2014-07-24 Ember's Origin Story
This scene is rated Everybody
Warning: Contains hidden booze stash!
Players: Ember, Drake
GMed by N/A
Title: Ember's Origin Story

:::Happens between 'The Spandex Brigade!' and 'Click Click Boom':::

As Remy opens the door to head out, Ember is reaching to open it to head in. She's wearing herself in 'Ember classic' with rainbow braids interspersed throughout her hair. She's outfitted in sweats and looks to have just come in from a run. Ducking around the lanky cajun with a quick nod she jogs in place once inside and smiles to Drake, "Hey there. Who was that?"

"Gambit," Drake replies, still eyeing the cards where they lay. When his face turns to Ember, it's with a troubled gaze. "You ever get the feeling there's something up with this place?," he asks bluntly. "Like… something they're not saying?"

Ember glances towards the door as Drake gives a name to the man she passed. "Gambit? Wonder what his middle name is?" Then she looks back to Drake while she starts to slowly stretch out as a cooldown from her run. "Of course there is. The way this place is kitted out? The level of tech down in the medlab, not to mention whatever's down at the end of the spare hallway in the sub-basement. Sub-basement." She says the word again for emphasis. "I've just figured that I'd bring up the question with Doctor Hank during one of my medical exams." She tilts her head to one side and regards Drake, "Why do you ask?"

"Yeah, all of that. On top of some things I've been hearing. It doesn't make you wonder what's actually going on?" Drake doesn't elaborate. He simply leans to the side, propping his shoulder against the corner wall of the east hallway. "I might be acting like a gift-horse dentist, but it's just something gnawing at me. I might be just plain outt'a sorts today. I'unno." His typically vibrant emerald gaze lowers again. "Enh."
Ember pauses in her stretching to regard Drake with widened eyes (today, they're a vibrant pale ice-blue), "This is really botering you, isn't it?" She shrugs as she straightens out, "Maybe I don't wait for the other shoe to drop because that happened a long time ago for me. But yes, I think there's a lot more going on here than they give in the standard orientation speach. Something linked to why past graduates stay on and how focused they are on powers training." She shrugs one shoulder and resumes her stretching. "Nothing is ever as good as it seems." This is said in the manner of a personal mantra.

"No, that's not what's- nevermind." Drake lifts his left hand haltingly and shakes his head. "Forget I said anything." The gaze raises again to affix steadily onto her. "Let's talk about you. I hang out with you more than anyone in this mansion, and yet I hardly know anything about you. You mentioned a few things at the pool that were interesting, but I didn't wanna push then."

Ember tilts her head at Drake, "Sorry. Didn't mean to put my own questions on top of yours. What's got you rattled?" She finishes stretching and pulls the sweats hoodie off over her head, pausing in a startled manner when he asks about things said at the pool, then finishing a bit slower to give her time to compose herself so that when her face pops into view again she's got a normal expression. "I don't remember much after laying down on the deck chair. What did I say?"

Drake doesn't answer what has him rattled. He instead chooses to focus on Ember and what she'd said earlier. "Well, you mentioned having to hide some 'other thing'. The mutant schtick, I understand. Pretty much everyone has to hide that. So what was that about? What other thing did you have to keep a secret? Sounded like it was on par with the mutation…"

Ember remembers fine with that bit of prompting. She shrugs and starts in the direction of the stairs, raising her knees up each step to continue her cool-down. "My mutation was 'the other thing'. I went from looking like I do now to looking like I did that day at the pool over the course of about three weeks. It, ah…" She hugs her arms around herself. "It was… worse than usual after that. More to hide." She shakes her head as if clearing out cobwebs. "Being as good as I am with illusions was a lucky break."

Drake gives a soft 'ah' and nods. He leans off his perch and moves to the base of the steps to watch her. "But then you said you weren't fast enough. And that it's just you left. I get that you probably ditched like me and came here on your own…"
Ember shakes her head at that, "Nope. Nothing to ditch. I came out here because it was up to me to find a school to finish out high school and I came out east on the flip of a coin. And the fact that more than half of the nation's private boarding schools can be found east of the Mississippi River." She manages a smile at this and sits down on one of the lower stairs. "The faster… I didn't get good fast enough. My illusions were flawless, but I didn't use them right. Ended up just me and my dad after that." Because their appearance is illusionary, her eyes look no different when she looks up at Drake but there's a hint of tightness around them. "I wasn't as sloppy getting rid of him."

"You weren't… wha?," Drake asks, taken aback slightly. "You got rid of your mother? And your father? How? Why? I didn't get along with my folks, but… I never did anything to get rid of'em.."

"I'm guessing your parents didn't play tag-team with you, Drake." Ember lets out a small sigh as she goes all-in. "My father used me as a punching bag and my mother used her not inconsiderable powers of persuasion to put it in my head that not only was this as things should be, but that I needed to do as she did and convince everyone outside the family that we were the fairy tale family." She shifts on the stair, "But until my mutation caused me to become… well, you've seen it… that was the first time my mother showed she could hit just as hard as dad did. So I decided I would wreck their fairy tale illusion. Make dad think mom was stepping out on him. It… didn't end how I intended. He chased her into traffic."

Drake visibly winces. He takes one step closer. Then another. And before long, he's turning to sit beside her on the stairs. His near arm lifts to settle across her shoulders with a murmured, "I don't even know where to begin. That's… rough. But you didn't mean for that to happen, and.. and if you did, I dunno if I could really blame you…"

Ember winces as Drake's arm raises, but it seems to be an ingrained reflex that she hasn't even noticed has happened. "No, I didn't mean for her to die. I wanted it to last longer." Bit by bit she sheds the layers of pretense that define her day to day existance, even now. The anger seeps into her voice and her body trembles. "She deserved it to last longer. Once she died, her parents cut us off. From everything. And when he wasn't working, dad was worse. So I decided to step up my game by not hiding things anymore. Instead, I used my illusions to make it obvious. Made bruises bigger, more visible. Limped even when I wasn't hurt enough to cause it. Made sure that it was seen by those whose job it was to report. Got him into court. And that was where I really pulled out all the stops." For the first time she starts sounding proud of herself. "I had him dancing to my tune. Made him see things that the rest of the courtroom didn't." Her mouth curls into a predatory grin. "He even attacked the judge. I got my freedom from him, and he was found guilty of everything from beating me to killing my mother. And then, when he was out on bond until sentencing, he went and got himself killed in a bar fight." She snorts once, "Only thing the bastard ever did right."
"Dang, girl…" Drake gives her shoulders a small squeeze. "…that's a lot to take in. And probably a lot to go through, too." He falls silent for a few seconds, gaze lowering for the duration. He then tilts to her to nudge his shoulder against hers. "I'm glad you're out of there. The things that happened - all that's behind you. You're you now. The new you. The you you wanna be - choose to be. No more getting punched or knocked around, no more need to do those things. And I'm glad for that." The teen angles his head forward and to the side slightly. "But if there's anything you wanna talk about or need, you can come to me, y'know?"
Ember nods sharply, leaning into Drake to return the nudge and reaching her arm across to squeeze the hand he draped over her shoulders. "Thanks, Cheese Grater." She rubs her nose and dabs at her eyes in the manner of one wiping away tears, although there aren't any visible. "You're right, though. What I do now, who I am, is up to me. I came out east because I wanted nothing more to do with Iowa. Landing here was a good thing, like I've said before. Like you've said before. But now you have a better idea about me. About… just how good I am at certain aspects of my power, and how to use those aspects to get things done." She turns her head enough to lock gazes with Drake. This time her eyes change as she looks at him, the ice-blue melting away until only the near-invisible natural orbs remain. At this short distance there are crystaline facets visible that, if looked at closely outline details like pupil, lens, and iris. "So what do you think about that?"

Drake returns the squeeze to her hand and doesn't shy away from her when she turns that inhuman gaze onto him. He studies those unusual orbs and offers a faint smile. "I think you've had to make some choices and adapt in ways you shouldn't have needed to. But I think with the control you learned, you're more… capable of using what you've got to not hurt someone. The more control you have, and the more you understand your own power, the more you can do with it. The less like… like a club it is. Know what I'm saying?"

Ember nods, but can't help the smirk forming when he assures her that she'll be able to use her power as something other than a 'club'. "It's not my illusions I need to work on. Those I've gotten down to a set of fine surgical tools." To demonstrate this she stands up and steps away from the stairs.

Except that she's still sitting right where she was before, also, still with Drake's arm across her shoulders.

Except that she's also leaning against the front door.

Except that she's stepping out of the dining hall with a bowl of chips, holding out the bowl towards Drake in the universal gesture of 'do you want some'.

After a beat, all of the Embers turn their gaze to Drake, then to each other. The message is clear… which one is real?

Drake blinks when she just sort of separates, and before long, his world be trippin' Embers. A look is shot to each one distinctively before he declares the obvious:


A moment later, he seems to a conclusion. With a smirk, he throws the other arm around the captured 'Ember' securely. "Don't be greedy. You've already got me huggin' ya. You don't need more guys, do ya?," he teases with a playful quirk of his eyebrow. He's evidently decided that the one in his arms is the actual Ember.

And when he says that, the Ember in his arms smirks and pops like a soap bubble. So do the ones at the door and with the bowl of chips. The one that stood up grins and holds her hands out to Drake to pull him up off the stairs. "See? Fine surgical tools. And now that you're aware of a bit more of the story that is me, why don't you correct my earlier error by telling me what's got you turned around today?"

"You're such a showoff," Drake chides. But her hands are taken, and he lifts easily to his feet. "Nothing. It's dumb. Just, it seems I screwed up earlier and got the staff upset with me." He heads down the steps, humor gone by the time he's set foot on the landing.

Now it's Ember's turn to drape an arm over Drake's shoulders. Well, as much as she can since they're both standing now and he's a good bit taller than her. "What happened, and the whole staff or what?"

Drake isn't /that/ much taller than her! But the scene does look a little amusing. Drake twists his lips a little and glances aside. "I dunno how much of the staff, but I'm sure the Professor is. And I /know/ Scott is. It was from when I came by with Loki." He draws in a quick breath, only to exhale it in a quick, puffy sigh. "I didn't /want/ to at first. But he already knew we were mutants here, he's been around before, and thanks to a little misunderstanding earlier, the cops were kind've in a tissy. So I figured less public exposure would be for the best. I guess I was wrong."
Ember listens, quirking her head to one side when Loki is mentioned. "Now I know that Loki has been around here before. I also know that Logan at least doesn't like him. Hates him enough to attack him in broad daylight when Loki and I were talking. Haven't had a chance to find out what that was all about, though, so I'm withholding judgement either way." She shakes her head and starts leading the pair of them in the direction of outside, then towards the garage. "I've been getting some lessons from Loki in the art of the illusionist, actually. Nothing regular, but he helps me refine things. But my guess is that you're not who they're angry with, but rather having anything happen that involved Loki has their hackles up. You're still here, you just need a bit of relaxation. And you know what I've found that helps in times like this? A beer."

Drake follows her towards the garage, complacent right up until she mentions beer. "..Nasty," Drake remarks. "And also not allowed!" He gently elbows at her ribs. "If someone caught you drinking, you'd be in soooo much trouble. Shouldn't risk it." His voice lowers a touch, "And I mean that, if you got kicked out, I'd be down a friend. We should find you another relaxant…"

Once they reach the garage, Ember leads them over to a full decked out work truck. The only thing separating it from the trucks used by utility companies is the lack of a cherry-picker. "It's alright. Note, that I didn't say anything about getting drunk. Drunk is for stupids. I just said 'a beer'." She climbs up into the truck and opens one of the large tool cabinets to show that inside is one large cooler. Then the cooler is opened to find a few assorted bottles of things like Red Stripe and german Rauchbiers. "There are some beers that taste good, and I doubt they'd kick me out if they caught me drinking a beer. Hell, if it was Logan that caught me, he'd probably just insist that I share. Besides, I have plenty of relaxants. Such as beating the absolute socks off of uppity L.A. boys in Halo."

"Yeah, but.. I want this to /work/. I don't wanna do anything that might cause problems. This is a good place for me - the best place, I think. It's important that I stay here," Drake insists. Despite, he's following along. The beers are regarded with a furrowed brow. "M'gonna pass. But knock yourself out. I won't tell on ya." With a smirk, he adds, "Not that I /need/ to. We have psychics living here, anyway…"

He turns to lean aside against the truck, hands slipping into his pockets. "You should tell those poor boys to come to me. I'll teach'em how to rock the face off'a cocky Iowan girls." Knowing she doesn't have to be 'looking' in his direction to see him, he promptly sticks his tongue out at her.

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