2010-05-16: Getting Heads Together


Jono_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg Connor_icon.jpg

Summary: Jono and Rashmi are both head cases, but they somewhat recover with a little help from their friends.

Date: May 16, 2010

Getting Heads Together

Rating: G

Xavier Mansion - Right Path

A brick path off the courtyard cuts through the grass to lead to the other areas on the outside grounds of Xavier's. There are a few benches that line the path so students can sit and enjoy outside. Either side of the path the grass is well manicured and has enough room for students to have a picnic, play Frisbee, or relax and study. At night there are small lamps that raise three feet off the ground to provide light.

After parking his motorcycle in the garage, Jonothon found himself on the path around the side of the school.. and then realized he had no idea what he was suppose to be doing. Thankfully he got distracted by his phone. So he's quite literally sitting at the edge of the path, typing out a text message. One leg folded in and the other stretched out before him, the Brit slouches forward and typity-types on tiny keys. His poor sister. The message isn't likely to make a whole lot of sense, and he'll be ambushed by her later.. but for now he's sitting there, rather in the dark, activating his psy-fire so that he has less trouble seeing. The stuff has some uses after all. And yes, didn't Connor tell him to go home earlier?

Mike was in the garage working on MechMobile Mark 2 when to his utter surprise, Jono drove in, parked his bike, waved vaguely, and headed back out, as if he were arriving for his usual morning stuff. OK, so that's what it's going to be like, is it? He methodically puts things to a stoppng point, then equally methodically cleans up, taking 3.2 minutes to accomplish this, which is just exactly the right amount of time it takes for Jono to become distracted by a text message, and for Mike to come up alongside him, lighting his eye-lamps so things are easier to see.
"Hey, Jono. What's up?"

The sound of leaves crunching along the path is heard, shortly followed by a gently swaying curtain of red hair, the sound of pleasant humming. Rashmi, it seems, in a good mood as she meanders back toward the mansion from the chapel, at first too distracted to take note of Mike and Jono. When she does, however, she stops in her tracks, falling silent, puzzled beyond words by the sight of Jono sitting in the dust, happily texting away. "Um…. hi…?"

The auburn head, hair being toyed with by psy-fire, lifts at Mike's voice. Oh, Mike! Does lift a hand to shield his eyes from the light, and suddenly the phone is forgotten. «Hullo, mate.» Jonothon's expression shifts though to a puzzled frown. Wait, there's something he should remember. What was it? Rashmi proves a wonderful distraction as it chases his thoughts away. Hand lifted to face, he looks over. «Hullo, beautiful.» Yet he says it with that same frown. Wait, what IS it that he's forgetting? There's something niggling at him.
Then the Brit looks off as if he hears something and he peers at it. Psy-fire of course only amplifies his expressions. It curls in confused little circles, remaining close to his body. Normally doesn't do that.

Mike kneels down next to Jono. He starts to say, "Jono, remember you were sh…" but before he quite gets 'Shot' out, Rashmi appears. A moment of utter mischief siezes him, and he grins. If only his image inducer were operational, Rashmi would be warned about the immediate hazard. So, Mike says to himself. We can mention the 'fix it' in a moment, can't we? Sure. You remember to do that, ok? Sure.
"Hi Rashmi, how are you doing?"

"Just fine," Rashmi says slowly, approaching the scene with all the caution of one walking toward a gas fire. "…Sort of wondering why Jono's plopped down in the dirt, but otherwise… well, you know. Things and stuff."

Psy-fire brightens and uncurls briefly at Mike's words, but then it curls in again. «Yes.» Jonothon remembers, but that isn't what he's forgetting. He's sure it isn't. In looking back to Rashmi, he shrugs. «Texting.» Oh yeah, his phone. It had been dangling in his hand, but he now closes it. Even tucks it away. «I was tired.» Did you expect a difficult answer? Jono was tired and say down to text. «…I'm forgetting something though. What was it?» That is asked of Mike. «And it isn't about me being shot. I didn't forget that.»

Mike looks over to Rashmi, then back to Jono, impassive face being impassive.
"I'm not sure what you've forgotten, Jono. Was it that you were supposed to go home and finish rebuilding your brain the right way?"
Although that's said with complete respect, that WOULD be impertinent under most situations.

"… …What." Rashmi's voice, flat, devoid of reaction, her steps much less hesitant and much more hurried. "Is it just me, or do the concepts 'shot' and 'rebuilding brains' create a *very worrying combination?!*"

That's it! Relieved, Jonothon nods. «That's what it was! Thanks, mate…» Trails off thanks to Rashmi's tone. He blinks up at her, then tilts his head. Doesn't appear physically injured. Lifts a hand and puts a finger to his temple. «Sniper shot me. Not too badly, but it hurt. Couldn't stop the voices after that.» Hand drops and Jono shakes his head. «Had to stop the strike teams from killing people.» A pause as he frowns. No, something not right there. «More people. Stopped them from killing more people… so many people dying in my head…» Gets a little distant at that one, but a slow blink and he continues with, «Then the man with the sliding mind helped. ..before he ran away.»

Without being able to hear Jono's mental voice, it's Rashmi's words that Connor comes in on… out for an evening jog in his usual sleeveless top and track pants, earbuds in and blasting away, he comes around the corner from doing a circuit around the courtyard, and ends up coming to a slow jog and a stop as he says, "Jonothon… ummmm…. Hi Rashmi… what is he doing here?" Asking in a slightly worried tone as he looks back and forth, "I thought you were going back home for the evening?"

"So, focus with me for a moment, Jono. Do you need to borrow some of my processor so you can fix your brain? I think your memory isn't right."
Mike's words come out JUST before he hears Connor, and there's an 'oops' internally as the other guy appears. "Hey Connor. The cat came back."

"…Texting, I guess," Rashmi says in answer to Connor, her voice weary as she rubs the bridge of her nose. "…He's not going to *drive* home, right? Someone's thought that far ahead?"

«Nono..» No to the processor offer from Mike. «Too much memory. Too much. Can't.. stop. it.» Words slow as something comes into focus. Glowing eyes close and the Brit rubs at his face. «Christ. I could call Thomas..» Not British those last few words. No, that was distinctly female. Jonothon's eyes scrunch up with this and he imitates Rashmi's rubbing at the bridge of her nose. «..Sorry.» Jono's voice that time. «My shields are bollocked. That's what the problem is. Shit. Thanks, Mike.» Hands drop and he looks a little lost. «I've been driving all day.»

Connor gives Rashmi an almost pleading look, "Will you PLEASE talk some sense into either of them? I'm sorry… but he's not going to listen to me, and Mike is well… he's Mike. He helps old ladies with their groceries across busy intersections…" Sighing as he frowns a bit and looks directly at Jonothon. Closing his eyes a moment, he takes a breath, and then settles himself, "If your shields are down… crap… I should get away…"

"He drove here just a few minutes ago. It's not the driving that's the problem. It's the getting there. Can you remember how to make a shield, Jono? I can show you what Addison showed us…"
Mike's offer is genuine enough, but what "shield" means for a Mike may be different to what it means for a Rashmi or especially a Jono. But you gotta start somewhere. It's all down to the zen notion - you may be one with the universe, but that doesn't mean you have to be talking to yourself all the time, right?
Wait whut? "That's silly, Connor. I don't help them across busy intersections. I flash the emergency vehicle pattern at the light so it goes green, and only then I take them across. But what should I do otherwise, watch them get hit by cars?"

Rashmi's eyes flick from Mike to Jono, then Connor. For a long moment, she remains silent, drawing in slow, deep breaths, quite probably to keep her keel more or less even. Finally; "….What kind of sense am I supposed to talk?!" How very Timon-like, her outburst. "Jono got *shot in the head* and is I guess half out of his mind or something and is just plopped in the dirt texting someone and there's people *dying in his head* and HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE THAT MAKE SENSE!" She falls silent again, huffing and puffing for a moment, and turns away, shaking her head. "….I think I'm going to go cram my head full of the Constitution or something."

Jonothon winces as Connor begins to back off. His psy-fire reacts as well, spreading out and spiraling as the air grows heavy. Talk about focus.. he suddenly sounds Russian. «A single will for creation, but two for deification. A single will to raise up the image, but two to make the image into a likeness…. STOP IT.» Eyes tightly closed, he presses his hands to his head. Not quite shouting, but the words are forceful. Mike suddenly finds himself the focus of another mind. Having linked with Mike before, Jono uses the familiar.
Sorry, Mike, this may hurt a little as Jonothon turns the same stubborn force which holds his body together towards putting his shields back up. Couldn't remember the shields. That's what it was. Kept forgetting in the chaotic press of minds what he needed. Now he uses Mike as a stabilizer. For Mike there's a brief chaotic mix of thousands of voices, and then blessed silence. It doesn't take long once he remembered what was so important. And with that silence he releases Mike's mind, opening his eyes.
«Sorry, Gel.» To Rashmi. «You don't have to fix this. Promise.»

Connor winces at the outburst, as he mumbles, "…Sorry…" Then once more with the shout of STOP IT coming across all present, before finally he then says, "I guess… you're just better at this stuff than I am. I let my mouth go before my brain really catches up… I didn't mean to frustrate you." Sighing once as he then blinks at the pair and their actions, before lookign back at Rashmi and finally saying, "He touched my mind… it's part of an Orthodox prayer I learned when I was young… a man's definition of the meaning of the faith… God in Man, Man in God…"

Mike laughs a bit crazy-machine for a second. "Good grief, it's Pentecost a week early. No wonder you were having trouble."
Nevertheless, he does remain kneeling for a moment, gazing into the dust, but it's sorted out with the expected blazing computer-speed. After a moment he looks back up. "No problem Jono. I did offer, after all."

Rashmi shakes her head, rubbing her hands over her face. "No… no, it's fine…. just… I think I need to go do something that requires a whole lot of brainpower. You know… things that go the way they're supposed to once I've learned enough about it."

He's rubbing his temples as he apologizes, «Christ. I'm sorry.» That's to all of you. «I couldn't bloody remember to put up shields.» Hoping that explaining will help you all. If Mike doesn't mind he then climbs to his feet, using Mike's shoulder as leverage. «Connor, it's okay, really. This wasn't your fault and you did nothing wrong.» And kind of leaning against Mike, Jonothon holds out a hand to Rashmi. «Gel..» She should know that tone. He's blaming himself again. Soon his weight is back on his own feet, leaving Mike free to move, and the Brit waits on Rashmi.

Connor watches the group for a moment, and then whether by prudence, or merely a lack of having any formative response, he just nods once and then sighs, rubbing his hands back and forth along his pants. He looks back and forth over the crowd, and then just quietly takes a step towards Rashmi and stands next to her a moment, pulling a water bottle from the honest-to-god fanny pack hooked to him, and offers her the unopened bottle.

Mike is in mid-resort while Jono uses him as a prop, so it's not a problem. He stands up himself when Jono is done, and looks over to Connor and Rashmi. "Do you suppose we should write up a cheat sheet for this sort of thing?"

Rashmi closes her eyes, accepting the bottle with a nod. Taking a deep, deep breath, she turns, moving forward to hug Jono tightly. "Stop," she whispers. "It's not. It's…. it's just not. Trust me, Jono." Squeezing briefly, she shetps back, letting out a breath through her nose, then popping the cap on the bottle. "…Um. …What's this, anyway?"

While the hug is a mild surprise, the man folds her in both arms and psy-fire for as long as she wants. Doesn't try to keep her there, just assure her. «I'm sorry, gel.» For all he doesn't clarify as to what. «Rashmi, there anything I can do to help?» Not the first time Jonothon has had to deal with hearing people die, but he's not entirely sure that's what she's upset about. Well, beyond the obvious friend having been shot thing.

Mike is eyed for the cheat sheet idea, and the Brit can only shake his head. «You two.» There's a smile though, and he eyes Connor too. Not a great smile, as he's tired, but it's there. «Sorry if I scared you all, and thanks for reminding me. I'd be all sheets to the wind still otherwise.»

Connor pulls his opened water bottle from his pack, and takes a drink from it, finishing it off before it's surrounded by his energy signature, and floats it's way over to the recycling bin close by, and then drops in with a rebounding sound. Sighing once more, he runs his hands through his hair, and says, "Scared? Yeah… worried? Moreso…" Looking towards Rashmi, he adds a comforting hand on her shoulder as she steps back, patting softly and then letting his hand drop as he looks over at Mike and gives a slight shrug.

The robot kid shrugs. "It seems like something to have, like a first-aid cheat sheet, y'know?"

"No… no… There's really nothing." Hugging her arms about her middle, she shrugs. "And don't worry about it, Jono. If it wasn't you, it'd probably be something else. I don't know… it just seems like if it's not a huge problem, it's a little one, or someone having a crisis, or stuff, or more stuff. …Frankly I'm surprised I don't have a reason to be upset at Lucas again, the way things go around here."

Jonothon seeks to place a hand on Rashmi's shoulder. He's still sheathed in fire, but it's reacting in a far more normal manner now. In as much as psy-fire gets 'normal'. «Rashmi, if I told you not to worry about it, would you?» Reminding her gently that things don't work that way. «Take a deep breath and let it go slowly. You don't have to tell me, but I'm going to worry anyway. Let me know if you want to talk? It's the least I can do.» After all the times she's helped him with his own troubles. That hand falls and he shakes his head. «Thank you, everyone, but I think I'm going to go lay down.» A little grin to Connor and Mike. «I'm several hours late on some good advice.»

Connor shakes his head, "Nah… if Rashmi'd been there instead of us… she'd have done the more sensible thing and told you to use your old quarters here… or take a crash on the couch in the Rec Room… but I don't think Mike or I realized that one until you were five minutes gone and back on autopilot, Jonothon." Sighing once, he looks over at Rashmi, frowning a bit, "Lucas? Nah… he's just his usual confused and introverted self. We talked a bit a few nights back… he was actually kinda stoked to try out teleporting with me… it was just to the attic and back." A little smile touches his lips, "It made him laugh… but don't tell him I told you… all that rep to uphold."

Mike nods to Jonothon. "Drive safe. Don't forget you left your sister mid-text there."
He shakes his head at Rashmi. "Will it help at all for me to tell you that you should stop trying to be responsible for everyone else? Or at least stop trying to have the strength to do it by yourself?"
He reaches over to Connor, slow-motion, as if he were doing that weird shield-fighting from Dune, and pokes him slowly in a rib. Because so far he's recognized most of the wierd things Mike has done.

Rashmi leans into the hand on her shoulder, closing her eyes briefly. "…No," she says, resignation in her voice as she manages to give the same answer to both questions asked of her. "No, it probably wouldn't. …If only because it's hard work being the sensible one around here." A weak chuckle at this, a shrug of her shoulder. "Anyway… you get your rest, Jono… and Connor's right, I have a good idea there. See if they've still got your old room, maybe? Also… thanks, Connor. I really did need to hear that."

Dark eyes roll at the rep issue. «Christ.» And yet Jonothon is glad Lucas is actually talking to people. Rashmi is one thing, but more people is good. «Mike is right, Rashmi. Honestly, gel, take your own advice.» Some gentle teasing, and a grin as Connor is slow motioned rib poked. «Don't worry, I'm not driving. I was planning on crashing in my old room tonight. They did leave it for me.» He jerks a thumb back towards the school. Risked the roads more than enough today as it stands. Psy-fire finally snuffs out, leaving Jono looking small as he stands near Mike. «Cheers.» A smile to Mike as he walks past and then he's heading towards the main doors of the school.

Connor offers a wave to Jono as he meanders his way off towards the school… and suddenly his shoulders slump down a bit, and he exhales before looking at the other two. At the slow-poke, he looks down at his ribs and back up, before countering with a poke to Mike's forehead, sending a small green corona around him, "Dude, ramp your proc back up to speed." Eyerolling before he looks at Rashmi once more, "You're welcome. I mean… to be honest? You've been a bigger mark than you'd know. James has actually been understanding towards me. James. He even called me friend. It was touching. There was pie. and ice cream… all of which I got detention for." The last said with a bit of a playful grin.

"Argh! You win again, Atreides," Mike says, as the green flashes around. "I would die but since I don't look like Sting in a speedo, I shall simply sulk and return to trying to make ice cream from kerosene."
He doesn't pile on to the list of things Rashmi's done, though. That's redundant. "What he said," is all that the robot kid says.

Rashmi raises an eyebrow, looking from Connor to Mike, sighing to herself. "…Have I really gotten that bad, guys? …Honestly?"

Connor gives a look that seems equal parts confusion, and discontent, "That 'bad'? What do you mean? Seriously… now you're confusing me… maybe us." Looking at Mike, he smacks the robot boy on the chest, causing a small resonance, before he winces and rubs his knuckles, "I must've missed a part of the conversation… and if I did I'm sorry. Rashmi… is something wrong? Because… if anyone here is going to understand… it's well… just about anyone here."

"When was the last time you had fun on purpose, big sis?" Mike's voice is deliberately pitched younger than usual, which is spoiled slightly when the whap makes things warble a bit. Or maybe not spoiled, it sounds sillier.
"She's been working herszelf too hard," Mike says. "Which only happenz when she'sz worried abouttt szomthinggng and doezzn't want to faaszze it."

Rashmi narrows her eyes at Mike for a moment, conceding the validity of that utterly unfair question. "….Yeah okay he's right, Connor… That's basically it. The last time I had fun?" Lifting her shoulder in a half-shrug, she tips her head back, thinking deeply. "…There was that picnic we went on with Robyn, that was fun. Um…. And, um… The date Lucas took me on? Valentine's Day? And before that, um…."

Connor suddenly gets a wide smile, and looks around for a moment, before saying softly, "So… if you could go anywhere on the planet… where would you want to go, Rashmi..?" And then giving like a look as if somehow there is a joke the two might get that no one else would, he pulls out his phone, and starts tapping away at a browser window… eyes flicking back and forth occasionally at the girl.

"Anywhere that you could go dressed like you are right now," Mike adds, voice back to normal. Because, seriously. If she wanted to go to Antarctica? Too cold for that summer-weight outfit.

Rashmi opens her mouth to reply, blinks, and closes it again, brow furrowing. "I… um…. I… don't know. Um… can I get back to you on that? Seriously, I will, just… I, um… don't really think about places I'd like to go that *aren't* in stories and stuff… You know… when you don't have a whole lot of money growing up, taking trips is sort of something you just get used to not doing…"

Connor shrugs once more, pursing his lips and then smiling broadly, "Sure, Rashmi… Sure. But listen…" And he reaches over to squeeze her shoulder once more, his other hand going into his pocket, "This whole last month has made me realize that kinda like you… I needed to stop letting the bad side of things get to me… that I had to stop worrying and start looking at what's good that I can do instead." Stopping for a moment he then smiles to Mike, "I can go anywhere in the world… and now… I can take people with me without any more of the insanity stuff. But hey, fantasy or reality… I don't know if I could ever go the places you can."

"Look up 'Malayatoor Church' on your search engine of choice," Mike advises Connor. "She'd squee. Best to get your earplugs ready, in fact."
He pings. "Oh, joy. OK, I'm gonna have to find my way to a safe spot for the next few hours, or even try sleeping. Jono's sharing means I have a lot more to back up tonight than usual."

Rashmi looks back and forth between the two boys, clearing her throat. "Um… Okay guys, hang on. Hang on. Now I *really* appreciate this, honestly I do. And going to Malayattoor… well okay yeah, that'd be *so incredible* and all, but… really. It's late, and it's Sunday, and there's class tomorrow. I, um… Connor… Can I maybe call this in next weekend? Like… when there's time to *really* appreciate what's going on?"

Connor nods to both, and then holds up his phone, "Here's the deal… get me a photo or a live feed… someplace I can use my ability to lock onto. Then… make sure we're cool with the field trip… then… if you want to invite someone else, let me know. But… you want to go for a trip, we can. Consider it my gift to you. And besides… it'd be FUN." Slipping it back into his pocket, he bangs Mike on the shoulder once more, "Then get back to your room, Rodimus… I catch you out in some random place again… I will be passing out cans of paint for embarrassing graffiti tags."

"My revenge would be awesome and terrible, but I'll wait until tomorrow to think about the details," Mike admits. "Good night, you two. Or whatever this hour is."
He turns toward the dorm and starts to sprint off.

"I… okay," Rashmi says, clearly warming to the idea of being able to travel anywhere she wants, immediately, without travel costs. "Okay," she repeats, more certain, "and… thanks. Seriously… good night, Mike, see you in class, okay?"

Mike's answer is a 'beep beep' as he's already halfway to the dorm.

Connor actually winks and then chuckles softly, "I think I'm going to do another lap around, and head back to the room… Robyn and I were going to watch something before bed. We're rooming now… which is pretty cool when I'm behaving myself. You take care of yourself, and we're all good listeners I think. So… if we're not supposed to be shy about talking to you, the opposite is also true. But until then, I'll see you in class too." And with that he reaches for his earbuds to put back in and looks towards the courtyard and then the house, as if deciding which way to go.

Rashmi bobs her head, smiling. "I'm really glad to hear that, Connor… Robyn's a really good guy, it's nice that he finally has a roommate more his speed, you know? Um… You might want to think about making it a few laps around the statue in the courtyard… If only because you never know *when* Magneto will show up, and I think people only *write* about worse curfew enforcers… Anyway. Good night!" And with that, the redhead turns to take herself off back to the dorms.

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