2011-12-17: Stupid Mutant Tricks


Jill_icon.jpg Nicholas_icon.jpg Tara_icon.jpg

Summary: Christmas vacation rapidly approaches. Nick is still lost and grumpy. Tara and Jill talk mutations.

Date: December 17, 2011

Log Title: Stupid Mutant Tricks

Rating: G

Xavier Mansion - Observation Deck

Glass windows surround the circular room giving a full view of the school grounds. Two telescopes sit in front of the window for students to looks at the stars. A few comfortable chairs and couches with a few tables are placed up here for students to relax. There's a door off to one of the sides that leads up to the attic above here.

As the temperature in New York drops to below freezing, what would have been a light misting rain instead becomes a delicate fall of snow, melting as it hits the ground and not yet providing for a white Christmas or even a snowball fight. Sitting in a comfortable chair, in a comfortable sweater, Jill snaps down another playing card on the arrangement on the table in front of her. Not solitaire, surely, because she keeps picking up the cards and reshuffling them. "Damn it," she curses softly and resets the procedure.

Tara figures that the cloud cover and generally gloomy evening would mean that the Observation Deck would be empty, for most part. So she's a little surprised to find Jill here, when the elevator doors swing open. "Oh, hey," she says, "Nice night for stargazing, hunh? Or… solitaire. Or whatever it is you're doing."

Then shortly after Tara steps out, the elevator returns and out steps Nick and as soon as he sees the floor he scowls. "Wrong building." He mutters sounding annoyed and is about to turn around when he spots Jill. "Hey Jill, sorry, thought this went to the doors but I forgot it's the other building. So…how are you tonight?" He says looking at her cards before walking over to one of the windows to stare out at the snow. Tara just gets a glance from the blond for the time being.

"Magic trick," Jill explains, frowning at the cards and picking them up for the umpteenth time. "But it's not going well." She smiles at Tara and Nick in turn, not seeming the least bit put out that the formerly empty room is garnering quite the crowd already. "If you think this is confusing, there are *at least* three basements. Try to work that one out."

Tara stares at Nick open mouthed. "How do you get the wrong…" she mutters to herself in wonder before shaking her head. "Nevermind. Hi, Nick!" she says pointedly, as if he had said 'hi' to her. "I'm doing great! You?" Jill's activities draw her attention. "Magic tricks? Great!" She flops down on the chair opposite her. "I love magic tricks. But, for some reason magicians hate me."

As Tara starts her sentence, Nick gives her such a dirty look maybe it's good she's blind. He looks over at Jill and nods. "I know, remember when I woke up, I was beyond lost. I can't figure out how to get around here for the life of me." He says as his direction sense is just that horrible. "I don't get why a place needs to be this huge, so…what's the magic trick?"

Jill gives Tara a suspicious glance. "Maybe 'cause you can see up their sleeves?" With deft blue fingers, she flicks five cards from the deck into a loose pile in front of the other girl then draws five for herself. "Well, first thing is it used to be a mansion. Like an actual 'rich people live here' mansion, then I think it got bulldozed and rebuilt even bigger so it could be a school." Jill sets down the deck and picks up her five cards. "If I did it right, I should have both black aces, both black eights, and the queen of clubs." From her resulting grimace, she apparently does not. No poker face here.

Tara gives an exaggerated peer down at the cards. "They look fine to me," she says. "And, yeah. But before that it was always, 'Pick a card!' and then when I did I would have to show it back to them for them to read it out loud. Kind of ruined the whole thing." She turns to Nick and says, "I think the phones they give us have a GPS thingie inside them. Maybe you could use that?"

Nicholas just glances from Jill to outside so he can look at the snow. "That's just crazy, who needs this much space?" He says not really expecting an answer. "You can get it eventually Jill." He says as she fails again. "I don't know much about magic beside that Criss Angel douche bag but I think you'll manage what you're trying to do." He's trying to be encouraging. "Thanks Tara, like I haven't thought of that already." His voice thick with annoyance and sarcasm.

Jill rolls her eyes. Of course a card trick wouldn't work with Tara. Leaning across the table, she sweeps up the cards she'd dealt and puts them back in the deck. "We kinda need all this space, if you think about it. The school's been getting more and more people. Maybe not all the space right now, but better to have extra just in case." More nimble shuffling. "You'll learn how to get around eventually, even if it's just by repetition, right?"

Tara shrugs. "It's what I do. Before I really could use my powers to get around, I had to commit the layout of home and school to memory." She scowls, "It really sucked when one of my dumb-ass brothers would play a prank and rearrange the furniture. That got old after my Mom grounded them for the hundredth time, but, you know, every once in a while they'd pull it out again."

"Not really Jill." Nick says walking over and sitting in one of the chairs. "I have really bad direction sense." He mutters and finds a spot on his jeans very interesting to look at. "I'd get lost going to school though I'd go there every day. It's kind of pathetic." He says shrugging a shoulder. "I've gotten lost having to go two blocks."

"At least you don't have to fall for it anymore," Jill consoles Tara. The cards are slid back into their pack and Jill drops them into the open courier bag near her feet. She pulls out a different deck and starts fiddling with it instead. "You're exaggerating. Nobody's that bad." With a more appropriate vict- subject, she deals a card in Nick's direction. Just one.

"Yeah," Tara admits. "Two of them are in college and the other's a Senior. They're a little old to be pulling pranks like that." She scowls and sits back in her chair, "Which reminds me I have to go home soon for Christmas." She doesn't really sound all that overjoyed about the prospect.

Nicholas just glances at the floor and doesn't say that he isn't exaggerating but goes to pick up the card in front of him and look at it. He puts it down waiting to see what will happen with the trick. The topic that's been brought up in regards to family and Christmas causes Nick to pretty much not saw anything, Jill might be able to tell from the look on his face that he's getting uncomfortable.

The blue girl's eyes flick briefly from Tara to Nick, then back to the card on the table. "Well, I'm staying here," she comments off-handedly, or tries to. Still casual, she picks up the card and, without looking at it, tears it in half again and again until it's confetti. She sprinkles the bits into her open bag, a miniature snowfall mirroring the one outside.

Tara says, "I did last year, and this Thanksgiving. Mom said that she'd pull me out of the school if I didn't go home this year." Jill's tearing up the card draws her attention again. "Ooh, this one.""

Nicholas tires to keep most of his focus on Jill and what she's doing. "I'm not celebrating Christmas this year." He comments, his voice flat and having no emotion behind it. He crosses his arms over his chest. "Sorry, I am interested in your trick Jill, I promise." He says knowing that he's throwing out a fairly tense vibe right now.

"Did I show you this one already? If so, don't spoil it," Jill grouses in Tara's general direction, focused on shuffling the deck in increasingly complicated ways. She looks a little flustered, blue tongue peeking out at the corner of her mouth. "Remind me to give you your present before you leave, then." Spreading the cards in a wide arc, they are all face up, save one. She looks tense, expectant, as she slides the only face down card from the arrangement and toward Nick.

Tara shakes her head at Jill. "No, but I've seen other people do it. Or something like it," she explains.

Nicholas picks up the card and looks at it before there's a small smile that forms for a second. "8 of clubs." He says turning the card around for Jill to see. "I'm impressed. Oh, and yes, it was the card. How long have you been doing he card trick thing?"

Jill looks unprofessionally relieved that the trick went off properly. "Some time in middle school so maybe… 7 or 8 years? One of the other kids had a magician at their birthday party, so for my birthday I said, 'I wanna be able to do that.' So I got lessons as a present." She grins with self-satisfaction.

Tara claps excitedly for Jill's magic success. "Hey, that's great! I always thought magic was really cool. When I started, you know, feeling things, I started to understand how everything worked." She leans back in the chair. "This summer? I went and saw a couple of the really good street magicians. The things they can do with their hands are amazing."

Nicholas stands up and stretches. "I'm going to try to see if I can find my room okay." He says and he's not really joking. "Jill, that's a cool hobby. If you ever need a victim for your card tricks just..I don't mind being one." He says before looking at Tara and giving her a strange look. "Good night Jill and Tara." He says as he heads in to the elevator and down.

A slight creep of navy blue makes its way onto Jill's face at the applause and praise. "Palming stuff is pretty hard when your hands are transparent, though. I could do it with the holographic thingy on, but then I'd just get accused of hiding stuff *inside* my forearms instead of up my sleeves." Rounding up the cards, she smiles and nods goodnight at Nick. "The dorms are in the *other* building!" she calls after him, helpfully.

Tara looks thoughtful. "Well, that's one way to do it. But wouldn't the cards get all, you know, gooey?"

Jill shakes her head. "Probably not. I tend not to stick to stuff. But then again, I've never left anything in there for very long. It's kind of…" She shifts in her seat a little. "It feels weird. Not as bad as getting something in your eye, more like something stuck in your teeth. Mildly irritating," she concludes with a pensive nod.

Tara gives Jill a knowing grin. "So you've tried it, then." She leans back into the chair and tucks her feet up under herself. "It must be weird being, dunno, semi-liquid. I mean, it's weird for me because you're, well, squishier than normal folks when you're around, you know?"

"Well," Jill murmurs, hunching her shoulders a little. "Yeah, like if I don't have anywhere else to put my keys or something." She idly shuffles the deck of cards without any specific purpose in mind. "It *is* kinda weird, but I've been this way long enough that it feels normal now. It does have its positive sides, though I think I'm forgetting what being a real person feels like. Felt like." She stops shuffling and glances across the table at Tara, brows furrowed. "What do I look like to you?"

Tara purses her lips. "You don't really look like anything to me," She explains. "It's more like I have three-sixty degree fingers than eyes, you know? I've never been able to see so I would know what somebody looked like if they stripped naked in front of me and danced the watusi."

Letting out an exasperated breath, Jill rolls her eyes. "I know that, I meant… Nevermind. I don't think I'm that much squishier than anybody else, I guess. Except when I am." She smiles wistfully. "That's one of the positive things. There's *loads* of cool stuff you can do if you're a liquid." Her tone seems to indicate that Tara ought to be jealous, if she isn't already.

Tara shrugs. "There's loads of cool stuff I can do as it is," she says, not sounding one bit jealous. "And, you are. Squishy, that is. I mean, not really /really/ squishy, but, you know. Squishier."

"Probably 'cause I don't have bones just under the skin?" Jill theorizes, tapping her chin with a forefinger. She sets the cards aside and draws in a breath through her nose. There's no accompanying sound, but slowly her features become less and less defined, running like hot wax. Her hair oozes down to drip onto the shoulders of her sweater, flesh rolling like a gentle cascade of water. Now looking more like a featureless mannequin with simple black spheres for eyes, she somehow asks without benefit of a mouth, "How about now? This is about as soft as I can get without going all over the floor."

As Jill gets softer, she's able to notice that there's a constant ambient pressure in the air. It's like being underwater, but to a much lesser degree. Most people would never notice it, but this pressure would try to gently nudge Jill into a slightly more spherical shape than she's used to. Tara's expression changes to surprise, and the pressure eases up. "Oh! Yeah. That's… wow. Like Jell-o."

Jill shakes her head a little, feeling something like an old sense memory. Ears wanting to pop when in an airplane, maybe? A few droplets of goo fling loose and land on the table between the two girls. "Okay, I gotta go back to 'less squishy' unless I want to have to get dressed again." The process reverses itself, features becoming clearer and more human, though the blue girl does have to wipe her shoulders clean. Thankfully, Jill neither sticks to the rough knit of the sweater, nor does she stain! The drops on the table converge and begin to creep toward her under their own power. It's all very T-1000. "Well that was educational," the slime girl says, finger-combing her hair out of her eyes. "I could actually feel you scanning me. It was weird."

"Yeah, I.." Tara hesitates, "It's one of those things that I always kind of have on, you know?" She shrugs. "I think I'm one of those early bloomers whose powers really manifested earlier, because when I got older I always just kind of knew where things were. I didn't really have to guess anymore. It wasn't until the accident that I figured it was something other than just good spacial sense you know?"

"That's funny. I always thought they switched on at, like…" Jill also hesitates, but only because she has to say the slightly embarrassing word, "Puberty. Or a little bit after." She puts down a forefinger on the table and the stray drops of goo obediently make a beeline for it, sucked up like water in a paper towel. "Mine did at the end of freshman year. I was fifteen, so maybe I'm a late bloomer? I dunno. God, it's been almost two years. Well, year and a half. Amazing what you can get used to."

Tara nods. "Yeah. Some people it's different. Usually that's how it goes, but, I dunno." She shrugs. "I've heard that there are telepaths and other telekinetics that developed earlier. It's a gamble, really, I guess."

"Maybe it'd make it easier. If you knew all along, that is, instead of just 'Pow! Guess what? You're a mutant!' right out of the blue." Jill chuckles ruefully. "Or in the middle of gym class. Which was not cool, by the way." She shifts uncomfortably in her chair, tugging at the seat of her pants. "I should start wearing the squad uniform if I'm gonna show off. No risk of wedgies."

"Could you, you know, not have a … nevermind." Whatever Tara's idea was she decided that, in the end, it's not worth saying. "Yeah. I was in the middle of a gymnastics competition when I blossomed, so to speak. Yeah, I saved lives, but the guy I was interested in suddenly thought I was a freak." She shakes her head sadly. "Some people."

Jill just squints suspiciously across at Tara for a long moment before finally deciding to let it go. Whatever it was, it was probably best left unsaid after all. "Well, good for you, no matter what anybody says. *I've* never saved anybody's life before. Not sure how being gooey would help with that, anyway." She shrugs and leans her chair back on two legs. "I guess that's what the Danger Room sessions are for, but mostly they just make me nervous or scared."

Tara nods and yawns, stretching. "Man. It's gotten later than I thought. I should get to bed. I'll catch you later, okay?"

Jill immediately glances at her wrist only to discover she isn't wearing a watch. "Oh, umm, yeah. Me too, actually." She collects her cards and scoops up her courier bag, leading the way to the elevator and back across the campus to the dorms. "I'm serious though, swing by my room before you leave so I can give you your present. And no sneaky mutant tricks to figure out what's inside before you open it."

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