1963-08-07 - Strawberry Tesseracts Forever
Summary: Who had the bright idea for the demon witch to teach the bohemian succubus magic, anyways?
Related: N/A
Theme Song: The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
illyana rogue 

Illyana and Rogue sit in the girl's dorms, face to face on a pair of pillows. It's a bit late in the night, and were it any other tableu it would look like a descent into a cliched tableu— two young women experimenting with The Occult in their bedclothes at night, illuminated by candles with dark wax pentagrams on the floor.

Except that Illyana's conjured up a glimmering tesseract of magical energy, and cerulean light glimmers off the construct that floats between them.

"Everyone feels energies differently," she tells Scarlett, her ankles folded under her knees, her shift putting her skinny legs on display. "Some people hear a series of melodies, and others see math. For me, it's a weave," she says, fingers curling in the air. Perspiration glints on her brow— the minor effort of maintaining the stability of the tesseract is draining on her.

"Which is what's difficult here, because the threads are weird. Nothing ties off like it should. I have to think about it super hard," she tells the red-headed woman. "But I can do it. It just takes concentration. If I pull too hard at once, I'll burn our faces off."

Scarlett for once looks somewhat comfortable, wearing a pair of dark black pants and a long-sleeved shirt that one day will be associated as the garments worn by yoga enthusiasts everywhere. For now she might be mistaken for a surfer of some kind. It would be about accurate. Those pants were invented by an American or Australian beach-bum. It might be hard to believe that's what she sleeps in, but so be it.

"It's beautiful." Her voice is hushed, and appreciative given the shining cyan light reflecting in waves off the ceiling and painting down the walls in a drizzle of radiance.

"A weave, like a tapestry?" This seems to cause her a moment of surprise. The girl hooks a finger under the neckline of her shirt and pulls up the golden chain, revealing a simple spindle and thread hung from a pendant, the web of fine mesh elaborate, delicate, and without question arcane. Its energies speak to promise and form, purpose and dripping, absolutely drenched, in fate. It hangs suspended and visible for a few seconds. Then she puts it back.

She holds her other hand out towards the light, not near enough to touch, but rather bask in the other elements. Her head tips slightly as she focuses upon it. "Not quite like rays. Patterns?"


"Whatever works for you. It feels like a tapestry to me, anyway. I can pull a thread here—" she closes her eyes and makes an elegant motion with one hand, thumb and forefinger clasped on the air, and the tesseract turns a brilliant shade of amber. "And put it back, or tie it off to something else."

Illyana peers at Rogue's new amulet. "Pretty," she comments, a droll understatement.

"You've got to find your own way of perceiving the Source, not just focus on how I do it. For all I know, you can just think about it hard enough. When I'm in Limbo, I can do that— I just think about it and it happens. Here, though, I've got to manipulate the threads by hand. I make mistakes and then I singe my eyebrows," she says wryly. "I opened up too much heat and didn't tie it off. Turned a jet of flame into something that could melt steel."


The luminous shade gives a blink and Scarlett sits up, lines radiating across her knitted brows as she tries to determine through backwards comprehension how it shifted. Not an iota of a clue beyond the verbal spectrum, but her lips form a narrowed bleached line. "Do your eyebrows grow back any quicker when that happens?"

Terrible questions beget awful answers, though she struggles not to break into a merry laugh. "I confess a certain lack of knowledge on how to tap into the source. Do I expect to hear the sound of spheres in my head, or is it the wavering sparkles that seem to form in lines and circles around me? This is going to be tricky to figure out how to open up. Maybe if I meditate."


"No. I just look weird."

Illyana adjusts the tesseract, making it grow smaller, then twists it into a glimmering rotation in the air, spots glimmering off the walls. It hums quietly when Illyana makes another adjustment, then makes a discordant screech. Illyana winces and swiftly undoes whatever it is she'd just done, muttering in Russian.

"That's something I don't know how to teach," Illy admits, shaking her head at her scarlet-tressed friend. "It's like saying 'why am I blind' or 'how do I taste'. I'd tell you use your tongue. I just do it. Once you interact with the source once, you realize you've known how to do it all your life."

She wiggles her folded knees in a shrug, putting a licentious amount of leg on display as her shift's hem puddles near her hips. "The first time I did it, it just made… you know. Sense to me. Like singing in harmony. You've always known what harmony was, you just find out one day how to do it."


Fates forgive the redheaded bohemian from brushing her fingers over her lips and stealing a wide smile that briefly displays even white teeth. She dips her chin and conceals the pendant back under her shirt, the narrow whorl lying in the vale of her cleavage. Light hovers across the room and beckons her, moth to an eldritch flame.%R%RThe lightning crack of harsh noise sends her scuttling back an inch or two, reacting with a suddenness that speaks to a capacity to keep out of trouble. On her knees, Scarlett rubs her temple. "That frequency struck awry. I can imagine how it seemed to slip. Not slip. Not line up right?" That much she can express, though she returns to sitting comfortably again in a lotus position like her bones and joints behave somewhat contrary to human physiology. Not the case, but the practice of asanas has its benefits. Dense, thick cotton stretches easily to accommodate her. %R%R"Lick the magic. Oh, that will never work." Her nose wrinkles. "And with my fortune, it will. What happens if that lands on my tongue?"


"I'unno. Maybe it'll taste like candy. Might burn your face off. I hadn't thought about it, so it's just whatever it wants to be at this point." Illyana makes a face, focusing, then narrows her eyes and twists, slowly. The blue shape twitches and contracts, as if fighting her— resisting her influence. She grunts under her breath, fingers long and artful, pinching and pulling invisible strings.

Abruptly it turns yellow and turns into a different geometric shape, leaping six inches to the side in an eyeblink. "There, that /might/ be bananas. I had them once. Or a pineapple. Or a bumblebee. I'm thinking of yellow, but I'm not completely sure it's working yet. Feeling adventurous?" she says, lifting a brow at Rogue and drifting the construct towards the scarlet yogi.


So much for consuming magic, though naturally Scarlett has a disposition towards such unexpected reaction. Back poised and her legs crossed, she presents a lotus bloom at its finest, the slow undulations of her copper-kissed hair going nearly ultraviolet in the unnatural light again.

"Of course I am feeling adventurous. Here we are. Guide where you would and I can experiment the rest myself." A swirl of her hand executes a delicate spiral. Considering the blonde sorceress through her lashes, she holds perfectly still to ease the transition of that yellow creature. "Bumblebees ought to taste of honey or perhaps crunchiness. Wouldn't that be a surprise if they end up being something else, like electrified sand and honeycomb."

A slow, torpid smile takes shape.


If there's innuendo intended, it's utterly lost on Illyana, because she focuses steadily on the task at hand, maneuvering the magic down like a magician's trick— strings, or hidden sticks, or the like. The tesseract dances and wafts back and forth, and then alights on Rogue's outstretched tongue.

It tastes of strawberries.

"Well? How was it?" Illyana inquires, a bit guardedly, the construct vanishing into individual motes of light as Rogue makes contact with the unspekably delicate construct— a thought given form, and so fragile that interacting with it acts like a reverse Heisenberg— it's obliterated from reality, leaving only a pleasantly fruity taste in Rogue's mouth.


Innuendo might be the furthest thing from the bohemian's thoughts. She conjures up a mental image of drifting wildflowers in a field, sunshine burning through the overlapping canopy of interlaced branches and fluttering jade foliage. A warm breeze, a chill breath playing the back of her neck.

Scarlett tips her head back slightly as that beam of tangled, twisting spellcraft alights upon her tongue and fizzes away in decadent formations. Her gaze could be cross-eyed, but no, she absorbs the moment in all its finality and wonder with every sense she has. All attention follows the delicate motions of Illyana's hands and expression, except for this violation of reality's rules to give her a flavour.

It pops away, then, the flavour and the frisson zinging across her palate. Almost out of habit, her lips part as her tongue curls and then nothing remains to her but the eager memory. "Delicious. Though cruel."

A sigh follows. "I wonder if we can ravage the kitchens and pillage the larder to see whether they have fruit. It tastes of berries. Strawberry tartness forever."


Illyana blinks, then looks a little sour. "Strawberries? Damn," she mutters. "I don't even know what those taste like," she tells Rogue, slumping in a frustrated fashion. "I was going for bananas. I had a banana once, when I was very small," she tells the redheaded magus-in-learning. "I thought I remembered it right. But how did I even get strawberries…?" she mutters to herself, scowling and trying to figure out where she went wrong.

"Well, I didn't burn your face off, so this one is scored a win," Illy says, standing up and moving to the door. She hits the wall switch, turning on the electrics overhead, and start putting out the candles arranged around the area. "I'll have to work on that. I told you— I don't know how to do this here."


Scarlett taps her fingers against the corner of her temples. "That settles it. I will make you strawberry shortcake, or a proper trifle with cream and berries tomorrow. Fair payment, I think. I can contrast the real flavour with the one you conjured. You can taste them and know."

Her expression softens somewhat, and then inclines her head, the fall of her loose hair giving way to the riot of white she takes such pains to blend out of sight except to a trusted few. "The banana you ate probably changed. Once there was a common species, the Gros Michel. A blight destroyed most of the crop, so they replaced it with the Cavendish. It tastes completely different. Perhaps the flavour didn't translate properly because the Gros Michel does not have anywhere it is planted. Or most anywhere?"

As thought can settle, she wraps her hands around her knee and licks her full lips, unable to help but blotting them together. "Always room for improvement, but you still have an advantage by executing well anyways. The taste was intriguing. I will strive to detect the source, at least. This is rather difficult to imagine how I will start seeing when I have been blind."


"Deal," Illyana says, with no idea what she's in for. She brushes her hair back from her face, twisting it in her fingers— the dirty blonde hair is badly in need of a proper wash and a comb, tangled and matted. "I don't know anything about bananas. I had one, once, before my family moved to Lake Baikal. It was Russia in the winter, so you can imagine we were surprised— a local grocer had a shipment come in. They were a full ten rubles each, which was almost more than we spent on a family meal. Da got one, cut it into four pieces, and we all had a bite. I've never had something like it since then," she tells Rogue. Illy moves to pick up her pillow and sling it back into her bed, then crawls onto the slender wooden frame and sits facing Rogue, shoulders resting against the wall behind her and her dirty bare feet wiggling off the edge of the bed.


"Is that the lake with the inland seals? The big crescent in the Far East?" wonders the copper-tressed bohemian. That she even recognizes the name, much less can act upon the knowledge, proves extraordinarily telling in some ways. She compulsively reads and absorbs information, the only saving grace to accelerate her a little ahead of the competition. Something needs to be done about that hair, too, but in time. Suggestions about washing and styling are not wisely approached by a stranger until bonds of trust form them together.

Let them trade fruit stories to build that, stronger than Bifrost and much tastier. Rainbows don't taste like Skittles, at least not those glassy ones.

Scarlett presses her fingers together in a simple mudra, wrists rotated as her fingers brush from axial alignments to nested angles. "A banana in the dead of winter must be something like finding a golden egg under a goose. But all the more delicious. I once had a mango. It's an oval fruit with the tenderest orange-gold flesh, and when ripe, you can scrape it away or bite into the meat. Juice wells up and runs down your chin, sticky and completely the finest flavour."


"I don't even know what a mango is," Illyana admits, a little sullenly. "We didn't have much fruit in Russia. And Belasco only let me eat whatever was left over from the table on a good day— it all just went into a stew." She sighs, then wiggles her toes and lays back on the bed. "I'm gonna sleep now."

And without a 'good night'— though not visibly trying to snub Rogue— she rolls onto her side, curling into the tiniest ball possible, and instantly falls asleep!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License