Recently Returned

August 10, 2017:

Dani returns to the Xavier Institute now that she's settled with SHIELD.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

So many things have changed recently. Both on the metaphysical level and in the real-world sense of it.

For one Dani Moonstar she's been mostly absent of late. Her path has taken her to SHIELD, where she became an agent. It's only now, with training completed, that the dark-haired woman is back at Xavier's in any official capacity.

Her winged steed, Brightwind, for the most part has stayed upon the grounds of the Institute. Though there were several times she brought him to SHIELD HQ. Mostly to show them what he was and for some occasional specialized training. After all, Dani Moonstar isn't the only powered individual there allowances were made. Either way, this early morning the woman finds her way back to the Mansion. She stopped at the school to see what's going on and when nothing immediately jumped out at her, she struck it out for the stables. That's where she's headed now. She's dressed down today, wearing old and worn jeans, scuffed brown boots and a simple short-sleeved top.

Near the stables is a fenced in paddock, where horses can play, albeit only one unique horse is there. Brightwind. And while Dani is still a distance away from the fenced in patch of yard, Brightwind's idle trot has paused. Now the winged horse turns to the direction that Dani is approaching from.

Nate has not seen Dani in almost two years, so he has basically forgotten her mental signature. Truth is until a couple months ago, he dropped by maybe once a week, and when he did was usually visiting friends or family. The school proper, or the stables, were rarely part of his circuit.

But that changed when he learned the X-Men are going to war with Genosha. That is a cause he believes in strongly, and he has been around for daily training for the past couple months, even staying to sleep in the rare day he sleeps. Right now he is wide awake, though, and making a restless round around the grounds while waiting for someone else to finish their Danger Room session. Someone by the stables catches his attention, and he spots the young woman, pausing a few seconds trying to remember her name. "Moonstar," he decides, offering the dark-haired girl a grin. She was Doug's friend. "Good morning, long time no see."

Equally on Moonstar's part she's likewise forgotten some of the faces she rarely sees.

Nate is one of them.

Brightwind, for his part, offers a happy whicker once Dani comes into view. And while some might think he's locked up tight in that paddock, that's hardly the case. With a kick, jump and a flare of white wings the pegasus jumps over the wooden fence. Then it's a happy trot towards his mistress.

Both, Dani and Brightwind, notice Nate around the same time, his greeting helping them locate his restless form. There's a faint pucker of her eyebrows at the sight of the young man, before she says, "Nate, right? And yeah, it's been a long minute." Agrees the dark-haired woman, even as she reaches out a hand to give the pegasus a fond pat upon the neck. Even with the pat on the neck Brightwind will turn a bright blue-eye upon Nate, inspecting the young man critically. "What's going on with you?" A loaded question for certain, what with /everything/ that's been going on lately.

What is going on with him?

Truth is Nate is not easily recognizable from meeting Dani twice, long ago, having grown almost three inches and added a good 30 pounds of mass in two years. The white stripe in his hair has broadened, the hair itself is shorter, although that was due to a flamethrower, not a voluntary haircut. More scars in his face, too, those caused by Apocalypse.

"Oh, the usual," that is what has been happening, indeed! "Just spending a time at Xavier's School for Mutie Heroes due to… X-Men stuff. How about you? Last I heard you were getting dragged to X-Red."

The usual.

That earns a grin from the other woman; and while her appearance is mostly the same, perhaps the only thing that's slightly different is the amount of muscle upon her frame. There's more of it, though hardly what one would call bulky. Just more definition.

"I did go with X-Red for awhile." Dani replies easily enough, her one hand still upon Brightwind's neck. "But when they disbanded I came back here." Her gaze turns towards the buildings behind the three for a moment. "At least, for a short time. I'm splitting my time between here and SHIELD now." Her eyes are back upon Nate now, those 'fresh' scars upon his features given a long look from the woman. A question there, but it stays unvoiced. Her previous recollection of the man wasn't quite so 'world weary'. "You'll have to fill me in on the X-Men 'stuff'." The proverbial air-quotes easily heard in that tone of voice of hers. "I'm going to imagine it's not necessarily happy things?"

Because even with Dani being mostly out training with SHIELD for the last several years, she too has heard the recent chatter of war with Genosha.

At this point, Brightwind extends his neck towards Nate, his velvety muzzle reaching to whuffle the young man.

"No, not happy, just necessary," because Nate doesn't hang out in Xavier during happy times (although he shows up for parties - parties are good). "Scott will give you the details, I'm sure," he adds. Or at least Scott will authorize Dani into the somewhat secret operation.

Brightwind is given a studious look. He had heard about a winged horse in the grounds. People talk about those things, particularly the students. He had never seen the Asgardian horse before, though. Since he seems friendly, he pats the flank of his neck, as greeting.

"Brightwind this is Nate, Nate obviously Brightwind." The dark-haired woman says in ways of introduction when Brightwind whuffles Nate.

"It's always necessary, isn't it." Is Dani's initial response to the remark about times being not quite so mirthful. "Never a wedding, or a birth -" Is the second answer, the sardonic humor within her voice easily heard. She shakes her head, even as she tilts her head to the left, intending to start walking since he was doing much the same. "Next time I see Scott I'll ask him about it. I'm sure we could potentially share intelligence." Because yes she does intend to share intelligence when needed. Once an X-Men always an X-Men. SHIELD doesn't override her initial loyalty to the school and its people.

As long as Nate agrees to walking, Dani will take a step, her gait relatively relaxed. "Where were you headed?" She'll ask curiously, her head turning slightly to keep the young man in view. "Or was it just a morning stroll?"

Brightwind accepts the pat from the man and when the two move he will too. The winged horses pace is much slower, more rambling, but he always keeps within eyesight of Dani.

"Morning stroll, I suppose," admits Nate with a vague shrugs. "Making time before a Danger Room run. Training has gotten pretty intensive during the Summer Break," and it sounds Dani already has an idea what is it about. "Necessary… this time is different. I am not a teacher or staff, I was on… reserve, I guess," X-Force, really. But X-Force and X-Black never existed for the bulk of the X-Men. And the Omega Shift has scattered the component members, some of whom do not even remember anymore.

"Have you talked with Darcy?" Asks Nate. "Agent Lewis. She is the official SHIELD liaison. Not a morning person, though. But she was trying to help, Scott made her an official X-Men a few weeks ago."

The Danger Room. It's been a hot minute since she ran a session there.

Interest brightens her eyes, "Hey, if you want a teammate count me in. I can't say I've run up against what the Danger Room can toss my way lately. It'd be nice to work those particular muscles." Which might mean dealing with realistic holographs, or perhaps using her powers. Or a combination of both. She leaves it pretty vague as the two continue their slow stroll upon the grounds.

His next question earns a shake of her head, "I haven't, though I knew she was stationed here." Agent Lewis, Dani means, "I'm sure when I'm finished getting settled back here I'll go and find her. Or perhaps she'll find me?" She'll shrug, not seeming too troubled by it all. The statement about SHIELD being made an official earns another look from Dani. Something of surprise, as a dark eyebrow arcs upward, "Really? I'm surprised at that, I'd have thought they'd want to keep the inner circle more close-knit." Which then causes a smirk to twitch a corner of the woman's mouth upward, "Which I know sounds hypocritical on my part now that I'm an agent."

Behind the two the nearly silent form of Brightwind continues to ghost after them. Like a great big puppy-dog, only smarter, deadlier and with wings.

"Ah, Darcy was dating Quicksilver before getting here, she has proved herself a few times," mentions Nate. Currently the X-Men have two or three non-mutants. Depending who what one calls the 'core group'. A human from SHIELD, an Asgardian and a… well… a cat.

"I guess you can join the session, but I have no idea what exactly we will be facing," admits Nate. It will be related to Genosha, but there are several scenarios that keep changing as the main programmers refine ideas or come up with crazier stuff.

The mention of Darcy proving herself causes Dani to tilt her head in acknowledgement of that point. "I'm not surprised there. If she's a SHIELD agent then I'd say she's pretty capable." Murmurs Dani, even as she hooks both her hands into the edge of the pockets of her jeans. "SHIELD doesn't mess around with their training, even for non-combatant roles."

Shifting with the flow of conversation, back to the Danger Room session, Moonstar shrugs, wry amusement evident in her voice, "Surprises are fine - it'll just keep me on my toes." Brightwind continues to pace after the two, a soft whicker echoing Dani's own amusement seconds before.

"So, what other gossip is there to be had around here?" Dani asks, after the silence has stretched on for a minute or two, "Being away for so long almost makes me feel like a new student again. Though less angry and not so much a student anymore." Again there's a slight cant to Dani's head, her expression turning serious for a minute as a thought crosses her mind, "We haven't lost anyone have we? I figured Scott or someone would notify me if we had."

"I usually like SHIELD and what they do," comments Nate, a faint smile in his lip. Nick Fury made a strong impression on him the first time they met, the man willing to back X-Force just in exchange of vague promises of favors returned. He seemed more than a soldier and much more the typical high-ranked bureaucrat or government officer. He inspired trust and loyalty the way only a few heroes like Thor or Spartan had before.

"Gossip and casualties, all rolled over?" He glances at Dani and shrugs. "I can't help you much. There was an event recently… may I think. Reality was altered but I was pushed out of the world. When I returned, things were not quite as I remembered. So yeah, I know some people went missing. But unless I read mission records or talk to them I don't really know if they left, or died or just never were here in the first time. It was weird, even for my usual weird standards. You should talk to Illyana, she usually knows about all the comings and goings." If nothing else because she keeps tabs of people from Limbo, the little voyeur witch.

Clearly SHIELD isn't something terrible if Dani joined them. Otherwise the Cheyenne would have simply walked out. So, there's definite agreement from the black-haired woman.

"Yup, rolled over." She agrees, a sardonic smile tipping a corner of her mouth upward, "Just like that." Murmurs the woman, her words falling to silence as Nate continues to speak. Her dark eyebrows knit together as she listens to just what the man has to say. Surprise is there too and while disbelief should be, it's not. Dani has been around this block one too many times to feel shock at such words. "You're sure?" She asks, even as she raises a hand, "Yes, you're sure, otherwise you wouldn't have mentioned it. When I see Illy I'll ask her about it and see what she knows." Her words are serious, confident, a promise within them. Her surety was always there within her, but time with the X-Men and SHIELD has definitely helped polish and bring forth that side of Dani even more.

"Do we know what caused the event?" Is her next question, possibly seen upon her features, thanks to the thoughtful look that's upon her features.

Nate nods. "It was an Inhuman reality warped. He did something in Steel City, I know a few X-Men were there but they got affected, at least partially affected." Their walk has brought them back to the mansion, and Nate heads for the door going into the kitchen area. "He made a mess. Some seem to have memories from both timelines, which changed them in strange ways," he sights. That one hit him close.

"I wonder what SHIELD really knows about it," adds the young man. "This Omegan guy must be high in the search and capture lists of all secret and not so secret law-enforcement agencies."

The InHuman debacle. Even Dani has heard of that, not that she had too much involvement with it.

When the two reach the Mansion, Moonstar will turn to Brightwind, saying simply, "Go back to the barn if you want, I'll be there shortly." The winged horse offers a toss of his head, before he's turning and trotting off. For a winged horse he sure doesn't seem to fly a lot, though perhaps Dani stressed the need for being low-key here. Likely that's it.

Once Brightwind is out of sight, Dani starts toward the door and follows Nate into the kitchen. "I can see what I can find on him in their database." She says, even as she moves towards the coffee pot once the two are within the kitchen, "But my clearance is pretty low level, can't say I'll find much. I'll look though." She promises, then, "I remember you being a coffee guy, still true?" The Cheyenne asks, her hands moving to make a fresh pot. It's only after the coffee is started that Dani will turn around and lean a hip against the edge of a countertop. "Who'd you lose in this?"

"I am a coffee guy," confirms Nate. Nice of her to remember given they met only about twice, and the second time he was limping out of the Danger Room after one of his 'impossible level' scenarios.

Along with Rose and Luna, they were all exhausted. He remembers with a frown. Rose was an X-Woman back then. He won't talk about her, though. That wound is too raw.

"Rachel is not the same woman I remember," mentions Nate. At least she still remembers him, mostly. "Laura is older. I am quite sure there would be memory inconsistencies there, I have not talked to her about it. Truth is this line of inquire makes people nervous."

Even as Dani leans against the edge of the countertop she'll still reach for two mugs from the cabinets overhead. Setting them down near the coffeepot she waits. Waits for Nate to talk more and waits for the coffee to finish brewing. Her patience pays off as he outlines some of those that have changed. "Rachel." Murmurs the black-haired woman, "I met her a few times." Her head tilts then, "Well, a Rachel, I suppose is the best descriptor now." The mention of Laura earns a blank look from Dani, a quick shake of her head, "I can't say I've met Laura. I'll be careful though with what I say to her."

As for his mention of people becoming nervous, that just earns a laugh from Dani. "Well, I can't say I blame them. Most people don't often deal with extreme oddities." Her chin will tilt towards the door, "You should have seen some of the SHIELD trainers when I first showed them Brightwind. Shock doesn't aptly describe it." She offers, perhaps adding a little lightness to this heavy conversation.

Nate grunts non-committaly. Even Illyana was disbelieving when he told her about the reality shift. But somehow she got confirmation somewhere it had happened. It is rare for the blonde sorceress to admit that Nate is right about anything.

Nate is bad at keeping for himself some stuff that he really should keep to himself.

"SHIELD agents should know Asgard is real, Thor is the real deal, and so is Loki," mentions Nate. Those guys really need to keep their minds open.

Since Dani is working on the coffee, he paces around the room, and finally flops down on a chair. "Laura is the new Wolverine. She is somewhat of his clone-daughter-something." He explains, "the poor girl got a raw deal from Weapon-X, so she is still learning to be a free woman, but she is better than most. More a warrior and a defender than the assassin they wanted her to be."

"Sure." Agrees Dani, at all of what Nate says, "But actually having a winged horse standing so close to them still made their eyes bug out." She continues with, a snort of amusement coming from the woman. It's 'only a matter of minutes and the coffee is soon done, which allows Dani to fill both mugs and offer one to Nate. She left just enough room within the mug to allow for milk, cream or sugar. Or all three.

The explanation of just who Laura is and what causes Dani to give the young man some serious side-eye. "You know if we didn't just have a conversation about shifted realities I'd have to shake my head, but -" As is. They did. So, Dani rolls with it. "Well, if it matters at all I believe I'm the same. I don't have any conflicting memories."

It is all three. Particularly sugar. Nate does not know the meaning of the worlds 'healthy foodstuffs'. "I think Laura was around two years ago. I am surprised you didn't heard of her, but then again, she used to keep to herself and sneak around. I called her 'mouse'. She seems to have gotten over that phase, though."

"Should I tell you about the old Logan that is now around? He comes from a hundred years in the future or so," how is that for weird?

Of course Dani believes she is the same. She was also reality warped. No, that is not something Nate will bother mentioning.

Yes, let's not relate that tidbit to Dani Moonstar. She's good with not knowing she too has been warped.

The coffee mug that was being raised to her lips pauses mid-way at the mention of old Logan.

Her brown eyes stare at Nate over the edge of that ceramic mug, even as she finally finishes the lift upward to her mouth. She manages a small sip of the burning liquid, before she lowers the mug. "Old Logan? Old as in he's been here before the reality warping occurred, or old in the physical definition?"

"White-haired and looking in his 60s," clarified Nate. Which means he aged about 20 or 25 years in maybe a hundred. Something like that.

Nate tries his coffee. Still too hot, obviously. "What else? Doug is around, Kitty spends much time in Gotham, I think. Jean and Storm just left for different reasons and Scott is firmly in command. Rogue and Psylocke are often around for training, although most students have been sent away for the summer break and because the grounds might not be safe for a few weeks. Again, Scott will explain."

So many things have changed. That thought can clearly be read upon her expression, even half hidden by the mug of coffee that she holds.

"I'll have to go introduce myself." States the Cheyenne, her head shaking ever so slightly now. "And definitely speak with Scott." She adds, then she's moving again, "Hungry? I'll make us some real breakfast. I don't know about you, but I need more than just coffee on the stomach." And just like that Dani sets her coffee aside and moves to gather two frying pans, eggs and bacon. Bread will be scrounged out of a cupboard too for breakfast.

"You like your eggs over easy or fried?" Is the last question she has for the man, before the two settle into a comfortable silence, broken only by the sound of frying meat and eggs.

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