Log:Images Planted In My Brain
The Monitors have started the department distribution of books, and are still working out fair distribution of equipment from the booty the war Party brought back. Personal shares will come after, but Xavier and Timmy ave bee pouring over chemistry books for the last twenty four hours to the exclusion o nearly everything else. It is full dark and the slender chemist has awoken from their knowledge fugue, achey, hungry, exhausted and rather dazed. They have missed dinner and are sort of drifting around in their mushroom coloured caftan with gloves but no head wrap, one foot still in the world of words and formulae, but also trying to walk ff a leg cramp, which likely explains the light limp.
Kitten has been hard at work in the Garage. New parts have been filtering down from on high, and it has kept the mechanics occupied. Now that it's dark, Kitten is at the bazaar, sitting near one of the dancers performing tonight. They're in their vinyl dress, and they're barefooted. On their ankle are ugly red scars from the snakebite. They'll fade in time, but for now, they're very visible.
Xavier's lips spread in a slow smile as they see the war Kid up and about. They wend that way, kissing the top of their head from behind, "You look stunning in that dress, Babe." They smell of paper dust, their lab, and that green scent that pervades their hut, "How's your leg?"
Kitten looks up and smiles. "I always wear this dress," they say. They look down at their bitten leg and wiggle their toes. "It feels okay. It twinges a little still when I first walk on it, but I can do everything I could do before. I had some weird dreams while the venom was in me, but I feel normal again. How was your quest for knowledge?"
Xavier giggles, "And just looking at you in it blows me away every time." They wrap their arms around the war kid and rest their cheek on their head, "There's so much we didn't know! Almost the whole theoretical basis for what we've been doing was lost! And they had so many techniques and pieces of equipment I've never seen before! Also, Kisses says the ancients thought we were a type of animal descended from these weir hairy things that don't exist any more!"
Kitten glances at their arms, where there is a light dusting of hair. "I mean, that makes sense," they say. "We are kind of hairy things, and we had to come from somewhere. I wonder why they don't exist anymore. Is it because we became them? Or did they blow themselves up like we did? I guess books from before would've warned us if they had." They lean against Xavier comfortably.
Xavier cuddles them happily, absently watching the dancers, "The pictures showed plants in the background. Lots of green. Maybe there is somewhere like that out there still where they live, but if there is, I bet humans killed and ate them for it. we are a violent species for all we try to be better."
"We don't really try that hard," Kitten points out. "We massacred those raiders, and they would've done the same to us." Not that they seem too bothered about it. War Children lead short, violent lives, and most of that violence is from and on their fellow human beings. "We probably killed them, ate them, and took their stuff. Then we ran out of things to kill and eat, so we started to kill ourselves."
Xavier sighs a bit sadly, "Still they would have been wonderful to see, don't you think? Our hairy cousins. I wonder if they tasted like pork?" Their stomach rumbles. "Is i weird that I don't want to hurt people, only help them, but I find the idea of your, um, ability to inflict violence to protect me insanely hot?"
"Maybe you like it because I'm the one doing it," Kitten says. They slip an arm around Xavier. "You need to remember to eat," they say. "It's not good to skip meals." They consider for a long moment before they say, "I heard people taste like pork, but I've never had pork or people so I don't know. Maybe our cousins tasted like pork, too. Maybe everything tastes like pork."
Xavier settles neck to them and wraps their arms around the war kid, "I forget to do it. I know I should, really I do. It's like when I'm really concentrating my body goes away." They think, wrinkling their nose, "I had it when I was a kid, back when they thought I'd be good for siring. it tastes a little weird. Nothing like cakes. The bacon's nice, all crisp and... It's hard to explain, but there's nothing quite like it.... Kitten? When you get your share, what are you going to try to pick?"
Kitten gives Xavier a cuddle. "I don't know. Maybe some of the wiring they've torn out of those appliances, if there's any left. And one of those spinner things, if I can get one. I want to put it on a steering wheel. The metal bits that were on the floor were cool. We use stuff like that in our wheel design all the time. You can make little sculptures out of them."
Xavier kisses their cheek, "Those sound neat. I think it's mostly the books and instruments and, um, science and art equipment going to the departments. I bet you can get wires and decoration thingies. Can I see it? When you get the car tricked you-wait, who's chariot are you in now? I thought you gunned for Rebar?"
Kitten shrugs easily and says, "I fix whoever chariot needs fixed. I'm a Gearhead first and foremost. But did you know?" Their eyes brighten. "I rode on the rig with Imperator Vishys! Lynch was driving! Rebar didn't want me to ride with him, so I rode with them. Maybe I can ride with them from now on now that Rebar has been awaited in Valhalla."
Xavier plays with their braid, flirtatiously? "Next time I come in your hole, will you show me which rig it is? I think I'd like to see it so I could picture you blasting away better. I'm glad you didn't go to Valhalla with rebar. You're a lot more... I'm glad you came home safe."
Kitten is wearing pigtails, same as ever. "I'll show you sometime. It's a good rig, and Lynch is a good driver." They lean against Xavier comfortably, and they give them a squeeze around the shoulders. "Kissy and I were talking about it a little," they say quietly, "and he doesn't want me to go to Valhalla either. I want to go someday, but not right now, and not soon. I have to fix engines and... and be with you guys."
Xavier keeps toying with the pigtail, "Kissy loves you too, I think. He keeps worrying it'll upset you if he kisses me. I want you to keep fixing engines and kissing me until you are as ancient as Mark Monitor and I'm so old I can barely hold a test tube."
Kitten's brow furrows. "Why would I be upset if he kissed you? Kissing you is nice, kissing him is nice, I can only imagine you two kissing each other would be nice, too. I feel all warm just thinking about it." They grin, ducking their head, and they say, "I'll kiss you every day for the rest of my life, however long that is, you and Kissy both. Maybe we'll get old." They don't sound convinced, but at least hopeful.
Xavier giggles, "I really, really like watching you kiss. With the new pad. We could, um, all fit." They pull off their gloves, th ebetter to trace those beautiful cheekbones, "How did I ever get so lucky, sparkles?"
Faustina arrives from Sanctuary - Prime - Great Mess Hall.
Kitten shrugs and smiles. "I don't know, you just did." They might not entirely understand why exactly Xavier is calling themselves lucky. They lean into the touch, though. "I won't be mad if you two kiss, or do whatever. You're my favorite people. It'd be neat if you two liked each other a lot. And with the pad, maybe we could all get together once in awhile." They sit with Xavier near where a dancer has been performing, though they're paying more attention to each other than the dancer.
Xavier blushes, "We've been... experimenting with kissing. A little. Just the kissing. I like him. He's.. deciding how much he likes me. I think getting together once in a while would be nice." They look into Kitten's eyes, "If I ask you to do me a favour tonight, would you do it, Love?"
Faustina walks in, reading through a large sheaf of paper distractedly. Mark is behind her, occasionally putting a hand on her shoulder and subtly redirecting her so she doesn't run into anyone or anything. She's muttering to herself under her breath, apparently about how something ought to be allocated.
Kitten gazes into Xavier's eyes lovingly. "That depends on the favor," they reply with their id-driven honesty. "But yeah, I'll probably do it," they say. Their quick gaze shifts to Mark and Faustina, and they wave. "Hey, Faustina!" they say as if greeting an old friend. Which they are, of course, right? "Hey Mark!"
Xavier touches forehead to forehead, and murmurs, "Would you stay with me tonight and distract me from... things so I can sleep?" They pull away quickly, blushing to be seen cuddling Kitten so brazenly in public by his sister."Um, Hey, sis! Mark! I'm taking a study break. I sort of... forgot to do that the books were so interesting."
Faustina looks up at the call from Kitten and blinks a few times. "Hmm? Oh! Yes. Hello, Kitten. Have you recovered from the snake bite?" She looks to her brother and almost smiles, "I am glad that you are enjoying the books, but, as I am frequently informed, one does need to eat and sleep as well."
Mark gives the pair a grin and wave. "Hey."
Kitten shows off their bare ankle, where there are two ugly red scars that will fade in time, but for now they're vivid. "I feel pretty good," they say. "Thinking of getting a snake tattoo to mark the event, you know?" Their brow furrows. "I can't find Piper, so if you see it, will you give it to me?" That pipe wrench ends up in all sorts of interesting places. It's bound to turn up. "I keep telling X they need to eat. It's important."
Xavier blushes again, "We sort of forgot. We've been studying since Timmy brought them back from storage." Their stomach rumbles, "Oooo! Kitten? are you going to have it coil slowly up your leg?" They quiver with excitement, "What colour?" They take a breath and try to get a hold of themselves, "Um, you look well, Mark."
Faustina nods once. "I will look for it. Do you remember when you last had it? Could it have been left on the transport?" She looks at Xavier's stomach. "And have you actually eaten? Or have you just been sitting here with Kitten?" Mark shrugs. "I'm doing fine. You?"
Kitten says slowly, thoughtfully, "No, I had it after the transport. I had it at the table this morning, or maybe it was yesterday morning? I don't really remember where I came from or where I went after eating either this morning or yesterday." They scratch their head. "I might have left it in the big and messy." They sigh quietly. Everything is so jumbled up in their thoughts, and linear time is hard. With a smile they say to Xavier, "I'll come stay, and yeah, around my leg. Maybe lots of colors."
Xavier tries to hide behind a Kitten tail, "I was stretching my legs first. I had a cramp.... I'm glad you are fine, Mark." They nudge Kitten gently, "I could help you search the garden and my hut? I like colours. You're pretty in colours."
Faustina sighs softly. "Xavier. Please eat something." She nods to Kitten. "I will see what I can do, but it is good to know that you have had it recently." Mark just looks amused.
"I don't think I left it there, but we can look," Kitten tells Xavier, they they perk up and adds, "I like colors." They then tell Faustina, "Thank you. I think Piper likes you. It might hide from others." They sigh. That wrench. Xavier is glanced at sidelong as they hide behind one of their pigtails. "If you need to find me," they tell Faustina, "I'll probably be around the Garden a lot tonight. I finished my work for the day."
Xavier sighs, sounding every bit a little brother, "I will eat a cake, I promise, Fausty." They look slyly at the wa kid, "It's hard to tell where your pipe will end up.... The snake could be all sorts of stripey colours. Think that time you dyed your... only way better because more colours." They seem not to notice anything odd about the way Kitten talks about the wrench. Or Kitten just generally, for that matter.
Faustina studies Xavier for a few moment and then nods. She looks to Kitten, "Perhaps. I do not presume to know the feelings of wrenches. Should I find it, I will bring it to the garden." Pause. "And make sure to announce my arrival from a distance." Mark laughs and says to Faustina, "I'm going to go look for something, give me a wave when you need me again."
Kitten gives Xavier a squeeze in their arms and tells Faustina, "That's probably for the best. You don't want to sneak up on Xavier's hut when we're in there, on account of how often we're doing it." There's no shame from Kitten. Surely Faustina knows what they get up to. Why would it be awkward to mention it?
Xavier giggles, "A knock would be fine, Fausty." They give Mark a cheerful wave, "Happy hunting!" Then they are blushing to their ears, and nudging kitten, "My sister probably does not want to know how much I am fucking you!"
Faustina nods to Mark and then to the others. "I. Yes. I had surmised but would prefer to avoid it as a discussion topic." She glances after Mark and then back to the pair.
Kitten glances between Faustina and Xavier. Clearly, they don't get it, why sex would be any more or less taboo than anything else. "Okay, then," they say, like Faustina and Xavier are the crazy ones. "Wait, is it because Faustina isn't doing it with anyone?" See, that they understand, not wanting to be rude and rub it in.
Xavier smiles fondly at Kitten, "Brothers and Sisters generally do not like to picture what each other do in bed."
Faustina blinks slowly. "I am... not interested in doing it with anyone, but if I were to want to have sex with someone, Xavier would be an extremely inappropriate choice for me."
Kitten eyes Xavier. "Why would you picture that? I don't think about Kat doing it, though I'm pretty sure she does. If she wants to." Then Faustina gets a strange look. "No, I mean if you're not doing it with anyone, hearing other people do it might make you feel bad. That's why I'm super quiet in my cubby. So people who aren't having any fun don't have to listen and feel bad because they're not having any fun. I didn't mean you'd have fun with Xavier." They wrinkle their nose. At least the idea of incest seems to gross them out a little.
Xavier looks outright queasy all of a sudden. They close their eyes, "I... really never thought of that image before and I very, very much wish I hadn't." They swallow, "Could we, um, maybe change the subject from sex with siblings?"
Faustina blinks more at Kitten. "But I do not want to have sex with anyone. At all." She shakes her head. "Xavier, what is the most interesting thing your have learned from the books, so far?" Well, at least she knows topics likely to distract her brother.
"Don't worry," Kitten says. "Images don't last long. The ones in my head move so fast I can barely latch on to any of them." When Faustina asks after interesting topics, Kitten looks to Xavier and perks up, eager for an answer.
Xavier bounces a little, "There are a whole lot more elements than we thought! We have the table carefully copied from generation to generation, but I think the first Chemistry professor didn't bother with the rare ones and the organic book? It has all these diagrams of different ways things fit together? And like in organic chemistry you can get the same things making up all sorts of different stuff! Depending on how the little bits attach? Where has organic chemistry been all my life? I mean we had recipes and things, but little of theoretical underpinnings! It's going to change everything? It explains why all sorts of things don't behave reliably!" They squeeze Kitten, "You can see why I lost track of... body stuff? And Timmy's really going to town on the suggested experiment stuff. We're likely going to redesign the whole course of study for our students!"
Faustina almost smiles. "Good. I am so glad that the books are that useful." She considers a moment and then finally moves over to sit near the other two, though far enough away that she's not invading personal space.
"That's worth getting bitten for," Kitten says, "especially since I survived." They give Xavier a squeeze, then they kiss them smack on the lips. "I'm going to go see if I can get one of those spinners before they're all gone," they say. "I'll come by your hut after." They then tell Faustina, "It was great to see you, Faustina. Tell Mark I said hello." Then they get to their feet, and they're off, distracted by some notion of getting a fidget spinner.
Xavier squeezes Kitten back, "I'll grab a bite and meet you." A look of real worry crosses their face, "you won't forget, will you, Babe?" They smile at their sister, "I really am happy. I really am doing better even if I forgot stuff like food and sleep because of the books... Oh, if some of the scavenged wires are available, the mechanics need what they can get for chariots and things. I don't get the technicals." They touch Faustina's wrist, "You are really brave, you know?"
Faustina nods to Xavier. "I am glad you are happy. I was going to speak to Vishys and some of the others about the Garage needs, but I will make a note about the wires in particular." Then she blinks, "Why do you think I am brave?"
Xavier cocks their head, "Not just for the obvious reasons, the... running towards danger instead of away, but for... saying who you were just now in front of Kitten."
Faustina blinks even more at Xavier. They've known her long enough to know that the look she is giving them is her extremely confused look. "The first is my job. The second is who I am. Why would I say I was anyone else?"
Xavier smiles at her with an infinite fondness, "You are perfectly you and I am very glad you are my sister." They tap her wrist gently and rise, "I'm going to go eat and drink some water now. I have hopes that later I will sleep. I hope much the same for you."
Faustina nods. "Yes. Eat. Get your water ration. Sleep would be good as well. You will retain the information you read better if you have eaten and slept." Pause. "I am glad you are my brother. If I find Kitten's wrench, I will bring it by later."
Xavier's smile widens to a grin, "Thanks, Fausty. Make sure you eat, drink, and sleep too.