2011-12-11: Alone


Nicholas_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: Nicholas and Rashmi have a talk about Nicholas' past.

Date: December 11, 2011

Log Title: Alone

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - The Sanctuary

Standing outside the chapel, tethered to the branch of a tree is a horse that seems to be contently chewing on some grass. Inside the cool chapel is Nicholas is sitting on one of the steps that leads to the alter. He's got his jacket pulled around him tightly and his head is rested on his knees as he's bent over. It's fairly quite in the room as he's not saying anything though his breathing might give him away due to the quite of the room.

Footsteps are heard from outside, the slow, respectful walk of someone who takes even the humblest chapel seriously. There's a pause just inside the antechamber, then a clearing of the throat. "…I'm sorry," Rashmi says softly, "I usually sweep the floors around this time… Did you want me to leave you alone?"

Nicholas looks up from his spot on the stair at Rashmi and he just shrugs a shoulder. "It's okay, just talking to the big guy is all." He says quietly as he does respect being in a church. "Sweep away, if I'm in your way just tell me and I'll move."

Rashmi nods her head quietly, giving the younger mutant a small, gentle smile when he looks her way. "All right… Just let me know if I'm bothering you." And with that, the broom begins its whispery, repetitive song against the floorboards, the redhead apparently content to leave Nicholas to his prayer, for the moment.

Nicholas lets Rashmi clean quietly for quite some time, not saying anything. It isn't until she's almost finished that he finally speaks up. "I thought you weren't a student here anymore so why are you doing the cleaning stuff?"

Rashmi looks up from her sweeping, chuckling quietly. "I can't help it, really… I mean, I only went here a year… but… This school did really a lot for me, that I'm not sure would've been possible otherwise. …Or at least, not without a whole *lot* of scraping and scratching to get it, which I'd planned on…" Trailing off, the Hindi frowns, shaking her head. "…Sorry. Tangent. Anyway. I just like to pay a little back for everything they've done for me, y'know? Most of the real staff's that way, too; they started out as students, and once school was done they just wanted to help the way they got helped."

"I don't know if I could ever feel like this place is home or as anything more than a school. A really weird school." Nicholas says quietly. "I don't feel comfortable or at home here, I just feel trapped in some ways. I don't have anywhere else to go but I just want to be back home. It's already done a lot for me but it hasn't made me want to stay. Also some of the other kids here are just…" He shakes his head trailing off. "Nevermind, I shouldn't speak ill of people in a church."

"Maybe if it were a bigger church," Rashmi says, setting the broom aside and making her way to the nearest pew to the altar, brushing her skirts as she sits down, "but it's just you and me and Him, right now… Personally? I think He wouldn't mind if this was the only place you felt comfortable letting your guard down, y'know? *I* certainly don't, and I know that a lot of the kids here aren't, um… easy to get along with?"

Nicholas shakes his head. "Even in a bigger Church you shouldn't bad mouth people." He says. "A place like this is also a place for respect, for me at least. It's the first time I've been in a church since I left and first time I've really talked to Him since…well." He looks down at his feet and takes a deep breath. "No, it's not the kids it's me. I'm not easy to get along with right now. Everything just irritates me so much. There's one girl here, Jill, whose really nice but I just keep being an ass to her."

Rashmi inclines her head, conceding the first point, and clasps her hands together in her lap. "…Well… can I promise you something? I really, really want to help, if I can… but mostly, all I can do is be someone to talk to. What I can promise, though, is if you don't want to talk about something? Just say so, and I'll stop. That said… have you ever had the chance to really deal with everything that's happened? I mean… things've been pretty out of control for you for a while now… have you felt like you've even had enough time to let any of it really sink in?"

"The more it sinks in the more miserable I feel." Nicholas says. "I'm never going to see my Mom and Dad or Bodie again. And with every Christmas song I hear it just gets worse cause every holiday I've been with my family and this year, it's never going to be the same again. I'm never going to see them again and I don't know how to handle that at all. I just want my Mom right now but I don't have anyone I know. My grandparents are out of the picture according to Ms. Frost, my girlfriend and best friend seem to hate me know I just…" He shakes his head not able to finish the sentence though it does sound like he's on the edge of emotionally losing it.

Rashmi leans over, reaching out to rest a hand on Nicholas' arm. "It's okay, you know," she whispers, her voice thick, "it's okay to let it out. Trust me… I've been close to where you are, right now… I understand." And indeed, there's a raw, aching sincerity in her eyes, lips pressed tight against unshed tears.

Nicholas clenches his jaw as he tenses us. "Don't, just don't say you understand." He says sounding irritated. "Everyone loves to say they understand but I've lost everyone I've ever cared about, everyone." He says breathing slowly to not explode on Rashmi.

"I know," Rashmi says, gently, "and I haven't. But I've come closer than you think. Not even a year ago, I was the next best thing to a prisoner of war, out in the worst parts of Africa to be an American girl in. So the other part, the people who *took* everything from you? I know that… *very* well. And what I don't understand, what I haven't been there for… Well… I know people who *have.* So yes, I do at least have an idea how it's eating you up, Nicholas… And having that idea, knowing what I know and what I've seen… It might help. And if it doesn't… at least we tried, y'know?"

Nicholas keeps his focus on his feet and his hands start to play with the bottom of his jacket, squeezing, pulling and tugging on it. "Sorry, about what ever happened to you in Africa." He says quietly but there is still a lot of frustration in his voice to the point where it might unintentionally come out sounding insincere. "Yes, everyone here seems to know and understand exactly what I'm going through but let me ask you, are you close with your parents and are they still alive?"

"Yes, and yes. Which means whatever I say has to be taken with a grain of salt, I know," Rashmi says, sighing quietly, and sitting back in the pew. "But like I said; I know people who have. People who still go to this school, even. So…" Shrugging her shoulders helplessly, she runs a hand through her short, coppery hair.

"You don't want to understand or be here then." Nick says bitterly. "I met one girl here whose also lost her parents, just every time we seem to meet it doesn't go well. I just want to, do nothing."

Rashmi nods slowly. "You do whatever you think you need to do, Nicholas… But think about this, okay? Just… keep it mind. Whether or not you think it… you do have options. Nobody can bring your family back… but when you think you're up to it, I know this place can help you figure out how your life's going to go from here. Until then? Here, at least, you're safe. That's not much… but it's a place to start."

Nicholas tightens his grip on his jacket even more, keeping his eyes from looking anywhere but Rashmi. "Just stop it, please." He whispers. "I know you're trying to help but right now, I don't know what I need. Everyday just sucks and then tomorrow and the next day I know are going to be just as horrible. The last thing I want to think about is how things will be next week, I had things figured out."

"All right," Rashmi says, raising her hands. "I'm sorry. I just… I'll stop."

Nicholas stands up and brushes himself off a bit, his gaze still not falling on Rashmi. "I just wish I could go home." He all he says but he knows that it's not possible.

"I wish you could, too," Rashmi answers, closing her eyes. "I'm sorry, Nicholas…"

Looking at his hands, Nicholas sighs. "I couldn't even save them either. My powers, something happened and I didn't die but they couldn't survive. I couldn't do anything with my powers to save them too. Then Bodie…" His voice gets caught in his throat as he lets out a bit of a sob that he's been holding back for a long time.

Rashmi slowly rises from her seat, approaching Nicholas. Gently, carefully, she reaches out a hand to place on his shoulder, a light squeeze given. No words, no promises, no plans… just a simple gesture of comfort.

"I miss them so much." Nicholas manages to get out as he cries. "I don't want to never see them again, I want them back more than anything." He doesn't pull away from the hand on his shoulder though. "I wish this was just some horrible dream but I know it isn't."

"I'm so sorry," Rashmi whispers, moving to stand in front of the boy; whether he looks up at her or not, acknowledges her presence beyond someone to speak to, the unspoken message is clear; she is here, and should Nicholas wish it, hers is a shoulder ready to cry on.

Nicholas wipes his eyes and continues looking downward. "I wasn't bothering anyone, so why me, why Sheridan." He asks to noone in particular. "I can move things with my mind, that's it. I would help people…I didn't do anything wrong." He says thinking outloud. "I don't get it."

"I've never gotten it either," Rashmi murmurs, wiping the back of her hand over one eye, then the other. "I don't know, Nicholas…" Pausing for a moment to consider, the redhead moves closer, wrapping her arms about the boy's shoulders in a gentle hug, easy to break free of if preferred.

As Rashmi's arms wrap around him, Nick tenses for a second before resting against her as he continues to cry. He doesn't say anything until he's stopped crying. "My girlfriend even turned on me. I don't get it."

Rashmi lets Nicholas cry himself out, occasionally smoothing down his hair and making wordless shushing noises. Finally, as the tears seem to slow, she lets out a long, quiet sigh. "I don't get it either… but I'm sure we could find out. I've been reading up on these Purifiers… they're seriously scary people, Nicholas, way worse than almost anything like it around here. I could guess, but I don't have nearly enough information."

Nicholas eventually just sinks to the floor, out of Rashmi's arms, and just sits there. "I don't want to read about them." He says, his voice barely above a whisper. "I don't like being like this, I don't want to be angry but I am, everything just irritates me so much."

Rashmi sinks down next to Nicholas, curling her legs up underneath her. "It's okay to be angry, y'know… Nobody blames you for it." She opens her mouth, about to go on, but seemingly decides that simple is better, and leaves it at that.

"I didn't think there was anything wrong with being a mutant, it was so cool having superpowers." Nicholas says. "I've had them for four years now, noone said anything back home. I was just the local mutant kid and then…apparently it did bother some people. And it's not okay to be angry, I snap at everyone." Nick says sounding a bit testy as if he's snapping about being angry. "I get angry, I snap and then I make other people angry or uncomfortable and it sucks!"

"Nicholas… listen to yourself," Rashmi says gently. "After everything that's happened to you… you don't think you should be even a little angry? My God… you're *not* a saint, and you're not a robot. You're human. Of *course* you're going to be angry and depressed and miserable for awhile. We're not perfect, and we shouldn't ever be."

"But so many people here act like I shouldn't be, bad shit happens to everyone here apparently so who the hell cares." Nick says a bit bitterly. "But I'm a new student here and this place is wonderful so I should smile and be happy." He says letting out a sigh. "Sorry, I just should probably make a point to avoid everyone here."

"No, that won't help either," Rashmi says, daring a small, wry smile. "Look… no one's telling you how to feel. Telling you how hard the other kids've had it? That's just… look, one of the biggest ways the school helped a lot of kids, was just… showing them that they're not alone, y'know? Doesn't mean you have to smile all the time, but if you look around, you'll see kids who've dealt with what you're going through, and they've found a way. Which means there *is* a way. That's all."

"But when you're heard 'I understand' or 'everyone's been through shit' then it makes it feel like, what's the big deal. It's only your parents and friend that were killed and the murder pinned on your shoulders, everyone goes through it so don't feel bad." Nick says bitterly. "Well fuck that."

"…Yeah," Rashmi says after a moment, "can't argue that. Won't even try, because you're right. So… I'm sorry, for my part in it."

Nicholas looks over at Rashmi and shrugs a shoulder. "Don't worry about it." He says taking a deep breath before looking down. "I'm so lost. I just don't know what I'm doing or supposed to be doing."

Rashmi nods slowly, ducking her head to look at Nicholas' face. "Right now? Just focus on getting your feet under you. Which you *can* do here. You're safe, you've a roof over your head and food and the school can take care of you. So… all you *have* to worry about are your classes. Everything else, you just… do what you need to do, y'know? Even if that means figuring out *what* you need to do."

Nicholas lifts his face to look at Rashmi and he nods. "Yeah, I guess so." He says but really isn't sure how to do that. "I guess it makes sense that I'm lost, with my lack of direction sense. I don't even know how to get back to the school right now." He says more trying to lighten the mood than complain about it.

"Well," Rashmi says, gathering her feet beneath her with an encouraging smile, "good thing I happen to know the place so well, isn't it?"

Nicholas stands up and offers a hand to Rashmi to pull her up. "I also should probably get cleaned up and something to eat, I figure I look a mess." He says as his face is nice and tear stained. "I have my horse outside, Orion, he's probably getting antsy too."

Rashmi takes the hand, pulling herself to her feet and brushing down her skirts. "Well… I do some cooking now and again, when I'm here… depends, really, on how much you like Indian food. But that's after we get back. C'mon; let's go get Orion — he's *really* a pretty horse, by the way — amd get you back to the Mansion, mh?"

"I've never had Indian food." Nicholas says. "We don't really have much…uh…outside cusine in Martin. We have a bar and that's pretty much the only resturant there." He says as he blushes a bit. "The nearest McDonalds is over an hour away. I'm pretty much from the middle of nowhwere."

Rashmi chuckles. "No spice, then… and if it helps? I've never actually been outside of New York City very much, myself, until I came here. I meant it about growing up poor… I was the immigrants' kid who got her clothes from Goodwill, y'know?"

"Hey I can handle a bit of spice." Nick says but he has no idea how spicy Indian food can get. "I didn't grow up poor, my parents, we owned a riding stable and taught people how to ride and stuff. But…I really did grow up in a small town, I've never heard of Goodwill and we don't exactly get immigrants out in Sheridan. Who moves to the middle nowhere? This school is bigger than the city I'm from, I'm not even joking."

Rashmi chuckles, nodding. "Oh, I don't doubt it… I got curious, so I looked it up. It's really no wonder you're having such a time adjusting… I think I only know of a couple other kids who're more of a fish out of water. You'll get used to it after awhile, though… just, well…. no sports. Except the Danger Room. Which isn't so much a sport as a really *really* complicated obstacle course."

Nicholas shrugs. "I like watching sports but I never played much, well I mean like High School sports. I'm really into equstrian competitions. I don't know what's going to happen in regards to that though." He says looking down again. "But I don't know if it's so much a fish out of water as just…different. I've been to Florida many times so it's not that much of shock."

"Well…. we'll see," Rashmi says, lifting a shoulder. "I've a few ideas… but it's really not my call, to be honest. First you need to get your feet back under you… *then* we'll work out where to go from there, y'know? Anyway… How does chicken curry and fried potato dumplings sound?"

"I guess it sounds okay, I've had chicken and dumplings but my Mom never put potatoes in with dumplings." Nick says shoving his hands in his pockets. "And thanks. For just, putting up with me." He says walking out of the church and over to Orion where the horse starts to nuzzle against him.

"It's what I do," Rashmi says as she emerges from the chapel. "…Well, when I can, anyway. Like I said; the school did a lot to help me, so it's the least I can do to turn around and try to help you, y'know?" Tentatively, though less out of fear than out of a desire to spook Orion, she holds her hand out, palm up, by Orion's nose. "He *is* pretty," she repeats, her voice gaining a touch of the starry-eyed look of a girl who'd long dreamed of ponies as a child.

"She's okay." Nick says to Orion as he rubs his neck gently and steps aside to Rashmi and pet Orion. "Unfortunately I can't let you ride him, Orion's fine wtih other people as long as they're not riding him. Bodie and I were the only ones he allow. He didn't even allow my Mom or Dad, he's firey at times." He says as a small smile shows on his face. Orion does sniff Rashmi a bit before letting her pet him.

Rashmi grins, carefully stroking the horse's nose. "Oh that's okay," she says, "he's *your* horse anyway. And besides… like I said, I'm a born and raised city girl, I wouldn't even begin to know how to ride him."

Nicholas takes Rashmi's hand and moves it to his neck. "Scratch him a bit there, he'll love that." He says trying to keep both her and Orion as comfortable as possible. "Though they're noses are soft. If you ever want to learn, I would teach kids how to ride."

Rashmi's smile grows even wider, as she scratches the horse's neck. Never staying in one place too long, she seems quite content to pass her hand over his short fur, pausing to scratch here and there before moving on. "I think I'd love to… I just don't know where I'd ever fit in the time, y'know? When I'm not here, I'm *horribly* busy."

"Well if you have some time off, I live here." Nick says leaning in to rest his forhead against Orion's neck. "You're winning Orion over you know. If I had some snacks I'd let you feed him but they're all back at the stables. I need to find a good place to take him on a run sometime."

Rashmi chuckles, bobbing her head. "Well, there's a park and a reservoir not far from here… if you can't find anyone to show you before next weekend, let me know; I'd be happy to."

"What I really need to get again is a digital GPS, that way I can find these places. Even if you gave me directions, I'd get lost." Nicholas says with a bit of grumpiness in his tone. "I have horrible direction sense, it's kind of embarassing at how lost I tend to get."

"Oh, that shouldn't be much of a problem, really," Rashmi says, giving the horse's neck one final pat, before moving away. "C'mon. Let's get back to the mansion. We can figure out something for you after dinner, okay?"

"Stables first than the..mansion." Nicholas says feeling awkward saying the word mansion. "That sounds good, I should find Jill later to and maybe apologize to her cause she's always around when I'm at my worst it seems." He says as he unties Orion and starts to walk with him.

"Might be a good idea," Rashmi says, nodding her head and falling into step next to Nicholas. "I remember Jill… a little. Blue, sweet, has to worry about washing down the bathtub drain?"

Nicholas nods. "Yeah, that's her. I don't know about the drain bit but she's been nice to me and I've pretty much been a jerk. Don't worry about it." He says shruging a shoulder. "Anyway, dinner sounds good right now, thanks again."

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