2010-01-30: Crash And Burn


Leo_icon.jpg Nathaniel_icon.jpg Owen_icon.jpg

Summary: Leo tries to talk to Owen about how he feels. Only to say the worst thing before he knows Nathaniel is listening.

Date: January 30, 2010

Crash and Burn

Rating: R and A (for Angstplosion)

Xavier Mansion - Roof

The sloped roof of Xavier's Mansion gives a view of the entire area. For the most part, the roof is inaccessible, except by a select group of Xavier's staff and students. Though, there are certain people that tend to relax and hide up here, to get away from everything.

Another night, another annoyance. Sneaking out onto the rooftops, Leo's sitting quietly on a gable. He's not brightening up the sky by any means. He's simply… sitting, looking out. There's a lot on his mind and he doesn't know what he needs to do about it, with it, or for it. He's not even sure he CAN do anything about it. He's dressed in darker shades, since he still just feels… normal.

There's a soft thump as a pair of boots touch down on the roof. Owen, in his Corsairs uniform, is all fuzzy right now. He looks a bit sad but is quiet as always. He jumps slightly when he sees Leo and approaches slowly with a confused expression. He'd heard Leo used his overload already and couldn't help with last night's Bat probem but no one explained things further. "Leo?"

"Yeah." Leo offers. A little on the darkersounding side. There's no glimmer, no light at all. He looks up, blinking? "Wait.. Owen? You're back?" He asks, voice barely above a whisper. "Thank god." He says holding his arms to his sides tightly. "It's been… I haven't had anyone to talk to." He says, almost biting back a sob. He's in need, but it's one of those things that he doesn't even know what he needs.

Owen looks immediately ashamed. "Ah never left, Leo. Ah've just been hidin' under a rock like some worm," he murmurs. "Ah'm so sorry," he says quickly. Seeing Leo's reaction, Owen moves quickly. He's down by Leo's side and has his arms around him. "Leo…what's wrong?"

"I'm lost." Leo says simply, nuzzling into the warm, fuzzy body. "I don't know what's going on. I gave up everything I have… everything that was mine to give, and he doesn't realize it. I don't think it's coming back. Right when I got something new, I used it all up." He whispers, his own arms going around Owen. "I don't even know how I feel about things anymore." Things? Well, he obviously feels about things. People, that's a different story.

Owen's confused, squeezing Leo tightly. "Leo…what are ya talkin' about?" he asks softly. "Who doesn't realize? What new did ya get? Why aren' ya'll glowin'?" he's worried.

"Beginning." Leo says with a firm nod. "When all this shit went down." He's even started using vulgarity. Never a good sign. "Nate went bad. He joined with the… dark ones. James. Mr. Parker-Mayfair. A few other new students. He uses his powers on Robyn. Makes Robyn his… uhm…" He can't even say the word. "Robyn gets back, and he tells me. I… I focus. I run. I run so fast I leave a sonic boom. I find Nathan. And I beat the shit out of him. I shoved every last bit of light I had into him to change him back. I gave him my powers to free him. And now… I don't even know if I can stand to be around him. It hurts to see him and know…"

Owen goes quiet, processing it all. He knows Leo well enough to recognize signs and such. And when Leo doesn't say the word, Owen tenses. There's a moment where the DarkForce seeps out of him but he stops it. "You gave Nathan your powers? How…" he trails off. Power science goes mostly over his head. "You blame him for what he did while possessed?" he asks softly.

"I fed it into him. He doesn't have them, I don't think." Leo shrugs. "How can I not? I heard Jordan helped the others escape while HE was. So, if that dumb jock could fight, why couldn't Nate?" He asks, reaching out to stroke at some of the darkforce. It's still a little cool to him. "I just… I feel so worthless now. It's been a week. And I haven't gotten so much as a glimmer. And I'm worried that I won't be able to stay. Or that I can't do anything. And…" he sighs. "We argued later. We… we don't see things the same way. He still holds it against me that I gave you a hug when he returned. Like I can't have friends. Like he has to be the middle."

"Then ya must blame me for everythin' that happens while Ah'm the Bat.." Owen trails off sadly. "Some people aren' as stron' as others. It's not about bein' stupid. Do ya'll know why the both of them changed?" he asks. He's quiet for a few moments and then takes a breath. "Do y want the power back? Do ya'll feel ya deserve it?" he asks, taking guesses. "Ah gotta ask ya somthin'…do ya understand why Nate was jealous?"

"That's different. Your powers are linked to another dimension, and it's the dimensional hunger. That thing was still Nate. It had his memories, his knowledge, it even knew some of our secrets. It WAS him." Leo says shaking his head. "It's my power. Of course I deserve it. It's the only thing that made me ME." Leo shakes his head a little. "He's told me, but I can't understand it. It's not fair of him to think that I shouldn't care about my friends. I just wanted to assure YOU that you were still important to me, even though he was back. He saw it as me telling him he wasn't and that's stupid."

"Was it?" Owen asks. "Or was it somethin' in him? Somethin' in his head pickin' out what it wanted and needed tah hurt ya?" he asks. "And there's more tah the Bat than that, Leo…" he trails off. "There are parts of it that are me…Ah feel it in there sometmes. Somethin' bestial an' monstrous that wants out tah feed with the Dark," he shakes it off. "Jus' makin' sure," he murmurs. "An' don' say that. Ya're more than your powers!" he says firmly. "They're a part but not the whole," he adds. "Ah appreciate that but Ah was never worried about that. Ah was worried ya'll would be mad at Nate," he says. "Leo…he's not sayin' ya shouldn' have friends or care about them…he was worried ya were replacin' him with me," he tries to explain. "He was worried ya'll wanted tah be with me more than him cause of our connection," he says.

"Maybe I do. He's… I can't understand him. He can't understand me. And how can I not blame him? We've had someone say that they're able to go against theirs, so why can't He. I think he just took what he wanted and ran with it. And I can't believe otherwise. That's the problem. Maybe it's in my head. Maybe I'm fucked up, but I can't look at him and not see him controlling Robyn's emotions and forcing him to his knees." Leo says, bitterly.

"Because not everyone's that strong," Owen says softly. "Not everyone can fight back against that sort of thing. Atleast not alone," he says. "Leo…do you love him?" he asks. "And not the same way we care about one another."

"I do. But I can't bear to be around him for too long. I see pity in his eyes when he looks at me. Or sadness." Leo says, a little irritably. "I do, but I can't look at him and not see what he did. I do, but I can't look at him and not remember everything I gave up… only to have people get mad at me for bringing him back here afterwards."

"First…who the hell got mad?" Owen asks. "Cause Ah have tah have words with 'em," he says, annoyed at these people. "And second, you do. You love him. He loves you," he says simply. "Ah doubt it's pity…maybe selfpity," he says. "Sadness maybe. Wouldn' you be sad if somethin' evil used you tah hurt people ya cared about?" he pauses and sighs. "Ah'm…confused, Leo. And worried about the both of you…"

"I don't think it'll ever be the same, though. I don't know if I can deal with him. Especially knowing that I don't have anything anymore. Without my powers… how will I know or be able to stop him from doing anything if something like that happens again?" Leo says, sighing. "And we think too differently. I'm really thinking I might just ought to… end it. Before it gets any deeper. I can't deal with it. I don't have my light. I don't have powers. I don't have a place here at the school. Sure, they'll say I do, but… do I? Really?" Yeah, without the happy side effect of his light… he's kinda depressing.

"Yes," Owen says firmly. "Ya still have a place here," he says, squeezing Leo slightly. "An' ya don' need your powers tah be there for someone," he says. He's quiet for a very long time, sadness in his eyes. Darkforce seeps from him slowly before he speaks. "If that's what ya thin' is best fr the both of ya."

"How is there a place for a mutant with no powers? Especially one that graduates in a few months?" Leo asks, annoyed that there was even a hint that there's something he can do here. "I can't be there for someone I don't understand. We have completely different mentalities… And… how can I be good for HIM if I can't understand what he wants?"

Owen arches an eyebrow. "From what's been mentioned in class, there's been mutants without powers here an' on teams before," he says. "Ya'll got experience. A unique perspective others don'," he shrugs again. "He wants you as far as Ah can tell."

"Please. I piss him off regularly because I just don't get him. And I can't. I've tried. I don't understand why he gets so mad because I wanna make sure my friends are ok. I assume he understands, and he doesn't." Leo grumps, looking down over the gables at the ground below. "Things are so different now."

Owen stops letting out the DarkForce, not wanting to freeze his friend. He stays quiet for a long moment, just holding the other teen. "Ah dunno what tah say, Leo…it sounds like ya'll already made up your mind," he says softly.

"Why does everyone always say that? I'm trying to ask for advice, and support, and everyone says it sounds like I've made up my mind. All I do is explain things from the overview." Leo says, moving to work his way out of Owen's arm. He's annoyed. He just can't be as happy as he was. Who knows if that's power-related or not.

Owen frowns as Leo wriggles free but watches him. "Because that's how it sounds. An' so far ya seem tah have shot down any advice Ah tried tah offer. Don' know who else ya talked tah or what they offered though," he says. "Ah'm your friend, Leo. Ah love ya and Ah'll support ya in whatever ya choose tah do," he says. The fuzzy teen looks away a moment. "What do ya want me tah say, Leo? Ah'll tell ya whatever ya wanna hear."

Leo blinks and shakes his head. "You haven't offered any ideas or asked any questions other than 'Do you love him' about it. And that doesn't always matter. Like the old song, sometimes love just ain't enough." He sighs. "I want someone to help me balance. To see what the pros and cons are in either direction. I can't see it all myself, because everything I see is jaded and/or tainted."

Owen looks over at Leo and taks a deep breath. "It's enough of a reason," he says. "Ya love the guy and he loves you. Ya both look good, ya both enjoy bein' aroun' one another," he starts to get up. "Ya keep sayin' ya don' understand him but do ya even try tah? He missed ya when ya were apart and wanted ya tah miss him but your reaction was pretty much 'oh, okay, Nate's back'. He wanted ya tah be more excited an' happy he was back. Ya made him feel like him bein' away didn' even bother ya. Like ya were jus' as happy without him as ya were with him. An' he's got enough emotional issues that Ah don' thin' he knows how tah explain it or his feelin's in general," he sighs, starting to pace a bit. He cringes after a few steps and mutters something about Rashmi hittng harder than she looks before continuing. "Maybe the both of ya need tah sit down an' lay it all out on th table."

"We did it. It hasn't helped. And you really don't understand what we've tried. I just… I can't get his treatment of Robyn out of my head. Maybe it's me, but I can't. I just can't not see it." Leo says plainly. "And I was. When I had my powers, I can be happy either way. Without them, I'm miserable."

Owen tenses. "No. Ah don' cause Ah don' know what ya tried. Ah'm a fuzzy guy stuck in the dark that turns intah a murderous monster every two weeks, not a mind reader," he says. "It wasn' Nate. It was some monster playin' him like a puppet. Why the hell is everyone so quick tah forgive me when Ah try tah rip out their jugulars but not other people they care about? Is it because Ah don' look like me?" he throws his hands up in frustration and cringes again. He then turns around quickly. "Seems Nate ain' the only one with emotional issues. Do ya even remember how tah feel anythin' but bright an' cheery, Leo? Since it seems like ya only do happy or 'Ah should be workin' in that store in the mall with all th leather and vulgar t-shirts'."

Rather than respond, Leo stands up and climbs off of the gables and walks towards the window he came in from. He doesn't even open his mouth to say a word. He feels no need to, after that. Yup. He looks like he's been insulted by one of his best friends.

Owen turns to watch Leo. "Where are ya goin'?" he calls, slight irritation in his voice.

"Packing. Apparently, since I've got problems because my powers kept me on high overload of pleasant hormones for too long, I can't even talk to those that are supposed to be my friends. So, as soon as all that crap in New York is over with, I'm going home." Leo says, apparently having made up his mind. "I'm not going to embarass my family anymore because I don't sparkle, so I can go back to what I was doing." He opens the window.

"What?" Owen exclaims, teleporting. He reappers on the other side of the window. "Don' start that bull. Ya'll can talk tah me. If ya couldn', Ah woulda ported off the roof before ya knew Ah was there," he says. "Ya said yourself that ya were happy with or without your friends or your boyfriend. Like your powers are the only thin' that can make ya happy an' the rest of us are jus' here an' can' do a damn thin' tah help ya," he sounds pretty hurt too. "An now ya wanna run away from the people that care about ya?" he shakes his head.

"I'm not running away. I'm being realistic. Even Jono said that my powers may not return. Nobody knows. So, if my powers don't return, I need to get myself focussed and goal oriented for a career that will give me a life like I'm used to. Superheroing without powers will not do that. Friends that want me to do things because that's how they think it needs to be won't do that. I need to do something to better myself and get myself on track again." If anyone knew Leo's father, they'd hear a lot of his father in that speech right there. "I'm almost 18. It's time to grow up."

"Then stop acting like a kid!" Owen snaps. "You're throwin' away everythin'. Everyone that cares about because ya don' know if your powers are comin' back?" he glances over his shoulder as if just now thinking he might have teleported into someone's bedroom. "Have ya even tried tah get them back yet? And what happened to Nate?"

"I'm not acting like a child. I'm making up my mind and standing by it. I have to go forward with my life. I'm not throwing anything away. I'll still be in contact with Xavier's. And if my powers return, well, maybe I'll come back. I'm not throwing people away… Jared will always know where I am." Leo explains. "How can I TRY to get powers back, Owen. Mutations are natural. They're there or they're not. And what happened to Nate? Nate let someone influence him. Nate became a demon. Nate used his powers to control people. Nate forced Robyn to attack one of his close friends. Nate forced Robyn to WANT him. Nate then raped him. There. That's what happened to Nate. Digest that. And then understand why I can't see anything else when I look at him."

"No. Ya are actin' like a child" Owen says. "How? Ya gave 'em tah someone, go take 'em back! Or Ah dunno, ask him tah give 'em back. Try somethin'. Givin' up before ya even try is not somethin' ya should do," he says. He's a bit shocked by an actual explanation to what happened and then rubs the bridge of his nose. "It. wasn't. Nathaniel. that. did. it," he says very slowly. "It was a demon. A monster. Something that -took- him over. Something that drilled its way intah him and did horrible thin's against his will an' made him watch it all," he says, taking a few breaths. "You honestly think that Nate…the Nate we both love…the Nate you were dating would be capable of doing something like that without a monster pullin' his strin's?"

Leo glares at Owen. It's a cold, hard stare that he's never been shown to give before. "From what I've seen, looking at things without love blinders, some of the things that I've seen him do… Yes. I could see him doing it if he's angry, pissed off, or other reasons. I've met some of his friends outside of the school and know what they're capable of. Yes. I do believe it possible."

Nathaniel does come up here pretty normally, though it'd be a lie to suggest he didn't try to seek Leo out; Owen being here was more of a plus than it might've once been. He has his ways of getting onto the roof itself, but actually being within earshot happens before he becomes fully visible. He lingers on the edge of the roof for a few seconds, then draws himself up to his full height, tucking his hands into his pockets and looking at Leo and Owen. He heard enough, to be certain, but he doesn't seem to know what to say, the air whipping his hair away from his face and making his eyes sting. He's still wearing the thin black hoodie he's been wearing around the school, the hood pushed back likely on accident. Rather than even greet them, he stands and looks vaguely like Leo just punched him in the stomach, mincing uncertainly from one foot to the other.

Owen just stares. "Wh-what…?" he asks. "How…how could ya say somethin' like that, Leo?" he's not even sure who he's talking to right now. He looks at Leo, shocked and hurt. Slowly he glances past Leo and his eyes widen. "Nate…"

"Easily." Leo says with a shrug. He looks in Nate's direction after the name is said. He simply nods softly. "Nate." He doesn't try to hide anything he's said or try to turn it into something else. How could he? Like his father says, 'Never say something behind someone's back that you wouldn't tell them to their face. Because they might be around the corner.' So, he'll be a man and own up to it. But right now, there's not anything he can say to help the situation, so he just keeps his mouth shut.

Nathaniel's jaw tightens as he visibly swallows, looking past Leo to Owen and then back again. His body is tense, his eyes watering until, when he speaks, a couple tears actually manage to get out, which he rubs away roughly with his sleeve, "Why didn't you just tell me that's how you felt, Leo? When you came to my room, why didn't you just say 'get the fuck away from me, you fucking monster'? Why even bother to pretend you thought anything else, like you had any… intention of ever forgiving me for what happened?" It'd sound angry if his voice didn't waver like that, if he didn't look so damned hurt.

Owen has no idea what to say or do. He's just shocked his friend could ever say something so horrible about someone he supposedly loved. The fuzzy teen in the Corsairs uniform stayed silent, wondering if maybe something didn't slip into Leo when he pushed his powers into Nate.

"Because things usually just flow out of me. They go in and go out and I get over it. I thought I could get past it." Leo says, looking down. "And I didn't want to hurt you anymore than you already were. But… It's not leaving me. I can't get the images out of my head. I can't not see it. I can't not know it. And I can't balance my damn hormones, because I was basically high for over a year." He says, shaking his head. "I want to be able to forgive you, Nate. I want to be able to get past it. But I don't know how. I can't just let it all go. I can't just ignore things. And because, despite all of it, damnit, I DO love you and I can't stop it. And it hurts all around."

"No. No, you don't get to say that any more. You can't… you can't tell someone you love them, then say you think they're capable of doing… of doing that without something making them do it," Nathan says, waving his arm in a sharp gesture before he presses his palm against his eye. He has to swallow again before he can continue speaking, "/Robyn/ has said he wants to forgive me. He said he'd try. I don't deserve it and I know that, but… fuck, Leo. I LET someone influence me?" He gives a short, mirthless laugh, walking towards the pair of them, "Yeah, you're exactly right. A guy walked up to me and said 'hey, want to turn into demonic hellspawn who tortures people for shits and giggles?' and I jumped right on THAT, because, hey, that's just /who I am/, right? So long as I get /mad/ enough." He brushes his hair away from his face, losing the tension and shaking his head quickly, "God, I can't believe I trusted you."

"Oh whatever. I didn't say all of that. You're exaggerating. I said YES. I could see it happen. I didn't say it WOULD. There's a huge difference." Leo says with an eye roll. "Oh, just stop me from saying things that are true. Go ahead. You can check. Tell me I'm lying when I say it. Tell me I don't care for you. Or rather, tell me honestly." He says, shaking his head. "You know, I don't have time for this. I need to make travel arrangements. Hopefully, all of this will be over soon so I can go home."

Nathaniel shakes his head, looking down at his feet and grinding his heel into the shingles of the roof, "Yeah. Run home, Leo. Go back to being the pampered golden boy everybody adores. It's the only thing you do well, anyway." He doesn't mean it, but this isn't exactly a happy conversation. He clenches his jaw tensely afterwards, grinding the shingle harder under his shoe and pushing his hands hard into his pockets, straining his jeans.

As soon as he hears that, Leo spins, fist forward, aiming at Nate. And they're on a roof, so someone could easily get hurt. "Fuck off Nate. I worked HARD for my position. I busted my ASS to make the Olympics team and then had it taken away. You don't know shit if that's how you feel." He's aiming for eye or nose. And he's gotten good at fighting, he's just not QUITE as strong as he used to be. But he's still exceptionally fit.

Nathaniel has always been good at fighting, particularly considering his martial arts training, bu the wasn't expecting the hit and it catches him neatly on the left side of his nose. He doesn't go down, but he does stumble backwards, lifting a hand to his face and glaring at Leo as blood starts to trickle from his nose. He brushes his hand against it, growling low in his throat, "What the fuck do you know about ANYTHING, you sheltered little twat? Oh, I'm SO sorry you didn't get to go to the /Olympics/. Let me play you the tiniest fucking violin I can find." Poor Owen gets ignored, but the situation is definitely escalating, even if Nathan hasn't tried to retaliate physically just yet.

Owen gets up the second the punch is thrown, DarkForce leaking around his feet. "Leo! Nathan!" this is not going well at all.

"You know what? I don't have time for you." Leo says plainly before turning around and moving back towards the open window he came in from. "I have friends that actually want me around. I have family that actually misses me." It wasn't meant to be a slam, but that could probably be taken as one. "And I have a future to figure out. Without you." He isn't looking at Nate or Owen, so could be talking to either. He's angry. (No, really?) "I need to make my arrangements."

"You NEVER have time for me. Everything's got to be about you or it doesn't 'make sense', right?" Nathan says shortly, rubbing his nose as the blood coats the back of his hand, "And right. I may not have family that misses me, but at least I didn't waste any more time trying to pretend you were human. Fucking go. They'll still treat you like a freak - and WHEN your powers come back and your sweet, loving parents kick your ass back to Xavier's because they can't handle Precious doing more than looking cute and wearing spandex, I hope to God it hurts."

A growl usually associated with the Bat rather than Owen comes from the teen. DarkForce races out of him, spreading to try to block Leo without him even directing it. "What the fuck is wrong with you two?!" he demands. "How could ya say we don' want ya around, Leo? That we don' miss ya?!" he rounds on Nathan now. "And -YOU-. What that monster did usin' ya is one thin' but sayin' what you did tah someone ya love…seriously! What the fuck is goin' on inside your heads right now?!" he demands. It might not be easy to see but there are tears in those glowing green eyes.

"Oh, wound me more. You're so good at it." Leo says, dispassionately. He looks at Owen. "Thank you for trying. But I'm washing my hands of him. As well as my laundry." He runs a hand through his hair, "I'm not saying anything to BE painful. I told the truth about how I feel. I didn't know he was there, but I don't deny what I said. He's the one attacking, emotionally. He may not be using his powers, but he's using words. And I can ignore that now." He says, stepping in through the window, because he wants to be on solid ground.

Nathaniel swallows again, staring hard at Leo's back before he looks at Owen and shakes his head, "Leave me alone, Owen. He can go if he wants to. He doesn't give a damn about us. He probably never did. Just let him go home." He walks away from both of them, just so he can sit on the far side of the roof and tuck his knees up against his chest, curling his arms around them to keep out the cold air.

Owen just stands there, DarkForce fading away. "This is home…" he trails off, voice softer now. He watches Leo and Nate just walk away and looks up at the sky. Eventually he just flops back and continues to stare. He doesn't know what to do so he just shuts off for awhile.

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