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Dramatis Personae

Gaétan, Lucien, Matt


"So what the hell?"


<PRV> 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.

It's grown quite late. It's been some time since the children have been back, been fed, been (re)-oriented to this odd new situation. Lucien now has been fussing quite unnecessarily at one of his aquaria, currently with his sleeves rolled up gently scrubbing one of the near spotless glass walls with filter floss. "{School might be an adjustment. There will be so many adjustments.}" His voice is quiet, his brow furrowed deep.

Matt is curled in his armchair, looking better than he has in many days and a sight more sober to boot. He's wearing a white tee shirt with a large red filigree heart bracketed by ornate capital As in ace of hearts fashion, soft sage green blanket pulled up over black pajama pants, his laptop set aside in favor of a hardback copy of Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire. "{She'd been homeschooled, no? Perhaps not for so very long, yet.}" He runs a hand over the short, soft fuzz of his hair. Lucien can sense the already strained edge of his power wind up into full vigilance again, as it's been doing at irregular intervals all afternoon and evening. "{I know not whether sending her back to school sooner than later will help or harm the adjustment.}"

Gaétan has been scarce for a while, though between the sounds of the shower and footsteps and music upstairs there's plenty enough continued signs of life from him. He's just coming back down again now, rooting through the kitchen before he emerges into the living room with a cup of cider and bowl of leftover stroganoff. He drops heavily into the opposite armchair, setting his drink down and pulling a blanket up over his knees as he curls into the seat. "So what the hell?" is his abrupt greeting.

Lucien has not glanced up at the sounds of movement in the next room, but he does as Gaétan takes his seat. Not for long, admittedly, before his eyes turn back to the slow and methodical scrubbing. "I'm afraid you're going to have to be more specific."

Matt's eyes track Gaétan casually as he enters, and he leans forward to reaches for his tea, not yet gone entirely cold on the table in front of him. He does not complete the motion, however. "There is, admittedly, a lot of hell going on," he says evenly. "I suppose you mean her?" His vivid green eyes flick unerringly in the direction of Sera's once and current bedroom.

Gaétan's hands turn up, spreading incredulously before him. "This was really the best possible plan? How the hell was this the best possible plan? She's going to -- what, just stay here? For good?"

Lucien draws his hand slowly out of the tank, flicking water lightly from his fingertips and dropping his scrubber into a plastic tub nearby. He tugs a hand towel from his shoulder, wiping excess water from his arm as he turns around. "Her world was exceptionally dangerous. My gods, you were there barely two weeks and nearly --" His lips compress, his eyes lowering. "This one is far from perfect, to be sure. But we can try to provide some greater stability."

Matt's expression does not change, still neutral and ever so slightly fretful. He does take up his tea now and is eyeing it a bit ruefully--whether over its temperature or lack of alcoholic content is anyone's guess. "She has no one here," he says softly. "We may not be her family, but we are the nearest thing she has to it."

"But why? Why is she here? She has family there. You're telling me sending her to another entire universe was more convenient than --" Gaétan splutters slightly, his hands dropping to his lap. "They don't have family in Canada? We have hella family in Canada." He fidgets with his spoon, shifting awkwardly in his seat. "It was dangerous. It was awful. How is inventing a new family for her better than -- I don't know, staying with Aunt Bea? She has goats. Who doesn't love goats."

"In that universe it might be sheep." Lucien's hands are dry, now, but he's still wringing at the towel with this abstracted musing. "I don't know what her extended family might be like. Only the concerns of her immediate one, which were --" He exhales slowly, folding the towel neat but just as soon shaking it back out and returning to wringing at it. "Some things are difficult to outrun."

Matt has curled in around his teacup, though he's not drinking from it. "I do not think that her Matt would have permitted her to go stay with Aunt Bea." These words come out slowly, reluctantly. His eyes flick to Lucien, and his power coils tight and desperate around his. He pulls the blanket farther up over himself. "I do not think that her Matt permitted her to come here."

"What?" Gaétan's eyes are darting between his older brothers. Wider. Rapid. "I kidnapped her? You had me kidnap her?" He's setting his food aside, already starting to scramble back out of his seat.

"{No, stop.}" There's a sudden edge to Lucien's voice, and in time with the panic-strained command a hard flex of power that coils itself through Gaétan, arresting his motion swift enough to feel like a sharp spasm of muscles. The towel falls from his hands a moment later, his control pulling back away just as soon as it began. His words don't regain their previous composure. "I'm sorry, please -- don't -- it wasn't. Like that. She cannot -- go back. There. Her brother asked. Not Matt. He wanted us to keep her safe."

Matt flinches minutely at the flex of Lucien's power, but he does not stop it, either. He's slower, if superficially calmer, in his reaction. "Please, Gae--we can explain." There's an immense weariness behind these words. "The Luci from that world came to us here, a few days ago." He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath in, then lets it out. Collects Lucien's scattered nerves while he's at this, and his own as well. "He offered to get you out of prison, if we would take Sera--their Sera--along with you. I do not think he explained all his reasons to her, however." He's blinking rapidly now. "{Gods, she is so young.} I hate to put this on you, but I fear it would shatter her if she knew."

When Gaétan stops it's abrupt, breath hitching. He drops back into the armchair with a whumph when he's released, eyes snapping with a sudden sharper fury to Lucien but dropping away quick and discomfited soon after. The anger doesn't particularly recede as his brothers speak. He does curl further into himself, wrapping the blanket up around his shoulders and hunching into it. "He asked you, but not Matt." His knuckles scrub at his eyes, chin dropping to his knees. "How did he get us out of prison anyway? Why would he have asked -- that."

Lucien stoops slow to pick up the fallen towel. Stays crouched once he's there, hands once more returning to wringing hard and mechanical at the fabric. His voice is back to his usual calm when he speaks, though his eyes stay fixed veeery steadily on the floor in front of him. "He turned you all in in the first place. On -- his Matthieu's orders."

Matt has gone rather still, watching Gaétan with a kind of abrupt detachment that is likely only obvious to Lucien. "Their Matthieu is a powerful and ruthless man. Whether or not he could have kept her safe from the government there, I do not know. Perhaps he could have." He's shivering now, clutching his teacup close. "But their Luci evidently thought it just as important to keep her safe from their own big brother. I do not know if he was right, but he offered to help you on the condition that we accept her, also."

Gaétan keeps his blanket wrapped around him tightly. His teeth are clenched, his breath whistling audibly in between them. "You -- he --" This goes nowhere but silence. A stretch of it, as he stares straight ahead of himself. At length he stands, stiff, and picks up his food and drink. He doesn't look at either of his brothers as he starts towards the stairs -- but he does stop for a moment on the living room threshhold, posture tight and voice tighter. "Gate's still open. If he's that powerful you think he's just -- not going to notice?"

Matt lifts his eyes to his youngest brother. "I'm sure he's noticed," this comes out oddly serene, considering the topic, "but the gate is well defended on both sides and will be closed tomorrow." His thin brows furrow momentarily, then smooth over with a confidence that Lucien, at least, knows he does not feel. "If he does come after her between now and then? We will handle him."