Intimate Visitations

October 09, 2015:

Betsy stops by to see Emma, and finds out the odd visions and visitations have spread further than they should.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

"Hullo- Emma?" Betsy steps into Emma's penthouse a bit warily, eyes casting about. Even for a woman accustomed to the luxury of the aristocrat, Emma's private quarters are a bit intimidating. Everything, of course, in white- white rugs, white seats, the little lines of stitching and the little engravings that make every piece of furniture in the penthouse stand out as a wholly custom affair.

She shrugs out of her wool pea coat, setting it aside on a chair back. Brisk evenings have befallen New York. "I'm let myself in- I do hope I'm not intruding," she calls, touching fingertips to her cheek and making a polite effort to be absolutely /sure/ she's not intruding on Emma's privacy. The text message to stop by had been fairly clear, but still, one doesn't just 'walk in' to someone else's abode without being invited in. Even Emma- /particularly/ Emma. Not that Betsy was afraid Emma would say no, of course, but because it was the 'correct' thing to do. And one thing they both appreciated in turn was an adherence to 'correctness' - the preservation of sometimes un-necessary beauty, as had once been said of etiquette.

"Elizabeth?" Emma's voice comes down from the upper floor, and is somewhat faint; the sound baffling in this penthouse is amazing, but there are a tiny few side effects of that. It's not great for yelling at distances and being heard.

Emma's yell, however, is soon followed by the brush of her mind against the other woman's shields. « Elizabeth? Ah. Yes, it is you. Come in, dear. I'll be right down. » There is an odd, almost 'breathless' quality to Emma's mental voice as she makes contact. Still no emotional content, but as if there's exertion of some sort.

It is perhaps two minutes later that the elegant platinum blonde mistress of this domain finally emerges, coming around the corner from the rear stairwell of the penthouse's upper floor. She is wrapped up in a floor-length shimmering white satin-finish silk robe, died about her waist with a pale blue sash of similar material shot through with silver edging. Emma moves with her usual grace, but with a much greater sense of loose relaxation than is her usual want.

"Welcome, welcome. I am so sorry I wasn't downstairs to receive you. Please, come in." Emma welcomes Betsy with a smile and the usual pleasantries, with little differentiation despite her attire. "You are not intruding at all. Please, come in."

That mental contact is met with the equivalent of a hug, and a moment later the two women have eyesight upon one another. "Think nothing of it," Betsy says quite firmly. "I'm sorry I'm so early. Traffic was quite light and I don't know the area around here well enough to feel comfortable dallying," Betsy admits, glancing at the city streets far below. She flickers a rare but sincere smile at Emma and ducks her head in a microcurtsey at the invitation, moving to the steps up to the balcony and walking up them with an unhurried step. Betsy looks like the dying breath of summer- all pastels in shades of lavender and orchid, with a clear 'to hell with you' to whomever created that rule about pastels, whites, and Labor Day.

Once topside, she moves to give Emma a brief but warm hug, and finds a comfortable seat to settle her hips on, crossing her legs at the knee and leaving one calf-high heeled boot bouncing absently in the air. "I had a bit of an interesting experience earlier today," she tells Emma. "I was wondering if you'd had any peculiar… let's call it 'visitations'," she suggests, touching a tongue to her upper lip momentarily. "I've found these sorts of things regularly happen in threes, as it were."

Emma seems to - oddly - welcome the brief but warm embrace, something she usually stiffens up about pretty substantially. She also seems a mite flushed, a warmer air to her coloring, her skin, and her presence. Not at all putting off serious Ice Queen vibes like usual. "Mmm. Peculiar visitations?" Emma seems to roll that thought and word choice around in her mind for a while before deciding quite how to respond. "I suppose you could say I've had an unusual occurrence, yes. Nothing serious or dangerous, mind you. But quite out of the ordinary for me." Yet Emma says nothing more about it. As if the very existence is as far as she is willing to go without prompting. "I trust no one was hurt?"

"I think I bruised a rib with a graceless fall," Betsy observes with a dry humor, "but no. No one substantially hurt. Just… startled. I'm still not sure what to make of it, and our friends are equally baffled. Still," she says, eyes going to Emma with a casually penetrating glance. Even if she wasn't a telepath, Betsy could probably start a career as a cold-reader or a poker player without missing a beat. She at least has the courtesy not to pry into Emma's personal life.

"It wasn't dangerous— or at least, not hostile," Betsy amends, looking at Emma again, fingers interlaced neatly on her thigh. "Just… unusual."

The blonde of the pair nods. "My own unusual occurrence was not dangerous, or hostile. But definitely unusual." Emma answers, agreeing with Betsy's point. "I'm sorry you were hurt." Emma seems to consider this for a bit, rolling it around in her mind, before she continues. "Do you … do you want to talk about what happened?" Emma seems oddly a bit uncertain about asking that. Betsy's skills with reading people without telepathy would likely imply to her that Emma is hesitant to push for details with the Brit out of concern that would open her up to answering inquiries about her own experience. Though why she'd be avoiding that would be anyone's guess.

Betsy eyes Emma again, but then runs down the experience in brief but specific detail- the odd tableu of the 'drowning' man, his lack of psychic echo. Even how he'd disappeared with that burst of telekinesis.

"I was quite startled at the time, but talking to Kurt and Jean, I suspect this was someone who was somehow… trapped. Unable to wholly take form in a fashion we could interact with." A shoulder rises and falls in an uncertain shrug, confessing Betsy's ignorance of the entire affair. "I don't think there was any malfeasance afoot. Merely confusion on our part."

"…Emma, if this is a bad time, I can come back later," Betsy says awkwardly, picking up a bit on Emma's reticence. While Betsy has little compunctions about meddling in Jean's personal affairs, it's a nod to the mutual respect she and Emma share that she doesn't blunder about with questions better left unasked. It's a gift of the aristocracy to politely ignore what one sees with their own eyes until the other party invites it, after all.

Emma visibly focuses, listening carefully as Elizabeth describes the incident in the Danger Room in detail. She asks a few incisive questions to nail down details, and otherwise leaves Betsy to tell it as she sees fit. "That deos sound rather startling and confusing. I can wholly understand your reaction."

Questioned, Emma pauses. Honestly, a part of her would almost like to take Betsy up on her offer and see her out, to get together another time. Emma is always a tad standoffish at the best of times, and her instinct is always to pull back, to get distance. But she shakes her head, just slightly. "No, Elizabeth. Everything is fine. It is not a bad time at all. Just a mite unusual for me. I am sorry if I'm making you uncomfortable."

"I'm British, darling," Betsy reminds Emma. "The aristocracy is /never/ uncomfortable." An over amused glimmer fills her gaze for a moment- the eternal battle between Yankee blue bloods and their British counterparts rages on, after all.

"If you'd be so kind as to keep your ears turned out for any odd developments, though, do let me know?" Betsy asks Emma, focusing on matters at hand again. "As I said, this is often the sort of thing that happens to more than one person at a time. Vengeful spirit, displaced traveller…" Manicured fingernails flick skywards in exasperation. "For all I know, another one of Jean's wayward time-displaced children is attempting to reach out to her. /Again/." She rolls her eyes. "What a ghastly notion," she murmurs. "I think a pregnancy would literally drive me to madness."

"Of course I'll keep myself tuned in as best I can, to anything else odd that may transpire. And I'll be sure to pass that along to you as best I can." Emma offers, extending a hand to lightly brush Betsy's hand with her own. "More time-displaced children we do not need." But the comment about the pregnancy seems to catch her oddly. She doesn't address it. But she is clearly affected, off-kilter. "How was Jean, when you left?"

Betsy turns her fingers up and squeezes Emma's hand in reply, rolling one shoulder in a shrug. "Fine. Scattered, perhaps, and certainly confused, but not overly out of sorts."

She glances sidelong. To say she was uncomfortable would be not entirely true, but she is somewhat uncertain of propriety in this situation. Prying would be rude, but Emma's reticence to volunteer anything leaves Betsy with few avenues of conversation that weren't either facetiously empty of content, or deliberately attempting to draw Emma into a conversation she clearly didn't want to have.

"Might I trouble you for a drink?" Betsy asks Emma, glancing to the buxom beach-blonde woman. "I'm a bit parched. Anything that's convenient would be fine," she assures Emma.

She does change her focus inwards for just a moment, extending her awareness of her areas in that reflexive gestalt way she regards the world quite frequently- sensing to see if Emma's discomfort is in fact, distress.

Emma returns the light squeeze and smiles upon her purple-haired friend. Most of her is really not trying to stymie Betsy, but she has never been one to volunteer much of anything, and her natural instincts continue to follow that line in spite of everything these two have been through together.

"You may certainly trouble me for a drink, Elizabeth. Perhaps some orange juice?" Emma offers, again with far more warmth than is her usual want, as she walks to a pitcher just inside from the balcony, pouring a glass and bringing it to Betsy, placing it directly in her hand with care.

Emma's state of oddness does not come through as distress. Indeed, it comes through most clearly as a sort of ill-focused embarrassment. But there is something else. Despite Emma's efforts to disguise or dampen it, there is an air about her that is usually absolutely absent. It is its presence, even dampened, that makes it so remarkable.

Though Emma is undeniably beautiful, and always goes to great lengths to enhance, augment and best present that beauty to greatest effect … she is never very receptive. Open. She is, in a word, usually quite cold. But right now, Emma is coming off warm. Approachable. Even, dare one say it, receptive.

One of the only reasons Betsy and Jean are really friends is that they've long since learned to overcome each other's flaws. Jean is introverted and awkward, and Betsy, much like Emma, wields propriety as a shield against vulnerability.

"Thank you," Betsy murmurs, accepting the juice with both hands. She doesn't even make a comment about carbs, taking a careful sip and resting her wrists on her knee.

"Emma, one of the things I've grown to enjoy about your company is a mutual appreciation for tact and propriety," Betsy says, deliberately. "We've respected each other's boundaries, and I daresay we've even become …friendly, in the process," she says, with a neutral gesture. "Without disrespecting your privacy, I like to think we are friends, and you're acting a bit out of character- or at least not consistently with how we've interacted in the past."

She shrugs apologetically, driving on. "The bottom line is that you're acting a bit oddly and it's driving me mad trying to dance around it artfully. What's the word Jean uses… 'Dish, girl'," she tells Emma, giving her a pointed look and arching an eyebrow.

With Betsy's juice safely delivered, Emma settles on her own piece of furniture, making herself comfortable as she can tell the Brit still wants to chat.

Emma does not blush. Seriously, most would seriously consider the possibility the woman has no blood flow at all. But there is almost - just almost - a hint of flush to her cheeks as Betsy somewhat pointedly - if gently - gets to the point and pushes. Emma doesn't fidget, but there's the air about her - part of that gestalt - that implies she would, were she any other woman.

"I did mention I'd had an … unusual encounter." Emma starts, far more uncertainly than is her usual. "To be honest, the encounter only ended a few minutes before you texted." Emma lets a rather pregnant pause build, clearly caught between playing a delaying game to perhaps encourage Betsy to drop it and retreat, and puzzling out how exactly to say what needs saying in a way that is more proper. More Emma, as it were.

"Rather than a …. horror-like encounter, like the manifestation in the Danger Room, I would say my own experience was a bit more … intimate."

That would be the other stiletto pump dropping.

"You had sex. Quel 'orror," Betsy says in a voice so deadpan it could benefit from an AED. She sounds neither shocked, nor surprised, her manner conveying being somewhat nonplussed at Emma's fidgeting reticence at sharing that tidbit.

"We're both quite grown women, Emma," Betsy points out. "I've made no bones about my dating life, and… well, the idea of you being a bastion of virginal propriety, with /that/ body, is laughable." She raises an eyebrow again, her only admission to having actually made a joke. "If you need to return to your room and finish things off, don't let me stop you. I can certainly take a nip down to the pub and get a glass of wine or the like while you and your guest finish business."

"We've had a very frank relationship thus far, and I have no objection to honesty going forward. I shan't press you for details, darling. Just know I'm not offended in the least if you are engaged in more, ahh… stimulating affairs," she says, eyes twinkling for a moment. It's the things Betsy /doesn't/ say that are frequently the most cerebral, and frequently most damnably annoying for it.

Emma's response is … as confusing as the rest has been. That pattern at least holds. She doesn't rise up, offended at any of the teasing tone. She doesn't shut down cold. But she also doesn't just take it all as it comes, either, which is what a woman of Emma's obvious experience, bredding and self-control /should/ do.

"Elizabeth … if it were just sex, I would not have brought it up."

Funny, how such a short sentence, so lacking in detail, can come across so heavy, right? Downright shocking.

"There was no one there. I brought no one home." Emma comments. And she doesn't. Ever. Bringing someone home means having to kick them out afterwards. Far better to come here afterwards, leaving them and returning to her sanctuary.

"As you say, I am far from a twittering virgin. But I was alone. And I was not indulging in self-exploration, as pleasant as that may be at times." Not that Emma would ever admit any of this under normal circumstances. But these are not normal circumstances.

"I laid down with a headache. I was out perhaps forty-five to fifty minutes. And then … I wasn't alone anymore. No one was there. But I wasn't alone." Emma explains, if a tad haltingly. "And … it was intense. /Emotional/, and intense."

Betsy abandons any amused humor and looks directly at Emma, her instantly controlled posture the only indication of alarm. "That is /extremely/ disturbing," Betsy says cooly, her eyes flashing with restrained anger. "On several levels— both that someone assaulted you so readily, and that they did so with no trace of physical presence. There is some spirit or … /something/ attempting to engage with us," Betsy says, focusing her obvious anger into more productive channels. The fingers in her left hand clench into a slow fist.

"I think for a time, you should consider staying at the Institute," she tells Emma- and not making it a diffident suggestion. It's a battle order. "Between you, myself, and Jean, we can sleep and work in shifts, and protect one another. The fact that some… /thing/ is assailing us in this fashion gives me a great deal of alarm."

She turns her eyes purposefully onto Emma and squeezes the woman's hand. "What can I do to help, dear?" she asks Emma, in a more conciliatory tone. No empty platitudes like 'I'm here for you' or 'I wish I could do something'. Right there, Betsy sets herself wholly at Emma's disposal.

The platinum blonde nods, firmly but not spasticly, as Betsy outlines just how disturbing all of this is. "Hence, I am afraid, my somewhat out of sorts response this afternoon. My apologies." Emma does not feel 'assaulted', per se, but she does feel violated and out of sorts. She is a woman of rigidly held boundaries, and whomever or whatever this is, it crossed all of them in exceptionally intimate ways, and without her permission or intent. It's not like it was emotionally scarring, but she would rather it not have happened. Thankfully, only Elizabeth has seen her like this.

"I have no desire to put anyone out. But if you feel it would be best for the three of us, then I will make arrangements to gather my things and come out to the Institute." Emma doesn't argue. It will be inconvenient. She will not be pleased. But she does NOT want this happening again.

Emma's hand squeezes in return. "You are doing it. Being in control, helping me to get back to being the same. Right now, that is what I need most of all." They can understand one another clearly in that way, because they are so similar.

"Of course, dear," Betsy says immediately. "However, next time, perhaps consider leading with the shocking news, hmm?" Her eyes twinkle again momentarily. "As much as I enjoy the observation of etiquette with you, there are times when even the British recognize a nod is better than a bow when it comes to expediency."

"Don't worry about putting anyone out, either," Betsy tells Emma. "We'll stake out one of the guest suites and move spare beds into it. I think for a few nights, at least, we should make sure we've all got line of sight to one another, and particularly focus on keeping a dreamcatcher in place. I'm a bit worried about the other girls at the school now. It's not impossible these are unrelated incidents, but… well." She straightens her back, reinforcing her mental self control. "I've found coincidences rarely are. Let's get you packed with what you'll need to survive a few days at the Institute for now, and we can leave as soon as your ready. I brought my car, so it should be quite a short trip back."

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