2009-03-24: Forest Musings


Leo_icon.jpg Nathaniel_icon.jpg

Summary: Leo and Nathaniel build a bit of a bond in the forest.

Date: March 24, 2009

Forest Musings

Rating: R

Xavier Mansion - Woods

Pine, Oak, Birch, and many other trees can be found in these woods. Paths lead all through out them for students to take walks. The occasional bench can be found along the paths. Students shouldn't worry about wandering too deep in these woods as its almost impossible for them to get lost here.

It's roughly midday and while most of the students are likely involved in lunch and other sundry pursuits, a lone figure sits quietly in the woods, his dual-colored hair glowing faintly in the dappled sunlight, wispy and fine. Nathaniel's head is bent over a large sketchpad, a pencil in his long-fingered, beringed hand as he rapidly works something out across the thick, textured paper, the graphite making a soft, distinct scratching sound every time he twitches his hand. It isn't anything definitive yet, just a set of scrambled lines that he will slowly work into being. He currently has on a pair of headphones and his free hand sports a single smoking cigarette, a small hollow in the ground by his foot occupied by two used up butts, the hollow cleared of underbrush and dug deep enough to avoid any accidental forest fires.

Bounding through the forest, is the Leo. His lights are much lower than the last time Nathaniel saw him. Under his arm, he carries a few magazines… clothing type… as well as a few interesting pictures. He's just trying to get some peace and quiet away from all of the other students. That, and he needs some room to do his own practicing. He's currently clad in a form-fitting white suit. To those that have seen them, it's a gymnast's practice outfit. He flops down on a bench, not really looking up to see who else is nearby just yet.

It's not as if Nathan comes out here to throw a party. He lifts his head slightly as he feels someone come closer, turning it so that he can look for what he knows is there. He recognizes the signature on the emotions and huffs softly, a cloud of smoke escaping him and drifting towards the treetops overhead. He doesn't bother making himself known or even taking off his headphones, only shifting around the base of the tree so that it stands between himself and the teen on the bench.

The movement makes Leo look up. He offers a wave before Nathaniel ducks around the tree. He smirks, picking up a few of the pictures mixed in with the magazines he was carrying. He brings them around. It's the horrible costumes some of the Old New Mutants used to wear. The ones he mentioned in the training group. He grins. "Hi. Sorry, just saw you and remembered I said I was gonna show ya." Of course, any pain that may have been there will receed while he's nearby, within five feet or so.

Ducking may be too active a word for it. Shimmying, perhaps; laconically realigning oneself to a new position would be more fitting. He sighs softly when he feels that knot of emotion move closer, lifting a hand to rub at his temple gently before he tugs free one of his earbuds and turns his gaze up to Leo, cocking a brow, "Show me what? Those?" He nods at the pictures, tilting his head around only to shrug mildly, taking a drag on his cigarette and letting the smoke seep from the corners of his mouth, "Fashion doesn't really interest me, Leo. Not other people's, at any rate." It's not said maliciously, though he seems used to it being so, only shrugging idly and tapping ash into that makeshift tray. He notices the recession of the steady, dull headache he tends to be used to, but Leo did list his powers the other day, so he only rolls his shoulders and sighs quietly. Ahhh.

"Oh. Sorry. I just… remembered I said I would show you, so I had to. I have to do what I say I will." Leo says, grinning before it begins to dawn on him that Nathaniel was trying to get away from him. "Oh. Sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt. I was just… coming out where it's quiet to practice and look over some clothes. For the future." He mutters, moving to the ground in front of the other bench. Of course, the emotions normally roiling within him suddenly mellow out as he begins to focus for his practice.

"Not you, specifically," Nathan says, his voice trailing slowly over the sentence as his eyes pause, then move away from Leo so that he can inhale once more, the acrid smoke wreathing his head. He nods slightly in response to both apologies, his eyebrows lifting with a sense of bemusement while he waves his hand, "It's fine. You really don't have to say you're sorry. You didn't do anything wrong." He watches as Leo wanders off to the bench again, tilting his head curiously to the side, then leaning comfortably against the tree and closing his eyes. This was nice, at least. Being anywhere near Leo seemed to lessen his headache and the other boy was being QUIET in ways he likely didn't even realize were important to Nathan. It's the proximity and the silence that make the difference, so Nathan enjoys it, just listening to the epic lengths of calm spilling off Leo.

Slowly, Leo's hands rise above his body, extending skywards. He waits a moment before jumping into a tuck and roll, landing on his hands, feet in the air. His legs spread, one front and one back, extending in an almost perfect horizontal line. The movement keeps him quiet and focussed as he hears the words from Nathaniel. "Habit. It's almost always someone's fault. I prefer to take the blame, so that nobody else has to." His voice is soft as he switches leg directions.

Nathaniel smirks faintly, shaking his head as he informs the other boy, "That's a bad habit. You should never take blame that isn't yours. It can help people sometimes, sure, but it causes them harm when they don't learn to take responsibility for their actions." He shifts to his feet, grinding his heel into that hollow to make sure the filters are buried, though he drops a rock on it so he can find it later. Moving closer to Leo, he settles on that bench, folding his legs neatly beneath him and resting the pad on his lap. Away from everyone else, he manages to maintain a fairly firm calm, almost an empty one, though his eyes flicker with idle wit and amusement every now and again.

"Sometimes, it's easier. Some people don't want to know the truth." Leo shrugs slightly as he moves back into a seated position, slowly. He sits in a lotus position, pulling his feet within a half a foot from his crotch, with his knees still on the ground. "But with that, I thought I was bothering you. That's why I apologized." He explains. "What brings you out here?"

"That's a matter of what people want; not what they need," Nathan says, though he doesn't appear to be argumentative, just languidly stating personal feelings on the subject. When asked that question, he shrugs and looks around, ruffling his fingers through his hair and leaving a smudge of black on his forehead in the process, "It's quieter out here. You know, you and Eddie and Eddie's friend, Daisuke, keep talking about getting along, being friends, coming together as a team… I don't think any of you have any idea how much at odds that is with the truth inside this place." He fidgets with his pencil, licking his upper lip thoughtfully and shifting his foot so he can grind the ash of his cigarette into it, leaving a small scorched circle of hard rubber, "Of course, last time I talked about that, Daisuke just about ripped my head off."

"The fact that they seperate us from the rest of the world rather than openly training us?" Leo asks. He's more than just a pretty face. He has some intelligence. He looks up, brushing a hand over his forehead. "You have a…" He wiggles his fingers over the spot. "They're dying to be X-Men. Admittedly, since I can't do what I always thought I was meant to do, that's my current goal." He shrugs. "But I do try to see the other side of things, too." He could be way off. He really could, but this is just how he feels. "Dai's been through a lot." That's all he says. It's really all he knows.

Nathaniel laughs quietly and shakes his head, rubbing his thumb against his jaw as he says, "No, that one's pretty obvious… I'm talking about something deeper. Daisuke and Eddie both told me it'd be a good idea to get along, just for the sake of getting along. I told them that it was childish to make friends with people who did nothing but agree with you. Adult relationships involve… conflict. Conflict you can ultimately compromise over, but conflict all the same." He nods in the direction of the school and, thoguh Leo can't feel it, releases the hard, tight controls he's been trying to keep his empathy under. His eyelashes flicker slightly and he wets his lips, speaking in a quiet, low tone, "I watch people in our school. People who get along because they have to, not because they want to. A girl knows her boyfriend is cheating on her with her best friend, but she doesn't say anything because her friend is more popular. She hates herself. She blames herself. She won't say a damn thing, even when he leaves her. She won't say a damn thing, even when he leaves her. She's doing it for the sake of 'getting along' with the people around her, not because she wants to. There's so many small hates and fights and fears. No one ever even sees them because they're so damn busy trying to get along. When it comes down to it, though, when blood is on the table and people are in danger - all that comes out. People don't risk it when they just get along. They have to trust eachother. You can't do that based on empty, amiable agreements." He blinks slowly and shakes his head, ruffling his hair and smiling from beneath the curve of his arm, "Sorry. I talk a lot lately. It makes my throat sore."

"Ah." Leo says. He takes a few moments to consider things as he nods. "Right, I see that, but some people really DO have that deep level of trust in certain others. Did Eddie tell you HOW his powers work? Belief in someone. Trust in someone. Without that, he can't boost them or mimic their abilities." He explains with a nod. "I won't lie and say I like or trust everyone. That'd be completely facetious. I get enough facetiousness with my parents. Businesspeople." He explains, waving a hand in the air with a roll of his eyes. "If your throat is sore, I might be able to help it." He offers, continuing to think about what to say. He's not nearly as verbose, but he's obviously not completely disagreeing with the things said.

Nathaniel shakes his head, waving his hand while laughing helplessly and without explanation, "No, only a figure of speech. Thanks, though… and no, I know not everyone is like that. I just don't.. believe in agreeing to everything solely for the idea that… we're all meant to be friends and work together and save the world. It isn't… practical, or sensible. Everyone seems so caught up in wanting to be a hero, though, that they don't even ask twice. I… always ask twice. Three times, if I want to. It's my nature." He bites on the edge of his thumbnail in a habitual fashion, his brows furrowed momentarily before he speaks again, "Daisuke says all I'm doing is trying to make myself different. He thinks I'm stuck up and full of myself. With my powers, though… I see what people don't want to see, or be seen. It's hard when you're looking at someone who is all smiles, but you can /feel/… something else under it. It's like trying to look in a broken mirror sometimes. It makes my head hurt. When you see things through broken glass, how're you supposed to explain it to people?" He rubs his temple again when he says this, leaving those graphite smudges and not seeming to mind them.

Leo remains in his postiion as he listens. "Practicality? Look at who we are here, handsome. We're teenagers. Teenagers and practicality don't tend to flow in the same circles. I know I have my moments. I love my clothing." He motions to the magazines. "But that doesn't have a thing to do with what you're talking about. Dai is trying too hard to fit in. I like Dai. Don't get me wrong. He's a nice guy. But he and Eddie seem to attract trouble. Me, I wonder if it's because they want to force themselves into something bigger. They're not ready yet, but they want to be so they search for things to prove it. I know I'm not. I can't even walk around at night without saying, 'Hey look! Little Mutant here!'"

Nathaniel laughs at that, nodding slightly as he reaches into his hip pocket, stretching out, and digs a pack of cigarettes out, popping one free so that he can light it with a simple silver flip lighter, "Yeah. I've seen it under the door before. How does that work, by the way? You get more and more hyper and you glow brighter for it, or do you just glow whether you're hyper or not?" He lights the cigarette, takes a drag, then tucks both lighter and pack back into his pocket, rubbing the side of his nose with his thumb as the smoke tickles it. The cigarettes have a sweet clove scent to them, so at least it isn't too bad. He nods his head slightly, rubbing the underside of his chin as he says, "Honestly, I think he was dead set against liking me from the minute we met. I know I'm not exactly charming or even nice sometimes, but he threw down a verdict faster than a drunk judge. They're both nice guys, yeah, but I get the impression they're the most caught up in… ooo, we're going to be heroes and save the world and everyone will love us, et cetera."

There's a chuckle from Leo. "Not quite. Apparently, there are two major opposing forces of energy that aren't wellknown. Dark Force and Living Light. There are about six or seven DF users that we know of. There's only one other Living Light. Dagger." He pauses for a moment. "Basically, I ALWAYS sparkle. But as I go without letting a lot of energy out, I hold and store more and more of it, leaking out brighter and brighter, enhancing me until I just have to explode and let it all out. I've exploded three times since I've been here. Once with Eddie, Dai, and Pallaton. Heee… cuddly wolfy." He has a kid moment there before shaking his head. "And once to take down some of the people destroying the mansion." Of course, there is a bit of emotion at the mention of Pallaton.

"Yeah, I've met Pallaton… fancy him, do you?" Nathan asks with a wry smile, resting his head on his hand for a moment before he waves that hand to the forest, "Why don't you just come out here and let some of it out every so often? …doing things in the danger room should help with that, too." He wiggles his hand back and forth as he explains something about himself, "My powers are like a malfunctioning light bulb. The empathy… I can never quite seem to turn it off, and the projection, well, that comes when it wants and it is either weak, or I have to do everything I can to keep it from spreading to everyone around me - which won't be fun if and when it happens, let me tell you ahead of time." He taps ash onto the hard soil of the path, just a twitch of his fingers while his eyes remain fixated on Leo curiously, expectantly.

"Well, he's nice." Leo shrugs. "And he really goes crazy when you scratch behind his ears. And…" He laughs, blushing a little bit. "I can't let out enough. It always builds more. It won't go away until I actually explode. And, honestly, there are a lot of really… nice looking guys around here." He coughs, blushing a bit. "Mine are always on. I can't turn them down. I wish I could. I just… I'm always looking for something to do. I only sleep for two hours a night." He sighs. "Which is nice when Cyrus can sleep, isn't so nice when it bugs him." He chuckles. There's a little bit of feeling there as well. He blinks, "Whaaa?" He asks, at the look.

"So… light has something to do with good looking guys, or does this explosion involve more interesting things than I was thinking of?" Nathan asks with a somewhat bemused, mischievious glint to his eyes, laughing silently at Leo over the top of his cigarette. He waves his hand at the other boy idly before tapping ash off the cig again, "Next time I feel you wandering around, I'll come join you. I don't get much sleep myself. Too noisy." He nods towards the school, tapping his head to indicate what Leo probably already understands, though he soon segues back into what they were discussing besides that, "Pallaton is nice… but it's not just his ears." He smirks at this, waggling his brows at Leo in a way that's likely more playful than most people have seen him. See? He's not just a dick.

"Nonono. THAT explosion is just energy." Leo grins, impishly. As Nathaniel says that, he nods. "Sure. I'll let you know. I just… don't sleep. Not by choice." The other comment has him wondering, though. "Oh really? Where else does he like scritching? So I can try it?" He grins, wrinkling his nose and moving off the ground to have a seat beside Nathaniel. Since they seem to be getting along just fine. "Yeah, Jared has some issues being around people sometime." There's a LOT at the mention of Jared. Very strong ties. But then, they've known each other since childhood.

Nathaniel cants his head to the side like a cat listening for something, rolling the cigarette between his fingers and smiling faintly, "The usual places. His stomach, his thighs - the rest… well, that's more petting than scritching. Weird, though. He told me that he hadn't been petted much before." He considers Leo sidelong thoughtfully for a few seconds, then shrugs and looks out across the woods, shifting his legs so he can prop his heel on the edge of the seat,

Leo says, rolling his eyes as he blinks. "Wait, did you? And… he?" He giggles lightly, cheerful at the thought, tilting his head. Of course, Nathaniel didn't say anything yet, he's assuming. He laughs, looking at how Nathaniel moves his seating position. "Sorry. I'm bad sometimes. Jared always said I flirt too much and ask too many questions."

Nathaniel waves both hands quickly as he laughingly assures the other boy. He flushes mildly for the first time ever, rubbing the back of his neck thoughtfully only to arch a brow at the apology, "Bad? What're you talking about? My friends just used to call me a whore, so I imagine Jared's a little nicer." He takes a long, slow drag on his cigarette, focusing on Leo intently to try and figure out where that apology came from. He shifted due to comfort and little else, just a natural fidget, so he doesn't quite understand the reasoning.

The apology was actually about his questioning things. He laughs, running a hand through his hair. "Oh, Jared's nice. And he's definitely fun." He nods. "It's ok. I've been called one of those as well. I don't care. I enjoy myself and that's what matters. If it's not hurting someone, then who cares?" He asks, grinning. "Dangit. Now my mind's running a mile a minute trying to figure out what happened."

Nathaniel looks contemplative for a few seconds, licking one of his canine teeth in slow, circular motions, eyes staring off at nothing as he recollects. He rolls his shoulders slowly, uncomfortably, eventually adding, "Eh… I just think being a slut's easy. Having somebody around for just you? That sounds nice, but… I don't know. I doubt it'll ever work out that way for me. I'm not… personable enough or something."

Leo laughs, before listening to the other things he's saying. "Me, I just like the pleasure. I won't deny being a hedonist." He grins. "If it feels good, I'll do it. I don't know if I'll ever even want to settle down. I enjoy being free. Especially considering people enjoy some of the things a gymnast can do." He wrinkles his nose. "So, anyway…" He says, trying to figure out what to say next. He scratches the back of his neck and looks at Nathaniel. "Yeah, first impressions aren't always accurate. You're not as bad as that first meeting." He grins. "You actually think about things."

Nathaniel laughs and reaches over to tug lightly on a lock of Leo's hair, winking at him in a purposefully licentious fashion, obviously as much to tease as suggest, "I'll have to find out some time. I do martial arts, so between that and gymnastics, I imagine it'd be a feat of flexibility worth documenting." He grins afterwards, stretching his legs out comfortably and locking the ankles while he tilts his head back against the bench, just looking up through the trees. He smirks a bit when he's told that he isn't that bad, looking askance at Leo, tone sardonic, "Gee, thanks… but really, no, I appreciate it. It's hard for me to relax at school, with so many people around… but most people don't seem to think about that. Empath. School full of hormonal teens. So I know I can be a dick pretty regularly."

"Well, I suppose it would be better to have a regularly pretty dick." Leo chuckles. Hey, he's actually opened up a little more with Nathaniel than he has with any of his other friends, other than Jared. "Ok, it's better than not that bad. I can at least talk to you like I'd talk to some of my teammates back home. Before I came here and can't really talk about certain things. I mean, I don't feel comfortable joking about sex and stuff with Eddie. He has a live in boyfriend at his home. And Dai? No, he's way too innocent. But… at least you and I have a little in common."

The laugh is pretty immediate and Nathan reaches out to bop Leo on the shoulder with his fist lightly, shaking his head and coughing a bit as he inhales smoke accidentally, "Oh my God, that was fucking /horrible/…" He rests his free hand on his stomach, still shaking slightly as he settles down, listening to Leo and looking vaguely pleased at the prospect, adjusting his shoulders against the back of the bench with a rather easygoing smile. "Eddie having a live-in boyfriend is like hearing that… I don't know. That unicorns have the highest record of rape reportings of 2009," Nathaniel says after a few seconds thinking over that analogy, though he continues soon after, "I have a hard time talking to almost anyone, so this is pretty nice… and I'd say we have a lot in common, if we're living up to our titles at all."

"I know, dude, but it's true. His name is Ricky. That's all I know. I've seen him in town before this war started. He had like… fish scales or something on his skin at that time, but I heard it's something linked to the stars and changes." Leo says with a shrug, "Hey, just be glad I didn't do this when I said it." He reaches over in an attempt to cop a feel. He's obvious about it though, and easily blocked. "I live up to a lot of my titles. The ones I like." He grins, teasingly. Of course, he's not actually going to GRAB anything, just tease.

Nathaniel does block it, though he does it by snagging a hold of Leo's hand with an amused expression; rather than just toss it off, he instead brings it to his lips and proceeds to bite down on the knuckle, just enough to be felt but not enough to hurt. His lips are hot from his cigarette and when he pulls it away, he says, simply, "Don't do it if you don't intend to do something with it." He quirks a grin, taking another drag on that smoke, exhaling it into the sky above and thinking out loud, "I just try not to live up to all of mine, you know?" He gives Leo another one of those amused looks before he nudges him with his elbow, scratching just under his mouth with his thumb, "Careful. Don't want any bad behavior on school grounds." Bwaha.

Leo eeps a bit at the knuckle bite. "It IS getting about time for my two hour nap of the day." He chuckles, pulling the hand away softly, patting it on a cheek first. "Well, when the lockdown is over, We should go out into the city. Go see the sights and get some clothes and stuff." He laughs, winking.

Nathaniel just shakes his head, ruffling his fingers through his hair once more and shifting smoothly to his feet, tucking his drawing pad under his arm in the process and resting his weight on his right foot, "Sounds good to me. I can barely get around here, so it'll have to be up to you, lightbrite." This last is said with another teasing grin, though he seems to warm to the nickname overall once he's said it. He looks back towards the school, considering it thoroughly before he nods in that direction, "I'll probably head back in a few hours myself. Still a little noisy. Have a nice nap, though."

Leo leans in quickly to give a quick teasing nip to the other boy's ear before he laughs and starts to dart off, just a little beyond a normal person's top speed. "I will. See ya later." Yeah, he's happy with how that one turned out. At least he gets along with all the team pretty well, because he chooses to. Not because of the force.

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