Looking away
Jonothon Starsmore furnaceface
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The Massachusetts Academy, Early Spring
Jono had a dilemma.

Or, more accurately, Jono had a whole host of dilemmas, all wrapped up into one tidy little envelope, sitting on his nightstand and staring him in the face. In part, of course, because of his face. The letter was, after all, from Xavier. And accepting the proposal in the letter meant a good many things. Leaving Massachusetts. Leaving Angelo and Jubilee and the others behind. He'd done that once before, when he wound up on Fandom Island, and he wasn't entirely certain if doing it now counted as running, or simply moving forward.

And there was the rest of the dilemma, there. Things had been insane for the members of Generation X, lately. Busy, heartbreaking, not particularly easy, and everybody was dealing with these things in their own ways. Surprisingly, the biggest changes to be seen were in Emma and Sean, both of whom were beginning to worry the surviving members of the team. Now would be some pretty rotten timing for Jono to take Xavier up on his offer to join the X-Men. Right?

His eyebrows furrowed a little as he stared again at the letter, and then shook his head, shoving it into his nightstand. He'd sleep on it for a few more nights, and maybe that would help him figure out just where he wanted to go from here. In the meantime, he was pulling out his phone and firing off a short e-mail to his friends.

Believe it or not, I miss you guys. How have things been?

Jonothon's conversation-starting skills needed work. But it was either this, or listen to Paige go on about rescuing trees from some money-hungry oil corporation for the millionth time.

[NFB for distance, but Open for texts, e-mails, surprise multidimensional visits, anything you don't need a mouth for. If you figure your character got Jono's amazingly verbose e-mail, they did, sure! I'm actually around again! Yay, around again!]

notyourpawn

2011-06-27 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)

If I should fail and accidentally send your regards to a few alternative and post-punk albums, or ones prior to 1997, will I be forgiven?

He had to expect she'd be odd. They'd met, after all.

I've destroyed a phone and bonded with the girl who used to bed down with the same boy I did. I'm in a fair bit of trouble, but I'm starting to hope it's nothing I can't outrun. And yourself?

furnaceface

2011-06-27 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)

I think I can find it in my heart to forgive you. Pass on my regards to them as well, if you wish. They were good company during long shifts, after all.

Jono got along just fine with 'odd.' It was a mutant thing, perhaps.

I haven't been in more trouble than I can outrun lately, myself. That's better than nothing, I suppose. Missing the island perhaps a touch more than I should, I admit. Is there anything I can do to help with whatever trouble you're in?

... He'd been playing hero a lot lately. Offering help was force of habit, now.

notyourpawn

2011-06-27 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)

That was due some consideration.

Are you in touch with other graduates? she asked. That was an important question, first. Other than secret-keeping, there's not much else I need. I'm waiting this out, and then I can flee. I must be patient in the meantime, but I've little skill at that.

This was a wee bit of an understatement.

I appreciate the sentiment. The store is much the same as ever. I'm glad that your trouble hasn't caught up to you, yet, or that there isn't much nipping at your heels. Those might be the same thing; I'm not so certain any more.

furnaceface

2011-06-27 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)

They aren't quite the same thing, really. There's plenty of trouble to go around. There usually is. I've just been able to keep from letting it get the best of me, so far. We'll see how long that lasts, I suppose.

Sadly, this was sunshiny optimism for Jonothon.

I'm not in touch with any other graduates that I'm aware of, lately. I've been somewhat rotten at being in touch with anybody at all, I'll admit. If nothing else, I can keep a secret thanks to that.

Edited at 2011-06-27 01:41 am (UTC)

notyourpawn

2011-06-27 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Handy, she wrote back. Should anyone ask, you've no idea where I am. That's all I need. And I might be fleeing again come summer's end. With whom should I leave the store? I'm sorry my tenure as manager is to be so short-lived, but that seems to be when trouble will be due in. Do you have an estimated time of arrival for yours?

She was being awfully selfish, and she ought to rectify that at once.

Is there anything I might do that would assist you? I should like to, if I can.

furnaceface

2011-06-27 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)

You know, you'd think I'd have some better idea about who you ought to leave the shop to? Ariel, perhaps, or keep an eye out for somebody around the island who has an ear for good music. If I knew which way was up lately, I'd say to just keep it in one piece and mail me the keys, and I'd stop in every now and again to make certain that nobody's knocked any walls in.

Jono had been about to say 'burned the place down,' but had managed to think better of that one at the last second. Thank goodness.

Unfortunately, my trouble is that sort of unwanted houseguest that shows up without an invitation and makes itself well at home, in that sort of way that makes it impossible to forget that it's there at all. And it brings friends. Throws parties in the living room, practically. I don't think it's anything I can't handle. It usually isn't, after all. But if I ever do end up needing assistance, I'll keep in mind that you made the offer. Thank you.

notyourpawn

2011-06-27 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Now that had piqued her interest.

Is it the sort of houseguest that one needs to evict? Alice typed. My vorpal blade is a touch rusty, but I can still swing it as well as I ever could, I assure you. Or is this more metaphorical, like the way my madness lives in the back closet? Self-evictions are often the hardest. Keep a weapon steady and don't listen to a word that your own personal Red Queen says. You're the stronger one, that's what matters.

This was as close as Alice got to reassuring and supportive. She was trying, at least.

Ariel it is, then. Lindsay seems trustworthy, as well, and there's a new employee I haven't spoken to much. I really should make more of an effort. I suppose I could leave Dinah in charge, but Dinah seems intent on following me around, and I haven't the heart to leave her behind.

furnaceface

2011-06-27 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)

It's something somewhere between metaphor and the world at large, really. I can hardly evict what I am, and so I have to do the next best thing, and do what I can to be the sort of person that lives to see tomorrow. At this point, I think it's mostly a matter of making the proper decisions. Damned if I know which decisions those ones are, of course.

It was supportive enough, all things considered. Jono would take support where it came. Sure, he got plenty of moral support from the other Generation X kids, but that only ran so deep.

If Dinah is anything like Joni, she really only likes th'place for that patch of sunshine that creeps across the counter in the mid-afternoon. Not terribly useful for getting work done, those sunbeams. What's the new employee like? Musically inclined in the least?

notyourpawn

2011-06-27 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)

There's no escaping what you are, I'm afraid, Alice replied. Those evictions are more difficult. I suppose it's like Leto being Pre-Born, or you being a Mutant, or myself being mad. Certain things are, and one has to accept that as a starting place, regardless of how fair it might seem.

It was nearly Buddhist, which was surprisingly for an Anglican girl who had been losing her faith of late.

You've pegged Dinah in one. The new employee is blond, charming, and thinks me quite mad. He's right, so I've little objection. He likes music, so he makes a handy addition to our group.

furnaceface

2011-06-27 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

At least there's that. Accepting it, I mean. I'm doing a fair bit better at that much than I was before. Fandom did a good number on me in that regard. I suppose the real battle is holding on to that much even while I'm not there.

So far... not so great. There was the real challenge. How was Jono supposed to hold on to his self-esteem when members of his team died gruesomely in the middle of an anti-mutant riot, or when his own friends told him and Angelo to stay behind because they 'look like mutants?'

Thanks again for that one, Lee.

I suppose if he likes music, he can't be all that bad. When does the bloke work? I might have to stop in and play 'Lost Customer' a bit, see if he's learning his way around some, sometime. And if he can't tell the difference between The Clash and Pearl Jam when I come in, I'll whip him into shape before I leave again.

Probably by forcing the poor chap to listen to everything left of the Country section for just about the rest of his life.

Maybe longer.

notyourpawn

2011-06-27 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's a shame one can't mark ground as won, and never have to revisit it, Alice agreed. It would make for a far shorter war. Though placing land mines on mental territory is only going to lead to casualties all the way around.

It was hard to tell when Alice was using metaphor and when she wasn't, some days.

Do you suppose you might visit, then? The CDs would like to see you once more. And you can make Seifer jump through the proper hoops. (Fridays, are his days. Tuesdays are mine.)

She hoped she was spelling his name right.

furnaceface

2011-06-27 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Jono's reply this time around might have taken a bit longer to formulate. There were only so many Seifers in the world, right? Especially ones that walked around as though they owned the world...

And he was working at the Groovy Tunes?

Bloody hell.

I think I might have to pay a visit. Check up on your new Friday employee. Get a bit of fresh air that doesn't involve wandering aimlessly around the wilds of Massachusetts. It might help me clear my head a little. Lord knows I need it.

Seifer. Jono would be laughing, if only he was able.

Besides, the last time I visited, I wound up thinking I was some mad cowboy. I had the most atrocious Texan accent, and kept trying to figure out who took my horse.

Thank you for that, Fandom.

notyourpawn

2011-06-27 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Are there wilds in Massachusetts? I've never been. It always sounded particularly fussy, the way Oxford did. I should like for there to be wilds in Massachusetts, instead of stodgy Pilgrims and tiresome rules.

That Alice tended to anarchy should surprise no one.

I've never been to Texas, either, though it sounds more inclined to the wilds. At least it has horses, which means one can ride. There's something more freeing to knowing that one can at any point climb on and ride and possibly outrun some of those troubles we were discussing earlier. Troubles usually find their own horses but no one said it was a perfect solution.

Nor did anyone say Alice needed to make sense.

If you are to be visiting I feel I should warn you in advance that I may be somewhat rounder about the midsection because it would seem that I am pregnant.

She had been hoping to work up to that one, but ... well. That worked, too.

furnaceface

2011-06-27 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

I should be... congratulating you, then? Is this a "Congratulations" sort of thing?

Round Alices took some sort of priority over horses and wilds. He'd address the rest in a bit, but when someone stated point-blank that they were expecting, there were certain social niceties to be observed. Probably.

He had no idea. Jono was generally pretty terrible at that 'social niceties' stuff.

There are wilds in Massachusetts, yes. You'll be pleased to learn that there haven't been Pilgrims here for quite some time, in fact. Of course, there are rules, too. Most places come with rules. But avoiding those is mostly just a matter of knowing where to go in order to not get caught.

notyourpawn

2011-06-28 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)

I've yet to determine that myself. Alice didn't see any point in tiptoeing around it. Leto will be thrilled; he's long since lost the ability to sire children. (There's a timeline mishap in play.) But I'd be a perfectly dreadful mother, and I can't picture myself warming to the role. I'm not certain where this leaves me, and I'm short on time to decide.

She bit her lip before continuing.

I do like that approach myself -- rules only apply if one isn't caught breaking them. Most rules can be bent, anyway, if one is skillful enough to apply pressure in the right place. Is Massachusetts dangerous? Is it filled with oddities and madness? Would it be a safe haven for someone fleeing her own life?

Out of curiosity. She had Wonderland, but it was lonely being the only person there.

More importantly, are you enjoying Massachusetts?

(no subject) - furnaceface, 2011-06-28 01:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - notyourpawn, 2011-06-28 01:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - furnaceface, 2011-06-28 02:16 am (UTC) (Expand)