1964-07-10 - Kai and Jay Reunite
Summary: Kai and Jay discuss life, death, the Avengers, and more.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jay kai 


Kai has been trying to live life to the fullest now that he's got life back, but sometimes the only thing to do is lay on the couch in his boxers and a singlet, the window open and a fan blowing air around. Summer in New York. Not as bad as summer in, say, Georgia, but it's still hot for a creature from Alpine climes. "Muh," he tells Kevin blearily when the dog comes over to him to kick his nose, going for a good old nostril-cleanse.

The flat hasn't been trashed again, yet, so that's a positive. There's a bottle of whiskey on the floor by Kai's limp hand. Traces of his 'tattoos' can be seen around his singlet.


When Kai had returned there were obvious signs of Jay still living there since the man didn't have warning before sleeping over at Lambert's place that night; a knapsack of clothes in the corner of the bedroom, dirty laundry separated and piled up, a few small red feathers in the bed, an extra toothbrush in the bathroom, so on. All signs that had slowly vanished as quietly as possible while Kai was in his, erm, reacquainting phase with Loki those first few days. The apartment was clean, but clearly missing quite a few things that Loki had thrashed beyond salvage, and other things had clear redneck repairs to them.

A tentative 'tap-tap-tap' on the apartment door is on the quiet side, meant to not disturb anyone sleeping in the bedroom, but heard if someone was awake.


Kai looks up at the door, and Kevin walks over barking, his tail wagging. He knows Jay's scent, and it's just there on the other side of the door. Bark! Barkbark! Kai calls, "Come in. It's unlocked. Don't tell Loki." In deference to having company, Kai pushes himself up to sit, and he runs his fingers through his disheveled hair. He tides up around his couch where he's been laid flat with a bag of potato chips, two bottles of Coke, a packet of cupcakes. He wads up the wrappers and tries to hit the trash can with them. He needs to work on his aim and effort.


The door clicks open a second later and immediately in practiced verse, Jay leans down to scoop Kevin up with one hand before he has a chance to get out or make a nuisance of himself. "Whoa there, little guy." Immediately curling the ugly animal up against his chest, Jay smiles down at him and slides a half step to the side to shut the door behind himself. "Hey, buddy. Missed you, too." A couple of flicks of Jay's lashes upwards to toss glances over at the man on the couch, the flier sucks in a forced breath to press against the compression in his chest, trying to stay cool.


Kevin sneezes and snorts and wags so hard he wiggles. It's Jay! Jay! Yay Jay! Kai smiles at Jay and gets to his feet. "Hey, I heard you heard. I was hoping you'd come by. I don't know how else to find you." He comes over with open arms to hug his friend. "Those mad and glorious fools pulled it off. They pulled me out of… I'm not really sure where I was, but it was lonely and sad."


"Ah was at Lambert's the naght y'all got back," Jay bashfully mentions with a nod. "Ah hung around through the mornin', helped him order breakfast fer everyone hopin' Ah'd get to see you, but, uh…yeah." Jay rambles softly and colors lightly around the tops of his cheeks, he seems to realize the flaw there being that he assumed Kai was actually going to leave the bedroom at any point until just being back home. Silly mistake.

Jay sets Kevin down on the floor again as Kai rises. "Ah'm sorry. Ah figured you'd want me out so Ah been stayin' at the community center." Holding himself back, Jay reaches back at the open arms for a hug. "Yeah, seems that way."


Kai ducks his head and says, "Yeah," with a fool's grin. Yeah, Loki and Kai were busy. "We missed each other a lot." He clears his throat, then says, "Oh, no, Jay. We don't want you on the street or crammed into some dorm. He hugs Jay to him closely, and he doesn't let go. Not immediately. His friend. His voice is thick with emotion as he says, "I missed you. I wasn't ready to have seen you for the last time." Is that a sniffle? Maybe a small one.


Stay cool, Guthrie. Stay cool.

Wings shift and shiver under cloth, straining the seams, streamlined feathered tails fan out from behind his legs, like fingers trying to reach forward, but restrained as Jay squeezes back a little tighter. None of that hypermasculine back smacking nonsense or uncomfortable ass-out or shoulder hugs, Jay's guileless nature keeps those inclinations at bay. "It's okay. Ah know things gotta get back t'normal." God damnit when he hears that thickness in Kai's tone and the tiny sniff. Jay's arms tighten around Kai's shoulders moreso, squeezing fiercely. The young man whispers, not quite trusting his voice, "Don't you start. If you start, Ah'm gonna start up again."


Kai laughs a little, and it's half a sob. "Sorry," he says. "I'm just so happy to see you." And he's still hugging. His affection for the winged youth has only grown in absence. "I don't think there's any such thing as normal anymore, man. You just tell me where you're going to be, because I'm not losing you to not wanting to be a bother." Kevin's nails tickatack on the floor as he walks around them, looking up. Two of his three favorite people, yay.


Jay feels his cheeks heat up and tries to will himself to not fall apart again. He's done too much crying lately, but feeling that sob shake through Kai's frame, he feels a likewise swell of emotion travel from the knot in his stomach and lodge firmly in his throat. Damnit. One of Jay's hands shift and grasp at the nape of the curly-haired man's neck, sliding digits upward slightly through his hair; cradling the slightly shorter fellow to him. Wings like a sack of kittens trying to get free, Jay sniffs and murmurs 'damnit…' then laughs/cries softly in a whisper, shaking with it gently. "Ah'mjustsogladyerokay…"


It's a cascading thing. Kai started it, but Jay giving in makes Kai let out a sob, and he hugs Jay more closely. One of the things about being in a safe place now is how he has so much time to go over the memories of what happened. Not death so much as the torture, but death was no picnic either. The way the world has kept going in his absence is a good thing, but it also means normal things feel just a little further away than they did before he was taken. Trauma, it's fun stuff.

With a sniffle, Kai draws back, only after he's had a good cry, and he says "I keep doing that. Here, let me get a hanky." He has a clean and folded one on the couch's side table. He's been needing these lately. "It's happiness," he insists. "And shock, I think. I keep waiting for the Vanir to come back and tell me it's time to go."


Not that Jay needs any more practice, but Jay's gotten good at this crying thing, but it feels good for it to be /relief/ sobbing rather than mournful. Hot tears drop steadily on Kai's shoulder and the long primary feathers manage to wiggle around enough to shimmy around to Jay's sides and extend to Kia's ankles; crimson fingers stretching to hold on to the elf, like he might vanish again.

Jay grips a little bit longer than necessary, but releases Kai when he draws back, fingers dragging against his skin rather than a clean break. Smiling tremulously and still crying a little bit, Jay nods, embarrassed while his gaze flickers back and forth between Kai and the couch, rubbing his eyes on the cuff of one sleeve. "Ah bet. Ah…don't know if Ah believed that you were—" The young man's throat tightens and his voice cracks with emotion, passing an apologetic smile to the elf while he fumbles with the edge of his shirt lightly. "That you were really here 'til Ah saw you. Lahke nothin' happened."


"Here," Kai says, and he tucks the hanky into Jay's hand. He wipes his eyes on his arm. He sniffles, laughs a little and says, "I wish it was like nothing happened. Every time I see these," he taps his shoulder where the silvery lines shimmer, "I can't tell myself it was a dream." He pads into the kitchen and takes two bottles of Coke from the fridge. He offers one to Jay and says, "Have a seat, mate. Let's get comfortable, if you can in this heat." He slouches onto the couch at one end, leaving plenty of room for the winged fellow. Kevin pops onto the couch and cleaves to Kai's side, but he keeps an eye on Jay, tail wagging hopefully.

"You can still stay if you need to," Kai says. "He and I can go to his flat over the bookshop. I just want to make sure you have a place to lay your head, and it's no trouble. He's got better stuff than I do anyway. My man likes his comforts."


"Well," Jay sniffs as his eyes dally toward the silvery lines on Kai's shoulders. "Seein' ya layin' there when Ah came in was like it. Fer a second like nothin' happened. An' maybe…that's what recovery is." The young man suggests, taking a few steps away from the door, though he still seems a little stuck to that space. So strange, since he lived here for about a month, so quick to give that comfort and ownership back up to Kai's space once again. "Maybe it's just findin' more of those seconds where it feels like normal again until 'normal' is all of it, again." He takes the coke easily and moves over to the couch and carefully sits himself down, close to Kai but enough room to let his compressed wings cock out to either side a bit. "Is this as hot as it gets?" The guy in the long-sleeved overshirt asks while his eyes trace the silvery lines on Kai's shoulder.

"Ah told you before, Kai, Ah ain't gonna run you out of yer place." Jay smiles smally and shakes his head as he pops his soda open. "Ah actually…really liked livin' with you, even if it was all for bad stuff Ah don't really understand. It was kind of like bein' back home a little bit." His thumb rubs over the face of his bottle, looking down at it. Homesick and still stuck with a mean case of culture shock while he scrambles to adjust. "But Ah'm not gonna chase you outa yer own place. Ah got the dorm or the center if Ah want it. An' now it's summer, Ah can get t'almost any roof Ah want and stick around there. Or 'Bert's courtyard, Ah went there a couple times when Ah needed t'freak out. Someone Ah know told me Ah was gonna sleep on his an' his brother's couch fer a while." Jay shrugs and turns his attention back over to Kai, a faint trace of a smile on his mouth. "Ah got options."


"It's not running me out," Kai says, but then he sighs and shakes his head, smiling as he says, "Some things never change." He sighs and ruffles Kevin's ears. Kevin whines happily, tail thumping against the couch. Kai holds his sweating Coke bottle to his forehead, because he is a delicate flower who wilts in the heat, and he says, "I like living with you. I would say let's get a bigger place, you and me, but I'll have to ask Loki." He settles back, legs stretched out before him. He smiles over at Jay and says, "As long as you've got a place, and as long as you don't just disappear. I think that would break my heart."


Red eyebrows lift gently as Jay smiles to Kai, helplessly. "See? Already a little more normal, huh? Mah momma would come all the way up here and beat my ass if she knew Ah was makin' you leave. That's sorta the definition of runnin' you out, Kai. Even if ya like bein' at Loki's place, yer still leavin' because of me." A slight curious look when Kai mentions he'd have to ask his boyfriend to get a roommate, but Jay smiles anyway and shakes his head, resting his coke bottle on his knee. "You'd be fine without me, Kai. You'd do great. Hey, why don't you an' him live together, anyway? Why have a place when his is a better joint anyway?"


"It's not making if I offer," Kai points out. He takes a long pull from his Coke, then admits, "I don't know. He likes to come over here a lot, and I never asked. It's kind of hard, though, shacking up in a one-room place. Doesn't take people long to realize you're not just roomies. Then you get weird looks. If you're lucky. If you're not lucky you get evicted, beaten up, all that stuff. Maybe someday we can get a two-bedroom place and turn the extra room into a guest room." He nudges Jay in the foot with his own. "Then you could come stay and not be kicking anyone anywhere."


Jay rolls his eyes playfully at Kai while they argue about whether or not he'd be kicking Kai out or not. Staring at the golden blond man next to him, there's a moment where his lips pull taut into that smile and seems tremulous for a brief instant; exhaling a hard breath from his chest under the guise of a soft laugh to try to relieve some of the sudden compression he feels around his ribcage. "Still better than what'd happen back home, but…it's so weird t'think." Jay taps his fingers on his bottle, drumming out a beat. "There are so many people like you 'round here. Ah don't think Ah've met a single heterosexual person since Ah got here, sometimes." A little smile touching his expression as his foot is nudged, nudging the edge of his foot against Kai's in return. "If Loki let me."


Kai laughs quietly and says, "I want to live in your world. I run into heterosexuals all the time. Nice folks. If they don't suspect anything." His laughter fades, and he gazes into the middle distance. "We have-nots all seem to fall in together. So many queers come here for… what's the world I'm looking for… community. They don't want to be the only homo in Podunk, Arkansas or wherever. So we tend to cluster. You just happened to make friends with some of us." He smiles thinly and raises his bottle to Jay in a wordless toast before taking a drink.


Jay's cheeks bloom bright red for one reason or another, he lifts his bottle as well to tink lightly against Kai's, automatically. "Well…that's cause they don't tend t'live long in Podunk, Arkansas." A serious comment given the proper tone to do its justice. "Well, then somehow Ah dropped raght into the deep end of that pool, cause seems every other friend Ah make has a 'friend' they're awfully close to. Ah mean…Bert's no surprise. He loves everythin' a little too much." The young man squints and peers over at Kai, his chin tipping forward until his hair shifts over one eye, sweeping it back behind his ear. "What d'ya call someone like that? Who likes 'em both? They just fakin' it one way or the other?" Jay hums. "Someone tried t'tell me recently that community weren't a good idea. That it just made ya a bigger target on th' radar."


Kai says, "I think you call it bisexual." He holds up two fingers. "Bi, means two, like the two genders." He considers Jay's question seriously over another drink, then says, "I don't see how they're faking. What would be the point?" He huffs a breath, shakes his head, and says, "Community is inevitable. Whether it's dangerous or not depends on who you call neighbor." He pets Kevin, whose tail wags even though the little dog doesn't wake up from his snoring slumber.


"Lahke bicycle," Jay nods gently and casts a light smile over to Kai. "Ah'm a little stupid, but Ah know that one. Ah don't know. Seems weird t'me. Tryin' t'wrap mah head around everythin', you know? Ah mean, every fellah's had that one friend he likes a little too much an' all," Jay's cheeks turn pink and he tries to pull it off as heat, lifting his coke bottle to the side of his face gently. "But you don't go after 'em because y'aint that way."

The note on community has him nodding emphatically to Kai. "That's what Ah said. He was sayin' that Mutant Town's a terrible idea an' they're all jus' askin' to be genocided like that. Ah don't know, seems t'me that anyone go lookin' fer trouble in Mutant Town's kinda got their work cut out fer 'em."


"I don't think you're stupid," Kai says. "I tried not being 'that way. "My gran says I have to carry on the family bloodline. I thought I could just pretend until it felt natural, but even the girls I liked, I just didn't feel that way about. I thought maybe I just wasn't into Alfheimian women, but when I came back to Midgard, it was the same thing. It was the funniest thing, though, how much more open the world is to you when you're not like that."

As for community, Kai considers. He sits sideways on the couch, bending his elbow to rest against the back of it, and he rests his head on his hands. "That could be good or bad," he says. "If that trouble is handled discreetly and smartly, that safety in numbers is a great thing. If someone gets killed, though, suddenly it's not the mutant who did the deed but the community. You're as safe as your stupidest member. Community is good, but it's got to be self-policing, making sure the idiots don't get too excited."


Jay listens carefully to Kai's talk about his journey, twisting on the couch some in order to face his friend, rearranging carefully for the sake of those long primary feathers. A knee pulls up on the couch cushion, Jay holding on to his own ankle as a point of purchase. His expression soft and receptive. "Self policin'…that makes sense." The young man considers, though he's processing other things just behind those brightly colored stained glass windows to his soul. "The neighborhood's real scattered because it's just…fragments of families and people who were tossed out on their back ends. Why it's so trashy t'begin with and everyone's so anti-social about there. Yer right. There does gotta be some kinda change"

"Open…" He pauses thoughtfully, then nods gently. "Ah mean…the one relationship Ah had, Ah couldn't be public about. We were in hidin' constantly, couldn't even go out to the fair t'gether." Jay looks at his coke bottle, a wistful smile of remembrance drawn over his lips. "She'd get so mad seein' other couples on the street. Was always threatenin' t'just come out with it. Somethin' as simple as takin' mah hand… We were plannin' on movin' away, but—" Jay cuts off and shakes his head. "It's hard when ya gotta hold yerself back. Restrain everythin' so many other folks get. Ah can understand that. Aint raght…"


Between the two, Kevin snores on, laying flat on his back, paws twitching as he dreams. He cares not for these things but in his dreams he's the scourge of squirrels.

"That sounds awful," Kai says quietly, then adds, "Imagine if the price of getting caught had been prison, or a beating, or death?" He chews the inside of his lip, then shakes his head and says, "It's all so stupid. Things are changing, my friend. You'll see." He smiles, then finishes off his coke and leans over to put the bottle on the floor, careful not to wake Kevin.

"Mutant Town needs community leaders," he says, "people to step up and organize. Don't rely on the system to treat you fairly. Don't expect them to understand. They're the ones who tossed you out in the first place. Look at the negroes. They've got Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. You've got Magneto. You need more willing to fill those shoes, because if there's only one who's willing to step up, that's how you get tyranny."


Jay smiles gently down at the bottle of coke on his knee, murmuring quietly, "Why d'ya think ah was murdered, Kai?" A quick flick of his eyes upward to his friend, then lashes lower again with a flick of red as his smile turns a hint tight around the edges. "Why Jules is gone." He nods a few times and quickly sniffs, tipping his coke down with a drop of his head back.

"We've got Magneto, who sticks t'his place, an' Raven, who fills her people's heads full of bologna. Oscar Mayer level bologna." Jay seems to get a bit upset, wings shifting behind him. "Ah had mah brother, an' legacy entry an' it still took me three weeks b'fore—" Jay bites his tongue and sucks in a deep breath, forcing his mood down and flicking another smile, this one a little forced, to his friend. "Sorry, Kai. Ah'm jus' a lil frustrated. Th' other naght some…magician or somethin' was tellin' me how ah was an idiot fer tryin' t'do somethin' about all the alienation between mutants and humans. Maybe it was dumb. Ah'm new t'all this stuff an aside from you an' D, seems Ah can't much manage t'talk to anyone without gettin int' an argument." Smiling bashfully.


Kai tilts his head. "How did that happen?" he asks. "The murder. If you've been dead, I feel we've got, like, a kinship. And I'm not sure why you were murdered. Were you a woman in your previous ilfe? Was she— oh, I think I understand. Then you might get it, what it's like." He grimaces. He gives Jay a pat on the knee, where he can easiest reach. "Look, maybe it is idiotic to try to mend relations single-handedly. These things are bigger than one person. They need a movement. You've got to be optimistic, but you've also got to be cautious. Like, I can talk to you about being a homo and how we're just people too, but some stranger on the street? He might punch me or worse. Yeah, he needs to know, but he'll find out when the movement carries us forward. It's coming."


Jay smiles faintly at Kai. "Remember when ya flipped yer lid over me sayin' Ah died once? Now you got it, too, huh? Welcome t'the club. We meet at a coffee house by Washington Square Park every other Tuesday." Then remembers something, his brows lifting upward. "Oh. Ah gotta take you there. Kai, Ah gotta take you somewhere you'd love." He scoops a hand through his hair and exhales a deep breath he wasn't aware he was holding. "It ain't the same. Ah ain't gonna pretend it's the same. We could'a left an' been fine anywhere else. Ah ain't gonna try to own yer struggle, Kai." The gentle man's mouth curves softly to his friend.

"Oh, you know how it goes. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy and girl find out their families have been feudin' fer four generations. Boy figgers, t'hell with it and convinces her t'be with him anyway, in secret. Girl finds out th' boy's got fuckin' wings." Jay explains with a crooked angle of a boyish smile. The smile slips a touch and he tries to rush the rest of the story, glancing away. "Girl's daddy finds out somehow an' follows 'em one day t'their secret place by the river. Girl's daddy unloads a weird gun int' the boy then goes on t'his family's house t'execute his family. Jus' like a fairy tale, ain't it? In the south, a feud is serious business."

"Movement. Yeah. Ah suppose so. Ah'm pretty short on the optimism these days, an' caution ain't never been my strong suit. Ah see what yer sayin' though." Jay sighs and slowly shakes his head. "Some…magic thing made a mess in Greenwich an' everyone thought it was all mutants cause they saw me there. It was a stupid idea t'try to stick around an' explain it t'them, but it's hard t'stand by an' worry about all that. Every time some rag runs a story about the mutant problem, everyone gets so tense. Ah'd never hit a lady, but some damned lady callin' herself an 'Avenger' like she owned the place came by 'Berts after his robery an' was bent on spinnin' it like the evil mutant tried t'kill him. People are nuts."


Kai squeezes Jay's knee. "How did you come back?" he asks. "And I'd love to attend Resurrection Club. I need to see some new sights and meet new people." Then 'Avenger' is mentioned and Kai perks up. "I'm an Avenger. Who is she? There are still a few I haven't met yet. I've been preoccupied. I'll talk to her about all this mutant-blaming nonsense, though. That's not what we're about. We're here to protect the helpless and have-nots, not scapegoat them."

He scrubs his face with his hands then and says, "But you don't talk to the norms or authorities, Jay. When you talk to someone who already thinks you're bad, everything you say just makes you sound worse, because they're listening for worse."


Jay looks confused for a second when Kai perks up and mentions he's part of this 'Avenger' group. "What? Ah thought they were just a bunch of mutant hater fools th' way she was carryin' on, not listenin' to a thing he said…" That explains his confusion. Jay sighs and squints, trying to think. "Ah can't remember, but she were tiny lahke a honey bee…bee or hornet, somethin'. She ain't so good at her job if that's what yer supposed t'be doin'."

Leaning sidways into the couch, Jay makes some small circular motion with his hand, illustrating a little bit of his frustration. "Leavin' folks with wrong information perpetuates that whole cycle, though, Kai. An' Ah didn't /know/ that most the cops round here are fer sale." The young, idealistic man rolls his eyes, laying his temple against the back of the couch. "Back home, the cops were the ones who took Mister Cabot down. They're supposed to protect." The tiptoe back in that direction, Jay shakes his head slightly, glancing down. "Ah guess when yer a mutant, yer DNA keeps changin', so you can develop more mutations if yer under the raght situation. Mah second mutation is that Ah heal." He looks uncomfortable, wings trying to reach out around the young man as he twists the coke bottle on his knee lightly, toes flexing anxiously against his flip-flops. "Ah woke up under water, with Jules." He shrugs gently. "Ah've died a few times since. Just doesn't…stick."


"I haven't met her," Kai says. "I'm sure I'd remember." His brow furrows. "No, we're not like that at all. I mean if she was talking about a specific mutant who was a villain, jsure, but just blaming mutants all over the place? That's not okay. That's fomenting the kind of violence we're trying to save people from." His brow furrows. "We don't need people hating us because they think we're villains."

He shakes off his annoyance at the staining of his group's name. Whistling low, he says, "You're immortal. That's amazing. A horrible way to find out, but still. That's good to know." He knows who to hide behind when the bad guys pull out the really big guns. Not that he can't walk those off.

He squeezes Jay's hand, and he tells him, "You're new here to the city. Someone should be telling you this stuff. Don't trust the cops. Don't trust politicians. They're not here to help you. They're here to keep the people in power in power and keep the rest convinced they're the good guys. Hell, they might even convince themselves. There are some good cops out there. It's just that you can't take the chance, man."


"Ah'd definitely say she gave off th' wrong impression if that ain't what y'all are goin' for." Jay squints softly, peering at Kai. "Ah didn't know you were part of all that. So, what's that mean fer you, personally? Sounds like Ah got the wrong impression of it all."

The young man shrugs and drops the rest of his coke back, reaching down to set the glass bottle down. "Ah guess so. Jules wasn't, though. Still hurts. Ah don't know if Ah'd grow somethin' back if it were chopped off, but mah tattoo bled outa mah skin, an' Ah can't develop callouses on m'fingers when Ah play guitar, so it ain't all it's cracked up t'be but it's strong."

Looking up when Kai takes his hand, there's a flicker of a smile back to the curly headed elf. Pale fingers tighten, squeezing back tightly and holding on. "Thank you, Kai. /Lord/." The young red-head pulls on the arm and leans in with a roll up on his bent knee, just about falling over to embrace the resurrected elf. A swell of sudden emotion constricting his chest. "Ah'm so glad yer okay. What would Ah do without you here? Ah /missed you/. /So much/."


"Nah, man, we use our super powers to fight super threats on behalf of the people who have no defense against that sort of thing. I've been all over the world. Did you read in the newspaper about those doombots in North Dakota that started killing stuff then just sort of stopped? That was us half a world away shutting them down." He laughs and adds, "I got shot in the chest with a bazooka. It hurt."

He smiles softly at Jay, and he hugs him back, offering answering emotion on tap with no waiting. It's one of his super powers, really. "I missed you, too," he says. "I thought who's going to be there for Jay? He shouldn't be alone. I know you have other people, but I care about you, and I just… I wasn't ready to leave you. I'm so glad I don't have to."


"Ah'm sorry Ah make you worry 'bout me, Kai," Jay apologizes lamely, shaking his head quickly, arms winding around the shorter male's shoulders, one hand cradling Kai skill possessively. "Bert tole me that ya told him t'take care of me. Ah'm sorry Ah was so dang useless. Ah don't wanna make ya worry 'bout me all the time, but Ah'm jus' so glad yer back with us." Squeezing the elf tightly while Jay looms up on his knee on the couch, wings straining against the prison of his overshirt, death has a lightning fast reaction time for Jay. Go figure. Recent trauma making it a tender spot against his heart. "Maybe not…completely okay. Bert told me a little of what happened on their end, Ah can't imagine it, but yer here. Yer here." Looking down at some of those thing silvery lines on Kai's shoulder, Jay's hand drops to engulf them, squeezing warmly. "Ah'm here fer you, too, okay? Ah'm not…super useful, Ah know, but Ah'm here. It ain't all one way."


Kai shakes his head and says, "You're not useless. You're just new in town and New York will eat you alive if you don't know people." He shifts a little to sit so he's not going to topple over. He has a rep as as a hep cat to protect, and he smiles up at Jay with wrenching sweetness. "Can you believe they did all that? I'll never be worthy of that kind of daring and courage." He shakes his head, perpetually amazed. "Jay," he says, covering one of Jay's hands to squeeze, "you took care of Kevin. Do you know what it would've done to me being in that place thinking about my dog starving to death in his own shit and piss? I love that little guy, and whenever I started to worry, I remembered you were here taking care of him, and I was okay."


Jay laughs hollowly, letting it come up with a small burble of a sob. "Yer not jokin'. Momma'd have a heart attack if she knew half of it." He nods, several times in a row, continuing the small motion. "That's me, world class dog sitter, heh…" Jay murmurs jokingly and sits up on his bend knees to look down at his friend, both hands braced firmly on Kai's shoulders. The ginger angel's cheeks are wet again, eyes glossy but still bright, his youthful features set into a serious but soulful expression, searching his friend's eyes. "Yah y'are, Kai. You are, completely, worth all of it. That's why they done it, man. Because yer worth it, an' they'd do it again if they had t'. We all would. Every time."


"I love that dog," Kai says firmly. He picks up Kevin, who sneezes himself awake then starts wagging his tail. When Kai gives him a cuddle, the little animal licks his face. "Look at this fella," Kai says as he sputters and tries to avoid dog tongue up his nose or in his mouth. "He's elf's best friend. Besides, the greatest among us are the ones who are kind to the least among us." He ruffles Kevin's ears, and the dog sneezes again. When Kai puts him down, he trots over to Jay and tries to lick away his tasty tears.

"Thanks mate," Kai says. "But I think I might be worthy because I want to be worthy, maybe? I want to take this life and do something amazing with it. I want to help people." When Jay says they would do it every time, Kai's eyes get all teary again. "Come here," he says. "I'm going to hug the stuffing out of you."


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