|A Rooftop Interlude|
|Location||Rooftop - Mutant Town|
|Summary||Vega and Richard chat in one of their usual spots: a rooftop.|
| It is a summer evening. The weather is cool and clear.|
The long summer evenings are being to shorten with the whisper of fall in the air, the weather cooling abruptly from the day's heat. It's enough that Vega is willing to reward herself with a coffee on her way home, although in an unusual location as she perches high above the streets of Mutant Town. A silver cuff hangs on her ear, light hoodie pulled up under her suit jacket and over her pink hair. It doesn't match the formerly sharp lines of her suit, tie untied and heavy boots on her feet. Dark eyes narrowing, she watches pigeons scatter across the rooftop opposite, taking a sip of her drink.
'Up' is not usually the direction you expect visitors from when you're sitting on a roof, but life is a bit different when you're a flyer. Richard touches down lightly, looking rather plain in comparison in his t-shirt and jeans. "Hey," he says, friendly-like. His face is a bit scraped, but nothing dire. "Almost like fall's actually going to show up, huh?"
Not usually, but everything is just a little bit different in Mutant Town. Vega's brows lit upward at the sound of the greeting, head tilting back and upsetting her hoodie with a fall of pink hair. "Hey," she greets, mouth hooking a little wry as she takes in the scrapes. "Run into a window?" She nods at them - like he might not realize they are there. "It's close and coming. Feels like summer disappeared on us with the lost month."
"I did not, in fact, run into a window," Richard says breezily as he flops into a seat on the edge of the building in the reckless manner of someone who never worries about falling. "I ran into a fist. Or the fist ran into me. Either way."
"So generally it's suggested that one avoids those," Vega notes with a tip of her head, taking a sip of coffee. "You should have the dodging thing down, right?"
"I /am/ pretty good at dodging," Richard agrees, leaning back on the brace of his hands and knocking his heel idly against the building, "but sometimes it's unavoidable. Can't win 'em all, huh?"
Flitting her fingers towards Richard like she is going to grab his jaw, Vega pause mid air, dark eyes narrow. "Not good enough," she notes with a shake of her head. "Get in a fight?" Snorting, she takes a sip of coffee. "To say the least. Hopefully yours was more productive than mine."
Richard's brows twitch upwards with a hint of surprise as Vega starts to reach for his jaw, but he doesn't flinch or retreat. "18th Street," he says. One brow arches higher. "What about yours?"
She never makes contact, setting her hand down on her leg. Vega sighs at the mention of 18th Street. Of course. She knows it. "Just event guard duty." Ergo the suit. "You peel one screaming fan off and another rises to take their place. I didn't know some of those decibels where within human reach."
"See, at least at 18th Street everyone's on the same page of trying to beat up each other," Richard says with a solemn nod. "Keeps things simple."
"Of a kind," Vega allows for 18th Street. She takes another sip of her coffee. "Keep fan away from celebrity is relatively simple, just likely to involve nail polish scratches." Taking another drink, she tips her head. "So how are you finding Earth?"
At first, Richard just snorts like she's made a funny joke. Then he goes quiet for a few moments; the twist of his smile is a bit wistful. "Quiet," he eventually says.
There's not indication from Vega's expression that she's joking, although the fixed point of her gaze slides away from him as his smile twists wistful. "Ah."
Richard takes in a slow breath, holding it a moment before he exhales. "It's not the first time I've come home," he says softly. "But this time -- hurt a lot less."
Vega nods after a moment, at first the only sign that she's heard him as she watches the fall of shadows. Finally, she speaks, "It probably didn't hurt that we didn't end up decades in the future. Not even you, this time around." Her mouth quirks, then she frowns.
Richard rubs at his eye with the heel of his hand. "It certainly didn't hurt," he agrees dryly. "Although that wasn't ever the core of the hurt. Just something that exacerbated it."
Nodding, Vega draws a knee up to her check and wraps and arm around it. Her fingers tap against the rim of her coffee, lashes falling low on her cheeks. "How's Worldmind? Tell him I say hi, even though that's a human redundancy," she offers, a line still lingering in her brows.
Richard laughs out loud, sudden and surprised. "People don't usually say hi to him," he says. "I don't know how much he appreciates it. At least he's chilled out since they downloaded him back at Xandar. The whole point initially was for me to keep him safe, so he would get royally pissed whenever I'd do something dangerous. So, like, all the time." He studies her and that line a little closer. "You okay?"
"I liked him." Just a hint of a smile crooks Vega's lips, a shoulder lifting in a shrug. It was a short conversation, but she liked him immediately. Shaking her head with a roll of her eyes, her bangs brush against her forehead in a sweep. "I bet," she says dryly. "He's got things to do then. And probably feels less threatened." That line lingers at closer study, her features poised and a little drawn as she sips her coffee. "Always," she offers after a moment. "Just a long day and too much rolling around in my head."
Richard leans over, his voice dropping to a conspiratorial whisper. "Don't tell him," he says, "but I like him, too." He straightens back up as she answers, the briefest hint of skepticism furrowing his brow before it smooths away. "I doubt /that's/ true," he says, smile quirking. No one's always okay. "But I've had my share of long days."
Chuckling softly, Vega's lashes flicker against her cheeks as she laughs. "You are in luck. I can no longer communicate with him mind to mind, so your secret is safe." Except that he admitted it. So there is that. Her suit jacket slides a bit on her slender shoulders with a shrug. "Totally true," she promises dryly, clearly not meaning it deeply. "I'm a do-er." That at least is true.
"So, what, you're always fine because you're always doing something?" Twitch twitch go Richard's skeptical eyebrows.
Vega's features skew a little thoughtfully before she abruptly laughs. "Yeah. That's about the sum of it."
"Well, gosh." Richard's eyes go round. "I guess that's what I've been missing this whole time. You figured it out!"
"Did you just say 'well gosh'?" Vega teases mildly. "And I'm good like that."
Richard's eyes go even wider. "Gosh, I think I did!"
Snickering, Vega takes another drink of coffee. Then, she reaches the end of the cup with a sigh. "Always a sad moment."
"I had language drilled into me pretty hard," Richard says in dry admittance.
"So that's you shaking the curses from your tongue? Harsh, Rider." A hint of a smile lingers on Vega's features.
Richard sets a hand over his heart. "I try my best," he says, solemn-faced. "If only because my dad never really believed I could manage it."
"I am amused you took it as a challenge," Vega offers, kicking a foot.
"Honestly, nowadays it just makes me feel a little closer to him," Richard admits, his smile saddening a bit. "He wasn't here when I got back."
Glancing over at Richard, Vega bows her head. "I'm sorry."
Richard shrugs, a little bit like he doesn't really know what to do with the sympathy. "Anyways," he says. "We always talk about me a lot."
It is sympathy, but it is honest. Dropping her leg, Vega sits poised formally for a moment with her coffee clasped in her lap. "We used to talk around you," she says softly, mouth askew. Less secrets now. Tipping her head back towards the sky, she tugs down the hood and lets the wind pull at her hair. "I'm less interesting," she suggests.
"I doubt that," Richard says gently. "Maybe more private. Which is okay. Weird things have happened to me, but that doesn't make me more interesting."
"It's a bit the definition," Vega jokes with a slight smile. "I'm actually pretty good with weird. Life is /weird/, you know?"
"Some are weirder than others, but yeah." Still, Richard shakes his head. "Interesting things happening to you isn't really the same as /being/ interesting. It's a situation, not who you are."
"Hard to beat a starless space and whatever the hell those noodles were. Did you ever find out?" Back on Knowhere, presumably. Vega tips her hand, visually waffling over that description. "In a way, yeah. There's an element of each. I have definitely met people who had done were interesting that had the personality of a wet sock."
"I kind of always liked not knowing," Richard admits with a grin. "Didn't want to try to force the weirdness into my own definitions, you know?"
"I asked." Vega frowns at the memory. "They refused telling me." Knowledge deniers. "Brave. I like definitions, parameters."
"I've always run at least 75% on instinct." Richard lifts his gaze up to the darkening sky. "Gets me into trouble sometimes, but it's fun."
"/That/ much?" Vega asks, shock evident in her voice. Maybe a little horrified. "I'm more of a 90% planned/considered with 10% for gut reaction.We dealt with too many surprises, I liked to plan for contingencies." For work. "My only 75% instinct days are when I am drinking," she adds dryly.
"My instinct is well-honed and built on experience!" Richard says, maybe just a /little/ defensive. "If you spend 90% of your time planning, you don't actually /do/ anything. I thought you said you were a doer!"
Brows lifted at Richard, Vega blinks at his defensiveness. "Planning isn't necessarily a inert action," she points out. "I am."
"Nope, sounds like you're a planner who likes to /say/ she's a doer," Richard says, briskness overset over the mildest of teases.
"You can think whatever you like, Rider," Vega says easily. "Good plans are always followed by action. I can just do both."
"I can plan," Richard claims. That's why he had a space boyfriend specifically dedicated to planning.
"I never said you couldn't plan. That was your math," Vega notes, wrinkling the end of her nose. Her numbers are skewed too
"Well, I definitely can't do /math/," Richard says, sounding mock-horrified. The very IDEA.
"So says the man with a supercomputer in his head." Her words are soft enough not to carry, even if someone else were around. Vega's smile reaches her eyes, if briefly. "I kind of like it."
"That's not /me/ doing math, that's the supercomputer," Richard points out. He looks over at her, brow quirked. "Which part?"
A hint of amusement sparkling in her dark eyes, Vega teases, "So you're just lazy?" Let the supercomputer do all the work. "The math. Calculations. The process and the planning. Felt good to do productive work."
"That part was never my strong suit. Peter was great at it, and Worldmind certainly helps." Richard lifts his gaze to the sky again, noting the darkened color. "I should probably get going. I'll see you around?""Good flying," Vega bids before nodding. "Yeah. You'll see me around."