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Date of Scene: 24 July 2023
Location: Bunker somewhere in New York State
Synopsis: A hungover and psychically exhausted Betsy takes Warren out into the middle of nowhere to see a bunker.
Cast of Characters: Psylocke, Archangel

Psylocke has posed:
The morning after that psychic battle with aliens, Betsy wakes early in her room in Xavier's with one hell of a hangover that, admittedly, has a great deal to do with how much champagne she consumed on her flight back from Japan, the amount of psychic energy expended, and some very unpleasant nightmares. Even with all that, the exhaustion, the restless sleep, the nausea -- she somehow manages to look completely put together by the time she taps on Warren's door.

Some part of it is make up, but a lot of it is just Betsy -- how she was brought up, the stiff upper lip to hide whatever was going on.

"Care for a drive?" the purple haired woman says, smiling. Her eyes are hidden behind large sunglasses, she's wearing a broad-brimmed floppy hat, and a swirling purple sundress with matching heels.
Archangel has posed:
The tap at the door is met with a, "come in," that sounded like it was coming from the opposite end of his room, which was actually more of a suite. Warren not only had a bedroom, but a modest living room area, walk in closet, bathroom and shower. He wore dark brown loafers, no socks, and light brown, almost grey, trousers, which were cut with a bit more room through the thigh, taping down from the knee, so he could achieve that desirable svelte silhouette.

He had no shirt on at the moment, but he had already bound his wings with some light rolls of a type of tape around his torso, as he stood next to his walk in closet. He held a medium brown polo shirt in hand, with a sort of embossed diamond pattern to it. He reached for the hem, opening up the inside of it, so that he could reach his left hand through it, while still holding it with the right, and then following suit with the other.

He tugged at it near his waist when it went over his torso, and toyed with the arms, making sure that they sat just right. The top two buttons were left undone, and he reached up, running a hand through his blond hair, which already had product in it. Appearance had always been important to the man. It took a lot of effort to look the right side of casual.

"My car or yours?" He asked, his eyes rapidly going left to right as he regarded her. If he noticed something, he wasn't telling. But he probably picked up on her condition. He knew her too well to be fooled by her efforts.
Psylocke has posed:
Entering as bid, Betsy pulls up short two steps in from the door. Did he know it was her, to invite her in while he was still shirtless, or not? Which is even the better option? Behind the sunglasses, she can't help but look, even though she knows it's a bad idea. She's drawn a line and she means to stick to it; the way her eyes tick over him under the glasses suggests temptation otherwise.

"We'll take my BMW X4. The all wheel drive will be better for where we're going." Nothing in her tone changes, but Betsy turns sharply on her heels, taking a few steps back towards the door. "I'll meet you by the garage? I'm going to swing by the kitchen and get us some hot tea to take along with us."
Archangel has posed:
Did he know? He wasn't a telepath, and he didn't have a super sense of smell, but he did have peak human eyesight and hearing. Still, could he tell it was Betsy simply by her gait, her walk along the hardwood floors and rugs of Xavier's? Or maybe he simply knew that she was the most likely person to knock at this time of day. Then again, he may not have had a clue who it was, and he simply wasn't shy while being at Xavier's.

No, that can't be true. She knew him well enough to know how protective he was of seeing him with his wings bent back. This was an athletic man who in most company would still wear a sunshirt into the pool. He only exposed that part of him, when he absolutely had to, or he was just as comfortable with those who might see it. So how did he know?

The view was fleeting, but she did get a nice look at his abs and Adonis belt before the polo spoiled the show. "Off roading, are you sure you won't lose the hat?" He asked, as he collected his things, putting a nice silver watch onto his right wrist, facing out, a leather strap bracelet onto his right, for symmetry, wallet into his back pocket, and phone into his right front pocket. He was a man of habits.

"Oh," he said as she turned, and he would do what he could to hurry up and catch her before she got too far into the hallway, "so, where are we going?"
Psylocke has posed:
"If I do, I do. I brought a change of shoes, as well, if need be." Though she is loathe to lose her heels. They're as much a part of her identity as her Japanese visage is, now. But things are just things, and in Betsy's world, can be easily replaced.

Betsy wouldn't be hard to catch. She walks with a grace and purpose, but not speed, this morning. "Better I tell you once we're on the road," she says, with a faint smile. "But it's what we talked about, at the club." As they pass others -- students and faculty -- Betsy inclines her head to each, a warmer vocal greeting given for the various young students. They always bring out her softer side.

In the kitchen, she takes the time to brew proper English tea -- not the sort that comes in a bag. It gives Warren time to have something to eat, if he wants. Betsy seems disinclined to food, not too surprising given her poor morning.
Archangel has posed:
"Oh, we can't have that, but it is good idea, that you brought a spare, just in case," not that he knew where they were going. So he had no guesses on the environment, city, countryside, the mass of suburbia that separated the two? Would they be climbing, probably not, if she were in heels.

Falling in step beside her, it would only be interrupted by passing faculty and students, each time, coming back together, after opening a gap for someone to pass through. "Oh, that kind of trip." He nodded his head twice more for effect as he thought about it.

Once they reached the kitchen, Warren had an idea of how long it would take her to make English tea. While she did that, he prepared a basket, with a white table cloth lining it. Some grapes, some cured meats, some cheeses, some biscuits, everything one would need for a picnic, or a charcuterie board. They would be fine for now, or later. He also threw in a couple of flutes and something to go with them.
Psylocke has posed:
In some rituals, Betsy is particular and demanding. Tea is one of those, and it cannot be rushed. Warren has plenty of time to prepare a picnic basket before she pours it all into a silver travel mug. Bringing food is probably a good idea, but not one Betsy would've thought of. Not as hung over as she is.

Once done, she'll lead the way down to the parking garage and to her dark-colored BMW, deliberately not purple. It blends much better with New York traffic, when she needs to. Only now will Warren become aware she had a katana strung over her back this whole time -- mentally suppressing awareness of the old, finely honed blade that she settles on the floor behind her seat after she slips into the driver's side. The blade's familiar -- not one he's seen her with since the time she was under the spell of the Hand, though.

With the tea settled into the cup holder, she'll pull out of Xavier's once Warren's settled.

"I didn't get a chance to check in on that young girl. Any news on her?" Betsy asks as she guides the vehicle out to the road.
Archangel has posed:
Warren did not have experience with hangovers. He had seen others describe those feelings, but he had never quite experienced them for himself. It could be the benefits of good genes perhaps, but it was far more likely owed to his regenerative healing factor.

Still, he knew that food and liquids were good for someone suffering from a hangover. Betsy had seen to the liquids, so he saw to the food. Carrying the basket in one arm, he walked with her towards the parking garage. He noted thh her BMW was not purple, but that made sense. When one does not wish to make an entrance, subdued colours were germane.

When it came to her Lamborghini, well, no one had ever accused a Lamborghini of being subtle or blending in, so why not go for a nice deep purple? People were going to gawk no matter what, so they might as well gawk for the right reasons.

It was a bit of a shock to see the katana appear behind her, and he was somewhat upset that she had included him in her manipulations. "You had that the whole time, and to think, I spent all that time using a ginsu," referring to what he had chopped up for their lunch later.

He put the basket on the floor, behind her seat, so that he could stretch to reach it during the drive if need be, and settled into the passenger side. "I had word with Hank earlier, stable and improving, but there's still so much more we need to know about this. Oh, and he said to pass on a message. He said to tell you, \<span class="bold_fg_w bg_n ++ hw"\>'What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.'\</span\>"
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy suppressing awareness of the weapon is something she can do without giving it too much thought. Excluding people specifically from that is much harder and not a thing she'd bother with -- perhaps not unless she knew it bothered Warren. That he seems to be upset troubles her enough to crease her brow as she glances at him. "Better that it's not recognized by anyone here." Which seems to exclude Warren since she let him see it when she stashed it. "Remy helped me reacquire it, and they probably know it was me, but I'd rather not advertise."

Once they're out on the open road, Betsy speeds up, quite a bit over the speed limit, demeanor brightening thanks to the rush of adrenaline. "The location is thirty minutes drive. Or twenty minutes when I drive," with a deepening smile. "In a field of empty land I acquired several years back under a front company. I believe it was originally a bunker built by some paranoid survivalist."

"If that's Hank's way of trying to become my therapist, it lacks a little panache." A beat. "I'm glad to hear she's improving. Those things in her head... they were hostile, and relentless. Not something I'd favor being under the focus of."
Archangel has posed:
Warren had strong feelings for Betsy. They would always be there. And to be manipulated, even in such a minor fashion, didn't sit terribly well with him. There was always the question when someone spent a great deal of time with a telepath. Where did you end, and where did they begin? How much of your choices were your own, and not influenced by the tug of one neuron, and toying with another.

"A wise precaution," he agreed, as he sat back and enjoyed the drive. As a passenger, you got to take in the sights, the beauty of the road, and his companion. He saw exits, turnoffs, homes, farms, so many little details that were easily missed when focusing all your energy on the road, oncoming traffic, and everything else associated with being a responsible driver.

His lips pressed together, stifling a laugh. Yes, twenty minutes the way she drives. "There's a racially insensitive joke there, I believe," he said, with a little wink.

"I looked it up before you knocked on my door. It's a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Though I'm no closer to knowing his meaning in having me pass it on than you are." Though perhaps that was the meaning, to get them talking. He glanced down, feeling sad for Elsa, "at least she's recovering." And a hand outstretched, to graze against her arm, fingers lightly brushing against her skin, "I'm sorry you had to go through it too."
Psylocke has posed:
In some ways, Betsy is the worst kind of telepath to be close to. She hasn't strong moral qualms that Charles and Jean employ, and less so since her merging with Kwannon. So it's fair to wonder what she does -- maybe what she's done, in the past. Would she have been manipulative enough to nudge him towards her in the first place? To kindle this love that still burns brightly even after all this time apart?

Unlikely. But it's still not surprising that someone, even Warren, might wonder.

"Don't even say it," Betsy wisely declares. "As for Hank, I think it's his way of saying we're overdue for a talk. Which we probably are. But I already fronted Scott this week, so I'm trying to space it out. I can only take so much in any one week." Her tone is lighthearted, yet it has an air of sincerity to it. She left, two years ago, without telling anyone where or why. That risks leaves its mark, even on the oldest and most cherished of friendships.

It won't be much longer before she turns off the sealed road, and onto a gravel path, and the reason for her want for the all wheel drive becomes apparent. The suspension however is top notch and keeps it from becoming uncomfortable, even if it is bumpy. Another minute or so brings them up to a ramshackle looking barn in the middle of acres of otherwise unoccupied and overgrown land.

"Voila," Betsy says. It's kind of disappointing to look at.
Archangel has posed:
In some ways, Warren was the best kind of person for a morally questionable person to be with. He had the strong moral qualms of Charles and Jean, but there was enough grey area in there, that he wouldn't judge, and in some cases, even be the one leading the charge onto questionable grounds. He was good, but only to a point. There was a certain flexibility to his core beliefs, that helped him to bridge any gap.

It was how he could spend time with the Hellfire Club, the board of directors, and the Children's Hospital, without missing a beat. He was something of a social chameleon in that regard. Long ago, he had learned, you have two ears, one mouth, and that silence can, when used appropriately, be as deadly as the sharpest katana.

"Don't even say what?" He asked, sounding as if he had no clue what she was talking about. Though when the conversation turns more serious, he was curious at why she went to Scott before him. He knew the man was engaged to Jean Grey, so that wasn't a worry, and he was the field commander of the X-Men, but still, that one had him wondering too.

When the road switched to gravel, he began swaying, rocking as the trip got bumpy. He reached out with his right hand to grab the handhold near the top of the window.

Coming to a stop, he looked out at the barn, in the middle of overgrown land. "Oh yeah, what a view. I mean, that's a view." He turned his head, towards his window, hiding a quiet little smirk across his face. Of course, that naturally begs the question, what makes this a view, and he would turn to her, flatly stating, "you."
Psylocke has posed:
"Warren," Betsy says, in a tone that's probably familiar now. Knowing and kind of warning at once, like he's treading on ground she doesn't want to cover. It expels from her along with her breath, her eyes concealed by the sunglasses as she looks his way. She can see the honesty in them, and the affection behind the intent of the words. It's enough for her to fail to find anything else to say, the moment of silence stretching into the verge of discomfort.

Then she moves, letting it pass. Before she gets out of the vehicle, Betsy reaches back for the katana and slings the strap of it over her, the band pressing her dress tightly against her, taking that flask in one hand. Her steps are careful as she navigates through to back of the vehicle, leaning into the trunk to swap her heels out, one by one, for slightly more sturdy ankle boots.

Leading the way into the barn after she unlocks it, it's obvious this place hasn't been visited for a while. There's dust and cobwebs everywhere. She paces over into one corner, having to use her boot to dislodge accumulated debris before the metal ring and the outline of a trapdoor become visible.

"Care to do the honors?" Betsy asks, as she pulls her sunglasses up to sit on top of her head, the dimmer lighting inside the barn more acceptable to her still hungover light-sensitive violet eyes.
Archangel has posed:
"Betsy," he says, even knowing her tone, the warning in it, he can't help but be playful. His eyes though, the hurt on them is palpable as the silence grows, stretching out into the vicinity of being discomforting. Honestly, any silence was going to be awkward. He still didn't know, he still didn't understand, and clearly had never processed what had gone on between them.

It was as if he had no idea why things happened, and no answer was forthcoming, so there could be no closure. None seemed forthcoming today either, just more of the same. He got out of the vehicle, silently chiding himself. He had tried that too soon. And now they had, whatever it was she had brought him out here to see. Likely a base for the team she was talking about, given it referenced their prior meeting.

He wasn't really dressed for such overgrown vegetation, and truth be told, neither was she. The plants were probably going to brush against her exposed knees and thighs in the gap between her ankle boots and her summer dress. It certainly was hitting his ankles, between his loafers and he almost winced as it smacked his pant leg.

Entering the barn, he reached for some bean, careful not to get his fingers on a stray nail or anything. He brought his hands back towards his face, rubbing the dust between thumb and forefinger, "we really must speak to the maid."

Seeing the ring, he moved over, taking a knee, and lifted it up. It didn't want to open. Rust perhaps, there might have been some flooding, or leaks in the roof, but it was reluctant to budge. And then, with that scream of metal being torn from metal, not Colossus like torn, but opening a hinge that hasn't opened in some time, it gave light to, well, whatever was down below. "Did you bring a torch?" He asked, knowing the British term for flashlight.
Psylocke has posed:
The maid comment at least earns a wry smile from Betsy. "If there's nothing to see and nothing to steal, that's better than any security system." Her legs sure will be getting scratched, but compared to the pulse of her hangover she doesn't seem aware of it. She merely sips her tea and watches Warren wrestle with the opening.

It's possible she's more than a little entertained.

"No need," she replies, on the topic of light, one hand resting on Warren's shoulder for balance as she begins to climb down the ladder, the gleam of her purple hair fading into the dimness below... until there's a click and the space lights up. It's a small hallway, surprisingly clean of dust, ending at a metal door. The model sways closer, punches a code into the keypad -- leaning to let him see if he wants to look -- and then that inner door opens.

Inside, it's all concrete, kind of savage and bare of decorations and the finery they're used to. Betsy doesn't say anything, but lets Warren explore. Beside the open space when they walk in, there's storage areas, what looked to be an old computer setup, showers and bathrooms, a kitchen and individual bedrooms. There's also a second level down further that contains the generator, air filtration, water storage and additional food storage. It's plain and barren but it has the makings of a good base. It will need a bit of work though.
Archangel has posed:
"I've always found that excessive force and elaborate systems were the best security, but that's just me. You should have seen the look on my parent's faces when I said that one day, I would make a Scrooge McDuck Money Bin. I'm not sure if they were more crestfallen, or I was, when I realised that coinage isn't a swimmable solution." He was of course making that all up, just to try and get another sight of that wry smile, or at least a grin. If he could see her pearly whites, that would be a bonus.

He put on a good show for her, of getting it opened, demonstrating his avian strength, because yes, people always thought of birds as being tough. Well, maybe the terrorbirds, but that was more akin to the Discovery channel.

He helped her balance as she climbed down the ladder, watching as she disappeared into the darkness. How alike they were, yin to each other's yang. He was quite literally, an angel, and she effortlessly descended into darkness. Though he never quite knew which was supposed to be yin, and which one yang. His eastern orthodoxy was a little light in some areas.

He joined down, and she had the benefit of seeing him descend into the now lit area. "I love what you've done with the place," he commented, as he looked around, and would lightly explore, opening doors, looking into rooms, though never wandering too far from her. Either she came with him, or he would quickly return to her.

"I never thought of you as going for the fixer upper, but some drywall, paint, baseboards, flooring, ceilings, lights, and furniture, and we'd really have something. He was already thinking about the logistics, what could be brought down. Given that this was to be done in secret, he said, "on the condition that you tell no one, and I mean no one. This can't get out. Do you promise?" He was holding something back, but trying to make sure that she was going to keep whatever he had to say secret.
Psylocke has posed:
"Coinage is swimmable... if Kitty's with you, anyway." Betsy is faintly amused, though her eyes are still shadowed as she tracks Warren. She'll follow him from room to room, watching his expression.

Sure, she could be reading his thoughts, but probably not. Not after last night's exhaustive battle. It means she has to go old school -- look at his expression, discern his approval or where there was areas for improvement. His opinion has always mattered to her. "Not my idea of a fun time, either. I have people for that, normally. I'm not looking to make it a comfy home though. If it stays utilitarian, I'll live with it unless someone really objects." All that concrete is kind of depressing though. Especially if they have to spend any length of time here.

Betsy looks surprised at Warren's sudden request for a promise, perhaps momentarily hurt. She hides it well though, voice easy, "I've never broken faith with you, Warren," she says. And it's true, as far as it goes, if one discounts the breakup, unexpected from her side, and ill explained. "I'll keep your secret. You have my word."
Archangel has posed:
"That's a good point. A bit much to withdraw that kind of money in coins, just on the off chance that Kitty decides to go swimming with me, but I'll keep it in mind." He was rather amused by the concept, but had no intention of carrying it out. The logistics were absurd, even for his whims.

Oh, he hadn't meant to hurt her, and immediately moved towards her, closing the distance, hands reaching out for her sides, comforting, "I'm sorry, Betts, just, I didn't, I was... I was having a bit of a laugh. Just playing up my discomfort for dramatic and comedic effect. I do trust you, I have always trusted you, and I always will." He was emphatic in that. It was clear that he was speaking from the heart. And the way he regarded her with his baby blues, well, yeah, she was special.

"I know how to do everything that is necessary here. I can hang drywall, I can lay tile or hardwood flooring. Laminate would be better in here. I can paint, I can change out the lights." He was handier than he would ever dare admit to. Because if anyone knew, they might actually ask him to do it. "But the work would go a lot faster, with someone to help. Let's fix this thing up... together."
Psylocke has posed:
Some things are too old and familiar, and by their very nature, comforting. When Warren reaches for her sides, it just feels natural for Betsy to lean in towards him, one hand resting on his chest. Without her heels, she's actually shorter than him for once. She doesn't mean to breathe in his scent as she rests against him, but she does it anyway. "It's okay. I know I... made things difficult between us." There's too much truth in his eyes, and the way she tucks her head underneath her chin isn't just for comfort, but also to avoid that look.

His latter words feel safer, at first, anyway. "You've been a secret handyman all along? Warren, really?" she pulls back just enough to try and catch his expression, and even reaches out psychically without thinking, wincing a little as she does so. Not ready for that yet.

/Let's fix this thing up... together,/ he says, and Betsy stills. The ask feels too intimate. Like the kind of thing a partner might ask after showing off their first joint home together. The conflict is readily apparent, especially with him touching her.

This time, Betsy doesn't say his name, but she does ease a step away from him, her smile strangely melancholy. Trying to put distance between them, physically. Maybe emotionally, too. "I'm not sure I'm the right person for that," she says, quietly, meaningfully. A beat, then, "Maybe Logan will be willing to pitch in a hand?"
Archangel has posed:
He missed this. He hadn't meant to bring out the feelings, this time, but he was pleasantly surprised to have. She felt good against him, right, like it was before. It felt natural. It felt safe. He inhaled her scent, as she took in his. He still used the same deodorant, cologne, and toothpaste as before, but he had switched up his shampoo and conditioner. So, it was old, and a bit new. "Things are only as easy or as difficult as we want them to be." He said, not wanting this moment to end. With her head tucked under his chin, he instinctively reached out to stroke her hair. But this moment too would pass.

"Shhh," he said, humouroussly, as if he were worried that someone might hear them, in this of all places. It was so hard, one moment, she was reached out for him. The next, a step backward. It was as if he could not do right, not find the words, the choices, the actions, there was some, there was something.

And then she suggested Logan. His face would have dropped, and she knew it wanted to, but he was too practiced, too good. He hid most of it, but not enough. He inhaled, pausing, and then simply said, "sure," the damage was done.
Psylocke has posed:
They know each other too well, which is the draw and also the problem. Betsy doesn't want to leave the circle of his achingly familiar touch, but she does it anyway, for her certainty that this is the best, and only path to take.

He hides it well. Too well, from anyone but her. And this is the other side of the coin, that her hurting of him hurts her too. She doesn't /want/ to. But some things are necessary. She'd really like to believe his sentiment that it could be easy, but she knows it to be far more complicated than that.

Complicated like how these two are, and will always be, with each other.

"I trust you to do whatever you need," is what Betsy settles for saying. "I'll show you the second level, where power, water and air come from. Then maybe we can try and find a spot for lunch?" she suggests, delicately careful in her choice of words, like she's picking her way through the fragile aftermath of a fight that they never had.
Archangel has posed:
He did his best to spare her the fight she so desperately wanted to avoid, and the talk he so desperately wanted to have. Where she saw complications, he saw confusion that could be so easily alleviated by communication. He was a talker. She liked to remain silent. But he didn't know what was on her mind, why she pulled away, what made her walk away from him originally. There was nothing but questions, and no answers were forthcoming. It made it impossible to move on.

All he could do was pretend that it didn't matter.

When all it did was matter. "Okay," he finally said, already deciding that he was not going to ask Logan, or anyone else for help. He had asked the only one he cared about, and she had declined. He would do this for her, on his own, if he had to. But he would much rather do it with her. This had become untenable, but it seemed to be what she wanted.