2012-11-27: Needing Someone To Lean On


Connor_icon.jpg Heather_icon.jpg Nicholas_icon.jpg

Summary: Connor answers Nicholas' message.

Date: November 27, 2012

Log Title: Needing Someone To Lean On

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Japanese Gardens

A large area of the grounds is landscaped with a Japanese Garden. A river filled with coi fish runs through the middle with a wooden bridge. There is even a small waterfall splashing on the rocks. Bamboo can be heard clacking on the rocks. A small statue of a Buddha can be found in various places. The trees hang over the area and when the flowers are in bloom, it brings a variety of color to the peaceful landscape.

It's later in the afternoon and the sun is already setting leaving the sky brightly coloured in reds and oranges. Even though it's cold outside, Nick still wanted the fresh air. He's got a horse blanket around his shoulders and leans against one of the trees, sitting on the ground. He takes a few bites of an apple in his left hand as he reads the book that's in his other hand, The Hobbit, with a look of deep concentration.

From behind the young man, a voice comes softly, "I got your message… took me a bit to get myself a new cell account and update everything back. Missed a few messages." Connor Blake walks into view dressed in a military-grade long coat and a baseball cap with a SHIELD logo on it. His injured eye is covered in a rather Fury-ish eyepatch. Moving to settle down next to Nick, he says, "You're looking better… need anything?"

Heather is out doing patrols, mostly to make herself feel like things are taken care of, wearing her Timeslip outfit with a relatively light jacket. The young woman pauses for a few moments when she sees Nicholas and Connor, and she slows down on her relatively speedy patrol to stop nearby, raising a hand silently in greeting.

Nicholas jumps as he hears the voice and turns to see Connor, luckily just in time to stop himself from jumping to his feet. A smile breaks out on his face when Connor sits next to him. "Hey, I've been worried about how you're doing. I'm..it's pretty much just the leg that's still healing, everything else, even my arm, is better. Just my leg was broken a lot worse then my arm apparently. The healing machine tech here is pretty insane. How about your eye, have you been okay?" He's been worried about Connor since he got back since the last time he saw him, Connor wasn't doing so hot. The wave is returned to Heather as she approaches the area.

With Heather being on his bad side, it takes a moment for him to notice where the wave is going before he turns his head to look. Seeing the young woman, he offers what amounts to a tacit smile, and then a nod of greeting, as he takes off the hat to reveal the knife-scar that goes from his scalp to his cheek, the eyebrow breaking up the line, "Hi, Heather. Been a while. You're looking good." But turning his head back to Nik, he blinks once, and then taps the patch, "The beating I got just before we got hauled up on stage damaged the retina. I'll be getting it back, eventually… but for now, I have to keep it, and the patch used to protect it covered. Otherwise, I've been almost daily with SHIELD people… half of them question me to find out what happened, and the other half are questioning me as if I was lying. Not sure what's going on, but I heard a couple guys say there's rumors of a turf war going on."

"Ah, thank you Connor," says Heather, nodding her head a few times rapidly, though noticeably less rapidly than she used to habitually do it. In fact, many of her motions seem slowed, less hasty, now that she has stopped to talk. "You look good, but not so much healthy," says Heather, frowning slightly, "I am glad to hear that your eye is supposed to recover, however." She folds her hands together behind herself, noting to Nick, "The healing tech really is quite good indeed. I have always been impressed with my healing times here."

Nicholas leans, ever so slightly, against Connor and nods at his words. "I'm glad I don't have to talk to anyone about it. Well, I mean in the questioning sense. I gave my report to the school but Warlock, Quenton and I did it together." He furrows his brow and even though he tells himself he doesn't want to know, he still has to ask. "Turf war, over what? You mean with this whole mutant thing?" He looks over at Heather and nods in agreement. "Yeah, I'm glad that you didn't lose your vision. Though I got lucky in the facial scar department between you, me and Quenton."

"Oh," Connor adds, "I'm not supposed to be here… I'm pissing off more than a few people by showing up here, but I figured checking on you was more important than any stupid protective detail. And besides… it's not like they can't find me." Looking up and then pointing up towards the night sky, "My teleportation is trackable if people know what to look for. Something I didn't know until recently." But then he sighs again, and looks back and forth between the two, and gulps once, "Anyways… I came to bring you something… just in case." Fishing into one of the pockets, he takes out a prepaid phone with camera, and passes it over to Nick, "You get in trouble, you take a photo of any place close by, and just text it to Pound-One. It'll send it to a phone like it… and I'll be there. Rain or shine." To which he looks to Heather, "Call it… preventative preperation. Like how you always play yourself three or four times in chess before playing anyone."

Heather nods a few times and says, "Given the physics involved with your teleportation, I can understand why they would be able to track it…" She pauses for a few moments and remarks, "I've been doing distance education for my college." She shakes her head slowly and then notes, "I can understand your preparation put that way, it makes sense. You will have visual references for where to move, and have a pre-prepared visual of the land in order to plan… you can run through scenarios even before arrival."

Nicholas takes the phone and grips it like it's a lifeline. "Thanks, something like this..it means a lot. Not just the phone but you coming out here." He looks down at the phone, not pressing any buttons or anything, just trying to figure out what to say. "Connor…I'm really sorry, I wish I was able to do more for you when we were there. I hated seeing you like that, I tried to help you but it was hard. It was really hard trying to keep myself from falling apart and to keep you from totally losing it."

Connor shakes his head, and then runs his hand over the stubble covering his head, "Nick… there was nothing you could do. I was off my medication, in a bad place with nothing but dirt and disorder, and I was stressed." He looks up at the young man, and then says, "Heather knows, and can tell you… The meds I get help me be the person you see. Part of it's the power, part of it's that I was born with what they call Autism Spectrum. I'm never going to be stable. But…" And he takes a breath of emphasis, "You held up better than anyone could expect… especially with what's happened." Putting a hand on the younger man's thigh, he then smiles towards Heather, "It's what we do after the fact that helps us figure out the kind of people we are. These people have shit on you, and shit on you, and done nothing more than make you feel as if your birth was a mistake, and everyone should pay for it. But here you are… putting yourself back together in a giant middle finger to everything the Church of Humanity stands for."

Heather nods a few times quickly and says, "Yes… he needs his medication, or else… yes, I cannot imagine what things would have been like for you in that situation, Connor. I did what I could, but I was in Europe when it all happened, I didn't know until I returned." She starts brushing her fingers through her hair, eyes turning towards Nicholas, and she nods her head a few times quickly. "Indeed, based on what I know of the situation, you must have shown great strength, and you still are. It is admirable."

Nicholas pulls up his legs and hugs them tight against his chest. "I wish everyone would stop saying stuff like that. There's nothing admirable about what happened, or that we got through it. I heard what Nigel said, I'm worthless and probably going to get someone killed the next time I'm around the Purifiers. I'm not giving them a middle finger, they've gotten to me. Everyday it feels like a struggle, I can't describe it but I just feel so lost."

Looking away from Nick, Connor replies, "Welcome to our world. Heather's parents experimented on her with her powers, trying to push them beyond their natural limits. Because of it, she's had to live with every hour like it's a day… we all moved so slow that she needed to record herself and then play it back as slow as possible so we'd understand her." Eyes still on her, he adds, "I don't have my own dreams… I see other versions of myself. They can be good, or bad… they all feel as real as this world. And sometimes… things come through. Sometimes I see myself happy, and content, and in a good life, and those hurt the most… because seeing myself in what might have been makes it worse. But it doesn't matter… I close my eyes, and I see into the infinite possibilities. So I fight off the worst of it with medication, meditiation, and combat training."

"Apologies," says Heather, shaking her head quickly, "I do not mean to make you uncomfortable with my words. I am not good at evaluating the emotional effects of my words on others. I had meant something positive." At Connor's description of her life, she just nods a couple of times quickly and folds her hands together. "Life can seem like a long hard struggle. But it is a struggle worth maintaining. I am not so sure that you will get someone killed arond the Purifiers, though. That is his opinion, and I am not sure that he has as much experience as some on this campus."

"Saying welcome to our world doesn't make me feel any better." Nicholas says with a more bitter tone than intended. "I mean, I'm sorry that your parents put you through that. I mean, I get that I'm lucky that my parents weren't jerks about me being a mutant, they were the exact opposite, but I think that makes everything harder." He looks over at Connor and feebly smiles. "Just because they look like you, have the same name as you and are what you would have been if you were in that world, doesn't mean they are you. It's easy to be jealous of other people." He's jealous of plenty of other people. "Connor, you're fine the way you are. Even without your medication." He looks over at Heather and shrugs. "But Nigel was saying that Warlock was caught because I froze and panicked, what if it's true. What it if was my issues that got Warlock caught?"

Connor replies softly, "Then Nigel is full of shit." It's sudden, and it comes out with a hard bite, "Nigel wasn't in that cell, Nigel wasn't there when men with guns were ready to kill everyone in a building to get to me. And if Nigel wants to say something like that to my face, he can find out that despite the fact that I've been training since birth under a guy who I just found out was a former KGB assassin… I was forced into a bad choice too." Turning to face Nicholas, Connor meets those eyes, and then stands and puts both hands on the boy's shoulders, "Nick, everyone's got an opinion… because they have hindsight, and distance from the reality. Reality is? They did everything they could to us, because they wanted to. And in the end, we survived… doesn't matter if it was stupid luck, or if there really is a God… we're here. That's what counts at the end of the day."

Heather shrugs her shoulders and says, "It is fine. If my parents had not done that, then the person who I am would not exist. I would be someone different completely… To wish for things to be otherwise is to wish for the sublimation of my consciousness as I know it." She stares off at that, then looking towards Connor and nodding, "I cannot speak, as I was not there, but… I think it is foolish to blame you for anything. You've done what you could."

Nicholas actually is leaning against Connor, he just needs to have someone there. "I'm sorry, I've been having trouble managing everything. I don't know how to deal with it all and it's just a weight. A suffocating weight. I see Warlock and he's okay, he doesn't seem like he's letting this hold him back. I see you, you seem like you're recovering okay, I don't know how to do that. And Heather, she seems to not what happened with her parents hold her back. Why am…" He then stops what he's saying and looks at Connor with surprise. "What, former KGB assassin? Some how it makes you seem even more badass."

Those slightly glowing eyes close, and Connor says with a deep sigh, "Look, I'm gonna make a weird offer here… but it sounds like you need it. I'm going to take you to a place outside the US, and away from all of this if you want. There's an island in Scotland that belongs nominally to the X-men. There's Genosha, and I mean the actual island and not the Embassy. There's Australia. You give me the go, and I can open a portal and send you any place on the planet… you, Orion, and whatever else you'd need…" There's another look to Heather, as he adds, "Even if it's just for a day… or a week… just some away time. From all of this. Before I showed up here, I was walking along a lake in Alaska… from a painting I bought for my room in Mutant Town. Heather can go with if you need. She's one of three people here I'd trust more than myself here on campus. And of them, I know her the best."

Heather listens as Connor makes the offer, nodding a few times as her company is offered, to confirm that she has no objections to such an arrangement. "I think that I sometimes allow my prior experiences to hold me back, though I try my best not to. I think that many people experience difficulties based on their pasts…" She starts fiddling with the recorder at her belt for a few moments.

"I'm definitely going to take you up on that offer Connor. Probably for Christmas or something so I don't have to deal with the holidays and I don't have to worry about missing any more school." Nicholas pushes his hair back, even though it's not really in his face. "Thank you Connor. And yeah Heather, I'm one of those people that experience difficulties based on their past." He looks up at Connor and frowns. "I remember you saying something about your relationship with your Dad when we were held captive. Anything different now that you're free?" He just remember Connor saying he hated his father.

Connor's hands fall away, and he walks past the others towards the garden, staring down into the manicured depths of it, as his hands go into his pockets for a moment. Pulling the cap back on, he checks a phone screen, and then shakes his head once, "My dad lied to my entire family… from before I was born. He's not an aeronautics engineer. He's…" There's a pause, and a gulp, "He missed the first two years of my life because he was a deep cover operative for SHIELD… he was sent to recover my Uncle Yuri from a russian prison. He's worked for them my entire life, and never once told mom… or me…" Shaking his head again, he kneels down, and starts drawing disrupting lines in the sand, "What else has he lied to me about? What else am I supposed to take at face value. I don't know what to think anymore."

Heather comments, "It is hard when things you thought were real actually were not. It is hard to form a foundation of truth and lies, realities and illusions. I can understand that it would bother you…" She purses her lips for a moment, and then nods towards Nicholas a few times, "I think many of us do experience difficulties. That is something that you are not necessarily alone with…"

Nicholas sits up straighter and is quiet for a bit, not really sure how to respond to Connor. "Talk to him. When you're ready but not before it's too late. Maybe it's because I don't have him around anymore and I know it's different cause I was really close with my Dad but I can't begin to tell you how much it hurts that he's not around anymore. Now saying that, if something happens and you lose your Dad….it might be worse since you didn't get to say the things you wanted to. I won't say it doesn't suck and it horrible that he lied to you just, if all of a sudden you didn't have your Father there, he was gone from your life forever, what would you think then?"

Standing back up, Connor has left a perfect little set of cross-hatches in the sand, a spot that looks like a weave, "My time's up here… I don't go back soon, I'll be getting the school in trouble." Turning to face the others, he gives a tired but firm smile, "You talk about how you feel lost, but then you say things like that… Nick… I want to tell you you're selling yourself short. I want to say things to make you feel better, but all I can think of is… you're still here. That's all." Bringing one of his hands up, he forms the basis for one of his portals, and it lights him up, his eyes matching the intensity, "Heather… we should talk sometime soon. I want to apologize… and make sure we're still friends. I really do. I always feel like I… didn't do enough."

Heather nods a few times towards Connor and she says, "I would like to talk soon, yes… we are still friends, if I have anything to say about it. I still care about you." She nods a few times at that and then raises her hand up in a farewell gesture. "Stay safe back at home. I will be keeping an eye on this place, so I shall be here should you return…"

"It's easier to say the right thing to someone else then it is to yourself. You can't throw yourself a lifesaver when you're drowning." Is all Nicholas says, pushing himself up so he can give Connor a quick hug good bye, even if his words don't make him feel better, he does give him a feeble smile. "Thanks. For everything, stopping by, the offer… I missed you. I might call you just to talk sometime, if that's okay. Take care and see ya later."

Connor gives Nick a one-armed hug in reply to keep him from feel the effects of what's happening with his other hand. Pulling back after a moment, he just nods in reply. The little ball of energy falls from his hand and vanishes into nothing, causing a ripple in the air. Like many have seen before, a six foot circumference portal spirals into existance in a rather Stargate fashion. The glowing blue-green light washes over everything, and once it settles into it's almost water-like complexion he says, "Thanks for missing me. People don't understand, Nick… I can go anywhere… so staying in the hard part. Just remember, you're worth fighting for." And with that he just steps backwards into the portal, like falling into water, and is just gone, the spiralling event collapsing in on itself with a flash… leaving the hat Connor was wearing on the ground, the gravitic event accidentally knocking it off. And it rolls… right to Nick's feet.

Heather watches as Connor disappears through the portal, folding her hands behind her back as she goes, giving him a farewell. The speedster glances over towards Nicholas and backtowards the spiralling portal, or at least, the last few moments of its existence before it collapses back out.

Nicholas bends down and picks up the hat, looking at it for a bit. "I'll have to give this to him the next time I see him." He looks at Heather and smiles. "He's a good guy, I'm glad he's doing better. Really glad. Are you going to be staying out here or heading back in?"

Heather looks back towards Nicholas and nods a couple of times, "Yes. He is a very good guy…" She draws her fingers through her tangled hair and says, "I am going to be staying out here for a little while longer. I am part of the security force here, so I want to keep an eye out. And you?"

"I think I'm gonna make my way to the stable, return the blanket, check on Orion and then head back inside. I have a bunch of homework to do." Nicholas says hesitating before taking off. "Heather…" He's not sure what to say to her as he really doesn't know the girl that well. "Thanks. Just for…having a good heart and helping out with what you can. Have a good night." And with that he limps off towards the stables, walking slowly due to the walking cast still on his leg.

Heather look towards Nicholas, listening to his words. Her mouth quirks up in a small smile, a rare show of expression for her, before she says, "Thank you. You have a good night as well." She nods once, and then zips off.

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