1964-07-17 - Chilling Chez Kai
Summary: Jay, Kai, and Bucky have a chat.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jay bucky kai 

So, he can't ever really repay Kai for the care the elf's given - food, healing, trust, friendship. The one real gesture he can make is housecleaning. So Bucky's working in the kitchen, dressed in t-shirt and jeans, sweeping carefully. Congratulations, Kai, the internationally feared cyborg assassin is also your housekeeper.

Kai has insisted he doesn't need Bucky to do this if Bucky doesn't want it. But he hasn't insisted so hard he didn't finally agree in deep gratitude. Because Kai's not a tidy elf without help from an assassin. At the moment, Kai's working on a painting from sketches. The picture is the New York skyline from the roof of his shabby apartment in Hell's Kitchen. "So then I said unless you've got witnesses, I didn't do anything," he's nattering to Bucky.

Kai's just one of those folks that befriends folks easily, and without Jay there now to take care of him and the apartment, it's for the best that Bucky's there. A cyborg assassin here, a suicidal angel there. Who's counting? Jay hasn't lived on Kai's couch for a hot minute now, but that doesn't mean he doesn't visit regularly. A gentle 'tap-tap' on the door politely and Jay automatically checks the handle with every intention on just strollin' on in familiarly, already chatting. "Kai, you wanna get outta here t'day? Ah gotta get outa mah head—"

"Spoken like a true New Yorker," Bucky approves. Then the knock has Bucky looking frantically to Kai. There's nowhere to hide other than the bedroom, this place is tiny. And even if he moves now….he won't make it there before Kay sees or hears him. The metal arm's revealed in all its glory, save for a fingerless glove he has on it sheerly to help with the grip.

Kai tells Bucky quietly, "It's just Jay, don't sweat it." Then, toward the door. "Come in, I'm working on something but we could go out." He dabs more paint on the canvas. He continues to Bucky, "He had nothing on me, so I bounced. Pigs just want to keep you down, keep the status quo. I'm not going to comply, man. That's not who I am."

It's true, Bucky has zero time unless he wants to try to duck into a cabinet, which would be hilarious, but mostly not productive. Jay strides into the small, shabby apartment and shuts the door behind himself with a deep exhale of breath, his gaze going to the couch first with an anxious shiver of the odd hump on his back, then to Kai at the canvas, flicking a small platitude of a smile toward the elf. "Must be feelin' better, yer talkin' like yerself again." Though to who? It's a short flick of his eyes toward the kitchen and Jay's expression registers surprise. "Oh. Sorry. Ah didn't realize y'got company." His attention drops to the arm, of course, then back to Bucky's eyes. He's seen weirder shit than a metal appendage.

It's not so much the arm as the face, the one that was on Wanted posters a few months ago, and is still to be found there in some of the post offices. "No, no," he says, quietly. "It's okay." Because a terrorist does Kai's housecleaning.

"Life's too short to dwell," Kai says. "And I won't let the Man change me no matter who it is wearing the suit." Behold his rebellion. He looks up from his painting between Jay and Bucky. "Oh! Yeah, this is my friend Bucky. He went to into the Underworld to bring me back to the world of the living. With some help."

And it is the face that gets a little speculative squint from Jay, recognition flashing behind the young man's green eyes when Kai makes introductions. "Oh. Yeah, yer th' guy from 'Bert's. Ah watched you while you slept." Pause, Jay thinks twice about those words and winces "Ah mean…Ah-Ah was there. While you were sleepin'—recoverin'." Smooth, Jay. The hump on his back expands slightly and then compresses back toward his shoulders. The red-head strides into the small kitchen space and wipes his right palm off on the front of his pants before extending it to Bucky. "Jay Guthrie."

At least it's the right palm. Bucky sets aside the broom, takes Jay's hand in his, shakes it firmly. He has gunman's calluses, still, but there's nothing of a pissing contest to it. "Ah," he says, hesitantly. "Yeah, that's right. I was crashed out in Lamb's courtyard." AKA the Land of Sexual Confusion. He peers past Jay at the lump on his back. "Man, it looks like your tumor there has ambitions. Or is that a sack of kittens?"

Kai says, "Jay looked after Kevin while I was gone. Which is why I wasn't freaking out on you guys." The little dog is splayed on his back in front of a fan rattling away. Ah, refreshing dog smell blown into the room along with cool air. Kai finishes a little more of his skyline. Then he sets his paintbrush aside and gets to his feet. "Two of my favorite people together. This calls for sandwiches."

Jay's handshake is firm but forgiving, not trying to prove a damn thing about himself here, but his skin is soft. Damn soft. Like he's never done a day of work in his life and moisturizes daily. But for the breadth of it, the guy's got lady hands. "Yeah, Ah heard from one-a his guys he vanished too, so Ah went over t'check it out an' you an' him were in the courtyard. Ah slept there that night by Bert an' helped him order breakfast but, ah, everyone scrammed real quick by th' time Ah got back." Support Staff Jay explains in his heavy southern leaning accent, his expression open and guileless while he shakes hands with a named terrorist. His tone lowers a half step, sincere and gains some weight to it as he tries to meet Bucky's eyes. "Thank you. For everythin' you did."

Then releases his hand and takes a comfortable half step away while Bucky comments on his 'tumor'. Jay smiles, slightly abashed, though amused as well at the comparison, dipping his chin a bit and making longish hair swing in front of his face some. "Hah…that's funny. Ah haven't heard that one." Whether or not he's just being nice isn't clear, but when he looks up again, Jay's still smiling, his fair cheeks retaining a little color. The young man straightens. "They're wings. Ah'm a mutant." Pivoting a quarter turn, Jay shows Bucky his back and the long, streamlined primary and secondary red feathers that stick out of the bottom of his open overshirt. Almost touching the ground, the manage to stick to just behind his legs.

Jay smiles ruefully toward Kai. "That's me, the dog sitter." Jay whispers a soft chuckle.

Buck whistles at that. "Can you use 'em? I mean, can you fly?" How he envied the Invaders who could fly, back in the war, when he and Steve had to slog along on the ground. And then he shrugs at the thanks. "I owe Kai a lot. And …..I wasn't willing to let him stay dead. Not when I was the one who killed him." He's blunt about it - no flinching, no looking ashamed.

Kai shakes his head. "Between the two of you, I don't know what I'm going to do. The dog sitter took care of my best little buddy who couldn't care for himself. I love that dog." That smelly, sleeping, farting dog. Loki insists on giving him cheese. Truly he is a god of trickery. "And you killing me," Kai says to Bucky, "kept me from breaking under those torturing bastards. You saved all the parts of me that are me. I owe you both, and I adore you dearly." He goes pawing through cupboards and the fridge til he has the makings of peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

The moment the peanut butter is opened, one of Kevin's eyes opens. He rolls over and trots into the kitchen. Hello, peanut butter— er, hello, humans.

The mutant man nods evenly, fingers sliding into his front pockets and letting his elbows hang loosely to his sides. "Yeah. Ah can fly, an' Ah can carry folks. Few other things Ah can do. Flyin's pretty common, and plenty of folks do it without totin' these things around." On cue, that bag of kittens rises up again, testing the stitching on Jay's shirt before compressing down once more.

Jay's brows slowly loft upward a little when Bucky says he killed Kai. Unsure just how to process that, though it's clearly news to him. Jay turns his head toward Kai. "You said you were killed. You didn't mention." The new information takes a few seconds to settle in. The clicking of Kevin's nails on the floor make Jay glance that way automatically for a moment.

"I envy you," Bucky says, still blunt. And then he shrugs, the plates of the arms rasping against each other. "The ones who'd taken him turned me into a beast. A real one. And then they set me on him, at the end." His voice is so clinical, offhand.

Kai says to Jay, "It was hard to explain that my good friend killed me, but he didn't have a choice." He pauses, then says, "I guess that's not very hard at all. Sorry." He glances down at Kevin. "Hope springs eternal," he says to the animal, who gazes up at him and licks his chops. Peanut butter. Kai smears the stuff on bread, then dollops on grape jelly. He believes in loading up these sandwiches. Bread is just strata, man. "Don't blame Bucky," he adds. "And everyone ignores the part about how he kept me from breaking."

Jay makes a non-commital shrug to Kai and a small smile. "There was a lot goin' on. You had a lot on yer mind while you were here an' Ah was tryin' to take care of ya, it's all raght." His brows dip together some, glancing between Bucky and Kai. "Why would Ah blame him?"

"Feelin's mutual," Jay retorts to Bucky smoothly regarding the envy, then settles in to listen to some of the details. "What, like those werewolves runnin' around town now?"

"I don't know enough about those to say," Bucky allows, softly. "I was an actual wolf, so far's I can tell."

"Are there werewolves running around?" Kai asks. "The Wild Hunt is over with, isn't it?" He looks to Bucky, and there's real fear in his eyes. Brief. There and gone again. "Maybe we need to talk to a few people just to be sure," he says. He pauses in his sandwich making, and Kevin licks his chops and whines a little.

"Yeah, the guys whose couch Ah'm crashin' on, they ran into one of 'em," Jay explains mildly regarding werewolves. "Said someone's dog turned into a giant werewolf an' tore its way through part of Greenwich. There's also somethin' about a vampire too, though it wasn't really clear. Maybe he was in kahoots with the werewolf or just took it afterward or somethin'." Jay shrugs. "But since when is there ever one of anythin' weird in town?" Jay leans against the counter Kai preps on, and gives Bucky another long look. "Ain't you also the guy who tried to kill that other fellah? The escapee." It took him a second, but Jay's brain catches up to him.

The way Bucky goes still at that, as if Jay'd spoken an incantation and froze him with magic. There's a space of a few heartbeats before he turns that almost empty stare on Jay. "Yes," he says, simply. Not bothering to deny it. "I tried to kill Steve Rogers." And succeeded, insists Winter. They both saw arterial spray. No one survives that without someone's powers being involved.

"It's not that simple." Kai tells Bucky with a look of profound annoyance. Then, to Jay, "It's not that simple. Bucky's a good man. He's just had a shit hand dealt to him." He claps Bucky on his metal arm, then goes back to assembling sandwiches. Apparently Jay's description of the werewolves has satisfied him that the Hunt has indeed gone to ground for another year.

Jay meets that stilled gaze from Bucky head on, and though Bucky is full of tension at the mention, there isn't a malicious inkling anywhere from the fair man. He has no personal investment in the matter. Though… "Which means…" Following the dots slowly, the flier habitually wets his lower lip and tilts his head to the side. "Aw man…yer the fellah that killed Josh after he healed you, huh?" A saddened twitch of his brows together, Jay sucks a quick bit of air through his teeth in a little click. "Man. You've had it rough, haven't ya? Josh hasn't been the same since then, neither." Jay shakes his head mildly. "Ah'm sorry, man."

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