The Billiard Challenge

September 24, 2017:

A few mutants gather around a pool table to talk about Mutant Town and detective agencies.
Language warning. Darcy is here!

The Mansion's Rec Room

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Cyclops

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's a relatively quiet sunday afternoon. Darcy's gone to the School again, with beer again, to chill and pass a few hours. You know, liason stuff. Very important liason stuff which includes finding and challenging Nate to a game of billards.

"I'm not saying I'm amazing, but I don't completely suck at this game," she's saying as she leans over to hit the opening break.


Nate accepted the challenge readily enough, and even brought with him a six-pack in an ice box. Beer for the winners. Also, if one of them is much better than the other a little drunkenness will help even the odds. “That is okay, I am not great either. But I need the practice,” he comments. He has this goal in life to beat Scott at pool some day. Hey, a boy can dream.


Lorna hadn't been around the mansion, and given how little she'd shown up with, it was hard to tell if she'd left or simply gone out for the day. But here she was, coming around once more. Her green hair was at least brushed this time. Small steps. Steel toed boots stepped oddly light against the floor as she entered, a backpack slung over her shoulder. There was a tell tale crunch of plastic from it, giving away the contents as various chips and snacks.

"Hey Nate, kids said you were around here. You'll never guess who I ran into in Mutant Town!" She came signing into the room and paused as she glanced at the other occupant. Her smile freezing faintly and then instantly demured to a more neutral expression.

"Hey." She coughed, and slung the backpack down. "I brought uh some chips."


The boy dreams of besting Scott. The girl dreams of besting Barton. Both are lofty dreamers.

"Today's gonna be a fucking blast," Darcy promises, grinning hugely. Her break doesn't sink anything, but she straightens anyway. Green eyes behind her thick frames turn to Lorna's antrance. The grin pulls into a warmer smile the moment Lorna's expression freezes adn slips.

Two things are apparent to Darcy. The green-haired mutant doesn't know her and the girl also isn't comfortable with SHIELD types. LIkely had a run in with SHIELD looking official types and it left a bad taste. Darcy's aware of the effect. Scott had it. Remy had it. Most of the people here, in fact. Minus Logan and Nate.

"Bad ass, thanks. I was jonesing for some crunchies. Wanna play with us? I just broke. Nate and I were just gonna do some 8-ball, but I'm cool switching off to a 3 way split," Darcy says, tone just as welcoming as her lack of SHIELD office attire. It's the weekend after all, so Darcy's short is showing as she's kicked off her duct taped army surplus conbat boots. In leggings and a long tee-shirt that's likely been in her closet since high school, Darcy is all sorts of not working. Hell, even her socks fail to match. One is green, the other is white. The green is short, the white is long.


“Chips are good,” agrees Nate. “Want to join us? We have beer,” he offers. He is wearing his ‘uniform’ because, well, when is he not wearing his uniform? Toned down by telekinesis at least, to look like jeans and a t-shirt, and the jacket is on a chair. And his knives are not on sight either.
“Hmm, something wrong?” He asks, noticing Lorna’s discomfort. “Relax. Darcy has been with us for a year. Ever since she helped the team with Apocalypse. You can trust her. Besides, SHIELD has been good with the X-Men since… at least for three years.”


Lorna made herself busy with unpacking a few large bags of chips and setting them out on the nearest available surface that wasn't the billards table. A glance was spared toward the two, and she helped herself to a beer and plopped down on the chair. "No thanks. I'm not any good at it and I don't know the rules other than try to put a ball into a pocket." She shrugged, sipping at her drink.

Green eyes returned to Nate and she shrugged. "No. Nothing's wrong." A lie, clear as day. "Huh. I went to the west coast about three years ago. Funny how things work out." She crossed her legs, leaning back in the chair.

"I ran into Aquaman in Mutant Town. Er Arthur? He told me to call him that. So weird. Got a killer migraine from it all."


Darcy stepped back so Nate could take his shot. Cue stick left to lean on a surface, she moved to helped Lorna with the chips, and to help herself to one of the bags's contents.

"OH, you know about as much as we do. Ball in hole. Really, other than keeping track of which balss are yours" -Note to the telepathy, Darcy only snickered at her words in her head. Give hte girl a cookie!- "and which aren', there's not much more to billards than balls in holes." Collecting up her beer, Darcy drinks and munches and waits for her next go at hitting balls with sticks.

"Migraines suck. You feeling better?" she asks, skimming right over the 'funny how things work out' moment.


Nate takes his shot. And a second shot. And misses the third because… it wasn’t his fault! (He sucks). Then looks up to Lorna. “The guy that talks to fishes?” There are many jokes about Aquaman running in Mutant Town, because he is the one superhuman that rules a county and that rubs wrong for the rather oppressed people of the ghetto.

“I have painkillers,” he offers. They are industrial-strength painkillers because when the techno-virus hits him the headaches are epic scale. If Lorna takes a whole one she will be high for the rest of the afternoon. About 1/4th of it would be enough to stop the worst migraine ever.
Totally illegal, too. No one tell Nurse Annie.


Lorna exhaled a breath a 'pfft' sound as Darcy explains the main idea behind the game. "No thanks. I'll have my beer and sit. I took a pretty bad tumble going pretty fast. Didn't get any road rash, but everything is bruised and getting up and poking balls into holes.. eh.." She glanced toward Nate, her lips twitching faintly as he offered her painkillers.

"I'll take one, sure. The guy that Aquaman was tracking had a high concentration of electricity. Enough to generate a low level magnetic field that got me out of bed in the middle of the night." She grimaced. "So much for that whole not interested in playing with the big heroes Nate." She reached for the bag of doritos and started munching away after a pause.


Painkillers plus beer sound like a bad combination to Darcy, but these are mutants and their bodies tend toward stronger things than herself. So, Darcy keeps her mouth shut about the mixing of meds and booze.

"Talk to fish, huh? That sounds like a bad joke in the waiting," quips the Darce, pushing up and cleaning her fingertips before taking the one shot Nate left for her, and almost managing a second.

Darcy sucks too. But that's part of her charm? She had smiled at Lorna's decline, not bothered. There is a sympathetic grimace at tumbles and full-body-bruises.


Indeed, painkillers and alcohol are not a good idea and at least Nate knows that. Still, a single beer shouldn’t do much and Nate will stop Lorna for getting a second. Although by then the green-haired girl might be feeling very happy about the whole universe.
Mutant stamina only goes so far, and Lorna is on the slender side.

This time Nate manages 3 balls in a row before the third is followed by one of Darcy’s. So her turn now. He is still a bit ahead. “Poor guy is the butt of a lot of jokes. But hey, supposedly he rules one of those high-tech secret nations that don’t share their knowledge with the poor unwashed masses of humankind that live in the mud. So screw him with Doom, the guy from Wakanda and all the creeps from Genosha.”


Lorna shruggedlightly, continuing to munch of chips and sip at her beer in a slow and steady kind of way. She had no interest nor intent to get up and actually join the game. "You know, I would've agreed with you up till I met the guy Nate. He seemed.. sad. Burdened even…" She hesitated, considering. Her fingers tapping against the beer can's side in thought.

"I get the feeling that he's not so much keeping his people separate because he wants to and more because of politics. Besides, can you really blame them? People are assholes. I know I hate people." She muttered dryly.


Taking her turn, Darcy pauses as the conversation turns to politics. Her field, after all.

"Von Doom's an ass because he has to be. He's also a burdened monarch. Until we stand in their shoes, we don't know the weight of the decisions on their shoulders," she tells Nate before looking to Lorna.

"Don't blame them at all. You're right. People, as a group, mob-think, are fucking assholes. Individuals can be assholes too, but you can ignore one asshole. Group them together and it turns into a clusterfuck." Darcy states, tone serious enough as she leans on her cue stick.

"The clusterfuck is what makes it important for individuals to fight back, kick stupid assholes in the teeth and tell them to stop being fucking stupid as shit. It's a hard fight, feels like you don't get anywhere some days, but…" she shrugs and straightens up again. "Fucking worth it, if you ask me."


@emit Nate is willing to give Aquaman a break based on Lorna having talked with him in person, but grunts in dissent with regards to Doom. He has some personal experience with Dr. Doom. “Hey, I like people,” he points out. “And I am a telepath, I know people. Most are cool.”
The whole group-stupid mentality is another problem, though. “Mob-think is just assholes trying to steer the people to their narrow-minded or egoistic agendas while often hiding behind others,” he offers.


Lorna shrugged, "I'll speak from experience. Aquaman was pretty cool. Doctor Doom? I have never met the man and I have no desire to." She waved a hand and grimaced faintly. She sipped at her beer again, sighing as she reached for the chips.

"Also, may I point out Nate that.. you can see what's going on people's heads so you can be more forgiving. I just see them being a dick and move on with my life." She made a face, glancing between Nate and Darcy in regards to mob mentality. She fell silent though, not offering anything further.


"Stuffy asshole of a King. Had to escort him to the Stark Christmas party. Had a blast chocolate pudding wrestling Pepper at the end of the party to end Festivus," replies Darcy of her run in with the Latvarian king years ago and moving to take her shot before going for beer and chips when her turn is over.

"I agree with you completely, Nate. Also, I'm with Lorna. See the dick, meh at the dick, move on with life," adds the SHIELD agent not in SHIELD agent clothing.


"It is your turn to take a shot," points out Nate. Mostly because Darcy is going to eat all the chips otherwise. He wants his share (and then some). "Okay with Aquaman, I guess," definitely will cut the fish-man some slack. Lorna hates people but she found him nice? Interesting.

"I don't go around reading everyone's mind, mind you," he adds. "But I talk with all kinds of folks. Even the cops," mild-glare to Lorna that ran away last times the police wanted to talk with them after preventing a robbery in Mutant Town. "The police always knows where to find the best coffee."


Lorna held up her hands. "Hey, you're totally allowed to reserve judgement on the guy Nate. I'm not going up to bat for the guy that much." She shrugged and picked up her beer again to sip at it. Her gaze swinging toward the billard table for a moment in consideration and back. Of course then Nate was giving her a look for having taken off before the cops showed up.

"Hey, I don't want to be on police reports. I don't want to be on anyone's report." A look aimed toward Darcy at that. "Also, that's such a stereotype Nate. Cops, coffee and donuts."


"I'm going. I'm going. You just want me bent over a table," Darcy grouses at Nate with a smirk on his lips. She takes her shots, badly as usual, and yields the billards table to Nate who has a sizeable lead. She makes her way back to the snack table, chuckling at Lorna's comments.

"No one wants to be on police reports. And I avoid the paperwork as much as possible. Today is my day off, so fuck all the paperwork… except the necessary stuff in the bathroom." Ah, Darcy and potty humor. It's a skit from Rick and Morty. God help us all.

"Yeah, nate. Fucking stereotypes, man! Cops aren't the only ones who love the coffee. Trust. Trust. There are certain people who should never be allowed cafeiene whom I loved giving cafeine to."


There is a threat clearing from the doorway, "So is this game open to anyone?" The mutant detective says, sure he just showed up but he is trying to recruit more people dang it. "Also cops work long hours, so they need coffee. They are also sometimes unaware of when they will get a meal break, so they need food that will keep in the police car, without going bad, doughnuts work well for that." Hey he sent one of the dupes to the police academy, learn all sorts of stuff there.

"Now Ms. Dane would this aversion to the police affect my job offer to you? We will be working with them you know." Can't have a detective on the wrong side of the law, it makes things a little more difficult for them.


"It's more that the good cops are overworked and need it to keep going, and they know the neighborhood," explains Nate. Particularly true in Mutant Town. He tenses when Jamie steps in. It is not he doesn't know who he is, it is he remembers who he was years ago. Not many mutants get creepy nursery rhymes.

I pray the lord my soul to keep…
If the Madri come before I wake

He has not hear that in years and it is now going to be stuck in his head all the day. Le sigh.

"We can start another game. Darcy is not taking this one seriously," he offers. Totally not looking her bending over!


Lorna looked toward the doorway as Madrox walked in and she flashed him a grin. "Nope, I've got a squeaky clean record. And I'd like to keep it that way. I do have plans to get a graduate degree some day and records have a way of messing up scholarships." She arched a green brow as she considered the man over her beer and sipped at it.

"You really must suck at your job if you haven't even bothered to google me yet and still hired me." She leaned back in her seat then, glancing back toward Darcy and Nate.


Darcy's reply to Nate's assessment of how she's doin gin this game is as unladylike as it is classic. One finger Manhattan salute. Look at the rocket-ship, Nate.

"You're fucking racking them balls, asshat," she quips at him, uncaring that he's oogling her. It happens. She has no shits to give about it. Her tone is softened by the grin and the wink she gives to Nate while moving back to the snacks to grab Madrox a beer. She holds it out to him, smirking.

"You really should Google people. Facebook'em too. All teh social media's. Though, I'm a little glad no one cared what they found on me when work was offered. Fuck, interning was fun but the pay sucked monkey butt."


"Lorna Dane, honor roll student, you had scholarship offers and are clean. As part of the detective agency perk, I would like to offer some tuition assistance as well. On top of that you did some shopping when I made you a job offer, and you meet the king of Atlantis. Did I miss anything?" Hey Jamie may be a trusting person, but he does his due diligence you know. He takes the beer that is offered.

After a sip of that, he decides to be a little mean, and not warn them that one of his dupes spent a while as a pool hustler. "So what is the game here? Doing teams or every person for themselves?" Another sip of the beer. He does offer his hand to Darcy, "Jamie Madrox. Don't think we've meet."


Nate tries to imagine what Darcy's Facebook looks like. But only briefly, to avoid losing sanity points. Instead he sinks his last ball and then the black, barely. Game over. "Hey, I have never been really arrested," he comments. "Just made a lot of statements. I don't have a secret ID or anything. I don't care." His record with the government might be pretty bad, though. He did attack a DEO regional director once, after all. "Anyway. It was just Darcy and me. We can make teams if you want. Or just regular pool?"


Lorna snorted a laugh at Jamie's words and she stood with a grimace. "Lorna Sally Dane. My initals are LSD. Someone had a joke at my expense." She muttered as she finished off her beer. "Where are those painkillers at, Nate? I think I might take one and sit around watching you all play billards." She snagged a chip as she glanced between the group and back to the telepath.

She tossed the can into the nearest trash bin, arching a green brow. "Also, Jamie, I have a feeling I'll need a ride back to the apartment later." While she wasn't sure how strong painkilers would need to be to be effective for telepaths, she figured they'd be way more than a simple Ibuprofen.


Darcy accepts the offered hand, shaking firmly. Green eyes level with Jamie, she smiles.

"Darcy Lewis. We have now. I was supposed to be giving Nate practice to help him go down on Scott, but we ended up playing pool instead," she says. Her right hald lets go of the shake and moves to offer Jamie the cue.

Darcy was actually trying to help Nate take DOWN Scott, but the way she said it amuses her more, so that's what we're going with. Her smile is totally angelic, right? Right. Good. Moving on!

"LSD? For reals? Dude, that is completely awesome. If they were trying to have a joke at your expense, you should have one right back. Fuck, that's a bad ass monogram. Mine's DL. LIke.. I'm a fucking computer geek, shit," Darcy word vomits before turning back to the task of pool teams.

"We could play cut-throat, free for all, or I can sit my fat ass down with my favorite drug, and get a contact high once Nate coughs up some meds for her head." LSD. Never letting that go now. It's too epic. Lorna's Darcy's new drug. Given that Darcy had a thing for Speed…


"I'll let you guys pick. But well pool is a little strange with three people playing. I didn't want to mention the LSD thing Ms. Dane, figured that would be a little embarrassing. However my initials are JAM, so can't really pick on others for theirs." He totally coughs at the way Darcy phrases what she does for Nate, "Do I even want to know what that one means?" It better not be what it sounds like.

"Though if anyone should sit out, I guess it's me. I should be honest, one of my dupes spent some time hustling pool for me." Hey it helped put the other dupe through Law school, so it was worth it. "If you need a ride you got it."


Nate tosses Lorna a small glass bottle with half a dozen white pills. No labels. Don't ask what it is. He also grabs a beer can because he won the first game. "Nah. It is better not to dwell too hard on anything Darcy says. You can end up with a headache or worse," he explains to Madrox. JAM. Then he smirks at Darcy. "Looks like it is you and me again," he offers, setting the balls back on the table.


Lorna grinned as she caught the bottle Nate tossed her way. She arched a brow as she glanced over the label-less bottle briefly before she opened it up and grabbed a pill. She capped it and tossed it back toward the telepath, moving back to find some water this time and not another beer to down the white pill with. Darcy's words earned a roll of her eyes and a grin.

"Yeah well, I didn't pick it." She heaved a sigh and went to grab herself some water from the kitchen. "I'll be right back."


"Still. It's yours, so you should fucking rock that shit," Darcy calls after Lorna, smiling at the younger woman. She looks over at JAM, smiling as Nate gives Jamie the secret to dealing with Lewis word-vomit.

"Or you can teach Nate how to get Scott to drop in front of him… because of pool. My way would require a serious sexuality shift that I'm not sure Nate's got it in him to make," Darcy says, still holding the cue out for Madrox to take.

"Since you're the stick and ball master." Hehehehe… Darcy has the mental maturity of a teenaged boy.


"You are totally rocking that. When I get your business cards printed they are just going to say LSD on them. I wouldn't say the stick and ball master. That is one of the things my dupe hasn't done for me." At least not get paid for it anyway. Or one can totally play along with the lady that seems lime more fun.

"It just seems unfair to him though." He drinks some more of the beer though, maybe if he gets enough of it it'll be fair. "So Nate, have you considered doing some freelance work? I could definitely use the help of a telepath at the detective agency."


Nate shrugs, sipping from his beer. "I don't have much use for jobs. I do stage magic for fun and to meet normal people more than for the pocket money. But if you need a telepath to solve a crime, give me a call. I am usually around in Mutant Town, not here."

His idea was that the winner of the game would drink a beer. So yes, it would even out if one of them was much better than the other. But… Darcy didn't respect the rules. And everyone else is stealing his beers. Whatever. "Life is unfair," he decides, "so go ahead, Madrox, I rather learn by losing. Even if now we will miss Darcy's oh-so-nice 'bend overs'."


"Honey. You want me to bend over, you just gotta ask. Nice like," Darcy drawls in retort. She brought beers also! It's not just Nate's beers being drunk. Whiney baby! She grins at Jamie.

"School Nate, then school me. Fun will be had by all. But everytime you sink a ball, you gotta drink. And any time I stratch, you have to drink. And any time Nate misses a shot, you have to drink. Because today's all about making shit interesting."

Here is Darcy's Fuck It All sign.


"That works, since that is where I am setting up the detective agency. Figured those folks down there could us more help of fellow mutants. Plus it will make it easier for them to get help, if they have a place to go. Still thinking of the name." Another sip of the beer, "I was thinking of the name XXX Investigations? What do you think?"

"So I have to get drunk no matter what happens? I am Lorna's ride, so well I can't be too drunk you know." He pauses after that for a moment and a snap of his fingers, Yup another Jamie is now there, "We need more beer, so can you run and get us some? Also no drinking for you, you're now the designated dupe!"

See sometimes it pays to be Jamie Madrox, "Well I guess I can live with those rules now. So do we want eight or nine ball?"


@emit Nate gives Darcy a reproachful glance. JAM is going to drink most of the beer. How is that fair, woman?
Still. “I gotta agree, this place is too far from the real world,” comments the young man, addressing Madrox. “It is almost another planet. Clean, safe and super high-tech. It is good as a refuge, but the problems are in New York and that is where the X-Men should be.” Pause. “8-ball,” it is what he was playing with Darcy.


"Why do you think I took up that whole job offer to play detective in Mutant Town?" Lorna entered the room with that smooth transition, a grin on her features as she came back with a soda in hand. No extra additions this time. She was taking the pain-killers plus booze thing seriously it would seem. She plopped down on the chair she'd vacated before.

"So who's winning?"


"Let's do nine-ball. I suck at that more than then other," Darcy says completely contradicting Nate's request. Typical. It makes Darcy laugh and so she relinquishes her cue stick so Nate and Jamie can play 8ball before Maddie #1 kicks her ass at 9ball. She smiles back to Nate's reproachful glare: HE can go out on a beer run WHILE still playing with us, and neither of us have to buy a damn thing. See? I'm a strategist because I heard how he plans to abuse his abilities for our greater good.

"If ya'll need any paperwork bullshit permits or shit, lemme know. I'll see what SHIELD can manage for ya. Having a place in MT that ya'll can get to to help each other out is fucking amazing and I'm all for helping out."


"I already have the legal stuff done, one of my dupes went and passed the bar, so I'm technically a lawyer as well. But I will keep that offer in mind, thank you. It wouldn't hurt to have SHIELD on our side you know." He takes the cue and eyes the table, "Nate I'll let you break."

"Standard 8-Ball it is. I do have rooms above the offices as well. So if you ever need a place to crash in Mutant Town, feel free to stop by." He stands there with his cue, waiting for Nate, "And no one yet, we haven't started.


Nate nods, breaking the cluster, balls go everywhere but nowhere useful. The offer of a crashing place gets a nod, though. "Thanks, I have a place but not in Mutant Town proper. It might be useful," but probably won't. He dislikes to be easy to find when he sleeps, makes him feel vulnerable. The X-Force underground bunker under the abandoned grain elevator at the port is safer.

Then he smirks at Lorna. "I won the first game." Shockingly Darcy was an even worse pool player than him.


Lorna leaned back, grabbing a chip bag and settling it on her lap to snack on happily. She watched, her other hand occupied with her coke. She kept silent, watching for a long moment as the balls broke and scattered. Then she laughed lightly at Nate's comment about winning. "No shit. Cool." She popped another chip into her mouth.

"So, is it going to be a three-way game after all?" She asked, glancing toward Jamie with a raised brow.


"Nah. Jamie's a prude. But I get him sloppy when he's done with Nate," Darcy answers Lorna. The regular human of hte group, token human, settles herself on the arm rest of the sofa, elbows on her knees, chin cupped in her hands to watch the fresh game starting. Jamie's comment that he's got it all started has the SHIELD agent nodding.

"Right on. Make sure you get my digits though, yeah? Here to help you and all that crap."


"Well not really a prude. But well some of those memories I got from the dupes have made me a little shy of three ways." See Darcy, two can totally play at that game. "Not even a single ball Nate? Man I am already starting to feel a little guilty." He takes aim, and fires a shot, hitting the 7 ball and sending it to the corner pocket, "Looks like I'm solids."

"Man giving me your phone number already, and here I just meet you. You do like to work fast there, don't you?" Oh wait the rules, he sunk a ball, and well he now has to drink. So he goes to take a drink of the beer, when at that moment the dupe shows up!
"I got the beer! But I decided to make your game more interesting, so also got some Jack Daniels Fire. So you can do shots of that instead of drinking the beer! I also made sure to pick up some shot glasses." Said dupe pours a shot for Jamie, "Here you go."

Jamie prime sighs, takes the shot of booze, and just lines up another shot, and scratch!


Nate finishes his own beer and draws a phone, checking something and frowning. "I gotta look this, sorry," he hands Darcy the stick, "you are on, make SHIELD proud or something," he states, heading out. "Don't drink all the beer, I think I can get back in a few."


Lorna grinned as she watched the game, sipping at her coke as she waited for the painkillers to take affect. She was already beginning to feel the edges of her pain dull. To begin to feel the sharpness of her bruises lessen. It was nice. She fell silent as she continued to munch on chip.


"You have no idea how fast I like it," Darcy retorts to Jamie, eyes twinkling. Nate could tell that this is good for her. She hasn't been able to really refer to speedsters since hers had to leave to refind himself. That they already dropped Apocalypse is really the only reason she seems as adjusted and stable about it all. Jamie the Second returns and Darcy grins broadly.

"I love how you think, Number Two," she starts only to have a pool cue shoved into her chest. Her hands close around it reflexively.

"What the fu- Nate? Nate!" She yells after him as he dips. Darcy heaves a huge sigh.

"Well, fuck me up the ass." Her eyes return to Jamie and she smiles, hopping from the sofa and only her sock clad feet.

"Okay. Get ready to get fucked up. I suck at this so hard," she says, moving to lean over the table… really in a not contusive to a good shot manner…

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