Two Hearts in the Center Pocket

Log Info

Title: Two Hearts in the Center Pocket
Emitter: None
Characters: Claire & Linus
NPCs: None
Place: Student Center
Time: June 1, 2010 Late Afternoon
Summary: Claire bumps into Linus and they talk about Sunday or Claire meddles to get Sunday and Linus together

Summer break should mean a high school is fairly empty. The Steranko Institute is not that sort of high school, though. WHen the students aren't supposed to go home for the summer, it means the student center is probably one of the busier places on campus, second only to 'outside', which isn't really on campus at all. Linus is here, though he probably knows he shouldn't be. His game? Pool. His score? Well, if one is playing oneself, it's hard to actually lose. But he's playing solo and making a mess of things.

Claire strolls into the Student Center, her long, red hair blowing a bit about her shoulders as the air conditioned air takes the chance to escape out the open door. She's wearing a tight black belly shirt with the logo of the 'Black Lantern' corp emblazoned in the middle. It leaves her pale, flat belly exposed, she has an innie for the record. Over her hips and going down to about mid-thigh is a pleated red and black miniskirt, plaid of course. Her legs are clad in knee-length stockings of black and white stripes while her feet are slid into a pair of shiny, patent-leather shoes with a strap across the top and a 5" wedge heel. Her little round 'Nightmare Before Christmas' purse hangs over her shoulder and bounces against her hip with each step. She grins as she sees Linus and strolls over. "Hey Linus, who's winning?"

Linus completely misses his shot. Between Claire's attire and her hair, one can practically hear the needle fly off the record. Yes, he looks. He has to. He has no choice in the matter, in fact. He tries to be casual about it, though it's a lost cause. "Physics is winning. Wish I'd teamed up with it. How's it going, Claire?" In spite of the viceral effect of her appearance, there's still a slight uneasiness. It's from the other night, something that is probably easy to sense.

"Pretty good Linus, Pretty good." She smiles, knowing he is looking and a bit appreciative of it. "Actually, I came to look for you. I, well, I wanted to apologize for the other night." She pauses for a moment and leans on the edge of the pool table. "I totally overstepped my bounds when I read your mind in the Thunderdome. I don't usually do that to my friends, especially not for the purpose of a cheap scare. That was inconsiderate of me and

"No, that's cool. We all agreed to… oh. You mean that other night." Linus nods in recognition. "It's okay. You owed me one anyway from how we first met, right?" Linus shrugs to himself and leans against the pool table. "Besides, I sort of didn't help. When Sunday said 'mind reader' I was like, 'OK. I read this comic'." Linus grins to himself, "Figured I'd trick you. Stupid to try to trick someone who's reading your mind. But that thing you saw. I… don't like to talk about that. It really bothers me."

Claire nods and pushes off the table to walk over to Linus. She offers him her hand. "Here, touch my hand. Take my power. You can take one of my secrets in exchange. I will never tell yours but just to be safe, you should have one of mine. I promise you, I value our friendship too much to jeapordize it on something as silly as what I saw that night."

Linus shakes his head, "I already got one, remember? We're pretty even. It's okay, though." He folds his arms over his chest, "Nothing's in jeopardy… and it's kinda… well, cool that you think it's something worth worrying about. I appreciate that." He flashes her a smile, "Besides, I've got better reasons to touch your hand. You've got powers I have no idea how to really control yet. Every time I go outside and something crazy happens, it just gets dangerous. I ended up about 200 feet in the air a week ago. Don't ask me how. But it sucked. I really can't control what I'm doing until I'm familiar with the powers people have. If anything, I should be used to coming in contact with my friends. I can't do much about Ian, but everyone else, yeah."

Claire nods again and then offers her hand once more. "Then touch my hand, copy my powers. I'll help you learn to control them. It won't be like the Thunderdome. It's not something your can physically practice. But I can give you a workout mentally that will help you hone them." Her smile is gentle and friendly, her dark-painted lips curled up at the edges. "You know Sunday's powers pretty well. Heck you were pretty ruthless with them in the sim with the werewolf. Going for the eyes was something I had not expected. You should learn mine as well, just in case."

"Well, I touch her a lot and…" Realizing what he's just said, Linus turns red, though he smiles slightly, "uh.. and familiarity seems to help. But she's the only one I can touch and do that with. I'm starting to realize that I'm a ticking time bomb until I fix this. I've got to ask, though." He turns his head towards her, "Was it really -her- that you saw in my vision? ANd it's not… that stuff doesn't have to come true, right? It's not a probable future, just a possible one?" His thought sare, of course, on Sunday's vision as well.

"Funny," Claire smirks, leaning her hip against the pool table and folding her arms over her chest. "Sunday asked me the very same thing earlier tonight. I'll give you basically the same answer. I don't know. When I see the future I get little glimpses. No names, very few faces, it's all indistinct and hazy and it gets worse the further into the future I look. The girl I saw did not have Sunday's build. She may mature as she ages though and fill out, I do not know. In addition she did not look like the Sunday in the vision I had for Sunday. But the future is like a tree with lots of branches. We follow the trunk until we start making choices and then we wander off into those branches. We leave so many chances and paths behind us and have so many more ahead. Every choice we make leads us on to our fate. You can never be sure of which future is yours until it happens and then it's the past and it's too late to worry about it. Make sense?" She pauses. "I guess the more important question is this, Do YOU want it to have been Sunday?"

Linus' blush doesn't really go away, though it does diminish somewhat. "I think so. You mean that what you saw is a possibility. It's something that can happen, and there are a lot of things that really… can't. That's why it's a tree, so seeing it doesn't mean it'll happen, but it tells you what's there. I, uh… well, I really like her. I mean, she's… I don't even know how to put it. Look, I'm new at this, alright?" He peers at Claire and smirks at the girl. "But kinda. I guess if I'm in that sort of position, I'd rather have her doing it with me, instead of waiting up for me, but I guess that's another branch. The one you saw for her just scares me. And I guess that means what I saw for you is sort of a… well, it was bad, Claire." His eyes close. "I mean, it's the only one I saw, so it was intense for me. You were really a bad person in that. It's like you were a… well, I guess you were a supervillain. That's… not a place I want you to go."

Claire gets serious. "I will never be that person. It's possible but only barely. It would take something super major for me to ever go that path. I want to be a hero, I want to save people and help. I don't ever want to become something like that. Ever." She takes a deep breath. "But if you want my opinion, you have a shot with Sunday. Now, just between you me and the wall, I think she might like you back. But take things slow, never rush it. Anything good is worth waiting for. You are both my friends and if either of you get hurt by this, I think I would feel terrible. So, give her time but don't let her slip through your fingers. She's a good girl and deserves a good guy. I've been in your head, you are a good guy."

"Are these real places, though? I mean, is there a world where any of the things you saw, or what I saw, happens? I guess I just don't understand what it is that I was seeing. It's not like when I use Sunday's powers to heat things up, or when I grabbed some crazy lady's powers and… well, that was sort of.. yeah. I mean, this is all mental. It's a lot to take." Adds Linus with a faint smile, "You guys get to be comfy with your powers. I guess that's the advantage. I've always got something different going on. And, uh… thanks. It's hard. I mean, she's nervous about having a boyfriend. I think she's worried about getting hurt, or hurting me. But," admits the boy with a sigh. His cheeks finally stop blushing as he comes to terms with things, "I'm always thinking about her. I mean, always. I think I love her." Not that a 15 year old knows what love is, but that's okay.

Claire moves a bit closer to Linus. "She likes you. You like her. Give her time. If it's meant to be, it will happen. If it is not meant to be, it won't. You can't fight destiny and neither can she. Some things just have to happen. Some outcomes are inevitable. Show her you care but don't come on too strong." She reaches out and rests her hands on the boy's shoulders, that is if he has any clothing on his upper arms. "You're not chasing after someone who isn't interested. I can't say any more about that without violating a confidence."

Linus blushes a bit, "Yeah. Okay. Got it." Long sentences? Unpossible! "I get it. I guess you shouldn't say what I said to her, either. Aren't girls more interested if they -don't- think we're totally into them one hundred percent? Not that I've left much doubt of that." He does flinch when she touches his shoulders, but he's got a t-shirt and a light jacket on, so he is 'safe'. "Thanks."

"Anytime Linus," Clair smiles widely, squeezing those shoulders. "Now, you have a game of pool to play. Let me tell you, you can use the power to see the future to plan a good shot and make it. You can see which one will give you the result you desire. If you ever want to just practice with the powers I have to offer, let me know. I trust you enough to give you access whenever you want it. Now, mind if I play against you. I promise, no powers."

There's still the whole 'dressed to kill' factor to contend with. Linus blinks a bit at Claire and, well, stares at her chest for a second. It's while she's talking. He probably doesn't know he's doing it. "If I used a power to see into the future, every possible branch would show me screwing it up." He grins at her, "Sure, though. We can rack them up. I'd borrow your power, but not in a crowded area. That's just too dangerous. Somewhere quiet, sure. Jerry wants to take me out to a field and let me practice."

Honestly, Claire doesn't have much of a chest to stare at. She's pretty pitiful in the bust department. Still, she grabs a cue and spins it in one hand, grabbing the chalk and making sure the tip is nicely coated. "So, do you want to rack or break? I'm cool with either. I'm not very good myself, I kind of suck at this without cheating and last time we tried to have a pool game, well, Sasha exploded and ruined everything."

"I can rack." And Linus begins to do exactly that, gathering up all the pool balls and setting them in place. "Nine ball okay with you?" He continues to set things up, and then raises an eyebrow, "Who is Sasha, and why did she explode?"

Claire looks at the balls as they are nicely placed in the frame, in proper order. "Nine Ball works for me. You want to be solids or stripes?" She's not one hundred percent sure how this works, she'll learn as she goes. "Sasha's a friend of mine, kinda. She has a pretty big temper and she kind of exploded at something Ian said. It was that same night that, well, you were there. This was how the whole night started though, we met up and were going to play pool."

Linus shakes his head. "No solid or stripes in nine ball. You hit the lowest numbered ball with your cue ball. Doesn't matter what you sink, but you have to hit the lowest numbered ball first." He pulls the rack away, revealing a diamond of pool balls, with the #1 facing front and center. "Sink 9 to win. I used to love this. We played it all the time in Junior High back home." He listens, "Oh. And that's what I was walking in on. Great."

"Yeah, that's what you were walking in on. Glad you showed up though, Sunday was about to take off." She moves over to get the cue ball and place it on the table. Leaning over pretty far, she lines up her shot, bites her bottom lip and lets it go. The cure ball shoots forward and strikes the one ball, breaking that perfect pyramid into a chaotic assemblage of balls richochetting off the green felt walls. One falls in, the 8 ball.

Linus snorts, "Yeah. But then I touched Ian like an idiot. That was a really, really dumb idea. Sunday already gave me a little crap for it." He laughs a little, nodding his head, "Nice break. You keep going until you miss." Taking a step away from the table, he continues, "She's right, too. I wanted him to know that someone else knew what it felt like to have that sort of monkey on his back but… I only had to do it for five minutes. Sorry he dumped you like that in public. That wasn't cool."

Claire shrugs as she lines up another shot. She's so short she really has to lean to reach and she has no idea what a Bridge is for. "I got over it. He will to, I hope." She hits the cue and it spins to hit the 1 ball and misses, badly, colliding with the 9 and sending it skittering across the table. "Your turn."

Linus grabs his stick and lines up a shot. "So, when did you find out you were neo? Puberty? I mean…" He draws back, and sinks the 1 ball with authority. A nice, solid bolt. He walks around the table. "Was it like you were just reading minds without realizing it?"

You say "Wow… and you said you suck at this?" She leans over the table a little, watching. "Yeah, right after, well, you know and I hit 12 I started to read minds and get glimpses of things. Then I started to find things people had lost. I started hardcore abusing my powers in Middle School and really paid a price. I was more or less kicked out 'for my own good' after some of the kids beat me up after school for being a 'devil child'. That's why I'm here. I spent a year getting private lessons but I got bored quick and started acting out. Mom and Dad decided this was the best option for me to be among kids more like I am."

"It was right there!" protests Linus, amused and playful. The number two ball is hardly in a good position, though. "I don't know what I would've done if I had a power I could just use whenever I felt like it. Probably would've abused it, too." He shoots the 2 ball, which smacks into the eight and fails to really do much of anything. Mention of getting beat up and labelled makes Linus reflexively narrow his eyes, as though it bothers him on some primal level, but he doesn't say anything.

Claire winces as Linus misses his shot. She looks at the way the 2 ball lies on the table and ponders it. "Well, your power must have been hard to figure out you even had. How did you anyway? Neohuman aren't all that common yet." She approaches the ball from a different angle, only having to lean over just a bit and smack it. It goes careening over to the 7 Ball and smacks it sharply, sending it almost into the pocket but it catches on the edge and bounces away. "Poo!"

"I kinda… didn't." Linus winces at the failed shot, the ball landing where it lands. "Had a couple incidents. I mean… one day I get on a bus and I turn invisible. A year later, I'm in the library…" He studies the board, and then lines up a shot very carefully… cue ball to the two, to the nine, to the side pocket. Make it so! "I bump into this girl, and I teleport in front of her." He draws back, then smacks it. Incredibly, he manages, dropping the nine ball. This makes him blink, "Well shit." With a chuckle, he adds, "That's why they normally play nine ball in best two out of three or something. Goes pretty quick. I teleported in front of her and she was really happy that someone else could do it. And then I, uh, somehow ended up in Cincinnati."

Claire is really amazed by that shot and gives a little golf clap. "You suck? Hardly!" When you get to your tale of powers, she winces. "Cincinatti? Wow… how did you get home. Where is your home?" She pauses for a moment. "I'm from Missing Mile, that's in North Carolina." She is going to get used to sitting this out she feels. He's so much better at it than she is.

"I got lucky. Trust me. I suck." Linus cracks a smile, "Though maybe you're not the greatest either. I can get lucky, though. Actually, I don't, or didn't live that far. Cleveland, Ohio. I actually called my mom. That was real hard to explain. I lied and told her I was running away from home, but came to my senses. Pretty stupid, but I was 13. I ended up here because I saw a burning guy on a bridge. I mean… actually on fire. Neohuman. I kinda didn't know what to do. He was suicidal, so I walked up to him, touched him… kinda got his powers, and just talked to him. Got some local media attention, which is how the institute found me. The interviewer told me I took a huge risk. I mean… yeah. I didn't know it would work. That's… kinda what I was thinking of when I touched Ian."

Claire chalks her cure. "Well, I got sent here. Mom and Dad knew someone who knew someone and they got me sent here. I didn't really want the whole hero gig until just recently but now, well, I think the hero world needs some better fashion sense so I'm going to be one. But no spandex for me. Latex maybe when I'm older but for now it's black lace and parasols." She chuckles. "I'm glas you're here though. I can use all the friends I can get. It's still your shot by the way."

Linus points to the table, "Nah. It's over. If you can sink the nine, you win. I hit the two ball, and got the nine with it." He peers at Claire. "Spandex, huh? I guess it's normal that everyone should be into the superhero gig around here. It's really what this school is for. They don't come out and say it, but it is. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, myself. I'm sure as hell not wearing any spandex." This, in spite of the vision. Sure you're not, Linus. Sure you're not. "Glad you're here, too." He flashes her a smile. "It's a pretty crazy world out there. I should probably get going, though. Need to get on the drums and practice."

Claire puts her cue away. "Okay." She wanders back to grab her purse and sling it back over her shoulder. She catches her own reflection in a window and smiles, running a hand through her long, red hair. "Hey Linus. Take care and don't let things worry you about your powers. You'll master them and then nothing will stop you. Take care. Oh and… good luck." She gives a wink and then heads over to vending machines to get some dried apples and a bottle of water.

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