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Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Ryan, Steve


"{Those fuckers dead wrong if they think this'll drive us away.}"


<NYC> Eleven West -- Mount Sinai Hospital

This room has been designed to cater to the comfort and privacy of both patients and their visitors. Lavish marble fixtures in its bathroom, elegant designer furniture for guests to sit in. The bed is made up with luxuriously soft linens in place of the usual thin scratchy hospital sheets, and outside there's a similarly well appointed private waiting area near to the concierge desk where the staff waits to dance attendance on their patients' every request. If it weren't for the machinery currently hooked up to the bed, it would resemble a fancy hotel suite far more than a hospital room.

At the bedside currently, Lucien is looking like it has been Some Time since he last went home, his cream poplin button down and camel twill trousers rumpled, dark shadows beneath his eyes, his hair simply mussed instead of its usual Carefully Artful Tousling. This isn't stopping him from busily chipping away at work on both cell phone and tablet. At least the bluetooth earpiece tucked into his ear is not currently lit up.

Ryan may have substantially increased Lucien's workload the past couple days, but he is not at this present moment making any demands on his attention as a visitor. He has been until recently largely sedated. By this point the drugs are less for reasons of recovery and more to quell the jitters that have plagued the room when he was awake. Which -- judging by the intermittent tremors that have been thrumming through Lucien's teeth for the past half hour -- is likely imminent.

Two quiet knocks announce Steve before he slips in, surprisingly unobtrusively for a man his size. He's already shed his navy blue peacoat and Montréal Canadiens toque and is just in a blue-purple-pink plaid flannel, a red t-shirt with bold black text that reads, "Have No Fear" in flowing script and "Brooklyn's Here!" in blackletter beneath, comfortable faded blue jeans, and black combat boots. He has both his Friend Bear shield and a black satchel with a red star on it slung casually over one shoulder. Blinks at room for just an instant before crossing it to Lucien. "How is he?" His voice is soft, as if afraid he'll wake Ryan from his uneasy slumber.

Lucien drags his eyes up from his tablet, a subtle tension easing in his shoulders when he sees Steve. "Alive. More than I hoped for when they brought him in." He shuts the phone screen off, though leaves the tablet open on its insistent window full of unanswered emails. "How are you?"

From Ryan, there's only another fitful humming, momentarily setting teeth on edge before it quiets.

Steve drops his satchel and outerwear onto a (plush?!) chair. Gazes down at Ryan. Swallows hard, lips compressing. "Me?" He turns back to Luci, his expression blank and uncomprehending. "I'm fine, those bastards didn't even touch me. Just wish I could've --" He sucks in a deep breath and lets it back out and drops into the chair nearest to the other men. Switches fluidly to French -- more Québécois now than Provence, "{Could've protected them. But whether or not I could have helped?}" His head shakes quick. "{Real tired of my friends getting shot, stabbed, blown up or --}" He lets out the rest of that breath. "I'm sure they're more tired of it." His eyes scan Lucien, now. "{And you? Look like you could use some rest.}" He does not sound particularly hopeful, here.

"Mmm." Lucien does not look exceptionally convinced by Steve's assertion that he is Fine, his brows lifting and his gaze steady and scrutinizing on the other man. He answers Steve's question with a noncommittal hum. "{My coworkers will be well pleased that I'll have a chance to shower before tonight's performance.}" He isn't getting up immediately, though, just tapping out another message as Steve takes his seat. "{I expect on either end, it is difficult to get used to. Were I to have to choose between getting shot and watching my friends die in front of me --}" He tips his hand up, stylus held lightly between two fingers. "{Well. It is not a position I would wish on any of you.}"

The next hum is longer, shakier, several seconds passing before Ryan grimaces and it fades away. He opens his eyes slowly -- the grimace returns when his eyes light on the other men in the room. His uncomfortable fidgeting is somewhat restrained by the needle stuck into his hand, the tubes curled up beneath his nose, and though he plucks at these with annoyance he ultimately leaves them be. "Polaris?" is the first scratchy-voiced question he gets out.

"{You know what my choice would be, every time.}" Though as soon as these words are out of his mouth Steve is blushing. Holds up his hands, palms out, as in very mild surrender. "{I know I'm not invincible, and I don't have a death wish, but I can survive getting shot better than most.}" He glances at Ryan again. "Wasn't fast enough." Then adds, almost too soft for Lucien to hear, "Again." Whatever his own misgivings, he's on his feet and at Ryan's side when he comes awake. "She's --" He hesitates, a surge of concern and anger and relief all at once. Pivots from whatever he was about to say first to, "Polaris is alive. Still at Bellevue, but she's out of danger. Hive's with her, I think."

Lucien's look grows even flatter at this first reply. "{Unfortunately, I do.}" There's a slightly line to his lips that presses further at the next surge from Ryan. His grip tightens on his stylus, his breathing very deliberate until it passes. "{You're making something of a habit of this,}" he says lightly to Ryan, afterwards, his French shifting smoothly into a nuyorican-tinged Spanish. "{Would you like me to just keep this room on reserve for you? Expedite your next visit?}"

Ryan relaxes back into his pillow when he hears Polaris is alive and protected. His ease shifts in short order into a quick bark of laughter -- one his immediate gasp-wince suggests he regrets. "{Hey, not a bad idea. If I don't need it someone we know is gonna.}" He reaches to pat lightly at Steve's hand. "{You can sit, Luci's snark isn't going to kill me.}" He's still breathing hard after this, but the gasping at least subsides before he concedes, "{... probably.}" His other hand clenches up into the sheets. "{Was anyone else hurt?}"

Steve winces in sympathy and grips Ryan's hand -- just one exceedingly gentle squeeze. "{Luci, his ah, snark. Very powerful. Should be careful.}" His Spanish is not completely ungrammatical, but his accent is all over the place. "{No one. Only you and her.}" He does finally sit back down when Ryan starts breathing a little easier. His eyes dart to the door. Back to his companions. Lowers his voice slightly. "{There is...pigs. Outside. Maybe no reserve those.}"

"{Do the fascists count?}" Lucien's idle question doesn't sound like he expects a response. He's turned his gaze back to his tablet, copying and pasting whatever his response to the next email is. "{If a touch of snark will have you in peril, you should just be thankful my brother is not here.}" He hesitates a moment before adding, gentler: "{Your guitar did not survive. I expect the remnants are on ebay by now.}"

Ryan grips Steve's hand tighter, for a moment, releasing it with reluctance and drawing his own hand back to his chest. He restrains himself from laughing much this time, allowing only a soft hitch of breath that is tinged warm with an empathic flutter of mirth. "{Weren't hurt enough. God, they were brazen.}"

The mirth fades away into a sudden wrenching twist of loss with his very small, "...oh." at this last. His eyes fix up on the ceiling, suddenly brighter than they'd been. He swallows hard, opens his mouth to say -- nothing. Closes it again, swallows again before managing, brittle and determined: "{Those fuckers dead wrong if they think this'll drive us away.}"

Though he is diligently glancing between the other two men, it's hard to tell exactly how well Steve is following the Spanish. He does not wince when Ryan laughs this time, though he does look tempted to get up again and seems to settle at last for sitting much too tall and alert. "{The fascists, they keep trying. Will keep trying. The ones with the cross, and the ones with the badge.}" This is grim and serious. "{But, always, you stand up, you fight back. I stand with you. Until the fight is over.}"