AoA: Drunken Comfort

September 28, 2017:

Lorna excuses herself from the conference room with Magneto in company, and Captain Jones comes to offer booze.

Magneto's Air-ship over New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: AoA Magneto ,Magneto

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Lorna had found a corner off to the side of the main conference room, where a metal bench had been welded onto the floor. It was barren and sparse, much like the rest of this world that Lorna was coming to learn of. The green haired mutant sat, hunched and with a fisted hand between her teeth, her other clenched on her lap. She was clearly in the process of trying to calm herself. The lights above flickered on and off ominously with her foul mood, but nothing further occurred.

Even as she seethed, and dropped her hand and stood up, pacing. She exhaled roughly through her nose, muttering curses as she moved. Her footfalls oddly light and soundless. Almost as if she weren't touching the floor at all.

Then she twisted around and punched the wall, another curse falling from her lips as she shook her hand out in pain, hissing as she drew back. There wasn't so much as a dent. Clearly she didn't have any super strength to go off of at least.

*

"Here. Try this."

Captain Jones' voice is as gruff and acerbic as ever, but there's a gentle quality to it all the same. Somewhere between Lorna punching the wall and Lorna realizing the wall just won, she slips into the conference room and closes the door gently behind her. Her hand, sheathed in fingerless gloves, holds out the bottle of Jack Daniels she nicked from the fancy meeting room in clear invitation.

Her face is a hard read, as it has been nearly since the beginning. It's one of those faces that can either get truly expressive or shut down entirely. Hers is in a mostly shut-down state at the moment, blank. It's not a happy face; it settles habitually into lines of melancholy. It's hard-edged. But the brown eyes are compassionate.

*

Lorna paused as she turned around at the door's opening, her gaze landing heavily on Captain Jones and she squinted suspiciously at the woman until she held out the bottle. The invitation was accepted, as the mutant reached out and took it with a muttered thanks, screwing off the cap and taking a long swig of the contents. She exhaled a breath, closing her eyes as she seemed to settle some and held it out back toward the Captain.

"So how'd you end up coming to check on me, surprised it's not someone else. You don't strike me as a talk it out kinda girl."

*

"Oh I brought my own," Jessica says, producing a second bottle of Jack Daniels. Lorna is left to nurse the first as she smirks and takes a swig.

She also shrugs. Is she a talk-it-out kind of girl? "I got layers," she says. Though it's kind of true that she's a lot more of a drink it out sort of girl.

Fortunately, in this case? She's got Lorna covered there on like two fronts.

"And in this case it doesn't matter if I'm a talk it out sort of girl. Figured you could use a sounding board that wasn't just as freaked out as you and wasn't someone else in your world. Or if I am, you don't know me over there, so it doesn't matter."

She settles into one of the posh conference room seats and leans back in it, thunking her feet up on the table, crossing her ankles. "The Captain is IN, and I won't even charge you a nickel."

Pause. Beat. "You did have Peanuts in your dimension, right?"

*

Lorna shrugged back as she noted Jessica had her own bottle and made to take another swig. A whole bottle to herself! Clearly, she just had to hop between worlds to be able to drink as much as she wanted without getting a lecture. Surprise, surprise.

She made to plop down in another chair, heaving a sigh as she propped her boots up on the table of the conference room and continued to nurse her bottle. There were no chances of that kindness being forgotten at least.

"Okay. Well. Shit. I guess you've got me pegged pretty clear. I don't know you in my world, and there was no way in hell I was gonna chat about my feelings with the SHIELD agent, that ended up being brought along." She muttered and rolled her eyes.

"I'm not really a talker when it comes to my shit show." She continued, and took another sip.

"Yeah, we have peanuts. No nuclear war went off and destroyed anything yet though."

*

Travel between worlds to avoid drinking judgment. Or, you know. Just meet Jessica Jones.

"We'll get you home," she says. "Maybe seeing all this shit will help you prevent something similar where you're at. Though it sounds like so much is different it don't much matter. Your Dad being not-your-Dad here, for example. I don't even know how the shit that even works." She hadn't exactly missed the moment Lorna had decided to peace out, after all, and she's gotten the memo, now, that Magneto's a nutcase in Lorna's home reality. "Dude could have let you down a little more gently on that front."

Just an observation as she tilts the bottle up, sends more of the amber liquid sloshing in a swift burn down her own throat.
Lorna laughed, "Shit, here, home? Whatever. Nate came from here, I guess, and he ended up in our world. Now he's back. He was there with us, for years. So if all else fails, I can buckle up and get in line to 'life adjustments' and all that crap." She rolled her eyes and took another swig of her drink, angling her eyes lower as Jessica continued on about her father.

*

"My father is an asshole, I'm used to it. And even if that man in there isn't my father, I am still related by blood to a Magneto and I'm pretty sure that shit doesn't change between worlds either. Hell if I know though." She shook her head and grimaced.

"Just in my world he's killed a few thousand people and I can't exactly let out that he's my fucking father. Not unless I want to end up dead or something."
"Yeah, I'm not exactly an expert on alternative timelines."

*

Jessica Jones swirls whiskey around in its bottle absently, then says, "Too bad you couldn't have landed in the world where he was a hero and a decent father. If you had to land in one at all. Given you're somewhat indifferent to the one you came from."

She's not really looking at Lorna now, just sort of focused on her bottle…which she goes right back to soon enough. The woman can really pack the whiskey away. The amount she's consumed in just the span of an hour would seriously give most people alcohol poisoning.

She barely seems buzzed. She's sort of cresting on a little buzzed, maybe, now, with her eyes settling at a faint half-mast.

*

Lorna had no such resilience against alcohol, and was clearly sipping her way to getting buzzed and onwards to tispy. If her current pace had anything to do with it. She snorted, and laughed again. "I'm pretty sure that's impossible to ever happen. My father? Not in any alternative world. I'm sure." She rolled her eyes. "In my world, he's murdered thousands of people, innocent people, and they still print shirts that say 'Magneto was Right'. All for a guy that tried to take over the world a few dozen times." She made a disgusted look and took another swig.

"If word ever got out that I was his kid, I'd be facing down fanatics that are in love with him, or governments that want a foolproof system to add to their Magneto-protocols. Or to take me apart in a lab to see how I tick. Who knows." She muttered.

*

"So why lead off with 'Dad'? I know kids who are on a first-name basis with their parents when they agree to talk to them at all, and for less. Also— on the matter of t-shirts— people are morons. That's universal law. Even Einstein said so."

Lorna will either work through the things that caused her to storm in here, or she'll end up face down drunk and will wake up feeling different, at least. Either one serves the purpose as far as Jones is concerned.

But then, she's an airship captain, not a psychologist, so mileage may vary. She finally finishes the whiskey and puts her empty aside, folding her arms and fixing Lorna with a raised eyebrow.

*

Lorna exhaled a breath, shifting with a vaguely uncomfortable air. She looked down at her bottle of booze, and took another sip. Then another. Yep. Definitely trying to get drunk. She clutched the neck of the bottle with both hands. The rings on her fingers biting into her skin.

"Because I.. fuck if I know. I.. I just.. It's.." She smothered her face against a hand, dragging her palm over her features and into her hair.

"I hate him for so much. For leaving me and my mom. For straight up being an asshole and not telling me who the hell he was for years." Her expression twisted and she took another sip from her bottle, a look of morose sorrow hanging heavily on her features and in the slump of her shoulders.

"And I guess, I just.. I wish it wasn't like that. I remember hearing that he was a hero here. That he was a good man. I just.. I set my hopes too high. I hoped and I got fucking crushed. Alright."

*

Lorna will find she has the Captain's full attention as she finally cuts to the heart of it.

Jones doesn't answer right away. She lets things sit in silence. Then she says: "The question, you know, isn't really what you think about your Dad. Question is what you think about you."

She tilts a finger at Lorna. "You're one of the X-Men. You a hero? That who you choose to be?"

Black eyebrows lift, and now the gaze is intense. As rough around the edges as she appears, she has talked to members of her crew just like this dozens of times. They all have various issues, all need their heads straightened out from time to time. All need stuff soothed over. As motherly airs go it's a rough sort of a thing, but it's as good a way to describe her right about now as any.

*

Lorna scowled, "I was. I graduated high school at the Xavier Institute. Honors all that jazz. Joined the team for a few months and tried. I played a hero." She thumbed the side of her leather jacket. "I had the suit. Everything. I hadn't worn it or been a member I guess for three years." She rolled her eyes and took another longer, gulp from the bottle.

Her eyes slipping shut again briefly, and she exhaled a slow breath.

"And now I'm not. Went to college. Tried to be normal. I only.." She trailed off and shook her head. "I just wanted to live a normal life. See if I could. Turns out I couldn't." She shrugged and leaned back in her chair. "So no. Fuck it. I'm not a hero. I even joined up with the first mutant offering me a job away from the mansion. Offered me a job as detective and a room and I was gone."

*

Jessica Jones is silent. "I always thought I'd make a good detective," she quips.

But her mind isn't really there.

She finally swings her feet off the table and leans forward.

"When Apocalypse first started his bid, he had…recruiters. Trying to get as many metas as possible into their armies. One of them was called the False Prophet. Zebediah Kilgrave. Mind controller."

She toys with the empty bottle, spinning it slowly this way and that. "He got me. Forced me to work for him. A lot of that devastation out there? My fault. I was too weak to break the control. I thought sometimes I could, when he wasn't using his amplifier, but I never, ever managed. My body would just…do whatever he demanded. A friend of mine finally took him out. As soon as he did I mean, man, there I was, placed perfectly to do some real damage to Apocalypse's organization. And I did. Stole that airship from him, in fact."

She shrugs. "But I never could much feel like a hero myself. Just…someone trying to make up for the shit I did, really. Helping out where I can, ferrying refugees, that's something I can do. Thing is, you maybe don't have to be hero material to do some good. Maybe it mostly just takes giving a damn."

*

Lorna exhaled a breath over the lip of her bottle, the glass clicking softly as she set it on the table. Her expression pinched as she listened to Jessica's tale and she glanced away when the other woman leaned forward. The green haired mutant folded her arms when Captain Jones was finished and she looked vaguely uncomfortable, and more or less intoxicated.

"I just want to keep my head down and do what I can here and there. I wouldn't call it a hero in the least." She muttered, and took another sip. "I figured Mutant Town is as good a place to start. Now I guess it doesn't matter. Does it?"

*

"Dunno," Jessica says, hitching a shoulder. "I think the choices we make are mostly what matter, no matter what circumstances we're in. You still got choices, you still get to decide who you are. Doesn't matter who Magneto is, and it doesn't matter who you were. All that matters is what you do today, with what's in front of you. May be you have an opportunity or two to make a difference. Here, there, anywhere."

She shrugs. "Me? I look at you and I think if you see that opportunity? You wouldn't be beating yourself up like this if you weren't that type. And 'what you can' probably seems smaller to you than it does to the person benefitting from it."

*

Lorna rolled her eyes, back onto familiar territory. "A cuckoo is still a fucking cuckoo. Captain. Put one of those in a nest, and it doesn't matter how nice or loving the adoptive parents are. It'll ruin everything and kill off all the other little babies birds." She made a face and and took another sip of her drink. "Do you know what electromagnetism can do to a body? Your brain uses it to direct motions and shit. Now, I didn't finish school or anything. So I can't tell for sure." She paused and leaned back in her chair.

"But I have a connection to the Earth's electromagnetic field. It's always there. Running through my brain. My father went off the deep end and started to try to take over the world back before I was born and onwards. He was at least in his forties if not older. So I figure I have another few decades before my powers send me to the nut house too."

*

"Yeah? Even in this shithole there's people who help folks with mental issues."

Jessica Jones hitches a shrug. Maybe she knows one or two of those. For. Reasons.

"Look, Lorna. Other people and other things can lead you up to the Abyss. They can hold you over it, even, and hurt you real bad while they're doing it. But nobody and nothing can force you to jump in but you."

She tosses her empty bottle up, lets it spin, and then catches it out of the air. "Magneto made his choices. Yours are yours. Don't wanna become a psycho? Don't wanna become him?"

She leans forward. "Then don't. Anything else is bullshit. An excuse. Your failures to date aren't your Dad's fault either. Your failures aren't cause you're a cuckoo."

She gives a hard smile. "Your failures are cause you fucking failed some. Take responsibility for them. Move on. Do better."

*

Lorna scowled, looking irritated as she sipped at her bottle. The room was taking on a fuzzy edge to it. She had downed far more than she really should. Especially when she was in a strange new world, and should have stayed alert. At least, that's what her mental lecture was. Along with a voice that sounded vaguely like some more rule abiding X-men, lecturing about how dangerous she was when drunk. How much her powers required control, and clarity of mind.

She snorted, and then glanced back to Jessica, squinting faintly as she struggled to follow along with the very much, not drunk Captain.

"I haven't fucking failed anyone because I fucking ran away. Okay? I ran away from being an X-man, a hero. Whatever other bullshit you want to call it. I ran away because I got scared. And I'm so damn afraid that I'm gonna become just like my fucking father. Not because I'll want to take over the world or some other crap. But because I'll want to play hero. Because my powers will go to my head and it'll feel so damn right, and I won't even know what the hell happened until it's too late." She bit out, and wobbled back in her seat. Her feet dropping to the floor.

"And all that other bull about roads to hell and good intentions and shit."

*

Jessica Jones stands and pulls the little lever on the back of the chair, all to the goal of tipping it back for Lorna. She doesn't really know a way around this ship, but…the chair seems as good a spot for the woman to rest as any. She takes off her flight jacket and digs out her pack of cigarettes. Then? She drapes it over the woman, revealing a royal blue tank top beneath. No lectures about powers here. Just pragmatism. She sees someone giving signs she's about to pass out, and just stands up to deal with that.

"Sleep it off," she advises. "Drink water in the morning. That's what kills the hangover, not aspirin, not coffee, not raw eggs. Water."

And then: "Fear's not bad. Fear keeps you smart. Makes you think through your choices before you make 'em. You're also going to make mistakes. It's just gonna happen. Everyone fucks up. But don't torture yourself over shit you haven't even done yet. It's gonna be okay. You're gonna be just fine. Promise. You give a shit. That matters."

She tap-taps a cigarette out of the pack. She gestures to the light switch. "Want me to shut that off?"

*

Lorna huffed, muttering under her breath as the Captain strips off her jacket and more or less tucks the green haired mutant in. Her lips twist and she looks about ready to protest, before the warmth of the jacket settled on over her. The mention about water had her snorting, and rolling her eyes. "I have gotten shitfaced before. Not my first time getting drunk off my rocker." Just the first time she'd gotten drunk while in the air, in a strange place, in a strange world.

After though, she fell silent, watching as Captain Jones gestured to the light switch. The chair creaked as Lorna considered, her eyes squinting. "Magneto would probably be pissed if I knocked out the whole power of this thing trying to turn off a light, yeah?"

*

Jessica smirks. All the anger, cursing, self-loathing. It really does strike a few chords.

"Probably," she says lightly. "That's almost an argument for letting you do it, but I think we'd both feel shitty if this flying heap actually has to go somewhere and help someone and it can't cause we overcomplicated matters."

She sticks the cigarette in her mouth, lights it, and then reaches up to tap the light off. "I'll let 'em know you're okay and to let you rest." And with that, she shuts the door gently behind her, leaving Lorna to rest as best she can. If she was going to get shitfaced in a strange world and in the air, well, she maybe at least picked an understanding person to go and do that around.

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