From X-Factor

CiCiel XF.jpg, Cibang.jpg, Ciciel.jpg, Cishadowed.jpg

2046-09-19 TO: Jeremy


Jeremy -

I can sign on to lend a hand with firearms and maybe basic hand to hand for anyone who might want to brush up on things. A little more practice wouldn't hurt me, either.

No bonus necessary. The amount of real this shit has recently gotten has not escaped me. I'd feel better if we had some solid skills under our belt.

If anyone has interest in working out kinks in their mutation and needs to get out of the city to do it - or wants some brainstorming on applications - I'd be willing to help out with that, too. We can be in the woods pretty fast.

- Ciel

OOC: Playlist Meme - Ciel


Playlist link:

How do you build a playlist? What's your process?

I don't really know much music, so my process involves a lot of googling and a lot of stealing. I think I started my first one by listening to other people's X-Factor playlists (mostly Kez and ZZs) and throwing on songs that felt Ciel'ish. Then I went through and googled events or themes in her life. For Ciel, I looked for songs about doubt and losing faith, for songs about rough mother/daughter relationships, and stuff about kind of blossoming love and crushes. Some were more successful than others. Once I had a good base, Discover Weekly started throwing pretty relevant (scarily relevant) stuff at me, too, so I found some stuff that way. I actually have a list called 'Ciel Future' where I keep stuff that I suspect will be relevant to future beats in her story.

Is your playlist in an order? What is it?

Mostly chronological. The early songs are about her early life with al-Sahra, which was steeped in idealism and her mother's Catholocism, then there's a section about loss of faith and direction, a bit about being a hellion as a teenager, a series about finding her path in X-Force, then losing her path when it crumpled, then India and Rohan, then coming back to New York and Kade.

If you had to pick one song to best represent your character, what would it be and why?

Probably Comet, partly because I just love the opening lines, and it can so easily be read in a way that hits on her superhero idealism and when she feels most herself:

Storm is coming we feel fine
Comet's burning in the sky

I admit I'm pretty thrilled that I have a song I like so much that hit on her code name!

Do any songs represent events in your character's life? Which ones, and what do they represent?

Here is where I get to go like song by song! OH BOY.

Where is the Love is a song about the things that are wrong with the world and requesting God's help with making them better, which fits pretty well with Jeanne-Marie's version of al-Sahra and what they were doing in Africa during her childhood.

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
Or would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above

Day by Day - I wanted something that hit on Ciel's early Catholic devotion. I'm still not entirely sure I'm thrilled with this choice, but it's a pretty song! Note: this song means I often get super religious stuff in my Discover Weekly.

Smoke and Mirrors is where al-Sahra comes crashing down, which for Ciel was about more than just losing her family and her way of life. It was also about losing her idealism and everything she'd been taught about the world.

All I believe
is it a dream
that comes crashing down on me
All that I hope
is it just smoke and mirrors
I want to believe

Landslide is there to be a song about Ciel's fraught relationship with her mom. I looked FOREVER for really good mom/daughter songs, and never did find one I love. I'm also not thrilled about this one, but it does seem to work. I've always read it as about a different sort of relationship, but I think the bits about Cause I've built my life around you fit what that relationship was for Ciel.

Silence is a really great song by a Christian group I grew up listening to that is one of my favorites on this list. I love how well it captures her sense of being abandoned by the God who'd been so central in her early life. It has this haunting chorus that just keeps repeating where are you? that was at the core of my early vision of Ciel. I kind of feel like I don't do enough with it anymore and really want something to shake her up enough to get back to those roots a little.

Then comes a series of songs that basically goes 'fuck it, I'm alive and I'm here and I DO WHAT I WANT!'

Alive is on here, though I might take it off - I've co-opted it for other characters who probably fit better - but I do like the general sentiment.

Runaway is a much better fit for the sort of dramatic teenage angst that marked these years for Ciel.

You can't kick me down, I'm already on the ground
No you can't, but you couldn't catch me anyhow
Blue skies, but the sun isn't coming out, no
Today it's like I'm under a heavy cloud

And I feel so alive
I can't help myself
Don't you realize

I just wanna scream and lose control
Throw my hands up and let it go
Forget about everything and run away, yeah
I just wanna fall and lose myself
Laughing so hard it hurts like hell
Forget about everything and run away, yeah

Yeah okay, I just convinced myself to take Alive off when meme is done. ;)

Follow Your Arrow is a song that is so not my usual stye, but I kind of loved it for the way it really hits on trying to find your own way after a certain sort of upbringing. The line that won my heart was

Make lots of noise
And kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that's something you're into

I also like that it's not /just/ about rebelling, but about finding your own path, which is something that took Ciel a while. A lot of things that she did as a teen she would never do now. She's gotten more straight and narrow.

Don't Stop Me Now and Bird Set Free are both songs about Ciel claiming where she was going and who she was on her own. A little bit crazy party girl, a little bit idealism reclaimed, a lot deciding who she was and why. And I cannot resist the songs about flying free so uh.

Then we hit a set of songs that are X-Force songs. We'll Be the Stars is so chock-full of optimism (and again with the flight/space/comet stuff - I remember now that I also googled songs about comets and flying) and hope and idealism and like-- superhero wannabeness.

Oh, no, we're never gonna step too far
Yeah, we're holding on to who we are
When it's time to close your eyes
They will see us in the sky
We'll be the stars

I Wanna Fly is really similar - it's handy that flying is such a good metaphor for escaping and starting over and new beginnings.

I could quote huge portions of this song, but I'll try to restrain myself a little. When I listen to this song, though, I get this really concrete, literal sort of vision of a very young Ciel on a very early X-Force job sitting on the edge of a building somewhere foreign, very high above city lights and very far below the stars and just feeling, finally, /complete/. Like she'd found her purpose again. And then flying into the night, grinning.

I'm sitting on the edge
A thousand stars burning in the sky up overhead
How could it get more beautiful than this?
And it made me think of when, when in my life have I ever felt more infinite?
And could I ever get back there again?
That's the way it goes you fall so short, sometimes you feel so close
But when you find the thing that matters most may you never let it go
(That's the way it goes, that's the way it goes)

I wanna fly
I'm ready to burn down all the walls that I've been building up inside (Whoa)
I wanna fly and put back all the pieces of this broken heart tonight (Whoa, whoa)
Can we fly, can we fly away?

Oh, whoa, I forgot I put this one in here. You Don't Have to Let Go is one of those mother/daughter songs I looked up, and it's sort of fraught with tension and reconciliation. I think that my idea here is that Ciel didn't speak to her mother for a very long time after she went to live with Jean-Paul, and that it took her many years and a lot of confidence to bridge that gulf and have anything like a relationship with her again. This is a really great example of how playlists have helped me flesh out backstory in a way I don't always do. I'm not a super huge fan of this song on its own, but I do like what it gets at.

I don't need your strength anymore
'Cuz you have made me strong
You may not see the woman in me
That you dreamed of holding me in your arms

All the days that you gave
All the moments you saved me
Praying for my life, sacrificed just to make me
Who I am on my own

Which is why that song is followed by what I think of as the high point of her playlist. Comet is such a fun song and it's great because it's all about optimism and burning bright and the future (and in case anyone isn't aware, it was Ciel's XF codename), and it's the song that sort of represents her having her shit together and doing the thing she felt she was most meant to do. It's also really upbeat and peppy and fun. I picture this song as sort of an anthem her XF friends or team might claim as her theme song. Storm is blowing, we feel fine, Comet's lighting up the night.

Stars look different tonight as the smoke begins to rise
It paints a coat of blue and white
Then dissipates in heaven's high
We're no longer asking why as we start to realize
Change, it's just a part of life

I can't wait to see what it's like
To be weightless
To be weightless

That's followed by a pair of different XF songs - Magazine is basically about thinking you know right from wrong and believing you're on the right side. I like it less the more I listen to it, so I'm not sure if it will stay here, but I like the sentiment. Superheroes is one of my favorite X-Factor songs in general, and it's on my basic XF list. I love how it builds this story of different people finding their strengths and building power from pain

She's got lions in her heart
A fire in her soul
He's a got a beast in his belly
That's so hard to control
Cause they've taken too much hits
Taking blow by blow
Now light a match, stand back
Watch them explode

When you've been fighting for it all your life
You've been struggling to make things right
That’s a how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

AND THEN COMES RICHIE AND EVERYTHING IS RUINED. I feel like there aren't very many times when Skyfall fits perfectly, but this is totally one of them.

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
And face it all together

Pompeii is, of course, about trying to figure out where to go next when your whole world's crumbled and kind of failing (ho am I gonna be an optimist about this?). Work is another great Jars of Clay song about being lost and struggling to keep it together.

I don't have a line of prospects that can give some kind of peace
There is nothing left to cling to that can bring me sweet release
I have no fear of drowning
It's the breathing that's taking all this work

With DESTROYA we finally hit India, and a sort of 'I give no fucks' attitude. When Ciel became a mercenary, she did it by burying a lot of herself, including her idealism and her sense of right and wrong. It's a super pessimistic song that basically declares that she's no longer a hero, she's just an enemy.

If what you are,
Is just what you own,
What have you become,
When they take from you
Almost everything?

You don't believe in God,
I don't believe in luck,
They don't believe in us,
But I believe we're the enemy!

All My Life is a similar pessimistic 'what am I doing with my life' anthem, which is (thankfully?) followed by the somewhat more upbeat Alive Tonight, which is where Rohan enters. It's all about taking things in the moment and being alive-- you know. Tonight.

Run Away With Me is even more clearly Rohan, about getting lost in him, and using him as an escape. It's a little more sentimental than Ciel allows herself to admit to these days, but there was totally a time when that captured what he was to her.

Oh baby, take me to the feeling
I'll be your sinner, in secret
When the lights go out
Run away with me

There are actually a toooon of Ciel/Rohan songs that I didn't put in here because it was becoming overwhelming, so they became their own playlist, so I only kept the few that felt really core to their relationship. Otherwise we'd be in India forever instead of getting back to New York.

Away From the Sun is about realizing that you've done Questionable Things and wanting to move beyond them.

'Cause now again I've found myself
So far down, away from the sun
That shines into the darkest place
I'm so far down, away from the sun again
Away from the sun again

I'm over this
I'm tired of living in the dark

Forgiven is about moving back into a straighter path, and I love it just for its opening line: You know how us Catholic girls can be, We make up for so much time a little too late

And finally we're back in New York! There are a series of songs here that are part about Ciel's experience PI'ing with Lexie and part about X-Factor when it comes along. My favorite is Doors, which is all about starting over and recognizing doors that open and refusing to give up.

Believe is a Ciel/Rohan song about his return. Not all the details work, but the refrain, I don't even know if I believe, Everything you're trying to say to me, really captures their relationship right after his reappearance in her life, when she had a very hard time accepting anything he was telling her about his motivations or his feelings or even his past.

The next few songs are more firmly X-Factor and finding her feet again Fly, It's On Again, and Higher Ground are actually all pretty good XFS songs in general, sort of a 'I remember how to fight for things and how to believe in things' trio. I especially love 'It's On Again for XFS.

I am a freedom fighter, the name that history wrote
And even through disaster, eye of the tiger for hope
I'm tryin' to find my way back, there's no day off for heroes
And even when I'm tired, go is the only word I know

Ahh, and then here's Kade. I looked FOREVER for really good songs about young love or crushes growing into something more, but the best I could get were sappy country songs, and I cannot abide that (also, none were very good). Then I stumbled on this Adele song, and it fit so well. When I put it on this playlist, it felt a little more SERIOUS than they were at the time, but now I think it's probably close to THEIR song in my mind. It really gets at how long Ciel had had him on her mind, and how nervous she was even as she really wanted it in the beginning.

I think it also really fits now - it gets at her fears, but also his, about relationships that haven't worked and whether this one can. Also, it's just a really pretty song. I mean, Adelle.

I don't know why I'm scared, I've been here before
Every feeling, every word, I've imagined it all
You'll never know if you never try

I dare you to let me be your, your one and only
Promise I'm worthy to hold in your arms
So come on and give me the chance
To prove I am the one who can
Walk that mile until the end starts

Superpower is a super sexy Beyonce song that's about touch and sex but also about being stronger together and sort of facing the world together, and it's another song that was a Bit Much when I put it on, but that fits them really well now.

The laws of the world never stopped us once
Cause together we got plenty super power

Super power
A subtle power
Super power
A tough love
Super power
Like a shark
Super power
Like a bear
A tough love

Then we wrap it up (FINALLY) with a bunch of 'reclaiming who I am badass superhero songs. Fight Song and I Am the Fire are both songs along those lines, while Reaper is basically about clawing back up from the ground, realizing that you'd rather live another day to keep fighting, that you're not ready for death. That you've got things not only to fight for, but to live for.

You came to take me away
So close I was to heaven's gate
But no baby, no baby not today
Oh, you tried to track me down
You followed me like the darkest cloud
But no baby, no baby not today


So come back when I'm good and old
I got drinks to drink and men to hold
I got good things to do with my life, yeah
Oh, I want to dance in the open breeze
Feel the wind in my hair and hear the ocean sing
I got good things to feel in my life, yeah

Lay It All on Me is another Kade/Ciel song, this one less about love and more about the support they provide each other, how they lean on each other and make each other stronger.


Do any songs represent people or relationships in your character's life? Which ones, and who do they represent?

Ug, I'm not answering this, just see my giant thing above. There are people I kind of wish I had better relationship songs for (maybe I'll look for some), namely Jean-Paul and Lexie. Also Christian probably. I haven't really hit anything recent, so.

Would your character listen to this playlist? What song would be their favorite?

I never know what to do with character's listening habits because I never really listened to music (I actually do a lot more after I got into playlists!). I suspect that Ciel is probably fairly eclectic, with a bias toward upbeat, energetic stuff and a secret love for dark, soulful stuff. IDK.

OOC: Playlist Meme


We talked about doing a playlist meme, so here it is! This is the copy/pasteable version.

Playlist link:

How do you build a playlist? What's your process?

Is your playlist in an order? What is it?

If you had to pick one song to best represent your character, what would it be and why?

Do any songs represent events in your character's life? Which ones, and what do they represent?

Do any songs represent people or relationships in your character's life? Which ones, and who do they represent?

Would your character listen to this playlist? What song would be their favorite?

2046-07-04 Waiting


Rider came through on the ship. We're having supplies delivered. Alistair's still talking things out with the scientists. All there's left to do is wait.

Knowhere is insane right now. It's loud and happy and boisterous, and I keep finding myself almost swept up in it. I want to be swept up in it.

And then I remember, and then I feel like shit.

I don't even know how to feel about this. Everything inside me feels twisted and uncertain. I'm so glad that Kade decided to stay, because I want him here, and I need him, and I don't know if I could have made myself stay if he was really going home and I had no guarantee that I'd see him again in a week or a month instead of a year or a decade.

And I think. What kind of sister does that make me? And I think, what kind of girlfriend does that make me?

Kade has a daughter who might be grown by the time we're done.

Christian is family I never even knew I had, but he's Kane, not Beaubier, and how much does that really count anyway?

I can't stand my head right now. What did I used to do before missions, in the waiting time? I can't remember.

I am so angry, and so scared, and I don't remember it ever feeling like this.

I need to move. I need to fly. I need high places and the wind in my hair. I need to do something.

OOC - Question Meme!


Ask me questions about my characters and I will answer. The meme is entirely OOC, questions and answers both. Use it as a fun time to find about about characters' choices, motivations, feelings, actions, or anything else you've been wondering.


2046-03-20 Mess


I don't even know what to write.

I've been sitting here staring at a blank screen for fifteen minutes trying to put something down. Trying to write something. Anything.

Trying to sort out the jumbled mess that is my head.

But I don't know what to do with any of it.

I spent a lot of years thinking about my dad. For a while I had these elaborate daydreams in which he'd escaped and he was coming for me and we'd rescue mom and traipse off to live together happily ever after.

And then I grew out of that and decided that he must be dead. Shot and unreported, or unidentified, in some location I'd never know, buried in some grave I'd never be able to visit.

It's been nearly twenty years.

I don't know how to deal with the fact that I was right the first time, except for the part where he came for me. Or contacted me. Or gave a fuck about me at all.

I feel like I should care more.

I feel like I shouldn't care this much.

2046-02-09 Left on Kade's kitchen counter


Left on Kade's kitchen counter: a small tupperware container with three fresh, homemade blondies inside.

On top, a note:

Thought you might like something sweet after work, now that you don't have to guard them against the bottomless pit.

<3 C

P.S. I didn't make them - Sam Sikorski special. But I did fight Lexie for them (no murdering).

2046-01-31 TO: Jeremy Wallace


TO: Jeremy Wallace
CC: Adelle Moody, Kade Carauthers
FROM: Ciel Kane
SUBJ: Jobs

Hey -

Nehru mentioned something about profiting off this blizzard. Sounded like a good idea. Might be worth tossing up a few adds for snow-melting (if Kade's up for it) and transporation and anything else we might be good for?

I wouldn't hate having something to do.

- CK

2046-01-03 Crush


I am dating Kade Caruthers.

Writing that sentence makes me feel ridiculous. I get this stupid little urge to doodle his name and draw little hearts around it.

God, I hope he never finds out about that sentence I just wrote.

It turns out that some things are really, really hard to outgrow. Like the way my heart starts flip-flopping in my chest when he tells me I'm smart and strong and sexy. Or the way my stomach goes all fluttery when he tells me he wants me.

I used to get that way when we were so much as in the same room. And oh, if he looked at me--

That man has been unfairly sexy since the moment I met him.

It's a little weird though, right? I mean, it feels like it should feel weirder. It feels like I should be weirded out by kissing the guy I had an inappropriate crush on when I was thirteen.

And fifteen. And eighteen. And twenty-six, if we're being entirely honest.

But it doesn't. It feels really, really good, and really, really-- easy. All of it. I mean, I feel-- nervous. It's probably good that I was a little drunk and a little overwrought over Christmas, because although there is a part of me that wants him naked as soon as fucking possible, there is another part of me that is kind of just-- terrified at the thought. Which is stupid, I'm pretty sure.

But mostly, I just feel-- is it weird to feel relieved? I'm not sure that's the right word, not exactly. But there's this feeling like-- like the thing I have been waiting for is finally here. Like anticipation realized. Like waking up when you're a kid and realizing that it's Christmas Day, and there is so much good to come.

Maybe I'm being naive and optimistic. Kade seems to think so. He's got a list of the ways he's not a catch, and it's like he forgets that I already know all of them. I have a list, too, and he knows all of mine. That's part of why it feels so good.

And I've got another list, too. The one he doesn't seem to believe. The one he doesn't think applies any more. The one that starts with 'sexy as hell' and ends with 'comfortable' and has a whole hell of a lot in between.

He says he was playing James Bond for years, but he forgets that I worked next to him and fough next to him and bled next to him, and I know the truth. I know the sort of man he is. I know he's the sort of man who runs into danger and not away from it, when it's the right thing to do. I know he's the sort of man who's smart, and brave, and trustworthy. I know he's the sort of man who knows that what we did wasn't James Bond, but it was important, and it was sometimes terrifying and exhausting and hard, and he is the sort of man who can handle that, too. The sort who doesn't give up, who you can rely on, who gives up things like sleep and a normal social life because he wants to make the world better.

He wants me to believe that he's not that man anymore? He's got a lot of convincing to do. Because everything I've seen tells me that the only things that have changed are the details.

I'm not saying they aren't important details. Fuck, I know they are. It was a heavy five years. We never have talked about Staten Island. I've barely mentioned India. He's brushed over his testing work. We aren't exactly the same. I don't think we'd be doing this if we were.

But X-Force was a job you didn't do without a certain core, and no part of me believes that core is different.

I don't know how much it matters, anyway. Because the times I am with him are the times I feel most like the me I want to be.

And I don't think that's nostalgia. I don't think that's a fifteen year old crush.

I think it's just him. And me.

And it makes me really, really happy.

2045-12-30 Cherished



It's awful hard to be wary of the guy when she says he makes her feel cherished. I mean, that's a pretty strong word, right? That's a pretty specific word. It's not that he makes her happy or horny or gives her a rush. Though I'm pretty sure he does.

I mean. This is more like--

I don't even know. I don't even know what it is, except it feels bigger. It feels more dangerous, too. But the look on her face, you know?

I can't even remember the last person I would say made me feel cherished. That's not a word I'd use to describe any of my relationships in the last-- shit. In the last 30 years, maybe. Not even Levi.

My mother.

That's the last person.

Not recently. Of course. Not-- in a very long time. I mean, I barely speak to her any more. If I see her once a year, I feel like a good daughter. It's not an easy trip, for a thousand reasons, and when I'm there, I mostly feel awkward and angry and she's contrite and cutting in turn, according to her mood or my mood or the places we rub each other raw.

But before that. Before I left. Before my life blew up the first time.

I remember sitting on her lap while she sang songs to me in French. I remember holding her hand on the way to church, which was such a vastly different experience there than it is here. I remember the feel of her hand stroking my hair. The gleam in her eye on birthdays and Christmas as she presented a gift she thought I'd love.

There were other things, too. Less good things. Expectations and lectures and disappointment. It was always hot and cold with her. Extremes. I was perfection and her hope for the glorious new future we were all building, or I fell so far below her standards that she had nothing for me but sharp words and sharper looks.

Dad was more even-keeled. He had to be, I think. Something steady in the face of her ever-changing winds. He gave me sympathy sometimes, but rarely support. Not when it risked her anger. There was a very long time when I found it impossible to forgive him for that. Sometimes I'm still not sure I have.

I wish sometimes that I had more of him in me. Sometimes I feel Beaubier through and through, despite the name. With all its strengths and all its weaknesses. My mother and Jean-Paul were such variable sides to the same coin. The same traits, honed in different directions. I know I have them, too. I've been told as much, but I could see it clear, even if no one had ever breathed a word. I spent five years trying not to be my uncle, and then the next eight trying to be exactly like him. As good as him. Better than him.

And I was good at what I did. I know I was. I was smart and dedicated and I loved it. I remember that in my mother, too.

But I can't help but wonder what things would be like if I were less Beaubier and more Kane. Level-headed and congenial. Would I be happier?

Or would it all just be one boring mess?

She ran hot and cold, and her bitter freezes hurt to the core. But the warmth of her smile-- I remember that, too.

I don't think I can take cherished away from Lexie. Even if it turns out I should.

2045-12-25 Sins


Rohan thinks going to Mass a few times a year might help him find his way again. He wants me to go with him. He wants me to take him.

Part of me wonders if he thinks that, if we went to church and sat next to each other in the pew and held hands on the way in, things would fix themselves. We'd be a normal, cute little couple, doing the things normal couples do.

He has no idea what it felt like to sit beside him in that church. No idea the jarring dissonance, those words on my lips and him next to me.

Sitting there last night--

Part of me wonders how different things would be if I had never left. The list is so long, isn't it? My relationship with Jean-Paul. What I chose after X-Force fell apart. The things I did in India. Rohan. Kade.

All of it would be different. All of it would be better. Rohan wouldn't be on my doorstep because Rohan wouldn't have ever been anything. Kade wouldn't be--

That wouldn't have happened, either.

I know it's true. I stood there last night, watching the priest and the Eucharist, and I just thought -- It didn't have to be like this.

Why did I choose to let it be like this? Because I was angry at the world? Because it's too hard?

Because the thought of sitting next to someone, even someone I can't see, someone I don't know, and confessing everything buried in my heart, is terrifying?

How can I confess, even if I wanted to? I don't remember all my sins anymore.

There are too many.

It is too deep.

2045-12-20 TO: Kade

TO: Kade Caruthers
FROM: Ciel Kane
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: Re: dragons

No Russians in my immediate vicinity. Neither amplified nor nullified.

I'm fine.

- C

TO: Ciel Kane
FROM: Kade Caruthers
Subject: RE: RE: Re Dragons

Hey you.

I'm OK.

The amplifier lit me up pretty hard. Thank God nobody got hurt. Except him, and I'm not exactly crying about that. I was pretty spent after the whole thing, but I just need 12 hours of sleep and a ton of Gatorade, and I'll be right as rain.

Are you OK?

2045-12-19 TO: Kade


TO: Kade Caruthers
FROM: Ciel Kane
SUBJECT: RE: Re Dragons

Are you okay?

- C

2045-12-06 Threat


There's a new group of Russians moving in on things in town, and I feel like I can already see it play out in my head. They seem to be nastier than our current variety. I mean, I don't give much of a shit about gambling and loan sharks and whatever other stuff preys on people who want to be preyed on.

But I care a hell of a lot about running people out of my apartment building. About making kids feel unsafe where they live. As if it isn't bad enough already.

I care a hell of a lot about the guy Lexie's seeing laid up in a hospital. About her name being thrown around as a threat. There's a pretty damn big part of me that wants to tell him to keep her the hell out of this mess, and he knows exactly how. She'd kill me if she knew I was even thinking it.

But she has no idea what this is. It feels like some bullies throwing bricks and throwing their weight around, but I don't think it is. This is-- this is assholes who should've stayed in Russia. This is mob politics and mob turf and that usually means people die. And not prettily.

Ro said they had Maxim and this cop down and they taunted him. Gave him a threat to pass on. I'd almost feel better if they'd killed him.

Because not killing him means they feel awfully comfortable with pissing him off. Pissing off everyone he works with. And Ro said nothing was hitting, and we know they can fuck with mutations.

Those are some big fucking guns, you know? Those are the sorts of guns you bring to a fight you know damn well you're gonna win. They aren't messing around. They're staking their targets and they're marking out enemies and they're driving up fear.

I don't want Lexie's name on that list. She has no idea what this is.

I don't know which is worse: this ball of worry in my gut about what could be crashing down on us. Or this frisson of electric excitement at the same thought.

I need to talk to Ember.

2045-12-02 Simple


Sometimes, I miss India.

I never thought I'd say that, but it's true.

There was a simplicity there. And a freedom. I was told my job and I did it and I got paid. And at the end of the day we went out for drinks or dancing or we went to Ro's place and just didn't think.

I didn't think about anything.

I couldn't stand to. Because I knew what I'd think about myself if I ever let it cross my mind. I knew.

So I didn't think about any of it until Ro left and I couldn't stop myself anymore, and I couldn't live with myself anymore, and I ran away. Again. To the easiest, best, most uncomplicated person I knew.

And fuck, I love Lexie to death for letting me crash into her apartment and her life and never once did she make me feel like she was anything less than thrilled that I was here. And the work is okay. Maybe not as simple, but also not as dirty. Saying no means something, at least.

But shit is getting complicated again.

Cupcake wants to freaking form up, like we're who we used to be, like we're a team that knows each other and knows how to do the job. Like we'll fix the shit that's broken in this Town. Ember's a little more level-headed, but I can see it in his eyes, too. He wants it.

Or maybe I'm projecting. Maybe I want it. Maybe that's why I'm running around Brooklyn knocking on the doors of fucking Rutledges (what the fuck, by the way) looking to ID some poor dead girl so that Ro can feel better. Maybe that's why I can't stop watching Ian when he talks about his work and this fucking ghetto we live in.

I almost forget what it feels like, to do something that's more than just 'not dirty'. I used to mean something, you know? I used to make the world a better fucking place. They used to point me and I used to go, like a perfectly-tuned weapon, like the fire of righteousness cleansing the world.

I do want that. Fuck, I want it so bad that I can practically feel it glowing hot in my chest. I want to tell her 'yes' and 'call them all in' and 'let's burn them down.'

But how do I know? What do we know about them, anyway? What if our Russians - Lexie's Russian and the tepe and even Mrs. Debauer. What if they're just as bad? What if these guys are just new? How do I know? Who am I to decide?

Once upon a time things were simpler. They aimed me and I went off, and I knew I could trust it. I knew it, and it wasn't just because I didn't think about it. All the best people I knew in the world trusted it, too. It was right and maybe it wasn't always easy, but it was simple.

I miss simple. I want it back.

Maybe that's why I can't just let him walk past me on the stairs and buy his own damn gloves when it gets cold.

It used to be simple.

2045-10-20 Gone


I'm glad he's maybe getting settled.

I am.

I don't like the thought of him sleeping on park benches and spending his days drunk. I don't like the thought of him so... lost.

Then again, I don't like the thought of him two floors down, living with Nehru, working at X-Factor, and bringing me apology naan either.

What I like is the thought of him in India, squinting against the sun and the wind on his bike, or naked and sleepy in the morning sunshine in my bed. Or racing toward whatever we're racing toward with that cocky grin and a gun in his hand and absolutely no fear as he steps through my portals. Or covered in sweat and smelling of alcohol in one of those dark, loud clubs Dehli's so damn fond of.

What I like is the thought of him before he left.

But especially the thought of him before he came back.

I don't know who he is here, and he definitely doesn't know who I am.

The life I've built here has nothing to do with the one I left behind in India. Or the one I left behind before that.

My name isn't Sky. Or Comet.

Fuck, it's not even Ciel. All of them silly little nicknames for something someone wanted me to be. Maybe for things I was, even, for a time.

But now--

Fuck. I don't know anymore. I can't live in the past. I can't. It's gone. Those people I was-- they're gone.

This is what I am now.

2045-10-16 Memory


Mutant Town is starting to get claustrophobic.

No, New York is starting to get claustrophobic.

Rohan and Huruma and Sumit makes three, and I was so much happier when it felt like I'd really, truly left all that behind. Huruma always made me uncomfortable, with those razor smiles and that empath stare that says she's listening to every hint of emotion that leaks off me. She was never Sikorski. He spoiled me on psionics.

And she stands there looking between Ro and me and I know what she must be getting and it makes me itch. I can't stand it. I can't stand her and I can't stand him.

What the fuck is he even still doing here?

No, I don't care. What I care about is why the fuck does he keep staring at me like some little lost puppy dog. Why is he full of confessions and professions of-- why does he act like we were anything more than pretty comfy fuck buddies?

If we were anything more, he wouldn't have lied. If we were anything more, he wouldn't have left me bleeding on the other side of that portal.

So he ran away and go himself in trouble and didn't know where to go, and now I'm not sure if he's lying to himself or just to me. I'm not sure if it matters.

I hate that they're here at all. I hate that I have to stand in the middle of Bullseye and look Ember in the eye and tell him how I know Nehru. I hate how many people I used to know are running desperate from the sorts of guys I used to be paid to put away.

I hate that Emb's seen me like that, and I hate that he seems to understand, and I hate that it almost feels okay.

I hate that part of me isn't sure I wouldn't still be there, if Rohan hadn't left.

I hate that part of me misses it.

I miss X-Force so damn much sometimes that it aches. How stupid is that? Forget Rohan. Forget Garuda and all the mercenaries tumbling into my town. Even forget fucking Kade Caruthers. What I want most in this world is to have that back. A job that meant something. Where I trusted everyone at my back and over my head and I did something that meant something.

Where I meant something.

There are too many memories taking up residence in Mutant Town right now, and all they do is remind me that I don't mean a damn thing anymore.

OOC: RP Scav Hunt Meme


RP Scavenger Hunt! Complete as many off the list below as possible and link the scene which completes it.

Yes, scenes can count for more than one item. If you complete the list by November 8, send staff a +request and a link to your entry for a bonus luck point!

2045-09-30 TO: Jeremy

TO: Jeremy Wallace; Alexandra Brady
FROM: Ciel Kane

Got your fugitive. Bagged and delivered. Will stop by soon to chat money.

Not bad.

- C

2045-09-20 Know

Rohan is here. In New York. Still.

I've spent the past week mostly trying to pretend that he's not. That if I just-- don't look at him or talk to him or-- or smell him, with his stupid fucking smell like leather and spice. If I just don't engage with him at all, it won't be real.

Because I don't know what to do with a Rohan Ainsworth who is actually in my apartment telling me sob stories about things we never, ever told each other sob stories about and acting like he crossed an ocean to find my doorstep because he was running toward me and not away from something else.

When I do look at him, I wonder how I ever thought I knew him at all. Every inch of him is so very, very familiar, and yet it feels like I don't actually know any of it.

Not any of it that matters.

Not the parts that could step through a portal and leave me alone and not come back.

Not the parts that could sleep on my couch and not in my bed.

Not the parts that stand in front of me with that earnest look and describe some boy I never knew, but recognize anyway.

I wonder how much of it is true. And I wonder what he was like, if it is. Before they ruined him.

He's a part of a piece of my life that I hate. He was my person. But he was the person of a Ciel I don't want to be anymore. Of a Ciel I wish I never was. He reminds me of-- so many things. And some of them are so deliciously good, and some of them I wish I could just bury completely, forgotten.

And still. Something started aching when he stood there making excuses. And even though he was good enough to remind me that he never minded what we did and that he doesn't believe in heroics and that the worlds we come from are so very, very far apart, it's hard to ignore it.

It's hard not to wonder about all the shit it turns out I didn't know.