Trevor tilted his head. “Huh, I’ve never known rioters to really consider whether they can afford it or not. They just freak out. That’s what people do around people like us. Well, more like people like me.” He didn’t say it with any bitterness or fear, just as a matter of fact. If anything, he was a little amused by it, but then again, he was pretty good at lightening his own mood after a lifetime spent honing the skill. “I just don’t want you getting in trouble. I mean, it’s your senior year. That would suck, getting kicked out now. Miss out on prom and being able to stuff freshmen in trash cans after you put in all that time to get to the top?”
Trevor shook his head. “Fine, I’ll train with him.” He sighed. “After all, now I’m going to be facing a helluva lot worse because I didn’t finish it myself, I got rescued by a girl half the size of any one of those football players just because she caught them by surprise. Tomorrow, if I’m not suspended, it’s going to be the entire football team, so I may as well take them on by myself and put a stop to it. That’s how I’ve always handled it before.”
He made a confused expression at her tone. “Wow, you really do need to stress less, Amara. It’s your senior year, you’ve made it. Why not ditch? I would if I had a car. It’s not like you’re behind in your classes, is it?” He used his free hand to shrug. “Take off whenever you just wanna go to the mall like everyone else does.”
It wasn’t until she started actually helping him into the car that he paused. First off she dragged him out of a fight before he had a chance to turn it around and finish it for good, and now she was treating him like he was some kind of helpless baby. “Uh… Amara? I’m blind, not crippled. You know, I really really like you, you’re my sister, at least that’s how I think of it, but why do you act like I’m a four-year-old? I’m sixteen. I mean, I know you’re just trying to be helpful, and maybe they don’t have blind people in Brazil, but I can get into a car by myself.” He pulled away from her hand and dropped into the seat. “The seatbelt? Really? I dunno. Let me look.” He reached up for it and pulled it down with no more difficulty than a sighted person would. “Oh, wow! I managed it. Do I get a graham cracker or a gold star? I’d prefer the graham cracker because I didn’t get lunch.”
She could have gone on about how they help their own, defend each other, never leave one another behind—the stuff she heard all the time. But she already knew all of that, and followed those guidelines every day. And even so, she didn’t like hearing them that much. “It’s fine,” is what she did tell him, “Don’t worry about something like that.” Though it was after that when his words began to catch her off guard. Is that what he got out of her protecting him? That he was going to get even worse treatment because a girl saved him? She didn’t do it because she thought he couldn’t—she came in because no one should be treated like that. With her lips now pursed, she shook her head. “I doubt you’ll be suspended if we get the story straight. The training could be used for other situations, you know. That way, no one will mess with you.”
“And… I want to go to college. I’m doing the best I can in classes. So I only skip when I have to. Yeah, things now are much more lax, but not stress free. There’s also other things I need to focus on.” Like training, for one thing… Really, what was with this sudden change in tone? She shook it off, just wanting to concentrate on leaving more than anything else.
However… that proved to be a little difficult to do as time went on. “I-I know, I was just…” What could she say? That was both unexpected and a little hurtful, at least from where she was standing. With added sarcasm too? Yeah, that wasn’t entirely pleasant to listen to. Amara swallowed hard, not saying anything else as she made her way to the driver’s side from the front of the car. The door was opened, she entered, shut the door behind her, and put the seat belt on without another word being spoken, too. Mostly because she didn’t know what to say at that point. Before putting the key into the ignition, she checked the mirrors and looked around just in case. “I’m sorry,” she muttered, trying not to let too much emotion be conveyed.
Amara sighed. “Let’s just take care of this…” And with a turn of the key, and a change to reverse, she backed out of the parking space and began to drive out of the parking lot.
Trevor dropped the tray to the ground as there was a letup in the blows. He smelled that scent of the deepest parts of the Earth even before he heard her voice. Amara. The odds were at least a little more even now. Her hand closed over his wrist and he felt her tug. “What? But we got ‘em down now. Why run?” He had heard the tension in her voice, though. This was upsetting to her and he didn’t like the idea of upsetting his Earth-sister. “Okay, okay.”
He lifted his hand behind him in a single finger salute to the jocks as he followed her lead, the crowd of students parting to let them through. He doubted any of them wanted to mess with two mutants, especially with the fire in Amara’s tone. As he felt the air clear around them, he slid his hand into hers and gave it a squeeze. “Thanks for the assist. I’m guessing football players, unless this school has an MMA team I don’t know about.” He rubbed his side where a few of the punches had landed in the same place. At least the assholes probably got some bruised knuckles from hitting his solid muscles. “You okay, Amara?” he asked in a more private tone. “I wasn’t tryna upset you. I know I said I wouldn’t start nothin’, but I had to. And I didn’t use my powers, not once.”
“What’s going on in here?!” The stern voice of the vice principal from the main doors made Trevor step closer to Amara. “Who was involved in this?!”
“Okay, I think that whole getting out of here thing better happen now,” he suggested. “There a fire door or a window we can jump out of?”
The brunette girl only caught of glimpse of him touching at his side as she kept walking, and while it worried her, and she would usually react immediately, she wanted to get to safety first. “Right on the nose. Football players…” she trailed off, squeezing his hand a bit. “They’re the ones who upset me. Only reason I’m not going back there to make sure they learn a lesson is because you’re way more important. But, yeah, we need to get out before—” she was interrupted by the sudden arrival of the vice principal. Freezing for a moment, she looked around for a quick escape. The VP entered through the far entrance, where Amara had come in before when the fight had been happening. “… Before the vice principal gets here…”
But Trevor had a good idea. There was a fire door nearby, and if they could just move behind one of the groups of gathered students, they’d be able to pass through with other exiting kids. “Follow my lead. Once we’re out I’ll tell you more,” she whispered to him, beginning to move toward the exit. It wasn’t at all easy to avoid people’s stares, seeing as they knew she had been the one to strike out against the jocks, but they didn’t seem to want to rat her out, either. That was a bright point to the whole thing, at least.
Everything was going pretty smoothly given the situation. The crowd was still grouped together, so it was good to make use of the confusion. Weaving through the throng was easy enough, so long as she made sure to keep Trevor close and didn’t actually push through any small gatherings to not startle him. When the reached the fire escape, she pushed it open with her free hand, releasing a breath she hadn’t even realized was being held until a severe tightness in her chest evaporated at the action. As soon as they were actually through the doors, her shoulders eased. She turned to face Trevor. “One of those muties picked a fight with us!”
“Yeah, and then this bitch came out of nowhere and attacked us!”
Amara rolled her eyes with a whispered curse—particularly directed to the jerks inside—in Portuguese. All she could think of was that they’d begin searches on every known mutant in the school. Currently, the only ones listed were Xavier’s students. “I think we should head home, Trevor. At least get you looked over by Doctor McCoy. What do you say?” She tried to hide the slight anxiousness in her voice, but some still made its way into her tone. What she had just done was reckless. She didn’t regret it, but that didn’t make it any less so.
Trevor pushed his tray along the tracks in the line. From the smell of the stuff, he was kind of glad he couldn’t see it. It smelled like something he would have left in the dumpster a few months ago. “What is this?” he asked the lunch lady, pointing to the cardboard boat she had put on his tray. “I mean, aren’t you guys funded or anything?”
“It’s lasagna,” she replied tersely. “Vegetarian lasagna.”
“Huh, ran out of meat again,” Trevor commented under his breath, starting to slide his tray down again. He was cut off by someone pretty big who smelled heavily of leather and sweat. Jock in a letterman jacket. Great. “Uh, sure, help yourself, not like I’m here or anything.”
“Hey, thanks, nice of you, mutie,” replied the jock. “Hey, guys, the freak says we can all go ahead of him.”
“See you later in Trig, Amara!” “Of course! I’ll hurry over to give you those notes you needed—right after lunch, Penny. Promise!” she called out to one of the acquaintances she’d made so far during her senior year. The small pile of notebooks she carried was quickly stuffed into her book bag as she walked down the hall toward the cafeteria. Her English Honors class was a bit of a distance from there, but at least she knew the school well enough after about maybe three to four years to have discovered a shortcut or two so the journey would be just a little bit faster. With a brisk pace, she chose to take a quick pass through the courtyard which would take her directly to the building with an entrance close enough to her destination.
There were some glances in her direction. Discreet, little looks that weren’t too obvious to everyone else. A person—especially a mutant—would have to be quite ignorant to not notice that there was some animosity still around. Like Amara commonly stated, it wasn’t as bad as it used to be, but it wasn’t quite a paradise, either. For the most part, she was left alone. On the other hand, she sometimes caught whispers of people talking about how long it would be until she turned on them (like some rabid animal, she heard once). This was something she had become used to way before her senior year even started. And seeing as she had met a couple of good people who didn’t mind her known mutant status, she definitely had a partially positive outlook most of the time.
It seemed that particular outlook wasn’t going to cut it as soon as she did enter the cafeteria doors and saw a ring of spectators surrounding what seemed to sound like a scuffle. Some were chanting the ever-popular “Fight, fight!” or “Someone call a teacher!”, but what really caught her attention as she approached was a younger guy—probably a freshman or sophomore—telling his friends something along the lines of “Dude, the kid’s blind…”. She snapped to attention immediately, already pushing her way through.
Trevor bit his lip at her surprised reaction. “Yeah. I guess I don’t look too much like him even if Vance said he can see it. Otherwise the people here who know him mighta been at least like ‘Huh, you look like that other guy.’ Not that I don’t just gotta take their word on it anyway.” He reached down with one hand to grasp his toes. “But I guess it’s gotta be an epic joke or somethin’. I’m a total nobody and everybody seems to know who he is. ‘Cept me.”
He lifted his head, a hint of his smile returning at her assurances about his identity. “You’re right. I’m kinda glad anyway I didn’t hafta have their name. It’s sorta snooty sounding anyway. I’m an anti-social blind kid with a bad attitude about people in general, don’t wanna be a snob on top of it.” He knew that Lance would have his back, that was true, but it was good to hear Amara saw it the same way. The idea of meeting his brother was still enough to cause anxiety, though, even with her vouching for his character and perfectly reasonable explanation of the pretty lavish gift. Even if it was supposed to be a sign of Warren not trying to overwhelm him, it was a lot to deal with. And then there was the whole thing of what kind of mutant his brother was. “I guess it’s okay, I mean, I like the stuff. But that doesn’t mean I gotta like him just because of all this, right? If I like him, okay, but if he’s a jerk, then I just like the stuff, not him. Does he really have wings like a bird?” He said it quietly, but he couldn’t help the anxious tone in his question.
He closed his eyes as he leaned against her, able to feel the warmth of her skin through her shirt. It had a little extra heat to it, but nothing too worrying, and right now it was actually pretty comforting to have it radiate through to him, like sun-soaked sand. Choices he’d have to make. He wasn’t used to making choices in the first place, not big ones. The last big choices he’d made were to run away from foster care and to stay at the institute with the only people he cared about. And even so he missed Lance, even if he saw him every day. It was hard sleeping knowing he wasn’t right across the hall, and Fred never came over. He only got to see him when Lance would take him to their house, and then they had so much roughhousing fun he’d crash out from sheer exhaustion. But then again, here was where he had Amara and Trey, where things were safe and quiet and even the adults like Dr. McCoy and Professor Xavier made time for him and had that tone of actual concern, not social worker acting. Living with Warren, even if he turned out to be the nicest guy in the world, was not an option he was even ready to consider. “Guess I gotta wait to find out what he wants, anyway. Maybe he’ll take one look at me and be all ‘Yeah, sorry, this was a bad idea. Later.’ But you and Lance, you’ll both help me figure it all out if he does ask?”
The thing was, once it had been stated, Amara was able to see just how he did resemble Warren somewhat. But she assumed no one would make the connection even with knowing the both of them because… well… who really suddenly compared appearances in such a way? And, truthfully, Warren didn’t show himself much anymore, even less than he did in the past. No one had noticed, probably, the comparisons. That, and no one guessed that the Worthingtons would have been so cruel as to abandon a child like they did, and in that light, didn’t think Warren could possibly have a brother because of it. Even before coming to America, she’d heard the name a little bit in Brazil. Nothing too major, but she’d definitely recognized it when her new friends at the Institute had begun speaking about it, and even more so when she’d first met Warren in person.
“Trevor, if you like him, it should be because you actually do like him. Not because he gives you gifts. He needs to understand that, while it’s good to give you things, that isn’t going to make you like him as a person.” She took note of his nervous tone. “And yes. He has wings. But he can tuck them back if he has to, and he’s really careful.” When it came to Amara, flying was something she didn’t really enjoy due to her becoming ill whenever she was off the ground. She wasn’t sure if that was the same reasoning behind Trevor being nervous about Warren’s wings, but that was the input she could provide. And she could tell the truth about what she knew about his recently discovered older brother.
She didn’t really move as she held him, not wanting to surprise him. “I doubt that, I really do. He’s really lucky to have you for a little brother, but if you’re not comfortable with him, that’s how it is. So long as you give it a try, there’s really nothing to be said.” He needed to know that he did have people who would be there for him through any sort of trial he faced, and still be there after that. “I’ll be there, and I know Lance will be. We won’t tell you what to do, that’s all you, but we’ll be there to listen and give you our insight. No matter what, we’re here for you.”
Trevor leaned against the hand, taking a deep breath. “Yeah, sort of. I know his name at least. One of the Avengers came and told me. His name is Warren Worthington. As in the guy who owns the ice cream places. He said my name’s really Worthington, too.” He gave one of those palms up shrugs. “I don’t know if I wanna be someone else. I’ve always been Trevor Worth.” It felt as if he was being told somehow that he wasn’t the person he’d always known himself as, and with everything else, it was a rather confusing feeling. He knew Trevor Worthington less than Warren Worthington.
“I guess he knows about me now, or why would he have known about my birthday?” He dropped his head in his hands. “I said I’d meet him if Lance was there, too. I mean, he didn’t do nothin’ to me. Didn’t even know I existed. Vance said he was away at school and didn’t even know his.. our mother was pregnant with me. Said he wasn’t real close with them, either, but he’s still sad about them dying. What’m I gonna do, Amara? I don’t know this guy and he’s my brother. If he wants me to go live with him I’m not.”
“W-Warren Worthington?” she stammered out, brows raising in surprise. Now looking at the many new things in his room apparently purchased recently by the winged mutant, it made a little more sense to that point, but that didn’t really make it any less of a shock. A cold and uncomfortable feeling moved into her stomach, realizing that Warren’s parents had left Trevor when he was a baby because of his physical mutations. They’d… they’d made that choice willingly and because of them, he’d dealt with so much in his life. Her jaw tensed, and her nose twitched in frustration she knew she wasn’t supposed to be feeling. It made no sense to her. Why were there parents out there that chose to abandon their children without looking back? Amara felt a small chill over her skin, which made her pull her hand away from Trevor—not to quickly as to surprise him, but so that she wouldn’t possibly hurt him.
Luckily, she took a breath to calm her nerves right then, so nothing happened besides her face feeling a little warm. She cleared her throat. “You’re still Trevor Worth no matter what your name is. That’s who you’ve been, and a blood relative doesn’t mean you have to change who you are. A name is only a name. It is as powerful as you make it.” She chewed on her lower lip, thinking. Then, she placed her hand back on his shoulder once she felt safe enough to do so, squeezing gently in support. “He let you name your terms if you were to meet. That’s a good sign, if you ask me. Lance will… he’ll take care of you, listen to you. And he’ll make sure Warren knows where the line stands. I don’t know Warren that well, but I’ve met him before, and he’s a good person. And if I know enough about how he cares for others, knowing he has a little brother who he’d never been able to know will get to him. That’s why he got you all these things. He wants to show you he cares, but willing to go at your speed.”
Vance, though? She sort of knew that name. Justice—the Avenger. He must have been the one to tell Trevor, then. She looked down at the further details. They hadn’t even the decency to tell their own son. “This is up to you. If you want to stay here, then you need to tell him that if he asks you to live with him. He might make mistakes, no one’s perfect, but I’m sure he just wants to know you.” With a little breath, she continued, “Even if he wasn’t close to his parents, he did know them, and their deaths hurt. You didn’t. And you have a right to be indifferent about their deaths. To you, they were people you had no idea actually existed or were connected to until recently. No one should expect anything.” She looked at him, head in his hands. “Even if you have a blood relative now, you also have your own family,” she said softly as she brushed his hair back gently, slowly pulling him a bit close so she could partially hold him. “There are choices you’ll need to make, but you won’t have to deal with them on your own.”
Trevor closed his hand over the vial, his shoulders straightening with a sense of confidence at the presence of it. “Me, too. I get sick even going over a bridge. I guess I won’t now.” He smiled. “All of us, yeah, we’re a family.” He bit his lip for a moment. What about real family showing up? This felt like real family. Lance was his real family. Warren was still just a name and some objects. Would he want to take him away from his real family?
He relaxed again as he listened to her talk about the professor’s hope. It still sounded like a pipe dream to him, but it would be nice if it happened. He just didn’t like trying to be optimistic. It was a surefire way to get your hopes dashed to bits. He knew who he could count on, and so far it was the Earth and the mutants who sheltered him and made him feel like he was safe, like he was part of something. He couldn’t really picture a world where people outside weren’t afraid or rude or dangerous toward the people that they kept calling a danger just for existing. He broke into a smile at her take on their school life, though. “Yeah, they can keep normal. We’re special. If they don’t like it, they’re just jealous.” He scratched at his claws. “Don’t worry, I won’t go around starting shit, though. If they wanna leave us alone, that’s good enough.”
He pulled one knee up to his chest, resting his chin on it. “Amara, if I tell you something, you’re not gonna go tell everybody else, are you? I mean, I know you won’t, it’s just I don’t want it all over the place if things don’t work out is all.” He picked at the plates on his foot silently for a moment. “I… might have a brother. Like, ya know.. we had the same parents. Who’re dead, which is fine by me.”
Even though she felt calm, and even a little happy despite the concerns brought up with their conversation, she knew something must have been on Trevor’s mind that he wasn’t talking about just yet. At first, she’d believed that her differences separated her from the herd in a bad way, but when she went to Xavier’s and saw how wonderful everyone she knew there was, she realized that despite those differences, being unique wasn’t considered bad. It was just… different. But a lot of people didn’t like different. That was the problem. She figured that if they could accept that not everything was the same in the world, then they’d be able to see how great of a person so many mutants were. A few people had gotten used to mutants being in the school over the years, at least. “I know you won’t.” She turned to face him. “It doesn’t matter what they think.” Amara believed that now more than ever.
“I promise not to tell, Trevor.” She sat up a bit and placed her hand on his shoulder, showing her honesty and support. If what doesn’t work out? she thought, tilting her head. Then he explained how he might have a brother, and actual blood-related brother, but that his birth parents were dead. But that didn’t seem to bother him that much. Amara understood that part. Trevor’s birth parents gave him up when he was really, really small. A baby. Thinking about it still brought an uncomfortable feeling in her stomach. “Do… do you know where this brother is? Does he know about you?” Does he want to see you? She left that last question in her mind. The previous were more important.
Trevor grinned, leaning his head forward. “Yeah, I’d like. This way, even if I’m not on the ground, if I gotta go upstairs or anything like that, I’ll still have her with me.” His shoulders relaxed at just thinking about it. “I mean, I still like this room best and all that, but, ya know, Professor Xavier, he’s upstairs most of the time. He said I could come up and see him any time, though. He said he’d always have time.” He still wasn’t sure how that could happen, why someone who did all the things he did would make time for just one kid who wasn’t a superhero or a good student or anything, but even during the riot, when he’d obviously been busy, when Trevor expected to be ignored, he had gone out of his way to make sure he wasn’t.
“They’re always angry. Or scared. Or something.” Trevor sighed, dropping his head on the bean bag and rubbing his cheek against the soft velvety fabric. “When they get it that I’m blind, they just get all awkward and weird. If they found out I’m a mutant, it was different. ‘Cause we’re different. We’re just freaks and monsters and they’re always gonna think that. I know Professor Xavier says it won’t always be that way, but how’s he know it’ll get better?” He slid over so his head rested on her shoulder. “I don’t wanna be around them anyway, Amara. Here we’re the normal ones. What’s gonna happen when we gotta go to school? It’s gonna be like everyplace else, ain’t it. Maybe they won’t pick on us, but we gotta eat alone, sit alone, if they’re nice it’s just so they can tell people they know a freak.”
As he leaned his head forward, she took the necklace out of the box and made sure to face it the right way before carefully slipping it over his head and onto his neck, allowing the pendant to rest on his chest. She touched the vial lightly with a fingertip, smiling at his words and at the light feeling of connection gathered even through the container. “That’s one of the reasons I kept her with me, too. I used to feel really ill if I was too above ground, like on an airplane or a boat, so when I came back, I decided to bring Ceres with me, instead.” Amara laughed softly, moving her hand away. “Take my word for it: That looks good on you.” She tilted her head at the mention of Xavier. Truthfully, she’d only heard bits about how Trevor had been with the Professor during the riots since Scott had left the young mutant with the telepath. She was glad he seemed to have warmed up to him, though, since she really respected Xavier and was thankful for everything he’d put up with and done for her. And those words… they certainly sounded like something he’d say. “He’s telling the truth. The Professor always has time for us. We’re a part of his family. That’s why he takes us in and tries his best to make us happy—because each of us mean a lot to him.” After speaking, she moved a bit to get more comfortable in the bean bag chair, still looking at her fellow mutant.
Her gaze followed him with light concern at his sigh, and then as he dropped his head onto the chair. All she could think about was how correct his statements seemed now, rather than how they had sounded almost like a shocking revelation to her before. “They don’t understand,” she muttered, “They’re so scared and angry because they don’t bother to understand. Your being blind, or being a mutant, all of us in general… A lot of people don’t try to accept what’s different because they’re scared of change. It’s not fair, but that’s something I’ve learned and had to accept, lately.” She sighed softly. “The Professor has hope. It’s his dream for things to get better, and every day, he works for it. He can’t see into the future, but his faith in what he believes is unstoppable.” Despite his words, Amara could see how these things bothered him. She relaxed as his head moved to rest on her shoulder.
“Then it’s their loss,” she told him, watching his face for a short moment before she glanced away to look ahead. “We’ll have lunch together and make them jealous because that’s how cool we are.” Her tone was light, joking, but there was a hint of resoluteness. “Besides, I’m proud to be a freak, then. My mutation might not be all there is to who I am, but it’s certainly an interesting addition, right? Being different isn’t always a bad thing, no matter how many normal people tell you otherwise.”
“Good, because I’d rather have you help me than Cyborg. He’s nice now, but it’s like, I dunno, he’s too nice.” Trevor shrugged. “It’s like he’s trying real hard to make sure I think he’s cool. I guess I do, but don’t tell him, okay?” He scooted into the bean bag, pulling his feet up and putting the soles together. “I tried, but they don’t want to stay in a pile. They’re all different shapes. But at least they don’t hurt to bump into.” He figured he’d rather fall onto a pillow if he did trip before he knew where everything was than faceplant onto the floor.
“I’ll take your word for it. I know it feels pretty different. Which is cool.” His face took on a much more serious air as his hand touched the smooth curve of the vial. His brows grew closer as he ran his finger across it softly, then he smiled, listening to her describe it. “I can feel it,” he said quietly. “It’s still full of life, and warmth. And it feels so different, like.. it has an accent, you know? But it’s still her.” He hoped it made sense to her, trying to describe the exotic but familiar vibration that trembled under his fingertip. Putting things about the Earth he had only felt privately for most of his life into words was always a bit of a challenge, even when he was sure that if he could actually just transmit the feelings to Amara she’d understand perfectly. “Thanks, Amara. This is the best present ever. Can I really wear it?”
He put his hand on her arm again. “I’m glad you’re okay, ya know. Those people, what happened? It shouldn’ta been like that.” He kept the actual mention of what he knew about the circumstances vague, not wanting to remind her again, even though the thought of it made his lower lip stick out a little with the injustice. “Least in here, nobody would ever treat you like that. We take care of each other, right?”
“Your secret’s safe with me,” she whispered, unable to stop the grin that bloomed on her face at hearing that he thought Scott was cool now. After all, she’d always partially looked up to the older mutant since he never seemed to waver in his dreams or become weighted down by his lack of control over his mutation. Now, even though she knew the latter wasn’t always constant, she bore an even stronger sense of respect for him. That was something she could compare to, and even though he went through it, he came out victorious and kept working for what he believed in. She touched one of the mentioned pillows. “They work as padding, and maybe markers.”
The unique feeling of knowing someone else who could communicate with the Earth she’d looked to for guidance and comfort for such a long time still managed to lift her spirits no matter how used to it she was becoming. Hearing Trevor speak about the contents of the vial so personally really awed her. His own way of understanding and listening were different than hers, but she comprehended his words fairly easily. She’d felt something like it when she’d been so used to the Earth and how she was in Brazil and then she had suddenly been sent to America, where the ground seemed more like a slightly distant member of a close family who had immediately begun taking care of her as soon as they’d met. It was hard to explain in actual words, but while the feelings of both lands were different, Amara was close enough now (compared to before) to know that it was all the same being that she had a connection to. Just, as Trevor said, with differing accents depending on where she was. Just like a person. She smiled at him, looking at the necklace. “Of course you can. It’s all yours. I can help you put it on now, if you’d like.” Her hand moved over the clasp, but she knew the necklace itself was lengthy enough to easily slip over her head, and his as well.
The touch on her arm grabbed at her gaze. His words didn’t upset her, even with the light reminder. She was happy to say that it was officially put behind her in the hopes of improving her future. Placing her hand on his after she’d lowered the gift box onto the chair gently, she moved her eyes back to him. “It was an accident—one of those chance moments where everything that could have gone wrong… went much worse. They were angry.” She noticed the slight jutting out of his lower lip into that very Trevor-like expression, and her expression remained cheery despite the topic. “And you’re right. We take care of each other here. Before I knew it, Scott and Kurt were there.”
Trevor reached for her arm as soon as her hand was on him. “Yeah, um, Warren had stuff delivered here and it’s cool, but..” He sighed. “I still keep forgetting where things are ‘cause it’s all different now. The bean bag’s over there, right?” He pointed a few feet to the left of it. “Cyborg got me headphones that’re real nice. I think he’s still tryna suck up to me or something. But they’re real good for the music Trey got me.”
He broke into a bright smile at her wishing him a happy birthday. The fact that it was a little late didn’t upset him. He’d never had so much attention paid to a birthday before at all, and now all three of his favorite people had made a special mention of it. “Thanks, Amara!” He shook his head, still smiling. “I don’t care how much something cost, or if it didn’t even cost anything. If it’s from you, it’s special anyway. This is the best birthday ever.”
He cautiously stepped for the bean bag, tripping on a pillow that had been knocked out of place earlier, managing to stay upright by having his hand on Amara already. “I gotta figure out how ta keep those things in one place. They get all over the floor.” He tried again and this time managed to make it to the bean bag, dropping into it. “There’s room for both of us, it’s almost as big as my bed was. Not sure what color it is, but it feels nice.” He gestured to the corner by the closet, where a mini-fridge stood. “You want a soda or some ice cream? Warren kinda sent that, too. And that chair on the other side, it plays music. I thought I was just gonna get ice cream outa this.”
As soon as he had a hold on her arm, she moved to help be his guide rather than just standing there. Warren? That confused her about his words, but she figured it was because he was just a nice person. He was always giving people things and he was pretty much friends with everyone. She didn’t know Trevor knew him, but then again, she never really asked. The older mutant had wished him a happy birthday, so they must know each other, she reasoned. “The bean bag? Um… it’s a little more to the right,” she told him, moving his arm toward the right direction with a careful hand. But she still wasn’t used to him calling Scott Cyborg. It was both funny and a little strange at the same time. It was really nice to know that the X-Men leader was really treating Trevor like a part of the family, though. “Getting used to the new setup is going to take some time, but for now, I’m here to help, okay?”
Her thoughts were confirmed by his words, and his expression, so joyful at her for just mentioning his birthday. She smiled right back, knowing he wouldn’t be able to tell, but unable to do anything else because of his contagious expression. Even if her gift wasn’t the shiniest, or the most valuable, he said he’d like it just because it was coming from her. And that meant a lot. She just hoped he genuinely liked it, so it’d be doubly meaningful to her. Despite the sudden surprise of Trevor tripping over one of the pillows around the bean bag chair, she kept her pulse calm and therefore didn’t start to become antsy. She supported him and helped him situate back onto his feet before he tried again and this time landing on it. That was when she released her semi-protective contact with him. “Maybe you could pile them up a certain way in some spots that make you more comfortable?” she suggested as she sat down next to him, glancing at the miniature refrigerator as he mentioned it. “No thank you. But this really is comfy!”
There was Warren’s name again. She figured it wasn’t really her business, and while her idea on why these gifts were given to Trevor may have lessened in likeliness, she didn’t feel the need to actually question it. “It sounds like you got a lot of wonderful gifts. And your room looks really great.” She looked down at the gift box in her hand, blinking for a moment as she silently contemplated the object inside before she slowly removed the lid. “Here,” she muttered, taking his hand and carefully placing it to touch the pendant. “It’s a necklace. There’s a small bottle on it, which your touching—it’s filled with some earth from my home all the way back in Brazil. I brought it with me here when I last arrived. And… well… I really want you to keep it.” She sighed softly, as if she were thinking. “I felt so close to Ceres when I was gathering it.”
Trevor stood in the middle of his room, still trying to get used to the new placement of the furniture. The bed he never used for sleeping and had mostly been there to serve as seating for his friends and a central landmark had been moved out to make room for stuff that he wasn’t sure about. Yeah, it was mysteriously stuff that he kind of liked, even if he’d never thought of it, but it was new and from an uncertain source.
Where the bed had been was a huge bean bag chair that he had been told somehow unfolded into a bed. He kind of preferred it as just the big bean bag. It was large enough that he could curl up on it and sleep right on top without having to figure out how to convert it back and forth, and it was covered in a soft microfiber that was fun to touch. Accompanying it was a pile of pillows of all kinds of textures, fuzzy to velvety to smooth. In the corner was a new chair as well, a console chair that sat right on the floor and rocked, with a place to plug in his mp3 player and his phone, as well as the new headphones Scott had given him for his birthday, although they weren’t entirely necessary. The chair itself had speakers built right into it. It was all kind of cool, and yet he really didn’t know what to think. He had to get used to the new layout, even if it meant fewer things to smack his shins into, and Scott had told him it was sent by Warren Worthington. Scott hadn’t said anything about the whole brother revelation, and Trevor wasn’t going to bring it up to him of all people. Not with the awkwardness of them sort of being not actual adopted brothers. He just kept his arms crossed silently while Scott and Dr. McCoy had done all the moving, then started carefully exploring the area.
He was just reaching out to touch the bean bag again when he heard a knock and Amara’s voice. “Yeah, it’s open!” He turned toward the door, putting his hands out as he tried to remember how many steps between him and the wall now. He didn’t exactly want to get hit in the face when she opened it.
“I’m opening the door!” she called out, doing as she said only slightly, making sure to peek in just to make sure he wasn’t in danger of getting hit or nicked by accident. Once making sure he was a safe enough distance away—noting how he looked a little hesitant in his movements compared to before, and then took in the new additions to his room—the Brazilian girl entered the room. She shut the door behind her carefully, then turning toward him and placing free her hand on his shoulder to let him know where she was, and making sure she was within arm’s reach for him.
While she still felt partially bad for effectively avoiding him for the past few days, she knew it was for the best, for him. He didn’t know what her powers were like, and if she could help it, he’d never have to face them. How much worse could things have been if she’d risked seeing him so soon after the riots and after she’d lost control? Nothing good could have come from that. “How have you been? I see you got a lot of cool stuff for your birthday. Your room looks really different, though! Do you need help finding something?”
That was the most important thing. But there was another matter she came for that, while not as dire as helping him with anything due to his changed surroundings, was necessary to mention. “Um… Happy belated birthday, Trevor. I brought you something. It… ” she trailed off, looking at the box. “It’s nothing really special or expensive, but I want you to have it.”
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