Difference between revisions of "Logs:Comfort and Joy"

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(Created page with "{{ Logs | cast = Joy, Lucien, Matt | summary = like me I like you so you like me. | gamedate = 2019-10-15 | gamedatename = | subtitle = | location = <NYC> Tick...")
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{{ Logs
{{ Logs
| cast = [[Joy]], [[Lucien]], [[Matt]]
| cast = [[Joy]], [[Lucien]], [[Matt]]
| summary = like me I like you so you like me.
| summary = like me I like you so you like me. (Followed some time later by [[Logs:Boundaries|a conversation with Noah]].)
| gamedate = 2019-10-15
| gamedate = 2019-10-15
| gamedatename =  
| gamedatename =  

Latest revision as of 08:31, 6 November 2019

Comfort and Joy
Dramatis Personae

Joy, Lucien, Matt


like me I like you so you like me. (Followed some time later by a conversation with Noah.)


<NYC> Tick-Tock - Greenwich Village

The quiet sound of soft music and softly running water greets the entrants to this tea house, playing from speakers hidden and trickling waterfalls cascading down the rocky fountains by the entryway. The ambiance here is subdued, a quiet escape from the bustle and noise of the city, focused on only one thing: tea. Tea of very good quality. They serve it in over eighty varieties, black and white, green and oolong, rooibos and herbals and mate, flavored and straight up. The seating here comes on cushions or kneeling chairs around low tables, the decorations in earth tones, and the knowledgeable wait staff is always helpful with a recommendation or a snack suggestion to pair with your drink. Behind the long counter along one side is an entire wall of bins of loose-leaf teas, available for purchase by weight.

It's not quite suppertime yet, and Tick-Tock is enjoying an extended late afternoon lull. Matt is enjoying a faintly steaming cup of baihao oolong and picking at the remnants of a fancy tea cake, one eyebrow slowly arching up as he peruses something on his phone screen. He's looking more put-together than his wont--if only because he hasn't yet changed out of work clothes--in a lavender pinpoint dress shirt, a royal purple tie dotted with stylized gold suns, moons, and stars, a brown herringbone vest, matching plain-front trousers, and polished brown brogues. "‘Houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years,’" he intones, lifting his eyes from the screen to his companion as he lowers the device. "The man wrote a 69-page opinion on strip clubs and just had to throw in some Proust, lest anyone think he had a..." A wry smile twists the corner of his mouth. "...personal bias about it."

Across from Matt, Lucien is looking -- just a little bit tired, though still as put-together as is his wont. A grey vest and slacks, elegantly tailored to suit him; a soft green button-down. His cheek rests in one hand, his eyes downcast and fixated on the tea pot in front of them. It's a long slow moment before he lifts a hand, picks up the pot, refills both his own cup and Matt's. There is a slender black tablet to one side of his plate; once he has tea he writes on it, his cursive neat and elegant. 'Clearly if you add in enough rhetorical flourish nobody will notice the inclinations buried in your grandiloquence.' He slides the tablet just enough forward for Matt to read, his eyes half-lidding as he takes a slow sip of the tea.

Joy honestly didn't mean to eavesdrop. She came to Tick Tock to find some tea she might like; too much caffeine isn't good for the baby, but she can't do without something in the morning, so, tea it is. One of her coworkers pointed her at Tick Tock for the knowledgable staff, so she's hoping she might get some recommendations.

But the man at the table catches her eye, dressed like he is. Tick Tock is upscale, but she didn't think it was that upscale. His suit makes her own white t-shirt and loose jeans look kind of trashy, although, what else is a pregnant girl going to do, really.

Except then he mentions strip clubs and 69 in the same sentence. Her inner twelve-year-old snickers before she can stop herself. "Sorry!" she says. "Sorry. Didn't mean to eavesdrop."

"Merci." Matt's smile curves harder as he reads his brother's reply. "Well, better that than disguising whatever inclinations he may or may not have via gross miscarriage of justice." He sips his tea, bright green eyes darting to Joy. His smile is warmer and more even when he sets the cup down. "It's fine place for it, nevertheless. Legal opinions aren't usually my light reading of choice, but..." His free hand turns palm-up with a flourish. "...that's 2019 for you. It reads like a history of Giuliani's crusade against the adult industry written by a stoned Ayn Rand, but he could have done worse than temporarily not screwing sex workers over even more."

"It's a start," Joy agrees, watching the writing back and forth. One of them not talking, then? Oh, well, none of her business. And if the talking one is sympathetic to sex workers, which it sounds like he is... "I enjoy not being screwed over professionally, but you do what you have to."

They look nice, honestly, both in the handsome sense and the kind sense. Her co-worker suggested she ask the staff, but anyone who looks that at home here probably knows a lot about tea. It's worth a shot anyway, and she likes meeting new people. "Hey, do you guys know a lot about tea? And if you do would you be interested in helping me out a little?"

Lucien's eyes shift upward, flicking briefly over Joy at that laugh. He doesn't quite smile -- certainly not half so bright and warm as his brother -- but there's a softening to his expression all the same. 'I'm glad, florid or not.' he is penning on his tablet. 'Even if only temporary reprieve. & maybe will inspire strippers to care about the plights of other sex workers for a' He's just in the middle of writing this as Joy speaks -- there's just the slightest widening of his vivid green eyes, the very faintest upward tug at the corner of his mouth, and he's quickly enough staying his hand. Moving instead to tap a small button at the top of the screen. Clear the tablet back into blankness. He turns to Joy with a very small smile instead -- a questioning lift of eyebrows, a small indicative tip of his cup toward her in silent invitation -- go on?

Matt's eyes drop to Lucien's tablet, his expression turning just a touch rueful. "Mm. Could probably bypass a lot of this regulatory brinksmanship and also maybe avoid another 18 years of legal red tape if decriminalization goes through." He sets his phone down and resumes his teacup, his smile returning bright and pleasant. "Oh! We adore tea, and know--" This with an appraising glance at his brother. "--at least a couple of things about it." Bright green eyes gleam with mischief. "So, please do share with us your...difficultea."

Lucien half-obscures his expression behind another sip of tea, his eyes briefly (briefly!) closing at Matt's last words. 'Big if,' is all he writes, with a slight compression of lips as he sets his tea down. Turns his attention, curious, to Joy.

Joy giggles at the pun and marks it down in her memory-- she'll have to tell her father that one. Then she smiles back at the two men, happily. "I'm pregnant," she says, and it's still a thrill to be able to say it, not needing to keep the secret. She can tell everyone in New York if she wants to.

Maybe not right now, though. "So I can't have a lot of caffeine, but I tried going without and..." She winces, expressively. "I thought maybe I could try tea, and my coworker suggested I come down here." Joy waves at the tea wall. "Maybe you could recommend something?"

Matt's heaves a sigh at Lucien's reply, and with a fingertip underlines the word "Big". He expression does not change with Joy's revelation, but he does hesitate just a beat before saying "Congratulations." His head tilts slightly as he considers the wall. "To my understanding, the standard recommendation is to moderate caffeine intake, but even strong black teas aren't going to net you more than fifty milligrams per cup. So I suppose the important question is, what is it you actually want from a cup of tea?" He gestures at his own cup, half-drained now. "Are you mainly in it for the caffeine? The hot beverage ritual experience? Something else?"

Lucien had been lowering his cup, but he lifts it to take another, longer sip at Joy's announcement. When he does finally set it back to the table, it is with a very small tilt of his head in acknowledgment. 'Have you tried any teas you like in the past, or is this a new experience?' This time when he finishes writing, he holds the tablet up for her to see.

"Thank you," she says to both, dimpling, and adds to Matt, "I'm only supposed to have 150 mg a day." Which isn't entirely true, since it's the low end of the recommendation scale, but she's not going to risk it, not with Mom's history.

Good questions. All of them. Joy thinks about it for a moment, resting a hand on her hip as she does. "I'm mostly in it for the caffeine," she ays, slowly, "but the ritual actually sounds pretty interesting too. I've had some green tea before, but it was just Lipton, so I'm coming in new."

Her coworker winced when Joy mentioned Lipton. Apparently it's some sort of tea crime.

Matt nods, brushing his knuckles across his chin. "Well, for the caffeine you'd want black tea, or a very dark oolong. If you are a coffee lover, as I suspect, you'll probably like the sharper tasting varieties best--Assam or Keemun, perhaps?" Here he glances at his brother, eyebrows upraised. "Most of those also take milk and sugar well, which can be nice if you're not used to or overly fond of the flavor of tea on its own. On that front, you might also look into flavored teas."

One of Lucien's slim black eyebrows twitches up minutely. 'Nilgiri,' he writes his own suggestion. 'Good bold taste. This store has a great one.' One of his forefingers traces lightly against the lip of his cup; his eyes flick down to the pot on their table. 'This city gets so hectic. Time spent brewing a perfect pot can be a perfect quiet start to the morning. Or break in your day.'

"That might be nice," Joy says, thinking of the dressing room and how crazy it can get. "I get up pretty easily, but work can be... a lot. Something to settle between sets. Assam and Keemum and Nilgiri?" She pulls a notepad out of her purse-- her dad convinced her to start carrying something to write on when she was fourteen, and it's been incredibly handy ever since.

She writes down the varieties they gave her, then puts the notebook away and beams at both of them. "Thank you so much! That was incredibly kind of you. I'm Joy, by the way." She holds out her hand to shake, assuming either of them likes that kind of thing.

"If you want to pick up a low-caffeine tea for a nice relaxing cup before bed, gunpowder and long-jing tend to be good beginner green teas--more forgiving than the Japanese ones, which can have a somewhat..." His smile goes just a touch fey. "...steep learning curve." He rises and shakes Joy's hand. "I'm Matt--and this is my brother Luci. Glad we could be of assistance!"

'They have some flavored greens here that brew a bit more mellow. The strawberry sencha might be good for nighttime.' Lucien sets his stylus down, head inclining slightly to Joy as he follows Matt's handshake with his own. Firm and brief -- but his touch brings more than just the simple warmth of his teacup-heated hand. A gentle flutter of pleasant contentment, coincidentally timed with the first real smile he's given all this while, accompanies the handshake. He folds himself back down into his seat, clearing the tablet again before adding on it: 'Infusing newcomers with a love of tea is always time well spent.'

She can't help it; her smile grows bigger, and unbeknownst to her, a swirl of power slips out of her skin and over to the men at the table-- like me I like you so you like me.

"Well, I'm happy to be infused," she says. There's a sex joke in there somewhere. She'll probably insert one-- insert, hah! Joy's inner twelve-year-old is really on a roll today-- when she retells this story at work. "I'm very pleased to meet you, Matt and Luci." And maybe they'll be friends? Joy can always use new friends.

like me I like you so you like me.

"Oh, yes! The strawberry sencha is delightful." The gleam in Matt's eyes at his brother's wordplay is sheer, childish delight. His hand flies to his mouth, almost-but-not-quite covering a smile. At the sweep of Joy's power, he blinks. Then blinks again. His power stretches out, snapping to painfully sharp focus on Joy's and simultaneously coiling into Lucien's, boosting and orienting them toward the new subject of his interest.

Lucien's smile had been fading, but almost reflexively returns warm and easy. Matt can, no doubt, feel Lucien's mind at work too -- his own abilities zeroing in on that foreign influence with a keen alertness. Examining the quiet mental pressure, not yet quashing it so much as inspecting it. Lifting it up into more prominence so that Matt, with his powers twined into Luci's, can feel the magnetic tug as well. His hum is soft and quiet, the first vocal sound he's made all the while. It's slow when he picks the tablet back up, writes quick and neat. 'Joy. Seems appropriate.'

Joy laughs. "That's what my mom says," she says. "And my fiancé."

And that's another thing she has to be thrilled about. She's going to marry Noah and they're going to have a baby together, and she doesn't think she's ever been happier in her life.

like me I like you so you like me be happy with me

"I'll add the strawberry sencha to my list, too," she adds, to Matt. "I've got a pretty big budget for this shopping trip."

Matt tilts his head slowly to one side, his eyes unfocusing for a moment. "Huh." He sounds more curious than confused, here, but Lucien's senses he is tense and suspicious. The intensifying wash of happiness from Joy almost overwhelms his wariness, but he pushes through it, his powers stretching out and gently dampening Joy's--not quite shutting it down wholesale, but reducing its effect to its previous mild background influence. "Are you doing that on purpose?" His tone is careful and neutral, belying his roiling unease. His suppression eases for a fraction of a second on the word "that" by way of indication.

Lucien draws in a soft breath; his head tilts to the side when Matt speaks. His eyes flick to his brother, his brows lifting in silent curiosity. The quiet questioning that shows in his expression is belied by the palpable notice in his mind, continuing to draw the syrupy warm wash of Joy's power very clearly to the forefront of his awareness. Despite this, there's only a mild surprise and thoughtful inquiry that makes it through to his face, one of his hands turning up in an unvoiced -- 'what?'

Joy blinked. Doing what? She was buying tea and meeting new people and hopefully making new friends, and she couldn't imagine these two having a problem with any of that. Especially not with all the tea recommendations she had sitting in her purse. Was she standing weird? Was it the sex worker thing?

No, it couldn't be that, they'd sounded sympathetic before. She shifted uneasily, not sure how to react. "Doing what?" she asked.

Matt quirks one eyebrow slightly. "Mmm." Carefully, he suppresses Joy's ability further, quieting it to virtually nothing. When he speaks again, his voice is much softer than before. "You have an ability that...shall we say adjusts how people feel about you?" He picks up his teacup and takes a slow sip. "I'm unsure whether you're able to control it, but if you can--I would strongly recommend doing so."

The widening to Lucien's eyes is slight, but noticeable. He picks up his tea, drains his cup slowly. His jaw has tightened by the time he sets it back down. He picks the stylus back up -- doesn't immediately write anything, though, spinning it instead in a quick jittery flick to twirl around his fingers before he evidently settles on a response. 'She's MAKING me feel like this?' Whatever warmth had been in his expression is draining from it.

She jerks back at that. What? That doesn't make any sense. She can't... what?

"I don't," Joy says, clutching her purse to her chest, as if it can shield her. "I don't have anything like that, I... what are you talking about?" Her eyes flick down to follow Lucien's writing, and when she reads it, and his expression, she goes pale. "I'm not! I don't know what you're talking about! I'm not doing anything!"

Calm down, she orders herself, calm down, you're making a scene. Calm down.

Matt glances down at the tablet and nods minutely. "I'm afraid you are. Well, feelings are complicated, and I can't say how much of it is just charisma and how much is the X-gene." Though his words are gentle and conciliatory, to Lucien's senses he's only mildly irritated. He sets down his cup and steeples his fingers. "You may not be able to feel it yourself, and it's possible you could not stop doing it even if you wanted to, but I promise you it's true." His hands spread open now. "I can understand your incredulity, but in your place...I'd want to know." His expression softens with sympathy that he does not feel. "For what it's worth, I am sorry you had to hear it from a virtual stranger."

'My brother knows what he is talking about.' This time Lucien holds the tablet up. The lines of the lettering are a little thicker than before, the stylus clenched in his hand; his previously elegant writing is growing a touch more scrawled. 'Certainly I would want to know if I obtained friends through coercion.'

"I..." She's choking on words, can't even speak. "I..."

Part of her thinks of course it's not true. But the bigger part wants to know why two random strangers would tell another random stranger she's a mutant, otherwise. Why would they risk that? Why would they make this up? And... and she can't help thinking. Customers who'd get handsy, then back off cheerfully when scolded mildly. Friends and family never really angry with her, even when she did something rude or upsetting.

Noah, smiling at her in a bar. Noah, telling her that of course they could try long distance. Of course they could move to New York. Of course they could have a baby. Of course they could get married. Of course.

I would want to know if I obtained friends through coercion.

Oh, God.

"I think I'm going to be sick," Joy says, and bolts for the bathroom.

Matt leans back in his chair, attention still on Joy though his gaze is slightly averted while she struggles for words. His eyebrows lift up, and then up further as he watches her flee. He picks up his cup and drains the remainder of his tea, unhurried. When he does speak again, it's in quiet French. "{Well. That was certainly dramatic.}"

Lucien's brows have raised again. He sets his tablet down, lightly touching the button to clear it. The corner of his mouth pulls up -- just a hair. He leans forward, picks up the teapot, and pours them both the last of the tea.