Roleplaying Log: Oneiromancy
IC Details

Betsy and Warren have a conversation about the strange psychic dreams which have been plaguing her.

Other Characters Referenced: Jean Grey, Rachel Summers, Meggan
IC Date: May 17, 2019
IC Location: Xavier Institute, Westchester
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 18 May 2019 03:53
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Warren spends a great deal of time at the Institute these days, all told. It's convenient, in that respect, that it's only about an hour's flight from New York, which is where he spends the remainder of his time. With him being one of the few 'responsible adults' who is registered and additionally in a good position to handle the school's finances — he was the natural choice, of Xavier's children, to be suited to serve as executor — he finds himself feeling like he needs to be at the school often, if only to ensure it's still running all right.

He could handle it all remotely, through proxies even, but he feels motivated to be there personally.

Such it is that this evening finds him working — as per usual for him these days, always working on something or another. The weather having taken a distinct turn for the nicer, he's settled at a small patio table on a balcony adjoining one of the second-floor lounges, with a view of the mansion's rear grounds and the distant blue expanse of the lake. It's early enough in the evening that there's still light enough for him to read by, though before long he'll likely have to step back inside.

The papers he is reading over look dreadfully boring and financial. Warren being Warren, he seems to find them engrossing.

Betsy, on the other hand, spends a fair amount of time in the City in her rented townhome in Manhattan. It's harder to handle modelling calls remotely, after all, even if she hasn't been as eager lately. It's also easier for her to get wind of protests or other rumblings going on if she's in the city to hear them. Could she listen in from the mansion? Of course. But it's easier to wander the streets and just.. lightly eavesdrop. Mentally, of course.

She's been back at the mansion this week, though, either outside and hard to find, or locked in her rooms. Which is not exactly her usual mode of behavior, but there's lots going on. She's the irresponsible one, unregistered and unfettered, donating money and helping those who are fighting against the act, boots on the ground style. But right now.. she has other things happening. Things that have her wandering right now, hoping to find Jean or Rachel, without using her powers. She finds Warren instead, padding onto the balcony in bare feet, leggings and an oversized t-shirt. The trademark purple hair is back in a braid, her face devoid of makeup…makeup it could use for once, to hide the circles from lack of sleep. "Hey, Warren."

Warren tends to be aware of the presence or lack of presence of various X-affiliates at the school. In a time like this, it's a little more important to help the school seem innocuous. He isn't assiduously keeping a log of who arrives and leaves, but people talk to him, and also his extraordinary eyes do not miss much. Not a lot of people can come within two miles of the place without him noticing.

He had been aware Betsy was around, as such, and aware of her slightly unusual behavior, but he had not felt inclined to pry into it, and had not tried to keep precise tabs on her over the week. Highly visible people like themselves value their privacy; or at least, Warren values privacy more than anything else, and tends to project that onto others who he feels would share the sentiment.

The rustle of her arrival on the balcony brings him to look up, however — and then to briefly double-take. "Betsy?" He doesn't rise quite yet, but his body language — ingrained by courteous instinct — gets halfway there, his white wings opening slightly as he sits up straight. "I hadn't realized you were in today. I would have stopped by. At least to pay a brief call." There is a half-moment of silence after the niceties, before Warren asks, blond head at a slight tilt, "How are you doing?"

Here sits a man with no psionic sensitivity, and therefore he looks fresh and dewily unravaged by any psychic terrors. That doesn't mean he doesn't look tired himself, however. The company's PR has been taking hits lately and he's been making statements — or not — to compensate.

Psylocke will move to sit in another chair, curling herself up into it, knees to her chest, arms around them. "I've been hiding, I guess." She says, softer than usual, her accent a little slushy around the edges. Violet eyes stare at the table, his paperwork. "I don't mean to disturb you, of course. If you need me to let you work, I can. I just.. needed to get out of my rooms. I've been trying to catch Jean, but.. haven't had any luck."

She chews on her bottom lip, lashes lifting to steal a peek at him, before her gaze drops again. "I'm.. in one piece. I guess."
Psylocke has partially disconnected.

"No interruption." Warren's tone is characteristically light, but his blue eyes don't match his arch delivery. They are pensive as they watch Betsy take the chair opposite him. As if to emphasize the point, he puts the pages down, paperweighting them on the table with his pen. The top sheets look like reporting documents for a trust located in Canada. "In fact, you may have saved me from a death by document boredom."

Mention of Jean lowers his eyes to the table, the blue of them veiling under his long lashes. "She's a bit reclusive," he says. "She spends most of her time up at the base, if you're searching. I have my concerns about the reasons why, but…"

He shrugs. But this isn't really about Jean. His gaze tracks back up to Betsy; his wings stay semi-open, white feathers a little lifted, a visible marker of unease. "Has something happened?"

Betsy will look up at him again, seeing that lift to his feathers. "I.. yes and no? I'm either going crazy, or something is happening that's disrupting the astral plane. Psionic stuff." There, it's said, and she can breathe a little easier now, a hint of color seeping back into her face.

"There's been strange dreams when I sleep, things that leave me feeling watched and hunted when I'm awake. I.. that's why I've been trying to catch Jean. To see if it /is/ just me."

Warren has a strong control of his facial expressions. Most public figures need to, especially those whose companies rise and fall by the confidence people feel in them at any given point in time. He was raised in an environment where looking nervous, if even for a moment, is no more than showing exploitable weakness.

That same control can't be said to extend to his wings. They've almost always been bound down and hidden before now, and he's never had to train himself to control them as he's controlled his features. The net result is that it's easier to judge his mood by looking at his wings than at his face. His expression remains calm, but his feathers bristle even more as Betsy explains what's been troubling her, hackling like an unsettled cat might.

He notices after a moment, and with a blink and a slight turn of his head, closes his wings down. "Growing up alongside a psion," he says, though his gaze looks a little abstracted, a little worried, "I've seen that it's never about them 'going crazy.' There's almost always a reason, and not a good one. I've learned to trust their instincts when they feel this way. God knows enough things out there want to hunt telepaths…"

He trails off. "It's a pity Rachel has not yet returned. You might try finding Jean up at the base, she's there more often than here. It's a bit of a slog, though. Might call her to stop down here. I've been trying to convince her to come around the Institute at least once in a while."

Warren pauses, a hint of recollection flickering in his blue eyes. "Though, you know… I don't think it is just you."

Betsy is normally a champ about keeping her appearance on par, but here, this place… it's one of the few where she doesn't have to. Where she trusts that she can be herself, and just.. relax. She trusts somehow, the bond of Xavier's, of mutants here that she does not have of others outside the gates.

There's a faint tug of a smile. "That's why I've kept to myself. If I am going crazy, what then? I didn't want to infringe on anyone else, or hurt anyone. It's hard enough to be trusted as a telepath as it is."

She glances up at him. "You don't?" There's a painfully slow light of hope dawning in her eyes. "I've been so worried." Her eyes well up a bit with moisture, the lack of sleep is hell on control, really. "Worried maybe that the pieces I had put together were breaking apart underneath."

The Institute, to so many people, is a haven — a home where the usual appearances are not necessary and no mutant feels the need to hide. That was a large part of Xavier's Dream, and what Warren seems determined to keep alive even in these times.

Dani and Domino took bets once on how many homes Warren had. The real answer, these days, is just one. No matter how many pied-a-terres, flats, condos, idyllic villas, and little getaways he might have scattered around the world, none of them really rate the term 'home' the way the Institute does. Even the family estate on which he grew up no longer feels like home, what with his predatory family lurking about the grounds these days.

So it does not seem to surprise him that Betsy has let down some of those walls. He does the same thing when he's around the school — at least, when not in front of students.

Betsy's words on the matter of telepaths renders the blond momentarily somber. His own comfort around telepaths, courtesy one of his best friends being Jean Grey, is not the norm, he knows — most people think of the conflagration that was the Dark Phoenix when they think of psions, and don't often trouble to distinguish between the person and the power. "If you were," he says, matter-of-fact, "we would fix it. But I think it's more likely something wrong in the astral planes — so to speak. It feels like every time I've known a psion to feel as if they were 'going mad,' it was some external force pressuring them." He leans back in his chair, thinking, his profile sharp in the waning light. "Do you remember the substance of the dreams? See anything in them?"

His eye is drawn back to her at the palpable relief in her voice. He leans forward again to the exhaustion evident in her demeanor. "No," he affirms, "I don't think it is just you, my dear. Meggan posted a note to the network, a few days ago… she felt something recently, herself. A wave of some kind of emotion that was not her own. The psychic airwaves have been busy."

She doesn't bother to brush away the tears that escape, a shaking exhale. "It's all a jumble. I don't know how much is the disturbance, and how much is me, and how much is a mix of my dreams influenced by what my powers have picked up. I think I hear someone screaming, and fear, and pain, but.. the lack of details makes it even worse."

There's a slow, deep belly breath pulled in, a hand pulling her braid over her shoulder. "Hearing that Meggan felt something off makes me feel better. Lack of Rachel or Jean, she would be my next go to." There's a small smile. "We're lucky, having so many good people around."

A slight rustling precedes the sensation of something soft settling towards her right shoulder. A glance up yields the realization it's his opened left wing, reached out and resting lightly there, pinions curving slightly about her back. The overall effect is similar to if he had reached a hand to brace her, except writ large now in the form of white feathers. Almost like a benediction.

"Whatever it is," he says, his voice pitched low and kind, "you need more sleep than you seem to have been getting. I don't know if anything would work for you short of another telepath to help you stem the intake or sort things out, but if there's anything mundane that helps, I will get my hands on it. Anyone else here with a power that might help would. Perhaps Dani. She does have psionic abilities." He smiles faintly. "We do have a lot of good sorts about."

That wing weighs heavier a moment, a wordless 'chin up,' before withdrawing back in a graceful feathered arc to fold again. "Meggan said what she felt was a massive wave of pain," he says. "Pain, humiliation… and then murderous rage. I am sure she would be able to tell you more. You might be able to read it for yourself from her." He frowns faintly. "I wish that we could pinpoint more what the source might be. Nothing in the signature to suggest an identity?"

There's a glance up, and that smile is a little amused at the wing that settles her head tipping to let hair brush against the feathers. She understands it for the gesture it is, a hug without having to reach!

"Now that I know that's it's not just me, not some.. repressed, held back side effect of getting my consciousness back into my own body, I think I'll be okay. Even if it rolls over me again, I can tell myself it's not me, it's just like a dream." She looks thoughtful now, even as that wing draws back. "I don't know the source, though I feel like I should? I feel like if I go sleep in my house in the city, I might be… closer to ground zero. Maybe that would help me understand it better."

There are advantages to having limbs which are, each of them, eight feet in span. One has a hell of a reach with them, and often Warren does use his wings as a second set of arms and hands which conveniently have several times the range. They're dextrous limbs, and his control of them is fine and precise, their movements graceful. He uses them sometimes to point, sometimes to gesture or even pick things up, and sometimes for moments like this.

"No… I doubt that it is just you, or something resultant from what happened to you," is Warren's thought on the matter. Both because he wants that to be true, feels the evidence suggests that it is true, and also does not think that Betsy fearing it is not true would help her mental resilience in this precise moment. The exhausted, frightened mind is more susceptible to all threats, whether they are external or internal; Warren knows that as well as anyone. "The timing is too coincidental. Both you and Meggan felt something terrible, all within the same few days. Who knows who else might have felt something, but also not spoken yet? Perhaps some of the students, even."

His blue eyes shadow with a little concern and a lot of thought, as she muses on returning to the city to try to pinpoint better whatever this thing might be. "That might work," he says, "though… the closer you are, the more you may see, but the more you might be burned. I would feel more at ease if you were to have some defenses placed before you tried… at least another psion to help if something went amiss." Though who knows if whatever it is would be kind enough to wait politely for such a setup…?

"Just saying it out loud, hearing that other people are feeling things, it puts me at ease. Now that I know that, the relief will help me sleep. I'll try to get a good night or two of sleep here, then head out to the townhouse." Betsy sounds much less fragile than she had seemed when she'd first stepped out.

"The closer I am, the more I can see, and the quicker we can find out who is in trouble that could be sending out that sort of strong distress signal." There's a tug of a smile. "Warren, the only psions that could protect me or themselves from me, are Jean and Rachel. I'll be all right. I'll make sure I'm ready before I go to the city."

"Good," Warren nods, when Betsy says she feels more at ease. His eyes spark with a dry humor. "Do get some good rest here. We certainly spend enough on the good sheets, and it's only these young philistines using them at the moment. No appreciation at all."

Half a rueful smile pulls at Warren's lovely features as Betsy declares her plan. It might be higher risk, but with a potential higher reward and faster results, and after all… at the core of this there might be someone in trouble. Someone in pain. It's that last part which seems to convince him, too. Warren always did have a bit of a savior complex when he thought someone might be in distress.

"All right," he agrees. "But drop a line before you do. I'll know where you are to bring the cavalry in the event something goes amiss."

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