2010-03-25: How To Gain Friends And Influence People


Tara_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg July_icon.jpg Annalisa_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg

Summary: Tara puts labels on cabinets and manages to make even more friends.

Date: March 25, 2010

How to Gain Friends and Influence People

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.

Approaching the kitchen, one can hear the rattle of pots and pans and silverware. Once inside it's rather obvious as to what is going on. Tara, the new blind girl in school, is systematically opening all the cabinets and drawers and feeling around inside of them to figure out what they contain. Once she gets a good inventory of a particular cupboard's contents she whips out a label maker, spends a minute typing on the keyboard and having it spit out a label which she promptly puts on the front of the cabinet. If one was to look closer to the labels, one would notice that there's no visible words, just raised dots along the strip. She's about halfway done labeling the kitchen, and is now sitting on the floor poking around one of the cupboards.

July steps into the kitchen just as Tara keeps labeling doors of the cabinets. "Hey." the girl asks, smiling, "What are you doing?" while walking toward a newly marked cabinet, and brushes a finger against the tag. "Braile?"

Annalisa peeks her head around the corner and into the kitchen. She makes one quick sweep of the area and then spies July and the new girl. She walks in slowly, her pink flip flops making noise across the floor. Shes dressed in a plain pair of jeans, and a t-shirt that reads "Hot stuff" across the front. She thought the pun was funny, at least. "July! How are yo-" She suddenly distracted by the labeling. "Whats she doing?"

Theo hears something strange, he was only initially passing by the kitchen. It wasn't pots and pans that caught his attention, though. It was the sound of labels. "Silverware, glasses, plates," he echoes aloud, and he changes course. He's about to say something rather insensitive as he enters, when he spots July and Tara. His mouth is hanging open, and he manages to hold his tongue long enough to see that Tara is blind. "Having much fun?" he asks, folding his arms across his chest.

"Loads," comes Tara's sardonic answer to Theo. She nods absently to July and says, "Yeah. This kitches is just /huge/. It'll take me a while to memorize where everything's at." Satisfied that she's inventoried this cabinet's contents she starts typing out a label. "I've got to talk to Mr. Parker-Mayfair about joining his cooking classes and seeing if he can help me label all the spices."

July chuckles softly softly, smiling, "I see." she nods softly, "What are your powers… Tara, isn't it?" she asks, smiling, moving to sit on a chair before looking at Annalisa, "Heya, Anna."

Annalisa quickly shuffles over to sit next to July, looking somewhat concerned. "I haven't seen you since before all the ruckus, I wasn't able to get into the medical bay, things were pretty busy. Are you alright?" She glances at Tara, and silently prays her powers won't start a fire.

Theo grins, and responds to July, "Is that how you start all your conversations?" he asks, moving to Tara's side until he's within reaching distance. "You need some help, or you got it?" he asks her, opening the next drawer and checking the contents.

"Thank you," Tara says, turning to 'look' at Theo. Or, at least to make it look like it. Sighted people like it when she does things like that, she found. "But it's better if I do it, and get a good feel for what we've got." Gwrrrrrrrh! The label printer spits out a label, and she deftly plucks it from the device, peels of the back and places it along the top edge of the door. "Miss Squishy I've met before," she says poking a thumb at July. "But you two I haven't. I'm Tara. The new kid on the block. And blind. Duh."

July chuckles softly, "Yeah, you're right. Sorry." she says to Theo, smiling, before looking at Tara again. "And I'm July, Tara. Not 'Miss Squishy'." she chuckles softly again, shaking her head softly, and wrapping an arm around Anna's waist. "Yeah, I'm find now, Anna. Thanks. How are you doing?"

The boy backs up to give Tara space, not contesting her. "No problem, I'd probably feel the same. I'm Theo, I'm new myself. Not blind, but, some of the teachers say I'm selectively deaf."

Annalisa leans up close against July and nods. "I'm Annalisa. Is blindness your power? Can you like, see the future or something?" She turns her head to July, and looks somewhat concerned. "You weren't hurt too badly, right?"

Tara scoots over to the next cabinet and opens it up to poke around this one. She chuckles at the boy, "Good to meet you, Theo." She stops her poking around when Anna asks her question. "You can't be serious, right?" She turns her face to Anna in a good approximation of a look of disbelief. "I was born with damage done to my Occipital cortex from an infection my mother got that nearly killed her, not to mention the cataracts," she says, pointing out that the pupils of her eyes are just as white as the whites. She shakes her head in disbelief before turning back to the task at hand. "Geez."

July blinks at Anna's question to Anna, arching one eyebrow to her, kind of in disbelief at her, but then she shakes her head softly, "No, I'm fine, nothing bad happened." she says, deciding to not worry Anna, since she looks fine.

Theo doesn't laugh aloud, but he has a massive grin after hearing Tara's response. "I think I like you already," he says, his grin audible. He turns on his heels, and walks over to the refridgerator. There's the familiar sound of the magnets releasing, and he looks inside. "Wow, everybody has leftovers in here," he says. "Anyone hungry?" He pulls out a container with a blue lid, and opens it. He sniffs it, and closes it again, and goes for the next one. "Ooh, chili," he announces with a smile, and he starts checking the cabinets. "Tara, you didn't find the bowls already, did you?" he asks as he checks two cabinets which seem to be duds.

Annalisa sets her head against July's shoulder softly. "I wish I had been there. I'd have broken more stuff, but maybe I could have protected you." She smiles at Tara and lets out a giggle. "There are some weird people here, so, how was I supposed to know you couldn't see the future? Theres one girl here who lives in super speed."

"So I take it your power is to be a dumbass jerk to the handicapped, I take it?" Tara nearly growls the question to Annalisa. TO answer Theo's question she offhandedly gestures at an overhead cupboard which opens by itself, and a bowl, helpfully, rises out and settles down on the counter before the boy. Continuing, Tara says, "Sometimes a blind girl is just a blind girl, you know?"

July blinks softly at Annalisa's words, "Dear, sometimes you better quit while you're ahead." she chuckles softly, smiling a bit and patting the girl's head softly. "So, Tara, where do you come from? I came from Washington D.C."

Annalisa shakes her head slightly and frowns. "No. I was treating her the same way I treat every student here. If she'd rather I treat her like some kind of inferior handicapped person, I guess I can. I just assumed feeling sorry for her would be insulting."

Theo stares as the bowl settles before him. "Well that's fun," he describes, stepping forward and taking the bowl. He picks it up, and waves it in front of him once. "That's gotta be the most practical power yet." He slides open the silverwear drawer. He seems to be very much enjoying Tara's attitude toward Annalisa.

"So," he announces, pulling a spoon out. "Anyone else want some chili?" he starts spooning some of it into his bowl.

"Ooooor you could just have apologized when you found out that this might have been a touchy subject instead of going off like I was an idiot for not figuring out that, hey, everybody here who has some kind of disability has a power based on it." She pauses for a moment to get herself to calm down before answering the other two who are here. "Thank you, Theo, but I've already eaten, and July, I lived upstate."

July ah's and nods softly to Tara, smiling a bit to her as she holds Annalisa against her gently. "Ah, I see." She says, and then she glances at the fridge for a moment, hmm'ing softly, and then stretching her arm all the way to it to open it and retrieve a small bottle of water she put in there to cool. "Anyone want some cold water?" she asks, smiling, as she shrinks her arm back to normal.

Annalisa rolls her eyes, choosing to ignore Tara's comments, as opposed to getting mad and blowing stuff up. "I guess I'll have a drink…"

The brown-haired boy shrugs, and spoons himself some more chili. He takes the rest of the container back to toss it inside the still open fridge door. The door is swung shut, and he returns to his bowl and slaps the door button on the microwave, opening it and placing the bowl inside. He shuts it again, and then opens it again, realizing that he left the spoon inside.

"That would've made me popular," he comments. He sticks the spoon in his mouth, and then sets the timer for a minute. He winces as he hits the start button on the microwave, as if it hurt, and then hops up onto the counter, taking a seat.

Tara glowers a bit as she goes back to cataloguing. "Stupid cow," she mutters under her breath. "Couldn't take a hint if somebody whapped her upside the head with it." After a long pause as she works she finally sits back and starts typing on the keypad. "So, Theo, I know what Plastic Girl over there does," she says, "What do you do? What's your power?" It's kind of like Xavier's equivalent of asking for somebody's sign.

July sighs softly. She can understand why Tara is angry at Annalisa, but she just can't understand why Tara keeps throwing nicknames at her. "Tara, no offense, but I have a name." she says, arching one eyebrow at the blind girl.

Annalisa scratches her head a bit. "If you're gonna call her a nickname, at least use the right code name for her. She has one, she also has a real name…which I believe she told you…"

Theo pauses, and it doesn't take eyes to feel the tension that seems to follow the question. He looks at July, and then to Annalisa before looking back to the microwave, watching the seconds tick. At last he pulls the spoon from his mouth and answers

. "I can hear machines," he says. "What they're thinking, what their doing. It's really noisy. Starting to get the hang of it, There's probably about a hundred of them or so I can hear right now. So I guess you could say I have the superpower of headaches until I can control it better." He reaches over and hits the door at the same time it hits zero without looking at it, preventing it from dinging. He pulls the chili from the microwave and sticks his spoon in it.

Grrrrnnngh, goes the label maker again. "That's actually pretty cool," says Tara with a hint of appreciation. "Its… mechanical empathy." She peels the paper off the back of the label and sticks it on the edge of the door, very pointedly ignoring July and Annalisa. "That'll be really handy once you get to the point where it doesn't give you migraines," and she sounds rather confident that he will.

July knows her question was ignored, and she lightly taps her index fingertip on the table while remaining in silence for a few moments. "Y'know what… I'm leaving." she says, standing up. "Got stuff to do at college, plus preparing a project." She didn't even touch her water, so she just heads to the refrigerator to put it back in, before turning toward Tara. "I didn't do anything to you, Tara. Yet, somehow, you refused to call me by my name. I find that rather annoying, and, if intentional, pretty rude and insulting. I really don't know what I did to you to get you that way with me."

Annalisa gasps as July prepares to leave, standing to walk over with her. "Do you have to go? We barely see each other lately, can't we go do something fun or something?"

Theo sticks a spoonful of chili into his mouth. "Well, see y'all later," he says with his mouth full. "It's got its perks I guess," he says. "Like the fact that Mike can't sneak up on me." He smiles, finding an actual use for himself. "I can tell he's on his way in here right now. Don't ask me what he'd eat, though." He sticks another spoonful in his mouth. "So," he says with his mouth full again. "You seem pretty good at that movin' stuff," he says. "You been doing it a long time?"

The school has some rather odd mutants. Here comes one! Mike the Macheen, the Drakos family's firstborn (and wait until Mike hears about the reason for the adjective!)

Mike is pretty much silent coming into the kitchen, but then he wasn't trying to be sneaky. He's not using his image inducer, so he's a shiny white and metal guy with black tyres for palms and the soles of his feet, and oddly enough his hair. In deference to the modesty of the humans, the motorcycle boy is wearing black cargo shorts.

He waves as he enters. "Hello, Theo. I heard you announce me too. Thank you for that, I have such a hard time being recognized."

He looks at JulyAndAnnalisa and waves again, and his eyes brighten (literally, they click on like headlights) when he sees Tara. "Hey there, Tara. How you doing tonight?"

Tara turns her head to point an ear at the door to catch Mike's arrival and July and Annalisa's departure. A look of relief washes over her when, at first Theo announces Mike's impending arrival and then when Mike actually arrives. "About six months or so," answers the girl to Theo's inquiry. "But I think I had it for a lot longer than that because I was always able to kind of tell where things were in a sixth-sense kind of way." To Mike she says, "Hey, there, Astroboy," The nickname is said with affection, and without malice. "I'm doing better now that you're here."

July nods softly to Mike as he shows up, "Hey, Mike. Glad to see you're alright." she says, smiling a bit, but then she looks at Tara, her smile fading, "Sorry, Anna, I really gotta get going. Apparently someone would rather have me out of here than me spending more time here with my friends." She says, glancing at Tara and frowning softly. But she says nothing else, just turning to Annalisa, smiling softly and kissing the girl's cheek, "I'll call you later tonight, when I return back to my dorm."

July then waves to everyone else, "Bye." before leaving the kitchen.

Annalisa waves to July as she leaves, suddenly looking very down. She sits back at her table and props her head against her arms. "Aww…"

Theo arches his brow as July kisses Annalisa on the cheek, putting another spoon of chili in his mouth. His attention was pretty well caught by it. "Have a good night, July," he says, not seeming to be bothered that July is upset by Tara. He hops down from the counter.

"I do what I can," he answers Mike. "Want some chili?"

"Thanks, Ju…. … ly?" And she's gone. Wow. "Uh, that was aggressively passively unnecessary. I szuppose I missed the drama."

Mike's electronically distorted voice is pitched low for that last bit, but he brightens up as he goes to the sink.

"I dizcovered that I usze a bit more water now thaan before," he says as if anyone knew he used to use it at all. A regular glass is filled with the stuff, and he takes a metal straw out of his pants pocket, inserts it in his mouth (which opens just enough for that to work) and puts the other end in the glass.

"I'm a car," he says to Theo. "I live on gasoline."

"High octane, I take it?" Tara asks Mike, and then a thought strikes her. "What if we give you a boost of nitrous?" As for the drama part of things she remains very pointedly silent about it.

Annalisa sighs, seeming to ignore the conversation, and the mysterious robot boy. She stretches and stands, going to leave the room, giving a half wave to everyone. "Bye, I guess." She says as she leaves.

Theo watches as Annalisa gets up. "Oh, well, have a good night," he says, giving her a salute with his spoon. He shoves a few more spoonfuls of chili in his mouth. "Mike, that's disgusting. What does gas taste like, anyway?"

"Reguler works fine," Mike answers, still drinking. The water isn't going down that fast, but there's a faint chuggachugga sound as a pump pulls it into his body.

He watches Annalisa doing the "My Life Is Over And Someone Stepped On My Birthday Cake" wave … After she leaves, he says in a puzzled tone, "OK, I undersztand that she and July are besztezt bozom buddies … I saw that all of laszt week … szo why doesz she say they never see each other?"

"Because they're in wuuuuuuuv," says Tara disdainfully. "God, they couldn't keep their hands off each other." She stands up and dusts off her knees before opening the drawer before her, setting the labeler down on the counter.

"Yeah," Theo says, a little lost in thought. He might have said something different than he does, because he realizes that Tara is still in the room. "That's really not appropriate," he says with a change of tone. He turns back to Tara. "So when did you get here?" he asks. "You said you're new too, right?"

Mike says, "Ah, yooung luszt. The bezst kind," Mike says a bit wistfully. Not that he quite had the chance to get into that. The whole "merge with vehicles" thing made his folks get really strict with him, and then there was the "new kid in school" thing every year or so, and it was only last fall when he even got to start experimenting, and then he ruined that by getting himself killed. Even if he did get better. And Theo may well over hear that reminiscence, as Mike is standing near him and not thinking to guard his thoughts."

"Earlier in the week," answers Tara, running her hands over the various kitchen implements. "Same day all the kids that this Sinister jerk kidnapped showed back up." A huge grin spreads on her face and she reaches out to hug Mike closer to her (with or without his permission) "We got to be battle buddies for the day!"

"Yeah, I heard about that," Theo answers. "Mike, we really didn't need to know all that detail, seriously. That's the kinda thing you save for shrink or something." Theo clearly didn't connect that what Mike was saying wasn't meant for his ears, and didn't know that Tara didn't hear it. He scrapes out the last spoonful of chili, and places the bowl in the sink.

"Tara, it was really great to meet you, you're a really refreshing person to find here," he says, watching her give Mike a hug attack. "I think I'm gonna turn in for the night." He stands to his feet, and then starts toward the exit.

Three hugs in one day! BONUS! Mike is, however, not particularly squishy, being metal and stuff, but he does say, "Daww" and revs his engine a little. He looks over at Theo and says, "You're hearing inside sztuff again, Theo." He doesn't seem perturbed, but he does ask one thing: "Theo. Hey, do you know if there's any kind of small vehicle type things in the mansion? Like a wheelchair or a segway?"

"Theo pauses. "Um, Not within range at the moment. I've spent most of my time tryin' to drown stuff out. There is some crazy seeming stuff in the garage. Haven't been in there yet, but wow. Whatever it is, it's big. I'll keep an ear out, and if anything gets noticed, I'll let you know. I think the founder had a wheelchair, maybe there's one still around." He gives a shrug. "I'll see y'all later."

Tara gives Theo a goodbye wave, as she disengages from Mike and goes back to rummaging around the drawer. "Later, Theo!" There's a pause, and rummage, rummage, rummage. "You know, Mike, you're pretty cuddly for a robot."

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