Hair Trigger
Roleplaying Log: Hair Trigger
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

There are some inherent risks involved with giving Neena an expensive new toy and telling her to 'see what she can do.'

Other Characters Referenced: Tony Stark, Dani Moonstar
IC Date: April 26, 2019
IC Location: Westchester
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 27 Apr 2019 14:08
Rating & Warnings: R for language, suggestive sarcasm
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Women, Warren Worthington learned a long time ago, all need to be handled in their own different and unique ways. Some need to be chased around; some need to be courted; and some need to be left on a long lead and allowed to come in when they will.

Accordingly, after he gave her those keys and told her to come up to the Institute sometime to see what they were for, he left Neena Thurman well enough alone.

Time passed, but Warren wasn't concerned. He learned patience in these matters a long while ago. Besides, this is important enough a thing for which to wait. He's known Neena just long enough by now to have observed some things about her: her hard outer shell, her transactional approach to life, and the small vulnerable places where she can be pricked which trigger an immediate stonewall and withdrawal.

At the Mutant Town raid, he saw something which was more than just a small place. He saw something stripped and haunted in her eyes, and bodies on the ground. And Warren, despite his flighty outward presentation, is a conservative investor. He takes intuitive leaps sometimes, but far more typically he finds it important to know how things work before he puts too much on them or escalates a dependency on them, and that includes people.

He already knows one way in which she ticks, at least: she's got a bad case of curiosity killed the cat.

Whenever she does show up, whether she gives advance notice or not, word will get to Warren eventually, and the reply will come: come meet him out in front of the school's gates. She'll know the exact spot even from a distance. It is a beautiful day for April, and the copious sunlight pouring down from the cloudless sky reflects off the distinctive Rosso Corsa shade of the Portofino parked out front.

The fact the car still doesn't visually overshadow the man waiting with it says something about the showy peacock looks of Warren Worthington. In fact, he might overshadow the car. He's perched in a seat on the hood, sunning his fanned-open white wings like an oversized bird, his blue eyes obscured behind a pair of aviators with smoke-tinted gradient lenses. A natural choice, if one thinks about it, for someone who is constantly flying.

"Remember your keys?" is his greeting. The aviators make it very hard to know where he's looking. His feathers fluff demonstratively with his next remark: "I don't drive so much as I used to."

***

Whether Warren sees or hears her approach or not doesn't matter. He'll know that Neena is there by the click of the camera on her phone.

Standing off to one side is one albino wearing lots of black, blue sunglasses, and a shit-eating grin after having just taken a picture of Warren doing a wonderful pin-up pose atop of a very expensive car.

"Hey there, Pretty Bird. Of course I did."

It's less of a walking approach and more of a playful saunter as she slips the phone back into hiding, pointing to the car with keys in hand and that massive grin still in place. "Looks like this is my lucky day." Because she damn well knows he doesn't have any use for a car!

She comes to stand by the front side and hooks the glasses down enough to peer over the top of the frames. "Promise I won't tell Daz I took you for a test drive," she pointedly teases. "That is, if you think you can handle being on the ground with us boring folk."

While normally suspicious as hell of anyone giving her random and expensive gifts she doesn't have much of a reason to question Warren. Not yet. She's been doing work for the guy, he hasn't steered her wrong, and Ferraris just seem to fall out of the guy's back pockets. If he wanted her to do something a bit more involved like wetwork he wouldn't need to butter her up any with a new set of wheels.

Really, the only way he could have outdone himself here is by having already filled the trunk with ordnance. But that's coming soon enough, isn't it.

Already she's acting like she owns the car (and she DOES own the car now) by placing hands wide across the sun-warmed fender, simply looking amused as hell for whatever reason. "I guess this means I'm an official part of the team now, huh. Sure beats a lanyard and a decoder ring."

***

The click of the shutter brings Warren to lift a hand and tip his shades down just enough that aquiline blue eyes can peer at Neena over their tops. His brows are lifted, as are all his brilliant white feathers. "You do know I'll have to assault you with lawyers if you sell that," he inquires, though he's proooobably joking judging by the half-smile carved across his features… and by the way he's still composed exactly as he might be for a photoshoot. Not a golden hair is out of place. Can a man protest if he's asking for it? "My image is extremely valuable."

On hearing 'Pretty Bird,' the shades slide back up and Warren slings an arm across his knee. "I don't come with the car, Spot," is his sly rejoinder to her tease about Ali, tapping the hood. "Don't get your hopes up too far. As for being on the ground with the rest of you plebeians…" He finally swivels off his perch on the hood, sliding back to a stand and sauntering around the back of the car towards the passenger side, "I dive at 240 miles an hour. You'll have to pull some tricks to thrill me." His smiling gains a familiar thrillseeker edge. "I look forward to seeing if you can pull it off."

Leaning his hip against the car door, not quite getting in yet, he watches Neena as she fully inspects the goods. "Yes, that's the final metric, or so they say," Warren remarks dismissively of her being 'part of the team now.' "'Has Warren given you a car yet, yes or no?' No, that's a joke, of course. The requirements for entry to the roster are much more stringent than the requirements for me to be ridiculous about material possessions." He sobers slightly, if only for a moment. "You're as official as you wish to be."

The seriousness is gone, in the next moment. "Now the important question is this: have I outdone Tony yet?" His grin turns shit-eating. "That's the real purpose of this, of course."

***

"What, can't a girl keep some photos of her contacts?" is asked with a not -quite- so innocent look.

She would totally use that picture as Warren's contact if it wouldn't be such a glaring security breach in her line of work.

Not a package deal? "Somehow I will survive," is said with a mock sigh. It doesn't last. "Well then. Challenge accepted," beams the albino while climbing in behind the wheel. "I aim way too high to disappoint."

She can definitely inspect the goods from the interior, too. This beats the pants off of any of the vehicles she's stolen over the years. Except for that one three million dollar ride out in Madripoor but that one got dumped into the bay so it hardly counts.

As official as she wants to be. "I'd like to think we've already crossed that bridge. Look, you've gotten to a point with me where not -everything- has to be followed by a check. That's not a service I extend to many people." Although she -does- still have her contracts on the side, and she hasn't exactly been fully truthful or forthcoming with the rest of the team. She keeps plenty of secrets.

Then Warren brings up Tony's name.

"What, it's not okay if Dani and I make a friendly bet about how many homes you own but it's perfectly acceptable to try to one up each other with impressing me? Because that doesn't sound very sporting, Warren."

With the sunglasses nudged back into place and both hands gripping the wheel, Domino takes on a wicked black smirk. "Ferraris beat bourbon," she declares while triggering the ignition and giving that wonderfully tuned Italian engine a couple of good revs. "Today you get to keep your pride. Now get your feathery butt in here, I have a dare to crush."

***

"I've been in a nonsensical number of photo shoots, if that's what you're after," is Warren's answer. "You'll have material for days. Never did actually do the whole model thing, but people wanted to take pictures of me anyway." He flicks his wings breezily. "I can't imagine why."

But she accepts his challenge, as he knew she would. The look on her face as she slides into the driver's seat is love at first sight; he knows a woman ready to put something through its paces when he sees one. "I'm not up on the latest developments in this arena," he observes. "You may educate me. I honestly wasn't even going to get this one. I happened to be in Japan for business when they were previewing it, they asked me to come have a look. Sent me one a few months later." He grins conspiratorially, a young man completely comfortable with the ridiculousness of his lifestyle.

As for her remarks on her officialness or not? "I noticed," he says. "Though I do still like to follow most things with a check. It's a familiar ritual, and it keeps things from becoming too… shall we say… complicated. I like things in writing and hard numbers, it's a habit. Not that your altruism isn't appreciated, though." Just… weighed in context with who Warren knows Neena is. Her altruistic service is only half the truth, and the other half he knows is locked up tight with whatever brought her to do what she did in Mutant Town not too long ago.

That bridge to be crossed when they get to it. Warren is an experienced hand at handling other people. There's a lead-up first, and it seems to involve banter. "I have never been a sporting person in my entire life," is Warren's equanimous response to her indignation on the inequality of men betting where women cannot. "I do what I want. That much should have been plain within five minutes of meeting me."

He slides smoothly into the passenger seat when bidden. "Besides, it's all in good fun," Warren says. "I've known him nearly a decade. He'll probably come back at me by giving you an extradimensional airship or something ridiculous. It's what he does." He flicks her a sidelong glance. "I trust he was a gentleman with you?" How does he even know they already did their date? Do he and Tony have a secret gossip chat?

***

"Nah. I got exactly what I wanted," Neena suggests with a lopsided grin. "The red paint really sets off your wings. And hair. And ..y'know. Everything. Usually I don't take interest with the blondes but there are exceptions to every rule."

Ego-feeding can go both ways. At least it's all talk in this case, she doesn't plan on stepping over existing commitments.

"Educate, really? I was just planning to poke at things until we've reached ludicrous speed. Is there a specific button for that?" Now she's honestly looking for one! "They just -sent you a Ferrari?- So this is kind of your supercar leftovers? Your life must be so awful."

"Hey, I am -not- about to object if you want to keep throwing money my way," Neena is quick to offer. "Complicated is bad. I don't like complicated. Enjoy our one piece of common ground."

The talk of doing what he wants causes one of her brows to inch higher. She'll remember those words. Sure, it had been a given from the moment he had first pointed a semiautomatic handgun at her for snooping around a crime scene. The difference is, now he openly admitted to it.

"I do happen to recognize extradimensional airships as valid currency," Dom claims without skipping a beat. With a click of a seatbelt (because she -does- plan on seeing what this baby can do) she slowly turns her attention back to Warren with his next inquiry. "I trust that's none of your concern. Though I will say this much," is said as she returns to facing forward.

"Gentle is boring as hell."

Beginner's luck on finding the launch control on this shiny new car. The resulting patch marks are going to be lying on this stretch of pavement for -years.- A high-revving howl and a cloud of screeching white smoke and within seconds the red convertible is darting sideways out onto the public roads with no intention of slowing down. Or following those silly little numeric suggestions sitting alongside the shoulder.

There's nothing quite like the open wind in the hair and the gleeful shout of a borderline psychotic adrenaline junkie in the ears to put one's day into focus.

***

Warren preens visibly as Neena talks about how the red sets off his, well, everything. Clearly there is zero risk of him ever being embarrassed by praise. "My looks are far beyond such petty things as hair color preferences," is his modest agreement with her talk of exceptions, in fact. "I truly don't know what I will do once I've progressed too far to even benefit from the silver fox age range anymore. And if I age poorly?" His feathers rattle with existential horror. "Once my looks are gone, I shall have nothing left. I might as well exit this world."

But as with Neena, it seems to all be talk with Warren also… a sort of scripted dance of flirtation and teasing which is as much just a social ritual as anything else. Warren has a certain reputation — a brand, almost — and he maintains it to a certain degree. Certainly he and Alison have an understanding with one another that their public images won't always reflect private reality. He knows because he was raised in high society; she knows because she's been through the grinder of fame and knows very well the obsessiveness people can generate surrounding celebrity.

Just last week the society pages wondered, "DAZZLER DATING BRUCE WAYNE??" just because she talked to him once and people abruptly remembered the fact.

Warren laughs easily as Neena starts looking for the ludicrous speed button. "My darling," he says, "it's under your right foot. Just keep pushing it and see how far you get." As far as him just being SENT Ferraris? "Well, I've always been a patron," he admits. "I'm fond of the brand. Call it a customer loyalty thing — in this instance." He leans his jaw against the back of his hand. "Not in every instance, though. When you're wealthy, people send you all sorts of nonsense for free. Everyone wants you endorsing what they have to peddle." His shades, slipped down, reveal a hint of blue eyes shadowed with some emotion that isn't laughter. A lot darker. "It's completely and utterly backwards, but there you are."

He pushes his aviators back up, sitting up and leaning back into the seat as he does. Her haste to assure she's still quite happy to take his money curls a smile across his mouth. "I'd like to think we have more pieces of common ground than that," he says mildly.

As for Tony? Warren snorts a laugh to hear that Tony was no gentleman and therefore not boring, completely undeterred by the 'none of your business' which precedes it. Warren appears to think everything about his best friend is his business. "Good, I'd hate to think he was losing his touch. You'll just want to be careful if he starts inviting you to extradimensional capers."

And that is about when Neena puts the car through its first paces.

"Let's see what we can get out of this girl, shall we?" Warren says, unphased, his blond hair whipping in the wind, calmly adjusting his wings to fold more comfortably at his back. "Don't hold back. This place is an absolute backwater, and they know better than to pull me over, around here."

***

Don't think that darker look in Warren's eyes goes unnoticed. The eyes are the window to the soul and now they've both gotten a glimpse at one another's inner being. Everyone has their demons, sure. Some just happen to throw bigger parties.

"Funny you should mention that," Neena calls out over the rush of noise in regards to being asked to other dimensions by the tech mogul. Not that she's elaborating a whole lot, but it is a peculiar coincidence that Warren would mention such a thing. "Does he have a habit of asking ladies to join him on reality-bending tours? That's pretty classy!"

Warren is egging her on. Freaking -Warren Worthington- is pushing her to break laws and put both of their lives in serious danger. For a time she isn't watching the road because she's too busy trying to get a read on the winged mutant beside her. "Now that I have your -permission-…"

Electronic handbrake. Paddle-shift transmission. The only way to get a proper slide going involves some proper application of the throttle and that lovely little 'Race' setting on the steering wheel. The car has plenty of power for the former and easy access to the latter. Thus proves that brute force still beats out modern tech, and yes indeed..Ferraris can freaking -drift.-

"Got a pretty good view in here! Plenty of room for shotgun to take aim with the roof down. I could get used to this!"

They can be heard from some ways off, kicking up a cloud of dust from the grit still left upon the road from the passing winter season. An intersection comes and goes with a blur of a red and white sign proclaiming 'four way stop.' That they happened to clear the intersection with the wheels no longer touching the road proves that she does have a lot to give.

"So fast cars don't trip your trigger," Neena goes all conversational with an idle motion of a hand and everything. "Yachts, I'm guessing, bore you. How do you keep it together with all of the boardroom bullshit? Does having a pair of wings really settle all of your needs? Aside from your lady, I mean. Some experiences have no analogues."

The last bit is said while the back end slides out on some more loose gravel, sending the exotic into a picture perfect slide through a broad lazy curve on a beautiful country backroad. Speaking of taking pictures, it would have made excellent promotional material. Did she really intend to do that?

***

It's a difficult look to get a read on, especially since it's half-obscured and does not last very long. But from what she does see of it, it looks a lot like anger. Not a trivial, superficial sort of anger, either: the sort of deep-rooted anger that gets repressed most of the time, and accordingly has turned ugly in the sealed places of the soul where it resides.

It passes on and disappears when his shades slip back up.

Funny you should mention that, she says of extradimensional capers, and Warren sighs. "Oh no, he did. Ah, well, I suppose it'll be fine. I've been on my share. You might get some loot." And that's what really matters, isn't it?

As for him egging her on? It might be getting really disgustingly evident by now, but Warren Worthington's very poorly kept secret is that he is an enormous adrenaline junkie. And not just anything will do for a man capable of flying under his own power in excess of two hundred miles an hour. Cars plainly bored him a long time ago, and he's transparently curious if she can change that for him with her reckless driving.

She seems to be doing a good job of it, so far, judging by the excited puff of his feathers as she flings the car into a drift and through an intersection without touching the ground. His human self might be a hard read — Warren grew up in the public eye and learned to control his expressions very early in life — but his wings betray a lot more. "I forgot that'd be a consideration for you," he says dryly, of the necessity of having room for a literal shooter sitting shotgun. "Remember what we talked about when it comes to how those guns should be used. You'll have Dani frowning at you." And no one wants that.

As she drives, she starts to delve. So fast cars don't do it. Yachts don't do it. What does it for Warren Worthington? "Cars are dreadfully two-dimensional in their movement — mostly. Yachts… I don't get along with water much these days. My own wings suffice most of the time, to be quite honest," he says. "I leave most of the board meetings via the window these days, in fact. No one enjoys that except me." A wicked grin. "And the lady is always a thrill, to be sure."

He turns a little more serious afterwards, genuinely thinking through her question. "Would it be trite to say that a certain emptiness of spirit is a common affliction among my kind? Possessions and power and cheap thrills only fill that for so long. I counter the 'boardroom bullshit' by leaving the boardroom and having a direct impact where it matters. That began with the X-Men, but over the years it's evolved. The foundation is part of it. I have a great deal. The excitement in my life comes from being able to use that to help people who do not. Sometimes even just in small things." It could sound canned coming from so many other people; from him, it sounds as if it's earnest.

It's impossible to see where he's looking with those aviators, but he's probably looking at her. "Things so small as saving a girl's life after she's shot through in a Mutant Town raid."

***

Hang around someone long enough and you'll get to see what lurks under the hood. Hanging around criminals and killers has taught Domino quite a lot. Some took to the jobs for excitement. Some just for the money. Some out of necessity, people who were eternally haunted by what they do because they don't have a choice. Some people simply enjoyed the hunt. It's the bloodlusters you have to look out for, those who only enjoy it for the killing.

Where Warren comes from, that's a different and unfamiliar sort of territory. But, the pain's always the same. If she were to hazard a guess, the man has revenge deeply rooted somewhere within his subconscious. Which makes sense to her why he would have hired her on. With all of the other mutants on tap, those who have no problems playing by his rules and doing the work for free… Why pay extra to bring in someone with dirt on her hands and a file so full of red that it's practically pooling out on the floor?

The impression she gets just from that one instant of a glance at ol' Worthington is that he's living out his desire for revenge through her. She has effectively become the trigger on his weapon.

Is it wrong that she is perfectly okay with this idea? After all, she exists to take care of the tough problems.

"I don't know about the loot but apparently I'm a goddess in one of those realities. Fucking statues and everything. I've gotta check it out, you know how it is."

Mention of guns and Dani has Dom giving a dismissive wave. "I've read the brochure, don't get your wings in a bunch."

Cars are dreadfully two-dimensional? She'll remember that bit, too.

"Hey, you're the only one that matters! Flaunt it if ya got it, and I KNOW I don't have to tell you that," she smirks back.

"No, I get it. If everything gets handed to you then nothing holds any value." Then she's nodding in understanding when he explains his work with the X-Men. Sure, that all checks out. It's a tidy and logical explanation. Everything he does for the team, for their species, becomes its own reward.

Maybe that's part of why she's started helping move metas outside of New York City for a song lately. It's not like she suddenly went all bleeding heart on these people, of course she gets something out of the experience!

"I heard about that. Talk about one hell of a trick. How'd you do it? I mean, being able to bring people back from being shot could come in handy." Shrug. "Asking for a friend."

***

It may be repressed urge for vengeance, that cannot find any productive expression otherwise, which drives Warren to consort with someone like Neena. This is, after all, a man who lost both his parents because his uncle saw fit to murder them both for something so petty as money.

It could be something else, something more complicated. For all his angelic appearance, his charitable works, his cautions on their no-kill policies, and his presentation as some responsible and caring paternal figure for the many younger mutants who come and go from the Institute and the X-Men, there are streaks of ruthless practicality that run through him too. They do not often show, and he would usually prefer to lean on his better nature, but they are there nonetheless. Anyone who wants to be successful in his position has to have them. Warren has been successful.

When you get down to it, maybe he embodies his physical imagery more than he lets on, and angels only ever show up for two reasons: to nurture and protect, or to kill everyone's firstborns.

That flicker of discordance in his expression aside, however, he seems content enough to just hold his silence and enjoy Neena's driving and her banter. But as she starts to settle into the car, to really lean into putting it through its paces and exploring all its capabilities, he starts to nudge their idle talk. Just a little, at first, but he's steadily pulling the steering wheel of the conversation to drive the topic towards one that has been on his mind a while.

Anyone who gets a dangerous new weapon will want to know exactly how it works and when it might go off. It seems Warren is looking for the exact trigger pull weight on Neena Thurman.

Neena's question, as the topic turns to that night in Mutant Town, draws an odd response, and one her eyes would be especially attuned to notice right away. In her line of work, the sudden flash of light off a folding knife is a warning signal that can't afford to be missed. But the quick movement is entirely self-directed; the only blood Warren draws is his own, when he closes his hand on the blade before flicking it shut and disappearing it again.

His hand opens after, the shallow cut pooling blood. Not for long, though — within seconds the severed flesh is knitting back together, the bleeding ceasing. He flicks the blood out into the wind.

"My blood has healing properties," he says. "I transfer it into other people, it heals them too." He shrugs, a literal bleeding martyr. "Mixed results. Eliza Marshall had luck on her side that evening."

He removes his aviators, his eyes turning towards her, a moment later. "Saw you were there," he said. "Not with us — you just were. You weren't there long, though. Bad memories?"

***

Some of the subjects and some of the expressions may be a little on the grim side but none of them keep Domino from having her fun. There's something so positively liberating about going fast, going really really fast, then pushing to go even faster. One slight mistake on any countless number of calculations could bring their journey to a horrific end but living on that ragged edge seems to bring a peculiar sort of peace to her. Once she's gotten over acting like a complete lunatic.

Warren's in good company if the goal is to feel a rush.

The moment that he brings out a knife it gets a flicker of surprise from her. No time for any questions as at a hundred and sixty miles an hour the winged man cuts into his own palm. Much like her driving, there's a severe amount of either confidence or carelessness involved.

"That's some kind of hardcore there, Wings. So if I'm ever at death's door all I have to do is go all vampire on you and I'm good to go. Hope you don't mind but you've just become a critical mission asset. Nothing personal."

The glasses came off. Dammit. That's a tell. Shit's about to get real, isn't it. Neena glances back to Warren then looks right back out at the road. Her tone seems level and relaxed enough but something about her demeanor has undergone a subtle shift. Walls going up. Spikes coming out. Lights going dark.

'Bad memories?'

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

***

Most people should be concerned about going as fast as they are. About the fact that any miscalculation on the part of the woman at the wheel could see them spinning out at a hundred and sixty miles an hour, and neither of them with significant levels of preternatural toughness. Warren's blood might be miraculous, but it still won't work fast enough to save a broken neck.

Warren doesn't seem concerned at all. He's probably driven this fast, and faster, himself in his youth, and possibly even more recklessly. He was a special brand of idiotic at seventeen.

"Technically I go vampire on you," is his amused correction. "Apparently that's how vampires make more of themselves — they feed regular people their blood. Or so I was told by one of the students, who's into all that kind of fantasy thing." He laughs. "I could be making so many vampiric bird heirs, if I wanted! Well, at any rate, far be it from me to complain to be the most important asset on the field. I like being covered. People love to take potshots at the fliers."

But things can't quite stay light forever. It's a definite tell to remove the shades, but Warren has odd senses of honor at times, and likes to look people in the eye on matters like these. Besides, his extraordinary eyesight works a lot better with no obstacles. Not that he strictly needs every iota of that focusing power to see the walls and spikes going up.

He glances away. "I've seen a lot of people after they've seen some shit. Their eyes, especially. And it's very hard to fool mine." His arm rests along the top of the passenger door, his tall figure leaned back into the cradle of his own folded wings, the wind raking his hair. "If you stood across Manhattan from me and opened a book, I'd read it to you. And Mutant Town's a couple blocks." He tilts his head. "I don't want a dissertation on your life story. But working relationships go a little smoother if people understand one another. You know how important it is to be at least vaguely aware of the likelihood a gun'll jam on you."

There's a sort of 'think about it' pause, followed by a seeming conversational pivot: "Things should be just about wrapped up at M-Tec." He's looking at her again. "Their inventory's bundled up down there, and I figured you'd want to go eyeball and pick up whatever you fancy personally. The place is outside Fort Lauderdale, I believe." His blue eyes are guileless as the open sky. "Expense the tickets, transport, any costs you encounter. You have an account. Kiff will show you."

***

One obstacle yet remains. Neena's also wearing sunglasses, though in her case they're more of an indigo tinted polycarbonate shield. It darkens normally pale blue eyes into something more of a brilliant cobalt, though wherever she happens to be looking behind that colored layer? Warren would see it. Right now they seem to steadfastedly refuse to look anywhere in his direction. They jump back and forth at any number of details sailing by through the windshield. Whether she's eyeing each object as a potential threat or a potential distraction is impossible to tell.

As soon as Warren mentions 'seeing some shit' she automatically cuts in with "We aren't having this conversation." It's said flatly. Definitively. Then she goes silent. All the way through his description of the M-Tec situation. Once again the eyes tell more than words could. Mention of Fort Lauderdale causes a slight flinch in her, a quick one-two blink with tension ebbing into her jaw.

Then..she bobs her head a few times. "You know. You're right. It's important to understand one another."

It's times like this where she can choose to act in one of two different ways. The first is to give in to the emotional response. Allow herself to be triggered. This is by far the path of least resistance but she's learned something about it a long time ago.

Don't get mad. When you get mad you get emotionally compromised, and when you're emotionally compromised the enemy controls you.

The second option takes a bit of patience. A little more finesse. It's the 'Devil may care' attitude. A means of proverbially kicking the game over and resetting the board with her own rules.

Today Neena goes with Option B. The car gets pointed right for a collection of blinking construction signs up ahead.

"Did I ever tell you how my powers work?" she asks out of the blue. "It's the strangest thing, like this never-ending whirlwind of a dance. I've gotta keep pushing myself. The more danger, the more the adrenaline's pumping, the more that all of these little pieces start to come together. Before you know it, shit's just working out in my favor — Some pretty crazy stuff, too. Sometimes it even surprises me."

Getting closer to the construction zone provides some critical intel. Warren's amazing eyesight would see it way before the albino could possibly spot it. Their lane is blocked off. There's a flatbed trailer with an end loader slowly being rolled off of the back. A small amount of traffic is held up in the opposite lane. There is absolutely no room at all for them to pass through.

Yet Domino is shifting to a higher gear and dropping the accelerator down to the floorboards.

"There is something of a catch, however. See, at the end of the day it will always favor the originating source above anything else. So, say..if there are two people involved but -someone- has to take the fall?" she leaves the question hanging as another gear change snaps through the drivetrain, the needles on the dashboard seemingly trying to race one another toward their ends of travel.

"It's -always- gonna be the other guy. I've watched people beside me get pretty fucked up when I could walk away without a scratch. All of this leads to an important question, Warren."

The pale lady looks his way again with an expression born purely of sadistic amusement. The sound of a truck horn blares out ahead of them, they're going -way- too fast to stop in time.

"Are you feeling lucky?"

The end loader miscalculates and falls partway off of the trailer right as the Ferrari catches one of the ramps. Like a bullet out of a gun the entire car corkscrews through the air, neatly but narrowly slipping between the machinery on one side and a cement truck on the other. Mere -inches- to spare. For a split second they could see the stunned driver of one of the parked cars if they happen to look -straight up.-

The car touches back down with a jolt and a momentarily horrific grinding sound of carbon fiber underpanels bottoming out upon the road. Then..everything is right back to normal. For a stupidly fast tour of the back roads of Westchester, anyway.

Neena punches at the air right up over their heads with a nigh-maniacal laughter. "WOO-Haw, is THAT three dimensional enough for ya?!"

***

Warren doesn't have optic blasts. He doesn't have fantastical telekinetic powers or the ability to read minds. He doesn't have limitless elemental abilities, nor genius-level intellect. In fact, once or twice he did actually ask Charles Xavier what exactly brought the Professor to add 'Angel' to his team at all. He was gently reminded of what he did have, on that occasion.

What he does have is a lifetime of learning how to handle people — as near to a maxed social stat as you can get in life. What he does have is a stupid amount of courage — emphasis on stupid.

One has already been relevant for this entire conversation. The other is about to be in a few minutes.

Now, good as he might be at handling people, some are just harder to crack than others. A lot harder. Neena Thurman gives him a few tells, a few obvious slammed conversational doors, and a few confirming flinches… but then, before he can get his hooks any further, she slams her defense mechanisms into high gear. That off-balance emotional state Warren was carefully fishing for? Neena has already experienced the mistake of letting herself lapse into it, and thereby letting someone gain control over her that way.

And as she's discovered… sometimes it's just much more effective to completely flip the gameboard on someone when they're trying to manipulate you. And well-meaning as he might be in his reasons — Warren is trying to do just that right at this moment.

Her choice of how to put up an unequivocal boundary sits him right back in his seat. He's listening, but his eyes are faced forward. He sees the impending danger a long time before she does, and so he has a long time to think about exactly what his reaction's going to be. He has a choice here, too, in what is essentially a game of chicken. Bail or not?

For the first time since she's met him, Warren 'Confident Asshole' Worthington starts to look somewhat concerned. But he's Warren Worthington, so when she looks at him with a plain challenge and asks him if he's feeling lucky?

The idiot stays right where he is, looking right back at her throughout, daring her to catch him blink.

A near-death experience transpires.

"You are a hell of a woman for distractions from the topic at hand," Warren complains after it's all said and done, practically booting open the glove compartment, fishing out a pack of Dunhills, and pulling one out to light it up. He's grinning, though, so he probably kind of enjoyed the fucking suicide jump at least a little bit. He slouches back in his seat, head slung to a tilt to one side, examining her. "Yeah," he eventually says after a long study of her, in a cloud of smoke that quickly rips away in the wind, "I think I understand more now." He doesn't specify what about.

His grin widens around the cigarette. "Though on the day I decide I want you to die, I'm going to tell Alison what you just pulled."

***

Neena's grin fades slightly as she glances back to the other mutant again. "What the fuck, Warren? No smoking in my car."

***

Warren shoots Neena the most insouciant grin on the planet, matched maybe only by Tony Stark's shit-eating smirk. "You're welcome for it."

His blue eyes are shadowed with his assessment: the trigger pull weight on Neena Thurman is really fucking light.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License