Thursday, January 04, 2007

Team Self Decency

My fingers hovered over the cold brass handle of the great oak door. I clasped and unclasped them nervously. There was a bang from the other side of the door and I snatched them away. "Dan, I don't think I can do this," I whispered with my head down.

He put his hand to my face and smiled, " 'Course you can. From what I've heard, you've done things 100 times more dangerous."

"No, I don't think..."

"Ali, you already agreed to doing this anyway, you wanna back out now?"

"That was before," my breath quickened as the noise on the other side of the door increased.

He put both hands on my head and looked into my eyes, "How is now any different?"

I took a quick gasp of air as I felt my eyes starting to burn.
"But he could come back, h- he could try again." I was trying to choke back the tears. I felt the warm stream run down my face and tasted the salty water on my lips.
Ugh, I hated myself. Why was I crying?
Why was I acting so childish? This wasn't me.
I knew it was wrong. I was an X-Man, not some toddler, totally dependant on those around her.
Even as I thought this in my head, it just made crying harder to stop.
I didn't want to be here.
I just wanted to go back to my room.
To my bed.
I just wanted to sleep.
Crawl up in a ball and sleep.
Just to be left alone, in total blankness, abyss of thought.
Just be alone.
Just for a little while.

He took me in close and wiped the tears away, "He's not coming back, ever. I promise you. I promise." I rocked in his arms while he whispered comforting words in my ear. He cared, I could feel it. I could feel his want and love, his simple compassion for my well being. I listened, barely conscious and gasping through tears, just wanting to fall down there.
It would be so easy.
Just fall.
Just sleep.
Just for a little while.

"Ali, your friends are waiting."


I breathed out.

"Do you want me to tell Xavier to withdraw you from the race? It's not too late now."

I removed my face from his tear stained jacket and looked up to his face.
Those beautiful green eyes. Young and intense, but careworn and deep. Churning with emotion. And his smile. His picturesque smile, genuine and soothing. I wished I could put it in my pocket for another rainy day.

He wanted me to go.
To try. To be.
I would do it, for him.
"No, I'll do it," I whipped out a handkerchief and dried my now red and patchy face. "I am an X-Man, after all," I said trying to smile.

"That's the spirit," he gave me a little kiss and waved his hand. The door sprung open to reveal the other contestants inside.
"I'll meet you at the pit stop; you'll be there in no time." He gave me a little push and warily waved good-bye.

The door creaked shut behind me as I surveyed the joyous populace of the room, giddy in their pre-race chatter, unbeknownst to the small, quiet little girl entering the room.
Little girl.
I swallowed hard determined not to cry again.



I made a futile attempt to get rid of some of the red patches with my handkerchief and blew my nose.

"Gaia, I'm glad you're here. You had us wondering if you were even going to come--...Gaia, is something wrong?" Professor Xavier asked as I turned to face him.

I waved my hand and gave a little laugh, "I'm fine, just allergies... I think I accidentally had a shrimp or two last night...Makes me break out all over."

He gave me a disconcerting look as I tried to widen my ridiculously played smile. "Of course... Well, your partner is here and waiting."

I lessened the intensity of my smile, "Who is it, may I ask."

He began to move away to another group of people who were motioning for him, "It's Havok, he's over by the buffet table." I circled around to see Havok some feet away. He gave a small grin and a wave. He quickly turned away and began glaring over at the group of people. Three guesses who at.

Alright, I've been paired with a self-righteous sociopath with a compulsively dangerous younger brother complex. I can deal with this. I think.

I walked cautiously towards the larger group of people, exchanging a few words with the people I knew, shaking hands with the new acquaintances. The loud chattering and all the people around me made it hard to breathe. Warren stride up to me and asked me how I was. I politely smiled and told him I was fine. I put my hands up as the noise grew and fought my way to the side of the room. I dived for a chair situated right next to the window.

Professor Xavier appeared next to me as I tried to regulate my breathing again.
"Oh..Ah, hi." I put my fake smile back on.

"Now Gaia, obviously we can't have a mutant of your immense power competing fairly in a contest such as this, so I'm going to have to give you this." He handed me a small silver disk, about the size of a finger tip, with a small flashing light on it.

"What is it?"

"It's a psionic neuro-inhibitor. It will bring you down to a more just power level for this game."

"What do I do with it?"

"I suggest you put it on one of your earrings. Don't worry, it latches right on and we'll be able to tell if it comes on."

"Ok, thanks." I snapped it on and it gave me a little shock. I shivered a little bit and then felt really weak, like I had the flu. I shivered again and then felt fine.


We stood in Central Park anxious to begin. Professor Xavier went over a few ground rules and handed out fanny packs containing what few things we needed for the race. I took it and gave it disgruntled sneer. No way was I walking around New York with this thing.

"I need a new Gucci anyway," I said waving my hand. The fanny pack collapsed into thin air and reappeared as a purse... But not the one I wanted.

"Damn, it's a Fendi..." it must have been the power dampener. It was definitely powerful.

The other teams took off, most of them into the air as I stood there with a contorted face looking at the purse.


I snapped out of my little thought bubble. Havok was glaring at me with his arms folded. "COME ON! He took away your reality powers, not your psychokinesis! Make some magic! We'll fly there!"

I rolled my eyes and waved my hand. Nothing happened. I looked curiously at my hand."I can't."


"I don't know... I can't levitate people...It must be the neural-inhibitor."

"So we have to WALK!?!"

I turned to Professor Xavier who was calmly watching nearby.

"You know," I said, "it's customary to begin the race with a vehicle. That's how it's done on the show."

"I never said there weren't any." He gave a little nod to a cluster of trees.

Behind them were about 20 different SUV's to choose from. Havok went to the nearest one and banged at the door. "They're locked!"

I went through the purse and pulled out a set of keys, "Here."

He jammed the keys into the door and slid into the driver's seat. I sat on the passenger’s side and ruffled through the purse some more finding some gum and tic-tacs. My, the Professor is thoughtful.

"The tallest building in New York is the Empire State building, it's not far from here."

"Uh-huh...Hey..." The car jostled from its place on the road and leapt into the air.
"I can levitate the car!"

A wide grin spread across Havok's face, "Faster!"

We were there in a matter of minutes. We jumped out and ran to the lobby entrance where I grabbed the clue psionically from its post. I read through it out loud.

"Ok, easy, just fly me up in the car."

"I don't think so. It's too big and that's way to far up. I wouldn't be able to see you or keep it steady. It would crash into the building. We need something smaller."

Havok spun around looking hungrily for something else to fly on. His eyes lit up.
"Will this do?"
He slashed a lamppost in half with a shot of plasma.

"Perfect," I told him testing it out. "Quick, mount it."

He got on and sped up the side of the building like he was a witch on a broomstick. I had to put my hand against the side of it so I could keep contact with him. When I could feel he was at a safe position, I put him down.

I could feel the faint echo of his feet walk against the observation deck. Racing around to each pari of binoculars
Then all of a sudden I couldn't feel him.
That was weird.
I leaned in closer to the side of the building. Some people walking by stopped to stare at me. I gave them a dirty look and closed my eyes. I still couldn't feel him. Where the heck did he go?

The people behind me started screaming and running. I turned around to see why and they were pointing up. I looked up.
"AHHH!" I put my hands up to stop Havok just in time from crushing me. I held him there in the air and glared at him.
"Why in the name of all that is good, did you do that?!!?"

"We wanna win, don't we? I saw some other teams coming and couldn't wait for you to pick me up." I glared at him more. He wiggled impatiently, "C'mon! While we're still ahead of some people!"

I dropped him quite hard on the ground and got back into the SUV. He jumped in and we took off back into the air, "To Bloomington, Minnesota!" he laughed.

"You've got black around your eye," I said moodily.

"What?" he put his hand to his face and smudged it over his nose, "Where?"

I took a small mirror and a wetwipe out of my purse and handed it to him.


"I presume this is the Mall of America?" I said staring at the huge sign in front of me.

"Yes it is, come on now!" Havok said racing through the doors.

"What a tacky name."

The Build a Bear store was on the second floor (Lego is for patient people). The woman there greeted us and told us we had only two stations to go to. Havok and I split up and each did one ourselves. I wasn't given much at my station... But I made the best of it.

It took about twenty minutes to finish and I was quite proud of my little creation at the end. It even had glowing eyes. Havok came strutting over to me, now finished his as well. He held it up proudly for me to look at.

"Do you really think someone is going to want that?"

He scowled at me and strided towards the daycare, "Of course they will. It's everything a child could want."

"If you say so." I followed him over and gave it to the nearest little girl. She smiled and I looked at the judge standing near by who nodded.

Havok was running up to every child and scaring them off with his vampire-teddy-thing. He walked over disappointed.

"I'm sorry," the judge said, "but you're going to have to make another bear."

Havok cursed under his breathe.
"Don't worry, I'll help you this time."

A small decrepit looking boy came from the back of the daycare.
"I'll take your bear."

"You look a little old to be here," I said rather skeptically.

Havok nudged me, "Shut-up! Here ya' go, all for you!"
He turned to the judge and she nodded, "You may go."


"Oooo, we're gonna win, I can feel it!" Havok said griping the steering wheel.

"Yeah," I said fiddling with my hair, "must be destiny or something..."


"There's the pit stop," I said straightening up. Professor Xavier was on a small platform outside the hotel. I could see Dan off to the side in the entrance to the lobby.

"Faster Gaia!"


Blogger Simon said...

For a moment, I had an intense feeling of panic. There was an overwhelming amount of angsty self pity at the beginning of this and thought for a moment that you were Aayla in disguise. But then I realized that this was much too well written to have ever come from Jedi Master of Woo-Is-Me.

So buck up, pop a Paxil and get on with it.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Professor Xavier said...

I can't believe everyone else missed the SUVs. Well done, Gaia.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Gaia said...


I appreciate your recognition, Simon.
That, and your common vision of a Prozac nation. ;-)

These people must just not watch the show, Professor.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Getting an SUV was off tha hook! You're goin' to Hollwoooooooood!

As in Hollywood, Maryland. Home of Sotterly Plantation.

9:48 PM  
Blogger captain koma said...

1. There is no mention of me.
2. I don't need no stinkin' SUV
3. Emo teddy bears are EVIL
5. Your sorrow and angst are very real.
6. There is no mention of me

Apart from that I think this was a very good post.


9:59 PM  
Blogger Gyrobo said...

I think it's partly sad that I recognized an emo on sight, without even looking at the file name.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Paula Abdrool said...

You could sing the phone book! You can sing the encyclopedia! You can sing anything! Your voice is amazing!

9:11 PM  

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