1964-08-06 - You're a What?
Summary: Jay and Kai have a visit and Kai shares with Jay his vigilante identity. The two make plans to hang out and go on rounds some time in Hell's Kitchen. You know. Normal Tuesday Night stuff
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jay kai 

It's too hot. Nordic elf is dying, melted to his couch, wearing only gym shorts with two fans pointed at him, blowing air from different directions. Kevin lies with him, puddled nearby on the floor. He's listening to the radio, gazing up at the ceiling. "Kevin," he says, "I hate New York City in summer. Let me tell you about fjords. Fjords are nice."

Southern bird Jay is right at home in the heat and what people in New York think is humidity. It's just starting to feel like home. Jay taps twice on the door and tries the knob, still with the familiarity from less than a month ago when he lived in the crummy apartment as well. Poking his head in curiously just to make sure he's not going to walk in on some pasty alien bare ass on the couch. "Kai?"

The door is unlocked. Kai rarely locks it, no doubt to Loki's consternation, considering he bought him the door because it locks. No bare alien ass, but Kai's artwork is on full display as he lays on his stomach. The ash tree rendered in a brown so deep it's almost black, the silver netting at his shoulders. His hand drapes on the floor, which Kevin has been using for a pillow. The dog gets up though and pads over to the door with a lazy wuff. His tail wags, though.

Finding that he isn't being disruptive, Jay smiles gently and brushes past the door to step inside. Dressed lightly for the heat in a pair of dark green knee-length, straight-legged shorts and a faded brown tanktop with the arm holes cut extra wide and thin down his back for his wings, Jay walks around the city with them beared, counter to how Kai met him. Greeted by an exhausted pup, Jay smiles and picks the small animal up, curling Kevin in against his chest. "Hey, buddy. Ah've missed you, too." Shutting the door behind him, Jay tilts his head at Kai. "You meltin' there, Kai?"

Kevin wags more and licks Jay's chin. It's Jay! He loves Jay! This is awesome! Kai lifts his head and smiles sleepily at Jay. Then he looks plaintive. "I'm dying," he says. "Again. The sun is jealous of the moon and takes it out on me, her child." He waves vaguely around the place. "Sit wherever. There's beer in the fridge. Oh! I met your friend Daire today. He's a hep cat."

"Yer so meladramatic," Jay smiles warmly down to the collapsed elf with a gentle shake of his head. Scritching Kevin's chin while he strolls in a relaxed lope toward the kitchen, feet scuffing sluggishly on the floor. News that Kai met Daire, Jay halts suddenly and looks back at the sleepy, melting man on the couch, his ears burning bright red and a tremor of motion shakes down his wings. "Oh. Yeah? Did he, uh, mention me or somethin'?"

Kai says, "The world needs melodrama, mate. Otherwise it's so dreadfully boring." He slumps, melted once more, head on the couch, cheek mushed to the cushion. "He asked if I was Jay's Kai, and I said yeah, and he said he'd heard about me." He grins. "Why are you so red? He's nice. He let me draw him for the art installation."

Kevin looks hopeful. The kitchen? That's where food lives.

The kitchen /is/ where food lived, but Jay doesn't quite make it that far, hovering somewhere in between as he turns to face Kai straight on, his mouth curving into a slow smile, eyes shining with light. "Did he? /Good/. Ah was hopin' he'd be willin' to pose for you. He's perfect." Jay pauses, his wings fwip a little bit, stirring a short, lukewarm gust of air as he quickly amends. "For the project, Ah mean. He's perfect for the project. Exactly what we wanted." Jay touches one of his cheeks with the back of his hand. "Oh, it's just warm. That's all." Jay lies and glances down with a flick of his lashes, crimson wings shiver again, fine feathers puffing up.

Kai arches a brow, comical with his smooshed face. "Uh huh," he says. "He's good-looking, sure. Nice fellow, cool cat. I like him. He's got my number and I know where he works so we'll be in touch. I'd like to get a few more pieces done of him." He watches Jay carefully as he adds, casual-like, "Maybe a nude or two." Beware elvish trickery, young birb.

Birb can try as he might, but birb is an honest birb, and terrible at deception. And omission. Jay's face floods with color, across his fair cheeks and down his neck, threatening to extend that blush across his broad chest, suddenly wishing he had a proper collar to help hide behind. Lips suck in and Jay bites them, humming, "Mmm hmm…" as he turns around, wings expanding slightly, curling around his shoulders as he walks to the fridge to snag a couple of beers with one hand, still holding on to the wriggling dog with the other. "Whatever you think is best. Uh…can Ah…see what you did?" He asks bashfully, looming in front of the open door. Cool air. Hoping it cools his cheeks down a little bit.

Kai grins slowly. He peels himself off the couch and leans over to snatch up his art bag. Taking the sketch pad from it, he flips to the page with Daire and says, "Sure, have a look." It's Daire on the steps of the clinic in Mutant Town, with a cup of coffee in his hands. The representation is fairly accurate, and the artistic license taken serves to shine a light of humanity on him, bringing life to his eyes, a weary goodness. It's what Kai saw, after all, given the man was taking a break from volunteering. He offers the sketchbook over, still smiling.

The cool fridge air doesn't help with the blush spreading across Jay's face, but at least it was nice and cool for a few seconds before he turns back and sets Kevin back down on the ground and tries not to make it back to Kai too quickly. With marginal success. One of the drinks handed over to Kai in offering, in exchange for the sketchbook.

The page opened up to the page Kai offered, Jay hovers beside the couch with his beer dangling by his fingertips down by his hip, shifting all his weight to one leg. Jay smiles down at the page, tenderness softening his already mild and pleasant features. Wings relax and droop from his back by marginal incriments. "You really captured him, Kai," Jay murmurs then shifts his gaze back up to the melty elf, still smiling.

"It really is him, isn't it," Kai agrees. No false modesty about a job well done. He reaches over to scrumble Kevin's ears, which gets more wagging from the wriggly bundle of dog. "Who's a good boy," he murmurs to the pup. Looking at the picture, head tilted, he says, "He might commission me for more work. I hope it's to do a portrait. Anyway, he's really nice. We had a good talk."

Jay's brows arch gently to Kai, holding the book back to the elf. "Oh yeah? Huh, that seems" Then something occurs to him and Jay falls silent, popping his mouth shut with a soft sound from his lips and a sharp glance away, looking to the end of the couch that kept Kai's legs. Starting over with his thought, Jay looks distressed briefly, his expression turning hard, then slipping back to softness. "Yeah, he's amazing. He plays the guitar, too. First time I met him, he was playing." The angel-imposter turns to perch himself on the arm of the couch, sitting down and taking another drink from his beer, gesturing around Kai's apartment with it to gesture to the space. "The day you got taken away, he came over to help clean the apartment up after it was trashed." The young man pauses, then tilts his head to the side, staring at the painted wall. The moonscape. "He transformsthat's his mutation. He showed me because he wanted me t'see him like he is." Jay shrugs and scrubs a hand through his hair, scattering it this way and that as he glances uncertainly backward, over his shoulder, sort of toward the doorway. "It's really incredible. He's like a beautiful gargoyle, like on one of the buildin's downtown. Ah tried to kiss him." Jay chuffs a bitter laugh in a whisper, his cheeks turning red again as he looks back to Kai. "Stupid, huh? Ah'm glad that you two finally met."

"Yeah he said he played," Kai says. He tilts his head as he listens, and he claims a beer absent-mindedly. The flat gets a once-over. Huh, the guy had been in his apartment while he was dead? It's a little weird to think about, but Kai's not bent about it. Brows lift when Jay says he kissed Daire. Then his brow knits and he leans against Jay, his scruffy cheek against the winged fellow's shoulder. "That's not stupid," he murmurs. "It's beautiful in its own way to be overcome by beauty."

Without glancing to the man next to him, Jay's head drops as well, leaning against the top of a mess of blond curls. "Eh, it's stupid," the young man smiles dumbly, the expression audible in his voice. "The gesture was a thing of beauty, fer sure, but that wasn't it." Jay sighs on this hot, random day and takes a deep drink from his sweating bottle. "Fell fer a dang man. Mah momma'd kill me. Ah think the worst bit is that he feels the same way, 'cept he started datin' his college crush the day before he came by, an' now Ah can barely stomach hearin' the guy's name. How's that fer some fucked timin'?" Jay swishes a finger back and forth mildly, a small smile audible in his voice, "Ah told you it was stupid."

Kai slips an arm around Jay, just under his wings. "Not stupid," he insists. "Just feel glad you can feel, man. After the kind of stuff we've been through, just be glad you can feel. The timing is off, that's all. It's not so groovy it didn't work out, but… I don't know. It would be great to have it, sure, but knowing that he's into you, even if it's not going to happen? That's cool." He grins a little. "I mean why wouldn't he? You're a good-looking, sweet guy."

Wings twitch softly as Kai slips that arm around him, moving out of the way ever so helpfully, the extra limbs flutter slightly then settle. Jay slides Kai a skeptical look, though one corner of his mouth twitches, smiling crookedly to his friend. "Yeah, everyone loves broken-heart stories and sulkin' musicians. Ah don't know, man. Feelin' a little less would be /real/ helpful right about now. Ah didn't really sign up fer feelin' like my chest is goin' to explode with jealousy every time someone mentions my friend's name. Though, hey, the little flutter when Daire holds mah hand is nice." Jay rolls his eyes emphatically and shakes his head, resettling his cheek on top of Kai's head. "/So/ you can stop talkin' about drawin' him nekid an' junk, you little jerk," teasing Kai in a fond tone. "Ah saw him in just his skivies an' Ah've never had to /stop/ myself from lickin' another fellah's chest b'fore. Lord." BEER SWIG! Jay goes for broke and jokes, reaching around to affectionately ruffle the curls on the back of Kai's head "Ah blame you fer this, y'little queerio. You an' Lambert."

"Pshaw," Kai says. "Feeling is the essence of art, and art is life." Then he grins, not at all sorry he mentioned drawing him naked. Yes, he is a little jerk! The dimples prove it. Kai revels in the attention. He really does. He also says, "You're welcome," when it comes to taking the blame. Then he hugs Jay around the middle. He's got so little body shame, and besides, these two amigos have shared a bed in their altogether before. "I don't like that it hurts, though. You'll find someone who isn't attached to some stupid other person who probably doesn't deserve him."

Which is the whole reason that Jay shares any of this with Kai, anyway; they've been through enough raw emotional crap together, and he knows the elf loves the drama of it. He's also proved to be trustworthy and not a gossip, which Jay cannot fucking stand. Besides…it feels good to admit to someone else that he's in love, and someone loves him back, just…circumstance. A day. A fucking day.

Jay laughs softlya real laugh rather than a whisperwhen Kai takes that blame with gusto. Smiling at his impish friend's gusto, his fingers rub into Kai's scalp again just above his neck. "Does that 'plenty of fish' shit ever actually console anyone?" Jay smiles ruefully. "Ah've been sort of tryin' to see this lady. Total knock out and stand up chick. She's got that fire to her that Ah like to see in ladies. Still froze up when things got serious."

Moving along quickly, Jay sighs with longing. "Well…Did Daire mention the message we were gonna pass along to you? Since /that's/ why I stopped by, instead of tellin' you all the depressin' details of my lovelife lately."

"I don't think it does," Kai says. "It used to console me when I was netting for volume, but now that I've landed the one I don't want to throw back, I mean, like, he's who he is. Sure, there are others out there, but they're not him." Poor elf, his features come over so sad just thinking about losing Loki. He hugs Jay again, this time taking some comfort for himself. A meteor could strike and wipe out all life on Earth including Loki and then what would Kai do?

He lifts his head then to look at Jay. "You're breaking hearts all over the place," he says with approval. "Are you going to see her again? Maybe you've just been distracted with all this other stuff on your mind. Get high, you won't be worrying about anything when the time comes." He nods. Words of wisdom freely given.

Then he shakes his head and says, "No, he just said he knew you, and we talked about how cool you are, then started talking about the art project and the humanity intrinsic in mutantkind."

Kai just needs to mention what he and Daire talked about and Jay smiles like an idiotn his wings fluff up and pull apart a little, as if in display. "That sounds like him. Ah had a feelin' you two'd get along like a house on fire. Yer both thoughtful, positive lookin' folk. You know he went t'school to be a councellor? Like, certifiably, a therapist. /Man/, you get how many mutants he could help?" Jay gushes softly, though the warmth and adoration in his tone is undeniable. Fuck.

Jay squeezes Kai again, affirming and tight with one arm around the elf's shoulders, giving him a look with a wrinkle of his nose. "Ah don't aim t'break hearts all over. An'…maybe? Ah feel like Ah ain't bein' fair to her at this point, but Ah like her. Just ain't right to lead a lady on, /hopin/ that Ah get over it. Plus…" Jay grunts and winces. "Ah couldn't stop thinkin' about Julia when she took me back to her room." Jay reaches up, fingering something through his shirt. Kai's seen the tiny silver cross he wears, with the small diamond in the center. "Just baggage fer days. An' Ah can't really get high any more. Ah've tried. Not like any musician on tour hasn't smoked up b'fore. Hard as hell t'get drunk, can't smoke up, can't get callouses on m'fingers an' can't get inked. Ain't mutations /fun/?". Jay smiles crookedly at Kai.

"I don't know anything about courting women, my friend," Kai says. "Seems complicated and dangerous. You don't want to hear our stories and songs about an elfmaiden spurned, so I'll tell you what I do know: if it goes wrong, watch her eyes, they always look right before where they're going to strike." He rearranges so that he can lounge with his head on Jay's lap, because his dear friend also doubles as furniture. "I couldn't live like that," he says. "I can barely live like an Alfheimian on mortal swag. Thank goodness I can at least get real alcohol with a satyr around." He prods Jay. "What was it you wanted to tell me?"

Jay whispers a laugh at the advice Kai gives him, "Well, we're match fer match, mah friend, cause Ah know exactly nothin' about courtin' men. Mah record currently looks pretty sketchy." Not minding in the least when he becomes furniture, Jay makes himself comfortable, leaning back on the couch and stretching his legs out wide. "Bert's stuff is the only stuff Ah've been able to get drunk off," he nods in agreement, nestling an idle hand in Kai's curls and dropping his head back and closing his eyes, red hair splaying all across the couch. "Yeah, there are definitely times Ah wish Ah could check out. But. Ah still got music, and flyin'. Flyin's better than sex sometimes."

Prodded, Jay grunts, "Sorry, Ah got distracted thinkin' about gorgeous men with horns. Speakin' of Bert, he'd be /green/ if he met him." Jay smirks, then grows more serious. "You said yer an Avenger once, yeah?"

"Courting men is easy," Kai says. "You ascertain interest and availability, find somewhere discreet, and go at it like weasels in heat." He takes a swig of his own beer and gives his dog an ear-ruffle. "You ascertained interest and availability, he wasn't available. It happens. If you kept at it, you could get laid at least three times today." He says this with confidence. His eyes crescent with pleasure as his hair is messed with. He's a lot like Kevin in some regards. "Yeah, I'm an Avenger."

Jay smiles very softly up at the ceiling, listening to all of Kai's advice while his fingers tangle up in wild gold curls. Tactile little pleasures like that are Jay's bread and butter. There have to be some perks to never building up callouses after all. "Ah ain't lookin' to get laid by some stranger, mah friend. That's why the good lord gave us hands and vasoline. Ah honestly wouldn't know what t'do with a man in bed, either, aside from just…wingin' it." Oh, sweet baby Jay. "Bless his heart, 'Bert offered, of course. Ah thought about it, but thinkin' about his little fangy teeth jus' made me think of Daire again. Ah'm just gonna…Ah don't know…keep hangin' around him and /hope/ he does somethin' that turns me off." Jay looks down at the elf in his lap. "It ain't goin' well." And drops his head back again.

"The other night, Daire an' Ah were down at the bar t'gether an' this fellah stopped over with a message. He was lookin' fer leaders of powered types, but Mutant Town don't really got a leader," Jay starts and shrugs, taking another drink. "But, Ah know you, an' yer an Avenger /an/ you know all the alien sorts 'round. Seemed prudent."

Kai's brows quirk when Jay says 'winging it.' His mouth opens, then closes. There are too many possible replies to that in tandem with knowing what to do with a man in bed. His poor brain is overloading. It's the heat, damn it, making him slow. He shakes his head slowly. "What's going to end up happening is you're going to dance around this until you can't stand it anymore and you're going to do it," he says.

He takes another swig of beer as he listens. "Oh, well, hrm. We've got a leader, Captain America." He asides, quieter, "I've met him. He's a nice bloke. We're friends." Name-dropper. "I could get a message to Cap."

Missing that entire joke about 'winging it' and the gaping fishy impression that Kai gives him also missed while Jay lounges back, eyes closed and relaxed, soaking in the heat. His lean stomach flexes with a whisper of laughter over Kai's prediction. "Elf and oracle, huh? Helpful, Kai. Thanks." Jay's fingertips ruffle a bit more against his friends scalp, playfully.

"That's be helpful. /If/ the guy hasn't already Ah suppose. Basically, he was talkin' about Harlem. They're in a bad spot down there. The colored folks are ready t'throw down an' scrap somethin' fierce, he says it's inevitable." Serious stuff, Jay's tone shifts smoothly to fit the tone. "This fellah asked us that when that happens, when the folk in Harlem break, he wants th' powered people to stand down and let them handle their own business." The young, very white, very southern man lifts his head up from the back of the couch, bits of red hair sticking to his brow as he peers down at Kai. "If powered people get into it, it'll just escalate everythin' an' the Man will come down harder on them. It'll become about powered people, an' the mutant threat, an' the alien threat, an' whatever else, an' not about /their/ struggle. He's askin' us to /let it happen/." Judging by the troubled set of Jay's mouth, this doesn't entirely sit well with him, but he understands the reasoning.


Kai leans into the ruffling. Hey, it's attention and he'll take it. "Well, if anyone can be counted on to defend an American's right to protest, you'd think it would be Captain America. I'll talk to him, see if we can get the word out to the gang." He takes a ponderous drink, ruffles Kevin's ears, then says, "If powered people do show up, though, should other powered people be there to fend them off? Like to create a perimeter? That might not be the worst idea, you dig me? Someone's bound to come nosing around who's outside our jurisdiction."

"All we can do is get th' word out," Jay agrees mildly, though it still seems to bother him a little bit. "Yeah that is the problem with it, huh? There are gonna be people who either don't agree, didn't get the memo, or just like t'fight tryin' to make a mess of things. It ain't like the authorities don't got powered people on their side too. It'd make fer a lot more injuries and trouble. It wouldn't hurt t'have some folks holding the perimeter or makin' sure people stay back. Ah mean, that's sorta what we're tryin' to do now: pass along the word." He nods thoughtfully, licking his lower lip as he stares at the ceiling. "Daire was talkin' about playin' at support, healin', gettin' people out who ain't got a reason to be there or need safety an' shelter. The trouble is, we don't know /when/ its all gonna break. Stuff like this rolls in like a summer storm, fast an' hard. So we just wait, an' see."

"Daire's wise," Kai says. "I can heal people, for now anyway. If nothing else I can help get them out. If anyone sets fires near water, I can dowse them. The more we work in the shadows, the better, too. To take attention off us, make sure it stays on the people whose voice needs to be heard." He smiles wryly as he says, "I like this Daire cat. He gets it. He's tuned in to the right frequency." He shifts a little, then adds, "You guys should totally form a group, though. The Avengers is great. We have a mansion."

Curious, Jay peers down at the contently scritched elf in his lap, brows arching upward slightly. "Definitely in the shadows more. Gotta keep as much attention on what's goin' on as possible. You have other powers, li'l firefly?" He asks with a lurking smile on his lips. A smile that grows by warm incriments, his gaze taking on a slightly far off look of appreciation. "Yeah. He is. He just gets it," a gently glowing warmth in Jay's tone. "Ah think the only group Daire an' Ah are formin' is our band, which is gonna be amazin', even if it's just him an' me." Jay drops his head backward again, eyes sliding shut. "Ah know other groups in the city, an' a mansion sounds boss, but it ain't like we got a whole lot to offer folks in the grand scheme of things. Ah like the /idea/ of it, sometimes, but Ah'm also just a real simple kind of guy. Ah just wanna look after folks." Jay smiles though and has to quietly add, just a little bit of whispering. "…Ah helped break someone out of a facility they got kidnapped to…"

Kai smiles sweetly up at Jay, gazing at him with guileless affection. "A few." He gestures at the water in Kevin's blow. It ripples, then as he pulls up his hand, it rises, clinging together in a watery ball. Kevin growls at it and barks. Water should not do this! Do not want! Bark bark bark! Kai laughs, lowers the water back into the bowl with a small splash, and says, "Poor Kev. When I moonglow, he howls like a little wolf." Kevin, still restless and eyeing that water bowl, gets an ear ruffle.

"I shouldn't misrepresent us," Kai says, "We're not rich folks throwing parties all over. We've had generous beneficiaries, and a big house with some grounds is tactically sound.' The elf's brows lift, then. Sitting up, he stares at Jay. "What? What's this, now?"

Watching Kai flex his powers, Jay arches his brows way upward and a flourish of a rare whole-hearted grin appears, little asymmetrical dimple and everything as he whispers with breathy laughter over Kevin's spaz fit. "That's so rad, Kai. How much of it can you pull like that? /Man/, you are just full of surprises. Poor Kev. Water ain't supposed t'do that, huh, buddy?" Jay smiles softly and shakes his head, peering down at Kai. "What's with the thing on yer back, too, while we're at it? Not the tattoo." May as well go for broke.

When Kai gets up out of Jay's lap, the fair young man's face turns bright red, suddenly wondering if he shouldn't have said anything. Uncertain, there's still a bashful smile turned up on his lips while he scoops his hand through his long hair. Stilted, he explains, sort of. "Well…my roommate got kidnapped. So. We. Went an' got him." Looking back up to Kai. "Ah just need to stop livin' with people, Ah guess. They're always goin' and gettin' abducted. Or maybe Ah need to start a business where Ah watch abductees houses fer 'em."

Kevin growls a little at the bowl, just in case, then wags emphatically as Jay speaks to him. He has no idea what's said, but damn right, Jay. Kai ruffles his ears again. Poor Kev. Then Kai turns a bit where he sits so he can catch a glimpse of the tattoo. "Oh, that's not such a fun story," he says. "The night the Wild Hunt claimed me, this is the symbol they were hunting. It was painted on me in henna in a club, but the magic in Svartalfheim made it a permanent brand." He half-smiles. "At least it looks cool."

Kevin gets a smile as well, Jay utterly endeared by the ugly, ridiculous animal. "You tell that water good, Kev. You gotta keep us both safe from rogue hydrogen and oxygen agents." Praise!? That sounds like /praise/! Good job, protector Kevin.

Jay tilts his head mildly while Kai explains about the tattoo, nodding thoughtfully while he listens. "Raght…Ah sorta figured that might be it. Ah mean, it was all silvery an' weird when ya came back before, so that it changed color Ah sorta figured it had somethin' to do with that. The parts that are all still silvery and stuff the same sort of deal?" Jay asks of his uniquely alien (haaaa) friend. "It does look cool, though. Ah'm only a little envious."

Kai touches his fingertips lightly to his shoulder, and he bows his head. Quieter, he says, "Those are imprints of the silver net they caught me in. I must have hung for days from all the little hooks woven into it." He looks to Jay, and he smiles faintly. "Water under the bridge, yeah? They can mark me if they want, but they couldn't keep me. Not even Death could hold me."

Jay bites on the inside corner of his mouth, peering at the silvery veil that clings to Kai's shoulders while it's explained to him. His fingers sort of twitch, restraining the urge to reach out—it's not even so much the urge to touch it so much as the protective urge that Jay has woven deeply into his bones. A small, sad smile turned back to Kai. "B'cause they went in and got you back." A funny, gross oversimplification. "Scars are just proof of a life well-lived, huh? None of us get away from stuff that happens to us unmarked, even if they don't leave proof on th'outside. Ah don't know…" Jay thinks about it a moment, tilting his head to the side thoughtfully. "Sometimes Ah think that the marks are helpful. It's proof that it happened. That yer not goin' nuts."

Kai nods quickly to Jay. "Because they came for me." He leans against Jay, curling up under his arm and wing. "I know it's hard for Loki, to see these reminders that someone did this. But I'll tell you, just being back here? Alive with my friends? What are a few scars, dig me?" He just makes himself comfortable, sprawling in a puddle over Jay's lap. Kevin licks his face and Kai scruffles the dog's ears. "The more I'm reminded of what happened, the more I just want to go out and do something good. It's the only revenge I've got."

Sliding his arm off the back of the couch to drop over Kai's shoulder, Jay sits comfortably with his friend leaned up against him, hugged close under one arm and carefully making sure his feathers don't get in the way. "It's always harder fer other people t'be reminded of things like that," Jay shakes his head a little bit. "If somethin' bad happens to someone we care about, people feel like it's a failure on their part or somethin'. Fer me, marks seemed like a way t'convince myself it was okay to be screwed up about stuff because it happened, and there was the proof of it. Fer other people it's just a reminder that they failed to stop it from happenin'. Not surprised he doesn't like seein' it." Jay applies his own perspective on the matter with gentle, pensive words. Letting Kai slink down and melt in the summer heat across his lap, the flier chuckles behind closed lips and rests a hand on Kai's bare back lightly. "Mah Momma says the best revenge is t'live a long, happy life." About the most southern goddamn thing he could say, right there. Bless his heart.

"We'll work it out in the fullness of time," Kai says. "Let's not mince words: they took his most beloved, imprisoned him, tortured him, and murdered him. The constant reminder will take time not to be a source of some pretty intense, you know, feelings and shit." He slumps, so comfortable, melted as he is. "It's easier for me. I don't blame him. It's just stuff that happened, not stuff that happened because of him."

Jay's brows lift up slightly with a smart cant of his head in a 'well, there is that' manner of gesture. Nodding a few times while he listens, Jay takes a final pull off his bottle and sets it down, just soaking in the heat with an elf across his lap. "That's the thing, don't Ah know it? It's all just stuff that happens. It might be hard t'watch, but it's gotta feel good who feels that passionately fer ya. Friends who can go get you. So many folks don't have that."

Kai murmurs, "I know it, man, I know it. It's humbling. Whenever I feel like I'm going to crumble, I remember just how much sacrifice it took to put me where I am today, and I dunno." He sighs thoughtfully, and in profound relaxation despite being draped at an angle that can't be comfortable. Elfs. "Like I don't get to just lie down. There are too many hands that've helped me up. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, but it's not because I'm upset, it's because I'm grateful."

Triple jointed, they say.

"Gratitude can be overwhelmin' too. Any emotion can be overwhelmin' and sort of just…stall yer heart a little bit." Jay murmurs in return, just talking to talk at this point. Relaxed with an easy brush of his hand up and down Kai's bare back, falling over the brown marks in repetition, but tracing none of them. Casually chatting, musing with his fellow artist. "Don't let it hold you hostage. Yer friends went after you because they love ya, Kai, not because they wanted ya indebted to 'em, or anythin' else."


"That's what it does. It stalls my heart." He smiles dozily. "But it's not a bad thing. Not when it stops me from feeling like I've been done to. How can someone go through that and come back feeling happier, you know what I mean, mate?" He adds, quieter, "That feels nice. No, it's not about debt. It's an unpayable debt. It's about making the best use of a greater gift than I can imagine."

Thinking on it for a moment, Jay responds thoughtfully, "Ah can try to imagine what it feels like." Honest, if nothing else. Jay flicks a faint smile and keeps brushing down Kai's back in easy strokes of his soft, soft hand. "Life." Jay notes of the gift. "Bein' able to draw breath. Act." Jay expells a soft breath of mirth and shakes his head. "Ah was just thinkin' that earlier …Choosin' not to act when you know somethin' isn't right is just as bad as any evil act."

"It is, at the very least, complicity," Kai says, always up for some moralizing. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." He flails an arm trying to find Kevin's ears so he can pet them. "So that's it, man, the long and short. I always felt that way, and now I just feel that feeling only like that feeling was huffing bennies all the time."

Jay flashes a smile at the ceiling at Kai's quote, shaking his head a little bit. "Not wrong, man. Not wrong." His smile blooms into a grin. "Bennies, huh? So? What've you been doin' with yer new hyped up, amperage? Ah haven't been over in a hot minute."

Kai stretches, grimacing as Kevin comes over to lick his face. Nuuuu, dog. "I've — Kevin, seriously — been patrolling Hell's Kitchen like I do, making sure the people I look after have food and electricity. I stole a fan to give to an old woman whose fan broke. She won't make it in this heat, and the poor dear has no one. Mostly I keep people fed. It's not glamorous, but it's important for these people to have someone."

Jay smiles at the over enthusiastic pile of dog, his stomach flexing with mute tendrils of laughter pressed against the backs of closed lips. "Get 'im, Kev. Get 'im!" More than happy to goad the dog to keep licking at Kai. "It's ground level stuff, Kai. That's important. Jus' because it don't make the papers don't mean it ain't important. You taught me that." Jay prods at the small of Kai's back. "An' Ah appreciate yer help passin' along Isaiah's message to whoever you know who's got some powered people's ears. Captain America or even Loki an' the crew what helped you get back—though I doubt they're really concerned about what happens in Harlem." Jay suggests idly, smiling warmly at the ceiling a moment later. "An' you got a good sketchin' of Daire, too." mmmmnnn…

"You're not helping," Kai says, laughing, then sputtering as Kevin takes that opportunity to shlurk right up his nose. "Gah, Kev." He glances up at Jay, twisting his head a bit. "I taught you that? Cool, man. Cool." He pauses, then says, "Maybe not Loki. I love him more than the moon and stars, but he's a trickster. This is more Avengery." He flops over again, boneless elf. "You've got it bad," he tells him. "I'm calling it now: you're going to end up doing it."

"Ain't Ah?" Jay, putting on the innocent act to his advantage with a cheeky little smile that makes his eyes shine. Co-conspirators with the dog, of all things. He chuckles a bit, watching Kai flop over like he really is becoming a cooked noodle in the heat. "Well yeah. Ah mean, maybe not taught, but talkin' to you that day in the park, you made it feel less…hopeless?" Jay shrugs gently. "You do a lot fer me Ah don't think you rightly realize." Jay comments truthfully, guileless and relaxed, melting into Kai's couch. The final comment given a cast off chuff almost like a scoff, but Jay's ears still color a bit. "Doin' what? what're you talkin' about?"

"Never mind," Kai says. He pats Jay's leg. He'll let Jay find out when he and Daire end up in bed. He grins as he says, "There's a lot to be less hopeless about. When things are too big, look for the little people. When it cools down tonight, I'll don my Hjuki gear and check up on my regulars. You want to come with me? You can see how we do it here in Hell's Kitchen."

Jay quirks a brow and Gives Kai a lidded look. With all the obnoxiousness a younger brother can muster, Jay grunts and prods at Kai's side with a lopsided grin. "Nah, you don't get to play that way. Do what?" not like he doesn't know what Kai was insinuating, but saying it without confirmation just sounds presumptuous. "Hjuki?" He muuuurders the word with a heavy southern lean. "Whassat?"

"Erf! Quiddit." Kai twists and tries to duck the prodding, but being as he's spread himself liberally over Jay, there isn't really anywhere for him to go. "You know what I mean, you two are going to do sex. With those kind of sparks?" There, he said it. Erf! Kai barks, then starts licking Kai again. What a fun game! "Aaah!" Kai sits up, hair all afloof, and he says, "That's it." Harumph. "That's my real name. Since no one knows that, it's also my code name."

Jay grins at the twist, his face burning with embarrassment through the joy of watching Kai twist and try to squirm away. He holds his hands up, innocent and palms out, chuckling breathily as Kevin gets in on it. "'Going to do sex', Lord, Kai!" Jay laughs at the phrasing and shakes his head, ruffling a hand through his hair. "Ah wouldn't kick him outta bed fer eating crackers, okay? But…he's made his position pretty clear. He loves me, but…" Jay shrugs and looks down at Kevin to avoid eyecontact, still smiling, a little on the sad side. Sad little smiling angel boy. It's gross.

But! Kai to the rescue! He saves the moment by mentioning that the odd word is his real name and Jay is fucking /enchanted/ by the discovery. "Really?" The young man's attention lifts back to Kai and his smile reaches into those deep forest-green eyes again, warming them like the sun shining through the trees. A short, excited flutter of feathers. He may as well have tiny stars brightly swirling in the background. "So where the hell did 'Kai' come from?"

Kai grunts. Right, 'he loves me, but…' Kai knows. He is wise, but he keeps his wisdom to himself. He combs his fingers through his hair. Kev gazes up at him with a lopsided doggy grin, the tail helicoptering. "It's a name your people would call Ancient Nordic. That's our Asgardian." He drinks the last of his beer, then melts against the couch rather than prodding people who prod and their dog accomplices. "I needed an Earthly name," he explains. "So my parents called me Gerhard Alfsson. The diminutive of Gerhard is Kai."

Jay rolls his eyes at Kai, "Yeah, yeah, Ah know, Ah sound stupid. Ah feel stupid sayin' it too." The young man quirks a corner of his mouth. "Believe me, Ah don't like hearin' it, either. You can call me a fool," Jay waves a hand at Kai and drops it to the back of the couch again. "Ah was a fool t'think Ah had a chance against the other fellah. Eh." Jay tilts his head and shrugs mildly.

The language lesson is an interesting one at least! Jay isn't interested in ancient Nordic tongues; he's interested in his friend. Enchanted by these little nuances, Jay leans into his corner of the couch, smiling dumbly at Kai with such gentle warmth and attentiveness. "That nickname makes /no/ sense," Jay chortles his words fondly, eyes sparkling. "But Ah love it. That's so rad…gosh." Thinking back on the short lesson on Kai, Jay refocuses. "So what's yer 'gear' consist of? Ah'm into it, man. Ah'm pickin' up what yer layin' down."

Kai shakes his head. "You're a fool for thinking you're a fool," Kai says. "Also for doubting my words. Heed Kai. Kai is never wrong." He sniffs an appropriate amount of indignation, then relaxes again. He grins and says, "I know, but that's what it is." He glances toward the bedroom, where his costume is, and he says, "It's grey clothing, a cloak and mask. It's mostly for urban camo. It's a lot cooler-looking than it sounds. Properly heroic."

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