In The Grey

May 31, 2015:

Rose proposes an interesting situation to Jean; Elizabeth weighs in and Lunair gets roped.

Jean's Office


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Betsy pushes in the door to Jean's office, striding in breezily. She'd peeked ahead to make sure her friend was alone and decent, of course. The leggy ninja moves in a few paces and stops in front of the desk, fingers snugly hooked into her jeans pockets. "Hey. Busy?" she asks the redhead, flicking her purple-tinted hair back over her head. She balances easily in wedge heels that push her up to a point where she can look most of the team members in the eye, cocking a hip and a leg out for balance and shifting her weight over the other. It's a nice day outside- birds singing, sun shining. Classes are in swing, but it is during Jean's ostensible office hours between classes, when it's easiest to catch her at her desk.

Classes were taught that day, papers pushed upon her desk as a favor to Scott. Which means yes, she was grading his papers, and she was sure the students could tell because she's a lot easier upon them than he. She often leaves little smiley faces in the corners of the paper to mark her signature where his should be, so there was that.

But the day was coming and going, pot of coffee settled upon her desk, poured into the cup which was darker than black, heavier upon the taste and meant to rile the soul. As the door opens and the leggy woman enters, Jean leans back upon her chair to take in the full weight of her, her eyes wide for a moment then lowered, lips bunching as she tries to formulate a proper response that didn't seem as if she were dismissive.

"Today, yes. I'm taking up Mr. Summers work load, not to mention, I have an appointment in two hours with a couple of parents to talk about their childrens misdeeds." Little Angie glued her hands into Bryant's hair. And he had to be shaved. People were not too happy about that.

"Little break is in order. Cop a squat. What's on your mind?"

Rose does not have a 'heads up' or 'just checking' feature, and right now Nate is not with her, so that line is muted to her and she has to fly by the seat of her pants. Which is how she likes it anyway, whether others do or not.

Treaded and deeply soled boots add more weight to the carriage of the woman as she heads down the hall, belts and buckles of the pants heralding the approach as well, strapped around knee to combine it to the other leg where black denim bleeds into slides held together by belts as well, then lower clasped to the all too short shorts via bungee hook like garters. Taking the back way had a purpose, because within those belted clasps around thighs and legs guns were holstered, locked and safetied, but she had been told the kids were not to see this. A hard sight to see with the trench coat, but sometimes with each step it is hard to miss the extra bit of metal that is not as thinly tuned as a buckle. Abdomen is bare and a halter top looks as if it is torn just to fit in style, bearing in old wester font 'Wanted' across it, worn as if the poster hung for months in the desert. Long white hair is in its typical viking braided mohawk, hanging down her back below shoulder blades, no longer keeping her hair swept across her face to hide one that was once missing, and now a milky white bionic…

Thanks to Jean - these people which is why Rose now finds herself stepping in without a knock, staring at the ninja puple people eater and the ninja ginger. In tandem with the door open she raps with her words. "Knock. Knock."

Betsy catches the 'Mr. Summers' comment, and Jean would pick up on the inscrutable expression that passes for one of her more grateful smiles. Dehumanizing Scott might be a bit childish, but it does help them skip over potential sticking points in their friendship. Also, it makes Betsy feel a bit smug, though she'd never cop to it.

Rather than copping a squat literally, Betsy moves to a comfortable chair and sits primly on the seat, crossing her legs elegantly and just barely leaning her lower back against the cushion in as relaxed a posture as she ever really assumes. She gathers her wealth of black hair and tugs it together and then pulls it forward to drape across her collarbone. "I've had an interesting few days," she says, resting her interlaced fingers on her lap. "I think there's a boy I met who-"

She breaks off when Rose enters, both of her narrow eyebrows climbing minutely as she examines the woman's appearance, looking at Rose with a flatly curious expression. <Did she rob Hot Topic?> Betsy thinks, the flickering thought aimed at Jean's mind.

Hey, they were in school! Children may have been walking past the door to giggle and snigger at her using Scott's first name. There was a time she did, and was met with a 'ooooo! Missus Greeeeyyy!' remark that gained the child a hiss and a gnashing of teeth in reply. It was all in good fun though.

But someone caught her kissing Santa Claus.

"I bet you have, with your new transformation." Jean grins, attempting to push back that feeling of smugness within the air, finally leaning back within her chair as her eyes soon cut towards the door, waiting for the omnious knock and word.. but once it comes? A hand lifts.

Not in pushing Rose away, but with beckoning her forward, gesturing towards the door so that no one is shocked by the appearance of Rose. Uniqueness is glorified in the school, guns.. however, were not. And yet it was then and only then that Rose stepped in would she take the time to cloak the room with two fingers pressed to her temple.

What is Jean wearing today? Nothing fantastic. A flowy shirt and a skirt to match. With booties. Yes. Booties. Cause it was comfortable. Someone shopped at K-Mart recently.

One blue eye, one white, the onyl one you can tell is directed at Betsy is the cool huen one, leaving the depth there to placidity. No curiousness, not yet, there has been something on her mind since the da Stormwatch had attacked the Grounds and Jean.. Though finding Scott has been a tried and tired thing since she had at least managed to get Jean to come out to the parties she attempted to lighten the ominous cloud that lingered and loomed. So Jean it is.

"If I interrupted the tea party…." Apology? No, tea wasn't her thing, and Rose is not one to falsify empathy. "You may need more then tea." There's a flash somewhere on her likely, but it stays hidden and untasted.

"Ive been meaning to say," A hunt for it. Yep! There it is! The apology. "I am sorry. But thank you for risking the keds you got knocked out of because of me."

Betsy makes a face at Jean, the expression utterly at odds with her elegant features, right before Rose walks in. Immediately, her face resumes her usually inscrutable expression, penetrating brown eyes openly and cooly assessing the armed woman standing in front of the desk.

"It's a /little/ early to switch to liquor," Betsy observes quietly, eyes flickering to the clock on Jean's desk. She listens to the quietly heartfelt gesture from the young woman, then slowly looks at Jean with an upticked brow. Clearly, Betsy missed out on some excitement that she hasn't caught up on yet.

+MEET: Lunair has arrived via +meet.

A hand lifts to draw the door closed and locked with a clicking twist, her expression pained as she mentions tea. Tea would be good right about now, but to keep up with the workload? Coffee it is. Which was picked up, sipped.. put down, and possibly nudged towards English Betsy who possibly would rather tea herself. Possibly. Though liquor? Not half bad right about now.

Rose's apology? That draws her brows to raise. If she was at odds with the young woman before, perhaps the way was paved. Though, the glance from Betsy does allow her shoulders to slump as she quickly explains.

"Stormwatch. Possibly. Cadmus, something or other sought to take Rose back and invoke her ire by hitting me with a missile." She didn't mean it, but her eyes flashed with fire, the sigil of the phoenix within, yet it didn't die down as she spoke. The books slowly begin to rattle as her jaw tenses, her gaze gone to Rose as she gestures towards the chair for Rose. "You have nothing to thank me for."

And it was true. They all were attacked. The only one who really had gotten her world rocked was Jean. And then to Betsy. "The last one standing is currently in jail, hopefully beneath it with no hopes of getting out free." She smiles a little sadly, the fire drawing away from her eyes as a lone book falls upon the floor with a loud *SLAP*. And to Rose? "I would take a bullet for you. You know this, right?"

Rose's mind has learned, trained, and been tried to be a lockbox of very strong willpower. It takes a lot of thaat very thing to even lower the shields, guards, chains, and padlocks upon it to let someone pry. Unexpecting once, she hasn't been fooled again. Their past is their past. One punch and Rose somewhat had moved on, but always kept locked up tight here, which made her tense mentally as well as physically.

"Nate brought me here for help after that woman some how brought me here to use, implanting me with those bombs to do as told. Why?" A moment of thought and a roll of shoulders somewhat eases tension out of her soulders to run down along her spine and then - her mind opened and the walls came down with a mental sound of catastrophe. "Because it is what I do. Did. It's what I know. Pick a target and unload me on it. I was once used as a metahuman handler and tracker." Both hands extended out as she shrugged gallically. "Nate and a few others took me from it and showed me another life. I wanted it, but I have been raised this way, knowing nothing but what I do."

Finally, Rose takes a seat in front of Jeans desk, feet planted and arms propping on her knees in her lean. "I won't be killed now for not doing it at a madwoman's orders, but it -is- who I am. You can only save so much or be so much." Rose's head rolls to the side, that white hair spilling over a shoulder. "I am not good at being something I am not. Look for yourself. My path is set, but I want to use it to help your cause. Help these kids. Help myself."

And there it was. Betsy's presence is not forgotten, but there is a moment of very /pushed/ and earned trust being exposed, ruin it and she'll punch your ass!

"Part of being a member of this extended family is learning self-control," Betsy chimes in, her eloquent tones richly cultured. "Which goes beyond notions of limiting collateral damage. Many of us have talents that are inherently dangerous, even catastrophic. Others, like you- like myself," she's forced to admit, "have additional skills and knowledge that have very little application or use in polite society."

Despite the coldly stoic nature of Betsy's features, there's something surprisingly gently empathic about the way she reaches out to the woman seated in the other chair. She gets up, unhurried and unruffled by Jean's outburst, and picks up the book, smoothing out the pages and carefully putting it back on the shelf again. "We'll always have enemies and threats," she reminds the women. "But as long as we stick together and always strike to become better people, we have the high road. And then we can circle around and gut them like carp when the moment is at hand."

Wait, what? She doesn't even sound like she was remotely joking. Or even being allegorical.

Lunair's mind is - an odd place. It's slipperier than a greased ferret at a bikini wrestling match. Which means that Lunair is often a creature of whim and 'because it was hilarious' is a perfectly valid motive for swatting one's opponent around like a cat. She's also been helping here and there. But she's also totally pondering the nanites in her head and headbutting that magnet, after all. Lunair's classes are partially here and partially there, because there's no botany program and Lunair is all about the plants. And she raps upon the doorframe. Thinking, she also announces:

"Not terrorists!" Yes, Lunair's got this on lockdown.

Jean stares at Rose for a moment, the door unlocking for the new mind that approaches with intent to enter. Lunair didn't have to knock anymore, she was allowed entry and as soon as she was in? It would be closed and locked yet again. There was truth in those words of Rose, Jean didn't need to search her mind anymore to find the hard and ugly. Yet she displayed it, for surface thoughts in this room were ripe for the picking.

She takes a more tense lean within her chair, both of their speeches weighed upon and thought of. There were certain tendacies that Jean kept locked up tight for this reason alone. Her hands draw upon the desk as she leans forward, clasping her forehead as a moment of stress takes hold of her.

"You want us to allow you to do.." Jean's hand gestures, the motion known for what she meant. To kill people, to hunt. To do away that which intends to cause harm, and possibly worse. "..You.." She lets out a hushed breath, backing into her chair which bends as she swivels in Betsy's direction. "And you as well?"

Lunair finally announces herself, the door pulled open by Jean's thoughts alone, allowing the woman entry without needing much of a say so.

When Betsy speaks, those walls shudder, wanting to slam back into place, it even shows when leather groans from the tension along shoulderblades fights to keep calm, keep that trust. Her words help that remain in place despite that single moment along with the knock on the door.

Lunair gets a sidelong look from Rose, one told by the rippling of the reflections in the milky white eye. Lunair has been known by Rose since almost day on of herarrival, and she was there the day the attack occurred, helping and risking herself as well. Rose found no reason to stop talking and fill in the blanks. "They sent a blast through the windows of the school, they missiled you, they tried to take the grounds. Even if it was to call me out they may have or could have killed children. Children that I wish to protect as well. It's part and parcel anymore."

Rose shifts her eyes to Betsy and just as calmly as Betsy said her words Rose does so at her level. "I would gut them like carps over and over for that purpose. I was raised into this, my father is known as the Terminator. I can be the same but want to put it elsewhere. I believe in this place, these people and the cause. I will kill for it if I must. I am not alone in this."

Saying as much she sits upright now, rocking back in that seat to straighten posture.

"I am extending the offer willingly where others would seek to take it, and have."

Betsy blinks at Jean's tone and the rolling sense of unease she detects from her friend. Elizabeth had been on board with the Xavier mansion's notions of pacifism, but in this regard, Kwannon's eminent practicality on the matter seems to override her very British prudence.

"I don't want to make a habit of it, dear, no," Betsy assures Jean. "Casual murder tends to cause a great deal of hue and outcry." She moves to her chair and settles in it again, sitting upright and crossing her legs at the knee, one ankle hooking behind the other. "But it's somehing I'm particularly good at, and it's a skillset we don't often see among our associates and allies. At times when the situation is dire enough to warrant it," she says, nodding agreement with Rose's perceptions on the matter, "I don't see any reason /not/ to act in a decisive matter. We've had several ugly situations occur in the past that a well-blade knife in the brain would have solved much more tidily."

Oh boy. What did Lunair walk into? It takes her a moment to orientate. "Wait, we ask permission for—" Oops. What's going on? There's a faint smile at Rose. Hi Rose! She seems happy enough to see Rose, totally unruffled by the idea of killing someone. That's how it goes. Then a blink. The Terminator? Oh geez. Lunair doesn't elaborate on how she knows that, though there's a brief doubletake. Is stabbiness hereditary? Did they both get Daisy Red Riders for Christmas?

Oh well. She's just too far behind in this race. "I think I'd fail if face stabbing where a class," Lunair muses. "Um. Did I pop by at a bad time…?" She fidgets a bit, becoming more quietly serious, trying to tell her brain to shut up.

There was still a little bit of tension building up within Jean's bones. The way the conversation had swung to once Rose had entered made her completely uncomfortable. Her hand reaches out to take the mug, sipping the cup of blackened death down, a napkin soon taken to dab atop of her lip as she draws eyes to Rose, Betsy, and then Lunair.

"Yes it's part and parcel but I grew up believing, even when I wasn't apart of this school, followed the creed and missive by my deceased parents that all live is precious and that I… or we are not judge, jury and executioner."

Oh but she was. The role of Executioner, she swallowed the sun whole and sent them all to their deaths. But the power, the power that coursed through her veins, the mere thought of it drew a fist to clench and release.

The unease grows.

"And you say this so easily Bets." Jean had to laugh a little, drawing within her chair another turn as Lunair's first words that were cut off by the jump were addressed. "No. We obviously do not ask for permission. You did not pop in at a bad time, in fact, I think you're ripe and prime for this discussion that we're currently having."

She gestures towards Betsy and Rose alike, leaning a little within her chair. "If fact, you fit along with what they're attempting to push and put forth, being that you double tapped someone during a mission with the X-Men by missile, and the fact that it has never been discussed is because your ever growing issues that.. if you hadn't had? You would have been tossed on your ass outside of this mansion a long time ago, Lunair."

But.. she catches herself, her shoulders at a slump, the brief snapped nature that she took was due to added stress and sleepless nights. Insomnia. Her head shakes though, not to dismiss those words, but to apologize.

"I'm sorry, Lunair. Rose. Bets. This discussion is getting the better of me."

She pulls herself from her chair, drawing herself to the window, arms folded about her shoulder as she leans upon the sill, staring out into the spot where the fresh sod and flowers were planted, where her death was presumed.

"Why put this to the ground now, Rose? What exactly are you asking me for? Why ask me of all people?" And then to Lunair and Psylocke.. "And why would either of you agree." Even though it was previously stated, it needed to be put to her so that she could deeply, and truly understand. No thought-invasion necessary.

"I am not just asking you. I have not been able to see Scott since, save once when he was talking about drugs." Another one of Rose's specialties, another area she knows, but this… This ate at her like a deeper rooted need. Looking at Lunair and perking a brow at her doubletake when she mentioned her father lips part and then draw together, the question unanswered. Lips thin as Jean snaps Lunair's way, Rose pushing to a stand almost like she would position herself between Jean in that moment and Lunair.

"/That/ is why." Rose's chin rises slightly, pride, not stubborness, nor uppance. "People may have different methods, but similar intentions. Does that stop you from enjoying our presence or keeping us here, because we will kill for what we believe in and want to protect. Because we'd die for the same too."

Rose's voice lowers, unkowing if it had even risen at that point, but with Jean's calming and apologetic prose Rose took her own deep breath and look to each in kind. "I am asking for the ability to do what we do for the same reasons you do, but still be accepted for it, even if it has to be secreted for the protection of others - or feelings. I am asking to still have a home and friends when I do bad things for all the good reasons."

A glance to Lunair then and Rose offers a small wavering smile to the other woman. Betsy, though unknown gets an appreciative glance as well.

Only Jean would pick up on it, but something in Betsy's brain shifts a bit at Rose's words. 'All the good reasons'. Elizabeth and Kwannon swirl, both alarmed by those words, uncomfortable at once. Elizabeth knows all too well the dangers of that slippery slope- incidents to which Jean in particular was privy. And Kwannon's memories and recollections dialed up a thousand times she'd heard that used as an excuse for murder and mayhem. That very mentality, in the hands of other people, had finally culminated in the gestalt entity that went by 'Betsy' and sat in the chair in that office.

"We shouldn't take pride in those gifts," Betsy tells Rose, her tone offering a genuine empathy that's actually more human than psychic. "There's no good reason to kill someone. All there is are necessary reasons and the regrets that go with it. Anytime a situation has gone so far beyond control that someone dies, you have to ask yourself how you failed- as a hero, as a person- to let it devolve to that point. Doing good things isn't what makes a person a hero," she says, rising from her chair. She walks over to Jean, speaking as much to her friend as to the other women there. "It's about confronting ourselves every day about how we take care of our problems. What's necessary and what's right are… not always the same thing."

She looks down at Jean, and though her face is absolutely glacial, there's a minute twitch about her hands that a perceptive person would note as being uncertain. She stoops suddenly and sweeps Jean up in a big hug, bringing her off the ground.

"You're short now. I can hold you off the ground until things aren't awkward," she informs Jean crisply. "But I do think this conversation might be better served with shots."

PHRASING! A peer at Betsy. "Oh, because I seem to be the only one who really uses gun—" Ooops. Well, then. She goes quiet. Stare. She looks like the cat who faceplanted into the catnip, got caught and tried to look cool, man. She's totally cool. Lunair is quiet a bit, glancing to Jean. Headtilt. Her mouth opens. Then closes. She's thinking. "In my defense, I was SO not used to working around a dude who shoots freaking plasma sun blasts. I had shot before he did and holy crap. I wish I shot freaking plasma and had brain powers." But she totally doesn't. And he totally tagge her target. "It's okay. Want me to get you some tea?"

She's helpful, if alarmingly violent. "Though, I can understand if you would like me to leave," She remarks at Jean. "Even if one door closes, others open." Lunair's gifts make her a forensic nightmare when it comes to work as a hitman. But either way, Lunair isn't overt about it. Ahem. Also Gestalt ninja! Still hasn't told her wtf a gumbo is besides food.

"The blue guy says no alcohol in the school." Rose states as she watched and listens to Psylocke, all the while withdrawing the flask from her coat. 'Bitches Get Stitches', with brass knuckles on it. Trite. Rose loves her catty little phrase trinkets… They make her smile.

"what you say bears truth as well, and perhaps more years of trial then me. I know what I can do, what I have done, and what I -will- do. I know myself enough." Beat. "But I also know what I want to put my abilities to use for, and who I will trust with me."

"Kinda. It takes a minute."

Rose's hand rises and two fingers make the pinch gesture. Who is she kidding, it takes longer then a minute. But she is standing here, now, and doing this because there was trust, comfort, and a pool table.

Though when Luna offers to leave Rose puts a hand out haltingly. "Don't. I've seen what you can do, andwho you are. You have just as much reason to be here for this proposal."

Rose's first words gain a little smirk. Thoughts begin to fly; the mom and pop of the organization with those under their employ/team ask for permission to do things like defend. Why did they need permission? Why ask? Why not just go do?

But then Rose makes it clear. Clear, straight to the point, even in her defense of Lunair that has Jean staring at the woman. So this is what it was truly about. The need to still feel as welcomed as they had the first time they had came there. To be embraced. To belong.

Then Betsy scoops her up willy nilly into a hug, which eases and calms her down, Jean reaching up to lightly pat where she could as a means to let her go. She got it! She got it! Jean is a midget now, light to boot! And.. the hug? It was necessary to ease the fiery redhead down.

"No. Lunair.." Jean states, "Even if I said what I said.. you're still family. You're stuck." And really? That was all there is to it. And even though the blue man says no alcohol in the school? Jean's fingers lift from the barehughold, the cabinents flying open high at the top of the ceiling, revealing a tray with a large bottle of unopened tequila, shotglasses and trays alike which float to settle upon her desk, cap soon twists off, liquid pouring in even keels. Sure, it was the cheap stuff that'll get you slam drunk and all puke-ish. But it was needed. Low class, all sass.

She needed a couple of shots before she says what she means to say.

Betsy squeezes Jean once and shakes her playfully then sets her down, gently, bending at the knee so Jean doesn't go kerplop. "We are all family, in one way or another," Betsy agrees, keeping an arm slung around Jean's shoulder. "Even if we disagree on hows and whys, we have to stick together. We're all we have, at the end of the day." Even with her glacially inscrutable face and poised British tones, her voice hints at a deep affection. She smiles at Lunair, too. "I was texting Remy yesterday, Lunair. He said I should tell you hello," she informs the gun-toting little mercenary who could.

Then tequila comes out, and Betsy's eyes /do/ bug a little bit. Memories- very hazy memories, along with knowledge of some incriminating photos buried deep in her cell phone- come flooding back.

But, then again, tequila. Betsy picks up a shotglass and balances it on her fingertip, artfully not spilling a drop, then holds it out for the universal sign of sisterhood- clinkies!

"I probably shouldn't drink," Lunair considers. Otherwise, the 2015 Sentinel Back to Twerk team may just become a reality. And party hats. She seems quietly amused by Rose and her trinkets for a moment. It's kind of adorable. Awww. The hug is adorable. She blinks at Rose. "Ack, they're onto me." Oops. She's joking a bit, but maybe not. Hard to tell. "Really?" A blink at Jean. Well, that's - probably good. She'll roll with it.

She inclines her head a little. "Oh!" A smile back to Betsy. "Aw, thanks. Hi you two." Lunair's a bit literal sometimes. She'll probably pass on the tequila though. Unless someone really wants a twerking Sentinel.

"First rule of fight club is, we dont talk about fight club?" Rose states, using a reference as a hint while steps carry her to the desk when Jean brings down her own hidden tray, tucking her measly flask away. She'll do ta-kill-ya for the team. This will not be the first time she'll be close to death.

Plucking a shot glass up and noting Luna's decline Rose perks a brow, grabbing a bottle of water that was sitting on Jean's desk, taking Luna's poured shot for her in a quick snap and then holding her own out with Luna's now full of water instead.

"Still a part, Luna." Though the woman did not elaborate if she understood what they were discussing, or even wanted to partake. Though her point was valid even if said round-about. where they may close a door another would open it, and that other may not be so kind.

Clinks pass and Rose takes her own shot back as well. She'd go up against a twerking Sentinel, it was fun in the Danger Room when it hammered her ito the pavement. Lessons learned.

Betsy's words allow Jean a moment of consideration. The fact that the four women in this very room, very different methods and mentalities, morals and lethal-ese causes Jean to question her intentions with her next words. She steps forward then, perhaps the last one to pick and raise a glass, nails clinking against the glass as it was tossed and captured with a pinch of her fingers, not a drop spilt because she cheats.

Lifted, clinked against the others, drink slammed back with unknown expertise.. well.. possibly known to Betsy of course. Swallowed, poured, slammed again. "So it was written." She glances around the others within the room, shoulders pulled back. Decision was made in her mind but there needed to be one more. "You all.. the image of you all will never change in my mind, and you will still be connected here. Open. Welcomed. Loved. Accepted." Words, given to them each in kind, one falling upon the other, the green eyed gaze soon firing to life with a lick of flame. Another drink poured.. another tossed back.

"I'll put word to word with Scott. Then afterwards? My involvement in this is done." Unless extreme cleaning is needed. That's where she'll step in.

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