2010-08-04: Just One Of The Girls


Jaidee_icon.jpg Jill_icon.jpg Tara_icon.jpg

Summary: Discussion of superheroes and code names leads to the discovery that there's only one actual girl there. Or maybe two.

Date: August 4, 2010

Log Title: Just One of the Girls

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Cafeteria

There is a large cafeteria for the students. Blue and white tiled floor lines the floor and there are large windows that let in a lot of light. Six sturdy blue plastic chairs sit around each white table. There are a few snack and soda machines along with a few microwaves and refrigerators sit along one wall.

With school still out for the summer, the student cafeteria is seeing less use than usual, but it's still less formal than the dining room. Only a few people are scattered around the tables, most of them sitting together. Except for Jill, who is at a table alone with a few textbooks set close at hand. She is obviously trying to get some work done but between the Nintendo DS in one hand and the Dr. Pepper in the other, she isn't likely to overtax herself. An empty plate sprinkled with crumbs tells why she's here instead of somewhere like the library.

Tara wanders in from the quad, dressed in a fresh pair of gym shorts and plain white t-shirt. Slung under an arm is a duffel bag stuffed with her workout clothes. Her hair is wet having just come out of the shower after a good, long workout in the gym, and now she prepares to get herself a proper meal now that hunger has reared it's ugly head. She's in luck! Today is pizza day (the best day of the week) and there's still some left. She takes a couple of slices on a plate, grabs one of the pre-prepared salad and a coke from the vending machine and looks for a good place to sit. "Mind if I sit here?" She asks Jill, and not really waiting for an answer, she sets her tray down on the table.

Distracted by already splitting her attention two ways, the blue kid lazily lifts her head to find Tara already staking a claim. "Oh, hey," she says in a voice that's simultaneously surprised and unhurried at the same time. "I mean, sure, be my guest…" Narrowing her eyes helps to focus Jill memory and she adds, with not a little satisfaction at having remembered at all, "Tara. How's it going?"

Tara shrugs as she plants her butt down in the plastic chair sitting across from Jill. "It's going. Summer ended up being more boring that I thought it would be, but I can live with it," she says with a little shrug. "How 'bout you?"

Jill snaps her DS closed and sets it aside, sinking down in her chair to more clearly illustrate her level of despair. "I have to take tests before school even starts," she complains, letting her chin rest heavily in the palm of one hand while using the other gesture broadly at the scattered books. "It's not fair!"

The edges of Tara's mouth pull down in a sympathetic frown. "Wow. That's totally lame," she says, stating the obvious. "What kind of tests are they making you take," she asks, before taking a huge chunk out of the slice of pizza.

Heaving a dramatic and well-practiced teenager's sigh, Jill drops her gesturing hand to drum her fingers on the table. "Well, I didn't exactly get to finish last year at my old school, so I guess they want to know how much *I* know. Only two of them are actual tests, the rest are short papers and stuff," she admits, but keeps going so as not to lose the sympathy vote. "But it still sucks!"

Tara snorts, "Like they didn't give you a pass for turning into a puddle of goo?" She makes a show of rolling her eyes, the movements exaggerated. "Laaaame. It's not like they don't have standardized tests for that kinda thing."

"Nope. Not even a 'please excuse Jill from gym class, she has no legs'." Jill sighs again but her outrage is running out of steam already and she can't keep it up for much longer. "Everything else is going pretty good, great even, so maybe it's some kind of cosmic balance… thing."

Tara takes another huge bite out of the pizza and shrugs. "Just you wait until you've got space aliens or dinosaurs attacking the school. That's when life gets /awesome/." There's no trace of sarcasm in her voice. It seems that Tara really and honestly believes that said things are, in fact, awesome.

"How much good karma do you have to work up to have dinosaurs attack your high school?" Jill pauses, apparently believing Tara to be kidding. She has much still to learn. "Or would you have bad karma, since you're being attacked by dinosaurs and all?"

"I don't know," muses Tara thoughtfully. "I don't think the school's been attacked by dinosaurs yet. A couple of years ago there were aliens, but I wasn't around for that." She can't help but sound disappointed at that.

Jill doodles in an open spiral notebook, drawing a stick figure T-rex picking up a school bus and, for some reason, breathing fire. "You're seriously into the superhero thing, aren't you?" she asks, incredulous but curious, looking up from the paper to meet Tara's eyes. For all the good that will do.

"Yup!" Tara says confidently. "I knew it when I really got a hold on my powers. I mean, they do everything they can here to try to convince you that you should only use your powers if you absolutely had to and had no other choice." She sets her slice of pizza down, having all but forgotten it, now. "But not me. When I graduate I'm gonna be a superhero. Kickin' bad guy butt and savin' the world!" She pauses when she realize that she'd leapt to her feet as she was speaking and slowly lowers herself down to her chair. "Only problem is," she grumps, "I don't have a code name."

"That's the *only* problem?" Jill sputters, a slightly horrified look on her face. "Not the psychopaths in spandex who wants to destroy Cleveland? Not the getting beat up and shot at on a daily basis?" She leans her chair back on two legs and holds up her hands, palms out, like 'none for me, thanks'.

"Well, yeah," Tara says, looking rather perplexed. "I mean, if it wasn't for the psychopaths out there there wouldn't be a /need/ for superheroes, right? And all the superheroes have really cool names."

"Well," Jill thinks out loud, starting to take this a bit more seriously. Or at least to give it more thought. "Do you have a costume yet? I mean, that's probably the easy way. Make the costume and then come up with a name that fits. Something like… a giant bat." Oddly appropriate, actually.

Tara wrinkles her nose in distaste. "Ugh. Bats. No, right now I'm using the training uniform since I'm still in school. But I still need a code name for when we're doing all the running around and stuff."

"I don't think I'm brave enough to put on the one they gave me. It's still in my closet." Deft blue fingers roll the Dr Pepper around in its can like someone savoring the bouquet of a fine brandy. "Something short, but catchy," Jill opines, taking up this challenge. "Like Awesome Girl."

Tara looks like she's seriously considering the name, tapping her fingers on the table. "Mmm. However appropriate it is, I don't think the teachers would buy it. Or the villains." She grins, and starts giggling. "I mean, c'mon. 'Oh, no! Here comes Awesome Girl! we better run!'"

"I'd run if somebody named Awesome Girl started chasing me," the blue teen offers consolingly. "And why would the teachers care anyway?" A concern darkens Jill's expression and she asks more seriously, "Are we *supposed* to have one? Like spies and secret agents do?" She chews her bottom lip.

Tara nods her head. "I think so. I mean, everybody has one so I think it's just expected of you." She sighs, "And the teachers care because they want you take the danger room sessions /seriously/ and a name like Awesome Girl wouldn't be /serious enough/ for them."

"Oh man," Jill whines and puts a fingertip in her mouth to chew on fingernails she no longer has. "That means I need one too. I'm terrible at this kind of stuff. I couldn't even come up with a name for a Twitter account so I just ended up not getting one." Prying the finger from her mouth, she drums her fingers, unconsciously imitating Tara. They're in the same boat now, after all.

The padding of bare feet and Jaidee walks in from the outside, yawning slightly and stretching his arms above his head. He smiles when he sees Tara and Jill, and waves to the both of them. "Hello!" He greets as he goes by to get some food.

Tara tilts her head as she hears the distinctive sound of bare feet on the linoleum floor. "Must be…" she pauses as Jaidee greets them and she nods. "Yup. Hello!" She turns back to Jill. "I don't know. I think you'd have an easier time coming up with something. Find something in mythology that's kind of like you and name yourself after it."

"Hey!" Jill greets back, lifting a hand to wave as Jaidee zooms on by. She scoops up and stacks the scattered textbooks on the table to make room for one more. "Well, there's Proteus, but I'm pretty sure he was a guy. And Blue Raspberry Jello isn't very heroic." She hums disappointedly. "I still say you should go with a bat. Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot."

Jaidee gives a little bit of a grin. "Am I so easy to hear?" He asks, looking down at his feet. "I should get more people barefoot, so I can be sneaky." He says, although he is clearly teasing before he moves over. "What are we talking?" He asks, definitely needing another part of speech in there.

Tara tilts her head quizzically at Jaidee. "Why would you want to sneak up on a blind girl?" she asks, sounding incensed. "That's just mean. Anyway. We were talking about code names. And the lack thereof." She waves the remains of her pizza at Jill. "You could always feminize it. Call yourself Protea."

"I dunno. Still sounds silly to me." Jill takes the pizza without hesitation, picking off the toppings and eating them one by one. Jaidee, at least, is privileged to watch them slide down the inside of her throat in slow motion. "Well if *you're* not going to use Awesome Girl, no reason it should go to waste. What about you? What would your superhero name be, Jaidee?"

Jaidee blinks a little bit at that, looking at Tara. "That isn't what I meant…I'm sorry, I seem to say always wrong things to you, Khun Tara." He says sheepishly, laughing a little bit before he looks back to Jill. "What? Oh…what was it…code name?"

"Certainly not Awesome Girl, /that's/ for sure," snarks Tara. "You don't have the parts for it." Now that the requisite teasing is over she begins to explain, "Well, when you're in the Danger Room doing … danger things…. they want everybody to get into the habit of calling each other by another name. You know, so that if the bad guys hear it they don't go, 'Oh, hey! That's Jaidee? Wow. We better go off to Thailand to kidnap his family!'" She nods sagely, "Bad guys are like that."

"Like a nickname," Jill chimes in helpfully. "Except I guess you pick it for yourself, so it's not really like a nickname at all. More of a… nom de guerre." She's not helping much.

Jaidee nods. "I knew 10 Jaidees when I was at school, but I know what you mean." He says after a moment of contemplation on the subject. "So you are Awesome Girl?" He asks Tara, hmm'ng. "I like it. Very…confident." He offers, before he blinks at the French, which he clearly doesn't understand.

Tara opens her mouth as if to protest Jaidee's approval of Awesome Girl, but instead she just shrugs. "Okay. Awesome Girl until I can think of something better." She knows when she's beat on this one.

Jill tilts her head back and dangles a pepperoni over her mouth, pausing to say "See? Told you." before dropping it in. "You're the first Jaidee I've ever met, but I knew three Marys and *five* Katies. And anyway, I don't think the teachers will get all bent out of shape if can't come up with one."

Jaidee gives a hmm. "I dunno…you were saying mythology…that seems kind of…arrogant, isn't it?" It he asks curiously, rubbing his face curiously as he thinks about it.

Tara shrugs again. "Tell that to Cyclops and Banshee," she counters. She turns to Jill and nods. "Yeah. I've been here since February and haven't really had one yet, so it's not /that/ big of a deal."

The blue girl considers carefully, touching a finger to her lips as if to keep herself silent until she's thought of something good. "You might get in trouble if you pick a name from a religion that people still practice," she finally announces. "Or something copyrighted."

Jaidee smiles to Jill. "Well, I'm hoping that if it's /my/ religion…" He says with a little bit of a grin, waving his feet beneath his chair as he does so. "Rama? Hmm."

"I don't know what that is," Jill says, squinting at the ceiling to marshal her thoughts. After a moment she huffs out a breath, her shoulders slumping. "I think I'm fine with plain old Jill for now. And to a lesser extent, Jillian. If people start calling me something else, I'll probably forget to respond."

Tara explains, "It's only for Danger Room sessions and advanced combat training sessions that you really have to worry about it." Then an idea strikes her and she gets a less than pleasant grin on her face. "I know! We can call you Jill-O!"

Jaidee raises an eyebrow at that. Clearly it takes a couple of seconds for him to get it, before he grins. "Oooh…that's funny." He says with a genuine smile, nodding at the two of them. "Maybe Rama. He was a great hero…incarnation of Vishnu."

"That's… uh…" Jill looks somewhere between shocked and disgusted, her mouth refusing to close all the way. Words fail and she simply puts a hand over her face. Then after a second, she snorts and laughs softly into her hand. "I had that one coming, Awesome Girl. And I'm sure Rama's all heroic and stuff, but I assume, a dude."

Tara can't help but snigger at Jill's reaction, though something she says does spark a curious question. "Um. Jill. Do you even have.. uh… you know… the right parts to be technically called a girl anymore?"

Jaidee shakes his head. "No, I meant Rama for me. Or…Monk, I guess. Not really what I'm used to thinking." He says with a grin before he blinks, his eyes going wide at Tara's question.

Jill opens her mouth to reply. Her eyes flick sideways to Jaidee and she closes her mouth so fast her teeth click, looking mortified. "T-technically…" she equivocates, squirming in her seat like she really has to pee. "If you want to be absolutely literal about it… umm… *Technically* no."

Tara gives Jill an innocent look during her squirming. "What? I'm a girl, and Jaidee is a monk so he's /practically/ a girl as well." She nods, however, at the goo girl's final answer and says, with all honesty and seriousness, "That's a shame."

Jaidee wasn't aware his mouth could go any further open, but it somehow manages to at the words. "Wait…I'm not practically a girl!" He protests. "I gave up being a monk to come here!" He protests as he looks at Jill, as if she has some explanation for this.

"Don't look at me!" Jill snaps, holding up her hands like whoa, hold on, then points both index fingers in Tara's direction. Direct all complaints that way. "But if we're still being 'technical'-" She even makes the sarcastic fingerquotes in the air. "You're closer than I am."

Tara spreads her hands out, as if to say, 'See? She confirmed it,' and looks rather smug. "Besides," she says, "you're going to need to loosen up some, if you're going to be one of the girls."

Jaidee shakes his head at the continuing discussion, and stands up from the table, pushing his chair back away. "I'm sorry, I have to go…meditate." He says, and there is a smile and a laugh that come out of the boy; however, it seems likely it is covering something up. He starts to back away from the table.

"Jaidee, wait…" Jill admonishes, sounding apologetic but making no actual move to stand and follow him. "She's just teasing! You know that, right?" She looks over and motions at Tara to agree. Just teasing, right?

Tara catches the motion with her strange spatial sense, and quickly starts nodding in agreement. Yes, she's just teasing. However, apologizing for her faults was never her strong suit so she just remains silent.

Jaidee looks over to Tara as she nods like that, and pauses a little bit. He rubs his face for a moment, before he looks between the two girls. "Sorry…just not something we joke about." He explains. "And…I'm not used to dealing with…girls, any more. It was seven years." He explains, blushing deeply now. "I'm sorry."

"That's okay," Jill forgives, quite the diplomat. She invitingly pats the place at the table where Jaidee had sat. "We'll keep the girl talk to a strict minimum. Or… girl/slime talk, or whatever. Promise."

Tara crosses her heart and holds up two fingers. "Slime scout promise," she says.

Jaidee gives a little b it of a nod to Tara and Jill. He sits back down, folding his legs underneath him. He closes his eyes for a moment, and breathes in and out evenly before he nods. When he opens his eyes again, his smile is back and natural. "Again…sorry."

"You were never a slime scout," Jill shoots across at Tara with a smirk. "I'd have seen you at the meetings. Don't worry about it, Jaidee. It's probably, umm… culture shock. Or something." She's clearly reaching. "Or the natural boy reaction to hearing words like tampon."

Tara is in the middle of drinking her coke and nearly snorts it out her nose when Jill says 'Tampon'. Fortunately for Jaidee, Tara's brain short circuited or else she might have been tempted to shout out 'Or Vagina!' As it is, she's too busy hunting down a napkin to clean off her face.

And after having found his calm again, Jaidee blinks at the word tampon. His brain too short circuits, and he just blushes again, saying something softly in Thai.

Jill, intentionally oblivious, nods once with satisfaction and tucks a stray lock of dark blue hair behind her ear. "Now we can…" She trails off, getting a slightly lost and confused look. "I totally forgot what we were even talking about."

Tara looks thoughtful as she dabs up the spillage. "I think we were talking about codenames," she hazards. "You know. Something that's more heroic than Awesome-Girl and Jill-O."

"Or tampon." Jaidee manages to say after a moment, laughing again as he stands up from the table. He bows to the both of you. "I promise I'm not running away, but I do have to go do my summer reading." He smiles.

For some reason, when Jaidee says it, it's even funnier! Jill chokes back a short laugh into the back of her hand, but recovers. "Sure thing, man," Jill says, dipping her head in as much of a bow as she can manage while sitting. She sinks down lower in her chair, folding her arms and regarding her textbooks.

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