2010-01-31: Getting a Bite


James_icon.jpg Quinn_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: James and Quinn finally meet face to face, mono e mono, salsa el fresco. But Rashmi arrives in time to keep the pot form boiling over.

Date: January 31, 2010

Getting a Bite to Eat

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Kitchen

This kitchen was designed to feed large numbers of people, and looks it with its bright white walls and stainless steel appliances. The stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are all larger than normal. There is an island with stools around it for people to sit and eat around along with a table for twelve by the windows in back. Along the wall is a hole in the wall looking into the dining room so food can be passed back and fourth. Anything you want to cook or eat in the kitchen you will find the food and supplies to do so.

It's Sunday night and James has finally had a chance to be alone for a little while. The battery of tests, counselors, and well wishers were all fine and good. But the Calm after the storm is appreciated just as much—especially after the whole demonic possession thing. Taking some time to fix himself a dinner, James has carefully crafted a burrito with such loving care that he's sure to weep for years to come by remembering the taste alone. Sure, the kitchen can now qualify as a Super Fund site, but he's got what he wanted. And damn the torpedoes he's going to enjoy it. So, sitting down, the hyena brings the 2-liter sized gastronomic gift to his mouth…and stops. His eyes look to the left and see a familiar face entering the kitchen…a face belonging to one of the many he just spent the last 2 weeks terrorizing, "Ah, shit."

Quinn's entrance into the kitchen isn't a grand one. It's actually semi-dragging, like the girl's a bit low on energy. She's dressed in sweatpants, unbound around the ankles, and a t-shirt that declares that the princess is in another castle. Her head lifts at the voice, and one brow is lifted. "Sorry, didn't mean to disturb," she says, though this doesn't stop her from going towards the fridge.

James' ears go back, head following the woman as if the 7' hyena's world suddenly revolved around her. But it's not a kind look, nor is it one of malice. It's one of nervousness. For while she might not recognize the beast in his true form, he knows it'll only be a matter of time before she knows exactly what part he played in her life. Frozen there, he can't but help be taken by surprised as his hackles suddenly raise with an inaudible *FLOOF*. A chill runs up his back, and with that, James suddenly lets out a sound reminiscent of the beast within—he lets out a hyena's laugh with a rather loud, WHOOP!

Quinn has her hand in the fridge already, reaching for a bottle of water, but nearly drops what's in her hand at the sound from James. Her eyes are a bit wide, but her words are concerned when she asks, "You okay over there, tall, dark, and fuzzy?" She better grasps the water and comes out of her bend, closing the fridge door with her toes.
"Yeaaaaaaa…..," James says slowly, trying to look better than he sounds. The burrito, however, isn't doing so good. It's apparently so scared that it's now relieving itself all over the tray under it. There's a wet plop as the thing lets go, leaving James holding the rather soggy remains of a Tex-Mex themed disaster. He sets it down and wipes off his hands, "Did….do you get out to the mall much?"

Quinn's brows furrow, she frowns, and her eyes narrow sharply at the mention of the mall. "I try to avoid them, now," she says, voice a touch dark. There's definitely a lot of anger in this one. A petite little spitfire. She opens her water and takes a long drink from it, eyes on James.

James' ears flatten against his head and he shrinks a size or two, "Yeah…well…" He clears his throat, "Cause I sorta….*whispers*" He nods and tilts his head a little, looking over at you.

"You sorta…what?", Quinn asks, ears not keen enough to make out whatever it is that the giant hyena whispered. Casually, she leans against the counter, one leg crossing over the other. "Need a new pair of shoes?"

James tries again, "You see…I…" And the clears his throat again, putting his hands in his lap. He's quiet for a moment, and then suddenly, forcefully, blurts out: "IWasntDoingAnythingAndThenIWasADemonAndIWasRunningAroundGoing*EhhEhhhEHhhEHHh*AndThenITriedToEatMyFriendsAndTheyThrewMeThroughATruck

James pants and pants and pants!

There's a lack of understanding clear on Quinn's face for a while. It takes her a few moments, mentally processing all of those words, break them up into anything that she can make sense of. It's clear when she does, however, as the air around her wavers, the force field clicking into effect. "YOU?," she nearly hisses. "You're the ass that terrorized me?" Her eyes are narrowed, and her hands are at her sides in fists.

James squeaks as he shakes his head no, "Yes!"

Quinn's anger only seems to grow at James' denial/admittal. "You made my life /hell/ since I came to this city!," she says lowly. "YOU BURNT MY FACE!"

James cringes and looks at the floor, then the door, then you. It's pretty clear that he's considering to make a break for it, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry! I was possessed! By Demons! They were making me do things!" He gets up from his seat and bids his burrito a fond farewell mentally as he starts edging towards the door. He clenches his jaw…oh how he was hoping not to get detention twice in one day.

"Oh, no," Quinn says as James makes for the door. "You are /NOT/ getting out of this that easily!" She moves, quickly, in attempt to block the escape route. "YOU were possessed by demons? You expect me to buy that, when you were the one comanding all those little demons?"

James looks to the left, looks to the right, and realizes he's about to be trapped. "This is going to end badly isn't it?" he asks, "'Cause…I know I have it coming." He hangs his head a little. "Alright…lets get this over with." He flops down onto a chair and looks over at you, just a little hint of defiance in his eyes, "Well…what are you waiting for?" The look is one of someone who may have just cracked.

Quinn scowls. "I want to hit you so very badly right now," she mutters. "You have /no/ idea." Her hazel eyes have shifted a bit closer to brown, anger making them darker. The kinetic field around her almost seems to crackle. "You tried to shoot me with a crossbow!"

Oddly enough, James seems to want that too, "Well? Do it! Are you afraid!?" Bipolar much? He stands up and starts walking to you, hands cupped showing off what qualifies for claws on a hyena. His voice is quivering strangely, "Do it!" He's putting on one of the most threatening fronts he can as his hackles raise and teeth bare.

Quinn is a lot shorter than James, and currently without any claws. "Afraid of you?!?," she asks with a laugh. "You're not anything close to scary, now that you look more like something that should be mounted in a trophy room!" A nervous glance, however, is given to all those teeth.

James gets with in a few feet and goes to give your shoulder a shove, the beast towering over you. "No. You're worse, you're just a coward. Some little girl with a big mouth that hides behind it." He pulls in real close, "Next time, I'll try aiming for you, and not your ego. It was the bigger, easier target." He glares, leaving himself wide open.

Rashmi has arrived.

Quinn and James are in the Kitchen, by the doorway. James towers over her petite height, and they seem to be in some kind of debate. Her eyes flash with anger, one button or another pushed again, as James shoves her shoulder. "I'm /not/ a coward," she says firmly. "I just don't need to beat up someone to feel like the better person," she says, voice low, quiet. Which may be worse than yelling.

James's is towering over Quinn, yelling at the top of his lungs for her to hit him. He's dressed per usual, black BDUs, t-shirt—even has his goggles back, It's all pretty much business as usual for the hyena…except for the yelling part. That…is where things differ. He's looking fierce, eyes narrow and practically crying as he goes to give her shoulder another push, "I said Hit Me!"

And it's on those words that the kitchen door opens, Rashmi behind it. As she sees the burgeoning argument, her face seems to go through an interesting transition of emotions; shock, concern, momentary panic, followed by a weariness that seems to age her by a couple years. "James," she says, her quiet voice penetrating his apoplectic shouting, "why are you doing this?"

Quinn tries to be a patient person, she really does. But all that yelling at her by James? It finally gets to her enough to bring one arm back, hand curled into a fist that starts to spring for the hyena's nose. Some of the force behind it is lessened by the new voice in the room, but the momentum is too much in flow for it to completely be stopped.

James turns his head as Rashmi enters the roof. The look changes from one of anger to one of fear. And that's when the punch that he asked for lands square on his jaw, missing his nose as he turns to face his teammate. He's clearly taken by surprise and nearly trips over himself as his body, naturally, tries to pull away with little or no input. He looks at Rashmi, then at Quinn…and with a quiver his legs give out. He falls to his knees and shakes his head, sounding distraught, "I don't know!"

Rashmi startles backwards as the punch lands, hurriedly checking the hall outside the kitchen, before moving in quickly and shutting the door behind her. "Quinn!" Her voice is shocked, if only a little, and she kneels down next to James. "…Okay, James… she hit you. Let's move on to the tea and cookies, please… I've already had more crises today than I'd rather have…" Looking up, she cocks her head, eyebrow rising. "Sound good, Quinn…?" There's something in her voice, an unspoken 'oh god please say yes…'

Quinn shakes her fist out, frowning slightly at it. Another frown is given to James, and when she hears her name coming from Rashmi, she has the grace to look a bit embarrassed. "Yeah, fine," she mutters, still frowning. "Evening, Rashmi."

James looks at no one in particular and starts apologizing, "I'm sorry." The beast pulls himself off the floor, sounding distraught, "I honestly thought I was okay." He repeats his apology another three times at least as he finds a place to sit, "I'm alright, I'm alright." It's not clear if that's more of a message for him, or one of the other two in the room, but he keeps talking anyways, "I just wanted to eat. She didn't know it was me at the mall. So I told her. And things went down hill from there." James' eyes tear up, but the fur hides most of it by redirecting it. So, instead, part of his face just turns a little darker, "I tried to leave. She stepped in my way. She was yelling, I started yelling…and then I just wanted her to hit me. A lot." He pushes his palms over his muzzle and face, "And don't tell me I don't deserve it. Because, at least in some way, I do a little." He looks up at you both, "Ask her, Quinn. She'll tell you I wasn't in control at the mall."

"Hi, Quinn," Rashmi sighs, taking a moment to squeeze James' shoulder. "It's okay, James… you knew you weren't going to be okay in a couple days… So. How d'you both like your tea, then? Quinn… join us? Looks like there's a lot that needs talked about, and all…"

Quinn had dropped her bottle of water in the heat of the moment, but thankfully she had put the cover back on it. She scoops down to pick it up, not once taking her eyes off of James. Surely one couldn't blame her for not exactly trusting James, given their track record. "Sure," she says to Rashmi's request, moving towards the two.

James sucks in a couple of breaths and admits, "I so don't want to have to do this. You've both got enough going on without more." He puts his elbows on the table and rests his eyes in his palms, sealing off the world, at least visually, "I dunno…I don't think I've had much tea. Surprise me?" He peeks out a little, "Really. I'll be fine. I just…need some time?"

Rashmi nods, moving to the cupboard and taking down a jar of loose tea, large strainer, and a ceramic teapot from another cupboard. "It's all right, James, really… I'm here, okay? And I understand, better than you probably realize…" Setting a kettle on to boil, she returns to the table, her hand resting on James' back, an attempt at a comforting gesture. "Quinn… You have to understand. What happened to James… it wasn't him. He's a lot better than what happened at the mall."

Quinn's arms cross beneath her chest, and she keeps her frown. "He wasn't just acting like it," she says towards Rashmi, a bit petulantly. "You really can't expect me to just forgive and forget so quickly? He tried /kidnapping/ me."

James leans back a little as Rashmi touches and listens to Quinn's response, "I don't expect you to." It's a weak little addition, but it's what he's got. "I think…I just wanted you to hurt me so we could both feel better about it." He sighs, face still hidden, "It wasn't me, and I know it wasn't me…but still have those memories."

Rashmi shakes her head slowly, tucking a lock of hair away from her face. "No, Quinn… I don't expect you to. Just… I'd really appreciate it, if you tried. James isn't the only one… There're four students, so far, who got rescued from being taken over. *Taken over,* Quinn, and they *all* did some horrible things. And they *all* have to deal with remembering having done them." Her hand moves in slow circles over James' back, eyes growing pained. "…Don't you think that's hurt enough…?"

Quinn takes in a deep breath, closing her eyes, then lets it out slowly. Meditative technique, activate! She's quiet for a few, long moments, her eyes closed. When she opens them, she glances down to her fist and mutters, "I guess we all have bad weeks." It's not exactly words of forgiveness, but she doesn't look like she's about to take another swing at James. "You owe me a shirt, bucko."

James doesn't say anything for a moment either, but eventually adds a singular, depressed-yet-meaningful "Thanks." He pulls his hands back from is eyes and looks long fully at the somewhat dismantled plate of food some ways away. It a rather awfully looking, and untouched, giant burrito. An unopened can of No Fear sits beside it, "Quinn probably all did us a favor by stopping me from eating that thing." He tilts his head and looks over at the new student, "How's it feel to be a hero?" He snorts a little. He gives into a long sigh, all that crazy anatomy that makes up his back finally letting loose a little.

At that moment, the kettle builds up to a piercing whistle, prompting Rashmi to hurry to the stove to take it off the heat. Spooning out a generous amount of tea into the strainer, she sets it into the teapot, pouring out water enough to fill it. "Thank you Quinn," she says, utter sincerity in her voice. "…For both of them. And… I'm sorry you had a horrible first week, but, at least it can only get better, right?"
<OOC> Rashmi says, "Er, by 'both of them,' the not taking a swing and the burrito."

Quinn says, deadpan, "I am relieved that, due to my brave deeds, the other students will not have to break out their gas masks this night." She unscrews the cap of her water and takes a long drink from it. Rashmi's words bring a small laugh from the girl, her head shaking. "I certainly hope so. If I have a week much worse than that one? I think that I'm going back to D.C."

Behind his hands, James says, "She's not kidding Quinn. Think I was bad at the mall? Give me a No Fear and everyone will have a bad day." That almost sounded like the truth. James removes the paws from his face long enough to adjust the goggles at the top of his head before resting his muzzle in his fingers, "Last time they had to lock all the doors in the dorm. Zack is still having nightmares, I hear." That….doesn't sound so truthful.

Rashmi rolls her eyes, shaking her head and chuckling. "Very funny, James…" Tea is poured into three mugs, a bit of sugar and milk added to each. "Here… So, Quinn? Um… Mind if I ask what exactly you were yelling at James?"

Quinn takes one of the mugs of tea, with murmured thanks to Rashmi. She spends a moment inhaling the scent, and then sipping. Her throat is cleared, then she says, "Oh, you know. Just stuff about what he'd done to me. And that I wasn't afraid of him, when he looked like something that should be in a trophy room." She clears her throat. "Sorry about that."

James shrugs and pokes at the mug, resting his broad head on one hand as his ears got a little lopsided, "I've heard worse." He goes quiet for a moment, then asks, "Did anyone get the video tape?" He cringes a little—no it wasn't a good week at all. He picks up the cup and tries a little, "Thanks you, Rashmi." One thing about James; he may be a feral, but his manners are not!

Rashmi pats James' arm, frowning slightly. "Maybe you have… but still. Quinn… James can't look any other way—right James? Like, you can't change back to look like normal? And it's been really hard on him. Like… remember what you told me about all those tests your parents got for you? Think like that… except it's not just holding onto things… it's everything. And there's no way to hide it, no matter how much you want." With a shrug, she sips from her tea, turning the cup in her hands. "I'm not telling you to make you feel guilty. Just… so you know how it is, for him. Almost everyone here's had to deal with something like that. It just… comes with the territory, really…"

Quinn's lips pull down into a small frown, and she nods. "It wasn't like he wasn't /baiting/ me, either," she notes. "But I'm willing to forget it, if he is. I imagine not being able to blend in is pretty difficult. Like highschool isn't already bad enough." She takes a long drink of the tea, then notes to James, "No clue about this tape you're talking about. But at least I didn't get the box."

As Rashmi speaks, James suddenly goes very quiet. Very quiet. He sorta pushes up off the table and stands, "I should get to bed. Long day and I don't think Northstar will appreciate me missing Noon practice after what I did to his uniform." The words say one thing, the expression says something else. Something raw. But he stops at the mention of the box, "There never was one…the box. Thank god." There's a sigh of relief. "If anything else arrives and you think it might be from me. Don't open it and take it to an adult."

Rashmi blinks, glancing at Quinn, then rising quickly from her chair. "James, I… I'm sorry. I talk too much, it…" Shaking her head, she lets out a breath. "…I just wanted people to understand. I'm sorry. I won't do that again."

Quinn looks a bit relieved, herself, at the news of there being no box. "Yeah," she
says to James' warning about future packages and what to do with them. She looks between him and Rashmi, and puts her tea down. "Maybe I should…go too. See you both around, yeah?"

James shakes his head and waves off his team mate, "It's okay, Rashmi. I don't take it personal. It was just the current events and all. And I'm a little…tired." He shrugs, "I thought 'it' was what I wanted, maybe it's not after all. I'm growing into the idea of being a walking throw rug. If Dr. McCoy can do it, I can too. Right?" There's a twitch in his eyelid that betrays his thoughts, but it disappears when he clenches his jaw, "We'll talk later. Okay?" He smiles at Quinn…well, what passes for a smile with a large beastly thing, "If you need anything, don't be afraid to ask—me or anyone else."

Rashmi nods quietly, stepping back to give James room to leave. "All right. I'll look for you later then, James. Just… have a good night's sleep, all right? You've the room to yourself anyway, Lucas is in medical for the night." Looking to Quinn, she tilts her head. "Sorry for getting all mother-hen, and all. Just… There's been a lot of static being given to people I just… don't think deserve it, you know?"

James walks on out, leaving you two to converse.

Quinn rubs at the back of her neck, hand disappearing beneath the curly mass of her hair. "Yeah, I guess I can see that. It's just, well. Hard trying to be all friendly-like to the guy that tried to kidnap me, then shot a crossbow bolt at me, y'know? But I'll get over it. At least he got rid of the batwings." She shrugs a shoulder, and thumbs towards the door. "Think I'm going to get some rest, too."

Rashmi bobs her head. "No, I can understand. And I know it's hard, just…he's my friend first, y'know…? Anyway. Have a good night, Quinn."

Quinn nods, slowly. "Night, Rashmi. Catch you around, I'm sure. Thanks for the tea." Hands sliding into her pockets, she makes her way for the door.

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