Awkward X's

December 02, 2017:

Alex and Lorna run into each other at the X-mansion

XI

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Scott, Magneto, Marcos

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A burger, a reunion with a time-displaced niece, and a few conversational beers later, Alex Summers has returned to the Xavier Institute after only talking himself back out of it a handful of times. An overstuffed backpack hangs from a shoulder, with what looks like a … printer cable, perhaps, dangling out of the top of it after another lackadaisical repacking. He's in no particular hurry at the moment, with no particularly clear destination. The paintings are interesting, at least. As is, occasionally, his phone. He sighs at the latter, stuffing it back into a jacket pocket. What exactly IS your plan, Summers?

*

Lorna came in a whirlwind of a pacing, steel toed boots clomping down against the floors as she rushed from the upper floors with a backpack slung over her shoulders. Gone was the lengthy green hair she'd had years ago, traded in for a shorter look around her shoulders. More so, she seemed to have picked up an odd affinity for black, leather and cheap jewelry. She looked more like a punk rocker than the sweet young lady that had left for college from the Xavier Institute years before.

And her care steps were gone, now she was a woman on a mission, papers in hand and holding her attention as she came careening around the corner and—directly into Alex Summers.

She fell backwards with a sharp curse escaping her lips, papers flying and a loud 'thud' of something heavy and metallic in her backpack smacked into the wooden floor. Lorna went down hard, a groan following as she made to sit up. "Hey watch where—" She broke off, gaping at the sight of one Alex Summers.

*

Alex manages to stand over Lorna with a perfectly stupid slack-jawed expression for a few moments. Outside of keeping his balance, his only other reaction is for his hands to go straight to his chest to reassure himself that it's still attached, functioning, and he's not going to surprise explode or anything. Otherwise, he stands and gapes for a bit.

Coming to the realization that this isn't really a good look, his jaw works a few times before he gets breathing, thinking, and talking back in sync, "Uh… Lorna?" She does look significantly more different than he does, having descended into Academics and neglecting to update anything on the style or fashion front. "Lorna." He repeats, with more confidence, and then, "Oh. Shit. Sorry," before dropping his backpack with a clunk and offering a hand up. "You look … Uh, hi."

*
Alex wasn't alone in his gaping, so there was that. She stared up at the tall blonde for some moments, flustered and aghast. "Holy shit." She breathed, and then colored immediately as he dropped his backpack and held out his hand in offering to her. She took it, the heat of her cheeks not lessening as she reached back to float her backpack up to her hand.

"Uh.. Alex.. Uhm.. hey.." She cleared her throat, glancing down to his own backpack. "I.. uhm.. I didn't know you were around.. again…" She stood there somewhat awkwardly, her weight shifting back to her booted heels.

"When.. ah.. when did you come in?"

*

"I'm not." Alex replies a touch too readily, seemingly forgetting to let go of Lorna's hand after helping her up for a few moments while his eyes track hers to his pack, "It's mostly the rest of my … uh, it's a regulator thing my physics prof and I, with some consulting, of course… Oh, sorry." He releases her hand, choosing instead to occupy it partially lifting the corner of his T-shirt to reveal the deep blue-black garment beneath. Some fairly intricate wiring can be seen tracking down toward his waist.

"Anyway. I'm not -yet-, I mean. Maybe. Um. Wow, right?" It turns out, 'Smooth as a Summers Boy' is not a common saying.

*

Lorna blinked down at the hand still in his grip for a moment, a green eyebrow lifting upwards. Still she didn't comment on it, honestly too shocked to process much other than a mental mantra of swears. She leaned forward to inspect the odd garment as he lifted the hem of his T-shirt and finally let her hand go.

"I assume you're the power source? It's a focuser?" She had just finished off her undergraduate courses in physics. Just barely, but she had. An early graduate by a whole year, and she had certainly focused on the more ..geophysics aspect that tied in with her powers.

Still, green eyes lifted to consider him as he offered an awkward response to her question about him being back.

Her hand adjusted her grip on her backpack and she slung it over her shoulder. "Me neither. I actually got a place in Mutant Town. Though I'm on my way out the door to get to Genosha." It would be impossible to have missed her father's call to all mutants to his side there..

*

Talking about his contraption is a safe and comfortable route and Alex takes it readily, "The bracers are better for focus and direction when they're hooked up." He grimaces a bit, "In theory. There … was an incident, but.. " He shakes his head, giving his chest a tap with a knuckle, the metallic ping giving indication to the central array beneath his shirt. "Think more along the lines of a capacitor. Containment and distribution, that kinda thing." His eyebrows arch upward, "So, Genosha? That's… guess that'll be a long trip."

*

Lorna straightened from considering what he had to say about the rest of what the contraption did and how to worked and she nodded along, interest bright in her eyes. That was a safe topic and more over, something that she was honestly curious about from a technological standpoint. "Does the metal heat up? Has it been pretty stable?" She tilted her head to the side and stepped back to consider him anew.

Of course, then it was his turn to ask her about Genosha and she shrugged. "Taking the Blackbird. Not that big a deal. I'll be there quick enough. There was talk about using a teleporter instead too." She mused, dragging a hand through her green locks, still a muss of tangles from the magnetic fields that constantly moved them about.

"Scott offered to fly us. And there's a small team heading in. I'm more of a reserve member these days… So I can be spared."

*

"Oh, it'll torch my clothes if anywhere near discharging, but by that point a shirt's usually the least of my worries." Pulling the shirt up further reveals the central disk and its array of concentric circularly arranged indicators and circuits. Alex presses a small button along the side, and a good three quarters of the indicators light up. "Takes the guesswork out of when I need to burn off some energy, at the very least."

Nudging the backpack with his foot, he adds, "The idea behind the other bits was to give me more of a say in WHERE that burnoff goes. One direction instead of 'Disintegrate Manhattan'." He smirks faintly, though to his mental health's credit, it's been nearly a week since his last nightmare about nearly destroying a significant chunk of the east coast.

"It's kind of connected to why I'm here, actually. They didn't quite -work-, so … there was some damage, and my continued doctoral studies were…" He searches for a diplomatic turn of phrase, "Discouraged? I'm kind of here looking for a teaching job."
*

Lorna's hand stretched out toward the array in honest interest, her powers wrapping outwards to run her senses over the network of wires and metal that made up bits and pieces of it, attempting to better understand how all the parts worked to make a whole. But she wasn't her father. Wasn't a scientist. And it came back as the same garble of electronics that made up most things. She could turn it on and off.. but that was about it.

She sighed and let her hand fall back to her side.

"Yeah? I got .. erm.. harassed out of school by a few anti-mutant assholes. I… didn't want to go off on them and make a riot. So I left. Marcos and I ran into trouble and we had to split up but.." Her voice drew pinched and she shoved her hands into the pocket of her jeans.

"I'm sure you'll do great teaching. They tried to get me to teach and I said I'd start by flinging wrenches at kids. If they can dodge a wrench.. you know.."

*

Marcos and I. That sounds very 'we'. Alex elects not to ask, or for that matter even allow himself to wonder at the details right now. Tugging his shirt back down, he offers a tight smile and a nod, "Yeah, well, you know how it goes, then. Please discontinue your studies at this institution, and though we wish you well, we're unable to vouch for you in writing." Giving a snort, Alex glances around the large room, "Think I saw some more construction underway. The way Ray made it sound, that's kinda an ongoing thing, eh? Wrench dodging probably conveys an important Xavier Institute skillset."

*

Lorna shrugged again, watching him and noting the tight smile and the way his stance changed to lower his shirt again. "Yeah, I at least had an advisor that was willing to point me to online schools that I could take to finish off my semester. It was a life saver." More likely in the literal sense than just the metaphoric one. Though as he mentioned the construction she nodded.

"Dani Moonstar was.. well, there's a Demon Bear? And it attacked. Got most of the upper wings. I was in the Danger Room at the time and came up to see that go down. It was pretty nasty. I.. uhm.. got my head messed with." Again. It wasn't fun and she was already struggling with her mental health. Something Alex would remember from their dating days. Years ago as they were. It had been just the start of her issues really.

"And there's been Brotherhood attacks again too.."
*

Okay, that's a phrase that one can't really be prepared for, "A … Demon Bear." Alex blinks a couple of times, failing to come up with any sort of commentary or insight on Demon Bears. He skips over that particular bit of weirdness for some genuine concern, "Are you okay? I mean …" He leans over to recollect his backpack, just now noticing an errant cable which he stuffs further down. "For all reasonable expectations of 'Okay'." With a dry chuckle, he adds, "Frustrating to not have anything more useful to say than, 'That sucks, and I'm sorry', but … That sucks."

*

A rough exhale pulled from her lips, "I better be? I had someone else scrape through my head with a psychic hammer a week after. Jean had to put my head back on straight and I had a killer migraine for days. I figure now I know why the Professor keeps such a sharp eye on younger telepaths. They can do a lot of damage.." She murmured. Not that she didn't already know about it.

"Scott tried for all of five minutes to get me to stay behind rather than go to Genosha, but everyone agrees I'm out best shot at getting anything sensitive out of there. The UN has been in talks and.. with the anti-mutant registration act looking like it might pass again.." She exhaled a breath.

"I'd better get going. I still have to make sure I get my armor downstairs…" She hesitated, looking over Alex and a flutter of complicated emotions passed over her features as she looked him over. Things unsaid. Things said. Memories. It was all suddenly very, very hard to focus.

"Uhm.. I.. I guess I'll see you. Ah.. Around." She added after a beat.

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