2010-03-13: Checking In


James_icon.jpg Robyn_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: Robyn, Rashmi, and James revisit current events.

Date: March 13, 2010

Log Title Checking In

Rating: PG

Emergency Living Quarters

Location description, if any, goes here.

For the first time since James took up temporary residence in the Emergency Living Quarters the door is open and hand drawn signs like "Go Away!" and "Trespassers will be Bitten! are missing from the outside viewing area. Instead, it's nearly business as usual. The only thing out of place is the hyena himself. Still inside, James is giving the room a final clean up. The beds are made, the trash has been cleared, and anything that doesn't belong sits in neat piles ready for redistribution back to his room or elsewhere. Grunting on the far end, James is kneeling at one of the beds, putting the finishing touches on the one he had been using, "Frekin' hospital corners…" He makes an unimpressed sound, speaking in a high-pitched voice, "I better-be-able-to-bounce-a-quarter-off-the-bed or your doing all 25! Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah!" He throws up his hands, sounding more like the boy everyone knows, "Sheesh!"

It was a long afternoon in the danger room and Robyn is just getting out now. He's mentally exhausted. He's just about to head up to the next floor to the locker room when he hears James's voice coming from the Emergency Living Quarters. He walks over to the room and leans on the door frame, and he looks tired. He's wearing his training uniform at the moment, not that he really likes it, white isn't a preferred color of choice. "Hey James, so is this where you've been hiding for the past few days?"

James freezes for a moment. The last time he heard that voice he was just about to eat its owner. He nods in agreement, "Yeah…" He turns his head, stands, and flumps right back down on the bed he was just making, "It was decided I needed a 'time out.'" He makes the quotation movements with his hands. There's a sigh that sums up a lot of his feelings in a quick and neat little 1-second package: Shame. Fear. Frustration. For all for the things he did, thought he did, almost did, and could do again. He nods to the bed across from his, "You look tired. Wanna sit? The maid won't mind."

"We have a maid here?" Robyn asks giving a small smile before not really sitting down, by lying down on one of the beds. "Yeah, Addison and I just had a one on one session to help me learn mental shielding. All my powers are mental base, I should at least be able to protect myself mentally." He looks over at James and it feels like so much has happened since that night. "So…are you okay? From that night? I mean, did you get help at all?"

"Yeah….me," he says with a little pause, "I wasn't so much asked, as suggested, that I pick up after myself. I can't argue with that." He puts his elbows on his knees and looks down into his lap, "Ah’ think so?" Maybe more so than he thinks judging by the ever-so-slight midwestern accent. "I think the space was something I really needed. I was getting kinda…overloaded." He keeps his gaze on the floor before shooting an eye up towards the other boy, "I'm really-really-really sorry about what happened. Like really-really sorry."

"You scared the hell outta me, I'll admit that but, I could tell something was off. Like you weren't fully you." Robyn says shifting so that he's lying on his side so he can look at James as he talks to him. "I was worried more than anything, I thought…something might have happened to your mind. The next day Rashmi and I ran into Jono and he, showed us something." Robyn says with a hesitation. He feels like he knows something he shouldn't. "That there's like this animal inside, this..beast that you have to fight for with control. That he likes the fight. Do you….really have to live with that?"

James goes quiet at the thought. It's an uncomfortable subject for the boy, and rightfully so. He was doing a great job at chewing through the staff and students that day. He shrugs his tense shoulders, "Yeah…no…I dunno." The floor becomes really interesting again as the hyena focuses on it, not the other kid's prone form. "Jono seems to think I internalize it because it's some sorta self-hating thing. But I don't by into that sorta stuff. Maybe I just am what I am," his ears droop a little, "But yeah…it's what I live with."

Robyn sits up and walks over to James, reaching out to grab his hand. "God James, I didn't know. That much be really tough for you." He says as he figures it's this internal struggle James has to put up with. "Jono's not Jono right now…he's…something else. He's not my friend anymore until there able to fix him. Same with Jordan and the others. And if you are what you are, than that's a good thing. My parents always taught me one thing was important, be true to yourself. Once you accept who you are, you can go from there. It's not about having the most friends or making the most money, it's about being happy."

The other boy easily takes the oversized hand, paw, thing of the other kid. James looks away, still uncomfortable, "I…yeah." He shrugs, at a loss. And then without a second thought he hugs Robyn, surrounding his smaller friend with his furred arms, "God..I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." He practically butts Robyn's chest with his head as the Hyena pulls him tight to him, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." It's whispered over and over, the grip never loosening. No beast. No bravado. Just the sound of a boy that was hurt in a way he didn't think was possible. But even as he apologizes, his subconscious picks up the phantom smell of blood, beast reminding of the last person's chest he laid his face on.

Rashmi has arrived

Robyn is standing in a hug with James as the Hyena has been cleaning up the Emergency Living Quarters and Robyn is currently in his training uniform. He returns the hug to James knowing he needs it right now. "It's okay James, it's okay. You scared me, that's all. I'm not mad or upset or anything. I never was. Just scared and worried for a friend." He says letting James hug him for as long as need be. "Really James, it's okay. You've been a good friend to me and the others so far."

For the first time since James took up temporary residence in the Emergency Living Quarters the door is open and hand drawn signs like "Go Away!" and "Trespassers will be Bitten! are missing from the outside viewing area. Instead, it's nearly business as usual. The only thing out of place is Robyn and the hyena sitting in a bed that's hugging his head tightly to the smaller, standing boy's chest. Obviously engaged in some sort of apology, James is repeating a weak, "I'm sorry." He opens an eye, looking towards the door as his ears pick up passing sounds.

Rashmi pokes her head in, deep concern visible on her tired features. "Sorry… It just looked like you were done not wanting to be bothered anymore… Um… Can I come in?" Eyes flick between James and Robyn, a small, grateful smile touching her lips to see the two talking. Her gaze meets Robyn's, and she nods slowly, relief visible in her eyes.

Robyn still his his arms wrapped around James and there's just something about hugging something fuzzy where you can't help but sort of 'pet' it. So even if he isn't doing it on purpose, his hand is runing up and down Jame's neck lightly. "It's okay James, take all the time you need." He says looking up as he hears another voice and there's a faint smile as he sees Rashmi, he did shave like he said he would. "Hey Rashmi, I don't have a problem with it."

James' eye darts over to Rashmi. The hyena shakes his head, probably moving Robyn in the process. "No, please. Come in," he says as he lets go and sits up. He pushes his hands over his face and back over his head as he straightens his fur out, nearly knocking off his goggles in the process. Adjusting them, he looks almost normal. Quite a change given his state a few days ago, "We're just talking."

Rashmi bobs her head, tentatively approaching the bed. While the sight of Robyn comforting James helps to lift her spirits, James all too often seems to have that 'I'm a man, I can deal, pffff' thing going on. "So…. you're looking better, James… You doing okay, now?"

James sits up a little straighter. There's that 'man up' Rashmi's probably expecting, "Oh yeah..fine. Good." That last about 2 seconds before he shrugs and deflates, "I'm a wreck. But I'm getting over it." His arms fall back to his legs as he leans over his lap, "I…" and there's a long sigh, "Just needed to check out for awhile. Too much, too fast…I'm overloaded." He offers his hand to the approaching teammate.

Robyn moves so he can sit next to James on the bed and he looks at the one he was lying down on earlier. "Well, I'll make sure that bed is okay so you don't have to clean up what I ruined. And honestly, I didn't really know this was down here." Yeah he might have heard about it when he first got here but he was so overwhelmed. "Don't worry about it James, we all are dealing with a lot. Rashmi's seen me when I've overloaded, and she overloaded the other night. We all need to sometimes."

Rashmi nods quietly, taking the hand and sitting down on the other side of the hyena. "Robyn's right, it's been really bad… I think we've all been finding out where our breaking points are, you know…? It's okay, James, I understand. I mean, Robyn knows, I just sort of found a bed in Medbay and went to sleep. …well. …Until Magneto, but anyway."

James, not so properly, shoves his nose against the teammates hand and gives it a long sniff. That's….kinda new? He sorta shrugs his shoulders, ears going sideways, "Sorry….I just…want something familiar to focus on." He listens, unimpressed with the news, "You okay?" He offers a concerned look to Rashmi, steering the subject well clear of his own condition.

"Oh! Speaking of Magneto." Robyn begins and he shouldn't sound as positive as he does when mentioning Magneto. "His son stopped by, apparently he's an Avenger and Dr. McCoy got his Avenger friend to help us out and try to bring our friends back." Rashmi's bit of hope rubbed off on him. "I think we all want something familiar and…normal seeming to focus on. Any minute I'm expecting the alarms to sound or someone else to come back with bad news."

Rashmi nods brightly, averting her eyes from James' question. "He's actually really nice, it's… it's strange, really. But yeah, he promised that everything would be okay… And he's an Avenger, so he knows what he's talking about, right?" To her credit, she actually manages to keep up the facade… for a moment. Then she sort of sags, leaning against James and letting out a long sigh. "…Not really," she murmurs. "…But I'm getting better. And I'm not letting it stop me."

James' displeasured sound marks just what he thinks of the alarms. Too much. Too fast. Too often. Rashmi's lean elicits a large arm wrapping around her side. Robyn gets the same treatment. It's s strange change, and one that'll probably be left behind in the room, but for the moment, the hyena is down right touchy, "Can't be all bad. That's like…Captain America's team. No one better than him. Right?" To James, there isn't. To Rashmi's credit, James buys it, at least until she caves in, "Right now, it's all we can do. But, it's not forever, and we have each other."

"We gotta hope, right Rashmi?" Robyn says, after all, he's learned that from her. As the furry arm gets wrapped around him, Robyn does lean in, it's as if the physical support is coinciding with the emotional support. "I guess we're lucky that we have each other and the school behind us. Sometimes…do you wish that you weren't born a mutant?" He's asking it more because a lot of times, he wishes he wasn't.

Rashmi curls her legs up to her chest, closing her eyes as the arm wraps around her. "I don't know," she says after a moment's thought. "I mean… yeah it's making things hard… but, I mean… If we were supposed to be anything else, wouldn't we be? It's just… who we are, I guess. It's like… I guess it's like your hair, Robyn. Sure, you can make it look different, but it's still supposed to be that color, and unless you keep trying to hide it, eventually it'll show through, you know?"

James phhhhttts, "When do I 'not' wish I wasn't a mutant?" He's unapologetic, but he's also a walking throw rug, "I mean, really. It's probably healthy to feel that way, right? At least until we can deal with it." The last little bit Rashmi says sorta hits home. You can't change your spots, after all. There's a sigh and a nod, followed by a quick squeeze for both. He changes the subject, unwilling to go down that road of self-loathing. It's his day off. "I talked to Jono the other night. Like 'really' talked to 'our' Jono."

The change of subject leads Robyn to forget what he was about to say and he looks up at James. "Like what do you mean? You mean, Jono got control of himself back?" There's a bit of surprise and hope in his voice as if it's true, it means that this whole thing isn't permanent. That there is maybe some light at the end of the dark tunnel. "What did he says….if it isn't too personal."

Rashmi perks visibly, her expression echoing Robyn's hopeful words. Which in itself makes for an interesting tableau, the two smaller teens practically hanging on James' words. "Is he okay? Is he going to be able to fight it?"

James shrugs, "Well…I think it was him. But lets be honest. I've a bit round the bend…so I'm not going to discount the fact it wasn't something in my head." He says it, but even he doesn't believe it. "He's fighting it," the hyena says with his ears swiveling around a little, "It was a moment of clarity for him. So…he used it to apologize to me." There's a snort, "Out of all the things he could have said to someone else—the headmaster, Dr.McCoy….anyone. It was me. And it was an apology." He goes quiet, looking out the door as some more traffic passes before continuing, "Said, he… 'Jono'… was picking on me because he knew he and I could fight and we'd come out in one piece. So, in a way, it was keeping him from attacking and really hurting anyone else."

It makes sense to Robyn, in an odd sort of way, that Jono would have chosen James to apologize to. "That's good." He says with an exhale of breath. "Not that you and him had to fight but to know that he's sorry, and that he's still in there. And that he has at least a little bit of control so that he can choose who he fights. I'm just glad he was right and you did come back in one piece, James." Hearing this though, he really does miss Jono, he misses him a lot.

Rashmi's lips turn up. "You know….? It sort of sounds like he knew he could trust you to be strong enough to handle this, James. I mean, I'm not saying nothing was wrong, and you weren't hurt… But… you're here, right? You're surviving… And I think that means something. You got beat pretty hard… but you're still going, just like the rest of us."

James shrugs again. He's good at it, and it's easier to do than agree with someone who's right. "Ehh…" he says, "Well…if nothing else we know he's still inside." He nods out the door, "I'm afraid to tell Addison. He might…I dunno…do something so Jono can't talk anymore. Might be all he has for now." The hyena tightens his jaw, "If I gotta risk my head a little longer, fine. Seems to be more than anyone else is doing.

"I don't think Addison would do that." Robyn says since he knows Addison fairly well, he has lots of one on one sessions with him in regards to his powers since they're both mentalists. "Actually I was just with him before I came here, but Addison…I imagine a part of him would want to know, not just for fixing Jono but…Brian…one of the ones who got taken. Him and Addison are together and I know it's tough on him. But it's up to you James, if you tell him or not. I'm not going to tell him what you just told us."

Rashmi nods, frowning slightly. "Besides… Everyone's really trying, James. Dr. McCoy knows where Sinister is, and Mr. Maximoff already went to go take a look. And… Well, a lot of the kids have sort of stumbled across a few of the others. Like, Jordan robbed this doctor's files… Daisuke tried to take some stuff from a pharmacy in the City… and… I heard Skyler tried to get into some really important room down in the basements…" Shaking her head, she rests her forehead against James' shoulder. "We've all had a really hard time of it. Robyn and I couldn't even visit his parents without running into trouble, you know…?"

James nods, "I dunno…Addison sorta…freaks me out." But he says that about nearly everyone he knows he can't pull stuff on; and exactly in the way he just said it. He hears about Brian and briefly reconsiders it, "Okay. Anything that help, ya know?" He listens to Rashmi's news and nods, briefly pressing his head against hers. Inconsiderate or not, he's been a little out of the loop, so the updates comes as a surprise, "Wow…I've missed a lot." Regret, however, isn't missing him for his time off, "Okay. Enough of this vacation stuff. Obviously, you need my 'professional' help." He smiles, giving you both another squeeze, offering a playful, "Feh…amateurs," comment.

"I don't know, I've never had a problem with him." But Robyn has heard things about Addison 'knowing things' because he's a telepath. He gets quiet as Rashmi speaks and nods with her words. "Yeah, that was when we ran into Jono and he showed us what I told you about before." He says before he hears James' words and gives the Hyena a curious look. "So what's this 'professional' advice of yours oh wise one?"

Rashmi peeks up, managing something like a grin. "Well… First he'll say we're critically lacking in things to chew on, preferably cow leg bones or something. After that, he won't be able to think straight until one of us begs Mike to get Forge's autograph on a spark plug or something… But I guess he's right, really. If we want a reason to roll our eyes and smile, we really *do* have to leave it to the pros, right?"

James gives Robyn a lopsided look, "Uhhh…I was kinda hoping you could tell me?" He tries to hide the little bit of pain he feels behind his 'funny guy' stuff; reminded that Jono, Robyn, and Rashmi 'talked' about the Hyena's recent proclivities.
"Exactly!" he declares next, "I have a fever. And the prescription is more cow bone." He nods deftly, "'Sides…without me around, who's gonna keep the new kids in line?"

The cow bone comment goes completely over Robyn's head but he shrugs at James' comment. "Who knows James, I mean we didn't have anyone to keep you inline when you were a new kid." He says smiling a bit while looking around the room, really taking it in. "Wow, it's not bad down here, it feels…kinda safe and just quiet. Like your away from the Chaos."

Rashmi nods in agreement with Robyn, arching an eyebrow up at the hyena and wrapping her arms about him for a brief, tight hug. Between him, Robyn, and Lucas, rarely is she fooled by anyone trying to hide their pain, though as per usual, she says nothing about it; only indicating that she knows, should he want to follow up.

James nods, "It's kinda what I needed. No sound, no smells…nothing. It let me reset for a little bit and get a handle on everything." He nods out the door, "Couple of the teachers gave me something too. My own danger room simulation." He looks between you both, "I guess they used some thing or other and got a scan of my parents house. Said if I ever needed to decompress and no one was in there I could grab a few minutes—if a teacher is free." He sighs, 'No giant robots I'm afraid. But, it's kinda better…for now."

"As soon as this is over, I think I'm gonna go home for a bit. Since last time didn't work out so well." Robyn says looking at James as he talks about them making a simulation of his home. "So what's it like, where you're from. You said you were from Indiana?" He's trying to remember, he knows it was one of those states out there. "I know Rashmi's like me, from the city. Just different Burroughs."

Rashmi nods, closing her eyes. "…I'd like to… but then I'd have to tell my parents why… and… I don't know if I could do that to them, you know…? I mean, I know they're really proud of me and all…. but I don't want them to live in fear what could happen." Tilting her head, she looks up at the hyena. "I want to hear too, James, I've never set foot outside the City before I came here."

James removes a hand from Robyn long enough to scratch an invisible itch while he thinks it over, "Ehh…quiet…boring…real?" He puts more thought into it than a 3-word description, coming back with, "It's like…if here and now was exactly that, my town is like stepping back in time a few hundred years. We seriously have like 600 people in town. It's nothing but dirt, forests, farms, and animals." And boy did he miss it. "Parents had a farm. The simulation did a good job—even with the smells. But it was missing a few things."

"What other reason do you need to visit your parents one weekend than 'you miss them'?" Robyn asks Rashmi as he uses that excuse enough and doesn't tell them much what goes on at the school. "I've never been on a farm, that must have been quiet, in a good way. I bet you could see the stars out there like you could here." You can't see stars at all in New York City. "Like your family?" the question about it being missing a few things.

"You know," Rashmi says, "That actually sounds really nice… I think I'd like to see it sometime, when I save up enough to take a proper vacation. I *love* it out here, but that just sounds so…. peaceful." Looking down at her hands, she lets out a quiet breath. "I couldn't, Robyn… Mostly because Papi and Mami would ask me why I look so tired. And… well, I can't ever lie to them."

James nods, "Yeah…parents. Obviously they weren't gonna add them. But I looked anyways. Everything else was in place, though." He removes his hands and puts them out in front of him, "It was 'really' weird. I haven't seen the place in only like..what…3 months? But, it looked like they put all the family photos back on the wall." His ears go sideways, "I…sorta hid them after I stopped being able to change back to norm…human. Though…they also cleaned my room!" There's a little displeasure at the last part. As for the few things? James eeeeehhhhs, "Reality?" He looks at his hands, "I…can't touch anything mechanical or electronic without it kinda 'talking' back to me. Usually the Room is programmed to tune me out, but the simulation wasn't a normal one, so every time I touched something I was reminded I was just..sorta standing in a room?" James nods to Rashmi, "Yeah…me too."

"That kinda sucks." Robyn says that she can't visit her parents. "That's kind of neat and interesting and…well I hope it helped. I guess I'm lucky that I'm just an hour away in Brooklyn. And I don't think making a small apartment in the Danger Room would be worth it. God…I don't know, things are just weird sometimes."

Rashmi shrugs. "Still… It's nice to know that you can do things with the Room that don't have to do with obstacle course stuff… Sort of makes me want to see about trying to find a Narnia or Rohan sort of thing, I don't know…" Squeezing James again, she lets out a quiet breath. "I'm sorry it wasn't perfect, James… But at least it looks the same, you know? That way you don't have to worry about forgetting."

"Yeah," the hyena responds about it being imperfect, "Me too…but…probably for the best though." He snugs up against Rashmi, "Narnia would be fun. Heck…anything. Wonder if we can talk Northstar into something more recreational on occasion."

"Is Northstar as stiff as Van as a leader?" Robyn asks as he doesn't think he'd be able to convince Van into something fun like Narnia. "Van is kind of….he was in the army and it reflects in how our team is run. You know, we could have a movie night, watch the two Narnia movies. Make popcorn and just….feel less crappy."

Rashmi sighs heavily. "He's an athlete, he writes autobiographies, and he's all 'high culture,'" she groans. "He doesn't even *like* kids all that much, and it shows… Ugh. But, the movie thing? That sounds…. nice. … …I'd asked Lucas about maybe just a picnic this weekend. I don't know, now."

"I like the idea of some non…crappy time," James says with a smile, "Ohhhh….a picnic? That's cool. Why not?" He flumps flat on the bed and looks up at the ceiling, "You work harder than all of us. You deserve some relaxation time…" He shoves his arms under the back of his head.

"Oh man, sounds like you guys have just as awesome of a leader as we do." Robyn says with a big of a grin. He looks down at what he's wearing and nods. "Yeah, why not tonight, we can find a quiet area, maybe steal a tv and bring it down here, and just have a movie night." He looks at Rashmi and bites his lip for a few moments. "Have…you talked to him?"

Rashmi shakes her head. "I haven't seen him, since…" The redhead shrugs, wrapping her arms around her knees. "…When Jordan attacked that house… well… the boys kind of went stupid. So, some of the house got broken, and I wanted to stay behind for the police, right? July was yelling at me that I was being stupid, but it was, y'know, *important* that someone own up, right? So… I turn my back, start to walk out… and… then I wake up in Medical awhile later. …I guess Lucas knocked me out, and had July take me home."

James is listening, his mind going 'laa…laa…laaa.' He likes…movies. Wheee! Fun. Stupid boys. Tee hee! Pie. He could really use some pizza. But hitting? No. All wrong. Less punching…more pizza. WAIT?! Punching?? He sits bolt up right, "Whaaaaaaaaaaaat!?" His ears stand on end, hackles raising, "Lucas 'HIT' You?" Eyes narrow.

"Yeah, I know, that's what she told me." Robyn's not exactly happy about it but he figures he'd let Rashmi settle it before he does anything. "I offered to posses him and make him do something really stupid but she said she wants to talk to him first." Understandable. "I won't do anything until you tell me to Rashmi."

"Thanks… And… well yeah, that's sort of what pushed me over, James, made me just lose it completely." Rashmi looks quite miserable, now, shoulders hunching. "I mean… when he was a demon, it was different, you know? It's like… it wasn't him, and when he was freed…. but… He *waited for me to turn my back,* you know? I just…. don't know how to take that."

James makes unhappy noises, "That's totally uncalled for. Don't care why." He crosses his arms and hmphs, "He needs his butt kicked for that kinda crap. What if he 'hurt' you…like 'really' hurt you?" Says the beast that almost ate Robyn and did a job on Jono, "I'd be pretty frekin' insulted." He grrrrrs and puts an arm around his teammate, "I'm…kinda pissed about that. Wait..no, I 'am' pissed."

Robyn moves to lean over James and give Rashmi a hug once she takes on that miserable look. "No guy should ever hit you Rashmi, I don't care what happened out there. Well I do, but I don't care what happened that made him hit you. He hasn't come to see you since then either, about it?"

Rashmi shrugs. "For all I know, he's either still with the police, or in detention, or something. I couldn't say… The last I saw of him was when I thanked him for supporting me." She leans into the hug, her voice dull and upset.

James hmmmmmmz unhappily, "Okay. I'm checking outta here tonight." He idlly keeps a supporting hand on his teammate, "Enough of this relaxing crap. Team has gone to hell in a hand basket." He snugs Rashmi, then offers Robyn another, "Next you'll be telling me Zack was kidnapped."

"Zack's been around, at least he's sleeping there." Robyn says as he doesn't know his roommate hasn't been his roommate but Evil-Skyler impersonating his roommate. "Alright guys, come on, lets go upstairs and do something that doesn't involve any of us wanting to curl up and either cry, hit something or just feel miserable." He says getting up as he's determined to drag the two into a movie night.

Rashmi manages a weak smile, looking up at James as she slips off the bed. "That sounds like a nice change… What d'you say, James? Maybe find some bacon salt for the popcorn?"

James nods to Rashmi, "Yeah Robyn's right. Lets get outta here. Watch TV or something." He boggles, "Bacon Salt? I'm 'soooo' there." He stands, putting a hand on his friends shoulders before stopping to grab his stuff, "Anything to make life a little more normal."

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