2010-07-10: Running Water


Jinx_icon.jpg Lucas_icon.jpg

Summary: Immediately following Broken, Lucas races to stop his freaking out powers, and finds Jinx.

Date: July 10, 2010

Log Title: Running Water

Rating: PG-13

Spuyten Duyvil Cove

This little cove leads off to Breakstone Lake. Students can go fishing, boating, and swimming in the fresh water. There is a small beach off to the side of the dock where students can also go sunbathing.

Jinx is sitting on the sandy beach on a blanket she'd stolen from the Mansion, reading her book in the fading light of the day. She's dressed as normal, her hair slicked back from her eyes. Periodically, she looks up to watch the slapping water before returning to the escape of her pages.

There's a loud BOOM that echoes across the lake. A second later, a warm breeze waves the tree branches, blowing from the direction of the sound. Just after that, Lucas emerges from the path, running as fast as he can. His hands are engulfed in nuclear balls of energy that are the size of medicine balls. A trail of light bleeds behind him as he darts towards the water, the humm of the reactions growing louder as he nears. The energy balls are growing larger, and his face looks panicked as they billow out of control. Reaching the water, he just dives in. There's another explosion of steam that showers the area with water as the boy disappears beneath the surface, which boils and rolls.

Jinx's eyes go wide and she hits the deck, flattening out against the sand and the book squished beneath her. She hisses a breath as she is showered with water, soaking her fur against her skin. Pushing up with her arms, she frowns, gathering her body beneath her. "I guess Rashmi talked to you," she says towards the boiling lake.

Lucas' head bursts from the water, "Ahh!" he shouts as he drags in a breath. He stands there, his hands beneath the water, steam still rising all around him. He's breathing hard, and he looks around, seeing Jinx. "What?" he shouts, angrily. "What are you looking at!?!"

Jinx scuffles up to her feet. Her wet fur now gathers into spikes around her body, her outline gone jagged. "You, having a tantrum!" she shouts back, unwilling to take lip from the nuclear boy. She brushes the sand off her skirt and legs with firm slaps of her clawed hands and bends to pick up her blanket and book.

Lucas scowls, "Ah ain't havin' a tantrum!" He huffs, and begins walking towards her, still in the water. The steam is beginning to go away.

Jinx loops the blanket over her forearm and stuffs the book into the waistband of her skirt, back in the small of her back where it won't be in the way (right). She frowns at him, eyeing his steaming hands and his general demeanor. "You ain't having a picnic! Or do you always come screaming through the trees lit up like the Fourth of July?" Her hand waves dramatically towards the forest as well.

Lucas finishes walking to her, though he's standing about ten feet out in the water so his hands stay underwater. The steam and bubbling has subsided. He sighs, still scowling, and he bites his lip, looking at the boathouse, then back at Jinx. "Rashmi dumped me," he says, quietly.

Jinx isn't surprised. She hesitates, wavering there in the sand. "I'm sorry," she says after a moment. "You figured it was coming tho, right? Never feels good to have it happen." She recites the words that she has heard people say on TV and film, and it seems so trite even as she speaks it. She gives a shudder, some of the water clearing her fur. "What did she say?"

Lucas' eyes are narrow, tight. He's fighting back tears. "She said alls Ah needed was someone to care about me. That Ah didn't need a girl what was anything more." He shakes his head, "She said what she offered me wasn't what Ah needed…" He looks off, narrowing his eyes a little more as if looking to see something far far away. Finally, a tear makes it down his cheek. "Ah'm alone again."

Jinx hugs the blanket tighter against her body. "Lucas…" she sets her teeth into her lip. "You got plenty of people to care about you already. The girl part isn't really that important, right? School like this, a billion guys probably want a shot at you," she says softly, an attempt at humor or the reality of the situation, unclear. "But shoot, Lucas. Before you start bleeding for me you gotta know that it was me who called her," her ears flatten and her tail sags against the ground. "I didn't want anyone to hurt but sometimes you gotta rip the bandaid off quick to let things breathe and heal."

Lucas shakes his head, "Ah know it was you… It don't matter…" He looks at Jinx, and is clearly a little more broken tonight. "She'd made her decision before your call. Ah mean… She didn't know it, but… Whatever you said was just the final motivator. Weren't you, it'd been somethin' else…" He looks down. "Am Ah really so awful, Jinx?" he asks, quietly. "Even Connor said…"

Jinx blinks her purple eyes. "She did? Oh…" Jinx shifts her weight between her feet. "Connor said what?" Her ears come up, slightly relieved… especially since she expected to have to dodge some fireballs. "They said you were awful?"

Lucas shakes his head, "Not… Not exactly. But, it was what they said." He sighs, "Rash said douchebag. But… They both said Ah was selfish. Irresponsible. Fucked up in the head…" He shrugs, staring at the water. "They're right, you know…"

Jinx's eyes widen. "Rash called you a douchebag?" That's a serious insult right there. "Irresponsible, yea. Selfish, yeah. Fucked up in the head… they ain't got a right to say, if you ask me. That's stuff you already knew." She breathes a sigh and plows her fingers through her hair to flip her bangs from her eyes. "They are mad and hurt because when you were doing all your plans and schemes to heal yourself, you didn't think of them."

Lucas looks back at her, and he nods a little, looking back down at the water. Then he looks up at the sky, and just screams. "Aaarrggh!!!" It lasts about ten seconds, and is that teenage boy angry lost frustrated mad sad yell that echoes off the trees across the lake. He pulls his hand out of the water and punches the surface with a splash. He sighs, staring at the ripples. "Ah hate feeling like this."

Jinx watches the boy, and for all his power and anger, he looks like a wet kid in a lake. She stands there and lets him have his moment. "I don't know what your code name is, Lucas, but this week I think it is 'Meltdown'." That's Jinx, always there with a shoulder to offer a wounded student. She licks her lips and scuffs a foot against the sand of the beach. "What are you gonna do?"

Lucas shakes his head a little, "Ah dunnow…" He looks at Jinx, and shrugs, "Go back to bein' alone, Ah reckon." He sighs, and then asks, "Think maybe… You could touch me?"

Jinx blinks. Never has anyone treated her like a street drug, and it is an application of her powers that she never expected. "Yeah… come here," she throws the blanket on the sand and sits on it. She is damp still from the unexpected shower and her clothes flatten against her body. "Are you gonna try making up or anything? You know… send flowers or I dunno.. valium for Connor?"

Lucas begins to walk from the water. The white gloves are still on his hands, but they are charred and gray. The water drips from his clothes as he emerges onto the beach, wearing a pair of khaki cargo pants and what remains of a burned up Tshirt, and he walks slowly over to her blanket, and he sits Indian-style across from her. He glances down at the tatters of shirt, and he pulls it off, tossing it to the side, and then looking at Jinx. "Ah don't know. She seemed pretty sure. And Connor…" he shakes his head, "There's a reason Ah don't let people in. Shit like this happens." He sighs, tossing a little handful of sand away.

Jinx bends to her hands and knees and crawls around behind him, her tail moving like a rippling wave of black and white. Twilight is coming to the cove, and with it are the mosquitos of summer, though radiation is a perfect bug repellant. Jinx sits behind him, and gradually scootches closer. Her palms press lightly against his shoulder blades and comfort oozes forward across his skin. "Shit like this happens because you keep justifying it to yourself," she corrects him, a murmured voice behind his ear. "This shit did not happen. You made it by the choices you make. But that is sorta awesome in a way because it means you can choose a different path for the future, right? You're not stuck."

Lucas sighs when she touches him. She can feel his shoulders are tight and tense. He has a chain around his neck, from which dangles on his chest a small box mount with a guitar pick inside it. "Ah want to leave. Just get outta here, ya know?" He sighs once more. "Ah'm so tired of always feelin' afraid, or sorry or lost." He closes his eyes, his chin lifting a bit as he 'looks' skyward, feeling what she's projecting. "Even now… Ah'm using you to feel better. Ah'm sorry."

"You asked, and I agreed," she says softly. Her palms move on his skin, and behind him he cannot see the widening of her eyes as she watchings the way his skin rolls over his muscles. The projection becomes slightly warm before cooling again. She clears her throat. "The difference with the other stuff is that you didn't give them an option. You just did it. We al do that, really. We think we can do it all on our own, but we're here together for a purpose," she bites at her own words, and huffs a small laugh. "Listen to me, huh? I want to run as far away as I can most days. But here I am."

Lucas nods a bit, "…yeah… Ah guess…" He rolls his shoulder, with a little grunt, working something out, before he says, "Heh… What was that" He smiles glancing back at her for just a moment before looking back at the water. "It was different for a second there."

The warmth glows again, a hot rainbow of emotion before fading back. "What?" she asks, blowing it off. "That moth? It was huge. The mosquitos here need aircraft carriers, too." Her claws touch against his skin lightly, and she tentatively moves her hand to another spot. If he could see her, her brows would be drawn into a tight line. "So you gonna let them go?"

Lucas' breathing stops for a second when that second wave comes, and then he moves a little on the blanket. "Moth? There was… no… It was… somethin' else… Maybe. Heh…" He swallows, kind of loudly, and shakes his head a little. "Rash chose. Connor… Ah dunnow… Ah'm not sure yet…" He sighs again, "This is nice." His head tilts just a bit. "Why do you feel like running, Jinx?"

"'Cause I am a freak," she answers plainly. "I have the image inducer.. but only here. It's a lie, though. I hate lies," and through the connection, a spike of annoyance ripples through the calm. Her pawpads slide against slick skin, lit in blues by the growing night. "I hate the lies people tell to each other to protect their feelings and being around people, I find it's way too easy to start lying and keep on doing it," she huffs, her voice a husky murmur. The annoyance prickles through her aura, hot little spikes before she realizes what she is doing. "Oh.. dude. Sorry… here…." the emotional vibes chill out again, mellowing into soft laziness of a Sunday afternoon.

Lucas nods a bit, "Yeah. Like my gloves. Ah mean, it's worse for you, no doubt, but… Ah get it." He shudders a little as he paw slides along his back, but he doesn't react otherwise. "My maw don't even know Ah'm a mutant, let alone at a school hundreds of miles away." He looks over his shoulder at her, giving a little smile, then looks back at the lake once more. "They come easy now. Hate that too."

"I lied to you," she blurts. "Ah hell. I lied to you," her hands grip his shoulders, claws curling into the hollow over his muscles. She takes a deep breath and practices divorcing her own emotions from the ones she is trying to share with him. "The image inducer looks like what I'd look like if… you know. I'm sorry I lied. It was dumb, but that's just what I am saying." She watches the bend of his neck, and how his blond hair curls against the back of his ear. The emotions warm again. "You got your gloves, I have the inducer. They're both crutches to get by. But I'm sure you'll learn to control it someday and if not… well, you can look awesome like Mr. Summers and his glasses."

Lucas just chuckles, his body shaking a little beneath her hands as he does so. There's a little nod, "Yeah." He stiffens just a little then, when she sends the warmth, and he sits quiet, closing his eyes, and just feeling it. When it passes, he furrows his brow, "Ah think old man Summers looks like a retard, but thanks." He sighs. "Ah wish Ah could do this for you." He glances over his shoulder at her, "Touch you an' just magically make you feel better."

Jinx smiles to herself. "Thanks. But not to be a dick and all, but eventually I gotta let go," she breathes a long sigh, the warmth settling into a dull simmer that adds to the general emotional mix. It's nice, and the night is warm. The frogs start croaking, along with the chorus of crickets ever ready to lend their voices to the night. Fireflies flash in the forest. "And then you gotta decide how you're going to handle things. You said you wanted my help controlling stuff, right? You gotta start with making the right decisions on how you treat your team mates and your dates."

Lucas sighs, looking back at the lake. "Yeah, well… Ah don't know what those decisions are." He rolls that shoulder again, and reaches around with his other hand to rub it a little. "Ah DO know… You ain't such a freak, Jinx. You just… you ain't."

Jinx is careful that her fingers don't touch his hand. For whatever intimacy sharing emotions includes, the touching of fingers seems a little frightening, and the shared contact reacts with a quick, hot spike like a sudden blush. "That's because you're used to me," she chides. "If I was on the street, you'd think I was a monster too." Her hands slide down to his shoulderblades again, safely perched. "If you were askin' me, which you aren't, but I am gonna tell you anyways because I really need to keep talking right now," she takes a breath and leans back a little. "We need to focus on this team and keeping the team mates with us. I am not saying we have to make out with everyone or anything, but we just gotta be square."

Lucas gasps when the hot spike flashes, and he stops rubbing his shoulder. He moves a little, readjusting his seating on the blanket, putting his hands in his lap. "Heh…" he covers, with a little soft laugh. "Why, um…" He furrows his brow, focusing. "Don't makeout with my teammates… heh… Yeah." He sighs, "Why do you need to keep talking? Am Ah makin' you uncomfortable? Ah can… you don't have to do this. Ah can go…"

Jinx's control of the situation is beginning to falter. Between the connection comes a quick barrage of emotions; insecurity, peace, jealousy, peace, envy, calm, lust— her hands pop off the back of his back and her feet slide against the sand. "Oh shit. Did you get all that?" she asks, worried. "I haven't had a lot of practice with people, you know? Mostly when I did this before it was being kinda mean, honestly. But I like, don't go around smacking people as a general rule."

Lucas falls forward a little, with a grunt, and he turns a bit to face her some. "Holy shit!" he exclaims, and then begins to laugh. "Yeah! Ah got it all…" He smiles, "Wow… Where… Where did that come from? Wow!"

Jinx's ears fold back, repentant. She folds her legs cross-legged on the sand and swipes a hand over her face. "People…" she begins, thinking how to put it. "People think things all the time, and it echoes through their smell. When I put my hands on you, I am suggesting things.. chemicals to your brain. I guess it goes both ways when I am nervous," she breathes a soft huff, not daring to look at him.

Lucas tilts his head a little. Slowly, he reaches out, and if she allows, he brushes her bangs from her eyes. "Why are you nervous?"

Jinx's whiskers give a quick flick. "Because," she answers obtusely. Her eyes flick up to his face, her eyes dark with the growing night. She watches his face a second and while this might be a moment of truth, she breathes a ragged sigh, a plaintive little sound chasing it from her lips. "You think James is behind this thing with Robyn?"

Lucas stares at her a long moment, and then he looks away. "Prolly." And then he leaps to his feet, and just scoops her up in his arms. He does so with ease, as if he is much stronger than he appears. With one arm under her knees and the other around her shoulders, he begins walking to the water, laughing. "Come on!"

Jinx squeaks as she is lifted! "Lucas! No no no no…!" She squirms in his arms. How did he get so strong? She worries that she might be dropped and then he starts going to the water. Her eyes widen and she slaps her palm to his shoulder. Apprehension floods through the chemical link. "Lucas! I might sink!" She kicks her legs a bit, not wanting to die like a drowned rat.

Lucas laughs as she protests, but his mutant strength allows him to keep his grip. He continues laughing, "Ah ain't gonna drop you!" he reassures her between laughs. When she touches his shoulder, he's about waist deep, and he stops, his steps faltering for just a moment. He takes a deep breath, remembering what she said about them being suggestions. It also helps that he has spent his whole life a white water rafter. A little intensity joins his gaze, and he steps further, playing through. "That's not as good as the last feelin' you was sharin', " he teases. He stops when the water is up to the middle of his stomach, and he holds her tight. "Relax. Ah won't let you sink. Ah promise, " he says, with a smile, but a serious look.

Jinx hitches up his body, using her arms to wedge herself higher and if she could curl herself up on his shoulders, she would. Her eyes are wide and she is terrified and excited, and annoyed that the water is getting her skirt wet…! "You take me to shore right now, Lucas!" she orders in her best authoritative voice. Her emotional connection ripples with dominant commands. Authority. She glances at him. Trust. Biting her lip, she relaxes a little and extends her leg away from him, loosening her grip. "Please."

Lucas tightens his hold on her, but it's in a protective way, not trying to force her anywhere she doesn't want to go. "Easy… Calm down…" He takes a deep breath, and as he exhales, he slowly stops laughing, looking her in the eyes. "Look at me, Jinx. Calm down…" He smiles at her, and he feels that urge to do as she says. "That's cheating," he acknowledges of the feelings. He takes a step closer to shore, "Okay… But know… Ah won't let you go until you're ready… But you'll never stop being afraid of it until you get in." He waits a moment, and then begins to walk her back to shore. "Let's get you back to the sand. Sorry."

Jinx lifts her hand from his back in surprise. It totally was cheating. "No, I'm sorry. You're right. I can't be afraid of stuff." Even sinking and dying in a lame and humiliating way for a superhero. Her hand touches again, and she is is calmer, though her apprehension vibrates like a violin being played like a 2 year old. She looks back up to his eyes. Trust. She's trusting him. "Okay.. let me go. Don't let me sink, okay? I am fucking trusting you."

Lucas stops, and looks surprised, "Really?" He then breaks into a smile, "Okay." He turns, walking back the few steps they had covered, and then he hods her. "Y'all can trust me. Ah'm a liar, but Ah'm loyal." He gives a little wink, and then laughs, "Ah love the water." He holds her gently, letting the water lap at her, but not forcing anything faster than she is capable of dealing. "You know, Ah wanted to be a marine mammologist before Ah became a freak." He begins to lower her just slightly into the water, "If you get scared, remember, this isn't very deep. You can just stand up." He looks back into her eyes, "Tell me if Ah'm moving too fast."

Jinx eyes the dark water. "You're about to become a marine mammologist as soon as I drop," she quips tartly. When she is out farther again, she screws up her bravery, it flashing through the connection like a glistening ribbon of gold. Her tail is already wet, streaming behind and matted down like a cat's tail now, the 'floof' being all fur. "Okay. I can do this. Just.. let me go…. and don't go too far..ok? Just… stay put." Her hand grips his shoulder. Trust.

Lucas doesn't just drop her. Instead, he slowly bends his knees, lowering her gently and safely into the water. He stares right in her eyes, watching for anything that screams get her back up. Once she's in the water proper, he slowly begins to slip his hand from beneath her legs, letting them loose on their own. "Ah'm right here," he says with a smile.

Jinx's hand is on his shoulder and she is trembling ever so slightly. Fear. Embarassment. Apprehension. "Wow, it's really cold!" she exclaims, pressing down her skirt as it floats to the surface of the water. She finds her feet beneath her, pressing the shore. Amazingly, monsters do not come to drag her down and she stands, looking at the water with a quizzical cock-eared look. "Why can't you be a marine biologist now? You do fine in water."

Lucas stands in front of her in the water. His hand remains on her shoulder, and he looks at hers on his. Then he looks at her, "It ain't so cold, really." He smiles, "Sure. But Ah can't really work on dolphins an' the like when they pull them up on stretchers with my hands." He shrugs, "Besides, everyone keeps tellin' me Ah'm like the most powerful mutant student here… Ah struggle with ignoring that, ya know?" He sighs, and his eyes drift down to her chest a moment, then out into the darkness. "Ah love it out here…"

Her chest is wet, like the rest of her, and her tank top hangs tight against her wet fur. Like most teenage girls, she never notices him directly looking. "I don't know everyone here, but you certainly have some dramatic powers. And why not? You aren't thinking positive, Lucas. You gotta believe you can get a grip on your hands or they will always be the tail wagging the dog…" she pulls away then, her hands spread and level with the surface of the lake, moving cautiously through the water. "You gotta conquer your fears… and look! You're not even smoking."

Lucas nods, "Yeah…" Then he looks at his hands, and he laughs, "When they get wet, they can usually go a few minutes before they explode." He takes his hand off her, and puts both his hands in the water. "Thank you."

"Oh, so that's why you do it in the lake," she smiles smugly, looking away as she says it. She ventures into deeper water, the lake lapping up against her ribs and baloons up her tank top. Her tail is a streak of black and white beneath the waves. She takes a breath and dips under.

Lucas furrows his brow, "Do what in the—" And then she's under the water. He moves towards where she was a step, just to make sure he's close enough if something happens, and then waits. He splashes his face, running his wet fingers through his hair, and wiping his eyes, as he waits for her to resurface.

Jinx pops up again a few feet away, and rises in a rain of water. Her fur and clothes are soaked, plaster against her body. She looks almost human, at least from the neck down. She flips back her hair with a hand and grins. "I didn't sink!" she exclaims with uncharacteristic cheerfulness. "I may have even floated a little… I can't be sure!"

Lucas laughs, "You didn't! See!" He smiles widely, his dimples full on. "Isn't it nice? To not be afraid?" he asks, stepping a little over towards her, his eyes wandering downward a moment before looking back at her. "Do you feel better?"

Jinx nods her head, her hair of course coming into her eyes a moment. She's jubilant and excited. "Yeah… see?" She puts a hand on his shoulder and the emotional connection sings with jubilance, like fireworks exploding in the senses. She grins, her sharp teeth flashing in the night. "I bet I could go deeper, even. I'll get a suit and try it out."

Lucas laughs, and when she touches him, spreading that feeling, he shouts, "HAARRGH!!" He stumbles a step away, and then falls backward into the water with a splash. A moment later, he stands again, the water dripping from him, his long hair plastered flat over his face. "Good god, woman!" He laughs, "Christ, that was crazy!"

Jinx pulls her hand close to her body as he falls back into the water, wincing as she is splashed again. She laughs a little and moves to offer to help him up, but hesitates. "Maybe I need some gloves too, huh?" she laughs a little and looks a bit sheepish. "Sorry, Lucas."

Lucas smiles, "No, really… It's all good." He laughs a bit more, and then splashes her. "Ah'm glad it's good." He wipes the hair out of his eyes. "Ah reckon it's late. You don't wanna get caught out of the dorms after curfew."

Jinx nods her head and clears her throat, dodging the water. "Yeah. I gotta visit Robyn yet, too," the seriousness of their situation has almost been forgotten. She glances off over the lake, and plucks at her shirt to drag it away from her body. "Ah shit. I am soaked. Now I have to sneak back in to change," she snorts softly and shakes her head, moving to slosh through the water. The skirt sticks against her thighs, and there is not much to hide on the skunk's physique, though it is not any worse than one of the uniforms for the Danger room. She pauses, "You coming or ya gonna stay out here a bit?" She is silhouetted in the moonlight, slender and alien.

Lucas tilts his head a bit, watching her as she walks to shore. When she asks if he's staying or going, he's busted looking, and has to actually snap out of it. "Huh?" He shakes his head a little, "Oh, nah… Ah graduated. Ah don't have curfew no mores. Thought Ah'd maybe, um… you know…" He gestures over his shoulder, standing in the waist deep water. "…swim."

Jinx blinks there a moment. "Yeah, okay," she rolls a shoulder in a shrug. "Just don't drown or something. I'd be disappointed to see ya gone," she smiles. She'll have to ask about the graduation thing later, and find out how that all works. She hesitates again, swaying. In a decisive quick step, she crosses to where he stands and leans up on her tiptoes to give him a quick peck on the cheek. The contact is electric, full of all sorts of juicy emotions, but a few rise bright to the surface. Faith, Belief, Trust. "Thanks, Lucas. I have faith in ya. You know how to find me." She gives him a wink and turns back to the shore, slogging out of the lake to bend and pick up her discarded blanket and book.

Lucas' breath stops again when she kisses him. As she pulls away, he has a kind of stupid boy look on his face. Then he watches her, every inch of her, very closely as she goes.

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