Mutant et Fier

January 16, 2017:

Rogue takes a shortcut through an alleyway and meets the *friendliest* of hobos.

Brooklyn, New York City

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Scarlet Witch

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The brief windfall of warm weather sweeping through the northeast is beginning to pass and in the encroaching dark of nightfall, Brooklyn's poorest residents are preparing themselves to weather the return of winter's freezing cold. Chilly but not quite sub-zero, the cool nip in the air hasn't done much to deter the city's normal foot traffic, and absolutely nothing to slow down the constant honk, hum, and gas-laden choke of vehicles trundling up and down the grid-patterned roads. It's New York City, any hour of any day.

Against the backdrop of mingled aromas from hot ethnic spices wafting from the various restaurants covering the borough, a young blonde has secluded herself in the edge of an alleyway, sitting atop a backpack while reading an old newspaper by the dim shop light nearby - one of a rather sizeable stack she's accumulated nearby. The end of a flute pokes out the pocket of her jacket and although the hood of her sweatshirt is pulled up for warmth, bright blonde bangs splay out in frayed rivers down her front. She's a young drifter, perhaps even still a teenager, but the mild bags beneath her eyes and gauntness of her round young cheeks, both accentuated by shadows, tell the same story as the bald treads of her boots; this won't be her first night out of doors.

Believe it or not, Rogue has friends! Some former students of which she attended college with had moved to Brooklyn and they'd invited her down for the day to see their new apartment. She'd driven in her car, a dark green classic Dodge Charge with black racing stripes, and she'd parked it at a garage nearby then skated her way over to her friend's place.

Rogue was leaving now and headed back for her car, skating down the alleyway that the blonde wanderer was located. Wearing a heavy brown leather trenchcoat, some jeans short-shorts and black stockings beneath, her leather booted feet pushed off on the ground and she skated along the alleyway until she felt her board acting a bit funny. Stepping off the board not far from where the Blonde Girl was, Rogue brusheed her white/brown hair out of her face and turned her bored over. She'd rolled over some garbage and it'd gotten stuck in wheel. "Aw man, thats nasty…" The southern voice came from her as she started to pick the trash out with her gloved right hand. "Groooooss!" She was likely loud enough, and close enough to be easily seen and heard.

It's enough to make the blonde look up from her reading and raise an eyebrow. "Benvenuti nella city," she mutters before returning to her reading. With how the flautist and her newspaper pile are spread out, they might be in the way as well.

Rogue is still picking the old McDonald's bag out from around her skateboard's wheels muttering at it as it comes apart wetly from her picking fingers. "I am -not' lovin' it." She grumbled out before hearing another voice and casting her green pupil'd eyes over toward the girl in the alley. "Oh, heya there… Didn't see ya." She said to Nerina in her husky/dusky voice. "Don't think I've eve'ah wanted t'eat fast food less than I do right now." The southerner added with a little grin, having no idea who this girl was obviously, she tried to use a bit of humor to broach the gap of social awkwardness.

The young hobo's eyes are already back in her newspaper and for a moment they catch the light, shining ocean blue before dimming again in shadow. There's a pause, then Nerina looks up again and gestures with a hand. "Are you going through?"

Rogue got the last bits of garbage out of her board as she heard this question from the young homeless person. She had been homeless for four years of her own life, back in her late teens. "Uh…" Rogue said then at the strange question. She held her board against her right hip and eyed the girl. "Am I what?" She asked. "Going through what? Sickness? Yah, othe'ah people's discarded food trash kinda has that effect on me." She jested, grinning a little. "You okay?" She asked the girl. "You need anythin'?" She had to ask, she'd been there before herself afterall.

Nerina looks up again with a raised eyebrow and stares at length, then somberly lowers her head back to her newspaper, shaking it. Uncrossing one foot, she slides some of her newspaper towards the other side of the alley, making a loose path.

Rogue watched the girl do this and she pulled a cigarette out of her leather trenchcoat and placed it between her purple-painted lips. "Huh." She said quietly, observing this odd behavior while lighting the cig with a cheap bic lighter that had a picture of MIckey Mouse on it. "Ya need any food or anything?" She asked again. "I can buy ya a sandwich. There's a shop just around the corne'ah, they got some kille'ah subs there. All the meats ya could eve'ah ask for." She grinned a little and puffed a drag on the cig while staring.

Nerina snorts under her breath and flips a page. "You are younger than you look, ragazza," she off-hands.
"You can't read minds, can you?" The Italian asks abruptly.

Rogue looked around then after the girl said these things and asked this question. She reached up to pull the cigarette out of her lips and she slipped her skateboard into a custom-sewn pocket on the side of her trenchcoat. She stared at the girl. "What?" She asked, starting to think that this girl was one of the crazy-types of homeless people, that sadly are just too far gone to hold a real chat with.

"The last one was," the blonde answers, scanning down her page. "Too many mutante male in this city," she grumbles darkly. Taking one hand from her newspaper, she grabs the metal thermos beside her and takes a long drink, gulping down whatever's hiding inside its metal body.
"Humans only would be safer."

Rogue heard this cryptic resposne and she grinned. "God damn men." She said in response to the crazy girl. "Especially the mutant ones. Their egos are the worst! Ya know what I'm sayin?" She was just enjoying her cigarette for now and would likely hop along back on her way once she was done with it. "Humans Only is the kinda shit people write on signs and march around in clumps around government buildin's shoutin' in the air. Them kidnsa people are the worst of all though."

"They are harmless," Nerina scoffs. Looking back at Rogue, the flautist's eyes bounce from the glow of her cigarette to her face. "Perché ti interessi? Why do you care?"

Rogue took a step toward the mouth of the alley while listening to the girl speak. "Girly. Its my job t'care." She said back with a small grin. "I'm a teache'ah. Got a lotta mutant students too. I care about every single one'a of'em as well."

The blonde cocks her head far enough that a bang swings across her nose. "You /teach/ mutants??" She asks in bewilderment. "To do what?"

Rogue snorted at this question and glanced back to the italian girl. "To live their lives." She said back at the girl. "To be -good- people. Ya know, like we should all be taught?"

"But not to survive," Nerina considers as she straightens her head and shifts in her seat, looking almost ready to stand as well. "How many get linciato, uh… attacked by humans?" She asks, fumbling through the leap from her native Italian to English. "E how many attack the humans back?"

Rogue wasn't entirely sure if this girl was hostile toward mutants or hostile toward humans, so she just played it safe and smirked. "I don't really keep tabs on that sorta thing, ya know?" She said to the girl, finishing her cigarette and tossing it into a nearby sewer drain that had a stream of running water going down into it. "All the kids I teach are nice, good kids… don't do a lotta fightin' like you're describin'."

"You really *do* care," the blonde echoes sarcastically. Running her eyes over the southern belle and her bicolored hair, she asks, "How old are you, eighteen?"

Rogue snorted lightly at the girl's question and she shook her head, her two-toned hair was set beneath a black-wool-knight-beanie, but the brown/white lengths of thick hair framed her face and ran down her shoulders and back. "I'm twenty three, but thank ya for the compliment, friend." She replied to the girl.

Rocking up onto her feet, the small flautist stands and stuffs her hand into her pocket as the other one crams her newspaper against the side of her hoodie. The top of her hood might clear five feet. Leaning back against the brick side of the alley, she smiles dryly. "You are going to get people killed, capire?"

Rogue narrowed her eyes at the short little girl and she seemed more than a little annoyed at her by now. She'd had lots of arguments with homeless people in the past, even if she was a college grad now with a good job and a nice home… part of her felt some weird since of familiarity with arguing with this girl in this alley. "Oh I am, am I?" She questioned her. "And just what'n the hell are you goin' t'do?" She asked then, looking the short girl up and down. "Wake up tomorrow mornin' ontop'a the garbage out behind a McDonald's?"

Nerina shrugs her shoulders dismissively. "I'm not un professore. You said that you cared," she reminds before pausing to bend down and grab her thermos for another drink.

Rogue laughed then. "I offe'ahed t'go get you food when I got here." She replied, motioning a gloved hand out toward the sidewalk. "How much more carin' do I need to showcase to a complete strange'ah in an alleyway? Any more'n than that and I might get arrested by a cop if one happened by!" She snorted again and shook her head. "And I ain't no professor. Just a teache'ah. Professahs… come from Ivy League schools or somethin'. I don't even really know, t'be honest."

"I mean care about vostri mutante," Nerina corrects. "The last person who bought me food had me at her house by the end of the night." She pauses and takes a moment to study Rogue again before concluding, "It's not that cold tonight."

Rogue heard this and she narrowed her eyes. "Oh. Uh… that sounds, creepy." She replied to the girl. "I'm not lookin' for anything like that. I just used t'live out on the streets, some nights I was hungry and would've enjoyed a free sandwich. Thats all." She told the girl. "But I get it, no problem. I just don't give out money t'homeless, cause I don't know what they'd spend it on."

"She was more persuasive than you," Nerina explains off-handed. Now it's her turn to be curious as the flautist raises a blonde eyebrow again. "How long were you homeless? You don't act like it."

Rogue snorted out a laugh at the girl's initial response. "I'll take that as a compliment then." She said dryly back at her. She stepped toward the alley mouth and then turned around to face Nerina again. "From early sixteen inta late eighteen." She replied. "I did a lotta travelin' around the country, mostly southwest and up the west coast'n inta Canada. Met up with somone there who got me out here to some people who could help me with my mutation. Been here since then. Its been awhile… I certainly don't look back on it fondly, but I admire what it helped me do… as in… be a stronge'ah person."

Nerina's eyebrow slowly lowers as Rogue talks and by the end the flautist has pinched her fingers against the bridge of her nose. "Per l'amor del cielo… /another/ mutante?" She grumbles. "E now you make sense."
Sighing to herself, Nerina bumps her head against the brickwork behind her and looks up at the dark sky as her shoulders sag with a new weight. Rolling it lazily around, she looks back at Rogue dully. "E what can you do? Change your hair color?"

Rogue saw the reaction that this new brought out of the girl and it amused her, and annoyed her too. "You don't care for mutants huh?" She asked, shrugging her shoulders. "Don't really care what you think t'be honest. I'm just a person, tryin' t'find happiness like the rest." With an exhale and a little snort she shook her head. "Nah, my hair is this color for a whole different reason… What I can 'do' isn't all that important eithe'ah. How I do it.. thats what matte'ahs."

Nerina tucks her chin and shakes her own head slowly in reply. "Wrong," she deadpans. "Wrong, wrong, /wrong/!" the flautist snaps, whipped by a brief but fiery vigor. Her heated glare lands on the wall opposite her rather than Rogue but after a few moments the blonde collects herself, bowing her head to rub between her eyes again as she drops her newspaper to pull up the sleeve of her half-fingered arm warmer. Abruptly, Nerina opens her mouth and bites the fat of her palm, letting the limb dangle in her mouth like a cat with a captured animal.

Rogue watches all of this and she seems a bit, disturbed by it. "Uh… okay…" She replies to the girl. "So… you have a good night, all right? I'm gonna head out." The southern gal poitned toward the sidewalk and she then took a step toward it. "Hope you find what you're lookin' for, girl." She told the other before intending to move on, not really wanting to hang out with a girl who seemed this unstable.

Nerina shoots a dull glare out the corner of her eye as a small trickle of blood begins to leak from the new wound. As Rogue begins to leave, she lets go long enough to snap a parting remark in her native tongue. "Codardo. Vigliacco delirante."

Rogue pulled another cigarette out of her leather trenchcoat as she walked onto the sidewalk and glanced back at the girl who she could hear speaking in Italian. "Mutant et fier, Madame." Rogue said back to her in flawless French, accent and all, then placed the cigarette in her lips and put hands into her pockets as she hummed a little tune and walked along on her meery ol' way.

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