Back to the Mansion

March 01, 2016:

After her little walkabout Laura has returned to the mansion and seeks out Betsy to chat with.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The past few days have been rather … hectic for X-23. In fact, while she wouldn't call herself 'missing', it would definitely have been noticed that she missed a few days of classes. Checking into her room would find it as normal as can be, if a bit sparse. Really the only items she has in her room is her regular to-go bag, but if that bag is still here, then it's a good bet that X-23 will return.

And return she finally did.

Early morning at Xavier's Mansion will find a lone figure walking up the driveway. Yes, it's that early. As X-23 enters the foyer of the mansion, she'll automatically scan the area around herself. There's some students, some faculty, but no one she specifically feels any kinship for. Eventually her wandering feet will take her up the stairs, as she looks for a specific person. She's going to start at Betsy's meditation/tea room first, as she silently moves toward that specific hallway and door.

On a side note, there's a new mar to her jacket. A bullet hole to the shoulder, though the wound is now completely healed, thankfully.

The Betsy is 'In', today— when Laura opens the door, Betsy's going through a yoga workout. She's in a deep twisting stance, wearing yoga pants and a pink halter top, and her long purple hair's pulled back in a loose ponytail that almost reaches the ground from her twisted position, hands pressed together.

Even with her eyes shut, she's aware of her surroundings, breathing steady and measured. "Hullo, Laura," she says, without looking. "Make yourself comfortable, I'm nearly done."

Betsy takes her workouts seriously.

"If you'd like some tea, you might start the kettle," she adds with polite British diffidence.

As soon as Laura nears the door, she can easily pick up Betsy's heartbeat and the sound of breathing. Let's not forget the faint swish of her moving through the various yoga poses, as well. Either way, when she quietly opens the door, she'll look none too surprise when she spies the purple-haired woman working out.

Silently, the young dark-haired assassin will step inside, closing the door as she enters. Again, there's no surprise when Elizabeth greets her and Laura offers her own greeting back. "Betsy." She says simply, in those flat tones of hers. The suggestion of starting tea is heard and with a singular nod, the would-be assassin pads over to the tea kettle.

The faint sounds of the kettle being prepared for tea can easily be heard for a few seconds. Then Laura turns and settles into a simple crouch near the tea kettle, as she waits.

It takes about the time for the kettle to boil and the tea to steep before Betsy goes through her final yogic posture, settling down in a kneeling position with her hands resting on her thighs. Neither of the women are in a rush to ruin the odd but companionable silence, and it's not until Betsy finishes her last, deep breath that she opens her eyes and looks to Laura.

"Welcome back," she says without preamble. "I was growing a little concerned that you might be in trouble." Her tone's quite neutral. Betsy's not one to chide, but there's a chiding sense to her words. As if Laura hadn't done something wrong, but not quite 'right', either.

"Are you well?" she says, leaving interpretation of that question up to the slender dark-haired girl.

While Laura isn't one who necessarily picks up on people's tones, with Betsy, however, Laura does get that faint sense of chiding from her words. It's enough to cause the other woman to frown ever-so-slightly as she considers just where she went wrong. She's not used to having people 'care' for her, so it's harder for her to understand just where she went wrong. Eventually though, she says slowly, "I .. should have said where I was going." Again, while the majority of those words sound like a statement, there's the faintest uptick to her tone at the end of 'going' to signify her question there. A rhetorical question it seems, as she then adds, "I will remember for next time."

Rising to her feet now, Laura will pick up the tray with tea kettle and cups and move over to where Betsy is seated. Settling the tray carefully between the two, Laura will settle in an easy cross-legged position, before her hands drop to her knees. "I am well, yes. You are well." She asks, her gaze flicking to the other woman's face.

Betsy's shoulder shifts in something sort of like a shrug. "It would be considerate of you to let someone know if you're going to be out past midnight, as a rule," she offers, not quite accusing fault for Laura's actions. "Or if you're gone for more than twenty-four hours. Considerate, but certainly not mandatory. You are your own person." That's as much of a rebuke as Betsy offers, and she switches topics smoothly, reaching for the teapot and pouring a cup for Laura, then for herself, with the precise motions of someone doing 'a thing' a certain way, because it is done that way.

"I'm quite well, thank you for asking," Betsy tells Laura. "Things have been fairly quiet lately. No terrible emergencies or sudden, unexpected crises. And Jean promised not to ever saddle me with Headmistress again, a promise I… well, I don't take her seriously for a moment," she says in a tone of dry sarcasm, "but I appreciate her intent."

A single nod is given when Betsy gives that gentle, or is it polite(?), rebuke of hers. X-23 understands now and it will be a sure bet that any time she will be out for any length of time, there will be some sort of notification given. Probably a note, if her trip is a spur of the moment sort of thing. With said note being slid under someone's door. Probably Betsy's.

When the tea is poured, Laura will automatically reach for the cup and bring it closer to her. Before she takes a sip, however, she will listen to what Betsy has to say about Headmistress duties. The dark-haired young woman will tilt her head slightly to the side, as she considers the purple-haired woman. "You do not like being Headmistress? Why?" She asks, that cup of tea still held suspended before her, as she waits for Betsy to answer that question of hers.

"It's… hrm." She furrows her brow very minutely, blowing on her tea to cool it while it's balanced on her pefectly manicured purple nails. "I'm not emotionally well suited for administration work. I much prefer this—" she gestures vaguely at Laura. "Working with one or two people at a time, in a controlled setting. The Headmistress position is full of variables and surprises. Emergency financial problems, behavioural issues…" She closes her eyes and blows frustrations through her nose in a seething exhalation.

"It's -very- difficult to deal with a bunch of hormonal teenagers in a restrained fashion. I honestly don't know how Jean does it."

A sip is finally taken from her cup, as Laura listens. If the steaming tea scalds her tongue it doesn't show as she keeps her attention upon Betsy. It's only with that last line about Jean, that Laura will cant her head to the side again. "She is different." She states simply, perhaps meaning Jean is different than Betsy and Laura. After all, Jean wasn't groomed to be an assassin - world eater, sure, but not an assassin.

Glancing about the room, Laura will then admit, "This setting is better. When there are so many …" It's hard for Laura to figure out what to do, what to say, sometimes what to think. This setting is so much easier for her to actually relax in.

"It is easier to talk with you." She finishes with, in that ever present monotone voice of hers. And while that doesn't necessarily sound like praise, it's very high praise from Laura, indeed. With that said, Laura will take a second sip from her tea up and then settle it lightly back upon the tea tray. Her hands will now be settled upon her knees in a relaxed pose as ever for Laura.

"I feel much the same," Betsy assures Laura, her tone quite cool but somehow still conveying affection. "Your company is increasingly falling into the realm of the few people I can tolerate for a prolonged period." Which, much like Laura, is as close as the stoic purple-haired woman ever seems to get to high praise.

"If you're inclined to talk about your recent adventures, I'm quite curious as to what you've been occupying yourself with." Betsy's not so gauche as to come out and interrogate the slender killer, but she seems to tacitly invite Laura to share if she seems so inclined. A subtly that, ironically, would largely be lost on most others.

High praise from Betsy it seems, as well! Indeed, it's enough to earn another nod from the young woman. She won't go so far to smile, but something in that nod, or perhaps her presence can possibly give the impression of feeling pleased with what the other woman said. After all, it's the same for Laura to Betsy.

As for her recent adventures, Laura will once again nod, as she says to Betsy's subtle invitation, "Yes, I will speak of them." The dark-haired assassin will pause a moment, perhaps collecting her thoughts on just where to begin. Her hands, which were on her knees, will come together now in a light clasp as she begins to speak. "Nate has given me the mission to be his assistant in his magical shows. I have agreed to this mission. We had our first performance a few days ago. He says it went well." With all her words, they're delivered in that same flat voice, but now there's a methodical note to it. As if she's giving a report to her handler. "After the success of the mission, Nate said we must celebrate with a drink." She pauses now in her reciting, to add a more personal note, "I do not understand why we must celebrate with a drink, but we did."

"It was during this celebration drink that we encountered a woman. Nate stated she was his sister. A woman by the name of Rachel. She did not seem to recognize Nate as her brother, however."

Betsy loses this round of 'keeping cool', because some tea goes down the wrong pipe. Her amethyst eyes bulge and she rattles the teacup against the saucer, and coughs like a blue-blooded ought to— mouth shut, fist blocking her lips, and touching her breastbone (a bit dramatically, admittedly, but that's how it's done).

She clears her throat, eyes watering, several times. "Mhmhm. Ahem."

She folds her fingers in her hand, striving for the zenlike attitude she'd achieved a few minutes prior. "Rachel. Nate's… sister. Rachel Summers," she says, her tone betraying her anxiety through the incredible willpower flattening out every peaked tonal. "You're sure he said 'Rachel'. Yes?"

Her words or rather report pauses, when Betsy seems to take the tea down the wrong pipe, as it were. Unlike most people, Laura will stay seated, as she waits for the coughing fit to ease up. No, there's no back slapping from her, it seems. Thankfully, Betsy doesn't sees to need the Heimlich and when the purple-haired assassin asks her questions, Laura can't help the slight frown that tugs her lips downward.

The flattening of her voice is enough to cause X-23 to scent the air. Looking to see what Betsy's scent reveals X-23's faint frown will only deepen now, as her brows furrow, when she smells that anxiety from the other woman. Thankfully, like a good mute assassin, Laura doesn't remark upon that anxiety. Not yet, at least.

Instead, Laura will offer a nod. "Yes. Rachel. She stated her name several times, as well. I am certain I did not hear wrong." She says in that monotone voice of hers, "If it means anything to you, before we found her, Nate stated something was sent through the time stream."

Betsy winces, visibly, at the mention of timestream, and touches her forehead in a gesture of actual pain. "I… see," she murmurs, face going stony. She clears her throat and drops her hand, blinking rapidly but unable to stop the hints of moisture around the corner of her eyes.

"I… well." She clears her throat of a bit of raspiness, then does it again, clearly quite shaken by Laura's news. "Rachel is… will be," she amends, "Jean and Scott's daughter from… an alternate future. When she was here a year ago, she seemed to go mad— she was arrested for war crimes and Scott nearly lost his life to a prison sentence."

"Still, she's… family, after a sorts," Betsy says, barely masking the pain of loss. "I thought I'd lost her, but that she'd come back. But… well. Timestreams give, and timestreams tend to take away. There's a fashion of balance. I don't understand it, but… it means my— our, Rachel," she amends, "is likely gone for good."

Betsy's anxiety doesn't necessarily merit a verbal response from Laura, but when there are actual tears (albeit held back), the slender assassin can't help but lean forward. "You are upset." She states evenly, as she watches Betsy struggle with the news that Laura just gave her. Whereas others might reach out to touch the other woman, to give comfort and succor, Laura doesn't. That's just too alien for her to do at this stage of her development, but buried deep beneath those her flat tones of hers, there is a small spike of worry for the other woman.

Whatever else could have been said is silenced, once Betsy begins to speak again. Laura will ease backwards now, once again adopting a listening attitude.

Whether she notices the slip of mine to our is not clear, as Laura struggles to find something to say at this point. It's clear to Laura that Betsy is more than just upset, but truly hurting now. Yes, Betsy's masking some of it, but the hurt laces the other woman's scent now and it's easy for Laura to pick up. Finally, though, Laura will offer. "I do not know if the other Rachel is gone for good. Nate did not state whether that occurred." And then, after a heartbeat of silence from Laura, adds, "My report upset you. I am sorry you hurt."

Betsy shakes her head at Laura, but the gesture's not entirely sincere. "It's… you didn't intend to upset me, so it'd hardly be fair of me to be upset with you. You just … told me what happened," Betsy says, voice just a bit thick yet. She clears her throat and exhales through pursed lips, trying to marshal herself still.

"I shall have to speak with Nate," she tells Laura. "I might be wrong. I am … I hope I'm wrong," she admits. "But burying my head in the sand won't fix anything, either. I can't hide from it."

She rubs her index fingers against the sides of her nose, dabbing at her tear duct, and then brushes a glittering mote of water away. "Thank you, Laura, I appreciate you telling me honestly what happend. And… I hope you enjoyed you time with Nate," she says, trying to get back to the topic at hand. "And yes, a drink is traditional after success, or after failure," she offers. "You won't find much liquor around the Institute, though— Scott and Charles take a dim view of the children drinking."

More could likely be said from Laura to Betsy, about the Rachel-incident, but it's hard for Laura to know exactly what she should say here. The only thing she does is bow her head towards the other woman. Perhaps an apology, or to show understanding? Whatever it is, it's definitely a gesture to convey she empathizes. On some level, at least. She may not always show her sadness, but it's there. The loss of her mother, her own missed childhood, so on.

Still, when Betsy strives to move past the topic, Laura can only follow after the purple-haired ninja. "Yes. Speak with Nate. He will know more." She says, before she continues with, "I believe Nate enjoyed the show. The children within the audience did as well. And I do not drink often. The alcohol does not affect me like the others and from what I have observed the point to drinking is to become drunk." And act like a fool, though that last part isn't said.

And while X-23 has moved on to the safer topics, as it were, she still watches Betsy with keen eyes. There's also the faint flare of nostrils as she likewise continues to keep tabs upon the other woman's scent.

Betsy nods at Laura, managing to relax, slightly, her bared shoulders pulling back to a more proper poise. "It… is," Betsy agrees. "It relaxes the muscles, and lowers inhibitions— it makes powerful emotions a bit easier to manage," she explains to the slender killer across from her. "At least, it does for me. It affects everyone differently. Emma doesn't drink to excess, and Jean gets… maudlin," Betsy says, a corner of her mouth tugging back in a faint smile.

"It's considered an icebreaker, too, particularly when meeting new people or dealing with an uncomfortable situation," she offers. "If it doesn't terribly, then at least bow to the convention," she suggests, as an afterthought. "It'll help others relax to know that you're at least engaging in the ritual with them, no matter to what effect."

The mention of how Betsy, Jean and Emma react to alcohol is heard, but not remarked upon Instead it's filed away for later perusal. "Yes." Laura says, "Nate has said much the same thing. He states I should not just 'lurk' in the corner and the shadows, but drink." There's just enough hesitancy with the word 'lurk' to show it's something new she picked up. Likely from Nate. That would be something Nate would say, after all. "I will try harder to participate in this ritual." She ends with, a promise in that flat voice of hers.

The tea, having seemingly been forgotten, is lifted once more for a small drink. It's only after the small cup is placed back upon the tray that Laura will raise her eyes upward again, to Besty. "You are better?" Comes her slow question; slow only because the emotional side of conversation is harder for her to navigate safely through.

"I'm… sufficient," Betsy hedges. It's not a no, and it's not a yes. She reaches for her tea and takes a long, careful sip. "I need to think and meditate a bit, and talk to Nate. I'm worried that Rachel is gone, and… I don't know who this 'new' Rachel is. This time-space 'stuff', I… well," she says, in a deadpan tone, "I studied fashion in college for a reason. Brian's the physicist in the family," she sniffs, referring to her Union-Jack wearing brother.

"Are -you- feeling better?" she asks Laura, recognizing the slow discomfort with the unfamiliar ground upon which she's treading.

A nod is given to the sufficient remark. She somewhat understands what Betsy is saying there. Either way, she will state, "If I see Nate I will make sure to send him to you. Perhaps with the two of you, you will find the answers you seek." Even if they aren't the ones Besty would like.

While her tea is only half finished, Laura says, "I am well." Which is much like Betsy's own answer. A hedge between yes and no, but said in that flat monotone voice of hers. "I do not wish to go, but I have a class starting. I must leave." She adds and with an easy move Laura will roll from a seated position to standing. "We will talk later." She states, her eyes looking down upon the purple-haired ninja now and with that, Laura turns upon heel and silently strides out the door. Then she's winding her way down stairs and through the throngs of people to get to said class.

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