Find Our Way

February 18, 2019:

Nate and Rose try to mend their shattered bond. Some angst and boring relationship stuff. Do not bother to read unless you are a fan of the characters! (Also, this scene is -very- backdated to shortly after their previous scene).

A somewhat dusty apartment in Gotham

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Waller and the Suicide Squad.

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Like most days Nate texted Rose to go see her after lunch, but he cancelled a couple hours later. 'I have to go off grid for a bit, this Rifts thing'. Then silence for the rest of the day. And most of the night. And it is so late that is early when he pings again. 'On my way, cell battery super-low'.

If Rose was sleeping she likely missed it, but he does knock at the door half an hour later. No telepathics, he promised.


The low tune of vibration comes against her thigh, stretched tight and held fast in leather kevlar pants while she is knelt on a rooftop as there is a glimmer between realities and an appearance is seen through the scope of her rifle.

Momentary before the platinum haired mercenary pulls the trigger and spatters the gateway in crimson.

Body dropping.

Walking to the edge of the high-rise she steps off the edge and free falls, only then checking her texts.

« 'K' » All she texts back to Nate, as Ravager is busy as well.

On another screen 'Satan' is responded to with: « 'Done.' »

A pinged notification of bankroll shows her an adjustment made.

Rose isn't asleep when the final text comes through, she is seated in a recliner with a bottle dangling from the hook and claw of fingertips along side the threadbare upholstery. Expecting the knock she places a bare foot on the uplifted foot rest and slams it down, lifting a cloud of dust around the unkept arrangement.

"Unlocked." The staement is loud enough as she leans forward and fills a glass that has been waiting on a table beside her, held even by an old phone book underneath one broken leg.


The door swings open, and Nate sees the apartment. He has been here a few times, and it is still odd. A few years ago Rose liked it… different. He can still remember the places she (they) lived. When they attempted to settle. They weren't like this.

It feels the woman he loves has changed, and he finds himself afraid of knowing just how much.

Then again… he looks worn. And smells faintly to stagnant water and fear, despite some quick telekinetic cleaning. Not enough to deceive her ever sharp senses. It was many hours in that weird alien dump space. "I do need a drink," he admits, grinning faintly. A smile that doesn't touch his eyes.

Coffee would be better. But maybe, just maybe, he will sleep tonight. Stepping forward, closing the door, he snatches the glass, "how was your day? Sorry about it… the Professor needed help. But it was good, we got over a hundred missing people out."


I am restricted, fixed upon the web.
I need to kick the habit -
that my mind is breathing in…

Nate's smell mingles with that of the 'flat', akin and camoflaged, but even Rose's nostrils flare to accept the accent of his arrival into the long abandoned place.. Now habitated once again.

A shift of gaze to him, assessing in the lingewring moment it remains upon him and she picks up something different, aside from his appearance. A shot of that liquid taken and she is rocking forward to use fingertips to push the glass his way.

The arm extended bares ink of roses-in-twine, disappearing beneath a tank top that hangs loosely off her figure, shadowing over the curvature of figure strapped in a sports'lette' beneath. Loose top, tight 'crop, shorts… it is not hard to see despite the fitness gear she still bares gear and weaponry strapped beneath it all and close to skin.

"Busy, like yours. I just cashed in on time." Rose states non-chalantly as if Nate was late for a date with a fellow "Shadow"((Merc)), and she came out on top.

But…
"How is the Prof?"


Nate takes a sip of the drink and finds a place to sprawl. Relaxing, barely. His eyes roam the place, always looking for ways in, ways out. It takes a long while for him to feel 'at home' anywhere. His mind, of course, is doing the same at a different level.

He pulls off the jacket, though, dropping it on a chair with a chunk-ing sound. Heavier. More armor in there.

"Xavier was taken by the rifts early on," he explains. "Pulled into some kind of odd pocket dimension. Food was scarce, so he has lost a lot of weight. He is also trying to keep this rifts critter anchored so it doesn't take a number of innocents with it to his place. So… he was exhausted, not up to talking much. He should pull ahead, though. He is tougher than he looks. Should I tell him you asked?"

So far he has kept in secret her return. He is not even sure why. Perhaps because he doesn't know where they are going anymore.


Rose tops-off her glass and rocks back in that chair with a weight Nate's coat unloaded. A cloud of dust rises in the slatted illumination behind her from the blanketed windows.

The foot rest of the decrepit recliner POP-PINGS up and bare feet are propped upright while she sips from her glass in tandem with Nate while watching him as he speaks, as if guaging every pulse… Twitch… Flux…

His place to sprawl is either a massive insulation stiffed bean-bag, or a couch with mismatched cushioning, adjacent to the placement Rose has claimed. A small spread of a reinforced coffee table is between them while the drink is on a cable-spool side table beside Rose's busted ass recliner.

"These Rifts are being treated like a bad thing. I see some promise…" A gestur before she pauses at Nate's query about Xavier's well being and downs the remainders.

"What good will it do?" A double edged sword of a question when she moves to refill her glass from the bottle and casts him a glance.

"You should rest, I had to after…" A pause that is consumed by the groan of rusted springs and liquid refreshment. Unrefined.

"At least you aren't bald again. Shaving your head wont fix or patch over the scars. Just embrace the bullshit."


"I have never been bald!" Protests Nate. Outrageous. Oh, Dr. Corben shaved his head once to pry open his skull. Totally doesn't count. "And I am fine. Actually, I am resting." On the couch. He finishes his drink with gusto, glass floating to the closest table. "Although if you want to drive the rustbucketto into another wall, that is okay for me," he adds with a smirk.

There is some more he could say about the X-Men. But again, he is not sure she wants to know. Common friends that have gone unseen for so long. They don't ask about Rose anymore either, and that hurts him. But most everyone believed she died in Genosha. And no one could find out why.

"Rose, where are we going?" He asks, looking at the patched ceiling. The apartment needs some work, definitely. A few years back they would have spent a weekend making it nicer. Maybe he should offer.


"Okay," Rose exhales in exhasperation, puffing the tattered bangs from her eyes, what is not trapped in dred'd locks tipped in reminders…

//The wall impacted them, or so it seemed by the violent jolt that could cause whiplash!
But when the fog clears they are slowly pivoting down into a fire-fly lit Abyss of sparks.
… One that is embarked in the sparks of a Unionized Welding Precision!
Rose looks towards Nate and says nothing as she climbs out of the rustbucket-o and slips… away. /I don't wanna dive in first…/

"Doesn't sound like resting to me." Rose states as she casts that Icelandic gaze towards Nate…

A reminder of Islands… Diving in first…

"Seems like a downward spiral to me," Rose states as she rotates the bottle of nearly empty amber liquor, draining it and tossing it into a basket with a loud Shatter!.

Rising with her own cacophony of broken and remade seating she heads for the cabinets and the echo of bottles is easily heard.

"Where do you want to go, Nathaniel?" Asked as she CLOMPS a bottle onto the pressboard countertop.

Her single gaze is unwavering upon him.

His full name unspoken until now, even as she even looks to the ceiling and blinks away the same memory he is surfacing…


It is resting. The first time he gets to sit down since breakfast.

Although relaxing? Did she call him Nathaniel? That might be… complicated. "Here," he taps his mind. "There," he points to her heart.

"We got shattered, Rose," he states. "You by Flash, by Waller, by the Omega Event." And maybe more. He had lost track of her.

"Me, by Genosha and the Phoenix. I died by fire. I burned for a week, and then pulled myself together from nothing but ashes. But I… left pieces of me behind. I can't even remember what they are. Just… holes. White noise."

He looks at the ceiling again. "I want stay here with you for two days. Cleaning this dump. Painting the walls and ceilings. Making it yours, ours. Making a mess, making love, cleaning it up again. Remembering who we are. Then I want to go with you to kill people and earn money. And I want you to come with me to save people for free coffee and maybe a pat on the back."

So, he looks back at her, self-deprecating smirk in his lips. "Too much? I didn't say 'world peace' this time."


When he points to her heart, Rose looks down at her plexus and takes a slow…

….Deep…
…breath…

Shattered. The perfect phrase to compare to…

Regan actualy smiles.
// Taskmaster actually laughs..//
Satan frowns.

«Rose hands over Sugarman, and now…
Satan /grins/…
»

A flutter of lashes… Rose turns towards Nate fully, one eye completely upon him, the other socket empty, scarred around the lid and hollow where a patch should have been - no longer hidden. But the depth is fathomless even as she downs the drink straight from the bottle and leaves the glass empty before her. "You could have killed them…" A waver in her voice before she finally looks away and does not even mention herself in that death.

A death he suffered but he went in as a hero, she went in as..

*The Flash plunges his fist into her chest cavity and clenches!*

A cringe is held back by the draw on abottle and Rose is leaning against the counter top with a slow exhale, no longer looking towards Nate. Her hand rises to her chest and clenches the collar of the loose tank tops fabric, tugging it ower with a rip of seams to keep it from her throat - choking her?

"Two days…" Rose states, a solidarity even as her fist knots into fine cotton fabric…

"I cannot guarantee you will make it more than one day." A push from the eave of the counter and she brings the bottle back to her lips to take a long draught.

A sweep of the back of her wrist to clean her lips of the alcohol before she speaks. "But I'd have done the same for you, Natha—-," Beat. "Nate…"

Slosh-swish

"You just lost your faith in me." A toss of the bottle to him, or was it at him??

"That… hurt." A thump of her fist against her chest, just above the torn collar of her top, against sternum, over her heart… Then she pointed at him, at his head from her heart. "Don't use that in these two days in my shit hole."

Rifling through bottles empties spill upon the floor before another is withdrawn, almost empty… Okay… give it 10 seconds….

Empty.

"World Peace has nothing to do with what you just razed. Only the complex we stand in."

Now what?


Maybe he shouldn't have said so much so fast. But Nate has never been one to mince words. Rose's return certainly hit him hard; he was unbalanced around her, trying to find out where they stand. If she still cared. If she was still the passionate warrior he loved.

And not a soulless murderer for the government or the highest bidder. Which now he realizes is what he fears the most.

"Rose," her angst hits him and he clenches his jaw. At least she still feels as intensely as ever. He stands, to reach at the young woman.

And grabs the bottle mid-flight. That stops him, though. Or maybe her accusation about him losing faith stopped him. "I hadn't. I knew you were feeling like crap, I heard you…" sobbing in the bathroom. Who can make a woman like Rose cry? A bomb in her head wouldn't have been enough before that fateful winter. "Your head was a mess, with memories of two lives crashing. I knew you were at your weakest, and I tried to help. I… waited first, for you to… I don't know. Escape? Rebel? You never let anyone restrain you before, much less jail you. Did I wait too long?"

He sighs, stepping close, trying to hug her. "Then I waited for a signal, or your return. And then I got… lost, and you went missing." And it took him a time to get some order back in his head after the Phoenix consumed him. Then he was pulled back to his homeworld for even more messing up.

"I looked for you desperately," he adds quietly. But the trail was cold. He even talked civilly with Taskmaster when all he wanted was to smash his skull-covered head, "I met Taskmaster in Genosha. He said you were MIA." That killer was not at guilt, though. He seemed to care about Rose in an odd way. "What faith did I lose? You wanted to fight that one battle alone? But you were not alone. You are not alone."


A chorus resounds in her head as Rose stands and stares at Nate while he speaks, her pupil shrink to pindots as memries flash sand she recalls the World after Genoshathrough Genosha.

A hand rises and grips the end of a pleated dread lock, tipping fingers over the tip of the decollage that resides in silver filigrees there. An abeyant chme, one she pinches off between fingertips to silence as memories take her to the Bane/Killer Croc mix-mash of a rebel against Sugarman's rise-up. She joined to free those people and be the Reaper for them when she left them behind to take in her bounty.

Sugarman handed over to The Wall.
Watching him through the heavy reinforced plated glass deep underground.
Satan's Wall -smiled- as Sugarman's image attempted several flickers in and out, and failed. His scream of frustration unheard in that Cell.

/Blackwater and Bechtel
Taking us down a path to hell
Dying for nothing,
except to make their pockets swell…
Mission accomplished./

Nate's step close causes pupil to dilate as if something hit home and his reach for her causes her to step back and drop the grip on the end of a single matted lock of hair, that cadence ringing when she shakes her head and slowly exhales. "I saw your world, the world through that Gate, now too." A solid look to him from one eye, that fall of hair leaving a gap to show an empty socket of scar tissue akin to his surrounded in the same.

"You'd do the same, Nate." Stated lowly through gritted teeth, a near whisper as she looks at him like there is a Sniper's focus upon him, now. "For your Xavier. Your X-Men. It's who you are."

/Found a little bit of light,
tryn'a find my heart.
Funny when I'm bright,
gotta lifestyle dark!/

"Yeah, so we were both in a nightmare that showed us the truth." A rise of a single brow and Rose takes that step closer to Nate that she had taken away moments prior.

"This is who I am. Have faith in that now. I will do what I feel is right. No one owns me." A tap of fingertips to her temple and then her chest over her heart.

"Do you still have faith to not leave me alone in this?" Rose is no X-Man, no Good Guy, but in the end she does what matters - for /who/ matters…


For Xavier? The man is too nice. Nate has done things for him he didn't quite agree. Taken a less aggressive stance when his instincts told him to SMASH. He wants to believe in Xavier's cause, but he -knows- sometimes the hammer is needed.

And strangely, Xavier has always been tolerant when Nate has strayed from the 'saintly' path of the X-Men. For that alone he has gained a measure of loyalty Nate gave to no leader since Spartan. Worlds ago.

That is so different to what Waller did to Rose as night is to the day. He can't understand why Rose has not killed that woman. No homicide is more justified. He would have done himself. But that is… her right, he decided. Rose rejected his help. Vehemently.

But 'no one owns me'? That is what he wanted to hear! He smiles faintly. 'I will do what I feel is right'. And Nate has rarely seen her do wrong. Her heart has always been in the right place. Nate has seen Rose making mistakes, but he has made horrifying mistakes himself. It is what they are. Reckless, impulsive, passionate and bold.

"This is what I am," he offers. "I will try harder, I will become better. But I know it won't be without mistakes, and I might hurt those I love again. I won't leave you alone in your own struggles, and please, do not allow me to stand alone to deal with mine."

She stands closer, so again he reaches for her, his hands gently to her sides, his eyes on her single pale blue one. "Let me stay," he asks.


/.45 to my brain,
… please help…
.No. Glory./

Where others rejected Rose. The Ravager. One took her in and embraced her 'Good', even if it is just her abilities.

‘Satan’ will remain alive unless over her dead body, as she has provided the same for Taskmaster, Enchantress, Harley, Ivy, Regan… Even if they have faded into the background, which the thought alone causes Rose to draw in a deep breath that has her chewing upon her lower lip in a deep bite that draws blood to the surface of thin-skin.

For a moment her eyes lower, but only to look at her calloused hands where joints and tips are taped in either a black (crime scene) tape, or gauze - weaving into the sleeves of her tattered sleeves that lead to the top attire. 'Try harder,'
'Become better,'
'.. hurt those I love again,'
'Not.Alone.'

One step back, slides her foothold over the ground to almost shy her away from Nate's reach, that single blue gaze watching him between 'locks.

/They'll keep fighting 'til the demons are gone!/

Rose lets his touch land upon her sides, turning into it, facing him. "We'll end up alone again, but just remember right now then?" A shudder in her frame, one her face did not betray, nor her eye, but the inhale allowed it to be felt in his touch before she stepped abruptly into his embrace and encased Nate with a wrap of arms that seemed greedy, searching… Anchoring to the reality right before her.

"Please…. Stay." Being alone with her demons was….
Enough.


Nate is tense when Rose embraces him, but he wraps his arms around her, and relaxes slowly. It was too long, this time. Every time. The loss unbearable, and yet unavoidable. The heart that can stand any terror - just fails. For her.

But here is where he belongs. In all other places Nate has been a nomad. "Shhh," he mutters. "Not alone. You deserve better. If nothing else, remember: you deserve better than you have now. You can be wanted and loved for much more than your skills."

He takes one of her injured hands, frowning at the gauze and tape. He wants to know, but does he have the right to ask? Maybe later. For now holding she like this is enough.


Their tension - apprehension, seems to fall away in time. With every pulse, every beat, every muscle-twitch that goes lax….

World's gone dark: "So do you, Nath…Nate…" A look that meets him eye-to-eye. /Lost my way…/

The hands he watches and tries to dissect grip into the folds of his 'attire' and drag him with her into a darkness that rebirths a light between them that had been long lost, her forehead pressed to his:

Almost seen:
The leather jacket he fabricated for her, mailled, plated, studded, glistening off the refractions of broken metals with their sharp ~curves~…

A shake of platinum mane, the 'locks cadencing a chime against the moment before she reaches up and knots her fingers into his attire that could almost choke him further into the moment. "We deserve what we sign up for." A slow swallow that works along her throat in a slower motion, tension shuddering across her frame, all the while her hand descends along his arm that holds her, lacing her fingers in his.

A smile wavers and she looks at him with that daring return of a glint in her eye, tugging them closer.

"Let's go." So many meanings in those two words.

Let Go.
Let Us Go.
Let's Leave.
Disappear.
Find Our Way.

Fall Away.

Find Our Way. Those questioned fingers tangle with his, tighten to hold on. Rose wants to enjoy the moment before they have to hurt again and barrel through it all…

Again. "We need to find better, right?" And once again that mischievous smile surfaces.


Nate hmmps. What does he deserves anyway? There is not much he can be proud. With all his power he should have done much better. He wasn't able to save his world, or do much in this one. Or… bah, he said he would try harder. So stop being a Summers, Nate!

"Yeah? Let's not sign up for anything again without checking the small print," he manages, lips twitching a bit at seeing her smile. "I can't find better than this, tho," he adds, leaning forward to kiss her.

And taste blood. But that one seems a logical progression of their troubled relationship. Perhaps one day there will be kissing without darkness. But that seems as unattainable as 'world peace'. They -are- bloodstained. Figuratively, and also in a very real sense.

Let's go. "Anywhere you want," he offers, breaking the kiss.

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