Can Be Worse

January 29, 2018:

Clarice, Rahne and Lorna chill out and chat at the mansion.

X-mansion

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Marcos, Scott

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The cold weather has been a bear this winter, but Clarice Ferguson has always found it more novel than anything. Growing up first in the Bahamas and then in mostly Florida has meant that even in the fourish years she's lived at the Institute, Winter has always been the most fascinating of the seasons. Not her favorite; that is still Spring, but the one she finds the most novel.
Thus why she finds herself out on the front yard doing some target practice this morning, despite the bitter windchill whipping through. She of course is bundled up, a witner coat zipped up so that only her bright green eyes are visible, as well as her long braid out one side of the hood of the jacket.

Across from her, her target: a stack of cans on a wood plank, perfectly stacked in a tall vertical tower. In her hand, she holds a pink dart, which expertly twirls between her fingers, taking deep breathes, fighting against the sensation of oncoming frostbite starting to nip at her fingers tips, wondering if this was such a smart idea. But then she reminds herself that she opted into being part of a para-military freedom fighting organization that also houses walking WMDs with raging hormones. The time for "wise choices" has long passed.

*

The cold weather is of little concern for Wolfsbane, but that's the way it goes when you have the benefit of a literal fur coat. It may be odd for some to see it on the mansion's grounds, but she occasionally enjoys roaming in wolf form. Patrolling, perhaps? Or, just letting her senses take in everything that's out there? Snow can be found in one place or another, some of it deeper than others if it's been piled up or blown into drifts, but the main paths are clear. She leaves a trail of paw prints behind her as she goes, stopping occasionally to snuffle at something of interest as she comes into range of being able to see Clarice practicing. She offers a yip of sorts, meant to be a greeting.

*

Lorna was bundled up as if she was going to be hiking around in the artic. She shivered, shoved her hands into her pockets and and as she spotted Clarice, made her way over with a crunch of snow underfoot. She was used to Genosha's tropical climates these days, and given how much she was going back and forth these days, it was amazing she wasn't ill from the rapid changes.

Still, she made her way over, grinning over at Rahne in her wolf form. "Hey. Either of you seen Scott around? I was looking for him.."

*

Clarice looks over at the sound of the yip from afar, nodding her head. "Heya Rahne," she said, having long ago gotten over the kneejerk reaction of bristling at the sight of a wolf wandering the grounds of the mansion. Still, she does double-take on occasion, but only for a moment. She stops twirling as she flinges her dart forward. The first targets the bottom can rather than the top; after all, what's the challenge there? Once it connects (because of course it does), she then flings the other two darts at the remain cans as they enter free-fall.

She smiles widely as all the darts hit their mark, and the cans re-appear at her feet, just as she expected. She can't help but do a little triumphant jump, fist pumping in the air. A first successful towerfall three-way! She actually does a little dance before she notices the bundled up newcomer approach the mansion, straightening up as to not be quite so…jubilant.

When she hears the voices from the bundle of coats she relaxes some, before canting her head to one side. "Not sure where he is, to be honest," she says before glancing towards Rahne to see if she's seen the old Fearless Leader around before looking back towards Lorna. She gestures towards the mansion proper. "Want to step inside, my hands are starting to kill me," she says, reflexively shoving them into her pockets. Her short burst of celebration over, she is more aware of the effect the chill is having on her digits.

*

Wolfsbane finishes padding her way closer, needing to take a few almost prancing-like steps through a deeper pile of snow. She pauses to watch Blink's display, a little showing off, and there's a chuff out of her. It's not as if nobody else here has ever done something like that with their powers. There was that one time for her with a frisbee…

Sniffing in Lorna's direction, she's got the woman's scent even before the question is asked, and in a notably human-like response the wolf's head moves back and forth to signify a 'no,' a snort following. Clarice's desire to get back inside leads to her making a move in that direction. As she goes, they can see her shape changing, flowing back into the midform they've become familiar with, her costume seeming to magically reappear - it'd been a subtle collar before that - into the somewhat recent update she'd made. "I dinna mind th' cold, but inside is fine. I had a good run."

*

Lorna sighed, shoving her green hair back beneath the knit cap she wore at the negative from both of them. "Ugh. Oh well.." She wrinkled her nose and glanced down the way at what Clarice had been doing and smiled faintly. Still, it warmed into a grin at the mention of going inside, she breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh my god, yes. Please. It's freezing out here. Genosha is warm and I never realized how thankful I am for that with this cold." She made her way in a beeline for the mansion then. Her feet gliding smoothly over the top of the snow as she levitated her way up and off the frozen snow.

Green eyes flickered back toward the other two and as the door swung open at her gesture, she stepped inside, already peeling off her mittens, hat and jacket. "It's been a while since I saw you last Clairce, how are you?"

*

Blink for her part walks back inside; despite having a ready-made fast-travel option. She glances towards Rahne as she shifts into her mid-form and nods her head. "Yes, well not all of us are made for tracking in the snow." She raises her hands from her pockets for only a moment. "No fur," she reminds before steppping in side, pulling her hood back to allowing her long hair to fall more freely, as well as expose her bright lavender. "And the same, little Miss Jet Set. Still mean to plan a trip to Genosha some time, sounds not too different from home," she says, slightly wistfully. She then cants her head to one side again. "Why are you looking for Mr. Summ-I mean Scott." She smiles sheepishly. "Sorry, old habits die hard."

*

The leathery costume Wolfsbane's in is definitely not the sort of thing she'd have been caught dead in when she was younger, but..she isn't younger any more. She's reached adulthood, legally if nothing else, and when she was back home in Scotland something about the outfit just called to her. It seemed..adventurous. Plus, its colors draw comparisons to the woods, to nature, greens, browns, and some black.

"Ye have tae bundle up for th' cold, but Genosha's far too warm an' humid for me even without all this," she explains, gesturing to the fur along a forearm, thicker there than other places. "But I grew up in a place where I was used tae it being more on th' chilly side." As they enter, she leaves a few wet footprints behind her, but they're actual feet this time instead of paws. "As for Scott, have ye checked th' Danger Room lately? Th' offices?" A moment later, she adds, "Ye're looking well, Clarice. An' are ye feeling better after th' other day, Lorna?"

*

Lorna grimaced faintly as she hung up her coat on a hook for them, and kicked off her boots. She rubbed the back of her head, heaving a sigh. "Erm.. well, he wanted to take me to see Moira Mactaggert.. There's some worry about uh.." She pressed a hand to her lower abdomen and glanced toward Clarice. Gossip travelled fast in this house, but she wasn't sure how long Clarice had been back around the mansion to hear it.

"Well, my powers have been a little.. off. And he wants to make sure I get checked out.. It's not that much of an issue in Genosha.. but yeah." She grimaced, "And I checked upstairs, ran into Alex.. that was awkward."

*

Clarice gets a look at Rahne's new duds more closely and nods her approval. "Digging the new look," she says before adding. "And I am still getting used to this weather myself, but I have grown to…appreciate it," she muses before turning back towards Lorna, brow-furrowing. She mention of her powers being haywire is enough to be concerned; a whole slew of things that could mean, and very few of them are good, especially when you're basically the Mistress of Magnetism. And with the added concerns…Blink shakes her head. "Yeah, sorry, no idea. If I see him, well definitely let you know you are looking for him." Hey eyes shift then as she digs into her own pockets. "Actually, I have something that might be up your alley as well, since you're here…"

*

Wolfsbane's expression brightens at the mention of Moira. "Och, ye could do far worse than having Lady Moira look a' ye. She's an expert in mutants an' genetics, ye know. I've even learned a few things from her, believe it or no'." Safe to say she trusts Moira's ability to help, or at least diagnose things. There's a sympathetic grimace at the mention of Alex, but nothing said to it.

"Thank ye," she says to Clarice. "It's no' whit ye'd think I'd wear, but I guess I was feeling bold one day an' I think it works just fine this way.." The fur is there one moment, then all wolfen traces fade away. Footwear even shows up over her feet. Aren't Unstable Molecules great? "..or this way," Rahne finishes. "Though in th' cold, even I'd probably rather have long sleeves wi' this."

*

Lorna arched a green eyebrow upwards as she made her way into the living room to plop down on an available bit of sofa. "It's been colder than usual and that's more than I want to deal with. At least in Genosha I don't freeze if I step outside. Just you know, have to deal with an active war-zone." She teased, and leaned back against the couch. She wore a black sweater, pair of battered jeans and fuzzy socks. So looked vaguely punkish compared to what she used to wear in high school as well.

"What do you have up my alley?" She blinked at Clarice before her attention was snagged by Rahne and she grinned.

"Well, glad you think Moira Mactaggart is a good person to poke and prod and run tests on me and the parasite. I sorta walked out on Scott when he proposed it. I mean.. he wanted to use the Blackbird. And with me and my powers not behaving?" She arched a brow and held up her hands, a flicker of green static snapping at her finger tips and fading. Her gaze shifted to glance back at Rahne again and she grinned.

"It looks good."

*

Clarice is engrossed in a moment accessing something on her phone, but does look up at Rahne enough to nod her head. "Versatile for sure. And love the color, though I will be silently assuming I was an inspiration. Never been a trend-setter before," she teases before her face turns more stern, serious.

She shifts, sitting next to Lorna and sharing her phone screen. On it is an app that seems to be some sort of note-pad function, which features several notes that have been copy-pasted into it to create a series of related notes, as well as a few screen grabs. "So I set up some dummy accounts on NxtDoor, an app that is hyper-specific neighborhood social media, for Mutant Town. For the most of the time, it has been pretty normal, but noticed a series of reports about some flare-ups that share some patterns. No police reports, of course," she grumbles. The police are notorious for ignoring even potentially reported incidents in Mutant Town. "No mass media coverage either, so might be nothing. But…don't know, might be something you or someone like you would want to look into."

The incidents described in the book mainly refer to loud 'cannon blasts' being heard, as well as some damage to some of the tenement buildings in the area. No fatalities yet, but some serious damage is shown in some of the pictures.

*

"Regular doctors would poke an' prod a' ye, as well," Rahne points out for Lorna's benefit, a helpful smile coming and going before the fur is brought back, her demonstration of the costume's adaptability over for now. She looks thrown for a moment or two at the mention of a parasite, opening and closing her mouth before a soft, 'Oh' surfaces. "We do have a couple other ways o' getting tae Muir Island." She gestures toward Clarice, for starters. "If ye can teleport tha' far? Have ye worked oot yuir limits yet?" At least she acknowledged, if indirectly, that Illyana could be another option.

Curiosity leads to her peering more closely at the phone's display. "Whit do ye think it is? Tha' looks rather bad tae me, all tha' damage." Does the trouble ever end?

*

Lorna leaned over to peer at the phone, a frown marring her expression, her eyebrows furrowing as she watched whatever it was that Clarice was bringing up on her phone. Given how badly her powers had been fluctuating eletronics were not on the list of things she kept with her. Or credit cards. Being a magnet sucked sometimes.

Still, the events in mutant town had her frowning, "Mutant Town is already having a hard time with the cold. Several parts of the city have been frozen solid and without power. I'll talk to .. uhm.. a few people. See what they've heard." She had contacts, they were.. the Brotherhood these days, through her half-siblings.. but they had ties to Mutant Town. Besides Jamie, of course, she would have to get something passed along.

A glance was spared toward Rahne and Lorna rolled her eyes. "Yes, yes, I know.. But note, I haven't gone to a regular doctor either. It creeps me out. Okay? Something is up, and I barely put up with Nurse Annie." Her gaze flickered toward Clarice and she grinned. "Yeah, can you get me to Muir Island? Scott apparently thinks Illyana's portals might be unhealthy for me to use excessively. Something something Limbo, and the unborn.."

*

Blink slides through the pictures for a few more minutes, nodding her head. "If you could, that would be great. I have half a mind to investigate myself, but having someone who might know the area better than I would put my mind at ease a bit," she admits, frowning slightly. Inwardly, she beats herself up for not spending more time in Mutant Town, as she realizes it is probably something that would deepen her appreciation for the need of the continuing fight for Mutant Rights. But Xavier's makes a very nice ivory tower…

Shaking off that self-loathing, she blinks (no pun intended) as she sees both Lorna and Rahne looking at her expectantly. It takes her a moment to realize the question before smiling softly. "Funny you should ask, some time spent in Muir Island is why I know how far I can teleport in the first place. Which is to say, I can certainly get you there, harder to get you back unless I go with you. Though I suppose you could text me, and I could come by, though with international rates. But you must have a traveler plan, so that shouldn't…" She stops, realizing she's rambling before smiling and simply saying, "Yes, I can get you there."

*

A chill runs down Wolfsbane's spine, and it has nothing to do with the weather outside. It comes just as Limbo is being brought up. "Tha's another good reason I'm staying away from Genosha," she mumbles, a hand rubbing at one of her arms for a few seconds. "But Lorna, look a' it this way. Maybe it's less for yuir health an' well-being - though it is o' course - an' more about yuir baby's. If Clarice can.."

And, she evidently can. "Och, noo tha' I think about it, I did see ye over there a wee bit. See? Ye dinna even have tae bother wi' Limbo or planes. Tha' means there are nae hangups." No excuses, now! Any extended commentary by Clarice is left untouched upon out of politeness, just a brief smile showing up. "An' we'll have tae see whit's going on in Mutant Town."

*

Lorna shrugged lightly, "I'll see what people know about it. Can't hurt. At the very least, it'll give Jamie something to do. I mean, besides playing private eye and spying on cheating spouses." She drawled, and sighed lightly in thought. "We'll figure it out. Or at least, someone will. Dunno how much of use I can be right now.." She grumbled, and crossed her arms.

Still as Clarice mentioned being able to get Lorna to Muir Island, she grinned. "Ha. Perfect. Thanks Clarice. Scott can get over the Blackbird then. That solves that problem." She grinned, "And you should totally swing by Genosha sometime. It's much, much better weather wise."

Her attention shifted back toward Rahen as the woman out and out mentioned the baby and she grimaced, her nose wrinkling faintly. "Illyana would've said something if there were health risks for me taking the portal here and back. I mean, she would know those things. It's her dimension. Right?" She arched a green eyebrow upwards and bit back another sigh.

*

Clarice feels herself biting her lip a bit, feeling slightly out of her league; the nature of Illyana's teleportation, to say nothing of Kurt's or any of the other cross-dimensional travel, always left her at a loss, and mostly grateful her portals seemed safe and simply…well, mostly. There was that one dog toy.

She nods her head towards Lorna as she stands. "Just let me know when you want to go, and I'll be your private travel service. And I'll let you know what we find out about the Mutant Town reports. You keep yourself focused on your own project," she says with a nod, randomly stretching, standing on tip-toes, craning her neck side to side.

*

"I dunno," is all Wolfsbane can say about Illyana being open and honest about any risks related to going through Limbo. She's biased, after all. She grows quiet and seemingly introspective, her expression briefly distant before she refocuses on the others. "Lady Moira will take good care o' ye, Lorna. I trust her an' she'll be honest wi' ye as well. It's whit ye'd want, aye?"

*

Lorna glanced up at Clarice as the woman stood, and Lorna tilted her head back, not entirely up to leaving the softness nor warmth of the couch. "I'd say lets go now.. but uh.. Marcos wanted to come with me. Considering this is all his fault.." She muttered and sighed, looking down at her stomach with a faint scowl.

A glance was spared toward Rahne and Lorna cracked a faint smile.

"I need someone that can tell me if its this kid that's messing with my powers, or something else and then getting it stablized. I do not want to deal with months of unstable powers.." She muttered, and pursed her lips together.

"Can't say I really know Moira all that much, Rahne. How much poking and tests am I going to have to put up with, you think?"

*

Clarice simply nods at Lorna's words, offering a slight salute. "Well Air Ferguson is open all the time, and the rates are so low!" She giggles a bit at her own joke before clearing her throat. "But in all seriousness, you know where to find me. Whenever you are ready to go, just give me a shout and I'll be ready."

*

"Maybe ye should get a flight attendant's ootfit, Clarice," Wolfsbane suggests. She made a funny! It passes quickly as she reacts to Lorna talking about the baby thing being Marcos' fault. "Are ye saying he..he r..ye know..ye?" She can't say the r-word, but she looks pretty concerned by the possibility of it being that. Yes, she's still very naive at times, slow to pick up on the obvious.

Either way, she adds, "She'll run more tests on ye than ye thought possible, but by th' time it's over ye'll probably know more about yuirself than ye ever have before, both good an' bad." This, apparently, is a thing she can speak to from experience. "An' if there's something tae find oot about yuir baby, she'll find it."

*

Lorna grinned at Clarice, "Sure.. I'll do that." She glanced back at Rahne as the woman seemed to stumble over her words and she blinked, her brows furrowing.

"Marcos and I are engaged. I was making a joke, Rahne. Though he's the one that's actually excited.. I could do without the whole baby thing in all honesty.." She heaved a sigh. "But it is what it is. So I'll rib him and give him a hard time every moment that I can. I'm gonna be the one doing all the hard work, after all." She grinned weakly, again and folded her hands on her still flat stomach.

Still, the mention of tests made her smile fade as she shifted uncomfortably on the couch. She hated the thought of it all, and she wrinkled her nose.

*

"That's what significant others are for, to be the butt of your most biting humor," Clarice offers. "Or at least that's what folks tell me." Cue sad-me face, which is quickly wiped away. "Anyway, have some more target practice to get to, so until you're ready to go. Good to see your Lorna, you should come by more often." Then, a slight wave to Rahne. "'Ta," she offers, in her own pitiful Scottish accent, before disappearing in her trademark flash of light.

*

Wolfsbane's never had a truly significant other to learn about these things with. Someday, perhaps. "Oh…/oh./ Sorry, I'm a wee bit slow sometimes," she answers with clear and present relief in her features, even going so far as to wipe at her brow with the back of a hand. She reaches out to gently touch an arm of Lorna's. "I'll call Lady Moira an' tell her to go gentle on ye if it helps," she says with a smile, failing to see how that might not be the most reassuring thing to offer in the first place. "It'll be good tae know whit's going on, though."

She returns Clarice's wave before she goes. "I'll see ye around." One of the best things about Blink's teleports? No foul odor left behind like Nightcrawler's. No Limbo, either.

*

Lorna offered Clarice a two-fingered salute as the woman excused herself. "Will do. Have fun hitting your targets." She drawled, and settled back against the couch.

Even as she watched wolf-mutant beside her sigh with relief and pat her arm. She blinked, and arched a brow at the phrasing but otherwise, shrugged. "It's cool. Don't worry about it. And yeah.. might as well give her a phone call and give her a heads up. Tell her to hide the flatware and her favored electronics if my powers go wonky." She joked lightly and closed her eyes as she grabbed a throw pillow.

"I need to take a nap. If you find Scott, pester me, yeah?"

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