1965-01-01 - Bluebirds and the Sparkly Wreckage
Summary: Jay steps out of the party he's throwing for a moment and runs into someone to comisserate with, and ends up finding a way to turn the disaster around.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jay reno 

Haaaaaappy New Years! -_-

The ball drops with a giant crystal lizard on it after festivities are interrupted by said giant crystal lizard. Jay falls glum while yet another tradition just has to be ruined by fucking insanity, but upset swiftly fades into apathy that he's learned to protect himself with. Ah well. Hell with it. Happy New Year.

But that shell can only hold up for so long, and after being acutely aware how alone he is for another holiday yet not wanting to drag down the people he tried to gift with a nice night out, Jay grabs his scarf and excuses himself to the roof of the Newsweek building, for a little bit of air, then takes a flight in the brisk air to a building near to the dragon and ball.

People must be swarming it by now. SHIELD must be there to collect the carcass by now. Other supers trying to get close for a peek or discern where it was from. Jay is a brilliant spot of red and pale skin, wrapped in a white shirt. Sure he's not /glowing/ like some supers in the relative New York darkness, but he's not exactly camouflaged as he sits crouched on the edge of a building. Watching the busy people try to clean up the aftermath and the remaining supers scramble away. He's looking for people he knows. Faces he recognizes. Reassuring himself that the folks he cares about are going to be okay.

Don't jump!

That's what one might say to a guy sitting on top of one of the high rises with his legs hanging over the side. Reno was not glowing. Reno was not smiling. Reno was sitting top one of the adjacent buildings that took some light damage from the wreckage below. His shoulders were slumped and there might have been a sniffle?! maybe. He took a drink from his beer and let his heels bounce against the masonry. Hearing the fwa-thoom fwa-thoom of large wings the bird man rubbed a hand over his face before turning to look. "Jay? Que pasa, man?" There was a smile that warmed that didn't reach his eyes but he tried like hell. He offered "Have a seat. Come watch the dragon melt."

Jay's already had one moment of 'Don't jump!' from his roommates, earlier. It was somewhat gratifying, honestly, if silly. His wings aren't just for show, after all. Though right now they were being used as a shawl currently. He hadn't grabbed his suit jacket, and his dress shirt (while stifling a minute ago) seemed very very thin right now. Feathers cupping around his shoulders helped while he watched figures flick away from the scene of the crime.

Jay…keeping an eye out, but damn if he wasn't just as blind as any other man sometimes. He jumped a little bit when hearing Reno call over. Hardly a building over, Jay's brows arched and the surprise evaporated. He wasn't smiling, either. His serene, ever-present smile gone flat. "Hey, Reno. Sorry. Ah…didn't see you," Jay has to admit, lamely, as he stands upright and walks in Reno's direction. "Yeah, man."

Walking along the ledge of the building in his shiny shoes, brilliant feathered wings unfold wide from around his frame while Jay keeps his hands casually in his pockets. The extra limbs acting as balancers somewhat, but mostly, they hold out so Jay can step right off the edge of his building and with a single flap make the seamless hop to Reno's.

Reno offered the beer to Jay to share because he was just that kind of guy who didn't like to have when others didn't have. The energy was sucked out of him but he tried, for Jay's sake, "Well you couldn't see me cause I'm so damn tall, dark, and handsome. Or ya know one out of three ain't bad." He took a deep breath and looked back to the flashing police lights below bounce off the broken sparkle ball. "Seems lately unless you's trouble I'm like totally overlooks man. It's okay. Just enjoying the end of two of the worst days of my life man. Have a beer. It's from Luke's."

Easing himself down into a sitting position beside Reno, Jay takes the bottle with a grateful tip of the neck in the man's direction and wraps his wings around himself once again for warmth. Feathers brush against his friend's arm lightly as he takes a draw and looks across at the broken ball. "Two outta three aint bad, man." Heaving a breath as the remnants of the ball catch all the lights of the emergency vehicles below and reflect it back. "That'd almost be kinda cool-lookin' if it weren't so damned awful." He's quiet for a couple seconds, letting the drifting sounds of the worker bees below soak in before he speaks again. "So. What's goin' on, man?"

Reno's smile sparked a genuine warmth to it, "Gracias." Brown eyes fell back onto the bedazzled wreckage. "Yeah like if it was a pinyata and all that rubble was candy? Way way better." He had to agree with him there. The smaller bird man grimaced and took a deep breath leaning back against the feathers slightly. His brow furrowed and jaw tightened trying to find the words. "You know I um, I got out of jail not long ago cause like I was stupid and ya know, ya learn." Eeeeh fair and accurate. "I remember watchin that thing from like way way far away with my dad when I was a little-little kid" His hand went out there in case Jay forgot children are not adult size. Hey, he's through. "And um, we like, we lost em back in the war which is how I got all…ya know" eight fingers flapped together like a shadow puppet. "And I thought man, I want to do somethin better than what I been doin. You know make em proud and I came out here. For him ya know and … this. Dragon almost ate me b'fore my cousin's girl smacked em with a car." As a totl optimistic aside he looked to Jay more animated, "She strooooong yo! I gotta warn him, Robbie man, do nooooot mess up this thing with that girl cause she cute but she gon' wreck you dude."

The red-plumed man doesn't seem to mind the lean in the least, or he doesn't much notice as they watch the disaster crew below. Jay's attention fixed in that direction while he listens to Reno explain, nodding slowly here and there to signify that yes, he is listening still. The defined pieces of pomaded hair slide across his cheeks as he moves; sharp-looking little arcs of bright red against fair skin.

Corners of Jay's lips twitch gently, curving into a whisper of a smile when Reno gets distracted calling about his cousin's girlfriend. "Because girls ain't dangerous enough on their own, raght?"

Reno swam his head in a slow figure eight overwhelmed with agreement of Jays' assessment on the Gidget situation. "Yeaah man no doubt. She's good though. Good for em. She the one I got kidnapped with by that dude with the crazy helmet." His shoulders slumped again and he leaned with a nudge and a apologetic smile. "Night before same dude took me to see some things. I… I dunno why. Dunno why…me or why it happen but we met up with this dude in his Jockeys an took him and his breakfast to like… see this messed up tree thing and …I don' wanna scare you but you ever look into the heart of Diablo? Pure. evil, Jay. I thought like my lungs never be warm again. The shit you no can unsee? It's out there. And honestly after that yesterday? This tonight? I feel like all we can do is cry cause everything is just too damn big. But we can't cause ya know what? Is always more. Is always gonna be more and maybe it always was and we're just now aware but man…. my soul is tired. I just wanted… this.

"Loki, yeah. Well, good you had her on yer side, then." Jay's tone speaks with oodles of understanding when it comes to 'crazy helmet dude', sliding a likewise glance in Reno's direction while he talks with his hands. THe explanation is…confusing, but what isn't in this world? Jay bobs slow nods, a helpless smile curving maudlin on his lips as the birb beside him gets to the crux of his emotional reaction to the whole mess. Taking another draw from his bottle, Jay looks below them again, his smile soft and a hollow platitude.

"Me, too."

His words are light and somewhat conversation deadening, but validating. His demeanor as tired as Reno probably feels down in the pit of his soul, though hearing it from someone else allows Jay to breathe just a little more freely. Sliding a helpless smile sidelong back to Reno. Yeah. Him, too. "Things ain't normal, Ah get it, but why are we always fightin'? There's always somethin' awful happenin', an' it's like y'don't even have to put yerself out there in order to see it. Is nothin' sacred any more?"

He looks back down to the street and ponders a moment. "Folks wonder why ordinary people are all worried an' afraid an' tired all the time—Ah can tell ya that /Ah/ am worried an' tired an' afraid, too. An' at least Ah can get away and know that Ah'm gonna survive. Ah ain't useful fer shit, Ah'm increasin'ly aware of how much Ah got no idea about, how helpless Ah am in every situation, but at least Ah can get away. They don't got that. So Ah can't blame everyone fer bein' tired an' scared. Nobody down there wanted…/this/ tonight."

Reno really thought about those words Is nothing sacred anymore? Reno reached up to run the emotion from his eyes. He was down there, in that fight trying to protect a memory and losing. His defenses were exhausted. Sniffling in a deep breath he really thought about the question he heard from Jay and his cousin the Ghost Rider. There was a sound, a small hopeful sound looking back to Jay, "Yeah. we are. It's always gonna be bad things out there but we give up then it' s just… bad. When we stop trying there's nothing left for them to hope for." His eyes looked back to the broken ball. He was one small bird in a mess. There was a small nod to Jay and a hand reached out and patted his giving the top of it an affirming squeeze of solidarity. "We might be useless, but ya know, I know maybe if I don't die? Maybe I'm a better target than someone who can. I'm not like… them man. I see em when we try to make things like a lil better the Daredevil, Iron fist, and Madre de Dios the Ghost Rider and lemme tell you that boy got some problems. They can do things. Me? Nah. But maybe we can do things for them? Cause I'm tellin you, this? Them aliens? Not even close to what's comin." His olive skin was ashed but he looked back to Jay. We can't… lettum win. Maybe I didn't save the ball, but" his eyes watered and he watched the rescue crew again, "no one got hurt. been up here for an hour tellin myself maybe some other kid and his papi see it next year."

Jay doesn't have a lot of emotional friends. His closest one thought that he was having a heart attack because he /felt a thing/, so really it's a bit strange when Jay sees Reno get emotional about the mess of a world that they're living in. Reflecting his own feelings on the matter is even more bizarre while he turns to listen. The squeeze on his hand met with a twitch of Jay's fingers, sort of surprised by the contact, then angry at himself for being surprised by it. He exhales a thin breath to shrug the feeling off, like water down a duck's back.

It wasn't time for a debate. It wasn't time to be contrarian and let his own mood impress harder on that cloud. Jay softens, watching the watery sheen in those big brown eyes for a moment as Reno looks back down. Guilt spreads like the warmth of liquor through Jay's torso, starting at his chest and radiating outwards. He nods a couple more times. Thoughtful.

"Yeah. Maybe." Trying to regain a hopeful ring to help bolster Reno. The wing nearest to the guy peels back and opens up wide. "It's cold an' stuff, man. You want in on this?" Stretching the feathery appendage out in offering.

Reno was cold. AND tired. Cold and tired. And angry…and other things really. The bird was many many things. Well say what one will, at least the guy wore his heart on his sleeve. He considered the over and nodded "Thanks man. Didn't think we'd be sittin on a rooftop watchin fire trucks. Not that I had anything else goin on, but," He stopped himself from getting to down on it and clung to those little bits of optimism where he could make them. Being in prison really gave him a dependency on that survival skill. "But hey, you showed up. That's pretty good. And… I appreciate it, amigo. Wait" The bird's brow furrowed confused, "What'chu doin out here? It's like twelve forty. Show's over man. You lookin for survivors or somethi-" His eyes got huge and looked to Jay with a lot of programming visibly running in the back of his mind, "Wait you didn't lose someone in the evacuation did you? I don't think… anyone's like permanently damaged if that helps?" Because he really was the bearer of bad news and he had no news. In this case no news really really was good news.

With consent, Jay drapes his wing around Reno and scoots in close with his shoulder butted against the other man's. The weight and warmth in his feathers settles against Reno's chilled body, curling protectively around his opposite shoulder to nearly encapsulate him against Jay's warm, dressy lookin' self.

"Yeah. Ah figgered we'd be watching fireworks not fire trucks," Jay agrees dully. "Though, okay, if ya kinda squint 'til' things get blurry? You can kinda pretend all the lights an' stuff are like holiday lights." Showing by example, long red lashes narrow in as the pale fellow squints down below. Optimism attempt, right?

Reno realizes that Jay wasn't there for the fight and the red-head smiles softly to himself, head hanging low over his beer while amusement gently traces his youthful features. Taking another drink while he lets his motor mouth friend carry on, he waits until he's done before shaking his head and straightening up to answer. "No, nothin' like that. Though, Ah thought Ah saw Kai in the fray. Ah /did/ wanna make sure he got out all right, but nah. Nah. Ah'm runnin' stag these days. Ah wasn't out with nobody." Looking down at his bottle. Thumbing the label.

"Ah threw this party fer mah roommates as sort of a thank you fer puttin' up with me all year, an' we all needed a little bit of, you know, fun. Reason t'get sorta dressed up and hang out together," explaining gently, Jay licks his lower lip, debating just how much detail to go into. "Rented his lil' space over yonder with a great view of the ball. Then…/This/ all happened and, well, you know couples on New Years. So Ah sorta stepped out for a little air." Jay shrugs and flicks a practiced nonchalant smile sidelong to Reno. "But yeah. That does help t'know nobody got real hurt."

Reno sighed listening to Jay's story and really taking solace int he warmth and the simple gift of company. "Yeaaaaah I think the program managers had a typo or somethin." Fireworks, folks. works. The Crow was good at two things, talking and listening and he did both ceaselessly. He also could make those damn fine tamales but nearly as well as Tio Rico when he catered poker night. "Woaaaaah, you did all that? For them? That is far out. Maaan you're making me want to go like vacuum the apartment for Robbie or something but, yeah I get you. I think he's got his girl over and it was kinda scary out here. It's good they talk." He took his hand and hesitated touching the stone on the building, focused, and twitched his head, "Wooooah I did not know that…" he held up a finger to say wait for it. "Yeah no one hurt in the area recently. Well not bad or nothin. You know they shot scenes for a movie once off this roof? That director was ummm… what's a good word for it…really into his work."

Ceaselessly is a great way to explain Reno. Ceaselessly talking. Jay didn't seem to mind. It meant he didn't have to talk as much, which was generally a good thing in his book. A modest smile looks genuine and pleased for a moment as he nods confirmation that yes, he put things together for his roommates. "Yeah, Ah did. They're all, like, real high-society types, so Ah honestly don't know how Ah did, but they seemed happy." Exhaling a soft breath of humming humor, Jay smiles to the man against his side, a glimpse of warmth daring to touch his eyes. "They were probably jus' happy there weren't straw on the ground an' a hootenanny band."

Looking back over the area, there's a confused look. "Oh yeah? Really into his work? Like…was real good or something?"

Reno chuckled and seemed to be rallying. A smile even eased back into place, "Yeah like throwing things off the roof catching a perfect angle. See now I kinda want to walk around and touch stuff and see if I can figure out what movie it was." That could be a fun and harrowing project. He watched the Kentuckian and his self-deprecating humor and offered his best guess, "Maybe they were happy cause it was a super cool thing to do. Outside of that man you're friends for a reason. That means they don't need you to be like them. They need you to be like you. I come from a um, like a mixed family? Like most of us is from here or go back to the island. My abue-…my grandmother on my dad's side? She's from Mohican people. You know she and my grandfather? Really different but ya know that worked out. Sometimes that's good. Maybe they like it cause it's the best of all things. I dunno I didn't see it but that sounds like you? …are very tired. but also I think really appreciated. That's good too."

The only down side to Reno liking to talk is that sometimes Jay begins to miss the message in all his words. There's a grandmother and a director, and someone's an Indian, and then they're back to his friends and their backgrounds. Jay's tired, he's right. And that doesn't help. Pulling off the bottle again, his wings shiver, feathers fluffing up against Reno's jaw and his neck.

"Different is good," a nice, neutral comment of agreement. "Ah sorta like t'think that we give each other different stuff we need. Mah best friend 'n' me couldn't be more different. Not always good, but it ain't all bad. Especially 'round here you can't be super picky about folks bein' different." A gentle flick of a smile back to Reno. "What do ya mean go around, touchin' stuff?"

Reno shrugs and shuts up. It's a New Year's Miracle! The smile warmed and Reno didn't mind. Birds were tactile as hell, all squished together perched on wires sharing heat and travel plans and such. "eeeh best way to learn from one another. My um… I don't like just turn into a bird. It's… ya know it's a long story and if you do want to hear about it? I'll tell you like later. Short story? I see… things. not like hallucinations. Those don't ask for favours. But like… ghosts? Some things that ain't ever had a body called, like, spirits and stuff. And sometimes when I touch things, I see things that happened. I know.." He bit his lip and looked very guilty. "When they're like upset or in danger. sooorta how I know when you went missing." And then got very defensive, calm, but so prepared to be pushed off the ledge. "I ain't tryin to be weird and stalk you or… anyone. I worry. I wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Ah was gonne say, Kai sees things too after a couple hits of acid," Jay jokes lightly of their mutual friend. "You gotta get a little bit more specific around here." Not minding the contact, Jay's never been afraid of tactile matters or contact with his friends to a certain degree. Came with dog-piling into every situation with a million other tiny bodies for most of his life. Any bird instinct that he gained only intensified those feelings. "Like the motemallow. Okay. Sure." Jay tries to connect lines while Reno explains himself, murmuring an occasional affirmation or inclusionary thought. Even if they didn't make sense right away.

The admission of stalkingeven with the soothing comment that he ISN'T being a stalkermakes Jay take pause, brows twitching together briefly, but he doesn't seem terribly upset. Oddly enough, he did grab his scarf with the feather stuck in it on his way out, though the item is currently stuck in Jay's hair against the nape of his neck right now and only barely visible from a peeking black tip between red locks. "So, wait, you touch stuff and you can sometimes see stuff that happened around it, but how do you know when folks are upset or in danger? You just gotta touch somethin' they were around?"

Reno sighed and tried to explain it. Be it, sure, but he was no telepath. "Like an impression? I dunno like the more a feeling is assigned to a thing or a- like a place? Like the director that shot apparently his lifetime work? I get an idea of that. Like you? I know you're soul hurtin. I dunno why but like I just… know. Like what It's January oh-one? Well it's Antonio's birthday I need to give him a call up or something. But like my Tia? My aunt? When she died? I was on a bus at the time and I knew. and there was like just the space suddenly and my Tio Rico? He was hurtin. Hurtin bad and I know, I knew what had happened and lemme tell you sometimes just knowin things and being in no position to be there? Hurts too. But you? I know you been hurtin. I know you were hurtin and scared and then *bam* you were like right off radar." He boggled and looked at Jay. "Be honest. Got scared for ya but like I saw you on a sidewalk and then nothing . I was askin Robbie did he get hit by lightening or a bus or somethin? Freaked me out."

It's confusing and hard to grasp because, well, Jay doesn't have anything to relate directly to impressions like Reno is trying to explain. His gifts and powers are all rather rooted in the realm of the physical, and he doesn't have any close friends who can explain things that border on magic and mystical stuff. So he listens, and listens hard. Fiddling with his bottle, twisting it very slowly on his knee with one hand until his slacks have a pressed and cold ring of formerly frozen water on them.

Big green eyes secure with interest on his swarthier friend's profile. "So…you just feel things." No, he's not upset. Curious angel-impostor. "Ah heard stories from one of mah cousins, down in Louisiana. His brother in law's mother says she sometimes just feels things an' she's almost right on all the time. Just knows when to call the house when somethin's happened." he blows out a breath and glances away when Reno brings the subject back around to him. Shame and embarrassment flood his person, plaguing his reactions. Feathers shiver, vibrating all over Reno's body where they press against him.

The intrusion into his personal feelings and struggles are hard to hear. It's personal. It's weakness. Not something that men in the 60s like giving up to other men all that often. There is no retreating, though. Reno should stay warm. It isn't his fault that he's right. It's Jay's fault.

He taps his beer bottle on his knee a couple times, thumbing at the paper label until it peels from the glass. "Ah'm sorry," he whispers softly. "Ah didn't realize Ah was doin' that t'you."

Reno nodded with wonder on that. "Wooooah yeah just like that. She can do it too?" He shook his head sympathetically for her. "Is a tough like man. Not fun but, hey, sometimes I get to help someone have that last phone call. It's gonna happen with or without us. Sometimes it's like a broken arm or somethin. Still scary but in the run of things? Not so bad." Dark eyes looked at his fingers and curled them into wads and just kept them tucked in for now. "Hey. Hey man it's okay. You didn't do it to me. Whatever that was happened to you." He fell quiet. yeah it got weird. Crows were weird. They were just the messengers too. He sighed and offered with a tilt of his head, "When you see what I see you see a lot of people scared, hurt, losin people. I mean it's still hard and ya never get used to it. But like since I got the tools to need to be knowin things? Eh, I like making sure I can look out for people when I can. Time is a finite thing man. Unless you're this one dude I met who-" He stopped and shook his head, "Anyways, you're good people. Good people's worth lookin out for otherwise..'He held his hands out towards the disco ball. "People get crushed by giant glitter."

"Ah don't know if it's just like you," Jay murmurs softly, his voice taking on a soft, sonorous tone that seems to slice through the air to reach Reno a bit easier from way up high where they were. "She jus' gets it with her family. You…" Jay squints. "Sound like you got it all the time?" It doesn't make the guilt vanish. Reno lives with it all the time, it isn't just Jay, but it feels a lot like he is still inflicting his existence on someone else. Even if he deals with it all the time anyway.

He faces forward anyway when Reno does. Having an audience can be harder. Sometimes it's easier to talk in the 'dark' without someone staring right at you. Even when they're pressed up against your shoulder. Getting crushed by giant glitter makes him smile, quick and broad, surprised by the joke, but happy for it. Short lived as it was. "Yer good people too, Reno. Ah'm sorry you got tangled up in whatever pansy bullshit is goin' on around me all the time, but yer good people." Jay leans a bit in against the other birb's shoulder, pressing him until he shifts. "Hey? Happy New Year, raght?" A pale smile turned in his direction doesn't quite reach Jay's eyes, but he tries.

Reno smiled as the laugh filled his ears. Surprisingly, in spite of everything he was feeling a lil better. "Naaah Usually it's like an immediate proximity thing or like my family. Sometimes, like your case, I make the effort to do it. So like that ain't on you, it's on me." He looked back to Jay, down at the bottle up to Jay "Look I don't have anywhere really to be, but you do. Go be with your people. You did a good thing… aside from like drinking the rest of my beer so you can get me back at Luke's and we can hang out then." He looked down at the debris which they were making great progress with. Looking back he said genuinely, "Mucho mucho gracias. I, ya know, appreciate it. Happy New Year, pajaroito."

Jay looks back toward the direction where he left his roommates, steeling himself with a deep breath to fend against a little tightness in his chest. "Yeah. Ah can probably try t'break 'em apart now and not be a complete jackass," Jay speaks in hyperbole, more self-depreciating humor burying the lead on some very real tenderness. Glancing down at the beer, he smiles smally and hands the empty back to Reno. "You know the real tragedy? The stuff don't even work on me. Cryin' shame, huh? But hey, kept you from drinkin' an' flyin, didn't Ah?" He smiles smally and winks as he takes his wing back and stands. "Don't know what that means but, you know, this was the best thing Ah could've hoped fer, Reno. Really. Ah feel okay. Ah hope…yeah." He gestures loosely in turn. "You know. It helps. Ah'll come by soon, yeah? Promise."

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