Lock And Key
Roleplaying Log: Lock And Key
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Danvers has a secret rendezvous with Worthington to ask questions about mutants.

Other Characters Referenced: Jean Grey, Scarlet Witch
IC Date: July 10, 2019
IC Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 12 Jul 2019 02:11
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Carol's bare toes sift through the warm beach sands as she watches the sun slowly descend from distant clouds into a pool of endless orange sunset across the waters of the carribean.
The nameless island she stands upon is a few miles out from Santo Domingo, technically part of the Dominican Republic but no human has stood upon its beaches for a long time. Perhaps a few curious yachts and their rich families stop here to have a picnic, perhaps the island is occasionally used by smugglers and traffickers. For the most part it's so ridiculously small at a few hundred yards across, there's hardly a point to be there. There's exactly two trees, one of which is home to a particularly surly multi-hued tropicbird that's given Danvers the side-eye since she landed.
This is HIS island and she's trespassing! But he's choosing not to do anything about it. For now.
She wears an incredibly non-typical outfit for her. A simple tan sun dress that she bought on the cheap for this sole occasion. Her head mostly hidden beneath a wide brimmed floppy sun hat. The coastal breeze stirring her attire as she painlessly stares into the sun with patience.
Though her true passion is the mysteries of space travel, she cannot deny that the Earth is a gorgeous place to be. Taking this moment to just enjoy the beauty and lingering warmth of the hot day. Thankful that the stormy season has yet to begin, it would have made this meeting a whole lot.. Less comfortable.


There are a few major benefits to being a billionaire, beyond just the money, that don't occur to most people. One of the most potent of those is just plain good old connections. On receiving the missive from Carol Danvers, Warren Worthington promptly asked Kiff to get him an old friend of the family on the phone, who he knows owns property in the Dominican Republic (Warren personally doesn't). Times like this, Warren didn't really want to go through any actual airports.

"Reason?" was his flippant conversation with the man, over the line. "Oh, you know, you won't shut up about how lovely it can be out there, so I decided to come have a look at buying. I'll be down soon enough, and no need to make a fuss over me. I'll be in and out. You don't mind if I leave the jet on your airstrip for an afternoon?"

As one might expect of a winged man who stood heir to a multinational corporation built in large part on aviation and avionics, Warren enjoys flying in all forms. He flew himself down to the Dominican Republic in said light jet, did in fact leave it on his friend's private airstrip, exchanged the obligatory niceties with said friend, and then promptly took his leave.

How? He flew. Flying over open water isn't his favorite thing to do, but he prefers it to being tracked, and conventional means of getting around tend to attract attention. Flying at several thousand feet under the power of his own wings, he can go remarkably unnoticed.

Such it is that Carol will eventually glimpse a winged figure inbound on her location that is much too large to be any of the seabirds she's seen around. Whether by training or instinct, he's approaching such that he's flying in with the sun at his back… though any tactical advantage afforded by that might be obviated anyway by Carol no doubt being able to stare directly into suns anyway. Probably.

Eventually the so-named Angel draws near enough that the sound of his wingbeats covers the sound of the waves on the sand. With a great backwatering of white wings, he kills his speed and settles into a brief hover about fifteen feet overhead, regarding her with frank curiosity. "As the lady summons," he says dryly, "here I am."

His eyes track towards the surly tropical bird.


In the distance Carol can see glimpses of sea birds coming and going. Usually in their small flocks in the general direction of land, sometimes landing on the water in their time of evening feasting. As such, when she catches a glimpse of a particular solo bird in the far distance, she doesn't pay it much mind. Even though the shape of the wings are wrong for a bird of this region, Carol is hardly an ornithologist.
Only at a second glance does she notice this 'bird' is on a direct course for her island. Squinting mildly her attention turns completely from the sunset to the incoming flier.
"..Huh. Damn he did fly.." She mumbles to herself, impressed. She figured he would have taken a helicopter out this far into the ocean. For some reason she didn't think his actual flying range was this far out from the main island. Flying over state? Sure. Over the sea? That's a different story. She idly wonders how tired he'll be as she turns to face him completely, fists planting on her hips.
As her floppy hat suddenly flips from her head and her skirt rides perilously high with a gust, Carol curses. Snatching the hat out of air with superpowered reflexes and planting the fabric back on her head with some force, "Why do people wear this sh-" Her voice trailing off. Her hand planting on her hip mostly to keep the skirt from being unruly in Warren's august presence. She then clears her throat as he begins his final approach, straightening again as she tries to seem natural in such a situation as possible.
"Good. So.." Her voice trails as the angel hovers before her in the caribbean sky, side-lit by a gorgeous sunset and the man isn't quite so bad himself. There is a brief moment where Carol's thoughts derail and her words catch.
What was she saying? Right. Right.

"…Right. Good. Thank you for coming." Trying to make her gratitude sound matter of fact.

This time Carol is interrupted by an external source.
From the tree, the Tropicalbird rises. His own wingspan extending outwards as he offers a loud cackling hiss in the direction of Warren invading his territory. In the animal kingdom, size equals might. Warren's vast wingspan gives the aggressively territorial bird pause, deciding to snap his beak in Warren's direction before ceding territory. Leaping from the tree and taking flight in the opposite direction.

Carol squints briefly at the pride-injured male before shaking her head lightly, "Okay. That was a thing.. So Warren.." Her free hand held before her as she realigns her thoughts, "There's some questions I have to ask you. You're the closest person I know that's an expert on Mutants and these are questions.. I won't get answers to from the office."


Warren assuredly notices when the wind plays havoc with the hem of Carol's skirt. From the playful glint in his eye when he descends into easy viewing range, her reaction thoroughly amused him. "How long has it been since you've worn a skirt?" he inquires. "And you wear one just for me? I'm flattered."

Despite the obligatory flirtatiousness (people would probably check his temperature if he weren't doing it), there's a shrewdness to his gaze — to the way he keeps airborne for a few wary moments, as if still a little wary. If his wide-winged hovering — and the resultant pretty picture it makes — has the additional effect of temporarily stealing her breath, well, that's just icing on the cake… and to be expected. He would probably be concerned on the day he couldn't make a woman temporarily tongue-tied.

He doesn't seem considerably tired. A few miles is not a significant jaunt to him, even over water.

He starts to answer her thanks, but then his attention turns as the bird takes brief umbrage to his intrusion. Carol is briefly treated to the sight of a billionaire angel staring down an angry tropical bird, before whatever territorial dispute resolves in Warren's favor. If Warren's smirk widens slightly, then there's no one around to see it but Carol.

His gaze turns back to Danvers. "Ah," he says, at talk of 'questions to ask.' "Well, we are as secluded as we are likely to get." He finally lets himself descend, dropping lightly to the sand and folding his wings neatly. "Ask."


On the question of the skirt, that well-bred asshole gets no answer. This is about as incognito as Carol can get, as she knows damn well SHIELD has eyes everywhere. Especially where you don't think they do. They are extremely, extremely good at finding rendezvous. She ditched her suit at a location in the depths of the Atlantic and changed into a simple and cheap tourist outfit she bought earlier. An outfit she's going to destroy once this meeting is over.
The floppy hat? Perfect at hiding her face and lips from satellites. She knows they're up there, there's several she helped install herself back when she .. had access to classified information.

Which brings her to Worthington.

A stammerer Carol is not. After gathering herself and securing her unruly outfit on her powerful yet feminine frame, she continues, "I'll start with the easy questions. Is Suzie doing okay?"
She.. Tried not to ask him. She really did. The less contact she had with Warren after the stunt she pulled the better. But circumstances have pushed her back to playing this card again. She does feel considerably better about that whole business but.. She can't help but worry about the girl's safety.


If Warren is similarly paranoid or concerned, he doesn't show it. After he comes to rest on the sand, he stands easily, lightly, with no apparent concern and with the full confidence of a young man who was born with every possible advantage — except one.

Her lack of response isn't surprising. He wasn't really fishing for one. The purpose of this meeting is business, whatever his playfulness, and his expression soon sobers as she begins with her first question.

"She's well," is Warren's succinct response. "It's an adjustment for her, of course. A huge one. But you know the resilience children tend to have. She's adapting quickly. Given enough time, she may yet be able to come home."

Sharp blue eyes turn on Carol, aquiline and direct. "I have someone who looks after her. Her needs are met."


Carol betrays a hint of emotion on her expression, nodding quickly as she gets the best answer she could have hoped for, "Okay." Eyes drifting downwards as she lets the news process and calm her, "Okay." She repeats. Briefly rubbing her nose and looking away.

She looks to the sunset for a moment longer before turning her attention to Warren and adds, "She.. mentioned that she had a sister." The girl's pained, terrified words still echo in her mind. Even still. "I.. Don't know if she told you or not. She.. Didn't want the DPS to take her."
She supposes that's less of a question and more of a suggestion.
Carol did not follow up in the aftermath of that Riot. To be honest she was so shocked she didn't.. Quite process what the girl was saying until sometime later. By then she'd already been locked out of the system. She has no idea if the girl's mutant sister was taken or not and no ability to find out.
Not to mention.. It's not appropriate.

Regardless she leaves that in the air for Warren to consider as she inhales, regaining strength and forcing herself onto a different subject.
"The real reason I asked you here is that I need information about mutants. There's.. More to mutants than I understand and you represent a group that is the world's leading experts on the subject.."
She drifts off a moment, deciding where to start with this before questioning, "What kind of mutant is Jean Grey?"


"I haven't personally spoken to the girl," is Warren's blunt answer. It is remarkable how quickly he can go from shiftless flirtation to the sort of austere confidence one would expect of a man in his position. "It is best that she doesn't know who I am." There is a pause, before he adds, "I didn't have to speak to her to find out about her. Her sister is as safe as she can be."

He does not seem about to share the details with Carol Danvers. Not due to a particular distrust of her, personally, but simply due to a belief that things should really stay on an absolute need-to-know basis.

Her next question, however — the real reason she asked him here — brings him to visibly stiffen. His head lifts, a certain tension flickering through his white feathers.

"She is a psionic," he says, and his silence afterwards drops like a wall.

A long few moments pass, where Warren regards Carol, before he says, "I understand she and you had something of an encounter."


Danvers has worked with secret information long enough that she knows when the limit is reached. When Warren gains a blunt tone and becomes vague in specificity, she knows she isn't getting more out of him on that topic. And in truth, she understands. She's mildly ashamed that she even asked but.. She is not as heartless as some make her out to be.
On the formal topic, Carol's expression gains a stone-breaking intensity. On this particular track, it will take more than a stern tone and aloof manner to shake her off the trail. The tension that takes his body at once draws her attention, her inquiry struck something. What precisely she has yet to find out.

She is not a normal mutant." Carol states definitively. She takes a few steps in the sand, closing the distance between them, "She's a mindreader, I got that. But she's way.. Way more than that." Steel eyes roam his expression and shoulders, "And you know that."

She nods her head once as she admits to the encounter and more, "Warren I'm no mutant. But I.." Eyes drift only a moment, ".. Sensed.. Something from her. Something I rarely sense. Is she even a mutant? I've been around many mutants, especially in the last few months but.. There's something much more about her. I sensed.. Fire. I sensed Death."


It is difficult to tell what's got Warren's back up, but it's definitely up. Carol steps closer, and his wings open slightly, feathers lifting in a mute warning. For someone functionally incapable of actually physically doing anything to Carol Danvers, he certainly doesn't act like someone functionally incapable of physically doing anything to Carol Danvers.

The body language is clear that he doesn't really want to discuss the topic, though the exact reason is perhaps harder to pick out. Of course, the fact that they've known each other since they were eighteen is probably a big hint there.

She is not a normal mutant, Carol insists. She sensed fire… fire and death. Warren's eyes flicker in a way that would be familiar to a career soldier like Carol Danvers. The eyes of soldiers look that way when they are reminded of something that traumatized them a long time ago.

"How did you sense that?" he asks.


Carol Danvers is intimidated by no one.

Though she obeys Warren's warning out of a sign of respect, not coming any closer than her few steps.
She can only glean so much from Warren's body language. Maybe Natasha could read this man like a book but she can only tell that.. He knows something. She struck a nerve with Jean somehow and this could be good.. It could also be extremely bad. She also may not be able to get a single word further out of Warren. If he simply flies off without another word she's dead in the water. She isn't about to strong-arm him for information either.
Carol only knows so much about Warren. Before the events of the Mutant Town Riot she only gave SHIELD's intel on the X-men a cursory glance. The surface level details that weren't too deeply classified. Since her demotion she's shut out of what she had and is now cursing herself for not doing more homework while she had the opportunity.

Looking into Warren's eyes, she realizes that she needs to bargain. Information for Information. A Mutant secret for a Kree secret.

"I don't know what I am Warren. No one on Earth does. I was human until I had that accident. All I know is that since that Kree ship blew up in my face when I came to I could fly to the moon. I can pulverize a mountain with enough time and no amount of energy known to mankind can hurt me." Laying that all out in careful detail as she leans forward just enough, a hand moving up to keep the rim of her hat from obscuring her vision as she stares straight into his beautiful eyes.
"So when I tell you that what I sensed in her scared the hell out of me.. You understand why I'm very concerned for everyone on this planet."

Carol is intimidated by Jean Grey.
——
Carol stops, and after a moment those wings fold again. But Warren remains silent, regarding Carol with guarded, gauging blue eyes. He listens as Carol decides to offer a secret in exchange for a secret, but his expression remains quite impenetrable. Warren learned not to give anything away on his face a long time ago.

"I see," he eventually says.

After a moment, he exhales a breath. "We had an accident, years ago," Warren finally concedes. "Of a very similar nature. You know how it is. Things happen to people, and they wake up, and they're not… the same."

I am very concerned for everyone on the planet, Carol says. "We manage it," is Warren's brief response.

He takes a step back, his wings opening again. "If you want to know more, it's for her to tell you, and not me."


As Warren actually answers, it was not an answer Carol was expecting.
Perhaps its an answer that Carol feared. Her eyes go wide as the revelation of an 'accident' occurred, she can only guess it also meant an alien craft. No, she -knows- it was an alien craft.
"Holy shit." Carol breathes stepping away from Warren, suddenly she's the one needing more room. She has all the air in the world out here on an abandoned island in the middle of the sea but it feels like the sky itself is closing in on her.
No wonder she could sense her. Are they the same? Similar somehow? Jean could sense -her- as well. No, whatever that creature is she is not the same. But.. similar? Kinship? Related somehow?

As his wings begin to spread, Carol whirls, "Warren wait!" A hand signalling for him to stop. His departure jolting her to complete her inquiry, now even more urgent.
"And what about Wanda? The Scarlet Witch. Something.."

She takes a few steps, fighting the urge to shake the man by the shoulders, "In her I sensed something else. Like Jean but much.. Different. Equally frightening.. Maybe more. In her I sensed something.. Cold. Empty. Almost the exact opposite of what I felt in Jean but.. She isn't a normal mutant either. Listen. I know you want to protect your friend Warren, I get that. I really do. But whatever happened to those two women.. I.." She breathes, ".. I think I'm connected somehow. Some way. If whatever happened to me also happened to them.. I need to understand this Warren."
The desperation in her expression suggests the need is for more than just to save the world from danger.
The desperation of a woman who stares in the mirror in the morning and sometimes has no idea what creature is staring back at her.


Warren's blue eyes study Carol's reaction with aquiline intensity as she reacts — so strongly — to even his vaguest suggestion of what happened to Jean Grey. There is much that is intensely personal about her response — that much he can easily read in her expression, without even needing the benefit of his extraordinary eyes.

Is it any wonder that there is, though? After the story she just told him of her own origins? Carol plainly senses a kindred spirit of some kind in Jean Grey, though not one that brings her any comfort. Only fear.

Warren can empathize. He feared Jean Grey too, once. In the past.

Yet what little he says is all he is willing to say. The story isn't his to be told. He turns, his wings opening, transparently restless to quit the conversation, but the desperation in Carol's voice stops him. His wings hesitate, hanging in a half-open state. The sun veins through the white feathers, limning them in gold.

The Scarlet Witch. The appellation brings Warren to look over his shoulder at Carol. "It didn't take an accident to make Wanda frightening," is his brief response. In his distraction, he does not seem to notice his own use of her given name. "As long as I have known her, she always has been." He hesitates, his head turning away. "Frightening — and fragile, and broken, and lost."

His wings open just a little bit more… only to tremble and hesitate at that pleading in her voice. It is the same tone of voice he has heard in countless young mutants — few of them so fortunate as he himself — who are newly come to their powers, do not know what they are, and fear that 'what they are' is a monster.

Perhaps it's that similarity which gets him to turn fully back towards her. His open wings angle more like a benediction than a readiness to flee. "I can't tell you anything about Wanda Maximoff," he says, his voice more gentle. "I don't know. Her father always kept her under lock and key. Just about all we ever knew or saw of her was her power." If he saw more, he is not telling. "As for Jean…"

He shakes his head. "It did not have to do with the Kree. That much I can say. The rest… you must ask her."


Carol slowly collects herself, slowly beginning to realize how her anxiety got away from her. Slowly her expression hardens, forcing her nerves to obey as she briefly wipes her cheek needlessly.
She.. Believes Warren in this moment. The gentleness in his tone, the sympathy he allows to show convinces her. Maybe he's playing her, a cynical thought flutters through. Just telling her what she wants to hear in order to hide the truth.
She nods then, "Alright. .. Alright." Realizing this is as much as she can get from Warren as a source. The remaining option is to do as he suggests and confront Jean again.

Her eyes close a moment. In that moment she can see Jean again.. This time wreathed in flames covering as far as the eye can see into the endless horizon.

It hungers for stars.

"Thank you. Again. Warren." She manages out, collecting herself, "I owe you." A pause, "Another one." Sheepishly admitting as her eyes drift to her hand. A hand that sparkles faintly in brief like the whole of a galaxy.

She is made of stars.


Maybe he is playing her. Maybe not. On the day the wings came feathering out of his back, Warren got it into his head he should probably live up to the image that now looked back at him from the mirror. And angels have always had two faces: avenging, and gentle.

But much as he can sympathize with Carol's desperation — it reminds him, in this moment, so much of the desperation that many mutants face — the fact remains that Jean Grey's story is Jean Grey's alone to tell. Jean herself reminded him of this concept not long ago, when she told him that Domino's past was not his to page through at his whim, but hers to tell him when she felt the time right.

His body language might be half-bird, and often hard to read, but in these moments, it's quite clear: this is as far as Carol will get with Warren Worthington on the subject. Yet there is a brief expression which passes across his face which suggests that he has seen with his own eyes, the image of Jean which haunts her imagination.

He is protecting Jean from her… but that doesn't mean Jean is harmless.

Her thanks draws a slow nod from him. He holds that pensive moment… before he shakes it away, and resumes the flippancy with which he arrives with the ease of a man changing masks. Whatever he sees about Carol Danvers — and whatever he infers from it — he keeps to himself. "I'll give you this one for free," he says breezily. "It was a nice trip to stretch my wings."

Said wings open, catching the sea breeze, as he tests the wind for his departure. "But you still definitely owe me for the other thing."

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