Gardens at Midnight

July 30, 2018:

Wolfsbane and Nightcrawler cross paths on a midnight walk

Gardens at Xavier's

The well-kept gardens of Xavier's Institute, at the beginning of the hedge maze, on a moonlit night

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: dani

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's one of those typically warm, humid summer nights in New York state. Xavier's is not spared that particular brand of weather, and while there's air conditioning inside, Wolfsbane sometimes shuns it in favor of simply being outside, even if it's not quite as comfortable. At least she has some water with her.

It's the gardens she's gone to this time, mostly dark aside from the lanterns and lamps, and most of all it's peaceful, quiet. Near the cherry blossom trees, which have long since bloomed and matured for the season, she pauses not far from the entrance to the maze.
Kurt Wagner walks peacefully through the gardens, enjoying the serenity of a warm evening. With only moonlight to illuminate, he seems like a living shadow at times, his body blending with the darkness as he walks to and fro, lost in meditation and contemplation, his hands clasped at the small of his back and tail trailing in his wake.

He startles just a moment as he comes across Wolfsbane, the scent of the cherry tree rich and just a little cloying in his nose, "Guten tag, fraulein," he says quietly. "I hope I did not startle you. I am pleased to see I am not the only one who enjoys the peace of nature."
Wolfsbane tenses for a second or two when she becomes aware that someone else is near, picking out a faint touch of sulfur, no doubt from some past teleport..or ten. Up to now, there'd been nobody else she crossed paths with, but the moments of solitude come to an end as she turns around, the 'tail' of her costume fluttering briefly in the process.

"Och, Nightcrawler," the wolfen woman starts out, masking her surprise and perhaps any other reaction by glancing in the direction of the maze. "I didna expect anyone else oot here a' this hour. I felt like a walk, an' I ended up in here." There's a slight sense of guardedness in her. "I hope ye're well?"
Kurt Wagner smiles in his gentle way, a hint of fang showing as he does so. "I am very well indeed, thank you, Rahne. I had thought to find a bit of solitude, but, I admit, I find I am pleased to discover I am not alone. I hope, perhaps, that all is well with you?" he says, a note of concern in his tone as he can feel her guard is up. He doesn't know her well, but he feels a certain kinship to her, his fellow furry mutant.
Of course, Wolfsbane can go human if she wants, and Kurt must use an image inducer to make people see him as normal. Yet, she often stays the way she is, featuring some sort of wolfen qualities. Some have come to believe she prefers it because she sees herself as some combination of human and animal, for better or worse. Others suspect it's a way of protecting herself, putting up a shield in some way.

"Ahh, ye know. It's quiet, no' much tae really say." She almost seems..bored? There's certainly been stuff going on, even if she hasn't been part of any recent missions. For a moment, the spaded tail is focused on, studied.
Nightcrawler tries not to use the image inducer. He believes it's important to be open and to be himself, publicly so. He is an advocate and an activist, after all, in addition to being a hero. He isn't in the least ashamed of who he is or how he looks.

He notices the attention to his tail and flicks it a bit, playfully. "Feeling, perhaps, a bit disconnected? I can understand that. I have been away for some time and, even having returned, have not yet settled into the rhythm of the place. Life moves quickly when you're not looking."

A nod, a slow and silent admission of a sense. "Sometimes I feel a wee bit..aimless, I guess," she confesses, palms out as she goes into a slight shrug, shaking her head. "No' in th' sense o' why I'm here, but a' times I feel on th' ootside, no' really a part o' things." The struggle with lacking a direction or particular motivation can be crippling to some, especially when boredom sets in.

Lips twitch, forming a slight smile when the tail is used to give her something to follow, motion to pick out. "Maybe it's because I go back an' forth a' times between Muir Island an' here." Hands retreat somewhat within the folds of her outfit.

Kurt Wagner can tell that it pleases her and so allows his tail to roam and flick as it sees fit. He tends to have to rein it in a bit, because others find its motion distracting. "Yes, things can grow very intense amongst the X-men. If you're not involved with whatever drama or conflict is happening at the moment, you can lose the sense of cameraderie that comes with working alongside close allies. I suppose it is natural, but nonetheless unfortunate. Sometimes we must find ways to keep ourselves busy."
Being so caught up with a tail might be more of a thing for cats, but that's not to say it doesn't activate some subtle, predatory side in Wolfsbane. She's just not doing anything about it aside from her eyes following it slowly for a few more seconds before she looks back up toward his face. There was a time she recoiled at the very sight of him, thinking him to be a demon from the depths of hell. Apparently not any longer.

"Maybe tha's part o' it. I spent some time wi' Red when it was working oot o' th' city, but tha' broke up an' I've been helping wi' some o' th' newer students here. Once in a while I go oot in th' field, but no' so much lately." One might be restless, given that.

Kurt Wagner always tried to be understanding about that. After all, he did resemble a demon and had believed himself to be one, in some fashion or another, for much of his life, much as it had shamed him. "It can be rewarding to help the young ones especially. But I know it can be frustrating to be left on the sidelines or kept in reserve. I try to make up for it by being active in the community - volunteering in Mutant Town, working with civil rights activists. Trying to make a difference with something other than my fists and my feet. Although there is always a certain thrill that comes with action that can be hard to replace."

Wolfsbane nods once. "I spend a lot o' time in th' woods these days," she remarks, casting a glance toward the treeline away from the buildings. The height of the maze blocks them for the most part, but that's where they are. "I know Mutant Town can be a rough area," the other mutant recalls, a hand appearing again to rub up and down a bicep slowly. "Anyway, I'm no' sure I'm cut oot for th' front lines. I think I can do better trying tae, ye know, be stealthy an' quiet." She gestures with the same hand, like she was trying to find a good way to explain it.

Kurt Wagner smiles softly, "I know that feeling as well. It is easy to be in the infantry when you fire optic blasts or can lift tanks with your mind. Less so when you have to rely on your wits and your fists - or, in your case, claws - to get the job done. We all have our purposes, our place within the structure. But it can be difficult to be idle. Perhaps that is why I spend so much time learning to meditate - it calms me and keeps me focused."

The travels of that hand see it now residing by one of Wolfsbane's ears, the better to rub it with. "Meditate? I'm no' sure I can even clear muh thoughts long enough tae do such a thing." Seems there's always something going on inside that fuzzy noggin of hers. "But I guess if it works for ye', tha' matters th' most. Aye?" Now, she takes to pacing before the mouth of the cave. "Maybe I'm also afraid o' getting badly hurt. I know I can heal faster than others, but things still hurt. Ye can teleport an' do a lot o' acrobatic things. I can turn intae a wolf, but I have tae be fast."

Kurt Wagner nods, "It didn't come easily at first. It took practice and discipline. Which, I know, is hardly an advertisement for fun," he says with a hint of a smile. "But I've found the result quite rewarding. And I can understand not wanting to get hurt. I've been injured a time or two in the heat of battle. It can be traumatizing, with or without a healing ability."

Wolfsbane is not a fan of pain, that's clear. Someone like Wolverine, who would probably run claws-first into the middle of a war - which he likely /has/ - doesn't mind pain, but she's not Wolverine. "If I can be careful an' get th' job done..ye know?" She shrugs again, leaving the thought for Kurt to work out for himself. Then she closes her eyes, simply inhaling the scents around her.

Kurt Wagner nods, "Perhaps I can offer some help with that. I have learned to, as they say, stick and move over the years. Admittedly, my teleportation gift can be a help with that. Perhaps we could learn to work together - I imagine we could be quite potent sneak-attacking others from a sudden manifestation," he says. "Has something harmful happened to you recently? Or someone you care about? Is there anything that's triggered this anxiety?"

"I worry a lot about Dani," Wolfsbane confesses, still looking into the darkness of the maze, where the lanterns don't seem to go. "Th' thing wi' th' demon bear, ye know, an' I've felt some strange things as well lately. I'm no' sure it's all gone." This is what she touches on first and foremost, though there was a brief nod to the idea of something coordinated. She just didn't get beyond that as far as a reply goes, yet.

Kurt Wagner nods carefully, "I can't imagine how overwhelming some of that can be. I've only dealt with hints of the supernatural, but it seems like a dangerous area," he says. "Trust your instincts, I would say. Yours are probably better than most. And, if there's any way I can help, I shall."

Wolfsbane frowns, which is unseen but it carries over to her tone. "I was in Scotland when it attacked. I still blame muhself for no' being there tae help, even if I know it couldna be helped." That's just the way she is, her arms wrapping around herself to clasp at her shoulders. "I dinna know much about th' supernatural anyway, but I was always brought up tae believe..ah, ye can probably guess." Another nod follows, a more murmured, "Thank ye."

Kurt approaches tentatively and, if she'll allow it, will put a hand on her shoulder. "I understand all too well. I'm a devout man myself, but there is a difference between believing in God and being superstitious. Too many use religion as a cudgel to make others fear, rather than as the healing balm it was meant to be," he says. "I suffered my fair share at the hands of superstition. As you can see, I don't exactly blend," he smiles. "But you cannot blame yourself for what happened. You are a good person, fraulein."

Wolfsbane is aware of him moving closer, but she stays put. While she's on the tense side when contact is made, his hand brushing gently against one of hers, she glances toward that side. "Believe me, I know how th' word an' th' rod can be used tae hammer on someone. Sometimes I still have trouble wi' tha'." She clears her throat, facing forward again. "An' ye're a good person as well."

Kurt Wagner smiles softly, "I do try. I have flaws and failings, as everyone does. The trick is learning to forgive yourself for them. I am sorry for what you have been through," he says, his accented voice gentle and measured. "If you ever have a need to confide, well, I may not have decided to become a priest, but I still know a little something about such matters."

Wolfsbane murmurs, "I've watched ye fencing before, an' going through yuir acrobatics training. Ye're verra good a' it." That could be a couple things for them to consider, reasons for them to work on something together. "Aside from tha', we can see." She returns to studying what little she can see of the maze.

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