2011-11-29: A Trip To The Mall


Connor_icon.jpg Heather_icon.jpg Nicholas_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: Connor and Rashmi take Nicholas to the mall to pick up some things, he's not exactly a happy camper.

Date: November 29, 2011

Log Title: A Trip To The Mall

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Lobby

A large chandelier causes light to shine over the polished surfaces of the Lobby creating a bright welcome. A few wooden benches blend in with the wooden walls. A large portrait of Professor Xavier is displayed on the wall. On each wall is a doorway that leads to a different part of the school.

It's Tuesday, which means the least favorite teaching assistant comes up to campus. Connor comes off as something of a taskmaster when it comes to training… fair, but impartial, and tough as he needs to be. For those who are in the more advanced classes usually find him to be slightly more helpful, but a little rougher. But that's classes, and this being the afternoon instead has him standing in the lobby, waiting. Dressed down to a sweater top and heavy slacks, a briefcase sits next to one leg as he sends a text to someone on his phone, gloved fingers moving easily over the screen. Again, he checks the time on the phone, and mutters under his breath, "Where is he."

"He'll get here," Rashmi says to her roommate, idly brushing down her heavy gray woolen skirt. "I'm sure Mr. Lensherr won't much mind a little extra time taken off to help a student. Besides, from what I gathered? He could use a friendly face or two and a nice time. Besides which, this is the first bit of time off I think we've had at the same time since we moved in; I intend to enjoy it."

Having been told he's to meet some stranger to take him to Salem Center to go shopping, Nick has decided to make his way from the dorms to lobby. It's taken him almost twenty minutes to find the place so needless to say, he's late. He comes walking into the lobby wearing the standard Xavier's attire and holding a hot pocket in his hand. He stops and looks at Connor and Rashmi cautiously for a bit. "I thought I was only supposed to meet one person."

Heather comes in from outside through the front door. There are leaves and bits of plant in her hair, but she doesn't seem to notice or mind. She presently wears her training outfit, tape recorder clipped to her jacket's collar. As she notices Connor, she approaches to give that very awkward and careful hug that she does, "Hello, what is happening here?" She looks over towards Rashmi and rapidly waves in greeting. And then she notices Nicholas, reviewing her tape for a moment and responding, "I think it is mere coincidence that I am in this place rather than any other."

Awkward hug is returned awkwardly, and Connor replies, "We're taking a new student clothes and personal item shopping as a favor to Ms. Frost, Heather." Letting her go, he casts a look to Rashmi, and his shoulders seem to slump ever so slightly in a form of defeat under the mistress of stare-fu before finally turning to Nicholas, "I'm Connor, and this is my roommate and also a former Academy alumnus, Rashmi Franklin. She asked to come alone to… well… be a friendlier face." The stoic expression cracking just a bit, "So… I've brought the car, and there's room enough for all. Trunk is empty too, and if we need to take more time, the mansion is comping my work for the gas and mileage. So… whenever you're ready?"

Rashmi glances at Connor, awkwardly returning Heather's hug, and chuckles softly. When she's introduced, she holds out a hand for Nicholas to shake, her smile warm and friendly. "You'll see us both around the Mansion, Nicholas… Connor does self-defense classes on Tuesday, and I come over Sunday to just sort of help out with chores and things. Also, this is Heather, one of our friends; likely you'll see a lot more of her, since she lives here. But anyway… It's good to meet you, Nicholas."

Heather nods at Connor and says, "I know a place where you can get a lot of clothes for little money." Considering Heather's worn, not particularly nice clothes, and her general lack of even barest colour coordination, her advice may have to be taken with a grain of salt. "Yes, I am Heather Brown, codename: Timeslip. It is good to meet you, new person."

"Great and a robot." Nick says as Heather shows up, and with her speaking patterns and that she's using a tape recorder to talk she gets the nickname robot. "And great, everyone here knows my name without me having to say anything, wonderful." He says rolling his eyes. "I just need clothes and other stuff I guess. Nothing fancy." He says obviously uncomfortable and irritated by the large group. "Yeah, it's called Wal-Mart Robot Timeslip."

The robot comment gets a quirked eyebrow from Connor, and his lips form a thin line for a moment, as he then says, "Actually, the recorder is the only way to understand Heather. Her powers are stuck constantly on, and so she speaks and moves faster than the rest of us, by our perceptions. First thing to understand about Xavier's is not to judge people by what you see. It's not always the whole truth." And with that he turns to start walking towards the front entrance, "And from what Ms. Frost emailed me last night, you've got more than enough available to shop brand name… so if you don't mind, I'd rather not park a BMW in a Wal-Mart parking lot… they tend to get stolen."

"Besides, it's an excuse to show you around Salem Center a little," Rashmi chimes in, falling into step beside Nicholas, apparently unperturbed by Nicholas' less than even remotely nice treatment of her friend, but already taking on what Connor would recognize as the beginnings of the Look of Infinite Patience. "It's actually a pretty nice little place, and close enough to the City that you can hop the bus if you want to do the tourism thing for the day. Where're you from, though?"

Nicholas crosses his arms over his chest and shrugs. "Whatever." Is all he says to Connor. "And yay, I get to look like a uppity New Yorker with brand name clothing, honestly I don't care about brand names." BMW, Brand name clothing, yup Nick is fully convinced that Connor is a New York rich guy. "North Dakota." He says to Rashmi as that feeling of discomfort just won't leave him. "I've never really had a desire to go to the city, to large." Which is a lie but he's irritated and can't really hide it too well.

Connor seems to decide shutting up and letting Rashmi handle the diplomatic side of things is warranted as he opens the door, and steps out to the courtyard, where a shiny black BMW with a Genoshan embassy plate on the front is sitting there looking pristine and ready to roll. Clicking the remote, the lights flash and the doors all open, letting out some heat from the interior ofthe vehicle. The briefcase is put under the seat as he settles into the driver's spot. Not helping the assumed image at all.

The "Whatever" seems to clinch it, as Rashmi's face subtly flickers between amusement and sadness. "North Dakota, huh? What's it like there, out of curiosity? Just… well I sort of grew up in the City, and we were pretty poor, so going *anywhere* out of state's pretty novel for me." As they reach the car, she glances at the now-silent Connor, raising an eyebrow. "Did you want the front seat, or the back? Back's got tinted windows if you'd rather have the privacy, since this is an Embassy car. …Though I'd be surprised if it's actually seen any use as a political coach… *Any*way. Question stands."

Nicholas looks at the car and the gives Connor that 'you're freakin' kidding me' look as he talks about it being an Embassy car. "I wish I had my truck right now." He mutters as this is all way to fancy for him. "And what was North Dakota like, it was great. It was flat and things were very….not populated." It's the best way to describe it he thinks. "There's already more people in this school than there was in my High School, I swear." He then gives Rashmi a look of disbeliefe. "You're from New York City, every one there is rich." Well to a guy from North Dakota that sure is the assumption.

Connor replies to that, "I'm not from New York, I'm from Seattle… we'd only be considered rich if we lived out where you did. Incomes being what they are. I don't make enough to own my own car, which is why I borrow when I can." Leaving it at that, the radio in the car goes back to what it was preset to, pulling up some Jeff Dunham in the background, the laughter not faked as Jose Jalapeno on a Stick and Peanut start arguing about something over Jeff's head.

Rashmi smiles gently, shaking her head. "In a city of six million people? *Somebody's* got to be poor, and the immigrant families have a pretty proud tradition of bootstrapping, so y'know. Anyway, there's still the other question; front seat, or back?"

"You take shotgun." Nick says to Rashmi as he climbs in the back, at least there he doesn't have to sit next to anyone. He just stares out the window looking pretty tense. "I used to have my own truck but it's gone along with almost everything else." He says bitterly. "My family wasn't bad off but it doesn't matter anymore. Means shit now."

Heather seemed to have faded out from the conversation and frozen for a little while in thought, even when the others step outside. "Ah, sorry, I was thinking about something. Are you all leaving to the city?" She glances towards Nicholas jumping in and then to Rashmi, as Connor is already in the vehicle. "May I catch a ride as far as there?"

Giving Heather a smile, Connor replies, "We're just going down to the mall, actually Heather… I don't mind if you want to tag along, but you might want to ask Nicholas. It's his shopping run." Meanwhile, in the background, the crowd goes softly ballistic as Achmed the Dead Terrorist delivers his 'I KEEL YOU' line. That makes his lip twitch a bit before he says to the person in the spotlight directly, "Do you mind? I know we're already making you uncomfortable. This is all overwhelming… and we don't know how you came here or anything. Ms Frost just told me you needed a ride into town and someone to well… help."

Nicholas shrugs. "I don't care." He says before letting out a sigh. "I just need help getting there and back is all. I don't need help with shopping." Though he doesn't want to admit that he'd get beyond lost inside the store as well. He's trying to tone out the sounds of Jeff Dunham but it's not working. "Can you just turn that off please?" It comes off as more pleading in some ways.

"All right… Heather, why don't you sit in the front seat?" Rashmi says, nodding toward the Connor-occupied driver's seat with a quick smile, then circling around the back of the car to slide on on the other side of Nicholas. "Well, it also wouldn't hurt to show you around the place a little, too. Y'know… where the hangouts are, the good places to eat, that kind of thing. I know you know what you like better than we do, so, don't worry about us picking out your clothes, y'know? Just, I know Ms. Frost, and I know she'd like it if you managed to have even a little bit of a good time, too. Which is all we're trying to do."

Heather nods her head once and then gets into the front seat of the vehicle, buckling herself in quickly. "I apologize if I am imposing, you need only to tolerate me until we get there," plays Heather on the tape recorder, before she goes back to reviewing the tape and responding to an earlier comment, "I am not a machine, I merely speak through one."

Connor closes the door, and then shuts off the satellite radio for Nicholas. The engine starts up with a sound that is deceptive, just a click and a hum, and he attempts at conversation, "Oh, Rashmi… did you see the horse trailers in the parking lot this morning? The horse barn was empty all last year. Too had you missed out on the chance. I can never get along with horses. I always feel like they're trying to bite me." Spoken as he starts down the courtyard and towards Grimalkin Lane.

Rashmi blinks sharply, eyes widening. "…Horses? I'd… totally forgotten about the horse barn. …Huh! I wonder if there's some new animals in there, or something." And even though Rashmi is nearly twenty, the image of new horses works its girly magic, and for a moment she simply gazes out the window in the pasture's direction, smiling to herself. With a shake of her head, though, she brings herself back to the converation before long. "Anyway… If you've got any questions about the school while we drive, we'd be happy to answer them. Since, y'know, we've been there on the student side."

Nicholas looks over at Rashmi and sighs. "Sorry but I'm really not up for a good time right now. I just want to get what I need, get back here and then…I don't know. Just avoid everyone. It's….it's not you guys it's me. I'm really not good company right now." He admits running his hand back through his hair before going to look out the window. Then listening to the two of them talk Nick takes a deep sigh. "Great, and she's probably expecting me to take care of them to make me feel better." He says closing his eyes and resting the side of his head on the glass. "Just let me know when we're there."

"It was colder in North Dakota." Nicholas says. "And we're going to be inside the store any…" He kind of stops speaking when he sees the mall. "Wait, we're here already?" He's used to it taking at least an hour to get to the nearest mall. "And yeah, I have my cellphone with me. As long as it doesn't fall out of the pockets of these crappy sweatpants."

Getting out of the car, Connor actually comes around and holds the door for Rashmi, "There's a lot you can use on that phone. It's a generation better then what's on the market. I'm sure we could even get direction software put on it for you. I know for a fact it's easy to get lost on the Academy grounds at first."

Rashmi says, "But for right now," Rashmi says, chuckling, "it'll be enough just to put my number in. Also if something goes wrong, there's the panic button; but that's only for serious emergencies, so better to reach for speed dial if it's not majorly important." Pulling her own phone out of a ratty, well-used bookbag — that seems to have lost all of its metal fittings — she calls up her number, turning it out for Nicholas to see. "There; that way if you want to be by yourself, or need help carrying stuff and don't know where we are, just call.""

Nicholas gives Rashmi's phone a side glance and then pulls out his phone and starts to type in her number, just in case. As for Connor, he gets a look. "Thanks." He says sounding none to grateful. "It's just great to know that anyone you tell anything to in the damn school gets spread around. Guess it's not much different back home but now I know to keep my mouth shut to everyone."

Connor stops for a moment, and then turns directly to look at Nicholas, "I wish you'd stop giving us all the short end of the stick. Ms. Frost sent me an email, asking me to come and help today. Because she's worried about your safety, and I'm closer to your age than any of the security people are. Rashmi came along because she cares… it doesn't matter what or who you are, she will give a damn about you… and that's rare. But we're not going to be emotional punching bags for you either." That being said, he turns around and starts towards the mall, "If you need me, I'll be looking for anyone wanting to start trouble."

Rashmi falls silent, while Connor makes his statement… not disapproving, or disappointed in the older mutant, but the redhead does seem to be sorry it got to that point. Letting out a breath, she watches Connor walk toward the mall. "It also bears noting that the only reason we know about you getting lost is because Connor needed to know, and I specifically asked Ms. Frost once Connor called me if there was anything we should know," And we're both really good about keeping our mouths shut about embarrassing things; you sort of have to be, if you end up making any friends at Xavier's. Anyway… let's find a store you don't hate, and get you something you'd like to actually walk around in?"

Nicholas turns and shoves his hand out at a nearby shopping cart and it goes flying, but he clenches his fist, which stops the cart before it can hit anything like a car or a person. "Okay, sorry I'm short right now but my life kind of sucks right now." Nichloas says sounding frustrated. "I wake up in a place that I've never seen before and this guy seems to know my name, and about everything, then there's you two who just start calling me by my name without letting me introduce myself then I told Ms Frost about my lack of direction sense because I didn't think she'd go blabing it around, but I guess I was wrong there. And honestly, I don't beleive that for as second that either of you keep your mouths shut about embarssing things. I don't think anyone does. So whatever, let's just get stuff and get back to that place."

In the meantime, Connor enters the mall, and begins a slow walk-around, keeping himself as casual as possible as he checks for any signs of the group that is hunting Nicholas. Watching for people waiting in positions to see people enter and exit, looking for signs that there might be concealed weapons… but at the same time smiling and nodding, stopping at a kiosk to shop and buy a kitchsy cellphone cover with a My Little Pony on it for a christmas present. Once his initial circuit is done, he slips his hand into his pocket, and texts 'CLEAR' to Rashmi's phone.

"That would be David," Rashmi says, tone wry. "Part of it is his power, part of it is he just tries way too hard to stay up to date on everything immediately relevant. Sorry about not letting you introduce yourself… I *should* have let you, and I *am* really sorry." Strangely, though, she doesn't seem terribly concerned about the shopping cart, much less so when it stops of its own accord, and pauses to check her cell when it buzzes. "As for the rest… that's up to you, we'll let you figure out if you can trust us or not. Right now? Let's get you some clothes. C'mon." And with that, she leads the way into the mall, pausing only to be sure Nicholas intends to join her.

Nicholas gives Rashmi a shrug at the apology which basically is him saying 'don't worry about it.' "Look, as I said earlier, at lot of it is me, I just.." He shakes his head. "Nevermind, let's just get this over with." He shoves his hands into his pockets and follows her into the mall. "Really I just pretty much need clothes that I can also ride in. A good pair of boots and a hat and then other stuff like deorderant and a tooth brush."

When the two enter, Connor falls into step slightly behind them, nodding once to Rashmi, and otherwise looking like nothing really happened with the little blow-up either. But then he says to his friend, "The comic book shop is open… when you both pop off for clothes, do you mind if I stop in there for a bit? I promise I won't be long."

"Course not," Rashmi says with a chuckle, "long's I get to stop by the bookstore for a little bit later on. But we'll probably be at the outdoorsy stores at first if you want to look us up, or the department store. …. Oh! Right! That reminds me, I need to figure out what to get Mr. Lensherr for Christmas. …Um. Anyway. Yes. Clothes. Right. Shall we?"

Nicholas walks along with Rashmi staying quite for the most part. He doesn't trust himself to speak for the most part. "So…uh…how long did you go to school there?" It's probably the safest question he can think to ask without being rude.

"About a year and a half for me. I just graduated in June." Connor replies and then says to Rashmi, "Since I wanted to hit the book store anyways, that's fine by me. Keep an eye out for skeleton socks for Robyn, will you? Or some spider pajama pants."

"A little over a year and a half," comes the easy answer, as Rashmi runs a hand through her short, coppery hair. "Would have been longer, but, I sort of had a little breakdown when I found out I got my powers, and ended up trying to turn myself into furniture to keep people from looking too hard at me, y'know?" Glancing back at Connor, she nods, smiling. "Will do! But try to make out a wishlist if you can? You're pretty hard to shop for. Anyway… yeah. I showed up just after Christmas, and Connor a little later in."

"When I got my powers I thought I was a Jedi Knight." Nicholas comments without much emotion behind it. "Or once I learned them a bit. Pretty much everyone back ho..back in Sheridan County knows but apparently they aren't so keen on me being a mutant." He says bitterly, scuffing a toe against the floor. "So are you a shapeshifter or something then?" He asks Rashmi.

When the group comes close to the comic store, Connor gives another look around, and then gives a wave before slipping inside and starts to browse… but still watches the pair as discreetly as possible…

"Hm? Oh! No," Rashmi says, chuckling and shaking her head, lifting a hand to Connor as he peels off. "I mean, I tried really, *really hard* to keep people from noticing me… Which was pretty out of character, since I've always been one of those nosy do-gooding activist type of teenagers. Debate club, mock trial, all that stuff. Mostly because the Friends of humanity wackoes can get really, really scary sometimes, honestly."

"Wait, you mean stuff like Debate clubs are real?" Nick says. "I always thought that was just stuff they did for television shows to keep them interesting, well not really interesting but cause they thought it was for teens. I mean we had a chess club and future farmers but not much more." He explains before sighing. "Friends of Humanity?"

Rashmi sighs, shaking her head. "There's some terrifying people out there, Nicholas… Part of the reason Xavier's exists is so mutant kids can grow up and learn their powers someplace safe. The Friends of Humanity… I guess you could treat them like the KKK, back on the old days of the South, y'know? Mutants're a blight against God, tools of the Devil, whatever crap they want to spout to let themselves think we're not human. Usually they're pretty harmless; you'll see the occasional rally in a park or something, but sometimes… not so much." The redhead shrugs, wrinkling her nose. "Anyway. It's probably not something you'll have to worry about as long as you're at Xavier's, and by the time you graduate you'll understand more, so you won't *have* to be worried."

Nicholas just stops in his tracks and takes a few deep breaths, it seems that whatever Rashmi said pissed him off. "That's such bullshit, don't try to sugarcoat what they really are. Don't say I don't understand and that I don't have to worry, I've already met people like that. You know that's total bullshit that they're pretty harmless. Purifiers, Friends of Humanity, their the same thing from how you talk about them."

"…*Usually,* Nicholas," Rashmi stresses, though the boy's reaction has slotted a few puzzle pieces into place, and the redhead looks visibly concerned. "I didn't say they were totally harmless… But I guess you already know. I'm sory if I upset you… here. Let's get you your clothes, and when we're done we can get a drink or something, and if you want we can talk about it? It might help, a little."

"You don't understand, they killed my parents." Nicholas says. "They killed our ranch hand, and then they went and blamed their murder on me." His voice filled with anger and bitterness. Nick then starts to walk again looking around for the sign that says 'Men's Clothes'.

Rashmi watches Nicholas walk off, face filled with sorrow. Sighing, she pulls out her phone and begins to walk to the menswear section, tapping in a text message to Connor. [[That explains it. Nicholas' family was murdered by a purity group. When we get back, find out what you can about the Purifiers, and what they did in Sheridan County. He says he was blamed for the murder.]] Once at the Menswear section, she simply waits for Nicholas to pass by.

Nicholas doesn't talk, mainly because he's afraid that if he does he'll start crying which he doesn't want to do in public or in front of anyone for that matter. He picks out plain clothes for the most part, jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, a few flannel shirts, nothing that fashionable. He eventually returns to Rashmi with things that look like they're about his size and takes a deep breath. "Sorry, just, I guess I should find some shoes."

Reading the text, Connor finishes his browsing, having already reorganized a couple sets of comics by date of release, number, and author while searching for one little lost issue in their backstock. All of that work for one issue at ten bucks. but once he pays for it he replies on text, [[I've been watching in case they had the mall staked out. You're better at this than me. She should have called you.]]. Closing up his phone for the moment, he starts wandering over towards where the clothes shops are.

Rashmi nods, smiling gently at Nicholas. "It's fine. That's why we're here, after all. C'mon, this way… you been to the fitting rooms, yet? May as well make sure it all fits before you buy it, after all… we can do that once we've picked you up your shoes." And indeed, the look on Rashmi's face is a touch sorrowful, but very understanding; almost as if she's been in this position before.

Nicholas nods to Rashmi and just starts walking over and a lot of the anger has deflated to almost a depressed defeat. "Sure, then I guess we can find where to get stuff like personal stuff. Though it'll be nice to have something different for wear. I just hate having to do all this."

Connor catches up in time to chime in, "There's a Walgreens across the way from here after you're done." The little bag with the single comic book waving back and forth in his hand as he steps into pace behind the others, adding after a moment, "You know, while you're here and have the funds… getting a computer might not be a bad idea. The school lends you a laptop, but you can't really personalize it. That way… if you have something you want to take with, you can keep it there."

Rashmi bobs her head to Connor. "That's an idea, yeah… But shoes first. Then food. Then we'll see what else might be useful, y'know? C'mon." And with that, she leads the group to the shoe department. "…Y'know, might be worth it to stop by the trail store, see if they have some actual good riding boots."

Nicholas nods and just decides to let the two guide the way. He's not really thinking about what he should get besides the basics so he's find with the suggestions of the two. "Thanks, I just can't really think right now. Just lead the way and I'll follow."

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