Title: Take It On The Run
Cannonball - August 6, 2011 01:57 AM (GMT)
July 1 2011
Early mornings were something of a pleasure to Sam something he had grown to treasure over time. What he took exactly from that small stretch of time from when he woke up till when everyone else did was not something he could exactly vocalize. Rather, the Kentuckian found a sense of peace and clarity in that small respite from the pressure of being himself. The rest of the day would belong to everyone else, to the world if it needed him, but for one small space of time the sandy-haired boy had a chance to devote himself to just his thoughts and feelings, things that were surprisingly more deep than a lot of people would give him credit for. He was a fighter, but he was a fighter in the sense that his entire life he had been fighting for something. Self pity wasn't an option for Cannonball, he accepted his responsibilities and trials, they were tests and testaments to his character and his character was strong, but still there were times, times when the always brave Cannonball wished he had someone to confide in. He was not arrogant in his role amongst the X-men, rather, he had accepted the mantle as leader in training as rather something of a default position. Sam simply didn't know how to be anything else. He had his entire life always been in charge of something. Being responsible was as much his second nature at this point as his propulsion powers. Somehow he had equated needing help as being weak and Sam may have been many things but weak was not one of them. It wasn't that he craved the praise but rather something of the importance. In a crowded group Cannonball would gravitate to the seat of leader, and it wasn't from a place of wanting to be a glory hound, but from a need to take charge and be responsible. He simply wasn't comfortable unless everything was resting on his shoulders, because his entire life it always had been. The only way Sam knew how to be comfortable in his own skin was to bare the brunt of the responsibility. It wasn't that he craved being in charge he just didn't know how not to be.
He had awoken this morning same as usual, and engaged in the structure that was his routine. He washed his face, brushed his teeth, changed into his running clothes and headed out to jog, hoping to get in at least a mile before anyone else joined him or came looking for him. He liked the chance to be alone with his thoughts, to contemplate plans for the team, to think about his family, to do all the Sam things he could. He stopped for a moment and stretched, breathing new blood into his muscles and tendons. He felt alive, in tune, as close to what he guessed people who got all philosophical and new agey would call zen.
That small moment of clarity was interrupted when he heard someone come up behind him. A small part of his instinct kicked in, that familiar triggering of something primal inside ready to kick in at any moment and turn the lower half of his body into living rocket fuel, but Sam pushed it away. Here, at Xaviers he was amongst friends and Sam had come to realize that the enemy you needed to be afraid of was the one that would walk up to you face to face not attempt to sneak up on you when your back was turned. Most likely it was one of the kids starting the day off same as he was r even one of the upper graduates who still stayed on at Xaviers and commuted out from the institute to various places of work.
"Mornin'" Sam said taking the moment to stretch and turn to see who was approaching him.
"Reckon it's gonna be hotter then a firecracker lit at both ends. What brings ya out this early? Usually Ah''m the only one tearing up the track 'fore breakfast."
Wolfsbane - August 6, 2011 03:51 AM (GMT)
"Oh, what, like the track's the only place to run?" Rahne smirked as she approached, adjusting her white t-shirt some. Her own morning running routine was... unique. It was noticeable enough, of course. A red wolf darting through the forest, charging through at high speeds in bursts, dodging fallen tree detritus, nimbly jumping, swerving, sidestepping. It kept her agility up, reflexes strong and practiced, aerobic health good.
Of course, it required keeping her clothes hidden while she ran about completely as a wolf so she could get changed when she was done.
"Caught yuir scent, decided to follow. Feels like forever since I talked t' ye," Rahne's smirk spread to a full smile, and she kept her pace idle. She could go for more, she wasn't quite winded yet, hadn't pushed herself to exhaustion.
Funny how that was, though - how you could live in a large, spacious mansion alongside someone, work together with that someone to save lives, battle evil, and the like, and still feel like you hadn't spoken to that someone in a very long time.
Actually, not so funny now that she thought about it. The place was huge, and they were all so busy so much of the time, of course they'd not always have time to sit down and have a chat. And Rahne liked to do that, to make sure she kept up with people. Made sure they were okay. Must have been canine influence on her personality.
"So how've ye been, Sammy?" she stood beside him and stretched to her left, arms lifted over her head.
Cannonball - August 12, 2011 02:10 AM (GMT)
Sam wondered some times at the lines he had drawn inside of himself; the divides between the wild eyed Kentucky boy he had been an the more in charge and content in his own skin Xman he challenged himself to be. As he had grown more accustom to a life at Xaviers, a life so different then the small town rural life that had been his, it had taken him a long time to adjust to such a fish out of water environment, hell he still felt like most of the time he understood only half of what people around him were saying and he liked even less than half of that, but growth and change were a part of life no matter how much of his back porch raised learning resisted being pulled along. Sam Guthrie was a constantly evolving person, a freak of a hybrid lost somewhere between the hollers of Kentucky and the bright lights of New York and he wasn't alone.
He could still remember the first time he had met Rahne Sinclair, the shock of her red hair and large eyes, the strong dialect of her countries tongue so strange in his ears. She was beautiful in a way different from so many of the girls he had known back home, beautiful because she was so different, so different and so very kind. It was her kindness now that defined her most of all to him, how giving her spirit was with the children she watched over and taught, some near traumatized by a world that resented their existence for only being a step in the evolution of God's great hand. Sam knew all to well the challenges of large households, of juggling the feelings, emotions, and needs of multiple siblings at once, but Rahne handled her charges with ease, unbridled goodness masking the more feral side of her nature. He understood that about her as well, that behind her sweetness was also the beating heart of a wolf, a creature both brilliant and fierce, and yes, even a bit dangerous. Sam liked Rahne, he respected her, valued her and what she did, but he did not presume to know her, all of her that was. What was girl, what was wolf, what was kindness, what was danger? It was far to complex an equation for the Kentuckian to properly sort out.
Absentmindedly he lifted his arm to see if he to could smell the scent he was giving off only to be greeted back only by the smell of Old Spice deodorant. Did he have his own scent, smells and top notes that betrayed his location to anyone with the heightened senses to find him? He wondered what it smelled like to her. Was it a mix of coal dust and mining chemicals or something more perfumed and sweet?
"It sure has been too long, pal. So much always seems ta be goin on heck half the time anymore ah don't really know which way ah'm coming or going. Between Ma and worrying about the youngins back home to the day to day hero stuff that's always raining in on us here. Ah can't remember the last time ah had a chance ta just be with my friends and see how they been. Maybe the hero stuff makes for a better world but it sure makes us some lousy neighnbors. How ya been Rahne? Jack been treatin ya right? Cause if he ain't ah sure ain't above takin him out and lettin him know ain't no man gonna take any of my friends fer granted."
Wolfsbane - August 12, 2011 04:04 AM (GMT)
Rahne smiled and nodded her head sharply at the warm greeting. That was one thing she loved about this place. They were strange people bound together by so much - so many hard times, bizarre experiences, life-threatening combat. They were more than friends here at Xavier's Institute - they were family. A family that many of them never really had. Granted, Rahne never had a "real" family, so to speak. She had Dr. McTaggert and the staff at Muir Isle Research Centre, and now she also had the X-Men.
"Och, I know," Rahne smirked, and shook her head. "But aye, I would nae have it any other way. It feels good to be involved as we are. Plus the costumes are pretty snazzy, gotta admit that."
She stood up straight, arching her back some to stretch it out.
"Oh, things are alright, I s'ppose. Jack treats me fine, even if a wee bit like something soft and fragile that he needs to be... I dunno, careful around, afraid of harming."
It was kind of frustrating, at times. That he was almost afraid around her. Afraid of her, maybe. Afraid of hurting her, driving her away, losing her, she was never really sure, but she wanted it to stop.
"Yuir mum's doin' well, I take it? I know Jay an' yuirself do what ye can for her, an' 'tis quite admirable."
Cannonball - August 29, 2011 07:16 PM (GMT)
Just the mention of home was enough to evoke a torrent of emotions inside of Sam. Feelings that ran the gamut from deep love to deep guilt. Xaviers was where he belonged, where he could do the most good, he knew that..... on the surface. Deep inside though he still felt responsible for all of his family and all the baggage that contained. Sam knew that a large portion of the man he was was, was the man he had been forced to become the day the mine had exploded and his father had died. It had not been easy leaving them all behind and there were still many nights when he found himself racked with guilt over all his mother was having to tend to without his help. More then once he had fled for home only to have Lucinda turn him around on the front porch. Sam could stand toe to toe with the devil himself but when his mama crossed her arms and told him to "get" he got.
"Yeah. Some bad storms came through not too long past, but nothing we wasn't all able to put back right. It's funny every time Ah go back there the place looks bigger and smaller all at the one time. With Paige and me gone, and Jay, Jeb and Mel here, Ma aint got her hands full quite as much as she did before. Still it always hurts to leave her. Aint nothin' quite the same as yer first home. it's the place ya always go back to even if it's just in yer dreams."
He smiled at Rahne, the smile between friends one that spoke of understanding when one spoke of something too long or too fondly, the one that stood in place where between strangers there might have been awkwardness or embarrassment.
"Jay's still a handful but he's gonna be that no matter where he is. Boy is too damn stubborn, but Ah wish Paige was around more, she's better about all the making the kids feel better about things stuff then ah am. Heck, ah'm mostly just good at hitting things. Throw a mean football though. Probably why God gave her the brains in the family and me the athletic abilities.Ya should come with us sometime and meet her. Ma's always yapping at us to bring folks back with us when we come ta visit. She'd love you. Ya'll have a lot in common with the whole dealing with a lot of kids at once and stuff. Whatta ya say ya wanna be invited to the next Guthrie family style Thanksgiving. Best candied yams east of the Mississippi."
Wolfsbane - August 29, 2011 09:15 PM (GMT)
"Oh," Rahne frowned slightly. Sure, he said that they managed to fix things up after the storms, but it was still a shame that it happened to begin with, and she surely would have helped out had she known. Well, schedules permitting. Faculty members were, after all, so much busier than non-teaching X-Men and time to spare was not always to be had. Such was the downside of being an important part of the day-to-day operations of the school.
"Well, I'm glad things are goin' well there," her expression shifted immediately, frown being replaced by a wide and toothy grin. "An' I can definitely agree with that. Nothin' like yuir first real home."
Of course, Rahne needed to add the word "real" into that phrase. Because for her, her first home so to speak was downright hellish. Ironic considering that it was a church, but that was what it was. Her father made certain that it was nothing short of hell for the young girl. Living in constant shame, under fear of physical injury at any and all times, no friends, no comfort.
She most often set that past behind her, discarded it as well as she could. Living under Moira McTaggert, she'd learned love, learned acceptance, and learned the true value of God's love - which may have been ironic considering she was relocating from a church to a science lab, which was considered by many to be the antithesis of the Church.
"Doth mine ears deceive me? Samuel Guthrie, criticizing someone for stubbornness? For shame," she playfully wagged her right index finger at him, smirking slightly. "If'n ye're askin' me, I'd say that Guthrie stubbornness the lot of ye seem to share is a good quality. Dinnae ye ever knock it."
Rahne couldn't help but smile at the invitation.
"Sam, I'd be honored. An' if it's no problem, I'd like to drag Jack along. I know he has difficulties with large gatherings, but... well, this could be good for him, I'd think."
Cannonball - August 29, 2011 09:59 PM (GMT)
He couldn't chide her on her point about stubbornness. He had been told more than once that whenever he believed himself to be right he could plant his feet in deeper than a mule with a bad temper. Maybe that was the reason he butted heads with Jay so much. Both brothers carried the same Guthrie pride and the same Guthrie attitude, but still Sam liked to believe that it was because he was clearly always in the right and by default Jay was clearly always in the wrong. Call it big brother syndrome but Sam felt entitled to a certain amount of respect for all he had done, for all he had been willing to do. He loved Jay, he loved all his kin, but with the exception of Paige he doubted nay of them really knew what it had been like to be him; to be standing there at sixteen years old and know it was entirely up to him to carry the burden of support for his entire family. None of the others had to go down into the mines to work, to the same darkened earth that had so easily taken their father's life. Sam had. He had had to become breadwinner, and mentor, and leader, and backbone, and he had had to do it all while never showing the slightest hint of weakness or the desire of self. If he had not been a mutant odds were good he'd be dead right now and if not dead then living the same life as so many others trapped in Cumberland county and he would have done all that to spare Jay and the others the same fate. If he was stubborn and hard on his brother he had his reasons. Sam never expected any thank you's but that didn't mean a part of him didn't want them.
He extended one arm out and pulled Rahne in for a sideways hug.
"Of course Jack'd be welcome. Ah wouldn't expect it any other way. Any guy dating my friend will always have a seat at any table ah'm at. And heck, aint no strangers at my Ma's house. ah got a good feeling Jack'll fit right in. Even if he don't try the others'll do it for him. Just avoid anything Paige makes. Last year she made a whiskey cake that was heavier than a Circus elephant bracing up a brick truck. Besides Ma makes enough to find a couple small armies which is a good thing cause Lord knows we all eat like one."
He released her from his hug and eyed the track in front of him. The sun was rising in the sky. Prime running time that was for sure.
"So how about that run? Ah''ll spot ya a few yards seeing as we're pals and all."
Wolfsbane - August 29, 2011 11:14 PM (GMT)
"Aww, Sammy," Rahne murmured as he drew her in for a hug, wrapping her arms around his waist.
"I'll have t' let him know, then - maybe if'n I tell him good 'n early, he'll have plenty of time to wrap his head around it."
If she knew Jack as well as she was certain she did, she knew he'd have at least some apprehension about Thanksgiving at the Guthrie household. Maybe not outright fear about it, but certainly some doubts. Doubts as to whether or not he could handle it, doubts about whether or not he'd be putting the Guthrie family in danger, what have you. But she was certain she could convince him otherwise. She was almost always capable of getting him to at least begrudgingly agree to something, and then find out that it was a good thing she got him to do so.
"Spot me?" Rahne asked as he let go, eyebrows arched high, left corner of her lip curled upward slightly.
"Ye're pullin' muh leg now, I know you are. Ye may be a good bit taller 'n me, but the day I need a head start to outrun you..."
She placed her hands on her hips, eyes narrowed.
"No blast field f'r you, no shape changin' for me. I'd say the natural enhancements to muh musculature put me about on par with yuir long long legs. So we go on a count o' three. 'Less ye're afraid losin' to a wee lass like me'll ruin yuir reputation."
She was teasing, absolutely.