little stability they've found here. /She/ could stay, of course, but I'm fairly certain she wouldn't." He shakes his head. "{They deserve better than to turn refugee on my account. /You/ deserve better.}"

"{If I can keep the Registry's hands off you through the process, I will.}" Lucien's brows pull slightly together as he eats, slow and steady. "But that is a tall order. More than I can promise." His head shakes slowly; he lowers the plate to his lap, head tipping backwards to look up at Matt. A very faint twitch pulls upwards at the corners of his lips. "{Though I admit to questioning your bias -- as to what /I/ deserve.}"

"{I know--on both counts, I know. I ask no more than that you try.}" Matt slides his hands back up, to Lucien's shoulders, and stills for a moment, tilting his head ever so slightly to one side. "Question all you like, it will not avail you." His hands are moving again, more gently now than before. "I embrace my bias with shameless abandon, and say that you deserve a nice, relaxing soak in the tub. With neroli and lavender oils. Maybe just a touch of patchouli."

"You are nothing if not shameless." Lucien sounds a good deal more fond than mocking. His faint hint of smile resolves itself into a proper one -- at the suggestion of /bath/ he sets to finishing his dinner with a touch more urgency. "I will be commandeering your bathtub more frequently in the near future." This, too, comes with noticeably more cheer. As does the following: "-- It's always so pleasant to unwind after a day of rehearsal."

"Rehearsal?" Matt's hands stop moving again, and this time he drops down onto the couch beside Lucien, startling Flèche from where she lay worrying sleepily at her Kong. The pup looks up, ears pricked--even the floppy one standing /most/ of the way up--tail thumping the floor with incipient excitement. "/Actual/ rehearsal?" Matt presses eagerly, breaking into a wide grin. "Not some euphemism for pre-election Machiavellian shenanigans?"

"I might find time to fit in political scheming," Lucien allows lightly, "-- in between my /actual/ rehearsals." He sets his plate aside, his smile easy and excitement more contained -- at least until he rises, whiskey in one hand and his other reaching for Matt's. The touch comes with a heady spill of emotional overflow -- bright and delighted. "It will be good to be back on stage."

One of Matt's hands goes to his lips--though it does not even come close to covering the smile that tugs at his entire face and blazes in the already brilliant green of his eyes. With the other hand he takes Lucien's, pulling himself to his feet with a quiet squee and a small bounce. "{That's wonderful!}" He does not let go, but, using Lucien's power, takes hold of that spill of joy and cultivates it until it blossoms into a kind of sublime elation. "When will you begin?" His hand grips tighter. "And what--you must tell me /everything./"

Lucien squeezes back firmly at his brother's hand. In confident promise: "I will."