15460/X-Force Is Totally Fine Honest

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X-Force Is Totally Fine Honest
Date of Scene: 12 August 2023
Location: Woods in Westchester
Synopsis: Betsy informs Logan of their newest ally. Logan doesn't take it well. It's not a good start for X-Force.
Cast of Characters: Psylocke, Wolverine

Psylocke has posed:
It's been a couple of weeks since they've talked, but Psylocke has not been idle. Quite apart from her job teaing at Xavier's she's been outreaching to various people and X-Force is finally becoming a reality.

There's one conversation she's been putting off for a few days, though, and it's not until the end of the week that, passing him in the halls of the Xavier's, Betsy casually mentions, "Let's go for a walk in the woods after the kids are in bed. I'll bring something to drink." That smile she has is dangerous. But she's never not followed though on a promise with him, at least.

The drink turns out to be an expensive bottle of Japanese Single Malt Whiskey, at least thirty years old. Betsy's holding it hand as she waits on the edge of the woods for Logan to join her. She's dressed casually -- for her, anyway -- long white pants into white shoes that only have a slight heel instead of her usual two inches; a wrap top in a deep burgandy color, and a white scarf.

She resists the urge to crack the bottle of whiskey while she waits, though it's very tempting.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan is suspicious. Instantly. Because people that want to walk alone with Logan -and- offer booze fall into few categories. And all of them put Psylocke in his crosshairs. He doubts it's anything romantic, or physical, because she has a weakness for Wings. So, that narrows down the reasoning. Either Psylocke is buttering him up for a favor or for a letdown. Especially if the booze is -very- expensive.

Slipping past the studios in the hallway, he makes his way toward the destination. Then throughout the day Logan does everything normally, but he keeps his ears low. Trying to see if the rumbling of this favor, or bad news, have roots that spread wide. Not a peep.

Day ticks by and night shows itself. Logan makes his way outside once the kids are down. Dressed in a pair of medium blue jeans, a simple, wall worn and faded black t-shirt that has a pocket on one side of the chest. It bares a few holes from wear and tear, but the pocket can still hold cigars just fine. It's empty today. Typically, he saves this shirt for dirty work. A shirt that can get messed up with all the stains in the world and it won't cause any issues.

Approaching the forest, he doesn't hide his presence. Drinking typically doesn't mean the combat games will happen. Those can happen, but usually that's so many drinks in. And it's far from a game at that point.

"The booze. It's top shelf, but how big is the shelf?" Logan asks. They both know what this means. He's trying to figure out the magnitude of whatever waits in this conversation.
Psylocke has posed:
Logan probably has reason to be suspicious. Especially when things are so quiet. Then again, Betsy Braddock has always been exceptional at keeping her thoughts -- and her mind -- to herself. It tends to make people reluctant to trust her, but that's never been cause for her to change her ways.

If she intends them to play one of their combat games, it's not immediately obvious. He can scent her through the usual flowering, faint scent of Helitrope. The moment he comes into sight, Betsy turns the bottle, holding it up for inspection. Seal unbroken and everything.

"I'll take credit for my stunning display of restraint in not opening this, now," Betsy says by way of greeting, and rather than directly answering, she answers indirectly. "Kind of depends. But let's crack the bottle and enjoy it first." She seems content to let him do the honors. That she didn't even bring glasses says a lot, too, her violet gaze resting easily on him.
Wolverine has posed:
He'll pause at the situation, "If the smell were fancier, I'd swear you were tryin' to get my attention," it's a compliment. Sort of. Logan knows Betsy can get fancy. It's an acknowledgement that some effort is put into this meeting, but not so much that would create their own set of questions. For a -very- brief moment he feels underdressed.

Taking the bottle, he will crack it open. Instead of sniffing the aroma that waits, Logan hands Betsy the bottle. "Before it was open, ya weren't servin' it. We don't got cups, so consider me servin' ya," he dips into tea ceremony rules. While they may drink tea together one day, and do this proper, typically booze does the substitution for tea.

"I respect the restraint, but I'm gonna have questions. You -know- I do, so I will try to be pleasant conversation til' the meat of the conversation happens," and he waits for a simple acknowledgement. "How are ya adjustin' to bein' back? I know you've been at work," they may nt have talked, but her silence did speak volumes. That meant she was working.
Psylocke has posed:
A tilt of Betsy's head lets her study Logan for a moment, before delicate hands reach out to clasp the bottle. "I forget sometimes, you're familiar with the Japanese traditions." He can hear the change in her voice, the tone a subtle difference, a little cooler, but with the same amount of respect. Kwannon's a killer. There's a reason she respects Logan, and maybe fears him a little bit, too.

The violet haired woman drinks, savoring the liquid. Some expensive bottles aren't worth the purchase price. This is, and it's held out towards Logan in turn.

His question, and his declaration of intent, is met with a smile that turns warmer, more Betsy. "I've missed your honesty, Logan. Even the most difficult conversations with you are always easier." She settles down on a fallen log, treating it like it were an expensive chair. She makes it look comfortable, somehow. "Being back, at the school, with the kids-" Betsy's always had a soft spot for young children, always been exceptionally protective. But then that's true of a lot of the older generation of X-Men. "-it only fuels what we need to do. How far we need to go."

Her hands clasp together, head tipping to regard Logan. "Illyana's agreed to join us. She has her own agenda of course, and her own targets, but I think we'll all work well together. The base is coming along nicely." There's a faint smile there that, even if she doesn't say it, might suggest Warren's involvement. "You said you were going to talk to someone else, too, about signing up? How did that go?"
Wolverine has posed:
Logan nods once. A simple one of respect. It's not often Logan meets someone that holds similar traditions. So, he respects it, appreciates it. They're both many things, but they are traditionalists, too.

"People love it or hate it. Gues it depends on the person," he half shrugs. It can rough people the wrong way, but Logan hates tapdancing around subjects.

Betsy lounges in style, Logan sits on a rock like a bar stool with very shirt legs. He's sits not quite across from Betsy, but almost diagonally from her. Sitting down, he takes the drink.

Both eyes widen after the liquid runs down his throat. Flavorful, bold, a hidden kick within it and rich. Both in flavor and prize. Sometimes people can taste the money when it goes into food or drink. To Logan, he can taste the money. To say this is a high-quality drink is a vast understatement. Restraint is needed to keep from a second drink. That's not how serving works.

The duo isn't too far apart from each other, so Logan leans over and hands the drink to her. Betsy goes over people she has recruited. Illyana is not unexpected.

"Her name is Angelica. Goes by Firestar. She's in," Logan replies firmly. Content that Firestar will be a much needed moral center in the group.
Psylocke has posed:
"Given I can often discern the truth regardless," the benefit of being a telepath, "It's refreshing when what you see is what you get." Coming from Betsy, someone who carefully shelters her mind and intentions for the most part, that might feel hypocritical, and yet she's being nothing but honest in that assessment.

The smile Betsy gives as she sees Logan's widening of eyes is nothing but satisfied. Her choice was certainly not frivolous or last minute, but considered and deliberate, like much of Betsy herself.

Firestar. "We've never met. But I'll be sure to look up her file and seek her out." Probably in that order, too. She doesn't ask much more: she seems to trust Logan's judgement.

"I've also engaged us an ally who can help us," Betsy says, turning the bottle in her hands. She doesn't drink for her turn, yet, the timing deliberate. It /is/ an expensive bottle, after all. "He'll be providing us with some technological assistance. I'm told you know him. Nathaniel Essex."

Her gaze is on Logan, weighed, patient.
Wolverine has posed:
"Just don't' ask anythin' too personal. Ya might not like the answer," Logan says honestly. Not necessarily unpleasant thoughts. Just unwanted. People can be curious

Nothing less is expected from Betsy. It's what he would do with any strangers. Logan's far from upset.

Then the hammer drops. Not -right- away, but it's not too far away. And that just brings silence from Logan. His head cannot be broken into, thanks to training. Betsy wants honest. Logan is just figuring out -how- honest he wants to be.

"Heed my words," Logan begins. "The last two people ya f***in' want on a team are Essex and his boyfriend." Ocean blue eyes lock on Betsy. Oh, this is definitely not a good familiarity. "Essex called himself 'not human' in my presence. Wit' all the proper tone with people that gave me these," and a "shnkt!" cuts through the air as Logan extends the claws. They retract as quick as they come. "He's got a town so under his thumb fer years It's probably been his living Petrie Dish or experiment," the gaze never waivers or falters when he says this.

"Essex should be cut up into six pieces n' each piece buried in different spots across the globe n' smothered in concrete," Logan has probably thought of a way to -properly- deal with that person. "Ya ain't invitin' the guard dog to the hen house wit' him. Yer invitin' the fox. And don't get me goin' 'bout his boyfriend."

He'll extend his hand and break tradition. Oh, these two got under his skin. "N' I'm willin' to bet the boyfriend is -exactly- what he claims. We both know that makes Illyana look like Mister Rogers by comparison," Logan will take a few moments. It takes a bit before he speaks again, "With those two, yer Odin."
Psylocke has posed:
"Why do you think I've never asked what you think of me?" Betsy counters to that, her amused smile full of warmth, all the same. The smile fades, but her gaze remains on Logan as he talks. She doesn't interrupt, her violet eyes unwavering. Betsy is not a robot, however, and when he extends those claws with that familiar sound, there's a tension faintly visible in her posture. She's ready: for what isn't clear. Violence, probably.

When it doesn't come, she sips from the bottle, savoring it, then gravely hands it back to him.

"I thought Warren would be the one most upset about him being around," she admits. Given he's personally received the attention of Sinister before. "Logan," she says, hesitates, and breathes out. She's picking her words carefully, but still, she's honest with him. She returns the courtesy he extends to her. "They aren't on the team. Nathaniel will provide us with tech we otherwise couldn't get a handle on. But it seems they've run into either the same signs about the same thing, or something just as bad. Neither of them want the world to end, any more than we do."

Common purpose, common goals. She doesn't say that though.

"I've read his file. I've seen what he's done. To Scott. To Warren," a brief pause. "To others. He was honest with me. He let me see in this thoughts. Jean pulled a part of him -- the Hatred that was driving him -- and sealed it away. Maybe it's only temporary, but it seems he feels a responsibility. He feels emotions that are human, Logan, and that is-"

Betsy hesitates.

"-there was a time when I was put into this body, when I killed for the Hand. You came to me, and you gave me a chance. You didn't kill me, though you should have. You gave me a chance for redemption, Logan. So I know you believe it's possible. I'm not asking you to extend it to him. But I meant it when I said I'd do whatever it takes. This thing is real, and it's coming for us. I'll take the help of the devil himself-" literally, "-to stop what's coming."

One thing Betsy's always been is driven, purposeful. Since her visions started that's dialed up to extreme levels. It doesn't make her wrong, though, but in this moment it's very obvious that a moral center is the least of which the X-Force will have to contend with.
Wolverine has posed:
"I've seen things -not- in the file," Logan says firmly. Ocean blue eyes still do not waiver. "And I saw the town, heard the words -after- I considered redemption," he says firmly.

When he hears about resources and supplies, "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes," then Logan is quiet for a while.

Knocking back the liquor one more time, Logan just savors the drink. It's too good, also it (slightly) calms the nerves. Handing the bottle back, "I may not join ya in this crusade. Like I said, ya bring those two, ya ain't preventin' the future. Yer probably causin' it. Consider yer allies wisely. Yer better than this," Logan stands up and starts to walk toward the mansion. He needs time to think, but the man has said his piece.
Psylocke has posed:
There's no sign of satisfaction in Betsy that the drink is serving its purpose. Its presence is as much for Logan as it is for her: she takes the bottle back wordlessly, holding it in her hands.

"...I wish I were. I wish we had the luxury of morality. I've had two years to come to terms with this. To try and see a way past or through or around it. But there's nothing, Logan. We're out of options. We deal with the devil we know, or we all pack it up and prepare for the end." There's a finality to Betsy's words. An acceptance.

"You know I'm not one to back down from a fight. But we need them."

And Betsy damn sure knows Logan isn't, either. It's why she doesn't press him, or pursue him. She's sure that, sooner or later, he'll come to the same conclusion as her, willingly or no.

After a while, after the silence of his footsteps fade, she finally lifts the bottle and drinks again.

"...and I need you."
Wolverine has posed:
"I might come wit' a price tag n' ya might not be willin' to pay," Logan says as he keeps walking. Logan needs time to think about this arrangement and his place within it.

As Logan walks, he speaks softly to himself, "Maybe Scott was right about Essex."