A Raptor's Revenge
Roleplaying Log: A Raptor's Revenge
IC Details

With Warren saved Dani seeks him out to see how he is.

Other Characters Referenced: Alison Blaire and Apocalypse
IC Date: November 26, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 27 Nov 2019 13:59
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The team's mission was a triumphant one by all accounts — no casualties, few major injuries, and their enemy now down another Horseman — but Scott Summers has never been one to celebrate or rest on his laurels much. He sent his people to intercept the group as they returned, and while they were allowed to go on ahead to the Blackbird, the former Death was forced to stay behind until he could be completely examined by the same battery of tests through which Alison had been put. If not even more.

Warren didn't exactly complain. In fact, he insisted on it, and would not hear of anyone staying behind with him while he was being cleared.

Ultimately it was many hours before Warren was permitted anywhere near the Blackbird, and once Scott and Magneto were certain the brainwashing was broken, they immediately pressured him into a strategy meeting in order to divulge all that he knew as the former general of Apocalypse's forces. That took several more hours, and at the conclusion of it, Warren — stressed and unhappy — asked Scott where the farthest place on the ship from other humans was.

That turns out to be a small, unused storeroom near the craft's rear storage bays, where all the most-infrequently accessed supplies are kept. Warren retreated there immediately, not speaking to much of anyone else, and promptly hid from the fearful and weighing gazes of the crew.

It's been hours since then. Alison has been to see him, but few others have tried since then.

The mission was definitely a win for the team.

For all intents and purposes their time here, within this realm, has also been quite successful. They've rescued Alison and now they've likewise rescued Warren. Truly, they couldn't ask for a better outcome.

Though perhaps there are moments where certain people wish they could change things, so that a better outcome was had.

But only moments.

Still, though, the team is safe and so too are Alison and Warren. Now comes the time where they wind down and debrief, and in Warren's case be examined to make certain everything is well. It takes hours, but there's not much a person can do. All of that personal knowledge Warren possesses shouldn't go to waste.

Not that it makes it any easier to wait.

For Dani, she kept herself rather busy as she checked on everyone that she could. Only once she was done does she turn her attention to trying to locate her more erstwhile teammates - Warren, and Ali.

She knows Ali has been avoiding her. She really does. And honestly Moonstar has some understanding as to why Ali is, though that doesn't mean she'll be able to avoid Moonstar forever.

Either way, Moonstar's search brings her upon Warren first. Her footfalls are quiet as she approaches that unused storeroom, and whether it has door or just doorway, the Cheyenne reaches up and raps her knuckles to announce her presence. "Warren?"

She doesn't step inside the storeroom just yet, she waits to see how her arrival is received.

Dani's arrival is received in — silence, mostly. There is no response. If the door had been fully shut, she might well have been out of luck.

But fortunately(?), the door is a little ajar, not having been fully closed after the departure of whoever was here last, and the slight pressure of her knock is enough to cause it to hiss fully open.

After having known Warren for so many years, Dani would have by now gotten quite used to the environments in which he liked to keep himself. They were all of them lavish, well-appointed places, comfortable and aesthetic… places that made quite plain the wealth and privilege of the man who had had them designed to suit his tastes. But this room he's holed up in now?

There's nothing in it. Not even a lamp. The only light he's allowed himself comes from the ambient lighting of the ship itself, and it glimmers wanly on the shining organic-steel feathers of hackled, mantling wings. He has not tried to fold down or suppress a bit of their twenty-foot span — perhaps is not even in a mental state where he is capable of reeling them in — and they spread lethally from wall to wall of the cramped space, swordlike primaries draped along the bare floor.

He perches at their center, hunched in a raptor's restless crouch. It's hard to see in the dim light, but his skin still shades that same bloodless blue hue, and his hair straggles in a darker, duller hue than his normal gold, shading a tired brass in the dark.

His eyes travel immediately to her injury — her missing eye. His hands twitch, before drawing closed. No armor — no talons — but perhaps a thought or desire for both.

"Come in," he finally says. "Or don't, as you prefer."

Moonstar has learned her lesson of just walking blindly (no pun intended) into a room.

As such, she waits to be invited in and only after she's invited in does the Cheyenne woman step inside.

With the room quite dark it takes Moonstar a moment to focus on Warren himself. Instead those first few seconds are spent on the metallic wings. Familiar, in the sense of their wing-like structure, but also foreign as well.

And having run with the wild-things of the forest Moonstar doesn't miss the rather aggressive nature of those mantled wings.

It's that sight which allows her to pull her eye off of those sharply edged feathers and onto the man himself.

She doesn't necessarily shrink away when he looks at the damaged side of her face, but there's definitely a slight head tilt to protect that side from casual glances.

Now comes the hard part - what to say.

"Well." Begins the woman her tone rueful, "I'm sorry I came empty handed, but beer is a little hard to find here."

And then comes the more serious words, "I'm glad you and Ali are alive."

Dani knows animal body language more intimately than most. It always helped her read Warren's moods a little more accurately than most, because his body language wasn't just human. It blended avian mannerisms in, inherited from his genetic legacy.

That influence is even more pronounced now than it was before. In these moments, he seems all but overtaken by his raptor nature, the angelic aspects of him for now drowned out. Everything about his posture screams of barely-restrained aggression and hairtrigger violence.

His eyes fix on her as she steps in, and do not blink. They do not bleed bloodlusted red — not now — but neither are they fully the blue she remembers from Warren Worthington, a slight silvery sheen corrupting the purity of their color. The slight turn of her head to protect her wounded face from his gaze brings his head to tilt slightly, a short sharp movement like the gauging cant of a bird's head to see something more clearly.

Her opening words finally bring him to blink. His wings tremor, before some of their aggression relaxes. His head turns aside, shame briefly overtaking the everpresent anger chewing at his mind.

"Yes. She is alive," he says, as if reminding himself of something. "That's what matters."

His head lifts, his expression tired. He looks a little more like himself. "You were hurt, coming to get us," Warren says, his wings drooping. "Come here… let me see it…"

His wings are lowered, one hand lifted and turned palm-up in a nonthreatening gesture. Despite all that… he still does not seem like he would be surprised if she refused to come within reach. To do so would be to step between the lethal guillotine-range of his wings, even quiescent as they currently are.

It's easy enough for Moonstar to see the pronounced bird of prey nature within him. It's enough so that Moonstar herself telegraphs the majority of her movement in slow precise gestures.

It's also what has her keeping him centered in her rather limited field of vision.

"Both of you are alive." She returns, a thread of heat possibly heard in her voice when he seemingly eschews himself from that. "That's what matters."

And while more could be said, or even asked, when Warren raises his head and that exhausted expression is seen, Moonstar stops. Instead she just waits for his next words, mindful of pushing too much. Surprise flickers across her features at his initial words and at his request Moonstar steps over.

He is her friend afterall, no matter how changed he is on the outside.

So, she draws closer to the droop-winged man and says quietly, "Oh there's not much to see." A corner of her mouth ticks upward in a harsh smile at that unintended pun of hers, "And I'd - we'd - all do it again for you and Ali."

And speaking Ali's name causes her gaze to fill with concern, "Have you talked to Ali? How's she doing?" She could ask is she okay, but Moonstar is pretty sure she knows the answer to that question.

"Tell her it's not her fault. Nor is any of this your fault. None of it is. The person who's at fault for all of this -" And she gestures to encompass Warren and herself, the ship, this reality, "- Is that monster. I'd tell Ali myself, but she's avoiding me."

And while it takes a second or two, eventually that eyepatch is removed to show Warren her damaged eye. It's neither pretty nor salvageable, but there's still a small spark of hope to Dani's last words, "Can you heal it?"

Both of you are alive, Dani insists, a little heated. Warren pauses, considering her a moment, before… he evinces half a rueful smile, his gaze dropping to the floor. The expression does not come easily, and it does not stay long, but it's encouraging to see him remember how to make it at all.

"Both of us," he admits, in a wan correction.

He is clearly struggling to remember himself, who he was, what he was like… clearly fumbling to sort away Warren Worthington from Death. He is also clearly fearful to contemplate how differently people may see him now — whether they might look on his ruined appearance. his list of atrocities, with revulsion and pity — and some part of him can't help but… keep on testing whether they are afraid of him now.

Come here, he urges her. Show me you still trust me.

And she does.

A visible wave of relief flickers in his eyes when she approaches him, same as ever — and quips, same as ever. Asks, even, about how Alison is doing; same as ever. Warren's wings remain docile, spread to either side of him, looking both desperate for Dani's absolution — and unsure, at the same time, whether he deserves it. "I hope there is never an 'again,'" is the first thing he says. He reaches up, very slowly, to gently touch Dani's face just beneath the ugly wound destroying her eye.

Her question pinches his eyes with apology. "I don't know," he says honestly. "Even before, this would have been hard for me. Regrowing an entire organ that's been gone this long…" He hesitates, pained. "And while I'm — like this — my blood doesn't heal."

His gaze averts a moment later. "Ali was here earlier," he says. "She's… recovering. Even when I was Death, there were… pieces of me, in there. I was Death — but there was a thin voice in the back of my mind, telling me the things Warren Worthington would have done. That kept her… safe, while we were up there. That kept her from killing. I… did it instead."

He's silent for a moment. His eyes close, and when they reopen the irises briefly sheen red. "But make no mistake… I know exactly who is at fault for it. I will tell Ali so, if I must. He broke everything I was. He tricked me. He backed me into a corner with no possible out. And he used me…"

The backs of his hands shimmer briefly in tandem with the curl of his fingers. A precursor to talons which — for now — do not aactually appear. "I'm going to kill him. I'm going to cut him open with the wings he 'gave' me. I'm going to show him his…"

He stops.

"When are we leaving?" There is a barely-bridled, taut quality to his tone.

His smile is encouraging as well as his admission that 'both' of them are alive.

It brings a little bit of hope into Moonstar's heart that both Ali and Warren will heal from all of this. No matter how long that healing may take, at least there is hope it'll happen.

And while she sees that relief flicker in his eyes she doesn't say anything to it. She understands that need for absolution, having needed and wanted it recently herself.

"I hope so too." She agrees to his never 'again' remark, "I'm pretty sure we've hit our quota for these sorts of situations.", and then she quiets when he examines the mess upon her face. It's hard not to ask again if he can heal it, but she strives for a patience she doesn't necessarily feel. Not that she has to wait long as he gives her his honest assessment of her wound.

His answer expected in some ways, but that doesn't stop the flash of disappointment that twitches across her features. Quickly she tucks that emotion behind a mask as she manages a step back to fix the eyepatch that she removed. Once everything is back in its place, she begins to say, "I figured as m-", but that sentence doesn't quite finish, not when he admits to not being able to heal. "Your blood no longer heals?"

His answer to her question about Ali prompts a nod, and a vague look of relief. She heard that pause in his answer, but to know she's recovering is still good. "I'm glad she's managing."

His next words give her pause and when he admits to having killed that brings forth a look of sorrow and understanding to Dani's features. "It was out of your control. I'm grateful we were able to break his conditioning from you both."

That brief flash of red is seen and it brings a watchful look to Dani now. An attentiveness to the raptor influences that might currently have more sway for the winged man.

And while she's watchful, that doesn't stop her from leveling a look of surprise at those vehement words of his. Nor does that surprise stop her expression from turning grim, or the cold bite of her words, "You aren't the only one who wants that. Before we leave he'll pay for what he did to you and Ali."

"To this reality as well."

"He must answer for all of his crimes." And only the loss of his life will appease these particular crimes it seems.

That last question of Warren's prompts a quick answer from the Cheyenne woman, "Soon. Once Scott and Magneto have completed preperations we'll be leaving."

"Every time I think we've hit quota," Warren sighs, "something else comes up. But I'll hope that we have hit our quota for this particular kind of situation."

The cadence of his words is almost familiar again. It is tempting to believe he could be back to his old self that quickly… but there is a great deal to suggest that he is not. There is a rote quality to his speech, as if he were speaking in reflexes: words he knew he would have said once, and which he can automatically say, but which he may not be truly feeling. Not at the moment.

His wings have drawn in to his back again, a little, since they first drooped to the floor. It's not something immediately noticeable — more something that just gradually happened, over time, until the sudden realization that he's practically wrapped back up in his own wings, like a child seeking security in heavy blankets.

It does mean she has to come uncomfortably close between those rustling blades to show him her injury… but the hanging guillotines to either side of her are docile, for now. Perhaps they rhyme with his moods; his touch, when he traces it over her injury, is very gentle — almost overly gentle, in the way all lethal things must be — and only gets more so at her visible disappointment.

Her surprise at the changed quality of his blood lowers his eyes. "The last time I used it that way was to revive Alison," he says, his voice quiet. "It took all of it. What comes out of me when I'm like this — it's a poison. An acid. It can't help anyone. Maybe if I could rid myself of the way he's changed me, go back to how I was… but every time I try, I just…"

The anger is too great. "I remember killing all those people," he says instead, which is also part of the answer, but not all of it.

It's the anger coursing in his blood which dictates what he says next, however — informs his ultimate demand: to know when they will depart to kill the creature which twisted him and Alison both. Perhaps it would have surprised him once, how readily Dani agrees.

Now, he only rises to a stand, his wings flaring their pinions with the hiss of edged steel. He must answer for all his crimes, she says.

"He will," says Archangel, with a certainty born of the willingness to exact that justice with his own hands. "And then we'll go home, and finish the job."

It took all of it. When he had to revive Ali.

And when he's like this that healing blood of his is now poison.

Oh there are questions there that Moonstar has, but she doesn't yet ask them, even if she wants to.

It's a careful dance to make sure she doesn't find a finger, or two, snapped off in the fury of an enraged bird.

Especially when those metallic and poisoned-edged wings move around the two in conjunction with Warren's own emotions.

"You'll never forget." She says, to his words about remembering killing those people, "And it leaves a permanent mark upon your soul, but eventually you learn how to live with the actions you took while not under your own control."

After all, Dani should know. The Bear made her kill so many people, both directly and indirectly, and it's something she lives with to this day.

The hiss of his wings brings her gaze back over to those metallic wings of Warren's, and she only shifts her attention off of them and back to Warren when he speaks again. "Yes." She agrees, and then resolutely she finishes with, "And when we get home I promise you justice will come knocking on the doors of those people who did this to you and Ali. They will not escape judgement."

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