2010-01-07: Book Exchange


Lucas_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: Rashmi gets Lucas to talk.

Date: January 7, 2010

Book Exchange

Rating: PG

A large Olympic size pool sits outside at the edge of the property over looking Breakstone Lake. The pool, always heated to the right temperature, starts at a depth of 4 feet at the shallowest end, and gradually reaches a depth of 20ft. A diving board sits at the far end of the pool. Off to the side of the shallow end, a hot tub is built into the ground for those wanting to relax. Pool chairs and tables sit along the side of the pool for those just wanting to enjoy the sunshine.

There is a pair of khaki cargo pants and a Nashville Predators sweatshirt piled at the edge of the pool, along with a pair of sneakers and two very large burgundy gloves. In the water, Lucas is standing, submerged to just above his waist. He is wearing a pair of blue board shorts that hug low on his waist. His upper body is thin but toned in the defined way only swimmers exhibit. He is dripping with water, his hair wet. He lifts his hands from the water, and they appear perfectly normal, and runs them through his hair, his eyes closed with a slight smile of enjoyment as he does so. He pulls his long hair back behind his ears, and then runs his hands over his face.

Rashmi emerges from the path, bookbag bouncing slightly at her hip. Pausing, she peers at the water, smiling slightly when she figures out who it is standing there. "Hello, Lucas. You look…" She trails off, a slight, puzzled frown touching her face. "…Actually pretty happy…. Is it contagious?"

Lucas turns around, the smile draining. He lets his hands drop back into the water, and there's a slight hiss as they are submerged. He stands a little straighter when he sees it's her, maybe to look more impressive. Maybe not. "Sorry. Ah came here because Ah thought it was late enough the pool was closed. Ah can go, if'n ya'll need in here…"

Rashmi waves a negligent hand, parking herself at one of the poolside benches. "I don't do anything except read when I'm here, it's all right. Besides. I meant it, you looked pretty happy, why should I keep you from that?"
Lucas shakes his head a little, "Ah'm never happy." He leans against the side of the pool, trying to look casual in the chilly night air as the water beads glisten on his chest and shoulders from the outdoor lighting poles. "What are you reading?"

"Tolkien," Rashmi replies with a flush, pulling a copy of 'The Silmarillon' from her bag and holding it up. "And… that's really sad to hear, Lucas. I mean, *something* must make you happy, right?"

Lucas shrugs a little, looking off towards the woods. "Not anymore." He tilts his head a little, and looks back at Rashmi. "Ah never really got into Tolkien. Ah did like Lloyd Alexander a lot when Ah was a kid, an' they're sorta a rip off of him, so…" He shrugs once more. "Have you read any Salinger?"

Rashmi bobs her head. "Alexander, Lewis… I tried to read Catcher in the Rye once, but… I dunno. I couldn't really click with it. I've heard of some of his other books, though, and the titles alone are absurd enough for me to want to get a look."

Lucas takes a half step toward her, "Ah could loan you one of his other works, if'n ya want. Ah mean… Catcher's really my favorite, but Ah have all his work. His Glass family pieces are really quite good, too."
Rashmi tilts her head slightly, smiling. "You know? I think I'd really like that. Thank you, Lucas, I mean it."
Lucas slowly smiles back at her, and gives a little nod. He swallows, glancing around, and then looks back at her. "Just… don't tell anyone…"

Rashmi chuckles, shaking her head slightly, and tugs her braid over her shoulder to fiddle with the tie at the end. "You and Dallas, I swear… Why is it *really* so important that everyone think you're this big tough jerk who won't be nice to anyone, anyhow? I'll *never* understand."

Lucas scowls, "Look, Ah ain't nothin' like that stupid football hero prick, okay?" He splashes a little water, to emphasize his dissatisfaction. "And Ah AM a big tough jerk, so… THERE!"

Rashmi grins. "Maybe… but one thing you *do* have in common is, you're both practically *obsessed* with your 'reputation.'" Complete with finger-quotes. "What I can't figure out is, why?"

Lucas continues to scowl at her, "Ah don't give a fuck what ANY of those freaks in there think about me," he says, gesturing towards the mansion. "Ah just don't want them to know Ah'm smart because then they'll want to talk to me and get to know me an' all that mushy shit that Ah'd really just assume done skip."

Rashmi crosses her legs under her skirt, looks down at the book in her lap, then back up to Lucas, tilting her head and rising an eyebrow. The question is painfully clear; So why be nice to me?

Lucas just stares at her a minute. He slowly lays his hands back in the water, and cocks his head a bit to the side. "What?" he asks. Stupid boy.

The look is held for a long moment, then with a sigh, the redhead looks down to the water. "So, what… I'm not 'one of those freaks?'" No finger-quotes this time, but they can easily be heard in her voice.

Lucas inhales slowly, and then sighs. "No. Ah mean, yeah… Just… Ugh…" He scratches the back of his neck, and furls his lip a moment. "We're all freaks. Ah just… You just don't piss me off so much."

"Well that's good news!" Rashmi says brightly, if a touch wry. "But I'm trying to figure out what *exactly* pisses you off, y'know? Or, I guess… Why you want to be pissed so badly?"

Lucas sighs, and takes another step towards her. "Look, Rash…" He speaks a little softer as the distance between them is closed. "Ah was normal until two months ago. Ah had a life. Friends. Plans for college. Hell, Ah had dreams, and…" He shrugs, and then shakes his head. "When my hands exploded, Ah lost that. So, it ain't that Ah WANT to be pissed. It just is, okay?"

Rashmi nods slowly. "Yeah… Honestly? I *do* know what you're talking about. It was the summer for me. I got mugged in an alleyway, coming home from work…" The redhead chuckles a bit, looking down at the book in her lap. "I didn't have any money, either… Most of what I made, we needed to go shopping on. New York's pretty expensive, you know…?"

Lucas just nods, still looking kind of irked.

Rashmi shrugs a bit. "Well… he didn't like hearing that, I guess… I just wanted him to go away, you know? Just… go away and leave me alone…" Her head rises, and there's real fear in her eyes, an echo of the memory of that summer day. "…I don't want to hurt people, Lucas… I never did. And I never touched this guy… But I still beat him badly… probably killed him."

Lucas closes his eyes a moment, then he sighs, and walks back out into the water. "You know why Ah swim out here at night?" he asks, turning to look back at her.

Rashmi shakes her head. "I don't. You don't have your gloves on though, so…?" Trailing off, the redhead shrugs.

Lucas lifts his hands from the water. He runs his left hand fingers over the back of his right hand, almost lovingly. "No one's here. So Ah can be alone." He then begins shaking the water off his hands. As it flings off, there are small pops, then a sizzling sound as steam begins to rise from his hands. Suddenly, there is a low base sound that becomes an eerie hum as his hands, up to his wrists, burst into a brilliant, blindingly white ball of nuclear fusion. The heat can be felt across the pool. He looks at her, holding his hands as if they are infected. "Ah can't kill anyone here in the water." He moves through the water to the stairs, and begins walking out of the pool.

Rashmi winces, shading her eyes as Lucas' hands burst into nuclear fire. Out of nowhere, two of her force spheres shimmer into view, drifting toward the gloves and attempting, like two very large, very clumsy fingers, to scoop them together to pick up. The net effect is of someone with two hand-casts attempting to use chopsticks.

Lucas walks over to the floating gloves, and slips his hands inside them, the heat and light covered and gone. He reaches down and picks up his clothes. "Ah should go," he says, a little sheepishly.

Rashmi blinks, looking up. "What…? Why?"

Lucas tilts his head a bit at her, "Whad'ya mean why? We both came here to be alone." He shrugs, "Ah reckon you'd still like to be, so…" He glances at the mansion. "Ah got class early, anyway."

Rashmi shakes her head. "No, I just came to read. I don't have to be alone… And honestly? I was having a nice time." Tucking a lock of hair behind her ear, she smiles a bit. "Besides… you're the one that needs to be here, not me. So, eh… If you still want to be alone, I can go."

Lucas gives her a small smile, "It's okay. Ah'm here every night." He turns, and begins walking towards the dorms.

Rashmi raises an eyebrow, nodding. "…I'll remember that. Have a good night, Lucas. If only just to see what it's like?"

Lucas glances back at her, offering a nod, and heads off.

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