Distracted Dojo
Roleplaying Log: Distracted Dojo
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Two fighters join up for some sparring but only one of them has their head in the game.

Other Characters Referenced: Warren Worthington, Emma Frost
IC Date: July 29, 2019
IC Location: Danger Room
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 29 Jul 2019 20:15
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 for language
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The Danger Room can be any number of places, its alien technology allowing it to recreate even the most bizarre surroundings effortlessly. It has depicted alien landscapes, underwater kingdoms, and distant lands filled with gigantic lizards who ruled the realm with an iron fist. But for some of the X-Men they program the system for what they know, programs that hearken to a different time or perhaps simply a different one.

Inside the confines of an old dojo the two had stood against each other. A blur of movement as he had stepped in, grasping the shoulder and sleeve of her gi jacket. It was a precise movement, well-practiced and she likely could see it coming from her training. But he moved with such skill, that it was barely an instant of reaction time where she felt the rough pressure of strength, the firmness of his hip jammed into hers as he drew her over his side and then levelled her heavily down upon the mats with a dull /thud/ of impact. One arm rested upon her throat as his blue eyes met hers, his breathing steady and his expression grim as he looks back and forth between her eyes.

"What's the problem, Domino? Yer movin' like a zombie."

***

Distractions. They'll get you killed. Neena's learned over the years how to completely bury her own memories, to block out her own psyche until she's practically a ghost beyond the lack of pigment within her skin. Few experiences can manage to dredge up these blocked memories. Fewer still can do so with such efficiency that they remain locked within the conscious mind, unwilling to let go. They become a constant weight which slows her down, keeps her distracted. Leaves her more withdrawn than usual.

Sure, it could be argued that Logan's got the strength, mass, and experience on her with this kind of sparring, and the 'appropriate attire' might distract her a little, but she SHOULD be lighter on her feet. She SHOULD be able to see him coming and put that agility to use.

It's a little more than moving like a zombie. It could be debated that a part of her -wants- to be thrown around and kicked to the curb. Like she's seeking some physical torment.

Maybe that's why she had agreed to spar with Logan today instead of brush him off and crawl back into a dark corner with her guns and booze.

Now with an arm to her throat and the scrapper poised overhead her pale gaze comes back to focus upon his eyes, her expression tense. "I'm fine" is said in a sharp but level voice.

It's also a lie. One which they're probably both aware of.

From her position and with Logan's expertise there's limited options on her next move. He also weighs like a ton and a half so throwing him's probably out of the question. As if to add fuel to the 'you're distracted' fire her move is to reach up and slap the side of his face in a 'get the hell off of me' sort of maneuver.

***

It's just enough to cause his head to snap to the side slightly, and get him to frown, but he seems to take that as a tap as she'll feel his weight shift off of her and he'll extend a hand to help her rise up should she accept it. "Just focus, kid. Be here with me."

Whether she takes the hand from him or not he'll step back and away towards the center mats. She might have been surprised when she'd seen him enter that dojo. The white gi top, the black hakama, the scruffy beard and the bare chest. It's almost as if he were some distant relative of Toshiro Mifune come to life. Different than she sees him in the every day every day.

Outside she'll still occasionally hear the faint 'thok' of that water feature in the garden filling slowly with water and then letting it back into the rivulet. Inside, however, there's nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide. It's just them, just the grim man, the monochromatic woman, and this fight between them.

"I've read your file, this should be second nature to you." He says, hands on his hips as he adds, "S'my butt on the line if you half-ass it out there."

***

Neena manages to stop just short of rolling her eyes at the 'be here with me' bit while catching the offered hand. She's an easy one to reorient, at least. Compact and fairly lightweight.

Even the lighter distractions from the stream outside seem much too distant to her to interfere. The setting holds a little more of an effect but not by much. The closest she's experienced to Japanese culture came from those seeking new lives in the global cluster that is Madripoor. Such 'authentic' locations had been few and far between.

Logan does manage to say something which irritates her, however. Dom can't really be that ticked off when people 'read her file' anymore, can she? As a part of the team there are some details which are now left open for many more people to review. Her history is no longer sealed away within a buried vault. Unlike with Warren, she can't go ballistic and attempt to kill Logan for 'prying' into her life.

Instead she opts to give Logan shit for the next part of his comment. "Your butt heals faster than most people can take a piss, you'll be fine."

The trick to dealing with someone like this mutant is to go for soft tissue targets. He's got a metal skeleton! Breaking bones or hyper-extending joints just isn't going to work. Gotta go for the delicate stuff. It's pretty obvious, anyone could reach such a conclusion.

So it might seem weird that she's deliberately going for meatier targets. Center body mass. Legs. Shoulders. Head. All targets which she's going to feel in an unpleasant way whenever contact is made. And as Logan had already pointed out her usual finesse is gone, replaced by brute strength tactics which she can only back up so much.

***

She can tell with the way he defends himself that it isn't going well. As she starts to lash out at him, starts to press the attack and he gives ground, his features tighten. Whens he moves in and he makes a smooth circular block, she'll see him shake his head slightly. Then a wicked fast kick comes from her and he hunkers down and accepts it on his shoulder. Each impact jolts right back up her limb. Against most others she might feel a sense of satisfaction from such a strong impact. But Logan… he grimaces and when she presses too far…

He turns abruptly and brings a fist around in a strike that might have been very painful had it connected. "Domino…" He starts to say something, but then he shakes his head and holds up a hand as if staying her from attacking further. "C'mon." He gestures to the side towards the sliding door that leads out front. And if she's willing he'll walk on out there, taking a seat on the steps out front.

"What'll it take for you ta tell me what's on yer mind?"

***

When Logan calls a halt to the session Domino -does- roll her eyes, hands falling onto hips with a not so muttered curse which is practically dripping with venom. As opposed to the 'sharp yet airy' cursing which usually springs from her like a coiled wire.

She does follow him. For the moment. Instead of taking a seat nearby she picks up a smooth stone from the garden and flicks it toward the water, though rather than skipping like most people would expect from the action it bounces a few times then neatly lands into the bin of that water feature with a soft *ploop!* in a sort of hole in one.

"What'll it take?" she snipes back with a mixed look of anger and disbelief. "What are you, my shrink? I barely know you, Logan. It's none of your damn business."

Did her file mention anything about how defensive she could be when questioned about personal matters? If so it was probably highlighted and underlined a few times. In truth the only person she -might- have talked to about what's bothering her had died some four years ago, leaving this resistant pile of anger and estrogen left for everyone else to deal with on those rare occasions where shit's gone south. Where personal matters are concerned she's a far cry from being a team player.

***

"Yeah, well, yer shrink ain't gonna be out there takin' bullets cuz you don't have the focus ta lay down coverin' fire. Right?" He holds up a hand as if to stave off any objection, though he's probably not successful. He does, however, still speak as he tells her. "This is me tryin' ta head off a problem before it becomes one. Now…"

He grimaces and straightens up, pushing a rough hand through his hair and then looks away, shaking his head slightly. A glance back and he murmurs, "You need ta beat the hell out of somethin', I can help you with that."

A deep breath is taken, "You need ta talk to someone that ain't me, then great I can maybe help you with that."

Then he crinkles his nose and adds, "Or you just got a ton of pent up frustration. Well there's Tindr."

He then gestures to the side as if wiping away all his words as just so much nonsense, and instead imparts to her. "Bottom line, though. Yer carryin' some heavy luggage, darlin'. And in some ways… reminds me of some of the things I went through. I tried to deal with it all myself. But wasn't until I came here, until I talked to some of the chuckleheads here… that I was able to at least get a handle on it."

***

"I don't have any problems with my aim, Logan," comes her dead level growl of response. Although it could be brought into question after their last mission if someone had all of the details…

Given ANY other situation Domino would be in total agreement with the man, too. There's an obvious problem, it will compromise their efforts out in the field, it needs to be dealt with. Pronto. But it's a much easier process when it doesn't happen to revolve around -her.-

Then come the options. Offers? Mention of Tindr..? That's unexpected. Though when he accurately points out the heavy luggage the albino visibly bristles..then hesitates just enough when he mentions having gone through something similar.

Then she remembers the first time she saw those -metal blades- coming out of his hands. There's no way he had been born with those. That couldn't have been a part of his mutation… So then..where DID they come from?

Neena finally settles. It's not an alert nor respectful pose. In some ways it may prove that while she's well into her twenties there are some aspects to her maturity which haven't -quite- progressed beyond the teens. Maybe they never needed to evolve. Or maybe they never had a chance to. Either way she's finally giving Logan some proper attention.

"Alright then. If you're so keen to talk about your problems then let's hear it. I'm one of the chuckleheads around here. Lay it on me."

***

"Mmm," Logan eyes her sidelong for a time then looks away across that garden. There had been something preying upon his thoughts since he had returned. People had remarked on it. The way his temper was close to the surface, frayed at times, quick to lash out or demean. Some knew he was at times like that, but those that knew him best could tell something had been eating at him.

So when she makes her offer, it might surprise her to see him giving it some thought. Some serious thought as his attention slips away and focuses on the distance. It's long enough that she might think he was just going to ignore her request.

But then he speaks, "This last time I was gone, was because I owed an old friend. Had an obligation." His features sour a little but he presses on. "Met this gal ages ago in South America. We were working an op together. Took a bullet for me. She was selfless like that."

Shaking his head he shifts his gaze towards that rivulet that wends its way through that small garden. "She had no idea I woulda been fine. But she asked me before she died… asked me to help her daughter if I could, make sure she survived."

He flares his hands to the side, grimacing. "Then, few months back. Got a call from her daughter. Some bad stuff was going down in her neck of the woods. She asked me to help. Called in that favor."

***

Great, Logan's mentally bluescreened. While he's picking through his own memories Neena picks up two more stones and slowly rolls them around within her palm, their polished surfaces gently clicking and scraping together in passing. This all takes a lot of the pressure off of her shoulders but she knows it's only a fleeting respite. If she pushes Logan to vent about his own issues then walk away without returning the favor, well..that'd be a particularly bitchy move. She's not beyond doing so, granted, but for whatever messed up reason Logan isn't as easy to turn her back on and walk away from as so many other people are.

Face it, the guy's got presence. Cool under pressure. Kinda how she used to think that she was, up until recent encounters had started to prove otherwise. It's a discovery which hasn't sat well with her. One which has only further served to dredge up long forgotten scraps of her history.

What she had done to those pirates… It was cool. It was surgical. It was damn effective. But..it had all been motivated by personal matters. It had been driven by anger.

Dammit, this simulation needs WAY more sake. Neena didn't come here to reflect on this bullshit. She should just terminate the simulation and walk away.

Crap, CAN she even terminate the simulation? Is she stuck in here with the scruffy old guy?

As Logan starts to spill the beans Neena gruns a dispassionate "Tough break" upon hearing that the woman had needlessly died on the guy. In those two words her merc upbringing comes back to the surface. Disconnected yet direct. It is what it is. Don't get attached. Don't dwell.

It does make her sound like an heartless bitch, though.

"Congratulations. You helped out a kid in need. Xavier would have been proud," she deadpans while flicking those two stones one at a time back into the garden where they clack against more of their kind.

***

"Mmm," He says again, though he eyes her sidelong. For a moment he probably considers leaving it at that before he works at the flesh on the inside of his cheek, chewing thoughtfully before continuing. "Some time had passed, so when she called she was about your age. Apparently she had been having some problems with this gang of Coyotes who were runnin' people over the border. Though sometimes this gang would take their payment, drive the people out into the desert, then shake 'em down for some more money. Whatever they had, and then half the time they'd just leave them out there to die."

He holds up a hand as if trying to fend off the memory of it, his head shaking a little with disgust. "So found this gang. And took care of 'em."

Then there's a pause and he adds, "But then I got back to her village, and found out she'd duped me. This gang she wanted dead… she wasn't their victim, she was their rival. She used me so she could take control of their territory, then settled up with the rest of the gangs. It was a mess."

***

What's a good way to help tame the beast? Give it something else to focus on other than itself. Previously that target had been Logan. Domino's knuckles are still throbbing from all of the blunt force trauma they had received. Now it gets to be the girl which Logan had gone out of his way to try and help.

"Wow, what a manipulative little bitch. That's a hard one to justify with the ol' conscience. But hey, two messes cleaned for the price of one. You've left the territory better than it was before. Go you," she declares with a slight raising of a fist to mimick triumph.

"There are worse vacations you could have taken. You could have ended up in L.A."

***

The wood of the porch step creeks as he pushes himself to his feet, leaning to the side a little against the railing and then folding his arms over his broad chest. His blue-eyed gaze meets hers as he finally says, "Now…"

A space of a few moments pass, his nostrils flaring slightly as he takes in a breath, gauging before he adds, "It's your turn. Spill it."

He pushes off slightly from the railing so he can turn and look across the computer generated view, considering the lay of the garden before he turns back to look at her askance. "What's been preying on your thoughts? Worthington is a chucklehead, but he doesn't make a habit of making bad hires."

***

Yep. Logan's calling her on it. He might be intently watching her but she's busy staring down at the water where she may or may not be keeping an eye on his reflection. Before any answer comes forth Neena leans forward and dips her hands into the cool body of water, splashing it across her face then sweeping her hair back.

"That place reminded me of something I didn't want to be reminded of."

Aaand..that's it. That's all she plans on saying about the matter.

Then it becomes a tactic of deflection when Logan perhaps unknowingly gives her an easy way out. "Warren didn't seek me out. I showed up all on my own. It turned out to be a mutually beneficial chance meeting."

***

Arms still tight over his chest, Logan's body language isn't exactly one would call approachable, but that's perhaps more his nature as he shifts a little further to the side. It's hard to tell, but the Canadian mutant isn't just looking at her. He's listening to the shifts in her breathing. Taking in the faint changes in scent that signals emotional changes. For him it's just hints that feed his subconscious read of someone, hard to quantify if he had to explain it to someone.

But what it means ultimately is things… they ain't sittin' right.

"No one's gonna fault you for losin' a step from what we saw at that place." It was a place of horror after all. "But n'my experience, suppressing things like that. It leads to a mess down the line."

"Now don't take this as like concern for yer well-being." His lip twists slightly, perhaps a small hint towards his humor. "I just don't wanna be at ground zero when that particular grenade goes off. So really, helpin' you just helps me."

***

Thinking about the place that 'reminds her of something' also brings a spike in Domino's adrenaline, a feeling of fear and dread. Someone with Logan's olfactory would notice it, alright. The feelings stop just short of hitting the fight or flight panic response. If he were at all psychic he'd be getting hit with a whole lot more but the thoughts are there then gone in a heartbeat. Whatever the reason behind the situation it's left some deep psychological scars in the pale woman.

Dom's about to say something more as Logan continues to talk but he might be pushing it a -little- too far. The last bit causes her to twist around and stare back at him, beads of water flicking away from the ends of black hair in the process. "Is that it, you want to pry into my business just to save your own ass?"

This brings her back to her feet, turning fully to give the man direct eye contact if he looks back. "If you don't suppress shit like that then what do you do with it."

***

That rough looking man doesn't seem cowed by the rise, nor the aggression in her words. He tilts his head to the side and says, "What I used to do with it?" He shifts his weight to the other foot and meets her eyes, looking between them one to the other. "Was I'd growl and roil, pick fights, smack people around and keep em away from me."

"Eventually," He looks a little to the side, then back at her. "I came here." Then his eyes lift upwards towards the danger room's illusionary sky. "Well, not here here." He looks back, "Xavier's. And I found people that I could talk to about it."

One hand lifts as if trying to stay off another round of anger, "Now I'm not sayin' you gotta tell me. If not me, then mebbe someone you actually can stand. But my point is, there are good folks here. And you got a chance here to get a jump on dealing with the sort of stuff I had to deal with."

***

There's a lot of ebb and flow in Domino's psyche while Logan's is remaining solid and true. It's perhaps no coincidence that she had been toying with both rocks and the water during this conversation, each element making up an accurate analogue to the two mutants involved. This idea on its own is irritating, emotion clouds all judgement and she's fallen victim to it.

Maybe the guy has a point…

Dammit.

"Someone here already knows the score," she quietly admits while looking down at her abused knuckles from the earlier 'sparring.'

Maybe she'll open up a little more to Logan. He's stable. He's a tough old bastard. And..while Warren does have his uses, if Neena were to ever go completely off of the rails it's this guy now standing in front of her who might be able to put a stop to it and not risk ending up dead because of it.

But it's gonna cost him.

She steps closer and reaches for one of his hands, the intention being to point -right- at where those wicked metal blades are currently hiding. She has a hunch, and her hunches are usually pretty on point. One way or another.

"Tell me where these came from. Then I'll open that door."

***

When she gestures towards his hands he lifts one, turning palm up slowly with fingers spread as if just looking at them for the first time himself. He works at the inside of his cheek, shaking his head a little as if mulling over the possibilities of the moment. Then he closes that hand into a fist and the three blades begin to slither through the flesh of his knuckles.

It's just a whisper of sound, metal sliding across metal until the blades lock into place with that faint snikt. Perhaps the first time she's had a clear look at them when the man hasn't been in motion. They gleam wickedly, shinier than a silver ingot, with a defined edge that seems curiously precise yet somehow natural.

"The claws are me." He tells her, looking up and across that way, "The adamantium, that came later." Which might be the first time she's heard that they're made from such.

He tries to tell the story, thinly at first to perhaps see if she'll accept it. "Used to work ops for a group. They got it in their head to experiment on mutants. This was one of their experiments. Lace my bones with that metal. Figured I could survive it with my healing factor. They were right. Mostly."

***

It's like an evil magic trick seeing those claws emerge. It's enough to stay Domino's own hands, keeping them out of the way until the pointy stabby bits are done growing. Though getting a good, proper look at the metal gives her a chance to reach out and lightly flick a black fingernail against the side of one to make a soft chime hum through the material.

No magic tricks here. That's real metal. -Adamantium- even.

Granted, when he starts out saying the claws are him she isn't fully believing it. Not until he explains the situation further and the pieces begin to fall into place. At least her hunch had been right.

The real kicker here is that Logan had been a part of the same operation to find Emma and he didn't crack at all down there. Not even a little.

So what the hell makes Neena so different?

To her credit she's able to keep eye contact through what comes next. "I was born as one of those experiments. Was more than ten years before I saw the sun with my own eyes. Seeing those mutants strapped into that shit reminded me of home."

***

Logan nods, perhaps something she says affirming a thought he had or a suspicion. He frowns, "Weapon X." Though it was an operation that went by several names, and had sister efforts. "Don't kick yourself too much." He adds eventually after a few moments for her to answer in part.

"I've had the benefit of time. And good people around me." Then again there's that qualifier as he adds, "Mostly."

The blades begin to whisper back, retracting with that same metal scrape upon metal, and she might well see that there are no housings for them, no bone structure. They must burst through the skin each and every time as they finally disappear leaving a faint crimson of blood from a wound that is open barely a second, perhaps less.

He lowers his hands and says, "Places like that reminds me of the past. Make me think of what I was. Who I used ta be. Just now… when I see 'em, I try to focus on what we need to do ta take 'em apart. Just takes time."

***

There's only one Project which she's familiar with and it wasn't called Weapon X…

When the claws retreat she gets to witness another dark trick as the skin closes itself up right after. The obvious question of 'does it hurt?' never comes to her voice. As far as she's concerned -any- time a piece of metal punches through skin it hurts. It would seem that he's learned some time ago how to ignore it, too.

"When I couldn't seem to make a mark against the Idiot Quartet down there that's exactly what I tried to do."

There's some of that sarcasm coming back. That's probably a good sign.

"Make yourself useful any way you can. Denying the enemy of data seemed like a pretty good start." So she shot the place to high hell and back.

***

A short nod is given, "It was somethin', but you were sufferin'." Logan looks at her, and seems to peer at each eye in turn as if seeking something in particular. Whether or not he finds it is anybody's guess as he then says, "So we work on that. However you feel ya need to. But it's somethin' that we should do."

That said he lets the words hang there, before he casually thumps her on a bicep and says, "Alright, c'mon. I'll buy ya a beer." And with that, the sparring match is over, the heavy talk. It's been enough for now, at least in his thoughts. He'll start the small trek towards the door that begins to shimmer into physicality at the edge of the simulations.

***

This is all rapidly reaching a point where Domino is going to determine whether she can end the simulation or not. Her tolerance for this level of -stuff- is at its end and she could really REALLY go for a—

Yeah.

That.

It's like Logan just read her mind. "About damn time" she grunts while sweeping a hand through her wet hair one more time.

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