1965-08-05 - Sit Still
Summary: Halgrim visits the garage to give Elmo a new project, unknowing that he would be witnessing the handiwork of Fjorskar in an ailing Vitale. Vitale doesn't show up for his and Jay's weekly meeting at the cafe and Jay, worried shows up at the garage to check on V.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
elmo halgrim jay douglas vitale jp 


Sunday early evening finds Halgrim following an address he has scribbled down on a piece of paper through mutant town. He's pulling a good-sized black case behind him, probably three to four feet long and a good too feet wide; block stencil letters announce it's the propery of Columbia University's Archeology department. The tough exterior is scarred from more than its fair share of field work, but a trip down the sidewalk of Mutant Town is far from the worst thing it's ever seen.

Halgrim double-checks the address when he arrives at the garage, and peers into the bay. "Hello?" he calls, not seeing anyone when he first walks up.

Vitale had managed to make it through one entire night without a nightmare rousing him, Elmo and the whole damn neighborhood up when he woke up screaming but he still didn't sleep particularly well, being that he was still hurting and healing a wound that would normally have been gone in hours. He had managed to grouch his way into Elmo letting him stay up and grouch his way down all of the steps so that he could sit nearby somewhere and watch Elmo work, just for the opportunity to not be in bed. He had his injured leg propped up on something when Halgrim calls into the garage. And before Elmo can stop him, he gets to his feet, with some effort and starts hobbling his way to the door. "We're here. C'mon in." He calls, knowing his voice will reach before he will.

The garage bay doors stand open to catch the breeze. Elmo's working on something that's not a car. It's an articulated framework that he's hung from metal cables. It sort of looks like the single-finger wings of a pteranadon. "V, would you sit your ass DOWN," he snaps at Vitale, getting up from the workbench (a fancy name for a piece of plywood propped up on cinderblocks). "Grim, tell him he's gotta sit down." He has no problem immediately roping Halgrim into making Vitale behave.

Halgrim has no qualms helping Elmo out in this regard, since Vitale does indeed look like someone who bit off more than he could chew and has subsequently been paying the price many times over. "Young man, Elmo has informed me that you are to be sitting down, and to look at you I must agree." His Scandinavian accent is light, lending an upward lilt to his words. He steps in, rolling the case behind him. With a hesitant look between Vitale and Elmo's current project, Halgrim says, "I hope this isn't a bad time."

Vitale is about to mouth off to Elmo for the sake of mouthing off to him when Halgrim speaks and Vitale looks taken aback. "What the hell, Sparks? Where did you harvest this guy from? A Dad Garden?" He growls at Elmo and Halgrim both. He takes another step towards Halgrim like to prove a point and then drags himself back to his chair, muttering what was likely cuss words in Italian beneath his breath. "I can't just /sit down/ forever." So much grouch the usually charming Italian has today.

Elmo snort, way too amused by that one. "V, this is Halgrim, he's a archeologist. That means he studies rocks people wrote on. Grim, this is Vitale, my teammate, who is tryin' to make his leg fall off. Whatcha got there, pal?" He's moving to help/force Vitale to sit, but he's eyeing the case Grim is dragging. "It's not gonna be forever, V, just until your leg heals, ya big baby."

The MT is small, thankfully. Well, thankfully if you're not looking to cause trouble. Cuts down on the sheer amount of time that you have to spend searching for someone. Jay dives out of the sky like an avian predator a half block from the garage landing hard with a jog and barefoot, holding his thong flip flops in one hand, wings snapping shut with aggitated fwips against his back. For all the out of character dramatics of that entrance, he looks like he's storming up on a mission toward the garage. Not angry, but his focus is set to 'laser', broad shoulders squared and arms hovering off his sides.

The bay door open and sounds of grumpy foreign words coming from there, the red-head relaxes marginally as he turns in that direction, his tone that mix of stern but jovial to immediately give Vitale some shit, "The hell, V? You ferget what day it is?" His attitude changes quickly when he notices everyone rushing around Vitale. He hovers in the open bay door, feathers standing on end behind him in vague alarm. "What the hell happened?"

Not long after Jay arrives comes the sounds of someone huffing to keep up. "Jay Guthrie," Doug calls, "I'm going to brine you like a chicken!" He bends over, his hands on his knees, as he catches his breath. It's hard work, keeping up with someone like Jay when you're stuck on the ground. "Just… give me a second," he breathes, before he straightens up. He has dark circles under his eyes, as if he hasn't been sleeping well.

Halgrim coughs a laugh and murmurs something in Swedish under his breath, probably about 'Dad Garden'. He says to Vitale, "If you're injured and want it to heal, you have to let it rest." His explanation about the case dies in the wake of Jay's entrance, followed by Doug's. He pauses, says, "It's just some work from the University, if you're interested. Our usual source is booked, and the Department would prefer to get these instruments in working order as quickly as possible." His tone clearly telegraphs 'but it's okay if there's family drama to attend to right now'.

The presence of Jay is suddenly alarming and exciting all at once. "Ah, finally someone that has sense, see, Sparks? I have a job to do and you-" Then Jay's feathers fluff up and his voice changes from playful sternness to real alarm. Vitale groans in Italian, capturing Elmo's wrist to put up a little fight at being pushed back down. "Relax, Feathers, I'm alright, I just maybe healed somethin' I wasn't supposed to… something… not very human, like as far away from human as possible really and ends up that I get to keep those a little longer, oh, and listen here, there's a bonus. I /also/ get to have weird nightmares, so that's real fun." The way Vitale speaks is as if he doesn't really regret any of it and will likely do it again. "She was hurt though, she needed help and my new Jewish Ma over here has been on my case ever since. Are you okay though? Did you need to be healed? Did you have someone else that needed it?"

Vitale De Angelis really was primed and ready to take on other injuries right now is what that sounded like. He's wearing a pair of shorts, the wound visible on his leg, sewn shut with blue silk, it's an ugly thing, like Vitale had lost a fight with a bear trap, but it's not infected and appears to healing but ungodly slow compared to most of V's wounds.

The blue silk is the same color Elmo always wears. Apparently he literally sewed Vitale up with whatever he had on hand, because…that makes perfect sense? To mutants who live on the grey side of the law, it does. "Don't you fight me, Vitale Alessandro de Angelis," Elmo growls, not taking Vitale's resistance with good humor. When Jay and Doug show up, he glances up at them in surprise, but pleased. "Hey, guys! What's up?" There's so many distractions and he wants a look at what Grim's got, but he has to make this Italian behave first.

theo=Marvel Puzzle Quest Codes: From Gencon

Jay hears his name and blinks, spinning around with the comical additive of his wings held out wide to either side. "Dougie?" Extra confusion on that one melted with concern that seems absolutely automatic. "How long were you runnin' after me?" Walking in Doug's direction, a hand settling on the linguist's shoulder. entirely unafraid of the threat.

He's trying to split attention between V and Doug, head pivoting back and forth rapidly, settling on V at last. "You did what? Stop askin' dumb questions jus' to get yerself outta hot water. You didn't show up to our normal spot an' Ah got worried." His concerned look switches to Elmo quickly, relaxing only marginally under the cover of worry. "Hey, El."

Doug looks up, and then snorts, "Well I ripped my pants on a fence taking a shortcut to try and catch up to you." He elbows Jay in the ribs. "I'm going to go find some coffee, go take care of business."

Halgrim stands the case up and shifts so he can see Vitale's injury more properly. "Good gods, what did that?" Proper decorum among people he doesn't really know well enough to be overbearing must be what's keeping him in place, because his tone is dripping with 'let me look at that *right now* young man'. He's also eyeing Vitale in a most fatherly 'I will be able to tell if you need to go to the hospital just by looking at you' manner. "I'm not following." He glances from Jay to Elmo to see if either of them *is*. He can't be the only one to whom that sounds like a nonsense explanation, can he?

Vitale doesn't seem to be fazed by Elmo's annoyance with him, neither is he putting up a fight at being sat down with humor either. He has a problem with feeling useless and having a bum leg and a serious lack of blood makes him feel pretty useless. He releases Elmo's wrist with a half hearted glare and finally sits himself back down, huffing when Jay chastises him too. He drags his leg back up onto the overturned box near him. "It was… like… like a wolf and a bear and a ram and a dragon and a raven, all smashed together and also ten feet tall. I found her in the park, had gotten stuck in a bear trap, but she spoke English… so.. I thought she might be.. she might be like Severin, you know?" The name as it leaves his lips, does make a sad shadow cross Vitale's face for a moment. "A shapeshifter, I mean, so I thought I could heal her. I /can/ but at a serious detriment to myself. Turned up here, dragged blood all the way up the stairs, Sparks here had to stitch my dumbass up and has been takin' care of me ever since. So, now we all learned something. I learned that my powers have limitations when the somethin' I'm healin' ain't human and all of you learned that I'm an idiot and will heal anything that happens to be hurt in the general vicinity of me."

JP pulled up in Jeanne d'Arc, that lovely black '64 GTO withthe red leather seats, whooooo damn. If the Devil went down to Georgia for to steal all tehm souls that is the ride he'd be in for that trip. He let the car turn off and brought a bag, smallish and brown paper. The Cajun was on a warpath here in his jeans and t-shirt withthe sleeves ripped off because it was hot out. He found Vitale and handed him… a spoon? And the tiny bag. "I talk to mi maman, an she say She don' wanna hear you overdoin it. She askin you officially sit still. Also mama may come up to look in on ya. I wouldn' put it past her."

"V's got this healing talent," Elmo explains to Halgrim, "he takes on whatever hurt you got. Trades it with ya, like. So we think somethin' got traded wasn't supposed to be. He's okay, you guys," he addresses Jay and Halgrim. "Just needs to rest." Vitale's finally behaving to his satisfaction, and he grabs his hand to squeeze it, apology and support. He lets Vitale go and smiles at Jay, brilliant. And turns a greedy look on Halgrim's case. "Lemme take a look at that stuff." He's itching to get his hands on it, anybody who knows him can see that.

"Ripped yer—?" Jay leans back and gives Doug a quick up and down. He hooks a finger in the hole in Doug's pants, smiling warmly with humor at the linguist. "Yer gettin' more country every day. Okay, Ah'll catch up with ya in a wink." Jay nods, clapping Doug's shoulder with a warm squeeze. "An' hey, Ah'll sew those up fer ya when we get back t'the club."

The red-headed man waits a few more seconds as he sends Doug off. Dropping one flip-flop, then the other to the sidewalk, Jay shoves his feet into them while he watches which spot Doug goes for coffee. His smile shifts to distant worry before he even relocated his attention fully on to the men inside the garage. The soft click-clack of his footware follows him as Jay treads inside to hear V's story. " A wolf bear ram smashed together? Sounds lahke a Ky-mrah." His accent murders the word on a casual lean as Jay gets closer, scrubbing a hand through his hair. "Sorta like this friend of mah brother's."

Wait a second.

Oh shit. Oh shit! Recollection dawns on Jay's face after the fact and couldn't be more transparent if he tried. Every feather shifts and ripples while his ears heat up. Trying really, really hard to not look at Halgrim. Oh look! A cajun in a car! He upnods at JP. "Hey, man."

As Vitale describes his encounter Halgrim stares at him, unblinking, and…did the color just drain from his face? It might have. "I see," he says, awkwardly. He almost looks askance at Jay, but somehow manages not to, and instead clings to Elmo's interest in the case like a life raft. "Yes, ah," he turns to it, and carefully lays it down. "You'd mentioned an interest in working on theodolites. And it turns out we have three which need repairs." As he talks his voice steadies, but he's still pointedly focusing on the case as he unlocks and unlatches it, and flips up the lid. Two are clearly newer than the third; their exteriors are bright white, while the older model is dark red. "These two are just back from the Southwest, and I suspect that fine red clay in…Utah, I think they said it was, has jammed some of the instrumentation. They're not reading accurately now." He gestures at the older one. "And this one was knocked over," he indicates a dent in the housing, "so the damage is more extensive, though should be reparable. By 'wind', they said." He makes a face. "Which probably means someone was drunk."

Vitale looks properly cowed when JP walks in on a war path, he may not want to behave for Elmo but when the bossman comes in, Vitale quits all his bitchin' and fussin' and settles into his chair. Much like when your dad comes home and you've been actin' up for your ma all day. "Tell your ma not to come all the way up here, JP, come on. I'm gonna be fine. It's just a little blood loss and an achey leg, I can still walk on it." He acts like he might think to get up just to prove it but then JP is handing him a spoon and a tiny bag. On the inside is ice cream, chocolate chip and it makes Vitale smile. "Everybody's got a healin' trick from their ma here. Elmo made me mazzo? Soup last night? Real good, he tells me it works magic." He sticks the spoon into the bag, pulling out some ice cream and for the time being, that seems to settle all of Vitale's grouchiness and fussing, he's content to sit there with the ice cream.

"A chimera, Jay? Your baby brother loves just about anyone he looks at, doesn't he? Might wanna keep a close eye on him if this was his friend. I think she was gonna eat me just for darin' to be in her presence before I offered her healing." Vitale asks, a little concern for Jebediah in Vitale's voice. "I don't know that she.. recognizes anything in that form that has to do with the person she is when she isn't… /that/, I got lucky. Jeb's a bit more… fragile than I am."

JP gave Jay's shoulder a squeeze with a wink and a finger gun. "Back a'choo, man." Halgrim, Doug? They got the upnod. He leaned over and smooched the top of Vitale's head murmuring something to him. A faint , lopsided grin grew pointing at teh bag and making the gesture for 'flat' with his hand. His hand lightly pat-smooshed Vitale's cheek. He fished out his wallet and fished out about fifteen bucks and handed it to Elmoshaking his head jsut as Elmo was about to say something, "Not in teh mood. That beer money. We gon' fix this up. Find someone t'go cause I know you won't. I' be back. I'm a fix us up a thing." Yup. Jp really knew his team. Elmo got the light double slap to his cheek as JP was heading up the stairs. "Proud 'you, V. Ya made tha' right call."

Elmo really is about to say something to JP, but lets his breath out on a sigh when JP tells him to save it. "Yeah, yeah," he grumbles at him when JP gives him the double slap. It all distracts him quite well from Jay and Halgrim now trying to pretend like they don't know things. He sets the case on its side, opens it up, and sighs again over the theodolites, this time happy. "Awww. Look at 'em. They're so cute." A lot of his stressed irritation fades on contact with new toys to tinker with.

JP is about the best distraction ever while Jay tries to be utterly normal and his tell-tale wings continue to shiver and whisper behind him. Thanks, Cajun.

Jay breathes a little easier while he watches hurricane JP blow through, sliding histhumbs into his pockets, he stands near V while the other two investigate the case. "Yeah, Sprout's always been like that though. Was always tryin' to bring home every stray or injured thing home. He straight up refused t'give this girl her cat back once cause he found it full a brambles an' he picked 'em out. He told her he wouldn't give it back on account of her bein' irresponsible. He was six." Jay shakes his head fondly and sucks in a deep breath, broad chest expanding as he looks at the leg. "So. Y'found yer limit."

Halgrim raises a hand to JP in passing, glad to be able to keep his attention as far away from Jay and Vitale's conversation about what Vitale ran into and how Jeb is fragile and Halgrim's houseguest is dangerous as he can. Indeed, if it were possible for him to alter spacetime such that only he and Elmo were in the garage, chatting about theodolites, he would do that.

But he can't do that or anything remotely like it (except run from the building, which would be more than a little suspicious), so he puts on his best poker face and tries to stick to business. "There could be more for you in the future, if this works out. The dean's tired of equipment being laid up for months at a time, waiting on repairs. So, if you need the money and have room in your," he glances back over his shoulder at Elmo's project, "schedule…"

Vitale sits up, looking up at JP when he whispers all of that in his ear, some of it not unlike what Elmo fussed at him. That he has to come home alive and it's against the rules for him to be dead. It feels a little better, all this chastisement and stern glances from Elmo to hear that JP is proud of him for being a damn fool. He smiles when JP assures him that as soon as he's healed up, they'll make everyone blush. "I know, I know. I gotta come home alive. I'm not gonna make you miss me too, JP. I'm sorry." Vitale says, smiling up at JP before he leaves.

He turns to Jay then as he comes over to inspect the wound in his leg. He lifts it a little. "I promise you, Gorgeous, it looked way worse a couple nights ago. Sparks took real good care of me. Now it's just the makin' back the blood part I gotta worry about it." He reassures, flirting easily with Jay, like he always does, now that he's been soothed from his Extremely Crochety Meatball state by JP and ice cream. "Your baby brother, he sounds almost as cute as you. I believe all you Guthries are made of sugar, sweet tea and beauty. That's why I worry about him. I mean, he gets along with /Elmo/ now, I hear. Have you met that guy? Complete Asshole, can't stand him." He smiles wide, casting a teasing glance over at Elmo as he picks on him.

Elmo pulls out the main part of one of the theodolites, lit up with interest. "Look at that. I'm gonna have to calibrate it so careful." He doesn't have room in his schedule, but catch him admitting it. Tucking the equipment back into its molded foam, he stands up. "I will fix anything ya got, Grim, just let me at it." He says it with relish, enjoying himself for one second today. Then he gives Vitale a funny look. "You flirtin' with Jay?" 'With my Jay', more like, and he goes over to Jay and hugs him, finally. "Hi, you. What's up?"

Keen on keeping his voice lower to a conversational tone while he talks to V, at least he doesn't seem /worried/ about his brother. No fussing or panic, just fond acceptance that Jeb does this sort of thing all the time and a whisper of a chuckle when V says he sounds cute. The flirtation brushed off as easily as it always is, smiling like the spring sun at V with the faintest worried glance in Halgrim's direction, not certain how open they're all allowed in front of the just-recently-met professor. Jay stays cool but follows V's lead. "Yeah, that's the problem with gettin' hurt. Ya feel it a while later. But hey, should see the other gal— Ah hear looks great." Jay teases back. "Just couldn't help a maiden in distress huh? Even when Ah'm not datin' 'em." A bright eye flashes a wink back at Vitale and sticking to this 'girl' idea he has stuck in his head. "There are eleven of us, V. Don't make the mistake of thinkin' we're all sugar babies. Some time ask Dougie about mah older sister."

Elmo smells flirtation and tears himself away from his new toy so rub himself on Jay like a cat, making the winged man chuckle and loop an arm over the skinny fellow's shoulder and down his back. "Hey, El. Ah was jus' tellin' V here how Ah kinda like salty folks because they offset how sweet Ah am." Smiling warmly at Elmo, a wing stretching out to swing over the smaller man's back. "But really, Guys. Sprout is a grown man. If this is the same friend of his, he gotta way with tough-shelled folks. He's tougher than he looks, jus' like the rest of us." Jay makes the claim easily, looking over the three of them. "Just because someone's /nice/ don't mean they can't also be tough."

"Oh, be careful, Elmo, the university will gladly overwork you given half a chance," Halgrim says, his wry smile promising much more than Elmo should probably take on. He busies himself shutting the lid of the case and latching it, though really there's only so much time he can spend on that. He stands and tries to decide where to look: looking at Vitale's injury is out of the question; looking at Jay is a problem; Elmo is hugging Jay thus off limits. He peforms the delicate balancing act of trying to come off as looking at one of them while doing precisely the opposite, at least until Jay leans into the notion of the beast as a woman and insists Jeb can take care of himself. At that, he risks a glance at Jay, nodding just a fraction in silent thanks.

Vitale gives Elmo a quizzical glance, as if the question he just asked was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard. "Of course I am, I have been since the first time I saw him. Have you seen Jay? It's only natural as a human being existing within ten feet of Jay to want to flirt with Jay. He's too damn beautiful for his own damn good and you know I like my southern gentlemen." He gives Jay a wink, though again, his smile turns a little sad. "You're probably right, about your little brother, that's another thing about you Guthries, you're tough. Honestly, the world needs more like little Jeb, takin' home and lovin' on the strays, especially now, when all us mutants are strays. He's good people, you both are."

Looking at Jay and Elmo twisted together makes Vitale smile and duck his head, letting go of the flirtation easily, then. "Elmo just wants you to think he's salty. He's made of marshmallow on the inside." He says quietly, and then jerks his chin over to Halgrim. "So what did you bring by? They were too many handsome guys in the room, you included, I got distracted."

Elmo completely misinterprets why Halgrim is doing his best not to look at them. It's because they're being a little gay and Halgrim isn't sure if he should notice, right? Right! Elmo tips his head against Jay's chest, just for a moment letting go of all his anxieties. "Is that why you like me?" he asks him, with a lopsided grin, eyes only for him. "Contrast?"

Jay's serene smile stays placidly written into his expression, easily keeping the mood light and easy-going, even when he makes eye contact with Halgrim and subtly drips his chin in place of a nod.

And Doug isn't here to call them out on the bullshit! Hah!

"V, if Ah ever saw you stop flirtin' with everythin' that crossed yer path, Ah'd seriously worry about ya. Hey, though, got some news for ya. It's safe fer ya t'come by the club again an' not short out. Mah older bother's not gonn' be in the city fer a while, so now you just got Sprout an' Ah to distract ya."

Jay presses his free hand to the side of Elmo's head as the shorter man leans against his chest. Mock-covering Elmo's sight, Jay winks conspiratorially at Vitale and mouths the words 'All marshmallow' back. Long fingers skate over Elmo's hair, mussing it a little bit by accident while Jay pets him, smiling back. " Contrast? Nah. Ah lahke t'think of it more like harmony." Squeezing his arm around Elmo, Jay's attention lifts back up to Halgrim. "So, yer doin' some work fer the school?"

Halgrim raises an eyebrow at Vitale, managing to keep the wounded leg out of his line of sight. 'I'm old enough to be your father' is a facial expression he's had to use far too often as a professor, and he wields it now with precision. "Theodolites," he says, indicating the case. "They're survey equipment. The group contracted with the university is overbooked, so I obtained permission to get them repaired elsewhere." He nods at Jay, seizing the chance to interact about anything *other* than the previous topic. "Elmo helped me with my typewriter, and expressed interest in something a little more complicated, so here I am."

Vitale raises a finger up at Jay to point at him when he says that if he ever caught Vitale not flirting with everything with a pulse, he'd be sure he was sick. "You're right. I had a flu for awhile called Severin, I think I might still be down with some of the symptoms though, I was just testing it, and low and behold, I am still not immune to you, Jay." He teases, pulling his leg off of the overturned box he has it up on, hoping that with Elmo thoroughly distracted with Jay, he'll be allowed to get up and move. He wants to see what the hell a Theodolite is and he wants to /walk/ to it and he wants Elmo to not kvetch at him. He presses up with one hand on the chair, the other still occupied with his ice cream because he's not wasting a bit of that. This was JP's mama's suggestion. He winces though almost immediately as he puts weight on that leg.

He gives Halgrim a little knowing smile when Halgrim gives him a thoroughly unimpressed look and raises his hand in surrender. "Alright, alright. I'll stick to the ones in my own league." He assures as he takes a step towards Halgrim if Elmo doesn't shove him right back down.

Elmo snickers and bumps his head against Jay's hand. "Youse guys talkin' about me?" he says, playing up the salty-tough-guy act. He narrows his eyes at Vitale when he dares to get up. But he doesn't start yelling at him. JP may be the only person on the planet who can tell him to button his lip and get desired results. Sometimes. He's not done hugging Jay, anyway. "I'm not sewing you back up, you bust them stitches," is all he says. "You use a theodolite to measure angles and it tells ya a bunch of useful stuff. When I get one repaired, I'll show ya. They're pretty boss. Thanks for bringin 'em over, Grim. I can't wait to take 'em apart." He's back to snickering at the look Halgrim grants Vitale. "He's givin' everybody that look."

"That flu still weren't nothin' compared to the allergy you got t'me, if Ah remember right, V," Jay jokes, though his smile fades a little on the quick side into a more sincere glance of apology at his friend. Alas.

"Nah, Shug, course not," Jay reassures Elmo, petting through his hair once again, scritching gently against his scalp in that repetative motion. "Ah'll sew y'up, V. Ah got a mean blanket stitch." The explanation of the new project between Halgrim and Elmo each has Jay giving a rather proud look back down to Elmo. "That so? That doesn't surprise me too much. He's pretty good if you got anythin' an alien fiddled with an' is tryin' to eat ya now, too, if ya ever come across any of that."

Since Elmo doesn't chastise Vitale, Halgrim doesn't either, instead opening the case back up so Vitale can see the 3 instruments sitting in the molded foam. To the unfamiliar they probably look like the modern descendant of a sextant, which isn't far from the truth. Halgrim glances up at Elmo and says, "When one teaches classes to people *your* age, it's a vital skill, to be able to express such a thing without speaking a word." He's joking…but only a little bit.

"Aliens?" Halgrim says, and looks between Jay, Elmo, and Vitale. "Are they a…going concern?" It's always easy to forget about how big a problem you are to others if there's aliens. Surely a single angry spirit beast is nothing compared to aliens.

"You'll show me?" Vitale asks Elmo and looks like he considers sitting back down but being confined to chairs and beds has made him stir crazy and he wants to be up just a little. He mostly drags that leg, not putting any weight on it if he can. "Oh man, seeing you for the first time, sweetheart? 'Bout passed out right then. Not a soul alive can be prepared for that first glance at you, Jay." Half flirtation, half romantic and all truthful, Vitale nearly says it just in passing, another little wink aimed at Jay again. He's sure Elmo will tear him up later for flirting with his almost boyfriend but not quite boyfriend so bluntly in front of him but that apologetic smile on Jay's face eases a little of the pain in Vitale's aching heart.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm sure you've gotten plenty of it in your time. You're gonna have to try not to be so gorgeous if you ever want it to end, sir, I'm afraid." Harmless flirtation, not nearly as strong as the first attempt. "Well, we got mutants and monsters, aliens are a part of that whole set, aren't they?"

Elmo goes more than a little dopey when Jay starts scritching him. He leans into him with a muffled, gratified whimper. He and Vitale have had a long few days; Vitale scared him badly, and it's obvious in how tense and ferocious he's acting over him. "Mmmf. Can you believe this guy?" He's amused over V's flirting. "Smooth talker, great dresser, only sometimes gets chomped up by bear traps. Hardly lets a dorky mechanic get a word in edgewise." Jay compliments him and—predictably, he blushes. "Aw, jeez, Jayl. Yeah, we got a few aliens runnin' around." Elmo tries for a New York nonchalance on the subject; aliens, big whoop. "Sometimes they wreck coffee makers. So don't let one try to make yours work 'better'."

"Good lord, yer layin' it on thick t'day. Is it cause you know Elmo won't wrassle ya if yer already banged up?" Jay takes the over the top commentary and spins it around with a breathy bout of near laughter. Holding a little tighter to Elmo. Just in case.

"Aliens are a mixed bag like anyone else," Jay adds to Vitale's thoughts. "Got the good ones an' the bad ones. Ah remember six months back or so there were a huge to do about this group takin' over people all 'body snatchers' style. That was a concern. but yeah, mah best friend is seein' one, an' he thinks he's real clever, always tryin' to 'fix' stuff. He tried 'fixin' the coffee maker like El said, and he basically turned it into some kinda fucked upscuse mebut that thing was scary. Couldn't touch it without it shockin' ya. Ah swear he was just tryin' to kill me. That's how Ah met El, here." Jay squeezes and jostles the smaller man. "Mah hero, huh?"

Halgrim blinks at Elmo. "I'll be sure…not to," he says, sounding like he wants to think it won't come up, and yet, he's now afraid it actually might. The look he gives Vitale now is more along the lines of 'subtlety is not your middle name, is it'. The odd discomfort in looking at Jay (and therefor Elmo) seems to have passed, and now if anything his expression is fond, if also a little sad. Jay's story makes things clearer, and Halgrim nods. "I suppose that's to be expected." He taps the case with one foot. "Just give me a call at the office when you're done, Elmo, and I can come back for them."

"Elmo's always savin' people. He's real good at it, a true knight in shining armor." Vitale says, dizziness taking over and making him sit down on the work bench a little too heavily. He holds his head for a moment, looking a little paler. He tries to joke about it, hopefully to set Elmo's mind at ease. "I think JP might have hidden a sleeping medicine in the ice cream because I'm all of a sudden real tired." He takes a breath, steadies himself and hoists himself back up off the work bench. "Gonna take myself back to bed. I'm sorry I worried ya, Jay. I'll be back good as new soon, promise. Elmo is going to scold me into full strength, promise."

Elmo covers his face. "With the hero stuff, you guys." He comes up still red, but pretending like he isn't, to answer Halgrim, "I'll come deliver 'em, I wanna see your department. Bet there's all kinds of neat stuff there." Vitale wobbles, and Elmo bolts to his side, jumping over the case of theodolites to get to him fast. "V! You okay? You dizzy?" He puts his arm around his teammate, his eyebrows cocked together in worry. "Jay, help me, would you please?"

Jay bows his head, not quite kissing Elmo's crown, but he does press his face down into his hair for an indulgent moment before he finally, /finally/ lets El go. The wing wound around his back retracting as well. Watching Vitale waver, Jay immediately takes a step and a half forward, but stops up short of running over to the mobster when Elmo leaps on over the case, still watching him carefully after the fact. "Yeah, you get yer rest. Things have been real quiet lately so Ah don't think anyone'll need ya fer a while. Ah was jus' worried when ya didn't show. Lemme know if ya need anything, huh? Take advantage of the offer t'let someone else worry about you fer once." Jay nods pointedly at Vitale, striding over the floor quickly when Elmo asks for help. Slinging an arm around V's waist, Jay firmly takes the bag of ice cream from Vitale and hands it off to Elmo, counting on the dizzy spell to work in his favor. "Yeah, Ah got him, El. Good t'see you again, Professor. S'cuse me."

Much to possibly some of Vitale's ire, Jay leans in and murmurs under his breath to the Italian fellah, "Hold on an' don't fuss." Sweeping in low, Jay gets an arm under V's knees and pulls him into a bridal carry and tilts him in against his chest as if the man weighed all of 15 pounds. The large feathered appendages on his back shift slightly, but don't seem to need to counter balance too much. Toting Vitale up the stairs with muted click-clacks of Jay's sandals hitting his heels while he goes.

Halgrim, torn between the prospect of not needing to lug the case back and proper etiquette, goes with the former, just barely. "If you're willing to bring them to me I'll be glad to show you around the private collections." Offering something in trade soothes his anxieties over asking anything more of Elmo. Vitale's dizziness makes him tense; he wants to help, but is afraid to go anywhere near him, considering. Thankfully Elmo and Jay are fast enough in responding that he doesn't need to. Seeing that they both have things in hand, Halgrim says, "It was good to see you as well, Jay." His voice sounds a little odd, his accent strengthening for a moment. He clears his throat and gestures at the darkening sky. "I should get back; paperwork to fill out, proofreading to do."

The dizziness is Vitale least favorite thing and makes it hard for him to muster up anything like a fight. He doesn't even try to tell Elmo he's fine. "Dizzy yeah, don't like it." He admits. It's a shot to the dignity for sure though, but instead of arguing against being carried like he was a bride on the way to his deflowering, he slings an arm around Jay's neck, and hell, he leans against Jay's shoulder, just short of laying his head there. He's /tired/ and he sighs, heavily in relief at knowing that he would have to drag himself back up the stairs and that he wouldn't be putting out Elmo by having to lean all of his body weight on the smaller man either. "Thank you," He murmurs back. "I appreciate you, Jay. You're a good man."

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