2012-06-11: The Thin Red Line


JillV_icon.jpg Quenton_icon.jpg

Summary: Some lessons must be learned in blood. Quenton is a harsh teacher.

Date: June 11, 2012

Log Title: The Thin Red Line

Rating: R

Xavier Mansion - Danger Room

A product of Shi'ar technology, the room generates apparently solid, realistic imagery by manipulation high-resolution force fields and holograms. The walls and floor appear as a steel room until a program is turned on. Overhanging the room in the center is a control Room managing the room's mechanisms to oversee the exercise while ensuring the subject's safety.

Maybe it's not okay for a student to be tampering with the Danger Room controls. And yet there Quenton is, in the Danger Room, in a simulation where he's fighting Rockslide on the street. And the fight is not going well on Quenton's side. At least initially. One punch to the face sends Q flying, but despite how far it launches the strong boy, there's no wound or sign of pain from him. But there's something off about Quenton as he smashes his fists into the ground, propelling himself upwards and flying towards Rockslide, feet planting on his shoulders. The rock shrouded mutant lifts his hands up towards Quenton's legs, but Quenton's hands shoot down and wrap around his wrists, and with a sharp pull, he rips his arms off and backflips off him. Who knew Q could be so acrobat— oh. And now he's beating Rockslide with his arms. The feed is easily interrupted, and one could step into the hologram easily.

The doors to the Danger Room whoosh open with a decidedly Star Trek-like whooshing noise. Whoosh. Still in her outdated squad colors of yellow and black not-spandex, a blonde girl with blood red eyes steps hesitantly inside. Only to duck as a fractured chip of stone zips through the air directly toward her. She yelps, dropping down low and shielding her head with her hands… but nothing happens. The fractured bit of Rockslide's body never reaches her, vanishing at some point before reaching the doors. Safety protocols. "H'lo?" Jill asks tremulously as if the room were empty and she didn't just walk in on a knock-down drag-out fight. She had an appointment, after all.

Black synthetic material of the nontearable variety is what Quenton dons, with a custom jacket that has a large X on the back, hooded vest worn underneath it. Poor Rockslide is lifted by the ankles and slammed in a variety of things, but Quenton's face is focused, and after he throws the other mutant (hologram, anyway) into a building, he begins smashing his fist into his temple, closing his eyes tightly. It becomes apparent he's not exactly focused on the fight, but something else. And then he hears Jill, and his eyes find her. "Terminate simulation," he mutters, and the holo fades. He's not sweating, but there's steam rising from his back. "Hey, if it isn't one of the dark prince's prides. How's life? Pretty -solid- these days, yeah?"

The girl's reaction to the wanton destruction and violence are cartoonish, wincing, gritting her teeth, and looking away until Quenton's voice calls her back. At that, she just gapes like someone who's been given a birthday present they neither want nor need and is still trying to come up with something to say about it. "You?" she finally blurts, finger pointing and tracking from Quenton toward the already-vanished hologram of Santo Vaccarro, AKA Rockslide. "I thought…" The sentence is left unfinished, the word clipped off by her jaw snapping shut to keep the words inside. Well, this is just perfect. She's disappointed, unhappy, and doesn't even feel like hiding it.

"What about me?" Quenton wonders, then, challengingly almost as he steps towards Jill, advancing on her aggressively, though the whole time his hand lifts, curls into a fist and begins beating at the side of his head. Fight the rage back. Fight the hunger. "You thought what?" he wonders. "Did wittle Jill have the Danger Room all to herself? Trust me, lady of the night, this place isn't going to get you your blood fix."

With her jaw set, bottom lip slightly out, Jill shoots Quenton look that's equal parts pout and pissed. Her hands aren't raised to defend herself, instead folded across her chest, but she's no deer in the headlights either. "I got an email," she explains tersely, turning her head aside so she doesn't have to look at him. "Supposed to come in here for some kinda special session. You a teacher now or is this punishment for somethin'?" Punishment for both of them, more like, though for the life of her she can't imagine what she's done to deserve it.

"Well. I'm an adult, now, legally," Quenton reminds, then, shrugging his shoulders. "Though I'm failing," he mutters. Being absent for a few months can do that to a guy. "Simulation: Dracula's Tower," he then murmurs, and they find themselves in the ball room of that very familiar place. "So. Welcome back," he grunts to the girl. "You got super strength. You got a thirst for blood. I have both those things, I just don't need the blood to survive." He spreads his hands.

"You're not much older than me," the vampire girl shoots back. But then Jill gives a start when the holograms fade in and the scene shifts, turning slowly in place at the familiarity of the place. "How… how do they even have this…?" Quenton gets shot the annoyed look again as she wheels back to face him, like it's all his fault. "Unless you're teachin' ballroom dancing, I don't think I like this." And yet, the email invitation… nay, demand… was clear. And from a professor.

"I don't like this either!" snaps Quenton then, almost a bellow, before he clears his throat, and then adds, nose giving an angry twitch, "and I don't fucking dance." And then suddenly, he jumps at Jill, skidding to a half in front of her, hands jerking up to her shoulders, and if they make it, shoving at her, but not as hard as he can. "But this will help you fucking deal. Like it helps me."

Roughly seized and pushed hard enough to make a football player stumble, Jill skids backwards, tripping over her own feet. Tumbling ass over elbows, the blonde comes to a stop a few yards away from the boy. Her head snaps up, red eyes glaring, luminous and cat-like in the simulated candles and firelight of the ballroom. "How was *that* supposed to help?" she spits, pulling herself to her feet.

"Want me to push harder?" Quenton wonders, beginning to step towards her, then, cracking his neck in a series of loud pops. "Come on, Jill. How has the thirst been treating you? How have you been getting blood? The school been supplying it? And when you have to make your stake out in the real world, what are you going to do? Rob hospitals?"

Jill's hands snap up, balled into fists, though she doesn't seem eager to use them. "F-from the school," she answers as defiantly as she can. "I've never- I'm not *going to* hurt anybody for it. I promised I wouldn't." She's ready for him now, not going to make it easy to push her around. But there's still weakness. Defensiveness. Reactive instead of pro-active. "What's it matter to you, anyway? I'll… I'll figure something out."

It's not even his hands that move this time. Instead, his foot goes for her shin, moving to kick at it in an attempt to knock her feet from under her. "You promised you wouldn't," Quenton mutters, shaking his head, successful or not as his fists then pound together, the air between his knuckles rippling. "But sometimes you can't control the thirst. That's going to happen eventually. You need to be ready for that. You need to be ready to stop yourself. Think you could do that?"

Despite her attempts to shuffle backwards, the foot skids across her shin and leaves a dirty smudge on the high-tech yellow fabric. She grunts in pain and retreats further, edging closer to one of the room's high walls and its gilt decorative woodwork. "Like you're some… some *pinnacle* of self-control?" She stumbles over the words and, consciously or not, doesn't actually answer his question.

"You haven't seen me lose control, yet," Quenton growls, still advancing on Jill, curling his hands into fists, clenching them enough for those loud pops to be heard. "You have no idea what it's like to have what I have, to have this rage burning inside me. Literally fucking *burning*. It hurts and feels good at the same time. And when I explode, I'm a fucking engine of god damn destruction. You don't want to see me when I'm not Quenton anymore." His nose twitches once. "But you'll have an idea what it's like eventually. And I need to get you ready for that."

"I'm not like you!" Mouth open as Jill shouts back obstinately, the fangs there are visible. Were they that long before?

"No. You're not. The difference is you can sate your thirst," Quenton mutters, and when he's close, he swings at her, though he's still attempting to pull his punches. "And that makes the temptation worst for you."

Jill is, by the very strictest definition of the word, supernaturally fast. Strong, too, for such a willowy frame. The back of her hand strikes the inside of Quenton's wrist, pushing the punch aside rather than meeting its force head on. For just a moment, she has a clear angle to drive her right fist into his gut… but she does not. The opportunity is wasted. "I drink maybe… two, three times a day. If I stay full then I shouldn't feel it, shouldn't ever have to feel it." The girl is not breathing yet her nostrils are flared, heart not beating yet pupils contracted. All the fight-or-flight symptoms are there, and as she bares her teeth unconsciously, it's clear which impulse is gaining ground.

Quenton is tremendously strong, and ridiculously so for his age, and while he's fast, his speed is nowhere near supernatural or a mutant power. So she easily manages to catch his wrist with the back of her hand, though it only is pushed minutely aside. "Yeah, but you won't have that supply forever, don't you fucking get that? How long do you plan to hide behind the school?" And then his head moves, in an attempt to headbutt her, but again, he's pulling his strikes, so deflection is possible, and if it connects the damage wouldn't be too severe.

The vampire girl is in the process of answering, "I said I'll figure someth-!" The headbutt is unexpected, clacking her jaw shut painfully loud. Even Quenton pulling his punches is more than most people are prepared for. Jill staggers back, hands flying to her mouth. A few spare droplets pass through her fingers, not bright arterial red but almost black, like oil. The impact made her bite herself, maybe her tongue, maybe the inside of her cheek. Whether it was what he intended all along by pushing her, the slight blonde girl throws herself at him with a shrill rising cry, aiming a shoulder at his gut with arms spread wide to tackle and grab. Unlike Quenton, she's *not* pulling her punches, and with the sun long since set aboveground, she's at her peak.

Despite Quenton's immense strength, his superhuman toughness doesn't make his body any denser, and the tackle knocks him off his feet, and he falls, skidding on his back around the ground several dozen feet. "Right," he growls, before his chin lifts, and his fingers rise, but instead of attacking her, they dig into his neck, to break his skin and draw blood.

Animalistic. It's the best word to describe the girl clinging to his midsection. In a moment of atavistic frenzy, Jill's fingertips are digging into the soft flesh of Quenton's lower back. At first they are only pressure, but soon become a piercing, invasive pain, hooks in his flesh as she drags herself toward his upper body. With his neck and head otherwise protected, for the moment, by his own arms scratching at his skin, the scent of blood and the powerful instinct lead to the only possible outcome. Jill sinks her teeth into the meat of his bicep, piercing clean through the material of his jacket. Blood wells up around her mouth.

"Promise brok-broken," is Quenton's mutter towards her, then, as she bites into his arm, the mutant briefly letting out a sound. Also animalistic. Two peas in a pod right now. Anyone walking in would probably see something out of a steamy adult version of the teenage heart throbbing romances as of late. But then his hand moves up, to the back of her neck, and while she has no air supply to cut off he begins to squeeze, as hard as he can.

The pressure on his bicep briefly increases, driving the fangs deeper before the bones in Jill's neck begin to grind against one another. Her strength lessens. At least she appears to feel pain, so that's something. Muffled by a mouthful of jacket and flesh, she cries out and at last her jaws release. So do the fingertips poking holes in his back, scrabbling ineffectually at the hand crushing her vertebrae. The ends of her fingers are claws; not simply overgrown nails, but gently curved points, flesh, bone, and all. Her mouth is open as she rasps, teeth tinged pink. There isn't a lot of blood, surprisingly, just a thin smear around her lips.

Something is suddenly terribly wrong. Quenton's eyes are red alright, and the steam is rising from his body. There's some loud rumble in his throat, like a purr, but it's very loud, and his grip begins to tighten, before his fingers flex and he attempts to hurl her off of him, his other fist smashing into the ground hard enough to propel him to his feet while the ground underneath him cracks a little. He snarls at her, but his fist then begins smashing into his temple once more, hard, small bruises beginning to form as his eyes drop to his arm and then back up at her. "Promise broken," he repeats. "So, now what?"

The girl tumbles away like a puppet with its strings cut. Even with supernatural strength, her mass hasn't increased either, and it's pitifully easy to send her a dozen meters away to land in a heap with her back to Quenton. Jill doesn't get up. She isn't breathing either, but that's hardly new. She does make a sound, though, soft and pitiful. She's crying, hugging herself and smearing faint red fingerprints on the shoulders of her uniform. "I'm- I'm sorry. I didn't mean-… I didn't mean to."

"But you did," Quenton growls, the rage still being battled internally as he moves after the vampire, beginning to pull off his jacket and vest in one go, tossing it aside to reveal his sleeveless jumpsuit. "And now you had a taste. Do you want more?" It's hard to tell if that's an offer or a test.

Jill doesn't answer, not at first, just the word "sorry" over and over and thick in her throat. She's curled into a ball, knees under her chin, body quaking with ragged breaths that are only an emotional response, not a biological necessity. The animal fury is gone. "I'm so sorry. I don't know what happened. I don't know. I'm sorry…"

Quenton crouches, then, moving to take hold of her own biceps, and if successful, yank her upright and lift her into the air, giving her body a bit of a shake. Successful or not, though, he bellows at her, "Do you want more?!"

She dangles there, trembling like a leaf, tear streaks down her cheeks. Even with blood on her face, in her mouth, on her fingertips, Jill's answer is, surprisingly, "No…" She speaks with the pitiable self-recrimination of the penitent.

"Yeah. Well. Welcome to the dark side, Fright Night. You get thirsty, first check yourself. Check your fucking self, see if your blood can fight it off before you get your fix from another sort. And… our next lesson is in two days. Meet me at the woods, same time. I'll give you a new alternative," Quenton growls, before he just drops her, eyes flitting to his bleeding bicep. His fingers dig at it, making the wound worst, but he seems to calm down, the more self abuse he causes.

Jill collapses as her heels hit the plush carpet of the holographic Dracula's tower, wrapping her arms around herself again. Her head turns away from Quenton as if suddenly squeamish about the sight of blood. If she heard or understood him, she makes no reply. She just rocks slightly, back and forth, holding herself, still crying but at least doing it quietly now.

Rolling his shoulder, Quenton watches Jill cry for a moment, before his expression softens and he runs his palm over his face. Dropping to one knee, then, he grips at her arms once more, painful maybe, but he pulls her to him and relaxes his strength, just holding her close in a hug as his eyes search the wall behind the girl. "Terminate simulation."

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