2010-04-24: White Lace And Strange

Players: Connor and Lucas

Connor_icon.jpg Lucas_icon.jpg

Summary: Common bonds can be formed in the most unlikely of places… and a moment siezed on two people's parts brings a rare moment into both their lives.

Date: April 24, 2010

White Lace And Strange

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Music Room

The music room has four levels of tiers that each sit one row in a semi circle. On the floor in the semi circle is grand piano. There is a large closet on either side of the room, one filled with string instruments and the other filled with various wind and brass instruments. There are a few guitars in the back of the room next to a large variety of percussion instruments. All the instruments here are for the students to use provided they take care of them and clean any necessary parts after they use it. The room is sound proof, so once the door is closed, the music being played will not interrupt the other classrooms.

Lucas is standing near the corner of the room. He's wearing a pair of sweat pants and a wifebeater. He's barefoot, and he has an electric guitar on. He's plugged into the soundboard, coming through a monitor kind of loudly. There's also a school issued laptop, and the soundboard is wired into it. He's playing something loud, with a lot of distortion, and he's got a microphone set up. After a few more strums, the guitar gets quieter, and he sings. His voice is chillingly gorgeous and precise, not at all what one would expect from him. He closes his eyes, scrunching his face as he sings,

"You are wise
and you are kind
and you are always
on my mind
and you know I
try to hide
from all the demons
kept inside…"

Heading by to see if Robyn is in the art room, a new movie to drop off for their mutual love of some of the more bizarre films out there, Connor ends up stopping by the door, and listening a moment… and then while you're in the midst of the verse he cheats a little… instead of opening the door, he marks a spot just inside from the window on the door, and ports in. There's just a brief shift in the air before he's standing there off to the side. Nothing said… he just waits and listens…

Lucas doesn't notice him. The music crescendos slightly as he continues to sing,

"So I say Hey, Ho
Why won't you just come out and play
So I say Hey, Ho
Why won't you just come out and play
With my heart
come down then you crashed out…"

…and then he slams the chords, a loud wall of sound, but he misses chord change, beginning to sing but then stopping the whole affair, "It's amazing… How you tried to—… Damnit!" He scowls, wiggling his fingers, shaking his head, and moving over to the laptop to stop it from recording.

Connor says from his spot in the corner, "You want any help with that?" Without any explanation of his presence, or the relative surprise you might have. Just standing there for a moment… and then moves over and sits down in one of the nearby chairs, leaning in on his knees, balancing easily on his elbows.

Lucas jerks his head, clearly startled. He sees Connor, and gives another little scowl, "It's fine." He takes the guitar off, sitting it on its stand. He leans over and snatches up a notebook that was on the floor. He shoots a glancing glare at Connor once more. "Why are you here?"

Connor can't help a grin, "Avoiding the existential answer… as my mentor would put it…" He then tilts his head as he continues to watch you, "I was going by to see if Robyn was doing he finishing touches on a sculpture and drop off a couple more movies he might like… then I heard the singing in here. So I decided to check it out. You're good. I mean… wow…"

Lucas stands up straight, and he stares at Connor for a moment. It's as if he's contemplating the next grumpy response, but then slowly, his furrows brow changes very slightly to something else. Less hard. He bites his lower lip, sighs, and shakes his head, "Ah'm havin' trouble with that transition on the chorus," he says, quietly. "And Ah need a drummer."

Connor takes a few moments to ponder the change, and then says, "I did a little drumming back in school… and a little bass guitar… nothing on your scale, but I'm sure I could follow along. Can I offer some advice on the lyrics… from a writer's standpoint? Music and poetry have a lot in common so far as cadence and flow go…" Standing up finally, and he moves over to where the other instruments are set up, and starts looking for a pair of drumsticks.

Lucas brow creases again, "Seriously? You? Drummed?" He tilts his head a bit. "Ah'm a singer, not really a guitar player. Ah do good enough, but…" He shrugs. "And no. Not on this one. Ah didn't write it for me," he says, looking down at the notebook.

Connor settles himself down and adjusts the stool until he's comfortable, "Social floater… and since no one notices the drummer, it was an easy place to get into with the band and jazz people." He hits the base a few times, then the cymbal… taps each of the individual tom-toms and the snare, before he runs through a couple basic beats… exercises for the most part, but enough to show he's got SOME rhythm, "Used to play piano too… but really only sheet music. I never got good enough to try anything on my own."

Lucas purses his lips a bit, then he moves and picks the guitar back up, putting it on. "Ah'm really lookin' for nothin' fancy here. This is a vocal piece first, ya know?" He strums once, setting the distortion pedal on again. "Just keep time an' go a little cymbal heavy, kinda Nirvana-ish? With a little of a pop influence?" He strums once more. "If'n y'all can keep up?"

Connor gives you a little smirk before saying, "I'm more a Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins kinda guy… but sure… I'll give it a whirl. Four-count beats… six… eight? Give me the count off…" A couple more thumps of the bass as he waits for you to start again, tapping the snare a couple more times as he continues to get settled in.

Lucas chuckles, "You do know Pearl Jam came outta the same gaggle of grunge rockers Nirvana started in Seattle, right?" He smiles, "So, Ah reckon that means we'll be fine." He watches Connor for another moment, lingering, then he counts, "Two Three Four…" And for the next three minutes, he stands in front of the drum set, slamming his guitar to Even Flow, by Pearl Jam. He sings, his voice loud and strong enough to carry a bit over the loudness of his guitar, but his voice is a little prettier and he sings a key higher. He nods, grinning at Connor, as he plays to the drummer.

Connor replies back, "Dude.. I'm FROM Seattle." As he begins to play along… at first hesitantly, missing a snare here and there, taking a little bit to finally get into it. By the time you hit the first chorus though, he's got into the flow of the song and is playing along. There's still small missteps here and there, obvious from someone who's listened a bit, but never played it often. But… with that once he's in that zone, you get backup chorus on the right chords, the other student's voice a lower-end tenor, nearly a baritone as he gives a basic but fuzzy harmony.

As they play, Lucas' face slowly becomes brighter, his mouth becoming locked in a wide, toothy, dimple-laden grin. When the song comes to an end, Lucas is doing something he never does. He's laughing. A lot. And he shakes his head, "Dude, that was… Amazin'!" He continues to laugh.

Connor tap-drags on one of the cymbals, grinning a bit as well, "Yeah… it was. Seriously… you should take this gift you've got… that voice… and see how far it goes." Then he asks with a bit of a broad grin, "You like Foo Fighters at all? Learn to Fly… well… happens to be one of my favorite songs ever. That and Name from Goo Goo Dolls." Offering up something more of a common element.

Lucas nods, still smiling widely. "Foo Fighters are great. Goo Goo Dolls? Not so much. They were better 'fore they sold out and went all power ballad on our asses." He looks down at the guitar, and back at Connor, and laughs once more. He shrugs, kind of bashfully, "Ah ain't all that… Ah mean, Ah don't suck or nothin'…" He shrugs once more, "Ah'm REALLY out of practice with the guitar…"

Connor points to the white gloves, "You know… if that Forge guy can build Chloe a hand that feels real, and has an MP3 player in it… maybe he can make you a set of gloves or gauntlets so you can use your fingers normally? Just a thought. The fact that you can play as well as you can with them on is pretty impressive in it's own right." Smiling back once more as he taps at the snare once more, looking down at it a moment, "Stop selling yourself short, Lucas… first thing I ever learned in life is when you find that you're good at something… embrace it. Hold onto it, and don't let go of it, ever."

Lucas sighs, and his smile fades a little. "Okay, Ah get you don't know me so well, so Ah'm gonna let this one slide on account Ah hate to fuckin' lose a good drummer on his first practice, so lemme done try to explain short-like. These hands? They suck ass. An'… An' these gloves are a helluva trade up from what Ah had before. But at the end of the day, Ah'm still a freak, my life still sucks ass, an' at the end of the day, the what all of what Ah wanna do with my life lies in these fuckin' mutations, not in what Ah want. So… Spare me the pep talk, okay?" He strums again, looking back at the amplifier and adjusting a few levels.

Connor listens to you… and where you might expect someone else to get annoyed, or argue back, he just nods, "Fair enough. So play the basic line for your piece… and we'll see if we can work up a drumbeat for it. If you've got the programs for it, we could lay some seperate tracks for base and other vocal effects later?"

Lucas furrows his brow, looking back at Connor. "Really?" He looks at the laptop. "We can do that?" He steps over to look at the open Garage Band program. "Ah done been puttin' the guitar and vocals all in at the same time…" He looks back at Connor. "Sorry… My old gloves also kept me offa computers… We can DO that?" He grins, "Show me!"

Connor pushes the drumsticks into his back pocket and comes over to the computer, "Most of these programs can set up each instrument in a seperate track… you record one… then you can play it back as you record another track… and so on… you just play the tracks you want through headphones, while the recording track goes through the mic…" To the second part he just nods, but doesn't say anything… having seen the big glaring red button for what it is. Sitting down next to Lucas, he shows him the basics after pulling up a help file and learns beside you how to set up all the seperate tracks for a single piece, saying outloud, "Think of it like Rock Band. Each track is seperately stored and tracked… so you know where one is while you work on the others."

Lucas nods, watching carefully. "Right, okay… That makes sense… Ah mean… we used Pro Tools some at my old school, but…" He shrugs, "This is a lot newer, and simpler an' shit…" He smiles, looking at Connor. "Why are you helpin' me?" he then asks, kind of softly.

Connor looks over at you, then stands up, and pulls out the drum sticks, moving back towards the drums, "Honestly? Because you love music. I can see it in you… hell, I could feel it when we played. For a minute or so? It was kinda like me and James sitting there watching that Godzilla movie. Just the moment." And as if that makes sense, he then starts a four count on the bass drum, and starts tapping out something, a slow drumming while he tries to remember what he heard before.

Lucas scowls a little, pointing at Connor, "Whoah, hey, Jimmy is MY friend. You stay away from him!" It's hard to tell if he's serious or not. He watches Connor play a moment, and then says, "Just a hair slower, but rip it more aggressive…" And then he begins to play. At the build up to the chorus, he begins to just lightly chop the strings, "Just you here… With you drummin' Ah can get away with not playin'…" He grins.

Connor balks a moment when you put him in the spotlight… and he hands tremble a bit, almost losing the sticks, but then after a four-count silence he does a stop beat, almost in pop-style, but then takes it through a hard-pounding crescendo up the tom-toms and through the snare, finalizing with a crash of the cymbals as he looks to you to pick back up with the guitar line, "Like that?"

Lucas nods, "Exactly like that!" He begins to jump a bit as he thrashes the guitar, and he begins to sing the chorus, his long stringy hair billowing wildly around his head as he bounces. At one point, he even yells, "Louder! Harder, dude! HAHA!"

Connor seems to pick up on your energy… he's no Keith Moon… but he at least has a good basic sense of rhythm. When you yell for louder, he starts to get wild with it, missing a beat here and there, sometimes hitting an off-beat that nearly ruins the tempo… but overall he does seem to have the spirit of it… and when you hit the loud pre-chorus… he's right there with you, 'HEY! HO! Why don't you just come out and play…" Hitting the wrong word… don't instead of won't… so it makes the line only a little fuzzy.

Lucas doesn't seem to even care. He just locks eyes with Connor in that synched way musicians do, nodding his head in encouragement as the song crashes along. When it's all over, he's a little out of breath, smashing his hair up out of his eyes. "Fuck, dude… That's awesome!" He laughs, "Ya know, Ah don't care what Theo says about you. Ah think maybe you're alright, man!"

Connor's seemingly zen calm darkens and almost breaks when you mention Theo… bunching the sticks back into one hand, "Nice to hear he thinks so much of me. I only tried to defend him from Jordan… told him to run because the guy was threatening to put a pencil into his heart…" Shaking his head, he closes his eyes, and then for a moment a palpable aura of frustration comes around him, his power aura flaring to the point that the drumsticks fall through and onto the ground. It takes him a moment to settle before he says with a long sigh, "I can't help what people think of me. I did the right thing… that's what's important."

Lucas laughs, "Dude, chill. Theo didn't say nothin', man. Relax. Ah was fuckin' with ya." He smiles, "Y'all are kinda cute when you're angry," he says, laughing. He begins retuning one of the strings. "So, was that part of your power there, man?"

Connor looks down after a moment, and then picks the sticks back up from the floor, "It's a defensive field… something less mass than me will pass through. Great for bullets, not so great for stuff like when someone throws a car at you. Surprised I didn't fall through the stool." Chuckling a bit himself before he rolls his neck, "And you're cute when you're defending your roomie." Sniping back a bit with a fresh grin. Then on a thought he takes his phone out of his pocket, and then surprisingly enough… a USB cable. Hooking up to your computer, he loads a track and starts it up, "Here… tell me what you think…" It begins with a basic guitar riff, and then hits into a hard-rock rhythm with a japanese singer doing accented english lyrics…

Lucas tilts his head a little, "Mass-related incorporealness. Fun." He smirks a little, "Ah ain't cute." Then he listens to the music for a minute. "Grunge rock popiness, Ah like that." He furrows his brow a little, "Who is that?"

Connor doesn't pause the track as he sits back, "Kyosuke Himuro… he does eighties style hard rock in Japan… he had a track on a Final Fantasy movie… not the lame one Sony put out, but the ones based on the game. Anyways… he co-wrote this with the guy who's the lead singer from My Chemical Romance… who in my opinion is normally a lame singer… except for Welcome To The Black Parade. Anyways… this song always hits a chord with me. I don't know music like you do… to be honest… but something about it just reminds me to be… alive."

Lucas shakes his head, trying to ease Connor off, "Ah don't know music that well… Ah went to an arts magnet school back home. Music theory and history a' all that shit was kinda a requirement…" He then scowls, "Tell anyone, Ah'll kill you."

Connor sticks his fingers in his ears, rubs them back and forth a few times, and then pulls them out, "Didn't hear that… what'd you say then?" Adding a sidelong smirk in much the same you used previously before he then says, "So… now all you need is a bass player… maybe another guitarist… and some regular time, right? Might not be album quality… but who cares? Right?"

Lucas suddenly snaps out of his delusion of happiness, and shakes his head, quickly removing the guitar from his shoulder, powering down the amp. "Whoah, slow down there, Ringo. Ah was just fuckin' 'round with a thing Ah sorta wrote 'bout somebody… Ah ain't…" He chuckles, sort of nervously, "heheh, Ah ain't lookin' to go startin' no band or nothin'…" He puts the guitar on the stand and picks the notebook back up, moving to shut down the laptop,

Connor puts the drumsticks back up where he found them, and readjusts the drum seat back to where it originally was, even going so far as to check the drums a moment for anything that might have been left there mess-wise, "Who said anything about a band? I was just saying… there's bound to be other people who play. Just to get together once in a while… and play. See…" He goes over and retrieves his phone from your computer, but leaves the MP3 on it for you, "You really should stop making it something more than it is. But any time you want to do this again… or need help… just let me know."

Lucas shakes his head, "It's nothin', so, you know… forget it." He closes the laptop, "If'n you wanna play with others, go ahead. Ah'm good," he says, though theres a hint of something in his tone that says that's just not true. "Anyway, thanks for the help, or whatever."

Connor walks over towards the door, and then stops, and turns around, blocking the view, and effectively blocking your exit, "I've told everyone else, so I'll tell you too… in case something happens. This ability I have… it's linked to a place where it causes mental instability… paranoia… hearing and seeing things not there. So every time something like what you saw happens, every Danger Room session… every time I use it… it puts me one little step closer to it beginning. Or worse… there are things out there that can detect me… and some day one of them might decide to try and use me to get here. We're hoping that I can build a resistance to it with time and effort. But the danger is always there now." Leaving it just at that as he watches you, as if gauging your response.

Lucas watches Connor for a moment, and then says, "That girl what they keep talkin' about what was killed in the demon attack, Cloud… Ah killed her." He shrugs, very slightly, "Nobody's perfect, Ringo."

Connor nods once, "Be that as it may, John… it's a matter of courtesy. Also a matter of understanding… I'm not blind to the burdens and the problems I'm facing anymore… along with the rest of you. If it's me next time… then I know there's people here who'll understand… regardless."

Lucas rolls his eyes, "You're wrong." He shuts off the lights, following Connor to the door. "Ah'm more like Cobain than Lennon." He tilts his head a little, "You're blockin' the door."

Connor moves to the side, and opens the door for you, "I was just standing here… not my fault the door's behind me." Giving you free access to leave, but his eyes watch you, and in the darkness… you can see there is a faint but omnipresent blue-green glow behind them… a permanent mark on him of his gift it seems.

Lucas shakes his head, rolling his eyes, and begins to move past. He pauses, though, when he notices the eyes. He stares right into them, a little longer than what might be comfortable. Then he offers a little, goofy sort of warm smile, and just turns, walking out.

Connor waits until you're gone before he grabs the door handle and says as he slowly closes the door, "Yeah… kinda like that."

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