Logs:A Little Encouragement

From X-Men: rEvolution
A Little Encouragement
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt


"It is a touch inconvenient that no one has attempted to make good on a death threat."


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.

This late on a weeknight, the house is quiet; with two of the Tessiers off at their respective schools and a houseguest bent on making himself unobtrusive, Lucien has the downstairs to himself in these still after-work hours. A faint trace of dampness lingers in his hair, and Flèche dozes at his feet. Lucien has changed for bed, soft black pants and an Ace of Spades tee, but at the moment sits curled into a corner of the couch with his laptop on his lap, his cellphone in one hand, and a very preoccupied expression etching lines into his face. The cup of tea sitting to hand on the table has long since gone cool.

Matt's late return is preceded by the questing reach of his powers--sloppier than usual, much like the jangling of his keys at the lock. When the door finally opens to deposit him inside he slumps against the inside of the door, quirking a rueful smile at his brother. Still dressed in a black t-shirt with an image of Coyote from Gunnerkrigg Court and old blue jeans worn through at the cuffs, he looks pale and drawn and unusually affected by the chill outside, his green-and-gray jacket slung over his right arm. He kneels to unlace his boots -- one handed. /Left/-handed, no less, his dominant hand tucked against his torso unused. His powers coil gently around Lucien's, perhaps merely for the comfort of its particular kind of contact. It does not seem to help him much with the laces.

Lucien's mind relaxes habitually into the familiar touch. The slightly unsteady edge of exhaustion there is nothing new, or alarming; the definite strain to the careful regimenting of his mind is, at least, a controlled one. The frown he wears deepens as Matt lingers at the entrance, though. He smoothes out the reflexive current of panic that threatens to rise, tamps it back down into quiet. Only then rises, setting his computer aside and turning a studied look to Matt. He is slower to cross to the door, silent as he stoops to assist with the unlacing of his brother's boots. Silent as he helps tug them off. He extends a hand to help Matt back to his feet, after.

Matt ceases struggling with his bootlaces and allows his brother to take over, shifting his attention inward for a moment, feeling the edges of the neatly controlled strain, the rapidly silenced panic. He gently leans his forehead against the other man's, murmuring a soft "Merci" and taking the proffered hand to drag himself back up. He winces hard as the strain of rising again shifts his right arm. Through contact with his chilly skin Lucien can sense the sharpness of his pain, the dull ache underlying it -- both centered around a wound in his right forearm, just below the elbow -- and the lingering haziness of both alcohol and considerably less common sort of intoxication: the toxin in Dusk's bite. He isn't altogether steady on his feet, leaning against his brother for support. "{It was a /slight/ miscalculation,}" he admits quietly. "{But he needed it.}"

Lucien's lips press into a line as his hand curls into Matt's. At first he offers no comment. Just the quiet efficiency of his ability, blunting the pain and, simultaneously, dulling the edge of the lingering buzz. "Slight." His voice is mild, but the sharpness of his mind is not, clearly sensible to Matt as he quests in a thorough exploration of the /extent/ of the wound. The thin displeasure in his expression grows.

Matt looses a soft sigh as his brother's powers ease away his discomfort. "Oh," he breathes, swaying a bit once upright, steadying himself against Lucien's arm. "/Slight,/" he agrees. "He rarely goes so long without." A brief flash of something that feels a lot like terror; a physical shudder runs through him. Then, more softly. "I am fine, Luci. {Only sorry to have worried you.}" As his mind clears, his eyes flick over Lucien's features, appraising. "But you were tired already, my dear."

If this small bit of explanation mollifies Lucien, it doesn't show. He exhales once, sharp and quick, and steers Matt through the living room to settle his brother in the large armchair. "I am often tired. You should have food. Perhaps some juice."

Matt does not resist his relocation, sinking with grateful relief into his favored chair. "It was," he admits, "unwise." A wave of nausea passes through him at the suggestion of food, but this does not stop him answering, "If there's still soup, I should be grateful of some."

Lucien nods at this. Leaving Matt in the armchair, he gently shakes Flèche half-awake, nudging her closer to his brother to relocate her sleepy snuggles that direction before he disappears into the kitchen. It takes some time for him to return, with a glass of passionfruit-guava juice and a hot bowl of lemony chicken orzo soup. He sets the glass down on a coaster on the table, kneeling by the armchair to set the bowl (wrapped on a cloth napkin to guard against the heat) on its wide arm. The touch of his fingers, light, against Matt's arm comes with a cool soothing, easing away nausea.

By the time Lucien returns, Matt has tugged the soft fuzzy sage green throw from the back of the armchair and draped it somewhat haphazardly across his lap. He's gingerly pressing fingertips at his forearm just below the white gauze dressing expertly wrapped around his wound. Flèche's sleepy snuggles turn into distinctly interested snuffles with the arrival of Food, her tongue darting out hopefully as she turns mournful brown eyes on Matt. "Merci," he says, picking up the spoon in his left hand and starting in with care on the soup. "Still working?" He tips his head at the laptop where Lucien had set it aside.

Lucien rests his chin on the armrest beside the bowl, still steadying it with one hand as Matt eats. His answer to the question, at first, is a sharp quick huff, jaw clenching and eyes squeezing shut. Eventually he does open them again, turning a baleful look to the laptop. "There has been so much garbage to contend with. We knew there would be, of course, but --" The next breath he exhales is slower. "Now there has been a clamor to rescind Ryan's awards. Though, people seem quite conflicted as to whether they intend to accuse him of some previously unstipulated manner of cheating or just are choosing now to take a stand against /dangerous/ individuals in the music industry."

Matt sets down his spoon. "Mmm. I have seen a lot of that nonsense floating about on social media but, has it gained much in the way of official traction?" He pauses, considering the dog's steady and earnest gaze. Considering the soup. "Really, though, whether it does or not, the narrative must change, and soon." He settles his chin in palm of his left hand. "Plenty of people who may not /necessarily/ take either side will still grow weary of the same old news about him, and lose interest."

"She has eaten." This comes firm and automatic from Lucien, once Matt begins studying Flèche's woeful expression. "More traction than I would like. And you are not wrong." Lucien's voice slips a touch wry when he adds, "Which of course means Ryan has picked now as the first time in his entire life that he is trying generally /not/ to make a spectacle of himself."

"But see the big eyes, the tiny bleps!" Matt starts to reach for Flèche--with his unoccupied right hand--and stops short with a soft hiss of pain. Then looks faintly sheepish. "Well. His reticence is understandable, given the circumstances, and while I am sure he could be persuaded to spectacle, much of his usual range might well play into the mud they're slinging." He resumes his meal, slowly. "It is a touch inconvenient that no one has attempted to make good on a death threat," he says this evenly. "As many as he's been receiving, you'd think /someone/ ought to be fool enough."

"An elaborate deception. She knows you are a patsy." Lucien, diligent though he is, allows this jolt of pain. Per/haps/ with a touch of smile curling at his lip. His eyes fix toward the wall, studying the aquariums there with an unnecessary intent. "Inconvenient," he echoes thoughtfully. "Mmm. I'm sure there is someone out there giving it some serious thought."

"I am willingly deceived, for the sake of her happiness." But Matt does not try to sneak the dog any of his food, for now at least. "I'm sure there are any number of individuals and organizations out there giving it serious thought." He stirs the soup meditatively. "Some might only want for a little encouragement."

Lucien closes his eyes, a ripple of unease fluttering through the steady soothing he has been projecting into Matt. It is brief, slipping soon back into determined calm. "Goodness, but there are corners of the internet I hope you never have cause to venture into. There is no want of encouragement out there, that is certain." The faint levity in his tone is, too, a determined thing.

Matt draws a shallow breath and sets his spoon down again, freeing his left hand to touch his brother's cheek. "I'm sorry, my dear." His powers coil tighter, bolstering where Lucien's has begun to fray. "I ought not to be so flippant, when I needn't myself stray into these echo chambers of hate. But they may yet prove useful on this particular front, if they can yield you fresh material--Ryan as an embattled hero, perhaps."

"Mmm. He /is/, at that, so it should not be a hard sell. Though I suppose I ought not hope for /too/ embattled. As pleasant a thought as it might be for some hatemonger to find their insides liquified, I suppose that might not be entirely the correct image to cultivate." Lucien presses his cheek into the touch, but only for a moment. "You ought to eat while your soup is still hot."

"With the company that he keeps, the liquifying might come from any number of quarters." Matt's tone is dry, matter-of-fact. "Which still wouldn't be /ideal,/ for either his image /or/ that of mutantkind at large." He picks up his spoon obediently for once, his appetite not dampened by the topic at hand. "Well, if we /must/ have mortal enemies, may the gods grant us dramatic yet incompetent ones."