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Breella

Green Things (IC)

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Gwen sat in the greenhouse, her feet draped into the koi pond. She threw some pellets into the pond for the Koi and watched the beautiful colors swim around her toes. It may have been chilly outside, even a light dusting of snow on the ground but the greenhouse but inside its a balmy 80*. Gwen's hair was pulled back and pinned with chopsticks, she had stripped down to her undershirt and sports shorts and after a long afternoon of tending the greenhouse, which while it had not dwindled in her absence the plants still missed her touch. She took a deep breath and looked out to the stars. The world had changed in the few months she was gone.

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Glowstar set down on the green quad of the Claremont Academy. He'd been out patrolling for most of the day, and while he wasn't exactly tired he was a bit mentally overwhelmed by all he had done. It had been a very full Saturday for him so far, and right now all he wanted to do was to get to his room and watch a movie or something. Just basically veg out.

He touched the high collar of his costume and it retracted into a gunmetal gray ring on his finger. He was left wearing a polo shirt and worn jeans, but he didn't seem bothered by the snow on the ground. He walked towards the dorms, going out of his way to tread on untouched snow and hearing the crunch underneath. Perhaps that's why he detoured close to the greenhouse. He glanced inside and noticed a girl with long hair sitting next to the pond. He glanced away, then did a double take. That was Gwen!

The young man hopped into the air for a quick moment, red light burning around him, and landed near the door. He took a deep breath to settle his nerves, opened the door and stepped inside, making sure to close it quickly and firmly behind him. He stepped up the pond and faced Gwen, working hard to keep a wide smile off his face. Seeing her again after her long absence was like wrapping himself in a warm blanket, but he knew there was something he needed to talk about. He cleared his throat to get her attention. "Hey... hey there, Gwen."

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Gwen startled only slightly. She had been in a daze watching the fish but the plants around the room had grown alight when Brian walked in. Gwen found herself wondering if he visited the greenhouse while she was gone. Gone and she couldn't even talk about where it was or what she had been out doing. Sometimes life just wasn't fair. "I--Hi--I'm sorry." she stammered out. Gwen pulled her bare feet from the pond and dried them off, paying a little too much attention to the task. How could she sum up how she felt without sounding like an idiot. She debated that in her mind for another moment before looking back up at Brian again.

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Brian felt a flash of, strangely, anger. She just disappeared for who-knew-where and now she was back, and all he got was "hi" and her drying her feet? Mind, Gwen drying her toes wasn't something he disliked watching, but he was expecting a little more from her. He took a deep breath against the conflicting emotions even as his face flushed. "I'd heard you'd gone back to live with your family for a bit," he said. "I didn't know if you were coming back. Is this just a visit to check on the plants?" He gestured limply to the greenery surrounding them.

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Gwen looked around, her eyes welled up but she clenched her jaw and blinked them away. "It has been a hard four months." She thought about that for a moment-- had it only been four months? It felt like forever. "Dad got sick..." Gwen took a deep breath and let it out hard. "I didn't have time to say anything more. He had bone cancer, leukemia, when I was a young child." Gwen kept rubbing at her feet, she couldn't look up at Brian. "I was a perfect match back then, so I donated bone marrow again. He, he started getting better at first but then one day he got so sick. When the doctors ran their tests they found out that the new transplant didn't set. My cells didn't continue to replicate in his body. I thought that maybe it was because of, you know." Gwen's voice broke a few times and some tears started falling down her cheek. Her face totally devoid of makeup had nothing to be smeared by the tears. She pointed to the red brown vine curled down her right arm and stood up. "I should have called, or wrote, or something and I'm sorry for that. I just-- I didn't know what to say, I got depressed, I thought my dad was going to die because of me."

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Brian felt his anger drain out of him in a moment. Gwen hadn't simply run away from Claremont or even from him. She'd gone away to try and help -- try and save -- her father. He mind flashed to his own dad and knew he would've done the same thing. And he was trying to give her a hard time... He took a step forward and folded his arms around her, holding her close as she began crying. "It's alright," he said, his voice quiet. He wanted to ask her what had happened, but he refrained from it; if she didn't want to talk about it, he wouldn't force her.

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Gwen savored his touch for a moment, laying her head on his chest and listening to his heartbeat. "He's going to be ok now, they found another match but my marrow is-- its different. It's not viable anymore." Gwen turned her head so she could look up at Brian. "I guess since my powers have changed so have I on a molecular level." Gwen raised her hands and the pale green glow seeped out for just a moment. "Cancer is too big for this, I tried. I nearly drained my self trying." Gwen let the glow fade and just held her body against his. "I still should have been less of a recluse, and for that I'm truly sorry."

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Brian wondered what he'd do if one of his parents died, moreover if they died in front of him and he knew that he could have, should have saved them. Maybe he'd go a little crazy; property damage would certainly ensue. It was good that Gwen's father had been saved by someone else, but he didn't want to imagine what kind of torture she'd gone through. "I didn't... No one told... I'm sorry, Gwen." He squeezed her tightly, letting her lean against him. "Listen, I understand if you need some time to get your head on straight. Just, promise you'll let me know when you're feeling... normal. I guess."

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Gwen squeezed Brian gently. "This, this makes me feel better, feel normal." Gwen looked up into his eyes. "No one knew. I didn't tell anyone but the school admins." The tattoo shifted and got a little greener around the edges. "What I need now is my friends back. Now that dad is getting better I need to get back to my life." Gwen leaned up on her toes and looked into Brian's face. "I--I hope things around here haven't changed too much."

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Brian half-smiled and rubbed at his nose with one hand. "Well, no one's been expelled, anyway." He lead Gwen to one of the benches and they sat down facing the water, his arm still around her shoulders. "Morgan went back to Boston, said he had some all-fire important training program to do." Brian frowned and squeezed Gwen's shoulder. He wasn't sure how Victoria was handling that. She seemed okay with it, but he wasn't about to pry. "Everyone else is doing... pretty well. Um." He inhaled deeply and turned to Gwen, pulling his arm back and taking her hand. "There's something I've got to tell you, Gwen. I was pretty sure about it before you left but I never got a chance to tell you, and while you were away I made sure. I'm... I'm a Terminus Baby." He fell quiet, waiting for her response.

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Gwen stared out into the plants for a moment, sweeping her eyes back and forth across the greenhouse. They too had heard Brians words and suddenly were listening intently. Gwen looked up at Brian and put a hand on his face, savoring the feel of his skin on hers and tracing a line down his ear to his neck. "At the risk of sounding like a shrink, how do you feel about that?" She looked deeply into his black/red eyes with her hazel green and bit down on her lip. "That sounded-- less stupid-- in my head."

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Brian brushed a long lock of Gwen's hair back behind her shoulder. "I've thought about that for awhile," he said. "Talked to some people who know... quite a bit more than be about the Terminus. I guess I kind of figured out that this is like my parents, but way bigger. I mean, I was always worried that people would learn that they used to be villains, you know? Just another thing that I'm fighting against as a hero."

He took a deep breath. "Which I don't think is a really good reason to be a hero. Fighting against something? Fighting to stop other people from seeing you a certain way? I don't think I agree with that. I'm not giving up on fighting the bad guys, but I'm thinking... I don't know. 'Fight for the world because the world's worth fighting for' seems kind of trite, but I don't know if there is a better reason to do things."

He looked down at Gwen, smiling slightly. "You really don't have a problem with the T-Baby thing?"

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Gwen cocked her head and raised an eyebrow at Brian. "Does it change anything about you? Have you spent the last four months going around doing horrible things? Are you a different man than the one I left?" Gwen leaned back and looked Brian up and down. She really took him in. He didn't look much different. She smiled. He was taller maybe, more muscle definition if that was possible but different, no. He was still the same Brian she remembered.

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Brian grinned at Gwen suddenly. "A different person? I don't think so. Maybe a bit... I dunno. More me? Mostly I've just been trying to figure out big questions, like what I want to do and why I want to do it. You know, answers to life, the universe, all that jazz." He blushed as she started looking him over. "And I.. While you were... I mean... Oh, to hell with it." He leaned in close and kissed Gwen, inhaling her scent and feeling a tingling spread from where their lips touched all the way down to his toes. After a moment he pulled back and licked his lips. "I really missed that."

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Gwen's whole body erupted in colors and sensations. There was noise around her and when Brian pulled back she couldn't understand his words for a moment. "I missed that too... she trailed off and kissed him again, a small peck. "Nope, no evil there." she leaned in and nuzzled his neck. "None here either." She kissed the exposed skin there. "I-- I think we have some time to make up for." She looked into his eyes again.

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Brian's skin tingled pleasantly when Gwen kissed it and he squirmed in his seat. Part of him wanted to lay her out and do, well, all sorts of things to her right there, but the fact that there were glass walls all around rather spoiled the idea. Then an idea occurred to him. "You know," he said, shifting on the bench to slip an arm around Gwen and kissing her forehead, "they haven't gotten around to giving me a new roommate since Morgan left, right before Christmas. That means I technically have a room to myself." He leaned down and kissed her lips. "If that means anything to you."

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Gwen waggled her eyebrows in what she thought would come across as suggestive gesture. "I'd like that very much." She bit her lip. The distraction would be warm and welcoming. A genuine change to the drab hospital filled time she had spent with her parents. It would be good for her to do something to raise her spirits. Gwen leaned down to put her shoes on. "It's going to be cold out there." she said pulling her coat around her.

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Brian stood and waited for Gwen to wrap herself up properly, then let her out of the greenhouse, checking to make sure that the door sealed and latched properly. It had become second nature in the last few months when he left the greenhouse to make sure that there was no way the cold weather could get in to harm the plants. With that he put an arm around Gwen's shoulder (still not feeling the cold) and hurried her across the snow to the dorms. Halfway through he started laughing more or less at random. This, this was what he needed; he could feel good feelings bubbling up in him almost despite all the dark thoughts in his head.

The pair of teens stumbled indoors and up the stairs, stealing kisses from each other when they thought they could. Eventually they managed to get into Brian's room and lock the door behind themselves; by that time, they didn't care which bed they fell into first.

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