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Caitlin Kieran's Achievements

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  1. "Ohhh, wow," the redhead breathed expressively. She wasn't sure whether she should laugh or cry at this point- brainiac though he might be, Curtis clearly had not received much of a social education. Given the awkward situation, though, Caitlin decided to take pity on him; that he'd never actually gone on a date before was basically a foregone conclusion. ,, "Okay. So, ah, usually, that's not really how a date works. The person doing the asking, the... well," she shrugged, "the pursuing, is the one who's trying to make it fun for the one they're after. Asking someone on a date, and then telling them they'll be spending their time trying to entertain you and-" How would he phrase it? Oh! "-validate or invalidate a hypothesis is kind of a slap in the face. If you're asking someone out, it's usually because you want to spend time with them, or learn more about them, or get them to also be interested in you, which generally means you're responsible for showing them a good time. Not the other way 'round."
  2. Everything sounded good- ideal, even- until Curtis had to go and be, well, Curtis. ,, "Sooo..." A pair of tiny furrows appeared between Caitlin's knitted brows as she pursed her lips. "Let me be sure I've got this right. You... asked me out." A nod of confirmation. "On a date." Another nod. Curtis began to wonder if he'd missed something, judging by the slow, halting cadence of the redhead's speech. He was sure he'd been fairly clear in his description, but Caitlin wasn't precisely on-par with his mental faculties. "...So that I can entertain you outside."
  3. "All right," the redhead replied quickly, then added, "I mean, 'all right,' as in, 'okay.' I think?" Grimacing at her inability to hold a simple conversation, Caitlin sighed and slumped against the door frame. "Okay," she tried again, exhaling with a rueful smile. "Let me start over. Hey, Curtis. It's been a while. Sure, going out sounds like fun, and since I can't remember the last time I had any, I'm game. What did you have in mind?"
  4. "Uhhh," Caitlin droned eloquently, her bewilderment writ plain on her face. "Go out with you? Like... on a date?" It was not her finest moment, but he'd caught her completely off-guard. Sure, she liked Curtis, but did she like him? Where was the distinction? What would they talk about? Where would they even go? What if that wasn't what he meant, and he was just trying to help her get back into the habit of doing things with people again?
  5. As the other teens clamored to run headlong into the chaos, Caitlin could only stare for a moment, utterly dumbfounded. Were they actually serious? Did they really think this Dr. Hunt was going to pat them on the butt with a smile and send them toddling out the door after a quick tour of the Hunt-cave into what was already a massacre? Did they actually believe the craziness they were talking? ,, "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" she yelled, pushing a few sweat-damp strands of coppery hair out of her face as she moved quickly to catch up. "Are you guys out of your ever-loving minds?! They've got the military, civilian law enforcement, random bystanders, crazy mutants with who-knows-what powers and a shit-tonne more experience, aaaaand giant mass-murdering robots who apparently can't be arsed to differentiate between any of the above!" She scowled at the other students as they scrambled to be first on the Crazy Train. "Y'know what we've got? A bunch of high school kids, with minimal awareness of our abilities, no experience working together, no leadership structure, and a plane that doesn't have a pilot! Hell," she gestured toward Sakurako, "you couldn't stand the sight of a bloody sparring match a few minutes ago, and now you want to go charging off headfirst into a warzone? Do you think it's more likely we'll help, under the circumstances, or make things worse? Are you really willing to see your insides outside your body? To do that to someone else? To see it happen to your friend? To destroy buildings, machines, human beings, and see them all crushed as if they meant nothing?" Her green eyes blazed like sunlit emeralds, fiery and hard, as she scanned the faces of her 'teammates.' "That's what this is gonna be. It's not gonna be about noble bloody speeches and high ideals." She paused, her fists clenching at her sides as the memory of Primal's laugh echoed in her ears. "It's just gonna be about blood. And if you aren't sure you're ready for that, and I mean really ready, sit the hell down, because you'll get somebody killed."
  6. Not having to share a room with someone else has its perks, Caitlin mused as she lay on her coverlet, admiring the trailing vines of the Philodendron hederaceum oxycardium and Epipremnum aureum that had, over the last few weeks, slowly begun creeping along the grid of slender ropes she'd stretched across the ceiling. Otherwise, her room remained relatively spartan, still absent the little touches of home or personal identity that most of the other students had accumulated. Maybe something with flowers? she thought, pursing her lips as she considered her next botanical acquisition. The two houseplants she'd gotten were hardy and easy to care for, and they'd grown beyond her expectations; apparently her mother's green thumb had rubbed off on her. She smiled at that, then squeezed her eyes shut as if to block out the memory. No point thinking about the past, Caitlin. ,, The sharp, staccato knock sent her bolt upright in surprise. Her infamous temper tended to keep visitors at bay, so unless someone had gotten to her room by mistake... ,, With a sigh, the redhead rolled off the bed, stretched, and meandered over to the door. She turned the knob, fully expecting to have to direct someone to Sonja's room, or Kia's. ,, "All right, what do you-" Bright green eyes widened slightly, blinking at the sight of her former tutor standing in the hall outside. "Oh, ah, Curtis. Hi. Is, ah, everything okay?"
  7. My capacity? The redhead peered dubiously at him from the corner of her eye as she continued walking, shoving her hands decisively into her pockets. The sun was bright, the air fresh and crisp and her lungs, and she wouldn't have to deal with more tutoring sessions in social quarantine... And yet, as she mulled over his choice of words, Caitlin had the sneaking suspicion that he was insulting her intelligence; the part of her mind that Tennyson so aptly described in his friend's elegy bristled with anger. Her fingertips itched, and she forced herself to keep them still. Curtis was her friend, not her enemy, but right now all she could think about was the way he'd crumple if she drove her fist into his gut. He was slim, and just about her height, but as he kept pace with her she visualized his bones as delicate, avian things, fragile and hollow. Idly, she wondered what they'd sound like if she- ,, Oh, fuck. No, no, no. ,, "Yeah," she replied tersely, trying (and failing) to keep her tone light and conversational. Her heart was pounding madly against her ribs, and a bitter, acrid taste spread slowly across the back of her tongue. She felt sick with revulsion at the flood of images flashing through her brain, images so vivid she reflexively glanced down at her hands, yanking them from her pockets to be sure it hadn't been real. That she hadn't really- ,, "Look, ah, I'm gonna head back. I, umm." She forced a smile, dragging her fingers through her tousled hair and shrugging. "I have a... a thing. That I have to do. So, thanks again, and I guess I'll see you around." The green-eyed feral didn't wait for a response this time, abandoning all social expectations of courtesy as she twitched one arm in a quick wave and abruptly ran back the way they'd come. She couldn't stand it, this thing that was in her brain now, this creature that sometimes roared, sometimes watched with huge, unblinking eyes, and sometimes scraped its claws along the bars of the cage that separated It, from Her. ,, As she ran, a tiny seed of fear that took root when Primal had attacked Alex and Aradia sent out a lurid shoot, driving her onward even faster: which of them was the one trapped inside?
  8. "Oh, believe me," the redhead retorted as she strode forward without hesitation, "that's an accounting I'm more than happy to give. Just don't let yer runaway mouth write a check yer arse can't cash. Don't worry," she added with a grin that showed more teeth than a teenage girl should possess. "I'll try not to smear yer eyeliner too much." ,, She turned to the Director, green eyes alight with a feverish intensity, an expression only he and two others in the room had ever seen on her pretty, freckled, girl-next-door face. "Y've got yer first guinea pigs, so how d'we do this?"
  9. ,, His comment barely had time to register before her cheeks flushed crimson; Curtis's reaction, bless his little Vulcan heart, had been obvious- the guy was wearing a nanofluidic suit- but she'd had no intention of calling attention to that fact, despite being secretly flattered to have had that effect on someone. Warren's mouth, of course, had to turn what would have been just another mildly awkward, unspoken moment in the lives of teenagers into something utterly crass and derisive. ,, Other people made noises that indicated they were talking, both to her and to each other, but she had a difficult time hearing them over the roaring in her ears. ,, "Ye should do a more thorough study of geography," she ground out through white, even teeth as she turned to face the snarky bad-boy, full lips drawn back in an involuntary snarl that had a few students glancing surreptitiously at her canines; her accent, normally subdued, was noticeably thicker. Her hands were stiff at her sides, fingers tautly splayed to keep them from clenching into fists. "Hills and valleys are fine, but it's the cliffs ye gotta watch for. Or, more specifically, the long drop and the sudden stop."
  10. Seeing everyone's excitement over their new outfits made Caitlin grin in spite of the nebulous certainty of this group's composition, or even successful launch; it reminded her of Christmases spent with family and friends. Her smile faded, by degrees, as a pang of homesickness twisted in her stomach when she realized the likelihood of ever feeling that again was almost nonexistent. Still, the redhead put on a brave face, searching until she found the room that held the locker bearing her name. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door and pulled out a neatly-folded garment of deep, forest green. The fabric was very fine, though durable, with a faint lustre that betrayed the unusual material woven through the rather elastic cloth. ,, She tried not to stare at Alex as she headed out to change, feeling her cheeks grow warmer on her way past the golden mutant; she still hadn't managed to hold an actual conversation with him after the pizzeria incident. Today... wasn't looking like a good day, either. He was gorgeous, she'd made a total arse of herself, and he was apparently dating the Glamazon. Go figure. The door closed quietly behind her, and she prayed the glare he was emitting would keep people distracted in case her uniform was something awful. She shrugged out of her clothes and, somewhat dubiously, pulled on the new costume. It felt heavier than cotton, but softer and smoother than canvas, and came complete with low-heeled boots that felt implausibly comfortable- the soles must have been cushioned with some kind of gel, she reasoned. ,, "For shock absorption, maybe? Huh. Aha, and, of course, it just wouldn't be complete without a mask, now would it? Lovely. Devin's gonna hurt himself laughin' when I tell him I'm the green ranger." ,, It was a little more form-fitting than she'd like, judging by the fit, but at least she was covered. She could do worse than a unitard, right? Especially since several of the others were wearing what looked like the stuff from that Terminator movie. As she opened the changing room door, there was a fleeting moment in which the cooler air from the AC shifted around her before Alex's natural radiant warmth reasserted itself, and she realized, too late, that she had most definitely felt a draft. ,, Her eyes widened. She looked down. Frantically, she waved Violet over, darting back inside the changing room as quickly as she could. ,, "Violet!" she hissed urgently as the Princess of Purple edged in to join her. "What in-" ,, "Woooww," Vi laughed, nodding. "Yeah, see, what had happened was... Okay," she admitted, spreading her hands with that same cheshire grin. "Nothing happened. We just did an informal poll, y'know, nothing major, and the consensus was that your image is way too..." The stunning little con-artist shrugged, wincing sympathetically. "Vanilla. Almost unanimously, the respondents agreed that there was room for a little 'spicing-up.' We had some concept art drawn up, and this was the design that got the most favorable response," she finished, matter-of-factly. ,, Fortunately for Violet, Caitlin was too embarrassed to be angry. ,, "The most favorable...? Concept art? Informal poll?" It was written all over her face for the young empath to see: I'm supposed to wear this in public?! ,, "Look," Vi murmured soothingly, sotto voce, "it's not bad, honestly. If you're really unhappy with it, we can change it, but maybe, you could... I dunno... Try stepping outside your comfort zone, just a little? Just go out there like it's nothing, y'know? Confidence is sexy." She smiled at Caitlin, and the redhead felt dizzy- she'd never really thought about other girls before, but for that brief moment, she completely understood why some did. "C'mon," she urged, making little kitty-claw motions as she stifled a giggle. "Queen of the Jungle. Or, hills, or whatever they have in Ireland. Rawr." ,, "...Fine." Exhaling sharply, Caitlin got moving before she came down from whatever was in Violet's perfume. Actually, she had to admit as she strode out, the material felt pretty damned good. With the invigorating sensation of the uniform encasing her skin and stubborn pride preventing her from retreating now, she summoned up all her bravado and stretched, as if nonchalantly testing the elasticity and fit. She'd never put herself on display like that before, but maybe Violet was right. Maybe she was too 'vanilla.' ,, "Apparently, I wasn't a very good girl this past year," she quipped dryly as she joined the cluster of students gathered around Alex. "I'm not sure Santa bothered to finish mine. Yours look amazing though," the redhead added and nodded at Sonja and the others with a smile, trying not to let her eyes linger too long on the blonde goddess's glowing companion. ,,
  11. "Absolutely," she replied without hesitation, flashing Curtis a grateful smile as she walked backward for a few paces to continue the conversation. "I don't think I'll ever really get most of it," the redhead admitted ruefully, "but I shouldn't have any problem when I start classes. At least, not with the lessons." Shrugging, she pivoted to face forward again, falling into step next to him. "You've been very cool, actually, so thanks for that."
  12. Caitlin whistled softly as they entered the Core, hands shoved in her pockets. Holy shit. Devin would get himself bitten by a radioactive spider exposed to gamma rays from the 9th dimension in an alternate reality if he knew about this place. In spite of herself, she grinned at Curtis's obvious enthusiasm; the technobabble, flashing lights, and bleep-bloops didn't do much for her, but it was nice to see the normally stoic brainiac actually smile. ,, "Look," she began somewhat hesitantly, reluctant to speak up after her earlier outburst. "The sci-fi stuff is fine, and I'm sure there are serious political ramifications and philosophical issues that will all be discussed by people qualified to discuss them, but I just want to clarify something." The redhead paused, briefly catching her lower lip between her teeth before asking, "We're going to go out and break very expensive things, and very unpleasant people, with permission?"
  13. "Nice to meet you, Kia. Sorry about... eh. All that," she finished somewhat lamely, shrugging her shoulders. ,, Alex's handshake was precisely what she'd expected: warm, firm, and equitable- no classic male power plays. The smile in his blue eyes was gratifying; either he didn't remember the details of what'd happened, or he was more pragmatic than most teenagers. Either way, the Titian-haired mutant felt marginally better about not having scarred such a devastatingly attractive guy for life. "Honestly, I'm really just glad you two came out of it all right," she replied earnestly, her demeanor still rather more subdued than when she'd stormed out earlier. High school was complicated enough on its own, and the additional baggage of turning into a green-eyed ragemonster only made the social labyrinth seem even more unnavigable. She'd been fairly popular back home- was she doomed to play the role of angsty loner now? ,, "And," she added, "food sounds great. This may be the only place on the eastern seaboard that can afford to feed me."
  14. Well, that was unexpected. Caitlin couldn't remember an afternoon spent with Curtis that didn't also have a very specific plan. He was always so organized, their sessions so structured, even in the face of her constant fidgeting and distractions. She knew she hadn't exactly been a model student, but, to her surprise, he hadn't once complained. She'd always thought of brainiacs as being misanthropes with no personality, but her tutor had proven himself to be very considerate and flexible with respect to her rather... unorthodox study habits; in fact, she had to admit, he was almost kind of sweet. ,, "Hm!" Her copper brows knit together in a tiny frown that Curtis had come to recognize as, 'I'm weighing options.' It was one of dozens of expressions he'd filed away for reference when dealing with the impulsive redhead, the better to discern when she was having difficulty with a lesson, when it was time for more kinesthetic learning methods, when she was unsure of an answer, when she was sure, when she was pleased to see him... ,, "Why don't we go for a walk, then?" she asked, brightening as she straightened her legs. "I'm always running or doing something during the lessons, and it seems to help me clear my head and remember what I've learned. Maybe it'll jog your memory about what we were supposed to do. And," she added thoughtfully, considering the implications of what he'd told her, "if we run into other students now, it should be fine, right?"
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