Let's Get Ready to RUMBLE!!!

OOC: I took the events from the Which Witch are you calling Crazy post and moved them to the proper chronological place, which takes place AFTER the events of this JP between Blitzen and myself.

Earlier in the Week

It was day three of Theo’s latest crazy chapter and Niko was doing a better job of picking out clothes for her, assuming he wanted her to look like a small child. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, looking fabulously twelve dressed in a purple blouse, red denim skirt, an Avengers themed ball cap on her head and her hair pulled through in a ponytail. When she was younger she’d worn something quite similar for one of the few school picture days she and Niko attended before they were pulled from classes and shifted into homeschooling. It was probably the worst decision anyone had ever made on the Maximoff’s behalf - that being the homeschooling, not the purple and red color medley.

Over the past few days her mood had been a rollercoaster of stupor and elation, tears and giggles, silence gibber and shouting. What brought each of these swings around was anyone’s guess, but deep down they all knew the cause - even Theo, though she was literally incapable of accepting it. There had been no more talk of crazy this or dangerous that, but there’d also been no scramble to reinstate her security access beyond the minimum level. Hell, there were bathrooms she still wasn’t authorized to access.

This morning she was quite responsive and much more her old self, which is to say she knew who she was, where she was, why she was here and what the others were doing. What she was supposed to be doing or why she felt so scattered were uncelebrated secrets her mind would not address. In fact, her mind entombed that insupportable awareness deeper with each passing day. She still couldn’t work up the energy to do much in the way of cleaning or helping or following a train of thought and by noon she’d be so exhausted she would fall asleep wherever Niko put her. The others had learned to give her space when she was sleeping as those periods were accompanied by localized disturbances; strange sounds that were almost whisperings but not quite; uncontrolled flux in the temperature and spooky dark spots in corners. They’d taken to testing the doorknobs and handles after finding them scalding hot or freezing cold and soon enough avoided her all together. But this morning Theo seemed to show signs of coming round. She sat there slipping on a pair of thick leather workman gloves - Niko’s idea to keep her hands safe as she’d shown a tendency to trail them along the walls or carelessly pick up sharp debris. Another benefit was that they prevented her from doing much magic, or so Niko had hunched and surmised.

“It’s hard to scratch the inside of my nose with these on,” Theo muttered, staring down at her hands which looked huge. “And I can’t hold the paintbrush very well either. At least I no longer have to worry about those little straws in the juice boxes. Because those are for crazies." She looked up at Niko accusingly.

"No juice boxes,” Niko held his hands up in defense, “and I told you - you are NOT crazy. Here's your PB&J, extra jelly, no crusts, just like you like it.”

Theo fumbled with the slices of bread, but gloved as she was, she managed only to crumble the crustless edges and cover her fingers in jelly. "It smells psychotical!"

“You smell too!” He grumbled back childishly. Both Maximoff’s gave each other the evil eye until Theo turned around and sniffed her armpits to make sure it wasn’t true. It wasn’t; she smelled like fruits and the spring of the Irish. Time to change the subject against her cousin. “Why are there so many computers in this place? They put one in every room, but when I try to use them nothing works.” Theo wanted to look up the names of those medications HELEN slung at her, but she had not yet managed to make it to the public library as Niko refused to let her wander off on her own. She normally forgot anything that sounded like science or medicine as soon as it passed her ears so the fact that each of those fancy drug names was still firmly in her mind was not a good thing.

“I thought we weren’t speaking.” Niko retorted, mostly to avoid the question. “Speaking of, how long are we not speaking for? I need a time frame, Miskja, so I can set an alarm, otherwise I'll forget to be angry."

"For sure not before this place is cleaned up because I hate using a broom. And for sure not before I find the rest of those white leather uniforms. Let me just check my critical almanac for a celestial calendar...” But of course Theo could no better turn the pages in her journal than she could pry apart the PB&J sandwich. “I think Friday looks good. But don't forget, I'm still mad at you until then and we're not talking. Also I've been having THOSE kind of dreams about Thorson. He must be dreaming of me too, right? Yes, that’s how it works.”

“If we were speaking, which we aren’t, I’d tell you to use this cell phone to listen to music before bed so you stop having sex dreams about Thorson. I don’t know how comfortable this would make him.” He queued up the “Theo’s Playlist” he’d created just for her and set down a pair of wireless earbuds on the table. “And, since I know you won’t do that, and we’re not speaking, I don’t want to hear about your dreams at all.”

Theo sighed and looked sad. She missed arguing with Niko. And she really wanted a juicebox. She’d given them up cold turkey after eighteen years of a heavy sweet tooth jones. You couldn’t just kick a monkey like that off your shoulder. Fortunately there was delicious, sugary jelly to fall back on. “Deal. But if I have a scary dream you still have to help me go back to sleep. Even before Friday. Uncle Pietro said so.”

Niko raised both eyebrows. What kind of statement was that? Scary dreams were a given, they transcended anger. "Of course. Also if I get a splinter, you can magic it out so no tweezers will be needed. But aside from that? Angry."

“Furious.” Theo nodded in the affirmative, putting on her most serious face which required pursed lips and knitted eyebrows.

"Completely irate. Try to clean something today, Miskja. Oh, I bought you some new slippers, they're by the bed. You got paint on the last ones. And I set out some of that tea you like. But now I'm really, really done talking to you, and will storm away!"

“Thanks… I mean - whatever.” Theo shrugged her shoulders and whipped around on the edge of the bed so she didn’t have to watch Niko leave. And far from storming, he left slowly and quietly and closed the door behind himself. As there was absolutely no reason to maintain a perfectly good pout when there was no one there to see it, Theo softened her pose and turned around to eye the phone Niko had tossed onto her bed. She took a bite of her sandwich and used one of her gloved hands to slide the phone closer to her, careful not to touch it longer than needed in case it should shock her as she feared all electronic devices were prone to do. They weren’t, but she wasn’t burdened by things as they are; her burdens were things as she thought they were.

Later in the Week

The remaining days until Friday were just as strained. To Niko, for whom time moved slowly enough as it was - they crawled at an even more glacial pace. By Wednesday he was prepared to forget about the fight, but the alarm on his phone reminded him they were still angry regardless. And Theo’s temperament continued to fluctuate wildly. Niko had seen it before and thought he knew what to expect, but it didn’t make things any easier. It may have looked like tantrums and drama bomb conduct on Theo’s part, but Niko knew otherwise. His cousin was working through something that she’d worked through before and it would only get worse until she eventually buried the disclosure and went on believing she was normal, which in many ways she was. Just not in the ways that society could accept.

Let’s watch shit fall apart.

“Niko!!!!” The walls to the Compound’s east wing actually shook as Theo screeched at the top of her lungs.

Niko had just took a bite into his cereal when he heard Theo’s shout. Forgetting about food - about anything else - his cousin needed him, and an audible “crack” could be heard when he took off running. “Miskja! Theo! What’s wrong!” He asked, his heart in his throat as he looked around. He’d found Theo in the game room and by the looks of things he’d need a diversion.

“You told me I wasn’t crazy and I was crazy enough to believe you!” She held something in her hand and with a flick of her wrist tossed it Niko’s way. It was his phone and it hung in the air before his face, displaying a long chain of text correspondence he’d shared with Dr. Lollis.

Niko's texts to Lollis:
N: You said to contact you if anything unusual happened, well something unusual is happening. Call me.
-Incoming call from Dr. Lollis-

N: Things are getting worse since we spoke, I really need help.
-Incoming call from Dr. Lollis-

N: Theo had the worst meltdown I've seen ever. I don't know what to do and I'm worried, I had to use a sedative. Call me back, soon, please!
-Incoming call from Dr Lollis-

N: I don't know what to do, doc, I don't know how to help, and none of your shit is working, if anything it's making shit worse. If you can't help me, find someone who can.

Ugh. She was just angry again. The speedster couldn’t seem to do anything right as of late, and he found himself being angry at her for being angry at him. "For the last time, you aren’t fucking crazy! And why are you spying on my texts!” He accused, ripping his phone from mid air. “I don’t spy on ... Wait, did you read the ones from the Fast Ticket Checker girl?"

"I don’t care if you catch a mobile STD from that skanky girl. But when your dick falls off I’m not sewing it back on. Don’t change the subject. I didn't mean to read them. I was looking for my music you made because I couldn’t sleep. But you know I can't work this cursed device; it only has one button!”

“That's not a thing! And you didn’t mean to, but you did. I don’t read your… your alma-mata!”

“But I want you to read my almanac.” And she actually stamped her foot. “I ask you all the time to read my almanac. It’s full of amazing things. Almanac. All you ever say is I wrote it too slow and it hurts your head. And when I try to tell you about my sexy dreams with Thorson you don’t want to listen. So why are you telling Doctor Lolly all my business? I thought you said I was fine and everyone was just being weird about nothing, but that’s not what you said to Doctor Lolly!”

"I don't read unless I have to, and you need to stop going through my stuff. You ARE fine, and I am done talking about the subject,” he said stubbornly, folding his arms in front of him.

“Even better - stop talking and just listen. I’m not smart, but I’m not dumb either. I know you say one thing to me and something else to Doctor Lollis. You probably say something else to the rest of the team, too. My team, Nikolai Krzysztof Maximoff. I’m supposed to be their leader, but they look at me like I might hurt them at any moment or myself.” Theo started yanking the thick gloves from her fingers. “I’ll give them someone they can follow, someone they’ll listen to. I’ll magic it into their fucking heads if I have to. And I’m warning you Nikolai - if you sedate me one more time I’m going to… well I don’t know what I’m going to do, but it will be bad and you won’t like it. And neither will your little hussy at the Corner Costco. The gloves are off, buddy!” She tossed the gloves on the floor to make her point. Then kicked them a few feet.

“Magic does something to you, something they don’t understand; something I don’t understand, and I used to think Dr. Lollis understood but he doesn’t understand either. I promised I would look out for you, and I kept my promise! And you don’t make it easy! You go and talk like you’re Aunt Wanda or refuse to wear clothes, and you blame me, and whatever, Theo. I’ll keep my word and if that means you hate me, then you go ahead and hate me. That’s just too bad. And if you magic me--"

“Oh I’m going to magic you so hard, Nikolai! So hard! And not the kind of magic me and Thorson share either. Now get out before I do something you’ll regret."

"Too late! I already regret it! You can’t magic what you can’t catch. And so we are clear, I'm getting out, but not because you told me to, because I am done listening to you, for good!" He cussed in Sokovian to show his frustration. "Even if you have a bad dream! You want to be alone, be alone!" In less than a blink, Niko was gone.

She hated it when he did that; it was impossible to get the last word with a Speedster. Theo screamed and started knocking chairs over. “I’m never alone… Always the murmur and motion and mockery nagging at my thoughts.” Her magic-enshrouded hands pitched back and forth to send the furniture smashing into the doorway until it piled up and barricaded her inside. She ranted and raved and damaged the room and its contents, but her tantrum burned out in short order. Then she got quiet and started pacing, frantically searching through her almanac. Hours went by and she ended up exploring the walls of the room, feeling her way across their surface and scribbling notes on the walls. Her behavior continued spiraling into the strange and by the time the sun went down she’d fallen asleep on her feet in the corner, braced against the space where the walls met. For the first time in her life, it seemed Niko really had left her alone.

A few hours later Theodosia opened her frenzied eyes and went straight back to it.

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