2012-04-10: Tastes Like Bitter


Ahmed_icon.jpg Nicholas_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg

Summary: Nicholas and Theo clash, Ahmed is there to calm Nick down.

Date: April 10, 2012

Log Title: Taste Like Bitter

Rating: R

Xavier Mansion - Quad

There is a square side walk of pavement with a nice grassy area in the middle with a few stone benches and trees along the corners. The pavement leads to the paths to the grounds of the school, the Dining Hall in Xavier's and the Ramsey Dormitories. It's not particularly large but it's a nice place for students and teachers to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Sitting in the grass in the quad is the guy well known for his grumpy mood swings, Nicholas. His backpack is thrown in the grass beside him and a laptop sits in his lap. Instead of working on school work during his free time between classes, Nick is just looking through Facebook at pictures of a life that seems so long ago. With a sigh he grabs his backpack and digs through it, pulling out what he's looking for, a granola bar, that he promptly rips open and starts munching on.

Theo has decided it's a nice day to be outside as well, and he exits the dorm. He makes his way to the bench, and plops down onto it, facing in Nicholas' general direction, and opening his own laptop. Unlike Nicholas, Theo is more intent on his latest project at Stark Industries, and has been assigned to look at the strength of a passenger jet's cabin during a crash, and find out if it will meet the standards which the designers desire. This of course isn't because he's an expert in jets, it's a good excersize to help him understand more in the workings of structural supports. Very fascinating, if you are Theo. As the computer boots up, a train horn can be heard as the start up sound, and he crosses his arms in front of himself as he operates the computer.

The sound of the train horn causes Nicholas to look around in confusion, and upon spotting Theo he just offers him a polite nod before going back to look through his computer. Only about fifteen seconds go by before he slams the laptop shut out of frustration and rests his head in his hands with a muttered "God Dammnit".

Theo pays little attention to Nicholas glancing around, continuing to focus on his work. At the slam of the computer, Theo glances up, moving no part of himself other than his eyes, and quirks one brow. He lets his attention hang for a few seconds on Nicholas. Still, he doesn't say anything, but mildly regards Nicholas out of the corner of his eye as his attention shifts back to the laptop.

Nicholas rests his head in his hands for a bit, taking a few deep breaths before reaching over and grabbing his backpack, shoving his laptop into it with a bit more roughness than he should. Once it's crushed enough papers to fit, he drags out one of his text books and starts flipping through it. He stares at the pages for a bit before deciding that he really can't concentrate before tossing the book aside and just laying back in the grass.

Theo pauses for several seconds, glancing back up at Nicholas' motions and antics as he wrestles with the backpack and then tossing the book. He lets out a sigh, staring up at a tree. "So…what, you're trying to get me to ask?" he questions unsympathizingly to Nicholas' display of emotion.

Nicholas sits up and looks at Theo as he asks his question. "I'm trying to get you to ask me out on a date." He says dryly before flopping back down. "I barely know you, so why would I be trying to get you to ask me somthing, unless, you know, it's not okay for someone just be having a bad day." His voice caries the tone like he's irritated.

"Because of," Theo huffs, swings his laptop shut, swings it wildly, puts it down, and flops on the bench to lie down. Clearly a mockery of what Nicholas has been doing. The technopath sits back up, a straight comment proceding. "You can have a bad day without trying to make sure you advertise it to everybody in the area. People will just think you're more of a little emo pussy than they already do. Because from what I've seen, you're always having a bad day, and I've never even seen anyone do anything to you."

"I forgot, everyone here is supposed to be cheerful, happy and just accept this bull of a life without feeling miserable about it, I'm sorry." Nicholas says his voice filled with mocking. "I'll just smile and drink the Kool-Aid that everything is made of sunshine and happiness." He shakes his head with irritation. "Gotta love it, if you're not smiling most of the time you're emo. Well I won't bother your perfect world with my imperfect attitude anymore." He says standing up and telekinetically lifting his backpack and book up to him.

Theo lets out a laugh, "Man, you really are sucked up in your own little world, aren't you? That's me, just a bright ray of sunshine. You aren't the only one here whose life sucks, Tinkerbell. In case you hadn't noticed, we just had a bunch of girls kidnapped by some creeper a few weeks ago, and they are still missing. See, that isn't exactly a barrel of laughs, is it? But no, you are the only one who matters, 'Oh woe is me, I'm gonna look at Facebook and think about how miserable my life is.' Join the club.
Theo gets up from the bench, pointing at Nicholas. "You know, you have no idea how much crap I've gone through before and since I got here. Trust me, it's more than most of the people here. My life sucks too. But I'm not gonna sit around and try to get everybody to feel sorry for me all the time, because it's my problem, and so I'm the one who deals with it."

Nicholas's eyes glow blue for a second like he wants to use his powers but not seeing anything easy enough to take out his frusrations on, they die down. "I fucking know they were kidnapped!" He yells at Theo. "And everyone keeps saying that they'll be alright but they're not going to be! It's so easy to believe that but it's not how things work!" He takes a deep breath and doesn't exactly calm down but he stops yelling. "I never -once- asked you to pity me, did I? Just because I took out my frustrations on -my- belongings doesn't mean I was looking for you to ask or to get on my case. I just was getting mad about -my- life, but of couse, because what ever I was doing pissed -you- off, it has to be about you and how I'm an emo brat."

Theo rolls his eyes. "No, you're right, that's not how things work, but just because things aren't going to be all right doesn't mean that flopping around is going to change it. If you want it to be different, then you are going to have to make it different. So if you're so upset about them missing, then find them."

"I know they're in Romania, but I'm not allowed to go help out on the elite mission and I sure as hell can't go there on my own." Nicholas says bitterly to Theo. "So thank you, for explaining how easy all of this is for me. The -only- person here who made me feel like I could be myself again went missing and is kidnapped by werewolves and vampires. So do you mind explaining it to me how it's easy again? Please?"

"Easy? Who said anything about easy?" Theo's face contorts slightly. "No, things are hard as steel. Anything worth something costs something." He smirks lightly. "See, you really do want pity, because you are whining about things now. What pisses you off is that I'm not going to give you pity, I just deal in reality. You know where they are, you're not allowed to help, and you can't get there on your own. So instead of whining about it, whey don't you change one of those two factors. If it really matters to you, then you'd spend your time finding a way to load the dice. Hell, they never really punish people here anyway, they just like to make you think they will." He turns to the closest camera for a second, and flips the bird to the watching eye, before turning back to Nicholas. "What you should be looking for instead of a way to vent, is for a way to get to Romania."

Nicholas looks at Theo and just shakes his head. "You don't know anything." He says in a flat voice. "The minute I put my name out there, it'll probably be flagged and I'll be arrested for the murder of my parents. And that wouldn't help me get Jill or Sofia or the others back. So unless you have some real advice, just leave me the hell alone because the last thing I want is anything from you, including your pity." And he's quite serious about that too. Nick isn't looking for pity, what he wants is a friend.

Theo regards Nicholas for a long moment, walking up to him to stand within the three foot range. Something inside of him seems to suddenly surrender. "Okay, look," he answers with a bit of a resign in his expression and voice alike. "I'm going to help you think this time, if you promise not to whine anymore. Deal?"

Nicholas blinks at Theo, a bit surprised and taken back by his sudden change, though it only leaves him more guarded. "What part of, I don't want anything from you did you not understand? I'm not asking you to help me think, I'm not asking you for anything so why don't we just agree to leave eachother the hell alone."

"Fine," Theo answers, "If you don't really want to help them, then go about pouting. It's your choice," Theo answers. "I'm the one who Emma would likely chew out anyway. She hates me." He shrugs. Truthfully, he likes pissing off Emma, so that would be more of a perk for him than a penalty. He turns to walk toward his laptop again. "I thought maybe you wanted to man up and do something for a minute."

Nicholas would have been fine with just going his own way and leaving the area, but Theo has to keep poking him. He flexes his fists a few times just trying not to see red, a few knuckles cracking as he clenches his fist tight. "What the hell is your problem?! It's like you're trying to piss me off even more than I was. What I want to do, is just get you the hell out of my face!"

Raised voices finally rouse the sleeping beast in the bushes. After spending a goodly amount of the morning dodging others in the name of finding the perfect spot for napping, Ahmed the leopard perks his head up from a bush that until now had been bathed in a sunbeam. Oh, you perfect sunbeam, where have you gone? So the boys are struck with the sounds of a grumbly feline shaking off leaves, and crawling it's way out of a bush.

Theo just shakes his head as he picks up his laptop. "Yeah, well, you're pretty easy to piss off," he says with a bland lack of zeal, facing away from Nicholas. He turns around with a non-commitally frustrated look. "I don't have a problem, thought I'd get a little out of character and help you with yours. My lesson is learned." He gives a slight salute to Nicholas, and starts to walk toward the gardens. "So if you will excuse me, I'm going to go to someplace with a little less estrogen."

"Yeah, I am." Nicholas says as he knows he's easy to piss off. "And I don't think you're going to find a place with less estrogen since you seem to be saturated in it." He's just trying to insult Theo now just to insult him. He turns and lets out a growl of frustration at a lack of something to punch and that's when he spots Ahmed and just stares at his roommate for a bit feeling a bit embarassed by his outburst.

The great thing about cats are… they're just too laid back about stuff to really let it linger. So… leaf-stuck pelt and all, yawning blue fangs and furrowing the grass with claws on a stretch, Ahmed makes his way over and leans hard on Nick's legs for a moment, and then shoves his head under the young man's fist to get a self-msde scritch from those knuckles.

When Ahmed comes over next to him, it's like all the anger is deflated (which could be from Theo now being out of the area) and Nicholas plops down on the ground so that he's sitting. He gives Ahmed the obliatory scritches on his head. "I don't go around looking for people to pity me." He says sounding irritated and bitter.

Ahmed's response? Headbutt. Hard enough to knock Nick on his back, and then paws land close to shoulders as that over-sized feline head and it's glowing blue eyes stare down into Nicholas' for a long moment. There's a querying rumble from the huge feline, and then the head leans in and begins to sniff at the other young man's face carefully. This close, breakfast can be smelled on the cat's breath… thankfully it's bacon and eggs, and not something more visceral.

Nicholas is knocked down and has a cat on him, preventing him from sitting back up. "Damnit Ahmed, I don't know what you're trying to tell me when you're like this." He says sounding annoyed. He moves his head so he doesn't have to smell the cat breath. Sniffing at Nick's face, Ahmed would smell the usual stuff a guy smells like, nothing out of the ordinary. "Why do I even bother getting out of bed in the morning?"

The snort that comes from the cat is a familiar one. One of those feline gestures that happens when the humans just don't get it. So he shifts his massive bulk off of his friend, moves off to one side, and Ahmed makes the shell slide off his form, turning to goop before ending up a puddle of steaming ectoplasm on the ground. Coming back over, he sits down across from his roommate and says, "Because one of these days you're going to stop beating yourself up about everything, and get on with living for a bit." He pauses and looks over his shoulder towards where Theo departed, "Dude smells like ozone, bitter lemon, and asshole… He probably hates himself more than you do."

"I don't hate myself, just my life." Nicholas says, shifting so he's laying on his side to look at Ahmed. "Well, no, just recent events in my life." He takes a deep breath and just lets out what's on his mind. "Do you ever just feel so miserable that you just want to have that stupid comfort your Mom offers? I know it's stupid, I'm a teenage guy, I'm not supposed to want my Mommy but…I do. I just want her or my Dad to tell me everything is going to work out but…I want that comfort Ahmed." He says trying to swallow down the tightness in his throat. "Jill….some how helped with all that. She also lost both her parents and knows how much it hurts."

Ahmed exhales a hard breath, and then says, "I know what you mean. You look around, and you suddenly realize… it's gone. Everything is gone. Your room, your life, your friends… it's like you were in this neat little shoebox, and someone came along, opened it up, and dumped everything out." Laying back down on the grass, he goes to stare up at the sky, his hands pillowing his head, "I didn't say you hate yourself… I said you're beating yourself up. Big difference. 'cause with Jill suddenly it's the same thing all over again. You feel powerless, despite your really cool abilities. I get it." Spoken as he rubs his throat, "I really do. When that hugeass wolf bit my throat… all I could think of was mom. I wanted her smile, and to be there to tell me nothing was going to hurt me again."

"Burned up." Nicholas says. "Not dumped out, burned up. At least if it's dumped out, you can put it all back in the box." He looks at Ahmed and offers him a faint smile. "I'm really glad you're okay Ahmed, I was scared when you were hurt, but there's barely even a scar there now." He says looking at his friend's throat. "I…I watched them die Ahmed. I..couldn't save them, my powers saved them but not me." His voice is barely above a whisper cause he really doesn't like to talk about it. "I…I'm really glad you're okay, really Ahmed. Um…have you ever heard of a show called Firefly, I saw it down stairs?" Yes he's trying to change the subject.

Ahmed rides the topic change like an old hand, and then says, "Yeah… this place has like one of thos deluxe Netflix accounts… so now I can watch all the shows…" He stops before saying 'my parents wouldn't let me.'. It's a momentary pause, and he covers it with a cough, "All the shows I missed because of cooking and neighborhood stuff. I wish they'd made a second season… why?"
There's a greatful look that spreads across Nick's whole face as Ahmed takes the subject change, though the curiosity is there about his friend's pause in the sentence. "I was looking through the DVD and Blu-Ray collection the school here has and saw it. I couldn't tell if Space Cowboys sounded awesome or stupid and wanted to know if it was any good before sitting down to watch it. So..it's good?"

Ahmed shakes his head and sits up a bit, "It's not Space Cowboys… it's about a crew on a ship that are just trying to make the best of a bad situation." The pause this time is just because of a yawn and a stretch, and then he rolls over to lay on his front, getting some grass on his t-shirt, "Anyways… it's classic Joss Whedon. I really thought the episode War Stories was cool, but that's because it was the more actiony and snarky of the episodes done. If you watch, watch them all one time from beginning to end. It doesn't make as much sense out of sequence."

"Well I was planning on starting with DVD one and working my way through them." Nicholas says with a small grin. "And whose Joss Whedon?" He says as he moves so that he's lying on his back, eyes focusing on the clouds. "I just need to find something that'll take my mind off of things for a while that isn't Orion, though he's more than just a horse to me."

"WHO'S Joss Whedon?!" Ahmed scoffs, "You're kidding me. Dude… I'm CANADIAN… and he's gold up there. You don't even know one of your country's national treasures?!" Flicking Nick's shoulder with one clawed finger, hitting with the back, he just rolls his eyes, "Jesus Allah Buddha you DID grow up in a Barn. You seriously mean you've never heard of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Angel? DOLLHOUSE?!" The astonishment is half amusement but he still says, "Okay… we're doing a Buffy marathon this weekend. I will cook, you will watch… and no trying to leave the rec room. I will hunt your navigationally challenged ass down and scruff you back to the couch!"

It's one of those moments where Nick realizes how much of an outsider he is here. "I've heard of Buffy, never watched it cause it looked stupid." He says almost timidly. "I watched Cartoon Network and stuff mostly. You know, Family Guy, Dragon Ball Z, American Dad stuff like that. Sometimes I'd watch the Jackass stuff with friends and obviously, lots of Star Wars. And it wasn't a barn, we just didn't watch stuff like that back home."

Ahmed laughs a bit, "But Firefly looks stupid, and you still want to watch." Sitting up once more, he takes a few steps off and starts walking around Nick ash he lays there on the ground, "Hey… don't sweat it. It's not like I can talk with anyone around here about Degrassi or Redwall. I didn't get to watch Cartoon Network. At least I got Nickelodeon that Yahweh… I might have had to break something if I didn't get my Avatar fix."

"I didn't say it looks stupid. I said it either sounded -awesome- or -stupid-, enough to catch my interest." Nicholas says with a bit of a scowl. "People love mixing up what I have to say and putting words in my mouth." He is quite for a bit letting the irritation roll off of him before speaking. "Avatar like last Airbender or Avatar the blue aliens?"

"Okay, really?" Ahmed snorts out, "I thought we were past the whole me guarding my muzzle around you, Nicholas." Stretching out his roomie's name for emphasis, "But I'm sorry. You know I don't mean it… it just happens. And Avatar the James Cameron Movie? Ugh… I couldn't watch that. I still can't. It's so busy it makes my cat senses go nuts. I want to pounce the screen. Even if the Na'vi were cool. Nope… the TV series. Best cartoon ever made. Stake my life on it."

"Sorry, just, that's what that douche waffle was doing earlier and struck a nerve wrong." Nick says frowning a bit. "I started watching that show as a kid, love it. I was watching it here when I first came and a bunch of people were giving me a hard time about it. Quenton…well no surprise there." He says rolling his eyes but the faint grin is back. "Oh man, the movie was cool too. Was one of the few we went to the theatre to go see."

Ahmed pauses a moment, and then says, "We didn't really… do movies. Parents were too busy, and the relatives were always doing other stuff. When we did… it was always at someone's house who just bought the DVD."

"We went once or twice a year. The small theatre was an hour away, the nice one, where we saw Avatar in 3D was two hours." Nicholas says. "A lot of times it was my family and David's family doing a joint thing so it was kind of an event you know?" He isn't quite sure how to explain it. "Everything is so far away from everything out there but…what made your parents so busy?"

Ahmed flops back down on the grass finally, "Mom could be gone on assignment around the province at any moment… horses needing emergency care, giving lectures on proper treatment… or helping dressage for RCMP parades and the like. Dad… well… Dad had his store. Big private-run grocery store. He was the boss… ran everything, hired from the people who came to our little part of the world from back 'home'." Making the quotation marks as he sighs, "About the only time we spent a LOT of time together as family was when I was too young to be cared for by others, and mom was too pregnant with my little sister to leave the house."

Nicholas furries his brown in a bit of confusion. "My Mom and Dad both ran the stable, we had Bodie around too who was practically family. I mean they owned the business and ran it, were the boss like your dad pretty much and had to tend to all the horeses needs but they always made time for family." He couldn't imagine his parents not being around like that. "We were really close but then…it just makes you want to hit something so badly."

Ahmed gives a non-commital shrug, "Different lives." It's then that his phone beeps, and he looks at it, "Damnit… now I gotta go to class. At least when I'm catting I can not noticed class alarms." Pushing up to stand, he goes over to the bushes to try and find his backpack, "Look… you let every douche on this campus get to you, then you're just gonna turn into a wreck, Nick. I'm not saying get a thick skin… just… don't rise to the bait." Once he's got his pack, he shakes some leaves from it, "Promise not to tell anyone I've been ducking English?"

"Promise." Nicholas says with a nod. Though not much is said about rising to the bait. "I should get to class too, starts in five minutes. Thanks Ahmed." He says slinging his backpack over his shoulder and heads off in the wrong direction for class.
Ahmed stops, walks over, and grabs Nick by the shoulders to turn him around, "C'mon you… I'll escort you. Otherwise you're going to end up in Poughkeepsie, or some other place with a name I can't spell."

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