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Ride or Die

Posted on Thu Oct 12th, 2023 @ 16:10 by Jonathan Monroe & Mhairi McIntyre

Chapter: All Hallow's Eve
Location: Avalon Institute, Main Courtyard
Timeline: Evening, Tuesday, 2nd of November 1992
1327 words - 2.7 OF Standard Post Measure

The sounds of the pebbles underneath the large tires of the land rover disturbed the peace and quiet of the abandoned courtyard. The driver navigated effortlessly to the garages, former stables, that she knew would be the most likely place to find Cameron. All the way here her knuckles had been white, the news broadcast that featured that pompous Duke and his trophy-wife had infuriated her so much that she had walked out in the middle of it and had made preparations.

When in the middle of those preparations coolness had prevailed a bit she realised that she probably had to have an excuse to just come waltzing in here, because she wasn't anything to the people in Avalon, just a local mechanic. Mhairi wouldn't blame them for keeping the doors closed on her. Which is when she realised that there was still the matter of the American classic in the garage. She had pulled a spare part off the shelf and was going to use that as a means to get in. It had worked swimmingly. Perhaps a word was needed with their security protocols.

On her drive over to the institute her anger had returned, courtesy of the radio broadcast discussing the proposed sweeping changes to legislation by the Douche. The normally 15 minute drive had taken significantly less for her to come over the bridge and into the courtyard. Leaving the lights on she stepped out of the car and walked towards the half open door of the garage. "Cam?"

A shock of blue hair poked out from one corner. "Sorry, you missed him," Jon said, a little surprised to have been disturbed in his recent hiding place. He wiped some of the grease from his hands with a rag. "Can I help you with something instead?"

The fact that other people lived in this castle as well, and that they might actually be using common spaces. Like, say, a garage. And now Mhairi was standing there, fists clenched, and a load of pent up energy that had nowhere to go. "I. Ehm." She then remembered her ruse. "I have a car part for 'im." She looked around the garage, heart pounding in her chest still. "It's for an old American." She realised it was super weird to be doing this late in the evening, but she was in for a penny now.

"Well, now I'm trying to work out if he was talking about me or the car," Jon replied, a hint of good humour in his tone. He motioned towards the workbench on the other side of the garage. "Over there. I don't think he has much of a storage system."

Mhairi hesitated a moment, should she just drop the part and then be on her way again? "How is everyone holding up in here? Considering." She tried to suppress her Scottish accent, knowing yanks had a more difficult time keeping up with her if she didn't. A skill she'd had to master in Africa, but that had ebbed away now that she was back in the same house as her dad.

"Holding. Mostly up." Jonathan discarded the rag. "For some of us it's more of an angle, you know. Not quite fully 'up'." It was a weird sort of joke that he instantly wished he hadn't come out with. "It's been a strange few days, to be honest. I'm a little surprised to see someone showing up that wasn't part of the faculty. I can't imagine a lot of people would want to hang around here after all that's happened."

It was a solid question. What was she doing here? What had pushed her to drive here way above the speed limit to get to a place that was probably in the cross-hairs. "I wanted to make sure you know there's people in New Cresthill that's on your side." The shotgun in her trunk was to make sure she could hold back those elements in the nearby town that weren't. She could only imagine how frazzled everyone would be inside the institute, "and offer my help."

"That's...kind." He wasn't sure how to take the offer. It was probably one better extended to Claire, but he was the one she'd extended it to. "I'm not much of a mechanic, so I'm sure Cam would appreciate a hand around here."

"Oh, I'm sure he could use a proper mechanic to look over his work, but that's not what I meant." Mhairi laughed a bit at her own jab at the expense of the institute's tech teacher. To be fair she wasn't quite sure what she had meant. Would she stand shoulder to shoulder with them facing off against other mutant threats? Would she be there protesting against legislation? Would she actually pick up her weapon and fire it at bigots? The only thing she knew for sure was that she'd seen too much injustice in the world to simply let this slide. "What do you do around here? Besides standin' around lookin' pretty?" Her Scottish lilt seeped through.

Jonathan's cheeks flushed a little pink, which no doubt clashed with the blue of his hair. "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise,” he finally responded. Then he cringed a little that he had responded with a Les Miserables quote. "That's Victor Hugo. I teach English. Literature, mostly. Which, I understand is a little strange given my accent."

"I dinnae judge people by their accents." Mhairi emphasised her own Scottishness as she did so. "Hugo, he wasn't English, was he?" She knew the name, but wouldn't be able to point out the reference if it saved her life. She'd never paid much attention in English class. Enough to make herself heard and understood, not enough to go around quoting French poets or middle-English playwrights.

"Hugo was French," he confirmed. "An accent I don't appreciate quite as much as the local brogue, I must admit." He glanced over the discarded pieces around the motorcycle. It was in a safe enough state to leave for the moment. "Although their food is better," he teased.

"French food? Better?" The indignation did nothing to ease the strong Scottish tones in Mhairi's voice. "Daft bastard." There was a bit of a moment where she contemplated what to do. She still wanted to check on Cameron but with Jonathan there it would probably raise suspicions. "Next time you're in town, I'm taking you out. I showed Cam the finer points of Scottish cuisine, I'm sure I can impart some culinary wisdom on you as well." She shook her head at that. "Land of the big mac dares to comment on haggis." She muttered under her breath. "Maybe I should go up to Cam's room and tell him some philistine is messing about in his garage."

He deliberately overlooked the part where she'd offered to take him out. He wasn't sure how good an idea that was, with his recent history. "Oh he knows. I think I'm the only one working down here that doesn't bother him." Jon grinned and cleaned the last traces of grease from his thumb. "Can't say he's really mentioned you, though. His dirty little secret, perhaps?"

"There's nothin' dirty to keep secret." Mhairi snapped a bit too tersely and a bit too quickly perhaps. She pointed at the car part she had put on the workbench and then clapped her hands. "Delivery done, I probably should get going before you make me want to beat up a Yank." She gave a smirk and a wink to make sure he realised it wasn't a serious threat as she started to back out of the garage. 'Tell 'im I said hi."

"Will do." Jon thought about referencing the dinner offer, but in the moment chose to leave it alone. Let fate guide that opportunity. "Take care, Mhairi."

After all, he wasn't sure he was ready for haggis with a real Scot.


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