Sholeh: Using a Power
Sholeh Zeela a Zahar 3girls_1core
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Room 216, Friday Morning
Sholeh had stayed up all night reading. Zeela had the body today, so Sholeh hadn't thought anything of reading until the sun came up. She could always nap later, while Zeela had classes or whatnot. Even once the book was done, she'd sat in the corner of her bed, a slight smile on her face, day-dreaming about the story she'd just finished.

=I don't understand you at all,= Zeela sleepily complained. =If you want to do stuff, just go out and do it. Why spend all your time reading and daydreaming about it.=

Sholeh opened her mouth to explain, but the tune that began was rather unexpected. "I'm as mild and as meek as a mouse."

=You said it, I didn't.=

"When I hear a command I obey. But I know of a spot in my house. Where no one can stand in my way."

*One of those days, then?* Zhahar mumbled.

No chance to answer. The music was in charge and Sholeh was rising dramatically to her feet. "In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be. On the wings of my fancy I can fly anywhere and the world will open its arms to me." She pirouetted on the bed, then let her arms fall gracefully to her sides.

"I'm a young Egyptian princess or a milkmaid
I'm the greatest prima donna in Milan
I'm an heiress who has always had her silk made
By her own flock of silkworms in Japan
I'm a girl men go mad for love's a game I can play
with cool and confident kind of air.
Just as long as I stay in my own little corner
All alone in my own little chair."


She sank back down to the bed.

=If this is going to happen all day, I'm skipping class,= Zeela said, yawning.

*Maybe you'll be lucky and it's just her,* Zhahar encouraged.

=When does this kind of thing stick to just one person?=

*True. Sholeh, is the song over?*

"I can be whatever I want to be.
I'm a thief in Calcutta I'm a queen in Peru.
I'm a mermaid dancing upon the sea!"


*...I don't think the song's over.*

"I'm a huntress on an African safari..." Sholeh said, standing straight up on the bed and saluting. "It's a dangerous type of sport and yet it's fun! In the night I sally forth to seek my quarry..." She dropped to her knees, bringing her hand up over her eyes to peer around. "...And I find I forgot to bring my gun!"

A facepalm which turned into into a wrist pressed against her forehead. "I am lost in the jungle all alone and unarmed when I meet a lioness in her lair--then I'm glad to be back in my own little corner! All alone...in my own...little chaaaaaaaair."

[Open!]

genesishero

2013-07-13 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Evan... silly Evan... really had no idea anything was out of the ordinary as he made his way to Sholeh's room with a small armload of books that he'd just finished reading, thinking that maybe she'd be interested in borrowing them for a while.

Let's see how this pans out, shall we?

"Sholeh! Are you in? I can't knock, my arms are full..."

3girls_1core

2013-07-13 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Coming!" It was a very red-faced and embarrassed Sholeh that tried to scramble off her bed and ended tumbling off instead when got her foot caught in a blanket. "Ooof!"

No harm done to anything save her pride. And her hair, which was sticking up in all directions as she opened the door. "Hello!"

Hopefully he hadn't heard anything!

genesishero

2013-07-13 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Sholeh! Hi!" Evan's eyes were a little wide at that greeting, considering the state of her hair and the thumping that she'd done on her way to answering the door. "Um... is this a bad time? I can come back-- I just had some books I thought you might like to borrow..."

A whole armload of them, see?

3girls_1core

2013-07-13 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

"No, no, I'm fine," she said with a smile. "Oh what a beautiful morning / Oh what a beautiful day / I've got a wonderful feeling / Everything's going my way!"

She snapped her mouth shut and then said, "I meant to sing that."

genesishero

2013-07-13 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Oh!"

Well, today was going to be interesting, wasn't it?

"Well, if you meant to sing that, then it must be a really good day. Have you got some good news or anything like that?"

A beat, and then, without really meaning to and not entirely certain where it came from at all, he added, "What's the buzz? Tell me what's a happenin'?"

... Which he was going to repeat probably until she cut him off with something.

3girls_1core

2013-07-13 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Fandom is being Fandom again," she said dryly. She figured he'd gotten that. "But I did just finish my new book and then you showed up with an armful of new ones, so, yeah. Good day!"

She stepped aside and invited him into the room, hoping he'd just ignore the snarl of blankets and sheets on the floor by her bed.

genesishero

2013-07-13 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Evan was blushing a little as he made his way into the room, one arm looping around the books that he was carrying a few times so that he could clamp a hand over his mouth, in case he were to start singing again.

The blankets and sheets did get a confused look, though, before he glanced back at Sholeh and lifted the books up and then looked around questioningly. Where would she like him to put these?

3girls_1core

2013-07-13 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

"You can use the other bed if you like," Sholeh told him, scooping the blankets up and trying to smooth them back over the mattress. "Po doesn't go to school here anymore. It's just us in here now."

genesishero

2013-07-16 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Evan gave a little nod of acknowledgment. His little sibling hadn't wound up sticking around for very long at all, which was unfortunate, but at least it meant that Sholeh had that many more places to keep her books.

Books were a big priority, okay?

He set them down on the bed, and then turned to give her a wry little smile.

"So, you've been singing things all morning, then?"

3girls_1core

2013-07-16 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)

"That was twice now," Sholeh said, sighing. "You missed my song and dance number earlier."

Sholeh was pretty sure that he'd've appreciated the subject matter, but she wasn't about to volunteer to sing it again, thanks.

"I take it you haven't had to sing anything?"

genesishero

2013-07-16 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)

"Before that time when I asked what was going on, nope," Evan replied with a blink. "I'm not really much for singing, you know?"

He gave his shoulders a little shrug.

"But I guess if everyone's doing it, at least we know we're not the only ones? That's... less weird, comparatively."

Evan was used to things being a lot weird, between here and the Jean Grey School.

3girls_1core

2013-07-16 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)

"I hope it's one of those things that everyone does," Sholeh said. "And that it's Zeela's day in view. She can sing all the crazy things she wants."

=Gee, thanks baby sister.=

"And I'll stay hidden until the madness is over."

genesishero

2013-07-16 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)

"That could work," Evan laughed. "Poor Zeela, though. What do you suppose she'll end up singing about?"

It wasn't that Evan was pulling a sort of subtle schadenfreude from the idea of Zeela singing her way around campus, but...

Well, he was.

3girls_1core

2013-07-16 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)

=Punching anyone who laughs at me,= Zeela muttered. =Including the guy sitting across for you.=

"Probably about how angry she is about being forced to sing?" Sholeh suggested, ignoring Zeela's own commentary. "She's not the singing sort."

genesishero

2013-07-16 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)

"I wonder if there are even songs about that? I suppose if there are, the island would go out of its way to find them..."

Evan? Still smiling, still biting back more soft chuckles.

"Sucks to be you..."

And there was Evan, clamping his hands over his mouth before he could keep on going with that one, yes.

3girls_1core

2013-07-16 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)

=He's going to get punched, you know.=

"You should maybe just stay like that until you're not ready to sing anymore," Sholeh advised. "Zeela's feeling a little tetchy."

genesishero

2013-07-16 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Evan's hands weren't going anywhere any time soon, nope. He was going to just sit there with wide eyes, and nod. Nodding was a good plan, right? All communicative and stuff?

There really was something to be said for the sound of silence.

3girls_1core

2013-07-17 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

See? Why couldn't he sing about that.

"Sooo....yeah," Sholeh said, trying for normalcy. "You brought some books? Any one in particular I should start with?"

He could just gesture if he wanted.

genesishero

2013-07-18 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Right... books! Evan scanned over the stack quietly before reaching for one about halfway down that he'd enjoyed. He remembered his Ma reading it to him when he was growing up, and, in a way, had found himself feeling thankful that at least Fantomex had taken care to include stories that existed in the real world within the program of that fantasy childhood that had been created for him.

He offered Sholeh the book.

"Piper at the gates of dawn
The coolness of the riverbank, and the whispering of the reeds
Daybreak is not so very far away

Enchanted and spellbound, in the silence they lingered
And rowed the boat as the light grew steadily strong
And the birds were silent, as they listened for the heavenly music
And the river played the song

The wind in the willows and the piper at the gates of dawn
The wind in the willows and the piper at the gates of dawn...
"

Evan clamped his teeth down on his tongue and made a face as he waved the book a little, gesturing for Sholeh to hurry and take it.

Uncle Cluster would have been proud that Evan was capable of singing Van Morrison, at least.

3girls_1core

2013-07-18 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sholeh took the book and studied it, fingers brushing the illustrated cover before slowly turning it over to read the back. "This sounds delightful," she said, looking up at him and smiling. "Is it your favorite in the stack?"

genesishero

2013-07-18 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Yeah, though I might be biased. I remember it from when I was little," he explained, rubbing the top of his shoe against the back of his leg awkwardly. Yes, he was aware that there were plenty of flaws in that statement, but his memories of his childhood hadn't changed, false though they were. He didn't remember them any less vividly just because they were lies.

If anything, they were his most vivid memories. Almost everything outside of that virtual reality seemed so very much darker and duller in comparison.

"I liked it then... I still do."

3girls_1core

2013-07-19 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)

"Some of my favorite books now are the ones I remember from when I was little," Sholeh said, reaching out to take his hand. She could see his rising awkwardness and thought she could figure out where it was coming from. "I'm glad you're sharing this one with me."

genesishero

2013-07-19 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

"It hasn't changed," Evan murmured, sounding relieved as he took her hand. "I wasn't sure, when I opened it up, but it's still the same story I remember. It's nice to have that... that something familiar, you know?"

3girls_1core

2013-07-21 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)

"That means something, you know," Sholeh told him. "Your memories, they were false, but there are elements of truth in them. Whole books' worth of truth. You know? So...the messages were real, even if the medium wasn't."

That seemed to be a perfect segue for Fandom to do its thing,
"The nature of reality
Is pure subjective fantasy
Space and time and here and now
Are only in your mind."

genesishero

2013-07-21 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Evan chewed on his lip, sitting back and closing his eyes while she sang. And when she finished, he took a deep breath and resigned himself to just singing whatever the island was going to twist his next words into.

"Someone holds me safe and warm.
Horses prance through a silver storm.
Figures dancing gracefully
Across my memory...
"

He scuffed his toe against the floor.

"I just wish I could trust it all. The book is the same, but I'm still afraid that, for all that it seemed like things were right, that I wasn't learning the wrong lessons... that there's some part of the same morals that led to me being created in the first place, integrated into those memories. I don't want that to be a part of me."

3girls_1core

2013-07-21 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)

"But...even if there was something like that taught to you, that doesn't mean that it's going to be who you are," Sholeh pointed out. "Look at some of the things my sisters and I were taught--like an abiding fear of people with single aspects."

She squeezed his hand, figuring he'd see where she was going with that.

"And, well, weren't you raised to be the best person you could be? Wasn't the experiment to give you the thoughts and memories of a perfect boyhood, so that you had every chance to grow up to be the best person you could be?"

genesishero

2013-07-21 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)

"The best person I can be, by the standards of one man," Evan murmured, wrapping his fingers around her hand a few times. "With the same biases of that one man. On top of the program... on top of the illusions that I thought were my parents, he was there too, sometimes. He was the first real teacher I had."

He pulled in a deep breath, and then he sighed.

"I'm going to need to compare what I learned with the way the world really works, before I can feel entirely confident about it all. Books are easy to duplicate. Morals... aren't. Not if you don't entirely understand them in the first place."

3girls_1core

2013-07-21 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)

"I don't know if it means much, but I think you have a really solid start on it," Sholeh declared, not hesitating before offering her opinion the way she normally would. "You're kind and you're honest and you worry more about others that you do yourself. You're not perfect and I know there are parts of yourself that scare you, but you always try to do what's best for everyone, not yourself. And that's a lot more than what other people would do."

genesishero

2013-07-21 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

"But what if it's only to prove a point?" Evan was biting his lip again. "How do I even tell the difference?"

The things that kept your boyfriend up at night, Sholeh.

3girls_1core

2013-07-22 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)

"Well, what are you usually thinking about when you stand up for someone?" Sholeh asked. "When you tell the truth even when you don't want to? When you choose the harder option because it's the right thing to do? What are you thinking about?"

genesishero

2013-07-22 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

"I'm... thinking about..." Evan looked up at her, at a loss. How did a person answer a question like that one? "I'm... I guess I'm just... I mean, I just do what I think is probably right."

3girls_1core

2013-07-22 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)

"Then I don't think you have to worry about your motivations," Sholeh said quietly. "I mean, besides. Is good done simply to prove a point any less good?"

Sudden philosophical conversations: why these two were adorkable.

genesishero

2013-07-22 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)

"Maybe not less good for the people that good is being done for," Evan murmured, scuffing his toe again. "But then it's a matter of... why I'm so desperate to prove the point, I guess. If it's just to prove people wrong, or that I'm nothing like Fantomex was or nothing like Apocalypse..."

He shrugged his shoulders.

"It's a lot simpler to do the right thing for the right reasons, than to do it to keep up appearances or something, I guess. I was made because someone had a point to prove."

3girls_1core

2013-07-22 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)

"That's why you were made, but that's not why you do things," Sholeh countered. "Lots of babies are conceived for the wrong reasons, too. That doesn't mean affect who they are."

She tugged on his hand, inviting him to come sit next to her on her bed. "I know you can't ever forget your origins or anything, and I'm not saying you should, but why Fantomex made you doesn't really figure in to the kind of person you want to be."

Evan could just as easily assume his desire to be a hero was a by-product of that conditioning, too. Did that make him less heroic? Or make his desire any less true?

genesishero

2013-07-22 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Maybe not, but it left him in the awkward position of only half-understanding the way the world worked, having grown up seeing it in a rose tint. It was going to be a long, long time before he could go about his day-to-day without second-guessing himself, now.

"You're right," he murmured, making his way over to sit next to her. "I'm the product of some pretty horrible things, but that doesn't mean I want to be horrible."

3girls_1core

2013-07-22 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)

That was a detriment, true. The world wasn't as idyllic as he'd been raised to believe, which meant he lacked ways to cope when it was particularly brutal.

"Exactly," Sholeh said, nodding. "In fact, you're the opposite of horrible. You're wonderful and I'm glad you're here, no matter how you came into being."

Fandom apparently agreed.
"There's a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don't have to be afraid
Of what you are
There's an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away, hey

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
'Cause you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you."

genesishero

2013-07-23 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Evan sighed, leaning sideways to rest his shoulder against Sholeh's with a little smile on his face. If her words hadn't done wonders to soothe him, the song she was singing certainly did.

"Thank you, Sholeh. It has to get tiring, telling me that all of the time. But... it's really good to hear it. And it means that much more when it comes from you."

She was his family, now.