My Ninja Way

June 07, 2015:

Psylocke and Switch train whilst sharing their confusing feelings.

Dojo

A Dojo set up with Several posts jutting from the center.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

~The art of ninjitsu is more than stealth,~ Betsy projects to Zoe. The two of them are standing on a classic martial training device- nine wooden poles four inches wide and ten feet tall, jammed into the ground. Even in her wedge-heeled thigh-highs, Betsy seemingly has no effort at all finding purchase on the tiny platform, standing with her hands behind her back. ~It encompasses all the skills you'd need to pass through any obstacle. It has equal application on the battlefield or in a city. Many battles can be won by a single ninja in the right place, at the right time, before the war even begins.~

Zoe was standing there wearing a black tank top and a pair of track pants currently shoeless as she looked around the training area and then back t Psylocke. "Yea I looked up online, the ancient art of map reading probably seemed like the least badass of the Ninja skills." She said with a little half smile before bouncing in place a little. "Alright Sensei what do I do?" She was obviously excited Psylocke was taking the time to train her again as she bit her bottom lip a moment gazing up. "Hey Ms. Braddock between everything we've been doing does this mean you've decided to be my Master?"

Betsy steps from one pole to another as easily as if she were just pacing across a flat floor. ~It'd be more accurate to say I haven't decided to tell you 'no',~ she thinks at Zoe, moving to another pole.

~You think it's not 'badass', Zoe, but how will a ninja find a fight without a map? Without stealth, how do you approach your target? Without understanding how to /cook/, how can you deliver poison?~ She paces another step, gesturing for Zoe to approach. ~Climb up here. We're going to work on your balance.~

Zoe nods and takes a moment closing her eyes in a brief moment of concentration as she uses her body control to enhance her inner ear and establish a better center of gravity to air her a little while learning. Climbing up she managed with a little effort to stand on top of one of the poles arms out for balance for a second or two before placing them at her side. "How come you acted so different last night to the night we met Ms.Braddock is it because you're of two minds? It was like I was dealing with someone else entirely, I could sense you were struggling with something."

~…Follow my footsteps.~ Betsy doesn't offer an explanation, holding her hands out in a martial pose meant to aid balance, and starts stepping around the poles with deliberate, long strides, moving in a zig-zag around the perimeter of the poles. Her angular face, perfectly composed, seems a bit more serene than usual as she loses herself in the meditative exercise of pole-stepping from point to point. ~Focus. You are training balance, but you must think about your next motion. It is easier to do this if you plan for your next two steps instead of lunging from point to point.~

Zoe furrowed her brow a little and nodded focusing. "Its about managing momentum and your own mass to not waste energy but at the same time not let that energy act against you.. I understand the concept." She said in her usual analytical fashion as she tried to moved along with her. Every so often ending up hopping in place or having to extend her hands outwards to keep from falling but otherwise seemed to be keeping up. Likely partly thanks to her enhancements. "Sorry if the questions seemed personal Sensei but I just thought its good if we understand one another better."

~For some reason you are thinking that you and I will be friends,~ Betsy says, adding a complex pivot to their stepping motion. ~I'm not terribly interested in having more friends. Particularly not a student. You don't need to understand my feelings to obey my instruction. And if you want to get to know me, then you'll do so by applying yourself to mastering my methods. Not listening to my words,~ she projects, still using telepathy instead of words.

Zoe copied her movements biting her bottom lip and having to focus more, it was becoming difficult to do so but she had a look of pure determination on her face. Moving from post to post as the pattern changed and their movements required greater balance and more complex footwork. "The two closest relationships we've seeded hasn't been friends. The first night it seemed flirtatious and last night you were almost motherly. So I guess you're right there." She said with a half-smile. "Besides isn't the other half of every battle one of the mind.. I can't see you arguing there. Especially as you speak into mine Sensei."

Betsy puts a second rotation into the step, forcing Zoe to complete a full series of turns with every three steps she takes. ~Flirtation is often the fastest way to gain a sense of a person's motives, Zoe. A ninja knows the last strike is more important than the first. Making yourself appear vulnerable is often better than any armor.~

She steps into a low, scooping duck, adding a snapping punch to every fourth step. ~And as a teacher it behooves me to make sure you eat well and take care of your body. Sensei, or not,~ she says, punching the air with a *snap*.

Zoe seemed to start having trouble stepping through the motions as she lost herself before having to catch from falling with one hand. Pulling herself back up before hitting the ground and climbing back into place as she started again with renewed determination. "I think thats a deception Sensei, since we met you know I'm more complex when it comes to my motives. They're not for personal gain, just yesterday I risked my life in an attempt to save Gotham and perhaps the world from an invasion of Alien Parademons. Not to mention the idea a teenager might be attracted to something beautiful isn't a unique trait that I possess."

Betsy slowly comes to a halt in a dynamic pose atop two poles, hands coming up to protect her head from notional attackers. ~No one said your motives were ulterior, Zoe.~ She starts moving again, but half as quickly, demanding more control and greater strength from Zoe as they shift through the awkward positions. ~Nor that you are selfish. Just shortsighted.~ Step, step.

~Let's propose for an argument's sake that I acted on an attraction to you. To what end?~ she says, her features utterly serene, amethyst eyes focused on nothingness. ~A night of passion? A handful? Would you compromise your training for me? Would you risk me sparing you the rod because of misplaced affection? Or pushing you too hard because I worry I am compromised ethically?~ She pushes her hands through the air in a series of simple blocks. ~Would you accept the scorn of your peers, who'd think you were simply pursuing me for personal gain?~

Betsy's words seemed to goad Zoe into greater concentration. "Short-sighted is such a pessimists idea of focused. On this moment, on this action, on you. I devote myself to what I do and I'm not afraid of failure or the ridicule that might come with it because its inevitable. I'm not perfect, I'm not inhuman, I'm just someone who got lucky, mutated, and became the person she always dreamed of being. That's a gift that was nurtured by this place and honed by people like you Ms. Braddock." She nearly missed a step falling forward but managed to catch the post with her hand. Focusing as her legs split to either side before taking a deep breath and spinning in the air and flipping back onto her feet landing with a little hop. "I'm never going to be ashamed or question my desires because of all that. I know who I am."

~Good. One of the greatest enemies you can face- as a ninja or a mutant- is crippling self-doubt.~ Betsy steps and moves and steps again, always a half-beat ahead of Zoe. ~Remember though, that we must always be more than our mutations. Charles is a great man not because he is a psychic but because h is a /great man/. Scott…~ Abruptly, the psychic communication cuts off.

Betsy leaps from the poles and steps away a pace, broad shoulders rising and falling with carefully controlled breaths, looking at something on the other side of the dark corners of the Danger Room.

Zoe dismounted when she did. Obviously tired from the precise exercises they'd bee doing but she took a moment to oxygenate her blood and shrug it off walking towards her with a curious glance. A hand moving up towards Betsy's shoulder. "I know I'm young Sensei but I'm not blind to your struggle. I've only known you closely for a short time now but I can sense it. You're so often torn between desires even with me. I don't want to be a complication in your life I want to be sturdy like one of these posts. Something you can lean on and help forge to be even better. Please.. Let me be here for you and you for me. I don't know what you wanna call it and I don't think that even matters. i wanna cast aside doubt, rules, perceptions. Cannot we just be ourselves and not worry about definitions?"

Betsy seems to be ignoring Zoe, remaining silent until she feels that hand on her shoulder.

It's not that she's fast. It's that she's unspeakably /fluid/. No shift in her weight. No telegraphing. One moment Zoe is behind Betsy. In the next, Betsy is holding Zoe's wrist and elbow an immoveable joint lock, putting enough force on her arm to force the woman to a half-kneeling position.

"Do NOT touch me without my permission," she snarls out loud, a nimbus of psionic energy corsucating around her head. She adjusts the angle of the grip a fraction of an inch, sending pain through Zoe's joints. Fury writes her features over. "I am not a slave to my desires, Zoe. I am an X-man." She jerks the arm again, keeping Zoe off balance. "You have two choices when I let you go. Walk out those doors, without looking back, and take a gamble that I might let you into my room tonight- very likely for /the on night/." She twists the wrist again, keeping it right on the screaming edge of breaking Zoe's arm. "Or you shut your mouth, get back on the poles, and TRAIN. What's it going to be, /Student/?" she demands, grabbing Zoe's chin with her other hand.

Zoe falters slightly she didn't see it coming. Those brown eyes starred into those amethyst orbs of Psylockes as she seemed resolute despite the obvious signs of pain as her body quivered amidst it. "You know what I did yesterday? I had a someone not just die in my arms but explode. Sending me flying through the air, breaking my ribs, my arm.. My only consolation was the gore left behind upon me. A sample of who they were that might reverse the power that was gripping the world." She cringes at the pain. "I did that for people I don't even know.. You think I'm gonna give up caring for someone I consider family? Someone who I love because she and people like her took me in when the world wanted me dead? I'll never give up on you Sensei or anyone else here.." She said as a tear streamed from an eye down her cheek. "I'm not upset because you're angry.. I'm upset because you really think /thats/ all I think of you as."

Betsy stares at Zoe for a long few seconds, letting the girl cry it out. She lets her go, finally, making sure it's clear she's doing it because her point is made, and not because Zoe is hurting. Her face is impassive and impossible to read.

"I'm not asking you to not care, Zoe. Someday, we might be teammates. Someday I might be relying on you to save my life. On that day, I sincerely hope you care for me enough to do so." She reaches down and grabs Zoe's tricep, lifting her to her feet.

"You're a good person, Zoe. But sleeping with me isn't going to convince me to have feelings for you. I'm an X-man. You're /already/ important to me."

Zoe got to her feet. "Do you think thats what this is all about Sensei? I wont deny my desire but you're more then your appearance. You're a complicated woman trapped within something not complicated enough for her. I look up to you, thats why I'm here." She rolled her arm a little. "Don't sell yourself short like that, I think I understand you better then you understand me. I expected better of a master assassin." She said with a somewhat sly expression. "Cause I think I'm pretty complicated myself. I'm just not willing to apologize for wanting something. So keep throwing it in my face if you want but you won't shame me."

Betsy just shakes her head. "You can want it all you want, Zoe. I'm not here to control your thoughts. If I was inclined to do that, I'd just /do it/."

"But you need to get your various urges under control. The only relationship we will /ever/ have is as teacher and student. Now. If you can stick to that- if you can respect the boundaries I'm setting out- then someday, that might expand… to /Sensei/ and student. Show me you have the control to sacrifice what you want for something you might someday /have/." She gestures at the poles, again. "Or the door is over there."

Zoe gave a half smile at that. "Sensei, I think you're the one who can't get it off her mind." She teased a little and made her way back towards the posts mounting one until she stood up. "As if I could convince the great Psylocke of anything she didn't want. That first night what did I ask? I wanted you as my mentor. Now please stop assuming I'm so simple in my desire Sensei. You keep going on and you're going to make me blush." She said with a somewhat coy expression as she got into the ready position.

Betsy just stares at Zoe until the younger woman gets back on the training poles, watching her start going through the basic stepping patterns again. It's not until Zoe is moving away that an uncomfortable expression crosses Betsy's regal features. Zoe's words might be hitting a bit closer to home than she is willing to admit. "An hour," she tells Zoe. "If you forget the pattern, bring up the holorecorder and review. Don't rush it. Do it correctly." Betsy watches Zoe step for another few rotations, then walks off, hips swinging loosely as she heads for the Danger Room door, her face more pensive than she'd like to admit.

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