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Dreaming of Falling (IC, open)


Avenger Assembled

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January 2021 

Claremont Academy 

 

now the family is parted; 

will it be complete one day? 

 

The red SUV looked like any other car pulling into the Claremont drop-off lot this January as students returned from the end of their holiday break. It was a full two months since the whole entire goshdarn world and parts of space beyond had found out what Judith Claudia Cahill was, even if the fact that the President's daughter was a Claremont student was a rather more closely guarded secret than most people would imagine. Judy stepped out of the SUV, her denim dress almost brushing the snow-dappled ground, with a black cat-faced backpack on, her Bible tucked under her arm, and her trusty bodyguard at her side. She'd admitted being scared in the car, scared to death as a matter of fact, but as she and Ashley exchanged a smile she decided she was ready for her very last semester of high school. 

 

No more secrets now she thought as she turned and led the way onto Claremont's campus, a pink-haired Ashley following. 

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Judy felt Micah before she saw or heard him; the tightly-leashed electromagnet energies around his body practically pulsed with power. Ashley's training, both past and present, meant she did hear him, but when he stepped into view, he looked non-threatening. His hair was recently-cut, his jeans fit well, and the winter coat on his body wasn't even zipped. The air about him shimmered slightly, suggesting he was manipulating the temperature for greater comfort. The lack of snow on the ground in a circle around him, and in a trail behind him leading to one of the larger trees on campus, reinforced the notion. 

 

For several long moments, he stood there, some ten feet in front of the girl he had a crush on, and her "sister". His face was...not calm, but cut off; his eyes were squinted slightly at both of them. Finally, he spoke.

 

"How much?"

 

He took a few great strides forward, eating the distance up until he was barely more than an arm's reach away from the girls. The breeze stirred slightly, and both felt the warmth in the air around him as it cycled gently. To Judy's senses he almost hummed a song, now, so close was he and the energy around him. His eyes flashed with sudden anger, and his tone was clipped.

 

"How much, exactly, was a lie?"

 

His eyes flicked to Ashley, and the anger she heard in his voice faded, very slightly, before flaring again as he looked at Judy.

 

"Your names? Your birthplace? Your family? Your feelings?"

 

He stood still for long moments before he continued.

 

"My cousin thought it was funny, at first, until she had to slap down the thunderhead that almost popped up over our house. My mother just got real quiet-like for a while, before she said anything. 'Everyone has their reasons, Micah. Her daddy's not so bad a man, even if he didn't rightly follow up on his promises to his home state.' Janet said that I should count myself lucky; if you were lyin' about this, you wouldn't have time to mess with a boy's head. But I can't help but wonder, you know? Keeps ticklin' my brain."

 

He looked back and forth between Judy and Ashley a couple of times, before he posed a question.

 

"So. What should I believe now?"

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Forever Boy

 

"Believe in your friends." Pan put a hand on Micah's shoulder. He had known. He had told Micah after the fact, he had apologized for not telling him, after all, he had made a promise to Judy and Ashley that he would not tell anyone else, and what kind of friend would he have been if he had not kept his promise, right? 

 

His entire being was radiating a calming sensation, at least in Micah's direction. His voice was calm, his movements slow and measured, lacking his usual enthusiasm.

 

"Judy never meant to hurt anyone. Do you honestly think she would not have told you if she could?"

 

Pan leaned slightly to the side to look past Micah at Judy (no, she would never be Judith to him) and Ashley, his lips parting in his usual grin for a second. 

 

"Hello Judy. Hello Ashley. It is good to see you again."

Edited by RocketLord
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"Pan," said Ashley simply, her arms at her sides as she watched the conversation between Micah and Judy. She was keeping her distance from the teens but was ready to throw herself in between them - literally, if necessary.

 

This was something Judy had been anticipating for a long time too. She looked at Micah, hurt and grief shining in her huge dark eyes for a moment before she seemed to swallow the emotions deeply, hand tightening around her Bible. "Ah told the whole world my name and where Ah'm from, Micah Roebuck," she finally said. "Ah know Ah hurt you when Ah lied to you all those times. And Ah'm sorry for that. That's what you should believe." 

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Micah stood silently as Pan pleaded Judy's case, and Judy asked for Micah's grace. Finally he sighed an ran a hand over his face.

 

"I don't believe you wanted to hurt anyone, Judy. And I believe that you weren't the one making the decision to do it."

 

He locked eyes with her for almost a minute, hurt and a bit of anger showing in his own eyes. Then he looked to Ashley.

 

"Thank you for working to keep her safe."

 

He once again met Judy's eyes, his own shining with the tiniest flicker of his power. 

 

"I forgive you. And I believe you. I'm willing to keep being friends, and to..."

 

Here he faltered, before taking a deep breath.

 

"To see if perhaps we like the idea of being more than just friends. But I...we can't go fast, Judy. So many other things in my life feel like they're going fast. I want to just...take our time. Is that okay?"

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Forever Boy

 

Pan had taken a step to the side, letting Micah be a bit closer to Judy on his own, at least now that it did not seem like he would cause any sudden thunderstorms. 

 

"See, is that not much better?" 

 

He slapped Micah on the back to punctuate the question. Just a little, friendly slap. Perhaps a bit too hard. Certainly nothing that would hurt, of course, but perhaps something that would push him just a bit closer to Judy.

Edited by RocketLord
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Judy considered a wide variety of responses to Micah's confidence, before she decided that she'd meant what she'd promised herself about secrets before. "Ah think we should take as much time as you want," said Judy softly, looking away from Micah. "Ah know all about people being pushed to do things they don't want to do. But there's something else I want you to know." And then suddenly she did something she hadn't discussed with Ashley at all, from the way the latter's eyes widened as Judy stood up just a little to kiss Micah on the cheek. Her lips were warm, her whole body fever-hot, as she rocked back on her heels and smirked at Micah before she turned and sauntered towards their dorm. 

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Micah stumbled slightly at Pan's slap, and moved a step closer to Judy. It left them close, but not improperly close. At Judy's initial response, he smiled.

 

"I'm glad, and I just want you to know I don't intend to just stretch things out, I just want us to be sur-"

 

And then Judy kissed him on the cheek. Thanks to his open mouth and Pan's shove-slap, it was millimeters away from being on his lips. Micah went stock-still, and his eyes slowly widened at the sensation. He didn't flinch away from the heat around Judy's skin; indeed, if anything, the air around Micah shot up to the temperature one would expect of summer. In Arizona. As she walked away, he just stood there for several long moments.

 

"Uh."

 

Then he blinked, and managed to string some words together.

 

"I'll see you later, then!"

 

He immediately turned to Pan, his face conflicted.

 

"That was the lamest follow-up ever and I am such a dork."

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Leon hurried down the path towards the front gates. It wasn’t that he had anywhere to be in a hurry. He just really need to stretch his muscles, and not just the ones in his legs.

He spotted a group on the walkway as he moved and knew which muscles he felt like stretching. He spotted Pan and another older boy, Micah he though the name was. The other two girls he didn’t remember seeing before, and one of them was carrying a book. With a mischief smile he picked his target. 
Keeping his pace, Leon lowered he head a little and walked on as if not watching where he was going. With a feigned absence of attention he passed by Ashley and ‘accidentally’ bumped into her, causing them both to pivot some. He reached out quickly to steady the older girl and apologized profusely in a hurried and hopefully sincere sounding tone. “Oh my god! I am, ah, sooo sorry. I, I, ah, wasn’t watching where I was, ah, going.” Leon added in some youthful stammering that pretty girls expect from younger men. It was an act he’d pulled before.

It had been a little while since he’d tried the old ‘bump-n-grab’ but damned if he didn’t still have the touch. He stepped away from Judith and turned as if wanting to hurry on away from the embarrassing encounter. Holding the book close to him as he did so.

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Forever Boy

 

"At least Judy seems to like dorks, do she not?" Pan offered to Micah, his grin twisting slightly to the side as he looked after Judy and Ashley while they left, and then Leon of all people bumped into them and was on his merry way and...

 

No. No, that was not how the story went. No need for more adversity for Judy today, no.

 

"One moment," he excused himself from Micah, holding up a finger, and then moved away.

 

A quick slip back, reaching for the book. Leon was not bad, by any means, but Pan was simply better. Within a second, the book was in his hand, with Pan moving back to Micah, quickly handing him the book. "Judy dropped her book. You should take it to her." If Leon noticed, he would shoot a grin back at him, though the look in his eyes were anything but jovial.

Edited by RocketLord
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Leon had only made it a short distance from his mark when he noticed something was 'off'. It took another few steps before he realized what it was. The book was gone. Stopping, he knew he hadn't dropped it and he glanced down at his empty hands, then around in confusion.

Reaching out with his sense he found it. Looking over to the boys, he saw Pan handing the book to Micah.  "How in the...?" Leon hadn't even notice the older boy take the book from him. He met Pan's gaze without flinching, not bothering to feign looking guilty. Leon just shoved his hands in his pockets and continued towards the gate without saying a word.

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The book was warm in Leon's hands, glowing with the invisible heat of a profound spirituality and deep love. He saw flashes of Judy in prayer, here and elsewhere, and knew she loved the book and all it stood for. And then the book itself spoke to him; not the towering rage of an Old Testament prophet, but with a soft, feminine voice he recognized as Judy's own. The book's tone wasn't one of rejection, but of a warm, spiritual welcome. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works - 

 

And then it was gone, pulled away into Pan's hands with a faint smack. The book had little to say to Pan that he couldn't already tell, knowing how much Judy's faith meant to her. 

 

"Leon!" said Judy suddenly, raising her voice so the boy could hear her. She'd missed the whole affray until she'd seen Ashley pointing in the direction of the two boys, figuring she'd looked that way when catching sight of Pan. She had never actually spoken to the other boy, who Ashley had mentioned was some kind of juvie kid, but she knew that didn't need to matter. She walked right up to Leon, reached into a pocket of her denim dress, and handed him - 

 

a small pocket copy of the Book of Psalms. 

 

"If you need a Bible," she said, making direct eye contact as she looked at the boy, "Ah can get you one. Ah just needed that one because it was a precious gift to me." 

 

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Micah gave a vague nod when Pan observed that Judy liked "dorks". He seemed to be mostly back to reality, but was still distracted enough he missed the whole affair with Leon. But then Pan held out a book; specifically, Judy's Bible. Micah blinked, then nodded firmly. 

 

"Thanks, Pan, I'll be back in a minute."

 

He strode with purpose toward Judy, even as she talked to Leo about something. Micah stopped a respectful distance away; he looked content to wait for Judy to finish. When Ashley looked his way, he pointed to the Bible, then Judy, with a smile and nod; he mouthed "she dropped it" to the bodyguard. His farm-boy-esque smile and nod makes it clear he thinks that's what actually happened, too. 

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Forever Boy

 

"Take your time, my friend. I have some things to take care of."

 

Pan turned his gaze to Leon. His eyes like steel, he waited until Judy had left, then moved quickly towards the young man, gliding across the ground with his feet just an inch above, he stopped right in front of Leon and crossed his arms.

 

"You and I... We will have words. But not here. Follow." There was little debate in his voice. Things would be as he said they would be, whether Leon wanted it or not.

Edited by RocketLord
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The Bible’s ‘feelings’ still lingered for a moment as Leon moved to leave.
 

On 1/1/2021 at 8:19 PM, Avenger Assembled said:

"Leon!" said Judy suddenly, raising her voice so the boy could hear her.


Leon’s shoulders tensed. How did this new girl know his name. He turned to regard her as she approached him.

 

On 1/1/2021 at 8:19 PM, Avenger Assembled said:

"If you need a Bible," she said, making direct eye contact as she looked at the boy, "Ah can get you one. Ah just needed that one because it was a precious gift to me." 


He met her eyes for only a moment then looked away. He shoves the small book into his pocket and waves dismissive with his other hand. “Ya, ya, I know. It told me.” He says, not bothering to lie about taking it, nor caring whether she believes him about the book talking to him.

“It’s a book and you care about a lot. I can respect that. If you ever need a book fixed, come find me.”

He glances back at Judith, then past her at Ashley’s stern look and makes a mental note to watch out for her. He looks at Judith again then turns to leave again.

 He only gets a few yards before Pan glides to a stop in front of him. Leon tilts his head slightly.

 

6 hours ago, RocketLord said:

"You and I... We will have words. But not here. Follow." There was little debate in his voice. Things would be as he said they would be, whether Leon wanted it or not.


He got impression that it would be easier to just listen to the older boy’s preaching. He didn’t think Pan would attack him once they were alone, but in Leon’s experience on the streets, physical retaliation wasn’t ever out of the question. He and his siblings had jumped into fights to save each other from people who felt wronged plenty of times.

With a sigh, he tries to look relaxed as he rolls his eyes and follows Pan. 

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"You can talk to books?" asked Judy, her eyes wide. "That's really cool!" She blinked when the boys came over, Pan pulling Leon away, and closed her eyes to take a moment to compose herself. "It was fine!" she called after the retreating boys, her eyebrows drawn together in annoyance and her Southern accent thickening. 

 

She turned back to Micah and jumped a little, hand on her chest automatically. "Well. This has been quite a mornin' already." She smiled at Micah and suggested, "Walk me up to my room?" 

 

Ashley managed to not even roll her eyes as Judy offered Micah her arm, which frankly she thought was truly an act of heroism. 

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Micah shifted back just slightly as Judy jumped; he was clearly trying to not intimidate the young lady by intruding on her space. He relaxed at almost the same time she did. 

 

"Quite a morning indeed, Miss Cahill."

 

At her offer to walk her up, Micah blinked, then smiled. He gently took her arm, and a place by her side; he was nothing but a gentleman.

 

"It would absolutely be my pleasure to help escort you safely to your room. Even if I know you're in extremely capable hands already."

 

He gave Ashley a smile and nod at that, then focused on Judy. He started moving forward gently, looking to set an easy-going pace. Micah was in no hurry to be done with this.

 

"Let's be off, my lady."

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Nevermore II

 

"So that was Judy's deal, huh? Did anyone but you in the family know?" Ashley had probably noticed Charlie before he snuck closer, doing his best to appear from nowhere. Hey, if he could actually sneak up on Ashley some day, then it'd be great, but... no, he kind of doubted he had made it so far.

 

Putting his hands behind his back, he looked over to Judy and Micah. He kind of wanted to go over there and congratulate Judy, welcome her back, but nah, he didn't want to spoil their moment. Sure, he didn't know Judy that well, and he only really knew Micah from his research, but they looked happy, right? Not something he should distract from.

 

"Guessing the big reveal was all Judy? How'd your bosses take that?"

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"Judy!" 

 

A beautiful redhead in pink and black flew over Charlie's head, swooping upward to drop down next to the young couple. Lulu was wearing pink Hi-Tops, black jeans, and a black puffy jacket with pink fake fur trim around the hood. She turned and smiled at the boy.

 

"Hi Micah!"

 

Then she threw her arms around Judy in a hug that was both physical and emotional, as her love for her best friend washed over the former president's daughter.

 

"Mmmm, it's so good to see you!"

Edited by Heritage
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"My three hundred million bosses informed President Cahill that his services were no longer required," commented Ashley dryly, who despite herself looked considerably more relaxed than the last time Charlie had seen her. She was staying close to her ward, though with just enough distance to give the teens an illusion of privacy. She tensed briefly as Crystal-Gazer went in for the glomph, then nodded in satisfaction. In a murmur, she added, "All of Election Night was Judy. It was about time." 

 

Judy didn't blush - she actually glowed a gentle red, like the setting sun - and then gave the sudden arriving Lulu a very warm hug, literally beaming as she did so. "Ah'm so happy to see you!" Then she hugged her again, very tight, and thought with the simple trust of her friend's discretion, pain edging the words It was all worth it. Then she smiled and said, "How was your Christmas? Ah loved those pictures you posted!" 

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Nevermore II

 

"Sure they di- woah!" A girl came flying in just over him. He really should have been keeping an eye on everything happening around him. Alek would've gotten on his case about him being surprised like that, but at least Alek wasn't here, and he kind of doubted that Ashley would tell.

 

"Anyway, you know what I meant. Cahill can't have been happy about you helping Judy with her stunt. What's next for you, then? Gonna try to graduate a second time?"

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Micah blinked at Lulu's arrival, but at this point had steeled himself against further surprise guests that he didn't really jump, or manifest weather changes, because of it. Instead, he just gave Lulu a smile and nod.

 

"Good to see you too, Lulu."

 

He smiled seeing how warm Lulu and Judy were with each other. Lulu could pick up a few emotions from Micah. There was some lingering...not quite anger any more, but the echoes of the echo of that; probably due to Judy's "big reveal" and his realizations from that. There was a sense of not quite believing things were going this well. More immediately, she picked up that Micah was genuinely happy that Judy had a friend she cared about and trusted so dearly. She was no stranger to the idea that some young men were jealous of their significant other's time; Micah instead seemed to have an attitude that it was a net gain, a greater good, for Judy to have friends.

 

Also, she got a mental image of Judy kissing Micah on the cheek, basically playing on repeat in the back of his mind.

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"That's...need-to-know, kid," said Ashley softly. "As for me - Judy is going to graduate from high school and then she's going to college. There's this place down in Tennessee that has a ministry program she likes, and she'll be as far away from her parents as she wants." She smiled thinly and murmured, "And after that, she's a teleporting energy being who can disintegrate things just by looking at them. She doesn't need a babysitter anymore." Her tone was suffused with a quiet, almost maternal pride. 

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Nevermore II

 

"Eh, college's boring, but as long as it gets her away from her old man, I guess." He paused for a moment, crossing his arms as he looked towards Judy, Micah and Lulu. He'd checked up on them, of course. Learn all you can about everyone, like Alek had taught him, right? He kind of wondered how Micah and Judy would do, but, wasn't his place.

 

"I kinda feel like the teleporting energy being thing is the least part of it by now." Another brief pause. "Just, y'know, whatever problems you might have with old Callie, Judy can still call on the rest of us if she needs help and can't reach you, alright?"

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