1964-12-12 - 23 Letters
Summary: Jay and Kaleb finally discuss the 23 letters written when Kaleb made some dicey choices that nearly cost him his life
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Theme Song: None
jay kaleb 


Kaleb got settled in, adn though he's had a visitor for a chunk of the last week it was a quiet night with no major impending crisises abound. Kaleb invited himself (as was his habit) into places, this time carrying two mugs seeming loaded with whipped cream, marshmallow, and cupcake sprinkles. "Vic got carried away…I wasn't inclined to tell him to stop." Which was Kaleb for Hey pal, I know you've been feeling down so I brought you a pick me up.

It'd been well over a month and some since Kale sent Jay the omnious 23 letters describing the trip in painful details- How Max lost his family over night and how he couldn't just stand there and watch him go through what Jay did, or having flashbacks to a few months ago when he didn't think he'd see any of them again. Apparently there'd been a change of heart in the sonic that was written out with startling openness to the birb, though leaving out the details that might be politically impacting. He couldn't do anything about his family being missing but they neeed help restoring power and he could help them navigate those tunnels. There was excitement at being able to help preserve a culture, positivly benefit a society, and find rewarding constructive purpose.

The letters went on to those of concern that Max wasn't sleeping right and got completely strung out that they may not return, but hes trying to find a way. Kaleb stayed in teh city though and included drawings of some tropical plant on one of the pages. It was rare that he ever drew anything even resembling organic but he didn't have his camera. THen the letters stopped with a two day gap. THE two day gap. The handwriting was shit but he wrote and indicated that there was an accident -he's fine and will explain when he gets home- and not to worry he's not losing another brother, but they did almost lose Max. Reminder Jay: Have me give up shit that makes me afraid for Lent. I'm running low on things to yell at. Home soon. Your pal- KM

The notice about the letters had made Jay cautiously excited; he was concerned what was in them, but more than that, he was concerned about what wouldn't be in them. He knew the trip was hard, and that Kaleb was hurt, badly, and it was insane, but he had wondered how much of that was going to be left out. Really, he was concerned with how much Kaleb was going to try to jerk him around. That was the bottom line. But the sheer number of letters told a different story. Kaleb wasn't exactly a master at small talknot for the lack of skill but for a lack of love of the artso Jay's cautious optimism had perked up.

That didn't mean it wasn't hard to read them. The helplessness amplifed about a dozen times, Jay's natural gift for empathy (even muted as it was at the moment) was no boon for this activity and he hadd to stop several times while going through the letters. He also searched, rampantly, for the missing letters for those two days. With a stone in his belly, he searched every scrap of paper for something postmarked or dated in that time frame, then promptly felt sick to his stomach when he realized that the letters weren't out of order and he wasn't missing any. It's like that heart wrenching part in a movie or book that you've been through a dozen times and you know it's coming, but it sucks every time.

The pages are all on Jay's desk in chronological order, and though Jay isn't actively reading them over when Kaleb comes into the room, there's definitely a sense that he's been reviewing them recently. Currently, the man is standing by the windows, looking at the view that he and Kaleb both share past the balcony. Arms crossed, wings settled loose and natural against his back, Jay leans a shoulder into the window frame. He's quiet. His guitar and one of many notebooks laying out on his bed, but they seem almost discarded there for the moment.

When his door opens and Kaleb lets himself in, Jay turns and offers him the same fair smile that seems like a default expression; soft and easy. "Hey. Wow," Pushing away from the window, there's a quick few steps to meet Kaleb half way and help him out with one of those cups. "You're not kidding."

Kaleb knew Jay was reading the notes. He could tell how many times they'd been put down and when Jay paced the room and… a lot of things. TOo many things. The subdued sonic kept it… professional. It was his sort of armour. "Yeah I mean, it almost looks like he emptied out a crayon sharpener on them." He handed over the mug and glanced to his anxiety and fears and wonders laying bare on paper across Jay's furniture and then looked back. Finally he offered, "I told you I wrote as much as I could. It was like having company. They need a phone though, I agree."

The corners of Jay's mouth lift faintly at the mention of a crayon sharpener. Any kid in any social status would at least be able to largely identify with that one. "He's gettin' in the holiday spirit. That's good. It's gettin' to be perfect hot chocolate weather and everything." Professional doesn't seem to be a word in Jay's language. His reactions to Kaleb's more stoic, reserved attitude is basically his baseline warmth, which isn't insignificant by most standards, though he is largely a little muted. Not just around Kaleb, but in general. Not that Kaleb would know that. Taking the cup as offered, he holds it near his chest and glances back to the pile of letters on his desk. The smile fades marginally. "Yeah. Those were hard to get through." Jay hums softly, thoughtful. "But, it meant a lot to me. So. Thank you. Fer doin' it."

Kaleb was decidedly NOT good with words. He hand many of them that was more evident from shifting his weight back and forth a few times. Hey, the gravel between them was hard on the man with no feelings as many try to billot him. It was hard to write and he looked into his cocoa to find words. There were no words, just sprinkles, and he drank those. Looking back up there was a nod of agreement and his brow knit together. His note already discussed his fear: fear of death, fear of knowing someone was hunting the person that loved him that he loved back, fear of not seeing his family, and fear of putting Jay through having more to grieve. Kale felt no great need to rehash it though his expression became less robotic and relaxed. "Yeah I called but I knew I owed you that much… It was… well it was harrowing and unpleasant all around. And it's… weird. It's a lovely place but with how things are? May never get to go back. Max may… never get to go back." His expression was troubled and he looked to Jay for guidance on that one, "I dunno what I'd do if I couldn't come back to New York. I mean, on the upshot I did. I'm still…" SAY IT MIELLER! "…sorry that you went through what you did because of it. Believe me, I'm mad at those people for making em stress you the fuck out."

"That is a bummer," Jay agrees evenly while he looks at the pieces of paper on his desk. Pensive, he doesn't mean to dismiss any of the meaning behind that, though he's had months now to make peace with losing his own home, and the apathy he's slid into is pretty cozy. "It sounded like a really amazing place. Ah'm sorry Ah never got to see it with you. 'You can never go home again', huh?" The exestential loss of 'home' ringing loud and clear.

Jay turns his attention back to Kaleb wheen he hesitates and lingers on words, struggling with them. A small dip of his brows together, Jay waits in supportive silence. Not rushing Kaleb along while he takes a drink of his over-the-top hot cocoa, wiping whipped cream off his nose with the back of his hand. Once it's over and done with, Jay's mouth curves very slightly, and he nods marginally. "Ah know, Kale. Ah forgave you a long while ago. You made a choice because you felt you had to. Ah…really got no business tellin' you one way or the other what you ought to do. That's on me. An', fer what it's worth, you'd be fine if you couldn't come back to New York. Trust me. It's just a place." The fair young man lifts a shoulder mildly, shaking his head a bit.

Kaleb shrugged and chewed on the inside of his cheek thoughtffully. "Maybe it'll change. Maybe it'll still happen, but…I don't like operating off hope. maybe though. I'd like you to be able to see it. THere are other placeds though." He lifted a hand off the cocoa and squeezed Jay's shoulder. It was brief, but it was there and he said simply, "It's what I know and it's also a people…and really crappy traffic. It's still //mine/ just like what's yours is yours and what's his is his. I really don't like other people touchin my people's junk and the Kree touched a lot of people's junk." He paused and squint at Jay. "That sounded a lot less dirty in my head, so you know."

Jay smiles down at his cocoa, exhaling a hard breath cut somewhere between a laugh and his version of a scoff, which is just a lot kinder than a normal one. "Funny. Hope's kind of the last man standing, but you don't seem to think much on it. Just kinda funny." Lifting his attention upward again at the touch on his shoulder, brows lifting very slightly. The look he gives Kaleb is a gentle one. Enduringly gentle. "That's fear talkin, Kale. Not reality. Every place is just a place. An' people are always just people. Home's somethin' else, and everyone loses it eventually. Trust me." He pats Kaleb's hand evenly and slips out from under it, walking a few steps away but he doesn't really have a destination, burying his face into his cup again, licking the whipped cream up. Mm crayon shavings. "Yeah. Kree sounds like bad news."

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