|A Soft Place to Fall|
|Location||Jeremy and Kade's Apartment|
|Summary||The world is not safe, but Kade and Ciel manage to find a few moments of peace within it.|
|Related Logs||2046-12-08 Echoes|
| A three-bedroom apartment, not much larger than the other units in the Avenue B building, but its limited space has been divided up into a few more pieces. This makes the common room and kitchen more cramped than in some of the two-bedrooms, but there's enough counter space to cook on, and and old futon and a couple of thrift store chairs give the living room a comfortable look. Some attempt has been made to keep the place cleaned up, though clutter occasionally accumulates. A hallway leads to a bathroom and farther back to the apartment's bedrooms. There's no view to speak of out the windows, save of the alley outside. It's nothing fancy, but it's not too shabby by Mutant Town standards.|
| It is a fall evening. The weather is cool and clear.|
It's late into the night when Kade gets back to his place from Open Hands. And from a walk to the Oddball afterward, though he got little out of that except time for many thoughts to rattle around in his head. He eases into his apartment carefully, like he's unsure what he expects to find there. When he's pretty sure nothing in the living room is going to accost him, he goes to sink down onto the sofa. Eyes popping on to comm Ciel simply, 'Just got home.'
Five minutes later, Ciel pops through the window in Kade's bedroom. She's already in pajamas, a loose tee shirt and warm fuzzy pants with socks to match. She shrugs out of a hoodie as she leaves the bedroom for the living room. "Hey," she says, quiet, her hand lifted to curve at the back of his neck.
"Hey." Kade's head turns into her hand, before he stands to catch her in a warm embrace. Breathing in the scent of her hair and smiling, very slight, as he takes her in, in her pajamas. The hug lingers, like he's leaning on her some. Which isn't uncommon for him of late, since his latest adventures in an alternate world.
Ciel's arms twist tight around Kade's middle, pulling him into her as she tucks her face into the crook of his neck. She lingers for a long moment before she pulls away, punctuating the embrace with a quick kiss. "Okay," she says, drawing in a deep breath. "Tell me what's going on?"
The kiss is returned, not trying to linger in it, but taking some comfort from it. Her question gets a short chuckle from Kade. A laugh without any particular humor. "Fuck me if I know. I was over at Open Hands tonight when some suits showed up to search the place. For something dangerous. Or someone dangerous. Ainsworth managed to get out of them that Echo had escaped from prison. Or been broken out. I'm not entirely clear. He was pretty freaked out." He looks past her when he comments on Rohan's freaked-out-ness. "The feds left a couple people behind in the neighrborhood for guard duty, so they're obviously figuring she might turn up in these parts."
Ciel's expression goes dark and worried as his gaze slips past her. "Shit," she says. "I bet he was." She turns to fall heavily onto the sofa, one hand lifted up to beckon Kade downward with her. "I can't say I'm super excited about this, either."
"Same, fly girl. Very much the same." Kade slots himself in next to her, one hand reaching out to clasp hers automatically. It's close to instinct, to reach out for her like that now. "The feds seemed to think it was connected to a couple folks who disappeared from the Oddball a few days ago. Girl named Misty, and that illusionist dude. Will." He says the man's name like that particularly troubles him. Not that he had time to know Will well, but anyone who came along on the voyage to rescue the Xavier's students endeared themselves to Kade.
"Shit," Ciel says. She tilts sideways, curling into Kade as her fingers twist into his. She's silent for a long beat before she asks, soft, "Did they say why they think that? Do they have any leads?"
Kade shakes his head, though it's less a 'No' than an 'I don't know.' "I didn't get a chance to talk to them much. They weren't in the mood to give out any information. I don't think we'd have even figured out that much if Ainsworth hadn't sifted around in their minds, to make sure they were on the level. Their folks seemed like they'd stick around the neighborhood for awhile, though. Might be worth asking them. And the people over at the Oddball. I don't know //what// the hell fucking Echo would have in common with Will, or that Misty girl. Except that she's creepy as hell, and I can buy her being involved in anything that hurts somebody else."
"Or having Rohan go digging," Ciel suggests, turning her head up to him. "If they seemed reluctant to talk." She shifts, fingers tightening in his for a beat. After a moment she answers, "They're mutants. Sometimes that's all it takes."
Kade nods, as to Rohan digging. "Might want to be around to ask the right questions to prompt their brains, even if they don't say anything." For the rest, he's quiet for a moment. Frown deepening, beyond frustration, into the anger that he so rarely lets himself feel. "I don't think I can send Nina back to Xavier's. Not after what happened. But I think about her being in Mutant Town with her mom and me all the time and...fuck." *
"Kade," Ciel says quietly. She doesn't seem to have anything to follow his name, and lapses into quiet as her hand tightens in his.
Kade just deflates some against her, nuzzling his head into the curve of her neck, against her dark curls. There's a beat where he just sits like that. Before he squeezes her hand and tries to summon some optimism again. "We'll get it worked out. We always seem to. Somehow. I just...I feel like I should be able to make somewhere for her that's just safe. And I don't know if I can."
"The world's not safe, Kade," Ciel murmurs, head turned toward him. "Not for anyone. The best we can do is make sure she can take care of herself. And that we've got her back."
"I talked to her. About the alternate universes. Not just the one she was taken to, but the whole thing, and what really happened at Staten Island. More than I ever had before. Maybe I should've done it sooner. After we got back from Nowhere this summer. Maybe she would've been...fuck. I don't know." Kade's voice is tight with self-recrimination for a dozen things he could have done. He manages a little nod at Ciel. "She mentioned looking forward to getting back into the self-defense stuff with you." She has no many more reasons to want to punch things now.
Ciel tilts her head back with a small smile. "Good," she says, firm and fervent. "That means she wants to fight. And she's good at it, Kade. She's got a lot of you in her. She'll be okay."
Kade lets out a low "Heh." His head turning so he's looking at her again, not just leaning on her. "Not sure whether that's good or bad. My powers aren't something I wanted to pass onto her, but there wasn't any way to stop it. There's a //lot// of my life I'm hoping she lives different than me. I've been wondering a lot lately what would've happened, if I'd made different kinds of choices. Like, if there's some alternate world out there where I never stopped being a closted firefighter in Cali. Or...you know, whatever billion other different choices I could've made."
"I like the one where you're here, with me," Ciel says, meeting his gaze steadily. "It's good that she's got you. It's good that she's got the drive, and the fire. The literal fire, even."
Kade chuckles low. Because he can never resist a fire reference. His hand around hers glows a soft red. Not hot, precisely, just a little warmer. "You have far too high an opinion of my literal fire. But thanks. It's just weird as hell, isn't it? To think where you might be, if stuff had gone different. Like, how far am I from that Blaze asshole?" He tries to toss off the question like it //hasn't// burrowed into his brain. But it's not all that successful.
Ciel snorts, instantly, easily dismissive. "Pretty damn far," she tells him, twisting up to press her lips to the corner of his mouth. "A universe away," she adds in quieter whisper. "Trust me."
"Several universes." The words are a muffled murmur as Kade kisses her back. Lingering in her lips this time. Though it ends in a sigh as he breaks away, just a little. "I just feel like it's not going to stop. Even if this bullshit with Echo isn't tied into the bullshit with the portals...the feds have our number now. Don't know if I'm happy that Sterling called us up, or not."
Ciel settles against him again, tugging his arm around her shoulders. There's a beat of silence before she admits, "Me either. If it had been a year ago... but things feel different now."
"Yeah." Kade voices the agreement simply. "Jeremy and I were talking about that. There was a time when I had my Ears geared up, every goddamn day, just waiting for the feds to call me. Now...I don't know. What I have in Mutant Town sure as hell isn't perfect, but it'd an actual //life//. Mostly I just don't want Sterling, or Echo, or anyone else, to fuck it up for me."
"Mmm," Ciel agrees, wordless and warm against him. She's silent for a long stretch before she says, "You should get some sleep."
"Yes, ma'am," Kade says, nosing her hair before edging his face up to regard her again. "Only if you stay. I sleep better, when you're around."
"Planned to," Ciel assures him with a quick smile. She's here almost as much as she's not, these days. She turns into his nuzzle, meeting him for another quick kiss before pushing up, one hand extended down to him.Kade takes Ciel's hand and lets her summon him up, and lead him down the hall to his bedroom. On those odd nights she isn't here, he finds his way to her apartment not far off, for many of them. He probably really has grown unaccustomed to sleeping alone. And seemingly wouldn't have it any other way.