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April 13th, 11:30 AM

 

It was a crisp New Jersey morning, and Adam was dressed for the part. He didn't enjoy the cold much. He could handle it, but he wasn't fond of it at all. He imagined Lulu would be less so. However, he wanted to get out and stretch his legs a bit, especially since they were close to Spring break. He hadn't been able to get out much, recently. 

 

He wore a jacket, jeans and long-sleeved shirt, along with his wig and false eyebrows. Like usual, he covered his entire body. He hated his scars and didn't want to be gawked at. At his height, that was already hard to avoid. 

 

"Shall we explore the mall a bit, first? Our show isn't until 12:30." He asked, smiling

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Lulu enjoyed spending time with Adam; he's was just easier to hang out with than most of the boys she'd known. He didn't just want to talk about cars, hunting and sports; he talked about weird and interesting things, like science and religion. He didn't think she was stupid for not knowing things, and found her enthusiastic curiosity about everything charming. And they both loved games, from simple boardgames to tabletop roleplaying and the odd little games they made up on the spot.

 

Standing in front of the large illuminated map of the mall, she was of course wearing her beloved denim, with a light blue jacket over a pink hoodie. Her jeans were artfully distressed, and her pink Keds had little pictures of Betty and Veronica all over them. "Well ah have two go-tos when it comes to mall excursions: PINK and the Gap." She indicated both stores on the map. "And ah'll never say no to Claire's or Hot Topic, but those ah can give a pass if we're short on time."

 

Then she turned to her steady and looked a bit embarrased. "Ah'm sorry, that's all super-girly stuff. Where do you like to shop?" She turned back go the map. "Look, they got Eddie Bauer, American Eagle...ooh, they got a game store, Adam! We gotta be sure to hit that!" 

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"We've got all day. We can hit a few more stores after the movie." Adam shrugged. Those  stores sounded fine, especially the game store. "More time with you is hardly a bad thing." He felt a lot more comfortable saying things like that than he ever had before. Lulu liked him for him, and that was enough. This wasn't just 'hanging out', it was a date. She was clever, certainly clever enough to keep his interest. Plus, she cared about what he had to say. He worried about talking over her, 'mansplaining' to her and generally being an idiot, but she seemed to like him.

 

He couldn't help it, he was grinning from ear to ear.

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Posted (edited)

"Well, how 'bout this. We go to the Gap first, 'cause they got boys' and girls', so we can both look 'round, then we go to the showso we got plenty of time to get snacks and good seats. And afterwards maybe we hit the game store and maybe PINK. How's that sound?"

 

Lulu reached over and took Adam's arm in both her hands, her hip bumping up against his thigh as they walked; it felt good being at his side.

Edited by Heritage

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"Sounds like a plan. Most stores don't carry my sizes." He smiled at her as they walked into the mall. "I'd like to get some lunch too. I feel like I'm always hungry lately." He hoped he wasn't growing again. He was already very tall, any taller and it would be impossible to find clothes if he got much bigger. Then again, he could always pick up sewing or something.

 

He took a deep breath and sighed. He was actually pretty happy for once. He wasn't too worried about homework. He was ahead in all his classes, anyway. Best to enjoy the moment.

 

 

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"Oh, well, if you're hungry now, maybe we should grab a bite to eat first? Then we don't have to feel all rushed." Lulu had been planning to hold off on eating to leave room for snacks at the theater, but she forgot to take into account the ravenous hunger of the teenaged male; boys were always hungry. It was like background noise in the back of their heads. Well, that and the other thing. She knew it wasn't their fault; it was biology and chemistry. And it wasn't like girls didn't have their obsessions, too.

 

"Let's head to the food court and see what they have; ah could eat a horse!"

 

Despite this statement, which was really more designed to make Adam comfortable, Lulu didn't load up on too much food. She settled for a cheeseburger, fries and a Cherry Coke, gleefully dipping her fries in a large glob of ketchup on her tray once they found a seat.

Edited by Heritage

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Adam got Chinese. A huge, heaping plate of it. He was a bit self-conscious, but he assumed Lulu understood. He could put away a lot of food, and generally needed to. It wasn't like he was overweight. 

 

"Glad we got something to eat, first. My parents hired a dietitian to keep my nutrient intake up. I can burn through more than three thousand calories without even doing anything. Now that I'm doing intensive training, I eat more than two or three grown men."

 

He winced, slightly. "Sorry, sorry. I'm used to very...frank discussions on my physiology and my psychology. Parents are doctors, so naturally I grew up knowing, well everything. That and they wanted me to know as much about me as I could. I think the term is TMI?"

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The telepath looked thoughtful as she idly waved a fry around. "Mm, ah think ah eat a bit more than a lot of girls mah age; they always say thinkin' and readin' burn calories, so it makes sense that doin' the super-powered versions of those gives you an appetite." She sighed deepy. "Ah do miss mah Southern cookin' up here, though; biscuits and gravy, real fried chicken and Alabama barbeque. Mm-mm! You'd love it down there!"

 

"Oh, it's fine," said Lulu as she wrinkled her nose and made a dismissive gesture when Adam apologied. "Mah family talked shop in front of me all the time. 'Course they was talkin' about scammin' lil' ol' ladies and such; different priorities and all." She rolled her eyes and shook her head. 

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"My family is more typical, I think that was on purpose. My parents are both doctors, and I think they said I have something called advanced neuroplasticity. It means my brain picks up information like I'm still a baby. That's why you've seen me read advanced text books. It's weird that I had to come to a school for kids with superpowers to feel normal."

 

Adam sighed and looked down at his Chinese. "Thank you. I know, I know, teenage boys are supposed to be insincere, but you've been amazing and I was never taught how to fake things."

 

He smiled shyly and went back to poking at his food with his chopsticks. "I really need to improve my manual dexterity. My hands are not likely to stop growing for a while." He mumbled to himself. 

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Lulu reached over and gripped Adam's hand with her smaller, softer one. "That's what ah love about you, Adam; you're truthful. Ah come from a family of liars, cheats and drunk good-fer-nothins. You grow up 'round that, you start thinkin' everybody else is just the same. Mah daddy always said, 'Everybody lies, Lulu; lyin's what makes the world go 'round.' And ah didn't want to believe 'im, but poison like seeps into your bones." She smiled and gave his hand a tight squeeze, tears in her dark brown eyes. "Thanks for provin' mah daddy wrong."

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"I suppose." Adam coughed, slightly embarrassed, but happy. "Sincerity can be a relief when deception is the norm." He poked at his food. "People do indeed lie, a lot. That doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Isn't that part of the point of superheroes? The world isn't perfect, we try to make it better. I suppose that's why I've decided I'm here." 

 

"This is pretty good. I've had better Chinese, but this soothes my craving." 

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Lulu paused for several seconds, looking at Adam; it was a surprisingly vulnerable look coming from her. Finally she spoke, more uncertain than usual.

 

"Adam, do you trust me? Because there's somethin' ah've wanted to with you for some time, but ah've been afraid to ask." 

 

She leaned forward and lowered her voice.

 

"Ah'd like us...to share our thoughts. From what ah've read, it can help a telepath unlock more of their potential, but it has to be someone you trust completely. And ah...ah trust you."

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Adam put his head down for a moment and took a deep breath.


"Are you going to be upset at the idle thoughts of a teenage boy? I'm different, yes, but not entirely so. I think some of the same things other boys do, including about girls. I'm pretty sure you've picked up on some of it around the school, but I don't want you to think that I'm some chaste paragon. I'm still, well, typical in some areas."

 

He was blushing, and trying to be circumspect, but at this point it was impossible. If he could see how he pictured her sometimes, and even some of their classmates, well, she might not want what she was asking. His parents had told him that such idle thoughts were more or less normal, and as long as he didn't try to act on them it was okay. However, he didn't want to scare Lulu away.

 

"Other than that, it sounds fascinating, frankly. I've never experienced anything like that, and I'm curious what I could pick up from you and how it would feel." He didn't want to admit that he was afraid of what she would think of him, and how different their thoughts of each other might be. 

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Lulu sighed and shook her head at boyfriend's innocence. She reached over and picked up his hand with both hers, raised it to her lips and kissed it, then looked him dead in the eye, a sad smile on her lips. "Adam, ah have been a telepath since ah was ten years old. Ah was raised in a family of liars and cheats in a small town full of, pardon mah French, dumbf###s. And to me, that town was like the greatest reality show of all time, a telepathic soap opera just for me. Ah have been in the heads of so many perverts, rapists and drunks, it would blow your mind. So don't you worry 'bout offendin' my delicate sensibilities none, you hear me?"

 

Still holding his hand in hers, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, the sounds of the food court becoming muted and distant. Suddenly Lulu's oddly unaccented voice filled his head.

 

-Close your eyes, and concentrate on my breathing. Match your breath to mine. As I breathe in, feel the air fill your lungs. And breathe in...and out. And breathe in...and out.-

Edited by Heritage

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Adam followed her instructions to the best of his ability. He had obviously never done this before, either. He was letting her into his mind. He knew that she had glimpsed into minds far worse than his. He knew there was a chance he couldn't trust her, but his curiosity overrode his concerns. Telepathic contact was fascinating, he reasoned. Definitely interesting. 

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