Midnight Reunion

December 28, 2016:

After leaving X-Red HQ in a huff, Nerina sneaks back in for one last visit.

X-Red HQ


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A bright round moon hangs over Long Island, silhouetted by a sparse ceiling of pale clouds in the warm night. A brief reprieve from the season's cold consoles the souls still out and about at this dreadful hour, as the powers of mythic witches rise towards their zenith.

A familiar silhouette moves quietly down the paved road towards X-Red HQ, glowing a sunny blonde when she passes underneath a street light. For once the flautist's nocturnal wandering is in the open - there's no dark shadows of the ninja arts covering her warm Mediterranean features. Having left her backpack behind she makes quiet progress towards the building's main guard post, stopping more than once to lean against a streetlamp and hunch over. Taking a parched draw from her water bottle and gulping it down mechanically, she steals herself and continues onwards.

In a few short minutes the fishwife is inside and weighing her next move as she slides towards a familiar door in the living quarters. She'd left of her own volition earlier that day; abandoned or not, the petite Italian was still on the guest list.

Falling back on years'-old skills that have been honed to a razor's edge, she approaches a certain door with almost preternatural silence then pauses to listen, smell, and wrestle down the last indecisions in her mind. Next door, the room is bared by a lonely entryway cracked ajar, exposing coarsely-folded bedsheets and vacant furniture; her room until the flautist's spiteful flight.

Wanda is in…where else would she be? She is singing softly to herself in her room. Not a recognisable song to many. Something from back home. A lilting melody with a hint of sadness…or it would be if she could sing. "Come in" she suddenly calls out to the closed door. You can't easily hide from a witch.

The door slowly opens and the flautist peeks her head in. "Scoccio me, I forgot you don't sleep too," she murmurs to herself. There's an awkward silence before Nerina softly adds, "Ciao."

"Oh I sleep…sometimes" Wanda assures the blonde. "You are going away again already?" She looks sad at this before shrugging. "If that is what you want…" There's still a pout about it though.

Nerina blinks a couple times as her eyes adjust to the sudden light, thick black orbs contracting to expose the bright blues of her irises again. They look duller and more subdued than usual in the frame of her face. The flautist slips in the gap of the door and shuts it behind her.

"You have too many visitors who can read minds," she explains.

"Do I?" Wanda shrugs at this information. "I suppose I have not noticed. Just because you can read minds does not mean that you have to read minds." Then a look of confusion. "I had visitors? I do not have visitors. You and Witchdoctor have been my only visitors for a while." She nods to the foot of the bed. "Sit down" she smiles.

"Some people think differently," Nerina replies sourly. She pauses and reaches back towards the lightswitch on the wall. "May I turn this off? E 'troppo luminoso."

"You want to turn off the light?" Wanda looks confused but again she shrugs. "Sure. And lots of people think differently. That's what make us different" she winks. "So you are not enjoying your stay?"

"Sorry, too much light," Nerina answers before she turns the light off, the first time she's apologized for lapsing into her native tongue. There's an inaudible sigh as darkness envelops the room and the fishwife gives it a few moments to spread before her weight sags the foot of the witch's bed. "I was until that telepath arrived. Trasgressore," she curses spitefully. "Del diavolo, del cerchio più basso."

"Who was the telepath that came? I am not sure I know any" Wanda muses, having to think of all the people that she has barely met over the years. "I do not think the X-Men even want me to keep living here. But it is my home. I am not sure I would be happy at the school." A smile in the darkness for Nerina. "Do not be angry. I do not think they meant to hurt you."

"Then he was a careless stolto. Mutante male like him belong on a mountain, alone," Nerina rebuffs as she lets her vitriol flow. Reaching for her water bottle, she takes a rough drink and comes out panting for air. The fishwife grimaces as she hunches forward in the dark. "Nnn… can you work your magic again?" she asks with a hand low on her stomach.

"Your stomach is still bothering you?" Wanda nods and scarlet energy forms around her long, twitching fingers. "Sure, come closer" she smiles to the other woman, both of them lit up with a red hue. "So the relief only lasts a night?"

"Da," Nerina affirms as she draws her legs up onto the bed and scoots backwards besides the witch, her long hair forming a little river between them. She pulls out the hem of her hoodie to give Wanda's hand an entrance, stretching a more skintight layer underneath. "We will have to meet often," the fishwife concludes in mock complaint, her half-smile painted crimson.

Wanda smirks at the 'complaint' as she places her hand on the bare stomach. "I could try a more permanent solution if I knew what it was that hurts you" she muses as reality changes to take away the pain. "What was the name of the person who frightened you away?"

The fishwife lets out a muted groan and leans back against the headboard, her body softening and shrinking as the tension held in it bleeds away on the tendrils of Wanda's magic. "Miglior magic ever," she murmurs, dropping her stretched top and hoodie back over the witch's hand. Nerina sits still for a few moments without answering right away and takes out her water bottle again for a gentler sip, wordlessly offering it beside her. "Do you know any magic to speak Italian? I met a man once whose magic could do that."

"I change reality" Wanda notes with a smile. "So what I would do is change it so that it was like I learned years ago. Or I would change it so that Italian and English sound the same to the listener. There are many ways of doing it. Some take more thought and energy than others." She is content to keep her hand where it is. "This is helping?"

"Da," Nerina affirms. "That sounds… powerful. So you could make Italian e Rumeno sound the same? We could stop using English," she suggests with a small smile, still holding the thermos in front of Wanda, just for a little longer.

"Only to the people affected. No one else would hear it any different" Wanda explains before laughing, "I cannot change the entire universe. But I guess we could have our own language. I am not sure. I have not used my magic much for a while. Not with everyone else gone."

"No one else is here," Nerina reasons simply. The witch's magic has a private audience. "Try it - and drink," she suggests, giving the thermos a little shake.

Wanda takes the thermos, opening it up and sniffing at the contents before taking a sip. "If it is only us two here then I do not need to change language" she grins, "No one else can hear us anyway." Sounds logical to her. "What is the drink?"

There's no scent at all from inside the thermos but its contents are cool and crisp - and a little low in the bottle. The fishwife might have been thirsty. "Acqua," Nerina answers. "I just want to speak Italiano again, for us both to use our mother tongue's. It's more comfortable, da?"

“I think you need some more water” Wanda decides after a little sip. “Hmm…then speak Italiano and I will understand it.” She closes her eyes as her fingers jerk and spasm. Muttering softly to herself as scarlet energy surrounds her digits and then her hands before it washes over her for a moment. “I hope that did it” she smiles. “I am not always sure what will happen” the witch blushes apologetically before sliding off the bed. “More water, da?” Wanda starts heading for the door and the kitchen beyond.

Nerina smiles softly as the red glow illuminates her tired features before fading away. Her expression dips a little as the witch gets up and she raises a golden eyebrow in the dark. “<You’re not going to magic some more? And what about me? I still hear English.>”

“You do? Oh…that did not work how I wanted” Wanda frowns before shrugging sadly, “It rarely does. What do you want me to magic?” She laughs warmly. “I am not a magic show. You should see Zatanna for that.” The witch slips out and off to the kitchen to refill the water. A glance at the clock on the over to see it is getting late…or is that early. “Nerina!” she calls out. “I think they will be closing this place down soon.”

"<Summon some more water - or would you make red wine?>" Nerina teases from the shadows of the room before Wanda slips out. With the witch gone, the flautist leans her head against the headboard and shuts her eyes, stealing a moment's rest. Her nose twitches, picking up the nuanced smells of Wanda's room… it still smells a little like garlic.

When the witch calls back to her, the blonde doesn't bother reopening her eyes. "<When?>" She asks simply.

“I do not know. I want to stay here but the person who owns this place is going to be moving back in with the other X-Men” Wanda replies as she heads back to the bedroom. “There will be no more X-Red. They want to group them all together again. And I am also in the Avengers now so they probably want me to go to Avengers Mansion.” A sigh as she offers over the water. “I think everyone wants something from me but I do not know if I can give them what they need. I am not sure what they think I am.”

“<So stay,>” Nerina replies simply as the light from the hallway briefly illuminates her face, making the narrow blue rings of her eyes shine before casting her into darkness again. In the unlit bedroom, they’ve dilated to nearly black.

“Grazie,” she says softly as she takes back her thermos and opens it for a sip of fresh cold water. Her river of hair gets a little tug to pull it into her lap and make room for the witch. “<They won’t demolish this place and even I can get through a locked door. Closing the building even means no more visitors - no telepaths. We could be neighbors again,>” the flautist adds with a small smile that’s hidden in the dark.

"They might demolish the place" Wanda notes as she resumes her seat on the bed. "It was abandoned before X-Red bought it and moved in. If X-Red move out again then it will be used by someone else or they will knock it down. They do not leave buildings empty in New York for long. Too much money involved." A shrug. "We can be friends without being neighbours, da?"

"Da…" Nerina concedes as he lets the witch settle in beside her and leans back against the headboard again. "<But I might come back until they destroy it. Even with the heat off it should be warm.>"

"<Of course you have a back-up,>" she mutters dryly.

"Da, it is shelter" Wanda admits with a nod. "But I would not like to see you arrested for being in here. Or hiding inside when they blow it up. Do you have phone? Maybe we should get you a phone so we can keep in touch when you are back on the street." A wry smile forms. "I know that is where you would prefer to be." A deep breath. "I should get some sleep."

The flautist grins quietly in the dark at the notion of getting arrested. "<I prefer being here right now,>" Nerina corrects, her blue eyes flitting over to look at the witch. "<I have a phone or two but nothing permanent. I do have an e-mail.>"

"You have an email but no phone? You have a computer?" Wanda glances around for one. "Or do you get them on your flute" she teases. She reaches out to give Nerina's arm a squeeze. "I like being here too" she smiles, a little blush to her cheeks. "But you will change your mind about that. Everyone does."

"<Library computer,>" the flautist explains as she turns her head aside to hide a smile. There's not a lot to squeeze underneath her hoodie but the blonde is in there. Her arm drifts onto Wanda's lap and rests there before Nerina's gaze comes back, staring towards the witch's voice with a firm set of her chin. "<You're going to die too, you know that? I didn't make a short trip to come back here just for you.>"

"That is not very cheery talk" Wanda pouts at being told she is going to die. "People have tried to kill me many times. Sometimes I wonder if I should let them but…no…it is not nice to die." A grin at that wisdom before she leans over to kiss Nerian lightly on the forehead. "You need to think of happier things. We both do. And you should try to sleep."

"<You started it saying I would leave - it's the same thing. One day everyone's going to leave, or you'll die, then you'll just be a memor—>" The young fishwife freezes, stunned, and she blinks before the kiss fully registers. "<-y… There aren't many happy things in my world, you should know that,>" she defends, but the wind has been stolen from her sails. There's no bite to the flautist's words anymore.

Nerina pats Wanda's thigh gently. "<Get under the covers and get your rest. I didn't come here to sleep.>"

"Then we have to make them happy" Wanda smiles about the state of the world. She is a bit taken aback that she will be sharing the bed with Nerina but she slips under the sheets anyway. "Good night. Don't let the bed bugs bite."

"<They'll bite you,>" Nerina corrects as she scoots to one side of the bed to give Wanda more room but stays sitting against the headboard. "<What is your e-mail address? And if you want, I can leave you a number.>"

Wanda pushes up to one elbow and gestures to her bedside table. "I have business cards there" she says with some embarrssment. "They have my email and number on them. X-Red was all about being public."

"<Good, I'll take one before I leave,>" Nerina replies before opening her refilled thermos and gulps a drink of the fresh water - a long drink. She exhales when she sets it down and glances back at Wanda to confirm what they both might be thinking. "<I won't be here when you wake up. I'll be quiet so I don't wake you, da?>"

"I did not think you would be" Wanda nods with a frown. "You make as much noise as you like. I would probably like to say 'goodbye'." She lays her head back down. "Take care of yourself. If you need anything. Call."

Another small smile is forced upon the haggard blonde's face before she covers it to hide a yawn as well. "<Then I'll wake you,>" she concludes, her gaze softening despite herself at the warm and cozy mix of soft skin and wavy red hair poking out from the bedsheets. "<And work on your magic so next time we meet we can both use our mother tongue's.>"

"<…I might use my bedroom again - for tonight,>" Nerina concedes, relenting to the fatigue that's settled in.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License