2012-08-29: Familiar Faces and Distant Places


Robyn_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg Tooth_icon.jpg

Summary: Robyn and Rashmi find Tooth, Tooth finds out just how much the past deviated.

Date: August 19, 2012

Log Title: Familiar Faces and Distant Places

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Courtyard

Surrounded on three sides by the school, a large courtyard forms the front yard. The courtyard leads right up to the door of the mansion. Yellow square stone slabs cover the ground where the grass would be. The most noticeable thing about the courtyard is the large statue of Jean Gray, aka Phoenix, in the middle as a memorial. Benches surround the outside of the statue so students can sit and hang out in the courtyard. There are two paths leading off the courtyard, one to the left and the other to the right.

"I know it sounds weird Rashmi, but I swear I saw James at the IHOP last week when that weird couple tried, and failed miserably, to rob it." Robyn says as he steps through the front gates for the first time in a long time. "Wow, it feels weird to be back here, in a good way. Thanks for coming with me, I figured if anyone would know anything it might be Ms. Frost, but it really looked like James. But then how many walking Hyena's are out there, though he did look different. There was this M over one of his eyes." He says, physically not much has changed with Robyn, he still looks every bit the emo-art student he's always been.

"Not a problem," Rashmi murmurs, brow furrowed. "I guess I really shouldn't've been letting my homework keep me away, huh? Probably I'd've known about this sooner…" Pausing at the gates, she blinks, turning to peer at her friend. "…Wait, *rob an IHOP?*"

Tooth is doing what he always does at this hour of the day, sitting outside in the relative summer calm, just looking at the school, thinking. His record is 2 hours…which won't be shattered today. The gnoll gets brought back to reality by a pair of familiar scents. So, he stands and heads towards the source at the front of the building. "Failed robbery," he says as he comes around from the side. "Apparently it was mutant night at the iHop, so all they got was a grand slam." It's something he's been working on, being more 'him.' At least the 'him' others would remember. Mr. FunnyGuy. So, far he thinks he's doing an awful job. Walking towards the pair he nods, spying them through a tattooed eye, "Rash, Robyn, you look…well."

"Oh yeah, nothing horrible, just to people with guns trying to steal everyone's money. I possessed one guy to give himself up to that Golden Avenger guy, and James teleported out with the other one. Ruined a perfectly good date though, I don't think we'll be seeing each other again." There's a slight frown on Robyn's face as he runs his hand through his hair. He stops in his tracks as he sees the reason why they're at the school. "Uh….good to see you're still alive." He says before giving a smile his old friend's way.

"Well that's a shame, he seemed like a nice enough bo—JAMES!" Rashmi, by contrast, far less reserved on sight of the gnoll, and there's a moment where she almost forgets to open the gate, before pelting through, coming to a stop within arm's reach. "Oh my *God* where have you been what happened to you I thought you took off on us after you got back it's so good to see you!" Blinking, she pauses, drawing in a deep breath. "…Um. Sorry. Anyway. Hi! See above questions, separate, answer at leisure."

Tooth stiffens a little, his 'mane' standing as an instinctual gesture of trouble as Rashmi rushes towards him. Mentally, he's gone over this as much as he can. His new mantra: this isn't then, they aren't them. But it's still a hard transition, but the genuine sound of Rashmi’s voice is enough to make his eyes soften, "Hey kiddo." He opens his arms permissively and gives her a strong hug. He's larger, much more solid, deeper voiced, and sporting a weathered soul. But, otherwise, it's still him. "It's a long story. Starting with I hear I never came back. And that's kinda the problem."

Robyn waits until Rashmi's done with her huggings and then offers his hand to Tooth in greeting. "Welcome back, and yeah, we didn't see you come back so we figured that you and Jinx went off together. Or at least that's what I figured. It's been almost two years, glad to see you again."

"So… wait…" The hug is returned, a tight squeeze, but the half-understood reality of the situation bothers her enough for her to step back, for a moment; brow furrowed, head tilted to one side, she stands next to Robyn, puzzled. "If you never came back…" There's a brief flicker of the Rashmi James knows, in the depths of her eyes, there and gone so quickly it could almost be imagination. "…*Are* you James?"

Tooth gives Robyn's hand a shake after he gets done with Rashmi. "Yeah, I hear she's gone too," he says somewhat cryptically. He looks over at Rashmi and gives a tilt of his head and a shrug, "You guys may want to sit down for part of this." He starts heading over towards some half-hidden picnic tables near a tree line, "I have it on good authority that what I'm gonna say isn't going to do any harm. Which is good because the alternative is to keep it secret. And I'm lousy at that." He gives the other two a moment to sit, stand, run for the hills, before he leans against a tree, arms crossed, "Long story short…hmmm." He puts some thought into what would be the least shocking and easiest to digest, and ignores it, "I'm from the future. The world has gone to hell. Mutants are hunted like dogs, and both of you wanted me dead because I did a lot of really, really, really, REALLY nasty things."

Robyn takes the advice and sits down at the picnic table, back against the wood of the top. The hyena is given a look of confusion as the word 'harm' is mentioned. "Well he's here at Xavier's and how many people do you think look like James? No offense. From the future…you mean like Volk was from the future?" Robyn had quite the run in with that version of Connor.

"Oh," Rashmi says quietly, perching herself on the table next to Robyn, "*that* future… Well… I guess that explains it." For a moment, a look of inexpressible sadness crawls over the Hindi's face, banished with a quick shake of the head and a deep breath. "…Well I hope wherever our James and Jinx are, they're okay…" With this, she subsides, waiting for James to answer Robyn's question.

And for the first time in awhile, the hyena is surprised. He looks between Robyn and Rashmi, "So, you know about it then?" He does his best to play it down a little, "Listen…I've been told at least 3 times now that it's not going to happen that way, if that means anything to you. I guess it can't. Not exactly, anyways. Things changed here, or something. Where…when I'm from I never disappeared. So, some sort of change happened around that time. Which is part of the reason I'm here. To find out why and what happened to me." His eyes settle on Rashmi as he considers how to bridge the 'james-not-james' topic. But, instead, he looks to Robyn, ears flattened a little, "So, is this 'Volk' around?" Playing dumb might work!

"It's…. complicated," Rashmi says, letting out a slow breath. "The short verion is… Ahab started running around here, looking to take a bunch of us out so we wouldn't be a problem for him in your time. But, Addison brought the Phoenix into it, which took Ahab out of the picture… And I guess for a second there, a lot of us started having… Iunno, futurememories? …. Of your time. So, yeah… We sort of know about it, but even the next day it was like a really, really horrible dream."

Robyn shakes his head. "He hasn't been around in years, I'm not sure if you ever had a problem with time in your version of this but it was Volk and I think there was a future version of Heather and I'm trying to remember other names." He looks over to Rashmi with confusion. "Do you remember more?" He's almost surprised he forgot. "I'm not sure what I can tell you, I mean we went to that weird Halloween dimension and while there you and Jinx just…wandered off. We lost contact with you two."

James steps towards Rashmi, suddenly much more focused and a lot more intense. It's the old James at his 'biggest' turned to 11. He follows Robyn's question with a few of his own, gaze on the girl's eyes, "Yes, what DO you remember? Anything, nothing? Me, you…Lucas?" he stops short of the word 'Jessica.' He holds up a finger at Robyn, as if asking for a moment. "Think hard."

"If you're *that* James," Rashmi says quietly, meeting the looming gnoll eye-to-eye, without flinching, "then all I remember is hating you. But that me… I guess, hated a *lot* of people. Why… I've forgotten. It wasn't *me,* so I didn't hold onto it. Lucas and I broke up, a few months after that whole mess. So just like you said about yourself… *We're* not the ones *you* know." The quiet steel that slumbered in the redhead's soul, in the days of Xavier's, has clearly grown only more resilient, in the intervening years, tempered by whatever trials the woman has been forced to face. "What you did to them, why that me hated you… That's between you and her. Why that Robyn hated you… between you and him. What you tell us is your decision, but, your conscience doesn't answer to us. So… keep that in mind, all right?"

Tooth's eye twitch as a rarely seen expression comes over him. It's as if his whole world just came crashing down. His ears go sideways, and suddenly it's him who needs the seat. With a thump, he's sitting on the table's edge, elbows on his knees, "Well…shit." There's a self depreciating 'heh' and a long hard sigh as he looks at his hands, "Don't that beat all,” he says in reference to hearing about all the differences that happened in the timeline, “Looks like the joke was on me the whole time. Gotta love that." He smiles in that James way that only means something bad and he chuckles once more, "In the interest of full disclosure, Rashmi, I came back to save your daughter." He tilts his head up towards her.

Robyn keeps his mouth shut for a while knowing that the conversation is best between them at the moment. Though something about the statement about Rashmi's daughter rubs him the wrong way. "James, why did you tell her that? You came back to save her daughter? I mean that's not going to lay some guilt or odd emotions on someone, not in the least." Yes there is sarcasm and frustration. "First you bring up something about Rashim and Lucas, who haven't been together in a long time and not only that, we haven't seen Lucas since shortly after the Africa Fiasco. So now you're telling a woman whose in a great relationship with Not Lucas that you came back to save a daughter with, what I assume, is Lucas? Tell me how saying that is a good idea?"

"Because it doesn't matter," Rashmi points out, resting a hand on Robyn's shoulder, squeezing gently. "Look at him, Robyn… The same thought just hit him, that hit me; whatever happened to pull him back in time…" Looking up at James, Rashmi shakes her head, chewing on her lower lip for a moment. "…You missed," she whispers. "This isn't where you were aiming for, and you have no idea how to try again, do you…?"

Tooth's jaw set hard enough pop in places that would be unnatural on any other animal. Through his teeth he whispers, "No…and I can't try again. It doesn't work that way." He lets out a noise that sounds like he's been holding in a lot more than his breath, "I just wanted to let you know, somehow, that it was going to all be okay. Things changed back here, and I was afraid they'd change everything. If I could have moved her, somewhere, I'd know for sure that things were going to be alright. That it all mattered, all those things that happened, all the things I had to do." It's one person, two at most. But they were among those that mattered most.

Robyn gets a bit of an embarrassed look and responds to Rashmi's explanation with an "Oh. Sorry." Looking down at his hands, he just listens to the two. "Wow. So…I guess you're staying at Xavier's for the time being?" He quietly states the obvious. "I'm sorry James." He doesn't really know what else to say, he feels like it's someone completely different so he's not sure how to respond.

"Maybe not now," Rashmi says, letting out a slow breath, "but I mean… you sort of *do* really have all the time in the world. Like Robyn says… stay here awhile, do what you can… And in the meantime, they'll figure out how to get you on your way, again. When that's done, and you're ready? You can get back to what brought you here in the first place." Patting Robyn's shoulder, she slips off the edge of the table, plunking onto the bench at her roommate's side.

"Tooth," the gnoll responds, "Just Tooth, James cud'nt do what needed to be done." If nothing else, it's a wake up call, a self-realization that there's more of him left than he's known for years. Even though he can't show it, isn't built to show it, he 'feels' something. And thus the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes that day. "It's okay, Robyn," he says after a moment, "If I hadn’t said it yet, I'm glad to see you too." He shrugs and sits up a little, his 'future-self’ displaying again. "Well, I guess I stick to my other plans then. Find Lucas, make sure the shit don't happen. Emma's pulling me on staff. I guess she deals with this more than she'll admit." He laughs, "You'd be beside yourself if you knew what happened. 'I' became a teacher," before it happened at least, "Shows you just how twisted the future really is. See what I'm saving you all from?" He looks over at Rashmi, "Sorry to pull that on you, I just thought," like usual, "I was doing the right thing."

Lots of questions arise in Robyn's mind but he figures it's better not to ask, though his eyes display his mind is running with them. "It's good to see you too, I'd say it's nice to know you're alive and well after all these years but, it's just weird cause it's not, but it is." It's quite a thing to wrap your brain around. "Good luck with finding Lucas, I don't have a clue where he is, I might have a number for him." He's not sure how accurate it is. "I really do think it's safe to say we're quite different from the people you knew, from what it sounds."

"…Tooth, then," Rashmi says, pursing her lips and looking faintly disappointed at the insistence. "But seriously… Don't worry. You *tried* to do the right thing, and that's good enough. It's not your fault your aim was off, right?" Smiling a bit, she tilts her head, nodding at Robyn. "Even if you're not *our* James," she says, shrugging, "it's nice to see *a* J—Tooth, at least. Keeps the hope alive, y'know?"

Tooth shakes his head, "Less different than you'd think. I'm the one that changed." He shrugs at a thought about Lucas, "I know where he is." At least if things stayed true to his time line. "There's a few rocks I gotta turn over. But, I'm betting I know which ones." The thought occurs, so he adds, "Don't worry about Jinx. She's a tenacious little bugger. Wherever she is, she's safe." His, theirs…whichever. Of that he's convinced. He looks over to Rashmi and stands, "Yeah, well, I tried, right?" Failure isn't something he's ever learned to deal with, so a neutral remark is all he has. "I don't want to cut this short, but I'm scheduled to be somewhere soon. So, I should get going. Things to do." Like hiding out for awhile and processing all he's just learned.

Robyn smiles at Rashim and gives her hand a squeeze. "True, I forgot how much hope you have and how easily it spreads." He then gives Tooth an odd sort of look, it's not quite pity but there is a sort of sadness in his look. "I'm sorry, wish we had better news for you." He's just hoping the James he knew is somewhere and doing well. "It's better to try and fail than to do nothing at all. I learned that one the hard way. Well….it was really good to see you Ja..Tooth." Still getting used to the new name. "If you ever need anything from us, we're living in Mutant Town now. Me, Rashmi and Connor."

Rashmi bobs her head. "And tell Ms. Frost I said it was okay to give you my number, so if you need to you can just call. And… take care of yourself, okay?"

Tooth nods to you both, "Yeah, I keep trying." He smiles and takes a few steps away, "See you 'kids' later, I'm sure." There's a blue flash and the crackle of displaced air. And with that the gnoll has vanished.

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