Title: Give In To Me
Cypher - February 20, 2011 02:32 AM (GMT)
February 13, 2011
When sizing up everything he had seen in the last two years Doug was struck by one great realization. The world hadn't it ended, that was the good thing. It had came awfully damn close though, too close for any sort of comfort and way closer then he had ever imagined it actually could come. It was in the wake of those cataclysmic events that Doug Ramsey began to see the errors in his own logic. He had always idealized things, yes bad things happened, and yes not everyone made it through the fires unhurt, but the good guys always won. When things were at their darkest, and the ship was going down, in that moment the spirit of people rose up and heroes were made and victories won and everyone rejoiced!
Only it wasn't that simple, not by a long shot. They had all pulled through, but it had been by the skin of their teeth and what was left now wasn't an idealized version of better. In some ways it felt as if they had all been spared one hell only to now face another. The world had been taken to it's brink and it had survived, but what no one told you, what no one failed to mention was a world took to the brink, when it was spared, was still a world on the brink. Everything and everyone had to start over and not everyone liked rebuilding from scratch. The joy that had been present by so many when they saw that they would not be facing Armageddon had quickly given way under the weight of frustration. Now the rat race began again, and the heroes of one crisis were now seen as the villains of another. In some ways you couldn't win no matter what you did.
As Doug sat at the table in the school's kitchen eating a just prepared peanut butter sandwich, his thoughts seemed to be weighing heavier then the thick tasting peanut butter was in his stomach. Like a lot of people the young mutant with the ability to decipher any language was being stumped by the most basic of questions in this post Apocalypse, post Murder World world. Where did you go from here? He had spoken little to his parents since the events of Coney Island, mainly because he wasn't able to face them. He wasn't ready to have the "talk", and explain to them what he had been doing and where he had been when the world was crumbling around them. Doug was doing something he never imagined he would, he was being a coward. Horsemen he could handle, mad mobs of frightened people he could handle, sitting down with mom and day and talking about the dreaded "M" word? Now that the linguist couldn't handle. He was wondering just how long he could run from it. How long could he push it away and beat it back before it crawled out of the ground and dragged him down with it?
He took a swallow from his glass of milk, and then another mouthful of sandwich. Maybe he could put it off forever? He was sure he wasn't the first person to actively avoid the topic with their parents, and in the wake of all that had happened he didn't want to add to their worry. If you really thought about it he was doing this for their benefit. He was just sparing them more stress during a stressful time for everyone. Wasn't that what a good and dutiful son did?
Liar, he could hear a small voice speak out in his head. Shut up. He told it back clear and confidently. I am doing this for them, they don't need to be worrying about me I can take care of myself. I'm not a kid anymore.
Then why are you acting like one? The voice spoke out again, a voice that sounded like his own but more certain and smooth. Was this the often reputed conscience talking?
I am not! , he declared back to his thoughts, taking a angry swig from his milk. I'm doing the noble thing here. I'm making the tough choice.
Really, lying is the tough choice? Avoiding your family is the tough choice? Being a coward is the tough choice?
"I'm not a coward!!", he screamed out into the room to his own embarrassment. Catching what he thought were confused glances back at him, Doug responded back by smiling sheepishly.
Great, he thought, now not only am I talking to myself I even look like a crazy person.
The young mutant sighed out loud and took another tense bite out of his sandwich, channeling his anger out into it. What he needed right now was a voice and head clearer then his own to set him on the right path. The problem was, in the wake of so much opposition, who had time to help him with his problems? He dropped his head to the table, and banged it twice. Even in this he was small potatoes when held up against the big picture.
Wolfsbane - February 20, 2011 04:36 AM (GMT)
"I dinnae recall anyone sayin' that ye were, Mister Ramsey," the voice came from behind him, almost as if the person it belonged to was there all along.
Rahne Sinclair, of course, was not there the whole time. One of the benefits of superhuman hearing is that one can pick up on quiet vocal utterances much more easily than most other people can. Or, as it was in this case, startlingly loud exclamations with no apparent reason behind them. She had been in the hallway herself, making her usual rounds at this hour, not because any rounds had been assigned to her, but rather because canine instincts compelled her to do so, to make sure her home was safe, to make sure her people were safe.
With a slight huff of breath, she slipped in to the seat next to him, and watched in silence as he banged his head against the table. Didn't take a mind reader to tell something was on the young man's mind.
"An' that's probably nae the best way to... uh... alright, I admit, I've not a blessed clue what ye could achieve by knockin' on a tabletop with yuir noggin," she said with a small smile, a little attempt to add some levity to whatever the situation was.
"So are ye gonna tell me what's eatin' at ye, or do we play the guessing game? I'll admit it, I'm bloody lousy at the guessing game. We could be here for hours on end an' I may still nae get it right."
Wallflower - February 20, 2011 04:50 AM (GMT)
The last year of Laurie's life seemed to have flown by, and lately she had found herself wondering exactly where it had gone. The whole course of her life had changed since February of last year, and just the other day she had sat down and taken a good hard look as just what had changed. The results surprised her - her circle of regular friends had shifted and grown, her feelings for certain people had faded and new ones had arisen, even aspects of her personality had changed. She was less bitter and much less broken-hearted and withdrawn than she had been last year... and it amazed her just how much a person could change. This time last year the idea of Valentine's Day had made her sick. This year, she actually didn't care. In fact, she sort of had high - and probably irrational - hopes for Valentine's Day.
When she thought about it, even though everything had changed so much in the last year, there was still one thing that had always stayed the same - she really had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. She had discussed this with Josh before, which sort of helped to ease her worries a little bit, but time kept creeping onward and the time to make a decision kept coming closer and closer, and no matter how much she tried to avoid thinking about it she knew eventually she would have to make a choice. Stay and train to join the X-Men? Or go to school and try to live a semi-normal life starting from square one - no friends, no public knowledge of her ability. They both had their pros and cons, and at some point she would have to just sit down and decide which was more important to her.
All this thinking is making me hungry, she thought to herself. Feeling no real desire to go to the cafeteria for pre-made food, she decided to wander over to the kitchen to see what she could find in there. She was craving a bowl of cereal.
From down the hall, she heard someone shout about not being a coward, and her curiosity piqued. She walked silently toward the kitchen door but before she could get to it, she saw Rahne enter the kitchen as well. Debating whether or not to join Rahne and the unknown, Laurie stood outside for a little while before her curiosity got the best of her and she creaked the open to see a familiar face sitting at the table eating a sandwich and talking to Miss Sinclair. Doug Ramsay? Clearly he was going through some rough stuff, and as she watched him try to regain his composure, she entered as silently as possible and headed over to the two. Perhaps she could help distract him from whatever seemed to be bothering him with some friendly conversation. After all, it had been a while since the two of them had hung out, and she needed some distraction too.
"I agree, you're most definitely not a coward," she said aloud as she walked into their line of sight. "Sup Ramsay. Hey Miss Sinclair," she greeted with a smile as she wandered over to the cupboards and started getting her bowl of cereal ready. "Talking to your peanut butter sandwich again, Doug?"
Cypher - March 8, 2011 02:38 AM (GMT)
He lifted his head up seeing that he had an audience and his face flushed. That was the thing about living in a school; there really was no such thing as privacy. So if you wanted to wallow in your own insecurity the ideal place should not be a communal ground like the kitchen.
"Heeeeey, Rahne. Laurie. Don't suppose I can impose on you both to just forget that little scene right there, can I?"
He smiled wanly at the two women, the teacher come feral and the pheromone willing student with a knack for falling for the wrong guys but still very sweet. It seemed improbable that he could lay himself emotional bare in front of these two, even if they would probably could offer a deep insight into what he was feeling better than the probe he was conducting of himself.
"No, everything's fine Rahne, though I wouldn't be opposed to some company if you and Laurie want to have a seat. And to answer your question Laurie, it's only when the sandwich starts talking back then there is a problem. Of course with all the Salmonella outbreaks I wouldn't be surprised if more people's PB and J's are talking back to them in ways that relate deeply to Linda Blair and The Exorcist."
He gestured for them too have a seat if they were so inclined. That was the thing about friends, they appeared even when you didn't directly call out to them.
"I'm fine, fit as houses. I just... Do you guys ever think about the big picture? Who we are and where we fit? I mean here, everything's great, we have our own 'It's okay to be you and me bubble', but out there..."
He gestured with his hand to the all imposing world that stretched beyond and around the gates of Xavier's dream and Institute.
"My parent's think I'm at a preparatory school, on a scholarship, their 'gifted' son? I'm gifted all right and if I ever told them how. If I ever put it all out there.... I'd probably lose them forever and that scares me shitless. Imagine that, I've seen how much? Apocalypse, Onslaught, Magneto, you name it, and the thought of sitting down with my parent's and saying to them 'I'm a mutant' terrifies me. Doesn't make me very brave huh. Guess I'm a better talker than I am fighter and when it come to what matters I'm not that great a talker at all."
He spun the plate with his half eaten sandwich with one figure, losing his appetite by being force fed his own self pity.
"Anyway, what about you two? What drags you down to the kitchen besides the Doug Ramsey self pity and get embarrassed hour?"
Wolfsbane - March 8, 2011 04:13 AM (GMT)
"Forget? Ha, well, I suppose yuir lucky I'm half wolf an' nae half elephant. Ufff. Rahne Sinclair, aka Elephantbane. Aye, I suppose I'm lucky too," Rahne gave off an exaggerated shudder, atop imagining herself as half-elephant. If there was one thing that made being part canine seem all the more glamorous and sexy, it was imagining being part pachyderm instead.
"Really, everythin's fine. Yuir shoutin' out that yuir nae a coward an' bonkin' yuir skull on a tabletop 'cause everythin's fine. Yuir an awful liar, Doug, and it does nae suit ye," she folded her arms at her chest and glanced over at Laurie, a small smirk on her face.
"The big picture? Sure, sure I do," she said with a nod of her head. "I think of muh place in the world, of what I have to offer... an' I think I know. Aside the superhero stuff, aside all the... you know, savin' the world an' whatnot. I'm a teacher, that's what I do," she shrugged her shoulders, and braced her arm up on the table.
But talking to his parents, that was different entirely, wasn't it?
"Well, if'n ye need, I can come along with ye," she smiled. "It may help, havin' someone around to ye know, keep ye on task."
She glanced down at the plate as he spun it. Silly, but it was almost hypnotic.
"Och, no, 'twas pretty much just the 'Doug Ramsey Self-Pity and Get Embarrassed Hour'."
Wallflower - March 25, 2011 09:45 PM (GMT)
She took the seat offered by Doug across from him and settled in. She had come in planning on making her own little meal, but in reality said meal wasn't really necessary given that she had just had a bowl of cereal not too long ago. She chuckled at Rahne's comment, and tried to imagine the teacher with a huge elephant trunk. "Yeah you're definitely lucky alright," she said with a chuckle. "And don't worry about me, already forgotten," she said offering him a smile. "My sandwiches talk to me on occasion... I try to ignore it," she said with a bit of a smirk.
Rahne called it like it was and Laurie just nodded along right beside her. Clearly, things weren't okay with Doug. Which she could undersand - when was anything okay for mutants? It was hard living this life, people unlike them didn't understand them. The only people they could truly confide in and trust - and even then, they couldn't trust everyone - were other mutants. Some may put up a strong front, but deep inside they were feeling exactly what everyone else was feeling - lost and confused, and unsure how to handle it.
When Doug asked them both if they ever thought of the big picture, Laurie nodded a bit grimly. That was all she had been thinking about lately. It was almost her time to graduate - that was a pretty big deal. And while she was sort of excited for that milestone, she didn't really want to leave here. Here, people knew who and what she was, they knew what she could do and accepted her for it because they too had a secret. Here, she wasn't a liar or a freak. Out there, she would be conceived as exactly that.
Laurie nodded in respect for Rahne. She knew what her place in the world was, she knew what she wanted. Laurie, on the other hand, was on the opposeit end of the playing field. "I think about it all the time, what it's gonna be like to be thrown out there in the real world after all of this is over. It's terrifying to think that... you know, when this is all said and done, I'm gonna be thrust back out into a world that doesn't understand who I am or what I can do. It sucks. Big time," she said, nodding. "I think it's something we all go through though, as mutants. There's only so much time here in our little bubble of safety. Guess we just have to make the most of it."
Then he mentioned his parents. Laurie couldn't really relate to people who had issues with their parents. Well she had issues, but different kinds of issues. She didn't know who her father was, but she had known that he had the same power as she did, and that he wasn't as honest about it as she was. But her mother knew she had the same power, and her mother had always supported her as best she could. She didn't have to deal with the disapproval that others had received - only from her high school classmates, which didn't hurt nearly as bad as a parent's disapproval would have.
"Yeah if you ever need anyone to go with you... I mean I probably wouldn't be the best choice, Rahne might be a better idea. Or someone with experience. But if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm around," she said with a smile.
"Well I was actually hungry. Think I'll make... whatever it was I was going to make. I've forgotten already. Might just make a sandwich or something," she said, pushing herself up and moving over to the counter, beginning to mill about the kitchen and gather the necessary supplies to make a fluffernutter.
"Other than... well these, um... issues," she began. Smooth one Laur. "Sorry. Other than what we just talked about, how's everything been going for you guys?" she asked out of genuine curiosity. She didn't spend much time with Doug or Rahne both of them being X-Men and therefore not her usual student crowd.
Cypher - April 1, 2011 06:27 PM (GMT)
Misery may have loved company, but Doug realized what helped more than anything was simply support. No one telling him what to do or assuring him results that they knew they couldn't guarantee. Rahne and Laurie gave all that they could and he loved them both in that moment very much for it, they gave him their support and friendship. They comforted him as best they could with their words, but he knew that this was something, an island, he would have to deal with himself. Laurie had raised a great point and it was something that was also at the root of all the things weighing so heavy on his mind. What happened after this? What exactly were they all working for? Oh he knew the necessity of the X-men, that voice of reason against so many misguided forces that wanted to take everything a part, but where did he fit in that picture. The mission statement of the school made it's mantra very school, it was a school first and foremost. It taught it's students how to control their abilities, how to use them, but it never directly expressed to what ends. Xaviers was a place of free will, this was no boot camp, people were free to come and go as they pleased. It made no promises of a life forever safe behind these brick walls, it prepared it's students for the world as best it or any place like it could. Some might stay on, like those who taught now and were former students themselves, and continue to enlighten and fight for the dream, but others would simply drift back into society, like most of the world did when it flew the nest. Not everyone was prepared to be a soldier or X-man, some might want the normal life that genetic seemed to want to deny them, and Doug wasn't sure anymore what he wanted.
A part of him, the loudest part loved these people so much he's give his life up for them. He did more than understand the Professor's dream, Doug truly believed in it and he wanted to stay and be a part of it. Yet all the dreams of a life free of the responsibility of saving the mutant race, sometimes even from itself, also seemed liberating and appealing. How much did he owe them? How much did they owe him? Working at Braddock Industries had shown him and embodied him with the realization he had options and options were both a ood and dangerous thing.
Laurie rose from her seat to attend to the needs of her stomach as Doug stared down at the remnants of the sandwich he was no longer hungry for.
"We're out of peanut butter." he told her and then pushed his plate a little more away from him, "but you're welcome to the rest of mine if you want. You too Rahne, if you guys can handle the way I make it."
How Doug made his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches he considered to be something of a trade secret; two slices of bread smeared from one end to the next heavy with crunchy peanut butter and then an obscene glob of jelly directly in the center, carefully placed back together so not to smoosh the jelly to leave it's center of gooeyness as he considered the the best part of the time it took to get there.
"I mean it's no Elvis fried banana, but I do what I can."
He smiled to them both, glad for the reprieve from all the heavy thoughts swirling around his head, even if for just a moment.
"Thank you both, I really mean it, but it's something I'm going to have to sort out on my own. It's my choice, always has been, and I need to deal with it, but it means the world that both of you would have my back. Sometimes friends are better than family I think."
He smiled again and took a swallow of his milk, before slouching back in his chair.
"Nothing much here to report Laurie, besides the wonderful review show you got a chance to witness. All's quite on the western front which probably means any minute now all hell is going to break loose. Usually when we think we've found the calm that's when the storm reveals itself. And... look at me aren't i just a bundle of positive feelings and good vibes today? What about you two? I'm open to any and all distractions that can allow me to pull my head out of my own ass with all this heavy thinking."
Wolfsbane - April 1, 2011 07:06 PM (GMT)
"Well, if ye insist, I suppose I cannae twist yuir arm, but..." Rahne shrugged her shoulders. She never understood the loner mentality. The need to do things on one's own, even if they may be difficult, even if a healthy support system could make it so much easier. Must have been that pack mentality ingrained into the wolf part of her mind. She was perfectly okay with doing things as a group, with helping those she cared about with their problems, and having those she cared about help her with her own. That was the way things should be, as far as she was concerned.
"Dougie, if'n ye ever change yuir mind, lemme know, I'll come a' runnin'. Besides, ye know how it is - we are family here. Sure, not in the traditional sense, not all of us, at least, but where it truly counts," Rahne flashed a toothy grin, and ran a hand through her hair. She had offered, and that was the best she could do at this point. She couldn't force the issue upon him - well, she could, but she wouldn't. That would not have been right, not proper.
"Och! Dinnae ye say that!" Rahne half-laughed as Doug predicted disaster since they were in the midst of a nice period of calm. It did make sense, though. They had been in the midst of a peaceful period for some time now. Some would call it a doldrum, perhaps, but Rahne was grateful for it.
"'Tis business as usual f'r me as well. Got a few more book reports from the older kids to grade, but really, that's more an issue of 'did ye actually read the book' than anything else. Ye'd nae believe that even now, some kids try to pass off a page full of nonsense hoping I'll nae read it. 'Tis shameful, really."
Granted, she had engaged in a few superheroic type things here and there recently, but that was also par for the course, nothing particularly out of the ordinary. When you have a spandex superhero costume in your closet and a spiffy set of super powers to go with it, going out and saving the day wasn't such an odd thing.