Logs:Fucked Up

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Fucked Up
Dramatis Personae

Gaétan, Matt


"{I've been to Ohio before.}"


<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.

Lucien's car is probably still quite full, but at the moment Gaétan is taking his chances with tempting someone to smash a window and grab his bags (or, more likely, just letting his brother cart in the rest of it, all those muscles might as well be used for SOME good.) He's lugged in a heavy suitcase and an also-heavy backpack to drop them down with a THUNK in the front hallway, turned a brief glance back toward the curb before deciding, fuck it, and shedding his shoes. He trudges into the kitchen, hands in his pockets, but then just -- stares at the fridge, kind of uncertain. Doesn't open it.

After the skitter-crash-scramble of Flèche flying down the stairs to greet her long-absent Person, Matt's descent seems leisurely and stealthy by comparison. He's wearing a blue tee shirt with a cartoon figure reading beneath an arch of books, bracketed by the words BEST TIME MACHINE, EVER! and black cargo shorts. He fetches up at the end of the counter, hand lifting to press knuckles to his lips as if to stop himself saying something other than his eventual soft, "{Welcome home, darling.}" The tea things were already set out, and when he starts the pot the scent of bergamot softened with just a touch of vanilla blossoms to fill the kitchen. "There are half a dozen meal trains going," he says with a tip of his hand at the refrigerator as he comes around the counter. "I can put a plate together for you, if it's all a bit much as yet."

Gaétan drops down to one knee, scruffing at the dog's fur and pressing his forehead against her neck. "{Yeah. Sure. As long as it isn't ramen I'm good,}" comes muffled against Flèche's side as he attempts to navigate delivering more pets with avoiding her enthusiastic attempts at covering his face with slobber. He's settled into sort of a slooow languid side-to-side wrassling of her head by the time he looks up at Matt. "{If you'd asked me first I would've told you. Don't go to Ohio. It sucks.}"

Matt opens the refrigerator and pulls out milk for the tea and two aluminum catering trays, their lids embossed with L'Entente's elegant, understated logo. "{I've been to Ohio before,}" he allows, heavily, like someone admitting to an embarrassing secret. "{I'd have appreciated the warning all the same, but it would not have have made me any more sanguine to leave my brother there.}" He generously fills a plate with honey spatchcock chicken, grilled lemon-pepper broccolini, and roasted purple baby potatoes garnished with pomegranate arils. The plate goes in the microwave, but he doesn't put away the trays just yet. "{I am sorry about calling you 'loulou', though, and solemnly swear off embarrassing you in front of your schoolmates forthwith.}"

"{Next time I'll --}" Gaétan starts, and it's light, joking, but he doesn't actually manage to finish; his teasing tone falters, and he drops his forehead back against the dog's side. His fingers scrunch down into her fur. He drops his other leg, thumping down to sit solidly on the floor. "{It's cool. I'm not going back there, you won't get the chance.}"

"Mm." Matt leans back against the counter, bracing the heels of his hands on its edge. "{I know it was never really what you wanted, the school, and I imagine recent experiences aren't likely to make you feel less alienated there.}" He cants his head and looks down at his brother. "{But, however well-educated, my guesses are still guesses. If you feel up to indulging me--what made up your mind?}" There's no challenge in his gently curious tone.

Gaétan thumps his head back against the kitchen cabinets for a moment, his expression falling into a careful neutrality. Eventually he pushes himself back up with a small lift of one shoulder. "{It was never really what I wanted.}" He leans against the counter, eyes fixing on the microwave numbers as they count down. "{Besides, people are already interested in my work. I don't need a piece of paper for that.}"

"{True enough,}" Matt agrees evenly, "{and I doubt a GED will prove so very challenging, if you do want a piece of paper for practical purposes. I'm not worried about your prospects, I'm just worried about you.}" His head dips, almost apologetic, almost self-conscious. "{You don't have to talk to me about your summer--now, or ever--but if you ever want or need to, I will listen. I love you.}" The sidelong tug of his smile is a little rueful as he straightens back up to arrest the microwave a second before it beeps. "{We don't have to talk about that, either.}" He plucks out the plate and sets a place at the breakfast nook before pivoting smoothly to assemble the tea, its clean warm scent mingling now with the hearty meal.

Gaétan's shoulders grow tighter -- and tighter, as his brother speaks. By the time Matt is fishing the plate out of the microwave, though, he's back in a deliberately casual slouch. "{Yeah, most teachers over there have learned to skip the what I did with my summer vacation. Saves you all some nightmares, probably.}" He's looking more at the counter than at Matt, and the lift of his shoulder is nonchalant. "Yeahok. Thanks." He doesn't sit -- instead plucks the plate up off the table where Matt has set it, collecting his utensils to rest on its edge. "Mom's been there this whole time, you know."

Matt does not seem particularly surprised by the reaction, he just nods--as much at the tea he's pouring than Gaétan--his smile fading. "{Forgive me. It's been...}" The up-turning of his palm is kind of resigned, and even the resignation is dismissed when he drops it. "I know now. I didn't know when she died--" His mouth gives a tiny abortive twitch back in the direction of a smile. "--allegedly died, either, until well after the fact. In some ways it never felt real." He darts his brother a searching glance. "That didn't make it any less surreal when I saw her on the news with you. Admittedly, I had just gotten out of a pretty surreal..." His head shakes minutely and he sets one of the mugs carefully down in front of Gaétan. "{...but yeah, I know. It's fucked up.}"

"When he told us she died," Gaétan corrects almost at the same time as Matt does, but he's not smiling. "And then left her there for seven years." His hands have tightened on his plate, and his eyes flick in the direction of Lucien's bedroom before dropping back to his food. "{It's fucked up.}" His mouth has pressed hard. He stares at the mug for a long moment before remembering to pick it up. "Thanks."

Matt claims a mug for himself and sags back against the counter. "{He thought I was dead, too.}" This doesn't sound defensive or critical, just tired. It's at a small delay that he looks back up from his tea at Gaétan, his expression opaque but for a single extra blink. "Yeah. Any time."

"{It's not exactly the same. He said he saw her body. You're really making excuses for -- you know what it's like in there.}" Gaétan's voice is sharper, here, but he doesn't wait for an answer. Just exhales, sharp and hard, and turns to head upstairs.