Penance Finds A Home

January 05, 2017:

Laura finally manages to locate Penance within the wooded areas of the Mansion. With a little coaxing, she's brought back to the School.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It's been several weeks since the two girls met within the wooded areas of the Xavier Institute. In all that time, Laura has continued to search and keep a vigil for the other girl - in part, because she's curious about the other one and also, because Storm asked her to bring her in.

A mission. And rarely does Laura fail at her missions.

All those times she visited the wooded area she came alone and empty handed. This time is similar but different. She's once again alone, but no longer empty handed. Over her shoulder is her to-go bag, but instead of its usual contents, today it's filled with something lumpy. That lumpiness is soon explained, as Laura pauses at a good point within the wooded areas. Crouching down, the dark-haired woman will drop her to go bag upon the ground with a solid thud. Then she's unbuckling the bag and pulling a large bag of apples from the depths of it.

Perhaps others would have thought of the apples beforehand, but for Laura, it's taken these past weeks for her to come up with another idea, versus the sit and wait approach.

Penance has changed her "lair". It's been time, and winter lies more heavily on the land. That means snow and that means cold. She's actually dug herself a little den, as it were. She's been staying here, trying to wait out the weather. Sighting X-23 is one thing; smelling the apples is another. She'll begin to move slowly out of her hiding place, which will probably bring the scent of that bodysuit back to X-23.

The large bag of apples (red too) is easily tore open with quick movements from Laura. She'll even start to reach into the bag to grab a piece of fruit, before that scent of Penance's is smelled.

Her movements still then, as Laura raises her eyes from her task at hand and towards the area at large. With another flare of nostrils, the young feral will locate just where the scent is coming from and turn accordingly.

For now, she doesn't say anything, nor does she make any quick moves. Instead, Laura will just complete the task of bringing out one apple, which is held within her right hand.

Penance is doing her best to stay low…but she's bright red, and her suit is black, and there's snow on the ground. She SUCKS at hiding in situations like this. The girl starts to cautiously approach. Apparently there's at least SOME degree of trust for X-23, because despite looking at her with those solid blue eyes, she doesn't back off…just continues her cautious approach.

Once the young woman is sighted Laura will shift just enough, to fully face the other young girl. Then the apple in her hand will be looked at, before she extends her hand outward.

She's offering the fruit to the other girl.

Again, no words just yet, just slow, methodical movements.

The red girl comes closer, and will very cautiously extend one finger-knife as she comes closer. If X-23 doesn't move, she'll spear the apple with it, cautiously bringing it back to herself to nom said apple. Omnomnom.

Laura doesn't move.

She's as still as a statue, thanks to her reflexes and her healing factor allowing her muscles to bleed off the fatigue toxins of staying crouched and still for so long.

It's only when Penance takes the apple from her hand, that Laura will allow the slightest of smiles to twitch her lips upward. Dropping her hand carefully back to the bag, Laura will pull forth a second apple.

"I am glad you are back." She states, in those flat tones of hers, as she assess the other girl's state.

The red girl seems fairly pleased too. She'll hungrily and quickly go at the second apple. As for her state…far too thin, but whether that's malnourishment or her natural state is hard to tell. She does shift from one foot to the other fairly often. Of course, she's also barefoot in the snow, so that may be part of that.

Seeing the second apple taken so quickly, Laura will reach for a third apple and set it near Penance. Again, all slow movements and careful gesture.

Then, Laura will settle back upon her haunches, if you will, as she considers Penance. "Can you tell me your name." She asks that question again, as she considers the thin-state of the other woman.

Penance will nom the third apple as quickly as the other two. Her own movements are becoming less quick; more relaxed. She looks at X-23 as she speaks, tilting her head to the side as her hair-spines rattle. There's no answer beyond that. Perhaps she doesn't understand English. Perhaps she can't speak. Either way, there's no answer forthcoming.

Still no answer. Which isn't surprising to Laura. She expected it to be very similar to last time. At least, now, she knows not to call telepaths either, as there's something about Penance's mind that just doesn't seem to mesh with telepathic powers.

A fourth apple will be offered as the slim assassin states in an almost clinical (albeit flat) voice, , "After this one we must wait. Otherwise you may vomit."

As she sits there with Penance, Laura will automatically scent the air and with that the sharp smell of snow is identified. "A snow storm is coming." She adds now, as her gaze shifts from the treetops back to the other feral woman.

The red girl nomnoms the fourth apple down just as easily as the other. She looks up at the trees when X-23 does, but when she looks down, her gaze goes back to looking at the other woman's face. Unblinking blue eyes show no reply to the statement. She does keep shifting her weight back and forth a bit, though, and fidgeting a little; signs of being cold.

Penance's shifting is seen and with the knowledge of the storm coming, Laura will finally state. "Come. Follow me."

The bag of apples will be pushed gently back into her to go bag. Once the bag is buckled, Laura will rise to a standing position, pulling the bag up to her shoulder as she moves.

Turning a look towards the other woman, the slim assassin will lift a hand and point towards the way she came. "This way." Comes her measured tones and with that, Laura will take a step away from Penance. A second step will be taken, but then she'll pause and turn back around to Penance.

An expectant look is upon Laura's features now, as she waits for Penny to follow.

Penance looks a little confused. When she stops, and turns back around, Penance takes one step closer, and points at the bag where the apples are with a finger-knife.

That initial step is given a nod too. "Good." She states in her monotone and while she was just about to take a third and fourth step, Laura pauses. When Penny points at the bag, Laura will turn a calculating gaze upon her lumpy bag.

A faint frown will flicker her lips downward now, as she considers her next actions. A plan quickly evolves and with that plan now in mind, Laura will unbuckle her bag again. A fifth apple will be freed from the plastic bag. Then a few more steps will be taken, three in all, before that apple is offered to the red-skinned woman. "Here. You may have it."

That plan seems to work. It's like ET with Reese's Pieces. Penny follows along, and then when she gets to the offered apple, said apple gets noshed quickly. She looks up at X-23…almost like she's waiting.

"Good." Laura states a again, as she looks down at Penny, sitting crouched near her. "Let us continue."

And again, Laura will walk this time for a longer length of steps. When she stops another apple will be offered -

She continues to do this, until the pair is moves closer and closer to the edge of the forest. Already glimpses of the rolling backyard of the Institute might be seen, as the trees thin out more and more.

It's only when Laura is a stones throw away from exiting the forest, that she'll pause again and offer another apple to Penance.

Penance is actually clearly starting to enjoy this. After every one of Laura's stops, she's actually almost bouncing in place a little on the soles of her feet as she waits for the next leg. The apples, while each is eaten, almost seem to fall to second place, as she waits for X-23 to move; the next move in what has apparently become a game to her.

Games are good. Especially if it allows the other woman to follow her.

And while Laura doesn't necessarily see it as a game, she does get the sense that Penance is finding some sort of enjoyment here. At least, that's what the bouncing comes across to her as.

When the last apple is taken, Laura will point out towards the backyard. Far across the relatively flat expanse a mansion can be seen. It looks small from their vantage point, but truly, the mansion is quite large. "There. That is where we are headed." Laura begins, her tone as always quite emotionless. "The first one there earns the rest of the apples." And to show what she means, she'll pull the half-full bag of apples out of her bag for a moment.

Once shown, Laura will point towards the School again. "Ready." She states with a look towards the other woman. "Go."

And with that, Laura immediately takes flight, moving from standing still to running in a flick of an eye.

Penance will take off at a run. She probably doesn't stand a chance of actually outrunning X-23 if they both go all-out; her non-bipedal run isn't as fast, and X-23 can regenerate her own fatigue toxins. But despite this, the red girl does her best, running for the school alongside X-23.

While Laura could ease up on her speed and allow Penance to catch-up, she doesn't. That's just not part of her nature. Her nature is to always try to win.

As such, Laura will reach the school first and when she does, she'll jog to a stop, before turning to watch Penance scamper closer.

When the red-skinned girl is close enough, Laura will call out. "You did good." And it's not a lie either - Laura understands why the other girl is slower, no healing factor, malnourished, non-bipedal … But still, Penance did good.

Before Laura is the school. It's a large many-leveled building and currently it seems quiet. School is still out but soon, the students will return.

Now that they're up closer, Penance looks around, curiously. She looks to the building, then back to X-23, like she's waiting for something. She seems a little skittish, this close to the building, and does take one step closer to Laura.

Nostrils flare, as Laura automatically tries to take in Penance's scent, to see if she can detect any emotions from that. When the other woman takes a step closer to her, Laura will state, "It is okay. This place is safe."

And for Laura to say that in such a way, well, it's definitely a ringing endorsement.

"Come." States Laura and beneath her flat tones there might be the faintest sound of encouragement to be heard. One step will be taken towards the school and then, like before, Laura pauses.

Thankfully, X-23 has now had two occasions to start to pick up Penance's scent tells. This one she got once before, the first time they met. Best guess: Concern/Worry. The girl looks up at the building, looks to X-23, then waves with her hand while looking at the other woman. Not a "goodbye" wave, but a "come over here" wave.

The wave (and the scent) is seen for what it is -

Laura will close the gap between the two ferals and even go so far as to crouch down, so she's eye-level with Penance.

While her expression doesn't necessarily scream understand, thanks to Laura's own quirks, she will say, "I will not let anyone hurt you."

Another scent she got from Penance the first time. Again, when she was talking to her. Possibly confusion? Maybe frustration? Maybe a little of both.

Another flare of nostrils can be seen from Laura and at that familiar scent (within context) from Penance, Laura will allow the faintest of frowns to tug her lips downward. Her own version of frustration, it seems.

"I do not know what you need." She states in that hollow voice of hers. She'll stay crouched like that for a few minutes, before she turns back to her bag.

The apples will be pulled out and then Laura points to them. "These are in there." She says, a finger pointing towards the apples and then the school itself.

Penance seems torn. She looks at the apples, then at the building. She moves away a couple steps, points at X-23, and then it's another "come this way" wave. She points to the forest. She apparent seems to think it's safer for X-23 and herself out in the woods. Not too far a stretch for the feral girl.

With that second move and come hither wave, Laura finally understands.

Her green-eyed gaze will turn towards the forest for a moment, before she's looking back at Penance. "It is safer." She states in agreement, "But it is better here." And with that last word, Laura will point back towards the school. "Food. Warmth." She adds flatly, as she stays where she's currently at.

"This way." She continues with, her words still sounding toneless. "Please." And now a hand will be offered to the more feral of the two.

Penance hesitates, clearly uncertain. But every time that hand has been out so far, there's been something good. She cautiously, slowly, reapproaches. She'll move up to X-23's hand, and peeks in it. When there's nothing in it, that gets another head tilt, and a scent that's come several times now, and might be able to start being guessed as "confusion".

Confusion. As soon as that's scented Laura will look towards her empty hand . After a moment, she'll retrieve an apple and offer it to the other girl. "They come from there." And with her other hand, she'll once again point towards the school.

And with a cautious crab-walk backwards, Laura will take an awkward step backwards, towards the school.

That works. Penance will slowly follow Laura inward, moving into the school. But she's staying VERY close to the other woman. Enough that there's a risk of some hair-spine cuts as she moves. Thankfully X-23 regenerates.

Yes, thankfully X-23 heals.

And even as a few hair-line cuts appear upon her arm, and perhaps upon her face, they heal with surprising speed. There's very little time for any blood to be actually spilled.

As the two enter the school they'll find a large greeting room. Thankfully that first room is quiet empty and with a cock of her head, Laura will listen to the rooms beyond.

While she could rush them into the next room she doesn't. Not yet, at least. Instead Laura will slowly rise to a standing position again and then she'll simply wait, to see how Penance takes in the room about her.

The room holds quite a few chairs, couches and tables. Most of the furniture is nice, but there's definitely a careworn look to them. They are clearly used.

Well, thing one: Penance is tearing the hell out of the floors. Her toes are as sharp as her fingers, which basically means she's leaving gouges with every step she takes. She seems quite skittish; it's the animal-brought-inside. X-23 may remember having similar reactions herself, possibly. Penance tucks her hands in around herself, in that "self-hug" she did when first meeting X-23. It's her "I don't want to damage things" pose.

The gouges within the floor are seen, but Laura doesn't really care. They can be fixed and the damage is only logical what with the girl's mutation.

It's only when the skittishness is seen and that self-hug, that Laura will lower herself to eye-level with Penance again.

"You are safe." She states with a certain amount of surety. "I have promised it." And Laura would die to keep a promise she has made. "This way. I will take you to a room." And she stops then, considering. "To my room." Comes her amended words. "Then I must let Storm know you are here."

And once again, Laura will straighten and she'll take a step towards the door that leads deeper into the school.

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