From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Jax, Lucien, Matt


"There is a lot we /could/ do." (Part of Future Past TP.) (Followed by gambits.)


<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.

Knock! Knock knock knock. It's pretty late tonight. Certainly past the polite hour to be dropping in -- if there ever /is/ a /polite/ hour to be dropping in on this house uninvited and un/announced/. And yet for all his usual concerns about manners here is Jax, standing on the doorstep, teeth wiggling at a lip ring as he fidgets from one heavy-stompy-booted foot to the other. He's a little shivery in the damp-cold weather, arms wrapped around his chest tightly and a misted sheen of wet beaded up on the outside of his silvery jacket. His hair has a sheen of droplets beaded in it, too, glimmering in the brilliant blue-green of the bright colours feathered into it.

The faint light behind the living room curtains shift, and a moment later Matt answers the door dressed in a soft green t-shirt, blue pajama pants, and purple Cheshire Cat socks. "Come in!" He's half leaning out to usher Jax inside. "I'll get you a towel, and maybe some tea?" It isn't warm in the house, exactly, though it is dry. He has an aged but well-kept book tucked under one arm: the complete stories of Flannery O'Connor. "Are you..." He shakes his head, closing the door behind his guest. "I was about to ask if you're okay, but...I saw enough, in the dream."

"M's--" Jax cuts the apology off, lifting a hand instead to circle his fist against his heart, head dipping as he slips inside. He has a bicycle helmet tucked under an arm; perhaps without it his hair would be soggier than just its misty coat of beading. The helmet has gotten a more thorough wettening. He slips inside, crouching in the entry hall to undo his boots, shed his (not actually silver, it turns out once he removes it; bright reflective-green striped) rainjacket, leaving him in silver-and-blue embroidered black skinny jeans (which are starting to steam), mismatched bright coloured socks, and a brightly colour-blocked rainbowy sweatshirt.

"Dream. Dream, oh, gosh, right, you had -- you had. A dream. You had a dream? What did you see? How much did you -- oh. Oh, tea would be -- tea would be fantastic. Please. I didn't -- I know I shouldn't jus' drop in like this but I -- I didn't know who else to -- I been --" Around Jax light is trembling; he scuffs his fingers through his hair restlessly. "I don't think I'm okay."

Down the hall the door opens. Lucien's hair is still damp, as he pokes his head out of his study, water beaded on his skin too -- though judging by the towel around his waist this is from shower and not rain. His lips compress, brow furrowing as he looks Jackson up and down. Retreats back into his room silently.

"It's fine, I wasn't even in bed yet." Matt starts to offer an embrace, but hesitates, eyeing the steam that rises from Jax's clothes. "Maybe I should hug /after/ I get the tea started." He waves Jax along as he pads into the kitchen. "I only remember talking to you down in the basement while the raid teams were here...debriefing I guess?" He selects a mostly spherical teapot, handmade and glazed in a green gradient, darker at the bottom, and pours some warm water into it. "I don't know what you...or we, I guess, in the future, actually found out from the raid though." He keeps picking up tea canisters an putting them back, distracted and indecisive. "Just know it was bad."

Jax blushes deeply when Lucien appears, dipping his head to drop his gaze to the ground. He hurries after Matt, following to the kitchen but then lingering uncertainly in the doorway. His arms cross back over his chest, and he continues to shiver despite the steam still rising from his jeans and his hair, now, as well. "The basement. Right. That was -- yeah." He swallows, slowly inching further into the room to go take a seat in the breakfast nook, tucking himself up onto a windowseat and looking out at the drizzling rain. "B an' Dusk got a lotta info. They gave y'all -- well. Future y'all. What they found." His fingers pluck restlessly at the hem of his sweatshirt, eye fixed on the table. "If -- if you was -- if your dream was in the basement than you -- you saw -- you saw -- you was talkin' about --"

There is a soft pad of footsteps down the hall. Lucien is dressed in thick fleecey black pajama pants, no socks, no shirt, his towel still draped around his shoulders. "Rasheed," he finishes for Jax, simply. "Yes." He slips towards the cabinet, reaching past Matt to pluck out a lapsang souchong and set it down on the counter. "But that is not what you went to the future to find."

Matt puts a kettle on, fiddling with the stove probably more than he needs to in the process. He does not question his brother's choice of teas, but neither does he open it immediately, pushing it from one hand to the other on the counter like an extremely sedate cat with an unlikely toy. "You went to find out what happened to bring about that future, other than the same old police state scope creep that's been going on for longer than we've been alive."

"But -- /Rasheed/. He -- y'all -- have y'all /knowed/ --" Jax's knuckles lift to dig up against his eye, scrubbing there hard. He slumps back against the window -- immediately sits up again straight with a twitch and a more pronounced shiver. The steaming wanes, then stops, his hair very slightly frizzier than before and his pants dried. He drops his hands again, returning to his fidgeting, this time with the small dotted ring around his finnger. "... I did."

"In this time? We did not know." Lucien leans back against the counter, his hands lifting to grip the ends of his towel. His brows lift, a faint widening to his eyes. "{Excuse me?} Genocide hardly seems up your alley."

Matt blinks. "You did what?" He reaches over to give Lucien a half-hearted shove. "He didn't mean /genocide/. But." He studies Jax, bright green eyes uncomprehending. "What /did/ you mean, though?"

"I started the war." Jax flinches at Lucien's comment. His voice has dropped to a whisper, fingers still twisting around the ring. "I set off the bomb, I mean. I -- I /was/ the bomb. I killed all those people. I got the government huntin' us all down like -- like -- like --" He shudders, fingers curling in towards his palms. "I done that. An' I could still do it."

Lucien's muscles clench up against Matt's weak shove; he shifts only very slightly to the side before settling back upright. His eyes lock on Jax, fingers fisting tighter into the cloth of his towel. There is a /flare/, fierce and strong and sharp, that flashes bright and hard along the wiring of his mutation as his gaze stays fixed on the photokinetic. Something reaching, grasping, straining -- if he /were/ in contact with anyone else, it would very neatly snuff out their cerebral function.

As it is, it only reaches. He only takes a breath. Loosens his grip on the towel. Shifts his weight away from where he is propped against the counter. "I imagine there was more to it than -- that."

"Wait...what?" Matt settles both of his hands onto the tea canister, hanging onto it as if it were the only thing /solid/ in his world at the moment. "Did someone /force/ you? Like the labs? I mean..." The kettle begins whistling faintly behind him and he actually jumps a little, slapping a hand over his mouth to stifle a yelp. "Um." He exchanges the water in the teapot with enough tea leaves for three. "What Luci said."

Even without feeling the force of Lucien's mutation, the weight of his gaze puts a deep burn of crimson in Jax's cheeks, a deep hunch in his shoulders. He shakes his head, a small shiver of light flickering aruond him. "No. No, no, t'weren't like that, it was -- it was jus' /me/. I jus' --" He pauses, and takes a deep breath of his own. "I jus'. Jus' lost control." His hands stop twisting at the ring. In miniature, Xavier's and its grounds appear on the kitchen table instead. "Someone -- someone in the government, they found out about the school. Thinked we wasn't up t'no good, decided to take it upon themselves t'send out a raid -- a bunch'a Sentinels. On the /kids/. I don't know what they thinked we was hidin' but -- but the robots --"

The miniature diorama on the table comes to life; a swarm of robots flooding in, teachers trying to herd students into vehicles, teleport them out, robots tasing them and gunning them down. "I was tryin' to help the evacuation an' I got shot an' -- I --" There's a flare, bright; the whole scene exploding outward in a sudden (thankfully sensation-less) detonation that for a moment expands to include the whole kitchen before vanishing.

The flare of Lucien's powers only grows as the imagery does. As the explosion does.

When the kitchen returns to normal, it subsides. One hand moves from his towel, pressing forefinger and thumb against his eyes. He exhales a slow breath. "That," he finally says, quietly, "is quite a weapon you have been carrying, Mr. Holland."

Matt's hand goes back to his mouth, but not to quiet himself, for he cannot seem to find his voice anyway. He finally seems to remember the boiling, which has been whistling insistently louder all the while, and busies himself with the tea. Once he has filled the teapot and left the kettle to cool on a back burner, though, he turns back to Jax. Hesitates. Then crosses to the breakfast nook and wraps him in a warm, if faintly trembling, hug. The smoky aroma of lapsang souchong blooms to fill the room.

"More of one than anyone should have. But I -- but y'all -- y'all could -- y'all could --" The light is trembling around Jax again. He slumps down into the hug, face pressed to Matt's shoulders and his own shoulders shaking noticeably with unevenly hitched breaths.

From Lucien there is a faint trickle-echo of the earlier surge of power. Less grasping, more a slow questing reach. Still nothing to latch on to, though he does move the teapot and three mugs to the table and move away from the counter to pull out a chair. Sit down in it, closer to the others, his fingers lacing together on the tabletop and his eyes settling on Jax thoughtfully. "Mmm." His forefingers tap together, slowly. "There is a lot we /could/ do."

"/You/ didn't do it...won't have done it. But." Matt straightens up, but doesn't quite release Jax, leaving one arm draped on his shoulder. "The fact that it /can/ happen is important knowledge. /Dangerous/ knowledge. Like with Vector." His hand squeezes down on Jax's shoulder, and his eyes stray to Lucien. "Or me."

Jax's face stays buried against Matt's shoulder, his shoulders still shaking and the light still unsteady. His hand rests at the other man's side, fingers fisted up in his shirt. "Please," his voice is muffled, half mumbled against Matt's clothing. "Please, please, you could -- it'd be safe, you could -- please, I can't -- it's so many people. I can't -- you -- help --"

Lucien's eyes do not leave Jax and that quivering light. There's a small tension in his jaw when he feels Matt's eyes on him. The tapping of his forefingers ceases. He laces his fingers back together for a moment, before reaching to pour the tea into three mugs. "We could."

He sets two of the mugs on coasters, sliding them nearer the other two men. The third he cups between his hands, leaning bak in his chair to stare down, now, into its rising steam. "But we would still live in a world where there are people who think it acceptable to massacre schoolchildren and start a war to cover their transgressions. If not you, then someone else. There will always be weapons. More effective, then, to cut at those in power behind them."

Matt gathers Jax closer, stroking his hair. He curls his other arm around the man at Lucien's initial reply, as if to physically prevent the execution of the half-spoken request. As if he would need to, or could not stop it without ever moving a muscle. It may be the tea, and not the rest of his brother's words, that puts him at some semblance of ease again. He reaches out and scoops up a mug, though he does not drink from it. No word does he speak, just holds onto Jax, and the tea, though it still steams fiercely in his hand.

Jax's words trail off into small hitched sobs, and then into quiet. Eventually the light around him stills, and his grip on Matt's shirt slackens. There's a distinct damp spot in the green t-shirt when he finally lifts his head, turning -- though still staying settled in close to Matt's side -- to reach for his tea. "... I don't think I know how t'do that, neither. S'pose you're the best place I know t'come for /that/, too." His voice is low, still not very steady.

Lucien lifts his mug, breathing in the smokey steam rising from it. "You can start by giving us what you know about the people involved. From there --" There's only the faintest tightening of his jaw. "We will figure out a future that does not include wiping out half of New York."