|A New Addition
Author: Merlin's Ward Jack PM
The water surged even more as the pressure from the unclosed pipe released the pent up energy. Kim felt her knees buckle and she sank against the wall, but she kept her hands open, willing the water to stay on its course. She felt exhilarated and terrified all at the same time. Brianna's hand clamped on her shoulder and she screamed painfully in Kim's ear. Kim! Are you alright?Rated: Fiction K - English - Suspense/Friendship - Kitty & Nightcrawler - Chapters: 16 - Words: 41,592 - Reviews: 75 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 32 - Updated: 02-24-13 - Published: 10-26-10 - id: 6428485
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm back. ;) And I've decided to make it extra long and interesting for all of you awesome people out there. It is summer! F YES! Now I have time to actually write and commit!
I also deeply apologize for going AWOL on all of you. :( Not some of my proudest moments. But life does have a way of keeping you from things that you enjoy. And this is definitely one of them.
Have fun. And let me know what you think. ;)
I'd also like to make a huge shout-out and dedication to Ms. Obiwanlives4ever. I hope I spelled your name right, and I dedicate this guy to you. Because, without your valuable editing skills and CC? I would definitely not be where I am now. THANK YOU, lady. *hugs*
Chapter 11: An Ode To Pho
"Hey John? I thought we were kicking it at your place-"
The darkly attractive Junior got into his car and winked in a agitated but tolerating manner. His expression clearly said, "Dude, get lost," but he simply waved at the high school football player he once thought of as a friend.
"Not tonight, bro. Later."
Then he drove out of the parking lot with calculating tenacity, leaving the dumbstruck teenager in the dust. Above, an ugly cloudfront was brewing, and the trees on the sides of the roads were whipping about. The first splatter of rain hit his windshield with a resounding splash. John commiserated with the miserable weather because he felt frigid and cold himself. Not physically cold, but icy on the inside.
He swung easily around a semi, ignoring its blatant honks when he almost t-boned the sucker. He just put more foot on the gas and fattened the distance between them. However contradictory his appearance was since he had gone undercover, buying boy style clothing, joining the football team as one of their star players, and playfully divvying out attention to any one girl that remotely resembled the adjective "hot", he was not a high school Junior. John laughed to himself. No. He was far from it.
As he ran through another red light, something strange happened. The youthful gleam he possessed began to smear away. His bodily form morphed grotesquely, stretching and gathering his shape in abnormal capacities. Then, within a few shocking seconds, he was John again. Only, the 45 year old John. Not the puny pre adult wimp he coerced himself to be.
The stainless steel gates opened immediately at the touch of a button, and John cruised into his meticulously manicured driveway. He parked his black Mustang GT just in front of the two car garage and slammed the door a bit too hard on his way inside the three story mansion. The sound of his flat screen welcomed him home. John charged into the kitchen, found the beer, and settled himself inside the living room. He frowned at the screen, waiting impatiently but silently for something good to come. A piece of news that would matter to him. He leaned over to wake up his laptop, checking the databases. Nothing. He picked up his code key, punched in seven numbers, and listened as a resounding beep sounded through the entire house. Echoing through all of the rooms. His security was on.
As he waited, he took a swig from his Coors Light. The liquid was cool and reassuringly strong, sliding down his parched throat. It was the only thing that calmed him down. As far as he was concerned, walking into that high school was a nightmare. Befriending all those boys that had their brains turned inside out with hormones and once more being locked into the stage of growth, frustration, and judgment, aggravated him to the point that old habits (that took a while to subdue) almost emerged. The kidnapping, restraining, murdering—
"Breaking news in Philadelphia tonight. A completely new story for this hour has set the authorities on edge. FBI agent Mark Gillian reports, quote unquote, that this is the strangest phenomenon he has ever witnessed in his career. Three large tornadoes hit down on Philadelphia International Airport, completely obliterating the entire station. The death toll is still climbing and investigations have been working around the clock since this afternoon around 1pm, three hours after the tornadoes hit. Not only has mayor of Philadelphia labeled it one level away from being a State Crisis, the FBI have suspected real terrorism. An anonymous note was sent to them, warning of this exact disaster. Presumably, no action was taken to prepare the airport, because of the absurdity of the note itself."
A loud bing from his laptop tore his eyes away from the tv. The exact same news story was popping up on the screen. Deathly images popped up around the large article, and faces of the wounded stared without seeing, into him. Their pictures must have been taken by bystanders, because the quality was atrocious. But he could see the despair and shock in their eyes. It was truly the work of chaos.
Beside the pictures of the defeated members of humanity were two more. And they captured his attention the most. His secret agent took them personally, because he'd remained in the middle of the tornadoes.
The girl looked young. Her broad, almost boyish face was crystal clear in the picture. Resolute eyes stared directly into the windy fray. She stood removed from the growing mob of frightened bystanders. One of her arms was draped across her chest and hugging her free arm close to her body. She stood tall and strong, as if the gravity of the situation had no effect on her at all. Anyone spotting her would think she was an unruly teenager, eager to be in the middle of trouble. But John squinted at her image. Something in his well trained instincts told him that she seemed odd. Out of place. Then he saw it. A deep feeling of satisfaction settled into his veins. That's why his agent narrowed his focus on this girl. Her french braid wasn't moving in the 90 mph wind gusts. Her clothes, not even the chain of car keys she carried, were in motion. And the fist that held the car keys? Her two forefingers were uncurled and pointed straight out, as if she were conducting an orchestra.
Below the photo were two others. Each were shot at a different angle and each captured her determined nature and expert manipulation of the winds.
His agent labeled the pictures as "Unidentified Teenage Mutant. Knowledge and Control of Abilities: HIGH. Mutant Type: Dominant Elemental." John looked away from the caption, his head spinning, and gulped down the rest of his drink. He slammed the empty bottle on the floor with an excited exclamation. Then he was up and heading upstairs in one swift second.
Time to draw a plan. He had almost failed with that other girl, Kismet. Yet, he still had a chance to rectify his mistakes. Brianna was still there. A bit lost, and pale, but still there. It was time for another lovely chat. She owed him. They would speak at length, all the length he needed, about her best friend.
The friend that went AWOL.
Everyone looked up from their previous engagements. Kim felt incredibly more relaxed, and even though it was awkward to be in the spotlight, she took the nearest available seat. She hadn't expected to run into anyone in the hall. Just arriving in the right place had been enough of a fete. Thank goodness Xavier had pointed her in the right direction. But when she plowed into the willowy, gorgeous red head, all of her old apprehensions came down like a cloud.
From a distance, Jean was the "popular" magnet in Xavier's institution. She could probably fit every cute thing she tried on, unlike Kim. She also had Scott for a boyfriend, and even though Kim started to think of him as a bit neurotic (the boy took things way too seriously, sometimes) he wasn't a bad catch. But Jean had proven her wrong. Now, Kim felt a bit better. At least she was getting to know a few people. That was a start.
Jean sat down right next to her. Kim observed Logan out of the corner of her eye as she looked down at her hands. He didn't stop to sit down and actually disappeared into the kitchen. However, like the flick of an "on" switch, all the mutants turned back toward their dinner buddies and eagerly retreated into the pleasant hum of table talk. Kim resisted the urge to stare at Kurt as he obediently jumped off the chandelier. He appeared in the seat directly across her, and smiled in her direction.
"Hey," he greeted warmly.
Kim felt her lips twitching but she looked away from her hands. It would take some getting used to, looking at his blue skinned face. "Hi."
"I don't know if anyone else has said it," Kurt said hesitantly, "but velcome to mutant high! You'll like it here. Trust me."
Jean rested her cheek on her left palm and gazed at the other mutants. "You'll like it, once you get used to our craziness. Dinner time and break are huge around here."
Kim glanced sidelong at the others. They seemed to be enjoying themselves.
"I see," she replied.
"Jean! You'll scare her off before you give us a chance! Everyone is crazy once in a vhile." Offended, Kurt began to fiddle with his watch, and nearly made Kim jump out of her chair when he transformed into society's normal, Caucasian male.
"I'm not saying it's a bad thing, Kurt," Jean returned, straightening up. To Kim's surprise, she had guilt strewn across her face. "Just warning her. We especially need to be careful. We have to take our mutant powers responsibly."
Kim sensed the reawakening of an old argument. She quickly glanced at Kurt and saw him breathe in deeply. He still seemed hurt, but also a little embarrassed. Before they could say anything else to one another, someone else walked into the room with Logan. Someone tall, broad, and as blue as Kurt. He was more shaggy and furry, but there was a kindness in his face that punctured through the rapidly inflating balloon of worry that Kim had inside of herself. Laden in his hands was a huge tray filled with…many polished, white bowls of soup.
Correction. Of Pho.
Students let out happy yowls and shouts, deafening the room. The man beamed and shook his head.
"All right. All right. Quiet down, all you yahoos," he said gently. His voice was loud enough to carry across the roar, and Kim watched in amazement as everyone settled down. But no one really quieted down completely. They all eyed the food like hyperventilating rabbits.
Kurt rubbed his hands together, the dispute clearly forgotten.
"Ah…vhat I've ben vaiting for all evening!"
Then, everyone watched as a bowl suddenly levitated itself and began to float toward Kim. Kim stiffened. That was impossible! How could-? Then, she mentally kicked herself as she struggled to keep her composure. Duh. Mutant powers. Things wont exactly remain normal from here on out. Still. The sight of the bowl floating in midair without the customary aid of human hands, was a little bit unnerving. The bowl settled gently in front of her, not a drop of it spilled. For a moment, no one spoke. Then, before Kim could contemplate further, Bobby poked his head around accusingly. "Hey! That's not fair, Jean! This side of the table gets served first! You know that."
A chorus of agreements coursed through the hall. Kim turned to Jean and found the girl's face set in deep concentration. Her fingers gently rested on her temple, while her other hand moved almost like a pendulum, back and forth. She looked like a director from a play. From the unhappy reaction, Kim didn't feel comfortable enough to pick up her spoon. She was the newbie. What would they do to her? Not much. Not much physically anyway. She possessed enough knowledge to hold her own. But she didn't exactly want to become the enemy at her first dinner. Then, another set of angry yowls startled her. One more bowl passed her to land in front of Jean. Kim caught the other girl's secret smile as she pointed toward the soup.
"Go ahead and eat," she urged. Then she dug in, amidst the angry onlookers.
If Kim thought that was bad, what came next was chaos.
A snowball, clearly out of place in the elaborate dining hall, soared over Kim's head and hit Jean.
Directly on her face. The older girl reeled back in shock and cried out.
"BOBBY!" she shouted.
And that was all it took.
Suddenly, spoonfuls of food were flying everywhere. Snowballs were rocketing all over the room, and the uproar was loud. Bobby's chair dumped him unceremoniously on the floor and he scowled. Kurt's eyes were as wide as saucers as he shrieked and dodged an entourage of snow, ice, and food mixed together. Kim was out of her seat and safe in an empty corner, within a second.
"KIDS!" Logan growled.
"Hey! Hey! STOP IT! Everyone calm down!" Beast shouted.
Suddenly, Jean appeared by her side and knelt down to her level. She wore a wicked grin on her face and her eyes danced in mischief.
"This hasn't happened for a long time. C'mon! Let's get out of here! I'm not going to clean this up, and neither are you!" She hissed, holding out her hand.
No one listened to the demands from the adults. Kim gazed at the fight in wordless wonder. But she took Jean's hand. As she allowed Jean to pull her out of the chaos, she surmised silently to herself.
Who knew that mutants could have food fights.
They ran out of the room and came upon Xavier.
He looked at Jean's flushed face and dirty clothes and looked at Kim. Then he leaned forward and tried to peer into the dining hall.
"What is going on in there?"
"A food fight, Professor," Jean answered politely. "But if you'll excuse us, we didn't participate, and Logan and Beast are having a hard time stopping all the action."
Xavier's face fell when he heard this. He shook his head and began to wheel forward.
"Now that is another rule, broken. How many will be next?"
It was like they were forgotten as he talked silently under his breath, while going into the dining hall. Jean pulled Kim away, but she couldn't help but look back. Xavier had always seemed like a genuine, caring mentor, one that could easily take charge in an honest way. Yet, something was tugging at her.
Jean squeezed her hand.
"Don't worry," she chirped. "The Professor can handle it."
Kim wasn't worried about that.
Xavier watched the rain pour down his window, silently. He felt edgy and uncertain, and black thoughts kept tightening his gut. He sensed something ugly was about to happen. A nasty premonition. And he had a good guess as to who it would involve. He was still staring at his office window in careful thought when his right hand mutants arrived. He didn't have to glance over his shoulder to know that everyone was present.
"Xavier?" Storm asked gently. She lay her steady hand on his shoulder. A worried and cool array of feelings swept up softly against his mind. Xavier smiled up into her face and squeezed her hand. Storm didn't respond but she also didn't press him for an answer. He wheeled back from his perch.
"Logan, close the door. I don't want anyone to hear this except those present."