Still Night


lynette_icon.gif mateo_icon.gif

Scene Title Still Night
Synopsis It is still night, so the rules still apply.
Date March 19, 2018

The Benchmark: Lynette and Mateo's Room

The bedroom is decorated in warm colors, mostly owing to the fact that much of the furniture and d├ęcor around the room was brought up from Mexico and comes with colorful flourishes. But also because it makes the room feel comforting. In one corner, a record player sits on a stand with a collection of records. Jazz, mostly. Almost nothing after the 1940s.

The bed is flanked by two side tables, usually piled with books. Although there is a his and a hers side, it's difficult to tell which is which. There are more pillows on this bed than any pair of humans would ever need.

In the closet a safe is tucked away toward the back. Instead of valuables or money, it holds weapons. It doesn't get opened often, but it is certainly there.

There's few better ways to spend the end of the day than laying in bed with the person you love. Mateo would very much like to end every day from now on just like this, his hair mussed with her laying against his bare chest and his arm around her as his eyes threaten to flutter closed. The day had been a normal one, still working with various organizations within the city to clean up messes. Rat shit, he often says. The occassional graffiti. He still has to finish his two weeks notice before he starts a new job…

But it's getting closer. Soon he'll turn his resume in to Raytech and probably get a new job all together.

But right now all he can really think about is the way her body warms his as they lay together in their bed. How that sound in his head is the softest sound of a beach, like the one where they first met. His fingers roll gently up and down her arm as he looks at the ceiling.

Lynette's finger traces lazy circles against his chest, proving that she's not asleep, at least. Even if she's been quiet for a while. That's not unusual, her lingering against him, holding back sleep in favor of more of him.

But there is something different. Has been for a couple days. There's a nervousness about her and a tension in her muscles that she doesn't even really seem aware of. He can feel it, though, as his fingers graze her arm. But whatever it is, she hasn't found her way around to it yet.

That also isn't unusual.

"You smell good," she says eventually, her eyes closing as she nuzzles into his neck.

"I should— I smell like you," Mateo responds with a wry laugh, even as he shifts enough to kiss the top of her head where it rests against him. He's not falling asleep yet, either, cause he wants to enjoy the silence. Or at least the softness of that usual voice that roars in the back of his head. Wants to enjoy the feeling of her against him. It may happen fairly often, sometimes even every night, but that doesn't mean he wants to take any of it for granted, either. "Technically, I guess we both smell like us right now." We. Us. Together.

That nervousness, also, keeps him awake. Keeps his hand moving against her, as if trying to urge her into the same comfort he feels. Or to get her to talk about it. "Something on your mind?"

"Well, that's because I pick the soap," Lynette says with an echo of his laugh. After the kiss, she tilts her head to look up at him. "Like us. I suppose you're right," she says, her smile tilting crooked. There's a good reason for that, after all.

When he asks her the obvious question, she glances away for a moment. Debating. And then back to him with an expression hanging somewhere near amused. Near, but not quite there. "Several things," she responds dryly. Because aren't there always. "I miss Mexico." Which is true, but not quite the point. Her hand lifts from his chest to run through her hair. It doesn't help it look any less wild. "Richard Ray came by."

"Me too, I miss the beach and this place is cold," Mateo responds with a small laugh, thinking how big a difference it had been between all the walks on the beach they got to do together and— well— Also he hadn't actually worked much until now, so he couldn't just show up in her office at random times and bother her. But he'd wanted to work— wanted to contribute. Not just because they got married and adopted Silvia. Speaking of, that's one of the good things about here. "Silvia's probably getting a better education here, at least…" There's that.

She's making friends, speaking English, and getting a decent education.

His eyes are closed when she mentions Richard, mostly cause he's enjoying her fingers through his hair and against his scalp. "Oh? What about him? He's not one of your ex boyfriends is he?" They hadn't exactly talked about exes before and that came out as a joke anyway.

"I'm sorry, I should have warned you it was going to be dreary up here. Cloudy all the time. Snow. Rain. It's awful." Lynette smiles, though, so maybe she doesn't think it's so bad. But the weather isn't the only thing that was better there. It was simple. What there was to worry about, she could handle. But it wasn't like she could send her dad up here into this place. "She is. And she has friends. I… I hope she's happy." All she wanted for Silvia was that she find a family. Lynette didn't realize for a long time that she could have given it to her all along.

"Oh god no," Lynette says to the question, her tone amused. So she probably took it as a joke. "No, he wanted to tell me about your fractured memories, mostly. Told me not to mention it to you, in the interest of not triggering some sort of mental break." That, too, gets an amused smirk. Because asking her to not tell Mateo was never going to happen. Even if she'd wanted to, he knows her well enough to read her like one of his books.

"I know how ex boyfriends can be," Mateo jokes, but doesn't really go into that more. After all, it's said entirely as a joke. And this Ray seems to have little faith in his mental stamina, and that earns a small laugh. "While I appreciate the concern, I've got a pretty good foundation to keep that from happening, I think." The foundation, he means, is her. Something his maybe sister didn't have in her life. A kind of stability to keep him from floating away when he learns all these things that— part of him isn't sure he wants to learn.

But at the same time a big part of him does. So…

"I'd already told you— " Maybe he'd thought that he wouldn't mention it? It had taken a few days for him to bring up certain things… For good reason, but he had brought it all up. "Did he have anything new to add?"

"Maybe yours, mine don't tend to visit once they're ex," Lynette says, still with a chuckle on her words, "it really makes me doubt all those people who said I have a sparkling personality." She shifts, propping herself up on an elbow to look over at him. "I'm not sure…" she pauses, her fingers drumming against his chest as she thinks about how to explain. About why it took her time to bring it up. "Nothing new about that, exactly. We talked a little about Des and Eve and I— Mateo, I don't trust him." That is serious. "The things he said, I'm not sure that he— " She stops. Exhale. When she looks back to him, she looks worried. "I'm not explaining this right."

That she said hers don't tend to visit once they're ex, Mateo grins, but doesn't quite laugh, cause— well— his won't be visiting either. But it had been a joke and he's wanting it to stay that way— even as she turns the topic to a more serious note. His eyebrow raises as she shifts and looks at him, but then lowers into a furrowed brow when she mentioned not trusting him. He'd not really known the man. Met his sister, trusted her a little, Dess seemed to trust him too, but— "Not sure that he what?" he asks, prompting her to continue.

"Richard told me," Lynette says, brow furrowing, "that Eve and Des took some… Refrain-fueled trip to try to find those memories. And I agree that that was not a good idea. But the first thing he said about it was that if Des was going to try that, that she should do it under lab conditions." Her brow furrows, a shoulder rolls. "Lab conditions. Instead of thinking that sort of experimentation shouldn't happen at all, period."

Lynette hasn't explained how she got addicted to refrain, but it's clear this idea doesn't sit well with her.

"And I got the distinct impression that he was willing to over look a lot of mistakes in people who are… useful to him. But not otherwise." She shakes her head, bringing up a smile although it doesn't reach her eyes. "And he asked about your ability. Which, really, just put a cherry on top of the whole conversation."4

"Damnit, Dess," Mateo closes his eyes and leans his head back into the pillow for a moment. Why would they use a drug— and why would anyone want to suggest they do something like that a second time. "He does know it's addictive, right?" Not that he knows from experience— the closest he'd come to using a drug had been the tame ones, weed and the like. It doesn't surprise him with Eve, considering, but… That's not a good plan for getting memories, in his mind.

At all. And not just because Lynette doesn't approve.

The rest makes him frown, as he opens his eyes to look at her again. "You don't think he's using Dess, do you?" That very idea makes him a feel a little protective. He'd been protective of her even before she explained how they might have been related.

"We all know it's addictive," Lynette says with a sigh. She sits up then, a small shudder running over her than she can't quite supress. "I'm not sure who came up with the idea— I don't know how to make them understand that there are better ways. If I hadn't left them alone— " She pushes her hands through her hair, as if to push thoughts away.

But then he asks the question. The question. She looks up at the ceiling, just for a moment before she turns to look back at him. "I suppose if I wasn't worried about her, I wouldn't bring it up. I don't think he means to hurt her. I even think he means… well. In the long run. I don't know, my darling. I think she might need us more than we thought. And I don't like anyone being curious about you." She turns forward, looking at her own lap for a moment. "I feel paranoid. I sound paranoid."

"With good reason," Mateo responds, sitting up so he can reach out and pull her close once again, pressing his forehead against hers. Good reasons. "We both know what happened the last time someone found out exactly what I could do." Like, not her. The last time. He doesn't know if it had been the first time— he's got those memory holes. "I'll look into a getting a job elsewhere for the time being. I will still help out with Dess, work with her and Kaylee to unlock some of my memories, but…"

Until they both have a reason to trust the man behind the actual company, he didn't feel right working for him. And he could tell that must have been what Lynette had been worried about, too.

"I can go back to my back up of looking into Yamagato once I pass my test in April." He doesn't even seem to doubt that he will pass. "They got their hands in the power grid more than even the military does."

Lynette closes her eyes when he pulls her in again, her hand moving to his cheek while he talks. She nods, then opens her eyes to look at him again. "I won't let anyone use you, not ever again," she says, her voice a little too serious. But she seems to realize it, and she gives him a more apologetic look. "Dess is going to need us. Our protection. That's one thing I'll give him, Richard is keeping her out of sight. Whatever's happening here… you, her, Eve and her visions. All those otters. The… Looking Glass. We might need all the help we can get."

The mention of another job eases some of that tension she's been holding and she smiles a more genuinely over at him. "I'll see if I know anybody over there. Might be able to get you an inside recommendation. In the meantime, a couple weeks of freetime won't hurt, I think."

"Sounds like we need to protect her from herself, as well," Mateo responds quietly, brow still furrowed as he thinks about what Dess had been up to. And Eve too. They both needed a good influence to watch over them. He felt super protective of both of them, weirdly enough. Not quite in the same way as he is to the woman laying next to him, of course, but it's there.

"I could always offer some freeland work with Raytech, just to stay close to her, keep an eye on her." He also didn't want to insult the man. Not if he intended to invite the man's sister to weed around in his head and try to help unlock whatever has happened to his childhood.

"That's… probably harder," Lynette says with a wry, breath of a laugh. She should know, after all. "But we'll make sure they know we're here and that they're welcome. I wish I could tell you it would be easy to convince them not to do something like that again, but the best idea I have is to see about finding an alternative to Refrain."

Which is also not easy.

"You could," she says, her smile gentler as she looks over at him. "Not so much that I never get to see you, though. I have a limit to my generosity." That part is a joke. Or, at least half. It's spoken like a joke, anyway. But her expression turns down after a moment. "Thank you. For indulging me."

No, he doesn't imagine that would be easy. And it's certainly out of his expertise. But he has nicer topics to talk about as she mentions her half joke— "Like I could stay away for longer than a few hours," Mateo responds with a laugh, not that he's addicted to her or anything, he just— couldn't even picture it as a possibility. That he wouldn't see her for that long. They'd spent some short time apart, and that has been far too much for him. "That was part of our marriage vows— unspokenly, anyway. Every night I'm yours, every morning I'm yours and the day in between as well."

If it hadn't been part of their vows, it should have been.

"And I always indulge you, too." Just like he knows she would do the same for him.

Lynette smiles at his laugh and she slides her arms around him to settle against his shoulder. "Well, that's good because I have a very strict schedule— " she doesn't— "and reworking it would be very difficult." She presses a kiss to his cheek, only to have her lips spread into a smile against his skin. "They've been spoken now," she notes, as if she doesn't mind amending them after the fact.

"You do," she says when she leans back a little. "I'm pretty sure that's why I asked you to marry me. I was taken in by the idea of someone bringing me coffee," she teases with a grin. But a moment later she adds, "That and never wanting to go another day without you, but mostly the coffee."

"Good thing we're still able to get coffee," Mateo responds with a laugh. "If not, you might go and leave me for the first kingpin that supplied the real black gold." Which wasn't oil like people always thought. But he didn't think she would really leave him, of course, he's just playing along with the joke of the moment.

"I should probably make sure that Silvia's not getting into too much trouble too." He's met most of her friend and they didn't seem too bad, but who knows really. No kid shows who they really are to adults.

"I guess you better start building your empire," Lynette says between picking out a line of kisses along his jaw. "Because I've gotten attached to you." As the kissing might imply. The mention of their daughter has her leaning back to look at him. It's her turn to be indulgent. "She's sixteen in New York City. She's going to find trouble. Is this about the boys?" She's teasing. "We'll keep her safe from the real trouble. Like the network did. Like you always have."

Time to build up a stash of coffee, cause— yeah. Mateo doesn't say it, but from his grin, he's rather attached to her too. Has been for some time, really. Like since two seconds after they met.

"Yes, it's about the boys. I remember being a teenage boy…" Or at least he thinks he does. "And they were a couple of good looking boys, and we both know Silvia's pretty." He's not ready for her to be boys yet, okay! "We're strange and terrible creatures when it comes to physical urges and pretty people."

"You don't have to tell me. I remember teenage boys," Lynette says with a chuckle. She smiles, perhaps a little fondly, before it hits her. "Oh right. Teenage boys are terrible." Because she's a parent. "But these boys know better than to be stupid. And maybe I can talk to Sil." About girl stuff, Mateo. "But they're all smart kids. Smarter than we were."

"Speak for yourself. I was a perfect kid. It was everyone else— " While he says that, from Mateo's grin, he's definitely joking. He had done some things he would not ever be proud of. "Maybe you're right. Maybe growing up the way they had will make them smarter." But he doubted it. "But fine. You can talk to Sil for the both of us. I'll just— play her music and take her to libraries and parks and other stuff that we dads are probably supposed to do." He wouldn't actually know cause he doesn't remember ever having one.

"Oh, were you? With that face? I don't think so," Lynette says with a crooked smile. "But they did have to grow up different. And maybe that means they try to reclaim their childhood a little, maybe it means they make some bad decisions. But we can give ours some guidance, at least." Her hands reach for him, to cup his face. "Have I told you that you're very cute when you're a worried dad?" Her smile widens there, but she chuckles. "Speaking as a girl who grew up with a dad, there's a bit more to it than parks and music. Although those things are good, too."

"I wasn't always this handsome. I had an awkward teenage phase," Mateo responds with a grin, though he doesn't elaborate that his awkward teenage phase at one point had included long hair and other awkwardnesses.

But as for worried dad, he can't seem to help it. He's never been a dad before so it was a new experience! "Maybe I need to call him and ask him for some advice." After all, technically the man was now his dad too.

"I choose not to believe that," Lynette says with a chuckle. And who could prove otherwise, huh? Her hands drop down to his shoulders, thumbs brushing at his neck. But she lifts an eyebrow at his suggestion, and while her first impluse is to say no why would you ever, she doesn't say that this time. "You could. He'd have some insight into your position," she says with a chuckle. "You just have to promise not to ask him too many questions about me specifically. Just very general, teenager questions. Also, he did get me a pony, you do not have to do that. I mean, technically it was a horse, but they're the same when you're twelve."

"I will ask for advice, not details on you specifically," Mateo responds with a small laugh, picturing her riding a horse around as he pulls her close against his chest and closes his eyes a little. Somehow, he's not as tired as he thought he should be. "I can't help it if he tells me something on his own, though." The man might want to talk about his daughter! It could happen. "You already know my biggest secrets, so— anything you wanted to know about me, you can just ask."

Lynette settles against his chest, her nose nuzzling against his chin before she lies back against him. "See, now I have to call him first and tell him to behave. Because you don't know all my biggest secrets yet. Like the year I spent obsessed with glitter eyeshadow." Lynette gives him a look there, like this might have been the darkest time of them all.

"Glitter? Really?" Mateo's voice changes to one that's far more deadpan than amused. "Well that's a deal breaker I think. Once you get glitter you can never get rid of it. You probably passed it on to me and I haven't noticed yet." He's probably joking— no, definitely joking. There's that grin.

Lifting up, Lynette folds her arms across his chest and gives him a wry look. "You really should have mentioned that before," she says with her eyebrows lifted, "because you definitely have it." Her leg moves to tangle around his, her smile widening. "No known cure in all of human history. Tragic, really."

"I guess it's done. We're both infected. It's all over but the glittering," Mateo teases as he pulls her closer and kisses her. Their bodies are starting to tangle together again, but— he wouldn't have it any other way. But at this rate, they're never going to make it to sleep until they make themselves tired all over again. "Anything else you want to confess to?" he jests, sounding a little distracted now.

Lynette leans into that kiss, although it takes a moment or two to get her grin under control. "You know, this is exactly the sort of thing that got you into the glitter in the first place," she notes before she kisses him again. Her hands slide under his head and into his hair, fingers flexing against him. "You want to hear my confession? How many hours do you have?" she asks with a chuckle.

"I did just say that I'm yours every night, didn't I? Is it still night?" This is a joke, but one that, well— Mateo still pulls her close and kisses her again. Yeah, he's not really caring about a cofession. Or the possibility of stray glitter. "I know what this is— you're trying to distract me. And it's working." Well, yes, he's distracted, but he doesn't think she's actually trying to keep anything from him. Just distract him. Like she always does. Nothing new about that, after all.

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