Logs:A Moment's Rest
|A Moment's Rest|
"This is possibly the shittiest way of mourning."
<NYC> BoM Safehouse - Lower East Side
Tucked away off a little-used side street in the Lower East Side, sandwiched between a youth drop-in center and a taqueria, this narrow three-story townhouse has very little to catch the eye. Boarded-up windows, a door peeling its paint, shabby grubby brickface; from the outside it does not look like much.
Inside someone has gone to great lengths to renovate the building into something more habitable. It isn't glamorous but it is comfortable, old furniture dragged in, the place generally swept clean. The first floor holds a large living room, a smaller dining room, a spacious kitchen, a half-bathroom. There are three bedrooms and a full bathroom on the second floor; the attic is just a large empty space crammed full of boxes with a window out to the large flat roof.
The basement, much like the attic, consists of a lot of empty space. A bare concrete floor, no windows, occasional poles running up to the ceiling. A tiny half-bathroom down here, too. Not a whole lot else.
Things -- have not really quieted down in the city, even if just at this exact moment there's something of a lull in between Afternoon Protests and Nighttime Protests. The Lower East Side is still a bit of a mess -- being the neighborhood most populated with mutants has not translated into any kind of safety so much as a violent increased chafing of the (still-majority) human population against the uprising. The basement has been transformed into a makeshift clinic space, partitioned off into a segment for the carework volunteers to rest and recuperate and a privacy-screened segment for patient care. It's this latter half that Jax (blandly dressed today, for him, in overalls heavily patched with colorful flowers, purple Doc Martens, a long-sleeved blue-green-purple flannel that matches his jewel-bright peacock-toned hair) is just currently emerging from, talking quietly with a puffy-eyed but no-longer-crying teenage girl before he escorts her to where a friend is waiting; both girls leave out the back door (SAFE SPACE, reads a hand-lettered sign on the outside of the door, next to a twisted DNA strand, and below that, CLINIC) into the world again.
Jax, moving -- juuuust a little more noticeably stiffly than he had been before the door closed, starts heading toward a chair. Stops, instead turning toward a nearby table to fussily straighten the scattered supplies (tiny water bottles, hand sanitizer, gloves, cough drops, bandages, bandanas, disposable face masks, snack bars, tampons and menstrual pads) on a HELP YOURSELF table near the front.
The door has only just swung shut behind the girls when it opens again. Kitty is unscathed at the moment, though perhaps a little overdressed for the weather in her thick blue woolen cardigan, draped over black t-shirt, skinny jeans, and some well worn Converse hi-tops. When she shucks it off along with her backpack, the scabs on her left arm stand out, ugly and puckered on her skin. “Saw that,” she says mildly, walking past Jax and setting her stuff down on a chair. “I can fuss with that.”
Trailing close in Kitty's wake Tian-shin looks slightly frazzled -- no small matter, given the lengths she usually goes to conceal it -- dressed for action in a long-sleeve mauve mandarin tunic with purple piping and black gi pants, wearing a small black backpack styled like an owl. Some of her hair is starting to escape the tight bun she'd bound it up in, and her glasses sit slightly crooked on her face. Her brows furrow deeply when she spots Jax, and she bites her lower lip. "Did Joshua..." She does not finish this question, eyes flicking over her co-worker shrewdly. "I thought you were--" Her phone rings (Turn Down For What?!) and she scrambles to fish it from a side pocket of her backpack, muttering "Ta ma de wang ba dan..." softly under her breath.
Jax's cheeks flush, his head dipping as the others arrive. "Guess I been doin' enough fussing already," he concedes, and though his tone is a little reluctant, his relief as he sinks down into an adjacent chair is clearly written in his pale face. "Got some food that ain't power bars, if y'need. Ain't much left, some sandwiches from next door an' some cookies, but --" A small shrug "Y'all stayin' safe out there? I been hearing some..." Whatever he's hearing will have to wait, as Tian-shin's phone rings. He winces sympathetically at her quiet muttering, "-- the law having an emergency?"
"Law always seems to be having an emergency," Kitty says. She's taken Jax' place at the supply table, straightening out each pile in turn. She pulls one teeny water bottle and one power bar from their respective sections, holding them out patiently to Tian-shin while the other woman finishes her phone call. "Uh, well, we made it through patrol in one piece. So I'm gonna call that a win?" She shrugs.
Tian-shin closes her eyes while whoever's on the other end of her call speaks. "Alright--alright. Send transport to the safehouse clinic? Thanks." She hangs up and shoves the phone back into its pocket, then turns around and accepts the water from Kitty without missing a beat. "Thank you." She twists its cap off and downs half of it at a go. "Someone's in the wrong lockup, they need me to go scare some cops." She casts around and plucks up one of the cookies. "This will have to hold me until after. Please be safe?" There's too much a pleading quality to this to sound like a simple farewell as she rushes out the door again, cramming the cookie into her mouth.
"Thank goodness you're scarier than ten cops," Jax offers cheerfully, before his cheeks flush darker. "-- I meant that like a compliment," though this is only to Tian-shin's departing back. He nudges the container of cookies closer to Kitty. "Caramel apple cider," he offers, as he slumps back in the chair. "Gotta admit every time someone checks back in safe it's..." The smile he offers Kitty is warm, albeit a little strained. "Well. Right now I'll take the wins where we can find 'em."
"Scare them shitless!" Kitty cheers after Tian-shin. The moment the door closes, Kitty's shoulders slump forward, a weariness settling over her small frame. She takes a cookie as she sinks into the chair next to Jax, cramming altogether too much into her mouth at once. "Tastes like Thanksgiving," she mumbles through the mouthful. When she finally swallows and speaks again, her tone has the same exhausted quality as the rest of her. "How's it been here?" Her eyes flicker between her scabs and Jax' torso. "Slow? Please say it's been slow."
Jax bites down on a lip ring, wiggling it between his teeth as he looks to Kitty's arm. "Slow..." he begins tentatively, "...er than last week." He scrubs a hand up against his cheek, fingers running through his hair before his hand drops again. "How many these shifts you been doin'? Don't seem like I'm the only one who could stand to get off my feet a bit. I keep thinkin'..." He shakes his head quickly, looking down to his hands where they fold in his lap. "Sorry. I don't know. Don't none of this feel right, jus' -- keep only seeing people when things is chaos, an' he always -- that jus' don't feel like a good way to remember --" Another fierce shake of head.
Kitty brushes some crumbs off her hands, sighing. "Well, that's something. But it's only Monday." She slumps further into the chair, moving her cardigan so it's resting on her lap like a blanket. "Uh, since Scott put us on them?" Her eyes drift to the ceiling, counting under her breath. "Four, not counting picking up Skye and Ryan and other Westchester runs. More if you count just- going out. Since shit started." Her right hand drifts, scratching idly at the scabs on the other arm. "No, yeah, this doesn't feel - good." She pauses, then, empathetically - "This is possibly the shittiest way of mourning."
"An' how many days you just -- took the time to relax an' do something -- good with friends?" Jax grimaces at this, hands squeezing tighter together. A slow frown pulls at his forehead. "Feels so urgent, doing what we're doing, but -- when won't it?"
"I went into the lab last Tuesday, does that count?" Kitty snorts, turning her face to Jax. "You're one to talk. I skipped first three days of this healing up." Another scratch at the edges of the scab - a little piece of it flakes off. "Pretty sure you are not supposed to be walking around yet."
She's quiet a moment after Jax poses this question. "Maybe when Moschiah comes." It's not a serious answer, but it comes in a serious, contemplative tone. "Maybe this is why boomers stopped protesting. The urgency became too exhausting."
Jax laughs -- small, a little breathless, covering his mouth with one sleeve. "No," through the breath of laughter he's Firm on this point, "but at least the lab don't bite you -- probably?" Suddenly wider-eyed, he looks vaguely unsure of this. His hand curls lightly around his torso once he lowers it, eye turning up towards the ceiling.
His teeth sink against his lip, hesitant. "Be a long wait for joy. Think you ain't wrong. There's only so much you can keep -- goin' at eleven all day every day without --" This next laugh is a little more choked. "Gosh, y'know, that's why he was always so keen on keepin' space carved out for Game Night. Maybe we oughtta figure out -- some kinda. Time. Space. For being friends and not just --" He gestures, from Kitty's arm to a wider encompassing motion around the clinic space.
The laughter is contagious. It's only a second before Kitty is laughing too. "God, can you imagine? Getting bit by a telescope?" The mental image sets off another wave of giggles. "I would just quit my degree immediately."
Eventually the laughter fades away, and Kitty looks even more mournful than she had before. "We should," she agrees. "Set something up, after the funeral. Nobody is healing until he's -" her voice cracks, belaying the emotion beneath the matter-of-fact facade, and the sentence ends early.
Jax's head bows, a small smile continuing through Kitty's laughter. A white telescope on a tripod appears in front of them; it swivels its lens in the direction of the chairs, a very cartoonish bright red tongue emerging from the end of the tube to exaggeratedly lick its -- lack of lips. The image fades as Kitty's giggles do. He pulls in a slow breath, reaching out to Kitty's hand to squeeze it, brief. "No. But -- we'll get there."