(2018-06-14) Is It My Fault?
Is It My Fault?
Summary: Grace blames herself for the solar flare mix-up, only to be consoled in VERY different fashions by each Masters twin.
Date: 2018-06-14
Related: Repercussions of this log.
Scene Runner: NA

Back Lawn, Winbarry Estates
Thu Jun 14, 2018

A large swatch of green that goes in all directions. To the east and northeast, the lawn goes from the green of grass to the yellowish-brown of sea grass and then sandy beach, the blue-green of the ocean spreading out as far as the eye can see. In the center is a tall overgrown hedgemaze, with dormant flowering bushes at the corners.


So here it is: Thursday. The first day of summer break! IT's a day that is met with immense anticipation and perhaps dread for some. Particularly in Grace's case, being so far away from home with none of her people close. Grace Halleson's first ever summer in New Hampshire has begun and it couldn't have started in a stranger way. The good thing? Another morning of waking up without that potent undertone of anger pulsing in her mind. The clarity that she found herself with, in the swapping of Besa's powers, has at least given her a bit of reprieve from the eggshells of her power set.

But Grace being Grace, she now has a clear mind with which to fret. She doesn't even have the luxury of immersing her woes into her faithful Kindle reader, or any other electronic diversion because the damned things power down and don't wake up when she gets them into her hands.

So 'lo and behold, Grace is out on the back lawn of Winbarry on this particularly late hour of the morning. Students are milling around, preparing for the nirvana of freedom that awaits them (unless you're in summer school for good or bad reasons) … and Grace has opted to take her breakfast outdoors so she can dine and worry and freak out inwardly in peace. To see her from the back patio, settled there in the grass, is to see tension etched into her body language as she eats a ham and egg croissantwich, eyes rivetted to the ocean horizon beyond.

With Sky and Besa both taking summer classes and Rain with a summer job, they are sticking around the school for at least most of the summer. Usually during breakfast she is accompanied by at least on or two of her close circle, but it seems they must be sleeping in. This is a foreign concept to the Masters girl. She walks from the patio, she is dressed casually, a tennis dress in light greens and blue swirly patterns on it, her own breakfast in hand along with a steaming cup of tea. She has spotted Grace and can read the tension in the girl. "Morning Grace." She greets pleasantly…enough. "You are staying for the summer too?"

The other girl, too, is dressed casually. It feels nice to not have to fuss with the uniform. Grace has opted for a cozy maxi dress with spaghetti strings, the pattern that of dark navy blue mandalas set upon a baby blue backing. Blue appears to be her color. Her hair, too, isn't as severe as she typically keeps it in classes: it has been left down and loose, though cinched off at the end with a matching ribbon. She'd look every bit the carefree girl if her expression wasn't so fretful. The way she's leaning forth over her knees, she looks as if she is bracing herself to be struck.

Instead, she is greeted, and Grace sits up straight, peering over a shoulder at the Masters girl. "Oh.. ah, h-hi," She offers kindly enough, "Hi Rain." Said again once she gets her bearings, her voice soft and restful. "Yeah.. I'm going to try to get more hours at the Mug Shot. It's for the best that I'm here… what are you going to get up to? W-working?" She asks nervously.

Rain sets her mug down on the ground. It is clearly handmade pottery, with an Egyptian motif in the design. Must be a Besa made mug. She then sits herself near Grace, not even asking whether the other girl wants company. "Yeah, I got a summer job At Cocoa Loco. I'm going to have to work out twice as hard to not get fat." It's a joke, but she says it straight faced, so it could be hard to tell. "It looks like you are having a hard time." She picks up her tea and blow in it as she looks stoically at Grace.

The brunette turned to face forward again, but in her profile her lips can be seen curving upwards into an amused little smile at Rain's words. "I considered that place… but that was precisely my problem. I, a-ah… wouldn't have had the control." She says in an earnest attempt at small-talk, something that Grace is not often good at. She's often too busy keeping her fingers on the pulse of the rage that she inherited. It's easier today though, with the calmness that has visited her as of late. If only she would just accept it.

But for reasons, she can't.

"You'll be okay.. you seem to have willpower." Grace offers, biting back the remainder of her croissant and wiping her mouth with a paper napkin. She chews and swallows before continuing, because even beast girls have manners. Did she just wince at mention of a 'hard' time? Grace's little smile falls and she deflates some. "I-I am, but I'm more worried about your friend. Is he doing alright?" She asks softly.

Thursday late morning, first full day of summer break finds Grace and Rain having breakfast on the back lawn. Rain is her usual stoic self, dressed casually, hair in its usual braid. As she sits on the ground near Grace she listens to what the other girl says to her, sipping her tea. "Besa is struggling." She isn't going to lie. "Just as you are. But I didn't come out here to talk about Besa and how he is dealing. How are you dealing?" She is about to let the subject be changed and the adamant tone of her voice reflects that.

Schuyler is also dressed casually and his 'casual' may be even moreso than his sister as he's wearing black cargo shorts and a black t-shirt. It's simple and basic and conveys his aesthetic just fine. His own hair is pulled back as he steps out on the patio to light up a clove cigarette, a spiral notebook with a pen in the coils tucked under one arm. Upon seeing his sister and Grace on the lawn, there's some consideration before he makes his way over to grab some food off of Rain's plate, greeting Grace with a wave and a little smile.

Grace looks summery in a maxi dress, hair tied off in a ribbon. She's just about to go on with deflecting when Rain calls her out on such, though not directly. She startled and looks at the blonde for half a minute, her friendly countenance crumbling away into the look of pure stress that she was trying to cover up. When mention is made of the boy struggling, Grace frowns… but upon being asked about how she is dealing, the girl is also surprised. "I.. I wonder what happened. I-is it something that I did?" She asks softly, much in the way she always tends to do.

One can surmise her previous home life rather easily in the tone of her query. Grace is a girl who is used to taking blame, nevermind the bloody solar flare that preceded the swap. "I'm having trouble.. things are weird. It's hard enough, someone else dealing with the nasty stuff that I grew into. But t-then I have no idea what Besa can do that I may have taken on. What if I hurt someone or cause trouble?" Breathe. Grace looks up at the arrival of Sky and manages her own nervous little smile of greeting in return.

Rain hold her plate up to Sky, as if she is expecting him to steal her food. She is used to such things. "If you are going to light up, do so over there." She gestures downwind of them. "Is Besa still sleeping?" She asks her twin before focusing on Grace once more.

There is a bark of cynical laughter "If you had that kind of phenomenal cosmic power I have three wishes you can grant." Rain tells the girl, that's one way of telling Grace she isn't to blame "Now stop /thinking/ stupid and blaming yourself." Rain saves her gentleness for other people. People that don't say stupid things. "Besa does runic magic. Since you don't have the knowledge of the ruins necessary to use it, there is no way for you to accidentally turn anyone into a frog."

<FS3> Schuyler rolls Lip Reading: Good Success.

Schuyler shrugs at the question asked about Besa…he didn't check on him once he left the room. He grabs some of whatever is on Rain's plate and chews as he watches. Rain gets a signed, 'Be nice,' before he moves 'downwind'. Eating, smoking, and signing isn't the easiest, but apparently the smoking comes first right now. It may or may not help that there's an aura of warmth emanating from him, even on this pleasant day. Folding down to sit on the grass, he opens up the notebook and scribbles with his free hand before showing a page that says 'Don't let her bully you', to Grace.

It's a good thing that Grace's quick-to-fire anger — such a contrast to her mild nature — isn't present. Such a stern but well-meaning statement will have nettled it. Instead, all that is left is her typical response to such.. her lips press together and she turns, staring straight ahead. "I'm not going t-to be trying to touch that… magic that he is capable of. Is there anything else I'm needing to be aware of?" She doesn't have anything to fidget with; this is typically her go-to for moments like this where she's thinking too fast. The frog reference would have typically earned a chuckle, but Grace is still too uneasy.

She can hear Sky writing, even without her pinpoint senses, and she's just peering sideward at him when the page is offered up. Scarlet irises flit across the words and she blinks quickly. "I-it's okay.. it was kinda dumb but what else can I do? Or think? After seeing your friend clawing into his scalp?!" A peak of emotion, calm. She draws breath again, rubs her forehead. "What are we to do? This is just a wait and see thing..?" She asks herself, leaning back toward the aura of warmth that Sky emanates. She likes the heat.

The only response that Sky's signing gets from Rain is an eye roll. He knows her better then that. Nice could never be used as an adjective to describe her. She's fine with that. "That's probably for the best, but if it gets bothersome find me. I can either take it from you or show you how to deal with it." She sighs "You could think lots of things, none of which should be, 'This is all my fault', you and millions, if not billions of others are dealing with same thing." She has no real answer to what's to be done "Deal, learn, I guess that is the best you can do. " she gets to her feet, moving to hand her plate to Sky, before just walking away without saying anything else. That's so Rain.

Schuyler sticks his tongue out at Rain as she gets up to leave but he'll take the plate from her and set it down before him. Grace gets a glance before he takes a drag on the cigarette, blows out the smoke, and goes to write some more. 'It's not your fault and it happened to other people too. Look at it as a chance to practice imagination and empathy by living a little bit of your life in someone else's shows. I know Besa is very upset, but that's not because of you. He has a hard time with change.'

The brunette doesn't push, because she just feels that it goes farther than that. Beyond the runic magic and the electronic-null. "It's not bothersome, not right now." Grace admits, and she means it. She's finding more bother in thoughts of what her powers are doing to the boy who is borrowing them unwillingly. Borrow? Could it be that? What if this is permanent?!

Still, Grace looks up as Rain makes to leave and listens to the other girl's words. She nods her agreement and bids the Masters girl adieu, intending to re-examine the thoughts later on. There is much truth there.

"I really.. don't mind. L-like, what I've been experiencing. It's actually peaceful, if I let it be such." Grace smiles weakly, giving the air a delicate sniff she seems to like the smell of the cloves. "It's just old habit to assume fault, I suppose. My parents weren't easy people and it kept the peace. I-I guess it's the same tune that a lot of us are playing though, being here." A shrug. She is not unaware of Sky's manner of communication and her lips move carefully over her words. "D-do you want help with him? With Besa? Because that is what bugs me the most.. i-it's not an easy power set.."

A pause, she squints at Sky. "Were you affected? I'm noticing some heat about you."

'Exactly!' Sky writes in all caps and underlined. 'It's a break from dealing with stuff. I'm enjoying the quiet although it's not as easy to communicate with others,' thus the notebook. He tilts his head and takes another puff on the cigarette before working on some of the food Rain left on her plate. He then scribbles some more, 'It might not be a bad idea for you to give Besa some coping mechanisms if you have them. It's not great timing since he just got out from his wrappings and is still figuring things out from before. But again, not your fault.'

The male half of the Masters twins reassures Grace in a manner that isn't quite so blunt, but at the same time it doesn't make Rain's words null and void either. The smile that had been dashed from the girl's face eases back, slowly, and lightens her face again. Only just.

"That's right…" She ponders, watching him. "Y-you're… a mentalist. If I remember right, you're always being bombarded by peoples' minds. Isn't that it?" She learned of this in her earlier meeting with him.. Grace blushes. "I remember how you spoke in my head. Y-you sounded like Jeff Bridges."

A deep breath, in through her nose… feeding her scents of earth and grass and water. This is where Grace misses her senses, for all of these smells are delightful to her. She looks back to Sky as he agrees to the prospect of trying to advise Besa some. "He'll be okay if he just.. keeps his anger in check. Even if he's gentle by nature," Look at her. ".. i-it's quick to spark and it catches like a spark in a match factory. I-I would just tell him to do things that keep him calm…"

'For the last two years and change,' Sky writes with a grimace, answering her question about being a mentalist. 'Unless Rain took it from me which she didn't do very often,' just when he was dealing with withdrawal symptoms and couldn't take his pills. There's an arched eyebrow and another drag on the clove cigarette as she mentioned that he sounded like Jeff Bridges. 'Isn't he old?' Because how would he know what he sounds like.

'He may need to hear that from you. We tried and sort of got him to calm down some yesterday but I think he's on edge. He also puts out a calmer vibe than I think he often feels. Frankly, I think he -should- explode every now and then, but what do I know?' It's accentuated with a shrug.

"He's older.. nearly seventy I think. My uncles used to watch this one movie of his constantly," Mere mention of those two dear men bring light to Grace's scarlet eyes. "The Big Lebowski. It's r-really kinda ridiculous but I came to like it. Like him.. he's a favorite actor of mine. Maybe I just heard what I wanted to hear in my head, when you 'spoke' to me." Grace is trying to make sense of it, because to attribute so gruff and rough an older man's voice to Schuyler Masters is just… ludicrous. The girl's smile quivers at the corners and again, her face returns to a more pensive, neutral look.

"A-anger is supposed to be healthy. But not my anger." She offers a touch sadly to Sky, watching him. "I don't know what happens to me when I get really angry.. that's what sent me here. There was death. So I pray that for however long this lasts, your friend doesn't get THAT upset. I'll look for him later on, s-see if he's around. He needs to know. I'm still learning how to cope with it, myself."

A pause.. Grace doesn't like talking about herself, or mulling over hard thoughts on so nice a day. She reaches down to fiddle with a blade of grass. "What are your plans for the summer? Your sister said she was going to be working."

Schuyler writes down the name of the movie to look up later. He's heard of it, at least. But he watches as Grace talks, taking in her words and puffing away at the cigarette. He finally writes down, 'Something tells me that a quick temper isn't something that Besa is used to and that having one now is a little scary for him. I don't think he wants to see anyone hurt either. We'll keep an eye on him though, so don't worry. I think he'd appreciate hearing this from you though.'

The change of subject has him watching her again for a moment before he goes along with it. He makes a slightly annoyed face as he writes, 'Yes, she is. Which means I'm kind of stuck here too. I haven't really made any plans and to be honest, I'm not sure what I'm going to do besides keep an eye on Besa until this thing returns to normal.'

THe girl looks resolved, "I'll look for him this evening.. the anger is exhausting. I bet he's resting." Grace pauses, looks up from the grass blade that she has been folding over and over. "I hope so." Added as an afterthought, her smooth brow knit briefly with worry. "He's lucky to have such good friends to look out for him. I-it sounds like you three have been a solid unit for a long time." Meaning Sky, Rain and Besa of course. This is said without an ounce of envy, and the girl smiles a bit at that.

A scrim of thin cloud waltzes across the pale blue sky, overwhelmed easily by the sun. Sea birds rise from the beach, flit overhead. Grace notes all of this and leans back, palms pressed into the grass. She closes her eyes briefly and faces the sunlight for a few seconds before exhaling slowly. "I kinda hate to admit it, but this does feel… nice. To just sit here and not have to think.."

She listens to Sky's answer to her question, and she glances at him with a smile. "Aren't there some summer courses being offered?" She doesn't want to even come close to even sounding insensitive in asking about finding work, himself. "I'm in a similar boat.. but at least I'm in good company."

Schuyler shrugs, 'Besa's family,' as if it's no more complicated than that. He then grins and nods as Grace mentions how nice it is to not have to focus on keeping their powers in check. 'It is, isn't it? I feel a little bad for people like Besa who are having a hard time of it, but I'm enjoying the break.'

There's another grimace at the mention of summer courses, 'I'd only take summer courses if they give me credit for them for next year. I don't know if they'll do that. And I really don't -want- to work," showing some of his privilege there, 'And it's not easy for people like me to find jobs.'

And Grace, well, doesn't question it either. She would be the first to agree that chosen family is often better than real family. "If it didn't mean someone else had to suffer, I would love this." She indicates the lawn, then points to her noggin. "T-though the pain is not being able to use my phone, or tablets or… that can't be easy. I'm sure Besa is used to it, handles it better, but…" A shrug, "I guess it's part of simply unplugging. I have no choice but to be out here, without distractions, enjoying a quiet mind…"

Grace yawns lightly, opts to lay back in the grass and fold her arms behind her head. She is wearing a long dress, and therefore something that won't be compromised when she goes supine. She shields her brow to lessen the sun in her eyes and watches Sky, not quick to judge the 'privilege' thing because the boy has his hurdles. He says what she was so hesitant to say, herself, "I get it.. I'm really sorry about that. Your family lives rather far away, though? Wouldn't you travel to see them?" Grace asks, genuinely curious. She finds herself having a lot in common with Sky just then, and is evidently enjoying his company.

'Besa isn't used to the technology like we are,' Sky points out. 'So I think it's a little easier for him.' He watches as she lays back in the grass, grey eyes flicking over her form for a moment before she asks her next question. 'They do and I would. But Rain is here.' As if that explains it all.

There's another pause as he scribbles some more, finally offering, 'If you think of yourself as 'suffering' with your powers, you may never actually understand or get control of them. I've seen this sort of thing in my family…not the immediate, but cousins and uncles and aunts. The more you embrace it and the more you come to terms with it, the easier it gets to understand it…and possibly control it. Just my thoughts.'

It explains 'enough' to Grace and she appreciates it. She does not, however, envy the close twinbond. Were Grace to have a sibling, it would mean another kid being hit with this generational affliction. Perhaps it would have been nice to have a sibling with whom to walk the learning curves together… but then there are other reasons as to why Grace is an only child. "Of course. Well t-today really is only day one… of the whole break… so you got plenty of time to figure out where to go from here." She tries to be optimistic.. it helps keep her mind off of everything.

Sky's following advice is enough to make the girl sit up again, though not defensively. Grace watches him outright, her brows knit. "I'm… wanting to understand so I can moderate them. But they scare me sometimes." She admits easily, though not in a tremulous way. Just firm fact. "L-like… I would like nothing more than to get a leash on it all. But they way they are.. these abilities.. they're not me at all." Grace sighs softly, "I'm sorry, I don't wanna seem all wah-wah.. I'm not, I promise. I'm here to learn how to figure things out, to be a hero… and I'm going to." A smile that she hopes is reassuring, and she lies back down to rest again.

"Thanks for that.. it's good to hear it from somebody else who seems to be good at rationalizing things." A subtle compliment. "You have a huge family, don't you? Is everyone powered?"

'Too much time, if you ask me.' Two and a half months! With the occasional trip home. Sky isn't terribly thrilled about it, but he's here for now. When Grace sits up and offers her thoughts, he tilts his head and finishes off the cigarette, putting out the embers on the ground and then tucking the butt into a pocket to be tossed later. 'But your powers -are- you. I bet once you figure that out, you'll have better control of them. If you think of them as something external, they'll always be a little wild.'

The compliment gets a shrug…Rain would certainly disagree with her. But he nods and writes, 'Yes, pretty much everyone over the age of thirteen. And our baby sister, but she's a little different.'

Her powers — these awful, bloody, snapping snarling powers — are her? Yeah Grace is gonna have to mull THAT one over. strangely enough, uncle Vee said something similar to her. A couple of weeks after the Incident. At the time Grace refused to believe it but now, 'spoken' (written) to her in Sky's penmanship, it's really considered with an open mind. ESPECIALLY open, now that she's kinda using Besa's skillset for however long. She feels more given to ponderous moments as of lates, to really stop and think.

"Thanks again, Sky.. I meant to thank your sister too. Not just for her tough words, but for how she helped me keep it together back at the amusement park. I-I'll be sure to say so later on." Grace admits, meaning it. The sun and the air is making her tired; it doesn't help to be lying like this. She stifles a yawn with the back of her hand, head now resting flat in the grass. She'll have to check on Con later, as she hopes his powers weren't warped too badly. But she finds her thoughts flitting back to Besa.

"You're lucky to have such a close family. One that understands." And doesn't sweep things under thick rugs, left unsaid. Lest she fall asleep here, Grace rolls over onto her stomach. Speaking of Uncle Vee.. "I need to go make a couple of phonecalls before it gets too late… and find somebody to help me do it." She waggles her fingers. "Thanks again for the chat."

Her words of thanks get a nod and he signs 'You're welcome…' although he's not entirely sure for what. There's a smirk then, 'Lucky…sometimes. But it's just the way things are with us. We still have our own family issues,' but talking and dealing with powers isn't one of them.

As for talking on the phone he offers, 'Have someone set up a video chat if you can. Let them do the dialing and hold the phone for you…or set it up so you don't need to touch it. That's what we did with Besa.'

But hey…if she can't touch technology, that means Besa can! He may need to find the other now…but first he needs to grab his phone and tablet!

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