Get Over Yourself

May 28, 2015:

Psylocke and Cyclops have something of a confrontation.

X-Men: Red Headquarters


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Red-X doesn't have a Danger Room, but it's got a very workable gym, with the sort of equipment needed for even some of the strongest members of the X-men to get on for strength training. Psylocke, since her liberation from the Triskelion and rescue from The Hand, had virtually lived in the gymnasium since she'd taken temporary residence at their field quarters. Betsy Braddock had never been much of a weight-lifter before her dramatic change, but this new Psylocke seems to enjoy the exercise.

Wearing yoga pants and a razorback sports bra, Psylocke is doing clean sweeps with a substantial amount of weight. Pickup, lift, drop. Breath. Repeat. From her motions, she's not using her telekinetic abilities to augment herself- this is raw muscle at work as she throws well over her body weight up over her head several times in a row, easily.


While Scott Summers isn't a member of X-Red, he's spent more time at Red HQ recently. Everyone is well aware that it's important to protect his identity as 'Cyclops, Leader of the X-Men', so while here, he's simply Scott Summers, a school teacher from upstate who's here to take care of a friend in trouble.

Its late in the evening, and there's a lot on Scott's mind. It's sheer happenstance that he finds himself in the gymnasium, wearing sweat pants and a gray muscle shirt, with a fresh towel wrapped around his head. He's not here for weight training, as evidenced by the bandages he's busy wrapping around each fist. A glance is sent Betsy's way, one eyebrow arched before he turns back to the large punching bag, drawing a deep breath of air. Wasting no time, he gives the bag a set of testing jabs, before laying into it with a few direct punches. A warm up, if you will.

"You're up late."


Psylocke does two more reps before she responds, apparently finishing that set. "I don't need much sleep," she responds in neutral tones, not looking back at Scott. "A few hours a night, unless I'm recuperating. It's time well suited for exercise or training."

She stoops over and and adds several pounds to the barbells, forearms cording with muscle as she clamps on the safety brackets, then picks the affair up and throws it over her head again.

"You're dropping your left elbow on your second jab," she says belatedly.


"You're gonna strain something if you aren't careful." Scott returns fire with a dryness that might make a lesser being scream. "I must be getting sloppy."

Scott circles back for a moment, hopping a few times to help get his blood flowing, before laying back into the item with a similar pattern, only this time, the left elbow problem is somewhat corrected. Still needs work.

"Forgive me -" BAM BAM "- for asking the obvious -" BAM "- but what's with the change of -" BAM BAM BAM "- the change of face?"

Sure, hefeels a bit sour about how he ended things with Betsy. He never really gave them the chance they deserved, he just ran off on his solo, angst-ridden globe-trotting mission, which turned out to be utterly fruitless. It was a dick move. He'll admit that internally. Outwardly though? The guy is just too self conscious to say it.


Betsy exhales sharply in an irritated huff. "Do I need to put up a notice on the bulletin board?" she asks, a bit rhetorically. She shakes her head, sending her ponytail dancing across her shoulderblades, and lifts the bar over her head with a bit more force than before. "I was kidnapped and brainwashed. They ripped my soul apart and shove it back into someone else's body. It's not as if I went out and picked up some cosmetic surgery, to become the world's tallest Asian." She growls inaudibly under the polish of her cultured British accent and tosses the barbells aside, planting her hands on her hips and still not quite looking at Scott.


Picking up the pace, Scott punches at the bag a few more times, until he hauls back to give it a good body lunge. He judges the swinging response, then jabs at it twice to slow its pendulum. Betsy's response, at first, draws a smirk to his face. However, the story itself is not nearly as entertaining.

Scott glances her way, now frowning. "That sounds terrible." For a moment, at least, the dryness is gone, and there is genuine concern in hisvoice. It lasts a few seconds, before he's turning back to the punching bag, assaulting it with rapid, skillful strikes. "Are you doing alright now?" he asks, knowing full well that if she claims she is, it's got to be bull. Nobody goes through something like that and comes back feeling hunky dory.


"No." At least she's honest about it. "I'm still sorting out Betsy from Kwannon. I remember being ten and riding ponies with my father," Betsy says. "I also remember being ten and looking at Tokyo Bay for the first time. I have these memories of family and friends and people and I /can't/ have all of those memories. But I do, and they're there, and I'm trying to figure out if I'm going crazy or… or if this is just /who I am/ now. And I'm trying not to let it turn into a bloody existential crisis."


Beneath the ruby glasses, Scott's eyebrows pinch in on each other. "I couldn't imagine." And he truly can't. Perhaps if he wasn't punching the hell out of that bag and working up a decent sweat, he might have the brain space to actually consider what it must be like, but there's too much stress he's trying to work out. Priorities, and all.

"Word of unsolicited advice?" He punches the bag two more times, then hops back and turns toward Psylocke, putting out a hand to stop the bag in its place. "Go upstate. Speak with the Professor." His attention lingers upon her for another moment. Barring the use of psionic powers, it just might be visible; a twinge of guilt.


Psylocke turns to look at Scott, then, and it's at that moment her expression is the most cruel- it's devoid of any emotion at all. No hate, or bitterness, or affection or lust. "I don't need a psychiatric evaluation, Scott. I need time. I need to sort out who I am, now. On some level, I'm not Betsy Braddock- not the Betsy you- everyone- remembers," she says, gesturing vaguely with one hand. "I have all these ideas and memories and… everything that Betsy never did." She stoops and picks up the barbell with one hand and tosses it at the rack, where it smashes into the support stand with a clatter of steel on steel. "Perhaps coming back here wasn't a good idea."


Ironically? Scott's feelings are not hurt. On the one hand, he was with Jean. On the other, he knows he was an ass. In a way, he had it coming.

The poor barbell did not.


Scott steps away from his punching bag and approaches Betsy. He stops well outside of her personal space, and seems to be only partially between her and the door. "Look. The way I did things, was…" A pause. Perhaps the attempt to conceal a grimace. "It wasn't okay. I was angry, and honestly? Scared for those kids. But I shouldn't have just walked off on you, and I'm sorry."

He holds up a bandaged hand in an effort to maintain her from any response just yet. "Thing is, we need you, Bets. Now more than ever. I need you to sort your shit out, we need to put this -" He gestures between the two of them "- behind us, because the X-Men need you. Coming back here was a damned good idea, and you know it."


Betsy gives Scott an arc look when he starts to approach, as if prepared to put a physical barrier between them- possibly her fists- if he came any closer. When he stops, she comes off the balls of her feet a fraction of an inch. "I don't know that it was, Scott," she says, bluntly. "Good for you. Not good for me. And right now, I need to figure out what's good for /me/. Who I am. And I don't need my life complicated by you thinking there's a 'this'-" she gestures, angrily- "Between us that needs resolution. That's done. Door closed," she says, her accent growing sharply precise. "Don't drag it back out to try and make youself feel better about your life choices."


For all of his attempts at maintaining his cool, that one stung. Where one can't see the expression in his eyes, Scott's lips part, and his eyebrows rise. A few moments later, he closes his mouth and seems to steel himself over.

"The government has developed a device that can detect the X-Gene." His words now come coldly, more militant in nature. "We've confirmed it. There are people ready to murder cops over it. President Upton is about to put the hammer down on the metahuman community. He's got the support of congress, hell, probably eventhe Supreme Court. We've got a nation-wide drug epidemic that's specifically targeted mutants. You're a good person, Elizabeth. You've got skill, and you make the right decisions when it's important. So." Scott takes a step aside, giving her a clear path to the door, while folding his arms over his chest. "Like I said. Sort out your shit."


Betsy considers Scott's words. She obviously is thinking, and processing them. She steps closer to Scott, then, in a deliberate, low swagger that does nothing to conceal the murderous intent in her face. She gets right in Scott's visor viewport, staring at him with unblinking eyes. Nothing is said. Nothing needs to be said. Betsy was a little scary before Mojo got his hands on her- she became almost a different person after she adopted the name Psylocke. Now, with months of brainwashing and training and another personality rattling around in her brain, there's no telling what violence she's thinking of unleashing.

And then the moment passes, and Psylocke stalks out of the gym with a deliberate and unhurried stride, shoes soundless on the floor.


Guess what, buttercup. Been through worse.

Perhaps that's not true entirely, but Scott has seen his fair share of excitement in recent months. Riding a nuclear warhead into the stratosphere among them. There is a moment where he stiffens, then relaxes, as if ready to endure whatever blow she delivers. His fingers even curl in response. But then, the moment passes. He turns to watch as she stalks off, quietly considering what… just happened.

Scott turns after a moment, breathing out through his nose until he comes back upon that punching bag. With a grunt, he goes back at it, jabbing and socking away at the sack of rice with renewed ferocity.

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