2010-05-09: Admission in the Attic


Connor_icon.jpg James_icon.jpg

Summary: Connor finds out that some things are best left unsaid as he opens up to James.

Date: May 9, 2010

Log Title Admission in the Attic

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Attic

Every wall is made of glass up to the domed ceiling. Storm has really done her work up here over time and turned it into quite the indoor garden. The room is separated into different parts for the different plants that are in there. There are flowers, vegetable plants, herbs, shrubs, small trees and much more. There are plants that shouldn't even be able to be found in this northern climate but they thrive up here. Anyone wanting to come up here for fresh herbs, fruit or vegetables are welcome to steal from the indoor garden. Depending on the time of year, various different species of flowers and different fruits and vegetables grow. In one area there are a few small fountains and a bench with some fresh dirt on the the ground with trees and plants all around. It seems like a good spot for meditation.

The day is mostly over, with the summer months stretching the evenings out as they are, there is more time for the upper parts of the mansion, such as the attic. With some of the growing lights on to supplement the still-natural light of the run over the western horizon, Connor seems to have set up shop… a couple of the larger beach towels from down in the pool area into a makeshift blanket over the dirt, his computer open and off to one side as he munches on a freshly ripened pear, typing one handed as he looks at the screen, then back and forth with a book. To one side and behind him is a twelve-pack of Coke, four cans already empty and left in a proper row, while a fifth is open and slightly off from the laptop itself.

The weighted *thump* of someone walking up the stairs signals an end to privacy. There's a pause in the footsteps, then a continuance as the beast that all this sound belongs to makes a determination as to who else might be upstairs. Appearing at the last step, James gives the room a quick scan and nods over to Connor, "Hey." There's very little else offered. And in a moment the creature has picked out a spot on one of the couches. Looking over the back, he spies his quasi-friend and asks, "What's up?"

Another bite of the pear, and some juice goes down his chin before Connor catches it with a finger and replies, "Hey James… not much. I'm just working on some homework. This is nice… it's like being outdoors, but without having all the issues I get with being outside for too long. The whole…" Motioning around his skull, "Head-thing… so… how's things with you?" Taking a moment to save his current work before closing the laptop for a moment.

James offers a shrug, "Just great." The sound he makes by claiming so leaves a lot to be desired, and questioned. "Which head thing…the OCD clean thing?" the hyena asks, knowing full well that wasn't the best way to ask…but how else do you? "And what's up with you and the roommate? Get that squared away yet?" He lays his head on the back of the couch and watches the other boy as he waits for the answers, big black eyes never blinking.

Connor shakes his head once, and then stands up and wipes at his hands a moment and then replies with a grin, "Compulsive disorder… but yeah… about the same thing. Yeah… but this helps." Holding up his can of Coke as he then makes his way over and takes a seat on the arm of the couch, watching in almost the same fashion as he's being watched, "I'm supposed to speak with Mister Summers soon to see if I can get swapped with someone… Robyn's actually offered to swap, if you'd believe it. After that… I need a long talk with Doctor McCoy… pretty much about everything. Between him and Doctor Mayfair-Parker… maybe we can work a solution so I'm not so all over the board, like I was. But seriously… c'mon… how are you?"

James ignores the question for now, instead responding with "Oh yeah? Well, if things go slow, let me know. I'll talk to someone should they forget about you." He shakes his head, "I tried to switch when Lucas arrived. But apparently threatening to eat your roommate isn't enough, so I'll be interested in seeing how they handle this."

Connor takes another bite, followed by another sip from his can, looking at the mostly-gone pear before he goes over and drops it in the small composting bin, returning to sit on the edge of the couch, "Well… apparently Zack is a big guy, just like Quenton, is tough, just like Quenton… but not as permanently pissed off as Quenton. Besides… Robyn would understand if in a stress moment I invaded his half of the room… because it's not… it's not personal. It's hard to make people understand. But anyways… really… yeah, I know I talk too much." And then comes in a slightly softer tone, "And sometimes I even forget what I'm talking about."

As far as talking too much, James shrugs, "Eh…I dunno that I notice. And, yah, you're much better off with Robyn as a roommate. He's much more forgiving. It takes a lot to piss him off…something Quenton did on day 1 from the sounds of it. And Robyn 'never' gets mad. Hell…I'm not sure why they paired you with him anyways. Think they phoned in that room assignment." The hyena looks around the room and then back at Connor, as if making sure no one appeared while they were talking, "Anymore going on with the powers? Or are you letting them rest some while you're getting with Parker-Mayfair."

Connor looks down at his hands a moment, and then back up at you, cupping both hands around the can before bringing it up and drinking down a long slug. Done with a sigh, he tilts his head a bit, "I'm not skipping Danger Room sessions or anything, because I don't NEED my powers in there… they help, but I don't need… but no… I've been trying stuff. Testing my range. I can get to town and back… and can even take another person. Robyn actually let me. It's…" Stopping a moment, he then closes his eyes once more and takes a couple breath, "James, it's rough, allright? I'm not going to feed you any line of bull. As long as I limit the use… because it's physically exhausting… I can control the basic stuff. But if I push it, the whispers start up and I start feeling like everything's coming down on me all at once."

James considers that for a long moment and nods, "So, going to town alone it was fine. But going with someone was rough?" He shakes his head, "You're not still teleporting with more than one person are you? I mean, what if there was some sort of danger involved. You teleport back and Robyn appears all inside out like that movie. Or that other movie. And what are these voices telling you, anyways?"

Connor laughs a bit, and for a moment rubs at his temple, "No… It's not like The Fly… or that scene from Galaxy Quest… And no, the most it's been is one person… I've been up front about that. I told Jono when he asked too… and he's been filling Doctor McCoy in on my behalf because I was… well… I was letting a bit of hero worship get in the way." Slipping actually onto the couch and closer to you, the softer voice returns, "It's like sitting in a stadium full of people all trying to get your attention at once, and all of them think they're more important than the others… you see…" rolling his fingers over and under themselves in a circle, "Here…"
Turning to face you he motions with both hands, "Okay… what happens in my head is that I start getting thoughts… negative thoughts… like how talking to you is a bad idea, and that I don't have my head sorted… dozens of reasons NOT to do something… and sometimes those thoughts get so intense that I need to do SOMETHING to stop it, or make it quiet down…" Shaking his head, Connor then says, "I know… it's like I'm going over a damn broken record… but you asked… it's the only way I can explain properly."

James shakes his head, "No, it's fine. I know what you're talking about. I had a similar experience recently. I'd like to tell you more…but, honestly, that's as much as I know. Addison removed all of those memories when he defragged my brain." The hyena gives Connor a squint before asking, "The voices say talking to me is a bad idea? Or was that an example?"

Connor replies, "No… it's because that's what there… but to compensate… I've been sort of self-teaching myself not to listen to them… so every time I hear a reason no, I try and think about the other side. Which… is where…" And he pauses for a few moments, and after looking at his hands again, gripped around the can, which seem to tighten for a moment, "James…" And again he pauses, and fidgets, genuine fear coming out in his scent as much as his fidgetting posture, before he finally says, "I think I might have a thing for you… I mean… I'm not really sure. I don't know if it's because how you treated me from before, and I don't know it's even a good idea… but… I would rather just SAY… even if you don't feel anything like the same way." His speech going faster, occasionally stuttering, and soon the can falls from his hands, and he shoves his hands into his pockets, and squeezes them into tight balls.

If this were a PBS special, right now the David Attenborough would be making comments abut how the large apex predator (James) had just gone unnaturally still. A sure sign that he was about to give chase to his prey (Connor). And with his gaze level with the other boy's, the Gnoll looks most certainly like he might. Somewhere in all that black, the hyena's iris are pinpoints that become lost inside unblinking eyes. He's not even breathing.

Those staring, stopped, unmoving eyes, the alert senses… everything makes him stop, as if something more on his trained instinct level kicks in. Connor stops talking and his stance shifts… with a single breath a sense of strange calm washes over him, the heartbeat levelling off, eyes dilated before from nerves and fear going back down into a more normal range. That part of him seems ready to move in a moment… But it stops him from speaking at least.

The sound comes suddenly, and with very little movement. Just the split second inhale of air as James' front lips move only enough to show off the smallest of his front teeth. And again, stillness. But it doesn't last and is broken by a new sound. A sound that comes from neither of them—just the single beep of the COMM unit on the Hyena's collar. Next, an almost tinny buzz follows, a voice played through a speaker with the volume so low, only someone with accelerated senses can hear it. Never taking his gaze off the boy, James taps the COMM and responds, "I'm on my way." He stands, eyes narrowing, "I guess this conversation will have to wait, won't it little one?"

Connor whispers out, "You're not James…" And when the question tapers off he's moved up and given himself a step's worth of space… enough to move still just in case. His eyes flick back and forth, searching for something, examining details left, right, and center before finally and fully refocuses on the eyes in front of him, and another step back is taken… his breath steady, and a sort of nervous tension about him, as if he's ready to go every which way at once.

James raises an eye ridge, and is about to say something, but the COMM calls out again, a much more audible "Now." The creature blows a little air out if his nose and deflates just a little. Eyes behind a softer expression refocus on Connor before a much larger, forced sigh spills out, "Tomorrow." He turns his head to look over his shoulder at one of many cameras found on campus. Conveniently tucked away in the corner, marked by only a small blue LED, the camera's lens receives a wave from the gnoll. And with that, James starts walking out of the room, "You're talking Crazy talk, Connor. So, I'm going to get back with you about this 'after' you to hop off the 'You're not James' train that reached its final destination last month."

Connor's eyes flick back and forth, moving like some kind of frenetic scanning device, and then finally he turns his back on you, shoving his hands back in his pockets and balling them into fists once more before he mumbles, "Yeah… Crazy talk…" A tremble on the edge of his voice, as if fighting not to let more out. A breath, and he settles slightly, just walking over to his things and sitting down once more before he finally says, almost angrily shouts, "DAMMIT!" Picking up his laptop and almost throwing it before he stops himself, and gingerly sets it down once more, moves to sit down in a lotus position.

Half way down the stairs the hyena hears the shout, his ears pinning back in response. He doesn't pause, instead one foot follows another, and will continue to do so until he finds out what the big emergency was all about. No words offered as succor, no friendly wave. Just an air of uncertainty left in the wake of a slowly retreating beast.

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