2011-04-12: Study Time


Rashmi_icon.jpg Tabitha_icon.jpg

Summary: Rashmi finds Tabitha hard at work.

Date: April 12, 2011

Log Title: Study Time

Rating: PG

Barnes Academy - Dashenka, Rashmi and Tabitha's Suite

A standard teenager suite, this room is basically a combination living room and dining room. There are two doors leading off to the sides, each to it's own bedroom and personal bathroom for the people who live here. The TV is good quality and easily accessible for video games or movie systems.

It's getting to be late evening at Barnes, and in this particular suite one rat girl seems to still be hard at work. Tabitha is dressed in dark blue pajamas that say 'Barnes' across her bottom, and she's lieing on the floor on her stomach with one foot up in the air, and her arms propping herself up so she can read. Three different textbooks are arrayed around her, and she's got a laptop out in front of her at which she's busy typing away.

The door to the dorm opens, admitting a freshly-showered and rather sleepy-looking Rashmi. Upon seeing Tabitha and her study materials strewn around the common room, she pauses, smiling as she shuts the door behind her. "You get started quick," she says, amused.

Tabitha's ears flick at the sound of the door opening, though she doesn't turn to look until she's addressed. She pushes the laptop away, and rolls over onto her back. "I haven't set foot in a classroom for months," she complains. "I basically have a grade ten education and I'm proposing to start learning mechanical engineering next fall — while taking martial arts amd firearms training, and advanced motorcycle driving at the same time." She reaches up to rub at her eyes, and yawns softly. "I can't afford to party. I'm going to be one busy chick!"

Rashmi's lips twitch upward. "Yeah, it *is* gonna be a busy summer, isn't it?" Chuckling, she picks her way around the books, heading into the dining area. A bottle of water is grabbed, poured into an electric teakettle. "You look tired. Sleep aid, or caffeine?"

"Caffeine, please." The rat girl's eyes follows Rashmi into the dining area, and after a few moments she sits up, and leans her back against the nearby sofa. "Also, there's a ridiculous number of mutants around here. Like there's never been this many all in one place before, it's wild." She pauses, and her ears color lightly as she blushes. "Kinda nice, actually. …You making coffee? Or do we have jolt cola or something?"

"It's not just mutants, though," Rashmi says, ducking down and taking a jar and mesh ball on a handle from under the tabletop. "The Supernatural Studies teacher? Pixie. Civic Responsibility? Raccoon from space. Remember, mutants aren't all there is when it comes to powered people. I mean, Captain America, for one." Blinking, she looks down at the kettle. "…Um. Tea, actually. Sugar or honey?"

Tabitha hunhs? "Tea? I didn't know you got caffeine in tea, but I'll believe you. Honey, please." She shrugs her shoulders lightly, and hooks her thumbs in the hem of her pajama pants. "I realize that, too. I know there's plenty of people around here who aren't mutants and are still powered for various reasons. It's just that I can actually sense the mutants, which is why I comment on them…" She pauses, and taps her lips, "I mean, us, in particular."

Rashmi tilts her head, brow furrowing. "You can? …Huh. That's interesting. How?" A large pinch of shredded leaves is tucked into the mesh ball, the kettle switched off as it begins to whistle. "I mean, the last person I knew who could do something like that was mostly all about finding people in general, y'know?"

Tabitha shrugs her shoulders, and stands up off the floor. She stretches, and her tail sweeps the floor behind her. "I… I dunno," she replies. "It's not like I see anything, or whatever, I just sorta… I just know. It's like there's something in my mind that just screams 'Mutant! Mutant over there!' when I get close to you… like within the same room is good enough." She pads across the floor to join you, and watch the tea brewing. "I guess it's probably part of my being able to copy other mutants."

Rashmi nods slowly. "That makes more sense, actually… Hm." Lifting a shoulder, she smiles, turning back to the tea. "It's interesting, honestly… Some powers mutants have are so… Iunno… *out there.* And y'know, there's an almost *universal* common thread between all of them, no matter what."

Tabitha shrugs her shoulders. "Well the first time I copied someone, it was by accident — and it was permanent. I don't think I was supposed to have a ritzed up sense of smell or hearing, or be able to backflip through a twelve inch wide window — or look like a rat. No idea why it's always been temporary since then." She pauses, and taps her fingertips absent-mindedly on the table. "Probably so I don't explode, I guess. …What's the common thread?"

"They wish they never had them," is the immediate, quiet answer. "Not all of us, but… definitely more than half, I'd say." The ball is put into a teacup, steaming hot water poured in after.

Tabitha sighs softly, and shakes her head. "Yeah, us and half the *world*," she mumbles. She stares down at what Rashmi is doing, and observes the ball going into a teacup. She shifts her stance to rest her weight on one leg, and rests her hand on her hip. "My… Dad taught me to hate mutants," she murmurs. "Ever since I was a little girl, he made sure I was afraid of them like most parents teach their children not to take candy from strangers. Dunno if I told you that before. I spent most of my childhood thinking that mutants were monsters. If I'd met you two years ago I probably would have been worried you were going to eat my brain."

Rashmi nods slowly, listening to the story as the tea steeps, ducking back down and coming up with a jar of honey. "Y'know… I should probably be more surprised. Maybe a year or two ago, I would be. I'm not, though… I can even understand it a little, sort of. I mean… There's mutants that *would* eat your brain. Or play yo-yo with your genes. Or just kill you because he can and you're daring him to."

Tabitha shakes her head. "Yeah, maybe, but they're not the norm," she points out. "Most mutants are like you and I — just… people. Just trying to be people, and learn our stuff and get a job and pay taxes like everyone else, right?" She shrugs her shoulders emphatically. "Honestly, now that I'm on the other side of the coin? Sometimes ordinary people are worse. At least mutants never ask me if I'm carring hanta virus or the plague, or stuff a shotgun in my face just for looking different."

"You'd be surprised," Rashmi murmurs, eyes focusing on the middle distance. After a moment, she frowns, shaking her head and lifting the tea ball out of the cup, squeezing a dollop of honey in and stirring with the cap. "Anyway. I understand now, what you said the other day. And I'm *really sorry* it happened… But you are safe now, at least. That's somethiing, right?"

Tabitha nods slowly. "Yeah, I'm safe-ish," she replies. "Pretty safe in Barnes, I mean you'd have to either be a god or a retard to try anything here. But don't be sorry… you didn't do it." She shrugs her shoulders. "Well… here's the thing. And I told someone about this already, so if the authorities can do anything, they will." She pauses, and her ears color once more as she blushes rather fiercely. "My Dad… him and his friends used to… hunt mutants occasionally. Doing 'their bit', I guess. Anyway, he took me along once, and I was… at the time I was happy to go, being all full up of his bullshit. That's when I copied someone by accident, and took her appearance permanently." She pauses, and gazes down at the table, fixing her eyes on the cup of tea. "Sure go what I deserved, didn't I?"

Rashmi slides the cup of tea across the table, shaking out the wet leaves into a small wastebin, filling it with fresh ones. "No," she says after a moment's silence. "You didn't. You deserved an easy life. You deserved a dad that didn't think that way about *anyone.* And you *definitely* didn't deserve to be suckered into thinking it was okay to hunt mutants. But you didn't know any better. And the person who *should've* taught you, didn't. It's like… Iunno. Bad gas in your bike. You gonna blame the bike for breaking down on you?"

Tabitha picks up the cup of tea, and blows across the top. "No," she replies, quietly. "I'd blame the gas." She puts the tea to her lips and sips gingerly, just enough to get the flavor without burning herself with the hot drink. "Thank you for not, like, flipping your shit when I said that. I obviously don't tell many people about it." She pauses, and bites her lip. "You're lucky, you know," she murmurs. "I heard you mention your parents the other day, right? They sound really cool." The rat girl has another sip, and looks down at herself. "I'm getting used to it. Shortly after it happened I smashed all the mirrors in the house, I dunno if Dad's replaced them yet. But it's not so bad." She looks up, and smirks lightly. "Though I do occasionally wish it had been a panther or a fox or something."

Rashmi chuckles quietly, idly swirling the tea-ball in the other cup. "I *am* lucky. Sometimes it's almost *scary* how lucky I am. I know it, and I try to thank God every day for everything I had in life." Shaking her head, she looks up, shrugging. "But that doesn't mean I shouldn't try to understand other people, y'know? See how things are through their eyes, if I can. Because if I can't understand them, how would I know what's important to them I need to be paying attention to, right?"

Tabitha sips the tea, and looks down into the cup as she swirls it. "That's a pretty cool way of lookin at it," she replies, The rat girl looks up at last, and breaks out into a big grin. "Actually, I'm lucky all of a sudden," she observes. "Lucky I have a suite-mate who's very cool."

Rashmi snorts, blushing. "Well, I try." The teacup is taken up, and she smiles. "Well *I'm* going to do a little studying of my own before bed. Try to keep the TV down, okay? They try, but the walls aren't *totally* soundproof."

Tabitha chuckles softly. "Don't worry," she replies, "I haven't yet mastered the art of watching the TV and studying at the same time, and I've still got some serious calculus to catch up on. I don't think I even *have* favorite shows anymore. Though I might start watching that new My Little Ponies show, it looks good." She shrugs, and backs off from the table. "Thank you very much for the tea… and for listening."

~ Fin ~

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