2010-11-24: Nothing Left To Say


Mason_icon.jpg Shane_icon.jpg

Summary: What do you say when you have to speak, but there's nothing left to say?

Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2010. 12:09am

Log Title: Nothing Left to Say

Rating: R

Xavier Mansion - Recreation Room

What was once the Parlor has been turned into a Recreation Room for the students. A nice plush carpet meets the light blue walls giving it a homey feel. A pool table at one end, a foos ball table at the other, and entertainment center with video game systems, movies, and of course, cable TV. Big comfy chairs and couches surround a coffee table for comfortable loafing. Long glass windows with a pair of French doors line one side of the room bringing in plenty of light during the day. The main rule in here is to clean up after yourself.

Just past midnight, the clock has finished ringing, and everyone seems to have gone to bed or at least to their dorms for the evening. Everyone except Mason. He was up too late last night, and so his internal clock is still upset. He sits on the couch, guitar in hands as he plays a classical piece, fingers plucking each note of a sad melody. His head is bowed, and the normally bouncy center of attention doesn't have that flare at the moment. A white dress shirt open over an aqua blue t-shirt can be seen, and he wears gray khakis on his legs, with no shoes. His eyes are almost completely closed as he feels his way through the music.

Better for the both of them, perhaps, that Mason's eyes are closed as Shane strides into the Rec Room, extension cord once again looped in her hand, the 'blood'-spattered skirt of her American McGee Alice dress swaying into gradual stillness about her booted ankles. Once again, she comes to the Rec Room looking to feed her videogaming binge, and once again, his presence denies her that simple, idle pleasure. The shattering music reverberating through her earphones prevents her from picking the melody from the air, and with a soft "*Damn* it," she turns on her heel to leave the way she'd come in.

Mason's head snaps up as he hears Shane's voice. He looks in her direction. "Shane!" he calls out, knowing that she may not hear him well over the headphones. He puts the guitar to the side and leaps over the couch, his feet hitting with a thud that might be felt slightly through the ground as he rushes after her retreating presence to stop her. "Wait! Wait, please."

The thud of footfalls on the floor, the presence rushing up behind her has Shane all but ripping her headphones off and wheeling around. For the barest instant, there's a flash of real fear behind her eyes, but gone as she manages to recover her balance. "What do you *want,* Mason?!"

Shane's intense reaction stops the musician in his tracks. He starts to open his mouth, and realizes that he's not fully collected. A half second later, he answers. "I want to talk." His voice is soft and reserved. Not a tone he takes often. "I just want to talk to you. There's a lot here that we have left unsaid, and it's been left unsaid for too long." Mason has a look of real fear behind his own eyes, and doesn't leave nearly as quickly as it does for Shania. It's a fear that Shane's seen before, in a very different context.

"That's because my *face was wired shut* last time anyone but my family bothered to come to the *hospital,* remember?" Shane leads off, bleak anger all over her face. "You know… I did a lot of thinking, then. Not like I had time to do much of anything *else,* right?" The girl shakes her head, turning to push the door closed. Some things, after all, not meant for passing ears to hear.

The deep blue eyes drop as the reminder of the aftermath is presented, Mason hardly able to even stand before the girl he dared to call himself 'friend' toward, let alone look her in the eye. He doesn't answer with anything other than a nod, wanting to let her speak her feelings before he says anything in return.

"So I was thinking *really* hard," the girl continues, turning with eyes sharply narrowed, "and I couldn't help but wonder what I did wrong. Why *I* deserved to have *you* turn around and walk. The one time I could have saved myself, and I *couldn't,* because I couldn't get *angry* enough, by the way, and *guess why.*" Shaking her head, the girl starts to pace in a wide circle around the taller boy, stained skirts swishing about her shins. "You know, I actually figured you were in on the whole thing," she says, a short bark of un-laughter following this statement. "I really, truly thought you were just pulling a joke on me, and I was too much of a stupid desperate *puppy* to see it."

With every accented word, Mason flinches, scarcely moving as he stands like a statue with Shane revolving around him. As she accuses him of being a part of the plan, his gaze looks back up toward her. "I wasn't part of it," he returns weakly. "I'm…" he looks for a word more profound to describe his feelings, but fails. "Sorry." It feels inadequate to his own ears, but he repeats it anyway. "I'm so sorry." This is what a broken young man looks like.

"Well I know *now,*" comes the sneering reply. "But then, I had no idea you were a mutant too. Guess you couldn't risk all that fame and fortune drying up on you, but whatever. That's not important anyway. What's important is, now? Now I know. You, Mason Steele, are a *coward.*"

What is there to deny? Every word is truth. It takes all of his strength just to stay on his feet. "I am a coward." The confession hurts, but not nearly as much as it did when he was holding it in. "I'm a spineless, gutless prick, and I didn't deserve to have someone like you as a friend." His voice gains some momentum. "I thought the whole time that it was you who were supposed to be priviledged to hang out with me, because I was a self-absorbed punk, who was so used to being the center of attention I didn't even know that it was me who had gained somebody special." He turns to face her fully.
"AND I'M SORRY!" Mason is at the brink of tears as he screams. "I'm sorry, because I can't undo what I did. I don't have an excuse. I was afraid? I couldn't have been nearly as afraid as you were, and you didn't have a way out! I didn't want to be rejected? You were already rejected! I didn't want to get hurt, but I let you get hurt instead! Not an hour goes by that I don't wish I could go back and take your place that day. I should have been in the hospital. I should have been eating through a straw! But no matter what I say it's all just fluff, because the moment already happened, and I can't take it back! I'm sorry that all I have left is 'sorry', which isn't worth dick because it's just a word and it doesn't change anything! I will have always failed! I failed, but you paid the price instead of me. But I can't give you anything else, because I don't have anything else to give you. And for that I'm the most sorry of all, because now I know, and I'd give you anything to make it right." His
His hands hold out from his sides helplessly, and he lets them fall, his shoulders sagging. "But it'll never be right."

Startlingly, Shane falls silent, letting Mason speak *his* piece. And even more amazingly, what follows isn't an automatic denial, or a sneer, or anything of the kind. Her expression softens, just a little, and there's real hurt behind her eyes. "…No," she says softly, as the moments stretch out between them. "It'll never be right. It's just another broken promise for me, Mason… And I'm sick to death of believing in them. You want to make it up? Fine. But not to me. You've got other friends, now."

Mason seems frozen. "Then I won't make a promise," Mason answers. "I just…" he doesn't even know what to put in the sentence. "I don't want to see your life continue to be ruined by my failure," he says. "If you need to hate me, or you need to beat me senseless, or…I dunno." He steps backward until he finds himself leaning against the wall. "I just can't handle seeing you continue to suffer because of what I did."

At this, Shane merely shrugs. "That's bullshit, you know. It was never all about *you.* You were just the last one, and the worst, before I got sick of it all." Turning her back, the young woman runs her hands through sportscar-red hair, letting out a breath through her nose. "That guy, Connor? He's lucky he's naive enough to be able to say what he did, about strangers being friends you've never met? But he's got it backwards. Truth is, strangers are people who don't think enough about you to hurt you yet." With a dry chuckle, she shakes her head, turning back around. "My life was ruined before you showed up, Mason. The only thing that's changed is, now I blow up too."

Mason shakes his head several times. "No," he counters. "No, that's not true." He now knows what he has to do to atone for his sin, but he has no idea how to accomplish it. "I know you've had it rough. You were at the bottom of the heap since before I met you, but that doesn't mean that it has to always be that way. You were the one thing in my life that was really good. I was just too stupid to know it. I may have failed you, but you never wronged me." His appeal to her nature twists the knife in his own heart. "If you're right, Shane, then you'd be the same as everyone who's hurt you. But you're not."

"So… what," Shane says quietly, raising her arms to either side, palms up, eyes wide and almost mockingly ingenuous. "You're gonna save me, Mason…? Try to find the magic words that make it better?" Her hands drop, and she draws in a deep breath. "Maybe you even really want to. But I *told* you what you *should* be doing. You've got new friends now. You want me to trust you again, even just *think* about it? Prove you're worth it."

Mason doesn't know what to answer. He stares straight into Shane's eyes now. For an eternity he just looks at her, his blue eyes filled with uncertainty. He doesn't know how to prove it, and he doesn't know if he can be trusted again.

Shane returns the stare for a long, long moment, and finally just shakes her head, dropping her face into a palm. "Do I have to *spell* it out? Be *their* friend. Be a *good* one, and maybe we'll see. Who knows, right? Maybe it's possible."

The teen star takes in a deep breath, and turns away, placing his hands on his hips. "So where does that leave us?" he asks. "We are just going to dance around like we don't know each other?" He rubs his chin. "We pretend we just met? I mean…" He shakes his head. What does he mean?

"Same as it did before, really," Shane replies, scratching at her forearm. "Just try to leave me alone, and I won't get in your way. If you're worried about me spreading shit, don't. Just don't expect me to smile when I pick you out of a crowd, and we're fine."

Mason frowns, unsatisfied. "And you? You just mope around with a stormcloud over your head until you decide that you've been angry for long enough?" He walks away to the couch before turning around to face Shane again. "Shane. I know I got stuff to deal with, and I know I wasn't there, and you probably don't give a damn what I say now, but don't do…this to yourself. Please." He gestures to all of her, with her garb and her demeanor that he's noted so far.

Shane blinks, brow furrowing, repeating the gesture. "*This?* What *this?* You mean that right now I just want to be left *alone?* Tough rocks, Mason, I wanted to be left alone before, too, and I'm just doing what *works,* since what I did before *didn't.*"

"This!" Mason repeats. "The 'I want to be an outcast so I'll do anything I can to make sure that nobody might hang out with me' persona." He seems to be going on the offensive now. "You want to focus on how I screwed up, and I did. But you really want to be rejected! It's like your drug." As opposed to himself, who falls on the other end of the emotional wreck spectrum.

Shane's eyes widen, cheeks blanching as though slapped across the face. The smaller girl takes a step back, eyes growing wide, then narrow, and finally, as though a cloak settles over her shoulders, the demeanor is back for good. "If that's what you want to think, I'm not gonna bother stopping you. It's almost funny, though… You were the best friend I ever had, and now I wonder if you ever bothered actually getting to know me. Good night, Mason."

Mason isn't done. "No," he says, moving to the door to block her path. "You don't get it. I understand you're into your anime, and your cosplay, that's not what I'm talking about. But you go around hidden in your own world and talk about how people reject you. Not everybody is going to reject you, Shane. I didn't leave you because I didn't care."

"No," Shane blurts out, "you just didn't care *enough.* Now *get out of my way.*"

Mason looks like Shane threw something and broke him like a window. Behind the cool clothes and cute face, he feels anything but cool. He holds back whatever emotional response he wants to let fall out of him. He steps to the side. "I guess that's my cue," he says barely audible.

Shane's shoulders sag, head falling forward. "Guess so," is the equally quiet answer, as she sidesteps to move to the door, pausing before she turns the handle. "…Nobody *likes* being shut out, Mason," she says softly. "But sometimes when that's all you have, it's all that can happen." And with that, the door is open, headphones slipped back up in place, and with a swish of stained skirts, the girl sweeps down the hall.

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