2011-04-11: Catching Up At The Bistro


Rashmi_icon.jpg Star_icon.jpg Tabitha_icon.jpg Vinny_icon.jpg

Summary: Rashmi and Star talk for the first time since their experiences in Nigeria.

Date: April 11, 2011

Log Title: Catching up at the Bistro

Rating: PG

This log directly follows The Need For Power

NYC - Le Bistro Bestial

At the Le Bistro Bestial there are no menus, all the specials for the day are written up on chalk boards around the restaurant. A variety of sandwiches, soups, salads and other small dishes can be found featured here. There are shag carpet covered chairs and tables are set up around the small restaurant and in the summer there are some tables set up outside on the sidewalk. On the walls are colorful Richard Scarry pictures along with a faux Lion head above the bar.

Le Bistro Bestial has been in business for thirty years is run by two families, one American family and one French Family. Both have mutant children and grandchildren who help in running the restaurant. One reason their food is so good is the head chef has the mutant gift of knowing and understanding flavours.

Bruce stands up and turns to enter his apartment. He stops suddenly and shoots Rashmi a confused look, raising an arm and sniffing himself. "I don't know what you're talking about. I smell like sexy." He downs the rest of his beer and tosses the bottle into a dumpster before going back inside.

The empath winces slightly at the annoyance from the other girl and looks back at Bruce, keeping her mouth shut for the moment. Star moves to walk with Rashmi, going a little pale at the mention of Nigeria, but nodding and lowering her voice, "Yeah… It's kinda why I came back. I just couldn't get back to normal." So she's come back to the last place where she was normal.

Rashmi nods slowly. "I know what you mean," Rashmi says, smelling of sadness and old hurt. "I had to take some time off and just stay with Mami and Papi too. Even now, I still have some bad days… But less and less as time goes on, so there's a comfort there." Reaching up, she rests a hand on Star's shoulder, squeezing gently. "You have *no idea* how glad I am you're okay. I saw David, when I was in there. I saw Travis. I never saw you… And I'd worried about you a *lot.*"

Star's nose twitches slightly and she tosses her empty cup in a nearby bin, reaching up to give the hand on her shoulder a comfirting little squeeze, "I never saw anyone after I was caught. Not until that last day, anyway." She grimaces at the memory, "That fat freak came and took me out to the forest by the village to show me David attacking Cloud." Remembered terror swirls around her for a moment before she pushes it back down, "Cloud managed to shake David out of whatever brainwashing had been done to him, but Sugar-Man wanted both of us." She looks over at the other girl for a moment, keeping her voice low, "I worried about all of you, too. They kept me in this dark room almost all the time."

"I don't doubt it," Rashmi says quietly. "They did that to everyone… Except me. Nero wanted an American wife, I guess… Just… not quite as American as *I* was. He wanted to break us all, y'know? Make the boys into more soldiers, and the girls into more wives. Whatever they did to David… It was different than what they did to the rest of us. Work camps, mostly… Give us something impossible to do, beat the crap out of us when we don't do it."

"I never once saw Nero." Star shudders, "They didn't give me tasks or anything. They just…" She trails off, trying to keep her emotions under control, but not really succeeding very well, "They just tortured me. I think Sugar-Man wanted to see what he could do with twins…" And the thought of someone like that getting his hands on her baby brother… That just scares the life out of her! She shoves her hand into her pocket, giving the other girl a sympathetic look, "He didn't…" She trails off, "I mean, if he wanted you for his wife…" She just can't actually ask that question.

"He didn't," Rashmi answers, unimaginably relieved to be able to say that. "Thank God, he didn't. Once, I was so scared… but then he just sent me back. I wasn't pliable enough, I guess." Shaking her head, she pulls open the door to Le Bistro Bestial, and gestures to the shag-carpet-upholstered chairs surrounding a table by the wall. "It was really hard, though… And I made it worse for myself, on purpose. It was the only way I could fight back, y'know?"

Relief floods the air at that and a tenseness that Star didn't even realize was there melts out of her, "Thank God…" She drops the bag for a moment and tries to give the other girl a quick hug before grabbing for the handle as it starts to topple over, following into the Bistro, "I can imagine. It was hard enough for me and I didn't really try to fight back that much." And that shames her to the core. She just caved as soon as there was any real threat to her life, "Not until they started threatening Cloud, anyway." She'd fight to the death for her twin, after all. Even if she did leave him to fend for himself for a couple of months while she tried to get herself back to normal. Or as normal as she can be, anyway.

Rashmi smiles quietly, picking up on the pall of shame in the air. "Hey," she says gently, "don't, okay? No one blames you for not fighting… *definitely* not me. You survived. That's better than hundreds of people could say, Star. You survived, so you won. Just because you didn't fight doesn't make that any less true, all right?"

Star grimaces, but nods, "Yeah, I know. I came out still breathing." She wouldn't really say she survived, though… "I didn't know if I was going to come back. You know, to the school again. Things just didn't get better when I was home, either." She settles back in her chair, suitcase leaning up against the wall, "I guess I'm just hoping that I'll feel a little more safe with more people around." She pauses for a moment, studying her companion, "How did you do it, Rashmi? How did you get past it?"

Rashmi leans back in her chair, frowning slightly in thought. "…I haven't, really," she says at first. "Just… getting there. Some days are good, some… not so much. It's not the first time I've survived, though… I guess that helps, some. I mean… There's the demon thing… That Sinister insanity… The Mutant Town wars…" Blowing out a breath, she lifts her shoulder. "And while it's never been *this* hard… I've survived before. I know I can. So… I can do it again, y'know? Besides. Every day I'm not huddled in a corner somewhere, crying my eyes out? That's a win. Every day something Really Horrible happens and I don't have to hurt someone to stop it? That's a win, too. Every *normal day* is another win. Get enough of those? It starts to outweigh."

There's a nod and a grimace as Star runs a hand through her hair, shorter now than it had been before, but not as short as Rashmi's by any stretch of the imagination, "I was kidnapped once before, right after I got here, and there was that other dimension horror thing, but… Well, the first time was only a couple of hours and there were a whole bunch of other people around for the other." She sighs, "Going to Nigeria was me trying to get back to normal." And then she was caught and tortured…

Rashmi reaches a hand across the table, resting it on Star's arm. "But here you are," she says, smiling gently. "You're still alive. And you came back. Maybe you're tougher than you think? I'd say so."

Star gives a little half smile at that and shrugs, "Maybe I'm just too stupid to know when to give up?" She sighs softly, gratitude fillig the air, "I don't think I'm as strong as you are, though." She gestures towards the other girl's short hair, "I mean, your hair…" She shakes her head, "I've kind of been broken for a while now. I just don't know how to fix everything." And she wants her life to be fixed.

Rashmi closes her eyes, nodding. "Yeah… My hair was one of the few things I've ever been really *vain* about, you know? Never cut it once, just a little trim to keep the split ends back. Mami would get yelled at, sometimes, because people just assumed it was dyed and how dare she spend that much on my hair and get my clothes from Goodwill. It was like… after Barnes took care of the cane marks and the bruises, my hair was the only real scar I had… I was so afraid everyone would ask why I cut it, and I'd have to remember." Shaking her head, she runs a hand over her face. "I don't know how to fix everything, Star… Sometimes I don't even know where to start. I just know what I want, and do what I can to get there from here. That's… really all it takes. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Never stop."

"I know your hair was always so pretty…" Star makes a face at the thought of being asked about things that would remind of the things they went through and nods, "I think I'm getting there." Slowly. "At least I'm back, right?" Back from going slowly insane surrounded by her family and people that just don't understand what she's gone through and that she doesn't want everyone to walk on eggshells around her.

Rashmi nods, smiling. "You're back. That's a good victory. Tomorrow? Maybe another one. But it's a start."

Star nods, "Yeah. Took some doing to talk Mom and Dad into letting me come back, but I managed." She sits back and rubs at her arm a little, "I'm trying." She looks at the girl across the table, "Are you okay? I mean, you did have it harder than me." Beat, "And you've gone through stuff like that a lot more than I have." She'd said so herself.

Rashmi smiles. "Like I said… I'm getting there. It's almost lucky the thing with the police happened a little while after… That was a *big* win for me." She shakes her head. "And remember… I only had it harder because I brought it on myself. I knew what would happen when I got lippy. I knew what would happen when Travis couldn't do what was asked of him, because I was held hostage against *his* good behavior too. Part of it is… perspective, really. I mean… when you've argued with Magneto to his face, there's a lot that doesn't seem so scary."

"Wait… You've argued with Magneto?" Star blinks, shock, surprise, and disbelief filling the air, "To his face?!" She gives a little shake of her head and sits back, looking at the other girl with new respect, "Wow… I don't think I'd want to do anything like that." You don't fight with someone like Magneto; you just agree with whatever he says and hope he doesn't decide to kill you for looking at him wrong.

Rashmi chuckles. "I know, that's what I thought the first time. Then I did it again. Then I realized I just can't keep my mouth shut when I could be arguing." Grinning, she shrugs. "Then it's easy. He respects convictions, and the ability to be realistic about them. And it's a net bonus to me, because he tends to drag me into a mess when he wants an above-board and legal solution."

Star just shakes her head, "Wow… Well, at least he didn't make a building fall on you, or something."

Rashmi grins. "Yeah, and the Embassy's mostly metal, too. So if I *do* annoy him, probably don't want to do it while I'm interning for him weekends."

"You intern at the Embassy?" Star blinks a couple of times, "I didn't know that." She wrinkles her nose a little, "I didn't even know there was an intern program at the Embassy." She licks her lip for a moment, growing thoughtful, "I've probably fallen so far behind that I'm not going to graduate this year after all, but…" She pauses for a moment, "Well, I'm supposed to be graduating this year. Do you think I could do something like that?" It would be good work experience for her.

Rashmi tilts her head. "Maybe? Honestly, Magneto's the one to ask about that… I don't know what you're wanting to study, so I can't really tell you how good a fit you'd be, y'know? And it's not like you couldn't do makeup courses over the summer and get back on track… The workload'll probably be insane, but it's still possible to be graduated by the time the fall semester rolls around."

Star nods, making a face at the thought of having to talk to Magneto himself about an internship, "Okay. Thanks." She shrugs, "I'd always thought I would be a teacher, but now… Well, I don't know. I'd like to do something more than that." Since she's seen the darker side of the world now, she'd like to try to make it better. "I think I can probably get caught up if I take summer classes."

Rashmi smiles. "Hey… I've always thought teachers were *amazing* people, myself… But I can understand. So… Like next month or so? You'll probably get a recruitment packet from Barnes. I think all of the kids at Xavier's do. It's a pretty incredible deal, honestly, a free ride and board… But bear in mind, it's kind of like a military college. If you sign up, you'll be getting military training, regardless of what you end up studying, y'know?"

Sitting at a table near the wall, Star and Rashmi are chatting, "Yeah, teachers are pretty amazing. I just feel like I should try to do more, you know?" She nods slowly at the mention of Barnes, the faintest of frowns drawing her brows together, "Free sounds good. I'm really not sure I'd be able to afford paying for school myself. Cloud and I have four older brothers, so…" She falls silent at the mention of military training and presses her lips together, "Well, maybe the military training would be a good idea." She seems to get into a lot of trouble, after all, and all the extra training she can get would probably help.

Rashmi nods slowly. "Maybe… *I* decided to go there because I wanted the free ride and the really excellent schooling more than I didn't want to maybe get drafted if something Really Incredibly Horrible happened. ….But honestly? After Nigeria, and after I came back from Mami and Papi's… One of the first things I did was sign up for advanced combat training. …It helped, a lot. It really *does* make you feel a little safer, even if you don't ever want to *use* it, y'know?"

The door chimes jingle softly, as a young rat girl enters the premises. Tabitha comes to a halt just inside the door, dressed up in a goth outfit as opposed to her former biker appearance; full length black skirt and matching top with a cloth corset, all purposefully damaged, and black gloves with leather straps and steel buckles. She glances about, and bites her bottom lip before wandering cautiously up to the counter to pick out something to eat.

Star nods, "Yeah, I don't really like the idea of being drafted, but I don't like not feeling safe." She looks over at the door when someone new enters, mild panic flashing around her before she clamps down hard on the emotion. She blinks a couple of times when she sees the rat girl and forces her voice to be light, "I'd forgotten how different New York is…" Her chuckle isn't really amused, but she's trying to make her jumpiness not as obvious.

Rashmi pats Star's arm, following her gaze to the goth rat at the counter and smiling. "Hi Tabitha!" she calls from their table. "It's okay," she says to her companion, "I know her. She's had a hard time too, never got to go to Xavier's."

Tabitha's ears perk up at the sound of Star's voice, and she tilts her head to look over her shoulder while the person at the counter is counting out her change — at least here in Mutant Town, the sight of someone like her isn't entirely unexpected. She picks up her meal, which seems to be two different sandwiches and a tall glass of chocolate milk, and manouvers herself towards Rashmi and Star. "Hi, Rashmi," she replies. "And hi, uhh…" She trails off, and shrugs her shoulders. "I'm Tabitha, obviously, but I'm not from New York. Just came here recently. Mind if I join you?"

Star grimaces faintly when she's reassured about Tabitha and nods, lifting a hand in greeting when the rat girl walks toward them at their table by the wall, "Sucks not having the support that I've had at Xavier's." She offers a little smile to the rat, "Star. You're welcome to join us. We were just getting caught up." The air around her is filled with cautious wariness, but she is trying to be friendly.

Rashmi bobs her head, scooting closer to the wall, giving the rat room enough to set her food down. "Sure! Yeah, we went to the same high school, just out of town. Haven't seen you for awhile, Tabitha, how've you been?"

Tabitha sets her tray down and takes a seat — though she takes one beside Rashmi, and as far from Star as possible. Her movements seem jittery all of a sudden, right after she walked past Star. "I'm okay," she replies in a very quiet tone of voice. She glances at Star, then at Rashmi, then back at Star. "You… uhm… okay?" She pauses, and tilts her gaze towards Rashmi in kind. "You'll be seeing a bunch more of me," she murmurs. "I'm roomy-ing with Dashenka now, at Barnes, so… you'll probably catch me in my underwear at some point, or something equally frightening and unsightly, since we'll be suite-mates."

Vinny enters into the Bistro, the Hybrid mutant standing out even in a place like mutant town. He looks around a moment before making his way towards an empty table and being mindfull of his tail takes a seat. The platypus seemingly in a rather uncharacteristically foul mood as he takes a breath and waits for a server to approach.

There's another grimace at the question as to whether she's alright or not and Star nods, "Yeah, um… Sorry." She closes her eyes for a moment and takes a deep, calming breath, trying to push that wariness down, though her eyes still have a faintly violet cast to them, "Just a little jumpy, is all." She looks back and forth between the other two for a moment as Vinny enters, flinching when she catches a whiff of the platypus's foul mood and focusing on her hands on the table and trying to keep her own emotions in check.

"Pheromones," Rashmi murmurs to Tabitha, by way of explanation. "Star's an empath, but it's um… smell-based, basically?" she asks of her friend, before catching notice of Vinny and following his path to the counter, eyebrows rising in silent inquiry.

Tabitha blushes softly, evident by the way the insides of her ears darken in color. "Oh," she murmurs. "I uhm… well, here's me with an advanced sense of smell. So I'll bet that's working overtime on me." She glances at Star, and coughs softly. "You don't have to worry about me. I don't bite, promise. I do punch or kick sometimes, but only if you deserve it." The last bit is in a more jovial tone of voice, and she grins mischievously at the end. As Vinny enters, she looks up and nods to the Platypus. "Hi Vinny," she calls out.

Vinny loks over as he hears his name called and gives a nod and small wave to Tabitha in response. Though his attention is taken up as the server approaches his tables and he makes a quiet order, though the phrase "Ya serve beer here?" Is heard clearly though the server shakes her head no. He shrugs and the rest of the order is unheard.

Star nods, making a face, "That's what they tell me, anyway." She laughs softly, "Almost makes it a relief to have a cold. Then I don't get everyone else so much." She still gives off her 'super pheromones', but she doesn't know how everyone else is feeling, at least. She pales slightly at the comment about biting and laughs a little nervously, "Um, yeah." She runs a hand through her hair and wrinkles her nose a little, glancing over at Vinny again at the request for beer. She licks her lips lightly and shakes her head, turning her attention back to the girls at her table.

Tabitha's eyebrows rise sharply. "Bruce? As in Dingo?" she murmurs, leaning sideways towards Rashmi. "He uhm… gave me the concussion that's keeping me off my bike for the next couple weeks at least." She tilts her eyes back up towards Vinny, and then glances at Star. "Having a cold shouldn't have to be a relief," she observes. "Your powers are your powers, nothing to be ashamed of… right?" She smiles, albeit a bit uncertainly. "And… yeah, I'm at Barnes. Mr. Stark got me in. Now I just have to study my ass off, right?" She pauses, and tilts her head. "Ass… tail… something."

Vinny sits back in his chair a bit and closes his eyes, the level of agitation seeming to decrease as Vinny seems to center himself again. As he shifts a little those that might be paying attention would see the grip of a large knife inside of his vest, obscured from view as he adjusts the garment again. Fishing a smartphone from his pocket he presses the screen a few times before frowning and stowing it away again.

"Um… Yeah. You try having powers that keep getting you kidnapped and not being able to really do anything with them." Disgust and no small amount of shame and anger fill the air when Star admits that, "Not like they're useful for knocking out a bad guy or getting out of a locked room or anything." That certainly seems to be the only thing her powers have gotten her so far. Rashmi's comment has her frowning faintly and looking over at the other mutant's table. Then she turns to look sharply back at Tabitha, "Wait, Bruce gave you a concussion?" She frowns, mild anger and indignation floating around her, "And here he claims to be trying to protect mutants." So much for that!

Rashmi snorts. "With the drugs? Only as long as they don't get in his way," she says sourly, shrugging. "Like I said… I just hope he survives finding out what a colossal jackass he's been acting like." Shaking her head, she lifts an eyebrow at the phone, then clears her throat. "Well you know you have to study," she says to Tabitha, "so that's good. Just, um… well there's a *lot* of really interestingly weird classes at Barnes. Supernatural Studies last semester, and Civic Responsibility until the teacher goes, um… wherever he's from. In space."

Tabitha was just in the middle of taking a drink from her chocolate milk when Star makes her comments, and Tabitha gets another whiff of pheremones. She abruptly slams the drink back down on the table, hard enough that milk sloshes out over the rim. "Yeah?" she snaps, rounding on Star, "Well, at least you don't *look* like you just crawled out of a science project that good a bad mark." She seethes visibly for a moment; and then she sits back, and rubs her eyes. "And… that'd be your pheremones again," she mutters, shifting her fingers to pinch the bridge of her muzzle. "Don't take this personal… but if this keeps happening, I'm going to ask for a clothes peg. Or we're both going to go nuts." She sighs, and turns to face Rashmi once more. "I want to do mechanical engineering… as well as martial arts and firearms training. Some of those 'weird' classes sound like great options though." She tilts her head, and gazes towards Vinny. "Hey, uhm… wanna join us?"

Vinny glances over at Tabitha's request and ponders a moment before standing and walking over. "Long as yer companions here don't mind, could probably use some good company at tha moment. Not been my best day." He looks to the other two for acknowledgement before even moving to take a seat.

Star's eyes narrow slightly at Tabitha's anger and she takes a deep breath, echoing back the rat girl's anger a little before she can focus enough to calm herself a little, "Yeah. Pheromones." She closes her eyes for a moment and sighs, her anger filtering away into almost pure disgust, "Well, excuse me for being born with an inconvenient gene. Sometimes I just don't understand why I don't have a power more like my brothers." His power doesn't seem nearly so inconvenient to her, "We are twins, after all!" She sighs and makes a face, dropping her face into her hands, "Sorry." She looks up for a moment when Vinny joins them, sitting back and once more the faintest bit wary. Strangers just aren't her favorite thing in the world, anymore.

Rashmi shakes her head. "Star," she says quietly, "it's okay. Trust me. I know them, and I trust them. They're really good people…" Her shoulders are tense, thanks to the outside emotions warring with her own personal rock of embattled calm, and she squeezes the girl's arm. "…Try to understand," she says to Tabitha and Vinny, "Star's… a lot more tense than she used to be. I know… The same thing happened to me. But it's, um… not really a story for dinner. I don't have a problem telling my side of it, just… later."

Tabitha nods her head quickly. "It's okay," she replies. "I wasn't exactly keen when I woke up one morning and someone else was lookin' at me in the mirror, either." She coughs softly, "Just, your… ability, and part of mine, just… don't seem to get along," she mumbles. "Well, actually, I guess they do get along, and they get along way too well, right?" She rubs at her face with both hands, and brushes gloved fingers through her hair. "Sorry for going all bitch-cake there." She tilts her head sideways, and flashes a quick grin at Vinny. "Join the bad day club," she says as she picks up her drink for a second attempt. "Oh… so, Rashmi… what do you study at Barnes?"

Vinny looks to Star and smiles as he takes a seat "Wise man once told me that our Powers are tha greatest gifts we'll ever have, but they'll also lead ta tha greatest challenges we'll ever face. Ya can't run from um, ya can't bargain with um, heck in my case I can't even hide um. So ya face um head-on, ya learn ta use um, and from there ya move on." He takes one of the water bottles from the bandolier across his chest and takes a swallow. "Course I can't complain too much, got these rugged good looks after all." The old Vinny is beginning to rise to the surface again. The hopeless optimist and cheerfull soul.

Tense is once way to put it, certainly. Star gives Rashmi a slightly wan looking smile, "I know. I'm trying." She certainly doesn't get any negative feelings from the others. Not ones she associates with people she needs to run from, anyway. She grimaces at Tabitha and nods, "Yeah, I know someone that's got a, um… Better nose than most people. He was one of the first people to tell me there was something different about me." She sits back, crossing her ankles under her chair, "Don't worry about it, Tabitha. It happens a lot around me. Especially when I'm having a bad day." She pauses and grimaces, "What's sad is that this is a better day than most lately." At least she's not hiding under her covers, after all! Then Vinny's talking about powers and having to just live with them and move on and she makes a face, "I'm trying to figure them out. It's one reason I came back. I want to talk to Dr. Parker-Mayfair and see if he can help me."

Rashmi nods, smiling at Vinny's statement; clearly it's something she agrees with, in spades. "It's a good idea," she says, patting Star's arm again before retracting her hand and looking to Tabitha. "Pre-law, actually… I'm hoping to sit the Bar in a few years, practice until I'm old enough to go into politics. Constitutional Law. Run for Senate, after, if I can."

The rat girl's eyebrows rise. "Well, I'll vote for you," she observes. "And if you can punch Senator Kelly in the mouth, then that'd be awesome. Err… politically speaking, that is." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Though, I mean, I guess I'm hardly one to talk," she mumbles.

Vinny takes another swallow from the bottle before placing it back into the bandolier as his order is brought over. "Right now I'm just tryin' ta keep my head above water with all that's goin' on around here. Whole mess is more tangled than an octopus playin' twister and my main ally in tha whole mess just bailed. Runnin' out of friends but tha problems keep pilin' up."

Star gives a little sheepish half-smile at the praise of her idea and nods, "That's the only reason Mom and Dad let me come back. Dr. Parker-Mayfair isn't in Boston, after all…" And she wasn't going to ask him to come there when it gives an excuse to come back to school with her brother. Her half smile turns into one of confidence and she nods in agreement with Tabitha, "Oh, totally! You've got my vote, Rashmi." Beat, "And if Cloud doesn't vote for you, I'll smack him around until he does." Genuine amusement fills the air at that. Not that she'd really beat her brother up if he didn't vote for someone she wants him to, but still… The thought is there.

Rashmi chuckles, Tabitha earning an odd look at the last part of the statement. "Well, we'll see. That's years and years ahead, yet; first I have to survive law school." Special emphasis placed on 'survive,' due to the nature of her schooling.

Tabitha ehs, and chuckles nervously. "Yeah, well," she observes, "I have to survive mine too, I guess, and I'm already getting into fights with Dingo and lipping off to Envy, so I'm not off to the most glorious start." She glances at Star, and shrugs her shoulders. "What are you planning on? Think you might come to Barnes?"

"I think survival is a big thing for everyone." Certainly it is for Star. She shrugs when Tabitha asks if she might go to Barnes, "I don't know yet. I'm not even sure if I'm going to manage to graduate with everything that's gone on this school year."

Rashmi chuckles. "Well. I still don't think it'll be a problem, aside from you missing out on most of the summer. But, small price to pay, right?"

Tabitha hunhs? "Miss the summer? Who, me?" She glances sideways at Rashmi, pausing where she was about to take a bite from her sandwich. "Actually, that's perfectly cool. I didn't have plans for the summer anyway, so that'll be infinitely better than just slummin' about in New York with nothing to do. Normally, I'd go see my Dad, but… that's not really an option either."

Star nods, "Yeah. And maybe I can get tutoring to try to catch up a little." Star offers a sheepish little smile to Tabitha and shakes her head, "No, me. I've missed about three months of school so far this year."

Rashmi nods, chuckling. "Yeah… Like I said, I'll give you my side of it later, Tabitha. Anyway. *You,*" she says to the rat, "are going to have an interesting summer anyway. Nevermind that you're going into Barnes, you're also staying in New York City now, and don't really have to worry about room and board. …Oh!" Blinking, she turns back to Star. "Talk to Daisuke, he's basically full-time tutor. He'll get you set up."

Tabitha swallows, just in time to look surprised by Rashmi's comments. "So uhm… what… happens in New York in the summertime?" She glances back and forth between Rashmi and Star. "Fireworks? Parades? Festivals? Burn-the-rat-at-the-stake-day?" She takes another large bite of her sandwich, as her eyes focus on Rashmi once more, waiting for… knowledge. Yes, knowledge.

"Well, my first summer here, I was kidnapped." Star's comment is delivered in a perfect deadpan, just totally matter of factly. Quickly, she adds, "I was rescued again a couple of hours later, but still…" New York is certainly an exciting place. She smiles to Rashmi and nods, "Thanks. I'll see if I can find him when I get there." She glances at the sky outside and makes a face, "Speaking of, I really should be going or I'll miss my train." She stands and pulls her suitcase into line behind her, "It was good talking to you, Rashmi. Give me a call sometime and maybe we can get together and talk more." Whenever she has time for it, anyway, "It was nice meeting you, Tabitha. Good luck with your new school." She heads out the door, giving her phone number if needed, and heads back to school.

Rashmi folds her phone back up, after taking Star's number, and turns a look that can only be described as patient to the rat. "Y'know… It *might,* I'm just thinking out loud here, *might* be a little easier to get used to your situation if you didn't automatically assume mobs and pitchforks with everyone. I know what it's like… Even the parts I haven't experienced, I've known people who have. But there's like a few *million* people here, that's a *big* brush to paint them all with."

The rat girl's jaw drops, and she stares for a moment; and then she sighs heavily, and rests her chin on her hand and her elbow on the table. "I was just kiddin'," she mumbles. "At least… that time I was, anyway. I know I haven't been before, though you've never heard me not kidding before, in fairness." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "I'm not painting everyone with the same brush… but I am wary. and just like your thing is something to talk about later… uhm… so is mine." She sighs, and shakes her head. "Sorry, I don't mean to be a downer."

Rashmi pats the rat's shoulder. "I've heard enough to understand *why,*" she says gently. "You can fill me in on the rest if you think you need to. I'll be happy to listen, then. Anyway," she says, brightening some. "It's *New York City.* A smaller list would be what *doesn't* happen, here."

Tabitha looks up, and smiles lightly. "Well… by the sound of things, that might well be a really small list," she replies. "I never imagined that not only would I get put through a building by one of the more powerful mutants around, but that I'd also walk away with just a concussion." She pauses, and scratches the side of her head lightly. "Okay, well, carried away on a stretcher might've been more like it, but still. …I guess that's all just part of being a mutant, right?"

Rashmi sighs, nodding. "Yeah… I wish I could say different, but… Once you get powers, there's this whole world that opens up around you. Some of it's incredible. I mean, I went into *space* to help a *lawyer.* Some of it…. well. Demons."

Tabitha enhs, and shrugs her shoulders. "Just something I'll have to get used to," she replies. "Though, my powers might help with that. I *can* be pretty flexible." She looks at her hands, and taps her fingertips on the table-top. "And I'm gonna keep training in firearms and martial arts, like I said… so hopefully I'll be better prepared next time. Or something." She tilts her head, and gives Rashmi a cock-eyed look. "I'll have to ask you to tell me about this space-thing, sometime. And the demons."

"Oh that's easy," Rashmi says, shrugging. "I worked as She-Hulk's legal assistant for a while, right out of school. So, more accurate to say I went into space in a flying convertible."

Tabitha perks an eyebrow, and goes quiet for a moment. "Oh. Uhm… okay then," she mumbles. "You kinda lost me with that one." She shrugs lightly. "But I'm sure it was cool, however it is that… that… works." She plucks her glass up from the table, and has a generous swig of chocolate milk. "What's Dashenka like? I haven't met her yet."

Rashmi grins. "She's native Russian, she *adores* muscle cars, she doesn't take any crap, and she turns into a bear. Honestly? I think you two will get along great."

Tabitha perks an eyebrow. "She likes muscle cars? Well… I like bikes, but, I think I could like muscle cars, too. I guess I don't have any trouble picturing myself cruising in a sixty-eight Pontiac GTO." She chuckles softly. "Sounds like we'll get along fine, then. …I may even try copying her sometime, if she'll let me, that is. I don't want to cheese her off obviously."

Rashmi chuckles. "You'd have to ask, of course… Anyway, it's getting pretty late. We should get back, I still have jogging to do before bed."

~ Fin ~

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