2011-08-22: Something Like Laughter


Mason_icon.jpg Shane_icon.jpg

Summary: Shane, armed with a new perspective, has a much more cordial conversation with Mason than she is accustomed to, and Mason gives her a piece of herself that she thought she had lost.

Date: Monday, August 22, 2011. 2:46pm.

Log Title: Something Like Laughter

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Music Room

The music room has four levels of tiers that each sit one row in a semi circle. On the floor in the semi circle is grand piano. There is a large closet on either side of the room, one filled with string instruments and the other filled with various wind and brass instruments. There are a few guitars in the back of the room next to a large variety of percussion instruments. All the instruments here are for the students to use provided they take care of them and clean any necessary parts after they use it. The room is sound proof, so once the door is closed, the music being played will not interrupt the other classrooms.

Mason has avoided everyone he can possibly avoid. He hasn't been doing any performances, he hasn't been visiting friends. He's stayed holed up in his room. His mom has tried hard to get him to leave and join the rest of the world again, and finally he agreed to go to the mansion. He only got on campus to hide in the music room, though. Since classes still haven't started, it's a pretty safe hiding spot. He doesn't even know that Mindbender and Upgrade have been defeated.
He sits on a stool, facing away from either door at the lowest level of the room. He hasn't shaved, which doesn't mean much, given that he grows little more than peach fuzz, and he wears a pair of Air Jordans with cargo shorts and an Abercrombie T-shirt. On his guitar, he plays his latest sad song, a simpler tune than most that he composes for his private audience of one.

Under 20,000 pounds of brick and stone
She carries all the weight of her own world
And deep beneath in side, beneath the cartilage and bone
Beats the battered heart of one. Little girl alone.
She is sweet like sugar, but she is bitter
Like the broken sugar pot
Dad says that she can be anything she wants to be
She only sees what she is not.

Disbeliever, under achiever
Disconcerted with the way things look from here
Disinclined and disinterested
Nothing in your world seems clear
Dis believer, underachiever
Don't you shed another tear
Little sister, broken heart resistor
It's not like that over here…

The door to the Music Room cracks open, Shane's head peeking through the opening first. While her return has been… an unhappy one, all told, she's attempted to take Daisuke's words to heart, and find things to do to help her feel better. It startled her, just how much more *secure* a head full of neon pink hair could make her feel; enough to decide to seek out Mason, and say what she has to say in person… but the music that fills the soundproofed room gives her enormous pause, and while she does close the door behind her… suddenly she begins to wonder if this is that great an idea.

Mason hasn't yet noticed Shane's entrance, and continues to play, not looking up. His voice cracks a little, and his shoulders are hunched with his head low.

She is strong and silent…
She is blunt, and shrewd
She thinks that nobody loves her
If she only knew
how much I have missed her
I still pray just for you, my little sister!

%Your missing climate and missing timing and
You want to stop your only fear
Please stop running
Please reconcile
I'd like to see you drawing near

The music stops, and Mason doesn't move. He doesn't seem to be aware of Shane's presence in the room, but just remains sitting quietly, hunched over his guitar on the stool.

"……..Mason?" That single word was harder to say that Shane ever believed it could have been, especially around a tight throat and watering eyes. "Hey…"

His name is like a bullet to his back, shooting him straight up in his chair. He spins around to face Shane, rubbing his face a little to hide that he had been crying himself. When he sees her face the blond boy leaps from his stool, pulling the guitar strap from over his shoulder and recklessly letting it fall to the ground. Without wasting words, he makes a bee line up the tiers of the room to Shane, arms open to catch her in as tight a hug as he can manage.

Perhaps more startling than anything, is the fact that while Shane, as per reflex, cringes away from Mason's initial charge, she forces herself to stand her ground, even hug back… …which is when the tears start to fall. "I'm sorry," she whispers, squeezing the terrakinetic tightly. "I'm just… I'm so sorry…"

Mason holds on as if his life depended on it, perhaps a little too tightly even. He doesn't answer for several seconds, tears welling up and falling onto Shane's shoulders. "I'm sorry, too," he answers. "I tried to save you. I promise I tried. I just couldn't do it. Please don't hate me."

The answer confuses her for a moment, but her protesting bones offers some distraction, and she squirms within the hug. "…Need to breathe," she murmurs, but not stepping away entirely. "Wait… You did? When?"

Mason lets Shane go, "Sorry," he gives a half-laugh, resting his hands on her shoulders. "When you and your friends attacked me and you sent me flying into a car," he says, as if she should certainly remember the event. "Shane, you acted like you couldn't hear me, you were mad at me." He looks puzzled, baffled by how Shane could possibly not remember the event.

Shane's shoulders slump, eyes falling away. "….I did…? Oh god Mason I didn't know, seriously… I… I didn't even know I'd blown up the school until Daisuke told me after I woke up in Medical…"

Mason shakes his head. "I know you had weird stuff going on in your head," Mason says. "Don't worry about it. I thought maybe I could help get you back, and the staff could get you back to normal. I guess a better rescuer than me managed to pull it off." He sounds a little defeated. "Wait…if you didn't know, what were you apologizing for?"

Shane shakes her head, closing her eyes for a moment. "Mason… I just… I've been a really huge bitch to you. And… I'm sorry. You didn't deserve it. Doesn't matter why, you were like my only friend for a long time… I just…" She draws in a deep, shaky breath, screwing up the courage to meet the teen popstar's eyes. "…I'm sorry, Mason."

"I'm a pretty lousy friend," Mason defends her stance. "I'm always running when you need me the most. I want to be a friend that you deserve, not one you just have to put up with." He meets her eyes as he talks, but it seems clear he really feels that way.

Shane snorts, looking up and scowling. "'If you were the kinda friend I deserved you wouldn't've been lookin' for me at all." Her face smooths out, she she turns, wandering a short distance away. "Doesn't matter anymore, though… What happened, back then. Couldn't hate you for it if I even wanted. This thing… it was just so much worse, doesn't even compare…"

"What'd they do to you?" Mason asks, and almost immediately regrets the question, knowing that she may indeed answer it.

There's silence, for a while, the girl leaning against one of the storage doors. "…Y'know how I said all I ever wanted was to just be left alone…?"

Mason shrinks inside a little, sitting down on one of the chairs near where they had been standing. "Yeah?" he responds, slightly nervous about the story he might be about to hear.

"Yeah… that was the first couple weeks," Shane murmurs, hugging her ribs. "Just me, a world made outta crystal, an' runnin' for my life. Only other thing was there…? Copies of me stuck inside somea the crystal. Sometimes I got to watch myself die screamin', when it collapsed… sometimes I hadda break 'em to live. Batteries ran out, Iunno, third day?"

Mason frowns. "You watched yourself die?" he asks. "Shane, I'm so sorry. If you don't want to talk about it, I understand." He's not really sure how to handle a Shane who is willing to talk about things like this. It's been so long since she confided in him.

"No… I've gotta," Shane says, shaking her head and crossing her arms over her belly. "Counselor here's a joke and I'm pretty sure if Ms. Frost sees me again she'll strangle me for blowing up at her… Daisuke's nice, but telling him about stuff that hurts feels like kicking a puppy sometimes."

"Yeah, especially after you stabbed her," Mason adds. "Okay, go ahead."

Shane shakes her head. "…No it's not that, and nobody said anything about me stabbing her… anyway. So then I escaped. Blew up the machine that was keeping me there… which I guess was down in the basement here… And came out of hell into just a nightmare. World'd been turn into like monster zombie things. But there's people there… Tabitha, Heather, Cheryl… so… y'know, whatever. Didn't much matter cos there were people to talk to. …So then we gotta save the world or something."

"Save the world?" Mason asks. "You were the ones that were captured, what were you supposed to try to do?"

Shane shrugs. "That's the thing… it was just this one huge gigantic lie, I guess… we all thought we were in some kind of weird monster apocalypse world, going after people who work for the guy responsible. And seriously, after what I'd just come out of? Anything was better, I didn't even care."

Mason holds his arms, understanding a little better why Shane attacked him instead of listening to him. He sits and listens uncomfortably.

Shane shakes her head. "That's mostly it, really… Found 'the guy responsible,' and picked a fight… That's, um… why the gate got blown apart, I guess… me. Guess something went wrong, though, cos someone found out where the guy fucking with our heads was, 'n basically chucked me into him."

"Oh," Mason says. "Shane…I am so sorry. I should've saved you. I'm so sorry I didn't try harder." His guilt seems to overwhelm him a little. "I had more fight in me. I could've…I dunno, I could've done something. Anything." He sighs. "Instead I just let them take you. I could've at least followed or something. I'm sorry."

Shane shakes her head, sighing. "Mason… I know it's weird hearin' this from me, but… you tried. You did something. … …Honestly even if I'd've known, I'd've been surprised that anyone cared enough to try. Specially after the way I been treating you."

Mason nods solemnly. He lets silence fill the air. "So…" he finally responds. "What now? Are you going to stay?" He wouldn't blame her if she wanted to leave the school and go back home.

Shane lowers her head, shrugging. "I guess… I mean, they ain't kicked me out… and… it's not like I could go anyplace 'cept back to my parents. … …Dunno if I wanna make them deal with that, so… Looks like I'm stayin'."

Mason nods. "Well, As long as you wanna be around here. You know where you can usually find me, I guess," he says. "Did…were you listening very long?"

"…Long enough," Shane says, looking up, the corner of her mouth twitching upward. "…I mean I knew I was being a horrible bitch t'you… just didn't know how much."

Mason turns a bit red. "That song wasn't supposed to be for anyone else," he says. "I didn't mean it to be offensive to you."

"Who said it was?" Shane shoots back, snorting. "Was good, though… hella embarrassing, but… pretty good. … Thanks."

The pop star grins uncertainly at the positive reaction. "You just saying that to be nice? I always thought you didn't really like my music. You're always into the really hard stuff." He steps back down the tiers and to the fallen guitar, picking it up from the floor. It looks okay, probably out of tune, though, given it's recent fall.

Shane lifts a shoulder. "Y'don't sound like Britney Spears or some Prozac zombie onnis fifth album in two years. Personally, 's enough t'call it good. 'Sides. It's about me. So, biased."

Mason grins. "Well, thank you," he acknowledges gracefully. The musician props one foot up on a chair so he can rest the guitar in his lap, and gives the strings a single strum. Yep, definitely out of tune now. "I see that your hair is back to normal," he comments. Of course, he's still been storing those costumes that Shane threw out several months ago, even if he didn't tell Shane about it.
Shane glances at her hair, running a hand through the shoulder-length curtain of pink. "…Hate my hair color. Couldn't do anything about it…. there. Thinkin' 'bout letting it grow a little."

"Gonna be making more costumes? Or is it still a waste of time?" Mason asks, adjusting the machine heads and strumming again to check the tuning.

"…Iunno," Shane says quietly. "…I mean, don't gotta worry 'bout shredding 'em no more, but… Iunno if I wanna start all over again, y'know? Guess it was pretty stupid, throwin' everything away like that… just… didn't know what else to *do.*"

Mason's grin broadens, and he puts the guitar on its stand. "C'mon, I got a surprise for you," he says, moving back up the tiers, and reaching out for Shane's hand as he passes her.

"Wait, what?" The sudden grin throws Shane for a loop, and she stumbles a bit before she can manage to find her footing. "He—hey! Hold up, will you?! Where the hell we going, anyway?"

Xavier Mansion - Ramsey Dormitories Lobby

The lobby of Ramsey Dormitories has two elevators at one end of the wall along with the entrance to a cafeteria. On the wall are three pictures that say 'In memory of'. One is of Douglas Ramsey, another of John Proudstar and the last one is of Jean Grey. There are several couches and tables down here for students to relax. Large windows in the front and sides allow for a lot of light in the room.

"You'll see," Mason answers. "I have to get it from my room at the dorms." He jets out the door, and takes the stairs down to the first floor of the mansion, unwilling to wait for the elevator. "I haven't been there in forever, I wonder if I got a new roommate over the summer. Hopefully he didn't screw anything up if I did.

Shane lags slightly behind Mason, not having the terrakinetic's endurance, stride length, or anything that would help her move at all very quickly. "Wait," she puffs, once they exit the stairwell, "How come you weren't in your room all this time?" Shane's brows draw together. "…What, did you go on tour or something?"

Once at the dorms, Mason heads up the elevator after answering her question. "Nope, not on tour," he says before disappearing into the elevator. "Wait here, I'll be right back," he announces through the closing elevator doors.

Shane blinks, grumbling to herself as she leans against a nearby wall. "Wouldn't kill him to *open his mouth,* would it? Not like that ain't what he does for a *living* or anything…"

Tick tick tick. It's a number of minutes that Mason is gone. Maybe he got lost? Whatever he's doing, it certainly didn't bring him right back. The elevator doors open…nope, that's not him. That's somebody else, what could be keeping him?

Shane glares at the offending random other person, shifting her weight against the wall as though taking offense to the idea of someone else occupying the elevator space.

Finally the doors open, and Mason is on the other side this time. At least…it's probably Mason. A familiar giant trash bag. It's a little musty and oversized, and filled with clothing of some sort. Did he? Oh yes, he totally did. The pop star ambles through the doors of the elevator, and plops the heavy bag unceremoniously onto the ground. "Sorry, took me a minute to dig it out of the closet."

Shane blinks sharply as the bag is dumped to the ground, a deep furrow drawn between her eyebrows. "…Wait… what…" Not waiting for an answer, she crouches down, tugging at the pull-ties on the bag. Once it's open, her head recoils at the musty smell of old clothes that spill out from inside, but she begins to paw at the contents in stunned silence. "…This all from… back when I…?"

"Oh come on," Mason says, "You didn't seriously believe that I was going to really take that bag all the way to the dumpster, did you? That would be a long walk. I just stuck it in the back of my closet. I knew you'd regret throwing them away sooner or later." He puts his hands on his hips, looking down at the collection with a slight sense of pride. For the first time in quite a while, Mason Steele feels good about something.

"Gonna have to get these dry-cleaned," Shane murmurs to herself, pulling the bag closed with a noise somewhere between a sob and a laugh, eyes bright with tears… and something very like actual happiness. "….Thanks, Mason…. seriously. Thank you."

"That…" Mason answers, "Is a face I haven't seen in a very long time. And it's all the thanks I need. You are very welcome."

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