|Things We Missed at Home|
|Location||Kade's Apartment - Montague Apartments - Brooklyn|
|Summary||Kade and Ciel unwind back home in Brooklyn.|
| This two-bedroom apartment is much like hundreds of others in Brooklyn. Hardwood floors, white walls, and appliances that are reasonably up-to-date, if nothing fancy. The view is terrible - balcony looking out into the alley of a neighboring apartment building - and it's smack in the middle of the complex without any extra features. But it's clean and the building is quiet, within walking distance of some decent restaurants and not horribly far from the nearest train stop. A large holo-display and home sound system has been set up, to take advantage of the deep library of digital and disk selections the occupant of this place has.|
Kade has mostly sorted through the mess his month-long absence caused his life. Enough that he's assured his stuff is still in his Brooklyn apartment, and they aren't kicking him out quite yet. As evening sets in he has a chance to breathe. And comm Ciel. To lure her over to said Brooklyn apartment, with promises that he's ordering pizza and still has a roof over his head in this part of town.
It's occasionally a little unsettling how fast Ciel can make it from here to there. Barely thirty seconds have passed between her last comm and her appearance in Kade's living room, which perhaps says something about how ready she was to seize on any excuse to do something other than stare at pointless maps and stupid post-its. She steps lightly into the center of the room, a portal flashing closed behind her, and scrapes her hand up through her hair as she looks up for Kade.
Kade's stuff /is/ still here, but the apartment is taking on that combination of messy and Spartan, of one who's half-gone. A lot of his stuff - like his holoprojector - that was destroyed in the Echo Incident, he hasn't bothered to replace. Other non-essential items have already found their way into boxes, which he's at least keeping stacked in a corner. The futon and comfortable arm chair are still in the living room, though, and he hasn't packed up his kitchen yet. There's a bottle of wine and some glasses on the long bar that separates the kitchen and livingroom. The pizza might not have arrived yet, in the space it took him to comm and Ciel to arrive. As for himself, he's found time to get to his barber and dig a collared shirt (and skinny black tie) out of his closet. Like he cleaned himself up for her. He strides to close the distance between them swiftly when she appears, to catch her in a warm kiss. "Hey."
The first sweep of Ciel's expression is sad. Her green eyes wander over the pile of boxes and the empty places that used to be full before they finally find Kade. "Wow," she says, "you've really been getting to work--" She breaks off as her gaze settles on him, and for a beat her eyes lighten, both pleased and appreciative, and she's halfway to a smile when he catches her up for a kiss. She leans into it, sliding her hands up to press against his chest. Her fingers curl into the fabric of his shirt in a cling as she lingers. "Hi," she replies on a quiet smile. "You look nice." (Ciel does not look nice. Ciel is wearing jeans and a fitted tee and looks like she's been sitting in an office for hours.)
Kade grins, preening just a little. "We got back just in time. I was getting over-grown, but I did not trust a space barber with my 'do." He is just fine lingering close to her. "You are a beautiful sight right now." He sounds like he means it, too. Sap. "I figured you could use a break. I thought the food would be here. You're faster than delivery, though. Very impressive."
"Give me a hundred miles, and I'm faster than most things," Ciel murmurs. She smooths her hands down his shirt, straightening the fabric with her head bent to the task. There's a quietly bitter note in her voice, readily interpreted as a reflection on all the things she's not fast enough for.
Kade leans forward a notch, to plant a soft kiss on her forehead. The bitterness is noted, and accepted, but he doesn't press at it just yet. "You want something to drink? I still have glasses out in the open. I've learned not to pack the kitchen until last, at least. Spent a week eating off paper plates before I moved last time." He makes a low "Huh" around. "That was almost a year ago. Not quite, but getting close to it."
"Absolutely," Ciel says, drawing her gaze up to meet his again before she pulls away for the bar. Her voice goes light as she asks, "You and Jeremy have a place then? Already?"
Kade nods, going off to pour wine. He hands a glass to Ciel before getting one for himself, sipping long. "Yeah. Over in Avenue B." There's a touch of ambivalence in his voice. But, more enthusiastically, he adds, "We're going to be neighbors now. I can actuallly get over to /you/ quick, without a bunch of train stops. It's still not quite ready for move-in, but we've got it locked down. I was technically supposed to be out of this place at the end of June." Before the disappearing. "Trix - my sister - paid up through another month after I went off to parts unknown, though. Saved my ass. Or, well, my stuff. Such as it is. I might've come back to find my bed out on the curb, otherwise."
"Nice of her," Ciel opines, watching the pour of wine with an attentive gaze before she remembers to smile again as Kade hands her a glass. It doesn't quite reach her eyes, despite some actual effort on her part. She tucks the glass to her lips, sipping slow, and then lowers it to admit, "I'll miss this place. I like it. The balcony, the kitchen. The privacy."
"I'll miss the privacy," Kade agrees with that. Though there's that touch of ambivalence in his tone again. "And the good school district. Makes me have to rethink pulling Nina out of Xavier's next year. At least I've got until August to think about it." He takes another drink. "I couldn't afford to keep this place, though. Not without draining my savings bit by bit." He shrugs, as he admits it. "I wasn't sure New York was going to be a long-term thing when I rented this place. But...it is." His eyes lift to linger on her. "...and I need to start saving again if I'm going to build anything here."
Ciel moves to stand in the middle of the living room, wine glass in hand. She takes it in with a slow turn, sighing quietly as her rotation spins her back in Kade's direction. "It makes sense," she agrees with the tone of one who's annoyed at reality butting in on dreams.
Kade strolls over to meet Ciel, to meet that rotation so it spins neatly into him. "I've got it for another week. And if you wanted to crash here, help me send the place out in style..." He noses her dark curls, chuckling soft. "...I wouldn't make you pack or anything. But it occurs to me, it's been awhile since we've had much privacy of any kind."
Ciel settles into Kade's arms without argument. She melts against him, leaning just enough to let him support part of her weight. There's a moment when it seems inevitable that she'll agree, eager. What she says after that moment, though, is, "I've been thinking about ways to get to Burundi."
Kade envelops Ciel happily, arms loose but arm around her. He makes a low "Mmm" sound when she mentions Burundi, nodding against her. "Doctor Rutledge mentioned she could maybe hire a plane. Her dad always seemed made of cash, so. Seems as good a way for transport as any. I wish there was a way to get better intel /in/ Burundi, sniff around for him before anybody makes the trip. But I get it. It's as close to a lead as anybody's got in this universe." Even if it's a distant one. "Just let me know if and when you're ready to jump. I want a seat next to you."
Ciel closes her eyes as she turns her cheek into his shoulder, and for a moment she just stands there, breathing him in and listening to him talk. When she finally straightens, she's dry-eyed, and her expression is quiet and resigned. She lifts her free hand to the curve of his cheek, studying him closely for a moment. "I know you do," she says with a small smile. "Thanks." She draws in a breath and shakes her head, letting her hand fall away. "I'm not really going. I know it's insane. I know it's all insane, and I know why we don't have any leads. I'm not letting her drop a few grand on a plane just so I can see the lack of leads with my own eyes."
"Let's talk what we /do/ know." Kade reaches his hand to cup over hers, as she touches his cheek. Blue eyes seeking to meet hers. "We know Christian was alive, the last time anybody saw him. And stronger. A hell of a lot stronger than he was the last time we saw him. He'd have to have been, to get along in that world, with those warriors we met."
Ciel shakes her head, turning away from the lock of his gaze. She lifts her glass for another swallow, this one longer and deeper. "I appreciate the thought, Kade," she says quietly. "But I've spent two days thinking about what we know from every damn angle. I don't have the energy to do it again."
Kade nods to that. "I suspect you have a wall filled with every angle possible." It's a touch wry, but there's admiration behind it. He has marveled at her post-its before, many times. "I'm just saying...wherever he is, we've got reason to believe he's more capable of looking after himself now. It's not the worst-case scenario. Even if it's not /good/." His arms tighten around her for a moment, to give her a quick squeeze. "I'm sorry I wasn't there with him, when he...I promised I'd help look after him. And I...shit. I'm just sorry."
Ciel shakes her head, quick and tight as she turns away. She moves back to the bar to top off her glass, already half empty. "It's not your fault," she says. "If you'd been there and Alistair wasn't, you'd probably both be dead." She turns to look at him over her shoulder, her eyes darkening at the thought. "And I'm really fucking glad you're not."
Kade has not emptied quite as much from his glass as Ciel, but he gets a refill as well when she's done with the bottle. "Maybe." His reluctance to agree with this is more stubborn than anything else. He can't /objectively/ argue it. "I just wish there was more I could've done. Then and, like, right now." He half-smiles. "Even if there's not much, except maybe buy you more post-its for your freaky wall." Pause. "Which I can do, by the by. My office supply shopping skills are off the hook."
"I'm kind of out of things to write on them," Ciel says, and the flick of her gaze toward Kade as she says it is both guilty and tired. She moves to drop herself heavily into the corner of his couch, glass already lifted to her lips again.
Kade just nods to that. He can imagine something of the frustration of being unable to even strategize something of this magnitude, for one who likes to strategize /everything/. When she goes to sit he finally pays attention the flashing message behind his Eyes. "Pizza guy needs me to buzz him in." He goes to press the little electronic buzzer by his door, to do that. While he waits for an actual knock that will bring their food he leans against the wall. "I am still sorely lacking in a holoprojector, but my tablet's got most of my channels on it. Maybe find something to watch that's not high on strategy. Or intergalactic destruction."
Ciel nods, her smile quick (if forced) and warm as she tracks Kade. "Sure," she says. "Sounds doable. I don't mind an excuse to curl up next to you anyway."
It's not terribly long before their food arrives. Kade brings the box, and some plates (and the wine bottle, because he senses more topping off will be required), over to set on the little table near the futon. And promptly curls up with her. "That is a plan. I thought about getting us a table at a decent restaurant or something, but I figured tonight was not the night. Besides...I missed just being here with you. Not that we were, like, /apart/ on that space station but...you know?" He chuckles low. "If that makes any sense."
"It so does," Ciel says, hotly fervent as she shifts over to tuck next to him. "I /missed/ you. I mean. I was glad you were there, and I still missed you."
Kade stretches out so he's laying against her as she tucks, easing into that comfortable, warm position. "I still can't wrap my head around everything that happened. Even knowing that shit existed...hot damn." It's breathed out low. Something in what she says, and the fervent way she says it, brings a thoughtful look to his face. "I just thank God we weren't gone longer. I told Nina, before we jumped off with Gamora, that I was being called back down to DC for 'work.'" He makes a low "Hmph" sound. "This isn't even the longest stretch of time I've been off the grid from her..."
"I'm glad we weren't gone longer, too," Ciel says softly. Her fingers twist against his scalp, slipping along newly-trimmed hair. "I-- spent a long time thinking about how long it might have been."
"Me, too. Pretty much non-stop," Kade admits, bending his head toward her fingers, as they twist into his close-cut hair "She's OK about it. I think. I think she's OK." He sounds a little like he's trying to convince himself. "She asks more questions than she used to, when she was little. I told her it involved what'd happened at Staten Island, and that it was over now. Which is maybe more than I /should've/ said. But...I don't know. It's been a long time since I had to dance around telling her where I was for weeks. I didn't want to lie. Too much."
"You should tell her," Ciel says abruptly. Her fingers press still against his head. "Tell her all of it, this time. All that classified shit, that only applies to things that happened while we worked for them." Her voice is hard and hot with anger. "They can't make us shut up this time." It's not quite true - the government can do a great many things that seem unfair. But Ciel /wants/ it to be true.
"The feds can still make us do a /lot/ of things, and I doubt they'd consider us released from certain obligations," Kade replies. But he sounds more thoughtful than actually disapproving. "I've thought about it so many times over the years. What would people have done, if they'd known the truth? Maybe there would've been mass panic, like our bosses were afraid of, but...I don't know. Maybe they just flat-out wouldn't have believed it. I'm not sure I do, and I saw the damn thing."
Ciel falls silent at this, though her fingers resume their slow draw against Kade's scalp, even if the rest of her is tense.
Kade falls quiet as he feels the tension against him. Turning his head slight to kiss her wrist, as that hand works against his scalp. His fingertips reach down to caress her thigh. "Anyhow. It's done now. We're home."
Ciel nods silently behind him. Her fingers curl into her palm, and she closes her eyes for a long moment, sinking into it. "Tomorrow," she says quietly. "I have to go tell her, don't I? His mom." It's a visit she's been putting off until she was sure Christian was not somehow magically here. Or until she could work herself up to it.
"Mmmm," Kade murmurs low. It's an affirmative. His fingertips warm slightly as he works them under her shirt. Gently pressing that slight uptick of heat against her skin. "You want me to go with you?"
Ciel shakes her head automatically, but she reconsiders a beat later. She shifts a little, encouraging the warmth of that touch. "Maybe-- I think I should probably talk to her alone. But you could walk with me?" She means it as suggestion, but it comes out as desperate request.
Kade grins broad as the encouragement her body gives his touch. Even after all these months with her, he still thrills at using his powers in ways she enjoys. He does not get too lost in it in that moment, though, nodding seriously at her request. "Of course I will. We're a team, Kane. I have got your back." It's said almost glibly. It's not unlike things he would've said to her a decade ago. And yet, the timbre in his voice at the word 'team' carries a different meaning now.
"I know you do," Ciel answers. Her voice is a hoarse whisper, and her hand comes down to rest against the curve of his neck with fingers that flex against his skin. "I love you.""Love you back," Kade echoes, before he just gives himself over to kissing her and touching her. Fingers finding the places she likes with less desperate intensity than they did in that alley back on Knowhere. Slower, savoring all the things he's missed, in a place that's just theirs for awhile.