Former Brother(Sister)Hood Members Meet

February 11, 2016:

X-23 and Rogue meet up at a former safe house of The Brotherhood's.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Early Afternoon is finding Mutant Town bustling with people. While the majority of events of Take Back the Night have occurred, that hasn't stopped it from continuing to bring in extra foot traffic to the area. This is both a good thing and a bad. Good for the people and residents of Mutant Town, for the most part, but bad for Laura Kinney. She had come to Mutant Town to get away from the bustle of the Institute and sadly, the hustle and bustle is just as loud here within the dreary sidewalks and streets of Mutant Town.

She doesn't leave, however. Not yet, at least.

Instead, Laura drifts almost aimlessly down one of the pock-marked sidewalks, eyes constantly roving around the area. Most everyone is ignored by the young dark-haired woman, as she continues to walk down the sidewalk. She'll only pause when she comes across a rather grungy looking apartment complex. Her eyes will scan the dirty exterior of the building, as she considers going inside or not.

This particular complex had-has several apartments earmarked as 'safe houses' for the Brotherhood and X-23 had occasionally used them in the past. It was during her initial visit here to New York City.

Rogue was in a strange spot in life.

The Brotherhood itself - well - Rogue was all gungho for it, until that fateful day with a superhero, where she got the powers that so define her today. And even now, she kinda waffled somewhere in the neutral zone - even if her tendencies leaned towards Xavier's more often than not.

But she still knew where ~some~ of the safehouses were.

Even if she didn't quite understand just why she was coming by them.

That tendency was reflected in her clothing - her black leggings under a dark green skirt and likewise dark green top - the long black gloves - the grey scarf, and the hooded trenchcoat she wore over the whole thing might lend an aura of 'don't come near' to those who might see her. Especially with the hood up.

With the heels of her boots clacking against the sidewalk, she approaches the safehouse as well, glancing towards the young woman briefly. "Ah wouldn't go in there," she says, her lips hidden by the scarf - but there was no hiding that drawl. "…especially if ya'll don't know what's in there."

The clack of those heels is what alerts X-23 to someone approaching her particular position. Automatically now, the dark-haired woman will shift her weight, readying herself for action, even though it's doubtful that someone is coming to attack her. Not with announcing their presence in such a particularly loud manner. Turning her head now, X-23 will watch the woman approach and automatically, X-23 scents the air.

It's with that flare of her nostrils, that something pings back to Laura as familiar. It takes her a second or two, but finally she places the other woman's scent. It's at the Institute and so, this should mean she's a friend.

While Laura's expression doesn't necessarily change, the air about the other woman becomes less charged, even as Laura continues to watch Rogue's approach. It's only when the other woman speaks, that Laura will break eye contact. Her head will turn towards the apartment complex a moment, before it swings back to Rogue. "I have been inside before. I know what is there." Her head will cant slightly to the side as she considers Rogue now, "You have too?" And while that last bit is definitely a question, X-23's rather monotone voice might not necessarily make it sound like a question, but more like a statement.

Rogue could be quiet - but there was something that being able to randomly lift trucks and block bullets with your belly that kinda made someone confident in uncertain situations. Like approaching a strangeish mutant in front of a Brotherhood safehouse. Strangeish - there was something familiar about Laura.

Lifting her chin a bit, that same confidence leads her to give a dazzling smile, gloved hands raising to the hood of her trenchcoat, and pulling it to her shoulders. "…Rogue," she says. "Ah'm Rogue. And Ah think Ah know you from somewhere," she says, considering.

The glances towards the complex - Rogue turns her eyes that way as well. "Once upon a time," she says. "But maybe that was another life," she adds. In contrast to the monotone of the assassin, Rogue's voice was warm - but that might just be that southern drawl adding a bit of color to it. "Ain't been by for a while - so maybe you're one of the new faces - is that where Ah've seen ya before? In the Brotherhood?"

Stoic silence is all Rogue earns for those warm words of hers. It's only when the other woman finally finishes talking that Laura will finally say. "No." And while at first, it may seem like Laura isn't going to say anything more, she finally adds. "We have met at the Institute. I am a student."

Again, there's a somewhat awkward seeming pause, as Laura falls silent. It's only as the dark-haired woman steps out of the main path of the foot traffic that still flows, that she'll add. "I am Laura." Even now, there's still hesitancy when Laura introduces herself with her birth name. And no, there's no 'pleasure to meet you, Rogue', from Laura. She has yet to master all the various pleasantries of normal everyday conversation, it seems.

Canting her head to the side again, X-23 will finally end with, "Is the Brotherhood still here? I have not seen much of them lately."

There was something about the young woman's demeanor that threw Rogue off. Well - it wasn't like nearly anyone's demeanor she knew. Pursing her lips a bit, she straightens up with the first response, Rogue's initial reaction a bit of affront. She withdraws a bit - straightens her shoulders, the whole nine yards.

It wasn't until she gives that name that Rogue's features soften a bit, and sympathy replaces the emotion in her eyes. A nod of her head then. "Well, Laura, it's nice ta meetcha," she says with an easy cadence. A beat, and the tallish woman draws her legs out from under herself, falling back into a sit on the sidewalk - she didn't really care about the foot traffic that adjusted around her. Folding her arms over her knees, she leans forward a bit towards the building proper.

"Couldn't say," she says. "Ain't been with them a while. Ah know they are here /in/ Mutant Town, but what they've been up ta is anyone's guess," she says. "Ah was with 'em… well, since Ah was born, really, but only three or four good years. How 'bout you?"

When Rogue sits, Laura will slowly settle into a crouch. Her version of sitting upon the pavement it seems. Again, she'll listen to what Rogue has to say, with very little expression betraying what she's thinking, or what she's feeling, for that matter. When it's her turn to speak, Laura will turn her gaze towards the area in general, for a minute, after that look around Laura will finally say, "I was not part of it for long. When I first came to New York, Magneto found me. He helped me. Then I left. I have not seen him since my return." By the time she finishes with that lengthy (for Laura!) response, her oddly bright green eyes will be back upon Rogue.

"Why did you leave?" Comes the rather monotone question from the dark-haired woman.

It was a very brusque response - but Rogue was beginning to kinda sense that that was how this girl worked - and she was way too young to have made a choice to be that way. So she puts casualness into her demeanour - slackening her shoulders, and trying to put an easy sort of comfort there.

"Ain't nothing wrong with that. In fact, that's what Ah like about the Brotherhood - the Institute is good, but a little… removed. And they're /here/, in the midst of it," she says. Working her jaw a bit, Rogue glances sideways towards Laura, searching the young woman's expression and finding nothing there. She purses her lips then, her eyes settling on those bright green ones.

"Couldn't stand what they were doing to humans anymore," she says. "It's one thing to help mutants - but it's another thing to think you're /better/, Ah guess. And that's what they do, or did. They'd trade fifty - a hundred - a thousand - human lives to save one mutant, and that's just not somethin' Ah could get behind, ya know?" she says.

A beat.

"What about you, Laura?"

Yes, this is how Laura is, sadly. Brisk, dour, sometimes rude in an unthinking way.

And while Laura's expression continues to hold that flat, almost cold look to her features, it's only as Rogue reveals just why she left that an expression can finally be seen upon the young woman's face. The smallest of frowns pinches her lips downward, as X-23 considers what Rogue had to say and her own answer now. Thousands of lives for one. Even X-23, who has killed her fair share of people, knows that's wrong and that those deaths were done needlessly. "That is not the answer." She finally says, in agreement with Rogue on The Brotherhood and their particular ways.

As for her reasoning for leaving The Brotherhood? "I left New York City." She begins and there's the slightest of shift from the girl, as she transfers the bulk of her weight from one foot to the next. "I did not want to kill anymore." That tiny frown of hers is still on her features as she speaks, "I wished to try and not."

Sadly, maybe. If the young woman wanted to be happier - and brighter, ya, it was sad. But if it was her, it was her, right? It just… made it seem a little offputting during first meetings. Like now, for instance.

But Rogue was warming to her - once it became clear that Laura wasn't legitimately mad with her. A handful of moments after what Laura says last though, and Rogue's eyes pinch around the corners. "No, that's not the answer," she agrees, even if any smile that lingered on her lips was now a frown. Releasing a sigh, she turns her eyes up to look up at the side of the building, wondering if she might see a face she knew peering back down at her.

"Well, you don't have ta kill at the Institute, you know that, right?" she says, turning her eyes to glance towards Laura then. "You can just be… you. Ya know? Y'all can just find yourself," she says.

Another beat.

"That why you're here? Lookin' to find a piece of yourself?"

"Yes." Comes Laura's one word answer and then a heart beat later, she adds, "They have not asked me to kill." The Institute, she means. Her head will tilt again to the side as she considers Rogue a long silent moment. "Others have said the same thing. To be myself. To be happy." She says, almost parroting back those last three words with a different inflection to her voice; the inflections that Nate Grey had used when he read X-23 the happy-riot act.

It's, however, Rogue's last question that causes the young woman to focus an intent look upon her. "Looking. Yes. It is hard to know how to be me without killing." She manages, though with how slow those words were said, it's safe bet that admitting that was very hard for Laura. She falls silent again, for a handful of seconds, as her gaze stays focused upon the cracked cement for a few quiet moments. Then, "And you? Are you here for the same?"

Rogue lets silence - or at least what passed for silence in the city - linger for a few moments, before she draws herself up to a stand - gloved hands batting at the butt and sides of her trenchcoat, knocking a bit of the dirt and dust from them. Tucking her hands into the pockets of her trenchcoat, she rolls her shoulders forward, arranging the coat more squarely on her front.

Eyes flicker to the side, and down, towards Laura. "Easy ta say, hard to do, huh?" she asks. "Especially when ya don't even know yourself," she says, her eyes flickering back up to the side of the building.

"Yeah, though," she says, narrowing her eyes on the side of the building as if boring a hole through it with her eyes alone. "…Ah'm here for the same," she says. "To see who Ah was a bit - and see what Ah left behind. And see what's… there that Ah wanna bring with me to the future," she says, bringing up her scarf a bit, as if shielding herself from the nonexistent breeze.

Another few moments. "Ya going back to the Institute? Thinkin' of flying there. You can come along, if you'd like."

Once Rogue rises to her feet, Laura does much the same, though she has no need to brush any dust and dirt from her clothing. Instead, her intent gaze can still be found upon Rogue, as the smaller young woman listens. Another one of those faint nods of her heads is seen, as the former assassin nods in agreement to some of what Rogue speaks of. It's only at the offer of a lift, that Laura will shake her head.

"I will walk." She says, in that rather flat voice of hers and with a rather easy fluid movement, X-23 is stepping away from Rogue. It's only as she takes another step and half turns, that Laura will finally say, "Thank you." And while that's what a normal person would automatically say to another, for Laura, it's terribly high praise. She doesn't often offer those polite words to people.

"You bet," says Rogue, with a wink - that warmth flooding into her voice again. The bright demeanor seemed to flood back into Rogue like the waves of the ocean, and she brings her hand up to tie her trenchcoat tighter around her front. "Might be a bit weird, besides," she says. A beat, and thought enters her expression. "Kinda like people flying at /all/," she adds.

A shrug of her shoulders, and Rogue was off and away, her mind torn between thoughts of the robotic young woman - and of the Brotherhood.

How much of her thoughts were actually hers? How much of her feelings? It was hard to say.

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