Coffee Break

June 06, 2015:

Psylocke and Phoenix go out for coffee, a confrontation with Creed is had. Backbreaking results returned.

Collectivo Coffee Shop

Characters

NPCs: Random People

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It was the bright of day when Betsy and Jean set out for their treat. Well, Betsy was treating Jean to a nice caffinated drink due to a bet long lost, she wanted something flavorful, something with a hint of vanilla and possibly with a lot of whipped cream, which would soon have the redhead punishing herself in the danger room or somewhere around the campus.

Jog too hard. Bite me.

So, it was the new Collectivo cafe where they went, which was bustling and brimming with life. The sun high in the sky, the rich or possibly 5's out with their little froo-froo dogs and expensive sandals. New businesses that open and have caffiene is all the crave for the rich and no too famous; these new shops have business that booms for at least a couple of months before the novelty itself wears down and it's all considered old news.

This cafe was at its high point. Pastries were soon snatched out of display cases and men and women alike in back were slaving over hot stoves and plates to recreate. The errant buzz of coffee machines were at play, as well as a long line of people who can't wait to get their next 'antsy' fix.

Inside, by the window is where Jean sat, her gaze staring out, one hand pressed to her chin as fingers caress the tops of her lip, one hand reaching to lightly twirl within her hair as she gives the long strand a slight tug. "Possibly shoulder length."

"No shorter than that, darling," Betsy replies, lounging indolently against the chair back- inasmuch as Betsy Braddock can 'lounge'. She's straight backed and head-up, her glossy purple hair artfully teased for volume. Even the cant of her legs, crossed at the knee with one wedged heel bobbing erratically, makes her look as if she is expecting a photographer to wander by any moment.

Her phone buzzes and she glances at the screen, then swipes it up and starts firing back a reply, one-handed, thumb dancing over the touchscreen. "Too short and it makes you look too severe. Like an evil librarian," she suggests, the faintest of smiles curling up the corner of her dark-cherry lips. On anyone else, it'd be a grin. She picks up her coffee and takes a sip- hazelnut mocha, non-fat, sugar-free. Aside from the caffeine, one would wonder what the point is. "You could get it layered, though, that'd look nice," she proposes, tilting her head while regarding Jean thoughtfully.

Across the foot traffic, not that far away, Victor Creed leans up against a wall and takes a bit out of a meatball sub. Sometimes even psychotic mercenaries need a snack and, contrary to popular belief, Sabretooth doesn't eat all his food off the bone. The garlic's a bit strong in this one, though, making him wrinkle his nose a bit at the intensity of it. Gonna need a breath mint after this.

His enhanced ears easily pick up the dialogue between Jean and Betsy. He's kept a quiet eye on Jean, entirely from a distance since they had their little confrontation in the park. So far, so good, he hasn't heard anything from his employer about further activity in Africa. Which doesn't mean she's taking his advice to heart. And, even if she is, well…sometimes it's fun to hunt just for the hunt itself. He liked the smell of her fear.

He doesn't know what to make of the new girl. Definitely an unusual scent - something off that he can't put his finger on, that he hasn't encountered. Pretty enough, of course - all these mutant girls were. Maybe these X-men didn't have much stomach for mutant girls with pig faces.

Jean draws her gaze towards Betsy then finally lets out a little laugh, leaning back within her own chair as the iced drink with whipped cream was sipped and wondered. "I think some people may enjoy the evil librarian look." She draws both hands behind herself, bringing her long red hair to the front, which was teased, blown out and straightened. "Or perhaps something just a little bit shorter, and a permanent pig-tailed look." She was joshing, of course.

"ORDER UP!"

A woman stands from her chair to rush for her order, as a few of the other patrons seemingly grow impatient. Though Jean's thoughts were upon that phone, and a slight lean forward as her hair was soon released. "I don't think Scott will like the short look." One eye is winced now, her fingers uncurling to gesture towards the phone. "Ever since you've been back, however. You've been texting quite a bit. Who are you talking to? And I don't care if you mind that I pry. I'm allowed."

"Uggh." Betsy shudders, visibly, that that notion. "I will disown you," she tells Jean in her coldest tones, frigid face set as stone. Jean might be the only person on Earth who knows when Betsy's threats are largely insincere. Well. Mostly insincere, anyway.
"I'll have you know it's with that boy, Flash," Betsy says with a disdainful sniff, as if the notion that she wouldn't confide in Jean was laughable. "We met for coffee the other day. And lunch at the Triskelion last week. …and I kissed him," she mumbles, holding the phone up between her and Jean as if it was a literal shield she could hide behind.

Victor Creed slowly stalks down the way, until he's directly across from the coffee shop. He continues to eat idly on his sandwich. Some of the shoppers take note of him - he's hard to miss. He isn't doing anything overtly threatening, but he has an effect on average people that way. Like a school of fish around a great white, they part for him instinctively, giving him his space. Some of them find themselves walking faster or sweating for no reason. One woman lets out a startled squeak when she sees his fangs, covering her mouth quickly and rushing on, dragging her whining son in her wake.

Creed just drinks it all in. Good. He watches the two women with his cat-eyes and takes a sip of the soda in his other hand.

"Suuuure you will, like those other times." Jean waves her hand briefly in a manner of a joke, the warm smile still apparent upon her face. Though, there was a boy? A boy! A boy in Betsy's life.. again. Nevermind that tryst with..

"Flash? And what sort of name is that?" Jean teases, attempting to lean forward to push the phone down so she could see if Betsy was blushing. "What would it take to make you two official if you two have kissed, then?" There was a brief pause, and a slight grin that draws her brows downward. "Tell me, Elizabeth. How are do you feel about this, 'boy'." The last word was air quoted, and soon she reaches for her coffee, grasping at the base to lift and take a sip, her eyes soon following the woman and young boy outside.. until she sees.. him.

The cup that she holds was soon dropped back to the table, the chair slid outward as the iced coffee within begins to spill.

Betsy fights Jean's hands for control of the phone, studiously avoiding eye contact and finally resorting to swatting at grasping fingers. "We're not official! We're just…"

For Betsy, the world slows down to a crawl. Suspended in a timeless web moving at the speed of thought. She and Jean share a bond that goes back almost a decade- a constant exchange of notions and reactions. Inner thoughts are always held back by careful guards and mental blocks, but they read each other like a book, as close as two minds can be.

So when Jean starts to flinch, Betsy already knows what she's looking at. Before the cup has even hit the table, amethyst eyes are tracking to Victor, and in her mind's eye explodes a kaleidoscope of images- the threats, the hunting, the bitter rage lurking just under his thick skin.

An explosion of telekinetic force lances out from Betsy's mind, brought to shimmering life by an aura of purple psionic energy. It moves faster than a speeding bullet, aimed for Victor's face and carrying enough force to knock a speeding truck off its axles.

Jean's always been the stronger- but Betsy's power comes from the fact that of the two of them, she's on /hell/ of a lot meaner.

Victor Creed cracks into the wall hard, splintering the rough material and making a loud impact that echoes through the mezzanine. Blood explodes from his nose, running down his face, and his head slumps for just a moment from the impact, as the concussion reverbrates through his skull, the bones in his body shaking for a moment on the verge of fracture from thei impact of Betsy's assault.

The cat-eyes close for a moment, a shudder running through him. Bones reseal. Bruises fade and disappear. His shoulders flex and disengage, letting plaster fall to the ground in a shower. He rolls his neck, cracking vertebrae. And he laughs, long and loud and clear, his mouth open to show fang.

"Well, well, gosh, somebody's all nervous. Can't a man enjoy a hoagie in this day an' age wit'out bein' harassed by the mutant menace?" he smirks.

Whatever conversations or thoughts on hand were tossed away at that very moment. Their movements were almost in tandem, like twin psychics where one thinks and the other reacts. One wants and the one gets. One desires and the other denies.

With Betsy already on the attack, a wave of regret was sent to the woman, it was wordless. For that attack would soon bear death if Jean was not fast enough. One hand immediately draws up to press her fingers against her temple, her teeth grit as she forces her will upon the innocent.

'Go home. There are important matters to attend to.'

That hint of urgency was sent out along the crowd as people begin to filter, some at a cool stride and others set to panic. Perhaps someone left the stove on, or were expecting a call. It didn't matter, as long as they started to leave.

'Shops closed. Emergency excavation.'

The random customers begin to filter out of the shop, but it was peculiar. They were all taking the back way, filtering out of the alley into streets to avoid the general vacinity of where they stood between Creed.

Betsy steps rather primly through the shattered window glass, her wedges crushing safety shards beneath the soles of her shoes. 'Keep them moving, Jean. I'll handle him', Betsy projects, eyes focused with laserlike intensity on Victor.

"You threatened my friend," she says, face stony as a statue and her cultured English diction as frosty as a midwinter breeze. There is nothing sensual or poised about the woman, now. Betsy resembles more of a force of nature, tall, angular, muscles corded with angry tension. "I do not take kindly to such affrontage. Who are you?" she demands, a faint nimbus of coruscating psionic energy gathering around her brow- a storm of power ready to be unleashed, crackling with all the fury she posseses and lacking any semblance of real restraint.

Victor Creed pushes himself up and takes a moment to shrug off his jacket, throwing it aside and leaving him in t-shirt and jeans. His arms are massive, thickly muscled, and his hands curl as his claws extend, razor-sharp. He doesn't lose his grin, though, his expression almost playful as he takes in the purple-haired woman, her serious expression, her obvious martial skill. This one's had some training, how cute.

"Affrontage, huh? Well, I admit, I ain't o' the manor born, so I ain't sure I ever experienced any 'affrontage'. Been pissed off a time or two in my day, though. Never on anybody else's behalf. You must like yer friend an awful lot, you think it's worth riskin' yer pretty face just 'cause the big bad man put a scare in 'er," he chuckles. "Point o' order, I didn't threaten 'er. I threatened other people. I told 'er what she needed t'do if she wanted to keep 'em breathin' an, so far, she has. I just thought I'd take a peek an' check in on 'er. No need to get yer panties in a bunch, grape ape."

«< BETS. »>

But there was no talking her out of this one. She was a great multitasker yes, but Jean wasn't the every-mutant that most percieves her to be. So she focuses, the shops in the near vacinity gaining her main attention, her minds-eye jumping through that of the others to make sure that people were exiting out of the back in a safe manner.

The day was going on as usual, though most really do not know the type of danger that they were in.

The current shop they were in was vacated, which allows Jean to stop over the glass as well, one leg hiked over the window as she continues to press her will. She was aiming to clear and block the entire city block in case madness were to ensue.. Which given these two? It just may.

That psionic energy lashes out in a whipping strike- into nine whipping strikes. A psionic cat-o'-nine-tails, sharp beyond any human measure, honed to an edge only imaginable by Betsy.

"Then allow me to elevate your vocabulary," Betsy says, face still cold, almost weirdly alien in its haughty demeanour. She lashes out again, slashing at Victor with energy, with thought made manifest.

Then she pauses, eyes narrowing. Thoughtful. "You're the one they call Sabretooth," Betsy declares, bringing that energy to a watchful, angry coalescence again. "Very few assassins can get up from a blow such as that I delivered," she observes. "Or are as ugly. Sabretooth is reputedly both. The dossier on you did little to describe the smell, though. Did you /bathe/ in garlic?"

Victor Creed puts up an arm as Betsy's whip lashes across his arm, splitting skin and spraying more blood across him, soaking through his shirt. He gives a snarl at it, shaking his arm in the aftermath, as the skin starts to seal up again almost immediately, his face spattered with his own gore.

"Aw, sissy, you try'n t'hurt my feelin's now? Sticks an' stones may break my bones, but I much prefer rippin' out throats with my teeth," he chuckles. "That's a nice little weapon you got there. Cut me pretty good. How long c'n ya keep it up? Five minutes? Ten? Gotta take a lot outta ya, makin' somethin' that strong," he says. "If you want, you can just use it on me till ya get tired. Get me good an' bloody, get all yer aggression out, make you feel real good an' badass, probably get yer panties all soggy on the way…"

"And, then, when you got yer fill an' yer nice and sweaty and breathin' all heavy…well…then it's my turn."

His eyes flick over to Jean, "How's 'at sound t'you, Little Red?"

The block was clear enough for her, her gaze falling left and right as fingers grasp into fists to still the shaking. Perhaps it was something primal about the man, the threats, the way he quite literally ate a piece of the heart of the man he killed in front of her that set her hackles to raise with the need to run.. or it could be possibly something else that lingered in the background.

But either way, her heart skipped a couple of beats, the quick pitter patter as she drew herself to stand next to Elizabeth, her gaze slightly narrowed, brow furrowed to hide any change of emotion within her gaze as she grits her teeth, the question soon directed at her as she finally lets out a breath.

"Fine. By. Me."

Twenty paces to the right, a car begins to move sideways, the squealing of tires that reject the motion could be heard, along with smoke that dredges to fill the air with what was once nature and good treats.. to a burnt rubber and ill intentions. That was Jean's work.. the sound itself havoc upon the ears.

"No, no," Betsy says, shaking her head once. Her dark purple hair dances across her collarbone. "It remains /my/ turn. I am the one in control here, you ape. Not you." A sledgehammer of force lashes at Victor from above. "You don't get a turn. You don't get a choice." Another hammering blow, at contrast with the controlled, even way Betsy saunters, moving to stand shoulder to shoulder with her sister from another mother.

"You'll know I've had my fill when you're nothing but spongey meat on the ground, with your testicles firmly between your jaws. I'm not doing this to /kill/ you, Sabretooth. I'm doing this to /hurt/ you."

The brutal, crushing blows stop, and Betsy holds aloft her hand, fingers clawed into a rough 'c' shape. "If I want to kill you, all I have to do is get out of Jean's way." In some ways, it's more difficult than just hitting the man- but applying a crushing psychic garrote around Victor's throat to hoist him six inches off the ground? It seems a more poetic justice for the murderer.

Victor Creed has no defense against the psychic assaults. He lets them hammer him, bones snapping under the impact of the hammering assault, stumbling to his knees underneath it. Which doesn't stifle his laughter, which begins to bubble up inside him, "Yeah, that's it, bitches, c'mon! You wanna get nasty, let's get nasty! Rip me up, tear me up! But you ain't gonna kill me, 'cause you can't…I ain't never gonna die…an' no matter what you do, I'm always gonna get back up…all you're gonna do…is make more death…" he laughs.

"I can still smell some o' those mommies were walkin' their kids in the mall today…I'll be payin' 'em a visit once you two are done playin'…I'll make sure to send you…pictures…to remember 'em by…so you can know what you did…" he laughs, until Betsy's grip around his throat chokes him and lifts him fromt he ground, blood running from the corner of his mouth as he's dangled.

The car was edged and inched closer, the racket becoming louder each second that passes, until it soon stops, her hand jutting up into the air to lift it with a heavy force, her face under strain so much that it becomes red. She was going to let Betsy have a turn, the car floating itself nearby, the words that the man says causes her blood to run cold.. the car to drop with a loud clanging crash as her bottom lips tremble.

"PSYLOCKE STOP!" She manages to squeeze out, her eyes set to watering as pure anger drops from her bones.

It was such a fucked up situation, the more they fought him, fought against him, the more he would kill. Her hands were shaking, still.. fingers clenching and unclenching as her bottom lip trembles. This was something that they would have to lay down and accept, at least to save the lives of the unseen. It was bad enough she couldn't sleep at night..

"…L..l..let him go.."

Betsy turns and looks at Jean with a plaintive, confused expression. She looks back at Victor- kicking, choking, writhing- and then at her friend again.

"Why?" she asks, arching an imperious eybrow. "He's said he'll kill them once he lives. I say we leave him there until he turns black in the face, then I cut his head off. I'm reasonably sure he wouldn't come back from that," she says, pursing her lips and giving Sabretooth a dispassionate look- like an insect wiggling on the end of a pin.

Victor Creed just hangs, not able to do much more than that at the moment, a glimmer of glee in his eyes, though, manic and bulging. There's something else, too, but it's impossible to read some of his thoughts, his animal mind a tangle of brutish, primitive impulses that don't translate for a sophisticated telepath, his breath coming in bubbling gurgles through his nostrils.

Jean reaches out, her hand grasping Betsy's wrist, her eyes intent as she gives a shake of her head. "We don't kill. I can't kill. I can't see this and I can't be apart of it." She tries, for better or for worse to draw Betsy's attention to herself, her head shaking briefly. "We do what we always do. We call the authorities, leave him tied up and contained until they come. We're not jury and executioner here.. Bets.." Though, a striking thought does hit her.

And Psylocke could possibly tell what she's thinking, with the way those gears are turning. From what Scott had said the other night, to now, this moment. Here. And his ties to whomever back in Africa. They could finally get some answers without the strenous use of Cerebro, nor other means that could possibly hurt them. They could possibly solve the mystery.. right here and now..

"Put him down…"

They're about to see Mama's bad side.

Betsy starts to argue, but then Jean turns those eyes on her. They're very different in some ways, these two remarkably gifted women. Despite their friendship they both have their own personalities and ways of doing things, their own contrasts. Elizabeth the model, Jean the nerd. Elizabeth the charismatic; Jean, the people person.

Betsy would never admit, even in the privacy of her mind, how much she admired Jean, even idolized her a bit. So when Jean steps up, and Betsy sees a flickering glimpse of Jean's mind- of her intention- the leggy Asian psychic quails, in a way that even Victor's primal ferocity failed to evoke. She turns those brilliant amethyst eyes down and away, yielding to Jean's force of personality, and releases the throttling chokehold she has on Victor's throat, to be replaced by intangible manacles that lash around his wrists and ankles, and a muzzle of sheer force around his face and jaw.

She's a bit intimidated, but not /stupid/.

Victor Creed can do little more than dangle, at the moment, then gasp for breath as the grip on his throat is released, his body shuddering as he sucks in oxygen, his head falling forward, dirty blonde hair spilling across his face. His eyes watch warily, unsure of what to make of this new reaction from Jean, smelling the change in her mood, not sure what she has in mind but suspecting he's not going to like it, his arms drawn out as his mouth is held shut by Psylocke…

The grasp upon Betsy is released as Sabretooth is bound, gagged and tied, her gaze falling towards Victor as she takes a step back, only to walk towards him with a slight frown upon her face. "I sat up those nights thinking.. how could someone be so cruel. To hurt others because I only want to help on soil that is not my own.." Her face scrunches as she muses aloud, to Betsy and Creed both. "I thought I was trapped in this. Locked and tied up.." Her hand reaches out to lightly pat his chest. "Just like you are."

She walks around him now, her face filled with a dangerous wonder. "But you know? Psylocke has a point, as well as I did. And you, for that matter. We probably can't kill you, we probably could bash your face in until we're tired.. we could probably turn you loose towards the authorities and let you have your day in court. But people like you? That is not the type of justice that you deserve."

She stops aside of him now, her hands placed behind her back, authority within her stance as her legs remain shoulder width apart. "But I've decided this, right here. Right now. We're going to keep you." She smiles towards Betsy, warmth in that gaze, wrong place.. wrong time. "We're going to tie you up, wrap you nice and pretty, turn Ravager upon you until you're a mewling sack of shit that'll beg for death by the time she's done with you."

She turns to him now, one hand lifting to lightly tap his nose, invoking the wrath of Cyclops and Psylocke alike. "And you.. will be denied."

"Psylocke. Break his fucking back and bring him with. We're leaving."

Were Betsy a more extroverted girl, she would squeal. As it is, that would be fairly inappropriate. Still, she keeps it businesslike. No fanfare. No speeches. She walks past Jean, glancing once at her, sidelong.

'You are so fucking hot right now', she projects to her friend.

Betsy walks behind Victor. She makes a fist and a coruscating blade of white and amethyst snaps into existence, a blade without substance or existence. She sets her weight and pushes that psychic knife into Victor's spine. It ghosts past the adamantium like it doesn't exist, and cuts into his spinal cord. It does more than just disrupt- her focus crawls down that blade, guided by the spectral weapon, and systematically rips his spinal cord into ravaged shreds, her blade traversing his back in a slow motion until every remaining nerve in Victor's back has been scoured from the admantium cage.

"Done," Betsy says after a few seconds. She grabs Victor by the scruff of the neck and starts dragging him along effortlessly, releasing all the manacles but leaving the muzzle in place.

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