Science discerns the laws of Nature... Industry applies them to the needs of Man.
Laurel spins to read the gold letters set around the dome, head tipped back and black hair cascading to his waist. He stumbles around his feet and looks tiny beneath the ceiling, murmuring words bigger than himself. He gapes and falls back into Jackson, who stood to catch him.
He must have looked like a Tuesday caretaker, the way he fixes Laurel so he is upright on the marble floor. The man's still caught in wonder, looking more like a child, and he bursts, "This is my favorite museum. I love Chicago."
"We're not even at the exhibits yet." He turns Laurel toward him and fixes his hair, so it falls around his face and contours his cheekbones. His lips are red and parted, dotted with the freckles that also occupy his cheeks and nose. His eyes are almond-shaped and black, shining, and Jackson fears he may begin to cry. He's done it in public before, over nothing, but instead he asks-
"What does it mean?"
"What does what mean?"
Laurel gestures upward and goes to tilt back again. Jackson stops him and holds his forearms, "I dunno, it's just a quote. I told you, you're really going to like-"
"Jack." Laurel's the only person who calls him that. "I can understand it. I'm not a little kid. I'm not broken."
They don't collect stares in all the bustle, against families with whining offspring and couples trying to impress one another with obscure factoids. He allows his mask to drop -the steady apathy only Laurel knows is feigned- and promises, "I know."
"Then explain it to me."
"What do you think it means?"
Laurel purses his mouth, grinds his toe, squints. He leans into Jackson and touches his chin, his sleeve. Meets his gaze and says, "Your eyes are gold."
"They're hazel." He doesn't understand. He wouldn't. He's not capable of that, and Jackson knows it. He knows what he's doing, what he signed up for the day Laurel came into his room and quietly removed their clothes.
He was a child then, and Jackson's heart catches in his throat, thudding. "I think they look gold. Like the letters."
"That's nice. Do you still want to know what the quote means?"
Laurel shakes his head. "I'd like to see the room with the sound, I think." He takes Jackson's hands and tugs him along backward, bright-eyed and wondrous and curious and-
He isn't broken, Jackson thinks, he just has his days, like everyone else.