2010-05-02: Connor's Conundrum


Connor_icon.jpg James_icon.jpg Jinx_icon.jpg

Summary: Connor makes an admission. Too bad no one was there to listen.

Date: May 2, 2010

Log Title Connor's Conundrum

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Observation Deck

Glass windows surround the circular room giving a full view of the school grounds. Two telescopes sit in front of the window for students to looks at the stars. A few comfortable chairs and couches with a few tables are placed up here for students to relax. There's a door off to one of the sides that leads up to the attic above here. .

After the dinner hour, and most have settled in to finish homework or just to handle the usual personal stuff before school resumes tomorrow morning… instead one of the newer student body is up in the Observatory. Connor is sitting there once more, this time dressed down to what he would usually wear for working out. A sleeveless top and track pants both in basic black, a hooded top on the back of the couch, and his shoes undone and on the floor. Bare feet tucked up under him, the student stares off in the direction of the coastline and the sea, watching the roiling waves and the clouds rolling in from the ocean.

The elevator opens and James steps out. With a quick sniff, he lets his senses tell him the obvious: Connor is near by, room is otherwise empty, and it stinks of leftover students in here. Giving the boy's back a nod, James steps over to a large window that faces the lawn and gives its latch a quick twist and a push. With a squeak of metal on metal, the room suddenly fills with warm spring air. Pulling up a seat, the hyena parks himself in front of the window, "How old are you Connor?"

Connor blinks a few times at the intruding presence, and then tilts his head up and back until he confirms the voice with the name, and finally… he replies, "Seventeen." Just the brief facts before going back to staring off into the roiling seas and their answerless movements. Finally he turns and looks up and around towards the back of your head, "Why?"

James shrugs, looking out the window, "No reason, really. Just realizing I know little about the people I know about." Cryptic? Maybe a little. He looks over, supporting his muzzle with his hands, "So, what's up?" Giving a quick sighs, he looks back out the window as he hear someone yell. Just another student playing on the lawn.

Sitting back down once more, Connor faces away again for a moment… then… reaches down and picks up his shoes and socks, grabs his hoodie, and moves over to sit down close by James, but not next to him, curling up so that his chin rests on his knees, "Up is relative. Literally. But… if you want to know what's happening… I'm nervous. Jericho's agreed to powershare with me… so he can maybe get a handle on what's happening to me. Beyond that… just the usual. Trying to figure out where I fit in all of this… I know I want to… but it's the doing that's rough trade."

James nods, then looks back over, "Well, that's good right? I mean, you don't want to end up like me and having your powers canceling out something you need. Like, your ability to breathe or something." He gives the boy a studying sniff, looking for the usual sorta thing, probably confirming that Connor already said. "What do you 'think' you want to do, if it all went to plan? And, really, how do you 'want' to fit in?"

Connor closes his eyes and then looks down towards his toes, wriggling them without really watching the pattern. Taking a breath, he groans a bit and looks up before leaning back, "I've barely been here a month James… in that time I've watched people go through things that… seem surreal. Your own stuff non-withstanding… I…" An interruption of thought as he stands up, and then turns to face you, "I don't know myself. Because I never worried about it. I just became whatever the situation needed me to be… didn't matter who I was around… I could always fade into the background, and it would never matter. Now… I want to. And I keep finding… I don't like it." Taking a couple steps forwards, he then moves himself and sits on the arm of a couch, just a foot from the hyena.

James keeps his big black eyes on Connor as he explains the things in his head. He leans away from the boy, face as unreadable as ever, "Which part, the ‘fading?’ 'Cause, around here, honestly it's going to be impossible. Aside from the teachers, your friends, or whatever, someone is 'always' wondering what and how you're doing. That's the nature of this place—not saying they're going to 'do' anything about the state you're in…just that they're aware and making sure you're at the head of the class—along with everyone else."

Connor listens for a moment, and then winces a bit, "I completely ignored your questions…" Squeezing his hands tight, and then frowns before you watch tenseness flare over him, followed by a couple breaths through the nose… out through the mouth… repeated several times before he finally seems to calm down, "Sorry… I… I have a lot wrong. And I don't know if it's the affects of the energy from my power, or if it's just my own messed up head." Smiling back up at you, "I… I'll answer you, but I have a request. Can I… touch you? Not anyplace… not like that. Look… there's something not real about you, but also more real than anyone else here. It's like there's a part of me that keeps expecting to blink and you'll just be… gone."

James shrugs, eyes still gazing more-or-less through Connor. The question does illicit an eye-ridge raise though. The hyena looks around the room, ensuring of it's emptiness. Why that matters? Who knows. "Trust me. I'm as real as it gets. Then again, I'm a biased source since I have to wake up in this body everyday." Another studying glance, another sniff, just in case something is up or there's a behavior going on behind the scenes. Assuming no, James will hold out his arm. The bicep specifically. "Yeah…sure. Just…no petting. That crap pisses me off like you would not believe."

Connor smells nervous more than anything else, rolling off of him… only to settle finally when he touches that spot on the bicep. He does not pet… but he does feel the fur, running one finger along the line of the muscle there before a sigh escapes him and he sits back, and closes his eyes… a sense of calm washing over him before he says, "I think I want to stop being afraid. Being afraid of being myself… of being scared of my powers… of… the fact that I have a mental condition, and power or not… it's something I need to stop just existing with, and live with it for a change." A smile spreads on his lips as he then adds, "I'd like the confidence that I see in you, or in Mike… or Tara… or most of the rest. And as for the second part… well… I have friends. I have people who actually give a crap, and mean it… who aren't my parents, or Yuri, or Dylan… or some guy paid to give a damn. I want to try and live up to that."

The Hyena's arm is pretty solid. A design that Mother Nature quipped him with. Little body fat, maximum muscle denseness. The kind that doesn't yield easily if run into. When Connor is done, James removes his arm, eyes having never left the other kid, "From someone who knows for a fact, fearing your power only results in trouble. It's a lot of the reason I ended up on the path I was on." He reaches over and pokes Connor with a very pointy claw, "It belongs to you. Don't let it rule. Consider this place a new start, a start that offers anything you want. You want the confidence? Friends? Mastery over yourself? You can get it. Just gotta fight for it now and again."

Connor chuckles a bit at the poke, rocking back and forth in his spot, rubbing the finger that touched you and a couple stray hairs that parted with it from the hyena's pelt against his thumb until they fall away. Looking down at that hand and then back up, "How're you?" He finally asks, "I mean… I'm sitting here talking about me… but there's still you. And that should be just as important." Under that gaze he can't seem to look up for the most part, having to almost work up the courage to finally meet the hyena's eyes… and ends up getting locked there for the time being.

James 'ehhs' and shrugs, "Abiding." It's a relatively common phrase the Hyena uses. His ears swivel forward, "Had team troubles, but I ironed them out. Otherwise, it's business as usual." By ironed, he does of course mean 'conned,' "Never told my parents about the change thing, not going to either." He stops as a breeze outside starts whipping up. The room fills with pre-storm…or pre-Storm ozone as the case may be…causing the hyena to give scent a looooong inhale, the exhale making him sound almost relaxed. "I have become the master of my own destiny…so I can't complain. And if I do, my condition is my own fault." Out of the mouth of beasts.

Reaching up almost unconsciously, Connor rubs his right arm along the bicep to the elbow and back as the cool air passes over him like that, before he then says in a voice that's nearly a whisper, "There you go again…" An odd calm passing over him as he takes a moment to stretch out, and rebalances himself on the couch arm, rocking back and forth, "I suppose… if half of what I've heard is true, then you've gone through more than most… and every victory you've had, you deserve. The X-Force thing too. Is…" Hesitation comes up, in his nervous scent as well as his tone, "… Is there anything I can do to help?"

Jinx has arrived.

Sitting on one of those big, comfy, well padded chairs, the resident Gnoll is enjoying the evening. Connor sits on the arm; both awash with pre-storm ozone as they're parked next to a open window. James looks the other boy over, "There goes what?" A head tilt, a slight narrowing of the eyes follows as the hyena considers the rest of something previously said, "You'll find I do 'nothing' half way. Even my mutant powers were trying to kill me. But…I think I already told you that. As for X-Force? No… But if you're ever in a situation with me, listen. No questions. THAT would help. You can't beat the trust something like that instills. You wanna be friends, that's how you start."

It's prime time to walk into a conversation. The resident new girl is out exploring, finding night an ideal time to prowl the halls, when people are tucked away doing homework or socializing. She comes up into the observatory, her claws clicking against the floor. "Oooh… telescopes…" she breathes. Seeing a couple of familiar faces, she lifts a hand to them. "Hey guys." Her tail ripples behind her in a shifting plumed sine wave.

Adding a soft smirk to his face, Connor reaches up to rub the back of his neck, before he adds, "Allright… I'll do my best to listen to you… and not question it. But… trust is something that runs both ways…" Looking back away after a long moment, He then says, "So… if I speak up… if I tell you I can do something… or I can handle something… let me? You want me to trust you listen to you… it needs to be the same. I'm not saying I'll question your word… but…" Not even asking, but he looks back up at James, meeting those canid eyes once more, that almost inscrutable expression of his, only to have a new voice interrupt him. His hand ball up into fists, pressing against his thighs as the closer of the two furred mutants can smell the sudden rise of nervousness in him.

James raises his nose a little and gives Jinx a nod. Then a second look, expression never changing as the other feral-type is given a sensory look into the hyena's world that very few others on campus get to peek into. "Hey Jinx. How's Mutant High treating you so far?" There's a paw wave and not a lot else, the hyena's expression as stoic and unreadable by the uninitiated as ever. Connor gets a glance, "Not my place to tell you that you might be wrong. So, by all means." A head tilt offers Connor the option of continuing his train of thought—or letting it be. James isn't going to make the other boy talk about things he might not want to talk about in front of the fresh face.

Jinx pauses at the telescope, her claw sliding along the eyepiece as she looks back over to the guys. It seems like a private conversation, and she notices Connor's hand-thing again. Her whiskers give a quick twitch. "It's going good, James. No trouble yet. No guys in spandex yet," she smirks a smile. "If I am interrupting, I can split. I just came up to check out what was at the top of the stairs," and she lazily shifts her weight to her other foot. "There's still another flight I could discover."

Unclenching and clenching his hands a few more times, then comes another cycle of breaths, before Connor settles once more, "Hi Jinx…" One eye twitching at the bad pun it inevitably caused, "No… this is a public place… you can stay. If I wanted a private conversation… there's plenty of other places we could go." Eyes flicking back to James, before he looks back and forth, then… in possible susprise, he continues, "But… blind faith is just that… blind. You've been here longer, you've seen more… and I respect that as much as anything else about you… but I just hope when you learn what I can do in return… you'll respect me enough to understand and let me do things then."

James shrugs and waves a hand towards a chair, "No, take a seat. There's 'nothing' private going on here. That I'm aware of." The hyena looks the girl over with big black alien eyes and gives her a studying sniff as a way to read her. "And, the spandex stuff? Uniforms are required…but that stuff really doesn't work well with fur. There's alternatives. Or ones that can be found." This coming from the beasty that absconded with one of Dr. McCoy's uniforms—and still has it. Connor's comment gets a 'look,' "Who knows what the future holds." How…Beige.

"Connor said there was nomex. I could learn to love nomex," she moves towards the pair, her stride a lazy sort of prowling stroll that pours her hips from foot to foot with her tail giving a slight bounce behind. She curls herself into one of the comfy chairs. "There is no way that I am putting this body in Spandex." She stays away from their topic, though her nostrils are flared at the information that is not necessarily obvious.

Connor's scent still has the usual undertone of near-constant nervousness that either could easily sense… for the one more familiar with him it is just how his scent is… for the newcomer, the undertone of something like territorial protectiveness might seem as something new. The topic comes up, and he then looks at James, "I found nomex in the costume catalog database, so I had gloves, boots, and a jacket made from it. And I used something they had that looked thicker than spandex, but I don't know what the word was… something weird." Smiling at bit at Jinx once more, he tilts his head back and forth, as if trying to watch both expressions at once, "So… ready for classes tomorrow? Maybe we'll share one or two. I don't mind helping out when I can…"

"Nomex is great…for fighting fires. I prefer the unstable molecule stuff they issue, though," James says with a little thought…a thought that ends up with the hyena snapping his head towards Connor, "Okay…I'm not going to play 'the man' here, Connor…but as Security…I'm going to tell you this as a favor. Assuming you did not have permission, sooner or later someone's going to ask why you're using the uniform maker and how you have access to it considering all the doors it's behind. I know the shirt thing was an attempt at a gift, and I'm not saying anything about it. But, if you're going to earn detention, try to do so it over something more than making underwear."

Territorial protectiveness. Over whom, she has to wonder. Her small cupped ears flick, the multitude of silver rings jingling against one another. She looks at James with her strange purplish eyes, since maybe he knows. She arches a brow at the ensuing words from the hyena, and lightly her claws rap against the arm of the comfy chair.

If the sense of guilt that passes over his face isn't enough, there's enough of the almost puppylike 'busted' sensation that comes off of him from other cues both of the others in the room can pick up on, even before Connor says, "Allright… I… since you have to stand in there to get fitted… I had enough time to get a good feel of the room… and the night I made the sweatshirt… I ported in… and checked the records for your sizes… allright?" Hands going wide in a 'what can you do' gesture before he looks back up at James's eyes, "What… I'm supposed to be the good guy all the time? God knows… I'm not going to admit to it… but I've also been porting into the Rec Room at night when I can't sleep to play video games."

James is pretty sure he knows who, and a confirmation will probably only end up with Connor dangled out of a window while James reminds him that Spotty don't need no protection. He smiles, showing off all his teeth. He puts a hand over his mouth, "OOPS! Did I say 'uniform maker?' I meant something else." The hand drops and the 'yena gives Connor a whole new type of look, an inner thought he had been baiting for confirmed even thought the uniform maker 'is' accessible. Connor can Teleport into rooms!! A power James would love to take advantage of, "No worries Connor. I'm sure no one cares. However, someday I want you to show me. You know..just to show me." Yeah right. Even he doesn’t believe someone will buy that.

Jinx watches the interaction and has to tsks softly. "Connor, he just set you up," she states the obvious, her gaze leveling on James once more. She knows who the grade-A asshole is in this setting. "That was a pretty clever move, James." She murmurs, and crosses her legs at the knee, lolling back in the seat with her tail looped over the side.

Connor frowns a bit at the words being delivered, along with the look he was given, and then his jaw shifts as he grits his teeth a moment, followed by a gulp, "I… James it doesn't work like that… and it's dangerous. You'd be going to a place where that affects your mind… how quickly or how far based on exposure… I don't know. It was stupid of me to do in the first place… it's stupid every time I do it… but… I don't want to risk something had happening to you because of me, and my power." An underlying sense of anger around him, coupled with frustration, and a hint of embarrasment in it all as he shifts and flops down on the couch he was sitting on the arm of, temporarily taking his eyes from either of you.

James puts his hand on his chest, "You 'wound' me with such harsh words, Jinx." The smile never fades. Unspoken confirmation, perhaps? His attention falls back to Connor, "Then, in all seriousness, you shouldn't be wasting the trips on the pointless. I mean, if you're gonna use it, use it one something good. At least until Jericho gives you a good going over. Hell…had I know about 'my' side effects, I'd have stopped shifting. I might still be human. Use me as an example." Usually a bad one.

Jinx pushes up from the chair. She stretches a little, curving her back. "I should keep moving," she looks to each of you, her eyes glinting behind her lashes. "Much as this is educational and all, I should keep moving around. It's hard to stay too still at night, anyways," she glances back towards the stairs, and curling her tail around her. "See you guys later."

Connor blinks a couple times, and then suddenly says, "Oh Jinx… talk to one of the staff about getting something called an image inducer… that way… once you're settled in enough… you can go off-campus without anyone having an issue with things. One of the guys here… Mike… uses one because he looks like a robot. Every little bit helps." The last part said a bit lamely as he watches the gracefully feral girl stretch and move, exhaling in almost a pleased kind of way before finally saying, "Have a good night. See you in class maybe."

James nods to Jinx, then to Connor "Me too. I gotta give the grounds a walk before bed. Helps me sleep." He stands and nods to the two of you, "See you both tomorrow, and sleep well." He offers a smile and heads towards the elevator, "And good luck tomorrow, Jinx." He steps into the elevator and vanishes shortly after.

Jinx waves a hand. "I'll see you guys later. Thanks, Connor… I'll look into it." She moves out.

Connor goes from suddenly around people to nothing, left sitting on the couch, staring down at his toes for several moments and then pulls himself back up towards the open window. He goes over to it, and moves to close it… then stops, and looks back at the elevator… before finally he takes the handle and closes off the outside from getting in. Then he leaves himself to lean on the window as he continues to stare towards the elevator, "Bye James… catch you later… oh… stay safe out there… I mean… I think I might like you a little more than I should… and I'd hate to have to admit it to you or anything… you'd laugh…" Leaning his head down as he clenches his fists once more, "Yeah… there you go again…"

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