Double or Nothing
Roleplaying Log: Double or Nothing
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Rogue decides to get to know Domino after Warren's request. The result? Double trouble. Rogue makes a brief report to Warren.

Other Characters Referenced: Angel, Dazzler
IC Date: June 20, 2019
IC Location: X-Men Base
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 21 Jun 2019 02:35
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Things have been quiet lately. Domino doesn't like quiet. Quiet means that things are happening behind the scenes which could surprise them all later. Quiet means that she's left alone with a whole lot of memories she's spent years trying to bury or erase. What many would consider to be down time she considers to be the calm before the next storm.

There's also something in there about idle hands and the Devil but at least she can keep her own hands busy.

Black sweats. Taped hands. A bit of stomach left uncovered. And a lot of determination. She's been going to town on a punching bag for much longer than is necessary, as if she had been trying to drown out her own thoughts with the noisy sounds of beating up on an easy target. In this she doesn't mind being alone. It means that no one will be around to witness Neena punishing herself for some unknown fault.

* * *

The woman who comes into the gym with Neena is sort of dressed in contrast. Her own workout gear covers every spare inch of skin save for her neck and face. It's a cheerful bright green with yellow accents, long sleeved despite summer heat. Her gloves aren't boxing gloves, just brown leather gloves that look constantly worn. Her wavy locks are pulled up into a high ponytail, the shock of white hair left to dangle to one side of her face.

"I remember you," she says warmly. "You were the one who had some real nice hardware in the back of that there car of yours. Fancy a target a little more challenging than that there punching bag?"

So much for not being witnessed, but then, the Southerner seems cheerfully oblivious that any such thing is going on at all.

* * *

You know what else happens when Neena is left alone to her own devices?

She gets distracted.

The only saving grace is that the start comes an instant before her knuckles contact the bag again, glancing slightly off to one side rather than landing true as it should. Then she's spinning about on the tip of a foot, quick to identify the newcomer but with both hands hanging loose at her sides.

The accent. That and the hair. Here's a lady who isn't easily forgotten about.

"Yeah," is easily confirmed. "Hey again, Scattergun. You offering to be a target?"

The bag is left to swing around behind her as her head ducks forward and both arms come up. No ground rules are set. She only gives Rogue a couple of seconds to either put up or retreat before closing in for a quick left-right jab. She's seen the Belle with a twelve gauge but how's her brawling stack up?

"Shoulda known that you were connected with this lot. Seems like half the damn country is."

* * *

"Aw, they just have big personalities. Sure enough makes any one of 'em seem like about 7 and a half. I'm 'bout as new to the table as you are, sugar. Name's Rogue. I'd tell you I could live with Scattershot, but for all I know that's the code name of someone or another 'round these parts. Sounds like it would be someone's."

And she clearly was offering herself as a target. She neatly blocks the strikes and attempts to catch Neena with a foot to the gut followed by an attempt to sweep out her legs. Her gloved hands are up in a solid guard stance. Someone's trained her well enough.

* * *

An arm darts out to catch the foot heading toward the albino's stomach then she's suddenly not all there anymore, missing the leg sweep on account of her twisting through the air at just the right moment. The retaliation may have missed its mark but it gets Neena's attention. Rogue here is more than she seems and that charming Southerner attitude doesn't tell the whole story.

"'Rogue,' huh." Another swing with a fist. "I like it." A weave around the other woman. "All dark and badass." Another block. "And I'm Domino."

Suddenly she's reaching for both of Rogue's shoulders in order to bring the two closer long enough for a headbutt. Too bad she doesn't yet know about Rogue's powers!

* * *

Rogue does okay in the dance of fists and blocks. She's keeping up. And whether she simply didn't expect the headbutt (very possible from her sudden, startled blink) or whether she's just letting it happen (very possible from the brief flash of a smirk)…

Well, it happens. And she staggers away a little. But as their bare skin comes into contact, there is a draining sensation. It may or may not leave Neena tired. It may or may transfer a memory or two. But when Rogue staggers back she very well could have tripped right over a weight bench backwards, and instead she stops just short enough, regains her balance just in time, so that it merely brushes the backs of her legs.

"Careful, sugar, I don't have that nurturin' sort of skin-to-skin contact other people go on about."

Granted, all this means there's not much of a counter attack other than what is, for Rogue, a completely natural occurrence.

* * *

It's there and gone in a flash.

Cold.
Pain.
Blood.
So much blood.
The distant sound of someone's scream echoing against darkened hospital-like walls.

Then there's Neena holding a hand to the side of her head. Surprised. Not from any pain. Rather, it feels like she just downed half a bottle of vodka.

"-Damn- you've got a hard head on ya, girl…"

Dom vigorously shakes her head, slaps each side of her face once, then hunkers back into her stance with shoulders hunched and head held low.

Opportunity is identified, then seized. With Rogue backed up so close to that weight bench Neena presses the advantage, fully intent on ramming Rogue backwards over the bench and onto the mat on the other side. It's not the nicest move but they never established any rules and the mercenary is opportunistic as all hell.

* * *

"I've done been told that a time or two," Rogue admits.

Given the skill she has displayed (and, equally if not more important, the skill she has not) it would have been a no-brainer for things to go down the way Neena wanted it to. A Rogue bruised and banged up by a weight bench and at a sore (in more ways than one) disadvantage on the other side.

But as luck would have it, she zigs as Domino zags, in that she is already pivoting into a side-step, her own fist lashing out to try to take the side of Domino's face as they pass. But it's already going to be a miss. A zag to Domino's zig, perhaps, as Neema's forward momentum carries her well past that punch. If one were to view it from the outside it might well look like the women were suddenly engaged in an elaborate John Woo action sequence rather than the no-holds barred, no-rules offered and none-requested spar they've engaged in.

Rogue pivots again so that she's behind Domino, and this means a dirty trick of her own. Now she's attempting to kick Dom right in the back towards the very same weight bench.

* * *

It's just too damn perfect, like a choreographed sequence the two had spent months perfecting. As Rogue's foot comes back into play Domino's arms are at just the right angle to catch it and use the momentum from the strike as a boost to flip right over the bench as neat as you please.

Rogue's a well trained fighter but she had probably never experienced combat quite like she is now. Everything is so fluid, like an unseen co-pilot is tugging one move directly into another like some demented form of ballet. The less she happens to think about it the more easily the movements become. Possessed by the spirit of chance and risk.

Then come the numbers. There's a two in seven chance that Dom's going to make a punch for Rogue's face. A one in twelve chance that she'll go for an uppercut. And a three in four chance that she's—

—She's totally going for a leg grab.

Rogue seems to like throwing her feet in a fight and Domino's attempting to capitalize upon that with a grab and a redirection of her momentum to spin her about and send her off balance.

* * *

At first she does try to think about it, which is why Domino spins her with ease. It's not that she hasn't been taught not to think so damn much in a fight. She very much has. But when a new power starts flowing through her veins some part of her has to consider how to make it work for her. Of course, the moment she's freewheeling out of control, thought stops

Which means when she fumbles into the punching bag hard enough for it to knock her around again, something inside her calculates the probability that Domino will be in range when she grabs it and spikes it back towards the other woman as hard as she can.

Despite the new boost, she's sweating now, emerald eyes narrowed in concentration. Banter has gone silent as she simply attempts to hold her own. The set of her mouth says she's aware of the disparities in their skill level, aware that Domino still has way more of that luck bending in her own veins, aware that she is eventually going to run out of juice and end up getting her ass handed to her.

But the grim set of her jaw also betrays acceptance. This is how one learns. This is how a body goes and gets better. And so she pours everything she's got into it, even as her head reels just a little bit from the most recent steps in their mutual dance.

* * *

Okay. This is unusual. This is different. This is something -new.- Domino can't even begin to understand what's at play here or how this is working but she's getting this bizarre feeling that she's no longer fighting Rogue so much as she's fighting -herself.-

The way that she neatly avoids a punch to the face and flicks Neena's arm around? That's one of HER moves.

The way that Rogue avoids getting tripped up by twirling through the air? Neena -just did that- and Rogue's copying the move with uncanny proficiency.

A lot of hits come close but nothing lands solid. Not on either of them! Even when it seems like the flow of the spar goes into one of their favors there's some last minute save which comes out of nowhere and cancels out what should have been a home run.

The further along they go back and forth like this the more puzzled Domino is getting. Eventually this reaches a breaking point and frustration kicks in. Rogue's grasp on bending probability is going to be given a proper test.

A backward somersault transitions into a handstand on the bench, barely avoiding another strike from Rogue before pivoting around at the end of an arm. Rogue might read this as a lead-in to Neena catching her by the shoulders with both legs but it never comes to pass.

Instead one foot pushes off of the bench and she's suddenly coming at the Southern Belle at an angle, going for a tackle with the arms after the unexpected change of direction. It all happens quickly enough that the numbers never have a chance to catch up in the back of Rogue's thoughts.

* * *

And down goes one Southern Belle beneath one Mistress of Fortune. Rogue lets out a soft grunt as she's tackled to the mat, and for a moment she's shaking off stars. She'd held her head up instinctively to avoid getting really slammed, slapping one hand down, one that Neena isn't pinning, to catch herself. But it doesn't really put her in a position for a retaliation, and really…

"I reckon I conceed," she says, with a mischevious grin. "I don't got no fancy-pants gymnastics moves to pull, even if I did borrow a little of your luck twistin'. Tell me you've taken this to Vegas. If you ain't I say we hop a plane like yesterday and go and do that somethin' like ASAP. Stay no more than half an hour at any one place, play us some Blackjack, switch off who is playin' and who is drinkin', ain't nobody ever gonna be the wiser."

* * *

At the hand against the mat Domino lets go and rolls clear of Rogue but when back to her feet it's clear that she's winded from their tussle. A ghostly white hand is soon offered to the younger mutant if she wants it.

"I reckon you've had an ace up your sleeve there, Rogue." This is quickly confirmed when Rogue admits to having -borrowed- her power. "Wait wait -what?- You can do that? How" A single hand is held up in protest. "No..no, nothing like that. I've cleaned out plenty of bars in my day but Vegas is way too high profile. Though I did walk away from a multi-million dollar lottery oncehow the HELL did you do that?"

Furthermore, how did Rogue come to such an amazing conclusion on such short notice? Tag-teaming Vegas… They could rake in more dough in a week than Warren could pull in a year!

No, Thurman. That's a real good way to get noticed.

"You didn't take any of my …you know… my 'gift' when you did that, did you?"

* * *

"It was when ya headbutted me," Rogue says. She takes Neema's hand, stands, then wriggles gloved fingers. "I ain't dressed like this just cause I get cold easy. Touch my skin, I borrow or steal. I didn't try to take anything, but my thing, it's right unpredictable. My control kinda sucks. If you'd done held on long enough, yeah. I could have ended up stealing it. For a day, a week, a month, a year."

She tilts her hand back and forth. "But I reckon your luck ensured my power behaved itself, and it all came out in the wash. Took away the edge, and all things being equal we could have danced that dance all day. But as they ain't…they weren't. I reckon yours is still functionin' dandy fine. You'd know if it was all the way gone. Or you'd be out cold. It sucks out more n' powers. Lifeforce. Normally I'd warn ya, but I didn't reckon a headbutt'd do much really. Gotta say not too many of my old sparring partners tried that. My teachers always told me it was kinda a last resort sorta a move."

* * *

'It's right unpredictable.'

It seems these two share a little something in common. Also, is Domino a jerk for already getting ideas on how to weaponize Rogue's own power? How much damage could this girl do if she was thrown into the center of a bunch of opponents? Could she—

Could someone -possibly- figure out a way to mimic her ability, turn it into some sort of power-stealing grenade that would leave other mutants defenseless?

Alright, time for a -giant- step backward.

"I knew something felt off after landing that hit," she admits while gently prodding at her forehead. "Like realizing I was up for twenty hours longer than I remembered. That was all kinds of—"

Scary?
Unnerving?
Annoying?

"—Trippy." Though where her first inclination is to say 'let's never do that again' it DID prove to be one hell of a workout… Is there a better way to hone her own abilities? COULD they dominate Vegas over a weekend?

"I don't know if this place could survive two of me. Not to toot my own horn but that would result in a whole lot of -bad- luck for everything else. Some real potential for those unforseen consequences."

But c'mon, Neena. It'd be COOL.

* * *

Rogue grins, apparently 100% on the 'it would be cool' train. "Mississippi," she suggests. "Louisiana. Ain't nothin' conspicuous about backwoods casinos in two states that already have the worst luck ever. I mean. I don't wanna stay long enough to cause no kinda third or fourth or seventh oil spill or whatever."

She suddenly grins broader. "Bet Feathers would all kind of frown on it though. Sparkles would definitely frown on it. Which. Kinda. Makes me wanna do it more. But. Pro'bly not here. Kinda the black sheep of the team as it is. Don't need to add general chaos and disaster to the reasons why."

She tilts her head and admits, "As…luck…would have it, I reckon it's already fading. Feels like it is, anyway."

* * *

Is it odd that it seems like Rogue has already thought this through as much as she has? Now Domino is giving it some more thought, too! She's going so far as to slowly nod at what the 'Southern Skunk' has to say, Dom's hands landing upon hips as she catches her breath.

Then the real kicker. 'Feathers' and 'Sparkles' wouldn't approve. It doesn't require being a founding team member to know who she's referring to, and that just has the albino grinning a sly little grin. "When you put it like that I also kinda wanna do it more. There might be a roadtrip in our near future."

To hear that Rogue sees herself as the black sheep earns Neena's appraising look, and a smirk to match. "Really. You? They need to get to know you better."

Hearing that it's already fading is grounds for a faint "Huh" followed by "That does pass quickly. Could be a problem if you lose it in the middle of a game and I'm not sure that I'd be up for longer exposure."

* * *

"That just means more betting on you," Rogue says with a laugh. But as to black sheep, she shrugs. "Sure. I'm former Brotherhood. Used to go toe to toe with most of the people here. They're willin' to forgive it, but that don't mean they've forgotten it. And ain't all of 'em done forgiven it. It's a real long story, but trust me…I ain't too popular around here. This is probably one of the longest conversations I done had since I got here. Not the only one…ain't everyone worked up about it…but I can still count 'em without runnin' out of fingers, if you know what I'm saying."

She steps over to grab a water bottle and takes a swig, then offers it out to Domino, adding, "Drinkin' after me won't trigger the thing. And I don't much get sick."

* * *

There's all sorts of useful information to be had in this conversation. That same weight bench which had become a focal point during their match now serves a more typical role of giving Whitey somewhere to park her butt for a while. For whatever reason hearing that Rogue had been with the Brotherhood doesn't bother Neena at all.

"I could have wound up with that lot, too." Heck, there's always the chance that she might still end up going that way somewhere down the road. "Two sides of the same coin." And as far as she's concerned neither of them are 'right' nor perfect in their beliefs.

The offered bottle is taken and used in a mock salute to the other lady. "Glad to hear it. So..hey. Whatever you might be dealing with regarding the others, I don't have a problem with you. Don't feel too isolated around here. Us oddballs gotta stick together," she offers with a thin smirk.

* * *

"I agree," Rogue says with a grin. She steals Neena's place at the punching bag, still full of some energy. She moves into it with no sign of the dark emotions Domino was showing while doing the same thing. "On all counts. I appreciate it, too. Speaking of which, was that your car? How'd it come out after the Dog Frog attack? Moonstar swears they're demons of all things, but I think she was pulling my leg. Doesn't make no nevermind, I just reckon I can give it a tune up if they dented it up too badly. That's my real thing. Cars. Anything that moves and has parts really, but I do love the cars."

Not that she's not giving the punching bag a good what-for as she works on it. Whatever her thing may really be.

"What got you to join up anyway? If it ain't too personal a question. For some folks it is, for some folks it isn't, you know?"

* * *

Neena's content to sit this one out, she's finally had enough time to vent. At the question of 'was that your car' she has to stop and think -which one- before recalling that ill-fated Grand Cherokee from the day of those dog..frog..demon..things. Dom gently clears her throat here and rather than jumping to the 'I stole it' line she skips ahead to "It got totaled. But since you're into cars—"

AND former Brotherhood, hellooo questionable morals

"—I could always use a good mechanic. I tend to go through vehicles like they're going out of style. Might be that some could use a little TLC, or some upgrades..or a VIN swap…" she subtly adds. "Runnin' a late nineties Monte Carlo for now. And a Ducati. ..And a Ferrari."

Thanks again, Hot Wings.

Through this she's watching Rogue with her more Rogue-like maneuvers, mentally taking notes on yet another person whom could be an ally or an enemy depending on the direction of the tides. To the question about joining, Dom cryptically offers "I knew a guy."

* * *

"Sure. I've pulled off a few VIN swaps in my day," Rogue says easily. Yet another thing the vast majority of their new, shared team wouldn't be too happy to hear, but Rogue doesn't seem too terribly bothered by it. But she looks downright pleased at the list of vehicles. "Which one of them needs a little bit of numerical TLC? We should get that done right away."

The Rogue-like moves are quick, brutal, effective. At least, they would be if it were a person she was hitting and not a punching bag. Lots of going straight in for vitals, though, if it were a person. Precise strikes. Lots of quick stepping out of the way of the great, swinging weight. And yes, lots of footwork still. Nothing fancy though. It's all economy of motion, all straightforward stuff.

Quite unlike her morals, which are anything but straightforward. The woman is well-named. "What year on the Ferrari?"

I knew a guy definitely has Rogue backing right off that subject.

* * *

Ah, excellent… Rogue here is one of the missing pieces in Domino's newfound life back in the States. She's not so into the working on vehicles bit as she is the driving part. If something isn't working right she's never had much trouble finding a replacement, anyway.

"That'd be the Chevy. It pays to keep a low profile ride when dealing with work. A roll cage and some performance mods wouldn't go amiss." And various mounting brackets for hidden artillery. "It'll get used up and discarded then something else will take its place. Real 'circle of life' stuff."

It also seems that Rogue is a fan of the quick takedowns and isn't afraid to get a little dirty if it means getting someone out of the way. For someone like Neena it's nice to come across someone who's a bit more -real- around this team.

Following a drink from the water bottle is a shrug. "One of the newer ones. 'Portofino.' Kinda looks like a Vette but drives like a thoroughbred."

* * *

"Sure, all that's easy. Just gotta take a look at it and get the parts," Rogue replies. "Probably take me about two, three weeks to really do the mods right. For your low profile stuff really in the future it's probably easier to buy some rusty crap bucket and let me fix it up than it is to do the swap, now that you've got the option. Not that it matters much to you; it just reduces risk and makes your thing work less hard I guess. And…I am guessing?"

She tilts her head thoughtfully. "Does it matter how many variables your power's gotta mess around with? Is there a point where there's just one too many and even you gets unlucky? Or have you never reached that upward limit, and you could totally drive 90 past a state trooper in a stolen ride, leap it off a cliff, and hit a squirrel's eye at 10,000 paces all at once?"

* * *

A thoughtful nod is soon followed by a somewhat impish expression. "Ah..well..I'm gonna go ahead and say 'paper trails are bad' and 'private sales leave witnesses' but I can find you another car to work on in the meantime. Having a couple of spares never hurts."

And now she has more places to hide them!

The sudden shift to talking about her ability leaves Domino silent for a moment, both uncertain of how to answer and whether she SHOULD answer. She's already gotten into some hefty clashes with Warren regarding her privacy and not wanting to talk about herself but the Wonderbirb did have some pretty valid points to share on the subject.

"It's..a fickle thing. There have been many times where I was certain that I had hit the end but somehow everything still works out. Sometimes there isn't a 'best course' so it takes the lesser of evils, and sometimes that leaves a scar. It isn't something that can easily be measured. And I may have already tested the ninety past a state trooper in a stolen ride."

She pauses, smirks thinly, and corrects "It was more like a hundred and thirty."

A hand comes up to dismissively wave the matter away. "There was a song I heard a while back, something about 'you can't always get what you want but you might just get what you need.' That sums it up well enough."

* * *

"And that right there explains why you ain't found yourself some casinos yet," Rogue says with a laugh. Her eyes had already started sparkling about one hundred and thirty. "That would be all about getting what you want instead of what you need, and I guess that would be pushin' it at that."

She finally puts out one gloved hand to bring the punching bag to a stop. "I tell you what I need though, is a shower. It was good jawin' with you, Domino. I look forward to workin' with you. On all manner of things."

***

Some time later…a text conversation…

Rogue: Relyin' on me to drop Domino ain't good for business. Her thing and my thing more or less cancel each other out. You'd end up with two lucky women and a bunch of unlucky other people. Also I like her. Also I don't think she's going to lose her shit now that she's decided to be here. Just my $0.02.

Warren: You ladies got cozy and I missed it?

Warren, after a beat: Thanks, good to know.

Rogue: Aw, Feathers, shoulda guessed you like to watch.

Warren: Watch? What do you take me for?

Rogue: Just assumin' you'd be invited, I see. Tsk. Those wings are pretty but I don't know if you're sturdy enough for that rodeo.

Warren: I take blunt impact very well thanks.

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