He managed to successfully (as far as he knew), leave the mansion grounds to go attend a Jono Starsmore concert. It was a good escape, and it felt refreshing for him to once more lose himself to the music. Unfortunately, no concert can last forever... and Dolemeck would eventually have to return back to the mansion.
Dressed in a black leather jacket, eyepatch, a vintage rock t-shirt, black jeans, and a pair of Doc Marten boots, Dolemeck used his powers to "float" back on the other-side of the fence, and start the trek back to the boy's dorm. So far, he appeared to be in the clear.
They had practiced relentlessly. Sometimes Aiden barely got sleep between practices, New Mutants activities, time with Angel, teaching Zip, and working as a bartender. Thankfully, he needed less sleep than normal human-like people. But it was all about to be worth it, to his mind. They had entered a local contest and made the cut to perform.
They had a half-hour set-list to pull together. Aiden put in some cover songs along with a few songs he had written himself. (He hadn't told his parents about this facet yet. If the songs came out like crap and couldn't get the audience into it, he wouldn't have to claim them in front of a certified popstar and entertainment king.) Aiden had invited his teammates and anyone else he could think of to be at the show. He wanted some support, and possibly somebody to teleport if there were thrown beer bottles.
And they crammed as much rock into that thirty minutes as they possibly could. Thankfully, the lead singer did not wail like Banshee, so everyone still had their eardrums when she went after it. Aiden attacked his drums like he had everything to prove. Mostly because he did. His former band was in the contest as well.
Where: Cafeteria, Xavier Institute for the Gifted
What: Free Cupcakes!
The beginning of a new school year was always exciting and stressful at the same time. There were always, however, countless special activities and programs to help people in the beginning of their transition into the new year, or into studying at Xavier's. What was not often addressed however, was the doldrums that could sometimes set in as September wore on and everything fell into an 'ordinary' pattern. Special activities tended to drop off, not to really roll around again until Halloween.
This was an unacceptable situation for Kayla Emily Connors. Some small gesture had to be made, something to show the student populace that random whimsy was totally acceptable.
Getting permission from the school authorities, she set up a little booth outside the Cafeteria, behind which were boxes and boxes of cupcakes that she'd baked. Chocolate ones, vanilla ones, ones with raspberry frosting, those delicious salted caramel ones, carrot cake ones with cream cheese frosting- she'd forgone the peanut butter ones on account of possible allergies. She'd put up a handful of colourful signs advertising 'FREE CUPCAKES" around the school. She'd of course, instructed her better friends amongst the school to distribute the news through any way they could.
And so it was, that Kayla Connors found herself cheerfully standing behind a little booth in the cafeteria, handing out free cupcakes to anyone who wanted one.
He pulled out the lockbox and looked it over once more. This ought to keep her busy long enough for him to handle this.
( Read more... )
"Football or frisbee. Your choice. Love, Kaykay."
Kayla had a bit of a rep for hanging out in a largely female-dominated group. She had a bit of a Trio thing going with Bobbi and Rose, and naturally, she spent a lot of time with Brianna. Every night as a matter of fact. But sometimes, she kind of needed to hang out with a guy. She'd been an unabashed daddy's girl when she was a kid, and had grown up with four brothers (and two sisters). Topher was someone she not only liked, but frankly admired. She thought he'd go far as a leader one day.
And he was just a really nice, down-to-earth guy.
So hopefully he'd get his butt out there because she wanted to toss around, well, something with him. But mostly just hang out, really.
It was perfect weather for a dip in the lake. Not too hot, not too cold, no real wind. And it was also an absolutely perfect opportunity to take her new swimsuit on a trial run.
Kayla had always loved water, since she was a little kid. She remembered her father always joking that she should have been born a dolphin or something. She'd never have made a swim team in any significant way, but swimming had come naturally to her- but even more so, just the feeling of being in cool water, floating, treading water, even just standing in it.
If other people joined her, that was awesome, but she didn't mind being alone either. Like a complete goon, she started running down the pier and jumped into the water.
It was a long day's drive up to the site of the cabin, which was a twenty minute or so drive from anything resembling civilization (a small railroad town on the Canadian National Railway), just big enough to have it's own LCBO depot, at which Kayla, Rose and Brianna could acquire the missing portion of their camping supplies. Said finishing supplies put in the cooler, they were ready for the final drive up to the isolated area in which they would be camping for the next week.
Once reaching there, it was a quick matter of setting up the tent and scoping out the immediate site. They were nearby a lovely lake, which would hopefully have large amounts of fish in them- Kayla had her eyes set on walleye (the most edible), but she wondered if Rose was hoping to find a muskie or some big pike for more of a fishing challenge. Not that the two girls didn't both have more than sufficient strength to reel in anything they'd find in a lake.
They'd also be more than capable of dealing with any of the bears or wolves that might be around the camp. Though they'd have to be careful to keep their food safe from the raccoons.
With all the essentials taken care of, it was time to decide what they were going to do for the day.
And once they'd stowed the car away safely at the hotel, well, the city was their oyster. The sun was shining (thankfully the fickle Maritime weather had chosen to be kind to them), the sea was sending a gentle breeze over, there were all sorts of quirky little shops down the main strip and better yet, legal age was 19, so Kayla could get a beer with her fish and chips like a civilized person if she chose. The vibe was a lot more chill than New York, people were more relaxed and seemed to be out mostly to have a good time.
Kayla felt like a completely different person than she had a few weeks ago. She still had a few odd quirks- she hit that candy store a few blocks down pretty hard (Bobbi) and every once in awhile she'd end up sounding like Brianna when she spoke. She'd gone from having absolutely no motivation for anything right back to being the ball of restless energy she usually was.
"So we've got that concert tonight, starts at 8 pm, goes on till like midnight, but we've got a free hand until then." She grinned, looking around at all the people going about. "So what do you want to do? We could go tromping up to the Citadel, or go on one of those brewery tours, or check out the harbour." She grinned. "I'm good for everything."
Eventually, Dolemeck made it down to the lack, using his powers to carry a basket that held some suntan lotion and a town. He had been here before with Bobbi, but never close to the dock or the boathouse. Some of the kids were already in the water, splashing about, and swimming. It was paradise.
WHEN: Approximately a week after the incident in the kitchen
WHERE: X-Mansion Infirmary
WHAT: Illyana is brought in to help Kayla in dire straits
After the dramatic moments in the kitchen, Kayla's depression and lassitude had crumbled into what was virtually a waking coma. Her life force wasn't quite low enough to kill her outright, but her life force did not burn brightly enough to sustain anything like ordinary life. They had to summon Magik, the sorceress best known to the X-Men, in hopes that she would find a solution to their problems. Eventually, something of a solution had been found- but it required a rather complicated spell and the donation of accumulated life force from several people in order to patch up Kayla's own.
There would be consequences from this spell. The people involved wouldn't feel quite right for a few days afterwards- nothing like Kayla's extreme case, but some fatigue and mild depression were likely. Diluted elements of their personalities could be reflected in Kayla for some time thereafter. After such a prolonged period of lassitude and depression, it was likely that Kayla would manifest, after a rather long sleep, a significant manic phase.
Right now, the girl had been placed into a full magical coma, looking just as serene as a modern day Sleeping Beauty. It would be time for the magic to work its course.
WHERE: Mansion, kitchens, etc
WHEN: Wee hours of the morning on Friday night
WHAT: Kayla hits bottom.
WARNING: Pretty unpleasant, self-harming behaviour, near-suicidal ideation
( Seriously, this is not happy stuff )
WHAT: Kayla is not herself.
WHERE: The Mansion
WHEN: About a week after the Hellfire Club soiree
It had been understandable enough that Kayla had been tired after the party, even though it didn't seem right that the girl who normally got by fine on five hours of sleep in the night almost slept through her lunch shift. She'd got up just in time to help prepare that, and then had a nap before it was time to help with dinner. Then she'd gone right to bed. Not too many people had thought too much of it. Until that had become the shape of Kayla's day almost in its entirety.
From sleeping maybe five or six hours in a night and being full of energy, she'd gone to sleeping at least twice that amount of time and never seeming to have much energy for anything. She'd never lost her pallor and somewhere around day three or four, she'd mostly stopped eating, only consuming something when she noticed people were watching. She just didn't feel hungry.
From being a strong performer in her Danger Room lessons, she'd slipped enormously. From being fiery and passionate about all things great and small, she'd become strangely apathetic. She'd offer people little tired smiles, but she wasn't nearly as quick with giant grins or nearly crushing hugs as normally. It was good that she'd pretty much finished her schoolwork before the party had happened, because while she'd been physically present at her last few classes, she seemed a million miles away.
They'd tested for mono- a reasonable enough guess, but it'd come back negative. There was no real explanation for the seeming lack of motivation, spark and life in Kayla. It was as if something vital to her had been drained away. She had no memory of anything strange happeneing at the party, but she was pretty sure it'd happened there. Whether she'd caught something or it had gone out of incubation yet, she didn't know.
When she wasn't sleeping, or doing things that she was absolutely required to, she mostly just sat at the window, looking outside at nothing in particular. It didn't feel bad. There was a strange serenity about it, really. Sometimes she got a really distracted smile on her face, her eyes focused on nothing at all.
She was doing that right now, looking out the window at the landscape. It all seemed pretty enough, but it was like it was a million miles away. It never occurred to her that she could actually go outside and do things. More and more, she was content to just sit and observe.
Though she would gather all staff, students, X-Men and other residents of age that needed to know what was going on. It was mandatory for all to attend. Changes were going to happen whether any of them liked them or not. She mentally adjusted her perfectly-tailored suit and stood in front of the assembled mutants.
"As you all are aware, Xavier's is now a publicly-known school for mutants. As such we will be under more scrutiny to make educational standards on top of the larger student body we will be having in the fall. This brings many changes for us to adapt to. Dormitories separate from the mansion will be built for the students with resident advisers rooming in those buildings as well. There will be separate housing as well for the staff, X-Men, and other members of our family residing on campus. We have been a family, and I will make sure that remains the same. The interior of the mansion from attic to basement will be remodeled. Most classes will be held inside the mansion. There will be a cafeteria for students as well as adults to eat in. The subbasements will not be changed.
However, these changes come at some cost to how things were run before. As family we could be more informal and turn our eyes from certain behaviors. With government agencies watching us closely, this will no longer be the case. Among the changes, we will have a zero tolerance policy for drug use and underage drinking. Also, no training session is to be run without a teacher present to shut it down if things go wrong. Any X-Men affiliates who are on campus in a non-teaching capacity will be advised to stay away from the students.
If there are any further concerns or questions, please feel free to ask. My door is always open to anyone here who needs help."
Alisa found herself unable to live in her old apartment. No matter how many times she cleaned it, there were memories of that attack there and how small she felt. She did not move out of Manhattan, though. Instead she moved into a luxury condo on the East Side and rented a studio for her business and artwork. For the first time in her life, she was going legit... and it felt wonderful. Wonderful enough that Rachel's words actually had impact on her... and she began to volunteer at the Mutant Shelter.
She donated sketchbooks and taught some of the younger residents about art and basic sketching, but that was not all she did. She would scrub the floors, toilets, serve food, take things off the donation truck... anything asked of her she did with a smile. It was perhaps one of the few times someone saw her doing something so self-less.
But that was not all that changed. Alisa was even more level headed and kinder in her art authentications. Something that stunned the elite of New York City. No longer was so arrogant, cruel, or annoying. Alisa was just more... humble. The change had come as a surprise, but a welcome one. One that even got her invited to more parties and treated a bit better by high society (not that she cared).
Today, she was doing more volunteer work at the shelter. Dressed in a T-shirt and some jeans (clothing NO one had ever seen her in), her main focus was making sure the bathrooms were clean and the soap dispensers were full.
"...where the living are easily lost. And the dead stick around to play." said the long-haired man directing the street tours of the French Quarter.
Brianna rolled her eyes even as she led Kayla down the street behind the obvious tourists of the city. She held Kayla's hand smiled as she looked up and down the streets at the French-influenced architecture and the people that milled about the area. A portion of her heritage came from this place and sometimes it was still hard for her to believe. She'd been raised in the luxury and class of England but her father, the mutant thief extraordinaire known as Gambit, was determined that his little girl would not grow up not knowing how to survive when the money ran out or she wasn't able to live as high on the hog as her mother taught her. Granted, her mother also never allowed her live without defenses but her father taught her to thieve, to con and to take what others weren't watching and use it for her benefit.
She'd never had the chance to really use her skills but she was glad to be here with someone she cared about. Brianna didn't think about the added benefit that this kept her from discussing her relationship with Kayla with her mother and father. She had no idea how they'd take it and, right now, she didn't want to know."Are you having any fun yet?" Brianna asked Kayla.