Logs:Welcome Home

From X-Men: rEvolution
Welcome Home

(Just Breathe)

Dramatis Personae

B, Jax, Shane, Spencer

2019-03-21


"I tried. I swear I tried." (Set soon after visiting Isra in the clinic.)

Location

<NYC> 303 {Lighthaus} - Village Lofts - East Village


This apartment is cheerful, in its way -- bright and airy, its floor plan open and a plethora of windows providing it with an abundance of light. The tiny entrance hall opens into a living room, small, though its sparse furniture and lack of clutter give it a more open feel. The decor is subdued and minimalist; black and white is the dominant theme, with occasional splashes of deep crimson to offset the monochrome, though of late myriad bright-coloured dragonflies swarm across the living room wall. The couch and armchair are upholstered in black corduroy, the low wide coffee table central is black wood and glass-topped, and a few large pillowy beanbags provide additional seating by the large windows that dominate the back wall. The living room and kitchen both hold a rather inordinate number of lamps in addition to the ceiling lights; standing lamps, small lamps on each counter, large sunlights in the corner. More often than not, they're largely all turned on, too.

Towards the back, a couple of doors lead off into bedrooms and bathroom, and to the right, the kitchen's tile is separated from the living room's dark hardwood floors by black countertops. Above the bedroom to one side, there is higher space; a ladder climbs up to a lofted area looking down on the living room. Standing in front of the partition between living and cooking area is a large fish tank: one lone Betta, blood-red, swims regally among several species of black and silver fish. A hallway beyond the kitchen leads further into the apartment. Another bathroom stands just into the hall and the farthest door leads to the apartment's final bedroom, the door usually kept shut to hold in the acrid fumes of turpentine and paints from within.

The apartment is alive with colour, today. There's glittering glass fish hanging from the ceiling, carefully out of cat-reach though they're throwing sparkles of colourful light all around the floor and walls that Sprite has driven herself into a frenzy pouncing on. The /Lost/ cast recording is playing and as the faun sings, an unearthly forest is growing in the living room, unfurling luminescent blossoms and growing jagged crystalline fruits. Some of the glass fish grow and flicker to life, darting here and there between the new plant life.

In the kitchen, Jax is singing along as he dices up foods for fondue. He's as colourful as the scenery, iridescent makeup and peacock-hued hair and a rainbow patchwork sweatshirt, its sleeves pushed up over his elbows as he works.

Spencer is flopped on his belly atop one of the bean bags, one hand dutifully scritching Obie's ears and the other excavating a blocky Minecraft hillside on a tablet. He's wearing a purple t-shirt with two blue aliens on it blowing bubbles at the caption 'Prohibit anxieties' and gray jeans that he's probably going to grow out of very soon, his feet (in mismatched socks -- one adorned with rockets and the other with dinosaurs) kicking slowly in the air.

When the forest starts growing up around him, Spence pauses the game and looks up with a bright smile, evidently unconcerned about any childnapping fauns that might be lurking in the trees. Maybe because /he/ has designs on the role himself, scooping up the dog beside him and joining his wobbly soprano to the song. He dances across the room lifting the stolen beagle high -- more /Lion King/ than /Lost/, really -- as if to present him to fairyland.

Shane bursts into this cheerful scene like a tiny storm, scowling and stompy as he shoves the door open and shucks his shoes to chuck them against the entryway wall. There are still garlands of flowers strung about his neck, hyacinth and jasmine bright and fragrant. His stomps are less stompy now that he is unshod but that doesn't stop him /trying/, STAMP STAMP STAMP his way over to the beanbag Spence has just vacated to flop himself face-down into it.

Grudgingly, a moment later, he rolls himself onto his side. Squints at the pup. Squints at his brother. "I think the fairies would give that one /back/."

Jax looks up with a bright grin when Spence (and Obie) join in. Somewhere in the shadows of the trees there /is/ a faun -- only a glimpse of one, dark-horned and dark-hooved, bright green coat visible for a brief snatch behind this or that tree trunk. When Shane enters the scenery doesn't fade but it does grow somewhat less distinct, no longer shifting and growing as Jax's attention turns to the sharkpup. "Oh! Honey-honey, I wasn't expecting..." He looks down at his half-finished prep work with a small frown, then over to Shane with a deeper one. "Did something happen, sweetie? I thought y'all would be out longer."

Spence smiles brighter, whether in answer to Jax or to his brother's return. It takes him a moment longer than their father to recognize Shane's mood, and at that he lowers the dog to the floor. Obie waddles off toward Shane, tail swishing strong. Spence disappears, reappearing beside the sharkpup -- still crouching -- way ahead of the pup. He takes a breath and looks very much like he wants to say something, but then looks between his father and brother. And subsides a little, tamping down his excitement and merely nodding. /Yes, that./

"Yeah I thought so too." Shane turns back over, face pressing into the beanbag again. Muffled: "Didn't mean to interrupt your --" He waves one hand around the room. "Creepy-ass forest thing. Hey just checking but you'd be mad if I like. Fed /B/ to fairies right? Hypothetically?"

B's entrance is much quieter than her brother's. She opens the door just enough to slip inside, and is slow about unlacing her chunky sneakers. She lines them neatly by the entrance, tucking Shane's shoes into a straight line there as well. Her gills are fluttering slowly, and though she's come back in time to /hear/ this question of Shane's she doesn't actually comment on it.

Jax sets his knife down, the scene in the living room now actually melting away. The glass fish hanging from the ceiling remain, actually tangible and still casting shimmering lights every which way. "We don't -- uh -- feed -- anybody to fairies in this house," he fumbles, one foot rubbing at the back of the opposite leg as he leans his weight against the counter. "I mean to say..." But here he stops. Looks down at the counter, looks back up at the pups. Rubs his knuckles against his chin. "Something happen with y'all?"

"She could take on an army of fairies," Spence adds. This doesn't have the tone of a defense or admonishment so much as just a statement of fact. "Then you'd just end up with B as the fairy queen." Despite this fanciful prediction, his eyes are darting anxiously between his siblings.

"Yeah, she's fucking two-faced enough to be the queen of Faerie, she'd fit right in." Shane sits up, tucking his legs underneath him and reaching out to pull Obie into the beanbag with him.

B slinks further into the room, leaning against the back of the couch. Her teeth dig down against her lower lip, weight resting heavily on her elbows. Her gills flutter faster, and she looks away from Shane to her father instead. "... I dropped out of school."

"Shane." There's a quiet warning in Jax's tone, his gaze cutting briefly from B's fluttering gills over to Shane. But anything else he was going to say flees with this announcement. He straightens, eye a little wider. "I'm sorry, you what?"

Spence's eyes go big at Shane's words -- then even bigger at B's. He's sat up very straight, gently mouthing the word 'but'.

"Oh-no-no," Shane interjects here, through his teeth, "she's /been/ dropped out of school. B, /when/ did you drop out of school?"

B ducks her head. "I -- about a month ago."

The glitter of lights that have been playing through the glass-fish mobiles swirl faster around the room. Jax's palms press against the edge of the counter, his voice softer and his words slower, lengthened by a marked deepening of his drawl. "I'm sorry, you /what/?"

Spence's silent 'buts' finally find his voice. "But-but where have you been? Are you okay?"

Shane bows his head, at this point. Buries his face against Obie's fur, mooshing into the dog's side with a soft noise caught somewhere between whine and growl.

"I've -- I'm fine. I didn't..." B's claws prickle down into the corduroy upholstering of the couch. Her weight shifts from one foot to the other, her head shaking. "I mean, Peter's still up there, and I just, I didn't move out of our room straight away. I just didn't -- I'm sorry, I know I should have --"

"Told us?" Jax's brows lift, his fingers pressing harder against the counter. The chaotic swirl of lights cease swimming around them. "I can't pretend I know what it was like for you up there, B. And even less so if you don't tell us none of it. I'm sure you had reasons, but -- yeah. You /should/ have talked to us. You should talk to us."

Spence has sunk back down, leaning against the side of the bean bag and running his fingertips over its corduroy cover. His eyes dart back and forth, focusing rapidly each on his siblings and parent.

"/Should/ have," Shane grumbles into Obie's fur, "treated us like /your goddamn family/." His own gills ripple, now; he looks up at B with narrowed eyes. "Like maybe all these years we've been trying to support you and might have still done if you'd talked to us. Do you think we don't know it's hard? Do you think /I/ don't fucking /know/ it's hard?"

B opens her mouth -- closes it again. "I --" Her eyes skip between her brothers -- her father. Her head bows, claws digging in harder against the couch. "... I know. I just. You've all done so much so that I could -- I just. Felt like I was f.. like I was screwing... like..." She shakes her head again. "I'm sorry. I didn't know how to tell you."

Jax looks briefly over to Shane, his jaw tightening but his grip on the counter easing. He exhales hard, standing up straighter. "Well." Another slow breath. "You're talkin' to us now, I guess. What are you thinkin' on doing next?"

Spence leans so hard into the side of the beanbag that it starts to slide a little. "Maybe we shouldn't have been so excited?" His voice is small and uncertain, his shoulders hunched in. "/I/ didn't really do anything /except/ be excited that's probably very stressful when you have other stress, too. Is there a way we can be. Like. Easier to talk to?" His eyes are very wide and very earnest.

"Doesn't matter how easy you are to talk to if she won't fucking talk, Spence. This definitely wasn't on you. None of this was on /you/." Shane pushes himself jerkily to his feet. He throws a brief glance towards the kitchen, shoulders tightening as he heads back for the door, stooping to nab his shoes en route. "M'going out. Sorry we ruined supper."

B lifts her hands, covering her face as Shane heads out. "No -- no. Spence, it wasn't..." Her gills flutter rapidly again. "You all were good. You all were great. I don't know what I'm going to do next. I didn't... I didn't really plan that far. I didn't really plan this much at all. I'll go back to work, I guess. I just couldn't it /there/ anymore. I tried. I swear I tried."

"I know you did, sweetheart." Jax's voice is soft, his posture deflating as Shane gets up to go. "I know." He pulls in a slow breath, teeth clenching hard. "Spence, honey-honey, do you want to give me a hand with the rest of this choppin'? I think we can still try making something of this supper for the rest of us."

Spence blinks hard and fast. Sniffles once, but his cheeks stay dry. "Well. It's their loss." To Jax's request he nods, far more times than is entirely necessary. "Okay. Yeah, n' maybe we can. Bake something? For when Shane gets back." He disappears without waiting for an answer. The kitchen faucet runs for a moment, turns off, runs again. But then Spence reappears on the couch beside B. "I'm sorry it...wasn't good, but..." He doesn't quite meet her eyes, but does bonk his forehead against her skinny shoulder, hard. "Welcome home, anyway." His vanishes into the kitchen again.