Logs:Helping Hands

From X-Men: rEvolution
Helping Hands
Dramatis Personae

Dusk, Matt, Steve


"I don't think you're going to need those."


<NYC> 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 air is damp and chill outside while the clouds hang low, threatening snow, but it's warm and cozy in the Tessier house. Heather Dale's "Come and be Welcome" is playing in the living room and Matt is fluttering about with a bottle of surface cleaning and a rag, singing along somewhat tunelessly. He's wearing a faded seafoam green t-shirt with a white whale curled on the front beneath an eight-pointed star and threadbare jeans worn through at the knees, his hair slightly damp and sticking up in several different directions. The dog is lying on the couch, sleepily chewing on a plush hedgehog and thumping her tail happily every time her human looks her way.

Rap rap rap! Brisk and firm from the front door, where Dusk is waiting on the doorstep. He has on a soft burgundy sweater, thick-waled black corduroys, a heavy dark trenchcoat, a thick scarf knitted from thick black and burgundy marbled wool. His unruly mop of hair has been recently trimmed, a deliberate care gone into its careful feathering; even the dark scruff of his beard has been neatly evened and edged. He bounces restlessly on the balls of his feet as he waits, arms curling around his chest.

Dusk hasn't long to wait out in the cold; Matt is headed for the front door before Flèche even realizes they are about to have a guest. His "Come and be welcome!" is /almost/ in time with the song playing in the background, and he grins widely, offering a warm hug once the door is closed behind Dusk. Flèche dances around them both, tail thrashing wildly. "You look wonderful!"

"What, even if I don't have songs to share?" Dusk smiles broadly, starting to shed his coat even before he's properly stepped inside. Beneath, his wings have gotten extra attention even beyond their usual careful grooming. Clawtips polished gleaming black with a faint iridescent shine subtle enough that it's not /immediately/ apparent they've been artificially tinted at all, an equally muted reddish highlight to the soft furs on his wings. He stretches out one wing, curling it snugly around Matt in a warm hug that smells faintly of citrus and clove. "Thanks! I'm actually just stopping by to pick up Steve. He ready?"

Matt has shifted his cleaning supplies to one hand and wraps the other arm around Dusk beneath the soft enclosure of the fuzzy wing. "It's lovely to see you all the same." He thumps his forehead lightly against his friend's chest before stepping back. "He's still upstairs. Let me go fetch him for you--and I solemnly swear not to offer any wardrobe advice." This with a light waggle of eyebrows as he heads for the stairs with a quickness. "...tell of the heroes who dwell in our history," he sings, kind of under his breath, "for tales that are true are the best of them all..."

Too late! Perhaps having heard Dusk's arrival, Steve is already on his way down. He's not dressed near as nicely as Dusk, though he's presentable enough in a red and black plaid flannel and crisp, fitted blue jeans, with a navy peacoat draped over one arm and his shield slung over the opposite shoulder. "Salut!" he offers Dusk brightly. "Not snowing yet, it is?"

Dusk crouches once Matt moves away, very tentatively reaching out a hand to brush his fingertips down Flèche's back. He looks up with a sunny smile when Steve comes down, pushing his sunglasses up to rest atop his head as his eyes flick over the other man. "Hey! No, no. It's thankfully holding off." Getting back to his feet, he folds his wings in close against his back. "You ready to head out?"

Matt flashes a brilliant smile at Steve. "I don't think it's meant to get all /that/ bad, though I'm sure the streets will be slippery in the morning." Clicking his tongue and slapping his leg, he calls Flèche to his side. "Oh wait, actually," he blurts, tipping his head toward the kitchen, "can I borrow you /just/ a moment, Steve?" Then to Dusk, with a faintly embarrassed smile. "I promise I won't delay you for long!"

"I'm ready. Cold and snow doesn't bother me much, I'm just trying to decide on a cap, not that I have a wide range of choices..." At Matt's request Steve raises his eyebrows slightly, but replies, "Um, sure -- if you don't mind, Dusk?" As he heads toward the kitchen with Matt, glancing at the cleaning spray, "Do you need me to move the fridge or something?"

Dusk lifts both hands in a gesture of surrender as Matt steals Steve away. "I'm easy, we're in no rush. Though if you need a hand with moving things --" He doesn't actually follow, though. He leans against the wall, resting the toe of one shoe against the heel of the other as /if/ about to work it off. But, for the moment, just staying put by the entryway, gently patting at the top of Flèche's head.

"Luci will redo everything I cleaned unless I'm /thorough/, and he'll probably be back before you." Matt explains as he follows Steve. "Don't worry," he adds to dusk, "this guy is stronger than he looks." He pats Steve's impressively muscled arm. In the kitchen, he sets the sprayer and rag down on the counter and picks up the broom and dustpan he left in the corner. "{Thank you--I should have asked earlier, but didn't want to disturb you.}" Still in rapid-fire French, his casual tone completely unchanged as he steps over to the refrigerator. "{This is odd and potentially patronizing, but I wanted to make sure you understood that he is doing this the interests of potentially courting you.}"

"Oh, and he'll be exhausted." Steve nods his understanding. "{Please, I would love to be of more use around here.}" His French is fluid though not fluent, and heavily colored with a rural Provence accent. "{And I hardly sleep, really.}" He goes to shift the refrigerator outward, but stops short, staring blankly at Matt. "{Courting me? As in...he thinks I'm...}" His cheeks burn.

Matt goes to take hold of the refrigerator himself when Steve hesitates, though he doesn't actually start pulling until the other man joins him. "{Attractive, yes. I doubt he expects anything in particular from you, and will ask if he wants anything, but I didn't want you to going in completely unprepared. Oh, and I can get it back in on my own, not to worry.}"

Steve shakes off his bewilderment and goes to help Matt pull the appliance out from its cubby -- bearing nearly all of its weight. "{I -- I didn't realize. Thank you.}" He frowns, then shrugs. "If you're sure. I'll see you later, then." He claps one hand on Matt's shoulder and heads back out into the living room. Flashes a slightly awkward smile. "Heeeeey...I'm ready. To um..." Tugs on his coat, looking Dusk up and down. Blushes again, hard. "Go."

"Great." Dusk has been leaning against the wall, focused on his phone, but he straightens immediately when Steve returns. His wings shift, stretching just slightly and then refolding. Dusk's dark eyes fix on Steve's face as he pulls his own coat back on, shoulders rolling to help settle his wings more or less comfortably beneath the heavy fabric. "Everything good?" He rests a hand on the front door's handle, looking briefly back to the kitchen.

Matt's eyes flick over Steve, but he only nods. Then, following his houseguest part-way, he leans against the inside of the doorway to the living room. "{I'll see you later.} Have fun, you crazy kids!" He sounds cheerful and utterly unflapped by the bizarre aside. "I do hope the lion of March holds off."

"{Later, Matt!}" Steve pulls on his boots and leads Dusk outside. "I'm fine. He was insisting he'd put it back on his own and --" He shakes his head, chuckling. "I'm just -- a /lot/ stronger than I look." The blushing hasn't /subsided/. It might actually be getting worse, Steve's pulse beating unusually fast, by his standards. "Though I guess you probably are, too. So...where to for coffee?"

Dusk draws in a quick breath, the corner of his lip catching between his teeth. "That's impressive, you already look like you could help -- Matt with a fridge anytime." Though it's heavily overcast, none too bright, he pushes his sunglasses back down once they're outside. "There's this diner not too far. Great coffee, great food. Corned beef hash to die for. It's not a bad walk if the snow holds off, or its just a minute on the bus -- if it actually. Ever. Comes." His brows are furrowing with /deep/ skepticism down the street towards the bus stop.

"I don't mind walking." Steve falls into step beside Dusk. "Sorry, I didn't mean to boast." He ruffles a hand through his hair -- he had forgotten the cap, after all -- looking down at the sidewalk, though smiling. "It's just...well, I grew up very sick and feeble. Got better, but then spent several years away. It's kind of a novelty, being able to use my strength for household tasks. But also odd." He waves one hand vaguely in the air, as though to dismiss the issue. "So ah, how's your day been going, so far?"

"No, it's cool, I get it. I mean, I'm sure it's not the same, but I spent a whole lot of time when I was a kid stuck in bed cuz I didn't really work right. After years of that, walking felt exciting, let alone --" There's a small shift of the hunched fabric at Dusk's shoulders. "I didn't think you were boasting. Sometimes it's just nice to have some joy in what your body can do."

He tucks his hands into his pockets, starting off down the street. "So far?" His grin is broad and sharply fanged. "Don't really know, yet, I kind of got up for this. But you're here, and we're going for coffee, so I'd say so far it's looking pretty decent. How are you finding life with --" He breaks off, brows furrowing slightly, though it isn't immediately apparent at what. It takes a moment longer for his attention to refocus down a side alley -- evidently empty, though a very keen ear might pick up the very soft intermittent whimpering coming from behind a dumpster.

Steve's pale blue eyes stray to the shift of folded wings under Dusk's coat. He looks like he wants to say something, but just nods his agreement. Then -- making an obvious effort not to avert his eyes from Dusk's fanged grin -- he smiles wider. "Taking your day of rest seriously! Not that...I mean, I shouldn't have assumed you're Christian." He clearly does not hear what Dusk hears, at least not at first, but he is quick to follow the direction of the other man's focus. Dropping his center of mass slightly, he tugs his shield from its harness, but does not slip it onto his forearm just yet. He does not speak, tilting his head down the alley and lifting his eyebrows inquisitively.

It's clear Dusk notes Steve's shift of gaze, his head dipping and smile quirking a little crooked. "S'ok, what do you want to know? I can fly with them, if that's what you're wondering." His smile has softened -- he gives a quick backwards glance to Steve's posture and shield as he heads into the alley. "I don't think you're going to need those. Come here, give me a hand." He pats the side of the dumpster with one hand. "Gently."

Steve nods again, and though he straightens up at once, it's a few steps further before he finally returns the shield to his back. "I ah, kind of figured maybe you could? Fly, that is -- but do you just glide, or...I mean, it would be an impressive feat for a full grown man to sustain /powered flight/ by the his own strength alone." Half-way into the alley, his 'ah' expression suggest he, too, can hear the faint crying. He takes hold of the dumpster waits for Dusk's cue to shift it carefully aside.

There, in a nest of filthy rags and trash bags, is a large dog curled tight around a pile of tiny puppies. The adult, presumably their mother, has a short dark brown brindle coat, her impressive bulk diminished by recent hardship. She is shivering and whining softly, her broad squarish face slowly turning up towards the two men as though she hasn't even the strength to lift her head, the very tip of her tail twapping against a trash bag.

"Oh gosh," Steve says, sinking down into a crouch. "They're so /small!/"

"Nope. Take off all by myself and everything. But it's kind of a bitch in winter, so." Dusk shrugs, moving to get a grip on his side of the dumpster before nodding to Steve and carefully shifting it forward. He drops to his knees beside the litter, breath catching and his hands pulling to his chest. "Oh, man, I knew they'd be small but this is /tiny/. Their eyes aren't even open." He bites down on his lip, looks back up at Steve. A little apologetic -- a little plaintive. "I know I promised you coffee but -- it's going to snow."

The mother dog stretches forth her blunt snout and sniffs at Dusk, her tongue darting out for a tentative lick. Her whining grows louder.

"She's hardly got any fur at all." Steve is removing the shield from his back again, moving slowly this time and setting it face-down on the broken pavement beside the nest. "It'll serve for a basket. Get them out of the cold, and get her something to eat." He smiles at Dusk, earnest and reassuring. "Coffee can wait."