|Teachers? Students? Tests?|
|What: Doug stops by The Xavier Institute and runs into Piotr and Laura. They then talk about the school, and Laura possibly becoming a student there.|
It'd been a long exhausting day of extensive physical training and exhaustion at SHIELD, and slumped inside his quarters at SHIELD, the young mutant folds an hand behind his back and considers once again Scott Summers' ideals about the Xavier Institute. About whether he could do something.
After a short period of time, Doug glances over at the nightstand, picks up his cell phone, and calls.
"Hello, Professor X?"
And here Doug Ramsey was, standing the next day in the hallway of the first floor of the Xavier Institute. In a lot of way, it was as though he'd never left. A lot more scruff in the wood panels, worn down runners, and yet... there was something nostalgic about the whole thing.
"Man," Doug sighs, looking about. "It's been a -long- time, old friend..." he says, reaching out and patting a statue that had somehow managed to stay around all this time, watching over dozens of students druding in and out.
The Institute. To be honest... There's at least one person in the building who well... They're bored. They're almost at wits end. Sure this person has been sitting in on classes, almost at random. Some times she's been turned away. Some times she hasn't. Some times she just spends large chunks of time outside the building. On the grounds. Alone.
After all, Laura Kinney is not use to being 'safe'. Or having 'down time'. Or doing any of the usual things that kids her age do or deal with. Thus she's been... Lost. And that feeling has been bothering her. At least when she actually is here.
And yes, the students and staff she's interacted with have (for the most part) been nice, and helpful. But..> What is there for her to do?
Not much. Which could explain why she's just wandering down that hall as Doug arrives, and she doesn't even really look at him. Of course if he says or does anything (besides patting that statue) that draws attention to himself...
"It is good to see you again, Doug." Piotr says as he walks out of the Xavier's office. "The Professor said you would be arriving shortly." Just five minutes ago in fact. He looks the former student up and down and nods. "Your work with Shield has been good for you. It is now time to return?" To where you belong is the unspoken finish. "Good day, Laura. No class at the moment?"
"Oh... Piotr!" Now Doug grins, holding his hand out to grasp the Russian's hand, before closing in for a bro-hug, and stepping back. Speaking quickly in fluid Russian, Doug comments in a quick sentence, "'Quite good, actually. I think it's been good for me... I needed to see what else there was out there. I did see Illyana the other day... uh, she's grown up a -lot-.'"
Doug's body language reads that he was more -surprised- than -interested-, just to make it perfectly clear to the big Russian that he did -not- need to be protective of his little sister in that regard, tingled with a bit of primal 'I am so -conceding- that you're -bigger- than I am and I don't want to fight with you.'
To Laura, Doug smiles tentatively, getting a read off her nervousness, before adjusting to it accordingly. "Hi... my name's Doug Ramsey. I was a student here too... it's been a while. I didn't know what to do with my first day here. Spent a long time trying to figure out how I fit in here too." He says this casually, but the formerly 'conceding ground to Piotr' shifts a bit more to a friendly posture, something that might be a little more -comfortable- to hang about with. "And you are?"
"Class...?" is asked as Laura stops, and turns, before blinking at Piotr. Her look slowly does become one that shifts from mild confusion, to one of... Well, what ever it is, it's more neutral and harder to read.
"I'm not a student."
Which is the truth. She was simply told by Logan to stay here the last time she saw him. Thus she's stayed. For the most part. She isn't enrolled in any classes or anything else. Then again enrolling might lead to certain other potentially odd issues (no legal status, no real ID, and the less said about the mess that her family is the better).
All though to Doug, she does tilt her head slightly before saying "Laura Kinney."
"Da." Piotr agrees with a soft sigh. Illyana's growing up was - is - not a good thing. Not in the way she did it and he still feels guilty about it. "But the world goes as it will and not as we would have it. Da." he says again but this time he's agreeign with Laura. "You are not a student but sitting in on class it better than being bored and it is good to learn. You did well at the clinic the other day, by the way."
Nodding in agreement with Piotr, leaving the subject of Illyana growing up be. No doubt Piotr would fill him in later, but not in front of the new person.
Turning his body towards Laura part way to indicate that she had some of his attention, but not so fully as to set off the wariness that was behind her terse, antsy body language (and what -was- the story behind that? This was -weird-. It was almost... familiar, somehow), Doug nods at Laura. "Well, Laura... if there's nothing for you to do, it might be good to try being a student. Unless you don't like being crowded?" He wasn't sure what to make, but already trying to get a feel off her nervousness by being encouraging, in gesture, opening up his hands and showing nothing in them for some reason (a reaction at some level showing 'I'm empty-handed, nothing to fear').
And this should of been said for Doug in her last pose.
Lauras body language is an odd mix. It's not the easiest to read, but between some signs of her being antsy (after all, she never really had a lot of time in the past to do nothing unless doing nothing was part of an experiment), bored (since she has no clue what to do), and worried (since she's not use to the other two feelings, and worse she feels like the longer she stays in one place the more of a danger she becomes to the others if she's found)...
There's simply a....Shrug at Piotrs statement, "It was the right thing to do. I am sorry that I did not do more or kill..." Pause. "No... Stop them before they could hurt others."
Then there's another pause.
"And the classes are..." the female clone almost winces, as if searching for a word. Or multiple words. "Not what I'm use to. Especially with so many others there. Most of them deal with things I know too well already, like fighting and languages, or things that I do not understand at all. But... I have been trying.
When she feels like it anyways.
And yes, as that last part is said, her gaze drifts to Doug for a moment and she blinks, but she doesn't make a fist or otherwise do what tempts her to do. After all, she knows how much of a threat she could be, even if this guys is trying not to be one.
Piotr considers Laura a moment. "We could test you and see what it is you are already accomplished at." he suggests. "Then we could place you where you would fit in better so you do not already know everything being taught nor are expected to know things already in order to make sense of what is being said. I am certain Douglas could tell you about how he had similar difficulties."
Using his hands to illustrate an aura of welcomness and inclusion, Doug nods briefly at Piotr's statement, before turning to Laura. "Yeah. I didn't know where I fit in. I mean... they didn't even know what to do with me at first because I didn't have a mutant ability -useful- in combat. But you know, I found other ways to be useful."
Making a self-depricating smile, Doug glances at Piotr. "Like babysitting," he says, in enough of a wistful tone that was -full- of meaning and hints to tell a story of its own about young Illyana for Piotr, before he turns towards Laura. "So if you're not used to classes, or things you don't understand, that's all right. The teachers will work with you. They're here to help you find what you can do besides... well..." Was her body language getting more terse here? "Ah, I'm sorry. I don't know anything about you. It's really none of my business. I was just here to visit..."
Unable to help herself, Laura blinks. She even starts to frown for a moment as she tries not to growl. But her hands. well, those become fists. And odds are Doug may notice something odd about how she stands there, because it's almost as if she's trying to stop something else happening with her fists.
"What kinds of tests?" is asked in a low tone towards Piotr, as if part of her feels threatened by that suggestion. All though at the mention of Doug having difficulties, she does let her gaze flicker to him for a moment.
"I am the opposite. The only use for me is in combat. For killing. It is what I was created to do." is out of her mouth before the female clone catches herself and frowns. "Thank you though."
"Academic tests." Piotr answers easily as if there are no other kind. "Math. Science. Literature. Politics. To see what you already know and what you need to know. From seeing you fight, it is obvious you are much above the rest of the students but what of tactics? Strategy? Working in a group? These are all things we teach our students. These are all things you need to know. You are here now." he tells her steadily. "And that will not change unless you desire it to."
Definitely open hands, keep them open, don't let her -think- about fighting anymore, Doug shifts just enough to draw her attention so that she can -see- his body language to reassure her that nobody was thinking of fighting. "There are some physical tests, but they're for diagnosis only," Doug says. "Mostly to make sure you're healthy... though I'm guessing, that's probably never in question." His eyes widen in surprise, but his SHIELD training holds him in good stead- don't panic. Take it easy, analyze the situation. "Well, that's the teacher's jobs, you know. Find things you can do that you can enjoy." Calm, easy, keep that body eased so that Laura can relax. "You don't need to worry about fighting if you don't want to. You can look at art... writing... music."
"I do not work with groups. I have never had to work with a group. When I was sent after a target, it was alone." Yes that's said in the same tone that she used earlier. Only now there's a bit of confusion mixed in.
"Politics and the rest of that were not needed. All I needed to know was how to fight, kill, take orders, and how not to draw too much attention to myself until I did that."
So there might be some tactics and strategy implied as being taught there, but if it is, it's all 'How would Laura deal with it on her own'.
All though as Doug mentions 'physical tests' Laura does twitch. The open hands and everything might make it clear to her that she's not a threat, but...
As she raises her left fist up for a moment, leaving it pointed up in front of her face, if only to show him her claws. She even holds that pose for a moment to let it sink in just how much of a threat she can be if pushed. That is before finally the claws retract and the fist is lowered.
"You are right. It's never an issue. But if you want me to take the other tests... I will."
"You are not with them any longer, Laura." It's a message Piotr suspects he's going to need to repeat. Often. And so will everyone else. "You are here and the only one you belong to is yourself. And one thing that people who belong to themselves need to learn is how to do things other than fight. Just as Douglas learned that sometimes people need to learn /to/ fight. You will not be forced to take the tests but if you truly agree to it, let the Professor know and he will arrange it. Meanwhile..." Piotr glances from Doug to Laura then smiles slightly. "Why don't you show her around, Douglas, and explain how things work here. You can tell her of your own student days here."
Oh _that_ claw.
And suddenly, Doug -gets- why the body language is familiar.
"You're related to -Logan-, are you?" Whatever body language and such he's controlling now is gone, replaced by his own -natural- language as he expresses his surprise. "That explains a -lot-." The calm demeanor is now replaced by an almost child-like enthusiasm. "Do you heal too?" he asks, before something sinks in about the lab, followed by an "... oh. Sorry."
Sheepish expression in place, Doug rubs the back of his head before nodding. "I'll be happy to. Um... let me tell the professor...? That is, if it's okay with Laura."
And as Piotr heads off, there's an odd nod as his words sink in. In fact... That earlier look of confusion returns, indicating that quite possibly she's not sure what to make of that statement.
Doug on the other hand does get a slight nod.
"You can tell him. And I am... Was designated Weapon X-23. The twenty third attempt to clone... Wolverine. I am the only success. And yes, I can heal."
"It'll be just a moment, I promise," Doug says. Almost puppy-doggish, don't snikt the puppy, okay? Ducking into the office, there was a hurried conversation, and then Doug pops out the office almost at once. Somehow, it wasn't -surprising- that it didn't take long to explain why, and Doug didn't question it, instead offering a wave and a smile, as he motions. "Okay, I can show you around the grounds." And being upfront was probably a good idea, since if she was -anything- like Logan, she could probably notice things being hidden from her. "Some areas, I'm not allowed to show you because they're for authorized personnel, and I'm an alumni, not a teacher." Or an X-Man, but Doug wasn't saying -that-.
"Come on. Let's see... you've been around a lot of places here, right? Anything you were wondering about that you were afraid to ask something about? I can tell you what I know." The irony was, he could probably -lie- quite effectively with control of his body language the way it was, but he ... didn't.
"Like the areas down below." Laura says matter of factually. Yes, she somehow knows about them. She also knows (or at least assumes) that since no one has mentioned them to her, and that she had to use her 'skills' to get down there (and back!) that she isn't suppose to be down there.
Then though there is a blink, and a side long glance at Doug. And while she might be like Logan in that she may notice things being hidden from her, she at least admits that she knows what she knows at least.
"My one big question has been... Why? Not what. Why."
Damn, she -already- noticed. "Uh... I know why," Doug admits, glancing briefly around. "But it's a situation that's..."
Running his hand through his hair, the young mutant sighs. "Well, we can't talk about it here, so... since you already seem to know, how about we find a quiet spot in one of them and I'll explain what I can? Just uh... don't snikt me if I can't tell you everything, okay?" He -could- probably catch her by surprise with his SHIELD training, but if he was wrong, he was one skewered mutant, and he -really- would rather not be dead again, thank you verymuch.
There's a shake of her head, as Laura hears what Doug says. After all, even the female clone has to admit that she phrased that wrong in almost every way.
"I do not mean why in regards to down below." is said as she glances away. "That.... I think I understand. It's the rest of..." She briefly waves her arm, "This. The school for example, that I don't get."
Yes, she's being a bit wordy. but odds are that won't last too long.
Oh. OH. Now Doug tilts his head, considering that. "You really haven't been anywhere outside of... places down below?" The blonde mutant wrinkles his nose. "There's actually an answer for that." He motions for Laura to follow him, going down the hallway, and then outdoors, standing on the steps and motioning. "You know what's beyond this place, right? Past the gates? There's a whole world out there."
Turning back towards the school, Doug motions indoors. "In there? That's for teaching you how to handle yourself in that world. Whether unknown or not, it's to teach you how to analyze that world and how -you- can fit in it."
There's a quirk of his lips. "What's ... down there? That's to keep the world from stomping you flat till you're ready to understand it."
For a guy that's good with languages Doug sure appears to be dancing around the issue, doesn't he?
"No. I wasn't suppose to be down below. But I followed /HIM/ down there before. Ended up down there again due to something else. I understood down there. But Up here..."
"It is different. Odd. Unlike down below, or Weapon X. It is... Alien."
"Well..." Taking a deep breath, Doug thinks about it. "You know, I'm supposed to be able to translate -languages-, right? But this is one of those languages that can't be spoken, so I can't -translate- it in the words you want, because there's no word for it in what you've been trained in, if you're anything like -him-." Doug says, as he sits down on the steps, looking out at the grounds.
Patting the area next to him, Doug asks, "So how much time have you spent out there, not in a lab, but just... doing things?"
And there's another blink at that, and even a slight pause.
"No. I did not know that you are able to do that." is said, as Laura files that little fact away for potential later use. That is before she moves over to sit in the indicated spot.
"Months? A year? Years? Not long. Long enough." is then in turn let out in a cryptic manner. "No use keeping track. Not on the run. Not after what /they/ did to my... Cousin."
Rhetorical question, rhetorical question. Got to be one of those things that needed to be explained to Laura, apparently. "Oh," Doug says, sympathically. "It's just that this school? It's meant to teach you how to do things out there -without- getting in trouble." He doesn't ask about the cousin, simply because for mutants, that sort of statement was never -comfortable-.
"I got along out there, because I learned things in school that let me go out and do things that I understood better before I was in it. I mean... you know how you learn things by doing something, right? The school is there to teach you what things you -need- to learn to do. Like... well... you know how to get money... uh, without killing someone?"
"Take it from a bank?" is asked, with absolutely no frame of reference to what exactly she means by that or how she knows it.
There is a pause at the rest of that, before finally Laura nods.
"That would be helpful to learn."
Bringing his hands forward to cover his face slightly, Doug shakes his head, before allowing, "Well, it depends on how you meant taking it from a bank." Taking a deep breath, the blond mutant glances at Laura, offering a smile. "You know, it's okay to smile. Just... well, I wouldn't -relax- completely around here, trouble has a way of finding the... them." He'd been about to say X-Men, but ... eh, she could figure it out anyway, and the glance he gives her should tell her what exactly he meant by it. "So... if you're not ready to be a student in there, don't worry about it yet. They won't push you if you don't feel like you need it." There was a brief pause as Doug assesses whether an reassuring pat on the knee would work, but... no, she's got a 'don't touch me' aura about her, and so Doug simply leaves her be. "Anything else you want to know?"
And as Laura just stands up she says one word, and starts to walk off without so much as a glance back.
Correction, she then, a moment or two after that adds two more words.
"Huh... well... if you need anything else, just ask Piotr for me, okay?" As Doug gets up, and heads back inside to see the Professor, he pauses, glances off at where Laura walked off. Somehow, the blond mutant had a feeling, she was going to be a real handful for the school. Well, it wasn't really going to be his concern...