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A Theatrical Reunion

Posted on Thu Dec 22nd, 2022 @ 12:27 by Claire Cavendish & Reagan D'Angelo

Chapter: Prologue: Dawn of Avalon
Location: Reagan's personal quarters and the auditorium, Avalon Institute
Timeline: Monday, September 14th, 1992
2846 words - 5.7 OF Standard Post Measure

With a gentle knock Claire made her presence known right outside the door of their resident biology teacher. "Rae, are you in there?" She shifted her weight from one foot to the other waiting for a response, hoping she wouldn't catch the other woman at a bad time.

Was it that time already? Faculty and students beginning to trickle back in earnest to prepare for the new school year? Reagan looked up from the lesson planner on her desk, taking the distraction time to twist and stretch her arms and torso to one side and then the other before speaking. "Unfortunately here and not outside. Come in, Claire." Her entire form shifted then, pushing the chair out for some more room and turning so she'd be facing the door when it opened.

Claire stepped inside and looked across the room to find Reagan standing there to greet her. She fiddled with the bit of paper in her hand before realizing something; "You didn't come see me when you came back from your summer holiday." She crossed the room and opened her arms towards the other woman.

Reagan couldn't help but smile when the purple woman entered, despite her normally cool demeanor. She stood from the chair, raising an eyebrow at the paper. "I wasn't sure if you'd be around quite yet, I was rather early." With the approach and the gesture, Reagan caved and raised her arms to receive the hug, briefly embracing Claire with a little squeeze before leaning back to watch the other woman. "Wanted to get back in time to hike and do some bonus lessons with some of our children who didn't really have the option to go on vacation, hm? How are you, love?"

"It's good. I'm good." Claire nodded and took a step back, she waved the paper. "I wanted to ask you for a favour." She took in a deep breath to steady herself. "We've run out of a couple of things, or I forgot to buy them in the first place, and I think the local town has had enough of pretending to tolerate me for the rest of the month." She wasn't proud of wanting to avoid the stares and talking behind her back, but some days she just couldn't cope.

There was an answer, at least. Succinct, back on point. How good was she really? Reagan didn't pry further though, plenty of room to frown in the remainder of that request. She held out her hand with palm open, ready to accept the list, and the subsequent favor, without even needing the verbal response that came. "Absolutely, I was just looking for a chance to get out and stretch my legs anyhow. You're sure you're okay? You know I don't handle their... attitudes well. Could come with, give me an excuse to openly correct anyone who even looks at you funny." She offered a smile to the other woman then, barest hint of mischief hidden behind her eyes.

"It wasn't really a good morning." Claire immediately put up her hands to stop Reagan from interrupting her. "We don't need a crusade or a protest today." She pointed at the list. "Today we need butter." She hated that she couldn't be an activist every day, and that some days she had to choose butter over telling a bigoted old farmer to lube up because the butter was going somewhere very uncomfortable.

The gesture seems necessary, at least at first. Reagan nearly adds in her two cents, but stays quiet to wait for Claire to finish. She nods then, running a hand back through her blonde locks slowly. "Got it, grocery run. Double-edged sword, living out here, hm? Well don't let it get to you, all I'm saying. Bumpkins would be lucky to have a friend like you." She nodded then, more than sure of her words as she took the piece of paper in hand, eyes still not leaving Claire's features. "I'll get some ice cream too, and we'll sit and demolish it while we catch up when I get back, deal?"

"That sounds really nice." Claire smiled at the prospect of ice cream. It was still summer enough to pass it off as fitting to the season. "Maybe dust off the VHS, I just received a copy of Silence of the Lambs. Supposedly a very good film." While catching up was nice it also meant that she'd probably have to talk about all the goings on in her head since over the summer she had barely gotten off the school grounds. Then a smirk crept over her features as she pointed at the list; "Popcorn?"

Reagan considered the other woman with the film selection. "One thing I miss about living in London. I've missed so many movies over the past few years. You think we could get a nice projector, set up a big screen somewhere?" The possibilities got a mirrored smirk out of Reagan before she briefly returned to her desk to check her lesson plan was in a good spot to close the book neatly over a bookmark. "Popcorn, soft drinks, candy. The whole experience. Long as it gives us a chance to catch up somewhere in there."

"I'll see if we can find room in the budget for a projector." Claire pushed a strand of hair back behind her ear. "For now we can make do with the big screen TV in the auditorium. I can set it up, meet me there?"

Reagan briefly regarded Claire again then, a smile returned alongside a nod. That answer was more than to her satisfaction. She gathered her coat, handbag, and double checked her shoes were the going out sort, before a hand squeezed Claire's shoulder on her way back to the door, list tucked into her pocket. "Full movie experience, sounds great. Don't forget blankets, yeah? I think the auditorium is still having a little issue with the draft."

With that, she left, leaving the door ajar for Claire to exit when she was ready. Reagan's room wasn't some sacred, private space for her, not here at least. And it was Claire's school after all, not like Reagan could keep her out if she wanted, save for asking nicely.

Claire immediately followed Rea out of the room. Despite it 'being her school' she respected people's private space. She made a mental note to let William know about the ongoing issue in the auditorium. But it wasn't a major concern for tonight. She had some heavy and warm blankets in her own room that would keep them nice and warm.

[Later that day, in the auditorium]

Having first stopped by the kitchen to drop off the real supplies, Reagan made her way into the auditorium with a large bowl of popcorn tucked under one arm, a few boxes of candy sticking out of her coat pockets, and a pair of big, glass Coca-Cola bottles, one in each hand. "Claire? Back, got the goods!"

"Awesome!" Claire's muffled voice came from behind the big screen TV, which had been moved to be a bit closer to a couch that was also not in the middle of the room before. It took a moment before the purple woman herself appeared. "I think everything's set up and ready to go." She walked back over to the couch which had a big blanket on it and some pillows to make things comfortable. "Any trouble in the town?"

Reagan approached when Claire's voice gave her away, giving an impressed nod and a grin at the sight of the couch, blankets and pillows and all. "No trouble at all. I even placated the grumpy old man in line with me by explaining his chances of losing the rest of his hairline in the next five to ten years. No violence, right?"

The other woman came into view and Reagan held out one of the bottles, still cold and unopened. Then it was time to set down the popcorn and her own bottle before slinking out of her coat, throwing the boxes of candy in the middle. Finally, she took a seat and relaxed with a heavy breath. "Silence of the Lambs you said? This is that suspenseful one, right? If there's jump scares, feel free to hide in my arm." She'd smile again, always teasing or jabbing when she wasn't in work mode or with someone she knew and trusted. It was a side of her that was just not commonly seen before she'd come to the Institute, and so, now, she always seemed to take opportunities to let it out. Be herself, unafraid.

"Not a clue. We'll find out together" Claire sat back in the couch and started the video, trying to avoid having to have a more in depth conversation about her timenover the summer. She looked up at the lights on the ceiling, then at the lightswitch. "Hold this. Don't judge me. One moment." She handed her coke bottle to Reagan before pulling the blanket over herself. She focused on the corner next to the lightswitch at the other side of the auditorium. It was always more difficult when not being able to look directly at her destination but she was so familiar with the insides of the institute that it only took a second for the Claire shape to disappear from under the blanket.

A moment later the lights on the auditorium switched off. Claire double checked the doors were closed. She then focused back on the couch. Now that the entire auditorium was shrouded in darkness it became a lot easier for the head teacher to make the jump back to the couch. She misjudged the height of the couch by a couple centimeters and landed with a dull thud back next to Rea. She reached over to get her coke back. "Ooh. Previews."

"None, hm? Maybe it'll be a romantic flick and we forgot the tissues! Always have to plan ahead, Claire." Mockingly, Reagan tsked and shook her head, watching her friend get right into things. Well, so much for catching up. And suddenly she was holding a Coke and Claire was under a blanket. "Wha--?" The Claire sized lump disappeared and her mouth hung open briefly, stunned. And then the lights went out.

Reagan just watched her reappear, snickering with the thud that made the blonde bob briefly with the motion travelling through the couch. Her eyes were anywhere but on the screen, previews indeed, but for more movies she hadn't bothered to keep up with with her busy summer. "So... you said no judging, right? Neat little trick..." Reagan held the Coke just out of reach, bumping the other's grasping digits with the cold glass but keeping it back intentionally. No way she was getting out of talking that easily.

Grasping at her drink but only grasping at air. "I'm an out and proud mutant. I can use my gifts to make life easier." She pointed at the screen as it was starting to show production company's logo's. "and I really appreciate you going on the supply run for us."

Reagan continued to play keep-away with the bottle, eyes glancing sidelong at the giant screen as actual information she might care to see came up. Meanwhile, her free hand adjust a blanket over her lap before settling the popcorn bowl between the two neatly and grabbing a handful for her to pluck individual kernels from. "Uh huh... I'll get you talking eventually, missy. No amount of teleporting is getting you out of that. Oh, Anthony Hopkins is in this? I think I remember that from a preview..."

"Nominated for an Oscar." Claire curled her legs up under the blanket and grabbed her own first portion of the popcorn. "I'm sure the Academy knows what they're talking about." She knew that Reagan wouldn't let her get away with just focusing on the big screen a couple of meters away, but for the next two hours or so she'd be able to just watch a film with a friend.

"Only nominated? Must make it one of the actual good ones. Winners always seem like a cop-out." Reagan only tried for a little bit longer, but Claire's willpower won out in the end, that and the movie actually being interesting. Popcorn went quickly, as did most of the drinks. Reagan was genuinely riveted by the film. Sadly, that was likely the reason that her box of Raisinets made a tragic tumble as she was trying to open it, slipping down the slope of a blanket and into the cushions. Reagan frowned, looked briefly at Claire, and reached back, phasing her arm through the cushion to grab the box on the other side, rather than digging and throwing everything into disarray.

Silently triumphant, she raised the box and finished opening the bag, pouring a few into her mouth directly. Her favorite movie candy, well worth the sensation of sticking her arm in a puddle of warm, gooey marshmallow that reaching through the cushion felt like. "Ever had liver with fava beans and chianti? A good pairing. Doctor Lecter knows his cuisine." She readjusted, setting the empty popcorn bowl on the floor before putting a pillow against Claire's arm and leaning on it. Nice and comfortable.

Claire snickered a bit at the rather morbid comment. As Reagan lay down she adjusted her arm to accommodate the biology teacher. "Probably tastes like chicken." She had finished all of her snacks and when Reagan was bumbling with her raisinettes she wanted to comment on wasting perfectly good sugar bombs. A comment stuck in neutral as she saw her friend's hand disappear into the pillow. "You think you could reach inside someone and remove their liver?" It was a gruesome question that she probably shouldn't have vocalised.

"Lots of iron, kind of metallic." Reagan added casually. The latter comment however caught her off guard, head shifting to let eyes directly accuse Claire with a raised eyebrow. Not only had she been caught being messy and lazy about retrieval, but that was the response she got? "Don't think I've ever considered it. Not sure I'd be much better off with my hand materializing inside of tissue and bone to even attempt it."

Answered like a true biologist, never one to shy away from the squishy questions. Her children on the other hand? Dreaded her when anatomy and dissections came up in class. No chill. "Ask questions like that on all your movie dates?"

"Just the ones involving canibalism." Claire tried to keep it casual, and move on from her morbid question. "If I try to teleport in an area that's already occupied I just bump into it. Unless it's a liquid. I can displace a liquid." Her face contorted a bit as her brain caught up with the comment about her hand materialising inside of organic matter and bones.

"Oh yikes, it's a good thing you're not taking me out for dinner after then." From casual to light-hearted. Reagan even offered Claire a cheesy smile before she got more fully comfortable in the pillow, eyes glued to the TV. "Did you find that out by trial-and-error? Didn't really consider the possibility that whatever you ended up in might explode like a meatloaf in the wave? Braver researcher than I, Claire."

"It wasn't quite so methodic." Claire admitted, remembering how when her powers first manifested she thought it limited itself to invisibility. That was until she was cornered somewhere and in a reflex teleported ten meters away only to collide with a wall. "Like most of these things, there was a lot of involuntary trial and error involved."

"Well, maybe better you figured it out with a wall first, before a person." She nodded against the pillow, lifting her feet on to the couch and laying into it more with the blanket pulled up now that there were no snacks to distract her hands. "I, for one, am glad you didn't go splat and are still here with us. Remind me after the movie, I'll tell you about the time I got my leg stuck in a floor at a track meet."

Claire nodded, there had been enough stories of mutants that got injured, in some cases fatally so, when discovering their abilities. It was one of the main talking points when the various governments tried to enact mutant registration. All for the safety of the mutants, and the other people of course. It didn't feel like that for any of the people in Avalon though. Any proposed registration was an early step towards control. "I definitely won't forget it. That sounds like something I want to hear."

"It's good to catch up with you, sugar plum fairy." As good as an actual response, warm and succinct. She decided to stay quiet from there as the final portion of the movie really kicked into gear. She simply got comfortable with blankets and the pillows, leaning on Claire, and let herself enjoy the quality time until the credits would roll.


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