Queen and Belle

February 16, 2016:

Storm and Rogue catch up. The former nudges the latter further into the X-Community.

New York City

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Rogue had been spending a lot of time outside of the school; in spite of some of the others best efforts. Like her namesake, Rogue - or Anna Marie as some people liked calling her, to her annoyance - was a woman who tended to keep to her own company.

Such as now.

Now in this post-Valentine February air, with the trees still barren of green, with the wind still bearing a bitter cold upon it, Rogue was doing just that. For how long, she didn't quite know. Green trenchcoat worn over jeans and a bright yellow shirt with green edging, Rogue's boots were heeled and gave her another couple inches to her already impressive height, the hood of her trenchcoat up and over her head against the bitter wind.

Even if a smile was on her face. Phone up, she sends a text away to Ororo - 'So I am in the bronx - where are you?' Autocorrect had saved her.

The familiar beedle-beep of a text message being received chimes above Rogue's head. The wind picks up slightly, and a figure descends. Ororo's never been particularly shy about using her powers. She lands and doesn't look around to see who saw her, or anything like that. She acts as if it's perfectly natural to just fly in somewhere. Either it IS that natural to her — or she refuses not to be proud of her ability to do so.

Ororo is dressed for the weather, a bit. (It doesn't really ever affect her much, but it's nice to have a varied wardrobe.) Her dark coat is left open, revealing the white blouse underneath — unbuttoned just enough to be fun, but not enough to seem needy — and the high-waisted maxi skirt in earth-toned dashiki-style print. She has wedges on, herself, and with her mohawk, she peaks well over six feet.

Ororo takes her phone out of her coat pocket, reads Rogue's text, and then smirks fondly at the other woman. "I was trying to spot you," Ororo says. "I looked for whoever was wearing the most green." Her smirk spreads into a genuine smile. The wind doesn't bother Ororo at all, but it does flutter her mohawk (and her clothing). "How have you been, my friend?"

There was something to be said for pride. And in spite of how Rogue sometimes liked to flaunt things - well… perhaps her demeanor was divided as well. There was something to be said about not having to share your head with a hundred others, after all.

A little smile dances up at the edge of her ruby-painted lips, "I'm happier than a fox in a henhouse, sugah," she says, her tone of voice relaxed, casual - perhaps wearing a little bit more of her drawl than normal. Lifting her chin, she gives her head a shake, her hood falling back down to her shoulders. She might be a little more on the frumpy side than the supermodel side, but really - who could compete in a school with Emma Frost, Bets, and 'Ro?

"Think Ah got mah head on straight again, and it seems quiet 'round here. At least, besides Hank gettin' in trouble out there in mutant town, there's less drama goin' on then Ah remember."

"Or maybe it's harder to see," she says, bringing up one of her gloved hands, pointing a finger to the sky, and gives Ororo a wink. "And you, 'ro? How's life in the weather goddess side of the fence?"

Ororo, for her part, belts her coat shut. It's one thing to have an open coat fluttering while in flight — it's another to just let it flap around in the wind like a jerk. Of course, since she's Ororo, she looks just as fabulous when wrapped up in it.

"Things are not quiet," Ororo says, thoughtfully. "However, they are certainly less loud. We should savor these moments. Otherwise, we risk forgetting their importance." She doesn't mean to be preachy. This is just how she talks. She's always genuine about it, too. She doesn't talk down to her friend. She just shares her thoughts.

"I have been invited to join an effort by Captain America to combat evil on various fronts," Ororo says. "I have accepted the offer. As I was flying here, I was thinking about how I hope that I do not… short-change my students in accepting this new set of responsibilities."
A little smile - perhaps a little more wan - dampens Rogue's smile a bit more, a lock of that skunk-striped hair caught by the breeze. Her own coat, shut, and tight around her, doesn't behave nearly as dramatically as 'Ro's.

Eyes flick forward, and Rogue sidesteps one of the pedestrians, manuevering around the man and briefly stepping into the street. Personal space was something she maintained, and that slightly extreme action was a bit of an example of the same. "Ain't complainin', Ro, don't you worry about that," she says.

"Ah happen to like things a little quieter, a little less dramatic," she says. A beat. "Betsy wants me to go back to the school - but not ta teach - to finish my GED," she says, the grin on her lips turning sly. "So speaking as a possible future student of yours… Ah think superhero teachers are great," she says, her tone of voice light, playful now with those last words. Even if her eyes were searching the area in front of them.

Ororo studies Rogue with her cerulean cat's-eyes. There's an intensity in Ororo's gaze that never exactly leaves, even when she's being light and playful. It's part of her 'aura,' for lack of a better word. Like even among friends, she is a goddess sitting in judgment. Some people find it too intense. Those who get to know Ororo just have to accept it as part of what makes her… her.

"Perhaps we should find somewhere to catch up that is not so full of pedestrians," Ororo says, gently. Like she's suggesting it for her own sake, not Rogue's. Anyone hip to these kind of games knows exactly how Ororo is playing it.

"My class may not be part of your GED requirements," Ororo observes as she begins to walk, to find somewhere less crowded. "I mostly teach students about the benefits of exercise, the hazards of smoking and other drugs, safe sex. Et cetera." Ororo looks back over her shoulder with a bit of a mischievous smile. "I would forgive you if you did not want to have your teammate lecture you about your changing body."

Rogue, for her part, didn't seem too bothered by the intense stare of 'Ro. Yes, Storm had an intense gaze, but Rogue had a certain… confidence. It wasn't quite the right word for things, as she didn't disregard Storm's opinion, but she just… did her own thing.

It's probably why her and Emms got along so well.

(They actually didn't get along, FYI).

"Ah don't mind the people. It's an interestin' thing, isn't it?" says Rogue. "All these people, just walkin' around, doin' their own thing, living their own lives. We're all just goin' somewhere, even those that don't quite know that they are yet," she says, grin growing again - showing a bit of teeth. "But if it's botherin' ya, we can get out of the crowds. Lotsa nearby rooftops to fly to," she says.

A beat, and her eyes turn forward, laughter coming with that last revealation. "Now /that's/ a class Ah didn't expect you to teach, 'Ro," she says. "Somethin' classy like history or English - do you like teachin'… uh… what is that kinda thing called, after all?" she asks, glancing to the other woman.

"People are still visible from rooftops. It is merely a different angle. However, I was thinking a booth somewhere. I could eat, if you feel likewise." She slows her pace so that she and Rogue walk side by side, but Ororo is still careful not to crowd Rogue in their stroll.

"Health Education is the official title," Ororo says. "It does not have the grandeur of being able to call myself a history teacher, I admit. It is nonetheless a vital thing to teach. I did not envision myself teaching it… but I do like it. The snickering whenever the subject of the penis arises is a bit tiresome, I admit."

Ororo casts her glance to shopfronts and restaurants and bars as she walks past them. She's not sure if Rogue is even hungry or even wants to sit anywhere. "I also take students on hikes and help tutor those learning to fly. I act as faculty liaison to the LGBTQ club. I keep busy, and it is rewarding. I find interacting with the students brings many new perspectives to life that I would not have thought of myself. I think you would learn to like working with them, if I may be honest."

"Ah'm always hungry," says Rogue, giving Ororo a sideways grin. "Let's just not go eat anywhere that serves clams casino, or anythin' Ah haven't heard before?" she says. A beat then, and she considers. "How about Chinese?" she offers, canting her head just so.

Gloved hands take point in the pockets of her jacket, and she sways a little as she walks - not in the drunken way - more like the girl about to break into a skip sort of way - even if she doesn't quite cross that threshhold. There was a crinkling of Rogue's nose as 'Ro becomes more blunt, but she shrugs her shoulders lightly.

"Unmentionables are taboo bits, 'Ro," she says, her tone a little deflated. "Bet the kids are just anxious 'bout 'em, and all juiced up on hormones. Laughin' is probably better than them being super serious about taking notes during that part of the class, right?" she says.

"Maybe Ah might like workin' with them," she says, kinda narrowing her eyes at a storefront as they pass - it was a video games store, and one of the advertisements was visually appealing - a tropical sort of place with the same rugged tomb adventurer holding an assault rifle and looking heroic. But it doesn't hold her attention long. "Rewarding," she seems to repeat. "But Ah think Ah'm too stubborn - and worse, too flighty, to be a teacher."

"You are speaking to someone who lived her teen years worshipped as a goddess," Ororo says, looking over with a sly smile of her own. "I understand stubborn — AND flighty. Having someone to teach, even if you are merely the mentor of one person… I must choose my words carefully. I want to say that it adds a certain weight to you. That weight, however, is not a burden. It is a weight that makes you stronger by carrying it."

Ororo lifts a finger to gesture to Dragon Garden up the street. Not too upscale, not too crappy, a nice middle of the road selection. "There, perhaps?"

Ororo tucks her hand into her pocket. "I do not mean to push or pressure you, Rogue. I only wish to present an option. Food for thought, as the phrase goes. I know you well enough that I know not to try and steer you onto a specific path." She punctuates that sentence with a warm smile, perhaps trying to make it clear to her friend that she's not ragging on her.

"Well, that makes sense then. Ah spent mine in abject terror - then as a terrorist, so maybe life finds a way to balance everythin' out," says Rogue, lifting her eyes to glance towards the place they were heading to. No doubt Ororo was guiding things that way on her own, but Rogue lifts her hand and points towards the Dragon Garden anyways.

"How 'bout there?"

Right at the same time that Ororo suggests it. "Jinx," she says, grinning wider and looking her way - but only for a moment. Her eyes return to the resteraunt. "Naw, ya ain't pressurin', sugah," says Rogue. "Just sharin'. And like Ah said, Ah'm thinkin' about it," says Rogue, kinda waggling one of her hands in an almost dismissing gesture. "And Ah appreciate ya carving a bit of time out of your busy schedule to hang out a lil' - Ah was feelin' a little antsy today," she says.

Ororo takes being jinxed with grace and good humor. Not that she respects the laws of being jinxed — then again, maybe she'll just pick up the tab to make up for it. "It is as I said. These quieter moments must be savored. I will always have time for my friends. I would not like to lose sight of why I do what I do — it is for everyone, but it is particularly for them." The way Ororo looks over when she says 'them,' it's clear that 'them' includes 'you.' That part remains unspoken.

Ororo holds the door for Rogue, because she's just a nice person like that. "Besides," Ororo says through a grin, "I appreciate your helping me get away from the Institute grounds once in a while." She doesn't wink, but she might as well.

Dipping her head to the other woman in thanks, Rogue loosens the scarf around her neck as they enter the comfortable air of the Chinese resteraunt - it was warmer in there. "Maybe Ah have an overdose of quiet moments - but that's why you said what you did," she says. "Tryin' to get me to add a little noise to my life with those kids," she says.

A bit of a smile.

"Hey - anytime ya need to get away, you know Ah'm always up for a little flyin' around. Or food - /especially/ if you are buying," she says, pointing towards Ororo. Another beat, though, as a server approaches, that pointing finger turns into two fingers held up - table for two, please.

It was a little quiet in the resteraunt at the moment, with only a handful of people eating there. "Wanna window table?" she asks, gesturing with her chin towards one of the booths nearish the window.

Ororo nods to Rogue, accepting her judgment in the way of table location. She unbelts her coat, slipping it off and folding it over one arm. Her hair is more majestic than ever when not being battered by wind. (A trade secret: it's all in the static electricity.)

As Ororo advances toward the table, she addresses the idea of flying around. "I would like that," she says warmly. "Flying is most fun when accompanied by others. Especially friends."

As Ororo sits down, she lets one more thought slip: "On the plus side, were you to mentor students, they would not be AS likely to call you 'Khaleesi,' as if the faculty does not have access to HBO." Ororo has to laugh, just a little bit, at that one, even though she's the one who said it.

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