Difference between revisions of "Logs:On the Grounds"

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Latest revision as of 14:19, 4 December 2019

On the Grounds
Dramatis Personae

Blink, Flicker, Karin

2019-12-03


"What's an arcade?"

Location

<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.

With the weather turning crisp and edging on wintry, more people are electing to spend break times indoors, The gardens a quieter refuge during lunchtime now than they might have been earlier in the fall -- less bright vibrant plants to look at, more cold wind to fend off. Dormant flowerbeds notwithstanding, Flicker is out here enjoying his lunch in evident solitude; he's tucked on a bench slowly working his way through the tail end of a plate of spaghetti, a matte black thermos decorated with vivid stylized hummingbird pattern sitting at his side. Dressed in heavy boots, dark cargo pants, a thick black leather X-Man jacket, the chill doesn't seem to bother him much. He's leaning forward, his mechanical hand (decorated, today, with an intricate design of beige and black-speckled feathers, the prosthesis makes no attempt to even remotely look like flesh) braced on his knee and his eyes fixed on a small black-brown bird hopping through the path nearby, its feathers glossed faintly in iridescent purple and green.

With the onset of her first cold season since more than a year before, Karin has bundled up with several freshly obtained and previously worn cotton sweats and an open jacket, each with their very own hood that are all up over her head with varying degrees of wrinkle, it fends off any chill from her upper body just fine while the lower is not as fortunate with the layers. She marvels at the hints of her visible breath in the not-quite-winter air, distracted sufficiently by this to not at first notice she is not alone as she takes deeper breaths, holds them, and slowly releases to maximize the visibility of the exhale.

When she does take notice of the back of Flicker, there is a momentary pause as though she has been caught doing something she shouldn't, but it is in an instant that recognition comes over her. Not that she would have a hard time recognizing anyone regularly present but it's different with those she encountered in captivity. Her steps take her closer, making certain she can be heard with scuffs on the stone path. Left side.

"Hey," she offers. She does not ask "do you want to be alone" verbally. She just leaves that open.

A spark of purple light swirls into a glowing oval portal over the nearby pond and Blink hops out neatly onto one of the larger stones at the water's edge, the gate closing behind her. She's dressed more or less identically as Flicker now, her pink-and-black streaked hair tied up into a no-nonsense bun, her own plate of spaghetti in hand though barely touched. She doesn't greet the other X-Man, just sits down next to him -- not too close, leaving plenty of elbow room -- but she does over a wave and a friendly smile to the student. "Hey there!" Then, after a pause, her unnaturally green eyes with inhumanly large irises studying Karin. "You new here?"

The bird startles at the sudden glowing portal -- though perhaps less so than a human might have in similar circumstances. Just a small ruffling of feathers, a brief flutterhop to regard Blink suspiciously from the shelter of a nearby bayberry. Flicker, rather entranced with the bird until it moves, only looks up after it flits off the path. "Hey." His heavily scarred face creases easily into a smile, eyes skipping between Karin and Blink. "You get lunch?" He straightens, picking his own fork back up. "The cafeteria can be a bit much some days."

For a brief moment, Karin's green eyes are a lot more visible as the lids raise and the arrival of rose-hued Blink is heralded, then realized. By now she's grown relatively accustomed to casual displays of ability, though her experience with teleporting and portal-making is admittedly very limited and it's certainly impressive. "Yeah," she replies in regards to new. There's a hint of discomfort about her posture, which she has some difficulty hiding. The left side of her has empty sleeve. A bulge at her abdomen hints at where the contents of the left sleeve are.

"Not really hungry now," she suggests, nodding her agreement at Flicker's declaration of overwhelming cafeteria. Her eyes seem to find their way to the prosthetic limb more than anything else, though Blink's particular features do contend with it for most attention-getting thing in the immediate area. The sort of fascination of novelty rather than the scrutiny from the fearful. Maybe a little awe. Because it's so serene and still, she can be heard more clearly than with a background din of many talking, "I'm Karin."

"I'm Blink." Blink bobs her head in greeting, then glaces at Flicker with a small, bemused smile. "The names were total coincidence. Nice to meet you, Karen." She stirs the sauce into her noodles. "Anyway, you're not missing much this time," she leans forward slightly while saying this, a vague suggestion of conspiratorial confidentiality as she hefts her plate. "Don't get me wrong, it's fine just -- kind of boring. Still way better than public school lunch." She gives a small shrug and subsides again, sitting primly and taking up little space. "How are you liking it here so far? Other than cafeteria chaos?"

"Yeah, you could probably skip the food and go straight to the dessert. there's really good cookies." None are currently on Flicker's plate, but the crumbs left there imply that they just met a quicker fate than the spaghetti has. A quick smile flits across his face, although it's thin and a bit wry. "It's better than food a lot of places."

"Used to boring," Karin admits about the food. It takes her a little time to figure out what Blink means about the names, then she catches on. "Um... it's a lot nicer than before," she offers in understatement for Blink's question, pushing a little past the reluctance to even speak. It seems to push back a little, which plays out as a kind of weight upon her facial expression, casting everything down just slightly. "I do like it here," she says with certainty, shifting her thoughts. "Even the boring stuff."

Blink's head tilts ever so slightly, her disturbing eyes shifting between her teammate and the student. Then briefly to Kain's empty sleeve, then to Flicker's prosthetic arm. "I'm glad you're liking it here," she says gently. Smiling again, "The food isn't always so boring, and the dessert is always good. Can't speak for the...actual school stuff, though. I didn't go here."

"Ms. Chavan is actually a really good cook, it's just hard to make food that's going to appeal to a couple hundred people." Flicker sounds a touch sympathetic as he looks at his plate of spaghetti. When he lifts his eyes again, it's with a small smile. "That's good to hear. I feel like I was just constantly stressed and overwhelmed when I first got here. Took a while to figure out the ropes. Whose class to avoid. Best places to go if you really need to get off campus for a bit." His brows knit together. "Actually, it took a bit just to get used to the idea it was safe to go off campus. That was kind of mind blowing."

There's a touch of humour to Karin's expression when Flicker mentions classes to avoid. It's brief, but it was there. "I haven't really gone...off campus," she admits, sitting finally, wiggling a little to warm her spot up as the cold surface meets pants before rapidly cooling skin. "Is anything near out there?" She speaks up enough to be heard after a few words first attempt and realizing it's too quiet.

Blink twirls her fork slowly in the spaghetti, eats slowly, too. She leans forward slightly to hear the teenager's quiet speech. "Salem Center isn't big by New York standards, but there's shops and restaurants down there if you want to explore without going too far. Sinkers and Suds is a diner that's very friendly to the school, and there's also an arcade -- Tilt?" Here she turns to Flicker for confirmation. "I don't actually spend much time there. But if and when you feel up to hopping on the subway, there's a whole lot of New York to explore."

"Tilt," Flicker confirms with a small nod. "Once in a while some of the townies get kind of insulting but for the most part people are -- if not friendly at least kind of come to accept their local weirdo school." He twirls up the last of his spaghetti, though doesn't actually eat it yet. "And the grounds themselves here are -- huge. Nice. A lot of space to go explore if you need alone time and --" He waves his feathered hand off towards the distant treeline. "Like woods." His nod at Blink is encouraging. "And obviously there's a whole huge city, too. Little bit of a hike on the train, but --" His shoulder hitches up quickly. "You've got friends out there, if you ever need someone to show you around."

As she listens, Karin swings her feet, lightly scuffing the ground, holding herself steady with her right arm. "I'm from - small city," she mentions, pausing for a heartbeat when she is about to say which one. Her eyes are on the prosthetic again as it rises. "It feels safe here, on the grounds," she adds. "I walked around it a lot. I like the smell in the forest." Her feet stop swinging and she rubs slowly over her lap, warding away the chill of stillness. The mention of big city does nothing to pull her focus. "Less concrete's better," she imparts. Then looks kind of puzzled before she inquires, "What's an arcade?"

Blink starts tucking into her meal, but nods in wholehearted agreement at Flicker's assessment of the grounds. Takes a break to add, "The lake is amazing, too, though much more pleasant in warm weather." She casts a wistful glance in the general direction of water. "The city's not for everyone, yeah -- but what a city it is!" For a moment she doesn't seem to understand Karin's question. When she does understand it her brows pull together. "Arcades? They're like, um..." She chews on her lower lip, considering. "Places you can go to play arc -- um, video games? Usually there's also junk food. Sometimes computer games and board games on the side, too."

Flicker, too, looks momentarily *blank* at Karin's question. Quick-blink, small lift of brows. He says nothing, though. Lets Blink answer as he eats the last of his lunch. "The lake's a weird place these days. Full of strange --" A very small hesitation, almost too quick to notice. "Fish. We do try to make sure the grounds are safe. And if you ever get tired of just walking there's plenty of other stuff to do outside too. Jax -- uh, Mr. Holland here I guess -- he teaches rock climbing and riding. There *was* a birding club when I went here but I think it kind of died after I left." His cheeks flush just slightly pink at this admission. "Boating. Archery! Uh -- I don't really know what kind of thing you're into but there's options."

"I haven't gone swimming for a while," Karin mentions, going a little more quiet. She casts a glance at Flicker as a question forms on her mind, but doesn't quite reach her lips, remaining unspoken when she turns her head to look at the ground. She's there for a couple of seconds, turning her head to show listening again. "How much of all that did you do?" It sounds genuinely curious, directed at Flicker, and several words are implied that she's not ready to say yet.

"Wouldn't recommend it right now, regardless. Not in the lake, at least! But if you want to swim, there is an indoor pool," Blink says. "The facilities here are generally pretty amazing." She quiets now, politely expectant, perhaps hoping to give the teenager space to speak, or perhaps to (neatly!) stuff her face with spaghetti.

"I, uh --" Flicker's blush deepens. "I did way too much, I don't think I'm a great example to follow. I spent half of high school too overcommitted and never sleeping." His head tilts, slight and inquisitive, to one side, and he slowly flexes his mechanical hand again. His smile is a little bit warmer when he adds, matter-of-fact: "I still do love rock climbing. Got a special hand just for it. And there's a lot of beautiful spots out here."

There's a moment of consideration. "Not really...ready to swim," Karin assures. "Need to learn how again." Her head rests on her right hand, which itself is on her left shoulder, as she hunches forward and shifts posture to sit sideways on the bench, one foot planted there. "Or figure it out. Maybe you can show me." Her eyes ease closed for a long moment, and she rocks with minute movements, mostly to indicate she isn't sleeping.

Blink's smile at Flicker is a little fond and a little skewed. "I thought I knew from climbing, but this guy really showed me the ropes." She tilts her head at Karin, but glances at the girl's empty sleeve and and just nods. She polishes off the rest of her meal in short order. "I wanna go grab some of those cookies before practice," she says, getting up and nodding at Flicker. "You wanna come with, or I'll see you downstairs?" She nods at Karin, too. "I'm glad you're settling in well here. See you around, alright?" Her free hand glows purple, a swirling portal opens beside her, and she turns to hop lightly through, waving.

"I'd be glad to." Flicker's voice is quiet, but there's the weight of a promise in it as he nods at Karin. He stands just a moment after Blink does, picking up his empty plate and his smile brightening. "Oh! Yeah, I could use some more of those. -- be seeing you, Karin." His chin lifts in a quick farewell nod. In the next moment he's flitted out of sight, blipping through Blink's portal rather than stepping through it.

For another moment, Karin's eyes open to catch the departure of the two, gazing in some wonder at the opening between places that Blink had created. It's not captivating enough to hold her back from providing a spoken, "bye," as she is left to her own devices in the garden. Time is spent leaning back, gazing at the sky, head resting against the bench with several hoods providing insulation against the cold surface, her hand touching the ground as her right arm is allowed to relax at her side.

Then she slides just enough to keep her hand away from the bench's support, definitively denying it contact with the metal leg structure.