No Room at the Inn

December 02, 2016:

Not every place Nerina tries to sleep works out for her, but Laura's arrival stops a little trouble from becoming a lot.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Short. Small. Tiny.
All of these can easily describe Laura Kinney. The only thing that
perhaps detracts from the overall small stature of Laura, is the fact that
her physique is quite fit, with defintion along her arms and shoulders.
Her hair is an inky black in color and falls in straight waves to
her shoulders. There's no particular style to Laura's hair, unless one
considers fly-away leaning towards unkempt a style. Her features are pretty
enough, with vibrant green eyes in an oval face. Her expression, however,
might be what takes slightly away from her features. Typically her
expression is often flat, devoid of most emotion, or at the very worst
blank. This could cause some people to think she's not approachable, or
perhaps not interested in what they say, when that's hardly the case.
Her clothes this day are fairly non-descript. Black hiking boots,
black pants, and a black shirt cover her lean figure. The only splash of
brightness is her jacket, it's a faded burgundy in color and looks very well
worn. Upon one shoulder and one sleeve are a several bullet holes, which are
only recently acquired scars for this particular jacket of hers.

Nerina is a slight, unassuming girl with light, sun-bleached features. Her
face is still young, just in the dawn of womanhood, with subtle cheekbones
and a tanned complexion that contrasts against a sharp pair of coral-blue
eyes. Au naturale is the theme of her appearance as fine blonde locks fall
down her back in an unkempt, untrimmed stream, and not a drop of cosmetics
hide the small imperfections of her natural beauty.

The young woman smells strongly of salt water and is dressed simply; a loose
gray sweater hangs by its over-sized neck around her collar, exposing the
gold chain of a necklace worn underneath and held in place by the black
strap of a sling bag as it billows down to mid-thigh where a pair of faded
jeans sneak out before disappearing into matching gray boots just below her
knees. A water bottle clipped to her jeans pokes out on one side and slaps
against her thigh when she walks, lending her cadence a distinctive sloshing
sound. On cold mornings, a blue scarf and coat are added while in warm
Spring afternoons, the sweater is discarded in favor of a tank-top.

A cold breeze blows in from the seaboard bringing with it salty air on chilling winds that battle the slow approach of warmer Summer weather. On the docks, a high tide laps against the shore beneath the pull of a bright full moon. It's a cool night but well-lit, with silvery light illuminating just enough to see by where street lights fail to fall. Deep in the night there's no one out to appreciate it; sidewalks are empty, streets are quiet, and the world is resting… well, most of it.

"I said get out or I'm calling the cops!"

A couple miles inland, the stillness is broken at an old motel as a middle-aged man shouts angrily into an open doorway. A long flashlight is held like a nightstick in his hand while his other one holds the door. A ring of keys on his belt identifies him as the motel's owner; what he's doing here is perfectly legal.

"I said leave me-a lone," a younger, feminine voice replies from inside the suite with a cold, threatening edge. It taints what one day could have been a soft Italian accent.

The man ducks as a remote control flies out of the room and clangs loudly against the railing before tumbling down to the pavement a story below. He retreats from the room without another word and pulls out his cell phone while keeping his eyes on the breezeway in case the erratic youth comes out after him.

X-23 has been avoiding Xavier's Institute for the past few days and her wanderings, because truly that's what they are, have taken her into a poorer neighborhood. The hotels here rate no more than motels, with thin walls and terrible accommodations.

Not that X-23 is looking for a place to stay. No, she's just walking down the sidewalk, eyes taking in everything with a sweep of her oddly bright green eyes. It's only when her sensitive hearing pricks up at an unusual noise that Laura finally pauses in her distance eating walk.

It's only at the words 'leave me alone' that X-23 finally moves again. This time with purpose. Her feet will carry her over to the Motel and towards the door and room that's in question.

While most young woman might pause at the man (clearly the office manager or front desk staff) standing there with his cellphone in hand, X-23 doesn't. She instead looks towards the opened door, before her gaze travels back to the man on his phone. "What is going on?" She asks, her voice weirdly flat and monotone as she says those four words.

The man pauses with his finger over the call button as the green-eyed girl walks up to him and lowers the phone partway from his ear. "I'm sorry for the disturbance. There's a freeloader in one of the empty rooms but don't worry, I'll call the police and they'll have her out in no time." The man's voice is gruff like the dark stubble on his face but with a lazy sort of calm that comes with familiarity; he's dealt with difficult tenants before. Tactfully, the clerk also omits that the young woman seems to have *broke* in.

When the office or building manager speaks to Laura, X-23 can't help but give him an appraising look. It's enough that she'll stare at him mutely for five seconds, before she finally dismisses him as not much of a threat.

To her, at least.

It's as the man turns his attention to his cellphone that Laura will drift slowly away. She's trying not making any fast movements so she doesn't draw the attention of the man that's trying to kick whomever it is inside out. X-23's very slow circuit will eventually bring her closer to the room, enough so that she can peer into the open doorway. She's only half visible within the doorway, but it's still enough that the occupant inside should still be able to get a pretty good look at Laura should she wish to.

The clerk regards the dark-haired young woman oddly as she stares at him, expecting a question or a statement - something. Somewhere in the pregnant pause his finger reaches the call button and as the phone rings, he turns away and diverts his attention from Laura as well as from the breezeway, at least for a few moments.

Up an old flight of cement stairs and a short walk down - three rooms on the left - lamplight streams out of the suite's open doorway. The room's window-mounted AC unit hums a rickety dirge as it pumps warm air inside and there are clear signs of aging all around; small cracks in the pavement, a creeping patina on the metal window frame, and the stale, empty smell that permeates minimalist rooms given too little airflow but cleaned too often for dust and mold to accumulate. But asides from the passage of time there aren't any signs of obvious damage; no broken locks nor shattered glass. A little scuff on the railing marks where it was struck by the remote.

The suite's interior is small but basically furnished with a bed, table, and television stand, all boldly illuminated by the yellow light of wall lamps, and seated on the edge of the bed, facing away from the door, is the suite's lone, illegal occupant. The bedsheets beneath her are upturned and wrinkled and the pillow beside her is still indented from use. Oblivious to her observer, the girl shakes out a pill from the small bottle on her nightstand and swallows it with the aid of some water. Her figure is slight and unassuming from the back but the first thing to notice from this angle is her hair, a river of fine blond strands that are twisted and tangled into a mess of bed-head that reaches almost to the mattress beneath her.

"E una notte di pace cosi tanto da chiedere di piu?" The trespasser mumbles under her breath after swallowing her medicine and lets out a tired sigh as her pale, bare arms reach out of sight to retrieve a gray sweater from the floor and slip it over her head.

Everything within the room (that can be seen) is memorized, which includes the other young woman. Bed head and all. X-23 will keep her presence as low-key as possible, as she watches the other woman go about her business. The faintest of frown continues to tug the slim assassin's mouth downward, as she listens to the words the other woman speaks.

Eyes will also dart to the bottle she's shaking a pill from, to see what her acute eyes can find.

Still, the words that the blonde has said do finally trigger a response from X-23. Her voice, which is very flat and devoid of most inflection, will say, "Tu chi sei?" Comes her question and while there's very little 'accent' to Laura's words, her 'who are you' question is said slow enough that might clue Nerina in that X is definitely /not/ a native speaker.

The pill bottle can be read at least partly once it's set back on the table and the side that's visible identifies it as "CELEBREX (200mg)". The blonde reaches back to pull her hair out from the loose neck of her sweater and drops onto the bed. Her face is young with slight cheeks, a delicate nose, and a dull expression as her bright blue eyes roll back in her head and sweep from the ceiling to the door frame. She looks like she's only in her late teens.

Nerina stares blankly when her eyes land on the upside-down image of X-23 watching her. There's a long pause before her question receives an answer. "Nessuno," she dismisses. "*Tu* chi sei?"

The information that is seen form the pill bottle is quickly seen and memorized, not that X-23 will remark upon it. Not yet, it seems. Her eyes will flick easily to Nerina now, as the woman answers her previous question. While X-23 doesn't know much Italian, she does know that word. Brows dip downward, as she considers the other short young woman.

"I am, Laura." The slim assassin finally says, in English, as she takes two steps closer to the doorway. "You are?" She asks again, voice still quite flat and devoid of most emotion, but this time, there's the slightest of up-ticks to denote the 'you are' as a question.

Obviously, she doesn't quite take the no one as serious. Her head will likewise cant to the side ever so slightly, as she waits to see what the girl does and says.

"No one," the blonde repeats in English, then pauses. "Go away." She doesn't yet move from her spot on the bed but her eyes bore into Laura with unblinking attention. The sheer lack of spirit looks out of place on a body that seems like it should be brimming with life, from the vibrant blond and excessively-long hair to her bright and youthful complexion, but it's an expression Laura may be familiar with.

The words are heard and while the stare is seen (and felt), it doesn't seem to affect X-23 very much. She's used to be staring at and even if it did make her feel uncomfortable, she has one of the best poker faces there is. Instead, that stare is matched, as Laura returns that unblinking look.

While Laura doesn't necessarily blink first, she does say, "No." That's in reference to the other woman's demand to go away.

Again there's a cant a to Laura's head as she focuses on the conversation below the two of them. The office manager's conversation with the police and with a slight twitch of her lips, Laura frowns. "If you do not wish to be arrested, I suggest we leave now."

"We?" Nerina echoes dubiously. The nymph does blink and with that the spell breaks. It's not a staring contest, or at least one she's committed to winning with Laura's gaze mirroring her. Rocking herself up from the bed, the blonde girl stands up to her modest height and sweeps her pill bottle into a day bag on the floor. "I will be gone before polizia arrive," she assures as she bends over to zip up the bag and sling its strap across her chest. It's a practiced looking motion that somehow manages not to horribly tangle her hair.

Nerina puts a hand over her mouth to cover a yawn. "Or are you in my way?"

Her echoed question of we is simply ignored for now, as X-23 waits to see what the other girl will do. When it seems like she's ready to pack up and go, X will transfer her gaze from the girl and allow herself a quick look around the area. Yes, she can hear what the man below is saying and even the person on the other end of the cellphone, but it's always best to get a visual look around when a situation is tense. Seeing nothing that would strike her as threat, Laura returns her oddly bright-eyed green gaze back to Nerina.

It's with that final question of Nerina's that earns another movement from X. A shake of her head and then a slight pivot upon heel, to allow for the other girl to exit the purloined room. "I am not." She says simply, as she waits for the woman to exit and potentially head off. Once Nerina does walk, Laura will neatly fall into step behind her.

The young Italian's sea-blue eyes scrutinize Laura one more time as she tries vainly to gauge her intent. It feels like interrogating a tree - with a striking pair of eyes. Nerina turns her head away to the end table and retrieves her water bottle before tucking it under the loose hem of her sweater. Its watery bottom just barely pokes out at mid-thigh once it's secured to her waist and to any level of scrutiny, the room's furniture is completely bared; Nerina packed light.

Rolling her shoulder in a more human display, the trespassing youth covers another yawn before she walks around the bed and makes her way out of the room. There's a minor stiff-leggedness to her gait and a hunch to her back that betrays more fatigue than her face will express, and Laura is given pointedly less attention up close; a glance in passing in case the raven-haired young woman plans to lash out, and otherwise nothing. A mingled smell trails behind the blonde girl along with her still-tangled hair, most of it a young woman's natural musk with a sea water accent. Nerina's scent is missing any coconut or lavender accessories but an especially sharp nose might notice old fish and a hint of blood.

Nerina doesn't bother to shut the door behind her as her gray boots thump across the upper walkway and she heads for the stairwell furthest from the motel clerk.

Confused and surprised to see the pair walking away together, the man down below follows at a walking pace while still conversing briskly with his cell phone. At least seeing Nerina come out has given him a chance to update her description.

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