X-MEN KITCHEN 3RD
The kitchen on the third floor of the mansion is smaller and far more utilitarian than its counterpart on the first floor; its color scheme and decor is a little more modern in style. The walls and floor are tiled in analgous neutral greys and white for easy clean-up, and the room possesses all of the appropriate amenities, including stainless steel appliances, cabinets, painted a medium grey, and coordinating white-grey-and-black flecked Corian countertops. A few feet from the deep double sink stands a sizable side-by-side refrigerator set back into the wall, fit for supplying the students on the upper floors a space to keep their groceries. Across the room is a pantry, equal in its size for accommodation of dry goods. Over the sink and the length of counter extending on either side is a row of wood-framed windows that allow a lovely view of the pool, garden and wooded area beyond the immediate backyard of the estate. A table, large enough to fit eight people comfortably, sits just off center in the kitchen, though there are a couple extra chairs pushed out of the way and against the wall if they are needed.
Monday, May 25th
Perched with only half of her butt on one of the chairs in the middle of the kitchen, a disheveled-looking Valerie sat in an uncharacteristic wide-legged manner while leaning forward onto the top of the table, holding a frozen bag of peas against the bottom half of her face. She stared wide-eyed and at nothing in particular, and with her free hand she idly toyed with the drinking straw sticking-out of a tall glass of orange juice. 'How are you feeling?' she eventually directed to Faro, pulling the peas away from her face to carefully form the words, or at least as well as her swollen, split bottom lip would allow her.
Faro was sporting her own swollen lip as well as a black eye. "Still trying to get the taste of ass out of my mouth," she said with a puffy smile. She reached a hand across the table to Val as her face adopted a more sombre visage. "I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me. I can barely remember what happened after we put the film on."
Lifting the uninjured half of her mouth in a smile, Valerie set the bag of peas on the table and patted the top of Faro's hand with her icy-cold palm. 'Happens,' she said dismissively, giving a one-shouldered shrug. She said nothing else on the subject, as she didn't want to incriminate herself on her past drunken adventures, although it was possible that there were rumors floating around the school in regards to her Christmastime booze binge. 'We can just... take it easy the rest of the night, and stay away from swimming pools and spirits,' she added with a lame little laugh, and winced then gingerly touched her lip.
"That sounds good to me," Faro said with her own pained smile. She knew that she wouldn't be touching alcohol again for a while - she didn't think there'd be much of a hangover on its way, thanks to the Sprites she'd guzzled, but there was no denying it had majorly affected her behaviour.
With her half-cocked smile, Valerie nodded slightly and shifted a little in her seat. 'What are your plans for this week?' she suddenly inquired, her usually bright tone dampened a bit by the minor injury to her mouth, figuring that it wouldn't hurt to change the subject. 'I mean, like, barring any sudden missions, of course...' the dancer added with a tiny, airy laugh.
"I did half consider going to see my parents in New York but I might skip that," Faro said with a shrug before wincing at a sharp pain in her shoulder. "For now I'm thinking do a bit on some of my assignments and rest up. You really can throw a punch, y'know?"
'Well, you did get a little, you know... rowdy,'Valerie said, bowing her head slightly to look through her lashes at Faro, a half-smile lingering on her lips. 'So, like, The City, New York, right? It doesn't take too long to get down and back. You could totally just hop down for a day,' she said encouragingly after a beat. 'I'd visit my family all of the time, if they lived so close!'
Faro grinned back at her friend before shrugging at her suggestion. "I could, but don't want my mama fussing over me." Her eyes widened at a sudden thought. "Come with me! My family would welcome you with open arms. Not often they get to have a blonde to look over!"
'Ohhh, I wasn't fishing for an invitation!' Valerie said in a good-humored manner, smiling as best she could, her hands help up and out in front of her. 'I mean, I, like, wouldn't say no to a trip into the city. It'll be warmer than the last time I went, anyway.' Pausing she laughed a little bit, then asked, 'Whereabouts do they live? I've only really been to Manhattan for shows and stuff.'
Faro let out a loud, full-gutted laugh. "I didn't consider you were fishing for a second." Her laugh subsided to a giggly smile. "It's what Hollywood like to call The Bronx. Italian-Americans everywhere saying 'Fagettabou'dit'." She pursed her lips and made the stereotypical pinched hand gesture.
Producing something between a charming snort and a laugh at Faro's caricature,Valerie quickly covered her mouth but winced when she put pressure on her sore lip. 'Great, that's all I need to hear in my head when I meet your family.' She shook her head and gave a self-deprecating half-smile. 'It's a date, then. I can drive, if you'd like; just tell me when!' With that, the blonde punctuated her sentence with a sip of lemonade.
Again, Nadine found herself surprised by the presence of other people at a time that she would normally be in bed. Did everyone stay up late here? She’d seen Valerie around, but hadn’t talked too much to the older girl, but it took her a moment to realize that the other girl had been the one from the pool earlier. A slight heat rushed to the girl’s cheeks, still embarrassed for Faro. I probably shouldn’t bring that up. She chided herself as she stepped further into the room and gave the two a shy glance. “Hi..” After her tentative greeting, Nadine then wondered if she was interrupting and being rude, however it was too late to take it back. She made her way to the fridge, feeling like she was intruding despite this being a public space, and began absent mindedly scanning its contents, hoping to see something she could put together quick.
Faro was about to tell Valerie when would be the best day to travel down when Nadine popped in. "If you see any cokes in there," she said to the younger mutant's back, "you mind grabbing me one?" She didn't know the girl, but being a bit older she didn't feel any problems with starting up conversations with the younger kids at the Academy.
As she was waiting for a response from Faro, Valerie put the bag of frozen peas against her fat lip again, even though the package had since started to thaw. With a half wince, half smile, the blonde set the bag back on the table and greeted Nadine after the girl's timid acknowledgement. 'Whatcha up to tonight, Nadine?' Her eyes twinkled with the gentle, lopsided smile the dancer wore upon her face as she glanced over to Faro, then back to the youngest mutant in the room.
There was a few moments, when Faro spoke, in which Nadine had lifted her head to stare at the older girl, blinking with brief incomprehension before it dawned on her that she was indeed being spoken to. “Oh.. no, I mean- I don’t mind. I’ll check.” She ducked back down, embarrassed by the delay in her response and began searching the fridge for the requested item. After a moment she straightened, the can pinched between her middle finger and her thumb, and shut the fridge before bringing it over to Faro, all while giving it an almost suspicious look. Nadine wasn’t quite certain that she wouldn’t cause it to freeze and explode like she had in the past because, while it’d been awhile since she lost control like that, the earlier pool debacle had not helped her confidence. After gingerly setting it down in front of Faro with a smile (really just glad nothing happened to it on the way), she noticed Valerie’s lip and melting, make-shift ice pack. “Ouch, what happened?” The girl asked without thinking, her eyes going wide, then offered an apologetic look. “I just woke up; I guess I missed the party and everything.” She tried not to sound too sad about it, but couldn’t quite manage to keep the self-pitying note from her voice. The girl rebounded quickly though, adding cheerily: “What about you guys?”
At that time the door swung open. "Do you intend to follow me around for the entirety of the day?" Mark complained over his shoulder. The slight annoyance in his voice was only outweighed by the rumble in his stomach. "I was convinced you were a hallucination brought on by sun stroke at first."
Liz followed close behind Mark and chuckled at what she thought was a failed attempt at being annoyed. "Well, you are the only person that radiates enough energy for me to use in order to stay physical without using my own power. So yes, I'll probably follow you forever now. Besides, you are interesting and so far the only person not to freak out at my sudden appearances or slight ghostly see throughness." She stopped suddenly after noticing that the kitchen was full of several people. "Uhh, hi everyone." she said nervously.
Opening the can one-handed, Faro gave Nadine a quick wink in thanks before taking a good slurp of the soda. "Oh, uh, we kinda ended up doing our own thing," she said while giving Val a conspitorial smile. As Mark and Liz came in she raised her can over her head and let out a loud 'WHOOP!' "Looks like the party's coming to us!" She gave Mark a mock serious look. "What brings you to our den, man-thing? Come to take our innocence?"
Fortunately, Faro helped to circumvent the issue of explaining to Nadine exactly why she and Valerie looked a little like they had gotten into a fist fight when the feisty woman suddenly-- and rather bawdily-- changed the subject after Mark and Liz entered the kitchen. It did seem rather strange for the boy to go out of his way to come to the third floor kitchen, but the blonde wouldn't say word one about that, and instead swatted at Faro with her free hand. 'There's a whole summer to have pool parties,' she said placatingly, drawing her eyes from the older mutant to Nadine, and smiled brightly before glancing back in the newcomers' direction. 'Hiya!' she said simply by way of greeting to the ghostly girl.
Nadine, being of the easily unnerved type and consistently worried about offending anyone, was made more than a little uncomfortable by the company of the strange looking boy in the wheelchair and his ghostly tag-along. When she saw them she dropped her eyes, immediately wondering if they thought she’d be staring if she looked, then finding herself in the dilemma of also not wanting to appear rude by not saying hello. The girl lifted her head, gave the pair a not entirely convincing smile and said: “hi” in a voice that may not have been loud enough for them to hear. After this she promptly returned her attention back to Valerie and Faro, only for her cheeks and ears to turn a bright red at Faro’s teasing. “Oh, yeah, I guess.” She replied half-heartedly to Valerie, still trying to sort out what exactly Faro meant by what she said to Mark and unable to discern if it was mean or not. She was saved by the sudden vibration of her back pocket, only to discover that it was her brother calling her. The girl stiffened, bit her lip, and thought about answering before realizing it was already after her bed time- which meant she should be asleep and not answering the phone. Nervously and guiltily she set her phone on mute and slid it back into her pocket, feeling as if he’d somehow know even though she was on the whole other side of the country from him.
"Hmmph, just my luck, an ethereal leach." Mark was not conditioned to respond to such a large crowd, he had honestly just come up here to search the kitchen in peace. He resisted the urge to spin around and leave the room without a word to the three. "Salutations, there was nothing worthwhile in the second floor kitchen, ergo i came to examine what was hidden away up here. Also it appears i have acquired a specter like companion." He approached the fridge and leaned out to pull it open, retrieved a bag of baby carrots from the back. Well it is better than all the processed sugars and trash downstairs. "Entertaining show down by the poolside today." He added to Faro, not as a way to embarrass her, he simply sucked at normal human interactions.
"What do you mean 'leach'?" Asked Liz. "We talked about this earlier when I first explained how I'm able to stay here for much longer than usual thanks to your reactor core, and it didn't seem like you really cared much. So now its an issue?" She knew he didn't like conflict or drama, much less interacting with anyone but she just had to do something to make him squirm. She hadn't been able to tease or mess with someone in such a long time and he made it very easy. "So I guess if I'm such an issue, I'll just go back to my boring little realm and wait another month for my energy to return enough to materialize again on my own." She then bent down near is ear, just close enough for it to be uncomfortable to most people and whispered loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. "Just remember I'll always be near you, and watching you. No matter where you are." She smiled mischievously and quickly faded into nothing.
Faro kept quiet until Liz had faded out of sight before giggling. "Well, mister, looks like you're gonna have a peeping tom watching you when you shower." She turned to Valerie and added, "That's an ability I wouldn't mind having," before flashing Mark a cheeky wink.
Observing Nadine for a moment, Valerie took a careful sip of her lemonade in the meanwhile. The blonde was unsure quite what to make of the quiet, younger, brown-haired student, but she smiled as best as she could, anyway, when the girl replied then got distracted by her telephone. 'I think I heard people talking about campfires by the lake, ' Val offered in what she hoped was a helpful, encouraging manner. Catching Faro's glance from the corner of her eye, looked sidelong at her friend and shook her head slightly, flicked her eyes in Mark's-- and Liz's former-- direction and shook her head again. 'People get arrested for that, you know,' she commented lightly, trying to look serious, although an amused smile played at the corner of her lips, as if she couldn't quite help it.
Having been preoccupied with her phone, Nadine missed most of the conversation going on around her, but did manage to catch Faro’s ”-a peeping tom watching you when you shower.” Her eyes snapped to the older girl, wide and startled. “What?” She said, not realizing that it had been a joke at first. Luckily for her, Valerie caught her attention, distracting her momentarily from the confusing conversation. “Oh- oh they were?” She replied, looking hopeful again. “Do you think there are people already out there?” There was lingering guilt that she might go hang out with the older kids after curfew, but it wasn’t enough to quell her eagerness to get to experience a real party. After a moment, Nadine paused, wondering if she needed to be invited or if anyone could go. Maybe if Valerie and Faro were going she could just tag along. Of course, it would be rude to ask. If they offered it would be much better. “Are you guys going to go?” She then shyly asked with the hope that Valerie would invite her along if they were.
Mark sighed. "Liz, come back, i was attempting sarcasm." He rolled his eyes from her moody disappearance. He attention turned back to Faro, "Doesnt seem out of character, though a skinny pale guy is much to look at i suppose." He tried some self depreciating humor. "But then again the twilight series made a substantial amount of money."
"Illegal schmillegal," Faro retorted to Valerie. She gave Mark an out-of-character warm smile and tilted her head to one side. "You're not so bad, especially in this madhouse." She then turned her attention to Nadine's question and considered it for a moment. Her eyes lingered on the fat lip she'd given Valerie, and her mind went to the pool fiasco earlier in the day. Still... "We might be persuaded. Just don't let me drink... too much." With that she let out a giggle.
Shaking her head slightly, Valerie rolled her eyes in a joking and exaggerated manner away from Faro upon her response, and toward Mark. She said nothing, however, until Faro replied to Nadine; Val's eyes widened slightly and she gave an airy, somewhat nervous laugh at the older mutant's reply. 'Yeah, I guess we could, like, maybe go down for a little bit,' the blonde said, although she didn't sound entirely convinced, in light of the tussle she'd gotten into not too long ago. Still, Valerie smiled with the good half of her mouth, a wincing little expression, and laughed lightly again. 'Maybe they're playing games or something,' she added, hoping to emphasize something else besides alcohol as entertainment.
Well, that sounded kind of like they would go if she was going, which made Nadine relax a little. The youngest of the girls offered Mark a half-hearted smile at his joke, even though she didn’t really get the reference and wasn’t comfortable with him making fun at himself. Really she just wasn’t sure how to respond to it, feeling bad for him because he was kind of sick and in a wheelchair, so she stayed quiet and hoped the ghost girl wasn’t going to show up again because she had a hard time knowing what to say or not to say around her. She felt guilty for feeling that way, because she knew it wasn’t nice of her to not want to be around people with differences just because they made her uncomfortable, but then again she wasn’t sure she could make herself not feel that way. Brushing all this aside, she bit her lip, then quietly responded: “I’d really like to go, if that’s okay.” and quickly followed it with, “Mark are you going to come too?” so he didn’t feel left out.
Outside, around a fire a night? That sounds so unappealing. But i suppose ill never get to see Dr. McCoys research if i dont gain some trust among these simpletons. Mark tried his best smile, it still came off awkward. "I could enjoy the night air i suppose." He righted his chair as he wondered if Liz was going to reappear.
"Awesome!" Faro said as she slid off the counter stool backwards and gave Val's sensitive behind a light spank. "You're so gonna have to help me pants that Cajun stud. If he's seen the ladies," she paused to give her chest a little shake, "the least he can do is show some sausage." She gave Nadine a wink. "You in?"
'The more, the merrier!' Valerie chirped when Mark replied to Nadine that he'd come along, too. She didn't realized what Faro was doing until it was too late, as her attention was focused on the other two students in the room, and she leapt to her feet and covered the sore spot on her backside with her hands to try and avoid being hit. With one eyebrow quirked, she cast Faro a brief look and repeated the words ...pants the Cajun? under her breath, then almost immediately groaned, 'Ohhhh, Farroooo! Nothing's going to be, like... gained by... and she's just a kid!' she added, even though she wasn't really sure how old Nadine actually was.
Such a crass girl, what pleasure is there in the view of genitalia? Mark swallowed his urge to stare dumbfoundedly at Faro. He faced his chair toward the door choosing to leave last if given the chance. "Well then, ill aim for some fresh air while you ladies are on operation pants dropper."
Nadine was right there with Mark. As soon as the girl realized that Faro was talking about Mr. Chastain, she flushed crimson and her eyes widened dramatically. "You mean- oh! No, we can't, I mean- I can't.." She stuttered, shaking her head back and forth so quickly that it almost undid her bun. Thank goodness that Valerie immediately replied in the negative, even if she referred to Nadine as a kid. I'm not a kid, I'm fifteen now... but compared to them she guessed she kind of was, and if it kept Faro from roping her into her plans to pants Rene- oh gosh what if she does and I see! At that thought she turned an even darker shade of red and it didn't help when Mark chipped in. "No! I'm not!"
Faro put on her best pout for the rest of them. "Spoil sports!" but followed it with a wink. Let them keep guessing as to what she might do. The truth was, she felt far too embarrassed to be anywhere near Rene tonight or even for the next few weeks. It was a miracle she was preparing to show her face at a social gathering in the same day. Who knew how many people down at the lake party had seen her exposed? And despite how revealing her clothing usually was, she'd never shown off that much of herself to even one person. Hiding these thoughts from the rest in the kitchen, she turned and headed out to X-Men Center 3rd.
'Wouldn't, like...' Valerie paused, trying to think of some alternative to continuing the little dispute, '... wouldn't, like, an evening dip in the lake be nice? Maybe some s'mores afterwards?' she finally proposed, but Faro was already heading out of the room. 'And just wrap-up by the fire?' she suggested with a hopeful smile to Nadine and Mark, since they were the only two left in the kitchen. 'See you down there?' the blonde inquired after taking her glass to the dishwasher, and although she didn't really wait for a response, she smiled at the other two students and slipped through the doorway after Faro.
With naught more than an eyeroll Mark joined his new companions as his chair rolled out to X-Men Center 3rd.
Nadine was just grateful that Faro had dropped it and was more than happy to follow the others out of the kitchen to the X-Men Center 3rd.
X-Men Center 3rd
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