Emma the Interloper

July 06, 2015:

Emma finishes a session with Betsy, and runs into Jean. Women telepaths abound!

Xavier's Institute - New York City

Xavier's Institute grounds are located on 1407 Graymalkin Lane in Westchester County between Graymalkin Lane itself and Breakstone Lake (30 miles outside of NYC itself). A large portion of this is acres upon acres of woodland forest. To the farthest eastern portion of the Institute's grounds there is a stretch of low foothils.

Upon entering the Institute grounds immediately past the heavy gated entrance one finds themselves on a carefully paved road that splices in two directions, west and east.

The west leads to the School for Higher Learning where gifted youngsters are educated and taught to use their unique talents. Here almost year around children and teachers are housed.

To the east miles away lies Xavier's Mansion where Professor Xavier himself and some faculty members of the school live. These "special" individuals are those aware of Xavier's more clandestine operations, the adminstration and training of the X-Men.

Beyond the neatly walled mansion's yard in those foothills is an obscure landing strip that leads to a hangar complex and a subtly hidden facility. A facility that houses underground sublevels, a danger room, Cerebro and the training halls of one of the most advanced mutant fighting teams in the world.

An underground monorail connects the School for Higher Learning with the Charles Xavier's Mansion and the X-Men's Hidden Complex. Security is tight in this region, by means of limited magical warding, advanced future tech security systems and telepathic sweeps. Tread carefully.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Of course, it has been no secret that Emma Frost has been spending time around the Mansion. Thus far, that time has been limited, and spent almost entirely with Elizabeth, and mostly in the injured ninja telepath's room, the kitchen or the dining room. But she has been around. Of course, many are likely wondering about her motives, and Emma never makes it easy to understand why she chooses to do something. But she did go out of her way to seek out Betsy, and put forth a considerable effort to heal the woman, awakening her from her coma and now spending some time almost every day trying to help her get back up to snuff.

Emma is a busy woman. But she did not call an end to today's session. Instead, that came from Betsy pretty much mentally blurring herself into sleep with a pain pill, required after she managed to foolishly strain herself. Now, with the purple-haired X-Woman asleep, Emma is just now closing the door to Elizabeth's room. The glittering tower of her well-shielded, uptight mind is hard to miss, as she scans the hallway, and then starts making her way towards the stairs. She'll wait to signal the driver of her limo until she reaches the porch.


It almost seemed like kismet; it's not often hard for two telepaths to avoid each other especially if the brain signatures drawing from that singular person stands out like a bright diamond. At the bottom of the stairs awaits Jean, arms folded about her chest in a near lazy stance, one hand soon reaching out to grasp the wooden rails as she slowly draws her way up front. It really wasn't her intention to meet Emma half way, her intention was to join the two in the training sessions to at least watch and see if there was anything new to learn, or if anything needed to be done to assist.

Besides, Xavier's walls were talking all about how Emma managed to save Psylocke from her mental throes; Jean feeling slightly guilted as being the one who actually threw her and put her there to begin with. Space, wasn't deserved, but she felt it was proper punishment to keep herself away from one of her friends.

Even though Kurt was moving around? It was hard to be in the same room just even knowing that she gave him that limp.

She stops at the middle of the stairs, bottom planted upon the wood as one foot crosses over the other, her jaw slightly tense as she keeps her gaze upright to look towards the vacated hallway with a hint of remorse.

"How's she doing? Elizabeth.."


Emma slows her approach as she sees the fiery redhead. As a telepath, granted she was keenly aware of where Jean was most of the time when they were both present around the estate. But she has easily avoided Jean, as Jean has avoided Elizabeth. Until now, it seems.

The platinum blonde arrayed in white eyes the redhead, showing neither clear disdain, nor any real animosity. There is just an air of the impassive, the unmoved. The neutral. "Ms. Grey." Emma intones, proper in all things, but so icy cold and distant.

"Elizabeth is in pain, but resting. Our session ended early today, because she decided to push herself physically beyond her current limits, and needed a pain pill. Now, she can no longer concentrate, so she is sleeping." There is an edge to Emma's voice, as if she is irked or annoyed. But she is not being nearly as scathing as she is capable. It's as if she's holding herself back for some reason. She gives no sign of what she may know about the incident that has so disabled Betsy.


It could have been easy for Jean to gleam the thoughts from anyones mind to figure out the womans name. But as words travel quick, she heard it all well enough, mostly through Betsy's lips after all. "Ms. Frost." Jean didn't bear a glance towards Emma, mostly because she tried her best to keep her own neutrality in check, even though shame was clearly written across her features.

The quick dossier of Betsy's rehabilitation causes her to shake her head, her fingers grasping against the bannister with the need to approach the room and shake the woman up. Much like Betsy would have done her. But she relents, drawing herself at a roll against the bannister, taking one step downward to hold tight to the rails.

"That's good." Good, what?

"If you do not mind, and I'm sure there'll be a time when I'm actually able and free to visit her, what ails her? I know that being comatose could do things to ones psyche but this is a mystery.."


Of course, most here know who Emma Frost is. Hers is a name mentioned more than once by Charles, to be sure; he even tried to recruit her, years ago. And has kept an eye on her, despite or perhaps because of her refusal then. She can definitely seem an indomitable force of will.

A warmer, more human woman would reach out to Jean to soothe her distress and pain. Emma isn't that woman. Yet another reason why others are so suspicious of her efforts to help Betsy, because it just doesn't fit with Emma's pattern of behavior and attitude.

"Mind?" Emma offers, her voice an ice cold scalpel against the nerves and emotions. "There is a mystery, indeed. I have suspicions. But Elizabeth has chosen not to reveal to me the fullness of what happened. Rachel too held back." And it burns Emma's buttons that they would not tell her, despite all she was doing and has done to help.

"In short, Elizabeth was exposed to a profound psychic power. Her mind shut down to protect itself from that power. Remnants of that power left psychic burns, searing her mind closed in ways that threatened to forever render her powerless. No longer a telepath." Emma may be calm and coolly neutral, but her tone leaves no doubt as to her feelings about this: such is a fate far worse than death.

"With Rachel's assistance, I was able to heal Elizabeth's mind, and syphon off that energy. But such damage is something she will have to work through for some time, before she regains her strength and talent." Yet Emma, it seems, has given her word to see Elizabeth restored, no matter how long that process may take.


Betsy is apparently a dirty, dirty liar, because she is up on her feet and moving, the pill she'd palmed resting on the nightstand next to her bed. The lean kunoichi winces with every motion- a cracked rib is a cracked rib- and eases onto her feet.

Two minutes later, she walks out into the hallway wearing a grey maxi dress and her favorite wedges. She'd even applied makeup and pulled her hair into a neatly tied-off ponytail, which is some sort of ninja magic given the injuries to her shoulder and clavicle. The IV catheters lashed to her forearm sort of spoil the look, but she at least isn't going to die of mortification from being seen in hospital gown and covered in bruises to boot.

She almost blunders right into Jean and Emma, though, blinking rapidly. "I… damn, I was hoping you'd have left," she tells Emma with wry insincerity. "This is awkward." She looks at Jean and wrinkles her nose affectionately at the redhead. "Hullo, dear. I'm glad to see you're feeling up to moving about," she says, stopping nonchalantly to lean against a balustrade (needing the support a lot more than she'd care to admit).


Vacant as Jean was in that moment, her mind unwillingly clung to every word, her green eyed gaze darting towards Emma as .. no one actually told her? She didn't take the information for herself? That was a new one. She slumps her shoulders then and there, turning to press the small of her back against the railing this time, arms folded politely as she gives a slight hint of a nod. "Profound psychic power.." Jean nods slowly. "That'll do it." Her arms drop to her sides as her eyes go up towards the ceiling, sensing that mind moving and quite possibly hearing an 'echoed ouch', whatever it was, it causes Jean to turn to place a foot up the stairs, pressing upright with a tug and pull until she manages to see in Betsy in better spirits than she.

"Elizabeth! That was quite rude!" She scolds the woman lightly, reaching out with a hand to lightly tap her knee as if she were spanking an errant child. She glances towards Emma, a sincere look within her gaze, her hand soon outstretched as she leans a little bit closer, a slight smile upon her face even though it remains a touch sad. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Frost. But you can call me Jean from here on out." Her own shields slam right up as soon as that hand-outstretches, defending her mind from other telepaths have become a thing since.. Bets and her prying.

"Though I do think we should see Elizabeth to her room." And for Jean to get a closer look. "You shouldn't be out and about and I've healed since that night in the infirmary."


Emma does not miss Elizabeth emerging onto the stairs; how could she, when Betsy still isn't strong enough to completely contain the pain she's leaking. But she has the wherewithall to not grind her teeth - years of practice - as she turns, eyeing the purple-haired British ninja with laser-precise icy vision. "If you were hoping I would have left, Elizabeth, you should have waited patiently ten minutes more. I'm sure Ms. Grey would have had more than her fill of my company by then, and I would have been in the car, on the way back to the office." And blissfully unaware that the one person in the world she seems somehow to give some damn about is busy lying to her and trying to exacerbate her unhealed injuries.

Emma remains silent as Jean and Betsy talk, filing away for later review the information that it seems Jean knows all too well the mighty psychic entity involved … and was involved in the event. She suspected as much, and now it is confirmed. Her response to Jean is … textbook Emma, however. "Of course, Ms. Grey. I could indeed call you Jean. But I have always found a bit of formality can be key in maintaining proper decorum and social graces."

The platinum blonde demonstrates the same as she turns to eye the dressed-up patient. "Ms. Braddock, perhaps you would do me the honor of allowing me to escort your limping, broken body back upstairs to your room, before your stubborn attitude forces me to exert myself on the matter?" See? Isn't it entertaining to watch the verbal sparring? Maybe they should sell tickets!


Betsy looks from Jean, to Emma, then back again. "If anyone gets any notions about forcibly leading me back to my hospital bed, they'll recieve a pointed lesson in acupressure techniques." She sways a bit, clinging to the balustrade, and reflexively grips Emma's forearm as a muscle shifts against her cracked rib. "That being said, I think I've had enough fresh air," she gasps with carefully aristocrat tone of control, going a bit pale in the cheeks at the sudden flash of pain. "Jean, I need you to get hold of Logan, when opportunity presents. I need him to shop for some things for me," she requests of her friend.


Ayup. Emma called it. Jean was already ready to go, mostly to save everyone else within the institude another lesson at which happened in the medical room; there was a need to check upon the nurses and staff there to make sure that they were on the up and up. Her mind immediately wanders to that place again, her hands soon grasped together and wrung ever so tightly, finally shaking out as she gives a slight shake of her head and a lift of her finger towards Bets.

She points.

Opens her mouth…

Drops her hand and lets out a slight growl, her fingers clenching into a fist, red hair whipping around as she tucks one hand into her jean pocket as the other lifts off in a wave.

Swear. It was just like high school all over again. Jean forever having her ego bitten and torn.. this time by TWO OF THEM! Arg!

"I'll call him.." She mutters to herself.. "Need a damn drink.."


Emma glances over her shoulder, watching Jean's retreat with some measure of open curiosity. She's quite sure why the woman is retreating, but she finds it amazing nonetheless. She expected more mettle. Perhaps she's just taking it easy in the face of Elizabeth's condition? How silly!

When Emma's gaze comes back around to Betsy, she extends her arm and does not wince at the grip applied to keep the other woman on her feet. "I believe that will be quite enough. Let us get you back upstairs so that you can /actually/ take that medication." Damned arrogant, reckless fool!

"Am I to understand that you intend to ask a /male/ … and /that/ male … to go /shopping/ for you?" Emma inquires scathingly. She picked up Elizabeth's mental image of the mutant in question, and is rather stunned. "Surely you jest. What is it you need? I will have it flown in promptly." It's shopping. And Emma. Puh-leeze!


"Yes, yes, no, and you can't," Betsy responds, in order. She smiles at Jean's departing back with a wan expression of undisguised fondness, then moves with a slow grace that is only slightly hitched by her limited mobility. The IVs in her forearm don't help with the attempt at regality, but, one could argue that it's the attempt that matters as much as success.

"Logan spent a great deal of time in the both the praefactures and rural posts of Japan," she explains to Emma, focusing carefully on keeping her feet in front of the other. "I need some traditional medicines that frankly, a gaijin would be unable to procure," she tells Emma with a small, vaguely apologetic shrug. "He knows the shops in the city that cater to expatriates and can make inquiries on my behalf."

She leans against the doorframe to her room, pausing to gather herself, and steps out of her wedges. She sort of kicks them where they belong, though, rather than any attempt at bending to sort them into a proper position. She moves to the bed and eases into it, her dress tugging a bit askew and putting her long legs on display. Finally positioned, she fairly collapses into the mattress with a suppressed groan of relief as the pressure leaves her ribs.


The platinum blonde telepath arches one imperious, perfectly sculpted eyebrow as she eyes Elizabeth, escorting the woman back to her bed while resisting the urge to just scoop her the Hell up and get her there faster and with less damned pain! It does not help that she is also resisting womanfully the urge to swat the woman for failing to realize Emma is quite capable of reading all of the pertinent information, and then arranging the purchases required without ever revealing herself, let alone that she is gaijin. Hello, telepath! But the argument is somewhat fruitless, so Emma decides not to start it. The urge is strong, however.

"As you wish." Emma murmurs with rigid politeness and formality, regardless if Elizabeth is up to realizing its meaning. "May I /please/ prevail upon you to /actually/ take your medication this time? If you truly insist, I am even willing to help you use the pill cutter to take a half-dose, though I consider that rather foolish."


"I…" Betsy has the good grace to look a bit embarassed at having been caught in an attempt at duplicity. Everyone lies, of course, but an aristocrat at least is polite enough to look chagrined when caught and not overtly confronted with it.

"Yes, of course." She picks the pill up and puts it on her tongue, drops her hand away, and then swallows it quite demonstrably. She reaches for her water and takes a careful sip, wincing at the effort.

"I hate pharmaceuticals," she confesses, finally. "The feeling of being stumblingly incoherent is quite disorienting for me." She rests her hands on her flat stomach, shoulders easing into the pillows.

"You told Jean there was a chance my talents were burned into nonfunction," she says, not quite looking at the regal blonde. "I confess to feeling a bit numbed in that regard, but I… honestly, I haven't exerted myself much," she says uncomfortably. Tacitly admitting that she already knew what Emma had asserted, and perhaps being a bit afraid of that terrible consequence.


They are alone. Again. Emma allows herself a tiny moment of compassion for Elizabeth, resting a hand lightly on Betsy's forearm. "I cannot imagine you would find such insensate moments at all pleasant, Elizabeth. Neither would I in your place. But you need not be that affected. Still, some degree of medicinal assistance will be required. Do not shirk it entirely. Your body needs rest, and that rest will only come when the pain is dulled enough to allow it." That said, Emma's hand lifts. We're not going to get hugs, damnit. That's just not done!

"You would have lost everything. It's true." And the abject horror of it is writ in Emma's pale eyes within her otherwise expressionless face, made all the more striking because that is all there is and no more. "Based on what I've managed, you will retain your abilities. Or rather, regain them." Emma explains. "But, unfortunately, I had to re-route things. Too much was obliterated, and I had to re-create it. So you are having to re-learn so much." Emma wishes she could have made it better than this. But unless she herself was Phoenix incarnate, she could not. She doubts even Charles could have done better. Faster, perhaps. But not better.


Betsy shares that quiet moment of empathy and compassion with Emma, by making no mention of it. She doesn't quite look at Emma, just as Emma doesn't quite look at her. All propriety. Aristocrats don't suffer, don't experience heartbreak or loss. They certainly don't express it publically, and in rare moments of vulnerability, decorum keeps the blue-blooded from acknowledging that pain in one another. Stiff upper lip, and all.

Still, her hand turns palm-up for a moment when Emma's fingers slide down her forearm, catching at her fingertips for just a lingering moment. Barely discernable, but sincere.

"I find myself profoundly in your debt, Miss Frost," Betsy says, after that pointed moment where she swallows the lump in her throat. Her voice is rich and cultured, if not a bit raspy yet. "Your efforts have been far and beyond what any of our social ties would require or even ask of us. Thank you," she says, simply, finally looking to Emma's sky-blue eyes with her amethyst gaze.


The brush of their fingertips, that tiny moment, makes it all that much more startlingly intense in its contrast. "Believe it or not, my aid to you was not in the interest of social ties." Emma answers, her voice whisper soft. She will deny to her dying day the wealth of emotion tightly reined within that soft-spoken tone. "You have glimpsed a tiny fraction of what I experienced. Why I now find myself adrift and wondering. You, I must trust." she admits.

Emma cannot say she /needs/ Elizabeth; that is the bridge too far, surely. But it is true. She needs the woman who understands what no other being alive in this time can. And she needs an ally against the impinging Darkness threatening to swamp everything and everyone. "I have done what I felt was proper, and shall continue so to do." Only Emma can make such a tightly rigid turn of phrase sound natural.


"Yes, quite."

And that's all that needs be said on those topics. The nightmares they'd shared quite independent of one another were harrowing things, barely even discussed. Emma aware of Elizabeth's experience- Betsy, keenly perceptive to etiquette, could not mistake the signs of palpable worry in Emma's voice when she referred to that harrowing incident.

And there was something else quite unspoken, beyond even all that- a sense of gentle camraderie, even sorority, shared by the two women. Aristocratic upbringings, social elitism, the pressures of maintaining perfection that is a goal only seen from afar by those who merely strive towards something like it.

"I should not want to prevail overly on your time, Miss Frost," Betsy tells the other woman, breaking that moment of unexpected companionship. "I promise to remain abed until the morning. Breakfast, though, if you're of a mind," she says, making it polite offer. "Something on the healthy side, rather than the usual slop of sugar-infused gruel the children here eat by the tonne. If you've the time, of course," she says, giving Emma the diplomatic way out etiquette requires.


Emma inclines her head slightly, acknowledging all that goes unspoken betwixt them. "Very well, then. I shall go, and leave you to rest." Emma answers, returning the last of her armored composure, such that none could ever guess what has transpired here. "I believe I've time yet to rearrange tomorrow and free up time in the morning. I will call later to confirm." Because that too is right and proper.

Just like them.

"Rest well, Elizabeth. Until the morrow." And with that, Emma turns and walks to the door, closing it softly behind her.

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