6765/The Scolding

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The Scolding
Date of Scene: 04 March 2019
Location: Holding Cells - X-men Base
Synopsis: Rahne lets surrendered James have it for his attempt to draw out and kill Xavier
Cast of Characters: Warpath, Wolfsbane

Warpath has posed:
James has spent most of his waking time sitting cross-legged in the middle of the small containment cell, his hands on his knees. Eyes generally closed, meditating. Though as turbulent as his thoughts are, as often as not it could just be called eyes-closed thinking. Other than the occasional tray of food he has not had any visitors, and only one of the people delivering such a tray stayed to talk with him for a few minutes.

He had not slept much so far, so exhaustion finally caught up with him. He is currently lying on the small platform that serves as a bed, his feet hanging off the end despite his head being nearly against the wall. The small blanket in the cell once covered him but has since been pushed aside at some point in his dreams. He has a few bandages along his arms and shoulders still from where machine gun bullets managed to break his skin.

Wolfsbane has posed:
Wolfsbane gave it a day or so, mostly to let some things sink in and make sure others were in good shape. Proudstar could wait. He wasn't going anywhere. Trying to break out would only go worse for him, anyway. In the second day of his confinement, she entered quietly, keeping up her wolfen appearance amid the more human look, namely the usual: fur, fangs, claws. Rather than pulling up a chair, she stood before the door, a clear view inside the room one way or another, whether by video feed or something like clear walls (OOC: undetermined, so whatever works).

There is where she will remain when he awakens, standing silently, waiting, ready.

Warpath has posed:
James sleeps facing the back wall of the cell. At first the only sign that he has woke would be Wolfsbane hearing his heartbeat and breathing changing. A deep breath drawn in. And then let back out in a soft, sad sigh as he recognizes a scent. He sits up slowly and then swings his legs over the normal side of the bed rather than let his feet hang over the foot of it.
"Rahne," he says, the normal deep voice speaking as quietly as she's heard him before. His eyes are lowered to the floor rather than looking at her. He picks up his blanket, folding it carefully, with the kind of care and precision that she'd know was picked up in the military.

Finally he lifts his head to look over at her. He manages to meet her eyes for a few seconds before looking away and giving a regretful-sounding sigh.

Wolfsbane has posed:
Time has allowed for Wolfsbane to think about what she's going to say, but even then as he begins to stir, there's a part of her that begins to hesitate slightly. His body language and movements tell her things, leading to more certainty that she's right in what she's got on her mind.

She says nothing when she catches her voice out of his mouth, scarcely above a whisper to most. Some might not even hear it over the background noise, even if it's quiet. Only after he's actually taken a moment to look at her, then look elsewhere, that she speaks, arms crossed.

"I hope ye're proud o' yuirself," Rahne states, flatly.

Warpath has posed:
James Proudstar looks down at his hands, the large mitts resting knuckles-down on his knees. His fingers seem to dry-wash themselves as James gives a silent shake of his head. "No. Never felt this much shame before," he says, the deep voice wanting to echo off the bare walls, but the words are too softly spoken to do more than slip along the surfaces to her.

James look back up and over to her. "You weren't hurt?" he asks. His eyes and words are connected by notes of guilt that heighten as he tries to keep his eyes on her face. Only to fail as he averts his eyes from the familiar young mutant woman. "I, didn't hurt you?" he asks, changing the wording to what it should have been the first time.

Wolfsbane has posed:
Wolfsbane's eyes do not waver. They remain locked on the big man in a more predatorial way than not, drawing upon the wolf in her in the image she gives off. It could only be more wolfen if she allowed a further shift to take place. No words are offered in return when he confirms the shame he feels, merely a slight nod.

When he takes the sight of her in again, he'll see she hasn't moved a muscle. Her stance is unchanged. "Does it matter?" she asks him, point blank. "Does it matter whether or no' I was shot up by yuir guns, or burned tae a crisp by yuir fire, or blown up by yuir bombs an' explosives, when Cyclops is in th' medbay recovering, when ye nearly blasted Jubilee tae bits?"

The wolfen woman takes a single step forward, putting her closer to the cell. "I had a few scratches, but by th' grace o' God tha' was all. Gambit found th' way ye rigged tha' door tae explode, an' tha' would ha' surely finished me off if th' rest didnae do it. Och, I know, Sam an' I weren't yuir targets, but we were there."

Warpath has posed:
"I thought it would just be X-men. And Xavier. He was-" James starts to say before cutting himself off. He frowns at himself, eyes searching the cell, everywhere but in the direction of Rahne. "That doesn't matter, I was wrong in that too," he says quietly.

Finally he manages to look back to her. "But I'm glad you weren't hurt, worse. Or, anyone else. How is Summers? I asked but Lorna said she did not know." James turns his hands over, resting them palms down on his knees, finally keeping his eyes up on Rahne for extended periods of time.

He looks defeated. Even in the worst of times Rahne likely never saw his shoulders slumped as they are now. He finally looks down again, swallowing and drawing a slow breath.

Wolfsbane has posed:
"An' ye think if it was just Xavier or th' older X-Men, it wid ha' made yuir actions any more justified? Mister Summers will be all right, but ye kidnapped a /student/ an' used her as bait!"

Here, Wolfsbane is heard to actually growl. Only for a moment, only a single time, but a growl nonetheless.

"Only cowards do tha'! Only cowards set traps meant tae kill whoever responds! Those are no' th' acts o' a hero or a good person, but o' a villain! Aye, ye were headstrong an' stubborn when we crossed paths wi' th' Hellions, but I /always/ knew ye tae do th' honorable thing in th' end, th' fair thing."

Another step closer, and she asks him outright, "Whit changed in ye? Where did ye go wrong?"

Warpath has posed:
James Proudstar's fingers dry wash a few times on his knees as he looks away from her, looking off to the side. One of his hands clenches into a fist, though there's nothing to make it seem directed at Rahne directly. The fist only unclenches slowly, as if with some amount of effort.

James starts to talk but his deep voice fails. The granite-like voice crumbling like it were smashed into pebbles. He clears his throat before beginning again. "Everyone's gone," he says quietly, not looking at Rahne. "John was taken from me first. Then... the rest of the tribe. Massacred. And I cannot find who is responsible. For them," he says, voice hardening for a moment before it slips. "But, I... I thought..." he says, finally shaking his head again and trailing off.

Wolfsbane has posed:
Wolfsbane takes note of how much James tries not to look directly at her, knowing were their roles reversed, she'd probably be doing the same thing. She's swimming in righteous indignation right now, but there's a limit to how long she can maintain it. Part of the goal of doing this, certain as she in her justification, is to see if she can get through to him, to see why he really did it, to see if he's truly sorry or just saying he is.

As some of those cracks are exposed, the wounds opened wider, she frowns. "Are ye no longer wi' th' other Hellions? Nae matter. It's already done." As the information is shared about the tribe's fate, her lips thin out, a flash of a concerned expression forming that he may not even see given where he's looking. "If no' them, ye could ha' come tae us an' asked for help. This..whit ye did, how is tha' a better way tae go? Look, when we became a group, Sam once attacked us but he was tricked intae it by Donald Pierce wi' th' Hellfire Club. Afterward he came tae us an' was remorseful, an' Professor Xavier urged us tae forgive an' accept him."

She goes on. "Dani's people were attacked as well, an' she lost ones close tae her. She wanted revenge but th' Professor helped her channel tha' anger intae something more productive. Yuir anger drove ye tae this, sitting in a cell ye canna get oot o' while others decide whit's tae be done wi' ye. Instead o' coming tae us, or coming tae th' Professor tae talk, ye went..." A gesture with a hand, to indicate everything. "An' ye nearly scared th' wits oot o' Erika. We're all verra fortunate she can do whit she does an' yuir brother spoke through her. But she's jumpy an' she's probably gaunae be looking over her shoulder for weeks, if no' longer."

Warpath has posed:
"I don't know where any of them are," James says quietly of the other Hellions. He sits quietly for a long while before saying, "There was a Hellfire Club mask at the site. On our tribal lands," he says quietly. His eyes have a determined light for a moment before he shakes his head and looks down. "I do not believe they did it, though," he says.

James is still keeping his eyes away from Rahne. "I know. I know now I was wrong." The large Native American shakes his head, shoulders slumped. "And I cannot undo any of it. I'm just glad you weren't hurt," James says, finally looking back up at her for the first time in a little bit. "Or the others. Worse. Please make sure they know that?"

Wolfsbane has posed:
"Are ye saying ye think whoever did it planted th' mask tae point ye in tha' direction?" Wolfsbane asks, her head tilting toward one side. And if that was the case, it led him to the trap he set up. "Do ye know how long ago it happened?" It might be too late to get any scents, unfortunately.

He should have known he was wrong to do what he did from the start, but there's no need for Rahne to drive that point home any deeper than it's already been. "Ye canna undo it, but if you're allowed oot o' here an' no' turned over tae someone else, whit are ye gaunae do tae make up for it? It's easy tae say ye're sorry an' ye'll do better, harder tae actually do it."

Warpath has posed:
James gives a slow nod, though it doesn't seem like the most certain one, at the mention of the mask. "I'm not sure, either way. But... I don't think it was them," he says, his bass voice kept quiet as it has been for most of the conversation. He looks over to Rahne again directly. "It has been a while now. I've been trying to find the ones responsible for a long time. And I've begun to despair finding them."

James clears his throat. "Xavier wasn't responsible for John," he says, looking down. "Attacking him was wrong. Even if he had been. I... I don't know that I can believe in his dream like you all do," James says, frowning. "But, I should have been protecting the rest of you. Not... kidnapping or..." his words get cut off by emotion as he looks at Rahne sharply, as if thinking about the explosives she almost walked into. "I would find a way to do that. To protect the others like us."

Wolfsbane has posed:
"I dinna think I'd have a chance o' finding a scent, then," Wolfsbane says, somewhat lamenting that likely fact. "Maybe Wolverine could figure something oot if he went there, but if it's been as long as ye say..." She shakes her head. If only.

Then, she switches gears. "I never knew John, but if he agreed tae follow Xavier he believed in whit he stood for. I'm no' sure people will ever fully accept mutants, but th' right thing is tae try and make a better, safer place for us all an' try tae do it peacefully. I have tae believe there's a' least a chance." There are a few moments of silence that go by as she lets him focus on whatever's going through his mind right now, be it the encounter, something prior to that, or the here and now.

"I'll tell ye up front tha' people here are about second chances for people who are sincere about it. Some may grumble about it, but most o' us have been in places where we've lost someone close tae us or come from bad situations. If they give ye a second chance...I hope ye'll make th' most o' it. I'd like tae be able tae trust ye again."

Warpath has posed:
James' shoulders are still slumped. "It would be hard to even face any of them after this," he admits in a quiet, deep voice. "Hard facing you. You deserved so much better from me. And Sam too," James says. He clears his throat and looks away from Rahne and down at his hands again.

"I have a lot to make up for. Wherever I end up," he says quietly. "I can't imagine anyone will trust me after this. Nor would I blame them. I won't lie and say I think Xavier's right. But, someone made me realize I don't have to, to protect other mutants. And, he isn't the one I should have been protecting them from," he says quietly.

Wolfsbane has posed:
Wolfsbane agrees. "O' course it'll be hard, but ye made th' bed ye're sleeping in right noo," she notes, then she corrects herself, "Maybe no' literally, but ye know whit I mean. Anyway, I'm no' gaunae lie. It /should/ be hard after whit ye did, nae matter th' reasons. Making up for it is gaunae be harder, but if ye've go' any o' th' honor I thought ye did, ye'll find a way tae make it work. It's no' just, say ye're sorry an' all is fine again. They'll need tae see something from ye."

Only now does she finally look away, taking in a deep breath and letting it out. "I'm sorry tae have tae see ye like this, but I'm no' sorry ye're in here for noo. It's th' best place tae keep others safe from ye an' keep ye safe from yuirself while ye think about everything. Th' Professor may be wrong a' times, but he has th' right goal in mind. Try tae see tha'."

Warpath has posed:
James Proudstar rises from the bed he's stayed seated on the whole time. He walks over to stand before the door to the cell as he looks out at the wolf-girl. "I can't say I'd blame them if they decide I'm not worth the chance. I feel..." he says, shaking his head rather than going on. "If they don't give me that chance? Would you and Sam at least..." James says.

But his words trail off, unable to ask her for that. He turns, hands going to his head. "No matter what they do with me, would you see if I can get back John's headband?" he asks quietly. "I may not deserve it. But it would mean a lot."

Wolfsbane has posed:
Even seated, the Apache is ridiculously tall compared to the more diminuitive Wolfsbane, but of the two in this encounter, she's been the one to show more steel of spine. But, she's also not the one who's in the wrong, not the one in need of making up for mistakes and bad decisions. The man back up to his feet requires her to lift her chin to continue to make eye contact with him.

"Wid we a' least whit?" she asks, wanting to ensure she understands what he's asking for, unless it's the headband he requests. "Dinna be surprised if they want tae check yuir truthfulness by reading yuir thoughts. Ye should be used tae tha' after having Emma Frost for a headmaster. Being honest an' sincere will do ye good, an' I think ye have been wi' me so far."

She glances toward the exit to the cells, adding, "I'll be bringing yuir dinner doon tonight. If ye want a little extra or another piece o' dessert, I can do tha' much. An' I'll make sure ye get John's headband back. I wouldna deny ye tha' even if I hated yuir guts. It's no' muh right tae say ye canna have it."

Warpath has posed:
James Proudstar hesitates a bit before answering. "I was going to ask, if the two of you would give me a chance to make it up to you. No matter what the others decide," James says quietly. He moves back to sit on the bed again, eyes glancing up at Rahne as she stands outside.

"I won't try to bar them from my thoughts," he says quietly. "If they wish to. Even if they don't... if you and Sam want to know..." he offers quietly. "And thank you. It's about all I have left of him. Everything else was part of his funeral pyre," James says, having given John a traditional Apache funeral after the X-men left his body with him, apparently.

Wolfsbane has posed:
Wolfsbane gives off hints she's ready to depart, beginning to lean in the direction of the doors back out. "Tha's more up tae ye. I'm sure Sam will give ye a chance, an' if I believe ye're sincere an' honest an' truly remorseful, I think I will as well. I..dinna fault ye for missing yuir brother or yuir people, but I do fault ye for how ye handled it afterward. No' wanting tae hurt Sam or I does no' erase th' fact tha' ye almost did when we happened tae be there." She knows by now she's made herself very clear about that, and she leaves it there.

"As for th' headband, I'll ask Erika. She had it last, an' if she gave it tae someone else I'll see ye end up wi' it. Ye have muh word on tha'." Here, she finally turns the rest of the way for the door. "I'll be back later wi' yuir meal, an' if ye want something tae read I can bring a book or two wi' me."

Warpath has posed:
"Thank you," James tells Rahne, the gratitude seeming meant on multiple fronts. "I think... I think I have enough to think about, to keep me occupied," he says to her. His eyes show a moment of fondness before being swamped with the regret that has been there her whole time talking to him.

James slips off the bed, moving to sit cross-legged on the floor again. Once she's gone, he'll resume his meditations. Having to concentrate at first to drop those mental defenses he's been taught to keep up as second nature. But he'll do it, should any telepaths come peeking.