For a Friend

Romi

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"I used to like school," he admitted. "It was a bit... weird, at times. But it felt normal. Like what you were supposed to do. Go to school. Graduate. Go to college. Get a degree. Get a job."

Clear and easy steps that he'd sidestepped the moment he started sneaking out to play at being a hero.

"School... feels like a totally different world."

Maybe he was just being sappy.

"How much longer do you have? Probation wise." He wasn't going to pretend like he didn't know why Xavier was there. He knew how it worked, at least in general terms.
 

Wuffy

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For Xavier, school had always been an on and off thing. He skipped a lot even before he was a villain, and was never much of an academic. Really, the biggest reason he continued to attend school after he'd become a villain had been to socialise. "I've never really been... interested in doing college. I was never pressured to, and never appealed to me. I just kinda stuck with it cause I figured may as well." He knew he wouldn't leave school with excellent grades, wouldn't even be surprised if he failed some classes. But it didn't massively concern him.

He thought for a moment, then looked at Angelo. Talking about his probation didn't particularly bother him. "I've got until around early November." Xavier nodded. "One year in total on probation, curfew and mandatory community service." It was pretty clear he felt pretty comfortable to talk about it. It had be a conversation he had before with people, and it lost its awkward feel to it quite a while ago.
 

Romi

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"You know my dad," Angelo said, which was true enough. "So you can imagine. Expectation was always that I'd go to college and get a degree. Take over the family businesses." Those above the board and those below. He didn't feel the need to spell that out to Xavier, who certainly knew enough about Basilio Genovese to guess.

"Not too long," Angelo said. "Is it weird that time feels like it's rushing past, but also moving really slowly? It feels like forever ago that I arrived here. But it also feels like I'm brand new. Like I'm still finding out things about the island."
 

Wuffy

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Xavier nodded. He had only met Basilio on a few occasions, but come on. Xavier had attempted to rob a warehouse that he owned and it ended up giving him nightmares. At the end of the day, Xavier was not a fighter and he was not equipped for that situation at all. “Mhm. Guess my family just kinda stopped pressuring. All my older sisters had done college or were doing college, so wasn’t like they were desperate for more children to do it.” He shrugged casually as he spoke. Just a simple truth when Xavier came from a family with 9 children.

“I get that.” Xavier agreed. “It’s felt like a long time since we came here, but it also feels like we didn’t leave Halcyon until yesterday.” He sighed. A part of him missed his old life, and wished he had appreciated it just a bit more. “Hell, I sometimes wake up and freak out when I see I have a tail.” Xavier never really hid the... distaste he had towards the whole merman thing.
 

Romi

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The tail. They hadn't really talked about it. Kind of hard to, when Angelo had found out hand in hand with the whole I'm not dead thing. Never mind his own suspicions--ones that had proved to be seemingly unfounded.

"Did you ever, uh, find out what did that?" What had turned him into an honest to god mermaid. It wasn't like werewolves where it was a big thing that they changed people via bite. How did someone just turn into a mermaid? How did someone drown and just come back like this?

"Maybe it's a part of your metagene that got activated?"

But he doubted it. He could see enough of Xavier's powers to know it wasn't just a mutation the way Travis had.
 

Wuffy

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Xavier sighed, leaned back in his seat while he scratched the back of his head. He had a frown now, he couldn't help but have one. The whole... merman thing was, by Xavier's own consideration, one of the worst things that has ever happened in his life. He almost died, almost caused his sister to die, went missing for three days which made every he knew worried sick. Also the fact he had been unconscious that entire time, then woke up with a tail. It was a very uncomfortable topic to think about. Mostly because of the fact something must have happened to him while he was unconscious.

"Nope." He inhaled, one of his hands unconsciously moved to touch his own chest as he remembered, well, the last thing he could remember from then. "The last I could remember was trying to hold Dani above the water. I'm not... I wasn't the greatest swimmer, so I couldn't really... keep my head above the water. Couldn't stay conscious. Next thing I know, I woke up washed up somewhere and had the tail three days later." Xavier dropped his arms to his sides again, only to stuff his hands into his pockets with a slight shiver. "It's a... really uncomfortable thought. I have no idea what happened to me. What something could've done to me and I have no idea." His shoulders had tensed up, and he almost seemed to try and hunch in on himself.

"I feel I can say with almost certainty it isn't related to my powers, though. No one else in my family had powers even remotely similar to this." There could always be the possibility Xavier was just the first to have this particular change, but he would most certainly doubt it.
 

Romi

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Okay, that was a whole thing. He didn't know how he'd become it. He didn't know why. There were probably rules and logic and he didn't have access to any of it, because however it had happened, no one had stuck around to explain things to him.

Angelo didn't respond right away, trying to work out what to say, but was interrupted before he even could. One of the guards leaned into the room, craning his neck around before finally calling out.

"Mr. Genovese?" he said. "We're ready for you." He didn't come over and try and rush them out, which was probably intended to give them time to say goodbye, which he could appreciate even as he pushed himself to his feet.

"I need to get going," he said. "But it was nice talking with you. And... I don't know. It's probably not my place, but have you considered talking to someone about your... mermaid stuff? Someone professional." A therapist, in other words, even if he hadn't said a therapist. "I'm sure I'll see you again soon, though."

He'd wait for Xavier's own goodbyes, and then head up towards where the guard still waited.
 

Wuffy

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Xavier looked over at the guard as they leaned into the room, prepared to get up if it was him being called, but sank a bit more in his seat as he realised it was in fact Angelo who had been called. His head had been all over the place, and many thoughts remained in his mind. The last time he had a proper conversation with Angelo, the last five months, the future, the whole thing with him becoming a merman... Xavier didn't miss what Angelo had alluded to, though. He may not be the smartest, but he'd received the 'maybe you should speak to someone professional?' phrase enough times to know what he meant.

Being stubborn and self-punishing, Xavier didn't believe he needed therapy. Even if he did need it... he surely didn't deserve to be helped. After all, he was an awful person who had awful things, and so didn't deserve kindness. A twisted logic that a deep part of him felt was true. But externally, he smiled. A fairly genuine one, as he had enjoyed Angelo's company. It was company he had missed. "Yeah, it was nice talking." He nodded. "I'll consider seeing someone." It would be harder to spot that as a lie, as on the surface Xavier told himself he would genuinely consider it. But down the road, he always shot the idea down.

Xavier remained seated for when he would be called, but he offered a friendly smile and wave at Angelo as they would part ways. "It was really nice talking to you again, Angelo. Goodbye for now." Although he seemed pretty happy, he spoke the last phrase for a reason. A part of him still felt Angelo wanted nothing to do with him. Perhaps this would be the last time he ever spoke to Xavier? Xavier attempted to rationalise it, but the thought remained.
 

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