2012-01-24: Minefields


Jill_icon.jpg Quenton_icon.jpg Taylor_icon.jpg SophieD_icon.jpg

Summary: Jill, Quenton, and Taylor manage to make an uneasy peace on touchy subjects. Then Q flips his shit (and a table) and knocks over a blind girl.

Date: January 24, 2012

Log Title: Minefields

Rating: R

Xavier Mansion - Library

Like most Libraries, this one has that respected quite hush about it. A desk to check out books sits next to the door, next to the desk sits a statue of an Orangutan with a sign saying Return your books or else. Row upon row of books goes up and down the room. In the middle of all the shelves are two computers for looking up titles and a group of tables for students to sit and study. Along the back wall are windows with padded window seating for students to read in quiet.

Not yet late enough in the semester to host students frantically cramming for exams, the library is quiet, as libraries should be, and sparsely populated, as they probably shouldn't. Several books laid open on the table in front of her, Jill rests her chin in one palm and runs her eyes over another paragraph without really reading it. Twirling a strand of gel-like hair around a finger, she pulls lazily at it. Like a piece of taffy, it stretches thinner and thinner before snapping soundlessly, melting in her hand, and miraculously oozing back into place. Boredom makes people do strange things.

Sparsely populated. Good for Quenton. At one of the tables, rather close to Jill's, he fiddles with his laptop, the odd symbol on the back marking it. He tacks away on it, frustratedly hitting the keys, then leaning back, grumbling. The sound of the keys being hit is quiet, but the table whines with the pressure. Eventually those red eyes of his scan the area and settle on Jill-o. Nick was still in the school. He had to play nice. So, rising, he walks on over, muttering a, "Hey. Sorry. About the pen."

The blue girl's eyes lift lazily from the book, blinking a few times uncertainly as if she'd been about to fall asleep. Or already was. It takes a moment to recognize the speaker as Quenton and a further moment to parse his words. The uncertain expression remains. "You are?" she asks skeptically, but not snidely.

"I have to be nice," reminds Quenton. He sits across from Jill, watching the girl, while he leans his head against his fist. "I did it because I didn't think it'd actually hurt hurt you. Maybe I was wrong. I came to realize that maybe that was some… weird fucking violation or something, and I might be an asshole, but I'm not…" He trails off. "Whatever. Doesn't matter."

Jill sits up a little straighter, the lock of hair curled around her finger stretches to the breaking point and snaps like a rubber band. Though still evidently wary of him, she nods slowly. "Well, umm," she manages, at a loss for words in a situation she never anticipated. "Thank you. I mean, apology accepted." There's still some difficulty in meeting his eyes, so she looks down at her open history book instead. "I'm sorry too. I… shouldn't have hit you."

"Thank you?" Quenton echoes, furrowing his brow. "Thank you for what? Apologizing? Ple-" He cuts himself off. He doesn't break promises, even to Nick. So instead he sucks it up, clears his throat, and nods his head. "Right. You're welcome. I guess." After a moment, he shrugs his shoulders. "Hurt my pride more then hurt me. You hit like a girl. No offense."

For a moment, Jill's eyes dart up to Quenton's as he seems about to say something but stops himself. She lets it go, though, and looks away again. "Sorry," she repeats. "I don't normally hit people so I'm not very good at it. Didn't think I could hurt you anyway. Wasn't really thinkin' at all." In an awkward silent moment, she flips the page she wasn't looking at to another one she can ignore. "If it makes you feel better, you didn't hurt me. Not really. It just… stings."

"What do you mean by stings?" wonders Quenton, after a long moment of silence, while he leans back in the seat he's taken. "I imagine it felt weird to have my hand in your head. I felt worst doing that then the pen thing. I didn't think I could hurt you at all. That's why I did it. I took out my anger. I shouldn't have. I should've just left," he grunts.

Jill mulls that over for a moment, marshalling her thoughts. She angles her hands toward Quenton, a 'think about this, for example' gesture. "Like, jab a needle in your arm. It hurts, stings, but it doesn't really… *harm* you. Not a real injury in the long run." Though satisfied with her answer, she shifts uncomfortably and makes a face. "And yeah, that was weird. Having anything in me is. Like something stuck in your teeth."

"I don't need shots anymore, and it'd require special needles to uh… get through my skin. We're sort of the opposite, you and me," Quenton replies. "But I guess I can remember what a shot was like. I usually was distracted by our pediatrician so it wouldn't hurt. But…" He trails off. "He isn't my pediatrician anymore, I guess." At Jill's last words, he clears his throat pointedly, opting to not reply.

There is a bit of sound and motion in the stacks for a moment. Between a couple of the shelves, in a sun beam that has retreated as time passed, Taylor stirs and rises. The felinoid student walks out from the books with a stretch and a big yawn to show off all those pointy teeth. The ocelot student, who seems to be wearing a suit with a red tie for the moment, but with a tail hole sewn for it, pauses upon seeing other people, that tail twitching back and forth slowly. "Oh. Hey."

The blue girl doesn't seem to notice Quenton's pointed, though admittedly polite, refusal to comment on her poor choice of words. "I guess not much hurts you at all anymore," muses Jill. Was that a touch of envy in her voice? She glances up, azure eyes having no trouble finding Taylor. "Oh, hey," she echoes his words, the surprisingly civil tête-à-tête now a threesome.

Quenton rolls his tongue in his cheek. "Doesn't not much hurt you either?" He glances over towards Taylor. Civility is thrown out the window. "Looks like Ahmed has a new cast member. Now all we need is one more student and the Xavier production of Cats is underway. Who's this pussy?" After a long silence, he explains politely to Jill, "pussy means cat."

An eyeroll is given to Quenton and Taylor says, "Yeah, I fucking understand that I look like a cat. Figured it out. And I've heard all the cat jokes, so you can keep them to yourself." The student facerubs for a moment to get rid of the remaining tiredness and says to Jill, "Hey, how are you?"

"Well, anything that'd kill somethin' growing in a petri dish would. Burning it, freezing it, throw bleach on it. That sort of thing." Jill shoots a brief unamused look at Quenton but doesn't make a big deal out of his comment. Nor does she enlighten him that Evelyn would make a good Skimbleshanks. "I'm doin' okay, thanks," she's quick to try steering the conversation to pleasantries. "Doing some, uh, makeup work for Mr. Summers."

"I can keep them to myself," Quenton agrees. "But I'm not going to. Suffering succotash, though, Sylvester. I still didn't get your name," comments the tall mutant, while he leans his face against his cheek. "Mister Summers was the one who took me here to the Academy. Haven't seen him since. Funny, that," he murmurs.

"I don't even fucking look like Sylvester…" mutters Taylor, quite annoyed, "My name's Taylor, Taylor Marinov. Now will you please lay off the fucking cat jokes?" The teen peers towards Jill and asks, "Makeup work? What kind've makeup work?"

Sadly, while Quenton has promised to be nice to *her*, it seems it does not extend to anyone else. Wary of upsetting the progress she's made with him so far, the blue girl simply glosses over it rather than chastise the tall boy. "Yeah, Scott Summers," she tries to move things along, quite obviously. Jill mimes wearing a pair of glasses, then so there's just one big lens in the front. "Red glasses, that's him. Spends a lot of time in his office. He's my squad's advisor. And… uh…" Shamefacedly she looks down at her open textbook and scribbled notes. "I was late for squad practice today, so I got an extra assignment."

"I could stop with the jokes, but I'm not seeing much incentive to," Quenton replies, while he leans back now, while he glances over towards Jill. He just drums his fingers along his oddly slim and sleek laptop with an alien symbol, watching the blue girl. "I skip squad practice all the time," he mentions.

"What, you want me to get you a cookie or something to incentivize you? You're not a fucking child," says Taylor, brow furrowing, "I gave you my name like you asked." The feline sighs softly and then nods at Jill. "I guess that makes sense, though I've also missed a couple squad things…"

"Mr. Summers is big on the rules," offers Jill by way of explanation. "Really big. And it wasn't the first time." She smiles, just a little too hopefully, glancing between Taylor and Quenton. Like if she concentrates on it hard enough, the two will shake hands and be friends. "Well, you're still pretty new," she comments to Taylor. "They're probably just cutting you some slack while you get used to things."

"If you get me a cookie, sure, I'll be… incentivized." Quenton leans on the table idly, tapping his finger on the table in front of him. "The fact that it bothers you so much is funny as hell. Now I understand why you chased that wittle Tweety bird." He watches Jill's bright smile for a while, quirking a brow, as if puzzled by it.

"It bothers me because I only manifested a couple weeks ago and I miss looking normal or like myself anymore, I don't want to look like this," says Taylor, brow furrowing a little darker and hackles raising slightly and looking towards Jill to observe her smiling curiously.

Crap. Now everyone's looking at her. Feeling increasingly foolish, Jill ratchets the smile down a few notches and clears her throat gently. When she can't think of anything clever or insightful to say that would defuse the situation, the smile drops and so do her eyes.

"Oh." That stops Quenton's words. He mumbles something akin to a, "sorry" and goes back to being just as awkwardly silent as Jill is, though not quite as smiley. No. He just scowls, one of his hands beginning to tremble, though he hides it under the table. "Oh."

Taylor seems a bit surprised at there not being another cat joke, and even more surprised at the mumbled apology. The felinoid student replies in return a mumbled, "'sokay, just don't like having it thrown in my face…" And awkward silence rules the day.

Jill's expression is sober, but she's looking at Quenton. It takes an effort to look up at Taylor and even more to say, "I'm sorry. But I don't want to get your hopes up and say maybe there's a way you could, y'know, change back." She can't keep it up and looks away, the well run dry. "'Cause I don't know."

"They have some amazing fucking tech at this school," Quenton offers. "Things that can maybe help hide… whatever. I don't know. Fuck. Why am I still at this table?" He glances around, as if looking for someone to save him, but remembers he only has two real associates at the school, his room mate and his girlfriend. So he falls silent quickly.

Taylor looks towards Jill for a moment, curiously, and then nods, looking down at the floor, "The doctor at the hospital I was at said that usually when people manifest how I did, they don't turn back… She was a specialist for mutant shit." The felinoid student adds, "But yeah, I've heard that they have tech at this school. I'm just hoping, I dunno, that she was wrong. Anyways. Sorry. We've all got stuff I guess."

Finding a hopeful conversation thread, the blue girl adds, "I've got one, actually. Not with me, or I'd show you. If you've got any pictures of how you used to look, they can program, like, a hologram that looks like you. The whole thing's small enough to fit in a watch or a necklace." She combs her fingers through her blue hair like she's in a shampoo commercial, though it stretches a little rather than flowing luxuriously. "I can be a blonde again. You should ask if you can have one."

"I just wear sunglasses," Quenton grunts, though then again, his red eyes are easily concealed. The red veins on his face, however, aren't really as easy to hide, and they can be seen on his hands as well.

Taylor headtilts at Jill and says, "Oh, yeah, I guess you'd have one… It'd be great if you could show it to me sometime… I kind of want to get one. I've gone down to mutant town to get clothes… there's this one tailor who does custom stuff for people who had physical changes… and I hate the way people look at me on public transportation."

"Some of us need more help than just mirrored sunglasses. I don't know how expensive the little holo-thingies are, or even how they work, but I know they're pretty exclusive to this place." Jill shrugs lightly. "It's still just a hologram, though. Doesn't do anything for… y'know, this." She gestures at herself, all-inclusively. "So people can still tell if they touch my skin."

"Right," Quenton murmurs, shrugging. He stays quiet, wetting his lips briefly, before saying, miserably to himself, more than anyone else, glancing aside at the door, "Damn parents forgot my birthday. Oh well." He shrugs his shoulders. "I'll celebrate by punching some trains later or something."

"Oh… is it your birthday?" says Taylor, ears perking up slightly, "Uh, happy birthday, guy. Er, I don't think I caught your name, actually… You asked for mine, but…"

"Hmm?" Jill cocks her head to one side, looking curiously at Quenton. Evidently she didn't hear him all that clearly and Taylor has far better ears. She has to rely on the second-hand account and looks struck when she hears it. "What? Seriously? It's your birthday?" she asks, bewildered and mouth agape.

"No. Was my birthday last week. Which is why I was in such a pissed off mood, though I doubt most people noticed. I flew over to my parent's house, but no one was fucking there. They're probably on a vacation." Quenton shrugs his shoulders now, grunting; "Maybe next year."

"Well… I dunno," says Taylor, frowning lightly, "I haven't exactly known you for long, so it's hard t'notice things like that. Did they not call you or anything?"

Sympathetic concern written on her face, Jill asks, "Why? Was there a present you wanted?" A beat. Embarrassed regret overrides her look of sympathy and as subtly as she can she clamps a hand over her mouth, but not before she can be faintly heard to groan "shit" in a sorrowful tone. Of all the stupid things to say…

The soft tapping of a cane precedes the appearance of Sophie, who clutches a pair of books in her left hand. She comes out from the midst of the rows of shelves, into view of the table where everyone is sitting; she pauses, and ultimately heads in that direction. "Excuse me," she murmurs. "Who is there? I think I hear Quenton and Jill, but I am not sure I recognize the third person? I am sorry if I am confused." She taps her way up to the edge of the table, where she grinds to a halt. "Is there a free chair?"

Quenton stares at Jill for a long time. He doesn't move, but steam begins to rise from his skin and his hand on the table trembles, which causes the furniture to shake a little as well. And then he lifts, the table grabbed, laptop and all on top of it, perhaps including the book Jill was reading, sending it into a nearby bookshelf and knocking it over, books pouring out. There's only a minor domino effect, but nothing serious, save for the destroyed table now and chipped wood of the bookcase. "I'm sorry," he says snidely, moving to pick up his laptop, unblemished, from the rubble, moving off towards the door.

Taylor looks towards Sophie and says, "Oh, my name's Taylor." The individual's voice kind of gives the impression of a prepubescent child more than that of a teen, with some feline scratchiness to it. The feline blinks a few times at Quenton's reaction to all of this, though, and the felinoid takes a few steps away with all of this steaming happening and seeming absolutely stunned at the table flying off into the bookcase, tail floofing out.

Explosion of temper and table tip Jill's chair over backwards. Sprawled on the floor, she sits up dazedly and only then takes in the extent of the damage. Not as bad as it could have been if anybody'd been in the way of it, but certainly bad enough. And it's all her fault. "Quenton, wait! Please! I'm sorry!" the blue girl calls desperately, reaching out a hand like she could stop him but making no move to get up, much less to follow.

Sophie abruptly finds herself knocked over backwards, with some considerable force! The blind girl sprawls out on her back; and in the chaos of it all her books go flying, and the loop around her wrist becomes dislodged, sending her cane skittering across the floor. She lies there, flat on her back, wheezing to regain her breath. "What," she gasps at last, "What… just happened?"

"Not as sorry as I am," Quenton mutters, glancing over to Sophie a moment. He pauses, watching the girl, starting as if to help her, but then opting not to, storming off, throwing the door open and causing it to make a sound like thunder, but it's designed to not be destroyed by people with similar power, and so it swings back shut when he's gone.

Taylor flinches at the sound, raising both hands to cover their ears, and then, once Quenton is gone, goes to pick up the white cane and bring it back to Sophie. The feline kneels down and says, "Here, you dropped this. I'm not sure what happened. That guy got upset, I don't know why… threw a table."

"It's my fault," explains Jill miserably, though she would be hard pressed to outline exactly *why* it was her fault. She puts one hand in Sophie's to help the other girl to her feet, rubbing at her nose and eyes with the other. "What I said… I don't…" Evident in her voice but more difficult to see on her slick shiny face, she's starting to cry and having difficulty expressing herself. "M'sorry," she mumbles glutinously and takes a few steps backwards towards the door, forearm raised to hide her eyes until she can turn away.

Sophie accepts the help in rising to her feet, after her cane is returned to her. "Thank you," she breathes, as she dusts off her back. "That was unexpected, especially in a library. Is everyone alright?" She pauses, listening to Jill swiftly losing her composure. "Jill, please… do not run away? It is better… to talk about it," she trails off, as the watery teen makes her egress. The blind girl sighs softly. "Taylor? It is good to meet you, si? …And if I may press you a little further, can you see where I have dropped my books?"

Taylor frowns at Jill and says, "What did you say? It doesn't seem like… you mean anything by it? It was just a mistake, Jill…" The felinoid takes a few steps towards the blue girl but pauses at what Sophie says and frowns, stepping back to gather Sophie's books for her. "Everyone's alright… don't worry…"

"I wuh-.. was just tryin' to be nice," stammers Jill. She stops at the door but instead of leaving she just sags heavily against it. "Then I said somethin' stupid and-" A ragged breath and a heavy sniff interrupt her confession. She swallows hard and tries to control herself. "I thought… if I was nice to him, he'd-" Nope, not quite under control yet.

"I am told that his powers have an effect on his temper," Sophie observes in a quiet voice. "I do not think it is your fault, Jill; you were doing your best. It is better to have made the honest effort than to simply have blown him off, si?" She clasps her hands around the top of her cane, and leans back against the bookshelf behind her. "If I hear him later on… perhaps I will try to talk to him? Just to see if I can help, perhaps?"

"You were being nice, Jill… please, just calm down, you just slipped. It didn't seem like you realized it was a mistake, just a mistake, we all make 'em," says Taylor, standing up and offering the books to Sophie, "I have your books."

Closing her eyes and breathing deeply, in through her nose and out through her mouth, Jill slowly settles down. She finishes with a sniffle, but that seems to be about it for now. "Sorry," says the blue girl at last, though she still sounds a bit raw. "I'm sorry. S-sometimes I get worked up pretty easy. It's just… just some furniture. Nobody got hurt, right?" Yep, that table's not going anywhere for a while. Neither are those two bookshelves.

Sophie shakes her head slowly. "I do not think anyone was hurt," she murmurs. "And if they were… it is my power to heal, and I would soon set them right again, si?" She smiles softly, as she holds out her hand towards Taylor and pats the air, until her fingers touch her books, and she carefully takes them back under her arm. "Thank you," she replies to the feline boy… well, Sophie thinks he's a boy at least. "I am always grateful when people help me with these things."

Taylor nods at Sophie as her hand brushes against the teen's own fuzzy hand and says, "No problem, I'll help when I'm asked." The felinoid sniffs the air a couple of times and says, "There's no blood or anything, nobody's hurt. Everything's fine, I think…" To Jill, Taylor speaks while approaching, "Nobody's hurt and everything is fine. Are you fine?"

Jill waves a hand at Taylor like she doesn't need his help as he approaches. "Yeah," she says unconvincingly at first, then again with more poise and gratitude. "Yeah, I'm okay. Thanks. Just got a little scared, then upset. I'm sorry you had to see that, though." It's unclear if she means her crying or Quenton's tantrum. Beginning with a soft sigh, she folds her arms across her stomach and looks more in control now, but more subdued. "If you'll stay here with Sophie, I'll go tell one of the teachers. It's not the first thing broken around here and it won't be the last, either."

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