How Do You Convince Everyone You're Not A Supervillain?

February 26, 2019:

Time frame is just directly after Highway To The Danger Room, Rachel and Illyana basically say enough is enough, and decide to take a small break away from everything. This is Part One.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

One moment, Rachel Summers will be flying through the air, courtesy of being backhanded by a towering Sentinel in the X-Men's Danger Room, heading for an impact with the training facility's wall. It probably wouldn't have been fatal - assuming her brother actually remembered to turn the safety protocols on - but it would probably have been unpleasant. Or at the very least, embarrassing.

Good thing that the next moment, she's somewhere else.

A disc-shaped portal of silver-white light flares into existence in Rachel's path, and before she knows it she's plunged into it. The inevitable stopover in Limbo takes no more than a fraction of a second, and then Rachel is flying out of a matching portal into brilliant sunshine. Assuming she's in any condition to notice it, the air's a lot warmer here, the sky is cloudless blue, and the only sound comes from the waves as they rise and fall along the deserted, sandy beach below.

Well, the beach isn't quite deserted. Illyana Rasputin is standing on the sand, and although she's shrugged out of her uniform jacket in deference to the heat, her black and red costume still sticks out like a sore thumb. Where she got the broad, floppy, and inevitably black sunhat she's accessorising it with is anyone's guess. Cupping her hands around her mouth, she yells up to Rachel, "Need me to catch you again?"


One moment Rachel is surprised as hell when the nerd turns into the freaking HULK. The next her brother. Her dear. Delightful. Going to die by Rachel's hands. Brother. Has enormous Sentinels show up and back hand Rachel. It's just a good thing that, one, Rachel had a bubble of protection about her. And two, Illyana was far more quick witted and quick to action than Rachel was.

No matter how much Rachel tried, the momentum of the swat was too strong for her to deal with, she prepared for the smash against the inevitable Danger Room wall, where ever that might be - and then she was out of the Danger Room, flying into Limbo, and flying right back out again into the gorgeous sun of the — beach?

By the time Rachel had entered Limbo her accelleration had lowered, by the time she got out of Limbo, it had all but faded, leaving Rachel to travel only a little ways out of control, before she regained control and lowered herself to the sand.

"Thank you." Is Rachel's first statement as her boots sink into the sand, soon followed by a blur of telekinetic energy, as her costume transforms into a blood red bikini with red checkered sarong which tied in a bow at her waist, and came down to her knees. "And Nate had better thank you as well, because the instant I was able to, he and I would have some words." And there's a flair of bright, angry red about Rachel's eyes as she states this.

As it is, though, Rachel's eyes soon cascade over Illyana's clothing, and with a bright aura and blur of color around Illyana, the witch now has her own dark blue and black hued bikini, sarong about the waist, and of course, keeping the wide brimmed hat.

"Where are we, anyway?" Rachel inquires, moving to just flop into the sand, kick her feet out in front of her, and soak in the rays of the sun. "And tell me we can just stay here for awhile?"


Illyana's eyes, shaded by the brim of her hat, follow Rachel's trajectory. If she gets too far out to sea, catching her before she splashes down might be tricky… but as it turns out, unnecessary. It seems like the Sentinel didn't manage to knock Ray for as much of a loop as it seemed, in the heat of the moment.

Satisfied that Rachel can land on her own, Illyana digs the toe of one of her heavy boots into the sand in a desultory fashion until Rachel's figured out which way is up again, and made her graceful landing. Illyana glances up from her sand-excavation with a smirk, blue eyes gleaming in her shadowed face, when Rachel first thanks her, and then lays out her vengeful intentions toward Nate. "Now that would have been worth watching. Next time I'll let you go splat, if there's going to be entertainment." She's clearly teasing, because she shakes her head. "He would have deserved it, too." Illyana adds, and then goes still as Rachel's powers run across her. She does this sort of thing enough to other people that she really should be used to it by now, and yet…

Illyana tilts her head to one side, then deliberately looks down at herself, and then after a precisely judged second, looks back up at Rachel. "Better." She concedes with more than the hint of a smile. "I really wasn't dressed for the beach." As Rachel makes herself comfortable, Illyana wanders a couple of steps closer to the sea, just on the band of damp sand not quite claimed by the tide.

"Aruba." She replies, deftly sidestepping a particularly enthusiastic waves. "I'm not going back. I've had enough of Reavers and Sentinels for one day." She turns around and begins idly pacing back the way she came. "But I did have another idea." Illyana looks over at Rachel with a quick grin. "I'd actually thought I'd have to sell it to you. What would Scott say?"


Closing her eyes, Rachel just continues to soak in the sun and the sand, and does her best to let the annoyance and anger just fade slowly, slowly away. By the time that Illyana speaks, Rachel's red-headed temper has faded into nothing, leaving her gaze to flicker upwards, one hand moving up to shield Rachel's eyes from the sun. "Aruba." Rachel intones, and spares Illyana the song, though it does jingle about Rachel's head just saying the words.

Lowering her hand, and herself back down to the soft sand, Rachel's sardonic response is to simply state, "Most likely, dad would give some kind of guilt-ridden speach about responsibility and the need to always be a good little soldier. I have long ago decided to not care what Scott says, and do what I do regardless."

"Besides. I need someone to talk to about what is going on, and do it away from everything. Something is just -wrong- right now, and I'm not sure if it's me, or part of the Sentinel, Reavers thing, or something else entirely, but if I don't get some sleep, and fun, and relax, my head is going to explode, and I'm going to explode." Rachel's entire features fade some, then, the illusions that she'd cast for so long disappearing so her tattoos are once again very prominant on her face, as are the deep lines, and sags about her eyes, displaying a very not-well-rested vision.

"So, thank you. Illy. This is -exactly- what I need. What other devious things have you planned, or shall I just wait and see?" Rachel's expression drifts into a smirk, corners of her mouth twisting upwards.


Illyana has the strangest feeling that she's narrowly dodged a bullet when Rachel repeats the name of the island, but dismisses the impression with a mental shrug. If Illyana had realised how close she'd gotten to Rachel singing, one of them would no longer be on this beach. Which one is open to question.

Illyana mock-grimaces Rachel's way when she declares her independence of her father - Illyana's not sure she's entirely buying it, either - and says "So disappointing." Just loud enough for Rachel to hear. However, when Rachel continues, Illyana's footsteps slow and she turns to face the redhead. Rachel's tone no longer invites banter, and the two of them have… an agreement, of sorts, when the other needs to talk. Ignored, or perhaps unnoticed, the waves that Illyana's been fastidiously avoiding rise to swirl around her ankles, pulling at the sand around her feet before retreating. The sequence repeats a couple of times before Rachel's finished, and when Illyana finally moves to join her, she leaves behind a couple of deep footprints in the sand.

"Nothing all that devious. A club, some drinks, some dancing, some more drinks… forget the X-Men and how everyone wants to kill us for a while." Illyana relates her unusually straightforward plan as she walks to join Rachel and sits down on the sand, drawing up one knee and looping her arms around it. Blue eyes, so very bright beneath the sunhat, stare at Rachel. "If you're going to explode." Illyana says in a measured tone. "Warn me so I can get to a safe distance. I've seen what you can do." There's some humour in the words, but it's an attempt to break some of the tension she sees in Rachel, not a dismissal of it.

"Everything is wrong right now." Illyana agrees. "Look at me. I told myself I only came back so you all didn't try to break into Limbo looking for the Professor, but he's back and I'm… still here." Illyana glances toward the sea, for a moment, although when she looks back there's a half-smile on her face as if she hadn't just dipped toward the darkness. "Talk to me. I'll have better ideas than Nate."


Without missing a beat, Rachel's response is a dry. "You still with the X-Men, means visits to here, thus, I'm not complaining. Besides, I never thought the Professor would be in Limbo." Another beat, and Rachel's voice remains dry. "Him in leather tends to put an image in your head that you can not ever get out again." Ew.

With a laugh, Rachel sits up, rubbing her eyes with her hands. "Club, drinks, and chilling out sounds fantastic, by the way." And yah, Rachel's dodging things. Even though she was the one to bring it up in the first place. Turning her gaze out to the ocean, Rachel's eyes scan the horizon, arms now wrapped about her knees, back arched, attention on the waves.

"Really though, I don't know what to make of it. Sleep is something that has never been fantastic. Nightmares. M'sure you know." Rachel offers, her nose wrinkling upwards. "But the past few nights, I think I'm being visited by - a spectre of .. of either my past, or of a future me, or you know. I don't know. It's images and thoughts and memories that are just at the tip of my tongue, and this spectre, this woman. She knows things that I should know, and says things I should remember. She's in my head, and I can't escape it. She knows me, and I feel like I should know her. Oh man, just saying it, I would think I'm crazy."

Rachel rolls her eyes, not that one could tell, given her gaze is still on the horizon, but she does so, then continues. "She speaks about a Larry, and I can almost see him. Maybe when we get back, you can help me find him in the X-Men's database. She says that he's been captured by Sentinels. Ah, hell, this all sounds absolutely insane, but if any measure of it is true, even in the slightest crazy bit. We need to find out."


Empathy and Illyana have an uneasy relationship, most of the time. When Rachel dismisses her own drama, the unspoken feeling that after what actually happened in New York, and how close they'd all come to something far worse happening, that Illyana should have left, and sealed the gates of Limbo behind her, Illyana feels a selfish urge to twist the conversation back around to why she shouldn't be here. Because she wants to punish herself? Because she wants it to all be about her? She doesn't know, and pushes the poisonous urge back into the dark places of her soul. Because she doesn't really want to leave. And because she does actually care about what seems to be eating Rachel alive.

Instead, she just snorts quietly at the idea of Xavier suffering a Limbo-style makeover. "Even I have my limits." She remarks, and narrows her eyes a little as Rachel keeps deflecting. She's not going to speak up and give the redhead an exit route, at least not yet.

"Try sleeping in Limbo." She puts in mildly, "You might find your nightmares get a little too real." She smiles, because she's trying to keep the mood light, but she's really not joking. That was dangerous enough before, but now… Illyana focuses back on Rachel before her own thoughts can run away with her.

"You probably are crazy." Illyana puts in. "We probably both are, by now. That doesn't mean it's not real." Isn't that the disturbing truth of their lives? Illyana doesn't interrupt again until Rachel's finished. "I'll help you." It's a simple declaration, and Illyana makes sure Rachel doesn't think she means anything by it by adding, "It sounds better than another one of Nate's simulations." But her eyes are still on the redhead. "If someone is getting to you." Illyana says slowly. "Past your shields, and none of the other telepaths are picking anything up? If there really is someone out there messing with your head?" Illyana shrugs. "I was joking before, but… want to try sleeping in Limbo?" She smiles. "You might come out a totally different kind of crazy, but at least you'll know."


Turning her gaze onto Illyana, Rachel's emerald eyes blaze with telekinesis, burning brightly about her face, the image of the Phoenix appearing just briefly there, "Actually." Rachel finally states, "I want to find this person and make them talk, because if they are able to get through my shielding, and sneak past all of the telepaths at the mansion, this person and I need to have a very. Very. Long. And unpleasant conversation." The aura about Rachel's face makes her tattoos stand out brightly then, before it fades again just as fast, leaving Rachel with a smug expression on her face.

"And this is just exactly the kind of relaxation that I need to recover before returning." Rachel's gaze flickers out to the ocean again, watching the tide ebb and flow before her. A few minutes later, and the sound of an individual approaching can be heard, followed by a young man carrying two bottles of water, two large blankets slung over his shoulder, and a blank look on his features. He proceeds to drop both of the blankets down, offer the bottles of water to Illyana and Rachel, and bows formally with .. again .. a blank look on his face. "If there is anything else, just let me know." Before he proceeds to move off again, disappearing into the distance.

Rachel's smile remains smug as she slides onto the blanket and pops open the water bottle. "Good chap." She offers, smugly. Very. Very. Smugly.


Illyana's smile is malicious. "Sounds like a much better plan. You'd better not leave me behind when you find her." Illyana abruptly flashes a grin, perfect white teeth bright. "Assuming there's someone to find and you're not actually crazy." Rachel seems happier. Illyana's sure she can take the ribbing. Mostly.

"I do have some good ideas." Illyana remarks, then lapses into a companionable silence, equally content to enjoy the sun and the solitude - although she darts the occasional glance at Rachel, as if she senses that she's missing something. And, sure enough, she is. Illyana watches the man approach, at first with irritation, but then with dawning suspicion. Taking the offered water bottle - because despite how unreal the situation feels, what else is she going to do - Illyana settles for looking accusingly at Rachel until the man turns and walks away.

Only then does she remove the cap from her bottle and clink it against Rachel's. "How do you convince everyone you're not a supervillain, anyway?"

Taking a drink and finding the water agreeably cool, Illyana replaces the cap, spreads her blanket out just so, brushes the worst of the sand off her body and takes up residence. "We're still going out later. I'm not explaining why I'm sunburned when we get back to the mansion unless I've had a drink first."


The accusing expression Illyana offers to Rachel does not daunt the red-head at all. In fact, it only causes her to grin even more, offering a very innocent shrug of her shoulders. Once the man is out of ear shot, and without a doubt wondering idly why he did that without getting paid, does Rachel answer Illyana's most important question.

"I'm not a super villain." Ray's brows arch upwards, the smug grin still on her features. "I'm just an — opportunist. What's that movie? With Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis? True Lies? He only killed bad people? Well, I only manipulate bad people." Not an entire lie, the guy was thinking inappropriate thoughts about his co-workers, so whatever makes Rachel happy. Right?

And Rachel has absolutely ziltch in the way of remorse, too. The water bottles clink together, before Rachel settles back onto the blanket. "Great. Going out. Enjoying the sun now, party later. I'm in. Wake me when it's time to change." And with that, Rachel does sleep - so far away from all the chaos of New York? It's an actual honest afternoon, sun inspired nap, and one that Rachel needs a great deal.

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