Retrouvailles

October 04, 2018:

Alex and Lorna catch up in an abandoned diner in Mutant Town. The two get a moment to finally share a little of their lives in the past few months.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magneto, Pietro, Wanda, Scott, Marcos

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been a day (or so) and Alex is found sitting in the remains of Norm's Diner. It's not operational. It had been in operation prior to the invasion. Currently, he sits in the last booth < http://tinyurl.com/ya5ftabb >. He's wearing his uniform, no headgear. He doesn't smell bad, plasma tends to burn stink off. He's sitting with his back to the vinyl booth looking out the window at the war torn cityscape as he reflects on the past few hours to days and even months prior. He's still sorting it all out and it's pretty clearly written upon his face that he's having deep thoughts. In front of him is a band of gold that he spins. When it loses its momentum, it wriggles to the table where he picks it up again and spins with his fore finger and thumb; over, and over.

*

What remained of the door crunched under Lorna's booted feet as she stepped inside the abandoned diner. Outside two Brotherhood members took up a defensive position outside the door, gazes focused on the road outside in either direction. The green haired mutant moved carefully, her steps light despite the amount of metal that clung to her boots and to her figure. Metal fibers and plates covered her top and jeans, the leather jacket was riveted through with even more steel colored alloys.

"Hey." She offered as she approached, hands shoved into the pockets of her jacket. She stopped opposite of Alex, her brows furrowed faintly as she glanced around at the debris littered floors and booths of the once popular diner.

"Mind if I join you?"

*

His glances were offered as she approached. He didn't linger with eye contact. Often, his blue eyes would drift away from her own during her entire approach. But when she finally makes it, he looks up for a second to address her greeting which is offered in kind with a simple, and soft, "Hey."

The query comes and he looks at the seat across from him. "Go for it." is his response. Which is likely not what he was thinking of saying. He will glance out the window for a brief second then back to her face. His eyes display a certain curiousity, like he's seeing her for the first time after a very long respite. His lips tighten, his jaw follows.

*

A squeak of the pleather seat beneath her followed as Lorna slid into the remains of the booth opposite of him. Her hands settling a top the cheap plastic of the table top, her hands bereft of any ring or any other jewelry, though in her ears hung steel looking earrings that might've been screws. She maintained the silence for a moment, glancing down at the table top in front of him and noting the golden band before her attention returned to consider his expression.

"I get needing alone time, I really do." She started in, and then paused, turning her gaze out to the dim light of the window beside them. "But we are in the middle of a demonic invasion.." Her voice was soft, gentle, she leaned back against the green vinyl of the seat behind her.

Lorna grimaced, her hands folding as she propped them up beneath her chin. She seemed to struggle with what to say.

*

"You're lucky." Alex says as he scoops up the spinning ring and pockets it into his right front of his pants. "Our entire world was overrun by demons." Alex stops there. He has so much more to spill about the last place he was in. He tries to clarify by asking, "How long was I gone?"

Alex remains leaned back, observing her, trying to see all that he can about her affectations, the metal, the lack of the ring, the whole of Lorna that he's not seen in years. Her green hair. Those green eyes.

*

A rough exhale and Lorna's lips twisted, "We're hoping that it doesn't get that bad." Her father was preparing for the even that it did. Genosha seemed a world away, tropical, sunny, and hot. It was on the other side of the world, but when it came to demons, who knew how it could go. Alex's words were a chilling reminder that it was possible for everything to go so completely wrong.

His question earned a blink, and a slow purse of her lips that had her glancing down at her hands. "You've been gone since April.. when.. right after.." She bit her lower lip, her hands falling to the top of the table and threading together tightly.

"After we got out from Sinister's.. and before.." She swallowed a lump that formed in her throat.

"Before my daughter, was sort of, ah.. born for lack of a better term." Her daughter had been encased in an incubator of some kind by Sinister so she could survive beyond Lorna's body. It had been traumatic all around.

*

What the hell does he say in response to that. Alex's eyes reflect a twisting in his gut. He wants to ask, but he doesn't want to know. Too much water under the bridge. Torrents of conflicting waters and a deluge of childhood emotions that threaten to well back up into him in the blink of the eye. Then the next second he pushes them back down and he says, "6 months for you was about 6 years for me. From what I can account, I've been in an alternate universe. I guess time has moved differently in contrast to one another. Did we get Sinister? Or no?"

*

Green eyes watched him, lingering on his features, on his expressions, on how he sat and how he reacted to the gut wrenching news. They'd never really had a chance to talk before he'd vanished. "That's in line with the last alternative dimension I'd landed in. Last year, before you came back to the mansion.. About this time of year actually. I got stuck in Nate's home world for a few weeks. It was really only a day.. but.." She shrugged, her lips twisting as she looked down at his question and slowly shook her head.

"No." Her voice rasped, "We didn't. He went to ground." He got away. It haunted her. It had broken her ability to raise her daughter without extreme paranoia. And as a result, had led to her state now. It was still raw.

*

Listening to her story, Alex thinks he recalls stories of other realities, but that was so long ago. But hearing the whole Sinister story, he nods, "That's his typical play. Even in the other reality, he was slippery."

Alex decides that he needs to rip it off like a bandaid. He looks down at her ringless hand and asks, "How's Marco? Marc? Mike? Crap; what's his name?"

*

The chair creaked as Lorna shifted, her jaw tightening briefly at the confirmation that Sinister's behavior was in-line with how he always was. How he always had been. He'd messed with Scott and Jean in this reality. And had got away with it too. Then her and her child. Ruining her wedding and getting on Magneto's enemy number one list for a time. Her gaze darted up as Alex asked after Marcos, and her lips parted and shut briefly, her right hand closing over her left.

"We're.. we're over." She mumbled, reaching up to tuck a lock of green behind her ear as she looked away. "He thinks that we could.. that we should be raising our daughter, despite everything. He thinks we could protect her. I disagreed.. and had her sent away and hidden. For her protection. He's set on finding her.." Her lips twisted, and her voice cracked softly around the edges. There was pain in her voice, and in her expression as she looked down steadfastly at her hands.

*

Regardless of how much Alex disliked the guy, he's still sympathetic to Lorna's situation and her as a person.

His lips tighten, frown somewhat and there's a nod of understanding as Alex considers all the news of the world being horrific, yet, this is something that he finds conflict within. Somewhere within his head he finds a silver lining of Lorna being single. A typical guy with typical background thoughts of either /i told you so/ or /oh sweet, she's single that means i have a chance/. But words akin to those thoughts will never be spoken. Luckliy Emma nor Betsy are in the room. Those casual mind reading jerks.

He reaches across the table with the full intent to place his right, and very warm hand, atop her own combined two. Offering a sympathetic grasp of assurance. His words are simple, "I'm sorry, Lorna." and he shuts the hell up. If he's learned anything in the other reality, it's that, /shut the hell up/.

*

Green eyes were drawn away from the table as Alex reached over to gently settle his own warm hands atop of her own. It wasn't the instant dazzle that her and Marcos had whenever they touched—literal rainbows and swirls of light appeared when ever they had before. His soft words of apology gained a flicker of a smile that rose and died. "Do you think that I'm crazy? Giving up my daughter to strangers? Doing.. just what my father did to me?" She swallowed a hard lump that formed in her throat. Her voice was smaller than it usually was, devoid of its dry humor and sarcastic edge.

Slowly, she shifted her hands beneath his, making to clasp them with a short squeeze before she drew them back to settle on her lap.

*

Also withdrawing back to his side of the booth, Alex will resettle into the booth. He takes a moment to decide what to say and thinks better of what he's about to say, but says it anyway, "I had a son in the other reality. His name was Scotty. He was 9." Talking about the child in the past tense. Alex continues, "I had to protect him. So I hired a woman named Elektra. She acted as his nanny, bodyguard, and teacher. She was amazing. Kept him safe from harm. Though I was around, I wasn't around all the time. We had missions and I couldn't take him with me. Especially in a world like this. And he had to be kept safe from his mother. Anyway, what I'm getting at is this. You did what you had to do. There's really no other choice. Especially now with this demon apocalypse going on. Plus… you and I both know that having a child in this world is not the best option unless there's a backup plan or a safe place."

*

The news that Alex had had a son in this other world, with some other woman was.. as far as she could figure not her. (What a relief no alternative dimension children were going to come visit her too as far as she knew.) After all, Alex had said she had died. She was always dead in other dimensions, for some reason. It made her even more paranoid to know that when the world went to shit, she always ended up dead it seemed.

A blink at the name followed, but the fact that he agreed with her made whatever tension remained in her shoulders ease and fall. She slumped back against the booth's seat, causing the cheap vinyl to creak and squeak with the movement. Even as tears burst into her eyes and she fought them back with furious blinking. Her hands pressed against her lips momentarily, and she swallowed a rough inhale of breath that caught in her throat.

"Registration has gotten worse here. Looks like it's going to pass as soon as the humans have a clear target that's not demons.." She cleared her throat, rubbing at her nose with the back of her hand as she tried and failed to collect herself and change the topic. She wanted to know who Alex had married in that other world, curiosity gnawing wildly, but she wasn't exactly willing to push either.

*

It's hard watching her cry. It's Lorna, after all. The woman whom he thought he would spend the rest of his life with during his hormone raging years where everything that happened was the end-all be-all of his world. His jaw tightens again but he makes no move to comfort her. It's best he remain on his side of the booth. It's too soon and there are far too many open wounds for them to find any /true/ comfort in one another. He's been gone for 6 years. He's no longer the Alex she knew and with all that's happened between Marcos, her child, and the world going to shit; it's best that his side remains his side.

"That's where we need to step up and protect not just our kind, but also humans. And we need to be overt and very clear about it. If we can act like the Avengers and all the other well-loved public hero teams during this tragedy, then we may come out smelling like a rose. So making a wall around Mutant town and chanting Mutants-for-Mutants is doing nothing but harming our reputation."

*

Lorna reached up, rubbing at the corners of her eyes to dry them of even the hint of moisture that gathered there, wiping clean any remnants of smudged mascara as she did so. A dry laugh escaping her as she shifted in the seat against, and folded her arms over her middle. A sardonic smile crossing her lips. "Note I didn't put up a giant steel wall around Mutant Town, though I was tempted to. The military has taken over the defense of most of the city. They have their own teams in place, blockades, and a lot of those teams don't like us. They don't.. or won't come to Mutant Town. We're on our own. No supplies save what the X-men have brought in and what's been smuggled or looted." She glanced out the mostly still intact window. At the empty street that was dark and filled with the same cloudy, misty skies above.

"You missed it, but there was a bombing in Hell's Kitchen while you were gone. Massive damage. Lots of people died. The military called in a team and shut the whole area down. I got arrested trying to track down a student that had tried to find his sister. If they catch us outside of Mutant Town, even trying to do good. I doubt that it would end well.."

*

Alex pauses, "What about Cap?" as he flashes back to the previous reality as if he's still there. "Cap always helped us. The Avengers were … Wait. No. That never happened here, did it? In my reality we worked alongside the Avengers against this threat. But then again, we also had a past. Do the Avengers here think we're criminals too? Or would they be willing to work together?"

*

A hesitant glance followed as Lorna tucked her hair back behind her ears. "Uhh, it's sort of complicated. We don't exactly work with them, and thing are tense with SHIELD still. They were on Genosha for a little while when my father was fighting the Magistrates.. I dunno if you remember that. Tony Stark was working with us, helping to find a cure for some experiments that another company was running on Mutants. But he injected himself with it.. And last I heard was in a coma. But that was before the invasion. I don't know what happened to him or where he is.. Nothing." She shrugged, her brows furrowing.

"I tried to save his life. I owed him for his help in Genosha.. but I don't know if it mattered now." She sighed, her lips pursed together as she fought the urge to curse. Of course, she was leaving out details, complicated events that included fake videos that implicated Stark, that had led to Pietro ripping out Tony's arc-reactor.. Her returning it.

*

Alex listens closely, assessing the assets presented. He nods and ponders as any leader would. He looks out the window for a moment, eyes reflective. He then turns back to Lorna and says, "What about your father? What is he doing currently? All Genosha, all the time? Is he trying to build bridges or set them on fire? The Magneto in my world ran the school. He was a great leader and a man who wanted the world to be united in one front. Sort of like Xavier's dream, but way more active in his role in getting it done. Meanwhile, Xavier was running that world's Brotherhood."

*

A stunned silence of disbelief followed Alex's matter of fact way that he spoke of Magneto. Marcos hated and mistrusted her father on a level that veered into vitriolic. He was convinced that her father was prepping for world domination and that he was trying to force her to be formed in his image. And he was, in ways, but never crossed certain lines. At least, she liked to believe he wouldn't.

"He's sticking to his own borders. The UN gave him Genosha, but if he steps off the island then he has no diplomatic immunity anymore and will be targeted as the world's most wanted terrorist." She pursed her lips, thinking as her eyebrows furrowed.

How was it that every other world out there had Magneto being a hero? Had him being the man that united and fought for a better world, where as her own father was still of questionable morals?

"And.. Pietro has gone missing. Wanda is unwell, and he's turned his focus to her." Her siblings, her half siblings, had been running the Brotherhood. A few months before Alex had disappeared, Pietro had even put Scott into the hospital. They were two of the world's most wanted criminals at the moment beyond her father. Though that hadn't mattered to her in a long while.

*

Alex struggles with memories prior to his departure. Except those on a very personal level. Most of his past bled into the memories of the other reality and he's also struggling with some of the clarity from that world too now that he's back. Conflicting memories conflict.

"Sorry." he starts off. "I'd forgotten it was like that. But in retrospect; I think your father has a lot of good in him. He just… he's a little heavy handed and painted to be the criminal by everyone that hates him. If he had been given the chance, and this world wasn't so jaded against mutants, then he would be seen as the man that he is, not the man they made him. And Lorna.. your father loves you and he only wants what's best for you and your family. Which brings us to Pietro and Wanda. They also suffered the same thing we all did. The pressure to act and then the targets painted upon their backs. They are good people. They just need a chance to prove it."

*

A rough exhale followed, a twist of her lips as Lorna looked down at a silvery chain that looped under her shirt. She tugged it out, to reveal an egg shaped pendant, of the same colored material. She rubbed her thumb over it, a twist of her lips that was half a grimace, half a smile followed Alex's words. It was new to her, to hear someone that wasn't part of the Brotherhood defend her family. To hear someone tell her that they were good people and that her father loved her in his own way.

It mattered a great deal.

Green eyes flickered up to consider him and her smile warmed. "Yeah.. that sounds about right. He gave me a birthday present this year. First time ever, actually." She whispered, gesturing to the necklace in her grasp. "I found it waiting for me when I came back from a patrol around Mutant Town." She let it fall back to her shirt and turned her gaze back up to him once again.

"Do you want me to put in a report to the X-men that you're back? Scott.. he hasn't talked about it, but I know he must have been worried sick."

*

The words play over Alex's mind about the present, his eyes entertained by the meaterial's unique luster. He figures it's some form of metal he may be sensitive to so that he can find her if need be. Magneto is that powerful. At least Alex thinks he is.

He shifts forward in his seat, placing his forearms on the tabletop. Hands forward, left hand over right fist. "Yeah… I really hadn't thought about him. So used to him being dead."

*

Magneto always knew where his youngest daughter was. Both were connected to the magnetic fields. Both unnatural poles to the Earth's magnetic North and South. She could sense him and he her.. The necklace's metal might've aided him in that, but it was easy for her to manipulate just as well. Inside, unknown to Alex, was a picture of her daughter. A recent picture. One that she never intended to share with anyone.

"Well, you have that option. Everyone is alive right now. Summers clan is pretty extensive. Nate, and Rachel are around. Cable was for a little while." She stood, exiting the booth as she stretched her arms out with a roll of her shoulders.

"If you want to, come back to the base. We could use your help." She ventured, and nodded to the doorway.

Alex is agreeable. He slides out of the booth and stands. His ass is sore and he didn't realize it. He notes, "Lead on, fearless leader."

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