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24 February 2010 @ 04:50 pm
Julien, Jackson  
I shouldn't trust him anymore. Yet, I do. I'm angry with him, yes. Very angry. But still trusting.

I know I shouldn't be. But with his history... I can't help but wonder exactly how skewed his conscience is. Perhaps he just didn't realize that you don't hurt friends to simply prove a point. Either way, it's obvious that he thinks I shouldn't trust him. Or maybe he just doesn't want me to.

Too bad for him. He's got me as a friend, and now he'll just have to deal with me, whether he wants to or not.

Log. Monday, February 22, 2010. [NYC] Beacon Apartments – Julien’s Apartment. Mid-Afternoon.

Understated opulence claims this spacious and well-kept three-bedroom apartment, the decor throughout the whole of it of the highest quality and carefully chosen. The front door opens onto the entrance hall, a closet close at hand to receive coats and shoes -- the pale hardwood floors gleam underfoot, unsullied by tracked-in mess from outside. The living room beyond the entrance is all dark woods and pale earth tones, comfortable couches and armchairs and a thick soft rug laid down beneath. A large and painstakingly aquascaped aquarium stands against one wall, with several brightly coloured species of fish within. Most of the rest of the wall space, notably, is taken up with shelves -- shelves crammed with books of every subject and genre. Through a doorway lies the kitchen which, in contrast, is sleek and modern and well-appointed, stocked by someone who takes their cooking seriously. And takes their alcohol equally seriously -- to one side of the kitchen there is a fully-stocked bar.

Julien's bedroom, in contrast to the paler, earthy scheme outside, is warm and rich, decorated in deep reds. The exquisitely crafted furniture is dark, with reddish undertones to the mahogany wood. The king-sized bed is stocked with an overabundance of pillows, and more cushions rest in the windowseat. One wall holds a spacious walk-in closet. A table, low to the ground, sits on a thick rug between the bed and the entrance, the right height for kneeling rather than chairs; the checked pattern carved into its surface marks it as a chessboard, though the pieces are not in evidence. The bathroom connects both to the bedroom and to the living room; it is large, done in black marble, with an overly spacious glass-walled shower and a similarly large jacuzzi bathtub.

The other two bedrooms, in strange departure from the rest of the apartments style, seem decorated more with younger occupants in mind. One of them, styled largely in purples and blues, has a pair of twin beds with matching butterfly-patterned bedspreads and a similar fabric for the window curtains; a wealth of stuffed toys is neatly arranged on both. The other is very green, its bedspread green-and-black striped; the walls are covered with a host of movie posters. Also oddly, they are both painfully well-kept -- with no personal belongings in sight, they hardly seem lived in at all.

With Warren gone for the day, Sunset's taking it on herself to let her friends and family know that she hasn't actually disappeared off the face of the Earth (if they've even noticed her absence). She's just been very, very, very, very, VERY distracted the last two days. Naked Warren will do that to you. And since she herself even needed some fresh air and sunshine every once in a while, she's been taking care of errands on foot. Telling her land lord that she's moved out - Lease be damned. - and letting the few people who would care know that she's moved, and back together with an old flame. (if he could even be called that.)

Knocking on Julien's door, her demeanor has probably changed drastically from the last time they had met. The sad and haunted look that had been buried in her eyes is gone, and she seems happier all together. (Again, Naked Warren will do that to you.) There's also of course, the few bruises and love bites on her neck that he'd be blind to not spot.

Julien's demeanor hasn't changed all that much since -- well, ever. That is to say: an unexpected knock on his door in the middle of the day makes him somewhat of a /cranky/ whore. His lips are pressed thin together as he pulls the door open -- just a crack open, the security chain still in place. His green eyes narrow faintly, even once he sees who is outside. "You look well." Somehow he manages to make the soft-spoken words carry a hint of accusation. "If you look well, I take it to mean there is no emergency this time?"

Her smile doesn’t fade a bit at his tone, even as she rocks back on the balls of her feet. “Just wanting to tell you I moved, so you don’t drop by and just... find nothing.” Looking at him with amused eyes through the crack in the door, Sunset does feel a twinge of guilt for ruining his mood. Perhaps she woke him up. Oops. “I went to see Warren.”

"Did you." Julien's accented voice is one of bland disinterest. The door closes, the security chain rattling as it is unhooked. Julien opens it again. The clothes he is wearing are, as is common, chosen to accentuate his form -- black jeans fit snug, and the collared green shirt whose material clings to his torso highlights his eyes. Beneath the lightweight fabric, the outline of a chest harness can be seen strapped against his skin. The gesture of his hand as he waves Sunset in is rather brusque, but at least it is an invitation. His gaze sweeps her appraisingly, lingering noticeably on the marks on Sunset's neck. "I did not realize Warren was into necrophilia. The tabloids will have a field day with that, I am sure."

“I believe that the tabloids are going to have a field day no matter what happens.” Sunset answers, moving into the apartment. She takes notice of the harness, and for a moment wonders if she’s interrupting something. But then, why would Julien have answered the door in the first place? “...Oz is back. And when I went to talk to him... He’s decided that when he returns to his music career, he’s going to tell the truth about what happened, and I think I might join him, to try and back his story up. Two people, talking about how they remember dying, and then the next thing they know... It should cause quite a stir.”

Julien's eyebrows raise, and he leans back against a wall, eying Sunset skeptically. "You wish to cause a stir?" His arms fold over his chest, his gaze still leveled on her intently.

Turning to face Julien, Sunset clasps her hands behind her back as she answers, shaking her head. “No. I simply want to make sure that there is at least one person on Oz’s side for this. Not that I think that anyone will believe us, but I would rather tell the truth and have nearly nobody believe us than lie for the rest of our lives.”

Julien's lips press together again, but whatever he thinks of this, he holds his own counsel. His fingers tap idly against his upper arm. "Do you want a drink?" is what he asks, rather than address her statement. "/I/ want a drink." He pushes away from the wall, rubbing at his eyes and then heading for the kitchen.

For some reason, that amuses her, her somewhat faded smile returning to its full glory. Yes, it is a rather stupid idea, which she knows. But she’s never been one for lying, and she’s never been one for deserting her family when they needed her. “No, thank you. How have you been, Julien?”

Julien turns a hand up in a shrug. "I have been." He seems to think that passes for an answer. He slips into his kitchen, picking up a bottle of Scotch and pouring himself a rather sizable serving. "Busy," he adds, by way of further response.

She’s tempted to tease, asking if that’s the reason for the harness under the shirt. But if Sunset really has interrupted something, there is a chance that she would be too embarrassed to continue conversation. And even when Julien is in a less than joyful mood, she does still enjoy their conversations. “How fruitful. I believe the only thing I’ve accomplished lately is moving in with Warren. And... finally getting to appreciate him in the way I’ve always wanted.”

Julien's eyebrows raise again. "And out of wedlock," he murmurs, amusement glittering in his eyes. "How positively scandalous."

“Oh, you know me, Julien. Anything to start people talking.” Giving him a mischievous grin, Sunset chuckles. “Admittedly, it’s not a pregnancy scandal, but it is absolutely guaranteed to piss off Warren Worthington Jr. Which is just fine with me.”

"I wonder at what age one outgrows the urge to follow paths that will most infuriate parental figures," Julien muses. He tosses back his glass of Scotch in one very prolonged gulp, letting out a heavy breath once it is gone. "I suppose once you are old enough that they are all dead, it becomes an academic question." From the direction of his bedroom, there is a muffled groan. He ignores it.

“Men like Warren’s father are one of the few who-“ Stopping herself at the sound of the groan, Sunset looks towards the direction of the bedroom before finishing her sentence. “will always deserve to be annoyed, what with his demeanor. Julien, did I interrupt anything by coming over here?”

Julien looks at her, his expression unreadable. "Would I have answered the door, if there were anything going on that should not have been interrupted?" he asks mildly.

Sunset actually doesn’t have to think about that. “I believe that you would if...” Glancing towards the bedroom, she lowers her voice. “If the client wasn’t one you particularly cared for.” Not that she imagines he cares for any of them, but perhaps one that was near the bottom of his list.

Julien sniffs exaggeratedly. "I am a professional," he says, with feigned insult. "I treat my clients as they pay me to treat them. Caring has nothing to do with it one way or another."

“Did this one pay for you to leave them whenever a guest came over?” She asks, half teasing, half serious. “Besides, I would hate to be the cause of an unhappy client. If you need me to leave, I will not mind it.”

Julien's lips twitch faintly. He leans against the counter, fingers toying absently with the hem of his shirt. "He pays me to treat him like dirt," he says, amused. "When a submissive puts themselves in /my/ hands they sacrifice a great deal of control over what happens next."

Biting her lip to try and stop an amused grin, Sunset fails as it breaks through anyway. “Indeed. I wish I had been able to be so dominant with my clients, when I was in the business. Maybe I would have had a bit more fun.” Doubtful.

"I am not sure about fun, but I allow that it can be somewhat entertaining." Julien's finger traces slowly around the rim of his empty glass. "And certainly, it makes taking, ah, breaks while on the job much easier."

“Though I doubt you would have taken a break if anyone else showed up at your door.” Not that she thinks highly of herself, it’s just that she doubts Julien has that many friends. Of course, she isn’t one to talk about being popular, either.

Julien exhales a quiet and rather dry laugh. "Who else would have shown up at my door?"

“Alessia doesn’t drop by to see you?”

Julien raises an eyebrow. "Most certainly not." His tone implies he is very faintly horrified at the idea.

Sunset frowns slightly at that, curiously tilting her head. “And it would be bad if she did?” She questions, confused.

"I do not generally take well to people dropping by unannounced," Julien replies, the faintest emphasis given to the /generally/.

“Yet I’m an exception.” It’s a statement, because questioning it would be stupid, and Sunset does her best to not act stupid. “Why, Julien? What makes me so special compared to everyone else?”

"Perhaps you are not," Julien says lightly. "Perhaps I am just waiting for the opportune moment to torture you horribly."

“Well, if that is why, then I do believe you have just the right powers to do so.”

Julien's head tilts to one side, green eyes focusing on Sunset thoughtfully. Wordless, he lifts an arm, fingers just slightly curled as he holds his hand out towards her.

Glancing to his outstretched hand, Sunset looks back to his face, making sure to meet his eyes as she places her hand in his. She trusts him.

The slight smile that tugs at the corners of Julien's mouth is, for the first time since Sunset's arrival, not wry or laughing but almost, actually, happy. His fingers are warm as they close around her hand, his touch gentle. There is a trickle of sensation that comes with the contact, warm and refreshing; it spreads up Sunset's arm to wash over the rest of her, a gentle, pleasantly happy buzz.

Eyes widening for a split second – She is not sure what she was expecting, but it was not that. – Sunset smiles, a bubbly laugh escaping from her lips. Hand tightening around his, the redhead’s laugh quiets as she directs her smile at Julien, completely happy, full of friendship and trusting.

Julien's eyes focus intently on Sunset's expression, and his smile warms for a moment at the laugh. His hand tightens around hers, tugging her gently closer -- the warmhappybuzz heightens for a minute

and then /twists/, the happy-buzz skewing -- decidedly less pleasant and more pleasured; less innocent, more carnal

and the warmth flaring into fiery-sharp pain that arcs vicious along every nerve, harsh and burning and twined inextricably with the pleasure.

So much for friendship and trusting.

She inhales sharply as soon as it changes, and it's only by force of will that she doesn't cry out once the pain hits. Jaw clenching, Sunset reaches out to grip the edge of the kitchen counter, legs shaking ever so slightly. And yet, she never breaks eye contact, though her pupils dilate and her eyes start to water.

The pain, the pleasure, both fade as abruptly as they started, the whole ordeal lasting only a matter of seconds -- though time perception is rather relative while in agony. The sensations recede, a wash of cooling relief passing through Sunset in their wake. The whole time, the warmth of Julien's smile does not change.

Her grip on his hand having tightened through the whole ordeal, Sunset’s loosens her hand from his, though doesn’t withdraw it just yet. “...And exactly what was the point if that?” She asks, voice quiet, shaky, though her eyes show anger. And a lot of it.

"I did warn you," Julien replies, utterly mildly. He turns aside to wash his glass and set it on the rack above the sink to dry.

“...Indeed.” Letting her hand fall back to her side, she clenches it for a moment, taken with the urge to slap him. But it passes, quickly, and Sunset turns away to silently let herself out.

Julien's lips twitch faintly, and he follows her out of the kitchen, slipping back into his bedroom as she leaves.

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I shouldn't have told Jackson that Warren would be okay with it. At the moment, I was simply wanting to keep him from going into one of his self depreciating moods, and when I told him, I felt so sure... But now, that I think about it, I do have to wonder how true it is.

It's been two years since I've gone. I don't know exactly how much he's changed. I'm not even sure of how much /I've/ changed, yet. And now I fear that I've done something horrible, in both assuming that I know how Warren feels, and promising Jackson something that I possibly can't give him.

I'll have to talk to Warren about it. As silly as it sounds, I'm scared to bring it up. I'm still waiting for something to go wrong... I'm scared that things will move so fast that something will trip it all up, and make us crash. And I'm scared that this will be the cause of it.

I don't want to lose him.

Log. Tuesday, February 23, 2010. [WES] The Grind Stone.

Oh, wow, she's managed to leave the apartment again! Two days in a row! Well, really, it would have just been yesterday, but Julien's actions turned her smile upside down. Thus, she didn't feel up to finishing spreading her joy around. Luckily, she had really only had Jax left to tell, and why not save the best for last? Her good mood from yesterday fully returned, Sunset sits near the window of the café, sipping a chai while she waits. Dressed in a pair of darkwashed jeans and a very snuggly looking green sweater (that doesn't quite cover the few healing hickies and lovebites on her neck), her hair is left loose, just as red and unruly as ever. She hadn't wanted to bother Jackson at school, so she had invited him out for caffeine. (Her treat, of course.)

The café is not yet too crowded, considering it's just barely after school hours, but it's close to getting there. Glancing at the small crowd forming at the counter, Sunset reaches out to drop a nearby magazine into the nearest chair available. It wouldn't do for Jackson to get here, and have nowhere to sit.

Jax arrives bundled up snug and warm against New York February; by winter standards it is not /that/ cold out, really, but the slim Southerner is well-layered anyway. Bright red-and-black striped scarf, hat, and fingerless gloves complement his black peacoat -- which is worn over a snug-fitting Rainbow Brite sweatshirt, which is over a stripey long-sleeved shirt, which is over a /plain/ long-sleeved shirt, which is over an undershirt. Or two. Blue eyes peeking out from the small gap between hat and scarf (he's wound the thing all the way up over the bridge of his nose), he skitters into the coffee shop, gaze darting around for Sunset and lighting happily when he sees her. His cheery "Hiiiiiiii!" is a bit muffled by the scarf as he hurries over towards her.

Looking up at him, Sunset can’t help but give a small laugh as she stands to give the teenager a hug that might just be warmer than the many layers of clothing he’s wearing. “Hello, Starshine! Do you think you’ve got enough clothes on?” She asks, still slightly giggling.

Jax hugs Sunset back tight and fierce, and his nose crinkles as he unwraps his scarf. "Nooooo not hardly!" he says, laughing, "only but if I try fittin' on too many more s'hard t'walk."

She laughs again at that, shaking her head. “Perhaps I’ll have to buy you one of those very puffy jackets that I see everywhere. Those look warm and comfy, and maybe you won’t have to bundle up as much against the cold, hm?” Sitting down again, Sunset picks up a second nearby cup of coffee that hopefully hasn’t cooled too much since she’s ordered it. “Chocolate chai with soy whipped cream, and extra cinnamon, right?”

"Eeeee." Jax bounces eagerly on his toes and leans in to peck Sunset on the cheek, which is hopefully answer enough. He flops down into the seat Sunset saved him, moving the magazine to the table first. "Thank you! An' I could use a new jacket, only but we're mos'ly done with winter already right? Anyhow I can keep myself warm fine but -- uh. Only if I want t'walk around /glowing/ an' that ain't hardly always safe."

“Well, you’ll just have a new one until winter is over, and then maybe when it rains, and then you won’t have to worry about getting one again when Fall rolls around.” Sunset answers, giving a soft smile. Leaning forward, she rests her chin in a palm, elbow leaning against the arm of the chair. “Now, I have something to tell you, that is going to make you very, /very/ happy.”

Jax squints at Sunset, grin spreading wider as he curls his hands around his cup, pulling it closer. "Happier'n chocolate-cinnamon-chai? Cuz I already gotta whole glassfull'a happy /right here/."

Her own smile widens as she shrugs. “I don’t know. Is the fact that Warren and I are back together better than a chocolate cinnamon chai or not?”

Jax's eyes open huge and wide. "/Really/? Like really-really?"

“Really-really. I’m all moved into his apartment and everything. It happened... really fast.”

"Moved /in/? With /Mr. Worthington/?" Jax's eyes are still wide with amazement. "Wooo-ah. That's /so cool/! I bet he was /real/ happy to see you! He was so sad after y-- well." Jax blushes deep. "I bet he was real happy t'see you, is all."

Sunset blushes herself, though it’s most likely for a different reason, as she looks down at her cup, giving a small, somewhat wicked grin. “Oh, he was extremely happy. He pretty much invited me to live with him by the next day, and I didn’t have that much stuff in the first place... It didn’t really take very long.”

Jax lifts his cup, taking a slow sip. And getting whipped cream on the tip of his nose in the process. "S'kinda awesome," he says, a bit wistfully. "/You/ look real happy too." This prompts another cheerful grin.

She smiles at him then, looking a little shy as she nods. “I think that... this is the happiest I’ve been in a very long time. Ever since I came back, I think.”

"Good," Jax says. He still grins, but his tone is softer and more serious. "You deserve it."

“So people keep telling me.” Glancing away again, that shy look intensifies a little bit more. “And, I was wondering... If you still wanted to... I was going to start looking in to what it would take for you to legally become my son.”

Jax's eyes open huge-huge-huge again, and his hands freeze with his cup halfway to his mouth. Which hangs open, just a little bit. Somewhat stunned, he does not immediately answer.

Giving a nervous chuckle, Sunset plays with the hem of her sweater as she starts to babble a bit. “It’s just that now that I wouldn’t be moping around half the time, I thought that I would end up being a better mother now than I would have a few weeks ago, or even just this time last week, and if you need a while to think on it, that’s okay too.”

Jax's fingers tighten around his cup, and his cheeks flush deeply red. He bows his head, brow creasing as his gaze fixes on the table. "It'd be nice t'have a family agin," he says in a low voice. "'specially one what actually accepts me f'r who I am."

Stopping her nervous movements, Sunset reaches out to rest her hand against his, ducking her head to try and meet his eyes. “You won’t /ever/ have to worry about me never accepting you. You know that.” She softly answers, giving a loving smile. “You’re my son, whether it’s on paper or not. I just want to make it legal.”

Jax's fingers uncurl from his drink; he turns his hand over to hold Sunset's gently. "I -- really?" His brow creases, and he chews on his lip, shifting uncomfortably. "But what about Mr. Worthington?"

“If I asked him if he wanted to adopt you as well, I don’t see him saying no.” Sunset answers, squeezing his hand lightly. “He loves you just like I do, Jackson. You know that.”

"He does?" Jax looks unsure. He leans closer to whisper to Sunset confidentially, "But he's a /teacher/."

She smiles at that, lowering her voice to match his. “I don’t think there are any rules against it, though. At least, I am almost positive. But those are meant to be broken anyway.”

Jax gnaws on his lip again, teeth toying with one of his lip rings. "Well," he allows slowly, "maaaaaybe, but teachers still got way more /'mportant/ stuff t'worry about."

“Of course not. Family is the most important thing in the world. Jackson, sweetie, I’m telling you... If I asked him, he’d have no problem with it. And if you want me to ask him, I will. I will before I even look into the paperwork, if you want me to.”

Jax gives Sunset a worried look. "I jus' -- you're so /happy/. I don't want to mess it up for you. With him."

“You could /never./” Sunset immediately replies, putting quite a bit of emphasis on never. “/Never./ It would only make me happier, that I can swear.”

The tentative smile that creeps across Jax's face is relieved. "Well -- okay. Jus' -- I kinda -- ruined my family once already. I don't want --" His expression is briefly troubled. His head shakes abruptly. "Jus' don't want t'be a -- burden agin."

“You didn’t ruin your family, Starshine. They ruined themselves, easily enough, just because they couldn’t see past any bigotry they had.”

Jax's smile is still shaky. He takes a deep drink of his chai. "S'hard t'believe y'really want me," he admits quietly. "I don't always feel real want-able."\

“Well, who else would I want to adopt? I’ve met so many people that I’ve loved, ever since coming here, Jackson. But you are the /only one/ who has ever truly felt like my own child. I just wish that I had been your real mother, so you wouldn’t have been treated so badly.”

Jax blushes, and lifts his gaze, turning that shaky smile from the table to Sunset. "Thank you," he says softly. "I love you."

Smiling back, Sunset leans forward to place a kiss on his forehead, before leaning her forehead against his. “I love you too, Starshine.”

Jax just smiles, the expression coming easier now, less hesitant.