2010;04-28: Enemy of My Enemy


James_icon.jpg Tara_icon.jpg

Summary: Tara goes looking for Lucas, finds James—and an offer she's keen on.

Date: April 28, 2010.

Log Title The Enemy of My Enemy

Rating: PG-13

//Xavier Mansion - James and Lucas's Room //

James and Lucas' room is at first glance, a typical boys' dorm room. There are small piles of clothes throughout the room in various stages of "clean." The left side of the room is Lucas', and the unmade bed sheets are in disarray, mingled around two science textbooks and a J.D. Salinger novel. The bookcase at the foot of the bed is mostly empty, except for a family portrait of Lucas' family taken when he was only ten years old and a complete collection of Salinger's work, including nine different printings of "The Catcher in the Rye." Leaning against the wall in the corner near the door is a kayak oar with a well-used life jacket hanging on it. James' side is somewhat more bare, but just as disorganized. On his desk are various books on engines, electronics, and other subjects of personal interest. The hyena's belongings seems somewhat more used than Lucas' items and a show signs of much harder use. Even his furniture looks beaten, as if it might have been tossed out the window a few times.

It's late and James is sitting at his desk, all lights off but one. Wearing an oversized Bluetooth earpiece, the hyena emotes to empty space, "I dunno…thought I could reach him. But I'm giving up. I like your idea…but well…we'll see. But you're right…no more wasted energies. He 'really is’ holding me back. Yeah…I know…sue me." He laughs, unaware that he's about to get visitors.

Tara isn't looking forward to this, since she realizes that Lucas and James are roommates. Still, it needs to be done. She ate of the sacred pop-tarts and amends must be made. Having had three brothers of her own, she recognizes that one must always make reparations when food is concerned. So here she is, at James and Lucas' door, a replacement box in hand. She raps lightly on the door.

At the desk, James swivels in his chair, saying, "Gotta go. Bye. You too!" He yells to the door, "It's open," to distracted by the phone conversation to sense the visitor. He stands and stretches, looking over to the door, waiting. The nose tells him what he didn't ask, "Oh..fudge….Tara."

Tara winces as James calls out to her. Great. She was hoping that he wouldn't be here. Oh, well. She opens the door and sends her senses into the room. "Hi. Is Lucas here?" She already knows the answer since she can sense the only occupant but it's still polite to ask.

James angles his muzzles back, eyes on Tara, "Lucas, you in here?" It's a parody of a question, one not to be taken seriously. No answer. "Guess not. So…what can I do for you Tara?" A neutral tone with no disparaging remarks? That might come as a surprise to the girl considering their past.

Is thrown a bit off kilter by James' relative politeness, and the use of her actual name and not some derogatory nick name. "Uh.." she says, recovering. "I came to give Lucas a replacement box of pop-tarts. He had some in the pantry in the kitchen and I didn't see his warning."

James nods to the roommates desk, "If you leave them over there, I can tell him. But I suggest doing it face to face. He'll respond to that better." The gnoll crosses his arms, his tone never wavering. Was he serious? No suggestion that she should leave them here so 'he' can eat them? Curiouser and curiouser. "Why don't you pull up a seat, we have things to talk about." He sits. *thump*

Tara clearly hesitates at the invitation. Something is clearly different about James, and she's clearly having a hard time determining wether or not this is a good thing. The fact that she nods, goes over to one of the chairs in the room and sits in it indicates that she's at least willing to hear the Gnoll out.

Arms still crossed, the hyena leans back in his chair as he props his foot onto the other knee, "I can't recall that we have any classes together. And we don't talk in the DR. Or hang out in the same circles, but as your teammate…" It's a shocking first time usage of that word! "…I want to be upfront about any rumors you may have heard about me. Yes, Addison repaired all my mental damage. Yes, I'm acting a whole lot differently. Yes, Julian trusts this enough to let me pull shifts on X-Forces' security shifts. And yes, I really am deeply sorry for all the crap I pulled while I was acting out."

Tara's blind eyes blink in uncertainty as she tilts her head a bit to point an ear at James as he speaks. She opens her mouth as if to speak, but she thinks better of it and closes her mouth and scowls. After a moment of reflection she starts to speak again. "I don't think we're gonna be friends," she says. It's not meant to come off harshly, rather, just a statement of fact. "But we don't have to be, as long as we can respect each other. If you mean that, and if you really are put back together right and not just trying to play around with me," yeah, the thought had crossed her mind, "Then I'm sorry for bouncing you off the ceiling."

James waves a hand, as if it was never a big deal, "Different time, different person." He shrugs, "I'm not expecting to be friends. And, honestly, I like that better anyways. And, yeah, I'm sorry for all the jokes I made back then." He nods to the door, "Listen, I've only got a sec before Lucas crashes our party…and I want to talk to him separately about this…and I know you're unhappy with the team as much as I am. So…if I put something together and it was accepted by say, the headmaster, would you put your two cents in to get Jono kicked off the team?" He holds up his hands, trying to look kind, "I know that's huge..and I won't use your name until I have to. But imagine the Paragons without him. No more conflicting statements, no more negativity…" The hyena tilts his head, "No more holding us back…?"

See, NOW Tara understands the ulterior motive from the Hyena. Fortunately for him it's something she can agree with, and indicates with a nod as she stands up to take her leave. "Yeah. I'll back you up on that. We got a raw deal with having two coaches when everybody else only had one." She scowls at that and heads towards the door. "It didn't do anything but encourage the 'Team Handi' thing. And, yeah, if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose Kenta any day. He's cool."

James nods, inspecting Tara for a moment, "Not one of my better moments? Eh?" That's in regards to Team H. "And, yeah, same here. Kenta? Sure. Jono? No." He offers a headshake of finality, "Jono and I were tight. And I'd have laughed at the idea of kicking him off. But, I'm of a different, clearer mindset now. And, lemme tell you. He's poison. Now, I'm not saying I was much better…but that was then. You know?" Tara gets a nod, "I don't' expect you to trust that. And I am not asking you to. So, I’ll be upfront. I gain just as much as you do with him off the team." Maybe more.

Tara pauses with one foot out the door and turns around. "It's a shame, though," she says about the whole friend and trust issue thing. "You're awfully cuddly. Tell Lucas I'm looking for him." She, then turns around and then kind of flounces down the hall, humming the theme song to Gummi Bears rather loudly and off key.

James stands and moves to close his door after Tara has left. Smiling, he shrugs to himself, "One down, two to go." He pulls the bluetooth device out of his ear and gives it a look before tossing it on his desk, "No one messes with my team and gets away with it. Jon's never gonna know what hit 'em."

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