Anything Else?

December 18, 2017:

Piotr bumps into Rachel and pulls her aside to ask about his sister. Once that topic is covered though she rightfully assumes he has something else to ask about.

//Xavier's Institute //

Starting off in the Rec Room and moving on to the grounds.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Illyana Rasputin, Scott Summers, Nate Grey

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

With a break between classes, but still more to go later in the afternoon Piotr and many other students and few faculty are taking a break in the rec room. There is the usual chatter and activity and the big ol' Colossus is right in the midst of it. He is currently seated between two students on the couch attempting to keep up with them in a racing video game. Luckily for Pete, no one around speaks Russian so his language can reflect how poorly he is doing without being a terrible influence on the children.

After yet another sound trouncing, he stands up and declares. "I give. You win. I will however take my petty revenge in the danger room later. Savor your victory for now." Of course he says it with a good-natured smile, but it has the quelling effect on the students enthusiasm that he hoped for none the less. Making his way towards the beverage center he opens the cabinet and is looking for a mug and some coffee to brew. As is his usual, he doesn't seem to mind being in the midst of all the noise and chaos of the students.

*

The red-head known as Rachel Summers, however, is not one to enjoy the company of many students. They're loud, full of chaos, and their thoughts and emotions are so completely rampant, it's difficult to tell where their thoughts begin, and hers ends. Especially when she's desiring to find a nice, quiet spot for meditation and try out Illyana and her idea.

Yet, the red-head has to pause a bit as she begins to head past the rec-room of the Mansion. In the doorway, Rachel idly leans against the frame, a wry smile on her features as she watches the big Russian and the students go at some kind of racing game on some kind of console…device…thing.

When Piotr offers his threat of danger room revenge, Rachel ponders just moving on - but instead she simply can't help but draw towards the beverages, reaching up to pluck out a container of coffee and helpfully handing it to Piotr. She speaks in Russian, her accent isn't anything great, but she does, at the very least, know the words correctly. "One of these days, they're going to learn Russian, Piotr, you do know that, right?"

*

It's not surprising that someone is also trying to access the cabinet, but Pete just assumes it's a student pushing past him for something. When he notices the coffee being taken, he finally turns and sees Rachel. He grins and is about to speak when she surprises him in Russian. He laughs and says "«I have seen their report cards. Most can barely manage English»" It is only after he replies that he thinks to inquire about her use of the language "I did not realize you spoke Russian. Or was that some telepathic translation …" Here he waves at his head as if to indicate some power stunt or magic thing.

Taking the coffee he starts to get it going changing tracks of the conversation with "Actually, Rachel. If you are free for a few moments. Perhaps we could talk? I have been meaning to grab you." He does a small cough and clearing of his throat here as if unhappy with his choice of words and is quick to move on quickly with. "To discuss some things?" He keeps it vague here out loud as there are so many people about but mentally can't help but fill in ((Illyana, mostly.))

*

"It depends on your definition of telepathic translation." Rachel begins, leaning idly against the back of a cabinet, arms crossing over her chest as she waits for the coffee to begin its aromatic therapy. "I learned through my telepathy." Rachel's hands unfurl from her chest to idly tap her head. "But it isn't me mucking about with your perception, not this time anyway. I'd have a better accent if that were the case."

Rachel's smile begins to wane ever so slightly, a more professional attitude taking its place as Piotr begins to speak. The 'grab you', part is met with a quirk of her brows, though it's the final words that causes all friendliness to fade from Rachel's features.

A guarded expression replaces it, as Rachel's tone grows far more neutral and emotionless. "Yes. Of course." She begins, though the mental thought directed at her is returned with her own question, «Illyana..?» Rachel isn't one to gossip about her friends, especially when she has so few. So the red-head is very, very, on guard right now. "How about a cup of coffee in a hot mug and a walk through the grounds. It's quiet, you can hear yourself think.." (As the chaos around the two continue as students talk, chatter, and play games.)

*

Laughing at her joke about the accent, Piotr is quick to assure her "No, it was very good. Especially for American." He nods up and lets out a soft 'aah' at the part about learning via telepathy. "Da. I believe I knew that was possible." And as a follow up he mentally projects ((I am not worried about you in my head.)) More to reassure her that he wasn't trying to accuse her of anything strange or weird.

As the smile falls from his face, his own face tightens a bit. He is sad to leave the light and fun banter, but he is a man on a mission in this case. He nods and pours some coffee into two waiting mugs and hands her one. "I would like that very much, if it is not too much to ask." He smiles again at the end, but it's not the light and playful one from earlier. His whole demeanor is now more serious, maybe to match hers or maybe he can't help it with the subject matter.

*

Collecting the mug, Rachel mutely inclines her head. The seriousness of the topic that is about to come does not miss her. Has something occurred recently? Or is this something else entirely? Well, the only way to find out…

A few minutes of quiet silence later, and Rachel's got a nice wool coat on, gloves, and even a a knitted scarf that is wrapped a couple times about her neck, draping down her coat.

The crunch of snow beneath her boots is almost a welcome sound, as is the silence that follows a snowy afternoon. Rachel might almost prefer the silence to what might be asked of her, but considering her curiosity is winning out. The red-head offers a quiet, "What's on your mind, Piotr? What question do you have of me, about Illyana, that you can't talk to her about it?" The question is, again, slightly guarded, but important for Rachel to get across. Her green eyes glance up at the tall Russian as she asks, expression still guarded, neutral, and heavily masked.

*

In lieu of finding his jacket and winter gear, Piotr opts for the slightly easier if a little more showy shift into his steel form. Sure, he enjoys the hot coffee a bit less, but it's a heck of a lot more comfortable in the cold. He walks out in the cold, careful to hold the door for Rachel. Of course in his steel form, he has to scrunch to make it through the doorway, but he's well practiced by now.

He doesn't break the silence either, taking in the cold air and just enjoying it at least briefly. He is glad that at last she prompts him though. "You know how much I love my little sister." Yes, it's a known fact but it's important for Pete to preface any discussion with it. Both for whoever he's talking to and for himself. "I do not relish talking about her, but she will not talk to me about much. I have seen that you are close. And truly, I am so glad."

He takes a sip of the coffee even though he can barely taste or register it's warmth in this form. "Is she okay Rachel? I fear that she would not tell me, even if something were wrong. She tries to hide it from me."

*

Is she okay? A worried brother seeking confirmation about his sister, and Rachel really doesn't have a good answer for that. No. No one is actually 'okay', not until this threat of the bear is taken care of, not until some manner of revenge is also taken. NOT that the red-head offers that bit of insight. No. She, instead, quietly ponders the question and how best to answer it. A slightly more softened expression replaces the neutral, guarded one of before.

A slight sip of the coffee is taken, and Rachel turns her expression from the neck craning glance up at the Steel Man, to the forest and grounds. She takes a few more steps, a slow walk as she talks. "Illyana is a guarded person, someone who doesn't like to get touchy-feely, as you know. And, yes, we are friends. In fact, Pete. I'd consider her the closest friend I have on the team." Kitty use to take that place, but Rachel hasn't spoken to her in a long time now.

And Rachel's doing a really good job of hiding the obvious answer, by deflecting it. Yet, she realizes her deflection is only going to go so far. "As far as if she is okay? Yes." And of that, Rachel stops in her walking, to turn and once again crane her neck upwards to gaze up at the Steel Giant. "Yes. Illyana is okay, what brought this on? What fears do you have that she might not be?"

*

Watching Rachel closely as she processes the question, Pete tries to look as open as possible. He wants an honest answer and understands how fraught the line he's asking her to walk is. It's her closest friend and she may have shared things in confidence. He nods as she describes both his sister and their relationship. "Da. Again, I am glad she has someone. Even if she can not talk to me about as much as I would like. I am glad she has someone." He realizes that sounds a little too vague and general so he clarifies. "I am glad she has you. I know your past. I think it is good for both of you, nyet?"

When she confirms and asks him about his reasons. He stops walking and sighs. "Her sword. She did something with it, when the bear came and she went into the shadow … place. She left her sword for me to find." He realizes that this may or may not make sense. He tries to read her reaction to see if Illyana talked about this, but he's assuming not. She was shaken up enough just telling Piotr about it, and like Rachel said, Illyana is not one for over-sharing.

"I was able to pick it up. While she was gone. I didn't know what that meant. I think she wanted me to follow, but I misunderstood." He sighs, mentally beating himself up for not being quicker on the up take. His sister actually left him an opening to help her and he missed it. That stings.

*

Quietly, Rachel stands and listens to everything that Piotr has to say, his worries, his reasoning for his fretting, and it all boils down to a situation that Rachel, actually, does know about. She knows a great deal about this situation, as Illyana and her have spoken about it in great detail. What they might do, the next time something like this happens. What might happen. How they can fight it. How they might be able to stop it. To - in a sense, destroy the demonic entity that has caused so much chaos and terror.

Yet, Rachel has to pause before she speaks, her head turning back around, avoiding Piotr's gaze a moment. How much can she tell him, without breaking Illyana's trust, as she did with Black Eagle?

In silence, Rachel resumes her walking, gloved fingers stuffing into the pocket of her jacket. "I can understand your fears. Seeing her soulsword there, not understanding how you might be able to pick it up, nor comprehend what it meant." Deflection, again, though Rachel is making a point, her green gems gazing ahead of her, voice low - just enough to carry.

"When Illyana and I had our first encounter with the demon bear, Illyana was sucked into its shadow realm, and I was too. While there, she was unable to teleport out, the bear wasn't allowing her to do so. I blew up, it was the only way out, and it was the most difficult struggle that I have ever had. I used every ounce of power that I had, all my anger and rage, and pain, and pulled at the very depths of my very core to do this. To pull Illyana and I out, I don't know if I could do it again." Rachel clears her throat, not liking to admit that part, then continuing.

"Afterwards, Illyana and I have discussed many times the different ways we might be able to circumvent the demon bear. She felt that an anchor left in the real world would be her beacon out. Her way to break free, incase the demon bear was able to prevent her teleportation again." Rachel's gaze lifts upwards, once again eyeing Piotr. "Hey, I know it looked scary, but Illyana knew exactly what she was doing, she didn't want you to follow, you were her way home. You were her savior, the person that she knew would be there helping her. Look at it this way. Her soulsword, it's kind of like your hand on her soul, the only source she'd trust to have there. Not that she'd ever be that dramatic, Pete-y, but there you have it. You're a hero, big guy. To many. So, if that's what has you worried, don't. Illyana knew what she was doing, and saved herself and my father because of it."

*

Allowing Rachel to set the pace, he resumes walking as well. He considers what she tells him about their first encounter. He knows that this bear has put many people through the wringer. He knows that far more than Illyana have been hurt and damaged by it, and he feels a twinge of guilt for not first asking her about herself. He sighs and says "I am sorry Rachel. I should have asked you first. Are you okay? That was thoughtless of me."

He nods and is thankful to hear more details about the sword and that there was a plan, that included Rachel. It's encouraging to him that Illyana is at least opening up to someone. It doesn't have to be him, and he realizes in many ways it can't be him, but he's relieved that at least she is talking.

He grumbles in a light-hearted way "Well at least someone knows. She could have thought to tell me this." He makes eye contact to at least make sure this time his joking is understood. "Thank you. I know I am being a worried 'old woman' as I believe your father put it."

*

A shake of her head, and Rachel takes a sip of coffee, the slightly wry twist of her lips replacing the expression she wore earlier. "Hey, don't worry about me, then you really would be an 'old woman'." She teases, one bright emerald gem winking at Piotr, happy to get back to the quiet banter of before.

"And hey, you have every right, as a big brother, to worry." She states, Rachel's voice returns to the quiet tone of before, trying to be a good friend - well, to both right now. "So I hoped I helped a little in assuaging your fears." Rachel isn't her mom, by any means, but when it comes to something she knows about, she's not unwilling to offer some manner of comfort.

Pausing in her steps, Rachel turns to face Piotr directly, "Anything else?"

*

Smiling broadly with big gleaming metal teeth he accepts teasing. Piotr offers a soft laugh and says "I always worry about our family. I am unstoppable juggernaut of caring." Well at least that's a bit more manly than being a worrying old babushka at any rate.

"I admit I worry less about Illyana because of you. The other she is close with here, I am … less sure of." Here he's obliquely referring to Nate. Like a good old brother he doesn't trust boys around his sister, especially one who so far appears to be a bit hot headed. He keeps names out of it for now, at least out loud.

When Rachel asks if there is anything else his eyebrows raise as if surprised by the question. He tries to recover a jovial air or at least a neutral one, but a small nervous 'heh' gives him away. Having stopped and turned to face her he decides to at least give it a shot. Taking a moment to turn back to human, despite the cold, it still feels like the proper thing to do.

"Actually. Da. Would you like to get dinner or uhm a drink with me sometime? Just the two of us?" He has at least been toying with the idea since their initial shopping outing. And Illyana's initial efforts to squash it, have only made it more of a thing in his mind.

*

"Piotr Rasputin." Rachel states with a wry grin. "Are you asking me out on a date?" The question is met with mirth and merriment. She waits a long time to answer, her expression a quiet bemused state by this entire thing. Especially the fact he is no longer the steel giant to ask her this. Also, because he isn't the steel giant, it's got to be getting a bit cold - even for a Russian. And Rachel's just a little mean spirited to make him squirm. Finally, she does answer. "Yeah. I'd like that." A seriousness once more spreads over her expression, though as she rises up into the air. "It's been a nice conversation, Piotr. Even if most of it has been about your sister. I should get going, get done what I need to do - before Christmas at least." Like meditating and finding out if Rachel can identify a soulless person that Illyana and her can skewer with Illyana's soulsword. NOT that Rachel states this, but it's in her thoughts as she offers a cheeky wave, and takes off into the sky.

*

Piotr confirms with a nod and a soft "Da. I am" to her question, knowing full well that his shift to human form has left little doubt about his intention. If he was asking to grab a bite to eat, that little bit would have hardly been necessary. His smile grows as she makes him wait it out. She doesn't seem to be awkwardly searching for a way to turn him down after all.

"It is a date then."

Smiling after her as she takes off into the sky he takes a sip of his coffee. Now he can feel the actual warmth and taste it after all. And oddly he doesn't feel the need to shift back into his steel form for his walk back. He takes his time, despite the unnatural cold weather. After all what some consider a bitter demonic cold front, Piotr grew up thinking of such things as normal. That and he is feeling pretty good about himself just about now and that seems to keep him plenty warm.

*

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