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Dramatis Personae

Nom, Rasa




<XS> Conservatory

Tall panes of glass keep this large indoor garden warm year round. Tended to by the school's groundskeeper, the conservatory is lush with plant life, a carefully cultivated paradise within Xavier's walls. The room serves as a classroom as well; in the center of the garden a ring of seats forms a small circle, a favorite locale for some teachers to hold court.

Monday midmorning study break finds Rasa in the conservatory, waiting for hir philosophy class to start. Ze isn't exactly reviewing for that class at the moment. Ze instead is curled up in a pocket of greenery away from where the actual class will take place, sounding very much like ze is cussing in Russian. Hir lips purse as ze runs a yellow, riding glove clad finger down a list of words written with in Cyrillic and clicks hir tongue. Today, the young metamorph is a light blue shade, hir skin a combination a blue and silver, mingling and and fading into each other across the patches that are visible. Hir eyes are a deep emerald green and hir hair a deep navy. Ze is wearing a long sleeved shirt of black, with bell cuffs and a neon design across the chest and abdomen, over a pair of maroon jeans. "Hmmm," ze mutters to hirself and clasps hir hands behind hir head and leans back, staring at the glass ceiling.

Meanwhile, 'Nom' is doing her own bit of studying. She has a giant set of flash cards with letters on them and is wandering the conservatory, saying the names out loud,"A. B. C. D. E." That's right. She's learning her letters. When she sees Rasa sitting on the grass, though, she wanders over and dumps her butt on the ground, and watches her with a sort of childish curiosity,"You. Readie. Smartyes?" She holds up a flashcard with the letter A for Rasa to see, then informs her,"A." She seems very proud of herself.

"Smart, eh?" Rasa considers this quietly, looking the new person over, hir head tilting to one side. "I guess." Ze is quiet while Nom displays the card for hir, hir lips pulling back into a small smile. "You want me to hold those for you? I can, if you want. I'm Rasa, by the way. What's your name?" Hir hands come unclasped, one lingering to sweep hair behind hir ear, while the other extends for a handshake.

The girl's arm snakes out then, to hold the flash cards out to Rasa en masse. Nom points at herself, and informs the girl,"Nom." Then she points at Rasa,"Rasa." Making sure she gets the name right. "Speaking, hard. Guess smart. HUMBLE." She nods emphatically at that, then offers her own very toothy-smile. Girl's got a case of lamprey-mouth. Still, her free hand DOES clasp Rasa's for a good shake.

"Nice to meet you, Nom." Rasa takes the flash cards and flips through them quickly. "We'll leave'm in order for now," ze considers, talking quietly mostly to hirself. "Talking can be very hard. Some days, it's very difficult. Don't like it much myself." Ze holds the flash cards in hir lap and starts moving through them slowly, waiting until Nom has answered before moving to the next. "You new here, Nom, or just visiting?"

Nom grins at Rasa, nodding,"B. Like friend! B. Shark. Glitter. Makeup. Dresses!" She's met Sebastian then. "New. Like talking. Dresses. Eating. Cartoons." She nods emphatically at hir all over again. Effusive thing. "Adventure Time? Rock Band?" She pantomimes an air guitar.

"You met B? B's my roommate." Rasa smiles a little brighter, hir face shifting to match B's a little closer, head narrowing, gills growing in hir neck, eyes turning completely black and skin changing hue to match that of hir roommate. "Oh. Well, I haven't really played Rock Band before. I'm not exactly the musical type. I do play MarioKart, when the gamestation is free." Hir fingers flip the B card to the back of the stack and continues.

Nom nods again,"B! New friend! Share glitter!" She pulls a tube of glitter from her pocket to show Rasa, then ladles a pinch into the palm of her hand and tosses it in the air over her head. She giggles as if it were the funniest thing. Then she points at hir face, nodding,"B-face! Mariokart! Vroom! Yoshi! Favorite!" She peers closely at the card, then declares,"C."

"Yep, that's him. He and his dad love the glitter. Can't blame them. It's great stuff." Rasa continues to flip cards as ze studies the young person with hir. "Do you like it here, so far? We've got a good kitchen and nice teachers and so much land to go play on. It's pretty great. Do you swim?" Hir features then start to fade back into hir own, the tone of skin remaining though.

"Yes! Good dad! Good family!" She claps her hands together as she sounds out the letters. "Big, fun! Many friends! Just waiting. I swim. Home sewers. Home river. Woosh! Eat many!" She picks up, literally, a handful of sod and crams it in her mouth and swallows. "Mmm! Kitchen best! Limited visits. Eat too much. Always hungry." She makes a face, as if she'd never been fed, ever.

"Aaah." Rasa cringes a little when Nom starts eating grass and dirt, concern etching deep lines on hir face. "Aaahh.. can you eat that? I mean, People eat a lot of different things here, so I should ask before I tell you it's not nutritious. It could be, for you. I personally don't really get anything out of it." Ze blinks rapidly and presses hir lips into a fine, flat line.

Nom puts a hand to her tummy with a sad expression,"Always hungry." She throws her hands out expansively,"Everything food." Then she leans forward, and with an expression that veritably glimmers with the desire to convey importance, enunciates,"Everything." Then she leans back,"Me eat more, me heal more."

"Okay," Rasa agrees warily, frowning a little at dirt on the ground. "At least tell me it doesn't taste good." Ze breathes out a small laugh and raises the cards to gesture that they are still studying. "Well, I hope you heal quickly. Then maybe you can only eat tastythings."

"No taste. Taste... Taste good-taste bad... Go bye when..." She makes a finger-gun with her hand and points it at her temple, then says,"BOOM!" out loud. Nom shrugs helplessly,"Now only taste different. Meat best. Rasa like?" She looks at the card, and then declares helpfully,"G!" Smiling, she fishes in a well-concealed pocket in her dress, and pulls out a packet full of brazilian nuts and beef-jerky, then shakes it as if to offer her some.

"Ah, no thanks. I ... have been having problems with food lately," Rasa confesses, switching quickly to a new card, hir skin color paling slightly. "I hope your sense of taste comes back soon, too. I know healing can be hard and you can look all better but still have issues." Ze inhales deeply and tries to calm hirself, shifting into a sunkissed bronze color.

Nom nods slowly at that, answering,"H." She seems to think on what was said very carefully for a moment, then asks,"Issues? Expand? Me issues. People best food. People not food. Problem. Yes?" She goes on,"Name gone. Mind gone. Past gone. Have now, only. Life good, now. Rasa life good? Rasa, nice. Want good for."

Rasa listens quietly, switching over to 'I' without really realizing it. The bronze shade of hir skin steadily grows darker and darker until ze is nearly black with what looks like bronze glitter swirling across the surface of hir skin. "Someone kidnapped me a couple weeks ago. Stole parts of my body, hurt me a lot. Hurt other people too. Came to the school to do it more, but the teachers stopped them. I am... healing. Not so good yet." With the cards resting against hir abdomen, ze lets hir hands fall into hir lap, hir attention drifting away.

Nom peels back her lips wider and wider, teeth impossibly large, wide, and sharp. It looks like a smile, superficially. The expression it really makes could not be interpreted as anything even remotely related to a smile. Predators do this when they're upset. "Stupid people. My den. My pack. Everything food. Even stupids." She almost seems to swell, as if the human shape her body holds is more of a suggestion than anything else... Then she deflates, and her mouth is back to normal size. She looks... well, as normal as she ever does,"I."

Rasa nods slowly, flipping to the next alphabet card quietly. Ze is still pretty disconnected from the conversation, but ze is listening in some way, the words that Nom is speaking are written across hir skin in children's hand writing, as if repeating back for clarification or more permanent recognition.

"J!" She seems pleased with herself, and perhaps oddly unbothered by Rasa's disconnection. Then again, how to tell with the way she acts on a moment to moment basis? "Rasa sad?"

It takes a second for Rasa to realize that someone is speaking to hir. Ze inhales deeply and peeks over at Nom, new wrinkles upon hir brow. "Um. Yeah, I guess. Apologies. I ... should probably go get ready for class. Maybe get some juice." Ze reaches up and rubs at hir face, lighter colors spreading out from underneath hir fingers like cream poured into coffee, erasing the inky blackness and bringing back some more recognizable facial features. "It was nice to meet you, Nom. I'll see you around, okay?"

Nom reaches out a hand for her flash cards, even as she waves at hir,"Thanks! Good help, good talk, good Rasa." She rises to her feet in a way that mostly ignores the manner in which bones and joints are supposed to act, and gives a toothy smile,"Be good. Be safe."

Rasa hands back the cards and gets up as well, sweeping hir books into hir bag. "You, too, Nom." Ze then heads out to the ring of chairs in the greater part of the conservatory to wait for class to start.