1964-09-22 - Save the Coffee, Save the World
Summary: Vic and Jay chat about moving, life and everything while Zombie Kaleb tries to sacrifice their coffee maker to the elder gods.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
maximus kaleb jay vic 

Vic lays on his stomach on the floor with a text book. He's a studious youth, proving much more academic and all around smarter than this body's previous occupant. It's history, his subject of choice. Nothing he can really use to fight crime, but at least he'll have context for the crime he's fighting. He hums off-key as he turns a page.

Jay spends an inordinate amount of time in Kaleb's room. An /inordinate/ amount of time. So much so that if one didn't already know that Kaleb was seeing someone that there might be raised eyebrows of shenanigans over their sleep overs and the ease with which Jay comes in and out of the man's space, but, eh, it's just the nature of the relationship they've built. He has also been trying to keep Kaleb calm through the packing process. This is, of course, impossible, but he tries. Sometimes this consists of spending time with him while he packs and sometimes it means getting the hell out of the danger zone.

Like now.

Jay very quickly makes his exit from the haughty twin's bedroom and lightly closes the door behind him, wings slightly ruffled askew and holding back a sputtering bout of laughter, lest he rouse the Beast in the other room. "Man, oh man, oh man…" Scooping both of his hands through his hair a few times, the earthy angel-imposter strolls barefoot into the living room, addressing Vic as he makes his way into the kitchen. "Oh, hey. Sorry I sorta ambushed ya and 'Bert the other day. Whatcha readin'?"

Vic looks up and he laughs to see Jay laughing. "I'm glad you did," he says. "It was good to see you. The more the merrier." He glances down at the book and says, "History of Western Europe." His belongings are packed: a rucksack and a small box. He sits up, crossing his legs, and he closes the book. "What's up? Is he freaking out again?"

Dressed more casually than usual, he's thrown on a loose green tank top that he mystically didn't have to alter for his wings, and long cut-off shorts. Kaleb's probably threatened to burn those cut offs a few times.

Jay meanders to the kitchen, whistling low when he hears the title of the book. "Hate to spoil it for you, but that one's gonna be a convoluted mess. An' Ah didn't even pay all that much attention in history." He rummages around in the fridge a little bit and hums. "Yeah, Ah hadn't seen him for a hot minute. Was good to see he's still kicking. It was funny you tried to introduce us." Jay chuckles very softly, the sound enveloped in a puff of breath.

"Yeah. He can't decide if his suitcoats get packed up with his winter wardrobe, with jackets, or with dress clothes. I told him all his clothes were dress clothes. That was /not/ helpful." He pulls out the milk carton and drinks right from it, then peers over to Vic as he puts the cap back on, wiping his mouth off on his forearm. "Don't tell him that I did that." And putting the carton back like nothing happened, strolling back to the living room.

"I've gotten as far as the Napoleonic wars," Vic says, and he wrinkles his nose. "It's already gotten pretty convoluted." He watches Jay, and he judges silently but kindly. Oh, Jay. Drinking for the carton. Tut, dear friend, tut. "I'll keep your secret," he says with an unspoken 'though it pains me.' "He does realize we're just moving more or less down the hall, right? Maybe a flight or two of stairs?"

Jay's pretty comfortable with being judged for something as simple as drinking out of the carton. There are worse things. Dropping to the couch on the point nearest to Vic, peering down at his book. "Yeah, Ah don't think that matters to him. Ah tried to mention that and he glared at me." A kind little smile curving onto his mouth. "He'll be fine. We…sorta talked a little bit, too. It'll be okay."

Vic shakes his head wryly, "That's our Kaleb," he says. "Best to just let him go when he's all wound up." He looks up at Jay. "How are you doing?" he asks. "I wanted to say thank you, by the way." He's figured out neither Kaleb nor Kellan are responsible for special breakfasts, because their cooking tastes like despair. "I can't wait til we get into the new place. I'd be ready to go today."

"Yeah, that's kind of my plan right now," Jay agrees simply with Vic with another fond glance and shake of his head toward Kaleb's room. Turning back, he shrugs loosely to the mote "'m okay. You know," a fairly mediocre answer, if good-natured in general. The thanks is given a dip of Jay's chin and rub of his fingers through his hair. "Well, you know, you seemed upset so…yeah. Ah didn't want you to feel like you were jus' here to be staff or somethin'. Ah get it." Remarking pretty simply with a glance across the floor, flicking a smile to Vic.

"Ah actually had a question for you, though it's sorta awkward," Jay warns ahead of time. Which opens up a whole world of possibility.

Vic smiles up at Jay, sweet as a spring lamb. "That's awfully nice of you," he says gently. "It means a lot to me. Thank you, again." Special Vic breakfasts are the perfect surprise. At the mention of a question, Vic shrugs a shoulder amiably and says, "Ask away. Awkward's okay." He's just so relaxed. It's one of those days where everything is bright and full of promise, with the scent of autumn is in the air.

The feathered young man smiles mildly and shrugs again at the thanks, easy-going, he accepts gratitude about as easily as everything else. "Don't mention it."

"Well, startin' at the beginnin', Ah finally ran into Warren and we ended up having a sit down about a few things," beginning at the beginning for a certain amount of context. "You remember who that one is, right? Ah mean, you weren't at the school when he came back, but he's the guy who Ah'm pretty much a lamer copy of, mutation wise. His family built this huge company an' he took it over, but the same folks who took Kale took him first and just…" Jay shakes his head, slowly, his wings shivering in a hush of tremulous disgust. "…just butchered him."

Vic grimaces, and he nods slowly as he says, "I know the name. Never met the guy though. He, uh, owns that company, yeah, and I knew something bad happened to him. I didn't realize it was that bad." He hesitates, then lays a hand on Jay's arm, giving him a comforting squeeze. "How's he doing? Is he going to get better?"

A faint flicker of a smile touches Jay's mouth when he feels the hand on his arm. Patting Vic's hand a little, the fair fellow grabs his ankles and folds his legs up on the couch with him. "Better is sorta…relative." Jay winces and takes a breath. "Ah mean, the good news is that he says he doesn't remember a lot of it, so he doesn't remember the pain. That's more or less what freaked me out the most. We both got the same healing factor an' Ah know what it feels like to get torn open over and over again, just sorta…/hoping/ to die." Verdant eyes flick down, then way up as the young man shakes his head. "But! He says he doesn't remember a lot of the process. They still, well." Looking to Vic, gentle, gentle Vic, he frowns. "They amputated his wings and replaced them with these machines that clice people apart and produce some kind of weird…poison or something. What's worse is that now, for whatever reason, he's completely blue, an' his eyes aren't right. Kinda pegs him fer a mutant right off, now."

The look on Vic's face, stricken with sympathy for this person he's never met. "If they took the metal off, would his wings come back?" he asks. He shakes his head. He just doesn't understand, on a fundamental level, hurting someone so badly. "We're going to find these guys, right?" Vic says. "Kaleb's going to find them, and the four of us and maybe my Opa will help. We'll find them, and we'll put a stop to it. Even if it's too late to restore Warren to what he was, at least they'll never hurt anyone gain."

Jay gives Vic a helpless smile. He gets it. There's nothing not-personal about this attack to the ball of empathy and feathers. But he has to shake his head softly. "Ah don't honestly know. Ah've never has anythin' amputated, so Ah don't know if they'd come back. But, yeah. Ah hope so. Ah really hope that's somethin' that happens one way or the other. Folks like that can't be allowed to just keep…/hurting/ people."

Jay takes in a long breath and lets it out again. "But, Ah wanted to ask you somethin' because, well…okay, here's the awkward part. He's gonna lose his family's company an' everythin' he's worked for if they find out he's a mutant. But he can't really…hide it any more." Jay winces, rather opposed to the sickening thought that they /have/ to hide, but he understands the circumstance. Lowering his voice (as if that helps, hah!), Jay whispers. "So, Warren was supposed t'go talk t'yer mom about maybe a charm that could help him look normal fer a few hours, but" Jay pauses, looks at Kaleb's door, then back to Vic and just /mouths/ the name and continues to whisper. "But (Lorna) flaked out on him he thinks. Y'know. Bein' all…whatever. Do you think you'd feel at all comfortable talkin' to her about somethin' like that?"

Vic nods immediately. "Sure. I'll talk to her. I'll ask her if she'll at least hear him out, and I'll plead a case for him." He smiles crookedly. "She's my mom. She's powerful and inscrutable, but she's not heartless." He smiles, like this is just the easiest thing. "I like to bring her baklava, so I'll bring her some and I'll ask. I can't promise she'll say yes, but I'll plead him the best case I can."

Jay's awkwardness for nothing, he picks up again and smiles easily to the motemallow, breathing a little easier. "Really, just the chance to make something happen for him would be nice. It isn't fair that any of us gotta hide, but what's worse is someone's livlihood gettin' ripped away because people aren't mature enough to get it." Jay smiles, lopsidedly to Vic, hopelessly guileless. "Ah appreciate it, man. Really. Even if it's just somethin' that works fer a couple hours at a time so he could make an appearance, would help. Us weirdos are all sorta family and family's gotta stick up fer each other, raght?"

Vic nods as he says, "Right. We're all family. I might not even be a mutant, but I'm an oddball, and we've got to stick together. I'm lucky, my differences, you can't really see unless you look. But they're there. You notice I got almost no moles on me at all? And just like you, my hands are soft and new no matter how much work I do. No scars. OldVic had a tattoo, but my skin pushed it right out almost immediately. But who's gonna notice, right? Sorry, I'm babbling, I just mean we're all related, whether it shows or not."

Jay grins briefly, the expression rising and falling just as quickly as the curl of a crashing wave, though his eyes are still bright from it. "Yer a wish trapped in an outlaw, Vic." He shrugs easily. "Does it really matter what kinda weirdo y'are? Yer our weirdo."

Though, hey, the mention of a tattoo makes Jay perk up, his brows lifting and spine straightening, far too much like an excited bird. or maybe that's the feathers. He has to ask with a soft mewl of voice, "You had a tattoo?"

Vic ducks his head and says, "You say the nicest stuff, Jay." He rubs his forearm. "OldVic had an eagle right here, but when I woke up in the hospital, I saw it on my arm, but it's like my skin kind of pushed the ink out. I wiped it off and it was gone. He was a bit of a rough customer, Jay. Not a bad guy, but he ran with some questionable sorts."

He looks up at Jay. "It's like my body's always trying to reset to fresh out of the factory. I think that's why I'm hungry all the time. It burns up so much energy." He grins a little. "But I'm your weirdo. We all got to take care of each other. This Warren guy, even if I never meat him he's my brother, in a way."

"Nah, man," Jay's response lilted with a self-depreciating ease. "Just honest, Vic." As if he's trying to…reassure the guy?

Looking down at Vic's forearm while he explains, there's a wistful smile written into his expression while he explains the tattoo. Someone's got a sweet spot.

"Ah get it, man. We're a lot alike in that regard you 'an me." Jay nods and leans back, then leans forward again, resituates his wings and leans back once more, arranging the extra limbs behind him. "Ah eat more than Ah should, but honestly, Ah do most of it at work or out, an' Ah don't think anyone notices much when Ah got you around." Jay admits sheepishly. Quiet Jay, trying to make as little impact as possible. "Though, the doc said mah muscle structure's weird, too." Trying to remember the words, Jay squints and sort of stumbles through it. "Something about the…fibers or something. An' the first thing mah body does is renew, the second is build more muscle." Jay shrugs and blows a breath out rather helplessly. Like he fucking knows? He just lives here.

Still, Jay smiles, excitedly, to Vic, tilting his head to one side a bit as he shares back. "Ah used to have a tattoo, too."

"You don't eat too much if it's what you need," Vic points out. "But I get what you mean. It's hard not to be self-conscious when people start staring." Not that it's stopped him from stuffing his face. Hey, the man get hungry! His attention fixes on Jay as Jay explains his situation. "Weird how?" he asks of the muscles. "Like, good weird or bad weird?" He prods Jay's arm, feeling the muscles. "Did your skin push your tattoo out?"

Jay laughs in a soft breath as he's prodded, leaning away from the experimental poking, he shrugs. "Weird like…'Ah guess it makes a difference weird, but Ah don't really notice it.' The doc noticed it, when Ah got to the school." Jay explains rather quickly. "Because of mah background he wanted t'do a full run up an' said there was somethin' about 'em." He shrugs and skates a hand through his hair. "Okay well, like you, Ah'm stronger than Ah should be, though not as strong as you are." Jay makes that admission with a tilt of his head.

"Doc said somethin' about how the structure of mah skeleton an' muscles is different. Mah skeleton's stronger, but mah muscles're more dense?" Jay squints as he tries to remember the explanation. "So /Ah'm/ more dense? Or heavier or somethin'." He blows out a breath and smiles, then stands up and walks over to the daybed, rummaging around underneath it where he keeps most of his few things. He adds as an afterthought, "An' you know, like you too Ah bet, don't really gotta work out to keep fit. Mah chemistry wants to turn everythin' into muscle or uses it to heal, so no use in doin' sit-ups to try to look good." Jay pops his head back up and smiles sheepishly over to Vic. "It's real vain to say, but it's a perk Ah'm sure Kel doesn't so much mind." Jay goes a little pink around his cheeks. Third mutation: accidental underwear model. High five.

Jay comes back with a small photo album, holding it open as he walks and flips through pages. It only holds about two photos a page, and there aren't that many pages. Sentimental schmuck.

Kaleb goes home.

Kaleb threw the door open ans was on a mission. Shit it looked like he might be going to war shortly with…well whoever showed up and was wrong next. Or was wearing socks with sandals. OR even anchovies on the godamnedmotherfuckingpizzaomghowaretheysoBADatthis!?!? Echo sighed. He had no idea how he lived 18 years enduring this world and where the fuck was the tape? His mouth didn't even oen to have the sound around him demand, "Tape, where are you hiding?" He was tired and…maybe a bit stressed out. Or maybe hanging out with Maximus too much or not nearly enough. The world was off center and the boxes were not, offensively so, packing themselves as they ought. Another sigh and he asked, like a normal person upon finding the box tape, "We have any coffee left, guys?" God he was tired.

Vic sits on the floor cross-legged, his history text book off to the side. He's poking at Jay's arm til Jay moves away, and he grins. "Yeah, Kellan doesn't mind at all." There's no shame in him. It's just the truth. He's got a nigh perfect bod and there are fringe benefits. He perks up when Jay brings over the photo album. "What's this?" he says. "Pictures?" He shifts up to sit on the couch. Poor Kaleb, the two gormless ones are in a good mood.

Jay is quickly flipping through, trying to find a particular photo. "Yeah, uh, Jules was into cameras an' her family was well-off so…" He has it half way out of the celophane cover when Kaleb storms out of his room on a mission to seek the hiding tape. How very dare it. Rather than immediately engaging, Jay freezes in place. Maybe Echo's vision is based on movement?

If they don't engage…

"Uhh, we can make some, Kale. Here," Jay offers and hands the photo off to Vic, dropping the rest of the album next to him on the couch as Jay strides into the kitchen. "You look like you could use some sleep instead of coffee, man."

Vic tilts his head as he looks at the picture. "Oh, wow. That's a good one, Jay." He grins, then shoulder-nudges Jay and says, "Cool stud, too. What happened to it?" He takes the photo from Jay and looks up as he says, "Hey there, Kaleb. Is packing going any easier?" He doesn't mean to poke the tiger with a stick, honest. "Just think about it this way, it'll all be over soon and we'll be in a bigger place, and it'll be great."

|ROLL| Maximus +rolls 1d20 for: 9

Kaleb was in the kitchen and set the roll of tape on teh counter and went about staring at the coffee maker. He… he was not good with gadgets. He set his cup in front of it. He toggled a switch. Nothing happened. CLEARLY it was broken. He toggled it again. Was he smart? quite, but he wasn't going to resolve any mathematical crisis for ht coffee maker. He sighed and took the coffee cup out of the coffee maker, set it back in the cupboard and unplugged the device starting to wrap up the cord to… oh god don't throw it out. It's not broken. Kaleb, noooooo.

"Toldya," Jay mentions distractedly to Vic, smiling quietly to himself as he rummages around the half packed up kitchen to grab a tin of coffee, walking around Kaleb. His voice rather soft, "She had an eye." A short exhale of breath puffed out in lieu of a chuckle, Jay shakes his head and meanders beside Kaleb. "Same thing. Had 'em both done at one point. Dumb kid decisions. — Who-okay there, pal, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water, huh?" He gingerly places his hands to either side of Kaleb's shoulders and steers him away from the kitchen. "Buddy, you seriously need some sleep. I'll take care of this, huh?"

Maximus knockity-knock-knocks on the door, the rap a demanding one. Then he tries the door to see if its locked. About as patient as a 9 year old.

Vic starts to get up to rescue the coffee pot, but he relaxes when Jay's on it. He smiles at the winged man with genuine gratitude. He goes back to examining the photo album. Pictures of Jay from days bygone. Score. "I can help you sleep if you need it, Kaleb," he says. When there's a knock on the door, he says, "I got it." The photo is replaced in the album, which he then closes. Then he hops to his feet and comes over to open the door. "Maximus!" he says brightly. "Please, come in."

Kaleb was grappled at the shoulders and steered and marched out of the kitchen with a gentle shove. It was really better for everyone. There was a disgruntled, but non-objecting groan. Truth, he was too tired to agrue and way too de-caffeinated to focus enough to try. Door… knocking… ugh. Maximus? He blinked and focused his attention there instead of throwing the coffee pot out because it was empty and incapable of doing his bidding. "Max?"

"Just take a seat, Kale." Jay sort of sets the practically sleepwalking zombie Echo free in the direction of the couch with a light push, hoping that it sends him gliding in that direction to collapse. He glances up at the knocking, but Vic's got that. Instead, he focuses on making coffee happen, if nothing else than to keep Kaleb happy and in hopes that by the time it's done, he'll be out. Jay pokes his head around when he hears a name. His brows lift up a bit and he cringes, quickly dipping his head, turning away from the main room while he holds his breath and hopes for the best.

Maximus presses his hand down his front in a dignified way, then nods to Vic as he's let in. "Thanks…is…he home? OH…there he is now…" He notices there are a few other people around, but he does cast a warm smile towards the man despite the onlookers. Then to Jay he lifts his hand in a faint wave. "They told me that this is all your fault." He grins crookedly.

Vic beams at Max as he steps in, and he closes the door behind the Inhuman. "Not fault," he says, "credit." He starts for the kitchen, but coffee is already on. He offers Jay a smile, and he goes into the living room to reclaim his spot on the couch. It's a strange sensation, this whole 'relaxing' thing, but he seems rather pleased with the chance to try it out. "It'll be done soon, and the new place is going to be so much better."

Kaleb was, admittedly more awake and while wuiet was doing a total inventory of Max at a glance scanning for in-tact-ness. Okay he was…alright. Oh yeah, right, breathing was good. he walked over, that faint look of questioning concern still there behind the tired and casual demeanor. "Everything…alright back home?" That's simply how he was leaving it. Hey, he siad he wouldn't talk about INhuman business and he was sticking to it though he had to ask, squinting from Max to Jay and Vic, "Wait, what's my fault?" A hand reached out more in genuine invite for Max to come in and hanve a seat joining them. "Whose photo album is this, guys?" Ooooh pictures and pics meant dirt. Fun fun.

Jay gets the machine set up once again from Kaleb's near tossing and gets it brewing in short order, peering around to glance at Max when there's blame to be had. He flicks his attention between Max and Kaleb and Vic. He turns away again with a shiver of his wings, the extra appendages slick tight to his back, making themselves small. "No, he said it was /my/ fault, Kale. Not yours. Vic, could you grab that?" Meaning the album.

"My meaning was…praising." Maximus clarifies with a slight tilt of his head. "Home is fine, though…Home's teleporting dog just…came outof nowhere and took me where I was needed, with little warning. I did not have a shirt for half the things we had to do because of it." He figits in the door and gears up to be…not a terrible person. This is it, Max, you can do it. He comes closer to Kai on his way to join the rest. "Do you want your neighbors to help you pack all this up?"

Vic blinks at Maximus blankly when he talks about home's teleporting dog. Woosh! Right over his head. He takes up Jay's album and holds it close in both arms. Sorry, Kaleb. He's the keeper of the dirt, and he's not sharing til Jay gives the go-ahead. "Do we?" he asks Kaleb, to the question of neighbors helping them pack up. He nods toward a rucksack and a small box in the corner and says, "I'm all packed. I'll help with the rest."

Kaleb walked over and paused. oooh free… help. There was a wry grin that gained ground though he shook his head. "Nah. I don't like a lot of other people handling my things." There was some amsuement, "I think we're good." He looked from teh album to Jay and back, to teh coffee -oh it works!- and then Jay (savior of coffee). "Better only be getting the credit for good things here or I'm havin a tlak with someone." His expression frowned briefly, though curiosity won out. Snatched from a house without time to pack and gone for a week? There was an arch of an eyebrow. there was a part in there not spoked. A hand went to the side of Max's face as he assured by declaration alone, "Yeah, well you're home now. You can tell me the details in a lil bit." Wildly tactile for him even if that wasn't much. "Coffee? Jay fixed the coffee pot." IT WAS NOT BROKEN, KAL- oh nevermind.

Jay's cheek hollows a bit, chewing on the soft inside of it while he watches coffee brew. Leaning his hip against the cabinet, there's a glash glance in Max's direction when he clarifies. Jay mentions quickly, "Sorry. Sore subject." The rest of it doesn't really seem to be heeded a whole lot but to cast Vic a grateful look and Kale a warning one over the offer of 'free' help. Oh hell no. He seconds Vic's words. "We don't need the help. Thanks. Vic and I can handle the rest."

Maximus goes to get started on some packing, and Vic tells Kaleb, "Aw, he likes you." True love involves people willing to help one move, after all. "We mean it, too," he adds, "Jay and I will do all the heavy lifting. You just take it easy and tell us what to do." He flexes a bicep. "We beefcakes got this." That bicep bulges nicely.

Kaleb gave Jay a look that said 'whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? good value! and at least he asks first, seeeee?' It's amazing what looking a little bug-eyed at one's roommate can convey…when they can also whisper in an ear from yards and yards away. Cheating. Total cheating. He collected the coffee and murmured to Jay, "Thank you." Notthat he ever really thanksed anyone for anything, but this was coffee and he was learning selective manners. Sore subject though he got and he paused half turn to give Jay's shoulder a squeeze. "I gt it. I'm gonna see if I can get the rest done." He waded back to his room.

Kaleb goes home.

Jay watches Max move on in to Kaleb's room as he pours a cup as black as Kaleb's sense of humor and holds it out carefully for him to take. The exchanged looks are helpful and though Jay lids his eyes as Kaleb in a definitely not convinced that's any better sort of look, he relents in the end. Because it's sweet baby Jay. The murmur of thanks gets a small smile in return, grateful. His needs are pretty simple. "Any time." Patting Kaleb's hand on his shoulder while he wandered back into his room. Jay followed in his wake, stopping at the living room and giving a worried sort of look toward Kaleb's. Wings finally relaxing a bit more to normal. Quiet thoughts remain quiet and Jay returns to the living room, holding his hands out to Vic for his album and a gentle, "Thanks, muscles. That could've gotten uncomfortable." MORE uncomfortable?

Vic offers the album back and says, "Anytime, wings." Vic's got him. No permission, no pictures. He glances toward the door to Kaleb's room and says, "Maximus likes to test people. It's not anything you did." He smiles faintly, and he pats the spot on the couch beside him. "I think you're one of the good ones, Jay. Couldn't be gladder that I met you."

Smiling mildly at the exchanged nickname, Jay goes to re-pack the album where he got it. "Thanks Vic." Jay inhales a deep breath, trying to shake off whatever feeling he has sticking to him. "Ah try. Ah don't always succeed, but Ah try." He bites the inside of his cheek again, then lets it go with an evening out smile as he looks back to Vic. "Ah know it's not anythin' Ah did. Ah just feel unsettled around him. Every time Ah see him, Ah think about the first time we met and it honestly just stuck with me. Hard to shake first impressions, y'know?"

"I think we all flub it sometimes," Vic says, "but you get it right more than you don't." He smiles up at his friend, sedate and fond. Then he perks up with interest and asks, "When did you first meet him? I went on an island adventure and it was all sorts of fun, and yeah, I think first impressions do stick, because whenever I see him, I think fun!"

Jay's eyes widen a bit while he thinks back, inhales a deep breath that seems to extend all the way through to his wings; they lift and spread gently in time with the inhale, and shake at the bluster of the exhale. "Well. Ah'd been in town about three days, an' was walkin' down the street tryin' to figure out where Ah was gonna sleep that night. Tryin' to get to know the city." Jay explains, setting the scene a little bit as he walks back to the couch and sits down by Vic. "Ah came across a man in pumps, a dress, a hat with lipstick smeared on his lips kinda haphazard like." Jay gives Vic a little bit of a lidded look. "Three days. So, of course, Ah run over an Ah'm tryin' to scoot him out of broad daylight because, boy, where Ah'm from you go runnin' around like that, you're going to end up hung from a tree in short order."

Vic whistles low as Jay describes a man in heels and lipstick. Then he laughs despite himself and says, "Oh my gosh, what was he thinking!? What happened? I can so see Max doing that, too." He covers his face with his hands. A man wearing a dress and makeup? OldVic saw a lot in his day, but he didn't see that.

Jay's brows arch way up and in spite of himself sort of chuckles, lifting his palms out. "Ah'm sure Ah got no idea. But, okay, Ah'm tryin' to get him out of the middle of everythin' an' he starts tauntin' me for it and teasin' me for playin' at bein' a hero an' it's…honestly sorta…demeanin'?" Jay squints softly, trying to convey the proper tone to Vic. "If that makes sense? So Ah told him that Ah was tryin' to keep him from gettin' his face smashed in because he was a full grown man in a gown, an' if he thought that was odd." The young man winces a bit. "An' Ah guess that was the wrong thing t'say."

Vic shakes his head, still hiding his face in his hands. "I can't believe he was in a dress, except I totally can." He lifts his head, flushed from blushing at the very thought of Max in drg. "It's not your fault. He's not from around here, you're not from around here. Cultures clash. I mean if you're going to see something like that, you're going to see it in New York, you know what I mean?"

"Dude, the dress I would believe /now/," Jay mentions and leans forward to shove his hand against Vic's shoulder, shaking him a bit. "It was the /lipstick/ and the pumps that Ah don't get. Smeared haphazard like that? Like, okay, Ah've seen a few things around the city now, but /come one/." The southern boy remarks incredulously. "Well, sure, Ah get it, an' Ah get him walkin' around however he pleases. What Ah didn't like was the way he was a demeanin' jerk t'me. Dress how ya like, but the person behind the clothes? That's what's important." Still, he waves a hand through the air.

"Okay, but Ah can just roll mah eyes at the clothes, Ah get grit mah teeth over his attitude. What keeps rollin' around in mah brain was that after that, he stepped in," Jay rises up and in toward Vic by example, staring his roommate square in the eye, rolling up to his knee. "Looked me dead in the eye, an' whereas Ah couldn't go to the cops and say he threatened me, there was damn no ifs ands or buts about it, there was this off-kilter threat in him. Like, if Ah'm doin' somethin' where someone's going to lash out at me, Ah get it, but this…this wasn't right." Jay sits back down, chills making the hair on his arms stand up and the small, soft feathers down his back fluff up. Scared. Jay was legitimately scared. "So every time Ah see him, that feelin' creeps up on me again."

Vic nods to Jay. "I understand how that could make you feel that way. I mean I think it's different now because you're family and we won't let anyone hurt you, but you feel how you feel. He makes Kaleb happy, though, and he's not like… you know who." His expression turns sad. That whole thing just makes him sad. He lays a hand on Jay's arm. "If you ever need someone to run interference, you just give me a look."

Jay drops back to his seat and winces, nodding to Vic, looking toward Kaleb's room. "Yeah. Ah know. Man…Ah'm tryin'. Ah'm trying fer Kaleb. It's just a hell of a thing. An' Ah know Ah look like a crazy person around him, too." Jay wrinkles his nose and rubs his arm a little bit, sliding a guilty look to Vic. "Like you said, he makes Kale happy." He sighs and casts a helpless touch of a smile in Vic's direction. "Ah don't got a lotta luck with first impressions, Ah guess. Ah much rather would'a had yer first time around him."

Vic says quietly, "I liked you from the start, so they're not all bad, I hope?" He shoulder-nudges Jay, unhesitant about casual, Platonic intimacy. "You feel how you feel," he says, "and you're trying, and that's all anyone can ask you to do. I mean it, though, I'll run interference. I like talking to him. It's no skin off my nose stepping in, and it gives you some space."

Jay leans against the back of the couch, dragging his feet back up to the couch and crossing casually while he's nudged. Yeah, no, Jay's never had a problem with physical intimacy. He never had a very broad sense of space growing up on top of a bunch of siblings. "Ah appreciate it, Vic. Ah don't want to make him feel unwelcome and then stop comin' by. Ah don't want Kale to get weird about his best friend and his" Okay Jay struggles a second. "date not gettin' along. It'd crush him. He don't need that." Jay exhales a breath, still looking pretty guilty about the whole matter. Then suddenly very aware of how much he was talking, he turns it back toward Vic. "So…what was the island like? Kale said it was amazin'."

Vic smiles wryly and says, "It was tropical." Friendly, but not a fool. If Jay doesn't want to talk more about it though? It's all good. "Riddled with traps, some of those were fun. There were these skeleton pirates, and some of them were tiny. It felt kind of wrong destroying them. But we fought them all off and got out okay. But I can say now that I've been to a jungle. And a fallen temple, and I've kept Kaleb from touching things that might hurt him."

Jay props his head up on one hand, leaning his elbow on the back of the couch while he listens to Vic explain a bit more about the place he's heard Kale talk about. "Skeleton pirates? Huh. Yeah he forgot to mention that part," chuckling softly. "He keeps sayin' he wants to go back. To the temple, Ah mean."

Vic slouches comfortably, folding his hands over his belly. With a crooked smile, he days, "Left that detail out, did he? Yeah, I'd go back if they asked me to. It's dangerous, but it's exciting, and it's good practice for solving problems and fighting. Now that I know I'll come back, I'm not quite so worried. Though I don't ever want to die again. That hurts so badly." He shudders. "No, thank you."

Verdant eyes squint slightly, seemingly in agreement. "Yeah, Ah wouldn't suggest to keep doin' it. It's not one of those things you just get used to." Scooping a hand through his hair a couple times, Jay's quiet for a beat, looking over toward the kitchen and the half pot of coffee sitting there. "Thanks fer…" the word lingers and a corner of Jay's mouth lifts softly. "Everythin', Ah suppose. Ah was gonna get changed an' go down to the Eight Ball. See if someone's workin' tonight." A gentle twitch of his wings betrays him briefly. "But Ah'll help pack up some of the stuff we don't use every day tomorrow. It's mah day off so if we work together should be able to get it done quick."

Vic shrugs a shoulder and says, "Hey, anytime, man. What are friends for?" He grins at Jay without guile. "I'd better get back to my homework, but I'll be free tomorrow, so yeah, we can knock this out in no time." There's a little tease in his tone when he says, "Have a good time at Eight Ball."

Jay reaches over to clap Vic on the upper arm appreciatively. "Yeah for sure. If Ah can do anything for ya, let me know." He uncurls from the couch and walks over to the daybed to grab a clean(ish) shirt and change quickly. It's a nicer one. With sleeves! Not that Jay owns any really /nice/ clothes except for his Sunday ones. Yanking it up over his head, he gives Vic a second look and asks with a little bit too much forced innocence in his tone, smiling a touch at his roommate. "Wh-what was that?"

Vic says innocently, "Just said have a good time at Eight Ball." His grin turns impish though, and he says, "Maybe you'll meet someone nice, who's only in a dress if they ought to be." He has no idea about Daire working there, or what that would even mean. So in his way, he is innocent! "Have a beer for me, all right?"

Jay blushes as he pulls his shirt the rest of the way on, giving Vic a long look. He knows he hasn't spilled his purse out all over in front of Vic yet, so he understands that it's innocent. "Ah'm just goin' to see if friend's workin'." His words are half filled with embarrassed chuckles. "Ah kind of crashed and burned with datin'. But, Ah will have a beer for you. An' maybe two fer me."

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