Chilled Meetings
Roleplaying Log: Chilled Meetings
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dani and Warren meet to discuss the Demon Bear, as well as offering some absolution for what happened.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: August 30, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 31 Aug 2019 11:40
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's been nearly a week since the shadows fell and for the most part things have settled into their typical daily routine.

The school continues to run. The days continue to begin and end. The world continues to turn.

Even for Danielle Moonstar. She's slipped back into the daily grind easily enough, but in all reality her focus is still whole-heartedly on the Demon Bear and how to end its threat once and for all. One could say it consumes all her relative free time..

It's those thoughts which has brought her to the X-Men base proper. It's also those thoughts which had her reaching out to Warren and Ali, asking for a meeting.

As to Dani, she waits in a meeting room nearby the table that holds the holoprojector. It's currently active and projects a map above the table and slowly rotates a rather bleak terrain for all to see. It's full of sand and rocks, many cacti even and with very little relief to the buff colors of that grit and dirt.

While Dani's face is turned in the direction of that barren landscape her expression is focused elsewhere. Inward. She's lost in thought and with that unintended wandering within her own mind comes the chill of winter. It cools the room down degree by degree until a noticeable chill permeates the very air.


The students were moved back into the school shortly after it stopped being infested with demonic shadows. It was a transition that was undertaken with relative aplomb from all sides, even on the part of the students; most people know what they're signing up for when they come to the Xavier Institute.

Warren had overseen some of the process, but not all of it. He had a lot of other things to manage, both back in the city and elsewhere, and after some time he had left 'looking after the school' to others and returned to the city. Perhaps he also wanted to get away from his own thoughts for a little while. A trip to the astral plane is always heavy on the mind and the emotions, and it can take a little time to decompress.

Still, the looming threat isn't quite fully banished, so there's no real 'relaxing' on anyone's part. This means that when Dani messages him, he responds immediately. A same-day meeting is set, which is quite rare as far as 'trying to schedule with Warren' goes. Dani doesn't have to wait long.

Nonetheless, she's left alone with her thoughts for quite some time. More than enough time, it seems, for the environment to have adjusted to her mood. "It's a little cold in here, even for me," comes a familiar voice at her back. "I'm hurt. There's no need to try to keep the thermostat low to save money."

A white wing folds around her, cloaking her in warmth. "You with me?" Warren inquires, more gently — and more seriously.


Typically Dani is a very astute person, always atune to the area around herself, but not today. In fact, she doesn't realize she's no longer alone in the room until Warren speaks and by that time he's right behind her.

Those initial words of his brings a slight stiffening to her shoulders from her surprise and just as she turns to face the man, that white wing folds around her. It's a buffer against the cold that lays heavily upon the air, even if she herself is immune to its touch. Still that offered warmth does seem to draw her back more fully into herself as the Cheyenne's gaze sharpens with the return of awareness.

The mention of saving money brings an automatic slant of an amused smile from the black-haired woman, but its his last words that prompt something more thoughtful. "I am." She answers, "I'm here."

"How are you doing?" She asks in all seriousness and then with more concern, "Ali?"

Moonstar tries to peep through the white feathers for a glimpse of the other blonde.

Slowly with each of Dani's words the temperature within the room stabilizes and the coldness starts to retreat.


In Dani's defense, Warren can be pretty quiet when he wants to be. It's just that no one realizes that he can, because he's almost never 'pretty quiet.'

It gives him an opportunity to draw her back from her reverie with the arc of his wing around her smaller frame, the feathers shutting away the cold that has descended in the room. The other he keeps folded around himself, because while he might be pretty resistant to cold temperatures, this isn't just your average garden-variety cold.

Bear cold. Gives him the creeps.

How is he doing? "Fine," he says, and seems to mean it. "I've had much worse jaunts in the astral plane. It'll never be my favorite place, though, that much is certain."

As for Ali? That is a little more sobering of a topic. Warren is briefly quiet. "She's doing okay," he says, mindfully pulling back his wing as Dani tries to see around the curtain of white feathers. He's long since gotten used to how much more space he takes up than a regular human. "Tossed herself back into work. I think that's her way of 'not thinking about it.' I haven't pressed about it. Not yet. I might have to, someday."


Fine he says and that brings a slight crimp of a smile to her mouth.

"You're about the only one." Is what she says at first then after a moment of thought she adds, "The shadows really did hate your presence, you know." Her tone is almost conversational, there's been enough time that she can speak mostly normal about it all. "They couldn't find anything to latch onto."

"Well, almost nothing." She amends as the memory of those shadow jays comes to mind, with their jeers and taunts.

At that explanation of where Ali is, Moonstar frowns. Her brown eyes drop away to the tabletop for a few seconds, "I see.", and for a moment the blackness of guilt rises upward. It pushes the cold outward again - tendrils of icy fingers reach out to touch everything, table, chairs, floor, ceiling and the two within.

While her eyes don't stay downcast for long it still feels like forever to Dani before she can raise them back up to the winged man. "Talking would probably be a good thing. The Bear's touch is meant to get under your skin, to push all those hidden doubts and fears right to the forefront of your brain."

"Sometimes it's hard to shake those thoughts even when you're out in the sunlight again."


You're about the only one.

Perhaps most might have felt guilt at that statement, or at least a little bit abashed. Warren just looks matter-of-fact, with a calm confidence that is probably why the shadows never really got a foothold on him to begin with. "My life has been a bit boring compared to the rest of you," he does allow. "Not much material there to make anything of."

Which is a lie, as Dani well knows. There were the shadow jays, but there were also hints of other things that were finally starting to encroach on him after the jays. But those are cards Warren holds extremely close to his chest, and the doubts he has about them are not necessarily about what he did at the time, but about what he didn't do.

He doesn't get into it. There is a brief silence instead. "I have also been told that I have a ridiculously strong 'sense of self,' also," he says lightly, after a time. "I think it was the tactful way to call me an egotistical asshole."

Speaking of tact, however, it clearly wasn't Warren intention to trigger guilt in Dani by being frank about Alison's workaholic coping mechanisms; not judging by the way he frowns and reaches to tip her chin up. He feels the cold again. "Hey," he says. "It's not on you. She'll be fine — everyone will be." His gaze goes a little distant. "It might even be better if people are forced to confront that these things exist in themselves. You can't fix what you don't acknowledge."

His wings ruffle a bit against the cold. "With support, of course."


He helps to raise her eyes back up with that chin tip and the truth of his words also helps.

They will be okay. They're tough. They've weathered worse. She understands this. It helps.

Firmly the Cheyenne woman pushes shut the door on that encroaching darkness. At least, for today.

There's a straightening of her shoulders and with it a lessening of the cold again. From that she also remembers just why she asked Warren and Alison here, but first -

"With support, yes." She agrees, her overall tone better, if still slightly bitter for those first few words.

"We're all here for each other."

It's what family does.

His prior words, however, cannot just be allowed to pass. It causes Dani to add with half a smile, "Your sense of self -" His ego, "- is what saved us." She states in all seriousness, "The shadows had it right when they named you Nonoma'e; thunder. Thunder fears very little."

"It didn't hurt that you turned yourself into a giant bird either." Dani continues with a wry tone to her voice, "That really did shock it to inaction for a few seconds. I got the sense it thought the all mighty Thunder Bird had arrived to exact judgement upon it."


A faint smile crosses Warren's features as Dani seems to chin up a bit. "We are," he says. "So I had better not hear of any 'running off to take care of my problems myself.' Not that I think you would, but people around here certainly love to pull that one from time to time."

His smile grows a bit more amused as she speaks on. "Well," he says, because he can be modest sometimes, "I don't think it was the only thing that saved us, but my enormous ego likely helped get the ball rolling. Thunder is also extremely noisy and extremely flashy, so I think I know some other reasons why it decided to associate me with that." He really has no shame about being annointed with great titles by adversary demons, clearly. Perhaps he thinks it all grandly on-point to his angel thematic. Perhaps he's just that secure in his own sense of self to be able to joke about this without feeling embarrassed.

It would be a shame if something were to strip that strong sense of identity away…!

As for the bird part? Warren finally looks a little abashed, though just slightly. "Tell the truth, I didn't even notice at first," he admits. "I was just mad, and I guess I wanted to be whatever would frighten it the most. Clearly that's birds. Or, rather, the all-mighty Thunderbird." He's preening — literally. Dani should probably change the subject before things get out of hand.

There's a brief pause, before — wonder of wonders — he checks himself. "Not that I'm trying to appropriate anything," he says, letting go of his wing. "I already get glares enough from the God-fearing masses."


A more natural smile tugs at the corner of Dani's mouth as Warren expounds upon his virtues.

Which are many, not that Dani says anything more about it, not when Warren begins to preen.

Though that preening prompts another amused look from the Cheyenne and at the mention of appropriation Dani just snorts softly with amusement, "I'm not too worried. I know Ali would come down hard if you really wer, and I think we can both agree that an incensed Ali is quite scary."

Which brings her somewhat full circle in her thoughts again. It's what possibly prompts the Cheyenne to finally say with heartfelt sincerity, "Thanks for pulling me out of the shadows and Ali too." She won't voice the thoughts that she was worried no one would come, but it's there. Perhaps the only allowance for that thought is with her next words, "I wasn't sure we were going to make it when the Bear grabbed just about everyone, but we did."

Thankfully.

"Now we just need to destroy the Bear." Those words cause Dani's gaze to harden with something close to hatred, "And I have a lead on where it might be." She turns her gaze back to the landscape that floats above the meeting room table, "In Death Valley. Somewhere. We just need to pinpoint where and once we have go in and kill it. This thing isn't going to show up a third time in my or our lives."


Just the mention of an 'incensed Ali' seems enough to deflate Warren. He's been disapproved of by her a few times by now, and it's never been a particularly pleasant experience. Too reminiscent of being disapproved of by Scott.

Dani's subsequent thanks, however, are delivered with a sincerity that draws a brief searching look from Warren — perhaps he can see that unspoken fear lurking behind her eyes — before he waves it off. "Of course," he says. "That's not something that you need to thank me for. Besides, we have a lot of practice falling into bad situations and somehow fumbling a way back out again."

It's what the X-Men have been doing since 2006, really.

As for their plans to get rid of the Demon Bear going forward? Warren inclines his head in a slow nod, considering the landscape detailed by the map. "Bit of a jaunt," he says, "but we've got the Blackbird. No problem. We'll put together the team. It's about time we put a permanent stop to it."


Dani sure does see that droop at the mention of incensed Ali and while she grins it's more of a sympathetic expression.

She has heard some of those wraithful Ali moments! Never would she want it turned on herself.

"Mm." Agrees the black-haired woman at the topic of falling into bad situations and somehow finding their way back out. "There are times I think it's skill and then other times it's just dumb luck." Which is likely more frightening, but that doesn't stop them from doing it, that's for certain.

"It is a jaunt, but I'm hoping to narrow it down even further with the help of Yana. If we can pinpoint the location down to one specific area more the better for us." Her gaze stays on that map and there's definitely a single-minded set to her expression. They will kill the Demon Bear and Moonstar will make certain it happens.

"I don't know what we'll encounter but it'll most likely be magical in nature, possibly psychic again. We'll need to make sure to keep that in mind when selecting people to join. I'm going to run the area through the SHIELD database as well. While the shadows were powerful that wasn't the Bear's full power and for the time I was in there I caught glimpses of the Bear's physical body. Someone or something has it imprisoned so we're likely going up against two different enemies. The Bear and whoever has it enslaved."


"I've found over the course of my life that most things come about because of a blend of both," is Warren's sage wisdom on the matter. "It's never just skill or just luck." A pause. "Well, unless you have unusual powers pushing you in one direction or the other, I suppose." They both know someone with a 'luck' power, after all.

His gaze turns considering as Dani mentions that Illyana could help take a lot of the guesswork — and the slog of travel, for that matter — out of the equation. "It'd save us on jet fuel flying all over the desert looking," he says, "though I'd say our vector of approach should depend on whatever might be out there waiting for us. As you said — it's likely to be magical. They'll sense scrying, or a teleport, but will they sense Shi'ar stealth tech?"

He lifts his wings in a shrug. "We'll see."

But the news that it not only was not the Bear's full power, but that the demon likely is not even acting of its own free will but at the behest of some other masters, gets him frowning. "Well, the more we can find out before we go in, the better," he says, resigning himself to Being Cautious. "Last time we went in blind we all wound up in the astral plane. I'll see what I can turn up about recent activity in the area, myself."


Yes, they definitely know someone with that sort of luckiness.

"I'll track Yana down tomorrow." Murmurs Dani now, "And I'll get her read on whether we should attempt to scry or not. Magic never follows the regular rules that the real world follows, nor do I pretend to know all those rules, but Yana will. I'm sure she'll navigate those waters far more safely than we would." As to the Shi'ar tech that brings a flash of a smile, "Depends on who's holding the Bear hostage, but hopefully not. You can't really beat alien tech here on planet Earth."

The projection is turned off with a press of a button and once the image is gone, Dani turns to Warren, "Yes, let's definitely find out all we can and then hit them hard and fast. If we can do that there's less of a chance the Bear can do anything either."

She really wouldn't put it past the Bear to try and escape.

She motions at the door then, for the two to leave, as she steps that way herself, "Tell Ali I said hello and that I hope to see her soon?"

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