2012-06-09: Sitting In A Tree


Cale_icon.jpg JillV_icon.jpg Nicholas_icon.jpg

Summary: Nick finally tells Jill how he feels.

Date: June 9, 2012

Log Title: Sitting In A Tree

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Quad

There is a square side walk of pavement with a nice grassy area in the middle with a few stone benches and trees along the corners. The pavement leads to the paths to the grounds of the school, the Dining Hall in Xavier's and the Ramsey Dormitories. It's not particularly large but it's a nice place for students and teachers to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Not merely content to wait in the shade of a broad tree over the stone benches of the students' quad, a blonde vampire with a polka dot umbrella is instead sitting on a thick branch above head height, one leg dangling with rainbow-socked toes splayed. A brief intermittent drift of something like pale parchment colored confetti falls from Jill's bare forearms as she brushes them roughly with the palms of her hands. It's not snow. It's flaking skin, cracked and dry and brittle as dead leaves. "Stupid," she chastises herself when the extremely irritating but hardly life-threatening burns begin to heal all too slowly during the late daylight hours. "Ow, that was stupid. Ow." She can't even properly redirect the anger at Quenton like she feels she ought to. Nope. It was her stupid decision to 'make a statement' and she got the sunburn from Hell for her troubles.

Nicholas rushes outside, goes past Jill and into the dorms. It's only when he returns out, with something pink balled up in one hand. He stops and looks around, hearing someone say stupid. "Hey Jill, sorry about that back there, didn't want Quenton to try to apologize to Shane while he was that angry. You okay?" He says looking at the tree, trying to figure out the best way to climb up it.

Cale, of course, is a bit of a showoff when it comes climbing - he climbs right up the tree like he's running up it and plops down on an adjacent branch. Perhaps one not quite so sturdy. It is rather obvious that he means to leave a spot for Nick, there. Yep! "You want help up?" he giggles, seeming to have shaken off the feeling from just a moment earlier.

With some reluctance, like she still wants to stay mad but simply can't, Jill exhales and nods. "I'm fine. Just a little… crispy." Her other leg drops down so she's straddling the branch, umbrella resting on one shoulder to shield her upper body from the dappled sunlight that still manages to peek through the tree's canopy when the wind stirs it. "That was a nice thing for you to do. I feel bad for Shane, but…" She exhales the last of her frustration away and a calm pensiveness returns. "I know Quenton doesn't do it on purpose," she explains with a glance to Cale, feeling the need to defend the rage-filled teen just a few minutes after walking out on him in a huff. "He doesn't mean half of what he says, and he didn't mean t'hurt her feelings. He… just doesn't think sometimes. Most of the time. He's not *really* a bad person." She looks briefly amused at Nick trying to find a place to climb the tree. "If you wanna join the treehouse club, you gotta pay the toll," she teases, drawing her legs up ou

"If you wanna join the treehouse club, you gotta pay the toll," she teases, drawing her legs up out of his reach.

"Well Shane and I hung out a lot when you were gone and when Quenton was off so, she's like a little sister in some ways." Nicholas shoving the pink cloth in his hand into his pocket as he struggles to climb up the tree. "And she's become my tutor in anime when it's two a.m. and neither of us can sleep." Whichi is often." It takes a while for him to get up there but when he does, he settles with Cale and Jill. "I have a present for you Jill."

Cale simply stays put on his branch, peering over at Nick and Jill - he's rather curious as to what the present might be. Presents are fun! He lays out across his branch, watching the two of them lazily with his ponytail hanging down towards the ground.

"I'll haveta drop in sometime. I'm awake at night a lot lately." Jill rocks forward, letting her feet dangle again once Nick joins the tree party. The vampire girl blinks her blood red eyes in surprise. "A present?" It's not her birthday. That was a while ago, and she was in Transylvania at the time anyway. "What for?" She isn't suspicious or ungrateful, just genuinely surprised.

Nicholas seems to stammer at the what for part as he digs it out of his pocket and gives her the pink shirt which has a picture of Fluttershy doing 'The Stare' with the words 'You Want Some Too?' "What for….uh…well I guess it's just a glad your home and I missed you present." He doesn't want to tell her Ahmed got it for him to give to her cause he's kind of embarassed by that. "You're welcome to drop in if you don't mind us watching this zombie anime."

Cale just sort of smiles. "That one's pretty good," he finally comments, making his presence a bit more known. Perhaps. He seems to be half asleep. Or perhaps that's just the lizard genes talking. "Fiiinally," he murmurs, also, smirking slightly.

Spreading out the pink shirt in front of her, Jill's face splits into a broad, fanged grin of sheer delight. She even goes so far as to utter an excited little squee. "Aww, thank you!" She throws an arm around Nick and gives him a squeeze, unaware or unconcerned that she's no longer sitting on the branch or that she appears to be standing on empty air about six feet off the ground. Vampires are weird. "I love it!"

Nicholas returns the hug the best he can while balancing on the branch and smiles back. "Glad you like it, I had a bit of help since I know nothing about the show. Not for Cale's lack of trying though." The 'you like horses and the show is filled with ponies' didn't work. "So how are you adjusting? And Cale, if Quenton ever gives you a hard time, just ignore him. He says a lot of stuff he doesn't mean when he's pissed just to piss off others. Lot like what I used to do."

"I guess… he's kinda… big though. I mean, what if he doesn't wanna be ignored?" Cale questions, then shrugs a little, "I guess he didn't actually beat anybody up, so there's that," he laughs a little. "That's such a great shirt, too," he gushes, "How did you even find that?" he glances at Nick. "I thought you didn't like it much. I'm kinda jealous!" he nods. Well, in more ways that one…

Jill drifts gracefully back to sit on her branch, holding the shirt up to herself with her free hand, modeling it. After a moment, she loops it over a shoulder and crosses her legs at the ankles. "He's kinda scary sometimes, but mostly it's just his whole-" Jill sticks out her lower jaw and furrows her brow in a gruff caveman impression. "Grr, I'm big and mean so I can say whatever I want and nobody'll stand up to me." She clears her throat and shakes her head, growing a little more serious, but not entirely so. Her toes wiggle in the rainbow striped socks before she answers Nick. "I'm… actually doin' okay. For a while there it was just, like, culture shock, being back here. I didn't… I didn't know what I was supposed to do." A soft laugh. "I still don't, really. It's actually not all that bad, y'know? I mean, I wouldn't recommend it or anything, but it could be a lot worse. It just kinda screws with your head sometimes."

"Find it?" Nicholas asks Cale. "Uh, the internet probably? Like I said, I had help." He doesn't mention how much help. "Yeah I guess it was, well if you need to know what to do, I'd just continue with everyday life as usual for now. I'm hoping to talk to one of the teachers to do a little end of year thing for us. I mean yeah it started as an idea to try to get Ahmed to be more social but, we really need a party of some sort here, just something…fun." He then grins at Jill. "I'm glad you like it, and I'm glad you're doing okay."

Cale just kinda smiles a bit, "Ahmed's the cat, right?" he asks for verification. "He was pretty. I really wanted to pet him, but I didn't think it would be, um," he glances sideways for a moment, "You know. Okay. I know most people probably wouldn't like being petted."

"If Ahmed wants you to pet him, you'll know. He likes it, when he's all catted up." The umbrella on the blonde vampire's shoulder twirls lazily. "I guess I just gotta keep on like normal," she agrees a bit reluctantly with eyes lowered. "I don't really know what else to do. Treat it like a mutation, or something. Just kind of a weird one. All I know for sure is I'm really not supposed to… to kill anyone." She sounds troubled by the admission. "'Cause it's apparently, like, the worst thing I could do. It does somethin' to your mind or your soul, I guess, and I'd end up like him. Like Dracula. Twisted." An introspective pause. "Evil."

Nicholas nods to Jill's words. "If you pet him, he'd probably like it. He's like a cat, but like Jill says when he's in cat form. Half the time he some how gets me to pet him which is weird to think about, I pet my roommate." He shakes his head at that tough. "Well I guess we gotta make sure you don't get into any killing moods so I guess I'll have to continue getting you Flutterpony stuff then."

"Well, that may be true for a vampire, but isn't it also true for people? I know that if I went out and killed someone, it'd drive me insane. I wouldn't be the same person anymore. Like, look at war veterans that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of them are half crazy from the stuff they've seen," Cale ponders, "So, I dunno. Maybe you're not so different. I mean, don't… kill someone? It shouldn't be that hard, right?" he says lazily, staring at a spot on the ground; he lets his tongue hang out a little, like, a foot, without realizing it for a moment. Sucking it back in, he murmurs, "I don't think that's so weird. Is it? I guess I don't even have a room mate…"

Jill gives a soft, somewhat nervous chuckle, touching her fingertips together. "Yeah, it shouldn't be hard, right? I've never, like, hurt anybody for real. Not on purpose…" Her mouth is open to continue and it sounds like she's about to preface something else with "But"… yet she doesn't. She fidgets. "It still worries me, though. It's kinda hard to explain why." The blonde girl worries at her bottom lip with a fang, framing her thoughts by raising a forefinger before she speaks. "You ever, like, gone to a store and seen like a big stack of something? Like soup cans or books. Or like something really delicate just *right* on the edge of a shelf, and you get that feeling, just for a split second, like you wanna push it over just to see what happens? It… kinda feels like that sometimes, except the feeling doesn't go away as easy." She squirms, pressing her knees together. "I dunno…"

"It should worry you." Nicholas says softly. "Yeah..I know that feeling but I imagine it's worse for you. If there's anything I can help you with just let me know." He's not really sure what else to day before shrugging to Cale. "You're lucky, sometimes I miss having my own room." He looks back at Jill and frowns in worry. "You've always been a good person Jill, well for the six months I've known you."

"Yeah, I can't imagine you ever killing anybody," Cale nods, "But, I guess I sorta know what you mean. And… I like my own room… I don't… I don't think I'd be able to get by with a roomy…" he glances down at the ground, then back up to Jill, "I don't know, though. Maybe it's just impossible to imagine what it's like. I," he begins, then shrugs and shakes his head. "It can be hard for me to imagine what it's like even being normal. I mean. Not like, not a mutant just…" he shrugs.

The vampire spreads her hands, palms out, the umbrella tipping dangerously over her shoulder and threatening to fall. "I mean, I'm not like a monster or anything!" she assures, just a little too stridently. "I'm not tryin' to justify it. It's just… y'know." She rolls one shoulder in a half-shrug, eyes averted. "How can you tell if something's messing with your head sometimes? Never thought I'd want my old mutation back so much." After a moment, she lets out a breath and squeezes her toes up tightly. "I really need to talk to the school counselor or somethin'. Maybe there's a support group."

Nicholas reaches out a hand and catches the umbrella with his telekinesis, using his powers to make sure it stays covering Jill. "I know, noone is asking you to justify it Jill. What happened…it wasn't like you asked for it or asked to become a Vampire. It's just something now." He's not sure what kind of something but something is the only word he can think of. "Let me know if you find one…I still should talk to a counsilor. Last time I talked to Ms. Hilde…well…let's say I'd be happy not seeing her for a while."

"Well, you could always talk to my sister. She drinks blood," Cale says amicably, "Aww, Ms. Hilde's nice," he sighs, "Anyway. You should talk to Amy. She's great. I tell her pretty much everything. Eeeverything. I'm sure she'd understand. I dunno," he sighs a little.

"Um, well, actually…" Jill begins uncomfortably, swallowing hard and looking anywhere but at Nicholas. "I… did ask for it." She reaffirms her grip on the umbrella, holding it with both hands to make sure it doesn't get away again. "It's kind of a long story, but at the time… I thought it was the only way to make sure the other girls could go home. So I kinda agreed to it so everybody else wouldn't be killed and then they could leave." Her head hangs, unable to bring herself to look at Nick or Cale. "It didn't… didn't really work out. In the end, I'm not sure it helped any." The girl's blonde hair bobs as she shakes her head. "Maybe it did. I don't really know for sure." Drawing in a long breath, the smile that greets the two boys is difficult to tell from a forced one. Maybe it really is genuine. "Sorry. I really shouldn't feel sorry for myself. That's… that's just not me."

"But you asking for that to try to make sure the others could go home is very much you. You're…you're really one of the nicest people I've ever met, but since I'm good at feeling sorry for myself, I can fell sorry for you on your behalf?" Nicholas says returning the grin, and like with Jill it's hard to tell if it's forced or genuine. "I like to think it helped, I don't know how or what happened but, I'm sure it somehow did."

"It doesn't matter," Cale shrugs, "That was not exactly a normal situation," he agrees with Nick. You do the best you can in a crisis like that, and well, that's it. You can't… you can't shoulda-coulda-woulda. I coulda maybe saved my mom and dad. If I'd known. Or something. But I can't hold that over myself or my sister. We're lucky we survived at all. So are /you./" he points a finger at Jill lazily. "Sometimes life fucks you up. Sometimes, fate makes you weird. Like I was weird, before I was ever a mutant. I think, you'll be okay. You seem really nice. And you've got Nick there for you. For sure," he grins impishly, "And all of the rest of us, too, if you need us. Besides, maybe there's some kinda cure, anyway."

Jill's head raises slowly, a smile already in place. She shakes her head, not as a denial, but just to shift from her mind the notions she'd been entertaining. One leg stretches out, rainbow-striped toes grabbing at the knee of Nick's pants and rumpling the material. It's an affectionate gesture, of sorts. "I know," she acquieses, letting out a breath she had no reason to either take or hold in the first place. "Thanks, you guys. It's just easy to feel lost sometimes. And I'm a worrier. I used to chew my fingernails… before I didn't have fingernails anymore. But now I've got them back, I don't really wanna start again." She picks up the paperback book she had been reading earlier, giving it a waggle. "If there is a cure, it's not in here. Or at least, not anything I'd like. They're a little too… shotgun for a lame horse style cures."

"Hey, I never believed in a shotgun for a lame horse, I've seen plenty of horses recover from illness and injuries just okay to believe that." Nicholas says to Jill as he grabs her calf and gives her a friendly squeeze back. "I'm a worrier too Jill, or I've become one since coming here. And even if there isn't a cure, doesn't mean I'm gonna stop being here for you."

Cale nods at the both of them, dropping out of the tree for a moment; he gives them both a smile as he drops easily to the ground, and then pads off to… well, somewhere. Leaving the two lovebirds alone for the moment.

Wiggling her toes as if she were threatening to tickle Nick with them, Jill smiles and lowers her head bashfully to hide the creep of color in her cheeks. In truth, she barely notices as Cale slips quietly from the tree and moves away. In the middle distance, an iconoclast cricket starts its song a little early as the sky warms to golden orange with the coming of sunset. "I'm glad you are," the vampire says, adding awkwardly, "Here, I mean. I… umm…" Words fail to click into place and she has to content herself with smiling at him.

Nicholas backs away a bit from the threatening toes and laughs. "Hey, unlike you I can't fly so if I lose my balance I'm falling out of the tree. Once day though I'll be able to fly." He then looks at Jill and smiles, a small embarrassed smile, back. "Truth be told I was a mess when you went missing, I really thought the worst and it was hard. I'm so happy you're back and I don't care if you're a Vampire, as long as you're still you, that's good for me. I…I really do care a lot for you Jill and I'm scared…scared of ruining what we have here."

The smile turns bittersweet and Jill has a hard time keeping her eyes on his. "M-me too," adds the girl hesistantly. "I like you, Nick. I thought about you, and how maybe I'd never see you again. It… it made me feel sick." Her mouth feels dry, which is stupid. It's such a very alive thing to feel. "I've never-" She doesn't finish the thought.

"I've wanted to tell you I like you for a while but just…I was a afraid if I did it would make our friendship weird if you didn't like me, or I didn't know if you were even interested with what's going on I felt like it might put added pressure on you…" Nicholas stammers nervously knowing he sounds like an idiot. Instead he reaches a hand up to take a hold of one of Jill's hands and looks up to smile at her. "I was a wreck when you were gone."

Jill's heart thumps in her chest. It's an odd feeling, notable for its long absence, brief reapparance in Romania, and absence again. Yet there it was. The smile on her face is nervous, a little goofy, ruby red eyes flicking side to side as if she'll find a helpful cue card with all the right things to say on it. She does not. "Umm." She's trying very hard to control her words to keep something stupid from slipping out. "Uhh." It is not working very well. "Well, I'm here now." Yes, that's a good start!

It's not a rejection so that's always a good thing and Nick moves himself so that he can bring Jill close to him and stay sitting on the branch. "After shields, then will be flight." He mutters to himself before smiling at Jill in his own shy, happy, goofy way. His palms are a bit sweaty and it seems he is having trouble with words as well. "Do you…uh…mind if I kiss you?"

Jill stopped sitting on her own branch a little while ago, and somehow never noticed. She hangs motionless with nothing to support her, close enough now to touch. "Umm," she says, though she's smiling when she says it. Or mumbles it, or whatever. "I… I think that'd be okay. Uh, I don't mind. Yeah." Her eyes shift once more, looking for that cue card again, or at least a helpful diagram. She leans forward gingerly, eyes screwed shut like a child inexpertly pretending to be asleep. She has no idea what she's doing.

Nicholas chuckles and moves a hand to brush against Jill's cheek and leans in to kiss her on the lips. His heart is pounding a bit and he can't seem to figure out why his palms won't stay dry but he's been wanting to do this for a while. It's a soft and gentle kiss and as he breaks away, Nick runs his fingers through her hair. He just looks at her smiling like an idiot.

The girl has dropped her umbrella. She isn't sure when and didn't even hear it hit the ground. She doesn't care, either. Her cheeks and the bridge of her nose are flushed bright red. As she opens her eyes, the first thing she sees is Nick. Her own smile is equally idiotic, embarrassed but satisfied. "That…" says Jill breathily. "Th-that was… nice."

"Yes…very nice." Nicholas agrees and starts laughing a bit nervously from being happy for his first time in a while. "So I guess I should ask you on a official date, so, do you want to go out to a movie or out to dinner sometime? Or if you don't want to leave the school grounds, maybe a picnic date or something?"

"Yes," Jill replies hastily, catching herself a moment later. "I mean, umm, I don't know." She laces her fingers together and squeezes them between her knees. She would likely be hyperventilating, or damn close to it, if she still had to breathe. "W-what I mean is… I guess, I just wanna… spend time with you." The goofy smile wars with something else, burgeoning tears. "I missed you."

Nicholas can't keep to stop himself from touching Jill, mostly just light touches to her arm. "I missed you so much, I just prayed that everyone was right that you were coming back. And date, I'll plan something, even if it's just around here. You deserve a nice relaxing date after everything. And we can spend all the time we want together."

Nodding dumbly, she looks up at last, bright red eyes glistening. "Relaxing sounds nice, 'cause I don't know what you're supposed to do on a date. I mean, like, I've seen it on TV shows and in movies and stuff but that's just Hollywood or whatever and not real life so I guess it's not really realistic so it might, like, be totally different 'cause I've never actually been on a really real date or anything. I mean, that was even, like, the first time I really kissed somebody who wasn't my family. I don't mean that in a weird way, just like a kiss on the cheek before I went off to school or something and Oh My God, shut up!" She silences herself by biting down on the knuckle of her index finger. "Thorry," she mumbles around it.

"Don't be sorry, you're adorable." Nicholas says as the flustered Jill is making him grin so hard his checks are starting to hurt. "Uh…well I don't know how to do a Hollywood date but mostly it's just hanging out with the person you like, just enjoying eachother's company and all. Heck, we can even have a midnight picnic out here."

A shallow, bloodless puncture on the back of her finger has already nearly healed itself over as Jill removes it from her mouth. "D-don't worry about it too much," she soothes, even though she was the one doing the majority of the worrying. "I mean, like, a movie sounds nice, or maybe dinner, or both, I guess. I don't…" She exhales, fingering strands of blonde hair from her face before admitting with full honesty, "It doesn't have to be a big… thing." She rolls her hand at the wrist vaguely. "I just wanna hang out with you, okay?" Gingerly, she reaches out to take Nick's hand in hers.

Nicholas grips Jill's hand in return. "I don't think I've smiled this much in a long time." He says nodding. "Alright, I'll plan something special for us since I agree, I just want to spend time with you as well. You up for some lunch or dinner or anything now? I mean we can just head to the cafeteria for now but, I'm not sure what time it is and I'm getting a bit hungry."

Jill rubs at her cheek with her free hand. "I know, my face kinda hurts." Giving Nick's hand one more squeeze before she lets go, she pushes away from the tree branch gently, skimming backwards in thin air as if she were sliding on ice. "It's 8:26, or close to it. That's when the sunset is. I programmed it in." She waggles her wrist at him, a normal digital watch there instead of the typically bulky unit of a holo-emitter. "So they should still have *some* food ready. Just lemme swing by the medbay to get something to… uhh… drink, and I'll meet you there, okay?" Gathering up her book and landing feather-light to grab her umbrella, she helpfully points without even being asked. "And the cafeteria's *that* way."

"That one I actually knew." Nicholas asya but if it's because he actually knew or was going to guess that way intially and then surprisingly be right, who knows. Once he clambers down the tree and is on the ground he gives Jill a hug and another kiss. "I just like doing that." He says smiling. "Okay, I'll see you in a bit." He says as he happily makes his way to the cafeteria.

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