Jamie Madrox (too_many_of_me) wrote in bayville,
Jamie Madrox

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Jamie likes people. (Monday after school)

"Bye, guys! See you tomorrow!" Jamie waved happily as he parted ways with his friends. Carefully he made his way to the front of the high school, smiling to himself. It wasn't every seventh grader that got to ride home with the older kids. Jamie was going to miss getting free rides once the junior high was finished with the asbestos cleaning. He was pretty sure that it was supposed to be finished in about a week.. but he could enjoy it while it lasted, right?

Not many people were hanging around outside; mostly students waiting for their rides or simply hanging out because they could. That was, Jamie thought, a good thing. Easier to avoid people. Not that Jamie didn't like people... he just didn't like getting bumped while he was around people. Jamie getting bumped meant Jamie making lots of himself, and that was never a good thing when he was away from home.

Blue eyes scanned the parking lot for the familiar red convertable... Just in time to see it pulling out of the lot and driving off.


Jamie wanted to kick something, but there was nothing around to kick. Instead, he cursed.

"Damn it!"

Oh yeah. That felt good.

He looked around again, and finally spotted an older boy standing next to a green Jeep. A very cool-looking Jeep. And the guy looked nice enough. Jamie made his way over to the Jeep and cleared his throat, attracting the older boy's attention. "Hi! Uhm, my ride left me and I don't know anyone else, but you look like a really nice guy and your Jeep is really really cool, so do you think you might be able to take me home because I don't live very far, just in that big mansion right over there," he pointed in the general direction of the mansion.

He grinned brightly, "Oh yeah! My name is Jamie! Hi!"
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Grabbing his Geology textbook from his locker, Lance sprinted back outside to his jeep, cursing when he noticed the vast majority of the students were leaving already and it would be hell to get out. That's what he liked about his Computer Programming class - it was really close to the senior lockers, which were close to the parking lot exit. Also, since he and Todd usually got to school early to make out in his Jeep, he always got a good, close spot. Easier to get in, easier to get out.

No longer in a rush, he sighed and took the time to open his backpack and slide the book carefully in with the other three texts already in there. Damn. He needed to get a bigger backpack.

Then there was a very loud, very hyper voice behind him. Lance jumped a little and turned around before promptly tripping on the hole he'd made in the ground not a few minutes before. Knew that'd been a bad idea, He muttered to himself as he fell to the ground, knocking the boy with him.

Cursing to himself, he rubbed his head. "Hey, kid, you oka-" Prying an eye open, there was no longer a kid - there were six. Lance's eyes bulged as he very quickly realized this kid was a mutant, just like himself. Mansion? He was an X-Geek?

X-Geek or not, no one deserved to be outed like this. Lance grabbed a handful of the kids and shoved him in the back of his jeep as the rest followed, pulling the hood over before jumping in himself.

Turning on the car but not yet taking the car out of park, he looked backwards at the befuddled kids. He couldn't have been older than thirteen - must be in that batch of junior high kids who were having to go to school in portable buildings here.

"Hey, kid," Lance couldn't resist saying, "Pull yourself together."
Crap. Crap crap crap crap!

There was lots of him again, and he wasn't in the mansion and now he was going to get in trouble and maybe they would send him away or something again and...

Jamie wasn't being screamed at? The guy was... helping him? He watched, confused as the older boy ushered Two and Five and Four into the back seat of his Jeep, then cautiously followed, along with Three. He pushed them over until the first three fused with each other and there was enough room for him to sit, ignoring the "Hey, quit pushing!" and other various protests.

Right. Ok. First things first. Jamie pulled the others back into himself, then smiled sheepishly. "Uhm. Sorry. You aren't going to tell anyone, are you?" A thought occurred to him. "You're not going to hurt me, are you? Because.. I can explain?"

This was definitely not a good thing. People didn't like mutants these days. Jamie didn't pay much attention to the news because it was boring, but he heard talk around the mansion. This was.. definitely not good.
Lance blinked as he watched the boy-clones reassemble. They just kinda... piled on top of each other, only instead of on top, it was more in. Man, was that weird. Kid (his name was Jamie?) didn't seem too good at controlling it yet, either. Chances were since he was so young it was a new mutation, or one he hadn't gotten training for yet. Explained why he was at the X-Geek's place.

He wished he'd had a place like that when he discovered his powers.

Lance shook his head, chasing away the bitterness. This was neither the time nor place for that. Twistsing his body a bit, he turned to face the kid and grinned.

"Hurt you? Nah. Won't tell anybody, either. It'd suck to get outed in high school before you even got there." Jamie still looked a little worried, so Lance sighed and got an idea.

The corner of his mouth quirked upwards, and he motioned towards the car window with his head. "Look out the window for a sec," Lance said before closing his eyes. For some reason it was always the smaller quakes that were harder on him. It was so much easier just to let all that energy go than concentrate it on a small area and keep it contained there. But as he wasn't exactly looking to draw attention to himself at the moment, he didn't have much of a choice.

Concentrating hard on a small, clearly visible stretch of pavement outside the window Jamie was perched at, he made a small quake in the ground, causing the pavement to split open, near the hole he'd made earlier. He was going to have one bastard of a headache in the morning.

Going limp in his seat and willing the headache away, he smiled a little more in the rear view mirror, noticing the boy staring open-mouthed at the new line in the asphalt.

"See? Now if I tell, you can tell on me, too. My name's Lance, by the way."

That was one of the coolest things Jamie had ever seen. And that was saying a lot, since he lived in a mansion full of mutants. He looked at the crack in the ground, at Lance, at the crack, then back at Lance again.

Finally, he broke into a huge grin. "Wow, that was so cool! So you're a mutant, too? I live in a place with a whole bunch of mutants and it's really cool! The Professor is really nice and he helps me with my powers and everyone is really nice except for John, he's kinda scary and I keep thinking he's going to set me on fire and there's this one guy named Kurt who's really cool and he's blue!

"So how come you don't live at the mansion if you're a mutant? Did you just get your powers? Because that was really really cool and I think you should come and live at the mansion 'cause you seem really nice, Lance, and I bet you know all kinda of things about rocks, huh, because you can do that? I had this project in earth science and I tried to get John to help me cause he's really really smart, but he didn't wanna help me much because he likes to be alone and he smokes which is gross. But you'd be really good at it, huh?" Jamie chattered happily, glad to have found someone outside the mansion that he could talk to about his powers.
Lance shook his head. If he hadn't been so used to interpreting Pietro-speak, that would've been impossible to follow. He decided to do when Pietro did this - answer each question, slowly and in order, and just hope he didn't screw up.

"Yes, I'm a mutant too. I don't live at the mansion because your Professor didn't want me for whatever reason, but I do live in a boarding house with a few other mutants like us. I know a lot about rocks; I'm in Geology this semester. John not helping you makes sense, because he's a jerk."

He blinked. There. That had been easy enough.
Oh. Wow. Lance really was nice.

Most people at the mansion just shooed Jamie away usually when he started asking questions. It wasn't fair.. there wasn't anything wrong with asking questions. If you didn't ask questions, you never learned anything, right?

And Lance not only didn't shoo Jamie away, he actually answered his questions. Amazing. "That's silly. The Professor is really nice and he wouldn't turn anyone away. Unless they were like, mean or something, maybe, but he lets John be there, and he's kinda mean. He's not a jerk though, he just likes to be by himself, you know?" Jamie leaned forward to peer into the front seat.

"This is a really nice Jeep. What's it like at the place where you live? Is it like the Institute? Do you have someone teaching you to use your powers there, too? Who lives with you? Do I know them? Are they nice?"

Jamie liked Lance. Lance was a nice guy. And he made the ground shake. How cool was that?
Lance shrugged. "All I know is he wanted Kitty, and not me. I was around at the same time as when he went to go and get Kitty - we're from the same school - and he knew I was a mutant. Instead of being all nice to me like he was Kitty, he mentioned something about me being a bad influence and left me." He didn't need to bug this kid with all the details. He seemed nice, if slightly disillusioned.

The kid had also complimented his Jeep. He officially went up about six notches. He could ignore the annoying "I have yet to hit puberty" voice, he'd complimented his Jeep.

Grinning proudly, Lance patted the passenger seat. "Yep, she sure is. All mine, too. Place were I live isn't nearly as nice as your mansion, but it's a home." He shrugged, "When you don't have one, you don't get too picky about the roof you live under. No one taught me how to use my powers... kinda had to figure that out on my own. We have a leader, but not a teacher." He frowned. Nope, out of all the names he could come up with for Mystique, teacher wasn't one of them.

"Dunno if you know the guys I live with," He mused, "They're all high school students like me. Freddy, Todd and Pietro." Lance looked over to see if Jamie recognized any of the names. "Like I said, they're high school kids so you may not know 'em. I know most of the guys you live with, though. Kurt isn't too bad, and Kitty .... well. She can be cool, I guess." He hadn't thought about Kitty in a very long time. He remembered the stupid crush he used to have on her; he'd gone out on a limb to get her to like him back, and failed miserably. Considered her a lost cause. Out of sight, out of mind.

Xavier hadn't wanted Lance? Why on earth not? Lance seemed like a really cool guy. He was nice and he was giving Jamie a ride home when Scott and the others had forgotten him, and he was a mutant. Jamie saw absolutely nothing wrong with Lance.

Though now that the thought of it... Jamie was pretty sure that Todd had been the mean guy that had posted in his live journal several days before. But.. Kurt had said that TOdd was a really nice guy, right? And Jamie liked Kurt. Fred didn't sound familiar at all, but Jamie had overheard Scott saying something to John about spending too much time with someone named Pietro...

Not that Jamie spied on anyone ever. Nope. He just happened to over hear things. A lot. Sometimes several something all at once, if he sent his duplicates out to 'not spy.'

"I like Kitty," he said, blushing slightly. Kitty was pretty. Even if she was a terrible cook.

"So uhm.. you're one of those Brotherhood guys, aren't you? The Professor and Scott say that we shouldn't talk to you guys because you're evil, but Kurt says you're nice except for Pietro is mean sometimes and I heard Scott telling John not to talk to Pietro anymore but he probably wasn't listening because he's John and he doesn't listen to anyone." Jamie thought for a minute, staring down at his hands. "You're really nice though."
Oho. Poor kid had a crush on Kitty. He wanted very badly to warn him, Kitty's a selective bitch, nice kid like you doesn't stand a chance. Not that Lance was bitter in the slightest. Oh, he didn't like Kitty anymore, but that was precisely it - he no longer cared for her at all. He tolerated her in mixed company, but other than that Lance found her... air-headed. Ditzy. And terribly annoying. What had he seen in her again?

"Yeah, I'm one of those Brotherhood guys," Lance agreed. "So're the rest of the guys I just listed. Like I said, Kurt's a pretty cool guy. Friends with Todd. Those two have a lot in common, even though they're really different people," Lance mused. He was glad Todd had a friend - outside of their little group, he couldn't think of too many people Todd would actually call 'friend.'

He snorted at that last part, and debated whether or not to tell Jamie about Pietro and John. Naaah. Let the kid figure it out on his own. Besides, who'm I to make John homeless? I hate the bastard, but Pietro'd kill me. Or worse - make John move in with us. Lance shuddered at the thought.

"Anyway. Yeah, I'm a Brotherhood guy. I'll drive you home if you want, although you'll probably get yelled at for being seen around with a guy like me." He strongly resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Fucking Summers.
Ok, so maybe Kurt had been right. Lance was really nice. And Kurt liked Todd and John seemed to like Pietro, even though Jamie was a bit afraid of John and wasn't sure if he trusted his taste in people...

Wow. This certainly did put a whole new perspective on things, didn't it? Because the bad guys were nice, and some of the good guys weren't so nice, and everything was all kind of funny now, wasn't it?

Oh well. He could think about that later. Because now he had a new friend and an older guy and Lance was really cool. Jamie was happy. He climbed into the front seat, squishing himself between the backs of the two chairs. Being small had advantages sometimes.

"I don't mind getting yelled at. I usually just send one of the other ones down to get yelled at, then he comes back and tells me what happened." Jamie grinned bashfully, as if he was telling some big secret. "But don't tell that to Scott, ok?"
"Heh. Fat chance of me telling Summers anything," Lance grumbled. He looked over at Jamie, noting his confused expression, and explained. "Scott and I don't get along. At all." He shook his head. He never really figured out why that was - they just didn't. Scott was stubborn and pig-headed and close-minded and ....

Yeah. Whatever.

The traffic in the parking lot had finally died down, so he decided to brave the lights outside his school. Lance warned Jamie to buckle his seatbelt before peeling out of the driveway, taking a few back roads he'd gotten to know in order to avoid traffic on those few days he had to stay late.

For an X-Geek, this kid wasn't too bad. Sure, he asked a lot of questions and was a little hyper. Then again, Pietro was pretty hyper himself. He bet Pietro was like this when he was a kid. No wonder Magneto ignored him so much.

"So," Lance said over his radio, "You're from the Junior High, right?" If this kid was anything at all like Pietro, that's all it'd take to get him started talking. And probably long enough for them to get to the mansion without those ugly, awkward silences that happened when members of opposing teams that used to fight each other on an almost daily basis were alone together.
Ok then, that was one thing that was normal. Lance and Scott didn't like each other. That was how it was supposed to be, because they were on opposing teams. Scott was pretty much the leader of the X-men, not counting the actual adults. Jamie had a feeling that Lance was the leader of the Brotherhood. So it all made sense.

Jamie buckled himself in and hoped to god that they didn't hit too big of a bump on the way. One Jamie in the front seat was enough, thankyouverymuch.

He nodded enthusiastically when Lance asked him about his school. "Yeah, I am. I'm in seventh grade. I really like it. I've only been in Bayville for a few months, since August, but I really like it here and I like that school doesn't start til the end of August because back home in Kansas, which isn't really my home because New Mexico is, school started in the beginning, so when I came here I got a whole extra month of summer. Then there was that whole asbestos thing, and I'm not really sure what it is, but it got us out of another week of school, which is really cool.

"And I like that we get to have class at the high school because Scott usually drives me to and from school, only today he didn't because maybe he forgot or something, I don't know. But I really like Bayville, everyone here is really nice." He watched the road as they drove, curious about the scenery. Scott never took this route; he always stayed on the main roads.

Maybe Lance was going to kidnap him and take him back to join the Brotherhood under force of.. something? That would be really cool. Then the X-men would have to come rescue him and there could be a big fight like in the movies, and he'd be saved, then everyone would go home happy and stuff.

Or maybe it was just a different way to get home. Either way.
Lance blinked. Yep, this kid was a miniature Pietro. Only not as... girly, somehow. That was rather sad - Pietro was more girly than a 12 year old boy. He'd have to remember to bring that up with him.

"Wait. You're from Kansas and New Mexico?" His mind boggled. He knew this kid had the ability to multiply, but he seriously doubt that he was born in two different places at the same time. "But yeah, delayed school was cool this year." Summers just up and left the kid, huh? That wasn't too leader-like of him. "Hey, next time you have a training session remind Scott he left you. He'll feel all guilty and won't be able to yell or blame you 'cause it'll be in front of the team. Mention something about how teams don't leave a member behind or something. He'll like that."

Grinning, Lance decided he was going to enjoy this.
Jamie nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah, I was born in New Mexico and I lived there most of my life. My parents used to work for some nuclear-thingie and that's why I'm a mutant, because my mom worked there while she was pregnant with me, I guess. The Professor says that most people are mutants because of some gene or something, but I'm special because of my parents. So I've been a mutant all my life and it's pretty cool, only I have to be really careful so that people don't bump into me cause I still can't control it very well."

He had no idea why he was telling his life story to some guy he'd just met, and one of the supposed 'bad guys,' at that. But Lance seemed really nice and he was giving Jamie a ride home, after all. "My parents died a few months ago, so I went to live with my grandma in Kansas. I really didn't like it there though, because it was really really boring and I didn't know anyone, and then on my first day of school there some girl bumped into me and then there was lots of me and I got in trouble and they sent me here." Jamie frowned a bit. The last part of the story wasn't exactly the happiest of memories, but Jamie had done his crying already.

"I bet Scott was just really busy or something. He doesn't usually forget me. I'll tell him that though," Jamie grinned. Maybe he would even tell Xavier that Scott had left him. Jamie was a good kid most of the time... but there were few things more satisfying than getting one of the older team members in trouble.
It was so weird to hear a kid Jamie's age talk so casually about these things. Being hated because he was a mutant, being a mutant because his parents fucked up to begin with, then went and died on him. He was so optimistic, so cheerful, so... oblivious. If it had been Lance in his place, he would have been bitter, jaded, pissed off at the world. But somehow or another, this kid took it all in stride.

The drive had been short; Lance could already see the mansion at the end of the road. There was a giant gate barring his entrance, however, and didn't think the X-Geeks would take too kindly to his plowing through it. That, and he'd never forgive himself for hurting his Jeep.

He slowed to a stop in front of the gate and turned to face Jamie in the seat next to him. "Well, this is your stop."


14 years ago