Proverbially Standing Still

August 21, 2018:

Drake and Polaris have a chat by the lake about life, directions, and relationships.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The afternoon sun was sinking behind a mass of stormy grey clouds on the horizon. Distantly thunder rumbled on and a cooler breeze swept through the area before the lake. Standing barefoot in the sandy shore where the water lapped lazily at the land, was Polaris. The green haired mutant hadn't spent much time in the mansion, she'd leave early and return late at night. Usually with armloads of bags, brand names, designer labels… gone were the days of Goodwill finds and ripped shorts. It would seem somehow, Lorna Dane had found money.. or started to care about the whole 'image' game.

For now though she stood in a soft purple colored romper, short with thin straps at her shoulders. A jean jacket lay discarded behind her, along with some stupidly expensive leather sandals. Marcos was no where to be seen. And neither had anyone heard or seen even a rumor of the couple's child. Lorna for her part certainly hadn't spoken to anyone nor seemed inclined to.

*

Drake Riley has been happy that the pool hasn't been destroyed recently. It's given him ample opportunity to take care of some classwork, make a little extra money, /and/ focus on training in the X-Men's state-of-the-art facilities. He's erring on addicted to it at this point, frequently lighting up the Danger Room with wild electrical displays, while also sneaking in some brush-ups on his less-than-reputable skillset in thuggery - picking locks, disabling security devices, so on. The recordings will either be intriguing or troubling. It might just depend on who views them.

For now, Drake's taken his training outside! The teen is jogging along the shoreline, wearing an Institute-standard tracksuit. He slows his pace to jogging in place upon spotting Lorna, however. "Hey. What's up?," he calls with a smile, still maintaining polite distance to not invade her space.

*

The distant thunder continued to rumble softly, a background noise to the sound of the leaves fluttering in the breeze and the soft lapping of waves against the shore. Lorna turned, green eyes blinking several times as she seemed startled from her thoughts, whatever those had been. A plastered, fixed, smile came into being upon her face and she tucked verdant locks behind her ears.

"Hey Drake, nothing much.. Storm's coming.." She murmured, glancing back at the horizon. Her smile faltering some what. She could feel the tension in the air, above, the snap and sizzle of electro-static and magnetic properties come to life far away. An exhale followed as her gaze returned back to Drake.

"What are you up to?"

*

"No, that name was taken," Drake jokes as he trots closer. At last, the jog comes to a halt, and her question gets a bemusedly puzzled look. What is he up to? Is it not obvious? He breezes right past it. "More like what're /you/ doing? Not worried the static in the air's gonna make you jittery? Like a straight shot of caffeine or something?"

*

The attempt at a joke merely a draws a raised brow, but little else in return to the attempted humor. The green haired mutant turned back toward him, folding her arms. Lorna shrugged, "Unless I get hit by lightning? Not likely.. I'd get damped and annoyed.. probably ruin my new stuff.." She shrugged, glancing down at the clothes she wore, the discarded shoes and jacket.

"It's not like I duunno.. sticking my finger in an electrical socket.. or being at magnetic north.." She exhaled a breath and idly dug her toes into the warm sand around her feet.

"What about you?"

*

"Oh no, I've never been struck by lightning, but I'm assuming there's no current nature can create that'd actually hurt me. I mean, what I can put out is /nuts/, and if I'm not frying myself…" It seemed logical enough to Drake. Besides, her baby's zaps did him no harm! He links his hands together behind his neck, languid. "So.. you'n the husband…," he trails.

*

Lorna shrugged, "Hmm, we could actually talk to Ororo and test out the lightning strike in the Danger Room. Might be good to see how much voltage you can control. Hmm.." She murmured, mostly, to herself. Her gaze swinging back toward the other mutant only as he trailed off and ventured into more personal territory. The green haired mutant's features blanched. A split second and skin was already paler than it had been. She shifted, awkwardly, moving to collect her discarded jacket and sandals with a small rise and fall of her shoulders.

"He's convinced that he's forgiven me and that someday things will be safe enough to bring her home." She hesitated, before glancing back to Drake as she straightened. Her expression carefully blank, "He's wrong of course.. but.. he's always been painfully optimistic."

*

"Wait, huh?" Drake never got the specifics on what she did with her baby, or even why Marcos might've had such an extreme reaction to her presence. He as glad it didn't go the way it looked it might have for a bit, but it was definitely confusing. "Bring her home?"

It takes only a second's thought to jump to the conclusion that it's her infant she's referring to. Is that why he's not seen or heard peep from or about her? "You mean your kid? Where's she been? You said she was safe, but that's about it-"

Blink.

"Oh crap." There it is. "Is /that/ why he seemed so…?"

*

Lorna shrugged, holding the jacket close, even as the wind picked up and cool air wafted through the trees surrounding the lake side. "Our country is coming closer to registration with every passing day. A hard time is coming for mutants, everyone knows it. A war. Genocide.. if Cable's reports about the future are accurate.. we've got ten years before mutants are wiped out. Twenty and almost all of humanity has been destroyed.." She exhaled a breath, green eyes flickering to Drake.

"But this isn't even the first end of the world scenario we've faced as X-men. Last year I ended up trapped in another dimension with people.. A world where humanity and mutant kind had to come together because they'd nearly destroyed the whole planet." She rolled her eyes and slowly shook her head.

"To be part of the X-men.. to fight.. We draw a lot of attention to ourselves. And some of us have complicated records with law enforcement." She grimaced then, her weight shifted on her feet and she reached out a hand, a stone floating up and then skipping out to the lake with a splash.

"Marcos disagreed with me.. that raising a baby in this environment was possible. That we could keep her safe.."

*

"I.. wow. Okay," says Drake, at a loss. He's eighteen. He doesn't know how to even weigh in on this, or where he'd land on the situation. His gaze falls to her feet, brow knit. "You made the best choice you could," he offers, eyes raising to her face again. "But I'm glad you're here."

*

There was a sort of weight to the silence that Lorna let linger, giving Drake time to process all the information she'd unloaded on him. It was a lot. Much of it, she knew Scott hadn't told the young man. That had been under wraps because of his lack of clearance. And since then.. well, he hadn't had all that much time to get filled in on the situations they'd faced. He'd been training. It was shiny and new and exciting..

The green haired mutant shrugged again, slipping on the jean jacket as the wind whipped up around them. "I'm here for now. I have other things to tend to.. Fighting in the streets isn't enough. I've got an opportunity to try to play the political game now too. So we'll see if I'm around much.." She smiled thinly. But there was some kind of acceptance in her gaze. A sort of guarded tension had relaxed in her shoulders as he'd come down on, what she saw, as the 'right' decision.

"I'm still an X-man though. So.. you can ask me if you need something. Granted, I might get you into trouble."

*

Drake Riley had gleaned enough to know about an 'impending apocalypse', thanks to the excessive hinting that took place in front of him. He chose not to press it. He has enough to keep himself occupied, and if nothing else, he's /training/. It'll put him in a better position if things happen. Still, he's not as in-the-know as the other members.

"All I need is direction," he says with a little smile. "If nothing else, just to make sure I'm not screwin' something up."

Drake moves around her, letting his arms drop to his sides to come to a halt in front of her. "Are you campaigning for an office now or something? Senator Green-Hair?"

*

A twitch of her lips followed, and Lorna slung her sandals over her shoulder as she shifted on the still warm sands of the lake's beach. She smirked then, as he spoke and shrugged, "Not sure if I can help with direction. I'm not a teacher. Or a team leader. I'm good at screwing things up.. so.. don't do what I do? Otherwise you'll end up with Scott throwing a mug at you and screaming about betrayal and getting locked in jail over night." She was kidding, wasn't she? Another shrug followed, her voice laced with what could easily be amusement or self-depreciating humor.

As he moved, she lofted an eyebrow upwards, and a laugh escaped her, as she shook her head. "Pfft, no. No one would vote for a mutant, much less me. No. And I'm not fighting against Registration either. It's going to happen at this point. Eventually. No.. we need to shore up political alliances and business contacts that are sympathetic to mutants. Find our allies and get ready for when the worst hits. I'm planning to try to find those people. Mutants are going to need help if we're going to survive.."

*

Drake Riley is inclined to believe her, based on the tenor of what he'd heard between the two of them. Sometimes things don't need to be spelled out directly. But he doesn't looks like he's judging her. How could he, given his own background? So rather than a smirk or look of annoyance, Lorna is the recipient of one simple, if modest, Drake-smile.

"You're harder on yourself than you should be. You're a person."

He turns to make his way off to the side a few steps, facing away from her. "I know, I get that. I have no idea how to help there. I wish I knew. But I'm a nobody." He turns around to face her. "Not a politician, not a business owner, not an actor… I'm not gonna be influencing anyone."

*

Lorna shrugged again, moving into step beside him as he turned from her. Her gaze trailing out to the distant approach of the storm. The cool breeze. The twist of the leaves on the trees. The rumble of thunder not too far off. The occasional flicker of cloud to cloud lightning in the distance. "I am a person. But I know what the media will say about me." She angled green eyes toward him, "I've already had my face plastered over international news. People know who I am, what I am.. and well.. it's not all pretty. Some of it's my fault, some of it's because of my family.." She wasn't sure if he'd put two and two together and figured out who was her family.. But.. she wasn't going to spell it out if she could avoid it. Another thing to put off for another time.

"You have other things you can do. Everyone does. You aren't a known factor. You can easily fit into Scott's scouting missions. You can pass as human at a glance. Just because you can't play the politics.." She made a face, "I still suck at it. I've never had much experience.. beyond Genosha. And well, that was a war-zone."

*

Drake Riley knows about it. Between information gleaned from roster dossiers (what he's allowed to pilfer, anyway) and what he's heard, he knows. He can't recall if someone told him outright or if it'ss one of those things he'd pieced together from an abundance of her hinting, her 'saying-it-without-saying-it' clandestine style, but it's known. And he has about as much trepidation as a lemming with her. He tilts aside to nudge a shoulder at her. "You're already kissing babies. That's, like, half the job," he teases. "Anyway, I dunno, it's.. it's like a mixed message. We're not supposed to fight, but if someone like me isn't allowed to fight, what've I got? I don't wanna /lie/ to people and pretend to be human when it comes to saving a mutant life, y'know?"

*

Lorna blinked as he nudged her, and she nudged him back with a tilt of her head following. "It's not a lie if they assume. And people like to assume a lot. Besides, we'll need people to pass every now and then. Missions need it from time to time. And we are supposed to fight. Just.. you should stick to sanctioned missions where we're stopping bigots and saving people. We're not supposed to kill the racist, bigots trying to kill us if at all possible. Killing is what the Brotherhood does." Or her and Logan on a hunt to stop Genoshan Scientists from killing more of them..

One of these days all of her unsanctioned missions were going to land her in hot water again. And next time, she had a feeling, Scott wouldn't be so forgiving.

She cleared her throat, "But sometimes it happens because there's no other solution. The X-men fight to defend ourselves and others. It's part of the whole heroes thing.." She glanced side long at Drake. "But personally.. I'm of the school of thought that if it's one human or a handful of mutant lives.. I will always put our kind first.."

*

"That's missions. Those are different. I just.. I dunno." Drake shakes his head. He's frazzled about it. Frayed. "Doesn't help that I'm dating a human." He tilts to nudge at her sagain, head turning to look back at her. "I'm selfish enough to try to save both. I don't know what I'd do in that situation.."

*

Lorna hesitated, considering Drake with a slow smile tugging at the corners of her lips. "Good for you," She murmured. "I'm not saying that every human out there is planning our deaths. Or that they're horrible all horrible and we're 'superior' in some sense. Sure we have awesome powers, but … we're people. I'm just.. defensive. More than a little over protective and paranoid these days." She scratched the back of her head, considering Drake again as he nudged her again.

"Try to save both… it's admirable. It's a good thing." She pursed her lips and shook her head.

She paused, "Does she know.. about your powers and all?"

*

"I'll try not to let it turn me into a martyr, though. So cliche," he asides to Lorna, hoping to keep the air light and easier than it was before. As she mentions her paranoia, Drake's head ducks. Ohh, she probably won't like that his girlfriend knows about him.

Well, nevermind. She just outright asked.

A pair of wide emerald green eyes turn guiltily to Lorna. "Weeell," he drawls sheepishly. "On our very first official date, three guys jumped us. They were armed. I was gonna just let'em take my wallet and be done, but they wanted her…"

*

A blink, and a tilt of her head followed. "Well, good." She threw her shoes down, making to strap them on properly. "Mutants never get turned into saints, martyr'ed or not. So, if that was your end goal.." She teased. Of course then he paused, to sheepishly admit that his girlfriend knew. She hitched a brow upwards, and flashed him a grin as she straightened from putting on her sandals.

"Again.. good. Honesty matters in relationships. Something big like that could make or break it. If she accepts you for who and what you are.. good on her." She reached out to pat Drake on the shoulder.

"I'm happy for you Drake."

*

"Yeah..," says Drake quietly. No, he doesn't intend on dying any time soon. Certainly not now that he has a group he can kind of fit in with. Now that he can maybe start to do the things he intended to since leaving California. Now that he has a girlfriend who seems like she's depending on him.

Speaking of.

Drake tries to fully change the topic, spinning to face Lorna. "She's an /older/ girl," he whispers, ever-so-scandalous. Bright eyes narrow to conspiratorial squints. "Twenty /one/."

*

Lorna snorted, turning to head back toward the mansion and waving him along side her. The storm clouds were nearly overhead and the thunder rumbled ever closer. "Oh my god. Stop saying twenty-one as if it's some far distant age to you. I'm turning twenty-two here.." In October. She'd spent her birthday last year in Nate's home-world. Finding out that that world's version of her had died and had died with everyone thinking she was crazy.

It hadn't been a good or happy time… but part of her missed that world. It might have been barely surviving.. but it felt more hopeful than her current future seemed.

"C'mon, lets head back before we get caught in the rain."

*

"She's a cougar!," continues teasing Drake as he begins following along. "Robbing the cradle!"

Satisfied, impish smile on his face, Drake's hands move from behind his neck to behind his back, strolling. "S'okay. She's hot. Big blue eyes, blonde hair, fit, really fun.. and she didn't care at all that I'm not human."

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