Logs:End of the Fucking World

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End of the Fucking World
Dramatis Personae

Desi, Gaétan, Sera, Flèche


"We doing this?"


<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.

The lovely spring day has eased into a balmy night, and a brilliant full moon rides high in a sky that is never truly dark but at least clear at the moment. It's late enough that the two eldest Tessiers have retired to their respective rooms, but not so late that they are asleep. Sera, however, is still curled up on the couch reading with Flèche tucked against her side. She's wearing a bright yellow tee with a graphic of a field of wildflowers, the word "Shelter" written across the sky above them in white cirrus clouds, and soft comfortable blue jeans that were oversized just a couple of months ago but now fit her perfectly. The book propped open in her lap is The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, and she has a mug near at hand along with a plate of assorted pastel macarons. Languid pulse of quiet bittersweet joy radiate from her punctuated occasionally by equally quiet sorrow.

Flèche does not long remain beside her current snuggling companion, though Sera can likely feel Desi's approach--weary but contented--before the dog notices the footfalls outside. There's a soft jingle of keys at the door, which swings open to admit the once and current middle child of the family. Desi is dressed elegantly tonight, her high-necked blouse of pale blue fitted to her slender frame and trimmed with just a touch of lace, her long gray a-line skirt modest but not frumpy, and black suede slouch boots with a short heel. Her hair is done up in a Dutch braid coiled up neatly at the back of her head, her makeup subtle but not entirely "natural", slightly smoky gray eye shadow, glittery dark green liner that intensifies the color of her eyes, and translucent pink lipstick with just a hint of purple pearlescence when the light catches it just so.

Though her expression does not change when she enters, leaving the door ajar for her brother, the abrupt shift of her emotions is obvious to Sera--dismay, guilt, and deep misery in rapid succession. She stoops to pet the dog and remove her boots. "All quiet, here? I suppose the actual full moon isn't until tomorrow night."

Gaétan's emotional landscape doesn't change much; the tired muted guilt he's been carrying precedes his arrival home. Just kind of sticks there, flat and heavy, as he sheds his shoes, hangs his charcoal peacoat in the entryway closet. His clothes underneath are a touch more formal than his usual; a pale blue chambray shirt with the top button undone, solid gray vest, darker gray plain front trousers. He has one hand shoved into a trouser pocket as he slouches into the living room, a small Evolve to-go box held in his other hand. His eyes skip to the plate of macarons -- then the book -- then the dog -- before he sets his box down on the table and drops himself into an armchair. "Dunno if you're full up on sugar. Some kind of strawberry rhubarb -- matzo meal -- cobbler -- thing in there. Sounds a mess but s'pretty great, actually."

Sera sits up straighter when the other two enter, her gaze lifting from the book even as she curls tighter in on herself with the dog's abandonment. "All quiet. Unless you count that Jack Russel three doors down. But it's a full moon, so..." A noncommittal shrug, then a small surge of pleasure, though whether at the offer of further dessert or attention is hard to say. "Oh, thank you. I like -- strawberry rhubarb." She glances down at the corner of the page she was reading and closes the book, scooting to the edge of her seat to pick up the take-out box Gaétan offers. "How was the seder? Did you um -- escape from mitzraim?" This with a wash of loneliness, quickly stifled as she reins her power in. "If you're not full up on sugar, there's still lots of macarons."

Desi is slower than Gae to shed her outdoors gear, and when she finally does she almost goes straight to the kitchen. Instead she goes to the far end of the couch from Sera. She twitches, then fixes her eyes on the macarons. "I think I'm good for sugar tonight, at least. Thank you." She glances back at the dog who had followed on her heels and is sitting primly in expectation of...also more sugar, presumably. "I'm not sure how much we can blame the full moon. Sarge is a talkative pup in the best of times. "I-- {I don't suppose anyone would like tea? I could go for a nice genmaicha.}"

Gaétan's mouth twitches, pulling brief to one side. The small knot of guilt in him twists, momentarily, then settles back into background. "M'not Jewish. Was never there." He leans forward, plucking a shiny lavender macaron from the plate. With his other hand, waves away the offer of tea. "I'm good. Full up." His hand cups beneath the macaron as he bites half of it off; he offers the shed crumbs out toward Flèche on a palm with a click of his tongue.

Sera blushes very faintly, the spillover of her embarrassment likewise faint as she struggles to hold it in. "I guess I was thinking of it like -- kind of a community journey, since it's Evolve." She does not, at least, sound awkward or troubled. "'Do you guys want to like, do an activity?" Her gaze flicks to the TV. "I'm pretty sure that plays more things than hockey." She opens the box and studies its contents with a thoughtful moue, shifting it minutely to see how mobile the complicated desert might be. "Thank you, but I shouldn't have any more tea. I've probably had enough to keep me up, already."

Flèche hardly needs encouragement to slorp up the clumps in Gaétan's hand. Desi smiles thinly, her joy wan but unmistakable. She leaves for the kitchen without preamble and returns with a spoon for Sera, then skirts the empty armchair and perches herself sidewise on the opposite end of the couch. "It's still first and foremost a Jewish event, even at Evolve. But, if the Narrow Place is a state of mind, I'd imagine it takes a bit more than four cups of wine to get anyone out now." She follow's Sera's gaze, trying and mostly failing to keep the flare of displeasure at the suggestion to herself. "Oh, it also plays a tightly curated succession of films. But I've watched so little actual television this past year I'd hardly know where to start."

"The gaming consoles are all in my room but that does play --" Gaétan regards the recently installed television with some ambivalence, "-- so many streaming services. It's not actually that curated. I hear good things about Ted Lasso. Maybe The End of the Fucking World." He chomps down the rest of his macaron, save for one tiny morsel that he delivers again to the dog, then returns to slouching back in the armchair. One foot stretches out; he curls his toes against the edge of the coffee table. There's a brief sharper ache that flares inside him, kind of gnawing. Hungry. "We can't all have your constitution. If I had some bondage to be escaping, four wines would probably do me alright."

Sera takes the spoon with a grateful dip of her head and casually digs into the leftover dessert. "I guess it's as curated as you want it to be?" She casts about for a remote control as she shovels strawberry-rhubarb-matzo-whatever into her mouth. Her eyes skip to Gaétan ever so briefly, then to Desi. The soft whisper of anxiety and longing from her is barely sensible, quickly swallowed down." A moment later, she adds, "The End of the Fucking World sounds interesting."

The quirk of Desi's eyebrow is barely visible. "Mm. Fair enough. I've never really seen that thing in action except for game night and movie night." Her eyes flick to the kitchen again, a sharp need flaring bright and just as quickly quashed. She produces a remote control from a soapstone box carved in the likeness of a a coiled dragon on a bookshelf in easy reach, and sets the device squarely on the tea table between the two teens. "Isn't that show about...murder?" The disapproval in her voice is very mild, almost bemused. Only half a beat later, she adds, "Well, I suppose that's a lot of shows, really."

"You can't tell me you've never thought some people need just a little murdering." Gaétan's expression is impassive with this. He brings his other foot up to join the first, heel propped up on the table. "Honestly the most ludicrous part of the premise to me is that the show revolves around a road trip across England. How you pull that off more than one episode I don't know, one day in and you've already crossed the whole island." He's not looking at the screen, head tilted back and eyes fixed up on the ceiling. "What kind of shows did you like? Back -- there."

"Thank you." Sera picks up the remote and clicks the power on, frowning faintly as she waits for the home screen to load. "I think...probably lots of people need murdering." A flash of bitter anger escapes her, followed fast by a vague flutter of shame, neither showing on her face as anything more than a deepening of her frown. "But maybe it wouldn't help because other awful people would just take their places." She bites her lower lip and hesitantly navigates the TV's menu to a search bar and types in "end of the fuc" before selecting the proper auto-completed item, though she does not hit play just yet. Her wide green eyes track back to Gaétan, her gaze softening. "Mostly over-the-top dramedies, quirky mysteries, re-imagined fairy tales, and whatever Spence was into at the moment." She tilts her head, considering. "If the planets aligned it could be all of the above, like Shadowland."

Desi glances sidelong at Sera, thoughtful. "Probably." It's not entirely clear which part she is agreeing with, until she adds, "But they would be different awful people, no?" She reaches into her purse and pulls out her phone, eyes not fully fixed on the screen as she swipes. "From what I can tell, the English seem to imagine their country bigger than it actually is. Perhaps it is a very meandering sort of road trip." When she lowers her phone to her lap there's a small crinkle between her brows. At a very slight but perceptible delay, she asks, "What was Shadowland about?"

"Psh, in your world I'd say it's half of everyone." Gaétan's mouth pulls to the side in time with another queasy knot of guilt. "Here, maybe just a third." He leans forward to snag another macaron, tucking himself into the armchair with legs curling under him as Sera flips through the TV menu. "Shadowlands? Wasn't that some WoW thing? -- I bet you'd like Pushing Daisies." There's an odd heaviness pulling his emotion landscape down, here. "I bet you'd like a lot of the crap Luci's into."

"Yeah, pretty much. I guess if it happened enough times, the ones who replaced them might think about dialing back the awful." Sera's eyebrows raise up. "Wow? I'm...not sure if it's that. Maybe it's another one of those things that just -- didn't happen here? Shadowland is like..." She's growing more animated, her interest in the topic somehow both hopeful and wistful. "...there's this girl who finds out her shadow has been slipping out on its own at night. She follows it one night and finds this whole world where the shadows of sleeping people go, and they have bodies and a whole society there. Then she and her shadow become private investigators traveling between their two worlds." Here her shoulders slump a little. "It got cancelled, though. I'll check out Pushing Daisies sometime." She fiddles restlessly with the remote. "Does Luci like that one?"

Desi listens attentively, her own interest evidently piqued by the program Sera describes. "I don't think that show exists here, or if it does it's pretty obscure. It sounds quite charming, though." Then she stiffens slightly, her resentment not exactly seething but noticeable to Sera all the same. Noticeable, too, is her firm effort to quash it. "He likes it," is only just a touch stilted, "rather a lot." She looks at the screen, and a beat later rises. "You can start it if you like; I'm just going to fetch myself a drink." And she's away to the kitchen, her steps quiet and graceful.

"Yeah, he likes..." Gaétan slouches further into his seat, head shaking. "Yeah." He exhales quick and sharp, dropping his head down to rest on the crook of one elbow on the chair's plush arm. "Don't think anyone's made that here, yet. Man. I bet you're full of stories we haven't seen." His fingers flick lazily toward the screen. "We doing this?"

Sera's shoulders pull in tighter, but whatever emotion's beneath it she manages to keep in. "I guess if I ever run out of stories to write, I can always plagiarize my own memory." Her enthusiasm returns readily enough, diffusing from her in waves with an aftertaste of anticipation. "Totally." She still does glance in the direction at the kitchen, but does not hesitate this time before hitting play.