|...In The Library|
|What: A random encounter in the library.|
So, the thing about having to take classes is that it means one has to study. Jocelyn always hated that part about school. She's been regulated to working on a history assignment using actual books and not the computer for her research, the reasoning being that she very nearly reformatted one of the machines when she was trying to do a search. She's honestly not sure how she managed that, but regardless the librarian has put her very firmly on the list of students who can't touch the computers, though perhaps the first for ineptness rather than misbehavior. The redheaded student has dug some dusty old book out and is slowly making notes on a piece of paper. Being the newest student, she's been introduced in her classes, so most people at least know her name, even if they don't know much about her.
Whistling a tune quietly, Bobby Drake strolls his way into the library. He rolls his eyes slightly at the look he gets from the librarian but stops whistling. He's come in search of one of the portable white boards the school has, needing it for something he's planning for a class. He finds the board just as he's passing by where Jocelyn is studying. Glancing her way, he offers a smile when he noties the book. "Got one of those assignments where you're not allowed to use any electronic sources, huh?" he guesses.
There are some places in the Xavier Institute where teachers, students, faculty, staff, associates, and guests are always allowed to go. The Library is one such place. The fact that it is always quiet and peaceful no doubt does make it feel relaxing to some.
And yet to others, the whole place puts them a bit ill at ease. One such person would be Laura Kinney a.k.a. X-23. After all, since she came to The Institute she has been a bit... Lost. And worse, lost without much of a purpose. Sure there was some talk the other day about her /possibly/ becoming a student, thus tests, but well... The less said about her and tests, the better.
Either way, well off to the side, in an area where the shadows caused by the shelves make her a /little/ harder to see, Laura is sitting on the floor, looking at (or even possibly reading) what looks like a children's picture book. But it's probably a good idea not to ask why, and why not this particular book.
So Nate is not a student, ex-student or a X-Man. So what is he doing here? His heritage is not something of public knowledge, although Bobby has already heard about it from Scott, (at least about the father's side). Apparently he is just looking for books. Or looking at the books. He is by the art section when he spots Laura, since she... avoiding the tables, or something. Well, since he has spent enough time among books (around 17 minutes) he approaches the dark-haired clone girl to greet her with a "hey, what are you reading?"
People tended to assume that if Blindfold wanted to pass the test, she'd just be able to look forward in time, or back, and simply 'see' the answers. Needed a history paper? She'd just take a look back in time and see how the pyramids were REALLY built. In fact, she was teased about such things quite often, considering she was really just a C-average student. Her powers didn't really work that way, but even amongst mutants, a 'weirdo' like her was an outcast. Children would be children, and the fact that the world considered many of the students here 'freaks' certainly didn't mean that they were incapable of passing the same judgements off onto others.
But luckily for the girl without eyes, there was a disabled section here in the library which catered to people who couldn't read normally. And Ruth certainly didn't consider having to have someone else read while she read their mind 'reading normally'. Besides, books didn't tease her, think bad thoughts about her, or whisper how creepy she was behind her back.
When Ruth walks in, wearing a thin t-shirt and blue jeans, hugging a book to her chest, the librarian barely looks up. When the dark-haired teenager wasn't here or in class, she was either holed up in her room or out bothering students with vague 'warnings', but except for a few outbursts, she never caused much trouble in the library.
Walk, walk, walk, and then she abruptly changes directions. So many people, so many thoughts, so many... pasts. Finally, she pauses by the table of one Laura Kinney. She doesn't even look at her when she talks. "Sorry. Yes. For upsetting you. Pardon? At the dance. No. I did not mean to tell anyone that you were not born." A pause. Then she points at Nate. "Neither were you. Yes. You have that in common. Sorry."
"Not exactly sir," Jocelyn says to the man, knowing he's staff and she should probably address him with some title of respect. "I kind of managed to get put on the 'No Computers' list here. I apparently somehow managed to go from doing a web search to the computer attempting to reformat itself. I'm not sure how". And there are probably a lot of hackers who would love to know just how she managed that, since the computers are likely rather well-secured. She's just that bad with technology. "So I have to do it the old fashioned way". The teen offers a small shrug at that. "I'm just not that great with technology". Who needs a mutant power to disrupt computers? That's when she picks up on something and looks around, turning to look in Blindfold's direction. Even if she can't see Blindfold herself, she can sure see that energy. "Someone is using psychic energy," she points out. "Seems a little erratic compared to the others I've seen". She's seen a couple telepaths, and usually they seem more in control.
Bobby supresses the urge to wince when called 'sir'. Even these days it still makes him feel older than he is. When Jocelyn reveals just what happened, Bobby gives her a look mixed with mild amusement and disbelief. "Really? Sounds like you could use some time in the computer classes," he remarks, making a mental note to make sure the teacher for that class checks with Jocelyn later. He arches a brow wen the redhead looks around, glancing up in Blindfold's direction as well. "That so? Wonder who it is," he says, heading over to peek around the shelf to see who's there.
Yes, before Laura has a chance to respond to Nate, Ruth just walks by and says that. Which prompts her to blink, before she lets out, "I was born though." which is the truth. Technically.
Then she shrugs.
"And it's okay."
Then though, she does respond to Nate by simply holding up the book she's looking at. 'Pinochio'
All though as she catches that exchange of words between Jocelyn and Bobby, the female clone of Wolverine blinks and glances around a bit. That is before her gaze locks on him as he peeks around.
Nate looks up at the blindfolded Ruth and arches an eyebrow. "Sorry? What do you mean," he also 'glances' her mind, and winces faintly. It is one of THOSE minds. The wince-worthy ones. Also, not his business. Pinocchio? That draws a blank stare from Nate, which never got to read the classics when he was a child: he was sleeping in a glass tube most of the time.
"They're looking at me again." They? Who they? Ruth hugs the book in her hands tighter against herself and ducks her head a bit with a frown. And then slowly begins to turn her head right in the direction of Iceman as he starts to peek around the corner of that shelf. Well, she's not 'looking' at him. Not by the strictest definition of the word, anyway.
Then she's facing back towards the seated woman. "Okay." Ruth stands there awkwardly for a minute. "Did... Sorry. Did you ever get a percentage of the money? Yes. The fifty-five million." Then she glances at Nate as he asks for clarification. The story of her life, people wanting her explain things more CLEARLY!
"Sinister." She says simply. "Yes. It is probably the reason you are dying. Sorry."
Jocelyn cringes at the thought of more computer classwork. "I'm not sure my ego can handle that," she comments to Iceman. Really, she'd be perfectly happy without having more technology in her life. It was enough that Cessily insisted she get a cell phone, though if the girl was upset with her about the whole melting her arm incident, she wasn't sure. She hadn't talked to her since then. That tended to have a negative impact on any relationship.
Then Iceman is heading off towards what she saw. Well, what the heck? Now she's curious. The girl grabs her book and writing materials, stuffs them into her bag, and follows, coming upon the group. She doesn't bother to make much of an appearance of walking casually, since Iceman didn't seem to do much more than peek around the corner fairly obviously. That's when she spots some people she hasn't really spoken with before. She doesn't indicate if she heard anything or not, though she just heard the last few words of Blindfold's sentance. "Sorry. Saw something, just wanted to check and see if things were alright," the teenager explains to the group.
"Sometimes the ego's gotta take a blow for the team, kiddo," Bobby replies in a way that says he knows from experience. When he sees who's on the other side of the shelf, Bobby smiles and steps around to the other side. He's pretty sure Ruth is the one Jocelyn 'saw' but he leaves that be. "Hey," he greets Laura and Ruth. When eyes fall on Nate, Bobby arches both brows. "And you are?"
And again, the immediate answer to Ruth is, "..." from Laura before she shakes her head and manages to let out a slight and faint, "No."
All though Nates reaction to the blindfolded girl, or at least his apparent reaction to her does cause her to frown.
On the other hand, as Jocelyn moves over, Laura does close her book, and tries to slip it back on the shelf before nodding at her and Bobby in greeting.
Nate listens to Blindfold go on with the crazy talk with mild disinterest, a semi-polite smile in his lips. Seriously, he wasn't that much interested. When she mentions Sinister, though, it changes. The smile is gone, his eyes narrow and his jaw clenches. "Sinister is gone and I killed him," he replies, his voice a touch icy. But of course Sinister could be alive /here/ - which only means Nate gets to kill him again, right? "Who the hell are you?" He directs to Ruth, ignoring Jocelyn and Bobby for now.
"Someone." Blindfold corrects Jocelyn without thinking. "You saw someone. Yes. Me. You are aware. That probably helped in Detroit. Pardon? When you were fighting." It was like this girl was the bad news magnet capable of drawing out everything a person wanted to keep hidden the most. And the way Ruth did it so casually certainly lent credence to why the other students resented and teased her for her uncontrolled powers. "Hello. Both."
She at least offers Laura a half-smile, and a tiny shrug of her shoulders. "It would have made things simpler. Yes. Things would be easier with money, wouldn't they? Easier to get lost. Travel. Forget. No. I don't suppose they would have good retirment plans for assassins. Sorry."
When Nate gets angry, she cuts off, clutching at her braille book and ducking her head, turning her face slightly to the side as if averting her eyes. "I am Ruth Aldine. You are Nathaniel Grey. Sorry. You are making a lot of noise for a library."
"Not quite. I wasn't aware in Detroit," Jocelyn responds to Blindfold. "Not for more than a couple days, before I came here". Jocelyn wasn't too troubled by the fact that she was outed as a fighter, though it was a little awkard at times. However, she didn't seem too bothered by the fact this person could read minds. There was precious little she could do about it, so why expend the energy worrying? "I'm Jocelyn," she adds by way of introduction to those she hasn't really had a chance to meet.
The girl glances over at Drake as he asks who Nate Grey is. If the teacher didn't recognize him, that wasn't a good sign, right? Then there were talks about Sinister and some other people she'd never heard of. Further confusion crossed the girl's face briefly as she tried to process what was going on. If she noticed Laura's book, Jocelyn doesn't comment on it, instead listening to the others speak for the moment.
Bobby watches Blindfold for a moment. He kind of wants to ask her if she's got any more information on the prediction she made aboout him but he fights that urge. Especially when Nate gets angry. Bobby frowns and lifts both hands. "Whoa, whoa...chill out, people. I'm sure Ruth didn't mean any...did you say Grey?" he asks, looking at Ruth in surprise and then Nate. "Like...Jean Grey?" he asks again, squinting at Nate as if trying to find some resemblance.
Seriously. With what Ruth keeps tossing out, just what can Laura say?
And that is /especially/ true after that last little bit.
All though to Jocelyn she does nod before finally managing to say, "Laura." before she shifts her attention back to Blindfold for a second. "And I am not one anymore. I am.... Nothing now."
All though Nate does get a look right about now, one that almost shouts 'Calm down', which in itself could be considered interesting since it is coming from Laura.
Nate is angry, yes. Mentioning Sinister so casually and tossing out a bunch of vague statements like that... not that it take much for him to get angry. He positively glares at Ruth, and his left eye has just gone golden. "You are crazy," he states. But then corrects, "no... wait... you aren't quite here, too much in the head, gah." He closes his eyes and clenches his jaw.
A couple seconds later, he opens them and looks at Bobby and Jocelyn. "Iceman, so you are here too? We have already met, when we went to rescue Stonewall, remember?"
"Sorry. That is not true. No." Ruth mutters to Laura, though considering everyone gathering around, they can likely all hear it just as plainly as she can. She 'looks' up for a minute, and then back down at the Weapon X escapee. "You are what you choose to be now. Pardon? Yes. Whatever you wish. Sorry. That is up to you."
At least Nate doesn't deck her like that girl did the other day when she'd told her that her boyfriend was acting inappropriately with her little sister. Sadly, precognition didn't help much in combat, since she only ever saw what was going to happen, never what COULD.
"I am not crazy. No. I am... incomplete. Sorry. You are not from this place so you could not know." Ruth clears her throat, rasing up a closed hand to her mouth. "Sorry. I did not mean to cause unease. No. Your pasts are just so... loud."
Jocelyn raises an eyebrow and turns to look at Mr. Drake, which is the only name she knows Iceman by. She doesn't ask him the very obvious question, however, of what the heck that name means. She's still in the dark about the existance of the X-Men. But asking pointed questions in public didn't seem like a good idea. Instead, she walks over towards one of the shelves and leans against it casually. "We're shaped by our pasts, so I suppose them being loud makes sense," the girl comments casually. She glances over at Laura briefly. "So, how long have you been a student here?" she asks Laura easily. If her past was being so loud to Ruth, maybe by focusing on the present, it would tone things down a little for her and make it easier on her?
Bobby chills the air a little when he notices all that anger, hoping he doesn't have to hit anyone with snowballs in the library. "Wait...that was you. Woah. Uh...wow, sorry I couldn't remember the name but...wait. You're one of those kids Scott mentioned," he says. "Man, being a mutant gets stranger every day," he muses. "Call me Bobby here," he adds. "And you," he looks to Laura. "You're not nothing. If you were nothing, you wouldn't be sitting there talking with us all."
All right, now Laura is just going to be silent for now. At least regarding Ruth. After all, it just feels like no matter what she says right now, the more confusing things get.
Then again, Jocelyn on the other hand does prompt her to speak up.
"I am not a student here. I should not be here, but /he/ said he wanted me to stay here... For now."
Then again, Piotr and Doug did mention her possibly becoming one, buuuut...
"Stop apologizing," growls Nate. He can't yell to a crazy girl that keeps apologizing! Sighing, he steps back, and flops down on a chair, looking at the ceiling briefly. "Right. Scott brought me here. To talk with Xavier. Long story. But we are related, kinda." Now he is talking like Ruth, funny that. Straightening, he looks at Laura. "Hold on. Why shouldn't you be here?"
"Sorry." Didn't he just tell her to stop apologizing!? "I know why you're here." She turns her head first towards Laura, and then at Bobby Drake. "Some would say I know too much. Yes." Then she shakes her head and nods in the direction of the bookshelves.
"Yes. Sorry. Pardon? I came here for a reason." The young, blindfolded girl holds up the book in her arms just a bit, then lets it fall back against her chest. "I have finished reading. I need something else to read." Hey, not having eyes, or even eye sockets, doesn't mean a girl can't enjoy a nice literary piece every now and then.
"And then I need to file a maintenance complaint. My room mate has broken her bed again. Pardon? Because she is so large and violent." And with that, she walks off, dodging tables and chairs as easily as someone with eyes and moving between the shelves towards the special section for the blind.
"Ahh. Well, if you do choose to stay on, it isn't a bad place," Jocelyn comments to Laura. "Sure beats some of the alternatives, even if you've got your abilities figured out, and lets you look at things without worrying about things like where you're going to get food from the next day or anything like that". She shrugs at the girl. She does figure that Laura has mutant powers, given everyone else here does. Jocelyn was going to ask about why she shouldn't be here, but Nate already asked that question, so she lets it hang there for Laura to answer.
Bobby watches Ruth go, running a hand through his hair. "Someone needs to come up with a translation guide for her," he murmurs mostly to himself. He nods to Nate then. "Don't worry about it. If they're all convinced you're related, it's good enough for me. Heck, got all sorts of relatives showing up lately. My bet's on Hank having a kid showing up next," he jokes. "You're not a student?" he looks to Laura. "Why not? Were they out of enrollment paperwork?" another joke. He nods to Jocelyn. "She's right. This place is great, you should stick around."
And as Ruth just up and takes off like that, all Laura manages to do is blink, before shaking her head slightly.
Then there's a shrug at Nate.
"I am a danger to you all. Plus /they/ still want me back. They would not hesitate to kill anyone here to do that. They also would not hesitate to take anyone they thought could be useful to turn them into what /they/ want." is said towards Nate before she just shrugs faintly at Jocelyn.
"True. But even being out there, alone, is better than them or putting others in danger."
Then to Bobby there is a glance.
"Weapo... Wolverine told me to stay here. He did not talk about me being a student. Two others though, one tall and metal, and the other called himself Doug, did. But they wanted me to do 'tests' first."
Nate watches Ruth leaving, warily. Then turns to the others, listening quietly. Bobby's jokes fail to improve his now dark mood. But Laura's problems and attitude prompt him to speak. "Look, you have two choices. You can hide here for a while, or even for ever, and that might work, because this place is a fortress. Or you can go get them before they get you. Leaving to try to keep hiding and running... that is not living. Don't do it."
"Well, that doesn't make sense to be out there alone. That's the quickest way, I'm guessing, to get caught," Jocelyn says. "He's right, though I don't think that going after them, if you're worried about them catching you, is the best plan right now. If you leave and hide somewhere, what about people without abilities? If you're near civilization, they sound like the sorts who won't mind some collateral damage. And if you go somewhere isolated, it's easy to be overwhelmed by sheer numbers, and it sounds as if them capturing you is the worst outcome. If you stay here, yes it puts people here in more danger, but I think the people here are more equipped to handle it than anyone else".
Jocelyn lifts her left arm up, palm up, as she continues. "So, it seems like the best option is to stay here, and if you do, you may as well be a student and take advantage of your opportunities here. If nothing else, it gives you time to figure out what to do about this problem in the future, and maybe find some help". Jocelyn doesn't know the specifics, or even who Wolverine is, but she can extrapolate the scenario well enough. It wasn't that dissimilar, from what she'd heard, from someone who pissed off some gang boss in Detroit and was looking for a way to handle a situation over their head.
"Those two, huh. Yeah, Doug and the big guy work here too. They probably just meant placement tests. To figure out what classes you get," Bobby explains. He nods a little when Wolverine comes up, Bobby already knowing that part at least. "Look, you're safe here. Anyone comes trying to start trouble and we'll kick their asses. I'm not letting anybody come here to hurt any of you kids," he's being serious now which is rare.
Yes, this is where the claws come out, and Laura even holds them up towards Nate.
"They /will/ be dealt with."
Yes, that's all Laura says regarding that. There's no further explanation offered. No plans even hinted at. Just that they will.
Then though her claws retract as she shrugs at Jocelyn.
"I have... Considered it. But I need to talk to.... Wolverine first."
Yeah, she's still having trouble calling him by that name. Any name honestly, aside from maybe 'Weapon X'.
All though at Bobby, there is no comment regarding him kicking ass, or protecting the kids. In large part because she knows he means it, but also because she doesn't want to possibly burst his bubble either.
"That's the spirit," replies Nate to Laura with a half smirk. Hiding has always been unpleasant to him; he very much prefers to tackle his problems head on, ready or not. Which it is also part of the reason why he personally prefers to be out there and not in Xavier's school.
At the claws coming out, Jocelyn instinctively pulls on some kinetic energy to enhance her speed, not that it's noticable to anyone else. Just in case things went south. But, the claws get put away, so that's good. She's remarkably unfazed at a weapon being drawn and put up near someone's face. She's lived on the streets and in the darker parts of town long enough to see similar actions, just without the claws. The worst thing you can do there is show fear or nervousness. "I'm glad you've considered it. I still think it's the right thing. If you pointed it out to Wolverine, I suspect he would agree. He suggested you stay here for a reason. I'm sure there are more reasons than that, but it seems a good one". She glances over at one of the rows of books before looking back at the group. "Either way, I hope you hang around. It's good to have someone to talk with who speaks a little more directly than others". A nice, direct conversation was a great change of pace from what she'd been experiencing lately!
Having seen those claws before and having seen Logan's enough, Bobby isn't fazed by their appearance. He is curious about why Laura's got two in the hand and one in the foot like he saw during the squid battle but he'll save the question for another time. "I'm sure he's around to talk to whenever ya want," Bobby offers. "And even if you don't join up as a student, I'm sure you'll be able to visit and hang," he adds. "You too," is directed at Nate.
There's not even a shrug at Nate or Jocelyn, all though Bobby does get an odd, cryptic look from Laura. At least in regards to what's said. Or at least at first. After all, she does finally glance at the female student here and asks a single question, as if to confirm something that was said earlier.
Nate makes a vague gesture when Bobby offers. He has a life in New York, he is older than most students here, and he dislikes hiding. "I just need a couple lessons about using telepathy," he comments. "I am around mostly for the... meeting other mutants, I was curious."
"Fairly new," Jocelyn says. "Been here a few days. Came onto the radar, so to speak, when my abilities manifested, and Mr. Summers flew in to talk with me". The girl reaches up and rubs her left shoulder lightly. "So far, like I've said, I can't complain. I'll admit I'm not the best in most of my classes, but I'm also a little more of the hands-on approach". She's sure the teacher won't love hearing that last bit, but it's also true and she knows it.
Bobby shrugs off the look and glances at Nate. "That's why I said if you wanna visit, dude. Come meet mutants, maybe get dragged along if we go out for a teacher and faculty night as one of our guests," he says. He looks to Jocelyn at that last past and just gives her a 'really?' look.
And here's where something very, very rare happens. Namely Laura smiles. Oh sure, it's a faint, brief one, but it's still a smile!
"I understand about being 'hands on'."
Then just as quickly as it forms, it vanishes as Laura shakes her head at the exchange between Bobby and Nate. She can already see where that's going.
Nate looks vaguely surprised when Laura smiles. The first time he sees her doing that. "Hmm, oh... I might do that." He notes to Bobby. "At least I should try to... well, know better Scott and Jean." He was supposed to do that in other world, it is not the same, but it is something.
Jocelyn knew a look of that nature from a teacher would be forthcoming, but that's alright. Jocelyn returns the smile briefly, but genuinely. She lets the teacher have the look, and will properly explain herself if called on it later. Now just isn't the time to bother. "So anyway, if you're about, we can hang out a bit. I'm not sure what you enjoy doing, but I'm sure I can find some free time up to do something interesting, useful, or both". Of course, it's not explicitly stated, because such things rarely are, but the new girl is offering an olive branch of friendship to Laura. She lets the two guys continue their talk and, while she's paying attention, it isn't where her focus is.
Bobby eventually just sighs after that smile. He'll call Jocelyn on it later since he doesn't think now is a time for it either. He smiles at that olive brance offered though. Nate gets a grin, Bobby giving a quick finger-gun gesture his way. "Sweet."
And as Jocelyn extends that olive branch, all Laura can say is one word.
Is she trying to be rude? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. In fact, knowing Laura it probably isn't meant that way. but then again, who here really knows her?
"But if I am around... I will try."
The exchange between Nate and Bobby is noted as it continues on, but Laura decides not to chime in. Especially as Nate mentions doing, or trying to do something, along the same lines of what she's trying to do at The Institute.
"Sounds good," Jocelyn says. accepting it for what she perceives it to be. She won't pressure Laura overly much, but if she's around in a day or two, Jocelyn will likely just invite her for a run or a sport or a workout. Something athletic, given what had been revealed by Ruth and the girl's own indications of what she was good at. She glances around, figuring that now was the best time to make her exit. "Though if you all will excuse me, I do need to finish up some studying tonight. I've got a bit of catch-up work to do". If nobody stops her, she'll then make her way out and to her dorm.