2009-12-07: Stealing Leo


Nathaniel_icon.jpg Owen_icon.jpg

Summary: Owen and Nathaniel discuss… a certain other student.

Date: December 7, 2009

Stealing Leo

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Sauna

This steam room is for students and staff who want to relax after a training session, or just enjoy time in the heat. In the center of the room is a pit that holds the water and coals giving the room its steamy atmosphere. Benches line the sides of the room and the dim lights make it almost peaceful.

One thing to help one shed stress after a bad experience, particularly when you're an insomniac, is strenuous physical activity. With most people asleep and a couple hours of rest under his belt, Nathaniel has spent the past half hour or so running. Running up and down stairs, running halls, running wherever the ground is flat and easy to run over. He finished off in the gym and, after all that, decided to let his muscles settle here in the steam room. Too aware of how often a lone person gets trapped in a steam room in movies, he leaves a sticky note on the outside for the sake of anyone who might pass by later were it to happen, then strips down to a towel and settles himself on one of the benches to relax.

While he hadn't been running around, Owen had been having a tiring day. The need to relax brought the teen downstairs, seeking something to help him relax or atleast just take up his time till he falls asleep. After a pitstop in the locker room, the lure of the sauna caught Owen's attention. So, stripping down to a towel, the murant strolls into the sauna in his human form. He missed the post-it not entirely and hasn't noticed Nathan yet.

Nathaniel has his hands loosely crossed in his lap, his head back against the wall and his eyes closed, but he feels Owen come into proximity. He opens an eye when the other teen steps in, watching him silently for a few seconds before he closes it again and murmurs, just enough to be audible, "Hey, Owen." He lifts a hand to brush his hair back as it falls damply over his forehead, licking moisture absentmindedly from his upper lip and generally being nonchalant.

Owen jumps, startled. He'd not been expecting anyone else up this later. The teen calms down when it registers that it's only Nathan and not a teacher or X-man. "Howdy, Nathaniel," he replies, moving to find a place to sit. "Didn' think you'd be awake this late."

Nathaniel shakes his head, shrugging idly and rubbing the side of his neck, "I don't really sleep that much. Until I can fully supress my powers, I have a hard time relaxing during the day; night time's the only time I can wander around without having to worry about a headache, so long people are behaving." He shifts over in the universal sign of offering Owen a seat, then goes back to relaxing, closing his eyes and tilting his head back, "Why're you awake?"

Owen gives a little nod of thanks as he sits. "Oh…" he trails off, nodding slightly. "Ah don' usally need much sleep but tahnight it's jus' not bein' able tah sleep," he answers.

Nathaniel lifts one of his hands again, fidgeting needlessly, so that he can press his palm against the muscle between neck and shoulder, rubbing it firmly, "Why can't you sleep? You seem pretty worn out." He turns his head finally in order to actually look at Owen, squinting mildly against the damp heat of the steam.

Owen takes a deep breath, glancing at Nathan. "Neck giving you trouble?" he asks. "Want a hand with it?" he offers. "And Ah dunno. Jus' one of those nights is all."

Nathaniel shakes his head, dropping his hand back to his lap loosely, "No thanks." He bends his leg up, scratching the curve of his knee and then swaying it back and forth absentmindedly. Eventually, he says, voice difficult to read, "I wasn't exactly trying to ditch Leo in a pool of confusion earlier. I'm just not comfortable with what I'm getting from you two… and the way he was acting was annoying."

Owen nods, starting to lean back and relax. Then there's that statement, Owen jumping again. He stares a moment, trying to see Nathan clearly through the steam. "What do ya'll mean what you're gettin' from us?" he asks, confused. "An' he was jus' happy tah see ya. Happy his boyfriend was back."

Nathaniel shakes his head again, studying the palm of his left hand, "Yeah… he was so happy, he didn't hug me until I grabbed him. And he made sure to smile at you as much as possible, then go and hug you, reassure you that everything was okay and that…" He sighs and shrugs, shaking his head again, "You guys are more attached than you were before. I figured it would happen when I left - you guys make a better couple than we do - and it's not like we have an exclusive relationship. It was just a lot to take in fresh off the crazy train."

Owen listens closely, trying to figure out what's going to be said before it's said. When Nathan finally reveals it all, Owen smiles and shakes his head. "We're attached, yeah…but ya tend to get close tah a friend when ya both gotta get tahgether every too weeks or one of ya will explode an' the other turn intah a giant, homicidal bat," he chuckles. "An' Leo was only lookin' at me like that cause he knew I was worried about him. He missed ya, a lot," the non-fuzzy mutant states. There's a pause. "Ah'm not tryin' tah steal him away from ya or anythin', Natthaniel. Ah wouldn' do that and it'd never work."

Nathaniel ruffles his hair back away from his face, smiling tiredly at Owen, "I didn't think you were, Owen. Stealing involves some form of malice and, tendency to pull a Dracula every so often not withstanding, you're not a malicious person." He shrugs again, a smooth, rolling shrug as he rubs his fingers idly on his knee, watching the water bead and start to run in miniscule rivulets, "I guess it's just a mindset right now. I'm selfish. I wanted him to be worried about me and excited to see me; not worried about you and just… his usual shiny self. It's not right for me to feel or think that way, but I do, and I know it can't be his fault. That just makes me feel like a dick, though, not any better."

Owen chuckles. "Dracula? But Ah look terrible in a cape," he jokes. "Ah'm pretty sure he was worried about ya. He was when ya left the room. Probably still is. An' Ah know for a fact there's no way tah turn off that shiny without outside indfluence without givin' the axe tah his powers," he points out. "It's jus' Leo. The way he is," he rolls his shoulders a few times. "An' you're not a dick. Ya jus' care about him."

Nathaniel scratches his knee again, just running his nails over the skin a few times for the sake of movement, "I know it is. That's what I mean. I don't know. I should give him more credit. Anyone else would've been pissed, not happy to see me. I didn't give him a lot of notice that I'd be leaving. I didn't think I'd be gone as long as I was." He sucks on his lower lip now, looking blankly at the floor beyond his foot, thinking. He breathes in sharply after a point, the sharp inhale of the entranced thinker, and comes back to the present, "Anyway. I'll need to talk to him later… everything's fine, really. I'm surprised he didn't give up on me for being gone so long."

Owen smiles and shakes his head, moving to try to put a friendly arm around Nathan's shoulders. He's being innocent for now. "Ah knew he wouldn'. 'Sides, you weren' gone that lon'. Hell, mah boyfriend's been gone longer," he sighs a little. "He knew ya were comin' back tah him. Even if he didn' know when, he knew ya were. It's one of those 'jus' is' thin's," he says.

Nathaniel doesn't mind the arm, propping his head forward for a second so that Owen can do it, then flopping his head back so that his hair tickles Owen's skin, "Really? How long's he been gone? Where'd he go?" Curious, his eyebrows go up, hand lifting to wipe water from his forehead before it can trickle down into his eyes. He smiles faintly and he winds up embarrassedly scratching his nose, "Yeah, well. Of course I'll come back to him."

Owen smiles at the feeling and looks up. "He left a week before you did. Still not back," the mutant shakes his head. "Dunno where he went off tah. He'll tell me when he gets back though…probably somethin' with his family again," the DarkForce user shakes his head. "Don' think he knew where he was goin' either. Jus' told me the last time we were tahgether that he was bein' dragged off on another trip," he goes on. He misses his boyfriend and does worry about him but he's keeping his happy attitude up. "Yep. Ah knew it too. So ya'll had nothin' tah worry about."

Nathaniel responds to this news by tucking his arm comfortably around Owen's middle and giving him a short squeeze before he withdraws and wags his hand, mumbling something about the heat - being stuck too close together would not work out well, "Another trip? …man, I can barely remember who your boyfriend is. My mind's been so mixed up lately." He considers Owen thoughtfully, albeit from a sidelong view, while he stretches his legs out comfortably, "I always worry. It's the nature of the nonhuman condition."

Owen chuckles. "Ah don' actually remember if Ah ever told ya who he is actually," he says, smiling at the squeeze. "Guy's a superhero…and his family's a pain so he's always goin' around. Ah should introduce him tah you and Leo sometime," he pauses and smirks. "'Course knowin' him…well," he smirks and chuckles a little. "Ah know, Ah know…Ah worry too. The key's jus' balancin' the worry out."

"Wait, that's right, didn't you used to dance around telling us his name? I think you said it once, though," Nathan says with a sudden grin, though he huffs an annoyed exhale when his hair chooses to flop down over his eyebrows again, "I need a fucking haircut." Grump. He shakes his head to at least get it out of his eyes, then focuses back on Owen, blinking through the steam, "You say that now, but it's not like having other people in my head helps that any."

Owen smirks. "Yeah. Guy's got a secret ID an' all," he chuckles. "Ah'll check with him…if he gives the okay, Ah'll give ya his name," he says. He chuckles a little when Nate's hait attacks. "Well, why not get one tahmorrow after classes?" he suggests. "Or head over tah that place Mr. Parker-Mayfair owns and get your hair cut there?" he suggests. "Yeah…Ah know. Definitely makes thin's harder."

Nathaniel nods slightly in agreement or at least appreciation of the idea, "Good idea. I think I will." He reaches up to grab a lock of his bangs, pulling it out to see how long it is and going somewhat crosseyed in the process, "Maybe I'll get it chopped down real short. Think Leo would kill me if I looked like a military recruit or something?"

Owen laughs and shakes his head. "Naw, Ah don' think he'd kill ya," he says. "Might turn him on. Ah dunno, never really talked tah him 'bout hair," he says.

Nathaniel tilts his head and arches a brow, his expression becoming more mischievious as he says, playfully, "Really? How about fur? I remember something about enjoying the fuzzy version of you almost as much as the smooth, slightly more hair free one."

Owen blinks then laughs again. "Yeah," he nods. "Leo likes it when Ah'm fuzzy. Turns out a lot of people do," he says with a shrug. "Say they like the feel of it," he says.

Nathaniel nearly chokes before he can get the laughter out this time, shaking his head with amused incredulity, "The feel, hm? Sort of like being naked on a fur rug or something? I've heard people do that." He does the exaggerated eyebrow waggle only to laugh again at the stupidity of the expression. He musses up Owen's hair lightly, enjoying teasing the other boy a little, "Or more like a giant crime fighting stuffed animal…?"

Owen smirks, turning a little more to Nathan. "If ya wanna find out sometime, jus' tell me," he says, giving that eyebrow waggle right back. He grins at the hair-mussing. "Ah don' do that much crime fightin'. Dunno how Ah compare tah a stuffed animal though."

Nathaniel actually seems to think that over, largely because a large, warm, huggy carpet doesn't sound like the worst thing in the world. He grins again after a few seconds, laughing under his breath and ruffling his own hair again, "That actually sounds like it'd be pretty comfortable… and you will. You know, it's just sort of the way you seem. Most of the folks here seem to throw in for some kind of crime fighting at some point, anyway. As for being a stuffed animal, if you're fuzzy, cuddly, and generally laid back, you're close to being a stuffed animal. Not in a bad way or anything. Just a way of looking at it."

Owen smiles. "Well, any time ya wanna do it…jus' let me know. We'll head off campus for awhile an' han' out too," he says, relaxing. "Ah got no drive tah be a superhero or anythin' like that. Ah mean, Ah see someone in trouble or if Ah'm needed for somethin', sure, Ah'll go do it," he pauses to stretch. "But Ah'm not makin' it mah life's ambition or anythin' like that," he chuckles. He lets the information roll around in his head before nodding. "Guess you're right. Ah am sorta like a stuffed animal," he laughs, ruffling Nate's hair as well.

Nathaniel closes one eye at the ruffling, making a grouchy noise that isn't at all convincing only to let his head fall back again, closing his eyes and relaxing, legs still outstretched even though they're mostly staying that way by the grace of knee tension at this point. He sits comfortably for a minute or so, just taking in the heat, before he starts talking again, "I will… and I don't have much drive to be a hero myself, honestly. I'm not that morally righteous. There are too many grey areas in life and superheroes seem so… well. Like Leo. A hundred percent good, or at least focused on good and doing good." He rolls to his feet suddenly, flexing his back muscles and twisting to loosen them, "Blah. It's too late. I think it's time for a cool shower and relaxing somewhere a little less wet. Making it hard to breathe in here."

Owen nods slightly and smiles at the grouchy noise. He leans back and closes his eyes during the silence. One eye gets cracked open when the conversation resumes. "Yeah. That whole squad of yours seems tah be the hero types…except for July anyway," he rolls his eyes at the girl's name. She annoys him. When Nathan gets up, Owen watching the stretching with a smirk. "Sounds like a plan tah me," he says, getting up. "Lead the way," he gestures towards the door leading back to the locker rooms.

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