Black as my Soul

December 01, 2017:

After six months without seeing each other Rose Wilson calls Nate Grey. Completely drunk and dealing with memory problems. (Warning for language and drugs)

Rundown apartment in Mutant Town

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Mutant Town. 3am of December 1st. It is a nice night. Not really nice-nice, but for December, not too bad. Clear sky, cold but not freezing yet.

New York never sleeps, and Mutant Town is never quiet, nightlife tends to be intense. Sometimes violent. Rarely boring. Nate, who sleeps so little, usually finds something to do. He stays until the clubs close. Heck, sometimes he helps to close the clubs. That is what he was doing when he received the call.

Unknown number. But many of the people that would call him to his cell would use burners, assuming several agencies spy on him. If those agencies can break the encrypted protocols of his S-phone, though, is questionable. But he can't fault people for being careful. He never makes important phone calls from his regular cellphone either.

In fact, being a telepath, most of his important conversations are pretty hard to intercept.

Still, he takes this one. "Nate here, hello!"


Rose was in well, quite a state. She stalked about her apartment, kicking over an empty can of something.. She had gone to town with whatever 100 proof liquor she could get her hands on and downing it along with several choice pills to aid in fuzzing out her head of anything in that was causing her problems. The platinum haired woman walked back and forth in her apartment, shirtless and standing around in her jeans and bra, swinging a bottle of whatever she was drinking like a fish. In her other hand she held the phone to her ear.

"Naaaate. Nate. Nate. Naaaate. Come over. Noooow." Yep, that was a drunken lilt to her voice. She wobbled and took another gulp directly from the bottle.


Quiet. Shocked quiet. Heart skips a beat, even.

It has been almost six months. Except for a minute in Genosha, when he was not being himself. "Rose…" he manages. Her voice odd. Oh. Drunk. That explains… er, that explains nothing. It has been almost six months since she told him to stay away. It was too dangerous. She/they needed time. That she might need her help to save her friends, but not then.

"Where are you?" His mind searches, but six months is too long and mental signatures change. And Rose's mind was in flux due to the Omega Event. "Don't tell me. Just give me a clue only I would understand," they had their codes for this, back then.


Rose leaned against the wall of her apartment and took another long gulp from the bottle in her grip. Her eye squeezing shut for a moment as the world shifted around her. Thinking was hard. Nate's words were difficult to wrap her mind around and she reached back to unhook her belt around her waist and toss it off. "What? Fuck me Nate. I'm shit faced. Get your ass over here… I'm.. I'm.." She slurred, removing the phone from her ear and staring at it with a frown for a moment.

She pressed it back to her ear. "Don't be a-an ass." She slurred. "I'm.. in…" Her eye scanned the room lazily and back. Her gaze landed on the bathroom door still ajar and the light still on.

"The one with the puke pink tiles from the 70s. That work?"


Not what he expected, but he remembers the 'puke pink tiles' (only Rose calls them that). "Works. See you soon, Rosie." He kills the line and considers.

He considers their enemies. Considers it being a trap. Considers Genosha. Considers… no. He has no choice. When -she- is involved, there is never a choice. He hates being predictable, but he hates much more every second without her.

And the poke pink tiles are in her hideout in Mutant Town. Barely three blocks away. A minute for him to land on the rusty fire escape metal stairs outside the window and peer inside to see a not uncommon sight. Rose, a bottle, fuzzy mind and a hot mess. Trouble. "You look good," he comments from his perch. He might be biased.


Rose staggered slightly as he hung up on her and she snapped the burner phone shut. There was something quite satisfying about snapping a phone shut. She tossed it away, and it thumped on the floor with a muted sound. She rolled away from the wall, her hips swinging as she took another several gulps from the bottle. It was getting low. She frowned, and stumbled toward the counter where another bottle awaited (among several others).

Then of course, was Nate's comment from the fire escape and she swung around, breaking the bottle against the counter top (losing what remained in it, which was not much) and holding it out threateningly.. before she lowered it at the sight of Nate.

The white haired woman scowled, and dropped the rest of the bottle onto the floor before turning away to pick up the next bottle and open it up.

"Get your ass in here." She called, struggling with the bottle opener and slowly realizing that it was a screw top. She huffed and managed to open it up with a curse. Another gulp followed.


“Of course,” he gets inside by phasing through the wall and the window. With a glance the glass shards move into a ball and fuse. Then he is close enough to her, a hand reaching for her waist and another for the bottle, snatching it away.

“Vodka?” And high-proof. Nate tsks, more amused than disapproving. Then looks at her face, at her single eye. “Missed you,” he murmurs. “What are you doing here, Rose? Are you celebrating or mourning?”


Rose leaned into him for all of a breath before he was snatching the bottle away and she cursed him and up down, twisting around to stumble against him and try to make a grab for the bottle. "Hey! D'you know how expensive that shit is? Gimme it. Fuck you Nate." She pushed at him, trying to take it back, and staggering again.

"S'mine." Her single blue eye landed on his features, little more than inches away from her, one hand holding her up against his chest.

"Fuck off.." She repeated the swear, slurring her words and her head dipping against his frame.


"Damnit, Rose," Nate keeps her standing while she snatches the bottle back. Not letting her push him away, though. He stands his ground with some telekinetic help. Only one eye again, so she lost the new cybernetic eye. "I am here, hmm. Came for you and always will," he leans forward slightly to breathe her scent. Mostly alcohol, of course.

"I am here, and I will stay as long as you want me. Talk to me, please." He does try to drag her to a place she can sit down while looking for empty bottles. It is not easy for her to get -this- drunk, and if she did, and alone, something strange might be going on.


Rose staggered along, no longer fighting him once the bottle was back in hand and she sucked down several more long drags. She laughed, and it came out more of a strangled, choked sound as she leaned against him and he pulled her to a battered looking couch. Nate wouldn't have to look far for the bottle. They littered the whole of the apartment's floo, the couch.. She'd been at it for hours. And there were several questionable packets of various drugs on the coffee table.

Once she was seated of course, she went to work with downing more of the contents of the bottle. Her other hand moving to unbuckle her bra strap and slouch backwards, trying in vain to find a comfortable slump while still sitting up enough to downing more booze.

"S'stuff.. Shit.. happened. Went.. bad.. I don't remember. Dun.. wanna.."


Nate makes a bottle-count, considers Rose physical state and makes some calculations. Enough to kill two adult males twice her size for sure. Shit must have happened at a major scale. Not just the drunkenness, but calling him. Rose rarely asks for help and he was supposed to stay away for a time.

Then again, it has been six months. That is 'a time', feels an eternity.

He looks at the girl, and now he does look concerned. The temptation to read her mind is intense, but she being this drunk would make difficult to make sense. And he promised not to.

"Fine, let just…" he sighs, pulling her close for a hug. "No more drinking for a bit, you are close to the point you will pass out and that is not a good idea right now. Tell me something amusing, or just ask me something you want to know."


Rose wiggled away from him as he tried to pull her closer for a hug, and she snarled at the simple suggestion that she slow down or stop drinking for a time. She clutched the bottle close to her chest, glaring daggers at him as she took another swig, gripping it from the neck.

"Fuck you and go die in a fire. This is my booze. I bought it. If I want to pass out like a … a … if I want to pass out Nate, I can damn well pass out when I want to." She wasn't quite able to remember why she'd called him. Or that she had called him.

Her head ached. Another gulp of the drink. "It's too hard to get this … this.." Her head lulled back against the dirty cushion of the couch behind her and her single eye screwed shut as the room spun.


Nate sighs. "Ah, yes… but if I have to carry you to the hospital I don’t want to hear complains tomorrow," he jokes. Certainly she not going to a hospital, but there are a couple healers in Mutant Town that owe him favors.

"I am glad you called me," he points out. More than glad, to be sincere. "The deal is the same, if you stumble and fall, I will help you to stand back up. Perish the thought of trying to stop you from," vague hand-wave. "Jumping without parachute," or getting drunk to the point of going into coma.


Rose shifted her head back to consider him through her one eye. Her lips twisted into a scowl. "I'll get better." She muttered and sipped another gulp from her booze. Even as it sloshed somewhat down her front and she grimaced, patting her neck with a forgotten blanket and then giving up.

"Don't bring me no where. Or I'll throw up on you." She squinted and shifted to draw her knees up to her chest. But other than that she fell silent, watching him for a moment in silence.


"Pfff, that has happened once or twice already," comments Nate evenly.

He really doesn't want her drinking more, though. He needs something to distract her. But this apartment doesn't even have a TV. She probably has a laptop somewhere, but doubtlessly heavily passguarded and encrypted.

Talk. He went to Genosha… but she knows he did. And he doesn't want to talk about Genosha and his death and return.

"Mutant Town is heating up again," he decides, babbling. "Might not be a safe place much longer. Public opinion is turning against us again, Rosie. As usual. Hey, want to see a new card trick I learned a couple months ago?"


Rose snorted and rolled her lone eye, gripping the bottle now with both hands close to her chest as if it were a teddy bear. She shot him a look and wiggled further back in her seat in a vain attempt to get comfortable. "Man, fuck those guys.." She drawled, whoever she meant, who could say. She let her head lull backwards against the sofa again, exhaling a rough breath.

The room continued to spin. That was rude of it.

"What card tricks. You do card tricks now? What?"


"Magic, you silly. I am a stage magician, remember?" Not a part of his life Rose paid much attention in the past. But he did his stage magician gigs mostly when she was doing mercenary business out of New York. She returned with tens of thousands dollars and maybe a new scar. Nate earned a few hundred. Never cared about the money.

It was never about the money.

He pulls a deck of cards and begins shuffling the cards with well-practiced ease. They almost fly in his hands. "Maybe next Friday you will want to come to watch the show?" He offers.


Rose lifted her head, lone eye squinting in his direction as her temples pounded from the dull ache of being well and truly drunk. She'd feel a hangover.. sometime. It would suck.

"I'm not silly.. you're.. you're ugh, why are you so fuckin' whole-wholesome.. ness?" She wrinkled her nose as she watched him take out a deck of card.

"Nerd." She bit out, her voice still heavily slurred. "No. I've.. I'm.. job? Yeah.. job somewhere.. Thing.."


That is the Queen of Spades she picked. Or more likely, the card Nate picked for her. "Everyone needs a hobby, lover. Never got into video games," like she did a few times, so there. "You have a job, really?" He stops shuffling.

Don't talk about her 'job'. Won't go well.

"Fuck, Rose. You don't have a job if you don't want to. You are free… you ought to…" the deck, perfectly collected, is left on the low table. "You don't remember anymore, right? We can try to fix that in the morning."


Rose's lip peeled back, "Video games are an art form, Nate. Appreciate… art.. Backwards.. uncultured.. ass.." She muttered, hugging the bottle to her chest and popping her thumb over the top on and off to make annoying popping sounds.

Then of course as he continued on about her jobwhich may or may not actually existshe snorted and scowled once more. "You're not touchin' my head. No touchy. No one touches." She muttered defensively.


Nate laughs at her ‘art appreciation’ thing. “Suuuure. Miss Millennial Badass,” he teases. “No touchy. Unless you tell me to do it.” Why did she call him? She will remember in the morning. Or maybe she won’t remember anything of this conversation, which is going to be amusing and frustrating.

“It is cold here; you are too drunk to notice, hmm?” But the place has little insulation and if it has central heating it is not working properly. Typical Mutant Town. “Do you have coffee?”


Rose frowned faintly at Nate again, pushing herself up and then staggering back into her chair. "I am badass.." She muttered, and then promptly fumbled with the bottle she'd clutched to her chest and spilled more onto her sweat pants. She cursed and set the bottle down, grabbing the blanket off the back of the arm of the chair and burrowing into it.

"No.. Not cold. Just damp." She growled, shooting Nate another glare as if it was entirely his fault.

Which it was.


That is perfect drunken logic and Nate can't argue against it. Instead he goes to search for coffee in the kitchen area. Opening the water faucet to check if there is hot water. "Okay, cold and damp," he will meet her halfway.

The state of the counters and fridge reveal she has not been here in two or three months before very recently. But the coffee should be good for his admittedly low standards. Mostly he wants it hot. "Did you go to a good party in Halloween?" He asks to keep the conversation going. If what they have going can be called a conversation.


Rose's nose wrinkled again as she wrapped the blanket around her chest and then tugged off her gin soaked bra. She chucked it onto the floor. "Damp!" She called as he added cold to her descriptor. Stupid. Bad. Bad Nate. She would.. would do something. When the room stopped tilting awkwardly.

She slumped back against the couch and huffed an annoyed breath as he went into the narrow kitchen and dug around for something.

At his question about Halloween she scowled, her brow furrowing. "…dun't remember.." She muttered.


But Rose loved Halloween and its parties. Could Waller have mind-wiped her? Nate can't think a good reason why, so it seems someone did. Bad enough she freaked out to the point of this mess.

He needs her sober. She might kick him out when sober. He needs coffee.

There is a coffee machine. Good. It needs some cleaning, but that keeps him busy a few minutes. Soon the scent of just made coffee slips into the apartment, struggling bravely against the scent of alcohol. Nate goes to sit on the floor, just by the couch, so he can look at Rose resting.


Rose took another long gulp from her bottle, or at least what was remaining in the bottle that hadn't been spilled all over already. Her lower lip trembled in faint manner, with some hard emotion that was either anger or misery—or possibly both. She was simply too drunk to handle the tangle of emotions that came with not remembering things. It was all .. fuzzy. Hard to grasp. Like it was all in a fog. She hated it. More over, she hated admitting that.

So she didn't.

Of course then there was Nate on the floor? When did he get there? She squinted her lone eye at him, leaning forward faintly. "S'when you get on the floor.."


"I am here for you, remember?" Replies Nate quietly. "I am going to get some coffee and stay with you, waiting. When you want to puke, I will help you to the bathroom. And in the morning I'll buy you some breakfast."

Before she can reply, his finger goes to her lips. "You would do the same for me," he really believes her would do it. But he remembers her nursing him back to health after Apocalypse took him prisoner. The Phoenix took much of his memories, but he remembers most of the last three years. "Rest. You are safe."


Rose huffed as he pressed a finger to her lips, purposefully making a blustering noise to smack against his finger there. She tilted her head up, and heaved a breath, leaning back to eye him soundly.

"I can puke on my own just fine." She paused, her brows screwing up at her words a moment, two, later. Realizing that was definitely not what she wanted to say. Right? Yeah. Definitely.

Still she didn't argue with that being safe thing. She did feel safe with him there. From what? She didn't know. But enough that she'd called him when she was getting plastered. Even if she couldn't remember that part at the moment.

"…I'm cold." She muttered finally, shooting a glance down the hall. Blanket. Blanket. Blanket. She wanted another not damp blanket.


Nate nods, reaching for the damp blanket, "I'll take care of it," telekinetic energy spreads over the cloth, pulling out the vodka molecules and leaving the blanket dry. "And bring more blankets, I suppose," he adds, standing up.

He needs to search around for a while. No blankets, but he brings the sheets and blanket from the mattress to spread over Rose's form. And a pillow. Also he returns with a mug of coffee for himself. "Couldn't find sugar. Evil, Rose."


As Nate brought out the blankets she curled into them, quite content to ignore him and the spinning of the world as she found comfort in the miracle that was a pillow. Pillows were the best things ever. Yep. It was novel worthy that thought. She loved pillows. Why didn't she have more of them. "..Note to self.. buy.. pillows.. all the pillows.. Ever.. I want a mountain of pillows.." She muttered, her eye slipping shut briefly and then open again as Nate came back into the room.

Where was her bottle of.. stuff.. it was .. it was somewhere? Oh Nate was talking.

"..Black as my soul…" She muttered.


"No milk either, nope," but that lack won't kill him. He sips the coffee and grunts. At least it is hot. A glance at Rose reveals she is more sleep than awake. Which he supposes means she was exhausted even before she started drinking.

What the hell is going on now? Old anger is boiling and he needs to think clearly. Maybe he should call Ripclaw. Or Jean.

Something happened to Rose. Again. And he wasn't there. Again. He glances at one of the bottles still with some liquor. Sighs. Sips some more coffee.


Rose's eye fluttered open again at Nate's response, blue eye landing on his person as she heaved a great sigh and wiggled her figure further into the burrow of blankets she'd managed to make around her. It would be horrible trying to get to the bathroom later, but that was a future Rose problem. Not a current Rose problem.

"Tell me a story.." She muttered, demanded, yawning and pressing her cheek back against the pillows.


"Hmm, okay," Nate considers for a few seconds. "A few weeks ago there was problem in the X-Men Danger Room," he starts, "it might be we overloaded it. Or maybe a call for help came through weird psychic channels. The hell if I know. I don't think any of the big brains have figured out yet. In any case almost all the X-Men ended up in my homeworld. Which I thought was a graveyard. But it wasn't…"

Yes, it would be a long story. But it does not seem very likely Rose will be awake in five minutes. Much less remembering it in the morning.


The gentle cadence of his voice did more to get her to relax more than him telling her to relax. She was able to let her eye drift close against the spinning of the room and to simply let go of all the tension she naturally carried with her. Sure, she'd wake and be miserable later. Likely heave up her guts and then moan in pain and huddle over some water.. But for now? Now she was happy to simply listen.

To drift off to what memories she still held and know that at least she was near someone that she could remember. Someone … she trusted.

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