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Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt


"{I think he underestimates how many people might relate.}"


<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.

Dinner's been cleared away and dessert, as well, guests departed and the house quieting. Though it's not nearly bedtime, the younger Tessiers have retired upstairs. Matt, however, is ensconced in his favorite armchair, dressed in a white tee with a large filigree heart bracketed by ornate capital As and soft black pajama pants covered with little red hearts. One of his hands is curled around a celadon mug of fragrant Jinxuan oolong and a booklet (Captain American: First Draft) propped open in the other hand. His voice is just a touch stilted as he reads aloud, "Son, do you wanna serve your country--" His eyes lift to his brother, eyebrows ticking up fractionally. "--on the most important battlefield of the war?"

Lucien has unspooled himself across the rug by the fireplace, comfortable in jeans and a white undershirt where he's draped loosely against the half-dozing pup. Flèche shifts, tail giving a few languid thumps as Lucien props himself up on an elbow instead. His lips have compressed, just faintly, and in lieu of his next line he reaches for his tea.

Doesn't drink it. His thumb runs gently in a slow circle against the side of the mug. He sets the mug back down, settles himself back against the dog. The pages of his own script rustle slightly in his hand.

Matt takes a delicate sip of his own tea, not, evidently, too fussed at his brother's nonresponse. His eyes scan down the rest of the page, and he hums quietly. "I cannot envy you the fight choreography for this scene." He sets the script down in his lap with his fingers keeping their place. "The line, though--it is dramatic enough for our Steve, but even so, a bit jarring, no?"

Lucien's eyes flick down the page in time with a soft and dismissive chuff. "I will have sensible shoes, at the least." He sets the script down with a thwack against one crooked-up knee. "{Steve would never say this.}"

"Mmm." Matt's reply is deeply noncommittal. "I suppose 'sensible' is relative. At this point, you could land a role in Kinky Boots and still call it a step up." He curls his legs beneath him, shifting to face Lucien more fully, leaning sidelong against the plush back of the chair. "{No. I do not get the impression he was fighting for Uncle Sam, not even back then.}" His fingers drum lightly on the page beneath them. "{But it will not be Steve saying it.}"

"{I will be saying it.} There is, ever so mildly, a note of affront in Lucien's voice. He turns the script around, forefinger tapping -- pointedly! -- at the name beside his next line. "{I will be Steve when I say it.}" He sets the booklet down, sets the mug down, his head lowering slowly back against Flèche's side and the crook of his arm sliding to cover his eyes as an uncertain tremor flutters his careful mental structuring into a brief disquiet. "{Or, at least, that is the goal.}"

Matt does not deny this, his head nodding slow and meditative. "{You will be.}" He sounds quite certain of this. "{I can hardly think anyone better qualified--including Steve himself. After all, this character--}" He taps the page beneath his fingers more decisively than before. "{--is not quite our Steve. Only someone very much like him. Or, that least, that is the goal.}"

The certainty in Matt's tone eases but does not entirely dispel the unsteadiness in Lucien's mind. He lowers his arm, eyes shifting back to his tea. Eventually he stands, slow and mindful of the dog, leaving his mug on the floor as he heads to the kitchen. He returns in short order, a glass in one hand that he is pouring a measure of whiskey into. "{How does that qualify me?}" After his first sip the tremor has passed, leaving only a heaviness in his tone as he settles back, cross-legged now on the floor. "{I don't know who this man is. Not any better than anyone else does. Worse, perhaps. I might do him a disservice. Whoever he is, he will not be --}" His jaw tightens as he downs another mouthful of whiskey, setting the bottle down now beside his tea.

In Lucien's brief absence, Matt has slid from his chair and onto the floor, leaving aside mug and script alike to smooth one hand along Flèche's sleek side. His power sinks deeper into his brother's, bolstering it gently. He does not speak until the other man has settled back down. He shifts to angle himself partly away, keeping Lucien in his field of vision even if his eyes remain on the pup drowsing between them. "{Knowing the source material helps you to translate it to the stage, no?}" One hand turns up gracefully to indicate Lucien's abandoned script. "{Mina has given you a target: not a perfect Steve stuck in the past, but a flawed one with the courage to change the future.}" Here a flutter of soft affection, calculated to soothe. "{But for all her research she cannot know Steve as you do. Perhaps that understanding can guide your aim.}"

Lucien draws his script back into his lap, though his eyes are focused more on his whiskey than on the words. He swirls the glass slowly, lifting it to drain it and then pour another measure. "{Perhaps.}" His voice has slipped softer, and he slumps back against the coffee table, head bumping against its edge with a small wince. "{I worry about who I might hurt, this time, if my aim is off.}"

Matt sinks down to pillow his head on the dog, who cracks open an eye and wags sleepily before settling again. "{Steve trusts you with this role--I think he was relieved to hear you'd landed it, and his faith is rarely misplaced. But if you are worried for his sake, I'm sure he wouldn't mind talking the rough spots through with you.}" He glances at his brother before his eyes dip to the bottle. "{Or do you worry for someone else's sake?}"

"{He places far too much in me.}" This glass of whiskey is much quicker to join the first, half of it gone in one swallow. The complicated machinery of his mind rustles again before, this time, he clamps down on it with a tighter grip. "{It has been quite a year.}" His words are very mild. "{You do not have to have lost an entire world to find truth in his story, but -- sometimes,}" his eyes are fixed steadily ahead, the firm hold on his mental chemistry not easing, "{I think he underestimates how many people might relate.}"

The pressure of Matt's power around Lucien's as it clamps down is steady and calm. "{I do not think it is too much faith, but I do I think you are right that he underestimates the power of his story, dramatized or no. It can be hard to see that through so much pain.}" There is very little sympathy--though not none--behind those words, despite his plainly sensible fondness. "{If your performance can speak to how the loss of his world reflects the trauma this one has suffered, it may help him heal. It may help others heal.}" His smile is small and a little skewed, but the surge of pride buoying it up is immense. "{It would be a challenge, to be sure.}"

Lucien's eyes dart toward the staircase in a quick slip of glance. He offers only a soft hum at this, quiet, thoughtful, his mental chemistry easing back into its ordinary routine. He drains the rest of his whiskey, fingers twitching toward the bottle again. His jaw tightens as he stays his hand, instead setting his glass down to exchange it for his script again. "Sir," a quiet determination has rooted itself back into his voice, "that's all I want."