|2046-02-24 Not Like the Movies|
|Location||Avenue B Apartments|
|Summary||Mikhail has a disagreement with a brick wall and Ian patches him up.|
| Like most apartments in Mutant Town, the rent here is far cheaper than similar properties in other sections of Manhattan. This particular building is one of the nicest in the Town, with a number of apartments that look out over the green of Tompkins Square Park. The result is a building with as many non-mutants as mutants occupying the one and two bedroom apartments. The exterior is brick.|
| It is a winter night. The weather is cold and flurrying.|
It is not a short walk from X-Factor Solutions to Avenue B Apartments, exactly, but it is also not long enough. Mikhail is still glowering when he closes in on his new home, his shoulders hunched up and his head ducked down. Something's happened to his pizza between there and here, because his hands are free, though shoved deep into his pockets. As he rounds the corner onto Avenue B, he sends a beer bottle flying from sidewalk to brick wall with a sudden, violent kick of his foot.
The collision of glass against the brick wall creates an instantaneous and dynamic explosion of green glass. In slow-mo it would be quite beautiful. In real time, it causes Ian to almost drop his armload of groceries with a soft curse as he jumps back from the mess. He was not in the line of fire, but he was also not expecting that! "Shit! Man," he says, looking towards the younger man with wide eyes.
Perhaps it is Ian's reaction that sends Mikhail's fist following the bottle into the brick wall. Perhaps it is simply anger. Perhaps it is youthful stupidity. Either way, he instantly regrets it, jerking his hand back with a "/Fuck/!" and then another "Fuck fuck fuck!" or two or three. He cradles his hand, knuckles now split and bleeding freely, then shakes it in an effort to ease the pain.
"Yeah..." Tipping his head with a wince, Ian watches the after effects of that anger with a pained expression before he exhales a sigh. The groceries are awkwardly shuffled around in his arms, leaving one free to extend towards Mikhail. "Hey..." He offers softly. "You alright? Let me take a look at that. The brick is pretty hard, last I checked." And he checked. And the bottle checked. Oh, Ian.
"In the movies, it is always very dramatic," Mikhail grumps. He shakes his wrist again, which has the unfortunate effect of sending blood splattering against the brick wall. And, uh, Ian. The younger man winces, muttering, "Sorry," but not exactly offering his hand up for Ian's inspection just yet. "It will be fine."
"They make windows out of sugar for the movies. I wouldn't count on them for accurate information," Ian counters gently. The blood splatters over his jacket and makes the brown paper of his grocery bad into something of an art piece. Looking down at it with a sigh, he glances up at Mikhail with a shake of his head. He doesn't seem too bothered by the blood, but he asks, "Any transferable diseases I need to worry about?" See: Blood. Extended fingers pause in the air, freckled knuckles lingering outstretched, at the lack of offered hand. Oh. "I'm a nurse. And you just punched brick so that is a 50% possibility."
"You are?" Mikhail slants an irritated look up at Ian, although it does not seem to be particularly focused on the man himself. His brows are furrowed down beneath the messy flop of his hair, his mouth twisted unpleasantly, as he says, "It must be my lucky day." That terrible, angst-ridden joke made, Mikhail shakes his head and says, "I do not think so."
"Yeah." There is no puff of Ian's chest or straightening of Ian's shoulders to accompany his claim or combat that look of irritation, he simply says it like it is fact. He is. "I run the ABC Clinic down around..." His fingers flick towards the location. "That way." Mouth curving in a crack of a smile, he says, "Dude. You just punched a /wall/." That is not a lucky day.
"I was very angry," Mikhail says, as though this emotion is past tense, and nevermind his current expression. His fingers flex, earning a hiss of pain for the motion. More quietly, he says, "I did not think it would hurt so much."
"The wall had it coming," Ian agrees solemnly, gently reaching out as Mikhail's fingers flex. He bends as he does it, setting down his groceries to free up his hands. "Let me take a look at that." His head tips to look at the injury. "It's all too easy. Metacarpals and phalanges are all too eager to get out of line with impact or sometimes with just bending your hand wrong. Those kung fu guys cause years of micro-fractures to build up their hands to break through stuff."
This time, Mikhail lets him. He slumps back against the cold dampness of the brick wall, extending his hand for Ian to poke at. He winces at the first touch, and sets his glaring gaze on some spot beyond the other man's shoulder. "I do not think anything is broken," he says, his voice dark and still bitter. "I am too lucky for that."
Taking young man's hand this time, Ian's fingers move over it carefully as he examines the injury. His brows low as his gaze fixes on it, touch mostly avoiding the split skin. "Sorry. My hands are probably cold." Frowning, he reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a small, red emergency kit. "Even luck can have an off day." A tiny smile is directed upward, gentle as his expression. "It happens to everybody." A disinfecting cloth is pulled free of its wrapper so he can dab at the wound and get a bitter look.
"My luck had many, many days off," Mikhail says. His hand is very still in Ian's, and his gaze pulls in to focus on the other man in close quarters. He stares for a beat, then blinks quickly and says, quieter, "But now it does not."
"Oh yeah?" Lifting his gaze, Ian meets that focus for a moment and smiles briefly before returning to the task at hand. Mikhail's hand. "I suppose that's good then, that you hit a decent spell of it? Even if today isn't one of those days."
Mikhail meets Ian's gaze with a hint of surprise, as if he did not quite expect to find the other man so close. Or so-- freckly. Probably that one. He inhales, drawing cold air into his lungs with a sharp breath. His fingers curl toward his palm, then still in answer to Ian's careful work. It takes him another moment still to answer, "No. Or-- yes. It is what I do." Here he finds a twisted smile as he clarifies, "Luck."
Ian is very freckly. They scatter across his nose and forehead like far flung constellations, partially covered by the brush his ginger hair. Mikhail's fingers are allowed to curl inward with no counter from Ian. He simply waits until they loosen again to continue on with his work, cleaning up their bloodied edges. "Ah..." His brows lift as he glances upward again, gaze marked with comprehension. "I see. So a little more literal rather than rhetoric," he observes. "I do color, myself."
"Color?" Mikhail echoes, his brow drawing into a furrow. He studies Ian carefully, searching his features as he works.
"Yeah. Also, you were right. This doesn't seem broken as far as I can tell," Ian says, finishing the clean up of the wound. He flashes Mikhail a smile. Yay. Not broken. Reaching into his med kit, he pulls cotton gauze and some tape. "But yeah. Color." In his hand, the boring white of the gauze turns into a nice neon yellow.
Mikhail startles, and with that startle comes a quick smile. It's fleeting, there and then gone again as he studies the gauze. "Oh, /color/," he says, as if the word has just now made sense. He dips his head, and the shag of his hair falls forward into his eyes. "So you would be a good one, who cannot hurt anyone."
"Yeah." A smile goes with that as Ian gently places the neon yellow gauze on Mikhail's wound. "It's not terribly impressive," he offers agreeably, finishing bandaging up the younger man's hand without fanfare. At least, until he pauses to look up at him. "I don't think there is a mutation that isn't /capable/ of hurting someone," he admits softly. "Even mine. It's all in how we choose to use them."
Mikhail's fingers curl into his palm again as Ian finishes, and he lifts his head again to meet his gaze. His blue eyes are dark and shadowed as he answers with a small, tight nod. "Because we are not like normal people," he says. "Some of us are very, very bad."
The bandages are closed against Mikhail's hand, the exterior wrap clinging naturally to itself without pulling hair or skin. "No." Ian says with a shake of his head, brushing a hand against his knees before he stands back up. "Because we /are/ people. And some people are bad and some people are good and most of us are just... a mix."
"Da," Mikhail says, dark and quiet, but with the keen edge of his anger worn a little smoother behind the sudden onset of weariness that sometimes follows an adrenaline crash. "But when we are bad, we can be very, very bad."
"We can. The toolbox for our misdeeds is a little closer for some of us," Ian agrees, the red tin of his med kit closed off and everything neatly tucked back inside. He slides it into his jacket. "That doesn't mean we can't be very, very good too."
For a moment, Mikhail is quiet, leaning into the brick wall with his hand clutched close to his chest. He watches Ian pack up with an intent gaze. His voice is lowly curious as he asks, "Are you afraid I will do something very bad if you do not convince me not to?"
Ian looks at Mikhail with a startled blink, currently preoccupied in picking up his groceries from the sidewalk. An apple has attempted to escape. "No?" The question drags out a little long in honest confusion. "Are you planning on doing something really bad that I should be trying to convince you away from?"
Mikhail gives this question a moment's honest consideration, most of it spent watching the careful flex of his injured hand with the occasional grimace when it hurts. Stop doing that, stupid. "I don't think so," he finally says.
"Alright then," Ian says, a touch of relief in his expression. "I don't think I would have been a very effective convincer. Although you might want to keep that still for a bit. Ice it too." That last bit sounds a bit like a medical order and less of a request.
Mikhail's gaze sharpens suddenly on Ian, his head lifted at that. There is another beat of silence before he says, "Why not?"
"The ice? It will stop the swelling," he says, defensive of medical science for a minute. Then it dawns on Ian that it isn't what the other man /meant/. "Oh." Lifting a hand, he scratches his head. "Because I am a random dude on the street who means well, but beyond that doesn't know your story?." He pauses for a moment after that, before adding. "I'm Ian, by the way."
"You sound uncertain," Mikhail observes, but he doesn't precisely /argue/. He glances down at his hand, then back up to Ian to add, "I will ice it. Thank you. Ian."
Ian shrugs in an amiable fashion. "You never know what will reach someone else." Nodding he tucks his grocery bag under his arm, moving to leave. "Anytime. Just down that way," he reminds of the clinic with a slight smile.Mikhail remains where he is, leaned against the brick, and he answers Ian with a small nod as he watches the other man gather his things and stir toward leaving.