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Gizmo

House of L: Eve of Midnight IC

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Stepping smoothly out of the Pitchoo and onto the Claremont campus, Trevor was struck both by the genius of the airship's design and the absurdity of its aesthetics. At some point he was going to have to get Chris to introduce him to the craft's engineer, but for the time being, the brightly clad teenager seemed to be in a singular hurry, taking off again as soon as his passengers had disembarked. As the speck of green disappeared into the distance, Trevor regarded Eve out of the corner of his eye. --I believe we had a deal,-- he mentally sent to the telepath, the texture of his thoughts mild but steady.

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Brushing an errant winter white lock from her face, Eve directed a wry grin at Trevor, the melancholy aura fading around her somewhat. --Indeed we did. But the terms were you get me away from there, and I'm pretty sure that was Chris' ride we just got off of. Sorry hero, maybe next time.-- As Eve delivered that last statement she turned on her heel and headed into the school.

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Trevor's substantially longer stride brought him around to block Eve's path before she could make it to the doors. --Not likely,-- he sent dryly, still sending the words telepathically rather than speaking aloud. --Normally I prefer to give people their space,-- he continued, --but you just gave up your voice to save the world, Eve, and we're going to deal with that right now.-- Both his body language and the tone of his thoughts carried a soft sureness, a quiet confidence free of judgment which entreated the diminutive European to trust him.

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Eve glared at Trevor, the expression on her face as well as the emotion she was broadcasting left little imagination to just how much she enjoyed being cut off. The annoyed expression gave way to one of resignation and Eve gracefully sidestepped around Trevor, though she paused a half-step past him and looked over her shoulder, eyebrow raised. --Follow.--

A short while later, sitting in the grass and resting her back against one of the many tall trees which embrace the zen garden, Eve looked over at Trevor. The expression on her face was one of calm, as though the telepath was finding comfort and strength in her surroundings. --How do you feel about your abilities, Trevor?-- the young woman asked.

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Falling in behind Eve with a amiable inclination of his head, Trevor stood silently next to her, overlooking the zen garden until she 'spoke'. The lanky teen considered for a long moment. --Don't feel much, either way. Useful, though not very powerful.-- He shrugged lightly, and to anyone watching it would have seemed a random gesture as the pair stood in stony silence. --Strange at first; got used to them.-- He raised an eyebrow as he gave the gymnast a sidelong glance. --I assume your own feelings are more... complex?--

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Eve closed her eyes, tilting her head back and resting it against the tree trunk. Unfolding her hands in her lap, Eve lightly brushed the very tips of the grass. --It's not what I wanted,-- she said simply, pulling up a few blades of grass. --Do you know what it is like to train so hard, for most of your life, riding the edge of perfection and then have that all stripped away in one moment?--

--I had my own dreams and ambitions. My own plans. And then I had these 'wonderful gifts' dumped on me.-- Eve made a sour face, --And all the associated baggage that comes with that.-- She sighed, --I never wanted this responsibility. I thought I'd be the lucky one.--

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Trevor considered in silence for a long moment, giving legitimate thought to Eve's question. --Not really,-- he decided finally. --The training, yes, but nothing so manifestly unfair as your disqualification.-- The tone of his mental projections made it clear that he had no intention of trying to spin the situation to spare the girl's feelings; the dark haired teen wasn't about to patronize her. --But this time you chose to give that up to save the world, Eve,-- he pointed out. Doesn't sound like someone who'd have been happy dedicating her life to jumping about in front of crowds. You're a hero.-- Trevor shook his head firmly. --That's not hereditary, not taught; that's you.--

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--I don't know how much you know about me, or think you know about me, but there is over thirteen hundred years of history disagreeing with you on that last point, Trevor,-- Eve responded perspicaciously.

--I didn't want to give it up, you know,-- the telepath quietly admitted, --I kept trying to think of ways that would let me keep it or somehow convince you guys to let the world stay that way. It flew in the face of everything I have been taught… but I was sorely tempted.--

Eve sighed, and opened her eyes, directing her gaze up at Trevor. --I was going to lose it anyway, since you all were determined to "fix" things. It might as well have been on my terms, right?--

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--Didn't have to,-- Trevor sent idly. --Take me out with a psychic blade when I came to pick you up; guard down, quick, easy. Others wouldn't be able to find Rick without your powers, buys time.-- The lanky teen's thoughts were coldly analytical, organizing tactics and approaches, matching goals with plans of attack. He shrugged. --Of course you were tempted. So why didn't you?-- The question was absolutely serious, and he turned to look Eve in the eye as he asked it.

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--Too many witnesses,-- Eve observed. --We were in an auditorium full of people, not to mention that backstage was also crowded. There wasn't any way I could perform that act clean and get away unnoticed.--

Raking a hand through her white hair, she absently added, --La caque sent toujours le hareng.--

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Trevor nodded slightly to one side, conceding Eve's assessment of the tactical difficulties inherent in stabbing him in the back. He was still reasonably confident that she could have pulled it off with a little slight of hand and a halfway decent cover story - the mindset of Lucas' brainwashed populace hadn't been shifted toward suspicion - but in the same situation he probably would have played things conservatively as well. --My parents split up when I was just a kid,-- he began suddenly. --The only thing they ever really had in common was that my father had money and my mother had expensive taste. They thought a kid might fix things; pretty sure it just made them worse. Dumped me on my grandfather as soon as reasonably possible, made their excuses and left.-- He turned to look at the smaller student. We're not what you'd call 'close'. But they are my parents.-- Trevor paused for a moment. In that world they were dead. I woke up standing over their gravestone. Maybe Lucas thought I needed better motivation. Your sacrifice saved them. Thank you.--

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Eve looked thoughtful while she listened to Trevor's thoughts, a brief frown flickering on her face at the mention of how his parents treated him. Her frown deepened at his expression of thanks, and she shook her head and made a brief flicking motion with her right hand, as if she were throwing something away.

--It's what we Martel's do and I am pleased to have been of some, albeit minor, assistance. That your parents are alive, despite your difficulties with them, is wonderful news.-- the telepath quietly responded. Her mouth twisted into a wry grin, --Look, Trevor, I appreciate what you are trying to accomplish, but we set out to restore the status quo. I knew what that meant.--

She reached out and touched Trevor lightly on the forearm, --It was essential.--

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--Well. Hunters makes a point of repaying their debts,-- Trevor replied firmly. --Wouldn't want you selling yourself short. Well, beyond the obvious.-- Unlike his outward deadpan, the youth's thoughts carried with them echoing laughter, a clarion baritone chuckle. The lanky teen punctuated the lighthearted teasing by resting his elbow atop the petite French girl's white hair, though he was careful not to place any actual weight on her.

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Eve laughed brightly, a rare sound from the normally silent girl. She ducked down and back and in a fluid motion snapped out a jab at the taller teen's chest, the smile on Eve's face, as well as the sense of playfulness flowing out from her serving to indicate that there was no malice.

--Short jokes?-- she asked, grinning impishly as she danced smoothly away from Trevor. --You can do better than that, Gabby.--

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Trevor turned slightly to let the fist tag him between the halves of his unfastened jacket. The lanky teen raised his hands in mock surrender, taking a step back as though from the force of the blow. --I just call them like I see them,-- he protested mentally. He placed one hand above his eye and leaned forward slightly. --Although in this case I kind of have to squint a bit.--

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Eve placed a hand over her heart and staggered as if she were struck, --Your words, sir, they cut me to the quick. I fear I could not survive the emotional suffering of another assault upon my stature. It would surely be my undoing!-- Eve tried to deliver all of that with a straight face, but couldn't help but chuckle halfway through the delivery.

--Hey, Trevor,-- the pale-haired girl solemnly added, --Thank you.--

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Trevor shrugged, the fain ghost of a smile appearing on his face. --What are friends for?-- The lanky teen nodded back toward the dormitories. --C'mon, I'm going to put a pot of coffee on.-- He paused briefly. --Too soon to make a 'stunting your growth' joke?--

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--Proper coffee or the swill you Americans call coffee?-- Eve asked as she lightly kicked Trevor in the shin, smile still present on her face. Her expression changed to something a bit more serious, and there was a subtle shift in her emotions as a thread of longing interwove with her otherwise amused and happy demeanor. Friends, huh? Is that what we are now? she wondered to herself. I suppose coming here was marginally useful.

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Trevor gave Eve a look of wounded pride. --Give me some credit,-- he sent mentally. At the sudden but subtle shift in the petite French girl's projected emotions, the lean youth silently placed a hand on her shoulder, his surface thought radiating a cool calmness, offering support without insisting upon it. Putting his hands back in his pockets, he began the short walk to the dormitories. --So, how do you take it?--

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When Eve felt Trevor's hand on her shoulder, the accompanying emotions filtering through the temporary mental link she had formed with the tall dark haired youth, she could not help but smile.

--Well, Mr. Hunter, that depends entirely on how you're preparing it.-- she finally answered. --But assuming this is not expresso-based, then café au lait, of course.--

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Trevor touched his forehead with the fingers of one hand and snapped those on the other, his expression chagrined. --Silly me.-- Back at the dormitories, the dark haired youth led Eve to is room, opening the door to reveal multiple desks and most of the floorspace covered in mechanical parts, tools and glassware. Nimbly picking his way through the chaos while the diminutive gymnast waited in the doorway, he cleared space for one of the intact brewers and retrieved a carafe of water and a bag of whole bean before setting to work.

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