2010-08-06: Underground Workouts


Connor_icon.jpg Jill_icon.jpg

Summary: A chance meeting in the Xavier's gym leads to plans for sushi.

Date: August 6, 2010

Log Title: Underground Workouts

Rating: G

Xavier Mansion - Gymnasium

This big room with wooden floors is build with powered students in mind; the entire room is power proof. Blast the walls all you like, they are not breaking. The gym can either be one large room and it also has dividers to make it two smaller gyms. This large Gym has basketball nets, equipment to set up equipment badminton, volleyball, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, fencing, and everyone's favorite, dodge ball.

With the day's heat coming to boil, most are hiding indoors. In the cool of the gym, one of the summer stay-behinds has almost half the appointed Gym area taken up with what looks like a game of Squash. Connor has finally dragged out his tennis racket, having waited since April for someone to play. It seems that lacking any opponent, he's against himself and the wall. Instead of his usual attire for working out sparring, he's dressed in a tank top and a pair of running shorts, sweat playing off him as he bounces a shot that forces him to run the length to attempt to catch it.

Another indoor lurker pushes open the doors to the gym, finding refuge from the summer heat that threatens to melt the students where they stand. Not literally, in most cases. A white towel around her shoulders, Jill has on a simple heather grey t-shirt and longer black soccer shorts with actual pink (!) running shoes. None of this detracts or disguises in any way her vivid blue complexion. For a long time she simply hangs back, watching the older boy play singles squash until it looks like he'll miss the ball on a wide shot. She steps into its path, ready to stop the little black ball if he can't get there in time, just to keep him from having to run halfway across the gym to get it back.

The dive and roll misses, and his hand comes up, a flash of blue-green energy pushing out to snag the ball, but he pulls the strike as he sees another person getting in the way. Startled, Connor pushes himself to standing, and brushes off his front, gulping once before he says, "Oh… I didn't know anyone else was down here…" Reaching up, he takes a pair of earbuds out, the player barely visible as a line of wire to an armband holder, "Hi, I'm Connor. And you are?"

"Impressed," Jill retorts, dark blue eyebrows raised at the light show. She's smiling, if that's any consolation. She wanders closer, putting out her right hand. "Jill. New student. Well, new-ish. Nice to meet you." She gives a low chuckle, looking around at the spacious gym. "I was kinda looking for a treadmill or something like that. Hope I'm not interrupting or anything."

Connor shakes his head once as he looks around, and then blushes perhaps a touch, rubbing the back of his neck, "Impressed? Nah… I'm not all that good. It's just one of the few sports I can play. Ummm… right… treadmills would probably be with the gym equipment in the weight room across the hall. In here's more of a general gymnasium." Giving a shrug before he holds up his hand, "Ball please?" Then continues on, "Normally I come down here to workout with a practice dummy, or spar with one of the others who're willing, but with summer in full swing, no one's around. Only so many times I can hit a plastic face." The last said with a bit of a chuckle.

"You're better than I'd be. I've never even played racquetball." Jill crouches and picks up the ball, handing it over as asked. Thankfully it doesn't seem to have any of her stuck to it, whatever she's actually made of. "The weight room," she repeats with understanding, but doesn't just turn and go there. "I wanted to run but it's getting so hot outside. I'm just constantly impressed by all the stuff they've managed to cram underneath such a small building. Small for a high school, anyway."

Connor takes the ball and bounces it a few times before then settling it in his pocket, and nods, "I know… and I know there's more to the complex. The really cool stuff's under here. They call it the Danger Room. It's where we get to put these weird abilities of ours to the test. Honestly, it's probably the coolest thing in the school." Spinning the tennis racket in his hands a few times, he goes over to one side, and picks up the cover, slipping it in place and zipping it up, "It's just too bad I manifested so late… it would have been nice to do my entire high school here. I only showed up in April. Been making up some school credits over the summer, mostly in sciences for senior year. So… gotten your team and mentor yet?"

"I've heard about it, this Danger Room, but I haven't been there yet. I only got here a few weeks ago but I, uh… 'manifested' back in April. So I'm starting as a sophomore this year, once I finish some makeup work." Jill grabs both ends of the towel looped around her shoulders and pulls on it gently, just to give herself something to do with her hands. "Yeah, it's the Corsairs under Mr. Summers. We haven't really done anything yet, and I've only met one or two of the other students on it, but I suspect that'll change once school actually starts."

Connor whistles, "You got the Headmaster? I've heard he pushes his students, but that's a good thing. Sometimes you don't learn things about yourself until you're against the wall. For me it was Christmas time… the blackout a couple weeks ago in the dorms? My fault. My power sometimes affects other energy sources as a byproduct. I've been trying to figure out a way to do it more effectively, but you only get so much time in the day." Laughing a bit at the end as he moves a bit closer, "So…" And then he stops, "Okay, this is getting totally awkward. Jill, right? What do you do?"

Jill looks conflicted at more talk about Mr. Summers. "I've… heard some things about him," she says equivocally, averting her eyes for a moment. She listens attentively and nods at Connor, then breaks into a grin at his question. "Jill, yeah. Jill Pervinca, and I knew that question wasn't long in coming. Sorta the equivalent of 'Where are you from?', I guess." Tilting her head to the side, she considers for a moment, how best to demonstrate. Thumb and forefinger of her right hand circle around the wrist her left which she then pulls completely off, without apparent discomfort or much effort. She holds up the hand, as if Connor might want to take it. "What you see is what you get, really. No bones, no blood, no motorcars, not a single luxury," she sing-songs part of the opening to Gilligan's Island.

"A single cell organic… as primitive as can be…" Connor catches the sing-song and completes the phrase but only looks close without touching, "Can you control the elasticity and density too?" Moving to the other side while grinning, "That's actually pretty cool, no matter what anyone else says. I'm sure there's drawbacks, but it's the same in anyone's case." Stopping, he looks up to meet her eyes, and gives a softer smile, "The first couple months around here will seem surreal. Then something will happen, and you'll get a bit of a shock, but it'll actually stabilize everything for you. After that, the worst is over."

The hand is easily reattached, just holding the wrist to the stump of her arm and hey presto, Jill's whole again. "That's actually a good question. I really haven't figured out all that much, but not being a puddle on the ground is doing pretty good, I say. Umm, I can turn into a liquid and sort of ooze around, and I think there must be some kind of density thing involved." She smiles wide and taps a forefinger against her teeth, which are hard enough to make a clicking noise. "Oh, it's been surreal, all right," she assures Connor vehemently, her eyes assuring him most of all. "But more or less good. Great, even. It's nice to just be treated like a person. I swear, nobody bats an eye at how I look. They're curious, sure, but I'm just as curious about them."

Connor actually begins laughing a bit, "I think you had an easier time than I did. Mine all seem cool until you have to deal with the fact that I actually DO have OCD. Sorry… it's why I didn't touch. I was trying to be polite… and I didn't want to make you uncomfortable with it. It's managed, and pretty well, but there are moments. Usually stress… and I get buggy." Walking towards his bag, he pulls out a bottle of water, and then a second and tosses it your way, "A puddle… so you could seep under doors, into things and short things out maybe. Don't stress trying to figure out what you can do. That's why they have the Danger Room. Anyways… fair is fair." And suddenly he's just gone, a ripple in the air where he was standing, and from behind you hear a voice say, "I'm attached to a quantum Singularity in another dimension of space, which emits gravitons. Apparently, I can manipulate them to a degree. Teleportation is just one of the effects."

"I hope I'm not stressing you out, then," Jill offers. She throws up her hands to catch the bottle, bouncing it off one palm, then the other forearm before finally holding onto the water by basically hugging it. "The only thing I've found is if I lose my keys, I can still get in the front door. Did that at home. Mail slot," she explains. Jill pauses to unscrew the bottle's cap. "What's fair?" the blue girl asks, looking up from the bottle to a suddenly empty gymnasium. It's almost comical, the little jump she gives when Connor speaks up from behind her, then she whirls around. "Whoa! … Wait, wait, gravitons? Like from Star Trek? I thought they didn't really exist." Jill hides her momentary frown behind a sip of water. "And a singularity. Like a black hole?"

Connor replies with a smirk, "Quantum physics says there's particle energy expression in Gravity, and that's the graviton. Anyways… once I got the nature of it explained, I ended up starting physics courses. Thanks to the teachers here in three months I've learned more than three years of school could." The after-effect of this making his normally odd blue-green eyes seem to glow with a bit of candle strength, "Well… singularity is the easy term. It's more like… an access point to a spot between dimensions. Weird, way out there stuff." Walking back around to face Jill, "But cool as it all sounds, there's limitations and costs to what I can do."

"Wow. You should go hang out with Stephen Hawking or somebody at the LHC," Jill points out, her attention briefly caught by the little cat's eye glow in Connor's eyes. She spreads her hands, obviously out of her league. "Physics is totally not my thing, so I'm not one to argue. Still, limits or not, playing around with atoms and stuff sounds a lot cooler than what I do." With her free hand she pulls the towel off her shoulders and holds it out for Connor. "It's clean," she assures him. "I don't sweat anymore so I don't really know why I brought it. Habit, I guess."

The hesitation comes, his hand faltering as he reaches up, and then there's a deep breath before Connor accepts the towel, and uses it to wipe at his brow, "It does… until you accidentally end up in someone else's room… or the girl's dorm bathrooms at two in the morning. Or showing off and ending up landing in a muck pile or someplace nasty…" Smiling as he shakes his head and continues to pull the sweat off himself, "Honestly? No power is cooler than the other. It's all a matter of perception. I'd trade what I have for some I've met, if you can believe it."

Jill's teeth press down on her blue lower lip and her hands tighten around the bottle of water, wondering if she's made a faux pas with the towel thing. He takes it, but she's still left feeling a little guilty, like she forced him to. "Microbiology or quantum physics, take your pick." The goo kid ponders in silence for a moment. "I used to think I'd trade up for just about anything, but… I'm not so sure anymore. I kind of like it, in a weird way." Her shoulders shrug in an exaggerated manner. "It's got problems, sure, but at least I can go out in public now. They gave me a thing so I can go out and look 'normal'."

Connor finishes toweling off, and almost hands it back, but then says, "Look… it's nothing about you, it's me. And doing stuff like this actually helps. Confronting the discomforts helps me manage it better than the other stuff I do. Believe me… last year, I wouldn't even have touched it… or talked to you. It's progress. Rocky, and not without it's problems, but progress." Giving another soft smile he retrieves his bottle from his pocket and takes a long drink, "Ah, the image inducers. One of the campus' big secrets. Just remember, it's an image. If someone touches you, they'll still feel you. So be careful when relying on it."

"I'm still sorry," Jill almost whines, hiding her mouth behind the lip of her water bottle and hunching her shoulders. But if Connor's willing to let it go, so is she, more informed for the next time. "I still feel normal. To me, at least, but to other people too, I think. Except I've got a temperature of like 70-something degrees. It's a handy little gadget though, if I can keep my roommate from taking it apart to see how it works. They'd make a killing if they sold them in stores, but even I know that'd cause a lot more problems than it'd solve. Kind of a shame."

"Everything is different, but that means everything is normal, right?", Connor replies, playing the circular logic, "I don't think they COULD duplicate it. The guy who builds them is someone on staff, and he's supposed to be a savant of some kind… anyways…" He pauses, and his hands go in his pockets, and he fidgets his way through a rather awkward moment of silence before saying, "Got any favorite foods? Kitchens fully stocked, and New York's not all that far away… you can get practically anything to eat."

"Something like that. I think there are *just* enough familiar things to keep me from going totally bonkers. I don't think my mind is any different than it was before," Jill reflects for a pensive moment before shaking her head as if to clear it like an Etch-a-Sketch. "Huh. So they're one of a kind. Almost. I've only been as far as the little town down the road for some ice cream, but I really want to see New York. You know, do all the tourist stuff and buy an 'I Heart New York' shirt to send home." She exhales noisily. "I'll tell you, though, I'd kill for some General Tso's chicken and spring rolls."

Connor cannot but help but give a sidelong smirk as he nods, "Oh… for me it's Thai and Japanese food. Stuff out here isn't as good as you find on the west coast. But… there's some decent places in New York proper. Chinatown at least. Lemme know and we can go food-hunting, all right?" Winking once before he then taps the side of his head, "Still need to do the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Battery Park myself. But I can always get us to Central Park easy. Some good places to port into. But not quite the way I showed you before."

"I used to live just down the street from this great Thai place on Mandela Parkway. They even delivered, by a guy on a *motorcycle*. You can't get much better than that. I'm from San Francisco," Jill explains hastily. "Best pad thai for a hundred miles." She crooks a finger from around her water bottle to point at Connor like a stern warning, grinning slyly. "I'm probably gonna make you regret that offer. I'd love to just get out and I'm not picky about where. I haven't had much chance to for… months, now."

Connor holds up a hand, "Seattle born and bred here. Sushi and coffee." Winking once more at the end, "And that sounds cool. There's a delivery deal up where we live that works with a lot of restaurants…" Trailing off at he catches the hint, "Hey… I'm not hitting on you or anything, I'm just offering to be a friend… I mean… well…" And he stops, shaking his head and sighing ruefully, "Kinda put my foot in it there."

Jill seems just as surprised at this as Connor probably was. "No, I wasn't implying… that you were," she says haltingly. "I was just, kind of… looking for a friend too. Everybody here knows everybody else but I hardly know anybody. I mean, I know it's summer so most people are gone, but still…" She trails off as well, looking down at her sneakers, embarrassed by proxy. Awkward.

Connor looks at Jill for a moment, tilts his head for a moment like a cat, and then starts chuckling. It starts with him clamping his lip to try and not let it out, but then his shoulder hunch and it sneaks out before he can really stop himself. Giving the girl a 'what can you do?' look after a moment he moves to the side to sit down and just continues on for several moments.

At first the chuckling seems to have a deleterious effect on the blue goo girl, who frowns and crosses her free arm over her chest to grab her other elbow. It takes a second, but she apparently starts to see the funny side of it too. "Sorry," she apologizes in a relieved tone, her face downcast but smiling. She squats down instead of sitting, to put her face more level with Connor's. "But I could totally pay for my own sushi," she teases lightly. "If you're worried about sending the wrong message."

Connor shakes his head as he recovers, "My fault too. Here's the deal… he or she who picks pays… all right? That makes it fair." But he then does reach up and over, and touches her shoulder, hand hesitating for a moment, then he says, "Wow… it's kinda like one of those rubber bouncing balls." He then gives a squeeze, "I don't care about messages, Jill, seriously… I mix them up all the time."

Jill gives a hesitant smile at first, but remains carefully still when Connor's fingers brush her shoulder, then squeeze it. She's smart enough to realize what a big deal this must be. The 'flesh' is cool and just a little rubbery, feeling faintly slick to the touch without actually being wet, like the skin on a Jello square. "That's fair," she acknowledges politely with a little nod. "And don't worry about it, okay? Okay," she concludes on his behalf and beams a hundred watt smile his way. "If you're not too tired, you wanna go running with me?" A thumb jerks back to the gym's doors and the weight room beyond.

Connor looks up thoughtfully, and then nods, "Sure, I could use the run… we can even listen to something fun on the sound-system." Pulling out what might have been an MP3 player, but is actually a phone, "Star Wars radio dramas… some ways better than the movies themselves. What I like to listen to when I'm jogging. You game?" Strangely, he goes digging into his bag, and pulls out a fresh set of shoes and socks, changing them out by taking off the right, removing the sock, and replacing them both before he shifts to the other, even the laces being done in a strangely methodical fashion.

Now a little more savvy, Jill waits patiently for Connor to change his shoes and takes the time to check her own laces. "Sure I like Star Wars. Who doesn't?" She rises from the crouch slowly, hands on knees to steady herself. "We'll start off slow. I don't actually… you know… heartrate?" Her eyebrows waggle once, comically, and she taps the center of her chest. Of course. No heart.

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