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Latest revision as of 12:50, 19 May 2020

Good Morning?
Dramatis Personae

Alexander, Kyinha, Piper


"Well, then I guess we should be on guard."


<XAV> Gardens - Xs Grounds

From indoor gardens to outdoor, though without the protective greenhouse glass the back gardens do not last all year round. Still, the gardens out here are well-tended and well-worth spending time in, as well. The paths wending through the beds of flowers and herbs and vegetables spread out through the school's back grounds, tended by students as a credit class. Benches offer seating and a small pond is home to koi and turtles, as well as a few frogs. At the far back edges of the garden, a droning buzzing marks a few stacked white boxes as beehives.

Taco Tuesday has returned to Xavier's, most of the school is gathered for supper inside -- whether in the raucous cafeteria, the Teacher's Lounge, the Rec Room, various other common spaces, or private rooms. The gardens and grounds are largely abandoned, even if the sun has not quite set just yet and the temperature is still bearable if brisk. There's a cool breeze drawing off of the lake, smelling of water and the woods beyond, and overhead a few scudding clouds are highlit by the setting sun in brilliant shades of orange and pink.

Kyinha has just staggered outside, his entire carriage and body language bespeaking discomfort. He's not really dressed for the evening chill, in a royal blue t-shirt that reads 'I'm a math teacher...of course I have problems', black jeans, and no shoes. He drops down to sit heavily on a bench by the pond, breathing hard. Then methodically starts emptying his pockets -- keys, smart phone, wallet, a couple of smooth pebbles, a glossy steel lighter -- to make a pile at one end of the bench.

Alexander quietly strolled through the garden. He smiled down at the plants and flowers. This wasn't a place he often visited. He always had what his mother called a "Black Thumb", meaning he was horrible at growing plants. With a small sigh he looked up and saw Kyinha. He tilted his head as his eyebrows knitted to show concern. Alex calmly and quietly approached Kyinha and stopped a few feet away. "Are you okay?"

Piper seems to be on her way back in, walking toward the school at a leisurely pace and enjoying the sunset. Most of what she’s wearing is covered by a weather appropriate storm grey peacoat and knee-high brown boots, her hair pulled back into a low ponytail. Her expression morphs to concern when she catches sight of Kyinha staggering out of the school, and she wastes no time in hurrying her step. When she approaches Kyinha and Alex both, it becomes a bit more apparent she wasn’t just out for a walk. Two budgies, of different shades of green and yellow, chirp and cuddle together on her shoulder, wearing small harnesses around their torsos that connect to string leashes that Piper holds in one hand. “Are you alright?” she echoes Alex. “Should we go get someone?”

Kyinha looks up, startled, when Alex speaks. Breaks into a smile a fraction of a second too late to see natural, though despite his obvious distress it looks dazzling on him, his handsome brown face practically glowing. "Oh! Hello -- yes, I'm ah..." He ducks his head, righting himself where he sits. His accent is stronger than usual, and stranger, too -- less Portugese and more Nheengatu. "Just my powers coming back, you know. Finally got enough sun, I guess. This year has been, just...well." His head cocks slightly to one side, loose glossy black curls falling coquettishly across one eye. "You were here, too."

"Ah. Well, then I guess we should be on guard." Alex said with a smile. He knew Kyinha's transformations weren't something he could control. His intention was to make a joke of the situation, to help diffuse the young man's apparent distress.

“Oh, well then.” Letting out a relieved breath, Piper grins at the two of them. “Be on guard at the lake, maybe. Bit of a ways away for a splash landing this time, though.” She goes to take a seat on a neighboring bench before hesitating. “I know I ask every time, but would you rather be alone or us stay with you?”

Kyinha gives a weak, breathy chuckle. "If there is too much fire, you have my permission to dunk me in the pond, but I do not foresee this." He bites his lower lip, wincing. "It is mostly just -- unpleasant. Might be nice to have company, if you're just out for a stroll." That glow wasn't his smile, after all. As the sun sinks lower and twilight wanes, Kyinha's skin seems to emit a subtle inner light, fluctuating unsteadily. "The birds --" He nods at Piper's shoulder. "-- they enjoy the ride outside? Not tempted by the open sky?"

Alex quietly watched the two as he sat on his own bench a few feet away. He reached into his bag and pulled out a small container with some kind of soup inside. He closed his eyes for a quick a second and then opened the container as he reached into bag and pulled out a spoon. Without a seconds hesitation he began eating and smiling to himself. It wasn't often he was able to procure the dish he had. After a few seconds of self-indulgence Alex returned his attention to Kyinha and Piper.

“I never mind being company,” Piper reassures with a smile, smoothing the back of her peacoat down as she sits. A hand comes up to her shoulder, to let the two budgies hop in, before she loosely cuddles them to her chest. With the sun disappearing, the sounds they make turn more into kissy noises, with an occasional warbled “Good night!” She smiles down at them. “They flew around a good bit actually. For a while, they were as cooped up as we all were. They only perched for good once the sun started setting.” Looking over at Alex, she cranes her neck to see the soup he pulled out. “Whatcha got?”

"It's called Burgoo." He said with a smile. It was a thick brown soup, almost stew-like, with vegetables and bits of meat in it. Alex quickly put a spoonful in his mouth, his smile growing bigger. Once he swallowed he spoke, "Its a big thing where I'm from."

"Ah, so they are enjoy to ah -- let you do the work now?" Kyinha grins. "Smart birds. Your legs, much longer." The glow beneath his skin grows brighter and more obvious as daylight fades until he looks like a human-shaped lightbulb. Waves of heat are faintly sensible even from the respect distance his coworkers are keeping. "Birdgoo? Oh no, do not let the budgies hear!" It's hard to tell whether he's laugh or coughing here, his facial expression temporarily subsumed in light, difficult to discern. "It occurs, I am not in fact sure where it is you come from, Alex."

Piper silently mouths the word ‘burgoo’, brows curiously drawing together. Even though the sunlight has gone, Kyinha himself is putting off enough light to let her pull her ‘screen’ up. To the side of where she sits, opposite of Kyinha, light bends and diffracts into a blackboard sized rectangle. To one side, a glowing white list titled ‘To Research’ quickly fills in with various subjects. At the bottom, ‘bergu/burgoo?’ is added, before the whole thing blinks out of existence. The change in lighting also hasn’t passed the budgies notice—there is some quiet, curious chirping before one of them asks “Good morning?”

“I don’t think they know they’re birds, honestly. I think that *they* think they’re tiny people.” She grins wryly. “I suppose I do nothing to help with that.” Her expression turns back to curiosity as she looks again at Alex. “You’re from somewhere a bit more south, right?”

"{Feather people,}" Kyinha mutters quietly in Nheengatu. By this point it's impossible to tell what he's looking at, his eyes little more than blank holes of fiery light, but the curve of his equally fiery smile at the bird's questioning 'good morning' is clear enough. "Good morning," he repeats, "close enough, hm?" The light under his skin flutters and he sucks in a deep breath, "Finally..." This sounds less relieved than it might if his voice weren't tight with pain.

The light coming from him brightens for a moment in a way that suggests it might get unbearably bright shortly, but it never gets there. All of a sudden, the light seems to pull inward, disappearing back into him with a small burst of orange fire from his entire person and leaving his skin a deep, deep black that seems to swallow any outside light that falls upon it. His clothing smolders in a few spots, but nothing seems to have actually caught on fire. In the dimming twilight only his eyes, mouth -- and, much more faintly his nostrils -- are really visible, lit from within by weak red-orange glow that shifts and churns.

Kyinha is breathing deliberately slow, his teeth clenched, but gathers himself momentarily. "Sorry about that!" He sounds bright and chipper enough, his voice slightly different than it had been just a moment ago -- more resonant, perhaps, though it might not have been noticeable without the recent contrast of his pre-transformation voice. "I really ought to just get Jax or Matt to...do something with that, next time."

"To answer your questions, I'm from Kentucky." Alex said with a smile. "A small city called Owenboro, to be specific. As far as I know it's known as the 'Barbeque Capital'. And Burgoo is something that we're known for." His smile faded slightly, replaced with a dimmer one normally associated with thinking of a lost loved one. "My grandmother would make this every year around the 4th of July for her churches holiday picnic. And when she got too old to do it by herself, everyone pitched in to help make it." And then the smile faded entirely. He was obviously at the point where she was no longer alive. To counter this he took another bite of food. "But there's this place in Owensboro called 'Moonlight Bar-B-Q', and they make delicious burgoo. But I'm obviously biased and think my grandmother's was the best." Alex aid the last with a chuckle and took another bite.

“It’s alright. It seemed like far more of a nuisance for you than for me.” Piper offers Kyinha a comforting smile, and Alex as well as he finished his story. “Nobody cooks quite as well as grandmothers do.” She glances around at the ever darkening evening with a tinge of regret. “I should head inside and put Dewey and Nancy to bed. Are you okay now?” she asks Kyinha.

"True, it's not the most fun sort of bursting-into-flames," Kyinha replies lightly as he gathers the items he'd set aside earlier, returning them to his pockets, "and you could say I'm a connoisseur of that." Straightens up, stretches. "Have a good evening! I appreciate the company, and hope the birds are not too mixed up from the false sunrise." He waves, though the black-black of his hand is hard to discern in the sudden gloom, especially to recently light-adapted eyes. His grin, though, is clearly backlit with hellish light as he turns to go. "If you hear any screaming from inside, it is probably just unsuspecting new students."

"Yeah. That's the general consensus." Alex chuckled as he finished up his food. Then he looked at Kyinha and smirked at his statement. After putting away his stuff he stood and nodded to the others. "Y'all have a nice time. I'll catch you later." His Kentucky accent appearing for the first hard time when he said "y'all". He turned and walked away leaving the others, going their own ways.