2012-10-02: Keeping It Together


Connor_icon.jpg Nicholas_icon.jpg Quenton_icon.jpg

Summary: Nicholas and Quenton find other things to talk about until Connor is dropped in.

Date: October 2, 2012

Log Title: Keeping It Together

Rating: PG-13

Small Church - Holding Cell

Dim lights hang from the high ceiling giving just enough light to see decently, not that there is much to see in the concrete room. The tall ceiling goes up at least twenty feet and the blinking red lights of cameras in each corner are visible, there is no privacy here. There are no windows and the only door into room seems to be a solid sheet of steel from this side. The sent of stale, musty air, hangs about the room. Bolted against two of the walls, at a height of two feet, are steel benches, which seem to double as the only thing to sleep on as well. A steel toilet, with a sink on the top, is situated in the corner for those who need it.

The door is kicked open and two Purifiers ste in, tossing a bleeding and burnt Quenton to the ground. The burns are superficial, most of them, though his rather burnt hand has spread to his forearm by now. His arms and legs have puncture wounds, but they are shallow, mostly. He's shirtless, but still wears his pants, which look ripped, and his eyes look to be bloody, though it's hard to tell why. They drive a knee into his back and slap his collar back on, hitting a button, which wakes him and makes him groan in pain. And then they leave. "Christ." That's all he could say, cheek to the ground, lying on his stomach.

Nicholas has been fading in and out of consciousness since he was brought in last night, the bandage around his chest is quite soaked with blood and his shirt has been long since gone. The only bearable position he's able to be in at the moment is sitting on one of the benches, back against the wall, with his legs stretched out on the steel in front of him. As soon as he hears the door kicked open, he opens his eyes and when he sees Quenton, Nick finds all drowsiness is gone. "Holy crap…let me see if I can find a way to put water on your burns." He grabs one of the discarded shirts and does his best to try to rip off a piece, but it seems to be taking a lot of effort.

"You don't look so hot yourself, buddy," Quenton murmurs weakly as Nicholas approaches, and he tries to struggle to his hands and knees, but just drops against the ground, the Rage having exhausted him. "Christ." He instead moves to soldier crawl towards the bench Nicholas is on as the doors are closed and locked, and he struggles to a seated position against the wall next to the bench, nursing his arm with his fingers. "Has Connor…?" he doesn't finish the sentence, but his meaning is clear. Do they need to start taking care of him?

Nicholas opens his mouth to say something, but closes it, not trusting himself to talk about what happened yesterday. "Yeah, it's worn off but I haven't seen him much. It's just us two in here at the moment." He stops trying to tear the shirt and just heads over to the sink above the toilet and soaks the entire thing with water. "It's not that cold, but it should help a bit with the burns." He walks back over to Quenton and sits on the bench next to him. "I used to take first aid courses….they're getting worse aren't they." He asks rhetorically as he goes to wrap the wet shirt around Quenton's burnt hand and arm.

Quenton's eyes squeeze shut and more of the blood comes, and when he opens them, they seem less red, like the Rage is just bleeding out of him. He draws out a breath, but then grins, suddenly, murmuring, with dark cheer, "They don't got her. She escaped. They don't got Shane." He sounds happier then he's ever had before, when he looks up at Nicholas, chest rising and falling. "They are getting worse, though. They got this new guy. Just… just do as we've been doing, man. We can't tell them shit."

"Good." Nicholas says leaning his head back. "Good." He repeats. "I hope it's just the four of us trapped here, we don't need anyone else going through this." He just nods as Quenton tells him about the new guy. "I had a….session with a different Purifier, I don't know if he was a special exception for me. He didn't even ask any questions, just….he was right in front of me and I couldn't do anything but let him carve the word mutant in my chest." As his voice starts to falter a bit, Nick gets really quiet. "I'm not telling them anything. I wonder if we both met the same new guy."

"It… sounds like something he'd do." Quenton stares at Nicholas's chest, at the bandages covering it, before he wipes at his eyes, swallowing and shaking his head. "Damn it." His fists clench. "I… don't know what to say. I'm sorry. I'm sorry he did that." He closes his eyes tightly. "Listen, man. If we don't get out…" He licks his lips. "We need to talk about what happens if some of us don't make it. I don't know. I need you to tell Shane and Zoey I love them. If I die here. I know I shouldn't talk like this, but it's a possibility."

Nicholas nods and just listens. After letting what Quenton said sink he, he offers him his hand. "Deal, and if I don't make it, just tell everyone thank you for putting up with me. Tell Ahmed I'm sorry for every time I got angry with him. Maybe go to Martin and let everyone know, I don't know. I don't have anyone like you have Zoey or Shane." His shoulders sink down and his head drops, giving him a defeated look. "If the new guy is the same person, he's the one that lead the attack and killed them."

"Stop talking like that. Jill always got weepy eyes when you were around. And you have Shane, just like I do. People care about us, more people then we think. Or would like to." After a moment, Quenton adds, quietly, "besides, Zoey hates me fo killing dad." He looks up at Nick and clasps his hand, with his good one. "Tall. Like, Shaq tall, and just as black, but he's… I don't know. Smart. A real prick. Sound familiar?"

Nicholas shakes his head. "No, it's a different guy. He looks like a normal guy, dark hair, taller than me." But that's about the best he can describe him. "Maybe Zoey will stop hating you knowing that her brother is missing, the only family she has." He doesn't say anything about Jill though, as it's kind of of a sore spot. "I just feel like I want to break down and cry but it won't make me feel better and it'll just let them know they're getting the best of me."

"Yeah, different guy. I wonder what that's all about," Quenton murmurs, furrowing his brow. "They had to bring him in just for you. I still don't get why they captured us," he admits, sorely, closing his eyes and rubbing at the front of his face with his good hand. "We can't look weak in front of them. It'll just make it worse," he promises.

"I think it has to do something with the same reason they tried to kill me before." Nicholas says shrugging a shoulder with a wince. "I know it's not just as simple as 'they hate mutants' since they would have taken the others too." He takes a few deep breaths and looks at Quenton. "So, how are you holding up? Honestly?"

"I feel more calm then I've had since Jake died and yet I'm… in so much pain. From everything. From the rage, from the torture." Quenton chuckles, shaking his head, wiping his pallid face. "And all I can think about… all I could think about is hoping, somehow, some way, my collar gets off and I just show them what the rage can really do." He sighs. "But… I'm happy. Shane's alive. And they don't have her. Or else they would have showed me her to calm me down. Or a picture of her. They would have tortured me with her. She's alive."

"You're lucky you have Shane, she's great." Nicholas says bringing up one of his legs to hold onto. "I just wish I knew where Jill was, or at least I could talk to Kirsten again. Sorry, it's just hard to find the good things to focus on…" He winces slightly as he pulls his leg to tightly against his chest. "Sorry, I'm glad that she's okay, I really am glad for the two of you. You deserve someone like her."

"Do you like her? Shane? I mean, like… romantically? Just be straight with me. No judgement right now. Just be straight," Quenton murmurs, chest rising and falling while his head leans back against the wall, his eyes watching Nick, his hand clutching his bandaged wrist.

Nicholas shakes his head. "No, not romantically. Maybe if the circumstances were different I could but….it's like she's my closest friend. She's one of the few people who I can talk to and not get into a fight with. She's straight forward and I like people who are straight forward. With other people at the school like Ahmed or Taylor or Cale, I just can't connect with them. Though I'm finding Warlock is a good person through all of this." He takes a deep breath as he fumbles with the words he wants to say. "I'm a mess Quenton, just like you are. I can't handle the fact that my parents are gone, I feel so lonely and depressed all the time. When Shane was having trouble sleeping, her and I would stay up most the night watching the anime stuff she likes. It helped me forget how horrible I feel most the time. So…yeah." He's not sure how else to describe it.

"Right," Quenton murmurs, staring at the ceiling. "I can't sleep, you know. The rage won't let me. I should be there with you guys, but it's just more drama," he mutters, shaking his head and lifting a hand to press to his face. "And Ahmed hates me. Taylor and Cale, they're… cool, I guess, but I don't know them very well." e dis at his fingers, shrugging his shoulders. "I love her. I love her a lot. I'd die for her. But you'd probably be better."

Nicholas shakes his head. "Stop, we don't need to talk about that. Cause it's not true. Ahmed, I think he's so ashamed of what he looks like, he's afraid. Taylor is cool but I have a hard time getting to know her past the fact that she's stubborn, likes to swear a lot, is to proud to ask for help and is a cat. Cale, I just don't understand the whole Kaylee thing or how they can be so happy all the time." He looks at Quenton and gives a smile. "You should be there with us. I don't sleep cause the nightmares always come. You know, Jill just left. She didn't even say goodbye or where she was going."

"Maybe it's better for her. Maybe she's fighting the thirst, the way I'm fighting the rage. I wanted to leave." Quenton sighs quietly. "I'm sure where ever she is, she's probably worried about you," he comments, while he looks over his hand. "And what do you mean it isn't true? You'd be able to hug her. To kiss her. To give her more comfort then the whole, if anyone else looks at you I'll break their face."

Nicholas shakes his head. "Maybe that isn't what she needs Quenton. Yes, I can be physical with a girl but, it's more than that. Shane loves you too. She's happy with you and I think she likes that you can deal with her moods. One day, you'll find a way. You'll find some way to show her how much you love her, and that's all that will matter to Shane. Stop doubting what you two have. Honestly though, the girl I really miss, is Kirsten."

"And Kirsten thinks you killed your parents," Quenton recalls, or attempts to. "That's right, isn't it?" He shrugs his shoulders, rubbing his face again, his chest rising and falling once more. "I don't know. Really, anything we hope for is just wishful thinking," he admits. "We're probably never going to see anyone we love again."

"She said some awful stuff about me in the paper but sometimes, I think who ever said that they all said that to protect me..might be right. I just don't know why she hung up the phone when I tried to call her." Nicholas says really unsure of anything at this time. "Maybe right now all that's gonna keep us from breaking down and losing it is wishful thinking." He looks down at Quenton. "Hey, if you were to see Shane right now, what would you tell her?"

"If I were to see Shane right now, I'd take advantage of the fact I have no powers and make out with her. And then tell her I lover," adds Quenton, glancing aside at Nicholas, flexing the fingers of his bad hand. "And you? If you saw Kirsten? Or… Shane?"

"If I saw Kirsten, I'd ask her why. Why did she say those things about me, and then depending on what she said, I'd either call her horrible names and never talk to her again or….I'd try to figure out if we still feel the same way. I'd feel bad about Jill though, cause I really do care about them both. A lot." Nicholas says before chuckling a bit. "As for Shane, besides you still trying to see if I have feelings for her, I'd just thank her, for being a friend. You know, I think I know why it might seem like I might have more than friend feelings for her, it's because Shane's someone you have to work at being friends with. You have to almost show her, all the time, she can trust you."

"I don't know. I'm sorry. You've been interrogated enough lately, I doubt my questions are helping," Quenton murmurs, lifting his hand to his face to rub his scars, the self-inflicted one. "I don't miss the rage, or the uncontrolled strength, but I miss being tough. Where'd the hell did they get ahold of stuff that can hurt me so easily?" he mutters, shaking his head. "Who's their supplier?"

"No, they are. It's keeping my mind off of things, just talking. I don't know if it's helping you either though." Nicholas says moving a hand to scratch at the stubble that's growing on his chin, but not much of anywhere else on his face. "I don't know Q, they're prepared for us, it's like they know so much about us. They're keeping us alive, for now, for something but I think they do want to kill us. I just don't know when or why. Sometimes I wonder if it'd be easier if they just did it now."

"Maybe they're going to use us against the others, but you think they'd take bigger powerhouses, you know? I mean… I don't know." Quenton sighs, shaking his head, his palm pressed to his forehead in an effort to calm his headache. "If we make it through this, want to get drunk?"

Nicholas starts laughing at the question, the first laugh he's had since he's brought in. "Yes, oh god do I. I haven't been drunk since…well it's been a while." He says before finally calming down. "Ow, laughing hurts." He grips his ribs, right underneath the bloody bandage. "And real food, I don't think I'm eating anything from a can if we get out of here."

"I've never been drunk," claims Quenton. "I've smoked. Never got drunk, though." He shrugs his shoulders, glancing to the door, admitting, "Hey, for me, the best thing about this place is the food. Chef Boyardee for life." He chuckles, lowly.

"I used to love Chef Boyardee, maybe it's because it's one of the few things I can cook, but now, I'm just sick of it." Nicholas finds he doesn't even want to eat anything anymore. "I've been drunk, a few times. When you live where there's nothing but fields, and the closest movie theatre or mall is over an hour away, you drink a lot. There were a lot of weekends Bodie would have to sneak my stumbling self to my room. Even though Bodie and I were ten years apart, a lot of the drinking parties were just teenagers and guys in their twenties. They'd get us the booze and get us drunk. I never smoked though…wait are you talking cigarettes or other?"

"I'm talking about cigarettes. I tried pot, you know. To calm the Rage. It just made me angrier. Smoking just… keeps me busy," Quenton murmurs, shrugging his shoulders, then wincing a little. "Bodie was your sister, right?" he wonders, reluctantly.

"Never tried either." Nicholas admits. "And no, Bodie wasn't my sister. It's a boys name, German. He was our ranch hand, but was practically family. He didn't have a good family life, and when he was a teenager my parents gave him a job. I grew up with him always being around, sticking around for dinner and going on vacation with us, he was the closest thing to a brother, or sibling, I had. He's why I never tried smoking. I could drink all I wanted, as long as it was a Saturday party, but he told me he'd kick my ass all the way to Bismark if he ever caught me smoking.

"Sounds like a good guy," Quenton murmurs, absently, staring at the wall. "Like Jake," he states, releasing a quiet breath. "Must have been nice, living away from all the drama of a city. Before you know. The drama came to you."

"I miss it out there, it might seem dull to some, but to me, it's home." Nicholas says to Quenton. "Ya know, you're a good guy too Quenton. Even though you've got your rage and you're quick to snap, you're a good person. You've been more than a good friend to me and if I didn't have you around, I wouldn't really have someone to talk to. About all this."

"You're on the list, Nick." It's a vague statement, while he clutches his heavily burn scarred hand, wrapped in bandages. "When you get a chance, can you bind my arms and legs, too? It isn't too bad, but fuck, it's sore," he mutters.

"Yeah, but the problem is all I have to bind your arms and legs are your pants and mine and I don't know if I want to be naked." Nicholas admits as he feels vulnerable enough. "It's not the bandage as much as it's the cooler water, so you'll probably want to wet that again and cover it up. I should have at least put some water on your legs and other arm so if it's still burning, it'll stop." He says as he reaches to the bottom of his pant leg and just starts trying to tear a few pieces off. It takes him some effort, and some reopening of wounds, but he gets it done and goes over to the sink to start soaking the cloth in water before going over and wrapping Quenton's burns carefully. "If they end up burning me like this, I won't be able to keep it together."

The door to the cell is opened, and a heap is tossed in… a rather human looking heap with a shaved bald skull that has what looks like the scar along the forehead… as if someone was starting to carve something there. The two guards outside glare at the limp form of Connor, and one of them spits blood on him, before the other glares at you both and says, "Someone explain to the gimp mutant that he hurts another real person… we'll cut off one of your hands. We're getting sick of the games." The door is slammed shut hard, but you can see that the one who spit blood has a limp to him. On the floor, the heap of a person mumbles out, "Wanted a cookie…"

"It's just bleeding," explains Quenton. "They stabbed me there with…" His voice trails off, and his eyes follow Connor as he's thrown in, groaning and then rising slowly to his feet, presumably after Nicholas binds his own wounds. He's wobbly legged as he staggers towards the limp form, glancing over to Nicholas. "Help me get him to the bench?"

Nicholas just glares at the door where the Purifier was a few seconds ago but Quenton's ask for help snaps him out of it. "Sure." He says as he helps gingerly pick up Connor and move him to the steel bench. "How did…are you okay?" He asks Connor even though he feels the answer is obvious. "Do we have anything we can use to cover up any wounds, just in case." He says trying to look over Connor to see how bad off he is.

"I wanted a cookie… and he kept eating the cookie, and I told him… I wanted the cookie!" Connor replies to it all, tears on his face, chest looking like he's been hit by a car, and then run back over a couple times. As if an afterthought, his shirt is thrown in through the food slot. He settles on the bench, but is rocking back and forth, not meeting any eyes, and then says, "They wanted to know about the Embassy… but I told them, I told them I can't tell them, I promised not to tell them, but they told me to tell, and I can't… so they hurt me… I want to scream, is it okay to scream?" His tone monotone and disconnected just before he peals off with a long and animal cry that bounces off the walls of the room.

"It's alright, buddy," murmurs Quenton, attempting to throw one of Connor's arms over his shoulder, before helping him settle on the bench. "It's okay. You can scream," he says, quietly, just glancing up at Nicholas and shaking his head. He doesn't know how to deal with this. In fact, it's depressing, seeing one of his mentors this way.

Nicholas gives Quenton a look that shows that he doesn't know what to do either. If he's able to hold in his tears and screams, why can't Connor, he wonders. Connor just always sees so strong and durable to him. "It's okay Connor, just scream, let it out. You're with Q and I now, just focus on anything but what just happened. It helps."

Connor doesn't really look at either of the two younger men, but he sort of does… as if he is staring at their chests. Still rocking back and forth on that spot, he replies in that same weird off-monotone, "I told you, I told you… see, this is what happens when you don't take your meds… I told them, I need my meds, but no one wants to listen here… I have to go home, Rashmi is worried, I don't want Rashmi worried. Rashmi's better than I am… she's good… she doesn't hurt people… she cares. She knows where my meds are, and she knows where Robyn is. I want Rashmi and Robyn… I'm supposed to protect THEM. I hurt the people who hurt them… and I wanted a cookie." Again he raises his voice, sounding like a four year old as the cell reverberates with him saying, "I WANT A COOKIE! YOU KEEP EATING COOKINES AND I WANT ONE!"

Quenton closes his eyes, releasing a sharp exhale. He doesn't know what to say. So he just sits down, slinging a companionable arm around Connor's shoulders, shaking his head. "I'm sorry." That's it. That's the best he could think of.

Nicholas moves to step in front of Connor, putting both hands on his shoulders. "Connor, look at me, look at my face. Rashmi and Robyn aren't here, right now they're probably fine. You have to worry about you right now. Take deep breaths and keep it together, okay? There are no cookies, focus on us, we need you. Quenton and I need you too Connor." He looks over at Quenton helplessly and like he's about to cry. "I don't know what the hell to do Q."

"Just relax, Nick," Quenton murmurs, exhaustedly, right now looking far older then he should as he glances aside at Connor. "I don't know what to do either, but we have to stay strong. We have to stay strong for him." Just hold off until death comes or something else, something better. "We gotta… keep it together."

Leaning on Quenton, Connor continues to murmur out, "I wanted a cookie, but cookies are messy, you have to get all the crumbs, but the crumbs taste good…" It trails off, and his eyes come up and focus on Nick. They're not quite all there, as if the trapped feeling of being in this room is reflected and amplified in them, being a room within a room inside his own mind. Licking his lips once, he then says in a slightly more normal voice, "I know, Nicholas… I know… I know… it's so hard." Turning his head and sort of looking at Quenton, the filter off, he says, "Why don't you hate me anymore?"

Nicholas moves so he's sitting on the other side of Connor, the bandage over his chest a lot more blood soaked than it was earlier. "I know it's hard Connor, it's hard for all of us. We just have to stick together okay?" He says taking one of Connor's hands in his own and gripping it. He let's Quenton answer the question asked by Connor though, keeping quiet for the moment.

"The collar's knocking out the rage, I don't need to burn it right now," Quenton murmurs, weakly. He leans his head forward, sucking in a breath, before releasing it. "Besides, I stopped hating you, remember? I even had an open invitation to your house. Not that I ever took it. And you scored me another date with Shane by opening that training session." His eyes lift to a room corner. "I'm the… I'm the strong guy. I need to be strong. Even if I don't have my powers."

Nick's hand is squeezed almost like a vice, Connor's eyes closing as he rocks back and forth a couple times, and takes a few long and gulping breaths, pulling himself back from that moment he was in, or as close as he can come, "Uncle Yuri…" He starts, "Uncle Yuri told me being strong's not being strong… it's admitting you're weak." He's back to not looking at people, his eyes seeming to disconnect into a corner of the room, but he sounds a bit more like himself, "Yuri said I have to know where I'm hurt… so do you. Being weak is being strong… because you KNOW… see? You know…" As if somehow that should make it make sense.

"We're all hurt, badly. Inside and out, they know it and we know it. Quenton and I were talking earlier, pretty much we have to keep on a strong face, we can't let them know how much they hurt us or else it'll be worse." The grip is almost just as vice-like on Nicholas' end as well. "I want to curl up and cry and scream. I feel so helpless right now, it's tearing me apart but…I can't. I can't cry."

Head still listing a bit, Connor nods, but he then replies as one shaky hand comes up and runs over his now-shaved head, "You can't keep it all inside… you can't… because it's like a bottle. You can only put so much in a bottle… it'll spill over, or it'll build up and burst, and sometimes you have to find a new bottle."

Nicholas looks over at Quenton as he seems to drift off, which is probably for the better with all his burns and cuts. "If they see me cry, if they know they've broken me, it'll be worse Connor. Maybe if we get out of this alive, then I'll bawl my eyes out but it won't help with anything now. I'm terrified and angry Connor and Q and I were talking, we know it's gonna get worse."

Connor mumbles out as he starts to list on the bench, the pain and exhaustion catching up with him, "Of course it is… be afraid when they stop asking questions… questions are good… questions mean they want things… when they stop it just means they want to hurt you…" And suddenly he's out, practically fetal, and twitching every so often as the stitched gash on his head weeps a little blood down and behind his ear.

Nicholas watches Connor as he goes out, and even though he's with two people, he feels completely alone. No one to talk to means that his thoughts are all he has. "They already stopped asking questions." He whispers not sure if anyone is conscious enough to hear him.

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