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 If Only In My Dreams, Open
Flare
Posted: Mar 18 2012, 07:04 PM


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Posts: 277
Member No.: 334
Joined: 28-February 12



It had been a long day. Time seemed to slow to a crawl. She had seen Logan today. She didn't even know he had came back. She had heard all about Scott coming back, but his return seemed much more muted. He didn't even see her. If he did, he didn't acknowledge her. She laughed to herself at the thought. When had he ever acknowledge her? He had plenty of women in his life, more than one of them romantically. Zita? Barely a blip on that radar. It was heart wrenching for her. With Dustin in her life, it was finally starting to become easier to cope. Than she saw Logan, and all her hard work fell to pieces. She had wanted to talk to him, to tell him how she felt, but she froze. What the hell would she have said anyway? I love you? I missed you? Why haven't you called? Bullshit. They may have been around each other for five year, but they were barely even friends, let alone lovers.

Making her way to her room, she passed by a couple of the brats sneaking off to their room, holding hands. Rolling her eyes, she carried on. It would have been wrong for her to be jealous of them. Young love, it always seemed so romantic even though they were barely old enough to understand what love is. As she pushed open the door to her room, she was greeted by silence. Zita sighed. She didn't know what she had been expecting, but the silence she was always greeted by seemed deafening. Leaving her door half open, she made her way to her bed. Flopping down, she tried to hide her face from the last light of the sun as it crawled below the horizon. She really just needed a nap right now. She was exhausted for no other reason than from trying to hold herself together. Sleep embraced her quicker than she realized…


A knock at her door disturbed her rest. Sitting up, she called out, "Who is it?". A gruff, "It's me.", came in response. She recognized the voice in an instant. Racing to the door, she pulled it open to see the all too familiar man. Logan. He had come to see her. She smiled and told him, "Long time, no see." He nodded, "Yeah, well, you know how it is…Had to make all the rounds…" Zita nodded, "No, no, of course. I get it. They're your family. Gotta at least say hi." Logan smiled, seemingly in agreement with her words. "Did you want to come in?" She asked him, and he nodded once again.

Closing the door behind him, she looked at him as he looked around her room. He hadn't changed a bit. He turned around to face her and she tried to act like she hadn't been checking him out. Even though she totally was. "Listen, being gone made me realize something…" Zita froze. "Oh?" She had no idea what he was going to say. He paused, hesitant in going forward with the conversation. "I realized…I missed you." Zita's face lit up, asking him, "Really?" He nodded again, visibly embarrassed. It was strange seeing him that way. Logan never got embarrassed, at least, not that she had ever noticed.

Moving closer to him, she stroked the side of his face. It was prickly from the beard growing in. He clasped a hand around hers. She told him, "I missed you too…" As he kissed her hand, she pulled him into an embrace. What was more amazing than that was that he responded. Every movement, every kiss was returned in kind. Before she could even register what was happening, they were in her bed. His embrace was tender and warm. His grasp firm yet gentle. All Zita could think about was how happy she was right in this moment.

Then the unimaginable happened…



She woke up.


She blinked awake, looking around. Pulling herself up, she looked around her room. There was no sign that anyone had even been in her room. It was all just a dream. Tears spilled out before she could do anything to stop them. Just a dream? Just a dream. That was all their relationship would ever be. The delusions of an unhappy woman. Sobbing hysterically, she clutched at her chest. She could almost feel it breaking inside of her. How it ached. Logan would never look at her that way and she full well knew it.

She was just kidding herself thinking otherwise. But in her mind, he was just as much at fault as she was. He never so much as told her he wasn't interested. That question always went unanswered. It gave her a false sense of hope. How dare he do that. Tears of despair turned into tears of fury. In an instant, she had set herself on fire. Setting the sheets of her bed on fire, she headed to her living room. Throwing everything she could, she tried to release her anger. Everything she had was burning. She screamed in agony. Why did it have to hurt so much.

As the fire continued to burn, she started snapping out of it. Focus, Zita, focus. Put the fire out, then cry your eyes out, she told herself. Choking back her tears, she tried to concentrate. Breathing heavily, she pictured the flames vanishing in her mind. Looking back to her burning room, she watched as the flames slowly sputtered out. This was always the hardest part for her. Eventually, most of them died, though a few small embers still burned. The flames surrounding her body then died out as well, the exhaustion of putting out the fires negating her ability to set herself on fire.

So there she was. Kneeling on the ground, holding herself for support. Naked and weeping, not unlike a child. Most of room was black now. Her television had been smashed in. Her couch was flipped over and burnt. Curtains hung in ragged form. Her bed was half melted. Her bathroom seemed to be the only place in her room spared, that and the select pieces of furniture in her room that had already been fireproofed. She knew she probably triggered the smoke alarm, but she didn't care. She was absolutely miserable. She was miserable because she was finally realizing what she should have known all along. Logan would never want her the way she wanted him. She couldn't understand why she hadn't come to this realization earlier. She also didn't understand why she couldn't stop crying.
Beast
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 01:50 PM


Unregistered









How wonderful that sweet embrace of sleep could be after a long day of educating young minds. Whilst Hank adored his work with a great passion and would have happily taught classes throughout the night if he thought either he or his students might have maintained the awareness or concentration for them to actually learn anything, he had to admit that it was very thoroughly exhausting, although almost unparalleled in the satisfaction it offered. As such, Hank blinked his round amber eyes and rubbed at them with a heavy paw, as if he might blink away the tiredness from his head. "How terribly unfortunate," he opined aloud to the furniture as if it might reply. Hank often found inanimate objects to be the most wonderful companions in thought. He could not count how many problems had been solved by going over them with an at-hand teaching skeleton or petri dish.

He gently, as if the book in his hands were some delicate living creature he did not wish to harm- set down the well-thumbed copy of Finnegan's Wake he had been reading before bed, slipping a thick red leather bookmark in the pages so he did not lose his place. "I had been hoping to get in another chapter, but it seems time has made a fool of me." His exhaustion had reached the point that the words were starting to blur, and he had decided that it was about time to get to sleep. Hank had a natural inclination towards burning the candle at both ends. He was both a late sleeper and early riser, loving nothing more than to while away the wee small hours flicking through the pages of some delicious morsel of a book and waking up early to watch the sunrise and walk the eternally rewarding grounds of the Institute which he was simply so lucky to inhabit. He slipped his gold little reading glasses from his head and let them rest on his night-stand on top of the book, then flicked off his light. Pulling the sheets up, he rolled over and found himself slipping, as if being pulled downwards by some great, comfortable weight, in to sleep.

***


Several hours later, Hank's nose began to wriggle and squirm almost independently of the rest of his face. Being a rather more sensitive nose than most, it smelt the smoke emanating from Zita's room across the hall before it had even become visible in the corridor. Hank's nose continued to dance its enthusiastic little performance on his face, until it managed to jerk the furry mutant attached to it out of his dreamless sleep and in to wakefulness. Hank snapped upright in bed with lightning speed. That was definitely smoke. Smoke coming from, unless he was terribly mistaken, the direction of Zita's room. Hank swung out of bed with an agility which seemed almost unexpected. It was easy to forget that, with all of his plodding discussions on literature and lectures upon the beauty of science and art, Hank was also capable of moving faster than even the fastest primate when the need struck. And right now, with his home smelling conspicuously like fire, the need was striking hard.

He bolted for the door and swung it open. His nose was still twitching as he sniffed. Looking out on the corridor he could see the thin grey trail of smoke rising like dragon's breath from Zita's room. Zita, as Hank knew, was a pyrokinetic, so he opted not to raise the alarm throughout the whole Mansion. Not yet, at least. If he opened the door to find some raging inferno, then he was already preparing his lungs to bellow the walls down. That didn't mean he wasn't still bloody concerned, though. He snatched a fire extinguisher from a wall just to be on the safe side, and practically burst her door down, smashing at it with his paw. "Zita!" He yelled at the mute wood, slowly being swallowed by the growing smoke. "Zita, are you OK?" No reply.

Turning his shoulder to the wood, Hank pulled back and slammed in to the door with all the force one would expect of the former star quarterback of the George E Hale High School varsity football team, knocking it open. His eyes grew wide as he saw inside. A dozen flickering little candle flames still waiting to burn out, the acrid toxic tang of smoke and a crouching, crying girl. "Oh my stars and--" Hank wielded his extinguisher like a weapon, spraying powder brutally upon all the little sparks and twinkling ash piles, lest those little flames grow bold and try to swell. Sweating and flustered, Hank dropped the fire extinguisher to the floor with a clang. The smoke was still hanging in the air like a swarm, stinging at his skin and eyes. Hank blinked away tears and turned his attention now to the friend who knelt in tears on the floor.

Hank opened the door to the bathroom and saw a fluffy white towel hanging upon the towel rack. It was a vast thing, the size of a blanket, and its pristine, diamond white seemed to be mocking the grubby grey which covered much of Zita's living space after her fire. Deciding that such mockery could not stand, Hank plucked it like a feather and returned to Zita. He looked away to preserve the young lady's modesty, and attempted blindly to place it comfortingly against her shaking, sobbing shoulders. Once he was sure she was covered enough that her dignity could be preserved, he turned to her. He placed a long blue arm around her shoulders, and squeezed tightly. "Come now," he whispered, his voice as comforting as a warm cup of tea after a long day. "Come now, dear, don't cry. It's OK." He smiled bravely, and hoped to see it reflected in her face.
Flare
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 05:38 PM


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Posts: 277
Member No.: 334
Joined: 28-February 12



Yelling, she could hear yelling. Why were the yelling? What were they even saying? Zita could barely hear anything over her own pitiful wails. When she heard the fire extinguisher going off, her sobs lessened. She had company now, better stop blubbering like a child. She didn't look up to see who it was until she heard the fire extinguisher hit the floor. Through the smoke, she saw the unmistakable blue fur of the Doc. She had forgotten he lived down the hall from her. She let out a small laugh, though it was muffled from her sobs. Even though he was just down the hall, she never paid him much mind. He was probably one of the few who was able to put up with her and her nonsense.

Not in much of a condition to offer him a greeting, she simply watched as the Doc slipped into her bathroom. While curious, it was soon obvious he only went in there to fetch a towel for her. Ah, right. He was one of those overtly modest folk who didn't want to see her naked. She didn't care either way. After all, when one sets oneself on fire, one stops giving a rat's ass about modesty. She saw him look away as he placed the towel on her. Zita let out a giggle. It was almost sweet of him. She pulled the towel tightly over her shoulders, embracing its softness.

Quickly wiping her face with the towel, she leaned into him when she felt his arm wrap around her shoulders. His assurances that everything was going to be okay was surprisingly comforting. She let out more sobs, burying her face in his shoulder to muffle the sound. They were beginning to subside and Zita was finally able to breathe without breaking into a fit of sobs. Choking out a laugh, she told him, "You know…it's funny. I was actually planning on talking to you about getting my room fireproofed…" Looking around to what was left, the small smile she had on face quickly turned into a frown. She thought it a little late for that now, seeing as the whole room would have to be repaired now. She bit her lower lip, scared at how the others would take the sheer devastation of it all.
Beast
Posted: Apr 5 2012, 01:50 PM


Unregistered









How strange that her laugh she be so infectious. Perhaps it was instinct. In the fact of a raging inferno which one only just managed to defeat, it was the innate reaction to laugh. Laughing in the face of death. Hank knew it all too well. He also had to admit that the image- a naked, slender twenty-something having a towel forced around her by a gigantic blue gorilla man who was, admittedly, far too bashful for someone of his age in a still-smoking room- was actually sort of funny in a totally bizarre way. So Hank found his own smile growing on his face. Mostly, he was just relieved she was OK. Whilst he was sure that fire to a pyrokinetic presented about as much of a threat as a bag of peanuts presented to him (Hank hadn't even liked peanuts until he became simian, for god's sake. And despite enjoying them and knowing they contained plenty of potassium, he point-blank refused to eat bananas).

Realising with a blush of such stark crimson that it almost showed despite the thick fur across his cheeks that the towel, which had looked to be the size of a sub-continent when he picked it up, actually covered surprisingly little of her modesty, Hank glanced around at the room desperately awkwardly. Much of what might have covered her appeared to have been blackened like so much forgotten about toast. Hank looked down at himself. His own vast physical size meant that, when taken off of him, his pyjama shirt wound up resembling nothing short of a circus tent. Reasoning that his training outfit with the X-Men had, for several months, involved no shirt, and also that his hair more than counted as appropriate covering, Hank tugged his shirt off over his head. "Here, Zita," He said, almost apologetically. If only he'd had the foresight to grab something for her to wear ahead of time. But he couldn't go back and leave her like this, and it was much too ungentlemanly to go rifling through a lady's wardrobe, so it would have to do. "Put this on. Cover yourself up. Keep warm." Mostly the first one, though. In fact, almost entirely the first one, the room was still boiling from the fire. The second one just provided a convenient second excuse for her to put some clothes on and spare Hank his blushes.

Hank smiled. He and Forge could probably have fireproofed much of this, it was true. Hank wasn't exactly a genius when it came to technological innovation, but he could always help Forge out with some sort of flameproofing gadget or widget or thingamajig. He nodded. "Oh, don't despair, Zita." He looked around. True, there was a lot of damage, but Hank forced himself to adopt the eyes of an optimist. He stood up and brushed some of the undamaged surfaces, wiping away the soot and smoke damage to reveal the same colour it had always been. "Much of this is salvageable. I can get some of the students to come in here tomorrow morning with mops and buckets and we should be able to get it all cleaned up and good as new as soon as possible."

He smiled bravely, and rested a paw back on her back. "Nothing valuable was damaged, was it?" He asked it quietly and delicately, with all of his dignified doctoral bedside manner. Lord knew, some fires took things which meant as much as people. Last photographs of grandma and grandpa, the toys you'd had since childhood. He merely hoped here that the only thing which had received any damage were his cheeks, which he suspected would never stop blushing.
Flare
Posted: Apr 5 2012, 04:27 PM


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Member No.: 334
Joined: 28-February 12



Surprised by the sudden offer of his shirt, Zita was initially hesitant. Upon realizing that the towel, while warm, barely covered her, she could see why. Shedding the towel, she pulled on his shirt over her head. The thing was enormous on her, but she didn't mind. It was warm and felt nice on her skin.

Watching him as he stood up to clear some debris, Zita couldn't help but smile. He was always so kind to her, despite all the grief she gave him. Reassured by his words, she stood up as well. "Yeah…that sounds good…" Gaze turning to her bedroom, she made a mental note to come back later to see what could be salvaged.

At the question of valuables, Zita simply shook her head. "Nah, anything valuable would've stuck with my mother or…" She paused, frowning slightly. "Or my father, I guess…" Shrugging, she felt Hank's hand return to her back. "I don't know that I even had anything of sentimental value…Didn't come here with much…" Looking up to Hank, a look of confusion crossed her face. This quickly transformed into a smirk. "Hank McCoy…are you blushing? I think you are…"

Leaning in closer to his face, she could definitely see a distinct colour variation. It was exactly bright red, but it definitely looked like he was blushing. She scoffed at the notion. "Now, don't tell me you're embarrassed being in the same room as a naked woman?" She tried to hold back a giggle, which failed miserably. As much as she should be upset, she couldn't help but smile and laugh at him. Her hand slid down her throat, where it hit her necklace. Her smile lessened as she thought of what its creator might say about this stunning display of control loss.
Beast
Posted: Apr 11 2012, 01:07 PM


Unregistered









Hank was both surprised and happy at how quickly she seemed to get it together. Had it been him who had just, literally, seen many of his possessions- even though thankfully none of them apparently held any great sentimental important- go up in smoke, he would not have been half as together as she was. He supposed fires were just one of the occupational hazards of possessing powers such as Flare's. He was glad to see her put on his shirt. Now he could look at her without being worried that you might be able to add his cheeks to the things which burst in to fire on top of everything else, such as the ferocity of their blushing. Her demeanour meant that he could make his own plans for getting the room back in good shape without too much worrying. She was not arguing with him, which he was thankful for. The fire had made his alertness shoot up, so he barely felt tired at all, but he was still thinking far too sluggishly to wind up rowing. He was always much less likely to find himself in some conflict or other early on in the morning.

Hank did have one question, though. He had kept it quiet until now, his natural curiosity battling with his social tact and desire not to upset Zita any further when he had already found her crying. However, he finally decided to voice it. "What happened here?" He asked, interested as to what could possibly spark such a raging inferno so quickly. He had been about to reassure her again, to tell her all about how it didn't really matter what you came with to the Institute, because one did not so much bring a life to the Institute as one built one around it- cobbling together memories and possessions until you had a veritable smorgasbord of sentimentally important knick-knacks and artefacts. He had been planning on asking her that, but then he was utterly caught by her next question.

Now, it was not entirely untrue that Hank was uncomfortable around naked women. He saw nothing wrong with nudity on any level. For goodness' sake, when he'd first developed in to his simian form the new layers of animal psychology meant that he'd worn little more than a pair of boxer briefs in to his Danger Room sessions for months. Thank god that someone had talked some sense in to him and made him realise that just because he had fur it didn't mean he could go without clothes. He also knew of the artistic and even health benefits of human nudity. What would Michelangelo's David be if he were wearing pants? Or where would the Venus de Milo be if she was forced in to a bra? That was too say nothing of the purported benefits felt by many naturists- additional health, vigour and energy and greater health.

It was not as simple as a fear of sex, either. Hank may have had his love life impeded somewhat when he unexpectedly grew fur and transformed in to a cross between the Cowardly Lion and the Cookie Monster, but he was not afraid of female nudity. " Embarrassed?" Yes, he probably was a little embarrassed. Mostly because of the fact that Hank had an impeccable belief in manners and etiquette, and the fact was that that included the wearing of pants. "Of course not. I'm not embarrassed." He lied without confidence, and his blushes betrayed him.
Flare
Posted: Apr 11 2012, 05:35 PM


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Member No.: 334
Joined: 28-February 12



What happened here?

His words rang through her, sending shivers down her spine, and not the pleasant kind. No, the words almost stung. Obviously, no ill will was behind them, Zita knew as much. She just wasn't sure what to say or even how to say it. Tears had already begun to well up and she did her best to blink them away. What was she going to tell him? She could tell him to mind his own business, but then he might take offence and leave her alone. She couldn't bear the thought of being alone right now. She could tell him she had a bad dream, but that wasn't entirely true. It was a wonderful dream. She could only wish it had been real.

While her teasing and Hank's claims of not being embarrassed distracted her from this question, she knew she was going to have to give him an answer at some point. But she didn't want to. Smiling at him, she commented on his lies, "Liar. You so are…" Leaning into him, she added, "It's kinda sweet really…" Pausing, she looked up at him, locking eyes with him. It felt strange to Zita. She had never really paid him much mind in the past. But the fact that he was here, now, seeing a side of her that no one ever got to see. It alarmed her, the way her heart was quickening by looking into his eyes.

Casting her gaze downwards, she let out a small sigh. She may as well tell him, embarrassing as it was. "I saw Logan today…" She started, pausing to laugh at herself. "I know I shouldn't have feelings for him, but I do and…just knowing that I'll never mean anything to him…It kills me…" Grasping at his fur, she buried her face into his chest. He was almost like a teddy bear now, soft and comforting. But better than a stuffed toy, for he could offer words of encouragement and well thought out advice. "I know now he'll never love me…I get that…Maybe I'll even be able to get over it…But…" She hesitated, not sure if she should continue.

Despite this, words continued to spill forth. "Now I'm thinking…I'm just going to be alone for the rest of my life…I mean, who would want to be with a freak like me? I set things on fire just because I'm upset…Even if I do get control of my powers, things like this…" She gestured to her room, head still leaning against him. "…Still happen and probably will always happen…" Finally lifting her head, she looked to him, looking absolutely miserable. "I don't want to be alone…" She said with a whimper in her voice.
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