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Complete sink or swim

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by Scott Summers, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. The voice in his head, the voice of Charles Xavier, had cut silent for a moment and Scott could feel his own panic rising. Had he gone? Had he been left alone? There was something shameful about how afraid he was despite the fact that the teenager would never in his right or wrong mind have blamed anybody else for this kind of behavior. It was natural. This was torment. This was torture. His damn eyes were gone. And yet, he wanted to be brave, he wanted to be able to at least pretend that he could look that woman in the eye. But even if he could somehow see, Scott didn't think he would have been able to. And that was the worst part of it all.

    Suddenly, Charles' voice was back, a calm explanation following. It was help. Help was here. Where? How far away? Would she be intercepted before she could make her way into the cell? There was more explanation that Scott didn't fully understand, something about an astral plane, an otherworld, and he didn't know what that meant. There were a million questions running rampant through his mind, but he was more focused than that on the sounds in front of him, the footsteps closing in until they were right smack there in front of him.

    There was blood. Scott was caked in it. His closed were ripped and his skin torn to shreds in some places, but she had been more interested in his eyes than anything else. The skin around them burned, charred, bloody, the sockets noticeably empty as he forced them open in light of the sounds. Occasionally, his eyelids moved like they wanted to blink, but it took so much effort to work through the pain that they seemed to give up halfway through. Scott was barely able to hold himself up, which was just fine for the woman who had put him here. The bonds at either of his wrists did the job just fine all on their own.

    "Hi," came Scott's voice to the new one which had joined the conversation, and he felt instantly stupid saying that. Just saying hi, but he didn't know what else to say in that moment to quell his urge to start begging.
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  @Wanda Maximoff
    NOTES❜  bless wanda, hi
    [​IMG]
     
    Wanda Maximoff likes this.
  2. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

    Posts:
    2,207

    So accustomed Wanda was to the impossible and the unexpected that she barely bat an eye when Charles Xavier's voice filtered through the space between her ears from out of the blue. "I know you," communicated the voice. "Though only through a peculiar set of circumstances, and I believe you understand exactly what I am referring to. I need your help. Scott Summers needs your help, and we haven't many options…" Still she had so many questions—but she understood that she could push the less essential of them to afterwards.

    She knew this would be dangerous. She knew they were toying with luck (her luck had been so poor lately that surely karma owed her some good fortune, at least on behalf of this kid who didn't deserve any of this). But she didn't think twice as they made what preparations they could, because they couldn't afford the time to do more, and she certainly didn't think twice as she stepped through the Otherworld portal into a cell tainted with the cloying rot of fear, anguish, and despair.

    "Hey there," Wanda thought back, attempting to mask the sickness in her stomach seeing him like this. After twisting the bonds open with a flick of her fingertips, her hands went tentatively to Scott's shoulders. "Keep your eyes closed. Stand up with me. Come on, we have to go now," she urged through the link, trying to guide him toward their awaiting exit.

     
    Scott Summers likes this.
  3. He felt the bonds move. Not by the guidance of hands twisting them about, but by something else unseen and after the conversation he'd had with Charles, after what he had warned him about, Scott thought he knew why. He wouldn't have sent somebody who wouldn't have been capable of helping him. She had to be like Charles. She had to be like Scott. A mutant. That's what he had called it, and he still didn't know how to wrap his head around the term and what it meant, but then, he couldn't wrap his head around much of anything at all either.

    Feeling hands at his shoulders, Scott couldn't help but flinch. Any kind of touch probably would have caused that. It wasn't personal. It was the result of a sort of shock he didn't like, a sort of fear of the unknown. She was unknown just like the first woman had been, but the sound of this person's voice was more soothing than that. Charles' had been, too. And what else could he do besides listen? Slowly, he tried to use what strength he had in his legs to move with her, though with each step, he threatened to fall. How many days had it been since he had really walked on his own? He didn't know. Instinctively, his hands were reaching out in front of him, almost shaking as they tried to find something to hold onto for the sake of stability, but eventually one hand dropped to his side while the other moved toward his shoulder, fingers wrapped around hers as though it were giving him that bit of strength he needed to keep going.

    And keep going, he did, no matter how much his limbs hurt, no matter how much he wanted to collapse right then and there without those restraints holding the weight of him up. Scott knew how imperative it was that they go now. It was unclear when the woman would return. She seemed to come and go without any real schedule, but then again, if there was a schedule to it, he wouldn't have known. There was no daylight or moonlight to be seen, no sense of time, no sense of days. He didn't even know how long he had been there for.
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  wanda
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Wanda Maximoff likes this.
  4. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

    Posts:
    2,207

    Wanda tried to keep her urgency at bay as she carefully guided Scott's arm around her shoulders, her own arm winding around his mid-back. Once she made certain enough that he had enough support not to topple back onto the ground with the first step, she began their precarious walk together, toward the patiently whirling portal not even a dozen paces away. She still didn't understand what exactly was the master of this dungeon, or why Scott was chosen for imprisonment and torment, but there was the ever-permeating sense that something could go wrong, something could stop them, everything could unravel because she was unprepared—

    They stepped through the swirl of color that Scott couldn't see without further trouble, and the portal closed shut behind them, leaving the dark chamber far behind.

    And though Scott couldn't see, the felt difference should have been immediate. The air felt lighter, the very gravity rooting them to the ground a little less. Wanda sighed audibly, her own limbs easing as her eyes swept what appeared to be a labyrinthine street cutting through a specter of ghostly buildings, wildflowers and moss jutting from their faces. "We should be in the clear for now," she uttered aloud, her gaze drifting briefly to the ground as she mulled over something. This was the Otherworld, where reality could be much more easily. It would be easier, safer if she tried this one thing.

    "Hold still," she decided, shifting so that she could hover her palm over his closed eyelids, her features tightening with concentration as she directed energy warm and tingly into his hollows, guiding him. "Try to remember when you had eyes... before... Remember what that was like. There we go."

    ... That was only going to last for as long as they were in the world of dreams, and for as long as he believed he still had his eyes again. Even so, it was meant to be a temporary solution, and it was better than stumbling blind. "Let's get moving then," she softly declared, her lips curving into a half-smile now that he could actually see it.

     
    Scott Summers likes this.
  5. There was a terror to the blindness even in this rescue. Maybe it was fact that he didn't know what he was walking into. Maybe it was the fact that he couldn't see her face. Maybe there was the smallest fear that she was the same woman, toying with his desperate desire to be free, but not even she would be that cruel. Right? Then again, who was Scott Summers to judge the bounds of her cruelty? He liked to think she wasn't interested in charades like this. He liked to think she was in it entirely for the research and that this woman was genuine, that the man, Charles Xavier, in his head was genuine. They both seemed to be and he wanted to trust in that, so he would. Because what else was he going to do?

    With each step, Scott felt himself clinging more and more to her as his legs threatened to give way. He fought to stay awake, too, and he didn't know if that was easier or harder without the struggle of his eyelids wanting to close over heavy eyes. But it was sad that he had to consider that at all.

    Suddenly, she was having him hold still and Scott sort of wheezed out a laugh that didn't have much heart in it at all. As though he had the energy to do much else. He could feel her moving, but he didn't know what she was doing. But he listened. He listened to her voice and he tried to imagine when he'd had eyes, when he'd been able to see in that cavern. He tried to imagine before all of that, before everything, before the crane, before power had erupted from his eyes. And then suddenly, black faded into color. He could see. He could see and by the look on his face, it was clear he could. "Are they-- Are they there?" he murmured quietly, hopefully, almost like he was begging her for the answer he wanted. It felt like a stupid question, though, when he could turn his head and look at her. It was a stranger. She was a stranger and she was smiling at him.

    Scott could have cried and maybe he was. No, he definitely was. He could feel that his face was wet, he could feel tears traveling down his sweat, dirt, and blood-caked cheeks, but it wasn't something he could dwell on either as she kept moving them along.
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  wanda
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Wanda Maximoff likes this.
  6. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

    Posts:
    2,207

    Wanda had a thousand tangled knots miring all the thoughts flitting about inside her head, so it occurred to her only belatedly that it would've been kind of unfortunate if Scott's dream vision also came with dream eye blasters. Exhaling with relief, she figured it was still maybe wise to duck away from the direct path of his sight. But it was one less complication they didn't have to worry about.

    And she was hesitant to let her awkward smile linger for longer than the heartbeat, unsure if it was kind or cruel to restore his eyes with the knowledge that they'd be gone again as soon as he stepped back into what most categorized as the real world. At least without a potent magical anomaly that Wanda wasn't willing to attempt while Scott was still battered and weak. There were safer ways. Slower ways, but safer.

    Hovering a hand over his shoulder, it took her another moment to pat him there gently, nodding her head. "For now. Think of this place like... like you're dreaming right now. We'll work on getting them back for keeps, alright?"

    Then, the shadows around them seemed to shudder and flicker somewhat. Her head lifted abruptly toward the front of an impossibly multicolor storm edging toward them in the skies above. "C'mon, we need to get to Charles's," she urged, tugging him deeper toward the network of labyrinthine alleys.

    Here and there, they'd pass through a memory or dream playing in one of the shimmering windows they passed by. Some belonging to strangers, others recognizable. She thought she glimpsed and heard something from Scott's past but made no mention of it. And on her own spilt film reels, there was Novi Grad, there was the Stark missile, and there were the Avengers. There were memories that didn't belong at all: one flash of a team, multiple teams, in blindingly vibrant spandex led by a bald man in a wheelchair. Another man, tall and sure of himself, adorning a red X on his face, and the voice of an unknown woman yelling "Scott!"

    "We're here," Wanda declared with a clear of her throat, stiffer than before. They stood before a crossroads not much different than the others they'd past, but she was already turned away from him, spinning another portal in her hands with her head slightly bowed. "I'm sorry, Scott—it'll be easier if you close your eyes again."

     
    Charles Xavier and Scott Summers like this.
  7. He was dreaming. He was dreaming and he could see. He didn't know if they were really there, if his eyes were really there, but maybe it didn't matter. Why couldn't they just stay here? Why couldn't they just stay in this dreamland? Why couldn't he hold onto those colors for just a little bit longer?

    With her hand at his shoulder, he turned his head to look at her. She looked kind. Pretty. Like she knew what she was doing, like she was somebody he could trust. And at the point, he didn't know who to trust because nearly everybody he had come across since running from that orphanage had been ... off. Not right. Not good. She didn't look like the woman who had held him, though, and that was more important than anything else could ever have been.

    Scott followed her lead, keeping close to her side, his gaze unable to tear away from some of the windows that they passed by, shimmering with scenes he didn't recognize or understand. But one seemed familiar. One seemed familiar. A hospital room. A little blonde boy. Scott's pace had slowed and he had turned his head to keep looking, but Wanda's voice just barely managed to tear his attention back and he whipped his gaze around, watching her spin that portal in her hands. It was mesmerizing, but that wasn't the only reason he was struggling to close his eyes.

    He didn't want to. He didn't want any of this to go away.

    A couple of seconds more passed and he took in a deep breath before he squeezed his eyes shut, his hand having slipped around her arm for the guidance he knew he was going to need.

    Why couldn't they just stay here?
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  wanda
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     

  8. From a pool of swirling color, they spilled out into Charles's kitchen at long last. He would've preferred the living room, where he had been waiting, but now was hardly the time for nitpicking. In the meantime he'd gathered gauze to wrap around the boy's eyes, rubbing alcohol, bandages, anything that might seem useful to patch up the aftermath of whatever torment Scott had endured. They were all arranged neatly on the surface of the coffee table. As well as Charles could manage on his own, while he struggled keeping track of their signal during their passage through the Otherworld.

    "Over here," he called, tersely and from the edge of his seat in his wheelchair. He'd go to them, to help Wanda walk Scott to the sofa, but there was nothing more he could do at this juncture but wait.

     
    Scott Summers and Wanda Maximoff like this.
  9. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

    Posts:
    2,207

    Though it was tempting to rush, Wanda moved slowly. First out of the Otherworld, where Scott would once again lose his sight. His injuries would be once again corporeal, his flesh once more composed of flesh and unable to defy reason by the blessing of the astral plane.

    "I got you. We got this," she muttered under her breath, still holding him steady with his arm latched around her shoulder. Her head and ears perked to Charles's physical, not mental voice filtering through the threshold, and her steps quickened by the slightest amount possible until she was able to lay Scott to rest across the open sofa.

    Charles nodded in indication that he could watch over him in the meanwhile, and Wanda tilted her chin forward in turn. "I'll—water. I'll go get him some water," she announced quickly after a pause, turning tail back toward the kitchen.

     
    Scott Summers likes this.
  10. Coming back into the world was raw and painful. The surrealness of sight was gone, that feeling like he may have been floating instead of feeling like he'd collapse any second, all gone. Instead, Scott was left trying to cling to Wanda who poured all of her efforts into keeping him up on his feet, and she really was doing all the work. He didn't have any strength left in him. He hadn't for awhile. She had sucked him dry of his strength and his hope, his curse and possibly the only thing that could have gotten him out. Until now. And that was what he knew he had to remember. He was out.

    A voice reached his ears. A man with a smooth british accent, the man who had been in his head. Charles. But that wasn't a voice in his head this time, it was there across the room. And yet everything sounded fuzzy to his ears and he found himself focusing less on the voices around him and more on the task of trying to stay awake. It was harder in the darkness, like there was always a thick black sheet over him.

    They moved and moved and moved until he felt Wanda guiding his body downward, and his shaking, bloody hands felt the softness of something. A sofa. He was lowered onto it and his body sank into the cushions. For the first time, Scott felt his shoulders slump back in a way that felt almost comfortable, as comfortable as somebody in his condition could ever have felt. Caked in blood, littered with gashes, the ones that hadn't been healed and healed and healed just to be brought back. Gruesomely hollowed eyesockets stared up at nothing at all, his shallow breaths slowing as his own panic started to die down. Or maybe it wasn't that. Maybe it was just his body saying that he'd had enough for one day. Or enough for a lifetime.

    Whatever the case, his senses blurred and blurred until all he could hear was the sound of his own breathing and then nothing, consciousness drifting away from him.
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  wanda&charles
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Charles Xavier likes this.

  11. The first hour after Scott lost consciousness had been filled with a high stress back and forth over whether or not they should have him sent to the emergency room. Whether that was their best bet, with all the risks involved. While Charles detected that Wanda was generally more stress-inclined than he was, the fact of the matter remained that they were both affected by The Stress. Between the definite two-person ask of cleaning and bandaging his wounds while the conked out teenager continued to bleed into the sheet separating himself and the sofa below.

    It wouldn't surprise Charles if the sofa still needed replacing afterwards.

    Eventually, and though it had taken some bargaining, he managed to convince the mutant young woman to exercise enough self-confidence to heal the mutant young man herself. He understood that eyes could be tricky; a mis-step could lead to any number of unfortunate consequences for the boy moving forward, but Charles had finally managed to exercise what he himself used to be so good at: pep talks and a lot of faith.

    Hours later, his cuts and burns were noticeably in better shape than before. There were eyes underneath the gauze covering the upper part of his face again (the gauze really being more of a precaution for his poor apartment building), though it'd been under both their impression that they would be ultra-sensitive even without the... concussive beams... for the next week at the very least.

    And so Wanda left once Scott's stabilized condition was ascertained, leaving Charles at his desk pouring over any number of designs for optical aids for that concussive beam situation. And ruby quartz was going to be a necessity.

    ... He had time. Scott wasn't going anywhere (he was still literally passed out on the couch, a blanket drawn over him), not for a few days, and in that time, he was going to get him the (additional) help he sorely needed.

     
    Scott Summers likes this.
  12. It seemed like forever before he finally moved again, his consciousness returning to him as he lips slowly parted and his hand moved, feeling about for anything. His fingers found the edge of the sofa. Maybe he would have opened his eyes but everything felt different from before. The sheer pain he'd been feeling before, it was ... still there, but less. Much less. He didn't feel like he was gonna fall apart, at least not in the physical sense, and his eyes--

    His eyes.

    Instinctively, Scott took in a deep breath, held it, and listened carefully to his surroundings. He thought he heard something. Birds, maybe, like there was a window open somewhere and it was a nice sound. It was a sound he could probably have listened to all day. It was a stark difference to everything he had heard before all of this and the thought of it alone brought with it a violent shudder that he couldn't seem to control, the movement only causing him to squeeze his eyes closed more tightly. Eyes that were there. It felt like a miracle. Either that or he had imagined everything.

    From there, he was listening again, his hands occasionally squeezing the fabric of the blanket he could feel on top of him as though it were some sort of lifeline, as though he were making sure he could still feel things at all. At some point, he tried to sit up, but his body wouldn't let him, making it a few inches before wincing sharply and giving up, lowering himself again. He didn't like the idea of being stuck, he'd spent so much of his life up until now feeling stuck. In that orphanage, in that cave, in those bonds. Now he couldn't even get himself up off this couch. But he wasn't alone. He still remembered her face from the brief moment he had seen it in that other place. That place he wished he could have been in now.

    Wanda. Where was Wanda?
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  charles
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Charles Xavier likes this.

  13. Sensing the boy had finally roused (Charles had been absently monitoring his consciousness), he set his protractor down and detached himself from his workspace.

    Not wanting to hold him in suspense for long, he smoothly explained as he wheeled to his side, "Wanda brought you here, to my flat, where you promptly passed out on my sofa. From there we—well, she tended to your injuries best she could before departing for duties elsewhere. It's been about... thirteen hours since?" He lingered there, between the sofa and the coffee table with a pensive look on his brow.

    So in the end he had no trouble returning to his congenial, professorly airs... when there were extenuating circumstances to drag him out of his sad and bitter shell of alcoholism. He supposed he ought to thank Scott for that.

    "You must be parched." There was the sound of running water hitting glass as he filled the cup on the table and held it out to him... trying to help him along as he mentally projected a spatial outline of where and what the object was in his mind. "I'm Charles, if you don't recall. And this is my mutant power." He smiled apologetically, even though he knew it was no use. "You've got your eyes back as you may have noticed, but I'll have to ask that you keep the blindfold on. Until I finish your glasses."

     
    Scott Summers likes this.
  14. He heard something. Something different, something other than the sound of birds chirping outside of the window. With his eyes squeezed close as they were, it was like he was so much more keenly aware of the sounds around him. It was that theory, that the loss of one sense made the others all the clearer. Maybe it was true, but Scott didn't feel any better for it. He didn't know if the taste of sight he'd been given made it better or worse, or whether it was something he had regret ever experiencing in the first place.

    A part of him wished that Wanda were still here. Maybe it was the fact that he had seen her face, that she had looked so kind in contrast to the woman from that cavern. He could picture her so clearly in his mind, but he tried not to think about it. He tried to think about Wanda's face, even just focus on the sound of Charles' voice. There was something about it that just kept him calm. Made him feel at ease. Safe.

    Even the sound of running water was somehow soothing. It was so normal.

    And then there was that projection in his mind, helping him find the water. Mutant. Mutant power. It wasn't something he fully understood, but in relation to what he could do, maybe he was starting to. "You don't understand," he started, managing to sit himself up just enough as he reached for the water, a shaking hand slowly bring it to his lips to take a sip he hadn't realized he was quite so desperate for. At least the shaking was less than he remembered. "Glasses won't do anything, nothing-- nothing does anything." His voice was quiet. Tired. That energy would tear through the lenses first and then anyone and anything in front of him. It just wasn't that easy.
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  charles
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Charles Xavier likes this.

  15. "As a matter of fact, there is something. A substance that resonates at the same frequency as your optic blasts," Charles countered calmly. "Ruby quartz. It's what you wear... in your future." He was still coming to terms with that, but there was more self-directed skepticism in his face than in his voice.

    Which was for the best.

     
    Scott Summers likes this.
  16. He laughed. It was hoarse and quiet and not very real, but still there. Each time Charles Xavier spoke, it was like he tossed out this new piece of information that Scott had to try to let sink in with all the rest. And it was a lot. God, it was just so much. "Right, because you're ... psychic and you can see the future."
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  charles
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Charles Xavier likes this.

  17. "No, just the psychic bit." He held onto that note as a crease appeared in his brow. "Remember what we discussed about your brother?"

     
    Scott Summers likes this.
  18. At that, Scott fell silent, his lips pressing to a fine line and his eyes squeezing shut tighter as he tried to think. He couldn't remember. There were vague things he remembered about that conversation in his head, about the man who had found him in the first place. He knew it was the same man who was with him now. He knew he had been kind, he knew he'd somehow managed to make him feel more comfortable. But the subject matter?

    His brother?

    God, why couldn't he remember?
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  charles
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Charles Xavier likes this.

  19. "The fact that he was older than you, for starters," he offered after a time.

     
    Scott Summers likes this.
  20. "I'm sorry," he murmured, barely giving the man time to finish. Everything was fuzzy. Everything was mixed up in his head and a part of him wasn't sure what was and wasn't real. Still, at that reminder, he remembered the confusion he'd felt. And he'd remembered how much he had longed to see his brother.
    DATE❜  july 2
    TAG❜  charles
    NOTES❜  !!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Charles Xavier likes this.