1965-01-24 - An Apple a Day
Summary: Elmo comes to Kai in pain, and Kai has just the thing.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
elmo kai 

Kai is home. He's even dressed, in well-worn jeans with a knee torn out and a t-shirt, tie-dyed by hand in psychadelic shades of green, yellow, red, and orange. Far out, man. Playing on the stereo is La Bamba, and he's dancing around the kitchen in the midst of making tea. Since everything he says and hears is translated through Allspeak, he's singing the song in Engish, even though he's sure he's singing it in Old Norse.

Elmo rings up, and shortly arrives. He looks okay, but he's not moving right—stiff and ginger as an old man, completely unlike his usual quicksilver presentation. There's a trace of a bruise reaching up his neck from under his collar. "Hey," he greets Kai, smiling at the sight of a happy elf. "You're havin' a party up here, huh?"

"Just getting ready for the one on Friday," Kai says. He bounds forward to hug Elmo, then pauses as he spies the stiffness and the bruise. "What happeened to you?" he asks. "Did someone hassle you again? Do I need to whomp on a chump?" He gestures for Elmo to sit as Kevin the dog looks up from his nap, wags his tail, and closes his eyes again. Elmo is a trusted presence. The nap may continue.

It's a good thing Kai paused; Elmo tensed up in fear of being tackled in this current state. He relaxes as Kai doesn't do it. "Uh, sorta. It's kind of a story, let me…" He sits, carefully. "Did I tell you I kinda joined a team?"

"I got the general idea you'd joined my team," Kai says. "Or do you mean something else?" He doctors the tea with a little whiskey, then brings out a mug for himself and for Elmo. He sits near him without risking jostling or bumping into him. No elf-harassment today. So far.

"A mutant team," Elmo clarifies. "With a couple of guys from the M.T." He takes the tea, looking pathetically grateful for the whiskey. "We're not really, you know. An official X-men kind of thing." Even though the tea is hot and the whiskey strong, he drinks a good third. "We kind of …okay, I'm just gonna say it, we're agitatin'. Causing trouble. Taking stuff that the normies won't give us." He pauses, horrified momentarily. "Non mutants, I mean. People who ain't got extra genetics."

Kai grins broadly. "That's my boy," he says. "Elmo, that's fantastic. Good on you. No one ever got their rights back from the people who stole them by asking politely." He glances at Elmo, looking him over. "Looks like you got trounced, though. Are you going to be okay? I can fix you up if you want."

Elmo half grins, half grimaces. Kai's praise really means a lot to him, even if he wouldn't confess it under torture. "One of the guys asked me in, and I thought about you, and I thought, Kai would jump at this. So I did. Other reasons, too, but you're one." He runs out of breath and has to pause to carefully draw air in. "But so the downside is, I ain't got no tough skin or tough anything. And some guys came after us. And we got out, but…" He gestures to himself, wryly. "I'm one big bruise under here. I look like a map of Europe."

"I'm proud that you thought that," Kai says, "but feel obliged to mention it really helps to be tough." He clucks his tongue. "Poor Elmo. Here, hold on a sec." He gets to his feet. "Oh, take off your shirt," he says, and he disappears briefly into one of the rooms in the flat. In short order, he returns with something that looks vaguely crystal and baseball-sized in one hand.

"Yeah," Elmo says, laughing a little, but only a little because of the bruising. "Yeah, I can see that now." He sighs when Kai tells him to take his shirt off, but starts working on it. Undoing his tie, which doesn't take too long, then unbuttoning his shirt goes pretty fast too. When he needs to slip out of the shirt, that's when he runs into problems. "Can I get some help?" he asks Kai, eyebrows up in a whimsically pleading expression. "Took me half an hour to get dressed today, it'd be faster."

Kai sets what turns out to be a crystal apple down and tugs off Elmo's shirt. "Poor Elmo," he says. "You still dressed sharp despite being a walking bruise? That takes dedication." With a nod to the apple, he says, "I can heal you with that, but I need direct contact with your skin. It doesn't heal shirts no matter how nicely made they are."

"I can't go out in a t-shirt," Elmo says, with a straight face. "What would the neighbors think?" He laughs, a shallow huff, and manages to let the shirt fall off his shoulders. Instead of taking off his undershirt, he just pulls it up, and yep—he's spectacularly bruised in deep purples, yellow and green round the edges. It looks like someone used him for a trampoline. "What about it, Doc? Am I gonna live?"

That you were hip if you were wearing a t-shirt like this one," Kai says. He looks at the bruises and says, "Holy moly, I'm not sure. What exactly happened to you? Lay back." He picks up the apple. "This is a magic apple. It'll give you some of my life force and heal you up. Unless you want to keep your battle wounds."

"Your shirt looks worse than I do," Elmo says. It's not unexpected that he's thin, under his clothes, but that he's very leanly muscled, wiry as a greyhound, that might be a surprise. Not that it's too obvious under his garish new decorations. He obeys, laying back, though this involves some of Kai's help and a lot of wincing on his part. "Guy kicked in the door and I was on the other side a'it." Exactly how Kai is going to heal him makes him worried. "Is that okay? I mean, you're not gonna hurt yourself?"

"My shirt is a work of art," Kai says, unruffled. "I made it." He shakes his head. "Death by door is one hell of a way to go. Thank goodness you managed to hang in there." He kneels on the floor next to the couch, giving the apple a toss in the air and catching it like it weren't a price (and stolen) artifact. "For something like this? Nah. I've got an Alfheimian stamina. A few bruises won't hurt me. It's almost cheating, healing humans. I barely pay the cost at all."

Elmo studies the apple and Kai tossing it about, saying as he does, "The door wasn't much of a door. One of those hollow ones with a little foam in the middle. The guy was really kicking me, with a few splinters in the way. So what is that thing?"

"The Apple of Idun," Kai says. "It's not one of the fabled apples of immortality, but of healing. My parents stole it from Asgard. That's why they're in prison. I found it a few years ago, where they hid it, and I guess I just haven't gotten around to giving it back yet." He shows it to Elmo, and it glints within, sort of silvery. Now, I just lay this over your heart." Which he does. The crystal is cool at first, but then it grows warm from his skin. The silvery glint turns to a golden glow that pulses with Elmo's heartbeat. "See? It's attuning to you."

Elmo tilts his head a little, fascinated. "Wow. Your parents stole that? Why? Did they need healing?" That's the most obvious reason to steal a healing artifact, right? He shivers a little from the cool crystal, and from the vulnerability of his position, half naked and injured in front of Kai.

"They're thieves," Kai says. "I think they thought they were going to sell it, but a hot item from Asgard, you gotta lay low for a few centuries, you know? They hid it, but they got made. I don't know how." He pauses, then explains, "My father's a rogue; my mother is a noble lady who likes the bad boys. It didn't work out well for her." He closes his hand over the top of the apple. "Good thing I'm not like either of them," he says with a glint of humor in his eyes. "All right. I'm just going to let the crystal get attuned to us both. It'll start working in a bit."

"No resemblance whatsoever," Elmo agrees, with fond sarcasm. He gets a little tense with Kai's hand right there on his chest, but makes a clear effort to relax. "How'm I gonna know when it starts working?"

Kai grins. Then his features draw into concentration as the pulsing crystal grows warmer still, filling Elmo with that gentle heat. It seeks out the worst of the damage first, repairing damaged tissue, easing aches aind pains. The bruising doesn't go away per se, it's blood shed under the skin, the body will take care of it in its own time, but the little tears and stresses that might bleed again are knitted, soothed. "There we go," Kai murmurs. "Is that good? It'll stop when you're all better." It heals everything, too. Every little wound, no matter how minor. That healting warmth rises to a flood before it recedes, leaving a healthy Elmo in its wake.

Elmo can't help but relax as the pain goes, replaced by warmth and comfort. He makes an involuntary sound of relief and pleasure, sinking into the couch. Even the little scratches and splinters he hasn't bothered to mention are healed. It must feel like a hit of morphine. "God. Kai. Thank you."

They are indeed, splinters gently pushed to the surface of Elmo's skin by knitting flesh. Kai brushes them away, and his touch isn't painful. The ugly mottled skin is still a decorative war wound, but that's all it is. Kai has an oddly sedate demeanor, unlike his usual wild-eyed 'some shit's going down' expression. "Of course," he says as he gentle lifts the apple, which resumes its silver glint like moonlight. "Can't let my boy Elmo suffer when I'm not the cause."

Elmo looks down at himself. "I still look like somebody spilled paint on me, but I don't feel it anymore." He goes even limper in an attempt to meld with the couch. "Oh /man/. That's so good." Looking up at Kai, he smiles. "I could get up now, but I don't wanna."

Kai grins. "Then don't." He hops to his feet so he can put the apple back wherever it is he hides the thing. Then he comes out and takes up his tea, content to sit on the floor, his legs folded. Kevin comes snuffling and curls up in the divot where his lap would otherwise be. Kai pets him, and his brushy little tail wags. "This is the life," he says, "Not getting up if you don't want to."

Elmo does sit up, though, pulling down his undershirt—maybe he's cold, he has no insulation. He stands up with his usual energy, laughs in delight, and sits back down. "Is this what it's like, bein' tough? Wow. I wasn't gonna bother you, but sure glad I did." He reaches down to pet Kevin, too.

"You should always bother me," Kai says. "I have the solution to all yoru problems, and if magic isn't on tap, I've got pharmaceuticals." No shame, though. He has none of that. Kevin licks Elmo's fingers and wags harder. Why, hello, human. Kevin likes humans. Familiar ones are even better. That poor dog is so ugly, but so sweet. "It's good to see you being you again," Kai says with a grin. "Elmos should be bouncing around, not laid out."

Elmo scruffles Kevin's head, cooing to him. "Who's a good boy? Who's a good ugly boy?" He flashes a grin back at Kai, sunny and chipper. "Feh," he says, good naturedly. "Oh!" Remembering, "hey, you know Lambert? Real cute? Horns?"

"Hey, that's a prize pooch right there," Kai says. Kevin wags and wuffs, one ear flopping, the other straight up. Kai nods and says, "Sure, I know Lambert. I sing at his place and steal pastries and fried cheese. What's up with him these days? I've been laying low since I walked off with some lamb."

Elmo laughs and shakes his head. "Ah, you. Well, he had that party a couple weeks ago, and he mighta asked Loki how he can seduce you." It's a mark of how confident he's become, dating Lindon, that he can even relate this.

Kai's brows lift. "Oh did he. I guess he hadn't found out about the lamb yet." He can't help laughing, then asks, "What did Loki say? Saganaki is still standing, so I guess he didn't take it too badly."

"Oh, jeez." Elmo starts reddening up. "Uh, he seemed to take it pretty well. Started tellin' him." His hand goes over his eyes. "In detail. It was kinda, uh, you know. Kinda explicit?" Definitely red now.

Kai barks another laugh, startling Kevin, who he pets to sooth. "Oh no. He's such a prick sometimes." Kai says this with love — nay, admiration as well — and says, "Poor Lambert. I haven't seen him lately. I'll keep an eye out for, uh, explicit overtures." He ruffles Elmo's hair. "There, there. Oh! There's going to be a party Friday for guys like us. Bring one of your beaus."

"Yodelling," Elmo says, coming up for air. "He said a bunch of other stuff but you should definitely watch out for yodelling." He laughs helplessly, even though at the time he had only been able to attempt to sink into the ground and die. The ruffling of his hair only makes him roll his eyes. Kai has done so much work in getting him to take such things! "Guys like us?" he says, a little confused, then—"OH. Guys like /us/. Can you /do/ that? Have a party for…for queers?"

Kai laughs again. "Yodelling. All right, I'll keep an eye out for that one. Be still my heart." At the question of whether he can have a party for queers, he says, "I'm Hjuki fucking Evndyrson. I can do whatever I want. Seriously, though, there's a little place where the cops won't notice, and we're just going to get together for some drinks and dancing."

The idea still blows Elmo's mind, a bit. That it's exactly what non-queers do and nobody thinks anything of it doesn't occur to him yet. "Wow," he says, voice automatically going a little hushed. "Yeah, okay. I don't think Lindon would like that. He's not so into parties." Like Elmo is /super/ into parties. "I'll ask Jay maybe."

Kai says, "Who's not into parties?" Kai says, looking vaguely affronted. "Oh, right. He's old, isn't he? Sure, bring Jay. The boys will be cooing over him." He smiles at the thought. "He should have boys cooing over him. He's had a long year. I hope I can talk Loki into going. It would kind of suck to throw this party together and not get any smooches.""

Elmo is indignant. "He's not old. /You're/ the old one, tateleh. He's just, you know. Shy. He likes books. He's scared a little of people. Except he's kind of got a lot of boyfriends, but hey, who can blame him?" He grins, crookedly. "I hope Loki goes, too," he adds. "It's never dull with him around." Sometimes brutally humiliating, but never dull.

"In human years, maybe," Kai says. "Oh, so he's a nerd who gets laid a lot. What a contradiction." He takes up his boozy tea to drink. Mmm, booze. "You and Loki should hang out. Don't be afraid of him, it just encourages him. We got in a fight and he was like your friends don't talk to me. I want to prove him wrong." There's a glint in his eyes. "I want to win."

Elmo downs the rest of the tea because hey, Loki-quality whiskey. "He /what/? He…really?" More mind-blowing, the idea that Loki is mad that Elmo doesn't talk to him. "I mean, I gotta be honest, he's terrifying. I thought he liked it that way."

"He's mercurial," Kai says. "You can't really predict how he's going to respond to stuff." He laughs a little and says, "When we were fighting, he was like 'are you provoking me elf?' and I was like 'maybe I am.' We drew weapons." He sighs softly. "It was kind of sweet, to feel that much passion."

Elmo shakes his head over Asgardian passions. "If you guys were humans, someone woulda called the police. What were you fighting about?"

Kai says, "He said Kevin was a pain and we should put him down. I know he doesn't mean it, he was just trying to get a rise out of me. From there, we covered a number of topics, including my friends paying him no attention. I tried to cut his armor off him with my knives. At that point I was just trying to remove layers for aesthetics.""

Elmo winces. "He said that? Jerk move, Loki. You don't threaten a guy's dog." He pets Kevin, to reassure himself nobody is going to put the ugly little fellow down.

"Exactly," Kai says. "It's just that nothing else makes me mad. It's got to be torture for him, tryig to sow chaos with someone who's like 'whatever you like, dear.'" Kevin, unaware, wags and gazes up at Elmo lovingly. Kai gives him a petting, too. "Are you my Achilles Heel? Yes you are." Kevin wags some more. "Kev's safe. I think despite all his complaining, Loki kind of likes him."

Elmo gives Kai a look best described as troll-concerned skepticism. "Well, he's /your/ boyfriend. You can handle him. So yeah, about why I'm kinda scared to talk to him?" He indicates what Kai just said.

Kai waves a hand and says, "You'll be fiiiiine. He's charming! And remember all the stuff he did for me last summer. There's a pussy cat under all that lordly menace. Besides, he probably likes you. So talk to him. Hang out with him. I can promise you that, at the very least, you won't get bored."

Elmo says blandly, "Yeah. Pussycat." He rubs his eyes and sighs. Yet again Kai is talking him into something ill-advised. "Look, just promise if he leaves me on another planet, you'll come get me?"

"Of course," Kai says. "I won't let you get stranded on another planet. For long, anyway. He took Jay to Alfheim during a festival. Maybe he'll take you to Alfheim, too. You can see where my family's from. If he offers you Firefly wine, only drink a little."

"That /would/ be pretty ginchy," Elmo says, reluctantly. "I ain't never been on another planet. Yeah, Jay told me he took him to Alfheim." Unmistakeable jealousy creeps into his tone.

"Jay brought me back some candy," Kai says. "I love the candy there." He tilts his head. "You want him to take you to Alfheim too?" he says, tentatively seeking the source of that jealousy. "Or you don't want him taking Jay anywhere?" Jealousy works so weirdly for him, so inconsistently. He's spit-balling here.

Elmo rolls an elaborate Jewish shrug that starts at the shoulders and ends with palms upturned. "Maybe both?" he guesses, and grins his long half-grin. "Not that I'm sayin' Loki would cheat on you. Just, he's real sexy. So is Jay. Seems like a natural combination? I dunno. I'm being ridiculous."

"He better not cheat on me if he knows what's good for him," Kai says, "because I'm true, you know? I don't even give other guys a second glance. I don't even have to try. After Loki, who else could measure up?" Odd how he can look so annoyed and so utterly smitten. "He really is sexy," he says with a soft sigh. "But no, they don't have that vibe. Jay wouldn't do that to me."

"And he told me he's never been with another guy," Elmo says, about Jay. "I don't think he'd do that to me. He's such a doll." His turn to look smitten. "I dunno what I done to deserve a couple of great guys, but I'm not complaining."

"You're pretty cool," Kai says. "I mean maybe you don't see it, but you're loyal and you're passionate. Those are golden, man. They're two things I value, and I know I'm not alone. Like. Loki's a trickster and he makes mischief, but he does everything with such passion, and even though most of the known universe would call me crazy for saying he's loyal, I think he is."

Elmo looks at Kai with pure fondness. Kai can say these things to him and not get a sharp response or a flinch. Kai loves even Loki so much. Kai is ginchy. "Yeah. In his way, he's loyal. I can see that."

Kai, so unaware of his privilege, just tweaks a lock of Elmo's hair into place as though it were something anyone gets to do. "He always comes back," Kai says, "and he's good to me, man. Look at this place, yeah? And me makes sure I'm not hurting for cash, and he treats me well. Very well." His eyes lid, and he gives Elmo a wordless 'if you know what I mean' look.

Elmo immediately turns red and covers his face again. "I /heard/ all /about/ how he takes care of you," he says, muffled, into his hands.

Kai says brightly, "Great! I've been thinking of ways to put it into verse, but poetry isn't my strong suit." He gets to his feet and snags Elmo's mug. "Let me grab us some more tea." When he returns, in the mug there's only whiskey. Hey, he tried.

Elmo groans. "Well I'm not telling you what he said, so don't ask." He might spontaneously combust. Taking the mug, he observes, "This ain't tea," and then has a swig before passing it back.

"Why would I need to ask? I'm living it, man." He settles down again, and Kevin resettles on his lap. Kai takes the mug and takes a drink before offering it back to Elmo. "So you'll be there Friday if you can make it?"

"Yup," Elmo says, having another drink from the mug. "I'll be there. Maybe Jay. If he is, at least one of us will socialize."

"Good." Kai says. "It's about time we all got to hang out together without looking over our shoulders." He ruffles Kevin's ears, and the dog grunts, tail wagging. "It'll be fun," Kai promises.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License