2011-03-27: Prayers Answered


Rashmi_icon.jpg SophieD_icon.jpg

Summary: Sophie and Rashmi talk at length in the chapel, the day after the riot in Mutant Town.

Log Title: Prayers Answered

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - The Sanctuary

Desc to follow when available


It's late in the morning in the Sanctuary; the light streams in through the windows, illuminating the dust hovering in the air in a myriad of colors. Sophie, however, cannot see it; she sits alone in a pew in the middle of the room, blindfolded as always to hide her damaged eyes. In her hands she clutches a rosary, with a small wooden cross dangling from the end of it just below her hands. Her head is bowed, and she is whispering aloud her prayer; though she is whispering it in Spanish.

The sound of quiet footsteps on the flooring can be heard from the antechamber, skirts rustling softly over feet, and a quiet clatter as the broom is fetched from the supply cupboard. No greeting is given, but there is a pause as whoever it is enters the chapel proper, slowly and quietly going about the task of sweeping the dust from the floors, leaving the blind young woman to her prayers.

The prayers continue unabated, for several minutes; at least until the sounds of footsteps and a sweeping broom draw closer. She straightens, and lowers her hands as they still clutch the rosary. "Who is there?" she asks, at last, just before the sounds reach the back of her pew. "Were I to guess, I would say…" She tilts her head, and purses her lips. "Senora Rashmi; but it is a guess, si?"

Rashmi chuckles quietly. "A good guess, too," she says over the sound of the broom. "I don't like to bother people when they come in to pray, or I would't've made you guess."

Sophie smiles, and bobs her head. "That was part of why I guessed it was you, Senora Rashmi," she murmurs. "I know only two people who I am certain would not interupt a prayer; the other is Hosea. But his footsteps are much heavier than yours." She reaches up to brush her fingertips over her cheeks; first one and then the other, underneath her blindfold. "Do you often come to see to the chapel?"

"Every Sunday," Rashmi answers, moving away to clean behind a row of pews. "It's part of my chores. If I'm not here, I'm in the kitchen or the Library. …Or doing some cleaning around the school."

Sophie nods her head slowly. "That is very generous of you," she replies. "You know, it is funny; I was just praying to God to ask Him for guidance, and then before I have even finished, you walk through the door." She toys with the rosary in her hands, and draws it up so that the cross rests in her palms. "You told me that you have had adventures, si? That it seems to happen to all Xaviers students."

There's a short pause, and the broom is laid aside, Rashmi's footsteps approaching the young girl, before her weight settles in on the pew. "…I did," she answers quietly, a soft sigh escaping her lips. "And, y'know… even if it seems like it's inevitable, I always hope that someone might not have to worry about it… It's not something I'd wish on anyone."

A bob of her head is Sophie's acknowledgement, as Rashmi sits beside her. "Well, it would appear that I am already having a few," she admits. "From the first, I was fortunate; Professor Lensherr came to my rescue before anything serious had happened. God provides, si?" She smiles softly, and clasps her hands in her lap. "There was… something went wrong in Mutant Town, yesterday. Outside the Genosha Embassy, though I did not realize that was quite where I was at the time. Was it in the news, last night?"

"I… oh no, you were *there?* Oh, Sophie…" An arm wraps around Sophie's shoulders, squeezing gently. "I'm *so sorry…* Yeah I saw it on the news, but I was already home when it happened. What happened to you?"

Sophie blushes softly, and she reaches up to pat at her cheeks beneath the blindfold once again. "I… well, I was just there trying to find a music store I have been told of, si? And then there was commotion. I did not want to get close, but I heard squealing tires and then there was shooting. I don't know who was shooting at who… I do not know even who was killed. But I ducked into a doorway, and knocked on the door until it opened and someone let me in." She pauses, and brushes her fingertips through her hair. "But then it got worse, instead of better."

"Yeah," Rashmi murmurs, "that tends to happen…" Squeezing again, she falls silent, listening to Sophie's story.

Sophie nods her head. "They dragged me into a room. I suppose I should be grateful that they were not more rough with me. One of them stabbed me with a needle, and took some of my blood… and then they left me lost in the building." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Headmistress Frost came and got me after I called the emergency number, si?" She pauses, and shakes her head slowly. "Not so great an adventure, I suppose… others I know have had far worse."

Rashmi shakes her head. "It was bad enough," she murmurs, closing her eyes. "Sophie… Are you okay? I mean, really okay. Have you gone to the doctors and checked to see if nothing else was wrong?"

Sophie pauses a moment, and shakes her head. "Not yet," she replies. "I… I wanted to pray, first. But I am worried it might have been a dirty needle, si." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Was it like this for you, Senora Rashmi? The first time something… bad happened to you." She tilts her head forwards, and would be staring at exactly the front of the pew. "Were you too scared even to use your powers to try to save yourself?"

"The first time…?" Rashmi settles back on the pew, looking up at the altar. "The first time… it was right after Christmas. You probably didn't hear about it… most of the people in the City even don't. It was like Hell had honestly appeared in the middle of New York. Demons were everywhere, and a few people from the school actually got posessed, left… Lucas, he was my boyfriend then… he was one of them. And… I *couldn't* use my powers to save myself. One of the taken students… he got into my head, made me run all the way out of the city. God, I was *so terrified,* Sophie… The whole thing's like a blur, even now, and I think the only reason I managed to get it together at all was because of my faith… Because I *knew,* no matter what happened, I had to trust that it was going to be okay in the end."

Sophie listens carefully, and toys with the rosary in her hands as Rashmi speaks. "I could have burned them," she whispers. "It was revealed to me the other day that God did not just give me the power to heal; I can hurt as well, if I need to. But I was too afraid, I did not even think of it until afterwards." She tilts her head up, and tilts her gaze to face towards the woman beside her. "It was the same for me; afterwards I think only that I thought God would protect me kept me from collapsing in tears on the spot."

Rashmi nods slowly, squeezing Sophie's shoulder. "That's very brave of you, you know… It's *so hard,* to feel like anything can keep you safe afterward. Sometimes… it never really goes away. The not knowing. The fear. The wondering if the next stranger is going to try to do it all over again." Drawing in a shaky breath, she turns to face Sophie, smiling gently. "But it's like you say… He knew this might happen. And He made sure you *could* stop it if you had to. If Ms. Frost hadn't come, if they hadn't let you go? Maybe you would have remembered sooner."

Sophie perks an eyebrow upwards. "One of them said that if I weren't blind, I'd be able to recognize them, and then they'd have to throw me in the river," she observes. "I am used to being blind, but it is only rare that I am truely *grateful* for it." She sits up, and brushes her fingers through her hair once more. "Two other girls were there, they both got attacked as well… Senorita Shane and Senorita Kisha. I do not really know either of them well, but they both fought off their attackers." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Thank you for your kind words, Senora Rashmi. I just… worry what they intend to do with my blood. I am sure they did not collect it only for the sake of amusement."

Rashmi nods slowly. "I'll see what I can find out… Which… probably won't be much, but I know who to talk to to get more people involved." Scrubbing her free hand over her face, she pats Sophie's shoulder. "I'm *really* glad they let you go, Sophie… I couldnt bear to think what could have happened otherwise. Just… do me a favor, okay? Go talk to the nurse, make sure you haven't gotten more hurt than you thought. …Just.. y'know, it never hurts to be certain."

Sophie nods her head quickly. "Si," she replies. "And at least when the nurse uses the needle, I will know why she is doing it. I am sure they will need to do blood tests." She scratches the back of her neck, and lowers her hand to rest on her lap once more. "You are right, it would be better to know now than to have a nasty surprise in a few weeks time." The blind girl smiles softly. "I am no stranger to the care of doctors, so it will be no great thing. But I will take Doctor Parker-Mayfair and Professor Lensherr's advice closer to heart." She nods her head, as she faces back towards the pew in front of her. "Where do you find your courage, Senora Rashmi? If that is a question you can answer."

Rashmi blows out a breath, taking a moment to sort out the answer in her own often-overtaxed mind. "I… don't really know. Not all the way, really. But… it's like there's a wall, in my heart. Behind it, is all the things I try never to need in my life. Fury… violence… the will to *fight,* to cause harm to another person regardless of why. And when I get scared, I back up, closer and closer to that wall, because I don't *want* to feel that rage, I don't *want* to hurt anyone. …And then I get so scared, I either freeze… or I break a hole in the wall. Because there's nothing left for me to do but fight." There's a pause, and a soft laugh. "…Though lately it's more a door than a wall. And it's not a bad thing, not really… if it wasn't for that, I probably would have died in Nigeria."

Sophie listens carefully, and tilts her head up to face Rashmi once more. "I think I pushed through the same wall, just before Professor Lensherr rescued me from bullies the other day," she murmurs. "Though I did it by accident. I did not mean to burn anyone; truly." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "At least he will live, though I cannot say if he will have scars or not. I have prayed for him since." She pauses, and her thumbs tap together above her lap. "I am thankful that you did come home from Nigeria," she adds. "It seems it is good that you can find your way through this wall, or door, when you need to. Si?"

"Good that I can," Rashmi agrees. "…But not so good that I need to. I wish the world wasn't the way it is… But no amount of wishing alone will make it anything else, y'know? I'm glad to hear that you pray for the boy you hurt. A lot of people would say it's enough he was only hurt, and he should be thankful. Any maybe that's true… but no matter who deserves to be hurt… we don't deserve to be the ones to hurt people."

"It was an accident," she affirms. "I did not mean to hurt him… or anyone. But it is as you say, I think… we shouldn't have to. But it sounds like you have *had* to more than once, si?" She shakes her head slowly. "Hosea is from Nigeria also," she murmurs. "He told me that he was a child soldier there, when I asked him about a scar on his arm. He did not elaborate further… I did not ask him to." She smiles, as she tilts her chin back up. "I… what I have been through yesterday, it seems not so bad, compared to what so many others have had to deal with. I shall be alright, si?"

Rashmi shakes her head. "That's between you and your heart, Sophie… *I* think you'll be all right… but as a favor? Don't compare your worries to someone else's. Whatever I may have lived through… That's what *I've* lived through. You aren't me, Sophie, so what is a huge worry for you is a huge worry, period. Don't ever think any different, okay?"

Sophie pauses, and nods her head quickly. "You are right," she murmurs. "Of course, you are right. And it *was* a big thing for me, even if it might not have been to others." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "I have been used to keeping my life in careful order, and suddenly all is up in the air. Still." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "When I lost my eyes, the Mother Superior told me that nobody ever suffers anything that they are not crafted by God to be able to bear. So I know I can manage this, si? I will be alright. *I* have been through worse as well." She smiles softly, and tilts her head back upwards. "Thank you for your words, Senora Rashmi. You are very kind, as always."

Rashmi smiles gently. "Just remember… No matter what, as long as you have faith in yourself and in Him, there is little you can't overcome. Even in the worst of times… which I hope are few." Leaning back, she tilts her head, eyebrow rising. "You and Hosea seem close, Sophie… If what I saw at the dance is any indicator."

There is what seems a long pause, before a smile once more crosses Sophie's lips; though it is a different sort of smile than the others so far this morning, full of warmth and just a bit of mischief. "Hosea and I…" she pauses, and giggles softly, as one hand rises to rest on her chest, just above the spot where she is glowing. "Well… I am wondering when he is going to ask me to come with him on a date, si?" She tilts her head to face towards Rashmi, and shrugs her shoulders. "Why is it that boys… they are all big and made of muscle and deep voices, but when it comes to talking to a girl, they fall over their own feet and forget how their voices work?"

Rashmi bites her bottom lip, the laughter held in check escaping in an amused snort. "I have *no idea,* Sophie," she says, shoulders shaking with amusement. "But if I had to guess, it's probably because some of them just don't know *how* to figure out anything that doesn't need solving /like a man should./" This last, said with a patently false deepening of the voice.

Sophie snorts herself, and her shoulders roll as she chuckles herself. "You mean like back in the days of cavemen, like in the silly cartoons? Where a man just drags a woman by her hair back to his cave, and that is how they go on a date?" She holds her hand in front her mouth as she tries to contain her laughter, and generally fails. "I cannot picture such a thing being suggested to Hosea, I think that he would be at a loss for words, si?" She pauses as she giggles, and shakes her head. "I am sure he will find the courage to ask me eventually."

"Maybe… Maybe he'll just need a nudge or three," Rashmi says, lifting a shoulder. "Remember where he came from. Over there, back then… It was enough to say 'that girl is pretty, I want her,' and boom, wife. I'm not sure how it was in the village he escaped to after, but I'm pretty sure he has *no* idea what a real date's even like."

Sophie nods mroe solemnly, though the smile has not quite left her lips. "Well, si, this is so," she agrees. "And I do remember this, though, I did not know it was quite like *that*. I would prefer to be given some say in the matter." She giggles softly, and shakes her head. "I think what he knows cannot be so much less than I; I have not been taken on a date before either." The blind girl breaks out into a grin once more. "But that does not mean I cannot provide the occasional little nudge."

Rashmi bobs her head. "Exactly! And if you don't mind, I'd be happy to nudge him along as well. …If nothing else, at least suggest a couple good places to go for a decent date. They don't even all have to be in the City, either."

"Oh? Well, since you know good places to go and I don't think either of us do… well, please, by all means." Sophie giggles softly. "I admit to having done the same for another girl, back in Spain; and I am sure the nuns would not have approved if they had known two of their charges were going on a date. But you only live the once, si?" She shrugs, and hmmphs innocently. "And besides, by the time I was leaving for America, they were already into their fourth date together."

Rashmi chuckles. "Well. Then I suppose it won't be *too* long before you know what the big fuss was, hm?"

Sophie giggles, and shakes her head. "No, I expect not," she replies. "Senora Rashmi… may I ask you something else?"

"Of course, Sophie," Rashmi replies, the smile clearly heard in her voice.

Sophie pekrs an eyebrow upwards. "A couple of students have been asking what my… how do they say it… 'Codename' is." She pauses for a moment. "But I don't have one. I know most of us who are mutants get one eventually… do we just… choose it for ourselves? Or what?"

"That's…. usually how it works, yeah," Rashmi says, nodding. "It seems sort of silly to me, but, it has managed to come in handy once or twice. Though I've run across some pretty atrocious names, you shouldn't worry about whether or not it's silly. If it works, it works, and if it really works it'll stick. Like a nickname, y'know?"

An eyebrow rises significantly on Sophie's forehead, and she blushes heatedly. "Well, I have thought of one that I might use, but I sincerely hope it is not atrocious," is her earnest reply. "Well, it is not atrocious, I am not proposing to call myself everyone's mother or something. But I suppose it might possibly be silly, much as I realize how it might be useful."

Rashmi chuckles. "And besides, Mother's already taken. Which… yeah, that's what I was thinking of when I said it."

Sophie's other eyebrow joins the first, in rising up her forehead. "…Upon that I have no… comment," she murmurs. "Still. Promise you will not laugh, si?" She coughs softly. "What do you think of… Chalice?"

Rashmi tilts her head, eyebrows rising in kind. "Why Chalice, if you don't mind? It's not bad, honestly, I'm just curious."

Sophie shrugs her shoulders lightly. "It… occured to me after I spoke with Doctor Parker-Mayfair, and he helped me to understand how my powers work. Apparently I absorb energy, and then use it to fuel my abilities, si?" She taps her chest, where it is glowing lightly. "The Chalice holds the wine at mass; the cup that runneth over, as it is said, si? I suppose I feel that I am similar. When the cup is full, I can heal other people." She pauses, and taps her lips lightly. "That, or fight if I truely must, though I prefer the healing, si? When the cup is empty, well…" She pauses, and smiles softly. "Well, then I must fill it again."

Rashmi nods slowly. "That's very fitting, yes… Honestly? I think it's a *good* name, and it makes a lot of sense."

"Then I shall use it." Sophie bobs her head emphatically. "If at least someone else does not think it is silly or ridiculous, then I shall adopt it… and then at least people will have something to call me by, when the use of our given names is unwise."

Rashmi nods. "That's pretty much exactly it, yeah… Though God willing there won't be many, of course. Honestly, I thought it was pretty silly at first… And then I started getting into the kinds of situations that codenames were pretty much made for."

Sophie perks an eyebrow, and tilts her head sideways to face Rashmi once more. "Hope is a marvelous thing to have," she murmurs, "But as you say… it does not replace preparation, si? It is better to be ready with the tools to handle adversity when it comes, than to simply hope it will pass you better." She pauses, and her lips quirk upwardsat the corners. "Better to hope that your preparations will be sufficient."

"He does seem to help those who help themselves," Rashmi agrees. "Probably it has something to do with not needing to carry them so far." Falling into a companionable silence for a moment, she tilts her head. "Feel better?"

The silence is not broken by Sophie, not until the question that is asked of her. She pauses, and nods her head. "Much," she replies. "And I will really feel better when I have been to the nurse, and know that I haven't picked up any diseases from their needle. I *pray* that they used a clean one at the least." She rubs at her neck as she speaks. "I am sure I will be fine, si? And then perhaps I shall see if I can learn anything about defending myself, while I am at school, so I will not always be so easily abducted."

Rashmi nods. "That's what the Danger Room classes are for. I wouldn't *recommend* it, but if you want to go farther than basic self-defense… Mr. Logan teaches an advanced combat course. And before you say it, being blind won't matter at all, you'd just want to be willing to do the work. Trust me… there are some teachers out there that could probably make a serious martial artist out of you, if you felt like it."

Sophie purses her lips, and clasps her hands across her waist. "Si, that is what Professor Lensherr said; when I commented that I should have to learn to aim without seeing, that I would merely need to put in the effort and *try*, and that I would likely surprise myself." She perks an eyebrow, and inclines her head. "One thing that has pleased me to no end is that so far, nobody has pitied me for my blindness. I cannot stand that; I am not pitiful. I must simply work harder to do some of the same things." She pauses, and giggles softly. "Though it is funny when people shout at me, thinking that because I cannot see that I also cannot hear."

Rashmi laughs brightly. "I know, it's *amazing* what people'll think when you give them half a chance. I have red hair, you know; it actually happens in India, it's just really rare and considered pretty lucky, right? Well, I used to have it down to my feet, I hadn't done more than trim it all my life… People would get *mad* at Mami for spending all that money on hair dye, and then taking me to Goodwill for clothes."

Sophie ohs? "You have red hair?" She blushes softly. "I had thought it would be black! I am sorry Senora Rashmi, it was an easy assumption to make. Is it a dark red, or bright?" She stretches lightly, and faces up towards Rashmi with a bright, interested expression. "People alwys see what they expect to, and not necessarily what is really there. I have learned that there is no great benefit to taking offense to it."

"Really bright, actually," Rashmi says, chuckling. "Y'know, that coppery not-orange people over in England call gingers? Like that."

Sophie ahhhs softly, "Well, then you must be truely lucky, si?" She nods her head emphatically. "I have never been to England, but I grew up very close to Gibraltar, so I know the term… and… a few other terms, for other things. The British can be… ahem… rude, sometimes." She pauses, and coughs softly. "Often."

Rashmi shrugs. "No ruder than anyone else, honestly… I mean, Americans can just be *horrible,* you've found out. Sometimes, people are just… like that, y'know?"

Sophie mmmhmms. "Verbal rudeness I can handle, and ignore," she replies. "It is when they become physical, that there comes to be a problem. But honestly, it is no different from the Spanish. We curse more elegantly than the Americans or the British do, but we still curse, si?" She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "And I am told that the closer you get to Madrid, the worse it is to be a mutant. But still… Mahatma Ghandi beat the British without a single bullet, si? I have faith that the world will change for the better, in time."

"Having faith is good. Having faith while rolling up your sleeves and doing it, even better," Rashmi replies, smiling."

Sophie grins. "This is true. I shall roll up my sleeves and get to work on learning to defend myself properly, while I study history and mathematics and attend Professor Hilde's German speaking classes, si?" She pauses, and taps her lips. "Right after I roll up my sleeve for the nurse to give me some blood tests."

~ Fin ~

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