HoM: We Are Doing Something Wrong

February 24, 2018:

Saturday Morning in HoM Genosha. Illyana goes to tempt Nate to be lazy. Because nothing interesting ever happens in Genosha.

Nate's studio. HoM Hammer Bay

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Rachel Summers

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Illyana missed dinner.

Illyana missed dinner by a mile.

As it happened, the comm-call that made her run out on Nate and Rachel wasn't from the science division wanting to run more tests on the mysterious sword that's somehow tied to Cadet Rasputin. It was an operational order. SHIELD Command had time-critical intelligence relating to militant humans planning a coordinated strike, and they needed a teleporter with global reach who could reliably insert multiple teams in quick succession.

That kept Illyana busy for most of the evening, and when she was eventually stood down, then the science division got their crack at her. She had a late night of her own, but with none of the fun she assumes that Rachel and Nate had. Her reward? She's on stand-down for the next thirty-six hours, barring emergencies.

All of which is a lengthy explanation for why she's standing outside Nate's apartment, her usual SHIELD uniform discarded in favor of a lightweight, off-white hoodie, a short denim skirt and boots, raising a hand to knock. Normally she'd teleport in, but if Nate did have a late night she might not want to see the results.


Illyana sanity is safe. Nate did take Rachel for dinner to one of the best restaurants in Genosha, but instead of clubbing he spent like three hours listening to the British Royal Family and Rachel's super-heroic exploits of the last six months. Man, his life is kind of boring. He had little to tell Rachel in exchange. Hammer Bay might be the capital of the world, but it is a safe, orderly city. No super-villains dare to prowl under Magneto's shadow.

Oh, there are alien embassies and big, important parties. But Nate has seen few aliens close up, and despite his exalted state as one of the rare omega class mutants, he doesn't get invited to the palace functions often. He is not even twenty, after all.

There were drinks, but none of the Summers got really drunk. And Rachel left at eleven claiming jetlag. Nate expects she hit the clubs without a little brother cramping her style. He would have done the same.

So by the time Illyana arrives, Nate has been awake for a couple hours. He went running before the heat got too bad, had a shower and checked the homework due for the days he missed of class. He was looking for an excuse not to get it started when Illyana knocks at the door. Perfect.

So he is smiling happily when the door opens. "Hey there, Illy. Hmm, you look a little tired, busy night?"


Illyana tucks her hands into the pockets of her zip-up hoodie while she waits for the door to open, listening intently for any sign of life on the other side. She's expecting stumbling steps, maybe even the sound of something being knocked to the floor or tripped over by the progress of a half-asleep Nate, perhaps accompanied by some vague and incoherent cursing.

When she doesn't hear anything of the sort, she frowns, and that's the expression she's wearing when Nate opens the door. Looking up, a little surprised by how quickly the door does open, Illyana looks a bit disappointed before a rueful smile arrives. "You don't. Which I think means we're both doing something wrong. I stayed up doing nothing fun at all and you came home and went to bed?" She makes the assumption sound like a question, and leans to one side so that she can peer around him.

Catching sight of the signs of actual study in progress on the table, Illyana looks up at him again, tilting her head to one side. "Going to come out with me or invite me in?" She smirks. "Or are you trying to be good while Ray's here, and I should go away and let you study?"


So many questions. Why is Illyana assuming he would have partied until six am and maybe brought a girl to his apart… okay, because that would have been a normal Friday for him. But he was not feeling himself. Which has been going all the week.

"Yes. Come in, or get me out, either works. Do both. You know I can't deceive Ray anymore, she is on me. And hell, no. Stay." He responds in order, turns back and goes to get a mug of coffee for Illyana. "She asked for you, of course. Some very personal questions. Like if we are getting serious or what and all that." It has been going for years. "But I admit even that part was much more fun that with my parents," he rolls his eyes. "Mom wants grandchildren. Well, she was probably joking, but for fucks sake." He smirks back to the blonde. "So what did you do, farmgirl? Or is all top secret?"


Illyana takes a half step forward at come in, then pauses when Nate changes his mind, and then expresses no preference. By the time he's settled on doing both, Illyana's leaning up against the doorframe, her arms folded, looking faintly exasperated. "Being in and out at the same time only works if we keep talking in this doorway, Nate…" She points out, so helpfully, and then shakes her head at his back as he turns away to get coffee. "You're sure this time?" She raises her voice a little to call after him, amusement at his indecision clear in her tone. "You don't want to call someone for a second opinion?" Laughing quietly to herself, Illyana steps inside and closes the door behind her.

Taking a moment to slip out of her boots - and this time put them somewhere more considerate than right in the path of the door - Illyana pads after Nate towards the kitchen area, finding a clear - and clean - spot to boost herself up on, crossing her dangling legs at the ankle. Accepting the coffee, Illyana blows on the surface of the hot liquid, then makes a face, eyes flicking up to meet Nate's. "Ray should know better. I think she was just fishing for a reaction from you." Illyana snorts when 'grandchildren' are mentioned. "Don't get any ideas, Nate." She says, sourly. The assumption that just because they've been friends forever they MUST be an item can get wearing. Illyana almost says something about how, since Nate's parents' marriage didn't last, maybe they shouldn't be pushing him, but she doesn't. The sudden urge to find a knife to twist was strong for a moment, and didn't feel like her at all. Maybe she's more tired than she thought. She stares into her coffee as if it might hold the answers, then looks up with a start when she realizes Nate is questioning her.

"I got used as a taxi service. Apparently I'm cheaper than jet fuel." She says, sourly, then realises how that could be taken. "Not a word." She says, wagging a finger at Nate, but she's smiling all the same. "After that, it was more scans of me, that sword, me and that sword, and no-one will tell me why they're interested." She shrugs. "I've had more fun evenings. How about you? Other than talking about me, what did you and Ray get up to?"


Nate could say they have been more than friends, but he won't, because that would mean talking about feelings and stuff. Since he can't even figure them out, and he is sure Illyana even less than him.

They are too young anyway. Safer to pretend being bbf and nothing else.

"Told you it would happen if you joined SHIELD," reminds her Nate. He reminds her every two weeks or so. Yes, he has to bite his tongue about the cheap thing. Such an opening!

"It was good. Food was good, and I got to hear a lot of Rachel's crazy stories. I won't spoil them for you because Ray would kill me," he explains. "I am sure she will call you today to hang out. But I bet she is still sleeping. Terrible jet lag, I am sure," and not spending all the night clubbing, no. Which is what Nate would have done any other weekend. "So, what do you want to do today?"


Illyana takes a careful sip of her coffee while Nate has a small internal crisis about the boundaries of their relationship. Finding it not quite tongue-scaldingly hot, she takes another sip.

Talking about feelings isn't something that's on her mind, at least where Nate's concerned. If other people find it strange that they're friends - or that she has a set of keys to his apartment that she really doesn't need - that's their problem. As far as she's concerned, he's just Nate, he's always been there, and he always will be. Why make things complicated?

Illyana shoots him a look when he tries to needle her. "And yet, you still want to join up. Explain to me again why you want to work for a living when you don't have to?" The smug look on her face says she thinks she's won this round, and she adds a little extra jab for good measure. "I told the Commandant not to let you enlist until I get my commission. Bossing you around is going to be fun." She might be joking. Then again, her eldest brother Mikhail IS something of a world-renowned hero. It's just possible she might not be joking.

"Ray shouldn't have any jet lag, I brought her over." Illyana remarks, then does some quick maths. "The time difference probably killed her. I'll catch up with her later." She nods decisively, then takes another sip of her rapidly cooling coffee.

"Don't mind." She says, breezily, then quickly puts the lie to that. "I've got the day off, unless they REALLY need me, and I want to see the sun for a change. Let's grab some supplies and get out of town for the day." Honesty compels her to add, "I'll try not to fall asleep in the sun when we stop for lunch." It was a late night for one of them, after all.


Of course Ray has no jet lag. "Tsk. Your sarcasm-sense is failing you, Rasputina," teases Nate. "She didn't go to sleep early. And I am not joining SHIELD for money, anyway. I am joining because I want to go out there. Meet the Kree, go to space, fight monsters and super-criminals. Same reasons you do."

Illyana has Mikhail, he has Rachel. The half-sister from another timeline where the mutants lost the war with the humans. Now a hero.

So it is to make the world better, or for adventure? Maybe a little of each. (Wrong). Wince.

"It is Saturday, hrm," beaches will be too crowded. But only in Genosha. The advantage of having Illyana around is they don't have to stay in Genosha.

"Sun and food? I am sold. Grab your swimsuit. I'll drive you to Carrion Cove for lunch and then we can jump to… somewhere sunny that is not full of people. Maybe the Gold Coast in Australia?" He suggest. Yes, homework can wait.


Illyana reaches over and pokes Nate in the closest bicep. "I'm tired, leave me alone." She complains, and snorts at his ambition. "Hasn't worked out that way for me so far." She says the words, but she can't quite muster the world-weary tone and expression to go with them, because Nate's right.

She has her hero, like he has his. She still wants to live up to that example, and she still thinks she's in the best place to do that.

Even if that means being poked by the science division when she'd rather be out with her friends.

"You're so easy to corrupt, Nate." She tells him with an air of satisfaction as she slips down from the counter. Washing out her mug in the sink, she looks over at him with a grin. "Don't blame me if you fail a test." Because having talked him into it, how could it possibly be her fault? Padding back over to where she left her boots, Illyana tosses back over her shoulder, "I'll meet you at the car. We'll find somewhere." A wave, a familiar flash of light, and she's gone.

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