Never On The Nice List

December 12, 2018:

Battered and exhausted, Illyana returns to Xavier's School and surrenders to judgement for her actions during the Inferno.

Xavier's School

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Xavier

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Chill is in the air, a brisk breeze carrying with it a sharp bite that makes most anyone who steps outside in this weather to regret it almost immediately. That is unless they're wrapped up tight in Winter accouterments and hustle. Still the recent cold wave definitely seems to carry more of a bite than a snap.

But then, why on earth is that haggard looking older man standing out off next to the garage wearing just a pair of jeans and a grey Xavier's hoodie? Logan, axe in hand and surrounded with split wood, stands there with a faint wry grin on his lips even as steaam slips through them with each exhale. The sky is clear, that completely clear blue that makes the chill seem all the worse as if above them was nothing but ice.

He shakes his head as he looks distantly after a quartet of students rushing up the side steps into the main building, all looking terribly displeased with the state of things.

Logan, he just chuckles.


The Xavier Institute is no stranger to odd phenomena, but it's about to host one that hasn't been seen on the grounds in a little while.

One which, sadly, was all too common in New York just a little while ago.

Not far from where Logan stands, but deliberately not between him and the students, or the school buildings, a brilliant point of silver-white light appears. Normally it would expand smoothly into a shining disc, but this time things don't seem to be quite going to plan. The expansion of the disc is jerky, and the portal flickers and jumps, like a poorly-turned television picture. Finally it stabilises, just large enough for someone to walk through, for a few seconds nothing but a hot wind blows through, bringing with it the mingled scents of brimstone, smoke, and blood.

Eventually Illyana steps through, looking completely human - no horns, no hooves, no blank glowing eyes, no fangs… completely human - and dressed in black jeans, boots and a grey and black striped sweater. She takes a breath of the sharp, clean air as the portal collapses behind her, and then raises a hand to wave.

"Hi, Logan." She says in the resigned tone of someone who's pretty sure they're not going to like what happens next.


The axe had come back up, then whirred around with a loud /thok/ just as she appeared, the split halves of wood landing with a clatter. Logan looks up and his eyes narrow as that hint of joviality slips from his features. With furrowed brow he straightens up, letting the axe head hit the ground and resting his hands upon the end of it. He shifts his weight to the other foot and the young sorceress can just /read/ his body language and what it's saying isn't exactly friendly.

"Illy." His voice is rough, not having been used most of the morning and the early day. His nostrils flare as the wind shifts and he tilts his head slightly to the side. "You back for good or is this just a pit stop?" As he speaks he reaches one rough hand to his back pocket, withdrawing the cell there for a moment and swiping his thumb in a short 'X' across the screen, just enough to trigger some of the alert systems to come up.

Just in case.


Although not Canadian Nate is quite indifferent to cold weather short of artic conditions. A thick leather jacket is the only addition to his outfit and consideration to the incoming winter. And he is still an infrequent sight at Xavier’s, although not as infrequent since the old man vanished. He has been looking for him, like many X-Men, and he returns every few days to try to coordinate.

Maybe a bit of a waste of time, because after Inferno the X-Men seem to lack some direction, with some important members missing for a variety of reasons. But he has family here, and friends he misses. At least most of the visitors have returned to Mutant Town and school is back to the abnormal normal.

Today Nate is just out of a Danger Room session and after a brief checkup on the search logs he went to the cafeteria to get some warm food. The plan is returning to Mutant Town in the evening. Still there is some rebuilding to do there; and some other people missing he wants to help track down.

It is through the window of the room he spies the familiar flicker of light outside. Disk of light. It was about time! He jumps to his feet, food forgotten, and heads out at quick pace.


From the depths of the garage, where one Rachel Summers has recently parked her vehicle, the sound of a lot of rustling papers, sacks, bags, and otherwise can be heard, as well as a grumbling note as the chilly air finally hits. "It's freaking COLD." Offers the red-head that idly clomps out of the garage area - or at least, what one can imagine is the red-head, her face is fairly well hidden by all of the bags and boxes she's carrying. The bountiful amount of bags Rachel is carrying are filled to almost over flowing, and all appear to contain decorations for the holiday season. One bag has nothing but tinsel within, at least the impossible to break pieces of holiday decor are wrapped up - for now.

A few boxes are floating behind Rachel, one proudly displays 'three foot tree with a rainbow of lights', while others are lighted reindeer, and a Minion dressed as Santa. (Don't judge). Rachel hasn't had the proper time to actually decorate for Christmas in some time, so she's taking advantage of it now.

Her nice, chunky boots crunch against the ice as Rachel begins to make her way towards the front lawn. Two reindeer in boxes and a Minion are going to be set up right now, no waiting! Of course, Rachel's perfect plans to do so may take a bit of a backseat to the appearance of one blonde sorceress. Ray's steps slow, then come to a halt, as her neck cranes around the bags and boxes to see what is happening between Logan and Illyana.


After the impromptu 'remodeling' of a wall in the Recreational Room of Xavier's, Madelyne has made herself quite at home, desapite how skeptical the looks are, or how unwelcoming the truth is.

Fear does that to humans… or Inhumans. Mutants as well.

For once Madelyne was ot the one to accost, she was the one assaulted first and for no fair reason, as her attempt was to save those present with the green haired mutant, Lorna. All the while the male, Alex, wrecked Havok upon them and told of her being the harbinger of Ruin and Inferno.

Already done.

The Red headed reflection of "Jean" is seated aside as Illyana appears and Logan greets her, the low thrum of manicured nails tapping over frozen upholstery as she watches it all unfold.

Maddie is framed by a lininh of fur that would send PETA into a rage of picketing as well, but let's not bring that here to top off and cherry this moment - the smile hidden behind the ruff of mink.

A different National Geographic unfolding as a Wolverine greets a Demon.


Well. At least he didn't lead with the claws. Illyana will take what she can get. She keeps her stance relaxed, weight shifted to one leg, idly pushing up the slightly over-long sleeves of her sweater as if to show that she's not hiding anything up there, even as her eyes slide down to Logan's hands, resting so very casually on the axe. A small smile touches her lips at that, only growing more pronounced when she sees him go for the panic button. She raises her eyes once more to meet his gaze.

"I don't think that's really up to me, is it?" She asks, her tone level, making it a statement more than a question. That's all she says for a second or two, still keeping her eyes on Logan, but then she draws breath to speak - and is distracted by the sudden appearance of a pile of boxes on legs as it emerges from the garage. She knows who it is, of course, and just for a moment there's the hint of a smile that looks genuine, rather than knowing and sardonic, but then it's gone as her eyes lock with Logan's once more.

"However this goes, whatever you decide, there's something I need to tell you. I didn't take the Professor. These rifts that are turning up everywhere? It's not me." She spoke in a clear, level tone, keeping her expression neutral. But once that's done, it seems she can't quite keep the ghost of a smirk off her lips. "So what happens now?"


The Wolverine's head tilts to the side slightly, taking in the approach of Rachel, and perhaps even the rush of Nate some ways off. But there's no hint of aggression in the man's manner, though perhaps a measure of tension. But she has seen him before go from being utterly composed to that raging beast that sometimes takes him. He gives a nod at what she says, stepping to the side and putting the axe against the side of the garage. He leaves it there and then starts to walk towards her.

"If you didn't want ta be here, darlin'. I reckon ya wouldn't. Ya wanna face the music, or yer makin' a play for somethin'. Either way…" He stops and gestures to the side, "I figure we should get you in out of the cold. Then you can tell yer story once in front of everyone."

He takes a deep breath looking to the side. Perhaps he catches Rachel's eye if she looks to him, looking for disagreement to is planned course of action.

And if she doesn't object he turns back to Illyana. "C'mon."


"ILLY!" Nate's arrival seems thunderous. He is angry and worried and it shows. Logan gets ignored. Madelyne gets… er, not ignored - he is keeping an eye on you, lady! But he doesn't glance to the older redhead, he glances the younger redhead for a second, though, but he barely pauses.

He pretty much tackles the blonde. He is tall enough to lift her off her feet when he bearhugs the sorceress. "Damn you! I was worried! Don't do this ever again or I will find a way to get to Limbo… and then you will complain no end about the mess I will make!"


One by one, the bags and boxes, and sacks and packages are lowered to the frozen ground, as Rachel listens (okay eavesdrops) to the conversation going on by Logan and Illyana. Rachel is very reserved. She has to be. There is an entire school of children here that need their protection. At the side glance from Logan, Rachel's head inclines once, a slight, very perceptive nod in agreement. Honestly, Rachel would love nothing better than to just forget everything, everything! It was a weird time for her, as well, and she'd just as soon sweep it all under the rug, and never bring it up again.

Trouble is, sometimes you don't get what you want, no matter how much you might want to wish it, or how painful it may be. What's that saying that was quoted to her by some movie or another? Life is pain, anybody that says different is selling something. The Bride? No that's something else entirely different, eh, it'll come to her another time.

Aaaand then Nate goes and sweeps Illyana into a bearhug. Oof. That isn't going to go over well. With a shake of her head, and internal laugh, Rachel spins about on her heels, all of her bags get plucked up in a telekinetic bubble and brought WITH her into the house, where the next phase of this conversation should begin. Out of this damn cold.


After asking her question, Illyana didn't move a muscle. Letting the frozen moment drag out, uninterrupted, until Logan gave his answer. The signals she gets are mixed. The axe being put aside reads as positive, but a man with adamantium claws hardly needs it. And then he's advancing on her, right into claw range. She still doesn't move, doesn't take her eyes off him, until he speaks - and then she seems to relax just a fraction.

Illyana tilts her head to one side as Logan voices his suspicions, and there's a flicker of something that looks perhaps worryingly delighted in her eyes as he says it. The surprise that appears when he invites her in is quickly hidden, and she takes a step forward to join him. "We don't always get what we want, Logan. I thought you knew that." She says, quietly. One of them has to be the cynic.

And then Nate hits her. When it was all going so well. And the spell Illyana had been using to conceal her true appearance, pretty much all she had the strength to muster, shatters. Nate - and then Rachel - will probably feel something is wrong before they see it. Illyana's fairly small, fairly light - but she doesn't usually feel like a bag of broken twigs. Cracked ribs grind together, and Illyana lets out a hiss of breath through tightly-clenched teeth to keep from screaming. Without the glamour, her long blonde hair is dull from smoke, and possibly singed a bit at the tips. Her eyes are bloodshot, there are a couple of mostly-healed cuts on her face, she's got a pallor that's unhealthy, and she's not dressed in jeans and a sweater, but in leather armour that's seen better days. Up close she smells of fire and battle.

Despite this she still manages to gasp out. "If you're… trying to kill me? Squeeze tighter."


When Nate had hurtled in, Logan hadn't taken a step to stop him. The Grey kid is old enough to handle himself and that was his perogative. But then the flicker and flash of the fading glamour causes the elder X-Man to scowl and to reassess the situation. He steps forwards as soon as the pair are parted and he moves at first to move and take her up. But Nate likely has that situation partially under control at the least by the time he gets there.

A scowl touches his features as a storm cloud seems to settle on the man while he moves, likely in the wake of Summerse as he heads towards that side door and past Madelyne. He spares an instant to shoot that same gaze at her, a hint of a growl at the corner of his mouth, before he pulls it open.

"Damned teenagers, always with the dramatics."


Nate was not paying much attention to Illyana's appearance, to be honest. He half expected her to kick him away, or vanish in a flash of light. Not that she was disguised and looking like hell. In fact it is the familiar stench of the battlefield what gives him the clue, and her words make him release her, pulling her away a few inches.

Deep frowning. "You look like hell," wait, is that not what SHE always tell HIM. But it is true. "C'mon, I'll help you to the infirmary. Ray… Ray!" What is Ray doing sneaking out instead of helping her bestie. Grump. «We need a first aid kit and if Nurse Annie is on the grounds, well… you know.»

"I heard you, old man!" He adds for Logan. They have not been teenagers in years, damnit. Then again he is not sure if Illyana was *ever* a teenager.


Whatever is happening behind her, Rachel doesn't much pay attention to, her focus is getting in out of the cold, and putting her army of packages into a nice pile at the doorway. Finally, Rachel's gaze flickers behind her and towards the now glamourless Illyana. A glance over the heavily beaten and battered Illyana, and Rachel arches her left brow upwards, mouth idly quirking to one side as she offers a sarcastic, "Just had to go and get the shit kicked out of you." Rachel's tone is a not-very-concerned, even though she IS, manner. "Help her down to the med-bay, Nate, Logan, whoever, we can have this discussion there." That is spoken towards those assisting the sorceress, the other is directed towards Illyana. "And Illyana, if you ever go demon again, I will personally kick your ass myself, and forget about being on the nice list this year." Not that she could, but then again, it's Rachel, you just never know.

As Nate offers his ever so impatient telepathic comment, Rachel's brows arch upwards. « Already done. Don't worry, she's going to be okay, brother. And then we can kill her. »


Madelyne remains in her repose, leaned back in the iron-twisted patio chair. Even if frost bitten and laden in snow she seems to embrace the chill that encases her figure while she treats it like a throne of comfort.

Watching the greeting unfold between the quartet of X'ers, Maddie simply uncrosses her legs and rises after Logan passes by. "Yes, well…"

A tuck of the fur ruffed sleeve over her manicured hand, a flourish of fingers through the visceral colored fall of hairs. Sweeping them from dark emerald eyes, she looks over the gathering and huffs out a moment of amusement. Dead Air.

The Jean-Replica only flourishes a wave of her hand in a dismissive manner to the 'dramatics', and moves on in to take her place at the Staff Quarters and make a cup of…

Something warm.


Illyana's not sure she could manage to pull a vanishing act right now if she wanted to. Just getting back to the Institute from Limbo had been a chore. And while she's never been one for hugs… she welcomes the pain. Not that she doesn't do her very best to squirm away to moment Nate's grip on her loosens.

"Nice of you to notice." She tells Nate, the hoarseness in her voice really undermining the acid edge she was going for. "I'm fine, I can walk!" She tells him, pushing away from him with her hands and nearly stumbling into Rachel as she does so. She used all her breath on Nate, so Ray only gets a roll of her eyes - and then a wince as the redhead tries to hand her back to Nate.

"I'm never on the nice list." She finally manages, before a more serious look settles in her eyes as they lock on Rachel. "You should have done that THIS time." Still not exactly with good grace, she allows herself to be hustled away.


To Logan, some of the X-kids will always be teenagers to him. Into perpetuity. No remorse. But he holds the door long enough for anyone to continue through and follow after if needs be, then will step on inside himself and close the door. He'll walk forwards enough to catch up to push the small portrait on the wall and hit the trigger hidden behind. When there's a waver he'll be there to help Nate if needs be. A panel in the hall slides open revealing one of the emergency elevators that descend to the depths below the mansion.

Logan steps in and hits the button for the medbay floor, then extends a hand to hold the door open long enough for them to get inside. He shoots Nate a glance that seems to speak volumes about disapproval for some reason. But then seems to settle on it being his affair as he checks the door. "Goin' down."

And with that, the door begins to shut, then the elevator wends its way downwards. For his part the trip will be taken in silence, only ending with the proper 'ding' that lets them become aware the elevator is open and they can make their way to the medbay.


Maddie had followed Logan within, but once over the threshold of the Manse, those heels muted in the cadence across the floor on to the ornate area rugs.

Xavier was well travelled and it showed in the designs of the decor from floor to ceiling engravings. A vase upon a center-placed table is straightened, a single winter bloom in a mass of evergreen and 'frosted' branches is righted.

While they pile into the elevator to descend, she heads up, her hand now upon the banister, knowing better than to go where security is likely far more tight and her scrutiny is already one under fire.

Passage would not be Allowed!
… Unless read as someone else.

One thing at a time, darlings.


The statement about being able to walk gets a skeptic look, but Nate lets Illyana walk, keeping close to support her if she stumbles. No response, or much talking besides a "harsh, Ray," to his sister. In his mind Illyana's troubles started when they failed to stop the invasion of Limbo. So there is blame to share from the usual guilt-centric Summer's viewpoint.

So if Illyana can make the whole trip without help, he lets her make her prideful point. "Who is in the nice list anyway? What worries me is… it is not over? Are you still fighting, Illy? If so what should we expect now?"


Rachel has not intended to, but managed to fairly well ignore Madelyne. It wasn't really intended, and Rachel should apologize later, but for now, Maddie is given a curious once over, before Rachel's attention once again returns to the broken sorceress, Ray's brother, and The Wolverine.

To Illyana, Rachel offers a dry, "Apologies. I missed my chance, however I would like to point out, it seems you did a fairly well job of getting your ass kicked this time around, my assistance would just be overkill." Ah, banter between friends, Rachel's missed it.

And then - silence of an elevator. A few steps, a nurse waiting for them in the med-bay, and Rachel quietly making her way along behind everyone. "I would like to state, I have tried my best to be ON said nice list. Though, I fear we all will be placed on the naughty list this year, so to hell with it. Nice is over rated anyway."


A scowl touches Logan's features as he slips out into the hallway and moves towards the medlab. "Save the questions for once we get her settled." It's that authoritative tone he reserves for when he's having to send the new kids to take a few laps. It's up to the door that he moves and he smacks the controls with a first flatly and the doors whisper open with a low /whoosh/.

But once they get in that room he'll seem to lose a touch of that tension as he steps back and to the side, taking up a place on one of the other beds nearby as they get her set up for the nurse to tend to once she arrives and for them to finally pelt her with inquiries left and right.

Logan, though, for his part? He stays at a bit of a distance. Watches. Nate's probably not quite used to Logan as much as Ray. But her. She can read his manner, his mood, his surface thoughts. It doesn't paint a pretty picture.


Just before the doors to the elevator close, Illyana's head turns and cold blue eyes track Madelyne as she heads for the staircase. It's only for a second, but there's suspicion in those eyes. Even surrounded by X-Men, unsure of her welcome, and injured, Illyana still hasn't failed to notice the interloper in her (once?) home. Or her uncanny resemblance to Jean. The unfamiliar redhead might not have made the top of the Russian sorceress' list today, but she's definitely on it.

Once inside the elevator, it's hard to avoid at least brushing against anyone, but Illyana manages it. "If you wanted to take your shot, now's a good time." Illyana tells Rachel, a faint, crooked half-smile suggesting that she's finding some twisted amusement in the idea, despite how serious she sounds.

She just manages to bite back a flippant answer to Nate. With Logan this close, she needs to choose her words carefully. "Limbo's locked up tight. Nothing's getting out… but not everything that ended up in there owed allegiance to me. And they gave the locals some ideas, particularly after the mess the dragon made of the place." Illyana's smile is hard. "They had ideas about new management. I've been saying 'no' a lot."

Allowing herself to be ushered into the medbay, Illyana finds herself a bed but only allows herself to go as far as sitting on it. Lying down isn't going to happen without protest. "When I was done… mostly… I looked back here." Her expression goes closed and guarded. Looking at the damage she'd done when she wasn't quite… her. "I saw the rifts, I saw the Professor was gone…" She shrugs. "I only came back to stop anyone trying to break into Limbo looking for him." She glances at Nate. Since he just threatened almost exactly that.


In his defense it should be pointed out Nate would go to Limbo to look for Illyana, not for Xavier. He was not suspecting Illyana as the person making people vanish all over the East Coast.

Once Illyana is settled on a medical bay, he steps back and leans against the wall, folding his arms across his chest and looking at the blonde with a frown. He would prefer someone else to tend the sorceress’ injuries, he is not sure how most of the high-tech medical devices work.

“Maybe you can find Xavier, though,” he points out. “But first you gotta recover, and no worries about Limbo. If you want I will go with you and help you put down the rebels. Least I can do after… the other time.”


Sitting on the bed, Illyana's blue-eyed gaze flicks first to Logan, silent and watchful, and then Rachel, covering the doorway. On another day, she'd remind the redhead that she doesn't need to make it to the door to escape, but this time she satisfies herself with a nod. They're her guards. She knows it, and she's willing to acknowledge it.

The only person who doesn't seem to know it is Nate, which is… not exactly a surprise to Illyana. She decides not to clue him in. "It's my realm, Nate. My war. Demons respect strength. If I let you win it back for me, then I don't rule. But I can keep them off the lawn at least." She glances among the others again, not just addressing Nate this time. "I can scry for Xavier. Of course, that involves you believing a single word I say." Her fingers tighten on the edge of the bed, just a little. "So let's get it over with."


"Don't go makin' any big plans, Grey." Logan says from his place across the room, arms folded over his chest. He tilts his head to the side, blue eyes level upon Illyana as he sits there and gives calm regard to the young woman. He tilts his head to the side towards the door, towards Rachel, then back towards Illyana.

"Gonna need ta have the big brains have a sit down and chat with Illyana. Find out exactly what happened. Why. And how it's gonna be prevented in the future." He takes in a deep breath, nostrils flaring subtly, then he frowns and adds in that low quiet rumble. "S'gonna be a rough next few days, girl."

Another small glance towards Rachel, but then he seems to just press on. "You get through it, let people ask what they need to. Maybe we'll get through this."


Quiet still, catching each glance from Logan, and returning them with crystal clear green eyes, Rachel's arms unfold from her chest. She takes a single step inside. "We can end this quickly enough, Illyana, Logan. If you lower your mental shields and let me in. I'll be quick, I promise." There isn't much more that Rachel can say at this point, or do. She simply lets it out there, and speaks as honestly as she can.


"You can tell the demons I am your minion, or whatever," but Nate is not going to push it. Illyana gets stubborn about Limbo. As if the rest of them couldn't understand what she does there and why.

Which is fine - it took him a while to get it. But really. It is obvious she is pushing herself too hard, and it is also uncharacteristic of her to let others see her injured. It makes him worry. "Illy… why did you come here now? I mean… we want you here, of course," he glances at Logan and Rachel and dares them to contradict him. "But you are hurt and your disguise was weak." And showing weakness is not her way. Demons respect strength and all that.

Rachel's offer makes him look at the redhead again, he tenses, about to object. But he just sighs. Rachel was closer to Illyana, after all. They seem to have an understanding Nate never quite reached with Illyana.


Illyana had been wondering how long Logan would let Nate run before pulling him up short. Not really very far at all, as it turns out. Illyana's attention switches to Logan. The other two might be her friends, and they might each have the power of a psionic demi-God, but Logan's the final authority here. And if she's not careful, the final sanction, too.

"Not much change there." Illyana says, in a deliberately light tone. The last few days… weeks? She's actually fuzzy on how long she's been fighting a civil war in Limbo. However long it's been, she hasn't had a pleasant day since the Elder Gods made their play for Earth.

Despite her light tone, her gaze doesn't waver from Logan's, and as she continues, that lightness of tone falls away. "I have nothing to hide. Not any more. I'll tell you what happened." She takes a breath, pauses, and glances over at Rachel. "Be careful, Ray. It's dark inside." And with that, the impenetrable demonic shields open, enough to let the telepath look inside. Enough to let her taste the mind behind the shields. Switching her attention back to Logan, Illyana begins.

"Once upon a time…" Her grin is swiftly hidden, but devilish. Sometimes, she just can't help herself. "There was a little girl, who met a powerful sorcerer. He took the little girl to a magical land and told her that she was special and that he loved her." So far, so sweet, the lilting tone of a fairy story.

"He lied."

Illyana's tone is abruptly hard and flat. "He sliced her soul into pieces, twisted them, and made them into bloodstones." There's a golden medallion in Illyana's hand, suddenly. No flash of light. It's just there, and oddly compelling to look at. She flips it open, revealing three blood red gems, with space for two more. "When her soul was all gone, when all five bloodstones had been emplaced, the girl would become a gateway, and the sorcerer's dark masters, the Elder Gods, would return and rule over the Earth forever and ever."

The medallion snaps shut and vanishes as suddenly as it arrived. "But the little girl… what was left of the little girl, which wasn't much… and which wasn't so little any more… defeated the sorcerer and stole his kingdom. No Elder Gods. No apocalypse. Everyone lived happily ever after."

Illyana snorts. "Until. The. Damn. Bear. Turns out if you abuse the fabric of reality enough, you make it thin. Thin enough for the Elder Gods to get through without me. That dragon was their herald. I tried to fight it. I lost. So I made a deal. The rest of my humanity, to keep the Elder Gods locked away. I traded New York for the world, to give the breach in reality time to heal."

Illyana looks down at her hands, finally breaking eye contact. "But I… made a mistake. I thought that without my soul I'd still be… me. But I wasn't. Nothing… mattered. No-one… mattered. I couldn't stop myself, but others did. Just… a lot later than I'd hoped."

Illyana looks up again. "You want to stop this from happening again? You can kill me. Burn the body. The Elder Gods will never be able to use me… but I won't rule Limbo. And sooner or later, the demons will find another master. Someone else who can let them out. Other that that… Doctor Strange. I told Scott to find him if I ever… fell."

Illyana takes another breath, trying to lessen the tension that's built up while she's told her tale, and looks at Nate. "I came here because despite everything I did do, I didn't do this. And it doesn't matter if I'm hurt, I'm not going to fight you. I'm not going to run."

She holds up her hands, a little theatre right at the last. "I surrender."


« Sorry, Nate. I'd trust you with my life, but right now - this requires a little more finesse. » Rachel's mental voice quietly opens up to Nate, as her steps draw her towards the bed Illyana is on. One hand gently plants itself on Nate's shoulders once, squeezing gently there, before Rachel draws up a chair and settles next to the bed. Rachel is quite aware Logan is there, as well. Silently, he stands in the background, quietly there should things - require his special touch. Logan is someone Rachel respects greatly, but is also someone that the red-head feels that minor bit of tension when ever he's around. Comradarie - yes. Tension over the fact he managed to skewer her? That too.

Anyway, today, right now, it isn't about Rachel, it's about Illyana, and the red-head is here to be that mental check-up. The one that state, yeah it's really Illyana and yes, she's telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

So as soon as Illyana lets her in, Rachel goes. Outside, Rachel's listening, inside, Rachel's digging, pulling up images, and thoughts, and doing everything that a friend probably shouldn't be doing. She's testing everything. She's pulling through Illyana's every inner emotion, and demon, and thought. Rachel is trying to be as gentle as she can, even if what she's doing is very, very invasive.

Finally, Rachel leaves as quickly as she entered, Illyana's thoughts are her own again, her memories, her demons, they weren't touched, just inspected and weighed for truth and honesty. It makes Rachel feel sick to her stomach, what she had to do, and she did it.

Rising upwards, Rachel's head inclines to Logan. "She's telling the truth, what you see there, is Illyana, as she was a few months ago, though perhaps a bit wiser." And not as many mysteries.

Rachel spins about on her heels and heads out, "Rest now, Illyana. Let the nurse treat you, and heal you." With that, Rachel quietly leaves.


« It is okay - she trusts you more than she trusts me » replies Nate. A touch of bitterness there, as Illyana in a way or another has been a constant in his life since he escaped his doomed world. And yet she never let him too close. Except when they were trapped in an illusion, ironically.

Rachel confirmation is no surprise. Illyana's confession out loud is a surprise. He knows her well enough to know how much it means for her telling her true story. And despite his teasing about knowing her secrets, there are many details that are ever unsaid. Still are.

Nate takes a step forward, and pats the blonde on her shoulder. "It will be alright, Illy. I am going to stay around for a day or two and I will bring you something to eat right away."


Illyana had let one or two people have the smallest glimpse into her true past. Scott. Rachel. An even smaller glimpse was given to Piotr, for all the good it did. He still believed what he wanted to believe.

Would he still, if he'd been here to hear her tale? Will he still, when he hears it second hand?

It's too late for regrets. She had no choice. Everyone who'd ever mattered to her had seen what she truly is, stripped of all artifice. Seen the Darkchilde.

The others leave. Illyana barely manages enough of a spark to roll her eyes at Rachel's 'wiser' crack, or to say something appropriate when Nate offers her food.

And then she's alone, looking at the closed door. It's no barrier to her, and part of her, humiliated by her weakness, raw from the loss of her secrets, urges her to go. Slam the doors of Limbo behind her and never return.

She stays sitting on the bed. It'll hurt more to stay.

Good.

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