1965-01-18 - Don't Leave
Summary: Jeb's had a lot of emotions brewing inside, and a failed mission to set his sister up with Doug to keep him around tips the pot of inner turmoil over making the normally fiesty Guthrie into a emotional breakdown. Later, Jeb walks in on the exact reason why Doug can't date his sister.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jay jebediah douglas 

Jebediah had rarely ever been on time to anything in his entire life before Doug gave him this job. Now, he's not only on time everyday but he gets there early and he's /excited/ to be there early each day, just in case Doug might need some extra help getting open. This day is no different but he's even earlier today. He opens the door with so much vigor that he accidentally zaps it a little with his eyes.

He looks down like a chastised puppy before Doug even has to lecture him. "Sorry about that, Doug. Ah was just real excited to get here and see ya today." He admits, color touching his cheeks. "Ah'm sure Jay's right behind me, but Doug. Doug. Doug, did ya hear? Did ya hear my sister is in town? Did ya, Doug?" He doesn't even walk over to Doug so much as /bounces/. Doug liked Paige, thought she was real pretty. If he /dated/ Paige and then married her, then Doug would be his brother too, so Jebediah needs to get them eloping as of three weeks ago.

And in exchange, Doug is treating the Bean like his right-hand man, giving him extra responsibilities and special privileges as long as the work gets done. Who knew you could bring the hyperactive little shit to heel with a pat on the head and a cold beer at the end of the night and a few extra bucks in his paycheck when he does an especially good job! And that'll buff right out of the door.

But then Jeb mentions Paige, and Doug kind of goes a little waxy. "I heard something about that, Bean. Yeah. Can you set up the stage for your brother's set tonight? Two guitars, a bass, the drumset, and wheel the piano out."

Jebediah frowns a little, the first time since Doug has laid eyes on the excitable little shit and seen him disheartened. Mad, sure. Jebediah is always raring for a fight, a little angry brewing beneath the surface at all times, but discouraged? Never. He's far too hyperactive for that. "Ah.. Ah can. Ah'll set it up for him, but Doug, maybe on accounta her bein' in town, you should ask her to dinner, maybe. Ah think she would like that." He isn't entirely discouraged, clearly as he edges a little closer to Doug as he presents this idea. "You'll be real nice to her an' all the dumb guys where we're from were jerks, so she'll like you a whole lot. You work too hard, Doug. You should take a night off. While the bar is closed, I'll clean all of it and it'll be sparklin' when you come back."

Doug raises his eyebrows at Jeb, and he says, "Your sister is really pretty, Jeb. And very smart. But something tells me she wouldn't be interested in a bookworm like me. Paige was always really ambitious…" He goes back to checking the contents of the liquor bottles behind the bar. He tries to wriggle out of this one. Wriggle, wriggle…

Jay is behind Jeb by a few minutes, eyeing the scarring where Jeb accidentally, um, discharged, there's a curious pause as the musician enters. "Hey, what happened to the door?" Calling out just as he comes into view, Jay thumbs behind himself, his serene smile fixed in place. Even-keel as per his norm, not a thing wrong in the world while Doug tries to dodge Jeb's ardent attempts to set him up with their sister.

"Ah happened to it. Ah was just really happy to be here tonight." Jeb admits, forgetting to be embarassed about it now, now that he was wrapped up in this 'make Doug date my sister' mission he's given himself. "She is pretty and she is smart and 'cuz she's smart, she'll want to date a smart guy and you're the smartest guy Ah know! Yer real smart. And you're a great guy. Really great. Other'n Jay, you're the best guy Ah know. And you said she's smart, right? So she'll know you're a top knotch feller." Jeb insists as he scoots around the bar now to fix Doug with those big excitable puppy eyes. "The whole bar, Doug, Ah'll clean the whole bar. Ah'll scrub the floor, in the cracks, with a toothbrush. While you're out. It'll be real fun. You could take her to dinner! You could take her dancin'!"

"Nothing, nothing," Doug says, waving it off, "It'll buff right out." Then he looks back over to Jay, and makes big eyes. *HELP* — "Well, Jeb…" Doug ruffles the Smol Guthrie's hair, "Y'see…" He looks up, "What I mean is…"

"You were just happy to be here tonight?" Jay repeats, surprise clear in his tone as he slides up behind the bar as well, starting in on his own routine of opening chores for the club. Snagging one of the bar rags up and tossing it to drape over one of his shoulders, Jay smiles at Jeb. "Remind me to add that to mah prayers tonight, and my call to Momma this week." Jay jokes softly, working the cuffs of his sleeves around, rolling them up to his elbows while listening to the rest of the conversation.

A ceeping feeling taking over, his eyes flicking back and forth between Doug and Jeb. He gives Doug a 'what the heck is going on?' look over his panic. "Sprout, who are you tryin' to set Doug up with now, and what makes you think he can't find his own date?"

Doug tries to take advantage of Jay suddenly speaking up by inching away, slowly. Got things to do, important Doug things, hmmmm hmmmm hmmmmmm….

Jebediah waves Jay's joke away. Get out of here, meddling bird brother, Jebediah is on a sacred /mission/ here. He cocks his head to the side, much like a confused puppy, following Doug when he tries to retreat. "What? Yer real handsome and smart and strong and funny and real likable. Ah like ya! Ah don't like most anybody but my family and Jay's friend Cabbage! You don't have to be worried that she won't like you, Ah know she will!"

He looks over at Jay when he calls him out on what he's doing, with the look of a kid being caught in the act of stealing chocolate before dinner. "Well, Ah was… Ah was just thinkin' since Doug thinks Paige is pretty'n all, that he could take her out to dinner and stuff, because Paige deserves a guy who's gonna treat her right and Doug deserves the prettiest girl in the whole world, but mama don't wanna date no more, so Paige is a good runner up." He turns back to Doug. "Ah know you can get your own dates, that weren't what Ah meant, Ah just… Ah just think it would be nice…"

"Well…" Doug says, to Jeb, "See… I'm kind of… seeing somebody." He rubs the back of his neck. "We're taking it very slowly right nowbut…" He pauses, and says, "I mean" He looks up, and away. "I think I hear the phone ringing." He turns to head into the back. The phone's not ringing. Because Paige is apparently the runner-up in Jeb's mind to Doug dating Lucy Guthrie, and that means it's time for Doug to retreat. Retreat? More like a full rout!

Jay tries to hide the look of awkward unrest when he realizes that Jeb is trying to set him up with their sister. Feathers ruffle and it sings loud and clear to Doug, however. Oh. God. Swallowing down the awkward feeling to also flee, Jay reaches out to try to snag Jeb by a shoulder while the energetic ferret tries to bounce after Doug. Wrapping him up in a loose arm bar across his chest, Jay ruffles Jeb's hair playfully. "You would /not/ try to set Doug up with Momma, Jeb. And if Paige says no, you gonna keep goin' on down the line?" He chuckles, mildly muscling Jeb around, scuffling with a sway back and forth to distract the fighty little Guthrie.

A look up at Doug, Jay nods just once, giving him the nudge to go ahead and run.

Jay snags Jeb up when he's least expecting it, keeping the smaller Guthrie from struggling as he does so. When Jay ruffles his hair, Jeb does try to shake that hand off though. "The phone weren't ringin'," Jeb says quietly when Jay keeps him from chasing Doug further. A hand comes up to Jay's arm but doesn't pull on it to be released as he's processing the information that Doug is seeing someone else. It takes him a minute, it always does. He's not the brightest Guthrie, that was for sure. "Not mama, no, but you know we gotta say mama is the prettiest in the world. So Paige is next prettiest. An' if Paige knew what was good for her, she'd date a good guy like Doug, not some handsome feller who's an idiot and probably treats her bad." A hand still against Jay's arms as Jeb deflates a little, shoulders sagging. Aww, sad ferret. "Ah didn't know he was seein' somebody. Ah ain't seen no girl in here makin' eyes at Doug. Must be… must be a real good girl, don't go to bars."

Wrestling Jeb around a little bit, rocking from foot to foot to keep him distracted enough to not run after Doug, Both Jay's wings curl around, covering Jeb's face just to screw with him a little bit. Playful distraction. Like playing with a cat. "What do you mean she shouldn't date a handsome idiot? You don't think Doug's a good lookin' guy, now?" He chuckles, teasing. "Hey now, you know just as well as Ah do that Paige is her own woman and ain't going to stand for any of your meddling or mine so far as who she sees. An' Doug's a big man, now. He's been all over Europe and everythin'. Ah bet he could have a half dozen girlfriends and we'd never be the wiser." Another little ruffle, Jay lets Jeb go, clapping him on the shoulders. "What's all this about anyway? You worried Paige is gonna get her heart broke out here or somethin'?"

Doug has retreated into the back, where he puts his hand over his eyes, and leans against the wall, unsure if he should laugh or scream. So instead he leans there, and tries to collect his thoughts.

"No, Doug is a handsome smart guy, not an idiot. Ah don't want her to date some real macho guy who is mean to her and then Ah gotta kill him." Jeb huffs, pushing lightly at his brother's wings when he covers his face with them. "She ain't gotta know that Ah told him to date her. He just takes her on the date and doesn't tell her nothin' about me tellin' him to." Duh, Jay, jeez, don't you know anything about setting two people up?

Jeb gives a little sigh and a shrug as he's released and spins away, heading towards the stage as Doug told him to, to set up for Jay's show. "Ah just.. ah dunno. Ah thought it would be cool if they would be together, because he said she was pretty once.. Ah thought he might like her. And then if he was datin' her, then we'd see him more and Ah don't know!" He kicks his foot out, scuffing it on the floor as his cheeks heat up. "Ah gotta set up the stage and stuff, Doug told me to."

"Oh, okay then," Jay smiles at Jeb again. "Sorry, sorry, Ah'm not the expert you are at setting people up, Ah guess." Letting Jeb go do his own chores, Jay starts lifting the plastic carts of clean glasses to stock the bar up, wiping each one down with the cloth to make sure there aren't any spots on them. "More than every single night here at the club?" Pointing out level headedly, Jay settles down a little bit, asking what seem to be the right questions to get Jeb away from the idea and make Jay a little more comfortable at least. "Not everyone's gotta be blood or seein' blood to stick around, Sprout. Kale ain't goin' nowhere, right? He's as close to me as any of our brothers and sisters. My point here is somethin' Ah'm startin' to get ahold on after being here a while is somethin' Sam and Doug kept sayin': The friends they made up at the institute were like family to them. Ah might not have had a whole lot of luck out there, but Ah made my own out here. And they're not goin' anywhere. Doug's not goin' anywhere, okay, Jeb? You don't have to try to lock him down with Paige to make sure of it."

It's around this point that Doug comes back out. "Turns out the phone wasn't ringing." He took a couple of hits off a joint back there to calm down. So right now he's trying to wave the scent off while he heads behind the bar to pour himself a coke. "I guess I'm just nervous." He rests his elbows on the bar. "Jeb." He says, before he turns to cant a look at Jay, his eyebrows going up as if to indicate a question, before he looks back.

"Bean, I think you're something special. And I'm not going anywhere, okay? If you want to be family," He says, "Then we can be family. Okay? I'd like that. I'll be… your weird Mormon cousin."

Jeb is avoiding looking at Jay and he's avoiding looking at Jay hard. And those big brother ears that are fine tuned to pick up on a sniffle, fine tuned to hear a lower lip tremble, tears creepin' up in a younger sibling's voice, will be able to pick up on emotion just vibrating through Jebediah as Jay tries to assure him that Doug isn't going to walk off anywhere. Jebediah plays a scrappy little thing on the outside, but inside, he's just a boy who keeps havin' people leave him. "First… Dad died. And then Sam was gone… and then.. and th-then.. and then Paige was gone.." He stammers, emotion crackling through each word as he's sure to keep his back to Jay, shoulders starting to tremble /hard/. "And th-th-then you were gone and that was /my/ f-f-fault.. ah know but.. y-y-you keep leavin' me. Ah came here so Ah.. ah c-c-could be w-with you…"

A big, hard sob leaves Jeb when Doug comes back to reassure him, but Jeb's too damn worked up now to listen. He pulls his hands up to cover his face. "Wh-what if y-your lady wants y-you to move to Alaska?" Is his muffled, distraught response to Doug. "Ah don't w-w-want anyone to go anywhere without me anymore."

And then Doug puts his hand over his eyes. 'I'm gonna tell him', he mouths, to Jay. Then he gestures to Jeb, who's bawling his eyes out.

'Either I do or you do', he mouths, after.

Jay bristles when he realizes that this goes way, way deeper than he had initially imagined. A sidelong glance to Doug, his eyes widened, all his feathers rising up behind him. 'What?' Jay mouths back to Doug, a little alarmed. '/Why/?!'

Doug gestures to Jeb, who's doubtless still bawling. Look at him! He's having a breakdown! Look at your Smol emotionally perilous brother, Jay!

'You think /that/ is gonna help?' Jay mouths back, a small whisper emitted.

Doug approachces Jay sidelong, and whispers "You're his brother! You tell me what'll help!" He's panicking, a little bit. "*I'm an only child*!"

Bickering back and forth in hushed tones rather awkwardly, Jay whispers back urgently, "Just calm down and tell him you're not goin' anywhere again."

Jeb is still crying, hard, too hard to to notice that they're whispering around him, all of this locked up in his little soul, swallowed deep down until now, until the notion of Doug leaving him just woke it all up. Jeb isn't much of a crier either. The Cabbot boys had beat him to a pulp on more than one occasion and Jeb hadn't cried. Jeb could count on one hand how often he cried. When his daddy died. When Sam left. When Ray Jr's daddy died because of /him/. When Jay left, because of /him/. And now.

Doug pauses, and then he moves to put his hand on Jeb's shoulder, then rub his back. "Hey. Hey." He looks up, "Jay, go pour him a beer." Then he says, "Bean, I'm *not going anywhere*. I don't have a girlfriend and I'm not leaving, I just bought this place and I'm in this to make it work, okay?" He sighs. "I'm not leaving… you just cry it out, okay? Been dammed up in there for awhile. I know, buddy… I know."

Jay nods to Doug, touching his elbow as he passes by to, yes, go pour Jeb a beer. Keeping an eye on the two worriedly while he plays fetch, finding one of their moderately sized glasses to pull.

Jeb flinches at the touch at first, not expecting it and recoiling that much from his own emotions, angry at himself for getting this worked up that he kind of wishes Doug hit him. One hand moves down from his face as he turns and that hand moves to grip Doug's sleeve, awkwardly trying to convince the other man to give him a hug but both too distraught and too embarassed to ask for it. "An…An.. An J-J-Jay n-nei-neither…?" He brokenly asks for confirmation, still tugging lightly on Doug's sleeve. Hug me, man, damn it.

Doug gives Jay a look of silent desperation, but then he sighs, and wraps his arms around Jeb to give him a big hug. Squish. He smells a little bit like pot, but damn it, he's hugging the kid. "Hey, hey…" He says, before he puts his chin on top of Jeb's head. "It's okay."

Jay comes back, sliding the glass on the bartop nearby and out of the way, he piles in on this hug business, wrapping his arms around Jeb, his hands grasping Doug's sides. An apologetic look passed over in Doug's direction, squeezing tight. "Ah'm not goin' anywhere, Jeb. What happened back home wasn't yer fault, so don't blame yerself for any of that. Ah'm not leavin' and you know Kale would help you hunt me down if Ah ever tried."

Jeb's hand moves from it's death grip at Doug's sleeve when Doug gives in and wraps his arms around him, another small little sob escaping him as he blindly wraps his arms around Doug's back, pulling the fabric of his shirt into a similar vicelike grip as he struggles to try and catch his breath, struggles to try to calm down from the state he's worked himself into. "It w-were too." He argues weakly to Jay when he tells him that the business at home wasn't his fault. "H-he w-would." He agrees shakily as he holds tight to Doug as if he needed reassurance the other man wasn't immediately disappearing. "Cabbage w-would head the Jay huntin' party."

Doug pats Jeb's back, and then gives Jay another look, before he gestures to the kid hugging him, with one hand. 'You gotta tell him', He mouths, over Jeb's head.

'About us? /Why/?' Jay mouths back, holding on to his skinnier young sibling. Forging that quiet argument with trills of panic ruffling through his feathers and in his eyes. "Jebediah, you know as well as Ah do that what happened wasn't your fault. You were just the spark, but those boys have been linin' up matches our whole lives."

In response, Doug just gestures to him. 'Because my ribs just popped!' He mouths.

Jay argues silently. 'Tellin' him we're queer is supposed to make him feel better?'

Doug's mouth clamps into a line and he lets out a sigh, before his gaze rolls away from Jay.

Jeb pulls in another breath, trying to soothe himself, trying to catch his breath as he releases Doug from his vicelike grip, no longer subjecting Doug to the desperate hug, releasing him from his duties as designated crying post, as he turns to his new target, Jay, who can't be squeezed too hard. Bird brother was made for long term hugging. "M'sorry," He mumbles to Doug as he turns away from him, ducking his head like Doug isn't aware that Jebediah is crying as he tries to hide it and going right in to hug Jay instead.

Jay tightens a hand on Doug's bicep when he rolls his eyes away, instantly regretting, if not his words, then his choice of them. He's starting at Doug when jeb turns around and decides to lean into him instead. Comfortably, Jay resituates his arms a little bit and sets his chin on top of Jeb's head like he's done dozens of times before when the guy was younger. "You believe us when we say we ain't goin' anywhere, Jeb? Doug's not leaving to Alaska or anythin'. Ah'm not runnin'away from anythin' here."

Doug sighs, and relents a bit, his expression softening, before he says, "I have to go in and make a phone call, we're out of curacao." He looks at the two brothers, "You two hug it out and have a talk for a minute, okay? I'll be back." He turns to walk into the back, again. He really does have to make that call, but that doesn't stop him from sagging at the desk for a minute.

Jay's heard the 'call' excuse enough times now that he honestly just assumes that Doug is fibbing to get away for a moment. Normally he'd support that, but he searches Doug's expression, mouthing, 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean that' to the blond before he retreats into the office.

"You can go to Alaska.. you have to take me too. Ah'm small, y-you can put me in your carry on. Ah'll work on my stretchin', can just fold me up." He teases, smiling a little as he squeezes Jay, more familiar than Doug. "Ah'm sorry Ah got all stupid. Ah.. ah just… ah don't talk about any of that.." He admits sheepishly. "Ah believe you won't leave. Ah'm sorry."

It can be both! Doug actually does have to make that call, to get more bottles of blue, and then he hangs up the phone and sits at the desk, tapping his chin, his desire to reassure the Smol one mixed with the fact that edging toward it sent Jay into a dizzying panic. He sits, thinking, his chin in his hand.

"Nah, what're you apologizin' for?" Jay squeezes Jeb tight, rubbing the his back vigorously, his head half stuck on the interaction he just had with Doug and half on his brother. "None of us talk about any of that, Jeb, so Ah know how it eats at you. When Ah got here, Ah didn't really have anywhere to go with it either. Don't want you to gotta deal with that." Peeling himself back, Jay grips Jeb's shoulders, peering down at the fiery little Guthrie's face, his smile set for reassuring. "You doin' okay? Because Ah'd hate fer you to start cryin' in yer beer like an old country song."

"Cryin'. Ah'm apologizin' for cryin' and making a big scene. Acting ridiculous." Jeb clarifies, backing up a little, one hand moving to Jay's arm, not ready to sever contact entirely as he rubs at his face with his sleeve, an oversized sleeve that was probably Jay's once upon a time. He cracks a smile and even laughs when Jay mentions crying into his beer like an old country song. "Ah'll cry wherever Ah wanna cry, especially in my own beer. Adds flavor. Ah'm gonna start homebrewin' that, bottle it up and sell it. Guthrie Brew, just the right amount of tears."

He rubs at his face violently and looks up at Jay, hand still on Jay's arm and nods. "Ah'm alright. Ah love you, Jay, you know?"

"That so, huh? Adds flavor." Jay quirks one corner of his mouth up over the other. "Misery Company Beer. You can really taste the sadness." Joking, he squeezes Jeb's shoulder, pushing and pulling him with a wiggle back and forth. "Ah love you too, Beansprout. You can't get rid of me so easy." He glances backward, toawrd the office, then back to Jeb. "Go get the stage set up like Doug asked, okay? Make sure the guitar you got me fer Christmas is on stage. Ah stashed it up in the apartment so it wouldn't get nicked." Gruffly patting the side of his brother's face, Jay palms Jeb's head and leans in to give him a peck on the hairline. He played papa for long enough back home that he doesn't think twice about it. "Ah'm gonna go check on Doug. See if he needs help."

Jeb closes his eyes for a second when Jay bends to place a kiss on his forehead. He pulls in a deep breath and releases it before he opens them again, like somehow Jay's dad kiss reset all of his emotions, making him less of a wreck. "Okay." And his eyes light up, even though they're quite red when Jay mentions it's the guitar that Jeb got him for Christmas. "Ah'll take care of the stage. Can you tell him Ah'm sorry that Ah made a scene and ah cried on him?"

"Yeah, no problem, Sprout." Jay winks at his brother, everything fine and relaxed as he presses Jeb on toward his duties with beer in hand. Hold mah beer! Taking his own steeling breath, Jay turns around, eyeing the back office door dubiously. A ripple of motion through his feathers in aggitation, Jay heads on in, knocking lightly on the doorframe to alert Doug. "Hey?" A hint guilty looking, more than a hint concerned.

Douglas looks up at Jay, and then he pushes himsmelf up. "Jay." He says. "I'm not mad at you. I'm frustrated. I'm really starting to hate hiding, and I hate watching other people hide." He moves to get up, and grabs Jay's wrists, before he puts his arms around Jay's ribs. "I understand why you didn't want to tell him. But—" He leans in, to kiss Jay on the mouth. It lingers. The door is open, but Jeb is upstairs… right?

Wrists grasped, his hands palm Doug's in return, holding on to the guy for a moment, his palms skating up over his arms, grasping biceps after. His head automatically tips down to accept that kiss, letting it linger as Doug likes. Even afterward, Jay presses his forehead lightly against Doug's, sticking close to him. Quiet and intimate. "He was already upset. Ah didn't see why you thought it would've helped him right then. Didn't want to make him /more/ upset, Dougie. That's it."

Jeb is supposed to be going upstairs, yeah. Jebediah Guthrie is supposed to be setting the stage up, and he sure does mean to set the stage up and he /starts/, he swears but then he's worried about whether or not Jay is really conveying Jebediah's sincerest apologies for being a human disaster so with a splash of water on his face, he heads to the office to make sure Doug knows how sorry he is and to please not fire him for crying in the bar.. and he walks in on…

Doug and Jay kissing. Like with their lips. On each other. Kissing. Jay and Doug.

Jeb is silent for a moment, they might not even notice he's there as he watches them wide eyed, even his pulse seems to stop for a moment and he surely stops breathing. Jay. Jay is kissing another guy. Doug. Doug is kissing another guy. Doug said he was seeing someone but he didn't have a girlfriend. Doug.. Doug was taking things slow with Jay…

"So you can't date my sister because you're dating my brother." Jeb says, but it's slow, almost monotone, like he'd just seen a ghost, like this is still catching up to Jeb.

Doug pauses. He's not a telepath — and he wasn't paying attention. His cheeks burn scarlet. And he rubs the back of his neck.

"Oh… *shit*." He does remember that Jebediah can shoot lightning from his eyes, so he stands REAL still and doesn't make ANY SUDDEN MOVES.

The monotone voice pipes up behind them and Jay startles, all the color draining out of his face. Somehow. Somehow he finds color to drain away as he spins around to face jeb in a flash, wings cocking out quickly in a protective motion, shielding Doug and obscuring his view. "Jeb. Just, um," Just what?!


"Just come inside an' shut the door, okay?"

Jebediah shakes his head so hard it looks like it might be in danger of coming straight off his shoulders. "mn-mn mn-mn nope. Ah'm not comin' in there." He looks more than just a little hurt when Jay shields Doug like he thinks Jebediah is going to set him on fire, though it's probably an accurate response to his normally fiesty little brother. "Ah'm not gonna… Ah wasn't.. You can kiss who you want Ah'm not shock em to death. Ah.. Ah just… Ah didn't know…. you said you didn't like guys, Jay, Ah asked you and you said you didn't."

Doug gently pushes Jay's wing aside. "Bean—" He says. He looks at Jay, and then back at Jeb, and he lets out a sigh. "…We like both." He says, dipping his head. "But we're just… giving being together a try. We're seeing what happens." Boy, that sounded lame. That was lame, Doug. So much for being the Mutant Master of Language. He moves to slip by. "I'm just gonna let you two talk, I'll be up on the roof. This isn't about me."

It may have been a conscious motion, it may have honestly been subconscious, his wings going out like that. Maybe protective to shield him, and maybe like a kid trying to hide something from their parents. 'QUICK! Get under the bed!' Either way, he looks back when Doug coaxes his wing down so he can peer around it. Feathers fluff up, standing on end, separating before they shiver out, releasing a little bit of tension as they smooth out.

Jay's cheeks flush red and eyes drop, really having a hard time when Doug explains to Jeb that they like both. He whispers quietly. "Ah said…that Ah wasn't gay. Ah ain't. It's like what Doug says."

And then Doug slides by, fleeing to the roof. Jay shoots him a dagger of a look that screams 'Are you fucking kidding me!?' without even having to be a master of body language.

Jebediah watches Doug move past them both, fleeing to the roof, while Jeb is left in the doorway, still trying to wrap his head around what they were saying. Was liking both an option? He thought it was just straight or queer, what the hell was liking both? He wraps his arms tight around himself, like he's trying to hold the questions in from exploding out of him, before he pulls a hand up to his aching eyes as he contains the emotion from bursting out of him in a far more dangerous way around his very flamable feathered brother. A deep breath as he pinches the bridge of his nose.

There's an uncomfortable long silence, as Jeb just tries to breathe. "Okay. Okay. It's okay. It's alright, Jay." Jeb finally says when he opens his eyes and plasma doesn't shoot out of them. "It's okay. It's okay that you kiss both. It's okay that you like both. It's.. everything is alright. You're still my brother, Jay. I'm only really mad about one thing." He crosses his arms again and leans in the doorway. "How is it that both you and Sam can melt the clothes off /anyone/ and I still can't get a date? You haven't told me any of your secrets and that's bullshit, Jay."

Uncomfortable. Check. Double check. Jay watches Doug flee and every feather ruffles up in irritation, fwipping angrily behind him, one then the other, Jay moves off to the side, giving Jeb as much room as he possibly can while his brother tries not to explode.

Is it? Is it okay? Jay's not sure about that, folding his arms loosely over his chest, he remains silent while Jebediah processes everything. He's really not sure that things are okay and chews on the inside of his cheek nervously.

When Jeb unloads on him for…what? For not sharing his secrets with him? Jay's jaw drops, leaving his mouth agape and confused. Brows wrinkling up with the perplexed expression. "Ah…/what/?"

Jeb holds up his hands in surrender and moves slowly into the room and towards Jay. "Jay, relax, that was a joke. Ah'm tryin' to make light of this situation because Ah… Ah don't know how to feel about it but Ah know you're my brother and that doesn't change because of who you kiss. Ah'm not mad about anythin'. Ah'm not mad at you. Ah'm not mad at Doug. Ah'm just.. it's.. it's.. I didn't know that likin' both was even somethin' you could do… and it's a lot to take in, I guess." He stammers and so long as Jay doesn't throw him off, he claps a hand gentle on Jay's shoulder. "It's going to be okay. It really is."

It's a little disturbing as Jeb's hand falls on his shoulder, but aside from a small start, he is still. Trying to figure out Jeb's angle, waiting for something to drop, he swallows hard. "Are you, Ah mean—" Cutting off, the feathered mutant frowns and closes his eyes to try to center himself again in a turmultuous cyclone of vulnerability and other things happening.

"Ah know we had that talk before about how Kale, you know…is like that with both. Ah just didn't want you to think any different of me. An' at the time Ah wasn't seein' anyone so it didn't really matter anyway. Ah wasn't /gonna/ see anyone, either. Ah'm still not sure about," A now impatient flick of a roast hand toward the stairs as Jay opens his eyes again. Jay's jaw grits, upset. "/this/. Didn't want the family knowin'. Heck, Paige came in here the other day, yellin' at me because Ah had mah wings out, can you imagine what a fit she'd have if she knew?" He exhales a hard breath, heart pounding.

"Jay. Jay. Jay, Christ, Jay, listen to me. You're gonna start moulting. Ah'm not gonna tell anybody. Ah'm not telling Paige, Ah'm not telling Sam. Ah'm not tellin' nobody about what I saw here, alright?" Jeb moves his hand to Jay's other shoulder as well, trying to steady him. "It's just me, Jay. It's just you and me in this room right now, not the whole world, not our entire family, not all of New York, Jay, it's just me. No one knows but /me/."

"Ah'm not gonna moult," Jay grouses, sounded sullen with another fwip of his wings. Which, at that moment decides to drop one of his broken secondary feathers. The broad, snapped feather flutters to the floor behind him and slides alongside his foot. Jay hangs his head forward with a sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose. That was unfortunate timing.

Both his shoulders taken, he looks back to his little brother, a hint guilty. "…An'…Kaleb." Shifting his eyes away and back again. "Jus' you an' Kaleb know…"

Jeb tries not to let that hurt as he bends to pick up Jay's lost feather, when he straightens up he holds the feather up with a raised eyebrow in a 'I told you so manner'. "Well, Ah figured Cabbage knew… Cabbage has been around more for you lately than me. That's alright. So, just Kaleb and Ah know. That's it. Not another damn person knows and they ain't ever gonna. Ah ain't tellin' them, alright?" He picks up Jay's hand and gives it a squeeze. "Relax, okay? Just breathe, don't shake no more feathers out. It's okay, to me, you're still just Jay. You're still my brother. Ah still look up to you."

Jay rolls his eyes at Jeb and that sassy look. "That was jus' bad timin', Jeb. You knew that one was fallin' out anyway." Jay sits himself down on Doug's desk carefully, his hands braced to either side of himself, palms to the desk until Jeb reaches out to take one. Uncertain as Jeb dresses him down, there's just a vulnerability issue that he's dealing with right now. "Ah know that you know how to deal with this stuff better than Ah did, it's just that Ah feel—Ah don't know. It's a lot to get over. It's like havin' to tell everyone yer a mutant all over again, except even folks who understand mutation ain't so sure that you don't got a choice about it." Scrubbing his free hand through his hair, he still has a hard time looking straight at Jeb. "Doug wanted me t'tell you when you were freakin' out earlier out there. Ah guess…because he's right. Neither one of us are goin' anywhere."

Jeb rubs his thumb over Jay's wrist, over his pulse. Jay's old feather still caught in his other hand. "I mean, Ah'd tell you that ah understand that part but ah don't really. Ah think that Ah just like girls. You ain't gotta tell anyone else. And if anyone ever, and ah mean ever says anythin' nasty about you or about Doug, Ah'll set them on fire. Yer my brother. Ah am gonna support you in everythin' you do, forever. This is just another piece of you that Ah'm gonna support. Why would Ah be angry about you doin' somethin' that makes you happy. If Doug makes you happy, then that's great. He just better treat you right. If you and Doug part ways and Sally makes you happy, I'll support you. If it's an Oliver insead, Ah'll still support you."

He taps his thumb to Jay's wrist for each word as he repeats it one last time. "Ah. Support. You. Jerk."

Holding his quiet, there's a couple bobbing nods from Jay, recovering from his freak out while Jeb squeezes his wrist to punctuate each word. "Well, don't worry too much about havin' to put yerself out there for me. Ah'm enough of a target raght now." Nodding toward the feather in Jeb's other hand. "Especially tryin' to get mah music out there right now an' makin' that push. Though Ah think Doug's gettin' pretty hot under the collar about hidin' out an' everythin' lately. The, uh, you know…queer thing, an' the mutant thing. Jus' all of it. But thanks, Sprout. That means a lot to me. An' Ah ain't goin' anywhere. You don't gotta worry about that, okay?" Peering at the shorter sibling, a touch of anxiety still running through him, it's not /so/ bad, however. "But we got work to do, right? Sam'll be in soon. An' Ah got an omnilinguist's ass t'beat fer leavin' me down here."

"We do. Don't beat him too much, he gotta be able to help tend the bar and stuff, okay?" He says with a smile, caving last second to give his big dumb bird brother a quick hug. "Everything is gonna be alright, you'll see. So long as you got me, it's gonna be alright. Ah'll make sure of it, somehow." He promises before he tucks Jay's feather into his pocket subconsciously, he doesn't throw it away, just keeps it in his pocket and rushes up the stairs to get Jay's guitar.

"Sam can handle it for one night," Jay's brows pop upward, slightly snippy, following up with a quick wink.

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