1964-06-18 - Homecoming
Summary: Jay comes home to Kai's apartment to find Kai in it.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kai jay 

And just like that, after all this time gone, Kai is there. In his bed, wearing nothing but a slip of a sheet over his backside, and even then only by happenstance. He sleeps on his stomach, arms around a pillow with a monogrammed 'L' on the case. On his bare back is the tattoo of a stylized ash tree, and in the dim street light from the window, one can see a shimmer of silver netting inked into his shoulders, never mind that that sort of tattoo detailing won't be invented for awhile.

|ROLL| Jay +rolls 1d20 for: 20

Kai may very well have been too exhausted to notice when he returned, but someone has obviously been living here while he was gone. Food's been cooked here that Kai may not be entirely familiar with and stocked in the kitchen, there's a small bag dumped in the corner of his bedroom with clothes in it, an unfamiliar toothbrush in the bathroom, the bed has been neatly made though one of the pillows smells unfamiliar, that sort of thing. Most notably: no Kevin waiting for him when he got home.

Not until later in the evening when the front door opens with a click and the sound of the tiny creature's tags jingling in the living room in the shitty little apartment shatter the silence. The gentle 'click-click' of flip flops muted as they're sloughed off and lights are clicked on in the main room. "Ah know, Ah know, buddy. C'mere handsome, let's get that thing off ya…" But Kevin, being the excited idiot that he is, is being unhelpful trying to chase his left leg. Leash off, Jay hangs it up and sighs on his way to the bathroom to flick the shower on and wander into the bedroom, which he had left /without/ an elf in it this morning. He's pretty damn sure. So flicking the bedroom light on and walking to his bag slumped in the corner with a towel flung over one shoulder, brilliant red feathered wings hovering behind him and not a stitch on him otherwise, he's oblivious as he digs a comb out of his bag. Realizing the thing that doesn't belong only as he stands and turns to leave the room again with a tired glance toward the bed.

Doubletake. The shout that comes next is… less than masculine. "THE /FUCK/!? GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!" Only seeing /someone/ in the bed, not precisely /who/ it is. Flight over fight is usually Jay's bag, but the start has left him with his wings half eked away from his lily-white form, trying to make himself look larger.

It's the scent that got Kai's attention. The sheets don't smell like him or Loki. Kai was just too tired to over think it, though. He showered and threw himself in bed with only a passing acquaintance with a towel. As evidenced by just how much elf there is to see.

He's enjoying the first real, dreamless sleep he's had in what feels like ages, and then Jay is fluffing up, trying to look big while yelling. Kai bolts awake and whips around, the sheet now covering the his lap, barely. He responds to the shouting with shouting. "AHHHHHH!" Then he's staring, panting. "Jay?" he calls, half-frantic. "What are you doing here?!"

Shouting with shouting, fear with fear, Kai stands up and Jay's wings go /out/ with a snap, wall to wall in the shitty little apartment with fear reaction. Still not entirely stretched, feathers cram against walls, blocking the exit for the most part—which seems counter intuitive if you think about it considering his request. It takes him a long moment before he realizes that the intruder knows his name. Blink, blink, blink. Finally his eyes kick in over the ringing of his heartbeat in his ears, squinting, confused. "Kai?" Looking at the man in confusion, but adrenaline is still a thing and Jay is left confused and panting hard, stark naked in his friend's bedroom in 'fight' mode with wings on display. Well. With all of him on display. The rest of him just as lily-white and pristine as one would guess. Thank God for conventionally pretty mutations, huh? All lean muscle thanks to mutated DNA that tries to build super dense muscle before it does anything else.

But the young man is too damned confused to think about any of that right now. He straightens up and scoops a hand through his hair twice, squinting at the elf. "Ah…Ah've been stayin' here!" He gestures out toward the doorway he's blocking. "Ah've been stayin' here, waitin' fer you to get back." Still ringing with panic and confusion, he seems as tired as all get out, in honesty, processing everything as quickly as he can. "But…but you're here."

This is what Loki should walk in on, if only he could. Two genetically blessed, unclothed youths in Kai's bedroom, one of which is Kai. The jealous god would surely understand. It's fortunate, at lease for these two, that Loki is a long way from here. Kai's gaze sweeps over Jay, wide-eyed, and he sits slowly on the bed, the sheet an afterthought. Kai's own body is on the pristine side, save for those silver marks across the back of his shoulders and the tattoo on his back.

Kai pushes his blond curls from his face, bleary as he says, "Sorry, I didn't realize." He looks toward the sound of whimpering as a little dog tries and fails to get around Jay's wings. "Is that my dog?" he asks quietly. "I haven't seen him in so long." Tears threaten to fall, and he blinks them back quickly. "How is he? Has he been a good boy?" His voice strains, and he sort of wilts where he sits.

Blinking a couple times, Jay seems to realize that his wings are out and blocking the anxious little creature from getting inside. Slowly, they fold back up to large shadows looming over Jay's shoulders; far larger than one might've guessed considering the compressed state he keeps them in. "Uh, yeah. Kev? C'mon, boy. Yer daddy's home." Jay calls with a little encouragement and a looping whistle. Another glance toward Kai, worry starting to pluck along the edges of his awareness. "Yeah. Ah've been takin' care of him. He's been great. Ah mean…it's Kevin, y'know?" He looks to Kai, then looks around the rest of the empty room. Back to the lone elf. But where's Loki? "You look…sorta like hell, amn. You okay?"

"Thank you," Kai whispers. Then he coos at Kevin and pats the bed, scooping up the little dog when it jumps up. Kev becomes a mass of wriggling and whining and whimpering, not to mention so much face-licking, and tears fall down Kai's cheeks, quickly lapped up by the dog, for whom no situation is an avenue to dignity.

"It's been a rough couple…" He looks around, sniffling. "What's today's date?" Days? Weeks? Years? He has no idea. Jay and Kev haven't aged, so it can't have been too long.

Jay senses Kai's confusion as he trails off and the winged man supplies very quietly. "…weeks." Then quieter still. "You've been gone fer two weeks. Almost exact." Pulling the towel off of one shoulder, he takes a moment to wrap it around his waist for the sake of modesty. "You need your sleep, yer exhausted, but Ah'm just glad yer back." Jay inhales a deep breath, filling up his chest with it, the soft whisper of feathers rubbing together as his wings shiver and fluff up, then relax again. Stupid little tattle tales.

Kai's shoulders slump. Weeks. It's a good thing he'd paid his rent up through August when he got an unexpected windfall (and people assume he's all fluff). His job is no doubt gone and filled by someone more reliable. He sniffles, then laughs, startled, when Kevin licks his nose. He hugs the little dog, and he sighs. Those luminous blue eyes turn to Jay. In the dim light, the silver flecks in them glimmer like moonlight on water. "I'm so tired," he says. "I want you to take care of Kev for me. If anything happens to me, yeah? He's a good boy." He ruffles the dog's ears, and he submits to more face licking, scrunching up his nose.

Jay's been worried, and that much is written all over him. Every square inch. The man does fewer things better than wear his heart on his sleeve, so even when he's trying to hide it, anyone with a drop of empathy can see it. Soft, barefoot steps lead Jay toward the edge of the bed where Kai is perched, reaching out to try to land a hand on the creature's shoulder. A comfort. There's something in physical contact that transcends words when they fail or misunderstand. "Nothin's going t'happen to you, Kai." But he's confused as he peers down at those bottomless, pale eyes. Uncertain. Trying to understand what he isn't seeing, but he's just so damn young. So innocent in the things that Kai understands. Doesn't mean he's not trying to be the stronger one, the encouraging one, recognizing pain and weakness about to crack and trying to hold those pieces together in his hands.

Kai smiles up at Jay, only the expression speaks volumes of tragedy instead of pleasure. He lays a hand over Jay's. "Just in case," he whispers. For what he is, he's painfully young, but there's an aging in his eyes that wasn't there before, the weight of knowledge. "You shouldn't have to leave here just because I'm back in town for a bit," he says with levity that is somewhat forced. "I can sleep on the couch, at least until Loki gets back." He pauses, then asks, "Have you seen him around? Lately?"

Fingers squeeze gently on the shoulder they're resting on, digits spreading apart slightly to try to encourage Kai's fingers to fall in between them. "No, no, it's yer bed," Jay shakes his head gently, looking a little sheepish and apologetic with a bow of his head. "Ah'm sorry. Ah was gonna take the sheets down t'the wash when ya got back…Ah'll take the couch, or just, uh, put pants on and head back t'the dorm…" Exhaling a weary little breath, but he flicks a smile down to Kai anyway.

Until he hears the last bit, and frowns deeply. Confused. "Loki?" BRIGHT red fills Jay's face, spreading crimson fingers down his neck and threaten to claw over his chest. Those forest-green eyes flicker and flutter downward, then off to one side, avoiding his friend for a moment. "Ah thought that's why yer back? He went t'get you."

Kai's brow furrows. "He came to get me?" He pauses, confusion clouding his vision. Something tugs at a half-buried memory, and he sits up taller as his features undergo a fascinating transition from realization, then relief, then fear, then bone-deep dread, and then he bows his head, not quite at acceptance but working on it. There's still uncertainty gumming up the works. "He didn't catch up with me," he says quietly. "We must have missed each other by moments."

The hand on Kai's shoulder picks itself up and leaves its perch while Jay watches his friend run that gamut of emotions, though he doesn't understand any of it. Not really. "So, if he didn't get you…then he's still out there?" Slowly, the mountain of feathers on his back begins to rise up on end, like hairs on ones arm.

Kai's gaze goes to the rising feathers, then to Jay's face. The fact Jay's naked and he himself is wearing a sheet over his lap doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest. There are rather more things going on just now than a cry for modesty. "He must be," he says. Kevin has settled down beside Kai with his head on the elf's lap. Kai gives him an idle pet, which gets a wag. "Loki's smart," he says, "and strong. He'll be fine. Besides, he might be back any moment now. We can always hope."

Jay nods a few times to the reassurance, not seeming entirely concerned about his own modesty or Kai's right now. A lifetime of redneck swimming in ponds and living in a home with a million siblings and one bathroom will do that to you. He looks down toward the ridiculous little dog resting next to his master, lingering nuances of anxiety and concern still linger as light tension around his youthful features, but right now he's mostly just /relieved/. And a hint awkward when a memory tugs at the edges of his tired awareness. Loki.

"Yeah, Ah'm sure yer raght. When he realizes yer back." Jay lifts his eyes back to Kai's, that deep, warm green; grounding. "Ah got a million questions to ask ya, but Ah'm just so glad yer back. Kev's so glad yer back." A slight gesture toward the little dog and his wings shiver again, trembling as they eke away from his back, cupping to gently hold around Jay's shoulders.

Kai looks down at the little dog, and he the presence of man's best friend has proven soothing. Kevin has an important job: dozing while Kai idly strokes one of his soft ears. "You're a good boy," he murmurs to the animal. "Maybe in the morning," he says. "But if the bed is easier for you with your wings, please take it. I've passed out on the couch so many times without even making it to bed, and Loki got that new one before…" Before everything turned to total madness.

"No, it's okay, really." Jay murmurs, lifting a hand up gently in refusal, glancing away as color finally fades out of his face. The pads of his feet drag on the carpet as he takes a couple steps backwards. "You need yer bed, tonight. You need some good sleep in yer own bed." Repeating himself a little bit, Jay shifts his weight from foot to foot and spots his bag once more in the corner of the room. Looking for something to do with himself, long strides carry him in that direction, reaching down to snag a pair of what seem to be pajama shorts. "It's okay. These things are sorta like carryin' around mah own blanket."

Kai sniffles once, then nods and lies down, causing Kevin to stir, but then the little dog settles down, cleaved to Kai's side. Someone may have been missed. Kai wraps his arms around the 'L' pillow, and he admits, "I miss him so much. It's like having a lung removed, and you keep breathing but you never quite seem to get enough air." He pulls a blanket up and over himself, careful not to bury Kevin. "You've been a good friend, Jay. I'm glad to see you again."

Jay nods a couple times, walking toward the door to quickly separate himself from that situation, there's something that holds on to his feet like a pair of lead weights when he reaches the door. One hand lingering on the doorframe.


The light goes out, letting darkness fall back into the small space, the dim glow from the street lights invading Kai and Kevin's solace. Jay inhales a deep breath, his voice quiet and soft, like gray ash landing thick and pillowy on the ground. "Ah understand what yer sayin'. What yer feelin'. Lahke…yer lost. Lahke in those dreams when y'can't open yer eyes enough t'understand what's happenin' around you, but everythin' keeps movin' anyway and yer just…lost an' different an' alone."

Whispering into the darkness from the doorway, Jay's silhouette strange with his wings hovering around him, head bowed, talking to the latch on the door. "Everythin' hurts. Lahke yer skin is an open wound. Ah…know Ah'm not smart. Ah don't understand a lot of things, especially here. Ah don't understand what happened t'you, or where you were, or…anythin'. Ah don't understand anythin'. An' Ah'm sorry this is happenin' to you." Jay swallows around the tension in his throat, making his voice a little tight around the edges, honing them. "Ah don't understand a lot of things, but Ah know what you're sayin', an' Ah know yer my friend." Jay hesitates, and murmurs, the words barely falling past his lips to be heard. "An' Ah know he loves you…"

Slipping away from the doorway silently, Jay goes to turn off the cold-running shower and then takes up a post in the living room. He won't sleep as much as he'll doze there, quietly. Making sure nothing happens.

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