2010-07-23: Two at 10pm


James_icon.jpg Jinx_icon.jpg

Summary: James doesn't take well to change, Jinx offers her thoughts

Date: July 23, 2010.

Log Title: Two in a Church at 10pm

Rating: PG-13.

Xavier Mansion - The Sanctuary

Through the large double doors lies the main sanctuary, pews and alter still set up as they were when it was in use, however, the ash is still thick within, and the smoke has stained the walls and chairs and wood black. Back and to the left lies and opening the fire left, a charred passage to the grounds. Leaves and dirt have made their way into the room, concentrated the most heavily in that area. Behind the alter on the back wall, there is only one place left unblackened, which seems to have once been under a large cross, as the shape, if not the cross itself, is outlined on the wall.

Friday evening, 10pm and James finds himself hiding in the old burnt-out wreck of a chapel that's still allowed to exist on campus. Alone, he sits stretched out on one of the remaining pews; feet kicked up; form basking in what little moonlight shines through the large holes in the walls. It'd be a picture-esque scene if not for the crumpled up note in his hand. The same one he received earlier today about the restructuring of his team, The Paragons. Another sign that things have moved on with out him; his roommate Lucas included.

Jinx sneaks into the chapel with a cloud of clove-scented smoke. Wreathing around her, the cherry burns from the end of her cigarette like a beacon as she leans against the wall by the door. At first she doesn't notice him, his scent masked by the cloves, until her eyes really scan the building. "Oh hey," she calls to him, nodding her head his way after plucking the cigarette from her lips.

James cranes his head over in the skunk girl's direction, "Hey." It's the kind of unsurprised greeting only ferals can share at times the 'I could smell you before you arrived' type. And given the clove cigarette smoke, it's no wonder how he knew she was coming. "What brings you out here?" the gnoll asks, eyes glowing an eerie green in the moonlight.

Jinx never got the glowing eyes. She just got the schnazzy fur and far cuter tail than the hyena. She holds up the cigarette as if to display her reason right there. "Too many people in the quad to smoke there, and I have to lay low a while and pretend I am harmless."

James smiles, teeth catching the light, but at nowhere near the luminescence of his eyes, "You're not harmless. Big mistake for anyone who assumes you are." His hand tightens around the note, "So, Paragons for you, huh? What'd you do to deserve that punishment?" He slides his legs off the bench and sits up enough for his eyes to follow his friend.

Jinx got the assigment earlier in the day and noted the hyena's name on the list. "Oh right. You're on the team too," she murmurs casually, as if she only now realized the connection. "Yeah, I don't know. I was with Sam.. now I'm not." She takes a draw from her cigarette, the smoke wreathing up around her face like wraiths in the moonlight. "I guess there is some big shakeup. The colors better not be dorky, is all I have to say."

James shrugs, "Purple. It'll look just fine on you. And Kenta isn't so bad. Well, at least when he's not trying to pull that 'I'm gonna be like your father' bullshit." He scoots over enough to allow the girl some room—should she want it. "So…you wanna do food this weekend? I've got nothing else going on."

Purple. Jinx visably relaxes, fearing a color like orange or green or, god forbid, *yellow*. She taps off the ash with a click of her claws. "Yeah, that'd be awesome. I don't have anything going on, I don't think." She nods to his hand. "What's with the paper?"

"Ehh…just news," James responds, "I got more than you did. You gained a team, I lost a roommate." He looks at his hand, "He graduated, so that's that. He's moving to a real room…like the teachers get or something. Kenta thought he'd be a fucking comedian about it and tell me how he gets his own bathroom. Ass…"

Jinx's ears flick backwards at the news, then forward again, sensing his agitation.
"Lucas told me he was taking the job. He didn't say anything about his own room," she muses softly. "It means he is staying here though, instead of splitting for wherever. That's not so awful, huh? Better he be down the hall then.. gone…" she waves a hand, imagining Lucas for just the kind of guy to disappear.

"Might as well be gone," James says confirming an unsaid thought, "That's how he works. It's how I work. Only guy I got along with around here. Now, I'll get some incoming asshole. Figure it'll be a 48 hours before I'm dangling him upside down and out a window." He nods his muzzle to the far door, "I might just forego all the detention and start sleeping out here. No one else is using this place."

"I am," she points out, waving her hand to the side. "Have you said anything to Lucas about it? I haven't even seen him in days," another drag from the cigarette then she drops it to the floor and crushes it beneath her heel. "Just because you get along with one person doesn't mean you can't with someone else. You just gotta allow the possibility. I know you and Lucas are good friends. I don't think he is gonna just walk away from you. You know what he told me the other day?" She lifts her brows.

James shrugs, "I get along with you and Robyn just fine. Connor too, most days—when the Jack Wagon isn’t playing host to Dick von Cockenstein. Not sure who else I need." He listens to the rest of the girls's works, eyes giving her a plain non-threatening neutral look, "No reason for him to see me. We're not rooming anymore. Sure he's got things to do…and what did he tell you?"

Jinx ppffts and rolls her eyes. "He was totally bent that you did not express positive shit about him heading that special team we are all gonna be on. He said that you were like his brother, and if you did not believe in him, maybe he shouldn't believe in himself." She shrugs her shoulders. "You underplay your value, and your worth to him."

The hyena ehhhs, "What'd he want, a cake? I mean, seriously, he and I are lucky Scott doesn't have security check our pockets every time we leave his office. I dunno what sorta deal he has with Kenta…but I'm not impressed so far." James shrugs, his feet poking and the fire damaged carpet, "And he wouldn't want to hear it anyways. Not 'really.'"

Jinx watches him shuffle in the dark, scuffing his foot along the scuzzy rug. "I dunno. I think he wants to be this better person but is like insecure and stuff. He could be a hero, like X-man and all, if he had any faith in himself," she cocks her head to the side, looking up at him through her long bangs before reaching up to slowly brush them aside with a claw. "I think both of you guys really downplay what you are to each other. Why is that?"

James phhhhts, "I think he will be, really. He's got what it takes. I've seen him, like, really seen him for what he's worth. And I dunno what went on between him and Selene, but sounds like he totally played her. And the Med bay blow up? Heee!" The gnolls eyes focus on Jinx for a moment, his large paws resting on either side of his legs as his feet continue their constant motion, "I dunno about that. He's like my bro. He knows it…dunno what else I'd tell him."

Jinx smiles when he mentions Lucas' exploits. "I think the best is what he did to future Connor, with the drugging him and all. He acted on his own, and was brave about making it happen because he believed in his cause. It's was pretty awesome," she flashes a wider grin, the idea of a student besting the obnoxious future Connor even better now. "I figure… not all of us are gonna be heros here. Maybe some of us will be, but most of us won't be. You two could be awesome. I don't know how you communicate or how you don't. Maybe you should like, bite him or something. Give him something to remember you by when he's all the way across the hall." She grins.

"I dunno," James responds, "Probably not me. I think I'm kinda outta here if I ever get my ability to shift back." He's not sure if Jinx knows the story or not, so tells her anyways, "I used to be able to change outta this. You know…like in the movies. Dr. McCoy says my healing factor stuck me like this…but I dunno. This place is more wrong abut me than right. You know?" He hadn't heard that abut Connor and grins widely at the idea, "Wow…that took balls." Leaving the subject of Lucas to rest a moment, he nods to her and ventures a, "Could you shift at all?"

Jinx reels back a little. Suddenly the guy who seemed so much like her is very different. It's a slap, and she pauses before she can answer him. "No," she says quietly. "I've never been able to shift. This is what I *am*," she gestures to herself with wide flaring sweeps of her hands. The subject gives her pause, makes her stumble over her thoughts. He's not like her after all. "Maybe you just need to concentrate on how it feels when you shift? I am guessing. I wouldn't begin to know how that feels."

James goes quiet for a long moment sensing that something derailed the moment he last spoke. It's an uncomfortable silence, the type that makes you want look at anything but the person you're talking to. Which he does. "Sorry…I didn't mean to freak you out." His jaws flexes a little as he mentally chides himself..then verbally, "Only took me 30 minutes to completely ruin the conversation.”

Jinx doesn't know what to say. "I just.. I can't shift. I never had been, and I don't know how I'd feel if I could. Pretty thankful, I guess," she snorts a laugh. "But then I would wonder which part of me was lying and when would I ever want to look like this?" She cocks her head to the side. "But this is what I am, and what I will be. Accepting it means that I can move on to other shit. Too much time wasted in wondering and agonizing over things I can't change. I don't want to spend any time thinking about what I could have been. That is lame."

It's James turn to reel, he head looking down at his knees, "I get the whole mutant thing…but you know…for awhile there I could actually go into town, or go out to eat with my parents. It's not lame to want to do that again…" There's a slow sigh, eyes looking at feet that have suddenly stopped moving.

Jinx's lips tighten into a line. "I can't," she says, flatly. It's awkward and selfish to think of herself and her own feelings, she knows. "Maybe you need to focus on what it feels like to change, rather than the product you get on the other side? I don't know. I have no experience in these things whatsoever. Does anyone else here shift into… something else?"

James shrugs, "That's not how it works. And, yeah, there are a few. But I think they're all teachers or staff or something. I hear rumors that there's some wolf guy on campus too…but I've never seen him." He falls quiet once more, posture drooping as he leans back in the old wooden bench, "Not sure what you'd have to complain about, looking like that." He shrugs, "Look better than I do…"

Jinx eyes the hyena. "You're stronger. I'm not sure what you can do and all, but everyone loves you here," she gestures to the far away dorms with her head. "All the guys have crushes on you, despite you being a big hairy thing. That isn't so bad, huh? Maybe they see something you don't."

James phhhts, and shifts in his seat. "I think you have an exaggerated sense of me. Only people who like me are those that don't know me. Seriously…most of the guys who think they do dunno 'anything' abut me. No one does. Or ever ask." Because, ya..he's always made it easy to ask him questions about himself. "And…well…aside from that weakness detection thing I have…you're looking at everything I am. I kinda wear it."

"Weakness detection? What's that?" she asks, leaning back against the wall. She rests her palms behind her, a cushion between her butt and the wall. "Is that a power or like a hyena skill?" She smiles, teasing just a little.

"Lets me pick off the weak…" James says unapologetically with a shrug. "Started a few months back…turns out it's why I'm so good with machines and fixing them. My power wasn't because I was like Forge or anything—it was just telling me where to find what was wrong. Now, it works on people and other objects. Like…this bench." He pulls his hands off of it, "These's a crack running horizontally across the underside. If I hit it on top I could split it in two."

Jinx's eyes widen. "That's a pretty useful skill… but I imagine it would be pretty nerve-wracking too, huh?" She imagines all the ways that she wouldn't want to find fault in things. "Machines that you depend on that are broken and stuff… but still, that is sorta awesome. I bet it makes you an awesome mechanic, just cause you can pinpoint the issue and not waste time."

James tilts his head a little, “It’s not that cool. Every time I pick something up, or put my hand on something, or touch someone my power tries to tell me all about ‘em. Bad enough when it was just machines…but when your body wants to tell you that your sandwich is poorly constructed, it gets a little on your nerves." He waves her closer, "Here…lemme show you."

Jinx hesitates as his hand wavers there. "You want to tell me what's wrong with me?" asks the giant skunk who was once a girl, gifted with the power of pheromones who has spent the last few months battling possessed friends and insecurities of classmates and friends. She shakes her head. "No offense, James, but I don't think I am ready to hear about my faults."

"Sure," is all James says in response, his body leaning back against the bench as he crosses his arms. There’s really no safe topic… So he’s really got nothing else to say. He stays quiet, eyes cast at floor below his feet—if one could even tell where his eyes are in all that blackness.

It seems like she has killed the conversation. "Sorry," she says, feeling weird and all now. She glances to the doorway and breathes a sigh. "Well. I guess I'll get back," she muses softly. She brushes her hair from her eyes.

"Yeah sure," James says as a follow up to her leaving, "See you at practice on Monday." He shoves his hands in his pockets in an attempt to block off the constant feedback his powers offer and remains sitting. After all an empty burnt-out church is no different than an empty room dorm room that's home to a burnt out hyena.

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