A Squirrel and Two Blonds
Roleplaying Log: A Squirrel and Two Blonds
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Warren Worthington seeks out Meggan, and they share a moment about the aftermath of the Purifier abduction. A squirrel is up to no good.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: February 17, 2019
IC Location: Scenic Xavier Manor
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 18 Feb 2019 06:28
Rating & Warnings: PG for shorts and stern cheekbones
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Sun Feb 17 19:38:12 2019 *

* * *

It's been a few days since the incident in Ossining, and Warren has recovered enough to be released from the infirmary — though he's still on strict orders not to fly or to remove the bandaging holding his torn wing firmly in place. His blood might severely accelerate his healing process and ensure that his wing will ultimately regain full function — instead of being weakened for life, as might have happened otherwise — but overly stressing the appendage will just lengthen the process and render moot his natural gifts.

He's been a bit sulky about this, as one might expect of any flighted creature forced to remain grounded for an extended period of time, but he's obeyed the stricture so far. The resultant restless energy appears to have been channeled into work, as he's frequently been seen in various places around the Institute reading intently on his tablet or talking angrily on a call.

He honestly could have just taken the train back to New York if he really wanted, but it wasn't deemed wise for him to stray too far from facilities equipped to treat him until his wing was in better shape, so here he still is. A good thing, too, because something has occurred to him that he does realize he needs to get done before he departs.

Such it is that today, he is in search of MEGGAN PUCEANU, wherever she might be in the mansion or on the grounds.

* * *

Meggan heads to the Exterior Grounds.

* * *

Meggan arrives from the Exterior Grounds.

* * *

MEGGAN PUCEANU…

Is actually outside.

In shorts and a T-shirt. (How perverse.)

This is partly because she still has a white pressure dressing on her thigh down near the knee, with several gauze pads on either side where a round actually did go through the flesh and just barely missed a tendon. She has been healing well but has not been going out a great deal, not least because it was only on Friday when she was safely able to get up and walk - and she had preferred to lay in bed and watch television rather than hobble on a stick.

Though she did take a tour of the building in a wheelchair. Very accessible building.

Right now she is laying on some grass, or at least a patch of turf that will have live grass on it again in a couple of months if nobody burns it or blows up the Sun, propped up on one elbow and looking out towards the lake. A squirrel has emerged from a nearby tree experimentally and seems to be approaching her, although from its posture, the squirrel is Meggan-curious, not anti-Meggan nor eager to taste her mutant blood.

Her head turns a little when Warren spots her, feeling his presence perhaps. The squirrel, startled at this motion, freezes.

* * *

It doesn't take Warren long to find Meggan once he steps outside and casts a weather eye over the grounds. Though, actually, what he sees first is the squirrel and all of its twitchy movements. His eyes are rather more attuned to movement than regular human ones.

The second thing he sees are Meggan's shorts. …because it's cold out, and the choice of attire stands out, of course.

After that, he gets to the rest of Meggan, his gaze lingering on the pressure dressing above her knee. A troubled look flickers in his blue eyes, as he heads across the grounds towards her, meandering down the paths with the familiarity of someone who has been down them countless times before in a more careless, more relaxed youth.

Warren's left wing is pinned pretty firmly to his back, but his right one is still healthy enough, and he lets it fan a little in order to filter the cool air through feathers which have not felt wind for too long (several days). The effect of this on the squirrel remains to be seen.

"You can give me a run for my money in 'sitting out in the cold,'" he says, his hands in his pockets, not yet making himself comfortable in case he's intruding on desired solitude. True to his remark, he's inappropriately dressed for the cold too: no coat, nor even a jacket. Just an XAVIER school shirt cut out around his healing wing, and a pair of well-worn jeans. His gaze returns to the dressing again. "How are you healing up?"

* * *

Meggan flips the Coin of Ill-Advised Action and gets heads.

* * *

The squirrel turns its head and sees a large wing spreading. Attached, no less, to a tall human. Warren's eyes can take in easily the sight of a squirrel's astonishment, followed by it booking it for the nearest tree, whereupon it runs round and— doesn't climb up. Perhaps Meggan gives off a pleasant aura, or smells like acorns. Or both?

Meggan shifts around a little heavily then, and says with a sunny look, "Well, I meant it in the kitchen. The cold doesn't bother me. I feel like a walrus sometimes, just lolling out here, but it's soothing. The sun's nice, I can see the water…"

She pushes herself to a full seat. "Ooof," she says. "Could I trouble you for a hand up? It's healing, alright - I did a… thingy so it's got more blood to it than usual… I don't know how to explain it. It looks awful but the hole's closed up in the middle?"

"Oh but what about YOU," she continues, seeing the wing wraps. "My god, it must have been miserable for you. I'm sorry I haven't paid a visit sooner!"

* * *

Warren seems accustomed to alarming small animals, who then have no idea what to do with the fact that the WINGS! procedure in their brains cannot account for the novel information of 'the wings not being attached to a bird.' He does seem surprised that the squirrel doesn't run away completely, though. His eyes track thoughtfully back to Meggan, and it occurs to him he doesn't have a — very granular idea of how her powers work.

But her sunny response to his arrival draws an equally-sunny smile from Warren. For an injured man, he looks fine other than the wing, his healing abilities having done their work handily. The full sun of the spot Meggan has picked is especially kind to him, rhyming with the unrelieved pure gold of his hair and deepening the blue of his eyes. "Ah, well, it's one thing to hear it, and another to see such an example." Her request for a hand up is answered immediately, his hand taking hers and pulling her upright with an easy strength. He really does recover quickly.

"Jean could tell you that this is certainly not the first time I've gotten myself injured after confronting something that should have waited," is his equanimous reply to her concern. "Most have in fact just told me my misery is quite deserved for my continued poor track record of taking precautions." His eyes drop to her dressing again, examining it; they crease a little in a wince at 'the hole's closed up in the middle. "You redirected your blood flow for wound recovery?" he summarizes, when she confesses she doesn't know how to explain it.

"There's no need to apologize," he insists, his good wing folding in a bit. "I actually meant to come out here and thank you." His lashes lower. "I mean, you wouldn't have a hole in your leg if not for coming after me."

* * *

Aren't they, Warren? AREN'T THEY ATTACHED TO SOME GREAT, PREDATORY—

Meggan takes the hand, grips firmly, and rises. "Thaaank you," she says: "I can walk on it now but I'm not supposed to put much weight, and it's hard for me to just— fly, like this, so-o…" Upright, she is in a much lower stance than usual, bordering on a lopsided horse stance, but it is in fact upright. She lets go of Warren's hand, after a second.

"Well I mean," she says, looking down, "I don't know exactly how to put it. I read blood flow helps so I thought, well that's fine then, why not imagine it's super blood rich? And I mean it was messy so I let it be but I think it's doing alright now. But I don't want to poke it or change it round too much, either."

Meggan takes a breath.

During this time she pieces together what Warren's saying. Her hands go to her hips hard enough to make a small, discernible slapping noise. "They aren't REALLY telling you that you were asking for this, were you? Oh Jesus Christ." She puts her hand over her face then, drawing herself in. Another breath in, another breath out. "I'm sorry," she says, "hah I"m doing it again. No, I know, you're all fond of each other. Just, oh my Lord."

Her hand slides down as she looks at Warren in silence for a second or two. (This isn't hard for Meggan. Not at ALL.)

"I mean I didn't get tied up or anything," Meggan continues. "It's nothing, really, ultimately… I just wish I'd done the… shell, thing, better, so I wouldn't have had it happen at all. I was really kind of making it up as I went along, to be honest with you."

* * *

A flicker comes and goes in Warren's eyes, in the spectrum of his emotion, when Meggan mentions she can't quite fly when she's like this. The emotion feels — negative, but it's hard to tell the direction of it, whether it's at her or at himself or at something else entirely. "Really?" is all he says out loud. "I don't have difficulty with a leg injury, except perhaps sticking the trickier landings. Unless the leg is dangling off. Then that throws off my balance." …has this happened to him? "I'm sure the mechanism of how you fly is quite different, however. Surprisingly few fly the way I do." It's a perfectly expected response, delivered with his typical light humor, but something about that passing emotion puts the slight lie to his outward presentation.

Really, overall, it has been a little oddly… difficult to get reads off Warren Worthington. Well, he and Meggan have not had much reason to interact prior to this — the cross-trainings were not that frequent, and Warren was not around for all of them due to the fact he had a lot of work on his hands after his parents' murder — but still, that shouldn't impact anything.

No, what seems to impact more is that despite his outward appearance of careless, open charm, beneath that beautiful outward facade Warren feels like a series of locked doors: his emotions rather tightly under control and his nature compartmentalized into a series of masks. He is wearing a mask right now very openly with her, as he helps her to her feet and looks her wound over, and it feels like a wing drawn shelteringly over a chick; but beneath and far behind that is a taste of guilt, and a hint of self-reproof of the kind people feel when they have failed at their core function.

Even farther back behind all of those things is a raw red spark that is anger. It feels like a glimpse of something which runs all through Warren, an invisible throughline under the rest.

At the least it dims a little at Meggan's response, to be replaced by a gloss of amusement. "Well, not in so many words — and not in a deadly serious sense. We do tend to take the piss out of one another — so to speak. Maybe that if I were in their place, I'd be angry too if they didn't give me a headsup; or that I am setting a poor example for the younger classes with my recklessness." A pause, before he adds with a rueful widening of his smile, "It's all meant well."

His eyes settle on Meggan as she says she 'didn't get tied up or anything.' A flicker of concern comes and goes. "I'll let you in on a little secret," he says, his blue eyes sparking conspiratorial. He leans closer, his wing unconsciously ruffling up and folding around to complete the air of secrecy. "Jean, Scott, me, all of us… we were all making it up as we went along, too. That's the only way to really — learn, when you're in situations like we are, with no guide on what to do."

Again comes that flicker of guilt, under the surface aplomb. "I just didn't quite expect that when we were talking about training you up in stressful situations, one would come so soon."

* * *

The emotional ripple piques Meggan. Intrigues her! Gets her focus. She leans her less shot-up hip against a nearby piece of deck barrier. "For me it's like… I don't know, really. Honestly I don't know how I do it. For all I know I copied some organ in Brian's flight suit without realizing it!" She laughs at the idea.

"I mean I can't just float," she says. "Like, Rachel can float because she does it with her psychokinesis." Meggan gives full value to the word. She sweeps back some of her hair and keeps her gaze on him. "For me I can kind of bear up but it's like a bicycle, I have to at least SORT of move."

The warm feeling is clear. She turns a little bit, in what would be flirtatious if she did not literally have a bandage on her leg. It is probably still a touch flirtatious. "See, no blood," she says. "There'd just be a bit of spotting if I took it off, I bet you. By Friday it's just going to be a mark, at worst."

Meggan is not shining her own feelings out too hard, perhaps out of habit, or respect for reserve. Nevertheless her attention is clearer and brighter than it is in many people; a subliminal sense of being /paid attention to/. Because Warren is! But it's a reinforcement. "I understand," she says. "I just, ugh, I don't know." She looks towards the lake for a moment, biting her lower lip for a moment. As she fusses with her hair again, she says, "Well, it would have happened any time really."

"I'm not really used to ATTACKING," Meggan says - "Usually when I did get into a fight it was an ambush. Like when we had that entire horrible incident with the train back in England, at one point these horrid Nazi versions of some of us showed up, but since they'd come by accident they figured it was best to sort of shake hands and say 'piss back off to Nazi town,' and ugh it was AWFUL. One of them was like the Mirror Universe Kurt." She looks back to Warren. "Like from Star Trek," she explains. "He even had the goatee."

"So he was sweet on the Brigadier and we didn't trust him one stinking bit so I shammed like I was the Brigadier, right, in her bed, and sure enough in came Herr Blau and wasn't HE surprised — but you see," she concludes, "I knew he was coming, or else that we'd managed to think too poorly of a Nazi officer from another universe."

Meggan stops for a moment, and a thoughtful frown crosses her face.

"I've certainly led an odd life," she says. (No , thinks the squirrel, still watching.)

Back up, Meggan gets to the point. "But here I knew there were ye gods how many people with guns - how can you even live out here, everybody seems to have a thousand guns - but I also knew, you know, nobody was going to come rescue. WE were the rescue. You know what I mean? And I know Rachel's terribly competent, and so is Ms. Gray, and Piotr and everyone, but —"

Her eyes turn to the paving stones of the deck.

"Anyway," she says, "The last thing I really THOUGHT was, 'nobody's coming to the rescue but me' and then it was like I was on a rollercoaster." Back up to Warren. "Does that make sense?"

* * *

For all she knows, Meggan says, she just copied something in Brian's flight suit! Warren laughs too, but there's another hint of that undercurrent in his emotional landscape that, mercifully, goes away quite quickly again. A hint of disquiet linked to memories of troubled conversations with the Professor — back when Xavier was still around — where Warren asked his mentor: what did he bring, really? "Ah, well, I suppose it's rather a full-body sort of exercise for you, then," he says. "I mean, it is for me as well, but after half a lifetime you learn to work around any injuries you might sustain."

Though to speak of full body — Meggan turns hers, in order to show him that her wound is in fact, patching up quite all right. The move is — maybe a little flirtatious, the way it extends the length of her wounded leg, and it must be confessed Warren's eyes draw down automatically, because she — or the way she looks right now — is certainly beautiful, and old habits die very hard. But after that first flicker of almost autonomic interest, his emotional responses show no particular spikes.

"Well, you might not have been able to explain it," he says, "but your instincts were on point, there. — It would be a shame if it left a mark, though."

But ultimately, he came out here for certain specific reasons: to thank her, to check on her, to see that she is healing up… and to assuage, in some part, his odd guilt that he promised to help Meggan slowly acclimate to being overwhelmed by emotion in a crisis — and then was the cause of her being pitched straightaway into a crisis himself. Perhaps it's just his over-developed sense of chivalry at it again, because as Meggan illustrates with her anecdote, she isn't entirely unlettered in the art of 'being dumped into very tense and strange situations.

He frowns at the story. There's a hint of concern that accompanies the expression, though the concern is more that he's picturing — "Was Alison with you all at the time?" he asks. "I dread to imagine what a horrid Nazi version of Alison Blaire would be like."

I've certainly led an odd life, concludes Meggan. Warren considers some of the things that have happened ever since 2006. "We all have, I think," he agrees slowly. "Though I think ultimately Excalibur takes the lion's share of the oddity."

He sobers a little bit, however, as Meggan works her way through her thought process that night. His eyes gentle, their clear blue veiling a little under long lashes. "They are competent," he says, "but it's not just competence that goes into it, you know? It's realizing that 'no one is coming to the rescue but me' — and then stepping up to that without hesitation."

His eyes go a little distant. "It makes perfect sense," he says. "I had a similar conversation once, long ago, with the Professor. About the moment when you realize it's up to you, and none of your doubts stop you anymore." He smiles faintly. "It's called courage."

* * *

"D'you have a course for flying practice somewhere?" Meggan asks. "I mean I suppose it might have gotten sent out West. The Danger Room doesn't work like a holodeck, does it?"

It is, in some ways, a blessing that the BBC had Star Trek; in others, a curse.

But the rest brings in Meggan's attention. She can see, almost taste subtle chords of memory - they mean nothing to her but it has a sense of nostalgia. It is too elusive for her to bridge the gap, but she nods along, straightening up gradually as she does. I could stretch my leg a little, she thinks, but —

Oh come now, she tells herself: Really.

"This was before she joined up," Meggan says. "No sooner had we got everything together as we went on this ridiculous thing. It was a little time-distort-y so it didn't make a big impact out here, but let me tell you that it was rather longer when you're going through it…" She sweeps her fingers through her hair again.

From Meggan's expression, she is imagining what Warren is: a Nazi Dazzler. (Dazzlnazi, for short.)

WHAT MEGGAN ENVISIONS: https://i.imgur.com/c4pU3kZ.jpg

She grimaces.

But it turns into a smile, warmer than before. "I want to give you a hug," Meggan says. "Is that alright?" And once permission is given, her arms spread out and she steps forwards - favoring her good leg yes but it closes the distance and she gives Warren a tight, pressing hug, her cheek nudging his shoulder as she moves herself to the two-o-clock position to minimize strain on the zone of the harmed wing. Or is it ten o clock? Well, the point is the same, the effect is similar.

"I've been talking all about myself," she says. "Or forgetting half of what I said. How are YOU healing up?" She disengages the hug but doesn't step back, tilting her head to look up at Warren, close enough to hold. (Certainly warmer than the background.)

"You're the victim here, after all," Meggan says.

"Not that you have to - BE, the victim; you understand me, right?"

* * *

Meggan's inquiry about a course for flying practice draws a flashing smile. Warren smiles often and easily, it's rapidly becoming clear — perhaps trained to by a lifetime lived in front of cameras, and under the microscope of a mass media which asks questions of any expression that is not happy, effortless beauty. But it is equally clear, especially to Meggan, that he has many different types of smiles that mean many different things and belong to many different masks. This one tastes like recollection and reminisce, like more innocent days (and possibly a little like trauma, as well).

"The Danger Room was where I was trained in it," he answers, "and it was more than equipped for the task. Though admittedly, the focus there was on enhancing maneuverability in enclosed quarters and frenetic combat situations. Practice in free flight, I did outside." The feeling of nostalgia in her senses intensifies. "We started out — oh, crude, with actual traps and swinging obstacles and the like, but then there were aliens and we made a few upgrades, so it's got hard-light holographic techonology now. Very realistic, without being… you know. Lethal." There is a brief pause before he shakes off the gloss of memory. "So it depends what you would want to focus on, first."

There is a distinct sense of relief when she says that it was before Alison joined up, so there was no Nazi Alison.

Her request for a hug, however, catches him a little off-guard. There's a distinct surprise to him for a few moments, the surprise of a man who has been so jaded by long exposure to the wealthy and dissolute and worldly that he has nearly forgotten things this innocent. Then he relaxes. "Of course, dear," he says, his good wing folding back out of the way and his right arm crossing her back at her shoulderblades when she comes in for the hug.

He doesn't seem troubled by her lingering proximity when she disengages, nor the way she looks up into his face after. Women lingering close enough to be held is not new to him, and the familiarity of that warmth is comforting in its own way — has a nostalgia of its own, to a simpler era. It makes him feel as if life were not rapidly changing for them all, outside of their control…

"I think you could stand to talk a little more about yourself, at times," he says, shaking off the thought. What Alison told him about Meggan, about Brian and Excalibur, flickers at the back of his mind, briefly damping his emotions to the sober seriousness of the inveterate protector he is at his core. "It isn't something I mind. As for the Purifiers…"

He hesitates. Little of it shows, but Meggan would feel it; another shine of white-hot, sharp-edged anger and frustration. "I prefer not to think of myself as a victim, no," he says, his voice calm. "A favored target, perhaps, of that particular kind of group. But I always have been, and I always will be — unless we change it." His gaze looks briefly past her, to the Institute in the distance. "That was what the Professor always dreamed, and I haven't — given up on it, yet."

His demeanor softens a bit after, as he looks back down into her face. "There are other of his traditions I would like to see carried on. To teach, for one thing," he says. His good wing folds around her in a gesture that seems broadly analogous to the avuncular sling of an arm about shoulders. "I flatter myself there's no one who flies better than I do. I'll teach you, if you like, once my wing isn't falling off."

* * *

"Oh-h, I suppose I could talk more about myself, but I have to find more to be worth telling," Meggan says. "I wish I had telepathy in me like Rachel or Ms Gray do, it'd make so much more sense there."

"/Ever/ so much sense," she adds, in a tone of play.

But the Purifiers come up. They're still out there, aren't they? Maybe I can out-fly them, Meggan thinks, or something else will come to pass, if I just keep going. For a moment she looks towards the house, and her thoughts are difficult to quantify in language for a moment.

A lighthouse; perhaps this is a lighthouse too, Meggan thinks.

"Basement's not haunted, at least," Meggan says, softly, to herself.

She looks up at Warren then. "I'd love that," she says. "You're a master. But don't rush yourself, either. Here, tell you what: I'm going to make you some more eggs."

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