2007-12-15: Snow Miser, Heat Miser


Cam_icon.gif Church_icon.gif

Summary: Lawrence finally confronts Cam about his doom powers. There is a measure of balance between the two abilities, as it so happens.

Date It Happened: December 15th, 2007

Snow Miser, Heat Miser

Brubaker Secondary School - Administration Offices

It has been a few weeks of relative calm at Brubaker, complete with all its simmering violence and missing links. While it's not been entirely rid of trouble, it has at least lessened a few degrees to the point that even some of the adults have tried to enforce themselves again, for good and for bad. Church has been in the middle of much of this, and despite his less bubbly winter mood, seems to have been handling it well enough. With a clean plate and a somewhat clear conscience, Lawrence has called Cam down to the offices from a study hall; for what, the call did not say, but chances are that it was implied to be something relevant to the past weeks. Only when things start will it be clear that it was not. The counselor's desk is oddly organized, and the man holds a Rubik's cube in both hands, fingers swiveling it about while he waits.

It's just a couple minutes after being sent that Cam's arriving in the office, knocking on the door as he steps in. "You wanted to see me, Mr. Church?" The boy looks just the tiniest bit nervous, but likely more at the prospect at being seen coming to see Church than fear of the man himself.

Sitting there, sleeves rolled up and partially looming over that plastic cube he holds over his desk, Lawrence really isn't very scary right now even if that was the case. "Hello, Cam. Go on and shut the door, and have a seat please?" Church speaks, not quite ready to look up. It is quite possible that he is still thinking over how to approach this best.

Cam nods quickly, and steps back to shut the door. He walks over to the desk, plopping into the seat opposite Church and scooting back so he's sitting straight in the seat, though it leaves his feet not quite touching the floor. "This about Marshall? He's not coming back to school, is he?"

"Not until after the winter break." Lawrence spares that much for the boy, out of consideration. "You've got a few weeks to spare. Even then, I'm not sure he'll be welcomed back with open arms." Don't worry so much. The man frowns openly at the cube before setting it down on his desk. "But that's not why I called you down, Cam. I called you in about something new. Somewhat new."

Cam bites his lip, but nods a little. "He'll still want to get me, probably." Then, though, the something 'new' is brought up. He blinks, but asks curiously, "What is it?"

Church puts both elbows on the desk, staring over at the boy for a few extra seconds, one thumb lifting to scratch at his chin. "You remember the day I caught him, right?" Of course he will, but Lawrence is leading up to something else. Honest.

Cam nods quickly to that and says, a slight frown of confusion on his face at the question, "Yeah. 'Course I do." His feet swing slightly under his chair, as he waits to find out what Church is leading up to.

"When I came in, I do remember you having tears in your eyes." Which is embarrassing to mention for Cam, and heartbreaking for Lawrence. "You were okay, i remember, but they.. weren't normal tears, were they?"

Cam bites his lip again, looking down a moment, and shrugs a little, saying a bit defensively, "I was scared you weren't gonna show up. And it *hurt*." Then, though, the last question registers, and he suddenly tenses, looking nervous again as he looks back up. "What do you mean?"

Church has enough years under his belt to see that tensing and nervousness and register it as a big fat 'Yes, sir'. "I hope that you already know what I mean, Cam. If I'm right, then I'd appreciate it if you didn't dance around, kiddo." He acts as if it might be something Not Unusual at all, something as common as asking what he had for lunch. To a degree. "If that's not the case, then my mistake." It is easier to always assume that they know about themselves. At least, that is from experience. With Adults, however.

Cam looks to Church a moment, then looks down to the floor once again. He doesn't say anything, not yet anyway, just nods a little, shoulders slumping a bit. Then, though, he looks back up, "You're not freaking out? That mean you…" He trails off, though, unable to quite put words to the question.

"Be a bit more specific, hm? It'd help if I knew what you thought I should be freaking out about." Well, that is one way for Church to find out what he does. He only has a guess, but it's a pretty accurate one regardless. Lawrence's hand finds a stray pen from his desk, fingers twitching it with a dull tap-tap-tap on the desktop.

Cam looks to Church a few more moments, thoughtful. Deciding if he can trust. Of course, he's already put his life into the man's hands once, so the answer probably isn't too surprising. Though, he doesn't actually, verbally answer. He leans forward, placing his hand on the man's desk. A thin layer of ice starts to form over the desk. Not very much of it at all, but far more than could be rationalized away.

Church leans back when Cam leans forward, eyes on the boy's hand as it moves out. Score. But as the layer forms, there is also a slightly forlorn look to Lawrence's otherwise pleased features. Figures, not months after smearing an Ice-Man over on Level Five, he finds one here. A few other things click into place as well- largely Cam's relationships with Lee and Niki, respectively. There is no freaking out(and no verbal response, for that matter), but Lawrence seems to be quite interested- even putting out his fingers to touch his newly frosted desktop.

Cam sits back again then and pulls his feet up onto his chair, so he's holding his knees to his chest. An instinctive defensive response as he waits for Church to say something.

Church keeps his peripheral vision on Cam, the corners of his mouth twitching at once. Despite Cam's waiting for a verbal response, what he gets is more physical. Reactive, really. The cold layer of ice meets the increasing hotness of Lawrence's palm on top of it. First, it melts a hand-shaped spot, followed by the rising puff of steaming air into the room as the rest follows. It leaves Church with a big, wet, evaporating spot on his desk. At least he had no papers there, right?

Cam pulls back in his chair slightly at the first sign of the steam rising. Once that initial flash of panic fades, though, he grins and says, "Awesome."

"I'm suddenly glad that my desk was clean today." Lawrence glances over at his cabinets and out-box, eyebrows lifting in exaggerated thought. Afterwards, he looks back to Cam with a far gentler expression, and he sweeps his hands over the still-drying desk. It's a few degrees warmer in the room now, but not by much. "Are you okay with me knowing, Cam?" Not that it makes a lick of difference, in the end- Cam will still have his name plugged into Company databases.

Cam, of course, has no clue Church works for the Company… or even, really, anything else about it except for some warnings. He laughs a little at the first comment, but at the question he nods quickly and says, "Know I can trust you."

"And what about me? Can I trust you too, kid?" Lawrence flicks the pen in his fingers at the air again. "…Can I ask how long you've known? Or would that be too much prying?" He laughs out of mostly-fake nervousness.

Cam nods quickly again and says, "'Course! I won't tell anybody, swear it." His feet start to swing once again as he relaxes, and shakes his head, "It's ok. Found out little over a year ago."

"Interesting." Lawrence glances towards his door out of habit; it seems like whenever he is about to work something out, something else starts happening. It is his lucky day, because nothing comes through that door, nor is there anyone waiting outside. "I hope it wasn't too much of a shock for you?" Church chuckles again, tapping the pen onto the top of his other hand when it rests on the desk.

Cam nods quickly and says, "It sure was! Didn't know what was happening! I kept freezing stuff I didn't mean to. Still happens, sometimes, if I'm really scared, or if I get wet and I'm not holding it back, but usually it doesn't."

"That reminds me… I did hear something about people finding ice in the showers. A couple months back, I think. Was that you?" Lawrence makes an amused sound through his nose, between a snort and a laugh.

Cam looks a bit embarassed at that, but nods a little. "Back when I was living at the shelter, Mr. Jones said I had to have a shower every day before classes. It's really hard to hold it back when I'm showering, so I just let it go when there wasn't anybody around."

"I think I understand that." Church does. Really. Ages ago, he had to take a lot of Really Hot showers. Really, Really Hot. So hot that anyone else would come out of them with burns. "At least you were careful about it. I think they assumed it was some kid dumping cubes. Maybe from one of those big convenience store drinks." Lawrence holds his hands up and boxes an invisible Big Gulp. Drains are drains are drains, everyone figured.

Cam looks just a little relieved at the first part, and then nods quickly, "Kinda hoped people would think something like that. Heard some kids say it's a ghost, though. 'Cause on Ghost Hunters, ghosts make things cold when they do things." He grins.

Church grins, the edges of his eyes creasing in amusement. "A ghost isn't the strangest thing. Either way is best, cause it never points back to you." He eyes the pen in his hand for a moment. "Out of curiosity- how cold can you make something? Or have you never tried?"

Cam hesitates, and says, "Dunno if I can make anything cold. I just know how to do ice. I can freeze any liquid, I think… any I've tried, anyway. Dunno how cold it gets, though."

"To make ice out of water, you do need to bring the temperature below freezing. So that's what you know for sure." Lawrence sways slightly on the edge of his chair, silently trying to not go on and on about how Cam technically doesn't control ice by itself. "Have you tried learning more about the physics behind it? Forgetting that whole…phenomena thing- I found that it helps.."

Cam nods quickly and says, "Yeah! When I first started classes here, my science teacher was talking about heat and how stuff freezes and goes between liquid and solid… but we only did it for a bit, and went on to other stuff. Dunno where else to look."

Don't know? What do they teach these kids? Jeebus. "Well, Cam, there's a special place for that kind of thing. It has lots of shelves and books, and most of them have free computers which in turn have a thing called Google." Sure, Lawrence might sound a bit lippy, but it is good-natured lippy. He smirks just a bit. "I don't know what they tell you kids about research these days. The school library has less, but it's more likely to have things that you'll understand. The public library obviously has a lot more. But if you're curious, books don't bite."

Cam rolls his eyes at that and grins, "I know how to search! Just, the stuff I found was either the stuff they talked about in class, or using lotsa words I never even *heard* of. Ain't seen nothing that tells me how I can make ice outta thin air, or where all the heat goes."

That's a little bit better. "Ice freezing is an exothermic reaction. Freezing something releases the heat, but once it is stopped being frozen, the heat simply comes back until everything balances out." Church has a vague attempt at actually teaching for a few seconds. "Ice never comes out of thin air. There's pretty much always something to freeze. You have around two, three options- learn some new vocabulary, or keep trying to find something that you can read without falling asleep. If you feel adventurous, you could always try cornering the Earth Science teachers?"

Cam blinks, and says, "Oh." He considers that a moment, and then says, "But the water in the ice I make, when I'm not freezing stuff, it isn't coming from me, cause I don't get thirsty or anything. Where else does it come from?" Then he makes a face at the suggestion and says, "Dunno how to ask without saying why. I tried. Guess I'll try to learn new words."

"It's easier to lie about something like this than to try and explain it." Church folds his hands over the desk. "The humidity seems to be the biggest factor with what you supposedly can handle. Water vapors in the air. Sometimes if it's hard to understand something, it's worth just practicing and measuring how cold you can make something, or how brittle, how hard- you know. Trial by error." Lawrence continues, but winces a bit as he does. "I don't know as much about lower temperatures. I'm a a Heat Miser kinda guy."

Cam nods a little and says, "I tried lying. But when I asked what could make ice enough to freeze a door shut when there wasn't any rain, all he said was someone probably dumped water on it." Then he nods at the explanation, "Oh, ok." He nods quickly again, "I'll keep trying stuff.. and I'll try to freeze stuff other than water too, see if that works."

"Practice makes perfect, right?" Lawrence smirks, and pauses. "…Have you ever looked at a book called Activating Evolution? It is a textbook sort, but more than relevant.." This is going way better than he really thought it would. Maybe it is fate giving him a new chance with the whole… 'ice-men' deal.

Cam shakes his head a bit, and says, "But I heard about it. I know a scientist at the university that's working on that stuff. But when they mentioned the book, everybody said it's really complicated."

That book may only cover some areas of abilities, but it is still practically a bible among books. As Cam finishes, Lawrence leans over to the bottom drawer of his desk, opening it. After a moment of shuffling around, he pulls out that big blue textbook. On top of it, however, is a smaller book- the study book for it. Not quite cliff notes, but not quite that different. "This is my copy- I brought it today in case we did get this far." Church never expected to. "If you want to borrow it, you can."

Cam blinks, and comments, "Everybody's always giving me books." He grins though and says, "But it's cool. Thanks. I'll try to figure it out over Christmas. Unless they come make me move or something."

"I've just about memorized this, you know. I don't think I can learn much else from it-" Church grins back at Cam. "In fact, I think you can just have it. Consider it an attempt at reparation for the plan I involved you in." His hand lifts out to silently push the books the rest of the way over to the desk's edge.

Cam blinks, but smiles still, nodding, "Ok, thanks." He leans forward to take the books, looking at them a moment before looking back up to Church. "Thanks for the talk too."

"I just wanted to touch on this, because if it turned out true, then I wanted to make sure we did know about each other." Lawrence nods just once, then examines the boy for a few more passing moments. "I wanted to make sure you know that I'm here if you need me for more than just school problems, okay? I wasn't sure when I called you.. but now that we're in the clear it's something you should remember."

Cam nods a little to that and says, smiling a bit again, "Thanks. I… don't really got anything to ask right now, but I'll come if I do." He stands up as he asks, "That it for now, sir?"

Church nods quietly. "Yes, Cam. That's all. Go on back to study hall. I'll see you around." With that, Lawrence sends the boy a smile and a slight wave of farewell.

Cam nods quickly again and smiles, "See you later." Holding his books with one hand, he opens the door and then waves as he slips out the door.

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