2011-09-08: Smokers

Players: Drew Daniels, Jeremy, and Rocket

DrewD_icon.jpg Jeremy_icon.jpg Rocket_icon.jpg

Summary: Busy day at the Smoker's Lounge at Barnes Academy. Jeremy and Drew discuss how things are and Rocket passes by and gets to know Drew.

Date: September 8, 2011

Log Title: Smokers

Rating: PG

Barnes Academy - Smokers Lounge

In order to get into the smokers lounge, you must be at least 18 and request a keypass. The room has a slight chill to with all the ventilation installed. There is the smell of air freshener over cigarette smoke in the small room. There are a few tables all with plastic chairs around them as to not absorb two much of the smoke smell. Unlike most smoking lounges, the ventilation in here keeps it from having a haze of smoke. There is a flat screen television on one wall along and pinned up on other walls are posters about quitting smoking. There is a refrigerator in here that is stocked with bottled water.

Classes have begun. School is in session and so that means, Agent Drew Daniels is back to work as a teacher. Taking a break between classes, Tex has opted for a smoke break or is it a break from the new students. Either or, Drew is seated at a table dressed in his SHIELD issues uniform, but what stands out on this cowboy is the wide brimmed cowboy hat. Balanced on a leaning plastic chair and resting his feet up on the back of another and his hat pull low to cover his eyes. He takes in a long drag as an old John Wayne movie plays on in the background on the TV. Yep, you can take the cowboy outta Texas, but you can’t take Texas outta the cowboy.

Yesterday started Jeremy's junior year of high school classes, even though he's nineteen years old. Getting back to the grind has been a bit rough since he's spent most of his summer vacation alone, and hiding from his most recent roommate. There's the click and beep of the keycard being swiped allowing the door to be unlocked and Jeremy comes walking in with his backpack slung over his shoulder. "I'm sorry sir, I didn't realize anyone else was in here." He says in his quite voice as he debates if he should leave in come back or just smoke one quick before studying.

Not moving for a moment as Tex has perfectly balanced himself on the chairs and one move may knock him over. He flicks his cigarette with one hand and waves with the other. Placing the butt onto the ashtray, Drew kicks off from the chair holding his feet and causes just the right amount of wind to catch the chair and he hops right up. Adjusting the hat and lifting the brim a bit so as to make eye contact. In his thick Texan twang, “Howdy, Jeremy.” Reaching for a remote to turn off the Western movie. “How was your summer, son?”

Figuring it's too late to turn back now, Jeremy nervously tugs on his gloves and sits down on the edge of a chair. "Um, it was okay. I didn't really do much." Having no where else to go. "How are you doing today, sir?" He says politely as he takes out a cigarette and goes to light it. It takes several tries with the lighter due to his gloves. After a long inhale of the cigarette he looks down as his feet trying to think of what to say.

Offering a smile, Drew takes a seat opposite Jeremy at the table. “I was here for most of the summer. Kept busy with SHIELD duties and then ended with helping out with the aftermath of the hurricane that hit the area last week. Still doing some relief work when not teaching. And just getting ready for the new semester.” Lighting up another cigarette, “Excited for the new year? How’s your first day?”

"Second day sir, yesterday was the first day. But both days have been fairly uneventful." Jeremy says as he continues to smoke his cigarette. He's pretty tense sitting there, listening to Tex but nodding more than speaking. "I don't know about excited, just, school is something I need to get done."

Quirking his brow as he looks over Jeremy, “Well that is true, but it may go faster or be more enjoyable if ya at least like it.” Tilting his head and knowing he never really bonded with the students as much as he would have liked to, Drew can tell the mutant teen is uncomfortable, but he wonders if it is something more. Not one to hold back, Tex asks, “Goodness, boy, you seem tenser than a hooked tuna ready to be processed. What’s going on? You seem out of sorts, I’m guessin’”

Jeremy looks up wideyed, like he's a deer in headlights. "Uh…nothing's going on. I'm just…" He's not sure what to say. Incredibly shy? Not comfortable around others? Doesn't have enough self-confidence to carry a conversation? The possiblities are endless. "I'm okay. And school is okay. I don't hate it sir."

Tex hmmmmmns a moment as he eyes the boy and takes a long drag from his cigarette. After a quick tossle of a cough, Drew thinks, “Well not hatin’ it is a start. And I get with your powers bein’ what dey are, that ya would want to avoid people. Keep to your lonesome and whatnot.” Drew frowns a bit, “I’m sorry, we still haven’t figured out how to get you to touch people without better control. But we’re workin’ on it. I know nothin’ I can say can change how yer life has been up to this point. But perhaps a change in an outlook may help?” That last bit is more asked to see what Jeremy would think of that.

Jeremy looks back down as his feet and stays really quite. "I know the school is sir. They've been working on it all summer it just, isn't happening." He says as he lets his long hair fall into his face as his gaze continues downward. "And what kind of outlook is that, sir?" He asks as there's a slightly hurt and annoyed tone to voice.

“Well, I could be wrong. And it may be better to ask Mr. diLucci. But in certain cases, when people have problems it helps to reframe your outlook. People who are depressed or have certain diseases, doctors may say to try and cheer up. With a happier disposition, there is a better chance that things will improve.” Drew shrugs, “That could be the case for you. Though, I ain’t ever been in a position like you have. Gotta be hard and whatnot.” He tries to offer some empathy on the situation.
"I've -seen- a doctor." Jeremy says sounding a bit annoyed. "And stop trying to tell me there are things wrong with me. I know I have my problems." He says taking a deep breath. "I should, I shoud go sir. Thank you." He says putting out the cigarette and going to make his way for the door.

Shrugging, Drew shakes his head and understand the boy’s anger. Drew has learned from the past year, some students you just can’t reach. He will keep an eye on Jeremy. Sometimes the best help is to just watch, and listen. So for now, anyway, he will watch, and listen. “Wait, Jeremy, instead of me yappin’ here and trying to figure out what I apparently can’t. Why don’t you tell me what you need? I’ve been here trying to engage ya in conversation and ya respond with curt answers. I try to engage and empathize, but am seemingly fail. So instead of me guessin’ and makin’ ya madder than a bronco at the rodeo, why don’t I just sit and listen and let ya talk, if yer willin’, that is.”

Jeremy stops short of reaching the door. He doesn't turn around but he does answer. "I…I don't know what I need. I just, I know I'm a failure but I don't need to be reminded of it. It's hard for me to open up and I'm just shy." He tries to explain. "It's easier to be by myself."

Making no move to stop Jeremy, Drew still sits and smokes his cigarette, “Being shy and not opening up right away, Jeremy, does not make you a failure. Yer powers and yer problems with them do not make ya a failure. I really wish I knew what to say or had the magic answer to make ya understand what I have been tryin’ to say. But I don’t and I can’t. Ultimately, Jeremy, it is on you. I get that ya want to be alone. But, boy, for the love of Texas, don’t punish yerself for somethin’ ya didn’t do. All ya’ve been through. The troubles and difficulties ya’ve endured. It’s horrible. And I’m sorry. But, son, please learn that none a this is yer fault. Every bad deal ya’ve been handed. Not yer fault. It sucks, but don’t punish yerself.”

"There's no such thing to a magic answer to anything." Jeremy says turning back around, pushing his hair out of his face. "I've made bad choices in my life, and they're mine to deal with. It's all in my file. My drug addiction, my overdose, those were my choices. No one held a gun to my head and told me to do it. There's just so much…" He dosen't really go into it, it's too hard.

"There's no such thing to a magic answer to anything." Jeremy says turning back around, pushing his hair out of his face. "I've made bad choices in my life, and they're mine to deal with. It's all in my file. My drug addiction, my overdose, those were my choices. No one held a gun to my head and told me to do it. There's just so much…" He dosen't really go into it, it's too hard.

Well actually, as Tex has seen and dealt with magic firsthand he would say that, in some cases, there is a magical answer, but that would definitely be the wrong thing to say now. “We don’t have to have this conversation now, if you don’t want to. I won’t force it out of you now. But, all I will say is at some point, you will need to have that conversation. With someone. I am here. I know about your file. But it will help to talk about it. But only when you are ready. Forcing it on you now will only lead to animosity and make things worse.” Exhaling, Drew sighs and pulls out the pack of his cigarettes. A strong blend native to Texas, “Boy, come back and sit down.” He pulls out two cigarettes, “I’ve pulled out a cigarette from my own stash. This here is strong. Think ya can handle it.” Drew presents it as a peace offering/friendly challenge.

Jeremy does sit back down but doesn't take the offered cigarette. "I've talked with people. Outside of the school." He says as he's quite for a long time. "I don't need anything stronger. I should quit smoking anyway. I've probably done enough damage to my body."

Putting one of the cigarettes back into the pack, “It’s a vice. I should quit too. This lounge doesn’t help. But hey. I’ve been smokin’ most of my life. Won’t quit until I am mentally ready. And I ain’t.” Taking a drag, the cigarette gives off a minty clovey smell., Drew asks “So I believe ya have a new roommate. Met him yet? “

"I only started cause I needed something to fill help with the cravings when I couldn't get any heroin." Jeremy confesses. "Maybe it still helps with not wanting it." He says more to himself than to Tex. "No I haven't. I heard his name is Kai and that he's younger than me, that's about it."

"I only started cause I needed something to fill help with the cravings when I couldn't get any heroin." Jeremy confesses. "Maybe it still helps with not wanting it." He says more to himself than to Tex. "No I haven't. I heard his name is Kai and that he's younger than me, that's about it."

“Well, heroin is a hell of a drug to beat. Addiction in general. A lot of rehabs encourage smoking. I guess the lesser of two evils.” Drew offers and then when the conversation turns to Kai, “I ferget, didcha have a roommate yer first two years here?” Tex finishes the cigarette and puts it on in the ashtray and returns to pack to his chest pocket.

"Year I think. This is my second, and a half, year." Jeremy says trying to remember. "Caleb, he went back home I think. I never really got to know him. Or my suite make Mike. He's metal or something." He's seen him a few times but like with most people finds it hard to be social. "I had another friend here who left."

Nodding his head, “I remember Caleb. Interesting kid. Nice enough.” Drew stands up and heads to the fridge, “There’s some pop in here. Some juice, and some water. Which do ya want?” Drew taps the top of the small fridge door as he decides which beverage to imbibe, “And, Mike, metal boy. I chatted him and Kisha up during the summer.” Looking back at Jeremy, Tex asks “Who was your friend that left?”
"Water's fine." Jeremy says as he plays with his hair a bit, it's getting quite long. "Mikhail. I don't know what happened to him." He says taking a deep breath. His eyes dart around the room before shrugging. "Caleb was okay, I didn't have any problems with him."

Reaching for a bottle of water, Drew tosses it into the air and generates a small wind enough to carry the bottle and drop it on the table by Jeremy. “Mikhail? That was before my time. Tell me about it.” Drew is curious as to why Mikhail would be a friend. How was he able to befriend Jeremy while others were not. Finally deciding, Drew pulls out a container of orange juice for himself.

Jeremy shrugs. "I don't know. It's been a while. He was Russain?" He says as he doesn't really remember. "He was a lot more reckless than me, and liked to go find trouble I think. I don't know, what do you want to me to say about someone who I knew for a month or so?" He really doesn't rememeber that much. He does though take out another cigarette and goes to light it, having the same troubles as before.

“Oh nothin’ really. I was just curious as you referred to him as a friend whereas the others were people you didn’t know so well. I was just wondering if there was anything different about Mikhail as opposed to the others.” Drew goes back to the table and shakes the container of orange juice a bit before popping the top and taking a large sip.

"There's Robin at Xavier's I'm friends with too and Vinny, he lives in Mutant Town." Jeremy says with a shrug. "Nothing made Mikhail different. Vinny's tried to help me with my powers and Robin, she…I don't know we just get along. Nothing makes them different. Why?"

Tilting his head to the left as he ‘smokers coughs’, Tex shakes his head, “’Cuse me.” Drew offers a smile, “Well, I was just wondering. You like to be alone and are shy, but with this Mikhail and this Robin, you get along and somehow became friends. I was just wondering if there was something about them and not others. But people become friends for different reasons. It’s probably nothin’, just a thought.” He smiles when he adds, “An Vinny’s a nice feller, er, platypus. He and I are buddies too.” Though that smile frowns as he realizes he has once again neglected Vinny as he has been worried about the platypus. He makes a mental note to head to Mutant Town and touch base.

Jeremy shrugs and finishes off his cigarette then he moves his backpack around to his front to clutch it. His eyes glance down at the floor as it takes a while for him to talk. "Just, I don't know. It's not easy making friends with people when you have the chance of knowing everything about them. If you have any secrets, there's a good chance I'll find out. I hate it."

Nodding his head as Jeremy speaks, there is not much he can say. It really has to suck having to worry about that when making friends. Drew offers an empathetic response, “Yeah, again, It must be tough.” He chugs down his orange juice and squishes the container to toss it in the receptacle. Missing, he wiggles his fingers generating a small wind to knock it on course into the can, “Has that happened with any of them? Learning their secrets and stuff?”

"I..I don't want to say." Jeremy says. "Not directly but…" His voice trails off and he looks at the door. "I should really go. I should get to the library and study for a bit. Do homework. Thank you for the talk sir." He's at least polite about it as he stands up and goes to make his way to the door again.

There is the sound of metal boots out in the hallways approaching the lounge. As they get closer something that sounds like grumbling in not quite English comes into hearing range. The sounds stop outside of the lounge and the door opens, revealing a rather short Raccoon man with a cigar sticking out of his mouth. He does not look terribly pleased at the moment. "And how am I supposed to recalibrate my laser cannon if I have to smoke all the way down here?" He stops suddenly as he nearly runs into someone trying to exit, taking a stance as though ready to fight whoever it is, but when he sees it's just someone heading out he calms down, offering a wave. "Howdy, gents."

“Alright, Jeremy and thank you as well.” Drew offers a wave as the mutant leave and Rocket enters. Drew sighs as he hopes to continue the conversation with Jeremy at a later time and genuinely help the boy. Now the small talking raccoon with a cigar in its mouth. Drew would react oddly as he had been on a mission when Rocket started at the academy, but he was informed, so when he greets Drew. Drew responds in kind, dressed in his SHIELD issued uniform and white cowboy hat, Drew responds, “Howdy, pardner” and tips his hat in greeting.

There's a polite nod to Rocket as Jeremy moves so he can enter. "Hello sir, sorry I was just leaving to go to the library. Have a good afternoon." He says to both of them before he exits out the door and quickly heads to the library to find a quiet corner to do his homework in.

The Raccoon nods in thanks to Jeremy steps out of the way, "'Scuse me. And no worries, have a good day." He offers a double finger point to Jeremy as he heads out, apparently he's been watching too many eighties movies. He turns back to Drew and nods to him as well. "Hello there, don't think we've met." He pulls out something that looks like a small gun and hits a few buttons before bringing it up to his cigar. A small flame comes out of it and lights it. The Raccoon takes a couple puffs and puts the item away, stepping forward and offering a Paw, "Rocket Raccoon, Halfworld. I teach Moral & Civic Duty, Battle & Tactical Warfare, and Survival 101."

Watching the raccoon with the lighter gun, Drew cannot help but smirk. This is oddly adorable, in a plush toy kinda way, but he makes no comment of the sort. Instead he just extends his hand and shakes the paw, “Well, Rocket Raccoon. Nice to meetcha. I’m Agent Drew Daniels, but I go by Texas Twister sometimes and some of the staff have taken to callin’ me Tex for short.” Pulling out a cigarette, “Mind lightin’ me up with that fancy schmancy flame gun lighter of yers.” Leaning down some, “Oh and I teach Powers control and do some elective courses on magic. Though ain’t a magician or nuthin’ like that.”

Rocket shakes the man's hand and brings his paw up to pull out the cigar, turning his head to blow the smoke away from the two. "Texas Twister, eh? So you're from the southern part of this country then I take it?" He pulls the gun out and double checks it's still set to low flame, tossing it to the other man. "Just pull the trigger as is. Don't hit any buttons or you might burn a hole in your face." The Raccoon looks around the room and nods again, "Yeah I suppose it's important for the kiddos to know how to do what it is they do. Magic though, can't say I've had very good experiences."

Looking over the gun as he has not seen one quite like it, Drew presses the appropriate as a small burst of flame comes out as he lights his cigarette. Taking a drag and throwing the contraption back at the raccoon. “Yeah, it’s one of the reasons they’re here and all.” Taking a seat and flicking the cigarette into the ash tray, “And yeah, I had some funky experiences. Got possessed by a demon, lost a girlfriend, fun stuff like that.” He shrugs and accentuating his twang, “Yep, from Texas. You’re from Halfworld?” Assuming it is another planet, Tex asks “How’d ya end up on Earth?”

The Raccoon spins the gun around his finger a few times before placing it back in its holster. He shuckles and shakes his head when he hears about bad magic experiences, "Ah yeah, tell me about it. If I had a Krampnut for every time I got tossed through a dimensional portal…" He takes another puff and flicks his tail idly. "Actually that's how I ended up here in the first place. Made it back to my ship for a short stint there but this planet's too fun. Figured I'd come back and help out a little, ya know."

“Well, that is mighty fine of ya to come back and help out. Are there humans on your home planet?” Drew asks curiously. He has spoken to a human platypus hybrid so really talking to a an alien raccoon shouldn’t be that much different. “Since magic is all crazy and wonky and a ton of demons and monsters want to come take over Earth it helps to have the students know that stuff, I guess. And until a real wizard or witch comes to teach, I guess I’ll half ta do it.”

Rocket nods, "Oh yeah humans all over. And robots. And all sorts of other folk on Halfworld." He waves a paw dismissively. "I added a bit to the planetary database on the computers here. Basically just synched it up with my computer and gave you folks all the data I had in there." He ponders for a moment, "I guess that means magic users are a bit less common than mutants on this planet then. Probably for the best. Mutants tend to be easier to deal with I've found."

“Yea, I guess. Mutants seem to be more common than magic users here.” Drew shrugs and is not sure but he knows more mutants so. “Well, that’s cool about the database. I’ll have to look into that. Ever only been off the planet once. Kidnapped with a bunch of other heroes by some Elders of the Universe and Death. Not so fun.” He offers of his experience and pops up and heads to the fridge, “Ya hungry or something? There are some snacks and stuff in the fridge. I got a hankerin’ for somethin’ just not sure what.”

Rocket nods. "Ah yeah, those guys can be a pain." Seems like he's familiar with them, but the way he mentions them it is almost as though he assumes everyone's had a run in or two with the Elders. "Hmmm…A snack? I think I've still got some pizza somewhere in my room…I lost track of it yesterday. I'm sure it'll turn up though, so I'll just hunt it down when I get back up there. How'd your first day of classes go?"

Nodding Drew goes to the fridge and pulls out a bottled water and then grabbing a sandwich, “Nice they stocked up on some food this year.” Tex smiles as he bites into the sandwich, “Turkey. Good.” He then answers Rocket’s question, “Not too bad. The new kids seem to listen and alert. No wiseacres or anything like that. At least not on the first day. You?”

Rocket wanders around the room a bit, checking the space out as he talks. "Eh, it wasn't too bad. Same as when I first came on half way through the year a few months back. The kids are all like "Oh look, a Raccoon! It's so cute and or terrifying that I want to hug and or hit it with my car."" He shrugs. "They'll get used to me. Not too many like me out there. Though I saw a girl who looked to be half Rat once. And I think Tony's…Guy person is part dog."

After finishing up the sandwich, Drew laughs as Rocket describes how his class will typically go and then offers, “Oh yeah, Tabitha is the half rat. There’s also a half platypus in Mutant Town.” When he suddenly looks at the clock, he realizes, “Wow, I am going to have to head to my next class. Nice meeting you, Rocket and I’ll see you soon.”

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