Kicked Open


Emma_icon.jpg Shane_icon.jpg

Summary: Emma looks to Shane for possible news about the drugs making the rounds, and gets much more than she expected.

Date: March 24, 2011

Log Title: Kicked Open

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Gymnasium

This big room with wooden floors is build with powered students in mind; the entire room is power proof. Blast the walls all you like, they are not breaking. The gym can either be one large room and it also has dividers to make it two smaller gyms. This large Gym has basketball nets, equipment to set up equipment badminton, volleyball, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, fencing, and everyone's favorite, dodge ball.

Class is done, and unlike most of the students that don't have designs on being the next X-Man, Shane is in the gym by her own free will, the urge to keep oneself in shape a dubious benefit to needing physical therapy, as she had. At the moment, she hangs from one of the chin-up bars, her face a mask of painful effort as she works herself through a series of leg-lifts. The pain, a product of a once-damaged hip still upset about getting this sort of attention. Earphones are on, as always, whatever music she's listening to clearly helping to spur her onward.

Finding Shane is easy. Getting to Shane can often times prove to be a challenge. The situation presents itself too easily for one Emma Frost to ignore, and the doors to the gym open circumspectly, and then shut with the soft click of the outside lock engaging. Striding forwards, the woman is dressed down to a thin-strap tank-top and a pair of yoga pants, with appropriate workout slippers, and her hair back in a rough but tasteful bun behind her. Still managing to make exercise clothing look coutoure, she slowly approaches the young woman, and then moves to the machine next to the young woman, checking over the settings idly, as if she was about to use it herself.

It's fairly simple to spot the exact moment when Emma is seen; despite the attempt to keep a poker face, the girl interrupts her workout, dangling from quivering arms for a good half-minute, her mind a mad scramble of «Oh God oh God what does she want why is she here what have I done now what's going to happen oh God oh God oh God» and so on and so forth. Suffice to say, her attention is got.

Putting a hand up to forestall any more of that mental chatter, Emma's face keeps an almost serene look about it as she says, "Miss Morgenstern… I was hoping we could talk for a moment. Firstly… I never took the time to apologize for how I acted the last time we spoke. There was a reason for it, and perhaps not the best of intentions… but regardless, I an responsible for my own behavior… as is anyone here."

The apology was flatly unexpected; that much is so visible it may as well be written in fifteen-foot tall hologram letters over Shane's head. At a loss for what to say next, she looks down at the space between her and the ground, lifts her bad leg a bit, and drops. The spike of hurt coming from the landing was expected, and a consequence of the exercise, but still hurts, and allows her a moment of distraction as she waits for whatever else Emma may have to say.

There's a brief and subtle twitch of Emma's left eyelid when the pain-spike comes, the open projection of those emotions lancing at her for a moment, and then settling as she then moves and starts to stretch, "I have a question for you. This isn't about any kind of lofty goals, or trying to discern things I think might help us get to know each other better… I put my foot in it quite enough already. But there are more pressing concerns. There is a drug circulating out in Mutant Town. It's called Kick. It's not new… in fact, I've had direct dealing with it in the past… ones that still pain me… and I need to know if you've seen anyone on campus using a small inhaler between classes, or in the locker room, or anyplace else that might seem suspect."

'Kick.' It's interesting, how a single word can set off so many mental alarms, as Shane does a silent, frantic search of her memory to try to figure out if she took the inhaler out of her room, ever, or whether there are cameras inside the dorms… *something* to explain how the Headmistress could have known—and she had to have known. Nobody asks these questions without already having the answers. Outwardly, the girl merely pales, biting down hard on the inside of her cheek to keep from saying anything she'll regret.

The voice that comes is a quiet one, as Emma's serenity turns to a look that is not quite pitying, nor is it angry. It's a look of someone who doesn't want to be doing something, "Shane… you won't be in trouble for it. I won't expell you… and I won't tell your parents… either set. I know how dangerous, and how addictive Kick is first hand. I've used it myself…" Shaking her head, the eyes that were averted come up, "But if you are taking it, I do want you to turn over the inhaler. Robin was dosed over the weekend, and hopefully has not gone back for more. But other students will be in danger if it's allowed to infect the school again… people's lives will be in danger."

Terror begins to give way to suspicion, resentment, Shane's eyes narrowing slightly. "…But if I don't… Then you'll do everything you said you won't," she says quietly, swallowing back a growing lump in her throat. "…Fine. Guess it was too good to last anyway." Gingerly setting the toes of her bad leg on the ground, she starts to hike toward the door, mind grimly set on getting the inhaler and getting this over with.

"I don't like words being put in my mouth.", is a rather heated reply from the older woman, "Would you?" Leaving the question hanging in the air as she crosses her arms over her chest, and waits… a still statue of white in the middle of the utilitarian blues and greys of the workout room. Emma watches, as well as listen for the girl's reply, eyes narrowed slightly.

"What I like never stopped anyone else," is Shane's reply. "Not even you."

"You're right, it didn't. It didn't stop another young girl from taking it, to save everyone else who was on it in this school at the time, and the overdose killed her. It didn't stop her sisters from hating me, pushing me out of their lives, and eventually leaving here so that they could be rid of the 'stain' of being associated with Emma Frost," Comes the reply, almost bitterly, "This is larger than you, or me… or any kind of animosity I've fostered between us. This is about everyone else. This is about the school, and about your futures. And I would rather talk about it, then just push myself into your mind and take what I want, or make you feel as I would want you to. Those days are long gone. But I will not let you assume guilt until it is properly assigned either."

"Well look, you don't have to worry, okay?" Shane says, wheeling around on her good leg and leveling Emma with a look that could be angry, were it not for the tears standing out at the corners of her eyes. "I wasn't pushing it, and I only have one that's almost out. Nobody even knows I have it, and they wouldn't bother to talk to me anyway to see if anyone did buy any. And I'm getting it, and giving it to you, and that's it, all right?"

Emma pushes off her spot and starts walking towards Shane slowly, keeping her body language and everything else she has put out there as unassuming as possible. Still keeping the easy use of her mental abilities in check, she replies softly, "That part is up to you, Shane. I can push all I want, but that doesn't work… I can assume, but then I'd be making mistakes again. Or… I can give you the space you want to come to your own decisions. I can stop telling you what you expect to hear… or what you want to hear, until you ask me what you want." Pausing a few feet away, "I took it because I wanted to know why Sophie had it… not the Sophie that's here now… you'll find her name in the graveyard. The worst part was, was it reminded me of who I was… when I didn't care about what people thought. That everyone was suddenly pawns in a game again, and all to be manipulated for my own delight. It makes you feel like you're greater than yourself. Greater than anyone. And that you don't have to care about silly things like… how people feel, or what they want."

"I wasn't hurting anyone!" Shane cries, hands clenching into fists— and beyond the garish green hair, the SOLDIER First-Class uniform in her team colors, the girl seems tiny and terrified and desperate. "I was just going to my room and not caring for awhile and it was nice, okay?! What's wrong with that?!"

Emma asks softly, "That's the question you need to ask yourself, then? What's wrong with it. What's wrong with turning to a drug to feel… anything." She stops again, leaving Shane her comfort and blast zone, and holds her hands out, palms up, "Real solutions don't come without a cost. Like your hip… like my telepathy. Any drug you take will always have some side effects… and eventually you'll need more than just that initial dose. The further you go, the more you need, and the more it's hand clutches tighter around your heart. Until finally, all you need is the next fix, so you can even feel like you did before you began."

"So what," Shane whispers, turning her head to the side, scraping at her face with one arm. "It's my life, I can waste it if I want to. It's not like it matters anyway…"

"Every life matter, Shane…" Said as Emma moves past and holds the door open for the girl, leaving everything in her hands now, "That's what Charles Xavier taught his X-Men. It's that same paradigm that I exploited more than once, then saw the inherent beauty of. Every life matters. Good, Evil, Popular, Reclusive… every life. Otherwise… no lives matter."

"That is such bullshit," Shane whispers, shaking her head. "Everybody says that, and it's just bullshit. If it really were true—" She seems about to go on, but closes her mouth with a sharp click, shaking her head and limping toward the door. "…I'll be right back."

Emma gives no reply to that blatant statement, instead she lets the girl pass and storm off to get the inhaler… and to let her own thoughts stew. Out of caution however, she does mentally follow the girl.

Whatever Shane's many faults, she does indeed do precisely what she intends. The inhaler is retrieved, and after a moment's pause to have a highly cynical conversation with herself, something else as well. Her thoughts are a black pall as she makes her way back to the Gym, frustration and depression and anger and bleak despair, but eventually she shows up at the door, holding out the all-too-familiat inhaler… and a piece of cardstock.

Emma is standing inside the gym again when Shane re-enters, and actually seems to be finishing up some ballet stretches of some sort, a rapier beside a small gym bag of white. Her head tilts as she sees the offering, and then takes up the inhaler without touching the card, walking it over and putting it away in her bag, "I didn't know it was you. I asked because you are preceptive, and you have a good attention to small details that others lack. If you had spotted something, you also would be the one… I guessed… to come forward and say something if given the right prompting Shane. I did not pick you because I thought you were a target… if anyone here… it surprised that it was you. The problem with being a telepath isn't getting into everyone's business… it's staying out of it."

Shane lifts a shoulder, still holding out the card. "Wouldn't've been me, if I didn't get a face full of the stuff before. … …Took me a week to figure out if I wanted it back or not. And nobody was gonna prompt me, anyway. Nobody even talks to me unless they have to."

Emma takes the card, and holds it between her forefinger and thumb, spinning it there a moment on white gloves, before settling to look at it, "Would you like that to change?" The question just slipping out of her mouth, almost absently while checking what she has in her hands.

On the card is a printed contact number, and the name [Kyle] scrawled beneath in pen, in Shane's handwriting. The question, met with another sullen shrug. "Sure. Want a million dollars and a little pink pony, too, since I'm dreaming."

"The first I could do easily, but the second is a bit hard on the pony… they tend to get sick from having all that dye seep in…" A brow arched as the smile that comes is positively impish, "Shane…" Emma then pauses, putting the card away, "I promise you this… no strings attached. I will not report or record this anywhere. It will not go on any records. So far as any and all are concerned… this is something between you and I. This will not be a sword hanging over your head… nor will I extort any favors from you for it. If anything?" Her head tilts, "I am putting my career in your hands. If you tell Sco… Mister Summers that I took drugs from you and never reported it, he will have to investigate, and there would be repurcussions on my end."

"Mmn." It's easy to tell from Shane's expression, let alone her surface thoughts, that she doesn't believe for a second anything she says could have those kinds of consequences. Not to say that she doesn't believe Emma to be lying, simply the fact that her word has never amounted to anything before, why should that change now? Her eyes flick to the gym bag, out of reflex, and her lips press together for a moment. Then, with a quiet sigh, she looks up at the woman. "…So what now?"

Emma nods once, "I can leave, if that would make you more comfortable… or I can stay and do my own workout with you. Nothing needs to happen, Shane. Besides the required classes, and school regulation, your space and your time are your own. This 'Kyle' however… whoever he might be? Needless to say, I will ensure he is punished for what he did to you."

Shane hunches her shoulders a bit, shaking her head. "He didn't do anything I didn't ask for," she murmurs, absently rubbing at her hip. "…'n Theo said nobody's expecting me to pay back for the car, so… whatever."

Emma's sigh edges on exasperation, but pulls up short of that simply into the realm of resigned before saying, "It's obvious my company isn't desired here… and it just makes it look more like an excuse, I suppose." Picking up her bag and her rapier, she begins towards the door, and then stops to say, "How are you doing for materials? The next time you need a supply trip, I don't mind taking you to MOOD, or another fabric store… though I think MOOD is a much better place for fabric. Craft stores always overcharge."

"I'm fine," Shane says evenly, and for a while it seems to be the end of it. However, just before it would be certain the conversation's over, she speaks up again. "…But if you felt like it next time, the Fabric District's pretty neat."

Emma stops at the door, the pensive mask dssolving into something more of a charming smile, "Let me know when is best for you, and I'll clear my schedule. We can even make an afternoon of it, if you're willing."

"…Sure, okay," is the not-entirely-comfortable reply. "…Look. I never heard of you before I came here, so Iunno all this stuff about why everyone else doesn't like you. All I know is, first time I met you, you made fun of me, and made me ruin a dress it took a week to make by hand."

There's a long pause from the woman, and eventually Emma just lets the door close behind her for a moment, leaving the pair alone in the room once more, "I am too used to being prejudged, for the blessings of my birth, as well as my checkered past. Of the senior staff here, there is not a single person I have not wronged in one fashion or another for the last two decades… So that was my fault, entirely. I make it a policy to not actively use my powers on students unless absolutely necessary, but too many children today affect the kind of problems you have as a means of rebellion… and of reaching out for attention. I… do not say it often… but I made a mistake." Those last words coming out almost bitterly, as if being wrong is the hardest thing in the world for this woman. "In a way it makes us not all that different… I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That someone here will assume my change of heart was a long con, or a mental deceit… and exact revenge for that slight."

Shane looks down at her feet, crossing her arms over her belly. "Well Iunno if it makes you feel any better… But there's only four people in the world I don't feel that way about. So, y'know… for what it's worth."

A confirming nod passes from her as she reaches for the door again, and Emma says softly, "That's good. It means that there are four people in the world deserving to know your true heart. That's something to fight for… and something to remember." The hand almost drops away, "Thank you for giving me a second chance. I didn't deserve it after how I treated you." And that is the note she leaves on, the door being unlocked and left for anyone to come and go behind her as Emma strides off.

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