Logs:Still Learning

From X-Men: rEvolution
Still Learning
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt, Sebastian

2019-09-26


"I could probably do worse than give off history teacher vibes."

Location

<NYC> Three Lives & Company - Greenwich Village


A tiny bookstore nestled at the corner of Tenth and Waverly, this snug spot has been a beloved neighborhood staple for decades, doggedly hanging on despite Greenwich's skyrocketing rents. Inside it is cosy, floor to ceiling shelves crammed with a well-organized and lovingly curated selection of books, a few chairs tucked into the corners of the stacks to encourage patrons to linger with them. The owner and few employees who work here are welcoming, with a keen memory for their regulars' reading habits, always ready with recommendations or passionate opinions on their favourites.

"{-- The entire thing.}" Lucien is leaning up against the stacks in one of the narrow aisles between books -- his shoulder is propped up just beside a label denoting this particular (tiny) section of shelving "Indigenous History". As is his wont he is currently dressed crisp, neat -- casual today, in a green button-down tucked into grey jeans, but something about the very precise tailoring of his clothing suggests that this outfit was not just plucked off the shelves. "To be honest, I barely know how to think about this. {I shall have to reconsider our budget.}" Both his French and his English come fluidly, though the English is coloured with a quiet francophone accent.

Matt's hand has been pressed firmly to his mouth for the latter part of his brother's explanation, his bright green eyes wide. He's also dressed casually, though without Lucien's sharpness, in a blue t-shirt with a cartoon figure reading beneath an arch of books, captioned "Best time machine EVER!", ancient faded blue jeans with tattered hems, and black athletic sandals. "{My gods. Just like that.}" It does not sound like a question. His hand finally lowers to play along the foreedge of the book he had been clutching to his chest (Norse Revival: Transformations of Germanic Neopaganism), though he still looks poleaxed. "{He has been acting odd since returning; as reactions to trauma go, I can get behind that one.}" He shakes his head as though to clear it, and starts drifting along the stacks. "Did he still tip you?" comes out as a bemused afterthought, one eyebrow quirked.

Sebastian was wandering about the store in his skinny blue jeans and plain gray tee almost aimlessly before the others showed up, unsure what to put on his nightstand, next. Even so, knowing that he wants something to read since he will be spending an invariable amount of time at home, he stands clutching a book titled "Terrorism in America" between his black fingernails. Hopefully it's enough to keep him amused for a long while. He has been keeping the corner of his peripheral vision on the others as he combs through books, unable to ignore how dashing the one in the green shirt is. "Excuse me?" he asks as calmly as he can, daring to approach the two of them. "Normally, I wouldn't bother you, but I just wanted to ask, since you... seem to know what you're looking for." He flashes an awkward smile that one might simply chalk up to shyness as he looks towards the book that Matt is holding, "Are there any books you would reccomend regarding European monarchies and ancient history? Like. Not in the 16th Century. I know plenty about that already. But something regarding earlier civilizations would be nice."

"{Just like that.}" Lucien's reply is quiet, his vivid green eyes (really, the only physical indication of his kinship with the man beside him) sliding away to study the cover of Matt's book. "Generously, as always." He glances to Sebastian -- if only briefly, sparing a much longer look for the book in the boy's hand than for the child himself. "Do you just have that sort of look about you?" This question is directed, with a glimmer of amusement warming his expression, to Matt.

"Mmm," is Matt's only comment on the topic of generosity. He breaks into an easy smile when Sebastian approaches them, his eyes bright and attentive with polite interest. The smile warms at the question. "I could probably do worse than give off history teacher vibes." His hand lifts back up, fingers tapping at his cheek contemplatively. "So...there's a lot of ground to cover with medieval European monarchies. My recommendation would vary significantly with the /reason/ you want to read up on the topic." His gaze slants aside to Lucien, so quickly that it would be easy to miss. "Jeff Sypeck's /Becoming Charlemagne/ is an engrossing read, but probably not an ideal source for a research paper unless you are writing it on Charlemagne."

Sebastian rubs the back of his head a bit and smiles while his other hand clutches the book he had chosen tightly. "I was thinking further back. It's not for an essay or anything. I just suddenly am going to be spending a lot of time at home getting bed rest, so... I needed something entertaining to read." It is a relief however, that they seem to be taking his presence so well. He looks towards Matt's book once again, seeming too shy to meet their eyes. "Although, not many people might think that sort of thing is entertaining, I know." He isn't sure whether he is acting too awkward or not. In fact, he isn't sure whether he's acting at all. He had no trouble putting himself in this situation, so why is it impossible to know whether he is really uncomfortable or not?

"Oh! Is that the vibe you were giving off, after all?" There's no smile on Lucien's face but something warmer in his tone all the same. One slim eyebrow quirks up as he looks up his brother. "You just seem like a man who knows how to pass the time well while on bedrest." He turns his hand over, studies his nails intently. "Mm. It's true it might be a stretch, thinking anyone finds history entertaining. We, ourselves, were just stopped in the history aisle of a bookstore out of sheer masochism." His arms fold loosely across his chest, weight settling a little more heavily onto the shelf he is fetched up against. "Only European history? Matthieu has many and varied recommendations on the subject of ancient history, though the Europeans were a touch slower in development than most of the ancient world."

Matt's expression softens when Sebastian brings up his cause for seeking recommendations. "Here I thought I'd mostly gotten over looking like someone who might know all about keeping occupied while bedridden, but it is in fact an expertise of mine." Despite the subject, he seems cheerful enough. "As is the ancient world, including the European corner of it. Do you have any particular area or period of interest? Meroginvingians, the Heptarchy, Gothic Kingdoms...oh!" He brightens suddenly, like someone who's just thought of a good friend he hasn't seen in a while. "The Birth of Europe by Jacques Le Goff weaves a splendid tapestry on how what we now think of as Europe rose from ashes of classical antiquity."

Bastian almost flinches at their responses and shrugs his shoulders. "I've studied Edo Period Japan, too. I just have a touch of Anglomania, really," is his response to Lucien before he turns his attention back to Matt as he explains all the cultures he could be studying. "The... The what?" He feels outclassed to say the least. "I'm still learning," he explains, a bit embarrassed. He feels like his book is yesterday's news in comparison to the cultures that Matt is bringing up. "I'll see if they have it here, though." Currently, he is caught up admiring Matt's vocabulary. Not that he didn't understand any of the words he used. Just that he never heard so many of them used in conjunction in natural conversation. He almost has to check to see if his jaw has actually dropped out of place.

"Mmm." Lucien's expression warms; still not really a smile but an easing of severity, a vaguely amused crinkle at the corners of his eyes. "I assure you, there is no shame in not yet recognizing the litany of early medieval political entities. It is what you had an interest in studying, is that not so?" He steps aside, turns to a shelf behind them, running his fingertips lightly against their spines until he pauses. Plucks The Birth of Europe off a shelf. "How long a convalescence do you anticipate? Two books only provide so much diversion."

"Just so!" Matt agrees, his smile gentling further at Sebastian's evident embarrassment. "Not knowing comes with it's own perks-- the wonder of discovery, if nothing else! Alas, the history of England before the Wessex kingdom is largely apocryphal." He looks up, humming softly. "But as for the Matter of Britain, Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae is a great place to start, so long as you keep in mind that it is more legend than history. Perhaps consider reading it alongside Peter Ackroyd's Foundation, or at least having it to hand as reference? Perhaps his two other volumes of English history, as well, though I feel he whitewashes the colonial period abominably." This last with a quiet tsk. "I hope those sound appealing! Not knowing your usual tastes or the manner in which you expect to be indisposed, my recommendations may still be off-base."

Sebastian turns red, now... He wants to yell, 'I'm only sixteen,' as if that would explain the fact that the both of them just spat out at least a half-dozen words he didn't even recognize. Are they showing off? He can't really tell. He just feels slightly... Unworthy? "Uh..." His mouth hangs open a bit as he hunts for some way to respond without sounding like a complete half-wit. "Thanks." << Wow. Mission accomplished. Seriously. >> He shakes his head a bit as if trying to undo the dizziness that their words have wrought upon his wee, little brain. "I-uh... I really appreciate the recommendations." He offers his hand out to ask for the book from Lucien as he continues. "Would you mind too terribly if I asked your names?"

Now there's a very small smile that curls the corners of Lucien's mouth up; he listens to Matt's recommendations with evident approval. "The store ought offer you commission. -- Do you know, I don't believe I have read that Monmouth. I ought look into that." He turns over the book with a small inclination of his head. "Would that everyone on a hunt for knowledge has the good fortune to run into a teacher in that subject. And an ardent reading evangelist, no less." He drifts away from the shelves -- plucking Matt's book from his arms as he passes. "No, I don't imagine I would mind that." His quiet reply is slightly contradicted by the fact that he is continuing off, out of the aisle and to the checkout.

"It's no trouble, and a joy to be of assistance to a kindred spirit." Matt's smile is undimmed. "I can tend to get a bit carried away when I'm passionate about a subject, as I'm sure my students will attest." He surrenders the book in his arms with a quiet "Merci", then covers his guffaw at Lucien's response to Sebastian's question. "I'm Matt, and that was my brother, Lucien--not to worry, he was just answering your question at face value." Here his cheer sobers a little. "I wish you a swift recovery, and much pleasant reading in the meanwhile." It's with this and a last encouraging smile that he wanders off to follow his brother.

Sebastian's blush fades when the book is in his hand. He gives a curt nod and waits patiently and politely fot the others to finish speaking. "Bastian," he gives another nod towards Matt, "It was nice meeting you." A history teacher? Well, that would make him very easy to find, not that Bastian intends to go hunting for him. Bastian flips the book around, looking at the cover while the others walk away. Though he isn't entirely sure how to feel about that last comment. Recovery... Aha... He will never recover. Not really. Not until a cure for being born mutant is invented. Bastian looks down at his fingernails. They have grown out a little bit underneath their paint so that the pale, dead cells are once again visible. He even notices that his hair grew a bit. No more than a centimeter. But for someone whose hair hasn't grown in over a year... Even a millimeter is a notable change. No. He will never recover.