Rooftop Conversations

January 09, 2017:

Doug finds Laura have a chat about new students and hot chocolate.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It was a day so cold that nary a creature would stir. Only the fluttering of the remanents of a torn plastic bag stirs, hanging there in a tree is the sign of motion.

So why does any gumshoe worth his salt stir at -all-?

The answer, as usual, is a dame. Dark, dangerous, full of mystery. Like a moth to a flame, one seeks it out, perhaps out of boredom, perhaps seeking the blood-thumping thrill that comes from a mystery to be solved.

Dangerous dames, dangerous curves…

"WHOA!" Doug immediately holds his hands up, staring at the curved glinted claw near his face. "It's me! Doug! I was just coming to check on you…!"

The claw stays pointed at Doug's face a moment longer and then, just as swiftly, X-23 retracts her arm.

It takes a second or two more, but, eventually her claws are likewise sheathed. Hard green eyes will stare at Doug for a long moment, before she finally speaks, "You were attempting to walk silently.", comes her flat words and those words are in their own way an explanation. And hopefully he'll intuit just what she means by them -

- People who purposefully walk quietly are usually up to no good and as such, are marked as a threat in Laura's book.

While others at this point might apologize, or at the very least, say good morning, Laura does neither. She just keeps her gaze upon Doug.

"Well, you -were- holed up all the way up on the roof outside on a cold day, you know? Usually, that means people want to be alone, but, well… you've been up here an awfully long time."

Bundled up as thickly as possible, Doug's ability to be stealthy is not terribly high. Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock rarely -had- to deal with Northeast United States winters!

Sticking close to the rooftop's one way back into the warmth of the X-Mansion, Doug lowers his scarf just a bit enough to give Laura a better look at his face. "I know, lots changed… Storm's calling the X-Men back together so that's why a lot of groups are being called home. Something about too many visions, I think, and we need to present a united front. I don't envy her, though, it's like herding cats. Um… I know you're not really much for talking, but y'wanna talk about what happened? Hey, hold on…"

Fumbling around his winter coat's pockets, Doug produces a large thermos bottle. "Here, I brought hot chocolate."

"It is not cold to me." Laura states, though that's only partially true. It is cold, it's just her healing factor has kicked up a notch to make sure she doesn't freeze, or get hypothermia.

It's why she can wear just her simple red leather jacket and not look completely frost bitten.

His almost babbling (to her) words are listened to, intently, and when he's completed his thoughts, Laura's gaze will drop to that thermos. Her nostrils will flare as she automatically sniffs for the scent of the hot chocolate and when smelled, the young woman offer a singular shake of her head. That's as close as Laura gets to a 'no thank you'.

"I am fine." She will finally say, after processing all of what Doug just said. And really, when he looks at her body language, she really is for this moment okay with everything. "But, there is another you should help. A mutant that cannot seem to speak."

C'est la vie. A presentation of chocolate being turned down. Oh well, he might as well take a sip of it himself. It certainly -would- help against the weather.

Fumbling about the cup with the mittens on, Doug takes a sip. "Uh… I haven't run into all the mutants here yet. Who are you talking about?" he asks, before taking a sip.

Blue eyes shifts towards Laura's face, trying to get a read off of her. Did she deflect the subject from her to someone else purposefully, or was she just being frank and saying exactly what was immediately on her mind?

Deflection? From Laura?

Hardly. She was just being frank and saying what's on her mind.

No other ulterior motives here. "She was brought here a week ago." Begins the slim assassin in those same muted tones of hers, "We do not know her name. I am uncertain if she can talk; even her scent is different compared to others." She continues with, even as her gaze flicks back to the thermos that Doug is messing around with. It's only when he finally gets the lid/cup off and manages a sip, will Laura turn her gaze back to his face. "Her mutation seems physical. Her fingers, her toes, her hair, are all blade-like. If you do speak with her it will be best to keep your distance."

And while it seems like Laura will end it there, the dark-haired woman will offer one other clue. "She is … like me. You must be cautious." Perhaps Laura means feral and while she could have used that word, she doesn't. Not just yet.

Brows furrow as Doug considers the words. So, Laura had other things to distract her from the previous quest she was on. Whether that was good or bad, Doug didn't know. Probably best to let her deal with it as she wanted, at least. For now. Irrationally, though, he can't help but wonder just how many Bothans died before she returned.

About to ask more questions about this person, Doug's mouth closes as Laura follows up with her 'clue'. "Right. No holding hands," the blond can't help but jibe. Yes, he knew X-23 probably wouldn't react to that, but he -was- hoping, at the least, that Laura might grok -some- of the humor in that. Although given her reaction to previous stuff, she well might ask some perfectly frank question questioning what he meant…

Another flare of nostrils can be seen, as Laura automatically scents the air around the two, looking to see what Doug is feeling. It's enough that she can catch that whiff of humor from him and so, she'll give him a long silent look a moment, then, "You are making a joke." So, while she doesn't necessarily see the /humor/ in what he says about holding hands, she can now identify the scent of humor. Progress, yes?

It's something at the very least.

Either way, the slim assassin will fall silent for a heartbeat or two. Eventually though, she will offer something a bit more enlightening, "She is very wary. I do not wish to see you hurt. You do not have a healing factor."

"A joke, yes," Doug sips his hot chocolate, basking in the warmth that trickles down and fills his chest. "You sure you don't want any hot chocolate? It's not about the taste, you know… it's about how you feel -after- you drink." Plus, dang it, that hot chocolate -did- smell good. No artificial additives, just basically melted baker's chocolate with milk.

He hesitates, thinking of something. "Does she come from the same program as you? Or something similar?" The shift in demeanor from Doug -might- remind her of some psychiatrist's analytical look, and there's a touch of that, but this one seems accompanied by a certain -concern- about Laura's feelings.

His words about the hot chocolate bring a cant to her head, as she considers the man and his thermos once more. "I feel fine." She states, as she takes his remark far too literally.

His next words bring her green-eyed gaze back to his face and while she doesn't overtly react to Doug's own demeanor shift, there is another flare of nostrils from the young woman. It's a way to gauge people when she's feeling uncertain with what their expression is telling her. "No." She says, her answer actually bordering on curt. "She is not like me. I do not believe she is from The Facility." Another program? Perhaps, but definitely not X-23's program. "I believe she has lived within the forested areas around Xavier's for some time. That is where I found her."

"C'mon. Try it," Doug insists, pouring out a bit in the cup. "Just because you feel 'fine' doesn't mean you can't feel better. Puh-leeeze?" Yes, that was that Roger Rabbit "puh-leeeeeeze" imitation. Not that she'd recognize the reference… at least, Doug didn't think she would, as he didn't -think- she would react well to a blend of cartoons/live action. But he was presuming she didn't ever see it…

Trying to hold up the cup towards her to urge her to take it, Doug hesitates, before squinting. "Don't think I've seen her in the class rolls, but I didn't think about checking Cerebus for mutants -on- base. I thought they'd be the same anyway." Blppt. Some detective he'd make… assumptions bad, right,

The puhleeeeze goes right over Laura's head; right over it. She was not one to watch cartoons, though, perhaps Doug could introduce her to some now. Either way, the cup is given a look again and while she doesn't reach for the cup, she at least doesn't say no outright.

Not yet, at least.

"I do not believe she will be in classes. Not until we can communicate with her. We do not even know her name." And with that sentence Laura's voice dips a fraction - the emotion behind that dip might be sadness? Sadness, or perhaps sympathetic understanding, as she didn't have a proper name for a very long time.

"She is currently in a room near my own." Comes Laura's final monotone words.

Well, she -was- weakening, at least, and so Doug tries one last push. "C'mon, it's going to get cold, and it's really good hot. Especially when it's cold. You haven't tried -my- hot chocolate, don't give me that look."

He hesitates a bit, before nodding. "Okay. You want me to meet her now?"

"No." States Laura, though to his last question, not his first pleading one. "She was asleep when I left." Comes her deadpanned words and finally, whether it's his wheedling or the cold, Laura will say, "I will try some."

And while she steps closer to the lanky young man, she doesn't quite reach out for the thermos. Instead she waits. Likely waiting for a signal from Doug that it's okay to take the thermos full of piping hot chocolate.

Well, she was welcome to the bottle, and so Doug simply holds up the bottle to take, finishing off the cup before handing it to her so she can pour herself some. At least it wasn't boiling hot. "Here, have as much as you want. I can always make more."

He doesn't seem to be ready to go inside -yet-, mind you, mostly because he wasn't sure if she was going to ever come in or not. Just leaving it to her to see what she wanted to do… although, given her nature, she well might just stand out there.

Actually, now that he thought about it… "You know, you don't -have- to stay out here. Want to come in? Or better yet, want to see a movie?"

The thermos is accepted, as is the cup, and neatly the young woman will pour a serving of hot chocolate. Once the warm liquid is in the cup, she'll bring it up for a sniff. And yes, part of it might be to make sure there's nothing untoward hidden in the chocolate, but another part is simply curious now.

She'll take a sip of the chocolate and while her expression doesn't shift, or change, the lines of her body don't quite scream 'EW', when the taste hits her tongue. Nor does it scream 'yum' either, just an acceptance of what it tastes like.

Perhaps though there is a glimmer of hope, as she finishes her small cup of hot chocolate. When she's finished she'll put the cap back upon the thermos and hold it out for Doug to take. "A movie." She says flatly; and while that may not sound like a question, Doug should be able to easily identify it as one. A wary question. Too many times has she been tricked into seeing movies that people say she'll absolutely love and she doesn't.

Someday he'd find something that Laura might actually go 'aw yiss' at. Not exactly in those words, but something she'd absolutely love.

For now, though, well… still dark, dangerous, and mysterious. Probably always would be.

Taking the thermos, Doug flashes a grin. "Yeah, a movie. Rogue One came out a few weeks ago. You know, the new Star Wars movie. It's… different, but good."

She might empathize with it a bit more, actually, come to think of it. How she might react to the notion that good people did bad things, Doug wasn't sure… but at least, he had the ability to -read- her body language to know when to stop showing her a movie and try something else.

Although he did wonder at times what her reactions to other genres of movies would be, now that he thought about it…

Her head cants to the side as the mention of Rogue One and Star Wars -

"I will see it." She says quite firmly, perhaps not an 'aw yess', but it's something more than just her normal stoic response.

"Let us go." Now, she means and with that, Laura takes a step away from the edge of the rooftop and heads back towards the interior.

She has a mission now, to see Rogue One, the new Star Wars movie.

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