Mission Impossible: Shopping

April 07, 2017:

Illyana and Nate take Laura shopping to take her mind off of her clones.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…


On one hand it's easy; when it comes to hunting. When it comes to waiting on action to be taken concerning The Facility and her clones, it's much harder. Currently the trio is waiting on word back from the 'leadership' of the X-Men on which bunker to hit and while Laura would have simply waited (brooding), a certain blonde demoness has pulled her out and away from the Mansion.

And that is what brings the trio into New York proper, in one of the local malls that dot the city. The mall itself has several levels and they're currently upon the second level, surrounded by a lot of people and a lot of boutiques. While her feet don't necessarily drag, there's a definite 'dragging of the feet' by Laura, as she dutifully follows after Illyana and Nate.

She hasn't quite gone so far as to ask why they're doing this, but the question is just beneath the surface of her grumpy-cat expression.

On the other hand Nate has little problem at spending time with two of his friends. Brooding loses its charm after a while, a Summers knows all about it. That Illyana dragged them to a mall does not worry him even a bit. All kinds of interesting things in malls. Like people. And coffee. And possibly food, although he has little money to spend.

But then again, Nate is easily amused.

Illyana's not good at waiting and bores easily… or at least that's the impression she does her best to cultivate, and who's to say it isn't true?

Since she can't do much to hurry along the X-Men's deliberations - and she's partly responsible for them anyway, since she DID kind of talk Laura out of her preferred lone wolf approach, not that she'd admit it - and since she can't go back to Limbo without being acutely aware that she has six mostly-Lauras as unwanted house-guests, Illyana's been left with no choice but to accelerate her master plan.

Case in point, shopping.

"Don't look like that, Laura, Nate and I are doing you a favour. Really." Illyana is not put off by the grumpy cat expression, and may actually be taking it as something of a challenge. "Besides, we talked about this. You're eventually going to run out of things to claw, stab and even growl at, although that might take longer. So you need to master new skills! Think of it as training if it helps." Illyana, clearly, is determined. "Now. I'm not sure if you only have one set of clothes, or if all your sets of clothes are identical, but either way that needs to change!"

There's definitely both coffee and food about. Little kiosks offer tantalizing glimpses of various drinks and foods for the shoppers to purview; and the food court isn't too far off from their current location.

Food, however, is the last thing on at least two of the minds within their little group. Specifically Illyana and Laura it seems. As for Illyana, her words are definitely heard by Laura and while it may seem like the slim assassin might not answer, eventually she does. Her voice is its typical flat cadence as she states, "Training. I do not see how mastering shopping would be a useful skill." She begins with, her gaze swinging towards the blonde as the demoness continues to speak about the virtues of clothing. Especially different outfits. Laura's black eyebrows begin to crimp towards the midline of her face, as she states, "I do not see anything wrong with what I wear. It is functional and blends with shadows." And with that said her gaze swings towards Nate -

- Looking for some help here, but with Illy .. well, she's a force of nature. Especially when it concerns shopping.

"Uh, maybe some kind of socialization training? Or blending-in-the-mall training? Or maybe you are being trained as mule to carry the stuff Illyana purchases?" Which would mean less work for Nate, yes? "Just relax. Not everything is 'training' and Yana here just wants to 'share' her fun. We just need to plan how to make her suff… I mean, share our fun, too. The problem, Mouse, is that it seems you only enjoy hunting and fighting, and Yana likes that too. But… we will come up with something. Eventually."

"Pfft, even YOU can carry my stuff, Nate. Don't need training for THAT!" Illyana flashes a grin at Nate. He's right, Illyana does find this fun. But he's also wrong. This is definitely training.

Illyana turns a look on Laura's that's almost kindly, if you don't look too closely into her eyes. "We'll come back to what you wear in a minute." Illyana tells her, reassuringly. "But first, this is totally a useful skill. Once you get a break from growly-clawy-stabby, you have no idea what you might find yourself doing." Illyana smirks, "Don't deny that, you admitted it already. Anyway, /whatever/ you end up doing, the right outfit will smooth your way and make you more likely to succeed. It's like picking your gear before a mission." Illyana pauses to check whether that's made any impression, and plunges on either way. "Besides, it's a useful thing to do to build connections and alliances among your peer group to make you a more effective member of a team." Illyana nods decisively, happy with that, and glances at Nate. Daring him to laugh. She'd better distract him.

"So. Nate. What should Laura here be shopping for first?"

The vaguest of looks is given to Nate -

- Laura knows enough to realize he's not being completely serious there. A thread of humor is running through his scent currently, or is that perhaps sarcasm? One of the two, Laura knows that much. That look of hers will transfer off of Nate and now turn once more to Illyana, as she offers her words of wisdom.

At the mention of gear and mission, that causes Laura to pause for consideration. While there's a continued faint look of disbelief still held within her eyes, clearly both Nate and Illyana's words are starting to make some sort of impression upon her. Finally, perhaps for Illyana, there will be some triumph as Laura concedes. "I will look at some clothing."

Then it's back to Nate, as Illyana neatly serves him up on a platter with that question of hers.

Nate was already snickering, "that is all true but this is not…" wait, why is Illyana asking him? He owns like 3 pieces of clothing. One is his X-Men outfit that he shapes with telekinesis in whatever he needs. Another is a battered leather jacket he doesn't even remember where he got. And the last one is a top hat for his stage magic shows.

Maybe he asked him so he shuts up. But now he needs to give his opinion, which for once, he doesn't have. Improvising!

"Just buy her a dress," decides the young man. "We can take pictures of the faces of the X-Men when they see Laura in a dress. It will be great."

One might expect Illyana to crow, or possibly do a little victory dance, when Laura concedes defeat, but the demonic blonde doesn't want to overplay her hand. Still, she has to allow a victorious smirk to take up residence on her lips. After all, it's not every day you beat Laura with logic. "You know it makes sense." Illyana offers, magnanimous in victory, and then looks expectantly at Nate.

Now, it might just be possible that Illyana put Nate on the spot so he'd admit to having no clothes either and she could shop for him to. If so, she's disappointed. But he's more than forgiven for the far too perfect suggestion that he so innocently offers. Illyana has to fight very hard not to give a little clap of delight. "Perfect." She tells Nate, with a grin, and for once it seems she means both. "Dresses." She tells Laura firmly, and steers her into a shop. "What sort of dress would you like…" She says, but her eyes are already roaming the store, and there's the slightest hint that she's talking to herself.

At Nate's recommendation and Illyana's response, Laura can only offer a faint flare of her nostrils. It's both an emotional response (et tu, Nate) as well as a calculating one (determine what both of them are feeling).

Even if Illyana isn't openly crowing, as it were, there's still the smell of success within her scent and Laura can't quite help the faint frown that tugs her lips downward both in part to that response, and at the thought of a dress.

"Dresses are not tactically sound." Begins the monotone woman, even as she's quite helpfully steered into a store thanks to the blonde demoness. "It is better to buy pants." Again, while she doesn't necessarily drag her feet, there's hesitancy with each step she takes into that boutique.

The inside of the store is a riot of colors, outfits and music, as it blares some popular tune that currently plays on the radio. For Laura, her gaze just narrows slightly, as she scans the area around the trio. Both Illyana and Nate might recognize that look; it's the one she gets when she's assessing the place and people she finds within for possible threats.

Nate is obviously amused, like usually happens when seeing Illyana going 'happy witch' on someone else. "We can get you some camo pants later?" He offers Laura. Nate did his own scanning, more based on telepathy and regular eyes, but old habits die hard. And watching out for trouble is a good habit to keep.

"I think the only possible tactic here is to endure and survive, Mouse," he comments. "Or, alternatively, you could try to enjoy this. Maybe you will find something you like?"

"Only if they're not black on black. A camo pattern the rest of us can't SEE isn't ACTUALLY a pattern." Illyana's willing to allow the promise of eventual salvation via camo pants, but she's not about to let Laura start there. For her part, Illyana is the only member of the trio who doesn't seem to think that something nasty is about to jump out from behind a rack at them. Looking Laura up and down, Illyana moves deeper into the shop with a decisive stride, but pulls up almost immediately, one hand deftly selecting a black tank top with 'I HATE PEOPLE' written on it in bold white letters. She purses her lips, looks between the tank top and Laura, then says, "Definitely for me. Irony's an advanced class. Hey, Nate? Hold this for me?" It's not really a question, since the tank top ends up in his hands anyway.

Moving on, Illyana picks up the thread of the conversation as if there hadn't been an interruption. "Anyway, there are lots of situations in which a dress is not only tactically sound but a definite advantage. Like going dancing. Which we will be doing. Soon." She sounds like she's making a rather ominous promise. "So, anything you like?" Illyana asks, hopefully, but her tone suggests she's not really expecting an affirmative answer. "This could be you!" She suggests, finding a black, rather gothy dress with gauzey, translucent skirt and sleeves and whirling dramatically around, laying the garment across herself. "What do you think?"

Nate's words hold some truth. Endure. There will be no happiness here for Laura. A look will be sent Nate's way again by the slim assassin, before her attention focuses back upon the demonic woman; who's already scavenging the clothing racks.

Illyana offers so many statements there and each are considered equally as Laura tries to keep up with Illyana, both figuratively and mentally.

Finally, Laura will settle on answering that last question of Illyana's. What do you think. The dress will be considered by those serious green eyes of Laura's and after that moment of thought, she'll say. "It is a black dress that leaves much unprotected." Then her gaze flicks back to Illyana; was that answer sufficient? She's hoping it is. And while inwardly she knows Illyana was really asking something else, Laura will stick with her rather literal answer to that not so literal question.

"Good answer, wrong answer," offers Nate semi-helpful. "Dresses are for style and aesthetics, not for combat. Oh, they are also to amuse Illyana," he explains with smirk. "Look, just humor her. You can pick next shop… in fact," he glances to Illyana, "Laura can pick next shop from anywhere in America. So if she wants to go buy guns or combat gear, you get to port us there. New York weapon laws are pretty strict, but we can go to Texas or something. Deal?"

Illyana remains in position, leaning back a little so that the dress drapes across her just so, her eyes fixed on Laura as she awaits her response. And then groans and glances at the ceiling when she hears it.

Returning to an even keel, Illyana folds the dress carefully across one arm and regards Laura with a look of not entirely feigned despair. When Nate jumps in, his first comment gets a wrinkled nose from the Russian, accompanied by her free hand being held out flat and waggled a bit from side to side, to show she's not in full agreement with his words. At 'wrong answer', however, Illyana grins and gives a thumbs up. "For once, Nate is right on both counts!" Illyana declares. "The question was really 'would this dress look ni…" She glances at Nate and rolls her eyes, "…aesthetically pleasing on you. Or me, for that matter." She pauses, which is a tactical mistake as it allows Nate to jump in again. She sighs dramatically.

"All right, but we're definitely leaving time for Advanced Shopping Training later, even if I have to port us to another time zone!" She has A Plan, after all! "So, going to try it on?" She asks Laura, with an expectant look.

Aesthetically pleasing? It's hard to say if anyone has ever asked Laura's opinion of a dress. A serious opinion even. Once people get to know her rarely do they ask her questions like that. A look will shift between Nate and Illyana, as they banter back and forth and while Laura hears that compromise from Nate, she doesn't yet react to it. Instead she will focus her attention back upon Illyana and that article of clothing.

Her nostrils will flare slightly, as she once again allows herself to scent the air around the trio, but also allow herself a faint puff of air that might hint at some of what she's feeling. "It is not what I would pick to wear." Begins the girl and while that might be the end of that, Laura does stretch herself a little when she adds, "The color is acceptable. It would blend well with shadows if required." Again her eyes go towards Illyana's face to see if that's an acceptable answer.

Nate snickers. "It is not for stealth either…" he starts. Glances to Illyana, then back to Laura. "You know? I think I am going to let Illyana explain it. It will be much more amusing. I will be there watching and making unhelpful comments. Like for instance… that dress will definitely 'look nice' in either of you, so you should go trying it and show me."

Illyana, at least, doesn't snicker at Laura like Nate does. She's on Laura's side! …for all it probably feels like she's torturing her right now. She glances across at Nate with a faintly raised eyebrow at how helpful to her cause he's being - and then pulls a face at him when he bails out almost before he's gotten started. "Fine. Be like that." Illyana tells him sniffily, then turns to Laura.

"He's right. Again. I think he's been replaced when we weren't looking. Anyway. This dress is NOT for stealth, it's for being seen. There are going to be times when you want to draw attention when throwing a hand grenade just won't be appropriate." Illyana pauses, thinks about that, then shrugs. "Trust me on this. So. Two choices." Illyana smiles mercilessly. "Try this dress on, or pick a dress that you DO like to try on."

Nate is given a look again, which might mirror the same emotion of that haughty sniff of Illyana's. Once that look is given, Laura's attention turns back to Illyana. The choices the demoness gives aren't ones that Laura necessarily likes, but, she will offer a singular nod.

With a swift look around her, Laura will reach for the dress that Illyana holds. "I will try it on." She states flatly, the defeat held within her tones shadowed by the monotone quality of her voice.

There's no way she could pick a dress that she might like; not with how many dresses the store has on display. It's an assault on all of Laura's senses, not just her eyes. Still, she said she'd try this dress on and so, she will. Her gaze swings away now as she looks for the dressing rooms. When she spots them she will resolutely move away from the demoness and telepath and head towards a changing room.

Whether Illyana follows or not doesn't seem to hinder Laura. She's accepted this mission, so she disappears within the various changing rooms. It'll only take a few minutes to reappear and when she does, she's wearing the dress. She could have kept her pants on, but, she didn't, so she's quite bare-legged thanks to the short skirt of the dress and bare-foot. "Is this acceptable." She states, or rather asks, to whomever might be waiting for her to appear.

Hey, don't look at him like that! Illyana is the one that despite being raised among demons quickly adapted to the US culture to the point of liking shopping and dressing up. If mostly in black, leather and… maybe it is because she was raised among demons. Nevertheless, it was her idea to come here.

Nate is happy with his uniform as only clothes. He buys almost nothing but food and coffee, which is good since he is a 'starving' stage magician and has little money.

But when Laura steps out of the dressing room, he gives her an appreciative glance. "I'd say it is quite acceptable, Mouse. Not for fighting, not for hiding, but definitely for going to a party or to dance, or to impress a boy."

Illyana doesn't march Laura to the changing rooms. In fact, she stays with Nate, confident that Laura won't take the opportunity to escape the terrors of shopping. While she waits, she browses the racks in a desultory fashion, but doesn't find anything other than the top she's already dumped on Nate that takes her fancy.

She's absolutely aware of the moment that Laura emerges from the changing rooms, but she pretends otherwise, only putting aside her current potential purchase when Laura speaks.

And Illyana smiles a satisfied smile.

"Oh it's definitely you." She assures Laura. "So much so that…" Illyana catches the attention of a shop assistant so easily that it might have been planned in advance. "Hi!" She says brightly. "I'd like to buy that dress." She points to Laura. "And that top." Nate's baggage gets pointed at. "And these." She holds up some tights, that she proceeds to toss deftly toward Laura without even looking at her. "And she'd like to wear it out of the shop." Illyana's tone is somehow sweet and relentless at the same time, and the shop assistant goes away holding a wad of Illyana's cash and looking slightly puzzled at what just happened.

Illyana swings around to face Laura, rubbing her hands. "That dress would look /great/ with your big stompy boots. Go put them on. Where are we going next?"

"I do not wish to go to a party, or dance, or impress a boy." Comes Laura's flat words to Nate's and while most wouldn't notice perhaps Nate might hear the vaguest of hesitancies with that last part. Thankfully, her statement is soon lost when Illyana turns to see how her handy-work has turned out. When it meets to Illy's satisfaction, Laura will turn slightly away from Nate and the demoness, intending to go inside and change (again). It's only at the demoness' next words that Laura will pause -

- "I do not wish to wear this out of the shop." Begins Laura, though her words are lost as she automatically catches the package of black tights neatly within her hand. She'll look at the package that now sits in her hand even as she turns a look now to Nate and Illyana. "My boots." Is all she manages as the whirlwind of Illyana rides roughshod over her ability to make her own decisions.

A flare of nostrils can be seen again as Laura stares hard at both a second, then she's turning back toward the dressing room.

She does not offer any opinion on where to go, not while she's inside changing. When she returns, they'll see she's still in the dress, along with the black tights and her boots. Her jacket, pants and top are folded neatly and held over one of her arms.

Nate arches an eyebrow when Laura mentions not being interested in A, B or… maybe C? Some boy has caught Laura's attention or is he imagining things? "Hmm, I think you will enjoy dancing if we can avoid getting ambushed by psychos next time," he notes as she runs back to the dressing room. A good thing when trying to talk with Laura is she will hear it anyway.

Then he glances to Illyana with a smirk. "You got her wearing that and you aren't going to do it too? For shame."

Illyana, of course, affected not to hear that protest from Laura. When she comes back in the full outfit, though, she'll get a thumbs up. "Let me take that for you." Illyana suggests, helpfully, and a small stepping disc manages to consume the clothes Laura's not wearing without taking her arm off at the same time.

It's possible Illyana's been practicing.

"For shame yourself, Nate!" Illyana replies spiritedly, with a smirk. "This is Laura's day, not mine." She's so self-sacrificing. And since Laura didn't name another destination… "Anyway, first mission accomplished. Are you ready for another?" She says it so innocently too.

Kimura. It's been a minute since she's thought about the craziness Kimura caused Laura and Nate at that particular club. That stray thought causes Laura's gaze to narrow, but thankfully, her memory is pushed aside as Illyana takes away her remaining clothes. "You will return them when we are back home." She states to Illyana, no question hidden within those flat words of hers. It's the jacket. For whatever reason it holds some sort of sentimental value there.

It's only with Illyana's last words that Laura's gaze sharpens once again. Mission. If Laura were better at reading people she'd realize that Illyana is a master manipulator, but alas, Laura isn't. Canting her head slightly to the side, Laura will say, "What is the second mission."

Nope, she can never pass up a mission. Ever.

"I was born ready," replies Nate, joining the girls. Famous last words, but he is pretty much fearless. "As long you are paying for it, that is. And I still think Laura should make up her mind and tell us what she wants to go buying now." No one has asked him, of course. But unfairness is expected when Illyana is around.

Illyana's been wearing a lot of masks today. Gleeful, sneaky, devious… but they slip a bit with that flat statement of Laura, and there's a little flicker of pain in her eyes. "Laura." She says, calmly. "They're already AT home. I'll return them if you want them BEFORE you get home." She keeps her eyes locked on Laura's as she says it, far less artifice in her expression than is usually the case. She waits for a second or two, then smiles and the cheerfully sneaky mask is back in place.

"I asked, Nate! She didn't say anything!" She glances at Laura, "Still time for you to choose?" She suggests, then adds, "But now or later… your mission is to find something for Nate that you think he looks nice in." She cuts a glance sideways at Nate and smirks. "Isn't this fun?"

Sadness. While Laura doesn't necessarily register that emotion within Illyana's gaze, she does register it within the other woman's scent. When the two locks eyes, thanks to Illyana making sure Laura understands, Laura will allow a singular nod to be given. It's only after a second of internal battle that the slim assassin will add. "The jacket is valued." Her words are even flatter than usual, as she offers that possible explanation and hidden apology.

Then it's back to the typical whirlwind and while Laura hears her next mission, she'll keep her gaze locked on Illyana for a few more seconds, before she looks to Nate. She'll silently consider the young man so near before finally stepping away. While her definition of nice and Illyana's definition of nice might differ, she is trying to complete her mission with some success.

It takes several minutes, but eventually, Laura's silent steps will bring her back to the demoness and the telepath. Held within her hands are several articles of clothing and she'll offer them to Nate, "These are yours."

The clothes that are offered over will be a pair of washed-out gray denim jeans, a black and white horizontal striped t-shirt and a soft black fleece hoodie with silver zipper. While not the most dressed up clothes available, it's not something Laura can recall ever seeing Nate wear. "You must not wear your jacket, the fleece will suffice."

Wait, what? "I am wearing armored clothes, Illy," comments Nate. Paranoid much? He would have died a couple times already if he wasn't always wearing a bulletproof outfit. It is not paranoia if they are trying to kill him, and Nate actually refuses to have a secret ID or to hide in a bunker-mansion far from the city proper.

Nevertheless Laura goes and actually brings back some clothes. And Nate swallows further protests, since he never expected her to get him some nice stuff. "Okay, fine. But just today." He grins and goes to the dressing room, "if I get shot I will haunt you forever," he threatens.

"And that's why I'm not elbowing you in the ribs, Nate." Illyana tells him, with a warning look not to put Laura off her mission. As for Illyana herself, she resists the strong urge to 'help' Laura pick out clothes for Nate. The whole purpose of this trip is… well, it's not for HER to do this for Laura, anyway.

Illyana's smile when Laura returns with her haul of clothes looks dangerously close to genuine, and wonder of wonders, not everything is black. OK, grey and white, but it's a start. "Stop complaining, Nate. You have to take some risks to look good!"

As he departs to change, Illyana looks across at Laura. "Don't pay any attention to him. You found some good stuff." She glances toward the changing rooms, then looks back at Laura. "Your homework is to figure out WHY I made you do this." She tells the dark-haired assassin, seriously. "Here's a hint. It WASN'T to torment you." She grins, seriousness banished. "And this is the last thing I'll make you do before we get to leave and have fun. Promise."

An almost owlish blink is given to Illyana then, as the two confer, now that Nate is within the dressing rooms. That almost wide-eyed look from Laura is puzzlement when Illyana specifically states homework. In her own mind, Laura thought the homework was picking out the clothes … not figuring out why. Still, it is what it is and Laura will offer a grave nod as she considers what the answer might, or could be.

Before Nate finds his way out, dressed in his snazzy duds, Laura will say, "Is the answer to force me to think of other things than just battle." She states, or rather asks, as her words hitch upward ever so slightly at the end of that.

It takes him five minutes, and he is back to remark "I always look good, and I can change my clothes with telekinesis. What would you like? Me going bare-chested or barefooted?" Wait. It is Illyana there. "No. Do not answer," he adds with a smirk. "Now I think we should go get some food. 'Cause I am starving."

A slight furrowed look will be given to Nate at his odd remarks, but thankfully, she doesn't need to answer with those last words of his. "Yes, food." She states and with a look at Illyana, to see if her answer was correct.

And while the trio walks out to look for food, Laura will add, "And I would like to go to a store -" A store that definitely will not be clothing.

"- And then we may proceed to our next destination."

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