From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt


"{Could be anybody's game now.}"


<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.

The mid-January warm snap has ended, and as night grows deeper the cold settling over the city grows harder and sharper. On a Saturday night, the neighorhood outside is lively well past midnight, but the Tessier house is relatively still and quiet. There's a game of Scrabble on the coffee table, abandoned for some time now with a mix of sensible and ludicrous words: "yoink" (off of "reify") and other, more questionable plays.

Matt is sprawled out across the couch, taking up far more space than he needs to. He wears a white t-shirt with a red filigree heart and two ornate As in Ace of Hearts fashion and black flannel pajama pants covered with red and pink hearts. Not paying any attention to the board, he is instead staring balefully at his empty mug, though showing no signs that he intends to /do/ anything about it.

Quite alright; Lucien is just slipping out from the kitchen, smelling freshly showered and half-dressed in pajama pants as well (plain black and satiny) to snag the empty mug. Drift back into the kitchen with it. When he returns he kneels at the foot of the couch, setting Matt's mug -- refilled, now, with freshly-brewed Ali Shan oolong -- together with a mug of his own down on the table. Sitting back on his heels, he eyes the board first, and then Matt. "{'Gah' was a bit of a stretch.}" Mildly.

"{Thank you.}" Stretching catlike, Matt gathers his mug to him and curls (also catlike) around it. "{It's more common than 'buh', at least.}" He doesn't really sound inclined to argue to the point. "{Which is also a word, naturally. This game was so much better before ubiquitous Internet access.}" He props himself up into a slightly more upright slump so he can actually /drink/ the tea, and, freeing one hand, hooks it around Lucien's shoulder to tug him closer. The touch of his skin is warm; in the heavy fog of grief and exhaustion that never really wholly lifts anymore, there is a quiet fluttering need that begins to calm the moment they touch, without any need for /Lucien's/ biochemical adjustment. "{Your go, now.}" So what if he can see Matt's letters from there?

"{Kids these days,}" Lucien's lament is /exaggeratedly/ ponderous, "{with their smartphones and instant gratification. In /my/ day if we wanted to cheat at Scrabble we had to trek uphill through the snow five miles both ways just to get a dictionary.}" His eyes close, head tipping forward to rest against the couch as he is pulled closer. In the flat blank calm of /his/ mind there's a faint shiver, a brief wavering that trembles at the contact and then returns to its previous preternatural steadiness. "{Your tea needs time to cool.}"

He doesn't look at Matt's letters. Just slides his tea to the other side of the table, pulling back to scoot around it himself and pull himself up into Matt's armchair. Settle down into it and slide his own tray closer in from where he had left it through his shower and tea-making. There is very little delay before he starts laying out his tiles -- starting in the very uppermost corner and lining them neatly downwards. 'Q-U-A' connects up to the G from 'gah'. 'M-I-R-E'. Once his tray is emptied of letters he just settles back comfortably in the armchair, no discernible change to his expression. Just a small hook of forefinger, beckoning for the black velvet bag of tiles still sitting next to Matt.

Matt blows a very soft raspberry. "{You once believed me when I told you I'd memorized the dictionary and didn't /need/ to look up the words.}" This is kind of wistful, starry-eyed, with his mug held over his heart. He isn't /drinking/ his tea yet, just seems very reluctant to let it go. Though he does kind of almost sit up straight to watch Lucien make his play, green eyes narrowing to slits. "Bleh," is his only commentary as he passes the tiles, then studies his own again. His fingers trace abstract shapes in the air and he give a quiet hum of consideration. "/Quagmire,/" he mutters, smiling a small, fragile smile. Reaches out, also without much delay, he connects the O in "yoink" to the N in "nigh" with "orison." It doesn't net him anywhere near as many points as Lucien just got, but he looks reasonably pleased with it as he finally ducks his head to try his tea.

"{When I was young, I believed quite a lot of things.}" Lucien rattles the tiles in their bag. Draws out a new seven before tossing it back. "{When I was -- quite young.}" His lips purse into a small O at Matt's next play, hand lifting to rub forefinger at thumb slowly at the bridge of his nose. His head tips back against the armchair, eyes fixing up on the ceiling. Eventually, though, he leans forward, a very faint thinning to his lips as he plays off the I in orison -- 'froid'.

"{It was a strange and incomprehensible time when people actually believed I was older than you.}" Matt doesn't sound much attached to /this/ at least. He sips his tea and raises an eyebrow at the word Lucien spells out. "{Yes, it is.}" He curls up tighter around his tea, tucking his bare feet into the gap between the couch cushions. "{You know, I don't think that's in the dictionary.}" Keen green eyes slip sideways to study his brother. "{Such nonsense. You're clearly just making up words now.}"

"{You were taller than I was, then. Have you considered growing?}" Lucien reaches for his tea, but stops short of actually picking it up as Matt curls up tighter on the couch. He glances over toward his brother, brows lifting. "{I think you're looking in the wrong one.}" He gets up from his armchair, though, plucking a fuzzily soft blanket off its back and kneeling by the couch again to drape it over Matt. "Have more tea, if you are cold."

"{I've /thought/ about it, and I just don't think it's the right way for me to go.}" Matt is /grinning/ mischievously over the edge of his mug at Lucien. "{See, being smaller helps maintain my aura of playful innocence. I wouldn't want people to find me /intimidating./}" He nestles contently into the blanket. "{Anyway, I wouldn't even /be/ cold if you weren't playing fake words with a chilly neurolinguistic load.}" Stretching out for his tiles, he kind of casually lays down 'apoplexy' off of the A in 'quagmire' and through the E in 'reify', spawning a chain of two- and three-letter words in the process (/all/ actual words, for a change). "{Could be anybody's game now.}"

There's a very slight widening to Lucien's eyes, his gaze fixing for several long beats on Matt's grin. It takes a moment longer before he answers, exhaling a soft laugh. "{Innocence. And you profess a lack of aptitude for acting.}" He only bothers to make a play once Matt has refilled his rack -- not actually moving back to his own side of the table. Just eying /Matt's/ tiles this time, plucking them up to lay them down carefully -- VOTIVE, set down at the end of 'nigh' to turn it into 'night'. "{But don't lie. My lexical skill /often/ gives you chills.}"

"{But I'm /not/ good at acting,}" Matt insists, eyes wide with obviously feigned innocence now, "{except when I play myself.}" He plunges his hand back into the bag and comes out with a fistful of letters that he considers critically before leaning over Lucien, chin on his shoulder, to eye the board. He deposits Z-O-I-S-I-T-E across the bottom of the board, pluralizing 'votive'. "{It's true,}" he sighs, propping himself up just enough to drink his tea. "{I'm a total sucker for wordplay.}"

One of Lucien's brows quirks up, a very faint ripple shivering across the exhausted surface of his mind. He leans forward to drag his own tray closer, together with his own tea. The shiver only grows as he settles against the couch again. "{We all have our junk.}" The unsteadiness in his mind shuts very abruptly back off into a silent nothingness, held quiet with a tightly clenched mental grip. He sips at his tea, reaching to set all his tiles out -- pluralizing 'zoisite' to tuck 'jaegers' in at the edge of the board. "{And our strengths, as well.}"