mr_gaeta: (rack time)
Felix Gaeta ([personal profile] mr_gaeta) wrote2014-06-10 10:22 pm

[Washington, DC, USA, Earth]

The rest of the day passes uneventfully. Gaeta sticks to the guest room for most of it, quietly paging through the comics Steve lent him, sipping the coffee Orpheus provided. When he ventures out for dinner, he surreptitiously sizes up the kitchen: maybe if he wakes early enough, he could make them breakfast tomorrow morning.

Maybe he would have been all right in Milliways after all. If he's not even going to leave the godsdamn apartment --

(But he could leave the apartment if he wanted. That's the difference. He's not trapped by the celebration downstairs; when he looks out the window, he can see a landscape he's never seen before.)

Night falls. He stays up late, perched at the guest room's windowsill, watching lights flicker on along the streets below. There's a circular sign with a green-and-white mermaid not too far away; several doors down from that, bright red neon inscribing something called Kramerbooks & Afterwords illuminates the way.

By the time he returns to bed, most of the cars have disappeared.

And when he stretches his arm across the empty mattress, in the near-silence of an unfamiliar place, he feels his throat catch.

For over a year, something's anchored him while he slept. Gogo took up the mantle for a while; Louis shared it once time settled into alignment. Even as Milliways broke his last connections to the Colonies -- to home -- he had that small tether, a weight on the other side of the bed, an arm around his waist.

He's on a planet that didn't burn, and no one understands what's so funny about Starbucks or a city named Thrace, and if he walked down the street yelling about godsdamn frakking anything all he'd get were bewildered looks, and nothing counterbalances the weight of his body on the mattress, and gods, gods, he's completely alone and severed from everything and he can't sleep.

One minute gets him a donned prosthesis. One more gets him the pack of cigarettes from his hastily assembled overnight bag.

Fifteen more puts him on the roof of Steve and Orpheus' building, looking out over Dupont Circle as he lights a cigarette; then another, after the first one's done.

The air presses warm and damp against his skin, like the heaviness of a departing rainstorm. All of the buildings look like they've had their tops shorn off: Gaeta's in the middle of a city, yet a tree's more likely to block his sight line than an apartment complex. It's not that he's particularly high up. It's just that everything's so short for some reason.

The Kramerbooks & Afterwords sign clicks off. A few late-night patrons straggle out onto the sidewalk.

Gaeta watches, silent, and keeps smoking.
golden_lyre: (neck rubbing)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-12 05:40 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus does not often feel the need to escape the apartment for a smoke, but Felix had put the thought in his head, and he's been contemplating it all day. There is something about the fact that Steve invited someone to their apartment without thought to spare him discomfort that warms him, reminds him what it was like to have a home worth inviting people to, hospitality worth giving. It hits him with a wave of nostalgia he has not felt for quite some time.

So when Steve has gone to bed, he slings his guitar over his shoulder and takes it and a pack of cigarettes up to the rooftop, not expecting to find company there.

When he sees Felix, he responds with a soft, "Ah," and then, "Got a light?"
golden_lyre: (smoking)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-13 04:38 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus catches it easily, cupping his hands around the cigarette between his lips to light it and taking a slow drag before answering.

"Something like that," he agrees. Neither he nor Steve sleep all that much, really, so it was a little bit more than insomnia that brought him to the roof. "How are you settling in?" he asks after taking another drag.
golden_lyre: (dashing)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-14 05:00 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus gives a dry laugh, looking out over the streets. "It suits us, I think."

That had been important: finding a place that suited them both. At least as much as DC could. It was never going to be an ideal place for him, but he was starting to settle in. Summer was not bad.
golden_lyre: (black shirt)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-15 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
He laughs again, shaking his head, staring off into the distance for a moment. "Not all of the city, no."

He isn't entirely sure how to describe it or even quite how he feels about it. "What's it like where you're from?"
golden_lyre: (neck scratching)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-15 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus returns the smile around his cigarette. "Well, I know Milliways pretty well," he answers. "What about the others?"
golden_lyre: (head scratchin')

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-15 03:55 am (UTC)(link)
A lot of trees and a harbor not too far away could describe any number of places, and Orpheus nods, thinking of some of them. "Home," he says after a moment's contemplation of the tip of his cigarette, "is a vivid description."
golden_lyre: (emo musician)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-16 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
"I know the feeling," Orpheus muses quietly. He's starting to again, with Steve, but so much of his life has been spent wandering from place to place without putting down roots, knowing that they'll only pulled up again far too soon.

"You served on a ship?" He's thinking boats, even though Milliways should have broken him of the habit.
golden_lyre: (smoking)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-17 06:21 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus watches them go before responding. It's getting to the point where he has a little trouble remembering what it was like to be that young. (Beyond a few, very specific, very vivid memories that will always be with him.)

"No need to for sirs. I have no rank. I never have."

After another moment and another long drag on his cigarette, he asks, "Did you like it?"
golden_lyre: (suit)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-19 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Orpheus nods, considering this for a moment. "But you died," he says, matter-of-fact. He's been there too, after all. "And now you have Milliways."
golden_lyre: (dashing)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-21 03:58 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus can't help smiling a bit at the unusual expletive. He likes words. It's a family thing.

"At least it's only a weekend?" he offers with a faint shrug.
golden_lyre: (smoking)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-21 04:42 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus waves off his apology, scattering smoke as he does and then tapping out his cigarette. "I've been much worse, I assure you. And you've every reason to be."
golden_lyre: (pleased smirk)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-22 03:33 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus gives a surprised laugh himself at the sudden shift in conversational direction. "Nowhere, anymore. A very, very long time ago, it was near Greece."
golden_lyre: (emo musician)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-22 04:11 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus shakes his head, smiling a bit. "It was a very long time ago."

Not long enough ago that he doesn't still miss it on occasion, but certainly long enough that it is not constantly in his thoughts.

"The land itself is still there, but no one there would recognize it as Thrace."
golden_lyre: (soulful)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-23 04:04 am (UTC)(link)
"Not in one lifetime, but yes," Orpheus says, perhaps not entirely reassuringly.

After a brief moment, he adds, "Out of curiosity, what way are you thinking of?"
golden_lyre: (shoulders)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-26 05:23 am (UTC)(link)
Orpheus nods. "I think it depends on a number of things, but it does get...easier, with time."
golden_lyre: (dashing)

[personal profile] golden_lyre 2014-06-27 04:05 am (UTC)(link)
It's a feeling Orpheus is quite familiar with and one that does still come upon him from time to time.

He's quiet for a long moment, and the he nods again and briefly touches Felix's shoulder. "Thank you for the light," he says. "I hope you find some peace while you're here."

And then he turns to go, leaving Felix with his thoughts for however long he wishes.