2010-01-05: This Speaks Volumes


Rashmi_icon.jpg Lucas_icon.jpg Aleksey_icon.jpg Dallas_icon.jpg

Summary: A debate on non-violence becomes …passionate. Discussions of teamwork are had.

Date: January 05, 2010.

This Speaks Volumes

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Library

Like most Libraries, this one has that respected quite hush about it. A desk to check out books sits next to the door, next to the desk sits a statue of an Orangutan with a sign saying Return your books or else. Row upon row of books goes up and down the room. In the middle of all the shelves are two computers for looking up titles and a group of tables for students to sit and study. Along the back wall are windows with padded window seating for students to read in quiet.

Sitting in the floor, deep in the library, is Lucas. He is leaning against a bookcase, his knees at his chest, holding a hardcover book in his giant gloved hands. He's in the biology section, and it looks like the book he's reading is a pretty high level, complicated science text on dolphins and whales. His messy hair dangles over his face, like a curtain keeping him from having to interact with any of the other freaks here.

Dallas enters the library almost furtively. He looks a little worn-out and tired and when he closes the door behind himself, Dallas yawns hugely before heading to the reference computers. "Ok. No problem. Ten pages. Athens. Laws. Ethics. Three days." His voice is quiet and, since he thinks nobody is around, a little exasperated. Who the hell needs to know about dead guys in dresses? When he passes the area where Lucas is setting on the floor, he starts to pass by, does a double take and then stops, just looking for the moment. An involuntary, "Hh!" escapes him.

Lucas slowly turns his head to look at Dallas, peering with annoyed eyes through the screen of long hair. He just stares for several seconds, and then simply asks, "What?"

Dallas shrugs and says, "I didn't see you as the reading type." It's honest, if not particularly tactful.

Lucas probably rolls his eyes, but it's hard to see, and looks back at the book. "Ah'm just lookin' at the pictures." He sighs, and then attempts to turn the page. His thick glove makes it a difficult task, but he keeps at it, until he gets it up enough to blow on it. The air makes it turn, and then he looks back at the text.
"If'n ya'll are lookin' for the romance novels, their two aisles back that way."

Dallas's eyes narrow and he says, "Actually I was looking for books on prostitution. The school needs a reference picture of you." His tone is snide at that. After a moment he takes an unused pencil from his bag and holds it out to Lucas. "Use the eraser side. You can turn the pages easier without ripping them that way." And it's probably long enough to hold, even with the gloves. "Already doing school work?"

Lucas looks at the pencil, and shakes his head. He moves the book a little, and there in his lap, is an unsharpened pencil with an eraser. "Ah got one, thanks." He looks back at the book, and then closes it. "Just lookin' at the pictures." He leans forward, and files it back on the shelf.

Dallas shrugs and says, "Good enough." He starts to head for the reference computer to figure out where the books on ancient Greek culture are and says over his shoulder. "One of your squadies wanted to complain last night. It was funny." He starts typing in the information, not looking back. "Seems like she disliked being called Bowling Lass or something."

Lucas pushes himself up off the floor, and walks towards Dallas. He swaggers a little as he walks, arrogant, but his neck slouches just a bit to show a defying insecurity. "Ah reckon she hated it about as much as you'd hate bein' called the Groundhog, HeroBear." He smirks, "She's just as fuckin' bad as you, ya know?"

Dallas snorts and says, "Worse. She tried to convince me I should give a crap about you and your attitude." He looks back at Lucas. "Don't worry, I let her know /that/ isn't going to happen anytime soon. But yea, she is one of the few people here who seems to get winning. Doesn't surprise me that a guy like you wouldn't get her."

Lucas shrugs, "What attitude?" He shakes his head, slapping his gloves a bit against his side. "And what the fuck is that supposed to mean? What kind of a guy am Ah, Hero Bear?"

Dallas arches an eyebrow at that first question, as though saying 'Really? You're really going to try that'. He shrugs at the send and says, "As far as I can tell? You're a loser. All attitude and no drive. Too stupid to try to get along with the only group of people who are like you that you're probably ever going to meet. Too cruel to be likable and too weak to follow through with it and be somebody who scares people. So, you know, in short … loser."

Dallas blinks as Lucas turns, honestly surprised that there's no fight in the other young man over that challenging assessment. He watches Lucas go for a moment and then shakes his head once. "Seriously? Okay? You're just going to let somebody say stuff like that to you and not get fired up about it?"

Dallas sighs and says, "Nothing I guess. I was just hoping you'd kind of man up and start getting engaged. Out of hate, if nothing else. If not ….." He shrugs again. "Not much I can do about it. Or you."

Lucas nods, "Ah'm engaged. Just, not by you." He turns, and faces Dallas. "Why would Ah get mad at you? Fuck, Hero Bear, you're the least fucktarded of everyone Ah done met so far." He smiles, kind of a shit eating grin, "And Ah know, you only say these things about me because you love me."

Dallas laughs despite himself and says, "Yea, ok, I get that. Rashmi's actually not that bad. She thinks she's a lawyer and smarter than she is but not bad. And Hellion kinda rocks. The other guys are cool too, once you get to know them but you have to, um, adjust a little, to most." He shrugs at that, "Which should get easier for guys like us." A pause, "And for the record, I'd rather french a lawn mower, bottom up, thanks." There is no mistaking the grin there.

Lucas takes a step toward Dallas, holding up his finger, "Okay, first of all, there ain't no guys like US, okay? Ah ain't nothin' like you," he says, not angry, but there is a little aggression there. "And you couldn't woo a lawn mower." He turns, and walks over to the book shelf where he was at, pulling out another biology book, and walking over to a table nearby. He tosses the book onto the table, with a THWAP. Somewhere, an old lady makes a SHUSH noise, and he laughs.

Dallas snorts. "True. I'm down with things like 'having friends', 'being liked and 'basic hygiene'. So yea, nothing alike." He paused a second and then adds, meditatively, "And I wouldn't try it. I like having everything attached."

Lucas chuckles, and then says, in rather impeccable French, "So, Mademoiselle Lawnmower. I could not help but notice how beautiful your blades were. Perhaps I could kiss you in my native tongue… or with my native tongue." Then he laughs, and flops onto the chair.

Dallas blinks at Lucas from his place by the reference computer, looking across to the other young man at his table. "Was that French? I totally had a year of that. Last year. And I didn't get it at all. But it sounded like French. Something about knives being lazy or something?"

Lucas shrugs, "Knives being lazy? Wow." He begins to open the book, shaking his head. "You need to pay more attention in class, Hero Bear."

Dallas says defensively, "I pay attention!" A pause, "In the interesting classes. And I passed. With a C minus. After the coach tal…. Hey! I don't have to defend myself to you!" He turns back to the terminal, grumbling a little under his breath.

Lucas smiles, opening the marine biology book once more and leaning back in the chair. Again, in French, he says, "And yet, you want to." He laughs, and says in English, "Loser."

Rashmi slips into the library, pausing to close the door behind her as quietly as possible. Turning, she stands in the doorway for a moment, dark eyes roaming over the bookshelves, a bright, beaming grin on her face at the sheer mass of volumes that litter the room. With a tiny, delighted squeak, she all but darts toward the nearby shelves, poring over their contents.

Dallas turns to give Lucas a bit of a glare and then turns around entirely at the sound of the squeak. Seeing Rashmi scamper off into the stacks, he rolls his eyes and says, "Oh great. Now I'm outnumbered by Team Loser."

Lucas tilts his head, "What's the matter, Groundhog. You see your own shadow?" He smiles, and looks back at his book. Not looking up, he asks Dallas, "So what did you come here to study?"

Dallas sighs and says, "Greek crap. Not like Olympics or soccer or anything either. The laws and ethics of 'Hellenic Athens'. Sounds like hell to me, alright." He turns back to typing out his request and starts scanning the titles brought up. "One of the two things about this school that keeps me up at night is how far behind I am. Or how ahead the school is, compared to what we were doing back home."

It's not long before Rashmi emerges from the stacks, a startling pile of books lugged in her arms. Tottering toward the table that Dallas and Lucas sit at, she sets the pile down as gently as she can manage, stabbing a Look at Dallas from behind the volumes. "Don't listen to him Lucas," she says as she begins to sort the books into smaller piles, "Dallas has decided that I shall be the first supervillain he fights," she says with a grin, setting a book bearing Gandhi's face down directly in front of her chair. "What this says of him, that *I* am his greatest threat…?" Trailing off, she shrugs, dropping into her chair amid the pile of volumes.

Lucas sighs, "That would totally suck, Rashmi." He grins at Dallas, "Ah kinda hoped it'd be me." He chuckles, and then leans back in his chair, which leaves the book he was looking at open on the table, unguarded. It's a rather advanced biology book on marine mammals, above high school level. "Gandhi? Seriously? What was his superpower? Makin' rice?" He chuckles.

Rashmi looks up, lifting an eyebrow. A brief smile tugs at her face, and she glances at Dallas. "He had none, Lucas," she begins, evidently gearing up for a long, long-winded rant on her very favorite topic. "But never was there a greater man to come before him, or after. Mohandas changed the very shape of the world, and without a single punch, or bullet. All he did was speak things that made sense. *Good* things, about how man should treat another man, of truth and kindness and peace. There was not a single great man or woman to come after him, who doesn't owe him thanks for their inspiration."

Dallas snorts from his place over by the computer. "That is total crap." He turns back to look at Rashmi. "Sure, he /talked/ about peace, but he always gave those speeches to angry mobs and make sure the whole world could see how many guys he was keeping in check. It was a headgame. He didn't have to pick up a gun or anything because other people did it for him. Or he had the threat of them doing it without him holding them back. It like a giant game of 'stop hitting yourself'." He shakes his head. "Non-violence is stupid."

Lucas rolls his eyes, "The man let his wife die, and then selfishly let the Brits heal him from the same malaria." He shrugs, "He was also kind of a perv." He does a rather insulting, bad Indian accent, "Have you had a good bowel movement today, Rashmi?" Then he laughs.

Rashmi's eyes narrow briefly, but the look of utter fury is quickly replaced with a slow, sly smile. By way of reply, she picks up a block eraser by her books, and wings it with startling force toward the back of Lucas' head.

Dallas blinks and turns around at the sound of air whistling around a small hurled object. He's the veteran of too many class rooms and baseball diamonds to ignore the implications there. His expression is wary and he looks ready to dodge.

Lucas scowls, "Ow!" He shakes his head, and then laughs, "Touchy." He sighs, and looks at Dallas. "Way to get her all riled up."

Rashmi leans forward onto the pile of books on one side, resting her arms atop them. Her smile has become a challenging grin, dark eyes intent. "I just did violence to you, Lucas." A smaller eraser is picked up, lobbed in a high arc toward the top of the boy's head this time.

Lucas tilts his head at Rashmi. Then he just stands, leans across the table, and kisses her, right on the lips. He pulls away, and says with a smirk, "Yeah. It was kinda hot, actually." He turns, to sit back down.

Dallas shrugs at Lucas. "Don't look at me. I think unreasonable anger is a girl thing." He watches Rashmi launch her second assault and says, "Wing it at his brain again. Nothing to hurt in there." He blinks as Lucas kisses her and then blushes faintly. "Oh!" He clears his throat and goes back to work on looking up his book.

Rashmi, already in the process of crumpling up a wad of paper, stops dead the moment Lucas plants one on her lips. Eyes wide, she freezes, a slow flush creeping into her cheeks. Muttering, she ducks back behind the pile of her books, arranging them into something like a fort, as long musical tangles of the Hindi language float up from behind.

Lucas steps back to his chair, and gives a satisfied smile to Dallas. There's even an eyebrow waggle to the guy, and he flops into the chair. He leans forward, and looks at his book. "Sorry about that Ghandi crack."

Dallas gives Lucas a blank, almost wary look and then looks back at Rashmi. And then back to Lucas. And then he says, "Ah … I have to get that book. From the aisles. Over there. Um, it might take me a couple of minutes. But I'll be back." Suddenly realizing he's still talking, he just shakes his head and wanders off.

Belatedly, a triumphant hand shoots up out from behind the book fort, pointing ceilingward. "AHA! You countered violence… with…. Oh… forget it." There's a gusty sigh, and her head rises from behind the books, chin resting upon a stack, peering at the back of Lucas' head. "All right. So, um… What in the world?"

Lucas turns in his chair to look at her. "What?" He tilts his head, and in a rare moment of charismatic charm, says, "Ya'll never had a boy be nice to you?" He smiles, "That's too bad. And surprising." He turns back away from her, looking back at his book. "You ain't really so bad."

"Yes I have!" The response is automatic, blurted out before she can dial her brain back to keep pace with her mouth. "…Just… Not someone so dead set on having a horrible time." Her eyes narrow, and she sinks back in her chair, studying the Tennessean closely. "…You love to keep people off balance, don't you."

Dallas continues to rummage in the stacks. Totally not listening. Completely and totally not listening. Even looking the other way. Oh look. A book on carburetors! Fascinating!

Lucas looks back at her, and grins, devilishly. "How'm Ah doin'?"

Rashmi tries to glower, and fails utterly. "You're not a pile of sulk on the carpet, so, better."

Dallas wanders back out of the stacks with his book on Athenian law and looks between the two of them. He clears his throat again and says, "Wow. Team bonding sure is different here." His tone is /very/ dry at that. And then, "I … think I'm going to read this back in my room. Um, good luck, guys." He starts to head towards the doors.

Lucas scowls playfully at Rashmi, "Ah don't sulk." Then he looks at Dallas, "Run away, Hero Bear. It is what your team does best, right?" He grins.

Rashmi leans over the chair, turning her gaze onto Dallas. "And remember, superhero in training… *I know where you sleep.*" It's a valiant effort, to sound menacing… But the blush on her cheeks, the fake low voice, and the stacks of books all around her undermine her efforts pretty thoroughly.

Dallas turns back to them and grins at Lucas, "Well, it beats practicing lip-locks rather than headlocks." Rashmi gets an arched eyebrow and he says with wide-eyed faux innocence, "Wow. I can't say the same." And then ducks through the doors, hopefully before the implications of /that/ one can sink in and get him smacked with a telekinetic bowling ball.

Lucas laughs, and then shakes his head. "What a fuckin' goober." He sighs, and looks back at his book. He reads a moment, and then pulls a pencil out from his pocket, licks the eraser, and turns the page.

Rashmi sinks into silence for a moment as Dallas heads out the door. Finally, her head pops up again, brow furrowed in mild curiosity. "Lucas, um… I never asked… but… what are the gloves for?"

Lucas sits for a moment, and then sighs. He stands, turns around, and resits in the chair backward so he is stradling the back, his arms on the chair back, facing her. He watches her closely, and then says, softly, "Does it matter?"

Rashmi shrugs. "Not… really. Not enough for me to say you *have* to answer…. Just… Curious, you know? Like…" Settling back in her chair, she taps her fingernail over the spine of a book. "Like if you were talking with someone who had a leg cast, you know?"

Lucas studies her for a moment, and then nods slightly. "Ah can't turn off my power. The gloves are a polyvinyl alcohol based fiber woven with demron and a harmless amount of lead." He looks at them, and then at her.

Rashmi looks back down at the gloves, nodding slightly. "…I'm sorry to hear that," she says finally. "So, um… When's your birthday?"

Lucas looks a little confused, "What?" He's sitting backward in a chair facing the table Rashmi sits at. She is surrounded by a tall stack of books. At Lucas' table, there is a single, thick advanced science book on marine biology open, but his back is to it, as he talks to Rashmi. "My bir… Um… Beltaine."

Rashmi nods for a moment, brow furrowing, and scribbles it down on a notepad. "All right then. Hm." Settling back in her chair, she looks over at the blond again. "So, um… I guess you're feeling a little better about this place, then?"

Walking into the library wearing a pair of jeans and warm Xavier's sweatshirt is Aleksey. Any body parts showing look as if they are made of water, you can kind of see through his head a bit. He's come in looking for one things, books on English. He knows his is horrible. Spotting Rashmi he smiles and waves. "Hello Rashmi." He says in this thick Russian accent. "How is you being doing today?" He doesn't know Lucas yet so he just gets a small, friendly, wave.

Lucas shrugs, and begins to answer, but stops when the new person walks in. He turns, and he grins, "Ah. Ya'll must be Waterboy, huh?" He chuckles, "Wow."

Rashmi blinks, perking at the thickly-accented voice. "Aleksey!" Turning to wave at the boy, she nods in Lucas' direction. "That's Lucas, Aleksey. He's on our team as well… And he's new too."

Aleksey nods. "Dah, I being Aleksey, not being waterboy. But I is being made out of water." He says holding uup a hand. "It be nice meeting you." He says holding out a hand and if Lucas takes the hand, it will feel very similar to what a water bed would feel like. "Dah, I being new here. Two week ago I is thinking."

Lucas looks at the giant glove on his hand, and then at Aleksey's watery hand, and he doesn't shake. "Ah reckon that'd right not be a good idea." He smiles.

Rashmi coughs a bit, realizing what would probably happen should Lucas shake Aleksey's hand. "Um… he's right. It's like… You know Professor Summers, Aleksey? Sort of like that, only hands. So um, how're your classes, Aleksey?"

Aleksey gives Lucas a confused look. "Why not, I being fine to shake hands with, no?" He's confused as to why it would be a bad idea. "You is not breaking me, I being strong from injure." He says with an affirmative nod. "Oh! So he is having Cyclops eye blast being coming from hands?"

Lucas furrows his brow, "Um… No." He sighs, and rolls his eyes. "My hands are constantly creating small nuclear fusion reactions. So… You know… Ah'd prolly turn you to steam." He glances at Rashmi, and back to Aleksey. "You always water?"

Rashmi lets Aleksey talk for himself, waving the Russian over to the table. "C'mon over, Aleksey, once you've got your book and have a sit."

Aleksey nods. "Ah, Ah is understanding. I never being having been turned to steam, just being turned to ice when it get too cold." It is possible, Aleksey just doesn't know it. "I is being water for year now, I not being able to turn back." He goes off and grabs a book on English before sitting back down. "I being having little bit of time."

Lucas smirks, and nods. He watches the other boy fetch his book, and once he sits back down, he calmly asks, "So, are you a Communist?"

Rashmi's head drops onto the table with a loud thump. "Damn it, Lucas…"

Aleksey blinks at Lucas's question. "I am Russian, I am from Moscow. Russia is being communist." When raised in that kind of lifestyle you are accepting of it. He doesn't see anything wrong with it. "What is being wrong Rashmi?" It's going right over his head.

Lucas grins, "She's just pissed because Ah kissed her earlier." He looks at Aleksey, "She liked it, too." He smiles a little more. "So, how long have ya'll been in the US, Red?" he asks Aleksey.

Rashmi narrows her eyes at Lucas, cheeks flushing deeply. Deigning not to give that comment an answer, she instead wings a wadded-up ball of paper at Lucas' head.

Aleksey gives Lucas a confused look. "Why is you be speaking of this to me? I is not needing to knowing about you and what her is doing. And why is you being calling me Red?" It's hard to fully understand things when you don't have great English. "I being here maybe two weeks?"

Lucas just laughs at the tossed paper, and then he nods at Aleksey. "So, have you two met Leighton? The other team member? Ah reckon it'd be right smart if'n the five of us get together and figure out our powers and how we can use them to whoop the asses off the other teams."

Rashmi shakes her head. "I haven't, no… But I've been thinking the same. It's only… I don't think they meant to have so many new students like this… All the other teams? One of the X-Men sees to their practices. I don't believe we have such a leader."

"I be metting her shortly. We be beginning here at schooling on same day." Aleksey says nodding. "What be this whoop of the asses? Why do we be whooping of donkeys?" He has a lot to learn. "Isn't there being a James on our team for the training? And I is not knowing anything about coach."

"We don't need a fuckin' X-Man to lead us, Rashmi," Lucas says, over confidently. "Ah'll do it. We'll be fine." He looks at Aleksey, "James is my roomate. He's a hyena." A quick look at Rashmi, "All my clothes smell like wet dog already." He looks back at Aleksey, "And Ah just mean we'll beat the other teams, Al."

Rashmi chuckles a bit. "It sounds like the perfect way to learn to do laundry, hm? Besides, Lucas… be honest. If there's going to be any leader, it won't be one that just stakes the claim. Or," she says with a brilliant, white-toothed grin, "are you saying you're just so charming and gifted that we'll be falling over each other to follow your lead?" It's hard to tell, whether she's being sarcastic or not. Certainly, she's yet to use a tone of voice that deliberately syrupy.

Aleksey gives Lucas a confused look. "Of course we is being needing of a coach. If we are to be learning new things, then coach good. I be having coach when I be doing the figure skating." Something he can't compete in now that he looks the way he does. "Is it being contest between us an other teammates? To be winning something? And I know having coach best way to win at contest."

Lucas rolls his eyes, "Arrghhhh…" He stands, closing the biology book that is on the table. "Forget it. Ah vote Aleksey as team captain." He winks at Rashmi, "Ah ain't so charming." He looks at Aleksey, "Good luck, Al."

Rashmi smirks, shaking her head quietly. "Lucas, Lucas… settle down, will you? Come on… it's not like we've done anything as a team anyhow, right? What's the point of picking a Captain without knowing who's right for the job?"

Aleksey stands up and isn't sure what's going on, it's that cultural barrier. "I is not being anyones captain, I am not coach, I is student. We train, we learn, powers need learning." He says with a nod. "I think I should be going, I…" He's just kind of uncomfortable in this conversation right now as he's not sure why Lucas seems so frustrated. "I am needing to finish homework." He says pointing as his English book.

Lucas laughs at Aleksey's discomfort, "Relax, Al. You'll do great." He looks at Rashmi, "Ah'm settled. Really, Ah am." He grins, "Maybe you're right. No Captain yet. Whatever." He shrugs, and then awkwardly struggles for a moment to use his giant gloves to pick up the book he was looking at. Once he has it in his hands, he looks at the other two kids again. "You two ever consider going on a date? You'd be a cute couple."

Rashmi rolls her eyes, glancing in Aleksey's direction and raising an eyebrow. "Try not to mind him, Aleksey. It'll be a bit before he's civilized…" Looking back at Lucas, her lips twist in a smirk. "But someone has to do it, I guess."

Aleksey is still young, he just turned fifteen so there are things that just catch him off guard. "I is should being on my path now. It was nice to be seeing you too and meeting teammate." He says. Alexsey doesn't have any attraction to anyone at the school and his mind isn't on relationships or dating. "Someone is having to do what?" Okay so he has one last question.

Lucas chuckles again at Aleksey. "Someone is having to date you. Ah think she's asking you out to a movie, Al." He looks at Rashmi, "Right?" He grins.

Rashmi sighs, gathering all her books up and getting to her feet. "He's full of hot air, Aleksey. Pay attention to what he says, but don't listen. Not," she amends, turning to level a poorly-faked glare at the Tennesseean, "unless he manages to say something worth listening to, mh? Even a stopped clock…"

"My name is being Aleksey or Alek, I is not enjoying Al." Aleksey says as he's never really been called that before. "I is needing to be going, I is sorry. If you two be having good night, I is seeing you tomorrow maybes." He nods to Rashmi not understanding the expression 'full of hot air'. "I be walking out with you. You be having good night." He says to Lucas as he leaves the Library.

Lucas smiles, shaking his head with a little amusement at the Russian. He watches him go, and looks back at Rashmi. "Well, ya'll gotta admit…" He gestures at himself, "…Ah'm a helluva fun broken clock." He winks at her, and turns for the door. "Night, Bowlin' Lass." He laughs.

"Broken *something,*" Rashmi rejoins, gathering her books up to lug doorward. "This… is going to be an interesting year…"

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