|I Dub Thee Student|
|What: Laura's just moments away from becoming an official student at Xavier's. The last signature to close the deal is perhaps somewhat unexpected.|
It may be late, but it's not exactly 'too' late. /MOST/ of the students in the Xavier Institute have retired to their rooms for the night. /MOST/ of the classrooms are empty. /MOST/ of the teachers have gone to do all their own things.
/MOST/, but not all. For right now there is one classroom that is not empty. A single person is in there, sitting at a desk. A teacher who was in there not too long ago finished with the student, and took off with some paperwork, possibly to hand it off to who ever they're pulling in to finish this off on behalf of the school. Thus that lone person, a Laura Kinney, is just sitting there. Waiting.
Supposedly what she just finished was the hard part. Now it comes things like 'paperwork'. And possibly a 'talk'. Either way it means that she is going to have to deal with /HIM/. And possibly someone representing the school too. That is if this is even finished up here and now.
Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason may not be very obvious. Domino's been holed up in her office almost the entire day, doing ..whatever it is that she does. Cleaning lots of guns had fit somewhere into her schedule. As the day starts to wind down she finally sticks her head out and heads for the cafeteria. As chance would have it, she's also in the right place at the right time to get intercepted by a handful of paperwork.
"I'm not really the best--"
"You're the only one I can find. You work here, right?"
"Then you can handle this. It won't take long, just run down the list, sign and date it here and here. She'll appreciate it."
There's a growing feeling of apprehension as the merc-turned-security officer wanders toward the classroom of just one student, hesitating at the entrance with her hand hovering an inch over the doorknob.
"Oh, screw it."
She twists the knob and steps on in, clad in her full black glory but notably lacking any trench or armored coating. She still has the scent of someone who's been around weapons, though. A lot of weapons. She's probably still in possession of a few of them.
"Hello again, Laura."
And as that... 'Teacher'... Security Guard... Mercenary...
What ever you want to call her...
Wanders in, the person already in the room blinks, and practically jumps out of her chair. And yet, despite her doing that, Laura does show a certain amount of restraint as she doesn't snarl or growl, and instead just says a single word.
And as for that smell of weapons, it doesn't even cause her to flinch. Nor does the smell of rum. Instead she just stares directly at the older woman, waiting for her to say, or do, what ever she came here to do.
Yeah, Dom's not exactly thrilled with the situation, herself. Still, getting -that- kind of reaction out of Laura almost makes all of this worthwhile! "Nervous?" she asks with an almost wicked little grin. Okay, so maybe she can come to enjoy this.
She makes a spot for herself to sit on the front desk, that 'command position' without having the desk as a barrier between herself and the rest of the room. One leg folds over the other and she rests a clipboard on her knee, clicking a pen into operation.
"How've things been for you, Laura? We've never had a chance to sit down and talk."
Check here. Pause, frown, write something there. Another check, slower than the first.
"Kind of an adjustment living around here, isn't it."
And at that question, or at least the first part of what the older woman says, Laura lets out a faint, "No." as if not only to indicate that she's not nervous, but quite possibly that she thinks she not only could take Domino on, but at least in her mind very well could win.
Then again, she has no clue what the mercenaries powers are, which if she knew probably would make her think twice.
And yet, despite that, she doesn't move and her gaze doesn't falter.
"And yes. It has. It is different... Things are different... But if you're here, you know that. And you know why I'm right here, right now."
She only nods at first in response, her attention more focused on the form rather than the person it's referring to. There's a muttered "Hmmh, didn't know that bit," seemingly educating herself a bit further on the enigma that is Laura Kinny.
'Academic progress.' Dom frowns deeper as she stares down at the form, further muttering to herself "How the frig am I supposed to know that..?" She rolls her shoulders with a tiny "Whatever, she's smart," jotting something into the field.
"So yeah," she finally says to you with a quick sigh and a lopsided grin. "Guess who got lucky enough to finish signing you in as an official student? Once again the fate of your future seems to rest within my hands. We've really gotta stop meeting like this. Still, the outcome keeps improving, little by little."
Back to the form. 'Socializes well with others.' Dom pauses, tapping the end of the pen against her blacked out lower lip. A second later and she's looking at you once more. "Have you maimed anyone since you got here?"
Well, if Domino really looked through those papers she was given, she would see that yes Laura has an IQ that could be considered at the 'high' end of 'Average'. But well... Math wise her placement tests put her at just barely 'basic arithmetic' in regards to what she knows, she's good when it comes to reading and writing in multiple languages, but things like science, geography, social studies, creative writing, art, music, even things like 'Home Economic basics' are /at best/ lacking, and more often than not near non-existent when it comes to what she knows.
On the other hand her physical tests, and her ability to fight is very, very good. A heck of a lot better than most, possibly even all, other students who've walked in the doors over the years.
"I nearly decapitated a student." Laura admits in a calm, cool, and near emotionless manner. Of course she doesn't say they were sparring. nor does she say that the other girl was good enough that it was a very /slim/ chance that it actually even could of happened. But still...
"And... We should stop meeting like this?"
All right, so at that bit the younger woman does tilt her head and even looks slightly confused.
'Nearly decapitated another student...' "'Nearly?'" Domino repeats, the pen holding still against that lip as she watches your expression.
In the next second she's writing 'Shows improvement' into that field.
With that done she drapes her arms across the clipboard, leaning forward to get a closer look at the wayward youth. "It was an attempt at humor. Seems like more often than not we're meeting on less than ideal terms. That whole 'deciding your future' thing, though speaking of..."
The pen is used to brush a few clumps of hair away from her eye, continuing with "You're fortunate to be here, you know. I guess the only thought-provoking question I have for you is if you -want- to be here. Given your history, I can tell you that this is going to be difficult. You're adaptable, but you may not yet know what it's like to be happy and have a place to call home."
She taps a fingernail against the edge of the clipboard, explaining "All I have to do is fill in a few stupid blanks and you're part of the student body. I'm willing to do this for you, if it's what you want. No strings attached. You should have the right to choose your own future."
It's a small step, but Dom can still right one more wrong in the world. She actually has a chance to give Laura something which she never had for herself. Out on the streets, there's only so many directions a girl can go. None of them are good. Claws in the hands or not, she isn't going to encourage a life of violence and murder for money. Or worse.
There's a slight nod as Laura confirms, "Nearly. She wanted to train. We fought. She moved... Too fast. Used her powers... I think. So I..."
Or at least she starts to say that. That is before she pushes off of the desk she's leaning against, and takes a few steps closer to Domino. That is before she suddenly lashes out with a kick. One that she holds for a moment or two, before...
Her foot claw pops out.
But then as she lowers her foot the claw is retracted.
"Next to her head. She was good enough."
Which may very well be her way of saying that who ever her opponent was, she probably was not in any real danger.
Then though, there's a pause, and a deep breath, before the younger woman just responds with only a few words to the rest of Dominos statement.
"For now? Yes. And... Better like this than your gun at my throat and my claws at yours."
And they expect Domino to help with security around here. What's she supposed to do if someone like you goes berzerk one of these days? Catching you will be a trick in its own right, but what then? Would a taser even work? There she sits as you stand and kick out with a blade -in your foot- (did that hurt..?) as though it were nothing. She doesn't jump, doesn't widen her eyes. She looks stoic enough, though a very acute individual would notice the sudden spike in adrenaline, the subtle tensing of muscles within her shoulders.
"Thank you for the demonstration. For the record? Don't make a habit of displaying your combat techniques to other students. Claws have their uses, show and tell isn't one of them."
She follows through by holding out an open palm, "Formality. I've gotta say this. It's my name that's going on these forms. If you wind up getting someone hurt, accidentally or intentionally, I'll probably be among those getting yelled at for it. Between you and me, I'd really rather not have to aim another weapon at you."
Gods help her if she has to and it doesn't work.
'Willingness to improve.' Dom hesitates once more, looking from the form back to you. Well, you're here and you haven't run off into the woods. Another check is made. Now for the real kicker. The disclaimer. One check, one signature, and she shoulders some of this responsibility.
"I'm not going to have any trouble from you, am I?" she asks, holding eye contact with you even as she checks the form's box in agreement.
"You can try."
Yes, that's all Laura says regarding the whole 'rather not have to aim another weapon at you' bit.
And the whole thing about the claws, if it has any impact on the younger woman, it doesn't have any outward sign.
On the other hand, as that form is accepted....
The clawed girl blinks at it, and turns it upside down for a moment, apparently a little confused. Or at least she appears that way for a few moments, before she flips it back over, finds a pen, and scribbles something. It might be a name. It might not be. But at least it's in the right spot.
"If the 'scent' is not here, and no one starts anything with me, then no... No trouble."
"You give me too much credit," Domino teases with a dead level voice.
The answer that you give her is the best that she could hope to hear. She's asking a biological weapon if she's going to start any fights with other students. How else would you respond? "Then let's hope that no one thinks to do that," she quickly concludes while bringing the tip of the pen back onto the paper once more.
Without moving it.
There's a slow tensing of her jaw, a small knot of stress working its way into her forehead. The tip of the pen taps once, twice, thrice. Breathing gets awkward enough that she has to coach herself on getting back into a proper rhythm. It's probably good timing that she had a particular conversation with Kurt the other night or this sign-in process might end very differently, to no one's benefit.
Only one other person in the Institute knows who that is. More are sure to follow.
The next form gets the same treatment, signed and dated. Pen and clipboard get held off to the side as she looks, once more, to the engineered mutant girl before her. Then she offers a hand, empty of any weapon.
"Welcome to the school."
And with those few, simple words, all Laura can say is, "Thank you." before she moves over to shake the offered hand.