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Lauren's head had turned almost frantically as every occupant in the room seemed to take a turn in speaking towards her. Her nerves were cracking, but before she had any hope of sealing of those fractures in her own resolve was when the Professor hammed down that final nail:
[#216bb5 "You've lived from day to day, moving from place to place.... If it wasn't for those dog-tags of yours, ones unfortunately no longer on you once we got there, you wouldn't even have a name for yourself, would you?"]
[b "Shut up!"] The brown-haired snapped, tensed up with a combination of a fear, anxiousness, but also slightest bit of hope was upon her face now. The Professor had obviously picked the best way to listen, even if it unfortunately caused her to be uncomfortable. [#216bb5 "Give me a chance."] Charles' voice was serious yet gentle—a tone of voice that all students taught under the man had heard him use with them at least once—in response to her abrupt words. He obviously taking no offense from the rudeness, since he had provoked it in the first place. Slowly, he continued, [#216bb5 "I may be able to help you find at least some answers."]
Lauren stared at the man in the wheelchair contemplatively, eyes narrowed in caution and confusion as they flicked about to the others in the room before locking back on him. Finally, she couldn't help but ask, [b "How do you know all this?"]
[center [i [#216bb5 /+// You're a smart woman, Lauren. You realized long ago you aren't the only one with gifts, no matter how impossible another's gift may seem. //+/]]]
Hearing the man's voice without his mouth moving had caused her to jump a little. Suddenly those same echoing voice from all directions that had sounded earlier came into her hearing once more, and now she noted they were all the same one—the voice of Professor Charles Xavier. She had glanced down, but the short brunette slowly looked back up at him, and some of her tenseness seeped out of her body. [b "What is this place, exactly?"] She asked, a small smile quirking up one edge of her lips as her curiosity and attention were definitely captured.
Smiling back, the Professor would gesture to the various seats in front of his desk. [#216bb5 "Take a seat, Lauren."] Still smiling he would wheel over to the back of his desk, pulling out a large manila-envelop full of various information about the school they gave to children upon arriving. [#216bb5 "The lunch period is going to be over soon. Storm, I believe you should go prep for your class. Scott and Hank, if you wouldn't mind I'd like you two to stay here with Lauren. Ask her all the usual questions and such before giving her a tour of the school?"] He handed the folder to Lauren, who hesitated briefly before taking it and sitting down in one of the chairs he had pointed out for her. [#216bb5 "After all, I'm sure the children wouldn't mind having me fill the last two science-blocks today, and only having Jean in the garage."] Once undoubtedly getting positive responses from everyone in the room, that be the end of it.
And without much else besides from a smile from Storm and Charles, and a quick look-over of Scott's damaged throat from Jean, those three would soon be gone.
That left just Hank, Scott, and Lauren in the room. Hank and Scott standing wherever they had been when the other three left, and Lauren in the chair she had picked. The short woman was curled in those over-sized closed she'd picked up throughout her run through the school, her knees pulled to her chest, staring to glance at and page through everything in the folder, but she was remaining alert all the same. Cautious. After a few seconds of silence her brown eyes flickered over in those two male's direction, however, as if trying to assess them.
For someone who had been rescued from almost being killed, the woman sure had a lot of attitude to spew their way. Scott opened his mouth to retaliate, but held back after catching the Professor's stern look over Lauren's shoulder. So, he bit his tongue and stood firmly in front of the door. If he couldn't say anything in return to her jab, then he could at least make sure she stayed put and listened to what Charles had to say.
[i "I understand that it might be hard to believe, but you said it yourself, you remember being attacked. A normal human could not have thrown you around the way Sabretooth did, nor could they survive such a beating like you managed to,"] Storm interjected in an attempt to be the voice of reason.
The only response Lauren gave was to taunt Ororo's codename before turning to face Scott. He raised an eyebrow at her, as if daring her to take a swing at him. She had a lot of nerve if she thought she could just insult their hospitality and brush them off as a joke. Cyclops readied himself to stand his ground, before Charles took her attention one more with a simple sentence.
[b "The Professor only tries to help those like us. He knows all about your past. He's offering you a chance to learn about yourself. The least you can do is hear him out,"] Scott defended his mentor, as Jean placed a hand on his arm to calm his temper.
[i "And while I feel like I should be perturbed by the comparison to this Sully you speak of, I really believe that you can have a second chance here. We're only here to help, but we can't do anything if you aren't willing. Allow us the chance to prove it to you, before you make your decision,"] Hank spoke next, as if it were an intervention.
Scott shared a look with Jean, trying to gauge whether or not she believed that Lauren would stay. By the clenched fists at the small woman's side, it certainly seemed like they'd plucked a nerve.
When the two men introduced as Scott and Hank enter into the room, Lauren can't help but stare a bit. [i Huh... he's blue. ...Cool?] That was her line of thought at seeing the blue-furred man's apparently naturally warm reactions to her—thought she did find it extremely odd that a stranger seemed so excited to meet her, she did over back the most hesitantly of kinder looks.
That kinder look melted away, however, as the one named 'Scott' spoke.
[b "Well with the 'warm and friendly' greeting you'd given me—the act of a random stranger turning me into a pincushion while I'm unconscious as they loom over me ominously is such a fantasy—it seems only fitting that I ended up almost returning the favor completely."] Her tone already dripping with obvious sarcasm and sass, she'd take the moment to raise her eyebrows in false innocence, [b "Was it too strong of a come on? Not strong enough?"]
Charles sends a warning glance Scott's way, all but telling him to not respond to the her taunting. She was basically a spooked animal in there home, and they needed to remain civil so she'd realize they aren't a threat to her.
[#216bb5 "Lauren, what do you remember from before waking up here?"]
Being addressed directly, she returned her attention to the British male. [b "Of the fight? My truck crashing, then some mangy-looking and roaring bastard roughing me up before ultimately slamming me back into the my broke truck and knocking me out."] Even with direct head-trauma that made her black-out, she wasn't prone to memory loss. As far as she could tell, her memory was all but photographic—which did pissed her off whenever she'd think about how she seems to be middle-aged yet can't remember anything of her life before a certain point.
[#216bb5 "Good, then you're caught up."] Charles shifted his hands to rest in his lap, his calm stare doing nothing besides for remaining upon her. [#216bb5 "The man who attacked you is known as Sabretooth, and he is 'partner' under a metal-controlling mutant known as Magneto. For some reason he has decided to target you, so we brought you here to keep you from danger. It was lucky that Storm and Cyclops, which is Scott's alias, were able to get to you and young Rogue in time."]
At first, silence was the only response that Lauren gave, but then she surprisingly snorted in amusement. [b "I was attacked... by a guy called Sabretooth, whose boss—with a name that sounds like is some sort of suppository, by the way—ordered him to capture me?"] Receiving a nod from Professor X, she would slowly look around at all of the five strangers surrounding her.
[b "Storm?"] She asked, pointing a finger at the white-haired woman before turning her attention to Scott, [b "Cyclops?"] If she was granted some sort of response or not from the Summer's male didn't matter in her opinion, she near instantly returning her gaze to Charles. [b "What do they call you other three, then? Wheels, Red, and Sully? God, this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard."] The 5'2 woman would turn, taking in her options of shoving her way through the three people by the door, or jumping out the window. She decide she didn't want to get cut up, so the door it was. She had begun to move forward towards where Jean, Hank, and Scott stood, and looked about ready to shove her way past the poor brunette she had nearly suffocated early , but the voice of Professor Xavier filled the room once more.
[#216bb5 "It's been fifteen years now, hasn't it Lauren? Since you woke up with no idea who you are or where you were?"] Those simple words made her freeze, her hand stopping mid-motion of having been reaching out to shove Scott out of the way of the door .
A haunted look broke through her calm facade, a brief expression that likely only Scott could see if he was paying attention, but then Lauren steeled her features to a guarded, cautious, and maybe a little accusing, before turning around to face towards the Professor. [b "...What did you say?"] Her tone clipped and face hard, but her brimmed with unease as her fists now hung at her sides, clenched tightly as if preparing to strike something or someone.
[b "I'm never going to live this down, am I?"] Scott sighs, checking inside another room that is just as empty as the last.
[i "The fact that you got your ass handed to you by someone who had just woken up from a coma-like state? I'm afraid you'll be the laughing stock around here for quite some time,"] Beast answers, keeping his ears trained for any sound of her.
[b "Thanks, but I was kind of hoping for some sympathy here,"] Cyclops grumbles.
[i Gentlemen, our guest has joined me in my study. Your presence is required.]
Great. She'd found the professor. Chalk that up to another lecture that he will no doubt be receiving from Jean. He can hear it already. [i School safety is important. Can't have strangers wandering around.] He groans internally as he thinks about it.
He doesn't need empathetic powers to feel the tension in the room when he and Beast join the others. Their new friend was clearly on edge, fists clenching at her side as she takes them all in. Probably sizing them up in the event that she needs to defend herself. [b "My apologies, Professor. It won't happen again,"] Scott immediately excuses his failure.
[i "Seeing that there is no need for Lauren to be unconscious, I wouldn't be too worried about it. Besides, no harm done. I'm afraid she was just startled and you happened to be the available target. Lauren, meet Hank McCoy, and Scott Summers. You are already acquainted with Scott, I'm sure,"] Charles jumps in to introductions.
Hank beams at the woman, clearly eager to have her with them. Scott, on the other hand, bites out a tense smile, not pleased in the slightest. Jean gives him a nudge in the ribs when she catches sight of his expression. [b "Don't worry about what happened before. I'm sure my windpipe will heal,"] he mutters sarcastically, receiving another nudge.
It took seconds for the elevator to bring the now understandably antsy and paranoid mutant to the first-floor of wherever-the-hell-it-was that she was at. Usually she'd try to remain calmer in situations like this... but then again, there was a voice echoing around in her head, she hiding from what she only absentmindedly noted must be children, but soon enough she was bolting through some doors that she hurriedly slammed shut behind her... and then turned to see an older, bald male at a desk with a group of teenagers seated in front of a portable chalkboard.
[#216bb5 "That's all for today, children. It's lunchtime for most of you, and next-class for the others. Have a good rest of the day."] The unnamed man advised, and soon enough the young teens were all filing off out the door and past Lauren. Except one girl who forgot her bag, went back to her seat, grabbed it, and finally sprinted by as the others had.... Only this girl sprinted clear through the wooden door like a damned ghost!
[#216bb5 "Good morning, Lauren. Would you like some lunch? Perhaps some left-overs from breakfast?"] The male in the wheel-chair offered as he rolled from behind his desk, and for a brief moment the short woman was thrown off by the seemingly genuinely kind offer. However, rather than reply civilly, her next words were defensive and cautious, [b "Where am I, who are you, and how did I get here?"]
[#216bb5 "In order; somewhere safe, Professor Charles Xavier, and my team brought you here after rescuing you."] The was the explanation, and tough Lauren remained tense she was surprised that she believed those words as truth enough.
[b "What about the girl?]
[#216bb5 "Rogue? She's here, safe and just fine."]
[b "Yeah? I'll believe that once I see her."]
It was then that ones of the double-doors opened, causing Lauren to jump and turn her full-bodied attention towards it.
The next minute or so was spent introducing two women; a redhead who came into the room that smelled more like that sterile room that the semi-short brunette had been in earlier than that guy with the funky shades had... which made sense, she was introduced as Dr Jean Grey. This "doctor" went to stand beside Charles' wheelchair. The next woman who was introduced had brown skin, shockingly white haired, and was named Ororo Monroe, apparently better known as Storm, and was just as apparently a major in adolescent psychology. This woman didn't walk fully into the room, however, but she stayed near the doorway.
[i Well there goes that escape route... unless I decide to throw her out of the way or jump through the windows.] With that thought in mind, she'd snapped her attention back towards the weird bald-and-wheelchair-bound older man as he suddenly let out a soft chuckle.
The apparent "professor" didn't notice her discomfort at hearing him be amused as he simply stated, [#216bb5 "The last two we're waiting to join us will be here momentarily."] And though this fact remained unknown to Lauren, as Charles spoke he sent out a mental call to Scott and Hank in order to direct them to head towards his office once they got back on the main floor from the elevator.
Scott's reflexes weren't fast enough to defend the choke-hold thrown his way. His airway falls under the pressure of her arm, with surprising strength slowly taking away his oxygen. He struggles to break free but to no avail, until she chooses to let him go. The relief of being released is short lived when the pain of being dropped to the hard floor hits him. Choking down as many deep lungfuls of air that he can, he watches her disappear around the corner.
[b "Shit..."] he mutters, already imagining Jean lecturing him about startling the patient and letting her get away after such a trauma. [b "Doesn't seem like she's in too much pain,"] he defends himself to the imaginary argument as he hauls himself up off of the floor.
[i "Who isn't in too much pain?"] Hank's voice reaches his ears as the blue man joins him.
Scott weakly gestures to the way he just came from. [b "Our newest rescue is much faster to recover than we thought."]
Hank raises a furry eyebrow. [i "Where is she?"] he asks, noticing the empty bed.
Scott frowns, starting to clean up the mess she had made. [b "At this moment? I don't care."]
[i "So what I am to understand is, there is a newly-conscious mutant, who probably assumes we have taken her hostage, running free around the academy right now?"]
[b "It would seem that way, yes."]
[i "Let's go, we're going to fix this,"] Beast sighs.
[b "Oh, you feel free. I'm not getting near her for the forseeable future, thank you very much,"] Scott huffs, his hand going to his neck as if he can still feel the pressure.
[i "You don't want her to hurt herself, or someone else, do you? Who knows what kind of state she's in right now,"] Hank sputters in disbelief.
[b "Considering the woman just tried to choke me out, I couldn't care less if she decided to jump in to a volcano at this point,"] the Summers male bites back bitterly.
Hank pauses for one moment before reaching out a massive hand to grab the back of Scott's shirt, hauling him backwards. [b "What the hell!"] he yells in surprise.
[i "Your mess, you fix it. Time to be a big boy, Scott,"] Hank drones out, forcing him down the corridor to the elevator.
The Wolverine remained unresponsive throughout all of the prodding. She didn't even flinch when a pressure cuff constricted-then-eased upon her arm to gauge her blood pressure! Her joints thankfully responded when her reflexes were tested, but the tiny woman showed no intentional responses or any kind of signs that she'd be soon to wake... she was though. Not to far away from consciousness. She could honestly wake up any moment now, and the only moment she hadn't was because she had grown accustomed to these kinds of situations.
Unknown surroundings were nothing! She'd ended up plenty of places once or twice without any recollection of where she was or how she had gotten there upon awakening.
However, as the male began to push the needle into her arm it brought forth subconscious memories. The sensation of the needle piercing her flesh brought forth... things. Memories that Lauren could never remember while awake, but despite that those hidden memories screamed forth and instinctive knowledge of 'DANGER' from her subconscious mind so her brain made a quick jolt back to the land of the living
Chocolate-brown eyes snapped open, and within a single breathe of having awakened she had burst into survival mode. She bolted up—the metal [i snap!] of the needle echoing as it broke halfway off into her arm—and within moments she was half-standing and half-hunched over upon the titled floor of the medical lab with her small and soft yet powerfully strong, bruising, solidly firm hand clenched around Scott's throat. Constricting his airway enough to start slowly suffocating him, but not enough to outright strange him just yet.
Quickly she took in the surroundings with her eyes and all her animalistic senses, she soon focusing upon him fully once more being unable to smell any form of malicious intent from the man in the extremely red-glasses? The semi-short brunette hesitated just a moment in thoughtful silence before, with a grunt, she released him to likely collapse fully to the ground.
The moment she had released Scott, though, she had bolted from the infirmary.
It took less than a minute and a half for her to find a large zip-up hoodie in a closest to throw onto her body , rolled up the overly long medical-gown sweatpants she had been placed in so she wouldn't trip over them, and then found her way to one of two elevators that she promptly took up to the next floor of wherever-the-hell-this-was. ...Just as the second elevator was making it's way down with a certain blue man inside of it.
Curiosity is a trait of the cat, after all. Especially so if that 'cat' was the man known as Beast. His next class wouldn't start for another twenty minutes, anyway.
Scott shrugs his shoulders with his arms crossed over his chest, looking just as confused as Jean. [b "That's everything that we know. I don't understand it either, but I saw the last little bit of the fight, and she clearly took a beating. Trees were broken and falling in to the road, and she landed pretty solidly on the hood of her truck. I wouldn't believe it either if I didn't see it for myself."]
He'd been expecting the small woman to show the evidence of her beating, but when he'd helped Jean get her on the table, there wasn't a single mark on her pale skin. He'd stumbled through the story to his girlfriend's disbelief, finally calling on Rogue to back his story up. Hank had been all too eager to stand by and beg to run tests, but Jean strictly forbid him from his lab fun until their patient was awake and willing.
Truth be told, Scott didn't want Hank experimenting at the moment either. The woman could be dangerous. Not to mention, Dr. McCoy's experiments usually ended up in fire or toxic chemical reactions. So, he sides with Jean when the blue man practically pouts. [b "I agree with her, Hank. It might be best to wait. Don't want to give her too much of a shock when she wakes up."]
Before he can argue, Jean is ushering him and the girl out of the room, leaving him behind to finish up. It is eerily quiet in the medical bay as he gathers the tools he needs. He tries not to look at her too frequently, images of every horror film he'd ever watched coming to mind where the person is possessed and playing dead. It doesn't help when he runs her vitals to find them all normal, even though they should be completely out of whack from the trauma she'd suffered. [b "Quite the mystery, aren't you?"] he asks rhetorically, prepping the needle to draw the blood.
Her skin is warm in his hand -a reassuring sign- as he pulls her elbow straight and gently presses around to find a vein. When he feels it against his finger, he positions the needle and slowly pushes in so as to not collapse it.
It took an hour to get back to the Institute, to Xavier's School of Gifted Youngsters that the group Storm and Scott were a part of, the X-Men, were housed and originated. The two mutants that had been rescued from that faraway province up in Canada were brought to the medical ward in the basement of the school, where variously advance technology that seemed out of place with the above ground school was stored and kept.
The main lab was where Lauren was brought, and a more secondary lab was where the 16-year old girl had been led too.
[#bf0d39 "Scott? Are you and Storm [i absolutely] positive that this woman must have been thrown into a tree, from a truck, and then back onto the same truck? Are you sure the info Rogue gave you was right?"] One of the two doctors of Xavier's Institute, Dr Jean Grey, hesitantly asked of the man she had been in a relationship with for quite a few years now, for he had been staying down in the lab with her as she was overlooking the woman who was now under her care.
After she got whatever sort of confirmation she may get, the red-head sucked her lip between her teeth. [#bf0d39 "That doesn't make sense, then. She should have bloody gashed, dislocated or even broken bones, bruises—especially after dealing with Sabretooth. Yet.... there's nothing. Hell, the only reason she's unconscious is because the Professor advised me to keep her heavily sedated for the time being."] The woman shook her head, and softly added, [#bf0d39 "It must be something to do with her mutation. The only explanation as to why she's not injured at all."]
[#0086eb "She's not injured? Truly?"] A voice questioned, Dr Hank McCoy, a fuzzy, blue-tinted mutant who was nicknamed Beast, exclaimed while walking into the room from the little conference-room somewhere else in the basement level, with the girl named Rogue trailing in behind him. The young teen's eyes flickering to a corner of the room where the infirmary beds rested, and winced as she caught site of Lauren. An expression of concern plain on her face.
[#0086eb "Well, maybe I should take a look at her? Get some blood samples? I am the more experienced out of the both of us, and might be able to–"]
[#bf0d39 "Oh no you don't, Hank."]
Jean cut the blue mutant off, walking over to him and shoving him towards the door as the man, the over-grown blue scientist of a child that he is, literally pouted. [#bf0d39 "You have a class to teach! And, actually, I do soon as well. And I need to show Rogue here to some clothes and such."] She paused, having succeeded on shoving Beast out of the room and sending him sulking off to go teach some students in his sciences class. The Grey woman slowly turned towards the only other mutant in the room (not counting Lauren, who was unconscious, or the teen girl who was standing hesitantly by the doorway.
[#bf0d39 "Scott? Do you think you could do the wrap-up exam for me? It's just the standard stuff you know already—get all of her vitals, check reflexes, and then I'll need a blood sample. Please? It should only take about 30 minutes to complete it all."] The redhead wasn't above using puppy-dog eyes on her boyfriend, so once she got the agreement that was due to inevitably come, she'd smile before leading young Rogue out of the room to head off towards the elevator.
The room was silent with the doctor's exist, and in the corner of the room on her medbed, Lauren had remained unconscious this entire time however, as Jean lead Rogue off and away from the infirmary, the dark-haired and brown-eyed woman was slowly slipping back into conscious despite the IV drip sending the anesthetic directly into her arm since the bag was practically empty so, naturally, the drug was coming through the IV line faster and was almost completely gone by this point.
Despite being petite and physically small and having had the heaviest sedative safe for humans drained into her body which, even with the IV bad empty should have kept her unconscious for hours, without the constant flow of the drug she was quickly starting to return to consciousness.
[b "We're not going to make it in time if we don't hurry,"] Scott muttered under his breath, flicking at switches to help boost the engine power of the jet.
[i "No one was exactly expecting Magneto's crew to be tracking her as well. The Professor thought we'd gotten a good lead on this one. You can help by not complaining. We'll be there soon,"] Storm practically hissed as she navigated the plane expertly.
Scott didn't know many details about the mutant they were after, but she must be important if the professor was this adamant about helping her. He just hoped they'd get to her first. It would be much easier if they had a portable Cerebro to track her down.
[i "Do you see that?"] Storm interrupted his thoughts, pointing through the window as trees below them rattle roughly.
[b "I don't think an animal could make them move that much,"] he agreed, easing off of the throttle to bring them down gently.
Sabertooth. Of course, it had to be Magneto's dog who found her. Storm did a good job of masking their presence with the snow, giving Scott enough time to fire a shot at the hairy beast. A few more trees collapsed with the force of Sabertooth catapulting in to them under the blast.
[b "The girl,"] Scott motioned to the younger female trapped in the truck.
[i "I didn't know she had someone with her,"] Storm frowned.
[b "I don't think any of us did."]
Scott stomped through the snow to the truck, ignoring the heat from the flames licking up the vehicle. He could see the girl panicking, but he didn't waste time explaining before blasting away the stuck belt. [b "Come with us and we'll get you some place safe, okay?"] he tried to comfort her.
In her shock, Rogue allowed him to pull her out and passed her off to Storm to help back to the jet. Scott busied himself with scooping up the unconscious woman from the snow, hoisting her up to follow. [b "Sooner we get back, the better. She needs medical help,"] he informed Storm once he had the woman tucked down and strapped securely.
As soon as it had shown up, the jet was gone again, taking off in the direction of the Institute.
[i Why the hell am I doing this?]
This had been a common thought–.... Well, no. The term "as repetitive as breathing" thought would be much more suitable. This massive repetitive thought has been coming over and over, again and again, in her mind, but she still had no answer.
The reason this thought had even bloomed to life? It all began three days prior in Northern Alberta, Canada—in Laughlin City, to be exact—when she, the Wolverine, had been doing her standard cage fighting. She had been in the city a month since her bookie back in Yukon Territory had touched her up with a bar and bookie who was a part of a chain throughout Canada that didn't mind working with... the 'different' kind of people.
But then three nights ago some asshole got to sexist-ly big for his britches, she put him in his place, he tried to attack her in the pair, and she ended up needing to pull out both pairs of metal claws from between her knuckles. The barkeep and bookie got the dicks out of the bar, but the 5"2 woman knew she needed to bolt from the town before any kind of pissed mob could possibly start rioting. If she left before that happened, there was little chance they'd believe the asshole who she had beat in that cage-fight beyond just thinking him a sore loser that got his pride boo-booed.
So with the location of the next fight bar on the route, and a promise from the bookie he'd call ahead to let the next one know she was coming , the brunette grabbed her things from the tiny apartment she'd been freely staying in upstairs from the bar before heading to her truck and driving away.
It had been roughly 5 am when that happened , and within two hours she had heard something come from the wagon she had attacked to the end of her truck-trailer, she stopped on the side of the road, went to the wagon, and what do ya know? She found the kid from back at the bar that had shouted at her when the bastard had tried to stab her before.
The petite woman had tried to drive away, and leave the kid alone in the middle of nowhere... but her conscious pulled to heavy so the kid ended up coming along with her.
And so Wolverine and Rogue, formerly known as Lauren and Marie, met one another. And now, she's been driving with the kid for the past three days. Having agreed to take her as far as the next cage-fight city she was heading to. Well, that was the plan... but, honestly, she was beginning to consider offering the kid just to stay with her.
She had gotten a rough story out of Rogue; she was a runaway, she'd been running for five months, and she had just barely turned sixteen a couple weeks prior. So, those maternal instincts that she personally called "Where and Why the Fuck do I have these, if I don't remember shit about my life?" instinct. Which, all in all, all contributed to her current thought process.
[i Honestly, why the fuck am I doing this?] Huffing a sigh, she'd glance over to the passenger seat of her truck at the kid who was passed out asleep. She had just passed through a truck stop an hour prior, grabbed some food for the both of them, and she decided to let Rogue sleep a little longer. It was nearly sunrise. The next bar-fight city she was heading for was only another two hours away.
With a decision in mind, she'd reach over and gently shake the kid—the 'bad things happen to people when they touch my skin, and I don't know why' kid—awake by her coat covered should. [b "Breakfast. It's a little cold cause I let ya sleep a while longer, but you looked like you needed it."]
Her response was a grunt, a nod of thanks, and then some blind reaching for where the kid must assume the back of food would be. ...She was off by about 6 inches as far as placement went. Lauren grinned, shaking her head, and handed the bag to Rogue before focusing back on the road.
Despite having come to a decision, she couldn't help but need to ask herself that repetitive question one final time; why was she doing this?
[i Because she's young, lost, scared, and alone in a world with too much trust in her eyes, and undoubtedly filled with hopes she'll find only 'good' people that will help her rather than those that might use her. You see yourself in her, Lauren, you sentimental old bag.] The brunette huffed a final sigh, resigned but not regretful, and looked over at the tiny teen that was chewing down a cold McMuffin sandwich.
[b "Marie..."] She began slowly, taking a needed moment to light one of her cigarette-styled cigars, [b "Look, you don't have anywhere specific to go, and though nothing is permanent because of how often I need to move around, I do have rooms beyond this trailer bed more often than not. If you want, you can travel with me for a while."]
There was long moments of silence, and the older woman looked over at the teen to see her face coated with disbelief, but also a level of hope. [#9b43b6 "Really?"] The tone of voice made her cursed heart-strings twitch, but she gave a smile to the kid all the same and, popping the 'P' at the end, she replied with a simple, [b "Yup."]
After a grateful "thank you" and "don't mention it" were swapped, the two women lulled back into silence as the sun raised on the horizon. The silence didn't last much longer than five minutes, though.
Rogue made a comment about how Lauren should wear a seat belt, and the woman had just been responding with a sassy comment about how she didn't need road safety lessons from a baby-face when, all of a sudden, the truck crashed into something that disrupted the path of the road. Lauren went flying through the window head first, was left disoriented from how hard she had slammed on her head, but shoved herself up to he feet and returned her attention to the problem at hand. The kid was stuck in the struck, and Lauren could smell the smoke coming from her trailer and new she had to get the kid and then, of course, put out the fire before she lost her 'house'.
But then... then, she noticed the fact the tree she'd driven into hadn't fallen naturally. It had been snapped near the base.
In another five minutes time Lauren was attacked by a raggedy looking male who looked like the human, and feral, incarnation of a lion. She didn't even get a good slice or punch in on the bastard before she'd been slammed into a tree and, within second of having fallen back into the ground, slammed hard into the hood of her truck. [i If by the time I wake up Rogue is still okay, and not missing, I'm gonna get the little chick somewhere safe.. If she's missing, I'll find her and then kill this dick.] That had been her last conscious thought that lasted a mere second before she knew nothing more than blackness.
And, with her mind no longer aware of the awakened world, her claws retracted into her body even as the feral-looking, large, mutant male began to stalk towards the truck that could explode up in flames any moment.
Rogue shouted Lauren's name, desperately trying to free herself from her stuck seat belt, but nothing was working as that man stalked closer to the door. If the young teenager wasn't so panicked, she might have noticed how wind and snow suddenly began to flurry up strongly outside of the truck.
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