Magical Introductions

February 09, 2016:

Nate brings X-23 home to meet Rose on a more formal basis.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Ripclaw

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Usually Nate returns to Salem center by flying. Manhattan is barely ten minutes away for him. But tonight he took the subway and then the train. He is not travelling alone and he wanted some time to talk with Laura. Or maybe to talk to Laura, since the girl is not very talkative. Of course he told Rose they would have a guest, but also it was not necessary to hide the artillery. Not from this guest.

He mostly talked about stage magic and theatre and why he thinks it is fun. Hopefully Laura didn't spent half the trip rolling her eyes.


Talk at her, is likely the apt description of it. For most of the subway and train ride, X-23 barely spoke. She was paying attention to what Nate said. There were points where her gaze would find it's way back to him, when some interesting point caught her attention, but overall she was simply quiet and watchful. Watchful of the people around them, at least. Not necessarily of Nate.

Also, there was no eye rolling from Laura, either. Sure, she may have felt some small bit of irritation at the amount of talking Nate /could/ do, but not a hint of it was betrayed upon her face.

It's only when they're stepping off the train that Laura will finally say, "You talk much." At least she didn't say /too/ much in that sentence of hers. Then she'll follow Nate wherever they need to go, carefully memorizing the lay of the land and which directions they took, even as she keeps a watch for any sort of trouble that might find them.


If Nate is bringing someone to their home, she has no intention of hiding anything. It means somewhere along the lines he came to trust and like the person. So why hide shit? Rose did not even wipe off the counters or fluff the couch cushions, she in fact, remained in her pj's, sitting indian style on the center in front of the television with a coffee spiked with Rum clutched in her grip.

Sip.

Though this does not nix the curiousity on exactly who he is bringing to their humble abode and why? If she was an animal the ridge along her spine would bear slightly risen hackles. A bit protective. Hence the spiked go-juice.

Breathe.

Sip.

Exhale.


"No, Laura. You talk too little," so Nate had to make up for it. It is still a few minutes walking to the 'bungalow' Rose picked as their new home, but it is a nice walk through the tame forests. The place is a hundred yards from the main road, and about the same distance from the closest house. "Anyway, we can have dinner, and you can meet my girlfriend again. I think you will like her, she is also very good at fighting. And I think we will end up working together. Not in stage magic shows, though. She is more into… knife throwing, or demolition derbies."

He opens the door of the small house, inviting Laura in, "Rose? Remember Laura? She was the girl that led us to McCoy."


His mention of her talking too little causes the young woman to offer that ever so faint frown of hers. For others that expression wouldn't say much, but for Laura it does. Still, only silence is met to his words, as the young assassin follows the very talkative Nate into the little bungalow. The mention of Rose liking to fight, along with knife throwing and demolition derby does cause the dark-haired woman to turn a thoughtful look back to Nate.

Once X-23 is over the threshold of the smallish house, she'll automatically cast an assessing look around the place. She's looking at /everything/, cataloging what might and might not be a threat that's around the trio. Finally those bright green eyes of Laura's settle upon Rose and stay there for a long silent moment.

It's only after Nate re-introduces Laura to Rose, that Laura will say in her rather monotone voice, "Hello."


X is left to catalog a lot. Not the space. It's almost normal, if it was not for the way things are organized to suit up and outfit as well as fully weaponize Rose on her exit if a swift one is needed. From door to the back there are small hanging straps and garters, but within them are loaded clips, slung and sharpened daggers, holsters, a cabinet for the guns that only resembles an armoire, a sword rack that keeps them nicely mounted above a doorway in an X formation with the back holsters hung neatly on a customized rack upon a door. Behind that closet door where she keeps her suit.

Nice, neat, enough so OCD people would approve as without a trained eye it just looked like decor, not an actual armory of residential proportions.

The explosives are kept better hidden.

From behind whisps of shorn white hair that mismatched gaze of blue and milky white stares towards X and Nate, a light dip of chin gives them a nod before she downs the coffee and rises. Black loosefit pants hang low on hips, laced at the waist to keep them aloft and a tank top reading 'Due to the rising cost of ammunition I am no longer firing a warning shot' rests over her torso.

"Coffee?" Assessment made and an offer extended, perhaps they will get somewhere!

"I remember her. We were on the same page when it came to who to leave standing and to to shove in a body bag." The only one.


"Coffee," agrees Nate, stepping into the kitchen for a second to grab two mugs. "And I will call for pizza." Because pizza with coffee is okay in Nate's world. Of course Rose's coffee might have more alcohol than coffee, but that is also okay in Nate's world. He gets off his cell. "Anyway, Laura is settling at Xavier's school for superhero muties. But she is one of us, Rosie. Living weapons should stick together, right? And Ripclaw has a lead in more weapon-makers."


The mention of coffee garners a single head shake from Laura. Again her gaze will flicker back to the various weapons that can be found in the house, along with holsters and various weaponry racks, as well. When her gaze returns to Rose and Nate, they might be able to identify the faint look of approval upon the girl's rather dour seeming expression.

The mention of being on the same page about just /who/ to kill versus not allows Laura to nod again, that look of approval definitely upon her face again. "Yes." Yup, she's definitely a talkative one.

Stepping further into the living area, X-23 will look at the various pieces of furniture that one can sit on, before she looks back to Rose and Nate. Her head will tilt slightly to the side as they talk a bit of shop. That talk of shop is enough to cause her to ask, "Weapon-makers?"


Rose deadpans at X as she denies the coffee. A small rise of brow and the shrug that has her spinning for the fridge leaves her to sling the door open and a gesture of hand leaves it open for offer.

"Then have whatever tickles your fancy." A flick of fingers and she slides the mug towards X that Nate had brought down. But as Nate easily predicted half rum, half coffee and Rose is reloaded. But when Nate mentions Ripclaw the liquid finds itself being spittled back into the cup and coughed out the way it came.

Wiping lips with the back of her hand Rose sets the mug aside and pops a squat upon the counter. "Always business and hints with you." Rose eyes Nate with a small smirk. Now to X. "A friend. Had a bit of a run in with a group of kids being molded into…" Headtilt. "Better mutants?" Whatever the term. "Bad company."

When she finishes using a washcloth to wipe her shirt of alcoholic coffee she picks her mug back up and sips. "You know, people who condition and manipulate those with gifts to make them puppet weapons."


"You should try Rose's coffee," states Nate simply. "What kind of pizza do you like?" He adds, clicking the screen of his cell. He flops down on the couch and sighs. "I told you we had a few things in common, Laura. See? I wasn't really born. I was made in a lab by a mad scientist, genetically engineered to kill his enemies and then die. Well, it didn't work out for him. I got rescued, and eventually I killed him. I can tell you the whole story some other day but the important bits are these: One, you can leave all that shit away and build your own life. And two, people that does that need to die. Ripclaw is after a telepath recruiter for an outfit called Cyb…"

He stops, as he has line with the pizza place. He stands up and spend the next couple minutes talking about pizzas. Another interesting conversation, the girl better give him clues of what they want or he will go after the one with everything (including pineapple and anchovies).


Rose's rather deadpanned expression doesn't seem to phase Laura too much, but she does look at the contents of the fridge is given a look. She still doesn't take anything from the fridge, instead simply reaching out and closing the door, once everyone has taken what they need from the fridge.

A thinning of her lips is quite evident when Rose describes the group molding kids into better mutant. And then when that last bit is added by Rose, that non-expression upon X-23's face turns glacial. "I understand." And beneath that almost seemingly monotone response is a wealth of anger. Perhaps enough so that Nate might pick up on it with his telepathy.

When Nate reveals some of his story, the dark-haired young woman will turn her attention to him. Again, she nods and says. "I understand." But what does she really understand? Likely the second of Nate's point versus the first. Killing is so much easier to figure out than how to make oneself happy.

Looking between the two, X-23 will ask, "This Ripclaw has a lead? I will help kill them with you."

As for pizza? X-23 says nothing about preferred toppings. Food is not something she necessarily cares about.


Nate glances at Laura as she even avoids getting anything to drink. Hmm, something there is deeply wrong. People with enhanced senses should at least enjoy eating some food, right? More talk about pizza follows. At least he remember Rose's favorite toppings (this time).

Phone off. "Talk like that and you are going to get along with Ripclaw pretty well. I am more interested in stopping these guys and rescuing the victims. If they die, well, I am fine with that, too."


"From the way he talked, Ripclaw has been after them for some time and it has lead him here." Rose is listening to Nate's order and when he about says anchovies Rose gives him a deathstare. No little salted and refined fishstrips for her thankyounothanks. Or pineapple. Fruit does not go on pizza.

When Nate starts openly spouting about his past it gets him another look, one that has Rose keeping her lips thinly pressed closed. X can empathize with that look. She is not about to start talking. She doesn't like hospitals, labs, or doctors offices for a reason. Or people in her head. Enough said.

"Stopping them is killing them. You saw what she did in Mutant Town, she deserves no less." Some things you cannot emulsify the blood from beneath your nails and therefore accept the blame with the permanence. Rose's words hold a belief behind them, rage. Unadultered.

From Nate to X, Rose watches and gives X a speculative once over from toe to head with a low exhale. "Until Ripclaw calls we wait. I kill time. What is it you do?" Now Rose is pointedly on X.


The byplay between the two is definitely seen and noted, but X-23 doesn't remark upon it. While conversations are a necessary evil (in X-23's head), she's still a tad uncertain what she should or shouldn't always say. So, when in doubt, Laura sticks with silence. It's only at the mention of stopping these would be people and waiting on Ripclaw, that Laura turns her attention back to Rose.

Rose's last question earns a prompt reply. "I am an assassin." And she could say former, but is one ever really a former assassin? It's hard to say. And while she could have /easily/ left it at that, Laura realizes this is one of those times where she needs to say more.

Canting her head to the side, she'll give a side-eyed look to Nate, before returning her gaze to Rose. "I am a .. student." Her words are slow, as she's still getting used to referring to herself as that. And again, there's a silent moment from Laura, before she finally remembers to ask. "And you?" Her gaze will turn towards the weapons a moment, "You are an assassin too." While her statement doesn't necessarily end on a higher note to her voice, thanks to that monotone pitch, she is asking that as a question.


"Yeah, that Mother May deserves death," replies Nate. Which doesn't mean he is going to -murder- her. But he is not going to pull his punches either, or stop Ripclaw from eviscerating her.

He looks at the short brunette. "Laura, you gotta stop being an assassin. You can be better and you gotta try to be better. Not every enemy deserves death. Some are just mistaken, some are just dumb, some are pretty nasty but can become better. Ultimately, most times we just can't know for sure right away. Most people deserve at least a second chance."


Rose looks from X to Nate as he goes on and starts to preach, sighing she slides from the counter to touch bare feet on the ground silently. It is a flurry of motion, but silence, swiftness, unpredictability and the straight up point that needed made drove her. From one moment of a coffee laden hand to the next the coffee was gone and three kunai are in Rose's hand and tossed towards X-23, two more clutched between fingers as she stands and waits, but her pose has shifted, the test and challenge to accept a response evident while she speaks.

"Sweet heart," To Nate. "You cannot just not be an assassin and undo everything life has thrown at you. You can make vague promises and try, but this one…." Rose looks towards X. "You can take the wolf out of the wild…"


While Rose may sigh at Nate's speech, X-23 simply listens to him, and yes, she's listening silently. She doesn't necessarily refute what he has to say, but neither does she agree with it. At least, outwardly.

When Rose drops from her seated position upon the countertop, X-23 will automatically look towards the other woman. When the throwing daggers appear in Rose's hand and then are oh-so-casually flung towards her, X-23 effortlessly (eagerly almost) responds.

The first dagger is snatched from the air, while the second dagger is avoided by a simple twist of her body, that third dagger, however, gets the star treatment. The claws upon her free hand pop out with a quiet *SNIKT* and X-23 will easily slice the dagger in half.

The two halves of the dagger will fall to the crowd with a quiet thud and Laura will look down at them, before back at Rose.


"Wolves are killers, not assassins, Rosie…" Nate frowns when Rose tosses the daggers but Laura's reaction stops him from acting. Oh. She enjoyed that! Another knife thrower, it seems. Why did he expect any less?

"You can always be a better human being, though." Continues Nate. "I did it, you did it, and Laura wants it too, I can feel it. She saved Hank. She didn't have to, but she did the right thing."


"Wolves are wild and natural and they act on survival and instinct." Pausing, Rose flips one blade from her hand to the other, appraisal in how she assesses X now, her chin rising ever so slightly.

"It is what they are and born to be." A small tic at one corner of her lips and the kunai are rolled back into her grip and set on the counter top.

"I am an assassin, a hunter, a mercenary, former handler. Whatever you want to call it I was born into it and in some cases /forced/ into it. It's what I know and what I am comfortable doing. Do I want to do good with it?" Now she looks at Nate sidelong. "Yes. But good is based on perspective."

A point between Nate and X and Rose smiles finishing off the coffee she had set aside. "I like the look she gets when it is time to move. We have a big yard. Eat. Then play?" But the way Rose says the final word is anything but tinker toys.


As Nate and Rose speak, mostly over X-23's head (which she's fine with!), Laura will retract her claws and then crouch down to retrieve the sliced in half dagger. She'll pick up the two pieces and shuffle the broken and non-broken daggers into the same hand. It's only at the mention of being a former handler, that X-23 goes deathly still.

Her green eyes will rise upward and look to Rose a moment, before that look is transferred to Nate.

Once her gaze settles back upon Rose, X-23 speaks. "Handler?" In that one word holds some type of emotion; something complex. Rage, yes, a faint growl, definitely, distressed, yes - a little bit of that too, but most importantly there's an almost accusatory vibe with that single word of hers.

The mention of play is ignored, currently, as X-23 stays in that crouch of hers, her hand still around the nearly forgotten daggers, muscles tensing in an almost-ready for action spring.


"Everything is based on perspective," admits Nate. "But our perspective is the right one, hmm?" He glances at Laura and nods. "Right, and then she let his charge go. And then he brought her to us. That was how I met her. Man, Rose here was skittish back then. I was not much better. I spent most of my time between being angry and being angsty. But she took me clubbing anyway."


When Nate explains her story for her to X< rose just gestures his way, closes her mouth and goes to answer the doorbell as the food has arrived.

"I have a long complicated backstory, but who doesn't. That about sums it up, and why I hate labs or people in my head. Or don't think I truly belong at or near Xavier's. Home is where the heart is, and sometimes you have to leave your heart at home where you know it's protected while you go about all you know and keep the evil you know away."

That about sums it all up as she opens the door, leans on the frame and hands the delivery boy some bills in exchange for the steaming heap of goes-to-your-ass. A wink offered as well as the tip and she uses her toe to shut the door and deliver the food to the coffee table. "So, let's eat." That does not however, cease the curious look X gets for her reactions. In time.


X-23 can't help the faint flare of her nostrils, as she scents the room. She's looking between the two and the lines of her body are still quite rigid. She's weighing what she should do. Weighing both of their words. Weighing just how convoluted her background is and all of the terrible things she's done in her past. Still though. That word. Handler. It rankles.

But, the explanation does help. It's enough that slowly, X-23 will rise upward from her crouch. Her movements, while still stiff, aren't nearly as attack ready. When the food is put upon the coffee table, Laura will finally step towards said table and the couch Nate sits upon. While she doesn't take a seat upon said couch, Laura will place the whole and the broken dagger near the box, closest to Rose.

Settling into a crouch, the dark haired woman will wait for the others to take a slice first, before she chooses a slice for herself. It may take the rest of the 'dinner' for Laura to lose the rest of that tension, but she will. With time.

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