Hit the Ceiling

August 25, 2018:

Lorna runs into Colin at a rather nice restaurant. Unfortunately, it doesn't stay nice.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The day was deepening into evening. The summer sun already losing its war with fall, as was apparent by the temperature dip that road on the wind and followed the path of an afternoon thunderstorm that cut the humidity. Uptown was the usual inhabitants that came out to the dinner rush. A mass of humanity as the movers and shakers dined and traveled from work to home. The roads were packed with the typical evening traffic, as street lights came on and restaurant lights were dimmed to a more comfortable level.

One particular restaurant in question was a known favorite of the various moguls that worked and owned the towering skyscrapers around. A polished and painted white building front led into a roomy first floor entry room, and a floor above and upwards, formed the dinning area. Polished wooden floors, softly light tables and candles lined the area. It was 'simple' as far as the more posh restaurants in the area went, but managed to draw all the 'right' sort of people.

There were no prices on the menu, and in fact there was no menu. The menu was what the chef prepared and people came regardless. The bar however was fully stocked and still managed to have a small printed menu of specialties. A myriad of suits came and went there, ties loosened as they spoke openly and freely. Expensive watches and Italian leather were the standard.

It was in the bar where Lorna lingered, a lilac colored blouse of silk beneath a cream colored blazer and matching slacks. She looked for all intents and purposes as if she fit right in. Her clothes were right for a woman getting off work, the only thing that broke the illusion was her brilliantly colored green locks. Which left a gap of two chairs in either direction of where she sat.

A huff of irritation followed as the bar tender slung another pink hued martini toward her as per her previous order. The green haired mutant curling her green manicured finger tips around the stem. She drew idle pictures in the condensation, her other hand moving to prop her chin up. So much for meeting a would be business contact. She'd been stood up it would seem.

*

"Careful now, luv," the silvery smooth voice of posh sounding, Upper Received Pronunciation practically coo's in Lorna's ear. "A woman should never be seen sitting alone in the bar. No matter how well she carries herself, she's always just one cigarette shy of looking a cliche."

A briefcase is slung up, onto the counter. Thick, and the kind of clunky that comes with lots of armored plating, and heavy, if the thunk it makes were any indication. The handler of the briefcase is none other than Colin himself. Dark hair, slicked neatly into a stylish sidepart with swept back bands. Blue eyes like polar ice caps, though sparkling and warm as tropical beaches in their gaze. That award winning smile that dimples the hollowsof his cheeks, and gives the illusion of youth and zest for life. He's clad in a white suit, crisp and pristine, without a hint of dust or dirt from the city roads clinging to any part of him. A royal blue button down shirt accompanies this suit, adding a splash of vibrant color into the mix. He's left the collar undone just enough to show the top of his chest, but not quite "Bosnian Landlord With An Extremely Hairy Chest and Gold Plated Eagle Pendant He's Strangely Proud Of" kind of levels of chest showing.

"I'd ask if I could buy you a round, but it seems you're all topped off, and ready for a good sloshing. Has it been that kind of day for you?"

*

The greenette would have jumped had she been any less aware of her surroundings than she was. As it stood, some small part of her hoped that her would be business contact would show.. and as a result despite the idle appearance, she wasn't all that surprised when someone came up around her. Of course, the surprise did flit over her features when it wasn't her hoped for contact but rather one Colin King. She blinked, sitting up and swerving in her bar stool as the young man came up to the bar and plunked a heavy briefcase onto it. She squinted at it, her senses cast out over its contents briefly before she turned her focus back to the man that owned it.

A hooked eyebrow lofted upwards, and she tipped her head to the side as she considered him. Verdant hair spilling freely over her shoulders in a mass of curls. She took in the near matching ensemble to her own cream pant-suit, a complementary shade to her own and a faint curve of a smile tugged at the corners of her lips. She leaned back, dragging the glass to her and taking a sip. "I thought our relationship was focused on my buying you drinks?" She shot back, her voice dry and only partly sardonic in hue. "But yes, that kind of day. I thought I had secured a private chat with a prominent business owner that I'd have liked to work with.. but it's been an thirty minutes and I'm fairly sure he'd stood me up." A green eyed glance swept the bar area and she bit back a sigh.

"So, I figured I might as well enjoy the drinks."

*

The case is secured, locked with fancy electronics that digitally scan a user's biometric data in order to disengage its several locking mechanisms. This, and th outer layers are laid bare for her perusal, using her almost psychic sense of magnetism. However, whatever lies just behind that final layer of armor is something else, entirely. The inside of the case seems like a blank void, where nothing exists save for a large black hole.

"I'm a true feminist kind of chap, darling. Equality among the sexes. You scratch my back, yada yada yada," the young British tycoon says as he slips gracefully into the seat just beside Lorna, and immediately signals for the barkeep to come tend to his order. Simply a pint of a good, German sounding stout. Nothing fancy. Only after the order is placed does Colin turn his attention back to the greenhaired beauty beside him. "Well, I may have some good news and some bad news for you regarding the situation in which you find yourself in this moment."

As he takes up the pint glass that's being set out before him, Colin raises it to her, and says, "But, as a proper Englishman, I celebrate any reason to enjoy a pint or two. So cheers, mate."

*

A thoughtful look was passed toward the brief case, a curious number of security features for an otherwise simple piece of office gear. Lorna had had plenty of time to see others come and go since she'd arrived, and the other various men and women at most, had ones with combination locks. There had been maybe one or two that had blue tooth capabilities at most.. but none had anything quite on par with what Colin carried with him.

She didn't ask for now, rather turned her focus back to her drink as she swirled the raspberry on a decorative tooth pick around the edges of her drink. A twitch of her lips following the Englishman's words that he had good and bad news. She tilted her head, gaze returning to consider him more fully once more.

"Oh? And what exactly is good and bad news?" She mused, even as he ordered a pint and raised it to her. A twitch of her eyebrows upward followed, but she gently lifted her mostly full cocktail glass upwards in mimicry. "Cheers? I thought the English didn't do much in the emotions department?" She teased a smirk in the corners of her lips following.

Two more young men in suits came up to the bar, clearly already into their cups and louder and more ruckus than the other patrons. One had his tie undone and hung around his neck. His friend seemingly never had one or had lost it. A turn as he flagged down the bartender showed he had stuffed it into the side pocket of his blazer.

*

"Well, the bad news is that you got stood up, so your business owner, whoever they might be, is not very good at being professional," Colin says with a half hearted shrug, before taking a deep drink of his pint glass, clearing a good third of it, before setting it back on the counter with a sigh. He idly rolls the glass around on the surface of the bar, causing the deep, dark contents of it to swirl about lazily. "The good news, on the other hand, is that is precisely the kind of person you want to avoid getting into business with. Any business person who has any value whatsoever would have at least the professional courtesy of calling and explaining their absence."

Colin leans his side against the bar, turned to face the green haired mutant directly. The note about British sensibility has a small grin flirting at the edge of his lips. "Ah, while we might be the human equivalent of Vulcans, it is very important to us to at least give customary hollow expressions of emotion. One must maintain appearances and manners, after all."

The ruckus caused by the incoming pair only momentarily draws Colin's attention. His blue eyes tick to the boisterous boys. Instinct or paranoia (its impossible to tell which, for a secret agent) kicks in immediately, as Colin assesses any threats the two might pose, where they might be stashing hidden weapons, what angles they might be trying to achieve based on their location and orientation within the bar itself.

Christ, Colin. They're just loud, rowdy Yanks trying to get their Happy Hour kicks before they go home to their meaningless, trivial and hopeless little lives and have to deal with their needy, energetic children and their ever-more-distant and frigid wives. Give it a rest.

"So what kind of chat were you hoping for then? Are you trying to work your way in to the world of business? I might know a few people who would talk to you."

*

A smile warmed into being from a smirk at Colin's words, Lorna leaned her side against the bar top, watching him down most of his beer as she idly took another small sip of her drink. She set it down after a moment's thought, plucking the tooth-pick with berries up and nibbling away at him. She stirred the drink again with the decorative bit of wood, green eyes lifting back to consider Colin as he continued onward to explain how cheers was an acceptable show of Britishness. Whatever morose thoughts that had crept in died and she laughed softly.
$R "Well, so long as that's all it is. I'll keep it in mind." Of course, there were the two drunken young men that jostled for their drinks and interrupted the otherwise polite murmur of voices. A few others shot them annoyed glances, as did Lorna over her shoulder.

No one else certainly paid them the same attention that Colin did.

"I was hoping to start finding people that would be willing to trade with Genosha. The country is getting back on its feet, and with the UN embargo more or less lifted—" She broke off as one of the drunkards, with beer in hand, caught sight of Lorna's rather unique hair color and seemed to take offense to the sight of it.

"Ugh, Jake, it's one of them… has to be a god damned mutie." The man slurred rather loudly at his friend beside him. Who's eyes went wide as he stumbled beside his friend as he leaned over to look at Lorna's brilliantly colored hair.

"Nah man, it's a wig.. err.. maybe a dye job."

*

"Trade. What does Genosha have to offer? What resources do Genosha look to export and important?" Colin says, and for what it is worth, he seems at least marginally interested. If nothing else, it's intel on a nation that could be a wildcard in the world's political arena. Even something as simple as knowing what commodities it has to offer, versus what it needs provided can be useful in the right hands.

The two are invading the conversation, and Colin's face goes deadpan as he looks at them inspecting Lorna's hair. Those twinkling blue eyes grow cold and lifeless. One even dared to leer at his drinking companion, which prompted Colin to slide out of his seat and stand upright.

"Gentlemen," he says, taking on a stately affectation, as if delivering a grand address. "Welcome! For you have found yourself within the WORLD OF TOMORROW! that is the the modern era. In this fabulous wonderful world of technoligcal marvels and cultural oddities, one might find such mysteries as touch screen phones! Flat screen televisions! Even a sea of young women under the age of 25 who regularly color their hair in strange, but vibrant colors with a truly baffling invention known as bloody hair dye."

Colin sneers down his nose at them, as he raises his pint and says, "Now, kindly toss off somewhere else where you aren't in danger of making yourselfs look even more like creepy perverts."

*

Lorna was about to answer Colin's question, it wasn't that big a secret she figured. Genosha had previously had some of the most advanced tech in the world, with the strongest steel and iron-based alloys in the world. It had built a vast amount of wealth on the backs of mutates… and now those mutates were free to create and build and learn as they wanted. The subject was dropped rather abruptly though, as Lorna swiveled in her chair, anger flashing hot in her expression as Colin stood and swept forward before so much of an insult escaped her.

Drink forgotten behind on the bar top behind her, Lorna's cheeks lit with a pink flush as she glared at the two drunken men. Even as Colin very carefully, and very pointedly handled them. The two drunks looked about ready to peel off. Of course, Polaris had other thoughts as she was on her feet even as Colin finished up his blistering, finale.

One of the young men, the one without his tie, Jake, looked about ready to apologize. But found himself staring down at an angry, green eyed, green haired woman as she made to brush past Colin and put herself right in the young man's face. "I am a mutant. I was born with this colored hair. So what? It doesn't change that I'm a person. I'm sick to death of bigots like you and your friend having an issue with me just existing.." She hissed, her voice heated. The lights over head flickered on and off and the music playing over the speakers cut out briefly.

*

There we go. Run on now, like cowards, where you'll inevitably boast to one another about what you would have done to Colin should the circumstances been different. Had it not been such an upscale classy place. Had it been outside. Had there not been a girl right there. Justify and excuse it all you want. Just go.

It seemed to have worked, Colin's scathing sarcasm. Another thing that the Brits are known for, that. Its ugly business, but someone has to shoulder it. Colin is just about to return to Polaris to celebrate their triumph over dumbassery when she pushes past him.

"Bollocks…"

As soon as she starts in, Colin knows this isn't going to end well. And she doesn't disappoint. While she may be right in the words she says, the hissing aggression of them are all too heavily lifted from her father. He winces. And when the lights flicker, Colin finds himself reaching out to place a hand on her shoulder, heavy and comforting, but gentle in the way it squeezes just enough to draw her attention. "Come on, love. They were just leaving, and you and I were going to go another round or two before I invited you out for something a bit more personal."

*

Really, Colin would've been enough to shake of the two drunkards. He had been enough. They were a bunch of spoiled, well off young men that were looking to get shit faced after work and take a taxi cab home. Polaris, on the other hand, didn't look like a threat. Not to either of them. She was just some green haired mutie chick spoiling their night out. She was tall, sure, but she was slight with a dancer's build. Not the type to handle two guys while wearing heels. They made no connection to the flickering of the lights or the brief static of the music over the speakers.

Hardly another had noticed that beyond Colin. Even then the bar tender only looked to be concerned that they were making a disturbance and interrupting other patron's night. Of course, the most he'd ever had to handle in that bar was an odd divorce or secret affair no longer being quite so secret… not two bigots messing around with a very angry Alpha level mutant.

"Now, excuse me, but you all need to keep it down and get out." Interrupted the bar tender, standing by the phone.. just in case.

Colin's hand on Lorna's shoulder was brushed off, or at least she tried to, with an irritated huff of breath. Anger was a hard thing for Lorna to swallow when she was pretty sure she'd been stood up for much the same reasons. And with the two young men now slinging insults at her and trying to rally up other patrons to their defense, her temper was shot. "How is it okay for them to treat me like this? I was minding my own business!" She snapped, her voice rising briefly over the two drunks.

"Fuckin' mutie.."

"..Are you seriously gonna defend her? I thought this place had class!"

"..they want to kill us all man!.."

A few other patrons seemed to get involved, either telling the young men to shut up, or others telling the other patrons to shut up. It was devolving into chaos very quickly. The bar tender was on the phone, likely to the cops. Colin could feel the sudden pressure change in the room as one of the young men continued to hurl abuse at Lorna, and even (likely by mistake on his part), splashed his drink all over her. The green haired mutant made a noise of disgust at the back of her throat and something snapped. An electromagnetic burst popped, quick and sharp. And the two young men found themselves hanging from the ceiling by the odds and ends of metal on their persons. Lorna standing beneath them with her hand outstretched as they screamed.

*

The brush off is given, Colin letting his hand be brushed aside rather than impose himself too much on her. He's tried, after all. It's all that he can do to suppress the violence and keep things civil between some unfortunately drunk men, and a mutant girl with a chip on her shoulder who is undergoing a lot of stress. It's a volatile mixture. One that needs to be handled carefully. Then the bartender makes his stance knownm ordering them to get out.

"Lorna, it's not okay, bird. It's not okay at all," Colin says, his voice dipping into something softer, lower, more intimate. "But not every confrontation needs be violent, and not every dumb drunk who runs his mouth needs to be taught a lesson."

He leans forward, standing behind her as he is, and speaks directly into her ear, his voice barely above a whisper forher ears only, his breath tickling, light and warm against her cheek. "Let's go, before the barkeep calls the cops and we have to deal with an even bigger mess. We can have drinks in my penthouse. It'll be fun, private and I have the perfect view to show you…"

Of course, everything is rising to a fever pitch as the tension spreads through the room like a wildfire. Even a drink gets splashed on Lorna. Colin closes his eyes and sighs. He had just met Lorna, but he knows exactly what to expect. The men are pulled up to the ceiing by Lorna's mutant power and there, her captives are left screaming, but is it in terror or pain? Colin cannot tell immediately. He just knows that this situation is going to continue to escalate quickly if he doesn't do anything about it.

"LORNA!" He calls out, pushing her roughly against the shoulder, and flashing her a concerned glare. "Let's. Go."

Colin reaches for his briefcase and slides it off of the counter, reaching out his free hand to offer it to the green haired magnet witch. "Please."

*

The young men continued to flail on the ceiling like cockroaches, screaming and panicking at suddenly no longer being on the ground. Lorna, glared up at them, even as other patrons were quick to snap a video or picture of the spectacle. Others looked even more panicked than the two on the ceiling. A few others were still arguing over who was in the wrong, insults flying. Several families bailed, leaving with wide eyed expressions.

More than a few were on their phones to the cops as well.

"Apologize!" She snarled, her voice carrying both heated anger and a wearied, exhausted exhausted note. Why couldn't people just let her live her life? Why did these people have to hate her and her kind so damn much? Even as Colin shouted and jostled her, her concentration was fixed. She'd had the practice. The two didn't so much as wobble in their fixed point on the ceiling. "No! Colin, they need to apologize! They—"She broke off as she noted the hysterics from other people around her. The stares. The phones. Her eyes narrowed even as the young men screamed out apologies, begging and pleading to be let down. Which, with a narrow eyed look, she did. She didn't drop them hard. It was a controlled fall. Though they screamed the whole way down. Electronics died, fried when the green haired mutant glared at the staring people who didn't so much as try to help her.

Even then, a few of the more heated patrons had started to brawl quite openly then, food flying and expensive wine spilled. Lorna exhaled a breath, even as Colin stretched out his free hand to her. She took it, with a faint grimace twisting her lips.

*

After she has wrenched her apologies from the men and finally takes his hand, Colin secures it within his grasp and heads swiftly for the side door. He had, of course, spied it on the way in, as he does with all new places he enters. It pays to have a "Flexible" escape route in the even that shit just gets too real.

It had just done that.

The door opens onto a small external stairwell into an allway between this building and the next. He leads her down to the street level with a silent intensity, and only then, when their feet touch the pavement does he stop and give pause. Turning to face her, those deep bright blue eyes flash with anger as he spins to face her.

"What in the bloody hell did you just do, Lorna? What. The. HELL. Was. That?" he cries out, pointing back up at the door with the hand that clutches his briefcase. "Do you know what you just did in there? There were other people in there, love. Impressionable people. You just sparked a fear of mutants in untold people, and for what? Pride? And an apology? Apologies only matter if they're meant, darling. If they come from the heart. Wrenching them out like that means nothing. That's just fear talking. You hurt the cause of your own people right there."

He stops ranting with a deep, heavy sigh, and then looks her up and down from head to toe and back. His shouldrs visibly slouch, and he asks in a softer voice, "Are you alright? You didn't get wounded, did you?"

*

Lorna could've gotten herself out of there, she could have flown out and left via the skies… she likely wouldn't have though. She'd have likely stayed until the cops came to haul her off once more to jail for inciting a riot or aggravated assault. It would be the third such time on her record. With the growing fears of mutants she'd already spent two nights in jail. One with the horrible, dreaded collar around her neck, thanks to the Feds being involved. But the X-men had lawyers. Good lawyers. Which kept charges dropped and her magnetic butt out of more intense prisons meant for her kind.

Of course given her parentage and her very public status, those dropped charges came with a record thick with terrorist watch lists and the alike.

And she had just lost her temper on a couple of bigots.

Reality slammed back into her, hard and choking as she blindly stumbled behind Colin's person into the darkness of the alleyway behind the buildings. She stood there, breathing deeply, but not hard. As he dropped her hand, they curled into balled fists and were quickly tucked into a crossed position. She looked down, away from him. Her lips pursed into a thin, line white of stress as she stood there silently under his railing of questions and gestures. She didn't answer him. Not immediately. Not until he stopped, sighed, and asked in a softer voice if he was okay.

Green eyes lifted, but they were glassy, tears of frustration, anger and hopelessness bubbled up in the corners but she stubbornly fought to hold onto them. "I'm fine." She bit out, her clothes were soaked with beer. The silk likely as ruined as her reputation. At least there wouldn't be any photographic evidence? She rubbed her face with the back of her hands, bowing her head as she inhaled and exhaled deeply. Her shoulders rising and falling in sharp movements as she struggled to slow her breathing. Panic wouldn't help.

*

"No, bird, I don't think you are," Colin replies to her declaration of being fine. You don't have to be an expert reader of people to see that. He steps forward, closing the distance between the pair of them, and lifts his hands to curl tenderly around her upper arms, pulling her in so that her bowed head rests against his chest.

"It's over now, though. Everything is alright. Let's pull it together, and make sure that the police don't catch us back here. I'd really rather hate having to spend the night in a jail cell. Can you imagine? A guy like me in a cell with guys who… who regularly wind up in cells? It'd be like an orgy of hungry sharks."

Colin doesn't really know Lorna. She's just someone he met and realized that she could be a good source of information about Genosha. He's not even assigned to gather any intel on Genosha. It was just a happy concidence kind of thing that the pair of them would happen across one another. She wasn't a mark, by any means. She wasn't an informant. She also wasn't a friend. Even if she were, Colin… has never been good with friends. Letting people in is painful and difficult, and his life and his secrets are too dangerous and murky for him to casually consider dragging someone into. Even if he did, he could never fully trust them, either. They could be a plant by an enemy. Hell, they could even be a plant by his own employers, meant as a way to keep him towing the line.

But right now, he just wants to let her know that it's alright. It's not the end of the world. She took things far. Too far. But he also understands the rage she has festering in her heart. That kind of anger and hurt doesn't go away and it just builds and builds. He knows it well, even if for entirely different reasons.

Colin lowers his face, burying his nose into her green hair, and muttering, "We also have to get you out of those clothes. You smell like a damn brewery."

*

There was a stiffness in her shoulders, in her frame, that was reminiscent of the steel that she could bend. But like steel, too much stress, too much pressure.. and even the strongest metal would bend or break. Colin's gentle touch was the breaking point. She leaned against him, perhaps more heavily than she needed to completely as she exhaled. Her shoulders, a delicate structure for all the power she had, bowed as much as her figure could. A rolling shudder followed, and the tears wouldn't stop. No matter how hard Lorna tried to halt the torrent that burst into being. She barely knew Colin, barely knew the man at all. He was just some cute stranger with an English accent and a nice suit and questionable electronics.

Yet that simple touch was enough to send her into hysterical, open, sobbing. Everything from the past month built up and broke. Like a flood being unleashed and unwilling to be put back behind the dam.

She broke off from it only belatedly, between sniffles and otherwise silent weeping. Between the heaving of her shoulders and gasping inhalations of breath. Enough to hear his joke that she sounded like a brewery. It earned a watery laugh, choked and broken up by coughing. She leaned back then, rubbing at her red rimmed eyes. "Sorry. I .. I didn't.. I didn't mean to just…" She fumbled awkwardly for words and found them lacking. She was only just what?

Crying on a near stranger's shoulder. She cleared her throat, or tried too, coughing and glancing down at her beer soaked clothes with a grimace. "Sorry.. now I've got you all messy.. and stained.. gah.."

*

Colin accepts her weight, holding her up as she breaks down. This feels uncomfortable for him. Emotional. He tells himself that it doesn't matter. That it doesn't mean anything. He's not the one vulnerable. He's just deciding not to make her move to have her moment of fee-fees. But, if all of that is true, then why are his fingertips combing through her hair, dragging the blunted ends of his nails over her scalp to soothe her? Why does his other hand roll in slow, sweeping circles up and down the length of her back? Why is he whispering "Shh. It's okay. I'm here. It's alright to let it out" into her hair as she sobs into his chest?

When she starts to pull away, Colin leans back so that she's at arm's length from him, and he peers down into her face with an upticked brow. A small, wry grin forces its way to flirt at the corners of his lips, and he says, "Lorna, darling, I was messy and stained long, long before I even met you. You've not a thing in the world to apologize for."

He reaches up, stroking a strand of her hair out of her face with a tender touch, tucking it behind her ear, before he taps his finger under her chin playfully. "Things have been rough for you. I can see that. You need to find a way to let it out. You need to find something that lets you feel good again, too. Why don't we start with getting you a new blouse? I think I saw a women's store just a few blocks down the road…"

*

Lorna was married. Lorna had a husband. A man who's heart she'd broken and stepped on repeatedly in the last month or so. A man that had been willing to forgive her for sneaking out in the middle of the night to hide their only child away on some far away island. And she'd wanted space. She'd been unable to look him in the eye. To meet his gaze and see the pain she'd put there. It hurt… And here she was, crying on some strange man's shoulder.

But that gentle touch had undone her control over her emotions so completely and utterly. After being in Genosha with her father for two weeks, and pretending as if everything was just fine with the X-men.. Lorna was a fragile, emotional mess. Not that she realized it, or considered it when compounded with her inherited mental instability.

Colin was a breath of fresh air away from all of that. He didn't know what she did. The loyalties that pulled her apart every day. So his small smile and comments, attempts to cheer her up, brought a shaky curve to her lips as she shook her head as she looked down at her ruined blouse. "I can't.. I need to call a lawyer and get paper work filed or I'll end up spending the night in jail if the cops see me. Not that many women walking around with green hair around here.." She muttered, she exhaled a breath, dragging her hands through her hair.

"You were right.. I completely lost it and ruined so much—" She broke off, frustration at herself evident as she reached up to pinch the bridge of her nose.

*

Colin doesn't, of course, know any of this. Lorna hadn't even told him that she was married, and he hadn't bothered to look. Truthfully, it wouldn't have mattered to him if he did know. It wouldn't be the first time he's pursued a married woman. It likely wouldn't be his last. But moreso, he doesn't know the full extent of what she's been through, or what the affect he has on her is. He just knows what he sees. And he sees her smile.

"Lorna, if we literally go anywhere else in this town, other than here, there are literally millions of girls walking around with pink, purple, blue, red, green, and rainbow hair. We just need to get you out of the immediate area. Which is easy enough, considering my car is just a few blocks down the road."

Her admitting that she lost it just has Colin shaking his head. He reaches up, gently pulling her hand away from her face so that he can lean in close, looking her in the eyes. "It has already happened, Lorna. There is no point in dwelling on it now. No point in guilt or sorrow or getting angry with yourself. It happened. And that is okay. What is important is that you find ways to make sure that it doesn't happen again."

*

A soft exhale of breath followed Colin's words about the ease in which they could leave and clean up. Could handle the mess that she'd made and not dwell on it. It was strange, to have someone there to tell her that. Not with the X-men, where they had to be perfect representatives for mutants at all times. They had to be. Not with her father, who managed to make her constantly feel as if everything she did was some kind of a mistake.

Colin couldn't possibly know the effect that he had on her with those words alone, but it didn't change their power any.

Lorna cleared her throat, her hands falling back to her sides with a sigh following. "Not sure how I can promise it doesn't happen again unless I just.. I dunno. I was doing a lot of meditation before I came back to the States.. probably should do more of it.." She hadn't had the time. But she'd make the time. Magneto had drilled it into her head. Emotions made her stronger, but losing herself to them made her weak. She was supposed to control the magnetic fields, not let them control her. And for a time, she'd found some peace in it.

"But.. okay.. Sure. Lets go get cleaned up."

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