Flowers for Gabriel

February 16, 2016:

Wanda explains the intricacies of flowers to Gabriel

X-Red Headquarters

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Brinley Myers

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Gone, and back, and the entire time Gabriel has been relatively distraught but fortunately smart enough to stay at the X-Red Headquarters even when others went out looking for the missing member. It was never a sit around and watch television sort of thing; not that he ever does that anyway, but rather a pacing and trying to keep his powers under control. A task that had been growing more and more difficult each passing hour until finally news came down and although he wasn't able to fully relax he was at least able to breathe more easily and not be on the precipice of destroying a city block or two.

With that emotional rollercoaster temporarily abated for him, he is now attempting to deal with another issue that has been lurking. This issue has brought him down the hallway of where Wanda's room is located intending to seek the other out to check with her. Their last conversation had left an impact on him, someone similar to his own state and probably emotions. Besides, she at least left to look so might have more details than what he has. Thus footfalls make their way down the hallways towards that door which usually ends up with him staring at it awkwardly.

"Come in, Gabriel" calls out Wanda from inside the room even though there has been no knock yet. "It's not locked" she adds. She has nothing worth stealing. The witch is dressed in a short black sleeveless dress that has seen better days. It reaches down to just above her knees where long, black tights take over to the end of her feet. Both items of clothing are frayed and marked with holes. The clothes she wore when she lived on the street.

There is a satchel bag on her bed, a large scrapbook poking out of it. Again, the book has had better days and was rescued from the trash before becoming the home of Wanda's memories. She taps the side of her head. "Sometimes the voices tell me who is nearby" she explains with a faint smile.

Gabriel opens the door, doing so slowly when he is called out to and steps in if only a few steps. He is dressed in the way he always is. Old Blue Jeans with a tear, plain black T-shirt, cowboy hat on his head. It must be his new signature urban cowboy look. One of his hands is behind his back the other having opened the door. About to speak towards Wanda, something else most likely since his attention falls on the bag on the bed. "E… Everything ok?" He asks tenatively to the woman, eyes going from the bag to Wanda, settling on her with a very faint smile on his lips that touches his eyes. "Are you doing ok?"

"Everything okay? That is a good question" Wanda replies softly before flopping down on the edge of the bed and pulling the satchel onto her lap. "I do not know. I think that will depend on what Brinley has to say. Whether she deserted me on purpose or not." A shrug before she stuffs the scrapbook into the bag and ties it closed. "Deserted /us/. I understand the need to get away sometimes but she was in trouble…she may still be…but she did not come to her friends for help." She looks up at him with moist green eyes. "And isn't that what friends are for? I am tired of being abandoned, Gabriel."

"I do not know what happened. Neither of us do." Gabriel responds quietly, hand still awkwardly behind his back. "I just know that … I was scared for what was going on and I had to stay here because if I didn't I do not know what I would have done." He looks at Wanda, a bit of sadness now touching his eyes perhaps in response to her own. "And I could be seen as deserting her or not caring because I had to stay back. So until I know I am not going to decide. It is easier to help others than ourselves though Wanda." He takes a moment, and swallows. "Isn't it? I'm happy to go help someone else but I don't even have the courage to go to this stupid institute to help myself."

"You are right" Wanda nods, "I do not know what happened. That man could have kidnapped her for all I know and that would be bad for him but…" She takes a deep breath. "Maybe I was too selfish to even know that she was upset? Maybe I did not do enough for her? You are right, it is easier to help others but I do not think I helped anyone." Her fingers stroke the satchel bag on her lap before she leans over to place it under the bed. "I can wait a little longer before deciding" she notes softly before offering Gabriel a warmer smile and patting the edge of the bed next to her. "You can sit with me if you like. And you stayed behind because it was safer, like you think. I think I should have stayed behind too."

Gabriel walks over when Wanda pats the bed, moving carefully and sitting down next to her, looking at his lap before looking at her. "One day Wanda, when we understand ourselves. When we can control who we are and what we are… there are so many people we can help. And save. And make the world better." He then grows quiet, "But that time isn't now, at least for me. But you do help people. You helped me. Made me feel — like I'm not a complete outsider. That I fit in someplace."

He's quiet a moment then the hand he's been hiding comes out, revealing that it is holding a single red rose. "On that Valentine's Day that wasn't long ago. I noticed people were giving these to others. I had hoped to give it to you at the park, to thank you for talking to me. But that didn't occur… and it was beginning to get sick." It is a flower that is a couple days old so the petals are wilting some; not like Gabriel would know to water it or anything.

"We all fit somewhere" Wanda nods in agreement, "Let us not hope it is somewhere in Antarctica." A joke! Just a little one though. She blushes a bit at his thanks but then goes bright red when a rose is presented.

"Do you know why the other people were giving roses?" Wanda asks, her voice cracking before she clears her throat and gently takes the flower from his hand. "You do not normally give things like this for a simple thank you. At least not on Valentine's Day." Blushing almost as bright as the rose she lifts it to her nose to catch the last perfume it has to offer. "I should put it in water" she smiles, even as a petal floats down to the floor. "Hopefully it is not too late." Wanda stands, glancing around for a vase before there is a wave of her hand, a scarlet flash and she has decided to make her own. The water comes from the fridge though. Carefully she places the flower in the vase and let's a little of her magic into the water to keep it alive at least a little longer.

"It is lovely" Wanda sighs before quickly wiping at her eyes and then turning back to face Gabriel. Of course there is no meaning in it beyond a present of thanks. If he saw people handing out candy on Halloween she would have got candy…and he's probably be in a costume. "Thank you for the rose. That was very kind of you."

"I… was actually wondering why so many people were giving them. I assume it is the tradition on that day, is there another reason? They also gave those chocolate things but I did not like the one I had tried." Gabriel's innocent worldly view to customs has him utterly baffled. "Did I do something wrong? Or something I didn't mean to?" He sounds more interested in discovering what he's done rather than worried he's really messed up.

"No, you didn't do anything wrong" Wanda replies as she sits back down on the bed. "I am not a big fan of chocolate either" she giggles before taking a deep breath. "The reason that they gave these things to other people, at least on Valentine's Day, is because they wanted to show the other person that they cared. Not just in a 'thank you' way or as friends but more…umm…that they had deep feelings for the other person. Sometimes they give them in the hope that the other person feels the same way. Sometimes they give them to remind the other person how they feel. Love I suppose." She shrugs at that last sentence. "I am no expert on love" she states flatly before laughing, "Not at all. I tend to get it all wrong and if anyone does care for me they…" She stares down at her feet and watches her wriggling toes in the tights. "They do not stay long. And there has only been one of them anyway."

Wanda looks up at him and offers an apologetic smile. "And I suppose I my explanation has made it even more confusing? But I think that is one of the things that happens with love. It is confusing. Your heart flies and your stomach sinks. If I listed all the things that love did then you would wonder why people want it but it is wonderful. If I am remembering right."

Gabriel bites his lip and grins almost foolishly at Wanda, "So a rose as you called it, in this tradition, is given as a sign of affection? Sometimes to express it to one you love, or sometimes to attempt to encourage them to see if the feeling is mutual?" He's grinning a bit more now, there is a twinkle in his eyes and finally the grin breaks into a sheepish smile. "I… maybe asked someone before I got that flower? Just to make sure I didn't do anything wrong?"

Wanda nods along to his questions. Maybe her explanation wasn't too bad after all. "Yes, that is why they give the flower." Why is he smiling like that? "Wait…you asked someone? You knew what you were doing when you gave me that rose?" A glance at the flower as her cheeks redden again. "Umm…so…I want to make sure about this." She scratches at the side of her head before making a 'shh' noise over her left shoulder; as if someone had been talking there but there is nothing. Unable to look him in the eye she tries to get her head around what is happening. "You…/like/ me? I mean, you know…" Not that he probably does. "Really like me? I…umm…don't know what to say." Her mind is going through the list of her friends to see who would put Gabriel up to this. Lunair? Nyx? Fairchild? "Who did you talk to about this?"

Gabriel shrugs a his shoulders again, just slightly. "I asked Miss Moira on the phone. She thought it would be a good idea. I'm supposed to say something like this. It's forward and I don't want to be that way. But I would like to spend time getting to know you better and wanted you to know that I intended to do that." He smiles at Wanda then, "Did that come out right? That I like spending time with you and would like to do so more when you can?"

"Yes…it came out right" Wanda nods…with a stunned expression on her face. She immediately wants to ask 'why' and what is wrong with him but thankfully her inner voice(s) shuts her up before she does so. Instead there is a shy, young woman blushing and toying with the ends of her hair. "Umm. Okay. If you /want/ to spend some time with me then I…umm…I think that will be alright." Wanda's so very cool at this moment…not. And she also has no idea what she's supposed to do now.

A smile comes, along with a sigh of relief, as Gabriel looks at Wanda and blushes a bit himself. "Good. That's good. I'm glad I was able to share that. To let you know I like spending time with you. Of course, I'll be spending time at the institute as well trying to learn how to control my powers." Then he falls silent also after a few moments, the awkwardness of not knowing what to say or do before finally he blurts out. "I should probably you know… go check on something."

"Of course…if that is what you want to do" Wanda nods, her feet up on the bed now as she rests her head on her knees and wraps her arms around her shins. "The institute seems to be a nice place" she offers, never having been instructed there, "Though my brother did leave there. But that was about a woman. That love thing can get very complicated." Another nervous scratch of her head before she leans over and gently kisses his cheek. "Thank you for liking me."

Gabriel blushes a bit when Wanda kisses his cheek, his face taking on an expression of slight confusion though as he shakes his head. "You make it sound as if liking you is a chore? You are … Well there's no reason not to like you." Gabe smiles, one that touches his eyes as he looks at Wanda and then starts to move to stand up from the sitting on the bed. "I think that if I met everyone in the galaxy, I still would never meet anyone like you."

"People find reasons" Wanda shrugs about not being liked. She stands too, turning slightly from side to side like a nervous schoolgirl, hands locked in front of her. A blush at such a grandiose statement before she laughs and nods. "Yes. I do not think you would. And I hope that is a good thing. I guess I will see you soon then."

"It is a good thing." Gabriel replies and then nods, "And yes. Soon? We still need to go to the park to check on the butterflies. I would like you to explain that situation to me a bit better while there." He starts for the door, pausing before leaving to look back at Wanda. "I'm sorry I'm… still confused, and lost. But I'm going to figure things out, ok?"

"You're not the only one" Wanda smiles. "I guess we'll try and work it out together. Starting with the butterflies." And she hopes not ending with them too. "Good night, Gabriel."

"Good night, Wanda." Gabriel responds as he slips back out and down the hall. Ok, he may be hopping just a little bit as he walks.

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