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Nate Grey

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[11 Sep 2003|12:47am]
[ mood | leaving ]

Nate knows he should leave a note, but he doesn't. He tells himself he'll send postcards on the way. This morning when he woke, he looked over at Piotr, and they both pushed to their feet and finished packing their bags.

This time, he's certain he isn't coming back.

((OOC: He's serious this time kiddies. I'm leaving the RP. I can't keep up with my schoolwork, my campus groups, my tabletop games, and genx. It's been real, and I <3 you all, but I just can't keep up with it. Thanks for the great summer, you guys!))

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Narrative [10 Sep 2003|01:56am]
[ mood | scared ]

Nate has been sick and pretending he isn't for a while. His nose has started to bleed again when he flies, and stretching his telepathy to its full reach makes him feel dizzy. He's dying, and he knows it. He's known it since Dr. Grey told him about it months ago, but he hadn't expected it to happen so soon. It was probably the stress of the past two months that did it: mindlinking with Emma, and the Christian episode, and then... the pain of losing that.

He fights the pain burting behind his eyes when he flies through the woods surrounding Xavier's, forcing himself to stay afloat. He pushes faster, pushes harder, and he can't stop now. Somehow, that is the most important thing to him.

When he finally settles down to the ground, it is with pained control. As soon as his feet are steady on the ground, his body crumples, falling against the roots of the nearest tree as he blacks out.

--

He wakes with spots of dried blood just beneath his nose, and what he imagines other people call "a migraine." He covers his eyes with his hand, and curls up on the ground again, pulling his knees in to his chest, and biting his lip.

He'd been expecting it, but not so soon.

Eventually, the nauseating pain at his temple subsides, but when he pushes himself to stand, to push his body up into the sky, back toward the mansion, he can't. The loss makes another kind of nausea, that borne of fear, hit him hard in the stomach.

He turns his focus to the rocks at his feet, then to felled branches, then finally to the leaves just beginning to flutter to the ground this autumn.

The pressure of the minds around him is fierce, almost more intense than it had been before, but Nate makes no compunctions about his situation. This is the first stage of his death.

Dr. Grey said four years, but Nate supposes in actuality, it's only going to be a few more months.

OOCCollapse )

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[52] private [08 Sep 2003|03:25am]
[ mood | discontent ]

private, to selfCollapse )

((OOC: Becky and I still haven't worked out the internet situation, so I'm still going to be MIA for a while. Sorry about this.))

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narrative [27 Aug 2003|04:13pm]
[ mood | distressed ]

Nate wakes with a start at the insistent beeping of Piotr's alarm clock, and even after Piotr has slung an arm over, hitting the snooze button sloppily, and letting the clock fall to the floor, the ringing in Nate's ears hasn't stopped and the din in his head continues. ...Collapse )

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[25 Aug 2003|08:33pm]
[ mood | truant ]

Nate woke up with the flaring images of burning cars in his head. He pushed himself up onto his elbows to look over at the clock, red numbers telling him it was just past noon.

He fell back against the mattress. Missed physics, missed biology... Nate figured he might as well get dressed and go talk to the Professor about his remedial curriculum. At least then it looked like he was making some sort of effort.

Luckily, training was scheduled late enough that he wouldn't have a problem showing up for that.

He shut his eyes, intending to sleep through the rest of the lunch period, but the images of burning cars kept flickering like television screens on the inside of his eyelids. He threw back the covers and stood to start getting dressed.

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narrative... [22 Aug 2003|11:54pm]
Piotr needed to stay. He would be happy here. It's just another year, Nate thought, trying not to suffix that thought with One of four. Besides, it was a place to live, and it wasn't like they'd kicked him out for not going to class in the spring.

He and Emma went down to Professor Xavier's office when they awoke that afteroon, and spent the following hours taking the test, both of them shutting their books at the exact same moment.

As Nate handed his answer sheet to the Professor, he said simply, "I cheated."

"I know," said the Professor. He proceeded to explain how little attention he'd paid to their actual test, and how he'd actually been observing their thoughts, their link, during the examination. "You relied on Emma most for the social studies and mathematics portions of the test. I don't know how you're able to intuit the basics of higher mathematics with such a shaky grasp of basic algebra, but you'll need to fill in those gaps."

Nate shrugged as the Professor pulled two class schedules out of his desk, and on the one with Grey, Nathan typed at the top wrote "remedial social studies" and "remedial mathematics."

"As for your science knowledge, you have some sort of intuitive knowledge of the hard sciences, however, I feel it would be in your best interest to learn some of those subjects in a classroom environment. Did you find chemistry at the end of last spring interesting?"

"No," Nate answered, leaning back in his chair.

The Professor replied, "I would suggest you take both biology and physics, to help further your skill with your telekinesis." He handed the schedule of classes to Nate. "Your fifth class is up to you."

"Is there some sort of class that's useful in, I don't know, not getting killed? And keeping the people I love from being killed?" Nate asked.

"You might want to sign up for martial arts with Logan, then," he said.

Nate made a face, but added the three other classes beneath his two remedial ones as the Professor spoke to Emma about tutoring other students. Nate was not unaware that the Professor intended Emma to tutor Nate. Who else would he listen to?

Nate still didn't intend to go to class.
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[51] [20 Aug 2003|12:31am]
[ mood | not-dead. ]

Hi.

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narratives are tasty. [20 Aug 2003|12:14am]
[ mood | awake ]

Nate wakes up earlier than he remembers waking up since... a long time ago. Around the time he used to go to bed. He doesn't want to sleep anymore. He's done sleeping.

He puts on a pair of pants, and walks outside, barefoot. His feet don't touch the ground, so he doesn't feel the stones beneath his feet. The sun is rising, all pink and yellow, and it's beautiful. Nate sighs, falling backwards into the air and floating up higher, almost as though he's convinced he can steal the peace of the dawn.

It's hard to ignore the memories. Dr. Grey-- Jean-- remembering the horror that was Christian. Pale skin, no irises, and then (and then) his spine made that sickening crack, and there was blood. Nate can hear the sick whine of Emma's monitors flatlining. I killed him. killedhim. Killed my own son. I almost killed her.

Nate's stomach flips with nausea, and when he reaches for something to steady himself, he realizes he just grabbed onto a window ledge on the third floor.

It's gone... Those blank spaces in astral space haunting him just as much as the more overtly grotesque images of Christian. Just as much as the more heart-wrenching thought that he almost killed Emma.

His body jolts forward, and he pushes for speed as much as he pushes for acrobatics as he flies above Xavier's grounds. Nate's going faster than a human should, and it feels good to just focus on this... He wants to forget all of that right now.

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two! two! two narratives in one! [18 Aug 2003|03:27pm]
[ mood | awake ]

Nate never liked astral projection for exactly this reason: he knew how easy it was to get lost. Once he realized how little his brain needed his body, it was easy to forget it behind him, and live in this world, grid stretching out beneath him, people misty colours stretching upwards.

It wasn't until Emma that he was able to figure out how to fold it. Now he isn't trapped moving forward, backwards, and side-to-side; they've figured out up and down. Each new level is a different place, a slightly different dimension. They've seen a number of these alternate worlds now. Worlds with ivory and iron towers spiking high into the sky, but the people below marked as mutant or human by a small M tattoo beneath their eyes. Worlds with cameras in every room, on every street, people moving slowly, quietly, minds controlled by some force, whether supernaturally or not. Worlds that were just like Emma's homeworld, only slightly different, a different president, a different political situation.

There were so many. Some of them posed threats, and some of them didn't. In some, he could sense something stretching to get out, reaching for new dimensions. In some, it was entirely contained.

What he didn't find was the world he'd original come from. There were empty spaces on the grid. Not black, just blank. Nothing was there, but there was the impression that something had been. Nate knew his home was gone. He didn't know how, but there was no way to get back.

He knew if he'd been there it wouldn't have happened. He knew there had to have been something he could have done...

There were so many other places, and he felt so wary of those worlds filled with that pressing feeling of something trying to get out.

--

There's a sucking, pulling feeling, and there's some spot on the grid that's pulling them... Pulling Emma. Nate follows, couldn't not follow.

The world slowly building itself around him is hers. He sees them lying on the cots in the medlab, still as though in sleep-- or death. A girl with white streaks in her hair is huddled over Emma, her hand on Emma's forehead. Rogue he remembers after a moment.

He hovers over his own body for a moment. Eyes bruised with sleeplessness, scar tissue in lines up along his right forearm, gawky and awkward, and there's a part of him that still doesn't understand.

The pull of his own body is too great, and the next thing he knows he's sucking in a breath, sitting up in the cot, struck by the sudden headrush. He notices things sitting by Emma's bed, things Emma had given to John. He pulls them into his hand across the room, pulling their molecules apart beneath his cot, and leaving the dust there.

He doesn't notice Rogue pulling away, collapsing into the arms of the technicians; he only notices Emma's body stirring, her mind and body joined together again as well.

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a narrative, imagine that. [16 Aug 2003|12:31am]
Nate finds her sitting in a glen, her back up against a tree, sitting on the grass and looking up at the clouds drifting across the surprisingly blue sky. Nate somehow knows that if he walks too far to the west, he'll run into the sky, and that when Emma stands, the backs of her legs will be smeared with something like green paint. It looks real, but it isn't real. He doesn't care, because he's found her.

He steps into the light, and her eyes catch his almost immediately. His knees hit the grass beside her, and he's pressing his lips to hers, she's still there.... still there... The relief that washes over him is overwhelming.

"What are you doing?" Demands a voice that keeps wavering between that of a child and that of a grown man. Nate looks up, and the form before him is trying to stay both adult and crystalline. "She's mine."

Nate feels the push coming, and he's resisting, resisting with sheer willpower now. No. I'm not giving her up. I'm not going to let you do this.

Christian's hand is possessive on Emma's shoulder, and the thing that bothers Nate is that Christian doesn't understand. He doesn't understand what people are. He can still hear Christian deciding people and butterflies were the same thing from his dream, and Nate has a vision of a magnifying glass hovering over people, burning them in the glare of the sun.

"People aren't your things!"

Christian's teeth shiny like shards of glass in the heat of the too-close sun (made of yellow-white stained glass), and he doesn't have to tell Nate they are, his expression is enough.

Nate's head is full of could-bes: people blinking out of existence, explosions, melting walls, and that drill crushing through the bones of Piotr's skull. Christian's hand on Emma's shoulder makes him sick, because he'll never understand what he's breaking... He'll never understand what he destroys.

"Get out," Christian demands.

"No."

The voice is more upset, growing higher pitched, the facade of age slipping. "Get out!"

Nate steps in toward him, and he feels so sure, so unflinching in his denial, "No." His hand skates over the diamond of Christian's shoulder, and he pushes him. "You will never be born," Nate says.

"I am," Christian says, growing to his full height again, adult again, pink eyes glaring.

"You're not. Nothing." Nate's voice wavers a little, and he won't let an unborn child stare him down. "You will never exist," he says, his voice more steady.

"I will be the only thing that exists. Me and her..." Christian's beginning to float a little, arms extended.

A vision of blood seeps into Nate's brain, and he's screaming his denials, over and over, a series of Nos denying everything Christian is.

When the world melts around Nate, sky flashing a myriad of colors before going blank, he's certain he's lost, but he can't stop his denials, his refusal.

His voice is shuddering as he murmurs the same word over and over...

"No."
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Back to School. A Narrative. [15 Aug 2003|01:32am]
[ mood | sore ]

Nate keeps looking for her in his mind, but she's lost, so lost, and their connection seems to just disappear into some mist in his brain. He follows the connection and it just circles and circles, and he knows he's getting nowhere this way. She's all shut up inside her head, probably not even officially in there anymore, and he doesn't know where to find her.

He feels a sudden push kicking him out, a flash of cut glass in his head, and when his eyes blink open, he's sitting in chair in the medlab at school, his forehead pressed to the side of the matress of one of the cots. His right hand grips Emma's tightly, and it feels like his entire left hand is on fire, the burning centred at the tattoo on his wrist. It's like the skin there is being burned off and he grits his teeth. "Christian," he mutters inbetween hisses of pain, and his eyes flutter shut again. His body drifts off to sleep, and his consciousness isn't in it anymore.

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[50] [12 Aug 2003|04:46pm]
[ mood | uncomfortable ]

We're driving through Oklahoma as I type this. We're coming back to Xavier's after all. Emma's pregnant and it's affecting her adversely. I didn't want to come back, but we don't really have anywhere else to go. Piotr and I are worried about her, about everyone, and so the only real choice is to come back, at least until Emma's well. I can only hope Professor Xavier will be able to help.

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Roadtrip: Albuquerque, New Mexico [11 Aug 2003|05:30pm]
[ mood | worried ]

Nate wakes the morning after Piotr's birthday so hungover he can barely open his eyes in the light. He stumbles from the bed into the bathroom with his hand cupped over his eyes, peeking out between slits in his fingers. His other hand comes up to his chest, and there's something sticky on it. Some very fuzzy part of his brain remembers a white box and-- icing.

The water kicks on in the shower, and Nate didn't dream the night before. He was too drunk.

Nate stands under the spray until Piotr stumbles into the bathroom and mumbles, "Get out," in the way that suggests he's just as hungover as Nate. Possibly more.

By the time Nate gets out to the bed, he feels a little better. For one, he can open his eyes all the way without too much risk, and his stomach has settled to the point he could probably eat some toast. He could really go for some toast.

Instead, he finds his pants and starts getting dressed. He's buttoning up his jeans because he realizes that he can't feel Emma. Not that the mindlink's gone, because it's been fuzzy, fading, over the last few days, but that he can't feel her there at all.

Emma seems awake, sitting at the edge of the bed, and Nate feels another wave of -- something-- wrongness-- hit him when he sees the slight curve of her belly. He's not so uneducated he can't do the math, and the memory of a voice saying accelerated gestation won't stop running through his head.

Her finger pokes at his stomach in a very curious way, and the touch doesn't even feel like her, but he's fighting not to flinch from her touch. Piotr comes back into the room, toweling his hair, and he looks a little less green himself.

"Something's wrong with Emma," Nate says.

Piotr looks significantly more green at that. "What do we do?"

The thing is that Nate doesn't know because he doesn't even know what's going on. Instead, he's cloaking them, grabbing their bags, and running out the door. Piotr's pants are half on, and Emma's naked, and Nate doesn't care. They have to get out of here.

He doesn't know why he thinks Forge will even be able to help at this point, but he can't do this himself, and Piotr's totally lost.

While Piotr drives, Nate's busy searching the minds of the city for memories of a guy with a bionic hand and leg, not that he even knows those things happened to Forge here. Emma's face is pressed against the window, looking out at the scenery.

Just when Nate thinks he's narrowed it down enough to find him, he hears Emma, the real Emma, because he feels her across that connection again. "Why am I naked?"

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Roadtrip: Provo, Utah [09 Aug 2003|10:28am]
[ mood | scared ]

Nate wakes up clutching Piotr, Emma murmuring into his shoulder, the images of diamond crushing through steel, melting metal, face dripping, skin sliding off, diamond chisel drilling through the fragile bones of a skull and he's gasping for air, digging fingers into Piotr's side, and it takes him an hour of lying there, pressing skin to skin with him, to finally convince himself that Piotr's okay.

He's scared to fall asleep again, so he rests his head on Piotr's shoulder and watches Emma's fitful sleep.

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[49] [08 Aug 2003|12:48pm]
[ mood | nervous ]

The backseat of the car is littered with little pieces of paper folded into Mobius strips. Part of me is still giddy, making lists of things that I need to remember: elevators, flying, counters, M&Ms, being fed Chinese food.

And the other part of me is the part that dreams.

My cast came off the other day when we got into a waterfight on the campground. Emma peeled the pieces off, and underneath, my arm looked like it had never been broken. I've never broken my arm before, but I thought it was supposed to take longer to heal than that. Emma thinks it's another part of my mutation.

I still can't feel most of my right hand and forearm, though.

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Roadtrip: Helena, Montana [08 Aug 2003|01:01am]
[ mood | married? ]

As Nate focused on the road, Emma peered over Piotr's shoulder in the back seat of the car while he drew the design on his sketchpad. When they got into Helena, Nate just looked at the two of them, and Emma said, "I want Chinese food and a tattoo." Piotr held up the design, and that was it. A Mobius strip, in a figure-eight (infinity), haphazardly coloured in with crayons.

Nate looked at Piotr, and Piotr said, "Do you want to?"

He thought of the other things he'd gotten tattoos for: causes, belonging... This was different but no less important. "Okay," he said.

--

The place was called Saint, and it was small, three people working there. The girl, who had short, spiky, pale blue hair, and a lot of piercings was sitting on the back two legs of her chair, feet on the top of the desk near the door, reading a book. The cover had a picture of a girl with fangs on it. When she sat back up, her feet hitting the floor, the shocks that raced out of the tips of her hair were almost visible. A bit of static electricity chased down along the earrings lining her right ear. "Hey, I'm Chloe," she said, and reached out to shake Piotr's hand. He pulled back a little, letting Nate take her hand instead, jolting a little at the static shock. "So, what can I do for you?"

Emma held out the piece of paper to Chloe, and the other two guys, one with long curly brown hair flowing loose, and the other larger, short hair and trim goatee, were coming out of the back room with their last customer, a girl who looked like she was barely eighteen.

The skinny, long-haired one, Adam, Chloe called him, looked at them, then at the paper, and grinned at Emma, eyes taking her in. Piotr's arm came out to wrap around her shoulders pulling her in close, and he looked over at Chloe out of the corner of his eye. "You do the tattooing, too, right?" he asked. Chloe laughed.

"We all want this," Nate said, finger landing on the piece of paper on the desk, and Adam arched and eyebrow at him, before shrugging and leading them all to the back of the store to sit.

--

When they left the parlor, Nate had a bandage around his wrist, Emma one just above her right breast, and Piotr kept complaining that his right shoulder itched.

"So," Emma said, "when are we getting Chinese?"

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Roadtrip: Ashland, Montana & Northern Cheyenne Reservation [07 Aug 2003|03:49pm]
[ mood | determined ]

Nate wakes with the rising sun, and looks over at a still-sleeping Emma, Piotr lying behind her, his arm slung over her waist. Suddenly, Nate is struck by why Piotr says things like "waking up to make sure you're still breathing," andhe sits there watching the two of them for a few moments.

Finally, he reaches outside their tent for his pants, finally dry from yesterday's water fight. He dresses and steps out into the faint light of the early morning. I only went out flying... He leaves the impression in Emma and Piotr's minds, before he cloaks himself and pushes into the sky.

Nate still can't get over the feeling of soaring over the world, it all being so small, and he doesn't know why he doesn't do this more often. It's an effort to land where he needs to, the office of the Northern Cheyenne down below him.

It's a small building that looks more like a house than and office for a large group of people, and he feels the eyes of the woman behind the desk sizing him up when he enters. Nate can feel the distrust the moment he steps in, and it takes a few moments before it hits him that of course. I'm white.

"Can I help you?" she asks, almost tiredly, and she does this every day, parading her "culture" because it's the best way to screw over the people who screwed them over in the first place.

Nate doesn't skirt around the issue, merely asks, "Do you know of a man who goes by the name of Forge?" Once it's out of his mouth, he can't take it back. He could have pretended he wasn't looking before, but now it's official. He's looking.

Because Theresa was dead at home, and she's alive here. Cyclops was a long-haired jerk at home, and here he's not a bad guy. Jean Grey was his best friend for most of his childhood at home, and here she's... out to get him. Piotr and Kitty were married at home, and here they're only friends. Things are different here, and if his Forge is dead, maybe this one is alive, and right now... he really wishes his Forge wasn't dead so he could talk to him.

The woman's eyes close up their last bit of hospitality, and Nate waits to hear "He died," come from her mouth or her mind. Or maybe for her to tell him she knows no one by that name, because he doesn't even know Forge's real name. He never asked. People have different codenames here, too.

Instead, she says, "I am afraid I cannot give you the whereabouts of registered Northern Cheyenne without pressing need."

Nate resists telling her how pressing this really is, because he knows what she means is assisting criminal investigations. Instead, he focuses and he's digging in her mind, their minds, trying to find the scrap of information that will show him.

There's the clap of a hand on his shoulder. It's an old man, maybe so old as his seventies. He's wrinkled, grey-haired, and there's something about him that suggests that the jeans and teeshirt he's wearing are merely disguise. Nate wonders when he got here, but the woman behind the desk is waving hello to him, and handing him a cup of coffee, so he must work here too.

The old man turns to look at him, coffee mug in his hand, and he says, "You should respect others enough not to search their private thoughts."

Nate has no real answer to that, and he asks, "Where is Forge?"

His question seems to throw the man off a little, but finally he answers, "You were his student."

"That isn't an answer," Nate replies.

Finally, the man says, "Albuquerque. He left over a decade ago, but he still keeps in touch."

Nate is about to turn and leave with that, but there's something that makes him say, "Thank you," first.

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[48] [06 Aug 2003|08:32am]
[ mood | cryptic ]

We're leaving Bismarck after I finish typing this. It's funny that all this time I thought we were wandering aimlessly, I knew exactly where we were going.

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Roadtrip: Minneapolis, Minnesota [05 Aug 2003|12:47pm]
[ mood | scared ]

Monday night, they get a hotel room outside of Minneapolis. It isn't nearly as nice as their last one, but that was a splurge. The three go out to eat, and when they return, eventually find their way asleep.

Nate wakes from a dream of holding a baby (perfectly normal looking), with words like accelerated gestation... reality manipulator... early onset mutation... surprised she carried him to term in the back of his mind.

When he looks over at Emma, he knows she saw it too.

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[47] [04 Aug 2003|03:43am]
[ mood | happy ]

We're in Chicago. It's all right here, I guess. I'm still not used to cities. I was tempted to send Kitty a postcard, and then I remembered she was from around here.

Other than that? I'm a little worried, but a lot happy. I might possibly have just had the best sex of my life, and I'm trying the relationship thing again, so I'm kind of giddy.

We're going somewhere else tomorrow. Maybe I'll send postcards from there.

I've been having nightmares.

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