2013-06-17: Hay Is For Horses


JillV_icon.jpg Nicholas_icon.jpg

Summary: Nick breaks the news that he and Sophie have sought out a cure for Jill's vampirism. A serious discussion ensues about their outsider status. Then they flirt a little. Awkwardly.

Date: June 17, 2013

Log Title: Hay is For Horses

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Stables

The smell of horse and hay immediately hit the sense for anyone who step in here. There are empty stalls for students with horses, and school owned horses for those who wish to ride. Tackle, saddles (English and Western), helmets, and grooming supplies are found neatly tucked away in a supply closet.

Nicholas has just been on a long ride with Orion and now he's working on cleaning out the stable before putting up his horse for the night. With how hot the day has been, Nick's decided to take his shirt off to shovel out all the old hay, placing it in a wheelbarrow outside the door. Since not many others come to the stables he doesn't mind having all of the scars from the Purifiers showing. Nicholas likes the hard work it helps keeps his mind busy.

A pair of voyeuristic eyes rest on Nick, as they have for the past ten to fifteen minutes. There is generally a fine line between leaving someone to their own devices and waiting on tenterhooks for them to either notice or take an appropriate break. Jill fidgets, chewing on her fingernails. In a way, she likes the simplicity of Nick's hobbies, the quiet confidence that he shows when he's at work, and she's cautious about disturbing it. But when he heads inside the barn every other minute, she can't see him anymore, and the time grows dull. Sitting cross-legged on the peaked roof of the barn, the vampire girl holds out a single acorn at arm's length, judging the distance, the drop time, and exactly when Nick will be juuuuust underneath it… Drop!

Nicholas winces, not from pain but from surprise, as the acorn hits the top of his head. He looks up and spots Jill sitting on top of the roof of the stables. Grinning up at her, he waves. "Hey there, it isn't too hot for you up there? Come on down into the stables, there's shade there." He also has something he'd like to talk to her about. He's breathing a bit heavy from all the hard work. "So how's it going Jill?"

"Hey there," the vampire calls back with a big grin. Jill wiggles to the edge of the roof without actually standing up, levers her legs over the edge, and slides down to hang by her fingers before dropping lightly to the ground. Despite being able to fly, sometimes heights are still… iffy. She comes up to give Nick a quick hug, despite the sweat and smell of horse dung clinging to him. "Hey, it's going. I was just coming by to say we're gonna watch some movies in the dorm rec room later, but you looked busy, so I didn't wanna interrupt." Instead choosing to just watch, which isn't creepy at all.

Nicholas either doesn't seem to notice or be bothered by the fact that she was watching him. He hugs her back smiling. " Sorry I'm all sweaty. Once I'm done here I'll join you. Just gotta finish up mucking out Orion's stall, then brush him down, take a shower and I can get some dinner while watching." He leads Jill into the stable and cracks open a cold bottle of water, chugging most of it quickly. "Ow…cold. Anyway…actually it's cool that you found me out here, I…wanted to talk to you about something. Something I felt shouldn't be kept hidden from you."

"I don't mind if you're sweaty. You're just doin' what you love, so I can't fault you for it." Jill wanders after Nick into the shade of the stable, hopping up to sit on the edge of a work table usually reserved for polishing tack and saddles. Her feet kick back and forth with repressed energy. However, Nick's words put a pause to her motion and she frowns, leaning forward with her hands on her knees. "What's the matter?" she asks worriedly, trying to keep her imagination from running away with the vague portentous statement. She can't help it, and her mind wanders to worst case scenarios anyway.

Nicholas shakes his head. "Nothing's the matter just, I want to be honest with you and I hate feeling like I'm a keeping a secret. Sophie might be pissed at me for telling you but I'd be pissed at myself for not." Nicholas says walking over and taking Jill's hand in his. "Sophie and I went to talk to this woman, who knows stuff about the supernatural. About if there's a way to reverse your Vampirism. I'm not sure if you want a cure or not so I wanted to go to hear what she had to say…she's…looking into it. Now, I don't want you to think that I want you to change, I just want you and whatever makes you happy."

Jill's frown deepens, largely at Nick's distress. "You and Sophie?" The girl worries at her bottom lip with a fang, falling silent for a moment. "You really went and did that for me? You actually, like, went out? On your own?" Quietly, she's pleased, but the subject matter is still serious enough to warrant her full attention and furthermore she's not entirely sure what to think about it all. "So, this woman… Was her name Kalindi?" she asks hesitantly, crossing her legs at the ankles to keep them from moving.

"I honestly don't know, she wouldn't give us her name." Nicholas says and the frown makes him a bit worried. "I know we should have told you we were doing this before we did, but Sophie… she didn't want to give you false hope. Please don't be mad, I just wanted to go with her and find out what was going incase…well…I worry about you Jill, a lot." He says reaching a hand up to brush one of her hairs back.

Jill's hand drifts up to touch Nick's but she stops the motion midway. "Hey, hey. I'm not mad," she explains kindly. "It's not like you were going behind my back or anything. It's cool you guys are trying to help, y'know?" The blonde girl favors Nick with a fangy smile. "You're lookin' out for me. That makes me happy." Finally she completes the motion of her hand and squeezes the boy's hand gently in her own. Though still crossed at the ankles, her legs swing unconsciously with a nervous energy. "I guess it probably wasn't Kalindi, though… 'cause I already asked her. So." Ruby red eyes level at Nick and fix on him. "So… what did she have to say?"

"Well she didn't say a cure was impossible but she didn't know of one either. She mentioned something about having…uh…something of you before you were turned." Nicholas says trying to figure out what to say without sounding creepy. "Like I guess part of you. Something from you physically like…maybe that hand if it's still around. I know it's really creepy and weird sounding.

Jill has the decency to look a little disappointed at the noncommittal answer from the mysterious magical woman. "I dunno if I have anything like that. Maybe an old hairbrush back home or something." Then her brow furrows and she gives Nick a suspicious glance. "Wait, seriously? My hand? It's… uh… it's still in the medbay, y'know? Like, in a jar." She scratches idly at the back of her neck. "Speaking of creepy, y'know, it's… kinda still alive, I think."

"I think the woman was going to talk to someone here at the school about it." Nicholas says look over at his impatient horse which makes him smile faintly. "It's still kinda alive? That is creepy. But seriously Jill, I don't want you to think that you have to do anything, okay? It's just an option in case you found that you did want to go back to how you were. But if you choose to stay a vampire I promise I stay by your side and do whatever I can to make sure you stay you and not turn fully."

The vampire girl opens her mouth to say something but only a soft sigh comes out. She slides off the edge of the table and wanders aimlessly around the straw-strewn barn. "Nick," Jill begins and stops in place, squeezing her hands tightly behind her back. She speaks without turning around to look at him. "It's not that easy, y'know? Bein' a vampire, it… it feels *great*. I can't really describe it. But I worry about this stuff too. Like, what's it gonna be like when you're 30 and I still look 16? Or even worse, when… if… I outlive you. All of you guys." Her hands drop to her sides and she turns slowly, looking over her shoulder. "Who doesn't wanna live forever?"

"I don't even know if I believe in Heaven," says Jill softly. "But then I see weird things I can't explain. Why does a cross affect me like it does? Does that mean, definitively, that there's proof God exists? And if I've been shown this proof and I still don't believe, what does *that* mean?" Her face screws up in anguish and she crosses her arms tightly over her chest. "Do I want to stay this way, or go back to… that?"

"I have to believe they're all in a better place." Nicholas says quietly. "Otherwise…what's the point? Of everything? The idea that they're just buried and…" He shakes his head and knows he has to believe his parents are in a better place. "Faith is an odd thing but it's something I've always had." He frowns a bit at Jill and how she says 'go back to… that'. "There's nothing wrong with the way you were Jill. Was it really that bad?"

Jill tightens the self-hug a notch and huffs out a breath through her nose. "I dunno… I guess faith was just never a big thing for me, y'know? I went to a Catholic school, and there's nothing better for breeding atheists, I think." Slowly she relaxes her arms and lets them drop, turning her attention to Orion in his stall. The vampire stretches out a hand slowly toward the horse's nose, letting him decide if he wants to be touched. "It always made me feel a little… less than human," she opines. "It wasn't *bad*… not really. But I mean, try askin' Ahmed or Taylor if they'd rather *not* be mutants after all."

Orion lets Jill pet his nose and Nicholas walks up behind Jill and puts his arms around her. "Jill….you don't think I've felt…less than human after all the crap I've been through. It doesn't matter if you look normal or not, if you're a mutant someone is going to hate you. I'm not the same every since…..and it's getting worse, but that doesn't matter right now. Does being Vampire make you feel more human? The need to drink blood, the fact that you do burn a bit when going out into the sun? Vampirism isn't a cure it's just a different thing that makes you not normal. Being a mutant makes me not normal." He's having a difficult time putting what he wants to say to words. Stepping back from Jill, Nick sits down on a hay bale and runs a hand through his hair. "I'd say it doesn't matter but it does, Lord knows it does."

Jill strokes Orion's nose gently then leans back into the embrace from behind. She breathes slowly and deeply, glad that her boyfriend can't see her face for the moment. "That's… that's not what I meant, Nick. I know… I know you've suffered. More than anybody." When the boy lets her go and steps back, she turns to face him, resting a shoulder against the stall's door as Orion gives a little snort against the ticklish part of the back of her neck. "I know I'm just trading one… one 'curse' for another." She sucks in her bottom lip and chews on it. "In the long run, I guess it doesn't make much difference one way or the other. We're all… not normal." She waves a hand in front of her face as if shooing away a fly. "Nick, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-…" She trails off into silence, not clarifying what she didn't mean to do.

"Didn't mean to what?" Nicholas asks not feeling like she did anything. "You didn't do anything. I just….I want you to know I first got a crush on you when you were blue and now that you're a vampire, I still like you, a lot." He's not sure if he can say the word love yet, he feels he's too young but he can say that he cares a great deal for Jill and wants to be with her. "As long as you never change the core of who you are, all I can be is happy for you, and happy with you."

"I guess I just didn't mean for this to get so serious. All I wanted to do was ask to you come see a movie with me, and Shane, and whoever else wants to show up." Jill lifts a hand in half a shrug and, for the first time in a while, smiles. "Nick… you're sweet, you know that? Despite what you think, you really can say all the right things sometimes." She pushes off the stall and moves over the hay bale, squatting in front of Nick. "And I promise, I won't change. I don't feel any different than when I *was* blue. As in color, not sadness." Slipping her hand into his, Jill gives it a squeeze. "I care about you too," she says, equally hesitant to use the L-word, as if by some unspoken agreement between them. "And I want to make you happy, and just… be around you, y'know?" Her nostrils flare briefly and she leans back, away from him while making a comical face. "Even if you do smell like horse shit."

Nicholas smiles and leans forward to give Jill a kiss. "At least horse shit smells better than people shit." Or maybe he's just become use to the smell of horse that he almost finds the scent to be a comfort. "No… it's okay. It's not your fault I just had to get it off my chest, ya know? Sophie might get pissed at me cause she didn't want to give you false hope…she's also convinced that you one hundred percent want to be cured and snapped at me when I suggested otherwise." He can't help but grin to keep the comments light hearted. "I just want you to know, I'm happy with you by my side. I maybe a mess of problems, I may get panic attacks and almost no sleep and suffer sad panda syndrome like a blue ribbon champion but you really do make me happy."

Jill leans forward on the balls of her feet, returning the kiss that lasts for over a full second. When she finally breaks it, her cheeks are slightly flushed and she has a somewhat goofy look on her face. Her eyes flick away, pleased but embarrassed nonetheless. "Leave Sophie to me, 'kay? If she'll be pissed at anyone, let it be me. She can hit me on the head with her big ol' Bible or something." Lacing her fingers together, the blonde girl squeezes her hands between her knees and grins broad enough to show her fangs. "What can I say? I'm a sucker for a fixer-upper. Though it'd be nice if you were still under warranty."

Nicholas stands up while laughing, the image of Jill thwacking Sophie with a bible is just amusing. "So, I'll hurry up to finish in here, shower so I don't smell like horse poop, put on some clean clothes…and I finally went clothing shopping at the mall to replace what I lost months ago…and join you in the rec room for some movies. I picked up a few new ones from the five dollar bin at Target, like Jackass 3D, Neverending Story, The Goonies and Anchorman so I'll bring 'em along with me."

"I heard! I'm proud of you for getting out and about, y'know? I know it ain't easy." The girl levers herself to a standing position with a soft grunt of exertion. "I'll go get something to eat… err… drink, then. I know it's kinda creepy sometimes. Then again, watching me eat was never very pleasant even before I was a vampire." Translucent throat, and all that. However, the thought of blood makes her lick her lips in anticipation… and eye Nick a little curiously. There's an unspoken question, but she looks away before their eyes meet. No, much too soon to ask *that*. "I c-could make *real* food, too. Like nachos or popcorn or somethin'?" she offers instead.

"Are you okay with eating that kind of food as well?" Nicholas just isn't sure how hear and real food manage. If it turns to ash in her mouth like in some movie he's seen or her stomach can't handle it. "Nachos or popcorn sound great. I'm going to want to eat a lot of food after this. A frozen pizza sounds great right now." Something he'll make in the small kitchen of the hang out room while they're watching a movie. He's seems completely oblivious to the unspoken question though.

"Oh yeah, real food's fine. We went out for tea and Chinese that one time, remember?" Jill slips her hands into her back pockets to keep them from fidgeting. "I can even eat garlic, if I want to. Just… raw's probably not a great idea. Somethin' about the smell… I dunno." She shakes her head. "See you there in, what, half an hour maybe? I'll go knock on some doors, see who else wants to come." A pause. "Unless… you just wanted it to be just us?" The lilt in her tone denotes that she's not averse to the idea, but might actually prefer company anyway.

Nicholas smacks his forehead with his palm and winces. "That's right, sorry, total brain fart moment. And who would want to eat raw garlic?" The idea of it raw just seems overpowering. "Sure, give me a half hour and as much as I'd like it to be just us, I think if we're in the main room we'll have company no matter if we ask people or not. Unless you want to come back to my room and watch a movie or two? Either way I'm good."

"Obviously you've never had fried plantain chips with fresh garlic. Delicious… but deadly breath afterwards. Good to know it'd keep other vampires away, though." The creeping little blush in Jill's cheeks rises again at Nick's off-handed suggestion. The two of them, alone, in Nick's room? "Uhh, I think the dorm TV is bigger, so…" So yeah. She sidles toward the stables' open doors, turning around with a hand on the frame. The vampire gives a polite little cough, lifting her index finger and pointing gently at Nick. "A shirt might not be a bad idea, either. But, uhh, don't feel you have to, y'know?" Fangs glisten as she grins broadly and slips outside to leave Nick to finish up.

"Obliviously I haven't." Nicholas says confirming that he's never eaten that, let alone a plantain. "Don't worry, I'll be putting a shirt on." He's actually quite self conscious about his scars to people other than Jill and his close friends. "I'll see you in a bit." And he gives her another kiss before grabbing the pitchfork and going back to removing the old hay from the stall.

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