2019-09-30 - Friendly Jabs and Emotional Fleeing!


Quinn and Caden are still the same after all these years…

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Sep 30 04:21:52 2019
Location: Institute - Foyer

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Theme Song





One of the almost ever present jobs that is required at almost any school is that of gym teacher. Not because of the need for many classes, or even for the close supervision required to aid in the physical development of young people. No, one of the main roles of any Phys-Ed instructor… is maintenance. Keeping up the equipment. Such as now on the back deck of the mansion, usually where people hang out and have cookouts in the area, sitting around drinking and relaxing. The somewhat new physical education teacher is busy doing just that.
"Oh don't worry, I don't need to be the IT instructor. I'll do something else. Who do you need? Phys Ed? Sure why not." Caden Pryde murmurs to himself as he sits on that deck in shots and a t-shirt, sneakers on the ends of his feet as he casually applies a hand pump to one of the many… many many red rubber balls that require inflation.
He's got about a dozen done and set to the side in their own grey canvas sack, but he has at least that and more to go in the other one as he grimaces and sits there and pump-pump-pumps.
Maybe… this wasn't such a good idea.


It had been a few days before Quinn was back to her usual self. Though, usual self could mean a myriad of things; her not high, her being high, her kind of sort of high, her in the process of getting high… Let's face it. Lately since she's come 'back', there hasn't been much of a change. She was just in various degrees of wasted, because when she wasn't, it was clear that people got hurt.

And now might be one of those times.

Quinn was -not- high in this moment and she was not happy about it. The typical stoner, pink haired girl was just a bundle of anger and nerves, along with an appetite to boot. She hadn't left Bobby's room in a while, and Sharon hadn't been by with fresh blankets or food. Other people had lives instead of catering to her.

Though memory services her well, Quinn was now on the hunt. The hunt for that elusive helmet that never should have been made, rounding and winding about hallways and searching. And turns up with nothing. A hint of fresh air is what was needed, so out of the back door Quinn goes, cigarette ready in hand and.. what could have been a sight for sore eyes was taken quite literally, and Quinn visibly winces.

"Augh. Man. Spread your legs any wider and your fuckin' balls will fall out."


The response is a light-hearted, "Boxer briefs, don't wanna scandalize the kiddies." Caden's shorts also aren't exactly short, reaching to just above his knee, but still Quinn is a person best humored and tolerated for the alternative is usually just… louder meaner Quinn.
A sidelong glance is given, "Hey." He offers, almost belatedly.
The hand pump continues the movement it requires to fill the rubber dodge ball up with compressed air. Though as he does it he sort of smirks and looks sidelong towards her. "You mind? With you around I can't help but vaguely… vaguely find this mildly obscene."
But that's one more done, he leans over and grabs the canvas sack and stuffs that one in there. He starts up on another, despite that protest.


Quinn smirks, her eyes canting skyward as she takes a few steps off of the deck. With the windows open nearby, she wouldn't want to scandalize anyone else with the smell of cigarette smoke. The lighter was fished from her pockets, hand cupping her cigarette as she flicks the wick and lights it to life, and inhales. Her lips purse to hold it in, and soon her chin lifts to shoot the smoke into the air so that it could dissolve.

"So, you think you pumping balls is obscene? That why you out here? Have you -seen- Hank as a woman?" She grins, then takes another drag. "Not because I'm a girl, right?" It was a lazy hop, but a slow series of hops in Caden's direction to try to muss up the hair atop of his head even though he's -way- taller. Thankfully, she wore the usual, cut skinny jeans that actually fit like normal, and a bland ass AC/DC shirt. Hair? Ponytailed!


"Hey," Caden's smile is wide and he continues to fill up the dodge-ball, "Henrietta was kinda cute." The young X-Man leans to the side and tosses that ball into the bag, then rises up to his full height, standing a step below her so they're at least on eye level. "I had it all planned out if he was stuck as her. Hang out with her, ask her to homecoming." There hasn't been a homecoming at Xavier's in ages.
"But," He sighs, "Alas, it was not meant to be." He leans back against the railing along the steps, folding his arms over his chest as he tilts his head at her, hazel eyes meeting her gaze and flitting back and forth between her irises. "How are you doing?"
Then, he offers in that gentle tone of his, "You look like crap." So kind.


"Kinda? Bitch was smokin'." Much like Quinn is doing now. At least it wasn't marijuana, that one she does off of school grounds. But as Caden finishes his playful story, she remains quiet. Puffing along, feeling the need to blow smoke rings but never doing so, only huffing out a thick plume from her nose at his observations. "Don't I know it." She admits. She wasn't even mad.

"So, who convinced you into this bullshit gym teacher 'zaddy' job?" It was an honest question. "You could have done something else instead of teaching these lil' twerps to run around in circles." It was her turn to lean against the railing, one arm now folded beneath her ribcage for invisible support.


"Ah man," Caden takes in a loooong deep breath and then lets it out in a sloooow sigh as he shakes his head and looks away. "Ever since I got back from Japan…" He lifts a hand and pushes it through his hair, eyes distancing as his thoughts and memories wander with his words. "I feel like I've just been treading water. Been trying to help people, Nick and Illyana and folks. Data retrieval, some jobs like that."
He turns back to look at her and then lowers his eyes to the cigarette. Of course he doesn't approve, once ages ago they talked about it and he told her purely from a health stand point. Didn't like people smoking since it hurt them. But then again his other point of view was that people should have the freedom to do what the heck they want. Maybe that was how they hit it off way back when. His lack of sanctimony.
Instead he says, "I made the mistake of asking 'Hey, how can I help?' and they told me. And voila, I was trapped. Doing this." He looks off towards the athletic shed where the dodge balls are stored, then he smirks sidelong back at her. "Thing is… this isn't that bad, really."


Was he used to it? Quinn is able to recognize the signs when a mind wanders, and as a friend, she pries. It was just a quiet little nudge, put on behind a furrow of her brow that shares the same pressure that Caden would feel, if his mind was open. She doesn't interrupt him, though. Allowing the words to hit her ears as she listens, pulling back the mental probing and looking out into the expanse of the yard. There were a few cuts and turns, ones that she's explored time and time and again. Though, surprisingly, they still look like new.

"You say that now, Cay. Til' you're walking around with a beer belly and bad knees." It was a joke, for the smile upon her face was gone in an instant.

"You gotta stop doing that." She says now, taking a step down and leaning again, appreciating the fact that she could now look 'up' instead of 'even'. "Do what you want to do. Then do what you need. Or some shit like that. Right?" She flicks her cigarette far into the grass, using a tiny bit of TK to squelch the cherry. The grass was professionally done, no need to set it aflame.


A small snort comes from him as he listens to her, but she might get the vibe that he is a bit adrift… unmoored or feeling so. He'd always had a base of people and things and obligations around him. But with so many people having moved on… it was hard for him to maintain that surety of purpose he once had.
"So you're arguing for a life of hedonism. How surprising." His lip twists upwards as he gives her a hard time, but then he shakes his head. "Nah, I'll figure it out. Find what I'm supposed to do."
There's a pause as he gives her an eyeballing, "Are you saying you'll stop loving me if I get a gut?" To be fair she'd always known him to have a lithe dancer's physique, always stayed in shape as Xavier's almost forced them to do so. But after his last return he did seem to fill out more.
"That you only hang out with me for my looks, Quinn? That hurts, man. That hurts right here." He tap-taps over his heart, hiding a smirk.


"I'd say yes, but look where it got me." She lifts her hands, gesturing around. "Bobby's still in a coma, I lost the one thing that could fuck us all, and I'm all out of weed." She finalizes her movements by hopping down from the last step, then gives it a twirl. Anger, angst. It was all Quinn lived and breathe, and he was watching it play out like old times.

Though she relents, her hands slipping into her pockets, feet now making a path upon the ground in a slow, tiny circle. "Never did love you kid, that's not my style. Besides, I'd stop hanging out with you for less. Like them shorts." She wrinkles her nose, then shakes her head. "You got some hairy ass legs man."


"I didn't mean 'luuuurv'," He emphasizes the word, smirking as he does so. "I meant the other more casual bullshit phrasing of it without requirements nor bonds. Ok?" That cleared and out of the way he says with a small frown. "Though yeah, I'm sorry about Bobby. About…" He looks up toward the mansion, eyes distancing as he recalls everything they've gone through.
"About everything."
He turns back and it's often so hard to reach Quinn. Hard to avoid those minefields, the moments when one word could cause a growling response. Sometimes Caden can avoid them…
Sometmes not so much.
"From everything I heard you did what you could." He steps down those steps too and then he takes a deep breath. A hand is lifted to lightly rest it on her shoulder. "But most of all, Quinn. I'm so… so sorry."
His hazel eyes meet hers, plaintive, gentle. "About my so hairy legs. So sorry."


Quinn stops in her tracks, the tip of her toe digging into the ground before she kicks up a clump of grass to send it flying. She's cried enough in private over Bobby, that hearing quiet condolences meant nothing to her now, even if it came from an old friend.

And that old friend? Reaches out and touches her. Sober her did not like such an affront to her person, so much so that her fingers clench and dig into the palms of her hand. But she does nothing, keeping still.. looking up into his eyes with a scowl because that joke was..




"I will wreck your shit if you do not get your hand offa me."

But he could see it, the first of the cracks in that angry scowl, the way her left eye twitches, how her lower lip follows suit with the need to curl down into a deeper frown, but upward into a laugh… but fails! She loses it! A laugh like no other, and probably a laugh that she herself hadn't heard in a looong time.


Shadowcat's eyes widen as he draws his hand back with a snap of motion, affecting a fearful look. But then his smile breaks through too at the laughter and he grabs the one filled canvas sack of red bouncy balls, then /slings/ it over his shoulder, "Well while you decide on the amount of damage you wish to inflict on my shit, you can walk with me." That said he starts down the small stone path heading to the shed.
"And you can tell me all the things I /should/ be doing with my time. I really need to hear about them." That said he strolls along with an easy gait.
After a moment he turns around and then tells her, "Oh did you know Laura's back?" The feral clawed mutant that had joined the school five years ago and who has been away the last year. "Not too talkative, but yeah. Back."


The laugh was made worse by the faux fear Caden produces, using that moment to make the space in between them wider. That step back had hands back into her pockets, her shoulders lifting defensively, and her quietly wishing for weed. God, how awkward she felt.

But, she does walk with him, following the path, occasionally veering off to step on the grass, her shoulders lowering and lifting again in the backwards shrug. "I don't know. I mean, when Scott was doing missions, I actually went. Was a bunch of bullshit but.. saved stuff. I guess."

"But everyone knows computers is your bag. Not.. dodge balls and screaming at kids. S.T.E.M is the way of the world, remember? Shit's fire right now." Though, the mention of Laura, Quinn wrinkles her nose.

"Eeeh. That.. well.." What the hell could she say about that. "I mean…" God.. nothing good. "Shit."


"I'm still doing computer stuff, Quinn." Caden walks on and gets to the shed, pulling open the door with a yank and then tossing the canvas sack in there. He leans in to push the contents around some to make sure there's enough room and that it's not likely for them to fall out in an athletic avalanche.
Then he turns back to her and says, "Just, you know. Doing this as well." He starts to mosey back up along the path towards the rest of the balls he needs to inflate.
As for Laura he scritches his chin, "Did you know a few years back?" When they were seventeen or so. "I kinda had a crush on her. Despite the whole, you know, stabbiness." He walks along and then looks sidelong at her. "You think she remembers." A beat, then he adds, "Or noticed?"
To be fair just about /everyone/ did.


"Yeah, as a favor to other people. How about, do it as a favor to kids too while you're on that track." She watches, not offering a hand or even a bit of a gift to keep the balls held. No, she was just going to sit back and watch everything fall if it would.

As he turns around, she gives him a weird face, one with crooked lips and crossed eyes, but straightens almost immediately. She follows behind him again, pulling out another cigarette, this time shifting it behind her ear to keep it there for now.

"Dude, everyone knew you had a crush on that girl." She wrinkles her nose. "And if she noticed, she probably didn't say anything about it. But nah. Homegirl was a serious headcase. I mean.. if you want to go the dark and stabby route, more power to you." Which, she often wonders why Bobby was with her to begin with..

Maybe because she's fucking awesome!

"So. On that note, I got shit to do." She snaps her fingers towards him, adds a little finger-gunning thing, and does an about face. One way to avoid a conversation on emotions? Run the hell away and go find weed.


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