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Dramatis Personae

Jax, Nom




<XS> Rec Room - FL2

School this may be, but life for Xavier's students certainly isn't all studying. Outside classes, this is a popular spot to find students in their downtime. An enormous tribute to slacking off, this room is a wealth of fun and relaxation.

Comfortable armchairs, couches, and beanbags offer plentiful seating scattered throughout the room, and the cushioned windowseats by the high windows offer a cozy nook to curl up and look out on the grounds.

The room is often filled with the noises of gaming -- whether it comes from the big-screen television (tall racks of DVDs beside it, if nothing can be found on the multitude of cable channels), tricked out with consoles from retro to the latest releases, or the less electronic clatter and thump of the pool table, air hockey, or foosball. For those a little more subdued in their gaming, the cabinets hold stacks and stacks of board and card games, ranging as classic as chess and go to as esoteric as Dixit, Catan, and Gloom.

More days than not, there's some variety of snacks to be found on a table beside the gaming cabinet -- quite often in the form of fresh-baked desserts.

It's early enough that classes haven't actually started, yet; the Rec Room is quiet, at the moment, with most students more focused on getting ready for class than on, well, recreation. Though there's certainly no /rule/ against teachers INFILTRATING the Rec Room there's a generally unspoken discouragement against them interrupting the students' relaxation time -- perhaps that's why Jax chooses the quieter moments to slip in, when he /won't/ be intrusive.

As he usually is, he looks to be dressed brightly. Vivid purple and black-mesh UFO pants, metallic silver Doc Martens, a black sleeveless top that shimmers faintly in oilslick-rainbow sheen layered over a long-sleeved fishnet shirt. Glittery purple makeup over his single eye, chrome polish on his nails. His eyepatch is purple, too, a silver dragonfly embroidered in its center, and though his head has been shaved smooth-bald it is colourful as well; there's a host of fiery salamanders tattooed in stylized design over his skull, their flames actually /flickering/ on his skin with movement and warm illumination that a tattoo really has no right to /have/.

Today the very colourful teacher comes bearing gifts -- okay, /most/ days he does, a tall pair of covered cupcake stands with rows of spicy chocolate cupcakes arranged in curling spirals. He sets the cupcake trees down on the side table, absently moving to clear off some empty dishes left there from the day before.

Her head snakes around the corner mere moments later. Literally. It's currently about four feet long, though her body soon catches up to this. Nom is being as sneaky as she knows how. Sneaksneaksneak. She pulls a small package from her pocket... Glitter? She recognizes that man on description alone! She mistook Micah for 'Glitterdad' at first. Shane and B set her straight. This time, though, she's SURE she's got the right one. He fits the description perfectly. As she approaches, she shouts her own little 'banzai',"GLITTERDAD!" And cocks her arm back to throw a large handful of glitter on the man... and then notices the cupcakes.

She immediately forgets her current plan and goes creeping over to the cupcake trees. And her mouth does that thing of hers, the lamprey mouth, where her head almost seems to split in half, so wide does it open, while a crocodile-rumble sounds in the back of her throat. She... She's actually stalking the cupcakes. The entire tableau changes mere seconds later, though, when she points at a specific cupcake and asks in her 'never been fed, ever' voice,"Mine?" Pause. "Notcountmealtworight?"

Jax startle-jumps at the sudden unexpected greeting, nearly dropping the plates in his hands and then holding them a little closer to his chest. He turns, eye a little wider (and then a little wider /still/) as Nom comes in, his own smile quick and warm and considerably less toothsome. "Ohgosh, 'pologies, honey-honey, y'startled me." There's a little bit of a breathless edge to his molasses-thick Deep-South drawl. His fingers tighten briefly against the edges of the plates as Nom's mouth splits open, his breath sucked in slowly. He turns, slightly, to set the empty plates back down on the table.

"Hi, woah, hey. Y'must be Nom, huh? My pups said y'liked the glitter." He lifts one of the covers off the cupcake trees, plucking out the cupcake Nom points to and setting the cover back down before offering it out towards her. "Yeah, this'n can be yours. You could come get another after lunch too if you want? They're chocolate. Got plenty'a cinnamon an' a little cayenne."

The girl decides to nibble this one. Which basically means a tiny mouth opens at the tip of one finger, which snatches a bite of the cupcake. While it chews, she smiles,"Mmmmm. Goooood." She picks up the cupcake with her said hand, the mouth on her finger closing, and takes a more conventional bite. Another long 'mmm' escapes her. Then she remembers why she came up here. Nom looks down at her hand full of glitter... And decides to pelt Jax with it because... well... glitter. And Jax. Maybe noone will notice.

Regardless of whether she's stopped or Jax gets out of the way, she shoves a now-beglittered hand into her pocket and fishes out a stack of flashcards, holding it out to Jax meaningfully,"B and Pottymouth! B sweetgood listener! Pottymouth loudfun! Glitterborg vroom chair." Girl's getting downright talkative lately, now that she's starting to get the hang of speaking. "Two icecakes? For Nom?" This will provoke immediate Jax-squeezing as well. She's learned a lot from Shane and B.

Jax watches this method of eating with curiosity, hand dropping back to his side once Nom takes the cupcake from him. "Woaaah." The glittering elicits a laugh; he brushes his fingers down one arm, tipping his hand over to watch the sparkle against his fingertips. Despite his /own/ pleased reaction, though, he does add in light caution: "You should ask people before you do things like throw glitter on 'em? /I/ love glitter, but not everyone's gonna. An' s'kinda important to know people's boundaries /before/ you --"

WOAH incoming hug. Which in current context draws a quick laugh from him as he wraps his arms around Nom to squeeze back tight. "Um, y'know, get into -- personal space -- /hi/." His nose crinkles up in amusement, and he leans a hip back against the table once he drops his arms again. "If y'like cupcakes I /teach/ a whole class on bakin'. Y'could take it in the fall. -- /vroom/ chair?" His nose crinkles up at this description. "He don't make vroom noises with it half as much as would be fun. Sounds like you been settlin' in alright here, then? You feelin' like you're gettin' the hang of things okay?"

"No more glitter." She reaches in her pocket to pull out three empty packages of glitter. She sounds very sad about this state of affairs. She does confide her current complaint in Jax though,"Ask take LONG. Speak... still hard. Two words easy. Three words hard. Four..." Her face contorts in an audible snarl of frustration. She DOES, however, enjoy great huggage. Mmmm.

The question of baking, though.... Her eyebrows lift, and she pulls back, eyes wide with glee,"Bake? Bake. BAKE. NOM BAKE!" She patiently waits for Jax to finish speaking, holds up one finger, and then takes off in a loud thumping run. She's back in mere moments carrying a ramekin with what looks to be a ramekin (not so fresh as it was last night)... And indeed, there's creme brulee in it. "NOM." She pushes the ramekin and a spoon (also from a pocket) at Jax. "Hang. With B and Pottymouth! Fish! And hunt! Difficult. Work hard. Good reward. Good place. Safe. Easy."

Jax's huggage is fierce, he does not mess around with hugs. Also excessively warm, admittedly; his body temperature runs /considerably/ higher than most people's. "Have you thought about joinin' the sign language classes here? It's -- still language but it's kinda comin' at it from a different /part/ of your brain-learnin' so a lot of people find it easier if they're havin' trouble bein' verbal. An' last two terms it was mandatory for /everyone/ on account'a the zombies so at least the real basics most folks around school will know."

He straightens again, a little surprised when Nom runs off suddenly, but returns to his quiet straightening. Gathering the dishes that he'd been clearing into a neat pile, moving off to put some books that had been left on a chair back on a shelf. He gives Nom a bright smile when she returns. "Oh! Oh cool, did you make that yourself?" His head tips curiously to one side. "... with a torch an' everything?" It's hard to tell if he sounds concerned about this prospect or just impressed. He doesn't take the spoon, though, just shaking his head slightly. "Oh, you eat it, honey-honey. D'you like to fish? They do a /lotta/ huntin'."

Nom will take super-warm hugs. The sewers were frequently cold. Contracting into an orb was a frequent trick for keeping warm when she was still feral. She makes flappy motions with her hands to pantomime sign language (irony of ironies). But she also considers baking to be 'srs bsnss'. "Sing, sign language. Learning from zero." She taps her head a little to indicate her brain. She nods emphatically at Jax as to whether she made it... with the torch and everything. She opens her mouth wide again to dump the whole ramekin in... and then deflates and shakes her head. "Already eat mealtwo. Cheating. Come from kitchen."

Her expression is all the sad. For about 2.5 seconds. "Eat fishies, eat deersies. Chase! Rar! Snapsnap. Gulp." Pause. She confides in Jax,"Always hungry. Always." The medicine helps. Even so... "Glitterdad eat glitter?" When she sees Jax cleaning up, she decides to help. By eating a few paper plates and plastic cups left on a table. "Snack! Not from kitchen!"

"I don't eat glitter, no. I eat --" Jax shrugs a shoulder. "Cupcakes? Sugar," he admits with a crooked grin, "/lotsa/ sugar. Um, but I don't eat the fish or the deer? Or," he says with a nod towards the ramekin, "eggs or cream or nothin' that come from animals. I don't doubt someone'll eat it though, /everyone/ loves desserts." He eyes Nom with curiosity. "You fast enough to chase down a deer or do you hunt with -- I mean, my pups just hunt runnin' but they're. Not like most kids. When they take Micah he brings a rifle. He ain't what you'd call speedy on his feet."

Nom sets the ramekin out next to the cupcakes with a critical eye, making about thirty nitpicky adjustments to its positioning before deciding it is acceptable. As for Jax's explanation as to just what he eats? She considers this information for several moments with great seriousness. Then she decides, outloud,"Glitter." She plops on a couch, and pulls out her flashcards to begin flipping through them,"Ricenoodle? Pesto? Mushrooms?" In other words... some kind of vegan spaghetti. Surprisingly... she doesn't find it particularly odd, considering her fixation on meat.

"Not fast on legs. Make legs go away. Swing. Be still. Quiet. Patient. Kill fast. Quick. No pain." For the first time, there's a... guilty look in her eyes? Does she like killing the animals? Not exactly. But when you've got instincts... "Nom like food. Good at get food. Very good. Everything food. Everything." Almost like a mantra, she says this so much.

Jax finishes with his restless-fussy straightening, wandering over to lean up against the back of the couch, elbows propped against it and fingers lockign together. "Ohgosh. /Sometimes/ glitter. But not the makeup kind. Like glitter-sugar? Y'can put that on cupcakes. Or cookies. /That/ kind is edible for me. Oh!" He bounces up onto his toes at the mention of pesto. "I /love/ pesto. I got kinda an addiction all summer long. /Everything/ food? We got a gardenin' class, too. Y'could learn t'/grow/ the food, also. Hunt some /an'/ tend the veggies t'go with. The gardens out back is big an' the conservatory's growin' stuff year-round." One hand lifts, his chin propping in his palm. "I think patience is pretty much fundamental t'all kindsa food-gettin'. S'ninety percent'a farmin' an' huntin' /both/."

Nom she listens with wide, round, fascinated eyes. Like she's soaking everything the man has to say in. People she looks up to love this man very much. Therefore, he commands attention. "Nom make food. Pesto for Glitterdad!" She nods at the man as if this were clearly the case. "Nom will garden. Nome will grow. Like conservatory. Conservatory dirt taste good." She smiles in a very toothy way,"Make Glitterdad pesto pizza. Pesto goood." She shows that toothy smile of hers all over again, and settles one of her flashcards on the letter G, concentrating on it. "Reading hard. Words not in head."

"Ohgosh, that'd be right sweet of you, honey-honey. Y'know, my husband's gonna be stuck in the kitchen cookin' up a storm through most'a today an' tomorrow mornin', if you /like/ cookin', I bet he'd be glad of an extra pair'a hands with things. Maybe not pesto, I don't know how much basil we got on hand. Probably a lotta soups an' stews an' such, we're due some new students soon an' everyone's gonna be famished." He ducks his head with a small crinkle of his nose at the thought of eating the conservatory dirt. "I prefer the stuff that grows /from/ the dirt, but everyone's got their things I guess." On his head, the salamanders' flames flicker a little brighter, the little creatures slowly starting to morph from lizard-shapes to birdlike ones, tiny phoenixes birthing where the lizards had been. "Takes a bit'a work, I don't doubt." The G on Nom's flashcard sparkles, for a moment, shimmering in a glittery sky-blue before returning to its normal print. "G like glitter."

The girl smiles brightly at the suggestion. It seems to please her,"Nom help!" Then she seems to think on it very carefuly, before concluding,"Tomato basil? Celery, green onion, green pepper, tomato base, chili powder, cumin, veggie broth." About the longest sentence she managed since getting here. "Like you. Everyone nice. You... Not make Nom... feel stupid." She puts a finger to her temple, pressing hard, one eye closed,"Nom understand words. Nom know words. Words... not sticky enough." She even used a pronoun there! Intense frustration fixes on her face. "Nom like helping. Make Nom feel normal." Then the salamanders begin to flicker and change, and frankly... She's enchanted. Her mouth opens wide (it's good at that) and she looks a bit slack-jawed before she begins to clap effusively,"Glitter! Heheheheh... Yes, yes! Pretty!" Utterly distracted. Utterly. "So pretty!"

"Oh wow. That sounds delicious. I pretty much think cumin is delicious in most situations. Sounds like you've had yourself a bit'a experience cookin', huh? You like it?" Jax's cheeks flush deep read when Nom says she likes him. "Ohgosh. M'glad folks've been nice. You don't strike me as stupid. Jus' -- everyone comes here from so many different places, y'know? All kinda got our own stuff t'get past. I mean, gosh, I use words alright most days but I sure don't never feel normal. Not quite sure what normal is, really. What makes you feel normal?" His smile lights, brighter, when Nom starts clapping. One of the phoenix-tattoos spreads its wings straight /off/ his skull, peeling itself into 3D and flapping over to light, fiery-bright in oranges and yellows and reds but completely intangible, on Nom's hand. It trails a shower of similarly intangible sparks down onto the couch.

Nom nods emphatically at Jax,"Yes. Not remember... parents... name... home... Remember cooking. Like cooking. No. Love cooking." She tilts her head in an almost bird-like manner while listening to Jax speak, reaching up to rub at her nose. "Normal. Dresses. Estrogen. Antighrelin. Food. Friends. Makeup. Glitterdad good. Nom get it. B and Pottymouth get Glitterdad... because B and Pottymouth need Glitterdad most." She points at Jax, and indicates,"Make B and Pottymouth feel better than normal." Not surprisingly, she talks easier when she's focusing on it less. Pretty much all speech ceases when the phoenix alights on her hand, and her eyes widen. Big. Bright. Shiny. Violet orbs of wonder. For once, her face doesn't look like it's considering whether it can eat something or what it tastes like. She's actually not thinking about food for a change. In fact, she's downright frozen solid with the wonder of it all.

"Huh. Y'don't learn solid cookin' without a home to --" Jax's lips purse in quiet thought as he rocks absently back and forth from heel to toe, weight shifting up off of his forearm. "I wonder if we could find -- I mean, probably someone out there's /lookin'/ for --" Though he seems to be half speaking to himself, quiet and musing.

His blush returns at the talk of Shane and B. "Oh, I don't know if they /need/ us the -- I mean, everyone needs family, y'know? But the thing about family is y'can find it in all kinds of places, you know? /They/ wasn't born my kids. Family can be choice as much as blood. And the folks at this school have been mine -- an' a lotta kids here -- near as much as /my/ parents are. So I don't know. Can find those folks who make you feel like /you/ -- anywhere." On Nom's hand, the phoenix spreads its wings, sparks glittering brightly down onto the girl's lap. It cranes its head forward, golden-bright beak brushing up against Nom's cheek, not really felt except for a very faint warmth.

"Someone remember Nom. Nom not remember them. No tears..." She holds up her hand to examine the creature, making soft, warm cooing sounds. "B and Pottymouth. Need Glitterdad. Is obvious. Glitterdad fulll of love. B and Pottymouth need them. Glitterdad not everywhere. Just here. Where needed." She actually gigles at the faint warmth oddly enough. She makes more cooing sounds at the creature, watching the glittering sparks fall raptly. "Glitterdad make family and love. B and Pottymouth make need. Complete."

"Nom have what Nom need. A place. Food. People. Nom cook. Nom clean. Nom study." She reaches her other hand up as if to stroke the Phoenix,"Nom do it for new family. Heart hunger worse than tummy hunger. Heart full, even when tummy not." She thumps a hand against her chest. "Life good."

"Ohgosh. I kinda need to be everywhere today, though." Jax's eye opens suddenly wider, and his deepening blush, for a moment, spreads out deeper to tint the air /around/ him just faintly red. "Kinda got a crazy-full day, I should get goin' I gotta get everyone together." The bird on Nom's hand flares brighter, flames leaping higher till the whole thing is just a creature made of fire. The bird burns and burns and then flickers away in a shower of orange-red-yellow sparks that fall down to shimmer, glittery, on Nom's lap before vanishing. The rest of the phoenixes still smoulder faintly in tattooed illumination on Jax's skulll. He pushes himself upright, hands rubbing together with a faint shower of glitter falling form his palm to the couch. "Bein' full in your heart's pretty much the best kind, though. Sure hope we can keep that goin' for you."

She thumps her fist against her chest once, to let the man she's serious, then watch the phoenixes for a moment longer. She tucks the flashcards back into her pocket, then informs him,"Tummmy never full. This even better though." She wiggles her finger at Jax,"Nom thank Jax for help. Nom like icecakes." She watches a few moments later, looking for anymore lightshows before she dashes off to do her own work,"Thank you Glitterdad!" The sight of that bird will stay with her a long time.

"Oh, there'll be plenty'a cupcakes 'round here. I got kinda an addiction." The glittering sparks shift, moving to outline a small ember-glowing salamander against Nom's clothing before they fade away altogether. "I'll see you 'round, honey-honey." Jax slips his hands into his pockets, taking a moment to adjust the cupcake stands to sit /just/ so on the table before he follows Nom out, pausing in the Rec Room doorway to sweep the room with a last thoughtful look before turning to head down the hall.