2010-03-11: Explanations and Apologies


James_icon.jpg Jono_icon.jpg

Summary: Jonothon contacts James mentally during a brief moment of clarity.

Date: 03-11-2010

Explanations and Apologies

PG13 Log Rating.

James' Mind

It's late evening when something touches the mind of a certain young hyena, and yet it's so very different from what Jon has repeatedly done to James in the week past. No rush, no surge of emotion and feeling.. it's instead a careful, gentle mental touch. Still, it is enough to wake one, if James had been sleeping. «James?» A British voice you haven't heard in a while, and one that waits for response before continuing. The old mental touch. The one that was always so careful with touching another mind, the one that held emotion other than mockery and hatred. «I'm so very sorry.» Jonothon's voice is small, and while he tries quite hard not to share it with you, he's in a great deal of pain. As well as sense of complete blackness, and immense silence. James' would is so filled with sensation, and right now Jono's is empty of it.

Over the last few days James has been housed in the emergency living quarters; part per his request, part per overwhelming agreement by the teachers. After all, his teeth have been getting away from him recently. But, as bad as it sounds, this 'extended guest stay' was exactly what he needed. No visitors. No noise. No smells. Just peace and quiet. Enough so much so that he has caught up on his studies. Not to mention getting some of that much needed headspace. At least until right this second. A blanket pulled over his form, James is reading classic lit via flashlight. A voice. In the room. He sits bolt upright, tossing the blanket, light, and book in random directions, "Whose there?!" His eyes readjust to the rest of the room's darkness. Nightvision scans the room, his mind already telling him what he was hoping not to find, "…Jono?" There's a mental tension as James prepares for the worst, "God…please…not again. I can't do this any more…" It's almost pleading.

«Not this time.» The quiet voice assures. «I won't be myself for much longer, but I had to tell you I'm sorry while I was able. To tell you how much your words have helped even if they don't seem to. Thank you.» Jonothon's too poor a telepath to lie mentally, so there's complete honesty in the words. Aware of the tenseness, he unknowingly shares his shame in it. «I'm sorry.» Repeated now that the important parts are spoken. Isn't sure of how long he has, so he got that done quickly. «I never wanted to hurt you.» And yet James has been hurt the worse. Shame, regret, and resignation that this moment can't last.

James pulls his legs up to his chest and rocks a little on the bed. But he listens. Not that he thinks he has a choice. If he ran screaming out the door…well…that would look down right threatening. No one would believe him anyways. So, instead, he waits for the punch line, the mental slap as it were; pensive, tight, unbelieving. And when it doesn't come, he…relaxes…a little. A million thoughts, memories flash though his mind. So much to say, to tell you about what's happened since you last parted..what he thinks. He tries to pick one, but like a house of cards, it all collapses. So, he remains unknowing that, really, he just told you everything. How sorry he is. How disappointed in himself he is for not trying *that* much harder. Maybe if he had, or this….or that. Survivors guilt. And at the same time, telling you that, strangely, he understands. He was just in the position. He cared, has cared, still cares. It's a force that made Jono cross the line. Not his own doing. The mind recoils at a thought: The papers. Something about papers. Parents. He's…? The thoughts gone with the cards.

No punches, no taunts, and a strange, quiet patience. Jonothon waits for most of the mental chaos to fade before he ever so carefully touches James' mind again. A soothing. An attempt to comfort. «It's not your fault, James. None of this is. I don't blame you and never shall. It's Sinister I blame.» He hurts too much to share it properly, but removing himself from the pain as much as he's able, Jono even sends warmth, fondness. «Don't be disappointed. Heh. You can't be any more disappointed than I am in myself.»
There's a pause for the papers. Parents? Jonothon doesn't pursue it. What he doesn't know can't be used against James. «Do you know why I keep seeking you out, James?» As apologetic as he is for it. Emotions don't lie though and Jono shares. So ashamed of hurting you.

The bed James is on is pushed up against a wall. It's the way he sleeps. That part of him, the smiling part that likes to rear it's head and show off all its rows of sharp teeth 'hates' sleeping with its back exposed. But its sleeping and never stirs. And while none of that is really useful, it does give the Hyena the opportunity to press himself into the corner and pulls a bunch of blankets up with him. He listens, responding with a meek, "I'm scared." And he is. For all of a terrifying creature the beast can be, he is, after all, only 16. A moment goes by, before he asks, "No. Why?"

«I'm scared too.» Jonothon admits. «It's alright to be scared. Promise.» If only the kids knew how often he was scared, they'd probably feel better about themselves. And for the asking, the Brit answers, «Because you're my friend.» Apologetic there. «I know that won't help, but it's true. I can't control myself when Sinister's in charge, but I can influence things. I knew that if I sought you out I couldn't kill you. You allowed me the chance to avoid Sinister's orders. You gave me the chance to defy his orders time after that.»
More apology feelings, and yet among them are such pride for you. «I know it probably doesn't help. I've hurt you so badly, and I can never make it better, but thank you, James. You helped me save thousands of lives.» Jono hopes that helps, if just a little.

There's a mix feeling of sadness and gratitude, relief even. "Heh…" is all he manages for a moment. Sitting with his legs pulled to his chest, the hyena lays his ams across his knees, and his had on top of that. He sniffs a bit, body making the movements of someone about to be involved in a good long sob, "You know what 'really' sucks about being a hyena?" The voice is sad one, practically on the verge of tears, "I can't cry." He laughs a little, one of those upset ones, "I can make all the upset noises I want. My eyes might even water…but I know the difference." He sniffs again, nose irritated, displaying what little bit of recognizable 'human' emotion he can display, "Does it help that I'm more okay with you beating me up now than I was 5 minutes ago?" There's a laugh, "I miss you." Pause. "How can I get you back?"

Jonothon is quiet for a time after that admission, and then he says, «Nor can I.» Cry. Sympathy there, and the kind that comes from too many instances of having the same trouble. Sometimes it's helpful, but mostly it's one of those secret things that hurts more than most others. Crying helps you heal. «I'm sorry.» That James can't cry. Jono doesn't point out that he can't even make the noises. You don't need to hear that right now. More okay with being beat up? There's a small warmth that is laughter. Real laughter. He's never shown that before, but then he's never linked with you before. It's a weak laugh though, for he's in a bad way right now, and trying very hard to hide that from you.
«That doesn't make it easier, James.» Even if the reasons are explained. The Brit even manages a mental smile for being missed. He misses you too. «I don't know.» How to get him back. «Magneto can stop me. He nearly did. I've still your phone, so the X-men can find me too. James, Sinister will reprogram me again soon. I'll fight him as I did before, but it won't look like it. You have to be ready for it. I'll be Jon again, and try to hurt you most likely. For that I'm very sorry. No matter what is said, know that I'm fighting inside. I'll always fight.» Too stubborn not too.

The two friends share the laugh. But even if it lasted all day, it would be over far too soon for the Hyena, "Okay…" He goes quiet, thinking that over, "I'll be waiting." The beast stirs inside, and the boy's spine stiffens as his 'inside voice' gives a stretch before closing an eye and falling back to sleep. It's an unspoken confirmation—it'll be waiting too. "I can't believe you got away from him. Dude…that's like…wow." It's almost a normal conversation. But he is disappointed. So close, on so many occasions. He know he can't beat you. But..maybe next time, if he tries that much harder…

Wow? «Heh.» Doesn't find it that much wow himself, but then he's living it. Jonothon eyes the beast back, but doesn't do anything more. Certainly no prodding this time. «Can't remember who I told, but this bollocks never lasts.» Actually he told Sinister that. «They think they can change who we are, but this hack just doesn't get it. I am what I am, physically and mentally, because that's what /I/ believe I am. He can trick me short term, but it's wrong and my heart always knows it's wrong. Christ. This is the forth time someone's done this shit to me.» So very, very weary of being controlled.
Unintentionally he sends glimpses of people. Like the papers though, just memory. Nothing like what Jon shared. No, these are slips that are quickly kept in check. Dracula, Department H, Emplate.. monsters all. «Sorry. I'm not good at this mental thing.» Didn't mean to send those!

James shrugs, both mental and not, "It's okay. This is the best conversation I've had all day." It's true. He's been left alone—well, after a battery of the usual suspects had to come check out his state. The thought of the papers came back. Shame. "I…was going to leave. The school." And he tried. But, there's a mental picture of a talk with Logan, and, really a deeper consideration of the facts. Like his parents can handle this?? There's also the typical teen runaway thought. Africa??? Yeah…he honestly considered it, "I'm not now."

How often as he tried to run away? Jonothon's far too tired not to share part of that. How futile it all was and how stupid he felt for trying. «Good.» Don't leave the school. His emotions are so strong towards you staying. Good. Please stay. «Take it from someone who did. Repeatedly. It doesn't help. As bad as things get here..» A pause as he ruefully thinks about his situation right now. «It's far worse if you try to run away. Yeah, that's still running away. I don't even know how many times I tried, and I paid badly for each and every one.» Regrets, and strong ones.
Something sparks in him. A good thought. «I want to hunt with you sometime. …If that's okay with you. Your world is so rich.. I'm horribly jealous. Even if you hate it.» Amused.

The hyena listens to the advice and nods, "I know…" His ears are flat. Just like during the battle, his mind is calm, focused. But then again, the room is devoid of distractions. No countless experiences that his mind must compensate for in the span of each second. Just him, Jono, and an empty space. "Well talk about it," is all he offers. He has a long way to go before he lets himself 'enjoy' that again. And he portrays that over the connection as well even if he doesn't realize it. "If it meant you'd come back..I'd take you tonight." He looks out the door, "Can you tell me 'anything' that'll help?" It's a pled again, "Something…anything?"

There's total understanding for the reluctance. If anyone understands being uncomfortable with one's own powers, it's Jonothon. «There's time for you to think about it.» Wry that, but very true. Jono totally doesn't mean any pressure, and he finds it more amusing than upsetting. His emotions grow warm, for how many times as he given a reply like that? Sadly the warmth must fade for the plead. «James..» Weary. «You /are/ helping.» If only he could convey that well. «You've been helping this whole time, no matter it didn't look it. Tell people we talked. Tell them about Magneto. He can stop me. Far more power experience than I have. Right now I'm little better than another student. Sinister freed me of inhibitions, but that didn't make for experience.» Jono's so very angry at Sinister. «If anything, you kids are my greatest weakness. Remember that. I won't kill you.» There's such an angry focus when he says that, it's like he's trying to make it real through force of will alone.. and he's stubborn.

James nods, little depressed it wasn't the answer he was looking for, But, the teen isn't old enough to realize that the answer doesn't exist. Not without a fight, "Just…come back soon, alright?" He sighs, and shares some of that emotion. He's not good at this mental stuff. But, over the last few days, he's gotten better. He's lousily at showing emotion on most days, but, for Jono he tries. He calls on his sense memory to fabricate something that hasn't happened. At least not yet. It's a warm spring day. Trees, grass, everything…all green and alive. Flowers are in bloom, and the sun is warm. And maybe, just maybe he can stretch hard enough to think about that tree from his yard. That huge willow tree he used to swing in. They'd both, him and Jono, be sitting under it. It'd be a good day…if it were real.

There's no immediate answer for coming back. Oh, he's sure you'll see Jon quite soon, but Jono? He's no idea when, or if, he'll return. Believing it, but that doesn't change the fact Jonothon could die. «Don't give up heart, James.» He needs you guys to keep telling him it's possible to be himself again. As the memory is compiled, the man smiles at you again. It's warn and weak, but he doesn't hide emotion as he normally would. «Thank you.» For trying. For a bit of comfort in all this hell. «I have to go.» Before you feel what's wrong. «Don't torment any newbies, mate, or I'll have to give you detention.» That is how you two met after all. His warmth fades though as he closes the link. No trace of it remains. Not sharing what happens when Sinister comes for him again.

Silence fills the room again before it's broken by a soft sigh of someone how just doesn't know what else to do. He sits there, trying to keep his mind as clear as possible, for as long as possible, as if not doing so would make the memory last longer. When it's gone, and he's sure he's alone, the boy will being to repack his things, hoping that, come morning, he can get out of this room and get back to finding his fried, teacher, mentor. Pulling his goggles out of his book bag, James fits them on his head and lays down for bed, the lyrics to a The Jam song ringing in his mind, "Better stop dreaming of the quiet life 'cos it's the one we'll never know…." And it to that thought he falls asleep.

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