1964-06-19 - Socializing in the Center
Summary: Daire and Jay meet, then Josh joins them for social time in the Community Center.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jay daire josh 

Daire helps out most nights at the community center. He helps unload trucks that come in with deliveries — donations, supplies for the soup kitchen, for the clinic, etc. When there aren't any trucks, he does odd jobs here and there, whatever he can to contribute. For the moment, though, it seems that he's taking a break. In one of the smaller rooms where there are some easels and art supplies set up, one can hear the sounds of an acoustic guitar playing, some simple melody, nothing fancy.

Jay is no stranger around the community center since he moved to town about a month and a half ago. A volunteer, though he tends to be rather quiet and stays to himself most of the time, not bothering folks or getting involved with interpersonal drama. With no small amount of regularity does he spend breaks in the small room that passes for the 'clinic', but meandering in that direction this afternoon, his ears lead him astray and the soft 'click-clack' of his flip flops fall subconsciously in time with the song he hears noodling out from the small room Daire's in. Curiously, he pokes his head in, not wanting to intrude immediately.

Daire sits over by one of the windows, his feet propped up on the windowsill with the guitar in his lap. He shifts over from one song to another kind of idly, lost in his own thoughts. He's got on a pair of comfortable jeans and a plain grey t-shirt, a sweatshirt with a hood tossed over a nearby chair. Noticing the movement near the doorway out of the corner of his eyes, he continues to strum, but glances up and over in that direction, unnaturally green eyes taking in the figure there and offering a little bit of a smile.

Following the sound of the music like a child following the pied piper, Jay slides more entirely into the space of the doorway when he realizes that there isn't some community class going on in the room that he'd be interrupting. The red-headed young man holds his silence for whatever song Daire's playing, one fair hand on the doorframe while he listens, a slight tilt of his head to one side interplaying with the quiet curve to his mouth to give him an overall pensive look about him while Jay watches Daire's fingers on the strings. Appreciating the bit of musical interlude to the day.

Eventually the song comes to an end and Daire lifts a hand to wave at Jay from where he sits. "Hey," he says in greeting. "You can come in if you want. There's a few seats not taken." There are no seats taken, to be precise. "Just taking a bit of a break for a bit." He pulls his feet down off of the windowsill and lets them fall to the floor with a thud as he turns a bit.

The song ends and on cue, Jay claps a couple of times, then slips his hands into his pockets, leaning a shoulder casually up against the doorframe as he curves a pleasantly polite smile in Daire's direction. "Hey," his voice sways hard with a southern lean, audible even in that single syllable. The express welcome has Jay dipping his chin forward slightly, hiding the broad flash of a grin garnered by Daire's joke. Arching an eyebrow in return with a glance around the room. "Are y'sure? Seems kinda crowded. Ah think Ah left my ticket at home."

Still, he shoves off the doorframe with his shoulder and strides into the small space Daire's claimed as his concert hall. The soft clicking of his thong flip-flops hitting his heels, Jay's feet lead him right up to the musician to offer a hand and an easy, muted smile. "Jay."

Daire makes a little bit of a chair bow, dipping over the guitar in answer to the clapping, grinning a little bit in amusement which allows a glimpse of those sharp fangs briefly, before they're concealed once more. His own accent is Upstate New York, which ends up being fairly neutral and washed out, not having the emphasis of the city. He glances over at the empty room and says, "I'm pretty sure we can squeeze you in as long as you don't mind sitting in the nosebleed seats." When Jay comes over, he takes the offered hand and gives it a firm but friendly shake, then says, "Daire, nice to meet ya. How's it going?"

"Nosebleed is where Ah fit best. So long as Ah can hear the music, Ah'm stellar," Jay carries the joke onward as his hand is given a shake. Returning it with a sincere, secure grip of his own. "Lahkewise, Daire. (Dah-r, as Jay's accent butchers). Not so bad." A couple steps back and a pivot away, it becomes apparent that the young music-appreciator has something weird going on on his back, though otherwise has the gift of seeming rather normal. A splay of large crimson hued feathers hanging out of the back of his long-sleeved overshirt, compressed to two twin tails that hide behind his legs for the most part.

Jay snags a nearby chair by the back and spins it around, stepping over to straddle over the back while he talks with Daire, arms folded together across the back. "Yer not so bad with that thing. Y'play much?"

Daire watches as Jay moves away, noting the feathers and there's a little bit of a curious lift to his eyebrow for a moment. There's no hiding the curved horns on top of his head that poke out from beneath the tousled black hair that falls into his eyes from time to time. Well, there is hiding them — that's what that hoodie is for, presumably, but within the center he's taken to not wearing it anymore, for whatever reason. Either way, he doesn't stare, just makes a note and then looks back up once Jay's settled himself comfortably. "Yeah," he grins. "I've been playing for the past three or four years, actually. Started out as something to just.. soothe the soul, I guess. Discovered I had a bit of a talent for it."

"Ah'd say so, if you've been going on for three or four years," Jay remarks smoothly as he settles in. Sure, his far more naturally colored green eyes follow the curvature of those horns for a moment, but the glance doesn't linger, even if his smile does eke upward a titch. "Y'moved between pieces real smooth, that was nahce. Had t'find peace somewhere, so you picked up the guitar?" Gentle smalltalk, but his interest is genuine, easily holding Daire's gaze, utterly guileless. "She's good fer that. You got a favorite song?"

"Some friends suggested it. Said I needed to find something that'd help me focus, but meditation wasn't really doin' it. Music turned out to be the thing," Daire says, idly strumming a little bit, nothing in particular though, just plucking out a few notes. "Some people run, some meditate, I play the guitar." He studies the strings for a few moments and then begins to strum and sing along. His voice isn't half bad. He won't be winning awards or bringing down the house, but it's got a quiet smooth quality to it. https://youtu.be/GXjn_z4UrxI

"Meditation wasn't somethin' Ah could get behind," Jay admits in agreement, his attention falling back to the strings while Daire noodles his fingers idly along them. "Someone told me that music's got a relation t'math because of it's structure. It's bones. But a good musician knows how t'/feel/ it, too. Gives ya structure an' freedom at the same time." Peaceful idly thoughts on musical theory.

Daire begins playing again the first notes making the pale young man smile, his gaze lifting to Daire's for a long moment of transpired warmth. Red lashes lower along with a dip of his chin, bowing his head to listen. Serene. Jay's fingers move slightly, braced against the back of the chair, barely twitching against the worn down metal on the seat. The lump beneath Jay's overshirt expands slightly, slicking back down a moment later. By the second verse, Jay takes a breath and very softly sings the harmony to Daire's lead, following along handily with a warming smile written into the young man's expression. The music is simple with just a guitar, but Jay's appreciation is genuine.

"Music you can't feel doesn't have any soul," Daire says with a little shake of his head. "If you can't feel something in it, you're kind of missing the point." He then settles into the song. Jay'd asked if he had a favorite song. That was it. He looks over toward Jay and smiles a bit, watching the twitch of his fingers. When the harmony gets picked up and Jay starts to sing along with him, that grin only broadens. Just the sound of the guitar and two voices come from the room, quietly carrying the melody through the halls that are, for the most part, empty, stirring and banishing the silence there. One or two people walking past the doors on their way here or there pause for a moment or two to listen to the music before continuing on their way, perhaps with a little bit of a sway in their step, or finding themselves humming later. When the song eventually drifts to an end, Daire is quiet for a moment or two before he asks, "You play?" He nods to where Jay's fingers were moving on the back of the chair.

Jay keeps his eyes closed and head slightly bowed throughout the song, his voice clear and following Daire's lead easily with no urge to overpower his voice, the young man's smile serene and warm as it comes to a close. The final lingering notes are left alone to resonate peacefully before Jay inhales a deep, clearing breath and lifts his attention back to the other man, holding on to notes of that warmth. That smile turns a touch abashed, Jay nods, a whisper of friction as feathers rub together around him, trembling down his back. "Ah do. But Ah appreciate hearin' others at it. Simon an' Garfunkel. Cool. Ya do well with that one, some folks struggle with keepin' things smooth an' intricate. Ah'm impressed."

Daire grins a little lopsidedly and gives his shoulders a slight shrug. "That one kind of resonates with me on a number of different levels," he admits. "I've practiced it a lot." He pushes a few strands of hair back out of his eyes and then adjusts the guitar a bit, though he doesn't play again for the moment. Instead he asks, "What do you play? You sing well. Not everyone can just pick up a harmony mid song like that."

"Does it?" Jay perks up and refolds his arms comfortably around the back of his chair, leaning forward comfortably, his interest genuine. "What do you lahke about it? Ah lahke hearin' from folks what resonates with 'em. You love that song. Ah can hear it." His smile brightens for a flashing moment, rising and falling with a spike of modesty with another glance downward. "Thank y'kindly, man. Ah used t'have a band back home, so…practice, I spose. Ah can play bass, drums, piano, banjo, but mah first love was the guitar." Those warm forest-green eyes lift back up to meet their more brilliantly unnatural counterparts. "S'why you caught mah ear. You sound good."

Daire is quiet for a few minutes and then he kicks his feet back up on the windowsill, leaning back a bit and tapping fingertips on the surface of the guitar, making a hollow sound. "I was kinda fucked up for a while, when all of this," he gestures a bit in his general horn-to-fang area, "really started coming out, when I couldn't control it and stuff would just happen. I was kind of out of control for a while." He takes a breath and then lets it out slowly, "I only really felt at home in the dark, on the streets, alone. I held a lot of stuff in. I let the fear of what I was, who I was, what I feared becoming.. silence me. I had so much anger, and fear inside me, and I encountered a lot of it in return. Got in a lot of fights. Music helped. Friends helped. I found my ''voice'', I guess, in the music. Started talking about things. Started figuring out who I was, and that it was okay to be who I am, what I am." He looks over at Jay then and grins a little lopsidedly. "And the song reminds me of what it's like to be a Mutant, and all the rallies and everything, Mutants needing equality, rights, to be treated like people. You can't help anyone if you stay silent, if you don't reach out. It's easy to be silent, you know? Just let things happen, not be a part of it. I didn't want to do that. So I started helping out here. Started helping out people on the street." He then grins a little, "I still like the night and the darkness better, where folks can't see me. I got used to being okay with me, but I'm still.. a little.." he hand-wobbles a bit, "about others seeing me." Then he chuckles, "Shit, I'm rambling like hell. Sorry."

Rambling or not, Jay is utterly silent while he listens, his head slightly tilted to one side and no inclination to stop Daire in the middle of his story. Jay's gaze flickers upward as Daire's fingers flick toward his horns and fangs, a small smile of understanding touching his lips. It's a familiar story, though every one is a little different. Every mutant can relate to some degree, even if they didn't fall very far, especially here in Mutant Town.

He laughs softly, lifting his fingers a bit when Daire apologizes. "Yer not ramblin'. Ah asked you a question. People's stories are important things, like you said, it's easy to be silent." Jay hazards a gentle grin. "People talking without speaking, People hearing without listening, People writing songs that voices never share, And no one dared disturb the sound of silence." Jay recites those lines, nodding a few more times. "Ah can dig it." His eyes smile, turning into crescents of warm earthy green. "Ah think a lot of us feel better not bein' seen." He shrugs and juts his chin behind himself toward the large looming things over his shoulder, covered up by his denim shirt. "Ah've only taken this shirt off twice in public since Ah moved here. Mutant Town, over with friends, doesn't matter. Ah keep this thing on, even if Ah'm still pretty damn obvious. Can Ah ask how long since you changed?"

Daire grins a little in return when Jay brings up the lyrics again, nodding his head, "Yeah, that." He says, "I promised myself that I was going to try harder to just.. let people see me. I know who I am, now. I know what's in my heart. If people look at me and see something they don't like, then that reflects more on them and their unwillingness to get to know me than it does on me. But that's something of a recent development. Hell, up until a couple of weeks ago I was still slouching around even in here, covering myself up." He admits it with a slight rise and fall of his shoulders. "We've all got growing to do." Then he glances over Jay's shoulders and he grins a little bit. "I've got wings," he tells him, then. "Not.. right now, but .. when I do the whole change.. or even partial. Mine are like a bat's though." At the question he says, "Well, the eyes went when I was around thirteen.. and then through puberty, fuck, I'd sprout claws and fangs pretty much every time I'd get pissed off.. but I got that under control enough to get through highschool and college. Unfortunately, it didn't stop there, and as I developed more.. I lost control more, and some things, the fangs, the horns, they started to grow and eventually by the time I was in my second year of college they were permanent. That's when things got real messy. I'm told it'll probably keep happening, or it could stop if I don't keep growing into it. Guess we'll see."

The explanation of that promise that he's made himself, and how Daire's coped and fallen and pulled himself up makes Jay smile while he listens, nodding mildly between. "Ah know what you mean. More 'n' more Ah been hearin' folks who feel… /ugly/ or alien in their own bodies. They're all in the same boat. Everyone's so busy feelin' like they're gonn assault someone's senses, they don't seem t'notice that we're all raght there. Ah feel like a damn hypocrit tryin' to bolster folks when Ah'm slinkin' around covered up, but," Jay shrugs gently. "Just not there, yet." Though he seems comfortable here for the moment, talking with Daire, entirely normal and bright eyed with his fellow musician.

The mention that he has wings that appear and disappear makes Jay perk up a little, his spine straightening a bit and eyes brightening, then widening when he describes them as batlike, brows lifting upwards in surprise. "Lahke a bat? Dang…so, you get the whole nine. Fangs, claws, horns, wings…" Jay tilts his head slightly, peering around the other man, quickly catching himself to correct himself. "D'ya got a tail?"

"You gotta do what you're comfortable with, and come around to it. I try to help, you know? Make others feel comfortable, with themselves, but in the end you can't force it. You can try and open a window and let a little light in. But honestly, everybody's got to pick themselves up and take a look through it," Daire says with a small nod, lost a little in thought for a few moments. "You just hope that eventually the light'll get through." There's a small shake of his head and then he comes out of whatever thought he got caught up in. Looking back over to Jay he nods, "Yeah, leathery instead of feathery." Then he mirks just a little bit and nods, "Yeah, I got a tail too."

"Sorry, Ah'm being rude as hell," Jay scoops a hand up through his hair, scattering his hair to frame his face as it falls back into place, hints of color spreading out from his ears and into his cheeks. "That's boss, though. Ah gotta admit, Ah'm envious that you don't got yer wings all the time. They ain't exactly discreet." The hump on Jay's back expands slightly, straining against denim, testing the seams of his shirt. "Ah've got another friend who can do that. Hers get outa control when she gets emotional as well. An' a friend who'd be damned jealous of yer horns." Jay's eyes flit upwards, following the curvature of Daire's horns nestled away in his hair. "They suit ya. Ah mean, Ah just metcha, but…suit you." Dropping his attention back to the musician he's interrupted with a light smile. "We're all jus' lookin' fer the light at the end of the tunnel. Just gotta keep pushin' forward until you find it. Not give up, even when things seem dark." Pale fingers rub against the back of the chair he straddles over, there seems to be a thoughtful moment somewhere there as well as things fall quiet for a couple beats. "It's…real cheesy, but you wanna hear th' song that helps me out?"

Daire shakes his head and says, "Nah, not at all." He doesn't seem to mind at all, actually seeming pretty relaxed and at ease as he talks to Jay. "They hurt like a sonofabitch when they come out though," he says, "It isn't all fairy dust and sprinkles. It's bone tearing through flesh and all that. Fortunately it seals itself up alright, just a bit sore and tender after the fact." He nods then when he mentions knowing someone else whose wings get all outta control. It makes him grin a little, "Well at least I'm not alone in that." He reaches up and rubs a little bit at the base of one black horn. They curve upward and then back, dipping a little before curving upward again, spiraling a little bit, and black, glossy. "First time I've heard of anyone bein' jealous of the horns though." That's definitely a new one for him. Then he grins over at Jay and says, "Yeah. I'd like that." He holds out the guitar then, entrusting it to the other musician with a smile. "You can play it if you like."

"Jesus…" Jay blasphemes under his breath as Daire explains how his mutation takes shape, an empathetic cringe flickering over his malleable features. "It's funny how many similarities y'can find with folks when y'start askin' around."

Jay's attention lifts when Daire reaches up to touch his horns, following the path his fingers take with a softer curve to his smile. Blinking as the guitar's handed in his direction. "You sure? Ah wouldn't dream of touchin' a man's guitar any more than Ah'd touch yer lady." Though if Daire's certain, Jay smiles leans back, then gets to his feet so that the instrument isn't blocked by the back of his chair. His fingers idly play along the frets for a bit, getting accustomed to it and those small differences, explaining as he goes, "Ah've a friend who's part saytr. Ah guess that horns're supposed to be significant but he ain't got 'em. He'd be /green/." Jay's brows lift gently, smiling sheepishly. "Y'ready?"

"You get used to it," Daire admits with a faint grin. He nods then and says, "Yeah.. I'm starting to figure that out." But then he is handing over the guitar and he says, "No lady. Just the guitar. So you be even more careful with it," he says with a mock-warning, and a little smirk that shows that he's not too terribly serious. He's certain. He rocks back in his chair, folding his arms in front of him and relaxing back to listen to Jay play. He chuckles a little then at the mention of the satyr and says, "Yeah, I guess I could see that." When Jay asks if he's ready, he nods and falls silent, giving the man his full attention as he gets ready to play.

Josh hasn't been in the Center today, having spent most of the day at the Institute, but he got a call that someone needed help. Its not long before he's there and in the clinic, and a man is there pale from blood loss. He got stabbed, see. Its not a big commotion or anything, so no reason anyone else in the center would be aware of it — the person manning the clinic knew first aid and how to get things stabalized. So, the healer is in, lays golden hands, and within a minute everything is back to normal. He's off for coffee, and on the way back he happens to hear music, so he goes to investigate. A golden guy peeks his head into the back room.

In one of the small side rooms used for any number of things (though currently seem full of spread out markers on chipped and held together tables), music has been emanating quietly. The accoustic guitar naturally /calls/ to Jay like a moth to a flame, unsurprisingly the red-headed young man is there, standing in front of Daire with a guitar in hand, one foot lifted onto a backwards chair he formerly occupied.

A couple of experimental strums, Jay chuckles softly, a whisper of sound. "Ah'll be extra careful with 'er, then." A deep breath and smooth roll of his shoulders backwards, the red-headed musician launches into a much more upbeat rhythm than Daire had offered in exchange. Toe tapping on the chair, Jay bows his head for a few bars os instrumental, quick strumming before he breaks into the lyrics. The voice that comes out of the young man's mouth is /not his/. It's absolutely a feminine voice, though it's no crazy high soprano, a low and earthy alto, but still feminine. Only for the first couple lyrics, then his voice splits and Jay sings a duet with himself, harmonizing in ways no ordinary human can, weaving in and out throughout the song. Getting into it with a little bit of sway as he works his fingers on the frets quickly, Jay's wings eke out slowly, but by the end of the song his shirt has climbed up his back from the strain of those large extra limbs trying to spread out from under their cloth sheath.


Daire grins a little bit when Jay promises to be extra careful with the guitar and gives him a thumbs-up. But then he falls quiet to listen, grinning a little more broadly at the upbeat tempo of the music, Jay's selection being a little bit faster paced than his own. But he finds his head bobbing along until the voice that comes out of Jay's mouth isn't his. Those eerie green eyes widen and he blinks a bit, then says, "Holy shit, that's cool…" and he laughs a little, then realizes he's interrupting and clears his throat, color touching his ears briefly before he's quiet, just watching and listening. Just as Jay did, he joins in, singing toward the end, finding a third voice to harmonize with Jay's duet. Once again, his voice has that smooth quiet quality to it as he sings, maybe better suited for mellow songs, but he manages to keep the upbeat tempo toward the end. And when the song finishes, he gives Jay a round of applause. It's only then that he notices the head peeking around the doorway and he grins, "Heya."

Josh stares at Jay with golden eyebrows that try very hard to climb up and claim king of the hill over his head: is he — what the heck? He does not attempt to join in. Josh singing is… painful. He is completely tone deaf, as at least one of the pair likely knows. But he looks between the two of them, a little startled to see the pair here at once, "Daire… Jay… uh, hey." Blink. He sips his coffee after a quick yawn, and then adds, "That… was beautiful. Amazing, guys. Jay I didn't know you could do — whatever it is you do with your voice there, man."

When Daire compliments his voice out of the gate, Jay grins widely, head still bowed and trying not to laugh, he presses through, glancing up through his hair at his small audience with humor resonating as strong through him as sound does through the instrument. Nodding encouragingly when Daire joins in on the upbeat tune, Pauling it up to Jay's Peter and Mary, they have their own little jam session. Whispers of chuckles emanate quickly from Jay by the end, he holds a pale hand out low toward Daire for a low-five of self-congratulations for a job well done. "That was boss. We gotta jam t'gether some tahm."

Looking behind himself when Daire addresses the doorway, Jay very quickly slicks his wings down once more when he realizes how wide his mantle has gotten, his face flooding with color when he realizes who's there. "Hey, Josh." He swallows and dips his head slightly, still nearly glowing with the feeling of that music humming through him. "Thanks. We never really…talked about what Ah can do past, well you know." A quiet smile still written on his expression. "It's, uh, part of mah primary mutation. Screwed up mah vocal chords so now Ah can…split m'voice? Ah don't know the science of it. But I can well mimic just about anythin'. Harmonize with m'self." He shrugs gently and turns back to Daire. Rubbing the edge of his shirt on the fret bar quickly for some weird reason, he hands the guitar back carefully. "Thanks."

Daire gives Jay the lo-five and says, "Definitely. That's gotta be a thing," agreeing on future jam sessions, clearly thinking his is a good idea. He reaches out to take the guitar back when Jay hands it over and drops it back into his lap, strumming a little bit idly, quietly though, so as not to interrupt the conversation. "It's pretty damn cool," he says again, this time not interrupting the song. Then he glances back over toward Josh and asks, "How're you doing?" The tune that he strums out is Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver, but he doesn't sing, that would kind of hamper the conversation. His foot taps a little though as he does.

Josh gives a long look to Jay's wings: for all their heart to hearts, he hadn't ever actually *seen* more then a bottom feather of those wings, and so he looks a bit awed by the sight. He has to blink, and laugh softly, "I'd ask what the heck splitting your voice has to do with having an avian physiology, but hey, as far as I can tell there's no reason the black and gold have anything to do with healing, either. Evolution is crazy sometimes. Oh, hey, you're a songbird." He suddenly gets it and grins, looking curiously between the pair of them. He nods to the guitar, "If you guys wanna jam now, don't let me stop you. I can leave you be if you don't want an audience. Daire's always been talented." He pauses, and nods an aside to Jay, "Daire here was my dormmate in college. Before anyone knew I was a mutant. Small world." But he adds with a nod to Daire, "Good. Relaxed. You both good? Anyone need anything?"

Jay shrugs his shoulders backward when he notices Josh's gaze lingering on the eked up edges of his denim shirt, fitting rather awkwardly on him with that skewed angle. Reaching back to faintly tug at the edge of his shirt with an embarassed smile at his friend. "Bert says that birds and harpies got weird vocal cords so they can make more than one sound atta time. Though, uh, Ah'm prettier than a harpy? Ah guess? Ah've never seen one." He shrugs and shakes his head helplessly. Color /rushing/ to his face with a breathy chuckle to follow when Josh calls him a songbird. "Oh man. Clearly, Ah picked the wrong name. /That's/ real masculine, huh?"

Scrubbing a hand over the back of his head, there's a crooked smile back toward Daire. "Oh yeah? College? You mentioned y'went, Ah didn't realize you were Josh's roommate. You got any good embarrassin' stories?"

Shifting back toward Josh, he straddles over the back of his chair again, folding his arms along the back comfortably. "Y'don't have to leave, though…you look kinda tired. It's a little late fer ya isn't it?"

"Nothin' wrong with being a songbird," Daire says as he continues to strum a little bit, shifting tunes over to another Peter, Paul, and Mary tune. "And if we're going between bird and harpy here, I'm going to vote for bird." He grins a little over at Jay, "Could call you Blue Jay, but you're red. Cardinal?" There's a little sparkle of amusement in his eyes, but then he's looking back down at the guitar, watching his fingers as he strums. He shakes his head and says, "What happens in college stays in college," lips twisted at the edges a little wryly. He glances over toward Josh then and says, "You're always welcome. I happen to like your company."

At the name thing, Josh grins and laughs warmly, shrugging his shoulders, "As far as I'm aware songbird is gender-neutral." He winks, then speaks to his tiredness: "Benny O'Toole got mugged and stabbed. The uh, let's call them my nurses knew enough to stabalize him but he's… not the sort you take to a hospital. So they called me and I came down to healing. He lost a lot of blood. To replace lost blood… is actually one of he harder things to do. Its not that blood is complicated: its that I have to pour a lot of energy into the bone marrow and set it going on hyperspeed, and there's a limit to how much *material* there is to *make* blood out of. Its exhausting. I'll be fine after my coffee." Josh lifts his coffee up with a quick grin, but heads over to plop down in a chair. "I like Cardinal." he agrees, and flashes a grin and a nod for Daire about college stories, though he never looked for a moment worried. Either he was a perfect angel, has no shame, or trusts Daire's confidence — pick one. "Aww, feelings mutual, Dai." And he sips more coffee.

The shift of song couldn't come quick enough for poor Jay's heart strings while he watches Daire's fingers over the strings, as if he'd found some magical resonance to the center of the young flier's soul. He sniffs swiftly and plays it off with a quick touch of a smile. "Name like 'Songbird' an' mah brother would kick the shit outta me," Jay remarks with a soft laugh and shake of his head. Groaning over at Daire when he takes the obvious route, eyes full of warm mirth, like broad leaves under the summer sun. "That make you Batty, Daire?" He flashes a wink in the other man's direction. "See if y'stay mute after a couple drinks some day."

Inhaling a deep breath which sends a ripple all the way down his covered wings, the long tails of those primary and secondary feathers shivering and whispering behind him as they brush the floor. Frowning at the news on Benny, Jay dips his head and slumps forward casually, scooting his butt back on the seat to rest his chin on his folded arms. "Ah'm hearin' more muggin's lately. They caught me about a month back. Rose scared 'em off but had a busted up bottle knahfe an' the whole ten." Jay blows out a breath and smiles softly over to Josh, clearly distracted a bit. "Ah got a name, Elixir. But if Ah feel like changin' it, Ah'll be sure to consult you both on it. Lady Ah met last week was bound an' determined t'rename me, too." Smirk.

Daire smirks just a little bit at Jay and says, "Cassiel. But you can call me Batty if you like." He doesn't seem to take offense. "Though I'm calling you Songbird if you do," he warns with a flicker of a grin in Jay's direction, shaking his head just a little bit. He raises an eyebrow and asks, "Is that a challenge?" He looks over at Josh and says, "That sounded like a challenge." The mood grows a little more serious though and the guitar quiets as they talk about Benny. "Glad to hear that he's doing alright now," but it's Josh that he's looking at with that flicker of concern, before he grins over at Jay. "Hey, it's all in good fun. Your name is your own, though."

"Man." Josh says to Jay with a soft laugh, "Believe me, I was the key to every party and kegger that was within miles of the university: every one. Do not think I dragged Dai here along to be a safe ride home. My goals were far more altruistic: to get him laid and loosen him up to enjoy life. But, I know exactly how he handles his alcohol: those were not sober times, man." He grins, and nods in agreement to Daire, "I think that was a challenge, I do indeed." But his eyes become serious, and he nods to Daire, and makes a vague 'its nothing' gesture at the look of concern. He's fine. He offers a smile for Jay, "Just teasing you, man. Your name is your own to pick. The songbird thing is less a codename and me just suddenly going, oh! I see the connection between what first baffled me as two traits in a mutation that seemed unrelated. I find most mutations — not all but most — are related. At least, primary ones. I… still haven't figured out how to read what a mutant will be, though I can activate it if its dormant. Didn't mean to offend or imply you were unmasculine, man."

Surprise very clearly colors Jay's face as recognition makes him immediately murmur, "Angel of Solitude?" Something else slowly sinking in with a gentle smile as Jay pulls on that thread of memory what he knows regarding the Archangel. There's a sentimentality to the young man's expression while he regards the fellow with the horns, though he says nothing immediately regarding the internal file he pulls up on the figure.

Instead Jay blinks and glances down to the guitar with a whisper of a laugh. "M'momma calls me 'Jaybird', unless Ah'm in trouble, then Ah get the first-middle treatment. But she called me that b'fore these things." Thumbing back at the ever-present shadows over his shoulders. Lifting his gaze back up to Daire, he states, mildly. "Icarus." By way of short introduction."An' that is absolutely a challenge."

Jay's attention swimming between the two men with a history, stilling on Josh. "Ah was pickin' on you, Josh. Ah'm startin' to think Ah need ya t'do a couple keg stands before you stop bein' so serious." His smile is serene once more, resting the side of his face against folded arms. "Yep. Mutie doc tells me Ah'm a near carbon copy of some other guy he's seen, but the voice thing confused him, too."

Daire looks over at Jay, studying him for a moment or two when he recognizes the name, and there's the slightest dip of his head, but nothing verbal beyond that. "Yeah, I remember getting that a lot when I was a kid. If you got to all three names you were in for some shit." He chuckles just a little bit, not seeming too concerned though. He either didn't get into too much shit, or he got into enough that he'd gotten used to it. There's a dip of his head when Jay introduces himself. "A challenge it is, then," he acknowledges. Then he looks over toward Josh and nods in agreement, "He tried so very hard. He did take me to a whole lot of keggers and parties. Those were not, indeed, sober times." He chuckles just a bit at the memory. It seems to remind him of something, and he gets up, walking over to the guitar case and he takes a manilla envelope that is sealed out of it and he brings it over to Josh, handing it to him. "Open it later. I wasn't thinking you'd be by the clinic tonight but.. since you're here."

Mention of family has Josh just … looking away, his golden face hardening a little bit. But he breathes, and drinks back his coffe, and nods, "Icarus." Pause, "Wait, that's the kid who flew too hide and fell to his death? And you're concerned with masculinity?" He can't help but laugh, though he clearly means no offense by it. He nods to Jay, "I'm too serious." he admits freely, "Dai said as much yesterday. It's true. The funny thing is I didn't used to be anything like it. Before Bucky killed me? I think I was less. At least, when I wasn't gold. I'm still trying to get used to this as I've told you both. Being super boring and serious is best-case for me right now, but believe me, I encourage you both to try to knock my head back and get me out of the mood." He nods his head to Daire's memory, grinning, "Those were the days." A wistfulness touches his features: when he was 'the golden boy' only figuratively, the most popular guy on campus, the ace student, the athlete. Half the campus loved him and half the campus hated him but pretended not to be. But, he blinks out of the reverie by taking the folder and giving DAire a curious look, tugging it open to pull it out and look at what is inside, "Yeah I was not planning, but emergency—"

Jay exchanges looks with Daire over the name, but he doesn't say more on the subject for now before levity is reintroduced to the conversation, whispering a soft chuckle, little more than a shake of his shoulders and little sound. Though, the manilla envelope gets a curious look. He doesn't pry, however, actually averting his attention back towards Daire to try to rid himself of the temptation when Josh /opens it right there/. "We know, Josh. Ah got a feelin' yer in good hands with Daire 'round. He seems cool."

Daire smirks as he says open it later and Josh goes right ahead and opens the envelope anyway. There are what appear to be a few black and white photographs inside. "Now is not later," he mutters as Josh goes rooting around in the envelope. He wanders back over to the guitar case and sets it down inside then, carefully wiping it down with a cloth contained within, and then shutting the case, setting it up onto its side. He grins over at Jay and says, "Oh, I have no intention of letting him be glum. Not if I can help it." Then he says, "So.. we gotta jam again.. and we gotta find something for Josh to play. What do you think? Cowbell?" He flashes a broad and sharp grin.

What is all this later talk? Josh knows one for years, one less, but sees no reason to be cagey or not just trust either of them. Then again, its not that he shows the pictures around, either. But he looks at them. Absently as he looks at the first picture he remarks, "Glum, bad. Josh, triangle, good." And he flips to the seocnd. His brow furrows, "Yeah Dai is cool, Jay. He's one of us. Trust me on anything at all ever, its that Daire here, is one of us. Also, vice-versa, Daire. Jay and I don't see eye to eye on some things— but I don't be begrudge him his beliefs— but no matter that, I'd trust my life in his hands, too." he agrees, then flips through the last two, and back again, and forward again, as if comparing those last two. He slips the pictures back into the folder and looks at Daire, and his head tilts, "I don't understand."

Trying hard not to peek over at Josh, Jay rests his head on his arms to turn the other way, tracking Daire with his eyes as he puts the guitar back in its case. He smiles, smooth and easy. "Ah got a tambourine Ah brought with me. Can ya tamber, Josh?" His gentle smile expands until it splits into a serene grin, then fades back once more like the pull of the tides; a single dimple appears briefly, low on his left cheek. There's a gentle shrug of one shoulder, he explains mildly to Daire. "Ah got some problems, uh…reconsilin' some things Ah'm seein' round here fer the first time. Josh thinks Ah'm willfully bein' a hypocrite jerk. Ah think he's bein' unempathetic. But, Ah got his back. No matter what."

To Josh's confusion, Jay sits up finally and dares to glance his way.

"Triangle sounds good," Daire says with a little bit of a chuckle, and he shakes his head a bit, pulling himself up once more. He grabs the guitar case and looks between Josh and Jay, nodding his head. "Not that I didn't already come to the conclusion that you were good people, but if Josh thinks you're good people — then I definitely can't argue that." He looks over at Josh as he looks at the pictures and then slips them away. He considers the response for a moment and then he nods. He moves then toward the door, giving Josh's shoulder a squeeze in passing. "It's alright." Then he lifts his hand and waves to Jay, "It was great to meet you, man. I'm gonna head back and crash, though. I gotta swing by the store and grab a couple of things on the way home before it closes." To Jay, he says, "We all struggle a little sometimes, sorting out things we're not used to. Whatever they are, I'm sure you'll figure it out." He then moves to duck out.

"I have rhythm— I can dance, I can absolutely dance." says Josh with the simple confidnece of someone who goes out dancing regularly— which he hasn't done for years. But that was college. "So a tambourine, sure. Its my voice that is an alien. I can't hold or match a tune. At all." He eyes Jay then after a moment, frowning, "I never called you a hypocrite and I hope you don't really think I'm unempathic." BUt Josh is being super serious again. Then Daire is leaving? And Josh is not understanding. "Hey, wait, I don't see the connection, man. That's not all right. We're out and about in college, I'm thinking around here, then I'm then and now looking about the same. I don't understand. What's that all mean?" His gold face seems genuinely lost. His friends are turning on him! In entirely different ways but which are a little vexing both.

"Stay safe, Daire. The world's crazy out there," Jay advises with a genial dip of his head. "Hey, let's plan a trip t'the eight ball some time. Take you up on that challenge an' they got open mic nights sometimes. We can jam an' not worry if Ah get all excited an' explode feathers all over folks. They don't seem t'care that Ah'm under-age, either." Still unaware that the drinking age in New York is different from Kentucky.

Josh tries to get more answers from Daire and there's a curious look sliced between the two as he falls quiet.

"You can definitely dance," Daire confirms. He has witnessed this first-hand and can attest. Then Josh is becoming super-serious again and he says, "Really, it is alright. They're just photographs. I took them, well, three of them, obviously I didn't take the one I was in." He then says, "Gold.. it's just a color. I just wanted to show you.. that you're just as .." He pauses for a moment and then says, "you, as you were then, and when you stop thinking about the color, for just a moment.. there's not much difference there. A few years, and that's about it. I just found the pic with you at the desk and I thought it was kind of cool how similar they were when I was going through some of the older pics I had. From everyone. I wasn't just like creepy stalkering you," he says, realizing suddenly how that might sound kind of creepery. "I have a lot of pictures from back then. From parties, picnics, you know.. the whole nine." There's perhaps the faintest hint of discomfort as he tries to figure out how to explain, shrugging his shoudlers slightly. Then he says to Jay, "Definitely. Open mic night at the eight ball sounds great," with a slightly easier grin.

Josh regards Daire for a long moment, his brow furrowing, and he looks down again at the photographs. "Dai, man. You'll never creep me out if you tried." he says softly, "So relax. I… appreciate the gesture." He nods, lifting a hand up and considering the gold of his skin quietly until he speaks, "I maybe focus too much on how different I look now and maybe that's me being a fool, and I take your point. I'm me. I'm not less me then I ever was. I'm just not.. used to it yet." His hand touches to his forehead, rubbing there, "I'd be interested in seeing any pictures you have, man. Not to get all sick on nostalgia and wishing I was that guy then— I accept I'll never be that guy again— but just to smile and remember." Then he looks between the two, "Hey, no open mic nights without me. I'll play the trambouline or triangle. Or more likely just watch and enjoy how amazing you both sound."

A corner of Jay's mouth lifts slightly, lopsided from the rest, then falls again while he watches the two friends interact. "Don't be so hard on yerself, Josh. Ah don't know…Ah heard someone say recently that we all struggle a little sometimes with sortin' out things we're not used to." Jay's lips press together a bit, suppressing a smile as he steals Daire's recent words, eyes dancing. "Fine. The three of us out on the town. Ah'll make sure you two don't get too outa control."

"You're not a fool," Daire says, "Now, I bet with enough alcohol and a tambourine we can make a real good shot at trying…" moving right past slightly awkward back into humor with a little sidelong grin. "Oh, you're going," he tells Josh. On this, he is firm. When Jay steals the words that he'd spoken earlier, he glances over at him and raises an eyebrow, chuckling just a bit. "Uh huh." Then he says, "Alright. That'll happen. Soon. Maybe later this week. But now.. I really gotta run." He glances at his watch, "Otherwise it's dry cereal and beer, and really, no. Just no." He grins and says, "Night," and then he's heading back out into the hall.

"Someone did say that, I think." agrees Josh with a nod to Jay and a smile, and he looks between the two of them, "Yeah, we'll go soon." he agrees to the general principal before turning a grin towards Daire, "The advantage of my power is I never get more drunk then I intend, old friend. " He lifts a hand to wave, "See you later. If I'm asleep when you get back, wake me up. Talk about some old times, yah?" He lifts the folder of photos, "Or maybe just over breakfast." He looks to Jay, "But really, I'm never out of control, man. I sometimes think its a flaw and not a boon, but, it is what it is."

Jay reaches over to the table where Daire left his sweatshirt and tosses it underhand to the man on his way out. "Get outta here, man. And stay safe." Resting his arms back on the back of his chair, he shrugs slightly. "One-a those things about bein' aware of yer body chemistry at all times, Ah imagine. Y'can't help it. No more than Ah can help some of my little…weird things since mah mutation , uh…manifested? Ah dunno what the word'd be."

Daire goes home.

As Daire leaves, Josh watches for a moment, considering, and glancing to the folder, and after this moment he stares longingly at it for a time, but then he blinks and shakes his head and looks back to Jay and smiles. "Yeah, its like that. Most of it is just— instinct. I don't specifically, consciously change — but … before I was gold… I had a perfect tan, my body was exactly as toned as I wanted, I woke up without hangovers no matter what I drank the night before. Now I realize what I'm doing, but then— in college— I didn't. It was instinct." Bu then he nods his head more seriously, "Yeah, you can't help your own changes. Evolution has changed you. Its amazing. You are just…different. And amazing. That is what it is to be one of us. For me, the gold. For you, the wings. For Dai, the horns. We're all beautiful and different and people look at us and hate us but we are what we were meant to be."

Jay is staring out the doorway that Daire left out of for a while as well, his expression actively pensive as he lays his head back down on folded arms. Staring off into the empty hall now, he's still listening to Josh, however. "Ah've loved music since b'fore Ah could walk. Momma said it was God's plan fer me t'sing lahke an angel. With all the weird, mah mutation randomly gives me his useless ability t'mimic things. T'let me make more than one sound. Ah met a lady with power over ice. Her old man sold refrigerators. Sometimes it's all too coincidental t'be coincidental." Jay murmurs thoughtfully. "But we ain't exactly the same, either. Ah've always been…more or less, me. But it translates different, now." He squints out the doorway, a little twitch of his brows together while he struggles for words. "Ah'm not great with words. Too many words." He sighs and frowns mildly.

"I don't know anything about music." admits Josh with a light shrug of his shoulders, "And I don't believe in god. Why do you think mimicing is useless, though? I can think of countless situations where it would be useful. Especially if you study and learn to throw your voice. But even if you don't… its a gift. An adaptation. You'll find a use for it, the marvel of it." He shrugs then, and he lifts his hands, and he stares for a long moment at his golden skin, "You speak as if there's a design to our mutations. An ice lady who lived off refrigerators. You with the voice of an angel becoming an angel. Me, a doctor becoming a healer." But he drops his hands, "What of Dai? As kind and gentle a person I could not otherwise name, whose power is to become like unto a demon. Scott. Thoughtful, considerate: who releases pure destruction from his eyes. Jay, You're seeing meaning in coincidence. I understand why you might want to, but stop looking for reason, and start looking for will. Look for what you *choose*." He shivers a moment, "It is in my power to kill or to heal. I chose once because I believed in a cause, one way. Now I choose another way. My ability simply *is*. If I am a monster or a saint is something that people will decide long afer I'm dead based on what I do. The same goes for you. Don't look for meaning in chance: instead look for what you can choose to make of chance to *bring* and *cause* meaning."

"You're being rude," Jay hums quietly as he peers past the doorway, inhaling a deep breath while he pushes up from his laying spot on his arms, finally pulling his eyes away from the doorway to regard his friend once again. A gentle smile curving his mouth kindly, though it's hemmed with a maudlin overcast. "It's okay not t'understand everythin' raght away, Josh."

There's a tilt of Josh's head a moment, and he regards Jay for a moment, then the empty door where his friend went through. "First of all, I never pretended to understand everything. Fuck me but the things I don't understand in life or the world vastly outnumber the things I understand on any given day, let alone in life in general. That said, I've been doing this for awhile." he shrugs, "And the one thing I treasure most about friendship above all else is: who else will be rude to you when it matters, but your friends? Politeness is what you do with strangers: with your friends you can trust them to be true— and when need be— rude— with you."

That says, he takes a long drink off of his coffee as he watches Jay, "You're not, you know, into Dai are you?" he asks casually.

Whatever 'important' stuff they were talking about before is derailed for that final question. Jay leans back in his seat with his hands braced on the back of his chair, his whole face screwing up for a moment. "What? Ah ain't fey so Ah can't be into him. You know that." His wings twitch softly, whispering gentle aggitation as Jay folds his arms on the back of his seat in front of him again. "There's just somethin' Ah like about him. Can't put m'finger on it. It's funny you two are so close." Pause, something occuring to him, a little delayed. "He wasn't…someone you dated back in college, was he?"

Josh's expression is… considering. Little else is revealed in his golden features. "Dai and I only recently reconnected, but he's the only friend at all I therefore have from that time, but if I were to make choices, I'd pick him above any other to be my friend today. I don't know why we grew apart: likely our lives. I was going into med school, he was changing." But then he shakes his head simply, "We were dormmates in college: he was shy. I tried ever so hard to get him out of his shell, to show him the joy in life. We did not 'date'. He never showed any interest in me at all: but oh, I made it a mission to try to find him someone." He's wistful in tone there, and he shrugs. And despite that nothing he says likely rings untrue, something hangs heavily unsaid. "Its fine to be drawn to someone, Jay. It doesn't mean you're fey. Its just…" His voice trails off, "I don't want to see either of you hurt by a misunderstanding."

Jay shrugs a shoulder, a mild gesture, cool and casual. "Ah see why you think so highly of him, Josh, but nobody's gettin' hurt over anythin'. Yer talkin /around/ somethin', Ah can hear it in yer voice. Ah might be ignorant of a lotta things, yer never a second late to tell me when Ah'm wrong, but there's no misunderstandin' here." Jay glances toward the doorway, then back to Josh, shaking his head and skating a hand through his hair. "Birds of a feather, raght? He's a musician, he seems cool, Ah lahke him. Not a big deal."

At this, Josh hesitates. He looks to the door, he looks to Jay. He considers how to word he response. "You may be birds of a feather." he says softly, "But he and I have always been as different as any two people can be and still be friends." He shrugs, a certain tension in his voice, and he says honestly, "I don't know if I was blind or if something has changed but I intend on seeing what is there, whatever it is. But." He tips his coffee back a long moment, and the golden guy shakes his head a moment later, "I don't have any desire to see conflict. What waited for years can wait still before I make trouble for any friend of mine."

Jay gives Josh a weird look, confused and shaking his head. "What the hell are you talking about?" He sorts through the words with a perplexed look at Josh. "Ah don't understand you sometimes. What is it about you that makes ya talk around in circles over somethin', but a second ago you all but said Ah was stupid fer recognizin' patterns." Jay quirks a half a smile at Josh, then lifts a hand, waving him forward with a rotation of his hand. "Damnit, Josh. Be rude. What the heck aren't you sayin'?"

Josh practically winces: be rude! Augh, how. He hesitates, and he drinks coffee, because this is how sensible people delay matters like these. For a long moment he's silent, not quite able to figure out how to frame this. "You're not fay." he begins, though the word means nothing to him and has no inflection— but obviously he gets the gist of it. Its just foreign. "I care for you." He gestures to the door, "I care for him. If you wished to explore some possible changes in how you look at things with him, I have no right to stand in your way. Clearly, you — connect, on deep levels I can't een understand. As I said, we are… different." He shakesh is head, "Obviously, he has a say in his own life as well. But, I have no claim, no right." Tentatively, almost hesitantly, he adds, "But if no other draws his attention then I will … " This is so weird. Josh doesn't know how to *do* this. This isn't at all how he did things, before. "He has shown an interest that I am shocked at and interested in exploring. But not at the cost of conflict. I will refuse to fight before I fight over someone, anyone."

Slowly, bit by bit, those pieces fall into place and Jay's fair complexion is quick to flush with color all the way down his neck, wings shivering rather violently for a moment, garnering an annoyed look over one shoulder as if he didn't have control of those extra limbs. Shut the hell up back there. A soft clearing of his throat, Jay bows his head, toes flexing in his sandals against the floor. "Right, so, he, uh…" Jay drifts and makes a small gesture toward Josh, lifting his chin once more, though his eyes struggle to raise right away, following a couple seconds later to touch on Josh. "He's interested in you. Okay. Well. That makes sense."

"It doesn't make anything like sense at all." counters Josh, sounding almost a little angry, shaking his head as he says it. He grips his hands and tries to make himself small: every muscle tense, arms close, leaning forward. He can't quite turtle but he tries to without really thinking about it, "And I can't speak to his intent or interest at all. I don't understand anything at all going on and nothing at all makes sense." He's frustrated by this, his voice says, "My point is you seemed interested in him. And yeah, yeah, not fey, but whatever with those labels. You've got more in common with him then I ever will and the last thing I want is my oldest friend and my newest friend to hate me because of drama. So I'm saying, I'll step aside and let you figure out whatever your thing is, okay? I'm fine as I am."

Jay is far less explosive about the situation, though his confusion on it is right on up there with Josh, and certainly with Josh's reaction. "Ah'm sorry? Ah'm not used t'a guy's reaction to 'someone lahkes you' bein' anger. Ah don't really know how t'react to somethin' like that." His whole body probably still bright red, Jay arches an eyebrow at Josh, curious. "What's not t'make sense? You were close back at school, he had stuff he was goin' through an' now yer goin' through some stuff. He probably relates to what yer strugglin' with. You were there fer him an' now…he wants t'be there fer you." Jay looks down at the back of the folding metal chair he's been perched on, sliding his palms over the lines, picking at little knicks in the paint. "Ah don't understand why yer angry about this. Ah /just/ met the guy. Just cause we get along at first glance doesn't really stack up against years of bein' friends." Looking back up at the gold-skinned man. "Ah like a lotta guys, but that ain't the same thing. Especially if he's flat out tellin' ya he's, you know, interested." Jay unglues his tongue from the roof of his mouth a little and swallows hard.

Sense. Sense and logic and words that might make sense to someone somewhere. For just a very brief moment, Josh despises Jay. He's talking sense and nothing in the world that Josh knows makes any sense at all to him when he adds it up. Nowhere that he sees does one plus one equal two. "No one can like me." he breathes softly, "I laid my hand on him and willed his body to part. Every muscle, every tendon, flesh just became a soupy mess falling off of bones. Alive, then dead. Every time I touch someone that is there: that's me. How many lives can I save to make that memory go away?" He shakes his head slowly, "Better that Dai is interested in someone else. Better that I'm not interested in either of you. What's the quote?" He considers a moment then murmurs, "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." He nods his head, "Dai has traits that you can call demon-like, but he's a good guy. I… am not."

Jay listens for a long moment, his brows lifting slightly at one point, though rather than stick on that point, he's quiet until the very end, when he fixes Josh with a look that doesn't seem to flicker or twitch away as some of his do when they talk. "Josh, Ah know that yer goin' through a lot raght now. You…were lead astray and you murdered someone," here, yes, the words come hard for Jay, breathing through them for a heavy, pained moment. "But that isn't who you are. Yer hands ain't poisonous. /You/ ain't poisonous. That guilt that's eatin' at you is proof that that isn't who you are." Hesitating for a conscious moment, though for none of the reasons Josh might immediately guess, Jay reaches over to try to rest his hand over the back of Josh's gold toned one. "You've never hurt me. An' Ah'm willin' to bet you've never hurt Daire, either. It sounds lahke yer tryin' to look for a road block to side step him because yer still upset at yerself. If y'aint ready to be with someone, then don't be with someone. Figure yerself out. That's respectable. But…knowin' all y'do about me, you really wanna try t'use me as a roadblock?" Jay winces gently. "Ah'm a mess."

Josh doesn't flinch away from contact, though he looks truly surprised that Jay reaches for it after what he said. Well, its not a mystery between them that he regrets things, that he killed. But … he never quite spoke of it as simply willing the parting of flesh. But its there. Josh furrows his bow, and he considers. "And I would never hurt you." he agrees first, before adding, "And I would never hurt Dai." But he blinks and he eyes Jay a long moment then, "Jay, you're one of the best people I've ever met. I don't agree withy ou on many things— this delusion you have for god— but it doesn't matter if I agree with why, what matters is I look at what you do. You don't do anything that might hurt someone if you know it may. We're all a mess." He pulls away then and shakes his head, "You aren't a mess, Jay. You know right from wrong. You and I, we disagree on some details, and think about them and decide for yourself what you believe, but what you believe is yours and you should trust it. I'm not sure. I'm trying to figure it out. And fuck if I'm terrified of breaking Dai if I get it wrong." There is a golden light that radiates around him. Its not directed like the light usually is, its like its trying to push out and reach, like golden tendrils. Josh says softly, "But I should go. We should hang out. You and Dai should play together. He's a talent — and you're amazing. That sort of beauty doesn't just happen." But he turns away then to leave.

Jay's eyelids flicker quickly, as if he's just been smacked across the face when Josh calls his faith a 'delusion'. The wounded look forcibly pressed away as Jay summons up what he has of silent strength to steel himself. He doesn't give chase when Josh shifts away, either. Respecting that choice. Though when he turns, Jay stands, a couple short 'clicks' sounding off his steps as he follows after Josh, trying to put a hand on the man's shoulder. "Yer fightin' yerself, Josh. If y'ain't ready, then you ain't ready, there's nothin' wrong in that, but you gotta be honest. Fer yer own sake, but also fer his."

Of all the differences between them, religion is the one Josh is thoughtless about. So even if he notices a look, he doesn't ascribe it to that: Josh's athiesm, as dangerous and untimely as it is in this world, is a core belief. But he pauses at Jay's words. At the door he question, considers and chews over those words, "It isn't a question of readiness, Jay. Don't you believe we all get what we deserve?" he asks as athiest to theologian, and slips away to leave with that stale on the air.

Jay settles at the threshold to the room he was drawn to earlier in the evening, his arm falling slack to his side when Josh walks away from him. The community center had died to a lull, so though Jay doesn't strain to call to the gilded man's back, his voice still carries through the space, softly. Solemnly "Ah do. That's…mah point."

The winged young man doesn't give chase any further than that, letting Josh go, though the couple verbal smacks from earlier still sting freshly. Wounded, he turns back into the little crummy room in their little crummy community center, sitting back down in the folding metal chair that he abandoned earlier. Just a little lost, waiting for that to pass before he heads back to his temporary home with a sad little elf.

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